Category - Writing

My Muse and Me Part 2

This is my muse, and yes, he is as much trouble as he appears to be. I know muses are meant to inspire, and in his own--at times infuriating--way, he does. I don't try to understand him, and it's best I not engage him head on, because he'll usually get his way. When he doesn't, he makes that mopey face in the hopes I'll cave in. I usually do.

Whenever I think I've got enough on my plate, he shakes his head, gives me that devastating smile, and softly urges me to take on something else. I love him yet want to strangle him with his own suspenders.  Maybe I need the tight deadlines, maybe I've just lost my marbles. Either way, it's never a dull moment!

What I'm working on this month (that I know of):

Time is Eternity submission for Dreamspinner Press
♥ Story for the Love Is Always Write event
♥ Bruce and Jace's novel (Bruce's PoV)
♥ Eros and Edwards story (see more here)



Upcoming events:

♥ Great interview and giveaway at Joyfully Jay this Friday, 9th of March.
♥ My day over at The Romance Reviews Anniversary Party Saturday, 17th of March. Head on over any time this month to win lots of great prizes! (You must be registered and logged in to enter).


x Charlie x

St. Patrick's Day Special

st patricks day love

As a special treat, a little St. Patrick's Day gift to you. I've written a little holiday special with Bruce and Jace.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bruce and Jace, they are the protagonists of my Valentine's Day Sip, When Love Walked In which takes place in Manhattan, New York, 1933, and tells of how the two met.

Blurb: 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 streets and into Bruce’s life. Will Jace end up showing Bruce that maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so lousy after all?

♣ ♣ ♣

Endearing Young Charms - a St. Patrick's Day Special by Charlie Cochet

“Bruce!”

There was no reply.

"Bruce?” Jace knocked cautiously on the grumpy detective’s office door, all the while wondering what on earth the man could be doing in there. It had been a slow day, so Jace knew there weren’t any clients, nor were they working any cases at the moment. With any luck, Bruce was finally getting somewhere with the previous month’s expenses. He knew how much Bruce hated paperwork, but it had taken Jace over a month to undo the damage done to Gladys’ pristine filing system. The man had a talent for disorder.

After Jace’s request, Bruce had growled at him, stomped into his office, and slammed the door, but soon it was clear that the detective was indeed working on the expenses—made evident by the sheer amount of cursing that had been expelled. However, that had been hours ago, and Jace had begun to get rather concerned, especially since he’d been attempting to get Bruce’s attention for the past fifteen minutes now.

Walking to the outer office door, he locked up. He didn’t need any clients walking in while Bruce was in the middle of one of his colorful outbursts. With that done, he went to Bruce’s office and quietly let himself in.

“What the—” Fuming, Jace marched over to Bruce’s desk, his arms crossed over his chest as he glared at his boss, and lover. “What are you doing?”

Bruce sat with his legs propped up on his desk, his sleeves rolled up to the elbows, tie crooked, a dime novel in one hand, and a glass of whiskey in the other.

“Reading,” he murmured, without looking up.

“That much I gathered,” Jace replied through his teeth, somehow managing to summon patience. “Is that what you’ve been doing for the last three and a half hours? Reading a dime novel?”

That earned him a frown, but Bruce didn’t bother looking away from his book to do so. “Don’t be a bunny. It doesn’t take me that long to read one of these. This is my third.”

“Your…” Jace gaped at him before his gaze shifted to the archive box on the desk. It was filled to the brim with balled up pieces of paper—Bruce’s preferred method of filing. Jace picked one up and held it out to Bruce, who casually took a sip of his whiskey as he continued reading. “How am I supposed to sort out the expenses if you keep turning your invoices into something the Yankees could use for practice?”

Receiving no reply, he opened his mouth to begin another bout of scolding when there was a faint rustling sound. For a moment, he thought it had come from the box. Leaning in, he peered at the sea of wadded up foolscap. Suddenly, they attacked him. With the manliest of yelps, Jace jumped back, his hand flying to his chest as he attempted to get his pulse back to a normal level. “Jesus Christ! What the hell is that?”

Gingerly, he approached the box to get a better look. As soon as his finger touched the cardboard edge, a white paw swooped out and batted it. “For crying out loud! Mittens!”

“Oh yeah, I forgot.” Bruce put his book down and grinned up at him. “She crawled in there about an hour ago. Don’t know what the hell she’s been doing in there, but she’s obviously enjoying it.”

“Well, at least one of you is doing something with these invoices. Shame it can’t be the one capable of dialogue,” Jace grumbled, wishing he could stay mad at Mittens, but as the only thing visible was her pink nose poking out from under all that paper, he couldn’t help but forgive her. Bruce on the other hand…

“Dialogue is overrated,” Bruce grumbled. “Besides, you’re wrong about Mittens.” He rapped his knuckles against the box. “Sweetheart, talk to Jace.” As instructed, Mittens began to meow. Jace was unimpressed—with Bruce anyway, and arched an eyebrow at him.

“What? It ain’t her fault you can’t understand her.”

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Jace closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. He wondered how Gladys had managed. One thing was certain; the woman deserved a medal or sainthood. “Bruce, you are not leaving this office until you at least make some headway on these invoices.”

“Nope.” Bruce stood and started rolling down his sleeves. Swiping his cufflinks off the desk, he handed them to Jace, who was so taken aback by Bruce’s response that he took the cufflinks without a second thought. Had he missed something?

“What do you mean ‘nope’?” Jace asked dumbly, as Bruce extended an arm out to him. Granted, Bruce was the boss, and although most of the time he griped about things, when Jace had a valid point, Bruce usually gave in.

“I mean nope. I’m done for the day. And so are you.”

“I am? We are?” He fastened Bruce’s shirt cuff then started on the other. “But it’s the middle of the afternoon.”

“It’s St. Patrick’s Day,” Bruce declared with a big grin that had Jace’s stomach filling with butterflies. How was it possible for the man to be so excruciatingly frustrating, yet terribly irresistible at the same time? And the worst part was that Bruce was completely aware. Despite his arrogance, Jace couldn’t keep himself from melting under the man’s gaze. He quickly shook himself out of it.

“So?”

“You obviously ain’t Irish,” Bruce muttered, allowing Jace to straighten his tie for him before he walked to the coat rack, put on his suit jacket, and picked up his overcoat and hat.

“What does that have to do with anything?” He was still confused. Not an unusual state for him to be in where Bruce was concerned.

“We’re going to go celebrate.”

Jace’s gaze went to the half empty bottle of whiskey on the desk before it shifted back to Bruce, who narrowed his gaze. “There something you wanna say?”

“Nope.” Jace shook his head for emphasis.

“Wise guy.” Walking over to the desk, Bruce tapped the side of the archive box. “Sweetheart, it’s time to go home.”

Mittens leapt out of the box, sending balled up invoices in all directions. After being deposited on Bruce’s shoulder, the two followed Jace into the outer office where he picked up his own overcoat and hat.

“You spoil her too much,” Jace muttered as they left and he locked up. Mittens had to be the most pampered cat in all of Manhattan. Not that he was jealous or anything.

“She deserves to be spoiled,” Bruce replied, scratching Mittens under her chin. As they walked out of the building, Bruce was still smiling, which was rather unusual for him. Was it because it was St. Patrick’s Day? It wasn’t as if the man didn’t drink at all hours any other day. What was so special about today? “Come on,” Bruce added. “We’ll drop Mittens off and then head to McBride’s. Corned beef and cabbage is on me.”

Jace followed quietly along and in no time they were at Bruce’s apartment. He waited in the living room as Bruce dropped Mittens off and disappeared into his bedroom. When he came out, Jace couldn’t keep the dopey grin off his face. Bruce was sporting a green tie. Further to his surprise, Bruce handed him a similar one.

“I have a tie,” Jace said, looking down at his own less ostentatious one.

“You don’t want to go in there and not be wearing green. Believe me.”

Not entirely sure what Bruce was getting at, Jace removed his tie and replaced it with the new brighter one. Having been a bank clerk, his ties had usually been restricted to black, gray, or deep blues. He had to admit, he was a little tickled that he was wearing something of Bruce’s—even if it was a little garish. It was silly, he knew, but it always made him feel somewhat closer to Bruce whenever he had the chance to wear something of his. It reminded Jace of when they’d met.

“What’s with the face?” Bruce asked, ushering Jace toward the door. “You’re not jealous of Mittens are you?”

How was it that Jace never had any clue as to what Bruce was thinking, but the man could read him like an open book? Not that Jace had any intention of admitting as much. “Who said I was jealous?”

“Your bottom lip,” Bruce replied, poking at it softly and sending a shiver up Jace’s spine. “It juts out whenever I’m not paying you enough attention, and you get all mopey like a puppy.”

That brought a raised brow from Jace. “Well someone certainly has a high opinion of himself.” Doing his best to keep his wanton thoughts at bay, he made to open the door only to have Bruce smack his hand against it and shut it. Jace pulled on the doorknob to no avail. “Do you mind? What on earth has gotten into you?”

“I’m more concerned about what needs to get into you,” Bruce replied, his voice low and throaty. Jace’s cheeks flared up as Bruce leaned into him, his lips inches away.

“Must you be so crude?” He hated the tremor in his voice, but it couldn’t be helped. It had been days since they’d been intimate. Bruce had been busy working cases, which usually meant he was in a foul mood, and Jace was still learning when to initiate contact or leave him be. Bruce Shannon was a conundrum. One Jace had yet to figure out.

“Am I insultin’ your delicate sensibilities?” Bruce asked, his arm wrapping around Jace’s waist and his hand finding its way to his backside. He gave it a firm, sudden squeeze, drawing a gasp from Jace.

“Um… no,” he managed feebly, uncertain of what to make of Bruce’s bold move. “I thought you said we were going to celebrate?”

“Are you complaining?” Bruce asked, and started to draw away.

In a bout of panic, Jace grabbed Bruce’s jacket and crushed their lips together, thrilled by the deep, slow moan that escaped Bruce. Jace’s kiss was returned with exceptional enthusiasm and he had to admit to nearly sighing when Bruce’s strong arms enveloped him in a tight embrace. Their kiss grew more ardent and needy, until they were forced to come up for breath. The lust in Bruce’s eyes was enough to make Jace go weak at the knees.

“Forget the pub,” Bruce said gruffly, as he all but tore off Jace’s clothes. “Let’s celebrate here.”

Jace was hardly about to argue, and even if he had anything at all to say on the matter, it was gone the moment Bruce had him stripped down to only his shirt—having given up by the third button. He grabbed Jace, hauled him off his feet, and pressed him against the door, using his weight to hold him there. With his legs wrapped around Bruce’s waist, Jace swiftly went to work undressing his lover as much as was physically possible from his position. His hands took advantage, running all over those hard, delicious muscles. There were kisses, licks, bites, and plenty of grinding coming from both of them.

Bruce pulled Jace away from the door and precariously carried him into the bedroom, dropping him onto the bed with a bounce. As he pulled off his tie and flung it somewhere across the room, followed by the rest of his clothes, he paused to sweep his gaze over Jace.

“God damn, you are somethin’ else.”

“You know,” Jace purred, his fingers tracing a line down Bruce’s chest. “I can see myself really enjoying St. Patrick’s Day from now on.”

“Less talk, more celebrating,” Bruce ordered, kissing Jace to the point of making his toes curl. He wrapped his legs around his lover and gave himself up freely and wantonly. One thing was certain, Bruce had one hell of a way of celebrating holidays.

The End

***

Copyright © 2013 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved

* Thanks, Elf ;)


Lucky 7 Meme


Here are the rules:
1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other authors. (many authors participate voluntarily)

I've seen this Meme going around and it looked like fun. Especially since I could use a little breather. I've chosen to use 2 stories. One from an upcoming release: The Auspicious Troubles of Chance which is due this summer. And for my last story submission, which may or may not be contracted. (fingers crossed!)

Also, I realize there's pretty much nothing up on my site about The Auspicious Troubles of Chance, but that's because it's yet to enter the editing process and I don't really like putting up work that hasn't been looked over by someone, so you'll have to pardon any missing commas and such.This is from page 77 from line 7 and it's 7 paragraphs.

 

A little background info. This scene takes place not far from a fishing village in Agadir (a city in southwest Morocco) where the boys are awaiting their next orders. It's 1925 and our main protagonist- Chance (Chauncey) Irving, is a legionnaire in the French Foreign Legion. Alongside him is the handsome and heroic Commandant Vaillant (Jacky Valentine), and his troublesome trio of teenage misfits: Johnnie, Bobby, and Alexander. Johnnie and Chance don't exactly see eye to eye and Johnnie's had enough of Chance's bad attitude.


“You strut around here like the world owes you a goddamn favor, like you’re the only mug who’s been through hell,” Johnnie growled, his lanky body quaking with anger, his nostrils flaring, and his eyes jet-black. “Well, guess what. You ain’t so special. Look around you. Every other Joe here has trudged through his own personal river of shit just to end up here. So excuse me if I don’t get down on my knees and kiss the ground you walk on, Chauncey.

I was on my feet with a fistful of his greatcoat before he even blinked. The look on his young face, the rage and pain coming off him in waves was too raw, too familiar. I couldn’t stand to see that look anymore.

“You cocky little shit. Who the hell do you think you are? So you’ve managed not to pull the Dutch act, good for you. You don’t know from nothing, so why don’t you just fuck off and go play with your building blocks.”

Johnnie flinched before a cold look of disdain came onto his reddened face and he shoved me away, running off and leaving me rather disappointed. If the kid had pushed me into a fight, I would have been more than happy to give him one. I was riled up, my own anger flaring. What the hell did that scrawny little scrub know about pain? I ran my fingers through my hair just for the need to do something with my hands. I was worried they were shaking. Damn kid knew how to push all my buttons and I was dumb enough to let him. When I sat down, I noticed Bobby was still there, piercing me with those big blue eyes.

“What?” I barked. “You got something you wanna say?”

Bobby seemed to think about it for a second before he shook his head and started to walk after his friend.

“Yeah, I didn’t think so. Goddamn mimes say more than you do.”


Here's the second story, which was recently submitted. It's called Lost In My Waking Dream, and when I followed the instructions to the meme, you get just enough of a teaser. Mwuahaha!Of course with this one I had to choose page 7, as it's a short story and doesn't have a 77! The rest still applies. This stories a teeny bit different from the others, even though it's Historical. More to come soon, but for now, the set up is 1934, Bryant Park, Manhattan. Enjoy!


Oh shit, George. I’m close.

All I could manage was a grunt in response. Sweat dripped down the side of my face and my shirt was sticking to me under my vest. My tie felt too tight and I felt as though I was burning from the inside out. I caught a fistful of that light brown hair and pulled his head to one side, exposing his neck. I kissed, licked, and bit him, hearing his pants and moans.

George, I’m going to come! Please, say it. Tell me what I want to hear.

I heard him cry out and I snapped my hips one last time, hard. “Noah!” His name escaped me alongside my release. Collapsing onto his back, I knew what it was he wanted to hear most. As my breathing slowed, I gently rubbed my cheek against his back, refusing to open my eyes. “I believe you,” I whispered, “and… I love you.” Soft breaths caressed me as I heard him tell me he loved me, too.

After a moment, he stirred beneath me, and I reluctantly pulled away, wincing when I pulled out of him. He set his clothes to right and I did the same with mine. When he turned around—a sad smile on his face—for the slightest instant, it was Noah, and I couldn’t help but touch his cheek.

“Where is he?” Teddy asked softly, his voice shattering the last remnants of my illusion. His was a kind voice, but it wasn’t my Noah’s.

“Somewhere I can’t reach,” I replied, getting a hold of myself before I started to feel any more miserable. I had enough troubles without adding melancholia to my list of ailments.


Yes, I know, that's just mean. But rules is rules! I'll let you all know how both stories get on.

x Charlie x

WIP Wednesday: Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue

Today I'm sharing a little snippet from a short story I'm writing called: Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue.

I'm trying to really find my noir voice with this one. This is just a first draft, no editing yet. It's about a hotel house dick named Humphrey Ralston who meets a young man named Franklin Fairchild.

Franklin has been staying at the Pacific Blue Hotel waiting for his fate to arrive. He knows wherever he ends up, it'll be unpleasant. Not long ago, he escaped from a volatile relationship he'd never intended to have, and after gaining his freedom, he's about to lose it again, only this time, he doesn't feel he can stand the loss.

Humphrey is just coasting through life. He's had enough unpleasantness in his past to last him a lifetime, and believes if he doesn't expect anything from anyone, then he's less likely to be disappointed. The last thing he needs is to get involved with a hotel guest as balled up as Franklin, but the longer he's around the troubled man, the more he starts to realize he doesn't really have a choice.

From Chapter 1


Walking down the deserted hall, I stopped just short of the stone archway and listened. It was a waltz, one of those sweeping, haunting ones that carried memories of a distant past. The kind whose imprint lingered well after its final note had faded, much like the man in the gray, three-piece suit settled on the salmon-colored armchair listening to it. His eyes were closed, long lashes resting on fair cheeks, a smooth angular face with a strong jaw and a good mouth. He was tall, slender, fine looking. The sort of fellow who only stopped in dives like this on his way to something better, except Franklin Fairchild had gotten lost along the way.  His hair was black and neatly styled, his eyes dark and bright as a midnight sky. How did I know about his eyes? I had seen them every night for the last six months.

“Mr. Ralston,” Fairchild greeted quietly, his nice lips lifting slightly on one side. His eyes were still closed, but I knew once they were open, they would be intense and haunting, kind of like that waltz. “Your lurking is distracting.” He opened those impressive peepers and turned his head slightly, his gaze capturing mine and holding on tight. “Much about you distracts me.”

The way his voice subtly dipped in pitch had me taking an interest in the faded blue-green carpet at my feet.
“I didn’t mean to disturb you, Mr. Fairchild. I was just doing my rounds.”

Fairchild gave a soft laugh that crawled up under my skin and made itself at home. He had a nice voice. Lulling, quiet, and in no hurry to get to where it was going, much like Fairchild himself.  

“Funny how your rounds lead you here every night just before two. Worried I’ll skip out on the bill?” He was razzing me, I knew, but it somehow fell flat. My guess was that insomnia wasn’t the only thing keeping Fairchild up at this hour.

“Not really,” I replied, and that was the honest truth. Though if he did try, I reckoned I wouldn’t be too sore about it. That alone should have been my warning to stay away from the mug.

“Just worried then?”

Franklin Fairchild had been here six months, only leaving his room late in the evening after everyone had gone to bed, and then all he did was come downstairs to listen to the radio. He took all his meals in his room, didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t have visitors, and didn’t interact with another soul other than to say the cursory ‘thank you’ when necessary. I seemed to be the exception to the rule. It made me feel kind of responsible. I didn’t much care for that. “You seem like a smart fella, Mr. Fairchild. I’d hate to see those smarts splattered all over the pavement.”

His big, dark eyes widened and his cheeks went rosy in hue. It was a good look for him. Obviously, he didn’t think so, because those nice full lips frowned at me. “I see,” was all he said. He turned his gaze back to the radio, which was now playing a lovely little melody about The Day You Came Along.

How apropos.

“I’m sorry if I offended you.” I realized then how much that sounded like an apology. Aside the fact that it was about as common an occurrence with me as a government tax break, I had no clue what the hell I was apologizing for. I wasn’t the one thinking about taking a swan dive off an eighth floor balcony, passing my misery onto some sap who didn’t know when to leave well enough alone.  Well, that was just ace.

Fairchild stood, his slender frame rising from the chair with all the ease and grace of a dancer. He was about my height and size, without the added bulk. There was the slightest bit of crookedness to his nose, one noticeable only to a mug like me who had suffered from his fair share of them. What I didn’t understand was how a handsome and refined fella like Fairchild had ended up with a broken nose. I was pretty good at sizing people up, finding their angle. It was my job, had been my job once. Six months and all I knew about the guy was what my gut told me. And that was that Fairchild was a man at the end of his rope.

***


LiAW Tease

workinprogressWelcome! Today I'll be teasing you with a little snippet from my LiAW story. I'm afraid the title is still hush hush, but all shall be revealed soon. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this little taste, and if you fancy taking a guess at which title is mine, you can check out the list of titles here.

As far as when stories will become available, Jen has stated that in the next few weeks, she'll be starting the story folder and the pre-threads for all the stories, including the original request/prompt and header data we've provided, as well as genre, word count, tags, and such. Stories will start getting posted in about 4 weeks. 2 per day for about 10 weeks. Awesome stuff.

If you'd like to try and coax a little more out of me (or just want to ogle Harley some more), you can post in the original thread here.

(From Chapter 3)

For a guy Harlan’s size, he moved damned quick. He had a fistful of Danny’s shirt and was dragging him across the room before Nathan had even gotten to his feet. “Harley, wait!” Nathan took off after them. He didn’t know how the hell he was going to fix this; he just knew he had to.

“Get the fuck out,” Harlan growled and all but tossed Danny down the front steps and onto the pavement, where he hit the concrete path hard, accompanied by a string of curses.

Nathan ran out the door and down the steps to help Danny to his feet. “Jesus, Harley. Was that really necessary?” When he received no reply, he looked up and his heart all but stopped. The expression on Harlan’s face was one Nathan had never witnessed from his lover before, and the gravity of the situation struck him like a jolt of electricity. He ran to catch Harlan before he could disappear into the house. The moment he touched Harlan’s arm, his back was slammed into the wall.

“You too.”

“What?” A lump formed in his throat at the anger and pain in Harlan’s eyes. “Harley, please, let me explain.” One minute his lover’s hand was around his neck, the next minute the barrel of a revolver had joined it.

“Get out of my sight, or I swear the next thing you’ll be kissing is the bullet that comes out of my gun.”

Nathan had never seen Harlan like this. There was no telling what he would do if Nathan pushed him enough. When he spoke, he did his best to sound calm. “It wasn’t what it looked like.”

***

Jen has updated the tags. Mine you'll be able to figure out quite quickly. Lol. Now the title. Well, we'll if anyone manages to guess that one! ;)


WIP Wednesday: The Auspicious Troubles of Chance

This week's sneak peak is from my upcoming long novella: The Auspicious Troubles of Chance, which is currently in production with Dreamspinner Press.

This particular story is an emotional tale told through the point of view of the main character, Chauncey Irving, or 'Chance' as he's to be known. There's drama, heartache, humor, romance, and some spicy scenes.

A little bit about it:

Starting in 1934, Chance sweeps us up into his world, one of tribulations, hope, love, and loss. He takes us back in time to his life in the early 1900s where as a runaway orphan on the streets of New York City, he gets everything he's always dreamed of, only to lose it all one fell swoop, setting off a chain reaction that leads him down a dangerous path of vice and self-destruction. With every passing day, his life spirals more and more out of his control until he finds himself enlisting in the French Foreign Legion in the mid-1920s.

In the middle of the desert, he meets the handsome and heroic 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, a devilish sense of humor, and is too charming for Chance’s liking. Not only does Chance find himself having to deal with the very new and disturbing feelings Jacky seems to be triggering within him, but he also has to deal with the man’s unofficially adopted brood: three misfit teenagers 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 onto hope and finding the will to move toward a future where he can become the man he knows is buried somewhere deep inside, and perhaps even find the love and family he never thought he’d have again.



Here's a scene:



(please note this is pre-edits)

At this point I had to decide whether my pride was worth the price of losing a leg, especially since my not listening to him is what had gotten me into this mess in the first place. “Can you help me, please?” I stretched the bag up to him, and braced myself as he grinned broadly and took it from me.

“Of course I can, Hummingbird. That’s what I’m here for.”

“I thought it was to make my life miserable,” I muttered, ignoring the pet name. Did I mention the pet names? Except now he was doing it to annoy me. Also, they weren’t just any pet names. Oh no. This was Jacky we were talking about.

He arched an eyebrow at me as he knelt down, and roughly tore at the cloth around my wound. Opening the bag, he proceeded to take out various sharp looking implements, none of them being the one I wanted most. I jumped with a yelp when he stuck one of the shiny metal forceps into my leg.

“Where’s the M?” I cried anxiously, refusing to believe he was about to do this without giving me anything to numb the pain.

“Sorry, Buttercup. There ain’t none.” He continued to dig around, and I grabbed my leg fiercely, gritting my teeth as newly formed drops of sweat starting dripping down my brow.

“What do you mean there ain’t none?” I felt the color draining from my face as I started to panic. Snatching the bag, I emptied its contents onto the ground. Damn it all to hell, he was right. Everything in the bag was designed to bring me pain, none of it to ease it. What kind of medical bag didn’t have any morphine? I held my leg tightly, the pain excruciating. At one stage, I thought I was going to either black out or be sick. “I’ve changed my mind. I’ll lose the leg.”

“Too late.” He flicked his wrist and the bullet popped out. He caught it, wiped it up, and stuck it in his pocket. I wanted to ask what he was going to do with it, but I was too busy sweating over the sharp, curved slice of metal he'd started threading.

“Shit, you mean it’s not over?”

He shook his head as he started to stitch me up. “You can hardly walk around with a gaping hole, now can you?”

I snorted. “You do, and you seem just fine.”

He tugged at the needle, and I saw stars. “Jesus Christ!” That earned me another tug. “What the hell was that one for?”

“Blasphemy.”

“Since when are you religious?”

“I’m not, but someone else might be.”

I couldn’t believe he managed to say that with a straight face. I wanted to beat the hell out of him. I even pulled back a fist then begrudgingly put it back down with a resigned sigh. If I swung at him, I’d just come off as more of a pansy than I already felt. I probably had about as much strength in me at the moment as a wet noodle. Also, he had sort of helped me out. I suppose. With a hearty pat on the shoulder, he grinned. “Like I said, Snuggle-pup, that’s what I’m here for.” He started to get up and suddenly paused, patting his front pockets with a frown.

“What?” I asked warily.

He pulled out a thin, long metal box, and smiled brightly. “Huh, would you look at that? There was some M after all.”

***

Chance not only has a talent for stirring up trouble, but for rubbing people the wrong way--except for Jacky of course. The man has some unholy, inexhaustible supply of good cheer, much to Chance's annoyance. Of course, even nice guys like Jacky have a limit. Question is, will Chance be the first to push him toward it?


x Charlie x

Getting All My Heroes In a Row

charliewritingHello!  I'm going to share the beginnings of my story bible. When I decided I wanted to make a career out of writing fiction, I did  A LOT of research. I read the blogs, websites, advice columns of other writers who wrote in all genres.

I may be a pantser most of the time with my writing, but everything around it, is incredibly organized. I wanted to make sure I started things off right, so that down the line, I wouldn't be going crazy, sifting through manuscripts trying to remember what fella was from where, what color eyes he had, and who he'd had a past relationship with.

Now, one thing you may not know, but might have had an inkling about, is that the majority of my Historical MM Romance characters live in the same city, within the same time frame, and the reason for that is that I've created my own little gay enclave in New York City. In the 1930s, in New York City especially, the gay male world was very much existent, even if it was hidden. Through certain dress, speech, and communication, gay men could not only identify other gay men, but to do so in safety, and bringing about a thriving gay community. As such, it's common sense to me, that many of my characters would have crossed paths at some point or another in their lives.

Some characters might make small appearances, some might merely be mentioned, and some might have a good deal to do with the plot. Regardless, they're all part of one big timeline. Now, how to keep track of all those handsome heroes, especially when some of their stories haven't been written yet.

Character spreadsheets!

You can click on the image for a larger version. Sheet 1, which is this one, covers physical traits so I can easily go back and check. Here I have the characters together by story. Each story is a different color. It has their age for whatever year their story takes place (the 20s) and what age they are in 1934. Then we've got eye color, hair color, skin, height, weight, and a brief description just for reminders.

These are just the main protagonist and important secondary characters. It's always being tweaked and added to. On Sheet 2, I have the fellas' occupations, who they've had a past relationship with, who they're friends with, and who their love interest is. I haven't put that one up because it has spoilers *grin*.

But an example, Hawk is friends with Bruce (they met years before Hawk met Remi). Hawk talks about him in The Amethyst Cat Caper. Bruce and Joe (whose pie shop Bruce visits in When Love Walked In) are friends, and also used to be lovers *gasp*. That will show up in Bruce's book next. Anyway, Hawk--through Bruce, gets help from Joe, who's friends with Jacky. Jacky is friends with Alexander, who is friends with Chess. Those of you who read The Amethyst Cat Caper, know of Hawk's gift to Remi. Well, that's how he managed it. Hawk's whole attitude toward high society folks, has to do with Maxfield, who's cousins with Edward. Edward is the love interest for Julius, who was in my LiAW story.

Yeah, so you see, I thought it best I get organized now, while there are still roughly two dozen fellas. I love expanding their world and making connections. It's so much fun! I figured spreadsheet would be my best bet, because that way I could move, insert, and easily change things, which wouldn't be as easy if it was all written down. I do keep a printed copy in a notebook, though, for quick access. Any questions, class? :D

x Charlie x


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