Tag Archives: contemporary romance

It’s here! Ghosts of Christmas Past is released!

Moonday Mania

a blog where we celebrate!

I’m stepping out of my self imposed blog hiatus to whoop it up about releasing my latest book, Ghosts of Christmas Past. (See, I am working and not just having a fun summer holiday.) I’m a little nervous about it because there are no shifters, witches or elves. It’s not a fantasy romance nor is it a twisted fairy tale romance. What it is is something completely different. A contemporary Gothic romance.

And, it’s got a New Adult vibe. So, I really should call it a New Adult Contemporary Gothic Romance.

Oh, I forgot, it’s also a holiday romance. So let’s add that in. A New Adult Contemporary Gothic Christmas Romance. I don’t like to do anything uncomplicated.

It’s shorter than my fantasy books and a little longer than the shifter romances. In fact, it was supposed to be a novella, but it missed the mark and came in at over 40,000 words, so it’s officially a short novel. I toyed with the idea of calling it a novelette but ended up sticking with short novel.

And it’s the first in a series of short novels about the Pierce family in Appleset, Massachusetts. All of these books will be centered around holidays and all of them will have some kind of supernatural element. Maybe the series title will give you a clue as to what kind of supernatural element. Haunted Holidays. 

Yep, they will be ghost stories. With all the suspense and horror of a ghost story, tempered by the heat of the romance. Because there is some romance. Okay, more than a little. The heat level in this book is spicy, hotter than my steamy fantasy novels but maybe not quite hitting the heat level of the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods shifter romances.

I had a lot of fun writing this one, it was a nice break in between all of my books. I started it in late 2012, after I’d finished Goldi and the Bear and before starting Prince by Blood and Bone. Then it had to sit a while while I wrote Prince by Blood and Bone and published both it and Golid and The Dark Huntsman. Last fall, when I had planned to publish it, I was instaed wrestling with Prince by Blood and Bone’s edits. And this one had to sit by the wayside. But it’s finished now, and it’s something new and different. So I hope you give my venture into the modern Gothic a chance.

To get it off to a good start I’m offering it at 99 cents for the month of August, then I’ll raise it up to it’s regular price of $2.99, so get your copy today!

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspenGhosts of Christmas Past

A Haunted Holidays Novel

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss. 

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

 The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

I’ve pushed published everywhere and it’s available today at:

Available now: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, IbooksAllRomanceEbooks and Kobo at the limited time price of 99cents!

Goes up to $2.99 on September 1st, 2014

Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Join my new release newsletter for early information on specials and new releases! Click HERE to sign up.

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Filed under ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Haunted Holidays, romance, romantic suspense, Suspense

Crossroads Cover Reveal and #Giveaway

 Moonday Mania

a day early so we can jump into an awesome cover reveal and giveaway

Today I’m pleased to have Jessica Aspen Writes be a stop on the fabulous cover reveal tour for Crossroads, a contemporary new adult romance by author Megan Keith. Make sure you read all the way down and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway, and be sure to pick up your copy of Megan’s first book, Finding My Way, on sale for 99 cents August 27th and 28th. Congrats Megan, on your beautiful cover!

BOOK TITLE        Crossroads (Finding My Way, book two)

AUTHOR               Megan Keith

GENRE                  New Adult Contemporary Romance 

RELEASE DATE   13 September, 2013

GOODREADS       http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18038308-crossroads 

crossroads by author megan keithSYNOPSIS

Nick is about to head overseas on an adventure of a lifetime.  It’s what he has always wanted, to travel the world, to experience new cultures, see the places he’s dreamed of for so long.  He should be over the moon.  Instead, he’s been in a slump ever since he lost his friend Em.

Nick is a player, always has been.  The first time he ever wanted more from a girl he was shot down.  So now he’s left licking his wounds.  Emma made her choice and now Nick has to live with it.

Or does he?  When he finds out that Emma is single after all, will he fight for her?  Will he be able to convince her to give him a chance?  And if he does, what will happen when he leaves?

Nick has reached a crossroads in his life – the girl or the dream.  Seems like an easy choice when the girl of his dreams is Emma.  But what if she doesn’t see things the same way? 

COVER DESIGNcrossroads full cover by megan keith 

The book cover for Crossroads was designed by Kari Ayasha at Cover to Cover Designs.

Website                http://www.covertocoverdesigns.com/index.html

Facebook              https://www.facebook.com/CoverToCoverDesigns 

AUTHOR BIO

megankeithMegan Keith is a married, mother of three, living in a small country town in New South Wales, Australia.  She has a constant thirst for a good story, whether it is in books, music, movies, on TV, or just plain old-fashioned gossip.  She has always had a creative side and loves to let her imagination run wild.   On a few occasions over the years, Megan has put those imaginings into a written story, but never dreamed of publishing.  She has always loved to read, but it wasn’t until she got given a Kindle that it became a full-blown addiction.  Her introduction to the world of Indie Authors re-ignited her passion for writing.  Megan published her first book Finding My Way in June 2013.  Crossroads is the sequel and the second book to the Finding My Way trilogy. 

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO 

Website                http://megankeith.blogspot.com.au/ 

Facebook              https://www.facebook.com/mkfindingmyway 

Goodreads           http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7111235.Megan_Keith

Twitter                 https://twitter.com/megnk1 

crossroads by megan keith giveaway

COVER REVEAL GIVEAWAY 

There is a Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate the cover reveal for Crossroads.  It begins at 12:00 AM AEST 26th of August and ends at 12:00 PM AEST 31st of August.  It is open internationally.

Prizes                    2 x $10 Amazon Gift Cards

5 x Finding My Way ebooks

Register HERE or click on the Rafflecopter Link rafflecopter crossroads giveaway megan keith

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTFmM2NjYWJiNzNkZWMzNDQxYjU1MjJkNzM1MzNhOjA=/

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Megan’s first book, Finding My Way, only 99 cents on Amazon for two day’s only. New Adult Contemporary at it’s best!

finding my way sale button

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Filed under Book Sales, guest post, New Adult

Interview with author Joan Leacott

Moonday Mania

Today I am interviewing one of my amazing Gaim Goal Setting mates, Joan Leacott. We’ve been setting writing and publishing goals and becoming internet freinds for over two years now and I’m thrilled to bring Joan here for all of you to get to know her better. Not only does she have a terrific book that you’ll find out about, she also has a Giveaway for you, so please welcome Joan and her contemporary romance, Above Scandal

Thank you for inviting me, Jessica. There aren’t any wolves in my neck of the woods. In my series’ town of Clarence Bay, we hear the bark of red foxes from the surrounding forest and the eerie call of loons over the wide water. 

AUTHOR’S PERSONAL SPECIFICS: 

What made you decide to write and furthermore what pushed you to be a published author?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. At one point, when I had time on my hands, I read a crazy amount of books. One of those books, Like a Hurricane by Roxanne St Claire http://www.roxannestclaire.com/, was so charming and so smoothly written that I thought “I’m going to try that.”

What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing?

My biggest stress releaser is hot yoga. I never knew I could sweat that much. But I feel wonderful and my skin is so smooth after class. For a positive counter-stressor, I play my piano. I practice for an hour or so every day, and I’ve just passed the Royal Conservatory’s Grade One program. Recitals are whole ‘nuther kind of stress!

WRITING BACKGROUND & THOUGHTS:

Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.

The first book I wrote was done completely panster; 80K words in 5 weeks on a borrowed laptop. That story was completed rewritten twice more, and I swear I wrote 150K words to end up with a mere 83K. That was the end of my pantser career. The evidence is safely hidden under my bed.

For ABOVE SCANDAL, I started with a heavy duty backstory document—all the stuff you’re not supposed to put in the book. Then I created a scanty outline of two sentences per scene: one stating what happened, the other stating the outcome. I played with that outline until cause and effect flowed smoothly through the scenes. When I’d finished with critiques and beta reads, I’d only tossed 3K words. I’m now a confirmed plotter.

What is your favorite part about writing?

The writing that happens after the outline is set. I love having my characters surprise me with how they decide the story will be revealed; their emotional responses, their dialog, how their motivations grow, how their pasts affect their futures. That’s when I really fall in love with my characters.

GENERAL WRITING INFORMATION: 

Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you?

I haven’t had rejections; some writers would call it a piffling amount. Each one resulted in self-doubt and dashed hopes. After taking a few days to whine to my writer pals, I’d shrug it off, and submit again. It’s the bolstering I got from my real and online friends that kept me going. Thanks for being one of them Jessica.

What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges?

Most of the rejections were form rejections, stating no reason. A few rejections said the agent or editor couldn’t connect with the characters. I was just frustrated enough that I contacted a freelance editor to see if I could get a reason for the disconnect.

Kristin Anders http://www.theromanticeditor.com/ nailed the reason with just her sample edit. The very talented Kristin guided me through strategic edits that buffed my story to a lovely shine. At the same time, I was exploring the ways and means of self-publishing, and decided to take the plunge.

The biggest joy of self-publishing is connecting directly with my readers. It’s just me, telling my story to someone who wants to listen. The biggest challenge is finding those cherished readers. 

BOOK SPECIFICS: 

Title: ABOVE SCANDAL

Genre: Small-town contemporary romance

ISBN: ebook: 978-0-9920028-0-1 print book: 978-0-9920028-0-0

Length: 355 pages

Publisher: Woven Red Productions

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Above-Scandal-Clarence-Chronicles-Volume/dp/099200280X/

Release date: June 25, 2013 

Did you have a favorite scene?

The scene where eleven-year-old Hayley proposes to Ryan. At this point, neither of them knows they’re father and daughter. She’s a kid searching for a daddy and he’s a man tempted to let a young girl set him up with her mother.

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

ABOVE SCANDAL is the first novel in the Clarence Bay Chronicles set on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, Canada. The second novel, SIGHT FOR SORE EYES will be released on November 23, 2013.

joan leacott above scandalGIVEAWAY 

 ABOVE SCANDAL is now available in print! To celebrate the release, I’m giving away one FREE print copy shipped to the winner’s real live mailbox. Click on my Rafflecopter giveaway and sign up for my newsletter for your chance to WIN a print copy of ABOVE SCANDAL. Click on the other options for additional points to increase your chances.

BOOK BLURB

Three generations of Rossetti women are hoarding secrets.

Cathy Rossetti’s secret is Hayley, her outspoken ten-year-old daughter who’s about to meet her family for the first time. Sadly, it’s taken a terminal illness to bring Cathy back to her hometown.

The elder generation of Rossetti women guards a thirty-year old secret with the power to rock Cathy’s world. Will her mother take their secret to her grave, or will her aunt break her punishing vow of silence?

Hayley hates secrets, so she’s sleuthing around Clarence Bay looking for her daddy. Is it her new BFF’s father or mayoral candidate Ryan Chisholm or Ryan’s handsome campaign manager?

Ryan has a secret, too. He’s still in love with Cathy, his high-school sweetheart. For a man running his election campaign on a platform of honesty, this could cause problems. Will dumping his popular fiancée cost him the election? And if Cathy still loves him after eleven years absence, she’s not telling. 

EXCERPT

Chapter 1. Homecoming

Home. Memories of screaming matches, slamming doors, and bitter tears rose on a sour wave of bile.

Stopped in the driveway of the big red brick house, Cathy unglued her fingers one at a time from the steering wheel and put the idling Lexus in reverse.

“Mom, is this Nonna’s house?” ten-year-old Hayley asked.

Cathy nodded.

“Mo-om, are you okay?”

Maybe. If they let us in.

“Just nervous, Hayley sweetie. It’s been a while.” Eleven years since life had driven Cathy away. Now death drew her back.

Through the rear-view mirror, she glimpsed Ryan’s house across the street. Did he still live there?

Low pewter clouds bustled overhead. If only her memory could be cleansed as easily as the rain washed the dusty roads and sidewalks of Clarence Bay.

Sighing hard and deep, Cathy put her car in park and turned off the engine. She climbed out, smoothed her sleeveless pink blouse over her black jeans, and pushed her eyeglasses up her nose. A chilly raindrop splat on her shoulder and ran down her pristine front. She shivered and groaned at the mess.

Hayley giggled. “Better’n bird poop.”

Cathy’s tension eased just enough to permit a wry huff before snapping back like a hard rubber band. Holding hands, they walked up the front path to the deep porch.

“Well, here goes nothing.” Cathy pressed the doorbell with a trembling finger.

“Don’t worry, Mom. It’ll work itself out.”

Cathy’s jumpy gaze skittered over the old house and its property—the neatly mown lawn, the freshly dug garden without a weed in sight, the sparkling windows. Somebody had a great way with yard tools.

The screen door rattled as the inside door opened. Zia Yola, grown softer and rounder in Cathy’s absence, stood gaping at them.

“Ciao, Zia Yola,” Cathy said in Italian and held her breath for her aunt’s reaction.

Zia Yola’s hands fluttered to her pale cheeks, her dark eyes huge above her stubby nails. Her gaze bounced between Cathy and Hayley as if she didn’t quite believe her own sight.

“Are you my grandmother?” Hayley asked.

joan leacott authorBIO

Joan Leacott lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son. She attends piano classes, melts in the hot yoga studio, and writes authentic multi-generational stories of people living and loving in today’s world.

CONTACT INFO:

Author Web or Blog Site: http://joanleacott.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoanLeacottAuthorPage

Twitter: @JoanLeacott

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Joan-Leacott/e/B00DM8HK6O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Filed under guest post, Moonday mania

Shame and the Act of Forgiving Ourselves

Today I’m very excited to bring to you one of the rising stars of my local Romance Writers of America chapter, Selena Laurence. I met Selena for the first time last year at our October Author’s Tea, but I’d seen her all over Twitter and Facebook as she’s crit partners with one of my fellow GaimX’rs, Jamie Raintree. This year I’m excited because Selena will  be one of our authors at the tea with a total of four books out by 2014, three of them out this year including her fabulous New Adult romance, Hidden! Please welcome fellow Colorado Romance Author member, New Adult and Contemporary Romance author, Selena Laurence!

Shame. We’ve all felt it at one time or another. There are lots of ways to define that icky burning feeling you get in your gut when you think you’ve done something wrong. The one that I think is the most useful is this, from Merriam Webster: a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.

Shame is painful, but the most important thing to remember about shame is that, like Merriam Webster’s says, it’s caused by your own consciousness. The bottom line about shame is that no one but you can cause it, and no one but you can end it. Shame is something you decide to feel. And only you can reverse that feeling.

hidden by selena laurenceIn my New Adult novel Hidden, which releases on July 23rd, both the hero and the heroine are experiencing a great deal of shame. In particular, the heroine, Lyndsey, feels that her past as a victim of domestic violence is a reason to be ashamed. Lyndsey is a young woman who didn’t have the resources and support that 18 year olds ought to, and that led her to involvement with the really wrong guy. The shame she feels after she leaves that relationship drives everything she does for years afterwards.

What Lyndsey has to learn, and what we all have to learn at some point in life, is that you can only get rid of shame by forgiving yourself. No one else can do it for you. We all make mistakes, all find ourselves in situations we wish we weren’t. We all make choices that turn out to be wrong, have needs that lead us astray, and feel shame sometimes. The key is to see what we can learn from the experience, and then forgive ourselves as quickly as possible, because as long as we can’t forgive ourselves, the world can’t either.

The dedication in Hidden is written for my daughters, who I thought of often when I wrote the character of Lyndsey. My daughters are amazing young women, one just out of college and the other just starting high school. They have long lives ahead of them where they will make plenty of mistakes, but the message I want to impart to them that comes from Lyndsey is this: There is no mistake so big that you can not move on, no lesson so harsh that you will not recover, and no shame so severe that you don’t deserve to be forgiven.

Hidden 

Nick Carlisle comes to Hawaii to hide—from what happened during his military service in Afghanistan, from relationships, from love. Lyndsey Anderson came to Hawaii to hide too—from the man who abused her, from the sacrifices she made, from her dark past. But when Nick meets Lyndsey, Hawaii gets a whole lot hotter, and they find they can’t hide their hearts. As Nick fights to come to terms with what he’s done, Lyndsey struggles to forgive herself for the choices she’s made. But when the dangerous past threatens the beautiful present, can they survive to learn how to love? And who will finally reveal what’s hidden?

Bio:
selena laurenceI love to write romantic stuff that helps you get away. Life can be a grind, and things like jobs and school and dirty dishes make Jill a dull girl – and me too! So, I write Contemporary and New Adult romances about hot guys and smart girls and cool places. It’s an Escape from the Everyday.
 
Ways to find Selena Laurence:

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Filed under facing failure, guest post, New Adult