Saturday 20 September 2014

Danger and Desire Boxed Set Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Danger and Desire Boxed Set 
Publication date: September 15th 2014 
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense


Danger and Desire: Ten Steamy Romantic Suspense Novels
Hold on tight for ten tales of intrigue and passion from New York Times Bestselling and award-winning authors. Men in uniform, sexy spies and pulse-pounding action fill over 650,000 words of this limited edition boxed set.
New York Times Bestseller Katie Reus – Sensual Surrender
RITA Award Winning Author Carolyn Crane – Against the Dark
USA Today Bestseller Pamela Clare – Skin Deep
New York Times Bestseller Dianna Love
Dee J. Adams – Against the Wall
USA Today Bestseller Norah Wilson
USA Today Bestseller VK Sykes – Lethal Confessions
Amber Lin
USA Today Bestseller Misty Evans
New York Times Bestseller Kaylea Cross

The individual novels cost over $35 in total and have more than 2,000 5-star reviews on Goodreads. This set is only available for one month, so grab your copy now!


Excerpt from Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus
“I won’t miss it,” he said, taking his planner and setting it down without looking at it. He stared at his laptop, his fingers clacking away on the keys as he spoke. “Besides, you’re coming with me to that one. I don’t know why you’re so stressed today.”
She bit her lip, trying to find the right words. Impossible ones she just needed to get out. Maybe the silence was more weighted than she realized because he looked up then, his blue eyes electric in their intensity.
“You are going with me to that meeting?”
“Wyatt, I’ve enjoyed working for you more than I can say.” She smoothed her hand down her skirt again, a stupid nervous habit.
His expression went flat. “You’re not quitting.”
She blinked at his forceful tone. “I appreciate everything you did for me when I graduated.” He’d given her a job right out of school. She’d just gotten her Master’s in Business Administration and had been hungry to work. Landing a position with one of the richest men in the country had been a dream come true. She worked her ass off, but he compensated all his employees well and she loved what she did. Leaving this position was one of the hardest decisions, but she knew she had to do it. Once she told Kevin that she’d been fired—a tiny lie—she wouldn’t be able to help him with whatever plan he had to rob the Serafina. This was the only way.
Frowning, Wyatt stood, pushing his chair back before rounding his desk. Wearing a custom-made pinstriped suit, the tall man with midnight black hair and electric blue eyes, that were so damn intense as to be scary, was giving her all his focus. She didn’t like feeling as if she were under a microscope, but stood her ground.
Crossing his arms over his chest, he leaned against the front of his desk and faced off with her. Even though he wasn’t as tall as Jay, the man was certainly intimidating. She’d seen him use this glare with business associates and even enemies before and had never thought to be on the receiving end of one of his ‘looks’. “Are you giving your resignation?” he asked quietly, disbelief threading through every word.
Even though she wanted to stay strong, she dropped her gaze and fished out the folded piece of paper she’d tucked in the back of her skirt. It was slightly wrinkled as she handed it to him. “I’m sorry that I can’t give you two weeks’ notice and if you won’t give me a reference I completely understand. I hope that you will as I’ve enjoyed working here, but—”
“I’m not accepting your resignation,” he said calmly, his bluntness taking her by surprise. She forced herself to meet his gaze again. “Is this about you and Jay? Are you guys having problems? Whatever this is about, we’ll work it out. Do you want a raise? Hell, you deserve one so consider it done, effective tomorrow.”

She shook her head, taken aback by the offer. “I…” For a brief moment she thought of telling him that her thieving ex-boyfriend wanted her to steal from him. If she didn’t work here anymore, the bastard couldn’t blackmail her into anything. Which meant she’d become useless to Kevin and he’d leave her alone. She knew how that rat Kevin operated. But if she stayed on as Wyatt’s assistant, she’d always be a target for Kevin. He would keep coming at her until someone in her life got hurt.

Interview with Carolyn Crane

Who is your favorite author and why?
My favorite author is definitely Anne Stuart, especially her Ice series, though I love many of her historicals, too. But I feel like she really punched through the wall of how dark a hero can be with that Ice series, and I just love it. I love how complete those heroes seem in their darkness, and how they make sense. They’re not just dark as a feature like hair color, or in some actions that surprise you, but they’re dark clear through in a primal way that makes sense and drives everything about them. It’s a way she builds her heroes that I greatly admire. She walks this very tricky line and even edges into dubious consent and really makes it work.

I know there are a lot of dark erotica romances coming out with super dark heroes, and I really enjoy those, but Anne feels like her own breed, in a way. Maybe it’s because she was the first (for me, anyway). I don’t know. I also crazy love secret agents (obviously) and that’s what the Ice guys are. Her  Ice books are wedged into my mind like these perfect things. 

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?
My heroine in Against the Dark is a retired safecracker – she’s been out of the game for years, but she’s pulled back by her girl gang for one last job for a good cause. (And you know it’s always that one last job that gets characters in trouble!)  Anyway, I really had to research safecracking and lock picking for it, just to get the details right, and I found out two things that were very interesting.

First, there is this whole scene devoted to picking locks. I had no idea of this, but there’s a scene for My Little Pony, so why not? They have conventions and things, and competitions where people sit at a long table and race to pick locks. (And open them really fast. **Eyes front door lock**). The combination lock is apparently still the best kind of lock, and did you know you actually need two tools to open a lock? Not just one like Hollywood makes you think?

Also, I was coming into romantic suspense from urban fantasy. Here’s the thing about urban fantasy: it’s really just romantic suspense with some magic and shifters and vampires (or disillusionists!) thrown in. I’m always kind of surprised the audiences don’t cross over more, but that’s another post.

But one big difference: I could make up all the shit I wanted with urban fantasy. Romantic suspense, not so much!! So I was a little bit grumbly about having to research things for RS. I saw it as kind of a holdup to writing. The surprise was that it was the opposite: research takes time, yeah, but it gives you awesome information you can’t make up. Stuff you can work with and exploit. With the safe cracking, the more I got into how it works, the more I realized how the entire art of it related to my heroine in really interesting ways. For example, she likes to stay in the background, hidden, and has a lot of guilt issues, and safecrackers have to be good at feeling and visualizing the insides of safes—it’s like a mini world you have to sink into, and it felt like a natural escape for my heroine, into this dark interior, into the shadows, in a way. It really made things nice for me as a writer to have those two things link up like that. 

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

I have noticed that there are two dispositions writers can fall into. It’s kind of a spectrum and in my mind, it makes all the difference to whether somebody will succeed or not. On one side is “Please admire my talent.” On the other side is, let’s say, “I’m a fierce learning and growing machine.” I have noticed that the “admire me” ones wash out pretty quickly. Because they don’t get good at learning, and being good at learning is soooo critical.

So my best advice is to be a fierce and mercenary learning machine. Take everything as an opportunity to learn, but most especially feedback. Even negative feedback is a gift that you can seize and use if you can learn not to react to it or let it get you down. “Please admire my talent” is such dangerous territory for a writer to live in. Yes, all writers want praise, and every human being wants love, but you can’t grow and evolve if you fixate on getting praise. And it takes vigilance.

With a newer writer stuck in “Please Admire My Talent” if you point out a problem, they’ll explain why they did what they did it, or they’ll feel bad or angry, and it’s no way to grow.

The fierce learning machine side is taking risks and being okay with failure and trying new things and having flaws pointed out. The learning machine writer doesn’t bother to explain when something isn’t working—you have given her something she can use by telling her that something isn’t working. That scene isn’t clear. That character isn’t working for at least one reader. Whatever. That is useful stuff even if it sucks. As a writer, you absolutely shouldn’t take every bit of feedback to heart—not all readers will give you value. Some will be completely wrong, but if you have that learning machine disposition, you get better at assessing and using feedback in general, and it’s just such a key skill. 
What is the hardest part about writing for you?

I am trying so hard to learn to write faster. I have so many books I want to write, and a limited amount of time in a day, obviously, so I’ve really been thinking about it and reading books about it. There’s this one called “2K to 10K a day” that’s really good. I’m still at 2k, but still.

I think I daydream a lot, and fuss a lot with sentences that I later cut. So, I’ve changed my style to not polish much as I go, and that has helped.

My third Undercover Associates book, Into the Shadows, features a spy who is super into Bruce Lee, who has all this martial arts advice about getting out of your own way and letting go of structure and being totally responsive.

I’ve been thinking lately that some of that advice Bruce Lee gives martial artists would be good for somebody trying to learn how to write fast. I’m in my own way a lot, and I think I don’t sink as deeply into the material as I could. I think sometimes my fixation on where I want the material to go stops me from following it where it wants to go.  Well, we’ll see if that advice helps when I start drafting my next book. 

Where are you from and what do you love best about your hometown?

I’m from a smallish lake town in Wisconsin, and it’s a totally quirky place. I think I would never be able to write about it because people would think I was making it all up. There was the rich end of the lake and the poor, swampy end of the lake, and people would drive around in boats, like along the shore, with drinks—we’re talking coolers here--and yell to the people on shore or talk about them and tell elaborate stories about them. And tell the same stories over the over. The people in this house did this or that. When I moved away, every time I went back home there would have to be this boat ride where I learned about all the latest on the lake. Everybody was out there doing that.

Once I got married, even my poor husband ended up having to take the drunk boat rides and getting all the stories, many of which I’m sure he can repeat. In fact, the entire culture kind of revolved around being drunk in boats. There would be drunken boat parades, too, and of course, the races. I’m kind of amazed there weren’t more accidents. And then there were these lovely rituals, like, the boat lift parties, where dozens of families would band together and the guys would take the boat lifts off the shore and stick them in the water and set them up and position them in spring, or pull them out in the fall. Boat lifts are super heavy, so it takes a group of guys to deal with them. It’s kind of like the Amish, like a barn raising. Except drunk. God, maybe I do need to put this stuff in a story!

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

Carolyn Crane is a pen name. It’s a lot like my real name, I’m really Carolyn C., but my day job is freelance advertising writer, and it’s a competitive field, and while most of my clients are super cool, I don’t need them googling me and getting to a hot secret agent with a stocking fetish giving oral sex to a hotel singer in Bangkok, and certainly not to my pen name Annika, with her erotic “Taken Hostage by Hunky Bank Robbers” series. Because, let’s face it, it’s not the sort of thing that would fill a client with confidence when they’re thinking about paying me to write about their banking services or whatever. 

When I first started out writing urban fantasy for Random House, I wanted a super goth name and I told my agent and editor I wanted to be Carolyn von Krüik. Don’t you think that’s kind of cool? Well, they didn’t. They were like, if you get really famous, we’ll want to make your last name huge, and von Krüik is too weird. I think maybe they just secretly hated it and were trying to be nice about it. Anyway, I tossed it out. Then I couldn’t decide between Carolyn Crane and Carolyn Crowe (because I like birds, and Russell Crowe!). Crane won out in the end. I guess it just felt more right. And, now I'm glad I didn’t go with the funky name.


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