Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Leaving Las Vegas Blog Tour Stop Two: Las Vegas Motels and Plotting Techniques

Check out what happened on my second blog stop when I went to the place where it all began! The Las Vegas motel where Glory and Luke meet. At first I thought I'd been lucky enough to escape my characters, but then I started hearing noises from the room next door... and don't forget to check out all the fun by following the rest of my Leaving Las Vegas blog tour!

Or head straight to the action by buying Leaving Las Vegas today!

At Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Leaving Las Vegas Stop One: Straight Up Las Vegas

Check out the first stop of the Leaving Las Vegas blog tour! Read about how I started my tour--and discovered my characters were along for the ride--and don't forget to enter the raffle!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Leaving Las Vegas Excerpt

Here it is... the moment you've been waiting for... your first Leaving Las Vegas excerpt!

“You’re cheating.”

Glory Allen was keenly aware of the long pause that followed that statement. Ice collided with glass, creating a tinkling noise, the only sound in the cheap Las Vegas motel room. The neon lights from the Strip a half mile away streamed through the window, making the stacks of neatly piled hundred-dollar bills gleam blue and red. Not the neat ceramic chips used at the fancy casinos on the Strip, but real money. Cash. And surrounding the table sat serious poker players. Big men with square jaws and bulges under their arms.

Normally, Glory wouldn’t give a rat’s rump what anyone thought about her.

Normally, she wasn’t playing poker for high stakes in a private game well off the Strip.

In Beaux, West Virginia, cheating at poker could get a girl’s behind beat black and blue. Here in Las Vegas, she figured they’d just shoot her. Two to the head and a quick burial in the nearest patch of desert.

Under the table, she curled her free hand into a fist, fingernails digging into her palms. The pain helped her to concentrate, kept her expression still. She forced herself to keep looking straight ahead, staring into the eyes of the man who’d accused her.

Luke. That was his name. The man with the green eyes who’d almost made her forget what she was doing when he’d undone the top few buttons of his shirt halfway through the night, displaying a chest that was lean but still muscular. He wasn’t her type. A little too clean-cut. But confident, with backbone to spare.

Confidence was drop-dead sexy in a man.

And yet it didn’t matter how sexy Mr. Fancy Pants was, not when so much money sat on the table. Five-card draw. Jokers wild. Real, old-fashioned poker. And over two hundred thousand dollars, stacked at her elbow. But she needed more. She had to keep playing.

More importantly, he had to keep playing. Had to keep upping the ante until she’d won enough to get out and go home.

“You got proof?” she challenged him. When he shook his head, she said, “Losing is no excuse for bad manners.”

He clenched his jaw tight. The face of his watch knocked against the table. His emerald eyes flashed, changing his expression from one of contempt to something a little more testy. Not good.

She felt about as safe as a red wriggler dangling in front of a hungry trout.

The other players leaned forward. The man on her left drummed his fingers against the table. Mr. Grant, a Los Angeles fi lm producer who liked to adjust his tie when he thought he was about to win. His hand was at his throat now, undoing his crisp Windsor knot. His lips turned up in a thin, dangerous smile. “Let’s keep the game rolling. If you’re still in.”

Luke’s gaze swept around the table, confirming that the others wanted to continue the play. “I’m in.” His gaze stopped on Glory. “What about you?” His green eyes narrowed. Thin lines radiated out from the corner of his eyes, the small imperfections making him somehow more real. Human.

“I’m not going to fold,” she said. She couldn’t leave now, not when she had a game to win. A bus to catch. A town to save.

Check out Leaving Las Vegas now!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shivers, Chills, and Goosebumps: How to Write Scary. Entangled Publishing's Halloween Hop

Hi everyone, this is Aleah Barley! Hope you're having a spooky October.

I write funny (I hope) contemporary romances. My first book Too Hot to Handle came out last year, and my next book Leaving Las Vegas is available for presale now.

I don't write horror, but both of my books are quick paced and suspenseful with car chases, standoffs, and explosions. So, how do I write scary?

Scary is visceral.

Scary isn't about saying that June is scared.

Scary is saying:

June quivered nervously.

Scary incorporates the senses:

The taste of bile rose in her throat. The smell of gasoline from was heavy in the air. She couldn't see much, but she could hear the killer's footsteps as he crossed the cramped garage, disturbing centuries old dust.

Scary is about what happens next. What might happen next.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Leaving Las Vegas Blurb and Buy Links!

"I'm so glad what happened in Vegas didn't stay there. A sexy, fun, thrilling romp of a romance that had me alternating between a swoon and laughing out loud."
~Robin Covington, bestselling author of the Boys are Back in Town series.

Find it now at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble!

When West Virginia wild child, Glory Allen enters a private poker game with her town’s dreams at stake she loses it all. To make matters worse, she’s trapped in a car with the sexy but infuriating man who won—and accused her of cheating. Now because of him, she’s on the run from the mafia who put out a hit on the stuck-up casino magnate with the toe-curling good looks—and he isn’t even her type. So why can’t she cool the explosive chemistry between them?

She’s out of control…and she’s enough to drive Luke Tanner crazy. Yet she’s the only one willing to put her neck on the line…for him—a complete stranger she professes to hate. Now he’s in debt…to her. And it’s a debt he’s willing to work off any way she wants…on the hood of his sports car, in a waterfall—wherever she’ll have him, he’s willing to pay the price.But the stakes are raised when they return to West Virginia—helping Luke escape has put Glory and her hometown in the sites of someone who wants him dead. This time Glory decides she’s not going to end up empty-handed—it’s time for the winner to take all and she won’t stop ’til she wins his heart.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Intro to Writing

I haven’t taken a writing class since… ever. The closest I’ve come in the last few years is Candace Haven’s awesome Quick Draft workshop, which is more like the Spanish Inquisition then a learning experience (not in a bad way, swearsies). When I tell people I’m a published author (with Entangled Publishing, go team!) they almost always ask where I learned to write, I fall back on simple truths “I read a lot as a kid” and “I’ve always been a writer.”

However, I did do one of my favorite writing exercises ever in a classroom. Sixth grade. The Arts Impact Middle School in Columbus, Ohio (don’t hate me Michigan, I was only there for a few years!). My English teacher had everyone in class write down how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then she pulled out a bag of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, and a knife.

Most people had written things like “Take bread. Add peanut butter and jelly.” Some had gone as far as to add the knife. One kid had thought to open the bag. No one had thought to write the words “Open the peanut butter jar.”

When you’re writing a book, your plot and your characters are like two pieces of dry bread—essential to the sandwich—but you still need some icky, sticky, peanut butter descriptions to keep them together.  

Sometimes you have to open the jar.