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.

 

Facebook: A Good Promotion tool?

Hi everyone — Some of you will have read the piece below when i posted it at Loose Ends last week, but people seemed to like it, so in case you missed it, i’m reposting it here:
Have you noticed that people tend to be huge fans of either Twitter or Facebook and will use one a lot and the other very little or not at all? Actually, while you may prefer one, you have to do both because they are very different in the way they reach people and even the people they reach. I started out trying to cover both in one discussion and was heading toward a 900 word post. I figured that would try your patience, so this week I’ll talk about Facebook which I think is the easiest to grasp. Next week we’ll cover Twitter (my personal fave). Please note, I’m not a social media expert. This is my experience over the last six months, plus some of my PR training.
So, let’s discuss Facebook, the most popular social media tool and subject of the film, The Social Network (great movie, by the way.) I am active on Facebook, but don’t begin to use all its tools. I don’t have a fan page and don’t think I’ll need one for a long while (fan pages are great when you want to exceed your 5000 friend limit. I should be so fortunate!  LOL). So, for beginning purposes, here are some things to remember.
Your Facebook page is a part of your persona as a writer. Whether you write under your own name or not, do NOT mix your personal friends and chats with them with your professional friends. Create two different Facebook accounts and keep them separate. But, with that said, remember Facebook is a personal medium. This means you communicate with the people on Facebook as you would a friend. You share semi-personal information, things about your life, something fun you see on YouTube or television. You chat and, above all, you comment on other people’s posts, share their triumphs and mourn their losses. On Facebook, you may post an announcement about your blog or your new release once. But it stays, so you can’t push it. Facebook is not a pushy platform and people get really mad if you try to sell them. Fecebook is about friends. Be friendly! My friend, Sloan Parker is, IMO, the master of Facebook interaction, and if you want to know how to use it well, watch her. 
Who do you follow? I’d start with other writers, publishers, agents, people whose information you really want to know. As you grow your list, Facebook will suggest other friends like the ones you have. You can see your friends’ lists and perhaps ask to friend some of those people. Because of the nature of Facebook, most  people (even your number one author idol!) will agree to be friends with you. It’s a kick! You can have real conversations on Facebook, but mostly you want to “be a friend” to the people who you follow. Do that, and when you ask for support, like for a blog tour or book advice, chances are they will give it. And it gives your growing number of fans a place to find you and interact with you personally. I have people who like my books who see me online and come and chat.
Like all social media, Facebook can be addictive. Resist. You need time to write. But it is a marvelous way to meet people and cement relationships. If you’re not using it, go over and sign up. It’s easy. If you have an account but don’t use it, start looking for friends and vow to visit the page once a day to comment on their posts. You’ll be delighted with the results.
Also, if you go over to my Book BLOG  and follow and/or comment, you can WIN a copy of Genetic Attraction or a gift certificate to Loose Id. So pop on over!!

Book Promotion: Start Before You Need To


I have a dear friend who is a NYT best-selling author who retired recently, partly due to the need to promote her own books. Back in the glory days, publishers did most all the promotion, and authors just had to show up. Not so today. Even the best are expected to promote themselves.

I’m new to fiction writing, so I don’t know any better. Plus, I differ from many authors in that I have a background in public relations, so I take to the promotion stuff pretty easily. I don’t yet know how my promotional activities will pay off in sales, if at all. After all, I’m brand new. But I have had writer friends ask me to talk about what I do for promotion. So over the next few posts, if people want, I’ll talk about various aspects of book promotion from my very newbie viewpoint.

First, start before you need to. I put up this author blog, back last June before I had even submitted my books to Loose Id. I created the blog to support what I wanted my “brand identity” to be. (Please forgive these over used words. You get the idea.) I wrote about other people’s books in my genre. I did special reports on kissing, on androgyny, and lots of pictures of beautiful men. I developed a small following, and have continued to post to the blog about twice a week. I monitor it daily on Google Analytics to see how it falls off between posts, and which posts are most popular. Most important, the blog helped make some people aware of me. I promote the blog continuously on Twitter and Facebook, and developed more awareness there. (The use of Twitter and FB are subjects for another post.)

After my first book was accepted for publication, I took Christy Lockhart’s suggestion and started posting on craft topics – where the ideas come from, writing your passion, etc I still did racy and funny videos and pictures to keep up the image. These posts built my following further.

Also upon acceptance of the novel,Genetic Attraction, I developed my website. I figured people would now start to check it out, and I needed an authoritative platform to show I was a serious author. Please note, I developed both my blog and my website myself. I have very limited technical skills, and they don’t look very slick or professional, but I know how to change them myself without relying on a webmaster. Updating your site is the key to ongoing traffic building, so, for now, I’m trading the look for the ease-of-use – and the low cost.

Well in advance of publication, I also started blogging at Savvy Authors and collecting friends on Goodreads. Some of LI’s authors were kind enough to invite me to participate in their Yahoo chats. The bottom line is that before my book came out, there were people waiting for it and people who knew my name. Now, whether they bought it, THAT’S another story I won’t know for weeks and months to come. LOL!!

What do you do well in advance of a release to “prime the pump”? : )

Planning a Blog Tour for Your Novel

I love that authors who introduce print books may go on a book tour, but we electronic authors get to go on blog tours! Book promotion in front of the computer. As you know, I’m new to fiction writing, but I have a background in PR, so I decided I could arrange my own tour (there are services out there that will do it for you, also). Starting about two months ago, I plunged in. How successful my tour was I won’t really know until I start to see sales figures, but meanwhile I can share some of the steps I went through to set up the tour.

  • · Decide if you want your tour to begin before your book releases or on the date. Since I’m new and have no back list for an inspired reader to buy, I didn’t want to create too much demand that couldn’t be filled, so I decided to start on the day. Plus, I knew I wouldn’t have my blurb or copies of my book until right before its release. As it turned out, I started on the weekend before the Tuesday of release .
  • · Start contacting authors and reviewers you know. If you have been on tour before, you have lots of contacts. I didn’t, so I started by offering myself as a guest blogger on the author’s loop from my publisher. I got lots of response. Next, I went to some of the author’s communities and Yahoo groups I belong to and offered there. More response. Authors are so kind in helping other writers, especially newbies.
  • · Decide if you want more than one blog stop on a day. Sometimes you won’t have a choice, because the blog author will have a specific date they want you to appear. Most don’t mind if you double book as long as you support both posts with social media, etc.
  • · Check each site for what type of blog they prefer. Some sites like interviews, others want you to write something in line with their blog’s theme or topic, others may just want an excerpt and blurb. Often, you’ll just have to be creative, so start thinking of fun blog posts that may tie in with your book ,but aren’t all about it.
  • · Create a blog library. I don’t know if others do this, but it worked for me. Rather than waiting for the last moment, I started creating blog posts on different topics whenever I had a minute to create one. I still do this, even now that the tour is winding down. I had a last minute request for a post last night, and I had a fun post I’d created recently that I could send.
  • · The required time before the post date (some blog owners want posts there a week in advance, others just the day before), prepare a complete document with the necessary materials attached and included. Send: your post, a book cover photo, a photo of you, your short bio, an excerpt from the book, your book blurb, your buy link, all your contact information, and in some cases, a contact at your publisher so the site can notify them. If the site is also going to review your book (Oh, JOY and happiness!! ) I generally send the book under separate cover to be sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I know this is a LOT of stuff, but often if the site has all this they may use more than they’ve asked for, so give them a lot to choose from. Make a copy, and keep it in a file so you know when and to whom you sent it.
  • · On the day(s) of your posts, check in frequently to answer questions and comments.
  • · Promote every stop on your tour extensively – Facebook, Twitter, multiple Yahoo groups, direct e-mail if you have a contacts list, and not just once, but frequently throughout the day. If you’re lucky enough to be on the host site for more than one day, keep plugging it throughout. (What? You’re not doing all this social media? Time to start. But that’s a topic for another day LOL)
  • · Thank your hosts for their hospitality, and return the favor whenever possible.

If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re correct. I was lucky to have some vacation time saved, plus I work from home, so I could keep up with my tour. But it was still a lot to do, and it definitely cut into my writing time. Still, I figured there’s no point in writing if there’s no one to read it, so for me it was definitely worth the investment of time and energy. Questions? Comments? Have you planned a blog tour? Suggestions on what works for you?