With the release of Against the Grain by Charlie Cochet imminent, Macky and I were thrilled that Ash and Cael, the stars of the fifth book, in the fabulous THIRDS series, were able to pop in for a chat, and let us in on a little of what we can expect from the boys, but of course this is Twinkly Bottom and the antics at Sinfully HQ never seem to go to plan. I doubt Ash will ever set foot in the village again.
Also, don’t forget to check out the giveaway as Charlie is gifting a $10 Amazon gift voucher to one very lucky reader.
Ash and Cael pop in for Afternoon Tea
Sinfully HQ. Twinkly Bottom...1600 hour.
Monique and Macky panicking as usual!
Monique: shouts upstairs …. MACKY… have you seen my clipboard with the interview questions? ...Macky???
Macky: mutters under breath Oh for god’s sake she's on one again...
Don't worry, keep your knickers on, it's all under control...mutters again Shit, where did I put her clipboard?
Monique: shouts up ...Yes, well, that’s exactly why I am worried! ...What are you doing up there anyway? They’ll be here any minute now. Oh… too late, get a wriggle on missy!
Macky: grouches Oh Crap. shouts down On my way…just getting my interview gear on...won't be a mo Mo!
Monique: bemused ...Interview gear? Opens the door… Ash! Cael! Welcome to Sinfully! So lovely to see you… approaching with open arms.
Ash and Cael stand at the door with eyebrows raised, open mouths and look of horror.
Monique: turns slowly and looks at Macky… equally gobsmacked. What the...Oh no...no ...just nooo... waves hand impatiently you just had to didn’t you, I swear, you look like a demented teletubby. shakes head.
Macky: looks bemused ...WHAT?!? …It's my bomb disposal suit. holding up hands assuredly, shouts ...Don’t worry team, the perimeter has been secured. The building has now been cleared of all suspect devices...including the strange bullet shaped buzzing device ...coughs Dildo... I found in in our Marky's desk drawer! Stands there looking smug
Ash: That’s what you get for rummaging in other people’s drawers.
Ash: raises an eyebrow What’s so funny? realizes what he said I meant the desk drawer, not his underwear. You spend way too much time around your brother.
Monique: turns to Macky This is Twinkly Bottom not New York City! Pleeeease... get out of that ridiculous outfit while I take our guests through to the lounge and offer them some tea or maybe something a little stronger. mutters under breath, I’m thinking Brandy might be good right now.
Macky: Yeah… get the champagne out.. winks ...remember Charlie at the awards, and Dex and Sloane when they...
Monique: points to the stairs… Go…
Macky: But I was only....
Macky: slinks away....
Monique: On second thought, I think we should stick with the tea. Alcohol has an adverse effect with our Macky’s medication and she’s bad enough as it is!
Ash: Unless there’s whiskey in that tea, I’ll stick with water. Vodka straight up would work better.
Monique: Yeah, Vodka, that would definitely work.
Cael: smiles apologetically.... Tea is fine. I can’t drink coffee unfortunately. My cheetah Therian metabolism can’t handle the caffeine very well.
Ash: looks around Yeah. You have a lot of breakable stuff in here so I’d suggest no coffee for Cael.
Cael: sniff I’m not that bad.
Ash: Really? Because I’m pretty sure I recall your brother mentioning something about you accidently taking a sip of his latte when you were ten and ending up running around the house wearing nothing but a pot over your head.
Cael: gasps, his face turning red He told you about that? The turd. I’m so going to kick his ass.
Voice from upstairs...Don't forget I got those giant saucers out if the guys fancy some milk?!?
Ash: Was that a cat joke? narrows eye I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
Monique: Closes door hear what? laughs nervously Grab a seat guys, It’s so lovely to have you here with us, we’re gutted Charlie couldn’t make it. When Dex and Sloane popped in for a visit last year she was busy with your story. So which two boys are keeping Charlie busy at the moment? gestures to the table Help yourself to some snacks.
Cael: Right now she’s busy with Cal and Ethan. And I thought she had it tough with us.
Monique: Oh… I can’t wait for their story, especially after Dex and the van incident. hums Rough Boy by ZZ Top... giggles
Ash: It’s always the quiet ones. motions to Cael not so discreetly.
Cael: gives Ash a playful kick Right, because I’m the difficult one.
Ash: holds his hands up I’m not saying a word. Your couch isn’t big enough for me to sleep on and I much prefer the bed anyway.
Cael: pats Ash’s leg I’m glad we agree.
Macky walks in with tea tray: Ooh are we talking sex now? I miss all the best bits!
Monique: laughs at Macky. No, beds actually… I swear you have a built in radar for smut, just pour the tea. Oh good you brought sweeties too.
Macky: Yeah, for some reason we've got a shit load of sweeties in the cupboard glares at Monique and none of the spicy snacks I like pouts. Turns to Ash and flutters eyelashes ...what about you Ash? Are you sweet or spicy. winks
Ash: smiles sweetly I’m more like a punch to the gut.
Cael: Don’t mind him. He acts all grumpy, but he’s really just a big softie. Ooh, yummy! grabs a load of candy.
Ash: sighs and puts back half the candy Cael picked up You know, when you tell people that and they find out the hard way it’s not true, you’re only hurting them. Physically.
Cael: narrows his eyes at Ash Speaking of physically hurting someone…
Ash: You know what happens when you have too much sugar.
Ash: Damn it. One of these days that’s not going to work on me. hands Cael back his candy.
Cael: wriggles his eyebrows as he pops a sweet in his mouth Yeah, that’s what Sloane says to my brother every day, and we’ve all seen how well that goes.
Ash: pokes Cael in the side making him laugh. Let’s just get on with this.
Monique: Good idea… Macky could you pass the clipboard with our questions for the boys please?
Macky: Ermm...are you sure you want them now?
Monique: Just pass them over will you smiles at the boys. Macky and I were up till late last night putting some in depth questions together for you, so I hope you’re both ready. clears throat. So, our first question Monique looks down at clipboard ...Have you had sex yet? And can we have the details? ...silence…Looks up questioningly OMG! That did NOT just come out of my mouth? squeaks Did it?
Ash: mouth hangs open
Cael: opens his mouth to answer before Ash clamps a hand over his mouth to stop him
Monique turns slowly to Macky, smiles sweetly then growls...Macky… QUESTIONS!?!?
Macky: What? It's a great question! It's better than all that touchy feely stuff you want to know...I want the down and dirty! Anyway Miss Prissy 'butter wouldn't melt in MY mouth' Missy YOU were going to ask what size Ash's....mmmph!
Monique: Ohhh no you don’t Monique covers Macky’s mouth with hand then shoves in a handful of sweeties, clears throat and composes herself ...So where were we? Oh yes… questions. Sod it... we’ll go ad hoc. So… Cael, did you at any time give up hoping Ash would lose his stubborn streak and give into his emotions?
Cael: I never gave up hope. I was disheartened, and sometimes I wondered if he’d ever feel the same way I did. As much as I wanted at times to move on, I couldn’t. Every time I saw him, my heart would just grip tighter to the idea of him loving me.
Ash: takes hold of Cael’s hand and squeezes it.
Macky: sniffs and wipes a tear from eye Awww Ash...the two of you danced around each other for so long...how much of a wake up call was it, when you thought Cael’s affections had moved on to Seb? I know you were trying to distance yourself but deep down did you always know that you could never give him up?
Ash: All I wanted was for Cael to be happy, something I never thought he could have with me. I’ll admit I was selfish. I didn’t know what to do about us, but I didn’t want him with anyone else. Seb’s a nice guy, but I would have kicked his ass if he’d set his sights on Cael. I might have felt bad for it afterward as opposed to not giving a shit if it had been someone else. It kind of hit me out of nowhere. My head was all over the damn place, but just hearing about Cael staying over at Seb’s, thinking they’d… he shakes his head I got pissed. Really pissed. I know you’re thinking that’s kind of my general state of being, and you’re not wrong, but this was a whole other level of fucked off. The idea I might actually lose Cael because I couldn’t get my shit together suddenly became very real.
Monique: I’ve always wondered about that, as you're both human and Therian. It must be hard to keep control of your feral side when so completely overwhelmed emotionally to the point of being that fucked off.
Ash: It can be exhausting on your Human side. When you deal with the level of shit we do on a day to day basis, keeping control over our feral side is tough as hell. Our instinct is to defend, and God help the poor bastard who hurts someone we care about. I’m pretty hot-headed as it is, but as a combat expert, I know how to pick my battles. I’m not going to go feral because some asshat talks smack. Now, if someone purposefully tries to hurt my team, Sloane, Cael, they might get to meet my lion Therian side up close and personal. It’s tough for Humans to understand. We get it all the time, “Oh, just hold it in. Go to therapy. Just don’t shift” It’s all bullshit. How about you go to the African savanna, throw a rock at a lion, and then tell him to hold it in. We’ll see how well you do with that.
Macky: whispers to Monique looks like I'm crossing that off my bucket list then!
Cael: It’s a little easier for me to control my Therian side, though no way is it as easy as Humans believe it is. We Therians feel things deeper than Humans, especially when in our Therian form. Cheetah Therians are the least aggressive of the Felids. We only go feral as a last resort. We’re also at the bottom of the Felid Therian food chain, so we can get hurt or killed much quicker than a jaguar or lion Therian.
Macky: So erm, Ash we know you're...well...how can I put it? You’re not best know for your restraint. So, how pissed off were you, that you never actually got to put your hands round that bastard Hogan's neck?
Ash: I’m actually grateful the bastard is dead, because I couldn’t trust myself to not have killed him.
Monique: Looks worriedly at Macky and mouths. Do not upset him. laughs nervously We have remember not to make your shit list then Ash! Where were we, time for something lighter I think. Cael, yes, definitely Cael. We know he’s a bit of a geek like Dex, can you let us in on some of his geeky obsessions?
Ash: laughs softly He’s adorable. It really doesn’t take much. Video games, movies, comic books, toys. He gets so excited about the littlest things. Like these Ninja-bread Men cookie cutters I found for him. Seriously, you should have seen his face. That entertained him for days. We had enough cookies for the whole of Unit Alpha to last a week and that includes Dex just so you know what kind of scale we’re talking about here.
Cael: smiles widely They were awesome.
Macky: Ninja cookie cutters? I was thinking more 'favourite 'toys' if you get my drift...looks innocent .glares at Monique don't look at me like that...you said you wanted probing questions!!!
Monique: Definitely not that kind of probing. whispers. What part of “Do not upset the therian” did you miss?
Cael: blushes Well--
Ash: Next question.
Monique: Agreed, let’s move along. So Cael… what can you tell us about Ash? What quirks about him do you find endearing? I’m thinking Dex would say he has none! laughs nervously
Cael: Yeah, let’s not ask Dex about Ash. snuggled up closer to Ash I know it might be hard to believe for some people, but Ash is actually very sweet.
Monique: Thank god!
Ash: shakes his head somberly I’m not.
Monique: You’re not!
Cael: chuckles Sorry, he has a reputation to uphold. I recently discovered he likes to bake, so now we bake together. I like making cookies and he makes pies. It’s really therapeutic for both of us. And he’s really good at it too.
Ash: groans You had to tell them about the pies.
Cael: blinks innocently But they’re really good pies. Oh, and he’s a cuddler. On the couch, in bed, when no one’s looking at work.
Ash: face goes red I knew I should have stayed home.
Monique and Macky in unison… Aww… bless.
Macky: whispers to Cael Is he a good kisser?...you can tell me I won't say a word...cross my heart.
Cael: Are you kidding! He’s an amazing kisser. He knows just when to be gentle and when to really get me fired up. The guy’s got skills.
Ash: Oh God. covers his face with his hands. Tell me when it’s over.
Macky: You two really are so sweet, I can’t wait to read your story…excitedly...only five more sleeps!
Monique: laughs at Macky… how old are you?
Macky: What? I’m excited!
Monique: turns to Cael... talking of your upcoming story, in the previous books, we’ve all seen how devoted Maddock is to both his boys and how protective Dex is of you. How are we going to see you deal with yet another dominant male in your life in Against the Grain?
Cael: Hm, I don’t really see Ash as dominant.
Ash: frowns I’m not quite sure how to take that.
Cael: What I mean is, with me Ash is always sweet and gentle. He can be gruff and grumpy of course, but not the way he is with everyone else. My dad generally doesn’t poke his nose in our business unless there’s something that really concerns him, and Dex, well, I wouldn’t call Dex dominant.
Ash: I think the words you’re all looking for is pain in the ass.
Cael: You’ll get to see a different side of Ash, and although it’s not all smooth sailing by any means, we find our way. Ash can be frustrating, I won’t lie. Sometimes I want to strangle him.
Ash: Thank you, sweetheart.
Cael: chuckles But we work things out.
Macky conspiratorially snuggles closer to Ash… So Ash, spill the beans, how pissed was Maddock about you and Cael? And old Betsy...he didn’t did he!
Ash: No, he didn’t. You have some personal boundary issues by the way. shuffles closer to Cael Maddock was pissed, but he had every right to be. He was worried about Cael, much more than he was about Sloane and Dex. Sloane’s a genuinely good guy, and for the most part, he’s gotten his shit together. Me, I was the real worry. Cael’s been hurt before. It was tough on his family.
Monique: That’s a relief, I’m glad to hear old betsy didn’t see any action. So boys, have you managed to do any of the touristy things whilst you’ve been here in the UK. Dex was particularly enamoured of the UK police force whilst he was here… although I’m not sure Sloane was too pleased about that.
Cael: eyes light up Oh my God, the Doctor Who Experience! I loved it! And we did the Jack the Ripper tour, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. So much fun! We did a pub crawl. Ash got to play Rugby. It’s been awesome.
Macky: Guys please excuse me, but I just need to pop to the ladies room...talk amongst yourselves. I won't be too long...
45 minutes later....
Monique:.....and so I said to Mark in the kitchen, "Well Marky, if your buns turn out as firm as that every time, we'll be slathering them with butter and stuffing them with your delicious sausage more often!"...giggles nervously and looks at watch...again Where the hell is that woman?!?
Door bursts open as Macky does a slightly floppy commando roll across the floor dressed in full tactical gear, waving what looks like a pistol around, wildly!
Macky: Aims, pulls trigger and sprays water : THIRDS... FREEZE!!!
Ash, Cael and Monique hit the floor!
Macky: YAY! That was cool!
A wet Ash stands up and Macky looks up...up...up...as a last drop of water dribbles out the end of the pistol...
Macky: sheepishly Errr...! I guess that's blown my chance of becoming a THIRD's agent then?
Ash: I would rather be tied up and gagged while Dex serenades me with his eighties music before I let you become a THIRDS agent. smiles wickedly On second thought. There’s an opening at the training facility for a Felid Therian scratching post if you’re interested.
A soggy Monique stands next to Ash… I’m liking the scratching post idea! Cael grabs water pistol and runs off to kitchen. So, Ash, are there any similarities with Dex and Cael?
Ash: I see no similarities. Don’t care what anyone says. Dex is an asshat. Cael is sweet and adorable. If someone squirts me again, so help me I will neutralize you.
Monique: hiding behind couch shouts over to Ash, sweet and adorable? what’s that saying again… “If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.” Where’s our water pistol stash Macky?
Macky is hit in the face by a stream of water, points towards the kitchen I think you’ll find Cael’s already found it.
Cael: turns to Ash and blows him a kiss before aiming.
Ash: I knew I should have stayed home.
Against the Grain (THIRDS #5)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Due for release: 3rd August
Genre: Paranormal M/M Romance
As the fiercest Defense Agent at the THIRDS, Destructive Delta’s Ash Keeler is foul-mouthed and foul-tempered. But his hard-lined approach always yields results, evident by his recent infiltration of the Coalition. Thanks to Ash’s skills and the help of his team, they finally put an end to the murdering extremist group for good, though not before Ash takes a bullet to save teammate Cael Maddock. As a result, Ash’s secrets start to surface, and he can no longer ignore what’s in his heart.
Cael Maddock is no stranger to heartache. As a Recon Agent for Destructive Delta, he has successfully maneuvered through the urban jungle that is New York City, picking up his own scars along the way. Yet nothing he’s ever faced has been more of a challenge than the heart of Ash Keeler, his supposedly straight teammate. Being in love isn’t the only danger he and Ash face as wounds reopen and new secrets emerge, forcing them to question old loyalties.
Series Reading Order
Book 7: TBC
(Primary romance: Dex & Sloane)
Book 8: TBC
(Primary romance: Dex & Sloane)
Stop by THIRDS HQ for more information and updates on this fabulous series.
Meet Charlie Cochet
M/M Romance author by day, artist by night, Charlie Cochet is quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From hardboiled detectives and society gentleman, to angels and elves, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Charlie is gifting a $10 Amazon gift voucher to one very lucky reader.