Saturday, September 20, 2014

Putting Yourself Out There


Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2014 has been an adventure and we still have some months to go before it's over! I met some milestones this year, some great and some not so great. After the many years I tried NaNo, I did a little something different and I tried a different month. For some reason, November always seems seriously crazy and I get busy doing stuff that takes my attention away. This year after doing Savvy Summer BootCamp (which I suggest for all Savvy members out there!), I was able to lock down my script and have an idea where my characters are coming from and where they're going. I also grabbed some great resources for plotter (pantsers friendly, o' course).

Camp Nano itself was awesome. I was able to nail down a great schedule for popping out my novel in mere weeks. I hit my 50k mark which was the first time ever during a NaNo session but I didn't finish my novel because it grew into the beast that would not die! I'm proud of it and hope to finish it later this year. It's my first foray into the land of YA but as a YA reader already, I'm enjoying presenting the book. It's a surfer romance with a culturally diverse array of characters including the main leads. I'm so having a blast writing it.

Last weekend I was able to do tap back into my childhood years when the Gidget Comes to Coronado event took place. I just happened to see the event in town while searching out Gidget DVDs and saw it just days before the event. Talk about fortune! I've been a Gidget fan since I could remember and not only did I love the Sally Field 60s version, I also loved The New Gidget starring Caryn Richman in the 80s. I didn't realize that there was a real inspiration for the character but it was created by the real Gidget's father, Frederick, Kohner, with an inspiration from his daughter, Kathy Kohner, who got into surfing during the 50s when it was a boy's only sport. After they screened the documentary, Accidental Icon, I managed to get Kathy and her father's newly released new edition of her book signed by Kathy herself. Plus I got a pic with Kathy and Caryn and got them both to sign my new Gidget DVD. Now if only I meet Sally Field, my DVD will be complete with all my fave Gidget signatures. So awesome.

Anyway, I felt like a kid again meeting her inspirations come to life. I wanted to run out and go surfing the minute the film was over but getting to meet the Gidgets were awesome enough.

Anyway, those were some pretty epic milestones for me and I can't wait to polish my YA surfer romance up and present it to the world. Hope my readers enjoy it.

Another milestone that was not so great was getting a pretty crazy review. Now putting yourself out there not only opens you up to folks who are inspired by your work but also folks who are (sometimes vehemently) opposed to your work. And sometimes even you! That happened to me recently on one of my books. To the reviewer's credit, she did have a few points about where I made some oopsies in my book (which I'll have to hunt down and fix pronto), but attacking me personally after reading just the beginning of the book? Yikes! It was somewhat creepy that the review kind of turned stalkery after that but I digress.

A month before that I received two different reviews and emails thanks to Netgalley where both the readers were inspired by the book. They had gone through (and were currently going through some health issues due to similar causes that my book talks about and the story really spoke to them. That made my day, no my year! Although the book has been out a while and received some good reviews years ago, I have to say these were my favorites because it really touched people and made them feel better about what they were going through. That's what makes putting myself out there really worth it. I've been writing for about twenty-four years (can you imagine?!), and 7 of those years were in the indie game. Before that I jumped around writing poetry, screenplays, plays and short stories and starting selling them about 15 years ago. Wow, how time flies! Looking back I've made a few waves in my writing and saw so many changes in this publishing industry.

I started this blog 8 years ago and I've discovered so many great readers, authors and books. Time has flown so fast I still can't believe how much time has passed and how much I still want to accomplish. The cool thing about being a writer is you never stop learning and I happen to love learning! I've learned so much about myself as a writer and I've learned and keep learning new things about the industry and telling a story. I have so many ideas swimming around in my head that I hope I'm able to have the time, patience and strength to write them all down in my lifetime. The journey will definitely be worth it.



Oh! I almost forgot! A few weeks ago, I found out I was a finalist in the I Heart Indie contest! Wooo hoo! Next month they announce the winners but I'm just reveling in the chance that I received this honor alone not only as an author but also as a cover artist. I'm honored to be among such a great group because there are some AWESOME covers in my category!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Rewind to You by Laura Johnston Blast + Giveaway




Rewind to You CoverRewind to You

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…




Laura Rewind to You Author
Author Laura Johnston

Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.



Excerpt

I’m increasingly aware of Austin—his shower-fresh scent, every curve of muscle and the rise and fall of his chest with every breath—as he stands behind me and wraps his arms around mine.

“I’ll teach you,” he says, his hot breath against my ear seeping in. Whispering a thrill.

His hand cups the back of mine. I watch as he positions my pinkie and ring fingers over the threads and slides my thumb down. “Hold the football with your fingertips.”

I glance at his face above my shoulder, his blue eyes, strong jaw and his lips. And suddenly, football is the last thing on my mind.



Rewind to You Tour
Praise for the Book
“Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.” – RT Book Reviews



“This is contemporary YA fiction at its best! –Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton



Rewind to You will steal your hear away.” –Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga







BookBlast Giveaway

$75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/5/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an iTunes Gift Code or River Street Sweets Gift Card. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Friday, September 12, 2014

The Reckoning Blog Tour ~ Book Review ***A Recommended Read***

Reckoning



The Reckoning
The Reckoning


Only One Can Survive The Reckoning

Erin Radkey has always known the day would come when she would have to personally confront the Triad leader of the power-hungry Emporium. But she never thought it would be with a snake in her head that feeds on her energy. Or that she’d be in the company of an uncertain ally who might turn on her at any moment.


The stakes are high as new intel uncovers a startling Emporium plot that will catapult the entire world into war. Erin is determined to save not only the mortals but also her friends—even if it means sacrificing herself and her newfound love for Ritter Langton.


Ritter is just as determined to save Erin and prevent what would usher in the most bloody century the world has ever known, but even he might not recognize the person she becomes.


Every day the enemy grows stronger. There will be no second chance.



Rae's Review
I loved this book! I only had a chance to read The Change as the first of the series but I was glad I did. I can't wait to continue on to The Cure. Ms. Branton's The Change introduced a woman awakening to the world as she never imagined. Erin Radley's journey begins with lots of questions as we are dropped right into the aftermath of an accident. Erin is badly burned and the description the author gives of her situation really makes you feel her pain and terror. Questions arise as to how Erin survived and soon Erin finds herself in a world of two opposing factions fighting for her to join their ranks. There's even a burgeoning romance to top off the action packed cake.

The story has so many twists and turns and layers that I don't want to give too much away, but the journey is so worth it. It was hard to put down whenever I had to go do something. I struggle to liken this to X-Men as the similarity is so much more. The Change only resembles that mythology in the sense of people having different superhuman abilities (finding out Erin's was pretty cool) and the ability to age much slower than humans. It's so much more.

The only bummer is the book ends on a cliffhanger and the author includes a snippet of the next book to surely get you hooked. Be sure to have book 2 on hand to continue the adventure. I certainly will be!

Enjoy!

Book #1 The Change is FREE.

Change

“Surprising plot twists” - Publishers Weekly

Grab your FREE copy today!





teylaAuthor Teyla Rachel Branton

Teyla Rachel Branton grew up avidly reading science fiction and fantasy and watching Star Trek reruns with her large family. They lived on a little farm where she loved to visit the solitary cow and collect (and juggle) the eggs, usually making it back to the house with most of them intact. On that same farm she once owned thirty-three gerbils and eighteen cats, not a good mix, as it turns out. Teyla always had her nose in a book and daydreamed about someday creating her own worlds. She is now married, mostly grown up, and has seven kids, including a two-year-old, so life at her house can be very interesting (and loud), but writing keeps her sane. She thrives on the energy and daily amusement offered by her children, the semi-ordered chaos giving her a constant source of writing material. Grabbing any snatch of free time from her hectic life, Teyla writes novels, often with a child on her lap. She warns her children that if they don’t behave, they just might find themselves in her next book! She’s been known to wear pajamas all day when working on a deadline, and is often distracted enough to burn dinner. (Okay, pretty much 90% of the time.) A sign on her office door reads: DANGER. WRITER AT WORK. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. She loves writing fiction and traveling, and she hopes to write and travel a lot more. She also loves shooting guns, martial arts, and belly dancing. She has worked in the publishing business for over twenty years.






Blog Tour Giveaway


$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash


Ends 9/18/14


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from The Reckoning, Book 4 in the Unbounded series


I started firing. My third man fell and Mari’s second before the group turned in our direction. Two men at the back dropped from Ritter and Stella’s fire, followed by two more. Nine down. They opened fire. The rat-a-tat-tat of their automatic weapons sliced through the stillness of the night. We had to hurry. Mari crouched behind the car, while I went over the top, using Ritter’s speed. He was already there. I landed on one rotund Hunter while bringing my trangue gun down on another. I rolled as I fell. Another turned his gun in my direction, but I was already diving away, the bullets spraying the short grass. Twisting, I came around, my foot out, kicking the gun from his hand. He slammed his fist at me, but I deflected it with my left arm and jabbed my right hand into his gut. He grunted and leaned forward into my next punch. I looked around as he fell, but I already sensed everyone was down.
“Get them into their van,” Stella said. “It won’t be long before someone comes to investigate those shots.” She grabbed a Hunter and started tugging him across the ground.
I sent my thoughts out wider, finding two more life forces slinking in our direction. They were dimmer than the average life forces, which meant they were shielded. Before I could warn the others, Desoto’s two patrolman emerged from the trees only twenty feet away. I caught a glimpse of automatic rifles before a spotlight blinded me.
“Stop,” said a voice I recognized as belonging to the Unbounded who’d found Walker asleep in the security room. “Put down those weapons.”
Unbounded. Both of them, I told the others. Mari, stay behind the car until I tell you.
Ritter, Stella, and I dropped our tranques and raised our hands as the Unbounded moved closer. I could see a red dot on Ritter’s forehead, and as there wasn’t one on Stella’s, I figured another must be on mine. Though the bullets wouldn’t kill us, we’d be out of commission long enough to lose the information we’d obtained unless Stella had already uploaded it to our servers. Worse, we’d be back in Emporium hands.

I’d rather die a true death.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Calliope Ipswich Blog Tour Spotlight & $25 GC Giveaway ~ Sept 3rd - 17th

I'm excited to spotlight author Marcia Lynn McClure's novel The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich, book 2 in her Three Little Girls Dressed in Blue series. Fans of clean historicals will want to check this one out!



secret blissThe Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure

“Oh! Do link arms with me, Calliope,” Blanche whispered, her brown eyes widening with apprehension. She took Calliope’s arm, tightly linking it with her own. “The old Mulholland house still gives me the willies every time I walk past it. I hate to think on what might have gone on inside. It’s truly terrifyin’!”

“Oh, don’t be silly, Blanche,” Calliope said, feigning calm. “Poor Prudence’s lunacy…it’s sad. And besides, her fiendish acts were not committed inside the house. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…it’s just a sad, empty building.” Calliope Ipswich felt the hypocrite, however, as an uncomfortable shiver of residual dread and unease shuttered down her spine,

More than six months had passed since the All Hollow’s Eve when the dangerous state of Prudence Mulholland’s fracturing mind had been revealed to the townsfolk of Meadowlark Lake. And now, each time Calliope thought of poor Prudence and her family, not only did her heart ache for their family’s unhappy lot but a chill of lingering horror rippled through her being.

In truth, at times Calliope wondered if it had all been simply a bad dream—a nightmare. But it hadn’t. It really had happened—all of it.



Purchase your copy on


Excerpt:
Blanche’s pretty forehead puckered with a slight frown. “You don’t like Fox as much as he likes you, do you, Calliope? You’re not in love with him.”


Calliope silently scolded herself for having let her countenance and words reveal her secret to Blanche. The truth was that she was not as sweet on Fox Montrose as he was on her. Yet there were secrets in her heart that could never be revealed to anyone—not even to Blanche, not even to Calliope’s own sisters.

Therefore, she chose a counter maneuver with which to distract Blanche and said, “Oh, I adore Fox! I just think these things may take time, you know, for me to…to…”


“To really fall in love with him, you mean,” Blanche finished.


“Yes. Perhaps that is what I mean,” Calliope responded.


Yet as they neared the Montrose house, trepidation welled up in Calliope’s bosom, for she knew that if she hadn’t fallen in love with Fox Montrose by now, she never would. Furthermore, she didn’t want to.

A secret bliss was nestled deep inside Calliope Ipswich. It had been nestled there from nearly the moment the Ipswich family had arrived in Meadowlark Lake all those months past. And though it was a bliss she owned in knowing something about herself that even her own sisters did not know, it likewise brought her pain at times—for it was the very reason she knew she would never fall in love with Fox Montrose. Calliope’s love was already spoken for—and no one in all the wide world, save Calliope Ipswich herself, would ever know it.


marciaAuthor Marcia Lynn McClure


Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”


Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.





Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Goodreads

Blog Tour Giveaway


$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash


Ends 9/24/14


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





































Monday, September 08, 2014

Rewind to You by Laura Johnston Trailer reveal



Rewind to You Book Trailer





Trailer Reveal Giveaway Details

$40 Gift Card to River Street Sweets


River Sweet Treats


2 $10 iTunes Gift Cards

iTunesGiftCard10


Ends 9/31/14


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an iTunes Gift Code or River Street Sweets Gift Card. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rewind to You CoverRewind to You


One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.


When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…





Laura Rewind to You Author
Author Laura Johnston
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.





Praise for the Book

“Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.” – RT Book Reviews



“This is contemporary YA fiction at its best! –Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton


Rewind to You will steal your hear away.” –Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga



Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Sending Book Blast + $50 Giveaway

I love love LOVE this cover! This is a YA SF Romance, my fave kind, and I've been itching to get back to more sci-fi and fantasy books. Adding this one to my shelf!



The SendingThe Sending

A city's peace is shattered when two university students go missing, and only Daneel and his friends know the shocking truth of what happened. Finding themselves under attack, Daneel leads them in a race to escape the mounting violence.

Mara is willing to kill for the beliefs of the faction that raised her. But as she seeks out her mark, using a rare, mystical form of travel known as the Sending, Mara discovers a powerful connection that challenges the truth of everything she’s been taught.

While Daneel fights to protect those he cares for, Mara must choose whether to cling to the ideology of her home—or open her scarred heart to a searing attraction and the promise of a new life.



Praise for The Sending

The Sending reads like a dystopian Romeo and Juliet where strong, full characters from very different places inevitably collide with passion and conflict. Salguero fills a fresh, vibrant world with a nerve-tingling fast plot. Prepare to be immersed. ~Tamara Ward, author of Hidden Betrayal


The Sending is a thrilling, fast-paced, science fiction-romance that's impossible to put down. Edge-of-your-seat action scenes, and a romantic attraction so intense that it will make you want to turn down the air conditioning, The Sending is a great read that left me hungry for more. I loved this book!
~Sterling R. Walker, author of The Orphan Ship

Purchase Your Copy


Excerpt
As one of the hawks flew across the tiny plane of space framed by her window, Mara closed her eyes. She envisioned herself there, experiencing the grace and the power of their movements. She imagined the control of that journey and thought that one day she might have that type of power over her own fate.
Mara felt a kinship with the graceful hunter. It knew the thrill of conquest coupled with the need for survival: opposite sides of the same implacable coin. The compound had taught Mara to use that need to a greater advantage than she had before.

Her chest tightened. Before? No, there was no before. Everything was after.
After her home had been raided, after her family had been killed, after she had been forced to fend for herself. She’d had only the passive help of a few others who had suffered the same fate, who had used her as much as she had been forced to use them.

She was a young six years when she lost her family. The memories of their life together had quickly begun to fade into the cruel background of her new life, into an icy, nearly paralyzing bath of hunger and fear.
The fear had covered everything. It had even blanketed the things that had seemed gentle and innocent to her before, so that nothing was safe. For a long time, the fear had ruled her with a cold, hard hand.




Jandy
Author Jandy Salguero


Growing up in southern Louisiana, Jandy Salguero's life was full of friendly smiles, good food and tall tales. She holds a BA in French from Brigham Young University, where she met her husband in the midst of the great Rocky Mountains. She now resides in a small town outside of Raleigh, NC. Her days are full of grade-school antics and underfoot toddler toys-- courtesy of her two handsome boys.


She is currently working on Book 2 in the Senitha's Light series, due out in early 2015.


 



BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/3/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway















































Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Rae Lori Author News ~ Fall/Winter 2014


Readers! Welcome to September!

I have a lot of great things in store for everyone waiting for my new releases. This fall and winter will be packed with surprises, announcements, releases and tons of goodies!

First up, if you're into fashion and the Ashen Twilight series, check out the fashion of the Houses over at Katrina a.k.a. Kindred Dreamheart's blog today! Both the lead characters Ariya and Jace are featured as well as their style of choice displayed throughout the series. Enter to win a copy of a book in the series and a gift card for even more books!



More Ashen Twilight goodies will be released in the coming months including some special editions and the final release of the series. If you're a fan itching for some updates and news, here's a sneak peek for an upcoming release.

I wonder what could it be? :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

AWD Guest Post by Author Stacy-Deanne



Worth the Risk: Celebrating HIV-Positive Characters in Romance


Hi All,

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) here and I want to share a bit about my new release, Worth the Risk!

About the Book:

Houston music critic Alvin Zak becomes smitten with violinist Madeline Deever from the first moment she lays her bow to her violin to perform a concerto. Sent to review the orchestra, Alvin becomes so enraptured by Madeline that he asks her if he can do a feature on her. The polite, yet elusive Madeline agrees to think it over while declining Alvin’s invitation for coffee. Alvin does not understand Madeline’s abrupt refusal to his invite and it makes him even more interested in getting close to her.

The last thing Madeline is looking for is love since she is harboring a secret that has the power to ruin any potential relationship. Convinced no man would love her enough to accept her situation, she fights off Alvin’s advances, but begins to fall in love with him.

Can Alvin convince Madeline to trust him and give into her feelings or is Madeline destined to spend her life alone?
Available August 30th from Secret Cravings Publishing

Check Worth the Risk out on Goodreads and add it to your shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22596061-worth-the-risk


Why I Wrote the Book:

Worth the Risk will always hold a special place in my heart. So far, it is probably the most important book I’ve written. I wrote it in honor of my cousin who has been living with HIV for over a decade. The type of person she is and the struggles she’s been through made me want to base a character of her. I also wrote the book because I feel that it is important for fiction, especially romance, to focus on people from all lifestyles. One thing my cousin has to deal with is finding friends and lovers who understand her situation. I wanted to write this book for others with HIV so that they have faith that they can find love and romance like everyone else.


Why I Feel the Book is Important:

I believe fiction should sometimes show the harsher side of life. I also think it is important that people have characters in which they can relate. People with HIV fall in love and are in relationships the same as others, yet we don’t see many romances focused on them. I don’t know why that is. Maybe some writers don’t know much about HIV and are intimidated to write about it. Maybe some writers feel like audiences would not want to read a romance with an HIV-positive character. All I can say is that so far, reactions from readers and reviewers have been positive toward my book. In fact, a Facebook Group influenced me to follow my heart and write this. I had someone tell me that no one would want to read about an HIV heroine, but when I asked about this I got so many others who said that wasn’t true. I like to follow my heart in my writing so I couldn’t let it go, so the story was born. This a lesson to all writers to listen to your heart. If you feel strongly about something, write it no matter what.


The Importance of Romance Books for Everyone:

As a black child, I didn’t have any books that centered on people like me. None of the children’s books I read and enjoyed had little black girls in them. I always thought about that.

When I was a teenager, I never saw romance books or many other books outside of literary fiction with blacks as characters or on covers. Romance especially weren’t being written for blacks. It was very hard for black authors to get their romances published. Until BET Books and Kimani came along, romance books rarely focused on blacks. I always thought about that.

Now, read what I just wrote and you’ll see why I feel it’s important to have books everyone can relate to. I feel this way because it’s something I’ve experienced. I wondered how many people with HIV who love romance novels ever go, “Hmm, wonder why they don’t write more romances for people like me?”
That is the question I had in my head when writing Worth the Risk and it made me more determined and proud for writing this story.


What I Hope Readers Get From This Book:

What I hope people get from this book is simple, entertainment. I also hope that it expands the minds of people who don’t have firsthand experience with HIV or with those who have it. Worth the Risk is an interracial romance before anything else, except the heroine is living with an incurable disease. Madeline is still a woman with feelings and desires like any other woman. What I don’t want is for people to overlook the book because they are afraid of the subject matter. Once again, this is a romance above all else and I hope people see that.


Excerpt (Mild adult language below):

Madeline ran out the door and hurried down the sidewalk toward her dark-blue Mazda.
Come on!
She dug in her purse for her keys.
The last thing I need is anyone asking questions.
“Madeline?” Alvin busted out the door. “Madeline?” He ran up behind her. “Wait!”
She stopped and sighed.
What do I say if he asks why I’m here? Of course, I can tell him to fuck off but then what? I wake up and the next thing I know another feature of me will be in the magazine?
She turned around.
Hold on. Why the hell is he here?
“Hey.” He squinted. “You okay?”
“Why?” She held the prescription note behind her back. “Why wouldn’t I be okay?” She raised an eyebrow. “You saying I don’t look okay?”
“You look beautiful actually.”
Compliments.
She brushed her hair behind her ear.
I do like the way I feel when he looks at me. But, I can’t trust this man. He did a feature on me without my permission. Who does that?
She tilted her head.
I can’t lie and say I’m not a tiny bit attracted to him. Why does he like me though? Is he really interested in me or just my music?
“What are you doing here?” She avoided meeting his gaze.
“I’m here for my yearly checkup.” He swung his arms. “I gotta get my blood pressure medicine refilled.”
“You have high blood pressure?”
He rolled his eyes. “No, I just take the medicine because I like it.”
She grinned. “I guess your job can get stressful, huh? I’ve seen how some react when you give them bad reviews. I saw what that musician did to you on Twitter last year. I couldn’t deal with stuff like that.”
“No one likes a critic.” He clasped his hands in front of him. “That’s the nature of the job, but I love what I do. I love music, so that’s why I like to judge it and study it.” He gestured to her. “Why are you here?”
“I had to see my doctor.”
“Dr. Fox too?”
“No.” She crumpled up the prescription note. “It’s another doctor.”
“Oh.” He nodded. “Who?”
“Who?” She exhaled. “Is that really your business?”
He shrugged. “No, but I told you the name of my doctor.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t ask did I?”
His smile faded.
I hate being a bitch to him. He seems to be a nice guy but I can’t give him an inkling something can be between us when I know it’s impossible. Better to reject him now than hurt him later.
“Alvin, I told you I didn’t wanna see you again.”
“You don’t wanna see me because of the feature or something else? I’m sorry if doing the story hurt you. It wasn’t my intent.”
“Do you realize how many emails I’ve been getting since you wrote about me?” She touched her hair. “I mean…they’re nice and stuff but I didn’t want this to happen. You should’ve given me the choice.”
“I apologize, but I thought you’d be happy once you saw it.”
“Well, I wasn’t.” She held her arms to her sides. “I wasn’t.”
 “I don’t know how to be with you.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Things that I thought would impress women don’t work on you.”
“I don’t like games or tricks. I’d rather know off the bat what you want. No bullshitting.”
“Okay.” He swallowed. “I wanna go out with you, and I wanna know more about your music.”
She sighed.
“How about I give you a chance to tell your own story this time?” He touched her arm. “I really am sorry if the piece offended you.”
“It didn’t offend me. It was a very flattering feature but—”
“You didn’t want it?”
She nodded. “I don’t like people doing things behind my back.”
“You might be glad to know it’s gotten a lot of attention. I got people calling me asking me more about you and how to reach you.”
“I don’t want anyone to reach me.”
Why, Madeline?” He moved closer. “You’ve got a wonderful gift that you share with the world, but you don’t wanna share yourself?”
“I can’t.” She closed her eyes. “I can’t share myself with anyone else again.”
“Including me?”
She looked into his eyes. “Especially you.”






Upcoming Release:

Since I’m here I’d like to share about my upcoming September 13th release Empty coming from Sugar and Spice Press.

It’s about a May/December romance and I hope you check it out and enjoy it!

Blurb:

Empty is an endearing love story about soul mates who didn’t realize how lost they were until they found each other.

Forty-five year-old Sacramento Social Psychology Professor Bella Terry has developed a feverish attraction for her twenty-four year-old student, Cameron Moore. Despite their differences, Cameron finds the elusive Bella irresistible and stops at nothing to get closer to her.

Their interest for each other turns into a fascinating bond neither expected. They share their deepest secrets and Cameron realizes there is more to Bella than he ever imagined. Bella has not had an easy life and because of this, she’s built a wall to her heart. Bella pushes Cameron away, but Cameron refuses to give up on love.

After a traumatic experience, Bella realizes she loves Cameron and can’t afford to walk away.

Thanks for having me!

Check Empty out on Goodreads and add it to your shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22818338-empty





Monday, August 25, 2014

ASA Says Thank you to Readers! ~ Massive Book & Prize Giveaway

Massive Giveaway Alert!


Readers, this one is for you! Join me and my fellow authors as we say a big old thank you to our readers for all their support and for checking out our work! ASA is excited to offer 4 massive giveaways to any readers who enter. Just sign up below and spread the word!

Giveaways close at the end of the month!


Giveaway #1: a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #2 a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #3 a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway #4 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, August 22, 2014

BLOG TOUR ~ Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux (Review + Excerpt)



Release date: August 7th 2014


Synopsis via Goodreads:

Falling hard never felt so good.

Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...

The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?


About the Author
Jennifer ComeauxJennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. 







~Book Review~

Love love love this book! As a newbie to the New Adult genre, I was apprehensive about reading about tons of sex with bad boys and indecisive good girls and tons of bad language spread throughout. Thank goodness for Jennifer Comeaux's books! I love that she weaves a good story with sweet and endearing characters you can't help to fall in love with. She carves a nice niche out in writing about the competitive world of figure skating and being a huge fan of the sport since I was little watching the Olympics with my parents, Crossing the Ice was a dream come true.

Josh was my kind of hero. Sweet, a bit shy but definitely endearing and a gentleman. I couldn't wait for him and Courtney to get together and I loved the way they got to know each other. It was like falling in love again which is why I love reading romance books that really focus on the romance. They had sweet chemistry that really made me see why they cared for each other and how good they would be together. I couldn't help gushing!

Years ago I bought Life on the Edge and it's been waiting for me to dive in. I don't know why I took so long especially since a young Emily and Sergei appear in that book and are the coaches of the young figure skaters in Crossing the Ice! Love that! It makes me even more eager to read back sort of like a prequel to lead up to the events of this book.

At this time I'm still reading the book because some books you need to let simmer and marinate like a find gourmet meal and this one was one of them. I'm already a slow reader but when I really enjoy a book, I take my time because I love being in the minds of the characters. The bummer thing is this is the last in the series when I finish, but the upside is that I have a lot of great reading to catch up to in this series and I can't wait!

Thanks Jennifer Comeaux for this wonderful series!

Content: Clean book except for a few minor curse words sprinkled throughout.

~Excerpt~
         
            “Should I be worried about the lack of people here?” he asked. “I’m trusting your claim that this place has good food.”
            “It gets really busy on weekends. There’s a guy that plays the piano on Friday and Saturday nights, and all the old geezers come out. It’s a totally happening scene.”
            “Sounds entertaining. Anything’s more happening than what I’d be doing at home.”
            “And what would that be?”
            He took a sip of water and thought a moment. “Probably listening to my iPod on full blast so I don’t have to hear Steph watching reality TV at volume level fifty.”
            “You should come check it out this weekend then. The piano guy’s actually pretty good if you can put up with some of the cheesy songs he plays.”
            He leaned slightly forward. “After a lifetime in skating, I’ve become immune to cheesy music.”
            One of the waiters interrupted us, asking me to fill a drink order for his table, so I slid down the bar to get the wine. As I poured two glasses of red, I glanced at Josh and caught him watching me. He quickly looked away to the TV behind the bar. Was I being too friendly, encouraging him to come back to the restaurant so soon? I didn’t want to send the wrong signals. He just seemed like he could use the company. I’d gladly help anyone get away from Stephanie.
            I scooted into the kitchen to see if Josh’s dinner was ready and came out carrying a tray with his grilled salmon and asparagus. His eyes grew big as I set down the plate, and I parked myself in front of him, waiting for him to take a bite.
            “You’re going to stand there and watch me eat?” he asked.
            “Until you tell me how you like it.”
            He smiled and tasted a piece of the fish. His eyes stayed on his plate as I sensed he wasn’t comfortable being watched. His strong jaw moved slowly, and I found myself studying his mouth for the first time. He had nice, full lips. The kind that were made for kissing…
            Jeez, what are you, thirteen again? I backed off and picked up a dishrag to wipe a nonexistent spot from the bar.
            Josh finished chewing and waited a long moment, not giving me any hint of his opinion as he continued staring downward. Finally, he placed his fork on the plate and looked up at me.
            “It’s excellent,” he said.
            I pumped my fist. “Success!”
            “You’ll have to tell the owner you’ve recruited a new regular.”
            “I will. Maybe he’ll give me a ten cent raise.”
            He cut into his asparagus. “How long have you been working here?”
            “About two years. My dad was laid off from his job, and things got pretty tight, so I looked for something that could fit into my training schedule.”
            “Is he still out of work?”
            “No, he found a job in Boston — that’s why my parents moved. It’s just not as good a position as he had before so I needed to keep working.” I folded the dishtowel and hung it under the bar. “They’ve been really good to me here, letting me take off for competitions and always giving me the dinner shift on weekdays.”
            “It still has to be tough working all night after skating all morning.”
            “There are some mornings I really hate the alarm clock.” I laughed. “But I try to keep a consistent schedule — leave here by ten, in bed by eleven, so I can get eight hours of sleep.”
            “Your life sounds as exciting as mine.” He smiled.
            “At least you’ve been to college already. You must’ve had some exciting times there, right? Frat parties, football games…”
            He stared at his glass and traced the rim of it with his thumb. “With skating always coming first, I didn’t really have the typical college experience. It was pretty much train, go to class, eat, study, sleep.”
            I eyed him with one brow skeptically raised. “Not even one night of drunken debauchery?”
            He slowly shook his head. “I’ve never had a drop of alcohol.”
            “Really? You knew how to order a scotch.”
            “It’s my dad’s favorite drink.”
            I studied him harder, and he looked down and reached for his napkin. I’d thought I had limited social experience, but Josh might be even more inexperienced than I was. Even I had gone through the ritual of sneaking into a club and getting sloppy drunk (okay, it had only been once, but still).
            “Wanna try some vodka?” I joked and pointed to the line of bottles behind me.
            His smile returned. “I’m good, thanks.”
            “Okay, you just let me know because I make a mean Moscow Mule. At least that’s what my customers tell me.”
            I gave him space to finish his meal while I organized glasses at the other end of the bar. When I went to refill his water, he was on his last piece of fish.
            “I’ll be tempted to have this again this weekend, but I’m curious if everything else is just as good,” he said.
            “So you’re definitely gonna come for the big entertainment?” I realized after I spoke how excited I sounded.
            Josh apparently picked up on it because his grin grew a little wider. “I’m psyched for the blue-hair crowd and the cheesy music. Sounds like this will be the hottest spot on Cape Cod.”
            I laughed and moved over to the cash register. “Can I get you anything else? We have some yummy desserts. Not that I eat them on a regular basis,” I added hastily.
            “I’ll wait and splurge this weekend. Gives me something else to look forward to.” He paused and grimaced. “How sad is it that one of the highlights of my week is dessert?”
            “Hey, I’ve been known to take an hour to eat a piece of cake just to make it last. There’s no shame in anticipating and appreciating dessert.”
            I gave him his check and carried his plate to the kitchen. When I returned, he was standing and putting his wallet into the back pocket of his jeans. I brushed aside the twinge of sadness I felt because he was leaving and marched confidently toward him.
            “Thanks again for the recommendation,” he said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
            “Bright and early!” I chirped a little too enthusiastically.
            He walked away, and I bopped myself on the head with the bill folder before opening it. As I counted the cash, I realized Josh had left double the expected tip. What the hell? Was he pitying me?
            I squeezed the money in my fist and hurried for the door. Josh was a few steps into the parking lot. I called his name, and he spun around.
            “What is this?” I held up the cash. “I didn’t tell you about my dad losing his job because I was looking for a handout. I don’t need your charity.”
            He looked stunned. “I… I didn’t… that’s not why I did it. I heard you say that old guy only gave you a dollar, so I wanted to give you what he should have. What you deserved.”
            The tension in my body melted, and I softened my voice. “You didn’t have to do that. You can’t cover every cheapskate that comes in here. You’ll be broke by the end of summer.”
            His lips twitched upward. “It just didn’t seem right.”
            “Well, thank you. Mr. Mayer owes you a drink. A non-alcoholic one.” I smiled. “And I owe you an apology for getting all defensive.”
            “Don’t worry about it. It’s forgotten.”
            I let out a breath. “Good.”
            We stood quietly, making the crickets chirping around us sound even louder. Josh fiddled with his keys and took two small steps backward.
            “So… goodnight again.” He slowly walked in reverse toward the row of parked cars.
            “Goodnight.”
            When he eventually turned to his car, I went inside and thumped myself on the head again, that time with the heel of my hand. What was it about Josh that threw me off balance and made me act like an idiot? If anyone else had left me a humungous tip, I’d be dancing around and bragging to Meredith.
            Me and hot rich guys apparently weren’t a good combination.

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