Friday, January 19, 2018

Review & Blog Tour: Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen #Excerpt #Review #Giveaway ~Guest Post



Since my new release is set in Basel, Switzerland, I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite things about the city: Basel’s Fasnacht, the Spring Carnival. Before I moved to Basel I had never heard of it, even though Fasnacht is celebrated throughout Germany and Switzerland. I was amazed to experience 3 days of orchestrated mayhem, which were not what I was expecting, especially considering the prim and proper reputation of the Swiss.

In Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks, Mark is awestruck by Fasnacht which starts with Morgenstreich, an even beginning the Monday morning at 4 am, where every streetlight in the old town is switched off and the city is plunged into darkness. As the bell tolls, the piccolos and drums drown the city in a wave of music, and the cliques march through the unlit streets carrying huge painted lanterns.



At this point I think I'd better introduce you to the Waggis – a strange a creature who’s a mix of clown, demon and French farmer. They roam the streets during Fasnacht armed with confetti, oranges and sweets. 


Marching bands playing drums, tubas, trombones and trumpets and huge floats and wagons, many of them making political statements may up the Cortége (the parade). The Waggis are out in force so beware! It starts early afternoon and continues into the night. 


The evening of day two brings the battle of oompah bands. Let me tell you, you’ve not lived until you’ve heard ‘I Kissed A Girl’ by Katy Perry played on a tuba! I’ve also heard interesting versions of ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘Queen’s Fat Bottom Girls’.

Just when you think you’ve had enough, Wednesday arrives with another full day of parades. And, since this is the last chance the Waggis have to offload their confetti, you’re guaranteed to get covered.

Fasnacht is great fun, and my little boy is already super excited for this years’ festival on the 19th February. Does where you live have a special event like this?


Review

This read felt immediately strong, the environments, the observations, the conversations.

I just loved the way this was put together.
 Mark is working on a project in Basel Switzerland, for a few months. There he meets Steffen.

Steffen is blunt, unfiltered and direct, making Mark choke on his wine. He wants to fuck Mark.

No strings just a good time being...
 We behold delightful babel and some grandeur attitude confusion...if you know what I mean.

Steffen is one strong specimen, he has a big apartment, he owns a company and talks openly about the other lovers he’s had, but meanwhile, he is head over heels.

Mark understands what Steffen says... no strings just hot sex... but what they didn't expect was feelings... a lot.

Because what follows, besides hot nights, is a warm friendship with a lot of fun and humor... my heart did strange things while reading, I just loved these charming honest men.
 God, it felt so natural the way they made love... the way they behaved around each other.
No perfection, but so many beautiful flawed situations. It took my breath away.

 The Swiss environments with their traditions were a really great addition to this story.
 I was happy with the different pov's because both men were engaging, and both deserved a grand place in this story.

Written in a wonderful style, it was a warm, loving, friendly read, no drama... very positive and all this was the reason it made me emotional... I felt a bit sad when I reached the last line.


When a story touches my heart I don't want it to end. This one deserves all the stars!

Excerpt

Where Morgenstreich was magical, covering the route with an ethereal blanket of charm, the Cortège was loud, brash, and like a 1960s drug-inspired hallucination. Somehow, he’d been expecting carnival floats like those he’d seen in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, but apart from the scale of some of the creations, that was where the similarities ended. A group dressed as Roman soldiers marched past, their oversized papier-mâché heads bright green, and it only dawned on him that they were meant to be the aliens from the Bugs Bunny cartoons when he saw the conductor was a giant zombie bunny and that they were playing “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane on a collection of brass instruments and drums.

A large wooden wagon, which looked like the progeny of a threesome between a milk float, a flatbed lorry, and a wardrobe, came next. A team of Waggis, with bright green hair and sailor uniforms, were delighting the crowd by juggling oranges and performing slapstick falls. Small children cried out “Waggis!” for their attention, and they responded by throwing daffodils and handfuls of sweets into the throng. Mark didn’t see the orange until it had bounced off his head, since he’d been half blinded by the cloud of confetti one of the green-haired bastards had launched right at him.

Mark spat out a mouthful of paper and rubbed the impact site on his temple. He glowered at Steffen. “I thought you said my badge thing would protect me from the Waggis.”

Steffen chuckled, looking delighted as he brushed confetti out of his hair. “Against individual Waggis, yes, but you are standing here voluntarily, and they just happen to be releasing Räppli in your general direction.”

“That sounds like an excuse you’ve used.”

“Maybe once or twice.” He smirked. “I never had the talent to play an instrument, but I was an extremely diligent Waggis in my youth.”

“I bet you used to offer to help get the bloody confetti out later.”

“I may have—to the most receptive and attractive of my victims. But I was young and foolish, and thought only about getting my cock sucked.”

Enter the rafflecopter draw or leave a comment below telling me a favourite even that happens were you live, and be entered into the blog tour giveaway of your choice of an ebook of one of my backlist titles (excluding Crofton Chronicle bundle).



Length: 45,613 words

Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….




January 12 - The Novel Approach - Blog Post
January 15 - Cupcakes & Bookshelves
January 18 - Love Bytes - Blog Post
January 19 - Diverse Reader (Blog Post), BFD Book Blog, Sarandipity Reviews, Making It Happen
January 20 - Gay Book Reviews - Blog Post
January 22 - Drops of Ink, Valerie Ullmer, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Book Lovers 4Ever
January 23 - MM Good Book Reviews - Blog Post

Author Bio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes



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