A big welcome today to Jill Wexler as part of her blog tour with Other Worlds Ink. The Christmas Eve Craigslist Killer is part of A Holiday to Remember – a collection of holiday themed novellas from Mischief Corner Books.
Who runs an update the night before Christmas Eve? Travis Ketchall scowled at his computer screen, fighting the urge to push it off his desk. The Library (with a capital L to designate the upper echelon who oversaw the branch libraries, not capitalized) had run an update on the platform that handled e-checkouts. The update had been successful, so it claimed, yet there were snags in the platform now, specifically centered around the e-magazines.
It was just a code problem, but the issue was figuring out where the code was messing up. He’d gotten the call around 8:00 a.m. from his supervisor, Dave, whose official title was Director of Institutional User Support and Information Technology, asking Travis to look through the code and spot the glitch. Travis didn’t have the power to actually fix the code, but he had the power to see the code. There was another guy looking too, the Travis of another library branch.
He didn’t mind. This was the kind of thing he enjoyed, problem solving. His degree had been in computer science, and he’d taken this job two years ago, right after finishing said degree. It was meant to be a temporary job, a break from school before he went back for his masters. And here he was, two years later, with a kickass job title of his own: Branch Supervisor of Information Technologies and User Support.
Travis was a glorified IT guy.
But apparently “IT Guy” didn’t fit the image the Library wanted to present.
He supervised exactly nobody. His own supervisor had an office at the downtown branch with the rest of the upper echelon, which meant Travis only interacted with him via email and phone.
Much to his surprise, he actually liked his coworkers at this branch, mostly because they seemed to understand that he wasn’t a chatty, social guy. Most of the people out front, on the floor, were what his mom would call “social butterflies.” Travis was definitely not a social butterfly. He didn’t mind talking to his coworkers, but standing around idly chattering for too long made his head tighten inside, as if the system was overloading. The fact that he could slip back to his office without anyone rolling their eyes at him was the main reason he was still here two years later.
Just as he spotted the junk code, there was a knock on his door.
Travis threw his hand up, saying, “Hang on,” and quickly copied and pasted the garbled code into an email to Dave. He typed a short message, hit Send, then looked up at the person at his door.
Holy shit. It was Connor.
Connor Richards was a page, although if Travis could, he’d replace “page” with “Associate Shelver of Returned and Misplaced Literature.” Everyone deserved a fancy-ass title.
Travis figured Connor was about his age, so probably twenty-five-ish, and he had floppy brown hair, a goofy smile, and looked damned good in the Library’s T-shirts. Today, he was wearing a Christmas tee that said, “Joy to the World…the books have come.”
For the first time, Mischief Corner Books is releasing a month-long collection of holiday-themed tales:
Traditional Winter Holidays can be tough for a variety of reasons—family pressures, finding the right gift, homesick longing, and haunting memories to name a few. This collection showcases eleven queer short stories, from tender contemporaries to sweet paranormal to far-flung space tales, all designed to make you want to reach for your hot cocoa and your favorite snuggly spot. Come join us for A Holiday To Remember.
For this tour, Mischief Corner Books is giving away two $25 gift certificates to their eBook store, and two rainbow beanies. To enter, just use the rafflecopter here, or below:
Christmas Eve Craigslist Killer
The public library’s computer geek, aka Travis, is content skirting the edges of social interaction. He’s fully committed to being a boring, twenty-something IT guy who likes his office more than people, a guy someone like Connor would never fall for. Connor, who works on the library floor as a page, is outgoing, social, and charming and everything else that stands for “fun.”
An interaction between the two at the library on Christmas Eve has Travis accidentally mentioning that he failed to find this year’s hottest toy for his nephew. Immediately, Connor goes on a quick hunt online, and finds one. The only problem is that the Craigslist seller is hours away and Travis is sure spending hours in a car with quirky, handsome Connor can only end badly.
Jill started writing back in the day of notebook paper and erasable pens (blue ink is best), when her mom’s typewriter was out of ribbon. Then she graduated to a word processing program in MS-DOS, then WordPerfect. Her computer sadly caught the Blue Screen of Death and all was lost. She stopped writing for an extremely long time, because “life.”
She lives in the upper Bible Belt, rolls her eyes a lot and drinks enough wine to consider it a sacrifice to the gods that her kids won’t need too much therapy down the road.
A while back, Jill picked up writing again with a woman’s site and the writing fever spiked. But she’s actually new to publishing, so there may or may not have been more wine involved recently (only one glass was harmed in the making of this story and it was a mason jar so…bygones).