Friday Favourites: 'Nathan Burgoine


It's time for Friday Favourites and I'm extremely happy to have 'Nathan Burgoine, author of queer SFF and romance, over today. Read on to learn of his favourite things and because of the season they are all Holidays related. You can check out his latest release, Handmade Holidays, a m/m Christmas romance, which was released earlier this week by Nine Star Press and which I absolutely loved (my review)!

Friday Favourites with 'Nathan Burgoine

1. Favourite place
I know there are no “rules” to the Friday Favourites, but it’s snowing out right now, and given that I’m trying to get into the right mood for the holidays, I’m going to try to answer all of these with a winter or holiday bent. 

So: British Columbia, specifically the Okanagan Valley. When I lived there for a year, it was the most magical winter ever. I was in high school at the time, and made some of the best friendships I’d ever make, and between the mountains and the snow, it was just beautiful. 

2. Favourite food and drink
Once the snow starts to fall, it’s all about mugs of white hot chocolate after walking the Husky. I can’t have regular hot chocolate thanks to it triggering headaches, but a white hot with a dollop of Bailey’s? Winter perfection.

As for food… Hm. Y’know, it’s a total comfort food thing in Winter to have a bowl of chili and toasted bread that’s pretty much been made floppy with the amount of butter I’ve put on it. Especially, again, if I’ve just come back from thigh-deep snow with a bouncing Husky who is totally already pining for his next trip.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Once the snow starts, I kind of duck and cover and turn off the radio. After decades of working retail, it’s safe to say the vast majority of the holiday music out there leaves me, well, cold. But! There are a few. 

First, Sting’s “Soul Cake.” I love it, and it’s folksy. Finding the lesser-played songs get me through the holidays. Loreena McKennit’s winter albums, “December Will Be Magic Again,” by Kate Bush, “The Closing of the Year,” from the Toys soundtrack, “Christmas Wrapping,” by the Waitresses (the best Christmas carol ever, in case anyone’s asking), and—of course—The Pogues and Kristy MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York.”

4. Favourite movie/TV series
Keeping to my self-imposed winter theme? The Hogfather put on by the BBC was brilliant (the actress who played Mary in Downton Abbey plays Susan to perfection). I love everything about that series, and really, what’s not to love? Terry Pratchett meets Santa Claus. 

I also re-watch A Christmas Carol every year (the one with Alastair Sim, and the black and white version, thankyouverymuch). I try to pretend I don’t see the camera in the mirror, and when he does his dance and nearly-stand-on-his-head moment, I pretty much cackle with delight, no matter how much the season might be getting me down. 

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
During the holidays, baking comes to the forefront, as does snow-shoeing. The show-shoeing thing comes from the aforementioned Husky, who will happily bound through snow that’s up to his chest. I’m less happy about trodding through the stuff, so my snow-shoes help tremendously.

Baking, on the other hand, fills the house with lovely scents and helps me fill the “I’m always hungry!” that seems to come with the arrival of winter. Swiss Ginger Cookies, Pecan Points, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies, Lemon Squares… I’m not a good cook (I follow recipes and do so adequately), but I love baking, and have the knack. And there are enough social opportunities in winter that I can give away half of every batch or cake or what-have-you.

6. Favourite books 
I have a two-pronged attack for the holiday season when it comes to reading, and there’s a lot of re-reading, too. The first involves earbuds under my hat, hood, scarf, and winter coat: audiobooks. I have some go-to holiday titles. The Patrick Stewart performance of A Christmas Carol and Eli Easton’s Blame it on the Mistletoe (anything narrated by Jason Frazier is pretty much a one-click for me) get a re-listen every single year (I tend to save “Blame it on the Mistletoe” until I’m baking cookies, because the main character is super anti-sugar and I’m contrary like that), and I try out new queer audiobook holiday stories as I can find them. This year I bumped into Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles (another Eli Easton), and will no doubt find more.

On the physical book reading side, without fail I always revisit Becky Cochrane’s A Coventry Christmas, and then I try to find new queer holiday novellas to add to my collection. This year I bumped into Heart’s Alight, by Elliot Cooper (a lovely Hanukkah novella) and Sock it to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker (a cute, YA Christmas story). I also try out lots of anthologies, as it’s a great way to meet new authors, I love short fiction, and they’re bite-sized for a daily sit-down dose of holiday cheer. Upon a Midnight Clear, edited by Greg Herren, gets pulled out again year after year, but I’m always on the lookout for more.

Title: Handmade Holidays
Author: 'Nathan Burgoine
Genre: MM holiday romance

Purchase links: Publisher / Kobo / B&N / Amazon


At nineteen, Nick is alone for the holidays and facing reality: this is how it will be from now on. Refusing to give up completely, Nick buys a Christmas tree, and then realizes he has no ornaments. A bare tree and an empty apartment aren’t a great start, but a visit from his friend Haruto is just the ticket to get him through this first, worst, Christmas. A box of candy canes and a hastily folded paper crane might not be the best ornaments, but it’s a place to start.

A year later, Nick has realized he’s not the only one with nowhere to go, and he hosts his first “Christmas for the Misfit Toys.” Haruto brings Nick an ornament for Nick’s tree, and a tradition—and a new family—is born.

As years go by, Nick, Haruto, and their friends face love, betrayal, life, and death. Every ornament on Nick’s tree is another year, another story, and another chance at the one thing Nick has wanted since the start: someone who’d share more than the holidays with him.

Of course, Nick might have already missed his shot at the one, and it might be too late.

Still, after fifteen Christmases, Nick is ready to risk it all for the best present yet. 

Author Bio and Links

'Nathan Burgoine grew up a reader and studied literature in university while making a living as a bookseller. He loves to write shorter fiction and has had dozens of short fiction pieces and two novellas published. His first novel, Light, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Since then, he's written two more: Triad Blood and Triad Soul; all three are available from Bold Strokes Books. A cat lover, 'Nathan managed to fall in love and marry Daniel, who is a confirmed dog person. Their ongoing "cat or dog?" détente ended with the adoption of Coach, a six-year old husky. They live in Ottawa, Canada, where their tree is full of ornaments.

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