Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to the lovely and talented Matt Burlingame, whose wonderful new M/M romance Catch a Falling Star is now available from Amazon and other purveyors of romance. And now, here’s Matt!
A therapist once told Martin Stevens that being gay was the only thing that saved him from being the most boring man alive. He spends his daytime working a dead-end job and his nights still pining after the ex-fiance who left him five years ago. When his older brother Daniel takes him to see a touring musical, a mishap sends superstar performer Alec Jameson flying off the stage right into Martin’s lap. It’s love at first sight.
But can that love withstand the scrutiny of the press, a shock-jock radio personality bent on causing trouble, and the return of Martin’s overbearing ex-fiance?
Everything about Martin Stevens was average. He lived in an average town in an average house and worked an average job. He was an average height, average weight and wore average clothes. The only thing about him that wasn’t average was that he was gay, which his former psychiatrist once told him saved him from being the most boring man on the planet.
On the day Martin turned 33 years old, his coworkers—none of whom really knew him—gave him a card with his name misspelled. His mother left her annual voice message complaining about his “lifestyle choice” before handing the phone to his dad who told him what a disappointment he had turned out to be.
The only glimmer of hope to bring a smile to Martin’s usually complacent face was his older brother Daniel who was taking him out that night.
When his brother arrived, he gave Martin a card with a nude man on the front making a joke about blowing out his birthday candle, and a bottle of aged whiskey. Since they were taking a cab to get around, Daniel demanded they have a few shots before heading out—a destination he was still keeping a secret.
The two brothers had always been close. Daniel was the first person Martin had come out to, and had always supported and protected him—even from their own father who had once threatened to “beat the gay outta him if need be.”
“So you get anything fun for your birthday?”
Martin shrugged and held up Daniel’s card and the one from his work.
Martin pointed to himself and gave a fake smile, then dropped the card into the trash bin.
“That’s it? What about your friends?”
“I don’t have any friends.”
Daniel swallowed his second shot and shook his head. “There’s gotta be someone you hang out with.”
Martin scoffed. “Just Jack and Karen.”
Daniel chuckled. “Ah, little bro … what happened to you? You used to have a lot of friends. What about that girl you were friends with in school? Tracy?”
“Stacey. Haven’t seen her in years.”
“And all the people who came to those parties you and Derrick had when you were together?”
“But you always had people from school coming over.”
Martin took a shot, held it while giving his brother a sideways look, then swallowed hard. “That was the yearbook committee and they only came over because they had crushes on you. Once you graduated, I was kicked off. You were voted most popular. I was the one voted most likely to die alone and be eaten by his cats.”
Daniel couldn’t stop himself from laughing. “You were not!”
“I was! That’s why I have fish. Face it, my life has not exactly been a success story.”
“But you have a steady job, a nice house… fish. You should find a good guy and—”
Martin interrupted, “Adopt some kids, get a divorce, go to a support group.” He rolled his eyes.
“Okay, okay.” Daniel poured them a third shot. “One more before we go.” He raised his shot glass. “Here’s to my little bro on his birthday. May he meet the man of his dreams and have a long and happy life together.”
“Cold day in hell, Dan,” Martin said as their glasses clinked together.
Daniel’s phone beeped. “Ride’s here.”
“You never said where we were going.”
“Didn’t I? Huh.” Daniel headed toward the door.
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About the Author
Matt Burlingame is an award-winning journalist and playwright, living in Northern California. After 20 years of working for 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 gay cat, and lifelong friend Nephi, he has now immersed himself into the wonderful world of M/M romance.