Monday, September 16, 2013

New things up next!! -- A Fighting Chance book blurb!

I'm moving on from Kai and co. for now, but I'm excited to be starting something new! I've always wanted to dabble in Suspense/Romantic Suspense because I feel like it would give me even more license to write cursing and sex and violence than, say, Contemp Rom; I can push the limits a bit. Anyway, here's what's up next:

A Fighting Chance

Jesse Chance is a bastard.
And that’s all he heard his entire life growing up once news got out that he was the illegitimate child of womanizing ex-con, Henry Chance.
Stuck in Glory, Texas, a town too small to escape the sins of his parents, Jesse turned into exactly what everyone expected him to be: a lover of liquor and women, and so good with his fists, he became a teenage champion of the secret underground fighting rings that float around The South, while doubting the only people who ever believed he could be more, his ailing mother, and his girlfriend, Drew Hallisay.
Determined to make his mother’s dying wish come true, he enrolled in a college on the East Coast, and far away from his past. Jesse Chance is reborn into a new life, and set on keeping Glory, Texas--and Henry Chance--in his rear view.
Until a visit from his father in the middle of the night changes everything.
Forced to return to Glory to prevent a tragedy, Jesse is soon back on the fighting circuit with Drew's help and facing the history he was so desperate to escape, the part of him he would prefer to hide.
As he slips back into his old ways--Henry Chance's ways--he finds himself torn between the guy he was and the one he’s been struggling to become. And in a world dead set on betting against you, can you ever really overcome your past… or your destiny?

Romantic Suspense. 17+ due to adult language, sexual content and violence 

I swear one of these days, I'll attempt to write something where everyone's happy and everything's okay...LOL...JUST KIDDING. Should have an excerpt up soon.

I think it's time we talk about Lana...[SPOILER-Y]

This is one of those wordy A.J. posts... you know how I am. ;)

So I have to confess I was having serious anxiety about Recklessly. It was the story I wanted to write obvi, but I was panicking because it wasn't traditional in the boy meets girl way. But I was also freaking out about Lana because I knew she would be a hard character to digest, as she was supposed to be. My CEO of "AJ, you need to calm the eff down," Shelley, said Lana made her "uncomfortable" LOL. HAHAHA. Seriously, it's a perfect description. Lana Langston is my favorite (self-made) character ever (short of Jesse Chance, who I love more than Wes).

I'm obsessed with flawed female characters because I think they get way too bad of a rap in fiction. I've been called defiant by just about everyone who knows me personally, so guess why I love writing flawed female characters? Because they get a bad rap. It's my way of pushing back I suppose. I've made it a point to write about women who maybe get under your skin at times. It's purposeful (and yes, it freaks me out that I do this sometimes because as much as I will always do what I want to do, no matter how terrible the light cast on human nature, I still of course hope you like it lol).


Because human beings aren't simple at all...and I envision my characters as people struggling in the world and making mistakes and fucking things up just like actual, real people.

And this is why I loved creating Lana so much.

Imagine all the times you weren't your best self. When fear or anger or cray cray got in the way of that. All the times you hurt the people you cared about....AND maybe in some cases it presented a situation where they should've washed their hands of you. Maybe they did for a while. Or forever. Maybe you walked away to figure out your crap, so you could be better. Lana was written for THAT woman. For the woman who screwed up something amazing she had for whatever reason. Not to justify her or make her someone you understand necessarily but really to acknowledge her existence. She's the personification of "that time I fucked up really badly, guys..."

That's a real thing. Impossible to go an entire lifetime without hurting the people we care about.And I swore on my MacBook Air keyboard I would never, ever shy away from showing things like that.

And at the end of the day, I think more than anything, if I have a message, that's it. My characters are really just about saying, "Hey, this person exists in the world and they should exist in fiction, too."