Today I am so pleased to welcome Kris T. Bethke to Joyfully Jay. Kris has come to talk to us about her latest release, ‘Twas the Play Before Christmas. She has also brought along a book to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Hey everyone! I’m here hijacking the blog this morning to tell you about my latest release ‘Twas the Play Before Christmas.

Okay, so it’s not exactly a secret that I love holiday stories. I read them, write them, and watch them pretty much from the end of the November all the way through the end of the year. There’s something extra magical about romance set with the holidays, and it makes me extra happy.

I wasn’t actually going to write one this year though. I was running short on time, recovering from surgery (goodbye evil gallbladder!) and I just didn’t think I had it in me. Until my dear friend told me I could write one, and then gave me a paragraph of a plot. Nick and Emmett emerged from that little plot snippet, I set it in Landry’s Fall, my made up little picturesque tourist town, and this holiday story was born. It’s short, it’s fluffy, and it’s all about holiday feels and two men falling in love.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt to entice you to read.

Wishing you happy holidays and a joyous New Year!


After they left, I turned to Emmett, still staring up at me from his kneeling position.

Holy fuck.

I could either let things alone, or I could make a move. Worst case scenario, he shot me down. And you never got anywhere if you didn’t try. I crossed the few feet that separated us, and sat on the edge of the bench. We were close. So very close.

“Are you seeing anyone right now, Emmett? Married, committed, anything?”


I grinned at his surprise and confusion. “You heard me.”

“But…but…” His mouth worked for a moment. “You were married!”

“I was,” I said slowly, not sure where he was going with this.

“To a woman!”

“Yes.” I was really confused now. “So?”

“So? Was she…were you…didn’t you know…what…?”

Realization dawned and I tried not to be offended. “I’m bi, Em.”

“Really?” he squeaked.

I fought the frown, but wasn’t entirely successful. “Really. Bisexuality is a thing, you know.”

“I know!” he practically shouted. “Crap. I’m sorry. I just…I didn’t expect. Unless you weren’t…I mean, you could have just been asking and I…”

Damn, he was really cute when he got all flustered. “I most certainly was. I’d like to take you out. See if this spark between us can build into something. I don’t think I’m the only one feeling it.”

He shook his head fast. “No. I-I feel it, too. I just didn’t expect…” He laughed. “I said that already. I just mean, in high school you were so damn cute, and now you’re even more gorgeous. But you were married and I assumed straight and I didn’t want to crush on you again if you were. I’m sorry about that.”

“No apologies necessary.” And then the other part of what he’d said caught in my brain, and I gave him a slow, wicked smile. “Again?”

“Dammit,” he muttered, but he was smiling. “Yes, again. Let’s not make a big deal of it, okay?”


He squinted. “Why don’t I believe you?”

“Because you’re not a stupid man. Utterly adorable, and sexy as fuck, but not stupid. And you may want to get up off your knees before my thoughts get even more inappropriate.”

He stayed right where he was, and gave me a cheeky grin. “So you were trying to ascertain my status in order to ask me out?”

Who said “ascertain” at a time like this? I chuckled. “I already said as much. I noticed you haven’t answered either.”

“I’m not. Seeing anyone, that is. Not married or committed. I haven’t been…um…” He blushed, so unusual in a man his age, that I got a little worried. Not enough not to push, though.

“You haven’t been…what?”

“Fuck.” His voice was barely audible, as if, even though there weren’t any little ears around, he still didn’t want to curse. “I guess you’re going to figure it out if we, you know, go anywhere. I haven’t been with many guys, okay?”

“More than okay.” I want to make sure he understood that his experience, or lack thereof, wasn’t a problem for me. But we would get to that later, when we both decided if this thing between us was worth exploring. “So how about it? Lunch after we finish up here?”

His mouth gaped for a moment, before he snapped it shut. “I’m all dirty and sweaty.”

“So am I.”

“Okay, sure. But I’d rather, I don’t know, clean up and—”

“I’m talking lunch. We can hit up Swansie’s Diner and have a burger and fries or something. It’ll be lunch and conversation and flirting. You can get all pretty for our second date. Not that you aren’t pretty now.”

I touched his chin, lightly, fleetingly, and his eyes fluttered shut for just a moment. When he opened them, I could see the haze of lust just creeping in. It was a good look on him.

“Yeah. Okay. Lunch. Conversation. Flirting. We can do that.”

“It’s a date,” I murmured. Then I stood and brushed the dust from my jeans. “So let’s get this done so we can eat.”


After the death of his wife, Nick Valenti is raising his twins on his own. It’s no surprise when his son, Quinn, gets a part in the holiday show, but Nick is amazed when he shows up at the parent meeting and finds his old high school friend is now his son’s music teacher.

Emmett James is full of passion and energy, and Nick is captivated by him. Volunteering to help with sets gives Nick the opportunity to get to know the man Emmett has become. Sparks fly, flirting ensues, and Nick wants nothing more than to see where the attraction between them goes.

With Christmas in the air, and holiday music helping them along, will Nick and Emmett find a romance that can last?


Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long.  An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head.  She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project.  Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time.  A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures.  She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head.  She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.


Kris has brought a backlist book to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Wednesday, December 26th at 11:59 pm ET.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post