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ROCK CHICK RENDEZVOUS 2018 – An Event Recap

I successfully attended my very first Rock Chick Rendezvous! Though I didn’t attend all of the events, the two days I spent with the Rock Chicks was unparalleled to any other romance book fandom. Here’s my small recap and a look into the Q&A with Kristen Ashley and Jay Crownover!

After a full day of work and an hour drive to downtown Cleveland in the summer heat, Rock Chicks arrived at the Metropolitan at 9 to pick up their KA swag bags. Custom to any event, RCR18 featured a crazy cute swag bag for the Rock Chicks to pick up before Friday night’s party. With a 1001 Dark Nights teaser pack, candy, guitar pick, custom t shirt, hat and 4 copies of Crownover & Ashley’s titles this bag of goodies was TOP NOTCH! I gave Instagram followers a sneak peak at the bag Friday night with a live video but my favorite piece was definitely the custom baseball tee.

Want to win some Kristen Ashley swag? Check out this exclusive giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy of The Greatest Risk and Rock Chick Reawakening. Start the Rock Chicks off with a bang or close out the sinfully good Honey series with your own signed copies!

ENTER HERE


img_1267 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

I may be a Cleveland native but it’s been about ten years since I’ve walked through our infamous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Glammed out and ready to party, dozens of Rock Chicks descended upon the halls of rock. After a killer photo-op with Kirsten in her 70 pound sequin dress and Jay rocking her bad-ass style, Rock Chicks were encouraged to walk all 6 floors of the Rock Hall and enjoy drinks and appetizers fit for rock queens. With the dance party going all night filled with drinks, laughter, and all things rock babes, the Hall’s never seen so much romance royalty.

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Signing & Q&A:

My favorite thing about Q&As with any author is the chance to peak inside their minds and see how they develop the wonderful stories readers like you and I adore. Check out some the fabulous questions readers asked and let me know which one was your favorite!

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*between two ferns with zach galifianakis*

As always, Kristen loves to tell the story of stealing her mother’s romance novels from the age of 12. She would hide them under her bed (on the lower bunk) and unfortunately the cat would pee on it. But she would still get under the covers and read her cat-pee romance novel.

Jay claims she wouldn’t be a romance novelist if it weren’t for Kristen and her Rock Chicks. Her wonderful mom was a librarian so Jay always grew up reading (her fav was Nancy Drew). But has she got older: “Hey…what’s this Sandra Brown book all about?”.

Q: Is there a character or land or idea that you think of but it gets stuck and you can’t quite write the whole book that you write? What do you do?

KA: I’ve only ever given up on one book and I still haven’t finished it but it was Tack’s original book. His first woman’s name was Clara. It was a dark time in my life and it’s a much darker story and he’s a much darker hero. And I didn’t feel that from him at all; he’s got his rough edges. She was run-down and she was publicly humiliated by her husband. It even had Tabby and Rush in the book; it’s almost written. BI just abandoned it and went back when I wasn’t in a bad place and I was like “This book is really frickin good!” But it wasn’t Tack; I’ll probably do some rewrites. Normally though when an idea hits me, I’m just obsessed with it and it never lets me go.

JC: If I can’t figure out if they’re important enough to get their own story or interesting enough, I usually work em in somewhere (as one of her many side characters). I’m sneaky, I’ll just work em in there!

Q: When do you think your books will be coming to movies with Passionflix?

KA: I have no idea, sorry. I sold Three Wishes and The Will to Passionflix. (Find out more about KA & Passionflix here)

Q: How do you come up with the names (for characters) for your novels?

JC: So I have a running list and honestly I started it when I bartended. And I live in Colorado so there’s lots of hipsters with cool names. Anytime I would get a cool idea and their name was really different I would be like “I gotta remember that!” Rule’s honestly is just my backward thinking of “I’m gunna write these twins and one of them is going to be a rule breaker.. Oh Rule!” In real life, all my family is J’s so I knew all the boys had to be R’s. Brains work weird.

KA: Sometimes my characters come to me named (Tack, Jake Spear, Tate). But I have two just enormous names list for any name that I come across that I write. Heroines, nicknames, animal names, another separate for all bar names. IF the character doesn’t come to me name, I’ll unfocus and scroll through the list. It HAS to be their name though; I have to get to know them.

JC: Also if you’re a reader with a really cool name, I might steal it. (Day, Emerys)

Q: Is Jane going to get a story?

KA: No, it’s highly unlikely. Jane is obviously me. I love the fact that her happy ending didn’t include a man. She got what she wanted out of life and she had family around her. She did wrong by those men (the women didn’t care) and they loved her and accepted her and it’s her family now. That’s what she’s always wanted to do. But I never say never or you might find her in the background and she might have somebody, but right now I’m not feeling it.

Q: Do you write the same way, same desk, same laptop, candle, wine? Is there a structure to your day in terms of how you guys write?

JC: I do. I write the same hours and I sit at a desk. I watch The Amazing Race while I write. Normally between noon and 8pm, my power hours, cause I have big dogs. I don’t write very well when I travel.

KA: I’m the same way except I’m morning. No distractions, no music or TV. Kylie Scott was staying with her one time and she would always take an hour out of every day to sit down with her laptop. “I have to be with them!” Scott said. She wrote in a hotel once and that was awesome because she could order a hamburger at any time.

Q: Are you ever going to write Darius a book?

KA: I want to, I really do. I really can’t explain what makes Darius so special to me; that trio of boys is super special to me. It’s kind of like what I just went through with writing Rush, There’s a lot of stress to make it perfect. And I want to make it perfect for you, but it has to be perfect for him, for me to give it to him. He might bookend the Mace and Stella. I might just delay it but I hope I get to spend a good amount [of time].

Q: The model from Built, is he Zeb? Because he’s really hot!

JC: His name is Matt and he lives in New York. He’s actually a concierge at one of the Ritz Carlton’s in New York. Doesn’t he look like Leonardo DiCaprio a little bit? I was with Harper Collins at that time and I had to convince my publisher that I needed a big burly bearded due. At the time, big bearded burly dudes were not on romance covers. Not like a nice trim beard, I needed a dude with a Colorado beard!

KA: I personally thank you for getting the bearded guys on the cover.

JC: I totally take credit for that!

Q: Are we going to get Lachlan and Emily’s story?

KA: Yes. The Loose Ends that’s coming out in November. Hopefully that will do well and then I’ll do another one next year and that will be one of the novellas that I do.

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Q: When I read the books I can see them and I can hear them. Do you have visual muses or are they all in your head?

JC: I have a really vivid imagination. So I just see it all and it plays like a movie in my head. So the characters look very specific to me. It’s really rare that anyone in real life or even on my covers look exactly like who I pictured. I try and get close as often as I can. The girl in my new book though, in the first book of the series I said she looked like Taylor Swift so I’ve had to stick with that through six books!

KA: I think we were separated at birth by like a decade.

JC: I will take it!

KA: Cause that’s exactly how I am. I can’t listen to my audiobooks because it freaks me out to hear somebody else doing the voices. I’ve only heard one of my audio books; when I started the sample, I started crying because she sounded just like Feb in For You. I actually sat at my desk weeping. The first time ever I wrote Toby and Addy and Johnny (The Hook Up) was such a strong character in my brain. He kept shoving Toby out, including his personality, I could not capture him at all. So then I found Jerry Mello, You’re welcome when you google him. Ooh my god! He’s my Toby. There’s a picture of him in profile with the beard, yeah, that’s the only time I’ve ever done it.

Q: Kristen would you be able to tell the story of Hector and Sadie’s book?

**SPOLIER ALERT**

KA: Hector and Sadie, Rock Chick Regret. I was actually writing Rock Chick Reckoning, Mace and Stella. I had three friend reading the book as I wrote and there’s this one moment where Mace and Stella that is a cliff hanger if the story ended there. So I finished that chapter and sent it off to my friends and went to take a bath. And Sadie came to me; if you’ve read the book she’s violated in the first few chapters and it’s really terrible. I don’t think I dried off; I jumped out of the bath tub and put on sweats and I went directly to the computer and began to write because I needed her to have happy ending. I had to get out of that zone. Her history, her dad, everything came to me, slamming in to me. So it was crucial to make her happy. So then I emailed it to my friends and said “I’m stopping this book and this other book started” and they were like, “WAIT A SECOND! THEY’VE JUST BEEN SHOT AT! THEY FELL DOWN THROUGH THE STAGE!” Well you’re gunna have to wait!

Q: One of things I love most about your books is how you write about real places and we get to go and visit them. I was wondering if there was a real gladiator place that we can go to?

KA: That book [The Greatest Risk] is only a couple months old and that is like the most asked question to me EVER! One of the very fun things about writing the Honey series was the research I got to put in to that. I probably could’ve got a lot more writing done last year if I didn’t some much time on Google. You just think of new search options and it just gets crazy! I saw a picture of these two men in like a boxing ring, and then my mind went. I save that picture. I don’t think I can put that on Pinterest.

Q: It’s [The Honey Series] romance but its closer to erotica do we have any more of that coming our direction?

KA: *turns to Jay* Have you done erotica?

JC: *laughing* No. I’m a delicate creature.

KA: There is a novella in Loose Ends for Diesel, Maddox, and Molly that’s very erotic. Very, very, very erotic. I should go read it and see what percentage there is of like dialogue versus….smut. But I think Ami will probably follow up with a novella. The spirit just has to move me and I would not close the door to that at all.

Q: At the begging of this, Jay you said that you were inspired to become an author because of Kristen. What was that process and when did you make the jump?

JC: I’ve always written but in ever finished anything ever. I was married and it went south. I just happened to pick up the Rock Chick series and I was reading it. I’m a Colorado native and I’m proud to be a Colorado native and I’m super proud that they were set in Denver; not by somebody that didn’t know Denver. But someone that KNEW Denver, like the places. And the guys were very different from most romance guys; they were not Nora Roberts’s heroes. They were these distinctly Colorado men. After I read what had been out I read the Colorado Mountain Men series and I was like “I love this girl. Can we be best friends?” But I starting reading about her and her story. So when Rule was done I was like “I wrote a punk rock hero, in romance; like that’s not a thing.” You didn’t have purple mohawked heroes in romance. But I was like that was my dream guy when I was 20. If Kristen Ashley can write it and put it out her and readers like it…maybe the same thing will happen for me. And if not then I’m just gunna call my mom and be like ‘Hey mom I published a book! How cool am I?” But I wouldn’t’ve known that you can write books for you and for readers and not for publishers if I didn’t read bout Kristen. I wouldn’t know that you could write about dudes that you thought were interesting and not necessarily a wide appeal for romance if it wasn’t for Kristen. She was definitely the one author of all the authors that I read, that I was like “I can be like that girl”. Rule wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.

KA: Tell em what happened when you published Rule.

JC: I didn’t know what I was doing, let’s just clarify that. I finished it and it got very shoddily edited and I published it two days after I signed my divorce papers. So he don’t get none of that money. I hit publish literally on December 31, 2012. I went to bed. I woke up the next morning and sometime between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that book was number 5 on Amazon and it sold 10,000 copies in one night. Y’all needed a little purple mohawked boy in romance apparently!

KA: If you’re a writer, or whatever you wanna do. Whatever motivation you get of whatever lift you get, take it and do something about it. Jay did and she made it her own and she sold 10,000 in one night. That’s’ crazy. I was told for years and years nobody wanted my novels. And now I’m sitting here in front of you and that’s just not true. There’s an audience. There’s a lot of beautiful voices out there that we’re finally getting to hear.

JC: One of the important things to takeaway form that was the uniqueness of what she was doing. I think that’s why Rule spoke to so many people. Cause it was different. And I think that’s why the Rock Chicks spoke to so many people. I wasn’t trying to write the Rock Chicks, cause I could never do that, ever. But because she did something that was so singular and so true to her, I was like “I can do that because I ran around with punk rock dudes and tattoo artist when I was a teenager.” I have that story to tell.

 Write your own story; it’ll be way better.

– Jay Crownover

Q: How many of your characters are based around real people?

JC: My newest book that just came out in March [Recovered] is based on my very first real life boyfriend that I dated when I was a teenager. It’s his story. But he’s married to a ballerina right now so I can’t give you his phone number.

KA: Most of my secondary characters are based on people in my life. I found that especially in early writing I was able to imbue some emotion into the stories. Trixie, in Rock Chick Rescue, has my friend Dixie’s hands. Trixie is nothing like Dixie. Tex, Todd, Stevie, Uncle March, and Aunt Bette are based on real life people. Tack and Wood, both of them I met a guy in Sturgis and he was…oddly enough the story of Justice and Deke is the story of me first seeing this man in Sturgis. I did end up making out with him in a bar. It was a fun night. It was very inspirational obviously; 3 characters came from that. But I didn’t really get to know him, let’s just say! That was just that one lovely night. He was a gentle guy and a gentleman and he was HOT.

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Kristen Ashley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels, including Mystery Man,The Gamble, and Own the Wind. She grew up in Indiana, but has lived in Colorado and the West Country of England.

Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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MISTER HOCKEY – A Lia Riley Review, Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway


Breezy lives life in her namesake; running the children’s section of her library and escaping to her romance books was all she needed. But when her sister comes through when her special guest star can’t make it…she walks in with none other than Jed West…Breezy’s all time hockey-star crush. What can only be described as a romantic getaway ensues. And not only can this book win you over but it’ll make your heart burst with pride!

This read went so quickly for me because Jed and Breezy were such a fun duo. Breezy has always been the more introvert of her family except for one area: her hockey team The Hellions. Her love for them knows no bounds and watching her get all flustered around Jed was so stinkin cute! Jed is so sweet and caring with her from the get go and finds himself wanting to have more excuses to spend time with her,

Jed West doesn’t have the typical persona of a professional athlete but alas the life of the captain is hellish. He’s charming and handsome alright but when he meets Breezy he’s able to drop the persona and just be Jed, the man. She’s not in to him for his fame and he’s finally able to let down his guard. And the sparks between them ignite a fire he’s more than ready to burn in.

Ugh…a whirlwind romance filled with passion, humor and some crazy hot hockey players! So sexy! Hope there’s more of these Hellions!


Mister Hockey.jpgHer biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .

Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?

Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.

So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY

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Rafflecopter Giveaway for one of three print copies of MISTER HOCKEY


TastyToursExcerpt

Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes. Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.


TastyToursInterview

A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.

Curvy, nerdy librarian gets a chance to score with her fantasy crush, the captain of the Denver hockey team.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I really enjoyed two things about writing this book: Breezy Angel and Jed West. I have always loved the trope about the so-called “ordinary” person who falls for a celebrity who in turn views them as nothing short of “extraordinary.” Probably one of the reason that Notting Hill is one of my all-time favorite movies. I wanted Jed to be alpha in the bedroom and obviously an amazingly talented athlete, but I didn’t want to right him as a one-dimensional “bro.” Instead, I wanted him to be a good guy, someone supportive of team mates and his woman. A natural leader who thrives by building up those around him, most importantly his lady. And as for Breezy, I wanted to write a woman who wasn’t drop-dead model perfect. I don’t know women like that in real life, and I want to see people in line around me at the grocery store get a chance to have their own swoony, earth-shattering happy ever after moments too!

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I am so excited for readers to get their hands on Book Two in the Hellions Angels series. Head Coach is coming out on November 21st and features (wait for it) Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar and his enemies-to-lovers relationship with determined sports journalist Neve Campbell. There is hate kissing, a bet over a game of air hockey and a fake date to a wedding. Also, it’s one of the sexiest books I’ve ever written.

And don’t forget about Virgin Territory about the team goalie who is not only an almost-priest who was kicked out of seminary school, but also has a reputation for brawling. Plus he may or may not be a virgin hero.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey…because I’m mostly an optimist, plus I would take immense satisfaction creating ear worms every where I went.

If you had to title your own life what would it be and why?

Did I Leave the Stovetop On?: A Lia Riley Story


Top Five Sexy Hockey Players

By Lia Riley

We all know hockey players are hot as puck. Here are five NHL players I’d love to have a face off with, and by face off I mean stare at and drool over. Who are your favorite hockey gods? Tell me in the comments, bonus point if you link to a pic J

In no particular order because all get two solid thumbs up:

  1. Sidney Crosby, Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Crosby). He has boyish good looks and Tom Hardy lips, can’t ask for more than that!
  2. K Subban, Defenceman for the Nashville Predators (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._K._Subban). His eyes could melt ice, plus he won Olympic gold in 2014 Sochi Olympics.
  3. Joffrey Lupul, Left winger for Toronto Maple Leafs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joffrey_Lupul). He likes to play the guitar too, so not only is he pretty, he can also croon you a love song. Plus that jaw bone could cut glass.
  4. Tyler Seguin, Center for the Dallas Stars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_Seguin) Three words: Full. Sleeved. Tattoos. (nuff said)
  5. Darnell Nurse, Defenceman for the Edmonton Oilers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darnell_Nurse). Not only is he 6’3 of pure yum, he also roots for his sister who plays basketball for Team Canada. That makes him a hero in my book!

CONNECT WITH LIA

Lia After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

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