Today I am so pleased to welcome C.D. Rachels to Joyfully Jay. C.D. has come to talk to us about his latest release, The Strings We Play. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

strings we play banner


Exclusive Excerpt

“We gotta stop meeting like this.” He whips his head around while unbuttoning his sleeve. He looks so adorable I can’t help but smile. “I see you found the music department.” I attempt to give him my most flirtatious grin. It’s been way too long since I’ve tried, but hopefully I still have some game.

“Uhh,” he says, frozen in place.

“I saw you earlier, right? In my office?”

He shakes his head. “Oh uh, yeah. Sorry about that.”

“No worries. But what are you doing back here? I thought you were part of the music department.”

“It’s actually a long story.” He smiles and unbuttons his sleeve, and I get the urge to rip it entirely off him. “I’m here because—”

“We need those heating trays ASAP!” I turn to see one of the caterers peering her head through the doorway. “Hurry up, please, Wei. We’re dying out here.”

Confused, I open my mouth to speak when I hear the hot guy next to me reply, “On it. Be right there.”

I turn back to him and see him putting on a red vest. He’s pulled up his sleeves and looks at me sheepishly. “I should go. I’m with the catering staff.”

“What? No you’re not. I just saw you on stage.”

He shrugs and picks up a large box filled with metal pieces. “I’m new, and I was just doing the music department a favor. If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my other job.”

He’s struggling to hold up the box—I can tell it’s over filled—so I swoop in a grab it for him. “What are you—”

“I got it.” I easily hold up the box in my arms. “Lead the way. I’ll help you.”

“You don’t have to.”

“I’m the Facilities Manager. What I say goes in this building, and I say I want to help you.”

He looks like he’s blushing, so I take that as a win. “OK. Thanks.”


strings we play coverArtists and Athletes, Book 3


As the new music professor at Korham University, I need to focus on my job. I can’t get entangled with that tall and handsome Facilities Manager who I keep bumping into on campus. Did we have a hot moment together at Christmas? Maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s taking my music lecture. Students are off limits, no matter how flirty and sexy they are.

The problem is that Logan’s not just a student; we’re co-faculty, neighbors, and we’ve become good friends. I’ve started to peel back the layers that make up who he really is. It turns out there’s more to this sweet guy whom I’ve been growing closer and closer to. As the semester winds down, the days of him being my student are numbered. Pretty soon, nothing will stand in the away of us hooking up. It’s scary, but can an athlete like him really fall for a performing artist like me? Because I’m afraid I’m already there.


I’ve been broken for a long time, so I make my job at KU my life. No one has been able to tug on my heartstrings for years. So of course I’m blindsided by this talented and gorgeous new professor I meet. He makes me smile and gives me something to look forward to for the first time in so long. The one catch: I’m taking his intro to music class.

That’s fine by me, I can push down these feelings. I can totally ignore the blazing hot chemistry Wei and I have in the tiny practice rooms while he teaches me scales. But as the semester goes on, I realize he can offer me so much more than just a pretty face; it’s possible that everything I lost all those years ago exist in Wei. When he plays a song, or whenever it’s just the two of us, it feels just like magic.

I refuse to make a move on my professor, even though we’re both faculty. Good things come to those who wait, right? I just have to not let him realize I have a massive crush on him and not let him kiss me…again. And again.

The Strings We Play is a low-angst, male/male romance about two working adults. It involves music lessons, workout sessions, kissing under the stars, soccer-themed birthday cakes, and discovering the love that only a found-family can bring, HEA guaranteed. It is the third book in the Artists and Athletes series but can be read as a standalone.


CD Rachels logoCD Rachels has been coming up with stories since he was little. At first it was all about superheroes and pocket monsters, but his genre of choice has expanded since puberty.

He’s been consuming young adult gay fiction since he was a teen, but within the past five years moved up to the big leagues of gay adult romance. In 2020 during quarantine, he burned through more male/male romance books than he ever had in the previous 29 years combined.

He lives in New York City with the love of his life and works in health insurance. When he’s not reading and writing, he’s playing board games and practicing music. He is honored to become a self-published author, and if you’re reading this, your support means so much to him that it’s giving him a tingly feeling (in a good way).

Follow him on Instagram: @cdrachels

Or join his group on Facebook: “CD Rachels’ Chill Discourse Room”

Catch up with Charles:


To celebrate CD Rachels’ new release, he is giving you the chance to win 1 of 2 e-copies of The Strings We Play! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post