I’d like to welcome Charley to the blog today to give you a glimpse at her new Christmas novella!
Cascades by Charley Descoteaux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 9, 2015
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Justice “JB” Bishop tells himself he’s satisfied with life in the small town of Upright, Oregon. He was born and raised there, and has settled into a comfortable, if lonely, routine working at his uncle’s bar. JB doesn’t expect anything to change after he turns fifty, until an old friend drops in. She suggests he get out of town for the holidays, and soon JB finds himself on an Amtrak to Canada. JB expected to feel different in Canada, to see things he couldn’t see at home. He never expected to find the one who got away.
“So, what does JB stand for anyway?”
I stood across the bar from Pete, polishing the spots off a glass for something to do. He slurred so thickly I could barely understand him, but he would notice if I slacked too hard while he was paying me to work. The slant of his shoulders and the glassy look in his eyes said I’d better move him toward a booth soon or I’d have to pick him up off the floor later. I wasn’t as young as I used to be, and he wasn’t as light. “It doesn’t stand for anything. You know that.”
He sipped from his glass and made a face. I’d started serving him O’Doul’s about forty-five minutes ago, but was too late to save myself from overnight drunk patrol.
“Bullshit. I know what it means.”
The place looked even shabbier from the business end of the bar, with its dusty cedar-shake paneling and century-old flooring, more like fencing than something you’d walk on. Dim neon beer signs and pictures of hunting victories going back to the Reagan years decorated the walls. The buzz I had going didn’t make it any prettier.
I clapped Pete on the shoulder. “What does it mean, then?”
He squinted at me, his bushy gray eyebrows nearly covering his eyes. While he worked on remembering what we’d been talking about, I pulled his arm across my shoulders and steered him toward the back wall. Four booths with wide seats covered in black Naugahyde stood there in the darkness, well away from the windows and the curious eyes of Upright’s two police officers.
Pete slid into the one nearest the men’s room, his usual resting place on the most difficult nights. He leaned into the corner made by the back of the booth and the wall, and sighed. “Thanks, JB.”
“You bet. Can I get you anything?”
Pete chuckled. “The brain I drowned?”
“Take it easy. I’ll get you home if you’d rather sleep there tonight.”
“Nah. Save your back. You’re not a young’un anymore. Gotta think about that, or you’ll regret it.”
Before I could answer, he’d nodded off, his head back and mouth wide, snoring. I could’ve argued, but what good would it do? He could see the gray in my beard and the growth in my forehead better than I could.
I turned off the neon signs, locked the front door, stretched out on the cot in the storeroom, and waited for morning.
Most nights I’d get to the end of my favorite relaxation technique before I fell asleep, but not that night. Not sure why, but it had been the slowest Saturday night in history. Probably had something to do with how close it was to Christmas, even if that usually meant the place would be full instead of empty. The disappointing night didn’t surprise me—it came with the holiday territory. I fell asleep with my perfect man only half-constructed.
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7112
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cascades-1929239-149.html
Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.
Rattle Charley’s cages:
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=879