Thursday, March 6, 2014

ROCK IT by Jennifer Chance (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Jennifer Chance is joining us with her rockin' new release, ROCK IT. Please give her a warm welcome!

Switching it Up—changing genres

Thank you for hosting me today, Crystal! As some readers may know, Rock It isn’t my first published book. I’ve also written a series of Young Adult historical novels – books that are COMPLETELY different from the Rule Breakers series. Where the Rule Breakers are fun, sexy contemporary romances focusing on the lives and loves of young new-or-near college grads in Boston, my Young Adult books are about a group of spies in Queen Elizabeth I’s court. So, seriously… you would have to work pretty hard to be more dissimilar.

Since writers are always looking for new challenges, however, it’s perhaps not surprising that I’ve tried my hand at two such different genres as historical young adult spy novels and contemporary new adult romances. So that begs the question: in writing these books, what have been the challenges and surprises along the way? Here are the top five!

1. Action vs. Romance

While all romances are arguably character-driven, I find my Rule Breakers books focus more on the relationship, while my historical Maids of Honor books tend to focus on each of the spies and her unique adventure. Some of my historical tales are heavy romances, but some lean more to action, depending on the stories themselves. Not so in the Rule Breakers books! In these books, the romance between the hero and heroine is at the core of the story—and their stories are all about wishes coming true no matter what the odds. 

2. Manly Men and Dangerous Women

Happily, no matter what the era, I still have a decided preference for alpha males and strong females. My heroes in the Rule Breakers series include a rock star, a biker, a soldier and a playboy. They are all VERY alpha, though in the way of being strong, not obnoxious (or at least that’s the goal!).  I have a feeling even if I wrote a futuristic sci-fi set on planet Zimbor, the men would be manly men… and the women would be able to go toe-to-toe with them. 

3.  How much spice is nice?

My New Adult romances feature adults in their early twenties—and my Young Adult romances feature teenaged heroines. Accordingly, the former heroines consummate their relationships and the latter do not. This is not to say Elizabethan teenagers didn’t have sex—they did. However, my spies work for Queen Elizabeth I, who some called “The Virgin Queen.” Whether or not you believe that the Queen was as chaste as that, one thing is certain: she was a stickler for well-behaved maids. So my heroines, as her spies, would be very, very careful to follow those rules. 

In the Rule Breakers series, however, my heroines all set a series of rules for themselves, and then they are sorely tempted to break those rules—or redefine them altogether! Things don’t always turn out as they expect. 

4. You can dance if you want to…

This was not something I expected, but one particular challenge between writing the two books were the social rules in place for each era. Whereas in the Rule Breakers books, I could put my hero and heroine in just about every imaginable circumstance, I had to be more strategic with my Elizabethans. Fortunately, Queen Elizabeth loved to stage grand events at her castles—including celebrations, feasts, and dances. You can get into a lot of trouble at an Elizabethan party, but you can get into even more with a rock star. 

5. Language, language, language

And I’m not just talking about cursing here! But the words, phrasing, and speaking styles I use in these two series are vastly different. While I do not actually use either of these lines, I go from “Yea, verily, take a moment—lest your spleen betray your heart.” To “Dude. You need to chill.” It’s quite a leap! Modern language is much less formal and more direct (though equally cutting!) than its Elizabethan counterpart. 

To make matters even more intriguing, I am also planning a new series of books starting in the fall, under yet another pen name—and these are paranormal/urban fantasies. Which I know is a little crazy. A friend asked if I could write a story with all my series together in one book, and the answer is, yes, of course! Here’s how it would go:

An Elizabethan spy is forced to travel forward through time to recover a stolen artifact, but the moment she arrives in modern America, she gets tangled up with a sexy biker heading to Vegas—and who turns out to be a demigod. 

Now that would certainly be switching it up! ☺ 

For gals who love bad boys and musicians, Jennifer Chance brings ROCK IT, the first novel in Rule Breakers, a sizzling New Adult series published by Random House’s LoveSwept imprint.

On Sale: March 04, 2014
Jennifer Chance unleashes her hot new series with the tale of a smoldering rock star and the fangirl who catches his eye—and finds herself living out her wildest dreams.
Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever.
Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.

She Would Never… (Excerpt)

They stared at each other, suspended for just a moment, and Lacey didn’t know what to do. She still felt a little woozy, out of sorts—but at the same time she wanted to kiss Dante so badly her entire body hummed with desire. Then again, she was a professional. He was her client. And she would never—

“Oh!” She pulled away from him as a flood of memories suddenly assaulted her. “Oh my God,” she gasped. “I took my clothes off in front of you!” Her gaze shot to the open door, and forced her voice to drop down several decibels. “Tell me they’re not standing right outside the door.”
Dante shook his head, but he didn’t lean back. His gaze had turned just a little hungry, and his smile had a determined cast. “How much about tonight do you remember, Lacey?” he asked. His words were almost a purr, and Lacey felt her cheeks flush. Instantly she realized her mistake. This would go much better for her if she played dumb and forgetful, but she could no more stop her blush than she could stop breathing.
“I—we—you were signing contracts,” she said finally, her voice little more than a tortured whisper. Then as another realization struck her, she looked around wildly. “My God, the contracts!” she blurted. “I need to have those delivered—”
“They’ll be couriered over to IMO first thing this morning,” Dante said easily, pushing Lacey back onto her pillows. “We’ll get your car to you, too, as soon as you tell us where you parked it.”
“I took a cab,” she said, distracted by his warmth, his body, his nearness.
Dante grinned. “Even better.”
He leaned toward her then, and it was like his words suddenly vanished between them, and she was left with just the reality of him sitting there, on her bed, in her room, acting like having a conversation with her was the most natural thing in the world. She stared at him, mesmerized, and knew the exact moment when he caught her watching his perfectly sculpted lips—since they then eased into a full, teasing smile. Her gaze darted back up to meet his eyes, and she vaguely realized that he was wearing the same buttery-soft trousers he’d had on when she’d entered his rooms. At least one of them had kept their clothes on the whole time. Only, that made her start thinking about what his chest looked like under that loose and flowing shirt, open at the neck with just a hint of his bronzed and tattooed skin showing through, and pinup calendar after pinup calendar from aged fourteen on rocketed through her brain, images of Dante growing from cutest boy bander ever into this sleek, dangerous, and devastatingly sexual man who was sitting right in front of her and—
“Lacey,” Dante said, and from the tone of his voice she suspected he maybe just might have possibly perhaps have said her name more than once.
“Of course. Yes,” Lacey said sternly, once again all professional. “I’m sorry, I was just thinking.” She looked toward the open door then squeaked as Dante dropped his mouth to the exposed column of her neck.
“You never made good on your last dare,” Dante murmured, nuzzling the sensitive skin with his lips as he spoke the words against Lacey’s throat. Beneath him, she held herself perfectly still, unable to move, unable to breathe, her entire world focused on the touch of his lips against her as tiny little whorls of sensation exploded with every word. “You told me you’d—well, you know what you told me you’d do if I signed your last contract.”
What she would do? Dante’s lips were now trailing over Lacey’s collarbone, dangerously close to her breasts, which were doing their level best to burst free from Hello Kitty’s embrace. This was good, because it meant Dante couldn’t see her eyes widening in abject horror, confusion, and mortification even as her body was quickly turning into Sterno fluid. “I—um—,” she began ineffectively, and his soft chuckle against her shoulder just about killed her.
“It’s okay,” he said, lifting his gaze back up to meet Lacey’s. His mouth was right there again, right there at her lips, and she managed to hold his gaze with Herculean effort, hoping desperately he couldn’t hear her heart hammering. “I’ll settle for a kiss.”
“A kiss,” Lacey managed, and he was so close to her lips that when she spoke it was almost as if they were kissing already, their lips brushing with a zing of electricity and the promise of a million volts of desire, if only she would go for it, take it, press her mouth to his and demand from him what he already seemed so willing to give.

Want to learn more about ROCK IT? Be sure to check out this exclusive interview with Jennifer Chance! Follow the tour and win some awesome prizes!

About Jennifer Chance

I come by romance honestly, having spent several years writing adult romance and entering romance contests through Romance Writers of America–including finaling twice in the prestigious Golden Heart contest and winning once. But despite these and other contest wins, my first published novel came not in adult romance, but as a writer of YA historical fiction (you can read all about my Elizabethan spy girls stories, the Maids of Honor, here.)
Still, despite my love of Elizabethan spies, I could never quite give up those super Alpha contemporary romance heroes. So, in the summer of 2013, I decided to see if perhaps I might still have a romance or two up my sleeve.
I wrote a tale about a girl whose biggest high-school and college crush–a rock star–suddenly becomes her biggest client, only now she has to be professional and not betray the fact that she’s completely in love with the guy. It was a fun, sexy, romantic fantasy, and I suggested the idea to my agent… who asked what other ideas I had in addition to this story. Shortly after, the Rule Breakers series was born.To separate these books from my historical work, I adopted the name Jennifer Chance. I am now pursuing my dreams (pretty much round the clock as it turns out) and am THRILLED to be able to have four e-books coming out in 2014 and early 2015, all with Random House LoveSwept’s New Adult romance line.
As to what will happen from here, who knows? But as long as there is a story to be written and an HEA to be had, I’ll be the one over in the corner, tapping away on my keyboard.

Tour Prizes:
An iPod Shuffle (open to US entrants only, if international entrant is chosen they'll receive a $50 gift card to the eTailer of their choice). Additionally, Random House is sponsoring the tour with a $50 e-giftcard, and swag including a Loveswept mug and tote (open to US entrants only).

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1 comment:

  1. Crystal, thank you so much for hosting me today! It's a pleasure to be a part of your blog again. You do great things for authors!


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