10 SILLY QUESTIONS WITH RICK R. REED
RR: If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for dinner, what would you eat?
CD: Whatever they wanted to cook.
RR: Who do you think you are?
CD: Nobody special, just a queer with voices in my head.
RR: What’s your problem?
CD: See #2.
RR: If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?
CD: Sure! If you had one wish would you give it to me? (Note: I absolutely would because then we'd be even and we'd both have the added plus of good Karma coming our way.)
RR: Where you at?
CD: Crone stage.
RR: If you had to choose only one vice, what would it be?
CD: Chocolate. It’s truly a vice if you do it right.
RR: What’s your favorite brand of cereal?
CD: Chex, because it’s cereal and you can eat it right out of the box at midnight.
RR: When you wake up in the morning, what celebrity do you most resemble?
CD: Beaker from The Muppet Show.
RR: Do you know your ass from a hole in the ground? And if so, how do you tell the difference?
CD: Sometimes. I rely on the fact that I usually don’t have to bend down to reach my ass.
RR: Do you have anything you’d like to plug?
CD: Thanks for asking! The final book in my Buchanan House series is out from Dreamspinner Press. Art House, Buchanan House: Book Six gives Chase and Garrett their HEA while wrapping up threads from the previous books. Art House can be read as a standalone novel, but series fans will recognize a lot of characters from previous books. It’s a little angstier than the rest of the series, but age gap and hurt comfort can be angsty tropes.
Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.
Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.
Here’s a happy excerpt from Chase’s point of view.
A soft knock on the bedroom door startled a sound from Chase. Whoever it was would probably think he was asleep and leave him alone. Not many people it could be. My life is small and only getting smaller.
Regardless, he had no plans to give up his comfortable wallowing to try and be social. He wasn’t dressed to answer the door anyway, wearing only a faded pair of green plaid boxers—a pair Garrett had bought one year around the holidays. He did his best work without any clothes on at all but didn’t have the heart to be fully nude when he was so lonely.
I haven’t done my best work in years. No great loss.
When the doorknob turned, Chase sat up. When the door opened and Garrett peeked in, it took Chase’s breath away.
“Hey. Did I wake you?”
“No.” He wasn’t sure Garrett heard; he barely heard himself. “It’s good to see you.”
Wow, great line.
Also, the understatement of the week. Chase wanted to apologize, to throw himself at Garrett’s feet and beg his forgiveness for being so stupid, but couldn’t seem to move. He still sat with his legs over the far side of the bed, twisted to look at the vision stepping into the room and closing the door behind him. It almost felt like he was dreaming, but he’d never ached so badly from a dream before, so hopefully it was real.
It had to be real, because it was happening differently. If he were dreaming, things would be happening the way they had in the past. Chase hadn’t gotten a call first, and Garrett for sure didn’t look tentative or the least bit upset. He looked amazing—confident and relaxed, even with the shadows of bruises still on his face. He had shaved, and Chase missed the facial hair, but Garrett could never be anything short of gorgeous in his eyes.
Garrett moved closer to the bed, breaking the spell Chase was under. He stood and closed all but one step of the distance between them.
Garrett shook his head, a tiny smile playing on his lips. “I’m the one who’s sorry. You didn’t do anything wrong. Okay if I—”
Before he could finish the one thing that was playing out the same as it always did—Okay if I stay?—Chase leaned forward and kissed him. Softly, only enough to stop him from finishing that sentence. If everything played out differently this time, then maybe it would be the last time they spent days—or weeks—apart, the last time he drove away the love of his life with careless words or boneheaded actions.
The kiss was short, and when Garrett pulled back he was smiling. “I guess that’s a yes.” He reached out and rubbed his thumb over a splotch of green paint near Chase’s left nipple. “Were you working?”
“Taking a break.”
“Want to take a longer break?”
“I really do.”
Garrett gripped Chase’s upper arms and pulled him close. Still a little stunned, Chase didn’t move. He sighed when Garrett wrapped both arms around him and squeezed tightly. “I missed you.”
“I’m so glad you’re here.” Chase embraced him and squeezed, burying his face in Garrett’s soft auburn hair. He moaned when Garrett slid both hands past the waistband of his boxers and pushed them to the floor. A twinge of embarrassment made it past the relief and desire flooding his mind when Garrett grasped his cock and it didn’t even say hello back.
It did, eventually, and Chase welcomed Garrett home the way he always did.
BUY Art House, Buchanan House: Book Six
WHO IS CHARLEY DESCOTEAUX?
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. Mx Descoteaux has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through a single day without stories.