Hello all! Welcome to stop 3 on my blog tour for The Heart of Frost, book two in my North Pole City Tales series! When I set out to write Mending Noel and The Heart of Frost, it was important for me to to try and capture the scents, sounds, tastes, and textures of Christmas. North Pole City is the main setting of the series, and it’s run by Mayor Kringle. It’s a Christmas town, which means year round it’s filled with twinkling lights, sleighs pulled by majestic Clydesdale horses, beautifully decorated shops filled with the swirling scents of the holiday season, and more. I also have a scent or flavor associated with each character. For example, wherever Rudy goes, the scent of cinnamon follows. Jack it’s pine. Tim is cocoa, and Noel is roasted chestnuts.
Here’s an example from The Heart of Frost where Jack is admiring the city:
WITHIN MINUTES they were standing on the snowy sidewalk outside the large Christmas-themed pub. Then again, it was North Pole City. There wasn’t much that wasn’t Christmas-themed, but that’s what he loved about the large, holiday city. It was a far cry from Winter Wonderland, where he had been born and raised.
Everything in North Pole City was full of color and cheer. Wherever he went, he was met with the rich scents, sights, sounds, and textures of Christmas. The aroma of holiday spices filled the air, from vanilla to roasted chestnuts. The cobblestone streets were lined with charming shops selling everything from spiced meats to freshly baked Christmas cookies, the storefronts decorated beautifully with fairy lights, garland, and glittering baubles, their window dressing arranged elegantly and conveying various winter or holiday scenes. Winter Wonderland was majestic with its ice palaces, everything snowy white or pale blue, as if the entire city had been carved from a glacier, stunning to admire, but in Jack’s opinion lacked the heart of its neighboring city. North Pole City was full of vibrant life, rich red, green, and gold hues, candy-cane stripes, and peppermint.
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.
“Well, it’s not like I do it on purpose.”
“See, there it is. You’re so vibrant and full of color. When I touch you, every inch of you lights up.” Jack leaned into him, his lips brushing over his cheek.
“Jack, they’re watching.”
In the year they’d been together out in the open, there hadn’t been much in the way of public displays of affection. It wasn’t as if suddenly they went from barely touching for fear of discovery to being all over each other. Old habits were hard to break, and slowly Rudy had accustomed himself to the joys of holding Jack’s hand, or allowing himself to gaze adoringly at his lover without fear or concern of who saw him.
Jack, who had always been the more restrained of the two, had stunned Rudy by delivering a kiss to his cheek while out to dinner one night, and when he had begun placing a protective hand to Rudy’s hip while out and about, especially during any media confrontation. It seemed as if Jack was growing bolder by the day.
“Let them watch.”
Rudy couldn’t help but feel his cheeks growing warm as Jack delivered a gentle kiss to his temple. “What’s gotten into you?”
“Nothing yet, but maybe tonight….”
“Jack!” Rudy gasped, his cheeks no doubt matching the color of his hair.
Jack’s laugh warmed Rudy’s heart. “How can you be so unaware of how enchanting you are?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m too busy trying to keep my heart from beating out of my chest whenever you’re near.”
Jack looked surprised. “Do I really do that?”
“Who wouldn’t have heart palpitations after seeing a face like that?” came a deep grumble.
Rudy chuckled, and Jack leaned back, his smile growing wide for their friends. “Tim. Grumpy-pants.”
Noel glowered at Jack before taking Tim’s hand and pulling him over to the empty love seat facing Rudy and Jack’s. The moment Rudy saw the mischievous gleam in Jack’s eyes, he braced himself. Here we go. Jack patted the small space between him and the armrest.
“There’s room here for you, Tim. It’s a little cozy, but I don’t mind.”
Tim blushed and Noel shifted closer to him, his eyes narrowing. “Shouldn’t you be nipping noses or something somewhere else?”
Rudy nearly choked on his drink. Oh, Noel.
“Why nip noses when I can have so much more fun nipping at other extremities?”
Available for Pre-order from:
Giveaway prompt: What’s your favorite holiday scent?
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
Drawing is open to US and International readers.
[Facebook chat & Release Party will have it’s own prizes]
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 email@example.com.
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]