Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pepped Up - Blog Tour

Title(s): Pepped Up & All Pepped Up

Author: Ali Dean

Tour Dates: August 11-15, 2014


Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s 
willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys? 
That’s an entirely different challenge. 

Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all, 
he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town -- and he has. 

Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be). 

That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town. 

When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear. 

But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple. 


Pepper Jones knew that being Jace Wilder’s girlfriend wouldn’t be simple. 

But she didn’t predict just how many complications would arise from his past. Jealous girls? 
That she expected. Family secrets? Not so much. 

At least Pepper can always hit the trails to clear her head… except when it comes to racing. 

The high expectations from her phenomenal cross country season haunt her, and she can’t seem to get 
psyched up for track season. 

Pepper’s junior year at Brockton Public is full of challenges on and off the track, but she’s not afraid to face them. 


Zoe offers me a ride home, but Ryan jumps in, saying I’m on his way. I watch him discreetly for a moment in the car. His forehead is damp with sweat from dancing, and his blue eyes look soft and sleepy from the long day. When he glances at me, and smiles, showing off those adorable dimples, he looks so happy. And it all seems so simple with him.
He likes me. I like him.
If it wasn’t for Jace, there would be no question at all what direction things should go with Ryan and me. And what’s stopping me now?



Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband, twin babies, and golden retriever. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.


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Where are you from originally?
Vermont. Awesome place.

Tell us your latest news?
I recently had twins! A boy and a girl. They are incredibly sweet and I am totally in love with them. Aside from my adorable golden retriever (Pancake), they are my first children.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I’d make it nice and varied to stir up some interesting dinner conversations – such as EL James, Shakespeare, Jane Austen…. Maybe a “romance authors over the centuries” theme.

What are your current projects?
I’m working on the first book in a new series called “Wait and See.” I know my fans really want the next Pepped Up book, but I think I need to finish this other one first. And I have a feeling my Pepper Jones Series fans will like my new character- Darby Sawyer- just as much!

What books or authors have influenced your writing?
So many! Here are just a few – Tijan, Janet Evanovich, Rebecca Donovan, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mimi Strong, T. Torrest, Karina Halle, Kiera Cass – as you can see, though they are all romance writers, they are quite varied in genres.  I think Tijan’s writings helped me realize that it’s okay if my writing doesn’t fall neatly into one genre. Her characters are often teenagers but the writing is probably more appropriate for older readers. It makes it a little tough to advertise the books but in reality, teenagers today are dealing with a lot more R-rated material in their daily lives than parents want to admit. So, even though it might not be “suitable for readers under 18” – neither are the realities teenagers face. I like having a strong female character face these realities and make the best decisions she can.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I’m not sure… I guess I’d love to talk to any of the authors mentioned above. It’d be fun to get a sense of how they go about writing.

Tell us a little about your background. When did you start writing?
I didn’t really start writing with the intention of writing a book until a few years ago. I had an Ivy League education and I am a lawyer-so writing romance books didn’t really fit into my legal career plan. But I would read books on the bus on the way to work and get totally wrapped up in them. Once I discovered indie authors, and how easy it is to self-publish, I thought, hey! Maybe I can do this! So I started writing. And I loved it as much as I love reading! It’s refreshing to open up that creative part of my brain with no restraints when I spend most of my time in the legal world.

Where do you get your ideas?
A lot of them stem from things in my own life I’ve experienced or people I’ve met. But once I start writing, I come up with things seemingly out of the blue and when I think back, I can’t figure out where I came up with it!

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
Yup. I don’t think I realized it at the time I was writing and creating the characters, but when some of my friends or family read Pepped Up they kept asking me if so-and-so was based on them, or someone else we know. People were particularly interested if Ryan or Jace was designed after my husband! I think he’s the perfect combination of the two J

Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
Not always intentionally… but it’s inevitable that my voice comes through strongly since I write in the first person. I’ve been a competitive athlete my whole live –swimming and running as my main sports but also triathlon, soccer, skiing, tennis, and other sports as a kid. I definitely get in my own head when I write about Pepper’s competitions.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
At first, I thought I’d just buy a stock photo online somewhere and write the title on it. I tried that for about a week when I first put Pepped Up out on Kindle. It looked very unprofessional. Then I discover Sarah “Sprinklepants” (I don’t know her real last name!) at Sprinkles on Top Studios. I described to her what I had in mind, and she made it happen! She gave me a few options and feedback on my own ideas before we nailed one down.

Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?

I know that hot guys on covers really catch the eye. But I like it when the heroine is on the cover. The shirtless guy with a perfect six-pack might attract more readers, but they all kind of start to look the same after a while. I wanted a badass runner – female – instead. Though I thought about having her face, I know that a lot of people like to imagine their own characters and a cover photo of the main character’s face could ruin the fun in imagining your own Pepper Jones. Same idea with the second book. Still, I think a lot of people interested in romance might not be drawn to the book at first because it lacks a “sexy” cover. People who aren’t so hardcore about sports, but would still enjoy the series, might be intimidated but Pepper’s seriously awesome legs. I might give in and put some eye-candy on one of the covers in the future J


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