Alexa Snow, Ava March, Elyan Smith, Jane Davitt, Joey W. Hill, Katie Porter, Kim Dare, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

O Come All Ye Kinky Edited by Sarah Frantz

Let’s be naughty and save Santa a trip. – Gary Allan

Well, happy hot, hot holidays, everyone. Seems ‘tis the season to be bound and gagged and spanked and sexed up to the nines, when gifts aren’t tied up in ribbons and bows as much as folks are tied up in leather and ropes and are begging for the gifts of pain and pleasure, and all that glitters is duct tape, and everyone is giving the gifts of dominance and submission, those gifts that just keep on giving all year long.

O Come All Ye Kinky is a collection of eight BDSM themed stories:

Tree Topper by Jane Davitt
’Twas the Night by Ava March
Fireworks by Katie Porter
Candy Caning by L.A. Witt
Submissive Angel by Joey W. Hill
Open Return by Elyan Smith
Ring Out the Old and In the New by Alexa Snow
His Very Last Chance by Kim Dare

And each individual story in this anthology makes reading them all more than worth it. From a couple trying to figure out their roles in a relationship; to a woman struggling so hard to believe that she could ever come first in anyone’s life; to a transgendered man who’s coming home after a fifteen year absence, unsure of whether he still has a place there; to a man trying desperately to recover from the aftereffects of a violent crime, these stories all seem to have one underlying similarity, regardless of the author—they each center around a couple (or a threesome) who find that love is the one gift you can give away and will be more than glad when it’s returned.

Honestly, O Come All Ye Kinky has a little bit of something for everyone. Before I picked it up, I was one-hundred percent certain that four of the eight authors were going to deliver because I was already a fan of their work. After reading it, now I can say with one-hundred percent certainty that I count myself a budding fan of those new-to-me authors as well.

Whether you’re looking for historical erotica, something with an ethereal magic to it, something that will tug at your heartstrings, or something that’s just flat-out dead sexy, you’ll find it in this well written and complementary collection of short fiction. I can guarantee you there are more than noses being nipped at here, so go ahead and be naughty; add a little fetish to your holidays. You may never look at candy canes and wrapping paper and Christmas lights quite the same way again.

Buy O Come All Ye Kinky here:

Elyan Smith, Riptide Publishing, Small Gems

Small Gems – Portside by Elyan Smith

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

I knew as soon as I read Elyan Smith’s short story Zones in the UK MAT anthology Lashings of Sauce that he was an author whose work I wanted to know much better. Zones is the touching story of a transgender woman who is trying desperately to find her place in the world, to find her place within herself, and to find her place within her partner’s family. This story was so moving and memorable to me not only because of the subject but also because of the author’s writing; it is dense with emotion and atmosphere and sometimes felt cloying, like a heart-wrenching yet hopeful dream.

I can now honestly say that this wasn’t a fluke, because Portside, Elyan Smith’s debut short story, is equally and beautifully oppressive, which is a huge oxymoron but true nonetheless. This is a story set in a bleak town where Iwan lives a bleak life in a bleak house where anything resembling hope is quashed by the harsh economic times and lack of opportunities for him, for his best friend Lyn, for his family. His life is a place where cigarettes and alcohol are comfort in their constancy, where picture postcards of faraway places are the one dimensional dreams of everything his life isn’t, where the depthless face of the television screen pays mocking tribute to the austerity of his life.

Portside is in no way a romance. It is pure literary fiction and it explores the life of a young man who wants for everything but doesn’t dare want for much. He is a young man trying to fit in his own skin, even though that skin doesn’t quite fit who he is. He is a young man who has dared to hope, and in that hope he might find a way to connect with the one person about whom he dreams of something more—a portside boy, Jonah—who is the golden prize at the end of the monochromatic rainbow.

This was a difficult story for me to relate to on some levels, mostly because I couldn’t be looking at it from further outside Iwan’s perspective, but that’s really what made me try all the harder to empathize with him and his longing for something more than what he had, and in the end, it worked with a certain sort of somber beauty.

Buy Portside HERE.