Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Books That Need More Attention Giveaway Hop


Welcome to the Books That Need More Attention Giveaway Hop! I'm featuring my latest release CROSSING THE ICE and sharing an exclusive excerpt. Check it out!

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Josh followed me through the wood-paneled dining room to the French doors leading outside. The marsh grass surrounding the deck swished in the breeze, and the late afternoon sun reflected off Nantucket Sound. It would’ve been beautifully serene if not for the ridiculous anxiety that had begun to churn in my stomach.

“So… the tango,” Josh said. “It’s a bit different from the usual ballroom hold. Have you done any ballroom dancing?”

I shook my head. Slow dancing at my prom was the extent of my partner dancing, and that had been more swaying while standing still than anything.

“Good. Then you won’t know the difference.” He smiled. “If you’ve watched videos, you’ve seen the tango has a close hold.”

He took a tentative step toward me but kept his arms at his sides. “But I’m not sure how close Emily and Sergei want you and Mark to be.”

I got a stronger whiff of his cologne, which smelled expensive. And sweet. Like him. Oh, dear God.

“Um… we need to be pretty close in some parts of the program,” I said.

He shifted nearer, sliding his hand around to my lower back, and the heat from his touch radiated through my cotton shirt, my skin, and into the deepest cells of my body. I didn’t dare look up because there would be only a narrow space between our faces. Between our mouths…

Tango! Focus on the tango.

Thinking I should demonstrate what I did know about the dance, I clutched Josh’s right shoulder and extended my other arm out to the side like I’d seen the pros do.

“Let’s move this a little lower,” he said.

He gently pried my hand from his shoulder and placed it around the top of his bicep. The muscle was solid under my fingers, and I resisted the strong urge to squeeze it.

“How tight should I hold onto you?” I asked.

He took a noticeable swallow and glanced at my grip. “That’s… that’s good.”

“Em was telling me to have more tension in my arms, so I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to hold on tighter or just hold my arms straighter or…” Nice rambling.

“You’ll want to keep your right arm tense because it helps you follow your partner’s lead.” He grasped my right hand, pressing our palms together, and my pulse sped even faster. “I know you’re not actually doing the full dance on the ice, but I’ll show you how it would look and feel.”

It feels terrifying yet totally amazing.

****

Falling hard never felt so good.

Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though…

The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?

Available on Amazon, B&N, and iTunes!

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Now for the giveaway! Enter in the Rafflecopter below to win a $10 Amazon gift card. You can use it to buy some of the amazing books being featured in this hop!

Check out the other stops on the hop HERE.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

U.S. International Classic Day Three


I'm a bit late with posting my Day Three recap, but it turned out to be a late night with friends last night! I saw the full range of skating yesterday from Novice Dance to Junior Pairs and Junior Dance to Senior Dance and Ladies. The Novice and Junior dancers were so fun to watch! I remember a few years ago discovering Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye at this competition when I watched Novice Dance. It's fun to follow the young skaters' careers from this point.


In the ladies' event, I thought Mirai's program was lovely, but I felt it was a little simple in the in-between moments. I really enjoyed Polina's soft and lyrical program. I just hope since the music is so soft that it has enough of an impact on the judges.

At the free dance, I most enjoyed Cannuscio/McManus' Danse Macabre program and Orford/Williams' Titanic program. Stasia and Colin did a great job with the ghoulish makeup, and they really sustained the passion and energy throughout the program. Nicole and Thomas told a cohesive story in their Titanic free dance. I loved the changes in mood and the interesting transitions. This was my first time seeing ice dance choreography by Mark Pillay, and I came away impressed.

Here are the rest of my photos from Saturday: PHOTOS

I'll have one more update to post my Sunday event photos. It's been such a fun weekend as always here in Salt Lake City!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

U.S. International Classic Day Two


Day Two was another day full of skating at all levels. I started off the morning at the Novice Pairs Free Skate, took a lunch break, and then returned to the arena for the Senior Short Dance, Senior Ladies Short Program, Senior Pairs Free Skate, and Senior Men Free Skate. If there are some ladies missing among my photos, it's because I can't handle a sandwich and a camera at the same time :)

Out of all the programs I saw today, the one that stuck with me the most was Polina Edmunds' short program. Her skating is so light; she floats over the ice with grace beyond her years. I thought this flamenco was a great look for her - it showed off the added maturity in her skating this season. Some might think her costume was too busy, but I liked it a lot. I'm a big fan of her quiet attack and resolve. She just continues to get the job done.

A few notes about the men's free skate - I really enjoyed Ross Miner's Andrea Bocelli program. It was a different type of program for him, and I think it suits him. Max Aaron's Gladiator program fell a little flat for me. I think maybe he just needs to put a little more emotional life into it. Someone who had no problem putting life into his program was Jordan Moeller. He definitely left every ounce of energy he had on the ice.

Here are the rest of my photos from Friday: PHOTOS

Friday, September 12, 2014

U.S. International Classic Day One

Hello from Salt Lake City! This year's Figure Skating Classic roster is a little thin compared to prior years, but I always enjoy getting a first look at skaters' programs and watching the novice and junior skaters in the Challenge Skate.

It was a long day with an early travel morning, and I saw a lot of skating, so I'll try to hit the highlights of what stood out for me on the first day of the competition.

At dance practice, I was struck by the power and crispness of Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams. They are improving every year at a fast pace. Thomas has always seemed to emulate Charlie White, and I could see that in O/W's Paso Doble run-through as his strong carriage reminded me of Charlie's.


In the pairs short program, Jessica Calalang and Zach Sidhu really impressed me. They're another team who has improved leaps and bounds. I thought they had a ton of personality in their short program, and they've tightened up a lot of their technical elements. I hope they can continue to learn and grow!


Finally, in the men's short program, I loved Jordan Moeller's skating. He's very tall, but he skates like he's very light on his feet. I've seen comparisons to Jeremy Abbott, and I agree. They both sort of ooze across the ice when they move. I'm looking forward to seeing much more of Jordan on the senior circuit!

Here are my photos from dance and ladies' practices, the pairs short program, and the men's short program: PHOTOS


Monday, September 8, 2014

Food and Fragrance Blog Hop

I'd like to thank author Katie Van Ark, author of the upcoming skating romance The Boy Next Door, for tagging me in the Food and Fragrance Blog Hop! Find out a little more about my new release Crossing the Ice in the fun questions below :)

If my character were a glass of wine... I think Courtney, the heroine in Crossing the Ice, would be more like champagne than wine because she's very bubbly and spunky. She's been known to spout off with the same pop as champagne fizz.

What sort of meal is my book? Crossing the Ice is a feel-good story, so comfort foods would definitely have to be part of this meal. Maybe a tender pot roast with some buttery mashed potatoes.

Snack? Something sweet for sure because Josh, the hero in the book, is an absolute sweetheart. It's easy to see why Courtney falls for him! I'll go with apple slices dipped in Nutella.


Your character's choice of candy? Courtney would definitely pick a chocolate bar. She loves anything chocolate but doesn't get to indulge too often since she's training for the Olympics.

What sort of fragrance would be associated with your book? I'd say a sweet and spicy cologne because Josh is so sweet with Courtney, but there's also definitely a lot of heat between them. He knows how to make her melt!

What is your most memorable meal? My most memorable meal is Christmas dinner cooked by my dad. He makes the best turkey and gravy on the planet. I'll never forget how amazing the house smelled when I'd wake up on Christmas morning.

How would you describe your writing? I try to capture readers' emotions by creating characters to whom they can relate. I love exploring relationships, whether its first love or the love between friends and family, and drawing readers into those relationships.

Preferred salty snack? Popcorn with lots of butter!

Find out more about Crossing the Ice here and meet the characters here!

Next up in the blog hop will be Ariella Moon. The fourth book in her Teen Wytche Saga, Spell For Sophia, will be out in November!

Friday, August 29, 2014

CROSSING THE ICE Blog Tour-Day Ten


Welcome to Day Ten of the Crossing the Ice blog tour! At each stop you can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card or one of 3 signed Crossing the Ice bookmarks!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CROSSING THE ICE Blog Tour-Day Nine


Welcome to Day Nine of the Crossing the Ice blog tour! At each stop you can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card or one of 3 signed Crossing the Ice bookmarks!

Mary Had a Little Book Blog *Review & Excerpt
Studio Reads *Guest Post
Making it Happen *Spotlight