Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Happy Release Day eARC Reviews: Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology

We would like to thank authors and editor of Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology for donating ebook copies of choice, to 3 lucky commentators chosen. Make sure to leave a comment below.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Category: Fiction
Cover Design by Tami Veldura 
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, LGBT, History, Romance,Fantasy, Women's Fiction, Short Stories, Humour,Contemporary Fiction, Holidays and Celebrations

Overall Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Outstanding Christmas Anthology
Boughs of Evergreen is a two-volume collection of short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.
Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid al-Fitr, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.
Each story will also be published individually as ebooks on 1st December, 2014.

Authors: S.H. Allan, Larry Benjamin, Rick Bettencourt,L.L. Bucknor, K.C. Faelan, Hunter Frost, Ofelia Gränd,Kathleen Hayes, Hans M Hirschi, Laura Susan Johnson, Terry Kerr, Amelia Mann, Debbie McGowan,Shayla Mist, Raine O'Tierney, Ava Penn, Jonathan Penn, Amy Spector, L.M. Steel, Al Stewart and Claire Davis, J P Walker, Matthias Williamson, Alexis Woods

My Reviews on the stories that I've read so far! Yes, this is an ongoing review so bear with me  LOL (This is a HUGE collection and totals 1009 pages! NO KIDDING! )

A Friend for Christmas Cover
Author: J P Walker

Eve was always an outsider. So different from everyone else, she never made friends easily - until the day she met Anna, a totally mysterious girl who seemed almost too good to be true.
A few times over the years they had found each other, and then Anna would disappear, leading Eve to conclude that she is an imaginary friend - a perfect girl she had created in her own mind to help ride the wave of difficult teens and other troubles in life. 
But what if Anna is real? Could they still be friends?
On Christmas Eve they might just discover that the magic and love they've found can be held onto all year round.

Review by multitaskingmomma 

Author JP Walker wrote a truly beautiful, bittersweet, but beautiful romance here. One that spans through decades of love, loss, misunderstanding and finally, completion and a lot of hope. 

It begins with Eve who cannot connect with other children her age save one: Anna. Once they started talking, they became the bestest of friends and they just loved each other. Then Anna leaves and Eve is left to live her life in school and among classmates. These are the early days where she realizes that she does not need boys in her life but does love the girls around her. Her father is very supportive and so understanding, he truly deserves his own second chance at love. (This is truly the part of the story that made me cry. FIRST!)

Then Anna reappears and she and Eve reconnect. But it does not last, for once again, Anna has to go. Eve is angry, understandably so, for she is young and now has to make choices she should not at such a young, sweet age. She does though and sticks with it. However, Eve is also beginning to think that she made up Anna until the day they meet again.

It has to be fate that intervenes for now, Eve sees Anna in public and everyone can see her. She was not crazy for loving a ghost after all, for here she was all so real. And still the same Anna she loved from when they first met decades ago.

This is one of the most beautiful stories of love and hope I have read, and the end, that made me cry. Again.

Homme for the Holidays Cover
Author: Jonathan Penn

Cade Bishop is finally on the mend from a traumatic event that happened almost five years ago. That healing didn't really start until last April, when he met Alan Troxler.
Alan has problems of his own, but he's noticed over the last eight months that the more time he shares with Cade, the more easily he's able to put his troubles to rest.
They're traveling together to Asheville, North Carolina to renew a Christmas tradition that was an important part of Alan's past, and to introduce him to Cade's parents - one of the few worries he hasn't been able to let go.
Review by multitaskingmomma

When Cade Bishop brings home his boyfriend, Alan, home to meet the parents for Christmas, he had a purpose. He had to show his parents that five years after that horrible event, he was on the path to healing, emotionally. He had to show his parents that here was the man who took to him and accepted him without thinking twice. 

He had to show Alan that he was the man who made him whole and no money or status could ever succeed where he did.

Alan walkes into Cade's home and had a shock of all shockers. He never envisioned that his beautiful and beloved boyfriend could come from such a background. A background people like us can only dream or read about. Of course, having the meet the parents was a shock he has to get over sooner rather than later. As he does, he realizes that this family, his and Cade's family, more than made up for anything.

This was a lighthearted read and had some moments of cringing (the green squigly jell-o, oi!) and laughter that beautifully balanced the drama of a backstory revealed in stages throughout this read. By the time the end came, all I could think about was 'what next'? I wanted more from Alan and Cade and knowing what I do now in the case of Cade, I want to experience the same for Alan. Will the author, Jonathan Penn, grant it? I hope so.

Kiss Me At Kwanzaa Cover
Author: L.L. Bucknor

Coworkers and cubicle mates, Ishmael "Ish" Cutter and Adan Flores might come from different backgrounds but they have a good number of things in common. The biggest one? They each have a secret crush on the other. This holiday season they are both single for the first time in thirteen months. No boyfriends or clingy ex issues - maybe it's time for Adan to make his move? He formulates the perfect plan and invites Ish over for his family's Kwanzaa feast...but will he have the courage to make the first move or will this holiday season be one to forget?

Review by multitaskingmomma

Kwanzaa? What in heck is Kwanzaa? I have absolutely no idea and yet after reading this little story, I know I want some of this!

So Adan comes from this complicated and extended family made up of some of the most complex, inriguing and mind boggling relatives. Holidays are made up by their mother and so celebrated at the most unexpected times and days. Anything goes, really. The weird thing is, the whole family enjoys the good fun and take joy to participate!

So Ish comes into Adan's mother's home and experiences a trip to the Twilight Zone. How he survived, he knows not. One thing he knows: he wants in and always with Adan.

Nope, this is not erotic but this is such a fun, fun read and I laughed quite a few tears from the events that unfolded here. The unexpectedness of the revelations just handed out like a piece of tissue paper was really quirky. The complicated family relations, even quirkier. But the realization of love that blooms between Adan and Ish? Oh, this is a wonderful read!

Note: I am not done, far from it, but obviously, Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology is an outstanding collection of heartwarming stories that can satisfy even the most critical and unforgiving. There is a lot of tension and romance going on but so far as I have read, all are quite well done and I do intend to continue reading and reading. Heck peeps, there are 1009 pages here!

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
For more information, visit:

To get a chance to win an ebook copy, leave a comment below and don't forget to leave your contact email address.

We will randomly pick 1 First Prize lucky commentator and Three Runner Ups. The author and publisher will email them their ebook version of choice.

To claim prize, we will be sending an email to the addresses provided by the lucky commentators. Don't forget to tell us what format you prefer.

For the First Prize, please click HERE!

3 Runner Up Prizes: Winners' Choice. Winners get a chance to win an ebook copy of choice of  From All of Us to All of You by Ofelia Gränd and  from two titles included  in this anthology. 

Game ends November 28.


  1. Wow! That's a great giveaway! Thanks for the chance!

  2. Add me too please!!! mevalem258 AT gmail DOT com

  3. Please count me in.

  4. Game Over! You all three are the winners. Please reply to the email :D