Friday, January 10, 2014

Temptaion by Fire - Guest Post/Giveaway/Excerpt

Visions of death haunt her . . .
Ava Keller sees the future. When she suffers a horrifying vision of a man’s violent death, she knows from experience nothing she does will stop it from becoming a reality. But when she meets a strong, broken man, he makes her want to believe in second chances.
Vengeance consumes him . . .
Tortured by his past, Karson has worked tirelessly to wreak vengeance on the demons who murdered his family. But when Ava inadvertently disrupts his intricate plan for revenge, his focus shifts to an all-consuming need to keep her alive and in his arms.
Love could save their souls . . .
Thrown together by fate, Ava and Karson explore their new feelings and discover hope for the future. But they must battle the demons threatening humanity to find a destiny worthy of their love.

Monstrous. That was the only word for it. Deep reds and yellows flashed at me, hurting my eyes. The sparkles were almost enough to put me right over the edge. What the heck were those things?
Rhinestones? Who wore rhinestones anymore?
Only Miriam.
“What do you think, Ava?” Miriam asked.
I bit my lip, searching my mind for a way to tell her that it was the fugliest thing I’d ever seen without off ending her. I cast a quick glance about us. Thanks to the after-dinner hour, the hospital cafeteria where we sat at a chipped Formica-topped table was almost empty. No one else seemed to notice us, or the horrible dress that my best friend was waving around. But combined with the smell of disinfectant that clung to the stark white walls and pastel plastic furniture, the dress was enough to make me dizzy.
Nope. There was no way to be polite.
“I think it’s horrible,” I admitted. Miriam’s fashion sense tended toward the wild side, but that dress crossed a line. Besides the garish sequins, the neckline looked like it would hit her navel.
“Really?” Miriam held the dress at arm’s length and studied it with a critical eye. “I thought it might be nice for the graduation party. I don’t graduate from medical school every day. Might be a good chance to wear something saucy.”
I suppressed a shudder at the idea of wearing something so flashy in public. But that was Miriam. Brave and fun and willing to journey into the scariest places fashion offered. Despite our differences, we’d been best friends ever since the day in middle school when Miriam decided we would be.
Miriam got what Miriam wanted.
She was also my favorite person in the world. So it worked out pretty darn well for me.
“Besides, once I start my residency, I won’t be out of scrubs for years,” she said. “There’s only so much you can do to make scrubs look good.”
The ache that had settled into my chest ever since the reality of Miriam leaving had hit me flared into pain. I was twenty-five for crying out loud, far too old to be using my best friend as a security blanket, even if she was leaving me alone in Chicago to pursue her dream of being a medical doctor in New York City. Mentally quashing the loneliness, I forced a grin.
My grin didn’t fool her and she frowned at me, then shoved the dress back into a Nordstrom bag. “You’re tougher than you think.”
“I know,” I said automatically. My fear of getting physically near people—heck, even being in the same room as large groups—was the source of many, many, many of our arguments. Especially lately. The last thing I wanted was to get into it again. Miriam was a gem, but she spent way too much time worrying about me.
Some things weren’t fixable.
I pushed down the self-pity the thought caused. The emotion was silly, self-indulgent, and unfounded. Sure, I wasn’t exactly sociable because of the constraints placed on me by my curse, but I still had a decent life. One that was a heck of a lot better than most people’s.
As long as I was careful not to touch anyone.
“So, I need to get as much Ava-time in as I can before I go. What are you doing tonight? You should come with me to find something to wear to the party, since you have to compete against this amazing dress.”
Compete against that? So not my style. The dress was a walking banner proclaiming Miriam to be vivacious and outgoing.
And more than a bit of a daredevil. If my clothes had a sign attached, it would identify me as “cautious,” or just scream “don’t touch.” There was no competition. And shopping? A sudden need to be out of this place, alone and in my own space, hit, and I tugged on my sleeves.
Miriam’s gaze shifted, just enough that I could tell she noticed. Awesome friend that she was, she pretended she hadn’t. “Actually, I’m a little beat,” she said. “Maybe I could bring a movie over? Something filled with angst and love and Colin Firth.”
“Are you ever getting out of the Colin Firth phase?”
She pushed up from the table, face serious. “Colin Firth isn’t a phase, Ava. He’s a way of life.”
“He’s a tad refined for my taste, but”— I stood and pushed my chair in—“I wouldn’t want to deprive you of something so important.”
Miriam turned to walk out of the cafeteria when she suddenly froze, her eyes widened, and her gaze locked on something over my shoulder. She let out a quiet whistle. “Wow, cute. Forget Colin Firth.”
As casually as I could, I snuck a glance behind me.
The man was anything but cute.
He could have been anywhere from his late twenties to midthirties. His good looks weren’t marred by the thick and ropey scar that ran down the side of his face and neck. I could see him playing Double Oh Seven, not Darcy. But the way he carried himself—arrogant but guarded—seemed out of place in the quiet hospital. His gaze weighed and categorized everything it took in and made my stomach clench and my heart speed up.
Fight or flight?
I looked at Miriam. “Quit grinning at him,” I whispered. “He looks like a thug."

 There are just a very, very VERY select few authors that can entice me to read books with a first person POV format. Tiffany Allee is a member of that elite group. I especially loooove the fact that the POV switches from heroine to hero on a regular basis. I find it really hard to get involved with a character when I have no insights to their thoughts or feelings. Being the herocentric book skank that I am, this eliminates a great deal of books from my possible reading list. That's why I always jump at the chance to read a Tiffany Allee book. 

 I absolutely adored Karson. He was tough, damaged, scarred and had all but forsaken his humanity in pursuit of vengeance. Seeing Ava (I loved the old school names!) knock Karson on his hardened, but nicely muscled tuckus was a treat. He recognized her inner goodness at once and knew when she instantly ignited his he-man protective genes, she was going to mean BIG trouble for him. His inner battles were just delicious. 

Ava was extremely skittish, which of course was wise but still stood on a nerve. When her distrust leads to a FUBAR of major proportions, she did put on her worthy heroine panties and step up to the plate and thus gained the Sebella seal of approval. What was fantastic about Ava was her willingness to face up to the fact that she committed a major no-no. She didn't try to finagle her way out, I just thought this was EPIC. Not only does she take responsibility for herself, but for Karson and her best friend Miriam, heck she puts the whole of humanity on her small but incredibly strong shoulders.

 While this book is strongly character driven, there is an awesome story that takes place, demons, hunters, psychics, betrayal and good heartwarming romance. Not only did it warm my heart but it also reached a few other regions as well. While Ava needed to keep herself distant from physical touch, when she finally was able to let go, my girl was hell on wheels. (insert off color remark about Karson driving *snort*). I am keeping an eye on Karson's fellow hunter Caleb, and a few other secondarys that snagged my attention and curiosity. I certainly hope to see more of this crew and implore you to join the fan club.  



Top Ten Ways to Get Over Writer’s Block

First of all, thank you so much for having me here today. You have one of the coolest blog names I’ve ever encountered!    Cute Thank You

One of the most challenging issues for new and experienced writers alike is stalling out on a story. I used to believe that writer’s block didn’t really exist, and while I think giving it a title like this can give it too much power, I do know that many things can happen that can cause a writer to stall out on a story. I’ve experienced it myself, and these are some of the ways I’ve managed to push through. (These are in no particular order.)

1. Read more. Sometimes I feel like a well, and if I never refill the well with the
creative energy I feel after glutting on a bunch of good books, the well can dry up a little bit.

2. Plan it out. This can be especially helpful you’re not normally a planner. When I
first started writing, I found that my stories never went anywhere. I started
outlining, and suddenly I had a path to follow. I’m not sure I would have ever
finished a novel if I hadn’t started planning.

3. But not too much. I’ve also killed stories by overplanning. For some writers, if you get every detail out too soon, you can lose interest. Personally, I need at least my biggest beats to be planned somewhat ahead. How much I plan beyond that varies by story.

4. Reread what you have to try to recapture the zone. I’ve found this especially
helpful if it’s a project that you’ve had to stop and restart.

5. Examine the road your story is going down, is there something there that your
subconscious doesn’t feel right about?

6. Write some backstory scenes. Even if these aren’t from the point of view
character’s perspective, it can still be hugely helpful. Did something happen in the
hero (or villain’s) past that is greatly affecting their actions now? Write it out and see if that gives you new perspective to work from.

7. Write through the pain. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to write even when it feels like pulling teeth. Much of the time, it’ll get easier after a while.

8. Take a couple days away—but not too many—and try again.

9. Write the pivotal scenes, even if it means skipping around. These can not only give you a goal post, but they tend to be dramatic and interesting, and can help you regain your enthusiasm for the story.

10. Remember it’s just a first draft. Sometimes giving yourself permission to suck is all you need.

CPA-turned-romance-author Tiffany Allee used to battle spreadsheets in Corporate America, and now concentrates on her characters’ battles to find love. Raised in small-town Colorado, Tiffany currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, by way of Chicago and Denver. She is happily married to a secret romantic who tolerates her crazy mutterings.
She writes about ass-kicking heroines and the strong heroes who love them. Her work includes the suspense-driven From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency series which revolves around a group of paranormal cops solving crimes and finding love, and Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid, a lighthearted paranormal romance (Entangled Publishing).
Tiffany has an MBA in accounting and nearly a decade of experience in corporate finance. All super useful stuff for a writer who spends far too much time trying to figure out fun ways to keep her characters apart, and interesting ways to kill people (for her books—of course!).


**US Entrants Only**

$10 Amazon Gift Card and a
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Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid

Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister’s wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancé rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business.
Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he’s never met. And Alice’s offer comes at just the right time.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Monday, January 6, 2014
Paranormal Dimensions {Guest Post}
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Amberkatze’s Book Blog {Guest Post}
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Buy the Book Tours {Featured Guest Post}
[Insert Clever Quip Here] {Spotlight}
Thursday, January 9, 2014
For Whom The Books Toll {Author Interview}
Monday, January 13, 2014
Talk Supe {Author Interview}
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Authors’ Cafe {Author Interview}
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
HBS Author’s Spotlight {Author Interview}
Romancing the Dark Side {Guest Post}
Thursday, January 16, 2014
As the Pages Turn {Guest Post}
Nancy Jardine features {Author Interview}
Friday, January 17, 2014
Paranormal Realms {Guest Post}

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