Thursday, February 27, 2014

J.L. Mac's Vital Sign - Worldwide Exclusive Prologue Reveal and Giveaway!

World Wide Exclusive!

USA Today Bestselling Author J.L. Mac shares the FULL PROLOGUE of her highly anticipated novel Vital Sign! (Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!)

  Who's that girl?

J.L. Mac, the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Wrecked series [Ed. note - Official Winners of the Still Seeking Allies Sexiest Cover Contest 3 years in a row], is twenty-something years old and currently resides in El Paso, Texas, where she enjoys living near her parents and siblings. She was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. J.L. admittedly has had a long and sordid love affair with the written word and has loved every minute of it. She drinks too many glasses of wine on occasion, and says way too many swear words to be considered "lady-like." J.L. spends her free time reading, writing, and playing with her two young children.

Find and follow J.L. all over the place!

Vital Sign - Synopsis

Sadie Parker’s life has been nothing short of simple and perfect. She has Jacob, her loving husband. She has her art. She has stability and she has big plans and endless hope for the future. Until now. Until the night that turned her perfect life into a horrific nightmare. She’s a woman with the need for understanding and closure. She’s something she agonizes over. She’s a widow.

Sadie sets out on a journey to healing without knowing that things will get far worse before they get better. Despite her general indifference to organ donation she feels compelled to seek out the recipients of Jacob’s organs with hopes that meeting those people will soothe her own grief.

Resentment runs rampant as she meets the thriving, organ recipients. She has difficulty not being angry and jealous. The heart recipient is the last person she seeks to meet and he is a complete game changer. She hates him for his health but can’t help but feel at home in his presence. He soothes her grief in a way that is intoxicating; addictive even.
The heart that once fell in love with her now resides in Alexander Hayden’s chest. It’s a circumstance that forces her to wage an internal war fueled by grief, anger, guilt, love, lust, and loyalty.
Sadie must discover the things that are vital to going on with her life if she has any hope of finding her way through the all consuming grief that dominates every waking moment.

Fred's Notes

I'm excited about Vital Sign, and excited to be the first to share its Prologue, below.  So why am I excited, you ask?  First, because I love J.L.'s style, her way of expressing herself.  It's so poetic and evocative.  Example, you ask?  "The heart that once fell in love with her now resides in Alexander Hayden’s chest."  This isn't a totally unheard of concept, meeting a loved one's heart recipient.  But J.L. frames it so poignantly, in just the way that a sensitive person might perceive and feel, and conveys its emotional heft in a sparse but unsparing and elegant way.  Its just lovely.  Without any further ado, though, let me share that Prologue with y'all, and you'll see what I mean.  And I know you'll share my trembling anticipation for the release of Vital Sign (don't forget to add it to your Goodreads!)

Vital Sign - Prologue

March 2011
My eyes flutter open and for a moment I dismiss the noise I just heard as Jacob coming to bed but he has been beside me for hours. The clock on my nightstand glows displaying the time.
He worked a double today and I know he is exhausted so I refuse to wake him over something that is more than likely nothing. I lay in silence for a long moment before closing my eyes again. The second my lids shut I hear something rustle from down the hall. I hope it’s Starla. She left through the dog door this afternoon and she had yet to return when we went to bed.
She’s a stubborn cat and I know she likes to sneak away in hopes of a good hunt so I’m not too worried. She has disappeared before and dragged in a day or so later smelly and tired from her gallivanting.
Jake would insist that he check out the noise while I wait in the bedroom but there is no sense in waking my weary husband over Starla, the mostly domesticated feline.
He’s a police officer so he has an awareness that I don’t and it can border on paranoia at times. I look over to him in the darkness and lift his leaden arm from my hip. I carefully slip from under his arm and slide from our bed. He doesn’t make a sound in response to my movement.
Normally he’d wake up right away but he’s exhausted. I can tell by his snoring. Jake only snores when he is completely spent. I don’t have the heart to disturb him.
My feet hit our carpeted floor and I tip toe to the door of our bedroom. Once in the hallway I glance towards the kitchen where Starla’s food and water bowls sit. I expect to see her there but she isn’t. I look the other way, towards the hall bathroom but I don’t see her in the dim nightlight.
“Starla?” I whisper, clicking my tongue a few times. Nothing. Where the hell is that crazy cat?
I sneak quietly towards the kitchen and living room in search of her. I know I heard something. I swear if I find another raccoon in our kitchen trash I’ll force Jake to seal up that dog door. Starla shouldn’t be getting out anyway. I brace myself for the creature I’m sure I’ll find. My shoulders tense a little. I clench my jaw, preparing to bite back my screams when I catch the rodent. The last time I caught a raccoon in the house I screamed like a wild banshee and ran for Jake like my life depended on it. I scared the shit out of him. Poor husband. He came hook sliding into the kitchen in his socks with his gun drawn. I squealed and jumped up and down pointing to the ass end of the raccoon sticking out of the trash can. He had made a mess and was stuck in the garbage can. The more scared he got, the more he fought to escape. Jake just looked from the raccoon to me wide eyed and slumped forward in relief. He leaned over resting his hands on his knees and began laughing so hard he couldn’t catch his breath. I, of course, got mad. He put the safety on the gun and put it on the counter. Carefully skirting the animal, Jake opened the back door wide and in one swift movement, tilted the trashcan upright. The raccoon fell to the bottom of the can, head first and Jake hurried outside with the whole thing. I’ll die if I’m about to relive that disaster. 
“Don’t move,” A raspy low voice demands. I freeze in my tracks and gasp, unable to scream. I instinctively put my hands up as if being arrested. I don’t know why. I guess it’s the universal sign of submission. In the low light coming from the hallway I can see the form of a thin man standing in front of our television with his arm extended holding what I presume to be a gun. “I’ll fuckin’ blow your brains out if you make a noise. Anyone else home?”
Lie. Lie. Lie. “No. My husband is away on business.” I manage to whisper in a calm voice.
“Good. Where are your keys and wallet?” He takes a step closer forcing me to flinch.
I stand staring at him for a moment because my head is spinning and I honestly can’t remember where I left them last. My heart is pounding and adrenaline is coursing through my veins leaving a path of fine sweat and tremors in its wake. Think, Sadie. Don’t panic now. Be smart. Be strong. I play Jake's words through my head and it helps me to focus enough to remember where my purse is.
“Bitch,” the man warns.
“The dining table,” I blurt far too loudly.
“Go get it and set it on the coffee table. Slowly,” he instructs. I take a deep breath and begin the short walk to our small dining room. I must make only three steps and I hear the floor creak beneath the man’s feet. The noise startles me and I freeze again. He must be following me into the dining room. I don’t look back to verify it. I know what I heard.
“Drop your weapon.” Jakes voice is clear and firm. I spin around and see him standing in his boxers in the low light. His department issued pistol in his hand, pointed at the figure that is still by our TV. My eyes immediately go to where the intruder is standing. “Sadie, walk towards me,” Jake instructs without looking at me. I look from the man to Jake, then back to the man. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to make a mistake.
“You’re not goin’ anywhere, bitch,” the intruder growls. Jake’s gun is pointed at the man whose gun is alternating from pointing at me to pointing at Jake.
“Sadie.” Jakes tone tells me what I need to know and I know I have to do as he says. I inch towards Jake.
“Stay there!” the intruder barks. I stop where I am, only three or four inches closer to Jake than I was. I can’t do this. My feet feel glued in place. A bead of sweat rolls from my hairline down my forehead and into my eye. The sweat stings, causing me to blink rapidly. I look to Jake but he is focused on the man in front of him.
Jake takes a tentative step towards me. He’s testing the man. “Don’t move! I’ll shoot her!” The man is becoming more and more nervous. The tension in the room is palpable yet Jake seems calm; confident.
“Jake, don’t,” I plead just above a whisper. My eyes dart back and forth between the men. Tears build in my eyes, goose bumps spread across my skin. This is not going to end well. The hand that the intruder’s gun is in begins to tremble and he raises his other hand to stabilize himself. He’s edgy. “Jake,” I whisper while closing my eyes so tightly, instinctively preparing for what’s to come. I can feel it all around me. I can feel something bad closing in on us. I’m scared. I’m so scared.
Without warning, shots ring out. I’m not sure how many. I fall to the floor in a heap then roll to my stomach. I immediately begin scrambling face down for safety. It’s a feeble effort on my part. The side of my head landed on the tile hard sending a sharp pain ricocheting through my skull. I’m immobile and utterly helpless. I can’t open my eyes no matter how hard I try. My lungs burn. I need to take a breath. My brain is screaming at me to breathe, but I can’t.
Warmth covers my chest. It spreads down my ribs to my side. Immediately following the warmth is a cold that I’ve never felt. It’s a frigid type of cold that seems to emanate from the inside out. Confusion sets in and my train of thought is centered on Jake. I can’t hear him. I can’t see him.
Without regard for anything else I will my body to move and my eyes to open. A searing hot pain causes me to cry out as I force myself onto my side. With my temple pressed to the cool tile, my eyes widen offering me the first glimpse of Jake. He’s only feet from me. The low light provides just enough for me to see. He’s lying on the floor facing me. Mirror image. Blood has covered his neck and chest. The rose red pool around him keeps growing spilling out life with it. An unearthly shrill fills the space around us. A long moment passes before I realize that the unnatural noise is coming from me. It’s worse than a wounded animal. It’s what I imagine a dying person sounds like.
My love. My sweet love. Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.    

Seven Years of Bad Luck

You can also get your hands on J.L.'s latest, Seven Years of Bad Luck at your friendly online retailer of reading perfection: 


Here's that awesome Rafflecopter, you guys!  Win a signed paperback of Seven Years Of Bad Luck, or awesome prizes from Rebecca Shea and Vi Keeland, our other two guests today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Worth The Chance by Vi Keeland. A Sneak Peek, A Chapter and a Giveaway


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Vi Keeland shares Chapter 1 of Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter #2) with us! (And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!)


Who's that girl?

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting New York Times and USA Today Best Selling smut author by night!



Find and Follow Vi All Over the Place!

At her own beautiful website, Vi Keeland 
And on Goodreads

Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter #2) - Synopsis 

Meet Liv Michaels
It may have been seven years, but I’d know him anywhere. Sure, he’s grown, filled out in all the right places, but his captivating blue eyes and cocky grin are exactly the way I remember. Even though I’d much rather forget.
Liv Michaels is almost there. She’s smart, determined and weeks away from landing the job she’s dreamed about for years. Time healed old wounds, even her broken heart from the devastation of being crushed by her first love.

Meet Vince Stone
Women love a fighter, especially a good one. Lucky for me, I’m damn good. But there’s one woman that isn’t interested. Not again, anyway. 
Vince ‘The Invincible’ Stone is every woman’s fantasy…strong, sexy, confident and completely in control. Growing up surrounded by chaos, he’s learned never to get too attached. Love will drag you down. He adores women, treats them well, puts their own needs before his own…for the night anyway. With the biggest fight of his life coming up, his focus should be on training.
When fate brings Vince & Liv back together again, there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. But can Vince erase the old scars their past left behind? Or will Liv hurt him instead?
So, yeah, you're gonna want to read it NOW, right?  Well here's the promised link to the first chapter of Worth The Chance, so check yourself before you wreck yourself!
And okay, after that, you're definitely going to want to purchase your copy pronto, so let me hit you up with some linkage, per the following:


Fred's Notes

I don't know a lot about MMA fighting, but I know a lot about reading.  And when a book has the kind of reviews that Vi's books do, I know that like a good fight, it will be raw, emotional, deep and satisfying (hmm, that sounds more like something else, now that I think about it, lol).  Vi's books (especially and including this one) have amazing reviews from so many trusted reader friends - Desiree, Clista, Sheyla, Derna, Aubrey, Alicia - it's like a flippin' who's who of my trusted book-visers.  I'm looking forward to a deeper acquaintance with Liv and Vince - and don't you just know that when a character's nickname is "Invincible," we are probably gonna get some serious moments of wall-crumbling vulnerability, most likely caused by the lips of a  lover, not the fists of a foe.

She's gonna leave you wanting more!

 Worth the Fight, the first (standalone) book in the MMA Fighter series) is also available at fine booksellers at a computer near you.  A book where an MMA fighter and an attorney get together?  Oh yeah, now you've piqued my interest, Vi!  Just step into my office, Ms. Rousey  Oh wait, sorry, got distracted for a moment there.    
 And Vi's earlier Cole series has a serious fan base out there too, be sure to check out Belong To You and Made For You!





And last but no frickin' way least, here's the awesome Rafflecopter Giveaway from Vi, Rebecca Shea, and J.L. Mac, the other two ménage members of Fred's Trifecta of Win!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Undone, by Rebecca Shea. A Sneak Peek, A Prologue, and a Giveaway!

USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Shea is showing us some "Undone" Love!

The full prologue to "Undone" is right here, along with an awesome giveaway of a copy signed by Rebecca herself!

Who's that girl?

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of Unbreakable. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family and her beagle, Miles. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

Find and follow Rebecca all over the place!

At her own beautiful website, Rebecca Shea Author 
And on Goodreads

Undone - Synopsis

I’ve found it’s easier to share my body but not my soul. I need no one, yet I crave her. 
Self-assured and independent, she doesn’t need me—but she wants me, and undeniably I want her too. At war with myself as I battle the secrets of my past, I don’t know if I can allow her to see the darkest parts of me, the parts I’ve left untouched—undone.

As she chips away at the walls I’ve built for years, I fear those secrets will hold me hostage from love—forever.

Fred's Notes

A rather mysterious, rather cryptic, rather enticing synopsis that conceals as much as it reveals?  Alrighty then, author goddess, after Unbreakable we trust you, so bring it!  We've met Landon, our damaged but undeniable protagonist back in Unbreakable, and now we'll learn his story, see his scars, and experience what it means to come ... undone.  But without further ado, let's have a look at that promised prologue!
Undone, A novel by Rebecca Shea -- Prologue
Sifting through the clothes that are strewn about my darkened bedroom, I find my boxer briefs and slide them on. Collecting her bra, panties, shorts, and shirt, I reflect that this is never the fun part of my evening, yet I feel no guilt in asking her to leave. She fell asleep shortly after I fucked her senseless and, for the last hour, I’ve been contemplating how long I should let her sleep before I kick her out.
Sidling up to the edge of the bed, I nudge her shoulder gently. “Hey, Maria.” I keep nudging her until she shifts slightly. “Time to go.” I drop the pile of her clothes on top of her. Giving her some privacy to get dressed, I walk to the bathroom connected to my master suite and close the door behind me.
I turn on the cold water, lean down, and splash my face with it. Grabbing the hand towel from the hanging towel rack, I dry my face and look at the man staring back at me in the mirror. I hear her moving around my room, so I toss my towel onto my bathroom counter and open the bathroom door. The light from the bathroom illuminates the dark bedroom. She is sitting on the end of my bed, leaning down to fasten the straps on her sandals.
Leaning against the doorframe while she finishes up and collects her purse, I can’t help but feel nothing for her. This is not unusual for me; I don’t connect emotionally with most women. I let a woman “in” once—to a place in my heart I really didn’t know existed, but I let her go, knowing she needed something I could never be. I don’t do romance, I don’t do relationships, and I definitely don’t do love.
“Ah, thanks for coming by,” I offer as I walk towards my bedroom door to usher her out of my house and out of my life. I never sleep with the same woman twice; it complicates things. Walking her down the hallway and through the dark, yet modern living room, I open the front door for her, holding it open so she can leave.
Planting herself in front of me, she leans up to kiss me, but I turn my head and successfully dodge her lips—I  rarely kiss women either, just not something I like to do unless I care about them, and there’s only been one I’ve cared enough about to kiss.
“Bye, Maria.” I nudge her towards the open door.
“Maria?” She laughs a bitter laugh. “It’s Mariana, asshole.” Just as she says that, a hand connects with my face. I deserved it; I usually do.
“Mariana...Maria, same thing,” I say, closing the door behind her. For a brief moment, a flash of guilt washes through me before it all but vanishes and I feel nothing—again.

Find Undone now on all publishing platforms!

And don't miss Unbreakable, the first book in the Unbreakable series, along with Rebecca's highly anticipated releases Unforgiven (Unbreakable #3) and Evil Lives Here (links to Goodreads, add them now!)


And last but no frickin' way least, here's the awesome Rafflecopter Giveaway from  Rebecca, Vi Keeland, and J.L. Mac, the other two ménage members of Fred's Trifecta of Win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Terrific Talented Trio Takes Over Today! #FredsMacViSheaPromoDay!

It's a trifecta of win here at Still seeking allies, as we're joined by three amazing authors. Today the blog will be visited by three spirited, unchained women bearing teasers and an awesome Rafflecopter! 

Rebecca Shea

Expect our first visitor, USA Today Bestselling author Rebecca Shea, to float in at around 10am.  We'll learn a little about Rebecca, including a sneak peek at the COMPLETE PROLOGUE of her newest release in her "Unbreakable" series, "Undone," and have the chance to win a copy signed by Rebecca herself!  We're definitely "keyed  up" to have Rebecca here!

Vi Keeland

Expect our second visitor at around 2pm.  Vi Keelanda self-described boring attorney by day, and an exciting New York Times and USA Today Best Selling smut author by night, will join us with a "fighting chance" to win some sweet swag, and a link to the first chapter of her hot new release in her "MMA Fighter" series, Worth The Chance. We're so ready to get vibrant with Vi, it's like a Christmas present or something!

J.L. Mac

The third of our visitors will arrive when the last stroke of six pm has ceased to vibrate. USA Today Bestselling Author J.L. Mac will share the FULL PROLOGUE of her highly anticipated novel Vital Sign! This is an exclusive first look at this highly awaited read, and we are thrilled that lil ole Still seeking allies is able to bring it to you!  J.L. will also be offering a chance to win a signed copy of her just released Seven Years of Bad Luck in the mega-Rafflecopter
extravaganza.  No need to run headlong from the spectral embrace of "nothing awesome to read" with this available!  It's a #MacAttack and we can't hardly wait!

Thanks so much to our spirited trio, we're delighted to have them here, and to share their gifts!  Don't forget to return to experience the mystery, the delight and the joy they'll bring as today's events fulfill the promise of charismatic characters, stupendous storytelling and a richly generous Rafflecopter!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Kool Konversation with Kimberly Knight

Tattooed Dots by Kimberly Knight.  An interview, conversation and getting to know you chat with a really cool author.

Bio and background.

I met Kimberly at the NOLA 2014 Author Event.  As was the case with almost everyone there, I didn't really get to spend enough time with her (yes, it was crazy, but in an awesome way!)  So I took some time, which Kimberly (she prefers Kimberly to Kim, y'all!) graciously shared, to talk with her about her life and her oeuvre.  I learned that she lives in the mountains near a lake with her loving husband and spoiled cat, Precious. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her favorite reality TV shows, watching the San Francisco Giants and San Jose Sharks kick butt, crushing candy on Candy Crush, playing computer games like World of Warcraft with Audrey Harte and online poker. Now that she lives near a lake, she plans on working on her tan and doing more outdoor stuff like...watching hot guys water ski. However, the bulk of her time is dedicated to writing and reading Romance and Erotic fiction.

Why She became an author:

One of the things that fascinate me about our indie author friends is what moved them to write, what led them to start (and more crucially, finish!) that first book.  Here's Kimberly's thoughtful response:  

I didn’t know I would like writing until I actually started doing it. My friend and I would joke about writing a book and one day, I just started writing. I never thought I would actually publish it--or four books so far! I really wanted to write a book where the lead female wasn’t a virgin and she wouldn’t bolt out the door when shit hit the fan. I have read so many books like that (many of them good), but I was getting tired of seeing the same type of storyline used over and over again and wanted to see if I could write something different.

Tattooed Dots - Video and Purchase Links

Tattooed Dots, Kimberly's most recent, is the start of a new series, what's it like?  Well, here's a cool video (the link is in the photo caption, you guys!) that conveys not only what it's about, but its vibe and essence.
Tattooed Dots Video
Don't forget to add Tattooed Dots on Goodreads, and to get your copy at Amazon or B&N!

What Kimberly listens to while she writes:

Another thing that kind of fascinates me (I'm a fascinatable type, what can I say), is the extra cool connection so many of our indie favorites have with music.  The same passion and verve that inform so many musical artists seems to drive our beloved authors, too. Here's what Kimberly had to say about that! 

What I listened to while I wrote my first series (The B&S Series), was a little bit of everything. I love Country music, but sometimes I need a little Nickleback or Train. While I wrote Tattooed Dots, I actually barely listened to music. I don't know why, but I just couldn't have it playing. Weird huh? Here's my play lists on Spotify for Tattooed Dots (it's my favorite):

Follow her on Spotify, Kimberly has amazing eclectic playlists for each of her books, I love how much ground they cover, and the emotions they evoke!

Konnecting with Kimberly

Okay, you've probably had it with the "k" thing by now, so I'll knock it off (lol, see what I did there!)  But now that you've seen how cool Kimberly is you're going to want to follow her everywhere.  So here's the handy guide to doing so, with an added bonus of a charming picture of Kimberly raising a farewell glass as a bonus.

Kimberly Knight Kontacts (Sorry!)

Thanks so much for joining us here at Still seeking allies blog, Kimberly! It's been wonderful getting to know you, spending time with you, and entering the emotional magic of the worlds you create! Wishing you all the best of success with Tattooed Dots and all the amazing places you've yet to take us! 

Block 24, by Evan Tyler

Guest Post: Block 24 by Evan Tyler: A Review by esteemed guest blogger Alida Hartmann Gauss.

I recently had the chance to meet amazing, mutlitalented author Evan Tyler at the NOLA 2014 Author event.  Her newly published Block 24 is different, intense, and taking the indie world by storm.  It had quite an impact on our guest blogger, Alida, who was moved to write her first review ever!  I'm delighted to welcome Alida, an awesome reader and friend, and to share her heartfelt thoughts, below.


A re-emergence of the past…

Natalie Clarke might be spiteful at best and vicious at worst, but was that reason enough for Phillip Gise to leave her lonely and diseased? Fortunately, she has a set of devious plans that just might keep her busy enough to forget her present situation.

Guy Lewis has played Best Friend Extraordinaire to Natalie since grade school, supporting her through all of her daily drama. This time around, Guy runs into his own troubles when his fierce, wealthy manager gives him the type of attention he never asked for…or expected.

Julia Clarke, Natalie’s younger sister, has arrived in Brooklyn to uncover their grandmother’s secret life in Block 24, the site of Auschwitz’s little-known brothel. What Julia discovers proves more relevant in the present age than ever before.

Both heady and sobering, Block 24 is a look at the ways evil from the past can so insidiously visit the present.

Alida's Review

Block 24 is a profoundly gripping book. I was held captive by each of the characters in this book. This is not a light read if that is what you are looking for. It is raw and deep and amazingly written. I am still thinking about the characters and their stories in this book, weeks after I finished it. The way Evan brings the past to the present and blends them together is artful. I wish I were a writer so I could better express what an amazing book Block 24 is.

Fred's Notes

Evan & me, NOLA 2014
I love Alida's review - straight to the heart! And as I mentioned, I was lucky enough to meet Evan not long ago, and to experience first hand not only her outsized charm and kindness, but the enthusiasm of the readers who've responded to her lyrical, poignant and mature novel. Block 24 is different from a lot of the NA hitting the market now. It's informed and infused by the past, by the deep ties of history, and family, and pain. I highly commend it to your attention, and as Alida's review makes clear, it's one of those books that will resonate, long after you've finished.

Find your copy of Block 24 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And add it now to your Goodreads!Evan

Follow Evan on Facebook, Twitter, or at her awesome blog,

Thanks for joining the Still seeking allies team, Alida Hartmann Gauss, great having you here!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Freedom, by S.A. Wolfe

This is a stand-alone sequel to Fearsome. No cliffhanger!

Dylan Blackard is back in town and certain everyone knows his secrets; there’s nothing left to hide. Putting away his notorious reputation as the wild guy with a womanizing past, he’s now on a new path. As long as he gives up his old vices, including women, he can keep himself on the straight and narrow and be the good guy, living up to everyone’s expectations.

However, obsessing about his own ability for self-control is making Dylan one humorless, cranky hermit. That all changes when his brother hires a new employee, the stunning Emma Keller, who will be sharing an office with him and all of his tightly wound nerves.

Emma, a spunky young woman from New Jersey, isn’t about to feel sorry for Dylan and his situation. She is beyond distracting to him, and that is enough to turn his emotional balancing act upside down. Not only is she smart, and a smart aleck, she's also very determined to pull the sexy Dylan Blackard out of his self-imposed isolation.

From the moment he meets her, he feels alive again, but Emma doesn’t come as a gift with a pretty bow - she comes with major baggage - a family history embedded in its own turmoil.

Will Emma be the tipping point that causes Dylan to regress into his old destructive behaviors….or is he actually pursuing her for keeps?

*Due to adult language and sexual content, this New Adult Contemporary Romance is intended for readers over the age of 18.
Cover Designer: Damon at
Fred's Notes
S.A. Wolfe is new to me, but I plan to remedy that, since she comes highly recommended by my most awesome Irish reader friend Emma Corcoran.  One cool thing about this cover that strikes me right away is not only the contrast between Mr. Super Muscles and his vulnerable, submissive pose, but the way that it incorporates so many heart shaped images into the composition.  I see at least three, including those amazing traps.  Whoa!

Freedom's expected publication date is April 7, 2014, add it on Goodreads now!

And check out Fearsome, S.A.'s first, while you're there!

Add it on Goodreads or buy it at Amazon now!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Writing From The Heart - An Interview with author Steph Campbell, Friend Is A Four Letter Word

Steph Campbell is an author I've adored ever since I read the amazing Grounding Quinn, way back when self-publishing and the indie world were very much a new phenomenon (June 2011, for those keeping score).  I'm delighted to have her here in the interview chair at Still seeking allies, as part of Have Book Will Read's Blog Tour for the release of her latest, Friend Is A Four Letter Word.

Welcome Steph, so great to have you here!  Let's plunge right in with the good old Spanish Inquisition!  (What you didn't expect that?  Well, nobody expects ... haha, sorry!)

Your books have a very palpable sense of place - especially Southern California (the Quinn and Silver Strand series)  and Louisiana (My Heart/Fate For Yours)  Is that something you strive for, and do you have thoughts on how that affects the reader's experience?

I think the biggest reason I choose to write my novels set in particular places boils down to the whole "write what you know" bit. I've lived in both Southern California and Southern Louisiana (and Georgia!) and there are certain aspects of those places that hold vivid memories for me. I want readers to feel that they're there with my characters and having a connection to the atmosphere helps. With the Lengths series specifically, Liz and I made a trip to Southern California and visited most all of the sites in the books to draw more inspiration. [Ed. note - That must have been quite the "research" trip, right?] I think/hope it helps draw readers in.I'm not sure how the readers experience is affected. I *hope* they enjoy it. :)

Were you a surfer growing up?  Surfing seems like kind of a cathartic, soul satisfying experience for lots of your characters.  Do you feel that the use of surfing conveys something emotional to your readers, is it consistently a metaphor for something?  Freedom? Struggle? Grounding? Escape?

 I dated a couple of guys that surfed when I was younger, and they took me out. I love the ocean, and the surf culture, but falling off of a board is about the extent of my surfing history.I think there's something so pure and freeing about the ocean and surfing. It's an entirely different world out there in the waves and it can definitely make you feel minuscule in the grand scheme of the world, and really put things in perspective. Surfing is more than a hobby to the characters I've written, it's almost a religion.

You've had two wonderful collaboration partners in Jolene B Perry and Liz Reinhardt, how did you decide to proceed with them, and is the experience different in each case, in terms of your process, or how it feels?

Jolene B Perry

I've been so lucky to work with both Jolene and Liz. I think the best part of co-writing is how much you learn from working so closely with someone, and each of you trusting each other with something so personal. The way that I work with Liz is completely different than the way I work with Jolene. The two books Jolene and I wrote together were both A) written completely out of order and B) involved zero plotting. We would each write whatever we felt like at whatever point in the story we felt like writing and then say "you're welcome!" (kidding. Sort of.) But Jo and I are total pantsers--we write completely from the hip and have total trust that each of us will do the right thing for the characters and story. I honestly can't think of a time when one of us said, "I don't think that'll work. I'm changing it."

Liz and I have published 7 books together (and written a handful of others that have yet to be published) [Ed. note - Wow!] and we have tried every method from the way I described with Jolene, to alternating chapters and POV to the way we've finally settled on which is: We call each other every morning and discuss where we're at in the story and spitball ideas back and forth about what we think should happen next and the characters motivations. Whoever gets to the manuscript first, wins! (kidding) but usually one of us will dive in and write until we don't know what to write (or our writing time for the day is up) and then leave a brief outline of what we *think* should happen next. If the other agrees (almost always) we pick up right where the other left off and continue on the same way. It works for us well! 
Steph and Liz

I think in the beginning when co-writing I would bite my nails a little wondering what the other would think of what I wrote, but now it's just a process that I've settled in to and I love the feedback and the tweaking. It's a huge learning experience and I've grown so much as a writer from co-writing. 

You've talked a little bit before about the decision to go indie, and I gather it was somewhat of a wrenching one, both in terms of making the decision, and with respect to the impact it had on your relationships with other authors.  The landscape has changed so much since you made that decision, what are your  thoughts on it now, and have any of those naysayers come around, or gone indie themselves?

Ha! This is such a great question [Ed. note - See, I told you Steph was insightful, lol,]. I decided to go indie after a couple of years of querying, and it was a really hard decision to make, because at the time, the story was that if you self published, you could kiss ever writing under your real name again. Actually, the day after I uploaded my first book for sale on Amazon, I got an offer of representation from a huge agent that was on my "dream" list. So, yes, it did take me some time to find peace with my decision. A lot of that peace came from finding such an amazing community of indie authors and readers and, as you mentioned, the changing environment. People became more accepting of indie, and to be honest, I lost friends when I first indie pubbed. I had people tell me that I'd ruined my career. They claimed they would NEVER self publish--and several of those people have since come around and asked for advice as to how to get started--and have done quite well in the indie world since then. :) 

I think I've finally realized that there isn't one perfect way to publish for each person. Everyone has their own publishing journey. I'm still on mine. :)
Rocking the indie with the Wilders at RT

The emotional intensity and angst of your books sometimes overshadows the very funny dialog and banter that leavens them.  Do you have to pull back on the drama to interject that, or does it all flow somewhat organically?  

First of all, THANK YOU for saying that my books are funny! A very well known hybrid author once told Liz and I that we are "so funny in person, we should make our books funny, too!" And of course we said, "Wait, they ARE funny!"  
Liz once told me that after meeting me in person, she feels like my books are very voyeuristic. Like you catch such huge glimpses of me in each of them, but until you know me, you can't pick them out. I really do write from the heart, and try to be as authentic as possible. So, I guess all of the emotion, one-liners, etc... just come organically. 

Your characters have passions they pursue with intensity - cooking, photography. Do you have a subject that animates you like that?  Is it writing, or something else?

Again, this is one of those "write what you know," things. I took photography in high school and college and bake constantly in my spare time. There are things that I know nothing about that always seem to work their way into my books, though. Sailing, fencing, painting.... I've watched so many hours of random You Tube videos to come up with a single sentence some times. :) 

Thanks so much for joining us, Steph!  Wishing you the very best of success with Friend is a Four Letter Word and all the amazing projects you have going!  Whatever you do, wherever you go, you can always count on Still seeking allies for support, we love you that much!

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