Hello everyone! Today I am so pleased to welcome author Charley Descateaux here to Joyfully Jay.  Charley is here to talk to us more about her new book Curious Sustenance, and one of my favorite topics, cover art!  She has also brought an excerpt to share and a great giveaway! So please join me in giving Charley a big welcome!

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Judge This Book by Its Cover Art

Thanks so much, Jay, for having me!

Cover concepts are hard for me—Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer not a graphic artist! Besides, I’d always heard authors have no say in cover design, and for a long time that was true. But it’s a brave new (ish) world we live in with e-publishing. And, boy, is it fun!

I thought long and hard before deciding on a drawn cover for Curious Sustenance. The conventional wisdom says photographic covers sell better, but even if that were my prime concern, I’m not a conventional kind of gal. Plus, Paul Richmond.

Okay, I could fangirl for a few hundred words, but I’ll spare you. If you’re reading Jay’s blog it’s safe to assume you know how amazing his work is, and could probably squee more eloquently about it too.

Two of the reasons I wanted a drawn cover are the men you see on my book. First, they’re not on anyone else’s cover. Some models are used a lot—because they’re hot. But these guys—Ross and Miles—they don’t get to hop around to anyone else’s book. I also love that they’re not perfectly hot model-types. Sure, Ross is a-dorable and Miles is suave and a little mysterious, but to me they look more like regular guys than cover models. That makes me very happy.

Photographic covers are great—I love the one Brooke Albrecht created for Directing Traffic—but you’re limited to photographs that actually exist. I’ve seen plenty of photos of gorgeous hunks bound in all manner of ropes and—well, other things—and they’re hot as hell. But I didn’t think that would be a fair representation of the story. Ross isn’t a muscle-bound hunk, and even when he’s consistent at the gym he usually sticks to the elliptical.

Last, but not least, I didn’t want the cover to shout—I’m a BDSM novel! There’s a little B but no D, S, or M; Curious Sustenance is a love story with a side of kink. It’s an important slice of kink, sure, but anyone looking for hardcore anything will be disappointed. And nobody likes to be disappointed. Personally, I don’t like to be the one doing the disappointing.

I asked Paul to give me a romantic (but not too kinky) cover, and he wildly exceeded my expectations!


Now you know what I like to see on an Erotic Romance cover, what about you? What catches your eye on a cover? Check out the excerpt and then leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Curious Sustenance!


Here’s an excerpt that takes place a few hours after Ross and Miles meet for the first time (sorry, but I skipped the hot-and-spoilery bits!).


Out on the sidewalk, the cool air against his skin and the slight breeze moving his clothes had him trembling by the time they reached the car.

“Do you need the heater?” Janet asked, after she started the car.

“No, thanks. I’m not cold.”

Janet took a moment to warm up the engine and then eased away from the curb, plunging the interior of the car into darkness.

“I can’t believe I did that,” Ross whispered.

She drove to the next corner and glanced at him before turning.

“No kidding. You went from oh, shit it’s a sex club to yes please tie me up, Mr. Hot Shibari Master in record time.” Janet raced through the intersection and onto the onramp before the yellow could change to red. “If it was anyone else, I wouldn’t believe it either.”

“What do you mean?”

“Shaggy. He’s… well, I don’t have to tell you the guy’s dripping with charisma. He’s sex on legs.”

“Have you….”

Janet sighed. “No. I would in a hot second, but he never asked.”

“So he usually… works with men?”

“No, sweetness. I’ve only seen him with women. But nobody knows much about him except Parker, and he’s not telling.”

Ross took a slow deep breath and blew it out through pursed lips. He could feel the end of every hair on his head where it touched his face and neck, and was unnaturally aware of where his waist began according to the mysterious man with the shiny black hair and smoldering gaze. Even the fact that his hairstyle appeared to be from the eighties didn’t seem to be a problem—on him it worked. On him, anything would work.

“What’d you think of Ami’s rooms? I’ve always wanted to re-do the living room and dining room at my place like that, but in red. Maybe we could do it together.” Janet grinned and eased off the highway.

Ross knew she hated to drive on the highways, especially at night, and was waiting for her to tell him why. He didn’t think it would happen that night.

“Why do you call it that? Her rooms.”

“She’s part owner so she has her own space.”

“Are you allowed to talk about it, or is it like Fight Club?”

Janet smiled and stopped at the light. She reached over and pushed Ross’ shirt away from his collarbone with a fingertip.

“I just want to see your rope marks.”

Ross unbuttoned two buttons and moved so she could get a quick peek before the light changed. He was strangely proud of them and sad that they’d already faded quite a bit in so short a time.


Warnings: This book features a corporate sensitivity trainer with an agenda, an awesome gal-pal, an unconventional sex club, a mysterious Japanese rope artist, and another taste of Portland, Oregon as seen through my twisted mind.

Curious SustenanceHe never knew boundaries could be so sexy.

Ross Jenson is looking forward to a little midmorning delight to celebrate making Lifetime in Weight Watchers, but after he spent eight months losing ninety-eight pounds, what his lover gets him is a triple-layer chocolate cake. When Ross refuses to eat it, the newly minted ex leaves the country and dumps him via e-mail, with three sentences and a link to a chubby chasers web site. A few days later, Ross’s best friend and workout buddy takes him to her favorite club for drinks. Ross is shocked when he realizes it’s a sex club but warms to the idea in record time when a mysterious Japanese man and his silken ropes sweep him off his feet. Ross has never thought of himself as adventurous, but he can’t stop thinking about the man who makes his bones feel like gummy worms.

“A Little Side of Kink” Blog Tour:

November 15…………………………………. The Novel Approach

November 20……………………………. Guys Like Romance Too!

November 21…………………………………………….. Cup O’ Porn

November 21……….. Release Party on the Dreamspinner Blog!

November 24………………………………. Goodreads Chat Event

November 26…………………………………………… Joyfully Jay

November 29………………………………………………… Sid Love

November 30……………………………………… It’s Raining Men!

Buy Curious Sustenance:


Charley Descoteaux 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 let her sleep once in a while. Every guy deserves a beautiful love story even, or maybe especially, the ones who would usually be in the supporting cast. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear.  As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.

Rattle my cages—I’d love to hear from you!


Charley has brought a copy of Curious Sustenance to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest closes on Friday, November 29th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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