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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Adult Month Guest Post and Giveaway: Epic Guys by Lark O'Neal

You know those quizzes you take about what kind of landscape you are? Beaches, deserts, rivers, mountains? I am always mountains. I was born at the foot of Pikes Peak, and grew up with it watching over me my whole life. Our trips away from the city were always up—up to the coolness of summer streams, up to the fun of enormous piles of winter snow, snow so deep it’s blue. I love hiking and cross country skiing and snowshoeing and kayaking, all those mountain-connected sports.

I also love snowboarding. Not me actually doing it, but watching it. Reading about it, watching movies about boarders and their quests for glory. Love watching the boards send up a spray of powder and seeing somebody whirl in the air, all power and daring and extreme athleticism. (Are you watching the Olympics??)

So no big surprise when haunted, beautiful snowboarder Tyler Smith wandered into my imagination one morning last spring. Actually, it was Jess Donovan who punched my shoulder (at five am! On a vacation weekend!) and said, “Get up. I’ve got a story to tell you.” I tried to go back to sleep—we were in Breckenridge for a long restful weekend and I’d had a bit of wine the night before. Also, it was the first of June and snowing. Who wouldn’t want to stay in bed?—but she wouldn’t let me.

She flashed a picture of Tyler at me, tapped her foot while I made a mug of tea, and flung open the curtains overlooking the slopes. Dawn was breaking, pink and soft. I sat down and started writing. By the time my husband woke up, I had an entire series of books outlined. By lunch time, I had 67 scenes in a row for the first book.

In the writing world, we call this a gift. I am no idiot. I accepted it.

Jess Donovan is a girl who has to make her way in a pretty hostile world, and she just can’t catch a break. There are secrets in her past that she’s just beginning to understand are secrets, and she needs to find her father to get to the bottom of them. I love her pluckiness and her determination—and I can so relate to her fear that everything is going to come crashing down on her head at any second.

When Tyler walks into her life—sexy and troubled and lost and intensely, overwhelmingly attracted to her—I knew he’d be both catalyst and trouble, hero and villain. He’s born out of those snowboarders I love so much, their exuberance and their fierce competitiveness, their love of the mountains and the snow and the outdoors. He’s like nothing Jess has ever known, wealthy and well tended, like a prince wandering into her diner. How can she trust him to be anything but a short-term fling?

Random is the first book in the Going the Distance series, and starts the story of Jess and Tyler. Coming the end of February is Stoked, a novella from Tyler’s point of view. He loves her, and he’s got some issues. She loves him, but she has to find out who she is. The next full-length story is Epic, coming in May. I hope you’ll follow along.

One note: people love or hate a series. I really like them a lot. It’s like having a good TV show to watch, looking forward to what might happen next, how things might work out, or fall apart (and there is plenty of both in Going the Distance!). It gives me plenty of room to develop a big story. I hope you’ll trust me to do it right.

What are you: mountain, beach, desert, river? Or a combination?

I love to hear from readers! Follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/larkonealauthor and on Twitter @larkoneal.

I’m giving away three copies of Random (e-book or paper copy available, and I will ship abroad) to random (haha) people who comment on this post.

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