Sunday, March 31, 2013

April's SWEET PERIL teaser


I have received messages via email and twitter threatening me not to do any funny business with today's SWEET PERIL teaser, seeing as how it's April Fool's and all.  What kind of evil person do you think I am?  LOL!  I would never...  :)

I now present your longest teaser yet.  Less than a month now, guys.  Love ya.

*     *     *


Ah. He had no idea what I was capable of now. I held a hand out. “Give me your knife.”
His eyebrows went together. “What?”
“Just give it to me.” I stepped closer, feeling edgy.
“No, Anna, I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but this is ridic—”
My movements were fast as I went for him full force, using all my body weight and strength to hook a foot behind his knee and slam my palm into his shoulder. He landed on his back with a surprised oof and I crouched over him.
“Give me your knife,” I said again.
“Holy . . .” Blake let out a long whistle from where he watched at the rail.
Kaidan lay there with a whimsical sort of look and said, “God, that was hot.”
I held out my hand. This time he fished the knife from his waistband and placed the onyx handle in my palm. From my crouched position I momentarily eyed a wooden bird statue perched at the top of the deck rail twenty feet away, then let the cool metal fly from my fingers. It spun through the air with a sound like rapid wing beats, then a whump as it stuck into the side of the bird’s head.
“Dude!” Blake yelled.
Beneath me, where Kaidan lay, burst a vivid cloud of red so brief I wondered if I’d imagined it. I stared down at him in shock.
“You showed your colors!” I said.
“Did not.” He pushed himself up and we both stood.
“You totally let ’em out, bro,” Blake told him with a grin.
“Shut up.”
When he peered down at me I said, “I’ve been training. I’m not completely helpless anymore.”
“I can see that,” he murmured.
We stood there, facing each other. Too much was between us, pulling us together at the same time as it pushed us apart. Our need for each other would always be in constant battle with our need to keep the other safe.

*     *     *

GAH!  I know you guys are excited to read it, but the wait has seriously been torture for me, too.  It's no fun writing a book when you have to wait forever to share it with the world!  So happy pub date is almost here.  Thank you to everyone who's preordered!

This week I received a special surprise - fanmade digital "tour posters" for Kaidan's band, Lascivious.  They are so cool!!!  Made by Jenny at www.supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com.  I am in love with them, and so flattered that she'd take the time to design these.  Enjoy!

© 2013 Jenny Zemanek

© 2013 Jenny Zemanek

© 2013 Jenny Zemanek


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: Made of Stars


Happy cover reveal day to a wonderful friend and excellent writer, Kelley York!!!  :-)


Coming from Entangled Publishing, October 2013...

So pretty!!!
Blurb:

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they’ve never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?



*     *     *

Visit Kelley York's Website!

Kelley on Facebook.

Follow Kelley on Twitter.

Kelley on Goodreads.

Kelley on Pinterest.

Preorder Made of Stars on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.




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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Flirting With Maybe Epilogue!


The overwhelming piece of feedback I've heard about my new novella, Flirting With Maybe, is that people wanted more.  You've said the ending felt sudden, and left you wondering what would happen. . . even a little worried.  So, I've decided to write an epilogue that takes place 2 years after the story ends.  The publisher has given me permission to post this scene to my website for free under the "Extras" section, but I will first post it here on the blog for you.  Enjoy!!!


(SPOILER!!!  Read this AFTER you read Flirting With Maybe!)






EPILOGUE: FLIRTING WITH MAYBE



Two years later…



Ryan McPhearson had made a tough decision. After two years playing ball at UVA he’d been drafted by a minor league division of the Washington Nationals. Yeah, okay, they weren’t the Braves, but they were the hometown professional team. This would take him one step closer to attaining the dream of playing in the Big Leagues. He was reluctant to leave college, but in the end he told himself he could always go back to school, but he wouldn’t always have this level of opportunity to play baseball.
Brooke was ecstatic. She thought he was crazy for even considering not jumping at the chance.  The thing was, Ryan knew most minor leaguers never made it to the majors. And the pay was terrible. It took both Brooke and his mom’s excitement to get him to let go of his reservations and grab for the dream.
Ryan stood in the dugout now, looking out at the beautiful University field, perfectly cut and marked for today’s game. Ryan’s last college game. The spring sun shone down light and warm, and scents of hotdogs and popcorn were in the air. As guys started to show they took to the field for pregame warm ups. Ryan felt tight with nerves, but he loosened up a little as he threw the ball, rolling his shoulders. He was always a little nervous before a game, but today was different. Special.
The stands were already filling. He could see Brooke in the front row, just where he’d told her to sit, sandwiched between his mom and her own mom. Ryan was surprised, but happy to see that her mom had taken him up on his invitation to his last game. He wanted to give them a good show. He’d promised Brooke a home-run, and she deserved it.
Ryan was proud of her. She’d graduated that winter, a semester early, and got a job at one of the small local presses editing articles for the sports section. She hoped to work her way up to a sports journalist. He knew Brooke could do it, because once she finally set her mind on something, she saw it through. Their relationship was proof of that.
They’d been through a lot in their two years together. Transitioning from friendship to a relationship had actually been the easy part. A natural progression. But being able to read Brooke so well meant he knew when she was being distant and trying to pull back from him. He wasn’t having any of that. At times it had been a struggle. Brooke seemed to need to test everything in her life for validity. Did Ryan really love her? Would her friends still like her if she stayed sober? Could she pull off this whole “serious, long-distanced girlfriend” thing?
The answers had always been yes, and her own doubts were her worst deterrents. But Ryan never budged. He was always there, proving himself, and helping her to accept the good things life was offering.
Ryan’s coach stepped out of the dugout and waved the team off the field.
As they jogged it in, one of the outfielders smacked Ryan’s hip with his glove and said, “Big day, McPhearson. You ready for this?”
Ryan grinned. “Yeah, man.”
Was he ever. Because today was so much more than his last college game. So much more than the start of his official baseball career. If everything went as he hoped, it would be the start of his life.
By the fifth inning stretch UVA was winning 11-4. The energy in the small stadium was incredible—a combination of the team’s strong lead and perfect weather. The music playing between innings seemed more cheerful and louder than usual, but that could have been because of the volume of the fans in the stands. Whatever the reason, it was a feeling Ryan would never forget.
He took his turn up at bat in the sixth inning. Ryan had to make this one count. He’d hit a double off this pitcher earlier in the game, and learned the guy’s wind up, so he was ready for the fast ball when it came.
Ryan soaked in the energy around him and his senses focused. He swung strong and felt the crack of bat against ball reverberate through his body.
The ball shot high over left field and soared past the fence.
Joyful voices erupted behind Ryan as he dropped the bat and ran for first. This was working out more perfectly than he'd planned. He looked up as he rounded second to see the fans on their feet, but he only had eyes for one of them. Brooke’s hands were cupped around her mouth, yelling something to cheer him on as she jumped up and down. She wore a ball cap with her ponytail pulled through the back. When she beamed that proud, happy smile, his chest filled with years of love.
He slowed as he neared home, stopping three feet from the base and putting his hands on his hips, making a big show out of catching his breath. The stadium quieted. Ryan lifted his eyes to the dugout and his coach gave him a knowing nod. All the guys were watching—the whole team was in on it.
Ryan stood tall and shouted toward the stands.
“Hey! Brooke Bennet!”
Her eyes widened with shock as hundreds of faces turned to her. Ryan pulled a small diamond ring from his pocket and held it up. He couldn’t hold back his smile as he yelled, “You wanna marry me?”
Brooke covered her mouth with both hands.
The stadium, which had been so loud during the game was completely silent, that is, until Brooke nodded and the air filled with cheering.
Ryan’s heart swelled as he waved her down. She was trembling when she descended the steps and came through the gate, onto the field. His team was out of the dugout, whistling and clapping. Even the other team was standing for them. Ryan reached out his hand and Brooke took it with tears in her eyes and a blush on her cheeks. He slid the ring on her finger and held her hand to keep it from shaking.
“You crazy boy. I can’t believe you.” Brooke wiped her eyes.
Ryan laughed and turned his head to kiss her under their caps. “I told you I was gonna marry you someday,” he whispered.
Brooke laughed, full of emotion, and raised her arms to him. He gathered her close and lifted her in a hug. Then he set her down, and together they stepped onto home plate for the win.




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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Flirting With Maybe Winners!


Congrats to the following five FLIRTING WITH MAYBE winners!!!  Thank you SO much to everyone who participated.  Gosh, I seriously love you all so hard. You made today rock.


Kristia Seabolt (facebook)

Buknerd @Buksessed (twitter)

Angie Marin (facebook)

azIRA~ @nur_azIRA (twitter)

Allura @lulubell129 (twitter)



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Monday, March 4, 2013

Flirting With Maybe RELEASE DAY!

My very first contemporary/realistic YA romance is being released today from HarperTeen Impulse!
I'm excited to see what you think - especially since it's so different from my Sweet books, (though it's still very character driven.)

Backstory:

When I was in high school, my group of friends was close with the baseball team. We went to ALL of the games, including ones that required traveling. So when I had to write a short story in my college fiction writing class, a baseball boy came to mind. Ryan is a talented ball player, but he's younger than the rest of the guys. Being the youngest means he's the smallest and shyest of the group. And as we all know, stuff like that matters in high school.

I wrote many stories for my college creative writing classes, but this one was my favorite and it received the most positive feedback.  When HarperTeen approached me about writing a novella for the new Impulse line of ebooks, I immediately thought of this story and agreed to it.  I extended the story, more than doubling its length to make it a novella.  I fell in love with Ryan all over again, and felt all the confusing emotions of Brooke.  I hope you'll enjoy it.



BLURB:


He was fifteen and she was seventeen. 

When sophomore Ryan "The Kid" McPhearson makes the Varsity baseball team, he finds himself submersed into the life of upperclassmen, and falling in love with senior Brooke Bennet. To Ryan she's his dream girl, perfect. Maybe to the outside world a two-year age difference doesn't matter, but this is high school. Everything matters. 


Ryan soon realizes Brooke's life is not so perfect. He becomes her closest friend, her safe place to fall when she needs to escape. Ryan seems to be benched in the friend zone with no chance to bat.


Time is both a curse and a blessing. It ushers Brooke away to college, and Ryan into the arms of his first girlfriend. It alters Ryan from a kid to a high school graduate, ready to venture to college himself. But when Ryan sees Brooke again he realizes there are some things even time can't touch.


Though much has changed, one question still remains. Will the things that mattered in high school always stand between them?

*     *     *

To warm you up to the story I've put together some inspiring pictures...

The team


Ryan and Brooke getting to know one another when he's in 10th grade and she's in 12th.


Brooke and Ryan (pretend she's blonde :))


Mmhm. Sucks to be there.


10th grade Ryan - poor guy!


Brooke in college


Ryan McPhearson as a high school senior




FLIRTING WITH MAYBE is available as an ebook only, for $1.99.  If you don't have an electronic reader like a Nook or Kindle, you can download a free Nook or Kindle app to read it on your computer or phone.  As a bonus, the prologue and first chapter of SWEET PERIL are included when you buy the novella!


Links:

Buy on Amazon.

Buy on Barnes&Noble.

Buy on Kobo.

Add to Goodreads.



CONTEST:

I'll be giving away five copies of Flirting With Maybe on it's release date, Tuesday, March 5th!  This contest requires participation via Twitter OR Facebook on release day.  (If you don't have facebook or twitter, I'm very sorry!) The contest runs all day long today.

To enter via Facebook:

1) Change your profile picture to the Flirting With Maybe cover (just for the day).
2) Friend my author account so that you're able to tag me.
3) Write a post that says: I want to win a copy of Flirting With Maybe by Wendy Higgins! (with a link to this post) Make sure it tags me so I'll see your entry.

To enter via Twitter:

1) Change your profile picture to the Flirting With Maybe cover (just for the day).
2) Follow me at Wendy_Higgins so we're able to DM each other if you win.
3) Tweet: I want to win a copy of Flirting With Maybe by @Wendy_Higgins! (with a link to this post.)

Winners will be chosen at random and notified between 9-10PM Eastern, Tuesday, March 5th (tonight!).  You only need to post/tweet once to be entered.  Winners will be need to provide an email so I can gift the ebook.  If you've already preordered a copy for yourself you can still enter on behalf of a friend & I'll gift it to them on your behalf. I will post winners here tonight on the blog and also contact the winners individually.

Good luck, and thanks for your support!!!  *hugs*  Happy reading.  :-)



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