It’s raining cats and dogs outside, and I swear, as I’m typing this, my fingers are going numb, LOL. I hope wherever you’re reading this from, you’re toasty warm and smiling. 

In writing news, I’m on day 17 of my 21-day writing challenge. I’ve written almost 40,000 words in that time, and I’m excited to see how long I can maintain it. 

I’m almost at 60k words on Charlie and Randolph, and while this book will be a little longer than the rest in the series so far, I’m so excited with what I have so far, and the best part? The end is in sight!

But that’s enough from me, so now it’s time to introduce Ana Ashley (who was mean to me and made me choose the teasers- there were so many good ones I threw in some extras) and Miski Harris (who despite her crazy schedule still managed to get me her content with time to spare).  

Author Bio

Ana Ashley was born in Portugal but has lived in the United Kingdom for so long, even her friends sometimes doubt if she really is Portuguese.

After getting hooked on reading gay romance, Ana decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming an author.

These days you can find her in front of her laptop bringing her stories to life, or in the kitchen perfecting her recipe for the famous Portuguese custard tarts.

Ana Ashley writes sweet and steamy gay romance set in America, often in small towns where everyone knows everyone.

Ana’s Quirky Questions

Holly: Describe yourself using… (choose one: a food, a book, a song, a movie, an animal, a drink, a place etc) 

Ana: According to my boyfriend, if I was a food I would be spaghetti bolognese because it’s somewhat random, chaotic and messy but it’s also a comfort food that hugs you from the inside out. 

Holly: Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals? 

Ana: I’m not sure they’re strange but I can only write in complete silence or with the sounds of a coffee shop or a fireplace in the background. At the moment my go to is using my headphones on the noise canceling setting so I feel like I’m in a bubble. It makes me feel like I can step into the world I’m writing so the words come a lot easier.

Holly: When did you first call yourself a writer?  

Ana: I believe that as soon as you intentionally write words for a story that you are a writer. I never thought too much about the label for myself but this year in April while I was in Australia for two signings I had a few moments when I just stopped and said to myself, “Holy hell, I’m here because of all the books I’ve written. I’m an author. This is my life.”

Holly: Tell me something from your bucket list.

Ana: I don’t have a bucket list but there’s something I’ve dreamed about since I published my first book and that’s for my first series, which is set in Portugal where I’m from, to reach the mainstream market there. 

Holly: What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about them. 

Ana: One of the great things about this story is that a lot of the secondary characters already have their stories. As a reader I love knowing I won’t have to wait for them, I can just go straight to their book. This is the case with Indy, Bubble’s boss, and Harrison and Fletcher, the owners of the cabin Bubble is staying at.

Having said that, one character doesn’t have his story and that’s Harley. Technically he’s the baddie, but we all know there’s two sides to every story and just because you did something bad it doesn’t mean you’re all bad.

I redeemed a baddie once- I did wait until the end of the series to make him squirm- but it was really rewarding to get to know him and what made him who he was. I’d love to do that to Harley if he ever pops into my head asking for forgiveness and to be happy. 

Holly: Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer? 

Tom: She’s a total pushover. She was writing my best friend’s story, and I mean, she had to, right? He was falling in love with a prince. But I turned up with my sparkly charm and pushed ahead of everyone else. Word on the street is that she wasn’t going to give me a story at all. Pah. Can you imagine a world where I, the superlicious, talented, sparkly, cinnamon roll, Tom Angel Jones, doesn’t exist? Precisely.

Indy: I have to agree. I was joking with my friend Ben saying how the guy he was falling for should have an equally gorgeous twin brother and boom. Next thing I know I’m getting drunk married in Vegas with that twin.

Bubble: Ha, you think you’re special? All I had to do was put googly eyes and funny labels on all the food in Indy’s coffee shop and I got my own sexy silver fox Coach, all for myself. All it takes these days is for someone to stumble in front of her and they get a man. It’s better than a dating app.

Holly: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?

Ana: I usually make notes on my phone and I always carry a small notebook. Dialogue is the worst. I could be driving and the characters have this long conversation in my head. I have to keep replaying it until I can write it down. 

Holly: Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing? 

Ana: I’m a full-time writer. I had a super fun day job but in 2020 I took a career break to focus on my writing and found that, even though I had fun at work, I had a lot more fun writing. I’m not going to lie, it’s a solitary job, the hours are long and sometimes I struggle to focus. It’s also the most rewarding job I’ve ever done. The opportunities I’ve had to travel the world, meet amazing people, and the fun I have creating stories that represent a portion of society that has little representation, are priceless. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Holly: How many books are you usually working on at the same time? How many unfinished WIPs do you have?

Ana: I usually only work on one book at a time. I’m a linear writer so I write in order and struggle if I have to jump from story to story. Having said that, I’m currently working on a newsletter serial which means I’m also writing new chapters for that serial in addition to my current wip.

I don’t have any unfinished wips. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve published every book I’ve written.


Christmas Bubble

A Christmas snowstorm. Two opposites that most definitely attract. Only one bed.

When the man of your absolute dreams slams their mouth into yours, there is only one course of action. Yours truly–that’s me–has broken it down into four easy steps for your convenience.

You’re welcome.

Step one: make sure he really is attached to you. Lips to lips. You’re a clam. Do not let go.

Step two: climb him like a tree.

Step three: thank your past self for all the squats that gave you those thunder thighs.

Step four: enjoy every second of that kiss before said (maybe-not-so-straight) man realizes what he’s doing and has a freakout.

Christmas Bubble is a low angst, standalone, Christmas novel featuring a petite but larger-than-life cheerleader, an older demisexual football coach and a winter cabin by the lake with only one bed.

Will this be the season when all their wishes will come true?

Teaser from Christmas Bubble

“One dark-soul espresso and a sad chocolate-chip cupcake coming right up,” I say to one of our regulars at Spilled Beans.

The customer stares at me, her eyes blinking.

“Would you like anything else?”

“Can I have a happy chocolate-chip cupcake?” she asks, tilting her head and making a cute face to get a smile out of me. Not happening today.

I look at the display in front of me. All the cakes and pastries created by my boss are impeccable, but I don’t see anything happy.

“No, sorry, sweetie. But they’re freshly baked and super delicious.”

“Let me think about it,” she says.

I’m finishing the drink as Indy, my boss, comes from the kitchen with a tray of freshly baked Dutch pepernoten cookies. The delicious scents of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger follow him.

This year we have a few themed days leading up to Christmas, so we’re baking specialty cookies and cakes from around the world. It was my idea—a fantastic one, even if I say so myself. But Indy said it too, so I can be smug about it.

When I smell all our delicious bakes and look at the snow outside the coffee shop, people walking past with bags filled with Christmas gifts, I feel like I’m living inside a Christmas postcard.

“What’s going on?” Indy asks.

“What? Nothing,” I say noncommittally.

“I’ll take that cupcake after all, honey, and I hope your day gets better,” the customer says as I give her the coffee and put the cupcake in a specialized box.

Indy sets the tray on the counter, and I help him transfer the cookies to a smaller tray in the display cabinet.

I try really hard, but I don’t know if the cinnamon or the cloves remind me of my grandmother and her hugs and Christmas. I let out a very long sigh.

“Okay,” Indy says. “Let’s talk it out.” He pulls me by my hand to one table and makes me sit. “What’s up?”

“It’s the coach. I keep giving him things, and nothing happens,” I say, letting my frustration show. I tuck my hands in the front pocket of my Spilled Beans apron.

“I’m scared to ask. What things do you keep giving him?”

I shrug. “Cake. I don’t know which is his favorite, so I’ve baked him a chocolate cake, pineapple, vanilla, birthday cake, fruitcake, cake with frosting, cake without frosting, cupcakes, muffins, special pastries from around the world—” Indy raises his hand to stop me.

“I get the idea.”

 “He returns the boxes I give him with those delicious cakes, and all there is inside is a sticky note that says thank you. There aren’t even any heart-shaped confetti or paper flowers. Nothing.”

Indy purses his lips, and I’m sure he wants to laugh. How can he want to laugh at the tragedy that is my life?

“Is that all?” he asks.

I stare at the table, and I’m sure my guilty look won’t fool anyone, let alone Indy.

“I may have also bought him a few other gifts.”

He gestures for me to expand on that.

“Okay, so maybe I’ve hung a few posters with inspirational quotes behind his desk at work. And he kept losing his pens, so I got him a pen holder.”

“Was there anything printed on that pen holder?” Indy asks as if he’s afraid of the answer.

I bite my thumbnail. “Um…Stick it in me?”

“Oh, Bubble.” He holds his hands out, and I put my hand in his. He holds it tight like he’s going to give me some bad news.

“Are you crushing on him?”

I snort and take my hand back. “No, of course not. Pfft. Me? Bubble doesn’t crush. I crush strawberries for milkshakes, which, by the way, does not bring all the boys to the yard, but no…I’m not crushing…nope…”

Oh, who am I kidding?

Indy raises a brow.

“Okay, maybe a little bit.” Oh, who am I kidding? I have a crush on Coach the size of my bubble butt—thank you, squats—but I digress… “It’s just that my grandmother raised me with good manners, and she always said, ‘Bubble, the way to a man’s good graces is through his stomach.’”

He sighs. “That only works if he’s not straight, hun. You know that, right? Unless something changed? You told me you thought he was straight,” Indy says.

“A guy can dream, right? Besides, he could come around.” I raise my hands like I’m praying. “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

“That’s very insightful and true.”

I stand and go behind the counter again. I’m sure we’re due some customers any moment now. “I’m glad you agree. Winston Churchill said it, according to my inspirational quotes calendar.”

“Wait,” he says, following me. “So you’re basically stalking him, so that you’re all he’s thinking about until he comes around?”

I try to ignore the pity in his voice.

“No. He is all I can think about. I can’t give up until he specifically tells me to leave him alone. You know, like how vampires have to be invited in? I have to be invited out.”

Author Bio

Miski Harris was born and raised in NY with her younger siblings. She’s a nurse, and a veteran who raised five sons while traveling the world. When she sets her mind to achieve something, she’s unstoppable. 

Her two lifelong constants have been her faith and love of books. Reading is her mainstay, and she is rarely seen without her Nook which holds over 2,000 books.

She loves to give the characters who reside in her imagination life and has begun to fulfill a desire to write books of her own. She published her first M/M romance novel after a close friend challenged her to join the National Novel Writing Month initiative. The result was the first draft of her book. Several edits later, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Book1 made its debut on Amazon bookshelves.  It has since been joined by Book 2: Collateral Damage and there’s more to come.

When asked to describe her in one word and friends say fierce. A past commander defined her as a “tender warrior”. Friends, patients, and strangers can always find a strong advocate in this woman who’s not afraid to forge ahead or speak her mind.

Miski believes challenge defines worlds to conquer and lines to cross; love & faith are the most powerful forces in the universe, and the only thing hindering success is to fail to try.  She invites you to join her in a world where love is second to nothing and life is the greatest adventure of all.

Miski lives in Prince Georges County, Maryland with her two precocious cats: Freddie and Marshall.

Miski’s Quirky Questions

Holly: What’s your drink of choice? 

Miski: Coffee every morning.  Wine before bed. 

Holly: What will I always find in your fridge? 

Miski: Eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, blackberry ginger ale and a bottle of wine

Holly: What food(s) fuel your writing?

Miski: Potato Chips 

Holly: If you could be any animal what would it be and why?  

Miski: I would be a white tiger.  I loved Sigfried and Roy’s tigers. I’m one of the few people who believed Montegue set out to rescue Roy, not harm him.

Holly: What did you plan on being when you grew up?

Miski: Nurse, Author, and Dancer 

Holly: Tell me something hardly anyone knows about you.

Miski: People terrify me.

Holly: Were you a reader as a child? What was your favorite book/author? 

Miski: I was an avid reader.  I read everything even cereal boxes.  My very first favorite author was Carolyn Keene.  I loved the Nancy Drew Mysteries.  When I got to middle school, I was in an advanced learner class and was introduced to James Baldwin’s Another Country.  I then read everything he wrote. 

Holly: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? 

Miski: My cats Freddie and Marshall.  Marshall is the heavier one.  Freddie is part Siamese and has heterochromia.  One eye is green and one is blue.

Holly: What is the most meaningful thing a reader has said to you?

Miski: Your story hit home for me.

Holly: What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Miski: Mentors, editors, proofreaders, Alpha and Beta readers and a friend who will catch you when you fall. 

Holly: Where do you like to write?

Miski: My dining room and Starbucks

Holly: What advice do you wish you’d had before releasing your first story?

Miski: Don’t read your reviews. 

Holly: What’s your favorite book that you’ve written and why?

Miski: Ironically, I love my books for different reasons.  My Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell series tears at my soul.  It represents my homage to people and places in my life’s journey.  Cruise, however, has my heart.  I had fun writing it. Some of the characters are so colorful.  Lyndon’s mother is a riot. The cruise in the story started on my birthday and, I wrote the book following it’s itinerary.  

Holly: Which scene in this book was the most fun to write?

Miski: My favorite scene to write was when Armando and Lyndon’s mother go to rescue Lyndon. It had dark moments, so I made Selena’s character a bit extra to lighten the moment. 

Holly: What would you and your MCs talk about if you went out for coffee? 

Miski: I take my characters out for coffee all the time.  We talk about the story and how the plot is developing.  What we hope the reader will see and understand about the development of the relationships. 

Damage Controlled

What do you do when you find yourself stuck:
East of the Rock…
As Phoenix, Teddy is the reigning Queen of Drag Star, bringing the spark that sets the competition ablaze. However, Teddy’s tired of hiding behind his drag corsets. He’s ready to live his truth and build a committed relationship like his parents and best friends have. Revealing his secret could make it all happen or destroy everything he’s worked so hard for.

West of the Hard Place…
The VA dealt Gregory a crappy hand. All he wants is what he deserves so his life can gain some semblance of normal: a service dog to keep him safe from seizures and fair compensation for his service-connected brain injuries. Maybe then he’ll finally be able to find the one thing he desires most…Love.
Trauma brings Gregory and Teddy together. Catastrophe binds them in a fight for survival. The struggle is real and the possibilities are endless but only if each has what it takes to help the other heal.
Is their fast and fragile relationship strong enough to bring all the damage under control?


Surprised By Fate

R S McKenzie


After being unfairly fired from my job, I head to my family’s vacation house where the quiet seclusion will give me time to figure out my next move. Fate has other plans when a snowstorm lands me—in need of care—on the doorstep of a sweet and sexy alpha. One touch from him and I know nothing will ever be the same. With the storm raging outside, another storm starts raging inside me. My heat has come early.


Catching a snow-covered omega wasn’t on my agenda for the evening, but as soon as I touch him, I know he must be my fated mate. I always thought fated mates were a myth, but something about this man is making my body and heart go haywire. Does he feel it too? 

Surprised by Fate is an instalove, fated mates, mpreg romance. It contains high heat and sexual content not suitable for anyone under the age of eighteen.

Island Daddy

Jack Harper


As the sole heir to my family’s chain of luxury resorts, I’m in quite the position of power. My fortune hasn’t always been the blessing which the media has made it out to be. The life of Riley can get incredibly lonely without a constant person to snuggle up next to, something I’ve lacked for quite a while. All that changed when I met Kragen. Despite his endearing spirit needing a daddy to keep him in order, he’s showing me a side to life that I never initially thought was possible. Though, I’m left to skirt the ledge of trusting him without steady footing.


My modest life has been short and uneventful. Course, what could I truly expect by twenty-one—a Nobel Prize? After being stuck in Oahu for my sister’s wedding, the trajectory of my journey has finally turned a corner. Daddy Reid has certainly been the older male influence I’ve always wanted, yet couldn’t ever have. He’s no slouch in the intimacy department either. Even better on the beach! Now I’m tasked with coming clean, submitting my deepest, darkest secret to the one man on this planet it would destroy entirely.

**Island Daddy is a medium-low angst, steamy Daddy/Boy story with an HEA. Content Warning: Alcohol and substance usage, heavy language and some BDSM themes with ZERO age play element.**

I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of Holly’s Quirky Questions.

 A huge thank you to Ana Ashley and Miski Harris. Next week we have Kristian Parker and Jaiyde Thomas.

Until then: Find a Spark of Magic Every Day.