02 September 2014


Title: Love Undercover
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction (Sweet, Multicultural)
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Release Date: September 13, 2014

The last thing she expects is to fall in love with a prison guard…

Hotshot Secret Service Agent, Sarita Cerez is thrown into a medium security prison—for work. Her job is to protect the daughter of the president of South Korea. She never envisioned making friends with illegal immigrants or falling head over heels for one of the guards. Now the clandestine activity, which is integral to protecting her charge, may destroy her only chance at love.

He's never fraternized with the inmates—until he met her…

Matthew Carter always plays by the rules, which includes maintaining a strictly professional relationship with the inmates in his charge. But when Sarita saunters onto the unit, all bets are off. Her status as a deportee with a permanent ticket to Columbia means they can never be together, but try as he might, this doesn’t stop him from risking his career for her.

He's a man who values honesty above all else, and she lies for a living. Can two people from such different worlds find any common ground?

As inappropriate as the situation had turned out to be, Sarita was his. At least until she returned to Columbia in what? A few days? A week? No matter when, she would go. “No wife or girlfriend to hang out with.”
Her chest deflated with her released breath. He wished he could have taken her air into himself. I’m screwed. “What about you? Are you married or have a boyfriend waiting to break you out of here at the first opportunity?”
Her eyes blazed into his. “Single as single can be.”
The admission sparked something deep within him. He had to touch her. Nothing else mattered except having his fingers glide over her flawless mocha skin. The all-encompassing urge pushed him to stand.
With a controlled effort he strode to the area across from the television and leaned against the wall.
On every unit, one spot existed where neither the cameras nor inmates could see.
Management knew about it, but the cost of adding a third camera would be too expensive for the facility to contemplate so they left it. At least that’s the story Matt had been told.
He’d never used the spot, but as he waited for her to join him, he couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
He motioned her to him with a crook of his index finger. “Come here.”

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

Twitter: @NanaPrah
Goodreads: Nana Prah
Google + :  Nana Prah   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

01 September 2014

Jordan Takes Over, with Special Guest: ME!

Ok, ok, I take full blame for this one. When Heather M. Gardner asked for volunteers to pass on the Meet My Character Blog Tour to, I sort of jumped on board without even thinking. I soon realized the day I needed to post was also the first Monday of the month, which is of course the day I always let Jordan write a guest post. Uh oh. He wasn’t too happy. But in my defense, it is only my love and obsession for him that made me want to answer these character questions in the first place.

So I got to thinking—wouldn’t it be fun to have the blog tour AND Jordan’s post on the same day?! He didn’t share my enthusiasm, of course, but he’s going along with it. So we’re both going to be answering the questions! To minimize confusion, I’ll be typing in black and Jordan will be in blue.

Whoa, wait, what? Why do I have to be blue? I don’t want to be blue!
Ok, fine! I’ll be blue. There, happy?
Why can’t I be gray? Gray is my color. You know this.
Because my blog background is gray. You know this.
You think I pay attention to that shit? I just write my posts. I don’t worry about the details.
Can we start now?
No no no! You type in black, I’ll type in blue. There! Let’s get started now, ok?
So cranky…

First, business! I was nominated for the Meet My Character Blog tour by the awesome—
You call everyone awesome…
Shut up! Anyway…the AWESOME (deal with it) Heather M. Gardner!

Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips.

As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend, who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats.

Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Facebook Author Page: Heather Writes Romance
Twitter: @hmgardner
Goodreads: Heather M. Gardner

And now, for the questions! I apologize for any bickering or rambling that is about to happen. If you read the whole thing, you get a cupcake!
She's lying. There are no cupcakes. And if there were, I would have eaten them all. So there are no cupcakes.

1) What is the name of your character?  Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
  Full name?
If you must…
Ok! My main character is named…drumroll please…
From who? Me? I don’t think so.
*sigh* Jordan Mason Palmer! Although his middle name doesn’t come up in the book…
That’s because it’s STUPID.
Anyhoo, he’s a fictional character. 
That’s what she thinks.

2) When and where is the story set?
It takes place in modern day New York City. 
In the bedroom, mostly…
That’s not true!
Ok, on couches. And the kitchen.
I was trying to create juxtaposition between the busy city that the characters live in and their need to be isolated. So yes, it mostly takes place within the characters’ apartments. 

3) What should we know about him/her?
Where do I begin…?
Maybe I should handle this. Jordan is fifteen, pretty much lives alone because his mom is always working or…err…
She fucks her boss! 
Right, so for various reasons, she’s never home. But he’s ok with this. What’s unique about Jordan is that he’s always looking for something interesting—some way he can manipulate a person or play some kind of game where he is in complete control. He’s always looking for the next thrill. So for example, when the book starts, he’s trying to fail his math class just to see how long it takes the teacher to confront him. He’s kind of a borderline sociopath, honestly. 
     You left out the most important part!
     I like boys! 
Oh, I thought everyone knew that already. He’s a great singer, too! He likes walks in Central Park and people watching. And any kind of dessert, especially chocolate. 
     Are you telling people about me or trying to find me a date? 
      I'm not--
     Only cute boys need apply, thank you. 

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
My life doesn’t get messed up. I mess up other people’s lives.
What about when one of your friends punched you in the face? 
  That only messed up my complexion. 
Right, so, conflict! So when his teacher figures out his little game he calls Jordan’s mom, who, in her cluelessness (or maybe not…) hires a private tutor to keep him in line. What Jordan doesn’t expect is to get a huge crush on his new tutor, Tom. When he figures out that Tom is gay, he just has to find a way to get something to happen between them. But Tom is 28, so even when he admits to being attracted to Jordan, he refuses to do anything about it. 
Yeah, see, that’s where he fucked up. I don’t take refusal well. 
Since Jordan’s mind is constantly plotting, he comes up with a whole scheme that allows them to be physical but with specific boundaries. They start by just kissing and very gradually take it further. And it becomes a trade, really, where a kiss is worth something. Like, since Tom cooks—he makes Jordan dinner and then they make out for a while. 
You make it sound ridiculous when it was really GENIUS… 
The point is that the structure is always in place. Jordan gets whatever he wants and they get to be physical, but it’s still safe. 
You forgot to tell them that Tom is a pervert.
He’s an ephebophile. 
No one knows what that is! 
He’s exclusively attracted to a certain age group—like around 14-16. For obvious legal reasons, he’s repressed those desires but his guilt over feeling them has led him to become a recluse (besides doing his job). He agrees to Jordan’s game because it allows him to give in to those desires but with the strict boundaries in place, so it feels safe. Jordan controls every second of their relationship, which is what they both want, because Tom is afraid of losing control. AGH. Ok, I’m done. No wonder I had such a hard time summarizing this in a query…
Huh, what? Sorry, I fell asleep. 

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Food and handjobs, mostly. 
     *glares* I’d say if you boil it down, his main goal is to be in constant control of the situation. Being able to manipulate someone who is nearly twice his age is a huge rush. But his more immediate goals are constantly changing as what he wants changes. The more he learns about Tom, the more he feels he can manipulate him and get what he wants. 
I wasn’t lying about the food…
I know you weren’t. 
He makes me pasta from scratch! And desserts! So many desserts…
The food is supposed to represent a hunger. First, a literal one for food because his mother has never been present in his life so he’s never had a home cooked meal or a cookie fresh out of the oven. Second, a sexual hunger, because he’s pretty much known that he’s gay since he was 8 years old but hasn’t been able to do anything with another guy until he meets Tom. And third is a hunger for life—something to be passionate about. He sees other people with their passions and he can’t fathom being able to care about something on that level, but that changes when he and his friend Eric start to explore their love of music. 
Whoa. That was deep. 
Thank you.
You didn’t tell them about the cupcakes! 

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
     Phew, ok, this is an easy one. The title for this novel is Uneven Lines, and the only place to read about it at this point is here on my blog. 
     Because it’s ALL she ever talks about. 

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
     Probably never, at this rate…
     Oh, come on, I can be very persuasive. Just point me at the agents!
     Writing the query from the character's point of view is a big no-no.
     Who said I was going to write it? I was thinking something like bribery. Or seduction...

Well, there you have it! I'm sure I lost everyone somewhere along the way...Now to pass the tour along to three more people! And wooooooooo I finally have all three! Is anyone still looking at this post? Crickets? 

Crystal R. Martin

Crystal R. Martin is an as yet unpublished author. She enjoys living a creative life and hopes you will give her stories a read.

Crystal Martin on Google+
Tweet With Me
The Write Life

Crystal Collier

Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 

  Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Website

S.E. Dee

Born in 1987, Hackney, London, Shay suffered a major mishap at the age of two when she came across a pencil and sheet of paper. Twenty odd years later, you could say the result from that encounter was having her right hand replaced with a Bic Pen - blue if she can help it. (Hence her Blue Bic Blog and matching @bluebicblog)

As a stay at home mum raising a crazier reincarnation of herself, Shay often delves into the world of Young Adult/Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but when escapism is compulsory, she’s not afraid to pen the wEiRd either…

27 August 2014

Who Wants In?

Can't talk for long, I'm deep in the editing trenches, getting attacked on all sides by passive voice and a weak subplot!

So the high of entering Pitch Wars has mostly died down, since I'm about 99.99999999999999% sure that I'm not going to get picked by a mentor. We won't know for sure until the 3rd, but since I haven't gotten a request for a synopsis or more pages, I'm doubtful. But apparently there's a chance you can still get picked if one of the mentors feels strongly enough just reading the first chapter. *sigh* So I have no idea. I mean, I think my first chapter is good, but will anyone else?

Anyway, I'm still trying to edit as much as I can with this outlook in mind: if I did somehow get picked, what parts of my manuscript would I not want the mentor to see? *cough* sex scene *cough* So that's how I'm approaching it, as well as going through trying to fine tune the language--which mostly consists of trying to cut down on all of my uses of the word "was." This is the kind of thing I'm dealing with here:

Someone hand me my machete. It's a jungle of WAS!
Anyhoo, what I really need right now are some victims volunteers for the Meet My Character blog tour! It's super awesome. All you have to do is answer seven questions about your WIP's main character. Sounds fun, right? I'm obsessed with my characters so I was all over it. Check out Heather M. Gardner's post to see an example. And these are the seven questions you'd have to answer:

1) What is the name of your character?  Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
2) When and where is the story set?
3) What should we know about him/her?
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
7) When can we expect the book to be published?

Easy and fun, right? All I need are three volunteers to pass this along to, so let me know in the comments if you'd like to do it and I'll send you an email with the details. My post is this upcoming Monday, so you would do yours a week later (not that I'm strict about it--hell, do it whenever you want!). 

Oh, and since this post falls on the day that Jordan usually takes over, I'm going to be doing a joint post with him. I figured he wouldn't mind since I'd be answering all the questions about him, anyway. This could be a complete disaster, so make sure to come back and check it out! :)

And volunteer! I'll make you cupcakes! Ok, maybe not, since I can't email a cupcake, but you know...

25 August 2014

Hope Series Cover Reveal

**Before I get to the cover reveal...I'm going to attempt to poke a few people with a stick. Who wants to take place in an awesome blog hop that will ask you questions about your WIP's main character? Huh? Come on, you know you want to. I know you're just as obsessed with your characters as I am...I need three people to pass this along to, so if you'd like to join in, let me know in the comments and I'll contact you. I'll be here all week to bother you people so you might as well get it over with :)...All right, enough of this nonsense!**

Hope Series by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: © Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs

Book #1
Title: Hope For Her
Author: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Series: Hope Series, Book #1
Publication Date: October 1st
Hope for Her (Hope Series Book #1)
What do you hope for?

No one ever expected much from him.

Joshua Elijah Griffin, IV is on his last chance. A stint in rehab and a transfer to a new school has scared him into putting his life on track. He’s determined to live up to his family’s expectations, but on the first day of class, Josh meets a girl. He knows his father won’t approve, but in Carrington, he sees a kindred spirit. He's willing to give up everything to be with her.

No one ever thought much of her.

Carrington Olivia Butler is ready to shine. Always in the background, she goes away to college to break out of her shell. Carrington wants to feel special. Josh's attention is exactly what she craves, but their intense and sometimes volatile relationship is more than she bargained for.
As their relationship progresses, Josh’s demons return, and Carrington’s feelings fade, but they aren’t ready to give up hope. They give their love one last shot to survive, but hope, may not be enough.

**This book contains adult subject matter. Not intended for young readers.**

Pre-Order Hope For Her:

Hope For Him ( Hope Series, Book #2 ): What do you hope for, now?
- Available December 2014
Hope For Us ( Hope Series #3 ): What do you hope for, still?
- Available February 2015
About The Author
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a New Adult Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader and movie fanatic. Sydney has been blogging at sydneyaaliyah.com for three years, where she interviews people about their tattoos, discusses her favorite movie quotes, reviews books (New Adult & only the ones she loves) and journals about her writing and editing process. Hails from Texas. After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer. Sydney’s self-published debut New Adult Novel Another New Life released June 2014. An active tweeter, she is also a JuNoWriMo (2x) and NaNoWriMo (2x) winner who notes the sci-fi action flick “The Matrix” as the best representation of her life in the past. She is blessed to be awake now and doing what she loves.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hope For Her by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Hope For Her

by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Giveaway ends October 01, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

22 August 2014

Day 3 of the Freaky Name Coincidences

Last one, I swear...until something like this happens again...My brain doesn't seem to want to work today, so I'll try to make this short, and then go make a second cup of coffee.

What's in a Middle Name?

I've always given my characters middle names. It's one of those fun little facts that probably won't even show up in any book, but makes the character feel like a real person. So when I started writing Uneven Lines, I wanted to come up with middle names for my characters.

I actually came up with the middle name for the second most important character, Tom, first. Apart from also liking sexually ambiguous names, I also like names that can be shortened in different ways (I had a character named Drew in the fantasy book I used to work on, his first name actually being Andrew). I like to have the character's whole name--first, middle, and last--flow nicely together. I pulled "James" out of thin air for this character and I liked it. Not with Tom, obviously--too short--but with Thomas. Thomas James Callahan. I liked it. So I moved on.

It took me forever to come up with Jordan's middle name (you'd think he would just tell me, but nooooooo). I didn't want to settle for anything that didn't feel perfect. At some point I knew I wanted it to start with an M (it just felt right). I went through lists of boys' M names over and over and over again, trying to find the right one. Eventually I stumbled upon "Mason." I liked it--it seemed different, unique. I came up with an entire back story for why that would be his middle name--it was actually his grandfather's first name and would have been his first name if his mom didn't throw a fit (she was only 15 when he was born). She hates her family, so she hates her son's middle name. Will any of this be in the book? Of course not, but it's fun to come up with these little details. So now my main character had a full name: Jordan Mason Palmer.

You'd think that would be the end of it, but no, of course not. For a brief moment, I thought about their middle names at the same time. Wait a second, I thought...why does that sound so familiar?

I pulled up the IMDb app on my phone, and then literally facepalmed. Of course! James Mason. The actor! And what role do I know him best in...? Humbert Humbert in the film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, one of my favorite novels of all time. And one giant source of inspiration for this particular novel I'm working on. My heart skipped a beat when I work-shopped the original short story and one of my classmates described it as a "gay, backwards Lolita." Plot-wise, of course--not meaning it was anywhere near as good as Lolita. At all. But anyway...

It happened again! Something weird about my character's names. As with the other freaky occurrences, I left the names the way they were. No one was ever going to know my character's middle names, anyway, and if they did, maybe they would notice and think I did it on purpose.

Yeah, right! I find the universe is usually more in control of things than I am.

20 August 2014

Day 2 of the Freaky Name Coincidences

Back for more, huh? Did you see my new profile picture?! I love it, and you know how much I hate pictures of myself, so that's saying a lot! My old picture was over three years old so I figured it was a time for a change. I still have the same glasses, though...

So here is the next post in my Week of Freaky Name Coincidences. This one is originally from January, 2012. Also, I should point out that I absolutely love sexually ambiguous names. I have no idea why. I'll probably give them to any children I have, but for now I'll settle for my characters...

What's in a Sexually Ambiguous Name? 

Let me preface this by saying that the “What’s in a Name” blog was not supposed to be a two-parter. But as usual, things are beyond my control. Believe me, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

I had a new character to name. Since she was only going to appear in one chapter (and in a quick cameo near the end of the book), she wasn’t all that important on the grand scale of things. But in the chapter itself, she was very important. I call her the “Last Straight Temptation of Jordan Palmer,” since he almost has sex with her before deciding that he’d rather lose his virginity to a guy.

Within this chapter, she’s a very striking character. Almost like the female counterpart to Jordan, an adversary even. She shows up suddenly, challenges his attitudes, his beliefs, and serves as a temporary temptation. Basically, she doesn’t put up with his bullshit, which he finds incredibly sexy, and her desire for him may or may not be completely based on getting revenge on another girl, so he finds that intriguing. So at least for this scene, this girl was important, and to give her some dignity, I had to name her.

Since I started writing my novel in early 2011, I have it stuck in my head that this is when it takes place, so I figured this 15-year-old girl was born in 1995. So I cruised the internet to my favorite name site, behindthename.com, and found the list of popular names in 1995. I scrolled past the typical names—Jessica, Ashley, Emily, Brittany, and my own name, which was #5—in search of a name that spoke to me.

My eyes stopped on #29: Madison. I liked it instantly. And not just because it was different than all of those stereotypical girl names, but because, like Jordan, the name could be either a boy’s or a girl’s. It seemed kind of perfect, to put both characters on the same level and watch them butt heads.

That would have been the end of it—the decision had already been made—but curiosity got the better of me. To the left of the list of girls’ names were the top 100 boys’ names for that year as well. I’m not sure what made me look at it at all. Some force of nature, it seemed, because then I just happened to see #29 on the boys’ side. It was Jordan. Those two names had been standing side by side the entire time, and I hadn’t even noticed. Madison was even more perfect than I had thought.

I can’t really explain why these things keep happening to me. I just kind of go with it. I’m sure someday I’ll be writing Part Three…

Like on Friday! Come back to check out the strange coincidence with my main characters’ middle names…

18 August 2014

#PitchWars Mentee Bio!

A quick little interruption to this week's themed posts, because I just found out this was a thing! I just finished my Pitch Wars submission this afternoon, so I figured I would put up a bio that my potential mentors can see. Check out the list of other mentee bios here!  I pretty much just slapped this thing together in about twenty minutes. Here goes!

About Me

I just turned 27 a little over a week ago. I live in a tiny studio apartment above a movie theater with my cat and my fiancé, who is a stand-up comedian. I can be extremely obsessive about things. I’m a straight chick who writes a lot of m/m fiction. I love cupcakes, Broadway musicals, and generally being a hermit.

My Writing History

I started out writing and drawing a picture book series about mice when I was 8. Yes, mice. There was the king mouse, fairy godmother mouse, astronaut mouse…you get it. When I was a teenager, I used to write all fantasy, all the time. I was all about vampires and pretty much worshiped Anne Rice. I also wore way too much eyeliner. In college, I took two semesters of fiction writing courses where we wrote short stories. The thing is, I’m not really that good at writing short stories. All of my ideas are always too big. The classes left me jaded and with no good writing to show for it. I switched to poetry for most of my college career after that, until…In my last semester I took one more fiction course, because I thought, why the hell not? For that class, I wrote a short story that would eventually become my novel, Uneven Lines. Creating this story turned me onto writing gay fiction, and I haven’t looked back. Most of my other novel ideas fall into this genre, but really, almost all of my creativity is spent working on this particular novel. If I could find a common thread in all of the novels I’ve worked on, I’d say I like to write about teenagers who find themselves in very adult situations.

My Muse

When I started writing my novel, I fell head over heels in love with the narrator, Jordan. Yes, he’s 15. And gay. It’s not like that. He decided to live inside my brain and has been hanging out there ever since (over 3 years now!).  He yells at me inspires me to be passionate about my writing, and I’ve never cared more for a piece of my writing than I do for this book. He’s a snarky little bastard (literally) who I let write a guest post here on my blog once a month. He gives a muse’s perspective and usually tells people what to do. Check out his posts here.

Reasons Why You Would Want to Read My Book!

I feel like being vague with this, so here’s a jumbled list:

Lots of moral ambiguity. Masturbation with lemon bars. Flirting while solving a geometric proof. Erection causing cupcakes. Sexy scenes that you don’t want find sexy but you do. The more than occasional but not overused f-bomb. Vague references to cannibalism that most people won’t even notice. Chapter 17 will make you want to punch me in the face. Eric is probably the coolest person ever.  Ephebophilia. Teenage pregnancy. Making out on the kitchen floor while baking chocolate chip cookies. And of course, my darling Jordan.
Well, that's it. Thanks for checking out my bio!