A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose by Charlie Cochrane

Standard

 

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being handed a mystery to solve. But why would anybody murder a man with no enemies? And was it murder in the first place?

I’m always so thrilled to see another Jonty and Orlando mystery be released from Charlie Cochrane.  It means I get to go back and spend my time with those deeply in love Cambridge Fellows I have come to adore over a series of stories that span 20 years of their lives together in approximately Edwardian England.

While the earlier stories follow a rigid timeline, the later tales are more fluid so I never know where they might fall along the 20 some span of years so far.  Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose sees them in their later years, post WWI,  where the effects of that war is still raw, on them and England.  Both men still bear the scars of service, inside and out.  And as this story is to prove, they are far from the only ones.

There are so many things I admire about Charlie Cochrane’s writing and this series.  For one, its authentic, from the language down to the accoutrements of the people at every level of society you see within the stories.  And not once will it every feel anything but completely natural and easy (as opposed to a knowledge dump).  You become immersed in the times, first pre-war England and then all the horrors of  WWI, the very first war of devastating impact with chemical weaponry and  more.  We see it all through the eyes of Jonty and Orlando, Jonty’s family, and the extended “family” they have gathered together at St. Bride’s College, where they have taught all these years and met.

Then, there are the characters, no people, you have come to love over the series of stories.  Its not just Orland Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart, but everyone that Cochrane has created as foundation characters, including the Stewart family and the St. Bride’s College staff, from the head of the college right down to the men who take in the luggage and keep the grounds proper.  Not to forget the housekeeper at their cottage or the detectives they work with.  Nope, all real.  And when over the course of the years, some die, as the intrepid Mr. and Mrs Steward did, how I wept with loss.

So you can imagine, jumping into a new mystery is like coming home again.

Here Cochrane has come up with a doozy of a murder mystery. A man is hit by a car but his wife is convinced it was murder.  It kept me guessin with layers upon layers, surrounded with the poignancy of the survivors and the ever  deepening ramifications from WWI upon people and place.  Stepping up is Jonty’s sister and brother in law to help with the mysteries (yes, multiple) as well as the crew from St. Bride’s.

But the best?  Being gently swung back into the loving, long-established relationship of Jonty and Orlando.  It now has all the hallmarks of a couple who knows each other so well they answer for each other,  the adoration for each other, for each other’s intellects  to their aging bodies is cellular that it glows off the page.

How I love them and this series.  Its one of my heartstones of fiction and one I always recommend.  Now I have another story to add to my recommendations.  Love historical fiction and romance?  Pick up Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose by Charlie Cochrane.  I hope you are familiar with all of the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, of which this is but one.  Gather them all up and hold them close.  They are true gems!

Cover art: Alex Beecroft.  Love the cover.  Works perfectly for the story and its charming.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 104 pages
Published March 19th 2018 by The Right Chair Press
Original TitleLessons in Chasing the Wild Goose
ASINB0791HH4VB
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Cambridge Fellows

Release Blitz – Beholden by Kris T Bethke (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Length: 42,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Written Ink Designs
 
Publisher: JMS Publishing
 
Blurb
 

Julian Thomas made the unpopular decision to become Beholden and focus his magic only on scrying. Because of it, he’s the best at his job and the top scryer for the Department of Extranormal and Magical Affairs. Which why Investigations Agent Wes Caldwell goes right to Julian for help locating a missing person.


When Wes needs to use his magic to boost Julian’s, they find a magical resonance between them that quickly leads to more. Julian doesn’t want to move too fast, but Wes knows Julian is it for him. He’s fine with waiting, as long as Julian stays close as they work through it.


But then Julian falls ill, and it’s clear there’s a magical reason. Wes will stop at nothing to find out what’s plaguing Julian, and when they realize just how deep the plot goes, they have more questions than answers. Magic is increasing in the world, and no one can figure out why. Julian and Wes have found love, but will it be enough to get them through what’s to come?

Excerpt
 

“Better?” Wes asked eventually. “Feel more centered and focused now?”


I nodded. Then I sat back a little so I could see his face. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and tucked my fingers down the collar of his dress shirt, not wanting to lose too much contact with his skin. “Yes, thank you.”


“First things first,” Wes said, his voice all business and his face serious. “Are we bonded?”


I sucked in a breath, surprised he’d made that leap. But he had to know that we weren’t. If we’d made a bond, even an unintentional one, he would feel the pull as much as I did. “Of course not.”


He just nodded his head, like that was the answer he expected. “But you feel better when you’re touching me. When you can pull on my magic to augment your own?”


I released a sigh, and couldn’t quite stop myself from snuggling just a tiny bit closer. I shrugged one shoulder. “Yes. Like I said, your magic fits with mine. So it’s easy and natural to use you as a source. I’m sorry about that.”


He glared at me like I had said something stupid. “Don’t be ridiculous. There’s nothing to apologize for. It’s not like you did it on purpose. Right?”


That last bit was said with just a tiny bit of accusation. I tried not to be offended. “No, I didn’t do it on purpose.”


Wes just squinted at me. “So then, we have to figure out what’s going on with you, what’s pulling on your power. Until then, you just need to stick close to me so I can keep you stable.”


I gave an indignant huff. “That’s hardly practical. We’ve both got jobs to do. You seriously can’t expect us to stay in each other’s pockets because I have a little sense of fatigue. You’re getting a little extreme there, buddy.” I tried to pull away from him but he held me fast, and gave me a look that I couldn’t quite interpret.


“You’ve got someone else that can keep your magic and your energy up?”


“Well, no,” I answered honestly. I’d never met anyone whose magic fit so well with mine. “But that doesn’t mean you can just drop everything and keep me stable. That thought is just-” I cast about for a suitable word and finally settled on, “preposterous.”


Wes just gave a snort, sounding amused. “I can do whatever I want. And I don’t want you lying in bed barely able to function. That serves no one. So you’ll just have to be ‘in my pocket’ until we can figure it out and fix you. There has to be some magical means at work here. And I am an Investigations Agent. I’ll investigate.”


His tone was playful, cajoling, and I wanted to smile, but this was too serious. We barely knew each other and, my crush notwithstanding, he couldn’t just drop everything to take care of me. He wasn’t making any sense.

 
Author Bio
 

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.


Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristbethke

Giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

RELEASE BLITZ – Rising Tide: A Changing Tides Novel by Bryce Winters (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Rising Tide: A Changing Tides Novel

Author: Bryce Winters

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Resplendent Media

Genre/s: MM Contemporary Romance

Length: 73,000 words

It’s a standalone story. The first book in a trilogy (The Changing Tides Trilogy)

Blurb

The rising tide brings storms…

Harris Brewer has seen it all – and cut it open. As a cardiac surgeon, he’s used to challenges, used to surprises. But when he’s slapped with a high-profile malpractice suit the last thing he expects is to get shipped off to a tiny Oregon town to ‘let the lawyers handle it.’ Then he sees a big blonde hunk jogging down the street and realizes that maybe a hot vacation fling is just what the doctor ordered…

The rising tide brings change…

Never get involved with a tourist. That’s been Reid Colburn’s policy and it’s served him well. They come, bring their money, and leave. That’s good enough for his restaurant business – and his heart. But this new guy in town, he’s something else. Reid can’t deny enjoying the relentless flirting. Too bad Dr. Stud is just passing through…

The rising tide erodes the past…

Despite being careful to avoid it, Reid finds himself on the brink of falling in love. They both knew this was a temporary thing, so why does it hurt so bad when Harris going back to Los Angeles becomes the inevitable reality? Maybe Reid shouldn’t be fighting against the tide. Maybe he should just ride this stormy affair to wherever it leads…

Buy Links

Author Page Amazon US

Author Page Amazon UK

Goodreads 

Excerpt

Reid left Harris to peruse the menu, refreshing drinks and chatting with other customers. But even while he remained busy, his attention stayed hung up on the newcomer. By the time he came back around to Harris, the man was staring at him again, chin resting in one hand, the other drumming a simple rhythm on the bar. Reid smiled at him, ignoring the swooping sensation in his stomach.

“What’ll it be?” Reid asked.

“Since I liked your first recommendation, I thought you could give me another,” Harris said, a suggestive smile playing on his lips.

Reid knew Harris meant something off-menu. Preferably in a bedroom. Reid also knew he should shut this down now. It had gone on too long already. He plastered on a distant but friendly smile and said, “Fish ‘n chips. We use rockfish, which has a richer fish flavor if that’s what you’re looking for. Cod can be a little bland. We have cod, too, if you’d prefer.”

Harris pushed the menu toward Reid, all traces of his flirtatious behavior gone. “That sounds good. The rockfish.”

Reid kept the smile on his face, though a hollow ache had suddenly bloomed behind his stomach. Disappointment. In himself for not going along with Harris’ suggestive behavior and letting himself have a little fun. He was surprised to find that he wished he had given a different answer, that maybe the night could have taken a different turn for both of them. He resisted the urge to try and salvage it, to flirt back with Harris.

“Coming right up,” Reid said instead, heading toward the kitchen.

Julie’s kitchen was on top of it tonight, and Harris’ order came up quickly. Harris ate in silence, though Reid felt the weight of those incredible eyes. They held a sad mystery in them, one that Reid wanted to discover. But Reid had his hands full with drink orders and customers at the bar, the night picking up rapidly. The Irish drinking songs had already begun in the dining room, much to Sasha’s chagrin.

“These men know nothing,” she groused. Reid laughed. Sasha had immigrated from Russia only a short time ago. Reid didn’t know much of her past besides what Sasha had been willing to share. He knew she used to be a ballerina, but she remained stubbornly closed-lipped about the rest. Including the family she left behind. Her thick accent threw a lot of customers off at first, but she was generally friendly unless you said the wrong thing to the wrong person.

“They’re still paying customers, Sasha,” he said as she hefted another heavy tray full of beer.

She muttered something in Russian as she wandered off. Harris snorted and laughed at his end of the bar.

“She’s got a mouth on her,” he said.

“You understood that?” Reid asked, curious.

“Yeah,” Harris said, finishing off his beer. Reid noticed that his plate was empty, with only a used lemon slice and a little bit of tartar left in its bowl.

Reid’s curiosity and interest in the man ratcheted up ten-fold. It had been hard enough to convince himself to stick to his principles without Harris proving to be even more interesting.

Instead of asking Harris how he knew Russian or even what Sasha had said like he so desperately wanted to, Reid gathered Harris’ plate and took it into the back. Then he printed Harris’ tab and slid it his way with an easy smile.

“I hope you enjoy your stay in Seaside,” he said and left Harris to it, though every ounce of his being screamed in protest as he walked away.

A few minutes later, well after Reid had watched Harris slip out the door without so much as a wave goodbye, Sasha picked up Harris’ receipt and let out a sharp curse in Russian. At least, Reid had always thought it was a curse. She said it a lot. Reid abandoned the drink he had been pouring and made his way to Sasha’s side.

“What is it?” he asked, looking over her shoulder. Then he choked on air as surprise shot through him.

Large loopy letters spelling out one-thousand dollars resided on the tip line.

About the Author  

Bryce Winters lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two crazy cats. 

She’s a professional tutor by day, writer by night, and loves helping students achieve their goals. When she’s not writing, Bryce enjoys crocheting ridiculously large blankets and reading all the romance she can get her hands on.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Goodreads 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 2x $10 Amazon gift cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions