Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday's Film Adaption: The Searchers by Alan Le May

From the moment they left their homestead unguarded on that scorching Texas day, Martin Pauley and Amos Edwards became searchers. First they had to return to the decimated ranch, bury the bodies of their family, and confront the evil cunning of the Comanche who had slaughtered them. Then they set out in pursuit of missing Debbie Edwards. In the years that follow, Amos and Martin survive storms of nature and of men, seeking more than a missing girl, and more than revenge. Both are driven by secrets, guilt, love, and rage. Defying the dangers all around them, two men become a frontier legend, searching for the one moment, and the one last battle, that will finally set them free. . .

Supper was over by sundown, and Henry Edwards walked out from the house for a last look around. He carried his light shotgun, in hopes the rest of the family would think he meant to pick up a sage hen or two — a highly unlikely prospect anywhere near the house. He had left his gun belt on its peg beside the door, but he had sneaked the heavy six-gun itself into his waistband inside his shirt. Martha was washing dishes in the wooden sink close by, and both their daughters — Lucy, a grown-up seventeen, and Debbie, just coming ten — were drying and putting away. He didn't want to get them all stirred up; not until he could figure out for himself what had brought on his sharpened dread of the coming night.

"Take your pistol, Henry," Martha said clearly. Her hands were busy, but her eyes were on the holster where it hung empty in plain sight, and she was laughing at him. That was the wonderful thing about Martha. At thirty-eight she looked older than she was in some ways, especially her hands. But in other ways she was a lot younger. Her sense of humor did that. She could laugh hard at things other people thought only a little bit funny, or not funny at all; so that often Henry could see the pretty sparkle of the girl he had married twenty years back.

He grunted and went out. Their two sons were on the back gallery as he came out of the kitchen. Hunter Edwards, named after Martha's family, was nineteen, and as tall as his old man. He sat on the floor, his head lolled back against the adobe, and his mind so far away that his mouth hung open. Only his eyes moved as he turned them to the shotgun. He said dutifully, "Help you, Pa?"


Ben, fourteen, was whittling out a butter paddle. He jumped up, brushing shavings off his blue jeans. His father made a Plains-Indian sign — a fist pulled downward from in front of his shoulder, meaning "sit-stay." Ben went back to his whittling.

"Don't you forget to sweep them shavings up," Henry said.

"I won't, Pa."

They watched their father walk off, his long, slow-looking steps quiet in his flat-heeled boots, until he circled the corrals and was out of sight.

"What's he up to?" Ben asked. "There ain't any game out there. Not short of the half mile."

Hunter hesitated. He knew the answer but, like his father, he didn't want to say anything yet. "I don't know," he said at last, letting his voice sound puzzled. Within the kitchen he heard a match strike. With so much clear light left outside, it was hard to believe how shadowy the kitchen was getting, within its thick walls. But he knew his mother was lighting a lamp. He called softly, "Ma ... Not right now."

His mother came to the door and looked at him oddly, the blown-out match smoking in her hand. He met her eyes for a moment, but looked away again without explaining. Martha Edwards went back into the kitchen, moving thoughtfully; and no light came on. Hunter saw that his father was in sight again, very far away for the short time he had been gone. He was walking toward the top of a gentle hill northwest of the ranch buildings. Hunter watched him steadily as long as he was in sight. Henry never did go clear to the top. Instead he climbed just high enough to see over, then circled the contour to look all ways, so that he showed himself against the sky no more than he had to. He was at it a long time.

Ben was staring at Hunter. "Hey. I want to know what —"

"Shut up, will you?"

Ben looked astonished, and obeyed.

From just behind the crest of the little hill, Henry Edwards could see about a dozen miles, most ways. The evening light was uncommonly clear, better to see by than the full glare of the sun. But the faint roll of the prairie was deceptive. A whole squadron of cavalry could probably hide itself at a thousand yards, in a place that looked as flat as a parade ground. So he was looking for little things — a layer of floating dust in the branches of the mesquite, a wild cow or an antelope disturbed. He didn't see anything that meant much. Not for a long time.

He looked back at his house. He had other things, the stuff he worked with — barn, corrals, stacks of wild hay, a shacky bunkhouse for sleeping extra hands. But it was the house he was proud of. Its adobe walls were three and four feet thick, so strong that the first room they had built had for a long time been called the Edwards Fort. They had added on to it since, and made it even more secure. The shake roof looked burnable, but it wasn't, for the shakes were laid upon two feet of sod. The outside doors were massive, and the windows had heavy battle shutters swung inside.

And the house had luxuries. Wooden floors. Galleries — some called them porches, now — both front and back. Eight windows with glass. He had made his family fairly comfortable here, at long last, working patiently with his hands through the years when there was no money, and no market for cows, and nothing to do about it but work and wait.

He could hardly believe there had been eighteen years of that kind of hanging on. But they had come out here that long ago — the same year Hunter had been born — drawn by these miles and miles of good grass, free to anyone who dared expose himself to the Kiowas and Comanches. It hadn't looked so dangerous when they first came, for the Texas Rangers had just punished the Wild Tribes back out of the way. But right after that the Rangers were virtually disbanded, on the thrifty theory that the Federal Government was about to take over the defense. The Federal troops did not come. Henry and Martha held on and prayed. One year more, they told each other again and again ... just another month ... only until spring ... So the risky years slid by, while no military help appeared. Their nearest neighbors, the Pauleys, were murdered off by a Comanche raid, without survivors except a little boy less than two years old; and they heard of many, many more.

Six years of that. Then, in 1857, Texas gave up waiting, and the Rangers bloomed again. A tough line of forts sprang up — McKavitt, Phantom Hill, Bell's Stockade. The little strongholds were far strung out, all the way from the Salt Fork to the Rio Grande, but they gave reassurance nonetheless. The dark years of danger were over; they had lashed out, won through to years of peace and plenty in which to grow old — or so they thought for a little while. Then the War Between the States drained the fighting men away, and the Kiowas and Comanches rose up singing once more, to take their harvest.

Whole counties were scoured out and set back to wilderness in those war years. But the Edwardses stayed, and the Mathisons, and a few more far-spread, dug-in families, holding the back door of Texas, driving great herds of longhorns to Matagordas for the supply of the Confederate troops. And they waited again, holding on just one year more, then another, and one more yet.

Henry would have given up. He saw no hope that he would ever get a foothold out here again, once he drew out, but he would gladly have sacrificed their hopes of a cattle empire to take Martha and their children to a safer place. It was Martha who would not quit, and she had a will that could jump and blaze like a grass fire. How do you take a woman back to the poverty of the cotton rows against her will? They stayed.

The war's end brought the turn of fortune in which they had placed their faith. Hiring cowboys on promise, borrowing to provision them, Henry got a few hundred head into the very first drive to end-of-track at Abilene. Now, with the war four years past, two more drives had paid off. And this year he and Aaron Mathison, pooling together, had sent north more than three thousand head. But where were the troops that peace should have released to their defense? Bolder, wilder, stronger every year, the Comanches and their Kiowa allies punished the range. Counties that had survived the war were barren now; the Comanches had struck the outskirts of San Antonio itself.

Once they could have quit and found safety in a milder land. They couldn't quit now, with fortune beyond belief coming into their hands. They were as good as rich — and living in the deadliest danger that had overhung them yet. Looking back over the years, Henry did not know how they had survived so long; their strong house and everlasting watchfulness could not explain it. It must have taken miracles of luck, Henry knew, and some mysterious quirks of Indian medicine as well, to preserve them here. If he could have seen, in any moment of the years they had lived here, the endless hazards that lay ahead, he would have quit that same minute and got Martha out of there if he had had to tie her.

But you get used to unresting vigilance, and a perpetual danger becomes part of the everyday things around you. After a long time you probably wouldn't know how to digest right, any more, if it altogether went away. All that was behind could not explain, exactly, the way Henry felt tonight. He didn't believe in hunches, either, or any kind of spirit warnings. He was sure he had heard, or seen, or maybe even smelled some sign so small he couldn't remember it. Sometimes a man's senses picked up dim warnings he didn't even recognize. Like sometimes he had known an Indian was around, without knowing what told him, until a little later the breeze would bring the smell of the Indian a little stronger — a kind of old-buffalo-robe smell — which of course had been the warning before he knew he smelled anything. Or sometimes he knew horses were coming before he could hear their hoofs; he supposed this came by a tremor of the ground so weak you didn't know you felt it, but only knew what it meant.

He became aware that he was biting his mustache. It was a thin blond mustache, trailing downward at the corners of his mouth, so that it gave his face a dour look it didn't have underneath. But it wasn't a chewed mustache, because he didn't chew it. Patiently he studied the long sweep of the prairie, looking steadily at each quadrant for many minutes. He was sorry now that he had let Amos go last night to help the Mathisons chase cow thieves; Amos was Henry's brother and a rock of strength. It should have been enough that he let Martin Pauley go along. Mart was the little boy they had found in the brush, after the Pauley massacre, and raised as their own. He was eighteen now, and given up to be the best shot in the family. The Mathisons hadn't been satisfied anyway. Thought he should send Hunter, too, or else come himself. You can't ever please everybody.

A quarter mile off a bedded-down meadowlark sprang into the air, circled uncertainly, then drifted away. Henry became motionless, except for his eyes, which moved continually, casting the plain. Five hundred yards to the right of the spot where the meadowlark had jumped, a covey of quail went up.

Henry turned and ran for the house.

Martin Pauley had found this day a strange one almost from the start. Twelve riders had gathered to trail some cow thieves who had bit into the Mathisons'; and the queer thing about it was that five out of the twelve soon disagreed with all the others as to what they were following.

Aaron Mathison, who owned the run-off cattle, was a bearded, calm-eyed man of Quaker extraction. He had not been able to hold onto the part of his father's faith which forswore the bearing of arms, but he still prayed, and read the Bible every day. Everything about the Mathison place was either scrubbed, or raked, or whitewashed, but the house was cramped and sparely furnished compared to the Edwards'. All the money Aaron could scrape went into the quality of his livestock. Lately he had got his Lazy Lightning brand on ten head of blood bulls brought on from Kansas City. These had been held, by the chase-'em-back method, with a small herd on the Salt Crick Flats. This was the herd that was gone.

They picked up the churned trail of the stolen herd shortly after dawn, and followed it briskly, paced by the light-riding Mathison boys on their good horses. Martin Pauley lagged back, dogging it in the early hours. He had a special grouch of his own because he had looked forward to a visit with Laurie Mathison before they set out. Laurie was eighteen, like himself — straight and well boned, he thought, in terms he might have used to judge a filly. Lately he had caught her unwary gray eyes following him, now and then, when he was around the Mathisons'. But not this morning.

Laurie had been flying around, passing out coffee and quick-grab breakfast, with two of the Harper boys and Charlie MacCorry helping her on three sides — all of them clowning, and cutting up, and showing off, till there was no way to get near. Martin Pauley was a quiet boy, dark as an Indian except for his light eyes; he never did feel he cut much of a figure among the blond and easy-laughing people with whom he was raised. So he had hung back, and never did get to talk to Laurie. She ran out to his stirrup, and said, "Hi," hardly looking at him as she handed him a hunk of hot meat wrapped in bread — no coffee — and was gone again. And that was the size of it.

For a while Martin kept trying to think of something cute he might have said. Didn't think of a thing. So he got bored with himself, and took a wide unneedful swing out on the flank. He was casting the prairie restlessly, looking for nothing in particular, when presently he found something that puzzled him and made him uneasy.

Mystified, he crossed the trail and swung wide on the other flank to take a look at the ground over there; and here he found Amos, doing the same thing. Amos Edwards was forty, two years older than his brother Henry, a big burly figure on a strong but speedless horse. He was some different from the rest of the Edwards family. His heavy head of hair was darker, and probably would have been red-brown, except that it was unbrushed, without any shine to it. And he was liable to be pulled back into his shell between rare bursts of temper. Just now he was riding lumpily, hands in his pockets, reins swinging free from the horn, while he guided his horse by unnoticeable flankings with the calves of his legs and two-ounce shifts of weight. Martin cleared his throat a few times, hoping Amos would speak, but he did not.

"Uncle Amos," Martin said, "you notice something almighty fishy about this trail?"

"Like what?"

"Well, at the jump-off I counted tracks of twelve, fifteen ponies working this herd. Now I can't find no more than four, five. First I supposed the rest had pushed on ahead, and their trails got tromp out by cows —"

"That's shrewd," Amos snubbed him. "I never would have thunk of it."

"— only, just now I find me a fit-up where two more ponies forked off — and they sure didn't push on ahead. They turned back."


"Why? Gosh, Uncle Amos — how the hell should I know? That's what itches me."

"Do me one thing," Amos said. "Drop this 'Uncle' foolishness."


"You don't have to call me 'Sir,' neither. Nor 'Grampaw,' neither. Nor 'Methuselah,' neither. I can whup you to a frazzle."

Martin was blanked. "What should I call you?"

"Name's Amos."

"All right. Amos. You want I should mosey round and see what the rest of 'em think?"

"They'll tell you the same." He was pulled back in his shell, fixing to bide his time.

It was straight-up noon, and they had paused to water at a puddle in a coulee, before Amos made his opinion known. "Aaron," he said in tones most could hear, "I'd be relieved to know if all these boys realize what we're following here. Because it ain't cow thieves. Not the species we had in mind."

"How's this, now?"

"What we got here is a split-off from an Indian war party, running wild loose on a raid." He paused a moment, then finished quietly. "Maybe you knowed that already. In case you didn't, you know it now. Because I just told you."

Aaron Mathison rubbed his fingers through his beard and appeared to consider; and some of the others put in while he did that. Old Mose Harper pointed out that none of the thieves had ridden side by side, not once on the trail, as the tracks showed plain. Indians and dudes rode single file — Indians to hide their numbers, and dudes because the horses felt like it — but white men rode abreast in order to gab all the time. So the thieves were either Indians or else not speaking. One t'other. This contribution drew partly hidden smiles from Mose Harper's sons.

Young Charlie MacCorry, a good rough-stock rider whom Martin resented because of his lively attentions to Laurie Mathison, spoke of noticing that the thieves all rode small unshod horses, a whole lot like buffalo ponies. And Lije Powers got in his two cents. Lije was an old-time buffalo hunter, who now lived by wandering from ranch to ranch, "stopping by." He said now that he had "knowed it from the fust," and allowed that what they were up against was a "passel of Caddoes."

An Indian-hating Civil War veteran tracks down the tribe that slaughtered his family and kidnapped his niece.

Release Date: March 13, 1956
Release Time: 119 minutes

John Wayne as Ethan Edwards
Jeffrey Hunter as Martin Pawley
Vera Miles as Laurie Jorgensen
Ward Bond as Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnson Clayton
Natalie Wood as Debbie Edwards (older)
John Qualen as Lars Jorgensen
Olive Carey as Mrs. Jorgensen
Henry Brandon as Chief Cicatriz (Scar)
Ken Curtis as Charlie McCorry
Harry Carey, Jr. as Brad Jorgensen
Antonio Moreno as Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa
Hank Worden as Mose Harper
Beulah Archuletta as Wild Goose Flying in the Night Sky (Look)
Walter Coy as Aaron Edwards
Dorothy Jordan as Martha Edwards
Pippa Scott as Lucy Edwards
Lana Wood as Debbie Edwards (young)
Robert Lyden as Ben Edwards (uncredited)
Patrick Wayne as Lt. Greenhill
Peter Mamakos as Jerem Futterman (uncredited)
William Steele as Nesby, wounded posse member (uncredited)
Uncredited: Ruth Clifford, Mae Marsh, Jack Pennick, Chief Thundercloud

American Film Institute:
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies – No. 96
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains: Ethan Edwards – Nominated Hero
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes: "Let's go home, Debbie." – Nominated
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – No. 12
AFI's 10 Top 10 – No. 1 Western Film

Author Bio:
Alan Le May was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and attended Stetson University in DeLand, Florida in 1916. In 1918 he registered for the World War I draft in Aurora, and then enlisted and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. While attending the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 1922 with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree, he joined the Illinois National Guard. He was promoted to First Lieutenant Field Artillery for the Illinois National Guard in 1923. He published his first novel, Painted Ponies, in 1927 (about the Cheyenne and the U. S. Cavalry horse soldiers).




Laguna Beach Kindle Worlds Part 3

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Laguna Beach Kindle World!

I’m so glad you are here and diving into this wonderful story. All of the Laguna Beach Kindle World stories are set in the same town of Laguna Beach, where my original series takes place. And if you’re familiar with the series, you’ll no doubt run across some of your favorite characters. The difference is, this book is entirely the work of the author. I didn’t help with plotting, writing or editing, but I was thrilled that when I asked her, she agreed to bring her imagination and storytelling skills to Laguna Beach!

Happy reading. For more about Laguna Beach, stop by my website:

Enjoy your time at the beach!

Kaira Rouda

Lucky in Laguna by Rachelle Ayala
Dog walker Tally Tallahan has tried out for every reality show on the planet, but she’s never made the cut. She visits a former client, Laguna Nights star Laura Kincaid, to ask her to pull some strings.

Lucky Lenigan is lucky in everything except love. The shy scriptwriter writes for reality shows, but he is tongue-tied when it comes to romance. He bumps into Tally when she’s buying a lottery ticket with his lucky numbers.

Tally recognizes Lucky as the genius behind a number of high profile reality shows, and gets close to him so she could land a role.

When a bigshot actor’s eyes and hands land all over Tally, Lucky is torn between wanting success for her and keeping her for himself.

Will Lucky be more than Tally’s lucky break? Or will she abandon him for a slice of celebrity life?
A Treasure in Laguna by Heather Hiestand

Add a dose of treasure hunting danger, mix in the excitement of finding true love when you least expect it, and you have A Treasure in Laguna...

Failed teen reality TV star Crowe Erickson comes to Laguna Beach looking for gold, redemption, and a new treasure hunting reality TV show. What he finds is another kind of treasure: Jenny Craft, the sexy television star who was his first crush.

While intrigued by his hunt for gold, Jenny left Hollywood and its shallow people far behind and is now running a successful restaurant of her own. She wants nothing to do with a younger, fame-seeking man.

One bad day in front of the cameras cost Crowe his first career. But he’s determined that this time it isn’t going to cost him the girl.
One Night in Laguna by Melissa Keir

Schoolteacher, Melanie Whitman’s dating life is in shambles when her boyfriend and former boss dumps her. Her best friend arranges for Master Draikoh San, matchmaker extraordinaire, to provide her with a night to remember.

Breakout star of the third season of the reality TV show Laguna Nights Cole Hayes was burned by the limelight and started a family. After a messy divorce and looking to move back into the dating scene, he agrees to a one-night stand.

Can Cole and Melanie create a relationship that will last a lifetime, or will their one-night stand crash in the waves of Laguna Beach?
Reckless in Laguna by Barbara Ankrum

He was the gardener’s brilliant son. She was the rich girl who loved him. But when Nio Reyes mysteriously left Laguna Beach ten years ago without a word of goodbye, he broke Becca Howard’s heart.

Now, with Becca’s once wealthy family in ruins, their money gone, the ever sexy Nio has returned on the eve of their old friends’ beach wedding to undo the damage he left behind. With secrets and family lies still standing in their way, Becca has quit believing in happily-ever-afters.

But one reckless, long-overdue weekend just might change everything.

Lucky in Laguna by Rachelle Ayala
“Luck had nothing to do with it.” Tally Tallahan’s lucky friend Laura Kincaid, the former reality TV star turned fashion designer, stared wide-eyed at her from across the table.

Tally set her chopsticks down and stared back, making sure to bug her eyes out. “Duh, you met the love of your life, Paul Dorn, because you just happened to crash your car outside of his store. He just happened to own Brace Activewear. As luck would have it, he wanted to expand into women’s wear, and there you were.”

“Yes, there I was, but I still had to wow him with my designs, among other things.” Laura punctuated her statement by pointing her chopsticks at Tally.

“I’m not saying you didn’t,” Tally agreed. “I wish you’d rub some of that ju-ju luck off on me.”

The two friends, who had met during Laura’s stint on Hollywood Nights, were at Laguna Beach’s premier Chinese restaurant having dim sum.

“You have to make your own luck.” Laura picked up an eggroll and dipped it into the sweet and sour sauce. “I take it you’re still trying to get into a reality show?”

“Heck yeah.” Tally poked a shrimp ball with a single chopstick. “I’ve tried everything, cooking, singing, dancing, even the weird stuff like rescuing wildlife where I got paired with a family of abandoned baby skunks.”

“And? Nothing?”

“I keep getting cut before the cast is selected. What am I doing wrong?”

“Nothing.” Laura took her time crunching her eggroll. She wiped her lips with a napkin and turned her wide blue eyes on Tally. “You’re too nice to be in a reality show.”

A Treasure in Laguna by Heather Hiestand
“Are you okay?” Crowe called.

A flashlight flared to life. Blinking against the sudden light, Jenny pulled her left foot out of the hole. Only her sock covered her toes. “I lost my shoe down there.”

“How deep?” Crowe asked, kneeling next to her.

“Up to my knee.”

He stuck his hand in the hole.

“Oh, don’t do that,” Jenny yelped. “It’s wet and disgusting.”

Justin held the flashlight over Crowe as he dropped to his stomach, ignoring her, and stuck his arm down up to mid-bicep.

Jenny waved her hands. “Crowe, come on, it’s not important. I mean, I found this marking just above where my foot sank in, but—”

He glanced up. “Treasure hunting is a messy business.”

“My shoe isn’t treasure. What creatures might be living in there?”

“Maybe not your shoe, but that marking might indicate something else of note.” His expression became intent as his shoulder rotated. “You know, I’m not finding your shoe, but I’ve got something else.” He lifted his hand. Rotting vegetation covered his palm.

Jenny was on her knees, but she still managed to jump back, her knees grated by small sharp pebbles. “Don’t you throw that at me, Erickson.”

He chuckled and dropped the muck against the cave wall. “Going down. I thought your feet were pretty big for a girl, but your shoe seems to have vanished.” He stuck his arm in again as Jenny huffed in mock outrage.

“Huh,” Crowe said after a few seconds. His arm came up again.

“What is it?” Jenny asked.

He rubbed one palm against the other, vegetation and water dripping off his hand. “Well, would you look at that.”

One Night in Laguna by Melissa Keir
“Sure. A pop, please.”

Melanie watched Cole walk to the bar. His tight slacks outlined his backside, while his dark hair reminded her of a Greek god, with the short back and sides and a long layer on top. She longed to run her fingers through his hair. Each peek at the tanned skin of his neck had her biting her lip. Melanie hadn’t been this physically attracted to someone in a long time. Her reaction was spontaneous. Maybe Master Draikoh San knew what she needed. After all, she wasn’t looking for a happily ever after, only a happily for tonight.

Cole wasn’t what she’d pictured when she thought of a California guy. Board shorts and bleach-blond hair, scruffy beard, and dark tan. Nope. None of those applied to Cole. With his high-end slacks, broad shoulders, and short hair, he looked more like a Navy Seal than a beach bum. And while his hair was shorter than in his photograph, Melanie had no complaints about Cole in the looks department, but she’d learned to be cautious. Her ex had been good looking and charming, too…right up until he dumped her.

“Here’s your soda. They had Coke.” He placed the tall glass in front of her. “I hope that’s okay.”

“Sure. Although, if you asked my friend, Brandi, from Texas, the only pop is Dr. Pepper.” She raised the glass and took a sip. Bubbles tickled her nose as the cold drink washed down her throat.

Reckless in Laguna by Barbara Ankrum
“I’ll take you home, if you want.” Nio held Becca against him there on his father’s deck, reluctant to let her go. “Or we could stay here. Watch the morning come.”

“No. No, I couldn’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because, if I stayed,” she said, “I might ask you to kiss me again. And that would be—”

Without invitation, he dropped his mouth against hers and kissed her until her toes curled, until she forgot where she was and all of her objections. She opened her mouth to him and he took full advantage, slanting his kiss first one way, then the other in a breathless crush of need. A sound—more like a mewl of hunger—escaped her as he picked her up, walked a handful of steps to the padded beach chaise and stretched out half-atop her.

She inhaled the heady scent of him, ran her hands across his strong, muscled back, then lower, toward the taut curve of his hip. She felt his need hard against her thigh, inflaming the hunger rising in her. He felt so good. So very, very good.

Yet, some small voice, way-y-y way back in her mind warned her that this was a mistake, reminding her that she had sworn off men forever, because none of them could be trusted. Including him.

But this was Nio, the boy who had loved her when she’d felt unloved, laughed with her when she needed laughter and taught her how to gently plant a tree so as not to crush its roots. Nio, the boy she’d dreamed about for so many years, right here in her arms. And finally, there was no money standing between them, no parents interfering, no one forbidding them to do what they were about to do right now.

Click to Check Out Part 1  /  Part 2

Laguna Nights
Madison Alcott was back in her hometown, caring for her sick mom and working long hours at the best resort in Laguna Beach. She never imagined she'd return to the place where she became famous on the hit reality TV show Laguna Nights, and the place where she was humiliated on national television. Fortunately, the past had stayed tucked away until her old high school boyfriend appeared in the lobby.

Josh Welsh was a superstar by age eighteen, the bad boy break-out star of Laguna Nights. Since then, his star had lost its shine and he barely was holding onto his Hollywood status. When he was asked to host a new reality travel show, he jumped at the chance. The only problem was the first episode was shooting in Laguna Beach. Of all the reasons Josh didn't want to return home, he hadn't even imagined the worst scenario: running into Madison "Holly" Alcott. Josh's connection to Madison was still as strong as her anger at his betrayal. When the new reality series forces them together, they must face Laguna Nights past and present, and navigate a journey where nothing is as it seems.

Laguna Heights
Annie and Hank have created a perfect life in Laguna Beach but when a dark secret is revealed, will their marriage survive?

In high school, Annie Johns was the calm, supportive sidekick to the rest of the tumultuous female stars of the hit reality TV show, Laguna Nights. Today, she’s living the happy life as a mom that she predicted on the show long ago. There’s only one problem: the secret from her past that haunts her most nights, a secret that if revealed could ruin everything she shares with her husband, Hank, a man who saved her from the heartache.

Lugana Lights
Laura Kinkaid’s glamorous Hollywood life is falling apart. After years of reality television stardom beginning in high school on Laguna Nights, her career and relationship with her long-term boyfriend Scott are fizzling out. Laura decides to go home to Laguna Beach for the weekend to attend a baby shower for her high school friend. That decision – and a car accident – will lead her to a new future, if she’s ready to take a chance at love.

Paul Dorn’s former life in New York City is far behind him and he’s working in a popular Laguna Beach surf shop when fate brings the most beautiful woman he’s ever met into his life. The attraction is instant and he has an overwhelming desire to protect her. While Paul’s retail sales career is a short-term job for market research purposes, his focus on Laura is long-term.

Will Laura allow a handsome stranger to help her create a future unlike her past, or will the bright lights of Hollywood pull her back to LA?

Laguna Sights
Once you're a star, can you trust other people’s intentions?

Scott Cassidy has lived a blessed life. Growing up in Laguna Beach with a loving family, he was discovered in high school when he appeared on the popular reality TV show, Laguna Nights. Now cast as a doctor on the number one soap opera, his star keeps rising. Finally free from his long-term girlfriend, Scott isn’t looking for love, but when a popular dating app matches him with Jamie Kane, he can’t deny the sparks. But is she really everything she seems?

Jamie Kane isn’t lucky in love or life. Her childhood was tumultuous with a single mom who moved to Hollywood for fame but ended up waiting tables in Malibu. Certainly not one of the spoiled kids she went to high school and college with, Jamie has worked hard to achieve her dreams of being an actress, even as she begins to realize it’s not her calling. Jamie believes Scott may be the answer to everything unless a past mistake makes him doubt their future together.

Is the price of fame the chance at true love?

Author Bios:
Rachelle Ayala
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it's within the pages of a book.

Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.

She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.

Heather Hiestand
Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she has written in many subgenres of romance since then. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.

Melissa Keir
Melissa Keir has always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver. Her love of books was instilled by her mother and grandparents who were avid readers. She’d often sneak books away from them so that she could fantasize about those strong alpha males and plucky heroines. In middle school and high school, Melissa used to write sappy love poems and shared them with her friends and still has those poems today! In college her writing changed to sarcastic musings on life as well as poems with a modern twist on fairy tales and won awards for her writing. You can find many of these musings along with her latest releases on her website and blog. Her stories feature small towns and happily ever after!

Barbara Ankrum
Barbara Ankrum considers it a gift to write about hope and the healing power of love, because, let’s face it, there are times when all of us need a dose of that in our lives. Readers have taken her bestselling books into their hearts because, as in real life, the bitter in her stories is always balanced with the sweet, the funny and the adventurous misstep. Stumbling is part of life, but it’s the getting up part she loves to write about.

Having written for Zebra, Harper Collins, Harlequin and Silhouette, Barbara’s been fortunate enough to have been twice nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award for both her historical westerns and her romantic suspense. Her latest contemporary romance series is set in the hugely popular Marietta, Montana from Tule Publishing. But no matter what genre she’s writing in, her books are always about characters your heart aches for just a little bit.

She’s been married forever to the love of her life, has two grown children, three young grandkids, and after being a California girl most of her life, she’s a recent transplant to the Midwest. And yes. She knows that’s crazy.

Kaira Rouda
Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women's fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart.

Her women's fiction titles include THE GOODBYE YEAR, HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER'S DAY. Her sexy contemporary romance series include the LAGUNA BEACH Series, the INDIGO ISLAND Series with a new MALIBU Series launching in 2016.

Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.

Kaira's work has won numerous awards including the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader's Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Book Awards. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and on her website.

Rachelle Ayala

Heather Hiestand

Melissa Keir

Barbara Ankrum

Kaira Rouda

Lucky in Laguna by Rachelle Ayala

A Treasure in Laguna by Heather Hiestand

One Night in Laguna by Melissa Keir

Reckless in Laguna by Barbara Ankrum

Laguna Beach Series by Kaira Rouda
Laguna Nights #1

Laguna Heights #2

Laguna Lights #3

Laguna Sights #4

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