Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, Book 3) Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

Hello all! Welcome to the Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, Book 3) cover reveal & giveaway! I’m super excited to share with you the cover for the latest THIRDS book by the fabulous L.C. Chase! There’s also a giveaway, and Rack & Ruin is now available for preorder!

When the walls come tumblin’ down….

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Blurb

New York City’s streets are more dangerous than ever with the leaderless Order of Adrasteia and the Ikelos Coalition, a newly immerged Therian group, at war. Innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire and although the THIRDS round up more and more members of the Order in the hopes of keeping the volatile group from reorganizing, the members of the Coalition continue to escape and wreak havoc in the name of vigilante justice.

Worse yet, someone inside the THIRDS has been feeding the Coalition information. It’s up to Destructive Delta to draw out the mole and put an end to the war before anyone else gets hurt. But to get the job done, the team will have to work through the aftereffects of the Therian Youth Center bombing. A skirmish with Coalition members leads Agent Dexter J. Daley to a shocking discovery and suddenly it becomes clear that the random violence isn’t so random. There’s more going on than Dex and Sloane originally believed, and their fiery partnership is put to the test. As the case takes an explosive turn, Dex and Sloane are in danger of losing more than their relationship.

Preorder links

Dreampisnner Press eBookDreamspinner Press Paperback 

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Release Day
November 7th

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

Dex had never been so eager to start his daily training session. Down in Sparta, he changed in the male locker room, swapping his uniform for his black Led Zeppelin T-shirt, loose jogging pants, and sneakers. He grabbed his boxing gloves from his locker and slammed it shut.

The bays were pretty busy at this time of day, but there was plenty of free boxing equipment in the boxing bays. He chose one of the emptier ones, and as he got ready, all he could think about was Sloane. The moment Dex had seen his face, he’d known. Sloane was going to run. I’m so stupid. He finished wrapping his hands and made straight for the punching bag.

After some quick stretches and warm ups, he started pummeling the red leather bag, hoping to release some of his frustration, but the more he punched the bag, the angrier he became. He’d told himself not to get so close. His head had known far longer than his heart what would happen, tried to warn him. But Dex hadn’t listened. He’d been a lovesick idiot, trailing after Sloane, getting on his knees, content to let Sloane bleed him. Maybe a part of Dex enjoyed it. Enjoyed being stripped, his vulnerability exposed. Why else would he continue to put himself through this? Why did he keep waiting? Because he’d promised Sloane he would. And what had Sloane promised in return? Dex remembered the words as if they’d been said yesterday. I can’t make any promises. Sloane had made it clear. Dex had no one to blame for his heartache but himself.

“Well isn’t that cute.”

Dex froze. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Someone up there was conspiring against him. Was this a test to see how much he could take before he lost his shit? Any other day, Dex would have walked away. But not today. He turned and faced Ash who was dressed similarly in a T-shirt and loose jogging pants. Letty was beside him looking worried.

“Come on. You and me,” Dex said through his teeth.

Ash let out a laugh. “Are you fucking kidding?”

“Does it look like I’m kidding?”

“Sloane wouldn’t be happy about that.”

“Well Sloane’s not fucking here, is he?” Dex snapped. He expected a smart-ass remark, but instead Ash seemed to be thinking it over so he pushed on. “You’ve wanted this since I joined. Now’s your chance. No one here’s going to stop you. You want to beat the shit out of me, now’s your fucking chance.”

“Okay.”

Dex nodded and swiped his boxing gloves off the side of the mat. He held them out to Letty. “Help me out here.”

Letty took one glove from him and helped secure the strap before taking the next one. “Dex, are you sure you want to do this? You know he won’t hold back.”

“I’m counting on it.”

Letty cursed under her breath, saying something in Spanish Dex didn’t understand. He tapped his hip where his pocket was, and Letty reached in. She pulled out the small box containing his mouth guard and opened it, looking as if she was going to try again to convince him not to do this, but instead, she held the mouth guard up to him. He leaned over and closed his mouth around the rubbery piece. He could tell she wasn’t happy, but he needed this.

He hopped on his toes, rolled his shoulders, and waited while Letty helped Ash with his gloves and mouth guard. As soon as Ash was ready, they both stepped onto one of the larger empty blue mats. Looking at Ash, all the anger came flooding back, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t stop thinking about Sloane.

You really thought he wouldn’t run? He’ll always run. From you.

“Come on,” Dex said around his mouthpiece.

Ash shook his head, but there was no way Dex was letting him back out now.

Come on!”

Ash gave him exactly what he asked for. The first punch landed across Dex’s jaw and sent him reeling. He fell hard against the mat, his face in a world of pain and stars in his eyes. How the hell Dex hadn’t been knocked out by that one hit was beyond him. Fuck. That hurt. Okay, maybe this wasn’t your brightest idea.

“That all you got, Daley? One hit? That’s pretty fucking pathetic.”

Bastard. Dex pushed himself to his feet and shook himself off. Would Sloane come back this time? He had to. They worked together. What if that’s all he came back for? You fucked up. The first guy you could see yourself spending your life with, and you fuck it up within months. A new record. Ash grinned at him, and Dex lost it.

He came at Ash with everything he had, mindful of Ash’s fierce hooks. He maneuvered around him, ducking under hooks and jumping out of the way when Ash swiped at him. Ash threw both arms out to grab him, and Dex dropped down to the mat and rolled. He popped back up and took a swing, catching Ash on his shoulder. Then Dex remembered what Ash’s proficiency was. Close Quarter Combat. The guy had been toying with him. Letting him land blows, waiting for Dex to realize the mistake he’d made.

About the Author

CCochet100Charlie 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 Blog Facebook | Twitter | THIRDS HQ | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com

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Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, Book 3) Cover Reveal sign up!

Hello all! I’m looking for folks interested in hosting me for my Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, Book 3) cover reveal on October 6th. Woot! There will also be a Rafflecopter giveaway. If you’re interested, please fill out the short form here:

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Rack & Ruin (Book 3) Sneak Peek Excerpt

**** If you haven’t read Blood & Thunder yet, you might want to wait to read this excerpt as it brings up Sloane’s past which is revealed at the end of Blood & Thunder.****

Warning: Contains abuse themes.

I promised folks during my Facebook chat today that I would share an excerpt from Rack & Ruin (book 3). I picked this scene because it gives you a little inside look into Sloane and Ash’s relationship, why their bond is so strong. It also gives you a deeper look into why Sloane is the way he is, why he’s still trying to heal those very deep wounds. This is a tough scene, I won’t lie, and while I was writing it, it made me cry. Here, Sloane is in bed with Dex and he’s having another nightmare about his past, but this time it’s about his childhood. This scene is important for many reasons and it’s tied into the plot of the third book, along with what’s going on with Ash.

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What were they going to do to him now?

Sloane was strapped to the chair. His ankles, wrists, waist, and head restrained. It always hurt. He’d wanted to hide when they came to his room, but he didn’t want to look like a wimp in front of Ash. Ash never looked scared when the nurses came for him. Now Sloane wished he had hidden. Not that they wouldn’t have found him. There were only the two beds in their room. It wasn’t that he wasn’t grateful. Dr. Shultzon was nice and he brought them toys and ice cream, let them paint their room how they wanted. Sometimes when Sloane was playing with Ash, he would forget where they were, what they were. Until it was time for the tests.

This time he’d been stripped down to his underwear. The sticky little white pads were fixed to his skin all over his body, wires coming out of their centers. The pads were cold and sometimes sent little shocks through him. The wires lead to different machines and monitors. One machine monitored his heartbeat, one his brain, and the others—He didn’t know what they did. They looked like the machines in those Sci-Fi movies Doctor Shultzon rented for them from the video store. If only Ash were here. Sloane might not feel so scared then.

“All right, Sloane. Like I instructed. Ready?”

No. “Yes.”

“Okay. You may begin.”

Sloane closed his eyes, called upon the wild animal inside him. The Felid woke from its slumber and answered Sloane’s call. The transformation started and Sloane gritted his teeth against the pain. The moment the first bone slipped out of place, Sloane pushed it back. His Felid side cried out, confused about why he was being shoved back when Sloane had called for him. The machines around them beeped wildly and Sloane cried out, his body telling him he shouldn’t try to stop the transformation so suddenly once it started. Doctor Shultzon pressed a button and the pads stuck to Sloane’s body sent pulses through him.

“It hurts! Please, stop. Please,” Sloane begged. The pulses hurt. They curdled his blood and angered his Felid half. Sloane hissed, his fangs starting to elongate. He fought desperately, pushing the Felid back.

“It’s okay, Sloane. You’re a very brave boy. You can do this.”

“I can’t,” Sloane cried, tears streaming down his cheeks. “It hurts so bad.” Whatever they were doing to him, it made his other half very angry. It wanted to come out and hurt them. Sloane arched up violently, his whole body convulsing as the Felid tore through him. His vision sharpened and his claws started to pierce the tips of his fingers. Sloane couldn’t stop crying.

“I know it hurts. Just a little longer.”

“I can’t hold him back!”

“You can. Your Human side is the dominant species, Sloane. You tell him what to do, not the other way around.”

They didn’t understand. Sloane shook his head, his body slammed down against the chair as if by some unknown force. “It’s not like that,” Sloane blubbered, his nose running and sweat dripping down his face. Sloane didn’t know what he was but he did know he wasn’t Human. Dr. Shultzon had told him he was a Therian when he’d first brought Sloane here from the hospital where they’d locked him up for being a freak.

Shultzon put his hand to Sloane’s head, tenderly stroking his hair. “It’s all right. Tell him you’re okay. It’s over.”

Sloane did. He tried to soothe the beast inside him. Told him it was okay. The worst was over, even if only for today. The Felid protested but slinked back into the shadows. Sloane clenched his jaw, his eyes shut tight against the sting and pain of his claws and fangs retracting. A few heartbeats later and the Felid slumbered once again. Shultzon wiped Sloane’s nose with a tissue then ran a damp cloth tenderly over Sloane’s face before he undid the straps restraining him. Sloane’s bottom lip trembled and big fat tears rolled down his flushed cheeks.

“I know what you’re thinking.” Shultzon put a hand under his chin and tilted his face up so he could look into Sloane’s eyes. “You’re not a monster. Just a regular thirteen-year-old boy like any other. Maybe a little different but that’s not a bad thing.”

Sloane nodded even if he didn’t agree. Maybe he wasn’t a monster, but he was a freak and a killer. He’d killed his mom. His dad hurt him and then killed himself. They’d thrown him away. Locked him up and told him he was… an abomination. Sometimes he felt so alone, he wished….

“Sloane, that’s enough!”

The harsh tone startled Sloane and a sudden sharp pain drew his gaze down to his wrist where he’d dug his nails. Eyes wide, he shook his head frantically. “I didn’t mean to!” He didn’t want to go back into observation. What if they tied him to the bed again? “I swear!”

“Hush. It’s okay.” Shultzon sat next to him and drew him into his arms, rocking him gently like his mother used to do when there was a bad thunderstorm and the lightning scared him. “I know you didn’t mean to. But you have to be more careful or I won’t have a choice.”

Sloane nodded. “I promise.” He didn’t want to hurt anymore. Everything always hurt. His head, his body, his heart. A shuddered breath escaped him, and his voice sounded so small when he spoke. “I want to go back to my room.”

“Okay.”

Shultzon led him down the bright white halls and into the elevator where they soon stepped out into another white hall. Every floor looked the same, always white and far too bright. The door to his room opened and Ash stepped out. As if he’d known Sloane was near. Without waiting for the doctor’s okay, Sloane took off down the hall and threw himself into Ash’s arms. Despite being the same age, Ash was bigger, and when his strong arms squeezed Sloane, the tears started once again. He hated crying so much, but he couldn’t seem to stop.

“It’s okay,” Ash said gruffly, leading Sloane inside and shutting the door behind him. He walked Sloane over to his bed and sat down with him, holding him while he cried. When Sloane’s eyes and head hurt from crying so much, his nose stuffed, and his throat sore, he pulled back and wiped his face with his sleeve.

“I’m sorry. I’m such a wuss.”

“You’re not a wuss.”

“I am. They do the same to you and you never cry.”

“It’s good you cry,” Ash said somberly. He turned to look at Sloane and for the first time in two years, he looked… sad. “It means you’re not broken.”

Sloane frowned at him. “You’re not broken.”

“Yes I am. I only ever feel angry.”

“That’s not true!” Sloane took Ash’s hand in his. “You smile and laugh. If you were broken you wouldn’t do that.”

Ash seemed to think about that then shrugged as if giving in. Sloane pushed on.

“You’re my best friend in the whole world, Ash.”

“I’m your only friend.”

Sloane laughed. “Okay, but if you weren’t my only friend, you’d still be my best friend. We’re going to always be best friends, right?”

Ash smiled broadly. “You bet.”

The door to their room opened and two doctors stood by. “Ash. It’s time.”

“Okay.” Ash breathed in deep, puffing up his chest. It was as if he weren’t afraid of anything.

Ash walked to the door and Sloane looked on worriedly. He crawled onto his bed, grabbed his favorite stuffed toy, and drew his knees up. Ash stopped to look over his shoulder at Sloane, a grin on his face. “If you touch my stuff I’ll kick your butt.”

“Got it.” Sloane couldn’t help his smile. Then the door closed and he was alone again.

Ash would be back soon. He had to be. It was the only thing Sloane had to hang on to. Shutting his eyes tight, Sloane dreamed of the day they’d be free. He even dared to hope he’d have a normal life with someone who cared about him, who wasn’t afraid of him. Maybe even… love him.

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