The Reviews Are (Coming) In!

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“…still loving Ashe” 

I am in love with this series and these characters… I loved the narration (his voice melts me like butter). Loved the twists in the storyline, the sweet romance and of course the HEA…

“Great voice brings the story to life” 

This book was the second in the series and the story takes up just where we left off in the first and didn’t disappoint. plus the narrator’s voice captured my mental image of Ashe perfectly and I can’t wait for the next in line in the series. 

“Riley and Ashe…”

Ashe and Riley have overcome so much. The secrets revealed in this book were so worth waiting for. I loved the characters determination. The storyline has heartbreak, perseverance, love, humor, and vengeful ex-lover. Martin John Hopkins is the perfect voice for this book told from Ashe’s point of view. I really enjoyed his sexy accent.

It’s been a few weeks since the audio narration of Loving Riley was released and the reviews are coming in. If you’ve left your review, thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed the story. If you’d like a free copy to review, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an Audible code which you can redeem.

You can listen to the sample here.

AUDIBLE ITUNES

Masks Off #teasertuesday

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A sudden POP! from the street below was followed by car alarms. It made Riley jump and she shut her eyes, though she composed herself as quickly as she could. He could see her fear from the way her body trembled, he felt it hanging in the air between them. Her hair was a jumble of waves cascading behind her back and it felt soft in his hand as he brushed a lock off her left shoulder. She flinched from his touch and Ashe felt his throat tighten.

“It’s only a car backfiring,” he whispered and Riley nodded, opening her eyes again though she kept her gaze on a spot in the middle of his shirt.

For the next few minutes, Ashe circled her. The exhaustion he’d felt earlier was gone. Anger still coursed through him but there was relief, too, like a heavy weight suddenly lifted from his shoulders. Knowing what he was didn’t guarantee that she’d stay with him, but at least there would be nothing hidden between them.

#lovingriley #ashandriley

Bring It On, 2019!

It’s the 7th of January and although I’m running a bit behind on my resolutions, er, goals, it’s okay. It’s still January.

I’ve got a lot planned on my plate for 2019 and whether or not I get to check them off one by one remains to be seen. But what matters is that I have something to check off, first of all.

I have goals.

For most of 2018, I looked at the world with dread. Dread over current events. Dread over political rumblings. Dread over what’s going to happen next. Dread over someone reporting my books for the tiniest typo and I’d lose my Amazon account. Dread, dread, dread.

Basically, FEAR.

Suddenly the glass was half empty every damn day. There was nothing to refill it and why would there be if my social media diet consisted of checking Twitter every day and getting caught up in one political upheaval after another. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another and while I thought I’d emerge unscathed, I was wrong.

That fear spilled into my writing. I didn’t enjoy any of my releases until the last one, Friends with Benefits, when something inside me pleaded pleaded pleaded, please be happy. You made something beautiful.

I recognized that voice.

It was from the child who wrote her stories to save herself from a narcissistic mother. It was the child who did whatever she could to be seen by her equally narcissistic father. And when she wasn’t heard, she just wrote and wrote because she heard herself. She heard her words and they were beautiful. Full of hope. No judgment.

I heard her.

And who knows? Maybe my son heard her, too, because today, from the back seat, he said, “Mom, can you write a little boy in your story? Someone like me with a mom like you.”

So for 2019, I’m putting the blinders on. I’ve got stories to tell and until the day comes when I can’t tell them anymore, I’ll keep telling those stories, chugging along, giving the same stories that save me each and every day.

SO WHAT’S THE PLAN, LIZ?

The plan so far is to write three novels. Daniel Drexel’s story, Gareth’s, and Todd. There’s also a sequel with Sarah and Benny that’s been in the works for some time.

And then there is Love in Taos, ten steamy shorts that will correspond with certain holidays, slice-of-life stories that go between the books. They’ll have a lot of romance and maybe, steamy scenes.

It’s ambitious, yes, but they’re boxes I’ll check off every time I accomplish one of them. Boxes that will keep me busy.

And then there’s this:

Writing this book was one of the hardest things for me as a writer. I wanted to write so much but I never expected the pushback from alpha readers who hated their version of Ashe Hunter torn down word after word. I didn’t expect the vitriol with some of their reactions and so I gave up on the book, set it aside in my hard drive for a year and a half until my son’s school aide chanced upon it on the Kindle I had loaned her. She said she sat on the couch for all weekend until the Kindle ran out of charge, paced until the device had enough charge to show the book and continued reading.

Because of her, Loving Riley finally got dug out of the box I might as well label FEAR and it would become my biggest, most profitable launch ever, even bigger than all the other books that would come after it combined.

And now Ashe Hunter is coming to life on audio. In the book, he’s originally from northern England in a little town called Reeth close to Grassington and the Dales. Wuthering Heights country. I hope listeners won’t mind hearing the Northern accent in his deep voice but he’s the Ashe I’ve been waiting for all this time (with shades of Sean Bean, too) and I can’t wait to share him with you this year.

Happy New Year, everyone. It’ll be amazing.

Ashe and Riley Get New Covers (for the last time)

I really should have been writing but while describing to a cover designer what I wanted on the new covers for Loving Ashe and Loving Riley and then hearing that this wasn’t possible or that wouldn’t come out as good as I’d imagined it, I realized I totally suck when it comes to describing what I want. It’s one of those “it’s me, not you” kind of problems, especially when the resulting commissioned covers look nothing like what I saw inside my head which comes with all the bells and whistles—the atmosphere, the moving images.

So yesterday, I decided to create the covers myself. It meant leaving the world of the Peters family (The Replacement Fiance) and moving back into Ashe and Riley’s world where I always feel like I’m back home again with people I love most in the world. Oops! Did I just admit I have favorites?

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So these are the final versions of Ashe and Riley’s covers. Book 1 and Book 2 of the Celebrity series (used to be the Loving Ashe trilogy until I realized that their story just might take more than three books). I already have Gareth’s cover designed and the three look great together. Gareth’s picture is way way younger than he is in the books but that’s okay. Although I can’t show you the cover for Gareth’s book yet, the model’s eyes are just amazing – what I call Paul Newman’s eyes. Remember him?

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I was really too young to appreciate Paul Newman in his heyday or see all his movies but when I saw him for the first time on the screen, there’s something about his eyes that you don’t see in still pictures. They’re like windows to his soul and in many ways, that’s how my characters’ used to be revealed in my books, through their eyes, until I realized I needed to stop that. It was getting old. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t go back to focusing on their eyes when I wrote about them.

In my series, Gareth’s eyes are actually green, a detail that holds the key to something important in the series. It also means that the series is one that none of the books really stand alone. They need to be read in order. First Loving Ashe and then Loving Riley. I used to think that one could read Loving Riley first and get the story but that usually led to readers not getting what was happening.

So… always start with the first book in a series. Lesson learned for me and that’s why these days, I always tell people to read the first book first. Don’t skip it. Well, unless you hate it from the get go…

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So that’s it for the start of my weekend. I really need to get back to writing the holiday novella again. I’m still stuck at 19k words (now 16k after I got done editing it) and I’ve got 16k more words to go!

How about you? How’s your weekend going?

Teaser Tuesday: Loving Riley

“You keep asking me to show you the real me, all of me, even when he’s been here the whole time,” Ashe began. “You keep insisting you need to see the man that I used to be when I was with her, even when the man that I am now is the man I want to be. I’ve been made a better man by your love, but that doesn’t seem to satisfy you.”

Riley looked up, her blue eyes meeting his as her brow furrowed. How beautiful she was in the early morning light that filtered through the blinds, he thought. Ashe brought his hands up to her neck, his fingers curving at her nape, his thumbs stroking her jaw.

“This is me, and this is who I am with you. I will never be any other man but this.” Ashe bent his head and kissed her, just brushing his lips against hers before pulling away. “I would rather let you go than destroy you more than I already have, and I’d rather sell my soul to the devil than show you the man that I was: arrogant and cruel because I didn’t know then what I really wanted. That part of my past will remain in the past, even if it means not having you in my future.”

 

Loving Riley Book Review | The InkedIn Book Blog

Let it be said that I am a complete Liz Durano fan and LOVE HER WORK. I’ve been following her work since she was on Wattpad and I am so happy that she’s making a name for herself in the published world too, because frankly, if you’re a romance fan, you absolutely need to read Liz’s books. There’s no two ways about it.

I read the first book in this trilogy, Loving Ashe, sometime early last year and absolutely adored it. In case you need a reminder, here’s my review – Loving Ashe.

In the sequel to Loving Ashe, things have really come together for both Ashe and Riley. Ashe is making a name in Hollywood and Riley is learning to let go of her past. They’re building a life together and both of them are extremely happy in their relationship. All is good for the couple until a blast from Ash’s past threatens to destroy everything that they’ve tried to build together.

Continue reading at Loving Riley, Liz Durano – Book Review | The InkedIn Book Blog

Thank you so much for this lovely review! What a sweet surprise to wake up to and if you’d like to read her full review and her other book reviews, make sure to head on over to her blog and follow!

Date Night, A Loving Riley Excerpt

I saw this video on my Facebook feed and was reminded of how well it fits the events behind a chapter in Loving Riley when Riley presents Ashe with one of his favorite things. Surely she didn’t restore it herself, right? But those details don’t necessarily belong in the book. But they’re perfect for my blog.

The moment Ashe walked into her apartment that evening, he saw it. His brow furrowed quizzically at a new addition to her decor. She had a small apartment, already cramped as it was, and she’d had no place to tuck her surprise anywhere but in front of the built-in shelves facing the couch. It was a stand-alone jukebox that played 45’s, and it was stocked with colored vinyl records.

“If you like it, we can have it moved into your condo,” she said softly, watching him.

“Like it? I love it, petal.” He loved it so much he could barely speak.

“Why don’t you check it out while I set the table,” she murmured. “I know you’re dying to.”

She was right. He was dying to switch the bloody thing on and play all the records for the rest of the evening if he could. Ashe let go of her and hurried toward the jukebox, taking his time to study it. It was a German-made NSM ES160 II from the early 80’s. The top portion featured the titles of the 80 records arranged behind the glass, some of them multi-colored and, as Ashe could only guess, rare editions. He switched it on and browsed through the selection of songs. He couldn’t help but feel like a child on Christmas morning, all his worries forgotten.

Minutes later, he felt Riley standing behind him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned her head against his back. “So you like it?”

“I love it, petal.” Pulling her to stand beside him, he read the titles out loud, wondering how she’d managed to find the jukebox in such perfect condition. He chose a song and pressed a button, and they both watched as the carriage mechanism moved from the right of the illuminated glass front to the center where a red vinyl record was deposited between two curved bars.

The Four Seasons’ Let’s Hang On began to play from the original speakers and for a few moments, Ashe was still, his brow furrowing as if deep in thought. Then he turned to face Riley dramatically and began lip-syncing the words, something about hanging on to what they got. With an Elvis song set next in the queue, he didn’t care if he’d let his secret Elvis impersonator-self slip through; for her, he’d act silly. She laughed and took his hand as he pulled him to her and they began to dance, Ashe still lip-syncing.

They danced to two more songs until the timer on the crockpot beeped, a reminder that dinner was ready and that Ashe should stop thinking about the jukebox and where it would fit in his condo. He’d worry about it next week. It was date night, the one night he looked forward to each week and as an added bonus, there were enough records behind the glass partition to last them the night.