Cover Reveal: Friend (with benefits) Zone

I’m ridiculously attracted to my best friend.

Today is a bad day. The worst actually. After dealing with the constant manhandling that comes with being a cocktail waitress at a dive bar and surviving a date from hell, I see an eviction notice slapped on the door of my sketchy basement apartment. Great.

When my best friend Devon shows up at my door and uses his stubborn charm (emphasis on stubborn) to get me to move in with him, I give in. We’ve had about a million sleepovers since we met in the kindergarten Deaf program, but this time it’s different because I can’t stop thinking about his hard body covering mine, every single night.

I know Devon would do anything for me, but I’m afraid what I want to happen will ruin our friendship forever. And the more time we spend together in close quarters, the harder it’ll be to resist the spark of attraction I’ve always felt. But maybe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: keep the one relationship I can’t live without and indulge in an attraction I can’t deny.

I guess the only thing we can do is try…

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(Author fun fact: Before you check out the amazing cover, there are two details I absolutely love, be on the lookout for them. One, the model’s hands appear to be in motion, almost as if he’s signing. Two, my amazing graphic artist managed to add a hearing aid, as Devon himself normally wears two.)

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Friend(withbenefits)Zone HiRes

Available for pre-order at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | and more!
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About the author:

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Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young son keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.

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LONDON HALE Giveaway and Interview!

Giveaway

Publishing on May 2, 2017, Daddys Best Friend is the debut title for author London Hale. The book is the first in the Temperance Falls series and launches a world of naughty fantasies and taboo romances set on a small island in one of the Great Lakes.

London Hale is the combined pen names of authors Ellis Leigh and Brighton Walsh. Between them, they’ve published more than thirty books in the contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense genres. Both authors are available for interviews, questions, and random wackiness.

During release week, London Hale is giving away a book blitz swag pack to one lucky winner. Featuring a Kate Spade purse, signed paperback copy of DADDY’S BEST FRIEND, and a $25 Amazon gift card, the giveaway is our way of saying thanks to all the readers willing to try a new author!

 

ABOUT DADDY’S BEST FRIEND

She’s temptation personified

Nathan had always been more than just my dad’s friend. I never thought he’d see me as an adult, especially not after avoiding me for so long. But one hug, one moment feeling every inch of him against me, shattered that illusion. Consequences no longer mattered—I was eighteen, and I was willing to risk everything for my shot with him.

He’s not going to resist anymore

I never should’ve seen Eve as more than my best friend’s daughter. As a cop, I knew it was wrong. It was my job to protect her from guys like me. Chasing her could cost me my career—not to mention the only family I’d ever known—but I couldn’t hold back another second. One taste, and I wanted her. To hell with the fallout.

Amazon US: http://www.londonhale.com/dbf-azus
Amazon CA: http://www.londonhale.com/dbf-azca
Amazon UK: http://www.londonhale.com/dbf-azuk
Amazon AU: http://www.londonhale.com/dbf-azau
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/DBF-good

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Click on the link below to enter the giveaway for a Kate Spade purse, signed copy of Daddy’s Best Friend, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

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ABOUT LONDON

London Hale is the combined pen name of writing besties Ellis Leigh and Brighton Walsh. Between them, they’ve published more than thirty books in the contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense genres. Ellis is a USA Today bestselling author who loves coffee, thinks green Skittles are the best, and prefers to stay in every weekend. Brighton is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, and Carina Press. She hates coffee, thinks green Skittles are the work of the devil, and has never heard of a party she didn’t want to attend. Don’t ask how they became such good friends or work so well together—they still haven’t figured it out themselves.

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Authorly interview:

Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?

Brighton: The first, for sure. A blank page is incredibly daunting, and trying to get a sentence just right so it not only sets the tone for the book, but also hooks the reader? It’s hard as hell.

Ellis: Usually the first one. I “see” my characters in action, so they tend to drop me right into a scene without warning. The last feels more natural as I’m writing it because the scene has an ending point in my head; the first usually has to be edited fifteen times before I’m happy with it.

How is writing in a team different than writing solo?

Brighton: Writing solo means you can do whatever you want to your characters and the plot without getting anyone else’s approval. It also means you have to create those characters and plot without anyone weighing in, which can be exhausting. And boring. We both went into this unsure if we’d like it or even be able to work together, and now that we’ve got a short break to work on solo stuff, I miss the co-writing like crazy. We have so much fun writing together—even during the challenging parts—that it doesn’t feel like work to me.

Ellis: It’s a lot more fun, that’s for sure. It’s also harder at times. Brighton’s characters are solid in her head, as mine are in mine. Sometimes, that creates issues. “The heroine wouldn’t react well to that” or “He wouldn’t act that way” tend to be conversations we have a lot. We usually write the scenes with interaction together in Gdocs, but that also creates issues. Can you say sex scenes feel like sexting? Yeah. Loads of fun.

What’s your co-writing process like?

Brighton: Fun as hell. No? That answer won’t work?

Ellis: We spend a lot of time in Whatsapp. Like…A LOT. We go back and forth about ideas, themes, tropes, characters. We send pictures and snippets of dialogue or stories we saw online. Once we know what we want to write, we set everything up in our files and work out a loose plot for the book. We each write a character, and we go back and forth until the book is done. Then we go back over it about fifteen times.

How do you decide who’s going to be which character?

Brighton: So far it’s worked out that we’ve switched with every other character. But Ellis is really unique in that she has far-off side characters whispering in her head already. Characters don’t come to me like that, so I’m fine giving her the ones who speak louder to her.

Ellis: Sometimes one of us has a better feel for them, sometimes it’s their turn to write the hero instead of the heroine. Totally depends on the story we’re telling.

When you get an idea for a book, what comes first? Plot or characters?

Brighton: Characters. I tried it the other way around for two books, and I slogged through every word.

Ellis: Characters. I can’t figure out a plot until I know the person making the moves.

Do you have a writing spot that only you can work, like a writing cave? If so what does it look like?

Brighton: Nope. I can write anywhere as long as I have my laptop and ear buds.

Ellis: I moved from writing at my dining room table to a real desk this year. It’s in my living room with two huge bookcases on either side. I have a 27” iMac that dominates the space and a snowman coaster where I set my coffee. I don’t need much else.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Brighton: First, I sacrifice a virgin to the gods of sex scenes… Just kidding. I just sit down and write.

Ellis: Nope. Sit down, type words. I’m very much in the mindset of “writing is a job with goals and tasks.”

Do you have a writer’s playlist, or do you write in silence?

Brighton: The music I write to depends on what book I’m working on and/or what kind of scene. But I live on Pandora or Spotify.

Ellis: I can’t write with music or a lot of background noise. I use brain.fm for focus music when the kids or husband are around and I need to concentrate. Otherwise, it’s pretty quiet when I write.

How do you come up with plot ideas?

Ellis: For London, we sort of start with a theme. What’s taboo about it? What line can we nudge a little? From there, we come up with characters, and then the plot starts to unfold. Our stories are completely character driven, though.

Brighton: A lot of times we’ll see an article or a meme or something and tuck it away in our idea folder.

How do select names for characters in your books?

Brighton: Very, very carefully.

Ellis: This one made me laugh because OMG the naming conversations! So, I have a huge family with a ridiculous number of cousins. We both veto family names or names that mean something to us in real life. We also adjust based on current events. We also have to veto when the name intersects with our individual projects. It’s a lot of back and forth like “Nope, I have a cousin with that name” or “Nope, that’s the name of my neighbor and it’d be weird to use it.” We keep a list of approved names and cross out fingers when it’s time to build a new set of characters.

How do you plot your books? Do your plots ever change as you write or does it go pretty much according to plan?

Brighton: We’ve got a pretty good system down as far as what happens where in the story, and after six books together, we know where we need more room to develop plot, etc. But even knowing that, sometimes what we planned doesn’t work, so we go off track. Then head to WhatsApp and brainstorm a different direction.

Ellis: We loosely plot—something like a paragraph per chapter. They change, though. Every story needs to unfold organically, and every character has their own timeline to grow into what we want them to be.

What three words would you use to describe your books?

Brighton: dirty, quick, fun

Ellis: fun, flirty, filthy

Favorite bookish moment:

Brighton: Being able to have intelligent conversations about books with my oldest son. Our tastes tend not to intersect all that often (he’s a fantasy/dystopian kid and I like to read about kissing), but when they do and we are both interested in the same book, we read and then have our own little mini book club to discuss.

Ellis: Reading and watching the Harry Potter books with my daughter. Those stories were so meaningful to me that sharing them with her feels like we’ve reached a certain level in our relationship. I love watching her get excited about the same characters and moments as I did.

 

Best moment as an author:

Brighton: This is really hard to pick because I’ve been blessed with a lot of super awesome moments as an author. But there was only once when I cried, and that was when my editor told me Target picked up my book.

Ellis: When authors I love and respect recommend my books to their readers. That’s the ultimate marketing tool, IMO, and it’s not something you can buy.

Best advice you’ve ever gotten as an author:

Brighton: Don’t listen to all the advice you’ll get as an author.

Ellis: Write the next book.

Favorite part of the book-writing process:

Brighton: Drafting, from beginning to end.

Ellis: Getting to that point where you know you have a good story and feeling that inertia to finish it.

Readerly things

Last book you read:

Brighton: A super advanced copy of Tessa Bailey’s TOO BEAUTIFUL TO BREAK

Ellis: I just reread SHELTERED by Charlotte Stein the other night. So hot.

 

Favorite genre or category outside of what you write:

Brighton: Paranormal romance

Ellis: Inspirational romance

Which author would you most fangirl over meeting?

Brighton: Jill Shalvis. And I’ve met her. Many times. Been introduced to her by my editor. Promptly ate my tongue.

Ellis: Kelley Armstrong for sure. Her Women of the Otherworld series brought me back to paranormal romance.

Are you a re-reader or are your books one and done?

Brighton: Most of the time, I’m one and done. I have a very small handful I’ve reread, but I seriously get anxious when I reread, thinking about all the books out there that I’ll never be able to get to, which only increases every time I reread a book instead of diving in my TBR pile.

Ellis: Totally a re-reader. Things stick with me, and I like to go back and visit favorite characters/scenes now and again.

Humanly things

Last thing that made you cry:

Brighton: A video on FB. Damn FB videos.

Ellis: Oh gosh, probably something I heard on the radio. I’m a total softy.

 

Last trip you took:

Brighton: Went to Orlando for Apollycon in March. I’ve never been to Orlando when it wasn’t balls-hot out, so this was a nice change of pace.

Ellis: I spent a week in California for work earlier this year. Got to go to Downtown Disney and Universal’s Harry Potter world. It was super fun.

Last thing that made you smile:

Brighton: A text from my husband.

Ellis: A text from one of my writing pals.

 

Favorite quote:

Brighton: She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.

Ellis: She believed she could, so she did.

 

Last thing you treated yourself to:

Brighton: A year’s worth of manicures at my salon. I usually get one manicure a year, just before RWA, but I love how my nails look after I get them done. Buying six to use in a year was totally out of character, but I did it anyway. And I’ve managed to use it once. >.<

Ellis: A night on the couch watching bad reality TV. I work full time and write and have two kids. Time for myself is really a luxury, so I rarely watch anything that isn’t chosen by children. I love to just veg out and binge watch something brainless or educational.

Last person you hugged:

Brighton: My husband.

Ellis: My husband.

 

Favorite place in the world:

Brighton: I don’t know that I’ve found it yet.

Ellis: There’s a beach on an island in the Caribbean that is shaped in such a way that the waves make the sound of a kiss when they touch the sand. I want to be there.

 

Last emoticon you used:

Brighton: Laugh-crying smiley face

Ellis: The one where the little face is crying from laughter.

 

Last thing that made you laugh:

Brighton: Someone made a spit/swallow comment on a horrific stock photo I posted and I laughed really hard.

Ellis: Probably Brighton and one of her TWSS jokes.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Brighton: Pizza

Ellis: Chicken and dumplings

What is something you never leave home without?

Brighton: My phone.

Ellis: My phone.

What is your favorite movie?

Brighton: SO MANY. The Bourne series, 13 Going on 30, Pretty Woman, The Matrix, I Love You, Man, Old School…the list is as vast as it is eclectic.

Ellis: Love Actually

Favorite Band?

Brighton: I don’t have a favorite band. I have a favorite singer. Does that count? Tori Amos.

Ellis: Does the cast of Hamilton count?

What are 3 words you’d use to describe each other?

Brighton: Ellis is generous, focused, and compassionate

Ellis: Brighton is: Kind, funny, and audacious

Do you have a favorite hobby/pastime?

Brighton: Reading and shopping

Ellis: Reading of course

This or That

Hotel or camping?

Brighton: Hotel. Allllll day, errday.

Ellis: I want to say camping, but the reality is hotel. In the woods. With a sauna.

Greedy or generous?

Brighton: I hope I’m generous.

Ellis: I strive to be generous.

Pessimist or optimist?

Brighton: Optimist

Ellis: optimist. Totally.

Casual or formal?

Brighton: Both. Casual in day-to-day, but I love getting dressed up.

Ellis: Casual AF

Beer or champagne?

Ellis: Can I sneak in a margarita instead?

Brighton: While I get Ellis a margarita, I’mma sneak myself some rum.

Deliberate or spontaneous?

Brighton: Deliberate

Ellis: I think deliberate, but I could be wrong.

Town or country?

Brighton: Both. I’d love a huge lot of land right in the middle of a city. Lol

Ellis: Country-ish.

Waffles or pancakes?

Brighton: French toast.

Ellis: Pancakes

Coke or pepsi?

Brighton: I don’t drink either anymore, but Coke will always win.

Ellis: Coke, diet please

Vanilla or chocolate?

Brighton: Chocolate

Ellis: Vanilla

Rock or pop?

Brighton: Can’t choose.

Ellis: Pop

Zombie horde or plague?

Brighton: Zombies

Ellis: Zombies. At least I can defend myself.

Beach or mountains?

Brighton: Beach

Ellis: Beach

Ocean or pool?

Brighton: Pool

Ellis: To sit by? Ocean. To swim in? Pool. I don’t do open water. There are things in there that will eat you.

Fireplace or bonfire?

Brighton: Bonfire

Ellis: Either

Bath or shower?

Brighton: Shower

Ellis: Shower. Totally.

Museum or theater?

Brighton: Theater

Ellis: Theater

Night owl or morning person?

Brighton: Night owl

Ellis: Morning person.

Sun or stars?

Brighton: Stars

Ellis: Sun

TV or movies?

Brighton: Movies

Ellis: TV

Salty or sweet?

Brighton: Sweet

Ellis: BOTH!

Karaoke or concert?

Brighton: Concert

Ellis: Karaoke

Neat freak or slob?

Brighton: Neat freak

Ellis: Slobbish tendencies for sure

Fancy restaurant or diner?

Brighton: Diner

Ellis: Diner

Tattoos or piercings?

Brighton: Yes

Ellis: Both

Farmer’s market or grocery store?

Brighton: Grocery store

Ellis: Farmer’s market