Allison Temple Blog

Awkward and Thoroughly Kissable
Posts tagged read this book
All of the Above?
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What genre do you like to read and write?

(this post is based on the Marketing for Romance Writers 52 Week Challenge)

I'm not fussy...there is very little in romance that is a hard no for me. I'm not a huge BDSM fan, and I don't really get MPREG, but if someone pressed their favourite BDSM MPREG into my hands and told me my life would be incomplete until I'd read it, I'd probably try it.

I find contemporary romance easiest to write. It gives me familiar settings and really lets me dig into the characters to find out what makes them tick. I'd love to write romantic suspense, but I'd need to do a ton of work on plotting big external plots and also on law enforcement...spies...terrorists...you get the idea.

My TBR pile is giant and varied though. Books I've read most recently include:

So yeah. It's all pretty gay. But otherwise, there's pretty well the whole shebang in there. Better find a couple historical romances to balance it all out.

What do you love to read or write?

The Wake Up is Live!
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Wake Up Cover baker

UPDATED, JULY 2018: The Wake Up has moved. You can get it for free by signing up for my newsletter.  

If you're reading this, then The Wake Up is out and about and ready for your reading pleasure!

There's is only one man Jackson would get out of bed for . . . or invite to his bed, if he got that lucky. Unfortunately, Matt Kingston only has eyes for Jackson's buns, which would be great . . . if Jackson weren't a baker. A year of pining and wooing with sprouted wheat has been fruitless, and Jackson is ready to give up, but it turns out Matt has a secret of his own. If only he were better at rising to the occasion.

The Wake Up is a free short story set in Red Creek and I can't wait for you to read it. So clickity click over to Instafreebie to get your copy now!

I was an introvert before it was cool

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A book that influenced my life

(this post is based on the Marketing for Romance Writers 52 Week Challenge)

Have you read Susan Cain's Quiet?

You haven't?

Stop reading this and go read it right now.

Go on. I'll wait.

Not an introvert? But you probably know some, right? You should still read it.

Okay, if you're still here and you haven't read it, here's my spiel.

Quiet is powerful. It's deeply researched. It's sympathetic without promoting introverts or extroverts as better than the other. It untangles introversion from so many other things like shyness, sensitivity and social anxiety.

I am an introvert. People who know me professionally never believe me when I tell them that. My husband likes to call me a ninjavert. I can be sociable and engaging in the right context, but give me a quiet house and a comfy couch and I will Make Things Happen.

Quiet is amazing in that it breaks down how introvert brains work, and why social situations don't feel the same to us as they do to extroverts.

In third grade, my teacher called a conference with my mother and told her she was worried I was too serious. My mom came home and said "Mrs. Walker says you don't smile enough." I thought that was the weirdest thing I'd ever heard.

Guess whose third grade teacher was an extrovert, back when there wasn't a word for that?

Guess which book has all kinds of examples of teachers, parents, and heart care providers trying to diagnose kids when all they were is introverted?

Guess who cried when the book was over because for the first time she didn't feel like her preference for staying in, and her habit of lying on the couch for hours after a big presentation were weird?

Yeah, that last one was me.

Quiet was published in 2013, and in the ensuing 5 years, introversion has become a buzzword, and our introverted brethren are celebrated for their preference for staying home on a Friday night and their proclivity for regretting plans made weeks ago. So maybe you think you know everything you need to know about introverts.

Quiet is still worth a read.

If you don't believe me, check out Susan's TED Talk. It is one of the most popular talks on the site.

 

If You Liked The Pick Up...

Presenting Where's Waldo...Kyle Edition! img_0026

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Today is The Pick Up's one month anniversary! Hearing from those of you who read and loved Kyle and Adam's story was one of the best feelings ever! And then you asked when there would be more stories and...well...it's complicated. The Hook Up (a prequel short about how Kyle met Olivia) is out now, and I've got another short planned a few months from now. But, for reasons, the date of the next novel is TBD.

In the meantime, I'd like to make some recommendations. We started talking in my Facebook group this week about covers and stock photos. I like to think that The Pick Up's cover is distinctly cute but the fact remains that that smiley dude is a stock photo model and you can find him having all kinds of adventures over on DepositPhoto. My particular favourites are the ones where he can't figure out laundry, and where he makes an especially dorky face in the mirror, because spinach in your teeth is never cool.

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But even weirder than seeing Kyle in the controlled realm of stock photos is seeing him on other people's covers. He's everywhere! Literally everywhere. The Pick Up is one of seven covers I've found in the last six months with Mr. Smiley on the cover. And that's just in m/m romance! God only knows what he's up to in the heterosexual world!

So while you're waiting for my further novel-length adventures, here are six novels that feature the same guy on the cover. If you liked The Pick Up, maybe you'll like the continued antics of Smiley Stock Photo Guy! He is perpetually adorable, although I have to admit the maternal writer in me wants to tell him to put on a shirt sometimes.

Kyle Covers

Buy links are here:

The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores, book 6) by Rosalind Abel Something New (Something About Him, book 1) by Sean Ashcroft Champagne Kiss (Rose Falls, book 3) by Raleigh Ruebins Heart of Glass (Lawyers in Love, book 3) by Ari McKay Rock a Bye (Cray's Quarry, book 1) by Rachel Kane Blaze (A Masterson Novel, book 1) by Avery Ford

If you find SSPG anywhere else, maybe leave a comment so we can continue to expand our libraries? Good book recs are always appreciated.

Happy reading!

The Hook Up

UPDATED, JULY 2018: The Hook Up has moved. You can get it for free by signing up for my newsletter.

 

Okay folks, Mondays are hard, so how about a freebie?

The most common thing I saw in reviews for The Pick Up was that people wanted to know more about Kyle's history with Olivia.

Fortunately, I wrote a short story about that very thing! Here's the night that Kyle met Olivia.

Remember the fights? The lost phone? It's all there. But also, there's karaoke! Ice sculptures! Revenge via veggie fries!

Don't worry though, if you haven't read The Pick Up (although you totally should anyway), The Hook Up stands on its own.

And did I mention it's free?

And available right now?

All you have to do is clicky click on the link and grab a copy!

Happy reading!

PS, I've got more Red Creek shorts planned for later this year. Members of my Facebook group always get them first. Join us if that's a thing that sounds like fun!

The Pick Up

Another excerpt from my trip to the bank.

"How long have you been a writer?"

"Well, I mean, I think people who are writers, it's always something they've done. You know? There's always a history. Bad poetry, terrible short stories and-"

"No. It's for the computer. I have to put a start date for your job."

Oh.

What do I tell him? Is it the day I started writing The Pick Up? The day I finished it and decided it was something I might try to publish?

In the end, I gave him the date last July when I signed my contract with Riptide. I was a writer long before there was a document with terms and conditions on it that said other people thought I was a writer too.

Today though. Today will always be special. Today is the day The Pick Up is released into the world, so today is the day you all find out I'm a writer too.

I hope you read Kyle and Adam's story. I really hope you like it. I'd love to hear from you. More importantly, I hope others hear from you. This industry is so dependent on word of mouth. So if you read it (even if you don't love my guys as much as I do), leave a review. On Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, or just with your book club. There's more Red Creek coming. You want people to join in the fun, don't you?

If you don't have a copy of The Pick Up yet, you can get all ebook formats and hard copies direct from Riptide, or from you favourite online retailer.

Thanks for reading!

A

The Book Club Experiment

29973570.jpg So...I accidentally started a book club?

It all started when I made a joke over this Amazon freebie, part of the Frisky Beavers series.

Frisky beavers? I mean, how could I not?

And then someone said they were going to download it too. And then I said maybe we should have a book club. And then a bunch of people said that was a good idea.

And then it got posted on another page?

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And that's when I looked at my husband in the car on the way to brunch and said "What even is my life?"

But you know what? I'm going to do it. I mean, if someone can name a book series the Frisky Beavers, surely anything is possible. Surely I can run a book club!

So here's what we're going to do. Prime Minister is free (the link will take you to Amazon, but I hear it's the same at Kobo et al. too), I don't know for how long. Download it. Read it. In two weeks (subject to change if I read slow), we'll swing on over to my Facebook page where I'll have thought-provoking questions throughout the weekend, or maybe we'll all just wonder how beavers can even get in that position?

Sound fun? It'll be fun, I promise! Leave a comment and let me know you're in!

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#tbt Review - Hard Time, Cara McKenna

19091520I read a lot of older books. Not old books. Not Dickens or Melville (not often anyway). Just stuff that's not currently on the new releases page at Amazon. My TBR pile's enormous and I'm not much of a spender, so I'm constantly trying to catch up on stuff I already own. I've never gotten close to clearing the queue. I blame my writing habit for taking up my free time. Also my full time job that limits my available reading hours. So I've decided to introduce #tbt reviews, and maybe you'll find a few oldie but goodie titles to add to your gigantic TBR pile.

So Hard Time. Published in 2014. I actually read this one not long after it came out, but I re-read it recently and I'm inspired to gush.

The first time, I read Hard Time in a day. It was the kind of reading where you open up the first page, and suddenly it's three hours and 100 pages later and dinner's cold and it's bedtime, but you stay up for another hour anyway, even though you'll be wrecked in the morning. And then you read it over breakfast, squeezing every last possible second out of your coffee because you have to leave for work, but the foreplay...

OMG the FOREPLAY!!! He writes her letters!!!

All I can do is watch your mouth. I watch your lips and I think about kissing you, when I'm alone at night...Sometimes I watch your hands...I watch your hands and I imagine them...on me.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a second.

The premise: Annie's a librarian recently moved to Michigan. She's in a romantic and sexual dry spell after her last boyfriend turned out to be a nasty drunk who never learned you don't hit girls. Part of her new job involves outreach at the local correctional facility. That's where she meets Eric, an inmate with a learning disability and a penchant for writing the most smoulderingly hot where's-my-chardonnay letters to poor lonely Annie.

Let's be honest. This book should not work. Lonely librarian. Felon with a sensitive side. Sexy pen pals. This book should die a lonely death on Cliche Hill.

But holy moly it works. I've actually even referred to it in other reviews on Goodreads. "For a better book on how to write sexy pen pals, try Hard Time by Cara McKenna." Yeah, you heard me.

So why does it work? A couple things stood out to me on this second read.

1. Eric's a believable as both a bad boy and a romantic

Bad boys are a thing in romance, I get that. But badly written bad boys are a massive pet peeve of mine. Either they're alpha douchebags who are apparently attractive for being uncaring of their woman's feelings but dynamite in bed, or else they're not really bad boys at all, just guys with labels and improbably huge vocabularies*.

Eric's a blue collar (at best) guy, and while his letters to Annie are Amazing with a Capital A, they're remarkably sweet and simple. He knows he's not much of a catch. He gives her an out at the end of every letter. But he has wants, he expresses them. Simply. He's not crude, but he also wouldn't know purple prose if it bit him in his well defined abs. And after he's released, he expresses everything, from his relationship with his family to his desire for Annie, in the same blunt way.  He doesn't want to be anything more than just a man who loves Annie and tries to do right by his family, and that makes him a well realized character in my opinion. Sometimes less is more.

And the other reason this book works is...

2. Annie's a real person with a sex drive

So the premise is that Annie hasn't had any interest in sex or being with a man since she left her previous relationship. That condition clears itself up right quick after Eric starts writing to her. You could argue that this is another example of a damaged woman being healed by the power of her man's magic love wand, but we've already covered that this book isn't going to die on Cliche Hill. And once Annie's sex drive wakes up, it feels fully awake in a human way. She's got some fantasies about dark brooding Eric doing dark brooding things to her, but he's really much happier when things are all sweet and mushy between them, and they have to work to find a balance. She buys her underwear at the Gap. She talks about masturbation. She's just like a real person!!

So lonely librarian. Romantic ex-con. Actual human beings with actual human feelings and preferences. That stuff's like catnip for me. If you missed it the first time around, take this #tbt recommendation and go back and read it now.

Here's some links to help you out:

Amazon

iTunes

*seriously. I tried to read another bad boy romance recently, but he kept saying things like "her mouth was hot and velvet as I caressed her with my tongue. We explored each other lazily" even though he had admitted chapter 1 he could barely read. So he's a drop out with a Regency lexicon? I chucked that offering out the window.