The Music That Guides Us with Charley Descoteaux – Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway

April 29, 2016

The Music That Guides Us

Hi all! Charley Descoteaux here, to celebrate the release of the third book in my Buchanan House series, Tiny House! You might have read the first book, Buchanan House, and if so you’ve already met the heroes: Nathan and Paulie. If not, I’m giving away a free download of the audiobook so you can meet them! Stick around for the excerpt and find out how to enter.

One of the fun parts about writing a series is that I already know some of the characters, of not all of them. I’ve had the chance to hang out with them and get to know them during the writing process. Bringing a supporting character into a starring role and giving him his own HEA is like playing matchmaker for an old friend!

When I started Tiny House I knew Nathan fairly well but didn’t really know Paulie at all. Getting to know him was a lot of fun. At first I only saw him through Nathan and Eric’s eyes. They’ve all been friends for a long time, so that worked out well. But I don’t really get to know a character until I’ve written with their voice in my head so Paulie kept surprising me. Until one paragraph in Nathan’s POV.

 

Nathan drew his hand down Paulie’s arm and wove their fingers together. “Regardless of how it might look, your friends know you. I know you. So I know I don’t have to worry. I know you’re loyal to a fault. I know you say you love dance mixes, but your MP3 player is full of nineties music like Dave Matthews and Incubus. I know everyone called you PJ until your brother started calling you Paulie when you and his son were both little boys of seven, and I know the noises you make when you come.”

 

Part of my process when getting to know new characters is to find their music. I’d been searching for a soundtrack for Tiny House, music I could play to get in the right mood to write this story. I thought that would sound like the songs I’d danced to at the beginning of the 21 Century, but somehow it just didn’t feel right. As soon as Nathan told me what music Paulie really listened to, going back and filling in Paulie’s sections became much easier.

Here is my playlist for Tiny House, because it never would have come together without Paulie’s input.

Incubus Make Yourself

“Privilege”

“Nowhere Fast”

“Consequence”

“The Warmth”

“When it Comes”

“Stellar”

“Make Yourself”

“Drive”

“I Miss You”

“Pardon Me”

“Out From Under”

Dave Matthews Band Crash and Under the Table and Dreaming

“So Much To Say”

“What Would You Say”

 

I listened to these songs, in this order, over and over and over for the four months I lived in Nathan and Paulie’s heads. Which made it so easy to get into the right frame of mind for edits, or writing blog posts!

My mp3 player is filled with an eclectic mix of music (or maybe it only looks like it belongs to more than one person). I listen to Alice in Chains, Led Zeppelin, Vince Guaraldi, Metallica, Peter Frampton, Beethoven, Pearl Jam, Slipknot, and I have a list with my favorite jazz standards to soothe jangled nerves after an especially difficult day at work.

 

What music is on your iPod or mp3 player that would surprise your friends?

Spill, and you could win a free copy of the audiobook version of Buchanan House, the first book in this series!

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While you’re thinking about how honest to be about your musical guilty pleasures, check out this excerpt from Tiny House. It’s not from the scene above because that’s too spoilery to share, but this one isn’t. This post was about Paulie so it seems fitting that the excerpt be from his point of view. He’s just finished helping Eric in the kitchen for a celebration at Buchanan House, and is ready for desert…

By the time Eric and Paulie finished the last of the evening’s work, Paulie had a nice buzz going. His thoughts had strayed to his own father whenever he’d had a free second, something which usually led to at least a drink or two. Paul Senior had been gone for nearly twenty years, but Paulie still missed him almost every day. He missed his kind and gentle nature and his quiet confidence as much as the way he’d seemed to have the answer to every question.

As he cleaned up, he smiled as a thought of his parents together came to the front of his mind. His father would enter the kitchen when Mom was working, wrap both arms around her waist, and ask if she’d been nipping into the cooking sherry. As far as Paulie knew, they’d never had any alcohol in the kitchen, so he eventually figured out that must’ve been some kind of code.

The lack of such codes in his own life weighted his shoulders, despite his overall good mood.

A sound startled Paulie from his memories, and he looked up to see Nathan, who was also nearing half drunk but still looked ravishing in his sixties-inspired outfit—orange pants with a subtle paisley print, topped with a simple blue silk shirt. Sometime during the evening he’d abandoned his shoes, and Paulie ached to run his foot alongside Nathan’s sand-smoothed arch.

“Have I told you lately how fabulous you are?” Nathan glided close to Paulie’s side and hugged him.

Paulie’s hands were wet, so he leaned into Nathan’s warmth for a moment.

Nathan held him out at arm’s length and grinned. His skin glowed with tan and with his buzz. Paulie knew the look in his eyes, even if he hadn’t seen it for a while. It made his heart race. “Tonight couldn’t have gone better. Everyone loved your mini s’mores desserts.”

“I’m glad. It was a fun party.”

Nathan’s flush crept from his cheeks, down his neck, and onto his chest.

Almost like when he’s coming.

“Let’s get out of here for a while.” Nathan grabbed his hand. They made it almost to the side door before he stopped. “Oh. Can you? I mean…. Can you?”

Paulie blinked. Between his fatigue (which didn’t bother him nearly as much as it had moments before) and Nathan’s special look aimed right at him….

“Or have you promised—”

“No. I can.”

Nathan’s posture relaxed immediately. He looked even more delicious than he had a moment before, and downright slinky as he cozied up to Paulie’s side. Nathan slipped an arm around his waist and applied gentle pressure to his lower back.

The door opened, and Paulie could only guess Nathan had opened it, because he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the triangle of bronze skin at Nathan’s throat, framed perfectly by the rich blue silk of his shirt. Paulie’s head practically spun with thoughts of the boathouse. Eric and Nathan hadn’t done anything with it yet—they’d been too busy to finalize a plan, let alone to turn Tim loose on it. As they slipped out the side door, Paulie remembered clearing a corner of the workbench so he could bend Nathan over it. Fucking Nathan while surrounded by the strangely charming scene of canoes, oars, and colorful antique glass floats hanging just below the ceiling, flashing colors around the dusty room, was one of his most revisited memories of the previous summer. It had been a long time ago, but the boathouse had seen enough action to become one of Paulie’s favorite places at the camp.

They’d only made it two steps across the porch when Paulie heard footsteps coming from the parking lot. The porch wrapped all the way around Buchanan House, but guests didn’t usually venture around the kitchen side. No reason for them to. There wasn’t really anything there, but the entire way around was well lit just in case. The crash of heavy footsteps came around the corner seconds before Paulie saw the men attached to it.

Nathan squealed in surprise and grabbed Paulie tighter.

The men didn’t notice them at first. They only had eyes for each other and seemed to be laughing about being lost. The pair stopped and pulled back a step when they first saw Nathan and Paulie, as though they expected trouble of some kind. Thankfully, they relaxed quickly. All four of them.

“Sorry, we’re looking for the beach. Where did it get off to?” The men leaned against each other and laughed.

Nathan kissed Paulie’s cheek and took a step away from him. His little smile held a big dose of regret, and Paulie nodded to accept his completely unneeded apology. “Let me show you.” Nathan waved them along. When Paulie turned to go back inside, Nathan took his hand and squeezed.

Paulie followed as Nathan led the couple around the building, down the wheelchair ramp, and through the backyard. Paulie hadn’t noticed the brick border separating the lawn from the flowerbed had been transformed into a path. He grinned, thinking about how little Nathan liked to wear shoes, despite the fact that he owned several dozen pairs. Paulie made a mental note to check out the new brick path in the light; in the dark backyard, lit with fairy lights and a few strategically placed solar yard lights, it made him think of a brick road a la The Wizard of Oz.

They’d almost reached the beach by then, and Nathan had started his story. The story he always told tipsy guests who wanted to go out to the beach. Especially at night. Nathan would remain with them until they came back off the beach, encouraging them to stay well away from the water. Nathan had told the story of how Eric had almost drowned to many guests with a daredevil bent. Since he left out the part about Tim saving him and the two of them falling madly in love, the story usually worked to keep drunken guests safe from the briny deep.

Thank you for reading!

If you’d like to read the whole story you can get your copy of Tiny House, Book #3 in the Buchanan House series, here:

ebook or paperback.

Be sure and grab your free copy of Book #2 “Pride Weekend” here.

 

I have to keep the folks at the Evil Day Job happy but will be in and out as much as I can today, and throughout the weekend, to chat.

Random.org will choose a winner of the audiobook code for Buchanan House on Sunday evening (US Pacific Time). Have a great weekend!

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Tiny House Blurb:

Pride weekend is over, but for Nathan Lucas, the summer is just heating up. He appears to have it all. He’s tall and blond, ripped and handsome, and half owner of Buchanan House, a successful gay retreat on Oregon’s beautiful central coast. But his joie de vivre hides a fear of abandonment. When he was twelve, his mother had triplets, and instead of the cherished only child, Nathan became a scapegoat for his exhausted parents, and he has never truly dealt with that pain.

Portland chef Paulie Nesbitt is head over heels in love with Nathan. They’ve been drinking buddies with benefits for years, while Paulie has not-so-secretly yearned for more. Paulie’s extra pounds and self-doubt have kept him from acting on his feelings. Their friends know they would make the perfect couple, but Nathan and Paulie will have to let go of past insecurities if they want a future together.

12 Responses to “The Music That Guides Us with Charley Descoteaux – Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway”

  1. H.B. says:

    Congrats on the new book! Thank you for the interesting post and giveaway chance.

    I’ve been told I look like a scientist or someone who would work in a lab. On one occasion I was told I was boring…so I guess friends who don’t know me so well would think my taste of music would be sedate and boring to them too? I listen to a lot of alternative rock, some r&b and hiphop.

  2. Hi H.B.! Thanks for dropping in! Haha, nobody should underestimate a quiet or mellow person–just because we don’t share everything doesn’t mean there’s nothing to share. ;)

  3. Su says:

    Nothing would surprise my friends and family, as they I know I am very eclectic and mildly eccentric in many ways, including my musical interests :D Although I am not a fan of boy/girl (or manufactured music) groups so it would shock those that know me to find anything like that.

    I was interested to read how you got to know your characters by the music interests they shared with you :) thank you for a chance to win an audio book code.

  4. Hi Su, thanks for your comment. I’d love to see your eclectic and eccentric playlists! Music lovers are the coolest, IMO. Hope you’re having a great weekend! :)

  5. Evelise Archer says:

    Congrats on the new release! My music…everything from Latin to Flo Rida to Adele. My 23 year old loads my music so when something horribly unedited pops up, I chuckle and go with it :-)
    Evelise

  6. Dale Lowry says:

    Thanks for doing this giveaway. I’ll definitely check out this series now. It sounds like a delight. And nothing better than an audiobook—I can get reading done even while I make dinner!

  7. Heather Martin says:

    Congratulations on your new release! I’m fairly new to the genre so I haven’t read it yet but I’ll be sure to check it out.

    I would imagine my friends would be surprised by the range of my choices in my music. I have some Eminem, Tupac, Jay Z, Pink, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Joe Jonas, Saving Jane, Foreigner, TLC, Prince. I like a wide range of music. I even have some older Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, though they are the exception.

  8. Hi Evelise, thanks for commenting! I love it when someone shares music with me. My daughter does that a lot and i’ve found some great new tunes that way!

  9. Thanks, Dale! I’m with you–if i could figure out a way to read 24/7 i would definitely do it! :)

  10. Hi Heather, thanks for your comment! That is a wide range of music! If you’re new to Gay Romance you have a lot of wonderful books ahead of you. Hope you have a blast exploring them all! <3

  11. MistyG says:

    Congrats on the new release. I look pretty plain & am really boring, but everyone knows I listen to hard rock/heavy metal. What would probably shock them is the rock opera, and only because they don’t know it exists, lol. And you hit the nail on the head, I listen to audio books on the way to and from work.

  12. I’m so sorry i’m late! Thank you to everyone who visited and commented. <3

    The winner is Evelise Archer! Please email me at c.descoteauxwrites AT gmail.com and i'll get your code to you asap.

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