Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Best Behavior Excerpt

The release of On Best Behavior is less than one month away! *jumps up and down*

Here's a glimpse of what's inside--an excerpt from Chapter 5: "Con Tequila".


Lurching awake on the sofa, Sophie scanned the darkened apartment. All was quiet except for the rasp of her breaths as she tried to orient herself. Then there was the noise that must have stirred her from sleep—a scratching at the door. She heard a slight clink of metal, the crunch of a key jamming into the lock, and harsh cursing from the hallway.
Was a Barberi thug trying to break into the apartment? She was fully awake now.
Soundlessly she crept toward the front door, halting at the clang of keys dropping on the hallway carpet. More swearing ensued, and her heart leaped to her throat. She was almost to the peephole when a soft chuckle floated through the door. Relief flooded her. She’d recognize that sound anywhere.
Yanking open the door, she had to look down to find Grant crouching at her feet, groping for the fallen keys.
“What’s your problem?” she hissed, trying not to disturb the neighbors.
It took him five seconds to look up at her with glassy eyes and a goofy grin. Clutching his keys, he woozily stood, swaying on his feet.
Her mouth popped open. “You’re drunk!”
Hóla, Bonita.” His smile broadened.
So much for not waking the neighbors.
He fumbled for her hand and pressed her flush to his chest. “The door—” she cried, hearing it click shut and locked behind her.
“I have keys!” he proudly announced.
She rolled her eyes. “A lot of good they did you before.”
He nuzzled her nose, smiling dreamily, and she caught a whiff of Eau de Tequila. The low hallway light reflected in his dazzling eyes, which shone with mischief.
Her eyes narrowed. “Why were you drinking? I thought—”
He interrupted her with a scorching kiss, which made her bones wobble.
He followed his masterpiece by cupping her breasts in his hands. He skimmed his lips across her jaw, softly licking the skin near her ear. “You thought?” he prompted. He wasn’t slurring quite as badly as his first tequila bender.
“Hmmm…I thought…I thought…what was I thinking?”
He grabbed both her hands, and she found herself moving in step with him, ballroom dancing in the hallway. Naturally he started singing Sinatra in his deep baritone, crooning about the kick of champagne.
Feeling déjà vu from the bridge of the cruise ship, she closed her eyes and swayed along with him. Here we go again. She let him twirl her, and despite her consternation a giggle escaped.
He tucked her close, his hand resting on the small of her back, humming a tune about liquor not affecting him at all.
I beg to differ. “So who were you drinking with, naughty McSailor?”
“No one as sexy as you,” he cooed in her ear. The humming resumed, and his hand traveled south, caressing her bottom.
A zing of energy sparked from his touch, and she attempted to stay focused. “And what did she look like?”
Halting the two-step, he looked into her eyes, a smile floating across his flushed face. “Jealous, Bonnie?”
“You better not be doing body shots with anyone else.”
He seemed to find this amusing, snorting loudly. “I doubt my drinking buddies would let me get that close.”
“Drinking buddies?”
They turned to their left when a neighbor’s door swung open, revealing a glaring woman with bed-head and an intricate neck tattoo peeking out from under her robe. “Could you take it inside?”
He maintained his jovial grin, letting go of her and approaching 7B. “Aw, don’t be mad, ma’am.” He kneeled and gently took the woman’s hand, then planted a kiss. “I do apologize—jusss having a good time out here on the dance floor.”
Sophie watched the woman teeter on the edge of fear and enthrallment, here in the hallway at 2 a.m.
“I’m sorry for all the noise,” Sophie said, stepping closer. “He had a bit too much to drink, and it’s time for me to put him to bed.”
“I like the sound of that,” Grant said, looking up at her but still holding the woman’s hand. “But I was jusss about to offer our lovely neighbor here a dance.”
The woman blushed. “Um, I have to go to work kind of early…”
“Mick,” Sophie hissed, tugging at his arm. “Time for bed, honey.”
Hearing his undercover name seemed to compel him to action. He stood, darted nervous glances down the hallway, then aimed a beseeching look at the woman. “I apologize, ma’am.”
Relieved he’d returned to his senses, she pulled him toward their door. “Sorry for waking you up!”
The woman watched her reach into his pocket for the keys. “Quite a charmer you got there.”
“Don’t I know it,” she said, smiling as she unlocked the door. She pushed the charmer into their apartment and watched him weave his way to the sofa. She supposed she should be angry at him for flirting with their neighbor, but she loved his completely carefree demeanor. It was so uncharacteristic.
He wiggled out of his long navy coat and tossed it toward a kitchen chair, missing his mark by a full coat-length. Very un-Grant-like. Not bothering to pick it up, he continued stumbling toward the sofa, humming Sinatra. Definitely not like Grant. When he began unbuttoning his shirt, she held her breath. Slowly his sculpted back came into view, his ropy muscles lean and taut. With a body like that, he had no business being so modest all the time, and she reveled in the show. He wadded up the shirt and tossed it to the corner.

Hope you enjoyed naughty McSailor. Sophie does NOT enjoy what happens after this scene. Add On Best Behavior to your Goodreads shelf.

Stay tuned for a blog post from Joe Madsen, Grant's uncle, at Darcia Helle's blog on 8/30.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cover Reveal: On Best Behavior (The CONduct Series #3)

It's here! The cover for my fourth novel On Best Behavior has arrived:



The Conduct Series, #3 
 Publisher: Omnific Publishing 
 Expected release: September 24, 2013 
 Genre: Romantic Suspense

Planning a wedding is never easy—especially when the Russian Mafia wants you dead. 

On Best Behavior—the third and final book in The Conduct Series—finds our favorite couple moving forward, despite the odds. Following a pardon by the Governor of Illinois, ex-cons Sophie Taylor and Grant Madsen are finally free to pursue their love and the life that lies ahead for them. Grant now fights the forces that have hurt his loved ones by working undercover for the FBI, and he has infiltrated the Russian Mafia in Chicago. Sophie dives into swimming with Grant’s nephew, Ben, and into her career as a psychology professor. Thankfully, now it’s Ben’s turn to heal through therapy sessions with Dr. Hunter Hayes. 

With so many things going right for Grant and Sophie, it's too bad the Russians aren’t their only threat. When Grant’s father, Enzo Barberi, discovers his own son thwarted his plan to break out of prison, his overdeveloped sense of vengeance flares to life. As Sophie scrambles to save her fiancé, it's impossible to say who will kill Grant first—the Russians or his Italian family. Can love triumph over evil? Are hard work and a pledge to be on best behavior ever enough? 

Once again, author Jennifer Lane brings a harrowing tale of romantic suspense with a psychological twist, and it's sure to leave readers breathless.

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Check out over forty blogs across the blogosphere participating in On Best Behavior's cover reveal, like The Autumn Review, A Diary of a Book Addict, Cocktails and Books, Rolo Polo Book Blog, and more!

About the Author 

People fascinate the psychologist/author (psycho author) known as Jennifer Lane. Her therapy clients talk to her all day long about their dreams and secrets, and her characters tell her their stories at night. Jen delights in peeling away the layers to scrutinize their psyches and emotions. But please rest assured, dear reader, she isn’t psychoanalyzing you right now. She’s already got too many voices in her head! 

Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is the author of The Conduct Series—romantic suspense for adult readers—and recently completed the third and final installment: On Best Behavior. Streamline is her first foray into writing for young and new adults, but she’s found this sort of writing even more fun. A former college swimmer, Jen was able to put a lot of her own experiences into the story. Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and hanging out with her sisters and their families in Chicago and Hilton Head. 


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lovestruck Giveaway Hop

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Under the Covers for hosting this hop.

 

As a romance author, I'm definitely lovestruck. And I want YOU to fall in love with my character Grant Madsen from The Conduct Series (a parolee love story). He's a tall Italian with crystal blue eyes inspired by the talented actor Wentworth Miller.


Grant Madsen was a Navy lieutenant before he went to prison. Niiice.


Stay tuned for On Best Behavior (The Conduct Series #3) to see what happens next with the handcuffs!  The third and final book in the series launches 9-24-13.

Bloggers can sign up for the cover reveal HERE for 8-23-13.


Just complete the Rafflecopter form to win one of two ebooks from The Conduct Series, and you can swoon over Grant Madsen yourself.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop over to these blogs to see who's got them lovestruck!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Daughter of Isis by Kelsey Ketch


Daughter of Isis (Descendants of Isis, #1)
Release Date: 10/26/13
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

Summary from Goodreads:
“Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”

Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.

The last thing Natara “Natti” Stone wants to do is to start anew at Setemple High School. She wished she had never left London. Yet the brutal murder of her maternal grandmother has made her life very complicated. The only clue related to her murder is an ancient, encrypted necklace Natti discovered after her grandmother’s death. And if trying to adjust to American life is not enough, Natti is being stalked by a mysterious, charming high school senior, Seth O’Keefe, who is annoyingly persistent in his attempts at seduction.

Seth O’Keefe is secretly a member of the Sons of Set, an order that worships the Egyptian god of chaos. Seth’s blessing from Set, his “charm,” never failed, except with one person: Natti Stone. Her ability to elude him infatuates and infuriates him, and he becomes obsessed with the chase. But the closer he gets to her, the more his emotions take a dangerous turn, and he risks breaking one of the most valued covenants of his order. The punishment for which is a fate worse than death.

The adventure this unlikely couple becomes engulfed in could cost them their lives and their souls.
*Note: Content for Upper YA*

***Excerpt***
There was a crash and a loud gasping moan. She turned to the door next to her and stepped into the room. Her eyes widened as two entangled bodies jumped in the dark; the light shining from the hall streamed over the couple. She recognized the tall, copper haired upperclassman from the parking lot; the boy who had sent her the enchanting smile. Now he was completely shirtless, his fly clearly unzipped, and a brunette held tight in his arms. The girl glared at Natti. She struggled a little against the boy’s grasp, trying to cover herself with her bra.
Natti blinked in complete shock. “Okay.” She finally glanced at the empty room. “This is obviously not American Literature.”
“No duh!” the brunette snapped.
The young man smiled and turned to the girl in his arms. The brunette’s cold demeanor melted away once her eyes met his. He stroked her cheek, sending visible shivers through her body. Natti rolled her eyes, ready to gag.
“Now, now, Charlotte.” The honey-sweet voice made Natti freeze when she was just turning to leave. It gave her a dizzy feeling; a fog creeping at the back of her mind. “We shouldn’t be rude to our guest.” The boy’s eyes traveled Natti’s curves again. His grin widened. “Perhaps she’d like to join us. Maybe we can all get to know each other a little better.”
He motioned Natti to come inside. She unconsciously took a step forward; a strange force compelled her to join them. Her hands were reaching to pull her shirt off. It was as if she was no longer in control.
What the hell . . . ? Natti shook her head, finding the strength to resist through a familiar heavy sensation that rested against her chest. It was one she often got when someone lied to her. She was born with it. A gift, her grandmother called it, which could tell her when something wasn’t right. And as much as her body suddenly wanted to be next to the boy, feeling the skin of his lean, muscular chest, her gift was telling her something was off. His intentions were not pure.
She lowered her hands to her side, taking a step back into the hall. “Sorry.” She shook her head. “I don’t do threesomes.”

About the Author
During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.Daughter of Isis is her debut novel.
For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

***Author Links***
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Visualizing Your Book #IWSG

Time for our monthly support group! *pulls up a chair and nods to group leader Alex*


What's on tap for today's group? I want to discuss book VISUALS.

Have you made a book trailer for your novel? Looked for images of models representing your characters?

I've spent hours on both tasks this week. My aunt Nancy, who works as a video producer, is helping my publisher and me with a book trailer for On Best Behavior (The Conduct Series #3), before its release in September. My task is to write a script and find images.

Nancy and I agreed on the opening line for the trailer:

Planning a wedding is never easy...



Especially when mobsters want you dead.

But the rest takes diligent work to make it shiny and fresh!

Then, I needed to find images to represent my hawt romantic heroes for my publisher's "Men of Omnific Smackdown" at the end of September. It was HARD WORK perusing thousands of images of scrumptious gents to find just the right ones, I tell you. Whew.

I think I found the right guys though. It helps when my pub sister Carol Oates manipulates the images to make them just right!

I'm taking advantage of 7 day trials at a stock photo and video site.

Have YOU made visual representations of your characters and stories? Any tips you'd like to share?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Eight Benefits of Reading a Book...and Book Giveaway!

Welcome to guest author Zhuang Ping, who will share the benefits of reading books.

Want to reap those benefits instantly? Enter author Justine Dell's loaded Kindle Fire giveaway.

Take it away, Zhuang:

Eight Benefits of Reading a Book


Being able to read is one of the most wonderful feelings. In the 21st century, the ability to read is not only a privilege but a right. Literacy and intelligence go hand in hand.

There are countless benefits of reading; here are my top eight:

1. Improved Knowledge


The more you read,the more knowledge you gain. Want to know what life was like for a young Geisha in WWII Japan? Read the fantastic book Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

2. Improved writing and speaking skills


Do you know that the more you read, the better you write? And that big readers express themselves better? Therefore, it's wise to encourage your child to read from an early age. Children who start to read earlier become more proficient at writing and speaking. 


3. Mental stimulation

Reading is exercise for your brain! Reading forces you to focus while challenging your brain to process information. Several parts of the brain activate when we read, stimulating brain cells and forming new neuronal connections.

Photo courtesy of Sheknows.com 

4. Improved Memory


Both your short term and long term memory improve with reading. Your brain processes the information you read and stores it for reference when you turn the page. You will remember people, places, scenes and events, forming a visual of what you're reading. You later access this stored information. 

5. Improved Analytical skills


Do you ever wonder "What the heck just happened?" when reading? In addition to all the above benefits, reading forces you to analyze and comprehend material. People who read become adept at drumming up ideas, sifting through chaos, and solving problems. 

6. Improved focus


Most of us can't focus for long. SQUIRREL! We may fail to complete a task because we get bored or restless. Reading helps both adult and children to focus for more than just a few minutes. The more we read, the more our ability to focus improves. We may become so disciplined that we can focus for hours at a time. 

7. Relaxation


Have you heard of blue light? It's what TV emits. It also suppresses melatonin, a hormone our body produces to help us fall asleep. For this reason, experts recommend avoiding TV before bedtime. What should you do instead? READ. Many people can't fall asleep without a book. Reading can relax you, from Mom or Dad reading bedtime stories when you were young, to devouring your favorite book before bed as an adult. 

Reading can also provide stress relief. When you read, the brain repairs itself from the day's stresses. 


8. Entertainment


No one can argue that in addition to knowledge and all the other benefits, a good book brings us entertainment. We may read to study or catch up on current affairs, but most of all we read for entertainment, evidenced by the fact that fiction sells more than non-fiction. A good novel makes us laugh and/or cry with the characters.


My favorite places to buy books are Amazon.com, Bookbyte or Bookbaby. There are many more reputable stores to choose from which offer great deals on purchases and shipping. To find the best stores and deals, go to promocode4share.com.


Thank you, Zhuang! Because of all these benefits of reading, I feel sad for friends who don't read much.

But for those of you who LOVE reading like I do, my pub sister Justine Dell is giving away a Kindle Fire loaded with books! I've read her debut novel, Recaptured Dreams (review HERE) and can't wait to check out her additional books: All-American Girl and soon-to-be-released Until Next Time.

To enter the Kindle Fire giveaway, complete the Rafflecopter form:

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