Sometimes you have to trust your instincts…and your heart
After a devastating earthquake, zookeeper Helena Fjord is forced to rely on the very man she’s been trying to avoid. Josh Garrison, head of security for San Diego’s Wildlife Park, is too laid-back, too charming for practical, focused Helena. But with deadly predators roaming free and an aftershock imminent, the rules no longer apply.
Ever since his navy SEAL dreams crashed and burned, Josh has been reluctant to depend on anything—or anyone. Now he knows what he wants: Helena. Danger brings their simmering attraction to the surface at last, forging a bond he’ll do anything to protect—if they can both survive long enough to see the dust settle….
Wild is coming Jan 2015!
To celebrate, I think Harlequin will be doing a special freebie offer in December for Stranded with Her Ex. This is my RITA-nominated book about a shark researcher and a conservation biologist, stranded together on the infamous Farallon Islands after their painful divorce. So tense! Put it on your wishlist. And watch Shark Week.
Want more stranded island action? Check out Island Peril. Sexy fun for only $1.99.
Celebrate Romance: Something New
Did you know that August is Read a Romance Month? Bobbi Dumas of Celebrate Romance asked me to contribute to this event with a celebratory post. I’m doing a blog tour in September for Riding Dirty, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts then on some of my favorite dirty reads. For this post I decided to focus on nice surprises by new-to-me authors.
1. Scandal With a Prince by Nicole Burnham
Here’s a secret baby book with a prince hero. Why would I ever read this? I usually steer clear of babies and aristocracy, but I’m so glad I picked this up. The heroine is a successful career woman with a very good reason for her secrecy. The prince is realistic, modern and charmingly not a sexist ahole. These two approach parenthood with mature conversations instead of drawn-out deceptions and heated misunderstandings. Mature. Conversations.
This is a RITA award winning author.
2. Country Roads by Nancy Harkness
A buttoned-up good girl in a field of flowers? A smalltown romance about a sheltered artist and her “whisper horse”? Again, not my usual type of read. But what a wonderful surprise! The artist heroine finds freedom and fulfillment by taking her work in a new direction. She also gets her sexy on with the town lawyer, a good guy who likes motorcycles and fast cars. They do it on the hood of his car. I found the story riveting and sensitive. Who knew?
This book is RITA nominated.
3. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
New Adult romance told in hero-only perspective? No thank you. I didn’t know this was a yucky boy book when I bought it on sale. Surprise! I really, really liked it. Travis is a realistic, self-aware character who knows his own failings. He sleeps with his brother’s girlfriend and calls himself a douchebag. His bad behavior isn’t painted with a sexy brush or dismissed by the heroine. It’s a gritty, tender YA/NA story.
This is Doller’s debut novel.
Thanks for reading! Celebrate romance all this month with some new-to-you authors!!
It’s been a busy summer. I’m doing a website redesign, planning a blog tour and about to tackle a dirty revision. I also have book covers to share for Wild and Riding Dirty! But first, I have to congratulate my friend Carolyn Crane on her RITA win. She took home the prize for Best Romantic Suspense Novel with Off the Edge–and she’s the first self-published author to ever win! That’s huge!! I’m a big fan of Carolyn’s and we’ve been blog pals for ages. It’s so great to see a well-deserving author get this fantastic recognition. I love that she did it her way.
I just read the latest in the Associates series, Into the Shadows, and I thought it was fantastic. It’s best RS I’ve read in a really long time. Meet Thorne, tortured killer on a secret mission, lover of mini marshmallows, raised by scorpions (according to the heroine).
Hot cover, great book, talented author.
Hey there, little widget. This naughty guy would love to come home with you. What do widgets do, anyway? Do they sneak in at night and steal your socks?
I just sent out a newsletter for Backwoods and someone pointed out to me that my sign-up form is buried. I have a very small list of recipients. Do you want to be on my list? It’s on the contact page. I’ll have it put on my home page the next time I get an update. Another option is to get emails about my new releases directly from Amazon. Check it out on my author page.
I’ve been thinking about a total redesign for my web site, too. I like this one but is it getting old? Should I snazz it out? Maybe I need a new look for the fall. Let me know what you think.
Island Peril is still free at participating retailers until May 31st! I hope you’ve had a chance to download it and take advantage of the deal. I’m really pleased with the response to this one. It’s a fun, quick California adventure romance with a geeky heroine and nice-guy hero.
Backwoods releases today in print and digital! This is another outdoor-camping excursion, with creepy woods and blended family dynamics. The hero and heroine go on a backcountry hiking trip with their teen stepchildren. Their spouses cheated on them and got married to each other. So of course sparks fly between them as well.
The more you trust, the more you risk…
When plans for a wilderness retreat with her teenage daughter Brooke go awry, Abby Hammond reluctantly pairs up with Brooke’s stepbrother and his dad, Nathan Strom, for the weeklong trek. The only thing Abby has in common with the bad-boy former pro athlete is that their exes cheated with each other. That…and a visceral attraction that’s growing more complicated with every step through the picturesque woods.
Nathan’s wild-card reputation lost him his career and his family. After years of regret, he’s ready to fight for what truly matters—and that includes Abby’s hard-won trust. When Brooke goes missing, Nathan knows he’s her best and only hope of rescue. But the deeper into the rugged mountains they go, the more dangerous the territory will prove—for their safety and for their hearts.
I’m hard at work on Riding Dirty, which will have more sexytimes and less outdoor shenanigans. Well, maybe some sexy outdoor shenanigans. We’ll see. Either way, I’ll be indoors in my writing cave for most of the summer!
Take care and enjoy.
Island Peril free & available!
I mistakenly thought Island Peril would be free for preorder only. But it’s out now, and still free! Get it while the gettin’s good. I believe this deal lasts until May 31st.
Excerpt and buy links here.
Hope you enjoy.
Backwoods, diversity, etc.
I have author copies of Backwoods, so you know what time it is. Giveaway time! Enter to win one of 30 copies at Goodreads. I do giveaways at Goodreads because it’s easy and I hope to generate some early reviews. Please write a review if you can. Long or short, gifs or words, positive or negative, I don’t care. Reviews help books get discovered by readers. I’ve heard that it takes 200+ 5-star reviews to get noticed on Amazon. I’m not sure if this is true or not. The publishing industry is so crazy these days.
Speaking of crazy, I wrote a long blog post about Writing In Color at Romance Around the Corner. I’m not sure if I should talk about the subject of diversity anymore or just sit down and be quiet. Suggestions welcome.
Did you get your free pre-order of Island Peril yet? Offer ends on May 31st!! Read your free copy and write me a review, y’all. Just be like “it was good” or “it was okay” or “wtf” and throw up some stars.
Want more? Read the first chapter of both stories on the Books page.
My Writing Process Blog Hop
Salomeh Jones is a Brooklyn high school teacher whose attempt to aid an abused student ruins her career and puts her life in jeopardy. Julian Tamali is a special agent hot on the trail of the Albanian mafia boss responsible for a slew of crimes, including the death of Julian’s family. When Julian finds a connection between the mafia boss and the disgraced school teacher, he sets into motion a series of events that will change their lives forever.
A night of pleasure throws them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who has kidnapped Salomeh’s student and is possibly providing weapons to terrorists. Caught in a web of passion, danger, and betrayal, Julian and Salomeh must stop the mafia boss or forfeit their chance at redemption–and their lives.
Here are my answers to the blog hop questions:
1) What am I working on?
I just finished a first draft of WILD (Jan 2015) and I’m about to dive into RIDING DIRTY, an erotic suspense novel featuring a motorcycle club hero.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This question is hard to answer because experienced romance readers know how varied the genre is. I think every author has been crestfallen to discover that someone else is writing (or has already written) a very similar book. Owen, the hero of BADLANDS, is an ex-member of a white supremacist prison gang. This is unusual, but it’s been done before. AFTERSHOCK is a “disaster romance,” centered around a major earthquake, so that’s not your typical romantic suspense. My settings, diverse characters, and fallible heroes are unusual.
3) Why do I write what I do?
So many reasons! I love high stakes, tension, danger, suspense. That “edge-of-your-seat” feeling is what I go for. Eliciting a strong emotional response is incredibly rewarding for me. My top priority is to entertain, but I don’t shy away from making readers uncomfortable or tackling controversial topics. I’m kind of a vagina crusader also. I try to write sex-positive, female-friendly stories. Yay vaginas!
4) How does your writing process work?
I’m an early riser and I write pretty much every day. I research for a few weeks by reading nonfiction and watching documentaries. I outline before I start, plot incessantly all the way through, and write a fairly clean first draft. I prefer to edit as I go and hope for light revisions. I’m not super-fast, but I try to be steady and productive.
So there it is, my writing process. Feel free to ask questions in the comments!
SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY…
For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in a Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.
HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE…
He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.
They might be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.
Happy reading and/or writing!
ISLAND PERIL is free
I’m so excited!! ISLAND PERIL is FREE on preorder from now until May 1st. You don’t have to pay later. If you already preordered, I hope you can cancel and take advantage of the free offer. Harlequin suprised me with news of this deal last week. My first freebie! Woot!!
I believe that STRANDED WITH HER EX will be free at some point also. This is my spooky “Shark Island” story about marine biologists. My understanding is that HQN will offer this as a freebie the month before WILD releases. The themes are similar: wild animals, danger, sexy times, rowr.
ISLAND PERIL is part of the Aftershock series but it stands alone. The characters, Paul and Ella, are all new. Paul is mentioned in “Scenes of Peril.”
It started as a girls’ outing to California’s beautiful Channel Islands State Park. When Ella Hammond embarks on a kayaking trip with sexy adventure guide Paul Dawson, sparks fly—but so does gunfire from a boat of drug smugglers.
Now Ella and Paul are on the run, soaked and stranded in a rocky hideout. Ella feels like she’ll never be warm again. Until Paul shares his body heat—igniting a fire between them that’s nearly too hot to handle!
Tags: jackie barbosa, memorial
Jackie Barbosa is one of my author friends. She lives in San Diego and we’ve known each other for years. She’s been my roomie at RWA and RT. She knows a lot about the publishing industry. I like her as a person and an author.
Last week her 16 year old son died in a car accident on his way to school. Her family is devastated and I’m just so, so sad for her. I can’t imagine what she’s going through. The details for his memorial fund are here.
Jackie is an excellent writer of smart, sexy books. I reviewed her debut novel, BEHIND THE RED DOOR at Romance Divas. If you like contemporary romance, you might want to try SKIN IN THE GAME, with a football coach heroine. Or her recent novella, CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT. I wish her peace and comfort in this difficult time.