Good morning, wonderful readers! It’s Day #9 of ZAM’s Twenty-Five Days of Giveaways! Today, we’ve got a special guest joining us! Please welcome Charlie Cochrane! Up for grabs for lucky readers today are two wonderful prizes! We’ve got an audiobook code for Blue Fire by ZA Maxfield and an eBook copy of Wild Bells by Charlie Cochrane!
But first, we’ve got a guest post from Charlie about what she’s thankful for! So check it out and enter the giveaway after!
Now be thankful
In an extraordinary coincidence, just as I sat down to write this post about things I’m thankful for, the Fairport Convention song, “Now be Thankful” has come on my playlist. So I’d better start by saying how grateful I am to serendipitous things – and to ZA for letting me come and take part in her event. The third thing I’m thankful for is this whole time of the year.
I’m like the worst sort of overexcited child about Christmas. It begins when I buy lots of things in the January sales to go away for next Christmas, goes onto “simmer” mode through the summer and bursts forth again in November. The Cochrane household is already full of: presents bought, wrapped and hidden away; cards written and ready to post; Christmas songs being sung by me and youngest daughter at annoyingly loud volume and other seasonal delights.
The Christmas lights have been turned on in our local town Romsey, and we’re looking forward to the late night shopping event there, which has lots of wonderful events happening in the past. Alas they no longer have the event where you can drink mulled wine while sitting in a 13th century hunting lodge and listening to madrigals, but you can imagine how magical that was.
We all have special memories of this time of year, moments that we wish we could bottle up to get put and relive again. Going to a carol service at a 1000 year old abbey, listening to the bells ringing out on a starry night. Enjoying the smell of pine needles on the tree or mince pies in the oven. Finding Sage Derby and Red Windsor cheeses in the shops!
But there are also stories that go into family legend, like the year my mother-in-law had to hide the gin bottle because of overindulgence by all present on New Year ’s Eve. And then she couldn’t find said bottle the next day! The younger Cochranes have been known to eat so much at Christmas dinner that they have to lie down on the floor before they can even face pudding.
And I guess every family has its traditions, things that are unique to it. When I think of my childhood Christmases my first thought is always of my aunts and uncles playing nine-card brag with a kitty set at a halfpenny a game. I wonder if my girls will always remember the obligatory spout everyone has to have with Christmas lunch, whether they like the things or not, or the traditional quiz that marks the gap in the meal while the pudding cooks?
There’s a huge amount of pressure in the media to have a “perfect” Christmas, with all the gourmet cooking, homemade decorations and stressful razzmatazz that involves. But, for me, the perfect Christmas features family and friends and the sort of magical moments money can’t buy. Now be thankful? I always will be.
Wild Bells – Two stories by Charlie Cochrane
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?
Find it on Amazon!
About Charlie Cochrane
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.
She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, Lethe, MLR, and Riptide. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames and is on the organising team for UK Meet.
To sign up for her newsletter, email her at email@example.com, or catch her at: