Hello all! Thank you so much for joining me on the first stop of my blog tour for The Heart of Frost, book two in my North Pole City Tales series! When I set out to write the first book in the series, Mending Noel, I knew I wanted it to be sweet, but I also wanted it to be a little different. I was listening to holiday music, thinking of all the scents, tastes, and sounds I loved about the holidays, and how I wanted to try and capture a little of that in the story.
An image of a small elf stuck at his desk popped into my head. He was the smallest in his office. Yes, he worked in an office. In fact, he worked in the Abominable Administrative Department, filing invoices. Here’s a snippet:
… It was the only thing he could do that didn’t require some kind of flair or unique talent. He wasn’t creative or coordinated enough to work in Mayor Kringle’s Construction Firm. He didn’t have the ability to make toast, much less possess the skills necessary to work at the candy mills. He wasn’t ridiculously handsome, brave, or special enough to be one of the Rein Dear Squadron—then again, few were. He wasn’t hardboiled enough to be one of the Frost King’s toy soldiers. Heck, he couldn’t even cut it as a Ribbon Curler in the Gift Packaging Plant.
Poor Tim. He spends his time daydreaming of snowier pastures. To make matters worse, his supervisor Noel makes his life miserable. Until one night when Tim and Noel unwittingly overhear a dastardly plot to hurt Jack, the Prince of Frost. With their lives at risk, they get help from the most handsome Rein Dear of all, Rudy — Captain of the Rein Dear Squadron. In this world, presents aren’t delivered by Santa, but by twelve handsome elf pilots.
The moment I introduced Jack Frost and Rudy, I knew they’d have to get their own story, and so the North Pole City Tales series was born. The Heart of Frost takes place the following Christmas, and it centers around the imposing Prince of Frost and the love of his immortal life, Rudy. I had so much fun writing these two. Jack is everything a feared prince should be. He’s also the general of the toy soldier army, and a powerful enchanted spirit, the spirit of winter. He’s ice and blustering winds, gruff and dangerous. I knew his lover would have to be his opposite in every way. Rudy is a Christmas elf. He’s hot cocoa in front of a warm fire with bright red hair. He loves to tease and is always smiling. He keeps Jack grounded, and more importantly, keeps Jack from becoming what he once was. And then something comes along to threaten everything…
At the North Pole, no one is more powerful and feared than the Prince of Frost. As general of the toy soldier army, Jack Frost has been working extra hard to put away the villainous Mouse King once and for all. If that isn’t taxing enough, Jack has to deal with the scandal and gossip brought on by news of his relationship with Rudy Rein Dear, captain of the Rein Dear Squadron, which hit headlines last holiday season. Lucky for Jack, his reputation has managed to deter any foolish attempts to stir up trouble. At least until now.
When someone sabotages Rudy’s plane during a test run a few weeks before Christmas, Jack is determined to find the culprit by any means necessary. The closer he gets to finding answers, the more difficulty he has not falling back to his icy ways. Has the Mouse King stepped up his game in order to throw Jack off his, or is someone a little closer to home behind the attempt on Rudy’s life? Either way, Jack has every intention of delivering a Christmas they won’t soon forget, even if it means losing the newfound warmth in his heart.
Excerpts are serialized and from Chapter 2.
Read Chapter 1 here.
“HAVE I told you how delicious you look in your ceremonial uniform?”
Rudy sat beside Jack on the tufted, red velvet love seat, unable to take his eyes off him. Most of the other elves would have considered the ballroom to be the most exquisite sight, with its intricately carved white marble pillars, elaborate molding, and lustrous marble floors, but not Rudy. Not while Jack was here. Although the expansive white and gold ballroom glittered with a sea of twinkling white lights, impressing all who gazed upon its numerous crystal chandeliers hanging from every gilded archway, Rudy still found Jack the most extraordinary vision of all. Even after two hundred years together, Jack managed to take his breath away. How had a humble elf from the snowy plains of Gingerbread Grove ended up with the powerful Prince of Frost? Said prince was at this very moment the only enchanted creature at the Silver Bells Christmas Ball pouting miserably.
“It’s elegant,” Rudy corrected, removing some nonexistent fluff from his sweetheart’s red cuff as an excuse to touch him. It wasn’t often Rudy got to see Jack in his ceremonial garb. The black jacket was stunning, extensively adorned with horizontal silver braiding across the breast, silver knots at the ends as well as on the sleeves, and multiple rows of polished silver buttons. The red of his cuffs mirrored the stiff, high collar, adorned with intricate swirls of silver braiding, and the pattern repeated—only more extravagantly—on the back. A black, fur-lined pelisse with silver braiding was slung over his left shoulder, adding to his regal appearance. His breeches were black, as were his spotless Hessian boots. His pitch-black hair was neatly combed and parted on one side, his equally black eyes sharp and a contrast against flawless porcelain skin.
“Makes you look even more dashing, if that’s possible.”
“You’re just trying to get in my pants,” Jack grumbled.
Despite the gruffness, Jack was teasing. Rudy had come to know all of his grumpy elf’s mannerisms quite well by now. “Is it working?”
“Like that much effort is needed,” Jack scoffed, signaling the waiter at the end of their box. A delicate silver tray offering several drinks was presented to them, and Rudy held back a smile when Jack picked up a glass of pink champagne for him. Jack chose a tumbler of vodka for himself with a grumble of thanks, and Rudy watched, tickled as always, as Jack put his lips together and gently blew on the two glasses, coaxing them to a chill. He handed the champagne to Rudy, unaware of how his tiny gestures warmed Rudy’s heart.
Jack took a sip of his vodka, his pout in full force afterward, and Rudy couldn’t help but tease him. “On the hard stuff already?” He tried not to laugh at the glare Jack gave his pelisse before swatting it aside, as if it were somehow personally responsible for his forced attendance at the ball. Considering it was funded by the Frost family, Jack could hardly be absent. The Frost King would certainly have a few cross words for his son, and these days their relationship was strained enough, something Rudy felt guilty over, seeing as how he was the cause of it. It was almost a year ago the scandal of his and Jack’s relationship had erupted all over the media, and all because Rudy had saved two young elves from the clutches of some corrupt toy soldiers by declaring the elves his helpers.
At the time, Rudy had no idea the toy soldiers had meant to permanently silence the poor elves, but something had compelled him to step in, despite knowing the uproar it would cause. Until then, elves had never been helpers to the Rein Dears.
Available for Pre-order from:
Giveaway prompt: What’s your favorite holiday drink?
About the Author:
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet
1 winners will receive an eBook copy The Heart of Frost & Mending Noel
2 winners will receive an eBook copy of Mending Noel
[Facebook chat & Release Party will have it’s own prizes]
Drawing is open to US and International readers.
Just leave a comment on any of the blog posts along the tour, along with a contact email address. **If you would still like to enter the contest but don’t wish to leave your email address in the comment, you can also enter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, December 20th at midnight, Eastern Time.
11/11 – The Novel Approach [Excerpt 1]
11/12 – Joyfully Jay [Excerpt 2]
11/13 – Lex Chase [Excerpt 3]
11/14 – Dreamspinner Facebook Chat [Bonus prizes]
11/15 – Charlie Cochet’s blog [Excerpt 4]
11/16 – Michael Rupured [Excerpt 5]
11/17 – Attention is Arbitrary [Excerpt 6]
11/18 – Release Party Dreamspinner Blog [Bonus excerpts + Prizes]