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Translation

Translation - J. Scott Coatsworth
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 0.99 USD
Pages: 50

Dominic is a writer who has it bad for his Italian boss, Dante. But Dante doesn't seem to feel the same.

With his roommate Enrico, Dominic hatches a plan to get Dante's attention, but when it gets lost in translation and misfires badly, he doesn't know what to do.

Will he ever get his happily ever after?

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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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Ten

Ten
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 0.99 USD
Pages: 30

It's ten days until Christmas.

After losing his husband in an auto accident the year before, Chris has decided to go all out to find someone new before the big holiday - planning ten dates in ten days. Somehow, though, none of them is quite right. And as each new day and date passes, Chris starts to notice a strange pattern in the guys he's dating.

What do they all have in common? And is one of them Chris's new Mister Right?

Only time will tell.

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December 17th - Glenn

I picked up the mail on the way into my apartment from the car. It was the usual junk—a copy of Sacramento Magazine, two Bed Bath and Beyond coupons… and a credit card offer made out to Aristotle Collins.

I closed my eyes, picturing Ari’s laugh—“I haven’t been Aristotle since I was six!” I smiled and took it inside, grabbed a Sharpie and scribbled “deceased” across the address label. I tossed it in the mailbox and went back inside to get ready for my third date.

Two days, two duds. No matter—with eight dates left to go, I figured I still had a one in five chance at finding marital bliss again.

I always wasgood at math.

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Glenn had suggested we meet at some place out in the suburbs called the Melting Pot. He was a little older, conservatively dressed in a tailored suit and tie, his hair cropped short. He looked kind of familiar in that weren’t-you-a-character-actor-on-Law-and-Order? sort of way.

I’d found him on Craigslist. I know, I know, it’s basically the swap meet of hook-up sites—a lot of the merchandise is a gritty and a little used, but every now and then you found a copy of Action Comics #1. Or a cute bit of flower-based wall art.

His ad had seemed nice:

Mature, middle-aged man seeks younger for fun, possible relations.

I was sure he’d meant “relationship.”

The restaurant was dark and smelled like meat and chocolate. It kinda turned me on.

I sat down and smiled. “Nice place.”

He nodded. “I like it. It’s quiet and out of the way.”

“I haven’t been to a fondue place in years.” The things you do for dating.

Ari had always hated it. Our first two dates had been famously bad—involving a napkin on fire and some classic teeth on lip action—but we’d given it another try, and somehow the third time had been the charm.

“You’re cute.” Glenn grinned. He had a nice smile. A point in his favor.

“Thanks.” I was pleased. “You’re not too bad yourself.” I refused to add for an older guy. I’dworn that shoe with Bryan, and it was a bad fit, not to mention bad manners. But that tongue…

The waiter stopped by. “My name’s Dorothea. Have you two decided what you want?” She gave us her best waitress smile.

Glenn waved her off. “Give us a couple minutes?”

“Sure. I’ll check back with you in a little bit.”

I felt something between my legs, and looked down to see Glenn’s foot, wrapped in a black nylon sock, massaging my crotch. The sock had a little golden cross embroidered on it.

I looked up and Glenn was winking at me.

Nylon socks? Seriously?

I could almost hear Ari laughing.

He was moving a little too fast. I pushed his foot away.

Glenn looked hurt. “I’m sorry. I thought you likedme.” He tugged at his collar.

His collar.

Boom, I knew where I’d seen him before.“You’re Pastor Glenn from All Hallows,” I blurted out before I could stop myself. My sister’s parish. I’d gone with her once for Christmas Mass and remembered ogling him. Holy shit, maybe I’d turnedthe poor bastard with my gay gaze.

Glenn’s face went white. “I… I’m not… I can’t…” Without another word, he got up and pulled out his wallet to lay forty bucks on the table. Then he almost ran out the door.

I stared after him. Why does everyone think I’m a john or a prostitute?

Then I realized he’d left the money to pay for the meal.

He wasa decent guy, after all

I wasn’t going to waste the twenty-five-minute drive, so I stayed and treated myself to an awesome chocolate fondue.

I was kind of ad for the guy—I mean, what must it be like to go your whole life lying about who you were? But I didn’t date closet cases.

Ari was in total agreement.

I gave Glenn a four on my scale.

Hey, at least he’d paid for dinner.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Serena Yates on Rainbow Book reviews wrote:

At the core of this thoughtful, sweet Christmas story are both heartbreak, due to a husband lost, and a very cute idea to help the surviving man find new hope a year later. It’s a story with heart and a ton of Christmas spirit, entirely without fluff or sap, and written with lots of humor. The end result is entertaining, made me smile, and carries a wonderful message of hope on more than one front.


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Gargoyle

Gargoyle
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 0.99 USD
Pages: 10

James Matson - Mattie to his friends - has it bad. It's 1974 in Alabama, not the best time or place for a young gay guy to have a crush on his college football quarterback. But James can't help himself.

Randy Paxton is a football player with needs. His girlfriend isn't putting out, so he takes what he can get. A warm mouth is a warm mouth, after all.

And Daniel O'Malley has a crush too... on James. But James hardly gives him a second glance. What's a guy to do?

It's Halloween night, the time when the veil between this world and the next thins, and anything can happen. And tonight, something will happen, something that will change all three of their lives forever.

A very abbreviated version of this short short story originally appeared on the WROTE Halloween Podcast in 2015. This version has been extended.

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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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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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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I Only Want to Be With You

A Holiday to Remember Collection

I Only Want to Be With You

Derrek is dealing with the recent, unexpected death of his mother. He’s been alone for five year since his husband Will died, and he’s ready to find someone new and to start living again. Ryan lost his partner, David, in an auto accident, and is dating Alex, who doesn’t treat him right.

Derrek can’t figure out why Ryan won’t see what’s right in front of his face. Why does Ryan come to him to talk about all his hopes, dreams, and fears, then go home to Alex?

If Derrek can figure that out, they might just have a shot.

Part of the "A Holiday to Remember 2017 Series".

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