Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Blitz & Giveaways: Drowning by Rachel Firasek

Drowning

Author: Rachel Firasek

Publication date: October 26, 2013

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis

*Drowning is a New Adult Contemporary Romance suited for 18+ due to some violence, language, and sexual content*

“I dare you.”

Those words would change adrenaline junkie, Alice Harrison’s life forever. She’s a party girl that doesn’t believe in love until she meets a man that only writes about it.

Seth James escaped his overbearing father and moved into one of the James family’s vacant condos, hoping to create the music he loves in peace. But the fragile calm he’s envisioned shatters when a tiny woman with a world full of energy bounces out of the elevator and nearly takes him out.

With the patience of a saint, Seth seeks the dark that keeps Alice from enjoying life. He challenges her to exorcise the demons in her past in order to discover the true meaning of love. But when the walls fall down, the hidden deceptions will bare the ugly truth about a woman drowning in sorrow and a man who may not know how to be her hero.

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Excerpt

He laughs that loud laugh that cuts down into my stomach and vibrates my breakfast to the surface. "Of course. I haven’t seen you in quite some time and thought I’d pay my baby daughter a visit. Did you get my letter?"

I can’t help the tremble that takes root in my chin and bleeds up into my tear ducts. I fight the well of salt water. Seth was right. They were a weakness to him, and he’d feed on them. "You need to go."

"I’ll go when I’m ready. I think you should remember whose roof you’re living under and be more gracious."

The door across the hall opens, and I meet Seth James’ bold stare over my father’s shoulder. God no. Please, don’t watch this.

He leaves the door open and steps closer. "Everything okay?"

My father lurches back and clears his throat. "Everything’s fine." He spins and thrust out his hand, all politician’s smiles and his kissing baby’s grin on his face. "E. Harrison, and you are?"

"Neighbor. Seth James."

I grip my towel tighter, but Seth’s eyes never stray from Dad’s. He was so wrong about being a hero. He’d just saved me from pure evil. The two men stand taller. My father is forbidding in his expensive threads. He has years of cut muscles beneath that have kept him from sagging like most men his age. Seth, on the other hand, has youth on his side. He’s all hard ridges and full of territorial male dominance.

With a deep sigh that relaxes all those tightened nerves, I ask, "Father, did you need something?"

"I came by to speak to you about something, but, perhaps another time would be better suited." He glances back at me and sneers, but returns to sleazy smiles before he gives a nod to Seth. "Mr. James, a pleasure. I’ll be on my way."

Seth puts a hand out and catches my father’s shoulder. "Mr. Harrison, as the owner of this condo, I feel that I should warn you against making my tenants uncomfortable." Seth steps across the hall and drops an arm around my scarred shoulder. His thumb soothes away the shiver chasing over my collar bone. "I’m not sure of your welcome here, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t want to see either of these girls come to harm."

I gasp. He spoke so eloquently. Bold and rich. I’d have never thought he had it in him if I hadn’t just witnessed it. And no one has ever come to my defense. Never. Seth James was ten feet tall and made of blue bubble gum right now. I’d chew him, blow him, and make him pop. Vulgar, I know, but there it is.

My father straightens his jacket. "Do you know who I am?"

"I do, but obviously you do not know who I am or what I’m capable of." Seth tucks me even closer. If he’s noticed the scars stretching across my shoulders, he’s too polite to even give them a second glance, and for that, I’ll forever be indebted to him. "Don’t fuck with Alice again."

He knows my name. And he just cussed my dad.

Harrison squints at us, and turns, clicking his heels together before stalking to the elevator. As much as I love seeing someone put him in his place, Seth James had just built me a coffin.

Fucking great. As soon as the sliding doors close on Dad, I shove Seth away from me. He’s too much right now. Everything is too much.

His brow wrinkles. "What?"

"What the fuck do you think you’re doing?"

He steps back and glances at the floor before smirking up at me. "Being your hero."

About the Author

Rachel Firasek

Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask for the occasional American Idol or Swamp People quality hour.

She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn’t truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart!

Author Links

Guest Post by Rachel Firasek

Writing to Music

Hi everyone! Thank you for having me on the blog today and letting me share a little about my writing process.

I think most creative minds enjoy music, so it's not a big surprise to hear that "another" author wrote a book to a song... or a group of songs. Here’s a link to my Drowning playlist if you'd like to hear the inspiration to the words.

There's one song that really hit home for this book. Apex Predator by Otep. Wow, what a powerful piece. It's twisted and dark and scary. During a scene with Alice and her father, I listened to this song on repeat. It's definitely the perfect mood setter for some of the darker parts in this novel.

And when I really needed to pull myself out of the evil that underlies the base of my plot, I turned to Volbeat for their Cape of the Hero to remind me that there would be a HEA. Seth is what I consider a normal hero. He doesn't have super hero powers. He's not good with guns or knives. But like the father in the video, he wants to be there for Alice, even when he's physically not.

And Pink's, Just Give Me a Reason is the perfect balance for Seth and Alice's love story. He's pretty straight forward about his interest, but she's always in her head. It'll take a lot of patience and a lot of love to get them past her pain. But he knows she's worth it, and he has to try.

So... that's just a few songs on my playlist that I loved to use while writing this book. I'd love to find out your favorite song... or one that inspires you in life. So, for a chance to win an eCopy of Drowning, name your "go-to" song.

Oh, and thanks for stopping in today!

Interview with Rachel Firasek

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
Rachel: I’m a thirty-ish Texas native who corals two teens and husband that puts all of my heroes to shame. I have a sprawling spread of Mesquite trees and sheep in a hidden country community of Central Texas. I’m a switch. Sometimes I like paranormal, horror, or just a sweet romance, but it’s always romance. When I stumbled upon NA Contemporary romances, I just knew I’d found a home.
When and why did you begin writing?
Rachel: I started writing when I was a teen, but lost time and interest in my early twenties. When I hit thirty I decided to dig back in and to try to make a go of this gig.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Rachel: A writer or an author? I’ve always been a writer, but I considered myself an author when I signed the contract on my first sale, Piper’ s Fury.
Tell us your latest news?
Rachel: Well, you know that I have Drowning out. But…prior to Drowning, I worked with two great authors to write and produce a Halloween Anthology that ended up hitting best seller lists! I think that’s pretty awesome news. Oh, and I’m still going to try to make it to RT14! Who else is going?
What inspired you to write your first book?
Rachel: Well, my first book ever was a 98 page short story due for an assignment in my 9th grade English class. It was a historical fantasy with a heroine named Amethyst (that of course had purple eyes, because that’s what color eyes I wanted) and a white steed. Now the horse didn’t belong to the knight, oh no, that was Amethyst’s ride that she used to save the knight who was locked in a tower. Yes, there was even a touch of the feminist in me back then.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Rachel: Almost all of my stories have a “get over yourself” theme. I’ll explain: When things happen in our lives that are difficult to overcome, we have two options: Get over it and move on, or wallow in whatever pity party that’s happening at the moment. I want to find the way to dig out of the party even when everything seems to want to keep you there. So, mostly that’s my themes.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Rachel: I read for entertainment, not for self-growth so I don’t know that any book has had a huge impact. I write for my therapy, but I do know that even though everyone moans and groans about the Twilight series, I’ve read it 8 times. Take away the creepy age gap, the dead and alive elements, and the weird lack of parenting, and it’s a truly innocent story meant to make us fall in love with romance again.
What are three things that always make you smile?
Rachel: My hubby, my kids, and my happy readers…notice—I said happy. 
Just for fun, who would you single out as your number one celebrity crush, and what would you like most to do with/to them?
Rachel: Johnny Depp. I adore his versatility. I'd have him dress up as Sweeny Todd and sing and dance with me in a ratty bakery. *cackles maniacally*
If you could live a day in the world of someone else's story, whose would you choose, and why?
Rachel: Oh, I'd live a day in Alice's world. Doesn't Wonderland look like a fab place to play.
What do you hope readers take away from Drowning?
Rachel: I want them to be moved. I want them to be jerked out of their comfy beds with soft pillows in the middle of the night and remember that sometimes, somewhere, there’s a child doing the same thing…only it’s not a nightmare they’re living through—it’s their life. I want everyone to realize that we’re all a pile of mistakes waiting to happen. It’s okay to take a wrong turn as long as you find the right way home. But most importantly, I want everyone to know that love does conquer all when the will is strong.
What do you love most about your hero?
Rachel: I love that he’s a little messed up. He makes bad calls and doesn’t always fit the typical hero profile…but then again, most of my heroes don’t.  Oh… and he plays drums…and is damn hot…and he writes music…should I keep going?
What about your heroine:
Rachel: Alice? Let me tell you… There’s not one thing that I don’t love about Alice. She’s so twisted. She’s a tease. She’s a strong person. She’s weak. She’s humble. She’s hot. She’s. Just. Like. You. &. Me.
Why did you create Drowning?
Rachel: It’s not often that I’ve stepped out of the box. But, my very first editor told me once to take the dark inside me and turn it into something. Well…that’s what I did. No, I’m not Alice…but I’m close. I know that pain…that terror…and I know what it’s like to overcome it…as much as anyone that’s lived through abuse can. (No, E. Harrison is not my father. I promise. But there was someone like him in my life once.)
What’s next?
Rachel: Well, I’m working on book 2. Burning and hope to have it out Spring of 2014. I’m also working on a new Contemp NA titled Something After. It’s not quite as dark as Drowning, but almost as twisted—if not more so.