Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Preorder: THE BOOK OF LOVE

I'm pleased to announce that my new novel The Book of Love is up for preorder on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes, with ARe coming soon.

This is a contemporary romance about a jaded romance writer and his new editor, with some elements of humor and a bit of suspense. It's a full-length novel, about 70 000 words (around the length of Sympathy for the Devil). The official release date is June 5.

It will also be available in paperback by June if not late May.

There is a brief excerpt from when I was writing it last year available here.

In July, the first Midsummer Suspense Tales boxset will release. I am aiming for I WHO HAVE NOTHING to release at last around September or so, depending on how writing it goes. Toward the end of the year, I'd like to get written and released STRAY CAT STRUT and possibly BEAST. Sales of SNOW haven't been too bad so I'll look at the numbers in the fall and decide if the series is continuing. Thank you to everyone who has purchased it so far.



Romance editor Janaeh Forrester is a problem solver. A Jill of all trades, she’s worked in all aspects of publishing and no challenge is too big for her to overcome. It’s this reputation that leads her new employer to send her after the elusive Delilah Daniels, their top selling romance writer, who won’t deliver her latest manuscript and made the last editor quit. 

But “Delilah” is nothing that Janaeh expects. It’s the pen name of Carter Daniels, a thirty-something man as sexy as he is arrogant and frustrating. 

Six months have passed since Carter’s divorce was finalized and writing happily-ever-afters seems like a lie he can no longer tell. When Janaeh shows up at his door with a schedule in hand and threats to take back his advance if he doesn’t meet his deadlines, he assumes it’s a joke. But his attractive new editor is there to see that he finishes the book, driving him mad with both irritation and desire. 

Her presence stirs up something far more sinister, however: Janaeh is directly in the path of Carter’s more fanatical followers, and someone will stop at nothing to get her out of the way.

Release Date: June 5, 2015 
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romance (with some humor and suspense)
Length: novel (70K words or 220 pages) 
Series: standalone 
Format: ebook & paperback 
Ebook Price: $4.99 
Print Price: $9.99 
Pre-order: Kindle - ARe - Nook - Kobo - iBookstore - Smashwords - Paperback


Friday, March 27, 2015

New Release - SNOW

It's finally here!


Release Date: March 27, 2015
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romantic suspense 
Length: short novel (51K words or 150 pages) 
Series: Midsummer Suspense 
Format: ebook & paperback 
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99




A witness hidden away in a small town.

After waitress Liliana White witnessed a murder, she wanted nothing to do with helping the police or putting the target behind bars. She’s not interested in justice or being a hero; she just wants to stay alive. A brutal death waits for her if the culprits get their hands on her, and given that one of them is her ex-boyfriend, she knows precisely what he’s capable of and will avoid him at all costs.

The bodyguard sworn to protect her.

Stoic and efficient, personal security expert Michael O’Hara is cautious in all things—both work and women—and has built a reputation in the private sector as the top of his field. But though he thinks he’s seen it all, nothing has prepared him for keeping Liliana White safe. She doesn’t trust him, doesn’t trust the police, and not even a vicious contract killer known as The Huntsman on her heels is enough to convince her she needs him.

But Liliana does need him. Only Mike stands between her and certain death, and despite all he does to keep his emotional distance, the longer he spends with her, the more he has to face the possibility that he just might need her too.


Cinders and Beauty are both on sale right now too at Kobo and AllRomanceeBooks. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Talking about GUYS ON THE SIDE with Darien Cox

Do you like good-looking men and hot books like I do? Have I got a treat for you. Please join me in welcoming my partner-in-smut, Darien Cox (who I do writing marathons with using the Twitter hashtag #smutordie). Darien writes scorching hot m/m books and recently released his sequel to Guys on Top, called Guys on the Side.

*

Q) Guys on the Side is your first sequel, correct? And as I recall, you stated on your blog that you’d decided NOT to write a sequel to Guys on Top…so what changed?

A) Yes, I did say I’d never write it! After Guys on Top came out last year I was all blubbery with postpartum book sadness and wanted to continue with the characters, but at the time I didn’t have an angle, it hadn’t yet occurred to me to make it all about Corey. I didn’t want to add conflict to Doug and Stewart’s life because they’d gone through so much to get together I couldn’t bear it. So what changed is that Corey started speaking to me again so I decided to give his story a go, see what he had to say, which turned out, was quite a lot.


Q) Did you find it more difficult writing a sequel as opposed to a brand new book with fresh characters, or was it easier because they were familiar to you? 

A) It definitely flowed more easily because I knew the characters, so they had a lot of life in them already. But because I brought new characters into it and a whole new plotline it was still a challenge getting all the pieces to fit.


Q) With the first book, Guys on Top, there were a lot of readers who strongly disliked Corey. Did this influence your decision to write his story at all? Did you see it as a risk?

A) That’s true, some people really hated him, and let me know how strongly they felt! I’ve never had such conflicting feedback about a character before, it was kind of interesting, split down the middle between those who loved him and those who wanted to lynch him in the town square. I loved him of course, but certainly understood when people didn’t, he WAS quite the antagonist.

 But I have a lot of extroverted, wiseass friends like Corey. I’m personally a shy, more subdued type of person so I think I’m drawn to that opposite type, and I know everyone has multiple layers. That’s what I wanted to do with Corey, peel some of the outer layers away and expose his insides. I didn’t see it as a risk because I don’t allow myself think that way, I need to write what I’m feeling, and I was feeling Corey, his story wanted to be told.


Q) Introducing Angelo as a love interest for Corey transformed Guys on the Side into a ‘gay for you’ story. What made you decide to introduce this dynamic into Corey’s life?

A) I had to find something that would set Corey off-balance, which wasn’t easy. Corey had an almost otherworldly quality in the first book, the guy who seemingly has it all, good looks, quick wit, desired by lots of men, always lands on his feet. By introducing a ‘straight’ man into his life was a way to present Corey with something unfamiliar for a change, something to make him second guess himself.

Also, I thought it would be interesting to do a gay for you story where the trepidation exists more in the out gay character than the straight one. They both experience a rebirth – but Angelo’s coming out wasn’t the primary rebirth in the story. We see Corey go through a major change and self-reflection where he experiences a newness that he, with his promiscuous history, has not felt in a very long time. It rejuvenates him, but it also knocks him off kilter.


Q) How realistic do you think Angelo’s scenario is, discovering that he’s attracted to a man at the prime of his life, even though he’s never had such feelings before? 

A) Well, it’s certainly not common, but it’s an enjoyable fantasy. As a reader I dig books with a forbidden fruit quality. Corey has this magnetism that’s almost magical, so I thought it would be fun to have that backfire on him in a way he wasn’t prepared for. Corey’s a bit of a know-it-all, thinks he has the world all figured out, so I wanted to throw something at him that would mess with his confident reality.


Q) The destruction of Corey’s relationship with Zach was pretty intense and dark in places. Do you think including these details made Corey more sympathetic? 

A) That wasn’t my goal, but I suppose it was part of stripping Corey down to a vulnerable place so he could be truly renewed. But I thought it would be a cop-out to just start the story with ‘And then Corey and Zach broke up’ simply to move Corey on to a new romantic venture. As they say, relationships always end badly, otherwise they wouldn’t end. In life, romance is messy, we choose people who end up being bad for us, we stay too long trying to fix the unfixable, and sometimes we lay ourselves bare before someone who ends up figuratively kicking us in the balls. It’s important to me to make a story as real as possible, so I didn’t want to sugarcoat the bad stuff that happens and the things that end to make way for new beginnings.


Q) Do you have plans to continue with this series? 

A) Not at the moment, but as I learned recently, never say never. It could happen. I like beginnings more than continuations, so a fresh angle would have to present itself for me to bring these characters back. Sure, I’d LOVE to just keep writing these guys, but only if it’s a fresh and realistic plot that can carry a whole story. This was a great experience, but I’d say as a rule, sequels are not my thing.


Q) If you had to write a sequel to one of your other books, like say if someone was holding you hostage Annie Wilkes style and forced you to choose one, which book would it be? 

A) Eek! Under pressure I suppose I’d choose Criminal Pleasures, because with the organized crime and the undercover elements and all that, there are certainly things from Brendan and Marc’s past that could come back on them and create conflict and chaos. But I’d prefer to just think of them as living happily ever after, because I’m a sap.


Q) Which of your characters (in any of your books) would you say is the most like you, if any? 

A) Definitely Doug Crandall in the Guys books.


Q) What are you working on now? Can we expect another book from you soon? 

A) I’m beaching it! (After all the snow we got this winter I couldn’t bear anything but a summer setting.) I’m working on a new book in a seaside town, and getting ready to torment a whole new set of characters, which I hope will be ready to meet the world this coming summer.

*

About Darien Cox: Darien Cox lives in New England, bouncing back and forth between the mountain and the ocean states, anywhere there’s a wave or a ski slope. A nature lover and thrill seeker, he enjoys exploring the intensity, insanity, humor and chaos that accompanies cupid’s arrow, whether it’s love at first sight or just the overwhelming power of lust.

Visit him online at www.dariencox.com

Friday, February 13, 2015

Excerpt from SNOW

Who wants a Snow excerpt on this chilly day? ;-)

Setup: our intrepid hero is handcuffed to our heroine because she's sneaky.


Despite the coffee, Mike figured he’d sleep. Once again in his clothes, on top of the blankets, while Liliana curled up under the bedspread at his side, facing him by necessity as they were still locked at the wrist. She’d stripped out of her jeans again, left them cast on one of the chairs, and he’d avoided watching her while she did so as best as he could. Privacy was nearly nonexistent in a cramped hotel room to start with; cuffed together like this, what remained rapidly dissipated. Tonight the hall light was off, as he was no longer concerned she’d be trying to sneak out without him knowing. The cuff key sat on the table across the room, impossible to reach unless they both went to it together.
“If I’m going to be stuck with you in a room for weeks, we should probably start talking or something,” she said at last. “It might pass the time better.”
He’d almost thought she’d gone to sleep; she’d been lying there in the dark for over twenty minutes in silence, eyes closed, breathing even. “What would you like to talk about?”
She shifted and the mattress dipped under her. Mike lay on his back, his free arm under his head, staring up at the ceiling where bluish light filtered between the curtains. Snow continued to pile up outside and pattered softly against the windows.
“You still won’t tell me who hired you?”
“Not my information to give,” he said simply.
She was on her side still but watching him now. Her arm moved in the space between their bodies, slightly tugging his with it.
Oddly, he appreciated the silence, or what he suspected it meant from her. Despite her willingness to run her mouth off or stubbornly argue, she paused to think, to consider, enough that he knew there was more going on in her head than was apparent at first glance. She was smarter, craftier than she let on. Sure, every time she tried to run, she was stupid to do so, but that was born from desperation. If she actually took time to plan something, his work might be cut out for him.
“Then why did you take the job?” she asked after clearly debating it.
That caught him off guard.
What’s more, he wasn’t sure he had an answer for it. To help out Jann, sure—they’d both done one another favors over the years, and this job was personal for his friend. And because it was a well-paying gig. Seven Security did extremely well already, of course, but when a good job came up, they invariably took them to help cover expenses when business was slow. Further, this was what he was trained for, after all. Keeping a witness safe, anticipating threats—he was good at this. Enjoyed the work.
But there was more too it as well. “Because you need the help I can provide, even if you don’t want it.”
He could all but feel the air bristle around her at that and she gave a soft, skeptical snort at his words.
“Right,” she said. “Purely altruistic motives and not financial ones.”
“You realize I am not short for work,” he replied. “I pick and choose clients. I wasn’t forced to be here. My decisions are based on more than money.”
“Aren’t you just Prince Charming, O’Hara.”
“I’m in the unique position of being able to help you, and I’m being paid for it. There’s nothing princely about it. I realize you’re...” He had to phrase this delicately and wasn’t certain he could. “Likely used to people—men—taking an angle with you, wanting something from you.”
“Excuse me?” she snapped, but he ignored her.
“I have no ulterior motives. I require absolutely nothing from you but your cooperation while I keep you safe. When the police complete their investigation and get their evidence, I will turn you over to them as a material witness, they will put the Hartleys in prison, and you will go on your way.”
“You don’t know anything about me.”
“I know your distrust of police and authority figures likely came from your years spent in foster care and group homes. I know from your police report that you used to date Jimmy Hartley and that is why you’re scared of what he’ll do to you when he finds you. I know you expect me to either abandon you to Jimmy at some point or somehow ultimately lead to your death because I’m keeping you in one place. Correction—you don’t ‘expect’, you’re certain I will. However—”
And he tilted his head so he could face her, the blue light from outside gently tracing the side of her face, making her soft curls glow. Her features were delicate but her expression strong, those eyes just as fiery as when he first saw them despite how beaten down she’d been, tracked down and handcuffed to him. Scant inches separated them and for a moment he forgot what he was saying.
“However,” he continued, “those issues are yours to deal with. I’m not going anywhere. I will not let your ex-boyfriend or anyone else near you. There is nowhere safer you can be at the moment than right here.”
Her lips pursed as she stared at him. Clearly she still didn’t believe a word he said. Likely wouldn’t, even after he delivered her to the police for safekeeping when the trial came up.
She bent her left arm, folded it so her hand was under her pillow, dragged his arm up with her. He didn’t fight it, moving passively with her, and his fingertips brushed her forearm. Her skin was soft and warm, requiring conscious effort on his part not to deliberately touch her.
“I think you believe that,” she said at last, her voice soft and quiet. Defeated. “But you’re so sure you don’t have a weakness or a blind spot, that you’re too smart to get taken by someone like him, and that’s exactly what makes you a perfect victim.”
Like her. No, Liliana was far from stupid. And she’d described exactly how a smart woman would’ve ended up with Jimmy Hartley and men like him.
“I’m aware of my weakness and blind spots,” he said instead.
“Are you?” Her lips quirked into a grin, that saucy half-smile from her photo. The one that promised depths he immediately wanted to dive into.
“I plan for them. I can’t do my job without that awareness.”
“Awareness seems like a bit of a curse. Always planning, always anticipating, running a couple dozen scenarios at once, right?”
His gaze was locked on hers. He simply nodded.
“Must be exhausting.”
“I manage.”
She shifted again, the sheet slipping from her shoulder as she reached for him with her free hand.
Mike tensed, steadying his breath with effort, watching while she ran her fingertips up his forearm, feather-light. Her gaze traced the trail her fingers did, staring at him with a curiosity he couldn’t entirely decipher. He focused on his breathing, on keeping his heartrate down even as his pulse leapt with her touch and his body stirred again.
It could be another con, another attempt at wiggling free of her captivity, he knew. So he didn’t read much into it and tried to clamp down on any pleasant feelings her touch elicited as she traced her fingers along the dip in his calloused palm.
“And what about when you deliver me as promised, and the trial goes forward, and Jimmy’s mother kills me anyway?” She lifted her gaze to meet his again, fingers curling so now her nails dragged over his palm, more of a bite than the delicate touch from before but just as maddening. “They have money. They’ll hire someone. And even if everything they have is caught in bail and lawyers, they have friends. I testify, I’m dead. Doesn’t matter what other evidence they have—they’ll do it out of spite.”
There was nothing he could say to that. No reassurance he could give. Sure, she could be put in witness protection if the threat against her was found credible. She could disappear with help from the authorities far better than if she did it on her own.
But that wasn’t what she was asking about and he knew it.
“Exactly,” she said before he could reply. “This isn’t altruism. This isn’t about what’s best for me. It’s your job. What you’re paid for. And even if you do your little mission here perfectly and you can sleep easy at night knowing you did everything you were hired to do, that doesn’t make me safe. It’s just delaying the inevitable until a time when it’s more convenient for your conscience to have me die.”
And with that she rolled over, leaving her left arm where it was by the pillow as it was still attached to his, the handcuff chain clinking softly between them.
Mike stared up at the ceiling again, commanding sleep that never came, and telling himself it was just all the coffee keeping him up and nothing else.





A witness hidden away in a small town.

After waitress Liliana White witnessed a murder, she wanted nothing to do with helping the police or putting the target behind bars. She’s not interested in justice or being a hero; she just wants to stay alive. A brutal death waits for her if the culprits get their hands on her, and given that one of them is her ex-boyfriend, she knows precisely what he’s capable of and will avoid him at all costs.

The bodyguard sworn to protect her.

Stoic and efficient, personal security expert Michael O’Hara is cautious in all things—both work and women—and has built a reputation in the private sector as the top of his field. But though he thinks he’s seen it all, nothing has prepared him for keeping Liliana White safe. She doesn’t trust him, doesn’t trust the police, and not even a vicious contract killer known as The Huntsman on her heels is enough to convince her she needs him.

But Liliana does need him. Only Mike stands between her and certain death, and despite all he does to keep his emotional distance, the longer he spends with her, the more he has to face the possibility that he just might need her too.

Release Date: March 27, 2015
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romantic suspense 
Length: short novel (51K words or 150 pages) 
Series: Midsummer Suspense 
Format: ebook & paperback Ebook 
Price: $2.99 PREORDER SPECIAL (later will be $3.99) 
Print Price: $8.99


Friday, January 23, 2015

MIDSUMMER SUSPENSE: New Release, Sale, & Pre-order

BEAUTY is now available everywhere in ebook and paperback!

SHE DOESN'T KNOW THE DANGER COMING FOR HER...

Awkward, wild child Bryar Rosings was raised in the country by her aunts, isolated from the world at large. Her birth family remains a mystery to her, secrets kept hid...den away to prevent a dangerous foe from locating her. Still she longs for a life outside of Midsummer and finally plans to make her big getaway just as soon as she has the money saved up. It’s not like there’s anything else keeping her there.

IN RUNNING AWAY FROM HIS LIFE, HE FINDS WHAT HE LEAST EXPECTED...

Troubled pop star Sean Philip Sawyer needs a break from life as much as from his career. A quiet town like Midsummer, outside the usual vacation season, seems like the perfect place to forget his past and ignore his future. A chance encounter at a late night beach party, however, turns up the one thing he never thought he’d find: a woman who doesn’t recognize him. Bryar arouses and fascinates him in turn, stirring hope for a future without fame.

But a chance video going viral kicks into motion a decades’ old grudge that threatens not only their love but their lives. As a mysterious, powerful criminal known as The Dragon rises, Bryar’s dark past could spell their end unless Sawyer can save them both.

(51K-word/150-ish pages short novel; standalone, following Cinders [2014], interracial erotic romantic-suspense, loosely based on Sleeping Beauty)

Kindle US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RHB754O
Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RHB754O
Kindle CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00RHB754O
AllRomanceeBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-beauty-1718246-168.html
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beauty-42
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beauty-asha-king/1121005206
iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beauty/id955529831?mt=11
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/507135
Print: http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Midsummer-Suspense-Tale-Asha/dp/1505712033/


For the next week, you'll also find CINDERS on sale at ARe for 66% off (that's just $1!): https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cinders-1578590-168.html

The books in the series are standalone but do crossover. CINDERS takes place before BEAUTY and is loosely based on Cinderella. 

Finally, the third in the series is complete and up for pre-order. You'll find the links to order SNOW in ebook (print coming in March) right here: http://www.ashaking.com/2015/01/pre-order-snow.html 

SNOW officially releases March 27.

Happy reading!

~Asha