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Fabulous Friday Reads: The Fortune Cookie

Aaaand it’s December, whee! Let’s kick off this lovely weekend with my good friend Matt Burlingame’s new M/M holiday romance from Dreamspinner Press, The Fortune Cookie. Take it away, Matt!


thefortunecookieThirty-three-year-old technical writer Laurence Hart is a modern-day Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season—and the rest of the year too. He doesn’t like most people, they don’t like him, and he’s happy to keep it that way. Over lunch with his best friend, he receives a fortune cookie promising him true love. The next day, forced to work on a holiday charity committee or lose his job, he meets Nick, a jolly ginger giant who loves all things Christmas. Together they face numerous obstacles to put together a holiday fair to raise money for children in foster care in only four days. While Laurence has to mend his curmudgeonly ways to make the event a success, Nick’s holiday magic might mend Laurence’s heart.

Story Excerpt

Laurence Hart was a man of average height and weight, with short dark hair and bright blue, almond-shaped eyes. He was the type of man people enjoyed being around. He was kind, easygoing, hardworking, and a good listener. He had a handful of close friends, was well liked by his coworkers, and though he was not what some might call traditionally handsome, he had no shortage of potential suitors.

That was the type of man Laurence was… in his twenties. Now, at age thirty-three, Laurence was… well….

“Hi, Larry,” Millie Sparks, the office intern, said as she entered his work cubicle. She reached into the box she was holding, removed a cardboard cutout of a decorated Christmas tree, and pinned it to a small cork message board, just as she had in all the other office cubicles. “Just spreading a little holiday cheer.”

He stopped his work, swiveled his chair to face the Christmas decoration, and in a low, controlled voice said, “My name is Laurence.” He then pulled the tree from the board and fed it through the shredder sitting to the right of his desk. He turned back to his computer and resumed his work without bothering to look up at her expression.

Millie started to say something but found herself being ushered away by Amanda, a very large woman in her late forties who sat in the cubicle to the left of Laurence.

“That’s right, dear,” Amanda said to her. “Lots more trees to hang up.”

“I only have Santas left.”

“Okay, on you go.” She gave Millie a little shove down the aisle before turning to glare at Laurence.

He knew she was there—he could feel it—but he refused to look up.

“You could have at least waited until she was on the next aisle,” Amanda scolded.

He sighed loudly. “It’s bad enough it’s been all over the building since the day after Halloween. I don’t want it in my personal space.”

As much as she wanted to tell him what a jackass he was, she knew it would do no good. He acted the same way every year. She took a look at her watch, saw it was lunchtime, and logged out of her computer.

“All right, Scrooge, I’m heading to the mall for lunch. You coming?”

Laurence logged off, grabbed his jacket, and walked beside Amanda as they made their way out of the building.

Half an hour later they sat in the second-floor food court eating Chinese food and discussing the latest office gossip. While Amanda found herself occasionally humming along with the blaring Christmas music coming from the holiday display just below them on the first floor, Laurence did his best to block it out.

Where to Buy

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

About the Author

Matt Burlingame is an award-winning journalist and playwright, living in Northern California. After 20 years of working for various LGBT newspapers, websites, and even cohosting a late-night radio show, he has retired from his aspirations of being the gay Murphy Brown to pursue his love of fiction writing.

His first book, the self-published dark comedy Sorry Charley, was released in 2012. He has written and cowritten over ten critically acclaimed plays including Recovery Mode, Poughkeepsie Porn Co., Countess Dracula, and the controversial Paperclip Messiah. His plays have been produced nationally, most notably in New York and St. Louis.

He has been a well known LGBT podcaster for over 10 years and produced and cohosted shows focusing on comedy writing, world events, comedy, theater, gay sex education and positive body image. With the support and encouragement of his two very demanding cats, seven fish, and lifelong friend Nephi, he has now immersed himself into the wonderful world of M/M romance.

Fabulous Friday Reads: Donner and Prancer

TGIF! It’s never too early to start getting into the holiday mood, so let’s kick off the weekend with Robin Badillo’s delicious new Romance on the Go Donner and Prancer, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, Robin!


DonnerandPrancer-evernightpublishing-jayAheer2015-smallpreview (1) (1)Noah Donner had it all. Good looks, great job, and a kick-ass gift. As a special breed of shifter, every Christmas Eve he assisted Santa as one of his famous reindeer. A lover of all women, he’s the quintessential playboy. But all that changed within weeks of Christmas, when he found himself drawn to another reindeer shifter, Mira Prancer.

Not exactly sleek reindeer material, full-figured Mira took pride in her gift as a shifter, while not nearly as confident about herself when in human form. Usually a timid wallflower, Mira is surprised to learn she’s Noah’s latest target, and after a drunken night of unexpected passion, they find themselves in a quandary.

Neither can deny the attraction, but Mira will need more than words to trust the sexy Casanova.

Can the two love-struck shifters play nice? Or will this little Reindeer Game require a little Christmas magic?

Story Excerpt

Noah nudged her against the door, closing it behind them.

Mira gasped. His smoldering expression turned her stomach upside down, and heat pooled between her legs. Had he cast a spell, stealing away her ability to escape? Her skin tingled at the thought of giving in to his silent intent.

Noah’s hands found her midsection and needy eyes drank her in as though she were a mug of hot, buttered rum on a cold winter’s night.

I’ve totally lost my mind. “Is this really happening?” Did I say that aloud?

Noah’s eyes gleamed and a mischievous grin spread across his face. “Oh, it’s happening.” He slowly leaned in, and his lips grazed hers, immediately followed by his tongue. Warm swipes plunged deeper with each pass, triggering moisture that dampened her panties.

Mira’s knees buckled and Noah scooped her up into his arms and carried her to the sofa as though she weighed next to nothing.

His kisses grew more passionate. Deeper. Hungrier.

Mira could hardly catch her breath. This was crazy. Insane. “Get the fuck out!”

Noah stopped. A look of confusion and shock flashed in his eyes. “What?”

Mira laughed, covering her mouth as heat rushed to her cheeks. “I’m sorry. That sort of slips out whenever I’m surprised.”

Noah’s brow pinched. “You’re surprised?”

She bit back another laugh and went with an enthusiastic nod instead.

“Why?”

Mira’s head spun and she strained to sit upright. How could she explain this? “Men like you don’t come home with women like me, Noah.”

He shook his head. “Why?”

He sounded like a broken record now.

“Be-because,” she said stammering through her reply. “Look at you.”

Noah rose and stood by the sofa, gazing down at her. “What about me?”

“Uh … well, you’re built like a Greek god and you have a reputation as a …” She searched for the correct words—words that held a little more delicacy than man-whore. “Ladies’ man?”

“Humph.” He rested his hands on his hips. “Ladies’ man, huh?”

“I was being polite.” Mira squirmed.

Noah’s eyebrows arched high. “Is that so?” He folded his arms across his chest. “Why don’t you tell me how you really feel, Mira?”

Bile shot up in the back of her throat as her nervous demeanor morphed into one a little more hostile. “How I really feel?” Dozens of irritating things about the man came to mind. Everything from his obnoxious, too-loud laugh, to the ugly reindeer sweater he wore, to the Christmas party every friggin’ year. “Well … for starters, you brag about your conquests entirely too much.” She’d keep her comments limited to the facts rather than opinions. “You treat women like trophies and well … you seem to have a serious problem with my ass.” The last part flew out of her mouth so fast she had no time to reel it back in.

Where to Buy

Evernight
Amazon
AllRomance eBooks
Bookstrand

About Robin Badillo

Robin Badillo and her pseudonym, Tyler Robbins, is a down to earth mother of four, born and raised in a small Texas town where she still resides with her nearly grown kids and a pack of spoiled dogs.

After years of being a wife and mom, complete with company picnics and fundraisers for the P.T.A., Robin found herself starting over when her husband of fifteen years suddenly passed away. With no particular skills to speak of other than making killer chili con queso, Robin took the advice of friends and family, and followed her heart and passion for writing into the publishing world.

A fan of paranormal and southern romance novels, Robin does her best to offer up a plethora of tasty morsels to satisfy her readers’ appetite. Whether mainstream and/or paranormal erotic romance or Tyler’s LGBT romance line, Robin strives to create characters who are endearing and relatable.

Adversity is Robin’s motivation, which explains why she’s a true believer that grey hair is simply God’s graffiti.

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