Welcome to The Equal Rights Blog Hop

equalrightbloghop

Hello all! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Thank you for joining this fantastic blog hop. The theme of the blog hop is “What does being part of the GLBT community mean to you?”

As an author of Gay Romance, I don’t write solely for the purposes of entertainment, but in the hopes that readers will take away something from what they’ve read. I tell stories about love between men, expressing how everyone has the right to their happily ever after, no matter someone’s gender. Everyone deserves respect and the chance at a better life. One of my favorite genres to write in is historical, so a good deal of my stories are set in the 1920’s or 30’s, when it was far more dangerous for gay men. It’s true, a few lived openly gay lives, and many did find their happily ever afters, but a great many didn’t. They led double lives, were arrested, sent to workhouses, and shamed, considered deviants or ill. I wanted to write stories about fellas who despite their hardships, find hope and love in eras long gone.

For me, being part of the GLBT community means spreading awareness and showing support, trying to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small. It’s about working toward a future where people aren’t discriminated for their gender, race, religion, or who they love. Where our youth need not fear violence or abandonment for who they are. It’s about being strong and using love to bring down hate, to educate and promote a safe, brighter future for everyone in the GLBT community.

*** Charlie’s Giveaway:

A rainbow striped Markings journal & a $10 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, July 8th (Eastern time).

RainbowJournalCcochet GiftCardthmb

*** To enter Queer Town Abbey’s giveaway:

Just find the answer to this easy question in my post above. It’s a one word answer which you can use to enter their giveaway. Question: What is one of my favorite genres to write in?

To continue on the hop, just follow this link://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/

Wednesday Writing: The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe – Sneaky Peek

wedwritingcc180Hello all! In celebration of my new contract, I thought I would share a special sneak peek from Johnnie’s book. Here’s an excerpt form the book where we have the fellas enjoying a nice afternoon with the Brats. This is a typical day at Hawthorne Manor, one of the quieter days, and of course a little lurve from Johnnie and Henry. Also, for those of you interested, I have an album on my Pinterestwhere you’ll find all sorts of inspirational images for The Auspicious Troubles of Love series.

You can check it out here://pinterest.com/charliecochet/the-auspicious-troubles-of-love/

***

“You ate my shortcake!” Oliver squeaked, his eyes huge. I couldn’t help but laugh. Oh, this was going to be good.

“And it was sooo delicious,” Chance replied, laughing and making a run for it with Oliver bolting after him. Running past the sofa, Chance swiped up a cushion, shielding himself. “You’ll never take me alive, copper!”

“Get him!” Edmund declared, and the Brats descended on Chance. The assault was fierce, cushions from every angle.

“Aren’t you going to help him?” Henry asked me, though I noticed he said it with a shaky smile. I was rather certain he already knew my answer.

“You kidding? Watching them take him down is the best entertainment I’ve had all week.” I finished my cake and tea, enjoying the show. Though I should have known better than to think Chance wouldn’t open his big gob and ruin my fun.

“All right, I’ll talk! It was him! He did it. He said you flat-foots don’t know from nothing ‘cause you got hay for brains.”

Shit. He was pointing at me. “You lousy rat!” I jumped from my chair and made a break for it, only to have them latch onto me like rabid squirrels. I had one wrapped around each leg, arm, and Elliot had his little arms fastened around my waist holding on tight, as if he could get me to stop through will alone. I could hear Hattie and Marion giggling. Clearly, I was on my own.

Jacky put a pastry in his mouth and made like it was a cigar, his Edward G. Robinson impression faultless. “Take’ em down, boys. Show’ em what happens when you mess with the law.”

I was brought crashing down to the carpet and assaulted with cushions, one of the Brats giving me a whack on the backside that had me letting out a surprised yelp. I glared up at Gideon and the truly wicked grin on his face. He was enjoying himself far too much.

“All right, break it up.” A familiar lulling voice took on a sharp American accent and I gazed up at Henry, holding back my smile. “What’s all this now?”

“It’s the chief!” Edmund gasped, bringing all the Brats to scramble off and stand at attention. It was pretty impressive.

Henry came to stand over me, his hands on his hips. “Well, well, well. You think you can pull one over on us? Well, you’re all wet, Johnnie.”

The Brats dragged me over to the armchair. I pretended to struggle, throwing myself back into the chair as they held my arms down against the armrest. Henry marched up to me and put his finger in my face. “You got one more chance to come clean, savvy? Or it’s the big sleep for you.”

“Say, that’s pretty good,” I whispered, rather impressed with his hoodlum talk.

“Thanks. Chance has been teaching me.” He cleared his throat and pulled away, frowning deeply. “Well? What’s it gonna be?”

“Looks like you’re tripping for biscuits, copper. You ain’t getting nothin’ outta me.” I lifted my chin defiantly.

“Tough guy, ay? We’ll see how tough you are.” Henry nodded and Elliot scrambled over the armchair like a little monkey and started tickling me. I wasn’t really ticklish. Henry leaned over and whispered at Elliot. “His ribs.”

Except there.

“You fink!” That I meant. Elliot, Edmund, and Oliver started a full on tickle assault. It was shameful how quickly I surrendered under the pressure. “Wait! All right, I give. What’s it gonna cost?”

Henry turned to Gideon who narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. When his lips curled into an evil grin, I braced myself. Sure, ask the one fella who loved to torture me the most.

“A kiss,” Gideon replied with a self-satisfied smile.

My heart leapt in my throat. “What?”

“Yes,” Edmund agreed excitedly. “You have to kiss the chief!”

Henry’s mouth dropped open and his face flushed. “Honestly, lads, it’s only pretend.”

“Kiss!” The Brats chanted as they pulled me to my feet and pushed me toward poor Henry who didn’t seem to know what to do with himself.

“Yeah all right,” I grumbled, “stop shovin’.”

“Lads, really, it’s not necessary.” Henry’s polite excuses went unheeded and Chance, of course, was no help at all as he chanted along with the Brats.

“Do it!”

I swallowed hard, wondering why the hell my heart was beating so fast. It was just a little kiss, jeez Louise. Deciding I was going to be a man about this, I leaned forward, my gaze going to his lips. It was just a kiss in the name of frivolity, nothing more.

“We might make the ladies uncomfortable,” Henry said bashfully, his cheeks burning. I turned to Hattie and Marion who were also blushing.

Jacky smiled at them. “You ladies may be excused if you like.”

To my surprise, they stayed where they were and Marion waved a hand dismissively. “We don’t mind, sir.” The two looked a little starry-eyed and I could only put it down to Mrs. Whitmore and her bloody romance novels. Did the woman run some secret society I wasn’t aware of, sneaking racy books to dreamy doctors and parlor maids? Usually any staff members uncomfortable with displays of affection were free to leave the room or turn away. For some reason, Hattie and Marion were fine just where they were.

I turned back to Henry when one of the Brats bumped into me from behind. My lips opened in protest at the very moment they touched Henry’s. His breath hitched, his lips parted in a gasp, and before I knew it, my tongue was touching his. Good God…

***

Well, I hope you enjoyed that excerpt. More from Johnnie, Henry, and the Brats coming soon!


Copyright © 2012-2013 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday Talks: Motivation Cultivation

TuesdayTalksCCochet180Hello all! Welcome to another Tuesday Talks. Today I’m yammering on about motivation. I consider myself to be very lucky. I have the opportunity to do what I love. I’ve sacrificed a good deal in order to do that, but I still consider myself very lucky. It should come as no surprise when I say being an author isn’t easy, and although I knew that when I started this venture, I really had no idea.

Being an author is more than just writing, it’s being part of something bigger. There’s a lot more to do than finish that manuscript. The whole process is rather crazy when you think about it. I sit down with an idea, work and work until that idea blossoms and characters become real, a story emerges, type, type, type until it’s ready–though to you it never feels ready enough. After the initial readying of your manuscript, with the bouts of “oh-my-god what if they don’t like it”, comes the putting on your big girl/boy pants, preparing your synopsis after the initial groaning and moaning and “how am I supposed to condense 100k into 5 pages?!!”, you survive that, sort out your blurb, general description, feel your heart beating against your chest as you compose your email to the publisher, remember to attach everything–very important, and hit send. Then you wait, wait, wait, oh my god you wait.

ccworkIn the meantime you work on something else. You blog, and tweet, and post to Facebook. you play Candy Crush Saga, and you say “please” every time a new email enters your inbox, and you wait some more. You try not to let it get to you that everyone seems to write so much quicker than you, that new contracts are popping up every day like daisies, that everyone seems to be celebrating, and you wait. You mope and play more Candy Crush and then one day, out of the blue, you open your email, and there it is. New contract. And you squee so loud they can hear you in Jersey. Then a few months later, you start your edits, and in between you blog, and you tweet, and you Facebook, and as the day gets closer you start to freak out because “what if they hate it?!” and then you have to figure out what you’re going to do for your launch, and you have to write how many blog posts? Galleys, and cover specs, and then your baby is unleashed upon the world.

You feel proud and happy and a little queasy, and you do your promos, and you start getting the reviews in, and some make your heart soar and some tear you apart, some are beautiful and some are just plain mean, and you keep going and going until the time comes when you start the whole process over again. There’s gallons and gallons of coffee involved, sleepless nights, stress, and headdesk moments. You have a dozen social media platforms to keep track of, a community to be a part of, a family who’s trying to drag you away from your PC, and you grab your keyboard because Ha! it’s wireless, and take it with you as they wheel you away–I knew I should have gotten a chair without wheels! What’s the signal range on this thing? And you have days where you wonder what the hell you’re doing with your life and why? And then you pull yourself together and get your keister back behind that desk.

yepSo no, being an author isn’t easy, but I love it, and I’ll toil and work, and not sleep, and fret, and do it all over again because I love what I do, and I love all my readers, and I love all my author friends, and I love my publishers, and I love my reviewers, and it’s one big love-fest. It’s not easy, but you pick yourself up and you try, one day at a time, and you do your best, and you KEEP GOING because you’re important and what you do is important, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! There’s ups and downs, but it’s worth it. It’s hard work, but you keep going. You find ways to keep yourself going, because the world needs stories, and people to read those stories, and someone’s gotta do it, so what are you waiting for?

How do you keep yourself motivated?

***

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programs For: Squeeee!!

recent news and updatesHello all! I know today is Monday Media, but I had to postpone it to squee all over the place. The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe has been contracted by Dreamspinner Press!! Woooot! So dearest, frustrating, rip-your-heart out Johnnie is the first of my fellas to tell his story in a full length novel, and his book will also be my first print book! I am so excited! Everybody Can Can!

Weekly News Update: June 23rd – June 29th

weeklynewsupdateWelcome to this week’s Weekly News Update. This week I wrapped up Jack and Rudy’s book The Heart of Frost, which came in at 30k! Woot! So I made both of my deadlines, though Jack’s book was cutting it real close. The fellas were giving me a good deal of trouble this month, but we got there in the end.

Next, I hope to finish Hunter’s book, and a whole new to-do list. I’ll keep you posted on the stories I have out there. Fingers crossed! This week’s roundup is short and sweet as I’m in much need of some R&R. See you all on Monday!

 

Here’s a rundown of this week’s posts:

♥ Monday Media: MTV Memories. I shared some of my favorite 80s music videos. Clickhereto view.
♥ Tuesday Talks: A Hero’s Heart. Chatting about our favorite types of heroes. Clickhereto view.
♥ Wednesday Writing: WIP An excerpt from The Heart of Frost. Clickhereto view.
♥ Thursday Thoughts: My update on finishing Jack’s book, Johnnie’s, and what’s next. Clickhereto view.
♥ Friday Fun: Gimme Some of that Book Lurve. Some recent reads that I’ve enjoyed. Clickhereto view.

Contests!

There’s still time to enter the current contests over at thePurple Rose Tea House! Check out what’s up for grabs:

♥ Andrew Q. Gordon is offering a chance to win a $25 Dreamspinner Press Credit. Clickhereto enter. (ends July 1st)

x Charlie

Friday Fun: Gimme Some of that Book Lurve

FridayFunCCochet180Hey all! So my crazy schedule the last couple of months has made it tough to get some reading in. Of course I had a few instances where I had no choice but to take it easy, namely some painful dentist appointments and a couple of generally blah days. In that time, I finally managed to get around to some books I’d been dying to read: Jordan L Hawk’s Widdershins and Threshold.

I am absolutely in love with these fellas! There’s nothing I didn’t love about these books. I also read Hainted which I had actually put on my tbr list before Widdershins but had to put it off for a while due to medical craziness. Anyway, Hainted is equally awesome, and I have to say Jordan has some mad skillz when it comes to describing horror. I’m not a big fan of horror romance, but I totally make an exception when the books are as awesome as Jordan’s.
WiddershinsJLHThresholdJLHHaintedJLH

In the last few months I’ve also loved: Diversion and Collusion by Eden Winters. (I adore Lucky and Bo!) Can’t wait for the next book. Water Waltz by Hayley B. James, One Small Thing and One True Thing by Piper Vaughn & M.J. O’Shea.

CollusionEW DiversionEW OST OTT WaterWaltzHBJ

Next to be read: Brute by Kim Fielding, Paid Leave by Hayley B. James, &Men Like Us by Brita Addams.

What recent reads have you enjoyed?

 


Thursday Thoughts: Ermahgerd

ThursdayThoughtsCCochet180Okay, so last night I typed “The End” on Jack and Rudy’s story. I finished the synopsis and the blurb. I’m getting ready to send it off, making it the third story I’ll have out there. Two full length novels and one novella. My babies are all leaving the nest. *sniff* The last two months have been cray cray. Nonstop writing, as well as blog posts, and all kinds of other crazy things.

Now that I’ve survived my deadlines, I plan on arranging a couple more, but I also plan on giving myself more time, much more time, than I gave myself these last two months. Luckily, Hunter’s book–which is next, is already 23k in. I have some major research to do for a new shifter series, and some historical stories I had put on the back burner which I hope to sort out, but can I just say how insanely relieved it feels to wrap up Johnnie’s book and Jack’s book? Yeeeeessssssssssssss! I know there’s a new to-do list waiting to be compiled, but hush. Let me bask in this moment, this moment of completeness, of having finished two stories.

Right, moment over. Onward Miss Teschmacher!

x Charlie

Wednesday Writing: WIP The Heart of Frost

wedwritingcc180Hello all! For this week’s Wednesday Writing I thought I’d share a little excerpt from my current work in progress, The Heart of Frost. I decided that for next year’s Christmas story, I’m going to write it this Christmas, because I tell you, writing a Christmas story in June is tough, especially when you live in Florida.

I mean getting into the spirit of the holidays during the holidays is pretty challenging for me as it is in these parts, so imagine doing it when the weather outside is a glaring ninety-something. To get me into the mood, and what’s gotten me absorbed in my story has been listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and referring to a good deal of visuals. Most of which you can find here in my Pinterest Christmas story album.

For my ending, I listened to this song. Carol of the Bells is one my favorites. It’s so dramatic and epic.

FrozenHeartThe Heart of Frost is about the imposing Prince of Frost–Jack, and the Captain of Mayor Kringle’s Rein Dear Squadron–Rudy, both of who appeared in Mending Noel, helping out Tim and Noel. Initially had planned to make Jack and Rudy’s book the same length as Mending Noel, but as I started world building, I realized it was going to end up longer.

In this book, you get to see more of North Pole City, get to meet the King of Frost–Jack’s father, Hollis and Vale which are Jack’s cousins–twins, and a couple of other characters. We get to learn about how Jack and Rudy first got together, and the danger Jack faces when Rudy’s biplane is sabotaged just a few weeks before the Big Flight–a danger linked to his past and his heart.

Excerpt:

What a glorious sight. Jack couldn’t help but linger in the doorway, watching his lover lounging on the blue tufted-velvet davenport, the sides of his bright red paisley robe having slipped precariously open to reveal his bare, tanned leg. He had a book in his hand, and another small stack of them lay on the floor beside him. His hair was roguishly tousled, and his bottom lip between his teeth. The room smelled of cinnamon and spices, and the record player on the small table in the corner played soft Christmas melodies.

Rudy let out a wistful sigh. “If only I had my own handsome prince to sweep me off my feet.”

With a chuckle, Jack walked into the room.

“Oh, wait. I do.” Rudy snapped the book shut and turned his head in Jack’s direction. “Hello, handsome prince.” He sat up, and moved over so Jack could take a seat beside him. Soon as Jack was seated, he slipped his arms around Rudy and leaned in for a kiss.

“Hello, sweetheart.”

“How did it go?” Rudy wrapped his arms around Jack, his chin coming to rest on Jack’s shoulders. His expression must have said it all because Rudy’s arms tightened around him. “That well, huh?”

“Apparently frivolity at parties is to be added to the list of activities which are beneath me. I swear if it wasn’t for Kringle, my father would believe he had born Christmas himself.”

“He really is overbearing, isn’t he?” Rudy brushed his fingers through Jack’s hair, soothing him.

“Nothing new.” Jack pulled him close so he could plant a kiss on his temple. “What would’ve become of me without you?”

“Enough of those thoughts,” Rudy said, motioning toward the tub. “I prepared a nice hot bath for us.”

“You waited for me?”

“Of course. What fun is a bath without you?” Without a second thought to the matter, Rudy slipped off the other end of the davenport and walked around to Jack’s side. With a sexy little smile, he got down on his knees and took hold of Jack’s boot, pulling one off then the other. He made his way up Jack’s body, removing his uniform piece by piece and laying it neatly on the tufted velvet until Jack was down to his breeches and white undershirt. A shiver went through Jack as Rudy’s hands slid up his torso, feeling his way up as he removed the soft shirt. Once Jack was bare to his waist, Rudy took hold of his hand and pulled him to his feet.

“You were amazing tonight. Handsome, enchanting, graceful. You should have seen Vixen’s face. He was insanely jealous.”

“Really?”

“Yes. He said if he had known about you, he would have crawled into your bed long ago.”

Rudy was teasing him, but the thought of giving Rudy up for the brash and uninhibited Vixen had Jack shuddering. “He wouldn’t have gotten anything but a frozen backside, if he was lucky.”

“Oh?” Rudy released Jack and walked over to the end of the colossal marble tub. “But he’s very handsome.”

“All flash, no substance.”

“Affectionate.”

“You’re being too kind. We both know he’s a floozy.”

Rudy laughed. “Are you saying you wouldn’t have considered it? Even for a quick romp in the snow?”

“I’d rather freeze my baubles off,” he grumbled, his gaze fixed on Rudy’s face before it moved to those long slender fingers resting on the sash of his robe.

“Jack, please, I’m very fond of your baubles.”

***

As my deadline for this story looms frightfully close, I shall keep you all updated! Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek!


Copyright © 2012-2013 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday Talks: A Hero’s Heart. Who’s Your Favorite?

TuesdayTalksCCochet180Hello all! Welcome to another Tuesday Talks. Today I’m asking about our heroes of romance. We all have out favorites who we love to read and write about. The bad boy, the boy next door, the alpha male. Something about them makes our hearts beat fast and our knees weak. They keep us glued to the page or the silver screen.

The Tortured Hero

I admit, I love reading and writing about these heroes who always pull at my heartstrings. What is it about these fellas that I love so much? For me, it’s not just about piling on adversity or angst, it’s about characters who have truly struggled and somehow found a way to persevere. A character doesn’t have to be an alpha male to be a tortured hero. One of my most troubled characters is Chauncey Irving, from The Auspicious Troubles of Chance–though I would stick to calling him Chance or it could get ugly. He’s not a big tough alpha, but he is a force to be reckoned with. I love my fellas, but Chance is one of my favorites. (Shsh, don’t tell the others!)

GC - ChanceChance is a tortured hero, not only because of the circumstances he found himself in throughout his life–some within and some out of his control, but for Chance, like some of my other heroes, there is no magic cure. His past broke him, and although he wanted to move on, to make a better life for himself, he just couldn’t find a way to do it, and in the end, he learns he can never truly leave it all behind. His pain is a part of him, but he manages to turn his life around and find happiness with help from those he comes to care about, his unconventional family who teach him he doesn’t have to go at it alone.

In His CornerCCochetChance grew up on the streets of New York City in the early 1800s after running away from the orphanage his parents dropped him off at when he was just a kid. He survived on his looks and his smarts. He gained everything he had ever wanted only to lose it in one fell swoop. This set him on a path of self-destruction. Booze, drugs, violence, and lots of meaningless sex. He didn’t care about anyone, least of all himself. He wanted to be a better man, but didn’t know how. His desperation leads him to the French Foreign Legion in the 1920s, where he meets Jacky Valentine–his new commandant, a man who his superiors believe can set Chance straight–so to speak, as well as the three misfit teens Jacky has taken under his wing. With Jacky and the ‘brats’, Chance learns that not only is he capable of love, but that he deserves it as well.

You can read the blurb here or Chapter 1 here.

Warning: Story contains good old fashioned romance, foul language, and a good amount of grumpiness. Pet names such as hummingbird, snugglepup, and buttercup may be used to infuriate said hero.

What’s your favorite type of hero to read or write about? What kind of hero do you want to see more or less of?

Monday Media: MTV Memories

MondayMediaCCochet180It’s funny how when you’re little, all you want to do is grow up, and when you’re grown up, you think about when you were little. I wouldn’t want to live in the past, but I do enjoy looking back on fond memories. As an author who writes historical, it’s a given that I find history fascinating, and that includes looking back at the eras I grew up in.

I was born in 1978, so I didn’t get to experience the 70s outside of the photos of my parents dressed in bell-bottom pants, huge sunglasses, colorful neck scarves, and psychedelic shirts. I do remember the 1980s very well. They were my childhood. What I remember most were the cartoons, the movies, the toys, the fashion, and of course the music.

MTV launched in 1981 with The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Star, still one of my favorite songs of the 80s, though technically, the song was their 1979 debut single.

In 1983 MTV debuted Thriller–all 14 minutes of it, and how awesome had it been?

Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, The Who, The Police, David Bowie, Huey Lewis and the News, Madonna, Billy Idol, Mick Jagger to name but a few whose videos aired during the early years of MTV. I remember being glued to the screen waiting for my favorite videos to play, excited when a video came on that I hadn’t seen before. A-ha’s Take On Me was another favorite. We’ve all seen the animated version, so here’s the original from 1984.

And of course, what would be the 80s without Cyndi Lauper? I adored her music. I remember jumping and dancing around the living room whenever this came on, and then of course I had my cassette. Let’s be honest, I still jump and dance around the room to this.

I LOVED the Eurythmics. Still do. At the time, I didn’t understand the video (the cows especially) or what the song was about, I just knew I loved the sound.

No list of 80s videos can be complete without Peter Gabriel. *sigh*

When I think about MTV, I think of it as it had been when I grew up. When it was all about amazing music videos. As much as I love Teen Wolf, I don’t think MTV can ever recapture those amazing years. We weren’t called the MTV generation for nothing, and it saddens me to see all the music videos replaced with drivel like 16 and PregnantandJersey Shore. I think t he Dire Straights had it right! “I want my MTV!”

What were some of your favorite music videos of the 1980s or 90s?