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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pranks as a Form of Foreplay: A Guest Post by Cassie Mae


I am thrilled to be a stop on Cassie Mae's blog tour for her newest release, Friday Night Alibi.  For one thing, Cassie is always loads of fun and she is pretty hilarious.  Secondly, although I'm not a big romance or YA or NA reader, I think her stories have some of the most original premises out there today.  I'm blown away by her creativity.  So to celebrate the release of of her NA novel, Friday Night Alibi, I asked her to do a guest post on pranks.

So here she is!

Pranks as a Form of Foreplay

I wrote FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI with one thought… love is FUN.

Background on yours truly real quick…

I fell in love at the age 15 with a guy I worked with at Jungle Jim’s Playland. And I couldn’t stand him. He was obnoxious and dorky and why did this guy keep playing jokes on me?

Well… it’s cuz he liked me. A lot. :)

So, even though he was a prankster (and in return, I was too) I still fell in love with hubby after the following events occurred:

Invisible ink squirted all over my lap that didn’t dry for at least an hour.
Wet towel whip straight across my butt cheeks. I had a horizontal welted crack for a day and a half.
Soaked head to toe with the sink sprayer after putting bubbles on his head. (He liked to get me wet… I’m just now realizing the trend.)
Hooked up horn to my brakes when I asked him to move my car closer to the door.

I got back of course.

Olive juice instead of Pepsi.
Stolen time card.
Locked out back with the dumpster.
Pizza sauce on his khakis.
And getting him to walk on a mound of snow he effectively fell straight to his waist in. (It took three of us to pull him out.)

Some romance is more serious. Some stories are dramatic and full of angst. They are awesome to read about. But there are some romances that are lighter, fun, and completely immature. Those are the kind of romances I like to write, because I lived a romance like that. :)

And because this makes me giggle uncontrollably, an awesome prank (and even better reaction).



A big THANK YOU to Lisa Regan for letting me invade. If you’re looking for a light and fun romance, you can check out my book FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI by Random House Flirt here: 


About Cassie Mae:



Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. She’s the author of the Amazon Bestseller REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND, and is the debut author for the Random House FLIRT line with her New Adult novels FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI and SWITCHED. She also has a three book deal with Swoon Romance Publishing, including her book HOW TO DATE A NERD. She spends time with her angel children and perfect husband who fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.


About the Book:

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black, and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.


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Sunday, July 21, 2013

An Interview with Dana Mason

I'm thrilled to have the lovely and brilliant Dana Mason here today.  Dana is a romantic suspense author whose books I can't get enough of.  So I was thrilled when I was able to get an ARC of her newest release, Precious Embrace.  It's available now.  So below you'll find some info on the book, my interview with Dana and my review.

A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnant career.
When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his country-boy accent, she wants to run. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk. But when her worst nightmare becomes a reality, Johnny is the only person who can pull Ali out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child. 
***
Who falls in love after a one-night stand? Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe it’s possible until it happens to him. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to convince Alison she loves him too, even if it means moving to the West Coast.
Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose. Now Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish too.

INTERVIEW WITH DANA

1. When did you start writing?
I started writing about 4 years ago. I had this idea for a character and I couldn’t get her out of my head. I finally gave up and wrote her down. Once Sarah was on paper, I outlined every little detail about her and then her counter-character. Mark. They’re sort of like fire and ice, which made them fun to write. Mark was much easier than Sarah. I had no problem outlining what my own personal hero would be like. 

2. Did you always write romance novels?  What drew you to the genre?
I’ve always read romance novels so it was an easy choice for me. I like a happy ending. I read (and write) to escape the real world. I know, I know, I write romance suspense, which isn’t exactly a fantasy romantic world, but I can really dig a damsel in distress and a hero sweeping in to rescue her. Granted, I can also dig a damsel doing a little of her own a$$ kicking and saving too. This is why, in the opening scene of Dangerous Embrace, Sarah gets away from her attacker on her own, without the hero’s help. He gets to do some of his own rescuing a little later in the story. 
3.  Who are your favorite authors?
Nora Roberts, first and foremost. I also really enjoy a good Maya Banks romantic suspense story. I’m a huge Jennifer Crusie fan. She’s a romantic comedy writer. Her books are hilarious and full of ‘real’ people. I like a few Lisa Kleypas books and I love Janet Evanovich, she’s a little bit suspense and a little bit comedy. 
4.  What has been your best "author" moment?
My best author moment was the first time holding Dangerous Embrace in paperback. There is nothing like holding the physical proof in your hands. It was pretty cool the first time I signed a book too. I’ll never forget that.
5.  What about getting and being published has surprised you the most?
Getting published surprised me. The author support surprised me. The writing community is full of really great people. In this day and age, it’s sad that I’m surprised by kindness, but still true.
6.  Social media is all the rage in bookselling these days, especially for authors who don't have a huge publishing house behind them.  Which social media site do you think is most effective in getting your name out there and selling books?
It’s really hard to say. I think Facebook works and really great, popular reader blogs. I love how Facebook brings readers and authors together. Twitter seems like one big constant promotion machine to me. 
7.  Where do you get your ideas?
So far, all of my stories are based on news headlines I’ve heard on TV or read online. Not the news story so much, just a well written headline.  Also song lyrics are inspiration when I’m looking for ideas.
8.  Do you have a favorite character from your own books?  Who and Why?
Brian Hammel is my favorite character. Hands down. That’s an easy question. 
He has a role in all three books, but book three is about him. Brian is such a defined character it makes him easy to write. He almost writes himself. Is that weird? Maybe, yes, but it’s still true. I love his honesty and his candor. He’s like an M&M, hard crunchy shell but on the inside he’s all soft and sweet…and he’s hot so that’s always nice too. 

 9.  What can we expect next from you?
Book three in the Embrace Series. Book three, Broken Embrace, is Brian and Melissa’s story. I don’t have a release date yet, but I’m hoping for Spring 2014. First I need to find a way to kill off Brian’s wife Julie. Any ideas? 

After that, I’ll be focusing on something outside of the Embrace Series. What the Heart Wants. You’ll get to meet Bailey and Ryan. They have a great story and it’s set in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. I’m excited to finish that project. 
10.  What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I always feel awkward when asked this question. Even with two books out, I still feel like such a newbie at this author thing. I guess I would say to just keep writing. Keep working. Keep moving forward. Don’t count yourself out and support your damn friends even if they are more successful and less talented. (yes, there’s a story there) 

Thanks, Lisa, for the wonderful questions and wonderful interview. I had a lot of fun.

It’s my turn. I have a question for you. 

How deeply did you blush while reading the Dangerous Embrace and Precious Embrace love scenes?

Please.  I read it in the dark with my little book light so no one could see the crimson flush on my face!  Hot stuff!  

Okay, two questions.

Would you ever consider writing romance now that you’ve found your guilty pleasure?

I might have a romance novel in me.  I wouldn't count it out.  BUT . . . I tried it a few times and it always turned into a crime novel.

MY REVIEW

Once again, Dana Mason brings the heat. Precious Embrace positively sizzles. If it is even possible, Mason has brought us an even more delicious male protagonist than the one we fell for in her last novel. A smoking hot guy with washboard abs, a southern drawl and a gun who changes diapers? It doesn't get better than that. In this novel, we're focused on Ali, the ex-wife of the main male character in Dangerous Embrace. Her second marriage has just ended because her husband did not want to be a father. Ali is a single mother of a 4 month old trying to piece her life back together when a one night stand she had a couple of months ago at a wedding in Hawaii shows up on her doorstep. Johnny Rhay Bennett has been unable to stop thinking about Ali since their night in Hawaii and when offered a job near her, he jumps at it, moving 3,000 miles in the hopes of a relationship. Just as things start heating up between them--and I do mean raging-inferno-heat--Ali's infant son, Micah is kidnapped in a particularly brazen abduction. With this crime, Mason initiates an underlying sense of menace that skulks throughout the rest of the book, setting you on edge even as you're rooting for these characters to come out on top and work everything out. Mason also gives us a villain who will make your blood turn to ice who is nicely juxtaposed with Ali, a female lead character who has all the single-mom-with-failed-relationships angst that real live women have as well as smarts and grit. I also love how the baby, Micah--the character the plot turns on--is a real character in this book and not just an abstract figure. This book was a wild emotional roller coaster ride. The perfect blend of hot romance and pulse-quickening suspense.




Dana Mason started writing to prove to her computer geek husband and her math & science geek kids that she actually has a brain; it’s just a right functioning brain instead of a left. She’s lived all over the country and uses that experience in her writing and character studies. Her debut novel, Dangerous Embrace, is the first in a contemporary romance series about a group of friends from Northern California who learn just how short life can be when you don’t hold on to what’s important. Second chances don’t come easy…but sometimes love is worth the risk.

When not writing, Dana specializes in professional development and training. She’s also a board member on the local Art’s Council and does what she can to support the art community.

As an avid reader and movie watcher, she always requires a happily ever after ending.

Get Dana's first novel, Dangerous Embrace HERE.

Get Dana's second novel, Precious Embrace HERE.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: Courage by Carrie Butler

I'm thrilled to be a part of Carrie Butler's cover reveal today!  Courage is her second novel and the next book in her Nexus series, which I just love!  So here it is:


Cover Credits:
Design: Carrie Butler
Photography: Subbotina Anna & Yuri Arcurs

Here is the synopsis:

(By the way, I've had a sneak peek at this book and it is FABULOUS!)

Making a deal with the bad guys wasn’t the highlight of Rena Collins’ semester, but, hey, it saved her boyfriend. Now, in order to appease the human-altering organization known as ERA, she’ll crawl under their microscope while they study the Mark of Nexus and plot their eye-glazed version of the future—until she realizes that’s not all they’re plotting.

Wallace Blake has always known his girlfriend is unlike most girls. But now that information has surfaced regarding the two bloodlines that balance his supernatural race, he finally understands why. Rena belongs to one of them. She’s been augmenting his power, all along...

Enter: Corynn Catley. Brought into the country under the guise of an internship, she’s intended to become ERA’s secret weapon. Kind of. Her abilities cancel out Wallace’s, rendering him powerless, but that’s exactly what he’s always wanted. Too bad it only works when his girlfriend’s not around.


All the while, Rena fails to notice the crush her geeky best friend, Aiden Ross, is nursing. He’d give anything for her to see him in a new light—even reinvent himself through questionable means—but there’s a reason people are told to be careful what they wish for. Finding the courage to tell her could put everyone’s lives in danger.

It will be released in paperback and e-book format on October 15, 2013!

Here's where to find Carrie:

Where to find Carrie:
WEBSITE  |  BLOG  |   TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS  |  GOOGLE+  | NA ALLEY | PINTEREST 

Where to find Courage (Mark of Nexus #2):
BOOK PAGE  |  GOODREADS  |   BOOK TRAILER


Book Bloggers may start requesting e-ARCs via this form. :)
(http://www.carrieabutler.com/reviewers.html)


Participate in the Courage blog tour, happening October 14th–26th!


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P.S. Claire Fletcher still needs your votes in the Best Novel and Best Heroine categories of the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards.  To find out how to vote, go here.  Thank you!





Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happy Release Day, Dana Mason!

I'm excited to announce the release of the wonderful Dana Mason's second novel in her embrace series, Precious Embrace!  Woot, woot!



A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnant career.
When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his country-boy accent, she wants to run. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk. But when her worst nightmare becomes a reality, Johnny is the only person who can pull Ali out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child. 
***
Who falls in love after a one-night stand? Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe it’s possible until it happens to him. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to convince Alison she loves him too, even if it means moving to the West Coast.
Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose. Now Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish too.

Get it HERE!  It's only $3.99!

Now I've often been known to say that I can't tolerate romance novels.  It's nothing against the genre or the many talented writers out there, it just doesn't grab me.  It's me, not you, Romance Genre!  I like a little grit, a little mayhem, some dark themes with my reading.  Anyway, I love Dana's books and I think the reason is because she has a little bit of all that too.

Now if you're thinking well I didn't read her first book so this doesn't really apply to me, the great news is that her first book, Dangerous Embrace is FREE from July 11-14!


That one you can get HERE!

I'm going to have Dana back later this month for an interview and my review of her new book.  So stay tuned!
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P.S. Claire Fletcher still needs your votes in the Best Novel and Best Heroine categories of the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards.  To find out how to vote, go here.  Thank you!




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

THE MISTAKEN is on Sale!!!!



The brilliant Nancy S. Thompson's novel, THE MISTAKEN is on sale for only 99 cents from July 9th through July 15th.  It is getting rave reviews. If you haven't read this one yet, I strongly suggest that you pick it up while it only costs 99 cents.  Believe me, it will be the best 99 cents you ever spent!

Here are the links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble



Here is the synopsis:

All Tyler Karras wants is to enjoy life with his expectant bride. What he gets instead is a graveside seat at her funeral. With the woman who killed her uncharged and still free, all Ty wants now is revenge.

His brother, Nick, has dangerous connections and suggests a sadistic plan:  grab the woman responsible and hand her over to his associates--sex-traffickers in San Francisco's Russian Mafia. They offer Ty more than he dreamed possible. In exchange for the woman, they'll finally let his brother leave the business for good--with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.

There's just one problem:  Ty kidnaps the wrong woman.

Now he must protect Hannah Maguire from the very enemy he's unleashed, but the Russians are holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete the deal. Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.

And you can find Nancy here!

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P.S. Claire Fletcher still needs your votes in the Best Novel and Best Heroine categories of the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards.  To find out how to vote, go here.  Thank you!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Interview with Author Mandy Baggot

I'm thrilled today to introduce you to romance author, Mandy Baggot, or as I like to call her, Lady B.  Mandy has two titles published with the same publisher as me, but the real reasons I wanted to invite her to my blog today are that she's pretty accomplished in her genre and also, she's super supportive of other writers, even those outside of her genre like myself.


So here is the interview and stay tuned for news of Mandy's exciting upcoming release with Harper Impulse!

1.      How long have you been writing and what drew you to it?

I’ve been writing since I was a child and as soon as I hit my early teens there was always a romantic element to it! But I never saw it as something to make a career out of. I was too sensible back then and I think the careers advisor would have laughed hard if I’d suggested being a romantic novelist!

I really got the writing bug back after I had my first daughter. It was escapism from those nappy/diaper changes!

2.  Why do you write in the romance genre?

For me there’s nothing better than writing that magic chemistry when two people connect on every level. The spark of attraction, the physical need and the emotional pull *sigh*. I can’t imagine writing anything without the romantic element in it!

3.  Who are your favorite authors?

I get asked this question a lot! I read so widely now it’s really difficult to pick favourites. Harper Impulse (my new publisher) has asked me to pick ten favourites in a Q&A I did and it was so hard! I just love stories, romantic stories mainly, but I do love a good thriller too!

4.  What do you think is the most difficult aspect about the publishing industry for authors?

Getting noticed...by anyone! There are so many writers out there! How do you even begin to get your manuscript looked at? I love e-publishing because now it’s easier than ever to get your work out into the marketplace. There are now so many more options open to writers and choice is always a brilliant thing. I’ve self-published five novels and I’m about to have my third traditionally published novel released so I’ve done both. I’d say it’s all about finding the right path, the one that suits you best.

5.  What has been your best author moment?

Without a doubt it has to be winning the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the 2012 Festival of Romance. I felt that award was confirmation and a big pat on the back for all my hard work over the last couple of years.

6.  Do you have a favorite out of all your books?  Why?

Don’t make me pick from my babies!! It’s difficult because they’re all so different. I have a real soft spot for Strings Attached and the gorgeous, hot, rock star, Quinn Blake. The storyline is controversial, it got slated by an editor, but I stuck to my guns and the readers are still loving it almost two years on!

My next release, Do You Remember? is probably the most grown-up book I’ve written. I had to pinch myself a couple of times to make sure I’d really written it!

7.  What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Keep writing and enjoy it! Don’t ever lose the love for storytelling even if obstacles are put in your way! Those barriers are there for a reason...they’re meant to be jumped!




First Love. First Loss. Last chance?
2005 was the most traumatic year of Emma Barron’s life. It was the year her mother died and the year she met Guy Duval. Eight years on, she’s an English teacher with a doting boyfriend and a young son. Life’s been hard but now it’s comfortable. She’s settled and content…so why would she risk it all for another chance with the man that broke her heart?
Guy’s an international renowned footballer newly signed to a top UK team. But behind the confident facade is a man determined to drown the horrors from his childhood with fame, success and money.
Unable to confide in her best friend, Ally, Emma tries to hold her life together as her heart is pulled apart. Did she turn her back on love too soon?
ABOUT MANDY

Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award.

Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who produced her novels, Taking Charge and romantic suspense, Security.

In June 2013 she signed a two book deal with Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse.

She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle http://www.loveahappyending.com/.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.

Here are the places you can find her:

Loveahappyending Bookshelf: http://loveahappyending.org/mandy-baggot/
Harper Impulse: http://ow.ly/mAQBP

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P.S. Claire Fletcher still needs your votes in the Best Novel and Best Heroine categories of the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards.  To find out how to vote, go here.  Thank you!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Finding Claire Fletcher is a FINALIST!!!!


What else can I say but WOO HOO!!!!!!

Finding Claire Fletcher is a Finalist in the 2013 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards in TWO categories! Best Novel and Best Heroine!

Lisa, this is Cloud 9.  Cloud 9, Lisa.

I am crazy humbled and flattered that my little old book that took me almost 10 years to get into the hands of readers is being recognized in this way.  I'm totally speechless.

I just want to thank all my readers, fans, supporters, friends, family and the eFestival of Words people for this!

So the deal now is that in order to win, I need VOTES! 

So I'm asking you guys to head on over to the eFestival of Words site and vote for Finding Claire Fletcher.

Here's how:

1. Go HERE and register.

Tips:

The captcha thing--hit play and a phrase will come up along the bottom of the video after 2-4 seconds.  Type that in.

After you agree to the terms and hit submit, you're actually done.  It will take you to a page that says, "You're almost finished . . . "  THAT'S AN AD.  You don't actually have to do anything there.  So close out the page.

2.  Then go HERE to the Awards Hall to vote.

Tips:

Best Heroine and Best Novel are on the first page now near the top.  

Thanks!  And thanks to everyone who has already voted!  You guys are the best!