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... ;)

Swanky Sunday

Hello all! Today I'm a guest over at Juniper Gray's blog where she'll be interviewing me over a cup of tea or two, and asking me all about life in the dirty 30s and the handsome heroes from my upcoming release: The Amethyst Cat Caper. Why not drop on by. We'll put the kettle on for you. The Amethyst Cat Caper blurb: Two years ago, Remington Trueblood left England and everything he held dear, all for the chance at a new life. Now the successful owner of The Purple Rose Tea House in Manhattan, 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! 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 just committed one. As a Pinkerton’s, Hawk always gets his man, and when 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? Or will the Gentleman Thief get his hands on more than just the Amethyst Cat? From a quirky antique shop, to a high-society tea house, The Amethyst Cat Caper is a delightful little romp through 1930s New York. Whether you prefer tasty tea or steamy java, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy! Fancy learning a little more about Hawk and Remi? Come on over!

Swell Saturday!


Hello guys and dolls!

Today I'm being interviewed over at Dawn's Reading Nook where I'm being asked all sorts of nifty questions about everything from bad boys and perfect gentlemen, to inspiration and my favorite authors. Here's a tiny taste:

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I love places that are rich with history, where you can still find evidence of times long gone. I also love places of tranquility. I’m big on that. I think because we can get so little of it these days. I also love the snow. Okay, so that’s like, three things. There isn’t one specific place I’ve always dreamed of going, but I think I’d like to stay in a log cabin in some snowy mountains somewhere. Where you can walk out your door with a cup of coffee and just stare off into an endless sea of white. Preferably with a handsome mountain man to make me hot chocolate and keep me from getting eaten by wolves.

Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

Ooh, that’s a tough one. From my three current stories, if I had to choose, I’d say Bruce Shannon. Shhh, don’t tell the other fellas! He’s wonderfully complex, but you would never know by looking at him. Tough, rugged, spends a good deal of time in his own head, grumpy, sarcastic,  and despite his views on humanity, always strives to do the right thing, even if the line between good and bad are a little blurred in his world.

Why not drop by Dawn's Reading Nook for the rest. You can ask your own questions or just say hello!

Guys Like Romance, Too!

Happy Friday!

Today I'm a guest over at Guys Like Romance, Too! where I'm sharing a sneak peak of When Love Walked In and giving folks a little insight into Bruce and Jace, and why I wrote about them! Drop by for a little chat or leave a comment. We'd love to have you!

Also at Joyfully Jay, another lovely review for When Love Walked In.

I have to say that I am so wonderfully pleased that even folks who don't normally read historical are enjoying When Love Walked In. I know sometimes readers can feel daunted by the genre. Heck, sometimes I feel that way, too! I like to be accurate with my facts, but History isn't the only star of the show. I hope that when folks pick up my stories, they not only find themselves immersed in that world, but drawn in by the characters and what’s happening to them. Hopefully folks will have as much fun reading about these fellas, I had writing them! 
Just under two weeks until my second release The Amethyst Cat Caper is out, and I'm terribly excited and equally nervous! The final proof has been sent off and soon I'll get to see my shiny new cover! Stay tuned for more on that!
Tomorrow I'll be interviewed over at Dawn's Reading Nook. We chat about inspiration, visiting other periods, bad boys, gentlemen, and more! I believe there's even a mountain man thrown in there somewhere!

Valentine's Blog Hop results!

Wow!! What an incredible turnout! I have to say that I have been blown away by all the wonderful folks who've dropped by!

Thank you all for making my first blog hop such a success, and I assure you, there's plenty more fun events and giveaways to come, so stay tuned!

Now onto the winner...

Actually... since my first hop went beyond my expectations, thanks to you folks, I've decided that there will be a 2nd and 3rd place, both who will win a free e-book copy of When Love Walked In and a bookmark!

To make it fair, I assigned folks a number in the order they posted and used random.org to generate 3 numbers.

1st place goes to: June M! Congratulations June! I'll be sending you an email to confirm where you'd like your gift card, e-book, and bookmark delivered.

2nd place goes to: Nancy

3rd place goes to: Erica

Nancy and Erica, I'll email you to confirm where you'd like your e-books and bookmarks delivered.

Thanks again to everyone who participated. So many handsome heroes. We had everything from strong and sensitive alphas, to kilt wearing highlanders, smart and sexy geeks, firemen, doctors,  true gentlemen, tall, dark, and brooding fellas, vikings, detectives, and pirates. Just the thought has me feeling faint! If your number didn't come up this time around, have no fear. As I said, there's plenty more fun to be had. 

During the month of March The Romance Reviews will be having their 1st year anniversary party and there will be loads of fun games to play and hundreds of prizes to be won.To see participating authors and publishers, just click on the banner on the right. I'm one of the participating authors and one of my prizes will be a free copy of my upcoming novella, The Amethyst Cat Caper. (More info to come on that soon). Hope to see you there!

x Charlie x

4 Star review from Speak Its Name!

When Love Walked In has received 4 stars from Speak Its Name and I couldn't be more pleased!

...it’s highly enjoyable, well-grounded in its period, written in a cinematic way that will make you relive the gritty days of the 1930′s depression and a solid little story.

Read the full review here: http://speakitsname.com/2012/02/08/review-when-love-walked-in-by-charlie-cochet-short-story/

As any new (or veteran) author will tell you, reviews are something that have us quaking in our shoes. I know it certainly does me! See, I LOVE the twenties and thirties. These periods fascinate me, and although my research is never ending, I enjoy learning all I can about these eras long gone.

My biggest worry about taking on historicals, was in regards to getting the feel of it right, as well as the voices of the characters, of the men who lived in a different time with a very different way of thinking. Not only do I hope that readers will enjoy themselves when they read my stories, but also that they'll feel immersed in the world these men live in, in their lives. 

When you love something, you want to do right by it. I know I still have a lot to learn and I'm certain mistakes will be made along the way, but I plan to learn from them and hopefully improve. From the comments I've received (which I'm very grateful for), it's clear I'm on the right track, which is what a newbie like me needs to know. I'm thrilled to see people responding to the characters I love so much and to know they're getting drawn into the period.

If you've read the story, feel free to drop me a line to tell me what you did or didn't like. I'd love to hear from you!

The Amethyst Cat Caper is out the 29th of Feb. As the title suggests, it's more of a caper/adventure than a gritty detective story, but lots of fun! With gentleman thieves, stolen Egyptian artifacts, and plenty of handsome heroes!

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

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