Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life, until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed. Now he's hearing the private thoughts of the people around him-and learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know. But as Tom's existence becomes a waking nightmare, even greater jolts are in store as he becomes the unwilling recipient of a compelling message from beyond the grave!

This eerie ghost story, by award-winning author of Hell House and I Am Legend, inspired the acclaimed 1999 film starring Kevin Bacon.

The day it all started—a hot, August Saturday—I'd gotten off work a little after twelve. My name is Tom Wallace; I work in Publications at the North American Aircraft plant in Inglewood, California. We were living in Hawthorne, renting a two-bedroom tract house owned by one of our next-door neighbors, Mildred Sentas. Another neighbor, Frank Wanamaker, and I usually drove to and from the plant together, alternating cars. But Frank didn't like Saturday work and had managed to beg off that particular day. So I drove home alone.

As I turned onto Tulley Street, I saw the '51 Mercury coupe parked in front of our house and knew that Anne's brother, Philip, was visiting. He was a psychology major at the University of California in Berkeley and he sometimes drove down to L.A. for weekends. This was the first time he'd been to our new place; we'd only moved in two months before.

I nosed the Ford into the driveway and braked it in front of the garage. Across the street Frank Wanamaker's wife, Elizabeth, was sitting on their lawn pulling up weeds. She smiled faintly at me and raised one white-gloved hand. I waved to her as I got out of the car and started for the porch. As I went up its two steps I saw Elizabeth struggle to her feet and adjust her maternity smock. The baby was due in about three months. It was the Wanamaker's first in seven years of marriage.

When I opened the front door and went into the living room, I saw Phil sitting at the kitchen table, a bottle of Coca-Cola in front of him. He was about twenty, tall and lean, his darkish-brown hair crew-cut. He glanced in at me and grinned.

"Hi, brother man," he said.

"Hi." I took off my suit coat and hung it in the front closet. Anne met me in the kitchen doorway with a smile and a kiss.

"How's the little mother?" I asked, patting her stomach.

"Gross," she said.

I chuckled and kissed her again.

"As they say," I said, "hot enough for you?"

"Don't even talk about it," she answered.


"Hungry?" she asked.


"Good. Phil and I were just about to start."

"Be right with you." I washed my hands and sat down across from Phil, eyeing his blindingly green polo shirt.

"What's that for," I asked, "warning off aircraft?"

"Glows in the dark," he said.

"Helps the co-eds keep track of you at night," I said. Phil grinned.

"Now don't you two get started again," Anne said, putting a dish of cold cuts on the table.

"Whatever does you mean?" Phil said to her.

"Never mind now," she said. "I don't want any needling session this weekend. It's too hot."

"Agreed," said Phil, "needling excluded. Agreed, brother man?"

"And spoil my weekend?" I said.

"Never mind," said Anne. "I can't face that and the heat both."

"Where's Richard?" I asked.

"Playing in the backyard with Candy." Anne sat down beside me with a groan. "There's a load off my feet," she said.

I patted her hand and we started eating.

"Speaking of Candy," Anne said, "I trust you haven't forgotten the party tonight at Elsie's."

"Oh my God," I said, "I did forget. Do we have to go?"

Anne shrugged. "She invited us a week ago. That was excuse time. It's too late now."

"Confusion." I bit into my ham on rye.

"Brother man seems less than joyous," Phil said. "Elsie's shindigs no goo'?"

"No goo'," I said.

"Who is she?"

"Our next-door neighbor," Anne told him. "Candy's her little girl."

"And parties are her profession," I said. "She's the poor man's Elsa Maxwell."

Anne smiled and shook her head. "Poor Elsie," she said. "If she only knew what awful things we say behind her back."

"Dull, huh?" said Phil.

"Why talk?" I said. "Go to the party with us and see for yourself."

"I'll liven 'er up," said Phil.

• • •

A little after eight-fifteen Richard fell asleep in his crib and we went next door to Elsie's house. In most marriages you think of a couple's home as theirs. Not so with that house. Ron may have made the payments on it but the ownership was strictly Elsie's. You felt it.

It was Ron who answered our knock. He was twenty-four, a couple of years older than Elsie, a couple of inches taller. He was slightly built, sandy-haired with a round, boyish face that seldom lost its impassive set; even when he smiled as he did then, the ends of his mouth curling up slightly.

"Come in," he said in his quiet, polite voice.

Frank and Elizabeth were already there, Elizabeth settled on the red sofa like a diffident patient in a dentist's waiting room, Frank's thin body slouched in one of the red arm chairs. He brightened only a little when we came in, raising his bored gaze from the green rug, straightening up in the chair, then standing. I introduced Phil around.


I glanced over and saw Elsie peering around the corner of the kitchen doorway. She'd cut her dark hair still shorter and bobbed it still tighter, I noticed. When we'd moved into the neighborhood, she'd had long, drabby blond hair.

We all said hello to her and she disappeared a moment, then came into the room with a tray of drinks in her hands. She was wearing a red, netlike dress which clung tightly to the curves of her plump body. When she bent over to put the tray down on the blondwood coffee table, the bosom of the dress slipped away from her tight, black brassiere. I noticed Frank's pointed stare, then Elsie straightened up with a brassy, hostesslike smile and looked at Phil. Anne introduced them.

"Hel-lo," Elsie said. "I'm so glad you could come." She looked at us. "Well," she said, "name your poison."

What happened that evening up to the point when it all began is not important. There were the usual peregrinations to the kitchen and the bathroom; the usual breaking up and re-gathering of small groups—the women, the men, Frank, Phil and myself, Elizabeth and Anne, Elsie and Phil, Ron and me—and so on; the drifting knots of conversation that take place at any get-together.

There was record music and a little sporadic attempt at dancing. There was Candy stumbling into the living room, blinking and numb with only half-broken sleep; being tucked back into her bed. There were the expected personality displays—Frank, cynical and bored; Elizabeth, quietly radiant in her pregnancy; Phil, amusing and quick; Ron, mute and affable; Anne, soft-spoken and casual; Elsie, bouncing and strainedly vivacious.

One bit of conversation I remember: I was just about to go next door to check on Richard when Elsie said something about our getting a baby-sitter.

"It doesn't matter when you just go next door like this," she said, "but you do have to get out once in a while." Once in a while, to Elsie, meant an average of four nights a week.

"We'd like to," Anne said, "but we just haven't been able to find one."

"Try ours," said Elsie. "She's a nice kid and real reliable."

That was when I left and checked on Richard—and had one of my many nighttime adorations; that standing in semi-darkness over your child's crib and staring down at him. Nothing else. Just standing there and staring down at his little sleep-flushed face and feeling that almost overwhelming rush of absolute love in yourself. Sensing something close to holy in the same little being that nearly drove you out of your mind that very afternoon.

I turned up the heat a little then and went back to Elsie's house.

They were talking about hypnotism. I say they but, outside of Phil, Anne and maybe Frank, no one there knew the least thing about it. Primarily, it was a dissertation by Phil on one of his favorite topics.

"Oh, I don't believe that," Elsie said as I sat down beside Anne and whispered that Richard was fine. "People who say they were hypnotized weren't, really."

"Of course they were," Phil said. "If they weren't, how could they have hatpins jabbed into their throats without bleeding? Without even crying out?"

Elsie turned her head halfway to the side and looked at Phil in that overdone, accusingly dubious way that people affect when they have to bolster their own uncertain doubts.

"Did you ever really see anyone get a hatpin jabbed in their throat?" she said.

"I've had a five-inch hatpin in my throat," Phil answered. "And, once, I put one halfway through a friend of mine's arm at school—after I'd hypnotized him."

Elsie shuddered histrionically. "Uhh," she said, "how awful."

"Not at all," Phil said with that casual tone undergraduates love to affect when they are flicking off intellectual bombshells. "I didn't feel a thing and neither did my friend."

"Oh, you're just making that up," Elsie said, studiedly disbelieving.

"Not at all," said Phil.

It was Frank who gave it the final, toppling push.

"All right," he said, "let's see you hypnotize somebody then." He squeezed out one of his faintly cruel smiles. "Hypnotize Elsie," he said.

"Oh, no you don't!" Elsie squealed. "I'm not going to do terrible things in front of everybody."

"I thought you didn't believe in it," Phil said, amusedly.

"I don't, I don't," she insisted. "But…well, not me."

Frank's dark eyes moved. "All right," he said, "who's going to be hypnotized?"

"I wouldn't suggest me unless we want to spend the whole night here," Anne said. "Phil used to waste hours trying to hypnotize me."

"You're a lousy subject, that's all," Phil said, grinning at her.

"Okay, who's it gonna be then?" Frank persisted. "How about you, Lizzie?"

"Oh… " Elizabeth lowered her eyes and smiled embarrassedly.

"We promise not to make you take your clothes off," Frank said.

"Frank." Elizabeth was thirty-one but she still blushed like a little girl. She wouldn't look at anybody. Elsie giggled. Frank looked only vaguely pleased. Elizabeth was too easy a mark for him.

"Come on, Elsie," he said, "be a sport. Let him put you under. We won't make you do a strip tease on the kitchen table."

"You—" Ron started to say.

"Oh, you're awful!" Elsie said, delighted.

"What were you going to say, Ron?" I asked.

Ron swallowed. "I—I was going to ask Phil," he said, "you—can't make someone—do what they don't want to do, can you? I mean—what they wouldn't do? If they were awake, I mean."

"Oh, what do you know about hypnotism, Ronny?" Elsie asked, trying to sound pleasantly amused. The acidity still came through.

"Well, it's true and it isn't true," Phil said. "You can't make a subject break his own moral code. But—you can make almost any act fit into his moral code."

"How do you mean?" Frank asked. "This sounds promising."

"Well, for instance," Phil said, "if I hypnotized your wife—"

"You could make her do something wicked!" Frank asked, looking at Elizabeth pointedly.

"Frank, please," she almost whispered.

"Say I put a loaded gun in her hand," Phil said, "and told her to shoot you. She wouldn't do it."

"That's what you think," Frank said, snickering. I looked at Elizabeth again and saw her swallowing dryly. She was one of those pale and pitiable creatures who seem constantly vulnerable to hurt. You want to protect them and yet you can't. Of course Frank wasn't the easiest man in the world to live with either.

"Well, for argument's sake," Phil said, smiling a little, "we'll assume she wouldn't shoot you."

"Okay, for argument's sake," Frank said. He glanced at Elizabeth, a hint of that cruel smile on his lips again.

"But," Phil said, "if I were to tell Elizabeth that you were going to strangle her and told her that the only defense in the world she had was to shoot you right away—well, she might very well shoot you."

"How true," said Frank.

"Oh, I don't believe that," said Elsie.

"That's right," I joined in. "We have a friend named Alan Porter—he's a psychiatrist—and he gave a demonstration of that very thing. He had a young mother under hypnosis and he told her he was going to kill her baby and the only way she could stop him was by stabbing him with the knife she was holding—it was a piece of cardboard. She stabbed him all right."

"Well, that's different," said Elsie. "Anyway, she was probably just playing along with a gag."

"Look," said Phil, gesturing dramatically with his hands, "I'll prove it to you right now if you want. Just let me hypnotize you."

"No, sir," said Elsie, "not me."

"How about you?" Phil asked Ron.

Ron mumbled something and shook his head with a faint smile. "He's already half hypnotized," said Elsie, kindly.

"Can't I get me a customer?" asked Phil. He sounded disappointed.

"How about you, Frank?" I asked.

"Uh-uh," he said, smiling as he blew out cigarette smoke. "Don't want ol' Lizzie knowing what's in my dirty old subconscious."

Elsie giggled and Elizabeth pressed her lips together, having failed in the attempt to smile.

"Well, that leaves you, brother man," said Phil, looking at me.

"You don't really think you could hypnotize me, do you?" I needled.

"Don't be so darn sure," he said, wagging a finger at me. "You arrogant ones are the first to topple."

I grinned, shrugging. "So what have I got to lose?" I said.

After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.
Release Date:  September 10, 1999
Release Time: 99 minutes
Kevin Bacon as Tom Witzky
Kathryn Erbe as Maggie Witzky
Zachary David Cope as Jake Witzky
Illeana Douglas as Lisa
Jennifer Morrison as Samantha Kozac
Liza Weil as Debbie Kozac, the Babysitter
Kevin Dunn as Frank McCarthy
Lusia Strus as Sheila McCarthy
Chalon Williams as Adam McCarthy
Conor O'Farrell as Harry Damon
Steve Rifkin as Kurt Damon
Eddie Bo Smith Jr. as Neil



Author Bio:
Richard Matheson is The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It..., and What Dreams May Come, among others. He was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, and received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In addition to his novels Matheson wrote several screenplays for movies and TV, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," based on his short story, along with several other Twilight Zone episodes. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, and fought in the infantry in World War II. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Matheson died in June, 2013, at the age of eighty-seven.




Passionate Kisses 3

Title: Passionate Kisses 3: Under the Mistletoe
Authors: Magda Alexander, Wendy Ely ,Liz Kelly, Kylie Gilmore
Rebecca J Clark, Allie Boniface, Victoria Barbour
Nikki Lynn Barrett, Sydney Holmes, Jessi Gage
Genre: Holiday Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Cover Design: Amy Gamet
Curl up under the mistletoe with these 10 brand new novellas in the sexy Passionate Kisses romance anthology! From Italian stallions to bad boy bartenders, small towns to big cities, all of these stories by USA Today’s best-selling authors promise to keep you warm this holiday season.

Get into the Christmas spirit with PASSIONATE KISSES 3. Limited time offer, so grab your set today! ONLY 99c

Stories Included:
Holiday Bargain by Jessi Gage
Single mom Cassie is nowhere near ready to love again. It’s only been a year since her husband passed away. But when a neighborhood emergency brings an old crush, Seattle cop Doug Mendez, to her door, her libido awakens. Her heart might not be ready for commitment, but a no-strings-attached affair with the king of hookups might be just what the doctor ordered.

Doug needs a date to his sister’s Christmastime wedding. Since he’s been taking a break from dating, he has no prospects, but a cute woman he meets on the job—and who happens to be an old friend of his sister’s—agrees to step up. On one condition: that he reintroduce her to sex in a casual hookup. Charitable guy that he is, he agrees, but soon realizes he wants more from Cassie than a holiday bargain.

The Things You Mean To Me (Knight Skies Prequel) by Sydney Holmes
“The Knight Skies series will burn you up from the inside out.”

The Things You Mean To Me (Knight Skies Prequel)

You all met the sexy Knight clan in The Things You Do To Me and now we go back in time to see where it all began. Mia and Jackson Knight were not always the stable, loving parents we learned to love in the Knight Skies series - they too were young lovers struggling to find each other. Dive into their love story in this sweet Christmas romance.

It's 1983, U2 just released their new album 'War,' Rubik's Cubes were in every household, valley girl's wore leg warmers and side pony tails with crimped hair, and all the guys were all looking for bodacious babes. Jackson Knight wants to get to know the new sassy Italian exchange student, but things get gnarly when his girlfriend gets wind that Jackson might be interested in someone else.

Scrooge You! by Nikki Lynn Barrett
After a nasty public break up, actor Kevin Wright returns to his small Nevada hometown for his baby sister's wedding. Dubbed as “Scrooge” by his ex girlfriend's slander, Kevin's life and career are on the verge of being destroyed. He'd give anything not to have to tell the truth of what really happened, but staying silent may not be the answer.

Sasha Moretti has big dreams, but is weighed down by the lack of funds to get her ailing father into a facility that can provide twenty-four hour care. He's all she has, but he isn't getting any better. Taking care of him at home is proving to be harder with each passing day. After several run ins with Kevin, the boy she loathed in high school, an opportunity arrives that Sasha finds hard to turn down...

Between the holidays and a wedding, there's a little madness and magic in the air. Romantic feelings develop between Kevin and Sasha, but when the truth is spoken, can they both get past their demons and let a little love in their hearts?

Christmas in the Harbour by Victoria Barbour
Hannah Nolan loves to loathe her devil-may-care roommate. Or maybe she loathes her love of him. Whatever it is, she’s had enough. It’s a good thing Christmas is here. She’s heading home to spend the holidays with her family in the small town of Heart’s Ease and figure out her life.

Toby Sweeney doesn’t have time for love. The handsome owner of an Irish pub, and one of St. John’s most sought-after bachelors, wants nothing more from the Christmas break than to be alone, drink beer and watch hockey. And maybe figure out how to get his problematic lust for his roommate under control.

Miracle Of Love by Allie Boniface 
Lindsey Point paramedic Mick has been in love with his best friend Annie for years. When they find themselves stranded during a blizzard along with a pregnant stranger and a pair of lost donkeys, will these friends finally realize their feelings and become lovers? Or will the storm separate them for good? It might just be time for a holiday miracle of love in this Hometown Heroes novella.

Christmas in Stilettos by Rebecca J. Clark
A marriage of convenience…

Francie and Dylan Maguire married for practical reasons, not love. Once he gets home from deployment, they’ve decided to go their separate ways. There’s just one little problem—his family thinks they’re happily married…and his parents and siblings are expecting the couple home for Christmas.

A temporary husband…

Francie tries her best to get through three days of family dinners, holiday traditions, and sharing a bed with her husband—a very cozy double bed. But the more she pretends, the more she realizes it’s no longer a charade for her. Unfortunately, Dylan’s made it very clear that their marriage is temporary.

Christmas…a time for miracles…

Almost Romance by Kylie Gilmore
Physicist Kate Lewis is shocked when the man she left behind travels one thousand miles to crash the physics department’s holiday party and ask for a second chance. Kate doesn’t do long-distance relationships. But she does do Ian. Multiple times. Small problem—she has a boyfriend. Too bad love isn’t a science.

Kissing Cooper by Liz Kelly
Scorched by an old flame, Cooper Crenshaw, Henderson High’s championship-winning baseball coach, has done everything in his power to avoid coming back to town. So running into Christy-Lynn Brilhart ten minutes after his return is less like a Christmas miracle and more like Cooper’s own personal Nightmare Before Christmas.

Now a stylish businesswoman, Christy-Lynn may be done wearing hand-me-downs, but she sure isn’t done setting Cooper’s blood on fire. As the Christmas season heats up, so does his desire to get to the bottom of their abrupt breakup. Realizing the town he still loves could use his major league help, Cooper figures it’s time to tie up a few loose ends.

With holiday ribbon.

To his bedpost.

A Ring For Christmas by Wendy Ely
Hard work. Determination. Loyalty.

Nautica Pepper learned from an early age that nobody can stop her from following her dreams. She’s one of the few women boxers at One Punch Gym and demands that the women fighters get the same amount of attention as the men. With work on her mind, she doesn’t want to notice the hot guy who wants to join the One Punch family.

He wants nothing but the best!

Javier Cruz already landed himself in a match with Trent McGibbon once before and won! Trent’s trainer, Felix Manzi, is the best in the biz, and Javier isn’t too proud to beg for a chance at joining the rest of the crew at the elite gym. If he trains with the best, he’ll be the best, right? He has one chance to prove himself to Felix and to Nautica. Felix gives him a fight on Christmas Eve that Javier can’t miss. But a family emergency sends him racing across the border.

Will Javier make it back in time to fight? Will Nautica decide that loving Javier is worth the risk?

A Christmas Kiss to Remember by Magda Alexander
Haunted by painful memories of a tragedy from Christmas past, Kate Brooks wants nothing more than a brief affair to help her get through the holidays. She gets her wish one cold December night when Marco Fazzone struts into her life. Soon she's rolling like thunder beneath the sheets with the six foot four hunk. But what happens when her Italian stallion wants more than a month of Kate in his bed? What happens when he wants forever?

Author Bios:
Jessi Gage
USA Today Bestselling Author Jessi Gage is addicted to happy-ever-after endings. She counts herself blessed because she gets to live her own HEA with her husband and children in the Seattle area. 

Jessi has the attention span of a gnat...unless there is a romance novel in her hands. In that case, you might need a bullhorn to get her to notice you. She writes what she loves to read: stories about love.

Do use the contact page on and drop her a line. There is no better motivation to finish her latest writing project than a note from a happy reader! While you're visiting her website, sign up for Jessi's newsletter so you never miss a new release.

Sydney Holmes
Sydney Holmes, a USA Today best selling author, writes spicy contemporary romance and hot romantic suspense, or as she likes to say, "Hot and spicy romance that keeps you up at night!" She believes there is nothing more exciting than reading a hot, sexy story about two people searching for themselves and getting lost in each other. Sydney is married with two children and a wonderful husband. Sydney graduated from The George Washington University with a BS in Political Science and holds a Master's Degree in Education. She lives near the ocean in California and travels as often as she can.

Nikki Lynn Barrett
Nikki Lynn Barrett I'm an avid lover of books. I've been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first "book" by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I'll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.

Victoria Barbour
Victoria Barbour is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She lives on the island of Newfoundland on Canada's windswept east coast, and is fiercely proud of her home. She can imagine no better setting for her contemporary romance novels, and hopes that her readers will one day come to witness Newfoundland and Labrador's rustic beauty for themselves. When she's not hard at work creating her Heart's Ease contemporary romance series, or trying to convince people to visit her home, she's busy with her day-to-day life as a mother, wife, and marketing communications specialist. 

She was born in St. John's, and raised above her family's fish and chips restaurant. She has traveled and lived in other parts of Canada, but chose to make her home where her heart has long resided. Victoria has a degree in History from Memorial University of Newfoundland, with a minor in Newfoundland Studies. The only thing that stands between her and a Master's degree in History from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia is her thesis. She has a background in broadcast journalism, advertising, and marketing. She is a proud member of both the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and their affiliate chapter, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada (RWAC). 

Victoria counts herself lucky to be surrounded by an incredibly supportive family, and thanks her husband daily for his unerring faith in her, and for being a wonderful father to their son.

Allie Boniface
USA Today best-selling author Allie Boniface was born and raised in a tiny community in upstate New York, which probably explains her fascination with the magic of small town life. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Rochester in New York and a M.A. in English Literature from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1997, she has enjoyed life in the northern NYC suburbs, where she lives with her husband and teaches English and Education to high school students. In her spare time, she and her husband love to travel. She is also a runner, a musician and an animal-lover.

Allie writes contemporary romance series set in small towns (with lots of secrets and spice!). She reads in all genres and loves chatting with other readers and writers about any topic under the sun. You can find her around the Web, at writers' conferences, giving workshops, swapping stories, and generally chatting about romance writing. 

Readers can sign up for Allie's newsletter to receive announcements about her appearances, new releases, contests, review opportunities, and other fun giveaways.

Rebecca J Clark
USA Today Bestselling Author of steamy and sweet contemporary romance. Rebecca J. Clark has been an avid romance reader for years and has wanted to be a published novelist since she was 11 years old. She's excited to share her books with you. LEAD-OFF BRIDE is her most recent release--it's Book 1 in her new Take Me Out to the Wedding series. 

Because she's a personal fitness trainer in her other job, she has also written a nonfiction book--THE CHECKLIST DIET. It's a fun and simple way to clean up your diet and lose weight. It's a compilation of the suggestions and tips she's given her personal training clients over the past 13 years.

When she's not writing, you can find her training clients at the gym or teaching group exercise classes. She teaches weight training on the ball, aerobics, yoga and Pilates. 

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her very patient husband, two kids, a German shepherd beast who loves to chase the two cats who secretly plot to kill the dog. Don't get her started on the number of dust bunnies...

Kylie Gilmore
Kylie Gilmore is the USA Today bestselling romance author of the Clover Park series and the Clover Park STUDS series. She writes quirky, tender romance with a solid dose of humor. 

Kylie lives in New York with her family, two cats, and a nutso dog. When she's not writing, wrangling kids, or dutifully taking notes at writing conferences, you can find her flexing her muscles all the way to the high cabinet for her secret chocolate stash.

Liz Kelly
USA Today bestselling author of the Heroes of Henderson Series. Liz Kelly's Heroes of Henderson series grew out of the New Year's Eve Anthology, Countdown To A Kiss, where the Devine Sisters of Henderson, N.C. had a bet every year at their parents' New Year's Eve ball. The sister who didn't have a date to kiss at midnight had to kiss their nerdy neighbor, Lewis Kampmueller.

Duncan James, the hero of Liz's novella in Countdown To A Kiss (which has also been published separately as Playin' Cop) is not only best friends with Lewis, but with both Brooks Bennett and Vance Evans, his fraternity brothers from NC State. Brooks and Vance are the Henderson cops who kick off the series with Good Cop and Bad Cop.

Recurring characters is the theme of the Henderson series. Each book is a complete romance in and of itself, but you won't lose touch with the couples you fall in love with. They keep playing big parts and small in following books as Brooks and Vance lead Team Henderson in finding ways to revive their small town.

"DuVal Cousin" books are an additional part of the Heroes of Henderson series, and usually are tucked in between books with numbers like 2.5 and 3.5. They can be full length novels or short novellas, and they are based on Lolly DuVal's (from Good Cop) Henderson cousins. Where the Heroes books are hero-centric, the DuVal Cousin books are heroine based.

Henderson is an actual town in North Carolina where some of Liz's favorite people were raised. Liz's version of Henderson is completely fictional since she hasn't had the pleasure of going back in nearly thirty years. But oh the fun she had while visiting there in her youth. Her memories are the perfect landscape for her contemporary romances.

Liz enjoys putting friends and readers in cameo appearances in her books. Originally from Baltimore, she spent every summer near Annapolis, Maryland in a community where dancing and romancing are literally part of its theme song. (The place where Jesse James gets banished from in Bad Cop. There is going to be a series about that place someday.) 

A graduate of Wake Forest University, where she met her handsome golf-addicted husband, (who is now sporting dark glasses everywhere he goes) Liz is a mother of two grown sons (also sporting dark glasses) and a miniature Labradoodle named Isabelle. They live in Chicago during the summers, and the Fountain of Youth, a.k.a. Naples, FL in the winter, where dancing and romancing continues on ad infinitum.

Wendy Ely
Wendy Ely is a USA Today bestselling author, who writes some romantic suspense, really hot stories, and the wonderful happily-ever-after. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two teenagers, and two crazy cats. When she isn't busy writing new stories, she enjoys time outdoors by taking trips to the hot desert or swimming at the lake.

Magda Alexander
Magda Alexander loves piña coladas and walks in the rain. Okay, enough of that. Rewind.

Magda loves reading steamy romances which she's been doing since she was ten. Ummm, that's not quite true. Steamy romances did not exist when she was ten, and if they had, she's pretty sure her mother would not have allowed her to read them. She did read the hand-holding, longing glances kind, along with her catechism, which got her into trouble more than once. Mother Superior was not amused.

As soon as sexy romances came into existence, thank you Rosemary Rogers, she's been lapping them up. So when it came time to write one, guess what she wrote. A no-brainer, right?

Magda, a lifelong learner, graduated from the University of Maryland where she majored in Business Administration (because her family had to eat) and minored in English (because she needed to dream). She's lived in Maryland most of her life and now resides close to the Catoctin Mountains in a city whose history dates back to colonial times.

Magda Alexander

Wendy Ely

Liz Kelly

Kylie Gilmore

Rebecca J Clark

Allie Boniface

Victoria Barbour

Nikki Lynn Barrett

Sydney Holmes

Jessi Gage

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Always Second Best by Elodie Nowodazkij

Title: Always Second Best
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
Series: Broken Dreams #2
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.

Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first.

Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He’s going to prove he’s meant to be a dancer—not a lawyer—and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that—this time around—he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

Chapter 13 / EM
Svetlana gives me a reassuring smile as I enter the room. “You got this,” she whispers and I nod, but my muscles feel all tight and it’s like I have tunnel vision. I can only see the faces of the judges, the way their eyes glance over me. They are sitting on chairs in front of the scene. They lean toward each other for a few seconds. They whisper “Natalya” several times and “fantastic” and one of them smiles as if he’s discovered water in a desert. Of course, Natalya impressed them. As I knew she would. Nata is the best dancer at the school; I’m only crossing my fingers I maybe reached her level, or that some sort of miracle will happen.

I should really stop believing in fairy tales.

“Welcome, Emilia Moretti,” the director of the school says, and I smile at the judges. The room feels bigger somehow today, but at the same time more oppressive. Maybe it’s their eyes on me, the way they smile. The former prima ballerina of the American Ballet Company nods, but she purses her lips in an I-have-much-more-important-places-to-be or we’ve-seen-the-best, what’s-the-point way.

I ground myself. I’ve been judged many times before. I won’t pretend they’re naked. I won’t pretend they’re not there. I’m going to give it my all, give it my best and show them that I’m worth it.

There’s a familiar smell of wood and window cleaner. We’re the first ones to audition so the room still smells as it does every morning.

Images of the summer flash back to me: how my body became one with the music, how I let my guard down, the pain I felt when my birth mother pushed me away, the happiness I felt when I was with Nick. How at ease. I hold on to those emotions instead of pushing them away like I usually do. Those emotions are my anchors.

“Are you ready?”

“Yes,” I reply.

And I am.

The music invades me and as I turn into a pirouette, I let the story become who I am, I let myself becoming Sleeping Beauty.

I let myself believe once again.

As a self-publisher, I get to decide when my book is ready. I get to hit the “publish” button. But it never gets easier. And in my view, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Because being nervous in this case means that I care about the book, and I care about their journey. And yes, I need to work on being less anxious, but sometimes I also need to embrace it.

Emilia and Nicholas—Em & Nick—are two characters who are close to my heart. And letting them go in the world could probably be compared to when our parents let us go out of the door on that first day of class. They know it’s not going to be all pink and happy and laughter. But they are also convinced that we deserve the best.

Well, ALWAYS SECOND BEST going out of the door, getting ready for the world, and I know Em & Nick will not only receive praise and love but there’s a big part of me that crosses my fingers that most of the world falls in love with them. Just like I did.

Part of the pre-order process on Amazon is that you need to upload your book 10 days before and in the self-publishing world, everything usually comes out faster, and I’m always scared out of my mind that maybe I should have just re-read it one more, maybe I should have just ask somebody else to give me feedback, maybe I should have scrapped the entire thing. And I’m the only one making that decision at that moment in time. (well, I do reach out to my friends in freaked out text messages or GChat for reassurance and they rock :P)

I keep my head high and my “delete” finger in check and I re-read the comments, and I make sure my little book is ready for all kinds of weather: for the negative reviews storm, for the positive reviews blue skies, for the “I loved this story” rainbows…

And I make sure I’m ready for that to: reaching out to friends, getting a hug from my husband, eating chocolate, watching a movie, going out, reading…

And then I hit “publish”…

And today, Always Second Best is available around the world.

And I cross my fingers you enjoy it at least half as much as I love it.

Author Bio:
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Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she'd never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.

She's also a serial smiley user.


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Rlease Day Blitz: The Domville 5 by CJ Fallowfield

Title: The Domville 
Author: CJ Fallofield
Series: Domville #5
Genre: Erotica
Release Date: October  16, 2015
No one knows what goes on behind closed doors

The Shrewsbury Domville sits proudly in the middle of the rolling Shropshire hills. Affluent tourists converge on the hotel in peak season, looking to explore the historic town and breath-taking countryside and experience gastronomic delights in nearby Ludlow. The last thing you’d expect to find in this quintessential British setting, was the home for the largest monthly swinger’s meeting in England. Couples and singles alike descend on the sleepy town for the first weekend in every month, looking for new sexual experiences or companions. When Anthony and Tracy Hodgins hear of this and decide to spice up their routine sex life, everything changes.

But was it for better, or worse?

The Domville 5 is the fifth in a series of self-contained hot erotic reads, set in the exclusive six star hotel chain. 

Warning – This is an erotica series. If you’re after a happy ever after, then I’d suggest trying one of my erotic romance novels instead.

This novella contains explicit adult sexual content and is suitable only for those aged 18 and over.

Author Bio:
C.J. Fallowfield is an #1 Amazon bestselling author of contemporary humorous erotic romance novels.

Her alter ego, Charlotte Fallowfield, writes contemporary romantic comedy novels.

CJ is from the United Kingdom and is half French. She lives in the wonderful countryside of Wales, surrounded by rolling hills, trees and fields full of sheep and cows. Her writing aids include chocolate, Ben & Jerry's and copious amounts of coffee, wine or cider. Reading was her main pastime, until she discovered the joy of creating hot, erotic, romantic fiction, but she still tries to set aside time to indulge her appetite for steamy reads by other authors too.


Domville 5

Domville 1

Domville 2

Domville 3

Domville 4

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