This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lola will be awarding a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The answer is the same for why you read YA. As a teen or young-adult, that life, that environment, those experiences are full of drama, heightened emotion, depth, evolution, growth, mistakes, finding oneself and learning the world. Everything is a big deal. Everything is on the pivot of social escalation or decline. Young Adult is fabulous because you have everything happening all at once, and every emotion is balled into it. The characters can be saving the world, but at the same time, day-dreaming about their crush, or freaking out over a ripped shirt, or having a fight with their parents. That’s the way teen life is. Teens are cramming for tests and having pressures of the world put on them; what college are you going to, what are you going to do when you graduate, I heard a rumor about you, my best friend is dating my crush, what do I want to do the rest of my life, do I want to get married, should I break up with my boyfriend, should I buy this dress…In fiction, the characters face the same thing, just on a bigger, more fantastic scale but it can all be related to the regular lives of its readers. When a character is being attacked or having pressure put on them to save humanity, teens feel that from their teachers or parents for the normal life choices they face everyday. As a writer, I can tap into what I felt as a teen, or what I fantasized as a teen to write these situations and characters readers and relate to and understand. That’s why I write YA. I want it to reach people, to touch them, to connect.
******OVER 400 FIVE STAR REVIEWS!*******
Sitting there in the car, a part of me bitterly resented what she was doing to me. I knew it wasn’t her fault. But does she have to be so… alluring? I need to focus on something else besides the spot between her earlobe and neck. It looked so soft. Her lips were slightly parted as she looked out the window. I wanted to part them further with mine. I put both my hands on the steering wheel. I could not allow myself to let go until she was out of the car. Suddenly she leaned in and kissed me. It was far better than I could even begin to explain to you. I’ve fought and died a slow and painful death on earth. And nothing, NOTHING can compare to how hard it was for me to pull away from her lips. I don’t think any angel could do it twice in a lifetime…
Enjoy an excerpt:
I refuse to blink and miss a moment of him. The water builds up in my eyes. It stings. It burns. No, I won’t blink. It’s like having a thirst so deep water can not quench it. The more I drink him in, the more of him I want.
Tears gather in my eyes, waiting, begging for me to blink. I won’t. So the tears run down my face. My vision gets blurry. No, I won’t blink. My eyes feel like they’re being pricked by hundreds of small pins. It stings badly. But I remain steadfast. The second round of tears falls from my eyes. I won’t blink. I will not move from the vision before me.”
About the Author:Lola StVil is a Haitian born writer and actress. She lives in Hollywood, CA., and welcomes online interaction with readers.
Lola StVil is a Haitian born writer and actress. She lives in Hollywood, CA., and welcomes online interaction with readers.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
The author is giving away the winner’s choice of an autographed copy of Rock Notes, Love Notes, or Music Notes, plus a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and Betsey Johnson Makeup Purse. (US/Canada only)
Madison Tierney’s a writer, whose husband, Thomas suddenly left her after 10 years; she is destroyed and now recently alone and divorced. She picks herself up slowly trying to restore her lost confidence and ability to love again. She follows her writing passion and ventures to follow a local band – Rolling Isaac’s and write about them, raw and real and how they follow their dreams. Her book is titled ROCK NOTES.
Her ex-husband wants to come back, and she is torn with what she had for ten years with him which was safe, comforting and a committed relationship. And now she is falling hard for the band singer – Max Rand (Madison calls him Rand), who is several years younger than her and every moment with him is intense and unpredictable.
Rand has tragically lost love in his life. He has no love left to give. He fills his time with many groupies and late nights. The story travels you to various concert venues, from a sexy piercing party to a New Years rocking eve. There are many interruptions and assumptions for this couple along their journey.
While Madison is writing ROCK NOTES, somewhere along the way she begins to write LOVE NOTES, which are personal secret love letters for Rand. Also Rand is always writing music with the hope of creating his first solo album. Both Madison and Rand appear to be able to write their feelings on paper effortlessly but have a hard time conveying them to one another. This story is about being so broken inside from having your heart ripped apart, to attempting to rebuild trust, follow your dreams and hopefully find love.
Will she return to the warm awaiting arms of her ex-husband who still is in love with her? Or will there be a new beginning for Madison and Rand? Can these two empty souls feel love again? Or will what ignites between them simply fade away after the concert lights dim?
As our bodies joined as one, I felt more in that one moment than I have ever felt with anyone. I never wanted to leave your arms, your body, and our connection. I believe that you complete me, you were made for me. I struggled to keep my feelings at bay and not let you know but I am too emotionally involved with you and to know now that you are with me is beyond belief. Where we head from here together has unlimited paths. I know I will always have this need now to have you fulfill me as I know you can. I see you and just a glance across the room to you makes me want to have us running to the bedroom. Silently I ponder how to relay to you just how much Love I contain for you. Some days I feel like my heart is about to burst. Maddy xo
Madison and Rand’s love story continues as they move their relationship to a more passionate, intimate level…but again they are thrown some challenges. Will Madison and Rand be together and move forward or…backward? Read what comes their way to cause doubt in their minds. Just when everything is going fine, sometimes accidents occur.
Oh, God, something horrible has happened. I only remember parts of it and they seem like snapshots that were taken so quickly…I need to feel you near me. I need to reach out and touch you and let you know I love you. Rand, I never felt so in love as I do when I am with you. Maddy xo
“What the hell are you talking about Madison? You have me at a complete loss here?” Rand
Madison must fully trust Rand to commit herself to him forever in marriage. Rand must make her see and feel what she truly means to him. This story will pull at your heart and make you tear as you turn the pages that may finally reveal Madison’s handwritten LOVE NOTES.
Will they get their Happily Ever After?
How will Madison and Rand keep their love and music playing?
Music Notes (Book Three of the Heartbeat Series)
Just when life seems to be going smooth, Madison receives news that leaves her speechless. She’s a writer that for the moment cannot form her words. Rand now is the one to continue their story…his story.
Music Notes will take you on the tour with Max Rand as his first Solo Album – Simply Mad is launched. Will his travel for several months put distance in their relationship? Can their love survive?
Rand will travel through his own journey of self discovery along the way. Just when Rand is at a high point in his life, a collapse . . . will bring one of them down…Rand? Madison?
One person will offer the ultimate sacrifice. See the songs that Rand has written, and where his inspiration comes from.
Follow this novel and see how it plays out.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Once my eyes closed, my thoughts turned to Rand, lost soul, lost love, so similar to me but then on stage he was so confident and sure of himself and his place in the world. That confidence was something that I lacked. He attacked the stage and all his charm and stunning looks dissolved those that set their eyes or minds on him. My mind kept trailing over and over about him.
His deep blue eyes, his messy dark hair that just swept over his shoulder, his towering height, his hidden inks. I could think of nothing but him.
I tensed for a moment when I felt someone hovering over me. I felt a breath and caught the scent of Rand fresh from a shower. I was lying on my side and I slightly opened my eyes. I knew I was seeing him, not dreaming. I could see him getting closer and I shut my eyes, remaining so very still. He reached down, took his curved fingers down my cheek, so slowly and tenderly and then he leaned in and kissed me on the forehead. Trailing his mouth down from my forehead he placed a soft kiss on the side of my neck and then moved upward to the tip of my shoulder and he lightly bit at my cami strap. I was so completely shocked and although I wanted to reach around and tell him I was awake, I couldn’t move. I had hopes that in the darkness he didn’t see me see peak out at him moments earlier. He then whispered, “Night Madison” and he tugged off my boots and pulled a light blanket over me.
When the sun appeared in the bedroom I awoke all nervous, I got up and went to the bathroom. I had to search my purse for items to make myself presentable. It had only been about four hours that I slept. I gathered my boots and put my sweater back on and went downstairs to find Rand already wide awake and in the kitchen making us some breakfast.
“I’m starving,” he said looking at me like he was ready to devour me. “Madison what are you hungry for?”
He made me hesitate to answer him, I was definitely hungry for him. “I think I could eat something.” My stomach was excited and jumping inside just from seeing him so relaxed and cooking.
“Your phone has been vibrating all morning.”
“What’s vibrating?” I was too focused on his body and didn’t hear his words.
“Your phone, you left it on the steps last night with your computer.”
“Oh, okay that’s what was vibrating.” I was still watching his body in motion, and was thinking of how I would like him to make me stir. He caught me staring at him and I looked away and then I remembered I had silenced my phone during their practice and then powered it up when we walked over to the house. I had to pull myself together so I went to retrieve my phone and I looked at all the missed messages, they were from Jillian. I hollered back, “Rand, I just need a few minutes to check my messages.” I went into his main front room and dialed her back.
“Where the hell are you?” Jillian yelled. She was so worried that I hadn’t called her and she stopped by my place having her own key and I was no where to be found. It took some effort to calm her but I told her briefly what had happened since the concert.
“Jillian can you take me to Philly today to get my car? I don’t want to put Rand out anymore. I’ll just see if he can bring me back to my house.”
“I’ll agree only on one condition, I want every single detail, don’t leave anything out, I want all of them!” I had to put my hand over the phone as she said this. She was so loud and I hoped Rand did not hear any of this.
“Hey, I should go, I don’t want to be rude, he is making me breakfast,” I whispered to her.
“No I bet you’re his breakfast…but I’ll come get you at noon. You can tell me then how great this sexy man is.”
I didn’t get to comment, as she hung up too quickly. Rand flashed me a sexy smile when I returned to the kitchen, I wasn’t sure if he heard any of our conversation. I did look up at the high ceiling in his house and knew each word spoken echoed.
About the Author:
Author that has the passion for putting her pen and ideas to paper. A pure romance junkie and she loves to tell stories. She was an English Major of LaSalle University and always wanted to be a writer. In the past years her books titled – From the Vine (a collection of writings/poems) and Cody and the Pumpkin Truck (a Childrens’ Book) were published. She has also written many other children’s stories, lyrics, articles and wedding ceremonies. Currently she is deep into her Heartbeat Series of Contemporary Romance Novels which are titled – ROCK NOTES, LOVE NOTES, MUSIC NOTES, FIRST BEAT, FIRST BASS and FIRST TASTE.
Also coming soon The Crossing Series I, II and III of The Knot Hole, The Passage and The Muse.
Renee resides in Eagleville, PA. with her husband Michael, of many years and her two cats – Nyah and Cody. She has a great support system of Love from her family and friends.
Renee BELIEVES you should follow your DREAMS and that -
The HAPPIEST of people don’t have the best of everything,
they simply make the best of everything.
Renee loves to travel, especially to St. Martin – Netherland Antilles. She enjoys meeting new people to inspire her and she will always write down a person’s name that is unique to use as a potential character in her future writings.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding an autographed print copy of Ignifer’s Rise to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Katniss Everdeen showed us young women can fight. Twilight showed us young women can make their own epic, life-altering decisions. Divergent is showing us young women can change the fate of the world. And Harry Potter showed us boy-wizards, and of course also girl-wizards, can always get by with a little help from their friends.
What do these trends tell us? Does it matter?
To me, this is the modern state of Young Adult literature, and it matters a great deal. Stories are our culture, they inculcate our values, and have the greatest impact on the young. And these current trends in YA, all about empowerment, choice, self-respect and individuality through community, are working wonders in young minds. They are reaching out toward younger ages and toward groups perhaps not typically associated with power, choice, and individuality- all still recovering victims of the age-old mantra:
Children are to be seen, not heard.
Yah boo sucks to that!
This has got to be a good thing. It reflects changes in society, and I- an author, a reader – wholeheartedly salute it. That younger people are having input in what their culture has to say about them, to them, is fascinating, because it seems they’re choosing so wisely. It’s not for nothing that there’s been a rash of Disney/Pixar movies of late that put empowering female relationships at the very fore:
These stories tell all of us, me included, a 34-year old man, how important all manner of relationships in everyone’s life can be, not only one’s relationship to a man (or woman). Self-determination, YEAH!
I read Ender’s Game growing up, and loved it. I read a lot of heroic fantasy from the likes of David Gemmell, Dragonlance, David Eddings, Tolkien. Most of these were about adults, most were about men, all were about heroes and about what being a hero really means. Most of all though, Ender’s Game struck a strong chord with me.
Here was a boy with only his wits, smaller and weaker than everyone else, and through resourcefulness, cunning, and genius he rises up, all the while maintaining a near-infallible morality.
Man, that is a hero! I wanted to BE Ender Wiggin. And if I couldn’t BE him, I wanted to be like him. I really believe all young people reading, watching, enjoying this current rash of movies feels the same way. They’ll want to love their sister like Anna loves hers in Frozen, love their mother like the girl in Brave does, save those they love like Katniss in the Hunger Games.
As a writer, I wanted to tap into that feeling, and try and put out my own story of empowerment. My book, Ignifer’s Rise, is about an orphan boy whose own mother carved him with a thousand scars before she died. This seems like the most horrible abuse, but still he loves her memory, and still he strives to rise above it.
When he meets five wild children off the streets of his brutal city, each at turns manipulative, murderous, depressed, furious, aloof and disengaged, he seeks to understand why. What made them that way, what broke them, and can he help to fix it?
He wants to be good, and help others. In many ways this boy, his name is Sen, is like Ender: he’s resourceful. The five children that surround him, a girl who is far tougher and more street-wise than he’ll ever be, a boy made of rock who laments the slow calcification of his body and mind, face challenges he can’t always understand.
But together they try, just like Harry Potter and his odd-ball crew. And young women play a central role. The streetwise girl, Mare, is tougher than Katniss any day. But she’s also vulnerable in other ways. As a team, they strive to overcome.
In the book, what they have to overcome is the rise of an apocalypse god, coming for Sen and the world. Like the game for Ender, this is a crucible that tests them all. It gives them all a chance to shine, and show what they’re truly made of. I hope, for some readers at least, that they might be a shining example, like those stories were for me when I was a kid.
I also hope they enjoy it. It’s about heroes and heroines of all stripes, and heck we all need more of those in our lives.
The fate of the world is written in scars. In a bleak industrial city where marks in skin are a sentence to death, Sen is a child condemned. Cursed with mysterious scars carved by his own mother’s hand, he leads a fearful hidden life in the city’s last abbey.
Then the King’s brutal Adjunc attack, and Sen barely escapes with his life. Lost and alone in the city’s dark hinterlands, he begins an exhilarating race to find the truth behind his scars. In stinking black sewers and the lava-buried ruins of an ancient civilization, he uncovers a truth far stranger than he ever imagined, laid out by his long-dead mother: an apocalypse god is rising, and only the legendary hero Saint Ignifer can stop it.
But Saint Ignifer is dead.
Revolution rocks the city. The blood of all castes runs in the streets. With a storm of new faith raging out from the barricades, Sen must embrace the terrible fate his mother wrote in his scars- in the volcano’s caldera, at the end of the world- before the black jaws of the apocalypse descend. For the Rot is coming, and the Saint must rise.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Sen bolted into action.
His shoulder took the Spindle in the gut before he even knew he was moving. It drove a grunt from the taller boy and knocked him from his feet, sending them both tumbling across the dry spring grass. More images sparked through Sen’s mind, hands stretching through a fence that were his father’s hands, but not, a long and shameful walk led by bloodless Molemen, an overwhelming anger rising up.
Sen fought the images back even as he scrabbled in the grass, reaching instinctively for the weapon. He’d never fought before, but while the Spindle wheezed from the blow he managed to grasp the hard metal tool, wet with blood, and pried it away with both hands. Then the Spindle’s elbow found the back of his head.
It drove Sen face-first into the grass, head spinning. He felt the weapon snatched back out of his hand and rolled away, expecting another blow to fall, but none came. Looking up he saw the Spindle running away back down the path for the gates.
Sen lurched up, catching a glimpse of Sister Henderson closing in. There was no time. He started after the Spindle at a ragged sprint, down through the trail of white chalk dust the boy had left. His vision was blurry from the blow to the head, the world was turning, and his mind reeled from the strange images and anger, but he could still just pick the taller boy out. He was nearly at the gate, and all Sen wanted to do was hurt him. He pumped his elbows hard, thumped his feet down on the chalk, and reached the gates just as the Spindle was about to straddle the top.
He leapt, snagged the boy’s ankle with one hand, and wrenched him off the metal. The boy windmilled down with a thud into the chalk, and Sen threw himself on top, batting away the Spindle’s efforts to lash out, throwing his own wild fists at the boy’s long thin face.
About the Author: Michael John Grist is a 34-year old British writer and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He writes dark and surreal science fiction and fantasy, inspired by authors such as David Gemmell and Orson Scott Card.
In his free time he explores and photographs abandoned places around the world, such as ruined theme parks, military bases, underground bunkers, and ghost towns. These explores have drawn millions of visitors to his website: MichaelJohnGrist.com, and often provide inspiration for his fiction.
Welcome to Carina Axelsson, who will be giving away a print copy of her debut US release Model Undercover-Paris. (US/Canada only)
I’m still completely hooked on detective novels, and read as many as I can, alternating between rereading lovely old classics like Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, to brand new offerings. Right now I’m really looking forward to (finally!) reading J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm.
As for the strong fashion element in the Model Undercover book series…well, I certainly never thought I’d be writing about the fashion world – even if it is a world I know well!
I was living in Paris, France, doing a stint as personal assistant to fashion designer John Galliano (who at the time was designing for Christian Dior), when I wrote my first notes about a girl detective who solves fashion mysteries. No doubt the chaos and color, not to mention the outsized characters I met, all conspired to influence me!
Prior to this, I’d worked as a fashion model for many years, so I had plenty of personal experiences to draw on when it came time to create a believable world for my sassy fashion detective!
Furthermore, I’ve been lucky enough to live and work for many years in beautiful Paris, so it came naturally to me to place the first Model Undercover mystery in this dazzling European capital I know so well.
So is it fun to write mysteries?
Absolutely! I love it!
And what about writing fashion mysteries?
It’s been a blast to be able to recycle and use so many of my fashion memories. It’s as if I spent all those years in the fashion world just to write this series!
Thank you, Long and Short Reviews, for this chance to tell readers a bit about the background of my debut teen series!
Axelle Andersen wants nothing more than to be a teen-sleuth despite the influence of her pushy fashionista aunt,Venetia. So when top fashion designer Belle La Lune goes missing, and Aunt Venetia becomes a prime suspect, Axelle must go undercover as a model during Paris Fashion Week to uncover the truth behind Belle’s disappearance and clear her aunt’s name. She’s thrust into a frenetic world of castings, photo shoots, and sequins, while struggling to fit in and track down clues. Can Axelle solve a kidnapping and survive the world of fashion?
About the Author Carina Axelsson is a writer, illustrator, and former model. She grew up in California with her Swedish father and Mexican mother. After high school, Carina moved to New York City to model, then on to Paris where she published her first book. She currently lives in in the forests of Germany with four dogs and a very large aquarium full of fish.
Ten Things You Might Not Know About Us by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks – Guest Blog and Giveaway
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anne and Kenneth will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops on the tour.
2. Our family is very important to us. We have three children whom we adore and of whom we are very proud. Our eldest son is an actor who also conducts tours in Manhattan and Brooklyn. His younger brother is a teacher of high school English and drama in the New York City public schools, and also writes and directs plays. Their even younger sister is a tutor for many high-end tutoring companies and is an actress and singer. Did we mention how proud we are of them?
3. Ken has been a lawyer for almost forty years in New York City. Anne was an editor and since then a full-time mom. Both Anne and Ken never stopped writing. Ken would do his in fits and snatches on weekend mornings, and Anne found time here and there and anywhere during the week. The experiences both have gained from being parents, as well as while working in publishing (she), and in law (he), have found their way into the novels.
4. We have lived in New York City for over forty years. We have enjoyed the museums, theatre, opera, orchestras, movies and restaurants, and all the rest that New York has to offer. It is a fascinating place where we can walk around the same neighborhood again and again and always count on seeing something different. Kate and the Kid is set in New York City, and much of the action occurs in Central Park and the various playgrounds nearby in which we spent a lot of time with our own children. New York plays a big part in three of our other books, including Mind Me, Milady (a mystery/suspense novel), Things Are Not What They Seem (a ‘tween suspense/fantasy story), and Praise Her, Praise Diana (a suspense novel). An intimate knowledge of this complex place helps us to ground the plot incidents.
5. Cape Cod is a favorite spot of ours. For several years we went to Wellfleet, which is one of the prettiest towns anywhere. During the last few years we have moved north on the Cape to Truro and rented a house in the dunes that is wonderfully peaceful and beautiful and that allows us to hear the surf every night before we drift off to sleep. We have read our books for children at the Truro and Eastham libraries and also displayed photographs of local picture stones there.
6. Even though there are loads of restaurants of all kinds in New York, we enjoy cooking and have tried with varying degrees of success to imitate the variety of styles that we enjoy – Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, North African and Middle Eastern.
7. We go to the gym three mornings a week together, usually arriving at 6:00 a.m.. Anne supplements the gym time with yoga and aerobics classes. Ken likes to play tennis whenever he can. We also enjoy many long walks through the City’s various neighborhoods and take in all the arts that we can. Never a dull moment!
8. Photography is a major interest of ours. While on the beaches of Cape Cod we looked closely at stones and saw that many had beautiful miniature pictures on them, which we photographed and put together in a book that is available on the iBookstore. We also have published a book containing images of hearts that we have photographed on the streets and sidewalks of New York City and which is similarly available on the iBook store. Examples of these and other photographs can be seen on our Pinterest page.
9. We have used photography and the wonders of Photoshop to illustrate a book for children called Stone Faces, which is about a young girl, Alice, whose parents are getting a divorce. Alice is feeling lonely and depressed until she finds a stone on the beach at Cape Cod that begins to talk to her and becomes her friend. Through a series of adventures she starts to come to terms with the divorce.
We have also planned a picture book called Country Mouse, which has images from the sidewalks of New York City and another book called Splotch!, which will rely more on text with some pictures appearing as necessary throughout.
10. We are also interested in the history of New York City, and in our novel Mind Me, Milady, one of the main characters, Susan, seems to be remembering an earlier life when she was an indentured servant at the time of the Battle of Manhattan during the Revolutionary War. McGown’s Pass, in the northern section of Central Park, is the site of a culminating scene in this book.
KATE AND THE KID is about a young woman (Kate) who has just lost her job and had a major fight with her boyfriend (also arising from the trauma of being fired). At this very low point in her life, Kate is tricked into taking care of a sweet but emotionally damaged six-year-old girl (Jenny) who only communicates with adults through a doll she calls “Miranda.” As a result of an eventful night of babysitting, Kate begins to bond with Jenny, which causes a whole new set of complications with the people in Kate’s and Jenny’s lives. This book tells the story of how Kate and Jenny help each other to heal, grow, and navigate the difficult and sometimes dangerous world of New York City.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Like any kid sleeping in an unfamiliar place, Jenny was up at first light. She crept into the living room and sat cross-legged within a few inches of Kate’s sleeping form. When Kate stirred, Miranda’s plastic face was pressed gently against her cheek.
“Hi, Katy!” Miranda said in her high-pitched voice.
“Hi, Miranda!” Kate replied in the deepest basso tones she could manage without harming her vocal chords.
Jenny giggled. Miranda danced with delight on the mattress.
“Say it again!”
Kate sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed.
“Hi, Miranda! Wasamatta?”
Jenny giggled harder than before, but Kate noticed that Jenny had changed her clothes again. Her pink shirt had a bright yellow flower on it, which matched smaller yellow flowers on her pink shorts. Miranda wore a new matching outfit also, yellow with a touch of pink.
“Girls,” Kate said very seriously now. “You didn’t go out on the fire escape again, did you?” The answer was obvious, both from the downcast look on Jenny’s face and from the fact that Miranda also turned away in apparent shame. “Please, no more walking on the fire escape? Okay? Please? Will you promise me that?”
“Yes, Katy,” Miranda said sweetly. “And Jenny promises too.”
About the Author: Anne Rothman-Hicks was born in New York City and, except for a brief exile to the suburbs imposed by her parents, she has lived there all of her life, the latter part of which she has shared with her co-author, Kenneth Hicks, and their three children.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $25 Amazon or BN GC and a runner up will receive a digital copy of the novel.
It’s no surprise that my latest novel, That You Are Here, is a love story. All of my novels are love stories in one way or another. My most popular novels, The Loving Husband Trilogy, is a paranormal story about eternal love. The surprise might be that That You Are Here is a completely present-day story set in one of my favorite places, Portland, Oregon, when I’m most known for historical fiction. Or, the surprise for That You Are Here might be that the romantic leads are both men. Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce have quite a journey to travel together, and I hope they are a couple readers cheer for. Andrew and Mark are very much in love but Andrew has to learn to accept himself if he can ever fully commit to Mark. It’s about Andrew’s journey to himself, as well as his journey to Mark. While it is about two men, I think the larger theme of learning to feel comfortable in your own skin is one that everyone can relate to in one way or another.
I happened to be visiting my cousin in Portland, Oregon (surprise) when the announcement of the Supreme Court decision overturning DOMA was made. The idea for That You Are Here occurred to me shortly afterward in some random daydream. On the outside, I don’t have much in common with Andrew and Mark since I am most definitely not a gay man. I’m not even a gay woman for that matter, but I believe that people who are in love should be able to get married, and suddenly I saw the characters from the story, Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce, so strongly, like they were standing in front of me. I had the idea for the story from beginning to end in a matter of days, and in November I wrote the first draft as the challenge for National Novel Writing Month. I had 62,000 words written in 30 days, which is super fast for me. My main goal wasn’t to write a gay story exactly, but rather to write a love story, a story about learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, which is one anyone can relate to, gay or straight. And Andrew’s story about having a secret to hide is one that a lot of people can also relate to. Andrew has to learn that he’s okay the way he is, again, a lesson that everyone needs to learn in one way or another.
That You Are Here is a present-day story when I’m most known for historical fiction, but everything I write is about people who are outsiders or different from the general society somehow. James Wentworth in the Loving Husband Trilogy struggles as a supernatural being (a vampire) in a human world. In Victory Garden, Rose Scofield struggles as a woman who wants to live on her own terms during a time (1917-1922) when women were fighting for their rights. In That You Are Here, Andrew Whittaker and Mark Bryce must make sense of what it means to be a gay man in the 21st century. Great progress has been made, certainly, but there is still prejudice to overcome. It’s a story about learning to feel comfortable in your own skin, which is something nearly everyone has to deal with in one way or another. I’m not gay so I haven’t had to hide a secret the way Andrew does in the story, but I understand Andrew’s struggle to make sense of his place in the world. I feel very lucky that That You Are Here is my highest rated novel on both Amazon and Goodreads, and I’m glad that readers have been able to relate to the universal aspect of the story.
On the outside, handsome, successful attorney Andrew Whittaker has everything in life. On the inside, he has everything too, only he doesn’t know it. He hides the love of his life, Mark Bryce, from his family and everyone else where he lives in Portland, Oregon. Soon the weight of the secret becomes too much for Andrew. After wrestling with himself and his place in the world, he must decide how he’s going to live—with or without Mark.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Andrew’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He put his lunch bag on the counter, nodding at the message from Lisa Bloom, his secretary. He scanned his e-mails and grimaced at the phone. “I have to go.” He left at a sprint through the kitchen door to his silver Mercedes in the attached one-car garage. He didn’t even like the car, but that’s what the senior partners at his firm drove, so that’s what he drove too. Andrew opened the garage door, got into the driver’s seat, slid the key into the ignition, started the car, and jumped at the knock on his window. He shrugged sheepishly, opened the window, and took his lunch bag.
“Sorry,” he said. “I’m a little distracted today.”
“Today?” A sigh. “That car is such a gas guzzler. You need a hybrid. This is Portland. You’re supposed to be green.”
“Kermit the Frog green?”
“Any kind of green you want to be.”
Andrew looked at the person watching him with such open-hearted love in those soft gold-brown eyes.
“Mark?” Andrew said.
Mark Bryce leaned his head through the open window and kissed Andrew’s cheek. “Anything for you, beautiful boy.”
When Andrew stopped at the red light on Bancroft Street he felt his phone vibrate. He pulled his phone from his pocket, saw the screen and cringed, peering at the nearby drivers as though they were reporting his every move to some great eye in the sky. The text was from Mark.
Stop looking at your phone!
About the Author:Meredith Allard is the author of The Loving Husband Trilogy, That You Are Here, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, The Maxwell Digest, Wild Mind, Muse Apprentice Guild, Writer’s Weekly, Moondance, CarbLite, and ViewsHound. She has taught writing to students aged ten to sixty, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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To celebrate the launch of What’s his Passion? Totally Bound Publishing are giving away a bundle of great prizes. Enter for your chance to win here:
1. We’re here today with legendary rock music idol and former lead singer of the alternative rock band, Falling in Stereo. Thanks for sitting down with us today. How does it feel to be getting back out there on the scene after so long?
AK: Great man, really great. But, legendary? I don’t know about that. Plus, it makes me sound really old. (chuckles)
2. Hardly, you look great, and the word on the street is you sound better than ever. When can we expect to get a preview of the new songs?
AK: Soon, I hope. I’m still in the studio, but my manager is trying to work out something where I can do a few gigs unplugged, get a chance to show off a few of the new babies.
3. Right on. I know everyone’ll be looking forward to that, myself included. So, you’ve been out of the loop for almost ten years. What made you decide to come back after so long?
AK: The music. That’s the only reason. When I left it was because I needed to step back for a while, remember what really matters. All the other bullshit, the fame, the money, it’s not what counts. I love my fans and back then, well, I wasn’t being honest with them. I’d lost my hunger and the tunes were becoming more and more lifeless, bland. I couldn’t do it anymore.
4. You mentioned not being honest. Would that have anything to do with the rumors that have always circulated about your sexuality?
AK: I’ve never understood why my sexual orientation should be of any interest. The music is what matters. The rest is yet more bullshit.
5. Right, but you have to admit that a lot of what you write about in your songs is incredibly personal, revealing. You’ve never been linked to anyone of any gender. You don’t think that people would be curious about that aspect of your life?
AK: Look, I do reveal a lot in my songs, a lot of personal shit. But those are my feelings, my thoughts. They have nothing to do with anyone else.
6. Yet you write a lot of love songs, or should I say, songs of lost love. Those lyrics have to be inspired by things in your own life. Why don’t you want to share that with your fans?
AK: I share my soul with my fans. It doesn’t matter who I do or don’t love, or who that person is.
7. Okay, how about this? Is there anyone special right now?
AK: I hold out hope that someday there will be, I guess I’m a sucker for love. Like you said, it’s a recurring theme in my songs. But it would take someone incredibly unique and special to put up with me. I can get lost in myself for days when I’m creating. I tend to talk about nothing but music around the clock. That can be pretty fucking annoying to a partner that isn’t as turned on to rock ‘n’ roll the way I am.
8. Final question. We’ve heard that you plan on putting out a memoir, getting someone to help you with that. Any hints on who that might be?
AK: Sorry, but the deal hasn’t been finalized yet so I can’t give out any details. But I will say that I’d be the luckiest man alive if I get who I want.
9. If I know you Aubrey, you’ll get what you want. You always do. Thanks again for being here with us.
The chance of a lifetime and the touch of a rock god are offered to music journalist Bryan Gallagher on the same day. Embracing one is easy, but resisting the other is harder than he’d anticipated—especially since Bryan has never been with a man.
It could be his dream assignment. Aubrey King, the legendary god of alternative rock music, has requested to meet with journalist and writer Bryan about penning the star’s memoir. Aubrey and his dark, angsty songs are the reason Bryan was inspired to become a leading rock journalist. His obsession for his career has alienated the women in his life, but Bryan doesn’t care. What really matters to him is the music.
Aubrey King has been out of the music scene for almost ten years—ever since his alternative rock band, Falling in Stereo, broke up. Questions about his sexual preferences have always surrounded him, and now that he’s ready to make a solo comeback, he wants to tell his story, his way. He’s followed journalist Bryan Gallagher’s career for a while and believes that Bryan’s obvious passion for music mirrors his own. He loves his writing style, but is also enraptured by the boyishly handsome writer.
Brian finds pushing his fanboy nervousness aside is difficult when Aubrey finally stands before him. He’s amazed at how little Aubrey has changed—his intense gaze, his unique style and his still youthful looks epitomise the star he’s always been. But Aubrey’s vulnerability when he sings and shares the deeply personal lyrics of a new song triggers something in Bryan that he never knew was there. The need to give himself to Aubrey, to let the rock god do to him what he’s never before desired a man to do.
Buy Rockin’ the Alternative at the publishers.
About the Author: Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale, with MM and MMF pairings. Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.
When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to her family in England and Scotland when she was a child.
She is currently working on a new historical MM series, as well as a steampunk horror and sci-fi ménage.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher.
Rochelle has shared with us five questions she wishes she had been asked in interviews:
1. How did you come up with the plot for the first novel you attempted to write? How long did it take for you to complete it? If or when was it published?
2. You wrote a prequel for one family series and it was very well received. Will you ever write another prequel?
3. Why do you think it took so long for romance novels featuring African-Americans as lead characters to be accepted by publishers?
4. You’ve published many more romance titles than women’s fiction. Which do you prefer? And where do you see your writing career five years from now?
5. Of all of your published titles, which rank as your Top 5 favorite? Why?
After a painful divorce and failed acting career, Francine Tanner packs her things and moves back to her hometown of Sanctuary Cove. There, she will join her mother in the family business as a hairstylist at the Beauty Box. Putting her LA dreams behind her, all Francine wants is to focus on rebuilding her life.
Keaton Grace is an independent film writer and director looking for a great place to open his own studio. After happening upon the small-town, he buys an abandoned building and surrounding lands to start his company. But he doesn’t expect to bump into the beautiful Francine Tanner when he walks into the Beauty Box for a haircut and shave. Remembering her from a performance years ago in an off-Broadway show, he knows exactly what role she will play in his life.
Sparks fly between the two until Keaton reveals his plan-he wants Francine to star in his upcoming film. Tortured by her Hollywood past, she refuses to have anything to do with the film, even if it means letting go of their budding romance.
About Rochelle Alers
Bestselling author, Rochelle Alers has nearly two million copies of her novels in print. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold Pen Award, the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award.
Today, our reviewer, Thornapple, has offered up her “Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From”. Welcome, Thornapple!
Thanks for having me! When I signed on to do this post, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who would make my top ten list. One thing I should explain is that I collect vintage paperbacks. So, I have some large collections of some of my all time favorite authors. I couldn’t decide if I should leave those out or include them. I decided to add a few of the collections but mostly these are authors I have on my kindle or have saved my favorite books by them. Some the authors that made the list was surprising to me. I had no idea I had that many books by some of these authors.
So, without further ado: Starting at number ten…
10) Martha Grimes. I have the entire Richard Jury Series!
09) Barbara Michaels. ( aka Elizabeth Peters) I have a huge Gothic collection and Barbara was one of the best, I also have a large collection of her Amelia Peabody novels written under the Elizabeth Peters name
08) Dick Francis. One of my favorite British Mystery Series. I don’t have all of his work, but I have most of them.
07) Christina Dodd. Now this was a surprise. Christiana has written quite a few historical romances, as well as paranormal and romantic suspense. I have saved quite a few of her historical novels. I do not have the infamous 3 armed cover–check that out-it’s legendary.
06) Stephen King. Okay, no surprises there except that I guess I haven’t actually saved many of his books.
05) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is a collection and I’m still working on it, but I have quite a number of Sherlock Holmes books, some are in a very nice collectors volume my son got me for Christmas one year.
04) Julia Quinn. Another head scratcher. I didn’t know I had kept so many of these. Julia is, along with Eloisa James one of my favorite regency period authors.
03) Sherrilyn Kenyon. If you have not read Sherrilyn Kenyon you might not get it. But, trust me when I say this is one popular author. If you manage to keep all the books she has written and try really hard to keep them in mint condition, you might have a small fortune on your hands. One of the best in Paranormal Romance.
02) Rex Stout. Sort of a surprise to me. I have collected Nero Wolfe novels for awhile, but I has no idea my collection was so large. I am really pleased to see I had so many because unless you want to pay a fortune for them on Ebay, they are really hard to find.
And the winner is…Drumroll please… A tie!! I know, what a rip off. However I have to be honest and this may be a little anti climatic, and no surprise to most…
01) Nora Roberts/ J.D. Robb. I have nearly all of the Eve Dallas “In Death” series and many, many, many Nora Roberts novels. I have collected the older Nora Roberts and still have quite a few of her paperbacks but I mostly have these in digital because I love her stories but simply do not have room for a collection of her books. Nora is the queen of romance–she can write anything: contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, and even science fiction.
So, there you have it folks- the strangest top ten list in history!! What’s on your bookshelf?