Hullo! I’m Rori! I’m so very excited to be here. When Chance asked me to join in and chat with you all, I admit, I found myself feeling somewhat anxious. I couldn’t decide what to talk about, which I’m certain would surprise any of the fellas at the manor seeing as how I rarely run out of conversation around there. Of course, chatting with strangers is a little different. Chance insisted I not worry and that I should be myself, but then of course I started growing most concerned about my rambling, because I’m afraid I do tend to blather on at a rather accelerated pace when I get nervous. Henry has been awfully wonderful in helping me with that. I also fidget far less than I used to. Chance sat me down and assured me everything would be all right, so here I am.
Have you met Chance? He’s the absolute bee’s knees, not to mention smashing good fun! I’d never met any Yanks before him or the rest of the fellas, who are real swell, but Chance is, well–you promise not tell? I think Chance is dreamy! He was an actor you see, back before he joined the French Foreign Legion. They were going to make him a star. Sadly, things didn’t go as planned, but he still dances and sings, and oh, but he does it so well! He reminds me of Gary Cooper, handsome and with such pretty eyes! I love to see him going all gaga over Jacky. They’re both so dreamy together, like in one of those romantic motion pictures. I love going to the cinema, or anything related to! Hollywood is just so glamorous. Chance gets all sorts of motion picture magazines in from the states and they’re my absolute favorite! I love reading about all the dazzling leading ladies and their handsome heroes. Chance always has the most scandalous gossip and fascinating stories tell about his time in the theatre.
When I’m not working down at the bookstore in town, I can be found in the blue music room with Aubrey–he’s my best friend. You’ll get to meet him at the next stop. I’ll be there with him as he won’t be able to converse with you, but I’m very good at figuring out what he wants to say. He’s awfully shy though, more so than me, but he’s… well, it’s hard to describe Aubrey. I do like having him around. We listen to music together and read together. He likes it when I read to him so we’ll often read from one of my magazines or one his dime novels. When he feels like he might be about to have a fit, he’ll come to me with his favorite dime novel and I’ll read to him. It helps him a great deal. Aubrey loves dime novels especially. Well, I suppose I’ve rambled on quite enough. Thank you for listening to me. I do hope to see you at the next stop. Cheerio!
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 7 at Michael Rupured’s blog here.
Turning back, I kneeled down and spoke softly. “Hey, Ellie, I’m sorry. How about I make it up to you two? I’m going to town to bring you and the fellas back a little something. How about if I take your daddy with me? I’ll give him a ride on my motorbike. Will that make you happy?”
Elliot turned to look at me, a big smile spreading across his face. “Really?”
“Okay!” Elliot threw his arms around me, squishing his bear between us, and I couldn’t help but chuckle as I squeezed him back.
“Why don’t you run along inside? But don’t tell the fellas. It’s a surprise, okay?”
“Okay!” He kissed Henry’s cheek excitedly and bounded across the garden and up the steps. He gave us a wave before disappearing inside the house, leaving just Henry and me.
“Thank you,” Henry said, “but you don’t have to take me. I could just make myself scarce for a while. He won’t know.”
I turned to him with a frown. “You want me to lie to him?”
“No, of course not. I’m simply trying to save you the trouble of—”
“Forget it, doc. I told him I was taking you, and I’m taking you. Now get that pretty little keister moving.”
“Well, since you put it that way.” Henry swiped his felt hat off the stone bench, popped it on his head and walked ahead of me with a swish to his hips. He paused to look over his shoulder at me with a naughty smile and flicked the brim of his hat so it angled roguishly on his head. I couldn’t hold back my laugh. And here I was supposed to be the cheeky one. I shoved my hands in my pockets and caught up to him, bumping into him playfully. Not a lot of folks got to see Henry’s mischievous side. I liked that I brought it out in him.
We headed toward the back of the estate to the part of the stables where the manor’s motorcars were kept, along with my prized possession: a brand spanking new Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle I’d had custom made early this year by Mr. Brough himself in Nottingham. There were a very limited number of them in production this year. From what I gathered, mine had been lucky number seven. It even came with a written guarantee from Mr. Brough, stating the motorbike had been timed at over 100 miles per hour, something I could confirm to be true. The engineering was staggering, and boy, was she a beauty. At two hundred pounds, she was worth every penny. I told myself it was my way of contributing to the currently booming British motor industry. Usually I tended to take her out for a ride through the countryside, as I didn’t much like the thought of leaving her out on her lonesome.
“You know, thinking about it, it might be better if we take your car,” I said.
Aside from not wanting to leave my baby out in the middle of Market Square to get poked and prodded, there was the issue of what I was heading into the square to pick up in the first place. “Yeah, I don’t think carrying a basket full of cakes and pies on the back of my motorcycle is such a great idea.” The way I drove, they probably wouldn’t make it home in the same condition they left in.
“Ah, yes, good point. Shall I drive then? Perhaps you should refrain from doing so for a while.” He cast me a shrewd smile which I chose to ignore.
Part 9 continued on Nov 20th over at Attention is Arbitrary.
Available in ebook and print from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4362
Comment prompt: Do you have a favorite type of movie?
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.
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet
1st Prize: $15 Amazon gift card + Impetuous Afflictions signed swag pack + signed 8×10 art print.
2nd & 3rd Prize: Impetuous Afflictions swag pack + signed 8×10 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