Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway

Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer blog is at it again hosting another awesome giveaway...

The Best of 2012 Giveaway, featuring our favorite reads of 2012.


Because I write both YA and adult books, I've chosen my favorite from each genre.

Favorite YA Book: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry


Any book that makes me cry is A-OK with me, and this book elicited so many tears!

Here's my REVIEW of Pushing the Limits.


Favorite Adult Book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


The twists in this thriller are jaw-dropping. I love how Gillian Flynn manipulates the reader.

Here's my REVIEW of Gone Girl.


To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form. Hop over to all participating blogs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Giveaways are Best!

A little bit of this and a little bit of that in this post.

First of all, would you like to win a Kindle loaded with Omnific Publishing romance novels? Then enter my publisher's awesome giveaway!

Secondly, I'm giving away a signed copy of my YA swimming romance Streamline at Ensconced in YA. Christina interviews me and links to her 4 star review of Streamline.

Part One of my interview is HERE.
Part Two of my interview is HERE

Finally, it's time to finish the meme The Next Best Thing where I answer questions about my current work-in-progress: On Best Behavior.

I'd hoped to finish by now, but you know how that goes. I guess I haven't been on my best behavior when it comes to conquering writing distractions. ;-) I am pleased to have written 93K words though, and I'm still hoping to finish in 2012.

Here are the last two questions for The Next Best Thing:

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

That's easy. My muse is actor Wentworth Miller, who I envision as the series' hero Grant Madsen.


*swoons* Grant Madsen has a sexy singing voice, is kind-hearted, and is tall and lean like Wentworth.

I even have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to his beauty HERE

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Hmm, how can I entice new readers to the series? Did I mention that handcuffs make a reappearance? Hee hee. This time Grant battles the Russian mafia and Sophie fights to make a psychology career for herself post-prison. On Best Behavior features psychotherapy with Grant's teenage nephew Ben.

I love to torture my characters but I also believe in happy endings!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn!

Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn
(Book Three of the Mindjack Trilogy) Now Available!
When your mind is a weapon, freedom comes at a price.
Four months have passed since Kira left home to join Julian’s Jacker Freedom Alliance, but the hole in her heart still whistles empty where her boyfriend Raf used to be. She fills it with weapons training, JFA patrols, and an obsessive hunt for FBI agent Kestrel, ignoring Julian’s worries about her safety and repeated attempts to recruit her for his revolutionary chat-casts. When anti-jacker politician Vellus surrounds Jackertown with the National Guard, Kira discovers there’s more to Julian’s concerns than she knew, but she’s forced to take on a mission that neither want and that might be her last: assassinating Senator Vellus before he can snuff out Julian’s revolution and the jackers she’s come to love.
All Mindjack stories available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and iTunes (Note Free Souls is not yet available on iTunes)
Early Praise for Free Souls
“Quinn paints a picture of a not-too-distant America where politicians inflame the hatred of one section of the populace for another—all for their own gain—and you worry that her world is not so far off from our own.”
Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and the forthcoming The Eighth Day
"Free Souls starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Like a mash-up of all your favorite science-fiction adventures from Star Wars to The Legend of Korra, it blends nonstop action, nail-biting escapes, and great romance. I absolutely loved it! A great series conclusion—a must-read."
Leigh Talbert Moore, author of Rouge and The Truth About Faking
“Susan did it again. Free Souls was WOW! I expected Kira to step up to her role as heroine but not like this. Surprises kept coming until the very end which tied up more loose ends than I knew existed. Warning: Don't start reading until you have time to finish. I didn't want to put Free Souls down for a second. It's that kind of book.”
Sher A. Hart, Goodreads Review
Interview Susan's over at Amy Saunder's blog today (12.14.12), answering questions about how she came up with the mages' abilities, what kind of mage she would be, and all about her future works. Digital Box Set Since Free Souls is out, there is now a Digital Box Set of the Mindjack Trilogy for those of you who want the whole series!
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
Mindjack Origins Collection Want more Julian? Wondering how Sasha's ability really works? Looking for EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls? This collection of novellas, scenes, and other goodies is for those craving a bit more of the characters and drama of the Mindjack series.
Includes: Mindjack Novellas Mind Games (Raf's story) The Handler (Julian's story) The Scribe (Sasha's story) TWO EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls (published nowhere else!) PLUS Mindjack flash fiction, an (imaginary) conversation between Raf and Julian, and other goodies for readers who want just a little bit more of Kira, Julian, Raf, and the Mindjack crew.
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
ENTER TO WIN one of FIVE ecopies of the Mindjack Origins Collection
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Political Suicide: Review and Giveaway

Political Suicide is a medical/political thriller by Michael Palmer that launches Tuesday 12-11-12. I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy, and it looks like I have more Michael Palmer novels to catch up on!

As a psychologist, I have treated physicians and other professionals who are recovering from addictions, so I found this novel intriguing from the start.


Political SuicidePolitical Suicide by Michael Palmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful Suspense!

What would you do if a friend gets accused of murder, but you don't think he did it?

When the hero of the military/political thriller Political Suicide faces that exact dilemma, he proves that he is not one to back down from a challenge. Dr. Lou Welcome has battled through many challenges in his life -- the biggest being the daily struggle to stay clean and sober. He helps other physicians through drug rehab and re-entry into medical practice.

Gary McHugh is one such physician who calls Lou after falling off the wagon. Unfortunately, Gary's alcohol blackout may or may not have included killing a U.S. senator.

When Lou seeks justice for his friend, it's tough to see clearly through the miasma covering an elite Special Forces unit called Mantis Company. There just might be a deadly conspiracy with this military unit, waiting to be uncovered. And when Lou tries to find the truth, he becomes the target.

The suspense in this novel is top-notch. One scene involving a frothing-at-the-mouth guard dog had me quite on edge, nervous for Lou. I like the realism of Lou's character. He's tough, caring, and clever, yet he's definitely not perfect. Lou makes a major mistake at one point, enraging Gary's attorney Sarah. Will he redeem himself?

There's also a cast of well-drawn supporting characters, including Lou's daughter Emily, his AA sponsor and trainer Cap, and his cat Diversity. Lou and attorney Sarah team up and track down Edith, who's already suffered the consequences of the deadly conspiracy. Edith is feisty and competent.

Unfortunately I didn't feel very emotionally connected to Lou. He's a good guy, but there just seemed to be something missing. The romance that sparks up between Lou and Sarah didn't feel compelling to me, but this is more of a thriller than a romance (and I typically read romance novels).

I enjoyed the twist at the end that I didn't see coming.

St. Martin's Press provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews


***St. Martin's Press is GIVING AWAY a signed print copy of Political Suicide to a lucky winner!

To enter, simply leave a comment with your email address. If you like, you can answer this question:

Do you believe alcohol/drug addiction is a biological illness?


And did you know that my publisher Omnific is giving away THREE kindles loaded with our books? Enter HERE.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insecurity and Impatience

I came across a great TED talk by social worker Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability. Courage is showing others who we are with our whole heart. The only way to connect with others is by showing them our vulnerabilities.

Since the above talk is 20 minutes and I know we're all busy hopping blogs for the Insecure Writers Support Group, here is a 5 minute presentation by Dr. Brown about the joys of imperfection.



Power of vulnerability?

Joys of imperfection?

Wha?

I'm here today to share with you some of my vulnerabilities, including insecurity and impatience. That's what happens in support groups, right? ;-)

In an earlier IWSG post I mentioned that my book sales had improved once my publisher lowered my ebook prices to $2.99. Unfortunately sales have slowed since then. Like, real slooow. Has anyone else noticed sales dipping?

While it's incredible to witness some books killing it (especially Wallbanger by Alice Clayton--released from my small publisher Omnific)--I feel insecure to compare that wild success to my little author hobby.

What are your insecurities?


I'm also mired in IMPATIENCE. Can you believe how long it takes to write a novel? I've been working on my WIP for a year and I'm still not done. I hoped to finish by now, when the ten weeks of The Next Best Thing ended. (Oh, that's another imperfection--I'm terribly behind with this meme.)

The good news is that I'm at 89,000 words. I will finish On Best Behavior!

What makes you impatient?



GIVEAWAYS!!!

Omnific Publishing hosts a Holiday Without Rules Kindles Full of Books Giveaway. My publisher will give away THREE Kindles, people! Loaded with our books. Enter HERE. And join us for the Author Author Blog Bounce too.

Are you stressed out from stringing Christmas lights and knocking back too much Egg Nog? Visit Kate Evangelista's blog where I provide tips for "Maintaining Sanity for the Holidays". I'm also giving away my YA swimming romance Streamline.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Volunteering with Teens: Guest Post

Thanks to Sara from Nanny Pro for her guest post on volunteering with teens who have mental illness. Take it away, Sara! 

 Volunteering and Teens with Mental Illness 

When you consider volunteering, most people think of the local soup kitchen or the animal shelter. These are the more common ways to give back in your community—feeding the hungry or assisting helpless animals. But those seeking more of a challenge should try volunteering with teens, particularly teens with mental illness. Mental illness is a growing problem for today’s teens and there are many different organizations around the world to help them through this time. 

Everyone knows that teens can be a tough group. Babies and children are innocent, fun, and sweet...the elderly are wise, calm, and full of wonderful stories...but teens needing the most help are the ones that don’t want it or don’t think they need it. You remember your teenage years--you and your friends were wanna-be rebels who thought you knew everything

There are several organizations across the United States that help teens, but few help youth with emotional and mental problems. Mental illness has always carried a negative social stigma, partly because it’s not a physical problem that you can see. 

Teens with mental illness are those that pose possible harm to themselves or to others. Teens with mental illnesses like bipolar or major depressive disorders may exhibit frightening behaviors like suicidal and homicidal threats or attempts, self-harm, stealing, and drug use. 

Throw a life raft to these teens! 

You can help these teens by volunteering your time at special centers dedicated to aiding them in their journeys. Teens need a positive adult to look up to, so join them for an activity like:

 • Baking and cooking 
 • Arts and crafts 
 • Career fairs 
 • Talking and advising 
 • Writing exercises 
 • Physical activity like tossing a ball 

Working with troubled teens isn’t for everyone. It’s only for those looking to make a difference in a teen's life by acting in a mature, friendly, and positive manner. Subject matters may come up that can be very uncomfortable and one needs to be able to figure out how to respond and handle these kind of conversations. 

For more information on where and how you can help out teens with issues, check with your local teen programs and/or visit the National Alliance of Mental Illness

Author Bio 
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor to Nanny Pro

Thank you, Sara! As a psychologist, I agree that teen mental illness is on the rise. Students arrive to college with more psychopathology and prescription psychotropic medication than ever before. While volunteering with this age group might be a challenge, it can also be so fun! So get your inner snark on and join in this vibrant, clever group.
 


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