Welcome to our first week of celebrating the absolutely fabulous
Today is all about the CODA books, plus Marie's favorite things. Down at the bottom, we'll also have a chance to win one of her books.
Because there's some discrepancies between Goodreads listing the titles in this series, and the order in which they should be written, Marie has provided two suggestions here.
For this post, we will list them in the order in which they appear on Goodreads.
First up, Promises:
Jared Thomas has lived his whole life in the small mountain town of Coda, Colorado. He can't imagine living anywhere else. Unfortunately, the only other gay man in town is twice his age and used to be his teacher, so Jared is resigned to spending his life alone. Until Matt Richards walks into his life, that is. Matt has just been hired by the Coda Police Department, and he and Jared immediately become friends. Matt claims he is straight, but for Jared, having a sexy friend like Matt is way too tempting. Facing Matt's affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt's co-workers, Jared fears they'll never find a way to be together-if he can even convince Matt to try.
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A To Z:
Zach Mitchell is stuck in a rut. His college boyfriend left him ten years ago, but Zach still lives in the same apartment, drives the same car, and feeds his ex-boyfriend's ungrateful cat. His Denver business, A to Z Video Rental, is struggling. He has annoying customers, eccentric neighbors, and an unfulfilling romance with his landlord, Tom.
A combat boot-wearing punk with an attitude, Angelo Green was raised in foster homes and has been on his own since he was sixteen; he has never learned to trust or to love. He doesnt do relationships, so when Angelo takes a job at A to Z Video, he decides Zach is strictly off-limits.
Despite their differences, Zach and Angelo quickly become friends, and when Zachs break-up with Tom puts his business on the line, its Angelo who comes up with a solution. Together with Jared and Matt, their friends from Coda, Colorado, Zach and Angelo will find a way to save A to Z, but will they be able to save each other too?
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The Letter Z:
Zach and Angelo have settled into their new lives in Coda, Colorado, finding their place in the community with the help of their good friends Matt and Jared. Zach and Angelo are also working out the particulars of their relationship, but when they make a decision Jared disagrees with, Angelo finds himself at odds with his partner's best friend. And his best friend's partner.
When the four decide on a quick trip to Vegas, Angelo thinks he and Jared may be back on the right track. But a chance encounter with Zach’s ex-boyfriend will make Angelo question everything about himself and his relationship with Zach. Matt and Jared have always been there when Zach and Angelo needed help. But when it comes to sorting out their relationship, their friends may do more harm than good.
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Strawberries For Dessert:
When Jonathan Kechter agrees to a blind date with Cole Fenton, he expects nothing more than dinner and a one-night stand... but he gets more than he bargained for in Cole. Cole is arrogant, flamboyant, and definitely not Jon’s type. Still, when Cole suggests an arrangement of getting together for casual sex whenever they're both in town, Jon readily agrees.
Their arrangement may be casual, but Jonathan soon learns that when it comes to Cole Fenton, nothing is easy. Between Cole’s fear of intimacy and his wandering lifestyle, Jonathan wonders if their relationship may be doomed from the start—but the more Cole pushes him away, the more determined Jon is to make it work.
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Paris A To Z:
Sequel to The Letter Z.
Zach Mitchell and his lover Angelo Green are headed to Paris (along with their Coda friends Matt and Jared) to attend Jon and Cole's wedding. Matt will have to face Jared's former lover, and Angelo will have to spend an entire week with Zach's ex-boyfriend. Between Matt's jealousy and Angelo's temper, Zach thinks they'll be lucky to get through the week without one of the grooms being punched. But Zach soon realizes he should worry less about Angelo and more about himself. Facing the bittersweet memories of his past and his own guilt over breaking Jon's heart is harder than expected, but Zach will have to find a way to leave his past behind if he's to have any hope of the future he wants with Angelo.
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Fear, Hope, And Bread Pudding:
The long-awaited sequel to Strawberries for Dessert.
Families should grow, not shrink. It’s been on Jon Kechter’s mind since before he tied the knot with his millionaire lover, Cole Fenton. Now hoping to adopt, Jon and Cole search for a mother-to-be willing to let them love her baby, but the interminable wait is wearing on them both.
Jon is close to his father, George, but until Cole, he didn’t have anyone else. Now George is pushing Cole to reconcile with his estranged mother. When the three of them spend Christmas with her in Munich, the results are disastrous. Jon and Cole resolve to stay positive, but no hope exists without a tinge of fear. Jon and Cole can’t help but wonder if their dream of being parents just wasn’t meant to be.
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As a young man, Dominic Jacobsen already suspects he’s gay, and he gets all the confirmation he needs when a rich boy from out of town climbs into the back seat of Dominic’s GTO. One night with Lamar Franklin is all it takes to convince Dominic he’s found the man of his dreams. Unfortunately, that one night is all he'll get before Lamar returns to Tucson.
Fifteen years later Lamar returns to Coda, Colorado, after ending the latest in a string of bad relationships. He’s alone, depressed, and plagued by late-night phone calls from an unidentified caller. Lamar's ready to give up when he comes face-to-face with his past.
Since he was seventeen, Dominic has dreamed of a reunion with Lamar, but that doesn't mean he’s ready for it now. Facing small-town rumors and big-family drama is bad enough, but Dominic won’t risk losing custody of his teenage daughter, Naomi. The only solution is to make sure he and Lamar remain friends and nothing more. Clothes stay on, no matter what.
It seems simple enough. But for better or worse, Lamar has other ideas.
“I want to be friends.”
But he still didn’t meet my eyes. I thought back to the way he’d held me that night in my room. The way he hadn’t been able to tear himself away. The way he’d touched me when we’d made out on his couch. “I can’t decide if you really are sending mixed signals, or if I’m pushing for something you never wanted to begin with.”
He sighed again and rubbed his temples, as if warding off a headache. “I’m not sure either, to be honest.”
“So you don’t want me?”
He laughed, although it wasn’t a happy sound. It spoke of nothing but bitterness. “That’s not it.”
I stepped closer to him, intentionally invading his space to see if he’d back away, but he didn’t. He met my gaze reluctantly. “Maybe having somebody to get off with is tempting, but I’m not your type.”
“Oh, you’re definitely my type. For the last fifteen years, you’ve practically been the definition of my ‘type.’”
“But now the reality doesn’t live up to your expectations?”
“That’s not it either.”
I leaned my hip against the counter too, mirroring him, and he inched closer. I was sure he was fighting to keep from putting his hand on my hip as he had that night in my bedroom. “Then what?”
He sighed. “It’s not that easy.”
“It can be.”
“I have a daughter.”
“I know.” I had to think about that for a minute. “I see. You’re not out with her?”
He sighed and ducked his head. “Not really.”
“And your ex?”
“Elena knows. She’s always known. But nobody else.”
“Not the rest of your family?”
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh or cry. Of all the men in the world, why did I always latch on to the ones who weren’t available? But this wasn’t Jonas, lying to me about what was going on. This was Dom, confused and horny and frustrated, and trying to do what was right. “Are you telling me you need time?”
“I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t know what I need. I don’t know what I want. I’m crazy about you, but I have to think of Naomi. I have to put her needs first. I have to—”
I closed the gap between us. His breath caught as our bodies came into contact. “Putting her needs first doesn’t mean denying all of yours.” I snaked my arms around his neck. I stood on my toes to brush my lips over his. “You get to have fun sometimes too.”
“I can’t,” he moaned.
He sounded so torn, so conflicted, but his body wasn’t confused. His hands found my hips, and he pulled me tight against him. I felt the shift between us as his cock began to rise. He lowered his head but stopped short of kissing me.
“Why deny it?”
“Because I have to.” His words were a strangled moan. “Because.... Because....”
But his grip on me tightened. He moved his hips, rubbing his erection against me. I nuzzled closer to kiss his jaw and heard the low sound he made. “Do you want me to stop?”
“Christ, I wish I knew.”
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There are some additional books listed on Goodreads here as part of this series.
Marie's favorite things:
Favorite Song: Dream On, by Aerosmith.
Favorite Band/Musician: My current favorite is Tristan Prettyman.
Movie: V for Vendetta, but I also adore: Aliens, Parenthood, Orange County, The Avengers, Oliver!, Chocolat
Author: My current favorite is Lyndsay Faye. Tom Piccirilli and Alice Hoffman are close runners-up, but I have to be in just the right mood for either of them. James Rollins is my go-to author when I want pure escapist fiction.
Book (written by somebody else): The Virtu, by Sarah Monette, but other favorites are: Harry Potter, Seven for a Secret (Lyndsay Faye), The Probable Future (Alice Hoffman), Xenocide (Orson Scott Card). (And yeah, I know nobody's supposed to admit to liking his work these days, but he was an auto-buy for me in the 80s and 90s, back before anybody knew what a jackass he was.)
Favorite book of my own: Song of Oestend
TV Show: The Closer. Man, I loved that show. Of course, it's no longer on the air. Yes, there's Major Crimes, but it's nowhere near as good (although I still watch it). Other favorites: Firefly, Justified, and Hawaii Five-0 (which is so goofy, I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much I enjoy it).
Candy: Twix, Swedish fish, lemon-flavored salt-water taffy
Dessert: Lemon anything.
Sports Team: Denver Broncos (I bleed orange and blue), and the Colorado Eagles
Place to vacation: I like cruises, but I'd also really love to go back to Italy (especially Florence)
Place to blow $100: At a shoe store.
Favorite restaurant: The Melting Pot (But I don’t get the main course. We do double cheese, then dessert.)
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway. Marie also writes dark dystopian erotic fantasy under the name A.M. Sexton.
Thanks for joining us today to celebrate this fantastic author. Come back next week for more of Marie's book, including Damned If You Do, which comes out in mid-June, five little-known facts about Marie, and another chance to win!
Until then, happy reading!