And…They’re Off!

DragonsAmongThem_600x900Good morning, everyone! Kyra here with news that my fourth book, and first in a new fantasy romance series, is now available! DRAGONS AMONG THEM is book 1 in the Kingdoms of Fire and Ice trilogy (all set to release this year!) and a fun, sexy adventure akin to ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets GAME OF THRONES. And the best part? It has dragon-shifters. Mmm….dragons…

You can find the book here:

Samhain | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

As part of the release, I’ve got a giveaway going on for a $40 Amazon gift card. Be sure to swing by Bewitching Book Tours to follow along for your chance to win. And if you’re looking for a few sexy excerpts, here are today’s stops:

http://booksandtales.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/guest-post-giveaway-dragons-among-them.html

http://www.roxannerhoads.com/2016/04/spotlight-and-giveaway-dragons-among.html

I’ve also included the blurb and excerpt below. Enjoy!

Two worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all.

Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

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Excerpt:

The wedding.

Zayne shook the thought from his mind. He had come here to forget his impending doom, not wallow in self-pity.

The prince drew an arrow from the quiver on his back, nocked it to his favorite bow, then shifted away from the oak and lined up his shot on the buck. During battle, the action would have taken him but a second—two, perhaps, if he were dodging an attack. Here in the deep woods where any sudden movement would give his location away, it took several minutes. Time well spent, he knew from experience, if it resulted in fresh venison for dinner.

The deer raised its head and stared in the direction of his hunter with unseeing eyes, ears twitching as he chewed. Zayne held his stance, praying his patience would pay off. After a long moment, the great beast turned its rack in the opposite direction. A victorious smile tugged at Zayne’s lips as he squared his shoulders, took a deep breath to steady his aim—

A woman’s scream shattered the forest.

The arrow slipped from his fingers and sailed six feet over the startled buck’s head. In a flash, he drew another, but the opportunity was already lost. The deer zigzagged over brush and bramble, bounding away to seek refuge in the darkest depths of the forest, and Zayne cursed his own arrogance. He’d taken too long, been too sure of himself. And while his stomach rumbled painfully at the thought of foregoing his anticipated evening meal, he knew better than to pursue the beast. Dangers far greater than the dark awaited him in that direction, and no buck was worth the risk.

A second high-pitched scream sounded, closer this time, and commanded his attention. Whoever joined him in the woods today sounded terrified, not hurt. Lord knew he’d been through enough skirmishes to recognize the subtle differences.

Zayne slung his bow onto his back and charged forward, sacrificing stealth for speed to try to reach the woman before one pitch bled into the other. Thick underbrush snagged at his clothes and sliced his skin, but still he surged forward. It would have been easier for him to transform, faster even, but then his whereabouts would be discovered, and he was not yet ready to return and face his father. Or his betrothed.

The wall of vegetation around him thinned as he drew upon a small clearing. Zayne slowed to quiet his footsteps, then stopped altogether as the scene before him came into view. A pack of wolves milled around one side of the clearing, snapping and snarling as they pawed at their muzzles. Across from them stood the clearing’s other inhabitant: a lone peasant woman.

The source of the screams.

Her outer layers of clothing must have been ripped away during her attempted escape, as she stood quaking in scraps of clothing the likes of which Zayne had never seen before. The bizarre black-and-purple fabric failed to do much more than contain her supple bosom, rounded hips, and slim thighs. Her long, golden hair was pinned up and back and, though mussed, offered him a clear view of her delicate shoulders and creamy pale skin. But what struck him the most was her eyes—startling blue, like brilliant sapphire ice.

A ray of sun broke through the clouds and washed over her, giving the girl an angelic appearance. Never had he seen a woman more beautiful. The sight took his very breath away.

A wolf stepped free from the pack, and the air around Zayne began to swirl. He gasped, as helpless to resist the beast within as he was to draw his next breath. Never before had the transformation begun without his prompting, nor surged forward with such haste. An armor of golden scales replaced his skin, his fingers stretched into talons, and human logic gave way to animal instinct. As the growing fire within his chest sought to consume him, Zayne could comprehend but three things:

He must save her.

He must protect her.

He must have her.

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So what do you think, do dragons sound like fun to you?

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Five-Line Friday – A Look At Tyranny

It’s Friday! Hooray! We’ve made it through another week. The Chicks hope that work didn’t defeat you this week and you have only happy events ahead of you for the weekend.

Here something a little different for all of our writer friends. We invite you to post in comments 5 lines from your Work In Progress, or from the book you are reading (be sure to attribute the work to the Author/Publisher please).

This week, we’ll keep it simple. Post the first five lines in a chapter. Let’s see what you’ve got!

I’ll start us off with the opening from my new book – Tyranny.

A violent crack of thunder reverberated against the stained glass window gracing the elaborate marble stairwell. The colorful display was meant to impress visitors as they entered the building. Right now, the only impressive thing about it was that the panels hadn’t rattled right out of the beads of lead holding them in place.

It ranked as one of the worst storm Clio Thanos had ever experienced. And she’d lived through more than a lifetime’s worth of them.

That’s it! I showed you mine, now you show me yours!

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Won’t You Join Us?

Pickup Lines

Want to break free of your comfort zone? The KickAss Chicks are hosting an online seminar directed toward writers at every stage of their careers. The four-hour seminar on March 2, 2016 will be led by Penny Barber, and Editor with Lyrical Press. She’ll walk us through how to write an opening scene guaranteed to make readers pick up their books. You can find more information here.
We do hope you will join us.

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Penny Barber

Course Description:

Imagine you’re at a party full of people you’ve never met. Mr. Bookman is working the crowd, going from person to person and introducing himself. He approaches you and strikes up a conversation. The first few words out of his mouth determine if you politely excuse yourself, run for the nearest exit, or are intrigued enough to engage with a possible new friend.

If Mr. Bookman, talks about the weather, meh, you may give him a few more minutes. Or you may very well excuse yourself and go see what everyone in the corner is laughing about.

***Remember you’ve never met Mr. Bookman before.***

Let’s say he stalks over and starts railing about his ex, whom you also don’t know. Is that within your comfort zone?

He reveals a lot about himself if he’s nitpicking, name-calling and making fun of the size, features, clothing, and life choices of everyone in attendance who you haven’t had time or opportunity to judge for yourself. Is this a person you want to spend a few hours with?

Mr. Bookman saunters up and shares every detail of how he woke up, showered, and ate breakfast this morning. Do you care what kind of shampoo he uses or how many swipes it took to clean his man bits?

If he stands next to you and thinks aloud, how many minutes will pass before you bolt?

What if he and Ms. Magazine corner you, and without even introducing her or himself to you, they carry on a conversation about people and places you’re unfamiliar with, and a situation you don’t have any context to understand?

Imagine Mr. Bookman looks good, introduces himself, and engages you with an interesting problem. But the longer he talks, the more his rough edges show through. He uses so many words to say anything, that by the end of each sentence, you’ve forgotten the point. Maybe he uses the wrong word often or mispronounces so many words you’re silently correcting him instead of following along. He pauses in awkward spots or has booboos you can’t stop staring at and wondering about more than what he’s saying. How long will you stay engaged if he keeps tossing out words and terms you don’t know?

Friends, relatives, critique groups, and beta readers are wonderful. Some of them can actually be trusted to say, hey, this makes no sense, your heroine is judgmental and hateful, I fell asleep in the middle of the third para, or all those em dashes are distracting me from the story. Many of them, though, are loathe to hurt your feelings or make you mad, don’t speak up when the material just isn’t their cup of tea, or maybe fear retribution when you read their stuff. Or, they simply can’t pinpoint why they aren’t enjoying the read.

Someone who reads for a living can spot flaky pick-up lines by the end of page one, and often in the first para. They may not tell you why they weren’t engaged, but they’ll know. In this workshop, I’m offering to evaluate your first 150 words. I’ll share what first impression your book’s pick up lines made on me and specific reasons if I met it at a bookstore I would pick it up or keep looking.

Without insight into why readers may or may not be picking up your book, you can’t do anything about it. If you know, maybe you can.

But remember I am one imperfect reader, with one opinion. I’m not always right, nor do I always have the perfect solution, but I may be able to point you in a direction that works for your story. And I’m not afraid you might trash my next chapter in the critique queue. *wink*

If you can’t make it the day of the workshop, feel free to post 150 words of your opening up to a week early.

Honorary Chick ~ Eloisa James

Eloisa James american_largeToday we’re honored to have the fabulous historical romance author Eloisa James as our Honorary Chick. Most of you probably know Eloisa writes stunning Regency romance with funny and sometimes misguided heroines and wonderfully alpha heroes. Recently she released My American Duchess and I have to say, I loved this book.  For these reasons and so many more, we crown Eloisa James as an Honorary Chick.

AS ~ Welcome Eloisa. The KickAss Chicks are thrilled to have you here.

EJ ~ Thank you! I’m thrilled to be here.

 

AS ~ Since February is the month when everyone’s attention turns to romance, let’s start with something fun. What’s your ideal way to spend a Valentine’s Day date?

EJ ~ At a spa resort alone with my husband. We would have a couples massage (that’s a fantasy right there, because we tried it once, and Alessandro hated being massaged), and then I would have every other treatment they had in the whole place, and then we would go out for an elegant dinner.

 

AS ~ It’s nice to dream even at poor Alessandro’s expense. 😉

 

AS ~ Can you tell us a little about your latest book, My American Duchess?

EJ ~ My heroine, Merry, is an American, pursued by a duke who is very, very English. It was a lot of fun to write: Merry and Trent create a lot of fireworks, and then there’s a cast of snooty English lords and ladies. Add in an adorable rescue dog, a rented pineapple, and a poetic aunt…  I’m very proud to say that My American Duchess is #6 on the New York Times bestseller list—which I attribute to the fact that a lot of people are looking for a sexy story that makes them laugh!

 

AS ~ Eloisa, after all these years writing lovely English heroines, why did you decide to write about an American?

EJ ~ London itself! My family and I were living in London all last year. All of the awkwardness in the book was taken from real experiences. I learned about the practice of renting pineapple for dinner parties while visiting a historic house, and instantly realized that a young American lady would have no idea that a pineapple on the dinner table could be rented—she would definitely ask for a slice.  And cause a scandal by doing so!

 

AS ~ We’re all dying to know, what’s up next for you?

EJ ~ Seven Minutes in Heaven will be out next February. This is the follow up to Four Nights with the Duke and is the story of Eugenia and Ward. They were children featured in the original Desperate Duchess series. I’m writing it now and having such a great time with it.

 

AS ~ Well, I know I can’t wait for this one. Thanks so much for joining us today. You definitely fit the bill as an honorary chick. We wish you all the best with My American Duchess and Seven Minutes in Heaven.

 

eloisajames_webFor those of you who need a bit more Eloisa, here’s some Fast Facts:

Eloisa James is a professor of English literature, specializing in Shakespeare. She teaches at Fordham University in New York City. Oxford University Press published her academic book in 2000. After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale.

With the exception of a year in Paris, and another in London, Eloisa lives in New York City during the school year and in Florence, Italy, during the summer. Her husband is a cavaliere, an Italian knight.

Eloisa James is the daughter of poet Robert Bly (winner of the American Book Award for Poetry) and short story author Carol Bly. Her father is a big fan.

Eloisa James’s godfather was the poet James Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems. Among those poems – and one of Wright’s most beloved – is a poem written for his goddaughter, Mary Bly (aka Eloisa James).

 

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists. After being a finalist for a RITA—the top award in the genre of romance fiction awarded by the Romance Writers of America—over ten times, she won in 2013.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Her “double life” is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she’s written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women’s magazines such as More to writers’ journals such as the Romance Writers’ Report.

We Are Thankful

Thanksgiving word montage colorThe Chicks have all been talking recently about the things we are grateful for. The big and the small aspects of life that mold us into who we are. We are a diverse group of women who write romantic tales that end with a happily ever after. I guess you could say our characters have reason to be thankful as well.

So, we decided we’d share a few of the reasons we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving day.

Bio PicSarah Hegger: It’s taken me years to be able to say this, but I’m thankful for all the experiences and people in my life that have led to this point – the good, the bad, the wonderful and the downright awful. Some parts or people I wouldn’t chose to revisit but in some magical way they have all led me to this point in my life and I am thankful for that.

 

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Kristi Rose: I’m thankful that I’m reminded to be thankful. I’m surrounded by so many wonderful and giving people it’s humbling. I know I’m lucky and I never want to take for granted what I have. It’s easy to get lost in the everyday moments and not pause to appreciate.

 

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Juliette Cross: With terror and destruction abroad and a recent health scare with my son, I’m thankful for a healthy family who I love and adore and who remind me why life is worth living. And I also feel blessed with genuine friends who carry me through the tough times–professionally and personally. Love my chicks!

 

gemmaGemma Brocato: I’m thankful for the sunrise each morning, because it is a promise of a new beginning. I’m thankful for my eyesight, because it means I can see the beauty of a frosty morning. Seeing my breath in the air means I’m alive (even if I’m a little cold). Seeing flickering flames in my fireplace means I am warm. I’m thankful for the scent of any meal cooking, because it means I have food. I’m thankful for the way my parents raised me, because their love and charity taught me to help those less fortunate.

SabineSabine Priestley: I’m grateful for our beautiful home and the strange beings, also known as teenagers, that live here with us. I’m grateful for that pile of laundry that magically triples overnight, because it’s generated by my quirky, crazy, occasionally maddening family. I’m grateful that even though I can’t run anymore I can still get my ass to the gym for an hour and leave with every muscle shaking. I’m grateful to have the freedom to make writing my full-time job, even though there are times I wonder why I do this on purpose. Finally, I’m grateful for the KickAss Chicks. A cadre of amazing women who have become a sisterhood I never thought I’d be a part of.

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Kyra Jacobs: So much to be thankful for. For being born in this great nation. For the men and women who have selflessly served to protect it and the freedoms that we so often take for granted. For my family and friends, both near and far, whom I would be absolutely lost without. For a good job, a warm home, clean water and food on our table. And for the Good Lord, who watches over us all.

A.S. Fenichel Author

 

A.S. Fenichel: I’m thankful for a wonderful husband who only pisses me off occasionally and ususally makes it up to me by cooking delicious meals.

 

So on this wonderful holiday, we count our blessings and wish many more for you all.

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Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

 

Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey

ShineNotBurn

I really got into this book. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Arizona and had a thing for cowboys. And horses. Hunks in stetsons and, well, you get the picture. I loved her voice and the large assed protag had me laughing out loud at times. And then there’s Mack. Oh, Mack. That man has some fine attributes. If  you find yourself in need of a cowboy fix, you can’t go wrong with this. Enough said. Read it.
Blurb:

Andie Marks, known as “Party Girl” in her college days, is now a whip-smart lawyer on the fast track to success. Determined to move on from a bad break-up, she joins her girlfriends for a wild bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas, promising to let her hair down just this once.

Vegas is a blur of cocktails and blackjack, and in the middle of it all she meets Mack, a real-life cowboy with a winning hand and an irresistible body. They get lucky in the casino and luckier back at the hotel, a hot night of passion that was definitely not part of Andie’s life plan.

By dawn Mack is gone and all she has to remember their one-night romance is a hangover and a pile of casino chips. Or so she thinks…

Sabine red

 

Books Kicking Ass: Her Backup Boyfriend by Ashlee Mallory

Happy Monday, everyone! Going to kick off November with a sweet contemporary romance set in the same time of year. Convenient, eh? Totally unplanned, I assure you. But when Ashlee Mallory’s first book in the Sorensen Family series hit USA Today Bestseller status last month, I snatched up a copy to see what all the excitement was about. And I LOVED it. Not overly spicy, no over-the-top dramatic conflict, just a wonderful, sweet read with two awesome leads who are perfect together (once they figure out that, yes, they really CAN be together).

Even better? Book 2 just came out and it’s on sale for 99 cents this week. Needless to say, I just grabbed my own copy to devour during my next binge-read session.

So here’s a little something sweet, to get you ready for the holidays and all those desserts coming out ways…

Her BackupOne little white lie leads to more than she planned…

Straight-laced lawyer Kate Matthews always plays by the rules. But when her ex gets engaged and a big promotion is on the line at work, she blurts out that she has a new boyfriend. And now that she’s proved she “has a life” outside of work, everything is perfect. Except for one teeny little detail―there is no boyfriend. And now Kate’s liable for her little white lie…

Dominic Sorensen is hot, charming, and very definitely not Kate’s type. But not only does Dominic want to help Kate renovate her home, he’s also willing to play “boyfriend.” All he wants in return is a little pro bono work for his sister. Now instead of Mr. Right, Kate has a delectable Mr. Fix-It-Right―and some unbelievable sexual chemistry. And if falling for Dominic is a breach of contract, Kate is guilty as charged…

Go take a look and catch the first chapter here: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/her-backup-boyfriend/

You can find links to all of Ashlee’s books and social media outlets from her website.

Happy November, everyone!

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