Friday, December 5, 2014

Fun Friday Q&A with author Debbie Johnson!

Debbie Johnson
I love Christmas, and I love reading books with a Christmas theme this time of year. I mean, who doesn't, right? I'm super excited to have author Debbie Johnson on my blog today to discuss her new book, "Cold Feet at Christmas," which is not only now available from Harper Impulse but doing very well in the ranking on Amazon UK (we're talking No. 1 in romantic comedy right now, folks)! Go, Debbie!

Angela: Thanks for stopping by today, Debbie. Tell us about your new book.

Debbie: It starts with a very unromantic situation – our heroine, Leah, running away from her Christmas Eve wedding in Scotland, after finding her fiance playing ‘hide the sausage’ with her bridesmaid! Understandably taken aback by the situation, she drives off into the wilderness in the middle of a blizzard – ending up stranded in the middle of a very snowy nowhere! After staggering across a frozen field in nothing but her wedding dress and her Jimmy Choos, she spies an isolated stone cottage – inhabited by a man so divinely handsome she thinks she’s died of hypothermia and gone to heaven…

Angela: Why should readers pick up a copy?

Debbie: It’s pure escapism – funny, sweet, romantic, and moving, with lashings of super-hot sex! Plus, you know, Christmassy!

Angela: Sounds awesome. Where did you get the inspiration for this story?

Debbie: Walking the dog in a snowstorm, and realising how it obliterated the rest of my reality – I could have been anyone, anywhere. And then I added in the ‘what ifs…’

Angela: Let’s get to know you a little better: What’s your dream vacation destination?

Debbie: If I was with my kids, then Florida. If I was with a fellow grown-up, New York!

Angela: What book do you most recommend to others?

Debbie: This is impossible to answer! I love crime fiction, and always tell people to read James Lee Burke and John Connolly. But for romance, if I had to pick one, it’d be Nora Roberts and J.D Robb – and a they’re the same person, I get two for the price of one!

Angela: If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

Debbie: Flying. I know it’s not that practical, or the most profitable, but I would just love to experience it. But ideally without an Iron Man suit or jet pack! I’d actually like retractable wings!

Angela: Thank you for stopping by, Debbie! Learn more about her and her books by visiting www.debbiejohnsonauthor.com. Better yet, buy "Cold Feet at Christmas" after reading the synopsis:

Running out on your wedding shouldn’t be this much fun! 
A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey’s life – but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancé halfway up the bridesmaid’s skirt just hours before the ceremony! 
Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant – a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven! 
And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he’s more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas…

Monday, November 24, 2014

Back to writing that 'hunky demon slayer/ghost talker dude'

I had to take a hiatus from writing this summer — that extended into fall — for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons were because I was so exhausted, too dang busy at the day job, and (hangs head in shame) I had lost my writing mojo.

It happens occasionally to the best of us. The idea of picking up where I’d left off on my next manuscript — or any new story — struck me with a combination of writer’s block and dread, which was a sure sign I needed to take a break.

It’s interesting what can trigger creativity again. In this case, it started with a conversation with my father about my books. I showed him a copy of “On the Scent,” which is available in paperback in the UK (and which my wonderful editor Charlotte sent me a copy of), and my you-need-to-get-your-head-out-of-the-clouds-and-pursue-a-real-career 82-year-old dad actually looked impressed. For the first time, he revealed something to me that actually put a lot into perspective. My retired police office father, the man who has always been practical and encouraged me to be practical and get my head out of the clouds, was a dreamer in his youth. As a young man, he pursued songwriting and even had aspirations of being an author himself.

“I always wanted to write a Western novel,” he told me. “But to print it, they said I had to pay them money. There was no way I could afford it.”

A little younger than I see him, but meet Connor.
Well, now I know where I get it from, at least.

I’ve also been using my writing hiatus to do more reading (or listening, considering my reading these days comes courtesy of audiobooks) and movie watching, mostly thanks to Netflix. Nothing makes me want to write more than experiencing a good story, and I’ve been lucky to have found some good ones in both book and movie form lately.

For the past few weeks, I’ve actually been itching to get back to my unfinished manuscript. For anyone who has read my psychic detectives series, yes, this is Connor’s book. Almost every review “Spirited Away” has received has mentioned the “hunky demon slayer/ghost talker dude” who those readers are anxious to learn more about. Talk about pressure.

This past weekend, I made time to sit down and enter his world again. Connor is one of my favorite characters to write, and it feels good to be giving him his own story. I have no idea if readers will like that story; the book also isn't contracted, so I have no idea if my editor will want to publish the story, but I hope to finish it by the end of January. Sorry — I have too much overtime at the day job to bump that deadline up.

In the meantime, I sure am having fun Googling images of hot, young men to match the image of Connor that's in my head. So far, these are my favorites! Slap some tats on the guy, and he pretty much nails it.

Readers: What about you? How would you describe Connor based on the glimpses you've had of him in "Something Wicked" and "Spirited Away"? Pictures in the comments are more than welcome! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fun Friday Q&A with author Eve Devon!

Eve Devon
I'm thrilled to have fellow HarperImpulse author Eve Devon here to chat with me today, especially after learning we share the same superpower (read her answer below). Eve writes about sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters and says "I kind of secretly believe it’s not too late for me to train as a professional dancer, MMA expert, or get asked to be Angelina Jolie’s body-double. I know. This is why writing fiction is for me!" Doesn't she sound awesome? Her latest release is "The Love List," which you can and should go buy right now because.

Without further ado, let's get this chat started.

Angela: Welcome to my blog, Eve! Tell us about your new book.

Eve: The Love List features Nora King, a woman who eats, sleeps and breathes the family business KPC. After the death of her father it’s easy to convince herself that work will see her through, and so she allows it to stand very firmly and safely between her and her grief.

Enter sexy laid-back disaster relief worker Ethan Love. He’s in town to ask her a special favour but soon his charm and perception is crashing through her barriers, dragging her out of her self-imposed state of suspended animation, and making her want to put him on her To Do list!

You can read The Love List as a standalone or straight after Her Best Laid Plans which is about Nora’s big brother Jared King and his plan-phobic PA Amanda Gray.

Angela: Why should readers pick up a copy?

Eve: If you love your romance contemporary, sexy, and packed with emotional punch, then The Love List is definitely for you. Oh, and then there’s the whole “shoe love” thing!

Angela: Where did you get the inspiration for this story?

Eve: When Jared King, the hero from Her Best Laid Plans, finally admitted to me that he’d walked away from his birthright at twenty-one, I realised his actions had to have impacted on his two younger sisters, Nora and Sephy, too. I’m very happy to have had the chance to write about that fallout and also see them both get their own HEA.

I love writing about family dynamics as it’s something we can all relate to. With Jared, Nora, and Sephy, I was inspired by how a life-changing decision made by the eldest ‘responsible’ child then alters the stereotypical role of the middle ‘peacemaker’ child Nora and the youngest ‘rebel’ child Sephy.

Angela: Let’s get to know you a little better: What’s your dream vacation destination?

Eve: Ooh, well I guess I’ll always have a soft spot for Tobago but I’m also sure there are many places I haven’t even heard about that would be the perfect vacay destination. For me I guess it’s not so much a specific place as a feeling. If I can get off a plane, or a boat, or a train, or out of a car—lift my face to the sky and no matter the climate or weather, feel relaxed, excited and ready to explore all in one breath…that’s the place for me.

Angela: What book do you most recommend to others?

Eve: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Buy it, read it and you will see. That is all :)

Angela: If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

Eve: I’ve actually been given a super-power already. Uh-huh. It’s the power to walk into doors—I literally can’t pass through one naturally. I have to either pull it open when I should push, or get it open and then bounce off the frame, or get my clothes caught up on the handle. As yet I haven’t worked out how to use this super-power of mine for good but I’m thinking my costume should come with elbow pads for protection.

If I actually got to choose my own super-power I guess I’d go with invisibility. What a fab way of hiding those bad hair days. I think I’d go around flicking the ears of every person I saw dropping litter until they picked it up. Also, I’d be able to attend those fly-on-the-wall conversations everyone wishes they could be in on, and no one would see me struggling to come to terms with my other super-power (you know, the door thing!).

Angela: Thank you so much, Eve, for dropping by today. The rest of you can learn more about Eve at her website www.EveDevon.com. And don't forget to pick up The Love List today. Still need convincing? Read the synopsis. Then go buy it here:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOOGLE PLAY | iBOOKS KOBO

Falling in love is just not on Nora King’s To Do List…

Neither is accidentally super-gluing her shoe to her hand right before the biggest presentation of her life! With all the hard work she’d put into securing the family business after her father’s death, Nora has no choice but to accept help from a knight in shining armour.

Disaster relief worker Ethan Love is still haunted by his last deployment, and desperate for distraction. He’s in town to ask Nora for a major favour, and swooping in to save her presentation is a sure way to get her on side.

As Ethan sticks around and helps Nora through her grief, her barriers tumble down…but will she dare to swap her To Do lists for a How to Fall in Love list?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

One year ago, "Something Wicked" released, and three years ago, "Cry Wolf" released on Halloween. Halloween is obviously one of my favorite holidays for that reason alone.

And today, I am happy to announce my short story "The Night Shift" is part of a Halloween anthology that released today, too! The anthology was an initiative of the authors of the Here Be Magic blog, and I'm grateful to have been included. We publish our works under the pen name Hera B. Magic. This time, our stories had to feature cats. You know I had to get in on that! 

Please download the anthology here. I mentioned it's free, right?




Also, I want to say a HUGE thank you to Between the Sheets PR for arranging a blog tour for my book SPIRITED AWAY this week, and I am also very grateful to all of the blogs who've agreed to host me. Check out each these blogs for reviews, excerpts and a giveaway!

Pinky's Favorite Reads
Twin Opinions 
Renee Entress's Blog 
Kinky Vanilla Romance 
Read It Woman
Little Shop of Readers 
BeanieBrain Reader
bujoijoi22
Booklover Sue
Author Sandra Love
Literature Litehouse
deal sharing aunt 
Hooked On Books Forever
Belle's Book Bag
Paola's Bookshelf
Love Between The Sheets 
Cruising Susan Book Reviews


Happy Halloween!

And also, I hope you'll join the authors of Here Be Magic tomorrow night as we watch the movie "Stardust" together on twitter at 9 p.m. EST. The movie is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix streaming. Simply follow the hashtag #Stardust to join in the fun!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Cover reveal: "Falling from the Light" by Regan Summers

Today I wanted to share the new cover of "Falling in the Light" by Regan Summers. This is book two in her "Night Runner" series. Doesn't it look great?!?

Title: Falling from the Light, Night Runner 2.0
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 11/24/2014

The Amazon link is a pre-order link. Other retailers will have it available on 11/24/2014.



Blurb:

Phoenix, AZ
All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.
With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.
94,000 words

About the Author:

Regan Summers is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Night Runner series. As a native Alaskan, she’s used to long, cold nights but thinks they’re better with a helping of sexy vampires. Don’t Bite the Messenger, the first in the series, was a finalist for the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards in the paranormal category.

Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)



Monday, October 20, 2014

Cover reveal: "We've Always Got New York" by Jill Knapp

Today we have the first glimpse at the cover art of HarperImpulse author, Jill Knapp's next book, "We've Always Got New York", coming out Nov. 20! This novel is Book No. 2 in the "What Happens To Men..?" series, which is now available in paperback in the UK. The first book has gotten rave reviews, and has divided its readers into two groups. Are you on Team Michael? Or are you on Team Hayden?

You can get a copy of Book No. 1 here -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Happens-When-They-Manhattan-ebook/dp/B00KKC43BA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1413380045&sr=1-1&keywords=jill+knapp

"We've Always Got New York" picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil to find that life has in fact gone on without her. Fresh off the plane, she is left feeling anxious and unresolved, left alone to pick up the pieces, and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael. Amalia finds herself without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she's even without a best friend!


Jill can be reached on Twitter at @JL_Knapp and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jill-Knapp/1488935691330000?ref=hl

Now here's a sneak peak at the first chapter of "We've Always Got New York"!!



Chapter 1- Amalia

I could tell by the look on her face that she was expecting something from me. She was expecting something to be different. For me to be, in some way, changed.

I’m Amalia Hastings, and on August 20th at 9:17 pm, I was home.

Home. The word seemed funny to me because I didn’t have a home to go back to. I moved out of my apartment right before leaving for Brazil and after my friend-with-benefits, Michael, showed up at my apartment, asking me to stay. I hadn’t thought it through properly; I just knew I didn’t want to live in that apartment anymore. Before my trip to Brazil I packed up what little stuff I owned and put it in storage for when I returned, assuming I would deal with it then. Well, “then” has become “now”. So for tonight I was staying with my best friend Cassandra. Who was currently waving at me.
I knew what she wanted. She wanted stories. Juicy ones that involved hot hookups on the sand. She wanted to see pictures. Pictures of the places I went, the food I ate, and the hot guys I met. She wanted me to run up to her in a sun dress, hair braided and skin tanned, and explain, no, to pontificate, to her how life-changing my trip was. She wanted me to playfully link her arm around mine and gush about how amazing it all was. How I was changed forever. That I had a new appreciation for life, food, and music. She wanted me to tell her that I would never be the same.

But this isn’t the movies and I’m not Julia Roberts.

The florescent lights above me flickered, making the airport look dark and ominous. I looked down at my hand as I pulled my rolling suitcase across the sticky, tiled floor. Not even my hand had acquired a tan. Three months in the Brazilian sun and my skin remained as pale as ever.

Cassandra was looking right at me with wide, unblinking eyes. I walked a little slower.

For some reason I couldn’t pinpoint, coming off the plane felt like a surreal experience to me. Although I was relieved to have landed, and I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Brazil any longer, I still wasn’t utterly happy with being back. I wondered if it merely had to do with the fact that I had no apartment to go back to and was feeling pretty untethered from not having a proper home.

There’s an old saying. I’m not really sure where it’s from or who said it first. Kind of the proverb equivalent of The House of the Rising Sun. It proffers, “Wherever you go, there you are”, and up until about one month ago I had no idea what it meant. But now it means everything. It rings in my ears like a scolding mother, repeating itself over and over again until I submit.

I finally stood face to face with Cassandra, who was grinning like a fool at this point. She was dressed down for the night, wearing a purple racer-back tank top that showed off her summer glow, jeans, and gold flip-flops. Her blonde hair was pulled into a loose, messy bun and her make-up was minimal, apart from the extra-shiny, coral lip-gloss she was wearing. She reeked of summer.

“Hey,” I offered, looking down at my sneakers. I wished I had more energy for her, but after ten hours on a plane it was all I could muster up.

Cassandra cocked her head to the side and smiled. Her hair swung back and forth and she popped her hip out like a model in training. She looked as fierce as ever, even dressed-down in comfortable summer clothes.

“That’s all I get? Get over here!” she said, pulling me in for a hug.

I hugged her back for a moment and then pulled away, overcome with exhaustion and jet-lag. I smiled at Cassandra. She smelled like a salty coconut and I realized she had probably come straight from Fire Island, a beach not too far from Long Island and just outside of the city. That explained the dressed-down attire, but not the lip-gloss. Unless, of course, we were going straight back there from JFK airport.

I looked back at the gate. Most people I knew hated airports, but I liked them. They offered a chance to escape. Get on a plane and in six hours from now you could be across the country. You could be in a different town, in a different house, with a different group of people. I think we all took that for granted.

I could go back to Brazil right now. Or I could go somewhere else. I’ve never been to Cincinnati; I wonder what it’s like there. Or maybe Savannah. I could definitely live in Savannah! I took a step backwards, away from Cassie. Back toward the inside of the airport. She just smiled.

“Very funny, Amalia!” she said through perfectly white teeth. “Don’t sneak away from me now. I’m so glad you’re back, I really missed you.”

Cassie threw her arm over me and smushed our faces together. She whipped out her iPhone and flipped the camera application around so the front lens could be used and snapped a picture of the two of us. Before I knew it, she uploaded the picture to Facebook with the caption “So excited, Amalia is officially home!”

Without glancing back, she walked a few feet in front of me and remained glued to her phone. The back of her Havaianas smacking onto her heels echoed throughout the now nearly empty hallway. I let out a long sigh that Cassandra didn’t hear and pulled my suitcase toward the exit. Yep, it was official. I was home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Written Fireside: Of The Storm, Part 7


Have you been following the Halloween flash fiction from these fabulous writers? If not, here are links to catch up on "Of The Storm" before reading part 7, my part! And by the way, isn't this cover awesome? Many thanks to Aileen Harkwood for creating it.

Part 1 by Lori Connelly

Part 2 by Aileen Harkwood

Part 3 by Elise Forier Edie

Part 4 by Paty Jager

Part 5 by Ciara Gold

Part 6 by Traci Douglass


Of The Storm, Part 7:

Minutes later. Maybe hours. Amaya had lost track of how long she and her sister had been waiting inside the detainment chamber in which Tasaria’s guards had tossed them. She’d been pacing, her thoughts processing all that she’d learned even as she demanded more answers from Makani, even as she tried not to imagine what had happened to Bri. A glance at her watch showed it was two hours until midnight. At midnight, Samhain would end, and Tasaria would lose her opportunity to use the Torc. It was only a matter of time before the deceptive queen came for them.

“None of this makes sense.” She pressed a hand to her forehead, the annoying ache from earlier making it difficult to think. “We’re human. That’s all. We’re not some kind of sídhe royalty.” Their blood was too diluted.

“You know we’re not simply human.” Makani sat in the corner, absently fingering the ring on her hand. “Blaike said—”

“Blaike is a demon, Makani.” Amaya whirled on her heels to keep from strangling her sister. “Right now, I don’t trust anyone, least of all a demon. You know what he did to you two years ago. I can’t believe you were seeing him again and you didn’t think to mention it to me.”

“Tasaria was blackmailing him into obtaining the Torc then. He was supposed to seduce me, deceive me into giving it to him. Instead, he fell in love with me and went to war with Tasaria, risking everything to protect me. To protect us. You saw what happened tonight.”

Blaike’s army had surrounded them, not with menace, but in protection. It made no sense, unless everything Makani believed was true.

Makani stood, her warm hand settling on Amaya’s arm. Her voice softened. “Years ago Tasaria sent Brishen to try to get the Torc from you, only he fell in love with you the first moment he saw you. Brishen knew the best way to protect you was to lie to Tasaria and pretend you and he felt only disdain for each other. After Blaike declared war on Tasaria, Bri went to him in secret and began feeding him information to help defeat the queen. Anyway. After they both failed to bring her the Torc, she began planning to take it by force this Samhain. She’s power mad and wants to be ruler of both the human and sídhe dimensions. Blaike and Brishen have secretly been working together to protect us for longer than either of us have been aware, Amaya. Trust me.”

“What? No.” Amaya shook her head, scowling at her sister. “Bri doesn’t love me.” He’d never attempted to seduce her. Not once. Not even when she'd wanted him to, if she were honest with herself.

“He’s still alive, sis. So is Blaike. I feel it. Don’t you?” Makani moved her hand to Amaya’s chest, where the heartbeat beneath seemed to kick up its pace thinking about Bri. "Tasaria needs them alive as leverage to force us to do the ritual. They might be wounded, but they're alive."

Yes. Amaya did feel some sort of connection to Bri. Felt his life source thrumming through her veins, faint, but there. How she knew it was his, she had no idea.

Unless.

Bri’s words echoed through her thoughts. The Torc was infused with the blood of the True Seelie King, binding it forever to those pure rulers of the bloodline.

“Makani, if we’re the pure rulers of the bloodline…” They should have use of the same magic as, perhaps even stronger than Tasaria's.

Her sister’s mouth curved into a knowing smile. “Now she gets it.” She lifted her hand and the ring glinted unnaturally in the light. “The amulet and Torc aren’t the only artifacts in our possession that have power. Blaike infused my ring with a protection spell, too.”

A surge of hope raced along Amaya's nerve endings, and something else. Something electric had stirred inside her. Magic. Now if she could only remember all of the books she'd been forced to study so she knew how to use it.

The door opened, and one of Tasaria’s behemoth guards, weapon at the ready, glanced between them. “The queen requests your presence at the Seelie Court.”

Amaya watched as her sister—her fun-loving, often self-absorbed and flighty older sister—lifted the ring, murmured a chant, and crumpled the hulking guard to the ground without batting an eyelash. Flipping her hair, Makani turned to her.

“Now. Why don’t we go rescue our men and claim our throne once and for all?”

***

Find out what happens next week in part 8 by Charlotte Phillips!

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