To celebrate the release of the final book in the Second Chances series, Say Something (on July 14), I’m holding a HUGE contest with not just one prize, but three. So…if you don’t win the first time, you get a second chance…and then another one!
Week One prize (drawn July 8): signed copies of Wine & Moonlight AND Friends & Lovers (the first four Second Chances books in print)
Week Two prize (drawn July 15): $25 gift card to Amazon
Week Three GRAND PRIZE (drawn July 22): A Kindle Fire HD7, signed copies of Wine & Moonlight and Friends & Lovers, and a Samhain Publishing tote bag.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE (you can do one or all of them):
1. Sign up here to receive my newsletter.
2. Share one or all of the following tweets on Twitter (each tweet counts as one entry. Retweets welcome!):
Second Chances contest! Win Kindle Fire! Enter now! @MariCarr http://wp.me/p23kd5-34L #samhainpub #newrelease
Third mistake’s a charm. Say Something by @MariCarr http://amzn.to/1BsbEEs #samhainpub #amreading #newrelease
Past tense or future perfect? Say Something by @MariCarr http://amzn.to/1BsbEEs #samhainpub #amreading #newrelease
Everyone deserves a second chance. Say Something by @MariCarr http://amzn.to/1BsbEEs #samhainpub #amreading #newrelease
Wine, roses and a sexy lawyer. Game on! Say Something by @MariCarr http://amzn.to/1BsbEEs #samhainpub #amreading #newrelease
Fix You by @MariCarr. Just .99 cents for limited time http://amzn.to/1FKbzQq #samhainpub #amreading #99cents #bargainbooks
What if love can’t heal all wounds? Fix You by @MariCarr only .99 cents http://amzn.to/1FKbzQq #samhainpub #99cents #bargainbooks
3. Go to the Say Something post pinned at the top of my Facebook page. Comment and share the post to be entered.
4. Subscribe to my blog using the form in the far right column of this webpage. See it over there—–>
5. Share this contest post (using one of the “Share This” buttons) below.
Fix You, the first book in the Second Chances series, will be on sale for the low price of .99 cents starting today. The final book in the series, Say Something, releases on July 14. If you haven’t had an opportunity to try these 6 books, I’m hoping this special price will encourage you to give them a try. But…don’t delay. The sale will only run for three weeks.
What if love can’t heal all wounds?
Second Chances, Book 1
After too many years of secretly loving her best friend, Zoey realizes she’s been shortchanging herself. It’s time to take action. This New Year’s Eve heralds the year she’s going to tell Rob the truth. Even if he is on the road, reaching for musical stardom with his band.
Her plan is derailed when she discovers a lump in her breast—and it’s not “nothing to worry about”. How can she ask Rob to take a chance on love when her future is so uncertain?
Rob has spent his entire life chasing his dream, but the moment he hears Zoey’s voice on the phone, he realizes he’s been running the wrong race. Zoey never sounds like she’s been crying. Ever. Without a second thought, he books a flight for home, determined to give her everything she needs. A shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold…and nights of intensely emotional, passionate sex.
His biggest challenge, though, is convincing his best friend that he’s in it for the long haul. Because he finally knows what he wants, and it’s not fame and fortune. It’s her—and her love.
Warning: This book runs the emotional gamut between scorching-hot passion and the pain and fear associated with cancer. Keep a box of tissues next to your glass of ice water.
Rob stared down at Zoey’s face as she slept. Her eyes were still puffy from last night’s tears. Neither of them had moved from the couch. Instead, he’d lain down next to her and held her as she silently wept. Pinpricks attacked the arm he’d wrapped around her, his hand numb from lying in the same position for so long. He didn’t bother to move. It felt too good holding her like this.
Some truths were crashing down on him. He’d been an ass, living his life like he had all the time in the world. Their time on this planet was far from infinite, and yet he’d squandered years of it, working on his career, focusing solely on making it big.
For what? Fame? Money? Why the hell did he need that shit?
He’d always taken it for granted that Zoey would be here for him. How the fuck was he supposed to go on without her? The moment she’d told him about the cancer, the light had gone on.
I’m in love with her. Christ. I’ve been in love with her since the first day I laid eyes on her.
Zoey stirred. Rob’s heart began to race as her eyes opened slowly. He wasn’t wasting a second more. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t.
She was disoriented for a moment before she lifted her gaze and smiled.
With his free hand, he stroked her face softly. “Zoey.” Her name fell from his lips on a hushed whisper, his chest constricting under the weight of every emotion under the sun—love, fear, happiness, panic, a raging case of nervousness.
What if she didn’t feel the same way?
He took a deep breath. Fear wasn’t going to hold him back another second longer. “I’m going to break my promise.”
He didn’t respond. Instead, he bent his head and kissed her. Time froze as their lips met. Rob was transported back to that day in the park, to the truth that should have been obvious all those years ago. He’d been a blind, inexperienced boy back then, but now…his eyes were wide open.
It was her. Zoey. For him, it had always been her.
The kiss was a gentle touch at first, but when Zoey’s lips softened and accepted his, he deepened it. Her small hand cupped his cheek, exploring his face hesitantly before growing bolder, stroking it.
The smell of cinnamon enveloped them, her candle still burning from the night before. He knew in his heart that from now on, that scent would always make him think of her. Of this moment.
His heart lodged in his throat when he realized the magnitude of what was happening, of what he wanted to happen next. He was kissing his best friend. And she was kissing him back.
Encouraged, he opened his mouth, stroking his tongue against hers. The kiss grew harder, hungrier. For several minutes—hell, it could have been hours for all Rob knew—they simply kissed, learning each other’s taste, texture. Her skin was soft beneath his fingers as he caressed her delicate cheek. Her breathing grew heavier, the heat of it warm against his skin.
When he finally moved away, she was there, looking at him, studying his face. Hers was the picture of confusion, wariness…and desire. He latched onto the last like a dying man clinging to life. She wanted him.
“Still weird?” He needed the joke, needed to get his bearings. His emotions were too raw, too new, too close to the surface.
She shook her head slowly. “No. Not even close.”
“Good. I’ve been practicing.”
She laughed uneasily. “You’re insane. What the hell prompted that?”
He knew her. Knew she’d try to twist this into something innocent, funny. He wouldn’t let her. He ran his hand through her dark hair, overwhelmed by the need to touch her. “Just figured it was past time. You mind if we talk about this after?”
He let his body answer the question. Turning so they lay face to face on the couch, he placed his lips back on hers. He didn’t want to push her. After all, she’d just received life-altering, horrible news. He’d keep things easy, let her set the pace.
She didn’t resist his kisses. Her hand traveled along his shoulders and down his arm before landing on his chest. Her lips pressed against his harder. Then she moved away, an infinitesimal distance.
“Touch me,” she whispered, her hand fisting in the cotton of his shirt.
He didn’t need to be told twice. His hands roamed along her sides, drifted beneath her T-shirt.
She shivered when he caressed the bare skin of her waist. He stoked her arousal, kissing her harder as he explored every bit of bare flesh he could reach beneath her shirt. He forced air into his lungs, fought to keep his hands steady as he touched her.
The slight tremor in his hands seemed to distract her. She was the first to pull back. “Robbie, are you sure—?”
“After,” he repeated. He gripped her hip, dragging her closer. There was no way she could misconstrue how far he’d go if she was willing. His cock was hard, ready.
She bit her lip and he could sense she was struggling to make a decision. He wouldn’t force her into anything she wasn’t ready for. Hell, he’d be perfectly content to spend the next dozen years or so simply kissing her. Making up for so many wasted years. “Zoey—”
She shook her head and closed her eyes, but not before he read the hungry need there. Then she lifted one leg and wrapped it around his thigh. She thrust closer. It was an outright invitation. “After,” she whispered, her voice steadier than he expected.
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get.” – Ray Bradbury
Over the course of the past year, you’ve no doubt seen a tidal wave of re-releases from me. I suspect you’re thinking “what the heck is she doing?” The answer is simple. I’m old. Okay–not old old. Just an older writer. So…many of the contracts on my earlier books were coming to term, which left me with a decision to make. Keep them with the publisher or take them back. I opted to take them back. In the past couple of years, I’ve begun self-publishing and the truth is it suits me. This may come to absolutely NO surprise to some of you, but I’m a bit of a control freak! Publishing my own books gives me complete creative control over my work. Everything from the cover to the price to the marketing of the stories is in my hands.
The truth is I haven’t loved every cover I’ve ever gotten. Authors are given little to no input on covers at some pubs. There is nothing worse than seeing your beautiful baby in an ugly outfit. And there were quite a few of my books that were selling for ridiculously high prices, which made them cost prohibitive for readers on a budget. By taking my books back, I could fix the things I didn’t like, put a fresh face on old stories and try a little creative marketing. The learning curve has been steep, but I think I’m a bit savvier now than I was last August!
Today, I thought I’d offer you a quick recap of my Do Over books to let you know what I’ve changed and why. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about the new covers, titles, etc.
The Wild Irish series. I was delighted to “reclaim” these books because I’ve always loved them so. First of all, let me say–I didn’t change a single title or word on the inside. If you bought the books from Ellora’s Cave, you own the stories. They are the same. However, all 8 books have new covers that I absolutely adore. The first book, Come Monday, is permanently free. That means new readers can test drive the series without dropping down a dime. If you like Come Monday, you can find the first four books in a reduced price box set. Four books for the price of two.
The Foreign Affairs series. This was an exciting do over for Lexxie Couper and I because we genuinely loved writing these stories. However, for some reason we couldn’t quite work out, they never really sold well. This is one of the great mysteries of publishing and something that drives authors nuts – trying to determine why some books sell while others don’t. Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone’s ever really solved the puzzle. By grabbing these books back, Lexxie and I had an opportunity to see if we could turn the low sales tide. I’m happy to say…we did! The stories remained the same, but we changed the titles (dropping the gangly Misplaced in front of all the descriptors) so they were pithier and hotter. We made some super sexy covers with that bright splash of purple. And then, we lowered the price. These books were grossly overpriced with the publisher, so we followed the same pattern I’d had success with on the Wild Irish books. We made book one, Princess, permanently free and we created a reduced-price box set. You can now get all four books for the price of two with just one little click.
The Lowell High series. These two books released during my very first year in publishing, so they were LONG overdue for a facelift and some work. I basically changed everything about them! I’d always hated the original covers, so I gave them new ones that I adore. I was never fond of the titles. My original titles were unavailable with the pub, so I was left with Retreat and Covert Lessons. Retreat was okay, but I thought Covert Lessons was sort of dumb. So…Bound by the Past (Retreat) and Covert Affairs (Covert Lessons) were born. I actually did rewrite these. I cleaned up my rookie mistakes and took another stab at the ending of Bound by the Past. It was a romantic suspense and I always thought I’d wrapped it up too quickly. I took the opportunity to expand upon the ending and make it more exciting. I also made them more affordable. They’re longer stories (novel-length) and you can grab them for $2.99 each. If you haven’t given them a look, I hope you will. They remain two of my all-time favorites. Also, don’t forget to pick up the fun companion short story, Scoring. It’s a freebie.
The Scoundrels series. Oh man…these books fall into the HATED THE COVERS category. Big time. Now? Two of my absolute favorite covers ever. The stories remain the same, titles the same. However, I’ve put together a box set that includes the original two stories, Black Jack and White Knight, as well as three companion short stories I’d written in the same world. You can grab all five of those stories in the Scoundrels box set for a pretty reasonable price.
The Madison Girls books. I don’t really call this a series because it’s just two connected books. Kiss Me, Kate was my very first book with Ellora’s Cave way back in 2008. Dear Kate feels like a lovely old friend to me. I didn’t mind the original cover on the book, though I’ll admit Rhian Cahill sort of cursed me when she mentioned a fairly…um…how can I say this politely? Let’s just say the female cover model’s headlights were on HIGH beam. Once they were pointed out, I couldn’t UNsee it. I started calling it the Pointy Nipple cover. Damn that Rhian! The stories remained the same, as did the titles. The two books have new covers and are in a box set. Buy the set and save a buck!
And miscellaneous others! In addition to the series listed above I’ve also re-released three other stories–Spitfire, Rekindled and Assume the Positions–with new covers and prices. While I’m not saying much about them, I really do hope you’ll check them out. The two cowboy stories (Spitfire and Rekindled) are only .99 cents and Assume the Positions is a super-fun romantic comedy (the perfect beach read).
For now…that’s it on the re-releases, but that doesn’t mean I’m finished. I recently received the rights back to my very first published book ever, Erotic Research. It’s going to be off the market for a little while as it needs some work! I’ll keep you up-to-date on its progress.
I swear it feels like it’s been a hundred years since I’ve been here. My spring and early summer sort of exploded with travel, work commitments, a conference, graduation, a wedding, a yard sale and about a million other things that have kept me hopping. I’m happy to say today is the first day in what I hope will be a month of NOTHINGNESS. My plan for the next four weeks is to get back to what I love–writing. I have several projects going at the moment and I just spent the last hour or so updating my Coming Soon page as well as several series pages. Thought I’d take a minute to catch you all up to speed on all of this because I don’t think I’ve talked about any of this…which is crazy because I’m super excited about all of it.
Let’s see…what’s first? Oh! I have a HUGE contest starting next week in conjunction with the release of Say Something on July 14. It starts next Wednesday. Big prizes and fun! Be sure to check back for that. Say Something is Georgie’s story and it’s a fun one–I love writing romantic comedy. Georgie reminded me a lot of Riley from the Wild Irish series. It was a blast writing another zany character. Georgie made me laugh. A lot. Though I will admit I was damn sad to say goodbye to the wine girls. Say Something is available for preorder everywhere right now. The buy links are here at the bottom. If you haven’t had a chance to read this series or if you’ve been waiting for all of them to release, I hope you’ll give them a peek now.
Other projects on slate include my participation in a .99 cent box set. First Taste is available for preorder now and includes 6 very hot alpha Dom stories. If you’re into 50 Shades and the BDSM scene, this group of books is worth a peek. It includes first in series stories by Sidney Bristol, Michele Bardsley, Sadie Haller, Sasha White, L. Dubois and moi. Heehee. It rhymes. Grab it now because that low price is only there for a short while.
I’m also currently working on two series that I love. First is the Boys of Fall that I’m writing with Erin Nicholas and Cari Quinn. Basically the three of us have created a world of football and romance because what says happily ever after better than a tight end and a little scoring. LOL. There will be nine books in the series in all–we’re each writing three. The first batch (Free Agent, Going Long and Out of Bounds) released in January. Buy links here. The next three (Red Zone, Going Deep and Illegal Motion) are hitting the shelves on Oct. 1. They will be available for preorder right around July 1. I’ll post the buy links when they go live. I plotted Red Zone during a train trip from London to Edinburgh last week and today I wrote the blurb. Then my amazing editor Kelli Collins rewrote it because mine sucked so bad. That woman can write the hell out of a blurb!
Dying to show it off, so here goes:
Unlike so many of his teammates, Joel never left small-town Quinn after high school. Coach Carr offered him a full-time job on his ranch, and Joel was more than happy to stay near family. In his downtime, Joel good-naturedly competes with his best bud Oakley for the sexy local bartender’s attention, but Sadie repeatedly turns down their frequent requests for dates. She doesn’t want to come between the two friends…until a little too much champagne at a wedding reception leads to a sizzling encounter. In that moment, Joel and Oakley know they’ll never make Sadie choose — she can have them both.
A no-strings affair between the trio turns complicated when it becomes clear there’s nothing casual about their feelings. Add in a sensual, accidental touch between Joel and Oakley, and those feelings become intense times a thousand. It’s an emotional game of chance, one they may ultimately lose…but if they can reach the Red Zone, Joel, Oakley and Sadie have a chance at the biggest score of their lives.
Warning: This is a full-contact story with scenes of m/m/f sex.
And finally, I want to mention my newest series, Sparks in Texas. Just like Harry was the horcrux Voldemort never intended to create, this was the series I never really planned to write! I participated in a holiday-themed collection last June, contributing a little story called Sparks Fly. I really thought it was just going to be a standalone story, but as soon as the words hit the page, I realized I had WAY more to write in that world, so the Sparks family was born – a big, raucous group of cousins, aunts and uncles (not unlike my real family). Evan was the first cousin featured in Sparks Fly. The second in the series, Waiting for You, is currently a part of Brenda Novak’s Sweet Seduction box set (all proceeds raised from the sale of that set goes to diabetes research). That set is only on sale for one more week. At that point, Waiting for You will be available for individual sale. Waiting for You is the story of Sydney Sparks and her first love, Chas, a former Marine who returns from the Middle East intent on winning Sydney’s heart. However, his time overseas has left him with some deep scars and suffering from PTSD. Next up in this series is Something Sparked. See my pretty new cover? Guess that says it all, right? It’s an m/m/f menage with sexy firefighters and sparks flaring up in and out of the bedroom. It’s coming out September 1 and I hope to have it up for preorder by the end of July.
I guess that’s it for now, though I suspect I’ll remember three more things I planned to tell you as soon as I publish this blog! Hope everyone has a lovely week.
“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good just because it’s accepted by a majority.” – Anonymous
“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss
A new day has dawned for the Trinity Masters as the fifth book in the series, Hidden Devotion, releases today. There is a new Grand Master. When she makes a shocking discovery, everything she ever believed about the secret society is thrown into question. Everything changes with this book!
Trinity Masters, book 5
Juliette Adams has spent her life running…from her father, from her arranged marriage, from her Trinity Masters legacy. Until the day everything changed and she became Grand Master–a position she was never meant to hold.
Devon Asher has more than a few secrets, the least of which is his desperate love for Juliette, which shouldn’t be a problem since they were betrothed as children. Now that she’s Grand Master, his secrets aren’t safe.
Franco Garcia Santiago always assumed the tales of the Trinity Masters were fantastical yarns spun by his grandfather, until Juliette appears at his door. Together they delve into the organization’s secrets, unaware of the impending danger.
Juliette must decide if she’ll turn her back on her destiny or embrace the role of Grand Master, and if she’ll use her power to discontinue the trinity marriages she grew up despising, or follow her heart, which tells her happiness lies with both Devon and Franco.
Juliette and Sebastian were legacies of the Trinity Masters, America’s oldest and most powerful secret society. The society had been established as the country was born. Members were given unparalleled access to the resources and support of other members. Joining was a guarantee of success, and members excelled in every type of industry, from politics to art and science. The founders had seen the potential to strengthen the foundation of the new republic by taking the best and brightest Americans and having them support each other.
But there was more to it than a vague idea of support. Members had to agree to an arranged marriage—the price of security and success was their choice in who they’d marry.
And marriages between members of the Trinity Masters weren’t arranged between two people, but three.
Sebastian had finally found his voice. “Are we talking about the same Harrison?”
“Apparently he’d been in love with this woman forever, and was willing to risk it all to be with her.”
“Is he…I mean, have his councilors…” Sebastian had lowered his voice, and the skin around his eyes was tight with concern.
Breaking any of the laws of the Trinity Masters was very risky. Harsh punishments were meted out to any who disobeyed. One of those laws was that once the Grand Master had assigned someone to a trinity—usually in their late twenties or early thirties—they had thirty days to marry, even if they’d never met their partners before. Since the Grand Master was the one person who could choose his own trinity, there was an age limit by which he had to marry. Other rules included no divorce unless necessary for secrecy’s sake or other political reasons, and no discussing the Trinity Masters with outsiders.
Disobedience was almost unheard of. Juliette had grown up trading whispered stories about what had happened to people who broke the rules—framed for hideous crimes and locked up for life, scandals created that ruined careers, bank accounts drained, and spouses and children forbidden from ever speaking to the offenders again. They were the Trinity Masters’ version of the boogieman tales.
To break a rule was nearly unheard of. For the Grand Master to do so was…inconceivable.
“The woman joined. He’s married now. To one of his councilors, Michael, and Alexis—she’s a doctor.”
“But?” Sebastian gestured for her to continue. He knew that couldn’t be the end of the story.
“But his other councilors forced him to step down as Grand Master.”
“Holy fuck.” He went on in several languages, not true cursing but using amusing, if vulgar expressions of astonishment.
Juliette snorted out a laugh. “Bastian, such language.”
Sebastian glared at her. He hated the nickname. “My apologies, Ms. Adams.”
Juliette bared her teeth. She hated her last name because it reminded her of her father, of who she’d grown up as—the daughter of the Grand Master.
The brief moment of amusement disappeared. Everything she’d told Sebastian was background information. The really shocking bit she had yet to say out loud.
“Does everyone know?” Sebastian asked.
Juliette shook her head. “They’re trying to keep it quiet.”
“That’s safer; if anyone thought there was a power—” Sebastian’s teeth snapped together as he stopped speaking abruptly. His gaze met Juliette’s.
“Jules,” he whispered, using an old childhood nickname, “who is the new Grand Master?”
Juliette Adams took a deep breath. “I am.”
“Live each day as if it were the last day of your life, because, so far, it is.” – Unknown