Here we are at stop five. In case you haven’t been keeping up, I’m Johnnie, and I’m still stuck doing this tour. At least today we’re visiting one of my favorite places: the pub. Pull up a chair and get ready for a rowdy evening of drinking and darts. After a long day, if we’re not too exhausted to drive, the fellas and I will come down to our favorite pub, the Queen’s Head.


[Attribution: By Roland Turner [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons]

Ain’t she a beauty? The English like to name their pubs after animals and body parts, among other strange things. Don’t ask me why. Red Lion, White Swan, Black Swan, Black Horse, White Hart, White Horse, Bull’s Head, King’s Arm, Black Bull, Green Dragon, Red Dragon, is your head spinning yet? My favorites so far: Poosie Nansie’s, The Drunken Duck, and The Idle Cook–yeah, I read that last one wrong too. Not just read it wrong, mind you, but said it out loud just as Henry appeared. His face flushed a lovely shade of red and just my luck, there hadn’t been a rock around I could crawl under. I seem to turn into some kinda ditzy dame when he’s around. I can be all kinds of uncouth around Chance, but Henry, well, he’s a classy fellow. So after that somewhat embarrassing incident, Chance decided he would never let me live it down and has continued to refer to that pub by its newly appointed, far less innocent name.

One thing I gotta give the English, they like their booze. When we got back from Africa, there was no worrying about prohibition. In fact most folks thought the Yanks were screwy for even contemplating it, much less trying to do something about it. While folks back home were hitting the bathtub gin, the fellas and I were enjoying our Scottish whiskey without having to worry about prohis. Believe me, the last thing you want is a prohi breathing down your neck. I had my share of rum running years ago and I was glad to have left it all behind. I was just a kid trying to earn some dough, but it wasn’t pretty, and I was lucky to get out while I could. Anyway, back to the Queen’s Head. The fellas and I have our own table which Pete–the pub landlord, always reserves for us. Chance is a good tipper and no one can say no to Jacky, so we get our own space.

It’s your typical pub with rowdy fellas that get rowdier the more pints they get in them. We play darts with the locals, Jacky wipes the floor with them, and we all have a good laugh. The Queen’s Head is one of the more reputable pubs. Once upon a time Chance and I might have ventured into the others just to get ourselves into a good brawl or two, but those days are–for the most part, behind us, plus we got fellas that would give us a good dressing down if we came back with a good shiner just for the fun of it. You don’t want to have to end up on Henry’s examining table explaining how you got that split lip, believe me. All right, that’s it for today. Next stop, we’re hopping the train and heading to London.



IAJW200Eight years after leaving the deserts of Africa and the French Foreign Legion behind, Jonathan Wolfe has settled into life at Hawthorne Manor in the English countryside. Johnnie helps his adopted family run the manor and provide a safe, loving home for a new generation of “brats”: boys mistreated and discarded for their homosexuality—something all too familiar to Johnnie.

Although no longer an unruly youngster, Johnnie is as stubborn, foul-mouthed, and troublesome as ever. His recent rash behavior becomes a concern for those closest to him, especially Dr. Henry Young, the only man ever to capture Johnnie’s heart. Instead of soothing him, their closeness brings Johnnie’s insecurities from an unsettling past to the surface, and leads to an explosive situation that threatens to tear them apart. Then Henry’s past catches up to them….

Excerpts are in the form of a serial.

Read Part 4 on Lex Chase’s blog here.

Excerpt 5

Aubrey tapped the scuffed cover at the image of a tough-looking detective before tapping my chest.

“You think I’d make a good P.I.?” I laughed when he wrinkled his nose and shook his head. He jumped back and put his fists up. By now, most of us had gotten pretty good at understanding Aubrey, though no one understood him like Rori. It’s like the two of them had some screwy inside link to each other. “I see, he’s a brawler, huh?”

Aubrey nodded then stepped up to me, smiling sweetly. He put his hand over my heart and I took a deep breath, trying not to bawl like a baby. Damn him and his sweet little face. I couldn’t even reply. Luckily, Bobby spoke up.

“He thinks the detective has a good heart like you.”

“Thanks, fella. You sure you done with it?” Again Aubrey nodded. He patted my arm with a big grin and waved as he walked off with Bobby. “Thanks,” I called out after him before looking down at the dime novel in my hand. Well, shit. I ran up the stairs to the first floor where the majority of the bedrooms, including mine, were, which, thanks to Chance, was conveniently located next to Henry’s.

After a quick shower and clean change of clothes where I attempted to make myself look presentable in gray trousers with matching vest and a red tie, I walked over to the bed and picked up my suit jacket. Aubrey’s dime novel sat there staring back at me. “All right, I get it.” Looked like I was going to Market Square instead. Glen would just have to cool his heels for a while.

I turned the bronze door handle and frowned when it didn’t budge. It was locked. Not only was it locked, the key was gone.

“For crying out loud.” Again?

Left with no other choice, I did what I’d done far too many times in the last six months. I grabbed my gray felt hat, climbed onto my bedroom’s window seat, opened the double glass doors, then carefully climbed out, only, my hopes of gracefully landing among the geraniums were dashed with the slip of my shoe.

Part 6 continued on Nov 15th over at Eden Winter’s blog.


Available in ebook and print from Dreamspinner Press:


Comment prompt: What do you do to relax after a tough day?

About the Author:

CCochet100Charlie 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 |


1st Prize: $15 Amazon gift card + Impetuous Afflictions signed swag pack + signed 8×10 art print.

2nd & 3rd Prize: Impetuous Afflictions swag pack + signed 8×10 art print.


To Enter

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

Winners will be chosen at random and posted on Charlie’s blog at on Monday, December 2nd. Winners will then be notified via email.


Contest ends

Sunday, December 1st at midnight, Eastern Time.

Tour stops:

11/9 – Welcome to Hawthorne Manor [Excerpt 1] – The Novel Approach

11/11 – Billiard Room Brouhaha [Excerpt 2] – Author Sue Brown

11/12 – A Trip to the Town of Aylesbury [Excerpt 3] – Author Kim Fielding

11/13 – Time for Tea [Excerpt 4] – Author Lex Chase

11/14 – Stopping for a Pint [Excerpt 5] – Author Andrew Q. Gordon

11/15 – Visiting the Furry Hat Man [Excerpt 6] – Author Eden Winters

11/18 – Meet Gideon Brooks [Excerpt 7] – Author Michael Rupured

11/19 – Meet Rori Curti [Excerpt 8]s – Author Shira Anthony

11/20 – Meet Aubrey Jepson [Excerpt 9] – Attention is Arbitrary

11/21 – Meet Oliver Darling [Excerpt 10] – Hearts on Fire

11/22 – Meet Elliot Young [Excerpt 11] – Author Elin Gregory

11/25 – Meet Connor & Edmund Grey [Excerpt 12]- Joyfully Jay

11/26 – The Devilish Duo [Finale] – Mrs. Condit & Friends