Friday, November 30, 2012

Lucky, my Christmas novella, has been released!

Woohoo!  Check out my newly released ebook!  It’s a holiday-themed contemporary m/m romance.

Lucky   $3.99
By Ana Bosch
Ever since Martel Heller rolled his first dreadlock, his love life has been blessed. For seven years he’s had the luxury of cherry-picking the hottest men available. But when the dress code at his new job forces him to hack off his lucky locks, his good fortune comes to an end.

To make matters worse, if Martel shows up at the company Christmas party alone, his creepy coworker Phil will know he’s single. As a last resort, Martel enlists his best friend, Felix, a fashion photographer, to hook him up with a model. Then plans fall through, and Martel ends up stuck at the Christmas party with the last person he expects—but as the hours pass, he wonders if he's finally learned what it means to be lucky.

Buy the ebook now from Dreamspinner Press!
(Also available from Amazon, B&N, etc.)

Read on for an excerpt.

After Martel's hairdresser slips up with the razor, Martel calls his best friend Felix to bring him a hat...


MARTEL endured twenty minutes of freezing air against the back of his head before Felix’s ridiculous lime green Smart Car finally zoomed around the corner and slid into a tight parking spot on the side of the street. Felix climbed out of the car, his tangle of crazy dark-brown curls coming into view from atop the vehicle’s roof. Felix’s straggly hair reminded Martel of an illustration of a haunted forest from a book of fairytales he’d had as a child. The strands of curls stuck out in all directions just like the twisting, reaching branches of the forest’s bare trees. If Felix had been the one at the end of Gaspard’s nefarious razor instead of Martel, he likely would have just shrugged and carried on. But Felix’s hair wasn’t magic. Martel had known him since they were in neighboring college dorms, and in the seven years since then, Felix hadn’t had a single date.

Felix jogged around the front of the car toward him. As usual, he wore a scruffy coat over an even scruffier long-sleeved shirt and jeans. For a fashion photographer, he put surprisingly little effort into his personal clothing choices.

“You did it!” he cried when he reached Martel’s side. “You cut it all off! I can’t believe it.”

“Yeah, well….”

“When you said to meet you at the salon and bring a hat, I was expecting the worst. But man, Martel, you look frickin’ hot.”

Without a word, Martel pointed a finger to the back of his head. Felix peered around him, lips pursed curiously. After a moment’s glance, he suddenly let out an uncontrolled cackle, accompanied by a hearty snort.

“It’s not funny, Felix.”

Felix fell back against the side of his car, holding his stomach and shaking with silent gasps of laughter. Martel wanted to throw a shoe at him.

Felix, apparently, was oblivious to his anger. “My God, it’s like the Oregon Trail back there!” he heaved.

“Shut up.”

“I can almost see a covered wagon full of people with dysentery on the back of your head.”

“I’m gonna strangle you, Felix.”

When Felix still didn’t stop laughing, Martel wrestled him against the side of his car and jokingly shook him by the neck until he promised to shut up. But even after Martel withdrew and gave him a half-playful swat to the side of the head, Felix still needed another moment to quell his chuckles.

Felix handed over the knitted cap he’d brought from his studio, which Martel quickly pulled over his wrecked hair. While he adjusted it, Felix gazed up at him. “So is that your solution? You’re going to wear a hat for the next six months?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.”

“Why don’t you shave it all off?”

“I’d look horrible bald. I have a bumpy head.”

“I bet you’d look fine.”

“You just have low standards.” He adjusted his hat again and peered at his reflection in the window of the Smart Car. “This is bad, Felix. I’m now officially screwed.”

“Is it really that big a deal? It’ll grow back in no time. Why are you screwed?”

“Because I need a date to the Christmas party at work next weekend, and no one is going to say yes to me when I have a bald stripe going up the back of my head.” He folded his arms over his chest. “I picked the world’s shittiest time to cut off my lucky dreads.”

“That’s what you called them? Your lucky dreads? I always called it your whore hair.” Martel gave him another shove, but Felix brushed him off. “Why are you so desperate for a date to an office party anyway? Can’t you go alone?”

“Remember that guy I told you about? Phil Stein?”

“Is he that sleazy fifty-year-old guy who keeps hitting on you at work? The one who calls you ‘Sweet Caramel’?”

Martel cringed. “He’s a little younger than that, but yeah, that’s him. He’s disgusting. He cornered me at the copying machine yesterday and asked if I’d go out with him this weekend. I said I was busy, but then he kept coming up with alternate dates, so finally I told him I’d just started seeing someone else. I don’t think he believed me. He said I should bring my guy to the Christmas party. I was planning to go alone, but now if I show up without a guest, he’s going to know I was lying. He’s really good friends with my boss. They’ve known each other since high school. And he’s a senior marketer, so technically he has some authority over me. I really need to stay on this guy’s good side.”

“I think you need to report him to HR.”

“Yeah, sure,” Martel laughed. “I bet that would go over really well.” He shook his head. “I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. I can handle it myself. No, the best way to solve this problem is to just find someone to take to the party. Maybe then he’ll back off. ”

“You don’t think it’d be a little weird to take someone to an office party for your first date?”

“Come on, Felix. Any guy I ask is going to know that the real party starts after the office party is over.”

Felix rolled his eyes, but he said nothing. Instead, he shoved his hands deep into his pockets and bounced on the balls of his feet while staring longingly at the coffee house on the opposite side of the street. “Let’s go get something to drink. I’m freezing my ass off, and besides, I need a caffeine boost to get through the rest of my work.”

They headed across the street together and stepped into the pleasantly heated coffee house. Martel barely made it two steps into the building before his gaze locked onto one of the baristas behind the distant counter.

Felix tugged impatiently on his arm. “What are you waiting for? Get out of the doorway.”

Martel pulled him back. Lowering his voice, he asked, “Have you seen that guy here before?”


Martel pointed. The man was similar in stature to Martel himself: a bit over six feet tall, with broad shoulders, well-muscled arms, and sturdy legs. He had slick black hair and a heavy five o’clock shadow. Felix followed the direction of Martel’s finger and then let out a knowing laugh. “Why am I not surprised? He’s just your type, isn’t he?”

“Do you think he’s new? He has to be. If I’d ever seen him before, I’d have already gotten his number.”

“Looks new to me.” Felix got in line behind a young red-haired woman. “Have you figured out your pickup line yet?”

Martel frowned. He felt unusually hesitant, and he wondered if it was because of his lack of lucky dreads. He examined the barista, whose eyes looked a little glazed and watery. “I want to ask him out, but… does he look a little under the weather to you?”

Felix looked at the barista and then nodded. “Yeah. They probably should have sent him home. He doesn’t look like he should be preparing people’s food.” He shrugged. “But hey, if he’s all hopped up on cold medication, he probably won’t even notice your big gaping bald spot.”

Again, Martel self-consciously adjusted his hat. “He’d be recovered by the time of the party. He’d notice it then.”

“See, this is why you should date short guys like me. If you wear a high enough collar, they won’t even be able to see above it.”

“They could still see it. And besides, I don’t like short guys.”

Felix rolled his eyes again and turned away. He reached the front of the line and ordered a hazelnut latte. Behind him, Martel asked for a cappuccino. As they headed across the room to the pickup counter, Martel pointed. “Hot guy is making my drink. Score.”

“Let me know if it’s still a ‘score’ after you test positive for TB.”

A female barista called, “Hazelnut latte,” and Felix reached over the counter to retrieve his drink. He took a sip and sighed. “I haven’t had good coffee in weeks, and this is the best hazelnut latte ever.” He held his cup up to Martel’s lips. “Try it.”

Martel set his hand over Felix’s and was about to take a sip when a male voice called, “No foam cappuccino,” from across the counter. Quickly, Martel pushed Felix’s cup aside and squared his shoulders. “I’m going to do it. When he hands me my drink, I’ll unleash my magic on him.”

“‘Unleash your magic’? Really?”

“You’ll see.” Martel straightened out his coat collar and again adjusted his hat. “Watch me.”

The barista held Martel’s drink in one hand and reached for a plastic lid with the other. But before covering the cup, he fell still and sucked in a breath. His face contorted—nostrils flared, lips drawn back—and then he let loose a wave of rattling, phlegm-laced coughs in a downward direction toward the top of the exposed cup.

He paused, then followed up with a second round of wet coughs. Then he briefly looked back and forth between the cup and the lid, covered the cup with the lid, and handed it to Martel as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Martel looked down at the cup, an unconscious grimace on his face. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Felix begin to quiver. “Don’t you dare laugh,” he muttered under his breath.

He tossed the cup in the trash on the way out.

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