Hi guys, we have Christopher Koehler stopping by today with the tour for his latest release All That’s Solid Melts Into Air, we have an exclusive excerpt, a fantastic giveaway and Prime’s review so enjoy the post and click that giveaway link <3 ~Pixie~
All That’s Solid Melts Into Air
The Lives of Remy and Michael: Book Two
A CalPac Crew Story
I thought life after high school would be easier. I’d go to California Pacific for a year while I got a handle on my HIV, then after Michael graduated from high school, we’d blast out of here for colleges—and life—on the East Coast. Then I visited Boston and everything changed. I realized I like CalPac. Turns out, Boston didn’t have anything for me beyond one of the biggest regattas in North America.
Life grew more complicated when I got home. I couldn’t find a way to tell Michael that I’d just blown our plan for our lives out of the water. Then my CalPac coaches dropped a bomb on me. Those rowing officials who’d been watching me? They were recruiters for the national team, and my coaches wanted me to try out. They’d even let Lodestone coach me. Now I have to choose, school or crew, CalPac or Michael, and I still haven’t told Michael I can’t transfer. Is there even a place for Michael in my life? Somehow we have to withstand training at the highest levels and having different goals. Will love hold us together… or tear us apart?
When I’d left for the boathouse Thanksgiving morning, no one else had stirred, and no one had arrived. When I returned there was a strange car in front of the house, and I suddenly wished I’d had a chance to clean up. Alas, the Cap City boathouse wasn’t nearly as nice as CalPac’s, but CalPac’s was closed for the holiday. But I had to scull. I needed to, if only to get the stench from yesterday’s attempt off of me.
“Is that you, Remy?” Jerry called from the kitchen.
“Not if I’m meeting anyone!” Seriously, what could he be thinking? He was gay, I was gay. He knew the score.
“Jerry!” Heath hissed.
I heard unfamiliar voices laughing. Someone said, “We row, we get it. Let the man shower, Jerry.”
Rowers. “We.” That ruled out Brad and Drew, although they were supposed to be here for dinner. Drew didn’t row, and they didn’t sound like Adam and Owen. As nervous as I could get around strangers, I was a re with curiosity, too.
I showered and dressed in reasonable haste. I debated shaving, but decided I had the right amount of scruff going on. At least Michael had thought so when he was nibbling on it after our row. Dressed in a comfortable pair of jeans and a Michael-approved polo shirt—he liked ’em tight—I went downstairs. Strangers to encounter and cranberry relish to make.
When I entered the kitchen, conversation stopped, and four heads swiveled in my direction. Whoa. Stranger danger.
Jerry grinned. “Thanks for joining us, lily-white boy. I was just singing your praises to Nick and Morgan here.”
Rowers. Nick. Not that Nick, surely….
A handsome blond about my height extended his hand. “Since Jerry’s apparently having more fun flummoxing you than being a good host, I’m Nick Bedford.”
“Remy Babcock.” I was shaking hands with a legend right there in Heath and Jerry’s kitchen. I was surprised my mouth worked.
A taller man with darker hair and fairer coloring snickered. “I’m his better half, Morgan Estrada.”
That clinched it. “He’s that Nick Bedford, the one who made CalPac what it is, right?”
Morgan grinned. “Kind of a letdown, isn’t it?”
“What? No.” Jeez, could I sound any stupider?
“You’ve stunned another one of those poor children, Nick.” Jerry
laughed again. “You’re going to have to move or change your name or something, if the mere mention of your name makes them plotz.”
As long as it didn’t involve my parents or Michael, I could recover quickly. “Only the gay ones.”
“You’re forgetting one thing. I quit so Morgan and I could be together without that hanging over the program you seem to think I magicked into being all on my own.” Nick smiled when he said it. I could already tell he was someone I’d like.
“Isn’t that sooo dreamy? Giving up your job for the man you love?” Morgan said.
I looked at Morgan closely. He made the love-struck expression with the voice to match, but the eyes. They gave it away.
“You’re a bad man.”
Christopher Koehler learned to read late (or so his teachers thought) but never looked back. It was not, however, until he was nearly done with grad school in the history of science that he realized that he needed to spend his life writing and not on the publish-or-perish treadmill. At risk of being thought frivolous, he found that academic writing sucked all the fun out of putting pen to paper.
Christopher is also something of a hothouse flower. Inside of almost unreal conditions he thrives to set the results of his imagination free, and for most of his life he has been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged both that tendency and the writing. Chief among them is his long-suffering husband of twenty-two years and counting.
When it comes to writing, Christopher follows Anne Lamott’s advice: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” So while he writes fiction, at times he ruthlessly mines his past for character traits and situations. Reality is far stranger than fiction.
Christopher loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it is in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.
Writing is his passion and his life, but when Christopher is not doing that, he’s an at-home dad and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and other ways people behave badly.
Win a $25 Giftcard
Title: All that is Solid Melts into Air
Series: The Lives of Remy and Michael, #2
Author: Christopher Koehler
Length: Novel (316 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22 Jan 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: I thought life after high school would be easier. I’d go to California Pacific for a year while I got a handle on my HIV, then after Michael graduated from high school, we’d blast out of here for colleges—and life—on the East Coast. Then I visited Boston and everything changed. I realized I like CalPac. Turns out, Boston didn’t have anything for me beyond one of the biggest regattas in North America.
Life grew more complicated when I got home. I couldn’t find a way to tell Michael that I’d just blown our plan for our lives out of the water. Then my CalPac coaches dropped a bomb on me. Those rowing officials who’d been watching me? They were recruiters for the national team, and my coaches wanted me to try out. They’d even let Lodestone coach me. Now I have to choose, school or crew, CalPac or Michael, and I still haven’t told Michael I can’t transfer.
Is there even a place for Michael in my life? Somehow we have to withstand training at the highest levels and having different goals.
Will love hold us together… or tear us apart?
Review: All that is Solid and Melts into Air is the second book to Christopher Koehler’s The Lives of Remy and Michael Series.
I absolutely loved the first instalment and stepping back and looking at the big picture, this really is the perfect sequel, although as I will outline, it is not without a few flaws. This is an intensely realistic view of a young guy who is just starting college, has a boyfriend still in high school and is looking forward to the future with stars in his eyes, despite having his own fair share of personal troubles and upheavals.
If you haven’t read book 1, Poz, go back and read it. It is essential to understanding the overall plotline of the series.
I’m going to recap the characters using what I wrote in my review of the first book. Quite honestly, since this is a story that is directly continued from the first, the same information is still very relevant to the lives of the main characters.
Remy, real name Jeremy (aka Germy to his brother), has a twin brother, Geoff (aka Goff) along with his mother and father, who is also a psychotherapist. The psychotherapist part is important in terms of Remy’s father because he is so oblivious when it comes to one of his sons (Remy) but more attentive when it comes to the other (Geoff)
. It just shows that Remy comes from a normal, ever so slightly dysfunctional family where parents aren’t some sort of oracle that knows everything. Remy isn’t a jock but he is a champion rower and that being said he is being scouted for college and championship teams. He is gay but no longer in the closet. Book 1 saw Remy deal with contracting HIV, and in this story we continue on to see how he is getting along in terms of therapy, relationships and continuing his rowing career.
Remy’s boyfriend is Michael. He’s still in high school but the two guys have plans together. They are very sweet together – but I don’t want to go into their relationship too much more and spoil the book. Other important and interesting characters include Remy’s team mates, including Robbie and Kevin.
Then there are the coaches, Lodestone and Pendergast. We have something of a villain in Remy’s roommate Brady, who I would have liked a bit more from.
Remy is still the narrator the story. Once again, though, I would have liked to know more POVs from other characters but honestly the style of story teller suits this story really well and makes it feel more humanised rather than just reading about a young gay sportsman.
However, in saying that, this book is a lot of telling by Remy. There is not really a heck of a lot of dialogue and that meant that there were times that the story did drag a lot. I found it particularly slow going for the first third of the book. This is the only reason why I’ve given the book 4/5.
If you read the blurb and it has drawn you in – that’s great because this book does not come with any plot lines that come out of nowhere. This is a very real story of a teen navigating his world through life. It is realistic and sometimes a difficult read but enjoyable from start to finish.
One thing that I like to end on is the title – All that is Solid Melts into Air. I love it; it is rather philosophical and absolutely perfect for the feel of the entire book. It also reminds me of a line from the Japanese anime Fruits Basket: “When the snow melts, what does it become?” The answer is “spring, of course”.
But when all is said and done, I do wonder if Christopher Koehler has anything else in mind for world of the CalPac rowers.