Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Love Meeting Readers

With: Adrienne Giordano

Giveaway Alert for 3 winners!


One of the many things I love about being an author is meeting readers. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting a whole bunch of them thanks to the Keeper Books Tour.

The Chicago Keeper Books Tour included authors Dianna Love, Denise Swanson, Mary Buckham, Tracey Devlyn and Hildie McQueen. I’m not sure who originally came up with the idea (It was probably Dianna because she’s brilliant when it comes to things like this.), but what we did was put a new twist on the standard way to do a book tour. Instead of spending a few hours in a major city, which is generally inconvenient to the majority of readers, we decided to visit smaller communities. The thought process behind the Keeper Books Tour was that many readers don’t have the time to travel to the city to meet an author. I was a reader before I became an author, and I’m a busy mom who lives in the Chicago area, so I know from experience that it’s a challenge for someone to travel fifteen or more miles to spend a few hours at a book signing.
We’ve had two Keeper Books Tours so far and we’ve had wicked fun on both (as evidenced by the photo of my pal Tracey Devlyn and I goofing off!). Our first tour was in Atlanta last September. I’ve learned some things during these tours, but the most important would be that I never get tired of connecting with readers one-on-one. Social media is terrific for chatting, but there is something special about a reader standing in front of me chatting about our favorite genres, books and authors. There’s sort of a mutual “aha” moment when we discover we enjoy the same stories. I suppose that’s what happens when book lovers come together though.

When I asked Dianna what she liked most about the Keeper Books Tour, here’s what she said:

“I love, love, love meeting readers anywhere and anytime, but the Keeper Books Tour philosophy of "going outside the city to our readers" allowed me to meet many who I would never have had the chance to any other way.  That was wonderful and having a team of authors who think alike and are great at interacting with readers made every event a real pleasure.  I always enjoy hearing what readers have to share with me.  They are the single reason we write and I value a reader's opinion above all else, so getting a chance to talk one-on-one was terrific.”  

Writing has brought me many gifts over the years and I can’t imagine a day where I’m not thinking about a story I’m writing or the one I want to write. There are a ton of perks to being an author, but being an author means running a small business and it’s easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of running that business. When I meet my amazing readers I’m reminded that books offer common ground and a way for us to come together and chat about what we loved (or didn’t love) about a story. It’s a way for total strangers to connect on an emotional level without invading anyone’s privacy. It’s a way to make friends. And that might be the best perk of all.

Readers, have you ever met an author at an event?

Giveaway:
Three lucky readers leaving a comment or email entry will win 1 of 3 print books (The Prosecutor, The Defender, or The Marshall (US only).

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne's books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor, Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano and Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/AdrienneGiordano.  For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings.

Excerpt from The Detective:

Chapter One

Lexi Vanderbilt’s mother taught her two very important lessons. One, always wear coordinating lipstick, and two, recognize an opportunity when it presented itself.

Standing in the ballroom of the newly renovated Gold Coast Country Club, Lexi planned on employing those lessons.

All around her workers prepared for the throng of club members who would descend in—she checked her watch—ninety-three minutes. As the interior designer about to unveil her latest masterpiece, she would spend those ninety-three minutes tending to everything from flowers to linens to centerpieces. A waiter toting a tray of sparkling champagne glasses cruised by. She took in the not-so-perfect cut of his tux and groaned. The staff’s attire wasn’t her jurisdiction. Still, small details never escaped her. At times, like now, it was maddening.

Oh, and just wait one second. “Excuse me,” she said to a woman carrying a stack of tablecloths. “The sailboat ice sculpture belongs on the dessert table by the window. The Willis Tower goes by the champagne fountain.”

The woman hefted the pile of linens, a not-so-subtle hint that the sculptures weren’t her problem. “Does it matter?”

If it didn’t, I wouldn’t ask. Lexi sighed. “It matters. Unless you’d like to tell your boss, who specifically requested the placement of the sculptures, that it doesn’t.”
For added effect, Lexi grinned and the woman rolled her eyes. “I’ll get the busboys to move it.”

“Thank you.”

One minicrisis averted. And maybe she could have let that one slide given that the club’s manager had to be 110 years old and most likely wouldn’t remember which sculpture went where, but why take a chance on something easily fixed?

Besides, tonight everything had to be perfect.

Functions attended by the richest of the rich were a breeding ground for opportunities. Opportunities Lexi craved for her fledgling design company. At twenty-nine, she’d already been profiled by the Banner-Herald and all the major broadcast stations in the city. She was quickly gaining ground on becoming Chicago’s “it” designer, and that meant dethroning Jerome Laddis, the current “it” designer. He may have had more experience, but Lexi had youth, energy and fresh ideas on her side. A few more insanely wealthy clients touting Lexi’s work and look out, Jerome.

Then she’d hire an assistant, rehab her disaster of a garage into an office and get some sleep.

Lots of it.

Right now, as she glanced around, took in the exquisite silk drapes, the hundred-thousand-dollar chandelier and hand-scraped floor she’d had flown in from Brazil, no questions on the tiny details would haunt her. She’d make sure of it. Even if stress-induced hospitalization loomed in her near future.

The upshot? She’d lost five pounds in the past two weeks. Always a silver lining.

“Alexis?”

Lexi turned, her long gown swishing against the floor and snagging on her shoe. She smiled at Pamela Hennings while casually adjusting her dress. Darned floor-length gowns. “Mrs. Hennings, how nice to see you.”

Mrs. Hennings air-kissed and stepped back. On her petite frame she wore a fitted gown in her signature sky blue that matched her eyes. The gown draped softly at the neckline, displaying minimal cleavage. As usual, a perfect choice.

“I love what you’ve done in here,” Mrs. Hennings said. “Amazing job.”

Being a club board member, she had no doubt shown up early to make sure the unveiling of the new room would be nothing short of remarkable. “Thank you. I enjoyed it. Just a few last-minute details and we’ll be ready.”

“Everything is lovely. Even the damned ice sculptures Raymond couldn’t live without. Waste of money if you ask me, but some battles aren’t worth fighting.”

So true.

A loud bang from the corner of the room assaulted Lexi’s ears. Please let that be silverware. She shifted her gaze left and spotted the waiter who’d passed her earlier scooping utensils onto a tray. Thank you.

Mrs. Hennings touched Lexi’s arm. “By the bye, I think I have Gerald convinced his study needs an update. All that dark wood is depressing.”

Now, that would be a thrill. If Lexi landed the job and nailed it, the top 10 percent of Chicago’s executives would know it. And competition ran hot with this social set. Before long, they’d be lined up outside her office for a crack at outdoing Pamela and Gerald Hennings.

“I think,” Lexi said, “for him we could leave touches of the dark woods. Macassar ebony would be fabulous on the floor.”

“Ooh, yes. Do you have time this week? Maybe you could come by and work up some sketches?”

“Of course.” Lexi whipped her phone from her purse and scrolled to her calendar. “How about early next week? Tomorrow I’m starting a new project that might eat up the rest of my week.”

“I’ll make sure I’m available. What’s this new project? Can you share?”
Rich folks. Always wanting the inside scoop. “Actually, it’s quite fascinating. Remember the murdered broker?”

“The one from Cartright? How could I not? The entire neighborhood went into a panic.”

The residents of Cartright, the North Side’s closest thing to a gated community without the gates, employed private security to help patrol the six city blocks that made up their self-titled haven. That extra money spent on security kept the crime rate nearly nonexistent in those six city blocks.

Except for the offing of one crooked stockbroker.

“That’s the one,” Lexi said. “I’ve been hired to stage the house. The real estate agent suggested it to the broker’s widow and she hired me.”

“I heard they couldn’t sell. The market is destroying her. That poor woman. He left her with a mountain of trouble. He paid top dollar and if she lowers the price again, she won’t make enough to clear his debts. Add to that any retribution owed to the clients he borrowed funds from without their knowledge.”

As expected, Pamela Hennings was up to speed on the latest gossip. Gossip that Lexi would not share. Being told this information about a client was one thing. Sharing it? Not happening. “I’m looking forward to the project. It’s an incredible house.”

Being an interior designer didn’t always give Lexi the chance to change someone’s life. Her work allowed people to see the beauty in color and texture and shape and made their homes more than just a place to live, but she didn’t often get the opportunity to alter an emotionally devastating situation. Now she had the chance. Getting this house sold would free the broker’s widow from debt and give her children a comfortable life.

And Lexi wanted to see that happen.

Plus, if she got the thing sold in forty-five days, she’d make a whopping 20 percent bonus. The bonus alone would pay for an assistant and give her a life back.

Nap, here I come.

Mrs. Hennings made a tsk-tsk noise. “They never did find the murderer, did they?”

“No. Which I think is part of the problem. I may do a little of my feng shui magic in there. 

Clear all the negativity out. When I’m finished, that house will be beautiful and bright and homey.”

“The debt, the children and now the police can’t find the murderer. And it’s been what, two years? No woman deserves to be left with that.”

Again, Lexi remained quiet. Don’t get sucked in. But, yes, it had been two years, and from what Lexi knew, the police were no closer to finding the man’s killer. Such a tragedy. “The case has gone cold.”

Sucked in. She smacked her lips together.

“You know,” Mrs. Hennings said, “my husband’s firm recently did some work with a pro bono cold case. I wonder if the investigator who worked on that wouldn’t mind taking a look at this. I’d love to see the man’s family given some relief. And, let’s face it, it would certainly be good PR for the firm.”

It certainly would.

Investigative help wouldn’t hurt the real estate agent’s chances—or Lexi’s—of getting the house sold in forty-five days. “Do you think they’d be interested?”

“Oh, I’m sure it can be arranged.”

Gerald Hennings, a.k.a. the Dapper Defense Lawyer, pushed through the oversize ballroom doors, spotted the two women and unleashed a smile. Even in his sixties, he had charm to spare. Salt-and-pepper hair and the carved cheekbones of a man who’d once been devastatingly handsome—all combined with his intelligence—added up to someone who ruled a courtroom.

“Gerald,” Mrs. Hennings said, “perfect timing. The board meeting will be upstairs. Believe it or not, we’re the first ones here.”

The Dapper DL eyed his wife with a hint of mischief, smiling in a rueful way that probably slayed jurors. “Shocking.” Then he turned his charm loose on Lexi. “Alexis Vanderbilt, how are you?”

“I’m fine, Mr. Hennings. Thank you. And yourself?”

“I was quite well until fifteen seconds ago when my wife announced my timing was perfect. That means I’ll either be writing you a healthy check or she’s volunteered me for something. Either way, I’m sure it will be painful.”

Buy Links:


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 2nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.  Please note, the winners will not be announced until July 10th on this giveaway.

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Crazy Life as an Author

With: Lena Diaz

What’s it like to be a published author? I get that question a lot, so I thought I’d answer it by providing a glimpse into a typical day for me.

I wake at 9, have chocolate covered strawberries and champagne, lounge by the pool while the pool boy fans me with a gilt-edged palm frond. Uh, wait. No. That’s fantasy. Let’s talk reality.

First, like MOST authors, I have a full-time day job that pays the bills. Yes, I make money as an author, but it’s never enough and the checks come in sporadically. So, hey, day job.

I also write for two awesome publishers - Avon and Harlequin. Which means two sets of deadlines that often (always?) overlap and can make life really unpredictable and extra crazy.

Every day is different of course, and depends on where I’m at in a deadline cycle, how many books are in the pipeline to be released, what’s going on at the day job, and what’s happening with my family. But here’s a fairly typical day. Seriously. It really is.

4:00am - Wake up, drag myself out of bed and write (okay, I TRY to get up at 4 to write but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as I want)

5:30am - Shower (sometimes this is optional--did I mention deadlines?)

5:45am- Get dressed (optional on weekends)

6:00am - Drive to day job

11:30am - Sit at Arby’s or in the parking lot and write during lunch hour

12:30pm - Back to day job

4:00pm - Drive home (or work late, depending on what’s going on at the day job)

4:45pm - Put on grunge clothes, decompress from day job, talk to family, pet dog, answer emails from editors, agent, fellow authors, etc., answer messages and comments on social media, post something new so people don’t forget who I am between book releases, neurotically check Amazon rankings and Goodreads reviews, cry over any bad reviews (sigh)

5:30pm -  cook (yeah, right, no time for that - usually it’s takeout), eat while watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy (my drug of choice)

6:00pm - get a ginormous ice-cold glass of Diet Dr. Pepper, seclude myself in another room to write; work on current manuscript; work on second current manuscript (if have concurrent deadlines on two books - it does happen), do copyedits on another manuscript, do revisions on yet another manuscript, write blogs or answer interview questions for upcoming release blog tour, refresh my Diet Dr. Pepper, research and plan promo for upcoming conference, work on itinerary for upcoming conference, work on ideas for next proposal or work on the proposal, itself, talk a fellow author down from a bridge over the phone because they’re frantic about an upcoming deadline, call an author friend to have THEM talk ME down from a bridge because of an upcoming deadline (at which point I remember the bridges near me aren’t that high, so what’s the point anyway?)

11:00pm-Go to bed.

2:00am-wake up, jot down story ideas running around in my head

4:00am-wake up again, read story ideas and cry because they’re illegible and I just KNOW they were the PERFECT ideas and would have made me a multi-millionaire instant bestseller if only I could decipher them but I can’t and I also can’t remember what I wrote…so…I get up and start the same type of day all over again

That’s it. Pretty typical. Notice I didn’t have strawberries or champagne. Maybe tomorrow.


Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks . . . or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on . . . but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.


About Lena:
Lena Diaz writes romantic suspense thrillers.

Lena grew up a Navy Brat, but while two of her three siblings followed her father’s footsteps and joined the Navy, Lena loosely followed her musically talented mother’s footsteps by choosing a more creative path, writing.

She wrote her first short-story in middle school. This fifty-page tale about a horse race had a wide fan-base, her entire eighth grade class. Lena likes to think they read it because it was so good. But she admits the popularity might have been because her teacher let the kids choose her book for a book report assignment and it was the shortest book on the reading list.

Her first novel-length manuscripts were paranormals ranging from contemporary vampire stories to medieval druid tales. Since dead bodies kept creeping into everything she wrote, she eventually turned to romantic suspense, her current passion.

Since being a Navy Brat means moving – a lot – Lena went to ten different schools in four different states (Kentucky, California, Louisiana, and Florida). But no matter where she lived during her childhood, her father always made a point of taking the family back home to Kentucky every summer to spend several weeks visiting her rather large extended family.

That’s why Lena considers herself a Country Girl even though she currently lives in a city in North Florida. Her fondest childhood memories are of her aunt’s farm where Lena spent her time feeding calves from a bottle, running from billy goats by the catfish pond, and dressing piglets in baby doll clothes.

Today Lena can be found in North Florida with her husband of twenty-plus years.

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Smorgasbord of Suspense

With: Cathy Perkins

Smorgasbord originally meant a Swedish buffet, but now the term refers to a wide range of options, a variety of styles. That variety is one of the things I love about the current offerings in multi-author boxed sets. The sets are a way to discover and “try out” new-to-me authors at a price that seem too good to be true. How can you beat $.99-$2.99 for groups of novels from your favorite authors? I’ve discovered really good books by picking up a friend’s box set—and discovering new favorites.

DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS just released and is heating up more than the bestseller list! With a variety of heat levels, there’s a story to tempt everyone. 

Get your heartbeat racing with 13 romantic-suspense novels from USA Today, bestselling, and award-winning authors. Nerve-wracking thrills and dangers, heart-melting romance and love--enjoy them all in this outstanding collection of DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS....

Fallen Idol - USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett
Sparks ignite between a single father and a singer making her musical comeback, but danger lurks in the distance, only getting closer as time goes on. For two people who want different things out of life, it's possible to find healing together...

Cross Examination - Bestselling Author Denise Moncrief
Tamara Slay moves to Louisiana to start a new life with her daughter, but her dreams of a peaceful existence are shattered when Lt. Martin Beck suspects her ex-husband is a serial killer.

Carnival Tricks - Award-Winning, Bestselling Author Jade Kerrion
A dying scientist propels a waitress into the shady world of corporate espionage. The unwilling carrier of the recipe for a lethal chemical weapon, can Sofia save the world when she can't even save herself?

Height of Danger - Nancy and Nolan Radke
How do you keep a woman safe who distrusts you, and won't stay where you hide her? CIA operative Owen Putman has to protect his employer's daughter while trying to find out who is killing construction workers at a Central American dam site.

Six Days of Memories - International Bestselling Author Stacy Eaton
Detective Natasha Foster comes across the crime scene of her career, and she will put everything on the line to find out the truth, including her heart. Jay's need to know if he's the victim or criminal pushes him to remember who he is and with the pull of a trigger, Jay's memory will suddenly return and with it, the terrible truth.

Broken Lies - Sharon Coady
Bodyguard Niall Kerrigan lets his guard down and falls for Abby Bailey, a beautiful woman with a secret past. When Abby goes missing Niall must face his ruthless father to fight for the woman he loves and choose between a life with her or keeping her safe without him.

Don't Know Jack - Amy Manemann
Undercover FBI agent Jack Hamlin meets his match in small town bakery owner, Kate Monroe, when they're swept into a dangerous game of lies, intrigue and desire.

Cypher - Award-Winning Bestselling Author Cathy Perkins
When a hit man kills the wrong person, a SC detective confronts hidden agendas and conflicting motives in a powerful local family, while trying to control his attraction to the intended victim--a woman who's hell-bent on saving the remnants of her family.

Murderous Lies - Bestselling Author Chantel Rhondeau
Max is exonerated for murder after eight years, returning to his home town and the fiancée he left there. Rose isn't so happy to see him...and then the murders start again.

Tidal Falls - Jacquie Biggar
When Nick fails to notice an IED and loses most of his teammates, he shuts down. It takes meeting and falling in love with a woman in danger to make him realize life's worth living.

Suspended Animation - Sylvie Grayson
Suspense, spicy romance and attempted murder erupt when hockey player Brett hires Katy to run the office of his ailing father's near-bankrupt trucking company. Can he protect her from her lethal friends and the chaos surrounding them?

Knowing Vera - Award-Winning, Bestselling Author Rachelle Ayala
Suspenseful romance, an unsolved murder, and love on the beach. A young woman seeks to prove her father innocent of murdering her boyfriend's mother.

Special Agent Francesca - New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Mimi Barbour
Violence, suspense and sizzling romance explode during Special Agent Francesca's humorous journey fighting off the mob! Dr. Sean Collins wants to tame her! Yeah-like that's gonna happen. Only one thing keeps Francesca motivated. Proving to her mother, the FBI "Snow Queen," that working undercover is where she belongs.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out this amazing deal and if you give the stories a try, I hope you come back and share your experience with us.

Don’t forget, reviews are an author’s best friend :)

Nook: Pending
KOBO 

Watch our awesome trailer 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

When Halloween Falls in June

With: Mae Clair

I’m not sure how other writers feel, but I have an easier time writing a novel set in a particular season when the weather outside reflects that time of year. It’s far simpler to channel the surroundings by immersing myself in the sights, sounds, and scents that make each season unique.

Oddly, I wrote most of MYTH AND MAGIC, my new romantic suspense/mystery novel—which is set in October and features a strong Halloween theme—last summer. I guess it’s only appropriate that it release now when I’m slathering myself with sunscreen before dipping into my backyard pool.  

Even then, however, I can appreciate rumors of ghostly happenings, a secluded corporate retreat with an infamous past, and a tension-filled Halloween party. These are just a few of the things creating issues for my hero—a P.I. who returns to his hometown to investigate strange happenings at a lodge his family owns. Unfortunately, he’s been estranged from his family for twelve years, and the lodge is managed by the only woman he ever loved. 

And left.

Why not make your summer a bit Halloweenish through a ghoulish helping of romantic suspense with MYTH AND MAGIC? :)

MYTH AND MAGIC

Love and danger intertwine

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith's past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

EXCERPT:
Veronica suppressed a chill. The familiar creaks and groans of the old lodge had stopped, replaced by unnatural stillness. She felt trapped, confined behind her desk, a target for a faceless assailant lurking outside. The hair prickled on the nape of her neck, sending a string of goose bumps down her arms. Crossing to the door, she held her breath then paused on the threshold, listening for telltale signs of intrusion. 

Some creep’s playing a game. He probably saw Kelly’s article and thought it would be fun to scare me. 

It was working. 

Before the incident with the dog, Stone Willow’s cook, had sworn she’d seen the ghost of Warren Barrister standing on the basement stairs. Veronica had heard eerie sobbing during a routine check of the vacant third floor two days earlier. Whether the occurrences were supernatural or contrived, they were mounting and unquestionably spooky.

Forcing herself to stay calm, she crept down the hallway, her tread light by nature. As a child, Merlin had compared her to a fairy queen, saying she looked the part with honey-kissed hair and green eyes. They’d been enraptured by myth and magic in those days, unaware there were real monsters in the world. Monsters like the men who’d murdered Trask and destroyed Caith’s life. 

Shaking the memories aside, she stepped into the lobby. All looked as it should be. The back of the check-in desk was visible, webbed in patches of velvety shadow. Towering glass windows hugged a cathedral ceiling, crisscrossed by thick wooden beams. 

I left something in the fireplace, the caller had said. 


Veronica hugged the collar of her bulky green sweater closer and padded across the waxed floor toward the stone hearth. She was still several feet away when her mind processed the sight. 

A charred, cracked lump, broken by knobby protrusions of white, burned on top of the stacked logs. Something popped with the sound of cooking meat. 

Choking on terror, she stumbled backward with a scream. 

A severed human hand was swaddled within the dancing flames. 

Purchase from:
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Kensington Publishing 
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About the Author: 
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. 
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats. 

Connect with Mae Clair:
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Twitter (@MaeClair1)
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

High School, Geeks, and Second Chances


Giveaway Alert!

Many moons ago (okay, last March), I debuted my first book YOU AGAIN, a romantic suspense about a formerly awkward high school nerd, Allie McBride, finally getting her chance to win the boy who got away. You know, while evading a psychopathic murderer.

For the next book in the series, LOVE YOU MADLY, I thought I’d change things around a bit. This time, I gave former high school computer geek, Travis Brennan, the chance to show mean girl Meredith Sanders up, make her regret the way she’d treated him. Travis had absolutely no intention of falling in love with the queen bee, nor she him, but little did they know what I had in store for them. *Cue maniacal laugh*

I had so much fun writing this book, the quips and insults that were bound to fly as these two were forced to team up to find Meredith’s daughter, while trying to resist the chemistry and attraction that became impossible to deny.

Here’s an excerpt from early in the book, after Meredith finally figured out who Travis was, as they both vied for control in the investigation. Hope you enjoy it!

Excerpt:

Meredith stepped out into the blinding sunshine to find Travis almost to his car door. Was he even going to wait for her?
She picked up her pace and reached him just as he shut the door and strapped himself in. Standing outside the driver’s side, she waited for him to roll down the window.
He stared at her through the glass, looking like the cat that ate the canary.
Because he had the address. And she didn’t.
There was no way in hell he was going without her. She glared at him and knocked on the window.
He started the engine.
That’s it.
She grabbed the handle, ready to wrench the car door open if necessary, and he smiled as he reached over and pushed a button.
Thank God he was only rolling down the window, because if he’d pressed the door lock she’d have throttled him with her own ha—
“Can I help you with anything, Meredith?”
She leaned in. “Just want to be clear that you’re going to wait for me to get to my car. And you’re not going to try and peel out of here and leave me behind the first chance you get. I’m going with you when you interview the kid.”
“Oh?” He put his sunglasses on and looked over at her. “Are you an expert at questioning hostile witnesses? At getting detailed confessions in high-tension situations? What? Are you going to glare him into talking?” He actually chuckled.

“That’s it. I’m riding with you.” She looked up to find Allie staring at them from the doorway. Was that a smug smile on her mouth, too?
Damn it. She was in control here.
“I’m going to get a ride with Travis,” she announced calmly. “Can I leave my car here for a couple of hours?”
Allie nodded and gave a thumbs-up.
Not waiting for Travis to gun the motor and leave her behind, she raced around to the passenger side, opened the door, and slid in. She smiled at him in victory as she pulled her seat belt on.
“Hey, it was your idea to take separate cars, if you remember.” He gave her a sideways smile.
For some reason, her victory seemed a little sour, and she wasn’t actually certain who’d won this round.
Giveaway:
What about you? Do you have any favorite second chance geek stories? I’d love to hear about it if you did as I’m always on the look out for my next read. Comment below and the randomly selected winner will be sent a digital copy of LOVE YOU MADLY. (Warning: I will be in Yellowstone during this time but, barring being eaten by a bear, or throwing myself out of the car to escape bickering kids, I will send it on my return!)
LOVE YOU MADLY

He was the geek. She was the homecoming queen.
Now he's the only one who can help her...

Meredith Sanders was the golden girl in high school - a homecoming queen with a trail of worshipping minions. Now she's all grown up with a trail of failed marriages. The only good thing she has in her life is her brilliant and beautiful teenaged step-daughter...who's missing. But the best man for the job has a serious hate-on for her.

Back in high school, queen bee Meredith made Travis Brennan's life miserable. Since then, he's gone from class geek to a hardened, former SEAL, specializing in private security. As much as he wants to help Meredith's step-daughter, he can't help but clash with the gorgeous woman who once made his life hell.

But as they investigate the increasingly mysterious disappearance, their conflicted past threatens to turn into a very provocative present...


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June  23rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

                Be sure to check out the JRS SHOWCASE for additional giveaways!