Friday, August 16, 2019

Cover Reveal: Renegade by Jeanne McDonald #romance



Renegade by Jeanne McDonald

Available for Pre-Order!

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense



A rookie cop and a chance meeting with two men. One is strait-laced and perfect. The other is a tattooed, pierced, foul-mouthed criminal.

One is everything right and safe. A compliment to her in personality and temperament.

The other is all danger, mystery, and contradiction. Entirely wrong for her, yet so perfectly right.

When their worlds collide, Lucy Diamond will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice as she embarks on the road of no return with bad boy, Jude Wallace, and good guy, Ian Clarke.

Like a thief in the night, love will take her by surprise.

**Originally part of the Branded: A Bad Boy anthology. Now a full-length novel**


Cover Design: Jada D'Lee Designs | Publisher: Enchanted Publications
Expected Release Date: September 13, 2019

Follow the Author


About the Author

Jeanne McDonald enjoys writing contemporary romance filled with spice, drama, and humor. As JM Dodd, Jeanne's creativity explores the supernatural, relishes in the world of fantasy, and dabbles in contemporary fiction.

She prides herself in being a mother, a friend, a student of knowledge and of life, a coffee addict, a philosophy novice, a pop culture connoisseur, inspired by music, encouraged by words, and believer in humanity.

Jeanne is the founder of the author co-op, Enchanted Publications, and is an avid supporter of autism awareness, combating senior hunger, and higher education access.

When she's not spending time with her amazing son, her dog, and her cat, she can be found reading, writing, enjoying a great film, or cooking for friends. In her house, there's always music or a podcast playing.

A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her son, Bacon, and Espresso.




Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fight for You Exclusive Excerpt #teasers #bookteasers #romance

Happy Teaser Tuesday!

I haven't shared much from Fight for You with you guys yet, but wanted to share a little teaser today.

One of my absolute favorite things about this book is getting to watch the relationship between Michael and January unfold over the years. There's something so damn sweet about young love! 


EXCERPT

"Don't cry, baby girl," I plead with her. "Please don't cry."

"I'm sorry," she sobs, clinging to me.

"What happened?" I ask, rubbing her back in an attempt to calm her down.

"He found my birth control," she chokes out between sobs, still hiding her face in my throat.
My hands freeze on her back as soon as I process her words.

"Shit," I mutter, not sure what to say to that. No wonder he tackled me. He thinks I'm sleeping with his little sister.

She and I aren't having sex, but since she turned sixteen a few months ago, she's been pushing the issue. Holding her off is getting harder by the day. I want her so badly it hurts. I'm trying to do the right thing, but then she crawls into my lap, and all the reasons why we need to wait fall away. It's come close a few times before I was able to get myself under control, but I'm not sure how much longer that's going to last.

I'm constantly hard for her.

"He hates you now and it's all my fault," she sobs. "I ruined your friendship!"

"He doesn't hate me," I tell her, hoping like hell he doesn't make a liar out of me. "And you didn't ruin our friendship. He's just worried about you."

Mandy thought she was pregnant about a year ago, and it freaked Titan the hell out. He's probably thinking about that, and worried that January will end up where he thought he was back then. I know Titan better than I know myself sometimes. He adores the girl currently clinging to me like her life depends on it. He always says that she's going to be the one who gets out of here and does something great with her life. There's no way he'd be okay with her getting pregnant at sixteen.

Hell, there's no way I'd be okay with her getting pregnant at sixteen. We're too fucking young to have kids. Between school, taking care of Ma Rose, keeping Kaleo from claiming this block, and all the shit that goes hand-in-hand with that responsibility, I barely have time to see my girl. There's no way I could juggle a kid on top of it. And there's no way I'm letting her jeopardize her future by becoming a teen mom. That's exactly why we decided that she needed to be on birth control. That's why I carry a condom everywhere I go. I'm not taking any chances.

Eventually, I know I won't be able to tell her no anymore. It's already hard as hell to keep pulling us back from the edge. As soon as I feel her soft hands on my body or she pulls her shirt off and puts my hands on her little body, I lose track of everything but her. I want her more than she knows. But when we finally do take that step, I want us both to be prepared.

"He's so mad at me."

"You were throwing shit at him, January." I don't mention the definite handprint across his cheek.

"Only because he said he was going to kill you!" she cries.

I shake my head, bemused at how upset she is over that. It's equal parts adorable and ridiculous. I love her for wanting to fight for me, but damn. She's five-two, and about one hundred and ten pounds soaking wet. If Titan really wanted to kill me, it'd take a hell of a lot more than a couple of well-aimed remotes to stop him. He lived up to his name. He's linebacker big, with a temper to match.

"I love you for trying to defend me," I tell her, tipping her head back and forcing her to look at me. Seeing the tears still shimmering in those long lashes breaks my heart all over again. She's too beautiful, like a little porcelain doll. She was made for laughter, not tears. "But no more throwing shit at him. He could have hurt you."

"He'd never hurt me," she protests, jumping to his defense.

"He'd never hurt you on purpose," I agree before she gets herself all wound up, trying to defend him this time. I swear to God, she's like a little lioness sometimes, so damn protective of me and Titan, it's absurd. What she thinks she's protecting us from when we run this fucking block and are over twice her size, I don't know. But she tries anyway. "He could have easily hurt you by accident, and then you'd both feel terrible."

"Okay," she agrees and then buries her face in my throat once more. She's not crying anymore though, thank God.

I close my eyes and just hold her for a little while. She's so soft and sweet. Her little body fits with mine like she was made to cradle my larger frame. She's soft where I'm hard. If there's anything better in the world than the feel of her in my arms, I don't know if I'll survive finding it. This is perfection enough for one man.

ABOUT FIGHT FOR YOU

Some men deserve redemption. Some men are worthy of salvation. I'm not one of them. My name is Michael Kincaid, and I've got so much blood on my hands, I'll never wash clean. 

For ten years, I've tried to outrun my gangbanger past by burying myself in my work with the DEA. I've tried like hell to forget the day I damned my soul and lost everything…my family, my home, and the only girl I've ever loved.

I still can't outrun it.

No matter how far I go, January James haunts me. Being without her is killing me, but what other choice do I have? We were still kids the first time I vowed to protect her. Instead, I destroyed her.

Now one of my enemies—a local gang member—has it out for her. He isn't going to stop until she gives him the territory I left her all those years ago. I swore I'd never set foot in Los Angeles again, but January needs my protection, and I'm not nearly strong enough to say no.

She deserves better than me, but she's mine anyway. It's time to stop running and fight for her.

She's an angel. I'm the devil on her shoulder. And this is my swan song.

When it's over, I'll either be the monster at the end of this book…or I'll be the man she deserves.


Fight for You is the first book in a series of interconnected full-length novels featuring law enforcement officers willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book can be read as a standalone, has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.


Are you interested in helping launch Fight for You this October? I'd love to have you on the Launch Team! You can sign up via the link below! Launch Team members get all sorts of goodies in exchange for their help sharing Fight for You.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What is Restorative Justice?

Happy Writer Wednesday!


The term "Restorative Justice" tends to make the rounds every few years as THE new thing to do. But it's certainly not a new concept. It's been practiced in varying forms throughout the world for a long time.

So...what the heck is it?

Well, unlike a punitive or retributive model of justice, a restorative model seeks to rehabilitate offenders and restore them as functioning members of society. This is done through things such as victim/offender mediation, community service, circle sentencing (where the victim and offender both participate in deciding a fair sentence), family counseling and rehabilitation programs, etc.

Is it successful?

Sometimes, yes! It's been used around the world and is often quite successful. But that doesn't mean it's always the best or most logical choice. Everything from the type of law a nation uses, to the way a nation interprets or views restorative justice to regional and cultural issues and differences can drastically impact what types of restorative justice are used, if they are successful, and even if they are measurable.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Fun Facts about the Teplo Trilogy


In the Teplo Trilogy, a DEA agent falls for a disabled ballerina on the dance floor at the night club he's investigating. Determined to keep her safe and do his job, Tristan winds up dragging Lillian into the middle of his investigation. That goes about as well as you'd expect. Tears are shed. Blood is spilled. Things explode (literally!).

The series was pretty challenging to write. I joke that none of it was my idea and I just tried to talk sense into them along the way because that's basically how the writing happened with this one. I'd have it all plotted out…and then they did whatever they wanted to do.

Here are some other fun facts about the series.


·         I wrote the first words of Tristan and Lillian's story over nine years ago. It started out as a short piece of fanfiction…and spiraled from there. Three books and nine years later, it's finally complete!


·         Tristan is the most uncooperative and frustrating character I have ever written. There were many times when my beta team had to talk me down because I was ready to off him.


·         Teplo means heat in the Czech language. The series is pretty steamy, so the word fit perfectly.

·         I'm still embarrassed that my grandma not only read the first two books of the series (sadly, she passed away before the third was complete), but then proceeded to have a conversation with me about her needing a man after reading them. So awkward!




·         One of my grad school professors was instrumental in the early stages of writing this series. He helped me out with the cartel research and advised me along the way. Trying to find a happy medium between reality and fiction was tough at times. He was the voice of reason when I wanted to put a little too much reality into the series.

·         I loved getting to add ballet to the mix in this series. I've always been a huge fan, and it was a lot of fun getting to write a character who danced for a living.


·         Michael Kincaid is probably one of my favorite characters ever, and is always a fan favorite. He's so over-the-top ridiculous at times during this series. I cannot wait until his book comes out later this year and everyone finally gets his story.

·         Lillian is kind of a badass. Tristan has a tendency to bulldoze over everyone and everything, but she stands up to him like a champion. They argue a lot until they finally figure it out, but I love a strong woman who isn't afraid to stand up for herself and what she wants and needs. Her strength is also one of Tristan's favorite things about her.


·         I once lost a job over writing this series. It was a massive drama at the time. I won the appeal. I didn't ask for my job back though. I figured if they were that bent out of shape over what I write, I didn't belong there.

·         Rapture (Book Three) is dedicated to Tevin Campbell. Tristan, Roman, and Michael, three alpha males, team up in the midst of a gang war in the book. They completely annihilated my plot and basically did whatever the 'eff they wanted to do. I blasted Can We Talk for two weeks until they started cooperating. Never negotiate with terrorists! :)



For more fun facts about the series, don't forget to follow me on Instagram @aydenmorgen.


"Hot. Descriptive. Intense. Brilliant. Panty-drenching, page-turning, give-me more-now, good." - Melanie Moreland, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author

A disabled ballerina
a deadly new drug
and one hell of a bad decision
will change everything for DEA Agent Tristan Riley...


When Tristan Riley drags Lillian Maddox onto the dance floor at Teplo, he intends only to protect his cover… at least that's what he tells himself. But the lovely Lillian would tempt a saint, and Tristan is far from a gentleman. Beneath the bright lights of the Vetrov family's dangerous club, the weary DEA agent finds himself captivated by the ballerina, coaxing them both into a reckless, erotic encounter.
 
But Tristan isn't prepared for the intense connection between him and Lillian, or for the fallout of their tryst. In a matter of days, their lives careen wildly off course, catapulting them both into a deadly game of hide and seek with the Vetrov family and one of Mexico's deadliest drug cartels.
 
Trying to keep his hands to himself while working alongside Lillian to stop Anton Vetrov's deadly new drug proves almost impossible for Tristan, but what choice does he have when being with her might get her killed? He should know: his entire family was murdered by people just like Anton.
When the stakes are raised and innocent lives are lost, will Tristan be able to let go of the guilt, or will he destroy his chance at happiness with Lillian before it ever truly begins?



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The If Was/Were Rule

Happy Writer Wednesday!


The If Were/Was Rule is a tough one for a lot of writers to remember, but it's actually pretty easy!

If you're writing about something that is improbable or unlikely, you use "were" instead of "was". If, however, you're writing about something that is possible or likely, you use "was" instead of "were".

If I were a teenager again, I would appreciate it more. (WERE because it's improbable that I'll be a teenager again.)

If she were alive, she wouldn't let fear stop her. (WERE because it's unlikely that she'll come back to life/)

If I was short with you, I'm sorry. (WAS because it's possible or likely that I was being a grumpy ass.)

If I was sleeping, I don't remember. (WAS because it's possible my sleepy self was sleeping.)

Still not sure? Look for the keyword "would" or "ought to". These are often indicators that you need to use WERE instead of WAS in the sentence.



Monday, August 5, 2019

Fight for You Launch Team!

Hi Readers!



FIGHT FOR YOU is coming this October! I've been waiting so long to write Michael Kincaid's story! It's a contemporary second chance romance. It flashes between Michael and January's childhood and present day. Their story is emotional, insanely adorable, and quite humorous in places. There are a few steamy scenes in the book, but not many.

To help launch the book, I've started a Launch Team and wanted to invite YOU to join! 

Being a Launch Team member is super easy, and comes with lots of perks.

Launch Team Members:

1. Read Fight for You prior to release on 10/15/19. (The book will start going out to Team Members on the 15th of August.)
2. Share about the book on social media.
3. Post early honest reviews to sites like Goodreads and Bookbub prior to release.
4. Post honest reviews to Amazon and other retailers during Launch Week. (We'll walk you through it if you don't know how to do this.)


In exchange for participating in the team, Launch Team members receive:

1. Access to the book before anyone else (including the ARC Team)!
2. Exclusive access to a private Facebook Group where we'll share behind-the-scenes access to the book, teasers, and shareable content.
3. A free bookmark.
4. Exclusive access to paperback giveaways.
5. Other goodies!

If you'd like to join, you can apply for the team here! Just remember that space is limited, and applications need to be in by September 1st!

You can learn more about the book below. You can also download a sample of the book (the prologue and first three chapters) on BookFunnel. You don't have to sign up for a list or anything to get the preview of the book.

xoxo,
Ayden


About the Book

Some men deserve redemption. Some men are worthy of salvation. I'm not one of them. My name is Michael Kincaid, and I've got so much blood on my hands, I'll never wash clean. 

For ten years, I've tried to outrun my gangbanger past by burying myself in my work with the DEA. I've tried like hell to forget the day I damned my soul and lost everything…my family, my home, and the only girl I've ever loved.

I still can't outrun it.

No matter how far I go, January James haunts me. Being without her is killing me, but what other choice do I have? We were still kids the first time I vowed to protect her. Instead, I destroyed her.

Now one of my enemies—a local gang member—has it out for her. He isn't going to stop until she gives him the territory I left her all those years ago. I swore I'd never set foot in Los Angeles again, but January needs my protection, and I'm not nearly strong enough to say no.

She deserves better than me, but she's mine anyway. It's time to stop running and fight for her.

She's an angel. I'm the devil on her shoulder. And this is my swan song.

When it's over, I'll either be the monster at the end of this book…or I'll be the man she deserves.

Fight for You is the first book in a series of interconnected full-length novels featuring law enforcement officers willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book can be read as a standalone, has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.

Pre-order available at most major retailers!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Tools and Resources for Authors #writingresources #writing

Hi loves!

I've been slowly learning about all the new tools and resources out there for authors and thought I'd share some of my favorites here for you guys.



(Free and Paid Options)


BookSprout is an easy way to help keep your Review Team organized. With a free account, you can have up to 20 reviewers. The site keeps track of who has reviewed and where. You can also require that reviewers post reviews to specific retailers (like Amazon), block reviewers from requesting titles if they don't follow through, and report pirates. Paid accounts offer more features, but even the free account is worth giving a shot!



(Paid options only)


BookFunnel is another great service for authors with review teams. It's also incredibly helpful for authors wanting to grow their mailing list and streamline sending books. I've been using it for several months and cannot say enough about how much I love the program. I can team up with other authors to create giveaways, send gift copies of books, send ARCs and automatic reminders to my Review Team, set up sales pages, etc. I can also integrate it directly to my mailing list, which has been a tremendous help in growing the list! The service isn't free, but it's worth the $15 a month that I spend on it. If anyone wants to give it a shot, let me know! I can send you an invite that'll allow you to test-drive the service for a month.



(Free and Paid Options)



Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that allows you to create designs. I use it for book teasers, business cards, bookmarks, postcards, social media graphics, and more. You can use the service for free, which I love, or you can pay for a monthly subscription that gives you access to more features (like a brand kit, an extended stock photo library, and the ability to resize graphics for use on all social media platforms). Even the free service has an impressive number of tools and features. That said, Canva can't do it all. But it'll certainly get the job done when it comes to creating teasers and social media material. You can also create book covers using the service.
(Free functional mockups, must pay for lifetime access to the mockup library)


I've been using MockUpShots for a while to create great mockups of my books to use in teasers, social media posts, etc like the one below. There are a ton to choose from! It's a little on the expensive side, but Adazing offers sale pricing on their products frequently.

If you aren't getting their newsletters already, I highly recommend them. There are a lot of great products, services, and freebies offered.

One of my mockups from MockUpShots.com


(Free tools, but must pay for the program)



Hubby bought me lifetime access to this at the beginning of my year, and it's definitely been worth the investment. I can figure out what categories and keywords to use and how well they perform without a lot of trial and error or hours upon hours of research. They also offer a ton of free resources, tutorials, and tools (like their HTML Generator for KDP) via the Kindlepreneur website. It's worth checking into if you don't already use it!



(Free to join, premium access offered)



BookWorks is a community of Indie publishing professionals who share tools, tips, tricks, and resources. I honestly don't even remember how or when I got on their mailing list, but I'm definitely not complaining. I religiously read their newsletters. They're that helpful.


(Free to use)

Books2Read offers a free universal book link tool. This means you can share one link for your book with readers and get them to whatever retailer they prefer. This is so helpful. Instead of hunting down all those links yourself, they automatically scan retailers for links to your book to add them. Just make sure that you manually check the links to ensure they work. If you sign-up (free), you can rescan for new links to the book, make custom links (books2read.com/FightforYou for instance), create an author page, share your favorite books, etc. It's a really great tool.

As I add new resources and tools to my go-to list, I'll share them here for you guys too.

Please do not spam me with requests to add your service or program. I only share those I actually use. 

xoxo,
Ayden

*The only affiliate link included in this post is for MockUpShots (which I use frequently).