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charliecochrane [userpic]

Dreamwidth and Wordpress and just making my life simpler

[sticky post] January 5th, 2017 (12:36 pm)

2017 will see me - hopefully - completing what I started in 2016, which is simplifying my online presence. My website address now relocates to my Wordpress site, where I also have an active blog, so the next step is to co-ordinate this blog and my dreamwidth one. Like many folk, I'll be heading to dreamwidth for my main blog, although I'll keep my mylodon presence for all things fandom.

Come and link up at Dreamwidth/Wordpress!

charliecochrane [userpic]

The definitive (at present!) chronological list of Jonty and Orlando stories

May 4th, 2020 (11:58 am)

Early twentieth century:

Lessons in Love November 1905 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Desire August 1906 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Discovery  November 1906 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Power Spring 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Temptation July 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Temptation missing scene July 1907

What the Mathematician said to the Statue Summer 1907

Lessons in Seduction September 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

What the Mathematician said to the Engineer November 1907

My true love sent to me December 1907

My True Love sent to me postscript

Lessons in Trust Summer 1908 Re-issue coming soon!

Resolution January 1909

Lessons for Suspicious Minds Summer 1909.

On the occasion of their anniversary November 1909

Wetting the baby's head missing scene, November 1909

Bloody Mathematicians Spring 1910

Lessons for Idle Tongues Summer 1910

May our days be merry and bright Winter 1910

A fit employment for a gentleman Summer 1912 (crossover 'fanfic')

Once we won matches Aug 1912

Ring in the New December 1913

Game of Chance 1916

All Lessons Learned Spring 1919 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons for Survivors, Autumn 1919

Lessons for Sleeping Dogs 1921

The Boy from Kings 1932

A random collection of silly things:

The Inadvertent Adventures of Johnny Stewart, Jonty's great-nephew.

Orlando's opinion on Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

Pride, Prejudice and all the rest.

Drabbles 1 Edwardian

Drabbles 2 Edwardian

Splitting Infinitives Edwardian, crossover 'fanfic'

Ten plus five plus eight = twenty three Edwardian crossover 'fanfic'

Love Letters, 1911 to 2011

Lessons in Disco 2010

charliecochrane [userpic]

Charlie's latest newsletter

September 14th, 2019 (08:16 pm)

Another newsletter, another day of sport watching for the Cochranes. Dilemma next weekend, though. Start of the rugby world cup in Japan but also major cricket and golf going on. It might have to be like the 2012 Olympics – a three screen situation.

News

On the writing front: the next Lindenshaw mystery is finished and submitted, so there’ll be more news on that as soon as I have it. I’ve also finished another, rather peculiar and more mainstream story that I’ll be looking for a home for.

Appearances: I’ll be running a workshop for Havant Writers in a fortnight (do they know what’s about to hit them?) and I’ll also be at UK meet 2020 in just under a year’s time. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit the event website and sign up for our newsletter. Tickets go on sale next month.

I’ve three bargains to highlight this week. Lessons in Love is still on offer, for under a quid. There are two other goodies, both of which I’ll feature excerpts from today:

Dreams of a Hero is (I hope!) a good value read.

Mild-mannered and unassuming, Miles is on a journey he never expected. After a visit to Greece with his partner, Roger, he begins to experience vivid dreams in which he travels back in history and takes on the role of avenging hero.
Roger notices Miles's newfound bravery during his waking hours and is concerned that his lover is changing into someone he doesn't recognize.
When they discover a gay-friendly café is being plagued by violent thugs, Miles is uncharacteristically determined to take action, no matter the cost. Roger argues it would be both dangerous and pointless to intervene, but Miles insists he's been called to fight an army, and now he's found one.

Excerpt:
The shield was tall and heavy, but the bearer was taller still. This gave little advantage when it meant he could get such a clear view of the advancing lines of troops. Miles adjusted his stance for comfort, staring oncoming death in the eye. “Which one is he?”
“The small one, that’s what they say.” Roger held the spear straight, never wavering even in the heat of impending battle. “Word is he’ll be leading the cavalry, away from where his father’s stationed.”
“Can’t have two firebrands together in case the whole world catches flame?” Miles managed a rueful smile. “They say he’s handsome, the son.”
“And spoken for.” The smile was returned.
“I only said he was rumoured to be handsome, not that I wanted him to carry me off to his tent.” Miles adjusted his stance again, eliminating any chink in the shield wall.
“You might be grateful if that were your fate, come nightfall.” Roger shivered. “I pray we’ll survive to joke about this. Now comes the deluge.”
“Deluge? Don’t you mean the conflagration, with the son of fire at its head? And with Hades’ gates wide open in his wake.”
The company turned slightly, as the horses came charging over the plain of Chaeronea.
Miles woke with a start.

Undeath and the Detective (anthology) is available for less than two pounds and contains my paranormal mystery story Secrets, which is set on board the frigate Hecuba, in the time of the Napoleonic wars. The appearance of a sea monster has heralded a series of alarming events, not least the revelation that two of the ship’s crew have been seeing ghosts. Things are about to get even worse…

“Are you saying...”? The captain’s question was interrupted by the arrival of the lieutenant of marines, with two of his men in tow. “Yes, Henman?”
If everyone who’d heard Thompson’s story of the admiral had turned pale, then Henman’s face out-ashened them all.
“Could you come with us to the hold, sir? Now. It’s important.”
“I will.” Hopkins passed a hand over his brow. “Mr. Douglas, can you make sure Thompson gets a hot meal inside him? Ask my steward to rouse out the last of the chicken broth. That’ll settle him down for a reasonable night’s sleep.”
The looks on the faces of the rest of the midshipmen indicated Thompson might be the only one of them in that happy position. What if this White Admiral, whoever he was, might want to have a word in season with them?
“Mr. Paget?” Hopkins motioned for his first officer to join him as they followed the marines along the deck and down the nearest ladder. “What is it I’m being taken to see?” he asked, once they were out of earshot of the crew.
“A dead man. The surgeon’s with him, but he’s beyond even Mr. Cowan’s care. Here.” Henman pointed, as they reached the hold. Two marines were standing watch, holding a lantern, while Cowan bent over a twisted body.
“Who is it?” Hopkins asked.
“Ponting,” Cowan said, easing himself up off his haunches. “The side of his head’s been stoved in. With this, I suspect.” He pointed to a blood smeared belaying pin, which Paget—gingerly—picked up and held at arm’s length.

And finally - sunny South Shields from our last but one rugby jaunt. We could pretend it was Japan...



Charlie

charliecochrane [userpic]

Charlie's latest newsletter

August 31st, 2019 (08:04 pm)

Am feeling very chipper as I was expecting both the England men’s rugby team and cricket team to lose last weekend and they both had spectacular wins. If you’re from outside the UK and want to impress any of us, say how well Ben Stokes served his country. And if you want to knock our socks off, say that Jack Leach played the best one run innings in the history of the universe. It’ll make sense to us…

News

I know it’s still August – just – but I’ve started on my Christmas freebie story. This features Alasdair and Toby, the two full time film actors and part time amateur sleuths who feature in An Act of Detection. They appear to have got themselves inveigled into appearing in a pantomime, although not – to their relief – in drag.

Both e-book and print versions of Lessons in Playing a Murderous Tune are out now and yes, I managed to make the release date for both.

Bargain of the week is Lessons for Suspicious Minds. I shouldn’t say it, really, but all the Endeavour reprints come round on special offer so it’s worth holding out for them. Unless you’re impatient for the next, of course!

The excerpt today is from my novella Second Helpings.

Stuart Collins’s life might as well have ended a year ago when his partner died in a car crash. Even Stuart’s widowed father has found new love with an old friend, Isabel Franklin, so why can’t Stuart be bothered to try?
Then he gets a phone call from Isabel’s son, Paul, who wants to check out whether or not Mr. Collins is good enough for his mother. During dinner together, though, they end up checking out each other. Trouble is, Paul’s got a boyfriend—or maybe he doesn’t, since the boyfriend’s supposedly giving Paul the push by ignoring him. Or maybe Paul just wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Honesty with each other is the only way to move forward. But maybe honesty with themselves is what they really need.

Excerpt:
Some accident of the light, illumination from the pub garden streaming through a window and catching Paul’s hair, produced a halo. The effect was frightening. That’s just how Mark had appeared when Stuart had first seen him—in a pub of all places, sitting in a stream of sunlight, motes of dust dancing about his head like pinhead angels. He hadn’t thought of that first meeting in an age, deliberately shutting off those memories of happier times.
“I asked whether your dad and my mum were an item once.” Paul gently tapped the table top.
“Sorry.” Stuart winced, as though that hand had struck him. “I was miles away. Almost like I saw a ghost.”
Paul studied him for a moment, then looked away. He produced a rueful smile, one which softened the angles of his face. “I thought I’d said something I shouldn’t.”
“No, you’re okay. It’s just...” Stuart pulled his beer towards him then pushed it away again. He wasn’t sure he wanted it any more. “My partner died last year. Sometimes it still feels like yesterday.”
“Oh, God, I’m sorry. I had no idea.” Paul grimaced. He’d grown pale, as pale as some of the victims Stuart had come across at work, deep in shock and wondering why the hell this was happening to them. “Mum didn’t warn me.”
“Perhaps she doesn’t know. Dad doesn’t particularly like discussing it.” Stuart looked at the table, like a chess player weighing up the next move among the beer mats and glasses. “He’s taken a hell of a long time to get over Mum dying. Mark’s death brought it all back and he’s only just finding his feet again.”
“Mark?”
“My partner.” Well, there was a decisive move. Paul would know he was gay.
“Mark was your partner?”
“Yes. Got a problem with that?” Stuart wondered if he’d drawn the homophobe in the pack.
“No.” Paul shook his head. “Would it help to talk about him?”
Stuart’s tide of anger came like Paul’s offer: sudden, unexpected and uncomfortable. He didn’t even know what he was cross about. “Why? So you can vet me, too?”
“No. God, no. I’m gay as well. I had no idea you were.”
“Oh, sorry, didn’t I make it clear as I came in? Should have worn my pink scarf and mascara. Then we could have joined the great queer conspiracy together.” It should have made it easier, the common nature: it didn’t. And, with a sudden clarity of thought he’d not felt in ages, Stuart realised the attraction he felt—and felt so guilty about—was putting a barrier between them.


And finally – given the recent commemorations of D-day, this seemed appropriate. A wall not five miles from where I live, graffiti from the American troops waiting to embark for France.



Charlie


charliecochrane [userpic]

Dad's Army revisited

August 29th, 2019 (07:30 pm)

As a huge fan of Dad's Army (both TV and radio) I've observed with interest the modern versions - film, remade lost episodes and the drama "We're Doomed The Dad's Army Story". One thing that's struck me has been that Godfrey is consistently the most faithfully depicted character - I'd say that Godfrey and his sisters are the only decent thing in the film - whereas Pike is practically un-castable. Shows what a brilliant job Ian Lavender did with the original. Such affronted innocence.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Another book recommendation - Who was who?

August 25th, 2019 (05:02 pm)

I got this little gem in a library sale a few years back and I still dip into it with great pleasure.

IMG_2193

The pen is in there to bookmark one of my fave snippets. Did you know that the original for Biggles and the inspiration for William Brown (Just William) served together in Iceland during WWII. What chaos they could have caused.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Death in Captivity - some sly slash

August 21st, 2019 (04:08 pm)

I've just done an immediate re-read of this little gem from 1952 and there are some some smashing scenes connected with an in-POW-camp production of The Barretts of Wimpole Street, which clearly has to have one of the chaps playing Elizabeth (and getting the Italian commandant a bit hot under the collar in doing so). Some beautifully sly dialogue:

"I love you," said Rolf-Callender.
"I should have refused to see you again after our first meeting," said Peter Perse.

Then it becomes obvious it's a rehearsal scene, with the great end line, "...and will you boys please remember that you're in love", but it does deliberately initially toy with and amuse the reader.

Then, when the escape is at last attempted and the POWs exit in disguise...

"Did you see Rolf-Callender?"
"No--I missed him--he was dressed as a girl, wasn't he? What was he like?"
"Gorgeous," said Byfold. "I hope he got through the tunnel without wrecking his corsage. He was heading for Vatican City."

Chortle.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Murderous Tune - print version now available

August 20th, 2019 (07:26 pm)

Here's notifying all those who asked me: yes, I did get off my bahookie and got the print version of Lessons in Playing a Murderous Tune up and running (notwithstanding forgetting how to do mirror margins and getting the title wrong in the header first draft!)

LessonsMurderousTune_800

charliecochrane [userpic]

More pics of St Ouen's Manor

August 18th, 2019 (07:55 pm)

There was such a response to the picture in my newsletter that I thought I'd post some more (from this summer and 2017). That little dovecot thing was a mere part of the whole amazing site.
IMG_7228 IMG_2195</h1>
IMG_2187 IMG_2166

charliecochrane [userpic]

Charlie's latest newsletter

August 16th, 2019 (07:42 pm)

Greetings from what is at present a workmen free zone! Until the next calamity strikes, of course. Meanwhile, I’m looking out of the window and were it not for the green on the trees I’d think this was winter. Anybody else freezing cold and soaking wet?

News

I have at last got around to working on a print version of Lessons in Playing a Murderous Tune which is up for pre-order in kindle version. Apologies if it isn’t ready for the e-book release date of 26th August – I’ve been up to my eyeballs in stuff to do with the voluntary activities I seem to get myself roped into.



I’m happy to say that my author copies of An Act of Detection have arrived and very pretty they look. I know I’m a bit old fashioned but I do like a paperback to hold in my hand and read. Not usually one of my own, though! Too many excellent book by other authors to work through.

Bargain of the week is Lessons in Love, on offer again. Lovely to see the old warhorse still ploughing on.

This week’s excerpt is from the upcoming Cambridge Fellows novella. Orlando has received a letter with a commission to investigate not one but two mysteries…

“The police believe the sudden death of Peter Denison was due to heart failure, and there had been no need of an inquest. An outcome which Professor Lewis-Duckworth refuses to accept, believing that diagnosis covers a multitude of sins and might actually mean that the doctor doesn’t know what killed him and doesn’t want to admit the fact.”
“Professor Lewis-Duckworth?”
“Warden of Gabriel. Equivalent to the master of St. Bride’s. Not a bad chap if rumour is to be believed. Better than the bad tempered anti-social curmudgeon who was warden in my day.”
Jonty hid his smile behind his tea cup. That would have meant two bad tempered anti-social curmudgeons at Gabriel back then.
Orlando continued. “The chap who died was a retired musician. In his day he’d been a virtuoso—quite famous in musical circles—but he’d been stricken with arthritis that had come on so swiftly and severely that he’d had to give up playing.”
“That’s sad. Did the warden include all these facts in his letter?”
“Some of them. He also enclosed a selection of cuttings from the local newspapers. I can show them to you later, if I—we—choose to accept the request for help.”
Back to the uncertainty. Jonty took a deep breath. “I think it would be very hard to turn down such an appeal, Orlando. I know that’s not the answer you wish to hear, but what reason could you give that would be believable? We’re right at the start of the long vac, so no great college or university commitments to constrain us and if we pretended we were about to go on holiday, we’d be sure to be found out. You know how gossip, academic or otherwise, gets about.”
Orlando nodded. “I know that. I realise I’m being stupid and I should snatch this case up readily, because I can also imagine your mother taking me by the arm, walking me round the garden at the Old Manor and telling me that were I to have a triumph it would overlay my memories of Oxford with a layer of triumph.” He cast his eyes down. “But I’m scared.”
“Oh, Orlando.” Jonty left his seat, took his lover by the hand and—just as he’d done in the study, earlier—eased him out of his seat. Only this time he took the man into a warm embrace. “I’m not going to tell you not to be scared, that you’re fretting for nothing as all will be well, because that’s just stupid. I will say that if you’re inclined to be brave then I’m here at your side and will be in Oxford. As you’ve been at my side all the times I’ve been scared or upset because the old memories have bubbled up again. And before you start apologising for having started off a train of thought towards that particularly unpleasant station, don’t. I’m enjoying being the strong one.” He couldn’t resist a chuckle. “And from the way your body’s reacting, you’re enjoying this cuddle. Such a shame that it would scandalise Mrs. Ward if we went back to bed.”
“You’re insatiable.” Orlando kissed the top of Jonty’s head then eased out of the embrace. “If that was me being told off, it was one of the more agreeable chastening experiences.”

And finally – more from our Jersey adventure. Part of the amazing St Ouen's Manor, which is like something out of a fairy tale.



Oh - and an addendum. I did the draw for my goodie bag and it's currently winging its way by air and land to Texas. I'll be doing another giveaway in the late autumn so stay tuned.


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