A Rose by Any Other Name Release Day Party!

September 12, 2014

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Hello all! Charlie Cochet here celebrating the release of my Roaring Twenties historical romance,  A Rose by Any Other Name. We have all kinds of fun events happening: today’s release day party, a blog tour, Facebook chat, and Twitter takeover! You’ll find all details at the end of the post.

There’s also plenty of swanky giveaways happening throughout the celebration! One is for the blog tour which is currently underway. You can find all the details toward the end of this post along with the Rafflecopter link. The second is just for today’s release party. I’ll be giving away an eBook of the winner’s choice to two lucky winners. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on the final post of the day at 8pm. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on any of today’s party posts!

So just what is A Rose by Any Other Name about? It’s a sweet romance that takes place during the late 1920s when the LGBT community wasn’t as hidden as many believe in cities like New York, Paris, and Berlin. During this period, some of the hottest gay performers emerged from the enclaves of Greenwich Village and Harlem into midtown Manhattan thanks to the “anything goes” attitude sweeping through the city as a result of Prohibition. This story was so much fun to write. It’s a time period that fascinates me. Plus the cast of characters was just a treat, from the wonderful romance between Julius and Edward, to the Harlan and Nathan’s cameo. For those of you who haven’t read Harlan and Nathan’s story, Roses in the Devil’s Garden is a free read and you can find the download links here: http://www.charliecochet.com/novellas/roses-in-the-devils-garden/

In A Rose by Any Other Name, Julius portrays Eros, one of the hottest performers at the Pantheon, an Ancient Greek themed cabaret hidden inside the Parisian nightclub in Manhattan, where wealthy gay men enjoy more than just booze and hot jazz numbers.

Here’s a little snippet from the opening scene:

“THERE’S SOMETHING wild about you, child, that’s so contagious. Let’s be outrageous. Let’s misbehave.”

Julius Knight was quite certain when Mr. Cole Porter came up with that wonderful little ditty he hadn’t expected everyone to take it so to heart. Yet here they all were.

The world had become one of scandalous debauchery and moral depravity, wrapped in the illusion of decadence and served on a silver platter with a glass of bootlegged liquor. As Mr. Porter so lyrically put it, they would all meet their fate, but until the time came, Julius was going to take each and every one of those saps for all they were worth.

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A Rose By Any Other Name
Fallen Rose: Book 2

Genre: M/M historical romance, 1920s
Length:
Novel 270 Pgs
Published:
Sept 12, 2014
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
ISBN eBook:
9781632160300
ISBN Paperback:
9781632160294

Blurb: Nights in the roaring city remind bright young things that life’s too short to take for granted. Tucked away in Times Square hides the Pantheon: a secret cabaret for wealthy gay men. Pretty young men in elaborate costumes and rouged lips are eager to please, and the champagne flows all night long. It’s a world of frivolity, fantasy, and debauchery. As Eros, the most sought after performer at the Pantheon, Julius uses his beauty and charm on enthusiastic patrons, but growing weary of superficial love, he longs to make a better life for himself.

Five years after being declared mentally unfit after surviving the trenches of No Man’s Land, Edward Joseph Clarence Junior pieced his shattered life back together. Now he’s ready to take on the family empire. To celebrate his thirtieth birthday, Edward’s cousin takes him to the most posh nightclub in town, the Pantheon. Falling under the sway of Eros, Edward and Julius find a love they’ve never imagined and the chance for a future they had only dared to dream about. But as Ares, a notorious gangster and Julius’s most important—and dangerous— client watches them, the threat to their love and their lives grows by the day.

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 Available from:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

Paperbacks ordered through Dreamspinner Press qualify for Free Shipping to GRL for pick-up!

Use code: GRL2014

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About the Author:

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Newsletter

 

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Blog Tour Hosts & Events
11th Sept – The Novel Approach
12th Sept – Dreamspinner Press Blog Release Day Party
13th Sept – Hearts on Fire
15th Sept – Joyfully Jay (Exclusive excerpt)
16th Sept – Attention is Arbitrary
17th Sept – Prism Book Alliance
19th Sept – Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (Exclusive giveaway)
20th Sept – The Blogger Girls
21st Sept – Meet the Author Facebook Chat
22nd Sept – Bookwinked
23rd Sept – Twitter Takeover with Lex Chase

Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Matters of Courtship Playlist

September 8, 2014

Hello once again!  Thank you all for joining me for the release party of Matters of Courtship.  I’m C.M. Jackson, and our book has just released today! You can get it in paperback or eBook.

Here’s the summary one final time, and the gorgeous, lovely cover by Paul Richmond

Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of America, William Samuel Davis, has recently been outed by the press. Worse yet, he’s been thrown into an arranged marriage with one of the stuffiest people he knows—one Lucas O’Malley-Hamilton. It’s a match made in hell, and William fully intends to make everyone see the error of their ways and send Lucas back home on the first available flight.

But things quickly get more complicated than William had thought possible as the Anti-Monarchy crowd uses his outing against him. As he is forced to face the realities of his position, he finds himself drawn to sides of Lucas he hadn’t known existed. Tensions rise throughout the country and in William’s world. While the situation absolutely refuses to improve, it can and will get worse.

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For the last post, how about the playlist?

Here’s the list of optimal MoC reading songs, from myself and my partner (and the input of our friend Amanda).

Broken Crown by Mumford and Sons

Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds To Mars

Kiss With a Fist by Florence + the Machine

Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand

 To Build A Home by Cinematic Orchestra

Did I Say That Aloud by Barenaked Ladies

I’ll Be There For You by Bon Jovi

Call Me Irresponsible by Michael Buble

I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers

Bewitched by Rufus Wainwright

Bonus Track:

Royals by Lorde

 

Final Question of the Hour: What’s your favorite ‘At each other’s throat’ love song?  Or, alternatively, if you read the book, what song do you think best sums up William and Lucas’ relationship?

Thank you again for joining me!  One last big round of thanks, to the friends who supported us, to Belfry, to all the hard work of everyone at Dreamspinner Press, especially the poor editors, and to Paul Richmond for the cover art.

Enjoy, everyone!

More Excerpts from Matters of Courtship

September 8, 2014

Hello once again!  C.M. Jackson here, for Matters of Courtship’s release party. It comes out today, and you can get it in paperback or eBook.

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And here’s another round of excerpts from the book!

From Chapter Four

Nodding his head in mute understanding, William tugged Lucas with him as they reached the Lincoln Memorial. He let Lucas wander, reading the information William had memorized completely. It was almost sad how little freedom Lucas had in his life. He had the liberty of what he chose to eat, and obviously to continue his schooling, but it seemed as though everything else was dictated to him. How to act, how to speak, sit, and stand, even his manner of dress, were all guided by age-old rules. Lucas was a modern, living example of ancient empire. He was duty bound, and lived and breathed by the rules his parents and his familial monarchy set down—even if he disagreed with something on a personal level. William had to act that way in public, but he’d never had that crap forced on him when the cameras were off. The idea that Lucas didn’t have that freedom made his stomach turn.

It made William wonder just how much of Lucas’s personal attitude was his own, too. How much Lucas actually liked him and how much of it was a stoic act.

The thought coiled unpleasantly in William’s chest. The idea of not being liked by Lucas while he prepared to marry him didn’t sit well. Still… Lucas seemed to be enjoying himself today. It was almost as if he were opening up, even if the movements were still hesitant.

“Well, are you coming or not?” Lucas called from the top of the steps, waving his camera phone. “I have to admit, I still don’t fully understand your monarchy. Your kings changed because of your civil war, correct?”

Jolted out of his thoughts, William nodded and moved to stand in front of the monument. “Yeah. Lincoln took over as king after the war.

Nearly got shot in the head for it. Only lasted a few years after that, but at least he didn’t die all of a few months into his kingship, right? What an example. Then his firstborn got the throne, and then the husband of Robert’s daughter, and a few generations along you have me.” He froze in a pensive, dramatic pose, hand thoughtfully resting on his chin. When Lucas broke into laughter, he couldn’t keep the pleased grin off his face, further ruining the act. William heard the soft, digital click of Lucas’s phone as he snapped a few shots. He came back to William and fiddled with the touch screen.

“What’cha doing?”

“Making this your caller ID,” Lucas murmured quietly, smiling at William and rising up on his toes to kiss William’s cheek. “Now I have a truly historic photo to display your complete lack of shame.”

“I resent that. I have a historic presence.”

“I think you mean histrionic presence.”

William plucked the phone from Lucas’s hands and pulled up the image. It was taken just as his composure from the “serious” persona started to crack. His eyes were squinted and his mouth was open in a laugh, but his arms were still raised and his fingers were splayed over his chin. It was a good, funny shot. He approved. He slipped the phone into the pocket of Lucas’s jeans, leaning in close and letting their lips ghost over each other. Finally he closed the gap in a chaste kiss, less for any of the other tourists and more because he wanted to.

From Chapter Seven

William’s cheer didn’t last the night. He kept waking up with bad dreams, where the smell of kerosene and smoke haunted him. The bodies of the victims stayed at the front of his mind, and he kept having futile, repetitive dreams of digging through rubble and pounding at crushed steel, watching as fire bubbled over windows and the faceless victims were replaced with familiar features.

By four in the morning, he’d officially given up hope of sleep. The kitchen was empty, and William scowled at the coffee machine and jabbed the start button as though it had offended him. After a moment the machine ground through the first bit of sleepiness and the smell of coffee wafted up. The silence and stillness made William want to bang around noisily, but he knew that would only rouse his parents, because they had creepy bat ears and could hear him from the other side of the house.

Why the fuck did they have six different kinds of bagels? What the hell was the difference between a harvest-grain and a seven-grain bagel? Annoyed, William grabbed the open packet of everything bagels, because they had everything. Simple. In the name. No nonsense. At this time of night, cutting the bagel seemed as if it needed surgical precision. How the fuck was he supposed to…? Grumbling at the bagel, which was too thin on the top and too fat on the bottom, he shoved it into the toaster and glared at it.

“You’re up too? Oh, coffee, good.”

William swore loudly and spun around. “Christ, did you take stealth lessons from a cat? Jesus.”

“I didn’t mean to scare you. I couldn’t sleep. I’ve spent the last three hours debating my great need to purchase infomercial products.”

The toaster popped and William retrieved his bagel, spread the butter over the inside, and squished the two halves together before taking a bite. “It’s a trap.”

“Thank you for that sound advice, Admiral.” Lucas drawled, pouring a mug of black coffee and drinking deeply. He leaned his hip against the countertop and rubbed at the back of his neck, looking as strung out as William felt. “I just keep seeing their faces everywhere. I’ve heard about bombings in London before, but….” He shook his head and took another sip. “I wasn’t as directly involved. It was mostly my cousin and his family.”

Nodding his head, William poured his own coffee, adding way too much sugar. “Yeah. I keep seeing it over and over. Having these dreams where I try to save them. I was fine when I went to bed, but it was like… I don’t know. It didn’t last.”
Lucas paused, eyes searching his face. The moment seemed to drag on for a long time, until William started to fidget. Then Lucas closed the gap between them and wrapped his arms around William’s middle, bringing him into a tight grip of a hug.  William remained stiff for a second, then relaxed into the touch and closed his eyes, some of the tension in him unknotting just a little. Lucas’s pajamas smelled like fresh linen and the faintest hint of his soft cologne. William couldn’t help but nose lightly at Lucas’s shoulder. For a long moment, Lucas’s expression seemed unreadable, but then he turned to gather his coffee, nodding as though he’d come to a decision. “You are doing well, aren’t you?”

Shrugging, William nodded. “Yeah. I will be once I get some sleep, anyway.”

“I should go and attempt some more sleep. Try and get some rest, Highness.” Lucas turned to leave, and something in William’s chest twisted. The ache in his chest was better when he wasn’t alone.

William watched him for a moment, stomach churning, before he finally spoke. “Why do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Use my title. You use my name when you’re angry with me, I’ve noticed that. But you stop being so damn proper when you’re upset or flustered, and… I don’t know, it just seems weird. I mean, I call you by your name.” Playing with his bagel, William took a sulky bite.

Lucas didn’t quite meet his eyes. “I’m well aware. I do it out of respect for you. You’re of slightly elevated status from me, and I don’t feel right addressing you directly when in close company. It’s intimate.”

Scratching at his cheek, William watched Lucas with curiosity. “So we’re intimate when we’re fighting?”
Lucas’s mouth opened in shock, and he turned a deep shade of pink before covering his mouth with one hand and stifling a cough. “No. I think in those moments, I drop everything and break my own rules.”

William took the few steps to Lucas and cupped his cheek with his slightly buttery fingers. Lucas’s nose crinkled in a way William’s sleep-addled brain found adorable. “I’d like it if you used my name. Um, please. Unless you say no, in which case I’ll order you.”

Nodding once, the movement jerky, Lucas made a soft, frustrated noise. “You…. All right. I was going to go back to my room and lie down to attempt some sort of sleep. If… If you want to keep me company, and keep your hands above the covers, you’re welcome to join me.”

It seemed like there was something a little more welcoming about that offer, but William was too sleep deprived to figure it out. With a wordless nod, he let Lucas lead them both back to his room. Lucas put his mostly empty cup on his night table, removed his dressing gown, and draped it over a suitcase. Then he climbed into bed and pulled the covers over himself, peering in the direction of the TV, which was playing an infomercial for some food-dicing product. William climbed into bed behind Lucas, pulling the covers over his own hips and wordlessly declaring himself to be the big spoon.

Lucas was still for a long moment, but then he pulled William’s arm across his chest. He threaded their fingers together, and William watched as Lucas closed his eyes. He kissed his cheek, and when Lucas’s lips curled up, so did his. William eventually settled on resting his cheek on Lucas’s shoulder. There, that was comfy. “Sleep well.”

“You too, William.”

And that’s all you get from me!  Question of the hour:  What do you do when you can’t sleep, for serious reasons or just restlessness?  I, personally, am I big fan of cooking TV shows at strange hours.

Character Studies

September 8, 2014

Hey, all, C.M. Jackson here again, for the release party of Matters of Courtship! It comes out today, and you can get it in paperback or eBook.

Here’s the summary again, and the gorgeous, lovely cover by Paul Richmond

Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of America, William Samuel Davis, has recently been outed by the press. Worse yet, he’s been thrown into an arranged marriage with one of the stuffiest people he knows—one Lucas O’Malley-Hamilton. It’s a match made in hell, and William fully intends to make everyone see the error of their ways and send Lucas back home on the first available flight.

But things quickly get more complicated than William had thought possible as the Anti-Monarchy crowd uses his outing against him. As he is forced to face the realities of his position, he finds himself drawn to sides of Lucas he hadn’t known existed. Tensions rise throughout the country and in William’s world. While the situation absolutely refuses to improve, it can and will get worse.

MattersofCourtshipLG

Now, you’ve read a bit about them, but who the heck are these people?

Interestingly, William and Lucas are older characters of ours.  In fact, the majority of the cast were all originally from a group project we worked on with a wonderful group which is the most professional way I can think of to say it was an RP group.  That’s where the dedication comes from.  Fun fact, actually: All the characters I named have references in them, and all to one show, in this case.  Serious points to anyone who can figure it out, because it gets subtle.  (William DavisWalter DavisDaniel Webb…).  Another fun fact is that in the original versions, William and Lucas weren’t together.  And if you read, I think you can figure out who was with who.  We included a lot of little nods to the originals.

Because of their age, and the fact that they’ve gone through multiple revisions, these characters are some of the most spontaneous among what we’ve written.  I am a very structured author – I need to have a clear plan of attack, or else I go off on tangents and we end up far away from the original plot.  (My partner, on the other hand, is much more free form.  She just puts out words and they turn themselves into lovely moments that feel very organic, which is evil and I am completely envious of her.)  Because of that, it’s odd for me when characters will just turn away from what I set them up for and make difference decisions on the fly.

William is the king of that.  It won’t be a surprise to anyone who reads the book, but he has the tendency to thumb his nose at my plans and run off in the other directions, seemingly out of spite.  Hopefully it makes him interesting to read, but it makes him a pain to write.  Especially in this story, William is very much prone to going off on his own and making impulsive decisions.  Often, he does it out of not knowing or agreeing with why he shouldn’t.  He’s a soldier at heart, and he cares deeply and takes things personally, but when he doesn’t have rules he feels he has to follow, he’s a hellion.  And that’s where we see him begin in Matters of Courtship.

Lucas, on the other hand, is much more by the books.  He colors inside the lines, if you will, and he plays his eccentricities close to the chest.  That’s not to say he doesn’t have his share of moments where he pulls the rug out from under plans, but he tends to do them in quieter ways.  Except when it comes to William, who drives him into open, emotional action.  Which ends up to a lot of shoving up against walls and getting very much in each other’s personal space.

I like relationships that are about balancing.  And Lucas and William definitely have that.

Alright, I’ve rambled at you enough.  Question of the hour: Do you have a character who won’t do what you want them to?  And, follow up, are you an ‘architect’ or a ‘gardener’, to steal from George R.R. Martin’s quote.  Are you spontaneous, or do you do best with a structure to follow?

 

Excerpts from Matters of Courtship

September 8, 2014

Hey, all.  I’m C.M. Jackson, still here for Matters of Courtship’s release party!   It comes out today, and you can get it in paperback or eBook.

Here’s the summary again, and the gorgeous, lovely cover by Paul Richmond

Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of America, William Samuel Davis, has recently been outed by the press. Worse yet, he’s been thrown into an arranged marriage with one of the stuffiest people he knows—one Lucas O’Malley-Hamilton. It’s a match made in hell, and William fully intends to make everyone see the error of their ways and send Lucas back home on the first available flight.

But things quickly get more complicated than William had thought possible as the Anti-Monarchy crowd uses his outing against him. As he is forced to face the realities of his position, he finds himself drawn to sides of Lucas he hadn’t known existed. Tensions rise throughout the country and in William’s world. While the situation absolutely refuses to improve, it can and will get worse.

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And now for what you came here for – the story itself.

From Chapter One

THE LOOKS William’s parents were giving him were not necessary. Maybe he hadn’t answered their summons quickly, but he was there and he was even wearing a shirt. What else could they want from him? Judging from the way his mom’s eyes were narrowed and his dad’s shoulders were set, nothing good.

He flopped down in the chair in front of them, his posture not at all appropriate to his princely station, and shot them his most charming smile. It hadn’t worked for years, but it was always worth a shot. Predictably, they weren’t moved. Ah, well. “Um, hi? Did I get dragged here to be stared at, or what?”

“William,” Henry rumbled, in that way that meant William was pushing it, which he kind of was. “Do you have anything to tell us?”

Did he? Well, yeah, but nothing he particularly felt like sharing. “Nope, nothing at all. Glad we had this talk. I’ll just go back to bed now.”

As he started to stand, his mother’s lips pursed and William stilled. That was not a good sign. Did he have time to make a tactical retreat here? Probably not. Dammit. But instead of starting to yell, Alice just sighed and picked up a rolled-up newspaper from the table. For a moment, William was absurdly afraid she was going to smack him across the nose like a misbehaving dog, but instead she just handed it to him. Glancing between them, William opened it up.

“THE GAY PRINCE: WILLIAM COMES OUT!”

Oh, yeah. That.

Licking his lips, William glanced up at them. “Would it help if I said I’m not gay? There are shades here that they’re completely ignoring. The term is bisexual, actually, and—”

“William.” This time his name was just a groan. His father gave up his stiff posture to lean forward and rub the bridge of his nose. “You are never allowed to have another interview without someone else there to keep an eye on you ever again. Ever.” Offering to simply avoid all interviews probably wouldn’t help, so William just nodded. His military service had taught him how to go along with orders, if nothing else. “What on earth possessed you to do this? Before you’d even told us?”

William looked between Alice and Henry and shrugged. Both of them looked strung out, and he was starting to think that maybe this hadn’t been the best plan. But at the time, it had seemed like a good way to come out, since it wouldn’t involve a face-to-face talk with his parents about his sexuality. That, and it had been at least half a joke—but the paparazzi never were good with that sort of thing. “Well, it distracted from the other scandal, right? There’s not so much talk about me going out to bars anymore. And it was the interviewer who asked about birth control. I was just honest.”

The sigh his mother let out sounded almost painful, and William only barely managed not to wince. “This is not how you deal with a scandal, William! The situation is serious! Not only have you been sneaking out and putting yourself in danger, but now you’ve made yourself a political target.”

William frowned and looked away. “Okay, yeah, the sneaking out wasn’t the smartest thing I ever did, but it was harmless. I’m twenty-six, and if I were anyone else, then no one would care. It’s not as if being prince means something anymore. No one even knew it was me, so it wasn’t…. Look, that’s not the point right now.” They’d been over that part a hundred times already, and everyone was thoroughly sick of the argument. “I’m bi, and no one ever asked until now, but if they had, then I would have told them. I’m not gonna lie about it. It’s something that I am, and if people have problems with it, they can come up and look me in the eye and tell me they’re bigots.” Swallowing hard, William pointedly met his parents’ gaze.

His father frowned back. “Don’t you dare. You did this before you so much as told us, and you cannot fool me into believing this was on purpose.”

“All right, I should have run it past you two first. Sorry. If it helps, Walter knew.” Okay, no. That didn’t help. But at least his brother was in trouble too now, so all this love could get spread around. William was going to owe him. “It was just a good lead-in, so I went for it. And if nothing else, it’ll get all the gay marriage and gay-rights stuff sorted out much faster, right?”

Shaking his head, the motion aggressive and scarily quiet, Henry jerked his hand toward the door. William recognized the dismissal, popped up from his chair, and started for the door. Before he could get there, Alice spoke. “You’re to be engaged.”

 

From Chapter Two

Lucas nodded and squeezed their fingers together. The gesture was kind of nice in a way that had nothing to do with the charade, and that more than anything knocked William out of being casual and back into prince mode. Scooting a little closer so they could share a meal menu, he hummed a little and leaned into Lucas’s personal bubble. Nice and intimate looking for you, brunette with a camera phone. “I recommend the lobster, personally. It’s my favorite here.” He let his voice drop into something just shy of a purr—it was something he’d practiced with Evan, who called it William’s “bedroom voice.” That was probably kind of much, but it did seem to make people more inclined to go along with him.

“If you recommend it so highly,” Lucas replied. This time he didn’t seem as irritated by the theatrics as he was after the press conference. Maybe because this was more low key. William still had no idea what was going through his head, to be honest. Twisting, Lucas moved so he was whispering into William’s ear, and the puff of air from his voice made him shiver just a little. “Shall we order the oysters as well? They certainly set a mood, don’t they?”

Hot damn. When had Lucas turned into someone fun? “Only if I get to feed them to you.” He turned a little as well to face him properly. As close as they were, it would only take a slight shift before they were kissing. Holding that for one achingly long moment, he finally pulled away to hail one of the waiters hovering nearby, and mentally cackled when the brunette reporter dropped her phone and cursed. Ha ha. Served her right for being a shameless vulture.

It was late enough that their appetizers arrived quickly—though that might have been the royal influence again—and William pulled an oyster out of the bottom shell with his fork and held it up for Lucas to take. He did, dragging it off the fork with deliberate slowness, and William could have kissed him for playing along. He’d been wrong before about the lines, because jerking reporters around was the best part of being famous. When Lucas did the same to him, William wrapped one of his own hands around the one holding the fork and took the oyster gently between his front teeth, yanking it off and then licking the fork clean.

The game was so much fun, William nearly forgot about Brunette’s camera phone, and it made the oysters last until the lobsters came out. At that point William switched modes, because he really did enjoy lobster and wanted to eat it rather than play with it. But at least the periods of silence between them weren’t nearly as awkward as they had been, aided by Lucas’s red wine and William’s scotch.

By the time they decided against dessert and made their way back to the car, William was feeling warm and full and more than a little bolstered by the alcohol. He kept close to Lucas, even when they were driving and no longer in danger of being watched. “That was fun. How come you’re not always this fun?”

“Perhaps you just haven’t been paying attention,” Lucas offered, eyeing William critically. In the warm glow of the passing streetlights, his eyes looked green. William counted off the time between green and dark blue. “You weren’t being fun either.”

Snorting, William waved a dismissive hand at him. “I’m always fun. I do Christmas addresses in superhero pajamas. That can’t be it.”

Lucas’s lips twisted, but he didn’t seem quite as affronted as he usually did. Either William had too much alcohol to tell, or Lucas had had enough to not be so uptight. “I’m not sure we have the same definition of fun, then.”

As they pulled into the driveway and climbed out of the limo, William finally shook his head. “Nah, you were cool today. Putting on a show and all that. That one lady with her camera. Oh man, it was priceless.”

Inclining his head, Lucas frowned just a little, eyes narrowed. “I didn’t notice her specifically. All of that was for her benefit?”

“Well, yeah. Her and the other ones. But she was the most obvious, and she had funny expressions.” Oh, whoops. William had taken them down the wrong hall. Oh, well, they could still get to his wing this way. It’d just be the scenic route. “Who else’s would it be for?”

The way Lucas huffed made William think that was the wrong answer, but he couldn’t imagine what the right one would be. He must have been mistaken. “Who else, indeed.”

Lucas’s words caught up with him, and William frowned. “Wait. Dude. If you didn’t notice, then why did you want the oysters and play the game with me?”

Huffing, Lucas shot him a short look. “I only said I didn’t notice that woman specifically. Besides, it’s the principle of the thing. We acted our roles, regardless of the audience.”

Okay. Yeah, that made sense. But William was still in the mood to tease, and Lucas had been such a good sport all evening that he couldn’t help but slide in closer until he could feel the heat coming off him. “Aww, I thought you were seducing me for a second. Now I’m disappointed.”

“Oh? You want me to seduce you?”

William chuckled. “Nah.” For a second Lucas’s eyes flashed again, but then William grabbed his shoulder and spun him around, the move controlled despite the alcohol. “You don’t have to try that hard. Haven’t you heard from the papers?”

Leaning back against the wall, Lucas blinked at him. He must have had more wine than William remembered, because his cheeks were pink. It looked good on him. “Heard what?”

A slow smile crossed William’s lips. “I’m an easy lay.”

More to come later!

Question of the hour:  Would you be for or against an American Monarchy?  Even if their influence on politics was mostly limited, do you think it would be a positive or negative influence?  Or, perhaps a neutral one.

Yeah, political questions with your romance novels, exactly what you came here for

 

Matters of Courtship

September 8, 2014

Hello, all!  I’m C.M. Jackson, here to talk to you about my first book, Methods of Courtship, which is being released today!  You can get it in paperback or eBook.

Here’s the description for you guys.

Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of America, William Samuel Davis, has recently been outed by the press. Worse yet, he’s been thrown into an arranged marriage with one of the stuffiest people he knows—one Lucas O’Malley-Hamilton. It’s a match made in hell, and William fully intends to make everyone see the error of their ways and send Lucas back home on the first available flight.

But things quickly get more complicated than William had thought possible as the Anti-Monarchy crowd uses his outing against him. As he is forced to face the realities of his position, he finds himself drawn to sides of Lucas he hadn’t known existed. Tensions rise throughout the country and in William’s world. While the situation absolutely refuses to improve, it can and will get worse.

MattersofCourtshipLG

In truth, it’s not accurate to call myself C.M. Jackson.  Instead, I am one half of C.M. Jackson.  Unfortunately, my partner in crime can’t be online today, so I’ll be celebrating with you all today!  She and I have been writing together for years now, so it was only natural we’d eventually do something more professional together.  But when I say that I wrote a novel with another person, I usually get an odd look at first.  How do you write a novel with someone else?  Did you just plan it together?  Do you trade of chapters?  Pages?  (The answer, for those curious, is that we trade off scenes).

When you talk to people about the subject more, though, I’ve found an interesting tendency.  A lot of people who enjoy writing started with friends.  They would come together, make a story, volley ideas off of one another and often enough get out a good chunk of a book.  Mind, a lot of them are exactly what you’d think they are.  Looking back, the collaborative efforts I made with elementary school or middle school friends had quite a few characters that were just cool versions of us with swords and magic.  But that’s true if you’re alone or together, I’ve found.

And so I’m somewhat confused why collaborations like that aren’t more common in professional work.  You don’t even see much of it in places like fanfiction.  This may be my own experience, but most of the time, when there’s more than one author name on a book, it’s because someone died or otherwise couldn’t finish it on their own.  There are obviously exceptions, but they’re not all that common.  I like writing with someone else.  Yes, occasionally you disagree, and you get those times where someone feels like they’re doing more work, but it also helps me keep on track.  When you’re trading off, you have more of an incentive to sit down and work, because they’re waiting for you.  And unless you’re a big deal author with editors breathing down your neck for the next chapter, it can be hard to get past an idea and a beginning and really write.  Collaboration is invaluable for that.

Alright, my question for you all, in honor of our first publication: What were your first stories?  And did you ever collaborate with friends?  And I’m looking for the juicy details.  We’ve all done the embarrassing novice mistakes and ideas, don’t be shy to share.

A Tooth for a Fang Release Party: The glorious exit…

September 4, 2014

Liv Olteano, spamificating you guys for the last time today :D
It’s been a great day, and I thank you all for joining along on my A Tooth for a Fang spamification campaign at the DSP blog!

Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.

The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.

Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
ISBN-13 978-1-63216-037-9
Pages 216
Get it from DSP: ebook | paperback
Cover Artist AngstyG

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Not seeing the Rafflecopter form? Click here to see it in a new window :)

And the winner is… H.B.!! :D
Congrats! I spamificated you in private via email, lol.

Thanks again for joining me on this awesome day!
Talk soon, wove ya!

xoxo,
Liv Olteano

A Tooth for a Fang Release Party: The playlist

September 4, 2014

Liv Olteano back in the house :D And I come bearing gifts, or well, goodies anyway.
Today we’re talking about A Tooth for a Fang, and as we agreed a couple hours ago, we’re putting together the official playlist, with your awesomesauce help too, of course. But first, here’s a bit about the novel we’re putting together the playlist for:

Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.

The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.

Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
ISBN-13 978-1-63216-037-9
Pages 216
Get it from DSP: ebook | paperback
Cover Artist AngstyG

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Not seeing the Rafflecopter form? Click here to see it in a new window :)

And now, the songs I thought of…

The Narrative – Eyes Closed
n*grandjean – Watching Stars
The Paper Kites – Bloom
Ed Sheeran – One
Imagine Dragons – Hear Me
Archive – You Make Me Feel
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
Chris Davis – This Could Be Love
Angus and Julia Stone – Draw your swords
The Perishers – Nothing like you and I

Thank you, Trix, for suggesting:
Comic Book Heroes+I’m Your Superman – Rick Springfield
Misfits – We Bite
Loudon Wainwright III – The Morgue

Thank you, Sula, for the suggestions:
Sea Wolf – You’re A Wolf
Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
Young Heretics – I Know I Am A Wolf

Thank you, H.B., for the suggestions:
Ingrid Michaelson – Soldier
Ingrid Michaelson – Oh What A Day
Annie stela- breathe through
BIRDY – Young Blood
A Fine Frenzy – Near To You
A Fine Frenzy – Blow Away
Jojo – Note To God

What do you guys think? Like the playlist? :)
And, wow, a couple hours later the giveaway is gonna end! How time flies, right? I’ll contact the winner personally too, but I’ll let you guys know who the winner is in the wrap-up post, coming up just a couple hours later!
So if you haven’t entered the giveaway yet, but want to, sink your teeth in :D

A Tooth for a Fang Release Party: Excerpts of doom

September 4, 2014

…Aaaand I’m back. Missed me, huh? :D This is Liv Olteano, spamificating you all *mwahaha*

Today we’re talking about A Tooth for a Fang, my first novel out with DSP just yesterday :D

Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.

The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.

Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
ISBN-13 978-1-63216-037-9
Pages 216
Get it from DSP: ebook | paperback
Cover Artist AngstyG

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Not seeing the Rafflecopter form? Click here to see it in a new window :)

Now, I thought I’d introduce Rick and Travis by giving you guys a few sneak peeks into their interaction :D Are you ready? Here we go… Oh, beware, some casual cussing ahead, lol.

Excerpt from Ch 6:
” I followed Travis through the bowels of the building until we finally reached the parking lot.
“We’re gonna drive? I thought we’d do something cool, like run in super-speed or something.”
He turned around with one eyebrow high up. “You’ve been reading too many comics, baby.”
I snorted. “Whatever. So what do you drive, a bike?”
He slapped the back of my head. “You might end up running behind the car if you keep that up.”
He picked a direction and started walking. I scratched my nape and followed, a pattern that was starting to get on my nerves. He slid into a black Spider and popped open the passenger door for me. Well damn, the man drove something almost as hot as he was. I got in and closed the door just in time for him to drive off like a madman.
“Dude, you’re gonna break the Spider‘s legs,” I muttered clutching the seat.
He snorted. “Don’t be a pussy, Ricky boy. I don’t like pussies.” He grinned and looked at me sideways. “And no worries, I take good care of what’s mine.” ”

Excerpt from Ch 7:
” Travis reached out and grabbed my elbow, pulling me against his body. “Hey, you okay?”
I groaned. “Sensory overload.”
He dragged me in some random direction and I followed with complete trust that he’d save me. It wasn’t a thought but pure instinct that led me to have such trust. And my instincts were proven right, too, when I found myself in a dark room with him holding me, running a hand up and down my spine and rubbing his lips against my temple. It worked to calm me down a lot, so I leaned into him and took all the comfort I could get. I sure as hell needed it.
“Feeling better?” he whispered against my temple.
I nodded and leaned my nose into his throat, greedily inhaling his scent. “God, this feels good.”
He sighed. “Yeah, it does. I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten you out on the field so soon. You’re a tracker, by definition sensitive to scents. I’m a total dick, sorry.”
I chuckled. “But a great dick, I’m sure.”
I trailed my nose and lips over his throat, barely touching. The space between us felt electric, hot enough to burn. I wanted to close that space, to make it disappear. I pushed myself into him, felt my heart throb at the simple contact.
He groaned. “What are you doing, pup?”
“Taking advantage of the privacy to settle my nerves. Which you rattled, Mr. Chandler.” ”

Excerpt from Ch 10:
” Travis slid out of the driver’s seat and strode by my side. “So you’re gonna meet our coroner. She’s… special.”
“Unique snowflake and all that shit, yeah, I get it.”
He shook his head as we got into the building. “No, I mean she’s gonna be really special, particularly to you. Try to not offend her.”
We got into the elevator and went down. I turned my head to look at his strangely serious profile. “What makes her so special?”
“She’s a troll.”
“You’re shitting me.”
He snorted. “Trolls are, well, it’s not politically correct to say it, but butt ugly. And they smell. Like, stink. Badly. Real, real bad for you, I’m guessing.”
I groaned. “My head is already pounding, don’t fuck with me.”
He sighed. “Just try to, you know, not be too outspoken about your… first impression.”
I rolled my eyes, pretty sure he was shitting me. “Didn’t you smell the scents on the scenes? That dark spices, thick but not obnoxious, smell?”
He shook his head. “Out of my whiffing range, I guess. Nobody but you picked up on them, or they would’ve mentioned it. That’s why having a tracker out there is so important.”
“Meaning it’s why you cut my training short to about a second.”
He shrugged. “Best way to learn how to swim is to get in the water.”
Also, the best way to get drowned, but I didn’t share the thought. The elevator doors dinged open. When we got off, we went down the
corridor and then took a left. The most revolting stink crawled up my nose and made my eyes water.
“Shit, don’t you people use freezers around here?” I muttered holding a hand to my nose.
Travis whipped up a small box out of his pocket. He flipped the lid, took some cream looking stuff, and smeared it under his nose. Then he extended it to me.
I took a whiff and cringed. “I can’t decide if this is better or worse as far as stinks go.”
He grinned. “Much, much better, trust me. Just smear a good dollop of it under your nose.”
I figured the evil I knew was better than the one I didn’t, so I did it. Then Travis pushed open a door and I almost fell back on my ass. The stink was impossible to describe, just a stinging, raging, torturous degree of revulsion that I couldn’t even fully encompass in words.
I took a step back, shaking my head. “Hell no. I am not going in there, man.”
Travis shook his head. “Don’t be a dick. Come on.”
I narrowed my eyes. “I’m not supposed to be a pussy, now I can’t be a dick. What else is there?”
He shrugged. “Switzerland?”
“I think I’m gonna pass out.”
He shook his head. “Just take small, shallow breaths and try not to focus on the smell okay? Come on.”
I tried, God help me, but it didn’t do much good. We went through the doors and came into the morgue, metal tables, and some bodies around. Some were human looking, others animals and a few lycans. Then there were the ones stuck in-between. Seeing them bothered me more than the others, which was silly. It was too soon to be playing favorites already, and yet it seemed I was.
“Were they all murdered?” I asked looking around.
“Two of them are agents who died on the job last night. The third one is their killer,” said a sweet female voice.
I shook my head and turned around toward the source of that voice. And my mouth went agape, eyebrows fully up on my forehead.
She was about four feet high, a mix of toxic green and crusty shit brown. Her skin looked as if it was bubbling, little blisters that now and
then burst open emanating the most revolting stink in the universe. It came off her in horrible waves. Her eyes were an almost warm chocolate brown, wide mouth with jagged teeth opened either in a smile or a menacing show of teeth, I couldn’t decide. I ran a hand over my face trying to get a grip on.
“I’m Dr. Lora Pane, nice to meet you,” she said reaching out.
Travis cleared his throat. “He’s my mate, Doc. No touching, you know the rules.”
She giggled, I think, though it sounded like a mix between hysterical barfing and a cat mewling in its death throes. ”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you guys think, how does it sound? :D
Now, since you’ve seen them in action a bit, I thought we could do something fun together :D I’d love your help with it. In a couple of hours, I’ll come back with a playlist for these guys.
After “meeting” them too, how about you help me with some suggestions? Pretty pwease? Hehe.
Then we can compare notes when you see my ideas. Your suggestions are making it into the complete A Tooth for a Fang official playlist, btw :D
Sounds like gun? Awesome, fire away! *prepares to take notes*

See ya in a couple hours!

A Tooth for a Fang Release Party: The glorious entrance… :D

September 4, 2014

Hey everyone!

I’m Liv Olteano, and this is my first time spamificating the awesome DSP blog *mwahahahaha* It’s a pleasure to meet everyone!

I guess I should properly introduce myself since it’s my first time here, right? I’m a total techy geek, I’d gadget-ize the living hell out of everything around me. Step two would be to customize the living hell out of all the gadgets around, haha. I’m hopelessly romantic, but I have a quirky way of showing it. Okay, who am I kidding, I’m quirky by large. And proud of it, too! It’s quirks that make us each interesting :D
I merrily unleash my geekdom upon any and all unsuspecting victims. I take great pride in my geekdom :D And, for now, you guys are my victims *mwahahaha*
Am I the only one totally in lurve with gadgets and customizations here? You guys love them too, right? Right? :D

I’m SO excited to be here today! We’ll chat, hopefully also about my first full-length novel that came out just yesterday with Dreamspinner Press, A Tooth for a Fang, available in ebook and paperback. It’s an Adult Mystery/Suspense Paranormal Romance that features two badass and somewhat snarky guys, Rick and Travis, and the love story that develops between them as they’re trying to catch a killer. It’s a bumpy road to their happy ending, because… well, I’m not spoiling it. :) I am hoping you’ll join them on the road to it, hehe.
So, snarky, somewhat smartass characters – I kind of love them as a reader, do you?

I thought we’d celebrate together the fact that Rick and Travis are now at large, unleashing their charm (possibly also wreaking havoc…) with a fun Rafflecopter giveaway for one ebook copy of the novel, open internationally of course.
The one condition to entering the giveaway is you either have to have or get a free DSP store account, and if you win, the ebook will magically appear in your account’s shelf.
You’ll gain entries by answering one or all of the questions on the Rafflecopter. Keep in mind there’s no wrong answer to any of them, simply choices :) These are situations that may or may not be related to the story, hehe. Sounds like fun? I hope it will be.
Here’s a little more about the novel, and you’ll find the Rafflecopter form right below that. Don’t have a Rafflecopter account? No worries, simply sign in with a valid email address and a name, I’ll use that email address to contact you if you’re the winner, so make sure it’s a good one, eh?

Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.

The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.

Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
ISBN-13 978-1-63216-037-9
Pages 216
Get it from DSP: ebook | paperback
Cover Artist AngstyG

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Not seeing the Rafflecopter form? Click here to see it in a new window :)

I’m coming back in a couple hours with a couple excerpts to properly introduce Rick and Travis, later on we’ll put together a playlist for them, and if you’ll wanna help me I’d totally love it, and later still we’ll announce the giveaway winner and wrap up.
Sounds like fun? Purrfect! See you guys in a couple hours!
Hey, I did say I plan on spamificating… :D