Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Change Up by Elley Arden Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway

Title: The Change Up
Series: Arlington Aces #1
Author: Elley Arden
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Length: 66k words
Format: Digital
Digital ISBN: 978-1-4405-9151-8

Commercial real estate mogul Rachel Reed is the one person her father can depend on, so when he walks into her Philadelphia office two weeks shy of her fortieth birthday to drop a personal and professional bomb, she rises to the occasion. She will help get his independent professional baseball team up and running before the inaugural season, and then … she will sell the team to recoup his substantial investment. It’s a tall order, but Rachel knows one thing for sure: a sexy nuisance from her past and a few acres of trees won’t stand in her way.

Former minor-leaguer-turned-landscaper Sam Sutter is surprised to find his brother’s ex in the woods behind the house he bought when he cashed out his signing bonus and said so long to baseball. He’s even more surprised to learn “his” trees are on her chopping block. There’s no way he’ll desecrate his nature-loving mother’s memory by letting that happen. But butting heads with the beautiful business woman is a tricky task that leads Sam to accept a position as head groundskeeper at her father’s stadium. Working under Rachel’s watchful, smoldering eyes might be Sam’s undoing.

She doesn’t know a thing about baseball. He swore off the sport ten years ago. But strange things happen when field dust gets in your veins.
Find out more at: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Excerpt One:
He didn’t trust her, and that was even before she tilted her head and regarded him through narrowed eyes. “You of all people must be excited about my father bringing professional baseball to Arlington.”
Here we go. Sam shrugged. “I don’t really follow baseball these days.”
“That’s a shame. Sam used to play for the …” she looked from Wes back to Sam, “The Cubs, right?”
Sam nodded once and added, “Never made it out of the minors.” Why sugarcoat it? Chasing “the bigs” in a rusty bus, believing he was the next big thing, caused him to miss out on a lot of things. He was still trying to make up for some of that.
Again he thought of his mother, and this time the guilt was almost too much to swallow.
“What are you doing now?” Rachel asked, surprising him, not because he expected her to keep tabs on his career, but because she’d never been the kind to care much about other people—at least that had been his experience when she’d labeled him “whiny little Sammy” who was always trying to come between her and Luke.
“I’m working for my dad,” he said with little genuine interest in keeping this conversation going.
“Just like me.”
Except he wasn’t like her, and he couldn’t leave that assumption hanging between them. “We’re nothing alike, Rachel. For starters, I would never even think about cutting down these trees. That would be a really shitty thing to do.”
She shrugged. “What can I say, Sammy? Progress can be painful, but in the end, it’s the best thing for everyone.”
“Because the best thing for you is the best thing for everyone?” He scoffed. She hadn’t changed one bit in twenty years. “Try telling that to the birds.” Sam looked at the wide-eyed man taking this all in beside her, and nodded curtly. “Nice to meet you.”
But that was a lie. It would only be nice if the guy drove back to Pittsburgh without touching a single tree. If one trunk fell … Sam hated to even think about it. Thank God his nature-loving mother wasn’t alive to see this.
He wandered off with Babe beside him and the warbler overhead, craving the usual Sunday peace and quiet, but he kept hearing phantom chainsaws and wood chippers. How much parking did the Reeds need? Surely they wouldn’t cut down all of this. He reached out and let almond-shaped leaves tickle his palm. But what if they did? What if he had to say goodbye to Sunday walks and evening fireside chats with his dad? And what if he had to look out his kitchen window and see a baseball stadium every damn day. He stopped. Babe stopped, too.
That was not going to happen.

Author Bio:
Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.
Elley has been reading romance novels since she was a sixteen-year-old babysitter, sneaking Judith McNaught and Danielle Steele novels off the bookshelves of the women who employed her. To say she’d been sheltered up to that point is an understatement. No one had ever told her women could live bold, love freely, and have sex lives that were exciting and fulfilling. (They don’t teach these things in Catholic school!) Now that she knows, she’s happy to spread the word. The women she writes about may be fictional, but the success, respect, and love they find on the page is a universal right for women everywhere.
Elley writes books with charming characters, emotional stories, and sexy romance. Visit The Bookshelf for a detailed listing.

1.       Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the Northwest corner of Pennsylvania—right on the lake. After graduation, I ended up in Salt Lake City, Utah and then Madison, Wisconsin before heading back to Pennsylvania again.
2.       Tell us your latest news.
My latest news is that we’ve expanded the Arlington Aces series to include a fourth book, a novella, THE SQUEEZE PLAY, which will release in December. I’m very excited about that!
3.       When and why did you begin writing?
It’s always been easiest for me to fully communicate and make sense of my thoughts through writing. I used to write letters to my parents to defend my actions or to try to persuade their actions. I can remember doing this as far back as elementary school. While I enjoyed reading and writing to a certain extent in high school, it wasn’t a passion. At that point in my life I was more interested in musical theatre scripts and sheet music. But when I went to college, after quite a few mishaps with declared majors, I settled on Communications/Public Relations. That led me to a ten-year career in non-fiction writing, where I eventually landed a dream job as an editor with The Walt Disney Company.
4.       When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It’s funny because I was doing a lot of freelance work when my oldest two children were young, but I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself a writer until I became a regular contributor and had a title to go along with the consistent deadlines. Something similar happened with my fiction writing. I spent a couple years writing, editing, and submitting before anything sold, but I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself a romance writer until my first book was actually published. That’s crazy, because I was certainly a writer all along.
5.       What inspired you to write your first book?
The answer to that question depends on which first book you’re asking about. My first published romance, SAVE MY SOUL, was inspired by my relationship with my husband and the idea that opposites can attract. However, my first book, which will never be published because it’s that bad, titled FINDING HOME, was a baseball romance inspired by my love of Judith McNaught’s successful, sexy, alpha heroes.
6.       Do you have a specific writing style?
I would say my style is lean—I don’t write a lot of fluff or filler—with a steady paced, and a conversational tone.
7.       How did you come up with the title? I made a long list of all the baseball terminology I was familiar with, and I ranked my favorites. My editor had a say in it, too.
8.       Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s never too late. It doesn’t matter what has happened, how you got to where you are now, it is never too late to be everything you dreamed of being.
9.       How much of the book is realistic?
I’d say at least 95 percent of the book is realistic. Thanks to my husband, a team physician, I’ve had firsthand experience with baseball from the indie-pro (unaffiliated) leagues up to the MLB. He is an incredible resource—as are the people he knows. We have also had firsthand experience with Alzheimer’s and its impact on the family. What about that other five percent? Well, the only thing that I really had to stretch was the age limit for the fictional Independence League. I don’t believe there’s an actual indie-pro league in the U.S. that allows a 35- to 40-year-old to play.
10.   What books have influenced your life most?
Any book ever written by Judith McNaught or Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’ve devoured them all, and those were the books that made me want to write romance.
11.   What books are you reading now? Currently, I’m reading multiple books at the same time, which is not my preference, but I joined the Book of the Month club, so I feel obligated to read those books as well as books in my genre. I’m reading The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix, The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich, and I just started Protecting the Quarterback by Kristina Knight.
12.   Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I recently discovered Kieran Kramer, so she’s a new-to-me author, and I’m enjoying her contemporary romances.
13.   What are your current projects?
I have three more books to write in the Arlington Aces series. On the side, I also have a hockey series I’m working on. I may self-publish that one. We’ll have to see.
14.   What you like my readers to know?
You can stay up to date, win prizes, and get free reads by joining my readers group. I would love to have you! http://www.elleyarden.com/sign-up-for-elleys-newsletter-list/

You can also visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

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