Short Stories

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A Graphically Designed Holiday

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Graphic designer Eli has harbored a secret crush on nerdy math teacher Lincoln since they were at school together, and he’s perfectly content with his unrequited feelings—until Lincoln requests a special handmade holiday gift: a dating profile with all the bells and whistles Eli can include, one that will be sure to find Lincoln a boyfriend for Christmas.

Eli uses building the profile as an excuse to spend time with Lincoln, but will he be able to watch his friend find love with someone else?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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An Elf to Myself

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

The last thing Wilhelm expects to find at Michaels, three days before Christmas and in search of a gift to make for his niece, is one of Santa’s elves—a cute one with a wicked, inappropriate sense of humor and a kinky streak. Alabastair may have been kicked out of Santa’s village, but he’s still a Christmas expert. And he’s determined to give Wilhelm and his family the best holiday he can. 

With only two days to turn the Grinch’s house into a Christmassy wonderland, they have a lot on their plate. Among the glitter and the cheer, Wilhelm and Alabastair might find more than just the holiday’s magic. But will it be enough to keep Alabastair in Wilhelm’s bed and life when the North Pole calls him back?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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A Stitch in Time

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

When Connor’s friend signs him up for a crochet course, the last thing he expects is to find love. However, at the community center, he meets hunky Finn. There’s only one problem: Finn assumes Connor’s there for the boxing class, and Connor lets him believe it, worried Finn will ditch him if he knows Connor prefers crafting to upper cuts. Can they salvage the situation when the truth comes out?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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A Swants Soiree

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Introverted software engineer Brent Levine struggles with the life part of work-life balance, but to hold on to his new job, he’ll have to embrace his employer’s dreaded “staff enrichment” events. This year’s annual ugly holiday sweater party will strain his ambition to remain inconspicuous: everyone has to wear sweaters converted into pants—aka “swants.”

Brent’s an ace at coding, but when it comes to handcrafts, he’s definitely at the far left end of the bell curve. Luckily he encounters seriously cute theater costumer Jonathan at the Goodwill Outlet. Jonathan offers Brent both an acceptably ugly sweater and his expertise in swants conversion. Attraction sparks on Brent’s side, but can Jonathan be interested in a guy like him?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Christmas Ghosts

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Dealing with the unexpected loss of his mother isn’t how carpenter Steve Browning planned to spend his Christmas. Hoping her costume jewelry can bring some happiness to others, he takes it to the local community theater, where he runs into his first love, Troy Baxter.

Troy’s trying to help his sister put on a gender-fluid version of A Christmas Carol, but no one on the cast or crew knows which end of a hammer to hold let alone use a power tool. Then a face from the past brings a present-day miracle… one that could lead to the happy future they both thought they gave up back in high school.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Crochet My Heart

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Accountant Tristan plans to make a ton of crochet items for his local LGBT charity to sell at their holiday fair. His only problem? He can’t crochet.

Fortunately the community center offers a class, and it’s taught by Charlie, who is gorgeous and sexy and seems interested. At first. Can grandmotherly fellow classmate Ivy guide the clueless men to each other, or will it take something more serious to help them see the possibilities?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Evan Versus the Sharlotka

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Rumpled tech support Evan Carmichael has a crush on pristine programming supervisor Gavriil Cottan. The whole company knows it. Except Gavriil. As a closet romantic, Evan dreams of declaring his feelings with a grand gesture, something out of the movies he loves.

The company holiday potluck luncheon gives Evan a perfect opportunity. He finds out Gavriil’s favorite dessert and is determined to make an apple sharlotka just like Gavriil’s mother used to make. The only problem is, Evan is a disaster in the kitchen. Can he master the mystery of the sharlotka and the intricacies of the springform pan in time to both woo and wow Gavriil?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Finding Yuletide Karol

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Fifty years ago, during the Vietnam War, Lee Elbridge fell in love with an Army cook nicknamed Yuletide Karol, but they haven’t seen each other since.

Now, led by a clue in an old cookbook, Lee sets off on a road trip to find his lost love. He arrives on Karol's upstate New York farm to find preparations for a handfasting in full swing, and is mistaken for the wedding planner’s assistant. As Lee is roped into folding hemp napkin goats and mashing fresh sweet potatoes, he is welcomed by Karol's large, eccentric family of witches and pagans. When Lee and Karol finally get a moment alone, Lee tells him the truth, but it will take more than a little Yuletide magick to bring them together again after almost a lifetime.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Flour, Eggs, Sugar, and Magic

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Wannabe witch Will Brand’s attempts at making magic cookies for the kids at a local shelter go awry when his ex-boyfriend messages and turns Will’s good energy to anger. Will has no idea there’s anything wrong with the cookies until his hunky roommate, Lucas, scarfs three of them, cursing himself with bad luck, unfettered hate, and ill health. In a race against time, Will must find a way to break the spell before accidents, ex-lovers, and a sudden illness make this Christmas Lucas’s last.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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For Joy

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

When college athlete Chad comes out to his parents and gets a nasty reaction, sparkly twink Joaquin “Joy” Acosta offers him shelter in his tiny apartment. Joy’s the sweetest, most beautiful roommate on the planet, and every day, Chad falls in love a little bit more. The problem is, Joy will never know since his banter-loving hipster friends make bear-sized Chad feel all hulking and tongue-tied.

Joy is a sucker for anything handmade, though, and eventually Chad decides to tell him he loves him with a self-knitted pair of gloves. But it turns out knitting is way harder than Chad expected. Fortunately, Joy knows just how to save the day….


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Get Lit

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Uri Kessler is a bit of a klutz. Recently divorced from a guy he married too quickly and yearning to have a holiday that feels special, he decides to make Hanukkah candles. The results are literally a blazing disaster. But Uri’s mishap helps him get to know Oscar Cortez, his sexy new neighbor, and the two men instantly hit it off. While Uri finds himself drawn to Oscar, he’s also afraid to make a mess of their budding relationship. It’ll take a small miracle to make things work between them.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Hole-Hearted

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Pediatrician Luce Wright’s bad breakup gets worse when his drunk ex drives a car through his house a week before Christmas. His whole family is coming over in just a few days, and he can’t have a hole with a tarp over it in the middle of his dining room.

Fortunately his neighbor’s son is moving back into town, and he owns a construction company. Can Luce and his homemade cookies persuade Darren to mend the hole in the house… and maybe the one in Luce’s heart too?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Love in 24 Frames

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Declan Groves is a CPA in New York City. His adult life is dictated by routine and borderline monotony. The need to express himself, in ways his career and crippling shyness have never allowed, leads Declan to becoming an amateur stop-motion filmmaker.

The one problem is that Declan is also in love with the Wandering Artist Studios receptionist Shota Watanabe. Shota has always had a smile and engaging comment ready for Declan, but even if it is more than casual politeness, Declan hasn’t been able to get out more than a tongue-tied sentence at a time. And a man like Shota surely has no intention of waiting forever.

So when an unexpected change to Declan’s daily schedule throws the two together outside of the studio, it might be the catalyst needed to explore what’s unspoken between them. But if they’re to have a future, Declan needs to find a way to tell Shota how he truly feels.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Notes from Home

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

While deployed on a covert mercenary assignment, Johnny doesn’t have much in the way of holiday cheer. But the mysterious notes from Dex that somehow appear in his bunk—reminding him of the gifts, cookies, celebrations, and most of all, love, waiting for him back in Wisconsin—help him get through the long, hot days. Will they be enough to keep his spirits up when the rest of his unit goes home to their families and he’s left alone?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Piecing Together His Life

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Real estate broker Colin Romu has been estranged from his family for many years, but an unfinished quilt bequeathed in his mother’s will might help him make peace. Seeking solitude, Colin heads for his isolated cabin in upstate New York, but a sudden blizzard lands him in a ditch instead. Fortunately local EMT Mason Doyle is on hand with a rescue and a place to stay until the storm blows over.  As they contemplate Colin’s mother’s last gift, they realize their lives entwine in ways they never imagined.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Purls of Wisdom

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Yarn shop owner and ex-soldier Noah Miller never looks forward to the Christmas season. At least this year the break coincides with Hanukkah. But before his vacation, he has to survive the December rush.

When virgin knitter Finley Mason comes into the store desperate for yarn, needles, and lessons so he can win a bet against Hazel, a woman who must be his wife, Noah agrees to help him despite his better judgment—he usually hates teaching.

As the deadline to finish his roommate’s scarf looms, Finley falls in love with the reclusive shopkeeper, and he tries his best to woo Noah with all the magic of New York City at Christmastime. Noah could easily be swept away—if only Finley wasn’t straight and taken….


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Rainbows in Sea Glass

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

Kyle has loved James, his best friend’s older brother, for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately James is a player, and Kyle has no desire to be his latest conquest. When James suddenly turns the full weight of his charm on him, Kyle flees to Cape May Point to collect sea glass and Cape May diamonds to make a St. Nicholas Day present for his aunt. 

James has always taken Kyle’s presence for granted and he’s shocked to find how integral Kyle is to his life and future happiness. Braving his family’s well-meaning attempts to help and a sudden winter storm, James heads to the shore to convince Kyle that the most precious thing they’ll find on the beach is each other.


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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Riding the Hammer Lane

2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays

It’s long-haul trucker Eddie’s first Christmas away from home, and he picks up the CB radio in search of friendly voice. He doesn’t expect to reconnect with his old instructor—and brief but passionate fling—Colton.  Eddie realizes the scarf he’s been knitting symbolizes the love and longing he’s been trying to deny. When fate brings them back together on a lonely, snowy stretch of Iowa highway, will they grab hold of their second chance and acknowledge the love woven tightly between them?


A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

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