Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gingersnaps: Sugar Plums

Gingersnaps: Sugar Plums
by Kate Hill
Cover art by ReneƩ George
ISBN (13): 978-1-60521-116-9
Genre(s): Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, Hot Flashes
Theme(s): Christmas, Seasonal Themes, Legends, Gay and Lesbian
Series: Gingersnaps
Length: Hot Flash


Yule is here and it's an especially magical time at Hot River, unless you're Tarn. He's a grouch even for a Frost Giant and never fails to complain about the dismal winter mood being ruined by holiday cheer.
Old Man Winter has spent ages providing beautiful frosty weather but he's rarely allowed to join in the fun surrounding it. People look at him in fear and awe, never thinking he might want to join in the festivities.
The sulky frost giant stumbles upon the powerful, lonely and surprisingly passionate winter icon and Tarn finally learns just how enchanting the holiday season can be.


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Tarn’s bare feet sank into the snowy ground. He paused for a moment to gaze at the beauty of the crisp winter evening. Snow covered the land for as far as the eye could see. Icicles glimmered on the trees and ahead the surface of the frozen lake looked like fairy dust covering a glass mirror. To his left rushed the white waters of Hot River. In these parts even that enchanted water turned cool. This was Old Man Winter’s territory and here the magical river bowed to his will.
His miserable thoughts were interrupted by a shout from outside, then the sound of splashing and deep laughter.
What was going on? No Frost Giants trespassed here and no mere mortal could endure frolicking in the freezing water of the nearby lake.
Closing his eyes again, he tried to ignore the noise, but it was impossible.
Growling with annoyance, he rose to his feet and strode out of the cave. Tonight of all nights, no one would destroy his peace and quiet, not when he’d traveled so far to find it.
At the lake, he heard a loud creak, then the ice shattered and a tall, sleekly-muscled, smooth-scalped man with a long white beard and silvery flesh emerged from the frigid water. If Tarn hadn’t been so swept up in the sight of the man, he’d have noticed other spots in the lake where the ice was broken, cold water lapping the edges.
His gaze riveted toward Tarn and, naked, he strode toward the Frost Giant, his large, bare feet leaving tracks in the snow. Pausing a short distance from Tarn, he raised a snowy white eyebrow. Water dripped from his beard and the droplets froze before they hit the ground, shattering.
“What are you doing here, Frost Giant, when you should be in your village, enjoying the festivities?”
Tarn momentarily forgot his attraction to and curiosity about this man as annoyance again overtook him. “I hate holidays. They ruin the winter and give me a headache. Now I suggest you get out of this area. I came here to be alone and you’re disturbing my privacy.”
Maybe threatening this towering creature was a bad idea, but Tarn was too angry to care. He was thinking about the festivities again, people enjoying each other’s company, and it made him sick.
To his surprise, the man laughed. His slender lips curved upward and his blue eyes glistened with amusement. The sound of his deep chuckles made Tarn’s gut tighten, though not in anger. Everything about this man aroused him, from his sexy bald head to his enormous silver-white cock emerging from its haven of curly white hair. This man seemed to reflect winter itself, as if he was… No. It couldn’t be.
“You have a lot of nerve,” the man said, stepping nearer and placing a heavy hand on Tarn’s shoulder. “I appreciate that. Not many people would talk to me in that way. I have to warn you, though, if you want to visit my domain you’ll have to learn some manners.”
“Your domain?” Tarn asked, wondering if he looked as shocked as he felt, and as nervous. The last person anyone, mortal or magical, wanted to mess with was…
“Old Man Winter.” The man extended his hand to Tarn, who reached out hesitantly and grasped it.

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