Fight for Love (Luck of the Irish is now LIVE!)

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is LIVE! Get your copy today.

he stood in front of her door. Uninvited. Unannounced. Unwanted. Still, he knocked.-3

“He stood in front of her door. Uninvited. Unannounced. Unwanted.
Still, he knocked.”
– Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Get FREE books from numerous for a limited time here.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Character Spotlight: Nhu Hoang from Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is LIVE! Order your copy now.

Say Hello to Nhu

There have been a few times where someone’s asked me if I’m inspired by people I know in the characters I create. So far, I can confidently say not exactly. It only takes a spark – a sentence, scenario, or even just an image – to open the gateway into the world where one of my characters lives. After that, I feel to a certain extent, the characters reveal themselves to me, little by little. I just have to be in tune in with their stories in order to pick up their nuances. (Often easier said than done.)

While writing Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3), I’ve been introduced to three very strong characters: Nhu, Eoghan, and Jack. The more time I’ve spent with them, the more I like all of them (which is a terrible thing to do when a love triangle is involved). Their story has quickly become my favorite of the series (although Love Games still has a soft spot in my heart).

Earlier this summer, I sent an exclusive link to my mailing list subscribers with the entire first chapter of Luck of the Irish. I’m an impatient person, so I had to share some of Nhu’s awesome story before then. Likewise, I’m excited to share a quick Character Profile with you.

Vu Thi Hoang My _Nhu Hoang.png
Images of Vū Thi Hoàng My totally inspired my vision of Nhu’s persona.

Nhu Hoàng

Nhu is 26, originally from San Jose, California but moved to San Diego when she was 12. Marisol Aguilar (Love Games) is her best friend from law school. Nhu’s an only child who’s strong-willed, driven, and charismatic. Currently, she lives on the gorgeous Coronado Island working as a barista while she prepares for the California State Bar Exam for the 2nd time. She’s also setting up a freelance career as a Contract Analyst for those entering the modeling and performing arts industries.

Her boyfriend of nearly two years is Jack Smith, son of a presidential candidate. He’s kept their relationship a secret from his family the entire time, but he swears that he loves her. What will happen to their relationship when Nhu begins to recognize and own her self-worth?

Inspiration for Nhu

While writing Love Games, Nhu popped up as Mari’s best friend. As no-nonsense as she came across with Mari, I was surprised to see that she tolerated Jack’s chronic flippancy in their relationship. When looking into her character, I came across an image of model/actress Vū Thi Hoàng My. I loved how her last name was just like Nhu’s, and as time progressed, I could see a likeness in the way I envisioned Nhu’s expressions and mannerisms.

The song that STILL won’t get out of my head when I think of Nhu is Halsey’s Without Me. Honestly, it’s Nhu’s Leitmotiv and a bit of an own for Jack. Even as I write this, the intro is jammin’ away in my head. *Sigh*

In any case, I thought I’d share a little bit about one of the folks living in my head. Stay tuned for character profiles on Jack… and Eoghan. Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3), is now available. Haven’t read Love Games? It’s currently free in this sweet romance showcase for new mailing list subscribers.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram,  Amazon, and Facebook for more. Sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Advance Readers Wanted! Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3)

Be the First to Read This Book!

Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is going live next month on August 8th. Based on advance reader’s reactions, it’s the best one yet in the series, and I can’t wait for YOU to read it. (Seriously – I really can’t wait for you to read it.)

That’s why I’m looking for up to 10 people to read Luck of the Irish before its release date in exchange for an honest rating/review.

luck-of-the-irish-holiday-heartbeats-atina-atwood
Luck of the Irish is available now for preorder.

Am I freaking out about this? You bet your bippie (whatever a “bippie” is, but I digress.) Still, I fell in love with this sweet love triangle that inspired a young woman (Nhu) to recognize and claim her worth and settle for nothing less. I hope that you’ll fall in love with her story, too. As with all stories in my Holiday Heartbeats series, this is a novella. Lately, I’ve wanted to expand their stories to novel-length, but this series is designed to be a quick, light, romantic read.

If you’re interested in becoming an Advance Reader, simply do the following:

* comment and retweet/repost on social media to get my attention

* be willing to leave an honest rating and/or review (please be kind!)

 

I look forward to sharing Nhu, Eoghan, and Jack’s story with you!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.
Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3, is now available for preorder.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

 

15 Questions with Atina Atwood the Author of the Holiday Heartbeats Series (from House of 1000 Books)

My Second Blog Interview!

Things are starting to get exciting over here, and as excited as I am about it, I’m noticing that it’s getting a bit more challenging to balance all the things. Work is demanding more of my attention, and because I have an equally demanding toddler, I’m only just now realizing the similarities between the two, ha ha.

On another note, My interview with House of 1000 Books went live last Wednesday, and in case you missed it, I’m posting it here. Thanks to Topher for a great experience.

“Topher Hoffman: Hello! Today we have Atina Atwood answering questions at The House of 1000 Books.  She’s the creator of the Holiday Heartbeats Series. This series includes His Epiphany, Love Games, and her newest novel, Luck of the Irish!

She states in her bio that in general, her stories vary in heat levels— from YA to sweet romantic stories to steamy contemporary romance. All of her books have multicultural characters that are strong-willed and purpose-driven.

I’m interested in what she has to say, so with that, let us get to the questions.

Hello Atina, and welcome to the House of 1000 Books blog.  I have a few questions that I would like to ask you, that I’m sure our readers would love to find the answer out too.

Every author ignited their writing career at one point in their life. That point where they said, hey, I’m an author.  At what age did you realize that you were an author, and accepted it?

circle atina atwoodAtina Atwood: Thanks for inviting me. It’s hard to pinpoint the age where I initially self-identified as being an author. I see myself as being a lot of things, author included. My first published work was a poem when I was 12, but I guess the most defining moment for me was when I became a traditionally published author in nonfiction back in 2012.

TH: Sometimes to follow your dreams, you need to make sacrifices. If you had to give one thing up that is important to you to make you a better writer, what would it be?

AA: This makes me think of my main character in LUCK OF THE IRISH, Nhu. She made the mistake of sacrificing her dreams for what she thought was love and ended up misaligning the trajectory for making that dream come true. Now, she won’t let anything — or anyone — stand in the way of accomplishing her goal.

In my case, thankfully, things are less dramatic. I’m used to giving up sleep for reading and writing. It’s exhausting, but it’s worth it. Coming from a strong Performing Arts background, followed by a career in Academia, being prepared to make sacrifices is kind of ingrained in me. In my experience, with determination and focus, it’s usually worth it.

TH: Writing takes time, skill, and a lot of practice. If you had to do one thing differently as a child to help you with your writing practice today, what would it be?

AA: I like this question. Honestly, the experiences I’ve had led me to be the writer I am today. I understand the importance of self-motivation and discipline. There will be wins, and there will be inevitable losses, but nothing will happen if you don’t show up, day after day. These skills are proving to be helpful in my writing career.

TH: Now that you have three books that you have written, and I’m sure you read hundreds of other stories, could you tell us what, in your opinion, are the most critical elements of good writing?

AA: I can only repeat what the seasoned, great authors stress — and that is to study your craft. Learn what moves you as a reader, ask yourself why it moved you, and then spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how those word combinations moved you. Experiment to learn how you can create that same kind of magic for readers of your own works. Read, read, and then read some more. Find your voice. I’m still searching for mine.

TH: With writing being time-consuming, do you keep a schedule while writing, and if so, can you describe a typical writing day?

AA: On my designated writing days, my work day starts at around 9:00 AM; if I’m lucky, I can get in a half hour earlier. Mornings are my most productive work hours, so that’s where the most tends to happen. By 3:00 PM or so, my brain is ready for a break. My husband sends me reminders to eat, and I have apps that send me reminders to drink and step away from the computer. (I try not to ignore them.) Evenings are reserved for my family; after that, I’ve got another two hours to write before I go to bed and read for another 2-3 hours.

When deadlines approach, or when a particular scene needs to be written, I’m up until 2:30 AM getting it done. Writing is my job, and I treat it like one. The most dangerous thing novice writers can do is treat their writing careers like it’s a hobby.

TH: Writing habit and personal ticks, what would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

AA: I love wearing my malas when I write, one made of rose quartz and the other made of Tiger’s Eye. I’m big on crystals, and I have an amazing, inspirational assortment on my desk.

TH: Many people have said things over the years.  Some sounded smart, others wise, and some funny. What is your all-time favorite quote?

a goalAA: Because I’m bilingual, I have to pick two:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Unknown
“Hier bin ich Mensch; hier darf ich’s sein.” – Goethe

TH: Now that you have a few novels out, could you tell me do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

AA: I appreciate the time any reader takes to write a review of one of my books. This is one of the best ways to connect with an author, and so far, I focus on that.

At this point, I’m still my biggest critic, so once I put something out there and It’s actually published, I need to accept that I gave my best at that time. Every project for me is bigger, more ambitious than its predecessor. There’s no chance of me growing as an author without pushing past my self-imposed boundaries and getting out of my comfort zone. LUCK OF THE IRISH is exactly that. It’s hard to make three likable main characters when you already know that one of them will not walk away with the prize. I’m curious to hear what readers think about that.

TH: In your profile, you mentioned that you have a wide array of written work, where does all your inspiration come from to keep things fresh?

AA: I started in nonfiction, and during a very stressful time, I turned to fiction (primarily Romance) to switch gears mentally. I’m fortunate to be able to write in both worlds, so I have plenty of opportunities for continued inspiration. Primarily, my inspiration comes from my desire to help, educate, and entertain. Escapism is a necessary act within the human experience, and I love creating stories that facilitate this process.

TH: I’m sure as you write, you get more and more ideas that flood into your brain that get you excited. Do you have any plot ideas that you haven’t written about yet, if so, can you tell us about one?

AA: My ideas sit with me and incubate, sometimes for years. There’s a YA fantasy trilogy inside of me, and it’s about 7 years old now. I’m not ready to tackle it yet, but I am looking forward to the day when I will be. I just finished my first YA novel last month, working title CHRISTMAS AT LOVEMOUNT HIGH (unrelated to the trilogy). I already have the entire plot developed for the second book in that series as well.

Let me point out that I don’t yet consider myself to be a YA or FF author. Still, when characters speak to me, I have to put them in the appropriate environment.

TH: Now, the time has come! The question you are dying to answer! Your newest book. Can you tell us about your latest book?

bookcover Luck of the IrishAA: LUCK OF THE IRISH (HOLIDAY HEARTBEATS #3) is a sweet contemporary romance novella, out on August 8, 2019, but is ready for preorder. It’s the third installment of my Holiday Heartbeats series, a collection of novellas with strong, diverse characters. The stories take place in various locations throughout San Diego, California.

Nhu Hoang’s tired of putting her needs second to everyone. When her boyfriend reveals he’s still not going public about their relationship after nearly two years, she’s blindsided. She deserves better, but it’s hard letting go.

Jack can’t win. Destined to stand in his father’s shadow and continue the Smith’s political legacy, he doesn’t trust himself to do anything that could lead to disapproval. He hates hurting Nhu, but losing his father’s favor would destroy him.

Eoghan Kelly knows what he wants, and he came from Ireland to California to get it. Winning the internship isn’t a surprise, but falling for the enigmatic barista with her stack of law books is unexpected.

When Eoghan learns Nhu’s not completely over her ex, things get complicated. When he finds out her ex is his cousin, Jack, things get messy.

Only one of them can be with Nhu. Will she make the right choice?

TH: Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

lovegames-bookcoverAA: While I was writing LOVE GAMES (HOLIDAY HEARTBEATS #2), the main character Marisol was talking to her best friend, Nhu. They were both waiting for their exam results. It ended well for Mari, and I wondered what happened to Nhu.

One of my advance readers requested a continuation of Dante and Marisol’s story, suggesting that someone from their past resurfaces, causing conflict. This made me think of love triangles and the challenge writers have of writing one that isn’t cringe-worthy. That’s how Nhu’s dilemma rose to the surface.

TH: That sounds great! What did you edit out of this book?

AA: I like to point out that my Holiday Heartbeats series is a sweet-heat, closed-door romance series, also known as “clean” romance. (Calling one type of romance “clean” infers that others are “dirty,” imposing an unnecessary sense of shame on readers that I do not agree with.) In this closed-door romance series, there are plenty of hot moments that progress the story, but there are no sex scenes.

TH: Out of the three main characters in the book, who is the one that you like the best?

AA: I have to say that I really like Nhu. She has so much to gain, and it’s beautiful watching her as she slowly begins to realize it. She begins to recognize and claim her sense of self-worth, and I love how she knows from now on she’ll be happy with — or without — a man beside her.

Eoghan is so confident and easy-going, and Jack is incredibly loyal but conflicted as to where his loyalties must lie. I like that there’s no true villain here — just three people who have to make some hard choices involving people they love and don’t want to hurt, but they all know that no one will get out of this conflict unscathed.

TH: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

AA: This is another question that I appreciate. When readers finish reading LUCK OF THE IRISH, I hope they will remember that the hardest decision to make in love and life is to remember to love yourself first. By treating yourself with loving kindness, you gain a better understanding of what you want to give and receive in love. You understand that your sense of self-worth is not contingent upon being with someone in any relationship that makes you feel less than what you know you deserve.

TH: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

AA: I’m Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™ Readers can join my quarterly newsletter to get updates about new releases and giveaways. Follow my blog, atinaatwood.com for my favorite motivational and romantic quotes, as well as my latest take on current events surrounding Love, Life, and Romance. I’m most active on Twitter (@Atina_Atwood), but I’m also on Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Thanks so much for interviewing me! I hope that more people will find LUCK OF THE IRISH and get to know and love Nhu, Eoghan, and Jack as much as I do.”

– End –

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Preorder Luck of the Irish Today

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This past weekend was where we all had a chance to celebrate being Irish – or we could just claim to be Irish for a day if desired. For whatever reason, St. Patrick’s Day is one of my Daddy’s favorite holidays (hey, I may be all grown up, but he’ll always be my Daddy <3). For precisely that reason, I wanted to really do something to make the holiday even more special to me. That’s how Luck of the Irish, the third story in my Holiday Heartbeats series, was born.

luckoftheirish-png

Luck of the Irish

Spoiler alert: my heroine is not Irish. Nhu is Vietnamese-American, and I have to extend a heartfelt thanks to one of my family members for helping me infuse authentic cultural insight while fleshing out her character. Please note: While Nhu’s ethnicity is clearly an integral part of who she is, know that there is no huge banner throughout the story that is demanding intense perusal and analysis of her life as a Vietnamese-American. When she first appeared in Love Games, she was Mari’s sassy best friend (don’t we just all want one of those?!). I couldn’t stop wondering what Nhu’s bar exam results were, and when I kept thinking about her, I realized that I was even more curious to find out who she is and what’s going on in her life.

It turns out that Nhu is a young woman of true grace and grit – and in Luck of the Irish, we find out that she’s also in quite a bind. Having a complicated relationship with one person is tough enough. Just imagine the headache (and possible heartache) of having to choose between two people pursuing you at the same time.

Don’t Let Love Define You

Still, what I love most about Nhu’s story is that it’s really about her self-discovery, reclaiming her power, and establishing autonomy in all things – including her love life. As a firm believer of HEA’s or HFN’s, I’m curious to see how this love triangle mess turns out because honestly, I can totally see Nhu running away from both pursuers in favor of just loving herself for a while.

Stay tuned for Luck of the Irish, available now for preorder now wherever ebooks are sold.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Love Games (Holiday Heartbeats #2) is LIVE!!

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Love Games (Holiday Heartbeats #2) is now available wherever eBooks are sold

Love Games (New Release)

I’ve been waiting for February to come already because I just couldn’t wait to finally share Love Games with you.

Love Games (Holiday Heartbeats #2) is LIVE and available at the distributor of your choice!

It’s a sweet-heat romantic novella about an irresistible, successful, commitmentphobe and the smart, no-nonsense woman who brings him to his knees – just in time for a Valentine’s Day surprise. Dante and Marisol’s story is around 62 pages, so it’s a quick, fun read. I played with the following tropes:

  • smart, sassy heroine/successful sexy hero who’s ready to be schooled
  • all grown up/commitmentphobe
  • boss/employee’s daughter
  • close proximity
  • multicultural romance
  • “sweet-heat” romance
  • slow burn, novella-style 😉

My VIP Friends from 28 states and 11 countries received a complimentary copy of LOVE GAMES over a week before the book’s official release!

When you sign up for my mailing list, it means a lot to me, and this is one way that I happily show my appreciation. *kiss kiss* Please consider leaving your honest reviews on Goodreads. They are appreciated! 

“Sweet-Heat” Romance

I had a fun time writing these two characters, and I really like their chemistry. My Holiday Heartbeats is what I like to call a “sweet heat” series, so the characters kiss, and when they kiss, they kiss well. Ideally, I want this particular series to be accessible to readers of varying ages and backgrounds, so consider doing me a solid and share it with your friends and add the books on your bookshelf (Listopia) on Goodreads. Thank you!

Atina Atwood Love Games A Holiday Heartbeats Story

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2015-2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.