“Dream as if you’ll live forever; Live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” CHRISTMAS 1924 “Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed and the rejected.” —Jimmy Cannon PARIS Hector & Victoria It was warm and crowded in the café. The liquor was flowing and everyone was laughing and wishing one another a Happy … Continue reading Christmas at Le Select
From our collection Gifts: Bittersweet Christmas Stories David Hogan's melancholy Christmas tale serves to remind us to gather our friends and family close to us as the dark of winter draws in. All about the power of stories in understanding our hopes for the future, his tale is the perfect accompaniment to staring out of the … Continue reading A melancholy Christmas tale by David Hogan
From our collection Gifts: Bittersweet Christmas Stories Feliz Navidad is a sombre Christmas tale from Sam Hawken that serves as a powerful and poignant reminder that Christmas is a time when we need to reach out to others. Encompassing the importance of the gift of charity, and of extending a compassionate welcome to all people, Feliz Navidad is … Continue reading Sam Hawken’s Bad Santa
Blue and Unassuming Under the Christmas Star is a seasonal spin-off from Jackie Mallon's book, Silk for the Feed Dogs. The story returns to the problems of the loveable but habitually disaster-prone Kat as she tries to find some Christmas spirit in the hearts of the famously grumpy New Yorkers. Jackie Mallon manages to capture what it … Continue reading Festive fun: Jackie Mallon’s Fairytale of New York
Craig McDonald about three very different Christmas Eves... Read here: http://craigmcdonaldbooks.blogspot.ie/2014/12/a-very-hector-lassiter-christmas.html
Christmas is not always magic but good books always are. Whether you love or hate Christmas, you might enjoy a good story. Our collection GIFTS: NINE BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS STORIES is free on Amazon this week: getBook.at/FREE_GIFTS
A limited print edition of GIFTS is now also available here: http://www.bookdepository.com/Gifts-Betimes-Books/9780992967444 Free delivery worldwide!
The Plaza Hotel in NYC by Jackie Mallon
It opened in 1907 when rooms cost $2 50 per night. Now they cost around $800. At the time it placed the largest ever single order for gold-encrusted china and boasted 1,650 crystal chandeliers.
In today’s New York it looks discretely down its nose at all these precious little lifestyle and boutique hotels, hipster upstarts serving their Stumptown coffee as if that can begin to compete with the ceiling of the Palm Court.
As a Manhattan landmark it represents the regal opulence of The Great Gatsby and not the Trumped up hubris of The Donald. It continues to be a goddess of the silver screen from its first starring role in Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller North By Northwest to parts in The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, Almost Famous, Sex & The City, and American Hustle.
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Jackie Mallon about her story in our Christmas collection GIFTS
When Silk for the Feed Dog was published in September 2013, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. There was the obvious reason: I was setting it free to be read and hopefully enjoyed––or to be ignored or, God forbid, hated––but at least it was getting an opportunity to go off and make something of itself. The other reason for the relief was that I was free too.
Mercy me, I didn’t have to spend any more time with that Kat and Edward pair!
We’d been living in each other’s pockets for four years. We knew each other’s quirks and foibles, bad habits, and could finish each other’s sentences. We badly needed a break from each other.
Se ya, wouldn’t want to be ya! I didn’t even wave.
I rallied the old brain cells and giddily embarked on a new writing project.
Initially the lightness about me was intoxicating. Everything…
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From “The Return of Eddie Sloan” by Kevin Stevens: “She checked on Wardell. He was fast asleep, dreaming of sugar plums. All the doors were locked. The backyard was deserted and the thin cover of fresh snow showed no footprints. In the parlor, the Christmas tree stood lightless and lonely, the angel on top askew. … Continue reading Excerpt from Gifts: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by Kevin Stevens
From “Be Good for Goodness Sake” by Colin O’Sullivan: “It is Christmas Day and they are having Christmas dinner, and Anita is trying her best to enjoy herself, trying to acclimatise. But the dreams keep coming back to her, the nightmares, the flashbacks, she doesn’t even have to be asleep, all she needs to do … Continue reading Excerpt from Gifts: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by Colin O’Sullivan
From “Echoes” by Craig McDonald “You two are the closest thing to family I have, Hem, and it’s Christmas and that’s about the giving. You’ll just have to live with the receiving, you righteous son of a bitch.” Hector pointed to the gift for our son. “I’ve got no brother or sisters, so I’ll never … Continue reading Excerpt from Gifts: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by Craig McDonald
From “Blue and Unassuming under a Christmas Star” by Jackie Mallon: “In Sean Kat recognizes not a point of conversation anymore but the repository for all her frustrations. “Give that money back, you little shit. Go on, hand it over.” She holds out her hand and several shoppers gasp. “Come on, it’s Christmas, let it … Continue reading Excerpt from GIFTS: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by Jackie Mallon
From “The Party” by Richard Kalich: “The entire affair was catered by the world’s greatest chefs, and platters of sumptuous foods were served by geishas in kimonos and men in black. Champagne flowed like April rain. Every guest was given a token of appreciation for not attending, diamonds and gold; and for those who didn’t … Continue reading Excerpt from GIFTS: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by Richard Kalich
In many ways, it was born out of frustration. Frustration with editors who want the same formulaic junk that sold by the bucketload last year, frustration with editorial decisions being made by accountants, frustration with marketing departments who reserve their entire budget for the same half dozen or so big names, frustration with being constantly depressed by the gloomy state of the publishing industry.
People still like to read good books, don’t they? I know I do. They can’t all want the latest ghosted biography from some C-list celebrity or yet another Andy McNab knock-off.
So I was delighted to join the list of Betimes Books, a new imprint designed to retain the best elements of publishing (good taste, rigorous editing, high production values) whilst taking advantage of the digital revolution that, frankly, caught…
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From “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” by David Hogan: “It’s because of this spark that Mary called her brother, Brendan, back to Boston just before Christmas when he’d have preferred to be with his own family. It’s because of this spark that Brendan is now gathering leaves on this grey and bitter December morning. … Continue reading Excerpt from GIFTS: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by David Hogan
Our Christmas collection "Gifts: Bittersweet Christmas Stories"from all Betimes Books authors is now available as e-book for only 0,77£/0,99$ here Read it in PDF format here or contact us to receive a free PDF or Mobi copy of GIFTS! For a print collector edition, click here!
From “Feliz Navidad” by Sam Hawken: “It’s Christmas tomorrow,” Mr. Martinez told Raúl one day. “I know. There is a lot of talking about—” “I know what they’re talking about. They’ve been on about it all week. Don’t listen to them.” “But something must happen on Christmas,” Raúl insisted. “Maybe something will,” Mr. Martinez … Continue reading Excerpt from GIFTS: Bittersweet Christmas Stories by Sam Hawken
From “Slay Belles” by Hadley Colt: “Given his very reason for needing the disguise, and his attendant obligation to escort Selma to her misbegotten agency Christmas party, Ace desperately needed to find some way to pack a piece for swift and easy access. Looking down, he settled on his right, fur-topped Santa boot. Yes, an … Continue reading Excerpt from GIFTS by Hadley Colt