A Matter of When – Giveaway

September 15, 2014

I’ve spent the day chatting about A Matter of When, now let’s get to the fun part, shall we?  How about a giveaway of an e-book copy?

But first, let’s talk about the little things that make life sweeter.

Rocker Henri can afford the finer things in life, but is won over by Sebastian’s kindness, highlighted in one simple gesture: a tuna fish sandwich unlike any he’s had before, because “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

The sandwich reminds Henri of the when he was younger and his mother used to show affection with food. Sometimes we overlook the simplicity of the love baked into our favorite cookies, or a loved one making us soup when we don’t feel well.

Instead of simply entering a comment and telling me you like to enter the contest, why not name one comfort food that brings back good memories? You don’t have to, mind you, but I’d love to hear your stories.

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A Matter of When – Excerpt 2

September 15, 2014

In A Matter of When, lead singer Henri suffers a meltdown in which he fears joining the “Twenty-seven Club, after which he must rebuild his life:

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THE ENCORE, the reporter gauntlet, the picture taking and autograph signing went by in a blur. Then Henri took the limo ride from hell.

“What’s got into you tonight, Henri? You seem a little down. Or should I be asking, ‘What hasn’t gotten into you?’” Ricky snickered. “Oh, maybe you want to go down.”

“Did you notice that big-titted chick down front?” Giles chimed in. “Oh, wait, of course you didn’t.” He lowered his voice so only Henri could hear. “You would if she had a dick.” He paused long enough to suck up a line of coke off a tray he’d found in the limo’s bar.

Fucking assholes. Thank God their manager wasn’t here. Henri could better handle their homophobic slurs than their kissing up to Marguerite and laughing behind his back when she treated Henri like a four-year-old. Lord knew she babied her moneymaker, even if her hovering did cock block him. He had to play the straight boy for the fans.

“Fuck off,” he told his band. Hell, at least they hadn’t invited groupies along for the ride this time. The last thing he needed was Giles pounding into some half-naked woman right next to him.

But if they dared use the n-word, by God, he’d have to kill somebody.

He stared out the window. Buildings seemed to merge together as the limo whizzed by, their features further blurred by darkness and window tint. The car slowed to a stop at a red light. What if he simply jumped out and ran? Never stopped running, never looked back? Found a place to hide where no one could ever find him?

Oh yeah. Think of all the people depending on you, he heard in his manager’s voice. Stop being selfish. One cancelled show cuts into a lot of paychecks. Roadies, vendors, the band…. Not to mention herself.

He squeezed his eyes shut. A hamster on a wheel. A damned moneymaking hamster. No one gave a shit about him, just the money. One more concert, one more town. C’mon, Henri, get up on that stage. Think of your fans, Henri. Think of your family, Henri. Think of the band, Henri.

The next time the car stopped, the band crawled out into chaos. More fans, more grasping hands. A security guard guided him into the hotel, through a crowded atrium, and into a private, invitation-only party. At least his tormenters scattered, finding better amusements than “bash the closeted lead singer.”

In the background, Henri’s recorded voice wailed through the playback of tonight’s show, jacked up high to compete with the revelry of a crowded club. Wasn’t anyone tired of hearing him yet? “Great show, man,” a fan gushed, pumping his hand and grinning into his face.

“If you say so,” he replied once they’d left.

His bandmates took full advantage of their A-list reputations, Ricky throwing a quick wave to the crowd before departing, a blonde clinging to his arm. Giles tossed back his and someone else’s share of drinks from the open bar, occasionally rubbing his nose. Yeah, probably pretty damned numb by now. Vince held court at one end of the room, yet Henri, trained singing automaton, kept to the shadows. Maybe folks would forget him, letting him quietly sneak away. Margo, no, “Marguerite” trained eagle eyes on him. The rest of the band was free to do as they pleased, but the lead singer, the star in her eyes, had damned well better stay until she said otherwise, for once he left, the party would end, as would her evening’s networking.

“Buy you a drink?”

Henri spun around. A handsome man offered a glass. “No, thanks.” The pounding behind his eyes didn’t need any alcohol-fueled assistance to split his brain in two, and his anxiety meds hadn’t kicked in. The driving music and gyrating bodies surrounding him certainly didn’t help. After parties sucked, big-time.

“Aww… c’mon. Have a drink with me.”

A beguiling smile lured him in. Normally, he’d arrange a discreet meeting later in his hotel room, but something about the fan’s creepy smile said, Leave this one alone. He had “I kiss and tell” written all over him. Henri didn’t need another leaked sex tape. It had taken a lot of spin-doctoring and a look-alike claiming responsibility—for a price—to clean up the mess the last time he’d chosen the wrong bed partner.

He gave what he hoped passed for an apologetic smile. “No, really. I can’t.” Where was his manager when he needed her to chase off the undesirables who couldn’t forward his career, or at least dispel the latest bout of gay rumors?

Tall, Dark, and Won’t Leave replied, “I came all the way from New Jersey to see you. The least you can do is drink with me.”

All the way from New Jersey? Where the hell were they now? Oh. Right. Anaheim. Or was Anaheim last night? They were still in California, weren’t they?

Liquid swirled in a glass a few inches from Henri’s nose. “It’s your favorite,” the guy crooned. “Jack and Ginger.”

Oh, how Henri regretted letting slip such a factoid in an interview—about five years ago, when he actually had liked Jack and Ginger. Hell, to get rid of the moron, he’d pay any price at this point, then go back to his brooding. Floor-to-ceiling windows afforded a breathtaking view of the city—whatever its name was—his scowling manager reflected in the dark glass. Would everyone go the fuck away and leave him alone? If she wouldn’t come run this asshole off, Henri would do it himself. “Fine!” He grabbed the glass and swallowed half the contents. Anything to get this fuckwad gone.

The guy’s grin widened. “I’m your biggest fan.”

I bet you say that to all the rockers.

“You have millions of fans, but no one understands you like I do.”

Where had Henri heard that before? Oh yeah, Sacramento, LA, Portland, Seattle…. Name a town and someone there had spoken those same words.

His manager approached. Finally! “Henri, this is Lisa. Lisa, Henri.” Marguerite pushed a buxom brunette his way. “Lisa here is your biggest fan.”

Henri read between the lines: You need to be seen with a woman if you ever hope to dispel those nasty rumors. No way to dispel the truth, though.

The woman was pretty, but her maniacal grin didn’t bode well for protecting Henri’s privacy either. She could be the sister of the admirer he was currently attempting to fend off.

“Go away, bitch. I got here first,” the would-be suitor snarled. Okay, no relation, or possibly a highly dysfunctional, competitive sibling rivalry.

The woman snapped an angry retort. Marguerite waded into the fray. Henri beat a hasty retreat. Damn but his head pounded double-time now. The world fuzzed around the edges of his vision, and whatever he’d eaten before the show threatened to reappear.

Bodies blocked his way, but he lowered his head and soldiered on. Puking in front of two hundred witnesses wouldn’t win him any support from his manager. Hell, he couldn’t fucking belch without making headlines.

“Sir, are you okay?”

Henri glanced up at a broad chest, the word “Security” stamped across a tightly stretched T-shirt. No use lying. “I don’t feel too good.” Nice, broad arms. The guy who’d broken his fall earlier. I owe him a car or his own island or something.

“Would you like me to escort you to your room?” Nothing sinister or even suggestive peeked out of the man’s eyes. Just concern. Henri hadn’t gotten concern from anyone in a long time. Too tired to come up with a smartassed retort, he merely nodded. Maybe he could fall again and earn himself another inadvertent cuddle.

The security guard tapped his earpiece, spoke a few garbled words, and wrapped a hand around Henri’s biceps. “Not now, please,” the man said to anyone who stepped into their path. He hustled Henri to the exit.

Henri’s chest filled with lead. Why the fuck couldn’t he breathe? Too many people. The air cleared a bit near the elevator. His knees buckled. What the fuck? “I’m not drunk, I swear.” He grabbed at the wall and missed.

The guard steadied him. “I’m not judging, but maybe you’d better let me hold your drink.”

What? Henri was still holding the damned thing?

Without realizing quite how he got there, Henri leaned back against elevator walls. The coolness felt good against his skin. “Room 1216.” It was 1216, wasn’t it? Or 1218?

“May I have your key, sir?” The guard released Henri’s arm and held out his hand.

Shuffling, being pulled, the snick of the key in the door, followed by the sweet relief of his room. Hey! Room 1216! Got it in one.

Standing by the window of his penthouse suite, Henri stared out at the night. A string of red taillights marked a mass exodus from the arena down the block. His stomach rolled. Did anyone at the party downstairs miss him yet? Thank God his manager wasn’t hovering over him like some overzealous fruit fly claiming dibs on a piece of rotted apple. Henri snorted. My, how well the description fit him. Something within had died long ago, leaving emptiness within.

He took his glass from the guard, raised it in silent toast to his reflection, and tossed back a mouthful, a bitter brew to kill his pain. Haunted eyes blinked back at him. Tired, so tired. Concerts wiped his energy, and every song came from his heart, taking a piece of him that never regrew. A shriveled prune of a thing, his soul must be now. He needed his pills. The ones the doctor prescribed for emergencies. He hadn’t already taken one yet, had he? His head pounded.

He fumbled his way to the stereo and pushed the play button. Trent Reznor moaned about hurt. “I know exactly what you mean, man.”

“Would you like me to stay?” Arms folded across a well-formed chest. Bulging biceps. Blond buzz cut. Huh? Oh, yeah. Security guard. Asking to stay. But no invitation lurked in his eyes. Mild alarm, maybe.

“Would you? I mean, for a little while?” Henri staggered away, the need to sleep bearing down on him, an oppressive hand forcing him toward the turned-down bed. Slowly he peeled his T-shirt off, wincing at the stench of sweat. Maybe he should have taken a shower first. Too late now.

The guard’s eyes widened, likely taking in the skinny torso and the ink decorating what many viewed as a rock god. Henri was merely himself. If only this man didn’t know who he was and saw Henry, not Henri, the product of an imaginative manager. Ah, I’ve grown maudlin in my old age. Old at twenty-seven. Ancient.

An idea crawled to the surface of his muddled thoughts. “Sleep with me.” Had Henri actually spoken those words out loud?

“Fraternization with clients goes against policy. Besides, I’m straight.” No anger. Just business as usual. How many rock gods had propositioned the man?

Henri giggled. “So am I, if you ask my manager. No, I don’t want sex.” He didn’t. Really. “Hold me.”

“You want me to hold you?”

“I feel swimmy-headed. Need an anchor.” Nice line. He should use it again for something. Oh yeah. Maybe put it in a song.

“I could lose my job.”

“No, you can’t. I’m the boss, no matter what my manager says.”

The crisp sheets felt cool against his heated flesh, and if his bedmate noticed his slightly sweat-ripe scent, he gave no clue. The fully clothed guard arranged himself beside Henri, the image of adorable confusion when Henri didn’t attack. Henri had been fucked enough for the time being, and fucked over once too often. Tonight he’d lie in the arms of a stranger, Henri Lafontaine, a publicist’s creation. Tomorrow, he’d take his fucking life back, gold record be damned.

He cuddled into the stranger’s too-limp embrace. “Once I’m out, you can go.”

“You really don’t look too good. Is there someone I should call?”

Henri barked a humorless laugh. “No one gives a shit. Trust me.”

The man grabbed Henri’s wrist and raised his other arm to his face to better see his watch.

“What are you, a doctor?”

“I’m studying nursing. And your pulse is slow. Your breathing is shallow too. I think I should call somebody.”

“No, really. I’m fine.” Henri snuggled more firmly into his human pillow. Hell, physical contact was physical contact. He would take what he could get.

Something loosened in his chest, and he closed his eyes, imagining a lover’s attention, someone who cared about Henry the man, and not Henri, the rich rock star. He conjured up his own bedtime story: they’d met at a party, fallen in love, shared a house, a life. They’d gone out to dinner, made love, and were now settling in for the night. In the morning they’d…. Well, there wouldn’t be a morning for him and Nameless Guy, would there? Nameless Guy would be gone; Henri would wake alone, like he did every morning, even those mornings when he woke to find his bed filled to capacity with naked bodies.

A tear slipped beneath his eyelid, blazing a hot trail down his cheek. The aching inside flared anew, his heart bursting into a million crystalline shards.

The guard lay stiffly on the bed and wrapped an arm around Henri. Fingers stroked his forehead, brushing hair out of his face. Well, he’d be damned. One lucky woman had landed this guy.

But holy hell was it hot in here or what? His stomach rolled. Oh shit. How much had he drunk again? He glanced around the room. Where the hell was he? On the third try he managed to hoist himself out of bed. Where was the bathroom?

“Sir, are you all right?” came from behind him.

Sir? Who the fuck had he brought home? Henri’s stomach lurched again. Why wouldn’t his damned legs hold him? “Oh fuck!” The floor rose up to meet him.

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After a really horrible night, Henri retreats to the Colorado Rockies to regroup, and place I adore. If you could go anywhere in the world to relax, where would you choose?

A Matter of When – Excerpt 1

September 15, 2014

Although A Matter of When centers around a lead singer’s search to redefine himself and his music, there are a few scenes that embrace his performance onstage. Like this excerpt from the first chapter:

“I’VE GOT a date with a bullet, got a date with a gun….”

Every word ripped out of Henri Lafontaine, taking pieces of his soul. He pleaded with the audience, tuning out the pinch of tight leather against his knees, and knelt on the edge of the stage. Pain meant he lived, he breathed, he felt.

“No matter what I do, one day it’s gonna come.”

Frenzied fans reached for him, too far away to ease his cloying loneliness. A vise gripped Henri’s innards—more than sweat poured from him with the fatalistic lyrics. One misstep, one leap from the stage, one dive into the pit of sycophants, and the arms reaching for him, the clutching, grasping hands, would hold him close. But not close enough to melt the numbness inside.

“You say that you love me, but you only speak in lies.”

He raised his voice, keeping the tempo pounded out by the quartet of musicians behind him. Not the kind of folks he wanted at his back. Hookers and Cocaine. A stellar name for a group. Most of the members lived up to the title.

“But I do love you, Henri! I do! I do!” A young woman with a tomato-red faux hawk shoved her way closer. Henri beckoned. Security would rip him a new one for violating protocol. Oh well, better to ask forgiveness than permission.

He crammed his whole heart and soul into belting out:

“Put me down every minute, and I gotta say good-bye.”

Images of his manager, his bandmates, critics, and certain members of his entourage flashed behind his closed eyelids. Pressure built in the back of his throat, sending his voice out wavering. Dampness trailed down his cheeks, accompanying a desperate plea for help, which the masses likely understood as merely the lyrics to a top-forty hit.

Aching, longing, isolation, fear—his constant companions.

He panted for a moment, letting the guitar solo wash over him, and swept a sweaty curtain of ebony out of his eyes with one hand. Damn but Ricky played like a maniac. Too bad about the “unmitigated asshole” thing. The guitar for hire coaxing ethereal melodies from a six-string bordered on miraculous, but could be better if he played from the heart and not for the money, the groupies, and the fame. Ditto the drummer, Giles, whose cocaine habit stifled true talent, and doubly so for Vince on the keyboards, “reducing his art” for the paycheck, when he’d bragged often enough of contemporary rock and roll lying far beneath his master’s degree in music.

While the rest of the band wanted the trappings of rock stardom, Henri wanted one more breath. One more inhale, one more exhale. And a little less pain.

A bass beat throbbed, charmed to life by a traitor who’d sold out his brothers to a tabloid. Tomorrow’s headlines would rip the band apart—if they managed to last until dawn. Serpents. He’d surrounded himself with serpents. Or rather, his manager had, someone else with dollar signs in her eyes, blinding her to the golden goose’s swan song.

The fan fought her way forward through a sea of writhing bodies, and Henri extended his hand, signaling “come hither” with wriggling fingers, animating the image etched on his wrist. Fanciful creatures entwined with ivy trailed up his arm, disappearing under his T-shirt sleeve. Before the girl answered the call, the mob closed in, grabbing, clinging, tugging Henri half off the stage. The world turned upside down. He hung over the platform’s edge. Oh shit! He grabbed at an amp and missed. Falling, falling.

“I’ve got you.” Arms around him, but not in the way he needed. A scowling security guard clamped on tight. Great. Just what he needed.

As though he’d not been denied his greatest wish of human contact, Henri started in on the chorus while the guard shoved him back on stage.

“’Cause I’ve got a date with a bullet, got a date with a gun.”

Rising to his feet, head bowed, he cried out for rescue, from thousands who heard the words but not the message.

“And every day that I stay with you, the closer that day comes….”

The band wound down, the drummer dropping back, the bass and keyboards quieting. The lead guitar softened to allow Henri to deliver the final words in what passed for a whisper during a live show.

“It’s just a matter of when.”

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While Henri sings, his heart is breaking. What one song can bring you to tears every time, and why?

Release Day! A Matter of When

September 15, 2014

Hot rockers!

Do I have your attention? From my early teenaged years whenever my friends and I got together, sooner or later we’d bring up the topic of our favorite singer/drummer/guitarist, etc. What is it about rock musicians? Is it the way they strut onstage? The tight clothes? The larger than life personalities?

Or is it the way the music speaks to our souls? Through the music and the words, they seem to connect with us on a soul-deep level. Sometimes too deeply, as stories of crazed fans prove.

Hi, I’m Eden Winters, new on the blog., and though many years have passed, I’m still a big fan of rockers. Like Henri Lafontaine. Oh, you haven’t heard of him? Allow me to fill you in:

Wealth. Fame. Gold record. Hookers and Cocaine front man Henri Lafontaine has it all…including a control freak manager, band members who smile as they sharpen blades for his back, and last but damn well not least, a fan out to steal his heart. Literally. Trying to write hit songs and plan a comeback in the midst of the hi-fi white noise of LA feels more like watching his world implode, until he’s offered a month in the Colorado Rockies for vocal coaching.

Sebastian Unger’s rich, classically trained tenor inspires wicked thoughts. More than a pretty choir boy, he cracks the whip without hesitation to drive tattooed bad-boy Henri to give his all to his music. Working, fighting, and finally establishing a fragile peace, they find inspiration and perhaps more in each other. But the clock is ticking. Time will pull Henri back to the grit and gold of LA’s mean streets and fame machine, while Sebastian must return to the opera circuit, where a mysterious man known as “the patron” holds far too much sway. Only the trust they’ve built on a handful of notes bridges their two worlds…and shields them from malice.

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Want to know more about Henri? Well, you’re in Luck! Today is release day at Dreamspinner Press for A Matter of When, the story of Henri and Sebastian.

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Back in my day, the hot bands were Kiss, Boston, Journey, and The Eagles. Now I’m more likely to listen to Black Veil Brides.  Which rock group is your favorite, and why? Do they have a special song that speaks to you?

 

A Rose by Any Other Name Release Day Party: Winners & Goodnight!

September 12, 2014

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Our release day party has come to an end. Thank you all so much for joining me today! You’ve been awesome!

I’ll be giving away an eBook of the winner’s choice to two lucky winners.

If you didn’t win, don’t fret. There are plenty of events happening including several more giveaways. You can find all the details toward the end of this post along with the Rafflecopter link to the blog tour giveaway currently underway.

And onto the winners of the release day party giveaway! Via the Magic Hat, the winners are:

Rose Release Party

Winner 1: Trix

Winner 2: Krista

Congrats! You’ll be receiving an email shortly regarding the delivery of your eBook!

Again, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by today! I truly appreciate it. For updates, info, and sneak peeks on my upcoming releases as well as fun exclusives, visit my blog: http://charliecochet.com/blog. Have a great weekend!

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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 (giveaway)
22nd Sept – Bookwinked
23rd Sept – Twitter Takeover with Lex Chase (giveaway)

Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Rose by Any Other name Release Day Party: Casting

September 12, 2014

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Hello all! Welcome to another post celebrating the release of A Rose by Any Other Name, my Roaring Twenties historical. For those of you who’ve read some of my other stories, you’ll know I tend to write large casts. They seem to be growing with every book. Just look at the THIRDS. A Rose by Any Other Name isn’t any different. Luckily, I love creating characters. Writing a large cast is challenging, because for me, characters have to play some kind of key role. They have to be fully fleshed out with their own personalities whether they’re the hero or villain of the story.

I love supporting characters. Most of the time, I know when a supporting character or pair is going to get his or their own story. By the time I finish a book, sometimes they’re demanding it. When I wrote Roses in the Devil’s Garden, Julius played a small but important role. I knew then that he would be getting his own book. Something about him and his sadness touched me. I wanted to know more about him than what I’d created for that particular story. I also wanted him to have his Happy Ever After.

Julius isn’t alone. In Roses in the Devil’s Garden he mentions his friends to Harley after Harley warns him to leave the speakeasy they’re in, as it’s about to get raided. Something about the young man touches Harley, and rather than arrest him, Harley let’s him off the hook. Julius’s best friends since his childhood years are Lawry and Terry, the other two erotes who perform with him. Together they’ve been through thick and thin. They look out for each other and protect each other. Lawry is the more reserved of the trio. Astute, elegant, and always calm. While Terry is as fiery as his red hair. At times crass and snarky, Terry is the more outspoken of the three. Then we have our high society fellas.

Edward Joseph Clarence Jr. is a man with a troubled and heartbreaking past, but he somehow manages to keep his chin up. He’s kind and patient. At first, Julius finds Edward’s gentlemanly behavior and sincerity frustrating because experiences in life have taught him to be wary of such kindness. How no one is as good as they pretend to be. Edward’s cousin Maxfield on the other hand, is a different story. Maxfield is often described as a pompous ass. He speaks his mind without any care. Difficult doesn’t begin to cover it. But deep inside, Maxfield isn’t without any redeeming qualities. Edward and Maxfield’s best friend since childhood is Albert. Albert is shy, sweet, kind, and at times very timid, but even Albert has a few surprises up his sleeve.

On Edward’s 30th birthday, Julius’s world and Edward’s world collide, embroiling all six men in scandalous shenanigans, unaware of the dangerous Ares watching them along with his spy Anteros–Julius’s understudy. Writing such a large cast is challenging. That’s certainly quite a lot of “he’s”. But it’s also great fun. You can see my character and book inspiration for the fellas in my Fallen Rose series Pinterest board here:
http://www.pinterest.com/charliecochet/fallen-rose-series/

What’s your favorite large ensemble cast? Be it book, movie, or TV show.

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Don’t forget the giveaway! 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!

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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

goodreads-badge-add-plus

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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

 

RoseBlogTourBanner

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 (giveaway)
22nd Sept – Bookwinked
23rd Sept – Twitter Takeover with Lex Chase (giveaway)

Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feather bracelet

 

A Rose by Any Other Name Release Day Party: Excerpt

September 12, 2014

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Hello all! Thank you all for joining the release day party for A Rose by Any Other Name. How about a fun little snippet. This scene is where Julius (Eros) and Edward meet face to face for the first time. Edward has already seen Eros perform on stage, and thanks to his cousin Maxfield’s shenanigans, Edward has somehow found himself in Julius’s dressing room.

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JULIUS TOOK a deep calming breath, plastered a smile on his face, and quietly stepped into his dressing room. His bare feet didn’t make a sound as he crossed the velvety-soft carpet to his dressing table. He lifted his eyes to the mirror, and his witty remark died on his lips. “You’re not Ares.”

He turned to stare at the stranger sitting in his favorite armchair.

The man looked down at himself as if to verify the fact. “No,” he replied with a shake of his head, a smile tugging the corner of his lips when he looked back up at Julius. “Merely a mortal.”

Amusing fellow, Julius thought wryly. “I see.”

He cocked his head to one side, his gaze shamelessly raking over every inch of his uninvited guest. How had he managed to get in? The door to his dressing room was always locked and had at least two security guards posted outside. Granted, many had tried to sneak in, but none had succeeded, not without Julius’s approval. Yet here the fellow was, looking as if he wanted to be somewhere else. Not the usual response Julius was accustomed to and certainly not from someone who had somehow broken into his dressing room.

Assessing the man, Julius had to admit the fellow was pleasing to the eye, if not a little stiff. He was handsome, muscular, and broad shouldered. Nice legs, Julius mused, nice toes too. Hygiene was nonnegotiable. He preferred his men clean and trimmed. All of which this mystery man seemed to be. Despite being on the old-fashioned side—the fellow’s black hair being neatly parted on one side—he had a nice tan, making his sharp hazel eyes stand out, a bottom lip fuller than the top, a smooth chiseled jaw, and enough hair to make him perceptibly masculine without turning him into a fur coat. He wasn’t anything to write home about. At least that was Julius’s initial impression. However, on further inspection, something about the slight fidget, the hands clasped between the knees, the fascinated expression on his face as he swept a gaze around the room held Julius’s attention. It was almost… sweet.

Well, that wouldn’t do at all! Julius sauntered over, bringing the most amusing jump from his guest as he perched himself on the chair’s armrest and swung his legs up, delicately resting his feet on the man’s thigh. His handsome guest swallowed visibly, and Julius smiled at the fellow’s obvious discomfort.

“What’s your name, sailor?” Julius slipped his fingers into thick jet-black hair. It was surprisingly silky and not saturated with pomade. Unfortunately some of his guests wore so much of the stuff, Julius feared they might go up in flames one of these days. Considering how much smoking went on in the place, he was surprised it hadn’t happened already.

“Edward.” He straightened as if he were standing before a court judge, his chest rising and falling quicker now.

“And what do you do for a living, Edward?” Julius leaned forward to shift some of the weight from his wings. If he lost his balance, landing in Edward’s strong arms would be far more preferable to landing on the floor.

“I’m an executive for Clarence and Company Department Stores,” Edward replied nervously.

Julius should have known. Another dapper daddy out for a night of scandalous behavior before returning to his office in the morning, pretending for all the world his soul wasn’t as damned as the wanton degenerate he’d paid to have his way with the night before. After all, they were all “normal” men, while men like Julius were the deviants. They were all the same—and the more dough they had, the worse they were. Once again, he reminded himself of why he smiled and batted his lashes for men like Edward. Although this fella looked in over his head, and Julius was quite certain he hadn’t seen him around the club before. He would have remembered. Aphrodite must have added a new member. Interesting. Edward wasn’t just any dapper daddy, but a wealthy one.

Julius reached out to caress Edward’s cheek. “And what exactly where you hoping for, Edward?” He made his way slowly down to Edward’s neck, his collarbone, down his chest. His middle finger ghosted over Edward’s nipple, bringing a gasp from him. Oh, but he was wonderfully responsive to the touch. Julius was enjoying himself more than he thought he would. By now, anyone else would have been groping, gripping, and spanking. Julius enjoyed a good spanking, but not from just anyone. From the right person, it was titillating. From the wrong person, it irritated Julius to the point of physical retaliation, as in a good slap to the cheek and an end to the evening. Edward looked as if he was about to pass out at any moment, whether from fright or pleasure was anyone’s guess.

“Nothing,” Edward replied when he found his voice.

“Nothing?” Julius pouted, sliding one foot down Edward’s thigh and under his costume until his toes found what he was looking for, giving Edward a start. “Oh, but this doesn’t feel like ‘nothing’ to me. In fact, it feels like something—a big and hard something.” That was no line. Dear, dear Edward was deliciously endowed. Shame he was such a wet blanket. Still….

Edward gave a nervous laugh. “Sorry, I’m a little uh….”

“Excited?” Julius finished for him with a wicked smile.

“Yes, well, difficult not be under such circumstances.” Edward reached down to slowly and carefully nudge Julius’s foot away from his groin.

Well now, what was this? First time anyone had ever pushed him away. He could certainly have some fun with this one.

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Don’t forget the giveaway! 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!

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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.

DividerDivider

 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

goodreads-badge-add-plus

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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

 

RoseBlogTourBanner

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 (giveaway)
22nd Sept – Bookwinked
23rd Sept – Twitter Takeover with Lex Chase (giveaway)

Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feather bracelet

 

A Rose by Any Other Name Release Day Party: The Roaring Twenties

September 12, 2014

Roaring Twenties Banner HF

Hello all! Welcome back to another post celebrating the release of my historical romance A Rose by Any Other Name which takes place in Manhattan during the late 1920s. Talk about a fascinating time! In the early 1900s, the temperance movement led an attack on alcohol, viewing saloons as ungodly and a destructive force in families. Prohibition, the “noble experiment” enforced a faith-driven moral code which ended up loosening social mores.

With the Volstead Act enforcing the 18th amendment which banned the manufacture, transportation, and selling of intoxicating liquors, legitimate businesses were forced to close down, and mobster run speakeasies took their place. By 1927, it was estimated that there were 30,000 speakeasies in NYC alone. That didn’t include nightclubs, illegal distilleries, bootleggers, house stills, and general public consumption. It was often referred to bu prohibition agents as “… a hopeless and thankless task…”

But what inspired A Rose by Any Other Name? During the late 1920s into the early 1930s, the “Pansy Craze” was sweeping through NYC and gay subculture emerged from the underground. Some of the biggest draws to nightclubs were its gay entertainers. People attended drag balls by the thousands. Although many gay acts were exploited for amusement and entertainment, several big name performers used their success to create more space for the gay members of their audience and for gay culture as a whole.

Harlem’s elegant and lively nightlife made it one of the city’s most popular entertainment districts. Men and women engaged in sexually charged behavior in speakeasies where lesbians, gay men, and sometimes their “normal” male friends would to do the same in full view of the other patrons, including dancing and kissing. There was nowhere men more willing to venture out in public in drag than in Harlem.

Masculine Women, Feminine Men is a song by Merrit Brunies & his Friars Inn Orchestra and was a very popular song. This video shows some amazing footage taken during the “Pansy Craze”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSlfQ49Bq1s

Doing research for the 1920s, I read an amazing book which is still one of my favorites: George Chauncey’s Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940. For anyone interested in gay history, I strongly recommend this book. It talks in great length about the shift in 1920s New York and the “Pansy Craze”, including letters from gay men who’d been around at the time. Reading this, I knew I wanted to set my story during this period.

Julius is one of those most sought after “pansy performers” in town. He’s won awards for his costumes and dresses at drag shows. In writing this story, I pictured everything in my head like an old Hollywood movie, from the grand opulence of the Pantheon where Julius performs, to the hot jazz, glamorous costumes, bootlegged liquor, and most importantly the fellas falling in love.

What is it about the Roaring Twenties that folks find so captivating? For me, it’s many things. It was an incredibly fascinating period of history, from the fashion, music, and movies, to the upheaval happening in society. What do you think?

Don’t forget the giveaway! 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!

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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.

DividerDivider

 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

goodreads-badge-add-plus

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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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RoseBlogTourBanner

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 (giveaway)
22nd Sept – Bookwinked
23rd Sept – Twitter Takeover with Lex Chase (giveaway)

Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feather bracelet

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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.

DividerDivider

 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

goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

DividerDivider

 

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

 

DividerDivider

 

RoseBlogTourBanner

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

Feather bracelet

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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!