Thank you so much for having me!
I’m Remmy Duchene and I am super excited to be talking about Country Soul. It’s always sad when a publisher closes its doors for whatever reason because the authors are left kind of on their backs like ladybugs. For a while, I was like that—feeling depressed and ready to toss in the towel. Then I saw other authors getting their works back out there and I got enough self-esteem and courage to pull out one story. When I opened the file, I was on a roll. I edited every chance I got, rewrote whole sections, delete certain storylines and added different ones. By the time I was finished, a new fear set in. Where do I send it and will they want it?
I was lucky. Though DSP wanted a few things straightened out in the story, they accepted it. You would not believe how excited I was. So now, it is with a full heart that I bring to you all, Country Soul!
Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Country Soul this second time around!
Blurb: When Jackson Rawlings comes out of the closet, he loses everything; from his record label to his self-confidence he needs to perform on stage. Jackson feels as if the world is out to get him. Broken and afraid, he escapes to Hallesford and the ranch he calls home. All he wants is to live out the rest of his life peacefully and out of the spotlight.
But the fates just love interfering in his life.
Marques Lopez is the owner of Phoenix Records and not only does he hate what happened to Jackson, he feels Jackson Rawlings has plenty more to contribute to the music industry. He ventures into small-town USA to find the singer and when he does, Jackson is a mere fragment of the man he used to be. To make matters worse, Marques’s body and heart step in to present him with the choice between business and pleasure—unless he could have his cake and eat it too…
Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press
Excerpt: “And it’s not, not really.” Chad cleared his throat. “Some people see it as this thing that shouldn’t be mentioned. They assume everyone is as stupid and as dogmatic as they are—that people can’t see through the blinders being thrown up. They don’t get it, JR. Music is music. Music doesn’t see color or race or sexuality. It doesn’t matter who the tune is coming from. If it’s good, who cares? Do you honestly think your die-hard fans give a damn who you sleep with? They were at your concerts all summer long, weren’t they? Even after you came out, and it was national—hell, international news. Give them more credit.”
Jackson remained silent. He closed his eyes, feeling the beginnings of a migraine slowly creeping in on him. In some instances Chad was right. Some people couldn’t care less. If the music was good, they were happy. But there were the few who wanted to boycott him because of who he slept with. How was that any of their business?
He looked at Chad and smiled. “I don’t know if I’ve ever said it, but you have been my spine in all of this. If I haven’t told you how grateful I am before now, I’m sorry. Thank you.”
A frown creased Chad’s face, darkening his brown eyes and wrinkling his forehead. “That’s the crap that pisses me off.”
“No! Don’t talk like this shit’s over.”
“We don’t know that. Do you seriously think any label wants the drama my life seems to be bringing lately? I was there, Chad. They dropped me like a bad habit and haven’t looked back since—even after the millions of dollars I made them. No—this is happening. This is over.”
“Damn it, JR! I hate it when you say stupid shit like that! No one gives a fuck if you’re gay or— Why do I have to keep repeating myself? This doesn’t have to be over.”
“Just because you don’t see it….”
“Just because some dumbasses don’t see what good business you could be—even if they think you aren’t that good of a singer—doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t love to have you join their label. Don’t make any final decisions right now. Take some time off and pick up again when you’re rested. You have this talent, this voice that blows the roof off every building you’ve ever been in.”
“I’m not listening anymore.”
“And you still don’t get it.”
“What is there to get, Jackson?” Chad asked. “What I get is, as usual, you’re giving in to everyone else’s ghost but your own. You’re letting everyone else dictate your life and write your destiny.”
Whenever Chad used Jackson and not JR to address him, Jackson knew to brace for a fight. At one point in high school, they got into a knock-down, drag-out fistfight. They knocked over desks, banged into lockers, fell down a flight of stairs, and were still tangled around each other. The teachers tried prying them apart, and when that failed, they turned on the fire hose and doused them.
As he sat, preparing himself for what looked to be another hose-ending fight, he couldn’t even remember why they’d started brawling in the first place. It was pathetic how stupid the reason, for Jackson couldn’t remember it.
With the mood he was in, he did not feel like fighting, so giving up would be the only other option. Jackson moaned and rubbed his tired eyes.
“All I’m saying is, a man has a certain threshold to deal with certain things,” Jackson said softly. “Having his dreams—something he’s worked on all his life—tainted breaks him. I’m broken, Chad. That’s how I’m feeling right now—like someone ran a bulldozer over me. It’s not easy to get up after that. Call me a coward but—”
“You’re a coward,” Chad said.
Born in Jamaica but moved to Canada, Remmy Duchene loves writing, speaking with people of different culture, watching CFL and MLB games and trying desperately to be a photographer.