Monday, October 20, 2014

Cover Reveal! "We've Always Got New York" by Jill L. Knapp

Today we have the first glimpse at the cover art of HarperImpulse author, Jill Knapp's next book, "We've Always Got New York", coming out November 20th! This novel is book #2 in the "What Happens To Men..?" series, which is now available in paperback in Great Britain. The first book has gotten rave reviews, and has divided its readers into two groups. Are you on Team Michael? Or are you on Team Hayden?


You can get a copy of book #1 here!

"We've Always Got New York" picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil to find that life has in fact gone on without her. Fresh off the plane, she is left feeling anxious and unresolved, left alone to pick up the pieces, and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael. Amalia finds herself without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she's even without a best friend!

Jill can be followed on Twitter and on Facebook

Now here's a sneak peak at the first chapter of "We've Always Got New York"!!

¬¬Chapter 1- Amalia

I could tell by the look on her face that she was expecting something from me. She was expecting something to be different. For me to be, in some way, changed.

I’m Amalia Hastings, and on August 20th at 9:17 pm, I was home.

Home. The word seemed funny to me because I didn’t have a home to go back to. I moved out of my apartment right before leaving for Brazil and after my friend-with-benefits, Michael, showed up at my apartment, asking me to stay. I hadn’t thought it through properly; I just knew I didn’t want to live in that apartment anymore. Before my trip to Brazil I packed up what little stuff I owned and put it in storage for when I returned, assuming I would deal with it then. Well, “then” has become “now”. So for tonight I was staying with my best friend Cassandra. Who was currently waving at me.

I knew what she wanted. She wanted stories. Juicy ones that involved hot hookups on the sand. She wanted to see pictures. Pictures of the places I went, the food I ate, and the hot guys I met. She wanted me to run up to her in a sun dress, hair braided and skin tanned, and explain, no, to pontificate, to her how life-changing my trip was. She wanted me to playfully link her arm around mine and gush about how amazing it all was. How I was changed forever. That I had a new appreciation for life, food, and music. She wanted me to tell her that I would never be the same.

But this isn’t the movies and I’m not Julia Roberts.

The florescent lights above me flickered, making the airport look dark and ominous. I looked down at my hand as I pulled my rolling suitcase across the sticky, tiled floor. Not even my hand had acquired a tan. Three months in the Brazilian sun and my skin remained as pale as ever.

Cassandra was looking right at me with wide, unblinking eyes. I walked a little slower.

For some reason I couldn’t pinpoint, coming off the plane felt like a surreal experience to me. Although I was relieved to have landed, and I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Brazil any longer, I still wasn’t utterly happy with being back. I wondered if it merely had to do with the fact that I had no apartment to go back to and was feeling pretty untethered from not having a proper home.

There’s an old saying. I’m not really sure where it’s from or who said it first. Kind of the proverb equivalent of The House of the Rising Sun. It proffers, “Wherever you go, there you are”, and up until about one month ago I had no idea what it meant. But now it means everything. It rings in my ears like a scolding mother, repeating itself over and over again until I submit.

I finally stood face to face with Cassandra, who was grinning like a fool at this point. She was dressed down for the night, wearing a purple racer-back tank top that showed off her summer glow, jeans, and gold flip-flops. Her blonde hair was pulled into a loose, messy bun and her make-up was minimal, apart from the extra-shiny, coral lip-gloss she was wearing. She reeked of summer.

“Hey,” I offered, looking down at my sneakers. I wished I had more energy for her, but after ten hours on a plane it was all I could muster up.

Cassandra cocked her head to the side and smiled. Her hair swung back and forth and she popped her hip out like a model in training. She looked as fierce as ever, even dressed-down in comfortable summer clothes.

“That’s all I get? Get over here!” she said, pulling me in for a hug.

I hugged her back for a moment and then pulled away, overcome with exhaustion and jet-lag. I smiled at Cassandra. She smelled like a salty coconut and I realized she had probably come straight from Fire Island, a beach not too far from Long Island and just outside of the city. That explained the dressed-down attire, but not the lip-gloss. Unless, of course, we were going straight back there from JFK airport.

I looked back at the gate. Most people I knew hated airports, but I liked them. They offered a chance to escape. Get on a plane and in six hours from now you could be across the country. You could be in a different town, in a different house, with a different group of people. I think we all took that for granted.

 I could go back to Brazil right now. Or I could go somewhere else. I’ve never been to Cincinnati; I wonder what it’s like there. Or maybe Savannah. I could definitely live in Savannah! I took a step backwards, away from Cassie. Back toward the inside of the airport. She just smiled.

“Very funny, Amalia!” she said through perfectly white teeth. “Don’t sneak away from me now. I’m so glad you’re back, I really missed you.”

Cassie threw her arm over me and smushed our faces together. She whipped out her iPhone and flipped the camera application around so the front lens could be used and snapped a picture of the two of us. Before I knew it, she uploaded the picture to Facebook with the caption “So excited, Amalia is officially home!”

Without glancing back, she walked a few feet in front of me and remained glued to her phone. The back of her Havaianas smacking onto her heels echoed throughout the now nearly empty hallway. I let out a long sigh that Cassandra didn’t hear and pulled my suitcase toward the exit. Yep, it was official. I was home.

Jill Knapp, a native New Yorker, is an author with HarperImpulse, a United Kingdom division of HarperCollins Publishers, a writer of New Adult/ Women's Fiction novels, and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Originally called "Chase", her novel "What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?" is now available!

Before publishing her first novel, she received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Eve Devon

Finding Fiction Friday returns with a visit from fellow HarperImpulse author Eve Devon fresh off of her latest release!  How does she keep the mental fires burning?  Let's find out!

My name’s Eve Devon and I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters…

I kind of secretly believe it’s not too late for me to train as a professional dancer, MMA expert, or get asked to be Angelina Jolie’s body-double. I know. This is why writing fiction is for me!

Eve, when did you first think about writing for publication? 

I had always written some form of fiction but about six years ago I was sitting in a cafĂ© with a friend, discussing what we’d be doing if it wasn’t for the fear, and I had one of those weird planetary-alignment moments! Suddenly the excitement about a spot of no-holds-barred going-for-it outweighed any fear of failure. I started writing my first full-length manuscript that evening. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing but it felt so incredibly right to try, and even better, it was the most fun ever.

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

Because of a brain malformation I have difficulty word-finding sometimes. I’ll use the right number of syllables and it will sound similar but be completely wrong. Bit challenging for a writer but makes for great entertainment… I once told a host at a party that I had to leave early to pick up some embalmed goblins. I actually meant engraved goblets! 

Before we get to your new release, tell us a bit about your first two books, “The Waiting Game” and “Her Best Laid Plans”.

The Waiting Game is a romantic suspense with a much darker feel than my contemporary romances and is about an alpha security specialist determined to make up for a mistake and the gritty survival of Brooke Bennet, who ten years before survived a madman who stalked her, kidnapped her and tattooed her. I’ve been told I write really good villains, so if you like your suspense with a side-helping of psychological thriller, then The Waiting Game is for you.

Her Best Laid Plans is a contemporary romance and the first book to feature a member of the King Family. Jared King deviated from plans set out from him at birth and it cost him big. Now life is measured; planned. Until, blindsided by news his father is gravely ill and the family business is in trouble, he misplaces his famous control and responds to his best friend’s little sister. Worse, after persuading her to accompany him back to London as his P.A., instead of distracting him from the dark emotion attached to seeing his family again, she’s fast becoming his main focus. Sassy go-with-the-flow Amanda Gray has a healthy fear of planning her life to the nth degree. Whenever she’s tried, Life and those pesky planning gremlins have reared up to bite her on the behind! But now it’s time to grow up and get her life on track—if only the delicious Jared King would stop distracting her.

Last Thursday was Release Day for “The Love List”!  Congratulations!  Tell us about this book and how it relates to your prior work.

Thank you. The Love List was incredible fun to write. It features Jared’s sister Nora who we meet in Her Best Laid Plans when she persuades Jared to return to London to reconnect with their father before it’s too late and help her save the family business KPC. KPC is everything to Nora. She eats, sleeps and breathes it and in The Love List it stands very safely and very firmly between her and her grief over losing her father. But then she meets Ethan Love, a disaster relief worker in town to ask her a very special favour and suddenly his sexy laid-back charm is crashing through her barriers, dragging her out of her self-imposed state of suspended animation and making her want to put him on her To Do List!

You have written a ton over the years, but what has drawn you to romance?

I was introduced to category romance at a young age and fell in love with different genres. I loved that you got to step into all these very different worlds (be it contemporary, historical, PNR, suspense, medical, urban fantasy—whichever) but always get that romance between the main protagonists. I think the romance genre gets some grief from readers who haven’t ever read it, but far from turning happy ever afters into something unrealistic, they actually demonstrate over and over how and why you need to work at relationships.

You also speak of having written what I would certainly term “fan fiction” – taking characters from television episodes.  Do you have a favorite that you’ve written?

Okay. I can’t believe I’m about to admit this but here in the UK we used to have this series called “Dempsey and Makepeace”. It starred US Michael Brandon and UK Glynis Barber. The chemistry they shared on screen was off-the-scale (so much so that they got married in real life!). Every single week I’d watch the show and stay up most of that night “re-writing” the episode so that they ended up together. At school on Mondays I could hardly keep my eyes open – but all my friends would get to read the latest installment. 

What do you do to keep from burning out?

That’s a really good question because it’s something that easily sneaks up on you in this business. It’s so hard to turn down an opportunity and so easy to think you can do ALL THE THINGS! The truth is you have to really listen to yourself. That moment where you realize it’s not the first time that your mind’s racing with responsibility and the writing you rely on to be there is feeling not so much slow, as completely absent? That’s the time to step away and go and do something completely different. For me it’s anything craft. The act of doing something different somehow soothes my frazzled brain and brings Muse back with a smile on her face. 

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Brooke Bennet—the heroine in The Waiting Game. She’s real, flawed, and shows incredible courage to grasp hold of life again.

What about being published with HarperImpulse and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

I truly appreciate the support that authors freely offer each other and romance readers are honestly some of the most lovely, down-to-earth, positive people you can find. 

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?

My husband! He has always, without reservation, believed in me. I think the fact that he doesn’t seem to see limits to me writing, always allows me to step forward with a touch less fear. 

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

So I’ve just handed in the book that features the last King sibling—Sephy. I have a book completed that is part of a suspense continuity for next year. I’m working on my next contemporary and then I launch straight into writing my next suspense title. Oh, and I have a superhero urban fantasy I really want to get finished. 

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!
  1. What is your favorite word? Pootle
  2. What is your least favorite word? Can’t
  3. What turns you on? Humour and confidence.
  4. What turns you off? Bigotry.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? Rain on a roof.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? People biting into apples.
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Crap-a-roon-spoon! I have a tendency to lengthen short words and shorten long words.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Aerialist or…forensic psychologist.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Door-to-door sales.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? You’ve been upgraded—please collect your wings from Gabriel.
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? I’m calling from Ben Affleck’s office—he would like to know if you’ve found the director for your latest bestseller yet?
Eve, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?

I love connecting with readers—you can find me here: 

WEBSITE                   TWITTER                   FACEBOOK              GOODREADS

And you can buy The Love List here:

AMAZON      BARNES & NOBLE             GOOGLE PLAY       iBOOKS         KOBO