We're on a roll with blog tours and promotions!!
Today brings us a new blog tour stop - Daring the Wild Sparks, by Ren Alexander. As the second book in the series, it's got everything in a book you could ask for. Seriously, check it out and read the interview at the bottom of the post!!
In the follow up to “Chasing the Wild Sparks,” Hadley Beckett’s quest for wedded bliss perseveres…
What would you do if the love of your life were closer to making your dreams come true?
Riding high in her relationship with her sportscaster/local daredevil boyfriend, Finn Wilder, Hadley Beckett makes plans concerning her future with Finn. Big plans.
Spending time with Finn at his parents’ house for Easter, Hadley can’t wait to share some of her ideas with him, hoping he will go along. She knows she has an uphill climb ahead of her, but she’s optimistic that after what they recently went through, Finn will be receptive to what she has to say.
Infamously anti-marriage, Finn promised Hadley he’d consider taking her to the altar if she gives him more time. Diving headfirst and with encouragement from her best friend Morgan, Hadley devises a backup plan if Finn can’t make a decision soon. However, her other close friend, Rod, disagrees with Morgan’s advice, partly to just oppose her in spite, but also having actual valid points of his own. Feeling conflicted, Hadley takes both of their suggestions and blends them together, formulating her own way to handle Finn.
On the other hand, unbeknownst to Hadley, Finn has plans of his own as well.
Hadley is determined to succeed, yet is she unwittingly destined to fail?
Wild Sparks Blog Tour
Hosted by Everything Marie
Daring the wild sparks
He buries his lips against my neck and purrs, “I’m sorry, baby. How can I make it up to you?”
“I don’t know. I’ll think of something.”
“I can think of something.”
“No way. I get to decide, not you.”
He drags his lips up and down my skin, and closing my eyes, I swallow when he asks, “Are you going to tease me all day?”
I squeak, “I might.” He lifts his head from me and tries to turn me around, but I grab onto the fence, preventing him from doing so.
“Is this how you’re going to be?” I hear the ambiguous grin in his voice, causing me to smile more.
I eye him from over my shoulder, his lips dangerously close to mine as he asks, “What am I going to have to do to get my kiss?” His eyes are marginally pleading and he rolls his lower lip under his teeth, surely tempting me. Gripping the fence tighter, I viciously resist those full, glistening lips of his, and kissing him with wild unrestraint.
Wickedly smirking at him, I whisper, “Work for it, Wilder.”
Turning, I walk along the fence and around the corner, finding another sign to distract me. Stopping, I glance at Finn through the white metal as a few women walk past him, furtively checking him out and giggling as they walk by. Unless they watch him online, I doubt they’re Finnatics since we’re far from Richmond. No, they were staring at my boyfriend because of how scrumptious he is.
It’s positively the mood-ring hair.
Wait. On second thought, it has to be his scorchingly carnal, dark-chocolate eyes that melt your soul with just one look.
Still in the same spot I left him, Finn transiently angles his head to see where the laughter is coming from. Not being able to help himself, he gives the women a polite nod accompanied by a crooked, shameless grin. Instantly, their mouths drop and they stop blinking as they bump into each other, caught in his magical allure. He must be recruiting new Finnatics.
It’s definitely his sexy smile.
I should be pissed at his flirting, like I was at the race, but I’m used to seeing him flash that smile on TV to his Finnatics, making them hot and bothered. I trust him. I’m okay with him innocently acknowledging other women—it’s part of his public persona. However, when they’re all over him, touching him in places that only I should be, that’s when I can’t take it.
Finn Wilder is mine.
Finished with his apparent networking, he looks back at me and I give him a flirty smile, obviously gawking at him myself. He rolls his eyes and looks away from me. Is he chagrined that I caught him checking out other women or is he proud of himself checking out other women in front of me? Putting his hands on his hips, he laughs and shakes his head.
Finn embarrassed? Never.
He languidly starts walking to me, looking thoughtfully around him, as if he’s formulating a plan. I watch him approaching as he passes by the metal rails, the view of him alternatingly obscured by the vertical bars. He turns the corner and I shift my stare to the sign in front of me. Every molecule of my being is on high alert, eagerly anticipating his closeness.
With the hair on the back of my neck on end, he’s once again behind me, and for a second time, he puts his arms around my waist and his lips against my neck. My body is singing for his touch. He discreetly flicks his tongue as his lips close over my skin, doing this up to my ear. He then nips at my earlobe, causing me to harshly inhale. He repeats biting my ear several times, driving me crazy. As I continue to stare at the sign in front of me, I strive to not be too affected, since we’re openly in public. Unexpectedly, he tersely breathes into my ear, huffing in short bursts, simulating his panting during sex. I gasp and reach up to hold onto the fence.
Grasping the fence on either side of me, his lips graze my ear as he brusquely whispers, “Do you want to kiss me now, Becks?”
I swallow and wheeze, “Nope.” Be strong.
I feel his smile against me. Finn Wilder lives for one thing in life: a challenge he refuses to lose.
He pants and groans into my ear. “Oh, Hadley, baby, you’re so sexy. I want you. I don’t care who watches. I’m going to come so hard inside you.” My knees nearly buckle. I quietly whimper and close my eyes.
I’m supposed to be showing him other ways than sex to be close to me. My plan is backfiring, big time. Damn it!
He whispers, “What about now?”
I nod and hoarsely say, “Yes.”
He whispers, “Good.” He slides his teeth over my ear. “Because two can play at this game.”
Chasing the wild sparks
What would you do if the love of your life doesn’t want the same life you do?
Hadley Beckett has failed in not only her career, but as a daughter, friend, and girlfriend.
Hadley’s longtime boyfriend, Finn Wilder, who is Richmond, Virginia’s local daredevil and favorite sportscaster, isn’t afraid of anything…except for LASIK surgery, dancing, marriage, and kids—the last two being what Hadley desperately wants with him. Finn leads a very public life; however, he leaves Hadley in the dark about most of it. Despite his public persona, Finn is viciously protective of his private life. Excluding their families, his best friend and Hadley’s friends, nobody knows he has been dating her for three years. Finn loves Hadley and he knows she wants to get married. Nevertheless, he has his own reasons for not wanting to marry her.
Fearing at 33 that she will soon be too old to have kids, Hadley wants Finn to change his mind and marry her, yet her insecurities about his seemingly charismatic personality and his constant rebuffs have her questioning her aspirations. With conflicting advice from her friends, Hadley concludes she should take things into her own hands.
Would he change his mind then?
Finn pressures Hadley into moving in with him, but being traditional, she wants to be married first and she wants to stick to her beliefs, just as he clings to his own. Finn has tolerated Hadley’s stubbornness long enough and he’s reaching his breaking point.
Finn Wilder has his own story to tell.
about the author
Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, but grew up in a nearby tiny, historical, college town in the Northern Panhandle of the state. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing.
She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters and two cats.
"Chasing the Wild Sparks" is Ren's first novel.
How about that interview? Let's learn about Ren!!
Ren: I’m a married mother of two little girls and am originally from Wheeling, West Virginia, but currently live in Detroit, Michigan. I’ll just include that list of 14 things I was hit with this week on Facebook:
1. My favorite ice cream is chocolate/peanut butter, but I don't do the kind with the cups in it.
2. The smell of peaches and cucumbers make me viciously gag. I can't even walk through a produce aisle without breathing out of my mouth or holding my breath when I'm around them. Peaches are especially smelly there.
3. Watermelon, banana, and peach candy flavors are GROSS.
4. I LOVE lighthouses!
5. I'm a huge history buff. I could watch the History Channel all day when they're showing actual shows about history.
6. I'm right-handed, but can only drive with my left hand. If I drove with my right, I would drive into a tree or off a cliff.
7. I've only owned two cars, both Toyotas. The first, I had for 10 years.
8. I can type 65-70 WPM.
9. I'm addicted to Diet Mt. Dew ever since they changed the flavor about five years ago.
10. I can't stomp on bugs. I will hurl.
11. Mushrooms are the devil.
12. I developed asthma when I was 27.
13. I have a B.S. in criminal justice.
14. When I write, I can't write scenes out of order. It drives me insane. I have to be driven to that point in order to express the characters' emotions to my full capacity. It's not organic to me.
DSP: Nice to meet you! So tell us, where did you find the inspiration for your most recent book?
Ren: It was weird. I was dabbling in fan fiction with my best friend just for fun. I’d write and send her each chapter as I finished it. One day she told me I should write my own story, but I was absolutely stumped for what to write about. The harder I thought, the more blank my mind became. So, I returned to the fan fiction and focused on that again. When I wasn’t trying too hard is when the ideas started flooding my mind, so I stopped writing the fan fic and started listing all the new ideas and went from there.
DSP: So, do you have any kind of ritual for writing? Such as, you have to write with music on, or you can only write when you’re completely alone, etc
Ren: I do my best writing alone in my dark living room with my laptop, iPad and earbuds. I can only listen to certain music. For example, I ADORE the Beastie Boys, but I can’t write to them because they’re too distracting for me. When I write, I usually have a song on repeat because it helps set a mood for scenes. Therefore, I will listen to a song endlessly until the scene is finished. If I listen to something else, it ruins my flow, so I will essentially beat a song to death to get the story right.
DSP: Who is your favorite character in your book, and why? How about the character you had the most trouble with?
Ren: My favorite character, hands down, is Greg Rodwell. He is so fun and the easiest to write, which is weird because he’s the most ironic. Everything about him is unexpected and contradictory, yet he’s the one yelling the loudest in my head. He’s extremely sharp-tongued and quick-witted, but I don’t think I’m either of those. I don’t know where he comes from. I probably need therapy to figure that one out. Then again, I’d rather not know.
The character I’ve had the most trouble writing is definitely Finn Wilder. He doesn’t open up as much as my other characters. I write the story from both Hadley’s and Finn’s POV’s, and Finn’s definitely take longer; therefore, are fewer in the books. He’s still a puzzle to me because I understand his stance on issues, yet I don’t.
DSP: Now, when you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing?
Ren: I do plot an outline, but most of the time the story dictates itself, no matter the elaborate outline I have made for it, unfortunately. However, that sometimes works out better than I had originally planned. Honestly, if it’s not planned, then I just write what enters my head and rework it later if it doesn’t seem to fit.
Other than not having my kids jumping all over me, the only prep I do is to listen to music to inspire me. I pick up little pieces from all kinds of songs.
DSP: Do you foresee any more books to continue this story? If so, do you think we can get a taste of what’s to come?
Ren: Yes. I actually wrote all three at the same time, but it amounted to over 300,000 words. When I was looking into finding an agent or publisher, I found from my research that nobody would touch that kind of word count, so I had to split my story into three books. I am planning a fourth for my “Wild Sparks” series. Beyond that, I don’t know at present.
DSP: Other than this most recent story, do you have any ideas for different books that might be published in the future? Care to give us a teaser?
Ren: No. I just want to finish this series before I get more ideas in my head. Though, some people have asked for a spin-off involving Greg Rodwell from my “Wild Sparks” books. We’ll see.
DSP: Who is your greatest inspiration to write? What person makes you believe in yourself, and how?
Ren: I don’t really have an inspiration to write, per se. I just write for myself, but I love it when I find people who love my characters as much as I do. You could say that definitely inspires me to keep writing. My dad has always been a huge champion for my writing ever since I was a kid. He even bought me a diary and told me to write in it every day. I would fill up pages and pages of just the happenings of a single day. When I went to college and chose criminal justice as a major, he questioned why I would pick that when I always wanted to be a writer. When I confessed to him about my revived affair with writing recently, he was elated.
DSP: Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why?
Ren: I strive to be the best writer I can be and always look for ways to improve, but no. I have my own writing style and personality in which I try to convey through my books. I don’t want to be like anyone else, though any comparisons would be flattering.
DSP: What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?
Ren: When someone sent me a message to tell me how much they enjoyed my books and are now a fan of my work. That’s the absolute best feeling and is the most rewarding experience thus far.
DSP: Have you named the computer you use for writing?
Ren: Oh, my laptop. We have such a tempestuous relationship. Although I’ve decorated it with stickers and fortunes from cookies, I didn’t give it a specific name. However, I do yell things at it. Does that count?
DSP: Has becoming an author changed you, or the way you think about certain things? If so, how?
Ren: I don’t think it has, except for having to be more social online. I’ve made so many great friends through this experience. That definitely would be my second most rewarding experience. My friends are awesome.
DSP: What is your greatest fear about being an author?
Ren: I could just say “failure,” but I don’t think I’ve failed because I’ve already accomplished my dream. I’ve written a book that has at least touched one person. That’s all I ever set out to do. I suppose I could say my biggest fear is not staying true to myself. I never want to stray away from that. Ever.
DSP: Which of the characters in your book do you feel is the most like yourself, and in what way?
Ren: One of my friends says I’m a mix of Rod and Hadley. Maybe a little, but not as much as she thinks I am.
DSP: From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish this most recent novel?
Ren: I actually started writing my book back in March of last year, but when I realized it was over 300,000 words, I had to split it up into three. It took almost six months to write them and I’m currently editing the third.
And now, for something completely different…some slightly off-the-wall and possibly irrelevant questions to help us get to know you on a more personal level!
DSP: Are you planning to bring sexy back?
Ren: Definitely, but why did he leave in the first place? I may need to reexamine my tactics.
DSP: If you could be any cartoon character for 24 hours, who would you pick and why?
Ren: The Roadrunner for obvious reasons. Or maybe Garfield, again, for obvious reasons.
DSP: How many ridges are there around a quarter?
Ren: There are 119, which coincidentally is the same number of times I question my sanity on a daily basis.
DSP: Do you believe in fate or destiny?
Ren: Do you watch The Bold and the Beautiful because I’ve been asked about Ridge, fate, and destiny? If a Logan question comes up, I’ll definitely peg you as a B&B fan.
DSP: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
DSP: What are your thoughts on string?
Ren: A quartet, bean, a-long, bikini, cheese? You have to be more specific.
DSP: Boxers or briefs?
Ren: Boxer briefs
DSP: Thong, g-string/v-string, or other? If other, please explain.
Ren: None of the above. I’d be picking things and that’s not a pretty picture.
DSP: What is your favorite song?
Ren: Out of all the questions I can be asked, that’s always one I can’t give a definitive answer because I love so many songs! One of my faves is The Neighbourhood’s “Let It Go.” That band is utterly brilliant, from their profound lyrics to their complex, but unique, sound. They are tragically underrated.
DSP: Do you have any tattoos? If so, how many, what are they, and where are they on your body? (PG-13)
Ren: I have one on the inside of my right wrist, a skeleton key with an “R” worked into the top.
DSP: What’s your favorite candy? Ice cream?
Ren: Anything peanut butter and chocolate.
DSP: If you had to pick a CB handle, what would it be?
Ren: Little Sparkler
DSP: Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?
Ren: She’d first kick my ass for taking so long, but then praise me for finally doing it. On the other hand, I’d be crying and devastated I had my ass kicked by my own self, an eight-year-old me, no less.
DSP: What is the last song you listened to?
Ren: The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather”
DSP: Do you have any talents you haven’t shared with us?
Ren: I have somewhat mad photoshop skills.
DSP: If you could meet one person (real or fictional, alive or deceased), who would it be, and what one question would you ask?
Ren: Lizzie Borden.
In college, I did a 30-page term paper on the murders of her father and stepmother.
I’d ask her, “Because a woman of your size could not have slung that heavy axe as many times as it took to kill your parents, who helped you?”
DSP: Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?
Ren: I pray it’d be my sanity or Reese Cups.
To answer your question, Ren, I am not a B&B fan, but I was named after a character on The Young & the Restless...hehe! This has been very entertaining and enlightening, and I'm sure I can speak for the readers when I say it's been fun. Ren, you are welcome here at DSP any time - even if it's just to pop in and say hi or to scare the readers on Halloween.
(Sorry readers!! She knows too much about Lizzie Borden, I can't pass on it!)
Thanks again, Ren, and best of luck!!