Welcome to the Super Book Blast for Good Together by CJ Carmichael, a contemporary romance available now from Tule Publishing. Today we're celebrating the price drop of the eBook to $0.99.
The author and publisher will be awarding a print copy of Good Together as well as some great author swag to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US only). So be sure to leave a comment! And remember, the more you comment, the better your chance of winning so check out the other stops on this tour at: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/03/super-book-blast-good-together-by-cj.html
Mattie, the eldest of Marietta’s Carrigan girls, married rodeo cowboy, Wes Bishop, right out of high school and raised twin daughters. A happy life, she thought, but now that she’s in her late thirties and their daughters have left for college, her husband has become strangely distant.
Then one night Wes comes home late from a rodeo—with a stranger’s key in his pocket. He won’t talk, but she knows something is wrong.
When her worst fears are confirmed, the hits keep coming. It seems her husband is determined to destroy everything she loves in this world. Thankfully she still has her sisters, and her home on The Circle C Ranch. But more and more she thinks, not of her roots in Marietta, but of her kind, dependable neighbour, Nat Diamond. Over the years Nat has been a constant in her life, but only as a friend. Is it possible the two of them could become more? But if Nat really does have romantic feelings for her—as she suspects—why does he keep pulling away?
Is there something he needs to tell her?
“Parents have to step back when their kids are grown. That’s just how it is.”
He’d never talked like this before. “Our roles change,” she agreed, talking slowly, trying to figure out who this man was. She’d always felt that their parenting styles blended perfectly. But looking back now she could see that Wes had connected better with the girls when they were younger. Their adolescent stage had confused him. And maybe he’d pulled back more than she realized. “But they still need us.”
“Portia and Wren haven’t needed me since I taught them to drive.”
“Why are you being so literal? You know being part of a family is more than doing jobs for one another. Family provides our emotional bedrock. None of us ever grow out of the need to be loved.”
“And I’ll never stop loving them,” Wes said, his voice subdued once more.
The implication of his words hit her with another ferocious stab of pain.
He’d never stop loving their daughters.
But he had stopped loving her.
CJ Carmichael has published over 35 novels and has twice been nominated for a RITA award. She likes to write stories about romance, family and intrigue, usually in small town or rural settings. When it’s time to take a break from the computer, she heads to the Rocky Mountains near her home in Calgary where she lives with her partner Michael and their cat, Penny. If you’d like to learn more about her books, check out her website: http://cjcarmichael.com.
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Together-Carrigans-Circle-C-ebook/dp/B00I8A57CA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393672590&sr=1-1&keywords=good+together+cj+carmichael
More and more lately I’ve been seeing blogs posts slamming the alpha male in romance novels. Now I realize that we all have our favorite types of heroes and I will not, let me repeat that, WILL NOT tell anyone the type of hero they should love. No, the problem I have with these posts I’m seeing is the author’s definition of the alpha male. Posts that define him as ‘Domineering, Stalkerish, Jealous and Insulting of his heroine'. WHAT?!
Let me first say that I too have seen the books with heroes of this type. This is a whole new breed of…well, I can’t call them heroes, after all I don’t find these traits remotely heroic. And yes, I worry about what we’re teaching our young women when so many writers and Hollywood producers DO call these men heroes. But, that’s an altogether different blog post because alpha heroes, true alpha heroes, do not have these personality traits.
Why do these incorrect definitions of alpha heroes upset me so much? Simple, I write alpha heroes. What is an alpha hero, you ask?
An alpha hero is strong, tough, protective, stubborn and extremely complicated. He is not abusive – verbally or otherwise – and never purposely humiliates a woman. An alpha hero is either born alpha, or becomes alpha through environment or upbringing. Believe it or not a beta male raised in a get-tough-or-die environment can become alpha. He is going to learn to fight, to hide his feelings, and in extreme situations, learn not to feel.
The biggest mistake that people make about alpha males is that they are insensitive, when in fact, usually the opposite is true. He has just learned to bury his weaknesses – yes, to an alpha, sensitivity and feelings are weakness – deep down inside. But here’s what I love most about true alpha heroes…once he gives in to his feelings and accepts that he is in love, he loves completely and without restraint.
So please, the next time you read a book, watch a movie or even read a blog post about domineering, stalkerish, verbally abusive men who are being called alpha heroes remember… These men are not alpha heroes, and in my book they aren’t heroic at all.
HARD AS YOU CAN is your second book in the “Hard Ink” series (after USA Today bestseller, HARD AS IT GETS). What can readers look forward to?
Readers can look forward to tons of sexy alpha male goodness, awesome bromance between the Hard Ink men, more antics from the Hard Ink puppy, and another great love story between Shane and Crystal. But readers should also be ready for a book that is darker, more intense, and more emotional. This book pushed me to emotional places that were tough as a writer, and might be tough for readers, too. But I think that just makes the payoff at the end so much sweeter!
Describe Shane and Crystal. What are their best traits? What are their weaknesses?
Shane and Crystal are such an amazing couple to me. They’re each exactly what the other needs. Shane’s best traits are his protectiveness, his fundamental kindness, and his soul-deep loyalty (his southern accent and humor are also right up there!). His biggest weakness for sure is a tragedy from the past for which he blames himself—and it’s something that continues to motivate him in Hard As You Can. Crystal’s best traits are her courage, protectiveness, and selflessness—she’s willing to do anything to keep her younger sister safe. Her biggest weakness is also that selflessness, because the sacrifices she’s required to make are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?
When a woman in trouble assists an ex-soldier's covert mission to regain his team's stolen honor, he finds a new mission to save her, too
What are you most excited about with this second book release?
I’m really excited to take readers deeper into these awesome characters and into the mystery behind the Hard Ink team’s ambush and discharge!
What books are you reading right now?
I’m almost done with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (yes, I’m very late to the party but OMG JAMIE FRASER!!!). And I’ve recently devoured and loved Juliana Stone’s Offsides and Shelly Thacker’s time-travel historical romance, Forever His.
What can fans of your “Hard Ink” series look forward to next?
There will be two more Hard Ink books in 2014!
Hard to Hold on To – August 2014
Hard to Come By – November 2014
About HARD AS YOU CAN:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.
Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he's shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister's sake, Crystal can't get too close. Until her job and Shane's mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.
Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can--and never let go.
“Don’t look at me like that, Crystal,” Shane said, his voice a raw scrape. It wasn’t a demand or a threat. It was a plea. And the thought that this big, strong, powerful man was begging her for anything was thrilling.
“Like what?” she asked, dragging her gaze up to his. In the diffuse light of the streetlamp, she could tell his eyes were absolutely blazing, and it only fueled the arousal rising up inside her.
“Like maybe you want me the way I want you.” Tilting his head, he nuzzled his face against hers, the tip of his nose trailing over her cheek, his breath ghosting over her lips. “Like maybe you’d let me kiss you and touch you.” A quick brush of his lips against her temple and ear. “Like maybe you’d let me in.”
Crystal could barely breathe for the way her heart was pounding and her pulse was racing. She slid a hand up his chest to his neck, wanting, needing, just absolutely yearning to have this. Just this once.
Leaning into him, Crystal held his gaze and adored the way his expression filled with such expectant satisfaction, like she’d surprised him. Pleased him. She pressed her lips to his.
The groan he unleashed was needful, almost triumphant. His arms came around her gently and pulled her in. And it wasn’t enough. She needed to be closer. Deeper.
She needed more of Shane McCallan.
She might never get another chance.
A flicker of unbidden panic whipped through her body. Bruno had been her only lover for the past four years, and she’d only been able to take him inside her after months’ buildup of trust and familiarity of touch. That was back before he’d shown his true colors. Or before she’d shed her naïveté. Maybe they were the same thing. Who knew? Stop thinking about Bruno and get out of your head. Just feel. You deserve this. You need this. Besides, cart before horse, much?
Shane pulled away and rested his forehead against hers. “I didn’t come here expecting this. Hoped, maybe.” He smiled. “But I really just needed to see you.”
Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets
Buy Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
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I was tagged by JM Stewart to participate in the Writing Process blog tour. When she asked if I was interested in participating, I thought it sounded like fine. Unfortunately, I haven't found anyone who wanted to join in so I can't pass the torch. :(
1. What am I working on?
I'm working on a new series. I've had a story in my head for more than eight years now and finally decided - okay, so when the hero stepped forward and refused to leave me alone until I told his story, I didn't really have a choice - to write it. It's not like anything I've written before and actually began as just one book - a love story that can't be called a romance - and quickly became two, then three. If things go well, there will be seven books total in this series.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm a rule breaker. A color outside the lines type of writer. I don't like staying within the 'box' that most publishers require romances stay within. I also write deep emotion. I like to push my characters so far out of their comfort zone that at times even I wonder if I'll ever get them to their happily-ever-after.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write romance because I love reading romance. I've been addicted to the genre since I was a pre-teen and picked up my first romance novel. Why? I believe in love. I truly believe someone exists for each of us - our other half - our soul mate. I believe that love heals even the deepest emotional scars. And yes, I believe in love at first sight. Believing all of this, how could I write anything else?
4. How does your writing process work?
I'm what they call a pantser, which means I do not plan a thing. I have an idea of how a story begins, and sometimes, but only sometimes, how it ends. Everything else is as much a mystery to me when I sit down to the keyboard as it is to the reader when they pick up my book.
This has changed a bit recently as I'm in the middle of two series, which forces me to plan out a bit more. For example, I need to know how much to tell the reader in book one in order to set up what will come in book two. With characters overlapping both series and weaving in and out of each others book, this can get a bit complicated. For the first time in all the years I've been writing, I have a timeline and - this will shock some of you - I even have two future books plotted out. Meeting - conflict - ending. Oy! Just the thought makes this pantser a bit uneasy.
The actual writing of the book takes me a while. I'm not a fast writer. I wish I was. Oh, how I wish I was. But I have plans for this year that include completing three full length novels. Did I really just type that? And I thought plotting out novels ahead of time filled me with ill ease.
Thanks for dropping in. As I mentioned, I didn't have any takers for next week, but you can check out the writing process of my friend Amie Louellen today!
Writing has never come easy for me. It’s a compulsion, an obsession really, which is why I do it. But it’s also a long pain filled process. Not just because I can’t seem to write anything that isn’t laced with deep emotion, or as my friend and fellow writer Vonnie Davis calls it, “emotions so sensually thick they wrap around you like a plump down comforter”.
Dialogue is the easy part. Perhaps because I honest and truly hear my characters voices in my head. They talk, I take dictation. My first drafts are always just that; dialogue. Conversations between the characters: comment, response, comment. Page after page after page of dialogue that may or may not have any sort of tag as to who is speaking. If there are more than just two characters conversing, I will leave a name behind the line of dialogue, but that’s all it will be: “dialogue” name
The next time I go through my work in progress I sprinkle in emotion. Sometimes this is easy as I’ve always had the ability to put myself into my characters shoes and FEEL what they feel. But sometimes that ability makes every word, every glimpse inside the character a painful, highly emotional, and draining experience. Then there are the times I’m not exactly certain what my character is feeling. If that sounds odd to you, go back and look at the bit about dialogue. My characters speak, I take dictation. That can leave me guessing right along with the hero whether or not his last comment angered the heroine.
So what’s the worst part of writing, the most difficult part for me? Choreography. Yup, you read that correctly, choreography: who does what when, how they move, and what expression they wear as they deliver their emotion packed line of dialogue. I loathe that part. Loathe. It. I don’t kid myself and think I am the only one, but I will guess those like me are in the minority. I’ve seen a multitude of classes on dialogue, but I’ve yet to see one on ‘getting your character across the room’. Laugh if you want to. Heck, I’ll laugh with you. Spending days staring at a nearly complete manuscript, searching for the right way to describe an action while ‘show, don’t tell’ runs endlessly through your mind... It’s quite pathetic.
In the end – after more than a few curse words, false starts, and glasses of wine – I’m usually happy with what I’ve got. Sure, you will nearly always find more dialogue and emotion in my books than actual character movement, but I don’t write action thrillers so that’s okay. Besides, by that final run through of my WIP, the stars of my next book are chattering away in my head, insisting that I get to telling their story. Let me assure you, you don’t want to put off a demanding alpha male for too long, or he’ll start interfering with your sleep. And not in a way that is at all physically pleasing. ;)
UPDATED (Original posted on my Blogger Blog 1/15/13)
Hello friends, I thought I'd update you all on what's going on in my world. Currently, I'm in writing mode, doing everything I can to squeeze in as many words as humanly possible during the short window of time I get to write daily. It’s more difficult this winter than last – maybe because for the first time ever, I have more than one iron in the fire. Yup, there are way too many men in my head, demanding attention. Wow, whoever thought I would say that?
Midnight Heat: Black Phoenix 2
Dominic is the loudest voice right now – perhaps because he is the most alpha of all of my alpha heroes. He’s blunt, in-your-face, and curses too much. He’s also flawed, damaged by his childhood, and more sensitive than he would ever let on. I have a real soft spot for Dom, which is only one of the reasons his book is at the top of my MUST FINISH list.
She was the only woman ever to rock his world.
Black Phoenix bassist Dominic Price made a mistake three years ago when he walked out on Rebecca. A mistake he plans to rectify. But first he has to convince her to open her heart to him again.
The unconscious man wheeled into Dr. Rebecca Dahlman’s ER is sexy—devilishly sexy—and injured. This isn’t just any patient in need of medical help. He is the only man she’s ever loved—the one who still haunts her dreams.
One touch of his calloused hands reignites their passion. Can they rekindle their trust as easily, or will her fears cause her to lose him again…this time to a man bent on revenge?
Chasing Midnight: Black Phoenix 3
Midnight Shadows: Black Phoenix 4
So that's them, my current works in progress. The stories in my head and the men demanding I write faster. Any tips you can offer for keeping four impatient heroes happy? I'd love to hear your ideas.
Ten things you didn’t know about Isabeau Montgomery.
Can music heal a fractured soul?
Or will it tear them apart forever?
Thirteen years—that’s how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother’s life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar…
Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal—one that doesn’t include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won’t be easy, but he can’t get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.
Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?
2012 Romance Through the Ages Award Winner ~ 1st Place Contemporary
2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist
2012 Readers Favorite Award Finalist
2011 Book of the Year Finalist ~ Long and Short Reviews
Have you heard the great news? For a limited time NOT WITHOUT RISK is available for 99CENTS. Yup, less than your daily Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks (and a lot fewer calories, too). *grin*
I have to admit that Justin is one of my favorite heroes. Probably because he was my 'first'. Or perhaps because as I write, and my heroine slowly falls in love with the hero, so do I. Either way, my heroes always worm their way into my heart a little deeper than my heroines, and Justin has a special place there so I thought I would share him with you today.
Hopefully after meeting him you'll be intrigued enough to check out his story, and perhaps, fall a little in love with him, too.
What is Not Without Risk about?
Murder. Proving to myself and my colleagues that I was fit to return to active duty after a .38 punctured my lung. And how a sexy brunette, with the longest legs I’ve ever had the pleasure of having wrapped around my hips, changed everything.
What did you think the first time you saw the heroine, Paige?
That she was stunning—and that it had been far too long since I’d been with a woman.
What was your second thought?
She could be a killer.
Why did you become a cop?
I have no stomach for people who take advantage of others weaknesses or misfortune for their own gain. I can’t stand violence against others, especially women. And when bad things happen, someone needs to help restore order, solve the puzzle and uncover the identity of the bad guy. I’m very good with puzzles.
What do you like most about Paige?
Her courage and strength. Even injured and bleeding, facing the knowledge that someone wanted her dead—would stop at nothing to see it happen—Paige didn’t break.
If you could change one thing about her, what would it be?
Why would I want to change her?
What is your biggest fear?
That I won’t be able to protect Paige. I pushed myself, my body, too hard in order to get back to the job—the thing that defines who I am. Then I met Paige, and discovered something more important than being a cop. Injured, exhausted and facing one of the toughest cases of my career…I don’t know if I can do it, if I can solve it before the killer gets his hands on her. But I have to. I can’t lose the woman who’s shown me I have worth other than the job—the woman I’ve come to need as much as my next lung full of air.
20 quickie facts about Justin Harrison:
Birthday? August 27
Favorite color? Red - like the highlights in Paige’s hair.
Nickname? None that I’m aware of.
Birthmark or scars? A round scar at my left shoulder from a .38 and another on my left side from the surgeon.
City of residence? San Diego, California
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Cinnamon
Occupation? Homicide Detective with the San Diego Police Department
Favorite song? You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
Name one item in your refrigerator right now? Moldy Cheese
Your greatest fear? That I won’t be able to protect Paige.
Most treasured possession? 1969 Pontiac GTO ‘The Judge’
Special talent? When bad things happen, someone needs to help restore order, solve the puzzle and uncover the identity of the bad guy. I’m very good with puzzles.
Cat or dog? Dog
Pet peeve? I have no stomach for people who take advantage of others weaknesses or misfortune for their own gain.
Unforgettable moment? The first time Paige told me she loved me. Although I could have done without the Beretta pressed against her ribs at the time.
Spicy or not? Spicy
Favorite guilty pleasure? A frosted mug of beer and a cigarette (which I was forced to give up).
If you could ask your author one question, what would it be? Was the Beretta really necessary?
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Noah Clark, the lead singer/songwriter for the rock band Black Phoenix. Perhaps you’ve heard of us. About ten years ago we topped the Billboard charts—a multi-platinum band whose last album was the most successful of its century. But that was before everything went to shit. Back before the sex, alcohol, and rock and roll took away my best friend and drummer, Danny Treybourne. Afterwards, I gave up the lifestyle, the world tours, hell, I gave up the band. I headed back home to London and committed myself to leading a normal life, one without music as its driving force.
For ten years, I was miserable.
So I’m back to making music. I crossed the pond, settled in a place called Auburn, California and began the preparations to reunite Black Phoenix. We hired a new drummer, set up a meeting with the record company, and I went in search of a private, reputable studio to record a demo. I found one in Long Island City, just up the road from a pub named Izzy’s Bar. Where one night, after midnight, I wandered in and set eyes on its namesake.
Damn…Isabeau Montgomery, child prodigy pianist, hiding behind a lie of her own making. She has the most pale, haunted eyes I’ve ever seen, and dark, golden skin. The first time she set those eyes on me and smiled, I was lost. I’m a songwriter, but the way she affected me, I haven’t words.
A detail about me you should know, I was born with a one track mind. I want something; I go out and get it. From the moment I first laid eyes on Isa I wanted her. I wanted to show her what she was missing, ignoring her music the way she did. I wanted to share with her everything I spent all those years figuring out: Denying who you are is nothing but a waste of time, time a person can never get back. Problem is my one track mind got me in trouble. I became so focused on saving her from herself, I didn’t see the whole picture. I pushed her too hard. And in the end, I pushed her away.
Hopefully, one day she’ll forgive me for being such an ass, because Isabeau…Isa completes me.
In a way even my music never could.