Contest Alert!

Wanna win free stuff?? I’m giving away a $50 Amazon gift card as part of the Book Blitz for Ransom. I’ve been tweeting the participating blogs on twitter so follow me @Rems330 to see all the places you can enter!

We’re also doing a major giveaway for the Beyond Desire book bundle (which comes out on Monday!) The first prize is a Kindle Fire along with $25 gift card to shop at Amazon. You can find out all the information about the giveaway right here.

If you haven’t pre-ordered Beyond Desire, you can do so here on Amazon or here on iTunes (the bundle will also be available for Nook on Monday). For $.99 you get ten great romance novels by best-selling authors including my book, Escape In You. The bundle will only be available for a limited time so grab yours now!

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Ransom is here!

You can now pick up my latest book, Ransom, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble! I’m really excited about this book so let me know what you think!

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Amazon 

Barnes and Noble

The cool kids at Xpresso Book Tours are hosting a Book Blitz for me this entire week. Each participating blog will be giving away one free copy of Ransom. You can also enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card! I’ll be retweeting the participating blogs and linking to as many as I can through Facebook, so make sure you’re following me if you want to enter the giveaways!

Facebook

Twitter

Here’s a short excerpt from the book!

I wake up, alone in a dark hotel room, my heart racing, scared out of my mind. When I finally figure out where the hell I am, I rub my aching chest. I’m glad I’m not on the bus, glad there’s no one in here to see me like this. I’m pretty sure the wetness I feel on my cheeks is tears, and my brothers would never let me live that down.

Knowing sleep isn’t going to return anytime soon, I climb out of bed and head for the mini bar. I grab a cold beer, even though I could probably use something stronger. You’re too young for a drinking problem. So-called rock star or not.

I take the beer to the small balcony of my room and lean against the railing, looking out over the lights of Memphis. We played a kick-ass show, and I should still be on a high from it. The crowd was amazing. Everything felt right in the world, for a few brief hours. I could forget about the knowledge that I’d traveled halfway across the country without actually seeing any of it. Forget the fact that the tour bus, though more luxurious than our old van, was cramped and starting to make me feel claustrophobic. Forget about how tired I was and how my throat hurt pretty much every day now. When we played like that, when we somehow managed to tap into that almost magical, synched-up, out-of-body place I can’t even describe, I could forget about all the shitty stuff and remember why we were doing this in the first place.

I had felt that tonight, for the first time in weeks, and the sensation had been fantastic. I should have slept like a baby. But here I was again, drinking a beer by myself at three in the morning.

I keep having dreams about her.

Which is pretty fucking ridiculous because I haven’t talked to the girl in about a year. Daisy made it perfectly clear that, for whatever reason, she was done with me—just like that, years of friendship, gone. And I don’t even know what the hell I did.

Okay, so I left, but she always knew that was going to happen. We planned for it, for Christ’s sake. Worked for it. Both of us. She had every bit as much to do with our success as anyone in the band. She was our biggest supporter, our loudest critic. We never performed a song without her hearing it first, never played a gig without her there. She was with us on that first horrible so-called tour, riding around Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana to all those dingy dive bars. She helped us plaster the towns with our flyers and sell our homemade CDs, just waiting for our big chance.

And when it came, when we got the call from Grey Skies that they wanted us to open for them, she was there then, too. She sat at our kitchen table, just like she had a thousand times before, waiting with bated breath for my dad to get off the phone with their manager. When he finally hung up and confirmed that our big break had appeared, she was the first person I grabbed as the kitchen erupted around us. She was happy for me—not the fake kind of happy that you think another person wants to see. She was genuinely, honest-to-God, screaming-her-face-off-while-hugging-me happy.

The only bad thing about those hectic, heady weeks before the tour was leaving her. I wanted to tell her then, the thing I’d always known but been too afraid to say, but I didn’t. I couldn’t imagine saying those three words—finally saying them, out loud, not just in my head where I imagined it constantly—and then leaving. So I held my tongue, and my tears, as I hugged her one last time before heading for the airport.

Maybe I should have said it. Maybe then she wouldn’t have disappeared the way she did. But I had a plan, damn it. I was going to come back, take her to her prom, the way we always talked about, and drop the bomb that I wanted us to be more. The way it played out in my head was that she’d be so happy she’d be willing to leave with me. She would forget about the business school she never really wanted to attend to come on tour with us. I wanted to experience this with her. I wanted to show her the world.

Taking another sip of beer, I wonder—not for the first time—what in the hell I could have done to piss her off so much. She stopped taking my calls about three months after we left for California. By then we’d recorded our album and started to tour as the openers for Grey Skies. I used to call her every night, eager to tell her all about life on the road in a proper tour. We had a lot more free time back then, and I was actually getting a chance to do things in the towns where we stopped. Was that it? Was she jealous?

But that wasn’t like Daisy. I cannot imagine that she would throw away a thirteen-year friendship out of jealousy. It didn’t make any sense. But one day, she didn’t answer when I called. And didn’t respond to my voice mail. Or my increasingly panicked text messages. My emails went unanswered, too.

I tried for weeks to reach her, calling her house, her phone, her dad’s phone. He told me flat out she didn’t want to talk to me, but I still couldn’t accept it. Even when her cell number was disconnected, when my emails started to come back with the message that there was no such address, I didn’t get it. It wasn’t until she finally called me to cancel our prom plans that I realized what she’d been trying to tell me: She didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I replay those weeks all the time, wondering what I could have done differently. I always come back to the same thing: I should have gone home. I should have told my dad to screw himself and gotten on a plane. They could have managed without me for a few days. Even if they couldn’t, even if it would have jeopardized our chance to open for Grey Skies, I should have done it anyway. Daisy was worth it.

But I didn’t. And now she’s away at college, probably having the time of her life, forgetting all about her old friend. I can see her so clearly, sitting on a green lawn, surrounded by friends, like some fucking commercial, her brown curls blowing in the breeze as she laughs. The image makes my chest ache again. She’s gone, man. Accept it.

I look out over the city again, my beer bottle empty. She is gone, hundreds of miles away, totally out of my reach. And I’m here, alone in the middle of the night, haunted by memories of the only girl I ever loved.

You can buy Ransom at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

New book, a sale, and lots of giveaways!

Teaser1-2Fred and Ellie’s book is now available on Amazon! You can find it right here. Unfortunately, I’m having some issues with Barnes and Noble. I’ll post the Nook link just as soon as I have it. I would love to hear what you think about the new book!

To celebrate Ellie and Fred, I’m participating in a blog tour for the next two weeks with the first book of the series, Escape In You. At each blog stop you can enter to win an ebook and a $100 gift card at Amazon. That’s a lot of books! You can find all the blog stops right here: Escape In You Blog Tour

Because of the new release and the blog tour, I’m putting Escape in You on sale. For a limited time you can grab the first book in the series for $.99. This is a great time to check out these new books!

Alright, I’m off to my writing cave. I’m currently hard at work on a new Lovestruck book. Hope you’re all doing well!

Giveaway Time!

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Escape In You is here and to celebrate I’m giving away some stuff! All week I’ve been tweeting about awesome bloggers who are participating in my book blitz. Each blog will be giving away a free ebook copy of Escape In You. Follow me on twitter for links to the sites and your chance to win a copy.

I’m also giving away a $50 Amazon gift card. You can enter through rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lastly, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of the book to one of my readers. Entering to win is super easy. Below you’ll find a series of questions I answered for the book blitz. One of these answers will tell you about one of my greatest fears. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re secretly afraid of. I’ll randomly choose from the comments to pick a winner!

If you’ve already read Escape In You, I’d love to hear what you think! Hope everyone is having a great week–only two days until Friday!

Interview

What can you tell us about Zoe? Zoe is a girl who has had to go through a lot of changes in her life. There was a time when Zoe was your typical high school student—she got good grades, had lots of friends, and gossiped with her mom about cute boys after school. All of that changed for Zoe when her Mom started to have issues. She had to move, she lost her friends, members of her family, and her dreams for the future. By the time she meets Jet Taylor, Zoe feels very trapped in her life. She parties a lot as a way to escape but she doesn’t think long-term freedom will ever be possible for her. Even with all of these hardships, Zoe is really loyal to her friends and her mother. She comes across as a bit of a badass, and she really is very strong, but she shows Taylor a more vulnerable side.

 

What’s the deal with Jet? Why does Zoe call him Taylor? How many names does that kid have, anyhow? Taylor does seem to have a lot of names, LOL! Different people call him different things, and you can actually tell a lot about his relationships by what he’s called. His full name is Jeremy Edward Taylor. The people who have known him the longest, like his parents, still call him Jeremy. It represents his past, before things got messed up in his life. Jet, on the other hand, is a high school nickname given to him based on his initials and his speed on the baseball diamond. By the time he meets Zoe, Jet has become a bit of an illusion. He’s not that person anymore. He recommends Zoe call him by his last name, Taylor, and she’s the only one who does so. This is important, because Zoe is also the only one who really sees Taylor for who he is.

Can you give us five random facts about Escape In You? I like random facts! Here we go:

  1. This is my ninth book! I also wrote it faster than any other book I’ve ever written. By the time I started writing I knew exactly how the story would go. That never happens to me!
  2. This is the first book I’ve written without a cameo from one of my Three Girl characters (the Three Girls are from a chick lit series I wrote). I decided since Escape In You feels so different from my chick-lit books, I would keep the Three Girls separate. In the end, I kind of missed having them pop up.
  3. This is the first book where I’ve based a character on someone I know in real life. Don’t worry, it’s a small part and he said it was okay!
  4. I may or may not have a huge crush on Taylor’s friend, Fred. I have an entire backstory for him planned out that didn’t make the book. I might have to revisit that someday…
  5. Ellie’s reaction to the roller coasters in the Cedar Point scene is pretty much the same as mine. I’m terrified of heights. I actually like roller coasters, but only once they start to go downhill. The whole way up I’m a huge mess.

Less Than A Week!

We’re less than a week away from Escape In You! I’m very excited!

Xpresso Book Tours is organizing a Book Blitz for me next week. If you have a blog and would like to participate, head over here to sign up. I’ll be giving away an ebook copy at every participating site as well as a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card.

In the meantime, here’s a lovely little teaser of what you can expect in the new book. Feel free to share on twitter and Facebook if you’re so inclined:)

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Last day for the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop!

Today is the last day to participate in the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop! Don’t miss out on the chance to win lots of free ebooks and a brand new kindle! Find all the relevant information right here.

Tomorrow is the last day of my Newsletter contest. I’ll be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to one newsletter subscriber. All you have to do to enter is join the mailing list! I send out (only occasional!) newsletters to alert readers to new books, special sales, and contests. You can sign up for the newsletter here.

I found this on Buzzfeed this morning and it cracked me up: Signs You’re Addicted to Books. Just about all of these are true for me, what about you? In fact, I’ve spent most of this long weekend reading and it was lovely! I’m supposed to be starting the first draft of my next book right ow, but I’m too distracted by all these amazing authors on my To Be Read list. I guess it’s a good problem to have!

So what are you reading over this memorial day weekend?

Chick Lit Author Blog Hop!

It’s Blog Hop time! Before I get into all the details about the hop, I just want to remind everyone that there’s still two days to enter to win the $25 Amazon gift card in celebration of the release of Lovestruck in London. To enter, head over to this post and leave me a comment about your favorite book character along with your email address and you’re entered! (The contest is only open to people living in the United States, sorry!)

As promised, there are more chances to win something cool this week and the next one is a BIG one! May is Chick Lit month and I am once again participating in an awesome blog hop. The theme this year is “What’s On Page 25?” so I’ll be giving you a sneak peak of one of my favorite scenes in the new book (which will be available TOMORROW!). During the blog hop there will be chances to win lots of ebooks or even the grand prize of a FREE Kindle Keyboard 3G, with Free 3G + Wi-Fi, and a 6″ E Ink Display. That lucky grand prize winner will also receive a “chick lit starter library” filled with great chick lit books written by the indie authors participating in the blog hop.

Learn “How to Hop & Win!” New to blog hops? Want to learn how to win the grand prize? Find complete information here.

I definitely recommend clicking on the link above for full rules but the basic rundown is this: Over the course of the next week you’ll visit 25 blogs and collect “Secret Words” from each blog. You’ll then use the words you collected to enter in the rafflecopter contest linked below. It’s pretty easy and it should be a good time. I know in the past I’ve found a lot of great new authors through hops like this one. I hope you do too!

Additionally, I will also be giving a free ebook copy of my new book, Lovestruck in London, to a lucky reader. Just comment below and you’re automatically entered. If you comment on all the blogs in the hop you have a chance to win lots of books!

Once again, if you want more details on the hop and how you can win the Grand Prize, head over here.

You can find the participating blogs here.

Here’s where you enter your secret words to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, I think that covers the details. So without further ado, let’s take a look at WHAT’S ON PAGE 25! This is actually one of my favorite scenes in the book. Lizzie has only recently arrived in London for her study abroad. On her first night out on the town, she meets an up-and-coming actor names Thomas. They hit it off right away. Keep reading to check out one of their earliest conversations. And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for my secret word!

I met Thomas at the velvet rope where he introduced me to a staff member named Bill. “Bill and I go way back,” he shouted in my ear as we shook hands. “He used to tend bar in my local.”

Bill unhooked the rope and stepped aside so Thomas could lead me up a short flight of stairs. I found myself in a small loft area overlooking the dance floor. We could still hear the music, but velvet drapes around our booth muffled the sound quite a bit.

“That’s better,” Thomas said, settling into the booth. “I can at least hear you now.”

“Do you come here a lot?” I asked, amazed that this section of the club existed without anyone below knowing it.

Thomas shook his head. “To be honest, this isn’t really my scene. I’m much more of a pub guy when I want a drink.”

I grinned, glad to hear it for some reason. Maybe Thomas wasn’t too glamorous for me after all. “What about you?” he asked. “Pub or club?”

“Uh,” I felt suddenly uncomfortable. “Pub, I guess. But I don’t really do much of either.”

“A university student who doesn’t go to the pub? I’m shocked.”

I shrugged. “I should warn you right now, I’m kind of a goody-two-shoes.”

“Me, too!” Thomas cried, looking thrilled. He leaned into me and spoke in mock confidential tones. “Would it shock you to know that I spent last New Year’s Eve in my flat studying lines for a film I was about to start shooting?”

I laughed. “I spent last New Year’s Eve at a party at my uncle’s house, so I’m not one to judge.”

“One time my brother convinced me to steal a Coke from the newsagent down the road,” Thomas countered. “He said he would tell all my friends I was a baby if I didn’t. So I did.”

“You returned the Coke an hour later, didn’t you?”

“Twenty minutes,” he said, grinning. “And I cried.”

I laughed, wondering why I had felt nervous about talking with him. He was wonderful.

“Tell me about school,” he said. “Why London?”

“I’ve always wanted to come to London,” I said.

“Are you enjoying it so far?”

“We haven’t seen much of the city. We were stuck in orientation sessions the first few days, and were suffering crazy jet lag at night. Then we had this whole apartment fiasco. It hasn’t been quite what I expected.” I paused, not wanting to admit the underlying disappointment I had been feeling about my London adventure so far. (Win the grand prize! The 12th secret word in the 25-word sentence is: lit) Anyhow. This is our first night really off campus.” 

“So you’ve been here all week and you haven’t seen the city yet? We’ll have to fix that.” The implication in his words made my heart thud in my chest. I couldn’t seem to wipe the smile from my face.

“I think the big draw for me was the literary history here,” I went on, trying to control the giddiness that threatened to overwhelm me. “My favorite authors are British; I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to study literature.”

“Funny, my favorite authors are mostly American,” he said, taking a sip of his beer. “Patterson, King, Grisham.” He gave me a rueful grin. “Not exactly high-minded literature.”

“There’s nothing wrong with genre fiction,” I said firmly. “Take it from an English major; people who only read the classics are usually boring and uptight.”

“Cheers.” Thomas rapped his bottle lightly against my glass. “Did you study literature at your university in the States as well?”

I nodded. “My BA is in English. I also have a teaching certificate.”

“A teacher, eh? My mother was a teacher.”

“So are my sisters,” I said, feeling depressed suddenly. “But I have a ways to go. This program is nine months long.”

“Nine months is a long time to be away from home. Where is home, by the way?”

“Detroit, Michigan. You know, where they make the cars. Motown, Kid Rock.”

“I’ve seen Eight Mile, you know. I’m quite familiar with Detroit.”

I laughed. “Well, I don’t actually live in the city. The suburbs. Sterling Heights, to be exact. Much more Pleasantville than Eight Mile.

“Thank you for putting things in movie language for me,” he said, winking. “Taking pity on the brainless actor is kind.”

“You started it!” I cried, smacking his hand as he laughed. “So where are you from?”

“I grew up in Surrey, but the family’s all up in Edinburgh now.”

“Oooh,” I sighed. “I can’t wait to get up there.”

“It’s a beautiful city,” he said. “They moved right when I started working in London, so I never lived there full time, but it’s really nice to be able to visit them now.”

We chatted for a while about family. I learned that Thomas is a middle child, his older brother is married and living outside Edinburgh, and his younger sister still lives at home. He seemed fascinated by the idea of my five siblings, and wanted to know all about my family, cousins and aunts and uncles included.

“My grandparents on both sides immigrated from Mexico,” I explained. “My mom’s mom moved back there after her husband died, and my dad’s parents are both gone. But we have a huge family all nearby, more than a dozen cousins, and I don’t even know how many second and third cousins. It gets pretty crazy when we’re all in the same place, which happens all the time. We have more family dinners and parties than anyone you’ll ever meet.”

“Wow,” he said. “I only have three cousins all together.”

I laughed. “Then your house is probably much more peaceful than mine at Christmas.”

“I think it would be nice to have a bigger family,” he said. “You must have had lots of built-in playmates when you were little.”

“I did,” I agreed. “My best friend is actually my cousin Sofia.” I felt a pang. It had only been a week but I missed Sofie like mad.

“It’s pretty brave of you, coming all this way on your own, for such an extended stay.” I looked up and saw that he was watching me closely, something about his expression making me think he could tell what I was feeling. Slightly embarrassed, I reached for my drink.

“I don’t know about brave,” I said, after I’d drained the rest of it. “But my family sure wasn’t thrilled about it.”

“They thought it was too far?”

“They thought I should be putting my hard-earned education to work getting a real job, not spending more loan money on something frivolous.”

“Higher education is frivolous?”

“It is to them.” I reached for my drink again, my hand coming up short when I realized it was empty. Talking about my parents’ expectations always stressed me out.

Thomas noticed and gestured for a waitress. “Another gin and tonic and another Heineken, please.”

“Thanks,” I said, grateful.

“You’re welcome. We can change the subject if you want.”

“No, it’s okay. I just have some guilt issues when it comes to my career,” I laughed lightly, hoping I didn’t sound too melodramatic, but Thomas only said, “I can relate.”

“My parents are big on stability. They saw their parents struggle so much when they came to America. My dad worked a bunch of terrible jobs before he got hired at Ford. For him, a job with a good union, good benefits, that’s like the holy grail.”

“Your brothers and sisters agree?”

“Oh God, yes,” I laughed. “Two brothers are at Ford with him, another is an electrician, and both the girls are teachers.”

“So you followed in their footsteps?”

I was saved answering by the waitress’s return with our drinks, and it was a good thing, too. I had been about to admit that the thought of teaching had lately filled me with a panic I couldn’t explain. I hadn’t admitted that to anyone, not even Sofie or Callie. What was it about Thomas that made me feel so chatty?

“What about you?” I asked, eager to stop thinking about my career prospects. “What did your folks think about acting?”

“They’re supportive, now. It was a different story at first. They sent all three of us to really good schools, education was really important to them. I think they had visions of all three of us becoming barristers, like my dad.”

“What does your brother do now?”

“He’s a barrister.” Thomas laughed. “He’s the good son. But my sister is making noise about wanting to give acting a shot. They’ll really kill me then.” He winked at me, making my tummy flip all over again. I found that I was staring at his eyes while he talked. They were the most expressive eyes I had ever seen, flashing and twinkling, their green depths seeming to darken depending on his tone. If I spent enough time with him I could read his mood in his eyes, I thought. Without him saying a word.

“You said they weren’t thrilled with the acting at first. Weren’t you really young when Darkness came out?”

“I went to an open call when I was seventeen,” he said. “I actually auditioned for Cooper.” When I looked blank, he laughed. “Jackson’s part. I take it you aren’t a fan?”

I blushed to the roots of my hair. “Um…”

He laughed again and patted my hand, the contact sending a rush of shivers down my arm. “Don’t worry about it. It’s actually pretty refreshing. Anyway, I went to the audition kind of on a lark. I really liked drama in school, and kept telling my parents I wanted to study it at university. I figured if I could manage a callback in a major show, they might take me seriously. I was blown away when I was cast.”

“And they let you do it. That’s pretty cool.”

“At that point, they couldn’t have stopped me,” he laughed. “I had visions of Hollywood superstardom in my eyes. I was impossible for months.”

Just then, my phone beeped. I groaned as I looked down at it. “The girls are leaving.”

Thomas sat up straighter. “I could take you home,” he said. Was I imagining the eagerness in his voice?

“Thank you, but I should go with Callie. The other girls don’t live on our side of town, and we’re too new here for me to be leaving her on her own.”

“You sound like a nice friend,” he smiled at me, and I noticed, for the first time, that he had dimples. Or maybe they only appeared when he smiled a certain way. I had already mentally catalogued at least four different smiles to obsess over when I was alone.

He stood with me to walk me down the stairs. As soon as we were out of our protective alcove, the club noise hit me all over again. I had to lean up to yell right in his ear for him to hear me, brushing my arm across his as I went. I wasn’t complaining. “Look, I’d introduce you but I’m afraid Callie will go all fan girl on you. Are you up for that tonight?”

“Hmm, can I take a rain check on the fan-girling?”

I laughed. “Sure.”

As I scanned the room for Callie, Thomas took my hand. I looked up at him, surprised, as a rush of warmth shot through my fingers. “I’d like to see you again,” he said, leaning down so I could hear him. “Would that be okay with you?”

I couldn’t speak. Being so close to his face, his hand holding mine so firmly, I was overwhelmed with the desire to reach up and kiss him. I’d barely have to stretch at all. Instead, I nodded wordlessly, earning another grin from Thomas.

Five distinct smiles, I thought to myself. I wonder what they all represent.

“Tomorrow?”

I nodded again, pretty sure that my grin had turned downright goofy looking.

Thomas squeezed my hand before releasing it. “Text me when you get home then, we can set a time and you can give me your address.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

He nodded across the room. “I think I see your friend. Talk to you soon?”

Before I could respond, he was brushing his lips lightly across my forehead, squeezing my hand one last time, and turning away. I stood gaping after him, still feeling his lips on my forehead.

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If you have any questions about the Hop don’t hesitate to ask. Remember to leave a comment to enter to win a copy of my brand new ebook, Lovestruck in London. And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for the grand prize kindle!

Keep hopping! Click here to return to the list of blogs.