Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Book Title: Once Perfect (Shattered Past, #1) Author: Cecy Robson Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance Release Date: October 7, 2014 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Evelyn Preston’s future once looked perfect—until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they’ve led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love. Mateo is ex-army who wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he’s feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid. As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn’s past—even if that means tackling his own to save her.
I Met my Agent in the Bathroom and other Facts About My Path to Publication I’d like to say I’m joking, but I’m dead serious. I met my agent and now BFF, Nicole Resciniti, in the bathroom at a writer’s conference. No, it wasn’t on purpose, and no, I wasn’t creepy about it. Here’s what happened from the beginning with some facts thrown in along the way. On May 1, 2009, I decided to write a novel. I didn’t take a class, I didn’t sit through “How To” instruction videos on YouTube. I honestly wanted to write a novel simply to see if I could. I’m a registered nurse by trade. To this day, I consider the comma as my evil nemesis. That said, I gave it a shot. My first book was the Weird Girls, an urban fantasy romance about four unique sisters who obtained their powers as a result of a backfired curse. I’d read close to forty UF and paranormal romance novels in the months prior so I thought I knew what I was doing. Um, yeah. Not quite. My first draft . . . and possibly the next seventeen revisions that followed didn’t have a plot. Plots are important. Seriously, every fiction book should have one. But one of the things I discovered was that plots aside, I could tell a story. So I kept rewriting, especially when those poor suckers―I mean, my kind and patient friends― who I begged to beta read for me continued to tell me that I had “something.” Eventually, I did take an online course on query preparation and worked on pitching my series. I also attended a writer’s conference for the sake of connecting with other writers and for the opportunity to interact with agents and editors. During this time period (approximately August 2009 until about April 2011), I aggressively began to query literary agents who represented my genre. Twenty, no, I’m mean fifty―okay, okay, perhaps seventy-five rejection letters later, in addition to quite a few more novel rewrites, I thought I was ready to pitch my series again. My husband thought I was ready, too, and sent me to a New York writer’s conference to give the traditional publishing venue yet another chance. I was horribly sick and needed to use the bathroom even before the conference started. While I was blowing my nose to the tune of “I’m a baby elephant and I’m trying to call my mother” the woman in the stall next to me asked, “Allergies?” I was in no mood to be social, but she was being sweet so I answered, “No, I just have a bad cold.” She stepped out to wash her hands at the same time as I did. She smiled, I smiled back and asked her what she wrote. “Actually, I’m an agent,” she answered. And yeah, that was Nicole, and yes, the rest is history. Nicole sold the first three books of my Weird Girls series to Penguin following our little meet and greet in the bathroom. About a year following the publication of the first novel, SEALED WITH CURSE, Nicole sold two series to Random House: the continuation of my Weird Girls urban fantasy series, and my brandy new Shattered Past contemporary romance series. I’m preparing to release my seventeenth novel, CRAVE ME, in February and am still over the moon following my two RITA® nominations earlier this year. As thrilled as I am, sometimes I still find myself recovering from the shock and the speed in which everything happened. But that doesn’t mean I’m not forever grateful to Nicole, my husband, and all my friends who supported me on my path to publication. Lastly, if you take anything from this rant, let it be this: keep going and keep trying―no matter what your goals are and how many rejections you receive along the way. Crazy things can happen, like meeting your future agent in the bathroom. For more information about me, and my upcoming releases and series, please visit my website or follow me on social media.
I’ll admit. I have trouble focusing if there’s noise in the background―talking, singing, traffic―any kind, it doesn’t matter how soft. What can I say? My ADD will not be tamed.
While I require absolute silence when I write, there’s one thing I do need before I can commence my storytelling: music. It’s my ultimate go-to to jump start my creative process.
Music, as many of you are aware, is a powerful tool to trigger emotions and stir memories. So before I work out a scene, the first thing I do is search through my music list on my iPad and select songs to help me create the intended mood for that particular scene. The moment I’m done, I hit the play icon and engage in monotonous household chores like laundry.
From the first note to the last, my mind goes elsewhere, allowing me to envelop the intended emotion and work out the entire scene before my fingers strike the first key on my laptop. The music has to fit the tone of the scene and depending on its impact, can greatly affect the outcome. Thank the Killers for writing Somebody Told Me. That song rocks and has helped me create some of my darker and more action-packed fight scenes in my Weird Girls Urban Fantasy series. Once I connect with the mood the music invokes within me, the dialogue is easier to craft because I’m already “feeling” what my characters are feeling. I’m able to put their emotions: fear, excitement, sadness, etc. into words that fit their experience. Make sense? ☺
For my Shattered Past series, my selection of songs seemed to take a different turn specifically for the first novel, ONCE PERFECT in which the background is an ultra hip dance club. Behold, my ONCE PERFECT playlist which will give you an idea of the heat and heart behind some of the scenes:
In the Ayer―Flo Rida featuring Will.I.am
Just a Fool―Christina Aguilera & Blake Shelton
On the Floor―Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull
Wild Ones―Flo Rida featuring Sia
Echa Pa’lla (Manos Pa’rriba)―Pitbull
Chasing Cars―Snow Patrol
Robi-Rob’s Boriqua Anthem―El General & C&C Music FactoryMy badass hero and underground mixed martial arts fighter, Mateo, is Cuban. Latin music was a must. Now that you know my secret behind scene writing, want to know if my playlist measures up? If so, check out ONCE PERFECT, and follow it up with ONCE LOVED, ONCE PURE, and the spin-off series the O’Brien Family novels: ONCE KISSED, LET ME, CRAVE ME, and FEEL ME. CECY (pronounced Sessy) ROBSON is the new adult and contemporary romance author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels and upcoming Carolina Beach novels, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA® finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories. I like carbs. There. I said it. I also like fried foods and most things with butter and salt. I suffer from severe motion sickness: cars, planes, trains, boats―I don’t discriminate. And don’t get me anywhere near the dreaded merry-go-round. Two of my favorite places are the Jersey Shore (specifically Point Pleasant) and the stretch of Interstate 78 West from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. I always make a wish as I cross the bridge over the Delaware River just for luck. The summer before I started second grade, my parents took my brother and I on the ultimate road trip from New Jersey to El Salvador. No, this is not a joke. Yes, the event sucked. Have I mentioned I suffer from severe motion sickness? I go out of my way to speak to managers when I’ve received good service. I don’t like mean people. There’s no reason to be cruel or petty. Life’s too short. I’m a registered nurse and once delivered a baby in a car. I can open doors with my feet. I named my son after my favorite X-Men. I have an abnormal fear of bats and the Headless Horsemen and carry a crazy obsession for Thor. Most of my relatives own machetes. I’m not sure why. How high is your grass? And surely a lawn mower is more effective. I always wanted to do voice over for cartoons and can do a badass impression of Bobby Hill. I love to write and entertain people. My hope is that I never run out of stories to tell. That’s basically me in a nutshell―that, and I’m absurdly superstitious. For more information about me and my novels, please visit my website and follow me on social media.
The CEO’s Seductionby Diane Alberts Publication Date: December 12, 2016 Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary Romance
ABOUT DIANE ALBERTSDiane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin Random House. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
This Piece of My Soul
Robyn M. Ryan
Publication date: January 24th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports
They believe love conquers all.
One of pro-hockey’s golden couples, Andrew and Caryn Chadwick live in the limelight reserved for elite professional athletes. On their second anniversary, Andrew receives an unexpected contract offer to join the Tampa Suns. As they look forward to a new adventure, neither foresees an event that challenges their love and threatens their marriage.
Until it doesn’t.
A sudden and senseless accident threatens Andrew’s life and inexplicably drives a wedge between the couple. Shattered by the incident, paralyzed by fear that it could happen again, Caryn finds herself at odds with her husband and unable to provide the support he needs—at the time he is most vulnerable.
As their perfect world crumbles, each makes choices that take Andrew and Caryn further apart. Distrust, fears, and secrets construct walls. This Piece of My Soul follows the joint and separate paths the couple navigate as each hopes to rediscover the love that can conquer all.
**Although This Piece of My Soul is the second book in the Clearing the Ice Series, it can be read as a standalone novel.**
Pre-order This Piece of My Soul for only $1.99 – sale price ends Jan 31st!
Get This Piece of My Heart, the first book in the series for just 99¢ (regularly $2.99) through January 31, 2017.
Andrew Chadwick jerked awake as the phone vibrated on the bedside table. He glanced at the screen as he quickly pressed “ignore.” He slipped from the bed, hoping the noise and movement didn’t wake his wife. His eyes adjusted to the darkness and satisfied that Caryn still slept, he grabbed clothes and headed downstairs. Don Wilson calling in the middle of the night can only bring news I don’t want to hear. Andrew quickly texted a response to his agent, then dressed and splashed cold water on his face. He grabbed a Coke, and quietly opened the door to the courtyard patio. He sat in the Toronto predawn light, staring at the phone a few minutes before he returned the call.
Don apologized before Andrew could speak. “Sorry to call so early. I know you’re headed out today and had to catch you before you two fall off the grid.”
“What can’t wait ten days?” Andrew twisted the bottle cap and took a long drink.
“Tampa sent an offer sheet an hour ago.”
“Hudson signed with Chicago?”
“Late last night.”
Andrew sighed. “How much?” He closed his eyes and his agent relayed the amount and terms. Not what I want to deal with today. “The Blues’ response?”
“Just got off the phone with Jenkins. Andrew, if you sign the sheet, the Blues can’t match the offer without making some quick moves. This totally blows up their salary cap.”
“No indication they’re interested in a deal?”
Don barked a laugh. “Oh, they might sign the deal we discussed last month.”
Andrew’s fingers drummed against the table. “Your take on their lack of interest up to now?”
“The Blues can’t afford you long-term; you’ll be traded before your current contract expires.” Wilson waited a beat. “The Suns are a contender right now, Andrew. They want you to fill a huge hole in the starting line. This may be the offer you can’t refuse.”
“How long do I have?”
“Obviously, the Suns would like your answer as quickly as possible. They’re willing to fly us down so we can discuss this face-to-face, and you and Caryn can look at the area. I can hold them off a while, but probably not ten days.”
Andrew stood and walked across the patio. “No, I don’t want this hanging over our heads that long.”
“If you tell me your trip plans, I will rebook it out of Tampa.”
“Good try, Don, but no, I’ll take care of that.” He laughed a little. “Give me a few hours. I need to discuss this with Caryn and think things through.”
Slipping his iPhone into his pocket, Andrew stepped back inside. Way too early to wake Caryn. His thoughts drifted to the trip they were scheduled to begin that morning. An anniversary tradition that began with their honeymoon two years earlier. Destination his secret and Caryn packing according to his ambiguous suggestions—casual or formal, warm or cold, passport just in case. Despite her best efforts to pry information from him—even during their most intimate moments—Caryn never knew the destination until they arrived at the airport. Even then, he might insert a plane change mid-route.
Last year, she thought they were going to California’s wine country, but when the plane landed in San Francisco, he took her hand and led her to another gate. He laughed softly as he remembered her expression of delight, mixed with pure panic at the thought of getting on another plane that would take them over the Pacific Ocean to reach the final destination, Fiji. He’d pushed her to her limit…well, beyond her limit. Despite the unforgettable ten days in the lush secluded villa, he carefully planned this year’s trip to minimize her discomfort.
Andrew leaned against the counter and gazed out the kitchen window, the darkness slowly retreating. Tampa’s offer cast a shadow over their plans, not just the anniversary trip but the upcoming move back to St. Louis before training camp. Caryn’s made St. Louis a second home, her client list managing corporate and individual social media accounts expanding monthly. Not to mention that her best friend, Lauren, just landed a marketing job in St. Louis and plans to move from Vancouver in just a few weeks.
He pushed away from the counter and wandered to the living room, closing his eyes and sitting back in the chair. It’s a no-win situation. If I sign the Suns’ offer sheet, the Blues will either decline to match—or worse, trade teammates to keep me.
His ambitions had never included owning one of the highest contracts on a team. But, if he didn’t sign the offer sheet, his agent’s prediction very likely would play out. Come March, he’d find himself playing on a different team, worst-case scenario traded to one of the teams in the midst of rebuilding.
The Suns were a contender now. They’d made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season. They couldn’t re-sign the league’s leading scorer, but extended the offer sheet to the Blues last night. The offer catapulted him into an entirely new level, both in terms of money and the pressure of replacing the team’s leading scorer. Andrew knew he could fill the slot—on the ice at least—but at what cost to Caryn, their friends in St. Louis, the chemistry that existed among his linemates?
He didn’t hear Caryn approach until her hand rested on his shoulder. “You’re up early, Drew. I planned to surprise you with breakfast in bed.” She pressed her lips against the top of his head. “Happy second anniversary.”
Andrew slipped his arm around her waist and drew her onto his lap. “My favorite day of the year,” he whispered before her kiss chased all thoughts of Tampa from his mind.
“Shall we just skip the breakfast part?” Her voice purred in his ear.
He closed his arms around her, his mouth finding hers. He shifted his body until he could stand with her locked in his embrace. He stepped across the room and gently placed her on the sofa, breaking the kiss with a soft curse as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He sat on the edge of the sofa as he pulled the phone from his pocket and glanced at the display. Don. Again. Now what?
“You’ve got something?” He caught Caryn’s questioning look at the impatient tone in his voice as he stood and began to walk across the room.
“Just spoke with Jenkins again. Wanted to see if they are open to revisiting our contract negotiations before you decide anything.”
“And?” He stopped for a moment, anticipating the response.
“He said their offer is on the table.”
“Take it or leave?” Andrew felt Caryn’s hand grasp his shoulder, but he shrugged it off as he continued pacing.
“More or less. You owe it to yourself to talk with the Suns. The Blues best offer is two years only. You could be looking at a long-term deal with Tampa.”
“Yeah. Give me a little more time. I’ll call you back.” He ended the call and tossed the phone across the table before turning toward the door. His mounting frustration threatened an angry release.
He held up his hand. “A couple minutes, Cary. I need to clear my mind.” Without waiting for her reply, he jerked the door open and stepped outside, closing it firmly behind him.
By the time she was an eight-year-old tomboy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Robyn M. Ryan definitely knew what she wanted to do when she grew up—play major league baseball or write. This goal grew throughout elementary and high school, first composing novels featuring favorite TV and music personalities, then venturing into sports writing.
Attending UGA’s journalism school launched her career in public relations, which included an internship with the Atlanta Flames NHL hockey team. At that time Robyn wrote books she and her friends wanted to read. With the encouragement of a writers group on twitter—WritersThatChat—This Piece of My Heart, a hockey romance, and the first book in Robyn’s series Clearing the Ice was published May 2016. The second book in the series, This Piece of My Soul, introduces the Tampa Suns professional hockey team. This Piece of My Soul is set for release January 24, 2017.
Besides writing, Robyn’s passions include following NASCAR and the New York Rangers, reading all the great books in the sports romance genre, and splitting time between homes in Atlanta and Palm Coast, with two brilliant Westies who definitely rule both homes.
As do many writers, Robyn chooses to write using a pseudonym—hers is a combination of her sons’ names, a contribution from her youngest nephew.
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(Dark Sky #3)
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
The final struggle against the Hellions has arrived. A trapped engineer and a desperate marauder scramble to fight an enemy with unspeakable power on its side. Time is running out, and one world will be destroyed…
After sacrificing herself to save the lives of her friends and family, Claire Abernathy struggles to outwit her Hellion captors. They torment and terrify her into working on a weapon with the sole purpose of obliterating the world, friends, and love she has struggled to save. If Claire has any chance of saving those she loves, she must delve deeper into the Hellion world, and witness nightmares she could never imagine.
In Westraven, Sawyer Kendric is desperate to find the woman he loves. To do so, he must finally embrace his family’s atrocious past and heal the wounds it has caused. He will be forced to make new allies, uncover secrets that change all he knows, and find the courage to lead a ragtag crew into the darkest, deadliest battle of their lives.
Claire and Sawyer fight to save their broken world in the final installment of the epic DARK SKY trilogy.
Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for "author voice, world-building and general bad-assery," and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn't writing, she's reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.