Hello, everyone! I’m C.S. Poe and I’m so happy to be visiting Boy Meets Boy for the final stop on the blog tour for Joy. Part of Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love line, Joy takes place in beautiful northern New Hampshire.
The story follows Gideon Joy, a young man with laughable bad luck, stranded in Coos County after hitting a moose and totaling his car. An important element of the story is local cuisine. American Chop Suey was another dish I was introduced to upon moving to New Hampshire. I still remember it was a very popular meal at school and the cafeteria made it at least once or twice a month. Check out the recipe below, as well as the exclusive excerpt! If you make the dish yourself, let me know how it is!
In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic for about 1 minute.
Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, stirring and breaking up meat chunks. Add herbs and black pepper, salt to taste, and stir until well mixed.
Add canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Add sugar to taste. Simmer on low while you prepare the pasta.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the macaroni and add to the chop suey.
Down on his luck is Gideon Joy’s default state. He doesn’t know why he expected anything different on his cross-country trip, but not surprisingly, the hits keep coming—literally this time. Gideon strikes a moose with his car in New Hampshire, not only totaling his own vehicle, but damaging one belonging to local construction worker Silas Bright. He has no choice but to stay in Lancaster and take a job that’ll pay for the repairs. And in a town so small, Gideon’s always running into Silas. What starts as annoyance between them soon blooms into something much more romantic. But when Gideon’s notorious bad luck rears its head yet again, how many disastrous dates will Silas be willing to weather before realizing Gideon’s not worth it?
Despite Gideon’s desire to remain in the quaint community that has accepted him as one of their own, past fears of inadequacy threaten the very joy he left Los Angeles to discover. If he’s to find a happily ever after with Silas, Gideon must learn that sometimes it’s okay to not be the best. And true happiness might be waiting in a small town nestled among the great White Mountains.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
I pointed at the stove. “Can I help?”
“No. Sit down.” He nodded at the kitchen table before picking up the pot and moving to scoop the contents into the bowls set out.
“What is this?” I asked, sitting.
“American chop suey.”
“Tomato sauce, hamburger—er, ground beef—onion, elbow noodles.”
“Sounds like spaghetti that tried and gave up.”
Silas smiled and nodded. “Guess so.”
“Is this like the other food you eat?”
Silas put the pot back and sat, looking at me with a curious expression from across the table.
“New England comfort food,” I clarified.
He shrugged. “Mama was picky too. She made this a lot.” Silas took a few big bites before asking, “Why were you driving through New Hampshire?”
“I’m in the middle of a midlife crisis.”
“You’re not middle age.”
“No, I’m twenty-five. Just getting it out of the way now.”
Silas gave me a concerned look that was oddly touching. “Because of the apprenticeship?”
“No. Well. I guess,” I said, pushing my food around with a fork. “I was heading to Maine and was going to turn around and drive back to California. I just had to get away from everything and think. I’m a grownass man and I feel like I’ve done nothing worthwhile with my life. And the people I surrounded myself with… there was a constant need to be better than everyone. It was depressing. I couldn’t breathe. It was a physical knot of anxiety, so I had to get away.”
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault. I should be sorry. You don’t need to know all of this crap.”
“Sometimes it’s good to talk,” Silas said. “Get it out of your system.”
“Says the guy who’s great at the stoic silence,” I teased.
Silas shifted in his chair and glanced between me and his food. “But I talk when I need to.” He went back to eating.
“I’ll talk enough for both of us,” I answered before trying a bite.
Oh God. Oh God.
The food was awful.
Silas was not a good cook.
I managed to swallow, despite every reflex trying to make me spit it out instead.
He noticed. “No good?”
“Ah… it’s okay!” I took another tiny bite.
“George is the chef, not me. I won’t be offended.”
I forced several more bites down, for no other reason than I was hungry and didn’t want to be a complete ass. “I’ll cook tomorrow,” I offered, hoping it didn’t sound desperate.
4/3/17 – C.S. Poe’s blog
4/4/17 – The Novel Approach
4/5/17 – Love Bytes Reviews
4/6/17 – Sinfully Gay Romance Reviews
4/7/17 – Boy Meets Boy
C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.
She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful, and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization.