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JOURNEY OF A DEBUT AUTHOR

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Welcome to the Journey of a Debut Author Blog Tour!

Although my debut FEVER doesn’t come out until Spring 2012, I thought it would be fun to let readers and prospective authors in on what goes on behind the scenes of getting a debut author prepared for publication. At each stop we’ll discuss one step of the process, I’ll give examples from my experiences and some of my favorite, NYT bestselling authors will also answer questions relating to their debut experience.

Of course, I can’t seem to show my face without giving something away, so I’ll be offering books by the guest offer of the day on each stop of the tour!

The tour’s first stop will be at Romance at Random on October 3rd, where I’ll be talking about The Call, and Lauren Dane, USA Today and NYT bestselling author guests with me, answering questions about her debut experience in publishing.

I’ll be giving away copies of Lauren’s novels INSIDE OUT and UNDERCOVER to two lucky commenters — open Internationally!  Stop by and enter to win!!

Stop by ROMANCE AT RANDOM on OCTOBER 3rd to WIN!!

>JOURNEY OF A DEBUT AUTHOR

>

 
Welcome to the Journey of a Debut Author Blog Tour!

Although my debut FEVER doesn’t come out until Spring 2012, I thought it would be fun to let readers and prospective authors in on what goes on behind the scenes of getting a debut author prepared for publication. At each stop we’ll discuss one step of the process, I’ll give examples from my experiences and some of my favorite, NYT bestselling authors will also answer questions relating to their debut experience.

Of course, I can’t seem to show my face without giving something away, so I’ll be offering books by the guest offer of the day on each stop of the tour!

The tour’s first stop will be at Romance at Random on October 3rd, where I’ll be talking about The Call, and Lauren Dane, USA Today and NYT bestselling author guests with me, answering questions about her debut experience in publishing.

I’ll be giving away copies of Lauren’s novels INSIDE OUT and UNDERCOVER to two lucky commenters — open Internationally!  Stop by and enter to win!!

Stop by ROMANCE AT RANDOM on OCTOBER 3rd to WIN!!

First-ever Excerpt: FEVER, releases 2/28/12

I was driving home today from my first-ever presentation with Yosemite Romance Writers (awesome group, btw!) and found myself in Los Banos, a little central valley town of California–a town where I set part of my debut release, FEVER. I got all nostalgic, just like a good mother should, which prompted me to share this excerpt from the novel.

Setup: Teague has escaped from prison and has Alyssa hostage, but he still thinks she’s his bargaining chip, Hannah. Earlier in the evening, Alyssa (aka Hannah) was cut in a knife fight that errupted between local gang members and Teague and his accomplice/co-escapee, Taz–a fight in which he saved Alyssa’s life. Now, Teague has dropped Taz off to blow off some steam while he picks up supplies to patch Alyssa’s wound.

They are traveling through California’s central valley on their escape route and stop at the Wal-mart in Los Banos.

Enjoy!

************

“Oh, God,” Hannah whined. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

Her tortured voice brought Teague’s attention around. The color in her face had paled several shades in the last hour. His gaze drifted to the bloodstains on her shirt, which made him realize there was no real decision to be made. He pounded the gas and headed toward Wal-mart.

“You need something in your stomach,” he said.

“Yeah, like stitches.”

Teague’s mouth quirked. With Taz gone, a level of relief settled in. One less wild card to worry about. “I was speaking of food and water, but stitches would be good, too.”

“If I eat, I’ll throw up.”

Teague sighed and rubbed at the stubble on his head. He hadn’t shaved his skull in a week, and the new hair growth made his scalp itchy. “Do you argue with everyone or am I just lucky?”

“You’re about as lucky as I am.”

“That’s not a good sign.”

“Tell me about it. Where did that jerk go? You said he’d be gone tomorrow morning.”

Teague was too tired to make up a lie. “He went to get laid.”

His statement was met with extended silence.

“He has a girlfriend here?” she finally asked.

“No.”

Another silence. Then, “Why didn’t you go get laid, too?”

He darted a look at her, surprised by her candidness. And irritated with the zing of heat in his groin. “Because I have more important things to take care of.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “There’s a man on the planet who believes there is something more important than sex?”

Teague shifted in his seat. Twisted his lips. Bit the inside of his cheek to fend off the growing lust her flippant discussion of the subject elicited.

He pulled into the parking lot of Wal-mart and parked the truck at a respectable distance.

“You really did want to go to Wal-mart? I thought that was a code name for something.” She turned confused eyes on Teague. “This is the last place on earth I’d expect you to stop.”

“Where would you expect me to stop?”

“I don’t know, a liquor store, local drug dealer’s house, a McDonald’s drive through…”

“I didn’t eat McDonald’s even before I went to prison.”

Her lips turned, just barely. The lids of those sultry eyes lowered, almost imperceptibly. The effect a little dreamy. Extremely sexy. “Then you’ve missed out on the best French fries on the planet. Mmm.”

His throat squeezed. Mouth went dry. That hum nearly popped the button on his damn jeans. Fuck, he so didn’t need this. “You don’t look like you’ve ever eaten a fry in your life.”

“I just don’t eat them all day, every day. Why are we here again?”

Hell if he knew. All his blood was somewhere below his belt.

“We need supplies.” He pressed his fingers to his eyes and forced his mind clear. “I think I can get them all here.”

“How long have you been in prison?”

He dropped his hand, opened his eyes and stared out the windshield, half-sure he’d imagined the question. But when he looked at her, she peered back with such keen interest, Teague was sure she was waiting for an answer. In a sick way, he was glad she’d asked, because every degree of heat she’d fueled, immediately chilled.

“Too long.”

“For what?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Or think about it. Or remember all the unbearable details.

Teague pushed the driver’s door open, dropped to the ground and rounded the truck. He opened Hannah’s door and settled a serious look on her. “Here’s the deal. You stay close to me. And I mean close. If you try to get away or make any stupid move, like scream, complain, fake injury, whatever, I’ll make sure Taz knows not only where you live, but where every member of your family lives as well.”

He paused, waiting for that information to sink in then put the punch behind the statement. “He murdered his baby sister for sleeping with a Mexican. He tied them both up, took them into a lettuce field, threw them into the dirt and ran them over with a discer while they were still alive. Do you know what a discer is?”

Her big eyes glazed with shock. “I…I don’t think I want to—“

“It’s a tractor with a couple dozen rotary blades on the back. Each blade is the size of a semi’s tire. They’re used to till fields.”

Hannah’s face scrunched as if she were in pain again. And he knew just how she felt. The stories Taz boasted had caused Teague nightmares for months. But in this case, he needed to make a point, and she needed to get it.

“They were picking up pieces of them both for weeks,” he continued. “The coroner came out to the farm with a bulk supply of evidence flags and stuck one where they found every body part—“

“Okay.” She closed her eyes and held up her hand. “Okay. I get it. Jesus, you’re lucky I haven’t puked on you yet.”

“With my luck, that’ll change soon, won’t it?”

FEVER is available for pre-order now and releases February 28, 2012

>First-ever Excerpt: FEVER, releases 2/28/12

>I was driving home today from my first-ever presentation with Yosemite Romance Writers (awesome group, btw!) and found myself in Los Banos, a little central valley town of California–a town where I set part of my debut release, FEVER. I got all nostalgic, just like a good mother should, which prompted me to share this excerpt from the novel.

Setup: Teague has escaped from prison and has Alyssa hostage, but he still thinks she’s his bargaining chip, Hannah. Earlier in the evening, Alyssa (aka Hannah) was cut in a knife fight that errupted between local gang members and Teague and his accomplice/co-escapee, Taz–a fight in which he saved Alyssa’s life. Now, Teague has dropped Taz off to blow off some steam while he picks up supplies to patch Alyssa’s wound.

They are traveling through California’s central valley on their escape route and stop at the Wal-mart in Los Banos.

Enjoy!

************

“Oh, God,” Hannah whined. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

Her tortured voice brought Teague’s attention around. The color in her face had paled several shades in the last hour. His gaze drifted to the bloodstains on her shirt, which made him realize there was no real decision to be made. He pounded the gas and headed toward Wal-mart.

“You need something in your stomach,” he said.

“Yeah, like stitches.”

Teague’s mouth quirked. With Taz gone, a level of relief settled in. One less wild card to worry about. “I was speaking of food and water, but stitches would be good, too.”

“If I eat, I’ll throw up.”

Teague sighed and rubbed at the stubble on his head. He hadn’t shaved his skull in a week, and the new hair growth made his scalp itchy. “Do you argue with everyone or am I just lucky?”

“You’re about as lucky as I am.”

“That’s not a good sign.”

“Tell me about it. Where did that jerk go? You said he’d be gone tomorrow morning.”

Teague was too tired to make up a lie. “He went to get laid.”

His statement was met with extended silence.

“He has a girlfriend here?” she finally asked.

“No.”

Another silence. Then, “Why didn’t you go get laid, too?”

He darted a look at her, surprised by her candidness. And irritated with the zing of heat in his groin. “Because I have more important things to take care of.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “There’s a man on the planet who believes there is something more important than sex?”

Teague shifted in his seat. Twisted his lips. Bit the inside of his cheek to fend off the growing lust her flippant discussion of the subject elicited.

He pulled into the parking lot of Wal-mart and parked the truck at a respectable distance.

“You really did want to go to Wal-mart? I thought that was a code name for something.” She turned confused eyes on Teague. “This is the last place on earth I’d expect you to stop.”

“Where would you expect me to stop?”

“I don’t know, a liquor store, local drug dealer’s house, a McDonald’s drive through…”

“I didn’t eat McDonald’s even before I went to prison.”

Her lips turned, just barely. The lids of those sultry eyes lowered, almost imperceptibly. The effect a little dreamy. Extremely sexy. “Then you’ve missed out on the best French fries on the planet. Mmm.”

His throat squeezed. Mouth went dry. That hum nearly popped the button on his damn jeans. Fuck, he so didn’t need this. “You don’t look like you’ve ever eaten a fry in your life.”

“I just don’t eat them all day, every day. Why are we here again?”

Hell if he knew. All his blood was somewhere below his belt.

“We need supplies.” He pressed his fingers to his eyes and forced his mind clear. “I think I can get them all here.”

“How long have you been in prison?”

He dropped his hand, opened his eyes and stared out the windshield, half-sure he’d imagined the question. But when he looked at her, she peered back with such keen interest, Teague was sure she was waiting for an answer. In a sick way, he was glad she’d asked, because every degree of heat she’d fueled, immediately chilled.

“Too long.”

“For what?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Or think about it. Or remember all the unbearable details.

Teague pushed the driver’s door open, dropped to the ground and rounded the truck. He opened Hannah’s door and settled a serious look on her. “Here’s the deal. You stay close to me. And I mean close. If you try to get away or make any stupid move, like scream, complain, fake injury, whatever, I’ll make sure Taz knows not only where you live, but where every member of your family lives as well.”

He paused, waiting for that information to sink in then put the punch behind the statement. “He murdered his baby sister for sleeping with a Mexican. He tied them both up, took them into a lettuce field, threw them into the dirt and ran them over with a discer while they were still alive. Do you know what a discer is?”

Her big eyes glazed with shock. “I…I don’t think I want to—“

“It’s a tractor with a couple dozen rotary blades on the back. Each blade is the size of a semi’s tire. They’re used to till fields.”

Hannah’s face scrunched as if she were in pain again. And he knew just how she felt. The stories Taz boasted had caused Teague nightmares for months. But in this case, he needed to make a point, and she needed to get it.

“They were picking up pieces of them both for weeks,” he continued. “The coroner came out to the farm with a bulk supply of evidence flags and stuck one where they found every body part—“

“Okay.” She closed her eyes and held up her hand. “Okay. I get it. Jesus, you’re lucky I haven’t puked on you yet.”

“With my luck, that’ll change soon, won’t it?”

FEVER is available for pre-order now and releases February 28, 2012

New Year’s Giveaway: Day 12, Alison Kent

>Alison Kent is another Twitter buddy!  I appreciate her humor and her insight and have enjoyed conversing with her online.  (If you’re not seeing a pattern here yet…let me spell it out for you — Twitter = priceless writing friends.) 

If you go to Alison’s website, you’ll see she is a long-time, prolific author in various romance genres from romantic suspense to contemporary, and everything she writes has lots of sexy spice.

Alison has generously donated TWO books for the giveaway, both contemporaries published by Kensington Brava, both with mouth-watering hero covers.

Up For Win Today:
<<< Those two hunks right there…drool…
One copy each: NO LIMITS and WITH EXTREME PLEASURE

To enter:
One tweet and you are entered for the whole month!
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
NO LIMITS:
Simon Baptiste’s latest SG-5 mission just went south in a major way. With his career on ice for awhile, it seems like a good time to take care of some business back home in Louisiana. Simon knows it ain’t going to be pretty. He’s got some old enemies in Bayou Allain who won’t exactly roll out the red carpet. But Simon’s first night back is more than he bargained for. Not only has the homestead gone to hell in a hand basket, but there’s a half-naked woman hiding inside it—a woman whose face Simon knows all too well. It’s Michelina Ferrer, the sultry spokesmodel for her family’s Ferrer fragrance empire—and Simon’s been staring at her picture on a billboard outside his Manhattan apartment for weeks…

Micky Ferrer came down to Bayou Allain looking for her old college friend, only to discover that Lisa Landry has been missing for days. As soon as Micky starts asking questions around town, someone runs her car off the road. She’s hiding out in the old Baptiste place when Simon shows up—and he’s the hottest thing she’s laid eyes on since she got to town. Simon agrees that something strange is going on and that Lisa’s disappearance may be tied to it. As he and Micky search for answers, the sweltering heat makes it hard to keep their heads straight or their hands off each other…even as they unravel the small-town secrets that some people are willing to kill for…

WITH EXTREME PLEASURE:
After three weeks in Manhattan, Kingdom Trahan is ready to get back to bayous, crawfish boils, and afternoons fishing on the Gulf. But before he can pull out of the parking garage, he meets a curvy detour. King noticed Cady Kowalski on the photo shoot he just endured—sexy and confident, with a waifish look that belies the way she corralled him into submission using only a can of hairspray. Yet Cady isn’t confident now. She’s bruised, edgy, and desperate to get out of town…

For years, Cady has been looking over her shoulder, wondering when the gang of drug-running criminals who killed her brother would make their move on her. She’s grown used to having no one to turn to, no one to trust. But King isn’t walking away—not even when their lives are threatened, again and again. Drawing Cady’s pursuers out of hiding is the only way to end this, and it’s also the most reckless thing they can do…short of diving into a red-hot affair from which there’s no turning back.

Recent Releases:
THE ICING ON THE CAKE, September 2010, is one of the first three reality based romances published by HCI True Vows.
 
Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Email
 
Tomorrow: Special review & giveaway of Sylvia Day’s upcoming release PRIDE AND PLEASURE

>New Year’s Giveaway: Day 12, Alison Kent

>Alison Kent is another Twitter buddy!  I appreciate her humor and her insight and have enjoyed conversing with her online.  (If you’re not seeing a pattern here yet…let me spell it out for you — Twitter = priceless writing friends.) 

If you go to Alison’s website, you’ll see she is a long-time, prolific author in various romance genres from romantic suspense to contemporary, and everything she writes has lots of sexy spice.

Alison has generously donated TWO books for the giveaway, both contemporaries published by Kensington Brava, both with mouth-watering hero covers.

Up For Win Today:
<<< Those two hunks right there…drool…
One copy each: NO LIMITS and WITH EXTREME PLEASURE

To enter:
One tweet and you are entered for the whole month!
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
NO LIMITS:
Simon Baptiste’s latest SG-5 mission just went south in a major way. With his career on ice for awhile, it seems like a good time to take care of some business back home in Louisiana. Simon knows it ain’t going to be pretty. He’s got some old enemies in Bayou Allain who won’t exactly roll out the red carpet. But Simon’s first night back is more than he bargained for. Not only has the homestead gone to hell in a hand basket, but there’s a half-naked woman hiding inside it—a woman whose face Simon knows all too well. It’s Michelina Ferrer, the sultry spokesmodel for her family’s Ferrer fragrance empire—and Simon’s been staring at her picture on a billboard outside his Manhattan apartment for weeks…

Micky Ferrer came down to Bayou Allain looking for her old college friend, only to discover that Lisa Landry has been missing for days. As soon as Micky starts asking questions around town, someone runs her car off the road. She’s hiding out in the old Baptiste place when Simon shows up—and he’s the hottest thing she’s laid eyes on since she got to town. Simon agrees that something strange is going on and that Lisa’s disappearance may be tied to it. As he and Micky search for answers, the sweltering heat makes it hard to keep their heads straight or their hands off each other…even as they unravel the small-town secrets that some people are willing to kill for…

WITH EXTREME PLEASURE:
After three weeks in Manhattan, Kingdom Trahan is ready to get back to bayous, crawfish boils, and afternoons fishing on the Gulf. But before he can pull out of the parking garage, he meets a curvy detour. King noticed Cady Kowalski on the photo shoot he just endured—sexy and confident, with a waifish look that belies the way she corralled him into submission using only a can of hairspray. Yet Cady isn’t confident now. She’s bruised, edgy, and desperate to get out of town…

For years, Cady has been looking over her shoulder, wondering when the gang of drug-running criminals who killed her brother would make their move on her. She’s grown used to having no one to turn to, no one to trust. But King isn’t walking away—not even when their lives are threatened, again and again. Drawing Cady’s pursuers out of hiding is the only way to end this, and it’s also the most reckless thing they can do…short of diving into a red-hot affair from which there’s no turning back.

Recent Releases:
THE ICING ON THE CAKE, September 2010, is one of the first three reality based romances published by HCI True Vows.
 
Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Email
 
Tomorrow: Special review & giveaway of Sylvia Day’s upcoming release PRIDE AND PLEASURE