Today I've got Charley Descoteaux stopping by with one of her characters. Sit back and enjoy this great character interview!
Thanks so much for hosting me, Lacey!
I love character interviews, and most readers seem to feel the same. My favorite kind are the ones with the supporting cast—they don’t get as much page-time as the MCs but often have great stories to tell.
My Amber Allure novella A Sunday Kind of Love is about Jake and Mason but they needed a shove—and that’s where DJ comes in. He’s the type of guy who’s been toeing the line as best he can for years and is looking forward to calling his own shots and only pretending to be someone he’s not for scale or better.
Charley: Thanks for agreeing to have coffee with me, DJ.
DJ: No problema. But I'll take a sparkling water with lime.
Charley: Worried about dehydration, are we?
DJ: It takes effort and sacrifice to look this good.
Charley: I'm sure it does, sweetheart. If you're all set, I'd like to talk about your dad.
DJ: Sure. You could talk to him, you know. He's not shy or modest. *laughs*
Charley: That's only partly true. I'm sure he could talk about music for days—or you.
DJ: No doubt. But that's not what you're interested in, even if he is brilliant. What do you want to hear about? Ruby Road?
Charley: Sounds good. Do you remember anything from that time?
DJ: Do you remember anything from when you were two or three?
Charley: Can't say that I do.
DJ: Neither do I. But Mom told me a lot, and just about everyone in the family has their own favorite stories. Most of the Oregon Branch visited at one time or another. You know how they are; if you can't make it to them they'll come to you. Especially Grandma.
Charley: What's the best story your mom ever told you about Ruby Road?
DJ: Well, there are so many . . . Uncle Charlie tells the best ones but I'll give you something from Mom's scrapbook.
Charley: I appreciate that.
DJ: So, most kids say mama as their first word, right? Well, that's one of the few ways I was average. Only I said it to Dad. For a few weeks I called Mom and Dad both Mama. Da tried to tell me that only Mom was Mama, but apparently it was more amusing to use it for both of them. I mean, they're almost the same height so it's no surprise I'd get confused.
Charley: Hey, that's not exactly true.
DJ: Sure it is. If he's barefoot and she's in heels, they're the same height.
Charley: Anything else you'd like to share about Jake?
DJ: Yeah. He's really been dragged through it. How about you let his HFN fade into an ever-after?
Charley: I think that can be arranged. What about you? Care to get in line for one of your own?
DJ: *laughs* I don’t think so. I'll have to stay on the down-low for a while, until I get star billing a few times or maybe an Oscar. You could arrange a parade of hung guys to do my hair and makeup, or drivers . . . Uncle Dave’s car service has this one hot driver I wouldn’t mind nailing.
Charley: I'll see what I can do.
Little does he know I have plans for him to get a book of his own. Not sure when it’ll be, I have three stories of various lengths in the works now and a queue of heroes who want me to find their Prince Charming . . . but I’m looking forward to hanging out with DJ again.
Thanks again, Lacey!
You're welcome anytime!
Before I give everyone the scoop on the book, I want to let you know about my Christmas in July contest! I’m giving away a total of 6 ebooks, two pieces of one-of-a-kind swag, and two $10 gift cards! Visit this post on my blog for details, or check out my guest spot on Wednesday’s Amber Allure blog, or Friday on Tara Lain’s beautiful space for more ways to enter!
Okay, back to my guys and their search for a love to last past Saturday night.
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.
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