Friday, December 14, 2018

The Night Sky Festival by S.A. Stovall – Warmest Wishes


Photographer Zach is happy to pack up his gear and head to the Mojave Desert over the holidays. Ever since his ex-husband filed for divorce a day before Christmas, it’s safe to say this isn’t Zach’s favorite time of year.

Fortunately, he stumbles upon a town where the residents seem to agree. The good people of Baker would much rather celebrate the possibility of extraterrestrials as they dance under the stars in their unique “Night Sky Festival.” The locals are interesting, to say the least, and they want Zach to join them.

But is Zach ready to let go of his holiday bitterness? And if so, whose invitation should he accept: the cute cashier, the burly single dad, or the sexy fun-loving cop?

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Advent Calendar Day 14

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angela☆☆☆☆
The Night Sky Festival was a quirky tale, but what else would one expect from a short story set in a town that eschews Christmas in favor of a festival that celebrates aliens and UFOs? Zach is a bit of a curmudgeon at the beginning of the story, but with good reason as he’s not only reminded of the implosion of his marriage as Christmas nears, he’s also stuck in the Mojave Desert where the heat is beyond unbearable, even in December. Yet despite his dour mood, it seems like it’s raining men in the desert and they’re all showing an interest in him. Granted, it’s only three men, but in a town as small as Baker, he wasn’t expecting to encounter any gay men, much less three fine specimens who awaken his long-dead libido.

I’m not exactly sure how long this story spans, but it appears to cover at least two days of Zach’s time in Baker. Why is this important? Because by the time Zach makes it from his meet cute with Ethan to the actual Night Sky Festival, he’s gone from hating the little town of Baker to loving it for its craziness. While his change in attitude seems to be influenced by each of the men he meets, I thought it was sweet how he played matchmaker at the festival once he realized which man had really snagged his interest.

The fun thing about short stories like this is that Stovall wrote it in such a way that the “next step” is left up to the reader’s imagination and for me, I can easily see Zach making Baker his home, not only because of its lack of Christmas festivities but also because of the easy acceptance he encountered when he revealed his homosexuality. Then again, having an officer like Kross on the local police force probably sent most of the homophobes running, just kidding (not really). So, if you’re interested in a unique holiday romance this season, The Night Sky Festival could be just what you’re looking for.



S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that storytelling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game, or comic, she had to experience. Now as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

Connect with S.A.

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https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: The Night Sky Festival by S.A. Stovall to read and review.

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