Category - News

Nifty News for a New Year!

Well, it's the start of a brand New Year, and what a start it was!

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email account on the 1st to find Dreamspinner Press expressing their interest in The Auspicious Troubles of Chance. I was absolutely thrilled! And so, my second novella is now in production!

The Auspicious Troubles of Chance is a Historical Romance that spans the life of Chauncey "Chance" Irving, a troublesome young man trying to escape his past, and in an effort to do so, is set on a path that leads him to the middle of the Sahara and to Captain Jacky Valentine.

Jacky is big, strong, ruggedly handsome and—when he’s not turning purple from his claustrophobia, too cheerful for his own good. He has no personal boundaries, has a devilish sense of humor, and is too charming for Chance’s liking. Not only does Chance have to deal with the very new and disturbing feelings Jacky seems to be triggering within him, but soon he has to deal with the man’s unofficially adopted brood: three misfit youths Jacky’s taken under his wing, all of whom are just as grumpy and broken as Chance.

This is the story of a young man clinging on to hope and finding the will to move forward toward a future where he can not only become the man who he knows is buried deep down inside, but where he can find the love and family he thought he would never have again.


Also coming soon, from the wonderful people at Torquere Press is my first novella:  The Amethyst Cat Caper.

Two years ago, Remington Trueblood left England and everything he held dear, all in the hopes of leading the kind of life he never would have been permitted had he remained under his tyrannical father's rule. Now the successful owner of The Purple Rose Tea House, Remi has come across the perfect addition to his business: a stunning amethyst cat. But Remi's acquired something else with his latest purchase: the attention of the notorious Gentleman Thief, who not only seems to have an interest in Remi's cat, but in Remi himself!

Pinkerton's Detective Stanley Hawk doesn't know the first thing about tea. He's strictly a java kind of guy. What he does know, is crime, and someone's committed one. Hawk has every intention of getting his man, and as his investigations lead him straight to Remi, never have truer words been spoken. Can Remi and Hawk resist each other long enough to figure out who the thief is and what the heck is going on?

From a quirky antiques shop, to a high-society tea house, to the rainswept streets of Chinatown, The Amethyst Cat Caper is a fun romp through 1930s New York, so put the kettle on or grab yourself a cup of Joe, and enjoy!

The release date is TBA, but will be near the end of Feb. I'll be putting together all kinds of fun promotional items for its release, so stay tuned!

Coming February 1st, 2012 from Torquere Press!

When Love Walked In 
A Valentine's Day Sip

Bruce Shannon is a Private Investigator dealing with case after case of missing persons and infidelity. None of which inspire warm, fuzzy feelings during the week of Valentine’s Day. Then again, Bruce isn’t exactly a fuzzy feelings kind of guy, which suits him just fine. He doesn’t need anyone anyhow, only his cat, Mittens. That is, until the handsome Jace Scarret wanders off the street and into Bruce’s life. Will Jace end up showing Bruce that maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so lousy after all?

Sneak Peak:
Unaware of Bruce's ogling--thank goodness, Jace set a plate of toast on the table.

"I hope you don't mind, but I thought I could thank you by making you breakfast. I didn't know what you liked, so I made a little bit of everything."

"You made all this?" Bruce asked, dumbfounded. He was pretty sure all he'd had in his refrigerator were a few eggs, a meager block of cheese, and a few strips of bacon.

"Yes. I hope you like it."

Jace poured them each a cup of coffee and joined him at the table. The first bite was enough to make Bruce melt. My god, the man could cook, unlike Bruce who had nearly burnt the place down once attempting to boil an egg.

"Where have you been all my life?" he moaned, enjoying another forkful. He glanced up and nearly choked on his eggs. Whatever reaction he'd expected, it sure wasn't the one he received. Jace was staring down at his plate, his cheeks a bright pink. It occurred to Bruce that there was something he'd like for breakfast far better than eggs. To make matters worse, when Jace met his gaze, it was all too clear the guy was happy to be that something. That couldn't happen. The poor fellow had enough problems without adding the complications of a tumble in the sack. Besides, the last thing he wanted was for Jace to think Bruce expected something from him after all.

Clearing his throat, Bruce turned his attention back to his breakfast. "This is really good. Thanks."

"Oh, uh, sure." There was a hint of disappointment in Jace's voice, but Bruce figured it was for the best. Definitely. Probably...

Join me February 1st for chats and vintage fun at the Torquere Press blog: Romance For the Rest of Us  

Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart!

Well, it's official. My first story When Love Walked In is out today! Woot! I'm so excited and incredibly nervous. It's being sent out to lots of reviewers and I'm quaking in my... uh, converse!

Thus begins my journey into the world of the published author. Join me over at the Torquere Press blog where I'm chatting about my new release, the dirty 30s, detectives, and more!

Happy Wednesday!

Read more about When Love Walked In here.

Events Coming Soon...

How doth the little busy bee...
And busy it's been! Ever since my debut story: When Love Walked In was released less than a week ago, all sorts of fun and exciting things have happened!

I've had some of my very first reader reviews over at Goodreads and I'm so pleased to see folks enjoying it.

February 8th: Erastes' review for When Love Walked In will be up on Speak Its Name this wed!

February 11th-14th: The Valentine's Day Blog Hop will be passing through here. Drop by for a chance to win some nifty stuff. Click on the With Love banner to your right to find out more.

February 17th: Look out for Joyfully Jay's review.

February 17th: I'll be guest blogging over at Guys Like Romance, Too! We'll be chatting about When Love Walked In, Valentine's Day, and I share a little about Bruce and Jace, and why I wrote about them.

February 18th: Join me over at Dawn's Reading Nook where I'll be a guest. We'll be talking about everything from inspiration to bad boys, perfect gentlemen, and more!

February 19th (this week. date tbc):  Juniper Gray has invited me over for a chat about my two releases, writing in the 1930s, inspiration, and what's coming next!

February 25th: Come join the release party over at The Romance Studio where Torquere Press and their authors will be taking over.

February 29th: My novella: The Amethyst Cat Caper is out! Join me over at Torquere's LiveJournal for a chat!

As we get closer to an event, I'll post reminders. It would be lovely to see you there! If you'd like to see upcoming months, check out my Event's Calendar on the sidebar. If you'd like to drop me a line, you can email me or drop me a line via the contact form, also on the sidebar. I'd love to hear from you!

x Charlie x

About Book Covers, My Shiny New Cover and Thoughts On...

My very first official cover...
is in and it's so pretty and purpley! As it should be, considering the title and the story. I have to say that the folks over at Torquere did a lovely job and I'm so pleased with it!

Finding the right stock photos, especially for a story set in the 1930s is not easy. Believe me, I've searched through hundreds! It gets even harder when you're trying to find a fella who somewhat resembles the character you've got in your head. In this case, Remi, my smexy Englishman.

The process...
When I was asked what kind of cover I wanted, only one thing filled my head: ????? Terribly naive, I know, but as a newly published author, I spend most of my time with my head immersed in my characters' worlds. I had no idea what the production process of a book entailed, only that it was most likely quite a lot. Boy, is that an understatement!

Suddenly, I had to think about everything. Formats, Marketing, Mood, Tone, Time Period, Symbols, Character, Color, Settings, Aesthetics, and more. Did I go with the kind of covers I liked? Did I go with man nakedness? Somewhere in the middle? Did I want a photo cover? Yes. Animated? No. Did I want to see the model's face? Not in this case. For some covers, it works. Personally, I prefer to use my imagination to 'see' my characters, and I know many readers do too. Though, I'm not opposed to it if I see the right model and image that makes me go 'that's him!' while releasing a sigh and my eyes get that glazed, starry look in them. Did I want both fellas on the cover or just one? This time I decided on one. But which one? Remi or Hawk? Well, seeing as the whole caper sort of starts because of Remi, I went with Remi.

I had to try and find an image that could capture the mood of my story, that felt 'right'. I had to offer the art department as much info as possible, and I tell you, I inundated those poor folks with information, links, photos, and descriptions, the whole while asking myself if it was too much or too little.

My thoughts...
During my search, I went through hundreds of images, typed in scores of keywords. It was tough. I knew that no matter what I chose, somewhere, someone wouldn't agree, and you know what? That's okay. What I enjoy, someone else may not. When it comes to book covers, in m/m just as in m/f, there will always be a difference if opinion. Though with the m/m genre growing as it is, the question of what makes a great book cover is often on peoples' lips. Personally, I'm not into the naked, 'man boob' covers. Now, that's not to say they're not hot, or that it turns me off the book. Sex sells, everyone knows that, even those who'd never admit it. Then again, I'm one of those gals who thinks a sneak peak is sexier than the full monty. I KNOW what's under that towel, and the fact that I know it's there but can't see, is way hotter--and brings all sorts of things to the imagination-- than him just laying it all out there. But that's just me ;)   

The Magpie effect...
I'm an artist and a very visual person. I'm also like a magpie. I get attracted to shiny, pretty things. Certain covers will attract my attention, and get me to read the blurb. I admit that I've often bought a book solely for its cover, because I see book covers not only as a marketing tool, but a work of art, much like the stories themselves. If it's an author I know and love, I'd probably be looking them up anyway, so the cover really is a second thought. 

Remembering Fabio...
I've been reading romance since I can remember. I LOVE romance books, especially historical romance (no surprise there). BUT--here's where I run the risk of possibly getting strangled with someone's corset laces--I hated a lot of the covers to the point where some really put me off. Remember all those books with Fabio on the front? I'm certain they're well-beloved to some people, but it's safe to say, I'm not one of those people. Let's face it. When you're in your teens, awkward, and reading romance, your self confidence is pretty shaky as it is without sitting out in the open with a book showing a half naked Fabio sporting long, windswept hair standing on some cliff top with a buxom lady at his feet grasping his skin-tight leggings.

M/M Romance covers and the great debate...
Now, I'm not embarrassed about the fact that I read romance. I know the stigma it still carries for some. I'm proud to say I read AND write it. If it's a great book with a great premise, the cover won't turn me away. Of course, I'm all grown up now, so Fabio no longer intimidates me. In the romance genre, we still find plenty of ladies clinging onto their muscular males, but what of M/M Romance?

I know there's the question of what readers want out of their M/M Romance, as well as what sells. Erotica versus Sweet Romance? That's a conversation for another day. The fact is, that for some authors, their titles containing covers with more nakedness sell somewhat more than their titles without. So does the nakedness prevail or...? I know in the past year alone, I've seen a growth in the artwork of many new titles, many incredibly stunning. So what's the future of the m/m romance book cover? What do you like to see? What turns you off? Does it really make a difference to you? What's your take on the debate? What do you believe should or shouldn't be on there? It's okay, you can tell me... ;)

Interview, Chats, a Giveaway, and More!

Hello all! I'm a guest over at Joyfully Jay chatting about life in the 1930s, what it was like for gay men during that time, Pinkerton's, my research for The Amethyst Cat Caper, upcoming projects and more!

Win a free eBook copy of The Amethyst Cat Caper! All you have to do is drop by Joyfully Jay and leave a comment! * Contest is open until March 13th, 11:59 P.M. EST *

I look forward to chatting with you!

x Charlie x

This Week's News Round-Up

weekly news roundup

LiAW - The lovely Jen over at the MM Romance Group on Goodreads has updated the titles list for the LiAW event, and I must say it's impressive!

Nearly 125 titles already, followed by the list of characters. I'm happy to say both my title and characters are there. My devilishly handsome heroes you obviously know, as I've already posted about them, but can you guess which title's mine? *insert evil cackle here* Don't worry, Jen is devising a mischievous little game for you all.

Lambda Awards - Congratulations to the wonderful Eden Winters and my fellow Torquere authors for making the finalists list! Check it out here.

♥ MANtastic Fiction - Starting next week March 26, MANtastic fiction kicks off its GayRomLit 2012 Book Reading challenge! This is a pretty awesome thing they're doing and if you're going to GRL especially, you should consider taking part.

The goal is to read at least 1 story from every author attending GRL. Before you start feeling dizzy at the thought of all those pennies disappearing from your bank account, they've taken all that into consideration, so check out the site for all the info! I'm happy to say that I'm on the list! Woohoo! My week is Week 18 – 07/23-07/29

Hopefully by then I'll have even more releases for you to choose from! Stay tuned. Click here to check out the book challenge.

♥ GayRomLit - has put up their list of registered authors. Even if you aren't attending you should take a look, as it's a fantastic way to check out all those swell author websites! Click here.

The Blog Hop Spot - I'll be participating in the Hoppy Easter blog hop from April 6th to April 8th. Win a free copy of The Amethyst Cat Caper, an exclusive bookmark and keyring! More info coming next week!

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