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Friday, July 20, 2012

Shifters in the 1930s? You betcha!!

When Torquere Press put out the call for their latest anthology, Masks Off! I was intrigued and excited by the idea. All sorts of possibilities came to mind at the thought of a masked ball where our hero didn’t wear just one mask, but two. Underneath his human exterior, he hides a much deeper secret.
Now, I loved the idea, but I’m an author of MM Historical Romance. What’s a girl to do? Easy, do both! So I wrote Believe Me, Beloved, a Historical Shifter story set in the early 1930s. In my story, our main hero is not a shifter. In fact, he’s just a regular guy who’s sweet, shy, and just a little bit awkward.
Robert Bradley has been a mail room clerk at Midnight Radio for the last five years, and all he dreams about is getting to sing on the air. Well, that’s not all he dreams about. Gabriel Chase is handsome, the most sought after bachelor in all of Manhattan, and to further complicate matters, he’s also Robert’s boss.
Invited to Gabriel’s glamorous high society ball by the station’s most prestigious singer—Arnold Dressler, Robert has been convinced by the man that this is his chance to impress Gabriel with his singing, but as the evening progresses, Robert begins to suspect Dressler of ulterior motives. Soon things take a turn for the worse and the unbelievable occurs when Robert discovers a secret he was never meant to survive.

"You know my name?" The young man pushed his mask up, revealing a beautiful face, one that Gabriel had made love to in his dreams for what seemed like an eternity.
"Of course I do," Gabriel snapped, moving the mask back down into place. He would know Robert's scent anywhere. All his time and effort spent resisting this particular temptation, only to have it land in his arms. Damn it all. "Why wouldn't I?"
"Well, it's a very big station and with you being so important, I would hardly expect you to remember the name of one mail room clerk," Robert replied bashfully.
"Never mind. What the hell are you doing here?" He hated the crushed look on Robert's face, but it was for his own good. Gabriel knew how careful Robert was, always making certain that when he looked at Gabriel, no one was watching, but Gabriel didn't need to catch those looks. He could smell the desire emanating from the young man's every pore. At times it had been pure torture just walking by him in the halls.
"I was invited." Robert's voice was quiet as he fidgeted, absently tugging at one end of his coat.
"Not by me you weren't." With a deep frown, he swatted Robert's hand away. "Stop that. You'll draw attention to yourself."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…" Ocean-colored eyes became glassy and Gabriel balled his fists at his sides. He knew he was being a complete ogre, but the mere thought that Robert had been deliberately placed in this situation by someone of his acquaintance was enough to get his blood boiling.
"Forgive me," Robert said, standing a little straighter and looking up at Gabriel, those eyes calling to him. "I didn't mean to cause any trouble. Am I… am I fired?"
"What?" Gabriel was surprised by that. Just what kind of man did Robert think he was? Well, considering his current behavior, he couldn't fault Robert for jumping to such a conclusion. "No. Don't be ridiculous."
With a nod, Robert took a step back, his gaze going to the house. "I suppose I should go then."
"Why did you come?" Why was he asking? This was his opportunity to send Robert on his way, to fix things before they could get any worse. Yet, even knowing what he did, he was reluctant to let Robert go. What would become of them? What the hell was he talking about? There was no 'them', and it was better off that way, for both of them.
Robert fidgeted again. When he realized he was pulling on his coat, he stopped, a lovely blush crawling up his neck and cheeks. "I was hoping I could… sing for you."
"You wanted to sing for me?" The thought shouldn't make him feel so goddamn happy, but it did, and he was having a great deal of trouble keeping the dopey grin off his face. He fought himself regardless. It would only give Robert hope. Gabriel had heard from several employees at the station of Robert's beautiful voice, but his concern for Robert's safety always won out, so he maintained his distance. He had even been considering putting in a good word for Robert at another station. Coward that he was, he kept putting it off.
"Yes. Well, I was hoping that perhaps you might let me audition for a spot on one of the programs. I'll start anywhere. I'll even do the sponsors."
Gabriel grabbed Robert's wrist and started for the house. "We have to get you out of here before--" He stopped in his tracks at the sight of Dressler and his brothers heading straight for them. It couldn't be too late. He wouldn't allow it. Spinning Robert, Gabriel pushed him forward. "Move, quickly."
"Is something wrong? Where are we going?" Robert asked worriedly, glancing over his shoulder at him.
"No time to explain, just walk." The scent in the air changed, forcing Gabriel to grab Robert's arm and break into a run. "Run! As fast as you can!" To his relief, Robert didn't ask questions, simply attempted to keep up with him as he sprinted through the garden with Robert in tow. They'd almost reached the end when the wolves descended."
"Oh my God!" Robert gasped. "Where did those dogs come from? Wait, those dogs look an awful lot like--

" His eyes widened and he turned to Gabriel. "What the hell are wolves doing in your garden?"

I hope you enjoyed that little tease! I want to thank you all for stopping by, and a big thank you to Carson for having me!
x Charlie x

Author bio:
Charlie Cochet is a passionate author of M/M Historical Romance who loves to get lost in eras long gone, especially the Roaring Twenties and Dirty Thirties. From Prohibition agents to hard boiled detectives, speakeasies to swanky nightclubs, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Believe Me, Beloved is due for release from Torquere Press this August as part of the Masks Off! Anthology. To read more about this title or Charlie’s writing, you can visit her blog the Cat’s Pajamas or visit her website at Charlie's Website

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me, Carson! For anyone interested, the anthology is out the 1st of August. It was so much fun!