cover reveal: Crossing Hearts

Hello faithful readers! The new Atlanta Skyline soccer romance series is moving along apace, with the manuscript for book #2 in my editor’s inbox and the final proofread for book #1 underway. Book #1 – now titled Crossing Hearts – hits digital shelves on 21 March. In the meantime, though, here’s a super sexy cover to whet your appetite!

crossinghearts_rebeccacrowley_final

New to the U.S. soccer scene, not to mention the English language, compact yet explosive Chilean soccer legend Rio Vidal is driven to define a role on his new team, Atlanta Skyline. But he must also adapt to a new culture—and accept that he can’t do it alone. His beautiful interpreter, Eva, has been his voice, his refuge. But she is becoming so much more. If only he could convince her he isn’t like the other men she’s worked with, players on—and off—the field.

As a translator for pro athletes, Eva Torres is used to dealing with self-interested super stars. But Rio seems different, and she’s blindsided when he locks eyes with her across a church pew. By now, after weeks of close contact with the endearing athlete with whom she shares a language, her thoughts are far from holy. She must remind herself flirtation is probably just his default style. Plus, she’s the only one he can really talk to. But when his ambition threatens to derail his career—and their deepening connection—they’ll both have to lay their hearts on the center line.

Now available for pre-order at Amazon!

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announcing…

Considering my dad concluded his brief stint in the army way before I was born, my fascination with military heroes in romance is maybe a little odd. I can’t get enough of the transient lifestyle, the lethal prowess beneath an ordinary exterior, the distinctive combination of remarkable bravery and vulnerability. The late photojournalist Tim Hetherington did a series of portraits of sleeping soldiers that beautifully illustrates this stunning intersection of impenetrable strength and totally susceptible humanity.

'Doc' Kelso sleeping at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal valley, Kunar province, Afghanistan, July 2008. Photograph: Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos

‘Doc’ Kelso sleeping at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal valley, Kunar province, Afghanistan, July 2008. Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos

The space I particularly wanted to explore – and which I’ve struggled to find satisfyingly interrogated in what romance I’ve read (and I’d love recommendations on this front!) – is the Stateside reality of life in the military. I’m not talking about superhuman Navy SEALS and Airborne Rangers and elite intelligence operatives. I want to read about your garden-variety infantry, guys without college degrees, who can’t kill you seventeen ways in six seconds, who don’t have super-stealth training or high-tech equipment, who enlisted because they weren’t sure what else to do and never quite got out. What happens when an unremarkable, working-class guy is thrust into remarkable circumstances? And what happens when the dust settles and it’s back to life in the barracks?

With that, I’m truly delighted to announce the forthcoming release of The Homefront Trilogy from Samhain Publishing. A stone’s throw from the gates of Fort Preston, the small Kansas town of Meridian has seen soldiers come and go since the Civil War. But when the 13th Infantry’s Echo Company rotates home from a catastrophic nine-month tour in Afghanistan, the men in its ranks carry much heavier burdens than the packs they left with – and they’ll need a lot of help to ease them off their shoulders. This series of novellas explores duty, honor, and sacrifice as returning soldiers find love, rediscover life, and redefine what it means to be home.

The first novella in the series, Boots on the Ground, will release from Samhain in October, followed by Alive Day in January and Thunder Running at some point after that. Now I know what you’re thinking – will all the serious, analytical chat above be redeemed by a super-sexy cover reveal? You know it will!

Behold, possibly my favorite cover ever for any of my books thus far:

Boots on the Ground

With a life that started in foster care and nearly ended in the mountains of Afghanistan, Grady Reid is more than ready to hang up his sergeant’s stripes when his Army contract expires. Small-town Meridian, Kansas seems as good a place as any to finally put down roots. He’s dumped his savings into a ramshackle farmhouse and is on his way to trading bullets for bull breeding when an exquisitely beautiful, totally unattainable blonde turns his head faster than a pivoting cutting horse.

Dr. Laurel Hayes longs to escape the confines of stuffy, small-town life for an adrenaline-
fueled, transient lifestyle delivering medical aid in unstable regions around the world. Then she meets Grady, a man with enticing eyes, a slow smile—and not an ounce of the wanderlust that tugs at her soul.

Their lives are headed in opposite directions. But as something more powerful than attraction, desire, or even lust draws them together, something’s got to give…or their hearts could break under the strain.

Expect more details and even more gorgeous cover reveals in the months to come (I’ve seen the mock-up for the second cover and…y’all…let me just say the word muscles) as I endure months of excitement waiting to introduce these characters I love so much to the world of romance readers!

anyone for tennis?

Faithful readers, I hope your Valentine’s Week (if there is such a thing) is going better than mine! I got back to Joburg on Monday evening after an awesome extended weekend in Cape Town and have spent the ensuing several days trying to get around this petrol-fueled city without my car, which is being held hostage by the world’s most inefficient panelbeaters. Commuting to work via taxi and begged rides from co-workers is really less than ideal, and I can’t wait to retrieve my beloved, TARDIS-blue Honda tomorrow. At least I hope the mechanic meant it when he said tomorrow…

So to cheer myself up in this final furlong before the weekend, why not have a cover reveal? There are almost exactly two months to go before the release of my second sports romance with Carina Press, LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS, the story of an uptight professional tennis player and her deliciously laid-back coach. I love this cover almost as much as I love this novel (which is a lot). Please to enjoy!:

Love in Straight Sets

Regan Hunter came to tennis late in life, but she’s worked hard to become one of the world’s top players. Beating the odds has made her unstoppable on the court and neurotically controlling off of it. So when her manager hires a new coach, a has-been who left the sport after a scandal, Regan wants him gone, fast.

Ben Percy, a former Grand Slam winner, is well aware of Regan’s reputation for driving coaches away—usually screaming. But working with the notoriously mercurial Regan could be just the break he needs to take his career to the next level, and he’s never been one to scare easily. He must stick to only one rule: hands off Regan.

Keeping his distance from Regan is more difficult than Ben ever imagined. Behind her tough, sexy exterior is a woman he wants to get to know better. And Regan feels a connection with her patient, easy-on-the-eyes coach that’s hard to ignore. But with the biggest championship of all on the line, romance may be completely out of bounds…

I won’t lie, probably one of my favorite elements of this cover is the hero’s slight resemblance to Roger Federer. Did you know that ol’ Roger is half South African? Or that he’s on a huge, billboard-sized ad for Moet Chandon that I pass every morning on my way to work? In fact sometimes I sit at the red light and just stare at all ten floors of him. Certainly improves the morning commute!

Roger Federer

two-for tuesday

Tuesday is generally my least favorite day of the week – yup, even worse than Monday. On Monday I still have a little optimism and energy left over from the weekend, but on Tuesday that’s all gone and I’m facing four more days before the next one. A friend of mine once mused that one day she woke up and found that twenty-seven years of Tuesday had simply passed her by, and ever since then I’ve tried to do something a little special, a little remarkable on Tuesday to prevent that happening.

Today I’ve got TWO bits of excitement to share. I’ll start with the abs-less piece of news first: Carina Press has acquired my second contemporary sports romance, LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS! It’s slightly quirky and offbeat in that the heroine is the sports star, a highly strung professional tennis player who falls hard for her annoyingly laid-back coach. Here’s the blurb:

Professional tennis player Regan Hunter is at the peak of her career – and the end of her tether. Beating the odds to excel in her sport has made her unstoppable on the court and neurotically controlling off of it, and two months before the Baron’s Open – her best chance at winning a Grand Slam – she’s fired so many coaches that there are none left. Her anger when her manager lays down an ultimatum that sticks her with an untried amateur is nothing compared to her fury at the new coach’s attempts to wrest control from her grasp – or to the sizzling attraction that instantly blazes between them.

Former Baron’s Open-winner Ben Percy lost everything when his father embezzled his money and left him flat, but his only complaint about the life he’s built for himself is his lack of funds, particularly when he’s trying to save enough to bring his sister over from their native Zimbabwe. Coaching the notoriously mercurial Regan Hunter could be the career break he needs – or a career finisher if he fails to get her to a Grand Slam win. His dubiousness grows when her manager delivers a strange condition – if he touches Regan, he’s fired. But as he’s increasingly intrigued by the complicated, fascinating woman behind her take-no-prisoners façade, he realizes the contest for her heart will be fiercer than any Grand Slam final.

LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS will be released in the first week of April…but before that hits the virtual shelves, I’ve got two firsts on March 4th: my first release with Samhain, and my first contribution to the world of romantic suspense! And so without further adieu, I give you the cover reveal for SECURE TARGET, the tale of an Afrikaans-speaking super-cop with a huuuuge… gun.

SecureTarget cover smSECURE TARGET is already available for pre-order from Amazon and Amazon UK. I love the Samhain “warning”: Contains a sexy South African cop with the heart of a lion and by-the-book determination, and a mild-mannered receptionist with a reckless streak a mile wide. Throw in love on the run, and it’s full “steam” ahead!

here come the holidays

Today is my last day in the States after a brilliant three weeks spent getting married (!) and taking a road-trip honeymoon from Kansas to California. A full recap entry is forthcoming, but in order to cheer myself up ahead of the 40ish hours of travel awaiting me tomorrow – and in honor of the Christmas decorations I saw for sale in Topeka’s Cracker Barrel restaurant last night – I thought this was the perfect time to reveal the cover for Hero’s Homecoming, my military holiday novella!

So without further ado:

Releasing from Carina Press on 21 November

Releasing from Carina Press on 21 November

I’m so proud of this novella, which is significantly darker and more angsty than The Striker’s Chance, and I’m hopeful readers will love it as much as I do. It’s available now for pre-order on its own from Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble or as half of the Gifts of Honor anthology alongside the inimitable Stacy Gail!

introducing…

I’ll always remember that day last November when I came back from a (slightly boozy!) work lunch to find an e-mail from Angela James, Executive Editor of Carina Press, saying the team loved my contemporary sports romance and wanted to offer me my first-ever contract! My reply e-mail was embarrassingly gushy, and that evening my fiance and I downed far too many Sol beers in celebration.

The intervening eight months have been long, eventful, and full of firsts. First contract signed and executed, first art fact sheet, and first – and hugely informative – editing process. There have also been some seconds – second contract with Carina Press for my holiday novella, and second contract for a full-length novel, this time with Samhain Publishing. But as the clock steadily ticks down to the release date for my debut, The Striker’s Chance, I’m delighted to share what is possibly the most exciting first of all: the cover reveal!

Now, without further adieu, I’m delighted to reveal the cover for The Striker’s Chance!

The Striker's Chance final coverLanding the PR contract for North Carolina’s new soccer team could take Holly Taylor’s career to the next level. Her task? Make Kepler “Killer” de Klerk, an athlete with a party-hard reputation, a star. But revamping the sexy footballer’s image while battling her unwanted attraction to him is easier said than done.

The car accident that derailed Kepler’s European career also gave him some much-needed perspective. He’s ready to give up on fame and focus on the game he loves. The last thing he needs is a headstrong brunette pushing him back into the spotlight, even if butting heads with her is the most fun he’s had in ages.

The more time Holly spends with Kepler, the more she sees how different he is from his tabloid persona. But when she’s offered her dream job for a price, she finds herself torn between the career she’s spent years building and the man she doesn’t want to give up.

Phew, that is one sizzling dude. These cover designers sure have a hard job, don’t they? Flicking through photo after photo of sexy, shirtless guy – but I guess someone’s gotta do it, right?

There’s still a little over two months to go until The Striker’s Chance releases, but you can pre-order it at Amazon and Amazon UK, and at least there’s a little cover eye candy to ogle in the meantime!