Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Spotlight, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Losing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux

Losing the Ice Blog Tour

Guest Post – Birdhouse Books

I’d like to thank Trish for having me as a guest today to celebrate the release of my novella, LOSING THE ICE. It follows CROSSING THE ICE as the second book in the Ice series, and it continues Courtney and Josh’s love story. You can find out more about the series below, but first Trish asked me to share what inspires my writing!

I write love stories set in the world of competitive figure skating, so I get a lot of inspiration from watching competitions and especially from attending them. I started attending events as a fan fourteen years ago, and it really opened my eyes to how small the skating world is and how much drama goes on behind the scenes. I soon learned it is a sport made for storytelling. The opportunities for storylines are endless – skaters pursuing a lifelong dream only to see their dream crushed, pair partners falling for each other, rivals falling for each other, skaters with parents living their dreams through them, etc.

When I’m at a competition and see firsthand the devastation a skater experiences from defeat or the pure joy from victory, it gives me so much inspiration for the competition scenes I write in my books. I love writing the romance aspect of my stories, but I also love the sport aspect because the stakes are so high and the intensity is insane. It gives even more suspense to the story.

All the places I’ve been able to visit while attending events have also inspired my writing. I love putting my characters in special spots I’ve visited so I can really visualize the scenes as they take place. When I’m at home, I often watch old DVDs of competitions to put myself in the right frame of mind to write. There’s nothing like hearing that Olympic theme music to get the creative juices flowing!

Thanks again to Trish for hosting me, and check out all the details on the Ice series below!

Series: Ice #2
Release date: February 23rd 2015
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Courtney and Josh are in love and excited to finally compete as skating partners. When they take the ice for their first competition, they want to show everyone, especially Josh's family, they are the perfect pair.
But ice is slippery, and one misstep puts all their dreams in jeopardy. Now they must show each other both their love and their partnership are strong enough to survive.

About the Author

One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer loves to hear from readers!

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a die-hard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. 

jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Red by Alyxandra Harvey

Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Bad girls burn hot…

Red is the color of Kia Alcott's hair.
It's her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it's the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.

When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It's an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.

But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn't stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family… 

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Excerpt:  Kia from “Red” by Alyxandra Harvey

I flipped through the glossy school pamphlet Abby had left on my desk. Havencrest Preparatory Academy. The photos showed roses everywhere and smiling well-groomed students in uniforms. Uniforms. Shoot me now.

I’d stumbled into someone else’s story. I was in a strange house with a strange woman; the fact that she was my grandmother didn’t change that. I barely knew her and she definitely didn’t know me. Even my dad didn’t know me anymore, and I was closer to him than anyone. I had secrets now, dangerous ones, so maybe it was best that I was stuck here on a secret lake no one knew about. Even if I already missed Riley and Dad and my tiny cramped bedroom strung with Christmas lights. Kia Alcott didn’t belong in a castle or a prep school. She belonged in a fourth-floor walk-up with hallways that smelled like cabbage rolls. She belonged to litter-choked downtown streets, comic book stores, and donut doughnut shops that stayed open all night. She didn’t know the first thing about fashion magazines or name-brand clothes.

Mr. Yang, the counselor who ran the anger-management classes I’d had to take, would say I was making snap judgments about people out of fear. I was stereotyping them before they could stereotype me. I was building walls.

Easy for him to say.

Because the truth was, I wasn’t going to fit in at a school full of kids who went horseback riding or had their own sailboats, or whatever it was rich country kids did in their spare time. And while I didn’t actually mind being on the fringes, I did mind having to start from scratch. At my old school I’d already scoped out my territory, I knew where to hang out, who to avoid, and which teachers turned a blind eye to a few skipped classes.

Now I knew nothing. Not even who I was.

About the Author
Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream. 

Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Snark and Stage Fright by Stephanie Wardrop

Snark and Stage Fright
Release Date: 03/10/15
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Happily-ever-after isn’t as happy or forever as Jane Austen makes it look. Just something Georgia Barrett learns when her sharp tongue costs her the only guy she’s ever really cared about: Michael Endicott.

Determined to move on, Georgia lands the lead role in the school’s fall musical. But to survive on stage, she’ll need to learn to express herself without her protective shield of snark. She soon discovers being honest with others means being honest with herself, and the truth is she’s still in love with Michael.

But from the looks of Michael’s new girlfriend, Georgia isn’t the only one who tried to move on. Apparently, some people are just better at it than others. And when Michael and his girlfriend join the cast of the fall musical, Georgia finds out that snark and stage fright are the least of her worries…

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You would think that on a cloudless, picture-postcard-perfect summer day, lying on a raft beside my boyfriend in his pool, I would be incapable of worry. 

But I am good at what I do.

Michael’s pool is one of my favorite places in the world, because it looks like it was carved out of the woods by nature herself, like a little lagoon accidentally popped up in a New England backyard about a century ago. It’s very rocky and ferny and surrounded by beautiful exotic plants, lush green and fuchsia and orange-colored plants that shouldn’t thrive in Massachusetts but grow here like the happiest transplants ever.

And a month ago, on the night of the school prom, when I was one of the least happy transplants to New England ever, Michael and I met here and finally admitted that we actually really liked each other. It’s where he kissed me for the very first time. So I should be luxuriating here on the raft with him, basking in the sun and the enticing smells of chlorine and sunscreen, but I’m not.

I’m too busy panicking because in a few days I am going to be spending a week at Michael’s family’s summerhouse. Before I’d moved here to Longbourne a year ago, I’d never even met someone who has a different house for different seasons. I don’t even know what you wear at a summerhouse, but I tried to sound casual as I tugged at my Target tankini and asked Michael, “So it’s your dad’s sister’s house, right? And it’s on the beach?”

Michael nodded and stirred the water with his fingers, making his own personal tiny tidal wave and watching it crash against the side of the raft. One of the reasons I love him is because he seems so serious on the outside but in private he does these silly boyish things like making private tsunamis in the pool. And I have to admit he looks really good wet, with his dark curls plastered to his head like one of those statues of Apollo at a Greek temple, only with a tan, since he’s been teaching little kids to swim every day at the YMCA in Netherfield. 

 “Are people going to be, like, walking around in straw hats and white linen dresses all day, sipping smart cocktails and playing croquet?” I asked. 

Michael lifted his sunglasses, revealing his now squinting dark eyes as a familiar smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth. 

“We’re going to my aunt’s house on Cape Cod, George, not into a deleted scene from The Great Gatsby.” He laughed. “We’ll drive there, and traffic might be a pain, but we don’t require a time machine.” 

I could tell he was amused but a little of weary of my pre-travel angst. But summer family get-togethers at my house involve rickety metal grills, inflatable pools for the kids, and lots of potato salad. I’m not sure Michael understands I feel about as comfortable walking into a weeklong celebration for his cousin Rose’s wedding as I would be to crash-land on an island overrun by cannibals. Cannibals wouldn’t care if I wore last season’s sandals or sipped out of the finger bowl. They wouldn’t even have finger bowls.

About the Author
Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, a town mostly famous for being a railroad card in Monopoly. After giving up on her childhood goal of becoming a pirate, she decided to become a writer but took a detour through lots of college and grad school and ended up teaching writing and British and American literature. She's the author of the Swoon Romance e-novella series Snark and Circumstance, based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and lives in western New England with her husband, kids, cats, and gecko.

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