Monday, November 28, 2011

MAKE MINE EASY MONDAY with author, Mandy Harbin

If you like reading books with romantic and mythical elements to them, then I have the perfect young adult series for you. Season’s Change is a four part series about a teenage girl who discovers on her seventeenth birthday the mother she’d thought long dead is actually alive and coming back for her on her eighteenth birthday. Each book covers a season and follows our girl through the next year of her life while she learns to understand and accept the mysterious changes that are happening to her.

And of course it has hot guys who want her. One guy, Don, has been the guy she’s been drooling over for as long as she can remember. The other guy, Chrys, is new in town but has some secrets of his own.

The series starts with the book of Summer, and it holds a special place in my heart because it was the first book I ever finished. And I still remember the feeling of actually typing the last line in the book and knowing I’d done it. Like many writers, I’d started several different books but never saw them through completion for one reason or another. But when I started this series I knew it would be different.

I get my ideas from practically everywhere. Listening to music can make me feel a certain way and then the brain will start going down paths before I realize I’m even daydreaming, which turns into brainstorming. I also have vivid dreams of my own that I use snippets of or in their entirety. Several of Season’s dreams in this first book were dreams I’d actually had—with little or no changes—before the writing phase even started. It’s hard to say what the driving force was behind me writing this series, but I do remember feeling passionately about wanting to write a book with a heroine in the main role. I was a fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, and really liked the idea of a chick who could be or become strong through her own means, yet still feel the vulnerability of everyday life. This is how Season came to be.

After months of playing scenarios out in my head and then gradually working my way to writing out storylines and outlines, I researched Greek Mythology off and on for about six to eight months before I even started writing the book itself. Funny thing is, though, when I started writing, I’d only written about ten pages and stopped because I’d come across one of the Percy Jackson books and literally felt deflated. It was another six months before I decided that I’d put too much energy into my research over what was now years of contemplating storylines for all books, writing character bios, and doing all the grunt work to not finish what I’d started. I had a story I wanted to tell, and I was going to tell it. Even if I was only writing it for myself.

When I finished the first book, I immediately drafted the second book. Then I immediately drafted the third book. I was so passionate about the story, I didn’t want to stop to start editing and polishing the first book. It wasn’t until I’d finished the third and had written the outline to the fourth that I figured I needed to clean up the first book and step away from the series for a breather before I wrapped it up. While I was “breathing” I’d written, and published, several adult romance books. It wasn’t until I started getting acceptance offers on my other work that I revisited Season’s world.
And those Percy Jackson books? Still haven’t read them or any other young adult book that I felt might’ve influence my story. I freaked for nothing. Silly. I know, right? But I did finally cave and read the Twilight series last year… after New Moon was already out on DVD.

So there you have it. A glimpse at how Season was created and why. I really hope you all enjoy this series. I’d love to hear what you think.  You can like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or check me out on Goodreads. I’m all over the interwebs. And if you like it, please leave a review. Readers rely on what others think to help make decisions (I know I do when I decide to purchase a book :P). 

Go to to learn more about Season's Change and all Mandy's books!

Friday, November 25, 2011

FIRST PAGE FRIDAY: Cat Grant's Once a Marine

Discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, former Marine major Cole Hammond is struggling to find a new identity. But PTSD casts a pall on everything, and his hard-nosed, homophobic father can’t even bear to look him in the eye. To top it all off, he’s pretty sure he’s flunking out of law school. 

Marc Sullivan is a kind, sensitive romance author-slash-waiter with a thing for men in uniform. Cole’s not wearing his anymore, but there’s no mistaking the warrior Marc meets in the diner one rainy afternoon. Cole’s sexy smile and Carolina drawl prove irresistible, but Marc’s played this game before, and he always loses. Once a Marine, always a Marine, and if there’s one thing Marc knows about such men, it’s that they all leave him in the end. It doesn’t help that Cole’s practically closeted in public, or that he refuses to seek treatment for his PTSD.
But like any good Marine, Cole’s willing to fight for what matters. And like the characters in Marc’s stories, he’s certain that if only they try hard enough, together they can find their own happily ever after.

First Page
November, 2009
The second he walked into the diner, I nearly dropped the stack of plates I was carrying. Six foot three at least, with long, long legs encased in jeans worn almost white across the front of his well-muscled thighs. Dripping wet from the freezing November downpour, he unzipped his rain jacket and pushed back the hood. Oh, holy Christ. Lush lips, strong chin, cheekbones that could slice through a rare steak. Nordic-god blond hair in a military buzz cut that instantly made the crotch of my jeans tight. Good thing I had my apron on. I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose and kept staring.
I wasn’t the only one. Terry’s hand froze momentarily over the cash register as our new arrival gave her a quick nod, grabbed the sports section from the front counter, and headed for the nearest empty table. He didn’t seem to notice us both gaping at him, or maybe he just didn’t care. Drop-dead gorgeous guys like him were probably used to it.
“That’s what I call a tall, cool drink of water.” Terry handed her customer his change and shut the register with a bump of her ample hip. “And lucky you—he just sat down in your section. Unless you want to take your break now?” She flashed me a toothy grin.
“Nice try,” I fired back with a wink. I put my armload of dirty dishes in a tub under the counter and grabbed a mug and a pot of coffee before making a beeline back to Mr. Tall-and-Hunky’s table. The shitty weather had scared away most of the usual Sunday morning crowd, so for once I didn’t get waylaid refilling cups.
Tall-and-Hunky glanced up as I approached. He looked about thirty, with nice eyes—pale blue, but not the least bit icy. Smiling, I gestured toward him with the mug. “Hi, I’m Marc. Would you like some coffee?” He nodded. “Did you want some juice this morning as well, or maybe some water?”

Once a Marine can be purchased by clicking this link:
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Friday, November 18, 2011

FIRST PAGE FRIDAY: Andrea Speed's Pretty Monsters: Josh of the Damned, #1

Josh knew the night shift at the Quik-Mart would be full of freaks and geeks—and that was before the hell portal opened in the parking lot. Still, he likes to think he can roll with things. Sure, the zombies make a mess sometimes, but at least they never reach for anything more threatening than frozen burritos. 

Besides, it’s not all lizard-monsters and the walking dead. There’s also the mysterious hottie with the sly red lips and a taste for sweets.
Josh has had the hots for Hot Guy since the moment he laid eyes on him, and it seems Hot Guy might be sweet on Josh too. Now if only Josh could figure out whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between. After all, with a hell vortex just a stone’s throw away, Josh has learned to take nothing at face value—even if it’s a very, very pretty face.

First Page
The first time the hell vortex opened in the Quick-Mart parking lot, Josh very seriously considered quitting his job. But all that came out of it was a lizard guy, and all it did was amble inside, buy a bag of chips, and leave. All the monsters, while ugly, seemed nicer than his late-night human customers, and Mr. Kwon offered him hazard pay, so he stayed on.
Besides, it wasn’t all bad on the night shift. For instance, right now he was looking forward to the return of Hot Guy.
Of course it was a super hot night, still eighty degrees around midnight, and the air conditioner had to pick now to die. Josh peeled off his polyester work smock and put his nametag on his t-shirt, hoping Mr. Kwon wouldn’t suddenly show up and demand he put it back on. It breathed like a trash bag.
His latest customer was an obviously stoned guy buying a wheelbarrow full of snacks. Not only were his eyes glassy and red, but he reeked of pot smoke, making Josh wonder if he’d spilled the bong water. Pot Guy left and someone else came in. Josh leaned over the checkout counter, hopeful, but it wasn’t Hot Guy, just a lizard guy.
“Guy” in a generic, gender free sense of the word, of course, because Josh had no idea how to tell if they were male or female. Maybe they didn’t even have genders. He didn’t know how to ask without being a rude bastard, and there was a chance he wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.
The lizard guys were all tall, and this one was no exception, at least six foot five and so broad across the shoulders it could barely fit in the aisle. They had all your basic equipment—two arms, two legs,
a recognizable face—but their mouths were huge, they had no nose, and their scaled skin ranged in color from moss green to primer gray. This one was a kind of greenish-gray, like his roommate that time he got food poisoning.

Pretty Monsters can be purchased by clicking this link:

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Friday, November 11, 2011

FIRST PAGE FRIDAY: Brita Addams' Surprises: Romeo Club #1

Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?
Smart, successful, handsome, and thoroughly sick of the club scene, Don ventures into a popular upscale dating service. Aroused and intrigued by the boldfaced sexual queries on the Romeo Club’s application, he finds himself embellishing one answer after the next. He thinks he’s taking control of his fate, but when he’s done, he ends up turning over a lot more than just his questionnaire to the dominant Adonis who runs the service.
In a private back room, beneath the snick of handcuffs, the slide of silk over his eyes, and not one hot mouth but two upon his skin, Don learns just how much more than matchmaking the Romeo Club has to offer a guy who doesn’t mind a few surprises.

First Page

“How often do you like to fuck?”
Not “have intercourse” or “make love,” but “fuck,” written out right on the application. Damn! I hadn’t expected such personal questions, but after a few moments of thought, “No limit” seemed as good an answer as any.

“What is your favorite position?” Oh, the possibilities.

“Bent over a sofa, chair, table?” All of the above, giving or receiving.

“On all fours on a bed or the floor?” Right you are.

“Standing against the wall?” Definitely has merit.

“Do you suck cock regularly, or do you prefer to be sucked? Do you swallow?” I should have seen that one coming.

“Dildo preference—glass or flexible?” I’d never thought about it, but the question gave me ideas.

“Butt plugs?” Damn, did other people use those things? I squirmed, thinking a smaller one might have been in order for this excursion.

A whole section entitled “Probing Your Fantasies.” “Are you into cowboys, pirates, millionaires, policemen, doctors? Kidnap, rape, ménage? Explain your desires in detail.” I took the expeditious route and wrote, “Yes to all the above.” Why limit my options?

“Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?”

Now, that was a loaded question. The devil in me wanted to write, “Hell, yeah,” while the commodities trader wrote a more dignified, “Yes.”
You can purchase Romeo Club #1: Surprises at:
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