New Release: Disastertastic by Alicia Nordwell

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Blurb: Sawyer is too busy to worry about something as frivolous as Christmas. College is hard, but he’s focused on getting into law school. Kable is studying to make the family business, Del Buon Gusto, into a successful chain restaurant. When a party debacle at the restaurant gives Kable a chance to get close to Sawyer, he’s shocked to learn Sawyer’s a Christmas Grinch. He’s determined to change Sawyer’s mind, but their dates are one debacle after another. It might not be possible to make this into Sawyer’s first Merry Christmas after all.



What a waste of time. He could’ve been home starting his paper or even watching a movie if he wanted to slack off.

Fed up avoiding questions of family traditions and travel plans, Sawyer strolled away from the crowd in the dining room and headed toward the tree. He nodded and smiled at a few people but didn’t stop. Everyone else was enjoying the appetizers that had just come out, but he’d already had dinner before he left home, since he’d expected to work. He could pass more time pretending to examine the ornaments or watching the snow drift down now that the storm finally hit. He’d just have to wait a little longer until he could politely make his escape.

“You don’t like eggnog?”

“What?” Sawyer blinked and shrugged the hand off his shoulder. He took a step to the side. He’d been focused on the snow, watching the puffy flakes float down to coat the sidewalks and road. The grassy verge along the road was already completely white. He hadn’t even heard Kable approaching, which was odd because he was normally impossible to miss. He was just as loud and energetic as his dad.

“Your cup is still full.” Kable gestured toward the red cup in Sawyer’s hand. “Usually when you don’t drink something that means you don’t like it.”

“It smells gross, and I definitely don’t think a dairy product should be this thick and still be drinkable.” Sawyer’s filter was gone, just like it usually was around Kable. He got so nervous, he always ended up saying whatever came to him. It wasn’t like he was trying to hide that he was gay—everyone already knew that—but he hoped his crush wasn’t as obvious. He’d had enough embarrassment for the evening.

Kable laughed. “Then why’d you take it?”

“It seemed like the thing to do.” Sawyer rotated the cup between his palms, disgusted by the way the glop reacted. Surely it couldn’t be safe to drink the stuff.

“So, is it just dairy-based holiday drinks you don’t like? Or is it something more? You haven’t had a single thing to eat, and you’re not exactly dressed for the party.  There’s so much fun to be had from dressing up for Christmas parties.” Kable waved a hand in front his chest. “Like this.” He was wearing an awful sweater with reindeer prancing around a Christmas tree that had bedazzled ornaments decorating every puffy bough. Not even something that hideous could detract from his dark-haired, blue-eyed handsomeness… but really, Sawyer shouldn’t be noticing that at all.

Sawyer scoffed. “I’d rather be here in my underwear than wear something like that.”

“Or your uniform?” Kable gestured toward Sawyer’s black slacks and plain white shirt. “Is it just that you don’t have another outfit?”

“Of course I have other outfits! Why would you think that?” Sawyer snapped. His face was hot and prickly; no one else had mentioned his clothes, even if they noticed he was wearing his work uniform. It’s not like he was wearing something inappropriate, like shorts and a t-shirt.

Kable cocked his head to one side. “If you had something else, why didn’t you wear that?”

“You’re nosy, you know?” He was always asking questions and getting into everyone’s business. The others didn’t seem to mind. Kable was Mr. McArthur’s son, and he worked the occasional shift at the restaurant when they were short a waiter even though he was in school full-time to get a business degree. He was friendly, sometimes too friendly, and made Sawyer uncomfortable with his casual intimacy. Kable was always patting him on the back or arm when they spoke, and Sawyer liked it a little too much.

“Yep.” Kable grinned. “But wait, don’t tell me! You never come out for a drink with the rest of us, not even for coffee, and you’re always studying those books on your breaks. I’ve never heard you even talk about doing something like going to a party. You thought you were here to work tonight, didn’t you?”

Sawyer grit his teeth. “So what? Your dad just said he wanted us all here.”

“And you didn’t put two and two together?” Kable gestured toward the room.

“I did once I got here. He said he was throwing a party for friends and family. What else was I going to think?” Sawyer was getting tired of Kable’s questions. He lifted his before Kable could notice his scowl and figure out he was getting to him and made the stupid mistake of taking a drink.

“Oh, ew.” Sawyer desperately wanted to spit out the eggnog, but there was no polite way to do so. He forced the mouthful down, swallowing repeatedly in an attempt to get rid of the liquid still coating his tongue. It was as horrible as he thought it would be. He stared at the cup in disgust. “People actually drink this… on purpose?”


Add it to your Goodreads shelf!


Author Bio:

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Night in Alps - european skiing resort Canazei

Night in Alps – european skiing resort Canaze

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on under her online nickname, Cia.


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Double Trouble: Chapter 94


Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 94

Josh carefully backed the travel trailer into one of the parking spots along the edge of the fairgrounds. It was as far from the midway and as close to their animals as possible.

Danny and Samantha were in the backseat of the pickup getting edgier with each passing second. Josh was waiting for one or both of them to have a screaming shit fit of a breakdown. But they moved into place and were glad they’d already bedded down the animals so they were taken care of, at least for a few minutes. Now he needed to work out a little structure for his kids to help keep them out of trouble.

“Okay, Danny, you’re in charge of getting everything ready in the trailer. Tonight you’re cooking so you better start getting something ready for tonight.” He cocked his eyebrow and caught Danny’s gaze. “And I don’t want bags of junk food from the midway. You actually have to cook.”

Danny smirked at his dad. “No problem. Rob offered to help cook. So we’re having something good tonight.”

“You better be right. Otherwise you’re eating whatever he cooks.” He turned to Samantha. “Same for you. Levi is not cooking every meal when it’s your turn.”

He expected a torrent of anger with a tornado of teenage angst but instead they stood smiling at him. He could almost see the golden halos and hear the symphony of harps. It was one of their more pathetic attempts.

“Don’t think you’ve pulled anything over on me. Neither of you is that innocent. Just promise me not to mess with people and not to leave the fairgrounds. If I have to bail you out of jail, the next time you’ll get to leave the ranch will be when you are driving me to the home.” He scanned each of them with a harsh scowl.

He glanced into the rearview mirror to find Levi standing on one side of the trailer and Rob on the other. He had to admit, the twins had good tastes. Both Rob and Levi were good looking. Danny and Samantha baled from the truck and ran back to their perspective dates. It was one time he was reminded things had changed far too little.

While Samantha had sprinted for Levi, wrapped her arms around him, and kissed him with enough heat that he wouldn’t be able to walk around for a few minutes without announcing to the world that he was having a teenage boy stiffy moment.

But he knew Danny couldn’t greet Rob with the same unbridled lust. It wasn’t that they shook hands like they’d just been introduced. They greeted each other enthusiastically, wrapping their arms around each other in a warm hug; a warm friendly hug. But Josh had seen his son greet Rob before at the ranch. Usually there was a ridiculously loud squeal of delight that brought the attention of everyone in a five-mile radius. Then he’d run at Rob and launch himself. In self-defense, Rob had no choice but to catch Danny and hold on tight. The whole thing would end with Rob holding tight onto Danny while he covered Rob with kisses.

The whole performance usually brought grins to anyone watching. Even an occasional ‘ahhh’ was pronounced. But this time the greeting was much more reserved. Josh frowned. It tore him apart. A few months ago he would have said his friends would have supported his marriage with Trent and the twins identified, but things had changed so much…

He changed his focus back to the boys in time to see Danny grab Rob’s ass for a second. Josh scowled and scanned the area and his blood ran cold when he spotted a group of young guys coming toward them. Josh didn’t see how they could avoid seeing what Danny had done.

I may regret not getting that concealed carry license and being able to protect my family from a hate crime. But he hadn’t. There wasn’t even anything to use as a weapon. The band looked back and forth, uncertain what was about to happen. They hadn’t said anything. That was a good sign. Maybe the odds are in our favor.

Then he heard someone speaking, but it took him a few seconds to realize it was Levi.

“Hey guys, how’s things going?”

The group looked a little startled, then they smiled and started exchanging handshakes and explosive back thumping. They stepped apart, grinning at each other. “You a-holes! What’re you doing? Causing trouble?”

The largest of the group grinned at Levi. “Not us. We stay out of trouble.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Hey, let me introduce everyone. We should go grab some lemonade from the midway.” He turned to Josh. “That okay?”

Josh nodded and waved them away. “Go relax, just don’t disappear for too long. We have cattle to take care of in a little while.”

Josh wasn’t certain how he felt about this new development as the group headed down the fairgrounds.

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

Double Trouble: Chapter 93


Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 93


The house was tense when Josh walked in after taking care of the animals before they left. Trent would be in charge of everything while Josh was at the state fair with Danny and Samantha. They’d went every year since the kid’s had joined 4-H, but this was the first year teenage attitudes and hormones were such a factor.

Josh put the last few items in his bag and then stared at Trent. “This is going to be a miserable trip isn’t it?”

“Two hormonal teenagers, at least one with a budding romance? No, not the formula for disaster at all. It’ll be a cake walk.”

He cocked an eyebrow and sneered at Trent for a minute and then chuckled and smiled. “This is all your fault you know. I’m being punished for what a little shit you were in high school.”

“Oh, sweetie. I was a little shit long before high school. Why do you think I’m staying home and you’re going? I’ll be able to see the fireworks from here. It should be awesome.”


Trent moved close to Josh and wrapped his arms around him. He gave Josh a warm hug and whispered, “When you get back we’ll have the most amazing sex. I promise.”

Josh chuckled, but a shiver rolled down his spine at what Trent might cook up. He knew one thing, even if it was nothing but a back rub, it would be erotic from Trent. About the time they would have began making out, the twins walked into the room.

Danny wore an expression of pure deviltry that Josh couldn’t resist. “What have you done to make yourself so happy?”

Danny cocked his cap on the back of his head and smirked at Josh. “Nothing big. Rob’s going to be there too. I told him we had plenty of room.”

Josh rolled his eyes and groaned before he returned to Danny. “This is work, not a chance to spend the whole time at the midway. And you are not sharing a bed with Rob. Don’t pull that crap with me.”

He turned to Samantha and said. “And you’re not spending every minute with Levi. Also, there is no way in hell he’s sleeping in the travel trailer. The boy has to find his own place to stay.”

Samantha seemed unfazed by Josh’s instructions. He became worried when the smile never faded from her face. Josh crossed his arms. “What have you done to will my life even more miserable?”

“Father dearest, whatever would make you think I would make your life difficult?”

“Spill it, young lady. What have you cooked up?”

Danny laughed and brought Josh’s attention back to his son. “What’s going on, Danny? Did you help cook something up?”

“No way! This is all Samantha’s idea. I had nothing to do with it.”

Josh turned to Samantha and scowled at her. “What?”

Her expression changed into one less challenging than what Josh had seen a few minutes earlier. “Relax, Da. I just want to spend time with Levi. He’s a nice guy and I think he’d be fun to hang out with.”

“That’s all normal stuff. What has the two of you acting like you’ve found someone to keep you in beer until you’re twenty-one?”

“It’s really not a big deal. We were just going to tease you a little before we told you,” Danny said.

Josh was frustrated at his kids and their idea of humor. He didn’t like the feeling that two teenagers were messing with him. His nerves were at the end of his tolerance. “Spit it out or we aren’t going anywhere.”

“Oh good God, boys are so cranky. Levi hired us to help him take care of his cattle. That’s it, nothing illegal.”

Josh’s aggravation deflated at what seemed to be an innocent arrangement. “Oh, I guess that would be fine. I’m sure Levi’s parents would appreciate the help.”

Samantha picked up her bags and started out the door. “That’s right. Besides, that beer isn’t free.”

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

Double Trouble: Chapter 92

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 92

Mitch glanced at Samantha until he’d drifted to the gravel shoulder on the state highway. Samantha yelped as Mitch yanked the truck and trailer back onto the road. As soon as the truck and trailer were under control again he pulled to the shoulder as his adrenaline started to settle down.

He jumped from the truck and walked back to see if the bulls were okay. It surprised him when the other truck door shut and Samantha walked back to join him. They studied the animals in the trailer for several minutes before Mitch motioned to the bulls with his feed coop hat.

“Looks like they’re none the worse for wear. I’ll watch more carefully over the rest of the trip.” He leaned against the trailer and studied her. “How did you and Levi enjoy each others company?”

A peaceful expression covered Samantha’s face. “They have a lot of cool stuff, stuff I’ve never seen.”

Mitch lifted an eyebrow as he watched his granddaughter. Then he muttered, “Like how long you can hold a kiss before you need to breath.”

Without breaking stride Samantha replied, “Naw, I knew that. Although Levi already bested all old boyfriends.”

Mitch’s mouth opened and closed for a few seconds before he closed it. He would not play verbal jousting with Samantha; he was afraid he’d lose. The rest of the trip home was more relaxed and neither of them brought up anything from the trip to the Worthy ranch. They rolled into the Maverick Ranch headquarters and Mitch drove to the corral that would be the new bulls home for a few weeks until they acclimated to their new home. With Samantha working gates and Mitch threading through the sometimes-narrow enclosures, they unloaded with no incidents. In short order everything was accomplished that they needed done and they headed to the house for a late dinner.

He glanced at Samantha. “Are you going to tell your parents about your hot new, long distance, boyfriend?”

“Papa, please don’t tell them. I want something of mine to be private before five men try to help me work out my social life.”

Mitch considered her for a minute but saw what she meant. “Okay. But you have to tell your Dad’s before it gets any more serious than it already is. At least he lives far enough away you won’t be going out every weekend.”

Samantha kept her silence long enough he understood it was already past that stage. “You’ve already got something worked out, don’t you?”

“Well, sort of.”

“Sort of?”

“They’re taking a few of the Senepol to the state fair.”


“It might be about the same time the junior cattle show happens. So we would spend time together.”

Mitch stared at her for a minute, “Ah, crap. Tell your parents before then. When does that little event start?”

Samantha muttered something, but he wasn’t certain what she said. “What? Don’t think mumbling will keep me from asking as many times as it takes until I know what you said.”

“Okay, fine. It starts in a week. And I will spend time with Levi regardless of what the five of you think.”

A chill ran up Mitch’s spine at the tone of Samantha’s reply. He recognized a battle cry.

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

Double Trouble: Chapter 91


Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 91

Samantha looked like a star-struck fan girl as she stared at Levi with her mouth wide open. If they had been at home, he might have let his granddaughter make a fool of herself, but not with strangers, and especially not with strangers she might want to know better. Not as good as Danny and his friends, but better than the two of them making cow eyes at each other. Yes, call him old fashioned, or just that he knows the people who live in the area. But he didn’t want to have Samantha labeled as the high school’s easy girl.

No, it wasn’t fair. But he refused to let Samantha do something at sixteen she would regret later. Yeah, Levi was a cute kid. Danny would try to get into his pants, but judging from the expression on Levi’s face, Danny wouldn’t have a chance. But the tall, slender kid seemed even more stunned at Samantha’s arrival than she was at him. Maybe. The hormones ramped up for both of them.

Levi grinned from ear to ear by the time they were close enough to shake hands. He greeted Mitch, but he was almost certain the sweaty palms had nothing to do with how glad Levi was to see Mitch again.

“Hi, Levi. Glad to see you again. Is your Dad around?”

“Yes, Sir. He’s finishing up in the hay barn and said he’d be here in a minute.”

Levi glanced toward Samantha and it looked as if someone had doused his head in red ink. Mitch also realized he hadn’t introduced the two of them. “Sorry, Levi. This is my granddaughter, Samantha. Sam, this is Levi.”

She scowled at Mitch before taking Levi’s hand. “It’s Samantha. Grandpappy forgets things from time to time. He’s getting real old.”

Mitch’s response was delayed when a man closer to his age appeared from the other side of the house, brushing bits of hay from his shirt. He closed the distance and gave Mitch a firm handshake.

“Nice ta meet you. I’m Addison Worthy.”

“Mitch, Mitch McRichards. Nice to meet you too.”

Addison stepped back and motioned toward the pen of bulls they’d looked at the other day. “Levi said you were interested in some of our Senepol yearlings.”

“We are, those are some impressive looking yearlings. We bought a couple of bulls in Colorado, but yours were too good to pass up. Last week when we stopped Levi was good enough to take us on a tour of the place, tell us something about the breed, and take a look at your young bulls.” He glanced over toward Levi and found his gaze locked on Samantha. Mitch grinned and couldn’t help himself. “We appreciate you taking the time to give us the tour, Levi.”

Levi startled, snapping his eyes back on Mitch. His face was so flushed Mitch decided you could light a cigar from it. Realizing he’d been busted, Levi tried to spit out an answer. “Yes, Sir. No. I mean it was no problem.”

Mitch couldn’t let it go on for any longer. The poor kid was squirming and Mitch didn’t press him. “Well, we appreciated it. You did a good job too.”

Addison glanced between the two young people and shook his head before turning to Mitch. “I’d be happy to go through the bulls with you. Levi knows them as well as I do, but he and I haven’t talked about the selling price of each one.”

“Dad, if you and Mister McRichards don’t need me. I thought Samantha might like to see the new Paint we bought.”

“That sounds like a lot of fun. I’m up for it,” she said.

Mitch looked between them and cocked his head. “I’m okay with it so long as Mister Worthy doesn’t mind.”

Mitch glanced at Addison and knew they agreed. These two needed some time, but not too much.

Addison said, “Okay, but stay where you can hear me in case I need you.”

That was the final word, Levi and Samantha sprinted out of sight. Mitch and Addison turned and went through the young animals. Time passed quickly for Mitch when he glanced at his watch and realized the morning was gone, they also hadn’t seen Samantha or Levi in all that time.

“I think we should locate the kids. We haven’t seen them in a while.”

Addison nodded in agreement. “Yeah, my son’s a good kid. But hormones are hormones. I think I know where to find them.”

They walked to an imposing building and the minute they opened the doors he knew it was the farm’s hay barn. They stood for a moment and heard what he’d expected: the kids had moved past talking. He didn’t want to walk in on them and see more than he needed to.

“Samantha. We’re about ready to go.”

The soft sounds from a few minutes earlier erupted into a flurry of movement. A few seconds later, Samantha appeared brushing a few stray pieces of hay from her jeans. She looked at Mitch.

“Levi’ll be here in a minute. He needs to think for a while about mucking stalls in January before he comes out.”

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.