A MelanieM Review: Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

I’m very fond of Rebecca Cohen’s stories, from historical romances of The Crofton Chronicles to the contemporary Treading the Boards series, she always brings something different, a decided depth and twist to her novels.  So I was interested to see where her new story, Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks, would take me.  Surprisingly it took me to her home.

As the author states in her forward, Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks is as much a love letter to Basel, Switzerland as it is a contemporary romance.  That’s so true.  Rebecca Cohen’s love for her adopted city shines through every scene, every description, glowing like a adoring spotlight over this historical place that’s the location for Mark and Steffen’s love story.  I have to admit I was googling as fast as I was reading, so alluring and warm did Basel become in my mind.  It is a fully formed main character, as much as Mark and Steffen, enfolding them both with the culture, cobbled streets, sounds, and even flavors of Basel itself.  I want to go so badly my fingers are itching to hit Priceline.com or whatever link, book and go!

And with all that, it doesn’t overshine the easy, sweet romance of Mark and Steffen who fall in love over a simple arrangement and look like they have found their HEA.  Normally I don’t do any sort of instant love.  But here with Mark and Steffen, both men are older, coming out of relationships where they can define what didn’t work, and know what they want.  In other words, they are ready.  Right age, right timing.  It happens that way.  And the author makes it believable.  I believed not only in both men, their different personalities, their workplaces, everything.  Oh and the differences in where they lived!

I liked knowing where they took the train to, what stations they got off at.  It gave me a real feel for the city.  The walk to the Zoo and the penguins!  It made the book feel intimate and authentic.  Oh, and the Carnival in Basel, the Basler Fasnacht, along with the 4am Morgestraich, a parade unlike any other.  And so much more.  The reader is right there, watching with Mark and Steffen, laughing and amazed!

Really, it’s hard to remember this story is only 132 pages.

But every page is a jewel.  Of romance, of loving information conveyed to Mark and the reader about Basel, and a terrific love story as well.  Hard to beat that!  If you love contemporary romance and travel too,  Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks
by Rebecca Cohen is a great combination of both.  Pick it up.  I highly recommend it.  And yes, I’d love to return and visit them again.

Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht. What a great cover. Incorporates both Basel and a model that’s the character. Love it.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Book Details:

Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

ebook, 132 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640800731
Edition LanguageEnglish

Release Blitz & Review Tour for Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 45,613 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
 
Blurb
 

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

Excerpt

Mark had two and a half months left in Basel, and the idea of several weeks of no strings attached sex was as exhilarating as it was nerve-racking. It was the kind of offer his younger self would’ve jumped at—but he wasn’t that man anymore, and he wasn’t sure he could be again. “I wouldn’t say reticence.”

“No? Then perhaps my English is rusty, as I do not have a better word for it.”

“Okay, you’ve a point. But you have to understand that it’s not every day that an attractive man states so bluntly that he wants to fuck me.”

“Then the men in the UK are stupid. Or you are not mixing with the right type of men.”

Steffen wasn’t completely wrong. The truth was he had spent his university days shagging about, enjoying the writhing mass of bodies in the clubs and gay bars. At the time he’d loved the anonymous and varied encounters, but then he’d decided he needed to grow up and join the adult world. Suit, tie, steady job, and long-term boyfriend, with cozy Friday nights in and dinners for two, not body shots and glory holes. “I gave up clubbing after university. These days I don’t go to the type of places where men go to keep things casual.”

Steffen seemed to consider his response before replying. “So it would be the fleeting nature of our encounters that would bother you?”

“Possibly. I suppose my needs changed, and I wanted more than the emptiness of another hollow shag.” It felt like an important admission, something he’d never talked about before, but it needed to be said to explain why he wasn’t dragging Steffen out of the restaurant and back to his lodgings. “The only one-night stand I’ve had in the last ten years turned into a yearlong relationship. I hadn’t planned it. It just sort of happened.”

Steffen waved a piece of veal in his direction. “I cannot give you permanence.”

“I’m not asking for it,” Mark added quickly, and he meant it.

“What I am hearing is you are not against the theory of enjoying a few weeks of fun before you return home. But equally, I am not convinced you are fully in favor either. If you do not wish this, we will finish our dinner, shake hands, and depart as friends. You are not beholden, either way.”

Steffen wasn’t offering an anonymous shag. It wasn’t thanks for the fuck, now fuck off, but instead something in the middle. Mark’s love life had been in the doldrums since John left, ostensibly because Mark’s job had eaten away any free time and John had decided enough was enough. He didn’t have any more free time now, and that wasn’t going to change, which would no doubt annoy any new boyfriend, so why not take Steffen up on his offer? He picked up his wine and took a sip of liquid courage. “Throw in being my personal tour guide of the city and I’m in.”

Steffen offered up his wineglass in a toast. “I plan to give Basel Tourism Office a run for their money.”

Mark copied and took a sip of his wine. Never had agreeing to sleep with someone felt so formal, borderline making a business deal. But somehow it didn’t feel wrong; instead it was as though he was entering something that didn’t require constant renegotiation. He would know where he stood with Steffen. Sex, hopefully very good sex, if he was lucky, and he suspected Steffen’s experience might make up for his own rusty skills and help polish them up nicely. “Let’s hope I don’t find you lacking—I’d hate to leave a terrible review on TripAdvisor.”

“Oh, there are plenty of people who can attest to my abilities.” Steffen waggled his eyebrows. “I will give you my personal guarantee that you will not find me wanting—in any capacity.”

Mark skewered the last piece of meat. “You’re certainly not lacking in confidence.”

“Have you only just noticed?”

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here! We highly recommend it.

Author Bio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/ 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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A MelanieM Review: He’s Behind You (Treading The Boards #3) by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

84cd6-hesbehindyoufsIt’s panto season for the Sarky Players, an amateur dramatics society based in Greenwich, South London. With the traditional Christmas play around the corner, it’s time to get ready for more larger than life performances—on and off stage.

While Craig Rosen is happy with his quiet life playing Warhammer and working in a university lab, a new colleague thinks he needs more excitement and drags Craig along to an audition for the Christmas pantomime, Aladdin.

Corporate lawyer Jason Carter accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now divorced and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he runs into Craig at the audition and the cute younger man agrees to help him navigate his new life. There’s no doubting the attraction between Craig and Jason, but with Craig’s insecurities and Jason still finding his way, they’ll need to make sure they don’t veer off script.

He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen is the third book in the wonderful Treading the Boards series which follows the lives and romances of the actors of the Sarky Players, an amateur drama group outside of London.  I loved each one because I’ve not only connected with the couples, each quirky and adorable, but because the author has brought something to my attention that I’ve never known about before in each story.  In the last one, it was a magnificent amphitheater in Cornwall.   Here, in He’s Behind You?  Its the British tradition of Pantomine.  And no, its not what us Americans are thinking of.

Pantomine,  not that silent man or woman trying to get out of a box we normally think of here in the US, is a British tradition started around Restoration England.  A part of Christmas there, “with family audiences, British pantomime… incorporating song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, in-jokes, audience participation, and mildaboutpantomime innuendo. There are a number of traditional story lines, and also a fairly well-defined set of performance conventions…”. I had no idea!  And now I want to see one performed!   And Rebecca Cohen works it so well into the storyline complete with scripts and costumes!

The characters complement the storyline too.  Jason Carter is a lawyer who was married with a lovely family for over 20 years.  Problem is that Jason is gay.  He was discovering that fact when his gf became pregnant when they were young. Both did the traditional thing and married.  Now Jason, with his ex-wife’s and children’s blessing is ready to discover what being an out gay man means.  And how I loved this part of the story.  Jason has the complete backing of his family, a delightful family we get to know and love.  They support him in every way, believably.  Realistic teenagers with messy rooms and geek hero worship, and a ex-wife full of layers and the ability to move on with love.  Jason has doubts and plenty of flaws accumulated with age and the life he’s lived.  Great job with character building here.

Craig Rosen is also beautifully done, with a heartbreaking background thats filled in bit by bit, intelligent and surprising in his qualities.  I fell in love with him too.  Together, quietly, these two men, making adjustments and finding each other?  Its not explosive, its subtle and it has a wonderful aspect all its own that’s hard to describe.  It will startle you in how much you enjoy them and their relationship, especially thinking back on it.

Finally, it introduced me to Warhammer!  And I thought I had my geek flag flying. Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop,  is set in a dystopian science fantasy universe.  So cool that I had to start my investigation into that as well.  That’s as fully a part of this story and Craig as the Panto.  And it provides an important link to Jason.

So…what a story!  Its chock full of so many wonderful elements and a quiet romance full of discovery for two men in need of love and each other.

I loved it.  And recommend it and its previous stories.  If like me, you love discovering new things, new places to go with your romances, these books are for you.  Happy Reading!

 

Cover by Paul Richmond is as funny and pertinent as all the others.  Wonderful.

Sales Links

 Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner | AllRomance | B&N | KOBO 

Book Details:

ebook, 140 pages
Published December 2nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleHe’s Behind You
ISBN 1623805228 (ISBN13: 9781623805227)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTreading the Boards #3

He’s Behind You from Series Recap Tour – Treading The Boards Series – Rebecca Cohen (giveaway)

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He’s Behind You (Treading The Boards #3) 

 Rebecca Cohen

Length: 43,212

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner | AllRomance | B&N | KOBO 
 
 
Series 
 
Overly Dramatic (Treading The Boards #1)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner | AllRomance | B&N | KOBO 
Summer Season (Treading The Boards #2) 
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner | AllRomance | B&N | KOBO  
Received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Rainbow Awards.  
Blurb

A trip down to Cornwall is just what Ryan Penniford needs to recover from the daily grind of London life. Ryan and his amateur dramatics society, the Sarky Players, are traveling to Porthcurno to perform at the stunning Minack Theatre.

Stuart Box has returned to Cornwall after earning his PhD, and is killing time as he looks for a job back in London. Spending time with Ryan from the Sarky Players is a great way to take his mind off things.

During their first meeting, sparks fly, but not in a good way, and they must work to get past their initial hostilities to discover they have great off-stage chemistry. Stuart soon learns Ryan is not the superficial man people assume he is, and Stuart likes what he sees. The feeling is entirely mutual.

Pity Ryan is only visiting for two weeks, but both men want to see where this holiday romance might take them.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here . We recommend it!

 
Author Bio

REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Contacts:
Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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A MelanieM Review: Summer Season (Treading the Boards #2) by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

summer-season-by-rebecca-cohenA trip down to Cornwall is just what Ryan Penniford needs to recover from the daily grind of London life. Ryan and his amateur dramatics society, the Sarky Players, are traveling to Porthcurno to perform at the stunning Minack Theatre.

Stuart Box has returned to Cornwall after earning his PhD, and is killing time as he looks for a job back in London. Spending time with Ryan from the Sarky Players is a great way to take his mind off things.

During their first meeting, sparks fly, but not in a good way, and they must work to get past their initial hostilities to discover they have great off-stage chemistry. Stuart soon learns Ryan is not the superficial man people assume he is, and Stuart likes what he sees. The feeling is entirely mutual.

Pity Ryan is only visiting for two weeks, but both men want to see where this holiday romance might take them.

Summer Season (Treading the Boards #2) by Rebecca Cohen continues the romantic ventures of a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players.   In the first story, Overly Dramatic, it was Andy and Phil who got their HEA, leaving a certain Ryan Penniford to wonder why neither man thought he someone worth pursuing.  Here he gets his answer.  Its because he hadn’t found the man for him yet.  Ryan meets that person when he travels to Porthcurno to perform with the Sarky Players at the famed Minack Theatre.

I’ve included a photo in the review only because if you aren’t familiar with this theatre (I confess I wasn’t before this story), you will be afterwards.  Its as much a major character as any of the other players and rightfully so.  It provides the dramatic backdrop not only for a successful run during the story of Shakespeare’s A Midsummerminack02 Night’s Dream by the Sarky Players with Ryan as a sexy Puck but the romantic setting of sea and village can make anyone fall in love.  Its magic.  We can imagine it because Rebecca Cohen brings that magic out on the page and into the scenes, from the salt on the sea air and the dolphins dancing on the water behind the actors to the walks down the lane.  You get it.  And want to hop on the next plane out to experience it all for yourself.

We get two points of view here, which is nice.  Stuart is at that uncertain place in his life. His degree done, he’s returned home to send out resumes and think about his next step.  So we see all his jumbled thoughts about his future, and the questions in his mind about what to do next. Home includes a wildly unconventional mother who I adored and a pair of neighbors who figured large in his upbringing.  One of which manages the Minack and brings Stuart back into helping out with the new production which is coming into the village.

The other pov is Ryan’s who is a player on the surface, and the total opposite once the layers are removed.  Only he’s hesitant to remove his layers for anyone to see for fear of being hurt.  One person in transition, the other there for only two weeks and afraid of being hurt.  But Cohen shows us that the right place, the right timing, the right people and yes, the magic can happen and feel real.

I am not a believer in “insta love” and part of this still feels a little too fast for my liking.  Yes, too summer holiday.  But they text, and call, and continue to connect once the holiday is over.  And that made it believable for me.  They worked for it.  They traveled to see each other.  I liked that about this story.  It wasn’t a “insta love” and boom they were HEA.  No things had to be worked out. Jobs, housing.  RL issues.  Yet the romance didn’t falter either.

I was actually sorry to say goodbye to Porthcurno and be back in London again.  But that’s where the Sarky Players call home and there’s another story yet to come.  I would love to see the Sarky Players take another road trip.  This one turned out fantastic. I learned about The Minack Theatre and read a lovely romance.  The Sarky Players are such a sweet, fun group. I definitely recommend you make their acquaintance.  Each and every one, from Overly Dramatic to Summer Season.  You don’t need to read the first one to read this one.  Each sort of operates as a standalone, putting them together, however, is a definite plus!  And there’s one more to come.

Cover art by Paul Richmond captures almost every major story element.  Its amazing.  From Ryan as Pan with Stewart watching to the famous Minack Theatre in Cornwall, its perfection.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 127 pages
Published October 7th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleSummer Season
ISBN 1634762738 (ISBN13: 9781634762731)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series: Treading the Boards – add them to your Goodreads shelf here:

Series Recap Tour – Summer Season (Treading The Boards #2) – Rebecca Cohen (giveaway)

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Summer Season (Treading The Boards #2) 

 Rebecca Cohen

Length: 37,415 words
 
 
 
Series 
 
Overly Dramatic (Treading The Boards #1)
He’s Behind You (Treading The Boards #3)
 
Blurb

A trip down to Cornwall is just what Ryan Penniford needs to recover from the daily grind of London life. Ryan and his amateur dramatics society, the Sarky Players, are traveling to Porthcurno to perform at the stunning Minack Theatre.

Stuart Box has returned to Cornwall after earning his PhD, and is killing time as he looks for a job back in London. Spending time with Ryan from the Sarky Players is a great way to take his mind off things.

During their first meeting, sparks fly, but not in a good way, and they must work to get past their initial hostilities to discover they have great off-stage chemistry. Stuart soon learns Ryan is not the superficial man people assume he is, and Stuart likes what he sees. The feeling is entirely mutual.

Pity Ryan is only visiting for two weeks, but both men want to see where this holiday romance might take them.

 
Author Bio

REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Contacts:
Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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A MelanieM Review: Overly Dramatic (Treading the Boards) by Rebecca Cohen

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Overly Dramatic coverAndy Marshall moves to London looking for a fresh start after breaking up with his long-term boyfriend. To stave off boredom from his day job as an accountant and to meet new people, Andy joins a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players based in Greenwich, South London. Despite his best efforts to avoid it, Andy is cast as one of the leads in a truly dreadful play called Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers, written by a local playwright.

The play might be bad, but the Sarky Players are a friendly bunch. Andy quickly makes new friends and finds himself attracted to Phil Cormack, a local artist helping with the props. But life doesn’t run to a script, so Andy and Phil will have to work hard to improvise their own happy ending.

I’m used to Rebecca Cohen having a few characters who trod the “boards” in her stories but those actors did so in William Shakespeare’s days.  Now Rebecca Cohen has given us a gentle romp herself with Overly Dramatic, a light-hearted romance set in contemporary Greenwich,  London, England, where a local amateur acting group is putting on a resoundingly bad play.

The name of that  play? “Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers!”  Full of double,triple, and quadruple entendres and a vicar mounting paper mache’ goat on wheels,  its a disaster along the lines of “Springtime for Hitler”.   The dramatic society producing the play is the Sarky Players, a local dramatic group Andy Marshall has just joined looking for companionship and perhaps something more.  Andy was lured in thinking the play was Cold Comfort Farm but once he started to read for it, Andy was caught up in the people, the action and the feelings of being part of a group again.

I loved how the author brought the Sarky Players to life in their snarky, believable characters.  I thought these were people we had in our offices or sat next to us in the cubicles or ran into at class reunions.  Even Andy and Phil are far from the normal “gorgeous” characters that may stride across your typical m/m romance novel.  A little paunch is visible (and Andy’s ok with that), the brown hair is lovely and nice but maybe not so glossy.  In short, lovely, men (no I won’t call them average – dislike that) who might fall along the “normal” range than movie star.  Both Andy and Phil are coming off bad romances but not completely disastrous ones.  And that just might be a problem right there for some readers.  There is no hurt/comfort.  No drama.  Just two very human men slowly finding their way into a relationship with each other.  Amidst a very bad play.

Some readers will find this boring.  I found it very sweet and lovely.  What did I wish more of?  Something more from the ending.  That felt a little abrupt.  It needed to play out a little more than it did for my total satisfaction. Other than that…this play and these men were just my thing!

Rebecca Cohen’s secondary characters are well crafted as her main ones.  I loved Ussie, Andy’s elderly game-playiing neighbor, along with Ryan, Derek and Naomi.  Ryan needs his own HEA and as this is just the start of the Treading the Boards series, I’m hopeful that is to come.

If you are looking for drama (outside of bad plays and paper mache’ goats of course) and angst, this is not the story for you. But if sweetness, lovely men in search of love and romance is your thing, then Overly Dramatic is a story you will enjoy.  I know I did and I look forward to the others in this series.

Cover art by Paul Richmond was as cute and adorable as the story and cast.  How can you resist a man in that Marilyn Monroe pose?

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 131 pages
Expected publication: August 19th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634764551
edition language English

In The Spotlight: Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen (interview and giveaway)

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UG cover

Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen

Goodreads Link
Release Date: April 6, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

 Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback    All Romance (ARe)

Our Q and A with Rebecca Cohen…

• As a reader, Under Glass is a galaxy away from the Crofton Chronicles.  What prompted the switch in genres?

This isn’t the first time I’ve switched genres; I go wherever the story takes me. ‘Under Glass’ is my first foray into science fiction, and it’s a genre I love and wanted to write in. The plot simply wouldn’t have worked as a contemporary or an historical, and even fantasy wouldn’t have been the best fit. I needed the freedom to create new worlds and species.

• I loved the premise of Under Glass, lovers reunited or torn apart and reunited is a theme that resonates with me.  Why use this as a background or theme to your story?  What was the inspiration behind the characters and plot?

I wanted to play with the theme of love at first sight and predetermination. Kai and Ollie are linked by their biology, they were destined to be together, but once I had that idea I started thinking what would happen if two people who were meant to be together were separated. Kai is brought up knowing he has lost something very important and this shapes his character, whereas Ollie is blissfully unaware until he meet a stranger who is so compelling. As Ollie doesn’t know what is happening he tries to fight it. As you can imagine this is a clash they need to work hard to overcome.

• What do you use, if anything, to create “alien” names for characters and objects?

I try to make the first names of characters ease to read, since as a reader I find it quite frustrating if I don’t know how to pronounce a name. For the surname, I allow myself to be freer and make up alien sounding surnames. I still want people to be able to pronounce them and often combine normal names or words to create more alien names.

• Would you like to be an interplanetary traveller and where would you like to go?

Only if I could make I sure I could get home! It would be fascinating to get up close to Saturn’s rings, or witness the scale of the ice giant planets first hand.

• Do you have a favorite  science fiction or fantasy author who made an impact on you as a reader and now author?

Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I love both of these authors, and large part of that is due to the humor in their writing.

• Favorite fictional  science fiction and/or fantasy world and who created it?

Has to be the Discworld by Terry Pratchett.

• I can’t tell but is there a chance that this will become a series?

‘Under Glass’ was planned to be a standalone, and Kai and Ollie’s story has been told. However, there is a lot of untapped potential in the worlds of the planetarium and, while I have no plans to return at the moment, I never say never…

• What’s next for Rebecca Cohen?

A contemporary romantic comedy novella series set around an amateur dramatics society in London. After those, I’ll be finishing off the Reagalos series and then I’m heading back to Crofton Hall.

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STRW Author BookSynopsis

Creating planets and guarding the stars leaves novice planet builder Kai Faewiva lonely. For members of Kai’s species who are born with an organ called a caerellon, their true love, their Sun or Moon, is identified at birth. But the novices are people who have lost their perfect love, and Kai’s Sun is long dead, killed in an accident when he was five years old. Or so everyone thought.

After recovering from another bout of the unidentified illness he has battled for years, Kai returns to work.  But his quiet day at the planetarium is thrown into chaos when scans of Goka Prime, one of the planets in the Sol-Alpha2 system, picks up a life-form that shouldn’t be there. Kai’s Sun, Oliver Gyin, is alive and well, but how he got to be on Goka Prime, no one knows. Now he needs to be brought home.

Ollie has lived most of his life in the City of Harrea, never guessing he is from another planet. Surprised to find a stranger means the world to him, Ollie wrestles with his loyalties and the drive to return with Kai. To leave Goka Prime, he must give up everything and everyone he knows. But twenty years apart means Kai and Ollie face a fight to secure their destined future.

Pages or Words: 108,000 words

Categories: M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

The East Terrace had clear views of the city and the hills in the distance, and the setting sun bathed the world in hues of red, purple, and orange. “One of the best views from the palace,” Ollie said. “Guests aren’t usually allowed here.”

Kai glanced back to the door. “Will we get in trouble?”

“No, Menish is a personal friend. He won’t mind.”

“Must be good to have a friend who rules the city.”

Ollie chuckled. “We went to school together. I often have to remind myself that he’s the sultan and not the kid who helped me toilet paper the housemaster’s study windows.”

“Very good friends.”

Ollie didn’t think Kai needed to know just how good a friend Menish had been at one point, although what they had enjoyed was nothing more serious than teenage exploration. “Put it this way: he’d have no problem with me showing you this terrace.”

“The sunset is quite beautiful,” Kai said, turning to face it, and Ollie thought Kai wanted to steer the conversation away from Menish.

“Yes. It changes through the seasons, but I think this is my favorite time of year.”

“Then I am fortunate we chose this time to visit and a place on the mission became available.”

Kai’s choice of word in calling his visit a mission was a little strange, but Ollie thought better of mentioning anything. “Oh, you were. The festival to celebrate the end of harvest starts in a few days, and the city is awash with stalls and street entertainment.”

Kai turned back to him, cocked his head to one side, and smiled. “Perhaps you would agree to be my guide for that as well?”

The hopeful expression and the slight smile made Ollie swallow thickly as he stared into Kai’s dark brown eyes in the failing light. Kai bit his bottom lip and tilted his head back a little to look Ollie in the eye, making Ollie lick his own lips involuntarily. His hand twitched to cup Kai’s cheek and rub his thumb across his cheekbone to prove his hypothesis that Kai’s skin would be soft and warm to the touch.

The little voice in the back of his head returned, and it bluntly reminded Ollie he wasn’t a single man. The pang of guilt made him turn away, and he saw a confused look on Kai’s face. Not only was he in danger of betraying Rica, but he was also leading Kai along on a dance that Kai didn’t know Ollie already had a partner for.

He stepped away, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Kai. I can’t do this. While I can’t deny you have caught my eye like no one else, I am not the type of man to be unfaithful.” There, he’d said it, made it clear he was attached, and Kai’s expression morphed first to confusion and then into hurt. “I don’t understand.”

“I have a boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” asked Kai weakly.

“His name is Rica. He’s away at sea.” The devastation on Kai’s face almost made Ollie step closer and gather him into his arms, but he forced himself to put more distance between them. “I’m sorry, Kai. I was so wrapped up in the connection we seemed to share I lost sight of things. I should never have let it get this far, and I must stop it going further.”

“I see.” Kai turned away. “I wish you a good evening, Mr. Gyin. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to enjoy the view a little longer before I find one of the servants to show me to my room.”

“Of course. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Kai didn’t reply, and Ollie retreated back inside, part of his mind protesting that he was going the wrong way, the other part telling him he was doing the right thing. He turned back to see Kai still standing on the terrace, his head bent. Ollie fled, fearing that if he stayed a moment longer he’d do something he’d really enjoy but regret later.

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 DSP gift cert and choice of a book from my backlist (does not include Under Glass). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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