Sugar Cookies and Mistletoe

Title: Sugar Cookies and Mistletoe

Author: Kay Doherty

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: October 22, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 11600

Genre: Paranormal, Halloween, Christmas, werewolves, bonded, virgin, reunited

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Preston believed he would never find his mate. When he finally does, he’s in for a surprise. His mate, Dylan, is a rare omega wolf-shifter, but he’s still a child himself. Due to the unusual circumstances, the families agree to keep Preston and Dylan separated, only allowing monitored emails to be exchanged between them. Six years later, Dylan returns to the wolf-shifter town of Barton, and Preston. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Dylan to meet the Callahan Pack, reunite with his mate, and figure out exactly what his omega status means for his future with Preston.


Sugar Cookies and Mistletoe

Kay Doherty © 2018

All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

October 2012

Preston Callahan walked down the street with the other unmated alphas and glanced at the pack members lining the sidewalks in front of their homes. The wolf pack didn’t celebrate Halloween, but some had decorated their porches for fall with scarecrows, pumpkins, and wreaths made from colorful leaves.

“I hate this damn parade,” he said to his twin sister, Penny, who walked beside him. “It’s antiquated.”

“Shush. I have hopes,” Penny replied while scanning the crowd with a critical nose, trying to catch the scent of her future mate.

The annual mating parade had been started centuries ago by one of his ancestors to boost the ego of the alphas and remind the others who was in charge. With the change in times and culture, it wasn’t as necessary as it had been back then. He felt the ritual had long outlived its usefulness. It took place every year a few months before mating season so they could peruse the unmated betas and gammas, and so that the parents of wolves who’d recently turned eighteen could present them to the pack alphas for consideration.

Expectation and excitement scented the air as the alphas passed. It was considered an honor to be chosen by an alpha in this way, so it was always quite the event. The unmated wolves would dress up in their finest, and a massive bonfire with food and dancing would take place later that night to celebrate any new pairings that occurred. It happened with enough frequency that the annual parade continued to take place by an almost unanimous vote by the alphas; almost because every year, Preston would vote against it.

He was twenty-eight years old, and in the decade since he’d started taking part, Preston had yet to scent his mate. He’d found plenty of lovers, but they were just betas willing to have a few nights of fun in an alpha’s bed. Preston doubted they even cared whose bed it was, only that it belonged to an alpha. He also doubted this year would be any different, so he’d made no effort with his appearance. Unlike his fellow alphas, who had dressed nicely, Preston wore jeans, combat boots, and a well-worn long-sleeved T-shirt in deference to the late fall chill. Winter, and mating season, would be on them in a few short months.

He made eye contact with a handsome young man in a well-fit gray suit who just might make an enticing plaything for the night. Penny suddenly looped her arm through his elbow. Her excitement vibrated through her, and he glanced down. His twin had always been far more demonstrative in her emotions than him.

“I can smell him, Preston.” Penny beamed up at him with a happiness he’d not seen since they were pups running freely in the forest behind the pack house without a care or worry in the world.


“My mate, Pres. I finally found him. He’s over there.”

She pointed to a group of young men who appeared to be in their early to midtwenties. He recognized a few of them as new arrivals to the pack, which explained why Penny hadn’t scented him until now.

“Congratulations,” he murmured.

“Don’t be so sour about it,” she grumbled as she slapped him on the chest.


He hadn’t meant for the envy and jealousy he felt every year during this thing to bleed into his words, but that was apparently beyond his control.

“I was beginning to have my doubts, too, you know. That I’d ever find my mate this way.”

Penny stopped walking, tightening her grip and forcing Preston to stop as well. She glanced over her shoulder. Preston watched a good-looking young man break away from the others and start walking slowly down the street, watching them closely. The gamma wolf would keep his distance until Penny approached him.

“But there he is.” Penny looked back to Preston, smiled beautifully, and began backing away toward her gamma. “You’ll find yours, too, one day. I know it.”

Preston watched as his twin jumped into the gamma’s arms with an excited yip. The crowd around the couple broke out into cheers, clapping and yelling their congratulations as the alpha claimed her mate. Historically, only one or two alphas per year would find their mate during the parade. He was happy

Penny was one of them, but it left him feeling more alone than he had before. His younger brother Declan, who walked about fifty feet ahead of him, was still unmated as well, but the rest of his sizable family was paired off and having pups. He secretly craved pups of his own, which would never happen because he was gay, so he played it off as undesirable.

Lost in thought, Preston walked the remainder of the route without really seeing anything. He looked around, but nothing truly penetrated until he neared the end of the route. A powerful, sweet smell drew his attention to the small house set back a little farther from the street than the others. It was the house Preston’s father, the pack alpha, had designated to his right-hand beta, John. John was the lead pack enforcer, the wolf equivalent of a human sheriff.

John and his mate, Joanne, were standing on the sidewalk having a lively conversation with Declan. Their nineteen-year-old daughter, Brittney, was unmated and doing her best to attract Declan’s attention. Enticed by the delicious scent wafting from the house, and the desire to say hello to a long-time family friend, Preston approached the group.

“Congratulations,” Joanne said with a smile as Preston joined them on the sidewalk. “Word has spread that Penny found her mate today. That’s so exciting.”

“Yeah,” Preston agreed, but his mind was short-circuited by the smell. “Are you baking cookies or something? Smells delicious.”

Joanne’s smile fell slightly as she regarded him and answered with a soft “no.”

“You smell cookies?” Declan asked. He sniffed the air. “I don’t smell anything.”

Brittney sidled up to Preston with a coquettish smile. “Maybe your mate is nearby,” she suggested.

“Seriously?” Preston asked, doubt and irritation lacing the word, and moved away from the flirtatious girl.

“Be right back,” Declan told the family and yanked Preston back out into the street. He kept his voice down due to keen wolf hearing, but he seemed to be content that they were far enough away not to be overheard. “Stop being a cynical ass, Pres. You are smelling your mate. If you actually took the time to

talk to newly mated couples, they’d tell you that. Hell, go talk to Penny. Or, gee, I don’t know, any of our brothers and sisters.”

Preston took that news to heart and glanced over his shoulder at the enforcer and his family. He shook his head and turned back to his brother. “Brittney is not my mate.”

“Maybe not,” Declan agreed. “But someone nearby is. The way Grace told it, she followed the scent until it got really strong, and the moment she saw Max, she knew. Max tells it different. There’s no scent for the lower ranking wolves, apparently. Max says it’s more of a pull.”

Preston rolled his eyes skyward and took a deep breath. That scent was still teasing his nostrils. He vaguely remembered one full moon several years back when his brother-in-law, Max, had asked Grace if he still smelled sweet to her. It hadn’t made sense to him, and he hadn’t cared enough to ask about it. He’d simply written it off as some lovey-dovey mate talk he wanted no part of.

“Smells heavenly?” Declan asked softly. Preston snapped his attention back to his brother. “Because the look on your face…”

“Heavenly’s a good word for it.”

Declan put his hand on Preston’s shoulder and smiled. “Let’s go identify your mate, big brother.”

Preston was both exhilarated and terrified by that idea, but he allowed Declan to steer him back toward the house. The closer they got to the small bungalow, the stronger the scent became until Preston was certain that his mate, if all that talk was true, was inside the house. He studiously ignored Brittney and her hopeful expression. A quick glance at Joanne showed she was optimistic his mate would be Brittney as well. He focused his attention instead on John. The older man lifted his eyebrows in question.

“Who’s inside the house?” Preston asked.

John shook his head, clearly confused. “My nephew.”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot he was coming to live with you for a while,” Declan said. “How is your brother doing?”

Annoyed by the conversation his brother struck up with John, Preston sighed. Yes, it was sad John’s brother had lost his wife and second son in childbirth, but that wasn’t what Preston was interested in right now. Preston edged past the men as they conversed, his sole focus getting into the house. He eased the front door open and was immediately overwhelmed by an intense, delicious scent that made his mouth go dry and his nerve endings zing. Preston hadn’t known who or what to expect when he stepped into the bungalow, but it wasn’t the adorable, dark-haired boy sleeping on the sofa.

Preston couldn’t take his eyes off the miracle that lay before him. He squatted beside the couch and took in the sight. The air in the room shifted as the others joined him, but he didn’t move, didn’t acknowledge them. He watched in utter fascination as the boy stirred, waking up slowly, and then locked eyes with him. The kid didn’t sit up or shift his position on the sofa, but Preston saw the mate recognition spark in the boy’s chocolate-brown eyes. Preston smiled.

“Hey there, cutie,” he murmured. “What’s your name?”

“Dylan,” the boy answered. Dylan held Preston’s gaze as he pushed himself upright and folded his legs beneath him.

Preston nodded as he rose to his feet. His intention to sit beside Dylan on the sofa and get to know him was sidelined when Declan slammed him back against the wall.

“What the hell?” Declan whispered, looking at Preston intently.

“He’s my mate,” Preston answered, glancing at his brother in confusion before returning his attention to Dylan’s dark eyes.

“Shit,” Declan breathed.

“No!” John barked.

John stepped in front of Dylan, blocking Preston’s view of him. Preston bared his fangs as he growled at the beta who dared stand between him and his mate. The beta looked nervous, but he didn’t back down.

“I’m sorry, alpha,” John said, lowering his eyes in deference to his superior, but he didn’t move. “You can’t have him. He’s only twelve.”

The mate scent was overpowering, but the longer the beta blocked Preston’s view, the quicker his senses returned. And John’s words were finally able to sink in. He’s only twelve. Intense anger and revulsion blasted through him, and he shoved Declan away. Preston surged from the house and stalked toward the forest as the rage boiled beneath his skin. His human psyche and his wolf both howled at the injustice, the unfairness. Why would fate lead him to Dylan, his mate, when he was still just a child? What had Preston done in his life to deserve such cruelty? Needing to take his anger out on something, he went to his favorite hunting spot in the woods, undressed, and shifted. He needed to kill something.


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Meet the Author

Kay lives in Colorado with her husband and their animal children. Family is important to her so there are weekly visits to her parents and frequent text messages with her brothers. She has a severe addiction to coffee and Mexican food. She loves to read and write and can easily become consumed by it for hours, much to the dismay of the husband and dogs. On occasion, she can be convinced to venture out into world of the living.

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Marina Vivancos – I’ve Been Careless With A Delicate Thing

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK  – Available exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited

Length: 27,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Silas meets gorgeous, grumpy-looking Oscar at a bar. He’s never had sex with a guy, and what better place is there to find someone to pop that particular cherry?

He knows what he’s getting with the broad-shouldered, I-can-pummel-you-with-one-look Oscar: getting bent over a hard surface and satisfied until he’s blaspheming. Turns out, though, there’s a lot more to Oscar that meets the eyes. Needs that you’d never guess just by looking at him. Needs that Silas turns out to perfectly meet.

One night turns into two, turns into three, turns into a dozen. It’s just a little friends-with-benefits relationship with a dollop of kink on the side. No feelings involved, right?

Right. Because Silas is just so good at keeping his heart in check.

This is an erotic ~27,000 word novella. Expect plentiful sex scenes with a friends-with-benefits (yeah, right), soft Dom/sub relationship.


“You look like you’re having fun,” Silas said, peering at Oscar whilst the other two leaned towards each other, falling into conversation. Oscar raised his eyebrows a little, and the clear sarcasm in the move made Silas grin.

Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

“Let me guess. You dragged Johnny here to get your dance on, didn’t you? ‘I need to shake my thang’, you wailed, and now here you are, crying on the inside because they’re playing a Madonna remix and this is your jam.” He perched his chin on the palm of his hand, looking at Oscar through his eyelashes.

“My thang,” Oscar repeated, not bothering with a question mark. His voice was deep and everything you would want to come out of a face that looked like it could be used as a cornerstone for a gothic church.

“Yeah, your thang. Your badonkadonk. Your caboose. Your derriere. Your full moon rising. Your juicy double.”

“Are you done?”

“Your all that junk inside your trunk.”

“What are you drinking, exactly?”

“Why? You wanna buy me another?”

“I was actually planning on telling the bartender to cut you off.”

Silas grinned at him for a moment before knocking back his drink. “Let’s dance,” he ordered.

“I don’t dance.”

“Sure you do, big guy.”

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!

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Hidden Hearts

Author: Lindsay Detwiler

Title: Hidden Hearts

Series: Lines in the Sand, prequel

Genre: Gay Romance

Release Date: September 29, 2018

Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing

Cover Designer: Claire Smith

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“All along, Reed Wilder’s been this crazy rebel just waiting for me to let my guard down. And so, here we are, standing at the bar waiting to get the party started.”

Sexy entrepreneur Lysander Wyatt has always believed in happily-ever-after thanks to his picture-perfect family. Now orphaned, he’s made a family of his own at his popular beach bar, Midsummer Nights. There’s just one thing missing—the forever kind of love he’s been looking for.

Reed Wilder, a guarded corporate man from Philadelphia, is looking for himself when he moves to Ocean City, Maryland. However, a rocky childhood makes him afraid of commitment. When he walks into Midsummer Nights and meets the attractive bartender who owns it, he’ll have to decide if love might actually be worth the risk. Will Lysander and Reed get on the same page about commitment, or will they continue hiding the true desires and fears of their hearts?

This sweet m/m standalone 35,000-word novella is also a prequel to the popular Lines in the Sand series.

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If he says what I think he’s going to say, the line that has crawled out of so many of my dates’ mouths over the years, I’m going to vomit. Or hurl this drink at him. Maybe even both. Because God knows, I can’t survive another Joe or Sven or Oliver situation. I’m through. I’m done. Goodbye.

Somehow I manage to maintain a friendly smile as Tony continues babbling on animatedly across the table from me. We’re at the Marooned Pirate, my favorite bar—other than mine, of course—where we’ve chatted about everything from Tony’s job as a pizza delivery guy to his great-aunt’s struggles with foot fungus. I’ve managed to keep it together by wildly tossing back at least three margaritas and by internally taking notes on every single odd statement from this man, knowing Jodie will get a real kick out of the conversation.

“But anyway, like I was saying, after the whole relationship with Brad, I just realized that…”

Here it comes. The line I’ve heard too many times to count. At this point, I can see it coming from a mile away.

“I’m really not looking for anything serious, you know? Just some fun, some good sex, and all that. I mean, what are the twenties and thirties for, anyway?”

I take another swig of my fourth margarita, deciding vomiting or tossing my drink at him would be both childish and a waste of my pride.

In truth, it’s not like Tony’s my type anyway. It’s not like I got that pang in my chest telling me that this very tanned, very talkative man is the one I’m looking for. There haven’t been any sappy montages playing in my head of white-picket fences, golden retrievers, and two children running in the front yard, all to sappy music.

Then again, after all these years of dating only to have about a dozen disastrous relationships under my belt, I’m pretty sure the pang in my chest is no longer functioning. Every bone in my body has just about given up, and the only montage in my head looks sort of like a lonely horror film. I feel a bit like that scorned woman in Great Expectations, sadly watching a clock in a dusty old room.

Ocean City, Maryland, isn’t the easiest place to live if you’re looking for love. Correction. Ocean City, Maryland, isn’t the easiest place to live if you’re looking for the kind of love that’s not the one-night-stand or “just wild fun” variety.

The tourists are here simply looking for some one-night-stand fun. The rest of the regulars are either workaholics—and, arguably, I could probably fit into that category—or the ones who have sworn off serious relationships. After all, with all these new possibilities floating in every summer, who wants to settle down? Isn’t monogamy overrated?

Maybe they’re right. Maybe it’s me who has the problem. Or maybe I should blame my parents for setting the bar so high and for showing me that marriage is a beautiful idea, that settling down with one person can be fulfilling.

Or maybe it’s just all the margaritas are making it hard to think.

“Oh, hey, that’s my coworker over there. Do you mind if I go talk for a minute?” Tony asks, and I practically leap with joy. I’ve been trying to come up with an escape plan now for about a half hour.

“Not at all,” I reply, flashing him a grin to reassure him.

As soon as he’s across the room and a safe distance away, distracted, I’m out of my seat and crossing the dance floor of the Marooned Pirate, beelining for the exit as I pluck my cell phone from my pocket.

I dial her number.

“Lysander, don’t tell me you’ve quit the date already,” Jodie whines as she answers the phone.

“Hello to you, too,” I reply. “And yeah, I’m starting to worry that maybe we’re not actually as good friends as I thought. I mean, really? Tony?”

“He’s cute, right?”

“He’s cute. But the overly tanned jock type isn’t exactly my type.”

“Yeah, but your type is either boring or assholish. I thought maybe you needed to mix it up.”

“Well, we just spent a half hour talking about pizza toppings and toe fungus, in that order. Oh, and about how he’s not looking for anything serious.”

* * * 

 Lines in the Sand Series 

Inked Hearts

(book 1)

Wild Hearts

(book 2)

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A high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.

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She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.

Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she’s done her job.

Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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