Thursday, January 3, 2019

Welcome Author Charley Descoteaux

Hello and Happy New Year! Thanks for having me, Dawn, it’s wonderful to be here!

I love music and have been to a lot of live shows so it was fun re-visiting some of my favorites to make this list, even if it was hard to choose only five. I tend to group my concert experiences into “Blow Off Steam” such as Slipknot and Five Finger Death Punch, and “Bucket List” which, so far, is topped by seeing Itzak Perlman at the Schnitz. But overall, here are my Top 5 Concerts, in no particular order.

1.      Black Sabbath—the reunion of all the original members (yes, even Bill Ward on drums) at the Ozzfest 10th Anniversary. They blew me away, even when Ozzie’s voice cut out in the middle of a song. It was surreal, at first I thought his mic had quit but then he ran offstage so we knew something was wrong. When he returned he apologized for messing up the song, even though the band kept playing through it all & it sounded amazing even without vocals.

2.      Stone Temple Pilots in a small venue in Central Oregon. I had a front row ticket and loved the hell out of this show. Scott didn’t wear a dress (he only wore one outfit the whole time, in fact) but he was his raucous self and the music was mind-blowing.
3.      Against Me! This was in the summer of 2018. It had been a long ti
me since I went to an all-day outdoor concert so it would have been fun even if I hadn’t seen this band. The headliners were The Offspring—and I’ve loved them since Smash in 1994 & saw them in the early aughts—but in my opinion Against Me! stole this show. It’s rare for a band to be better live than on their recordings, but they truly are. The sheer energy of their performance would have been enough to win me over, but they were so tight—it’s no wonder their merch sold out literally minutes after they left the stage. I hope to have the chance to see them headline someday.

4.      The Experience Hendrix Project. This show was spectacular—so many great musicians came together to perform some of my favorite songs of all time. It was a privilege to see Buddy Guy play—even in his 80s he doesn’t miss a trick. The performances of so many legendary guitarists all in one place still makes my heart beat fast when I think about it. My favorites (in addition to Guy) were Mato Nanji (Indigenous) and Zakk Wylde. I would recommend this traveling show to anyone who digs guitars and/or Hendrix.

5.      Alice in Chains. I’ve seen them more than any other band but, sadly, not while Layne Staley was still alive. Alice is my favorite band (okay, they’re tied with Led Zeppelin) so I’ve travelled out of state to see them and stood all day in cow pastures to see them, and would probably do it again. They’ve donated so much time and energy to raise money for charities—which is how I got to meet them at a benefit for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. That’s the concert on this list—Alice in Chains with Heart and the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. I’ll never forget the sheer joy of that night.

How about you? What was your favorite concert? Join the conversation in the comments and enter my Rafflecopter for chance to win an Amazon gift card!

While you’re thinking about your favorite concerts, here’s an excerpt from Always Forward! Never Straight that takes place at the Portland Rock and Roll Marathon.
Publisher: CeeTwo Publications
Release Date: January 1, 2019
Pages:  86 

Cover Artist: Rainbow Danger Designs

Love isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Baxter Bryan is the nerdy half of BaxCo, a start-up in Portland’s Silicon Forest creating cutting-edge high-tech toys. He’s also a hermit. When BaxCo sponsors the Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Bryan decides to break out of his comfort zone and do more than listen to the music with a beer in hand. The race has barely started when he bumps into a fit, handsome man, causing sparks to fly. But the long hours needed to make BaxCo a success aren’t the only reason Bryan spends most of his time alone in his apartment.

Cay Nissen runs every day to stay in shape. He would love to run away from his job in a Silicon Forest cube farm, but keeps returning to support his teenaged daughter. His true love is music. Cay writes songs for the band he helped form in high school but doesn’t see any way to turn music into a career. The half marathon seemed like a decent way to pass a Saturday, make his boss happy, and catch a performance of his old band all at the same time. When he meets a man who sparks his interest, the safety of his cubicle isn’t the only part of his life that’s in jeopardy of changing.

Buy Always Forward! Never Straight or read free on Kindle Unlimited

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Sponsors got to park in a special lot, so once I navigated the traffic—thick even by Portland standards for a Saturday morning—it wasn’t much of a walk to get to the starting line. The usual crowd had gathered: serious runners who looked like a half marathon would be a cakewalk, slightly doughy folks like me who seemed as spooked as I felt, and people wearing regular street clothes, whose plan aligned with what mine would have been a year ago—listening to the music and avoiding the exercise portion of the day.
Children ran around laughing, wearing new and often matching running gear. No teenagers I could see, which was disappointing. Teenagers were an untapped demographic for my—or rather, BaxCo’s—drone butler, Alfred. His main function was to patrol the perimeter of a property, but he could hover over a pot of boiling water or watch a driveway for parents to arrive if that’s what you needed him to do. Alfred could watch just about anything you didn’t have time to watch yourself.
Ugh, I’m playing BaxCo’s YouTube commercials in my head; that’s gotta be a new low.
I walked along the race course to the first stage, where my sponsorship dollars proudly proclaimed that BaxCo cared about the environment.
We didn’t draw the best location, but maybe that wouldn’t matter. Some of the crowd had come for the music and not the exercise—hopefully they would spend enough time at the first stage to recycle something. The green and black logo had been designed for optimal marketing impact—brand recognition—it was boring and generic and, in my opinion, didn’t say anything at all. I caught the negativity of my internal monologue and resolved not to think about BaxCo for the rest of the day. While I stood there, bemoaning the placement of three glorified garbage cans with the company’s logo, the race started.
After the serious runners passed me, I began to run. Okay, jog. I intended to make a real effort to participate in the race. I’d trained and psyched myself up for weeks—promotional opportunity aside. I casually scoped all the runners, not actually looking for anyone, content to do some people-watching. I snickered at myself because secretly I hoped to hook up with one of the men blowing past me, to have their slender, muscled bodies pressed against mine, their lung capacity put to good use—
I almost swallowed my tongue when a tall, striking man pulled up alongside me. His arm brushed against mine, and even though skin didn’t touch skin—he wore a long-sleeved shirt, no doubt a technologically advanced fiber meant to wick the sweat away from his skin, probably as it gave him a massage and helped combat climate change—I felt an electric shock at the contact. It actually crackled.
He turned, one eyebrow raised, and smiled. “Did you feel that?”
“Um, yeah.” I tried to keep up, even though men like him—svelte athletic types who can pull off trendy shaved-on-the-side-and-longer-on-top haircuts—didn’t usually notice plain, out-of-shape nerds like me.

Giveaway Information:

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About the Author:

Charley Descoteaux is the author of the Buchanan House Love Stories. Book One was a USA Today Must-Read Romance.

Charley has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through a single day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages:

1 comment:

Charley Descoteaux said...

Thanks again for having me! <3

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