I sit in a dim corner of the rundown jazz club, Le Chat Rouge, just off the Boulevard St. Germain, in the heart of Paris’s Left Bank. It’s early yet, and the cleaner is just finishing the last of his mopping, carefully scrubbing the small entryway. A bartender chops lemons, and the tart citrus scent briefly overcomes the stale scent of cigarettes and dust. I’m with the club’s pianist, the world-renowned Benoît Grenier. He hasn’t changed for his performance, and he’s still clothed in slightly tatty jeans, a dark sweater, and oxfords that need polishing at the toes
Benoît Grenier: Hey, they do not. They’re perfectly worn in.
Daniel Marceau (that’s me): If you say so. Not much of an outfit to impress, though, is it?
BG: Are you actually interviewing me, or just taking the piss?
DM: Someone has to prep you for that reviewer from Metro, and it might as well be me. But we don’t have much time.
BG: They won’t really comment on what I’m wearing, will they?
DM: You never know. You really should change into your suit before the interview.
BG: Fine, I will. Let’s just get on with it.
DM: So, Monsieur Grenier, how did you get your start? My readers want to know everything.
BG: I came to Paris a few years ago—
DM: From where?
BG: I thought you weren’t going to interrupt.
DM: Right, sorry.
BG: —from a small town. I was dying to see the big city, dying to leave my boring village behind. I’d taken piano lessons, and done music at school. I thought to make millions playing at the Olympia.
DM: Have you played there?
BG: Not yet, but it’s still a dream of mine, playing where Edith Piaf trod the stage.
DM: Tell us your favourite song to play, Benoît.
BG: It’s hard to choose just one. The tourists like to hear ‘As Time Goes By’, that song from Casablanca. It’s hard to escape it, but I don’t mind too much. I get better tips.
DM: (starts humming)
BG: Don’t start. I hear it enough as it is, Daniel.
DM: Force of habit. We know the tourists’ favourite song, but what about you? You know that interviewer is going to ask. They always do.
BG: Merde. I can’t think of one. Something older, by Yves Montand, or Piaf, or Sinatra. Nothing popular. À Paris, by Montand, I suppose. But really, Piaf’s Je ne regrette rien always makes my breath catch.
DM: And you’re here every night?
BG: Almost. You’d know as well as I.
DM: Sure, but Metro won’t. One more question, Benoît, then we need to go get ready. Besides, I promised you a treat in the dressing room when we’re done.
BG: You did. You’d better not just be teasing.
DM: Oh, I won’t be. So, Benoît, what do you think of the singer you’ve been paired with, the handsome Daniel Marceau? I’ve heard the ladies come and swoon over him.
BG: (bursts out laughing) You really think the interviewer will ask that?
DM: Just answer the question. Your treat depends on it, mon coeur.
BG: Daniel’s talent is…incroyable. He’s brought in new fans, wowed the old ones, everything. I don’t know what I’d do without him, and it’s not just his presence on stage. He’s everything to me.
BG: Yes, really. Tu es le meilleur.
After that, there wasn’t much more I could do except kiss him. Good thing I’m not really a reviewer from Metro. I’d never get my job done.
About MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS:
When Le Chat Rouge’s pianist, Benoît Grenier, meets the club’s new singer, his world is turned upside down. He’d given up ever finding someone to love. His hopes and dreams of a life beyond the club are revived, while his heart heals.
Daniel Marceau has come from Marseille, looking to escape bad decisions and worse memories. He never expected to fall in love, and when his past catches up with him it could ruin the only thing he’s ever found worth living for.
Daniel’s fears and his reluctance to ask Benoît for help could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard to create.
Also available at Google Play, All Romance eBooks, Sony, and Apple.
1 paperback or ebook copy of MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS, winner’s choice. (Open internationally.)
About the author:
Alyssa Linn Palmer is a Canadian writer and freelance editor. She splits her time between a full-time day job, and her part-time loves, writing and editing. She is a member of the RWA, the Calgary RWA, and RRW (Rainbow Romance Writers). She has a passion for Paris and all things French, which is reflected in her writing. When she’s not writing lesbian romance, she’s creating the dark, morally flawed characters of the LE CHAT ROUGE series and indulging in her addictions to classic pulp fiction. Her next book, BETTING ON LOVE, will be released in February 2015. You can find her online at www.alyssalinnpalmer.com, or on Twitter @alyslinn.
For the Grand Prize Giveaway, I (Nix) will be giving away ten of my top LGBT books. These books will be gifted via All Romance as the books are available to readers on all the types of eReaders (you just need to sign up for a free account to access the books and you can send them directly). If you have any of the books and you win the prize, speak to me and I’ll see what else I can do. All of the posts have prizes atatched and a list of these can be found here
The books are (and there are substitutions available for people who have copies)…
- With a Kiss by Kim Dare (MM)
- Hot Head by Damien Suede (MM)
- By the Book by Scarlett Parrish (MM)
- The Dom With a Safeword by Cari Silverwood (FFM)
- Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon (MM)
- How Sweet it is – Melissa Brayden (FF)
- Fatal Shadows – Josh Lanyon (MM)
- Faith and Fidelity – Tere Michaels (MM)
- How to Love – Kelly Jamieson (FMM)
- Cut and Run – Abigail Roux (MM)
- Paperback Tread Marks & Trademarks by SA McAuley