Welcome Charlie Cochrane today

Please give a warm welcome to author Charlie Cochrane today.

Charlie Cochrane’s top ten Christmas things (in no particular order)

1.                 Anything with dried fruit in. Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies. *hyperventilates* I particularly like getting a mince pie, slipping off the lid, inserting a knob of blue cheese, replacing the lid, and warming the pie up. Delicious.

2.                 The Cochrane family Christmas quiz, as supplied by our eldest daughter. This is traditionally done after the Christmas dinner main course, while the pudding is cooking, and is as cut throat competitive as the Olympic 100m final. It has been known for people to try to nobble each other with excess alcohol.

3.                 In the run up to Christmas, helping with the local charity Christmas toy and gift project, putting together packages of goodies for children you’ll never meet but putting as much effort in as though you’ll be there when they open the presents!



4.                 Christmas lights. Whether on the tree or in the shopping centre, they make me go all gooey eyed. There is something magical about them, that takes me straight back to childhood.

5.                 Christmas markets. We’re lucky to have an excellent one near us at Winchester, but I have a particular fondness for the one by the cathedral in Exeter. May have something to do with the amazing quality of the food, including the best spiced nuts in the universe.



6.                 Arthur Christmas. I’ll fight anybody who doesn’t put this among their top ten seasonal films. Such wit, such warmth, such cleverness. And even though I’ve seen it a dozen times I still spot new details in the background. All hail the power of Aardman.



7.                 Animals, animals and more animals. Wherever one goes during Advent, there seem to be our furry friends, just sitting or standing and generally being adorable. From the reindeer who charmed us when we got our tree to the little snoring piglet at the Victorian event, they warm the cockles of my heart.


8.                 Christmas carols, whether I’m listening to them or singing along. I’ve always loved the traditional ones, especially O Come All Ye Faithful, but have recently discovered some newer ones, especially the marvelous works of John Rutter. The Shepherds’ Pipe Carol is stunning.

9.                 Sitting round the firepit with family – on Christmas day – or friends (usually on New Year’s eve) wrapped up in blankets, watching the stars come out and enjoying the chat or the silence equally.

10.            Bells – which is pretty appropriate given the book featuring here. Bells twinkling on the tree, bells tinkling on harnesses, or deeply resounding church bells working through an intricate peal. Especially church bells on a cold, clear night illuminated with stars.




Title: Wild Bells

Author: Charlie Cochrane
Genre: Two m/m historical romantic novellas

Blurbs:

The Shade on a Fine Day
Curate William Church may set the hearts of the parish's young ladies aflame, but he doesn't want their affection or presents, no matter how much they want to give them to him. He has his sights set elsewhere, for a love he's not allowed to indulge. One night, eight for dinner at the Canon's table means the potential arrival of a ghost. But what message will the spirit bring and which of the young men around the table is it for?

The Angel in the Window:
Two officers, one ship, one common enemy.
Alexander Porterfield may be one of the rising stars of the British navy, but his relationship with his first lieutenant, Tom Anderson, makes him vulnerable. To blackmail, to anxieties about exposure—and to losing Tom, either in battle or to another ship. When danger comes more from the English than the French, where should a man turn?

Excerpt:

Benjamin Swann couldn’t sleep at all. Dinner, excellent as it had been, lay heavy on his stomach, while thoughts oppressed his mind. He looked out over the fields, their thick coating of frost resembling snow in the moonlight. He loved winter, the white and grey tones, the clear light and sharp air all helping to bring his life into a clearer focus. Not that it needed to be brought much further into focus after tonight. He wandered down to the library, where a fire was always kept burning low on cold nights. He coaxed it into life, laying another log on, then found his favourite pack of cards, dealing out hands without thinking.
Queen of hearts. He considered the ladies sleeping in houses and cottages all over the parish, lost in dreams of suitors and admirers, then held the pack to his head in an attempt to cool his restless, guilty thoughts.
Queen of clubs. His sister too, not thirty yards up the stairs and along the corridor of the big house, asleep and no doubt dreaming, like the other maids who frequented St. Archibald’s, of a pair of blue eyes and a flashing smile.
Jack of hearts. The only decision William Church could make which wouldn’t disappoint any of them would be the offer of his hand.
Jack of spades. Well, whatever the man chose to do, there would be many a long face in the parish. Everyone with any sense had seen the risk of that eventuality from the moment the curate had arrived and swept the spinsters off their feet, and the likely number of potentially broken hearts seemed to increase weekly.
King of hearts. Only one person could win the man’s lasting affection—Benjamin was sure William was no cad and wouldn’t seek to play the field. Whether he’d be brave enough to go where Benjamin felt his conscience might lead him was another thing.
Joker. Why did life have to be so ridiculously complicated?

Author bio: Because Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her mystery novels include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows series, and the contemporary Lindenshaw  Mysteries. Multi-published, she has titles with Carina, Samhain, Riptide, Lethe and Bold Strokes, among others.
A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie regularly appears at literary festivals and at reader and author conferences with The Deadly Dames.


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