Piatkus Entice News

Thank you, Ambrose! by Sheila Roberts

The wonderful Sheila Roberts stops by Entice to tell us some inspiration behind The Nine Lives of Christmas, her forthcoming contemporary romance and movie on US television channel Hallmark! We knew we were cat people for a reason . . .

 

Who knew that a matchmaking cat would lead me to Hollywood?

But that’s exactly what happened when I created Ambrose the feline hero of my Christmas novel The Nine Lives of Christmas. I suppose in some ways Ambrose and I came full circle, because it was Hollywood that introduced him to me in the first place. I’d been thinking about a scene from my all-time favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, specifically the scene where George Bailey is on that snowy ridge, telling God, “Please, I want to live again.” I remember thinking, I’d love to put a cat in the same position. What if I wrote about a cat who was on his last life and desperate to hang onto it for as long as possible? What would he have to do to keep that life? What would he be willing to do? Something to help a human, of course.

But if a cat has gotten a raw deal from humans in previous lives this might prove to be no easy task. He’d have to encounter some pretty special humans. And I think Ambrose did when he met Zach the commitment phobic fireman and Merilee, Pet Palace employee and veterinarian wannabe. I had a wonderful time weaving all their stories together.

Lo, and behold, I wasn’t the only one who fell in love with these characters, and this holiday season Ambrose and his two-legged friends will come to life on the Hallmark channel. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Not only did my characters get to be in a movie, my husband and I did, too. We had a chance to visit the set during the filming of The Nine Lives of Christmas and take part in the fun. Being on the set of a movie is a fascinating experience. I was amazed at how many people it takes to bring a story to life. In addition to actors and extras (also referred to as “background”, which was what we were), you’ll find makeup artists, cameramen, people to run mikes, people to build the set and fix the lighting, the director, the producers, even a continuity expert whose job is to make sure that everything stays consistent from scene to scene. A movie in the making is like a circus on the move, with trailers parked everywhere to house various staff and actors and, of course, a big tent set up where all those workers can be fed. Days are long – these people put in twelve hour days – and while the work is fun, it’s still work. And tiring. Let me tell you, I have a new appreciation for all those people who expend so much energy just to entertain us. Filming one scene can take hours. Our simple part alone involved several retakes. But we wouldn’t have missed a minute of it!

Unless our debut scene ends up on the cutting room floor, you’ll see my husband and me getting escorted to a table in the restaurant scene. I now have mixed feelings about my screen debut. They say the camera adds ten pounds. I had already added thirty all on my own. Oh, dear!

But I probably don’t need to worry too much. I’m sure Ambrose the cat will steal the show.

 

The Nine Lives of Christmas is out in ebook on November 4th and paperback December 2nd 2014!

An extract from Tracy Anne Warren’s THE MAN PLAN!

The first two installments of the sexy Graysons series are out now on Entice: The Last Man on Earth and The Man Plan! If you haven’t read them yet, we’re super jealous. We wish we could start over and consume them both again for the first time!

Below, Graysons author Tracy Anne Warren introduces an extract from The Man Plan by sharing with us her love of romance and writing, a passion we can clearly see in her books,

 

 

 

Dear Reader:

Every so often, someone asks me why I write romance and the simplest answer is because I love to read romance. My love affair with romance novels began when I was a teenager. It was only natural then, I suppose, that my interest in writing merged with a need to tell my own stories of courtship, love and commitment.

There is something deeply satisfying and pleasurable about reading romance novels. It is the sense of happiness and hope these stories provide. The idea that despite all the challenges and disappointments and sorrows that exist in the world, there is also joy and kindness and steadfast love – the sort that will stand the tests of both time and trial. For me, there is nothing quite like settling down with a great romance novel and letting myself get swept away by characters who will stay with me long after the last page is finished.

I hope you will be swept away too when you escape into the fictional world of the Grayson siblings and discover how each of them finds happiness and lasting love.   Cheers,

Tracy Anne

 

Prologue

Bang.

The church door swung back hard on its hinges, caught in an icy blast of wind that raked James Jordan’s short hair and cut beneath the thick dark wool of his coat. He barely acknowledged the chill as he jogged down the stairs, strode across the concrete pathway, too deadened inside to be troubled by a little nip from the elements.

He’d been so happy just a short while ago, buoyant and brimming with anticipation. The late-December sky had been clear and sunny when he’d arrived for the ceremony, as if it too were celebrating the day. Now it was swathed in gray, broad clouds lumbering above in sullen gloom.

How could she have done it? he wondered. Madelyn, his friend, his love.

How could she have crushed him on this, the day they were supposed to have wed?

She’d suffered as she’d told him, he knew, the words passing from her lips in a strange, strangled whisper.

Sorry, she’d said, but I can’t marry you.

She loved him, but not that way, not enough to promise herself to him for a lifetime. Her face had been ruddy and swollen from tears as she pleaded with him to understand.

But he didn’t want to understand. Not now. Perhaps not ever. Nor did he want to forgive. She’d hurt him, betrayed him, shamed him in front of their guests, their families and friends.

Yet the humiliation was nothing, not compared to the chasm that had opened deep inside him. The pain of knowing he’d lost her.

He clutched a set of car keys—hastily borrowed from his best man—inside his fist. The hard-edged metal teeth bit into his hand. He squeezed harder, craving the pain.

He had to get away.

Had to be alone.

Where?

What did it matter where?

Just away. Anywhere away.

“James, wait,” a soft voice called to him, satin-slippered feet rushing up from behind.

He walked onward without pause.

A slender hand reached for his shoulder, plucked at his coat sleeve. “Please, James. Please stop.”

He walked on. He didn’t need to look to recognize the identity of the speaker. Ivy Grayson, Madelyn’s teenage sister. “Let me be, Ivy.”

She kept pace with him, undaunted. “You shouldn’t go, not this way. Please stop.”

He did, finally, halting at the neat black iron gate to the fence that surrounded the church’s rear yard. With a sigh, he turned, found her standing, slender and pretty in her bridesmaid’s finery. Tiny fresh rosebuds were arranged in her fair hair, the flowers the same deep pink as her long formal gown.

“There’s no reason to stay,” he said in a lifeless tone. “The wedding’s off.”

“You shouldn’t be alone,” she insisted gently.

“But that’s exactly what I want to be.” He saw the distress in her blue eyes. “I’ll be fine,” he assured her. “Don’t worry about me.”

“But I will worry.” She bit her lip. “Why don’t I come with you?”

“No,” he said, more harshly than he’d intended.

Her face fell at the rebuke.

A fresh gust of wind swept over them on its rush toward the west. Ivy shivered in her thin garment.

He frowned. “Why’d you come out here without a coat? You’re freezing. Go back inside.”

She wrapped her arms around herself, shook her head. “No, I’m okay. It’s not that cold.”

He made a rude noise and began unbuttoning his coat. He slipped it off, revealing the fine, hand-tailored black tuxedo he wore underneath.

His wedding clothes.

He draped the coat over her shoulders, drawing the flaps closed in front.

Ivy sighed as heat enveloped her.

His heat, his scent trapped in the sleek silk lining and soft cashmere wool. She drank it in, all of it, luxuriating in the exquisite sensations. Despite her height—she stood five feet nine in her bare feet—his coat hung on her, voluminous as a tent. The hem just barely cleared the ground.

“I can’t take your coat,” she protested. “You’ll be cold.”

“I thought you said it wasn’t cold,” he chided mockingly.

“No. I said not much,” she hedged.

They eyed each other for a long moment, the air between them easy with the familiarity of years. For an instant the tension eased from his jaw as his natural sense of humor asserted itself. Then his eyes hardened again.

She read his pain, her heart aching. “I’m so sorry. Maybe I could talk to her—”

“No. There is no talking to her. She’s made up her mind. It’s done. She doesn’t want me.”

“I don’t understand her. Any woman would be thrilled to be yours. I’d marry you in an instant,” she blurted, saying the words she’d never, ever meant to say out loud. Revealing a wish she’d kept locked away inside her heart for such a very long time.

“It’s nice to know someone still would after today.”

Aware he thought she was joking, she lifted her chin. “I’m serious. I’ll marry you. I know I’m only fifteen, too young yet for you, but if you’d wait, I wouldn’t leave you at the altar. I’d make you happy. Grandma Bradford was only seventeen when she got married.”

“Ivy—”

“I know you still love Malynn,” she said, using the name she’d given her sister long ago, when her toddler’s tongue couldn’t wrap itself around the harder word “Madelyn.” “I wouldn’t expect you not to. But maybe as time goes on it won’t hurt so much. Maybe in a couple years there’ll be room in your heart for me. If you loved one sister, why couldn’t you love another?”

“Shh, Ivy. Enough.”

“I love you, James.”

He closed his eyes for a brief moment before meeting her gaze. “I love you too, sweetheart. We’ve always been the best of friends, haven’t we?”

She nodded, a spark of hope flaring to life inside her.

“And we’ll continue to be friends, good friends, no matter what. But, Ivy, as flattered as I am by your proposal, it wouldn’t be right. There’re a lot of years between us, too many years. Besides, what would you want with an old man like me when there’re so many young guys just waiting for a chance to be with a beautiful girl like you?”

“But I don’t want any of them. I want you. And you’re not old,” she protested.

“I’m thirty-one. When I was fifteen, thirty-one sounded as close to ancient as you could get without actually being dead. Come on; admit it. You know I’m right.”

She shook her head. “I don’t see you that way. I see you as you, as James. Your age doesn’t matter to me.”

“But it matters to others; you know it does. Your parents, your family, your friends—what would they think?”

She knew exactly what they would think, and they wouldn’t approve, no matter how much they liked James. And they did like him, even adored him. Her parents had all but adopted him years ago, when a then-teenage Madelyn had dragged him over from the house next door.

Maybe he was old enough to have known her since she was a baby. But she didn’t care. She loved him.

He gave her a sympathetic smile. “I know you won’t believe me, but six months or a year from now, you’ll look back on this and wonder what you could have been thinking. You’ll have met some great guy at school. You’ll be worrying about which college to attend and what dress to wear to the prom. I’ll be the last thing on your mind.”

A lock of her hair came free of its carefully styled knot and blew across her face. He reached out to tuck it behind her ear. She caught his hand, pressed his palm to her cheek and closed her eyes. “You’re always on my mind,” she murmured earnestly.

When she opened her eyes again, he met her look and sighed. “Ivy, you seem to have forgotten that until a few minutes ago, I was going to marry your sister. I love Madelyn and I wanted her for my wife. Getting over her is going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But I’m going to try my damnedest and so are you. You’re going to get on with your life and get over this . . . this crush you have on me.”

He pulled his hand away.

A tear slipped down her cheek. “You’re going, then?”

“Yes, I’m going.”

“When will I see you again?”

He tucked his hands in his suit pockets, hunched his shoulders. “I don’t know. A while. I have some business in Europe I’ve been neglecting because of the wedding. I may see to that.”

“Be careful.”

“I’m rarely anything else; you know that.”

“You’ll need your coat.” She slipped it from around her shoulders and held it out to him. “Mine’s inside the church.”

He shrugged into his coat. “You’d better run on. Someone’s probably looking for you by now.”

But she stood her ground, her eyes serious and intent. “She’s a fool, you know, to have let you go,” she stated, her words those of an adult.

He paused, then pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You’re a sweet girl. Don’t ever let that change.”

He turned and unlatched the gate.

She watched him walk away, the skin on her forehead and cheek hot and tingling where he’d touched her. She wished he’d kissed her on the lips, but it was too soon for that.

James was right about a great many things, she knew.

She was too young for him.

Her family would disapprove.

And less than an hour ago, he’d been pledged to marry her sister.

But not anymore.

Before, Ivy had been willing to let him go. For Madelyn’s sake. For his sake. Because she’d known he loved her sister, and above all else, she wanted him to be happy.

But now he was free. Now he could be hers. And he was wrong about her feelings; they would never change.

She loved him.

She always had.

She always would.

And someday, she promised herself, he was going to feel the same.

Happy publication day Christine King!

We are excited to finally welcome the 2013 Entice Writing Competition winner Christine King to Piatkus! Her regency romance debut, The Blade and the Dove, is filled with secrets, danger and ferocious passion.

Trapped she may be, tamed she is not . . .

Lady Elinor, the ethereally beautiful wife of Sir Lucien Reveley, is lusted after by many but known by no one. Famously cold and unfeeling, she is regarded by the gossiping Ton with curiosity. Yet beneath her seeming serenity hides a desperate woman – married to a man whose public persona belies the sadistic, sensual monster within.

Finally pushed to breaking point, Elinor flees, desperate to escape the increasingly debauched demands of her husband. Living a modest life in hiding, Elinor keeps herself safe, but when she meets a man who sees beneath her reserve, a man who makes her tremble for his touch, the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her fragile peace . . .

 
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh or Elizabeth Hoyt, Christine King is a stunning new voice in historical romance!

Win the first three books in Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series (UK only)

We’re thrilled to offer Entice readers the chance to win the first three books in Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series: Firelight, Moonglow and Winterblaze.

To be in with the chance of winning these magical, romantic novels, simply answer the following question:

Which of these is not a title in the Darkest London series:

A. Ember
B. Shadowdance
C. Summerlight

Answers in the box below please and make sure to read our terms and conditions first. Good luck!

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles introduces I, Victoria

Piatkus Entice are delighted to publish yet another wonderful novel by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Cynthia tells the story of Queen Victoria in this sweeping tale of a Monarch whose life was  colourful, enthralling and with love and romance always in her heart . . .

I used to have favourite periods of history, and those I avoided.  One of the latter was the Victorian age. I had never studied it, and thought it would be dull. The images one somehow absorbs – humourlessness, prudery, stuffiness and wall-to-wall domestic propriety – do not have the obvious magnetism of, say, the court of Charles II or the affairs of Henry VIII.

However, writing the Dynasty series forced me to cover everything, and taught me that every period has its fascination. And the Victorian age is one of the most dynamic and rapidly-changing times in our history. Machinery, manufacturing, medicine, travel, the arts, the sciences – every field witnessed a great leap forward. A million small inventions profoundly changed the lives of every citizen: safety matches, fountain pens, cooking stoves, chloroform… Just think of having washable cotton clothes, instead of heavy, smelly wool. Think how frozen and tinned food revolutionised the diet.

And the railway. In all of man’s history he had never been able to travel over the surface of the earth faster than a horse could carry him. And horses have to rest. Now, people, goods and ideas could race from one end of the country to the other in hours instead of days. You could read the London newspaper in Leeds, eat fresh mackerel in Mansfield.

At the heart of this social convulsion was Victoria. Brought up in obscurity and near-imprisonment, hurled at a shy and ignorant 18 into a firece spotlight and huge responsibility, this tiny woman came to rule half the world.

The Victorian Age takes its name from her, yet Victoria herself was in character a Georgian: a hearty, fun-loving hedonist, fond of dancing, food and wine, parties and games and silly jokes. She was quick-tempered, loyal, generous, determined and sentimental. She was a sensualist who loved the pleasures of the bedroom.

The traits we think of as Victorian really belong to her husband, the handsome, studious, intellectual Albert. He had seen in his own family the terrible consequences of debauchery, of drink, drugs, gambling and promiscuity. His adored mother had been sent away for adultery when he was a little boy; his father and brother suffered from syphilis. His understandable reaction was a retreat into ironclad virtue. Marrying Victoria, he wanted to preserve her and his children from the same degradation, to reform the court and if possible the whole country. Merry England should become Modern England. Rabelais was out, Rationality was in.

How did these two very different characters manage to live together? The answer is, stormily. The head-on clash between Victoria’s fiery temper and Albert’s chilly stubbornness seemed likely to split the marriage and the court apart.What saved them was a deep, tender and richly erotic love: however much they quarrelled, they could always be reconciled in bed.

This, then, is the background to I,VICTORIA: a love-story that changed the world and the birth-pangs of a new age. How could I ever have thought the nineteenth century would be dull?

I, Victoria is available from Piatkus Entice now!

 

Happy Publication Day Chelsea Fine!

Sometimes wrong can feel oh, so right!

Yes! It’s publication day for the gorgeous Chelsea Fine and the 3rd in her Finding Fate series! Right Kind of Wrong is available on Piatkus Entice today!

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.

 

 

Praise for Chelsea Fine:

‘You’ll fall for Pixie and Levi, just like I did!’ J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

‘By turns humorous and heartbreaking, Best Kind Of Broken has become one of my favourites!’ Cora Carmack

Chelsea Fine‘s style is witty, visceral and fresh. All I wanted to do was crawl inside this book and live with the characters’ Chelsea M. Cameron

‘Tangled with friendship, history and heartbreak – not to mention a huge dose of humor – Chelsea Fine‘s New Adult novel is not to be missed!’ Jay Crownover

Piatkus Entice welcomes Cecilia Tan!

Piatkus Entice is delighted to welcome Cecilia Tan to the list, with her fabulous Struck by Lightning erotica series. Here, Cecilia shares with us where she gets her inspiration from for this brilliant trilogy . .  .

Struck by Lightning. One would think with a series name like that, the idea must have come to me in a flash. Well, it did, and yet it was very long in coming as well. The apparent paradox comes from the fact that I have been writing BDSM love stories for over twenty years. In the 1990s when I began writing and publishing these stories on the very fledgling Internet, the media thought people were not “ready” for erotic bondage or spanking. Pointing out that what they deemed “too much” were actually staples of the erotic novels of the 19th century was no help. So I toiled in relative obscurity, like a rock band whose genre is not played on the radio.

Fast forward twenty-some years, and guess what? My passionate stories of love and rope and leather are suddenly NOT too much after all. People are finally ready! I chose to tell the story of a young woman trying to find herself and the mysterious man she encounters. James changes the entire trajectory of Karina’s life in the moment when he says, “The game is very simple. I tell you to do something, and you do it.”

James draws Karina into his erotic aura with that game, determined to forge a bond with her free of the expectations of identity. Karina doesn’t know who he is “really,” at first. Who they are when they are with each other–in the back of a limousine, in the bedroom–is what matters most. This idea–that our lovers would create an almost parallel universe of consensual passion–was the lightning that struck me. By keeping their identities secret from one another, could my lovers create complete openness and honesty between them about everything else?

Of course, eventually Karina finds out the truth about who James is, but perhaps more importantly she finds out who she is for herself. Beyond the expectations of daughter, sister, scholar, Karina learns what passion truly means. Real life intrudes upon fantasy, as it must when we want to immerse ourselves in a good book, but the phone rings, the kettle boils, and the cat cries for her dinner. Here’s hoping that my little series, Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction, can transport readers into the bubble of passion and play that James creates for Karina, and that phone, tea, and kitten can wait.

Slow Seduction, Slow Surrender and Slow Satisfaction are available from Piatkus Entice now!

August 26th Book Birthdays!!

There hasn’t been this much excitement in the office since Benedict Cumberbatch did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! So many gorgeous authors are published today on Entice and we have something for everyone, from sizzling new adult to steamy erotica all the way to misty, magical historical romance! Check out today’s publications and see what strikes your fancy . . .

 

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war . . .

She’s back.

For the three years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game . . .

I’m back.

Three years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me . . .

He pushes her sexual boundaries . . .

From the moment waitress Karina meets him in a New York bar, she knows James is different. Daring. Dominating. Though he hides his true identity from her, the mysterious, wealthy businessman anticipates her every desire and fulfills her secret fantasies. Awakened by his touch, Karina discovers a wild side she hadn’t known existed and nothing is off limits.

She aches for more . . .

What begins as an erotic game soon escalates to a power play that blurs the line between pleasure and pain. Even as she capitulates to James’s sensual demands, Karina craves more. She wants his heart, his soul. She wants his love . . . and she’ll break all the rules to get it.

 

 

The fifth book in Kristen Callihan’s critically acclaimed Darkest London series set in Victorian London . . .

Holly Evernight belongs to a very special family of inventors. They have nobly served the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals for generations. And Holly may have the most special creative powers of them all. But her skills are about to be tested as she tries to save the life of a half-man-half machine whose clockwork heart is ticking down to the bitter end…

William Thorne was a rebel, a hired assassin for the SOS’s greatest rival, before he was taken, tortured, and transformed. Now his mind and soul battles with his body as he becomes less and less human. But the true fight for his humanity will be waged within his heart.

Special message from Lia Riley to her UK readers!

Hey there, I’m Lia Riley, author of the OFF THE MAP series. These books sunk their hooks into my heart and I am excited they are now available outside the United States.

Writing Upside Down, Sideswiped and Inside Out was a fun and rather surreal journey. I had a vague inkling for a New Adult story, about an American girl who travels to Australia, but originally conceived a different plot. Instead, when I started writing, Talia and Bran barged into my brain, took over and steered the action in a completely different direction (thus the series name!). Next thing I knew, I had a surly surfer who wouldn’t behave and a quirky heroine hiding her obsessive-compulsive disorder beneath a veil of self-deprecation. I had to type as fast as possible to keep up with their hijinks (those two do love their banter). Upside Down was written in one dizzy month.

Throughout these books, I explore the idea that love – real love – takes you down unimagined roads within yourself, to places you wish didn’t exist while discovering possibilities you never imagined. When you find the person up for taking that challenge with you, there’s no adventure more terrifying, pivotal or beautiful.

Talia and Bran bounce between Australia, Malawi, Antarctica and coastal California. As they are tested by life’s challenges, they discover the courage to claim love and learn that sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to venture off the map.

I threw everything I had at the page. It wasn’t easy, and often felt raw and uncomfortable, but I hope you find something special to take away from their journey. I’m so proud of Talia and Bran and where they end up. Thank you for reading!

 

xoxo

Lia Riley

 

The first in the OFF THE MAP series, Upside Down, is out now! Join in on the inspiration at the Off the Map Tumblr page and be sure to enter the competition to win loads of Australian goodies! There is less than 24 hours to enter!