Writing Update, Cover Reveal, and a Giveaway
Good morning and happy Black History Month!
It’s time for an update. It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed the visits from some of my author friends and found new books to enjoy. I’ve got lots to tell you.
First of all, I won the Angie Award (AMB) for Outstanding Author in Multicultural Romance for my novel For Better or Worse, book 4 of the Hawthorne Family series. Yay! According to the website: The AMB Awards provide honors and recognition of authors’ outstanding achievements in the multicultural romance literary profession.
Readers nominate and vote for their favorites, and I was in some really good company. For the full list of nominees and winners, visit the award website here.
The Tall, Dark & Alpha Box Set – Coming in March
You’ve probably seen the multi-author box sets all over Amazon and other retailers. Well, I’m participating in one, too, with nine other authors. Mark your calendars, because the Tall, Dark & Alpha box set will be released on March 8th! (Isn’t this cover smoking hot?)
My previously released novel Fight for Love from the Hot Latin Men series, will be included. The set is a mixture of several genres, including sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary. Names in interracial romance and African-American romance you might recognize are Eve Vaughn, Koko Brown, and Farrah Rochon. Below is a complete list of all the authors that are participating, with links to our book excerpts. Or you can see the full list of blurbs, pictures of hot guys, and mini-excerpts from the stories by visiting http://www.aftonlocke.com/TDA.html.
|Afton Locke||Dawn Montgomery|
|Delaney Diamond||Eve Langlais|
|Eve Vaughn||Farrah Rochon|
|Koko Brown||Paige Tyler|
|Randi Alexander||Sam Cheever|
The box set will go on sale when it’s first released, and I’ll send out an email once it’s available so you can make sure you don’t miss it and get the special sale price.
Unforgettable – Coming in April
Unforgettable is my latest project and Book 1 of the Johnson Family series.
The series is about a billionaire beer-making family in Seattle. Initially it was supposed to be called The Johnson Boys, but I changed it because I added a sister—Ivy Johnson.There will be five books. The siblings include the oldest, Cyrus Johnson, the responsible one who has taken over the family business. Xavier Johnson, who forsook his family’s wealth and trekked around the world doing good in an effort to “find” himself. Cousin Trenton Johnson, the ladies’ man, who is just like a brother and has to figure out how to handle his feelings for his best friend. The fourth brother, Gavin, is the prodigal son whose dangerous behavior has alienated his family. Ivy Johnson, Gavin’s twin, has a secret that may cause her to lose the love of her life.
Ivy Johnson’s love interest is Lucas Baylor. Lucas was Roarke’s best friend and a minor character in the Hawthorne Family series. I always wanted to write a story about him, and when the ideas for the Johnson family started flowing, an idea for a story including him came to mind.
Unforgettable will be released in April. I don’t have a blurb yet, but I couldn’t resist showing you this awesome cover. The cover artist is working on two more books in the series—Perfect and Just Friends. Once she’s finished, I’ll share those with you, too.
Although I don’t have a blurb yet, I do have a little something-something for you from the book. It’s an unedited sneak peek. Lucas is in Seattle and winds up staying at the same hotel where Ivy Johnson’s family is having a celebration. He enters the ballroom and sees her. It’s been nine years since they were together, and of course he’s smitten—and so is she.
Sneak Peek at Unforgettable, Book 1 of the Johnson Family series
He catalogued her appearance. Statuesque and tall, she looked every bit the heiress that she was in an evening dress that cascaded to her feet in a waterfall of champagne-colored chiffon. It shimmered against the light toffee color of her skin and molded to her frame. The sweetheart neckline showed off her shoulders and the graceful curve of her neck, exposed because her long hair had been swept to one side. With blonde extensions accenting the fine strands, her hair fell over her right shoulder in huge barrel-like curls.
All of a sudden she laughed, tossing back her head and placing a hand over her full bosom as if to contain the laughter. He couldn’t hear her from that distance, but his scalp tingled nonetheless as he imagined the sound. When she was especially amused, her laugh was loud, the pitch high. Unladylike she used to say, covering her mouth in embarrassment. Yet he’d loved the sound of it—perhaps his favorite sound in the whole world, next to her cries of pleasure.
Everything about her had enthralled him—her charm, her beauty. Damn, she was beautiful. His gut tightened. Truly beautiful in a way that made men do doubletakes and women keep an eye on her out of a combination of fear and envy.
Lucas drained his glass and set it atop the bar. He started walking, one foot in front of the other, keeping his eyes on her. She turned suddenly, as if someone had called her name, and she waved, laughing again. Closer now, the sound gripped his abdomen like coarse talons. At the same time, she glanced in his direction. The smile arrested on her face and then was replaced by bewilderment as her lips parted.
He stopped a few feet away and was immediately enveloped by the scent of her perfume. She still smelled the same, making it all the more harder to keep his wits about him.
“Lucas?” Ivy’s fingers tightened around the gold beaded clutch in her hand. Her senses hummed as she took him in, a low-cut beard covering his face now. Yet she’d recognized him right away.
“Ivy,” he said in greeting, his mouth curving upward in a smile.
He spoke with a lazy drawl, a slight Southern accent giving her name a sweet sensuality she never heard when anyone else said it. The sound filled her with memories of humid Georgia nights and long, lazy days.
Her companion excused himself with a touch to her shoulder and joined another conversation. She let him go without uttering a single word. She’d been rendered speechless by the appearance of this ghost from the past.
The years had been good to Lucas. He’d been a good-looking young man and had matured into an attractive man in his mid-thirties. Broader and thicker, he filled out his dark suit in a way that left no doubt that the body underneath the expensive material was in good shape. His skin was a deep brown—mahogany—and his eyes dark and welcoming with long, curled eyelashes that would be feminine on any other man.
But not on Lucas Baylor. He was all man.
Heartbreak in Rio – Coming in June
Heartbreak in Rio is my novella for Harlequin that will be part of the Endless Summer Nights anthology. Donna Hill and Grace Octavia are the other two authors who will have stories in it.
Take a trip into the heart of passion as seductive samba rhythms pulse in the warm evening breezes. Escape and savor these three scintillating stories set against the beautiful backdrop of Brazil….
Risky Business by Donna Hill
Two weeks in Rio—surely enough time for marketing VP Sydni Lawson to forge a lucrative merger. But instead of sweet-talking real estate mogul Gabriel St. James…she’s being swept away by their sizzling and unexpected attraction.
Beats of My Heart by Grace Octavia
Sunshine Embry has been pushing her own dreams aside as the assistant to a spoiled R & B diva. Then an invitation to record in Rio brings her back in contact with music sensation Marlo Simmons, who is also her boss’s sexy brother! Is this their chance to make sweet, sweet music together?
Heartbreak in Rio by Delaney Diamond
Sidney Altman and Rodrigo Serrano once shared a scorching affair, before he returned to Brazil to take over his family’s fashion empire. Now she’s in Rio on business—and Rodrigo intends to win her back and prove that his biggest regret was ever letting her go….
A Readers Retreat, a Southern Affair – Coming in October
This isn’t coming up until the fall, but because it includes some traveling, I want to mention it early. I’ll be at a readers meet-and-greet in Atlanta on October 10-11 of this year. There’ll be lots of authors in attendance: Rochelle Alers, KR Bankston, Iris Bolling, Maureen Smith, MJ Kane, Deborah Mello, Sienna Mynx, Altonya Washington, Keith Williams, and more. You don’t want to miss this great event, so book early because space is limited. Click here for the cost and details: http://brabonline.ticketleap.com/a-readers-retreats-a-southern-affair/details
Valentine’s Day Short Story
If you haven’t read my Valentine’s Day-themed short story, Subordinate Position, now’s a good time. Normally in romance novels, the heroine works for the hero, but in this case, it’s the other way around, and she’s worried about sexual harassment if she pursues a relationship with him. It’s 99 cents, and because it’s so short has more of a “happy for now ending” rather than a “happily ever after.” One day I’d like to write more about this couple, but for now I hope you enjoy seeing where their love story goes.
Danica Parker is attracted to a man at her firm: Marco Reyes—someone on her staff. When it comes to her career, she’s always made the right decisions. Rather than risk her heart and her career with a sexual harassment complaint, she plays it cool whenever the sexy Director of Finance is nearby.
Marco Reyes has been attracted to Danica from day one, but she’s never given an inkling she can tolerate his presence, much less express interest. When Valentine’s Day arrives, Marco tries a new tactic. She may be his boss, but she’s also a woman. And Marco knows how to charm a woman.
Last but not least, The Blind Date and The Wrong Man will soon be in print! Thanks so much for all the positive remarks and reviews I’ve received for both books. I’m ecstatic that you’ve enjoyed the Love Unexpected series so much. I plan to continue the series with at least one more title, but I’m not sure yet what it will be about. I’ll probably write a story about Jay Santorini, Talia’s boss from The Wrong Man, but I’ll just wait until the idea comes to me.
I fully expect to have the final copies for the print books by the end of the month. I’m waiting for the proofs to come in and if they look okay, I’ll put them on sale right away.
I’m giving away free copies on GoodReads and of course, free copies here, too. For GoodReads members, click these links for a chance to win:
Here are the details for the giveaway on my blog:
Prize(s): 3 winners will receive autographed copies of The Blind Date and The Wrong Man.
How to enter: Fill out the form below.
Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to this blog. The contest is open to international entrants.
Deadline to enter: 11:59 pm EST on March 1, 2014. The three winners’ names will be listed in the comments below and contacted via email.
What do you think of the book covers or the excerpt from Unforgettable? Do you have any questions for me? Leave them below and I’ll answer. Have a good day!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Are you following my blog? If not, make sure you do. Add your email address to the sign up field on the right for sneak peeks, sale prices, and to find out when the next book will be released.