charlie_cochrane: (lil audio)
Just once have I written about blokes who don't like Valentine's day - in Horns and Heroes.

“You write the answers in, and I’ll read them and try to look intelligent.” Alex’s eyes twinkled.
Why weren’t there any blokes like this on the Cattlebridge Primary Governing Body, with brown eyes lively enough to make the interminable meetings worth sitting through?
“Deal. They’ll give us an answer sheet later, anyway.” Jamie scribbled down some key words, just so it wasn’t obvious that his mind wasn’t on the questions.
“I don’t think they’ll let me have one, punishment for sneaking in late.” Alex smiled again.
Jamie filled in some more answers, trying hard not to write “Do not flirt” on the page.
charlie_cochrane: (Lessons for survivors)
Then hie thee over to The Romance Reviews and answer the question to be in with a chance. Lots of other goodies to be won, too!
charlie_cochrane: (old time winter)
Horns and Haloes came out for Valentine's Day 2014. It had originally been subbed (in a much shorter form) for the RNA anthology - it made the long list, at which I was delighted, although not the final cut.

It was the first story in which I wrote about an aspect of my 'other life' which I know well. School governance. I have to say, I don't think I ever encounter school governors as 'hot' as the two I featured here, so maybe this book should be labelled fantasy?

Excerpt:
Next morning, Jamie was first into the training room, stifling yawn after yawn.
Not his best night’s sleep. There’d been a phone call from work—problems on the plant that he needed to be aware of—that had spawned both a handful of further communications and waking at four in the morning worrying that he’d be called in today and not get to see Alex again.
Alex.
He’d been the other root cause of sleeplessness. The book. The wink. A dozen little things Jamie had noticed through the day that might mean something and might equally be nothing more than a mare’s nest constructed around his wishful thinking.
Why did romance—especially in its early, budding, “does he fancy me or doesn’t he?” stages—have to make you feel so nauseous? He put his papers on the table and wondered whether he could sneak a cup of coffee before the fun began.
“You look worse than I felt after the dentist.”
Jamie almost jumped out of his chair. How—and why—had Alex snuck up so quietly?
“Nervous, with it.” Alex grinned.
“Sorry.” Jamie tried to compose himself and not keep looking at the left side of Alex’s face, which seemed a bit swollen. What would that feel like to kiss better? “Problems at work. I keep thinking I’m going to have to go in and sort them out.”
“Oh, that would be a shame, to miss out on the practice interrogations, I mean,” Alex added, just a touch too quickly.
“Yeah. I’d hate to miss today. May be my last chance, to practice, before next month,” Jamie said, trying to convey about a dozen different messages in his tone of voice and the look in his eye.
“And there was me thinking you were wondering who’d sent you that mystery Valentine.”
“What mystery Valentine?” What was Alex talking about? Surely the bloke hadn’t somehow managed to sneak a card through Jamie’s door, and he’d missed the bloody thing?
“Hey, I was only joking. Sorry.” Alex looked mortified. “You mustn’t have slept well. I’ll keep my stupid jokes to myself.”
“No, you’re all right. I just need to dose myself up with caffeine, and I’ll stop being an ogre and become my usual miserable self.” That definitely counted as fishing for compliments. He hurried on. “I can’t get the worry I’ll be called in out of my head.”
“Turn your phone off, and tell the people at work you had no signal. Somebody else can cover, can’t they?” Alex slung down his briefcase and jerked a thumb in the direction of the cafeteria. “Right. That coffee.”
charlie_cochrane: (best corpse)
Feeling a bit like that. Got a pile of things to do but think I'll sneak off and watch a bit of Time Team. I blame the weather; or maybe keeping my powder dry for launch of Best Corpse on Monday. (Which reminds me of all the governor stuff in my 'to do' pile. Ho hum.)

Shall console self with thoughts of Horns and Haloes and the sort of governors who never turn up when I;m leading a Selection course!

And don't forget to enter the Christmas thriller giveaway. Got to be in it to win it and all that.
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Then hi thee over to Elisa Rolle's. You can comment there or on her LJ.
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Am delighted to be Sue Brown's guest over at UK gay Romance today. Come and comment to have a chance of winning.

In other news, spring has sprung here. I have my mini skirt on. :)
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
"Knowing if you should or should not dunk your biscuit in public is still a very English thing to worry about, and I loved its mention here. I also enjoyed the wordplay humour."

I love reviews that "get" my writing. Read the rest at Prism Book Alliance. And if you comment at the site in March, you're in with a chance of winning some books!
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Don't forget that my question goes live tomorrow, over at the Party Event Page at The Romance Reviews. As they say, you have to be in it to win it...
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Over at Mrs Condit Reads Books.

"Horns and Haloes is an engaging sweet and fun short read, very English in its subtle lightly done humour."
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
One of the things which came out of the “What Readers Want” panel at last year’s UK Meet was more books with everyday heroes. Have been blogging about that idea over at Tempeste O'Riley's. Do drop by and give me your thoughts on 'everyday' type leading men.
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Have been answering all sorts of interesting questions over at Prism Book Alliance. What did I listen to when I wrote Horns and Haloes? Which, if any, characteristic of Jamie or Alex do you see most in myself? Come and comment for a chance to win.
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Delighted to see Horns and Haloes on sale.

What do you do when finding a new boyfriend is like conducting a job interview?

It's Jamie's idea of torture---a training course about selection and interviewing and on February the fourteenth! Everybody's going to be full of romance and he'll be playing gooseberry as usual. When Jamie finds himself sitting next to the gorgeous Alex, who seems to hate the day as much as Jamie does, will he turn out to be the ideal candidate for the vacant position of boyfriend?

Here's a snippet (another one tomorrow!):

Who’d want to be a school governor? No pay, little thanks, plenty of red tape. And yet they’d all volunteered to be on this course. Altruistic. Or gluttons for punishment. And on Valentine’s Day, just to rub things in.
“So just work with the person next to you.”
The tutor’s words brought Jamie back to the present with a bump. Work with the person next to you to do what?
“I hope you know the answers because I’m stuck.” The bloke next to Jamie — Alex, according to the hand written sticker on his shirt — grinned and brandished a worksheet.
“I do, but only because I’ve done this bit before, on another course.” Jamie returned the smile.
“You write the answers in, and I’ll read them and try to look intelligent.” Alex’s eyes twinkled.
Why weren’t there any blokes like this on the Cattlebridge Primary Governing Body, with brown eyes lively enough to make the interminable meetings worth sitting through?
“Deal. They’ll give us an answer sheet later, anyway.” Jamie scribbled down some key words, just so it wasn’t obvious that his mind wasn’t on the questions.
“I don’t think they’ll let me have one, punishment for sneaking in late.” Alex smiled again.
Jamie filled in some more answers, trying hard not to write “Do not flirt” on the page.
What point would there be in flirting, anyway? Alex was bound to be married, with two kids in school and one more to come. Typical parent governor. The handsome ones always were.
charlie_cochrane: (horns)
Lovely to see Horns and Haloes already listed at ARE. Proper launch day on Friday.

What do you do when finding a new boyfriend is like conducting a job interview?

It's Jamie's idea of torture---a training course about selection and interviewing and on February the fourteenth! Everybody's going to be full of romance and he'll be playing gooseberry as usual. When Jamie finds himself sitting next to the gorgeous Alex, who seems to hate the day as much as Jamie does, will he turn out to be the ideal candidate for the vacant position of boyfriend?


And guess what I'm doing this evening, weather allowing? Yep, training school governors on this very subject. (Selecting a headteacher, not hot men getting it on!)
charlie_cochrane: (awfully glad)
And very nice it is, too, very in keeping with the storyline.

Horns_and_Haloes_1_16_2014

BTW, I can assure that very few school governors are as fit as these lads (or the lads in Horns and Haloes!)
charlie_cochrane: (awfully glad)
Most of you will know I do some freelance training for school governors and have always been struck by how high feelings can run when you get into governance. I was determined one day I'd use this as a setting and, in my usual "like buses" way, I have two stories this year with governors involved.

Horns and Haloes will be out on 14th February from MLR.

It’s Jamie’s idea of torture - a training course about selection and interviewing and on February the fourteenth! Everybody’s going to be full of romance and he’ll be playing gooseberry as usual. When Jamie finds himself sitting next to the gorgeous Alex, who seems to hate the day as much as Jamie does, will he turn out to be the ideal candidate for the vacant position of boyfriend?

Here's a snippet:

“I hope you know the answers because I’m stuck.” The bloke next to Jamie—Alex, according to the hand written sticker on his shirt—grinned and brandished a worksheet.
“I do. But only because I’ve done this bit before, on another course.” Jamie returned the smile.
“You write the answers in and I’ll read them and try to look intelligent.” Alex’s eyes twinkled.
Why weren’t there any blokes like this on the Cattlebridge Primary Governing Body, with brown eyes lively enough to make the interminable meetings worth sitting through?
“Deal. They’ll give us an answer sheet later, anyway.” Jamie scribbled down some key words, just so it wasn’t obvious that his mind wasn’t on the questions.
“I don’t think they’ll let me have one. Punishment for sneaking in late.” Alex smiled again.
Jamie filled in some more answers, trying hard not to write “Do not flirt” on the page.
What point would there be in flirting, anyway? Alex was bound to be married, with two kids in school and one more to come. Typical parent governor. The handsome ones always were.
charlie_cochrane: (awfully glad)
They all come along at once. Horns and Haloes features a pair of red hot school governors. The sort I never seem to get on my courses...

Love these banners/icons for UK Meet c/o Clare London and Lou Harper. Don't forget that the early bird discount offer ends at the end of January.

7959239
charlie_cochrane: (awfully glad)
I'm not sure if it's thrilling or scary to look in the diary and see all sorts of events coming up, not least book launches. Awfully Glad will be on sale very soon (watch this space for buy links) and also there's another release in the pipeline, of which more anon.

I'll be guest author at Kayelle Allen's group and blog next Wednesday, and over January and February I'll be popping up all over the shop. Before then, I'm taking part in Angel Payne/Tara Lain/Kay Berrisford's New Year Kisses party.

I picked up a copy of Is Heathcliff a Murderer? in a second hand book store. Read it, enjoyed it, but it's not a keeper. Will send free to a good home.

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