The many faces of release day!

After twenty-plus book releases, I’ve realized that they never really get easier….or different. Today I feel the exact same way I did when I released my first book three years ago. I’m a ball of energy, filled with excitement, trepidation, doubt, worry, elation. It’s the weirdest range of emotions. But mostly I feel grateful. Grateful to those who have shared and bought my book or have helped in any way to make this release possible. Even after all this time it’s still surreal to me that anyone reads my books. And the fact that I’ve already hit #1 in sports romances in one night is just icing on the cake! For so long, becoming a published author was a dream that I never thought would come true. And now that it has I feel blessed every moment of everyday. So thank you for making this release, and all my other ones, so fabulous!
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Despite my trepidation, FOR THE RUSH is available now for purchase in kindle.

This is a book I’ve been dying to write for awhile. There is a girl in my son’s marching band who is funny, outgoing and pretty. I love her bubbly personality and her confidence. And ever since I met her, I’ve wanted to write about a girl like that. In my other books where the “nerdy” girl gets the “popular” boy, the girl is shy and quiet, insecure. I wanted to do something different with this one. Mostly because I don’t think we are always what people perceive us to be. In high school I was never the popular girl, but the truth is that I did like myself. I liked the way I looked, liked my personality. Just because other people didn’t think I was something special, didn’t mean I wasn’t. In high school kids can be cruel. And oftentimes they don’t think about the effect their cruelty really has on other people.


This book started out as a straight romance, but like all of my books, it took on a life of its own at some point. And I’m happy with where it went. I hope you are too.

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Click here to purchase your copy today!

Drowning….

When the year started I had all these grandiose plans for 2015. I was going to keep up with my blog by posting weekly. All the while keeping up with my release schedule, marketing and promotion and working on my secret project on the side. It’s three months in and I realize that I’ve already failed at all of the above. You would think I would know better than to plan for my life by now.

I’ve always been a planner. Back in Junior High I used to make lists for myself during the summer months that detailed out my entire day from eating my breakfast to showering to watching my favorite television shows. I would then check off every item as I completed it throughout the day. There has always been something so satisfying about checking things off a list, about completing tasks and reaching goals. And throughout my life, I’ve been good at these things.

But not the last few years. Sure on the surface it seems that I still am. And if you go by my release schedule and the fact that I release a book almost every other month like clock work it would certainly appear so. But inside I feel like I’m always one step behind. Like I’m clawing my way back to where I want to be. Like I’m drowning in a sea of overdue manuscripts and failed expectations.

And I know the culprit is my health.

I shared a health update a few months ago and it was all positive and cheery and hopeful. The truth about having a chronic illness is that there are days, weeks, and sometimes even months that seem hopeful. But then there are days, weeks and sometimes months where hope is hard to find. I’m in one such period right now. I had a flare up of pain and stomach issues about a month ago and this flare up doesn’t seem to want to let up. Oh sure, it’s given me the occasional day here and there. In fact, I had almost a whole week that seemed promising, but then the flare up returned with a vengeance. And I’m struggling. Struggling to keep up, struggling to manage my family, struggling to be the wife and mom I want to be, struggling to be happy, struggling to make my goals, struggling to finish my latest story. Which is beyond frustrating because I love Holden and Chloe. I love writing about them. Both of them are awesome characters and they are speaking so loudly. If I was healthy I could finish this book in a matter of days. I could sit at this computer and let the words pour out of me, flowing without any effort at all. It’s seriously that kind of story. One I adore. But sitting and typing all day is difficult for me right now. So I have to take it minute by minute. And that’s hard.

I share this because I always want to be transparent with you. But mostly because I felt like maybe some of you needed to hear this. Maybe you’re in a season that is tough. Maybe you feel like no one understands. I do. Really, I do. I know how hard it is to live with pain and uncertainty. To live with anxiety and doubt. I know what it feels like when no one can offer definitive answers or a cure.

But I also know that there is hope. There is grace. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that is the truth I cling to when I feel dark and sad and hopeless, like today.

There is a song I’ve been in love with lately and some of the lyrics go like this:

Comforter You are to me
Shelter from the cold
Constant how You carry me
Never letting go
You are with me

Your voice holds me together
When I feel like I’m falling apart
I place my world in Your hands
You come and steady my heart

I feel you in the stillness
I know that You are good
I feel you in the stillness
I know that You are good

(Nearness – Jenn Johnson from the We Will Not Be Shaken album by Bethel Music)

I cling to the truth in this song. And in the moments when I feel Him near, I know that He is good. I know that there is hope. I know that I will be all right.

And I know you will be too.

 

Cover Reveal – FOR THE RUSH (Playing for Keeps #3)

FOR THE RUSH (Playing for Keeps #3) Standalone football romance
Release date: March 2015
Graphic artist: Kris Pittman

Blurb:

Chloe Martin, Band Geek.

Holden Reece, Popular Jock.

These are their labels. But it’s not who they are.

Chloe Martin loves music. It’s her passion. But being involved in the school band offers more heartache than fulfillment.

Football defines Holden Reece. It always has. He wins football games – not for himself, but for everyone else.

A random encounter at the gym throws Chloe and Holden together. Stripped of their labels they are able to be themselves. With social statuses and expectations set aside, a relationship begins to blossom.

But when they return to school can they abandon the roles that have been forced on them in order to embrace the rush of being together?

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And the the full wrap:

 

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FOR THE GAME released!

Read the conclusion to London and Cooper’s story today! Also, in the back of the book is a sneak peek of the cover for FOR THE RUSH (PLAYING FOR KEEPS #3)!

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London Miller is a survivor. She’s suffered through more than her share of heartache and struggles, but with Cooper in her life, she feels strong enough to overcome anything. Even with him away at college, she knows he is in her heart – and her life – for the long haul.

Cooper Montgomery is a winner. Losing has never been an option for him. Not in baseball, not in school, not in life. He’s worked hard to gain a spot on the Fallbrook Falcon’s baseball team and it should be the best time of his life. He’s living his dream and now that he has London, his life finally feels complete.

When unexpected obstacles arise, both London and Cooper are faced with new challenges that threaten to tear them apart. They’ve fought so hard to be together. Can London survive what fate throws her way? And can Cooper win when there is more at stake than just the game?

To purchase or borrow FOR THE GAME click here!

For me there are no shades of grey – it’s black and white

Since I’m known as a writer of clean romances I’ve been bombarded with messages from readers asking what I think of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. I’ve responded to each message personally but decided it might be good to publicly put this out there.

The truth is I’ve never read 50 Shades and I haven’t seen the movie, nor do I plan to do either. Therefore, I can’t in good conscience share an opinion on it. My only knowledge of the material is from blogs and articles I’ve read about it, and I don’t feel that is enough for me to form an accurate opinion.

That being said, my readers know that I write clean romances for a reason. I believe that as an author I have a responsibility to portray healthy and loving relationships in my books. I truly believe that words have power. I don’t think that an author can hide behind this idea that novels are fiction so all bets are off. Our fantasies can easily escalate into reality.

For me the issue of what I want to read and what I want my children to read is black and white. There are no shades of grey. I want to read wholesome books that portray healthy true love, and I suspect if you are a fan of mine then you want to do the same.  So while I won’t slam or condone 50 Shades of Grey, I will only state that I will continue to release clean fiction. I will continue to publish books about upstanding guys who treat girls like they are treasures, and girls who are strong enough to stand up for what they believe.

I will continue to write about the kind of relationships I want my children to experience. The kind of love that always heals, never hurts.

YA Lover’s Blog hop

Thank you for making this stop on the YA Lover’s Blog Hop! I have an exclusive scene from Tammy Blackwell to share with you. Also make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page! And if you missed the first stop on the blog hop make sure you stop in to pick up the first hashtag:http://www.gpching.com/

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This bonus scene is from the Alphas’ honeymoon, which takes place at the same time as the end of Infinite Harmony, the second book in the Shifters & Seers series.

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“Let’s become Canadians,” I said, stretching out on the blanket we’d been using for our picnic. Sunlight filtered through the trees, warming my skin without turning me into a lobster. The wind whispered through the grass and small animals scurried about in the underbrush, but for the most part, the world was quiet. The background noise I constantly had to block out at home was gone. No cars. No televisions. We were miles from civilization, and at that moment, I couldn’t be happier to leave it all behind.

            “I’m already a Canadian,” Liam reminded me as he tickled the inside of my arm with a blade of grass. “And technically, now that you’re my wife, you’re a Canadian, too.”

Wife.

I was someone’s wife.

How in the Hades had that happened?

Well, I know how it happened. It was kinda hard to miss the wedding. It’s not every day I slip on a designer gown, stand in front of hundreds of important Shifters and Seers from around the world, and legally bind my life to another human being. What I can’t figure out is how I, Scout Donovan, found myself married to anyone, least of all Liam Freaking Cole.

Two arms, thick with muscles, bracketed my head.  “You’re freaking out again, aren’t you?” Liam asked. His face was all serious business, but he couldn’t keep the laughter out of his eyes.

“I’m not freaking out,” I said, following the line of stubble clinging to his jawline with my finger. “Why do you always think I’m going freak out.”

This time the laughter made it’s way to his throat. I could feel the vibration in my hand, and it quickly spread to other, more sensitive parts of my anatomy.

“Hmmm… Why would I think you would freak out over something like getting married? I mean, you’ve always been so calm and rational about this sort of thing before.”

I tried to glare at him, but it was hard when all I wanted to do was pull his head down to mine and kiss him until we were both gasping for breath. It was crazy. We’d been together for three years. You would think I would have had my fill of him by now, but it was like my need to be near him, to touch him, grew stronger and stronger with every passing day.

“I am always calm and rational. Have you met me? I am the epitome of calm and rational.”

Liam dipped his head and chuckled against my neck as he placed some much-appreciated kisses there.

 

“Keep telling yourself that, Lilith,” he muttered against my collarbone before trailing his kisses even lower. Or at least he tried to trail his kisses down even lower. His mission was cut short by my growl.

“Don’t. Call. Me. Lilith.” The words were guttural, a sure sign my wolf was dangerously close to the surface, but instead of being properly afraid, my idiot husband laughed again.

“The epitome of calm and rational,” he said before catching my mouth in a crushing kiss. I would have been mad at him for taking advantage of my wolf’s instincts to keep me from giving a proper rebuttal, but I was too busy enjoying the slide of his tongue against mine.

Things were just getting interesting when I heard a familiar “knock” in my head. As the Alpha Female, I’m able to connect with any Seer in the world at any time through a special brain-to-brain communication system. Since Liam and I decided to honeymoon at our cabin in the Canadian wilderness where we first fell in love, we were unreachable by phone. There was only one Seer I’d given permission to contact me while we were away, and she understood that it was an emergency-use-only privilege.

Liam pulled away at the same moment I moved to sit up. The connection between mates isn’t the same as the direct-brain-dial I share with Seers, but he still always knows what I need. At that moment, I needed a clear head, and the only way to achieve that was if he stopped touching me.

“What’s wrong, Talley?” I asked, skipping all the pointless niceties. If Talley was interrupting my honeymoon – the honeymoon I had to postpone for a month due to all the crazy that went down at my wedding – something was very, very wrong. Hellos and how-do-you-dos would only waste time.

“Angel is okay,” she said, knowing the dark, terrifying path my thoughts had already sprinted down. “But Lizzie and Layne…”

There was a hiccup in our connection, and I knew it was because she was crying. Something was happening to my heart and lungs. Something constrictive and painful. Lizzie and Layne were the youngest official members of the Alpha Pack. Lizzie had become like a little sister to me, and I had known Layne since he was a screaming infant.

“Lizzie and Layne what?”

“They were on their way to camp and someone was following them. Lizzie called Jase just before the other car started shooting.”

Liam’s arms wrapped around me and pulled me against his chest.

“Tell me they’re okay, Talley.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m so sorry, but you need you to come home. Now.”

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Find out Lizzie and Layne’s fate in Whispered Visions, coming September 2015!

Miss_Tammy

Tammy Blackwell is a Young Adult Librarian from Kentucky and the author of the bestselling Timber Wolves and Shifters & Seers series. You can visit her online at http://www.misstammywrites.com.

#puppylove

Click this link to make the next stop on the blog hop: http://www.misstammywrites.com/

GIVEAWAY

Picking myself up, dusting off and gearing up for 2015

2014 was productive. I released 7 books and 1 novella under my name:

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And 1 chick lit book under my pen name:

Confessions-of-a-Harried-Housewife-ebook-web-resolution EK Andrews

I have been a published author for 3 years this month. My first book PROWL released January 20, 2012.

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As I assess my successes, challenges, disappointments, and highs and lows of the last few years I’m left with these impressions:

1. There is nothing sweeter than hearing from a reader who really “gets it.”

2. There is nothing more disheartening than releasing a book that you love beyond reason, a book that you pour your heart and soul into, and watch it tank.

3. By the same token, it’s amazing when you release a book you’re unsure about and it climbs the charts.

4. Being an author is the best job in the world.

The past three years have been a huge learning experience for me. I went into this business pretty blind. The only thing I knew for sure was that I had to write. Stories were pumping through my veins, characters were filling my mind, plot lines were taking over my thoughts. I had no choice but to listen to the voices in my head, and share their stories with the world. For the most part, I write what I hear, I write what I love and then I publish it.

But 2014 made one thing painfully clear to me. That writing in lots of different genres, while fun, may not be the best decision for me financially. As much as writing is a labor of love, it’s also my job. Therefore, I’ve realized that I need to focus in on one genre this year. Last year I tried my hand at a few different genres. I took some risks artistically, hoping they would pay off. To be honest, I wrote what I think is my best work yet. I wrote books that were difficult, and took a lot out of me. I wrote books with crazy plot twists, books that were darker than my usual sweet romances, books that stretched me as an author and a person. And I don’t regret it. I think it made me better. But it didn’t pay off for me financially. In 2014, I realized that my readers like my sweet romances. It’s what sells. It’s what my readers want. And believe me, I’m not complaining. I’m just stating fact.

Taking this into account, I’ve put together my 2015 business/writing plan. My bestselling book of 2014 was FOR THE WIN. It’s become very clear that sports romance fans are awesome. Therefore, I’m dubbing 2015, the year of sports romances. I plan to release at least 5 more books in the PLAYING FOR KEEPS series. The first one, FOR THE GAME, will be the conclusion of London and Cooper’s story. After that I will begin FOR THE RUSH, a football romance.

I also have a secret project in the works. It’s a story my son and I have been brainstorming for the past 6 months. I’m keeping it to myself for right now, but I’m sure you’ll hear more about it in the future.

Thank you for supporting me. You allow me to keep living this crazy dream and I can’t tell you how grateful I am. Praying that this year is filled with possibilities, crazy characters, fun plot twists and happy endings!