Hello all! I know today is Monday Media, but I had to postpone it to squee all over the place. The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe has been contracted by Dreamspinner Press!! Woooot! So dearest, frustrating, rip-your-heart out Johnnie is the first of my fellas to tell his story in a full length novel, and his book will also be my first print book! I am so excited! Everybody Can Can!
Hello all! Today I thought I’d share a little excerpt from Johnnie’s book, which in keeping with the series, has been titled The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe. This scene is from the second chapter where Henry is driving Johnnie to Aylesbury Market Square, and Johnnie catches Henry with another romance novel. Enjoy!
Henry was rather quiet and I sneaked a glance over at him, my gaze going to something jutting out against his suit jacket. Lifting the hem up, I pulled out a medium sized book that had been tucked into his waistband. “What do we have here?”
“Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Jonathan, please.”
“Ooh, using Jonathan, are we? This must be exceptionally good.” I looked down at the scuffed brown cover and read the title. “Devil’s Cub.” Where did Mrs. Whitmore get these things? “What’s this one about?”
“You’re going to laugh at me.”
“I would never laugh at you. I might laugh at the book, but never at you.”
“Very well. It’s about a handsome Marquis and the saucy young woman who takes the place of her younger sister whom he planned to carry off with him to France.”
I held back a smile. “Is he a rake?”
“Of the worst sort.”
“In possession of a terrible temper?”
“Drinks too much?”
Henry cast me a cheeky smile. “Don’t they always?”
“I like the fellow already.”
“I had a feeling you would,” he said with a chuckle.
“And does the lady make off with his heart?”
“What do you think?”
“I think, I might find the raciest part and read it out loud.” I started searching through the book, aware of Henry’s face having gone fiery red.
Snapping the book shut, I took pity on him. “Why do you like reading these things?”
He shrugged and I could tell he felt embarrassed. I decided to cut him some slack.
“I suppose when you have to deal with the sort of things we do every day, it must be nice to have something you can lose yourself in, forget how terrible the world can be. Who wouldn’t want to pack it all in for adventure and romance, ay?” I tucked the book between his lower back and the seat. The rest of the ride was silent and I kept sneaking glances at Henry who was once again uncharacteristically quiet. When he pulled into the Market Square and parked in the area sectioned off for the few folks who owned cars, he turned off the engine, and simply sat there.
“Are you all right?” Had I said something wrong? I had tried my best not to stick my foot in it like I usually do. Maybe I hadn’t done as good a job of it as I thought.
“How do you do that?”
“Be so infuriating at times that I’m all but forced to sit on my hands to keep from strangling you, and then out of nowhere, there are moments when you are so profoundly accurate and perceptive of what I need to hear or how I feel that you leave me entirely speechless.” His expression was one of utter confusion. That made two of us.
Copyright © 2012-2013 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved.
Hello all! First, I’d like to let you know Kayelle Allen is over at the Purple Rose Tea House with a great post on how to write a hot shower scene! Drop by and check it out.
Second of all, there’s still a chance for you to win a $25 Dreamspinner gift certificate. Just check out my guest post about cover art over at Mickie B. Ashling’s blog. Contest is running until the end of the month.
Also, the reason I’ve sort of dropped off the social media planet this month is because I’ve been concentrating on Johnnie’s book to get it done in time. It’s reached 60k, officially making it a full-length novel and longer than Chance’s book. I have two chapters left and few details to fix up before it goes off to the beta. It’s been a tough one this one, as the story isn’t just about Johnnie and Henry, but the new generation of “brats” that live at Hawthorne Manor.
In Chance’s book, it was more about him and how get gets his life together. In Johnnie’s book, you get Johnnie’s story, how he’s trying to get his life together, but you also get to see Chance and Jacky eight years into their relationship. You see how they run things, their dynamics with the rest of the boys. You get a little from Alexander and Bobby, but mostly you get to know the rest of the family through Johnnie. He tells you about the seven youngsters who reside there, all with sad stories to tell. I wrote three of their ‘stories’ in one day, and I admit all three made me cry a little. Although it’s the 1930s, it still deals with the heartbreaking issue of gay youths who have been mistreated and discarded for their homosexuality. I hope the boys will touch your heart the way they’ve touched mine.
I’ll make sure to keep you all posted regarding Johnnie’s book, which has the tentative title: The Dangers of Loving Mr. Wolfe. Hopefully you all will forgive my absence while I wrap up these mischievous fellas.
I’ve been making the most out of the fellas and their momentary chattiness. Of course this would happen as I’m trying to get Julius’s synopsis done. I swear, they’re like a bunch of kids. When I want them to talk, they’re all quiet and serene, then the moment one of them starts chatting, they all want to talk at once and be the center of attention. I have Johnnie on somewhat of a schedule and am trying to do less of the hopping around stories, and more of the working on one thing at a time. It worked for Julius’s book, and so far *fingers crossed*, it seems to be working for Johnnie.
So I decided to share a scene. Here Johnnie has been behaving like his usual charming self while Chance is getting real tired of his bull and calls him out on it. It’s first person POV, Johnnie’s obviously. For those who don’t know Johnnie, he was in The Auspicious Troubles of Chance as one of the brats, had just turned 19, was a pain in Chance’s backside, foulmouthed, loud, and could drive anyone insane. He was also very troubled and reminded Chance too much of himself at that age. Now Johnnie is all grown up, 27 years old, devastatingly handsome, but just as troubled, foulmouthed, and can still drive anyone insane. But especially Chance. I think this scene sums up the dynamics between grown up Johnnie, Chance and Jacky pretty well.
“What do I keep telling you?”
I thought hard for a moment. “Don’t leave the toilet seat up?”
“Which by the way makes no sense. We’re all guys.” There were eight bathrooms in the house. Did he realize how many toilet seats that was to keep track of? What was I, keeper of the bog? I couldn’t be the only one in a house full of fellas who left it up. That was just statistically unsound.
“That don’t mean we gotta live like animals.”
“When did you become such a dame?”
“About the same time you became a real prick.”
I merely shrugged the insult off. “Takes one to know one I guess.”
Chance came to loom over me, his index finger inches away from my nose. “Now you listen to me you ungrateful little shit. Henry doesn’t need to be on the receiving end of your bullshit. He deserves more respect than that.”
“Fuck you.” I swatted his hand away with a growl. He knew how much I hated when he did that, which of course was why he did it.
“I know you’re looking for a fight, but I ain’t giving you one.”
“Oh? And what the hell would you call this?”
“This is me worried about you and you know it.”
I let out a resigned sigh, my shoulders slumping. Chance had a habit of making me feel like that lost nineteen year old kid he’d met back in the desert. It seemed like a lifetime ago.
“All right then.” He pressed his lips together before giving me a wink and held his arms out. “Come here and give me a hug.”
“Lay off.” I tried my hardest not to laugh and reminded myself I was annoyed with him. When I folded my arms over my chest and moved away from him, he gave up and walked over to the wingback chair, taking a seat and looking like the goddamn king of the castle.
“You’ll give in one of these days.”
I scoffed at that. “Over my dead body.”
“That can be arranged all too easily.”
“You are unbelievable,” I said, shaking my head at the truly sinister smile on his face.
“That wasn’t a compliment.”
“Wasn’t it? It sure sounded like one to my ears.”
“Yeah well, you are screwy in the head.”
“I keep hearing compliments.”
“Shut up.” I narrowed my eyes at him and shoved my hands in my pockets. Why the hell was I sticking around? Surely it wasn’t because I wanted to. That would really mean it was time for me to get carted off to the loony bin. Chance, however, wasn’t all that concerned about the daggered look I was giving him, as per usual. I, on the other hand, was very concerned about the stupid smile on his face. It meant he was up to something.
“Remember what Jacky says, frowns are nothing but upside down smiles.”
“Jeepers Creepers, would you just shut the fuck up?”
“Glen’s a high-brow, gold-digging grease-ball.”
I froze to the spot. So we finally got to the heart of the matter. How did the bastard always manage to get the drop on me? No matter how ready I was to plant a fist in his face, Chance always knew how to burst my temperamental bubble. Damn him. I flopped down onto the couch feeling drained. “I know.”
“So why do you keep seeing him?”
I shrugged. Sure, I could make up a bunch of baloney, but Chance would see right through it. He always did.
My gaze shifted up to me his smug one. “Well don’t let me stop you from dazzling me with your brilliance.”
He chuckled. “Was I ever such a wiseass?”
“What the hell are you talking about? You still are!”
“Hm. Anyway, it’s because it’s easy.”
“Easy?” Well that was news to me. Glen had to be the most obnoxious Brit I had ever met. “You think putting up with his pain in the ass is easy?” I donned my best prissy accent. “Johnnie do stop slouching. Johnnie take me to London. Johnnie I need a new waistcoat.” Sometimes I just wanted to plant one in his whiny, pasty face.
“Easier than risking your heart and the heart of a good man like Henry. Yeah, it’s far easier. I should know.”
Damn him and his sound logic. “And here I thought Jacky just kept you around ‘cause you’re pretty.”
“Nope.” Chance wriggled his brows. “I happen to be amazing in the sack too.”
I groaned. Loudly. “Please shut up.”
“I do this thing with my tongue—”
“You are a monster!” I jumped to my feet, ignoring his laughter, and started to pace the room.
“Piss off!” My God, how the hell did Jacky put up with him? Speaking of Jacky, when I looked up, he was walking into the room. He came to stand next to Chance who made to give up his seat when Jacky simply put a hand to his shoulder. Jacky smiled widely at me.
“Having a heart to heart?”
I didn’t reply, merely narrowed my eyes at him. Chance decided to answer for me. “Yep.”
“How’s it going?”
“Good,” Chance replied, smiling at me. “He hasn’t even taken a swing at me yet.”
Jacky’s eyebrows went up. “Really?” He gave a nod and patted Chance on the back. “Impressive.”
“There’s still time,” I grumbled, wondering if they had somehow forgotten I was still in the room with them.
“I’m wearing him down,” Chance said pleasantly.
Jacky seemed pleased. “See? What did I tell you?”
“Don’t strangle him?”
“And hasn’t that worked out well?”
Chance shrugged. “It’s not as fun.”
I was standing right there. “You two are unbelievable.”
“I know,” Jacky replied with a chuckle.
“He’s corrupted you.” I couldn’t help my pout. “I don’t know why you keep him around.”
When Jacky’s eyes got that mischievous look, I should have run for the hills. “He’s good in the sack. He does this thing with his tongue—”
“Jesus! What is wrong with you two?” I threw my arms up, gagging when Chance leaned up to kiss Jacky. How could two such hardboiled mugs be so squishy and lovey and I think I’m gonna to be sick.
“I love you,” Chance purred.
Jacky planted a kiss on the tip of Chance’s nose. “I love you too, snugglepup.”
“I’m getting out of here before you two make me lose my lunch.”
When I walked out, it was to the sound of their infectious laughter, and damn it, if I didn’t end up with a dopey grin on my face. Bastards, the lot of them.
This fretting was obviously floating around in the back of my mind when I dozed off last night, and the whole thing filtered into my dreams, because I dreamed I was in the 1930s. It was weird. It was one of those things where you kind of know you don’t belong there yet you’re still a part of it, a sort of semi-awareness. It’s not the first time I’ve dreamed of a different time. (Welcome to the head of a historical writer). Anyway, the thing is, it was the 1930s. Not surprising considering how much of my day I spent trying to immerse myself in that time. What I found surprising was the incredible vividness of the dream. I swear, it was as if I had closed my eyes and woken up in that time.
I remember a restaurant, and the incredible detail of it just blew me away. I don’t know what restaurant it was, whether it may have been something I had seen at some point somewhere or if my head had just made it up and turned the colors up full blast, but the details took my breath away. From the clothing the people were wearing to the gorgeous ceiling and the tiled floor. It breaks my heart that I can’t remember much of it now, but I remember at the time just standing there in awe.
Just where had my head conjured up this place from? Believe me, I might know my era, but I’m nowhere near as good as that, where I can just piece something together off the top of my head. There was also a hotel lobby and busy sidewalks at night, all illuminated by signs. Mostly I remember indoors. I remember a good deal of it was sort of in a shopping arcade, which is where this restaurant was. I remember green marble tiles in a diamond pattern on the floor with white marble tiles. Lots of gold inside the restaurant, intricate designs.
When I turned, I saw a table filled with pretty souvenirs. They were British. I knew then the man was Henry. Henry’s English, you see. He’s tall, slender, unassuming, soft spoken, and handsome. For the life of me, I can’t remember what Henry was talking to me about. I wish I could say I woke up and knew everything there was to know about him, but I didn’t. I did wake up feeling a little more connected to him. It might sound strange, and a little silly, but I also woke up feeling somewhat sad. Because for a moment, he had been there, real and in the flesh, living and breathing like any other person we talk to on a daily basis. Except he was a man of his time, and in the here and now, he would have passed on many a year ago. Henry was gone.
What does this mean for the story? Well, it’s made things a little more complicated, so hold onto your hats. See, now that it feels as if I’ve met Henry in person, I can’t get into his head. I’ve mulled over the POV of Johnnie’s book endlessly. At first it was going to be Johnnie’s POV because the first book was written from Chance’s POV and I thought I should continue that. Then it changed to third so I could get into other characters’ heads. Now, it only feels right doing it from Johnnie’s point of view, to see and feel things through him, and most importantly, to see Henry through Johnnie’s eyes, the way I saw him through my own. See, there’s a reason they say we writers are screwy. So I feel as if I can’t let Henry down. I have to give a life and a love worthy of the man who had walked beside me in that shopping arcade. Henry, I apologize in advance for what Johnnie will put you through, but I promise you, you’ll get your happily ever after.