Loving Amber by Roya Carmen

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Excerpt

“I can’t go on with him when all I can think about is you,” I finally confess. “I need you out of my life.”

Silence fills the room. All I can see is him, so close to me. He doesn’t look at me—his gaze lingers on my dress, those long lashes hiding his emotions. I don’t know what he’s thinking. His breath is hot on me, and I want more. He presses a hand softly against my hip and melts me to my core. I want him to say something. I want him to tell me he doesn’t want to see me with David. I want him to be angry, to feel something.

But he’s so damn calm.

Until…

Finally, he looks up at me, his gaze slowly reaching mine. In his eyes I see anger, hurt, and… desire. He raises his hand to my cheek and touches it. So softly I barely feel it. He runs his free hand through my hair and tugs at my clip, pulling my hair. It hurts, but it also feels so good. He throws the clip to the floor. His fingers are feverish when they get lost in the tangles of my hair. With one hand on my hip, the other twisted in my locks, he presses me hard against the door. His mouth—heated, rough, and wild—lands on mine.

My entire being surrenders to him. He’s so powerful. One press of his hot wet lips and I abandon all my plans. I want to live this moment. If just for a minute, for a second.

I need him.

I open my mouth, wanting more. He tastes like beer, but I love it. I reach for his face. The rough feel of his unshaven jaw scratches my palm. Still, it’s not close enough. I explore further. I want more of him. My hands travel up and get tangled in his soft hair as we deepen the kiss, our mouths hungry, desperate. He grabs my ass and hikes me up as his hips push into me. He growls softly when I bite his bottom lip gently. I feel us falling. Out of control.

I came here to end this, and it’s only brought us closer. To this moment. If we do this, we can’t go back. We need to stop. I know we need to stop, but I can’t seem to pull away. He feels so good. The heat rushing through me, the pressure at my core, the desperate craving. But if we do this, I’ll never get over him. I know it.

And I think about Maggie. What about her?

I moan as I finally manage to tear my mouth from his. I press my hand against his chest, gasping.

He catches his breath and his beautiful eyes, pooling with desire, almost draw me back in. His gaze falls. He knows I can’t do this, that we shouldn’t do this. “I’m sorry.”

Two simple words. Unneeded. I know he’s sorry. I’m sorry too. I’m sorry I came here. I’m sorry I don’t want David. I’m sorry Aiden is the one I crave. I’m sorry I’m falling apart. I’m sorry my plan is in shatters. “I should go.”

He studies me for the longest time, his eyes taking me in wholly: my heavy eyes, my trembling lips, my wandering hands—I’m still touching him. I can’t seem to pull away.

He reaches for my hair, and slowly, softly, he pulls it behind my ear. Then he leans into me, his breath hot on my neck, and he presses his mouth there, sending me to heaven. “I don’t think you really came here tonight to end things with me, Amber.”

I close my eyes, at a loss for words. He’s right.

He trails his hands softly over my hips and down the skirt of my dress. “I think you’re looking for something else altogether. I think you’re restless.” He toys with the hem of my little black dress. His hands explore under it, and the feel of his touch against my bare skin arouses me so much I can barely breathe. “When was the last time you were touched?”

His question catches me by surprise. He’s seducing me wholeheartedly. I just say, “Don’t stop.”

He slowly slips his hand higher up the inside of my thigh and reaches the lace fabric of my panties. “You look fucking amazing.”

His fingers press against my sex, and all the while, he watches me, taking in my reaction. Do I want him to go on? He knows I do. He slides his hands slowly under my soft flowy dress, and I almost melt under his touch. His fingers travel up to my stomach, teasing me. He traces soft, slow circles around my navel and makes me shiver. The sensation of his gentle fingers on my skin makes my core heavy and hot, makes my sex swell and pound. Damn.

I think about Maggie again. “We can’t… what about Maggie?”

His hand stills. “Maggie and I are not together. We were never together.”

A heavy weight seems to lift from me. “But you said…”

He fixes me with dark eyes. “I know what I said. I lied. You’re the only one. The only one I think about, the only one I want.”

I want to kiss him again. I want him inside me. I should pull away, but I can’t. I physically can’t. He can’t stop. Almost as if he can read my mind, he explores further. As his touch travels back to the inside of my thigh, I spot a hint of a smile.

He loves this.

 

amber2

 

New Second Chance standalone from Roya Carmen.

 

Torn by tragedy. Reunited by love.

Releasing September 26th.

 

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/2bXvktI

 

Blurb

Torn by tragedy. Reunited by love.

Two years ago, I lost my husband and my brother to the same tragedy. To this day, I hold only one person responsible—Aiden Rogers, the beautiful boy I’ve known forever, the misfit I’ve both loved and hated, the one who always got to me. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the only one to blame.

Now he wants to be part of my life again—when I can finally see a future for my son and myself. I’ve found the perfect man in David, someone I can start over with, a man who will be the perfect father figure for Trevor. I have a plan. At last, I see the light, and I know I can make this work.

I will not let Aiden Rogers drag me back into the darkness.


Author’s note: contains sexual scenes and some coarse language.

 

This is the first book of the Riverstone Estate Series and can be enjoyed as a standalone read.

***
The Riverstone Series: A beautiful estate. Three unforgettable love stories.

Following the sudden passing of their father, Amber, Ruby, and Flynn Riverstone inherit the family estate and find themselves facing new challenges, growing closer, and discovering love along the way.

 

About the Author:

 

Busy mom, naughty writer, comic-addict, artist & designer, book-aholic, nature lover, and hopeless romantic.

 

When I’m not writing, I can usually be found hanging with my family, reading, camping and travelling, painting, yoga-ing (very ungracefully), shooting pool, or at my favourite bookstore café with my book friends.

 

A Northern French-Canadian gal, I now live just near Toronto where it’s much, much warmer!

 

For all the latest updates, sign-up for my newsletter at www.royacarmen.com or friend me on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Sign up for my monthly newsletter:

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Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/royacarmen/?…

Twitter: @royacarmen

Wattpad: @royastories

website: www.royacarmen.com

You Can’t Touch This-Pepper Winters writing as Tess Hunter

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Pepper Winters writing as Tess Hunter in You can’t Touch this

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Also on Kindle Unlimited right now!

BLURB

I don’t want to touch it.
I really, really don’t.
He’s egotistical, crass, and my patient’s owner–which makes him totally off limits.
Yep, that’s right. He owns the wiener I’m currently working on.
A wiener dog–get your dirty mind out of the gutter.
I’ve also worked on his Spoodle, his Cocker-shitzu, and a Cheagle–don’t ask. (And no, it’s not a sexual position).
It doesn’t help that he also represents most of my joint-owned veterinary practice’s small clientele. We’d only just opened the doors a few months ago, and in he strode with a yelping Taco Terrier. One haughty look at our sparkling new facilities, he’d demanded royal treatment, even though I was currently finger deep up a squalling tom cat.
Ever since then, he expects me to serve him.
Any time. All the time.
Him and his revolving zoo of dogs.
One of these days, I’m going to swat him for being such a pompous ass but I can’t deny the way he handles his charges makes me want to see past the ‘do as I say and don’t ask questions’ barking exterior.
But then last week…he caught me staring at his um, cough, package.
His bossy commands switched to a cocky smirk.
He gave me permission to do something I promised myself I would never ever do.
I can touch it.
If I want…

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2c7hk2S

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Pepper Winters

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author

Author of Bestselling Titles: Monsters in the Dark Trilogy, Indebted Series, Pure Corruption Duology, Unseen Messages & Destroyed

Pre-order Dollar Series: Pennies / Dollars / Hundreds / Thousands / Millions

Purchase Monsters in the Dark: Tears of Tess | Quintessentially Q | Twisted Together | Je Suis a Toi

Purchase Destroyed

Purchase Unseen Messages

Purchase Indebted Series: Debt Inheritance | First Debt | Second Debt | Third Debt | Fourth Debt | Final Debt | Indebted Epilogue

Purchase Pure Corruption Series: Ruin & Rule | Sin & Suffer

ROMANTIC COMEDY written as TESS HUNTER

Can’t Touch This is LIVE NOW! Purchase Here

Loving AMBER by Roya Carmen

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AMBER

 

New Second Chance standalone from Roya Carmen.

 

Torn by tragedy. Reunited by love.

Releasing September 26th.

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/2bXvktI

 

Enter to Win a SIGNED PAPERBACK &

$20 Amazon Gift Card on Roya’s Facebook Page here:  http://bit.ly/2c9HlkN

 

Blurb

Torn by tragedy. Reunited by love.

Two years ago, I lost my husband and my brother to the same tragedy. To this day, I hold only one person responsible—Aiden Rogers, the beautiful boy I’ve known forever, the misfit I’ve both loved and hated, the one who always got to me. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the only one to blame.

Now he wants to be part of my life again—when I can finally see a future for my son and myself. I’ve found the perfect man in David, someone I can start over with, a man who will be the perfect father figure for Trevor. I have a plan. At last, I see the light, and I know I can make this work.

I will not let Aiden Rogers drag me back into the darkness.


Author’s note: contains sexual scenes and some coarse language.

 

This is the first book of the Riverstone Estate Series and can be enjoyed as a standalone read.

***
The Riverstone Series: A beautiful estate. Three unforgettable love stories.

Following the sudden passing of their father, Amber, Ruby, and Flynn Riverstone inherit the family estate and find themselves facing new challenges, growing closer, and discovering love along the way.

 

About the AuthorROYA

 

Busy mom, naughty writer, comic-addict, artist & designer, book-aholic, nature lover, and hopeless romantic.

 

When I’m not writing, I can usually be found hanging with my family, reading, camping and travelling, painting, yoga-ing (very ungracefully), shooting pool, or at my favourite bookstore café with my book friends.

 

A Northern French-Canadian gal, I now live just near Toronto where it’s much, much warmer!

 

For all the latest updates, sign-up for my newsletter at www.royacarmen.com or friend me on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Sign up for my monthly newsletter:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FA…

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/royacarmen/?…

Twitter: @royacarmen

Wattpad: @royastories

website: www.royacarmen.com

THANK YOU!

To Review or Not Review?

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Like other bloggers, we get ARC’s from time to time to read and review. Many of you know, I already have an issue with the review process on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t like Authors and “Street Teams” that attack well written honest reviews. We had one author calls us an illiterate reader who like incest. 1. We can read and are not illiterate. 2. I have never in my life nor has anyone here at BA read a book on incest. After some research, we found out it was the author. When I replied, which I never do, Amazon took my well-written comment down but left that of the person attacking the review, the author. I am more humored by it than anything. You can be thin skinned in this industry.
So many people tell us they don’t leave reviews because they have been attacked by street teams or they forget. Some only do good reviews, others only review the ones they don’t like. I tend to ignore reviewers who only leave one and two-star reviews and often wonder why they bother reading at all. Sadly, there are other authors who have street teams attack authors they don’t like on their behalf. It is insane.
I went to review a book recently and it had a lot of comments on a one-star review. The book was filled with hundreds of errors. Really, I am not kidding. Names were transposed, research was not done, spelling was bad and it was lacking editing altogether. It was a mess. This reviewer outlined their reasons for not enjoying the book. They were 100% valid. She was kind and very articulate. This author and her street team jumped all over this reviewer. Stating “You should be kind to new authors. They don’t have the money to pay for editing so give her a break.” Are you kidding me? So, you are willing to publish pure junk for the sake of publishing and then get mad when people don’t like your book because it was so bad it couldn’t be finished?
It is with this that I wish Amazon would disable the comments section of reviews. There are many great authors who say “Hey if someone doesn’t like my book, so what.” Not everyone will like a book. We all have different taste. Some pick up on editing and grammar issues more than others. When you put your work out there, you will be judged.
We no longer take ARC’s for honest reviews and will now only be promoting authors we know and love.
The point to this post? Leave honest reviews, you don’t have to be mean if you don’t like the book. It is never OK to attack other reviewers and street teams which were once thought to good, we now look at as bad. We want no part of it. If you love a book, share. If it was so bad you want to save someone else from reading it, share.
I just needed to get that out there.

Happy Friday!

T

Layers of Her- Prescott Lane

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A Letter to my Readers

 

Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And that’s part of the problem.

Because it’s so uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom the newsfeed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.

 

Last March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault. A few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long hospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair next to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them. Some shared their reasons, and others didn’t.

 

I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didn’t see one post about it on any of my social media accounts.

Early this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate of April’s profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much the profits be? Will readers assume I’m a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice?

 

Why am I doing this? It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent. But that’s the whole problem, isn’t I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault is one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes and heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That’s all we want for them. We need to do same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single day. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors but for those who love them.

 

Prescott

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People always say it’s what’s on the inside that matters. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. On the outside, everything looks put together — blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean. By society’s standards, I’d be considered attractive. But f*ck society, I know what I am. I know what I’m made of. The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside don’t make me who I am. What about all the evil lurking inside? What about all the other parts of me that aren’t so easy to see? Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest. Take the polar bear, for example. Cute and cuddly on the outside, but it’s really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off. That’s a dangerous combination.

 

And that’s exactly like me, exactly who I am. Bad — and once you go bad, you can never go back.

WARNING: This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.

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“What made you come for me?” she asks.  I tell her my theory about men making decisions based on one of three body parts — head, heart, dick.  “So which led you to my house tonight?” she asks.

 

“Let’s just say two out of three ain’t bad.”

 

Her giggle fills up the room.  “Stone?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Don’t let me forget.”  

 

“Forget what?”

 

“How good I feel right now,” she says.

 

I know exactly what she’s feeling.  She doesn’t think she deserves to be happy.  It’s a constant waiting on the other shoe to drop so you can prove to yourself that all the bad shit you fill your head with is true.  That you’re bad, and that’s why bad things happen around you, or to those you love.  Dealt with that myself when Tate got her diagnosis.  Who am I kidding?  I still fight those demons, knowing she’s suffering because of my mistakes.  Self-blame is a bitch.  Self-hatred is even worse.  Guess I’ll just have to teach Campbell to love herself as much as I love her.

 

Yeah, yeah, it’s fast.  But how long does it really take to fall in love with someone?  A minute?  An hour?  A day?  A year?  For me, it took exactly one kiss.  The moment her lips touched mine in that hospital room, I was gone.  

 

Besides, what do you really have to know about a person to love them?  Not a damn thing other than how they make you feel when you close your eyes at the end of the day with them wrapped in your arms.

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Prescott Lane is the author of First Position, Perfectly Broken, and her new release, Quiet Angel. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Centenary College with a degree in sociology. She went on to receive her MSW from Tulane University, after which she worked with developmentally delayed and disabled children. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

Happily Ever Afters Guaranteed

Author links

Twitter  Facebook  Web  Amazon page Goodreads Instagram

 

 

Sliding down the SKY Amanda Dick

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Callum Ferguson has grown up in the shadow of the sins of his father. The worst moment of his life came not at the age of sixteen, when he threw his father out of the house, but later in life, when he realised he was just like him. With a predilection for alcohol and violence, he sees his destiny every time he looks in the mirror.

 

Sass Hathaway, hell-raiser and successful musician, thrived in the limelight – until one night she lost it all. Drowning in an ocean of uncertainty, nursing a crippling case of self-loathing, her brother offers her a chance to find herself again.

 

His idea of salvation is a dilapidated bar. His proposal; she help him and his wife renovate and run it. However, when she and Callum cross paths, they both discover that salvation comes in many forms.

 

You can’t escape your past, you can only come to terms with it so that you can move on – but accepting your past is only the beginning. Then you must decide whether you’re strong enough to follow your heart.

 

(This can be read as a stand-alone, but reading ‘Absolution’ is recommended in order to get the most out of this story).   

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Chapter One

“I don’t think your ability to fight has anything to do with how big you are. It’s to do with how much anger is in you.” – Amy Winehouse

Callum

Five Weeks Earlier

Barney’s was filled to capacity, which was unusual for a Wednesday night. So unusual that it was starting to piss me off. I wanted to lose myself, but the noise in there was distracting. I’d arrived late and lost my usual booth in the far corner, so I’d found myself at the bar instead, which was handy for refills but not what I had in mind when I came in.

To make it worse, I’d been jostled and shoved from all directions. I could feel the beast inside me beginning to stir. I tried to drown it with booze, but we both knew it was a temporary fix.

As if to illustrate my point, the guy beside me bumped into me a second time, spilling my beer down the front of my shirt. That was the final straw. I turned around and gave him a shove back, sending him sprawling into his friends, friends I hadn’t noticed until that moment. That should’ve been my warning, but I was way past seeing signs.

I didn’t even know who the guy was, I only knew he worked over at the mill, was clumsy and had a big mouth. That’s not true, I knew something else about him, too – he was big. Taller than me, so maybe six-three or six-four, with a face that was perfect for radio. He also seemed to think he was bulletproof, but I was about to prove him wrong.

He turned around, and suddenly I was faced with four of them, all varying combinations of huge, drunk and angry. That should’ve slowed me down, or had me pausing at least, but it didn’t. It was a challenge, and I loved a challenge.

“You got a problem, dude?” he asked, giving me the once-over from the feet up.

That pissed me off even more.

“Yeah, I have. You just spilled beer all over me, asshole.”

One of his friends laughed. He actually laughed, although I failed to see the humour in the situation.

“Think that’s funny?” I demanded, slamming what was left of my beer on the bar.

The universal sign for ‘bring it on, punk’.

“Take it outside!”

Harry’s voice was swallowed up in the melee as the situation rapidly deteriorated. I saw red, and it blurred out almost everything around me. The room seemed to sway and heave with people as the guy came barrelling towards me. I should’ve known. I should’ve seen what was happening, but the beer had dulled my senses. I turned my head at the last moment and his fist connected with my cheekbone, jarring my entire skull. The room began to swim as I grabbed onto him and took him to the floor with me. I got in one good punch, one decent, solid hit that got him right in the ribcage, and he rolled off me, his arms wrapped protectively around his gut.

The next thing I knew, two of his friends were frog-marching me across the crowded room, the three of us parting the crowd like the Red Sea. It all happened so fast. One minute, we were on the ground, the next, I was flying out the door. It was one of those surreal moments, like something out of a dream. The anger that had consumed me only moments before dissipated, and I was left hollow and confused, struggling to make sense of the sudden change of scenery.

I landed on the pavement outside on my hands and knees. That woke me up and took care of the dream sequence in one fell swoop. Reality flooded in, like a movie with the sound suddenly switched to full volume.

They yelled something at me that I didn’t catch, then one of them kicked me in the ribs for good measure. The impact blinded me, forcing me over onto my back as I curled into the foetal position to protect myself. Pain, immediate and intense, bloomed through my torso like a virus, making my head spin. I fought back the urge to throw up as I tried to breathe through it. I heard the door to the bar slam shut behind me and then I was alone.

Shit.

I lay there for a while, trying to catch my breath, watching it turn into fog in the cold night air.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been thrown out of a bar, and it probably wasn’t gonna be the last time either. Why was it that booze numbed your senses when you were physically fine, but as soon as someone drove a boot into your ribs – or a fist into your face, or nose, or any other part of you – you felt everything?

Asshole.

I wasn’t sure if that was aimed at him or me. Probably both. I was just as worthy of it, especially lately. It was a wonder that Harry hadn’t barred me already – I sure as hell deserved it. The anger swam around inside me, searching for a release. Booze made it worse, but it also made the flipside easier to bear.

The loneliness.

It was eating me up inside. The booze took my mind off it, at least for a while. I’d yet to discover what the answer was, long-term. I wasn’t even sure I wanted one.

With a grunt, I heaved myself to my knees and then to my feet, staggering slightly. I looked up and down the street, but it was empty. Not a soul was out at this time of the night, and those that were, were inside Barney’s.

I was drunk and stupid, but not suicidal, and sure as hell not capable of driving.

My ribs ached and I tried to take shallow breaths as I made my way down the empty street in the dark, towards home.

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Amanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover. She loves to do DIY (if it’s not bolted down, she’ll probably paint it, re-cover it or otherwise decorate it) and has tried almost every craft known to man/womankind. She has two sewing machines and an over-locker she can’t remember how to thread. She crochets (but can’t follow a pattern), knits (badly) and refrains from both as a public service.

She believes in love at first sight, in women’s intuition and in following your heart. She is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte.

What lights her fire is writing stories about real people in trying situations. Her passion is finding characters who are forced to test their boundaries. She is insanely curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge. Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour – love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and the complexity of relationships in general.

After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, “Absolution”, was released on 29 October 2013 (with the second edition releasing on 6 January 2015). Her second novel, “Between Before and After”, was released in May 2014. Her third novel, “Into the Void”, is scheduled to release in July 2015.

Author Links

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STUCK-UP SUIT LIVE NOW

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STUCK UP SUIT NOW AVAILABLE

Graham and Soraya’s highly anticipated romance is finally here in Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward!

NOW LIVE!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SXNfB1
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Also available on Audible HERE: http://amzn.to/1qeMA4o

Add Stuck-Up Suit to your TBR list on Goodreads!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28477789-untitled

Blurb
It started out like any other morning on the train.

Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle.

He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world.

Who did the stuck-up suit think he was…God?

Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it.

When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left. So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out.

I might have picked it up.

I might have gone through all of his photos and called some of the numbers.

I might have held onto the mystery man’s phone for days—until I finally conjured up the courage to return it.

When I traipsed my ass across town to his fancy company, he refused to see me.

So, I left the phone on the empty desk outside the arrogant jerk’s office.

I might have also left behind a dirty picture on it first though.

I didn’t expect him to text back.

I didn’t expect our exchanges to be hot as hell.

I didn’t expect to fall for him—all before we even met.

The two of us couldn’t have been any more different.

Yet, you know what they say about opposites.

When we finally came face to face, we found out opposites sometimes do more than attract—we consumed each other.

Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

Excerpt

Graham: What are you wearing, Soraya?
Soraya: Are you serious right now?
Graham: You ruined my day. You owe me.
Soraya: I don’t owe you anything, you fucking perv.
Graham: This from the woman who sent me a shot of her cleavage. Nice tits, by the way. They’re so big, at first, I thought it was a picture of an ass.
Soraya: You’re the ass.
Graham: Show me your face.
Soraya: Why?
Graham: Because I want to see if it matches your personality.
Soraya: Which would mean what?
Graham: Well, that wouldn’t bode well for you.
Soraya: You won’t ever see my face.
Graham: Probably better off. So, give me a hint about what you’re wearing.
Soraya: It’s red.
Graham: So you haven’t changed out of that dress?
Soraya: No, I’m naked with dye dripping down my body and my tongue is throbbing thanks to you.
That was an odd thing to say.
Graham: That’s an interesting visual.
Soraya: You are seriously crazy, dude.
Graham: I AM a little crazy, actually. I probably need my head checked because I’ve been fantasizing about a headless person all day.
Soraya: Well, the naked pic ain’t gonna happen.
Graham: How about I go first?

 

stuck up teaser rb (1)

VEXED Phoenyx Slaughter

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Release Date : April 4th

 

 

Cover designed by: AJ Lake

 

 

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.99 cents pre-order until release day.

 

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Falling in love will only leave you vexed.

Recent high school graduate, Athena Vale might seem bubbly and uncomplicated, but she has big plans and even bigger dreams, she’s only ever shared with her best friend, Karina. Athena’s strict upbringing has left her curious about taking a walk on the wild side—just once. And she knows exactly who she wants to go wild with.

President of the Iron Bulls MC, Reed “Romeo” Crownover has no shortage of women willing to entertain him. But these days, there’s only one girl on his mind —Athena. When she shows up at his clubhouse on the night of her eighteenth birthday, he decides it’s time to work her out of his system.

But one night turns into two, two turns into three, and soon the no-strings fun turns into something more passionate than either of them expected. An intense romance neither of them have ever experienced or knew they wanted.

She’s half his age.

He doesn’t fit in her world.

She’s leaving for Los Angeles to start a new life in a few days.

Their connection was vexed from the start.

Vexed is the fourth novella in the Iron Bulls MC series. Although Romeo and Athena make brief appearances in the first three books, Vexed can be read as a stand-alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

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CHAPTER ONE

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HOW CAN I STILL BE fucked up over one little girl?

Athena.

That sweet little bitch has had me acting stupid since the day her sassy ass showed up at my clubhouse.

It’s Dante’s fault. My Sergeant-at-Arms found himself a girl, Karina. Hot, smart, and down for about anything. Stare at her for longer than two seconds and you’re asking for an up close and painful introduction to Dante’s fists. My stone-faced-killer friend doesn’t fuck around when it comes to his girl. It’s her best friend I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.

Tagging along with Dante to the girls’ graduation yesterday didn’t help. That’s high school graduation, mind you. All I thought about was how today she’d be turning eighteen. Not even running into her uptight, upscale, bitch-faced parents had settled my dick down.

Like fuck do I plan to chase after her. Not my style. Besides, there’s enough willing girls trolling my clubhouse who’ve been legal longer than five seconds. Any one of them will be thrilled to service me, then go away. The way I prefer my relationships. Quick and uncomplicated.

Unfortunately, my dick isn’t interested in any of them. No matter how hard the girls have tried to get my attention tonight.

Spotting Dante and Karina walk in the front of door, I glance behind them. No Athena.

I’m capable of casually asking about her without sounding like a complete creep, right?

Then she stumbles in the door. With her scared little Goldilocks expression, she looks like she’s about to meet up with the biggest, baddest wolf.

Me.

Dante’s wearing his I need to choke someone face. Hooking my thumbs in my pockets, I approach the trio slowly.

“What’s up?” I ask Dante, who rolls his eyes at me. He’s not fooled one bit by my laid back act.

“Hi, Romeo,” Karina says shyly. I still can’t get over how a scary motherfucker like Dante managed to snag such a beautiful and soft-spoken chick. “Um, Athena and I spent the day with her family for her birthday, and she asked if she could join us tonight. I hope that’s okay.” I appreciate the emphasis Karina puts on the word birthday. What a nice, subtle hint that her friend’s now fair game.

Finally.

“Is it your birthday, sweetheart?” I ask Athena. When I put all my attention on her, she blushes and glances at the floor. A much different reaction than I expected, considering how tough she usually acts.

“Yes.”

Dante sighs and steps away from the girls. Karina leads her friend to the bar and I ain’t happy about not being able to say more than a few words to the girl who’s taken over my every wank fantasy for weeks now.

Taking me by the arm, Dante pulls me a few steps away. “Listen, I ain’t got no say over what you do with your dick, brother. But I feel responsible for her, being she’s Karina’s friend and all. Treat her with care, please.”

It’s a lot for my Sergeant-at-Arms to say. There aren’t many females he gives two fucks about. And I sure as fuck don’t remember the last time I heard please come out of his mouth. For once, I set my sarcasm aside. “Yeah. She’ll be okay with me. I won’t let her out of my sight.”

Dante searches my face and must finally decide I’m sincere, because he nods. We join the girls at the bar. Dante immediately pulls his girl to his side.

“Athena, we’ll be upstairs. You need anything, call your girl.” He tilts his head toward Karina, then drags her upstairs. Not that she protests.

Athena watches them leave, but I can’t take my eyes off her. She pushes her shoulders back and slowly swivels her bar stool toward me. “Am I finally allowed to have a tour of your clubhouse, Mr. President?” she asks in a low, husky voice I don’t expect from someone her age.

Seems Miss Goldilocks isn’t so scared anymore.

“Come here, you,” I say as I pull her closer. I spin her seat, so her back’s to the bar and she has to tip her head back to see my face. Staring down into her bold, steel-blue eyes unbalances me. “Did you have a good birthday?”

“Not really. I think you can make it better, though.”

I can make it better, or I can make it the biggest mistake of her young life. I shouldn’t mess around with this girl. She deserves a nice guy, who isn’t almost twice her age.

Except, I’ve wanted her from the second we met. And now there’s no reason I can’t have her.

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All day I begged Karina to let me tag along to her boyfriend’s motorcycle club, but now that I’m here, I’m terrified.

The reality is so much scarier than all the things I’ve fantasized about since the first time I visited the Iron Bulls MC’s clubhouse.

A few weeks ago, I’d dropped Karina off to visit her boyfriend. I hadn’t expected the president of the club to take an interest me. The intensity of his deep blue eyes tied my tongue in knots and I made a fool of myself. That had been during the middle of the day. Things were relatively calm.

Tonight, the clubhouse is in the middle of a big celebration, and I’ve never seen some of the sex acts being done around me. Not even on those five-minute Pornhub clips I’ve snuck a peek at once or twice when I found my way around my parents’ firewall.

My best friend has been keeping serious secrets. It blows my mind Karina hangs out around this erotic mayhem and never told me. I’m utterly shocked and throbbing with curiosity about everything I see.

You’re a whore just like your friend.

I give myself a shake, hoping to silent my parents’ ever-present criticism and focus. I swore if I had another chance to talk to Romeo, I wouldn’t embarrass myself. Yet here I am, gawking like a scared little girl.

This is the scene Romeo’s used to. The kind of behavior he expects. Sexy, confident girls. Not virgins who have no idea what they’re doing.

Well, some idea.

But my ex-boyfriend, Bobby, might as well have been an armadillo for all the similarity he has to Romeo.

The arrogance of having a road name like Romeo. Either he’s really good in the sack or has a micro penis.

God, I hope it’s not a micro penis.

The way he’s staring at me and running his hand over a chin full of scruff, I think I’m about to find out.

“Did you have a good birthday?” he asks while watching me as if I’m the only person in the room.

Because he wants to get in your panties, idiot.

He doesn’t even pretend he’s not checking me out. His deep sapphire eyes gleam with sex and mischief while they appreciate my long, bare legs, covered by a short, frilly skirt. I practically feel the weight of his gaze as it moves up my body, over my hips, and over the swells of my breasts, barely concealed by the flimsy fabric of my camisole.

“Not really. I think you can make it better, though.” Where the hell did I find the lady balls to say that?

Romeo likes my forwardness. A feral smile lights up his face. Hell help me, this man’s insanely hot. The beard scruff doesn’t hide the hard angles of his jaw. The fitted T-shirt he’s wearing under his leather vest hints at the rock-hard body underneath. Tattoos peek out from every available inch of skin. His thick, dark hair seems too wild to be contained and falls over his forehead in a way that declares badass. Every inch of him screams reckless, gruff, crude, dirty, dangerous, and utterly irresistible.

I’m so in over my head with this guy…this man.

And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Phoenyx “Nyx” Slaughter has many roles, including writer, reader, and roughneck wrangler. She loves taboo stories—the filthier the better.

She loves to travel and meet new people with similar interests. Feel free to visit her on facebook or send her an email: NyxSlaughter@gmail.com

 

 

Author Links

 

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Promise by dani wyatt

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Some promises are made to be broken. And others start out that way.

Promise Henderson knows all about being broken. She’s a down-on-her-luck former foster kid who needs to figure out how to get her brother into her custody before the State of Ohio ruins his life forever.

 

Enter Beckett Fitzgerald. A SEAL with a scarred face, a bad sense of humor and no place to call home. He has another asset though. A big one.

For ten years he’s tried to forget the girl with snow white hair and an angels eyes, but when fate throws her into his path once again, his obsession turns possessive and sparks fly.

 

Only, Promise has a Judas by her side vying for her heart and Beckett needs to reveal the truth before he loses her forever. Debts of the past come calling and Beckett shows her just how far he’s willing to go to protect what is his.

 

 

This full length novel has an over the top alpha hero, a curvy girl and some very saucy sexy times. Beckett and Promise get their happily ever after, but their story will continue. So if you like a romance with a heaping helping of HOT, step insi

 

 

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“Where’s your bedroom?” His voice is deep and firm as his hands move lower, around my throat, gently tightening then letting go, and my head is full of some kind of heavy mist because I forgot where my room is.

“Down there, on the left.” I hear my answer, not sure what part of my brain is actually still functioning.

“I’ll get you to work on time, but I need you right now, and you need me.”

His hands whip around and scoop under my arms, lifting me like a doll to cling to him face to face. My body feels weightless, and my ankles lock around his back.

The motion of his walk and the nearness of his lips turn the quivering between my legs into a craving.

“That feel good?” he asks, tightening his grip, pressing me into him. I can feel the fabric of his t-shirt against my clit.

The scent of coffee and something masculine and spicy is making me feel drunk. I bury my face in his neck and inhale. I love the texture of his fresh shave, just a hint of course beard creating friction against my cheek. There is a burning inside me, and I want it — him — to consume me. To keep me here, clinging onto him.

His hands play up and down my spine as I hear him kick open the door to my bedroom.

Shit. Wait…

But the pause in his step reminds me of why I don’t want people in here.

I hold my breath, waiting for his arms to loosen and my feet to hit the ground as he stares at the furious disaster that is my bedroom.

But, he steps forward without a word, his lips on my cheek. Three more steps and he lays me down gently on my bed, pushing my hands over my head before rising to full height. For a moment, I see what others see.

His face turns from that smiling Beckett that helped me find my own smile to this intense monster with a primal glare looking down at me like his prey. When his brow comes together, the light from behind those amazing eyes offset with the close cut of his black hair sends me spinning.

“So fucking perfect.” He tastes me with his eyes, and I can feel it somewhere inside me that is new. Somewhere I’ve kept sealed up. Sealed off. Because it’s the place he could hurt me most.

I bring my arms down in defense. He’s seeing things I don’t want him to see.

His eyes flash, and his face turns dark.

“Don’t fucking do that. Don’t ever cover yourself in front of me. Understand?”

He’s using that voice again, and I don’t know whether to be frightened or cum.

He leans down, becoming a bridge over me as I stretch my arms back up to where he’d placed them.

“That’s good. Keep them there.” His lips are perfect, and they’re on mine. Little pathetic noises escape me as his tongue glides inside my lips. He doesn’t rush, and I want more. I want fast. But, the way he’s looking at me, it’s clear — I’m not the one in charge.

I want him inside of me. It’s all I can think as our mouths turn and move against each other.

This is what a kiss is meant to be. Something as simple as lips touching can make me feel like we know things about each other no one else knows. I’m telling him so many things I could never say out loud, and his kiss is telling me he wants to know it all.

His lips move to my forehead, feather soft, knowing more new things about me, and it takes all my will not to bring my hands down to wrap around whatever part of him I can reach.

I have to concentrate to take each breath. Some are deep yet most are so shallow, my head is getting lighter and lighter until I feel like I’m floating. Or falling.

Right into him. Hoping he’ll catch me.

Both his hands move up and tangle in my hair, holding me firm as his warm mouth discovers my collar bones, and then moves down, sucking my tit so deep into his mouth, I let out a cry.

My sounds loosen something in him. I feel it.

His lips turn to teeth on my sensitive flesh, biting down until my cry turns to a scream, but my hips raise up, my body begging for so much more.

I want this; I want this pain because it comes from him.

And, it fills in parts of me that need filling.

He moves to the other side, dropping one hand from my hair and grazing down over my stomach.

I can feel his power as he releases me from his mouth, his hand flat on my belly and his eyes watching me as I lie quivering.

“Spread your legs.” It’s not a request; it’s clearly an order.

And I freeze.

 

 

 

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Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.

http://eepurl.com/bubxzz

 

She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.

 

When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.

 

 

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Book Tour…The Sins That Bind Us

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the sins that bind us now available

Meet Jude in The Sins That Bind Us by Geneva Lee!
NOW LIVE!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QPbMHz
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View Trailer Here: https://youtu.be/ceS3oGVFZ60

Blurb
I wasn’t given a choice. Not when I did my first line of cocaine. Not when I became a single mother. But I changed, and every decision I’ve made was to protect myself and my son from my weaknesses—and my past.

Until Jude came along and made me question everything, even my own secrets.

The sins I carry with me can never be discovered. Life handed me broken bits of people and left me to construct my own world, and it’s too fragile to take a chance on Jude Mercer.

We write our own stories.
We build our own prisons.
We weave our own lies.
We commit the sins that bind us.

EXCERPT

“Maybe he was already as tightly wound as me, but I can’t help but squirm under his possessive stare. I ignite that ferocity. I’m the storm that unsettles the peaceful blue pools of his irises. And realizing that vanquishes my fear. Because I’ve undone this man.”
“I want to say something but my mouth is empty. Before I can find words his lips find mine instead. He crashes against me, and I’m powerless against his force. He’s washing me out into the unknown and I don’t care if I drown.
My body shapes to his as his hand slides under my ass, lifting me from my feet. I coil around him, instinctively pressing the core of my want against his groin. A low growl vibrates through him and his arms bind me closer.
I want as much of him as he’ll give me. It’s the only need I’m capable of processing and I open to him, allowing his tongue to stroke across my teeth and then massage over mine. It’s an invitation and I RSVP by tangling my fingers into his hair. I grip it tightly, desperate to possess him as fully as he has me.”
When he backs into the kitchen table, we both spring into action, unbuttoning and unbuckling as quickly as our impatient fingers allow. Wiggling off my jeans, I return my attention to his body. I trail my palm over the swirling black ink and then I lunge forward and sink my teeth into his skin.
“Christ, Sunshine,” he grunts, but before I can register it as a complaint, he’s pushed me flat against the table and unsnapped my bra. I move to slide it off and my wrist knocks over a box of crayons.
Our eyes lock as they scatter to the floor and before I can raise the white flag, I’m back in his arms. Jude kicks open the door leading to the garage.
“I’ll fix it later,” he promises, sweeping me out the door. Twirling me around, he barricades it with our bodies. “Hold on.”
“I wrap my arms around his shoulders and cling to him as he frees his dick. I feel its heat prod against my belly. His whiskers scratch against my cheek as his mouth slants toward my neck. “I can’t be patient,” he warns me.
“Don’t be,” I beg.
He doesn’t need coaxing. His hand slips between my thighs and shoves my panties to the side. My bare back smacks against the wood as he thrusts into me. Jude’s chest smashes against my breasts as his weight overwhelms me. I lose myself to the rhythm. To the crash and the ebb. There is only each stroke, and the glorious, violent inevitability of being abandoned and filled.”

About the Author:

Geneva Lee prefers fantasy to reality, especially fantasies involving powerful, dangerous, and sexy men. You can find her devouring a good romance while avoiding the laundry and the children. She lives in Kansas City with her family.

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Changes

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changes

Yes, I was listening to David Bowie while composing this post. Can you guess what song? 🙂

Since the end of 2015, there have been a lot of changes in team members and owners with Book Asylum. We will keep doing the things we love-promoting and giveaways. We are also adding mini reviews. Why mini-reviews? There are some very exceptional bloggers out there that we love and who do an amazing job with detailed reviews. We decided we would do short mini-reviews. Interviews will still be a part of BA and we have a few being edited and are waiting for the perfect release dates. We are working hard on getting our book review feet nice and steady. We do expect some trial and error since this is new territory, aside from Amazon reviews which we do short and sweet as well. We are also still playing with new design concepts. A good book friend of ours made the new header which we love. Changes will slowly start rolling out.

Thanks for hanging out with us!

Book Asylum Team

ROOMHATE by Penelope Ward

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ROOMHATE

Blurb
From New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

Sharing a summer house with a hot-as-hell roommate should be a dream come true, right?

Not when it’s Justin…the only person I’d ever loved…who now hates me.

When my grandmother died and left me half of the house on Aquidneck Island, there was a catch: the other half would go to the boy she helped raise.

The same boy who turned into the teenager whose heart I broke years ago.

The same teenager who’s now a man with a hard body and a hardass personality to match.

I hadn’t seen him in years, and now we’re living together because neither one of us is willing to give up the house.

The worst part? He didn’t come alone.

I’d soon realize there’s a thin line between love and hate. I could see through that smug smile. Beneath it all…the boy is still there. So is our connection.

The problem is…now that I can’t have Justin, I’ve never wanted him more.

Author’s note – RoomHate is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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RoomHate Excerpt
Copyright © 2016 by Penelope Ward

His eyes darted to the side, and he noticed me standing there. We just stared at each other. It was ironic, but the only times I could ever feel the remnants of our old connection were in fleeting moments of silent eye contact. Sometimes moments of silence spoke the loudest.
I left him alone again, making my way back down the hall and into the restaurant to tend to the customers I’d been ignoring.
Things really started to get busy. Without Jade working tonight, we were short-staffed, and I was having a hard time keeping up with the orders. Sandy’s had indoor and outdoor seating. Normally, I would only be working one section, but tonight I was going back and forth between the two.
It was nice out, so I knew they would have Justin performing outside. I kept glancing over to the small stage to see if he was there. It was past eight, and he hadn’t made an appearance yet.
Sometime close to eight-thirty, I was in the middle of serving a large party of ten when I first heard it: the chilling sound of a soulful voice that was not familiar in the least. He gave no introduction. No warning. He just started to sing out the first few words, followed by the strum of his guitar. The song that Justin had chosen to start with was a cover of Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.
The entire room soon quieted down, and all eyes were on the stunning blond male specimen with the spotlight shining down on him. Despite the fact that I was carrying a large round tray of dirty dishes, I couldn’t move. The vibration of his thick, smoky singing voice had completely paralyzed me, penetrating my body and soul.
Aside from the lone teardrop that fell the night he lost it on me during steak dinner, I hadn’t shed any more tears—until now. It was all too much. Hearing how different his voice sounded, how he’d trained it over the years, was a wake-up call as to how much I had missed. All of the hours of practice that must have gone into honing that beautiful voice, and I wasn’t there for any of it. The guilt, the emotions, the reality of a decade gone…everything started to pummel me at once. Not to mention the song—about a girl leaving. It probably had nothing to do with me, but in my mind, it sure as hell felt like it did.

 

AVAILABLE ON ALL RETAILERS:

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Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

 

The Revenger by Debra Anastasia

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THEREVENGER

Summary of The Revenger:

The real hero of this story is dead. You should have met him. He was a beautiful man. The love of my life. I didn’t deserve him.

Now what’s left are the jagged edges of the person I am without him, and what I have to do to get by. This isn’t even a story about love. Not really. It’s a twisted tale of revenge and hate—a happily never after.

The only man in my life now is the one I have to kill.
I’m Savvy Raine.
I used to be a wife.
I used to be a mother.
Now I am the Revenger.

Excerpt #1

“What the hell are you?” He searched frantically for the door latch, his panic making him oblivious to the open top of the Jeep above him.
He didn’t deserve an answer, and he wouldn’t get one. Only in her head would she respond. She pulled him from the backseat and held him aloft, thinking, I’m a mom without a reason. I’m a person without a life. I’m dead with no escape.

Excerpt #2

There was very little chatter after the alarming phone call. Savvy looked at the clock. It was only five, but the extra help Tallow had enlisted acted like she was about to disintegrate. When they were finally done, they hung Savvy’s costume from a door, fully expecting her to drop trou in front of all the strangers.
She looked at the silver outfit meant to demean her and classify her as his, just like all his other favorites.
“Yeah, I’m not actually going to be wearing that.” She looked from one shocked person to the other.
Tallow recovered first. “But this is what he told you to wear!”
Savvy laughed hollowly. “Yeah, he can suck his own d*ck for all I care.”
The atmosphere changed. The others now realized Savvy didn’t think it was a huge honor to be a f*ckhole.
“That’s not acceptable. I’ll put you in it myself if I have to, but you’re leaving here in that outfit.” Tallow bravely gathered up the skirt and came into Savvy’s personal space. He obviously thought she was just a regular girl.
In an instant she’d lifted Tallow into the air by his neck. “I’m not wearing it.” She stared him down until he began to turn blue. Then she set him back on his feet.
Tallow was a quick learner and smoothed his fancy shirt. “Okay then, let me see what else we have.”

ibooks: TBA
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1PJmQU3
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01BPV4NSM
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B01BPV4NSM
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01BPV4NSM
Amazon FR :http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B01BPV4NSM

Nook: TBA
Kobo: TBA

Print: https://www.createspace.com/6058878

Find the Author:

Debra Anastasia

Website: www.DebraAnastasia@gmail.com
Twitter: @Debra_Anastasia
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DebraAnastasia
Instagram: www.instagram.com/debra_anastasia/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4831831.Debra_Anastasia
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LmKsvI.

 

The Ground Rules Undone

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We are delighted to share with you the excerpt reveal from The Ground Rules: Undone, the anticipated conclusion to The Ground Rules Trilogy by Roya Carmen.

 

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The Ground Rules were impossible to follow. It was hard not to become completely consumed by the beautiful and enigmatic Weston Hanson. The heart of a romantic was not fit for this kind of exchange. So, when it ended, I was shattered, but it was all for the better…or so we thought.

 

The Ground Rules were rewritten, and then bent. We lied to ourselves. We told ourselves we could handle this. Not a single one of us realized just how big this was…just how devastating it could become.

 

And now, there are no Rules.

 

Lust… infatuation…blinds you. It can tear everything apart. But sometimes, life needs to be completely torn apart before it can be mended – not just cracked at the edges, but utterly shattered, before you can truly see the mess you’ve become.

 

I love them both, but I can’t have them both. While one pulls me in, the other pushes me away. And when both eventually open their hearts, I must make the hardest decision of my life.

 

And now there are no Rules. We are Undone.

 

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Other books in the series

 

The Ground Rules #1

 

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The Ground Rules : Rewritten #2

 

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AP- Excerpt.jpg

 

Gabe takes my hand in his. “We’ve had a great week, haven’t we,” he says. “I’m so glad we did this.”

I swallow the lump in my throat. “Me too,” I say, looking up at him. I sit up and press myself close against the length of his body, smothering him. I want to get as close as I can. I press my lips against his.

The sound of his laughter vibrates against my mouth. “You’re a frisky little bunny this week,” he breathes. “I like it when you can’t get enough of me.”

My hands are already working the tie of his checkered lounging pants. “I want to make love tonight,” I whisper against his ear. And as I explore further, I see he’s already willing and able.

He toys with the thin strap of my silk nightie. “What the Mrs. Keates wants… she gets.”

He trails his finger along the embroidered flowers lining the neckline of my slip. “This is nice,” he whispers. “It’s almost a shame to take it off.”

I smile. “But I want you to.”

He drags his hand to the hem and slides it up against my thigh. “Me too. I absolutely want you naked,” he says with a cheeky smirk.

He pulls the nightie over my head. The sensation of the smooth silk is heavenly against my skin. He pulls me to him and takes my breast in his mouth. He’s gentle tonight. I feel my body warm at the feel of his wet tongue on me. I close my eyes and bury my face in his soft hair.

Familiarity is a wicked bitch – it makes you forget what you really love. I’d forgotten how much I desire him. I’ve taken him for granted.

I had forgotten the feel of him, the soft curls wrapping around my fingers when I rake my hands through his hair, the soft hair on his forearms, the smoothness of his skin, the feel of his hips pressing against the inside of my thighs, the sheer size of him as his length fills me deep.

He pulls me under him in one swift move and stares straight into my eyes. But he can’t see what’s really there – all the secrets I’ve hidden from him. I pull him close, not wanting to look into his eyes. His mouth tugs at my ear softly, his hands slide up my legs… he’s being playful. I take in every detail of him with my hands… of this last time.

He tugs my panties down and plants a kiss just above my hip bone, where his name is etched on my skin.

When he makes his way back up to me, I reach again for his pants and free him.

Tucked in under the cozy quilt, his naked body finally presses against mine.

He kisses me as he sinks into me gently. The old rustic wrought-iron bed clanks against the wall and squeaks, despite the fact that he’s being very gentle. We smile at the sound, his grin pressed against mine.

I relish the feel of him against me, and I try not to think too much. This might be our last time. After all these years, my soul mate and I might be torn apart. I can’t imagine not seeing him every day, not waking up next to him, not being able to joke around with him like we do so often, and not being able to play…

I push his body away from mine gently, my hand pressed on his stomach. “I want to see you.” I want to see his beautiful body pressing against me. The contrast of his ink-covered dark olive skin against my ivory snow white flesh is so erotic.

I take a mental photograph of him, of every detail. Because I know this is the last time I’ll get a chance to appreciate this view.

He presses down against me again and stills. “I’m sorry… we need to stop,” he breathes against my ear. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me tonight… you drive me crazy.”

“Please… don’t,” I breathe. I don’t need to climax. I don’t care about that tonight.

All I want is to make love to him one last time.

 

AP - about the author.jpg

 

Mom, writer, book junkie, doodle addict and hopeless romantic. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008. When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and writing – there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories – and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!

 

I write contemporary and erotic romance under the pen name Roya Carmen.

 

Author Links

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The Sins That Bind Us. LIVE!

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SINSCOVER

Blurb

I wasn’t given a choice. Not when I did my first line of cocaine. Not when I became a single mother. But I changed, and every decision I’ve made was to protect myself and my son from my weaknesses—and my past.

Until Jude came along and made me question everything, even my own secrets.

The sins I carry with me can never be discovered. Life handed me broken bits of people and left me to construct my own world, and it’s too fragile to take a chance on Jude Mercer.

We write our own stories.
We build our own prisons.
We weave our own lies.
We commit the sins that bind us.

NOW LIVE!

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QPbMHz

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1V49irN

iBooks: http://apple.co/1XcHUqW

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/21pQP8Q

 

 

SINSDRUG

 

Midnight Lily Cover Reveal

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We are so excited to share the cover reveal of Midnight Lily by Mia Sheridan and a teaser. Pre-order link below.

MIAMIDNIGHTLILY

Holden Scott is the prince of professional football. At least he was before he lost it all . . . or more to the point, before he threw it all away. Now he’s out of a job, out of the public’s good graces, and perhaps just a little out of his mind. So when a friend offers up his remote lodge in the wilds of Colorado, giving Holden some time away to get his life back on track, he can hardly say no. The last thing he expects is to see a beautiful girl in the woods—one wearing a white, lace dress who appears in the moonlight, and leaves no footprints behind. Is she a dream? A ghost? A product of his muddled imagination? Or something entirely different?

Midnight Lily is the haunting love story of two lost souls reaching for each other in the dark. A tale of healing, acceptance, and the worlds we create to protect our own hearts. It is a story of being lost, of being found, and of being in the place between.

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY VIRGO. Non-Paranormal, New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A0DLBOU

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1071508298

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/midnight-lily

B&N: Submitted, coming Soon

 

Sylvain Reynard

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The Ever-Gracious Sylvain Reynard Chats with Book Asylum…

“I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition-particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption.”
www.sylvainreynard.com 

BA: To begin at the beginning, how did you arrive at the idea of using the story of Dante and Beatrice to form a contemporary tale of redemption and love with your Gabriel Series?
SR: First, let me thank you for the kind invitation to speak to you and your readers. I’m glad to be with you.
The idea of Dante and Beatrice and the Professor and Julia came into my imagination fully formed. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write the story. Few people read Dante outside of university and so I wanted to introduce the beauty of his poetry and his love for Beatrice to a wider audience.

BA: Dante’s Divine Paradise is such a pivotal work in both literature and theology and has long been studied by both disciplines. The character of Gabriel of the Gabriel Series is a Dante specialist within the Italian studies/literature disciplines, and his redemption is colored by his work. How would Gabriel’s overall journey and specifically redemption have changed if Gabriel had instead been a professor of theology and approached his journey from a religious perspective? Does Julia’s Catholicism represent the religious side of Dante?
SR: Truthfully, I don’t think one can separate Dante’s theology from his poetry. The two are intrinsically linked. In Gabriel’s case, his character is a sensualist who is captivated and controlled by pleasure and beauty. So it made sense for him to focus on the poetry and the aesthetic experience rather than the theology.
But Gabriel goes through a conversion experience in the novels and that is part of his redemption – I try to describe it in subtle ways.
In some respects, yes, Julia’s Catholicism represents the religious side of Dante.

BA: In making Gabriel such a flawed individual, one runs the risk of alienating readers and taking away any empathy for the character. What is it about Gabriel that makes him forgivable, both by Julia and by readers as well?
SR: For Julia, her first personal encounter with Gabriel was romantic. He paid attention to her. He looked at her when she was speaking. I think in her case, he was one of the first people who really saw her … or so she thought. Because this was her first impression, it was difficult for her to replace that impression with a negative opinion later on.

For readers, I think they respond to the brief glimpses of underlying turmoil and despair that I revealed in his character. He wants more out of his life than he has and it’s that motivation that propels him to pursue Julia, who he believes is his better.

BA: Many of your fans came to the Gabriel Series with little background knowledge of Dante. How did you strike a balance between informing novice readers and using literature and history in a way that also speaks to an academic audience? Did any Dante specialists, art historians, or theologians reach out to you regarding your books? What, if any, has been the academic response?
SR: I used a lot of imagery in the novel to help fill in the gaps, referring to music, other literature, artwork, etc. in order to illuminate particular points in the novel.
I’ve heard from several people in the academic world about the novel and the response I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

BA: What is the greatest advantage in writing series? You have said that the Gabriel Series was written all at once and split into three books for publishing purposes. Have you had to plan out the entire Florentine Series as well before beginning the first book? Would you ever consider writing standalones?
SR: As a reader, I tend to prefer series because I enjoy having a sustained interaction with the characters. As a writer, a series offers me more opportunities for character development and world building.

When I began thinking about The Florentine Series I quickly outlined the novels. And I knew immediately how the series would end.

But I have considered writing standalones and have a few rattling around in the back of my imagination.

BA: There was a big shift between your Gabriel Series and the Florentine books that delve into the underworld of vampires. Besides greater flexibility with plot lines, what inspired you to explore paranormal themes? How did the world of Dante and the city of Florence add depth to these stories?
SR: While it’s true that The Gabriel Series is classified as a contemporary love story, there are supernatural elements in it if one chooses to look for them. So I didn’t think of it as a very large shift when I began writing the Florentine Series as a paranormal love story.

Dante’s narrative lends itself to the supernatural – he finds himself in a wood and then he descends into hell, accompanied by a dead poet at the behest of his lost love, Beatrice.

And the city of Florence is rife with dark alleys, shadowing figures, and mysterious events. It’s a perfect location.

BA: You were fortunate enough to live in Florence while researching and writing portions of your books. What is your favorite place in Florence, and how did being in the city inspire your writing?
SR: It’s difficult to narrow it down to one favourite place. I like the Uffizi Gallery, the Piazza Signoria, the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the Piazzale Michelangelo. Those are my favourite locations and I spent a lot of time wandering around them, taking photographs and jotting things down while I was researching.

I’m sure the local population must have thought I was an overeager anthropologist.

BA: Your books are filled with passages in Italian, both literary quotes and dialogue. Do you speak Italian yourself, and are there any other languages you speak or would like to learn?
SR: I speak some Italian. I started learning Arabic many years ago but I gave it up. I’ve always regretted that.

BA: As your Gabriel Series focused on a love story between Dante and Beatrice, your Florentine Series is somewhat a re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. For the readers who aren’t familiar with this story, what is the myth of Cupid and Psyche and what about their story made you want to bring it to life?
SR: In Apuleius’ poem “The Golden Ass,” he tells the story of a beautiful young woman, Psyche, and how her beauty separated her from others. No suitor would try for her hand because her beauty was so intimidating. The despair of her parents led them to consult an Oracle, who prophesied that Psyche would be given in marriage to a great winged evil.
Convinced she was doomed to loneliness and happiness no matter what, Psyche allowed her parents to deliver her up to the gods and she was given in marriage to a mysterious figure who would not reveal his appearance.

It’s at this point that the story shifts. Psyche’s husband is kind to her. He treats her gently and seduces her with romantic words and actions. She enjoys the pleasure he gives her and finds herself falling in love with him. But no matter what, he only comes to her under the cover of darkness and refuses to show his face, always leaving before sunrise.

Psyche doesn’t trust her feelings and she doesn’t trust the actions of her husband. She fears she is married to a great winged evil and is determined to discover his true identity. But what she doesn’t realize is that she’s treating her husband exactly as others have always treated her – she is prioritizing his bodily appearance rather than focusing on what is truly important, which is his character, words, and deeds….

The story deals with themes of deception, appearances and reality, beauty and ugliness, and love. Once again, it’s a poem that few people read outside of a university. So I wanted to bring the story and its important themes to a wider audience.

BA: In a response you penned to a reader question on Goodreads, you stated, “love transcends genre.” Do you see your books as fitting into the romance genre, or are they above all love stories that just happen to be classified as romance?
SR: The stores I write explore themes of love, sex, hope, and redemption. In some ways they don’t fit with the romance genre but in other ways they do. But what’s truly important to me is that I write books that readers enjoy.

BA: You have graciously opened up to reader questions electronically, but still maintain a level of anonymity difficult to achieve these days. How does social media and technology in general help you to stay connected to your readers but still be extremely private?
SR: Social media enables readers from around the world to interact with one another and with me. On any given day, my time line on Twitter and Facebook is like the roll call at the United Nations. It’s very enjoyable.

BA: You’ve written a short story with your friend, fellow author E.L. James. Did that collaboration inspire you to work with other authors on dual projects, or perhaps to write with E.L. James again?
SR: Miss James and I have known one another for some time and our banter on social media has occasionally developed into short works that we’ve written solely for amusement. The tale of our recent trip to Florence is one of them. You can read it here:

http://blog.eljamesauthor.com/?p=1088

While I enjoy collaboration, I’m a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to writing.

BA: Knowing Ms. James, does the madness surrounding “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its representation in film make you more or less reticent to allowing your books to be adapted for the screen? Do you think the themes of Dante and Florence in the Gabriel Series and vampires and art history in the Florentine Series would translate to a screenplay?
SR: Readers have been asking for my books to be translated to screen for some time now. And I’d like it to happen, as well.

I think the characters and themes I explore in my novels could make for an entertaining screenplay.

BA: Readers may not know that you use your platform as a popular novelist to bring attention and support to several charities that are dear to you. How did you initially conceive the idea to tie charities into your work as an author and what has been the response from both the charities you support and your fans?
SR: I was inspired by other authors and their good works to use my platform as a writer to raise awareness about various causes. It’s one thing to practice charity in my private life. But the enthusiasm of my readers and the community they’ve created enables me to spread the message of kindness and compassion to a much wider audience. I think I have a responsibility as a public figure to try to do as much good as possible.

BA: Can you give us a teaser from your latest Florentine Series novel, “The Shadow,” which comes out in February of 2016?
SR:

“What should I wear?” Raven asked.
William gestured to the sheet.
She frowned. “I can’t go downstairs like this.”
“This is my home. You can wear—or not wear—whatever you like.”
She pulled the fabric around herself more tightly. “Even if it was Halloween and you were hosting a toga party, I wouldn’t walk around wrapped in a bed sheet.”
William moved to the closet and shuffled a few hangers. “I have been looking forward to seeing you in this.” He placed a long, black satin nightgown on the bed.
The gown was elegant but sensual, featuring a plunging back that would expose Raven’s beautiful skin all the way to the top of her bottom. The front was almost as daring, with a deep V that would highlight her generous breasts.
Raven looked up at him with raised eyebrows. “Really?”
“There’s also a robe, which in my view is unnecessary.” William smiled. “Come to me when you’re ready …”

BA: What has been the most surprising aspect of your newfound success as an author?
SR: There have been a lot of surprises on the way. First, I was surprised when readers began to read and recommend my work. Then I was surprised when each book of The Gabriel Series made the New York Times Best Seller list.

More recently, I was surprised and pleased when “The Raven” was nominated by the Book Reviewers of RT Magazine as Best Paranormal Romance Suspense novel of 2015. There are three other nominees in that category and the winner will be announced in May 2016 at the annual RT convention.

Link: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/86292/2015-rt-reviewers-choice-award-nominees-mysterysuspensethriller-and-romantic-suspense

Thank you for this opportunity. All the best and thanks for reading, SR

THERAVENTHESHADOW

Available now                                  Coming February 2016

 

Debra Anastasia Blog Tour

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Debra Anastasia wrote one of my favorite books, Poughkeepsie. The series is beautiful and the final book will be released soon. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Her new book Poughkeepsie Begins and the last book in the series comes out November 22-just two days away!

BA: Who is your favorite character in Poughkeepsie and why?
DA: I think it’s Mouse. It’s so hard to pick I love them all, but he did me a favor and I owe him. I knew the way the story was going, that Beckett had to die. And then I didn’t have the heart to kill him. So Mouse stepped up and literally gave his life for his boss, convincing me that he could do the scene the emotional justice it needed to support the plot. And he more than delivered.

BA: Did you always know you would end the series at the beginning?
DA: No. No way. I thought I was done—for sure. But then a few readers requested it and I got to thinking about what high school would have been like for the brothers. And then I really wanted to see that to the end. I’m so glad they made that request. I swear my readers never lead me wrong. Poughkeepsie Begins is my favorite one now. And made me see the other books differently too. Plus, more Mouse.

BA: Now that you have told their stories, is it hard to say goodbye?
DA: Yes. Oh God. Yes. But it’s healthy too. I need to leave them alone. These guys have been through everything! But I’m never really having to say goodbye, because they are new for a lot of readers and when I get to relive the writing through their reviews or private messages, they are still real for me. They’re part of my personality now. I can never see a fall leaf and not think of them.

BA: Do you have another series in mind for your next project?
DA: I have so many fun things on the horizon. I have a time travel book, I finished a dark super hero book that should be out Feb 22, and I’m writing a middle grade book with my daughter.

BA: What is your writing process like?
DA: It used to be a giant rush of words and deadlines and just doing it like a whimsical asshole, but now I have a schedule and a plan and I get more done now. Helena Hunting and I talk daily and she runs a tight ship.

POUGHKEEPSIE1

Buy Links:

 

Poughkeepsie Begins~~~~ 11.22.15
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MlhCMp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Y2d98U
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1MxLcSh
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1MUj7GV
Nook: http://bit.ly/1RKRA90
iTunes: http://apple.co/1Qrqg17
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1Y3kuVF

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1NeYnaX

Poughkeepsie Begins #1: http://amzn.to/1MXgNx2

Poughkeepsie #2: http://amzn.to/1MXh56Z (.99¢)

Return to Poughkeepsie #3: http://amzn.to/1QxcMlo

Saving Poughkeepsie #4: http://amzn.to/1QxcIlB

COMPLETE!

Poughkeepsie Series: http://amzn.to/1MXhdDu

READ POUGHKEEPSIE FREE ONLINE: http://www.debraanastasia.com/2015/11/free-world-class-poughkeepsie-app-on.html

 

 

 

Find the whole Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series here: http://amzn.to/1OfpAt

Free App as a present from the boys:

 

Okay, here’s the log in info:
web: http://omnificpublishing.com/PT0111513/chapter-one.html

Mobile app http://poughkeepsieapp.com/Poukeeidebrannnxiv_/

Navigation is on the upper right side.

Any questions? Find me here: http://on.fb.me/1MVcrSB

 

Excerpt:

 

When she ducked under the bleachers, he was a dick, right off the bat. His buzz was wearing off, but he was still high and broken at the closeness of her. “You’re missing your boyfriend during his lawn ballet.” He assumed a stance—douche mixed with confrontational—that he knew stopped people. It set up his walls real nice. With everyone.

Everyone but her. She walked right up to him. She pushed him hard once, twice, until his back hit one of the supports. And then she slapped him.

He took the slap and rolled his eyes. “That all you got for me, pink princess?”

And then she was kissing him. Oh, God. Kissing him and palming him with the same ferociousness he felt. He grabbed the metal behind him to keep from attacking her and nailing her right on the concrete floor littered with cigarettes and chip bags.

She pulled away and slapped him again, growling, “Fuck you, Beckett Taylor. Don’t you ever do that to me again. I’m worth more than that, and you know it.” She stepped back, leaving cold space and his heated erection between them.

He swallowed, his pounding heart trying to beat some common sense into his brain again. It wasn’t working. He let go of the bleachers and advanced. “You have some fucking nerve. You’re the one up there prom-queening it with goddamn Ryler.”

She stood her ground as he came at her. And he knew he was intimidating. Shit, full-grown men stepped aside when he was coming. But Candy raised her chin. He was amazed at the fight in her, right there. He pulled her into a dip, just like fucking Pyler had, except he did it like a man who wanted a woman and knew what to do with her body. Candy needed to push him away; she needed to turn her head.

Instead she groaned and bit his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood. He put his hand between her legs and dragged it up to her breast, squeezing hard so she would feel it through her coat. She sunk her nails into the skin at his neck. She was a buried treasure. He was sure as fuck no one knew about this side of her. Only he could get her panting like she was. He spanked her bottom once.

“Ow.” She was shocked.

He stopped kissing and looked her in the face as he spanked her again, more forcefully this time.

Her “Ow” was quieter, and the hunger in her eyes far deeper than her years.

Again he spanked her. And this time she purred. Fucking purred. He began slow, circular caresses over the denim that covered her ass. He was desperate to see the red imprints from his hand.

“Fuck it.” Beckett picked her up and set her back against the metal support he’d tried to cling to before.

They weren’t alone. Red tips of cigarettes glowed, gentle murmurs of illicit behavior could be heard if you knew how to listen for trouble. Still, he held her against the pole and mimicked the motions he was desperate to do with her. He dropped his mouth to the zipper on her coat, which kept her safe from all his intentions. He used his teeth to pull it down to her cleavage. He buried his face, licking and nuzzling her sweet-smelling neck. He used his chin to move material so he could access more of her chest. She smelled like goddamn candy. His dick could pack gunpowder in a cannon it was so fucking hard.

After a moment, the murmurs added up. Too many. He glanced around and noticed the cigarettes being stubbed out. He let his prize slide down the metal gently. He leaned down to kiss her lips, then her forehead, right under the edge of her fuzzy hat before whispering, “Go. Cops are here. Go.”

And then Candy, sweet-smelling, homework-doing Candy, stuck her hand in his jacket’s hidden pocket and took the gun out. He pulled her hands and his gun close to make sure the safety was on before letting her tuck it into her bra.

“Anything else?” she asked.

And then he slipped the rest of the merchandise in his left pocket into her right one. She turned and left.

“And don’t you ever talk to me again, Taylor. I have a boyfriend!” She stormed away as the resource officer stepped up next to him.

“You have a way with the ladies, son.”

“I’m not your son.”

“That’s the truth right there. ’Cause if you were, you’d be on that field kicking footballs instead of selling at my school.”

When Beckett was let off with a warning due to lack of evidence, his one thought was of her. Candy was so perfect for him it hurt.

end

POUGHKEEPSIE BEGINS 11/22/15

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It ends with the beginning. This legendary, indie, cult-favorite series ends its tale with the story of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood before the tattoo. Before the train station, before the church, before a criminal empire, there was a foster home and three teen boys who weren’t related by blood. But damn if they aren’t closer than most blood families by their choice.

Still in high school, Beckett is already laying the groundwork for a grander life ahead, one where his brothers want for nothing and get some respect for once. But even as he plans, Beckett must decide if he’s ready to make that choice—diving into a life that trades his chance at a future, his chance at something as simple as first love with a girl named Candy Cox, for the chance for his brothers to find happiness.

Blake, Beckett, and Cole’s devotion to each other is forged by fists and the driving need to belong somewhere, to do more than just survive this life. Readers of the series know they each get there in the end, but before we count smiles, we must first shed tears. These early days of the Poughkeepsie brotherhood will play on your heartstrings before serrating them with a knife; they’ll lift your soul with music, only to leave you with nothing but a desperate prayer for hope.

And when you reach the end of the beginning, you’ll be ready to start the series all over again.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MlhCMp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Y2d98U
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1MxLcSh
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1MUj7GV
Nook: http://bit.ly/1RKRA90
iTunes: http://apple.co/1Qrqg17
Google Play: Coming Soon

Leah Raeder, the best interview

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An Interview with Leah Raeder, Author of the new released Cam Girl, Black Iris and best-selling Unteachable.

1. You’ve stated that part of the impetus for writing UNTEACHABLE and BLACK IRIS was your inability to find books that explored the themes you wanted to read. Do you think that the success of UNTEACHABLE and the anticipation for BLACK IRIS will encourage other authors to write better stories exploring those themes, in particular love in all of its forms?

I sure hope so. Fear held me back from writing these stories initially. Fear that the stories in my head were too controversial, fucked-up, queer, morally gray, or whatever to appeal to anyone else. As a queer person who IDs as Pretty F’ing Gay, it was a little weird that my first book was a standard boy/girl romance between two straight people. I like boys (I live with one!), but liking girls is a much bigger part of my identity. Yet I didn’t feel fully comfortable being myself in my writing. I didn’t think people would accept it. The reasons why are spelled out in BLACK IRIS.

To some degree, there’s still resistance to unconventional love stories like this one. I’ve talked about the queerness of BLACK IRIS and gotten some pushback from people who say they won’t read it simply because of the f/f romance. Of course, some vowed the same about UNTEACHABLE–refused to read it because it’s teacher/student. So clearly I have a Controversial Love theme going here. And CAM GIRL continues that tradition, which I’ll talk about more as we get closer to its release this fall.

But what I learned from UNTEACHABLE is that I’m tough enough to take some hits in order to tell a story that spurs discussion. Controversy makes people talk. It makes them think. It makes them change a bit: become more or less certain about things they believe. The sweet, feel-good romances are nice emotional comfort food, but the provocative ones get people to actually examine what love and relationships mean to them.

I’m not interested in telling anyone what to think. I’m just interested in getting them to think about this stuff, period.

2. What was the inspiration behind the title of BLACK IRIS?

It was kind of an ordeal, actually. My working title for this book was “Tear Your Little World Apart,” which is a song lyric, which is a big no-no. Copyright issues. I suggested a bunch of alternatives to my publisher, but we couldn’t agree on one. Which was a problem, because the cover needed to be done before I finished writing the book.

Halfway through the first draft, I realized Laney’s mother was the linchpin around which the story turned. So I thought hard about what kind of things her mom would grow in her garden. And then everything clicked into place.

But I still feel like I “discovered” the title more than chose it. Once it was settled, a lot of disparate themes in the book came together: the relationship between parent and child, the way that bad things can grow in you like a dark seed, the battle over whether to nurture those bad things in yourself, etc.

And, as my friend Dahlia pointed out, the title resulted in a book cover that’s a dark, provocative symbol of femininity and female sexuality, which is just about the awesomest damn thing ever. Plus it has an acronym that works on so many levels–bisexuality, bipolarity, etc.

3. UNTEACHABLE was actually your third book and BLACK IRIS your fourth – the first two were never published. Are there any plans to publish your first two novels?

Someday I hope to, yeah. But the more I grow as a writer, the weaker those earlier novels seem to me. So if I did anything with them, I’d have to do some serious rewriting. I still have an abiding fondness for zombie apocalypses and teenage cyborg girls in space, so they’re not off the table yet.

4. Your unpublished books explored very different genres: science fiction and zombies. Do you think you might explore those genres again in future books? Are there other genres or themes you are interested in writing about?

See above! But yeah, definitely. My reading roots are in SF&F. I love imagined worlds. I have a bunch of them knocking around in my head. Maybe someday…

Right now, though, I feel more viscerally drawn to issues like human sexuality, gender identity, and how the self and our relationships are changing and evolving because of technology. I realized, after writing UNTEACHABLE, that I had an incredible opportunity to tell stories about nontraditional characters and unconventional romances. So as much as sci-fi and fantasy appeal to me, they dilute the focus on people, because in SF&F the world has to be a character, too. For now I’m more focused on individual characters and their issues. But I’d love to write some epic SF someday that expands these issues to a grander scale. We’ll see.

5. Would you ever consider writing a sequel to UNTEACHABLE or BLACK IRIS, or to writing a series in the future?

Never say never, but probably not. I’m very much a fan of standalones. There’s such emotional intensity in each of these books that it would feel cheapening to put those characters through the wringer again.

But I’ve cheated a bit: each book I write has a recurring character from the previous book. Hiyam from UNTEACHABLE is in BLACK IRIS; Elle from BLACK IRIS is in CAM GIRL. I’m planning to keep this up as long as I reasonably can. Obviously the ultimate dream is to someday bring everyone together in a massive meet-up where they all become mutant superheroes and save the world from cyborg zombies.

6. What is the inspiration for the character’s names in your books?

Maise named herself–she popped into my head fully-formed and told me unequivocally who she was. Laney was a little more oblique about it–she eluded me for a while, and I had to hunt her down (how apropos). And Vada in CAM GIRL is a character who’s been haunting me for years, which also totally fits her.

I scroll around on name sites and stuff until something calls out to me. Sometimes, like with Maise and Vada, they name themselves before I even start looking. The secondary characters are usually much harder to name, and some go through name changes (like Wesley and Ellis…not telling what their original names were!). But when you find the right name, you just feel it.

7. You have mentioned in a previous interview that the character of Hiyam appears in both UNTEACHABLE and BLACK IRIS. What were your reasons for continuing with that character and what, if any, bridge does this character create between the two books?

I didn’t plan it originally, but as I was crafting the characters for this book, I realized Hiyam would fit neatly into a certain character’s life and help flesh that person out. BLACK IRIS is all about antiheroines and whether redemption is possible after doing the unforgivable, so she was a perfect addition.

You don’t have to have read UNTEACHABLE to appreciate her, though. Hiyam is a character in her own right in BLACK IRIS. But there’s actually character growth across the two books for her, and a few wink-wink references to UT. Same for Elle in CAM GIRL. I like throwing in Easter eggs. Blame it on my gaming.

8. With your background in graphic arts, did you have a hand in the design of BLACK IRIS’s cover? What was some of your input regarding the design?

Like the title, this process took a while to get right. I gave a lot of feedback. Probably more than my publisher really wanted, ha. But I’m a control freak that way. Transitioning from self-published author to traditionally published means conceding control over presentation, and the cover is a major part of that. For someone like me who has distinct design visions of her own, it was a learning process trying to communicate what I hoped to see while being open to what they preferred.

The biggest change we made was deciding not to put any actual people on the cover and just go with the flower. The book revolves around three characters, and showing all three of them in a way that conveyed the complexity of their relationship was just not happening. Since the book is a lot more thriller/suspense than romance, it felt disingenuous to show people embracing romantically anyhow.

Atria was super receptive to my suggestions, and we ended up with something iconic and striking and perfectly symbolic of the book. I have it on my bookshelf and it’s just sitting there “beating like a dark heart,” as a friend said. I love it.

9. As an author, what is the biggest risk you’ve taken, and what has been your greatest reward?

Hands-down: self-publishing UNTEACHABLE. As I wrote in the acknowledgments of that book, it was the end of the line for me. My dream of being traditionally published just wasn’t going to happen, so I “gave up” and self-published. But “giving up” also meant giving up caring about things like What Will The Industry Think? and Who Is This Going To Piss Off? I stopped caring whether I was coloring inside the lines anymore. I just wrote what I wanted to without caring who I offended–and believe me, writing about a highly confident, sex-positive teenage girl offends a LOT of people–and had an absolute blast with it.

It did end up being polarizing, but it was surprisingly successful for something so taboo. The greatest reward? Getting to write the books of my heart (sappy, sorry) for an audience I never dreamed would be this big. I used to think I had to behave and be a good girl and jump through the hoops if I hoped to achieve even the smallest success as an author. But that’s not true. Being myself–provocative, controversial, no-holds-barred–is what finally made people take me seriously.

Let that be an example to every other writer who’s afraid to be themselves: if an obnoxious loudmouth like me can make it work, you can, too.

10. What existing book by another author do you wish you had written?

Lolita, White Oleander, or Revolutionary Road. Beautiful prose, dark insight into human nature, melancholy as hell: yes, yes, and yes.

11. What quality do you most admire in a woman, and do you give that quality to your protagonists?

First of all…can I come over there and give you a gigantic hug for even ASKING this question? Seriously, one of the coolest things I’ve ever been asked.

I think the quality I admire most in women is sensitivity. There’s a certain kind of emotional and aesthetic sensitivity I’m drawn to in girls that I don’t often find in boys. A tendency to be more receptive to feelings and sensations, to experience them with more nuance and acuteness, with an intensity that borders on delirium. It’s intoxicating to me. Feelings are the best.

Of course, gender is largely a social construct. I’m a nonbinary person myself who doesn’t identify strongly as either woman or man, and I do some serious deconstruction of gender in both Black Iris and Cam Girl. So I’m not pigeonholing anyone into a stereotype here. There are sensitive, tender, emotionally intense men out there, obviously. But there are also hormonal/developmental differences in each of our brains (which don’t always match the sex or gender we appear to be on the outside) that influence how we perceive and react to the world. I’m simply drawn to the sensitivity that tends to be found in a more feminized brain.

I think I give this quality to my protagonists in a helpless way because it’s how *I* see the world, and I can’t turn it off. I feel stuff way too intensely–whether emotional or physical or whatever. My mom loves telling people how when I was a little kid and it was storming, I’d raise my arms right before a lightning strike. I could sense the electricity in the air. It’s still like that–I’m way overtuned to sound and color and touch. Putting it into my books is relieving because it lets me share this sensitivity with others. But it’s also overwhelming, having to constantly feel things like they’re in IMAX, and it’s probably why so many damn writers are alcoholics. The feels, man. They’re intense.

12. Who are your heroes in real life?

My mom. Nobody I know has fought or worked as hard as she has. The mother characters in my books have zero in common with her–it’s really my heroines who embody her tenacity, resilience, and heart. When I think of female strength, I think of my mom. She’s a badass. She taught me what being a “strong woman” means without ever saying it explicitly. She just survived, and overcame, and thrived. Despite all she’s been through, she’s still one of the most loving and compassionate people I know. That’s true strength, to me: being willing to love this world even though it’s so often cold and cruel.

I hope she knows how much I love her for it.

 

 

CAMGIRL18829666UNTEACHABLE

Our Chat with Renee Carlino

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The always fabulous Renee Carlino stops by Book Asylum to chat:

Many fans may not know that you were once a seventh-grade English teacher. How did teaching students how to write change your own writing style?
Teaching English helped me become more aware of plot elements in my own writing, like scene, characterization and theme. Talking about novels with seventh graders also helped me to understand what other people were interested in reading. It opened up a greater view of audience for me. More than anything, teaching was just fun. Talking about books and reading books to kids and nurturing a love of reading was my favorite part.

The second-chance love story of your latest book, “Before We Were Strangers,” is said to have been inspired by a true Craigslist missed connection. What was the background of this true story, and how did you differentiate your book from the original tale?
The story was just a simple missed connection ad that was a plea from a man to a woman, who he had been with many years before. I don’t know the details of that story or if the post was even real but it definitely helped me to picture a desperate character who was searching to find a love he once had and had lost.

How does your background with a BA in film and an emphasis in cinematography affect your approach to writing novels? How is the writing process different when writing books versus screenplays? Which form of writing do you prefer?
I like writing both but writing novels is more gratifying because people read novels for enjoyment. My background might come into play when I’m picturing scenes but I’m not sure if all writers see their novels as films the way I do. It might just be the way we imagine things. Maybe my background has little to do with it. I always felt like I had stories to tell, whether on the screen or on the page.

You’re a bit of a music junkie, and have playlists that go along with your novels. Are you a musician, and, if not, what instrument would you most like to learn to play?
I can play a tiny bit and read music a little but I have no real talent for it, except that I love it. I wish it came more naturally to me.

Your next two books are already written, slated to publish in March of 2016 and fall 2016. Can you give us a teaser from each of these upcoming books?
There is a little temporary blurb up for Swear on THIS Life: When a young graduate student discovers she is the romantic inspiration behind a pseudonymously published literary sensation, she embarks on a search for the elusive writer. The second, tentatively titled, Wish You Were Here, is still in heavy edits so we are keeping that under wraps for a bit.

What story of yours, either a novel or a screenplay, speaks to you most on a personal level? Do you inject characters from your own life into your writing?
There isn’t one single story that speaks louder to me. They are all vivid in my mind. Each character is his own person. Some will have characteristics like people in my real life but no one character is based on a real person I know. They’re all bits and pieces of me and others.

How are you able to fit writing time in your schedule as a mother of two sons? What advice would you give aspiring writers about finding the time to devote to writing?
I write when my kids are at school and I treat writing like a real job. I also love it, so that makes it easy for me to be disciplined about it.

What is the hardest aspect of publishing a book? What is your favorite part of the publishing process?
The hardest aspect is getting your book out there and into the hands of readers who will enjoy it. My favorite part is writing. It’s something I’ll always do whether or not my books are published.

You frequently tweet and have done numerous interviews for book blogs. How has social media most changed how authors interact with readers?
Well it has made writers more accessible to readers but also it’s just part of the growing, changing world. We’re always trying to find ways to get closer to each other I think.

Who is your favorite author?
I can’t say I have a favorite, there are just too many.

Just for fun…

I do anything to avoid… spiders.

My favorite junk food is…chocolate.

My biggest etiquette pet peeve is…people who do not hold doors open for others when leaving a building.

The Ground Rules Rewritten-Cover Reveal

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THEGROUNDRULESREWRITTEN

BLURB

 

Five simple rules. And it was very simple…until it wasn’t.

It could have been much worse. We weren’t thinking straight and had put everything on the line – risking our marriages. So when Weston ended the arrangement, it was for the best – for all of us. But I was still heartbroken. I thought I’d shatter into a million pieces. I didn’t, I survived. Not only did I survive, I came out stronger and ready to move on with my life

But then…

Weston reaches out to me. With a few soft words, a gentle touch and a lingering gaze, he crumbles all my efforts.

Neither Gabe nor I want to start this again, and we are determined to fight the temptation. But Weston and Bridget are not taking no for an answer, and the pull between all of us is still so strong.

I tell myself I can handle it this time. This time, I am in the driver’s seat. This time, I am rewriting the ground rules.

 

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

“The things I would do to you,” he whispers.

My breath hitches. Butterflies skitter across my belly, so swiftly it stuns me.

Damn you, Weston.

I turn to him. Suddenly there’s just the two of us. “Tell me.”

He smiles a wicked smile. “I’ll tell you,” he starts, his words impossibly slow, “the PG version. I’m sure you’ve noticed we’re surrounded by children,” he adds with a wink.

I smile up at him. “Sure. Tell me.” I want him to tell me all the exquisite details. If I can’t live it, I want to at least imagine it.

“Well,” he starts, a wicked grin plastered on his face. “First, I would take you to my room.”

I am all ears, glued to him.

“My room is quite nice. There’s a very charming old washroom.”

“Me too. Me too,” I blurt out. “It’s so cute.’

“Yes, well, as I was saying, I would take you to my room and draw you a bath. There’s a tempting claw-footed tub you would appreciate.” I close my eyes, imagining it. “I would pour in some of that nice bubble bath,” he goes on.

“Oh, it smells so good, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, it does,” he says with a smile. “You keep interrupting me, Mirella.”

“Yes, I’m sorry. Go on. I really want to know what you’d do to me,” I add in hushed tones.

“I would pull you to me, sweep my hands across your torso, peel your t-shirt off.”

I listen intently, no more interruptions.

He buries his hands in his pockets, a playful smile plastered on his face. He’s having fun. “I would twirl you around and kiss the back of your neck softly as I undid your bra. I would bring my mouth to the inside of your wrist and lick the soft skin there.”

I smile and close my eyes for a second, anticipating more.

“Then I would slide my hands down your hips and peel your jeans off,” he adds, his words soft. He’s not touching me, but his words do things to me.

“I’m naked now, aren’t I?”

“Yes. And in the bath you go.”

“Do you join me?” I ask playfully.

“No. I can’t. This is PG, remember?”

“Pity.”

He grins. His smile is deliciously huge and wicked. And for a second, I hope no one is watching us. And I decide I don’t really care if they are.

“Once you got out of the bath, I would wrap you in one of those big fluffy bathrobes. And kiss you. My tongue would tease yours, but just for just a split second. You’d want more, of course, but I couldn’t give you more, because, like I said, this is PG.”

I laugh, completely caught up in him.

God, I am so into him.

“Then you would close your eyes, and I would kiss each one of your eyelids softly. Then I would kiss the freckle in the middle of your nose. The one I love.”

The butterflies in my stomach are flying in a frenzy now. “Then what?”

He smiles again. “Then I would tuck you into bed, nice and cozy, and put on a movie for you.”

“Ugh, but I don’t want a movie,” I almost scream. “You know what I want,” I tell him, a sly grin on my face.

He laughs. “Sorry. Like I said…PG.”

I smile up at him again. “I really want to punch you right now.”

He laughs again, that contagious laugh.

I take a deep breath.

And I know I’m getting too caught up in him again.

But I just can’t help myself.

 

BUY LINKS FOR BOOK ONE: THE GROUND RULE

 

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Romance writer, mom, book junkie. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008. When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and of course, writing – there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories – and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!

 

 Facebook  Facebook Page for The Ground Rules  Twitter Goodreads  Website

 

Fall Ramblings

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Greetings word lovers,

Happy Fall/Autumn! The year has gone by fast. Every store we enter lately has Halloween and Christmas. It seems more Christmas than Halloween. Odd since the leaves are still on the tree’s and the temp is hovering in the nineties.

We have been working behind the scenes on a new site. We hope to have it go live soon. We have an interview with Renee Carlino coming soon, too, and a giveaway, of course. I have loved every one of her books thus far and imagine that will never change. She has a great talent for writing good relateable characters.

When we decided to start doing interviews I made a list of everyone I wanted to interview and Tori made her list. On mine, I had three authors that were my “Wish list authors”. Two of them have officially agreed to do interviews. My mind has been blown in the best possible way. I am keeping them under-wraps for now, but am beyond excited to be able to share them with you. If you have an author you would love to see interviewed for Book Asylum, please let us know. We are always listening.

The Book Asylum Team

Random fall musings and updates

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fallbookasylum

 

Fall is right around the corner. This is our favorite time of year. The crisp chill of a fall day with changing leaves, a coffee or tea from our favorite place and a good book. What is not to love about that?

Like the seasons we are going through some changes. We will be implementing some new things. We are compiling a list for great interviews and taking requests for authors you would like to hear more from, about and so on. Please feel free to email us suggestions and ideas.

We have been parked here with WP for nearly a year and frankly, we liked Blogger better. A move may be coming soon. We will be starting a newsletter in mid September and will post the details on Twitter and Facebook.

Sadly, we had some very unfortunate mishaps with our Christmas in July. People didn’t win what they wanted and were angry or wanted the monetary value so they could get something else. We will not be doing large scale giveaways anymore. We are thinking of how to still do something fun where a handful of people win but the 12 days of giveaways is gone. Something that was supposed to be fun and exciting for everyone just wasn’t. With that said-we did have some very excited, happy and grateful winners. The bad outweighed the good.

We hope you all enjoyed your summer and read some great books. We recently read Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino and highly recommend it. Actually all of her books are great. That has been one of our favorites this summer.

That concludes our random updates. Watch your FB and Twitter feeds as we like to have random giveaways now and then.

The Book Asylum Staff

T, K & Q

 

 

 

Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

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Two of our favorite authors, Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland, have created a dream team and combined their genius to write the new novel, “Cocky Bastard.” What could possibly be better than that? Why, stopping by Book Asylum to chat with us!

How did the idea to co-author this book come about? Did the idea for the book come first, or the idea to write together?
Penelope: We talk pretty much every day multiple times and consult with each other a lot about covers and ideas. I sent Vi a mock cover with the title Cocky Bastard on it.
Vi: We started to talk about how much we liked that title and started to put together this hypothetical story. We were having lots of fun with it and decided to make it a reality!

What was your work process like? Did you alternate chapters, or plot out the entire book together?
Vi: We had a word document that we would each add onto that basically outlined a lot of the main points of the plot. Once we were fairly certain which direction the story was going to go from start to finish, we alternated chapters.
Penelope: Sometimes we’d do two chapters at a time each. I wrote on the schedule of Friday through Sunday and Vi took over on Monday through Thursday. We looked forward to reading what each other came up with so much!

In what way are your writing styles similar, and in what way are they different? Was it difficult to meld your writing together to create a unified story?
Penelope: Our writing styles are very similar. We mix a lot of the same humor into our stories. Probably, the only thing where we differed was that Vi typically writes in the present tense where I write in the past tense. Cocky Bastard is written in the past tense.
Vi: This collaboration would not have worked if our writing styles were different. Actually, we were quite surprised at how easily everything came together for us and how easy it was for us to pick up where the other left off. (We were both connecting very strongly with these characters.) There have been times where we both reread something and had to think twice about who actually wrote a certain part!

Both of you published your first book in 2013, and have been very prolific ever since (Penelope with 6 novels including “Cocky Bastard,” Vi with 10). How have you carved out the time for your writing, given your job and family commitments?
Vi: It’s actually extremely difficult. I have three teenagers who are involved in a lot of activities. So, between their busy schedules and my day job as an attorney, it’s pretty much always a juggling act. I wouldn’t change it for the world though.
Penelope: I have a severely autistic daughter (in addition to a son) and also work a part-time day job. Finding time to write is definitely a challenge. You write whenever you can! (Oh…and sometimes, drink!)

What do you admire most about each other’s writing?
Penelope: I admire Vi’s sense of humor and willingness to sometimes take a story in a direction that you might not expect. She also writes a damn good sex scene and a damn good alpha male!
Vi: The quality I admire most about Penelope’s writing is also the quality I find most incredible about her as a person. She writes strong characters who are often dealt with a difficult task in life—dealing with mental illness of a loved one, autism, illness. Yet her characters have the strength to deal with it with a perfect blend of humor, love and dignity. They don’t see adversity as a burden, they see it as the reason they were put on this earth—to deal with it. Plus, her writing makes me actually laugh out loud…I love that!

Do you have any plans to collaborate again on future books?
Both: We would like to collaborate again in the future…yes. ☺

Besides each other, who are your favorite authors?
Penelope: Some of my favorite authors in this contemporary romance genre (which is all I read) are A.L. Jackson, Colleen Hoover, Julie Richman and Jane Harvey-Berrick.
Vi: Some of my favorites are Sylvia Day (I’m a Gideon girl all the way), Colleen Hoover, R.K Lilley and Julie Richman.

QUESTIONS FOR PENELOPE ONLY:

What was your impetus for writing your first book, and how did that experience inspire you to write more novels?
Penelope: I, like many women, really got into reading after Fifty Shades of Grey. I became a huge reader of the New Adult genre in particular. I eventually decided to sit down and write my own book because I always felt like it was something that I would be good at. I spent a good portion of my life with fantasies that would run in my head and even constant dialogue. So, with self-publishing as an option now, I decided to bite the bullet. Writing initially was not done with the intention to make it a career but rather just an escape. Life was pretty tough for me at the time in 2013 between juggling an autistic daughter, the recent death of my grandmother and my mother’s treatment at the time for cancer. I never imagined that the writing would turn into a career and I’m so grateful to have discovered something that I love to do.

What is your favorite aspect about being a writer?
Penelope: My favorite aspect about being a writer is being able to connect with readers all over the world. I love the ability to create a fictional world which they can escape into. I love the excitement of anticipating how they might feel during certain parts of my stories and receiving feedback from readers. I love creating brand new characters and stories and anticipating people’s reactions. (I love to shock people!) There is so much about writing that is fulfilling. I am really happy that I discovered my love for it.

You have been open about your daughter’s autism and have used autism in various characters in your books, most notably Callie in “Gemini.” What responses have you gotten from people regarding autistic characters in your books, and in what way has writing given you a platform to educate people regarding the spectrum?
Penelope: People do not read my books expecting to find a character with autism. Particularly, with Gemini, my first book, autism was (and still is) such a big part of my day to day life, that it felt very natural to incorporate it into one of the side characters. I have tried to portray autism in a very realistic way. I have received a lot of positive feedback from parents of autistic children. These parents were not expecting to read about it, but were grateful to see autistic characters incorporated. All of the characteristics portrayed are taken from my real life experiences. I would not incorporate a character with autism unless there was a real place for him or her in the story. I think with Gemini and My Skylar in particular, those stories were very appropriate places to incorporate autism as a relevant subtopic even though it was by no means the central plot.

QUESTIONS FOR VI ONLY:

How does your “day job” as an attorney inspire your writing?
Vi: I’m a tax attorney. It’s pretty much as boring as it sounds, but it makes for some fun character profiles! You’ll find quite a few boring attorneys in my books. Although names have been changed to protect the innocent ☺.

You have written series as well as standalones. Which format do you prefer, and how does it affect your characters if they will be developed over multiple books?
Vi: I love writing standalones with interconnecting characters or themes. I often don’t know which character the next book will be about until I’m writing the current book. Then at some point, I’ll fall for a supporting character. I don’t necessarily intend to make that character stand out in the earlier book—it just happens because a particular character becomes more alive than the others and it shows through. That’s how I know who the next book is going to be about.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? What do you find most difficult?
Vi: My favorite part of the writing process actually happens before I start. It’s when the story is taking shape in my head and I get lost daydreaming about it. I’ve actually pulled over in my car to furiously write notes, because I began to see things so clearly while driving. My least favorite part of the process is editing. I can’t wait to get my editor’s critique, but then I usually fight some of her feedback. It takes me about a week to let it all sink in and admit to myself she’s right on most things.

You can find both of these talented ladies on their websites

Vi

http://www.vikeeland.com

Penelope

http://www.penelopewardauthor.com

cockybastard

Kim Holden The Q & A

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Author extraordinaire Kim Holden visited Book Asylum recently to chat and share her genius with us. She is known for her loyalty to her fans, and as one lucky staffer remarked after meeting her, she is just as sweet in person as you would expect from her writing.

As a relatively new author, what has been the most surprising thing about publishing a book?
The reaction from readers has been the most surprising thing. It’s been beautiful and so genuine. I’ve made friends all over the world – that’s something I didn’t even think was possible a year ago. I’m very lucky.

You’ve stated in previous interviews that your characters and stories sometimes evolve into something different than originally planned. How hard is it to allow that evolution yet still tell the story you began?
I don’t outline my stories, they evolve as I write. I tried outlining Bright Side and I hated the storyline halfway through the book. I threw the outline out the window and went in a completely new direction. I’ll never outline again.

You have the most amazing playlists to go along with your books. Does the book inspire the playlist, or does the music come first?
The music on my playlists is the music I listened to while writing that book. I can’t write in silence and I can’t write unless something inspires me. That something is usually music. I’ve written entire chapters based on a song. The music always comes first.

You have stated that music is vital to your soul, and music plays a dominant role in all of your writing. Are you a musician, and if not, what instrument do you wish you could play?
I’m not a musician. I wish I was. Guitar is my favorite instrument to listen to; I’m a sucker for a good guitarist. So, yeah, guitar would be cool to learn how to play … if I was coordinated enough. I’m SO not coordinated enough.

A real-life band, Sunset Suns, was the inspiration for your protagonist, Gus, and you recently had the amazing opportunity to attend their concerts and hang out with the band. What was it like meeting the people who were so integral to the creation of your character? What do the members of Sunset Suns think about Gus and their role in his creation?
One of my closest friends, Gemma Hitchen, found Sunset Sons just as I was trying to finish up writing Gus and turned me and the entire Bright Side family on to them. They’re brilliant and exactly as I picture Gus and Rook, so they quickly became my muse as I finished up Gus and went about all re-writes and final editing. I’ve seen Sunset Sons play four times now in both England and California. (They’re fantastic live!) Watching them perform and meeting them was surreal – like watching my books come to life. And they were so nice and friendly when I met them, which makes me love them even more, because nice people just do it for me. They even signed a copy of Bright Side and Gus for me. I’m a fan for life.

What advice can you give writers who aspire to publish their own books? How do they get started in the publishing process? What steps does an author go through, i.e. do you interview editors, hire people to teach you the formatting process, etc? Was there a big learning curve?
The learning curve is massive, but if I can do it, anyone can. I knew nothing going into it. I’ve published three books now and I still learn something with each one.

As you are able to participate in more book events and meet fans of your writing, what do you enjoy most about connecting to your audience?
I love meeting friends I’ve connected with on social media in person at signing events. It’s so much fun to put a face to a name, hug them, and chat. Nothing better in life than making a real connection with people.

Are you interested in exploring different genres in future books?
I don’t really know. I’m not really a planner, so we’ll see what happens.

In previous interviews you have said that your first book, “All of It,” was a love letter to your husband. Is your newest book, “Gus,” deeply personal for you as well? Is it difficult to share stories that are personal with an unknown audience?
I think all writers write what they know. To some degree (big or small) we all put ourselves into our stories. There are some deeply personal elements that went into Gus – writer’s block being one example. Gus’s struggle with writer’s block was my own. It wasn’t fun for either one of us.

Your husband is also wildly talented and has designed the covers of your books. What is the creative process like when working together on book projects?
We collaborate artistically very well, whether it’s designing a book cover or picking out colors to paint our house. Usually it just amounts to locking ourselves in the same room and bouncing ideas off each other. Sometimes it takes five minutes to come up with something and sometimes it takes five hours to get it just right. My husband is a talented dude for sure – I’m lucky.

The mantra “do epic,” a theme from your book “Bright Side,” has become popular amongst your fans. Also the name of your business, did the concept of “do epic” originate with the book, or was it created as your business name first and then explored in your novel?
I came up with “Do epic” while I was writing Bright Side. It was a powerful message to me so I used it as my company name when I formed my LLC to publish my first book, All of It (which happened when I was almost done writing Bright Side). Though it resonated with and inspired me, I didn’t think it would really matter to someone else. That couldn’t have been imagined or planned. I think there are 120K words in Bright Side – I never dreamed those two would have the impact they did. It’s been amazing.

What do your husband and son think of you being this cool author people love?
I’m still just Kim and Mom to them. Which is exactly how I look at myself – I’m still just Kim. Always will be.

And Just For Fun:

Do you have a specific song that you play when you are experiencing writer’s block?
Nope. I wish I did. I really wish I did. Inspiration can’t be planned or contrived – it has to be organic.

If you could be an apprentice to anyone, who would you choose and why?
Most of the people I really admire are artists and I admire them for their unique, individual talent. A talent that can’t be replicated because it’s intimately, and ultimately, who they are. (If that makes sense.) So, I wouldn’t want to apprentice with an artist, I’d rather just cheer them on and admire them from a distance. So, I guess the honest answer is: I don’t know.

Find here here: http://www.kimholdenbooks.com/

Amazon Gus: http://amzn.to/1HFxlFV

Amazon Bright Side: http://amzn.to/1TNaJIX

22669832GUS

Best selling author Ella James

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The always delightful Ella James stopped by Book Asylum to talk all things books, writing, and the art of the written word. Read below to get a glimpse into the life of this best-selling author. You’ll either discover a new writer to love or fall in love with an old favorite all over again.

How did you get started as an author?
I always wanted to be an author and even thought of myself as one from almost the moment I could write. I didn’t tell anyone because I knew it would sound strange—a seven-year-old author who had written zero books!—but I just knew that’s what I would do. My parents each owned their own business, so I was schooled on the difficulty of that and advised to go into a profession with few risks and steady pay. I set out to be a psychologist and planned to write “on the side” while I was earning this steady psychologist’s paycheck. Practical, right? My second semester of college, I was accused—in a very serious, scary way—of plagiarizing a short story. I had written this story in the back of my friend’s car on a trip, so luckily I had witnesses who could vouch for me. The English teacher who’d gone after me said I should start writing for pay, not later but right then. That led me into journalism, which I enjoyed for a while but ultimately couldn’t stay invested in because I always felt badly for the subjects of my stories. I hated the art of making them feel comfortable enough to open up to me, then screwing them over by printing the words that, when told to me (often in the privacy of their homes), had felt intimate and private. Also, around this time, the print media market was flailing as newspapers and magazines struggled to come up with profitable online news-delivery strategies. So pay for reporters wasn’t good. Once I realized I couldn’t wait until I was “older” to write books, I quit my newspaper job, got a boring day job that demanded very little of me, and started writing four or five hours a day.

What is your ideal writing atmosphere? As a wife and mother with small children at home, how do you find the time to write?
I write on a twin bed with my laptop propped up on pillows. I usually have to have the curtains drawn, the right kind of lamplight, and the office door shut. If I’m serious about reaching a certain word count, I also need the Internet router unplugged. 😉 Before I had my first child, I was a binge writer. I would write nothing for a day or two—although the story was very active in my head—and then write almost all of the next two or three days, and then repeat that cycle. I have some fuzzy memories of writing 14,000 words on a good Saturday, but my entire process changed after I had my first child. Around this time, I started publishing books, so for a while I struggled to figure out my new, baby-centered writing process and decide how much I liked writing with the burden of an audience and income expectations. Everyone around me thought this would be a magical time, but it was tough. I would like to say I managed to balance my time in a reasonable way, but I didn’t. I wanted to be a stay at home mom and also a full-time author, and I did both until around the time my oldest child turned three. When I was totally exhausted and literally unable to do both, I hired a nanny. Working full-time while having young children is something I still struggle with, but I love what I do and I love our nanny, so that helps.

Most readers know you from your serials, in particular your works based on fairy tale themes. What inspired the use of fairy tales, and what made you start in a different direction with Sloth, the first of your books on the seven deadly sins? Do you plan to write more stories linked to fairy tales or possibly explore a book on each of the sins?
I came up with the idea to do the fairy tales when I needed a novella idea for inclusion in the BEND Anthology in spring of 2014. The story of Red & Wolfe just popped into my head and that was that. While I was working on the fairy tales, I was asked to participate in another anthology called the Seven Dirty Sins. One of my friends was in charge of this anthology, and for reasons still unknown to me, she assigned me the sin of sloth. I remember bitching to my husband that of course I ended up with sloth. I thought of sloth as laziness, which isn’t sexy. The only thing I could come up with was a college girl dealing drugs to make fast money. I wrote a few chapters of this story and realized my guy was also a dealer. I had strong feelings about the story but didn’t have time to develop it, so at the end of my chapters in the anthology, I promised I would turn it into a complete story, part of a new Sinful Secrets series, where I would write each story based on a sin, and centered around a huge secret. Sloth ended up becoming a passion project for me. I love having the freedom to tell any kind of story I want within the framework of sins and secrets. I’m already working on the next sin, called Covet, which I hope to release in late summer or early fall.

Sloth is a standalone rather than a serial. Why did you change format with this book, and having done both, which method of publishing do you prefer?
I had the Sloth story split into three parts, and I initially planned to publish the story as three long serials. I knew pretty early on that the pacing of the story, as well as the piecemeal nature of the scenes (non-linear chronology and the way I was presenting the story, as kind of a psychological mystery) wouldn’t work well in a serial format, but I tried to stick to my plan. Eventually I admitted Sloth was a book and not serials, so I stepped out of the serial market. I really enjoyed writing serials because they’re fast and fulfilling, you get a lot of (often positive) feedback as you write and publish parts of the story, and the miniature conflict arcs in serials are fairly easy to navigate. What I didn’t like about serials was constantly rushing to meet a necessary (and often tight) publication deadline. For me this meant reworking my writing process so everything I wrote was an “only draft” rather than a first draft, and that left me feeling dissatisfied in the long run. There’s something very fulfilling about writing an entire story, going over it until you like it, and putting it out in one volume. Writing books is fulfilling for me in a way that writing serials isn’t. That said, I probably will publish serials again at some point.

What is your favorite part of the publishing process? What is the most difficult?
My favorite part is about two or three days after a release, when you’ve managed to get the book into readers’ hands without any major catastrophe, a few people have had some time to finish reading and give feedback, and not enough people have had time to finish and give feedback for you to have a sense of exactly how well the book will be received. So in other words, you have some room to dream about the release and how well it might go. You’ve got a little hope, and not enough negative feedback to feel like that hope is limited. Once you get a solid number of reviews and see that most of them are positive, you start feeling like you “did it” and the release is a success. That moment reminds me of holding a freshly printed newspaper. You feel really proud, and a weight is lifted off your shoulders.

For me, the most difficult part of the process is time management and mood/motivation management. I write best during long chunks of uninterrupted time, and this is about as necessary as the book is emotional. For a book like Sloth, I needed a lot of uninterrupted time, which can be difficult to get depending on what’s going on with my family. The family has to make a lot of sacrifices for the book, and that can be hard on an interpersonal level. Often I end up feeling like “I wish I didn’t have to write this book so I could see my family” or “I wish my family would go away and let me write this book.” So there’s some inherent angst in that.

Mood management is an offshoot of this, I guess. If something’s going on in my personal life that causes strong emotions, it’s tough for me to feel my characters’ emotions, and if I can’t feel their emotions, writing becomes difficult or even impossible. No matter how intentional I am about processing my emotions, some things require time. Dealing with a death in the family, bad health news, or a problem with one of my kids—those things take up a lot of mental space. Sometimes, if I’m going through a hard time, I’ll end up incorporating that darkness into a project, so then working on the book is emotionally resonant and fulfilling, but can be triggering emotionally. For me, this is a constant struggle: finding the right balance.

Your husband is also an author, as well as an editor for your books. Have you ever considered co-authoring a book with him? If so, what genre would it be?
We wrote the Here Trilogy together. It’s YA sci-fi with some romance. We may collaborate again in the future, probably on a speculative fiction or fantasy story.

What was your favorite book as a child? What book most speaks to you as an adult?
I don’t remember what I read before I started reading my grandmothers’ romance novels around age 11. 😉 I think I made the usual mid-90s progression through Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, The Babysitters’ Club, Sweet Valley High, R.L. Stine, and the edgier Christopher Pike and then Stephen King stuff. Once I discovered love stories, I read widely, everything from Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre to Gone with the Wind to The Time Traveler’s Wife to Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel novels. I loved all of it. Some of my favorite non-rom writers are Willa Cather, Pablo Neruda, Anne Rice, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway.

How has social media helped you to connect with your fans and promote your books?
In every way. Social media has changed book marketing enormously. Never before have authors gotten to know such a large number of readers so well. I feel fortunate to be writing in a time when it’s so easy to connect with readers. It can be very gratifying.

Your books have been primarily classified as New Adult or Romance. Have you considered exploring other genres in future books?
I really enjoy writing about relationships, especially romantic ones. I’ve written YA and adult love stories in fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, and erotic subgenres. I change my mind on this a lot, but at the moment I’m interested in writing literary nonfiction, literary fiction, epic fantasy, and poetry in addition to genre romance.

Just for fun:

Do you prefer Ebooks or paper copies?
Ebooks. As a former print journalist, I feel so guilty about this, but I adore e-readers and have small hands that make reading a paperback kind of uncomfortable. I haven’t read a paperback in years.

If you could have lunch with one author, living or dead, who would you choose, and where would you eat?
I’d probably never make it to lunch because of nerves. 😉 I’d have to say one of the Biblical authors, or Shakespeare. Followed closely by Virginia Woolf. Or Sylvia Plath. Hmmm.

What author do you most recommend to friends and family?
This changes all the time. I recommend Roxy Sloane, CD Reiss, Alessandra Torre, Tiffany Reisz, and Sierra Simone a lot for erotica; Claire Contrearas, Laurelin Paige, M. Pierce, Whitney G., Shay Savage, K. Bromberg, Amy Harmon, and probably a bunch of others I’m forgetting for romance; and Katja Millay, Colleen Hoover, and Jessica Park for NA; and Anne Eliot for YA romance.

Who is your favorite character from your books?
I change my mind a lot. But so far, Kellan and Cleo.

What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my Macbook, which I don’t back up often enough. 😉

Amazon  link for Sloth: http://amzn.to/1CGawDj

sloth

Up & Coming Christmas in July

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bulbs

 

We have decided this year to do Christmas in July because there is so many other groovy cool Christmas giveaways during the holiday season. We have something else planned for Christmas.

We will run six days of giveaways and then run six more. It is easier for us with Rafflecopter this way and easier to monitor. We also think it is much better than one author at a time.

We are tipping you off to what is coming but please note sometimes things out of our control change. We will make up for it the best we can should that happen.

Here are the current authors:

Sylvain Reynard paperback plus signed bookmarks
Penelope Ward ebook
Leah Raeder signed loot
Kim Holden signed books
Kristen Ashley ebook
Collen Hoover 2 signed books
Whitney Barbetti signed book + bookmark
Pepper Winters new book Ruin and Rule ebook
Ella James
Winners choice
Amazon gift cards
Barnes and Noble gift card
iTunes gift card
AMC movie tickets
Red Robin gift card
Olive Garden gift card
Misc signed bookmarks and loot

We also have to interview from some very cool authors.

We will update you when we know more.

The staff at Book Asylum

Amy Harmon Stops by Book Asylum to Chat…

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The always fabulous Amy Harmon has graciously opened up her world to us in the following interview. Many thanks to Amy for giving us a glimpse of her life as an author, and just further proving she is a total rock star.

BA: Most readers know you for your amazing, thoughtful books, but rumor has it you were once a singer in Gladys Knight’s choir. As this is beyond cool, please give us a feel of what it was like to be an artist as a musician, versus being an artist as a wordsmith.
AH: I did sing in Gladys Knight’s choir for seven years. It was a gospel choir called The Saints Unified Voices, and it was an amazing experience. I love to sing and I love music and actually wrote song lyrics before I started writing books. Writing books is definitely more cerebral, but there’s nothing like applause after a performance. Writers don’t really get . 😉

BA: You became a self-published author out of necessity. Do you ever consider working with a publishing house? What are the benefits of self-publishing? How does one get started on that track?
AH: I have an agent and have had interest from some big publishing houses as well as publishing contracts in eight foreign countries, but thus far it hasn’t made sense for me to sign a deal in the US. I have liked being my own boss and deciding what I will and won’t write. I really just jumped in to self-publishing, knowing nothing, and put my book out there. I’d written my first novel, Running Barefoot, years before, with no plan to publish. I’m so glad I didn’t let what I didn’t know deter me.

BA: Where do your ideas spring from? Do you have a muse, find inspiration in certain activities, etc? Do you have future ideas for characters or stories, or do you completely focus on one story at a time?
AH: I can’t tell you where ideas come from. My dad calls them ‘thoughts wrapped in light.’ I think I just like stories. I like details. I like people. So it makes sense that I would constantly be looking for a way to put all those things together. I usually have the idea for my next book sometime before one book is done, but I just work at one thing at one time.

BA: As a mother of four (which automatically earns you super hero status in our opinion), how do your experiences as a parent influence your writing? Does that experience add to your understanding of human relationships and help you develop your characters?
AH: Absolutely. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, the hardest thing I will ever do. The daily lessons, the joy, and the trials of parenting all make me look inside myself and soul search. I think soul searching is an author’s playground.

BA: Having small children at home can make work time a precious commodity. How do you find time in your day to write, and how has the lack of structured time changed how you develop stories? Do you have any quirky ways that you fit in even the smallest bit of writing time?
AH: I just write when I can. I try to be disciplined and write when my kids are otherwise occupied, but I would be lying if I said I succeeded. My world gets pretty hectic as I near my deadlines, and my kids aren’t always happy with mom during those times. But I have to give myself deadlines, otherwise, books would never get written.

BA: How do you choose the titles of your books? Your newest novel, “The Song of David,” is a Biblical reference, as is your previous book, “The Law of Moses.” Are these linked because “David” is a spin-off to “Moses,” or is this the beginning of a series linked by titles?
AH:  They are linked because of the spin-off. There is another character, Noah Andelin, the young psychologist first introduced in The Law of Moses, that will have a story as well. But his story is very, very separate from the other two, so much so that it can hardly be called a spin-off. Tag and Moses won’t even be in his book. As far as choosing a title, I just play around with ideas until something resonates.

BA: You are not only a gifted author, but a songwriter as well. Other than “Infinity + One,” which focused on a musician and explored that character’s music with specific songs you wrote, did you compose songs for any of your other books? Have you made playlists for any of your novels, either of music you personally wrote or songs by different artists?
AH: I’ve made a few playlists, usually with the help of my readers, but I actually wrote a song with my son, Paul Travis, called Song of David, just for this book. It is available now on iTunes.

BA: How are you involved in the process of creating a book cover? Do you have input in the covers for the international editions of your novels? Why are the covers different for foreign-language editions and not the same as the English versions? *(Visit www.authoramyharmon.com to see the many different printed editions of Amy’s books).
AH: I am not involved at all with the foreign covers. The foreign publishers often will show me the cover as a courtesy, but I have no input in the process. And that’s probably wise. Each market is very different, and the publishers know their markets. I do have a couple of foreign publishers – Turkey and France – who chose to keep the Making Faces cover. France kept the Infinity + One cover as well.

BA: What is the hardest aspect of the creation of a book, from the initial brainstorming for ideas to the final edits and published final copy? What is the easiest?
AH: Writing the book – the first 30% is by far the most difficult thing for me. The easiest? Edits. I love editing. The manuscript is done and it’s just cleaning and tweaking. Easy.

BA: How do you name your characters? Do the names come before the characters are developed, or do the characters name themselves so to speak? Do you ever change a character’s name once the story has fully developed?
AH: Each name has come to me a little differently. Sometimes I have the name from the beginning, other times I have to start writing and let the name show itself to me. I usually have the name locked down before I’m into it very far – if I didn’t, I don’t think I would be able to develop the character, to love the character, the way I need to. They have to have a name early on.

Just for fun:

Do you prefer ebooks or old-fashioned, printed copies?
I confess, I love ebooks. I love that I can take a library with me everywhere and anywhere I go. You just can’t beat that. I remember the days where I would hit the Walmart at 2 am because I needed a book. Now the book world is at my fingertips.

What was your favorite book as a child?
Anne of Green Gables – hands down.

If you could co-author a book with any writer, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
Mia Sheridan. AND I wrote that before I saw what you typed below!! What do you know? Maybe that will happen at some point, although my very unconventional writing style would make that difficult.

What author do you most recommend to friends and acquaintances (*The fabulous Mia Sheridan answered Amy Harmon when asked this question!)?
I recommend Mia Sheridan, Penny Reid, Karina Halle, Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher, Penelope Douglas, Christina Lauren . . . it really depends on the reader, but I have loved books from all these authors.

The Song of David can be found here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GvN6lt

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1JtWGnZ

songofdavidDAVID1

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

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The Shadow

New York Times bestselling author Sylvain Reynard presents the hotly anticipated, intoxicating follow-up to The Raven…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25476303-the-shadow

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-shadow-sylvain-reynard/1121863842?ean=9780425266502&itm=1&usri=9780425266502&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Florentine-Sylvain-Reynard-ebook/dp/B00X593E5G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780425266502

http://www.bookdepository.com/Shadow-Sylvain-Reynard/9780425266502?&a_aid=goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with best-selling author, Leah Raeder

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An Interview with Leah Raeder, Author of the much anticipated Black Iris and best-selling Unteachable. 

1. You’ve stated that part of the impetus for writing UNTEACHABLE and BLACK IRIS was your inability to find books that explored the themes you wanted to read. Do you think that the success of UNTEACHABLE and the anticipation for BLACK IRIS will encourage other authors to write better stories exploring those themes, in particular love in all of its forms?

I sure hope so. Fear held me back from writing these stories initially. Fear that the stories in my head were too controversial, fucked-up, queer, morally gray, or whatever to appeal to anyone else. As a queer person who IDs as Pretty F’ing Gay, it was a little weird that my first book was a standard boy/girl romance between two straight people. I like boys (I live with one!), but liking girls is a much bigger part of my identity. Yet I didn’t feel fully comfortable being myself in my writing. I didn’t think people would accept it. The reasons why are spelled out in BLACK IRIS.

To some degree, there’s still resistance to unconventional love stories like this one. I’ve talked about the queerness of BLACK IRIS and gotten some pushback from people who say they won’t read it simply because of the f/f romance. Of course, some vowed the same about UNTEACHABLE–refused to read it because it’s teacher/student. So clearly I have a Controversial Love theme going here. And CAM GIRL continues that tradition, which I’ll talk about more as we get closer to its release this fall.

But what I learned from UNTEACHABLE is that I’m tough enough to take some hits in order to tell a story that spurs discussion. Controversy makes people talk. It makes them think. It makes them change a bit: become more or less certain about things they believe. The sweet, feel-good romances are nice emotional comfort food, but the provocative ones get people to actually examine what love and relationships mean to them.

I’m not interested in telling anyone what to think. I’m just interested in getting them to think about this stuff, period.

2. What was the inspiration behind the title of BLACK IRIS?

It was kind of an ordeal, actually. My working title for this book was “Tear Your Little World Apart,” which is a song lyric, which is a big no-no. Copyright issues. I suggested a bunch of alternatives to my publisher, but we couldn’t agree on one. Which was a problem, because the cover needed to be done before I finished writing the book.

Halfway through the first draft, I realized Laney’s mother was the linchpin around which the story turned. So I thought hard about what kind of things her mom would grow in her garden. And then everything clicked into place.

But I still feel like I “discovered” the title more than chose it. Once it was settled, a lot of disparate themes in the book came together: the relationship between parent and child, the way that bad things can grow in you like a dark seed, the battle over whether to nurture those bad things in yourself, etc.

And, as my friend Dahlia pointed out, the title resulted in a book cover that’s a dark, provocative symbol of femininity and female sexuality, which is just about the awesomest damn thing ever. Plus it has an acronym that works on so many levels–bisexuality, bipolarity, etc.

3. UNTEACHABLE was actually your third book and BLACK IRIS your fourth – the first two were never published. Are there any plans to publish your first two novels?

Someday I hope to, yeah. But the more I grow as a writer, the weaker those earlier novels seem to me. So if I did anything with them, I’d have to do some serious rewriting. I still have an abiding fondness for zombie apocalypses and teenage cyborg girls in space, so they’re not off the table yet.

4. Your unpublished books explored very different genres: science fiction and zombies. Do you think you might explore those genres again in future books? Are there other genres or themes you are interested in writing about?

See above! But yeah, definitely. My reading roots are in SF&F. I love imagined worlds. I have a bunch of them knocking around in my head. Maybe someday…

Right now, though, I feel more viscerally drawn to issues like human sexuality, gender identity, and how the self and our relationships are changing and evolving because of technology. I realized, after writing UNTEACHABLE, that I had an incredible opportunity to tell stories about nontraditional characters and unconventional romances. So as much as sci-fi and fantasy appeal to me, they dilute the focus on people, because in SF&F the world has to be a character, too. For now I’m more focused on individual characters and their issues. But I’d love to write some epic SF someday that expands these issues to a grander scale. We’ll see.

5. Would you ever consider writing a sequel to UNTEACHABLE or BLACK IRIS, or to writing a series in the future?

Never say never, but probably not. I’m very much a fan of standalones. There’s such emotional intensity in each of these books that it would feel cheapening to put those characters through the wringer again.

But I’ve cheated a bit: each book I write has a recurring character from the previous book. Hiyam from UNTEACHABLE is in BLACK IRIS; Elle from BLACK IRIS is in CAM GIRL. I’m planning to keep this up as long as I reasonably can. Obviously the ultimate dream is to someday bring everyone together in a massive meet-up where they all become mutant superheroes and save the world from cyborg zombies.

6. What is the inspiration for the character’s names in your books?

Maise named herself–she popped into my head fully-formed and told me unequivocally who she was. Laney was a little more oblique about it–she eluded me for a while, and I had to hunt her down (how apropos). And Vada in CAM GIRL is a character who’s been haunting me for years, which also totally fits her.

I scroll around on name sites and stuff until something calls out to me. Sometimes, like with Maise and Vada, they name themselves before I even start looking. The secondary characters are usually much harder to name, and some go through name changes (like Wesley and Ellis…not telling what their original names were!). But when you find the right name, you just feel it.

7. You have mentioned in a previous interview that the character of Hiyam appears in both UNTEACHABLE and BLACK IRIS. What were your reasons for continuing with that character and what, if any, bridge does this character create between the two books?

I didn’t plan it originally, but as I was crafting the characters for this book, I realized Hiyam would fit neatly into a certain character’s life and help flesh that person out. BLACK IRIS is all about antiheroines and whether redemption is possible after doing the unforgivable, so she was a perfect addition.

You don’t have to have read UNTEACHABLE to appreciate her, though. Hiyam is a character in her own right in BLACK IRIS. But there’s actually character growth across the two books for her, and a few wink-wink references to UT. Same for Elle in CAM GIRL. I like throwing in Easter eggs. Blame it on my gaming.

8. With your background in graphic arts, did you have a hand in the design of BLACK IRIS’s cover? What was some of your input regarding the design?

Like the title, this process took a while to get right. I gave a lot of feedback. Probably more than my publisher really wanted, ha. But I’m a control freak that way. Transitioning from self-published author to traditionally published means conceding control over presentation, and the cover is a major part of that. For someone like me who has distinct design visions of her own, it was a learning process trying to communicate what I hoped to see while being open to what they preferred.

The biggest change we made was deciding not to put any actual people on the cover and just go with the flower. The book revolves around three characters, and showing all three of them in a way that conveyed the complexity of their relationship was just not happening. Since the book is a lot more thriller/suspense than romance, it felt disingenuous to show people embracing romantically anyhow.

Atria was super receptive to my suggestions, and we ended up with something iconic and striking and perfectly symbolic of the book. I have it on my bookshelf and it’s just sitting there “beating like a dark heart,” as a friend said. I love it.

9. As an author, what is the biggest risk you’ve taken, and what has been your greatest reward?

Hands-down: self-publishing UNTEACHABLE. As I wrote in the acknowledgments of that book, it was the end of the line for me. My dream of being traditionally published just wasn’t going to happen, so I “gave up” and self-published. But “giving up” also meant giving up caring about things like What Will The Industry Think? and Who Is This Going To Piss Off? I stopped caring whether I was coloring inside the lines anymore. I just wrote what I wanted to without caring who I offended–and believe me, writing about a highly confident, sex-positive teenage girl offends a LOT of people–and had an absolute blast with it.

It did end up being polarizing, but it was surprisingly successful for something so taboo. The greatest reward? Getting to write the books of my heart (sappy, sorry) for an audience I never dreamed would be this big. I used to think I had to behave and be a good girl and jump through the hoops if I hoped to achieve even the smallest success as an author. But that’s not true. Being myself–provocative, controversial, no-holds-barred–is what finally made people take me seriously.

Let that be an example to every other writer who’s afraid to be themselves: if an obnoxious loudmouth like me can make it work, you can, too.

10. What existing book by another author do you wish you had written?

Lolita, White Oleander, or Revolutionary Road. Beautiful prose, dark insight into human nature, melancholy as hell: yes, yes, and yes.

11. What quality do you most admire in a woman, and do you give that quality to your protagonists?

First of all…can I come over there and give you a gigantic hug for even ASKING this question? Seriously, one of the coolest things I’ve ever been asked.

I think the quality I admire most in women is sensitivity. There’s a certain kind of emotional and aesthetic sensitivity I’m drawn to in girls that I don’t often find in boys. A tendency to be more receptive to feelings and sensations, to experience them with more nuance and acuteness, with an intensity that borders on delirium. It’s intoxicating to me. Feelings are the best.

Of course, gender is largely a social construct. I’m a nonbinary person myself who doesn’t identify strongly as either woman or man, and I do some serious deconstruction of gender in both Black Iris and Cam Girl. So I’m not pigeonholing anyone into a stereotype here. There are sensitive, tender, emotionally intense men out there, obviously. But there are also hormonal/developmental differences in each of our brains (which don’t always match the sex or gender we appear to be on the outside) that influence how we perceive and react to the world. I’m simply drawn to the sensitivity that tends to be found in a more feminized brain.

I think I give this quality to my protagonists in a helpless way because it’s how *I* see the world, and I can’t turn it off. I feel stuff way too intensely–whether emotional or physical or whatever. My mom loves telling people how when I was a little kid and it was storming, I’d raise my arms right before a lightning strike. I could sense the electricity in the air. It’s still like that–I’m way overtuned to sound and color and touch. Putting it into my books is relieving because it lets me share this sensitivity with others. But it’s also overwhelming, having to constantly feel things like they’re in IMAX, and it’s probably why so many damn writers are alcoholics. The feels, man. They’re intense.

12. Who are your heroes in real life?

My mom. Nobody I know has fought or worked as hard as she has. The mother characters in my books have zero in common with her–it’s really my heroines who embody her tenacity, resilience, and heart. When I think of female strength, I think of my mom. She’s a badass. She taught me what being a “strong woman” means without ever saying it explicitly. She just survived, and overcame, and thrived. Despite all she’s been through, she’s still one of the most loving and compassionate people I know. That’s true strength, to me: being willing to love this world even though it’s so often cold and cruel.

I hope she knows how much I love her for it.

Mia Sheridan

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Mia Sheridan a great Interview

1. What was your inspiration for tying astrological signs into your books?
That aspect of my books was actually inspired by a short article I read on Yahoo one day as I was writing Leo. It was about how your “sex sign” influenced your behavior and I just thought it would be something fun to incorporate (in some small way) into my books, and a way to connect 12 different stories.

2. Can you describe what your writing process is? Do you have daily word counts or benchmarks?
I do. I typically write in the morning and my daily goal is 1,500-2,000 words a day. If I stick to that, I can generally finish a book in about 2 months.

3. What is your ideal writing atmosphere?
I always write down in my finished basement where I have a small office. I like a clean environment and I like to be showered and dressed. I always say it’s a confidence thing, I think! 😀

4. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
That moment when I fall in love with one or (ideally) both of my main characters!

5. How do you come up with the titles for your books? Do you think of a title before or after beginning writing?
I’ve done it both ways. I never “release” a title though until my book is at least halfway done because I’ve changed my mind before. 😉

6. You have mentioned in other interviews that you have a background in psychology. How does that help you with developing your characters and working through difficult plot lines in your stories?
I like to think that it helps me in making sure my characters’ behavior is consistent and makes sense. I’ve read books before where I want to scream, “Why would he/she DO that?? It makes no sense!” I don’t need a reader to LIKE all my characters’ behavior, but I do want to make sure that it makes sense as far as who I’ve created them to be.

7. As a graphic artist, what input do you have into the covers of your books?
I do all my book covers myself so I’m 100% in control of that aspect. 

8. Have you ever considered writing books in different genres? In particular, as a mother with young children at home, do you ever think about writing children’s books?
Not as of yet. Romance is my first love and I haven’t had any desire (thus far) to step away from that genre. But I never say never! 

9. As an avid reader yourself, what authors do you regularly recommend to your family and friends?
I don’t think you can go wrong with Amy Harmon. I recommend her books all the time.

10. What was your favorite book from childhood?
I used to read a lot of VC Andrews when I was a pre-teen!

11. What secret talents do you have?
I don’t know if this is a “talent” per se, but I’ve always been able to find something good in everyone. I’m very optimistic when it comes to people. As for a more tangible talent, I’m a good decorator. I have a good eye for aesthetics and my friends come to me when they need advice on that subject. 

12. And finally, this question was submitted to Book Asylum by reader JJ Jackson and was so amazing we had to include it: “Are the characters you write like one’s children? Do you love them all equally (like we love our own children) or does one character or one story hold a special place in your heart?”
Great question! Thank you, JJ! Yes, my book characters ARE like my children, but just like children, I love them all differently.  I feel the most protective of Archer, probably, and I would want Evie to be my BFF, for example, and if I had to set someone up with one of my men, I’d trust Carson the least! 😉

 

 

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Lesley Jones-Interview/giveaway

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Lesley has offered to give one lucky winner one of her eBooks of their choosing. We are going to add that same offer. Two lucky winners of any Lesley Jones eBooks. First read this amazing interview.

Lesley Jones Interview

  1. Conviction is your 5th book in a little under 2 years. How do you do it?

I can’t not do it. I really struggle to stop the voices. I seem to find a potential book in so many situations, from a song, a news story and even a commercial on the TV or radio. If I was more organized I would probably be able to get a book out every three months but I’m not and I have a home and a family to organize, so yeah, I’m happy with 5 in 2 years.

  1. Do you have daily writing targets or methods you use when working on your novels? What is your optimum set-up when writing, such as certain music, surroundings, limitless caffeine, etc.?

Silence. I need complete silence. Other than that, no routine really and I don’t set myself targets. I think I write at my best when there’s no pressure. If the words are there, I’ll write, if they aren’t, I’ll grab a bit of time to read and come back to it later.

  1. You’ve written series before with Savior and Carnage. Do you have any plans to write a sequel to Conviction?

No, Conviction is most definitely a standalone. I have too many other ideas buzzing around my head. 

  1. You recently tweeted that you dreamt you were “sitting on a balcony, smoking cigarettes and drinking red wine with Marley Layton,” a character from the Carnage series. Is there any possibility of a third book in the Carnage series devoted to Marley?

Absolutely, that is what I’m writing now. I’m only a few chapters in, as real life has been hectic and getting in the way, but I have two works of an almost empty house coming up and I plan to make a dent in the word count then.

  1. Your latest book, Conviction, dealt with musicians, much like in the Carnage series. Are you a musician yourself?

Ha, no. Most definitely not. Three blind mice on the recorder is about my limit and I can’t sing for shit, doesn’t stop me though. I love music and despite being so bad at it, I love singing. I can clear a room in a matter of seconds once I start on the sing star but I give it my all, regardless.

  1. How do you come up with the titles for your books, and what process do you go through when creating covers for the novels you’ve written?

I usually start writing and start to get ideas for the title as the story unfolds. I like my covers to have some relevance to the story, so I don’t usually come up with an idea for a cover until I’m at least half way through my WIP.

Margreet from Rebel design is amazing. My covers for Carnage book #2 and Conviction, were the results of just one conversation with her. She just totally gets me.

  1. Besides writing amazing books and being a voracious reader yourself, what other activities do you enjoy most?

I go to the gym three times a week and I do actually love it. I love watching my son play football and socialising with friends and family.

  1. Do you have book projects in mind for the future? Do you ever work on more than one book at a time?

I’ve already got new projects in mind that will take up all of this year and I have two that have potential for the start of next year.

I only work on one project at a time but I’m constantly making notes for future projects.

  1. Would you consider writing in different genres for future projects?

Probably not. I love the genre that I write so for now, that’s what I’ll stick to. Perhaps I’ll attempt a light and fluffy read, with no angst or heartbreak, just rainbow farting unicorns, frolicking amongst pink fluffy clouds.

  1. Who is your favorite author?

Hmmm, hard one but I’d have to stick with the author that first inspired my love of reading and say Hans Christian Andersen. I blame the Little Match Girl on the reason that I love to read and write such emotional books.

  1. What is your favorite character from Conviction?

Possibly Sophie. She’s strong, loyal and has a great sense of humour.

  1. What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received?

I think someone enjoying my work enough to take the time out of their day to leave a review is a massive compliment. I love getting messages from my readers telling me their thoughts too. I’ve also had people get tattoos with my book covers and mentions of my books on, which have blown me away. Even the small things, like readers making a teaser with quotes from my characters, gets me all choked up.

 

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March giveaways

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Welcome to our March giveaway. Bright Side was one of my favorite books in 2014. Kristen Ashley introduced me to my first Alpha biker that I fell in love with in Motorcycle Man. Mia Sheridan stole my heart with Asher’s Voice. In this giveaway you may choose the books of your choice of Mia’s and Kristen’s.

Good luck!

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Jessica Park, a great interview.

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Thank you Jessica Park for you amazing interview. You are pure class and a joy to work with. As a huge fan, I am thrilled to bring you our first interview of the year. Read on…

As a writer, do you give yourself daily assignments for your writing, such as a certain amount of time at the computer or producing a specified number of pages per day?

 Well…yes and no. In the early stages of writing a book, I don’t. I find this to be the most challenging time, and I really have to let myself go slow. Some days I’m happy if I can get out 700 words. Once I’m really in the flow of a book, I have a minimum of 1500 words to keep me from screaming, but I really push for 2500-3000 when I know that’s a reasonable goal. I’ve had days where I can do 5500, but any more than that and my writing will get sloppy.

Is writing your full-time employment? It is indeed!

Do you have a muse or something that inspires your writing?

 I don’t, and I find that pretty terrifying. I really have no idea how I actually pull together story concepts. CLEAR was originally LEFT DROWNING, and the paranormal concept hit me one day when I was driving. I remember the moment to this day, but I don’t know what in the world triggered it. I’m sure I was listening to music and working off some kind of emotion, but for the life of me I don’t know what that was. I’m not someone who has hundreds of book ideas in my head, so it’s a bit scary to wonder if I’m going to hit a wall. But what is consistent for me is the urge to write about psychology and survival. I’m very moved by people who have been through extraordinary pain and emerged healthy and strong.

You go in such a different direction with this novel.  What inspired you to write a paranormal thriller, and do you have plans to write more “Death Trippers” novels and/or explore this genre more?Yeah, I’m a little surprised with myself, too! I’m not a regular paranormal reader, but the hook for this story has been with me for years now, and I simply had to get it out. As I said, I’m not sure where this hook came from, but its grip on me has been strong. And man, do I have massive respect for paranormal writers now. I had this funny (stupid) idea that writing paranormal would be so freeing because there were no real-world constraints, right? I could make up whatever I wanted to! The hitch with that though is that when the world is your oyster, you still have to make decisions. You have to construct rules and boundaries on your own and those need to remain consistent. I really struggled to pull together a tight outline because I kept running into problems with so many if/then situations that didn’t work. It was a huge challenge, but one that was in the end probably good for me to get through.

I wrote CLEAR to be solid as a standalone, but there is definitely room for more. I just didn’t want to lock myself into having to continue if I didn’t want to. Really, I was so exhausted and brain dead after completing this one that I swore I wouldn’t do it again… But now that I’ve had a little space since completing it, I think I could take on another. I’m not sure that I’d do another paranormal outside of The Death Trippers concept. I’m not a paranormal writer really, but I had a paranormal story to tell. I think I did CLEAR in a way that is very, very much a Jessica Park story; just with a twist people haven’t seen from me.

Who knows? I might do more….

You describe your writing process on your site and the immense planning and outlining that goes into your books.  Do your stories ever take turns you didn’t expect or lead in a different direction than you first planned?

No! Ha ha! I mean, I am really obsessive about fully planning out the direction my stories will take. Surprises can throw horrible wrenches in stories and it’s easy to get backed into a corner that you can’t write yourself out of. I have plenty of room to play, though, in my outlines, so sometimes a chapter note to myself will say something as simple as “Estelle moves in with Blythe.” I know the content of what has to happen, but I don’t always know until I’m in the moment how it’s going to happen.

For those readers that are trying to write their own novels, do you have any references, books or otherwise, that you frequently refer to when you are writing?

Honestly, I don’t. I don’t use any directive material, story-building software, or reference books. Nothing.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t! Some people find this sort of material incredibly helpful, so it just depends on your style.

Do you have other book ideas in mind for future novels or series?

 I’m hesitant to commit… but I’ll probably write a Sabin novel or novella at some point, and I might possibly do another Flat book down the road.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?  Do you have favorite hobbies or interests that you pursue? 

I’m a TV junkie. Walking Dead, Scandal, Reign are current favorites, but I’ll watch anything to unwind. I cook a lot and can browse cookbooks for hours. I go through bouts of working out, but I can’t say I’m any sort of a fanatic. I’ve got some good friends in California, and I take every chance I can to get out there. San Diego and Los Angeles are second homes at this point!

But basically I don’t have cool hobbies…I tend to flit around and get super obsessed with something for about ten minutes before I lose interest.

When you read another author’s work, do you find yourself reading analytically, looking at style and structure, or are you able to still read books through a reader’s eyes, focusing on the story itself?

I’m a good reader and can lose myself in a book. However, there are times that I can get really fussy and critical. It’s definitely become more difficult to stay a straight reader now that I’m an author.

Do you read different genres than those that you write?

I read a lot of literary fiction, more than I read romance.

What is your most treasured possession?

My laptop! Oh, er…I should say something that my son gave me…oh God, it’s my laptop! I can’t lie!

Which living person do you most admire?

 Taylor Swift, because, hello? Have you seen her dance?  She mimes all the lyrics. It’s fantastic.

 

Who are your favorite writers?

Pat Conroy, Elinor Lipman, Steph Campbell, Amy Harmon, KA Tucker, Stephen McCauley, Dina Silver, Rebecca Donovan… Oh the list could go on forever!

Buy Jessica’s new book CLEAR here.

http://www.amazon.com/Clear-Death-Trippers-Jessica-Park-ebook/dp/B00TOLRLEO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424147630&sr=1-1&keywords=clear+jessica+park

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/17Kofe0

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1vAIfov

 

CLEAR teaser just for you! Jessica Park

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Here’s a super-secret only-for-you teaser from CLEAR

The sound of a car pulling up to the house is the only thing that takes me out of my ocean daydreams.

He’s here. I’m surprisingly calm, and I continue looking out over the seascape.

The clop of heavy shoes slowly moves closer as he walks up the steps to reach this side of the house, and soon, I can feel him standing at the top of the stairs. I’m terrified to turn and see him.

 

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“I heard someone rented the apartment.” His voice is deep and level, unexpressive. “I live on the first floor. Let me know if you need anything.” He pauses. “I’m Sam Bishop.”

“I know.” Finally, I get myself to pull from the view and face him.

 

He looks almost nothing like the boy I met years before. While his body has filled out, chest and arms pulling tightly on the fabric of his shirt, his face is ashen, and his demeanor is anything but warm. Light brown hair falls around his face, resting on broad shoulders. His eyes are dull, missing the life and exuberance I remember so well. I notice his work boots, dirty jeans, and flannel shirt tied at the waist. But he’s still Sam, and he is still the reason I’m here.

 

BLACK IRIS COVER REVEAL

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FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPT:

BLACK IRIS by Leah Raeder

April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.

 

Find Leah online:

http://www.leahraeder.com/

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Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year 2015 Hot Colors On Black Backgrounds

We had so much fun this last month playing with and trying to learn WP for the giveaways. The giveaways were AMAZING. We think authors have the biggest hearts and greatly admire the loyalty to their fans. We have an entire year of fun stuff planned out and some in-between goodies too.

We are looking forward to sharing with you great books, a lot of great books and other fun wordy type stuff!

Ending a year means fresh starts and so many new books for the New Year ahead. Did we mention books?

Wishing you the greatest 2015, may it be your best year yet!

Cheers!

Kate, Tori, Tristan & Grace

When you win!

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We lost our holiday winners post somewhere. If you have won something other than an eBook, you will be contacted by Monday. You can also email us your address from the email tab above. When we have multiple contests going and authors are mailing their own stuff we have no control over when you get your prize. We have had a couple emails about this. Please remember it was also Hanukkah & Christmas for them, too. They share so much love with their fans, I think they deserve to have a nice holiday like the rest of us. Some also were away for the holidays and have you been to the USPS this time of year? Beyond frightening!

If you won or when you win a Book Asylum giveaway you will be notified within five days and it will be mailed within a week. When it is not during a holiday or multiple giveaway.

Sorry for any confusion and please do feel free to contact us again if you have not received your prize from the author by the 9th of January.

Have a Happy & Safe New Year’s Eve!

~T

Thank you!

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Thank you to the authors who helped make the 12 day of book giveaways happen. We greatly appreciate you participation as do all your readers.

Thank you to all the people who shared on Social media and were a part in making this fun. We can’t believe it went by so fast. This is not the end. We have plenty more giveaways, interviews,contests and other fun happenings coming in 2015! We will start our January kick off giveaway the day after Christmas.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Best for the upcoming New Year!

Warm Wishes & Happy Reading,

The staff at Book Asylum

Kate, Tori, Tristan & Grace

Last Giveaway Debra Anastasia’s Poughkeepsie Series!

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I adore and have read ever author in our 12 day Book Giveaway. Our last giveaway is my one of my most favorite authors. I love her writing, her personality and everything about her. She is good people. In January we are doing a very special paperback giveaway with swag and a bonus gift for The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series.

Debra Anastasia, writer of my favorite book, Poughkeepsie, which is now part of a three book series called The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series. She is also a pretty funny and amazing person, too. She kindly sent me some fun extras to include with this giveaway.

Giveaway: The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series in eBook, an autographed postcard from Debra, piano keychain, pendant, tattoo sticker, and train station schedule.

You can also find Debra:

• http://www.debraanastasia.com
• https://twitter.com/Debra_Anastasia
• http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4831831.Debra_Anastasia
• http://www.amazon.com/Debra-Anastasia/e/B0051BO7I4

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Bright Side by Kim Holden Giveaway!

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Kim Holden, author of the much talked about and highly rated book Bright Side.
She is a kind and generous as she is talented and giving away a signed Paperback of Bright Side to one lucky fan-Internationally.

You can also find her here:

http://www.kimholdenbooks.com

https://www.facebook.com/KimHoldenAuthor

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/13rHfuV 

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Jessica Park info

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Jessica Park, an amazing, self-published author who in our eyes is a super hero. She has diehard fans and I’m proud to say I am one of them. She has a really cool website, too.

Giveaway: There will be one lucky winner for this giveaway.  The winner will receive a copy of Flat Out Love and a copy of Left Drowning.

I must add that Left Drowning was one of my favorite reads.

She is an automatic author. Meaning I will automatically buy what she publishes as she never disappoints.

You can also find Jessica:

 

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Getting ready for change

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As some of you may have seen in the very beginning-we had some issues with the WordPress learning curve. As we prepared for the 12 day book giveaway it was more important to just be functional for the giveaways.

The first week of 2015 we will under go some updates and changes with a few added lessons from our web girl. Our plan is for a simple and functional aesthetically pleasing easy to use site.  (That was a mouthful)

We have a few contests that will run together and the bonus ones will be on our Facebook page. Thank for stopping by and being a part of the 12 day giveaways. Our plans for 2015 will bring many more giveaways, interviews and more. We hope to have a spiffy clean page by the 5th of January.

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Sylvain Reynard Info

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Sylvain Reynard
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of Gabriel’s Inferno, Gabriel’s Rapture and Gabriel’s Redemption and the forthcoming novel The Raven, February 2015.
 I was one of those people that refused to make the jump to an ereader, if I couldn’t turn the pages of the book, I couldn’t be bothered. That is until Gabriel’s Inferno & Gabriel’s Rapture hit my radar. I tried to order the paperback from Barns & Noble the summer of 2012. They had no date on a paperback which made me want to read them even more. For my birthday that summer in 2012, I received an iPad from my mom. I loaded the Kindle app, bought both books and have been obsessed with ebooks and madly in love with the writing of Sylavin Reynard even since. If it was not for those two books, I am not sure I would have made the leap yet. Now I have once-click addiction and have discovered many great authors all thanks to the Gabriel’s Inferno series.
 Giveaway: Gabriel’s Inferno & Gabriel’s Rapture paperbacks
 You can find Sylvain Reynard here:
http://sylvainreynard.com
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSylvainReynard/timeline
 https://twitter.com/sylvainreynard
 
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Ella James Info

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Ella James author of Beast, Red & Wolf and Hansel and the upcoming Sloth. Her books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Amazon Top 100 and the Amazon Movers & Shakers List; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.
Giveaway: Hansel series and a necklace (I think ebook?)

You can find her:
Site: http://www.ellajamesbooks.com/
Facebook at facebook.com/ellajamesauthorpage
Twitter www.twitter.com/author_ellaj

 

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Mia Sheridan

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Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. One of my favorite books of hers Archer’s Voice was nominated for Best Books of 2014 on goodreads. This book has many other nominations that we here at Book Asylum keep voting for!

Giveaway: A signed paperback copy of Archer’s Voice

You can find her:

Site: http://www.miasheridan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miasheridanauthor

ARCHERSVOICE

Whitney Barbetti Info

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Whitney Barbetti author of the highly rated Ten Below Zero-a heart wrenching must read. I have added this to my top 10 of 2014. She is an amazing emotional writer and as I was lucky enough to find out-a great person.

Giveaway: One ebook, comes with autographed bookmark and magnet from the author that will be mailed to the winner.

You can find her:

Her site: http://www.whitneybarbetti.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1xZW8Sl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbetti

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitney.barbetti

Check out her other books too!

TENBELOWZEROHeFoundMeEbookHSMebook

 

Leah Raeder author info

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Leah is one of our favorite authors, she is talented, has good taste in music and is pretty funny, too. To find her and all her talents go here:

Leah Raeder, USA Today best selling author of Unteachable.

Giveaway: One paperback of Unteachable and a signed bookmark from Leah plus an $10.00 iTunes card so you can check out her great playlists.

Keep your eyes open for Black Iris coming in Spring, 2015

You can also find Leah:

UNTEACHABLE

Lex Martin

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Lex Martin is the author of Dearest Clementine, #1, Finding Dandelion #2 and #3 Kissing Madeline (Expected publication – late 2014)

We have read the first two in this series. We are excited for the one lucky winner who will score these signed copies.
You can find her here: 
DEAREST CLEMETINEFINDING DANDELION

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12_days

 

We are officially kicking off our 12 day book giveaway a day early. This way we can give each author just over a day to collect entries. So we will be starting a new giveaway every night at 8:30 GMT. We are so excited to get this going and have some great authors, books and swag to giveaway! 
Wishing all of you good luck and Happy Holidays!
Warm & Fuzzy wishes,
The Staff at Bookasylum.com

Tis the mess

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I am just going to be blunt and say it like it is: THIS SITE IS A MESS.  We are new to WordPress, SO new it is like my 93-year-old neighbor deciding she wants a smart phone and to learn to text with it in five minutes, which never happened.  Blogger we knew, Joomla could have been done.  WordPress had to be learned.  I dove right in like I do with every new project, but this has been more frustrating than I anticipated. So, do we move everything over to Blogger or buck up and learn like a pro?  Pro is pushing it, I mean really pushing it.  Novice is a far better word.

Here’s the deal.  BookAsylum.com has been owned for years, we just decided that it was getting all kinds of dusty sitting in our Go Daddy account.  So we pulled it out, dusted it off, and now we are trying to give it a nice home on WordPress (did I mention it isn’t as easy as Blogger?).  However, we can do so much more with WP as many of you already know, so big girl panties on, we’re working on addressing this mess of a web house and get back to making people happy and giving away goodies, because that is what we do.

My graphics team and I are not on the same page, literally. We go back and forth but while that process is being done, we have stuff to do. So it is like this: you are getting ready for a huge holiday party, people are coming over, you are cooking, wrapping gifts, changing your clothes and your mind a hundred times and you look up…fifteen minutes till show time. The house is not yet tidy. You run around mascara wand in hand pushing stuff in closets and closing bedroom doors, swipe that last lash and the doorbell rings. That is our website. We are changing, closing doors, moving stuff around because we have company coming, YOU!  We have the 12 days of Christmas book giveaway to launch.  Mascara wand in hand, foot on the closet door, we are ready to give you the best 12 days while we clean house when you’re not looking (ok so we know you’re looking). Don’t be all judgy-we are giving free stuff away here!  So let’s get out the mistletoe and blinky lights and be happy!

We have so much we are going to be offering up here at Book Asylum. Right now all you need to focus on is entering to win free loot through the Christmas month. In real life we are really clean, organized people, we swear. So, if we can’t get it under control, we’ll hire some of Santa’s elves.  For now, please bear with us and know how very excited we are to bring you these 12 days of fun giveaways.

We will impress you later.  Right now, focus on winning your favorite book.

Thanks for your patience while crap still falls out of the closet doors.

 

12dayinswert

Fireworks + Christmas + Tidbits

We are changing things up. Last year we did the 12 days of Christmas. That was great, but everyone else was doing it too. This year we are doing Christmas in July and will be having a crazy cool contest starting December 1st and cool prizes to go with it. Stay tuned, as always, we just randomly go with the flow here. Christmas-Saguaro

A quick note: I get a lot of emails and Facebook messages. We are not a blog. We are a Insane Book loving website that is more about promotion, interviews and our favorite and yours, the giveaways. We don’t review books on this page as I am sure you have noticed, we do our reviews privately on Amazon. There are a lot of great bloggers out there and promo is more our thing, we love it. We will be adding some cool trivia and other tidbits but not reviews. Book Asylum is a passion not a job. I have three companies I run and it is with really cool people like Tori, Grace and the brilliant authors that are so kind and giving with their time that we get to do something we are so passionate about. We are always open to suggestions on what you would like to see, author’s we have not profiled, up and coming-you name it and we will listen.

 

Keeps your eyes open and the Christmas tunes ready to go because Christmas in July is almost here. 20 more Saturday’s until the real deal. I swear I just took my tree down.

Read on,

K

It has been a blissfully busy couple months. We looked up and it is already March. We are working on a fun March Madness giveaway. We are reading newsletters and new releases but really want to know what you’re reading and what books you are looking forward to.

We recently read The way we Fall by Cassia Leo and it was very good.

Our office poll has complied the following list:

ConfessColleen Hoover

Any Kristen Ashley book. Her new one Soaring is coming out soon.

Karina Halle-Where The Sea Meets The Sky

R.K Lilley-The Other Man (She is a favorite of ours)

Those are just some of our ideas. The rest of the year is planned out.