Yep. Pretty darn cool.
For those of us who don't happen to read Japanese the American [notice, dear British friends, I did not say "English" :) ] version is available from Dreamspinner Press who will happily send the ebook to your Kindle for your holiday reading pleasure, or offer your choice of many other formats.
The Reason for the Season is one of my favorites as I wrote it during one of our first (and sadly, now all too commonplace "snowpocalypses"). A little bit road story, a little bit sweet romance, I was thrilled when it was offered in a Japanese translation l in 2013 by the magazine Dear+.
All college student Adam Everett is trying to do is get to his sister’s house for holiday break. First his car breaks down, then his ride takes off to Vegas with his gas money, forcing Adam to come up with a Plan C. His last hope is a campus ride exchange, where he ends up with the reluctant Michael Brennan. When a “snowpocalypse” forces them to share a motel room, they soon find out there's more than one reason for the chance happenings of the season.
“DON’T do this to me, man.” Adam Everett stood in the lobby of his dorm, a small duffel bag at his feet, and stared at his cell phone in disbelief. Ridiculous as he couldn’t see the face of his friend in the matte black surface, but sometimes instinct won out over sense. “I’ve been waiting for almost an hour.”
“Sorry.” Jim’s laughter after the apology proved the words false. “But she gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse, or at least one hell of a blow job.”
“Don’t tell him that!”
Adam heard the indignant squeal in the background, the faint slaps and giggles audible over the crappy college radio station Jim listened to and thought made him cool. Enough to grasp that Jim’s girlfriend didn’t appreciate the comment. But he found it hard to be concerned about Lori’s injured feelings when not only would he bet the statement true, but he ended up being the one left hanging.
“What am I supposed to do now?” Adam didn’t know which made him madder: himself for whining, or Jim for screwing him over once again. He kicked his duffel to the side, trying to stay out of the way as the few remaining residents rushed around him, eager to head out and away from the grind of the semester.
“You can get a ride with someone else. Everybody goes home for Christmas break.” Jim’s voice sounded slow and lazy. Probably stoned again, and he had promised Adam he wouldn’t get messed up and drive.
“Yeah, and everybody’s already left.” Adam paced, his boots scuffing across the tile floor, and struggled to keep his anger from bleeding through into his voice. He should have known better than to count on Jim. They were the last ones out of their circle of friends still on campus, all because Jim had promised to pick Lori up after work. Mentioned how this would be his only chance to see her for two weeks, and she didn’t care to drive in the snow. Well, then why did she choose a college in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?
“S’not a big deal, just offer to pay for gas like you did me.”
A trio of girls pushed past him, bundled against the weather in colorful skiwear and talking a mile a minute. The blonde on the end hit Adam with her bag, knocking him in the shoulder as she passed, and she waved rather than stopped. “Sorry,” she called out, pulling a knit cap down over her curls. They climbed into the SUV waiting in the front circle and drove off. The vehicle’s tracks were quickly erased by a fresh powdering of snow.
“That’s the problem, asshole.” Frustrated, Adam ran his hand through his hair. Easy for Jim to act like this was no big deal. “I paid you already. I need my money back.”
“You snooze, you lose.” Jim laughed again, overpowering Lori’s voice, faint and questioning over the fragile connection. “The tank’s full and we’re on the road.”
“The car’s big enough for all three of us.” Adam hated having to ask, and didn’t want to be a passenger when the driver was under the influence, but he had promised his older sister, Sherry, he’d be home this holiday, and he couldn’t disappoint her. Of course, that had been before the transmission on his car had gone out, and he’d had to scramble for a ride. Maybe he’d be able to talk Jim in to letting him drive, at least until he came down. “Come pick me up.”
“Not happening. I’m a one-woman man, not a one-man man like you. Aren’t I, baby?” Adam fumed, forced to listen while Jim and Lori exchanged sloppy kisses. “Besides, change of plans. We’re heading west, not south. Leaving all this winter wonderland crap behind.”
“Vegas, here we come,” Lori yelled enthusiastically into the phone. “Woohoo.”
“Jim,” Adam had to shout over her voice. “Don’t you hang up on me. Jim?” Lori kept hollering even as Jim disconnected and left him hanging on to dead air. “You asshole.”