Warning: scandir(/home/content/j/d/u/jdudleystudios/html/_sites/laurapauling_com/wp-content/uploads/ithemes-security/backups) [function.scandir]: failed to open dir: No such file or directory in /home/content/82/6039282/html/_sites/laurapauling_com/wp-content/plugins/better-wp-security/core/modules/backup/class-itsec-backup.php on line 273

Warning: scandir() [function.scandir]: (errno 2): No such file or directory in /home/content/82/6039282/html/_sites/laurapauling_com/wp-content/plugins/better-wp-security/core/modules/backup/class-itsec-backup.php on line 273
Laura Pauling | Tag Archive | romance
Tag Archives | romance

New releases from some great authors!

Hey everyone! Thought I’d share what some of my friends have been up to lately. Here are some of their new releases! Enjoy!!
VOLITION
What Doesn’t Kill You…

(book 2 in the Perception Series)

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody.
They’re in love.

Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ B&N

*********

 

**Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 16+**

Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor’s son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.

*****************
What’s your life worth on the open market? A debt collector can tell you precisely. Delirium (Debt Collector 1) is now available on AmazonBarnes&NobleKobo, iTunesSmashwords. See the Debt Collector website to check all the latest episode releases and goings on in the Debt Collector world.

Comments { 4 }

The Truth About Letting Go is LIVE!!!!

I loved Leigh T. Moore’s first novel, The Truth About Faking. I knew I’d love this one too. I had the opportunity to read it before publication, and you won’t want to miss it. It’s fabulous. Very moving.
***
A companion to The Truth About Faking (not a sequel; the books can be read out of order), The Truth About Letting Go (link)takes readers back to Shadow Falls, or more specifically Shadow Creek, with Ashley Lockett as she learns about real friendship, love, and letting go.

 

 

The Truth About Letting Go (link)
by Leigh Talbert Moore

Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life.
Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley’s seemingly charmed shoes.
Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear–with Ashley at his side.
Jordan wants to follow his heart… but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make.

Up until now, Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She’s always done the right thing, played it safe, and then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, the rules, faith, and then she meets Jordan.

Jordan has big dreams, he’s had a crush on Ashley for years, he’s a great kisser… but he’s also safe.

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he’s more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

Get it today on Amazon *

Comments { 7 }

Repulsion, Attraction, Connection: Romance is more than hotness.

Welcome  Laurel Garver, author of newly released, Never Gone! Laurel has been a blogging buddy of mine since the start! And I love seeing friends move forward in their careers whether it’s self publishing, signing with an agent, or finishing that last draft!

***

It’s rare to find a YA novel that doesn’t include romance, at least as a subplot. Why? This thing called puberty has a lot to do with it. Trying to figure out who you are, and who you want to be as a fully functioning adult, gets more complicated when sexuality is thrown into the mix.

One thing that concerns me as a woman, a writer and mom of a tween is how books can help or hinder kids’ ability to navigate romantic relationships in a healthy way. When we make the chemistry between characters all about looks, we’re feeding into the universal media message that looks make one worthy of love; a message that leads to all kinds of unhappy things like anorexia. Not only that, but the story drama can become pretty one-dimensional. Zits and bad hair days take center stage, while the things that actually make a person date-worthy, like interests and skills and virtues and ambitions and hopes get sidelined.

The things that make for love rather than lust are more than skin deep. Real attraction, real magnetism is more deeply layered than finding someone hot. It grows out of finding something admirable in another person that resonates with who you are and want to be.

Sometimes people who seem attractive on the surface will reveal their lack of inner beauty, like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. A person’s hotness will evaporate quickly in your readers’ eyes if it is paired with arrogance, narcissism, pettiness or cruelty.

Conversely, sometimes attraction to someone will initially feel like repulsion. I don’t think that’s a myth created and perpetuated by romance writers. I’ve honestly experienced this not only with people I’ve dated but also with folks who have become very close friends. Those we will most engage with have a way of getting under our skin. Sometimes it’s because they have an attribute we lack but envy, sometimes it’s because they are quicker to warm up and want to be close than we are, sometimes it’s because they don’t fit our preconceived ideas of what a friend or partner should look like. Getting close will require us to change, and that can be an uncomfortable process.

When I was writing Never Gone, I was especially interested in exploring those latter two dynamics of the friendly-before-I’m-ready and the not-what-I-though-you-were in my romantic subplot.

When my characters Dani and Theo first interact, she initially wants to run the other direction. He’s been on the periphery of her life and, she believes, simply a jock who probably thinks she’s an artsy weirdo. He’s the last person she wants around while she’s trying to hold herself together at her father’s memorial service. Rather than let her flee, Theo surprises her by telling an embarrassing story, essentially taking himself down a peg. Getting that glimpse of the person behind the looks (which she initially reads as sinister) enables Dani to be vulnerable and speak more honestly to him than to anyone else in her life. And her perception of his looks? That shifts too.

Connection most often happens in places of vulnerability, when one character is low, the other either lifts him/her, or comes down also, making the power balanced. Think about how Darcy finally wins Elizabeth’s trust in Pride and Prejudice: by helping protect her family from scandal, lifting her up when she could have easily become a pariah. In When Harry Met Sally, the two lead characters have a somewhat fraught relationship for years. But they move toward a romantic path at last when Harry comforts Sally in her devastation that an ex is engaged, and he didn’t want to marry her. Or consider Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. There are many moments when the two are clearly attracted to each other, but it’s when Katniss cares for injured Peeta in the cave that they truly connect.

Romantic love can be one of the most dynamic processes we experience as humans. When you write, make sure you delve into its many layers: admiration, compatibility, compassion, and yes, physical attraction. Your readers will thank you for it.

===

Laurel Garver is the author of Never Gone, a novel for teens about grief, faith, and finding love when it feels like all is lost. Visit Laurel’s blog at Laurel’s Leaves for information about giveaways and more, or follow her on Twitter @LaurelGarver.

About Never Gone


Days after her father’s death, fifteen-year-old Dani Deane begins seeing him all around New York: wading through discarded sketches in her room, roaming the halls at church, socializing at his post-funeral reception. Is grief making her crazy? Or could her dad really be lingering between this world and the next, trying to contact her?

Dani desperately longs for his help. Without him keeping the peace, Dani’s relationship with her mother is deteriorating fast. Soon Mum ships her off to rural England with Dad’s relatives for a visit that Dani fears will become a permanent stay. But she won’t let her arty, urban life slip away without a fight, especially when daily phone calls with her lab partner Theo become her lifeline.

To find her way home, Dani must somehow reconnect with Mum. But as she seeks advice from relatives and insights from old letters, she uncovers family secrets that shake her to the core. Convinced that Dad’s ghost alone can help her, she sets out on a dangerous journey to contact him one last time.

Add it on Goodreads
The e-book is available at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
The paperback is available at CreateSpace, Amazon

Thanks Laurel! I think readers really appreciate and connect with a story when the relationship goes deeper!

So, friends, have you read any books lately with this kind of relationship? Or when you write, what are your trips to making the romance more than skin deep?

Comments { 32 }

A Spy Like Me celebration kicks off!

Welcome to the kick off of a terrific blog series to celebrate the release of my YA novel, A Spy Like Me!  **throws confetti**

 

And wow do we have an incredible line up of authors and bloggers in the next three weeks! Stick around and you’ll get tidbits of personal stories, behind the story stories, mystery writing tips – you name it.

Here’s how it will work. Almost every day there will be a guest post with a giveaway. To enter, please leave a comment and tweet using @laurapauling. If you tweet more than once or blog about this series then add another comment with the link. Let’s show these fantastic authors and bloggers our support!

On Saturday, at the end of each week, I’ll announce the winners. So you’ll have all week to promote and enter. Woo hoo!

I thought I’d start with an interview. Yeah, I interviewed myself. Okay?

Why did I choose to write about spies?

I’ve thought about this and to find the answer all I had to do was look back at my favorite books and movies in the last 20 years or longer.

  • 1. Count of Monte Cristo. Yes, a one thousand page book that I liked so much I’ve read it twice. The aspects of unfair imprisonment, betrayal, revenge, secret identities – all called to me.
  • 2. Until Tomorrow Comes by Sydney Sheldon. I’ve read this numerous times. A woman is unfairly imprisoned, escapes, and turns into a cat burglar.
  • 3. And, of course, Ally Carter’s Gallagher series and Heist books.

And for movies?

  • 1. Shining Through with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith: A woman because of her ability to speak German becomes a spy during WWII – and falls in love, of course. Loved it!
  • 2. True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. The story is about a wife learning her husband is really a spy and how she gets involved. Over the top, funny, serious – all at the same time.

So now you know why my tagline is Spies, Murder and Mystery.

Why did I wait so long to write a story about a spy?

Inspiration. I needed a different take. A unique angle. And I found that during Castle. Yes, Castle. In this one episode, the victim was involved in Spy Games. Bingo. I found a way for my main character to become an accidental spy. And then I set the story in Paris, France to add some flavor.

Anything else you want to know? Ask away in the comments.

Wait! What about the giveaway for today?

Here’s what Gemma Halliday, NYT best selling author of the Spying in High Heels series thought about A Spy Like Me.

“Move over Gallagher Girls – there’s a new spy in town! A Spy Like Me is a fast-paced, high energy ride through Paris that left me almost as breathless as Pauling’s hot hero. Super fun beginning, great story, and an ending that won’t disappoint.”

-Gemma Halliday – NYT best selling author of Spying in High Heels.

So I thought we’d give away her books today! Spying in High Heels, which I read and loved, you can download for free! At Amazon and Smashwords. And Gemma is also offering the ebook of Hollywood Scandals, the first book in a separate series, to one winner today. Thanks Gemma!

That wraps up day one. Tomorrow we’ll hear from Anne R. Allen and a little bit about The Gatsby Game and the Hollywood scandal that inspired it. Here’s a terrific review by Benoit Lelievre.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you tomorrow and the next day.

Don’t forget to enter to win Gemma’s book!

 

 

 

Comments { 36 }

Catch a look at Clockwiser by Elle Strauss!

Welcome if you’ve come over from the Indelibles blog and my post about Johnny Depp…and chocolate chip cookies! In the comments, mention you’d like to win an ebook of A Spy Like Me to win!

For some reason my comments aren’t working! Tweet: I want to win A Spy Like Me by @laurapauling – if you’d like to win a copy!

I wanted to welcome Elle Strauss to the blog today with information about the second book in her Clockwise series! Love the new covers!

CLOCKWISER

The last year has been smooth sailing for Casey Donovan. She and her boyfriend Nate are doing better than ever, and things at home are good, too. Everything’s been so calm, she hasn’t “tripped” back to the nineteenth century in ages.
Then the unthinkable happens and she accidentally takes her rebellious brother Tim back in time. It’s 1862 with the Civil War brewing, and for Tim this spells adventure and excitement. Finding himself stuck in the past, he enlists in the Union army, but it doesn’t take long before he discovers real life war is no fun and games.
Casey and Nate race against the clock to find Tim, but the strain wears on their relationship. It doesn’t help that the intriguing new boy next door has his sights on Casey, and isn’t shy to let her know it.
Can Nate and Casey find Tim in time to save him? And is it too late to save their love?
Sales links:
Smashwords

Sample Chapter

Chapter One
CASEY
Beginning of Summer Holidays
Sometimes I wished I were an only child. But then I’d be walking or taking transit instead of getting a lift from my brother Tim in his Cavalier beater. He didn’t have air conditioning either, and the wind blowing in from our open windows was hot and moist. The humidity made me feel like I was wearing a warm, wet washcloth for a shirt.
“Can’t you drop me off first?” I said, fanning myself with my hand. I was meeting my best friend Lucinda at the mall, and she only had a thirty minute break from her job at Forever21. Plus, the mall was air conditioned. Bonus.
“I gotta get some cash first. Besides, I’m not your personal taxi service, Casey.” Tim snarled, turning the volume up on his stereo. The bass beat was so loud it rattled the trunk. “Get off your lazy butt and get your license already.”
I gave him a dirty look and reached over to turn the music down. I had a very good reason for not getting my license, but I could never tell Tim or any member of my family what it was. There were only three people currently living who knew the reason. One of them was my boyfriend Nate Mackenzie.
My heart still fluttered a bit when I thought of him in those terms. My boyfriend. Not just some out-of-reach guy I crushed hard on my whole sophomore year, but my boyfriend.
We’d already been an official couple for an entire year, totally blowing all the doomsday predictions that we’d never make it. No one thought a college boy would stick it out with a junior in high school–especially Nate’s evil former girlfriend!
But he did, and we were still going strong. I’d be starting my senior year in a few weeks and then I’d join him at Boston University, too.
“If you dropped me off first, you wouldn’t have to deal with me,” I tried to reason.
“If I didn’t shuttle you around at all I wouldn’t have to deal with you.”
The only reason he did was because my parents were putting the screws in. Tim’s bad attitude, questionable choice of friends and poor grades put him in their bad books. Driving me around was penance.
He pulled into the parking lot of the bank and hopped out, leaving the car running. I reached over and turned it off. Idling the car was bad for the environment for one, and a waste of Tim’s hard-earned minimum-wage job gas money for another. You’d think he’d know better.
I checked the time on my phone and grew anxious as Lucinda’s break time grew nearer. Tim had his back to me as he stood in line at the ATM window. I looked at my reflection in the visor mirror. Since I’d grown out of my skinny awkwardness last year (and snagged a hot boyfriend), I was more mindful of my looks. Instead of trying to hide behind a bush of dark, curly hair, I used better hair products and found a great stylist, and I liked the way my curls framed my face now. I took a tube of lip gloss out of my purse and rolled it onto my lips.
I tugged on my shorts and rubbed my bare legs. They were so long, my knees almost touched the glove compartment. Height had its advantages, but getting comfortable in a small car wasn’t one of them.
I turned the radio on and hummed along. I daydreamed about me and Nate and how we could relax for the rest of the summer, hopefully stretching the lazy days out as long as possible.
I checked the time on my phone again and immediately started stressing about being late to meet Lucinda. C’mon, Tim! He was second in line now. I texted Lucinda to let her know I might be a little late.
I heard sirens and I perked up. This wasn’t the best neighborhood. The bank wasn’t huge, just tucked into a strip mall along with a nail place, a dollar store, and a thrift shop. Litter overflowed from the bin and a good amount had been blown up against the cement foundation.
I checked on Tim. He’d finally made it to the front, the last one in line. If I’d known it was going to take him this long, I would’ve run into the dollar store and picked up cheap nail polish.
The siren noise grew increasingly louder and suddenly three cop cars pulled into the parking lot beside me. My heart jumped, and I thought fleetingly that maybe Tim was in trouble with the law again. Only, he was getting money out of the ATM, not robbing the bank.
But someone was.
Everything happened so fast.
A guy with a ski mask pushed past Tim as he ran out the bank doors. A cop shouted, “Stop or I’ll shoot,” and another masked man followed. Guns went off. Tim stood there, stunned and frozen.
I heard myself shout, “Tim!” He was right in the middle of the cross-fire!
A police officer ran to him, pushing him to the ground just as the second armed man shot in their direction. The officer fell to the ground, taking the bullet instead of Tim.
The robbers ran around the corner and out of sight, chased by police officers on foot and a cruiser down the back ally.
I sprinted to Tim where he was on the ground by the fallen cop.
“Are you okay?” I asked, my voice tight.
His face was white, and he motioned to the woman beside him. “Yeah, but I don’t think she is.”
The officer moaned, holding her hand on her chest.
“Oh, ma’am, are you okay?” I searched for blood but couldn’t see any.
“I will be,” she said gasping for breath. “I have a vest on.”
Another officer kneeled beside her. “Ambulance is on its way.”
The woman had dark hair pulled back in a low bun. Her eyes stayed pinched together and her pale face glistened with sweat. The impact of the bullet was enough to do some damage. I picked up her police hat that had fallen off her head and handed it to her.
“Thank you,” I said.
“Just doing my duty.”
The ambulance arrived. The paramedics pushed us aside and lifted the woman onto a gurney.
The cop who’d checked her pulse stepped forward from his open door cruiser. Radio dispatch noises leaked out.
I watched the ambulance pull away, siren blasting, and realized I didn’t know her name. I asked the officer standing beside me.
“That’s Officer Clarice Porter,” he said. “Now, would you two mind coming with me to the station to file a report?”
We agreed, and I took my first ride in a police car. It was Tim’s second, but his first was not for noble reasons. He still claimed it was his friend Alex, and not him, who’d stolen the cigarettes from the convenience store.
A thought like a loud banner ran through my mind as the doors of the police cruiser slammed shut and we drove away.
Clarice Porter saved my brother’s life.

  Thanks for sharing Elle! Best of luck with Clockwiser!
Comments { 0 }