Today I am so pleased to welcome Geoffrey Knight to Joyfully Jay. Geoffrey has come to talk to us about his latest release, The Chocolate Works. He has also brought along copies to give away. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
A Chocolatey Labor of Love
Hi everyone and thanks so much for having me. I’m here to tell you about my new book The Chocolate Works, which is an opposites-attract rom-com about a nerdy OCD risk analyst, Henry Dawson, who suddenly finds himself whisked out of the big city and plonked in a tiny, dead-end town in New Mexico where the wild and passionate chocolate-maker Levi Jones lures Henry into his plans to open the greatest Chocolate Works in the world.
For those who don’t know me, my name’s Geoffrey Knight. I’ve been publishing gay fiction for 13 years. I’ve attended book launches and readings from Sydney to San Francisco. But I think out of all the novels I’ve ever written, The Chocolate Works is my all-time personal favorite.
Why is this book so special to me?
The history of The Chocolate Works goes all the way back to 2012 when I attended the second GRL in Albuquerque (yes, this book has seriously been 8 years in the making). I had made a lot of amazing friends at the first GRL in New Orleans the year before and I couldn’t wait to see them all again in Albuquerque. I even took my Mum to New Mexico. She had never been to the States before and I wanted her to meet the people who had instantly become my tribe. It was so amazing to see them all embrace her so wholeheartedly, but then again I knew they would.
It was on that trip that our beloved Ethan Day took a group of us to Santa Fe (you know who you are, and big hugs to all of you!). We had the most amazing day touring the Old Town, and one of the stores Ethan took us to was Kakawa Chocolate House, Rufina, which took us ages to find but when we did, oh what a treasure trove!
The Kakawa Chocolate House specializes in traditional and local chocolates, using many recipes from Mexico that go back hundreds of years. We were quite literally a bunch of big kids in a candy store. Then and there I knew I had to write a gay romance set in New Mexico and themed around chocolate. The chocolate seed was planted and I was determined to make this project a priority.
Also on that trip a group of us visited the amazing Acoma Pueblo (thank you Elise Rolle for taking us on that journey!) which was an incredible highlight of the trip and truly a spiritual home for the people of the region. I was determined to somehow work that wonderful experience into the book as well.
And so I left New Mexico in 2012 with the ingredients for a book I desperately wanted to write.
Unfortunately, I was so determined to make the book as perfect as I possibly could, that it took me another 8 years to get it right. I started many times, I wrote tens of thousands of words that fell victim to the delete button on my keyboard until I finally came up with the characters, storylines and themes I really wanted to explore. I wanted to create a modern fairy tale romance smothered in chocolate from beginning to end. It has truly been a chocolatey labor of love.
Of course, a lot has happened since that trip to Albuquerque. Try as I might I haven’t been able to get back to Albuquerque, and then in 2018 our beloved Ethan passed away unexpectedly. Ethan and I had talked about The Chocolate Works many times, and his passing made me want to make the book even more special, or at least something that might have made Ethan goo and gush and laugh his ass off.
If you haven’t read any of Ethan Day’s books, please do! As I wrote in my dedication to him in The Chocolate Works, Ethan was the kindest, funniest, most hopeless romantic there ever was, and that comes through in every one of his books. The royalties from his book sales now go straight to his family, so every time you buy a book by Ethan, you’ll be reminding his family that he is still alive and laughing in our hearts.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy The Chocolate Works. Be sure to snuggle up with your favorite chocolate snack or a delicious hot chocolate to make the most of your reading pleasure!
Enjoy the romance, enjoy the laughs, and above all, enjoy your chocolate! Life’s too short not to!
Henry Dawson lives a quiet life of perfect order and routine. His job as a cross-checker at a Chicago-based risk assessment firm means there’s no detail unmissed, no error unfixed and no room in his world for curve balls. That is until the day he loses his job, finds out his apartment building has been condemned, and receives an inheritance from an uncle he never even knew he had.
Now with no job, no home and no hope for the future, Henry suddenly finds himself in the tiny dead-end town of Los Encantado in the middle of the New Mexico desert, ready to sell the small roadside diner bequeathed to him by the uncle he never met. Given the circumstances, what choice does he have but to offload the diner—operated by waffle-loving Doris Day fan, Gracie Garcia—in an effort to try and fund his way back to his old life in Chicago?
But Henry was never planning on the arrival of wild, passionate and incredibly sexy Levi Jones. Nor was he ready for Levi’s crazy plan to turn Gracie’s Diner into the greatest Chocolate Works the world has ever known. For Levi claims to be the country’s finest chocolatier… or is he?
Before he knows it, Henry is pulled into Levi’s plan to create the most delicious, irresistible, mouth-watering, knee-buckling chocolates the world has ever imagined. At the same time Henry finds himself falling head over heels for the reckless, romantic allure of a man who is the complete opposite of everything Henry holds sacred.
Will Henry succumb to the charms of a handsome stranger despite every instinct warning him that Levi is nothing but a snake oil salesman? Will the secrets of Levi’s past destroy Henry’s hopes of ever finding true romance?
Or is Levi destined to melt Henry’s heart as he discovers that chocolate truly is the food of love?
***The Chocolate Works is a mouth-watering standalone gay romantic comedy. Warning: Reading this book WILL make you crave your absolute favorite chocolates and demand you indulge in them while you read… one delicious, delectable, discipline-crushing mouthful at a time.***
Geoffrey Knight is the author of more than 30 gay fiction novels, novellas and short stories, ranging in genre from gay adventure, gay romance, gay suspense and gay comedies.
The heroes of Geoffrey’s books love to spend their time jumping off the page, seeking lost treasures, unraveling mysteries or falling in love.
Geoffrey is the recipient of two Rainbow Awards including Best Mystery Winner and Best Overall Gay Fiction Runner-up. His work has been featured in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013, and he appeared as Guest of Honor at the inaugural Rainbow Con in Florida, 2014.
Geoffrey has worked in advertising, politics, journalism and event management, but nothing is as fun as telling stories. He lives with his partner, their young daughter and their small furry family in a rambling old house in North Queensland, Australia, where the paint is fraying and life is good.
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Geoffrey has brought five copies of The Chocolate Works to give away. The contest ends on Tuesday, July 14 at 11:59 pm ET. Leave a comment below to enter.
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