Hello and welcome to my stop on the Back To School hop!
A bunch of fabulous MM Romance authors are celebrating the new school year–so of course that means goodies for you. The Grand Prize is a $100 Amazon gift card. With the kiddies back in school, it’s the perfect time to curl up with your reader and enjoy a few books on us! Enter the Grand Prize drawing using the Rafflecopter link at the bottom. The hop will run through August 30th so you’ll have time to visit everyone on the list! Just click the pretty pic to get there–but not yet.
I’m giving away a copy of my Amber Allure Erotic Romance, A Sunday Kind of Love to one commenter here who can offer some parenting advice for my main character, Jake (more details later!).
I’ve been in school for a year now, so “Back To School” made me giggle (or was that the crazed laughter of someone who never thought she’d be starting over again so late in life?). When I was a kid I thought I’d grow up to be a teacher or a librarian. I got close a few times, working in libraries and many hours volunteering in classrooms after I had a kid of my own. Luckily, it took a long time to realize being a shameless apple-polisher wasn’t the key to popularity—because by the time it sunk in I was hooked on school.
DJ, one of the supporting characters in A Sunday Kind of Love, was smarter than me in that regard so graduating from high school wasn’t always a given. He spent his high school years trying to hide who he really was to avoid being bullied and his plan worked. Sometimes a little too well, because he ended up in trouble for all kinds of petty little things teenagers get up to when they’re bored in a small Oregon towns. The story opens with DJ surprising Jake the morning after his graduation. He’s in LA for college, but that’s pretty far down on his list of things to do.
Jake hasn’t been much of a presence in DJ’s life since he was three and is suddenly faced with trying to keep this young man out of trouble. If I were Jake I’d opt for an ankle bracelet because DJ will find trouble eventually, if it doesn’t find him first. But that would probably be met with some resistance even considering DJ’s ambivalence toward getting a college degree. Unless Armani started making ankle bracelets.
So what’s your most over-the-top advice for Jake to deal with his newly-out country-raised son’s assimilation into the LA scene?
A random commenter (as decided by Random.org) will get a copy of A Sunday Kind of Love. If I get at least a baker’s dozen answers, I’ll give away two copies!
DJ doesn’t get up to a whole lot in this story (for him!), but Jake sure does . . .
A Sunday Kind of Love, by Charley Descoteaux
Jake McKynnie, middle-aged jazz musician, has the chops to solo—in every sense of the word. He’s living a lonely life in LA, convinced that’s the best he can expect. DJ, the boy who calls him Dad, turns up the day after his high school graduation like a sucker punch from the past. Could their celebratory trip to the salon be the catalyst for Jake’s duet with the enigmatic stylist, Mason?
Excerpt (Rated PG):
Jake grinned. “This is my boy, Jacob. He needs a haircut befitting his new status in life.”
The proprietor frowned theatrically. Jake barely noticed, his mind occupied with what the boy must be thinking. He’d never met a man like Antonio in tiny Willston, Oregon. Nobody was that tall, dark and polished in pink leather pants and a pink silk snake-print button-down shirt.
“A little young…”
Jake made a strangled sound that would’ve had him cringing at its ethnic offensiveness if he wasn’t so mortified by his own choice of words.
“Antonio, that’s not what I meant.” Jake looked at the boy, who was almost completely covering that he had no idea what was going on. That, and the fact that he looked so much like his father, meant he may have a shot after all. “This is DJ. He just graduated from high school and came down for college.”
“You are kid-ding me! This is DJ?” Antonio turned to regard the boy with a hand on his hip and a thoughtful expression. A slow smile spread across his face and he fluffed DJ’s hair and then held it away from his face. “You did bring him for me. Come on, gorgeous, let’s get started.”
Antonio brought Jacob farther into the salon, an arm draped across his shoulders and Jake following close behind them. It always surprised Jake how many people could be in the salon—stylists, customers, and assorted friends of Antonio’s—and yet it rarely sounded as though the chairs were full even though they usually were. But that could’ve had something to do with the volume of the music which wasn’t overpowering but loud enough to conceal a multitude of sins.
Antonio sat Jacob down and put Jake in the next chair to watch while they discussed the merits of a few hairstyles. Jake felt an inordinate amount of pride as the boy warmed to the situation, as though he hadn’t spent every day he could remember in a rural Oregon town of 1,200, but in LA as originally planned. Both spent a quiet moment not quite looking at each other in the mirror when Antonio said father-son facials were on the house as a graduation present. Jake didn’t want to remind him of the honorary nature of his title, and it’d been too long since his last facial anyway. He pretended not to see Antonio’s look that said it’d been a long time since he’d indulged in a lot of things the salon had to offer.
After a fun couple of hours Jake and Jacob headed for the car. Jacob stopped just outside the door to admire himself in the window’s mirror-like surface.
“You should go on back and talk to that guy whose chair you were in. He was checking you out, Dad.”
Jake watched as the boy turned his head to see his new look from every possible angle.
“Looks good.” Jake resisted the urge to run his palm over the boy’s head, like he had when DJ was two they’d had to give him a buzz cut after he’d gotten into some paint. “Feel like yourself now?”
“You bet. I’ll take a little walk and check things out while you head back in for a few minutes.” Jacob winked and would’ve left Jake standing there if he hadn’t taken the boy’s arm to stop him.
“Don’t go feeling too cocky, now. Just because you’re in LA don’t think you can swish around anywhere you please and nothing can happen.”
“I’ll keep the swishing to a minimum.” He waggled his fingers at Jake and took off down the street.
Jake ducked back into the salon and almost ran into Antonio. “Thanks for taking care of him on such short notice. You’re the best.”
“You’re right about that.” Antonio kissed Jake’s cheek and leaned back to look at him. “And it was no notice, but who’s counting. You okay?”
Jake ran a shaky hand through his own short hair which, if he were completely honest, felt just that side of shaggy. “Will be. Didn’t expect to see him today.”
“If you need someone to talk to you just call me, honey.” Antonio hugged Jake hard for a short moment and then released him and gave him a significant look. “We’ll get coffee.”
“Hope I didn’t tick off your neighbor by monopolizing his chair.”
Antonio grinned so loudly Jake had to turn away.
“I’m sure Mase didn’t mind. You know he gets all drooly over hard-bodied men with tattoos.” He traced the Celtic braid encircling Jake’s left biceps. “And you have tattoos. Mase! Mason, come over here and tell Jake you don’t mind he grabbed your seat.”
Jake watched Mason stalk across the room and pass Antonio going the other way. Antonio must’ve winked or signaled him somehow because Mason’s step turned slinky as soon as he saw past him to Jake. Mason looked hot all in black, leather pants and a sleeveless shirt that wasn’t quite see-through. He could’ve lost the leather bands around his biceps as far as Jake was concerned, but that was the only fault he could find without more time.
Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize of a $100 Gift Card!
But before you do, enter to win a copy of A Sunday Kind of Love by commenting with a crazy/silly/bizarre parenting idea for Jake.
The kids are back in school so anything goes!
My advice would be to stay true to yourself, don’t let other people walk all over you, and know when to say, “NO!” email@example.com
Thanks for commenting, Kimberly! 🙂
To show honesty.
College is a new start, so don’t be afraid to be yourself!
Just hopping through to say howdy to my fellow authors!
Thanks for the hop.
Thanks for visiting, Cornelia and Trix!
*waves to V.L.*
You guys are all so kind and nurturing! Don’t be shy — get a little crazy; we’re not advocating installing shock-fencing outside the door to a *real* teenager’s room to keep them from wandering (and i promise i’m not fishing for ideas to torture future characters–i have plenty of those!). 😀
Jake! Tell DJ to be himself. In fact, advise him NOT to emulate any Angelenos. They aren’t known for their style sense. Dress like a New Yorker, they are more stylish. I saw too many brown shoes with black socks in LA–don’t do it! In fact rural Oregonians dress better than Angelenos. Work your plaid shirts, DJ. LA men are the worst dressed in the world. There’s no reason to dress as poorly as they do–ever. Despite the Hollywood aura, average Angelenos dress VERY BADLY. I had to leave when I saw the white plastic purses, Ugg boots with suits, and Porn Star sweats at work. Also, the idea of a stylish haircut? Nope. Italian shoes? Why, when flip flops are available. So DJ, ignore and avoid Los Angeles “style”! It’s as ugly as their architecture, but their too provincial to realize it.
Lol, would be speaking the truth if he repeated this rant. Thanks!
*lol* Thanks, Urbanista! I doubt DJ would ever consider himself “average” on any scale so there’s no worry there. 😉
thank you for doing this hop
Thank you for participating in the hop.
Going back to school is a new adventure and one that should be looked upon with eyes wide open and not fear.
I would tell Jake to get that lojack-like app installed on DJ’s phone to keep track of him in LA!
Now that’s what i’m talkin’ about! Track his delinquent behind! *lol* 🙂
Forget the ankle bracelet – microchips are where it’s at! Embrace that 21st-century Big Brother technology. ;P
Love it! Thanks for the idea, Layla. 🙂
Go to college you’ll enjoy it more than you think!!!
Let’s see, if we’re going to go for outrageous and over-the-top, I’d find some battle-weary gay men, guys who’ve been on the scene in LA for way too long. A la one of those “scared straight” (ha ha) prison programs for troubled kids, you put him in a room with a bunch of these men who know how the city and the scene can chew you up and spit you out and let them share their lessons. He’ll come out (har) of the meeting wiser and, dare we say, less likely to get into trouble.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Charley!
Thanks for participating and offering a giveaway. The book sounds interesting and I’d love to read it. Enjoy going “back to school!”
I’d say just be yourself and dont let anyone try to change you.
I have no clue what to suggest. I’m child-free 🙂
Ah! I got one. Manners. Teach the child to send thank you notes any time they are given a gift and not have the parent write it. Too many kids have no manners when it comes to saying thank you.