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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Company at Vastine's...Welcome, Charlie Cochet!

Greetings, darlings!

Today I'm sharing the house with on of my favorite authors and a lovely friend, Charlie Cochet. 

Ms. Cochet first caught my attention with her fabulous writing in historical 
novels. She's got a wonderful vintage voice and delivers delicious historical fiction served up with all the flare and flavor of days gone by. But...but...she's proven now that she's awfully gifted in the contemporary romance fiction game, too. And...she's sharing an excerpt today from her upcoming release, Hell and High Water: The Thirds Series, Book One.

So....let me step aside and make room for Ms. Cochet! She's talking about writing a series. And, speaking of which, she asks a question in her post, and I want to hear your answers! In fact, there's a chance to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card for sharing your thoughts on her query.

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Hello all! I want to give a big thank you to the fabulous Vastine for hosting me. This year, I tackled my first true series. I know some of you are thinking, “Wait, but you’ve got a bunch of series.” Yes, I do, but the majority of those contain stories which are stand alone and in some cases, the MC’s are a different couple from that world. They’ve also been released across several years.

Between July and the new year, my new contemporary/law enforcement-shifter series called the THIRDS will be unleashed upon the world. It’s a four book series with one continuing storyline plus a standalone storyline for each book. It also features the same couple through all four books with secondary characters who will be getting their own spin-off books in the same THIRDS world.

This series has pretty much taken over my life for more than a year now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every moment and I’m so excited to be sharing it with readers, but what’s made writing this series so much more daunting than writing my other series? Well, by the time I submit the fourth book, the first hasn’t even been released yet, so you have that moment of panic where you hope folks like the first book because there’s a whole bunch more after that! I’ve loved writing these guys, so I hope readers will enjoy reading about them just as much. 

What I’ve found in writing a series like this is how the flow is easier to maintain because everything is fresh in my head. Also if I add something in a later book or change a plot point, I can go back to the previous books through editing and change things, something you can’t really do once the books are out there. I’ve found it’s easier editing a series together than months or even years apart.

The challenging part is upping the stakes with each book. Throughout the first four THIRDS books, we get a developing relationship between Dex and Sloane which continues to grow just like any real life relationship. Except with shifters. And explosions. Oh and cheesy eighties music.

With each book, not only does their relationship get tested but it evolves. The dangers they face on the job, their cases, their own team dynamics, and the antagonists have to keep building, getting better and more treacherous otherwise you get one of those generic cop shows. You have to keep readers coming back for more. I’d like to think I’ve achieved that with this series. 
What keeps you coming back to a favorite series?

Hell & High Water Blurb

When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media frenzy—aren’t far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn’t find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed. Instead, his adoptive father—a sergeant at the Therian-Human Intelligence Recon Defense Squadron otherwise known as the THIRDS—pulls a few strings, and Dex gets recruited as a Defense Agent. 

Dex is determined to get his life back on track and eager to get started in his new job. But his first meeting with Team Leader Sloane Brodie, who also happens to be his new jaguar Therian partner, turns disastrous. When the team is called to investigate the murders of three HumaniTherian activists, it soon becomes clear to Dex that getting his partner and the rest of the tightknit team to accept him will be a lot harder than catching the killer—and every bit as dangerous.

For more information on the THIRDS series, visit: www.charliecochet.com

Sneak Peek Excerpt

Sloane waited, his jaw clenched as Dex hurried over. As soon as they were outside the kitchen, Sloane turned to Dex in disbelief. “We’re in the middle of a case, and you’re flirting?”

“I wasn’t flirting, I was eating. I’m starving. Which is your fault.”

“My fault?” Clearly he’d had a momentary lapse of judgment by thinking the two of them could get along. The urge to punch the guy was steadily rising. “How is this my fault?”

“You gave my Cheesy Doodles away!” 

“Jesus Christ, again with that?” Sloane tried to summon patience, but instead he kept seeing Dex’s stupid tongue poking out to lick his bottom lip. He pushed that thought away, grabbed Dex’s arm and hauled him toward the exit. “That back there had nothing to do with food, unless we count you being a part of the menu. The guy was two seconds away from pouncing on you.”

“What? No way. We were talking about chocolate and café con leche.”

Sloane stopped in his tracks. “You’re not serious are you? You can’t be that oblivious.”

“To what?” Dex’s wide eyes told Sloane he most probably was. How could a guy like Dex be so clueless? The way Hudson kept trying to have eye sex with him, the Therian in the kitchen undressing him with his eyes? Hell, Sloane had even caught Letty eyeing Dex’s ass on more than one occasion. Yet Dex never seemed to notice.

“To the fact that he wasn’t talking about drinks, you idiot. He wanted you to be the leche in his café.”

Dex frowned when it dawned on him. “Ohhh. I misread that.”

“I don’t….” Sloane shook his head. He didn’t even have words. “Get in the damn truck before I shoot you.” He pushed Dex from behind, guiding him into the lobby, grunting every time Dex paused to talk at him over his shoulder.

“You know, you should try yoga. Find a way to channel all that aggression.”

Sloane gave him another push. “I have found a way. It’s called shoving my foot up your ass.”

“That doesn’t sound very relaxing.”

Push. “I’m sure I’ll feel plenty relaxed afterward.”

“You got a problem.” Dex grimaced at him, and Sloane gave another push to get him moving again.

“Yeah and I’m looking right at it.” This situation was a heart attack waiting to happen. He just knew it. The stress of the job, now this. Yep, he was going to keel over. He could see the writing on his tombstone now: Sloane Brodie departed this world at age 37 due to massive coronary trauma as a result of idiot partner Dexter J. Daley.

“Ouch, man. That’s harsh.”

Sloane had just about reached the front door when Calvin’s voice came over his earpiece.

“Sloane, we got a problem.”

“What is it?”

“Press is outside.”

“Shit.” Sloane crept up to the large glass front, grateful for the wall-to-ceiling venetian blinds. Careful not to jostle the thin wooden slats, he peeked outside. Damn it, there were at least three news vans that he could see. He pulled back and tapped his earpiece. “What about Cael and Rosa?”

Rosa’s concerned voice came over his earpiece. “We’re in the truck. We didn’t see you guys so figured you’d already headed out.”

Sloane cast Dex an accusing glare. “We got momentarily held up. Dex had to take a shit.”

Dex’s jaw dropped. He made to touch his earpiece when Sloane caught his wrist and twisted his arm behind him, making him double over.

“Ow, ow, ow,” Dex moaned, glaring up at him.

“Thank you for the disturbing visual,” Rosa grunted. “What now?”

“We’re going out the back. Have the BearCat ready to go as soon as we get there.” He released Dex’s arm, pulled him up and grinned at the sour expression on Dex’s face.

“That was not cool, man.”

“Maybe next time you’ll think twice about wandering off. Now let’s go.”

They rushed through the lobby and reception area to the double doors on the right. Behind him, Dex mimicked him, lowering his voice as he repeated Sloane’s words, adding an unintelligible rambling of grunts and growls at the end.

“There’s something seriously wrong with you.” Sloane followed the hallway he’d come in through earlier to the pantry and out into the hall leading to the loading dock.

“Must be the company I’ve been keeping,” Dex quipped. Sloane turned and grabbed Dex by the shoulders.

“Okay, shut up for a minute. Let’s pretend you’re a normal agent for a sec, and that you weren’t sent to drive me out of my freaking mind. Can you do that?”

Dex pursed his lips. “I’ll have to reach really deep for that one, but I think I can manage.”

“Good. Soon as we get out there, make a beeline for the truck, and try not to shoot anyone.”

“No promises,” Dex muttered.

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.

Website: http://www.charliecochet.com
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com
Twitter: @charliecochet

 * * * * * * * * * *
Charlie, the excerpt was perfect! I love these guys, and they promise to be delightful and sexy! Congrats on the upcoming release, by the way!
Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts on the writing of a series, and for the yummy tease!
So you guys out there. I'd love to hear your answers to her question: What brings YOU back to a series? Interesting question, and I'd love to hear if your thoughts are the same as mine!
 For every answer, there will be a chance to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card! C'mon. What makes you return to a series? 


Tess said...

I LOVED the excerpt!

What keeps me coming back to a favourite series?

Interesting and loveable characters, with humour/laughs thrown in.

Charlie Cochet said...

Hi Tess! I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! It's been such fun writing this series. And I'm with you. Definitely need characters I can invest in and humor never goes amiss. ;)

maggie said...

Humor, romance, maybe a little sappyness, a little adventure/violence and Hot guys! M8231m@aol.com

Hunter Frost said...

You just...sigh. You have such talent, Charlie! I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of shifter stories. The most I can usually handle is something with werewolves. But these - I'll be reading these. AND such beautiful artwork, websites, and banners. What can't you do? You've been so busy! I hope I get a sliver of the success you have with my writing. I can't wait to read this series!

stella matta said...

I love your writing so it's not a surprise I really like the excerpt...
do you know what kind of book I read Charlie? contemporary, law enforcement and shifter... you put these three togheter in the THIRDS series so I'll definetely buy it.
so about your question...
I think it's important the first book I have to love it to buy the second one.. it has to be this characteristic: romantic, funny, heartbreaking, hot... oh and I love alpha men
can I ask you how often the books will release?

Charlie Cochet said...

@maggie: Sounds like a great combo! I admit, I look a bit of sappiness in my romances. LOL

@Hunter: Aw, you're too sweet! To be honest, I haven't read all that many shifter books. Hopefully even readers who are not big fans of shifter stories will pick up the series. It's contemporary law enforcement with a very realistic twist to the shifters. Well, as realistive as shifters can be. LOL I'll be posting more about Therians and how they came about during the blog tour in July.

I can't wait to read your Men In Uniforms story. I know I'll enjoy it very much.

@Stella: Thank you so much, Stella! It's always such a pleasure to hear when someone enjoys my books. As for release schedule, I've been informed that Hell & High Water--the first book will be out July 7th as can be preordered from June 9th. Blood & Thunder, book 2 is scheduled for Aug. Rack & Ruin, book three will hopefully be out in Oct, and Rise & Fall should be out in Dec. So there won't be a long wait between books. :D

Lee Todd said...

characters that I want to get to know, how an author writes, great sex scenes (yep...if there aren't sex scenes I'm outta there), at the moment if its not M/M a book has zero chance of making it onto my kindle unless it is a series I've spent years being involved in, if there are paranormal elements I'm more inclined to read it

Lisa G said...

I loved this excerpt and can't wait to read this series! You have all my faves - law enforcement, shifters, sarcastic mc's, humor....can not wait !

sxswann said...

Honestly I cannot WAIT for this series. I love the snarkiness and humor with these guys.

I loves series - I'm 20 some books in with the Assassin/Shifter series by Sandrine Gasq-Dion. I just love revisiting familiar characters and watching them grow. Amy Lane's Promises series, Marie Sexton's Coda books, Eden Winters Diversion series, PD Singer's series, Heidi Cullinan's Spacial Delivery series, you name it, I love it!


Charlie Cochet said...

@Lee: Characters is definitely a big must for me. If the characters don't draw me in I'll probably not keep up with a series.

@Lisa G: Thank you so much, Lisa! I'm glad you liked the excerpt. I don't know if I can write a story without at least one cheeky/sassy/or sarcastic MC. LOL ;)

@Sadonna: Dex is just so much fun to write. Well, the whole series was, but Dex is in a league of his own. LOL. That's an awesome list! I haven't read the Assassin/shifter series but I've heard so many great things, I think it would be silly not to!

Vastine Bondurant said...

Boy, Charlie, this has been fun, and I love all the interesting comments on series.

I'm not eligible for a prize, but I do have to comment that I figure I feel the same as most everybody else in what will draw me back to a series.

For me---ultimately---it is character, character, character. If an author can get me invested in their characters' lives? Well, just like meeting folks in real life, I'll be interested in them and I'll want to see them again...and again.

Thank you, Charlie, for a fun visit and thank all you who've commented!

Carly Rose said...

I'm so excited for Hell and High Water to come out! The teasers aren't going to hold me over for long. :D

What brings me back to a series is when each book has challenges or situations that bring changes and/or character development. I love to be surprised!

SharonO said...

I come back to a series to find out what happens next

Lynette Michelle said...

Hi, Charlie! I loved the excerpt and I'm looking forward to this series.

Interesting, well-written characters are what draw me in and bring me back. If the story is great even better. Fortunately, I know I'll find both with your stories.

I've never been a big fan of historical romance. However, after meeting Johnny and the gang on the tour for his book, there was no way I could pass on that series.

Charlie Cochet said...

@Vastine: Thank you so much for having! *hugs* And I agree, characters are key for me.

@Carly: Thank you so much! LOL, hopefully the time will fly by and the release will be here soon! Character development is very important. You definitely want there to be growth.

@SharonO: Absolutely! I want to love the characters but I also want thte story to leave me itching to by the next book!

!lynette: Thank you so much! Aw! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed reading about Johnnie and the gang. They do hold a special place in my heart. I hope you'll enjoy reading about Dex and the fellas just as much!

Sula said...

I love following a series and being truly involved with a set of characters and having a chance to learn more about them. But what could make me stop following is if the author really makes a hash of a story line or does something with the characters that I cannot believe would occur. I do have one instance where this happened, when the characters in a series partner swapped and in subsequent books showed how their lives fell apart. I know this was what the author decided to do, but it just did not feel right and readers did post their disbelief.

A good series has links to previous characters, either by giving them their own storyline or a hint of how they are now. For instance the 'auspicious trouble..' series follows on eight years later with another characters story line but Chance still appears (yay!). I have quite a few series in my collection (different historical periods and genre) and cannot help be excited when a new story comes out and sad when the series ends.

So characters I can connect to and a story that has many key elements (romance, mystery, humour and hopefully HEA, if not in the first book maybe in the next)

Continuity is also the key, getting names, dates, ages, relationships, historical context correct, as this is something a reader will always pick up on. Although if you write fantasy you can get away with a little bit of fact twisting to suit.

Hope this is okay?

Charlie Cochet said...

Hi Sula!

Thank you so much for stopping by. I agree with what you've listed there. When a series has characters I love, it's always a treat to get more of them in following books whether it's the same MC's or a different pair but with previous MC's showing up. If it's a series I love, providing the author is still passionate about the characters and story, I'm more than happy to follow along!

Jbst said...

Hope not too late to comment. I'm excited to read about your new series. I'll want to read more about characters that I've become invested in from the first book, and will want to read more about their relationship, background, adventures etc.