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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Over-Exposed by Julie Jaret Excerpt


Excerpt 
Natalie's tires squealed as she sped up and down the levels, finding every last parking space was filled. She tried to call her assistant, but should’ve known better than to hope for cell reception in the garage. As she reversed the car in an anger-fueled three-point turn, she heard a thump. Shit. Checking the rearview mirror, she saw nothing -- no cars, no cement columns. Whatever. She hoped Kari was able to stall the parties on the video conference...

Suddenly, the door behind her flung open and someone jumped in, rocking the car. “Drive,” a deep voice ordered.
“Oh my god. Just take the car.” She reached for the door handle, thankful she could run straight to her office, now, and maybe make it in time for the-- 
“I don’t want the car. I want you to drive, lady!”

“I’m late for a conference call!” Before she could push the door open, something hard pressed against the back of her head. She stiffened and slanted a glance toward the rearview mirror, but couldn’t see him since he was directly behind her.
“You’re gonna have to reschedule. Drive the fucking car.”

“Okay. Okay. Where do you want to go?” Her voice shook with panic. Dad’s gonna give me that disappointed look. Can’t believe this shit. What are the frigging odds?
“Just get me out of here.”

Natalie drove around and around the garage toward the exit, trying now and then to see him in her mirrors. As they stopped for the automatic gate to lift she made a move to open the door, but he tapped her skull with what she presumed was a gun barrel. A reminder, like she could ever forget it was there.
“Don’t make me use this.”

“I’m sorry.” Her voice shook a little. She hated that. “Which way should I go?”
“Take me to your house.”
“I don’t have a house.” 
He made an exasperated sound. “I assume you’re not homeless. Take me wherever the hell it is you live.”
She drove a circuitous route through the slow-moving maze of Midtown, inching the car down the one-way streets and multiple Peachtrees that confounded even native Atlantans. For fuck’s sake, there’s never a police car when you need one...
Her phone rang, startling her.
Her passenger barked “Don’t answer it!” a half-second too late. 
“Sorry! It’s a reflex.” She cringed, half-expecting to be pistol-whipped.
Then Kari’s voice came over the car speakers. “Jesus Christ, Nat!”

“Yeah, I’m having a really hard time parking--”
“Forget it, we cancelled. Are you listening to the radio?”
“Uh, no...”
“All the traffic? It’s not an accident.” If she hadn’t been in a life-or-death situation, Natalie would’ve noticed her assistant’s oddly-excited tone. “They started shooting the movie, and Sam Danmore disappeared! He’s like a fugitive or something.”

“Hang up,” Natalie’s passenger growled low from the back seat.
It dawned on her now that his voice seemed familiar. She risked a glance over her shoulder and holy shit. Holy. Shit. Holy fucking shit. “Holy fucking shit.”
A world-famous pair of sexy brown eyes glared, and she turned back around just in time to avoid rear-ending a city bus.

“I know, right?” Kari’s voice gushed. “They said he raped a teenage girl in his trailer and ran off when she screamed.”
“My god...” Natalie jerked the car to a rocking stop in a loading zone, narrowly missing a few pedestrians.

“Again. Can you believe that?”

“Kari, I’ve gotta call you back.” She disconnected and sat silently a moment, staring straight ahead. Her heart was pounding harder than it did when her passenger first jumped in the car. Without turning, she spoke in her coldest and most professional voice (which barely shook at all). “Is it safe to assume you have not been holding a real gun to my head?”

She heard him sigh heavily. In her peripheral vision, she saw him hold up a strong, tan hand and fold it into a finger-gun.
“That’s a safe assumption, yes. And for the record, I didn’t do it.”

Of course you didn’t. Now try to sell me Braves Stadium. “In that case, would you care to explain why you’re-- uh, naked, and in my car?” Her damn voice betrayed her that time.

“Let’s talk about that when we get to your place.” The words were steeped in his trademark sinful smile. The narcissistic ass was trying to manipulate her.
She wasn’t going to let him. “Never mind. Please just get out.”
The leather seat creaked as he leaned forward and his deep chuckle tickled her ear. “Did you forget I’m naked?”
She stiffened. “No. I didn’t.”

It was a universally-accepted fact that Sam Danmore had a gorgeous body. Natalie had once heard a talk show host joke that his standard movie contract contained a wardrobe clause specifying his refusal to wear shirts in more than three scenes.

He didn’t budge. His hair brushed her cheek. It was soft and smelled like fresh shampoo.
Keep facing forward. Don’t move. Don’t talk.
And for fuck’s sake, don’t look!
There were plenty of people Natalie disliked. Sam Danmore was the only one she could honestly say she hated.
Yeah, silly girl? Then why has your mouth gone dry?
To her relief he finally backed off, taking his scent with him. “Sorry, sweetheart, I’m not gonna walk around downtown Atlanta in the buff. 
The BMW’s windows were tinted for privacy, so while many people rushed past them along the busy sidewalk, no one had given her car a second glance.
“Well, I’m certainly not taking you to my home!” Ugh. Could she sound more prim?
He was quiet for a moment and she felt him studying her. “In that case, I’m gonna open the door here, and get all these nice people riled up until the news crews come and we’re all over the internet. You seem like someone who’d be okay with that.”
She reached for her phone. “I’m calling the police.”
The smug bastard laughed at her. “Oh, so you want more media attention? I must’ve misread you.”
Fuck!
He was still laughing as Natalie threw the car in gear and floored the gas to force her way back into traffic.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Downward Spiral by Bria Starr Excerpt

Blurb
One horrible night changed everything.
And now, Paige can’t stop the nightmares. No one can...
Except him.
When Paige Tomlin unexpectedly runs into Eli Stone one day, memories of that awful night don’t come crashing down on her like she thought they would. Instead, memories from when they were young and inseparable surround her.
The boy she rode the bus to school with every day.
The boy who picked her up and drove her around the first day he got his license.
The boy who told her his deepest secrets.
The boy who left her without saying goodbye…
The man who came back for her.
Thrown into a world of fear and confusion, they lean on each other for support and survival.
But is the one thing that brought them back together the very thing that will rip them apart forever?


Author Interview 

How did the storyline for Downward Spiral come about?

It was a crazy dream I had! About a boy I used to go to school with. The dream was so vivid and so real, it also wouldn’t go away. When I told my mom about it, she said, “Maybe you should write a book about it?”

My response? “No way. I don’t know how I could ever turn that nightmare into a romance novel.”

Well, guess what? The dream wouldn’t go away, so I wrote down every detail I could remember, and I set it aside for after I was finished writing Your Exception. I knew it would be my next book.

Describe Paige in 5 words?

Paige is brave, broken, confused, loving, strong.

Was there any parts of Downward Spiral which you found hard to write?

I had the dream in my head with a million unanswered questions. There were so many things I didn’t understand. So trying to base an entire book based on that, and try to make sense out of “why”, was the hardest thing. But it all worked out.

What’s in the future for you?

Writing more books! So many ideas, so little time! My next signing is in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 26, 2014!


Giveaway


HOSTED BY:
EJ Button

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Afterworlds
Afterworlds
By Scott Westerfeld

Inspiration for the novel
The inspiration for Afterworlds hit me while I was on tour, coming face to face with the incredible YA community that has appeared over the last decade or so. All these readers, bloggers, fan fic writers and fan artists, all these librarians and booksellers and editors, all creating a new engine which has become the fastest growing part of publishing. Something interesting was going on, and I thought it would fun to document it in fictional form.

Novels, of course, aren't really about communities, they're about characters. The most obvious (and most fun) character for me was a young writer working on her first novel, someone for whom the world of YA would be less familiar and more intimidating, if not more exciting, than it is for me.

So Darcy Patel was born. She's just graduated high school, having written a novel in the previous November (she's a Wrimo!), which has been bought by a major publisher. She's deferred college and left home, and has to learn to live on her own at the same time as she rewrites her book. Darcy sees this YA world from a fresh perspective, and she gets to enjoy its absurdities and wonders as a part of her own growing up. I kind of envy her.

Characters – talk about main characters and whether they’re based on anyone (this could be dangerously liable!)

In the last ten years, I've spent a lot of that time collecting funny stories about touring, bookselling, and editorial conflicts. I also love listening to how writers talk to each other about stories, a process which can make for some pretty interesting stories itself. Darcy's half of Afterworlds is full of those memories, so it's roughly 93% true. The characters are composites, though, so there's no one-to-one correspondence between them and real people. You can see individual glimpses here and there, but I will neither confirm nor deny.

The writing process of the dual narrative - did you come up with Lizzie’s story first, or Darcy’s, or did they flow on from one another – how did this work?

I wrote the two threads at the same time as much as possible, bouncing back and forth between Lizzie and Darcy just as the book does. Sometimes one thread would get ahead because I was having more fun with it, so I'd have to rein it in and get back to the other. I wanted the two novels to influence each other, even in ways I couldn't detect myself, because of course Darcy's novel would be influenced by her real life.

For example, when Darcy learns a cool new word, it often shows up in Lizzie's world a few chapters later (or sometimes earlier, because rewriting isn't linear). And as Darcy is learning about love and adult responsibilities, that also transforms the her novel.

That did make keeping track of everything tricky. I took a lot of notes along the way, and used a piece of novel-writing software called Scrivener to archive old drafts of chapters. This helped me see how "Darcy" was editing her novel as she grew up (even though it was really me doing the editing).


Buy Afterworlds
Amazon (UK/USA)

Find Scott

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Conflicted by M.M. Koenig - Meet The Cast

Blurb
Mia Ryan was on the path to make all her dreams come true. Her life was everything she wanted it to be; until one fateful night changed everything – leaving her broken and without direction. Nearly a year later, she still has little faith in anyone or anything. Desperate to reclaim her life’s ambition, she takes an unexpected offer that promises to solve all her problems. But as Mia moves forward, she’s faced with obstacles she couldn’t have foreseen. The biggest of them lies within the mystery of Ethan Fitzgerald; a man who affects her like no other, but who she should avoid pursuing, at all costs. 

On a mission himself, Ethan Fitzgerald didn’t care who he pissed off on his road to fulfill his mother’s dying wish. He relied on himself, and was closed off to the world around him – until Mia Ryan walked through his door. Normally one to avoid messy emotions, Ethan’s world is turned upside down by Mia, and he can’t seem to get enough of her. 
There are lines you can cross that will change the course of your life forever …


Meet The Cast


Giveaway

HOSTED BY:
EJ Button

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cover Reveal and Blurb - Bend Don't Break by Skye Callahan

Benddontbreak front cover
Bend Don't Break
By Skye Callahan
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2014

Presale: Amazon US|UK|CA|AU

Check with your local Amazon, preorders are available internationally.


Blurb
I thought I was done. my End I couldn’t take my eyes off her as the bullet tore through me, leaving me with nothing but the hope that I had done enough to save her. The darkness tried to engulf me—to brand me as its own and drag me to my fate. my Darkness Waking to see her tear-stained face above me was enough to make my heart stutter. I was alive and free from that place—but not from the toll it had taken on my mind and body. My story should have ended, but one woman kept standing in the way of that. my Strength The only way I could have her was to find a way to put the darkness to rest.

Warning: This isn't your rainbows and love sonnets kind of romance. This story explores topics of abduction and slavery, and contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex.


Find Skye


Excerpt
“How many women did you have sex with while you were there?” It was the third time Dr. Combs had asked me that question. And for the third time I wanted to avoid it. I had just gotten out of that hell, and I still had the bullet hole in my chest to prove it, but it didn't stop my boss on pushing the psychiatric evaluation. Dr. Combs cleared her throat, and my jaw clenched. I didn’t even want to admit the number to myself even though I could see every one of the girls in my head. Kat, the red-headed braggart who thought she owned every man who walked into the retreat. Gabby, the indignant curly haired brunette. Raini a gorgeous but frail girl who was transferred in right after I went undercover. I had feared that one more night in Ross’ bed would kill her before her first week was up. Alley, a blond sweetheart who belonged to Miles, my unconventional friend. Silver, the girl who simultaneously ruined and saved me. She was the only reason I was alive, and the only reason I had what was left of my soul—except she wasn’t real. Like my undercover alias, Kirk, she was forged from necessity and determination. And somewhere out there Rose was learning to live her own life again. At least that’s what I hoped. The day after I was shot in the raid on the “sex retreat”, my superiors had me transferred to another hospital and put under protective custody until they were sure I was safe. I was fairly positive they were more concerned that any real threat to my life would come from me, since there were very few people who knew of my undercover involvement in the operation. The only company I was allowed was Dr. Combs, my new shrink. I didn’t want a shrink. I wanted the woman who saved me—the only person who stood a chance of bringing me any kind of peace. The woman I could never have.