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Alaska (2013 Advent Calendar - Heartwarming) PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Alaska (2013 Advent Calendar - Heartwarming)
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Published December 1st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 30th 2013)
ISBN: 9781627986038
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar collection Heartwarming. Best friends Scott and Marco meet on a rooftop on Christmas Eve, each temporarily escaping from his difficult home life. With no gift to share, Marco instead promises to someday rescue Scott and take him to Alaska. As the years pass, they meet—first by design, then by chance—on occasional Chri A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar collection Heartwarming. Best friends Scott and Marco meet on a rooftop on Christmas Eve, each temporarily escaping from his difficult home life. With no gift to share, Marco instead promises to someday rescue Scott and take him to Alaska. As the years pass, they meet—first by design, then by chance—on occasional Christmas Eves, only to find life growing increasingly difficult. They treasure the few moments they have together, but will they ever reach Alaska?

30 review for Alaska (2013 Advent Calendar - Heartwarming)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julio Genao

    if you know me, you know i loved this. and you know why. beautiful in the way only broken things can be beautiful. thanks for the gift, vivian.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    4.5 stars Kim Fielding's Alaska is an example of story about true-and-forever-love, that when a person was the one for you, he/she would be in your heart and mind and soul, even if you're being apart for years. Marco and Scott were best friends -- when he was 12-years-old, Marco was given a watch as a Christmas gift by Scott and in return, he made a promise that he would save Scott from his life and they would leave to Alaska. Growing up was difficult. Marco dealt with taking care of his grandmot 4.5 stars Kim Fielding's Alaska is an example of story about true-and-forever-love, that when a person was the one for you, he/she would be in your heart and mind and soul, even if you're being apart for years. Marco and Scott were best friends -- when he was 12-years-old, Marco was given a watch as a Christmas gift by Scott and in return, he made a promise that he would save Scott from his life and they would leave to Alaska. Growing up was difficult. Marco dealt with taking care of his grandmother and two younger sister, working multiple jobs just to get by. Scott was sent from foster home to foster home. Life was not easy and they drifted apart -- at one point, Marco discovered that Scott was living as homeless guy -- but that red thread of forever love was strong between them. For a short story, this one packs a punch and hauntingly beautiful. Each short chapter gave you a glimpse about what happened to Marco (each chapter was 5-years apart). You knew that it was struggling years. You desperately wished that the next chapter would give something better for Marco. The lack of information about what happened to Scott also made it more achingly lovely, because you wonder how life treated Scott. As a reader, you could put yourself in Marco's shoes -- tired with his job, with his lack of social life, and still thinking about his best friend, praying that he would be okay. Then when Scott came to Marco's life 20 years later (after that promise on the rooftop), telling Marco that it was the thought of him who saved Scott all these years, who made Scott wanted to be a better man, a worthy man for Marco, well, that was when my tears started to fall. I wanted to hug these two men, and giving them all my best wishes that from now on, they would be happy, in love and in life. What an almost flawless little story (my only complained was I wish Scott gave Marco that first kiss, because it would be perfect!) and I already knew that it would be one of my holiday favorites this year. Thank you for this little gem, Kim.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Kim Fielding’s writing fits right into my reading world. Her simple, pure, honest words always seem to cut right through to the heart and pain of the matter. She can express a mood and break my heart in so few words. Like this line—“He was tired and blank and empty.” Stark words that cut into me. That said….Alaska disappointed me a bit. It could be all me though. I am not a big fan of several jumps in time in a short story. The technique pulls me out of the action. My head tries to figure out wha Kim Fielding’s writing fits right into my reading world. Her simple, pure, honest words always seem to cut right through to the heart and pain of the matter. She can express a mood and break my heart in so few words. Like this line—“He was tired and blank and empty.” Stark words that cut into me. That said….Alaska disappointed me a bit. It could be all me though. I am not a big fan of several jumps in time in a short story. The technique pulls me out of the action. My head tries to figure out what happened over the time they were apart, how old they are now and other details that changed over time. I lose a lot of the story’s power and magic. My heart ached for Marco, but the snippets of time left too many emotional holes for me. I just felt sad and lonely through most of the story. And I tell ya! I wanted to smack Marco’s sisters upside the head! (view spoiler)[ I longed for at least some kind of thank you from them—something! Ugh. But I also know that’s life and love with family. We give and give. But he gave SO much! Not even a thank you? Really?! (hide spoiler)] The ending was sweet, but I couldn’t help shedding a few tears of sadness. I can tell Fielding wanted to send a hopeful message, but I could still feel so much of Marco’s loneliness and struggle. Maybe if the story was longer or held just one more leap in time to the….(view spoiler)[ Alaska loving. :D (hide spoiler)] —my heart would have had more time to recover. This little holiday read was more on the teary sad side of the cheer scale. But a tale that will remind readers that love can survive, sustain, and propel us through such cold, hard times.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Well this one definitely does *not* belong on my "light 'n fluffy" shelf. That was a heartbreaking story. Poor Marco. So busy taking care of his family that he barely takes care of himself. Poor Scott. A foster care runaway living a life full of addiction on the streets. They get their HEA, but not until the last 1% of the book, so make sure you have some Kleenex handy for the other 99%.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Reading this short story was like getting kicked in the chest by a mule over and over and over again. It follows Marco and Scott through twenty years of friendship and heartache and had me crying uncontrollably almost the whole time. I'm not sure that I'd classify it as "heartwarming" (although we do get a sweet HEA at the end of the story), but it was well-written and absolutely chock-full of emotion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Okay, I was not ready for that one. Felt like being dragged by the ankles over gravel. It only feels good when it stops. Good story with a heartwarming ending, but you pay up front people--there's no free lunch. And trust me when I say that not freezing to death in the snow surrounded by burnt out matches is the only thing which makes this better than the The Little Match Girl. If you like a protagonist that is torn about and made to suffer--you'll love this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    Another little cracker of a Christmas novella. Tissues are required, 4.5 stars and ♥♥♥♥♥ from me. This is the very heartwarming and beautiful story of Marco and Scott, friends since forever. The story starts when they are just entering their teens. Marco is looking after his 2 younger sisters and their gran who appears to be in the early stages of Alzheimers but they are not reporting it to anyone because they don't want the family to be split up. He's very bright, but is having to work after sc Another little cracker of a Christmas novella. Tissues are required, 4.5 stars and ♥♥♥♥♥ from me. This is the very heartwarming and beautiful story of Marco and Scott, friends since forever. The story starts when they are just entering their teens. Marco is looking after his 2 younger sisters and their gran who appears to be in the early stages of Alzheimers but they are not reporting it to anyone because they don't want the family to be split up. He's very bright, but is having to work after school in order to keep the family going, scrimping and saving and making do himself in order to get a little Xmas present for each of his sisters and some special blend of tea for his gran. Scott on the other hand is living in a foster home and it seems that both boys only have each other to rely on, but Scott knows that Marco is brave and courageous enough to look after them both and will eventually keep his promise and take them to Alaska. They lie under the stars on the roof of the building, and Scott gives Marco a cheap watch which he is thrilled to bits with, Marco doesn't have anything for Scott but Scott is content with that future promise. Time marches on, the boys get older, Scott is forced to leave the foster home and the area but he returns one Christmas to give Marco another present, the boys part company and time marches on again, unbearably and inexorably. I was sniffling throughout this story, and did actually weep tears of happiness at the end, which I guess tells you that there is a happy ending BUT not before painful things have happened and so much wasted time has passed. A story which tries to show that a forever kind of love does actually exist. Absolutely wonderful and highly recommended for the weepies amongst us.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heather C

    I mistakenly read this thinking it was possibly set in Alaska. Umm...it wasn't and it was very depressing and I didn't find it "heartwarming" since the ending was too unrealistic. :(

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandi ♥'s way too many M/M books

    I was NOT ready for this. I thought I was getting light. I got tears. A shitload of those I cried thru 70% of this book. Marco taking care of his family so they weren't taken away from one another. Scott a runaway lost and just about broken. They do find there way but the road was never easy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Camille Adams

    ...and I'm crying!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Marco and Scott have been friends since they were young. They share a tragic commonality: they're poor and struggling, trying to find their way in a world where the odds are woefully stacked against them. Over a period of 20 years, they meet on Christmas and share warmth and dreams and promises. It's 45 pages, guys. How is it possible that 45 short pages can paint such a complete and thorough picture of deprivation and poverty and heartbreak? I can't explain it, but it happened here, and it was Marco and Scott have been friends since they were young. They share a tragic commonality: they're poor and struggling, trying to find their way in a world where the odds are woefully stacked against them. Over a period of 20 years, they meet on Christmas and share warmth and dreams and promises. It's 45 pages, guys. How is it possible that 45 short pages can paint such a complete and thorough picture of deprivation and poverty and heartbreak? I can't explain it, but it happened here, and it was perfect. "It's because of you, Marco. Don't get me wrong--I've had to struggle to get here. But if it wasn't for you, I'd have never made the effort. You made me want to try. See? You rescued me." Listen, today, right now, I've discovered something about the type of person I am when it comes to books. I'm the damsel in distress. I want to be rescued and loved and cuddled and swept off my feet. That's what reading Kim Fielding does to me. She's the knight-in-shining-armor to my princess-trapped-in-the-tower. I throw my hands in the air! I'm done, Kim Fielding! Your words kill me, lady! Your brain is too fabulous for me! I'm in! I'm a card-carrying member of your fan club! SMH.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    No steam; YA moving into adulthood; HFN; quick read. I didn't fully connect with the MCs (because this was a short story, we get only snippets of Scott and Marco's lives), so even though this was angsty and sad, I never cried. There just wasn't enough here...about either MC or their relationship. And the ending was so tentative and abrupt, I can only bill it as a HFN. It's still Kim Fielding, so the story was well written and sweet in its own way, but it lacked depth. Thanks to my girls for the b No steam; YA moving into adulthood; HFN; quick read. I didn't fully connect with the MCs (because this was a short story, we get only snippets of Scott and Marco's lives), so even though this was angsty and sad, I never cried. There just wasn't enough here...about either MC or their relationship. And the ending was so tentative and abrupt, I can only bill it as a HFN. It's still Kim Fielding, so the story was well written and sweet in its own way, but it lacked depth. Thanks to my girls for the buddy read: Sandi, Mish, Amy, and JenPher.

  13. 4 out of 5

    V

    One word to described this Christmas story : Depressing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    This is an amazing story of boys, then men, who love each other deeply, yet life always seems to interfere and stop them from achieving their dream of being safe and together. The promise Marco makes to save Scott one day, and move them to Alaska, becomes a symbol of what they want in life. Marco seems to be the more stable of the two, but taking care of his grandmother and two younger sisters leaves absolutely no time for himself. He is super responsible, though, and does everything he can to ma This is an amazing story of boys, then men, who love each other deeply, yet life always seems to interfere and stop them from achieving their dream of being safe and together. The promise Marco makes to save Scott one day, and move them to Alaska, becomes a symbol of what they want in life. Marco seems to be the more stable of the two, but taking care of his grandmother and two younger sisters leaves absolutely no time for himself. He is super responsible, though, and does everything he can to make their lives bearable, to give them a future. There is simply nothing left for him. The only things he really treasures are his memories of Scott, the watch Scott gave him as a Christmas gift when they were twelve, and a notebook filled with Scott's drawings he got when they were seventeen. Scott drifts through foster home after foster home and the total lack of stability almost destroys him. We don't find out any details of what happens to him during the long years when he doesn't manage to see Marco for Christmas but based on what he looks like and what he says it isn't pretty. His only stable point in life is Marco and, in the end, that is what saves them both. This is a hauntingly beautiful love story that made me cry after the first few pages - and the tears didn't let up until the last few. I felt Marco and Scott's pain, and have no idea how they survived their lives. But the message of love and hope comes through loud and clear at the end, and it made me smile. If you're looking for a read that will pull you in as it turns from heartbreaking to heartwarming, then you will like this short story as much as I did. NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabetta

    Well, this sure tugged at my heart. Two good friends, young boys living in the fringes, support each other through hard and harder times. Scott is a foster kid with an alcoholic mom. Marco struggles to keep himself and two sisters out of foster care by putting up a good front-- he works after school to feed and clothe his siblings and invalid granny. The story is told in five year increments over the span of twenty years starting when the boys are twelve and thirteen years old, and ending with t Well, this sure tugged at my heart. Two good friends, young boys living in the fringes, support each other through hard and harder times. Scott is a foster kid with an alcoholic mom. Marco struggles to keep himself and two sisters out of foster care by putting up a good front-- he works after school to feed and clothe his siblings and invalid granny. The story is told in five year increments over the span of twenty years starting when the boys are twelve and thirteen years old, and ending with them in their mid-thirties. As kids, they meet each Christmas eve on Marco’s roof to share some quiet moments and dreams of a better future. Marco has no gift to exchange with Scott but promises him ‘rescuing’, he’ll take him away from it all someday, they’ll both go to Alaska. Why Alaska, isn’t clear but it’s far, far away from all their troubles. We watch as the years test the guys together and apart through some very tough and lonely times. The author does a good job of engaging our empathy without becoming overly sentimental or preachy. This is a tougher one to read especially for the holidays but it’s always good to be reminded that there are others much worse off than yourself -- keeps things in perspective. And that the power of love can see you through most anything. Alaska is part of DSP’s 2013 Advent Calendar - Heartwarming. For this review and much more:

  16. 4 out of 5

    ♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣

    My heartstrings definitely got tugged and twisted thanks to this little tale. It's not easy to build history and emotion in a short story but that's what I got here, something to hold onto and ride with the characters. There were a couple of things that bothered me but that's how it goes. This felt a little dated in attitude somehow. Ah well. The undying connection we're all sometimes lucky to have with someone, it's rather lovingly and sweetly done here. No matter how much time passes or stuff fl My heartstrings definitely got tugged and twisted thanks to this little tale. It's not easy to build history and emotion in a short story but that's what I got here, something to hold onto and ride with the characters. There were a couple of things that bothered me but that's how it goes. This felt a little dated in attitude somehow. Ah well. The undying connection we're all sometimes lucky to have with someone, it's rather lovingly and sweetly done here. No matter how much time passes or stuff flows under that bridge of time, there's never a doubt when it comes to them and the love and acceptance they share. The ending doesn't quite overcome the melancholy feel of this one but I welcomed and was grateful for it. Marco and Scott deserve to go home together.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Damn, that one kind of hurt. Extremely well done sad story that, thank gaaaawd ended with a HEA. Great, and unfortunately realistic. MC's Scott and Marco are basically lost boys who get run through the wringer of their home lives and this story covers the years from pre-teen first love to adulthood. The author did a great job of keeping these characters real and as sad as their situations were, they never came across as pathetic or hopeless. Their situations weren't oversold in the writing and i Damn, that one kind of hurt. Extremely well done sad story that, thank gaaaawd ended with a HEA. Great, and unfortunately realistic. MC's Scott and Marco are basically lost boys who get run through the wringer of their home lives and this story covers the years from pre-teen first love to adulthood. The author did a great job of keeping these characters real and as sad as their situations were, they never came across as pathetic or hopeless. Their situations weren't oversold in the writing and it made the story that much better.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer☠Pher☠

    Buddy read with my - Amy, Dani, Mish and Sandi. Um, that was just so freaking sad.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Harrington

    This was sad... Not that sad is a bad thing. But this was a really emotional story. Not exactly the greatest HEA in the world. But I am glad the two MC's had a happy ending after all the struggling and torment over the years.

  20. 5 out of 5

    John The Cosmic Wanderer

    Wonderful! You're a star Kim Fielding!

  21. 4 out of 5

    LiveYourLife BuyTheBook

    4.5 Stars A "Live Your Life, Buy The Book" Review Oh, I loved this. It hurt so good! Like those sad love songs that you crank up and sing along to even though it makes you get the “feels”. I think the only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars was I wanted more. To know where the hell Scott runs off to. To know what he went through and how he longed for Marco. There is some serious potential for expanding this story and I hope she does. I’m scared to learn the details but I can’t help but want to know. 4.5 Stars A "Live Your Life, Buy The Book" Review Oh, I loved this. It hurt so good! Like those sad love songs that you crank up and sing along to even though it makes you get the “feels”. I think the only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars was I wanted more. To know where the hell Scott runs off to. To know what he went through and how he longed for Marco. There is some serious potential for expanding this story and I hope she does. I’m scared to learn the details but I can’t help but want to know. It helps that everything works out in the end. This one set the romantic in me into full on dreamy mode. I loved the book as it is but can’t help thinking just how amazing it would have been to bounce back and forth between those years apart. AND their meet ups on Christmas. OMG! Even when it was years since they’d last seen each other the connection was so evident and palpable. I also would have loved to see Marco through Scott’s eyes. I bet that would be intense! They really did love each other for all those years but life got in the way. It’s kind of bittersweet in that they found the love of their lives at a very early age but that just wasn’t enough. Great read.. Maybe not your warm and fuzzy holiday read but I highly recommend it. It gave me a mini book high.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lelyana

    Someday Marco would find a way to rescue Scott, and then Scott could be his soft, good self—his real self—all the time, and they would live happily ever after, just like the people in the fairy tales Marco’s sisters made him read at bedtime. THIS BOOK ! DAMN, DAMN, DAMN. SO BEAUTIFUL. READ IT !

  23. 5 out of 5

    Idamus

    If this had been longer I think it would have worked better for me, but I never got attached to the MCs or invested in the plot

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth

    This is quite the melancholy read, bittersweet even. I really wanted to thump the main characters sisters, talk about selfish asshats!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kendra T

    Damn. This one made me tear up. Marco and Scott. Lots of years, lots of things to keep them apart, and lots of misery in their lives. It was hard to see all of the strife they have had to live through, but it was great to see that perhaps things can work out the way they are supposed to. Very sweet to see Scott be able to pull his life together and to see Marco finally do something for himself.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Sometimes the promises you make to those you love are the most important thing in your world. Marco promises Scott that someday he's going to rescue him and they'll leave California and head off to Alaska and live happily ever after. Marco was twelve. Five years later, Scott appears on Christmas Eve and wants Marco to go away with him. Scott is eighteen now and out from under Child Protective Services and the endless foster homes. But Marco can't go with him. He takes care of his grams and his t Sometimes the promises you make to those you love are the most important thing in your world. Marco promises Scott that someday he's going to rescue him and they'll leave California and head off to Alaska and live happily ever after. Marco was twelve. Five years later, Scott appears on Christmas Eve and wants Marco to go away with him. Scott is eighteen now and out from under Child Protective Services and the endless foster homes. But Marco can't go with him. He takes care of his grams and his two younger sisters, something he's done most of his life. Marco goes to school and works thirty hours a week plus all the cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, helping with homework, and watching out for his sisters. Five years later and Marco is twenty-two and living in Portland, Oregon now. Once again it's Christmas Eve and he's heading home from one of his jobs, of which he has three. Seeing a homeless man bundled up against the rain, Marco stops to give him his own soup dinner and is stunned to discover the homeless man is Scott. Marco takes him home, feeds him, gives him a place to shower, and washes his clothes, but they don't talk about what's happened in the last five years. Marco doesn't know why Scott lives on the streets and has a risky lifestyle. Marco only knows he'd still like to rescue him. Five years later and Marco is alone. His sisters have good lives and he still works hard. He has still never had the time to go to college or to have a boyfriend. Marco used to spend his Christmas alone wondering if Scott is alive or dead. And, now it's the current year, and Marco's two-year relationship has ended and he's thinking it's time to move on. Then his doorbell rings. A really, really emotionally moving story of hope, joy, friendship, love, promises made and promises kept. In one form or another. This story definitely reminded me what the holidays are truly all about. NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Riina Y.T.

    Wow, that one really did hurt. It was so beautifully written, I couldn't put it down even though each chapter just made me feel worse. It's a wonderful story, just a notch too sad really. Heartbreaking. Personally I find this kind of stories the worst to deal with, because years without the person you'd really need, really want to spend time with feels like the worst of all things. And not knowing whether they're safe, alive... God and how irritating when they're too pride to ask for help and ju Wow, that one really did hurt. It was so beautifully written, I couldn't put it down even though each chapter just made me feel worse. It's a wonderful story, just a notch too sad really. Heartbreaking. Personally I find this kind of stories the worst to deal with, because years without the person you'd really need, really want to spend time with feels like the worst of all things. And not knowing whether they're safe, alive... God and how irritating when they're too pride to ask for help and just disappear! Anyways, this was 100% beautiful and heartbreaking and I might read it again. very likely so. Because I like to torture myself ...

  28. 4 out of 5

    The Novel Approach Reviews

    Kim Fielding has written characters that, in such a short story, I fell completely in love with. These boys tried so hard to find just a few moments of happiness in their lives. It seemed the only way they were truly able to be happy was with each other. See the entire review at The Novel Approach: http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/20...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    4.5 stars - That was just... I have no words... Just heartbreaking and yet hopeful. I know that they are very much still strangers at the end, making this more of a HFN than the HEA it claims, but the hope presented made me cry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julesmarie

    This was a rough one to read. While it does eventually end happily (given it's part of the DSP advent calendar, hopefully that doesn't count as a spoiler...) the road to get there is rough and heartbreaking and not something I'll likely put myself through again in a christmas story.

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