Fanta, Baby?

Among the highlights of my writing career was last year’s release of my very first Christmas story. It was fun to write, turned out to be a pretty good story, and gave me an excuse to peruse endless photos of hot guys with handsomely wrapped packages, if you catch my drift, wink wink, nudge nudge. It didn’t exactly sell like gangbusters, but I love it, and am in the airline-napkin-note-scribbling stages of making the Holiday Story an annual tradition.

Fanta Sea

Titles are hard. Holiday titles are harder. You want to capture the Christmas/Hanukah/Yule Spirit in three or four words, justify the half-naked Santa on the cover, and somehow tie in at least a reference to the actual story, and Jingle Bell Jock, while obviously awesome, is annoyingly already taken. Following a conversation with my orange-pop-loving nephew about its popularity (or ubiquity, at least) in Latin America, I lit upon the genius idea of setting my next Christmas Story in Mexico and calling it Fanta Baby. That Bad EarthaWhich, as you see, would pretty much be the best idea ever — evoking, as it does, both Father Christmas and That Bad Eartha — if it wasn’t for all those pesky laws about trademarks. My husband pointed them out: You’d have to get permission from Coca Cola. Surely not, I said. For Fanta? I mean, for A Diet Coke Christmas, I can see. Or even for Go Tell It on the Mountain, Dew. But surely Fanta, in its role as cultural shorthand for “orange pop,” falls into some kind of Oh, Go Ahead category? The people who make us capitalize Kleenex and Jetway insist it does not.

So here I am, back at the drawing board, trying to cook up that Perfect Title around which to construct a winter romance. My friend who lives in LA enjoys taking what he terms “sweater-based” vacations in the winter; might he not also enjoy a sweater-based love story, Fleece Navidad? (Can you tell I worked a San Juan turn yesterday and have Latin America-as-setting on my mind?) In addition to being overly-suggestive and just kind of long, Chet’s Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire seems ho-hum and predictable. O, Little Town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania calls for entirely too much firsthand knowledge of a place I’ve never been; as hot as a dude in a green t-shirt can be, as a title, Green Sleeves is a total snooze; Frosty the Blow Man would have to be all about cocaine, which risks plopping us right back at square one as it relates to infringing uses of the word “Coke.” Because you might otherwise want to read a gay romance about a drug dealer named Frosty. See? Hard.

I guess I’ll just have to go about this the old fashioned way: actually write a story, then shop for the title that fits it just right. Or let I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus just write itself…

 

Can't wait for Christmas? You can get last year's holiday story year-round at JMS Books!

Can’t wait for Christmas? You can get last year’s holiday story year-round at JMS Books!

 

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New Holiday Release: The Gift of the Gay Guy

Gift Gay Guy CoverIf you’ve read any of my stuff — or seen any pictures of my husband — you know that I’m a fan of the Fat Guy.  I’m also kind of a pushover for the cheesecake centerfold-type Hot Guy in a Santa Hat, so the idea of crafting a short Holiday romance was an easy sell to me.  Heck, you put a twink in a mall in December, get some rakishly handsome broke dude who can fill the suit without a pillow a holiday gig in a fake beard, now you’ve got fat, hot, a Santa hat, and a cultural mandate for one guy to sit on the other’s lap — this shit writes itself.

Try as I might, though — and some days we go wander around the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and “try” just for want of something better to do — I couldn’t find Romance in the Mall.  Not on Santa’s lap, not in the parking lot, not even at Hot Dog on a Stick.  The rented felt suit and cottonball beard just weren’t doing it for me; I found Sweaty, and Stinky, but darned if I could find Sexy in there anywhere — this is probably part of why I hate Halloween.  But I do love Christmas — in flattering light and a cozy sweater it’s hard not to feel romantic — and I discovered that if you put the fat guy and the twink together at, say, an airport hotel, which has beds in it, that “holiday spirit” shortly bubbles to the fore.

Mind you, the fat guy — we’ll call him “Derrick” — is reticent to celebrate Christmas with his Appearances Are Everything Mom for the first time since his partner’s death three years ago, and the twink — we’ll call him “Lee” — is really more of a sticky-fingered mistake than any kind of prospect; Derrick surprises nobody more than his damn self when he shows up at his Family Christmas with Lee by his side, and when his cop brother Chad recognizes Lee from Once Upon a Time, Derrick feels more like a heel than any kind of man in love.  While Lee reveals a soft side, Derrick’s convinced he’s a hardened criminal, and he can’t help but worry: what if the next thing Lee steals is Derrick’s heart?

Find out today!  The Gift of the Gay Guy is 20% off at JMS Books — just $3.19 for your Kindle or your e-reader app on your tablet or phone.  It’s short, it’s sexy, and it’s kinda fun — just like a Google Image search of “hot guys in Santa hats,” but without quite as many random kitties.

And if Derrick and Lee ignite a sexy holiday spark in you, fan it with the other JMS Books December releases:

The Firefighter in the Snow | Vivaldi in the Dark | Bad Secret Santa | Yule Be in my Heart

Nowhere to Hide | Holy Xavier | Christmas Deception | And We Will Live Happily

Thanks, JMS Books!

Thanks, JMS Books!