QSFer Kim Fielding has a new MM holiday paranormal tale out: “Christmas Present.”
A modern gay-romance twist on Dickens.
Lewis loves his holiday job. As the Ghost of Christmas Present, he guides people to improve their lives. Sure, he’s a little lonely at home in Minnesota, but Fezziwig the cat keeps him company.
When Lewis is spirited to California one Christmas Eve, he meets Sammy, an ex-lawyer who seems to already have his life in order. Lewis and Sammy share Korean fried chicken and a brief fling, but distance and career obligations appear destined to thwart anything permanent.
Maybe this year, Lewis is due for a special gift of his own.
Where the hell was Lewis supposed to go and who was his target? Had there been a bug in the system? That idea unsettled him. He’d never before questioned the trustworthiness of whatever it was that sent him on his jobs. But if it was fallible, that meant he could get stuck somewhere far from home. Or worse, stuck in the terrifying in-between.
“Get a grip,” Lewis muttered. And then because no other course of action came to mind, he stepped into the nearest restaurant, a Korean fried chicken place.
At six foot nine, almost four hundred pounds, and with his long coppery hair and flowing beard, Lewis tended to make an entrance wherever he went, year-round. But dressed as he was now? He was a spectacle.
The restaurant’s few patrons all gaped, and a young woman with a tray of dirty dishes stopped in her tracks. Everyone was so still that Lewis began to wonder if he really was caught in some kind of time glitch. But then someone peeked out from the kitchen: first a thatch of unruly dark hair, then a pair of wide eyes, and then… a broad smile. The owner of those white teeth emerged entirely and trotted over.
“Hi. I’m supposed to say ‘Welcome in.’ That’s, like, the trendy thing, right? But I’m not the trendy type, so let’s skip it. Table for one?”
Lewis blinked a few times. The man was in his mid-thirties, Lewis guessed, slender and tall—although still far short of Lewis’s towering frame. He wore a black T-shirt with the restaurant’s cartoon-chicken logo, blue jeans, and a pair of hot pink Converse high tops. Those shoes reminded Lewis of what he currently lacked.
“Uh, never mind.” He backed up a step. “I, uh, forgot my shoes.”
The guy looked down, but the long cloak dragged on the floor, and Lewis’s feet weren’t visible at all. The guy’s mouth quirked. “It’ll be our secret. I don’t think any health inspectors are gonna show up at nine forty-five on Christmas Eve.”
“Forgot my wallet too. I’m sorry.”
Lewis turned to leave, but the man caught his sleeve. “No worries. Look. It’s been a really slow night, we’re gonna close in twenty minutes, and there’s way too much product back there.” He jerked his head toward the kitchen. “Let me bring you some chicken.”
Lewis knew he should refuse. He was supposed to be working, not eating, and his temporary inability to pay was embarrassing. But the food smelled great, and as usual, he was hungry. The man who still held Lewis’s sleeve had kind brown eyes and plump pink lips.
“I can send you the money later, after I get home.”
“No big deal. Consider it a holiday gift.”
“You don’t even know me.”
The guy stuck out his hand, and Lewis found himself shaking it. “Sammy Park. Now you know me.”
“Um… I’m the Ghost of Christmas Present.”
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.