Thursday, March 23, 2017

Guest Post by Serena Kearney, author of Define Us plus Giveaway



Writing New Adult
by Serena Kearney

I will admit. New adult is not the first genre I ever wrote. I actually started off with YA/Sci-fi, if you can believe it. I even muttered to myself, I’ll never be able to write things like contemporary and new adult.
Well, low and behold, I somehow wrote my own new adult series. How did that happen? I ask myself that all the time. It also has helped me grow as a writer, knowing the difference between writing sci-fi and new adult. It takes a different type of imaginations and skills. You would really never know how much of a difference it is until you actually think about it, or do it yourself.
With sci-fi, it can come easy, or hard, depending on your writing style. Your imagination can skyrocket, you can practically create anything you want. Any scenario. Any land. Any world! I find this extremely easy, maybe because I have a big imagination. For some, it would be hard, more complexed to think up new things.
But with new adult, it’s different, almost more real. This can be hard and easy as well, depending. When I first started with the Scarred Bullet series, it seemed harder to me. I had to pause and actually think about my story for a second. Life experiences. What’s in this century? What can you do? Can’t do? Realistic or too much? How emotional did I want it and how far did I want to go?
And instead of using a sci-fi feel, creating enemies, or other worlds. I had to think about my real struggles. My feelings. Other friends that I knew. Other problems. Other scenarios that are part of my life. Part of an adult’s life. The system. The people. The friends. The parents. The struggles.
In the end, it all worked out. Once I had the idea, it spread from there, and somehow, all these characters I came up with, started to have their own story. I needed to get their story out. I needed their ending. And then when I got it, I didn’t want them to stop. I wanted a little part of them to go into the next story I wrote.
So, here we have it, the Scarred Bullet series. All can be read as a stand alone, but are also interconnecting.

Because the real truth… sometimes I just can’t have their story really end.

Define Us
Serena Kearney

(Scarred Bullet, #3)
Publication date: March 17th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

I’m supposed to be strong.
Until I found I was in a relationship I swore I would never be in.
I didn’t know how trapped I was until Dean Sailer walked into the diner, making me question who I turned into.
Dean reeked of overconfidence. He’s sarcastic and thinks he’s funny.
The worst part is I find myself smiling when I don’t feel like it. He brought out something inside me that I locked away a long time ago.
I wanted nothing to do with him.
I wanted to stay contained in my world.

When tragedy threatens the life of me and my best friend, he’s the one I find myself relying on.
He’s there for me when no one else is.
No matter how much I try to resist Dean Sailer, he seems to delve deeper into a place I thought was gone.
Can I change?Or will I be the definition of what I’ve made myself out to be?
Previous books in the series:


Author Bio:
I am a Leo. Born August 10, living on the east coast. I self-published my first novel, PNEUMA, November 2014, and it’s hasn’t stopped since.
One of my biggest problems was having too much to read. Now my newfound problem; having too much to write and not enough hands to type it out. Not enough brains to put the stories together fast enough. Not enough tea or coffee to keep me awake 24/7.

So, like every normal person, I have to take it one day at a time.
My cravings for sweets keep me going, any sort of cakes (especially red velvet), pies, cookies, and ice cream.
I have a cat named Bongo-Bongo, who loves to get in my way when I’m trying to work, but is too cute for me to fight him off.
And then I have my family, specifically my husband, who puts up with my endless nights, my tapping of the keyboard, my ridiculous imagination, and yet, he always encourages me to believe in myself and follow my dreams.



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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cover Reveal: One S'More Summer by Beth Merlin


One S’more Summer
Beth Merlin

(The Campfire Series, #1)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Since that first bus ride to Camp Chinooka twenty long years ago, Gigi Goldstein has been pining for her best friend’s guy. She knows her crush is wrong and has to stop, but her heart won’t listen to reason. To escape the agony of their impending wedding, Gigi accepts a summer job at the only place she’s ever been happy.
But working at Chinooka isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every inch of the campground is laced with memories.
When Gigi realizes she can’t fix the present by hiding in the past, she’s forced to reexamine her choices. Maybe everything she thought she wanted wasn’t what she actually needed… But if she can get her act together, Gigi might have one last shot at the summer love of her dreams.


Author Bio:
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Book Blitz: Echo by Nana Malone plus #Giveaway


Echo
Nana Malone

(The Player #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Money, power, prestige…freedom. Echo Coulter is—The Player.
You are a Coulter. You will be perfect. That’s what Echo has been told every day of her life. As the only girl in the Coulter clan, she knows it’s her job to be the glue of the family. But with the Olympics looming, the last thing she wants is to follow the rules. She wants to break free, and she knows just the guy to help her.
Cole Atkins has no interest in spoiled little rich girls. Besides, he’s got the job of a lifetime and just met the girl of his dreams…That is, until she ditches him under the cover of darkness. He can put her out of his head and deal with a spoiled princess for a couple of months right?
EXCERPT:
He knew where his mind should be. But that didn’t matter because right now it was filled with her, and how the scent of her clung to his skin. Someone that was supposed to be a one-night stand had somehow burrowed her way into his mind. Fine, whatever. He’d figure it out. He could find her again. How hard could it be?
Pulling on a pair of boxers, he looked around his apartment for any trace of her, but found nothing. No excuse to look her up to return something she forgot. If he wanted to see her again, he’d have to find her. And he was surprised by how strong that impulse was.
He’d hooked up a lot, but he’d never had a one-night stand that had gone quite like that. But then, he rarely woke during the night, and so he’d never taken the time to talk, like he had with Cece. Or maybe they’d overshared. He wondered if that was what had run her off so easily. He shook his head to force the thought aside. Not with what had happened between them after their little talk. He wouldn’t believe that they’d been able to connect so strongly physically, if the personal things they shared were what had made her run.
He’d never felt a connection like that before. Maybe her friend had dropped digits. If he couldn’t find her, that was it, he’d let it go. But he at least had to try.


Author Bio:
USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she "borrowed" from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.
Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter here. You'll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers. http://eepurl.com/2PeXb


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Guest Post by Caroline Healy, author of The Wolf Mirror plus #Giveaway

 


Researching for Historical Fiction 
by Caroline Healy

I was fortunate to study history in school to senior level and it was my favourite subject. I went on to University to study heritage management, archaeology and Celtic Civilisation, so I have had a major interest in the past. My studies opened up new details for me in terms of bringing different historical periods to life.

To add to the historical side of things I have been an avid reader and historical fiction has always been a favourite genre of mine. When I was around thirteen my English teacher introduced me to Wuthering Heights and since then I have been a major fan of all the Classics, particularly Austen.

When I would visit my sister in college, it became like an annual tradition to watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. And since then, I have been hooked.

As an avid follower of all things feminism and how women are portrayed and projected in media I wanted to write a Y.A. historical novel that would make people think about how things were in the past and question how far they have really come in the present. 

The Wolf Mirror
Caroline Healy

Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.
Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.
With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.
Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.
Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.
Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.
Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.
Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.


Author Bio:
Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.
In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice
Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.
She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.
(More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)


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Book Blitz: The Storm by R.J. Prescott plus #Giveaway


The Storm
R.J. Prescott

(The Hurricane #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Marie Kelly is a survivor who doesn’t know when to quit. Against all odds, she’s living a life she never dreamed she could have. It was enough… until a stubborn boxer makes her want more.
Irish charmer Kieran Doherty has been a fighter at Driscoll’s Gym for most of his life. He’s been content to let his best friend take the spotlight, now it’s his turn to make a name for himself in the world of heavy weight champions. Falling in love is the one thing he vowed never to do, but meeting Marie changed everything.
It’s easy to imagine a happy-ever-after when the sun is shining. But when the storm comes, and all hope seems lost, they both learn that if you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to fight for it.
EXCERPT:
When I finally plucked up a bit of courage, I peeped out of the curtains to see Kieran throwing stones at the window.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” he mock shouted, when he caught my eye. I opened the window to whisper loudly back at him.
“Are you high?” I asked. “Why didn’t you just ring the doorbell or call me?”
“I thought this would be more romantic,” he said.
“If I ignore the fact that my nipples probably have frostbite, I am feeling romanced,” I replied. He looked pained. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You said ‘nipples’ and now I can’t think of anything else,” he replied, making me smile.
“Now I’m down here, what’s the chances of seeing an accidental nip slip?” he asked.
“Depends,” I replied.
“On what?” he asked.
“What’s in the bag?” I said.
“Hot chocolate and warm doughnuts,” he said, holding up the bag as if to barter.
“Well, I would have said slim to none, but fresh doughnuts might have just tipped the odds in your favour,” I replied.
“Yesss!” he said, fist bumping the air in victory.
I closed the window and ran to buzz him in. He bounded up the stairwell, his heavy footsteps echoing loudly in the hallway. When he got to my door, he looked me up and down, taking in my short royal blue, silk pyjamas. Dropping the sack, he speared his hands into my hair and pulled me into a kiss that had me melting. Kier didn’t kiss with just his lips; he did it with his whole body. Without shoes on, I was tiny in comparison, but inside of the cage of his huge arms, I felt protected and safe. Despite his size, his lips were so gentle. He didn’t treat me like I was fragile, but like I was precious, as though every touch was one that he was experiencing for the first time and memorizing for later.
Feeling bold, I traced the seam of his mouth with my tongue, and when he parted his lips and touched his tongue against mine, I groaned. Every sensation was too much, and not enough. Breathless, he pulled away from me to nuzzle his face in the crook of my neck. I reached up and gently stroked the short hair at the back of his neck, making him sigh.


Author Bio:
USA Today bestselling author R.J. Prescott was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and studied law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation she fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later, she convinced her crazy, wonderful firefighter husband to move back to Cardiff where they now live with their two equally crazy sons. Her debut novel The Hurricane was an international bestseller and finalist in the Goodreads Awards in the category of debut author.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

A Star to Steer Her By by Beth Anne Miller plus #Giveaway


A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller

Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.
I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.
Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.
When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.
EXCERPT:
I was standing alone at the helm, under full sails and a glittering sky, guiding the ship unerringly across the endless black sea with only the stars to guide me, like the sailors of old. It was amazing. This was why I was here, why I’d gone ahead with this semester at sea, even after everything that had happened. Because I loved the sea, and wanted it to be a part of my life.
I returned my gaze upward, focusing on my guide star.
“‘And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’”
The low voice came out of nowhere. I spun to the right, where I could just make out the vague outline of someone leaning against the stanchion that held Speedy the motorboat suspended at the stern.
“Tristan?” As soon as the question left my mouth, I rolled my eyes in the darkness. Of course it was him.
“Aye, it’s me.”
“How long have you been standing there?” I hissed. “And where the hell did you come from?” I’d been at the helm for at least half an hour, and I knew he hadn’t been there the whole time.
There was a flash of white in the darkness as he grinned. “I’ve been here for about five minutes. You were so focused on staring up at the stars that you didn’t see me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“So instead, you just lurked in the dark until you could scare the hell out of me. Makes sense,” I muttered, trying not to be too thrilled that he’d chosen to hang out up here with me. “What was it that you said, anyway?”
“It’s from a poem. The full verse is:
“‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’”

His lilting accent gave the lines a musical quality, and a shiver ran down my spine. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “and perfectly describes the way I feel. You didn’t write that, did you?” Because it would be supremely unfair for him to be kind, gorgeous, athletic, musically brilliant, and a poet, too.


Author Bio:
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at www.bethannemiller.com

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Book Blitz: Rough by Sybil Bartel plus #Giveaway


Rough
Sybil Bartel

(Thrust, #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Jared
I’m not your boyfriend. I’m not the guy next door. I don’t even play nice.
My hands twisting in your hair, my whispered demand in your ear—I’m the fantasy you’ll wish you never had.
When I’m through with you, every inch of your body will know where I’ve been. You won’t crave more, you’ll beg for it. Because I’m not just the cocky smile with military hardened muscles you paid five grand for—I’m the experience you’ll never forget.
One night with me and you’ll know exactly why women pay me to be rough.
EXCERPT:
Desire hit me in the chest like a blast wave, then shot south. “You shouldn’t be here.” She didn’t look like she’d sounded on the phone.
“I’m sorry.” Breathy, her voice wavered. “I thought you said—”
“I know what I said.” I’d replayed every second of our conversation earlier. I’d fixated on it because this woman wasn’t like any other client I’d ever spoken to. She didn’t flirt or make one suggestive remark. She was exactly how she was now. But a hundred times more innocent.
She drew in a breath through her sexy full lips, then straightened. “Okay, well, you said we should meet. We did. Thank you for your time.” Slim fingers reached behind her and she fumbled with the handle of the front door.
I stared at her sweet mouth. “You know what I think?”
“I’m sure you have many thoughts, Mr. Brandt.”
My name on her lips sounded too damn polite. “Only two right now that matter.” I stepped closer, wondering why the hell I’d told her my last name.
She pulled the handle, the door opened a few inches and she stumbled.
“Careful.” I caught her arm and her hand landed on my stomach.
She sucked in a surprised breath. “I’m so sorry.” She bit her bottom lip and pressed her legs together as she stared at her hand. “It was, um, the door.” She flexed her fingers over my abs.
I leaned closer. “Do you know what separates fear from desire?”
Her chest rapidly rose and fell, but she didn’t take her hand off me. “I believe those are two terms that should be mutually exclusive.”
Hard and fast, I slapped my palm loudly against the door, slamming it shut. Perversely getting off on her startled reaction, I bit out two words, “That’s fear.” Calculated, slow, I dragged a finger a few inches up her bare thigh, then I cupped her face. She shivered and I dropped my voice. “But this?” I stroked her bottom lip as I stared at the thousand shades of fuck-my-life-up green in her eyes. “Biting your lip, pressing your thighs together—that’s desire.”
Her hand fisted, gripping a handful of my shirt, but she didn’t say a word.
Still holding on to her, wishing like hell I wasn’t about to let her go, I calmly shifted her to the side. Opening the door, I removed all threat from my tone. “Fear is triggered. Desire is provoked. Leave.” I told myself not to say the next line. “Or stay and get what you came for.”


Author Bio:
Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.
She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.
To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

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Book Blitz: Sugar We're Going Down by M.H. Soars plus #Giveaway


Sugar, We’re Going Down
M.H. Soars

(Love Me, I’m Famous #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

EMOTIONAL. CAPTIVATING. SEXY.
The long-awaited story of the incorrigible bad boy rockstar and the feisty woman who brought him down to his knees.
They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.
Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.
Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.
When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.
*This is Part One of a 3-Part story.
EXCERPT:
I brace myself for the impact, but as soon as Oliver turns around and my gaze collides with his electric blue eyes, I know I’ll have to bring my A-game if I’m to survive being near him. I haven’t seen the man in six months, but just being under his scorching gaze is enough to make me relive our fiery kiss and crave for more. I’ve never felt this crazy fixation for anyone before. It’s like an ice cold fever that won’t quit, a yearning that makes by body tingle all over in anticipation.
Oliver’s gaze skates over my body deliberately slowly, and a satisfied grin is plastered on his smug face when he focuses on my eyes again.
“Hello, there,” he says.
“What are you doing here?” I snap and my rude reply earns me a frown from Sebastian. Shit, I really need to work on tempering my bitchiness when I’m nervous.
Oliver chuckles. “I see you’re still mad at me. I’m kind of honored.”
I cross my arms in front of my chest and bite my tongue to keep from saying anything else that will give away how much Oliver is affecting me.
Someone touches my arm and with a side glance I see it’s Liv. “Be nice, Blue. I can’t have my maid of honor bickering with the best man.”
My shoulders sag as I let out a heavy sigh. I’ve never been part of a wedding party before so I have no idea how much interaction there is between the maid of honor and the best man. I hope it’s minimal. Oliver keeps staring at me like he can read my mind. It’s unnerving.
“I gotta make a call.” I turn on my heel and walk away, trying to keep my steps slow and relaxed. But all I want to do is sprint back to the house. That’s how badly Oliver’s presence is turning my head around. I hate this.
Once inside, I veer to the powder room. The make-a-call excuse is terrible, but I need a moment to recover. Inside the small room, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and count to ten in my head. I tell my heart to calm the fuck down and to stop galloping at full speed. I feel like a teenager suffering from her first crush and that’s not an emotional state I want to revisit.
I splash cold water on my flushed face and redo my loose braid. After taking a couple of deep breaths and squaring my shoulders, I can almost pretend I’m ready to go back out. I refuse to let Oliver’s presence keep me from spending quality time with my best friend.
I place one foot out of the door when his voice startles me. “How was that call?”
I jump on the spot, placing a hand over my chest. “Jesus. Did you follow me?”
Oliver is leaning nonchalantly against the wall with his arms crossed. I notice for the first time what he’s wearing, a black T-shirt that highlights his muscled chest and arms. He is also blonder than I remember. But it’s his devious mouth that makes me lose the ability to form coherent thoughts. God, I want to kiss him again.
He pushes himself off of the wall and moves closer. I hold my ground, feigning a pissed off stance. He can’t know how much I crave his nearness.
“What if I did?” he whispers in my ear, making my skin break out in goose bumps.
“I’d say I don’t appreciate stalkers.”
Oliver takes a step back and stares at me. I wish I knew what he is thinking.
“You’ve changed your hair. I kind of liked the mermaid colors.”
I touch my white blonde locks before narrowing my eyes at Oliver. “Did you just follow me to comment on my hair?”
“I want to clear the air around us. I know that we started on the wrong foot—”
“You don’t say,” I cut him off and Oliver flattens his lips.
“But we’ve ended on a very interesting note,” he finishes his sentence with a smirk.
I cross my arms and keep on glaring at the infuriating man. “Don’t get any fancy ideas. That kiss meant nothing and there won’t be a repeat.”
He steps into my personal space again. “Are you sure? I thought that was a wicked kiss. It’s definitely worth an encore.”
I push him away. “It’s been months. Get over yourself. Don’t you have a line of ravenous groupies dying for your attention?”
“Ravenous groupies?” He chuckles. “The images you paint in my head, Saylor. Then you blame me for getting fancy ideas.”
“Listen, Oliver. I don’t know how long you’re in town for, but I would like for us to try to act amicable whenever we’re forced together thanks to our friends’ wedding. So you’d better quit with the sexual innuendo.”
Oliver sighs loudly like what I just asked him is a huge, inconvenient favor. “You’re killing me here, Saylor. Do you know how hard it will be for me to look at you and not want you?”
I suck in a breath as my heart lurches in my chest. It takes me a moment to find my ground again and answer him.
“Try your best,” I say, my voice thin and without substance.
Oliver reaches out and takes a strand of my hair, letting it slide through his fingers. I remain frozen on the spot.
“Maddening, but I will.” He drops my hair and takes a couple of steps back. “And since I’m being completely honest here, I’m seriously considering making California home.”
Oliver goes back to the party outside, leaving me alone to digest the news. Why does it bother me so much that he wants to move to the same state as me? It’s not like we’ll ever see each other besides when we’re doing wedding stuff. What annoys me the most is how my heart hasn’t gotten the memo yet that Oliver is a bad idea. It celebrates furiously in my chest, like it has just discovered how to beat.


Author Bio:
M. H. Soars always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would become an author. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.
M. H. Soars resides in Florida with her husband and baby daughter. She is currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Guest Post by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker, authors of These Ruthless Deeds plus #Giveaway

 
Writing a Sequel

Writing a sequel is … an interesting mix of emotions. From a reader’s perspective, we always thought it was easier. You don’t need to come up with new main characters! The world has already been built in the first book! You already did a ton of historical research! Half the work is done! But when we actually sat down to get started on These Ruthless Deeds, we immediately felt stifled and annoyed with the past versions of ourselves who had started this series six years ago. We had a different set of priorities back then. We had locked ourselves into a set of characters, who were already on particular tracks. We were stuck with a set of rules that we couldn’t turn around and break. We worried that we’d used up all the good plot lines, powers, enemies, jokes, locations and twists in the first book and would find ourselves torn about what to do in the second. And seeing how the tiniest decisions in the first book, altered the direction of the second, we were super indecisive because we didn’t want to regret locking ourselves into something horrible for the third book. We lost count of the number of times we wished we had simply written a standalone, so we could just get a nice, blank slate again.

But after the initial panic, and with help from our great editorial team at Swoon, we slowly started to remember why we had decided this world needed three books and not one. We stopped thinking about the things we couldn’t do because our past selves were different writers and we started thinking about the things we hadn’t gotten the chance to do with what we’ve learned since then. We thought about all the powers that we never thought of for the first book. We realized all sorts of unexpected uses for the existing powers. We noticed how narrow our world-view was. We figured out new ways to use some of our favorite cut scenes. We remembered some of our favorite jokes and one-liners that we couldn’t find a place for. And most of all, we thought about the moments we still wanted our characters to have. All the things they needed to go through.

More than anything, writing a sequel is a balancing act, where you feel pressure come from directions you hadn’t even considered. You’re at once your own greatest fan and your harshest critic. You want to capture the magic from the first book, while going somewhere new. But at the same time, you are constantly second-guessing yourself, wondering if you’re getting stale and repetitive, or too weird and different. Even though we’re finished, we’re still not quite sure if we’ve cracked the secret formula for writing a perfect sequel, but we do think the most important part is to accept that we, as writers, are growing along with the characters, and we all have to go somewhere new and uncomfortable.

So here’s to book three. Where we are already cursing our past selves. But maybe slightly less than last time. We doubt this process will ever get easier, but hopefully we will learn some new tricks each time.


These Ruthless Deeds
Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker

(These Vicious Masks #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.
As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…


Author Bio:
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.
Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.
Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.
Links (Tarun):
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
Links (Kelly):
Website / Goodreads / Twitter


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Guest Post: Writing New Adult by Jillian Quinn, author of Parker plus #Giveaway

Writing New Adult

With each age group comes a different set of rules, but writing new adult is not much different from writing young adult or adult. As a writer, you have to understand your audience. That’s the key to switching between age groups and writing in different genres. The first manuscript I ever wrote was a young adult fantasy novel. I still haven’t published the book because I switched from fantasy romance to sports and contemporary romance writing.

Shifting from young adult to new adult was easy for me because I read all age groups and all genres. As a new adult reader, I was comfortable with writing about college life because I went to college and had the fraternity life experience and everything that goes along with attending a big university. In Corrupt Me, my main character, Luca Marchese, is the son of a Mafia boss and the president of his fraternity. I was able to make a fraternity house and the men who are part of the fraternity feel real, as if you were on a college campus, because I based some of it on my experiences and have known my fair share of frat boys. I wanted to portray the characters in the book the way I saw my own friends, who at first seemed like the stereotypical frat guys until I had gotten to know them.

I took Mark Montgomery, a character from Corrupt Me who was a member of the fraternity, and gave him his own book called Teach in my new City of Sinners Series that releases on April 5th. I created a fictional campus in Philadelphia in Corrupt Me, and that campus will continue to be the setting for all of my books set in college. I plan to write a baseball and football series around the characters introduced in each of these books that will stem from the fictional setting I created. Writing new adult books comes naturally to me, but I think it all depends on an author’s experiences and what they feel comfortable writing.

When I started Corrupt Me, I wrote 45,000 words of the first draft in one weekend. I changed a lot of the story and the character development over time, but I was so at ease with writing about a college campus that the words flew onto the page and the same thing happened with Teach. The next three books in the Philly Corruption Series are not centered around the college campus since Luca’s brothers are several years older than him and members of the Philadelphia Mafia. But readers will see glimmers of the campus and the area around the school that I created based on a combination of Temple University and UPenn.

Overall, I believe writing for new adult readers is about comfort level, experience, and understanding your audience.

Corrupt Me and Parker are both available now to read for free through Amazon with Kindle Unlimited and also available in paperback. If you like steamy professor-student taboo books, Teach comes out on April 5th. Thank you for having me on your blog. 



Parker
Jillian Quinn

(Face-Off Series #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Former collegiate athlete and successful sports agent, Charlotte “Coach” Coachman, is a straight shooter who has a very strict policy—no dating clients. The loves of her life are coaching little league basketball and managing the careers of her players, leaving no room for men.
Coach hasn’t met an athlete she couldn’t handle and a deal she couldn’t close—until she meets Alex Parker—the NHL’s most notorious bad boy both on and off the ice.
Alex is the best defenseman in the league, breaking records along with hearts. He’s made a name for himself as a womanizer, and after a scandal involving the owner’s granddaughter, Alex is traded to Philadelphia. Still reeling from the loss of his father, Alex is on a downward spiral, drowning himself in booze and women, until Coach takes him under her wing.
She might be attracted to the sexy hockey star, and certainly not immune to his charms, but Coach can see that Alex needs her help, and coaching players is what she does best. Now that the lines are blurred and the passion between them is too strong to deny, Coach has to decide if Alex is worth making an exception to her rules.


Author Bio:
Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she's not reading, writing, or blogging, she's obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.


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