Book Title: Gingerbread Mistletoe
Author: Amy Aislin
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Series: Lighthouse Bay #2
Genre/s: Contemporary m/m holiday romance
Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, small town, forced proximity
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: 62,000 words
It’s book two in the Lighthouse Bay series, but can be read as a standalone.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
The last thing Jeff wants is to spend time with the man who totaled his car—the one he spent years restoring with his late father. But if he wants to resurrect his childhood town’s annual outdoor hockey tournament, he’s got no choice.
The last thing Mika wants is to work with the guy who took off right after the accident, without ensuring he was okay. And working together on organizing Jeff’s proposed tournament sounds like a complete nightmare. He’s got enough on his plate after surviving cancer.
Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together, but is that enough for them to set their differences aside and pull off the tournament in only two weeks? Or will they prove to be immune to the magic of Christmas?
Standing, he held a hand out to the man who was so much his type it was almost laughable. Three or four inches taller than Mika’s own five-ten height, dark brown hair that shone red under the warehouse’s lights, like the deepest shade of mahogany, with charcoal-gray at the temples and above his ears, and lines that fanned out from narrow eyes a dark shade of blue. A high forehead in a heart-shaped face and the physique of a footballer completed the package.
All of that wouldn’t have been a big deal on its own, but the way he held himself with the cool confidence of someone who knew his place in the world?
Yowza. Talk about Mika’s type wrapped in a black wool coat and a stubbled jaw more gray than brown. He’d have been giving Jeff his number if the guy wasn’t scowling at him.
Wait, that scowl . . .
Jeff stared at his outstretched hand. “No.”
“Uh.” Rearing back, Mika dropped his arm back to his side. “Excuse me?”
Zach crept up behind him, gaze swinging from Mika to Jeff. “What’s wrong?”
Jeff waved a hand at Mika. “This is the guy you want me to work with?” He put special emphasis on this, as though Mika were a criminal who’d steal his wallet when he wasn’t looking. Straightening his spine, Mika planted his hands on his hips.
Zach blinked once. “Yes?”
Holland Stone—Zach’s boyfriend and Mika’s ex—approached from where he’d been working on his float for the parade, clad in a dusty T-shirt and even dustier jeans. He squinted at Jeff before turning to Zach and Mika. “You two okay?” He held a hammer in one hand like he meant to wield it. Not that he ever would, but the image would’ve made Mika chuckle had he not been so confused.
And frankly? Kind of hurt. What the hell had he ever done to this guy?
“I can’t work with him.” There was no give in Jeff’s tone.
“Why not?” Zach stepped in close to Mika, butting in against his left side. “Mika’s the best.”
Aw. The ire in Mika’s chest faded a little at Zach’s words. It was nice of him to say, especially since Mika had made the worst of first impressions on him last Christmas.
The amount of disgust in Jeff’s scoff would’ve been impressive had it not been directed at Mika. “I’m not working with the guy who totaled my dad’s car.”
Mika’s head jerked back. “What?”
Zach and Holland swung their gazes his way.
“I didn’t!” Taking a step back, he raised both hands. “I’ve never totaled anybody’s car in my life.”
“Oh no?” Jeff argued, raising both eyebrows, and god, the sarcasm. “Not even a turquoise 1956 Chevy Nomad near the Bluffs in Pacific Palisades? About this time last year? Ring any bells?”
That was where Mika knew this guy from! Jesus, he was still holding a grudge? “Okay, first of all, I apologized, like, seven times. Second, I gave you my number. It’s not my problem that you didn’t call. Like I said—I would’ve paid to get it fixed. And third.” Leaning over the desk, he narrowed his eyes on a squinty-eyed Jeff Bellmoor. “Totaled?”
Jeff winced. “Fine. That’s maybe the wrong word.” Uttered so begrudgingly, it was a miracle he managed to say the words at all. “But like I said—it’s not about the damage.”
A huff of exasperation escaped Mika and he threw his hands up. “I don’t know what that means.” He hadn’t known then either.
“Never mind.” Rubbing his forehead, Jeff turned away. “You wouldn’t understand.”
Q & A With Amy Aislin
How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?
I’ve been writing since I was nine years old, although I didn’t start taking it seriously until about five years ago. What made me fall in love with writing was actually reading. I’ve always loved books, from the time I was very young, and it made me want to tell my own stories.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Definitely not. I wanted to be an actor, a gymnastic coach, and a wildlife biologist at various points in my life!
What does your writing process look like?
I always start a first draft knowing two things: first, what the characters want, why they want it, and what’s in their way of them getting it; and second, what the conflict is between them. Once I have that, I start drafting, sometimes pausing along the way to do research if I need to. After the first draft is complete, I do a thorough reread to fix any inconsistencies or fill in backstory. Then it goes to two or three beta readers, and after I’ve made those edits, my manuscript goes to my developmental editor. When I’m finally done editing story content and am happy with my final product, my book goes to my copyeditor and then my proofreader.
Describe a scene in your writing that has made you laugh or cry?
My current WIP is a college romance with some great side characters, and some of the scenes featuring them made me laugh out loud. Especially since some of the banter featuring their college friends is so funny!
There are two scenes I can think of from my books that made me cry. The first is from On the Ice, and it was the first scene featuring Grandpa Forest, Alex’s grandfather and the rock in his life. I didn’t know, until that point, how the storyline featuring Forest would end, and I bawled so hard while writing his first scene because it was at that point that I realized he would pass away before the end of the novel.
The second scene is from Gingerbread Mistletoe and takes place near the end, when Jeff says a final goodbye to his dad.
Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book or WIP. What genre does it fall in?
My latest WIP is tentatively called Keeping Casey and is a college romance between childhood best friends—Ethan and Casey—who become fake boyfriends in order to get Ethan’s annoying teammate off his back about dating. The book is fun and flirty and cute, featuring two oblivious main characters, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it in late January/early February 2021.
Give us a little insight into your main characters from Gingerbread Mistletoe? Who are they?
Mika Jones is an actor who’s been on leave from his popular TV show for the last year due to an illness that he’s now recovered from. He’s spent the year in his hometown of Lighthouse Bay, reconnecting with friends and helping out with the local Christmas activities. He’s snarky and sassy and so full of life, although he is still scarred from a past relationship gone wrong.
Jeff Bellmoor is the CEO of a large company that he’s nursed from the ground up. He grew up in Lighthouse Bay and hasn’t been back since he moved away from college. Spending Christmas there is meant to reconnect him with his father’s memory, but he ends up finding himself—and Mika—instead. Jeff is determined and smart and always goes after what he wants.
Will we be seeing these characters again? Is this book part of a series?
Yes! Gingerbread Mistletoe is book two in a planned trilogy. Actually, Mika was introduced in book one, Christmas Lane. Jeff, while never introduced in one of my novels, was very briefly mentioned in my freebie short story The Nature of Christmas, available on my website. We’ll definitely be seeing Jeff and Mika again in book three of the series. And who knows? They might make cameos in unrelated books. (I have a tendency to do that with my favourite characters, and Jeff and Mika are definite favourites.)
Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Jeff would be played by Eric Dane.
For Mika, I could see an older version of Paul Walker playing him if he was still alive.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
Reading is the main one, which I’m sure surprises no one! Outside of that, I do like the occasional 1000-piece puzzle, adult colouring books, and landscape photography.
About the Author
Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win
a signed paperback of Gingerbread Mistletoe