Welcome to Thursday! I hope everyone is enjoying the first week of April! I am pleased to welcome Cambria Hebert back once again to the blog. Cambria is a regular here, and I am sure most of you are quite familiar with her. If you check my Review Index, you will see that she is the most reviewed author on my blog. Which is impressive considering that Cambria didn't officially release her first book until December of 2011, shortly after Rainy Day Ramblings started. Since then, Cambria has been on a furious writing streak. She wrote four books in her Heven and Hell series, two in her Death Escort Series and she currently has seven books out in her Take It Off Series! She is a writing machine! Let me introduce her to all the newbies, all the regulars can skip the bio, as you know it well.
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, The Death Escort Series and the New Adult Take It Off Series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went ot college for a bachelor's degree, couldn't pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured, her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and fury), where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting: her blog, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest and Youtube.
Here is the lovely and talented Cambria to entertain you all:
The Busy Life of a Writer by Cambria Hebert
So happy to be here today and big thanks to Heidi for having me here ☺ Like most people these days I am pretty crazy busy. Since August I have put out seven books and have participated in a couple boxed sets. I host release events on FB (pretty much monthly), run my fan page and various other social media sites. I have also moved (3 times since 2012- one move was just last week…) and I have 2 kids ages 8 and 10. I also have 4 animals and husband who is in the Marine Corps and has a pretty busy work schedule.
People ask me all the time what my schedule is like, how I manage it all and how I write so fast…
Heidi asked me to write a blog post about it and I figured it would be a good time to answer all the questions once and for all.
The short answer to how I manage it all: I have no idea.
But usually when I give that answer people aren’t too satisfied. Ha ha ha. So I will try to elaborate.
FAQ – how do you write so fast?
I never really thought I was a fast writer, per se. But I suppose I am. Ha ha. I do try to put out books quickly, and my honest reason is because I’m scared. I’m scared if I don’t people will forget about me. I’m scared that if I don’t keep my product front and center in front of readers then when I do release something it won’t sell. Other writers ask me a lot if I have a certain writing schedule. The honest answer is I don’t. (sometimes I think they don’t believe me but its true). The thing is when I am writing a book I work on it everyday. That includes weekends. I aim for 5k words a day. Some days I only get 2500. Sometimes 1k is really hard. Other days I can pound out 7k with no problem. Its sporadic. I just work at it. Constantly. Also, keep in mind the Take It Off series books aren’t really long. They are all about 60k. It’s a good sized book but my YA books and my Death Escort books are all around 100k. So writing a 60k book doesn’t take as much time. However, I really love that length. Why? Because it allows the story to move quickly and I think people like to read a book that really moves along. (feel free to tell me otherwise in the comments below)
Anyway, publishing books so fast is demanding. Its stressful and it makes my brain hurt ha ha ha. But I’m a writer. That’s what I do. Sometimes I forgo other things to make more time to write. For example, I no longer blog. My website is strictly for my books and updates on them. It isn’t bc I don’t support others I just don’t have time to post on my blog like I used to.
I also, work nights. I work weekends. I work all the time. Recently, I’ve had some time off because we were moving. But that was more or less forced time off. And that time off wasn’t relaxing. Moving isn’t fun. But also in the back of my head I have a ticking clock telling me it’s time to release another book, that I need to make up for the time off I took.
FAQ – how do you balance family life with work?
It’s not easy. But my kids both are in school all day. So, I take my free days and I write and answer emails and market. When they get home I often work some more then we break for dinner, etc. Once they are in bed I usually end up working again with my laptop in bed.
My kids and husband are pretty understanding about my job. If I have a deadline I tell them, “I have to write this many words today. When I’m done we can do ____”. 9 times out of 10 they accept that. I have a supportive family.
Basically, there is no secret formula. If there is please someone tell me what it is! The truth a lot of time I feel overwhelmed. A lot of time I feel like I’m not getting enough done and there is always a list of things I should be doing running through my head. Ha ha.
But I keep at it. I prioritize the things that need done and work in everything else.
Some days my house is a disaster and some nights my kids get pizza (they like that haha). I think the key is to just keep at it, and try not to be so hard on yourself.
Thanks for having me here today!!
Thanks, Cambria! I am always pleased when you stop by. Cambria never ever stops here empty handed. Today she has for one luck winner a signed paperback copy of Tricks and Take It Off Swag. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading The Contest Policies. U.S. Only. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Tricks(Take It Off #6) by Cambria Hebert
Love can play tricks on your heart… After serving several years in the United States Marine Corps, Sergeant Tucker Patton decides to hang up his uniform and go to work at a private investigative firm owned by his buddy. His boxes are packed and he’s got one foot out the door when a phone call changes everything.
Instead of going to North Carolina, he heads to New York City to literally step into the life of his twin brother, who died under suspicious circumstances. But pretending to be someone else isn’t easy.
Especially when the person you’re supposed to be is wanted dead.
Not only that, but he’s going from being blissfully single to living with his brother’s woman. An uptight, no-nonsense lawyer.
Charlotte Rose Carter doesn’t have time for fun and games. She graduated with honors and made all the right moves fresh out of college to jumpstart her career as a successful young lawyer. She even snagged the most eligible bachelor in New York City’s corporate world.
So what if her and Max’s relationship isn’t burning up the sheets? So what if their life doesn't read like a chapter from a sizzling romance novel? This is the real world, and in the real world that stuff is just fantasy.
Until it isn’t.
Suddenly, just the slightest touch or a single glance from Max has her heart doing somersaults. Suddenly, the lackluster relationship begins to spark, and Charlotte finds herself tied in a knot of desire.
But she has no idea about the tricks being played right under her perky little nose.Paperback, 290 pagesPublished February 10th 2014 by Cambria Hebert
Four stars: A sexy, murder mystery.
Max veers the car hard right, desperately trying to shake the car tailing him. It is no use. He puts in a frantic call for help to those who are supposed to have his back, and the voice on the other end assures him that help is coming, but in the meantime Max needs to tell them where he hid the evidence. Unfortunately before Max can spill it, his car is smashed, and it rolls over. Max hurriedly tries to escape, and just when he thinks he will be okay, the car explodes. His dying words are to get Tucker, his twin. Tucker and Max haven't seen each other in a few years, but when Tucker learns that his twin was murdered and it is up to him to take his place, find the evidence and see that those who killed his brother are put away for good. In order to do that, Tucker must assume Max's identity, that means he must live with Tucker's girlfriend, Charlotte. Can Tucker pull it off and catch the killers?
What I Liked:
- A Cambria Hebert Take It Off Novel always promises to be a fast, furious read with a bit of mystery and plenty of sizzle. These little books are addictive and you can easily pick one up and whip through it in a couple of hours. I appreciate that the characters are always engaging, the story interesting and the romance is hot.
- Tucker and Charlotte are certainly a case of opposites attracting. Charlotte is an uptight, driven, young lawyer who is so focused on her career that she has never really taken the time to experience love and sex, even though she thinks she has a strong relationship with Max, she is about to learn a thing or two about love. Tucker is a bit of a bad boy. He is a former marine who has seen plenty of horrible things during his tours of duty. The trauma he suffered has caused him to distance himself from those who love him, including his brother. Tucker has never had a long term relationship, he is more of a one night stand man. When the two come together, there is immediate, unexpected chemistry. It was fun watching the two interact and change each other. They ended up making a great team.
- The book opens up with a heart pounding, gut wrenching scene that immediately drew me in. This is an action packed read that moves at a quick pace. There is rarely a dull moment and I liked that it moved along at a brisk pace.
- I so appreciated that there was not a lot of drama with the romance. I was worried that once Charlotte found out that Tucker was masquerading as Max that she would have a total melt down and there would be lots of drama. Thankfully, she accepts that fact without throwing a fit. I liked that she handled it well and that they came together united for the same cause: avenge Max. I especially liked that after all was said and done that Nathan wasn't spewing out I love yous, as they weren't in line with his character. I liked that he kept it real. I so loved that he could kick ass and take names as he was a marine.
- I loved that we get a cameo from Nathan and Honor, the couple from Text. It was fun to catch up with them.
- I love Ms. Hebert's writing. It is so rich and descriptive and it is easy to fall into her stories. I like how she utilizes the dual narratives. She nails Tucker. I would think that his part was actually written by a male if I didn't know better. He is one horny dude!
- The ending is thrilling, heart wrenching and then sweet. I liked that I experienced a range of emotions, and mostly I was pleased that everything resolved and that I was satisfied with the conclusion. No cliffhanger, love triangles or heavy drama and angst in this one!
- Once again, I love that this is a companion series. You can pick up a book in any order in the series as they are stand alones. So nice to not to have to worry about keeping up with a series. No pressure, read at your leisure. Pick and choose your books.
And The Not So Much:
- I wish that there had been a little more focus on the murder mystery aspect. I thought this part of the story was a little weak. I wanted to know more about the villain and what exactly he was doing. There is just a brief mention about him being involved in embezzlement and money laundering. Once the flash drive was recovered, I was eager to know what was on it, Max died for it after all, but the only thing I got was that there was some seriously bad information on it. I am a detail reader, I know most readers won't care because they are all wrapped in the romance, but I want more information on the mystery.
- Sigh..... for me sex scenes can be a bit much, and that is what happens in this one. I felt like the explicitly detailed sex scenes got to be a too much after awhile, and it was a bit hard for me to accept the fact that Charlotte jumped into bed with Nathan right after she learns Max's fate. Yes, I understood why, there was a heated attraction between the two and they fell into each other's arms for comfort. I appreciated that she felt remorse and guilt for her actions, and I think Ms. Hebert does a great job of exploring all the emotions involved. In the end, I was able to accept it and it wasn't a major issue. Keep in mind this is not a read for younger readers. The sex scenes are very detailed.
- I wished that I could have gotten to know Max just a bit better.
Tricks is another solid entry in The Take It Off Series. This is an exciting murder mystery with some sizzling hot chemistry. Watch as two complete opposites come together under difficult circumstances, experience the heat and see them catch a killer. If you want a New Adult book that is thrilling and exciting and light on the drama, this is a good bet.
"I shrugged. "I'm off. You're off. I'm starving. You're thin. You could use a meal. Let's eat together."
"Sometimes living after someone else dies was worse than the pain of them not being there."
"Love is never a mistake, my brother. Don't let who she was with in the past keep you apart in the future."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
For those of you hesitant to dig into a series when it is this far along, don't be. This series is a set of companion novels. You can pick one up and read them in any order as they are all stand alone stories. Which one do you fancy?
Be sure to stop back by in May when Cambria visits again with her latest release: