Alison Kent's Blog, page 5

October 5, 2012

Since the cover for UNBREAKABLE showed up at online retailers yesterday, let me give you the full version and invite you to read an excerpt and pre-order!

Unbreakable :: Alison Kent :: A Dalton Gang novel from Berkley Heat


THE DALTON BOYS ARE RIDING HARD…


The notorious Dalton Gang once ran wild through their home town of Crow Hill, Texas. Now they own the run-down Dalton Ranch—and they work hard to keep it up. But when the right women come along, they still know how to play hard too…


Casper Jayne turned his back on Crow Hill nearly 20 years ago for a career in the professional bull riding circuit. Now he’s back—and Faith Mitchell is having a tough time thinking about anything else. She’s had a crush on him since high school, when he was part of her brother’s gang—and off limits. Since then, Faith has learned not to take risks. And Casper’s reckless, hard-living ways are causing her to think twice about trying to make the fantasies she has for this powerfully physical man come true.


Casper said he’d wait for a sign—but Faith is determined not to give him the satisfaction. Then an unexpected encounter finally penetrates her reserve, and the two of them ignite an intense passion. Faith finds herself holding on for a wild ride that breaks all the rules. But when the hot affair burns out of control, Faith will have to learn to take the reins…


Digital: Kindle | Nook


Print: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books A Million | Chapters/Indigo (CA) | IndieBound


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Published on October 05, 2012 06:26 • 27 views

October 4, 2012

Yesterday’s writing goal: 3475 words. Yesterday’s end result: 3475. And then you’d think I slept wonderfully, but I didn’t. Went to bed early, but woke up at least six times during the night. Various dogs whining, wanting on the bed, or out of the bedroom, or digging in the trash. At least there were no crashes like the night before, when some animal knocked my laptop off the dining room table to the floor. It survived, so yay HP!


If you haven’t bought your copy yet, let me remind you that UNDENIABLE is on sale! And here’s another review from Guilty Pleasure Book Reviews. Love this review!


Arwen and Dax are like two halves of a whole, except the halves are jagged so they don’t quite fit together. UNDENIABLE is an “unputdownable” story of two jagged halves learning how to smooth the edges and becoming one beautiful whole. In addition to this emotional and blistering romance, there is an engaging and interesting secondary cast, including the staff of the Hellcat Saloon, Dax’s sister Darcy, Boone’s sister Faith and last but not least the rest of the Dalton Gang, Boone and Casper. I cannot wait for their stories, Casper’s story UNBREAKABLE comes out February 2013.


Undeniable :: Alison Kent :: A Dalton Gang Novel from Berkley Heat

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Published on October 04, 2012 07:16 • 34 views

October 3, 2012

I’ve kinda lost track where I am. I mean, I know exactly how much I have left to write, but the days are mushing together. And the last two have not been great on the writing front. Yesterday was release day for UNDENIABLE, so I was distracted with getting out the word on that. And on Monday, we had to let go our little rescue runt kitty, Yoda. She was not thriving, though she was a feisty little thing and gave it her all, and it was a sad day. But I shall always remember having her in my lap on Sunday while I wrote and watched football. She only weighed a bit short of 9 ounces. I took her two sisters to the vet yesterday for a normal preventative check up, and they’re at 1.3# and 1.4# respectively. She just had too many strikes against her from the beginning. RIP little kitty.


Anyhow, happier things. I think I’m at 34 days, and now need 3475 words a day. That’s about 15 pages. I’ve done that before. But I don’t think I’ve done it for 34 days in a row. When I told the husband on his way out this morning how many words I needed between now and November 5th, his jaw dropped. Literally. HOLIDAY KISSES from Carina PressMouth hanging agape. Guess he’ll understand when I feed him leftover chicken tortilla soup again for dinner. ;) Though, if I can slam through the biggest chunk of the words by 6:00, maybe I can toss something in the pressure cooker. It’s what to toss that’s at issue here. I can’t be foodie creative when my creativity is all going towards the books. I go into the kitchen and just stare, like something’s going to pop out and say, “Cook me!”


A bit of news. The HOLIDAY KISSES anthology from Carina Press in which I had a novella, THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, along with HelenKay Dimon, Jaci Burton, and Shannon Stacey is going to be reissued in print November 2013. Very excited about that! As much as I love reading digitally, I know a lot of readers want their paper books. If I could read paper without the trouble I have, I’d probably still be on the paper side of the aisle. But giving everyone the format they want or need is why it’s going to be so much fun to have this one out in print!

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Published on October 03, 2012 08:20 • 23 views

October 2, 2012

Undeniable :: Alison Kent :: A Dalton Gang Novel from Berkley Heat

Yes, the cover does need to be that big, thanks for asking. I mean, really. Would you have it any other size? I don’t yet have a lot of reviews to share, but here’s one from Laurie’s Laudanum (with a giveaway), and another from Diana at Goodreads.


And don’t forget the ereader giveaway I’m doing with HelenKay Dimon!


THE DALTON BOYS ARE COMING, ONE BY ONE…


There was a time when Crow Hill, Texas’s notorious Dalton Gang ran wild. Now, as owners of the Dalton Ranch, their partnership in the rundown operation leaves little time for raising hell—except for the right women who can turn on the heat…


It’s been sixteen years since Dax Campbell set foot in Crow Hill—and sixteen years since Arwen Poole had a crush on him in high school. Unfortunately, setting her sights on this irresistible man again has stirred up a lot of unfulfilled desires in Arwen. A few nights in bed with Dax should get him out of her system once and for all. That’s all she wants. And for now, that’s all she needs.


But Dax is looking for something deeper in a woman. So they agree to an unconventional affair: for every no-strings sexual encounter Arwen craves, Dax gets to take her out for a night of romance. While both manage to hold up their end of the bargain, they’re growing closer than either of them can afford. Because Dax has a family secret that could drive him out of Crow Hill for good, and Arwen’s not letting him go without a fight…


Digital: iProducts | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Sony


Print: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books A Million | Chapters/Indigo (CA) | IndieBound


Read an excerpt :: Read another excerpt


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Published on October 02, 2012 07:49 • 17 views

October 1, 2012

October is a wonderful month. It’s the month of my youngest’s birthday. It’s the month of my husband’s favorite holiday. And this years it’s the month when my good friend, HelenKay Dimon, and I both have a new release. UNDENIABLE, my newest book from Berkley Heat comes out on October 2nd, and LEAN ON ME, HelenKay’s newest story from Carina Press comes out on October 22nd. To celebrate, and because we want you to READ, we’ve got some good stuff happening below. First, check these out:


Lean on Me by HelenKay Dimon

October 2012



Cassidy Clarke once climbed the world’s highest mountains, but after an unexpected illness ends her career she’s back in her hometown, broke and hoping for a little luck. But the townsfolk aren’t exactly putting out a welcome mat for the woman who once snubbed them in the media, despite her apologies now.

Mitch Anders knows someone has set up camp on the grounds of his plant nursery, and he’s surprised to find his sexy high school crush ducking questions about where she’s staying. Though he’s sworn to stop cleaning up other people’s messes, Mitch offers Cassidy a job and a place to stay—his place. Bedsharing optional, but definitely welcome.


Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.


Undeniable - A Dalton Gang Novel - Alison Kent

October 2012



There was a time when Crow Hill, Texas’s notorious Dalton Gang ran wild. Now, as owners of the Dalton Ranch, their partnership in the rundown operation leaves little time for raising hell—except for the right women who can turn on the heat…

It’s been sixteen years since Dax Campbell set foot in Crow Hill—and sixteen years since Arwen Poole had a crush on him in high school. Unfortunately, setting her sights on this irresistible man again has stirred up a lot of unfulfilled desires in Arwen. A few nights in bed with Dax should get him out of her system once and for all. That’s all she wants. And for now, that’s all she needs.


But Dax is looking for something deeper in a woman. So they agree to an unconventional affair: for every no-strings sexual encounter Arwen craves, Dax gets to take her out for a night of romance. While both manage to hold up their end of the bargain, they’re growing closer than either of them can afford. Because Dax has a family secret that could drive him out of Crow Hill for good, and Arwen’s not letting him go without a fight…


Now the good stuff. We’re giving away either a Kindle Paperwhite OR a Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, winner’s choice. The giveaway will run between October 1st, 2012 and October 31st, 2012, all times EST. NOTE: Only entries made through the RaffleCopter widget will be accepted. Neither of us are responsible for any widget downtime. You cannot email us your entries. If you can’t get it to display in one browser, try another.


Login to the widget with your Facebook account, or using your email address. ONE EMAIL ADDRESS PER PERSON. You can enter at either site, but not both. Wherever you enter, you have 6 chances to win by following the instructions. The right top of the widget will display your entries. (Visit HelenKay’s blog at: http://www.helenkaydimon.com/blog)


The device will be sent directly to the winner, chosen randomly through RaffleCopter. Neither Alison, HelenKay, or RaffleCopter are responsible for any damage to the device (contact Amazon or Barnes & Noble) or for explaining how to operate the device.


Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Published on October 01, 2012 10:00 • 10 views

1200 words yesterday and I should be spanked. But there was no spanking because the husband was out of town. ::yuck, yuck:: Also, there was HOUSTON TEXANS football, woot! I got up way too early after staying up way too late the night before for my Sons of Anarchy marathon, and I know better. That sleep thing, remember. And yet here I am again this morning after six hours when I need eight or nine. Husband was up early after getting home last night at 9:00, and there was no sleeping through his morning routine as it’s not his usual one. Today he goes downtown for a oil and gas trade show. Today’s goal: 3500 words. And I’m off…though I really only have 35 days left. I think my reporting is a day behind. But the most awesome news of the morning, is that it’s only 59 degrees!


Fall has fallen! For now. ;)


Oh, later today, there will be a fun post appearing, so check that out!

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Published on October 01, 2012 04:36 • 24 views

September 30, 2012

Yesterday was a very good writing day as I clocked in at 3330 words. According to Dave’s Whizmatronic Widgulating Calibrational Scribometer, I’m at 27% of my goal, yay. I also did said words in about 7 hours, which is crazy good for me. Again, I didn’t get started till about noon as I was doing some necessary web updates. I actually have a brand new website being built, but we didn’t get it finished for an October 1st launch, so I needed to make some of the outdated information current. Like my bio. I finally have a 2012, instead of a 2004, photo! If you’ve seen the fun photo I use for my Twitter avatar, the more professional author photo was taken at the same time by the most fabulous of photogs.


Anyhow, much writing to do again today, but today I’m starting early. A reminder that if you’re not signed up for my newsletter, you can do that on the Contact page. I’ll be sending out a news blast on Tuesday, with a few surprises I haven’t mentioned here! It’s a double opt-in so you’ll need to click on the link in the email you’ll get from Access Romance verifying you want to subscribe. There might even be a contest involved! But that all depends on getting the words done and having time. So off I go..

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Published on September 30, 2012 06:47 • 15 views

September 29, 2012

Yesterday was not as productive as I needed it to be. Or maybe it was that I was not as productive as I needed to be. I ended up with 1550 words out of the 3250 I should’ve written. (One car came out of the shop. One car went into the shop. Both took up time, and took away from my focus. Plus, it was FRINGE night; what can I say?)


That means today I need to write 3300 words. See how that math works? Shorting one day’s word count requires adding to the next’s. And it just keeps happening, so it must be nipped in the bud. Of course it helps if one starts writing before noon…

Undeniable - A Dalton Gang Novel - Alison Kent

October 2012

Today I’m going to spend most of my words on the October 15th deadline book, my second for Montlake, but I’m allotting a couple of pages to the November 5th deadline book because I miss those people. Those people are the characters from my third Dalton Gang book, UNFORGETTABLE.

Part of yesterday’s not getting started till noon was due to website updates. I figured with UNDENIABLE releasing on Tuesday, it needed to be done. If you click the New Release tab above, I added an excerpt there that’s different from the one on the UNDENIABLE page. I’ll be sending out a newsletter on release day, so if you’re not signed up to receive my very infrequent news blasts, the form is on my Contact page. It’s a double opt-in, so you’ll need to click a link in the email that you get after signing up, verifying you want to be there. Finally, just letting you know that Laurie’s Laudanum has reviewed UNDENIABLE at this link, and she’s doing a giveaway, too!

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Published on September 29, 2012 07:31 • 30 views

September 28, 2012

You’ve heard of The Thirty-Nine Steps? Well, I am embarking today on The Thirty-Nine Days, a headrush of an adventure to meet two upcoming deadlines. One is October 15th, one is November 5th. If you’ll look at my Dave’s Whizmatronic Widgulating Calibrational Scribometer on the left sidebar, you’ll see where I am, and what I have in store. And in case you’re wondering, no, I did not come to this place by goofing off.


I got here by having a previous book require extensive revisions, and one of the current books refusing to play nice with plot. The plan is to write 3250 FINAL (not fast) draft words (or approximately 13 pages) each day for the next thirty-nine days. 3250 x 39 = 126,750! And that’s all I need to finish both books. Fortunately, both stories are complete in my head, so it’s just a matter of getting down the words. Easy peasy, right?


To this end, a few things must happen.


1) Sleeping. I know a lot of authors write late into the night, or round (around?) the clock. I can’t do that. I have to sleep. I don’t always sleep well, but I must have the downtime. No squeezing blood from a turnip, and all that.


2) Eating. I forget. I get involved in the page and several hours have passed, and no wonder my brain is fried. It has no fuel. I gave up sugar at the beginning of the month, and already have so much more clarity, no sluggishness, so good food from here on.


3) Focusing without distractions. I use Brain Power:

http://www.brainsync.com/shop/brain-power-1.html


4) Going Amish. Explanation found here:

http://www.alisonkent.com/blog/2012/04/01/a-is-for-amish/


5) Timed Writing. Dividing the number of words I need each day into timed writing sessions keeps me on track. A polished page an hour means a 13 hour day. Two polished pages an hour means a 6.5 hour day. Like calories in, calories out, it’s all about the math!


Having put that out there, it’s now time to be accountable. If I can, I’ll post daily updates. If I can’t, it’s because I’m sleeping, or eating, or focusing, or Amish, or writing!

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Published on September 28, 2012 09:40 • 13 views

June 20, 2012

I haven’t said much here about the books I’m writing for Amazon Montlake. (I haven’t said much here at all lately, heh.) I have probably the tightest deadline schedule for the rest of the year I’ve ever had in my professional life, but it’s by choice. I’m determined to up my productivity, and now I’m legally obligated! (And if I wasn’t, I’d be driving daily to the beach in the new car. This is why deadlines are good for me.) My books from Montlake will be tagged A Hope Springs Novel as all three books take place in the Texas Hill Country community of Hope Springs. My original title for the first, The Kitchen at Second and Chances, will most likely be changed. We’re still working on a title concept for the series. Book #1 comes out next March, though that’s always subject to change, too.


Here’s the book’s first scene with pics (and there’s another excerpt at the title link above):



It was done.


The papers signed. The money transferred. The holding tight to the other shoe a thing of the past.


After weeks of waiting to hear on her outrageous offer, Kayla Oakes was now the proud owner of the three-story Victorian tucked into the middle of an oak-shaded acre and painted Van Gogh’s Starry Night blue.


It was the house where she’d spent the best years of her life. It was the house which had saved her. She wrapped her hand around the keys, the tiny teeth in her palm like roots, burrowing, and smiled at the windows taking her in.


The shutters would be the first thing she replaced. Several slats were broken, some dangling, others gone. They’d once been white, but the paint had since chipped and faded. A soft dove gray would suit much better. Or maybe the pale butter yellow of Van Gogh’s stars.


“Was there anything else before I go? You’ve got the keys, the contact info for the utility companies, your copies of all pertinent documents, and my number if we’ve missed anything.”


The real estate agent. Hailey Ross. The other woman had remembered Kayla from high school, but the memories from Kayla’s past had yet to be puzzled into place. “Sorry. I was lost picturing new shutters, but yes. I should have everything.”


“Ah, not quite. For new shutters, you need a contractor. I’ve got a card here somewhere,” Hailey said, her voice lost in the depths of the quilted tote hooked over her shoulder.


Kayla was used to professional women accessorizing with designer labels. The quilted tote’s paisley and pink elephant print reminded her how far Hope Springs was from Austin—a distance that had little to do with miles, but everything to do with Kayla’s return.


“Here you go,” Hailey said, coming up with the card. “Anything you need repaired or replaced, Ten’s your man. He’s the best, and runs a crew that knows what they’re doing, even if they’re a bit unconventional.”


Tennessee Keller. Two words and a phone number. The whole of the information imparted by black ink on white stock. She filed away the unconventional remark, preferring to make that judgment for herself. “He’s here? In Hope Springs?”


Hailey nodded, blowing at an unruly brown curl dangling between her eyes. Hailey was always blowing, pushing, adjusting, as if she was so used to doing the same for her two year old twins, she couldn’t stop setting things to right.


“For about seven years, I guess? Eight maybe? He did some work on Wade’s back porch the summer we started dating, so that would’ve been…wow, more like ten.”


Ten years ago, Kayla had left Hope Springs for Austin, her departure a ship in the night to Tennessee Keller’s arrival. A decade of work in the area should mean he’d have plenty of references. She tucked that thought away, too, sliding the card into the back pocket of her jeans.


“Thanks. I guess that’ll do it then. At least for now.” She moved her keys from her right to her left hand to shake Hailey’s. “I really appreciate you going to bat for me with the Colemans.”


“Oh, please. How could they say no? In this economy? And you paying cash? I mean, really, it’s not my business, but cash?”


Kayla’s financial advisor had been of the same incredulous mind, but Kayla would not be swayed. Cash meant the house was hers. The lawn, the trees, the memories. The turret bedroom. The kitchen. Most of all, the kitchen.


She slipped her fingertips into the pocket with the card and toyed with the sharp edge. She had big plans for the kitchen. Even better, she had the funds to see them through. “I know how crazy it sounds, but it was the right thing to do.”


“Well, it’s your money. I guess you’re the one who would know best where to put it. Listen.” Hailey was speaking into her tote again. “We rarely have any problems with vagrants or break-ins, but the Colemans got so caught up caring for Bob’s parents in Wichita Falls that the place kinda took a back seat. The police have had to run off squatters a time or two.”


She handed Kayla another card, this one imprinted with the official seal of the Hope Springs Police Department. “You can always call 911, but this is the direct line to Alva Bean in dispatch. If you need an officer, he’ll have someone here pronto.”


“Great. I really appreciate it.” The card joined the one for the contractor. “Oh, while I’m thinking about it, would you know what time the newspaper office closes today?”


Hailey brought up a hand to shield her eyes from the sun as it cut through the limbs of the street side oaks. “Something makes me want to say three. We’ve got a high school girl at the office who takes care of our listings there, so I can’t be sure.”


“Thanks.” Kayla wanted to put an ad in the next weekly edition, but before she did anything, she needed to get Magoo from her Jeep. “Maybe we can have lunch sometime soon? My treat?”


“A meal eaten without twenty grubby fingers reaching for everything on my plate? It’s a date.” With a wave, Hailey turned to go, her sensible flats smacking against the sidewalk as she made her way to her minivan parallel parked at the curb.


Kayla waited until the other woman had pulled safely onto Second Street then headed through the overgrown grass to the driveway on the Chances Avenue side of the lot. “Hey, Goo. Ready to check out the new digs?”


Tongue lolling, the two-year old shepherd mix placed his paws on the door frame and boosted himself halfway through the window. Kayla slapped her hand to her thigh, and ninety pounds of dog sailed through the air to land at her feet.


She scratched between his ears, then circled the vehicle to grab his bowl and a jug of water from the passenger floorboard. He trotted beside her to the breezeway connecting the garage to the house. The door there opened into a mud room that opened into the kitchen she’d dreamed of for ten years. She filled Magoo’s bowl, setting it near the back door before allowing herself to take it all in.


She didn’t know where to start. The six foot island with a stove top, cutting board, and second sink for food prep. The walk-in pantry with shelves deep enough and tall enough to stock with a platoon’s worth of supplies. The linoleum that had suffered skid marks from rubber-soled shoes, and gouges from dropped mixer beaters, and stains from food coloring intended for a Red Velvet cake.


Kayla wrapped her arms around her middle and remembered the klutz she’d been at twelve. All those tiny squeeze bottles, the mess on her fingers and the toes of her shoes, the droplets flung like blood from a knife to the floor. She’d ruined a brand new sponge, wasted half a roll of paper towels, and still not wiped away all traces of the spill. She’d wanted so badly to surprise May Wise, but her foster mother had been less concerned about her birthday—or the shambles of the kitchen—than to hear through a sobbing confession that Kayla knew about knife wounds.


As much as Kayla would love to install hardwood or Italian marble, her plans required commercial flooring—durable, slip, fire, and stain-resistant, easy to maintain. The menu for her daily ten-to-two lunch would be simple, self-serve, and self-pay. Salad, bread, entrée, dessert. Payment in cash dropped in a cigar box at the dining room door.


Kayla’s specialty was business—and brownies—not reproducing the breads baked in this kitchen the eight years she’d lived here. Or putting together the hearty main dishes she would serve others as May Wise had served those in her care. Making a success of Two Owls Café meant a cook who knew red leaf from romaine, gouda from feta from Parmigiano from Swiss. Egg noodles from rice noodles from semolina. Hiring the right one was a priority.


She hadn’t come to her plan lightly. Malina’s Diner was the only restaurant in Hope Springs proper. Max Malina did a booming breakfast business, but closed at ten once the rush was done. He reopened at four for dinner, leaving a six hour window where anyone wanting a meal had to cook or leave town. The fast food franchises on the interstate boomed at lunch like Max’s place did at first light.


Two Owls Café would offer an alternative to soup and sandwiches, burgers and fries. But more than that, it would offer a place for friends to gather, and over a meal discuss crafts and childrearing, music and books and movies, favorite recipes and lawn care tips. Kayla saw her place as an oasis, one with a limited menu, yes, but then this house had always been about nurturing with things other than food.


She glanced at Magoo as he huffed and snorted his way around the room’s baseboards, his tail up, his ears up, his nose hard at work. “Whaddaya think, Goo? ‘Wanted. A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker.’?


Magoo gave a single distracted wag of his tail in answer, then moved into the dining room, leaving Kayla on her own in the kitchen. It was this room more than any other where she had come to terms with the life she’d lost and the one she’d been gifted in return.


What she hadn’t been able to do, however, was reconcile the bloody images, the ones stamped on her five year old mind’s eye, her mother lying on the floor of another kitchen, their neighbor, Angus, holding her tiny, shivering body and crying when authorities had whisked her away. Her father nowhere to be found.


She had to find the missing pieces. And she could only do that from the safe harbor this house had never failed to provide.

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Published on June 20, 2012 06:58 • 42 views

Alison Kent's Blog

Alison Kent
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