Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil’s Christmas In His Heart

I’m so excited to have Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil here with me today. They co-wrote a holiday book, Christmas In His Heart, and I can’t wait to read it. I had the chance to interview Havan and Lee and we had a blast talking about ugly holiday sweaters and 12 Days of Christmas verses. After the interview read all about the book and an excerpt you will love. At the very bottom of the page, enter for a chance to win an ARe gift card!

Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Lee! Good morning Havan! Fan girl moment here. *squee* Ok, now we can get down to the fun. Since it’s the holidays and your book is a holiday book, I figured I’d ask a bunch of fun holiday themed questions. You’re out of milk and cookies! Quick! What do you put out for Santa instead?
Lee Brazil: Out of milk and cookies? The horror! I’d go with brownies and … well, I guess Santa wouldn’t appreciate a good tequila. All the better… So, Santa gets brownies and eggnog.
ACS: I don’t know. Santa may need some tequila to make it through such a long night. What would you put out Havan?
Havan Fellows: Well Amanda, I’ll be the one sneaking in after Lee and spiking the eggnog…and stealing a brownie – rumor has it he bakes them special.
ACS: Oh! Now that sounds like my kind of brownie! *ahem* I mean, tsk tsk Lee!
HF: Now after we’re done raiding Lee’s goodies and head back to my humble abode…well my house is one of those “OMG OMG OMG pumpkin time” places. So Santa would be treated to angel vanilla pumpkin muffins and a pumpkin spiced latte. (side note: Starbucks new chestnut praline latte is making a good play at my heartstrings…the war is on between the two and hey – win/win for me! lol)
ACS: I’m a fan of all the pumpkin spice treats at your house Havan. What is the worst present you have ever received?
LB: Hm… I never got any bad presents. At least, I don’t remember any of them. How about you, Havan? (ETA: See # 5)
ACS: Gotta say that’s nice to never have gotten any truly bad presents. Havan?
HF: I like your answer…lol. Okay, for the longest time all my gifts came from one single store. All my birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents were straight from this one candle shop. Now, I’m not really complaining – I love scented candles…but seriously how smelly does a place have to be to burn through dozens of large three-wick candles? Lmao
ACS: *blink* Wow. That’s. Maybe they thought you had a really smelly laundry room or something? Which holiday movie/TV special is your favorite?
LB: Ooh! I love so many of these holiday shows. My absolute favorite though has to be It’s A Wonderful Life. I watch it every year.
HF: You want the moon? *sighs* Oh Lee, you can definitely pick them. That’s one of the greats I watch.
ACS: Definitely a good movie to watch this time of year!
HF: But Amanda, every year my family makes it a point to watch one specific movie together…Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, it’s a sweet adaptation of The Gift of the Magi.
ACS: I don’t think I’ve ever seen that one. Going to have to add it to my watch list for this year. My absolute favorite is “A Christmas Story”. So many good lines and scenes from that one. Make up a new verse to the 12 Days of Christmas.
LB: Ugh. I can barely remember the right verses as it is!
ACS: Definitely not the only one in that.
LB: Let’s… see though. Hm…
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, a dildo in a velvet bag,
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, two cock rings, and a dildo in a velvet bag…
ACS: Hooray! *claps excitedly* I love those!
LB: Hm… that’s kind of naughty.
How about,
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, a truffle wrapped in silky chocolate
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, two sugar plums and a truffle wrapped in silky chocolate…
ACS: Someone is clearly hungry. Are you in need of a mid interview snack?
HF: *blinks* I’m supposed to top that? The velvet bag is an especially nice touch *winks*.
ACS: I don’t think anyone anywhere will ever be able to top those verses Havan. They were pretty epic. You’re going to an ugly sweater party. Show us your ugliest sweater you can think of (or Google).
LB: Uh… my sweaters are all solid colors. The ugliest one I ever owned was given to me by my Dad one Christmas. It was red with little black scottie dogs all over it. Hey! That can be the answer to number one, too!

LB: That’s not my sweater… but it’s pretty darn close.

ACS: Oh my gosh! That is definitely a bad sweater.
HF: Wow, Lee…what did you do that year to warrant such a *clears throat* um…an interesting sweater…I do like puppies.
ACS: That brings a whole new meaning to liking puppies. Do you have a bad sweater story Havan?
HF: I wish I had an answer for this question – but the truth of the matter is I live in Florida and we aren’t really into sweaters.
ACS: *interjects* Super jealous about that. I miss living where I don’t need sweaters or heavy coats.
HF: Growing up (and now even) I have a couple lightweight jackets, maybe a hoodie or two, and perhaps even one of those infinity scarves that are cool looking…but no sweaters. Now I did see one that would fit in nicely down here…if I ever chose to wear a sweater this one just might be the one…

ACS: Oh wow! That is amazingly bad with a nice Florida twist.
HF: Just wondering what the washing instructions on that thing…um…sweater would be.
ACS: I can imagine it would be interesting to say the least! Thank you both for joining me today. I loved having you.
HF: Thanks so much for having us, Amanda…oh and please, share some of Lee’s spiked eggnog with me. 🙂
ACS: *quietly passes Havan some spiked nog*

Christmastime brings joy to hearts everywhere. Between snow angels, festive clothing, holiday decorations, and of course, all the beautiful lights, it’s hard not to partake in the season.

Unless you no longer have Christmas in your heart.

Dermot Alasdair has never shared the horrific memories that keep him from celebrating the happiest time of the year, nor does he ever plan to. He’s fine being alone and shut off from everyone; he has his restaurant and that’s all he needs. He believes that, too…until the craft store next door from his eatery hires a perpetually smiling annoyance. Really, it isn’t normal for someone to be that happy all the time.

Xander Leahman didn’t know what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to visit his best friend and help her interview people for the newly created position of manager at Craft Time. When a surly man bumps into him and then walks away with an enticing sway to his hips, Xander decides the position—and Dermot—are perfect for him. Now all he can think of is finding ways to get Dermot out of his clothes. Well that, and how to open this grinch’s heart to the Christmas season and, hopefully, love.

“Hey! Good morning!”

The cheerful greeting broke through his concentration, and Dermot looked up to see the new manager of the Craft Time craft store sweeping the sidewalk in front of the shop. “Hey,” he muttered sourly. Xander Leahman made his head ache. Just one glance and he wanted to snap at the man to comb his hair, put on a heavier jacket, and for Christ sakes why wasn’t he wearing gloves outside in this weather?

Dermot wasn’t going to stop. He had no plans stop and talk to the smiling man. Xander bubbled more than a bottle of shaken soda water. Dermot didn’t have time for his chatter, and he didn’t have time for the strange, compelling not-quite-nausea he seemed prone to in Xander’s company.

Maybe he was allergic to the man’s cologne, or deodorant, or shampoo. Dermot leaned forward and sniffed surreptitiously, but he couldn’t smell anything other than cinnamon and vanilla. An overwhelming urge to bake overcame him, and he jerked himself upright.

He was an executive chef, not a pastry chef. He didn’t bake, and especially not something as…plebeian as oatmeal raisin cookies, which was what Xander smelled like.

“Excuse me.” He deliberately stepped around Xander, who put out a hand and caught his arm.

“I saw you coming down the street.” Xander set the broom aside and picked up a steaming mug from the windowsill. “It’s not as good as Prudence’s coffee, but I made it fresh this morning.”

Blinking in astonishment, Dermot stared from the mug to the hand on his arm. He could really… “Thanks.” He accepted the mug and inhaled the rich aroma of good coffee, scented with cinnamon and…yeah, vanilla. And he’d thought it was Xander who smelled so good? He didn’t know whether to be relieved or embarrassed. “I needed this. That walk feels longer every day that the temperature drops.” The first sip exploded on his tongue with soothing heat and delicious flavor and he bit back a moan of appreciation.

About The Authors:

Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.

Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.

Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?

Someone hands you a book, and then you turn the page and see… There you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.

I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.

If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.

If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.
Lee Brazil’s Facebook Group:
Twitter: @LeeBrazil

I annoy, love, respect, scare, seduce, hurt, anger, infatuate, frustrate, flatter, envy, amuse and tolerate everyone. I just do it better in writing thanks to a little thing called…edits.

Okay no, seriously…I’m a simpleminded person who enjoys the escape from real life through a book. I write with the group Story Orgy and hope to continue doing so for a long time. I also am privileged to be with the Pulp Friction writers, creating intermingling books in a world all our own. And just like every other red-blooded human—I love hearing from people. So feel free to drop me a line—whether it’s a comment on my blog, an email, a tweet, or you track me down on FaceBook or Google +…it’s easy to catch someone who wants to be caught.
Twitter: @Havanfellows

Buy Links:

Tour Stops:
8-Dec: Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, EE Montgomery
9-Dec: Multitasking Mommas, Carly’s Book Reviews, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Amanda C. Stone
10-Dec: Queer Town Abbey, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Cathy Brockman Romances, Bayou Book Junkie
11-Dec: My Fiction Nook, Molly Lolly, Hearts on Fire
12-Dec: Inked Rainbow Reads, Fallen Angel Reviews, Tara Lain
13-Dec: Love Bytes, Iyana Jenna, MM Good Book Reviews

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  1. leebrazil says:

    Hi! This was such an awesome interview. We had a blast. Thanks for having us over, Amanda!

  2. Elayne says:

    Hi Havan and Lee, fabulous interview. I hope you both have a wonderful Christmas.

  3. Havan says:

    I think I had a tad bit too much of Lee’s spiked nog and brownies…I’m actually thinking of hunting down that flamingo sweater…hey, it does have short sleeves so it’s wearable here…lmao

    I’m still smiling, Amanda…thanks so much for interviewing us. 🙂

  4. Ashley E says:

    Happy Christmas! I’m a grump around the holidays too, so I sympathize with Dermot. 😀

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