Saturday, January 21, 2012

E-Release Day for ICE (and a book giveaway!)

(I'm giving away at least one copy of ICE and maybe even the complete set of SOULFIRE books so read on to find out how to enter! The more entries, the more prizes so pass the word! Contest closes 1/26 midnight. Winner(s) announced here Friday 1/27!)

What do you see when you look at Alaskan bush pilot Cort McClaine? A hunk-o-burnin' love? A rugged man who thrives on danger and adrenaline? A resourceful survivor who has been on his own since his parents crashed and burned when he was seventeen?

Yeah, Cort has all the goods, pretty much. He'll take off in the worst weather to go rescue someone who needs saving. He'll fly all night to search for a missing climber. He'll do whatever it takes to support his business partner, or anyone else who matters to him.

Cort is entirely under control.

Except that he's not. In truth, he's a man on the edge. An adrenaline junkie who's been cruising through life, trying to fly fast enough to stay ahead of the nightmares haunting him. Things are closing down on him, though, and he's headed for a crash and burn if he doesn't get himself together.

The last thing he needs is for his worst nightmare, the personification of his haunted past, to climb into his cockpit and force him to face everything that's been ripping him apart for so long.

Too bad for Cort, that's exactly what he gets when Kaylie Fletcher hops into his plane.

Unfortunately for Kaylie, Cort is everything she can't afford. With his high-risk life, he's exactly what she has been running from since she was sixteen. All she wants is to be back in Seattle, in the safe life she carved out for herself, a life where no one else that she loves has to die.

When she gets a call that the last of her family has gone missing on Denali, Kaylie must head to Alaska to find out what happened to them, a trip that forces her to face the life that nearly broke her ten years ago. With her ruggedly sexy pilot tempting her with long looks and devastating kisses, and a dangerous stalker tracking them, Kaylie's safe little existence is shattered in an instant.  Suddenly, she's on the run, she's fighting for her life and for answers about her missing family, and she's struggling desperately to hold onto her heart before Cort can shatter it forever.

Join Cort and Kaylie as they fight for their lives with a passion that will either destroy them both forever, or give them each a chance to finally live the life they were meant to live.

Interested to read more about Cort and Kaylie? Here's a brief excerpt from ICE:

Kaylie's hands were shaking as she rifled through her bag, searching for her yoga pants. She needed the low-slung black ones with a light pink stripe down the side. The cuffs were frayed from too many wearings to the grocery store late at night for comfort food, and they were her go-to clothes when she couldn't cope. Like now.
She couldn't find them.
"Come on!" Kaylie grabbed her other suitcase and dug through it, but they weren't there. "Stupid pants! I can't—" A sob caught at her throat and she pressed her palms to her eyes, trying to stifle the swell of grief. "Sara—"
Her voice was a raw moan of pain, and she sank to the thick shag carpet. She bent over as waves of pain, of loneliness, of utter grief shackled her. For her parents, her brother, her family and now Sara—
Dear God, she was all alone.
"Dammit, Kaylie! Get up!" she chided herself. She wrenched herself to her feet. "I can do this." She grabbed a pair of jeans and a silk blouse off the top of her bag and turned toward the bathroom. One step at a time. A shower would make her feel better.
She walked into the tiny bathroom, barely noticing the heavy wood door as she stepped inside and flicked the light switch. Two bare light bulbs flared over her head, showing a rustic bathroom with an ancient footed tub and a raw wood vanity with a battered porcelain sink. A tiny round window was on her right. It was small enough to keep out the worst of the cold, but big enough to let in some light and breeze in the summer.
She was in Alaska, for sure. God, what was she doing here?
Kaylie tossed the clean clothes on the sink and unzipped her jacket, dropping it on the floor. She tugged all her layers off, including the light blue sweater that had felt so safe this morning when she'd put it on. She stared grimly at her black lace bra, so utterly feminine, exactly the kind of bra that her mother had always considered frivolous and completely impractical. Which it was. Which was why that was the only style Kaylie ever wore.
She should never have come to Alaska. She didn't belong here. She couldn't handle this. Kaylie gripped the edge of the sink. Her hands dug into the wood as she fought against the urge to curl into a ball and cry.
After a minute, Kaylie lifted her head and looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were wide and scared, with dark circles beneath. Her hair was tangled and flattened from her wool hat. There was dirt caked on her cheeks.
Kaylie rubbed her hand over her chin, and the streaks of mud didn't come off.
She tried again, then realized she had smudges all over her neck. She turned on the water, and wet her hands...and saw her hands were covered as well.
Stunned, Kaylie stared as the water ran over her hands, turning pink as it swirled in the basin.
Not dirt.
Sara's blood.
"Oh, God." Kaylie grabbed a bar of soap and began to scrub her hands. But the blood was dried, stuck to her skin. "Get off!" She rubbed frantically, but the blackened crust wouldn't come off. Her lungs constricted and she couldn't breathe. "I can't—"
The door slammed open, and Cort stood behind her, wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
The tears burst free at the sight of Cort, and Kaylie held up her hands to him. "I can't get it off—"
"I got it." Cort took her hands and held them under the water, his grip warm and strong. "Take a deep breath, Kaylie. It's okay."
"It's not. It won't be." She leaned her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes as he washed her hands roughly and efficiently. His muscles flexed beneath her cheek, his skin hot through his shirt. Warm. Alive. "Sara's dead," she whispered. "My parents. My brother. They're all gone. The blood—" Sobs broke free again, and she couldn't stop the trembling.
"I know. I know, babe." He pulled her hands out from under the water and grabbed a washcloth. He turned her toward him and began to wash her face and neck.
His eyes were troubled, his mouth grim. But his hands were gentle where he touched her, gently holding her face still while he scrubbed. His gaze flicked toward hers, and he held contact for a moment, making her want to fall into those brown depths and forget everything. To simply disappear into the energy that was him. "You have to let them go," he said. "There's nothing you can do to bring them back—"
"No." A deep ache pounded at Kaylie's chest and her legs felt like they were too weak to support her. "I can't. Did you see Sara? And Jackson? His throat—" She bent over, clutching her stomach. "I—"
Cort's arms were suddenly around her, warm and strong, pulling her against his solid body. Kaylie fell into him, the sobs coming hard, the memories—
"I know." Cort's whisper was soft, his hand in her hair, crushing her against him. "It sucks. Goddamn, it sucks."
Kaylie heard his grief in the raw tone of his voice and realized his body was shaking as well. She looked up and saw a rim of red around his eyes, shadows in the hollows of his whiskered cheeks. "You know," she whispered, knowing with absolute certainty that he did. He understood the grief consuming her.
"Yeah." He cupped her face, staring down at her, his grip so tight it was almost as desperate as she felt. She could feel his heart beating against her nearly bare breasts, the rise of his chest as he breathed, the heat of his body warming the deathly chill from hers.
For the first time in forever, she suddenly didn't feel quite as alone.
In her suffering, she had company. Someone who knew. Who understood. Who shared her pain. It had been so long since the dark cavern surrounding her heart had lessened, since she hadn't felt consumed by the loneliness, but with Cort holding her...there was a flicker of light in the darkness trying to take her. "Cort—"
He cleared his throat. "I gotta go check the chili." He dropped his hands from her face and stood up to go, pulling away from her.
Without his touch, the air felt cold and the anguish returned full force. Kaylie caught his arm. "Don't go—" She stopped, not sure what to say, what to ask for. All she knew was that she didn't want him to leave, and she didn't want him to stop holding her.
Cort turned back to her, and a muscle ticked in his cheek.
For a moment, they simply stared at each other. She raised her arms. "Hold me," she whispered. "Please."
He hesitated for a second, and then his hand snaked out and he shackled her wrist. He yanked once, and she tumbled into him. Their bodies smacked hard as he caught her around the waist, his hands hot on her bare back.
She threw her arms around his neck and sagged into him. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly against him. With only her bra and his T-shirt between them, the heat of his body was like a furnace, numbing her pain. His name slipped out in a whisper, and she pressed her cheek against his chest. She focused on his masculine scent. She took solace in the feel of another human's touch, in the safety of being held in arms powerful enough to ward off the grief trying to overtake her.
His hand tunneled in her hair, and he buried his face in the curve of her neck, his body shaking against hers.
"Cort—" She started to lift her head to look at him, to see if he was crying, but he tightened his grip on her head, forcing her face back to his chest, refusing to allow her to look at him.
Keeping her out.
Isolating her.
She realized he wasn't a partner in her grief. She was alone, still alone, always alone.
All the anguish came cascading back. Raw loneliness surged again, and she shoved away from him as sobs tore at her throat. She couldn't deal with being held by him when the sense of intimacy was nothing but an illusion. "Leave me alone."
Kaylie whirled away from him, keeping her head ducked. She didn't want to look at him. She needed space to find her equilibrium again and rebuild her foundation.
"Damn it, Kaylie." Cort grabbed her arm and spun her back toward him.
She held up her hands to block him, her vision blurred by the tears streaming down her face. "Don't—"
His arms snapped around her and he hauled her against him even as she fought his grip. "No! Leave me alone—"
His mouth descended on hers.
Not a gentle kiss.
A kiss of desperation and grief and need. Of the need to control something. Of raw human passion for life, for death, for the touch of another human being.
And it broke her.

Cort and Kaylie must both overcome their haunted pasts in order to survive, something that many of us must do.  What have you had to overcome to get where you are today? Or what are you still working on? Leave a comment, and be entered to win one a copy of ICE in either Kindle or Nook format (your choice). For every 15 comments, I will add another copy of ICE to the pot, up to five books, so spread the word to increase your chances! How cool is that? And if I get 100 comments, I will also give away the whole set of SOULFIRE BOOKS to a grand prize winner (ebook or hard copy).

Check out the original cover of ICE from the paperback version and compare it to the new one. Which do you like better?
ICE was originally published in 2009 in mass market paperback by Dorchester Publishing. This it its first publication in electronic format, and it has updated content and fantastic new cover art.

BIO: Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty published books with major New York publishers, including HarperCollins, Grand Central and Harlequin. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. Stephanie writes romance (paranormal, contemporary and suspense), teen fiction, middle grade fiction and inspirational non-fiction. A former attorney, Stephanie lives in Boston where she is actively working on her next projects, which include CHILL, the second book in her Alaska Heat romantic suspense series (Feb 2012), and the launch of her new dark paranormal series The Order of the Blade, which will be launching in February and March with a trilogy. The next Soulfire book, SEIZE WITH YOUR KISS, will be out in Summer 2012. For more information on Stephanie, visit


Tamara Hoffa said...

Love the new cover!

Melissa P said...

I loved the first one..I am going to have to get this one. I am so excitted to see the changes.

SandyG265 said...

I was very shy in school so when I was in college I got a job in retail to force myself to deal with people.

Sue Sattler said...

Right now I am working on who the new me is going to be after severe PTSD took my son Jan 2, 2011. I can relate to your excerpt, grief sucks. This book is going to the top of my wish list. Thank you.


Brenda Hyde said...

The new cover is AMAZING-- I love it. This is going to be a tear jerker. I can just tell:)

princessrose said...

I can't wait to read this book. Love the cover and Alaska is just awesome.

booklover said...

Love the cover. Can't wait to read this one!

Stephanie Rowe said...

Thanks, Tammie!

Let me know what you think, Melissa! CHILL is even more different than the original, so I'm excited for that one, too!

Wow, Sandy, that's super brave of you! Did it help?

Oh, Sue, I'm so sorry. What a difficult journey you are on. I wish you all the best.

Thanks, Brenda! I think the artist did a wonderful job. And yes, there might be a few tears shed while reading ICE. But lots of excitement, too!

Thanks, Princess Rose & Booklover!

Sharon said...

well, I will have to go with the new cover because I also know all the hard work that went into picking it! You were patient and didn't settle till you were happy. It does the story justice :) congrats! I'll be sure to spread the word
(don't enter me cause that would be silly ;)

Stephanie Rowe said...

Oh, Sharon, you were so helpful on the cover. It sure was a long road to get it worked out, but I'm so happy with how it came out, and you deserve some credit for it! You are the best!

Red said...

Hm. Both covers are nice but I think I like the first one. Just something about it :)

I think the biggest thing was doing something on my own without my family name influencing it. I moved away for college and started my own business completely separate from any family ties. Was stressful but worth it.

CrystalGB said...

Love the new cover. Ice sounds amazing.

slappylilly said...

i like the older cover, And I excited about the changes.

Stephanie Rowe said...

HI Red! Thanks for your note! Congrats on choosing a life for yourself. That is not easy. Great job!

Thanks, Crystal!

Thanks, Pam! It's fun to hear people's opinions on the covers!

1 more comment and I'll be adding a second copy of ICE to the pot. Spread the word!

skyla11377 said...

I love the new cover of Ice better than the original. Ice sounds like a really great book and I really enjoyed the excerpt. I would so love to win a copy.


Karen Bryant Doering said...

I love the new cover, much more interesting. Good luck on the e-release.

Beverly said...

Both covers look great. I would have had a hard time deciding between them. I have been shy with strangers my whole life. It is hard for me to be outgoing especially in new situations. I try to force myself to put myself out there as I need to for work. I generally have to feel comfortable to come out of my shell, but look out when I do!

kathy nigro said...

Love the cover. Can't wait to read the book.Glad you waited to show the cover and loved the count down.Kathy Nigro

Na said...

Both covers are lovely and I like the older cover slightly more. It's simple but eye-catching and less common. I do like the details in the new one though :) Either way the blurb makes me want to read it!


Michelle said...

I like both covers but I love the guy's eyes on the new one. Very intense :)


Sebrina said...

Although the original is pretty cool, I do like the newer one even better.
The book sounds awesome, thank you for the chance at winning a copy.
Sebrina_Cassity at yahoo dot com

tanja haack said...

I've had quite a bit to overcome, but I'm a work in progress. BTW, I like the first cover better.

emulie said...

I love the new cover. There is so much going on that it makes me want to pick up the book to discover the details!

Stephanie Rowe said...

Hi Skyla! Thanks for stopping by and for voting on the cover. Good luck!

Thanks, Karen!

Hi Beverly, thanks for sharing your story. I'm the same way with strangers, and I'm impressed how hard you've worked to overcome it. Nice job!

Thanks, Kathy, for stopping by and for your good advice to wait on the cover. You were right!

Hi Na, those are great points about the old cover. Good thoughts! I'm glad you like the blurb! 

Hi Michelle, I agree about his eyes. That's what sold me on using that guy for the cover. He's wicked intense! 

Hi Sebrina, Thanks so much for your comments! Good luck! P.S. That is a really cool way to spell your name.

Hi Tanja, I hear you on the work in progress. I'm the same way. Each month, I'm a little bit better, so I keep focused on the overall forward movement, even when I have tough days. Big hugs!

Oh, cool, Emulie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like the way you described it!

princessrose said...

Can't wait to read this book. I love Alaska and the cover is just screaming "READ ME!"

Rosanne said...

Love the new cover!

Rhapsdyb said...

I actually like the new cover better because of the man candy on the front, lol. Thanks for a chance to win.

Michelle Bledsoe said...

I like the new cover. The man on front is Yummilicious...LOL
Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

Melissa P said...

I am on pins and needles waiting...sadly I have to wait for payday to get it...but I will. I cannot wait to reread it. I do love the new cover by the way. B-)

Shelley B said...

I like a cover to show both the hero and heroine.

blackroze37 AT said...

the new one

Foxygirl said...

looks like a great book. and I also love the cover... Shannon S.

Ren said...

Read the excerpt and sound interesting!
Can I have the man at the cover? :O

Melissa P said...

okay payday needs to hurry up and get here...this is killing badly want to start reading..B-)

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