Breaking Hearts Blog

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Searching For Beautiful by Jennifer Probst
Searching For, #3

(May 26, 2015, Gallery Books)

Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.

When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.

Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?



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EXCERPT:

He made a move to get up, but she lost it, knowing once she spotted the pity in his eyes she may never be the same.
“Don’t you dare feel sorry for me! I need you to leave. I’m begging you to go out the door and give me time. Tomorrow, I’ll put myself back together and everything will be fine.” Her voice broke but she pushed on. “I just need some time alone. To
process. Please, Wolfe, please just go.”
She had nothing left, so she turned and walked toward the window. He didn’t move from the edge of the bed. Didn’t breathe. She pressed her forehead to the cool pane of glass and prayed to finish this awful night in isolation. Tomorrow she’d get her shit together and it would be okay. But tonight all bets were off, and she felt dangerously out of control . . . on the pinnacle of something so fierce she didn’t know how to handle it.
The mattress creaked. Shoes hit the floor. She held her breath and waited for the blessed silence, but instead of heading out, he stopped right behind her. His body heat roped her in and pulled tight, like a helpless calf at the rodeo. She held the windowsill in a deathlike grip, sensing him closing the distance inch by precious inch, until his chest pressed against her back.
“Look at me.” The rough growl was full of danger, command, heat. She was helpless to disobey, leaving the safety of the window to turn and face him full force. He reached out and tipped her chin up. Blistering, raw lust shot from his eyes. As if they were glowing from under the sea in the Caribbean, she tumbled into the depths of a gaze that promised everything with a Warning: Danger label attached.
His grip tightened, refusing to allow her to retreat, and he crowded her space by taking another step between her thighs. The sill dug into her lower back. His scent drowned out everything but the need to touch him, feast, taste—the delicious mix of lemon and soap and cotton surrounding her.
“I need you to listen closely, because I’m only going to say it once. Understood?”
Her lips parted. This was no friend. This was a deadly man with an agenda. Transfixed, she nodded, unable to form words, mere prey beneath the command of a dangerous predator.
“I’m done with excuses and conversation and politeness. I’m over this bullshit of you questioning the power you have to grip me in a vise so tight I can’t even breathe without wanting you with my last breath. I’m tired of walking around with a dick that won’t go down when I catch your scent, or look at your sweet curves, or imagine being buried deep within you. Are you still listening, Gen?”
Her body flamed so hot and bright she was surprised burn marks didn’t appear on her skin. She began to shake, and her belly uncurled so a river flow of liquid warmth coursed between her thighs, tightening her muscles, gripping her with a need she’d never experienced or believed could be real. “Yes,”she whispered.
“Good. Because tonight I’m going to fuck you. All night. If I was a true friend, I’d walk out that door and give you the space to rebuild your walls. You deserve that. But I’m a selfish prick who needs you in my bed so bad I’ll trade my soul to the devil for one taste of you. Still listening?”
“Y-y-yes.”
“I’ll give you three seconds to run. It’s the smart thing to do. Just walk away from me and we’ll never mention this again. We’ll go back to being friends, push this whole episode aside, and go on pretending. But if you’re still standing here after that, you’re mine. Every part of you. And I promise you’ll never question your ability to cast a sexual spell on a man so deep and encompassing he’ll spend the rest of his life comparing you to every other woman he touches.”
Her head spun, the room tilted, and she grasped his arm to keep her balance. “Wolfe.”
“One.”
Her stomach dropped to her toes. His mouth moved closer.
“Oh, God.”
 “Two.”
She swallowed, one foot poised for flight, knowing it would wreck everything, change their relationship forever, open a door that could never be shut and locked again.
“I don’t—”
“Three. Too late. You belong to me for tonight.”
“I think—”
“Don’t think. Just give me everything you got.”
He cupped her cheeks, dropped his head, and took her mouth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

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Vintage by: Lisa Suzanne

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Celebrating the Release Day of…

 Vintage Volume One

By:  Lisa Suzanne

Genre: Romantic Suspense/New Adult Release Date: May 1, 2015 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Synopsis:

Born the daughter of a rock star and his groupie, my life should have been full of glitz and glamour. But the excess and embarrassment of that life didn’t interest me. Instead, I killed time at Vintage, a record store where I stocked shelves and lacked ambition.

Everything changed the moment I pressed play. One simple lyric awakened me.

When I stopped denying my attraction to the man behind the music, I started questioning his intentions. We were meant to cross paths, but it wasn’t because of fate.

Someone was playing with our lives.

Review Coming Soon…

Excerpt Graphics 

About the Author:

Lisa Suzanne started handwriting her books on yellow legal pads after she took a creative writing class in high school. She still has those legal pads full of stories, but now one of them is published under the title How He Really Feels. She currently works as a full time high school English teacher, and her favorite part of the year is summer. She has been blessed with the world’s best dog, a supportive family, and a husband who encouraged her to publish after reading one of her novels. She likes the advice of Ernest Hemingway’s famous quote, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”

PRE-ORDER VINTAGE VOL. 2

Don’t forget the GIVEAWAY!!!!

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My Girl, Cora, is ALL over it with this one!!!

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HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:

ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven’t yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I’m not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was “Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?”

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They’d make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end… I couldn’t envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It’s a wonderful experience, but in Stella’s case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said… Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, “Mine. This is my story.” I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn’t take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn’t want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn’t mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, “Someone needs to tell this story. And I’m strong enough to do it. Let me.” And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I’d been adamant wasn’t right for her. Because as it turns out… Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren’t so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It’s about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It’s about the way that kind of event can change everything– how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It’s about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you’re still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…



ALL CLOSED OFF:

Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.

*****

ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don’t have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I’ll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I’ll be able to ensure that I’m able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won’t be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you’ll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella’s story. When it’s finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.

All my best,

Cora Carmack

*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)

#WhenitHappened banner

And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW

HeadshotABOUT Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

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