Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WHEN IT HOOKS YOU by @NickiElson3D #Contemporary #Romance #New #Release #Review

Title: When It Hooks You
Author: Nicki Elson
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Three dates. It was only supposed to be three dates—he was only meant to be a fling. I didn’t want to feel all of this for him. And I certainly hadn’t counted on him keeping such a deal-breaking secret from me.

Till death is too long for Trish Cerise. The twenty-seven year old receptionist is tired of men asking for her forever when she just wants to keep things light and fun. World-traveling businessman Adam Helms steps off the elevator and into her life with his own reasons for keeping relationships at a safe distance. Together, they’re destined for the most glorious short-term romance in history…until they break their own rules and Trish learns something about Adam she wishes she never knew.

I know a future with him is impossible, but how do you break away from such an intense, consuming, heart-crushing love when it hooks you?  ~Trish

When It Hooks YouWhen It Hooks You by Nicki Elson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hooked on Nicki Elson's Books!

At age 27, law firm receptionist Trish is tired of the dating scene. She'd turned down a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Kurt, but when she thinks he'll ask again, this time she plans to say yes.

When Kurt instead dumps her, Trish comes up with a new idea: she'll only go on three dates with any guy. After three dates is where the heartache starts. What could possibly go wrong?

Cliff is a college friend who's also an attorney at her law firm. (I happen to love Cliff and can't wait for his story, coming next.) Trish mistakenly thinks Cliff is gay and tries to set him up with a guy. The gay guy is suspicious about Trish matching up with a lesbian on their double-date.

"You've got 'I love dick' written all over you. You might as well wear a T-shirt proclaiming it."

Trish's mouth opened wide in a silent gasp.

"See?" James pointed at her lips, his finger rotating. "The perfect shape and size. You know what you want in there."


Cliff has the hots for Trish, but she's more intrigued by stylish businessman Adam, a client at the firm. Adam overhears Trish's three date max plan and their flirtation begins.

When Adam takes her on a dreamboat third date, including a surprise candlelit dinner on a yacht on the Chicago River, she's definitely impressed.

"Does this look like a good spot to drop anchor?"

"Perfect. You seriously should get a job planning dates for The Bachelor."


Trish and Adam develop feelings for each other that transcend the three-date limit. She wants to make an exception for him, but he may be unable to veer off their careful plan due to his secret past.

I definitely enjoyed this contemporary romance, and can't wait for the next book in the series.

View all my reviews


Nicki writes spicy fiction with a sweet and dreamy center. She does other stuff, too—like obsess over reality TV. Writing fiction wasn't something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.

Author Links:
Buy Link: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UxX0Eh #Free with #KindleUnlimited

“Do you miss him?” Adam asked.
“The ex-boyfriend who lives here? At times, I guess.”
“Is there any chance you brought me here because you want to run into him?”
She considered the idea, but shook her head, leaning her back against Adam’s chest. The temperature had lowered from the hot day at the baseball field. It was still warm enough for Trish to be comfortable in her strapless dress, but his body heat against her bare skin felt nice. “I saw him a couple of weeks ago—with his new girlfriend. I’ve apparently got some residual anger about the way he broke up with me, but no part of me wants to get back together with him.”
“Then why are we here?” Adam murmured into her ear.
“For this.” She swept an arm over the railing, gesturing toward the sky. “Showing you the sunset is the only reason, I swear. I never felt forever with him; end of story.”
Adam’s light exhale tickled Trish’s shoulder. “I’m glad for you that you can see things so clearly. Staying with the wrong person can end up being more lonely than being alone.”
“Sounds like you learned that one the hard way.”
“I did.”
Orange relinquished more and more of its claim on the sky. The massive smudge of color stained the clouds stormy gray even while their cottony edges flamed. Adam dropped a hand from the railing to wrap his arm around Trish’s waist.
She started at his touch and tilted her head to look at him. As soon as her eyes locked on his, he dropped his arm and shifted his gaze away from her to look across the wide deck toward the lake. The brilliant blue in the east had darkened to midnight. She turned her whole body to be front-to-front with him. Touching her hand to the side of his face, she brought his focus back to her. She was done waiting for him to make a move.
“I know you said it was best to not get physical,” she said, noting the faint press of new stubble against her palm. “But I hope kisses don’t count because I’m going to kiss you, Mr. Helms. If that goes well, I don’t plan to stop until your face turns purple and you’re gasping for air.”
He didn’t move or say anything to dissuade her, but a terrified flash raced across his eyes—now made coppery under the scorched heavens. Trish plastered her mouth against his. She’d take away his fear. She’d pull him up to the surface of his melancholy sea and breathe lightness into him.
His mouth was stiff, but she touched her coaxing lips to his again and again until he relented. He was gentle, almost timid, but at the first graze of her tongue against his, he lunged into her. One of his hands splayed across her bare back and the other claimed the base of her spine, pulling her against him. His kiss became ravenous, nearly desperate.
Tasting his need fueled Trish’s desire to satisfy him. Their frenzied mouths moved against each other. Only half aware of what the rest of her body was doing, she raked her fingers through the back of his sculpted hair and coiled a leg around him.
The muted sound of the latch engaging at the rooftop entrance recalled them to reality. She lowered her thigh, and they pulled their mouths apart but continued to hold each other close. His heavy breath cooled the wetness coating her lips.
“Is my face purple enough for you?” he murmured as a boisterous group emerged onto the roof.
Trish laughed, leaning in to rest the side of her face against his. “I’m not through with you, Mr. Helms.”


Monday, May 23, 2016

Life's a Beach #Giveaway Hop #Giftcard #Sports #Romance


Welcome to the Life's a Beach Hop, hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It.


The beach is one of my favorite locations! As a former college swimmer, I like to swim 30 minutes in one direction then turn around and head back to my starting point. Sometimes a fear of sharks gets lodged in my mind, but overall it's more fun than swimming in a pool.

In addition to a gift card, I'm giving away an ebook of my college swimming romance STREAMLINE, set at the beaches of Pensacola, Florida.


Enter on the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop over to these beachy blogs to win more stuff!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blurb Blast! SPIKED (Blocked #3) Has a Blurb #NA #Sports #Romance


If you want authors to shudder with fear and revulsion, ask them to write a BLURB.



What's a blurb? It's a brief summary of a story. The best blurbs hook the reader without giving away too much.

We writers are a verbose bunch and it's tough for us to pack our narrative into a pithy punch. This is where critique partners and editors come in handy!

What characterizes your favorite blurbs? I've been drawn to starting with a sentence or two from the first person point of view. However, I wrote the blurbs for my first two books in the Blocked series in the third person, and wanted to stay consistent for book three.

I found a compromise for SPIKED (Blocked #3) by adding song lyrics to the blurb to capture the first person perspective of the hero Mateo, who's a singer / songwriter.



SPIKED (Blocked #3)


They say
University is the time
To find yourself
But I don’t need to find myself
Just want to find you 

After watching his older siblings find their love matches at Highbanks University, Mateo Ramirez feels unlikely to follow in their footsteps. What girl would want him? Unlike his brother and sister, he battles diabetes and chooses music over sports. But at least he can write songs about his life—and the girl who caught his eye when their parents ran against each other for US President.

Hey, chica! Come conmigo
And baby, why don’t we go
Down under the bridge to the water
With you it can only get hotter 

Jessica Monroe is a talented swimmer who dreams of representing Team USA at the Olympics. When she earns an athletic scholarship to Highbanks, she’s excited to attend the same school as the cute boy she met two years ago: Mateo. Too bad he’s not around when a teammate spikes her drink. Jessica may never trust men again.

Trust
Is a hard-to-earn thing
Just
Try to keep listening

Swallow
Down all of the unjust
Hollow
My chest, my heart will bust 

College years are the time to shake off the past and find your future. But will that future find Mateo and Jessica together? Dive in and immerse yourself in the eagerly anticipated conclusion to Jennifer Lane’s Blocked trilogy.

~ * ~

Add to Goodreads HERE


What do you think?


Now I need to find a stock image of a Mexican-American guitar-playing shirtless hottie for the cover. But FIRST I need to finish writing the novel. :-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#IWSG Pinterinspiration #Pinterest #Writing #Inspiration


Happy May, writers. Time to discuss our hopes and fears. Join us at Alex Cavanaugh's blog. The amazing co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG will be Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris!


We writers find inspiration in the strangest places. For me, Pinterest is top on my list. I'm addicted to Pinterest, I must admit.

I like to create a Pinterest board when writing to collect images and websites that relate to the story.

For my work in progress SPIKED (Blocked #3), I've pinned these images:

1) Volleyball T-shirts (the heroine from Blocked has quite a collection)




2) Bad pickup lines (How Mateo gets Jessica to laugh)




What inspires YOUR writing? What's the worst pickup line you've heard?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#Charity #Anthology LOVE UNRESTRICTED #GlassCity #SizzlingPR

Love Unrestricted Anthology

E cover anthology

Love Unrestricted Anthology

Published by: Glass City Author Event

  • If There’s a Chance by Sidonia Rose
  • Swim Recruit by Jennifer Lane
  • Intoxicated by You by Michelle Iannarelli
  • Leaving Eva by Jennifer Sivec
  • Damaged by J. L. Perry
  • Never to Keep by Aimie Gray
Human Trafficking is a major issue not only in the US, but all over the world. The Glass City Author Event has come together to raise money for a local Non-Profit Organization. RISE: Recovering Individuals From Sexual Exploitation is a social service program located in Toledo, Ohio. RISE Provides comprehensive services to Victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution.

Amazon US - Amazon UK

Glass City Author Event Website - Glass City Author Event Tickets

Glass City Author Event Social Media: Facebook - Facebook Group - Twitter


If There’s a Chance by Sidonia Rose
Most families have rules. The Pierce family not only has rules they also have prank rules. Every rule was created because of a prank that happened. Ever wonder what really happened? The third rule says ‘If there’s a chance of an ER visit, find something else.’ That seems simple enough but why was it created?
Swim Recruit by Jennifer Lane
Not long after Abby Donahue's family falls apart, she escapes on an airplane to Chicago for a recruiting trip. A talented high-school swimmer, Abby hopes to score both a college scholarship and some distance from her parents' recent divorce. But is this university for her? Her first encounter with freshman swimmer Reese McGowan makes her nervous. He's a tall backstroker with a mess of blond hair, glittering aquamarine eyes, and a suspension from the team for badmouthing the school to another recruit. As Abby unravels the mystery underlying Reese's disdain, she begins to unlock her own hidden emotions about her father. Together Abby and Reese battle bullies on the team and inner demons, learning that flipper feet and fighting for family can actually be a good thing.
Intoxicated by You by Michelle Iannarelli
Tall, dark and strong, that is how Liam drinks his coffee, how Emily likes her men…. All Dr. Emily Kelly was looking for was a latte...instead, she fell for Liam…literally. Detective Liam St. Paul isn’t looking for love, he is a one night stand kind of guy…until he looked into Emily’s eyes. When Emily's life is in danger...Liam vows to protect her. Will Emily and Liam find a way to leave their pasts behind them and move forward together? Or will their pasts tear them apart?
Leaving Eva by Jennifer Sivec
There is a secret pain lurking within us all, waiting to consume us if we allow it.
On the outside, Brynn Michael seems to be living the perfect life. She’s a successful businesswoman married to a handsome and devoted husband. But nobody, not even her husband and childhood sweetheart, Adam, knows the true depth of Brynn’s horror. Abandoned as a child on the side of the road by her young drug-addicted mother, then later abused by her adoptive father, Brynn has spent her life hiding both the physical and emotional scars.
As she tries desperately to heal from her broken childhood and find the courage to begin a family with Adam, an unexpected visitor from her past seeks her out and exposes her to an unexpected history of violence and murder.
Damaged by J. L. Perry
Jacinta’s story takes place seven years after the day Brooke and Logan Cavanagh saved her from the violent clutches of her father. Her mother has now remarried and Jacinta has a new step-brother, Connor, whom she is adores.
Never to Keep by Aimie Gray
Strangers meet in a hotel bar. For a few stolen hours they pretend all is right in their worlds.
Madison Miller is broken. Nearly everyone she’s loved throughout her life has left her. Now, she’s desperate to feel something other than the pain of her most recent loss, even if it’s only for one night. Sawyer Ramsay is jaded. After witnessing his younger brother marry a woman no one can stand and years of watching his older brother’s disastrous experiences with women, the last thing he wants is a relationship. Almost a year later, fate will have the strangers crossing paths once more. Can this strong, caring woman with a complicated life convince this disillusioned man to believe in love? Will passion and desire turn into something strong enough to surmount all of life’s obstacles, or will the fear of heartache and overwhelming responsibility force Madison to accept Sawyer was never to keep?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Swim Recruit in #Charity Anthology LOVE UNRESTRICTED


I'm excited to sign books at the Glass City Author Event in Toledo, Ohio on 10/8/16.



The event organizer, Kimberley Beale, has put together an anthology to benefit the fight against human trafficking: Love Unrestricted.



My New Adult sports romance novella Swim Recruit is the second story in the anthology.

Love Unrestricted features stories by the following authors:

If There's a Chance by Sidonia Rose

Swim Recruit by Jennifer Lane

Intoxicated by You by Michelle Iannarelli

Leaving Eva by Jennifer Sivec

Damaged by JL Perry

Never to Keep by Aimie Gray


Add to Goodreads HERE.

The anthology is on sale for six weeks only for just $.99. Get it HERE.

Proceeds benefit RISE: Recovering Individuals from Sexual Exploitation.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#IWSG The Best Negative Reviews




Welcome to April's Insecure Writers' Support Group. Hop over the Alex Cavanaugh's blog to join us!

Recently a reader friend asked, "How do I write an honest, helpful, negative review?"

Let's discuss negative reviews. I don't want to censor reader opinions, but merely state how I can learn best from reviews. I definitely know how frustrating and disappointing the reading experience can be. It has also become so clear to me that no author can please every reader.

As an author, I appreciate negative reviews that 1) offer specific constructive criticism, 2) make me laugh, and/or 3) acknowledge how personal preferences affect reactions.

I suggest getting specific about what's not working for the reader. The tightness of the writing? Grammar? Pacing of the plot? Realism of characterization? Chemistry between the characters? Too many characters? Implausibility of plot?


Here are some reviews that have taught me to write better:

"There was head hopping in the third person omniscient perspective. Sometimes the same paragraph had perspectives from two different characters."
(Thank you to two authors for sharing this wisdom about my debut novel With Good Behavior.)

"Grant is a wuss." (This made me LOL)

"Grant cries too much." (These reviews informed my characterization of beta men--I don't want to make them too weak.)

"It was too depressing and covered too many issues." (I've tried to lighten up later books with more humor.)

"It just didn't work for me because..." (I like when reviewers state how their personal preferences affect the reviews, acknowledging that others might enjoy it but it just didn't fit for them.)


Some negative reviews are not as helpful:

"This is YA, not NA." (I get frustrated with this critique of Blocked because the age of the characters is indeed New Adult. Though it's also my fault for choosing a sexy cover then not delivering the horizontal refreshment.)

Reviews that spoiler the reader or attack the author as a person are also not my cup of tea.



How about YOU? Which negative reviews are the most helpful?

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Release: What the Clocks Know by @RumerHaven #paranormal #romance


Excited for my pub sister Rumer Haven's spooky new release! Is it just me, or does anyone else start singing that inane song "What does the fox say?" when they read the title?

NEW RELEASE!

Released March 18, 2016
Paranormal Women's Fiction
~ * ~
Summary: Twenty-six-year-old Margot sets out on a journey of self-discovery – she dumps her New York boyfriend, quits her Chicago job, and crashes at her friend’s flat in London. Rather than find herself, though, she only feels more lost. An unsettling energy affects her from the moment she enters the old Victorian residence, and she spirals into depression. Frightened and questioning her perceptions, she gradually suspects her dark emotions belong to Charlotte instead. Who is Charlotte? The name on a local gravestone could relate to Margot’s dreams and the grey woman weeping at the window. Finding a ghost isn't what she had in mind when she went ‘soul searching’, but somehow Margot's future may depend on Charlotte's past. Woven between 21st century and Victorian London, What the Clocks Know is a haunting story of love and identity.

 

** Add it! **
** Read it! **
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/1Qsj1Tr
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/1Qsj69I

~ * ~

Author Bio:

Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. She debuted in 2014 with Seven for a Secret (in which a Jazz Age tragedy haunts a modern woman’s love life), and her award-winning short story “Four Somethings & a Sixpence” (about a bride who gets a little something she didn’t register for) was released in 2015. What the Clocks Know is her second novel.

Learn more about Rumer at: 
Website - http://www.rumerhaven.com 
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/rumerhaven 
Twitter - @RumerHaven

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cover Reveal: Hearts in Florence by @AMWillard1 #romance


Hearts in Florence Cover Reveal
A.M. Willard
Coming March 22, 2016

HeartsofFlorenceEbook

Synopsis
Raven Bloomberg finds herself stuck in Florence, Italy during a holiday weekend. One meant for lovers, not lonely art gallery assistants sharing the last hotel room with a dark and mysterious stranger.
She decides to loosen up and enjoy what the city has to offer. The only problem is; she may be enjoying herself a little too much.
Pierce Ashton's eyes are set on Raven Bloomberg, the sexy yet reserved blonde that pushes him to limits he never expected. Will their thirst be enough to continue the love affair once back in the states?
Will these two souls go back to living life as they did before, or embrace the passion ignited in the opulent streets of Florence.
Find out now in author A.M. Willard's contemporary romance novella, Hearts in Florence, which is best enjoyed with an Italian Merlot.

About A.M. Willard
DSC01910-226x300

A.M. Willard is a true believer of soul mates, and happy ever afters. She enjoys reading, sailing, and of course writing contemporary romance with some saucy scenes. Releasing her first novella of the One Night Series on April 12, 2014 has sent her on a new journey in life.
A.M.'s passion for writing started at a young age, but with the love and support from her husband of eighteen years pushed her to follow her dreams. Once she hit that first publish button, she hasn't looked back.
Publications available from A.M. Willard include the Chances Series, Love on the Screen, and everyone's favorite, the One Night Series. She's also had an article published in the Writer's Monthly Review Magazine and was just accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.
A.M. Willard was born and raised in the Panhandle of Florida, but resides in Savannah GA with her husband, son, two cats, one rotten dog, two goats, and her six chickens. Yes, we said chickens...

Hearts in Florence Twitter Banner

Buy Links
Amazon

Where to Find A.M.

Hearts in Florence Teaser 2

Excerpt
“Come, I want to show you my favorite section here,” he says while dragging me behind him. Now it’s as if he’s a kid in the candy store. Laughter escapes from me while I’m being pulled. I glimpse back and forth between everything as it’s covered in greenery and wonder what it would’ve been like back in the day. As we slow, I notice the Ragnaie up ahead, and I pray that he’s going to say this is his favorite spot. I really want to walk underneath it.

“You coming?” he asks, tilting his head in that direction. I offer the biggest goofy smile ever and follow along. I take in the green trees that cascade over the gravel path making a canopy above our heads. The sunlight peers through open sections of the trees above, creating a spotlight effect down toward the road as we walk along. Pierce takes my hand into his and squeezes it a little more than he has before. I close my eyes and glide through as I imagine being here with my fiancĂ© or lover in the future. We could come here for him to kneel down and propose to me, or to celebrate our first year of being wed.

I stop and breathe in the air around us. I want to memorize this moment for as long as I can. I want to remember exactly what it smells like, the sounds of the birds chirping, and the slight creaking of the branches. I picture that it’s the sound of the branches intertwining more into each other, forming a tighter bond than before. The hopeless romantic in me wonders if that’s the sound that two lovers’ hearts make. When two people who love each other unconditionally grow old together, do their branches mend together to make a canopy of their souls?

Hearts in Florence

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#IWSG Writing Research


Holla, writers! Good to see you for the Insecure Writers Support Group started by Alex J Cavanaugh.



Join us HERE to share insecurities, worries, tips, and celebrations.

Let's talk research. How do you research unfamiliar topics to increase the authenticity of your writing?

My WIP Spiked (Blocked #3) has two main characters:

* Mateo is a music performance major with diabetes

* Jessica is an art major on the varsity swim team

I have part lungs, part gills after swimming all my life, so I'm good with that aspect of the story. But I know very little about the intricacies of music, art, and diabetes.


Thank goodness for Professor Google. For this story, I've consulted the inter webs for ideas about college curriculums, acoustic guitars, and the Secret Service. Of course there's a lot of crap on the internet, but I try to verify information with two or three sites.

Human capital is awesome for research, too. Lovely reader Nelly Guajardo guides me with the diabetes aspects and my kickbutt crit partner Nicki Elson helps me as well.

How do you research?

Happy writing!
 


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