Rocking The Boat by C. Koehler Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Rocking the Boat

Series: CalPac Crew, Book One

Author: C. Koehler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 28, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68500

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Contemporary, romance, gay, new adult, sports, rowing team, multiple partners, in the closet, outed, coach/athlete, university

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Synopsis

Nick Bedford coaches the men’s rowing team at California Pacific College, a small liberal arts school in Sacramento. He’s quiet, dedicated—and closeted. He struggles with professional ethics and NCAA rules as he denies his attraction for Morgan Estrada, one of his rowers. While they may not be far apart in age, the difference between coach and athlete leads Nick to worry about exploitation.

But Morgan has desires and a mind of his own, and what he wants is his coach. As the spring racing season advances, Morgan feels his coach’s eyes on him. Morgan may be gay, and while he’s not out to team, he hasn’t hidden it, either. It may be a coach’s job to check out an athlete’s form, but Morgan hopes Nick’s interested in more than his technique.

Morgan corners Nick in the boathouse, and Nick admits that while he wants Morgan he can’t have him. Morgan laughingly points out that he’s not bound by any of those rules and he wants Nick. Nick and Morgan start a relationship, but Nick worries whenever they’re in public: what if someone sees? An anonymous complaint from a rower to the athletics director sends Nick’s worries into overdrive just as the crew prepares for the make-or-break race of the year.

Excerpt

Rocking the Boat, C. Koehler © 2020, All Rights Reserved

Warning: This excerpt may contain sexually explicit material, please proceed at your discretion.

Coach Nick Bedford watched the eight men—his athletes, sweaty and pushed to the edge, their sides heaving like thoroughbreds—do their best to beat each other on the boathouse ergometers. The ergs, specialized rowing machines that duplicated the rowing stroke almost exactly, were his rowers’ best friends and worst enemies, building their conditioning and strength but also devouring everything they had to give and demanding more. He often shared their workouts, but not today. Today he walked around each athlete’s erg, looking for flaws in his technique. The crew’s coxswain helped him, but he was still the coach. It was his job to get them in shape.

They were a small crew, and California Pacific College was a small school. A former college rower himself, Nick was a graduate student working on his master’s degree in exercise physiology at a not-too-distant state university, and around the boathouse, he did it all. He was the resident expert on bodies in motion, guiding each athlete through workouts on land and water, each designed to make the boat go faster. He was the dietician, trying to keep a group whose natural prey was pizza and beer on the nutritional straight and narrow to build muscle and fuel recovery. He was their sport psychologist, helping them through losses and guiding the young men through the shoals of school, rowing, and life. He spent his free time immersed in exercise science literature, reading, reading, reading—anything to give his men that extra edge.

He even rigged the boats, adjusting the hardware and making minor repairs.

Eight varsity athletes, eight seats in the varsity boat. Nick was lucky they were so competitive, even with each other. Posting their erg scores meant someone would be pulling harder next time. He also had a standing offer to the junior varsity rowers: any JV athlete who beat a varsity rower on the ergs could challenge him for a seat in the boat. He’d only had to make good once. Each of his eight rowers put the “I” in team, each determined to beat the others. For a small program, it was ideal. For eye candy, it was unbeatable.

“What’d you think, Coach?” his coxswain asked, coming to stand next to him.

Nick was lucky. Stuart Cochrane had coxed in high school, and the junior premed major was as skilled as they came. “There’s room to improve,” Nick said, never taking his eyes off his athletes. “Look at Sundstrom. He’s hunching his shoulders. On the ergs, it’ll hurt, but on the water, it’ll strain his muscles and make it hard for him to stay in synch.”

“He’s never going to catch Morgan without fixing his technique, either. I’m on it,” Stuart said. He walked over and knelt next to the large rower, watching intently for a few strokes before correcting him. Stuart returned, his coxswain’s strut even more pronounced.

Nick had to smile. The best coxswains were small and light, so they didn’t slow the boat with weight that wasn’t pulling an oar, and they had Napoleon complexes. Stuart fitted the bill: short and cocky and determined to win. “That worked.”

“Of course, it did.” Stuart smirked. “Keep your eye on Estrada. Have you noticed how he speeds up just a bit during the last two k? That’s part of how he keeps beating Brad.”

“I like a nice, friendly rivalry.” Nick grinned. “It keeps the erg times fast.”

“I’m not sure how friendly it is. Brad was the fastest until Morgan joined the team and hasn’t taken kindly to being beaten,” Stuart added quietly, his voice just loud enough to reach Nick’s ears over the sounds of the ergs. “And some of the other guys are beating him too.”

“Then Brad needs to up his game.” Nick didn’t want to know about rivalries like that. He’d seen crews torn apart by such distractions. So long as his rowers left their differences on the dock when they rowed, he didn’t care. As he’d told Stuart, a rivalry on the ergs would move the boat faster.

Nick returned his focus to the ergs. He’d kept an eye on Morgan Estrada, all right. It was hard not to. Collegiate rowers were in fantastic shape, but something about Morgan drew his eye. He was tall, taller than Nick (who, at six feet, wasn’t short), but then, rowing selected for tall men and turned them into muscular ones. Sweat dripped from one wavy brown lock, running down his cheek, but Morgan ignored it.

Nick noticed it, however. It defined Morgan’s cheek, flushed red with effort, but normally very fair. There was more conquistador than conquered in Morgan Estrada’s background. All Nick’s men were good looking in one way or another, but something about Morgan pulled him in, something that threatened to swallow him whole.

Eye candy was a perk of his job, but Nick tried not to stare too much. They were his boys; he was their coach. There was a trust there, and he took that trust very seriously.

Still, watching Morgan strain, sweaty and grunting and red, made Nick think of crossing that line.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read Universal Link

Meet the Author

Christopher Koehler always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until his grad school years that he realized writing was how he wanted to spend his life. Long something of a hothouse flower, he’s been lucky to be surrounded by people who encouraged that, especially his long-suffering husband of twenty-nine years and counting.

He loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it’s in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.

While writing is his passion and his life, when he’s not doing that, he’s a househusband, at-home dad, and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and the other ways people behave badly.

Christopher is approaching the tenth anniversary of publication and has been fortunate to be recognized for his writing, including by the American Library Association, which named Poz a 2016 Recommended Title, and an Honorable Mention for “Transformation,” in Innovation, Volume 6 of Queer Sci Fi’s Flash Fiction Anthology.

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All That Is Solid Melts Into Air by Christopher Koehler Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Christopher Koehler - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air _Tour-Banner

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~

Christopher Koehler - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air FS

All That’s Solid Melts Into Air

(The Lives of Remy and Michael 02)
by

Christopher Koehler

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?

Continue reading “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air by Christopher Koehler Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!”

All that is Solid Melts into Air by Christopher Koehler

AllThatIsSolidMeltsIntoAirLGTitle: All that is Solid Melts into Air
Series: The Lives of Remy and Michael, #2
Author: Christopher Koehler
Genre: Contemporary/Sport
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?

ISBN: 9781634766777

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7344

Reviewer: Prime

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.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *