Special Guest: Charlie Cochet with Gummie Bears and Grenades! #THIRDS

Hi. This is Tara. Thank you for stopping by the blog. I’m on vacation right now — the first longer-than-a-weekend vacay I’ve taken in years that didn’t include writing workshops. While I’m gone, I invited a bunch of my friends — some of your fave authors — to stop by and share their news and new releases. I know you’ll love it. Enjoy. Talk soon. : )

 

Please welcome author Charlie Cochet! 

 

Gummy Bears & Grenades
(A THIRDS Novella, #9.5)
By Charlie Cochet

Blurb:
THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

Available to purchase at

Kindle | Amazon (Paperback Combo) | Kobo | iTunesDreamspinner Press

 Excerpt

 

Sloane let out a loud belch and laughed. “That tasted like lemonade.” He frowned as it struck him. “Fuck, I’m so wasted.”“I don’t care if you’re in a coma. You’re finishing this damn game.” Tony motioned to the air hockey table. “Move your ass, Brodie. You’re not winning this time.”

Wait. Sloane peered at Tony and thrust a finger at him. “You purposefully got me drunk so you could win. Dex told me I shouldn’t play air hockey with you.”

“Yeah, he also told his sixth-grade teacher that he couldn’t take his math test because numbers were against his religion.”

Sloane snorted vodka and lemonade through his nose and almost choked. He coughed and sputtered, wiping his nose and mouth with his arm as Tony laughed his ass off. “You couldn’t have waited until I’d finished drinking to say that?”

“And miss your impression of a sprinkler?”

“Why aren’t you drunk?” Sloane narrowed his eyes at Tony, who’d had almost as many drinks as Sloane had. Why was he so sober?

Tony shrugged. “Clearly I can hold my liquor better.”

“Bull. Shit.”

Tony arched an eyebrow at him, and Sloane marched over to him. He grabbed Tony’s glass off the edge of the table, sniffed it, then took a sip.

Sloane gasped. “This is just lemonade! I’ve been bamboozled!”

Tony reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He took a ten-dollar bill and held it up to Sloane. “I will give this to you if you say bamboozled again.”

“You are a crafty bastard.” Sloane snatched the bill from Tony’s hand.

“Bamboozled.” Ignoring Tony’s cackle, Sloane shoved the bill into his back pocket. He should have known the man would be sneaky. He was Dex’s dad after all. Sloane grinned smugly. “Doesn’t matter, I still kicked your ass. Like, eight times,” he said, glaring at his hands when he counted seven fingers. He put one more finger up. “Eight.”

Tony eyed him. “That booze is making you bold.”

Sloane nodded. “It is.”

“So you gonna put your money where your mouth is and play? Or you afraid you’re gonna get your tail whipped? I’m sure Dex will make it all purrrfect.”

Sloane eyed him. There was something Tony wasn’t telling him. “Why did you say it like that?”

“What?” Tony frowned. “I was just saying that Dex knows how to make it all better.” A wicked gleam came into his dark eyes.

Purrrfect.

Sloane’s jaw went slack. He shook his head. “No.”

Tony’s smile was terrifying. “Oh, yes.”

 

 

  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 adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. 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.If you’d like to connect with Charlie, just drop her an email, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google Plus.

 

Special Guest: Kay Berrisford


Love mermen? Paranormal romance? Hot guys? And… maybe the odd lurking dragon?

Hi! I’m Kay, and I’d love to share an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from the second installment in my brand new “Landlocked Heart” series, Lyle’s Story. The books tell the story of Ben, an ordinary guy working in an ice-cream parlour in a seaside town, and Lyle, the flamboyant merman who he falls in love with.

If you enjoy the excerpt, please leave a comment here to be in with a chance of winning a $15 voucher for Less Than Three Press.

Landlocked Heart (book 1): The Lonely Merman is out NOW.
You can grab it from Amazon and Less Than Three Press.

 

Lyle’s Story (Landlocked Heart, book 2) is out this week – 28th September! You can order it now from Amazon or Less Than Three Press.  Book 3, entitled Dragon Rider, is out early November.

Lyle’s Story Blurb:  Lyle, a merman, and Ben, his human, work together in a seaside ice-cream parlour and their life together is bliss. Or would be, if not for Ben’s constant worries about career and money, and Lyle’s dark past—a myriad of secrets, lies, wild magic, and foul deeds, which now threaten to catch up with him.

When Lyle’s merfolk family accuse him of murder, Ben and Lyle’s bond is stretched to the limit. Not only does Lyle seem unsuited to Ben’s dreams of domestic happiness, his magical powers are spinning dangerously out of control. Even Lyle isn’t entirely sure he’s innocent.

With Ben dragged deep into the enchanted processes of merfolk justice, escaping with his life—and getting home to an important job interview—is just the start of the challenge. Uncovering Lyle’s inner truths without destroying their love could be a step too far…

Excerpt

“That’s it, Lyle,” called Jarvis, “you’re killing it!”

Shirtless, somewhat chilly, but beginning to enjoy himself, Lyle draped backward over the breakwater and swished his hair.

“Let’s have more of that gorgeous pout,” coaxed Jarvis, while his camera rolled out a frenetic series of clicks. Lyle obeyed, puckering his lips and fluttering his lashes. A couple of elderly ladies who’d been taking a stroll along the prom had stopped to watch, and they’d been joined by others to form a small but appreciative audience by the railings.

“I wonder if he’s a pop star or model,” said one of the women, and Lyle couldn’t help smirking. He wasn’t too keen on Jarvis’s leering comments, but he liked being admired. Perhaps there were more career options open to him than he’d thought.

“Okay, babe,” said Jarvis. “That’s enough like that. You got decent underwear on, by any chance? That skyscape is fascinating. We could get real arty if I take some sepia shots and if you stripped off another layer.”

Sliding off the breakwater, Lyle baulked. Thickening fog rolled in off the sea, and it looked like it might rain. Besides, taking his top off had seemed harmless, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to share his underwear with anybody other than…

“Lyle, what the hell are you doing?”

Lyle heeded Ben’s angry shout before he spotted him, crunching down the stones towards them. Lyle winced and reached for his t-shirt, slipping it over his head. He wished he’d just gone home, like he promised. The last thing he wanted was to have lied… again. “When do I get paid?” he asked Jarvis.

“We’re not done yet,” said Jarvis. As Ben neared with a face like a gathering storm, he mumbled, “Shit, babe, is that your cranky boyfriend? Call me if you ever want to do better.”

He flicked a business card at Lyle’s chest then started off at a lick across the beach. Realizing the show was over, the crowd also dispelled, which proved a small mercy. Lyle’s anger struck with such violence, he struggled not to lose his faculties and drop his shape-shifting spell.

“How dare you, you smarmy rat-face bollocks!” he screamed after Jarvis, scrunching up the card and hurling it. “You’ll never be half the man Ben is! When do I get my money, you—”

“Shhh, for heaven’s sake!” Ben grabbed Lyle’s arm and spun him around. “What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” said Lyle, still reeling from his own anger.

“Because I was working alone, Mr. Bertrand told me I could shut down the parlour for a lunch hour. I was popping home to check you were okay. But rather than keeping a low profile, I find you making a ruddy spectacle of yourself with that… that… who the heck was that?”

“It’s the guy who took pictures of my art,” said Lyle, drizzle now plastering his hair to his nose. “He asked me to pose and said he’d pay me. I thought you’d be… oh, I don’t know, pleased maybe?” Ben scrubbed his palms against his stubbly cheeks in such an exaggeratedly weary fashion that Lyle snapped further. “But you’re never bloody pleased, are you? Everything I do it wrong. It’s not like I was flirting with him or anything.”

“Stripping your shirt off isn’t flirting, then? I suppose it’s nothing to a master of seduction like you. How many lovers have you had again? Forty-one, wasn’t it?”

“That’s unfair! You told me you understood.” The rain grew heavier, the clouds pressing low over the beach, and Lyle felt like ripping his hair out. “It was over centuries, anyway, and I was lonely.”

“Oh, poor Lyle, maybe you should’ve been flirting with that photographer.” Ben pinched the bridge of his nose. “I love you, I always will, but sometimes I wonder if I’m what you really need.”

“What do you mean?” Lyle froze, anger quelled by a spasm of fear. “You’re my Benjamin. You broke the curse and you’re gorgeous. Why would I want any other man?”

Ben looked down, rolling a pebble beneath his trainer. “One day I fear you’ll see the truth. I’m not gorgeous, I’m very ordinary, and I can’t give you what you desire. You want a millionaire sugar daddy to buy you a luxury home with a swimming pool and patronize your art.”

“Er, sugar daddy?” Lyle let out a humourless chuckle. “Even if I wanted one, it’s going to be hard for me to find an older man around here. And anyway, he won’t want me when he discovers I’m a merman.”

“Believe me, Lyle, most chaps are going to see tentacles as a bonus feature.” Ben dropped his voice to a whisper, although the only creatures within earshot were some large herring gulls who’d settled on the breakwater. “There’ll be a queue of rich guys who want you—including those who can afford the repairs when you accidentally bring the ceiling down. Somebody out there must be able to keep better tabs on you than me.”

The despair-filled suggestion hit Lyle like a knee to the groin. “Keep tabs on me? You mean I need controlling? Is that what you think I need?”

“No!” Ben’s raw panic suggested he was backtracking fast. “I’m sorry, love. I didn’t mean it like that, uh… oh shit, I…”

“Maybe that is what I need.” Lyle turned his back on poor stammering Ben and gazed out into the fog. “Maybe he’ll tie me up and put me in a cage, treat me like the monster I am. I’m a killer, Benjamin. I can’t control myself, let alone my magic. You should just walk away now.”

Ben stepped to his side and slipped a hand to his waist. “Honey, I—”

“Go!” Lyle’s holler set the gulls on the breakwater flapping and wheeling and crying out. He spiralled to face Ben, the white heat of his anger returning with vengeance, fins ripping forth from both his shoulders, spoiling his shirt. Two more burst out from his upper legs, lacerated the trousers at his thighs. “See? A monster!” He flicked them around, feral. “I killed my own brother, Benjamin, so you’d best get the hell away from me!”

 
Buy Kay’s m/m stories from Less Than Three Press or Amazon

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $15 GC!
Closing date 4th October 2017 (midnight GMT).

Thanks for reading 🙂

The Future of the Agent

I just returned from RT in Los Angeles and one of the big topics of discussion, both formally in workshops and informally in conversations, was “do you need an agent?” Opinions were all over the map. I talked to everyone from writers who adored their agents and couldn’t imagine living without them to those who passionately stated “why would i give someone 15% of my earnings to do what i can easily do without them!”. Those in the middle usually said, “I have an agent for anything i want to pitch to the New York publishers, but i do all my own ebook pitching and negotiating myself”.

And therein lies the crux of the argument. Yes, if a writer wants to do multi-book deals with traditional New York publishers, an agent is an advantage — but these days isn’t absolutely required. In a panel of editors i sat in on, the moderator asked were there any of the pubs represented that would NOT accept an unagented submission and not one person raised their hand. These editors represented everything from the large traditional pubs to the smallest indies. So submitting to traditional publishers is possible without an agent, but if you want to feel secure about getting the best deal for future books, usually an agent is important. But lets face it, the future is in digital. Print won’t go away, but any publisher ignoring digital is a dinosaur living in neverland.

Currently, agents have little place in digital contracts with indie publishers. These agreements are usually generous in terms of royalties, promise little in the way of advances, and require relatively little of the author except to produce a quality product and give the publisher first right of refusal on sequels and series.(That’s not to say that really successful e-pubbed authors don’t do a lot more in terms of self-promotion, creative submissions, business planning, etc, but it’s not required by the contracts.) Those terms that are at all questionable in e-contracts are generally negotiable between the author and the publisher. If a writer wants to submit to a digital-first publisher, they can usually go to the website and read the guidelines, follow them and submit. A very few e-publishers are “by invitation only” but there are so many others to choose from, authors don’t have to care. Successful e-published authors make substantial annual incomes without the need for an agent.

But what about the future? Already, a few agents are starting to stake their claim in the digital turf. As New York pubs become more aggressive in the digital arena, agents will find their roles becoming more important again. BUT, agents must wake up and smell the future. The future agent will understand digital publishing, respect it, and  create ways to add value to the author’s work. Above all, they will be partners with the author in ways that today’s traditional agent can barely appreciate. A friend that went to an agents’ workshop at RT said that some of the agents were sneering and joking at authors who submitted to them. I can’t imagine that that attitude works well for them today. I feel very certain it won’t work in the publishing world that’s coming — a world in which truly creative and collaborative agents will find ways to stand with their authors at the top of the digital heap.