Johnnie here. Once again. Welcome to the final stop on my personal guided tour, thank heavens. Not that it hasn't been real swell, but a fella’s got things to do, which may or may not involve a certain doctor. I don't like leaving Henry on his own for two long, especially about London. Too many folks giving him the up and down. Speaking of London, the joint ain't half bad, as far as cities go.
Believe it or not, I like places with history, and yeah, it doesn't hurt that usually Henry is the one giving the history lesson. To be honest, it don't matter what he's yammering on about as long as he's the one doing the talking. I usually accompany him up to London when he's in need of medical supplies or the latest equipment. Sometimes it's just nice to get away from the manor and have him to myself. Then there are the days when Henry asks me to join him and Elliot on their special days out. Our first stop is always the same: The Furry Hat Man.
[Attribution: By The Lloyd family (Family pictures) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
Who's the furry hat man? That’s what Elliot refers to those fellas as. Elliot loves going up to London just so he can see them. They stand still for a really long time and I admit, despite the hat, they’re pretty hardboiled. I wouldn't last a day in their shiny shoes. One prod from a tourist and I’d end in the hoosegow for sure. Usually it's a challenged trying to keep Elliot from attempting to get their attention. He's always wanting to see how soft their furry hats are.
[Attribution: By Karrackoo (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons]
This is a big clock. Actually, it's called Ben, Big Ben. Why they named a clock Ben is something else I don't know. What's so great about Ben? Of course it don't have anything to do with the other Ben. You need to keep minding your potatoes, pal. What? Ben's the name of the bell? Who the hell name's a bell Ben? The English have funny names for things, like boot and bonnet for parts of an automobile. As far as I'm concerned, a bonnet's one of them frilly things ladies used to wear on their heads, and a boot goes on your foot, or if Chance is around, he’s probably threatening your backside with it.
Eight years and sometimes I still don't know what folks are blathering on about. Henry likes to tease me, always looking for new words I might not have come across just so he can see 'the look'. I ain't exactly sure what look I get when he suddenly stops making sense, but he seems to find it extraordinarily amusing. Back to London. There's lots of places to go, including plenty of apartment parties and even some places known to cater fellas like us. Mostly, I just like getting to walk around London with Henry and Elliot. We always stop for tea and cake. Sometimes when Henry's holding Elliot while the little squirt looks at ducks or flowers or something, I like to watch them and wonder what it'd be like if were a family, the three of us. Well, I'm starting to get all sappy, so that means it's the end of my tour. If you learned something, good for you. If you didn't, that's what libraries are for. Next up, you'll hear from the Brats. Good luck there, pal.Blurb:
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 5 on Andrew Q. Gordon's blog here.
Excerpt Part 6
Fenton was going to have my hide. As grounds-keeper to the east side of the gardens, the man was rightfully growing weary of my crushing his flowerbeds.
I hit the unsuspecting plants with an “oomf”; and with a groan, I got to my feet. Leaves, petals, and tiny branches poked out everywhere. Smoothing down my hair, I snatched up my hat and huffed my way around the back toward the south gardens. By now, I knew Henry would have finished his session with Jacky, and if I found Henry, I’d find the little ragamuffin who seemed to be under the impression I was some sort of damsel who needed to be locked away in her tower waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming.
Henry gave a start, his sudden impulse to hide the book in his hands telling me it was another romance novel, which I would have to remember to have a gander at next time I wasn’t in a lather. He looked me over, his mouth dropping open. “Good gad, man, what’s happened to you now?” Leaving the stone bench, he stood beside me and started picking flower petals from my hair until I swatted his hand away.
“Stop that. Is he here?” I looked around, not seeing the little squirt. He couldn’t be far.
“Who?” Henry looked around us, puzzled.
“You know who, and you know what.”
“Oh.” With a sigh, Henry turned, talking to the large tree across from us. “Come on out.”
Wispy brown hair edged out from behind the tree, followed by big green eyes, flushed cheeks, and an intense pout.
“Come now, Elliot,” Henry said gently, though there was enough sternness to get the six-year-old to come out from his hiding spot and run over to Henry—or at least hide behind him—teddy bear clutched in one arm. I kneeled down in front of Henry, my gaze on the innocent-looking cherub who I knew better than to believe was innocent.
“Ellie, why did you lock me in my room again?”
I was met with silence and a stern frown. Elliot came out from behind Henry to take my hand and put it in Henry’s. Awkward was what saps felt. I was settled in nicely between mortified and someone please shoot me where I stand.
The blog tour & excerpts continue with the Brats on Nov 18th over at Michael Rupured's blog.
Available in ebook and print from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4362
Comment Prompt: What's been your favorite place to visit?
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.Website: http://www.charliecochet.com
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet
1st Prize: $15 Amazon gift card + Impetuous Afflictions signed swag pack + signed 8x10 art print.
2nd & 3rd Prize: Impetuous Afflictions swag pack + signed 8x10 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