Friday, January 30, 2015

Flashback Friday: Today is National Croissant Day, so...France!

Mmm. I wonder if Pascal is having a croissant avec son café. Some days that are celebrated are just weird, but I can get after National Croissant Day! Or maybe the croissants will get after me by attaching themselves to my...

Ahem, anyway, the thought of those nommy pastries makes me think of France, so let's take a look back at Chasing the King of the Mountains. Here is some of the nice promo artwork we got for that release, most of which I haven't seen in a while. :)

How about an exclusive excerpt? This exchange always makes me smile. :)

Laurent changed the subject. “So what races do you have coming up then?”

“I’m riding in La Fleche Wallone in Belgium in April and the Giro d’Italia in May as well. Possibly the Tour de Suisse if my body is up to it, though it is closer to the Tour than I like.”

Laurent was glad to hear that his friend was going to be in the Italian race in particular, which was one of the biggest on the World Tour along with the Tour de France.

“That’s great, Pascal. Once I get my assistants at the network up to speed, I’ll make sure we have a crew at the races to get some footage to work into my coverage later on. And I’m sure you’ll be up to it. I’m not a trainer, but from outward appearances, you look to be in the best shape I’ve ever seen you.”

“Thanks. I have to be because I’m probably going to be the oldest rider on the Tour. I have to be in better condition than the young ones. It’ll take longer for my body to recover after each stage.”

Laurent frowned, not liking the faint edge of worry he thought he heard in the usually confident Pascal’s voice. “You aren’t pushing yourself too hard, are you? I want you to reach your goal, but your long-term health is the most important thing.” 

As he spoke, he let his gaze drift down over Pascal’s admittedly fit and hard body, currently clothed in well-fitting, casual attire. Laurent superimposed a memory of his friend in his typical tight racing attire, then firmly shoved that wayward mental path to the side. He wasn’t blind—Pascal was an attractive man with a superb body—but he was also a dear friend. Jan and Pascal both deserved better than Laurent ogling him…even if it had only been for research purposes.

He gave a snort that caught Pascal’s attention.

“What are you thinking? Oh, and don’t worry. I’m not pushing myself too hard. I’m being very careful about how much training I do. I have to be at the peak of physical condition when we get to the mountain stages of the Tour.”

“I’m glad you have a plan.” He hesitated then remembered his decision earlier in the conversation to be more open with Pascal, especially since they would soon be spending a lot of time together, taking their firm yet casual friendship to a more intimate level. “I laughed because I rationalized checking you out by telling myself it was purely professional interest.”

“You were checking me out?” Pascal waggled his eyebrows at him.

“Don’t let it go to your head,” Laurent warned, trying to be serious, but finding that his enjoyment of being with his friend made that all but impossible. “No matter how incredible your body is or how amazing you look in your biking gear, my interest in you is pure as the driven snow.”

Have a great weekend, everyone, and eat a croissant today if you can! :)

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Reader Newsletter and $25 Gift Card Giveaway from Devon

You still have time to sign up for my new reader newsletter before I send out the very first one! :)

I'm FINALLY doing something I've planned for a long time--starting a reader newsletter. It seems like it's increasingly hard to know who is seeing my updates and news on social media, so I thought a monthly email would be more of a sure thing for my readers. :)

If you would like me to add you to my subscription list, either leave your email address in a comment below or send it to me at devonrhodes at hotmail dot com, and I'll be sending the first newsletter out very soon! <3 Included in the first edition will be directions on how to enter for a $25 gift card from either Amazon or ARe! Only subscribers will have the keyword, so sign up now so you don't miss it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Our 2014 in Review: Highlights, Pictures and Plans

Man, it's been a long time since we posted here! At first that was because we were working so hard on book after book. Then came conventions, life, etc.. :) So here's a quick look back at our year while we get going on 2015!

In January we were surprised to have our picture in the RWA magazine!! :) Woo hoo!

February brought the Winter Olympics, which we were constantly tuned in to. :) Gotta love winter sports and athletes! Speaking of which, we also finished and had a book come out: our Canada, curler/hockey player, International Men of Sports book, Burning Up the Ice. And every time they showed a commercial with a Zamboni machine... Well--just read the book. ;)

In March, in time for Carnival down in Rio, we released Serving Love in Carnival, our Brazil book about a carnival dancer and a pro beach volleyball player. From their very sexy initial, meeting to coming full circle to the next year's Carnival, we really enjoyed writing in such a fun and unique setting.

Of course, May is RT month and this year it was in New Orleans! We went down a bit early and did some sightseeing before the conference. We spent nine nights together, and it went by sooo quickly! We were inspired and had some great brainstorming sessions, so you'll see more than one new series from us in the next year.

We stayed at Oak Alley Plantation the first night.
Touring Nottoway with our ghostly guide.

First night on Bourbon Street

Tiaras for the Mardi Gras party!

Our panel on Writing Effective LGBTQ Characters with the awesome Amy Lane.
Love my time with my Tata!
 In June, TA and I had a release in time for the Formula One race in Monaco, A Grand Prix Romance. Paolo first appeared in At First Touch, but by the time we were done writing that one, we knew we'd need to tell his story. The glamor of Monte Carlo was a lot of fun to research and we don't blame Paolo for planning his annual holiday there.

We've really enjoyed putting out the GRL Unconventional anthologies with our friends, and this year we took a slightly different approach, setting our stories in an alternate reality Chicago where mobs rule the city.

An Unconventional Chicago is the anthology, and our individual stories that bookend it also available as singles: No Bravery and Bonfire Heart. TA and I plan to write a book about Tomas, one of the characters mentioned in our two stories, sometime in 2015.

October is always GRL month! We met at the very first one over four years ago. :) I really can't imagine there will come a time when we don't go back. Next year will be our fifth, and it's finally on the Left Coast! San Diego...yay! Driving distance for me! :) TA is going to fly to my place and ride down with me. Road trip!

As always, Madison got some great shots. Love this one!

Always so great to spend time with the tribe, especially TA and Jared.
Juke Joint was jumping!
Casino Royale night!
Sharing a table at the booksigning.

Totally Time Travel was a great excuse to show off Tata's tats!

So hard to say goodbye. :(

We also had a release that week, our tennis story, An Ace in the Tiebreak. We technically set it in Switzerland, though they traveled the world with the pro tennis tour. It was thrilling to be able to see the person we dedicated it to in person and hand her a copy. :)


We took a bit of a break after Ace to work on some solo projects and stay fresh, and that paid off because we had a great brainstorming session at GRL and figured out exactly what we want to do with the rest of the series. Then on New Year's Day, we chatted online and worked out a writing schedule for the year. We have lots of great stuff coming up! :)

This month we'll be starting work on book nine in this series, what we're calling "Neel's book." You'll remember Neel from our very first book, A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood. He's moved away from India and signed with a cricket team in England and that's where we'll pick up his story. :)

Hope your 2015 is off to a great start! <3