Welcome to the occassional guest blog #GreatGuestThursday.
Today, my great guest is the fantastic Douglas Black, talking about his latest book, The Bucket List.
Five Movies and Five Songs
Raven McAllan set me a challenge. She asked me to name five songs and five movies that mean a lot to my characters Blake and Kade, who appear in The Bucket List.
Now, I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge so I shuffled over to my characters, question in hand, and, I have to say, some of their answers surprised even me!
DB – Hey guys, how have you been since we left you at the end of The Bucket List?
Kade – Good.
Blake – Really good.
DB – Care to elaborate?
K – Not really.
B – (laughs) Things have been good. Kade’s living with me. He’s trying to help me sort out my books so I can get my [watersports] business turning a profit again. He’s the hardest working, best looking accountant I’ve ever known.
K – I’m the only accountant you’ve ever known so that’s hardly a compliment.
B – Stop putting yourself down.
K – I think you were the one doing that.
DB – Guys! Can we focus on the task at hand? There’s something I want you do to. I want you to name your five favourite movies and songs, and tell me why you like them so much.
K – (looks at Blake) Can you do this? I’ve never taken that much of an interest in… stuff like that. I was always working.
B – We’ll do it together. It’s not like you’ve lived your life in a vacuum.
K – (shrugs) Fine, but you can start.
DB – Well, Blake. Tell me some of your favourite movies?
B – I’m a big fan of silent comedy. Not in a pretentious way. My dad, back in Australia, loved going to our local cinema when he was a kid. They played old silent movies on Saturday afternoons and he fell in love with them and then he, in turn, passed his love of them on to me. So, I’m going to have to put a few on the list.
The General – because it has to be one of the greatest films ever made, which is funny ’cause it really wasn’t well received at all when it first came out.
The Great Dictator – Okay, not silent or particularly funny, but come on. The speech at the end alone is worth talking about.
(looks at Kade) You have no idea what I’m on about, do you?
K – I have a vague idea.
B –I know a silent movie you do know. Coney Island – Buster Keaton again, but this time with Roscoe Arbuckle. I played it for Kade once when he needed cheering up. It was the first movie we ever watched together and it made Kade laugh. I’m going to call it a favourite for that reason.
DB – I need two more. Kade? Any thoughts? Don’t just shake your head. Blake?
B – Into The Wild. The movie based on Jon Krakauer’s book about Christopher McCandless. It really spoke to me.
K – Oh, I have one. Don’t look at me like that, Blake. I actually do. The Producers. The original, not the remake.
B – You like The Producers. I would never have had you down for a musical-type guy. Why’d you like it so much?
K – (shrugs) It’s funny. And one of the main characters is an accountant. You don’t get many accountants as lead characters in films.
B – (laughing) I suppose not.
DB – Okay. Now onto songs. Kade?
K – I love ‘the blues’ – and not just because it matches my mental state of late – so I’d say anything by Townes Van Zandt. Can that count as one choice?
DB – I suppose. Blake?
B – Eddie Vedder’s ‘Society’ and ‘Ceiling’, both from Into The Wild and both songs that pretty much sum up how I look at life. Not how I always used to look at life, but how I do now.
And, when I was younger, I used to surf a lot. I was a pretty stereotypical beach-bum. An Australian pretending to be a Californian. So let’s say Beach Boys, ‘Rock N Roll Music’. That was always a favourite.
K –I know I already said Townes, but… you know the song that won the Eurovision Song Contest this year? That was alright.
B – You watch Eurovision?
K – (shrugs again) I like Eurovision.
B – What sort of person puts ‘the blues’ and Eurovision on the same list? There is so much I don’t know about you. I’m beginning to question our relationship.
K – Well you can question it at home, not here. Are we done?
DB – Yes, guys, we’re done. Thanks very much. It’s been… revealing.
Raven... love it guys, now let's have a bit about your story...
The Bucket List is an M/M erotic novella that tells the story of Kade, a Glaswegian accountant recently dumped by his verbally abusive, long-term boyfriend Niall. Kade’s friends think his relationship has caused him to become introverted and stuck in his ways so, to try to help him, they write a bucket list. Kade isn’t exactly convinced by this plan, but he reluctantly goes along with it, only to discover it’s true: bucket lists really can change your life.
The Bucket List was released by Loose Id Publishing on August 5th.
When Kade Doherty gets dumped, he expects sympathy from his friends. Instead, he gets a bucket list. His friends want to help him enjoy life again, but Kade isn’t convinced a list of outlandish leisure pursuits will help much with that. To keep the peace he goes along with the plan and in the process, he meets Blake.
Blake’s Australian accent and surfer-boy looks are the stuff of sexual fantasies and Kade surprises everyone – including himself – when he wastes no time making a move.
Kade goes with Blake into the Scottish highlands, but just as he is beginning to get used to life with his very own Mr. Australia, reality comes knocking. Kade’s newfound happiness falls apart when his abusive ex demands they meet. Blake senses something is wrong and he wants to help, but Kade knows he can’t confide in Blake.
After all, Kade hasn’t exactly been honest. He might feel like a different man when he’s with Blake, but Kade knows he’s still just an accountant from Glasgow with slight obsessive compulsions and a bucket list that someone else wrote. He knows Blake won’t hang around, let alone help, when he finds out the truth.
Or will he?
Kade made his way slowly over to Blake, keeping close to the relative calm of the curving bar. He stepped in beside his Mr. Australia. Blake didn’t turn to look at him.
Kade assumed that, even given the circumstances, it was still acceptable to start with, “Hello.”
Blake turned his head, and Kade felt that warmth he had felt with his back to the fish tanks in the Asian supermarket. “Hi,” Blake said, his voice deep enough to carry against the music.
He turned, opening up his body and inviting Kade to step closer. Kade did. He wanted to, wanted to see if that strange connection he had felt earlier was still there between them.
“Who’s your friend?” Kade asked.
Blake just shrugged. “Don’t know. Just some kid. Art student, apparently. He was a good dancer, though.”
“Not a good kisser?”
Blake looked Kade up and down, taking his time doing so. Kade had always thought the idea that someone could undress you with their eyes was a concept fit only for the cheap romance novels his mum used to read, but he couldn’t think of a better way to describe what Blake’s eyes had just done to him. The words needed to describe how that made Kade feel wouldn’t be fit for polite company. Not that Kade was really in polite company.
“I wouldn’t know. Didn’t want to kiss him.” Blake reached out and stroked his hand down Kade’s right arm, from his shoulder to his wrist. He left it there for a few moments, holding tight, and then he pulled Kade’s wrist toward him. Kade’s hand landed on Blake’s hip, his thumb teasing Blake’s tight, strong stomach muscles. When Blake let go, Kade didn’t move his hand away.
“Why didn’t you want to?” Kade couldn’t stop staring into those bright blue eyes.
Blake shrugged and wrapped the hand that had been around Kade’s wrist around Kade’s neck. “He’s not my type. And I was hoping I would meet someone else here tonight. I thought it was a long shot, but I didn’t want to take the risk and ruin my chances.”
Despite his recent drink, Kade’s throat felt dry. He didn’t even care if that was a lie. Blake’s strong fingers rubbed Kade’s neck just below his hairline.
“Who were you hoping to meet?” Kade asked.
Blake tugged him in close so their bodies were pressing together. Kade’s hand slipped around to Blake’s back, holding on tight as Blake put his lips to the side of Kade’s neck.
“You,” Blake whispered. They were so close to the loudspeakers that the word should have been lost, but Kade heard that loaded syllable and felt it translate like heat through his body, like he had just stepped into a hot bath.
“Are you here with somebody?”
Kade shook his head. He felt Blake spread his legs. There was barely any distance left between them.
“Then would you mind if I did this?”
Kade turned his head to find Blake’s lips less than an inch away from his own. He smiled and tried for one of those winks he was so not used to giving, and then let Blake close the distance between them.
(more to follow – released August 5th)
Douglas Black was born and raised in bonnie Scotland. An archaeologist by trade, Douglas started writing MM erotica as a means of avoiding starvation at university before returning to the genre in 2012.
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