Once upon a time in a magical land called New York City, there lived a grumpy lion Therian. Oh, but he was growly and a meanie, and wherever he went he cussed up a storm! Christmas grew ever closer, and while everyone was merry and bright, Simba—that’s not his real name, but we’ll go with that—was not the least bit cheerful. He was so miserable, that not even the sweet little cheetah Therian—who for some reason thought he was dreamy—could make the grumpy lion Therian smile.
That evening after he finished his round of scaring kittens and making little old ladies cry, the lion Therian settled down to watch his favorite show Cops: Therian Edition, when he heard what sounded like rattling chains. Getting up and grabbing his baseball bat, the lion Therian investigated. He yelped like a little school girl when he saw the spikey haired blond ghost in the middle of his living room. The ghost told him he would be visited by three spirits, the Ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. The lion Therian flipped the ghost off and stalked to his bedroom. The ghost wasn’t impressed, and he joined his big tiger Therian ghost buddy, and together they went off to play video games because the jerk had been warned and the rest wasn’t their problem.
Settled in his big bed, the lion Therian huffed at the silly ghost. Whatevs. Like he gave a crap. That night as he slumbered, he was startled awake by the awesome sound of Def Leppard. The lion Therian sat up, glaring at the devilishly handsome ghost in the Marty McFly jacket and high tops floating in the middle of the room with his wicked boom box. The lion Therian asked the ghost who the hell he was—among other choice words—and the ghost replied in an attractive voice that he was the Ghost of Christmas Past. The lion Therian let out a snort because really, was he supposed to be surprised? The dashing, and charming ghost told the lion Therian to bite him, before he snapped his fingers.
Magically, they appeared in a white room with two twin beds and a ceiling painted with stars. The lion Therian narrowed his eyes at the Ghost of Christmas Past and told him that wasn’t cool. The Ghost of Christmas Past agreed, but said there was a point to all this, so to just hear him out. In the room was a sweet, young jaguar Therian and a young grumpy lion Therian. The two did everything together, even at times sleep in the same bed so they wouldn’t feel scared. The jaguar Therian asked the lion Therian to be his best friend forever, and the lion Therian promised he would, even if the jaguar Therian grew up to be a dork, which he didn’t. He grew up to be awesome.
Simba—whose real name isn’t Simba—got all teary-eyed and asked the Ghost of Christmas Past to take him home. In the blink of an eye, the lion Therian was back in his bed and he wondered if he hadn’t dreamed up the whole thing. Going back to bed and cursing the debonair Ghost of Christmas Past, the lion Therian fell asleep.
Later still that night, the lion Therian was once again woken up by a strange noise. When he woke up he found a super handsome jaguar Therian with amber eyes that totally rocked the Ghost of Christmas Past’s world, and they’d have to do that thing again where he swirled the ice cube in his mouth, and then—Uh, where they sat and colored together because coloring is cool. You know they make coloring books for adults now? So the lion Therian sat up and arched an eyebrow at the jaguar Therian hottie, and was all “really, bro?”, and the jaguar Therian ignored him and told him he was the Ghost of Christmas Present and was going to show him what a miserable jerkface he was being.
With a snap of his fingers, the handsome Ghost of Christmas Present took them to a cool hangout where all of the lion Therian’s friends were gathered singing songs, drinking… soda, and um, orange juice. Yeah, so they were drinking non-grown up drinks, and having fun. The lion Therian had been invited to make merry with his brethren, but he’d decided he was going to be a party pooper because he was too good for the office party, despite the cute cheetah Therian begging him to go. So everyone was having an awesome time, and seeing that made the lion Therian wish he’d gone. Especially since some dudes were flirting with the cheetah Therian, and that annoyed the lion Therian. Turning to the Ghost of Christmas Present, the lion Therian demanded to be taken home, so the handsome jaguar Therian did, saying he had no idea why he even bothered, and the lion Therian told him he’d grown up to be a big dork after all, which he hadn’t.
In his bed, the lion Therian had trouble sleeping. He wished all these darn ghosts would leave him alone. All they did was make him sad, and he didn’t want to be sad. He had too much to be annoyed over. Knowing what was coming, he crossed his arms over his chest and sat up in bed to wait for the Ghost of Christmas Future. When she got there, looking pretty angry, he wished he had kicked the Ghost of Christmas Past’s butt, because he did not need this. Why was it the fault of the Ghost of Christmas Past? He’d been roped into this mess. Just because kids loved him, didn’t mean he had to be the one PR called in for this.
So, the Ghost of Christmas Future told him she was going to kick his butt because she had a date with Dimples the Firefighter and she had to cancel to come haunt his miserable patooty. How he better get his head out of his—er, how he should stop being so miserable. The lion Therian told the ghost to get it over with already because he was growing old just listening to her yammering on. She was not impressed, but having better things to do than argue with him, she snapped her fingers, making them appear in a bustling magical place with lots of other Humans and Therians, including one guy who the lion Therian was still—I mean really, man, let it go—still angry at for peeing on his fern.
Anyway, the pretty lady ghost pointed to a door and inside the room was the cute as a button cheetah Therian who sat looking outside his window, wishing the grumpy lion Therian would take him in his arms and give him a kiss. Ew. The cheetah Therian was crazy about the lion Therian, but the lion Therian was so busy being a big tough lion Therian jerk that he failed to notice the lovesick cheetah Therian. In came a big, handsome tiger Therian—who’s totally still in love with a certain wolf Therian, but we won’t get into that—and he asked the cheetah Therian out on a date.
The lion Therian tried to set the tiger Therian on fire with his laser beam stare, but the tiger Therian couldn’t see him. With his little pining heart broken by the lion Therian, the cheetah Therian agreed to go on a date with the buff tiger Therian. The lion Therian fumed. He would have none of it, but he was too late. He should have gotten his keister in gear sooner, and not been such a donkey butt. Sad, and unable to kick the tiger Therian’s butt, the lion Therian asked the Ghost of Christmas Future to take him home.
As he fell asleep, the lion Therian thought about everything he’d seen, and he was super sad about losing the little cheetah Therian. That night, the lion Therian cried himself to sleep.
The next morning, the lion Therian woke up to the sound of his phone ringing. He picked it up with a sleepy growl, his heart pounding when a cheerful voice chirped Merry Christmas at him. It was the little cheetah Therian. The lion Therian sat up, listening as the cheetah Therian confessed his love and asked the lion Therian to join him and his family for Christmas dinner. The lion Therian asked about the tiger Therian but the cheetah Therian said they were just friends and nothing ever happened between them. The lion Therian was so happy, he actually smiled. Like he for real smiled. Who knew he was capable right? Anyway, the lion Therian said he’d be happy to join the cheetah Therian for Christmas dinner.
After hanging up, the lion Therian quickly brushed his teeth and got dressed. He ran out to buy the cheetah Therian an awesome Christmas present, and some funky socks, because the cheetah Therian was a nerd that way, and he wrapped all the presents up. When he got to the cheetah Therian’s house, he knocked on the door, a big smile on his face when the cute guy answered the door. Before the cheetah Therian could say a word, the lion Therian took him in his arms and kissed him. Ew.
The two kissed for a really long time, and after a whole bunch more drama-because really, we’re talking about the lion Therian here—the two started dating. And they lived happily ever after, along with the cheetah Therians charming brother, and the brother’s handsome jaguar Therian boyfriend. The end.
Don’t miss Dex’s 12 Days of Christmas over atLove Bytes! (Posts early morning)
Welcome to the fourth stop on The Heart of Frost blog tour! At the heart of the North Pole City Tales we have the Rein Dears which I hope to write more of their ventures into love as the series goes on. The Rein Dears are Mayor Kringle’s glamorous pilots, and they deliver presents to the world on Christmas Eve in their shiny bi-planes–Rudy’s being cherry red of course. Rudy is their captain, always dressed in red, with fiery red hair, and a warm smile. The Rein Dears are magically connected to Kringle, who hand picked each and every one of them. If one of them is out of commission, none of them can fly. They’re all linked to each other.
The elf pilots all attended The Rein Dear Academy where they learned to fly. In North Pole City where the majority of the Christmas elves live, no one is more famous and admired than them. When they’re not getting ready for “the big flight”, they’re earning their keep and celebrity status. You meet Rudy in Mending Noel, get to learn more about him in The Heart of Frost, and there you get to meet Vixen, Rudy’s best friend, whose story we’ll get next. Vixen lives up to his name in every way, in fact he does his best to. He’s mischievous, flirty, sexy, cheerful, and sometimes drives Rudy crazy. Rudy calls Vixen “Affectionate”, Jack calls him a “floozy”. He’s all about embracing love as often as he can get it, and can usually be found getting merry in one party or another. Sounds to me like he needs himself a certain sexy elf Lieutenant to capture his heart.
Then we have Dasher who was involved in a scandal with another elf back before Rudy and his relationship with Jack was exposed. Dancer, always fun and boisterous; Prancer, always cheerful and moving about, up to something; Comet, sweet, kind, and always ready to lend a helping hand; Cupid, sweet, very shy, a romantic at heart; Donner, proper, posh, easily scandalized; and Blitzen, the biggest of the Rein Dears, quiet, imposing, and protective of his Rein Dear brothers.
Growing up, I watched all kinds of cartoons, movies, and holiday specials filled with beloved characters. Some of my favorites came from Rankin/Bass Productions. I think I saw nearly everything they put out, and now I own a few of the DVDS. Who are Rankin/Bass? They were the guys who brought you everything from ThunderCats to the animated Hobbit, from the 60s through to the 80s. Some of you may remember these:
I still love watching these, and when they play them on TV, I’m all over it! Of course, now that I’m grown up, my fairy tales have grown up with me. ;)
Genre: Gay Fantasy Romance, Holiday Series: North Pole City Tales, Book #2 Length: Novella 30,511 Published: Dec 18, 2013 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press ISBN: 9781627983938
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.
Tim’s eyes went wide, his face going beet red as Noel jumped from his seat.
“Have you no shame?”
“Nope.” Jack wriggled his eyebrows and patted Rudy on the back to help ease his coughing. “Honestly, Noel. You all but ran headfirst into that one.”
“He’s right,” Rudy managed hoarsely.
“Don’t encourage him,” Noel grumbled, dropping back down into the seat to wrap his arms around Tim and hold him close. He placed a kiss on Tim’s lips and the smaller elf’s blush spread to the tips of his ears. Was that what Rudy looked like when Jack kissed him?
“Are you having fun?” Rudy asked them. He’d hardly seen the two since the four of them had arrived earlier in the evening.
“It’s wonderful!” Tim replied, nearly bouncing with excitement. “Noel is such a wonderful dancer. Thank you so much for giving me lessons, Rudy. I never would have managed to keep up otherwise.”
Tim looked over at Jack inquisitively. “Jack, why haven’t you asked Rudy to dance?”
“Um, well… I….” Jack sat up and cleared his throat, looking uncomfortable.
Rudy decided to spare his lover the explanation. A kiss on the cheek in public was one thing, but dancing together in front of the kingdom’s most elite families was something entirely different. “I’m having a lovely time right here, sitting with Jack. It’s the first time I’ve gotten to sit in the royal box. Just being here with him like this is more than I could have hoped for.” And it was the truth. He never would have imagined having the honor of sitting beside Jack in the prince’s gorgeous private box.
Jack’s expression softened, though when he looked over at Rudy there was sadness in his dark eyes.
Noel looked from Rudy to Jack in confusion. “I don’t see what the big deal is. They know you’re together. What’s it matter if you dance?”
The look on Rudy’s face must have said more than he’d intended, because a look of understanding suddenly crossed Tim’s face. Seconds later there was a distinct “oof,” which Rudy suspected was a result of Tim elbowing his lover. Jack’s expression grew darker, and Rudy quickly cut in.
“Well, knowing something, and seeing proof of it are two different things. I’m not sure society is ready to see Jack with someone like me.”
“What do mean someone like you?” Jack jumped to his feet to face Rudy.
Tim and Noel gave a start, but having Jack loom over him never brought fear to Rudy as it did to every other creature in the kingdom. Rudy wasn’t afraid of Jack, no matter his size or strength, because he knew Jack’s heart. Jack could no more change his stature than he could his nature, and it had always been a source of heartache for the feared prince.
Comment Prompt: Do you have a favorite childhood holiday program?
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.
1 winners will receive an eBook copy The Heart of Frost & Mending Noel
2 winners will receive an eBook copy of Mending Noel
Drawing is open to US and International readers.
[Facebook chat & Release Party will have it’s own prizes]
Just leave a comment on any of the blog posts along the tour, along with a contact email address. **If you would still like to enter the contest but don’t wish to leave your email address in the comment, you can also enter by emailing email@example.com.
Hello everyone! The Heart of Frost blog tour is on its third stop over at Lex Chase’s blog, and I’m chatting about all the wonderful holiday scents that inspired the North Pole City Tales series! Drop by and Llave a comment for a chance to win some elf fun! ebooks! The excerpts along the tour are serialized, so by the end you would have read the whole of Chapter 2! You can read Chapter 1 here: http://www.charliecochet.com/books/novellas/the-heart-of-frost/excerpt/
Noel looked up to find Rudy leaning against the doorframe, his gaze on Tim.
“Annoying is what he is,” Noel grumbled. “And prissy.” He felt himself getting angry just thinking about Tim. “He’s a walking disaster. I bet he’s loving every minute of this.”
“Someone’s out to kill you two. I doubt he’s enjoying that.”
Noel looked up at Rudy with a glower. “Except the part where he’s being saved by the great captain of the Rein Dear Squadron.”
To Noel’s frustration, Rudy just chuckled. What was so great about Rudy anyway? So he was handsome, big deal. Aside from flying for Kringle and delivering happiness to the world, what really was so great about him?
“Seeing as you two are my guests, why don’t you take the bed, and I’ll sleep on the couch.”
Noel’s jaw nearly hit the floor. Share a bed with Tim? “You’re out of your mind. I am not sharing a bed with that… that… elf.”
“All right.” Rudy shrugged and made his way over to Tim. “I’ll share a bed with him.”
Noel jumped to his feet and stopped Rudy in his tracks. “Absolutely not. I don’t trust you, and if something happens to him, I’ll be the one who ends up taking the fall, so you keep your manicured mitts off.”
Rudy held his hands up in surrender and took a step back. “Okay, tough guy. I’m just going to grab myself a pillow and a blanket. You do what you like.”
After watching Rudy disappear down the hall, Noel turned to look down at Tim, who was out for the count. Swell. “Tim,” Noel grumbled, poking him in the shoulder. Tim didn’t stir, so he tried again. This time he received a little moan, which only went to further irritate Noel. How could something so small sleep so heavily? With a grunt, Noel reached down and lifted Tim into his arms. He ignored Rudy’s cheerful goodnight as he walked past and into the bedroom, closing the door behind him with his foot. Then he not-so-gently planted Tim on the right side of the double bed. Incredible. The elf could sleep through a volcanic eruption.
Standing there looking down at Tim, Noel chastised himself for being so foolish. He should have left when he had the chance. Instead, he was stuck here with the last two elves in the North Pole he wanted to be stuck with. Throwing the blankets over Tim, he sighed when they ended up covering Tim’s head. Why was the elf so damn short? Giving the blanket a tug, his hand brushed against feathery, soft hair, and against his better judgment, Noel ran his fingers through it.
Tim stirred, letting out a soft sigh, and Noel quickly pulled away. He went to his side of the bed and sat down on the edge of it. Peppermint snaps! That was it. Tomorrow he was out of here. If Tim wanted to stay behind with his hero, then so be it. Noel wasn’t responsible for him. He was better off on his own anyway. After untying his robe, he dropped it onto the floor at his feet before lying down on top of the blankets on his side of the bed, as far away from Tim as possible. Confident that order would be restored to his world before his conscience got the better of him, he closed his eyes and attempted to get some sleep.
Hello everyone! It’ll be a little quiet on the blog until the end of December as I’ll be celebrating Christmas with the family. It’s been a long time since we’ve all spent the holidays together as I was living in London and my younger brother was serving in Irag. My first year abroad, my brother was given leave, so they all came to spend Christmas in London and we had a great time. Little bro got a bit tipsy on Guinness and ended up swiping a Guinness pint glass as a souvenir. (He was legally old enough to drink in the UK but not in the US. It still boggles my mind that he was a soldier who operated a tank, yet couldn’t legally buy a beer over here.) Anyway, he got excited that it had the queen’s seal on it, and to this day we joke about it. I like to tease him by telling him he thieved from the Queen of England.
I moved back about a year and a half ago, so I had my first Christmas home last year, but my brother had become a cop by then with a crazy cop schedule which meant he could only drop by for a while. It’s been about ten years since we’ve all had a family Christmas together and I’m really looking forward to it. Of course the folks and I are having to drive to Kansas, where little bro now lives. (Little bro, by the way, is six feet tall while I’m 5’2″. I totally got gypped in the height department.)
Yep, so dad decided it would be a good idea for us to take a road trip. That’s 24 hours in a car with my parents. Yikes! I’m taking every measure possible to ensure I don’t go nuts. Plenty of drinks and snacks, good music, my kindle. We’re leaving in the wee hours of the morning and taking turns driving the rental–a minivan. When I’m not driving, I hope to catch up on my reading and maybe do some writing.
I’ll take some snapshots to post if I come across anything interesting. Not sure if I’ll be able to blog, but depending on service, I hope to at least tweet or post to Facebook. I’ll have my handy smartphone so I should still be able to check most things okay.
I want to wish everyone a wonderful, happy, and safe holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas if you celebrate it. Thank you all so much for your continued support, wonderful comments, and just plain awesomeness!
Hello everyone! Thank you all so much for taking the time to participate in the hop. Hope you’re all getting in some good holiday reading! I certainly hope to catch up on my own extensive tbr list over my travels this week.
Thank you so much for your sweet compliments, and for those of you who enjoyed Mending Noel, you don’t know how happy it makes me to hear that. Thank you. Now onto some prezzies! Using Random.org, the winners are:
Congrats to Beth and Ashley Applebee! You’ll be receiving an email shortly confirming delivery of you eBook! Thank you all again so much. I hope you’ll all have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy Christmas!