Monday, March 19, 2018

Video Game + Romance?

Giveaway of $10 gift card!

LEVEL ME UP by Lauren Helms Now Available on Audio

Video Game + Romance?

I’ll be straight with you. I’m not a video gamer. Yeah, I love a good round of Mario Kart. I’ll beat you every time in the old school, Super Nintendo game Tetris Attack. But when it comes to all other video games? It's just not my thing. My husband on the other hand, he is a gamer to the core. He’s playing a video game right now, as I write this post. So when I got a job several years ago for a video game strategy guide publisher, he was in heaven.

Over the years, video games became my life. No, I stilled didn’t play them, but they engulfed my work and home life. Hey, just give me a good romance novel and I’ll call it a day. I don’t have time for video games when there are so many romance novels to read. One day, I was sitting at my desk at work researching professional video gamers for a potential sponsorship deal and after a few hours of this, a story started to form. What if a nice, girl next door type suddenly finds herself submerged in all things video games. What if she meant this super sexy but sweet pro video gamer and life just took off? That’s how the story of LEVEL ME UP was formed. I mulled over it for a few months. When I finally talked to my husband about it, he nearly jumped up and down and said “You’ve got to write this book.”

So I did. Then I published LEVEL ME UP and now, it’s available on audio. Some days I can’t believe it. But romance and video games are my life, so write what you know! But I’m super curious, do you enjoy video games? If so, what’s your favorite?
~ ~ ~
Can the gamer win the girl in LEVEL ME UP by Lauren Helms? Dex Roberts falls hard and fast for Morgan Lawson, but the last thing Morgan is looking for while attending Comic-Con, is love. Fans of R.S. Grey and Gaming the System series by Brenna Aubrey will love this nerdy and flirty story about what happens when a sweet and sexy pro gamer meets the girl-next-door.  Now available on audiobook!

Title: Level Me Up
Author: Lauren Helms
Release Date: February 2018
Narrator: Lacey Gilleran
Series: Gamer Boy #1
Genres: New Adult Romance
Length: 5 hours and 42 minutes
Format: Audiobook, paperback, eBook


The last thing Morgan Lawson is looking for when attending Comic-Con is love. But even prior to exchanging first words, Morgan is drawn to Dex, a drop-dead sexy gamer boy who lives and breathes video games. Before she realizes it, Morgan finds herself caught up in all things Dex.

Dex Roberts knows from the moment he first sees Morgan, he wants more. He falls hard and fast but isn’t surprised when his job as a professional video gamer takes a toll on their relationship.

Once Morgan decides what truly makes her happy, there’s no time to waste. But without warning, life threatens to destroy what both Morgan and Dex want most... each other.

Listen Now: Amazon | iTunes | Audible

Lauren is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry!

About Lauren Helms:
Lauren Helms has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. Lauren decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best--video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and joined NaNoWrimo and a month later, she had her first draft. 

Lauren lives in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing her love of books and video games with her own Gamer Boy husband and three little baby nerds who will hopefully grow up to share the things that united Lauren and her husband in their own happily ever after. 

Follow Lauren:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub | Instagram

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 20th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pen Name Curiosity

Readers, I’m curious to know your thoughts on pen names for authors who write in different genres. The reason I’m asking is because I’m working on a contemporary romantic fiction series that is quite a bit different than what I currently write under a different pen name.

My published books are third-person contemporary romance that I describe as “bright and breezy”. Quirky characters, tropical and glamorous destinations, a touch of humor, sometimes the stories are hot but sometimes not, and no dark or edgy topics.

My new project is first person, erotic and angsty. My characters are flawed, imperfect and not always heroic.

There are many romance authors who write across genres. Some use the same pen name, but others are intentional about creating a separate author identity and branding for each genre.

So, here’s my question for you:

Do you find it helpful or confusing when authors write under multiple pen names?

If you’d like to sample my romantic fiction, you can download a free copy of Jericho by clicking the link below:

Thanks for taking time to share your opinion. Now, back to my WIP!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Most Embarrassing Moment

With: Michelle Hazen

Congratulations to "Suzy Q", the winner in Michelle's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Most Embarrassing Moment with Author Michelle Hazen
AKA A Tale of Jiffy Lube and the Unspeakable

I’m here to celebrate the release of Playing the Pauses, the standalone Book 2 of my Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll Series. And what better way to celebrate than to share a cringe-worthy embarrassing moment from the writing of the book itself?

Like Jera, my songwriter from Book 1, I have a tendency to write on anything at hand when I get a moment of inspiration. The story of her writing a song on her best friend Danny’s shower curtain is very much a Michelle kind of thing to do. And since I do a lot of brainstorming while driving, I keep a dry erase marker on hand.

This has turned out badly for me in the past, especially while working on a construction site and using my windshield to plot the choreography for an erotic fanfiction I was writing (a story for another time, kiddies, and another blog).

On this particular day, I had taken my car to Jiffy Lube while my head was firmly in the clouds, plotting Playing the Pauses. The employees pulled my car through and parked it for me while I was in the waiting room. When they came to get me to pay the bill, I noticed they all seemed…very friendly.

They were smiling at me, and kind of chuckling and giving each other looks. I checked my fly, which was not down. My shirt, which was securely buttoned. And after that, I shrugged it off, figuring the only two options left were that they were laughing at my face or my personality—both I’m fine with and both I’m perfectly happy to lend out if you need a giggle or two.

But then I got back in my car, put in the key, and looked forward through the windshield. Which is when I realized what they were laughing about. Because on my windshield, I saw this:

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh, cry, or run back in and assure them that no fictional animals were made uncomfortable during the writing of my book.

The story behind why I left myself this note, of course, is in Playing the Pauses. A lot of crazy things happen when a band goes on tour, friends. But I’ll assure you of one thing: whatever you’re guessing? That’s not it.


“Hazen’s use of the frantic energy of a rock band’s tour contrasts perfectly with the slow and seductive dance this couple engages in. Readers are sure to enjoy following The Red Letters on their drama-fueled climb to fame. “ —RT Book Reviews

“To call Playing the Pauses an erotic novel alone would be to belie its equally strong explorations of the boundaries between personal, career, and sexual growth.” —Midwest Book Review

When an ultra-independent tour manager meets the one musician she can’t resist, their kinks fit together perfectly, but their lives don’t. Michelle Hazen is back with PLAYING THE PAUSES, the second, stand-alone installment in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Fans of Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive Series and YOU REALLY GOT ME by Erika Kelly, will love this bad boy, friends with benefits romance with a dash of BDSM mixed in.


Rock Star Dom + his Queen of the Spreadsheet employee = KRYPTONITE

Kate is a globe-trotting tour manager who can’t be tied down.
Danny is a Dominant rock star and tattoo artist who needs her help to explore his true kinks.

Kate just got her big break, running an international tour for a rising band. Her job is everything to her…at least until she meets the band’s enigmatic bass player.

After they collide in one unforgettably erotic night on a hotel balcony, he comes to her with a proposition. As a former BDSM club performer, Danny’s spent so long fulfilling other people’s fantasies that now he wants to reclaim his own—and he says she’s the only one who can help.

Getting caught in bed with her rock star boss could cost her career, and yet there’s something about Danny’s quiet intensity that she can’t resist. He steals her heart, hard. But the end of the tour is approaching, and their jobs are headed two different directions.

To be together one of them will have to stop touring, but the only thing they crave as much as each other is music.

** This book can be read and understood as a standalone, but does contain spoilers for earlier books in the series. **


Buy Now: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Michelle will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and an eBook of A CRUEL KIND OF BEAUTIFUL to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

About Michelle Hazen:
Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 15th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Easy Bake Lovin'

Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Maggie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Like a mother, an author isn’t supposed to favor one book over another, but, like children, some books are just a little…easier than others. Less banging my head against the desk, more snickering to myself.

EASY BAKE LOVIN’ (Play Dates #2) was one of those books.

I think one of the reasons why it was so fun to write is that my sense of humor is roughly equivalent to that of a twelve-year-old.

Naughty things make me giggle. Everyday things that can be made to sound naughty make me laugh out loud. Georgianna Walters and I have that in common.

You see, Georgie is a woman who enjoys a good double entendre. Like me, she even appreciates a bad one. As the owner of Getta Piece adult bakery, Georgie revels in coming up with clever, if not a bit risqué, names for the treats she serves up to Chicago’s fun-loving bachelors and bachelorettes.

But EASY BAKE LOVIN’ has a more serious side as well. His name is Mike Simmons, and he is a single-minded single dad raising a precocious boy and a lively little girl. Caught in the doldrums of everyday life, Mike soon discovers that Georgie is just the right woman to add some spice to his life.

I am a big believer in opposites attracting, and at first glance it seems couples don’t come more mismatched than Mike and Georgie. Or so it would appear…
“Quite the selection, don’t you think?”
He realized he’d been staring too long when her smile widened and she gestured to the array of semi-pornographic pastries in the case. Like she was some kind of game show hostess showing off the fabulous and exciting prizes she had to offer.
She slid her hands along the case, drew back, and did a pirouette to encompass the array of goods on display. “Anything catch your eye?”
He caught a flash of leg as her apron flew in a circle around her. Despite the approaching winter, she wore nothing but some skimpy shorts under her apron. Well, a tank top and shorts, as well as some knee-high socks striped like the Wicked Witch of the West’s, but his brain shorted out when he got an eyeful of toned thigh, so the rest hardly counted.
She also wore boots. Thick-soled combat-style boots like the soldiers wore to march for miles over rugged terrain. Boots that made a man want to test exactly how kickass the wearer might be.
Mike shook himself out of his daze. “Oh, uh, no. I mean, yes.” He shook his head harder. “I mean, everything looks, um, great.”
“People come from miles around to get their hands on my Boston Cream Bosoms.”
Mike expelled a short laugh. She didn’t need to convince him; he was a believer. “I bet they do.”
She tipped her head to the side. “This is one of those moments when, as a feminist, I don’t know whether to be offended or flattered, but I bring the confusion on myself, so…” She shrugged and wrinkled her nose. The tiny diamond winked at him.
“This is one of those moments when, as both a feminist and a card-carrying member of the man club, I don’t know whether to…” He trailed off, letting the thought dangle.
“Make a break for it?”
She laughed again, and this time, a pulse of pleasure reverberated in his body. This woman was…infectious. And he didn’t have time to come down with a bad case of lust.
“Don’t feel bad. A lot of guys feel the same way when they first come in.”
“Don’t you think some of this is just the least bit…degrading to women?”
She nodded gravely. “And to men.”
“It’s a little obscene.” The words came out with more heat than he intended. Almost immediately, he regretted them. She was a potential client, after all. Who was he to judge?
“I think the human body is beautiful in any form,” she replied, seemingly unfazed.
“It’s objectifying the human body.”
“We objectify the human body every day in a million ways.” She leaned in a fraction of an inch. “I’m pretty sure you were objectifying mine just a minute ago.”

How about you? Do you believe in the power of opposites, or do you like a matched set?

Comment below, and I will send one winner a digital copy of the first book in the Play Dates series, PLAY DATES!

About The Author:
By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night, she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. Maggie has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order.

More Maggie:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Crazy on You

Diane Thompson’s led an interesting life in her small town up until now. She’s handled whatever has come her way. But the night she wakes up in the back of her car accidentally kidnapped? Well, that’s taking things to another level of crazy. Thankfully she’s rescued without too much drama. But the cop that does the rescuing, Lt. Cole Anderson…


He’s more dangerous than the kidnappers.


Because he likes her.

Like, likes her.

And being vulnerable to a man? That scares her more than a bus full of kidnappers...

EMTs poked and prodded at me for a few short minutes, but as there hadn’t been any damage, they moved on. They stood in the huddle of uniforms near my car. One officer separated to stride over to me. At this distance, he looked like the other officers. The closer he got, though, the more he stood out.
       Dude was beyond hot.
       My eyes bugged and I clutched the blanket as the fine hairs lifted all over my body. I straightened. Blinked. No one would be able to claim he had a body for radio. If anything, his voice sandbagged the package. “Diane?” His fingers traced a gentle path across my face.
       I tried to speak but didn’t quite manage it. He was the man who’d rescued me?
       If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the love child of a wrestler and a superhero had landed in front of me. I had the urge to go Southern belle on his ass and fan myself while saying, “I do declare.”
       He was tall. At slightly above five-foot, most people seemed tall, but this man was up there. As in, he could have played professional basketball regardless of his skill set because he’d already be at the net. I’d need climbing gear if I wanted to look him in the eyes without cracking my back.
       He didn’t wear a uniform like the woman beside me, but dark jeans and a black t-shirt. And so muscular in the upper arms the material lay against it like latex. It had to be uncomfortable. There didn’t seem to be any room to flex.
       “Diane, are you all right? You never did answer me from earlier.” He clasped my hands, bringing my attention to his face. And what a face.
       His eyes were a vibrant dark brown against bronzed skin. They were so intent they almost glowed. His head did glow, so smooth the lights reflected off it. I wanted to stroke it.
       Girl, you’ve just been kidnapped and are thinking about stroking a stranger’s head. Get it together!


Diane Thompson wakes up in the backseat of her car, shocked to find she’s acquired a chauffeur. Realizing she’s been inadvertently kidnapped, she swears off tequila—and Chili’s—then dials 9-1-1. But her rescue comes at a cost. Her savior, too-macho-for-words Lt. Cole Anderson, refuses to let Diane out of his sight until her kidnappers are apprehended. He’s already lost one woman he cared about due to his inattention; he’s not letting it happen a second time.

But Diane isn’t a damsel-in-distress type of girl. When it turns out the criminals left a valuable item in her car and they want it back, involving Cole isn’t part of her plan and not only because the criminals have forbidden her from involving the cops. Men are like birds—messy, easily distracted, and only around when there’s something to eat. She’s got this. All she has to do is find and return the item in question to the drug runners threatening her life, survive a high-speed car chase, and keep her vow to never trust a man with her heart. 

About the Author:
Nicole Terry is a southern gal with northern sensibilities or, depending on the day, a northern gal with southern sensibilities, thanks in large part to the unique location of her home. Writing allows her to share the crazy that results from the dichotomy. She believes in the healing power of laughter, Cherry Dr Pepper, Justin Timberlake and, most importantly, happily ever after. Crazy on You is her first book and her homage to her random tendencies, love of alpha heroes, and soft spot for women who find love in the craziest ways. Visit her website

You can also find her on Twitter:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

His Scandalous Love

A Cuffs & Spurs Novel
Book 1
Release Date: March 8, 2018

Carter Jones is a fairly simple man. He loves his ranch, his horses, and dominating women in the bedroom. He's the owner and founder of the exclusive Cuffs and Spurs Club in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, yet for the past year Carter has achieved something of a monk's status within the ranks of his club. And all because of Jenna, a woman he had an unforgettably sensual week with a year ago, who then vanished from his life without a trace and left him reeling.

When he discovers Jenna practically on his doorstep, Carter moves heaven and earth to draw her back into his life. Only she has a scandalous secret, one that upends his life completely. Can he forgive her for the secrets she kept? Or will the mistrust tear them apart – forever this time?

Purchase His Scandalous Love by 3/17/18 & get the FREE full-length ebook novella His Unexpected Love delivered to your email! Discover where Carter & Jenna’s sinfully erotic love story began.

Email the proof of purchase (receipt or screenshot) to

The Double J was his life. He enjoyed it. Lived and breathed the ranch day in and out. Loved training the offspring of his mares into the finest trail horses in the Northwest. And yet, he’d been walking around with a hole in his chest since the previous August.
He’d not found her.
As much as he’d promised himself that he would track Jenna down, it was like she had disappeared off the planet. He’d even toyed with the idea of hiring a private investigator to locate her. But there was a part of Carter that wondered now that almost a year had passed, eleven months and one week to be exact, since he had first set foot on the tiny strip of an island in the Bahamas, if he was being obstinate and downright idiotic. If Jenna wanted to be found by anyone from the island, she would have left a way to be reached. Jared, the owner of the Pleasure Island Resort, had assured him that he’d not been in contact with her and that perhaps it was best if Carter let her go.
And wasn’t that just the problem.
Jenna had rocked his world. The feisty submissive had wormed her way inside past his hard-fought defenses and had set up residence inside his soul. He dreamt about her. Woke up in the dead of night reaching for her. Carter used to joke at Doms who became whipped and would cave to their submissive’s every desire.
It was karma, perhaps. Because now the f**king joke was on him.
He’d been living a half-life. Cursed himself that he’d failed to take action after their week together on the island. That he had waited too long to contact her afterwards. He’d tried to be a gentleman. And he admitted to himself, that he’d let his ego get in the way. Because he would forever regret that he hadn’t hauled her to the f**king plane with him and carted her back here to his ranch. He knew now he should have gone all caveman, tied her up if he’d had to, and even gagged her if necessary to get her on the damn plane.
Because now she was lost to him and Carter had no idea how to move past it, past her.

His Unexpected Love
A Cuffs & Spurs Prequel Novella

Carter Jones is the owner and founder of the exclusive Cuffs and Spurs Club in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He's been invited to Pleasure Island, a lifestyle themed resort on a private island in the Bahamas, to experience what the all-inclusive getaway has to offer. His plans for the week include indulging in the finer points of life – mainly sex, and lots of it. He's a man used to dominating a woman in every way imaginable, and then receiving praise and thanks from his selected bed mate for his prowess.

That all changes when he literally runs into Jenna. She's beautiful and headstrong, and turns his world upside down with merely a pout of her gorgeous lips. Lips he can imagine on various parts of his body. Carter devises a plan to claim the feisty woman. But will he be able to keep it strictly physical, or will her surrender to his touch affect him in unexpected ways?

About Anya Summers
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
Visit her website here:
Visit her on social media here:
Twitter: @AnyaBSummers

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

Cuffs & Spurs Series
His Scandalous Love releasing March 8, 2018
His Wicked Love releasing May 8, 2018
His Untamed Love releasing July 9, 2018
His Tempting Love releasing September 6, 2018
His Seductive Love releasing November 8, 2018
His Secret Love releasing January 8, 2019
His Cherished Love releasing March 8, 2019

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