Guest Post: A Love Letter to London by Katie Porter + Giveaway

Katie Porter

Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome the co-writing team of Lorelie Brown and Carrie Lofty known as Katie Porter. 

Nate and Kyle from Came Upon a Midnight Clear are the leading men in this romance about brokenhearted young men who are reunited years later with a second chance at love. The third major character in the book is London at Christmastime.

I’m Carrie, by the way—one half of the writing team of Katie Porter. I’ve been married to my English husband for fifteen years, and we’ve Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Katie Porterspent six Christmases together with his family. They live in Surrey, just to the southwest of the ringroad that circles London. To say I was excited about writing a story set in such a gorgeous city during a magical time of year was an understatement.

I had a list in my head: Christmas Eve parties at local pubs, shopping on Regent Street, the lights strung along the Embankment across the Eye, holiday pantomimes, and just enough snow to give the lights and the excitement a festive touch.

My writing partner, Lorelie, had to take a lot of this on faith. They eat ice cream at the intermission of a panto? Really? Yup, totally true. You really need to buy tickets in advance for Christmas Eve parties at local pubs? Yes! So I had a blast trolling through my memories to find the best details for Nate and Kyle to explore during their tentative time as reunited lovers. One such memory was visiting the world-famous Hamleys toy store on hours before it closed on Christmas Eve.

“I have to shop for Steph,” Kyle said, eyes vaguely focused on a bright streetlight. “I owe her something extra after all the shit I’ve put her through this month.”

“I should do the same for Raney. Maybe get his little girl something.”

It was the slimmest olive branch in the history of Greek idioms, but Kyle would take it. He stood and dusted the worst of the street grime off his coat. Nate watched silently. In the strange light of Christmas Eve in the city, with the snow feathering over his sandy-blond hair, his eyes were the palest blue Kyle could imagine. One step away from silver. So damn perceptive, and so damn wary.

He wondered if that same wariness was in his eyes too.

He held out his hand. “Come on. Hamleys and a Bulgari retailer are on Regent Street. Toys, then jewelry.”

“The gays go shopping?” Nate asked with a smirk.

“Yes. The gays go shopping.”

Kyle breathed out when Nate took his hand and stood. Stood very close. “Then let’s go.”

It was awkward at first. Kyle couldn’t shake his nerves, because even on overloaded Regent Street, it took more guts than it should’ve to loop his arm through Nate’s.

Along the shopping mecca, fully six stories tall, Hamleys was the toy store to end all toy stores.

“Beats the hell out of Toys ’R’ Us.” Nate strode into the shop. “Vicki’s three,” he said over his shoulder. “And obviously a girl. What the hell does a three-year-old girl want at Christmas?”

“Pink things.”


“Or unicorns.”

Nate grinned. “Even better.”

Within minutes, amid that glittering and otherworldly plastic chaos, they were laughing and holding hands as they rode an escalator to the third floor, looking for the mass of fluorescent pink that screamed girl toys.

“Always so many shades,” Kyle said, dazed by the sheer volume of merchandise.

“As if you’d know…”

“What does that mean?”

Nate picked up two Hello Kitty purses. “Because knowing magenta from raspberry,” he said, indicating each purse in turn, “would light up the neon sign above your head that says ‘So Very Queer’.”

“That one’s more ruby. Too muted for magenta.”

Nate started laughing. And he couldn’t stop. He sat heavily on the floor, back bowed as he wiped the corners of his eyes. A store attendant gave them an odd look but must’ve considered them harmless because she moved on, appearing both exhausted and bored.

“See, now I have to get this,” Nate said, still catching his breath. “The ruby one. Because I stand corrected.”

They’re so cute! And so wounded! Come along with us and visit London in December. Between that unique, festive atmosphere and the angsty, happy, want-each-other-so-bad lovers, we promise an unforgettable holiday romance.

What the critics are saying: Came Upon a Midnight Clear has been described as “masterful,” (Publisher’s Weekly), “a complex gift,” (Library Journal), and “the perfect piece of erotica: nuanced, complex, dirty, loving, and intimate (RT BookReviews). Not only did the folks at RT make Came Upon a Midnight Clear a 4½ Star Top Pick, they’ve selected it as a Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best Erotic Romance Ebook of 2012—the first gay romance to receive that honor!

For more about Katie Porter, the co-writing team of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown:

Don’t forget about our “Amazing Race to a Kindle” contest, which is going on now. Review Double Down on Amazon for your chance to win a gift certificate or even a Kindle Fire!

In January, Lead and Follow will launch the five-part “Club Devant” series of erotic romances set in a glitzy New York City burlesque club. RT BookReviews gave Lead and Follow 4 Stars and raved, “Fans of erotica will be left breathless as they cha-cha straight into a cold shower.”

Where to find us:

Twitter: @MsKatiePorter

Or individually: @carrielofty and @LorelieBrown


We’d like to give away a copy of CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR in any digital format. Just answer: In what city or town did you spend your most memorable Christmas, and what make it so remarkable?

Open to all. You have until end of day Jan 7 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.

This giveaway is sponsored by: Katie Porter

No purchase necessary to win. You must be 18 or over to enter, void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement, they forfeit their prize(s). Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.


Thanks again to Fiction Vixen for featuring Katie Porter and Came Upon a Midnight Clear!

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  1. kp says

    my most memorable Christmas was spent in Waltham…’s where all my childhood Christmas memories are from and where I shared those traditions with my own children

    • says

      Can’t say I’ve been that far north, but I would love to explore England beyond the sphere of my in-laws families in London. I’ve traveled down the coast toward Penzance, and spent a very chilly, incredible February day in Falmouth of all places. Christmas would’ve been lovely there by the sea. Thanks, kp, for stopping by today!

    • says

      Budapest! How awesome! Can’t say I’ve ever been, but I’ve always wanted to travel Europe. I lived in England for a year and return there often (my hubs of 15 years if English), and I’ve been to Paris once. I’m woefully lacking in the rest of the Continent! Maybe some year. Happy holidays!

  2. Jen B. says

    I think my most memorable was the last time my whole family was together. It was the last time we got our stockings stuffed with great stuff like tape, post it notes and shampoo.

    • says

      Which year was that, Yvette? 2011, 2010, 2009…. *g*

      I’m a Wisconsin girl (at the moment), and before that Indiana and Illinois. My family…we know snow. But don’t talk about the S-word to Lorelie. She’s from Cali and wears coats when it’s 50*! (I tease her about this often)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Trix says

    I’ve never been away from my northern California hometown at Christmas…my family tend to be homebody types, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to celebrate somewhere cold (like Montreal) or hot (like Hawaii).

  4. Urb says

    I spent a memorable Christmas season in Chicago. The Marshall Fields’ (RIP) windows were enchanting, and the Loop area decorated with real evergreen garlands and red velvet bows. Beautiful!

  5. says

    I was in the north of Mexico, and it was so much fun! There wasn’t any snow, but I was thrilled to be with my family so it more than made up for it!

  6. Juliana says

    I spent Christmas in Charleston one year growing up. The whole city is beautiful and historic already. Add in the lights everywhere and the dusting of snow and it was just what I thought Christmas should look like as a kid. Since I live in Florida, Christmas is always very much the same as usual! Some years it gets to be freezing, never snow, but sometimes it will be 70 degrees on the day! Thanks for the contest!
    OceanAkers @

  7. Crissy M says

    The first Christmas I spent in Salt Lake City it was snowing…that was special to me because I’m from the south and we don’t get a lot of snow down south, it’s mostly ice.

  8. Sheila says

    I’m sure there were others but… last Christmas in Colorado was the last time I got to spend the holiday season with my mother. I think it will always remain in my heart.