Category - Excerpts

THIRDS Thursday - 8/25/16 Thick & Thin Excerpt

THIRDS Thursdays

This week for THIRDS Thursday, we have an exclusive excerpt from Chapter Four of Thick & Thin. Enjoy! **Contains spoilers from Smoke & Mirrors**


“Sloane.”

His name was almost a whisper on Dex’s lips, his chest rising and falling rapidly. Sloane opened his eyes, and was met by pools of glowing amber. They were stunning. He shouldn’t be surprised. Dex’s blue eyes were the most beautiful blue he’d ever seen, and now they glowed a fiery amber. They were brighter than Sloane’s, as if flames burned behind them. Dex’s lips were swollen from Sloane’s kisses, his fair skin flushed.

“I’m sorry for being so selfish,” Sloane admitted quietly as he stroked Dex’s skin under his T-shirt.

Dex’s brows drew together. “What are you talking about?”

“There’s so much we don’t know about what my blood has done to you, but…. I can’t help thinking about how you carry a part of me inside you. You’ll always have a piece of me. With my claws, I pierced your flesh, and my blood bonded us. Now, my DNA is fused with yours.” He pulled a hand out from under Dex’s shirt so he could take hold of Dex’s hand. Embarrassed, he shook his head and brought Dex’s fingers to his lips for a kiss. He kissed the tip of each finger in the spot where his claws extended from. “I’ve made your life more difficult, and I’ve put you in danger.”

Dex opened his mouth to reply, and Sloane placed his fingers to his lips.

“We both know it’s true. God knows what would happen if word got out. A Human with Therian traits? Our strength, speed, enhanced healing, razor sharp claws and teeth. They’d try to take you from me.”

Dex’s eyes clouded over. His canines elongated, and his amber eyes flashed. “They can try.”

Despite the ferocity in Dex’s hiss, Sloane couldn’t help his chuckle. He placed his hand to Dex’s cheek. “Look at you. My fierce little felid-in-training.”

All at once, warmth flooded Dex’s features and his expression softened. His eyes returned to their brilliant blue and he smiled at Sloane.

“The only reason I’m not freaked out about this, is because it’s you. Like you said. What’s inside me is a part of you. I know you. I know the kind of man you are, and I know how much you love me. I’m not scared.” Dex bit down on his bottom lip. He looked up at Sloane from under his lashes. “I am curious though.”

Sloane arched an eyebrow. “About what?”

“What the sex will be like.”

“Oh.” Sloane hadn’t considered that. Dex was stronger now. Maybe even as strong as Sloane. “Oh.

A wicked smile spread across Dex’s face, amber spreading from his pupils. “I think it’s time to practice my pouncing.”

Sloane’s eyes widened. His heart skipped a beat and his pulse soared. He could smell it now. The shift in pheromones. The thick fog of sex and heat threatened to consume him. Well this is new. He wasn’t simply being confronted by his mate, but another predator. For the first time, Sloane was the prey, and his body knew it, could feel it. He gingerly slipped Dex off him, his eyes never leaving Dex’s as he stood. Sloane’s movements were slow, deliberate, as he edged closer to the stairs, his gaze locked on Dex. His partner didn’t move a muscle. He just followed Sloane with his eyes. Sloane was so hard; the softest touch would be painful.

Dex’s lips tugged at one corner. He spoke, his voice low and filled with the promise of a good, hard fuck when he caught Sloane.

“You should run.”

Sloane did. He took the steps up to the bedroom two at a time, making it just inside the door when Dex grabbed him from behind and lifted him off his feet.

“Holy fuck!” Sloane flailed briefly before he was tossed on the bed. He rolled onto his back, his pulse racing as Dex crawled over him. Damn he was fast. And strong. Dex kissed the breath out of him before taking hold of Sloane’s T-shirt and pulling it off him. They clawed at each other’s clothes until there was nothing but the feel of skin on skin. Dex trailed blazing kisses down Sloane’s body, his fangs grazing Sloane’s skin sending a shiver through him.

“Fuck. Dex.”

“Funny, because all I hear is fuck Sloane.”


#TeaserTuesday - 9/6/16 Disarming Donner

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! This week's #TeaserTuesday is from Disarming Donner, the 5th book in the North Pole City Tales series which is due out in Dec. Enjoy!

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“I know you disagree, Cupid, but this is a terrible idea. Having a Dockal—”

“Calder,” Cupid corrected politely. “His name is Calder.”

Donner summoned patience. How could Cupid not see? “Very well. Having Calder under the same roof as Jack Frost is a terrible idea.”

Cupid blinked up at him innocently. “Jack was the one who offered his home for my training.”

“Yes.” Donner lowered his voice. “So that he could keep a close eye on Calder.”

“Excuse me, but I can hear you,” Calder stated, his smooth voice a deep rumble. “Turning away from me doesn’t stop me from still being in the room.”

Donner spun on his heels and glowered at the ridiculously tall elf. Honestly. What elf needed to be so blasted tall? Or wide. Or… square jawed. “Then stop listening to a conversation that doesn’t concern you.”

Calder arched an eyebrow at him. “You’re speaking about me, so it concerns me. Greatly. This whole encounter concerns me greatly.”

Donner bristled. “Just what are you implying?”

“You’re a perplexing elf.”

“And you’re… you’re very… tall. And irritating.” Donner wanted to smack the amusement right off the infuriating elf’s face. His eyes were also very unsettling. As if staring into them for too long might cost Donner his immortal soul.

Calder nodded slowly. “I see.”

“No, I don’t think you do.” Donner marched up to Calder, then jabbed a finger against his chest. Plum pudding, that hurt! He discreetly pulled his hand behind his back to shake it off. Was the elf made of granite? “Mayor Kringle might have thought it a jolly good idea for you to train Cupid, but you shouldn’t be here. And I don’t mean here in Jack’s palace—though you clearly shouldn’t be here either—but in North Pole City. No good can come of it.”

Instead of getting angry, Calder leaned forward, his smile wicked. “It would seem, my little dear, that you could use some bad in your pristine and perfect life.”

Donner’s jaw dropped. He sputtered madly. “How dare—what did you call me?” He turned to Cupid. “Did you hear what he called me?”

Cupid bit down on his bottom lip and nodded. Was that amusement in his eyes? The traitor! Donner spun back to Calder, unaware the elf had moved closer. They were practically nose to nose. Donner retreated swiftly, tripping over his own feet and letting out a squeak as he fell. A strong arm caught him midfall, and Donner stared up at Calder.

“Everything all right in here?” Rudy asked as he walked into the room, Jack at his side.

Donner gasped. Trust the Prince of Frost to catch him in a compromising position with a Dockalfar. Not that he would ever do anything remotely compromising with this beast. Of course Jack and Rudy didn’t know that. Oh, the gossip would be terrible!

“Take your hands off me, you cad!” Donner swung his book, letting out a yelp when the arm around him disappeared, and he hit the carpet with a thud.

“Donner!” Cupid ran over to help him up. “Are you all right?”

“No thanks to him,” Donner seethed.

Calder shrugged. “You asked me to release you.”

“Have you no manners at all?” Donner scrambled to his feet and quickly straightened his clothes before running a hand through his hair. He glared at the smug Dockalfar. “Perhaps treating others in such a manner is acceptable in whatever dark cave you crawled out of, but out here, where elves are civilized, we do not go about manhandling others and dropping them on their backsides.”

“Oh?” A wicked smile spread across Calder’s face. “I’m intrigued. What do you do with their backsides?”

Donner’s jaw went slack. “You… you….” He waved his book at Calder. “You, sir, are reprehensible!”

“Better reprehensible than a prude,” Calder replied pleasantly.

“All right, that’s enough,” Jack reproached them. “What’s going on in here?”

Cupid stepped in front of Calder, as if his tiny elf frame was any match for Jack Frost. His trust in his brother was admirable, if not sadly misplaced. The elf was deplorable.


#TeaserTuesday - 10/4/16 Disarming Donner (North Pole City Tales, Book 5)

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! This week's #TeaserTuesday brings us an excerpt from Disarming Donner, book 5 in the North Pole City Tales series which is due for release in December. Enjoy!

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Where was everyone?

“Perhaps we can find a way to amuse ourselves until the others arrive.”

Donner’s cheeks burned, and his heart fluttered most awfully. He spun on his heels and found himself face-to-chest with Calder. Swallowing hard, he lifted his chin. It wasn’t right for an elf to be so tall, or so… broad and muscular. Calder smiled, and Donner’s heart fluttered again. How very annoying.

Calder moved his arm, and Donner took a quick step back. He was surprised when Calder held out his hand.

Donner blinked up at him. “What are you doing?”

Calder nodded toward the empty ballroom floor.

“I’m not dancing with you.” The very nerve. As if Donner would do such a thing. It would require him holding Calder’s hand and getting… close.

Calder shrugged. He put one hand to his chest and held the other out before he began to dance and sway. Plum pudding. The elf had gone mad. Calder smiled as he danced, his large stature not impeding his easy grace in the least. Donner would never have suspected the elf to possess such flair. It was difficult not to watch him, and even more so to appear indifferent. Not when Calder waltzed around him. The orchestra began to play a soft melody, and Donner cursed under his breath. Were they trying to be droll?

“Join me,” Calder said.

“No.” Donner folded his arms over his chest. Absolutely not. Dance with a Dockalfar? Absurd. He could just hear the gossip now.

Seemingly unperturbed by Donner’s refusal, Calder began to sing.

Oh for the love of holly. He sings too? Calder sang in a smooth baritone that did the strangest thing to Donner’s skin. He didn’t like it one bit. He especially didn’t like it when Calder sang about Donner’s eyes and the stars.

Calder danced closer, his voice low and dripping with honey. “Dance with me.”

“I’ll do no such thing.”

“Afraid I’ll sully your reputation?” He stopped behind Donner and murmured in his ear. “Or afraid you might like it?”


#TeaserTuesday - 10/18/16 Thick & Thin, THIRDS Book 8

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday brings us an excerpt from Thick & Thin, THIRDS Book 8 which is due for release in February. I know you're thinking, hold on a bleeding minute! I thought Seb and Hudson's book was book 8? What kinda gummy bears has Charlie been snacking on? Tasty ones. Actually, after a chat with my publisher, we decided it made more sense to number Thick & Thin book 8 despite it being a novella. The reason for this is because it follows the series timeline just like the other books, and the plot ties into the next book: Seb and Hudson's book (now book 9).

If we didn't make Thick & Thin book 8 then there was a chance it would get lost in the retailer shuffle, and readers might miss this important little novella. Keeping all the main series books numbered and in order will mean no one misses any important plot points or story. So nothing has changed in the schedule, the book numbers have just shifted because Dex is a diva and we all know what happens when he doesn't get his way. We're lucky the books aren't named after gummy bear flavors.

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Dex smiled at his dad as he made his way over to the bed. He took a seat in the armchair beside it. “Listen, Dad. I know you want to be cool like the rest of Destructive Delta, but this wasn’t necessary.”

“So getting shot isn’t a prerequisite for your team?” Tony frowned. “Damn, must have missed the memo. Also, I was the king of cool when you kids were in diapers.”

“I’m going to have to disagree with you. Ash was never a baby. He was spawned grown and grumpy. Also, we’re going to have a discussion of your definition of cool, because your wardrobe choices in the eighties tells me your view on the topic might be a little skewed.”

Tony chuckled, and Dex’s chest tightened. He looked down at his hands. “Let’s not do this again, okay?”

“Come ’ere.” Tony held out his arms, and Dex stood and moved over to sit on the edge of the Therian-sized bed, then leaned in to hug his dad, his head coming to rest on Tony’s shoulder.

Dex shut his eyes tight, refusing to think about what could have been. Every day his team dealt with the possibility of losing someone they cared about. He couldn’t go down that path.

“You two are such dorks.”

Dex chuckled. With a sniff, he wiped away a rogue tear before sitting up. He let out a laugh at his brother’s bedhead. “The only dork here is the one I’m looking at. Nice do. Didn’t know you joined A Flock of Seagulls.”

Cael touched his hair and groaned, then ran his fingers through it. “They’re releasing Dad in a couple of days.”

“I don’t know why they can’t release me today,” Tony grumbled. “I’m fine.”

“I know, right?” Dex held back a smile. “I mean, I don’t understand how that bullet just didn’t bounce off you, what with you being indestructible and all.”

Tony huffed. “Smartass.”

“I think the doctor just wants to keep him here so he can flirt with Dad some more.” Cael wriggled his eyebrows, and Dex gasped. His lips curled into a wicked grin.

“Is that so?” Dex turned his attention to his dad. “Is he cute?”

Tony refused to answer, so Cael answered for him. “He’s a tiger Therian. I have dubbed him Dr. Scotty the Hotty. He’s Scottish, by the way. His hair is amazing.”

“Ooh. A sexy ginge.” Dex put his hand out and received a high-five from his brother. “Nice one, Chirpy.” He winked at his dad. “Bet he looks great in a kilt. And he’s a doctor. Wow. That’s a nice profession, isn’t it? Helping people, healing them.” He paused and held his dad’s gaze. “Bet he’s the real honest type too.”

Tony barely blinked, his gaze never wavering. Clearly he hadn’t told Cael about Sparks. “Bet he is,” Tony said pleasantly. “Speaking of secrets. There something you wanna tell us?”

Touché, Father Mine. Dex nodded. “You’re right. There is.”

Cael gasped. “You’re pregnant.”

Dex arched an eyebrow at him. “Really?”

“Sorry,” Cael said with a laugh. “I’m running on chocolate bars.”

Tony laced his fingers over his stomach, his lips pursed. “Your brother’s going to tell us how he singlehandedly killed the asshole who shot me.”


#TeaserTuesday - 11/8/16 Soldati Hearts, Book #2

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday is actually supposed to be last week's #TeaserTuesday. I was out of town and had edits due and so it completely slipped my mind. I'll be sure to stay on top of it. Next week's will go up as scheduled. Here we have a snippet from the first chapter of my current work in progress, the second Soldati book, which is Toka and Rayner who appear in The Soldati Prince which is out November 21st from Dreamspinner Press and now available for pre-order from Amazon, ARe, and B&N as well. Enjoy!

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When I catch you, you’ll have to give me anything I desire.

Toka wasn’t prepared for the silky words, and he faltered, his paw catching on a rock, sending him tumbling. Oh, sugar! He changed to his human form and sat up, eyes narrowed when a familiar shadow stretched over him. A hand appeared before his face, and with a groan, Toka accepted, slipping his smoky colored hand into the fairer one on offer. It was large and warm, enveloping Toka’s. Cheeks flushed, Toka was pulled to his feet.

“You cheated,” Toka mumbled pitifully.

Rayner’s amber eyes sparkled with mischief, his husky laugh sending a shiver through Toka. Why did the man have to be so darned handsome?

“Perhaps,” Rayner admitted, placing his hands to Toka’s waist as he edged closer then walking him back against a tree. He smelled wonderful. Of sandalwood, juniper, and cedar with something else mixed in, along with a scent unique to Rayner, one Toka would know anywhere.

“What… is it that you desire?” Toka’s breath hitched as the black of Rayner’s eyes spread, leaving slivers of molten amber. Rayner’s proximity was doing awfully naughty things to Toka’s body, especially when Rayner eliminated the distance between them, his knee between Toka’s legs.

“You’re trembling,” Rayner said, his sinful lips inches from Toka’s temple, and his breath hot against Toka’s skin. He brushed the back of his fingers down Toka’s bare arm before bringing them to rest under his chin, tilting his head back.

Oh, goodness. Toka swallowed hard. His eyes widened slightly, and his lips parted when Rayner dropped his gaze to Toka’s lips.

“What I desire, my little fox, is a kiss from those sweet lips.”

“Anything,” Toka breathed, curling his fingers into Rayner’s sleeves. He loved the way Rayner eclipsed Toka’s slighter frame. The breadth of his shoulders was impressive, leading to an expansive chest with muscular arms hidden beneath the billowy black sleeves from the shirt he wore beneath the chestnut colored jerkin. His thighs were powerful, his calves strong and sheathed in leather black boots. Rayner exuded more than strength, power, and confidence. He radiated an inescapable sensuality, one others couldn’t help but gravitate toward when he was close.

“You shouldn’t make such promises.” Rayner brushed his lips over Toka’s. “I have a very wicked imagination.”

Tokay whimpered, making Rayner chuckle. “You’re teasing me,” Toka said with a huff, turning his head away. Rayner took hold of his chin, and turned his head back to meet his gaze.

“Oh, but I’m very serious, my little fox.”


Copyright © 2016 Charlie Cochet. The Soldati Prince published by Dreamspinner Press.


#TeaserTuesday - 11/15/16 The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts, Book 1)

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! Today we have an excerpt from my upcoming release The Soldati Prince which is out on November 23rd! It's currently available for pre-order from Dreamspinner PressAmazonKindleAll Romance eBooks, and Barnes & Noble. I just submitted the second book which is Rayner and Toka, along with more from Riley, Khalon, and the Soldati Realm.

2016Divider

Around them the birds chirped and Riley smiled when he saw some squirrels playing. Soon some other furry little creatures joined in. A group of rabbits appeared, heading swiftly in the same direction. Did rabbits travel in packs?

“Um….” Riley caught up to Rayner. “Quick question.”

Khalon let out a heavy sigh. “Your questions are never quick. And here I thought I might have a moment’s peace.”

“Your charm continues to astound me,” Riley drawled before turning his attention back to Rayner. “Are the animals in this forest always in such a hurry?”

Rayner stopped. He sniffed the air and narrowed his eyes, peering into the woods. He turned and gave Adira a nod. She leaped into action, darting off into the woods while Ezra took off in a different direction. That didn’t bode well.

“What’s going on?” Riley asked, a chill spreading through him. He didn’t like this. Something was wrong. There was a distant roar and Rayner’s eyes widened. He grabbed Riley’s arm.

“Run!”

Before Riley could ask, the sun was swallowed in darkness, or so it seemed. A thick fog rolled into the woods all around them and Khalon pulled Riley between him and Rayner as they sped down the trail. The fog became so thick Riley couldn’t see what lay two feet ahead of him. He trusted Rayner and Khalon not to run him into a tree.

A horrifying shriek resounded before it multiplied into several more, followed by two familiar roars. Riley’s heart was ready to beat out of him. He didn’t need to be told what was behind them. The tattoos on his arm burned but he ignored it, too horrified by the noises coming from within the fog. He could barely see a thing, and as much as he hated to admit it, he was scared shitless. Whatever number of demons had shown up in the alley last night was nothing compared to what was after him now.

“Khalon, what’s happening?” Riley asked as he did his best to keep up with the warriors on either side of him. He really needed to lay off the cake. If he survived he’d have to remember to thank Tura for the boots because his sneakers—and feet—wouldn’t have survived the jagged rocks and harsh terrain of the woods. An icy wind whipped in his face and his lungs ached from his heavy breathing, but he continued to push himself, his boots kicking up dirt and pebbles as he raced down the path.

“There’s a village not far from here,” Khalon informed him. “Straight ahead. Whatever you do, don’t look back, and don’t stop.”

Despite what Khalon might think, Riley wasn’t an idiot. He had no intention of stopping until he either ran out of ground or collapsed from exhaustion. Amazing how the threat of being killed by demons unlocked a level of athleticism Riley never knew he had.

The noise intensified and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Something was close. He could feel it. Like it was clawing at his soul. His chest got tight and it suddenly became harder to breathe. What the hell? Was he running out of steam already? He wasn’t that out of shape. His lungs burned and he felt dizzy. No, this was something else. His vision flickered, and when a strange pulse erupted from his chest, he got scared and cried out.

“Khalon!”

Riley didn’t know why he called Khalon’s name, but when the world around him spun off its axis, his vision growing dark and his legs giving out from under him, he was relieved and grateful Khalon was there to catch him.

 

#TeaserTuesday - 12/6/16 The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2)

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! This week's Teaser Tuesday is a snippet from the second Soldati Hearts book The Foxling Soldati which was just contracted by Dreamspinner Press! The first book, The Soldati Prince was just released on November 23rd, and you can find out more about it here.

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“You look ridiculous.”

Rayner blinked at Adira as she joined him in the corridor on the way to Khalon’s study. He smiled sweetly. “And a good morning to you, countess. Why am I ridiculous this time?”

“Don’t call me that,” she groused. “You’re smiling like an idiot.”

Rayner chuckled. “It’s good for the soul. Perhaps you should try it sometime.”

Adira released the most indelicate, unladylike snort. “The moment I start smiling like that, I’ll hang up my sword.  You and Khalon are worse than fledgling Soldati. One smile from those pretty boys, and you’re stumbling over yourselves.”

Rayner shrugged. “What’s wrong with smiling? Or pretty boys?”

“Nothing is wrong with either. Smiling is fine, in moderation. There are times I wonder if Khalon has lost his senses.”

“It’s called being in love, Adira.” Had his dear friend ever been in love? He couldn’t recall her ever speaking of it, much less displaying any signs of amorous affection toward any male or female Soldati, or anyone else for that matter. No, wait, there had been that one time during the Soldati Summer Solstice Festival where Rayner had spotted Adira tucked behind one of the tents kissing a stunning Soldati warrior with silky dark skin and the most incredible gold/green eyes he’d ever seen. What was her name? Fiorentina.

Adira’s eyebrows shot up near her hairline. “Are you telling me you’re in love?”

Rayner puckered his lips as if to kiss her. “Why? Would it make you jealous?”

“Not even if you were the last Soldati in the realm.” She narrowed her steel gray eyes at him. “Are you?”

“The last Soldati in the realm?”

Her exasperated sigh was music to his ears. “You exhaust me.”

“Did Fiorentina exhaust you?” He wriggled his eyebrows, and the scandalous expression that crossed her face was too much. Rayner threw his head back and laughed. Teasing Adira was always such fun. Not nearly as fun as aggravating the hell out of Khalon, but still quite fun.


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