Johnnie here, on stop two of my guided tour. The lady of the house refuses to let me off the hook with this thing. I’m not ashamed to admit I attempted to sweet talk Henry into taking over for me, but then he smiled at me and I forgot what the hell I was gonna ask, so here I am. Again. Our first stop was the manor. Once inside, we cross the foyer, turn right, and head down the long corridor. Fourth door on the right is the billiard room. Swanky, ain’t it?
[Attribution: By Moonik (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
When the Brats are all tucked away in their beds dreaming of the havoc they plan to unleash the next day, the fellas and I often gather here to play billiards, if Chance doesn't open his big gob and ruin everything. More often than not, this is where I end up chasing him around the table with my cue in an attempt to break it over his head. Another piece of advice: don’t ever play billiards with Gideon or Chance. They’ll wipe the floor with you before you know what’s hit you. Chance will give you back your dough. Gideon? Good luck with that one. He’ll leave you in your birthday suit if you’re not careful. Also, Chance will take every opportunity to remind you he kicked your keister. He plays dirty, I know he does. I just haven't figured how yet. And for crying out loud, don’t go batting your lashes at him, it will only encourage him! You've been warned.
Apparently, this is also the spot where I blacked out last Christmas after one too many cups of mulled wine. Thank you, Henry, for bringing that to my attention, and for informing me of my less than stellar performance prior to that. Here’s some simple math for you folks: not getting fried during your Christmas celebration equals not making an ass out of yourself in front of handsome Englishmen. Of course if you're me, it doesn't take much to make an ass out of yourself. In fact, it's pretty much a daily occurrence. Right, the billiard room. Elliot also enjoys playing billiards, though don't expect to win. Also, he has his own set of rules. He's allowed to roll the balls into the pockets, but you have to play "proper" or he'll pout at you, and you don't want that, believe me. He might be six years old, but he'll get the drop on you if you're not careful. Well, that's enough outta me for one day. Next stop, we're heading into town.
Eight years after leaving the deserts of Africa and the French Foreign Legion behind, Jonathan Wolfe has settled into life at Hawthorne Manor in the English countryside. Johnnie helps his adopted family run the manor and provide a safe, loving home for a new generation of “brats”: boys mistreated and discarded for their homosexuality—something all too familiar to Johnnie.
Although no longer an unruly youngster, Johnnie is as stubborn, foul-mouthed, and troublesome as ever. His recent rash behavior becomes a concern for those closest to him, especially Dr. Henry Young, the only man ever to capture Johnnie's heart. Instead of soothing him, their closeness brings Johnnie’s insecurities from an unsettling past to the surface, and leads to an explosive situation that threatens to tear them apart. Then Henry’s past catches up to them….Excerpts are in the form of a serial. Read Part 1 at The Novel Approach here. Excerpt Part 2
Chance tried to talk but it was a no-go. He just laughed harder until there were tears in his eyes. Then he finally took a deep breath and removed his handkerchief from his front breast pocket to wipe his eyes.
“You done? You got it out of your system?”
“Oh, jeepers creepers. You two slay me.” He smoothed out his vest and nodded. “Yep, sorry. I’m done. I didn’t want to laugh in Henry’s face.”
“But you’ll laugh in mine?” Wish I could say I was surprised, but I wasn’t.
“You bet. So, why was Henry asking you to um….” His lips quivered and I shot him a warning glare.
“Don’t you dare. This is serious, Chance.”
“It always is when ravishing is involved.”
“Say that word one more time and you’ll be sorry.”
Chance arched an eyebrow at me in challenge and I accepted. “I have a word for you. Corset.”
The smile on his face fell away. “Excuse me?”
“Yeah, not so funny now, huh?” I either had him or he was going to crush me where I sat. To my surprise, he calmly sat back, and shrugged.
“It was for his birthday. He was curious, and I aim to please.”
“No, that’s love. Besides, you know I look good in anything.”
“Please stop,” I groaned, ignoring his self-satisfied smile.
“I still have it.”
Not a lot of things surprised me, but that certainly did. “Wait, you enjoyed it?”
“Actually, yeah, though not as much as Jacky did.”
His wink made me shudder. “Sweet Jesus, please don’t. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You theater folk’ll try anything. Bet it wasn’t your first time.” I could only put his eccentric ways down to his years growing up around showgirls. There was no way anyone would ever get me into something like that, though when I gave the matter serious thought, I didn’t find the image of Henry in one of those contraptions completely off-putting.
Part 3 continued on Nov 12th on Kim Fielding’s blog.
Available in ebook and print from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4362
Comment prompt: What's the funniest or most embarrassing thing you've done after getting a little "merry"?
About the Author:
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.Website: http://www.charliecochet.com Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog Email: email@example.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charliecochet Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet
1st Prize: $15 Amazon gift card + Impetuous Afflictions signed swag pack + signed 8x10 art print.
2nd & 3rd Prize: Impetuous Afflictions swag pack + signed 8x10 art print.
Just leave a comment on any of the blog posts along the tour, along with a contact email address. **If you would still like to enter the contest but don't wish to leave your email address in the comment, you can also enter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winners will be chosen at random and posted on Charlie's blog at http://www.charliecochet.com/blog on Monday, December 2nd. Winners will then be notified via email.
Sunday, December 1st at midnight, Eastern Time.
11/9 - Welcome to Hawthorne Manor [Excerpt 1] - The Novel Approach
11/11 - Billiard Room Brouhaha [Excerpt 2] - Author Sue Brown
11/12 - A Trip to the Town of Aylesbury [Excerpt 3] - Author Kim Fielding
11/13 - Time for Tea [Excerpt 4] - Author Lex Chase
11/14 - Stopping for a Pint [Excerpt 5] - Author Andrew Q. Gordon
11/15 - Visiting the Furry Hat Man [Excerpt 6] - Author Eden Winters
11/18 - Meet Gideon Brooks [Excerpt 7] - Author Michael Rupured
11/19 - Meet Rori Curti [Excerpt 8]s - Author Shira Anthony
11/20 - Meet Aubrey Jepson [Excerpt 9] - Attention is Arbitrary
11/21 - Meet Oliver Darling [Excerpt 10] - Hearts on Fire
11/22 - Meet Elliot Young [Excerpt 11] - Author Elin Gregory
11/25 - Meet Connor & Edmund Grey [Excerpt 12]- Joyfully Jay
11/26 - The Devilish Duo [Finale] - Mrs. Condit & Friends