3 Stars, Charley Descoteaux, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal, Reviewed by Sadonna, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux

Title: The Pinch of the Game

Author: Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 98 Pages

At a Glance: A really interesting, if slightly confusing, paranormal mystery and love story that read like a combination road trip/hot pursuit/screwball comedy.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Being a witch doesn’t mean one can beat the devil forever.

Jeffrey Overton, unemployed IT professional turned poker player, pushes his luck once too often and runs afoul of the host of an illegal card club. The man sent to escort Jeffrey to a “meeting” about his supernatural winning streak arrives at Jeffrey’s crappy North Portland apartment, lock-picking tools in hand and a charm to block Jeffrey’s magick.

Head muscle for said host, Mike Wells, is a Daisy from Daisyville. He isn’t a witch. What he lacks in magickal talent he makes up for in brawn, so he doesn’t expect the guy he’s after to overpower him. But once Mike renders Jeffrey helpless, he’d rather seduce him than bring him in.

Jeffrey and Michael ditch the “meeting” and end up hunting some of the same people they ran from, trying to get Jeffrey back into his own body. And that’s only part of the adventure. The pair travel halfway across the country on the quietest road trip in history and find missing people, empire-building witches, and maybe even the families they’d both thought lost to them

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Review: This is a different story than the other stories I have read by this author, in that it’s really a paranormal mystery/romance. It’s kind of a combination road trip/one long chase scene/screwball comedy in some ways.

Jeffrey has gotten himself in trouble by using his magic to win at cards. The house does not like this and sends the muscle to bring him in. But, the muscle, Mike, flips all of Jeffrey’s switches, and he’d really rather spend time with Mike than anything else. When they end up on the run together, Jeffrey makes a terrible miscalculation that poses great risk to both himself and Mike.

While on the run and trying to figure out just how to fix the terrible situation they find themselves in, Jeff and Mike end up hiding out temporarily with Mike’s family. There is also the little issue of Jeffrey’s missing mother, more muscle on their tails, and a possible double-cross.

The chase leads halfway across the country, from the home ground of Portland, and draws a bunch of other bad guys (and bad magic) along with them. They aren’t sure who to trust, who is after them, or who is really calling the shots. There are a lot of near misses and some big surprises. Overall, things got a lot more confusing before they became very clear.
I really enjoyed this story, but I wish it had been longer, with additional blanks filled in. The relationship between Mike and Jeffrey is really the heart of the story, and their interaction and dialogue is always energetic. But, at times, I felt like I was missing a couple of chapters here and there. I don’t like a big info dump, but I did feel confused when various characters just “dropped in” to the action, and there wasn’t enough detail for me to figure out what they were doing there, or who they were tied to, or what their part of the game was. It was kind of like walking into a movie 15 minute after it started, where the action that occurs that kicks off the whole movie has taken place and you’ve missed it. I felt like I eventually caught up, but at times the ride wasn’t smooth.

I have enjoyed Charley Descoteaux’s writing in the past, so I welcomed the opportunity to read another longer story. I feel like the author has a unique voice and perspective, and also bases a lot of the stories in my favorite US city, Portland, Oreg0n. Overall, I’d recommend for those who enjoy a good mystery with some romance and magic on the side.

 

 

 

You can buy Pinch of the Game here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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3 Stars, Charley Descoteaux, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Buchanan House by Charley Descoteaux

Title: Buchanan House

Author: Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 157 Pages

At a Glance: 3 stars

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Eric Allen, thirty-three-year-old line cook, moved in with his grandmother, Jewell, after a disastrous coming-out when he was in middle school. She raised him, and he cared for her when she fell ill. When Jewell died, she left everything to Eric—angering his parents and older brother. The inheritance isn’t much, but Eric and his bestie, Nathan, pool their money and buy an abandoned hotel on an isolated stretch of the Central Oregon Coast. The hotel isn’t far from Lincoln City—a town with its own Pride Festival and named for a president—so they christen it Buchanan House after James Buchanan, the “confirmed bachelor” president with the close male friend.

Eric and Nathan need a handyman to help them turn Buchanan House into the gay resort of their dreams. Eric finds Tim Tate in the local listings, and over the months leading to opening weekend, Tim reveals himself as a skilled carpenter with many hidden talents. Eric falls hard for Tim, but before he can see a future with the gorgeous handyman, he has to get over twenty years of being bullied and shamed by his birth family. It would be much easier if Eric’s brother Zach wasn’t trying to grab part of the inheritance or ruin opening weekend.

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Review: Buchanan House begins with Eric attending his Grandmother’s funeral. Jewell took Eric in and essentially raised him after he came out to his parents somewhere in his middle school years. Upon her death, he was to inherit all her assets. and despite some posturing from his family at the gravesite, an old family friend locked up the money for Eric.

Now Nathan, his best friend since childhood, and Eric have invested everything into revitalizing an old camp building on the outskirts of Portland. Leaving behind a grueling job as a cook, Eric can finally be master in his own kitchen while opening up the small hotel to gay couples looking for a quiet retreat. Eric hires a handyman, Tim Tate, who turns out to be just the person Eric needs to break free of a life spent hating himself and questioning his bisexuality.

I must admit that this novel confused me in many ways. First, the story was all from Eric’s point of view, which meant that most of this novel was told to the reader rather than experienced firsthand. Often I found myself rereading passages to connect what I felt were massive jumps in the story line. For instance, there was such angry tension graveside between Eric and his mother, and yet that was the last we saw of her or got much more than a mention of her for the rest of the novel. Yet, Eric’s entire self-loathing and poor self-esteem was based on how he was treated by his family. While his brother Zach had more page time, that too was only peripheral at best, and their one confrontation led to a serious event that was then smoothed away via an apologetic phone call. Little action in the storyline supported the extreme abuse Eric had received from his family in the past, and yet his inner dialogue and thoughts came back again and again to his brother’s bullying and his mother’s indifferent and cold treatment of him. Surely if his mother used the burial as a means to harass Eric about her thoughts on how he didn’t deserve all his Grandmother’s money, there should have been some follow up from her, as well as his brother?

I also really wanted to believe the rather rapid onset of the relationship between Tim, the handyman, and Eric, but it began so awkwardly and slowly. Tim’s personality was written as being so guarded that he really was a bit of a mystery. We were told Ted had a rather strange coming out himself, after an accident that left him in a coma for several days. Later in the novel this is briefly explained, but again, Tim’s past is barely touched upon even though Eric seems to angst over how much experience Tim has had with relationships as opposed to Eric’s limited exposure to the same.

Then, suddenly, they were a couple and Eric finally revealed his biggest fears to Tim. Despite constant reassurance from Tim, Eric continued to doubt the man and could not believe that Tim would settle for what Eric was comfortable offering in the bedroom. Without giving vital plot points away, I can only say that the inner turmoil Eric had was so sad and overwhelming for him. Which, in turn, made the rapid escalation of his and Tim’s relationship a little unbelievable.

In essence, Buchanan House felt underdeveloped and too neatly resolved. There was such potential in the characters this author began to flesh out, but too little attention was paid to anyone other than Eric, and so most of the others remained one-dimensional and flat. Many details about the others were hinted at but never developed. Nathan, Eric’s best friend, was painted as flamboyant, and yet he really seemed to have the potential to be campy and fun. Unfortunately we saw little more than him supporting and soothing Eric, and while there was definitely a potential love interest hinted at for Nathan, little was done to explore it.

Despite the weaknesses in this story, I definitely want to read some other works by this author. I feel she has strong potential for weaving a good story, and that this may not have been an example of her best work. Buchanan House by Charley Descoteaux began so well but seemed to lose its way the further the story progressed.

TNA_Signature_Sammy

 

 

 

You can buy Buchanan House here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Charley Descoteaux

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Buchanan House Blog Tour with Charley Descoteaux

Buchanan House Banner

Please help us welcome author Charley Descoteaux back to The Novel Approach today, as she tours the internet to chat about her new Dreamspinner Press release, Buchanan House. Enjoy Charley’s guest post, then be sure to leave a comment right here for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

See details below, and good luck!

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A Title is a Promise

Thank you for having me back. I always have a great time visiting The Novel Approach, you’ve built such a fun community!

When I started writing Buchanan House I wanted the camp itself to be as important as any of the supporting characters, and I wanted the title to reflect that. Maybe I took the easy way out, but titles are the most difficult part of the writing process for me so I do what I have to. In this case, I relied on luck. J

One of my grandmother’s sisters and her husband ran a camp in Upstate New York when I was a kid, and I was lucky enough to visit once. It made a huge impression on me, and not only because it was one of my few childhood vacations. I’ve always wanted to write a story (or a series) about a camp house with personality like that one—it’s the perfect setting for romance.

To maintain plausible deniability I won’t name that camp, but it has a cool name. The names of the camps in that part of the country are all colorful, they’re also a promise. Those names promise fun in the outdoors or a romantic getaway at retreats like North Pole Resorts or Niagara Falls Park. I wanted to bring that kind of promise to this story, but with a queer twist. I got lucky, and the camp practically named itself early-on, in that strange and wonderful way otherwise unrelated things spontaneously combine while writing.

One of my passions has always been history—family history, US history, the history of my favorite band or motorcycle—you name it. I haven’t had much opportunity to formally study fun subjects like history, but I read a lot and love that some of the straightwashing I grew up with is being remedied. When I was in high school, or even my first stint at college, nobody would’ve speculated on a former President’s orientation. Not out loud and surely not in print. Not so anymore! It’s important for the world to know our history, to acknowledge that LGBTQ+ people have always been here, have lived in their neighborhoods, and have done some pretty cool things. Like being President of the United States.

When I realized I’d placed my fictional queer retreat a few miles down the coast from a town named for a president, Lincoln City, it seemed natural to name it after James Buchanan, the confirmed bachelor president with the close male friend.

Which is all a very roundabout way to say that I chose the title Buchanan House because a simple, straightforward Romance deserves a simple title that lets the reader know what to expect. Plus, after The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds and The Pinch of the Game, I was ready for a short title. :)

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What say you, readers? Do you like a short and sweet title, one that’s fully readable in thumbnail, or do you like an elaborate title that tells you more about the story? What are some of your favorite titles and why do you like them?

Leave your answers in the comments for a chance to win an ebook copy of Buchanan House or the naming privileges for a character in a future book—winner’s choice!

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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Here’s an exclusive excerpt, just for The Novel Approach readers. It takes place the day Nathan shows Eric the camp for the first time.

Excerpt: Eric moved aside a curtain, stiff with dirt and things he didn’t want to think about, and saw a dock with a tiny boathouse perched on the near end. The river they’d driven alongside and then over appeared to flow directly into the ocean not far from where they stood. He ran to catch up with Nathan.

“…no silly little B and B, this is a real resort. We can clean it up and advertise in all the cool places and fill our rooms with hot gay men all year round. It’ll be like working in a candy store, and you won’t have to cook at Shari’s and live in a hovel anymore.”

“Hey. It’s my hovel.” Eric didn’t want to, but he smiled a little anyway, even if he didn’t own the one-bedroom apartment he’d lived in by himself for the past six months.

Living alone had been a failed experiment at being a real adult. Eric probably should have caved to Nathan’s peer pressure and moved into his shared apartment downtown. But he needed to silence his brother’s voice in his head, the one that laughed because he’d lived with Grammy Jewell every day since Thanksgiving when he was thirteen.

He followed Nathan down the main staircase and out the back way. Double french doors led out to a wider porch than the one in front—wide enough for tables and chairs, and a swing…. To the right it looked like there had once been a lawn and garden, and to the left, it was all about getting into the river. And the ocean. The ocean was right there, a short walk to what might be the high tide line, and then the beach.

Nathan went on about nude sunbathing and kayaking and massage gazebos—massage gazebos?—but Eric was entranced by the beach. He’d always wanted to live somewhere he could walk to the beach the way he walked to the post office or to the coffeehouse. He closed the distance between the camp and the beach like a man whose mind was being controlled elsewhere. The churning whitecaps made Eric’s heart race.

Nathan joined him near the place where the trees framing the backyard met the sand, and for a while they stood side by side, just watching the waves retreat to the unbroken line of the horizon.

“No,” Eric whispered, but was pretty sure Nathan heard him even before he replied.

“What? Seriously—”

“No, it won’t be just for men. I want women to be comfortable here too. Tex. Tex and Maria, and all their friends…. I want to do it, but it has to be for everyone under the rainbow. If a bi gal is married to a man, they can come. If a trans man is dating a woman, they’re welcome.” Eric looked up into the brown eyes of his best friend in the world, the most flamboyant queen he’d ever met, and felt as powerless over his emotions as he had at Grammy Jewell’s funeral. Except this was joy, not grief. Eric didn’t know the first thing about operating a retreat, but he feared if they couldn’t make this happen, he’d never get over it.

Nathan grinned. “Of course.”

“You did that intentionally.”

“Who better to pull your strings than your best friend?” Nathan draped an arm around Eric’s shoulders and pulled him close. “I saw you, picturing us here, making our own little west coast version of P-Town, but I have met you before. I knew if I tried to make it exclusive, you’d call me on it. I want this, Eric, as much as you do.”

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BuchananHouseFS

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: August 19, 2015

Length: 136 Pages

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Blurb: Eric Allen, thirty-three-year-old line cook, moved in with his grandmother, Jewell, after a disastrous coming-out when he was in middle school. She raised him, and he cared for her when she fell ill. When Jewell died she left everything to Eric—angering his parents and older brother. The inheritance isn’t much, but Eric and his bestie Nathan pool their money and buy an abandoned hotel on an isolated stretch of the Central Oregon Coast. The hotel isn’t far from Lincoln City—a town with its own Pride Festival and named for a president—so they christen it Buchanan House after James Buchanan, the “confirmed bachelor” president with the close male friend.

Eric and Nathan need a handyman to help them turn Buchanan House into the gay resort of their dreams. Eric finds Tim Tate in the local listings and over the months leading to opening weekend Tim reveals himself as a skilled carpenter with many hidden talents. Eric falls hard for Tim, but before he can see a future with the gorgeous handyman he has to get over twenty years of being bullied and shamed by his birth family. It would be much easier if Eric’s brother Zach weren’t trying to grab part of the inheritance or ruin opening weekend.

Buy Buchanan House: Dreamspinner Press || All Romance eBooks || Amazon US

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Charley DescoteauxBIO: Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages: Blog || Facebook || Dreamspinner Author Page || Twitter || Goodreads || Pinterest | e-mail

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Charley Descoteaux, Charli Green, Harmony Ink Press

Guest Post and Giveaway: “First Time For Everything” Anthology With Charli Green

10-1113tm-vector2-3718Hi everyone!

First, I want to thank Lisa for having me back again so soon!

Second, I want to explain that first thing. Charli Green is my YA pseudonym, but the name Charley Descoteaux is probably more familiar around here. Not everyone does it this way, but I’m keeping my YA separate from my ERom. If I’m lucky enough to have readers under 18, they probably don’t need my help to find erotic romance. Charley talks about Charli’s YA on my main blog (FB, etc.), but it doesn’t go the other way—sort of like a heart valve.

Okay, now that that’s taken care of… Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Ashavan Doyon, Charley Descoteaux, Cover Reveal, Eileen Griffin, GayRomLit, Geoffrey Knight, Jack Byrne, K. Vale, Kol Anderson, LC Chase, M.J. O'Shea, Nikka Michaels, Sue Brown, Zathyn Priest, Zee Kensington

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, and welcome to another great week ahead.

In case you missed it yesterday, be sure to pop on over to RJ Scott’s Blog for a little teaser of some great giveaways I have in store for you as we continue the countdown to GayRomLit 2014. And, your comment on my blog post at RJ’s place will put you in the running for one of TWO $25 Amazon Gift Cards, so be sure to check it out.

In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up for you to enjoy right here at The Novel Approach

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Monday – To kick things off, today we’re pleased to be hosting the Authors Gone Wild Anthology Cover Reveal

A bit later in the day, we’ve got author L.C. Chase with us on the Pulling Leather Blog Tour

Kol Anderson will be here as well with a giveaway of the latest book in his Prisoner series, The Devil You Know

TuesdayEileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels lead off our day with an exclusive cover reveal for their collaboration In the Fire

We also have author Zee Kensington with us on the Finally Home Blog Tour and Giveaway

Geoffrey Knight also drops by with an interview to tell us about a special new series set in the heart of Wilde City and begins with Buck Baxter: Love Detective

WednesdayM.J. O’Shea is our guest today on the Coconut Cove Blog Tour

ThursdayKimber Vale starts out our day on the Hard Act to Follow Blog Tour and Giveaway

Charley Descoteaux also joins us on the First Time for Everything Blog Tour

Friday – Our special guest today is author and artist Zathyn Priest, as he shares a bit about his creative process and joins in the Countdown to GayRomLit Blog Tour Celebration

Saturday – Author Jack Byrne joins us to talk about his new book Walkabout, the sequel to Billabong and there’s a giveaway

Sue Brown also joins us on The Last Wolf Blog Tour and Giveaway

Sunday – Finally, to close out the week, Ashavan Doyon will be here on the Stephen’s Heart Blog Tour, with a giveaway

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And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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Brandon Witt, Charley Descoteaux, Cover Reveal, EM Lynley, Ethan Day, GayRomLit, JL Merrow, Melissa Collins, Merry Farmer, Scott Alexander Hess, Sneak Peek, Viki Lyn

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Welcome back, everyone! Thanks for dropping by to see what we have in store for you in the coming week.

We’ve got some pretty amazing guests, featured posts and interviews, a cover reveal, giveaways, and a little GRL celebrating to do, on top of a week full of reviews.

Speaking of GayRomLit, on Saturday, August 30, the tables are turning just a bit, and I’ll be blogging on RJ Scott’s website. I’ve got a very special and exclusive to The Novel Approach set of giveaways coming up from the authors who’ve participated with me in the tour, and to get the party started, I’ll be offering a little giveaway of my own, so be sure to watch for it.

In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up!

MondayMickie B. Ashling kicks off the week on her Cutting Cords Series Blog Tour, with a giveaway

EM Lynley also helps us get the week started off right with a little taste of her new novel Spaghetti Western, and she’s also offering a giveaway

TuesdayCharley Descoteaux is our guest today on the The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds Blog Tour and giveaway

JL Merrow also stops by on the Caught Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway

WednesdayScott Alexander Hess, author of Bergdorf Boys and Diary of a Sex Addict will be with us today, with an interview and giveaway

ThursdayBrandon Witt joins us with a cover reveal of his upcoming novel Then the Stars Fall and an interview

FridayEthan Day takes a break from all his GayRomLit organizing duties today to join us with a Countdown to GRL Celebration Blog Tour Guest Post

SaturdayMerry Farmer is our guest today on the Somebody to Love Blog Tour, with a Giveaway

Viki Lyn also visits on the Blue Skye Blog Tour, with a Giveaway

Sunday – Finally, to close out our week, Melissa Collins winds things down on the Let Love Live Blog Tour, with a giveaway

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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Charley Descoteaux, Dreamspinner Press

A Sex Club And Silken Ropes Spell Adventure In “Curious Sustenance”


“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt



Title: Curious Sustenance

Author: Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 150

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Ross Jenson is looking forward to a little midmorning delight to celebrate making Lifetime in Weight Watchers, but after he spent eight months losing ninety-eight pounds, what his lover gets him is a triple-layer chocolate cake. When Ross refuses to eat it, the newly minted ex leaves the country and dumps him via e-mail, with three sentences and a link to a chubby chasers web site. A few days later, Ross’s best friend and workout buddy takes him to her favorite club for drinks. Ross is shocked when he realizes it’s a sex club but warms to the idea in record time when a mysterious Japanese man and his silken ropes sweep him off his feet. Ross has never thought of himself as adventurous, but he can’t stop thinking about the man who makes his bones feel like gummy worms.

Continue reading

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Charley Descoteaux, Dreamspinner Press

Let’s Go On A “Toy Run” With Charley Descoteaux, And There’s A Giveaway!


I’ve had Therapy!

Nope, not that kind (although it probably wouldn’t hurt).



Ian Bowen, my burly redheaded biker from Toy Run, is a certified physical therapist. I’ve been through PT three times in my life, and every one of those times had a cool “professional torturer” but never anyone quite like Ian. He’s a strong, silent type who thinks he’s idling below everyone’s radar—in fact, he’s pretty sure he has more than one or two things figured out, but life isn’t quite as black-and-white as he thinks.

I’m not going to spend a few hundred words telling you about the ways Ian’s ideas are skewed—you’ll have to read the story to find that out. This is about physical therapy and how great it is.

Yep, you read that right—how great it is. Two of my three stints in PT are in the running for the most painful things I ever did that didn’t involve sex. I’d walk in the door knowing that within the next hour I’d do things that would make me hurt for the rest of the day. Sometimes I had to force myself, others it was easier (thoughts of vicodin and regaining use of a limb will do that). But each time, I was lucky to draw a therapist who really cared that I was successful. They minimized the pain and maximized the benefits whenever they could, and we worked together to get me whole again. That’s who Ian is—he’s the guy who feels a deep satisfaction when a client gains another degree or two in their range of motion, the guy who’s happiest when he’s helping someone. I didn’t set out to write a thank-you story to all my physical therapists but I can give this one guy his happy ending, and that makes me happy too.

How about you? Have you known someone like that? A physical therapist or a teacher or a counselor who truly wanted to see you heal (or succeed, or fulfill your goal, whatever that may’ve been). Share your stories and one random commenter will win a copy of Toy Run!


Blurb:

Former physical therapist and reluctant loner Ian Bowen has spent the three years since his grandfather’s death searching for a man to inspire him to park his Harley for a while—without much hope of finding him. On a whim, he shows up for a Toy Run and meets Ed Gonzalez, another loner with a pile of toys lashed to his bike. A few beers at the end-of-the-run party turn into an invite to Ed’s for homebrew. But instead of a night of fun, the unseasonable cold renders Ed immobile with pain. When he tells Ian he just needs meds, Ian does one of the things he does best—he massages Ed’s pain away, allowing him a rare restful night’s sleep and creating intimacy neither wants to lose. Ian thinks two men have to follow certain rules to be together, but Ed’s prepared to show him how wrong he is.

Excerpt:

“It’s okay. I know what I’m doing.”

“Just need a muscle relaxer and—”

“That’ll take too long.” It had been a while since my last session, and I’d never done a hip like his before, but it was startling how quickly the basics came back. I could almost see the paths his muscles and connective tissue took beneath his—oh my, shit, how fucking soft was his skin.

The first few touches made him shudder and sweat, but just as he opened his mouth to tell me to get my hands off him and stop making it worse, his body started to respond. A little bit of the tightness gave way, and he relaxed the tiniest bit.

“What you need isn’t an antispasmodic on top of beer, but regular soft tissue work.”

By then his eyes were closed, his chin pointed at the ceiling. “How’d you learn to do this?”

“I’m a licensed physical therapist in California.” One of my best tricks was to slip the painful maneuvers in while I was talking.

Ed cried out but didn’t make a move against me, so I didn’t stop.

“Professional torturer?” He panted, but his body had relaxed more than I thought possible in so short a time. “How long?”

“About ten years.” I moved my hands toward his thigh as I talked and found another pocket of tightness and scar tissue. He grunted and clenched his jaw even harder. “Quit almost three years ago. They couldn’t just leave me alone to help people, too much paperwork and meetings and a goddamned tie—once Granddad was gone, there wasn’t much point in sticking around there.”

I kept telling Ed my life story as I worked on his mangled body. Told him how my granddad kept me out of trouble with teardowns in the living room every winter and car restorations in the summer, and about his brother Oliver who’d been in The War. About having no direction after Granddad died, the guilt that threatened to take me out because I’d never found the stones to tell him anything that really mattered, and the panic because there I was, thirty-two years old, and all I knew about being gay could be summed up in the three-hour ride to a bar I’d taken once every few months since I turned twenty-one.

It wasn’t intentional, spilling my guts to this guy I’d just met, just an old habit coming back to haunt me. That had been the way to get the worst patients through their therapy so they could get back to the business of living. Distract them with chatter—any kind of chatter would do—and most of them were in so much pain I never worried about them remembering later. Not that I ever told any of them such personal shit, but even though I’d been on the road off and on for almost three years I didn’t have many interesting stories from it. Should’ve known better but I wasn’t thinking, just helping someone.

Thanks for reading!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Toy Run is available to purchase from Dreamspinner Press.

About the Author: Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear. As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.

Rattle Charley’s cages—she’d love to hear from you!

Blog | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads Pinterest | e-mail: c.descoteauxwrites@gmail.com

photo credit: Therapy by Pedro Vezini via photopin cc

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Blaine D. Arden, Charley Descoteaux, Eric Arvin, Hayden Thorne, John Goode, Kate Lowell, Sneak Peek, Susan Mac Nicol, Thianna D, Tom Mendicino

And Now, Here’s Our Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!



Boy, have we got a week full of great stuff ahead, even with us taking the day off on Wednesday to spend with our loved ones. We’ve got guests and giveaways galore on tap; plus, as we head into the New Year, we’ve got our lists of Top Reads of 2013 compiled and ready to roll out on December 31st, so be on the lookout for that because there may be prizes involved. :-D

Now, here’s what we’ve got coming up in the week ahead!





Monday – We’ve got a big day today, as we play host not only to Eric Arvin and TJ Klune’s Ghoul’s Gym Blog Tour (with a whole slew of great giveaways), but we also will have author Thianna D with us on her Took My Breath Away Blog Tour and a huge Rafflecopter giveaway.

TuesdayKate Lowell comes calling on her Christmas Goes Analog Blog Tour, and she’s offering a free E-copy of the book to one lucky reader.

WednesdayMerry Christmas! We’re taking today off to spend with family and friends.

ThursdayBlaine D. Arden will be popping in on The Forester II Blog Tour with Storm Moon Press.

FridayHayden Thorne comes back for a visit today with Masks: Rise of the Heroes and a giveaway

John Goode is also popping in for a visit with Part 5 of his writing series: “You Said What Now?”

SaturdayCharley Descoteaux makes a Toy Run and stops in to chat about her Dreamspinner Advent story and the characters who make this Christmas tale so heartwarming.

SundaySusan Mac Nicol is here today on her Worth Keeping Blog Tour, so be sure to stay tuned to find out what she has in store for you.





And that wraps things up for now. Until next time, Merry Christmas and happy reading!

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Charley Descoteaux, Dreamspinner Press

Let’s Make A “Toy Run” With Charley Descoteaux



“When something good comes along, I try not to let it pass me by.”– Charley Descoteaux


I can’t believe this is the first work I have read by Charley Descoteaux. I’m fortunate enough that I had the chance to read a few of the stories in Dreamspinner Press’s Advent Anthology to review, and I decided to try a few new authors. How daring of me! So far I’m glad I did.

Toy Run refers to the annual trip that bikers take to deliver toys to various children’s hospitals. The one in this story is run in Oregon. Ian used to work as a physical therapist, but it seems he has been on the road for quite a while. He decides to do the toy run in Oregon.
Continue reading

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Charley Descoteaux, Dreamspinner Press

Won’t You Come And Visit Charley Descoteaux’s Unconventional Sex Club? There’s A Giveaway!


My Unconventional Sex Club

Thanks so much for letting me visit to talk about my unconventional sex club! The book, Curious Sustenance, won’t be released until the 20th, so I’ll do my best to be entertaining without including any spoilers.

The story of this club starts at Powell’s City of Books in Portland. I love going to Powell’s! It covers a whole city block—three stories of books, books, and more books! I can literally spend a whole day browsing the different rooms, stopping for coffee and something to nibble on in the café when I need a break.

The café is a funky little room crammed with plain wood tables and chairs, and framed by a counter hugging windows that wrap around the corner facing 10th and Burnside. I’ve spent many hours at that counter, reading, writing, or just watching the world go by outside the window. Across Burnside, on the lowest of three floors is a recycled clothing store. The building itself is typical of the kind you look right through in Portland—from across the street you can’t even see a sign over the door. For years I looked at the windows and daydreamed about who would live there. One day, while I sat there acting like a stereotypical Portlander (writing and drinking coffee from a cup roughly the size of my head) I started “seeing” wonderfully kinky things going on behind those windows. That quickly led to a long list of “what ifs”: what if that was a private club? What if it was invitation-only—how cozy would that be?

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It didn’t take long for the sex club of my dreams to take shape. Since I’m all over the place, there’s a little of everything there! The foyer is reminiscent of the first porn flicks I watched (before I was legal, and that was MANY moons ago): scarlet drapes lining a coat check area, manned by a cutie wearing a matching bow tie and little else.

Ross, my hero in Curious Sustenance, compares the bar to someone’s living room during a theme party. That sums up the common area pretty well: comfortable and casual while not sacrificing the bordello-meets-metal-concert vibe I love so much.

The club doesn’t play a huge role in CS, but it may show up again in another story so I spent a lot of time day-dreaming—to create the perfect club. The kind I’d want to go to. So, nothing like Ron Jeremy’s never-ending party, where $100 and the right wardrobe will get you in any night of the week. The members of my club are attorneys, nurses, and small businessmen so they have to trust that their evening of fun won’t become their ticket to the unemployment line.

The top two floors of this building are really a hotel, which suggested even more possibilities than the studio and one-bedroom apartments I’d envisioned—the better to accommodate everyone and their particular preferences, both public and intimate. Hallways branch out in two directions, one goes to the owners’ private rooms and beyond (to a full-time living area). The other way leads to the theme rooms. One of these makes an appearance in Curious Sustenance.

The Green Room is equipped with a hard-rubber stage (the better to kneel for long periods of time), and a lot of comfortable seating—because once things get going in there you don’t want to leave. It’s an “almost anything goes” area, where anyone can ask you to do anything at any time. Or, you can just watch. Eventually, I may go back to this room for more fun and games. We’ll see. For now, I’ll leave you with Ross’s foray into The Green Room.

Yeah, you guessed it—The Green Room is behind one of those windows you can see from Powell’s Café.

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Excerpt:

Ross emerged into another large room, this one decorated in emerald green with all the tassels and candles and richly gleaming metals he’d come to expect. A small group of people lounged on what looked like a sectional sofa covered in green velvet, watching something beyond Ross’s field of vision around a corner. He moved as quietly as he could to get a look at the scene. A slim young man stood in the center of a small stage that appeared to be surfaced in thick, hard rubber, his hands bound behind his back with a short bar between them, blindfolded. His bare chest shone in the single spotlight that was trained on him, and all he wore was a black thong. De-licious. His sweat-dampened hair curled against his neck, and in moments, Ross’s heart was racing, keeping pace with the man’s panting breaths.

He whimpered as a much larger man took his arm and helped him kneel next to what looked like a padded sawhorse. Despite the whimper and the kneeling man’s trembling arms, his face showed a depth of arousal and bliss that resonated with Ross. The other man was dressed all in black, and when he drew a gentle hand across the bound man’s shoulders, Ross wanted to lean into it right along with him.
The big man took a handful of damp curls and bent the other man’s head back, exposing the graceful arc of his throat. He bent and whispered something in the blindfolded man’s ear that caused him to smile and shiver at once. The man in black had barely straightened up, and the other man was stretched across the padded sawhorse. It was the perfect height for him to lean on. The large man in black took a knee behind him and attached a bar to his ankles with thick fur-padded cuffs he buckled in place.

Ross wondered if that kind of helplessness felt as good as he imagined it would.

The man in black stood and a loud crack filled the room. It sounded like a whip, but then the man in black moved what looked like a bamboo cane across the other man’s exposed ass. He’d cracked the cane against the leather of his own pant leg, or maybe his boot, but Ross’s legs felt a little weak. The man on the stage moaned and pushed his beautiful ass out as though begging for the cane to do more than rub lightly over his skin.

Ross slowly backed toward the door as the man in black slipped the cane between the other man’s wrists and pulled his arms straight up and away from his body. The picture was intriguing, the lean lines of muscle beneath smooth skin, shiny with sweat—honestly, a beautiful sight. But even though Ross wondered what would happen next, he didn’t see any place to sit except the sectional and wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep standing if he stayed.

Blurb:

He never knew boundaries could be so sexy.

Ross Jenson is looking forward to a little midmorning delight to celebrate making Lifetime in Weight Watchers, but after he spent eight months losing ninety-eight pounds, what his lover gets him is a triple-layer chocolate cake. When Ross refuses to eat it, the newly minted ex leaves the country and dumps him via e-mail, with three sentences and a link to a chubby chasers web site. A few days later, Ross’s best friend and workout buddy takes him to her favorite club for drinks. Ross is shocked when he realizes it’s a sex club but warms to the idea in record time when a mysterious Japanese man and his silken ropes sweep him off his feet. Ross has never thought of himself as adventurous, but he can’t stop thinking about the man who makes his bones feel like gummy worms.

Warnings: this book features a corporate sensitivity trainer with an agenda, an awesome gal-pal, an unconventional sex club, a mysterious Japanese rope artist, and another taste of Portland, Oregon as seen through my twisted mind.

Thanks for reading everyone!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Catch up with me on my tour for more chances to win—ebooks, naughty knitting, and more!

November 20 Guys Like Romance Too!
November 21 Cup O’ Porn
November 21 Release Party on the Dreamspinner Blog!
November 24 Goodreads Chat Event
November 26 Joyfully Jay
November 29 The Blog of Sid Love

Pre-order Curious Sustenance

Bio:

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they let her sleep once in a while. Every guy deserves a beautiful love story even, or maybe especially, the ones who would usually be in the supporting cast. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear. As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.

I’d like to invite you all to Kink Month at my blog (otherwise known as November), in which my friends and I discuss all the kinkiness on our minds!

Rattle my cages—I’d love to hear from you!

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e-mail: c.descoteauxwrites@gmail.com

*photo credit: 10th & Burnside by Charley Descoteaux

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