Monday, February 28, 2011

Book BIN Tuesday - Falling Under


OMG, you guys, I'm so excited. Today is Gwen Hayes' release date for her debut YA novel, Falling Under! I've been looking forward to this day for months, and can't wait to pick up a copy of the book. I might even pretend it's for my oldest (but sneak and read it first). Here's the book blurb:


In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.

Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.
****
Doesn't it sound fabulous? And isn't that cover to die for? Hope you'll join me at the store to Buy It Now!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blog-Hopping, and happy news!

I'm over on Delilah Devlin's blog today chatting about Shakespeare, and tomorrow I'll be visiting Desert Island Keepers with a post on office romances. (Or, in the case of Jessica and Tom, school romances.) Stop by and say hey!

Also, Take A Chance On Me hit the Samhain bestseller list today at #10. I'm so thrilled, and thankful to everyone who bought a copy and helped put the book there.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book BIN Tuesday - Take A Chance On Me!


It's finally here! My long-awaited new release from Samhain, Take a Chance On Me, is now available for purchase. Just in case you haven't seen the blurb yet, here's what it's about:

Accept no substitute…for love.
The Lady Doth Protest Too Much

Jessica Martin is determined to earn a permanent teaching position at Summit High School. That means hard work, dedication, and even volunteering extra time to direct the school’s Shakespeare play. Which leaves no room for romance—especially with a co-worker. She didn’t factor in the school’s sexy security officer and the delicious fantasies he inspires.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Former cop Tom Cameron likes his job. Or he did, until the new substitute busted his orderly life right open. Now, he can’t seem to avoid her—deserted hallways, empty theaters, classrooms after dark—but he’s got too many skeletons in his closet to risk his heart again. Asking her out to distract her from the play’s, well, drama is a friendly gesture. Nothing more.

The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

Their chemistry could melt down the science lab, and before long they’re burning up the sheets off-campus. And uncovering raw emotions—a stark reminder that love isn’t in their curricula. When a troubled student goes over the edge, though, the need to stop a tragedy brings them right back where they started—face to face with fate.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Product Warnings
This book contains sexy encounters in classrooms, inappropriate use of school facilities, backstage shenanigans, and illicit activities on a ferryboat.

So there you have it! I hope you decide to take a chance on TACOM. And if you do, I hope you enjoy it!


Some buy links:






Sunday, February 20, 2011

Countdown to TACOM - The Final Excerpt!


Curious to know a little bit more about Tom Cameron, the hero of Take A Chance on Me? For the final excerpt before release day, I thought I'd share a snippet that focuses on him. Enjoy!

*****
The main parking lot was largely empty by the time Tom left his customary post at the entrance to the school. Most students were on their way home or busy in after-school activities. Still, just to be sure, Tom made it a habit to walk the halls of the school every day after school. You never knew what might be going on in the dark recesses of the old building.

He started in the basement, peering around corners and testing doors. Everything was locked up tight as a drum. Evidently, the art teacher had finally taken his advice and started locking her classroom.

He’d collared some not-so-bright students there after school one day, apparently under the impression that the smell of art supplies would mask the odor of their marijuana. They hadn’t counted on the smoke drifting under the closed door and out into the hall.

Everything checked out downstairs, so he headed back up. His pace slowed a bit as he reached the Language Arts wing. She’d probably gone home already. And even if she was still there, he wasn’t about to disturb her again today. No, he’d just check the door and keep walking.

Still, he felt the briefest letdown when he reached her classroom and saw that it was already locked and dark. Against his will, his mind dredged up an image of Jessica from this morning, the professional cut of her dark blue jersey dress doing little to hide her curves.

Even weighed down with paperwork, she had a look that put his libido on simmer.
He shook his head and turned around, heading for the next hallway. She was a fellow staff member, and therefore off-limits. Tom didn’t date co-workers. Not even co-workers as attractive as Jessica Martin.

To be honest, he didn’t date anyone, co-worker or not. Oh, his sister occasionally took her life into her hands and accidentally invited a female to dinner on the same night he came over, but nothing ever came of it. He wouldn’t let it. None of them were worth lowering his guard for.

He hadn’t consciously decided to live a solitary lifestyle, but that’s what had happened. It wasn’t a bad life, he supposed. He had a nice apartment in a quiet part of town. He could eat cold canned spaghetti over the sink and not worry about getting hell for it. He never had to share the remote control. He could sprawl across the bed without someone complaining how he was on her side.

Of course, there was also the silence. The half-empty closets. The embarrassing moments when he turned to comment on an article in the morning paper and no one was there. The times he woke in a cold sweat in the middle of the night and reached blindly across the king-size bed, only to find empty space.

The nightmares were diminishing in number with time, thank God, but not in intensity. He could still smell the sharp tang of gunpowder, feel the sticky warmth of someone else’s spilled blood. Like Lady Macbeth, he sometimes wondered if his hands would ever be clean.

Four years ago, that nightmare had been real. But even then, back when his king-sized bed had held two, there was no one he could have turned to for comfort.

No, the only person he could truly depend on was himself. And sometimes, in the middle of the night, he wasn’t even sure about that.

*****

Just one more day, y'all! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Countdown to TACOM - Excerpt the Second!


Here's another peek at Take A Chance On Me, out Tuesday from Samhain:

*****
“This is totally amazing!”

Tom smiled as he watched Jessica lean against the thick green railing, a chill wind rushing through her tousled red-brown hair. She spread her arms wide, bracing herself against the railing of the small deck overlooking the front of the ferry.
Below, white-capped waves crashed against the edge of the car deck, leaving puddles on the walkways and riming the safety ropes with salt.

She turned around, laughing with delight. “You were absolutely right. This is exactly what I needed.”

He flashed a cocky smile. “Told you so.”

“I think it’s what we both needed,” she said. “It’s wonderful to set the stress and pressure aside for a few hours.”

“Glad you enjoyed it.” Tom squinted into the distance. “We’re about fifteen minutes from docking.”

Jessica sighed. “Then back to reality. Thanks again, Tom.”

“You still have a couple of minutes. Sure you don’t want to do the whole Titanic thing? I promise I won’t let you fall off the front of the boat.”

Jessica rolled her eyes at him. “I’m feeling better, but I’m not exactly king-of-the-world material. And I don’t think there are any icebergs in Puget Sound.”

Tom nodded. “It’s cold, but it’s not that cold.” He reached out and pulled her coat collar closer together, tucking the fringes of her scarf around her neck to block out the wind.

She stilled, her eyes darkening as she stared at him. Tom’s grip tightened on her coat, his fingers clutching the fabric. Slowly, deliberately, he lowered his head to hers.

Their previous kisses had been spontaneous combustion. This one was a steamy, languid dip in the Olympic Hot Springs. He tasted her lips slowly, placing soft nibbling kisses from corner to corner. Angling his head, he pressed his mouth against hers and swept his tongue across her lower lip.

Her mouth opened on a sigh and he moved forward, noting with pleasure the exact point where the chill of the outdoor air gave way to the heat of Jessica’s mouth. His ears tingled and his cheeks were close to numb from the winter wind howling across the small ferry deck. But inside, he would swear he was running one hell of a fever.

She was close, so close, but with all the layers of clothing between them she might as well have been against the opposite rail. Tom groaned, gripping her lapel as he continued the kiss, his overactive imagination helpfully supplying a reminder of the sweet curves buried under all that winter wool. Thank God he was bundled up just as tightly, or she would be getting a very clear picture of how much he was enjoying this repeat performance.

Suddenly, the ferry gave a pitching roll, shuddering as it lifted above the waves and heaved down again. They stumbled apart, both clinging tightly to the other’s coat and breathing heavily.

Through sheer force of will, Tom unclenched his fingers and released Jessica’s now-wrinkled charcoal gray winter coat. He ran a hand through his wind-tossed hair, sucking in a deep breath. The air was thick with exhaust from the ferry engines, combined with the tang of salt spray and impending rain. And overlaying it all was the crisp citrus scent of Jessica.

She leaned forward, resting her forehead against his chest. He watched as a shuddering sigh traveled the length of her spine. Even through his winter layers he could feel the heat of her breath as it puffed against his solar plexus. A shiver wrapped around his midsection.

She mumbled something into his coat, but the combination of rushing wind and rumbling ferry engines drowned out any chance of hearing it. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, leading her back toward the relative warmth and bright lights of the main cabin.

But before they could go inside, she grabbed the lapel of his coat and dragged him past the doorway into the darkened alcove under the stairs to the upper deck.

“What are you—?” His statement was cut off when she wrapped one hand around his neck and pulled him down for another kiss.

She began talking between kisses, her words almost lost in the feverish embrace. “I. Don’t. Want. To. Stop.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Countdown to TACOM - Excerpt the First!


Did you know that Take A Chance On Me comes out in just four days?

I'm a little excited about it.

*bouncebouncebounce*

So this weekend, I'll be posting excerpts and teasers, giving you a little taste of the book before its release date on Tuesday. Here's the first excerpt - enjoy!

*****

Tom picked up the pace as he rounded the corner, anxious to put some space between himself and Jessica’s classroom. Finally safe in his office, he closed the door and dropped into his chair. He held his hand out in front of him, flexing it slowly.

All she’d done was place her hand on his. A brief physical contact. Nothing more.

So why was his hand still—tingly, for want of a better word? And he didn’t even want to think about the tingles still echoing in other more personal parts of his body.
He cursed under his breath and crossed his arms. He was sounding like some giddy teenager. And heaven knew his hormones were acting like they were back in high school.

The problem was, the two of them seemed to keep on touching each other—at the pizza place, in the theater, just now in her classroom—and he had this same reaction every single time. There was no reason such casual contacts should have such an effect on him.

And the non-casual contact…

Shit. That kiss yesterday still wouldn’t leave him alone. Just now, in her classroom, it was all he could do not to grab her and try for a repeat.

He brushed a hand through his hair, leaving it rumpled and tangled. Jessica Martin disturbed his orderly life, bumping up against his wall of professionalism and knocking it down bit by bit. Until she’d arrived on the scene he’d had no trouble keeping his distance from co-workers.

Now, without even realizing it, he was searching her out, looking for an excuse to interact with her. If he’d been smart, he would have stuffed the paperwork in her mailbox and avoided this situation today altogether. But no, he had to bring it to her door—and then he ended up encouraging her in this insane plan to direct a Shakespeare play.

The woman was a bit bent. And so was he for letting her get to him like this.
He’d been on his own for years now, and up until a few days ago he hadn’t questioned that status. He’d learned the hard way that the only person he could trust was himself. It was safer to keep people at arm’s length.

Unfortunately, it was getting harder and harder to keep Jessica Martin there.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

I'm very excited about my web appearance tonight at The Savvy Readers' Cafe, and I hope that you can join me! I'll be reading from my upcoming release, Take a Chance On Me, as part of their Five Nights of Samhain Romance series. Get a sneak peek at the new book!

Here are the details...

Savvy Authors welcomes Samhain Publishing to The Savvy Readers Cafe!

Join us for five magical nights of Samhain romance, and hear some of the freshest voices in original ebook fiction spin their tales in The Savvy Readers Cafe. Beginning Monday, Feb. 14 from 9-10 p.m. EST, each author will read a brief excerpt of their latest novel and take questions if time allows in a live webinar.

Win an eReader! During each 10-15 minute segment, a moderator will mention the "secret word" for listeners to log into their Savvy Readers Cafe contest form. Each secret word correctly matched with the author gives each attendee a raffle ticket to win an e-reader*! (E-reader raffled at noon Feb. 19.)

During the webinar you will have the opportunity to chat live with Samhain authors and ask them questions.

Join Samhain authors Kate Davies, Imogen Howson and Bianca D'Arc as they read excerpts from their books and take questions via a live webinar.

*****
Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Book BIN Tuesday - Moon Burning


Ooh! Lucy Monroe has a new Children of the Moon book out. Need to pick this one up right away!

Details:

Barr never asked to be made laird over the struggling Donegal clan, or leader of its werewolf pack. But he'll do his duty and although he hasn’t yet found his mate, he hopes she will be among his people. He expects his new role to be difficult; he doesn't expect to discover a naked woman in the forest whose memory is as fragile as her human body—her delectable, all too appealing body. Could this woman be his true mate?

On a mission to save her people from extinction, Sabrine pretends she has no memory in order to gain access to her enemy: the Donegal clan. A raven shifter, she is determined to retrieve the sacred stone that rightfully belongs to her people. But soon she’ll be engulfed in her burning desire and growing love for Barr—and the dangerous and inescapable secrets destined to keep them apart...

****

I've never gone wrong with a Lucy book. Definitely going to head on out and Buy It Now!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monday Movie Musings - Harry Potter Exhibition


So today's movie musing isn't so much about a single movie, but rather the Harry Potter Exhibition I went to with the kids last weekend.

We hadn't planned on going; I figured our big museum-type experience for the winter was the Picasso exhibit, and pretty much ignored the ads for the HP event. (We live a good hour and a half from the town where both exhibits were shown, so attending them is a full day experience.)

Then Midkid entered a drawing at Borders and won two tickets to the exhibition. Couldn't let them go to waste, could we? No, of course not. So last weekend I packed up the kids and trekked to the big city for a visit to Hogwarts.

(First, though, we had to get our tickets. Because they were free passes, we couldn't reserve our spots online, and we were nervous about being able to get in. As we reached the ticket booth, my heart sank. It was 10 am and the sign posted said the first available entry time was 3:15 pm. Ten minutes after our parking pass was set to expire. I went up to the booth, showed the saleswoman the passes, and explained the predicament. She worked her magic and found us tickets for the 11:45 am entry. Yay!)

So after a quick snack and some time in the science center playing around with the exhibits, it was time to go in. And let me tell you, this exhibition was absolutely worth the effort. Part museum exhibit, part Disney-style fun, it's fascinating and enjoyable for any fan of the movies. Even if you're not a Harry Potter fanatic, it's great to get an up close view of costumes, set pieces, and behind-the-scenes movie magic.

The kids enjoyed the opening schtick, especially GPS, who was "sorted" into Gryffindor by the sorting hat and a friendly guide. The sorting was followed by entry into a circular room, similar to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, with a multimedia intro, followed by fog machines, engine sounds, and a wall opening to reveal the Hogwarts Express engine.

There were costumes galore, from early Harry Potter to Draco Malfoy to Professor Snape to Quidditch robes to so many more I can't name them all. There were actual wands used by the characters in the movies. Ron and Harry's dorm room beds were there, with items from the set to make it seem like they'd just stepped outside for a moment. There was a message board from the movies, something that had been likely just put up in the background for "flavor", but so detailed and *right* it made me smile.

The books looked like they'd been taken out of someone's library. There were professor's desks and Hagrid's hut and Lockhart's many publicity photos. You could tug on mandrakes in the garden set and make them squeal, and toss a quaffle through a hoop. (The quaffle was much squishier than I'd expected, like a cross between a soccer ball and a football, but with some of the air let out.) All three kids sat on Hagrid's chair, grinning at how small it made them seem. We studied the posters on the wall, advertisements for the Quidditch world cup and wanted posters for the characters on the wrong side of authority. We wandered through the Great Hall and scoped out all the food on the banquet table.

It was fascinating, and lots of fun, and gave me some insight into how much detail goes into creating a movie world like Harry Potter's. It's ended in Seattle, but supposedly will be touring to other locations soon. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend going to see it.

How Did I Break My Nose - the WINNER!

So much fun!

I got some great entries, both here and on Facebook, so I had a friend pick a number at random and the winner is:

Maia Strong!

Congrats, Maia! Contact me off-blog and I'll get your prize to you, which is a bag of See's Candy Sour Hearts, in honor of the holiday. :) Hope you enjoy!

And thanks to everyone who participated! Your stories provided so much fun and enjoyment, and gave me something humorous to share when people asked "what happened?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blogging at Samhain - No More Guilty Pleasures!

I'm blogging over on Samhain's pretty new site today, talking about saying goodbye to my guilty pleasures. Stop by and add your two cents!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Book BIN Tuesday - An Embarrassment of Riches!

Today is a very good day to buy a romance, because so many fabulous-sounding books are being released today. Here are a few of the ones that have caught my eye:

YOURS, MINE AND HOWLS, Kinsey Holley

Sometimes happily ever after is on the wrong side of death’s door.

Werewolves in Love, Book 2

Thirteen years ago, Ally Kendall died defending her young cousin from his werewolf stepfather.

She hasn’t been the same since.

Ally returned from the hereafter with strange new powers, burdened with the secret of why and how she survived. She managed to scrape her life together and raise her cousin, but now he needs a pack to guide him into adulthood. That means pulling up stakes yet again and heading for Colorado to find the only werewolf qualified for the job. A werewolf, she discovers, who tempts her to give up control in a thousand sinful ways.

Cade MacDougall, Alpha of an unrecognized pack, has a tragic history, a sizable ranch, and a daughter who thinks she’s a cat. Time to find a mate? Don’t make him laugh. Until Ally shows up with a smokin’ hot, preternaturally strong body that smells like mine, and introduces him to a nephew who holds the key to unraveling mysteries about Cade’s family—and himself.

But Ally’s holding something back. As Cade’s enemies gather, the cowboy and his secretive new mate must come clean about their mysterious pasts…or else all hope of protecting their newly formed family—and their future—will be lost.

Product Warnings
A sexy, smartass alpha hero, a heroine who could kick his ass if she wanted, heart-pounding action, and some serious werewolf cowboy lovin’.

TURN IT UP, Vivian Arend

She wants it. He’s got it…and a whole lot more.


Turner Twins, Book 2

Maxwell Turner considers his stubborn and resourceful attitude a plus. After all, it usually gets him what he wants—except for Natasha Bellingham. The long-time family friend may be ten years older than he, but so what? He’s plenty old enough to know they belong together. Now all he has to do is convince her.

Over the past few years Natasha’s love life has degenerated into a series of bad clich├ęs. Her biological clock is ticking—loudly. As a proven architect with her own house-design company, she’s financially ready for a baby. Who says she needs a permanent man in her life for that? She just needs a “donation”.

When Max discovers Natasha’s future plans include artificial insemination, he’s outraged. She wants to get pregnant? No problem. He’s more than willing to volunteer—no turkey basters involved.

But there’s one non-negotiable clause: He wants forever. And he intends to do everything in his power—fair and unfair—to make it happen.

Product Warnings
This title contains one younger man ready, aimed and hell bent on giving one woman everything she wants. Includes interludes against the wall, in a Jacuzzi, on a car hood and even—shockingly enough—on a bed or two. Oh, and about that porch swing? Yup…


GUNNING FOR TROUBLE, Helen Kay Dimon


When he was recruited by the Recovery Project, Caleb Mattern found a new lease on life. Tracking missing persons. Protecting witnesses. But even after stretching his muscles and becoming one of the company's elite agents, he couldn't leave his past behind. Avery Walters wouldn't let him.

His former boss had also been his onetime lover, and now she's burst back into his life with dangerous consequences. But settling old scores won't be on the agenda—not yet! With the nation's security depending on them to act appropriately, Caleb must pull off the most impossible assignment of his career. Now that Avery's put her life in his hands, what will Caleb do with it?



I'm sure there are more I've missed. What are you looking forward to this week? And are you heading out soon to Buy It Now?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I Need A Better Story!


So, earlier this week I broke my nose.

(If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably already knew this.)

It was a stupid accident - I tripped and fell into some concrete stairs. I'm very lucky that it was only my nose that was injured, and in a few weeks I should be as good as new.

But the story of how it happened? Boring. Pedestrian. The opposite of interesting.

I need a better story.

I've gotten some good suggestions so far:

1. Cage fighting

2. Interrupted a jewelry heist

3. Saved an elderly woman from a mugging

But I want more! So that's where you come in. Post your best "how Kate broke her nose" story in the comments, and I'll choose a winner. Contest runs through Monday Feb 7 at 11:59 pm, PST. Prize to be announced!

So get creative, and good luck!