Thursday, November 12, 2015

All the Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty

Title: All the Way to Heaven
Author: Becky Doughty
Series: Fallout #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: November 2, 2015


Summary:
Anica Tomlin, business major, has just learned that the man she’s been planning her future around, her Global Finance professor, already has a beautiful wife and family. Ani cashes in her graduation gift to herself a little early—a trip to Tuscany—but from the moment she boards the wrong train in Pisa, her plans for solitude and self-indulgence begin to unravel around her.

When a bicycle accident thrusts Ani into the skilled hands of the dashing Dr. Cosimo Lazzaro, she reluctantly accepts his invitation to recover in his family’s country villa, perched on a hilltop surrounded by the Lazzaro olive groves. But it’s been a black year for olive growers all over Italy, and generations of tradition are being put to the test like never before.

Ani is swept up in the drama of life in Tuscany, the convergence of old and new, and the passions that drive people to pursue the desires of their hearts. Just as Ani begins to get her feet under her again, an unexpected turn of events leaves her doubting the very existence of happily-ever-after, unless she can learn to trust the desires of her own heart.

Although All the Way to Heaven is a stand-alone novel, it is the first book in The Fallout Series, a collection of sweet contemporary romances that follow characters featured in the first book.



Hi Padme,
Thanks for opening your online home to me!

P: What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre? 
B: I love coming-of-age romance novels because I feel like a huge part of “coming of age” is discovering what we really want out of our relationships—our friends, our family, our lovers. The decisions we make as we step out on our own will shape us and mold us into what we’ll be for the rest of our lives. And I love writing about hope, and about second and third chances, and about love—things we all need in order to get up and live each day. Someday I want to try my hand at world-building, but for now, I look around me and see a world that already exists; one in desperate need of hope, and second and third chances, and love, you know? So, for now, until the muse steers me in another direction, those are the stories I write. J

P: When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
B: Oh, definitely the moment of conception of a story idea—it’s like one of those cartoon lightbulb moments. Ping! There’s a story here, Becky! Grab it, quick, before it finds someone else who will tell it! Oh, the endless possibilities in that moment! What a rush! Most of my ideas come to me like “thought photographs,” or like short video clips. I’ll pass someone who’s crying alone, or a man and woman in a car turned away from each other, an unusual setting, and suddenly, I’m off to the races to uncork the story behind that moment. Quite often, my ideas are born out of the tail-end of a dream. All the Way to Heaven was triggered by a dream—I came awake to the sound of a woman singing outside my window. (The dream was actually triggered by a memory of my own trip to Lucca, so it was really disconcerting at first!) I lay there listening for a few moments before I realized it had been a dream, but I took that “clip” and built a story around it. If you’ve read All the Way to Heaven, I included that moment in the book: Ani, too, is awakened on her first morning in Lucca by the melodious voice of Madalina Poptelecon singing Puccini below her window.

P: When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
B: I’m a multi-genre girl, so for someone like me, the question might be better answered by what I don’t read. I don’t care for horror (although I have been known to devour some Stephen King and Clive Barker now and again) or erotica, mainly because I don’t care for the gratuitous nature of either one. I don’t take issue with them, and I’ll be the last person to get on a soapbox about advisory labels and art and self-expression. I’m just talking about my personal preference. I also almost never read nonfiction. I don’t care for memoirs (unless they’re fiction or turned into a movie), and I don’t care for self-help or how-to books that are longer than 10 pages. If you can’t tell me how to fix something or do something differently in 10 pages or less, I’ll find someone else who can. It’s called “googling” right? But otherwise, I’ll read almost any author at least once. In fact, I tend to get on author kicks. If I find a book I love, regardless of genre, I tend to grab up all the other books available by that same author and dig in. I do prefer a storyline that includes romance, although it certainly doesn’t have to be central to the plot, and I do prefer happy endings. I don’t mind if someone dies, as long as the characters (and me, the reader) are left with hope!

P: If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
B: Off the top of my head, Amy Harmon. I read her books as quickly as she writes them. In fact, I think her books are great examples of what I talked about earlier—characters finding ways to rise above the odds while staying true to themselves. And she does romance so deliciously, too! J

P: Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
B: Always. I’ve always written. Publishing has come to me later in life, but writing has always been a part of who I am.

Thanks again for having me! I enjoyed your thoughtful questions!
Becky

Author Bio:
Becky Doughty is the author of the best-selling Elderberry Croft series, The Gustafson Girls series, Waters Fall, and more. She’s also the voice behind BraveHeart Audiobooks. She writes Women’s Fiction with strong elements of romance, as well as Young Adult and New Adult Fiction. Becky’s favorite people are edge-dwellers, those who live on that fine line where hope and despair meet, where love is the only answer and grace becomes truly amazing. Becky is married to her champion of more than 25 years. They have three children, two of whom are grown and starting families of their own, and they all live within a few miles of each other in Southern California. They share their lives with too many animals, a large vegetable garden, and a strange underground concrete room they’re certain was built for dark and sinister purposes….


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Brought to you by: 

Redeeming Hope by Shell Taylor

Summary:
Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.

A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.

When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.


I don't even know where to start.  First off, for a debut author this book rocks all my emotional sensors and I can't wait to see what she brings us in the future.  At the base of this story is Adam's need to help the LGTBQ+ youth but we soon learn that The Center for HOPE helps not only the youth but also the adults that are involved in the center.  When Kirstin and Kollin come into Langley Lumber with brochures for the center and an upcoming fundraiser, they have no idea how all their lives are about to change including the lives of the Langley family.  Elijah gave up on a part of himself when he lost his boyfriend many years ago, watching him find that part of himself again is an emotional roller coaster that is equally heartbreaking and awe inspiring.  That's about all I'm going to say in regards to the plot because as I often say, "I don't do spoilers" but I will say the characters are perfect.  When most people think of perfect they think of utopian but I think of flaws, strengths, pros and cons and the way the author meshes that all together and Miss Taylor does that amazingly well.  She told me last night that Resurrecting Hope, Adam's story, is due out on Christmas Day - talk about a great stocking stuffer.

RATING: 

Prologue
ELI CLUTCHED the glossy eight-by-ten as tears welled in his eyes. He could hardly believe the emaciated, washed-out figure in the picture was the same person he’d centered his entire world around just a few weeks earlier. Eli would recognize that face anywhere. God knows, he’d spent enough time staring at it—running his fingers over those soft lips, sucking on the kidney-shaped birthmark just below the ear. He never imagined he’d see those eyes so lifeless.

“It’s him,” Eli whispered, dropping the picture on the officer’s desk.

His mother rested a hand on his shoulder. “E.J.—”

“Don’t pretend to care, now that he’s dead.” Eli shrugged out of her grasp and clenched his jaw to hold in the gut-wrenching sobs brewing in his chest. “Will I need to identify the body in person too?”

The officer avoided Eli’s eyes, but his voice was kind. “If you’re certain, this is good enough for us. He’ll be released in the next thirty-six hours. Will you be claiming him, or will the city keep him?”

Eli’s eyes widened, and panic ripped through his heart. He’d never expected the search to end with a dead body, and there was no way he’d be able to give his boyfriend the funeral he deserved—the one Eli owed him for his own part in Brian’s death. Prepared to beg, he turned and met his father’s eyes for the first time since Brian disappeared from their house almost three weeks earlier.

“We’ll take care of his arrangements.” Eli’s mother spoke quietly but firmly, and his father dipped his chin in silent agreement.

Relief carried Eli back to his parents’ car, but grief consumed him as soon as he slid into the back seat. Burying his head in his knees, he shut out the rest of the world. Eli didn’t leave the quiet safety of the car until long after he arrived home, his cheeks crusted with salty tears from mourning the loss of the future he’d been so sure of.


Chapter 1
SOMETIMES LIFE just sucked.

There was no rhyme or reason for why good things happened to bad people—or why bad things happened to good people, for that matter. Karma was nothing more than a myth, made up to trick everyone into doing good deeds. Life consisted of a random series of events that would inevitably occur whether you were generous enough to hold doors open for complete strangers or selfish enough to jam the Close elevator button when your boss came running around the corner.

But on days like this, Elijah couldn’t help but wonder what the fuck he’d done to deserve the shitfest that had been dumped on him.

It started on his morning commute when the moron in front of him slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a squirrel—a fucking squirrel—forcing Elijah to swerve off the road and spill hot coffee all over his Dior slacks. Fortunately Elijah kept a spare suit in his office, but as soon as he sat down at his desk, he was assaulted with a list of ten “friendly” reminders from the “former but not quite ready to give it up” CEO of Langley Lumber and Construction—also known as his father. Then the head of his accounting department—the man he’d been training to officially take over the role of CFO so Elijah could cease wearing both hats—put in his two weeks’ notice.


When a conference call ran over, Elijah missed lunch. By the time some environmentalist freak who didn’t think Langley Lumber was doing enough to save the planet showed up in his reception area, he wasn’t even surprised that she’d demanded an audience with “whoever’s in charge.”

Elijah was tired. His nerves were shot, and for the first time in… well, ever… he wanted to cut out of work early, go home, and do absolutely nothing. But it was Wednesday, which meant dinner with his parents, and they always ended the same way—a lecture from his father about everything Elijah needed to do for the business and apologetic looks from his mother while she sipped her wine.

Shoving the cuff of his shirt back to check the time, Elijah saw he still had twenty minutes before his next appointment, and he needed a break to survive his last meeting as much as he needed a quick bite to eat. Shrugging on his suit jacket, he walked down the short hall to reception.

Elijah rapped one finger on his secretary’s desk. “Sherri, I’m heading to Etman’s to get a sandwich. I should be back in time for the four-thirty meeting. If I’m not, tell them to start without me.”

Oblivious to his sour mood, Sherri offered her tight, patented almost-smile and nodded.

Elijah dipped his chin once, a habit he’d only grudgingly acquired from his father, and started toward the door. He stopped in his tracks when the front doors opened and laughter ushered two strangers inside. A young woman, maybe midtwenties, with a pretty, oval face and choppy, shoulder-length blondish-brown hair nudged the kid beside her as if reprimanding him for whatever he’d just said. When she turned her smile toward Elijah, her entire face lit up, making her even prettier than Elijah had first thought. But once he got a good look at the kid beside her, she could’ve been J. Lo and Elijah wouldn’t have noticed. The kid’s hair was different—darker, shorter, and artfully swept to the side—but Elijah would have sworn he was staring at a younger version of the guy he once thought he’d spend his life with.

“Hi,” the woman chirped to Sherri. “I’m Kirsten and this is Kollin. We’re making rounds in the neighborhood, dropping off some information about The Center for HOPE. It’s the LGBT center over on Leftwich. HOPE stands for Healing, Opportunity, Protection, and Equality, and we’re committed to providing a safe place for queer youth to feel accepted and help prepare them for their futures. We’re having a fundraiser in a few weeks to purchase the old Tarboro Inn just down the street from us. We thought it would also be a great opportunity to bring awareness to the community about what HOPE is and what we do.”

She spoke quickly, but Elijah didn’t get the impression it was out of nervousness. He couldn’t say for sure. His eyes stayed glued on the boy she introduced as Kollin.

Kollin shrugged off his book bag and pulled out several information pamphlets. He handed one to Sherri and then turned to Elijah and gave him a curious once-over.

“Nice suit. Dior?”

Elijah nodded once and offered a rare, small smile. “Impressive.”

Kollin raised his shoulder and gestured toward his own outfit—burnt orange pants, a white hippie shirt, and black suspenders he somehow managed to make look good. “I’m into fashion.”

“Ah, I see that,” Elijah replied.

He held out another pamphlet. “You want one of these too?”

Elijah took the paper and glanced at the front page. “You look a little young to work for a place like this.”

“I’m just helping Kirsten out today. She can’t go anywhere by herself apparently.” Kollin raised his voice enough to catch Kirsten’s attention, making her hip-check him in the middle of her conversation with Sherri but not slowing her down at all. “But I’m also one of the impressionable young minds who benefits from everything HOPE has to offer.” He rolled his eyes, but the warmth of his smile told Elijah the kid was grateful for the center.

“You are, huh?” Elijah waved the pamphlet around. “So, what’s the plan for the Tarboro Inn?”

“Adam wants to renovate all the rooms and set up some kind of system so homeless youth can have a safe place to stay. He wants to help them find work and all that. Give ’em a chance to get back on their feet.”

Elijah nodded, once again impressed. What Kollin described was no small undertaking, but if successful… well, his life would’ve been a lot different if something like that had been around seventeen years earlier. He had no business asking something so personal, but as he glanced back at Kollin’s too-familiar face, he couldn’t help himself. “And will you be needing the inn?”

Flashing him a bright smile, Kollin shook his head. When he spoke, the sarcastic lilt was back in his voice. “My parents tolerate me well enough, as long as I don’t wear the suspenders in the house.”

Elijah huffed out a laugh.

“Ready, kiddo?” Kirsten asked, grabbing the back of his shirt.

“Yes, ma’am. Nice meeting you, sir.”

Elijah shook Kollin’s hand and thanked him, purposely not introducing himself. Even if Kollin hadn’t reminded him of Brian, Elijah would have found him to be a breath of fresh air—once he got over the initial shock of staring his past in the face, that is. Kollin was comfortable in his own skin and didn’t seem to give two shits what anyone else thought of him. Elijah didn’t want the kid to know he’d just made one of the most influential men in Cary nearly speechless.

“Mr. Langley, sir?” Sherri stared at him, a questioning look on her face as Kollin and Kirsten left his building. “Would you like me to run down to Etman’s and get you that sandwich? Your meeting starts soon.”

Elijah’s gaze strayed to the clock on the wall. He’d spent over half of his break talking to Kollin. “No thank you. I’ll find something in my office.”

Elijah tapped the pamphlet on Sherri’s desk and went back to his office to review its contents. He showed up at his final meeting of the day almost ten minutes late and still hungry.


IF ELIJAH’S parents noticed how distracted he was at dinner that night, they didn’t mention it. They also didn’t question why he wanted to go through his old room when he excused himself after dinner. His parents had redecorated immediately after he moved out of the house, so it looked nothing like the room he’d grown up in. He found the box he was looking for shoved into the very back corner of his old closet, and briefly considered grabbing the other two as well, but he childishly decided he liked the idea of inconveniencing his parents.

Elijah placed a kiss on his mother’s cheek and assured his father he’d prepared for the quarterly board meeting the following day. He dropped the box in the passenger seat of his Lexus and spent the short drive home wondering what in the hell he was doing. He’d quickly learned that the only way to move past Brian’s death was to pretend he’d never existed. It had been over fifteen years since Elijah locked his past away in his childhood bedroom closet and metaphorically thrown away the key. He knew leaving his past in the past was the smartest thing he could do, but he couldn’t stop himself from plowing forward when he had that old box within arm’s reach.

At home, Elijah poured himself two fingers of scotch from his fully stocked bar and stared at the black and red Air Jordan shoebox on his coffee table. He took a healthy swig of his drink, topped it off again, and sank into the couch. Steepling his fingers, Elijah eyed the top warily and wondered what fresh hell awaited him. As he gently removed the lid, he immediately regretted his decision to take a trip down memory lane.

Staring up at him was the seventeen-year-old version of himself. His smile was huge, and he had a basketball tucked under one arm, but all Elijah could see was the boy tucked under his other arm. Instead of looking at the camera, Brian was grinning up at Elijah, the smile on his face betraying how utterly smitten he’d been. Elijah had always loved that picture. While he’d never considered himself closeted—more like careful—that particular picture told the truth about what he and Brian really were to one another.

The alcohol in Elijah’s stomach swirled around, and he shoved the top back on the box, unable to look into those trusting blue eyes any longer. He pushed it farther away, stood, and ran his hands through his hair. What the fuck was he thinking when he grabbed that box? He hadn’t been able to deal with Brian’s death when he was seventeen, and he sure as hell hadn’t done anything since to change that.

Clearly time didn’t heal all wounds.

Elijah stripped off his suit as he climbed the stairs to his bedroom and carelessly tossed the discarded clothes into a pile outside his closet door. Kollin’s flippant comment about his parents merely tolerating him popped into his mind. Elijah didn’t know the kid from Joe Blow on the street, but he couldn’t help wondering how much truth lurked behind his facetious words. His heart twisted at the thought of Kollin ending up like Brian. Had anything improved? Were there more places like The Center for HOPE? Was it easier to be a gay teenager today than it was fifteen years before? Elijah had no idea, but he was damn sure going to find out.

Author Bio:
Shell Taylor is a full-time mother of three exuberant and loving kiddos and one fur baby, a tiny but fierce Yorkie-poo named Rocco. As a Christian who practices love, grace, and humility rather than hatred and judgement, she tries her best to instill these same virtues in her rowdy kids. She just recently learned how to crochet to start bombarding new mothers with matching hats and booties. She is a huge Marvel fan and because of the superhero-plastered tees paired with jeans and Chucks has been told when helping out in her son’s classroom that she looks more like the students than a parent. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to binge watch entire seasons on Netflix. Best of all, she’s been married ten years to a man who’s turned out to be everything she never knew she needed.


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Pre-Release Blitz: Mischief Under the Mistletoe

Title: Mischief Under the Mistletoe
Authors: Kristin Miller, Claudy Conn, Melanie James
Mindy Klasky, Holly S. Roberts, Stephanie Rowe, Diane Rinella
Kate Angell, Kimberly Kincaid, J.D. Tyler, Robin Covington
Suzanne Ferrell, Kathy Ivan, Selena Laurence, Jennie Marts
Teri Riggs, Jennifer Theriot, MJ Fredrick & Deb Julienne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date: November 17, 2015
Summary:
Nineteen All New Contemporary holiday hotties, just waiting to be unwrapped from your favorite NY Times, USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award Winning Authors. This anthology won't last long. Grab it while it's HOT!

Books Included:
The Bad Boy Meets his Match by Kristin Miller
When lingerie-store owner Cora Brennan plans a getaway at a quaint mountain retreat, she never expects to reunite with the playboy she spent a memorable night with in college. Can they finally admit their true feelings for each other before love is lost to them again?


Collide & Burn by Claudy Conn
Charlie knows when she first sees Wade Devon that he is
trouble. Wade likes to win. It is what he does and he wants her...no strings attached. She has to ask herself, should she, or shouldn't she.


Snowflakes, Exes, and Ohs by Melanie James
With two men vying for her affection, Abbie's heart is torn between the two. One has always been there for her, no matter what. The other left when she needed him the most.


Fly Me to the Moon by Mindy Klasky
Lexi thinks she's recovered from the fire that burned her years ago. But when she falls for PTSD-ridden army veteran Finn, she learns how deep some scars can be.


Ruck by Holly S. Roberts
Van, one of the best players in rugby and the hottest player between the sheets is looking for a holiday miracle. His brother won the girl and Van's heart is broken. Could the gift of a lifetime be his for the taking or will this bad boy ruck it up again?


Wrapped Up In You by Stephanie Rowe
Can the Christmas magic of a coastal Maine island heal two broken souls when a winter storm strands them together?


It's A Marshmallow World by Diane Rinella
One Christmas, Darla was given a mystical gift, along with an ominous message. Years later, meeting Chris puts her head in a spin. Could it be that gift from long ago holds the key to their happiness?


Snow One Like You by Kate Angell
A Vermont Christmas Eve blizzard forces Allie to close Hartley's General Store. Her best friend Rhys arrives by snowmobile, not wanting her to endure the snowstorm alone. A playful kiss under the mistletoe warms more than their hearts.


Play Me by Kimberly Kincaid
Sophie Drayton has seen enough of the wild life to know that Emilio Barrett is bad news. But the sexy stripper has secrets of his own. Will Sophie's past come back to haunt her, or will Emilio prove that a bad boy can be also be a good man?


One Last Miracle by J.D.Tyler
After a case gone horribly wrong, FBI Agent Mark McClendon retreats to his late grandfather's isolated cabin, determined to escape his pain. He's completely unprepared to find himself falling for his pretty new neighbor--but when the past comes gunning for him, Mark's newfound love may mean the difference between a second tragedy and a holiday miracle.


When You Open Your Eyes by Robin Covington
War tore Gabe and Ellie apart and three years later, he's almost given up any hope that she'll come back to him. When she returns just before the holidays, he wants nothing more for the damaged, stubborn woman he loves to stay forever but she's ready to run as soon as the gifts are opened. Chased by her nightmares, Gabe's only hope of keeping Ellie is to convince her that he'll be there when she opens her eyes.


Close To The Mistletoe by Suzanne Ferrell
When teacher Holly Murphy walks into Westen's only bar to help her friend celebrate a divorce, she doesn't expect hot carpenter Nick Fisher to save her from an embarrassing situation. His heated kisses awakens something deep inside her, but when someone sets his sights on Holly, will Nick be the one to protect her close to the mistletoe?


Yours For The Holidays by Kathy Ivan
At her hospital's annual Bachelor Auction, event organizer, Dr. Alanna Reeves, is blindsided when the tables are turned and Blake Donovan offers a huge donation--for her! Can a trip to Florida for the holidays help them discover their true feelings or drive them apart forever?


Prince of the Press by Selena Laurence
Marcus Ambrose, the newest face in political media, is one hot ticket. But when he meets his brother's down-to-earth secretary Renee, his own heart takes a knock. Can Marcus's famous 'full-court press' convince the woman of his dreams to take a shot at love?


Worth the Shot by Jennie Marts
Addison Cavanaugh had one rule: Do not date hockey players. So kissing the newest trade to her dad's team should have been off-limits--even if he is hot enough to melt the ice. Is the new player worth the shot or is she is risking her heart in a game she can't possibly win?


Finding True's Love by Teri Riggs
Six months after True's last boss viciously attacked her, she's ready to take her therapist's advice and go back into the work force. She wants her life to be normal again and working for another man will be a giant step towards that goal.

Nick has been betrayed by a pretty face for the last time and has sworn off relationships. Or so he thought until the day his new assistant, True Kelly, walked into his office.

Unwrapping Noel by Jennifer Theriot
Noel Calabrese hates Christmas as much as she hates her life. While in the Napa Valley on a business trip, she meets Leon Hallas. Could this sexy, silver fox be her ticket to happiness?


Bluestone Christmas by MJ Fredrick
Come back to Bluestone, Minnesota for Christmas, where single mom Willow Branson has moved from Texas to make a home with her daughter. But moving from a Texas winter to a Minnesota one is more challenging than she expected, and handsome handyman Chase Granzer is more than happy to help her adapt...and keep her warm.

All I Want For Christmas by Deb Julienne
Rafe Donnelly hates everything to do with the holidays. Ali Sanders is a single mother, juggling two jobs and missing most of her son's childhood. Who knew a little boy's Santa wish could change so many lives?


Author Bios:
Kristin Miller
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

Claudy Conn
Some may know Claudy Conn as Claudette Williams/Melanie Davis, two names she used when publishing her regency and historical romances, with Random House, Zebra and Doubleday.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes historical and regency romances, has stepped into the world of paranormal romance as well, with her hits such as The Legend Series, Through Time Series and the Shadow Series.

We asked what does she do when she isn't writing and she tells us, she and her hot husband love hiking, swimming, traveling and playing with their variety of animals--wolf Cherokee and her now overgrown hybrid pup, Rocky the Man, included. Her favorite things she says are, chocolate, fries and pizza.

Melanie James
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, Melanie James spent 14 years as an IT systems administrator before tiring of the hustle and bustle of the technology world. She's doing what she loves, by writing paranormal comedy, steamy paranormal, and contemporary romance books. Melanie has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Leadership and Development, with a minor in Women's Studies. She is working on her Master's Degree in Adult Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Melanie is married to a wonderful man who supports her dreams and goals. She has two children, three step-children, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and an adorable grand-baby.

Mindy Klasky
USA Today bestselling author Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere in the world through stories. She never forgot that advice.

Mindy's travels took her through multiple careers - from litigator to librarian to full-time writer. Mindy's travels have also taken her through various literary genres for readers of all ages - from traditional fantasy to paranormal chick-lit to category romance, from middle-grade to young adult to adult. She is a USA Today bestselling author.

In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her endless to-be-read shelf. Her husband and cats do their best to fill the leftover minutes.

Holly S. Roberts
USA Today Best-Selling Author Holly S. Roberts is a retired sex crimes and homicide detective who managed to retain her sense of humor. She writes under three pen names dreaming about stories from life on the street as a beat cop in an unflattering blue uniform to erotic romance.

She married her high school sweetheart at the age of eighteen after experiencing love at first sight at age twelve. Her husband took a little longer to realize he couldn't live without her but came along nicely after he stopped fighting fate.

D'Elen McClain is her paranormal romance pen name and Suzie Ivy her tough crime fighting alter ego pen name.

Her two dogs, Dizzy, a Rottweiler with anxiety issues, and Duchess, her overweight Chihuahua, sleep and play at her feet while she writes steamy fantasies at her home high in the Arizona mountains. She also keeps her pen in blue ink as a contributing writer for UniformStories.com, Below The Salt News, and Bad Luck Detective blog.

Stephanie Rowe
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Rowe is the author of more than 40 novels, including her popular Order of the Blade and NightHunter paranormal romance series, and her sizzling new Wyoming Rebels cowboy series about nine rugged brothers. Stephanie is a four-time nominee of the RITA® Award, the highest award in romance fiction. She has won many awards for her novels, including the prestigious Golden Heart® Award. She has received coveted starred reviews from Booklist, and Publishers Weekly has called her work "[a] genre-twister that will make readers...rabid for more."

In additional to her paranormal romances, Stephanie also writes a thrilling romantic suspense series set in Alaska. Publisher's Weekly praised the series debut, ICE, as a "thrilling entry into romantic suspense," and Fresh Fiction called ICE an "edgy, sexy and gripping thriller." Equally as intense and sexy are Stephanie's contemporary romance novels.

A life-long reader, Stephanie began crafting stories at age ten, but didn't realize it was her dream until she was an adult. Once the light dawned, she immediately left behind "work" as the world defines it and went to "work" as she defines it, which means getting up every morning with a smile in her heart so she can spend the day doing that which makes her spirit sing.

Stephanie believes in learning to listen to your heart in order to figure out what your dreams are, and then opening yourself to the inspiration that will direct you there. She believes we all deserve the right to enjoy life, and for the ride to be as easy as we want it to be, and that we all should accept nothing less than making our dreams come true.

Stephanie lives in New England, and spends every day doing her best to fill it with people, observations and activities that uplift her soul, which include writing, hiking with her rescue dog, friends, and her amazing family.

Diane Rinella
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane Rinella's one hundred and fifty-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun's crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock 'n' roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.

Kate Angell
I live in Beautiful Naples on the Gulf of Mexico, Florida. I love the sunshine, as well as the seasonal summer thunderstorms. I'm a morning person. I enjoy brunch. I'm an animal lover and avid reader. I laugh a lot. My birthday's in March, I'm an Aries. My favorite color is purple. My lucky number is 25. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. My office has lots of plants: bamboo, Elephant Ear, and TickleMe. I buy a fresh bouquet of flowers each week. I enjoy going to the movies. Try to read a book each week. Love museums. Can make popcorn a meal. Love Starbucks. I eat Rice Krispies for the 'snap, crackle, pop'. I spend hours at book stores. Like Saturday morning cartoons. Watch General Hospital. Favorite evening TV shows include: Castle, Supernatural, Big Bang Theory. Reality TV: Dancing With the Stars, Big Brother, Survivor. I've been fortunate to have the same editor throughout my career: the very innovative and savvy Alicia Condon. Authors I read outside romance: Carl Hiaasen, Stuart Woods (Stone Barrington series), and Richard Castle.

MY PHILOSOPHY: Out of chaos comes calmness. Appreciate the peace!

Kimberly Kincaid
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to ├ęclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2015 RWA RITA© finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital Line series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also the author of the Pine Mountain series, which follows small town singles as they find big-time love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.

J.D. Tyler
National Bestselling Author J.D. Tyler is best known for her dark, sexy paranormal series Alpha Pack, and the popular Firefighters of Station Five and Sugarland Blue series under her pseudonym Jo Davis. PRIMAL LAW, the first book in her Alpha Pack series, is the winner of the National Readers' Choice Award in Paranormal. She's also been a multiple finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, a finalist for the Bookseller's Best Award, has captured the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, has been a two-time nominee for the Australian Romance Readers Award in romantic suspense, and had one book optioned as a major motion picture.

J.D.'s books regularly appear on the Barnes and Noble, Neilson Bookscan, and Amazon bestseller lists, among others.

When she isn't writing, J.D.'s idea of a good time certainly isn't cleaning house (sniff), bungee jumping (not in this lifetime, or the next), or camping (her idea of "roughing it" is a slow bellboy). She enjoys reading, being pampered like the diva she is, and spending time with her awesome family. J.D. lives in Texas with her two grown kids, a cute Boston terrier, and two cats, all of them horribly spoiled.

Robin Covington
Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her sexy, bestselling books. When she's not writing sexy, sizzling romance she's collecting tasty man candy pics, hoarding red nail polish, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and obsessing over Dean Winchester. Don't send chocolate . . . send eye candy!

Robin's bestselling books have finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Awards.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved fur babies - Dixie Joan Wilder and Dutch.

Suzanne Ferrell
Suzanne Ferrell discovered romance novels in her aunt's hidden stash one summer as a teenager. From that moment on she knew two things: she loved romance stories and someday she'd be writing her own. Her love for romances has only grown over the years. It took her a number of years and a secondary career as a nurse to finally start writing her own stories.

The author of 13 novels and an Amazon best-seller for both her series, the Edgars Family Novels and the Westen series, Suzanne's books have been finalists in the National Reader's Choice Awards--SEIZED (2013) and VANISHED (2014). Suzanne was also a double finalist in the Romance Writer's of America's 2006 Golden Heart with her manuscripts, KIDNAPPED (Long Contemporary Category) and HUNTED (Romantic Suspense), She has also won The Beacon Unpublished and the CTRWA's contests in the erotica categories with her book, The Surrender Of Lacy Morgan.

Currently working on more books for her Edgars Family series (KIDNAPPED, HUNTED, SEIZED, VANISHED and Capitol Danger) and the Westen Series(Close To Home, Close To The Edge, Close To The Fire, and Close To Christmas), Suzanne hopes to bring readers more passionate and suspenseful books to fill your reading moments.

Suzanne's sexy stories, whether they be her on the edge of your seat romantic suspense or the heart warming small town stories, will keep you thinking about her characters long after their Happy Ever After is achieved.

Kathy Ivan
Award winning author, Kathy Ivan, spent most of her life with her nose between the pages of a book. From best-selling authors to just-getting-started writers, as long as it was a good story, she devoured it and happily searched for the next romance novel. It didn't matter if the book was a paranormal romance, romantic suspense, or action and adventure thrillers, sweet & spicy or sexy novella. As long as there was an alpha hero and a feisty heroine who got their happily ever after, she'd gladly spend her time with a psychic in New Orleans, or a mysterious stranger manipulating the fates of lovers. You might find her deep in the woods with her werewolf lover, or being wined and dined by the sexy vampire who loved her, or talking to ghosts.

Kathy turned her love of reading into the next logical step, writing. Her books transport you to a paranormal lodge in the Colorado Mountains in her Destiny's Desire Series, and to the sultry splendor of the French Quarter in New Orleans in her award winning romantic suspense and mysteries. Kathy tells stories people love from reuniting old loves, betrayal of trust, finding kidnapped children, psychics and even a ghost or two. But one thing they all have in common - love (and some pretty steamy sex scenes too).

A native of Florida, Kathy has traveled from one set of islands to another, having spent several years in Key West, Florida, and months in Hawaii (Oahu). Happily living in North Texas, she's always on the lookout for a cowboy of her very own. (And if he's a billionaire cowboy, well, she won't say no to that.)

Selena Laurence
Selena Laurence is an award-winning and nationally bestselling author in multiple categories, including Multicultural Romance, Hispanic Fiction, Urban Fiction, Military Romance, and Romantic Suspense. In 2014 she was awarded the Reader's Crown Award for Contemporary Romance of the Year.

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her kids, Mr. L, "Goldendoodle" and "Demon Cat." When she's not writing she can be found at soccer games and tennis matches, or one of her favorite coffee shops.

Jennie Marts
Jennie Marts loves to make readers laugh as she weaves stories filled with love, friendship and intrigue. She writes for Entangled Publishing and is the author of the Kindle Bestselling romantic comedies, Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body, Easy Like Sunday Mourning, and Just Another Maniac Monday. Reviewers call her books "laugh out loud" funny and full of great characters that are "endearing and relatable."

She writes from the mountains of Colorado where she lives with her husband, two sons, a parakeet, a golden retriever named Cooper and a Sheltie puppy named Maggie. Jennie enjoys being a member of (RWA) Romance Writers of America, Colorado Indie Authors, and Pikes Peak Writers.

Jennie is addicted to Diet Coke and adores Cheetos. She loves playing volleyball and believes you can't have too many books, shoes or friends.

Teri Riggs
As a child, Teri Riggs made up her own bedtime stories. When her children came along, Teri always tweaked the fairy tales she told her daughters, giving them a bit more punch and better endings when needed.

Now she spends her days turning her ideas into books. She lives in Marietta, GA with her husband.

Jennifer Theriot
Jennifer Theriot hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm. Working in her capacity as CFO, she felt something was missing and discovered her passion for writing novels--mostly at night and on weekends.

In her limited spare time Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. Jennifer is also 'MiMi' to three (soon to be four) beautiful grandchildren and a mom to three grown children, all of whom she adores. Theriot is an admitted music junkie, loving every type of music, which takes up most of the memory on her iPhone. She listens to music from sun up to sun down and her love of music is reflected a great deal in her books.

Jennifer took a chance that there could be an interest in romance with middle aged couples who are finding themselves at a crossroads and wrote her debut novel Out of the Box Awakening, which centers on the hope of finding happiness and passion through unexpected heartache. It emphasizes the need for family and friends as Jennifer has learned in her own life. Grownup romance from the other side of 30 is how she characterizes her books. The books have also been described as "Mature Sexy" by one reviewer...

MJ Fredrick
MJ Fredrick knows what it takes to chase her dreams. From spirals filled with stories scrawled in pencil to her first computer, a hand-me-down XT, to a used Powerbook, an Alphasmart and finally a shiny laptop of her very own, MJ has used any means she can find to get the stories from her head onto paper. Some are easier than others!

Now with over twenty five published books set from the early days of Texas to the near future, with stops in Africa, Antarctica and places in between, MJ spends the wee hours of the mornings writing and the rest of the day teaching, and her weekends on road trips around Texas with her husband of almost 30 years, looking for more inspiration.

While some say truth is stranger than fiction, her experiences run more along the lines of a slap-stick comedy. She makes her own Limoncello...enough said.

Joking aside, her dream of being published came true on 3/3/2014 with the release of her first book, SEX, LIES, AND BEAUTY AIDS, a romantic comedy.

Deb Julienne
After the day job, she loves to play in the yard, with her grandkids, and in the kitchen concocting award-winning jams, jellies, preserves, and sauces (with alcohol of course).

Born and raised in San Jose, California, she now resides in her own little bit of heaven in the Sierra Tahoe National Forest Basin, with her husband of 33 years, their three sons and one daughter, and two very precocious grandkids.


Kristin Miller
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Melanie James
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Holly S Roberts
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Stephanie Rowe
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Diane Rinella
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Kate Angell

Kimberly Kincaid
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JD Tyler
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Robin Covington
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Suzanne Ferrell
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Kathy Ivan
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Selena Laurence
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Rebel by Elle Casey

Title: Rebel
Author: Elle Casey
Series: Rebel Wheels #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Summary:
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, ELLE CASEY brings readers Book 1 of 3 in the New Adult Romance Series, REBEL WHEELS.

Teagan Cross, college senior, rebel, and wiseass extraordinaire, goes from princess to pauper in a single phone call. Overnight, her life of privilege becomes one of survival, and no matter where she turns, it seems like the world is out to get her. She’s not going to fall apart, though. She’s a rebel and she’s strong … determined to live life on her own terms … and nothing’s going to stop her from getting things done and making things right. But when a twist of fate brings her to the doorstep of a different kind of Rebel, she’s forced to figure out when something’s worth fighting for and when something’s worth letting go.

Content Warning: Contains sexy adult situations, creative foul language, and some mild violence. May not be appropriate for younger readers.

Chapter 1
     My name’s Teagan.  I know, I know … the name.  Twenty-two years ago, my mother thought a Welsh name for her only child would be beautiful.  Teagan means pretty, so it should have fit perfectly.  Who has an ugly baby, right?  I guess I did okay in the looks department.  I’m not too short, not too tall.  Eating chips and gummy bears every day has no effect on my somewhat athletic frame, and I’ve been told my green eyes compliment my pale complexion.  The problem with the name Teagan is my mom never considered the creative names kids would morph it into.
     “Yo, Teabag, what’s up?”
     I flip Perry Spitler off, but he just laughs as he passes on by.
     He and I have an understanding; when we see each other on campus, he insults me, I flip him off, and we never actually talk.  It suits us both just fine.  Making out with him and then ralphing on his shoes in freshman year was one of the best moves I’ve ever made in my climb up the social ladder at UCLA.
     “Why do you even talk to that douche canoe?” asks my friend Quin as she brushes out her long, black hair.  Quinlan is her real name, but she refuses to answer to it.  We both have a thing with names, which is only one of the many reasons we get along so well.  “I hear he puts toy cars in dark places on weekends.”  She puts away her brush and takes a bite of an energy bar, chewing it like a cow and waiting for my reaction.
     I’m both intrigued and disgusted.  “And by toy cars and dark places we mean…”  I twist my longish, wavy brown hair up into a bun and stick a pencil in it to keep it from falling to my shoulders again.  It’s frigging hot out here in the student union today.  Dry heat, my butt.
     “Literally.  Like that movie Jackass.  He put a toy car in his asshole at a party the other night.”
     I snort in disbelief and disgust. “He did not.”
     Quin puts up her hand like a girl scout.  “Swear.  Guy’s an asscar driver.”
     I’m really happy I barfed on him now.  Really, really happy.  The kiss we shared?  Well, we’ll just tally that up to a serious lapse in judgment on my part.  In my defense, there were copious amounts of beer involved.
     I can’t help but stare at his butt as he goes by.  “Remind me not to accept any rides from him in the future.”
     We collapse in immature giggles that have Perry turning around and frowning.  Watching his face and imagining that I can see he’s walking with a slight limp only makes it worse.  By the time I can see clearly again, he’s gone.
     “Man, I totally needed that.”  I can feel the good mood drugs floating around in my brain. Now the upcoming Summer of Doom doesn’t seem quite so bleak.
     “You ready for summer break?” Quin asks, crumpling up the wrapper to her energy bar and throwing it on the ground.
     I lean down and pick it up, sighing as I stick it in my bag.  This is her thing.  This is my thing.  This is how we roll, with her being a pain in the ass and me picking up after her.  “No.  I’m not ready.  I want to stay here and hang out with you and all the cool people.”
     “No, you don’t.  Do you know how hot it gets here in the summer?  Ugh.”  She brushes crumbs off her lap.  “I am going to literally cook in my own skin, like a poached egg.”
     “You forget, I’ve lived here for almost four years now, and No Cal isn’t that different.”
     “But you always leave in the summer, and No Cal is different, so that doesn’t count.  By the time you get back this September for your very last semester - by the way, you completely suck for graduating before me - all the poaching will be done.”
     “You should come with me.  Silicon Valley’s got a drier heat than LA.”  I’m lying, but she’ll never know.
     She faces me, not smiling.  That’s a rare expression for her, as Quin-grins come frequently and often without provocation.  We’re not much alike in that way; my smiles are rationed for only truly happy moments.
     “You should invite me, and maybe I would,” she says.
     “I always invite you.”
     “No, you don’t.  You just say, ‘You should come.’  That’s not the same thing.”
     “What do you want, an engraved invitation?” A tiny spark of hope glimmers in my chest.  Summer would only suck half as much if Quin were with me back at my father’s place.
     “Yes.  That would work.”  She sniffs and looks off into the distance.
     “I’ll seriously do it, if that’s what it would take to finally get you up there.”
     “No, don’t bother.  I can’t go.”
     “Why?  Because LA’s social scene would never survive without you?”
     “No.”  She stands, brushing off her legs.  “Come on, we’re going to be late.”
     “Late for what?  My classes were all done as of twenty minutes ago.”
     “I have an appointment with a milkshake over at McDonald’s House of Horrors.  Come on.  Your treat.”
     We begin the long walk across campus.  “I’ll pay for your ticket,” I say, testing the waters.  I don’t know why I bother, though.
     “Nope.  I pay my own way.”
     “Do you have the money?”
     “No.  You know I’m broke.”  Quin is always broke.  She lives off the kindness of others and a scholarship.  I’m not even sure what the scholarship is for.  Do they give scholarships for being a smartass?  Because if they do, she qualifies for a full ride.
     “Then let me pay,” I say.
     “No.”
     “You can pay me back.”
     “No.”
     I try a different tack.  “It’s because you don’t like me, I know.  Admit it.”
     “No, that’s not it, and if you try and guilt me into doing it, we won’t be friends anymore.”
     “That’s a lie.”
     “Yes, it is, but still … I won’t let you pay.”
     I give her my puppy dog eyes.  “I’m going to be desperately lonely.”
     “No, you won’t be.  You’ll have a bodyguard babysitter.”
     I sigh.  “They always suck.”
     “That last one didn’t.”
     “The last one was like forty years old!”
     “So?  What do you want to do?  Fuck them or just have them take a bullet for you?”
     “Can’t I do both?”
     We laugh, knowing I’m full of crap.  I actually liked the last guy assigned to babysit me, the guy being paid to assuage my father’s paranoia.  He actually believes there are people in silicon valley trolling the neighborhoods for executives’ kids, since according to him they’d make really excellent kidnapping targets.
     Jim was the name of my last babysitter.  Maybe I’ll get him again and we can play chess all summer like we did last year.  I’ve never slept with one of my dad’s employees.  They’re always married, ugly, old, or a trifecta of all three.  Besides, my dad would kill us both if I did something that stupid.  We don’t fraternize with the help.
     That’s what my uber arrogant step-mother says, anyway, although I’m not so sure she hasn’t put that rule to the side from time to time with the pool boy.  Seriously … I’m not kidding.  The pool boy.
     “What are you thinking about right now?” Quin asks me.  “I.O.U. for your thoughts.”
     “I’m thinking how much I hate The Heinous One for being such a bag of dicks.”
     Quin smiles.  “I’m really looking forward to meeting your step-mother at graduation, you know that?  I’m totally going to call her that to her face.”
     I smile back.  “Me too.  Some day.”  When I find a way to support myself and don’t have to worry about my father cutting me off.

Author Bio:
Elle Casey is a prolific, NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling American writer who lives in Southern France with her husband, three kids, and several furry friends. She writes in several genres and publishes an average of one full-length novel per month.


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