(psst! October 1 from 2-4 in Sterling, VA! Join me, Megan Hart, MK Meredith, Harper Sloan, Mary Behre, and AC Arthur for an awesome group book signing event at the Dulles Town Center Books-a-Million!! RSVP and get more info, here.)
Meet Ethan: Nerdy. Anxious. Inexperienced with women. Nice. The kind of nice where people always take a little bit of advantage even when they don’t mean to, and the kind of anxious that keeps him from doing anything different because he doesn’t want anybody to dislike him too much. Until the day he walks in on his dad and the girl he used to date in an intimate and semi-naked position.
Meet LeeAnne: This poor girl’s been through the wringer. But no worries, because she’s getting her shit together. And she’s stopped looking for a while knight to save her. That’s cool, because Ethan’s no white knight. He tells corny jokes and runs into stuff. He’s still figuring out his own shit. Both of their lives are a little broken right now. But maybe if they help each other put the pieces together, they can both come out stronger.
ETHAN’S HIT A ROUGH SPOT
So I caught my dad in bed with my ex-girlfriend.
My best friend cancelled our plans to celebrate my birthday.
Decided to drink away the betrayal.
Made out with a cardboard cutout of a celebrity in front of my new roommates.
Got in a bar fight.
Hooked up with that pretty bartender whose sad smile I’ve secretly been painting pictures of since forever, but she shoved me out the door with hardly a word.
Did I mention the tattoo I don’t exactly remember getting?
And that’s only Saturday.
Now I need to pick up the pieces of my messed-up life.
LEEANNE’S HAD A TOUGH LIFE
What do you do when you’ve lived in the same small town your whole life and you feel as if you’ll always be stuck in the same rut, like a piece of busted wagon wheel? Well, maybe you start by hooking up with the first decent guy who walks into your bar.
Maybe once you do, it’s hard to get him out of your head even though you try. And maybe, just maybe, you find out he makes you laugh even more than he makes you want to shout his name.
If you’re me, you don’t even know what to do with a guy like him. A little piece of happiness…that feels downright dangerous.
My kids are big Monty Python fans. So as they would say, and now for something completely different. But actually not all that different. Sort of. Whatever. Let’s start over…
So I did this thing where I wrote a book like two years ago and couldn’t quite call it done. Paranormal, because that’s what I love and where I started when I first got into writing (unless you count the weird poetry I scribbled in my high school notebooks). But it was also dystopian, and had a strange relationship dynamic between the hero and heroine that I could never get quite right (she’s a prisoner and he’s her jailer, which makes for an awkward power dynamic). After a long time gathering dust on my laptop I started getting to know these characters again, and what started as a short story or maybe a novella wound up being 165 pages long. But it became a story and a world I loved, so finally here it is. In the Arms of the Enemy. I hope you enjoy:
About in the Arms of the Enemy:
Journal entry: 10.18.2668
I’m supposed to be leaving on the midnight transport. By the time it comes and they realize what I’ve done, God willing, I’ll be gone. I keep asking myself why I’m doing this, but deep down I know… I know I’m doing it for her.
It’s wrong to want a creature like Tatima, especially one under my guard. I can’t stop seeing her dark blue eyes or feeling the softness of her skin against mine. The moisture of her lips and tongue when I assuaged her hunger.
I’m a man. I’m human. This outpost is lonely. She’s as beautiful to me as she is frightening.
We trusted each other once. Maybe we could again.
Wanting her could mean so much disaster, but I can’t stop.
The United States has split. Supernatural creatures—lab experiments gone wrong—are being rounded up so their existence can be contained. One young man, bent on revenge, takes a job as a prison guard in order to kill the blood-sucker who murdered his father. A creature who used to be human. Someone he once thought he loved.
When Ronan gets close, he discovers the feelings he had for Tatima aren’t as dead as he’d believed. A web of lies surrounding his father’s death and the outpost where he works gets stickier the more he investigates.
The further Ronan goes, the less anything makes sense. Except the woman who can still bring him to life with a single touch. The one who makes him question everything.
The woman who’s supposed to be his enemy.
(psst! find me at the Las Vegas RT Convention book signing in NA Alley, or the WRW Signing at Books-a-Million in Westminster, MD)
At the Stars is currently FREE! For at least the month of March, I’ve decided to do a free promo for At the Stars. So if you haven’t yet checked out the Evergreen Grove series, now’s your chance to find out more.
Get it here:
About At the Stars: A GIRL TRYING TO LEAVE HER PAST BEHIND
I was a normal teenager who loved music and dancing, until the day I was attacked in my favorite record store. A few years later when my mom succumbed to depression and took her own life, I couldn’t stay in my hometown with all the memories and the curious stares. I decided to get in my car and just go – except my car decided it was done going outside a tiny place called Evergreen Grove. That’s where I found Jake. Or I guess Jake found me.
A GUY WHO CAN’T LET HIS GO
For the last eight years, all I can think about is the day I ended another man’s life. Then I manage to save Cassie’s, and I feel like maybe I’ve got some kind of second chance. To do what I couldn’t before, or maybe even for something bigger. Something like love. If only I could feel like I deserve her…
Excerpt – Jake’s POV – All rights reserved:
All at once she bites her lip and I see her going for the drinks, but I slap my hand over hers. “You shouldn’t be walking home late. It’s dangerous.”
She gives me a look like she’s being patient with me. “It was good enough to get here. I’ll have AJ with me. We’ll be fine.”
She gestures toward the patio door where her buddy is probably waiting for her to return with the drinks. Dante chooses that moment to come inside, and I don’t like how he’s looking at her. Too much like he had a good dinner, and she could be dessert.
The icing on the cake comes when AJ calls through the open door. “Hey birthday girl, you bringing us drinks or what?”
Dante grins at Cassie, veering her way like a homing missile. “Birthday girl, eh?”
She smiles slightly, trying to take the drinks again. “What do I owe you?”
My hand tightens over hers. “On the house.” I lean close, so nobody else can hear me over the din of music and chatter in the bar. “If you let me give you and AJ a ride back tonight.”
I can’t even believe it when she starts to pull away. “I can pay for the drinks.”
I’m still gripping her hand and feeling a surprising unwillingness to let the subject drop. “You’re not walking home in the dark on a night when everybody’s out getting stupid, with nobody but your skinny sidekick for protection.”
She presses her lips together, giving me what I figure is supposed to be a death stare for a few seconds before she caves. “Fine. My feet hurt anyway,” she says with a slight smile.
Cassie turns to go back to her table with her friend, and I turn to deal with Dante. My chest is tight and my heart is skipping around. I don’t take time to wonder why getting what I wanted has me more weirded-out than I was before.
It’s time for our annual Share the Love giveaway hop! This hop is a little different and all about sharing our favorite bloggers and authors with you! There’s a giveaway at every blog so visit them all and find out who all we just adore.Continue reading…
By the Rules is out! BY THE RULES IS OUT!!!! *fires confetti cannons* *fires glitter cannons* *gets the squid cannons ready but then puts them away because squid cannons are kind of gross*
So listen I’m extra excited about this one. By the Rules was requested by a lot of readers from the start of the Evergreen Grove series. I’m beyond thrilled that a secondary character captured everyone’s hearts so thoroughly as he captured mine to demand his own book. And BOY did AJ’s book take on a life of its own. That’s AJ for you.
I want to say an extra big thank you to those who pre-ordered the book. New adult still feels new to me, but I love the genre, and I’m grateful to those of you who have made the leap with me, and to the new readers who have joined me along the way. This series is special to me and I’d love to keep it going for a long time. Evergreen grove is an amazing place. I hope you’ll agree, and I hope you’ll check out AJ and Hayden’s story, the colorful former male turned handyman, and the young corporate ladder-climber who stumble into each other in the most unexpected way.
Get it here:
About By the Rules: He thinks I want him because of the rumors around town. Because I think he’s easy. I want AJ, because he’s AJ.
No liars. No suits. Absolutely no straight guys…
AJ Fabin’s list of rules keeps him safe. Since getting kicked out of his parents’ home and attacked by a former escorting client, his rules and his life in the tiny town of Evergreen Grove provide a quiet haven. He may be lonely, and he may stick out like a sore thumb, but the folks like him well enough. When he’s not dodging his old pimp, things are peaceful.
Hayden Price is having a quarter-life crisis. Engaged to a woman he can’t connect to and working a job he secretly hates, he comes to Evergreen Grove to help his mother through a health scare. Returning to his childhood home makes Hayden reevaluate a lot of things, including himself. When he meets AJ and finds he can’t stand the mouthy jerk—almost as much as he can’t stop thinking about him—he has a lot more to change than his career.
To be together, they’ll both have to break all of their rules.
By the Rules is book 3 in the Evergreen Grove series, but reads as a standalone.
Excerpt – Hayden’s POV – All rights reserved:
When I left, it was a pin dot of a town going nowhere. Nobody in it would go anywhere. Nobody would ever change. My mom came here looking for someplace affordable and “simple” after things didn’t work out with my dad. I left senior year of high school because I was afraid I’d become a casualty of all that simplicity. I saw the buzz of city life and the success my father’s company had achieved. I wanted that kind of power.
I needed to be powerful.
Now, standing outside of Delia’s Bakery and Café at closing time, I can see the town has gone somewhere after all. Maybe not leaps and bounds in the grand scheme, but somewhere. From Mom’s little bakery to a tidy convenience store, a bar & grill, and a Laundromat, most of these shops on Main are new or spruced-up. I have to admit, Delia’s Bakery and Café looks cozy sitting among them. When she opened a few years ago, I told her this backwards little town wouldn’t give a shit about gourmet coffee and fancy muffins.
One more way I’ve been wrong. One more way I’ve been a shitty son.
“Trouble?” Mouthy AJ appears at my shoulder with a smile on his face and his hands jammed in his pockets. I don’t know how long he’s been there. Wasn’t paying attention. Didn’t hear him coming. Awesome.
“Man, what is your deal? Are you some kind of rainbow ninja or something?” I hope that the way I’m wildly gesturing to his colorful clothing hides the fact that he honestly did startle the crap out of me. I’m also hoping he didn’t overhear my conversation with Meg, because I probably didn’t come off sounding too great.
He’s just some kid my mom knows. His opinion of me should matter less than not at all. Still, for some reason it bothers me that he might think I’d be an asshole. I’m not even honestly jealous about Meg and Stephan. I don’t like being played though, and I don’t like feeling stupid. If she’s moved on, I wish she’d say so.
Aside from the ego bruises, the idea of Meg screwing another guy doesn’t elicit much reaction. More like it would be a relief to finally end this protracted charade. What does that say about me?
“Hmm.” AJ rubs his hand thoughtfully over his messy blond hair. The strands ruffle and stand up at odd angles. “Rainbow Ninjas. I’d join that rock band. At the least, I’d grab a ticket and a beer to hear them play.”
I’m not sure what the guy’s talking about, but I actually find his weird-ass comment kind of funny. Not that I say so, because I’m still hanging on to my dislike. Even though it’s generally bad business to hold a grudge. You never know who can become an important contact.
I guess I can give getting along a shot. I did promise my mom. “Buddy, it’s a little early to be drinking.”
The blue in his eyes catches hold of the setting sun when he smiles. In spite of his punk look and his disheveled hair, the halo of light around him makes him look a little too golden boy. So much I kind of want to go back to hating him when he shrugs and says, “Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere. Oh. Wait. It’s actually already five here.”
Happy reading, everybody!! <3
Get it here:
EXTRAS: Want to share BY THE RULES with the interwebs? Feel free to download one of these teaser graphics to post to your favorite social media locations:
AJ and Hayden’s Playlist! Please consider checking out these songs and supporting the artists whose songs helped make this book a richer experience for us all. <3
GIVEAWAY!! Follow the official BY THE RULES blog tour and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card (it says $25 at the tour stops but when I went to actually purchase a gift card, they were out of $25 ones so trust me, the winner will get a $50 gift card and some swag!). The tour kicks off with I Smell Sheep’s awesome 4.5 “sheep” review of By the Rules, and some additional excerpts at Read-Love-Blog and Erotic Notions. For the full list of tour stops you can check out the tour page, here.
Thanks so much for checking out BY THE RULES. I hope you enjoy, and HAPPY READING!!