Thursday, November 26, 2015

ThursdayThings with Rebecca Cohen

Here's a small glimpse into the world of Treading the Boards, the romantic series by Rebecca Cohen.

 The bright lights and gasps of the crowd spur on each performance. I stare out into a sea of thrilled faces as the curtain goes up for the third, no fourth, curtain call. I bow to my co-star and we bounce off stage, each exiting by a different wing. The adrenaline is still coursing through me as I enter the dressing room. I might take off my stage makeup but I won’t remove the mask that stays firmly in place whether I am performing for a large audience or just a handful of friends. A soft knock on the door makes me turn in my seat. You don’t wait for an answer instead you saunter in, cock sure and bravado emanating in waves. For a moment my guard drops, you claim to be my biggest fan, but in reality you’re more than that. You’re the one that pushed me to audition, I was as low as I could get, down and almost out. But your spark reignited me. You made me the star I am today. I turn away and remove the rest of my makeup, and you appear in the reflection of the mirror.

I lean back and rest my head against your stomach as your hand comes up to stroke my neck. I give myself this moment of pleasure, a small reward for a great performance. A happy sigh escapes my lips and our eyes meet in the mirror. “Are you ready?” you ask.

I’ve always said no before. Let you walk away, and not cross the line we’ve put in place, but tonight something stops me. I bite my lip, and look for a trace of something in your face to show any sign of insincerity. Maybe it is time to pack away my mask and be brave. You won’t wait forever, I know that. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve talked myself out of taking the leap, forgotten more excuses than I remember. Tonight every line was perfect, not a step out of place or beat missed. I have run out of excuses.

I take your hand and squeeze. “Yes.”


He's Behind You
A Treading the Boards Novella

It’s panto season for the Sarky Players, an amateur dramatics society based in Greenwich, South London. With the traditional Christmas play around the corner, it’s time to get ready for more larger than life performances—on and off stage.

While Craig Rosen is happy with his quiet life playing Warhammer and working in a university lab, a new ecolleague thinks he needs more excitement and drags Craig along to an audition for the Christmas pantomime, Aladdin.

Corporate lawyer Jason Carter accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now divorced and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he runs into Craig at the audition and the cute younger man agrees to help him navigate his new life. There’s no doubting the attraction between Craig and Jason, but with Craig’s insecurities and Jason still finding his way, they’ll need to make sure they don’t veer off script.

For the men of the Sarky Players, a South London amateur dramatics society, the theatrics don’t end when the curtain falls, and the romance and comedy aren’t limited to the stage. Despite bad scripts and backstage shenanigans, the theatre is a great place to find excitement, make friends, and maybe even fall in love. Things don’t always run smoothly in the playhouse or in relationships, but all’s well that ends well…


The ‘Treading the Boards’ series is  available from Dreamspinner Press

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(Please forgive the lateness of the post.  This has been a week of computer issues for me.  Hopefully all fixed now!  Ev)

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