Behind The Stick Playlist
by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
Hi! We’re K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn and we’re grateful to be here today with the Blogger Girls to share our latest co-written release, Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3.
As music lovers, we often create playlists for our characters as we write. Behind the Stick’s main characters are city dwellers, and it’s easy to imagine them making their way around Manhattan and its boroughs, earbuds in place and tunes cranked. Mixologist and speakeasy owner Kyle McKee is at home on a nightclub dancefloor as well as behind the bar, while firefighter Luka Clarke, who is a lieutenant with the FDNY, inherited a love of music from his big, boisterous family. As they grow close, Kyle and Luka even discover a shared appreciation for swing, something that comes in handy while out one evening with Luka’s family.
Below are some songs from a Behind the Stick playlist. We hope you’ll enjoy them through the YouTube links we’ve provided, and that they entice you to get to know Kyle and Luka, and even love them as we do.
About Behind the Stick
Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.
Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.
Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.
Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.
Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.
Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.
Available at: Amazon
An Excerpt from Behind the Stick
“Okay, what is going on with the heavy conversation over here?” Wade asked.
Regina raised a brow at her husband. “We’re talking, honey. What would you have us do, interpretive dance?”
“Great idea!” Wade beamed. “How about you interpret some of my moves next?”
He stood and held out a hand, and though Regina made a big show of accepting it, she was laughing. Tomas also appeared pleased as they made their way to the floor.
“See?” He knocked his shoulder against Marcus’. “You should have brought a date. Women like a man who can dance, son.”
Marcus tipped his head back and laughed. “I don’t know anyone around my age who dances to this stuff, Pop. I mean, we do because you and Mom made us a bunch of special-ass snowflakes.”
“You know me.” Kyle held up a hand. “I can dance to this stuff.”
Marcus raised his brows. “You saying you’re a special-ass snowflake, too?”
“Well, I don’t know about special, Marcus, but my skin’s the right shade of snowflake pale.”
Laughter met Kyle’s words, but his good humor faded under Lydia’s scrutiny. She’d finally returned to the table, and her expression as she sat beside Tomas was far more serious than Kyle wanted to deal with.
Kyle stood before he became truly aware he’d moved, and he flashed a quick smile. “Excuse me—I need to see a man about a dance.”
He caught Luka just heading for the table with drinks for them both and steered him back to the bar. Luka’s snort of laughter did wonders to ease the tight feeling in Kyle’s gut.
“What’s going on?” Luka set the glasses down. “Did you want something other than a margarita?”
“Yep. I want to dance with you.” Kyle picked up his margarita and took a healthy sip while Luka’s eyes grew a little wider.
“Who says I know how to dance?”
“Your brother,” Kyle replied promptly. “Regina, too, though I may have made an inference based on a couple of things she said.”
“Oh, they’re all a pain in the ass.” Luka ran a hand over his head with a laugh. “Okay, you got me—my dad taught me when I was just a kid and Tomas picked up the torch once he was in our lives.” He licked his lips. “I’ve never danced swing with a man before though, and I usually lead—”
“Yeah, yeah. We both know you’re a big, bad toppy top.” Kyle rolled his eyes and his heart squeezed at Luka’s gleeful expression. “But I’ve told you before, Clarke—I’m flexible, and I like to do what feels good in the moment. So how about you lead and just let me know if you want to switch it up?”
Eyes gleaming, Luka held out a hand. “Okay, McKee. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
About the Authors
K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.
lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.
K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.
Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.
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