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Slow Thaw

Slow Thaw - J. Scott Coatsworth
Part of the Escape from the Holidays series:
  • Slow Thaw
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 2.99 USD
Pages: 104
Paperback (Abkhazian) - First
Pages: 104

Javier Fernandez is a climate scientist living in a research station near the South Pole. Since his husband was killed in a car crash, he’s preferred to be alone, and is less than thrilled to have a junior scientist thrust upon him by his rich patron.

Col Steele is a trans man fleeing a bad break-up. He is ready for the next step in his career, and eager to spend Christmas anywhere but at home.

When a crack in the ice separates the two men from safety, they are forced to come to terms with their own losses and each other.

About the Escape From the Holidays series:

For the second year in a row, Mischief Corner Books is putting out a winter holiday collection – ten stories revolving around various December holidays:

The end of year holidays can get overwhelming for anyone. Things to do. People to see. Last minute work obligations to take care of. Sometimes it’s just easier to escape from it all, running away from the responsibilities and expectations, or ignore the underlying disappointment from relatives who don’t see eye-to-eye with you.

Because escaping the holiday grind can lead to new, unexpected paths, and breathe new life into one that’s been stuck in a rut. Giving something to run to instead.

Sometimes, getting away from it all lets you know what you really have. Sometimes, taking a chance on the unknown leads to what you really want.

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Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
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I use Amazon Associate links to support the site and my writing.

The River City Chronicles

River City Book 1

The River City Chronicles - J. Scott Coatsworth

A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other's lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.

Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.

Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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Matteo stared out the restaurant window into the darkness of Folsom Boulevard. It was getting dark earlier as summer edged into fall. Streetlights flickered on as cars drifted by, looking for parking or making the trip out of Midtown toward home.

The sign on the window read “Ragazzi” (the boys), lettered in a beautiful golden script just two months old. Investing in this little restaurant his uncle had left to them when he'd passed away had been their ticket out of Italy. But now with each passing day, as seats sat empty and tomatoes, pasta, and garlic went uneaten, the worry was gnawing ever deeper into Matteo's gut.

Behind him in the open, modernized kitchen, Diego was busy cooking—his mother's lasagne, some fresh fish from San Francisco, and some of the newer Italian dishes they'd brought with them from Bologna. The smells of boiling sauce and fresh-cooked pasta that emanated from the kitchen were entrancing.

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They'd sent the rest of the staff —Max and Justin—home for the evening. The three customers who had shown up so far didn't justify the cost of keeping their waiter and busboy on hand.

Matteo stopped at the couple's table in front of the other window. "Buona sera," he said, smiling his brightest Italian smile.

"Hi," the man said, smiling back at him. He was a gentleman in about his mid-fifties, wearing a golf shirt and floppy hat. "Kinda quiet tonight, huh?"

"It always gets busier later," Matteo lied smoothly. "Pleasure to have you here. Can I get you anything else?"

"A little more wine, please?" the woman said, holding out her glass so the charm bracelet on her wrist jangled.

"Of course." He bowed and ducked into the kitchen.

He gave Diego a quick peck on the cheek.

His husband and chef waved him off with a snort. "Più tardi. Sto preparando la cena."

"I can see that. Dinner for a hundred, is it? It’s dead out there again tonight.”

Diego shot him a dirty look.

Matteo retrieved the bottle of wine from the case and returned to fill up his guests' glasses. “What brings you in tonight?” Maybe they saw our ad.…

“Just walking by and we were hungry. I miss the old place though.… What was it called, honey?”

Her husband scratched his chin. “Little Italy, I think?”

“That’s it! It was the cutest place. Checkered tablecloths, those great Italian bottles with the melted wax… so Italian.”

Matteo groaned inside. “So glad you came in” was all he said with another smile.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Melanie on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:

All the characters here are so beautifully created, so multidimensional that they are all on equal footing. Each and every one is so important to the story and will gain equal measure in your heart. It’s a large cast but it simply doesn’t matter. You invest yourself completely in their lives and their stories. You hurt with them, you laugh with them…the entire spectrum of emotion will be trotted out here between the kids thrown out of their homes to the May/December romances and so much more.

The River City Chronicles is a rich tapestry of lives…messy, complicated, wonderful, human lives. It’s filled with love, cooking, Italy through the language and recipes, and the singular location of Sacramento. And I can’t get enough of it.

I want more of it.

Like visiting that restaurant you have picked out as yours and visit over and over because the food is perfect, the atmosphere warm and welcoming, the people inside familiar and everything about the place makes you anticipate an evening that will fill your heart with love and memories. That’s how The River City Chronicles makes me feel as well. I hope that J. Scott Coatsworth feels that there’s more tales to tell here. I certainly hope so. Ragazzi is doing so well, so are the cooking classes. Who knows who will show up next? Scott, are you listening?

Trust me, this book is magical. I highly recommend it.

Anne Barwell on Drops of Ink wrote:

I was drawn into the story immediately, and wanted to know more about the overarching story, the characters, and how they would interact. The chapters are a great size, perfect for diving in and out of the story although, as I approached the latter part of the book, I didn’t want to put it down as I wanted to know how everyone’s stories would end. The story is a lovely, easy, feel-good read with plenty of ‘heart,’ and I very much enjoyed it. Although I could guess how some characters were connected to others, and how their stories might unfold in places, it added to my reading enjoyment, rather than detracted from it.

I’d recommend The River City Chronicles to readers who enjoy a feel good story with real characters with a focus on the important of friends and family, both the ones we are born into, and those we choose. 5 out of 5 stars.


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The Great North

A Legendary Love Book 1

The Great North
Part of the A Legendary Love series:
  • The Great North
Editions:ePub - First Edition: $ 3.99 USD
ISBN: B07172TL6H
Pages: 176

Dwyn is a young man in the small, isolated town of Manicouga, son of the Minstor, who is betrothed to marry Kessa in a few weeks’ time.

Mael is shepherding the remains of his own village from the north, chased out by a terrible storm that destroyed Land’s End.

Both are trying to find their way in a post-apocalyptic world. When the two meet, their love and attraction may change the course of history.

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Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
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Reviews:Cheryl on Sinfully Gay wrote:

I love what the author did with the legend, keeping the main elements true but playing with it just enough to make a satisfying story. I just adore the ending and it would almost be worth going through the end of the world just to get where they are.

All in all, this was a lovely book. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. The characters were engaging, the story fresh (well a fresh version anyway) and it was wonderful to see elements of my home country that are as rare as hen’s teeth. A very satisfying read all round and one I can heartily recommend.

Molly Lolly on Molly Lolly wrote:

I adored this story. It was sweet and completely fascinating. I enjoyed the way the story was set in a real place but in a future time when things are completely different. Mr. Coatsworth weaves a story that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the very last page. I enjoyed how it was based on a Welsh saint and corresponding legend. It was fascinating seeing the story in a completely different way…

Dwyn and Maelon are so good together. They have strong feelings for each other and watching them fall in love despite the odds stacked against them was lovely. You can tell they’re going to be happy together at the end of the book. It’s a sweet happily ever after because their love and relationship has weathered so much already and will stand the test of time.