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Excerpt Thursday! Better with Sprinkles

Normally I'm woefully late in finding my Holiday Spirit, but I'm excited to share an excerpt from Better with Sprinkles, one of two releases I have in this year's Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar.

Better with Sprinkles:Better with Sprinkles: College student Tom Molina isn’t too interested when his roommate Derek tries to convince him to leave his books and help out with the campus LGBTA Center’s annual Christmas cookie sale. But Derek has an ace in the hole to score the center Tom’s grandmother's sugar cookie recipe: fellow volunteer Jeanette’s cousin just happens to be the organic chemistry T.A. Tom’s been dreaming about. Now Tom just has to hope Isaac is as interested in baking cookies as he is in chemistry and HIV awareness.



Excerpt:

“Help me, oh great roommate. You’re my only hope.”

Tom grunted, eyes flying open as Derek’s full weight fell across his legs, trapping them against the couch and knocking his textbook onto the floor. He had been so wrapped up in his crisis, he hadn’t noticed Derek’s key in the front door.

“What the hell?” Tom swallowed, suddenly doubting the wisdom of revisiting last night’s three-meat special for breakfast. “Get off me before I vomit.”

“Promise you’ll help me, first.” Derek wrapped his arms tighter around Tom’s legs and the cushion beneath.

“I’m serious,” Tom said. “I swear I’m going to hurl.”

“So am I.” Derek buried his head between Tom’s knees, leaving the stubby, blond ponytail at the back of his neck exposed. “Do your worst. This is bigger than puke.”

Tom pushed at Derek’s heavy bulk. He might be short, but the guy was built like a fireplug. Well, at least the wave of nausea had thankfully receded.

“Man, I have two words for you: Organic Chemistry and Professor McCafferty.”

“That’s five words.” Tom had to strain to hear Derek’s voice muffled against his thigh.

“No, that’s two words used twice and a joiner word thingy.” Tom nudged Derek with his knee. “And get your face out from between my legs.”

“Joiner word thingy?” Apparently realizing the danger had past, Derek dared to raise his head. “Besides, I’m the best thing you’ve had between your legs in months, if not the only.”

Tom shrugged off his roommate’s mocking. It was hard to take Derek seriously. His face was all red and sweaty and escaping chunks of blond hair helped him resemble a deranged cherub. So what if Tom’s tired and overworked brain refused to spit out the correct grammatical term. He wasn’t an English major. Or had a lot of time to spend dating. He had plans.

“Whatever. My entire future is riding on this test.” He wiggled his legs in another effort to free himself. “So you go back to doing whatever you were doing, and let me keep studying.”

The two men stared at each other. Brown eyes and blue met across the distance in a silent battle of wills.

“Alone,” Tom emphasized when Derek showed no signs of obeying.

“I will. But, first, you know how to make Christmas cookies, right?” Derek shoved Tom’s legs out of the way and took their place on the couch. “I remember those ones you made when you were dating that one guy.”

“What one guy?” Exasperated, Tom ran his hand through his hair before he reached for his glasses.

“You know, the cookie-eater guy?”

Oh yeah, Mike. Tom’s brain automatically filled in the details of the redhead who went along with the name. Nice butt in the plus column, but an overdone tribal tattoo and his distinct lack of bicep definition in the minus. They had dated for a couple of months last semester, and Tom would now confess to making a batch or two of his grandmother’s special sugar cookies to aid his efforts to get into Mike’s pants. Unfortunately, Mike turned out to be too unfocused for Tom’s tastes.

Tom wondered if being able to actually understand Derek’s convoluted thought process was a sign he really did have a tumor pressing on his brain and causing his migraines. No wonder he couldn’t make any sense of the last three chapters. Right. Chapters. Test. Studying. Tom stood up slowly, surprised to find his headache had fled in the face of the disaster that was Derek. “Fine. I’ll go to the library. You can have the apartment.”

“You can’t,” Derek said. “I need you and your mad, cookie-making skills.”

Tom pushed aside Derek’s coat, and picked up his favorite wool scarf discarded just as carelessly. “Did I say you could borrow this? I think I would remember if I told you it was okay to borrow this.”

He poked through the mess of footwear kicked to the side of the front door for his boots. Only two of them lived there, where did they get so many shoes? “I need to study.”

“And I need to get into Jeanette Carlson’s pants. It’s vital. Otherwise, I don’t know, something’s going to fall off. Which would totally suck and be all your fault.”

“Derek, I love you, man. I do. But nobody believes that crap.” Giving up the search for his boots, Tom shoved his feet into a pair of tennis shoes he thought were his, and walked over to the kitchen table for his wallet and keys. He put off grabbing his backpack and books from the floor, unwilling to move back within Derek’s reach.

“You did when Jimmy Francisco told you that’s what would happen if you didn’t blow him.” Derek folded his arms across his chest and stared at Tom.

“I was thirteen. So was he.”

“You still owe me for saving your ass. We’re talking teen-geek abuse or something. You would have been scarred for life.”

“Fine. My delicate psyche thanks you.” Tom glared at his friend. “Now will you please let me live down yet another embarrassing life moment and allow me to study?”

“And how about in high school? I played lookout so you and what’s-his-name the football player could make out in the locker room?”

Tom pulled out one of the chairs at the kitchen table and sat down, facing his friend with a deep exhalation. “Why do I live with you when all you do is bring up my sordid, sexual history every time you want something?”

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=62_359. This story is part of the Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar for 2010. While this, and the other stories are available for individual sale as of December 1st, there is still time to purchase the entire set for the discounted price of $49.99.


Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
egret17
Nov. 19th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to the stories! Hopefully I won't end up feeling too overwhelmed.... :)
chrissymunder
Nov. 19th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
LOL - I hear you, 30 stories is a lot of reading! Last set I bought I spread my reading out over the year.
egret17
Nov. 19th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
I'm still slogging through the Doctors Without Borders Healing Hearts Sips from Torquere from a few months ago...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )