Dreamspinner Press
December 1, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-64405-039-2

Cover art: Brooke Albrecht
Genre: Contemporary romance

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That Turtle Story

2018 Advent Calendar Anthology

Warmest Wishes

Gus Heather took a deep breath. “Oh—!”

Fucking hell, she was going to sing Dean Martin again.

“Don’t,” I warned from where I was seated at the counter.

Gus looked at me, mouth still open, ready to finish the Christmas jingle. “The—”



Gus. I swear to God.”

She frowned. “Is weather,” she concluded with anticlimactic awkwardness.


Gus—real name Grizela, but she hated it—was our newest volunteer at Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation. She was a retired boat captain who I thought got too much sun in her younger years and was now permanently a little off.

I gave her side-eye until I was certain she wasn’t going to burst into holiday songs again.

I didn’t hold any particular grudge against Dean Martin. He had a pleasant enough voice, and the song was wonderfully romantic. But when the owner of the hospital played exactly two Christmas CDs religiously on repeat for the entirety of December…. Safe to say I’d been “Let It Snow”-ed out the last few weeks.

And really, this was Key West. The weather outside wasn’t frightful (except during hurricane season). A fire would have been anything but delightful. And since I did have many places to go, it’d better not freakin’ snow.


Was I in a mood or what?

“Stupid schmaltzy music,” I said. Like, yeah, stick it to the man!

“Someone’s got a case of the Mondays,” Gus said as she returned to restocking the postcard rack in what served as our welcome center and gift shop.

“Gonna have a case of my foot up your ass soon,” I muttered.



The track changed. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

I snorted. Gay yuletide, sure. I could do that. But merry? My fanny.

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