Collide + Giveaway!

When their worlds collide, neither will be left unscarred. Suffocated by her small-town life, Maggie Hale runs away to Las Vegas to pursue her dream as a contemporary dancer. But Vegas doesn’t turn out like she imagined. She doesn’t make it into Essence Dance Theater and the only job she can find is working in a greasy diner—again.

Jay Thornton wants to quit enforcing and own his own boxing gym one day. But his loan shark boss saved him from the streets as a kid and he owes the man everything. Cutting ties isn’t so simple.


When Maggie pledges to pay back a friend’s loan, she becomes Jay’s next mark. Sparks fly between them, but choosing each other could mean the end of both their dreams.


COLLIDE by Melanie Burt Standford, is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s NORTH & SOUTH.

Thanks Anne Marie, for having me today! And thank you for the idea to post about my Top 10 Inspirations!

I’m so excited that COLLIDE, my second Romance Revisited novel, is finally out! It’s about Maggie, a small-town girl who runs away to Vegas to pursue her dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer, and Jay, a loan shark’s enforcer who wants to own his own boxing gym one day. Naturally, when they meet sparks fly. It wouldn’t be a romance otherwise, now would it!

So here are my Top 10 Inspirations for COLLIDE:

1. North & South. COLLIDE is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic novel. I wouldn’t call it a retelling because I make quite a few changes, but I wouldn’t have written COLLIDE without Gaskell’s beloved novel. There are so many great things about this book, and while it wasn’t easy putting it into a modern-day setting, I had a fun time trying!

2. Small-town living. In the original, Margaret Hale and her parents move from a small town in the South to a bustling, enterprising city in the North. In COLLIDE, Maggie is from Hillstone, a fictitious small town that’s inspired by where I live right now mixed with a healthy dose of idealising what a small town should be like. Maggie needed to come from somewhere so different from Vegas, and from Jay, that I really amped up Hillstone’s charm.

 3. The BBC movie (or miniseries, or whatever it’s called- there are four parts). I watched this before I ever read the book and it is FANTASTIC. (In fact, I like it better than the book, but don’t tell anyone.) One of my favorite things is how the actors do so well with their facial expressions that words aren’t necessary to know exactly what they’re thinking. It’s a must-watch for period drama fans.

 4. “Jungle” by X Ambassadors. I talk playlist at another blog tour stop, but when I heard this song, it evoked exactly how Maggie feels about Vegas. Before she goes she’s thinking it’s going to be beautiful and exciting, but it doesn’t turn out that way. One lyric especially really sums up Vegas for her: “…ain’t no God on these streets/In the heart of the jungle.”

5. Richard Armitage. His brooding stare, his smolder, the proposal and then his rebuttal. The end scene on the train platform *dies*. And, of course, one of my favorite lines from the movie, “Look back. Look back at me.”

6. Muay Thai. When I decided Jay was going to be an enforcer, I also wanted him to want to be better, do something different with his life. So I gave him a job at a boxing gym—he’s a good fighter after all—and an ambition to own it one day. A lot of the scenes at the gym were inspired by the years my son took Muay Thai classes.

7. Being Erica. So you’ll probably wonder why this short-lived Canadian TV show would have any bearing on my modern N&S romance. Here’s the deal. In the original story, Mr. Thornton is a mill owner. In the movie, Margaret first meets Mr. Thornton at the mill where he’s beating up one of his workers who was smoking near the cotton. Margaret is of course horrified, and Mr. Thornton wants her out of there. This scene stuck with me when I was considering what job to give my character Jay. At the same time as I was planning the novel, I was watching Being Erica. In season three, Erica starts dating Adam, a loan shark’s enforcer… you see where this is going. I guess the job sorta stuck with me.

8. My own upbringing. They say write what you know. Well, my dad has never been a “preacher,” but he held various religious positions in his life. I grew up in a very religious household. That being said, Maggie is not me and her parents are not my parents. But it wasn’t hard to write characters where religion is the backbone of who they are.

 9. So You Think You Can Dance. SYTYCD is one of my favorite reality shows. I’ve watched it faithfully since season one. So when I was considering what Maggie’s “dream” would be, dance was an easy choice. I chose contemporary dance specifically because it’s such a beautiful art form, and often misunderstood or underappreciated. SYTYCD has some of the best contemporary choreography I have ever seen. (Melanie and Neil’s routine to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is my all-time fave.)

 10. Las Vegas. In my very first draft, Maggie moves from Hillstone to Milton, the name of the city in Gaskell’s original work. I quickly decided to change that to a real setting. I’ve been to Vegas multiple times. It’s both beautiful and ugly, exciting and boring, dangerous and drab. Most cities are probably like this, but Vegas is over-the-top this. I did consider LA, but I’d already set SWAY there, and New York, but New York felt too big, both in size and as a dream for Maggie. Vegas felt like the perfect place for Maggie to run to, for her parents to object to, and for Jay to have grown up in.

So there you have it. The Top 10 things that inspired my novel COLLIDE. Hope this inspires you to pick up a copy!

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BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Collide-Romance-Revisited-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07786KX2W/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Collide-Romance-Revisited-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07786KX2W/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Collide-Romance-Revisited-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07786KX2W/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/collide-melanie-stanford/1127188380?ean=2940155034551

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/collide-34

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Stanford writes romance and YA of different genres. Her first novel, SWAY, a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, debuted December 2015 from Samhain Publishing and was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Since Samhain’s closure, Melanie decided to republish SWAY herself, along with the rest of her Romance Revisited series: CLASH, a Romance Revisited novella, COLLIDE, and a third novel coming 2018. She also has short stories featured in the Austenesque anthologies THE DARCY MONOLOGUES and THEN COMES WINTER.

Melanie reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow.

Website: http://melaniestanfordbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelMStanford/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelanieStanfordauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanie_stanford/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14079511.Melanie_Stanford

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Wicked Soul by Nora Ash

Wicked Soul
by Nora Ash
(Ancient Blood, #1)
Publication date: February 10th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

Synopsis:

He saved me… And then he blood-bonded me. Now I’m his.

My first meeting with a Chicago vampire went better than expected.

Up until that night, all I knew about vampires was limited to a few common facts: they drink blood, they get a mean sunburn and if you find yourself alone with one, you’re dead.

Except he didn’t kill me.

Sexy, broody Warin clearly had his own reasons for sparing my life and tying me with his blood, but if he’d known how much trouble I’d attract, I bet he wouldn’t have bothered. When he blood-bonded me, secrets even I didn’t know about myself came to light.

Secrets that will pull us both deep into the eternal war between vampires and the witches determined to rid the world of their evil.

We have only one choice now: fight the forces hell-bent on breaking our bond…

Or die.

 

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36388708-wicked-soul

Pre-order:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077FTT891
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wicked-soul/id1294122832
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicked-soul-nora-ash/1127201561
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/wicked-soul
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=d4s-DwAAQBAJ
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/759069

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Nora Ash writes the sort of books that have your toes curling and your blood pulsing. Her stories are often dark and always thrilling, with lots of sexy bad boys and the women who spur their desires. When not typing away at a story, Nora paints, eats chocolate or go for hikes around the English countryside with her very own bad boy.

Sign up to get updated about new releases at: http://www.nora-ash.com/newsletter/

Author links:

https://twitter.com/NoraAshWrites

http://www.nora-ash.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNoraAsh/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8118312.Nora_Ash

 

Monsters & Angels By @MonstersnAngels @XpressoTours #Review #Giveaway

Scroll down for a fantastic review!

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Thank you to Anne Marie Andrus and Xpresso Book Tours for our advance ARC review copy.  Received in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Synopsis

Fledgling nurse Sorcha Alden knew she had the skills to save lives, but she never dreamed that her own life would be the one in danger.

Driven by tragedy to honor her family name, Sorcha embarks on a journey that takes her from the bleak but familiar streets of New York, through the sultry and seductive city of New Orleans, and into the brutal jungles of Nepal. Forging friendships and carrying on her mother’s mission of healing was her dream. Plunging into a love affair with the mysterious Dr. Ashayle could have been a fairytale.

Being murdered and waking up as a blood-thirsty monster—became her living nightmare.

Torn away form a life that had just begun, Sorcha returns to New Orleans as a newborn vampire…

View original post 731 more words

In The Middle

 Girl moves to new town.

Girl meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.

Cue Happily Ever After.

That’s how the story goes, right?

Except this is Lucy. The same Lucy whose stellar driving skills single-handedly wiped out both of her parents, leaving her with nothing but the suitcase in her hand and the screws in her skull. Not to mention that Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome—AKA Oliver—is just as annoyingly bossy as he is hot. According to Oliver, Lucy’s not safe in her new hometown, but he refuses to say why. He just gives her some lame warning about not going out after dark, like that’ll stop her.

When several townspeople vanish, the lethargic community springs to life, fearful of the danger lurking among them. The problem is that Lucy’s the last person to have seen any of the missing. Doesn’t exactly qualify her for the Neighbor of the Year Award.

Lucy’s already given up on Happily Ever After, but now she has two choices left: find out what’s happening in her new home, or become the next victim.

Read an excerpt from…

 

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“Do you trust me?” he asks. He’s closer to me.

 

“Do I have a choice?”

 

“Not really. We’ve got to get you back to the mansion before . . .” His voice trails off. I want to slug him in the arm for being spooky again, but I’d have to find his arm first.

 

He swoops in without warning, whisking me from my feet. Again, I cry out. He sucks in a sharp breath that catches between his teeth. “Lucy, I’m not kidding—stop making noise.”

 

My blood simmers beneath my skin. “Warn me next time you’re planning on picking me up, then.”

 

“Sorry,” he fires back, his mouth too close to my ear.

 

I want nothing more than for the strength in my legs to return so I can get away from him and his nerve, but Oliver is in control now and holds me pressed unnecessarily tightly to his body. Turning my head from him is my only means of escape. I’d shown him, all right.

 

With a little more energy than necessary, he heaves me up into the blackness. My bottom connects to something soft yet solid—Jasper’s back—and pain spikes down my spine. I gasp as my body starts to curl in on itself.

 

“Okay,” Oliver says. “Slide your right leg over to the other side. I’ll keep you steady.”

My mouth flops open and I wonder if he can see the ever-growing whites of my eyes. Or maybe he’s picked up on the stampede going on between the valves of my heart, because he softens. “Lucy, I’m not going to let you fall. Trust me.”

 

“The only people I’ve ever trusted are dead,” I shoot down to him as I claw around for something, anything, to keep me from falling on my face.

 

Oliver snorts, which sends me over the edge.

 

“What? You think that’s funny?” I challenge him, no longer concerned about keeping quiet. His hand clamps on my leg in piercing reproof. I’ll have bruises there tomorrow, for sure. Through locked teeth, I order, “Let. Go.”

 

“Please stop,” he says. “I’m trying to keep you sa—”

 

A rumble beyond us, where the orchard fades into the rest of the forest, interrupts his plea. Even though I sit astride stoic Jasper, I can feel the ground vibrating beneath us.

 

“What in the—?” I cry, whipping my head in the direction of the growing commotion.

 

“Slide back,” Oliver commands. I know better than to take offense at his bossy tone. I’d made a big mistake, one he’d been trying to protect me from. The fear of horses leaves my body, only to be replaced by the fear of the unknown. Ignoring the bite of pain in my hip, I throw my leg over Jasper’s withers and shove myself backward, using my palms for leverage. A second later, Oliver sweeps himself upward and in front of me on his horse’s back.

 

“Hold on,” he yells over the thunder moving our direction.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon (www.amazon.com/Middle-S-J-Henderson-ebook/dp/B01MS38HH5/)

Tiny Fox Press (http://tinyfoxpress.com/product/in-the-middle/)

 

jen

 

  1. J. Henderson is the founder of theKid Authors Project, as well as a published author of the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER series. Now that she’s published IN THE MIDDLE, she’ll start working on the next big thing.

 

  1. J. lives on a farm with her husband, four boys, two dogs, and cat. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her riding one of her family’s three horses. She loves to sing and is slowly learning to play the ukulele.

 

 

Website (www.sjhenderson.net)

Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorsunnyhenderson)

Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/SunnyHenderson)

Twitter (www.twitter.com/SunnyJHenderson)