I’m very pleased today to hand my blog over to Charley Descoteaux whose novella, Comfort and Joy, is releaed today from Etopia Press.
Charley has provided musical links for your listening pleasure so just click on the pictures to be taken to the videos.
Thanks for having me, Elin. I love your historical hunks so visiting your blog is a special thrill.
A lot of writers listen to music while they write, to get into the right mood. I love music so I’ve tried this too—many times—but it just doesn’t work for me. I get in touch with my characters through music, but if I listen while writing then I end up typing the lyrics!
Some of my characters are into jazz or classical, but listening to music without lyrics isn’t much better. I’ll get caught up in the rhythm section interplay or a brilliant phrase I hadn’t noticed until right then. So I try to listen to one or two pieces of music and then turn it off and write. Once I can force myself to do that (which isn’t always easy!), I’m off to the races.
One of the characters in Comfort and Joy even started a new musical obsession for me: jazz. Before I got to know Charlie Price all I really knew about jazz was from watching the Charlie Brown holiday specials or by listening to people who say things like “it’s the notes they don’t play” (which I still don’t get!). But Charlie insisted it was cool and since he has a much better handle on that kind of thing than I ever will, I kept an open mind. Now, West Coast jazz is the style of music you’re most likely to hear at my home or in my car. There’s something for every mood under that label, but my favorite is still Vince Guaraldi. It’s impossible to listen to his work and not smile—it makes the kid in me happy even if the piece isn’t one Snoopy’s ever danced to. Plus, it cuts down on my road rage.
I’ve been exploring other styles of jazz as well, and found an amazing album by Duke Ellington that’s his take on The Nutcracker Suite. My favorite cut is “Sugar Rum Cherry”, his arrangement of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. This is the jazzy piano piece featured in Comfort and Joy, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Charlie started as a classical pianist, and though he still loves Beethoven he considers himself a jazz musician. He played his first club at sixteen, after he ran off to Europe to search for fame and love and sex (not necessarily in that order!)—he was born into the fortune so that helped!
Before he met Sam, he would’ve said one of the highlights of his life was the time he was seduced after a gig in Paris. Not a word of English was spoken for a good 48 hours. If asked about his musical goals, Charlie would probably say he wants to find a bass player to round out their trio and become the next Guaraldi or Brubeck. I’m sure Sam would be perfectly happy as drummer in The Charlie Price Trio.
Right now, I’m working on a new story, and that main character is a young guy who grew up on Reggae, so I’m listening to a lot of Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, and peeking in on the Music Choice Reggae station regularly to find new-to-me music to fall in love with.
Thanks again Elin!
Comfort and Joy
How much love does it take to heal the wounds of hate?
Sam and Charlie have been together over a decade, and their commitment to each other has only grown stronger through the years. But love isn’t always easy, and eighteen months after a violent assault, their fairy-tale relationship is still struggling. Charlie can’t shake the lingering fear of attracting more violence by displaying affection, and he’s angry at himself for not getting past it. Sam would do anything to help Charlie feel better—if only he knew what that was.
The century-old farmhouse in Northwest Oregon is the perfect place to spend the holidays with Sam’s family, but it was their refuge after the attack, and it still holds painful memories of those difficult first months. Christmas should be a joyful time, but even being surrounded by people who love him isn’t enough to make Charlie feel safe. He could try to keep to himself, but even if Sam agreed to give him the space he needs, Sam’s warm and loving family might not. And even though they agreed not to exchange gifts, Sam has a surprise up his sleeve that he hopes will make everything merry and bright. But he may end up more surprised than Charlie before the week is out…
Sam continued up the stairs, considering how to go about putting Charlie’s perfect ass on a piano bench became entangled with the unfortunate fact that as long as they slept upstairs they would be showering separately. He gave Charlie first chance at the hot water and then sped through his shower as fast as he could. Sam stopped just inside the bedroom door and closed it quietly. He towelled his hair and let his gaze linger on Charlie, lying still on top of the quilt, bare feet on the floor, partially covered with a green towel. A slice of moonlight filtered through the curtain on the opposite wall and across Charlie’s body, which was a work of art even when not bathed in romantic mood-lighting. After a few moments Sam realized Charlie was also watching him.
Charlie flipped the towel up and away from his body and Sam felt as though someone had just grabbed him by the throat. After barely a heartbeat’s hesitation he strode to the foot of the bed and leaned over Charlie to kiss him. Sam’s free hand caressed his slender chest and shoulders. When he felt goose bumps Sam lowered himself over Charlie but kept all his weight on both knees and one hand.
Sam moaned softly and moved his dark hand over the fair skin on Charlie’s abs. He hadn’t regained any of the bulk he’d lost but made up for it with dizzying definition and a solidity he hadn’t had before.
“Vanilla ice cream.” Sam began to kiss his way down Charlie’s chest and felt a cool hand on his head exerting a gentle pressure, urging him lower.
“You’re lactose intolerant.”
Sam looked up and grinned for a short moment, then slipped down even farther. “I’ll just have to lick you instead.”
Charley Descoteaux has always loved stories and began writing them down to appease the
characters in her head who insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. 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
Barnes & Noble: TBA
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-comfortandjoy-1026128-145.html
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Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor