THE HEART OF FROST Release Party Winners & Farewell!

December 18, 2013

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I want to thank everyone who stopped by today to celebrate with me. I know how crazy this time of year can get, so I appreciate you all taking the time to stop by. You’ve all been so amazing, sharing your thoughts and holiday plans. Feel free to chat any time. I’m always around various social media spots, Facebook especially. You can always catch me on my blog as well, or email me.

For everyone who picks up The Heart of Frost or Mending Noel, I hope you enjoy these sweet, sexy elves. I had a lot of fun writing these fellas, and I can’t wait to get started on Vixen’s story.

Now onto the winners! I dropped everyone’s name into the magic hat, and it chose the following names:

Winner #1: CAROLYN

Winner #2: TRIX

Winner #3: JBST

Congrats!!

To claim your prize, please email: charlie@charliecochet.com with the name of your chosen ebook and the format you’d like. 

If you didn’t win today, don’t you worry. There’s still time to enter The Heart of Frost blog tour giveaway. You’ll find schedule and contest info here. The blog tour giveaway runs until Friday, Dec 20th at midnight (Est).

 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

 

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Remember, there’s also a coupon codeCochetBlog to get 25% off any of my Dreamspinner press titles, plus any Urban Fantasy titles! Code is good for 2 days!
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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet

THE HEART OF FROST Release Party! Book Cover Lover!

December 18, 2013

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Hello again! After you have your title, it’s time to think about a cover. This can be exceptionally difficult. For some covers, like my Auspicious series, I had no idea what the heck I wanted. Dreaming up a historical cover seems to be more difficult for me, especially since stock photography is somewhat limited when it comes to the time periods I write in. But I trust the awesome artists at DSP, and Anne Cain did an amazing job with both books in the series. I gave her a mood, and feel, some key elements, and she ran with it.

The Auspicious Troubles of Chance Book Cover 200  IAJW200

Then there are occasions when I know exactly what I’d like on the cover. The Heart of Frost was one of those. I saw a photograph on line that I loved, and I was totally inspired by it. This is it below:

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When I came across this image, I let out a long gasp. I thought it was beautiful. I knew I wanted a similar pose, because without Rudy to hold him, Jack would be lost in so many ways. His heart, his warmth, everything he is, he knows he couldn’t have done without Rudy by his side, and I wanted the cover to reflect that. I also knew I wanted Jack in his prince’s uniform, and with Rudy’s bright red hair, I knew it would have to be a drawn cover. Personally, I think Paul Richmond did an amazing job with it!

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With Mending Noel, I needed to have a simple cover, because it was part of Dreamspinner’s advent calendar. I knew I wanted something sweet to reflect the sugary sweetness of the story. I also thought it would be cute to reflect the title and the premise of the story. Noel isn’t like all the other elves, which makes him think he’s broken, and it’s up to Tim to prove to him that’s not true. Catt Ford came up with this adorable cover, and I get a sappy smile every time I see that little heart cookie with icing stitches.

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What are your favorite type of book covers? What works for you, what doesn’t?

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Remember, there’s also a coupon codeCochetBlog to get 25% off any of my Dreamspinner press titles, plus any Urban Fantasy titles! Code is good for 2 days!

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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet

THE HEART OF FROST Release Party! Time for an Excerpt!

December 18, 2013

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Hello again! Time for an excerpt. Here’s a key scene from The Heart of Frost! Ooh, I do hope Jack makes it in time! Enjoy! You can read the first full chapter here.

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Excerpt:

“Ready?”

“You’re clear for takeoff, Captain.”

“Roger that.” Only a few weeks left until the Big Flight. There were plenty of test runs to do in the meantime, some on his own and three with the rest of the Rein Dears. There was a great deal of work involved, but no matter how many years he’d been doing it, he still found it exciting and exhilarating.

Above him the skies were blue, the winter winds calm and blowing with him rather than against him. His heart did a little flip knowing Jack was helping him despite his absence. Before he knew it, his plane’s wheels were leaving the tarmac, and he was rising up toward the clouds. Once he achieved altitude, it was just him, his plane, and the lulling sounds of his engine. The peace that washed over him, the freedom he felt while soaring through the air, was unlike anything else he could think of. Ever since he was a tiny elfling, he’d known he wanted to fly, and his mother, who had raised him all on her lonesome, had encouraged him, whittling the most beautiful airplanes for him out of pine, which they would paint together. Whenever he got the chance, he would visit her and take her for a ride in his plane.

With the weather clear, he practiced a few aerial maneuvers, enjoying some dips and loops, a couple of barrel rolls, before the wheel in his hand gave a harsh shudder. Leveling out his plane, he frowned, wondering what had caused the jolt. Out of the snowy blue, every light on his control panel lit up like a Christmas tree, the needles of his gauges going into wild spins. What the Holly? The entire aircraft trembled, and black smoke started engulfing his precious plane. The worst part was he had no idea what could be causing the failure. Everything had been checked and double checked. Every piece had been in perfect working order, well-oiled, polished, and maintained to the highest of standards. Every cable had been in its place, every nut and bolt secure.

The engine sputtered noisily, then stalled, and his heart leapt into his throat.

Nothing he tried seemed to work, and as he began losing altitude it was clear he was going to have to jump. With a curse, he pressed down on the clasp of his seatbelt’s buckle. Nothing happened. Crabapples. He tried again, this time getting a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Something was horribly wrong. He pressed against the buckle with all his strength, and when it didn’t budge, he thought of climbing out through the straps, except when he tried to move, he was tightly secured, as if the belt had somehow tightened around him, pulling his body back into his seat. There was no budging.

He frantically fought against the harness, and when nothing came of it, he searched around in the hopes of finding something sharp he could use to cut his way through one of the heavy straps, but there was nothing. The way he was falling, he wouldn’t have time to cut himself free even if he did have something, which he didn’t.

“Oh Gods.” How could this be happening?

“Rudy?” Tim’s panicked voice came over the radio. “Rudy, what’s wrong?”

“The plane…. It’s dead, completely dead. I’m falling.”

“You need to jump.”

“I can’t.”

“What do you mean you can’t?” Noel’s firm voice came over, his own panic evident in his gruff tone. “For Kringle’s sake, get out of there!”

“I can’t. My harness is stuck.” He did his best to remain calm and tried to open his door. Not that he knew what he would do once it was open, but he had to hope whatever was going on wasn’t affecting the whole plane. When the door remained firmly bolted shut, his fears were confirmed. This was no ordinary malfunction. This was unlike anything he had faced before.

“Rudy!”

He’d done the drills, run scores of variables, prepared himself for every possible outcome should his plane malfunction, but nothing could have prepared him for whatever this was, for this dark force that had infected his precious baby. Had it been anything else, he might not have been so frightened, but this…. Whoever had done this hadn’t intended for him to survive. Even the air around him was thick, making it harder and harder for him to breathe. His lungs ached and his body felt weak. The only thought that crossed through his mind was Jack. He shut his eyes tight to keep his tears at bay. No. He couldn’t end like this. He threw a gloved fist against his window and fought against his harness. If he was going to go down, he’d do so fighting.

“Jack!” he screamed as he threw his shoulder as hard as he could against the door. If there was even the slightest chance the wind could carry his pleas to its master, Rudy was going to take it. Please, hear me. “Jack, I need you! Please… help me.” He let his head rest against the cold window, his voice hoarse from lack of oxygen. “Jack…. I love you.”

Do you enjoy a little suspense in your romance? What’s your favorite romance genre?

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Remember, there’s also a coupon codeCochetBlog to get 25% off any of my Dreamspinner press titles, plus any Urban Fantasy titles! Code is good for 2 days!

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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet


THE HEART OF FROST Release Party! Talking Titles!

December 18, 2013

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Hello again! Some would think that writing a book is the most difficult part of being an author. Nope. At least for me it isn’t. I love writing. Plotting, planning, letting the words flow is the best part. Everything that comes after is a little tougher. Writing the dreaded synopsis, working out a blurb, coming up with an idea for your book cover, giving it a title, the editing, the promotion, and so on. Coming up with a title can be really tough. Some authors think up their titles before they write their stories, some after. I’ve had both.

With The Heart of Frost, the title came first. I had an idea of what I wanted the story to be about. Yes, it’s a romance, it’s sweet with bits of comedy, and mystery, but at the heart of it all is, well, Jack’s heart. Jack first appears in Mending Noel. We get to know him a little, though mostly through the eyes of Tim and Noel. He’s mischievous, big, imposing, every bit the prince he’s supposed to be. As I started delving into Jack’s personality, I gave a lot of thought to who he was. This fierce prince of winter. Winter is beautiful, but it can be harsh and deadly. And like winter, there are two sides to Jack, a soft, kind, warm side, and a frightening side.

When I thought about Jack and his love Rudy, I started asking myself all kinds of questions. If he’s this fierce enchanted spirit, the general of an army, why is he warmhearted? Was he always like that? What if something happened to threaten that? Right away, I knew the story was gong to be about Jack and his heart. Like Jack and what we learn about him, the title has two meanings, Jack’s heart, and a heart made of frost.

In Mending Noel, book 1 in the North Pole City tales series, I wanted another title that had two meanings. This time, the title came after I’d started the book, but I already knew what was going to be at the heart of the story. Noel is Tim’s supervisor at the Abominable Administration Department where they both work. He makes Tim’s life miserable, and Tim has no idea why. Tim is sweet, and despite being the smallest of elves, he has a heart bigger than anyone twice his size. Christmas is nearing, and Tim couldn’t be more unhappy. Things are getting worse at his job, and then one night, he unwittingly stumbles upon a plot against Jack by some corrupt toy soldiers, and Noel ends up in deep eggnog along with him. As Tim and Noel help Jack and Rudy get down to the bottom of the dastardly plot, Tim starts to understand Noel, and he does his best to prove to Noel that being different, doesn’t mean broken.

With book titles, I try to either do a play on words, use a song title that fits with the story, or work out what’s at the heart of my story. They certainly take a lot of time and thinking, and in my case, scribbling all over notebooks, but when you find the right one, it makes it all worth it.

What are some of your favorite book or movie titles? What kind of titles draw you in?

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Remember, there’s also a coupon codeCochetBlog to get 25% off any of my Dreamspinner press titles, plus any Urban Fantasy titles! Code is good for 2 days!

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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet

THE HEART OF FROST Release Party! Time For a Deleted Scene!

December 18, 2013

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Hello again! Most times when we authors are trying to get the voices in our head out through our fingers and into our manuscript, we’re deleting scenes, adding them, moving them around, shuffle here, shuffle there, that has to go *cries*, and we often end up with snippets or scenes. Well, here’s a scene from The Heart of Frost that ended up removed as Vixen decided he was going to have more than a bit part (read: getting his own book).

Originally when Jack shows up at the pub which is where the Rein Dears and their helpers hang out and get merry, Vixen was originally there stirring up a little trouble. In the final cut, Vixen is elsewhere, but I like this scene because it gives us a little taste of Vixen’s naughty ways, which is sure to get him into trouble at some point. See, Vixen’s a saucy minx, and he doesn’t see why Rudy should get Jack all to himself.

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Deleted Scene:

“Well, hello there, Sir Pouts-a lot.” Vixen’s gaze brazenly raked over Jack. “Looking for a little sugar to sweeten your evening?”

“No,” Jack grunted, taking a step to the right in order to get around the pesky elf. To his annoyance, Vixen moved with him, his hands coming to rest on Jack’s chest. He looked down at the intruding digits with a deep frown. “Unless you’re looking to get frostbite, I’d move those.”

“Oh, come on, Jack. We both know how generous Rudy is. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind sharing.”

“You think so? Why don’t we ask him?”

Vixen’s eyebrows drew together, his next words dying on his lips as Jack pulled him over to the telephone where he called Rudy. “Hello, sweetheart. Vixen is here, and seems to be under the impression your boundless generosity extends to you sharing me. Yes, of course.” Jack handed the phone to a startled looking Vixen. Hesitantly, the pilot placed the receiver to his ear, his face gradually turning a deep crimson.

“Yes, I heard you. Yes, I believe you would.” Vixen’s gaze shot over to Jack before he turned away, hissing into the phone. “That’s a stupid question. Of course I’m fond of my baubles. I’m sorry, all right. You don’t have to be such a witch about it. I’m sorry. He’s turning you into a grump, you know that?” Vixen pouted, his fingers twirling around the red velvet ribbon cord. “Tell me you still love me.” His lips broke into a bright smile. “I love you, too.”

Jack narrowed his gaze, and Vixen cleared his throat. “In a completely platonic, brotherly way of course, not at all the way you love Jack. I mean, he’s something, isn’t he? I gotta go. He’s got that look in his eye. You know, the one where he’s trying to decide between snowman or ice cube, and I’m not dressed for either.” He handed the phone to Jack and darted off.

“Still think that’s affectionate?” Jack asked Rudy, receiving a grumble in response.

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So the naughty Vixen will star in the next story of the North Pole City Tales series, and who’s the poor elf to set his heart on the untameable Rein Dear pilot? Jack’s cousin: Major Vale Frost. Vale is sweet, quiet, calm, and shy. He’s an excellent soldier, proper, and scandalized easily. Oh, but the fun Vixen could have…

Here’s some inspiration: Vixen is on the left, Vale is on the right (the left twin, Lieutenant Hollis Frost is on the right). Did I mention Vale had a twin? ;)

VixenVale and Hollis

 

What are you favorite type of book extras? Deleted scenes, side stories, images? 

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Remember, there’s also a coupon codeCochetBlog to get 25% off any of my Dreamspinner press titles, plus any Urban Fantasy titles! Code is good for 2 days!

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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet


THE HEART OF FROST Release Party! Time For a Giveaway!

December 18, 2013

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Hello all! Time for a giveaway! For a chance to win an eBook of your choice from my list of current releases of which The Heart of Frost is included, just answer any of the questions on any of the release party posts throughout the day! It’s that simple! And if anyone wants to ask me any questions, feel free!

3 winners will be chosen at random and announced on the final post at 7pm (Est). Contest ends at 6:30pm (Est). Please enter by 6:30pm (Est) to be entered in the draw.

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

How will you be spending your holidays?

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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet

THE HEART OF FROST Release Party! Welcome!

December 18, 2013

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Hello! Charlie Cochet here to celebrate my newest release, The Heart of Frost which is out today! Woot! It’s a sweet holiday novella featuring the gruff, sexy Prince of Frost: Jack, and the love of his immortal life, the dashing Captain of the Rein Dear Squadron:  Rudy Rein Dear. There’s mystery, suspense, sweetness, lovin’, and elfy hijinks! The Heart of Frost is the second book in the North Pole City Tales series but can be read as a standalone.

I’ll be posting all sorts of goodies throughout the day, including excerpts, a deleted scene, a giveaway, and more, so make sure to check back!

How about some extra holiday cheer? I have a coupon code for you! Just use the coupon code: CochetBlog to get 25% off any of my Dreamspinner press titles, plus any Urban Fantasy titles! Code is good for 2 days!

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The Heart of Frost is available from: 

Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks | Amazon.com

goodreads-badge-add-plus

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Genre: M/M Fantasy, Christmas, Holiday Romance
Series: North Pole City Tales, Book #2
Length: Novella 30,511
Published: Dec 18, 2013
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781627983938

Blurb:

At the North Pole, no one is more powerful and feared than the Prince of Frost. As general of the toy soldier army, Jack Frost has been working extra hard to put away the villainous Mouse King once and for all. If that isn’t taxing enough, Jack has to deal with the scandal and gossip brought on by news of his relationship with Rudy Rein Dear, captain of the Rein Dear Squadron, which hit headlines last holiday season. Lucky for Jack, his reputation has managed to deter any foolish attempts to stir up trouble. At least until now.

When someone sabotages Rudy’s plane during a test run a few weeks before Christmas, Jack is determined to find the culprit by any means necessary. The closer he gets to finding answers, the more difficulty he has not falling back to his icy ways. Has the Mouse King stepped up his game in order to throw Jack off his, or is someone a little closer to home behind the attempt on Rudy’s life? Either way, Jack has every intention of delivering a Christmas they won’t soon forget, even if it means losing the newfound warmth in his heart.

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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: http://www.charliecochet.com
Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet


Island House release party—Final post

November 11, 2013

I’ve had such a great time today on the Dreamspinner Press blog! Thanks to everyone who came by and commented or Tweeted me about Island House. It was a pleasure to spend release day with you!

The winner of the Island House prize pack with a ceramic oil warmer, ocean breeze scented oil, nautical-themed earrings and a handmade metal anchor bookmark is Janice.  Congrats!

I’ve had a blast sharing some of my favorite parts of Island House. I’m also excited to announce that I’m currently working on a spin-off novel that focuses on Niall’s playboy friend Ian Mackay. It will be the second the three-part series Dropping Anchor. All three books have a slight nautical theme and are based around men who are a little bit adrift in the sea of life.

In Island House, Ethan is the one who anchors Niall and gives him the stability he needs to move on with his life. In Finding Home, the second book in the series, Ian’s carefree lifestyle and love ‘em and leave ‘em approach to his love life are beginning to lose their appeal. When he meets yoga instructor Luke Keys and immediately has his advances rebuffed, Ian is intrigued. He spends an inordinate amount of energy courting Luke, and when Luke finally caves and succumbs to Ian’s wiles, Ian is shocked to find that his interest in Luke doesn’t wane as one date turns into many more. Before he knows it, Ian finds himself in a monogamous relationship. Has he truly found an anchor in Luke, or is Ian still scanning the horizon waiting for another ship to come in? Find out this summer in Finding Home.

I’m signing off (or maybe I should be saying anchor’s aweigh?). Thanks for a great time, Dreamers!

Order a copy of Island House
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Island House release party—Giveaway reminder and a scene that took me by surprise

November 11, 2013

Hi Dreamers. It’s Bru again, back with another snippet from my new release, Island House. We’re talking about my favorite parts of the book.

When I write I tend to put pieces of myself in the story, both intentionally and accidentally. Aaron’s distrust of goats in Traditions from the Heart is influenced by many a childhood trauma at the hands—er, hooves?—of a particularly bloodthirsty goat that hung out in the stables I took riding lessons at as a kid. In The Buyout, Parker’s exasperation with Mason when Mason zones out on the conversation and starts writing lines of computer code in his head during dinner? Something that happens all the time in my own household.

When it happened in Island House though, it was a complete accident. I was focusing on a big, emotional confrontation between Niall and his pseudo sister-in-law that I had been building toward for several chapters, but the background in the scene got away from me and before I knew it I was transcribing a fight that happens at my kitchen table with alarming regularity. I kept it because it provides good comic relief for an otherwise heavy scene, and also because I figured at least a few readers out there would see themselves in it just like I did. Here’s a snippet from that scene:


“ROGER, I swear to God, if you don’t stop I’m going to take that bowl and throw it out the window!”

Roger paused, spoon halfway to his mouth, and stared at his wife. Drops of milk splashed into the bowl, the sound noticeable in the otherwise silent kitchen.

“Stephanie—” Niall began, eyes crinkling with concern.

“No. I’ve had it with both of you.” Stephanie cradled her forehead in her hands, the sleeves of her ratty bathrobe pooling around her elbows, which were propped on the table. “I need quiet. I can’t think with all this noise.”

Niall’s jaw fell open. He and Roger had been sitting at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper and eating breakfast. He hadn’t spoken a word to Roger since he’d come down, poured himself a cup coffee, and asked Roger if he’d wanted a refill. That had been several minutes before Stephanie had emerged from the bedroom and taken a seat at the table.

“You, with the chewing,” she said, looking up to glare at Roger, who surprised Niall by looking chagrined instead of puzzled at the odd outburst. “And you,” she said, rounding her attentions on Niall, “with your moping. Do you think I can’t hear what’s going on in your head? Jesus, Niall, you’re the loudest thinker I know. Every thought is written on your face.”

Stephanie stood, managing to look strangely menacing in her pink bathrobe. Niall wondered if perhaps she was in the middle of some sort of mental breakdown. Or maybe he was. Maybe this crazy-eyed, unkempt Stephanie was a hallucination of some sort. He’d never seen her so frazzled, and that thought must have been clear on his face as well, since she rounded on him with a glare.

“It is not me, Nil. It is you, with your commitment phobia and your stupid, unfounded fears that you’ll lose us if you move on.”

Niall flinched at the use of his childhood nickname. It had died with Nolan; Niall couldn’t stand for anyone to call him Nil anymore, and he knew Stephanie must be beyond frustrated to have used it. She hadn’t called him that since the day after they’d buried Nolan, when he’d thrown a glass pitcher against the wall in her kitchen and forbade her to use it anymore.

Stephanie closed her eyes, her brain finally registering her slip. Her eyes softened in apology, but the tight line of her mouth didn’t ease.

“Niall,” she enunciated purposefully, drawing the word out. “He was my brother, and I love him. I miss him every day. But you’re an idiot if you think I would ever turn my back on you for any reason.”

Niall gaped at her, unsure of what to say. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Roger slowly lowered his spoon into the bowl, careful not to clink the metal against the porcelain. He didn’t look overly concerned at Stephanie’s outburst, which made Niall wonder if she’d yelled at Roger about his chewing, which hadn’t seemed rude or loud to Niall, before. Would he and Nolan, he wondered, have had fights like that if Nolan was still alive and they’d gotten married, as they’d always planned to?

Island House

ebook paperback


That’s right. I hate the sound of my husband chewing. It’s the little things, especially when you’ve been together nearly seventeen years. Apparently it’s so annoying that I subconsciously worked it into a scene when two of my characters were trying to have an intimate, emotional moment. Then again, that’s the time something like ridiculously loud chewing (seriously, it’s a thing) is the most likely to cause a mental break, right?

What seemingly innocuous thing annoys you the most? Share one of your pet peeves and be entered to win an Island House prize pack with a ceramic oil warmer and ocean breeze oil, a handmade metal anchor bookmark, and a set of nautical-themed earrings. (International readers: You’ll get a different prize if you win.) Commenting on this post and the last is two entries, so it doubles your chances at the prize! The drawing for the winner will be at 9 p.m. EST.

You can also enter by following me on Twitter and tweeting me a greeting. Readers who comment here and tweet me will get two entries. Keep an eye out on Twitter—I’ll be doing giveaways there all month!

Order a copy of Island House

Bru’s website

Follow Bru on Twitter

Island House release party—Prize pack giveaway and a sneak peek at an unlikely friendship

November 11, 2013

This time I had help from my lovely assistant drawing a name from our high-tech glass bowl.

Jennifer F.  was our winner for the last contest, congrats! I’ll have another giveaway later today. Entry details are at the end of this post.

We’ve been talking about Island House and my favorite things from the book. I love all of the characters, from misunderstood playboy Ian (more on him later!) to Ethan’s dry-witted pilot Joe. But my absolute favorite character (aside from Niall and Ethan, of course), is Clare Smith. She’s someone who has nothing in common with Niall, but somehow the two of them manage to forge a surprisingly fierce friendship in the span of a cross-country flight.

Whereas Niall floundered through his first meeting with Ethan and left a misleading impression of himself, Clare’s special brand of eccentric shines through whens he meets Niall and there’s nothing misleading about it. What you see is what you get with Clare, which is part of the reason Niall ends up liking her so much. Here’s there first meeting:


By the time Niall had collapsed into the too-small airplane seat, sandwiched between an old man and a woman in her early twenties, he was sweaty and tense with the beginnings of a headache curling up his neck.

“Would you like one?”

Niall looked up, fighting the urge to shake his head to clear the fog in his brain. He’d been staring out the window through the half- opened shade, but apparently the woman thought he’d been looking at her.

“I’m sorry?”

“You were looking at my protein bar,” she said, gesturing with the beige-colored bar in her hand, which until that moment Niall hadn’t realized was food. It certainly didn’t look like food. “I have several, if you’d like one. I always bring extra on long flights.”

Niall studied her, eyes narrowed a bit. She was a slip of a thing, probably because she never ate any real food. He had a fleeting urge to feed her.

“That’s kind of you, but I’m fine.” He rifled through his bag, hoping to end the conversation by finding something to read so he looked occupied, but Camille hadn’t thought to pack any books or magazines. He supposed it would be even ruder to listen to his iPod, but he really wasn’t in the mood to talk.

“Are you sure? You look a little peaked. Have you eaten today?” The woman twisted in her seat so she could get a better look at him, her lips pursed as she took inventory of his flushed cheeks and tense shoulders. “We could probably get a glass of water or some juice for you from the flight attendant. You look dehydrated.”

Niall stared at her, not sure how to respond. She didn’t seem to notice his silence, barreling on with a diatribe about the importance of drinking enough water while on a flight and the general poor health practices that consumed today’s society.

“Airline regulations today make it so difficult for travelers to take proper care of themselves,” the woman was saying, her expression animated as she berated airport security for not allowing passengers to bring bottles of water with them through the checkpoints.

“I always bring an empty bottle with me to fill up at a water fountain once I’ve reached my terminal,” she said, rummaging through her bag and coming up with a garishly pink aluminum bottle that was scraped and dented from heavy use. “I take it with me everywhere. Clips right on to my belt when I’m rock climbing, even, see?”

She pointed to the small carabiner clip, and Niall felt himself nod, completely caught off guard by the woman and her seeming ability to talk without stopping for breath. Rock climbing explained the dents in the bottle, at least.

“What am I doing? Oh, Clary Sage Smith, what is your problem? You’d think you’d never met a good-looking man before,” she muttered to herself. Niall wondered if she’d intended for him to hear her quiet aside or not.

“I apologize. I get a little carried away sometimes,” she said, thrusting her hand into the space between them. He took it automatically, as surprised by her firm grip as he had been by her enthusiastic speech about hydration. “Clare Smith. Self-avowed hydration nut and soon-to-be naturopath, in case you hadn’t guessed.”

Island House

ebook paperback


There isn’t a shy bone in Clare’s body, which Niall grudgingly admires about her. They really don’t have anything in common, but somehow that works for them.

What’s the most unlikely friendship you’ve forged? Comment here and be entered to win an Island House prize pack with a ceramic oil burner and ocean breeze oil, a handmade metal anchor bookmark, and a set of nautical-themed earrings. (International readers: You’ll get a different prize if you win.) The drawing for the winner will be at 9 p.m. EST, and there will be another opportunity to enter at 6 p.m.

You can also enter by following me on Twitter and tweeting me a greeting. Readers who comment here and tweet me will get two entries. Keep an eye out on Twitter—I’ll be doing giveaways there all month!

Order a copy of Island House

Bru’s website

Follow Bru on Twitter