Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Guest Post: DEALING WITH STRESS with Kat Martin



After several decades of writing, I’ve learned to accept the ups and downs of the business.  Mostly

Unfortunately, with every book published, a new set of problems seem to arise.  Each time I’m certain my current release is going to go smoothly, but it never has. 

When a publisher decides you have enough people who enjoy reading your novels more than once, who want to keep your books on their personal bookshelves, it’s time for your novel to come out in hardcover.  For an author, it’s beyond exciting. 

It is also terrifying.

What if no one wants to pay the price of my hardcover novel?  What if my readers can’t afford it?  In my case, fortunately, the publisher is keeping the price as reasonable as possible.  The cover price is listed as $24.99 but currently it’s available for $16.50 pre-order at Amazon, possibly less in some of the big box stores like Walmart after it’s on the shelves.

Before the hardcover decision was made on THE CONSPIRACY, the publisher assured me the process would go smoothly.  Lots of promotion.  Lots of information about the book out to readers. 
NOT.  How about three different covers, then a change of title and starting all over?  Reviewers got the right book with the wrong title.  The wrong cover and title went up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and God knows where else.

Heart failure for an author, that’s for sure.  By the way, if you see UNTIL MIDNIGHT somewhere on the internet, it’s actually THE CONSPIRACY.  That’s the book you’ll see on the stands.

I’m happy to say that those problems have all finally been corrected and my stress level had returned to semi-normal.  Mostly.

In the novel, Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared.  Pursuing his dream of sailing the Caribbean, Michael hasn’t responded to texts or emails in days.  When even the Coast Guard can’t find him, Harper is forced to take desperate measures.  Which means going to Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend, now the only man she can trust...or so she hopes.

As a private detective and the owner of Maximum Security, a highly successful Dallas security firm, the last thing Chase wants is to get involved in the Winstons’ snarled crime family.  But old loyalties die hard. 

As the case draws him closer to Harper and deeper into trouble, Chase is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe--and both of them alive.

I hope you’ll watch for THE CONSPIRACY and that you enjoy it.  Till next time, all best and happy reading, Kat


 About the book:

THE CONSPIRACY

Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared.  Desperate, Harper turns to P.I. and owner of Maximum Security, Chase Garrett. But dealing with the Winston crime family won’t be easy. Time is running out. Chase must keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.

When family ambition turns deadly Chase Garrett must keep Harper safe and both of them alive.

Excerpt:
The Conspiracy, by Kat Martin
EXCERPT 4 of 5
The sounds of the rainforest surrounded him, the hum of insects, the shrill cry of a monkey, and the rustle of leaves as a wild animal moved through the undergrowth not far away. 
In the blackness of night, Michael Winston leaned back against the thick trunk of an eighty foot Kapok rising up from the damp, mossy floor of the rainforest.  His wrists burned from the plastic ties biding his hands behind his back.  The white Bermuda shorts his captors had allowed him to put on when they had boarded BUZZ Word and found him sleeping naked next to Pia in the master cabin were gone.  Replaced by khaki fatigues more suitable for their trek into the jungle.
Huddled on the ground beside him, hands also bound, Pia rested her head on his shoulder, her long mahogany hair teasing his cheek.  She was petite, no more than five-foot-three, with big brown eyes and smooth olive skin.  Even with her makeup gone, her baggy fatigues damp from the afternoon rain and sticking to her lush curves, she was beautiful.  
Every time he looked at her, guilt and fury washed over him.  Fury that he was helpless to protect her from what might be in store for them.  Guilt that if he hadn't convinced her to go sailing with him she would be safe back in Aruba. 
He could only pray that their captors would continue to obey whatever orders had apparently come down from their leader, which seemed to be not to hurt them. 
At least no more than they had already happened during the fight to subdue them that night on the boat.  His jaw and cheek were bruised and his ribs acted from the blows he had taken.  He would have kept fighting if one of the men hadn't pulled a gun and pressed it against Pia's head. 
That had been days ago.  What day was it now?  He tried to count backward, remembered making incredible love to Pia for the first time after a night of gambling at the Trade Winds Casino.  Both of them had won a little money, enough to have them smiling when they returned to the boat and ended up in bed. 
He remembered Pia falling asleep in his arms.  Remembered the deep, satisfied sleep he'd drifted into himself, a rarity with the heavy work schedule he'd been under. 
Sometime later that night, two men, big, burly and tough, had boarded the yacht and taken control, forcing him to sail out of the marina into the open sea.  For the next two days, Michael had been certain the men's intention was to pirate the yacht, kill them and dump their bodies in the ocean.
If it hadn't been for Pia, he would have made an attempt to overpower his captors, but the men were heavily armed and well-trained, and he wasn't willing to risk Pia's life unless there was absolutely no other choice.
Eventually, the boat had sailed into a quiet cove on a deserted stretch of beach several hundred miles from Curacao.  If his mental calculations were correct, they'd arrived somewhere in Colombia.
They'd been imprisoned two more days before soldiers had arrived to take charge of them.  By then, Michael had been certain the motive was ransom, a demand for millions from his mega-rich father in return for his son's release.  But he was no longer sure.
Not since the soldiers had forced him and Pia to begin this grueling trek into the rainforest that covered the steep sides of the mountains.  They had hiked all day in ill-fitting boots provided by their captors that rubbed blisters on their feet. 
At dusk the soldiers had stopped the march and begun making camp.  Exhausted, Michael had slumped against the tree and Pia had eased down beside him.  He had no idea how long they'd sat there while the men ate and drank between raucous bursts of laughter.
They'd been brought water and a little food, which they'd been released just long enough to eat, given a bathroom break, then been tied up again and left beneath the tree. 
Equally as wet, numb and cold as he was, Pia shifted and raised her head to look at him.  "How many more days, do you think, till we reach wherever they're taking us?"
They hadn't arrived at their final destination--he was sure of that.  "I heard some of them talking.  My Spanish sucks, but I was able to make out some of what they said.  If I got it right, they're planning to reach the main camp by tomorrow night." 
Which meant another long day of hiking through the harsh, wet, mountainous tropical landscape.  Pia spoke far better Spanish than he did, but she'd been careful not to let them know.  She was extremely smart, which was one of the reasons he'd been attracted to her in the first place.  Not to mention her beautiful face and fantastic figure. 
"Do you think they've sent word to your father?"
He had told her his ransom theory mostly to keep her spirits up, told her his father was worth millions of dollars and that he would surely pay for the safe return of his only son and the girl who was with him. 
Though Michael had never been able to live up to his father's expectations and they rarely spoke these days, it didn't change the fact they were blood.  His father would pay the ransom demand and Pia would be part of the bargain--Michael wasn't leaving without her.
"They've probably sent word by now," he said.  "They'll want to be paid in cash.  It might take my father a while to get the money together and get it down here."
And his sister would be looking for them, he was sure of that.  He hadn't called her in days, as she had made him promise to do.  Harper would know something was wrong and she would be doing her best to find him.

Purchase Links

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Kat Martin Bio


New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, BEYOND CONTROL, hit both big lists … NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST as well as the USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS LIST. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

KAT'S WEBSITE
CONTEST LINKS
To CELEBRATE the release of THE CONSPIRACY, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of INTO THE FURYINTO THE WHIRLWIND and INTO THE FIRESTORM. Contest runs from Jan 1, 2019 through Feb 28, 2019.  

For January, Kat Martin is giving away a signed hardcover edition of Book 3 in the AGAINST series, AGAINST THE SUN to celebrate the release of THE CONSPIRACY on Jan 22nd. NOTE: THE CONSPIRACY is not part of the prize.
SOCIAL MEDIA
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39929060-the-conspiracy?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Promo: MAYBE EVER AFTER by CASSIE GRAHAM

Release Tour for MAYBE EVER AFTER by Cassie Graham


Maybe it’ll never happen, or maybe they’ll get their ever after all in MAYBE EVER AFTER by Cassie Graham. Brynn Darling has been in love with her best friend, Easton Cole, for a while now, but after many failed attempts at finding love, she’s ready to move on. When Brynn begins seeing a guy who threatens everything Easton’s ever wanted, all bets are off. Fans of playful, friends-to-lovers romance will devour this angsty yet nerdy story about what happens when you fall in love with your best friend.

Title: Maybe Ever After
Author: Cassie Graham
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Publisher: Self-published
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

No one tells you what happens when you fall in love with your best friend.
They don’t tell you it’s like waiting for the answer to a question no one can hear you ask.

Meet Brynn Darling. Successful event coordinator. Celebrity friends. At the top of her game. But after many failed attempts at finding love, and a realization that her best friend is clueless, she’s ready to move on.

Easton Cole has been in the friend zone since . . . well, forever. He fills the void with unimportant people and never gets attached. That is until Brynn begins seeing a guy who threatens everything he’s ever wanted.

All bets are off.

Maybe it’ll never happen.
Maybe she’ll fall in love.
Maybe they’ll get their ever after . . . after all.
Add to Goodreads http://bit.ly/2OIx8du
Available on Amazon and FREE in Kindle Unlimited.


Excerpt
Copyright © 2018 Cassie Graham

Real moments were scarce.
            Wait, let me rephrase. Important moments were scarce. You know the ones. The ones that defined your life and shaped you into who you were always meant to be. Or who you always wanted to be.
            That was the beauty of rarity. It forces you to look at your life from new angles – makes you appreciate the struggle you’ve endured before.
            As I caught my breath, the delicious heaviness of Easton on me, I knew I was having one of those rare moments that would forever influence my life.
            Easton pushed my hair back, his touch featherlight. I couldn’t understand how he could be so forceful – so strong – one minute, taking everything he could, and then so soft the next. Easton Cole was an enigma and I desperately wanted to know more.
“My sweet Brynn,” he whispered in my ear, again and it sent shivers through my body.
was his.
When he looked at me like that . . . I couldn’t breathe.
He settled between my legs and I hummed with contentment, happy to have him close, comfortable enough to never let him leave.
  The alarm on his phone began to ring and our reality smacked me in the face. “What happens next?” I asked in a small voice, feeling even smaller. I didn’t want to leave this room. I didn’t want to pop our bubble. I liked it.
Easton reached for his phone and silenced it. “We go home.”
I blinked, unable to say anything. He didn’t answer my question. Not really. His response was far too literal for my taste, but what was I to do?
So, instead, I kept quiet, watching the sun pour into our room, Easton’s skin turning a beautiful bronze color.
After a while, we broke apart, each of us getting dressed in silence. He stole sweet glances as I piled my hair onto my head and I snuck a few peaks as he brushed and styled his hair in front of the mirror.
Euphoric and sad, I teetered on the brink of begging him to stay here forever. I had no idea what kind of future we faced on the other side of the hotel door.
But my mother’s words rang in my ears, reminding me to take it slow.
Live in the moment, darlin’ girl. Don’t forget to exist in the present while you’re waiting for the future.
Once our things were packed and ready to go, I took a moment to look around the room – our safe haven where so many truths were shared.
I’d forever remember this hotel and the way the room smelled. The way the sheets felt against my skin and the sounds Easton made in my ear as we made love.
I’d remember all of it.
But what I’ll remember most is the way Easton looked at me and the way he made me feel without using any words at all.


Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card plus five will win a Cassie Graham backlist eBook!


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About Cassie:

A Moscato aficionado, and chocolate mistress, Cassie Graham is a born and raised Arizona girl. Her sass knows no bounds and almost always has something kind to say, no matter the situation. She runs a platform of love and strives to bring those attributes out in every book she writes.

She started writing early in her high school career after an English teacher forced her to write in a journal. Four years and thirty-something notebooks full of words later, she found her passion. If Cassie isn't shoulder-deep in writing a version of a fairytale, you can find her front porch sitting with her husband and daughter, eating all the bread, gossiping with her best friends, visiting Disneyland, supporting strong women, listening to cheesy music and reading great books by amazing people. She loves binge-watching Supernatural, drooling over Dean, Sam and Cas, and going to conventions. She also enjoys spreading love any chance she can. So, if you run into her, give her a hug or a high-five. She guarantees they're magic.

Author of Unable to Resist, Anyone But Him, The Truth of a Liar, Enchanting Wilder, Surviving Wilder, Who Needs Air and The Girl Behind the Red Door.


Reader Group http://bit.ly/2OJGANe
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Guest Post: The Risks (and Rewards) of Dating in A Small Town by Tracy Brogan

MY KIND OF FOREVER is the second book in the Trillium Bay series set on a small island in Northern Michigan, and tells the story of thirty-five year old Brooke Callaghan who has just been elected as the youngest, and first female, mayor the town has ever had. As the oldest of three sisters, Brooke is accustomed to taking charge and bossing others around, but the stodgy, long-time members of the decisively not-modern city council are determined to keep the status quo. In fact, the only one who seems to take Brooke seriously is Leo Walker, the new bartender whose reasons for being on the island are both short-term and known to him alone. 

Despite a budding attraction to Leo, Brooke knows she needs to focus on mastering her new job, especially when rumors of a jewel thief hiding out on the island begin to circulate and the well-established rumor mills goes into overdrive. And speaking of rumors, Brooke is more than a little concerned with what the townspeople might say if they discover she and Leo are spending time alone. Coming from such a small community, in this case a village with a winter population of just six hundred people, people’s private lives rarely stay private, and modest, pragmatic Brooke doesn’t like the extra attention. Especially since a bad relationship from her past has left her overly cautious.

Although determined to prove to her neighbors and family she’s got what it takes to be a great mayor, with Leo’s encouragement, Brooke comes to realize she’s also entitled to address a few of the more personal aspects of her life, such as finding romance. But when things with Leo get rocky, she falls back into old patterns, believing that love is too elusive and not for women like her. Fortunately, the local community knows otherwise. They see the real Brooke, the one she thinks is hidden. They know her dedication and intelligence and worth, and they know she deserves to have it all. They know she deserves to have a forever kind of love. And so does Leo.


My Kind of Forever Excerpt

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop,” Leo said after everyone else had left and I remained seated in the small meeting room holding my aching head in my hands. “But it sounds like you have your work cut out for you.”

Wow. Did I ever. I’d just spent the past two hours listening to so-called adults bickering about a litany of arbitrary topics. Should Polly’s Popcorn Shop be allowed to sell day-old products? Could the street sweepers add five minutes to their afternoon break? Who was going to play Santa during the Christmas Parade if Harry didn’t come back in time? And the biggest topic of the day? Did everyone see the awnings Tasty Pastries had put up, and who on earth had approved that?

“It’s like they couldn’t even hear me talking,” I said, looking up at him for a response, just to reassure myself that I was, in fact, speaking out loud.

He picked up an empty glass with one hand while wiping a ring of condensation off the table with a damp rag. “I’m not sure they could hear each other talking. Seemed like a lot of monologuing without any listening.”

“But I had an agenda.” I shook my paper at him, now covered in notes that I’d scribbled in the margins about all the other things I wanted to discuss. Things I would have discussed if I could have gotten a word in edgewise. The only one who didn’t interrupt me was my own father, but that’s because he didn’t say anything the entire time. Not unusual for him, but I had hoped to demonstrate a little more power over that cluster of clucking hens. “They were worse than teenagers. I have so many great ideas, but all they care about is the awnings.”

Leo wiped another spot off the table. “What ideas?” He gazed down at me, and I noted how dark blue his eyes were. Depths-of-the-ocean kind of blue. The kind of eyes that made every glance feel significant, even if it meant nothing at all. A flutter of something long-forgotten tickled inside my veins. Attraction. Followed by an immediate need to ignore it.

“Oh, all kinds of ideas.” I smiled tiredly and pushed myself up, because it was nearly five thirty and the Palomino Pub would start filling up with the evening crew pretty soon. “I’ll get out of the way now so you can have the room for dinner guests.”

“Speaking of dinner,” he said, “I’m new around here, so I was wondering, what restaurants do you like?”

“Oh, we have lots of great places to eat. All price ranges. The Windemere Grill is right down on the corner. There’s the Imperial Hotel dining room if you want something elegant. The Feast Well Bistro, Carmen’s Café, and Tate’s Tavern on the Bluff are good, too. At the tavern, you can watch the sun set behind Petoskey Bridge. It’s a great view. And for breakfast, I recommend Link & Patty’s Breakfast Buffet. The pink piggy décor is a little much, but the pancakes are the best.”

“Are you suggesting we have dinner and breakfast?” His dark eyebrow arched just as the corner of his mouth quirked in a ridiculously endearing fashion.

I pushed in my chair with an abrupt scrape. “Excuse me?”

“I was inviting you to dinner. You were inviting me to breakfast.”

That flutter of attraction multiplied even as my mouth fell open for a second. I’m sure it was a great look on me. “I wasn’t. And you weren’t. Were you?”

He laughed, and even though it might have been at my expense, the sound of it sent a flush over my skin and a tingle to places that hadn’t tingled for a very long time.

“I was inviting you to dinner, but not very well, apparently. I’ve been on the island a few days, but I don’t know anyone here, so would you like to have dinner with me?”

I was starving. And he was handsome. And new in town. And looked to be roughly my age. There was no history, no baggage, no reason to say no. But it had been so long since anyone had asked me out, it nearly felt improper. Everyone knew me around here. Everyone would know that we’d had dinner, and certainly everyone would have an opinion about it. And it’s not as if we could go someplace private because there was no place private on the entire island. And there was that issue of the flutter. I didn’t want to be fluttering. Fluttering led to heartbreak.

***

About the Book

Title: My Kind of Forever
Author: Tracy Brogan
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Summary

As the youngest mayor Trillium Bay has ever elected, Brooke Callaghan wants to prove she’s up to the challenge. She’s stepping out of her practical teacher flats and into her sister’s treacherously high heels…with disastrous results. But if she’s going to (literally) stumble her first day on the job, why not fall into the arms of a handsome stranger?

Leo Walker is a rarity on Wenniway Island. Not only handsome, he’s also single, funny, and—most importantly—interested in Brooke. Unfortunately, his reasons for being on the island are temporary, so in spite of the undeniable chemistry between them, he’s not a forever kind of guy.

When a private investigator arrives with news of a jewel thief hiding on the island, Brooke finds herself dealing with one kerfuffle after another, and Leo proves to be a delicious distraction. What does she really know about him, though? And the biggest question of all? Does this short-term romance hold the possibility of long-term love?

Author Biography

Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Tracy Brogan is a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist for her Bell Harbor series. She writes fun, funny stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and she lives in Michigan with her two brilliant daughters and their two intellectually challenged dogs. She loves to hear from readers, so check out her website at www.tracybrogan.com. You can also follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tracybroganwriter.








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Promo: STAY ALL NIGHT by D.B. JAMES & S.L. PETERS

Title: Stay All Night
Series: Sugarcreek Love #1
Author: D.B. James and S.L. Peters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 19, 2019 Cover Credit: FuriousFotog
“Stay all night,” were the words echoing from her lips as I slid from the bed like the scumbag I am.
My name is Tobias Roman Jefferson. I’m a college drop-out fresh from living on my buddies’ couch and nowhere near worthy enough for the likes of Janie Lynn Francis—the hottest girl in Sugarcreek, Texas. Who also happens to be the woman I’ve been in love with for the last nineteen years.
When one stormy night we’re left stranded in my old cabin in the woods, we give to our passion. Only to repeat ourselves the next night…at her house. When she whispers her plea, I escape from her bed as fast as I possibly can.
How can I, the town screw-up, deem myself worthy of the town’s one-time homecoming queen?
“What are we doing here, Tobias?” I ask.
“I have some business with my friend Derrick who owns the place,” is all he says. It’s the only hint he gives me. Like it’ll satisfy me.

“What kind of business?” I hedge.

“The noneya kind,” he quips back.
“Ooh, you’re lucky I don’t haul off and smack you upside the head.” I warn him just as a man around our age comes walking out of the main house.
“Stay in the truck. Please.” Tobias demands, but he does nicely, so I decide to follow his orders. This once. I’m normally not one to follow the rules since breaking them to follow my dreams.
He must be picking up an animal. Why else would he have the trailer attached to the truck?

As I’m thinking this over, he comes back to the truck and asks if I’m ready to go meet my surprise.
“Do you want to meet Fighter before taking her home?”

“Fighter?” Hmm…not the name of the zebra.

“Yeah, it’s what I named her. I hope you don’t mind,” he says.

“I’m as ready as ever. Curious as all get out.” I let him know.
“Derrick is going to lead us to her and then if you like her, she’s yours. I bought her for you this afternoon. Unless of course, you don’t want her.” He says sheepishly.

“Oh, I’m sure I’ll want Fighter, whatever she is.”

He opens my truck door and helps me out, leading me over to his friend Derrick, quickly making introductions before we’re led to a heated barn.

“She’s kept in here with some other high-risk rescues. I’m only letting her go because I know you’re a veterinarian, Janie Lynn. Even then it took a lot of convincing on Tobias’s end for me to let her go. She’s already suffered so much, but I know you’ll give her a good home,” Derrick says as he opens the stall door to Fighter.

Holy shit.

Tobias bought me a zebra.
D.B. James is an indie author of New Adult Romance. Her debut novel released on August 19, 2016. In her spare time she's an avid reader. Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher, Teagan Hunter, KA Tucker, Linda Kage, Renee Carlino, and Abbi Glines are a few of her obsessions. She's a Michigan girl through and through but currently resides in sunny Florida. Sarcasm, Supernatural (team Sam!), Harry Potter and coffee are among her favorite things.

S.L. Peters is an indie author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her debut release, Stay all Night—co-authored with D.B. James—releases on Feb. 19, 2019. She’s a lover of the written word and a devourer of books. She resides in North Carolina with her computer nerd husband, Dan, and their zoo of fur-babies. Including four dogs, Loki, Piper, Remy, and Grover…five cats, Allie, Klaus, Violet, Homie, and Astrid. She encourages stalking and loves meeting new readers.
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