It’s Camp NaNoWriMo Time!

April is right around the corner and with the start of the new month, comes an opportunity for me to challenge myself as a writer. Twice a year, National Novel Writing Month hosts Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July.

Last summer I used Camp to get a significant portion of my novel Life of Privilege completed. I’ve taken part in this challenge several times, so it means a lot to me to participate again.

Camp-Participant-2015-Facebook-ProfileWhat makes this session of Camp NaNoWriMo so exciting for me is that I’m in a special “cabin” with some other amazing writers. My cabin mates and I all submitted to Harlequin’s #BlazeBlitz submission blitz that took place from March 2-16.

During the thirty day writing challenge, some of us in the “Blaze Blitz Cabin” will be working on finishing our Blaze stories in the hopes that we get notified by a Harlequin Blaze editor with a request for a full manuscript, while others will be working on new stories.

My hope is that I can use the challenge to write like the wind and get my Blaze story finished up and then get a request from an editor at Harlequin for a full manuscript…but we’ll see! Regardless of the outcome with my Blaze submission, I’m finishing the manuscript :)

Life of Privilege Pre-Order + an Excerpt!

Today my forthcoming release Life of Privilege is available for pre-order from Totally Bound! I’m sharing an excerpt as well, please read on to learn more about this upcoming release.

lifeofprivilege_800Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems.

Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.

When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.

Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.

Here’s the excerpt!

“Daddy?”

Katherine Dawson’s voice echoed off the stone walls of St. Patrick’s cathedral. As one of New York City’s oldest churches, the structure had enough prestige and beauty to hold Sunday service, memorials, and it provided the perfect setting for storybook weddings.

When her father didn’t answer right away, Katherine gathered the heavy material of her wedding gown in her hand and walked the few steps to reach her dad. She looked down at the enormous bouquet of flowers in her hand and almost lost her nerve. Yet the longer she stared at the arrangement of white roses, calla lilies and orchids, the more it reinforced her gut reaction to this day. Like the stunning flowers arranged so perfectly in the bundle, she was also trussed up and made to look pristine. She too was arranged at her peak, the moment in her life when she was likely most attractive. She knew if she went through with this decision that just like the flowers, soon she would wither and lose her beautiful essence. Through the heavy wooden doors, she heard the faint strains coming from the fifteen-piece orchestra. They were preparing to play the wedding march. It was now or never. If she had any chance at escaping the glamorous affair, it was in this moment.

“Daddy.” She stood in front of her father and knew she must look as panicked and frightened as a wounded animal. “I have to get out of here. I can’t go through with this.”

Tears welled in her eyes, but she blinked fast to push them away. Once the waterworks started, she didn’t know when they might stop. She dropped her hold on the dress and reached for her father’s hand.

“I’m leaving. If you want to stay and deal with mother’s temper tantrums when she finds out I left Nathan at the altar, so be it. Daddy, I just can’t do this. Well, won’t you say something?”

Her father cleared his throat and it was then she noticed the tears that had formed in his eyes. She hated that she’d let him down, but she couldn’t go through life with such a momentous lie hanging over her head. She stood on tiptoe, wrapping her arms around him for a quick hug. “I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. I don’t want to be a disappointment to you, but I have to stay true to myself. You won’t see me for a while. I’m going away, but I don’t know where yet. I’ve got to go find out who I really am without all the pressures of being Katherine Dawson hanging over my head.”

“Kitty Kat,” he whispered, using her childhood nickname, “I could never be disappointed in you. I’m crying because you’ve made me happy. Go find yourself. Follow your dreams. That’s what I’ve always wanted for you. I love you.”

“Daddy, I love you, too.”

She turned her head toward the heavy wooden doors again. The wedding march was playing. She had to go now. Preparing for the sprint she knew she’d have to do to make it to the limousine that waited outside, she kicked off her silver-sequined Louboutin heels. Dropping her bouquet on the ground and gathering her skirt in her hands, she hurried out of the front door and down the church steps.

In her haste to escape the wedding, she’d forgotten about the crowd of reporters and spectators gathered along the sidewalk and in the street. At least fifty black cameras took aim at her and several eager members of the paparazzi stood right in her path, their camera flashes going off. She refused to look into their lenses, even as they called out to her by name. Her gaze was locked in on the back door of the limousine. Once she got there, she’d be home free.

“Katherine! Katherine! Why are you running?”

“Have cold feet, Katherine?”

“Where’s the groom?”

Ignoring the inane questions from the media, she opened the door to the back seat of the car. Franklin, her family’s driver, jumped from the front seat, prepared to help her into the vehicle. Katherine met his gaze and she shook her head. He took her unspoken command and hopped back behind the wheel. She could handle the paparazzi. After all, she’d been dodging the vultures since she’d been a teen. Pulling the door closed behind her provided a moment of peace. However, her relief was cut short as half of the camera-wielding men formed a semi-circle around the limousine while the rest scattered to nearby cabs. The car had to move before they got trapped—or worse—were followed by the bloodthirsty press.

“Where to?”

To read more of this excerpt, visit Totally Bound’s website.

To pre-order Life of Privilege, click here.

 

Welcome my Guest Author Davee Jones!

Please join me in welcoming author Davee Jones to my blog today. Here’s a little more about Davee and her writing.

Davee Jones – My first book published was, ironically, not the first book I wrote. On Ellicott Street – a feisty, loving, cougar romance novella- holds the honor of being my first published book. Finless, released second, was the result of years of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s a dark dance balancing between love, desire, and anger. I have 12 total releases so far between my adult moniker and my YA moniker, Allee Mae.

My ideal reader allows me to take them to the edge of sanity, push limits, and support a sometimes simple protagonist just trying to get by in life. I have the same type characters in my explicit writing as well as my sweet or YA books-they just don’t use the “F” word or engage in overt sexuality. It doesn’t always take erotic descriptors of body parts/functions to get a point across. But, I will bring out the sexy when a mature story requires it. (wink)

My newest series takes a twist on fantasy football and dating clubs. Split the Uprights is book one of the Fantasy League series. Books two and three are also available- A Game of Inches and Personal Fouls

cropped for book promo

Blurb:

splitfrontWhat happens when you mix men and women in a fantasy football league? Lots of sexy competition and instant rivalries. Owner of Fantasy Leagues, Lola Fontaine, maintains two identities, one as loving matchmaker and the other as ball busting Dominatrix. In the LockHim Room, her muscle toned guys never know what to expect. With reclusive statistician, Eugene Carlton, they believe they have the perfect formula for romance. All their success takes a place on the Wall of Flame. But, do they really know anything about true love connections? She takes awkward Danika Parker under her wing and teaches her everything she doesn’t know about love. However, in the process, they establish risky boundaries, pushing the envelope normally established for just friends. Danika takes an interest in fellow participant, Finn Maxwell, the man still searching for a plan. Unfortunately for Lola, time is running out on secrets from her past. Living on borrowed time will catch up with her in a way she least expected. She will hurt the ones she loves, no matter how she tries. But, will they ever forgive? Will Lola get more than she counted on? Learn about grilled lemonade, love jam, fantasy football, and safe words all wrapped into the fun of Split the Uprights.

Quote From Book:

“I realize you live in a world of certain parameters, so to speak. It’s like always eating cake without frosting. One day you try frosting and cake eating arrives to a whole new level of fabulous. Maybe you should add some icing, Eugene.” – Lola Fontaine

daveetatsunglassedI have adult content available as: Davee Jones began a career in the counseling field with her M.Ed. She then diversified and began work for the federal government.

Find me on Goodreads and my book titles are available in the following locations:

Amazon Author Page, Barnes and Noble Author Page , Smashwords Secret Cravings Publishing

All Romance eBooks Davee Jones

Author Bio: For my sweet side as Allee Mae- with my 13 y/o daughter, we combine to create fictional worlds with something for everyone. Whether exploring urban legends, the eerie paranormal, first loves, sweet romance, scary dreams, we take you away from the everyday. Sweet Cravings Allee Mae  alleemaeauthor@aol.com Twitter @alleemaeauthor

Spend Five Minutes With Author Zax Vagen

  1. What books or authors have influenced your writing?

Raymond E Feist

Issac Asimov

Paolo Coelo

Richard Branson

Dale carnege

Stephen King

Harper Lee

 

  1. Do you write alpha or beta heroes, or does it vary with each story?

Usually both. I tend to have a shadow hero in every story.

 

  1. What’s your favorite romance trope to read or write, (secret baby, marriage of convenience, big secret, enemies to lovers, etc.)?

Unlikely lovers, but i write mostly Fantasy, with a touch of romance.

 

  1. Can you tell us about your current or upcoming projects?

I’m doing a scifi book about an underdog who gets selected for a critical mission to the space settlement. His unique life experiences give the story a rip-roaring comedy edge to a serious problem. I’m also concurrently working on a short romance +- 35 k words and the sequel to “Finding the Soul Bridge” 100k words an epic Arcane Fantasy called “The Soulstone of the Druid.” Book 2 of “the soul fire Saga”

  1. Last question. Just for fun, if you could have any super power, what would it be?

Immortal, time on earth is precious and should be used wisely, most people squander their time on nonsense. I have lived a hundred lives already in just thirty years. I sleep only 2 -4 hours a day, don’t watch tv, never watch sport. Never complain. Do real things for e exercise like planting trees and volunteering at rehab.

 

Learn more about Author Zax Vagen

www.zaxvagen.co.za

www.amazon.com/author/zaxvagen

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zax-Vagen/1557666744467061

Are you an author interested in being featured in my “Five Minutes With…” interview series? Send me an email: bretzamanda (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment below with your contact information.

It’s Release Day for TKO of the Heart!

Today is release day for TKO of the Heart, book one in my new sports romance trilogy, The Ladies of Athena’s Gym.

If you haven’t been following my blog or social media posts, you can find the back story of why I wrote this book in this post and listen to me talk about the unsympathetic heroine and read an excerpt in this audio clip. 

TKO Cvr copyFrankie “The Machine” Mancini knows how to bob and weave and recover from a left hook in the boxing ring. What she doesn’t know how to do? Be a bridesmaid. When her best friend Rachel calls on her to take part in her special day, Frankie reluctantly agrees. It’s not until she travels to the destination wedding in Miami that the real problem starts. The best man is none other than Gabe Boyd, a cocky, obnoxious radio personality who she thinks is determined to ruin her time in South Beach, but when the two are thrown together to resolve a wedding snafu, her view of the self-proclaimed “rogue of the radio” changes. Gabe shows her he has another side to him, he can be warm, caring and romantic. She can’t tell if his cocky demeanor is part of his on air persona or if he’s truly changed for her. Maybe the rules of the ring can be applied to matters of the heart. Stay on your toes. Always keep an eye on your opponent. Protect yourself.

Purchase TKO of the Heart at

Things I Love: SoundCloud or a Blog About My Very First Podcast!

I love exploring new ways to communicate and I’m happy to share my very first podcast with my readers!

I’ve always hated the sound of my voice on a recording, and no exaggeration here, all through college, when I told people my major was in journalism immediately everyone said “Oh, are you going into radio, like NPR? You have the perfect voice for that!”

I never believed it when people said that and I’ve always felt more comfortable sharing the written word, not the spoken word. But still…I’ve toyed with the idea of creating audio blogs and excerpts for a while now, because I know people lead busy lives and with the convenience of mobile devices, podcasts are increasingly popular.

I’m trying to spread the word about the upcoming release of TKO of the Heart, so I’m pushing myself beyond my comfort zones.  I decided to try out an audio post. I found the platform at SoundCloud to be very user friendly and upload was incredibly quick!

In my recording I chat about what inspired me to write my heroine Frankie in the way I did and I even share an excerpt.

 

If you don’t have time to listen to the podcast now, click here to go to SoundCloud to bookmark it for later.

Can you help me spread the message about TKO of the Heart? Please share this post and click here to support my Thunderclap campaign across your social media profiles.

TKO of the Heart releases Tuesday, March 17 and is available for pre-order from Amazon.

Welcome Author Elodie Parkes and Her New Release Rescuing Cade

Please join me in welcoming author Elodie Parkes back to my blog. Elodie has a new book release called Rescuing Cade that she’s sharing with us today.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog to talk about my latest release with Evernight Publishing, Rescuing Cade.

Rescuing Cade

Cade’s trying to get over a broken heart when his friend Jack takes him off to a nightclub, named only, The Club. Although at first Cade is shocked by the place, he meets Marissa. It’s not long before he and Marissa get together, but under the pressure of mixed emotions, and Marissa’s fear of commitment, they’re both running in opposite directions.

Gorgeous Cade has touched Marissa’s heart in ways she doesn’t want to admit.

Lovely Marissa has lifted Cade’s sadness and opened his heart to love again.

The trouble is — someone has to give a little. Who’s it going to be?

An erotic romance with a sprinkle of vanilla BDSM

RescuingCade-evernightpublishing-JayAheer20153Drender

Read an excerpt: PG rated

Cade took his time drinking his coffee on Saturday morning. He wanted to go out to the street market and call into the coffee shop to buy fresh grounds, but he knew the reminder of being with Marissa there the weekend before would hurt. He drove there and parked in the big flat lot at one end of the High Street. Thoughts of Marissa teased him as he sat for a moment in his car and assessed his feelings. She’d touched his heart and he knew it. He sighed and thrust away the idea of calling into her place on the journey home from the market. She doesn’t want me.

He turned up the collar of his leather jacket against the cool breeze, and after checking he’d locked his car, since his thoughts drifted time and again to Marissa’s lovely face, he stalked off up the street. He avoided the market stalls he and Marissa had stopped at the week before, making straight for the farmers’ market section, where he bought two different kinds of apples and a couple of large potatoes he knew could be put in the oven and baked without him having to hassle around.

When he entered the coffee shop he kept his face turned from the café end and ordered his usual Italian roast grounds, but then, longing to recall Marissa as she gazed at him over the table they shared the Saturday before, he glanced around—and there she was.

She stared at him from a table in the middle of the café.

Cade blinked to make sure he wasn’t just imagining she was there. He paid for his coffee order, and drawn to Marissa’s table as if by some invisible thread, Cade quickly walked over there.

“Marissa, it’s so good to see you. I hoped you’d call me. May I sit with you?” He croaked out the words as his heart flipped about and the urge to pick her up, crush her to his body, and devastate her with a kiss scared him with its ferocity.

She didn’t speak, only nodded an assent at him.

Cade dragged out a chair and dropped his shopping to the floor. He sat down close to Marissa, but still facing her.

She turned her coffee cup around and around in the saucer. Her gaze riveted on the coffee in there.

She wasn’t wearing makeup. Her face was pale and her cloud of brown hair wisped around her heart-shaped face.

Cade smiled noticing for the first time a faded splatter of freckles across her nose. The tremble in her fingers, didn’t escape Cade’s hungry observation. She’s nervous. Is that because she likes me or thinks I’ll make a scene and wishes I’d leave? He reached out and clasped her fingers in his.

Her coffee cup clattered a little in the saucer.

Copyright Elodie Parkes, Evernight Publishing 2015

 teaserCade2

What’s the background to the story, Rescuing Cade?

I was asked to write a story for an erotic romance anthology. Almost immediately I had my character, Cade, form in my head and a love story for him, but then I was informed the anthology would be BDSM. I thought I’d have trouble with the genre, but the editor of the proposed anthology said, ‘give it a go’. I began to adapt the love story in my mind for the character Cade, thinking I’d have to consider the plot for a short time, but only a few days later the anthology was cancelled. By then Cade was so real to me and a story with a sprinkle of the genre, BDSM, was firmly in my mind, so I wrote it.

The story is much longer than I originally thought it might be, especially when it was going to be for an anthology, and the romance conflict arc is now about both Cade and my heroine, Marissa. As usual, I fell in love with my characters and couldn’t stop writing until they reached their HEA.

I did a little research for this story because I didn’t know much about the type of club Jack, Cade’s friend, takes him to. Once I no longer needed to place emphasis on dominance and submission, the story unfolded easily, interweaving with the original love story I had for Cade when he first began whispering in my ear.

With scorching hot love scenes, tender moments, a dash of angst and a splash of humor this is Cade’s journey to love again.

I hope readers enjoy it.

About Elodie:

Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes.

Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.

Find Elodie online: Blog Facebook FB Twitter Tsu Google + G+ Pinterest YouTube Amazon USA Amazon UK Smashwords Barnes and Noble ARe ManicReaders Tumblr Kobo

Buy the new release:

http://www.amazon.com/Rescuing-Cade-Elodie-Parkes-ebook/dp/B00TEACAQE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rescuing-Cade-Elodie-Parkes-ebook/dp/B00TEACAQE

http://www.bookstrand.com/rescuing-cade-mf

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/rescuing-cade-by-elodie-parkes/

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-rescuingcade-1747027-147.html

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