Saturday, November 9, 2013

LAST day of the EVERYTHING BETWEEN US blog tour ...

And here we go! I want to thank all the bloggers who participated and the lovely Giselle at Xpresso Tours for doing an absolutely phenomenal job coordinating everything.

In addition to reviews and excerpts, there are plenty of chances to win an ebook of EVERYTHING BETWEEN US!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day THREE of the EVERYTHING BETWEEN US blog tour

Here we go! I'm so grateful to all these wonderful bloggers and to Xpresso Tours for coordinating.

I write NA romances that are a little different, in that so far, all of them have involved at least one major character who has some sort of mental illness. I guess I've done that because I'm a psychologist, and I happen to know some stuff about both mental illness and its treatment--and I also know that ONE IN FOUR people will meet criteria for a mental disorder at some point in their lives.

But still, people are people, and with or without illness, they fall in wild, passionate love, and that love can be part of what gives them strength. I don't romanticize the conditions in my books, but I still think they're romantic.

You shouldn't listen to my own opinion about my book, though (links will be updated as of the blogs post--currently the first 5 on the list are live)! Go see what reviewers are saying!
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

EVERYTHING BETWEEN US is live! Day TWO of the blog tour.

In May, I wrote ONLY BETWEEN US. And as I did, something happened that I didn't expect: Caleb's best friend, Daniel--this guy who was making his living as an artist in part by selling his body right along with his paintings--became a character who HAD to have his own book. I couldn't get him off my mind. And so, as soon as I finished OBU, I wrote EVERYTHING BETWEEN US. 
 
And it's out today!
 
 

The Xpresso Book Tours blog review tour is in its second day, so check out what bloggers are saying about EBU!




Monday, November 4, 2013

Day ONE of the EVERYTHING BETWEEN US blog tour!

EVERYTHING BETWEEN US comes out tomorrow, and this is the first day of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

In many ways, EBU is the lightest book I've ever written, even though one of the main characters is dealing with a serious anxiety disorder. It's screwed up in its own way, though (yes, in the very first scene of the book, Daniel is in bed with Stella's mom ...)



Here's what reviewers are saying so far, and there are many chances to win a copy of EVERYTHING BETWEEN US!
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

HEAT UP THE FALL--a bundle of SIX NA books for only $.99!

I am SO excited about this!


Check it out! Do you love NA? Would you like to read some of the best NA around?

Would you like to pay only $.99 for six full-length NA novels?

Well.

Now is your chance. This book bundle will ONLY be available for a short period of time, so pick it up ...

Sexy Scottish boys. Handsome instructors. Bad boy slackers. Baby, it's cold outside. Cuddle up with six hot boys in the HEAT UP THE FALL: New Adult Boxed Set, featuring six full-length novels from bestselling authors.

CATCHING LIAM by Gennifer Albin—Jillian has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint. Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps.

ADDICTED TO YOU by Colina Brennan—Even though Leah's been forced to attend therapy for sex addicts, her real problem is that she can't do relationships--sooner or later, everyone lets you down. But with Will McLean trying to break through her walls, love might be one addiction she can't kick.

ONLY BETWEEN US by Mila Ferrera—Determined to reclaim her passion for art and life after escaping an abusive relationship, Romy signs up for a painting class, where the possibility of passion becomes very real in the form of her hot but mysterious teacher, Caleb. But to be together, both of them must confront the ghosts of their past.

REDESIGNED by Denise Grover Swank—Sparks fly when fashion design student Caroline Hunter meets mathematics grad student, Reed Pendergraft. Reed doesn’t fit her future husband profile, but Caroline finds out her life is about to be redesigned.

BY REFERRAL ONLY by Lyla Payne—Ruby's dating experiences at Whitman have taught her that she's better off sticking with steady flings as opposed to looking love, but persistent Scotsman Cole Stuart is out to change her mind. But between the girls of Whitman warning her to stay away and the secrets hidden under his kilt, these two will have to find a way to believe in the future--and each other--to make it work.

SUBJECT TO CHANGE by Alessandra Thomas—Joey's always lived her life according to plan - study hard, get great grades, become a doctor and beat the cancer that killed her dad. But when she starts to fall behind in classes and meets Hawk, she begins to see that following her carefully measured plans may be ruining her ability to truly live.

SIX hilarious, heart-breaking, and sizzling hot New Adult novels sure to heat you up!


Amazon.
BN.com.
More links to come ...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Giveaway winners!

EVERYTHING BETWEEN US comes out four weeks from today!


I'm pretty excited. The ARCs are in the hands of reviewers for the blog tour, and I'm just hanging out, biting my fingernails and pacing. No big.

Now! My giveaway has ended, and all the winners have been notified. Still waiting to hear from a few, but here they are, as selected by Random.org:

The winners of the $50 gift cards were: KK Hendin and Amanda Marin!

The winner of the e-ARC of Everything Between Us was: Anu CN!

The winner of an ebook of Spiral was: Jessie

The winner of an ebook of Only Between Us was: Kierra D!

Thanks to everyone who participated :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

NICE AND HOT Men of NA: Bennett from ALL OF YOU by Christina Lee


Time for another installment of NICE AND HOT Men of NA! As some of you know, I'm on a quest to find and discuss NA books that feature male protagonists who are strong--but not a$$holes. Who are assertive--but not controlling. Who are sexy--but not domineering, cocky, or snarky. In other words, I'm looking for gentlemen. HOT gentlemen. And today I bring you:


In All of You by Christina Lee, Avery Michaels is interested only in quick flings to satisfy her sexual needs--no relationships wanted or allowed. But when she meets Bennett Reynolds, she's thrown for a loop.

And so was I! The thing with Bennett: he's a virgin. A hot tattoo artist virgin. That alone absolutely made me clamber for this book. What made me LOVE this story, though, was Bennett the character, not just his superficial description. He's principled without being rigid and judgmental. He's sensitive without being weak. He wants something real. A real relationship, a real love--and he's willing to wait for it. He guards his heart, and he values himself enough to expect whomever he's with to do the same.

What I adored about Bennett is that he is human. He's powerfully attracted to Avery, and their chemistry is scorching. Both characters second-guess themselves and make mistakes. They hurt each other, but not intentionally. And they go out of their way to correct those mistakes because of the respect and affection they feel. Their journey is absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable, and Bennett is the type of guy that exemplifies the nice and hot characters I search for in romance. He cares so much about Avery, but he also demands respect from her. He'll do just about anything for her, but he refuses to lose himself. He's strong, gentle, and thoughtful. Ah ... and SUPER SEXY.

Have you read ALL OF YOU? Do you agree with me about Bennett? Any other recommendations to add to my Nice and Hot reading list?

And while you're here, check out my giveaway! You might win one of 2 $50 gift cards so you can buy MOAR BOOKS with Nice&Hot heroes ;)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with cover designer Jenn Rush ... and pics of hot shirtless guys. AND a giveaway!


GUYS. I am so excited to have author, photographer, and designer Jennifer Rush on the blog! As you may know, she's the genius behind all three of my covers, and I wanted to bring her here and interrogate her a bit! Oh, and also, to get her to show us some outtakes from the photo shoots, including some amazing *ahem* shirtless pics of a few of the male models.


You're a published YA author and a photographer/designer. In other words, you seem kinda busy. When and how did you decide to start doing cover designs?

This might sound silly to some people, but I am a firm believer in astrology, and I am totally an Aries. I lose interest in everything I do very quickly, and found that switching up my creative process, or switching projects, helps immensely. Graphic design has always been a love of mine, and when I finally learned how to properly use a camera, I realized I could combine all my loves (books, photography and design) to create.
 
And designing book covers is a creative field that is almost tailored to my work style. I can tell a story through the image, but it’s a tightly compact story, short and sweet, the way I like it. And once it’s done (usually takes about a week or two from beginning to end), I’m ready to move on to the next project.
 
Writing is different in that it takes months, sometimes over a year, to finalize. Which isn’t to say I hate writing (writing is definitely my first love), or that I like it less than designing/photography, it just uses a lot more energy. It’s nice to take a mini break every now and then, and do something that’s just as creative, but in a completely different way. 
 
You've designed three covers for me now, and others for authors at Spencer Hill Press. Do you have a specific design process, or is it different every time?
 
My process is similar for each cover. I go into it having a general idea of what I want the finished cover to look like. I always start with the image, and finish any composite work, if it needs it. From there, I tweak the coloring, because the color of the image will dictate the overall color scheme of the design. Then it’s title placement and author name. I would say I almost spend more time picking out fonts, and placement, than anything else.
  
Tell us what it's like to work with hot, shirtless male models. Because really, that's what all of us want to know.
Well, before the shoot, I always get a little bit nervous! You’re never quite sure what the models will be like in person, or if they’ll take direction well, or if the location is good, or if the lighting is good. There are a lot of things out of my control, and I always worry about getting the perfect shot.
 
Every model I’ve worked with so far has been phenomenal. Great people, super sweet, and totally willing to try whatever I throw at them. I can only imagine how hard it is to almost-kiss a near stranger while someone is snapping your picture. But they do it! And they do it well!
 
After the shoot, when I’m going through the pictures of hot shirtless boys, it finally dawns on me (every single time) that my job is photographing hot shirtless boys, and then I realize how lucky I am. 

In your opinion, what makes a great book cover?

So many elements! I’m not sure I could pinpoint just one thing. It takes a great image, good compositing (making all of the elements look natural to the overall image), the perfect font, the perfect placement of the title and the right colors. You want to make sure the colors compliment each other, but also pop off the design as well.
 
Do you want people to come to you with requests to design their covers? 
 
I’m definitely open to taking on more design work! But, my schedule is definitely limited, since my writing deadlines come first. J I’m really looking forward to doing more compositing in the future, and trying my hand at some fantasy/paranormal work.  
 

There you go, folks! And, because Jenn is awesome, she's decided to share a few extra pics from her photo shoots! Enjoy!
 
These are from SPIRAL's photo shoot, and I think these two make the perfect Nessa and Aron!
 
 
Airbrushing could not make his abs more perfect.
 
These are from the photo shoot from EVERYTHING BETWEEN US, and we chose these two models because they are the *perfect* Daniel and Stella.
 
Okay. This one kinda leaves me speechless.
 
Sorry, my brain is no longer functioning, so perhaps I'll just leave this giveaway here for you and leave it at that.
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

EVERYTHING BETWEEN US--The cover, and a huge giveaway!

I know, I know. Only Between Us only came out a week ago! It's the story of Caleb, a starving artist struggling to make it while caring for his emotionally unstable younger sister, and Romy, an aspiring therapist trying to reclaim her passion for art after escaping an abusive relationship. Thanks to everybody who's read, reviewed, and told their friends about it!

AMAZON.
 BARNES & NOBLE.
 SMASHWORDS.

So, I've written a companion novel to OBU--called EVERYTHING BETWEEN US--and it comes out on 11/5. It features Daniel, Caleb's best friend (but it's not a sequel--you don't have to have read OBU first!) Unlike Caleb, who dreaded the prospect of selling his body right along with his art, Daniel makes a living that way. He's having a fine time until he meets Stella, the reclusive college-dropout daughter of Daniel's latest wealthy fling--she sees right through him, and the sparks fly.

There will be a review tour for Everything Between Us from 11/4-11/9, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Sign-ups are here.

And and and--in case you haven't seen the cover, here it is! Like the covers for Spiral and Only Between Us, the cover for Everything Between Us was designed, using original photography, by the multi-talented Jennifer Rush! I'll be posting an interview with her on FRIDAY, along with extra pics of the models from the photo shoots! *fans self* I am excited.

But before we get to that, here's the cover for Everything Between Us! It comes out in less than two months, so check below the cover for some goodies to entertain you while you wait.



 
This cover perfectly fits the story, as Daniel makes Stella want to face her fears--and Stella makes Daniel realize he has a few fears of his own.
 
I'm so excited about it that I made a widget!
 
 
Also, I like you. So here's a giveaway. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ONLY BETWEEN US is live--AND ONLY $.99!



Last semester, Romy escaped from an abusive relationship with the guy she’d thought was the man of her dreams. This semester she’s putting herself back together, determined to reclaim her
passion for art and for life. When she signs up for a painting class at the local art co-op, the possibility of passion becomes very real -- in the form of her teacher, Caleb. Both mysterious and seriously hot, Caleb bares his soul on his canvases, and Romy’s fascinated by what she sees.

Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.

Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other?



Or visit any one of these lovely blogs to enter to win a copy (thanks to all blogs participating in my release day blitz today, and thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for setting it up!):

http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/
http://www.shebookblogs.com/
http://www.cafebiblioart.com/
http://literaryetc.com
http://emikorei.blogspot.co.uk
http://thereadingrealmblog.blogspot.com.au
http://greeneyedgirlsocds.blogspot.mx/
www.bookladysreviews.blogspot.com
https://www.faerietalebooks.org
http://www.drpepperdiva.wordpress.com
http://www.snarkymomreads.com/
http://margayleahjustice.blogspot.com
http://jesstimetoread.blogspot.com
http://leona-says.blogspot.com
http://literarynook.com
http://www.whirlwindbooksandreviews.com/
http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com
http://rollingwiththemoments.blogspot.com.au/
www.readingpastmybedtime.net
http://www.meangirlsluvbooks.blogspot.com
http://a4alphab4books.blogspot.com.au
http://paranormalopinion.blogspot.com/
http://www.lostineverafter.blogspot.ca/
http://www.confessionsofabookwhore.com
http://www.tiffanytalksbooks.com/
http://adiaryofabookaddict.blogspot.com/
http://booksoverboys.blogspot.com
http://sabthebookeater.blogspot.com/
http://nervidetoamna.blogspot.ro/
http://thedaydreamer3.blogspot.ro/
http://bianca2b.wordpress.com
http://couchpotatoism.blogspot.com/
http://ilove-books.blogspot.com/
www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com
http://livinginabookworld.blogspot.gr
http://noteveryonesmama.com
http://sarahelizabethsbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/
http://eatsleepread88.blogspot.com/
http://rumpledsheetsblog.wordpress.com/
http://nervidetoamna.blogspot.ro/
http://sbooklover.wordpress.com/
http://rosebeps.blogspot.it/
http://hotofftheshelves.blogspot.com
http://xtheshadowrealmx.blogspot.ie/
http://justreadandtravelinanotherworld.blogspot.ro/
http://two-tall-tales.blogspot.com
http://writeawaybliss.com
http://midwestgalleygirl.wordpress.com/
http://www.bookishlover.blogspot.com
www.julianahaygert.com/blognews/
http://jesusfreakreader.blogspot.com/
http://loveinspiredream.blogspot.com/
http://stinalindenblattwrites.blogspot.ca/
http://bookpics-reading2alba.blogspot.com
http://youngadultbookaddict.blogspot.com.au/
http://thoughtsandpens.com
http://www.Bookcrackercaroline.blogspot.com
www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com
http://lovetoreadagoodbook.blogspot.com/
http://myneuroticbookaffair.blogspot.com
http://www.nobentspines.blogspot.com/
http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.co.uk
http://alwaysjoart.blogspot.com/
www.mommyslatenightbookup.blogspot.com
http://www.haloangelreads.blogspot.com/
http://www.truestorybookblog.com/
http://allinabook.blogspot.com/
www.bookladysreviews.blogspot.com
http://bibliophilemystery.blogspot.ro/
http://www.onereaderswonderland.com/
http://novel-lasses.blogspot.com/
www.thethreebookateers.wordpress.com
http://crescentonivy.blogspot.com
http://sassybooklovers.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 30, 2013

Teaser #3 from ONLY BETWEEN US

EEK. ONLY BETWEEN US comes out on Tuesday, 9/3/13--and it will spend a very limited time at $.99! I have one more teaser for you, but first, here's the description:

Last semester, Romy escaped from an abusive relationship with the guy she’d thought was the man of her dreams. This semester she’s putting herself back together, determined to reclaim her passion for art and for life. When she signs up for a painting class at the local art co-op, the possibility of passion becomes very real -- in the form of her teacher, Caleb. Both mysterious and seriously hot, Caleb bares his soul on his canvases, and Romy’s fascinated by what she sees.

Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.

Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other?


If you're read the other two teasers (which can be found here and here), you see what they think of each other. So ... what could possibly keep these two apart? Several things, actually, but I'll give you a taste of one of them here ... (oh, and pardon the strong language. This is from Caleb's POV, and ... he does that sometimes):

"I wake with a start, nerves jangling. Tense and sweating, I hold my breath. Creak. My stomach turns and I taste bile. Slowly, I sit up and push the sheet aside. I check my phone—3:00 a.m. I stumbled in an hour ago and fell right into bed. I was having a dream. A nightmare, really, the one I have every night. I relax a little and start to lie back.

Creak. No. Not a nightmare. It’s him. He’s here. Did Katie let him in? Why the hell would she ever do that? My bare feet hit the floor and I’m up. I won’t let this happen again. I’ll kill him if I have to.

I’m in the hallway and prowling toward Katie’s bedroom when I catch myself.

What the fuck am I doing?

I force myself to a stop, bracing my hands on the dingy walls. I suck in a long, unsteady breath as my heart punches against my ribs. We’re safe here. It’s only Katie and me. I’m not a kid anymore, and neither is she.

Just in case, I creep to the door of her room and peek in. My sister’s breathing is slow and heavy. She shifts, turning over. Creak. It’s the springs of her bed. Nothing more. I pivot on my heel and lean back against the wall, listening to her sleep. She seems so peaceful, so calm. I wonder what her dreams are like. She won’t tell me. I’m the last person she would tell."


ONLY BETWEEN US will be available for download in just four days ...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nice and Hot Men of NA: Cade from Faking It


Another week, another hot-but-gentle hero. When I first announced my quest to find these gentlemen of NA, some of you suggested Cora Carmack's work. I loved Losing It--I read it while Hurricane Sandy raged outside, and barely even noticed when the power went out. I recently read her second book, Faking It, and loved it just as much! In fact, I enjoyed these books to such an extent that you can find mention of them in ONLY BETWEEN US!


Ah, Cade. He had his heart broken by Bliss in Losing It, and this book starts with him trying to pick up the pieces. He lost out to the BRITISH guy, and yet he's still trying to be a friend to Garrick and Bliss, even though it hurts him. He is, as his heroine, Max, calls him, a "Golden Boy." He's a genuinely good guy, like the polar opposite of a douchebag. Max, therefore, initially has the incorrect impression that he's bland.

I think this is actually an assumption that many readers make when they hear that a hero is "nice," or isn't an alpha male. They perhaps draw the conclusion that he is without edge, without intrigue or strength or spice. As if the quality of being snarky is what makes a guy interesting. Bleh.

This is why I loved Cade, and how Cora Carmack showed his perspective. I loved that when Cade gets pissed off, his anger is not expressed through cruelty or temper tantrums. He can be forceful, for sure, but he always has this underlying gentleness and control over himself. And he's rock-steady when it comes to being there for the girl he loves, even if it hurts him. That's the epitome of an excellent romance hero, in my opinion.

Cade falls into the category of just-plain-nice. He doesn't have the deep, dark secrets or soul-deep emotional wounds that characterize the damaged-yet-nice heroes like Lucas from Easy or Drew from One Week Girlfriend. That doesn't make him any less compelling, though, especially because he's paired up with a woman who is a perfect match for him.

Have you read Faking It? Do you agree with me about Cade? Any other reading recommendations for me?

Monday, August 26, 2013

SPIRAL is $.99!

My second book, Only Between Us, comes out on 9/3, but as we head into the holiday weekend, I wanted to tell you that SPIRAL, my first book, is only $.99 on Amazon!

Spiral covers some difficult topics, but I've been so grateful for the response readers have had. It's less a light romance and more an intense love story, about hanging tough when life spirals out of control. Oh, but with plenty of sexytimes. :)



Nessa Cavanaugh, psychology student, knows how to stay on an even keel. Despite the urging of her mother and her academic advisor to get a life and have some fun, “all work and no play” sums up her plan to survive her grueling internship year at a children's hospital. She doesn't want to end up like her father, whose constant ups and downs broke her family, and avoiding unnecessary emotional entanglements is a must.

Then she (literally) runs into Dr. Aron Lindstrom in the middle of her disastrous first day on the job. The attraction is instant—and terrifying. Nessa knows she should stay away—especially when she finds out he has a reputation for being a player—but Aron is brilliant, intense, and as sexy as they come. When he challenges her to take a chance on him, her plans to stay focused on work start to crumble.

But what begins as passion takes on a dangerous edge, becoming an emotional roller coaster that’s frighteningly familiar. As things spiral out of control, Nessa must decide whether she should hold on for the ride or run … even if it means leaving her heart behind.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Teaser #2 from ONLY BETWEEN US


I talk a lot about "nice and hot" heroes in NA, and that's because I adore a truly gentle guy. I confess, though, I also love a damaged guy, one with a bit of an edge. Caleb definitely falls into the nice-yet-damaged category, and it's exactly what Romy needs. Here's an excerpt from her POV:

"One minute, we were talking about painting, and the next, he was right there, close enough for me to see the tiny spot on his jaw where he nicked himself shaving, close enough for me to see his pulse beating in the hollow of his throat.

Part of me wanted to crawl into his lap and put my mouth on his. Caleb is undeniably hot, but there’s also something about him that’s vulnerable. It’s like that part of him was calling out to me, begging me to look. Begging me to touch. Like his paintings.

Another part of me wanted to run. Alone, in a park, with a man I don’t know very well. The first time I’ve been that close to a guy in months. Not since Alex, in January, not since that night when everything exploded after weeks of agonizing simmering.

Then Caleb touched me, and it was so gentle that it melted me. His fingers smelled of turpentine and soap—he’d been painting this afternoon, maybe this evening. His skin was warm and rough and my body responded instantly. Just like that, my fears winked out and disappeared, replaced by a restless hunger. We’d been talking about sensation, about how people lose the ability to embrace something for the sheer joy of it without thinking it to death, and that’s what I wanted.

I have a right to this, I’d thought to myself. It’s time for me to experience something for my own pleasure and for no other reason. And as soon as Caleb’s fingertips slid over my skin, I knew he could give that to me."

There you go! For a teaser from Caleb's POV that I posted earlier this week, look here. If you want to read a bit more about the story behind the cover (designed by the fabulous Jennifer Rush) and hear a little more about Romy and Caleb, check out my guest posts here and here at Books Over Boys.

And here's a chance to win a copy of the book before it comes out on 9/3/13:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teaser #1 from ONLY BETWEEN US (win it before it comes out!)

ONLY BETWEEN US comes out two weeks from TODAY! I can't wait to share Romy and Caleb's story with you guys.

If you're wondering, as is the case with all my books, ONLY BETWEEN US is a standalone story (no cliffhanger! Yay!) with an HEA.




Here's the blurb:
Last semester, Romy escaped from an abusive relationship with the guy she’d thought was the man of her dreams. This semester she’s putting herself back together, determined to reclaim her passion for art and for life. When she signs up for a painting class at the local art co-op, the possibility of passion becomes very real -- in the form of her teacher, Caleb. Both mysterious and seriously hot, Caleb bares his soul on his canvases, and Romy’s fascinated by what she sees.

Caleb is just trying to keep his head above water. Caring for his traumatized, unstable sister is getting harder every day, and his paintings are so dark and bleak that no one is buying. Teaching classes at the co-op is no longer enough, and now he’s going to have to sell more than just his art to the wealthy, sex-starved women in his classes. But when Romy comes along, she makes everything more complicated. She sees the truth in his paintings -- a truth no one else has realized, until now.

Romy and Caleb might have a real shot together -- one that could heal them both. But when ghosts from their pasts re-emerge, determined to keep them apart, will they be strong enough to hold on to each other

And here is a little teaser! It's from Caleb's POV:

"Romy’s destroying me, pure and simple. She’s twisting me up and tearing me apart, and it’s not even hard for her. She does it with a single look, a stroke of her fingers, a few words—kiss me again—finishing me off with the taste of her mouth, the softness of her lips, her sweet, breathless sigh against my ear. She has no idea how powerful she is, how much harder she’s going to make things for me. But I crave her more than I’ve craved anything in a long time, and for once, I want to have something just for me."
 
 

There you have it! If you'd like to add OBU to your to-read shelf, go here.

If you're a blogger and are interested in an e-ARC, please contact me at milaferrerabooks (at) gmail.

And if you'd like to enter for a chance to win an ebook, here you go:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 19, 2013

Nice and Hot Men of NA: Matt from Flat-Out Love

Here we are again in my never-ending pursuit of the perfect non-alpha hero. Of course there's nothing wrong with a good alpha, but I've noticed a trend toward heroes who skip past alpha right into scaryland. I can't help my tastes, and also, I'm a mental health professional, so I don't find it romantic to read about relationship dynamics that, to me, seem to have potential for abuse in the future.

ANYWAY, I want to tell you about another book with a NICE GUY hero that I just read and loved. You may have already read it, because it is a best seller. Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake, and it takes me a while to read super-popular books. When I do, I always approach with caution, wondering if the book is really worth all the raves. I've been disappointed before.

And so it was that I began Jessica Park's Flat-Out Love with supreme caution. But the concern had evaporated within a few pages, because I was laughing about burritos. This book just made me smile. It was lovely and witty and clever and quirky, confidently written and absolutely fascinating.

Also, there was Matt.

Matt is a very unusual romance lead--he's the nerdy, super-smart, not exceptionally good-looking guy. The one who keeps to himself. He's so buttoned-down that Julie, the heroine, simply can't read him. Jessica Park did such a fabulous job restraining his character and keeping him from showing his cards until just the right time. I loved it because I think Matt is really a realistic guy. Apart from the astronomically high IQ, I mean.

Matt is unselfish and giving, but not in an effusive, emotional way. He is principally concerned with the well-being of his younger sister, Celeste (also a solidly awesome character). He's dependable and calm, but he has an edge to him. He's utterly fierce when it comes to protecting his family. He's no alpha, but he's really strong in a way that I think is more real than a lot of romance heroes. He's more complicated, less likely to give you exactly what you expect. Because Ms. Park was so masterful in her portrayal of him, when he finally shows his vulnerability, it's heartbreaking and powerful.

I expected to like this book, but I didn't expect to love it, let alone REALLY LOVE it. I haven't read anything else like it, and I'm so glad Ms. Park believed in her book and took the path she did to get it to readers. Matt falls into the category of damaged-yet-nice, but he's unique and almost makes me want to put him in a separate category all his own. If you haven't yet read this book and you're looking for something different from the usual fare, you must check out FLAT-OUT LOVE (which happens to be $1.99 at the moment).

What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you agree with me about Matt? Any other reading recommendations for me? (And if you're wondering, yes, Flat-Out Matt is now on my Kindle, because I can't say NO to more Matt!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nice and Hot Men of NA: Nate from Picture Perfect


Here I am again! I'm working through my reading list of "nice" NA heroes, and today I've got a great one for you: Nate from Alessandra Thomas's Picture Perfect.



Unlike so many of our NA heroes, Nate isn't really tortured or wounded. Sure, he's got his own story, and it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but he's pretty much got it together and knows what he likes--including Cat Mitchell, his heroine.

Nate is easygoing, and though he can be fierce in defense and support of Cat, he isn't overbearing or disempowering. Just as an example, when he confronts a dude who's wronged Cat, he doesn't immediately jump to using his fists. I think some women like the idea of a guy who's going to throw down on their behalf, but I personally like a man whose responses in an emotional situation are powered more by his prefrontal cortex than his amygdala.

Whew. Just got a little nerdy there. Sorry.

If you like a hero who's nice with capital N (oh ... also, with washboard abs, amazing thighs, a rock-hard chest, and phenomenal stamina), who is a terrific cook and thinks his heroine is the most breathtakingly beautiful thing on two legs, then Nate is the guy for you, and Picture Perfect is definitely one I'd recommend! I so enjoyed this book.

Have you read Picture Perfect? Do you agree with me about Nate? Any other recommendations for my reading list?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nice and Hot Men of NA: Drew Callahan of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend


A few weeks ago I posted about wanting recommendations for NA books with heroes who weren't controlling alpha males, and I got so many great suggestions that I think I must have bought at least ten books that day. I'm slowly working my way through them, and I'll post about them as I go!

Today I wanted to feature Drew Callahan, the hero in Monica Murphy's One Week Girlfriend and Second Change Boyfriend. I read these books back to back, and it was so much fun.




So, Drew. He's interesting. As Fable (his heroine) describes him--"he's fucked up." He's one of those damaged nice guys that I love. At the beginning of OWG, he's pretty closed off as a result of things that have happened to him in the past, but little Miss Fable (whom I also adored) cracks him open.

He could so easily have been one of those raging alphas. I mean, he's a football player. He's wealthy. He's a star in his small college town. People know his name and recognize his face (which is, of course, gorgeous). He can have any girl he wants. Ms. Murphy totally could have been excused for making him a drug-abusing womanizer.

I'm really glad she took a different path.

Drew stays away from girls. He doesn't party and drink. Emotionally, he's a bit of a wreck, but he's desperate to keep control of himself. He's sweet and poetic and wants to have a close relationship with his father. And once he's able to sort out his feelings for Fable, he's on a mission to do right by her.

He's not perfect. He has some seriously jealous and possessive impulses, especially in book two. However, what I liked is that he realized they were problematic and tried to deal with himself, because he respected Fable and her independence.

Drew has all the requisite qualities of a swoony hero. And for those of us who love our guys on the gentle-yet-fierce side, he makes for an excellent read, especially if you like a side of vulnerability along with your sexy entrée. He's earned himself a place on my NICE AND HOT MEN OF NA page.

Have you read One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend? Do you agree with me about Drew? Any other recommendations you'd like to offer?



Monday, July 22, 2013

NICE AND HOT MEN OF NA

I love New Adult literature. Love it. I love the raw edges, the intensity, the desperate passion of it. The characters walk a high wire--and for the first time in their lives, they don't have a net. It's electric.

One thing I've noticed as I've watched this genre come into its own, though--there is a plethora of tattooed bad boys, rock stars, bikers, boxers, wealthy playboys, etc. These are the alpha males. Physically powerful and intimidating, tending to keep emotions (with the exception of anger) close to the vest. Often ragingly possessive, often prone to jealousy. And in all these books, that possessiveness and jealousy are portrayed as romantic, because he just feels so much for the heroine. But I don't know, guys ... I really struggle with books that appear to glorify what feels to me like a borderline abusive kind of dynamic (abuse, after all, isn't just about hitting. It's about possession and control).

I would classify myself as a strong, empowered woman. And when I read books where the guy loses his shit when he thinks the girl is looking at someone else, or where he physically intimidates her, controls her, makes decisions for her ... I don't swoon. Instead, I want to knee that dude in the balls. As a writer, I don't want to write guys like that. I'm well aware they're popular, and some women LOVE them--and that's fine, because we're all different, and this is a matter of taste. Plenty of strong, empowered women like the bad boys.

But I have to believe there are other readers out there who are craving a non-jerky, non-controlling sort of romance hero.

It doesn't mean he can't be tough. Or have a tattoo. It doesn't mean he's weak. In fact, often, this kind of romance hero has more control over himself and his emotions than the dude who punches walls. This kind of hero can enjoy when a strong heroine is strong. He won't treat her like a child. Sometimes he'll be in charge, and sometimes she will. And when she is, he'll cheer her on and trust her and respect her. I want to read this kind of romance. I also write this kind of romance.

And I want to celebrate books that feature this kind of hero. A guy who's respectful. Whose first instinct isn't to be snarky or jerky or mean. Who can deal with himself when his heroine has a life and makes her own choices, and who stands strong behind her while she fights her own battles.

I'm on a mission to read and discuss books with these heroes in them. I've started a page on this blog where I'll feature them. I'd appreciate recommendations, with one stipulation--don't recommend your own book. Let someone else do that for you. Recommend one you've read where you fell in love with the hero, and tell us why!

To start, let me offer two examples from popular NA books (that I happen to ADORE):

Garrick from Losing It by Cora Carmack


Lucas from Easy by Tammara Webber

Now--tell me what I should read, and tell me whether you gravitate to these characters or not!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Welcome to the SPIRAL stop in the NAmazing Adventure!


Welcome to my stop on the NAmazing Adventure, a blog hop featuring over 60 New Adult authors, and prize packs that include ARCs, signed books, gift cards, swag, and more! If you're not sure what the NAmazing Adventure is, please click here to start from the beginning and read the complete rules on the NA Alley website. Now -- here we go!

"This is like GREY'S ANATOMY meets SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK!"~reviewer
Nessa Cavanaugh, psychology student, knows how to stay on an even keel. Despite the urging of her mother and her academic advisor to get a life and have some fun, “all work and no play” sums up her plan to survive her grueling internship year at a children's hospital. She doesn't want to end up like her father, whose constant ups and downs broke her family, and avoiding unnecessary emotional entanglements is a must.

Then she (literally) runs into Dr. Aron Lindstrom in the middle of her disastrous first day on the job. The attraction is instant—and terrifying. Nessa knows she should stay away—especially when she finds out he has a reputation for being a player—but Aron is brilliant, intense, and as sexy as they come. When he challenges her to take a chance on him, her plans to stay focused on work start to crumble.

But what begins as passion takes on a dangerous edge, becoming an emotional roller coaster that’s frighteningly familiar. As things spiral out of control, Nessa must decide whether she should hold on for the ride or run … even if it means leaving her heart behind.


Got that jotted down in your quest scroll?
Great, because you’ll need it for the quiz at the end of this quest! And remember, you must complete ALL SIX quizzes to be eligible for a prize pack.


Before you head out, here's a chance to win some additional prizes:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by. Ready to move on?

Click HERE to go to the next stop on your adventure--the fabulous Olivia Mayfield!