Sunday 29 November 2015

Day 6 of Affairs of the Heart

Each day a group of blogs will present special excerpts from some of the books...look below for the blog hop schedule. AFFAIRS OF THE HEART
Name of cover designer: RENE FOLSOM Official genre of box set: ROMANCE Content warning: 18+
Contemporary Romance Box Set — Complete Stories Anthology — Hot New Release — Vacation Reading Package 15 COMPLETE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS FROM YOUR FAVORITE ROMANCE AUTHORS IN ONE PRETTY PACKAGE.
Due to mature content, situations and language, this collection is recommended for audiences 18+. Heat levels range from sensual to scorching. All works in this box set have been professionally proofed by Paper Gold Publishing, unless this service was expressly refused by the author. Some stories are written in American, and some in British English. The authors have chosen to stay true to their heritage. Includes a mix of already released and never-before seen stories, all complete works. Those books which are part of a series can be enjoyed fully without the need to read the complete series (though there is a chance you might develop story-addiction issues—for that, we apologize). Dive into summer in good company. Affairs of the Heart gives you the chance to make 15 new sets of best friends. Just think about it: 15 hot boyfriends and girlfriends you can lust after, laugh with, or shed a tear for. If there is one thing this set is brimming with is intense emotion. We guarantee you won’t be able to simply walk away, stone-cold, from this collection.
Maci strives for one thing in life—anonymity. With her writing career in full bloom, all she wants is to work in peace while concealing her true identity from the public. Though readers love the science fiction worlds she creates, Maci knows that gender stereotypes could damage her career if she is exposed as a woman.
Liam is the envy of all gamers as the lead developer for nZone Studios. Over time, he builds walls around himself, keeping people at arm’s length who only gravitate to him for his material possessions rather than who he is as a person.
With thick barriers around their hearts and their past looming in the shadows, Liam and Maci challenge each other by slowly peeling away their protective layers and seeing each other for who they really are. It doesn’t take long after their chance meeting at a coffee shop for them to become one another’s game changer.
Note: This contemporary romance novel is the first book in the Playing Games series and contains adult situations meant for ages 18+.
“Trust me, he says. You’ll be safe with me, he says.”
Amelie Watts is sick and tired of being treated like a child. She might be willowy and delicate, but she has strength of the kind that doesn’t show on the outside. Plus, she learned all she needed to know so she could cope on her own. Now, if only her big brother would finally release her inheritance! She would fly to the Bahamas and kiss the backwater she grew up in goodbye.
Jason Watts is fed up with picking up the pieces of his little sister’s life. If only she would grow up already and learn to live life without stabilizers! Her latest idea is insane, and bound to be her most enormous failure to date. But how to make her understand?
Enter Rob Tyson, incorrigible bachelor and Jason’s best friend. For a laugh, they make a bet.
Two people, a hastily acquired boat, and a tropical paradise. What could possibly go wrong?
Zaed, Sophie's American-born friend, kneels at a party to retrieve a glittering ring from the floor. Before anyone can comment, Natasha, Sophie's cousin, is shrieking 'yes, yes, I accept' to a bewildered Zaed. It's all a cosmic mistake, but things get out of hand rapidly as Zaed's father, an old friend of Natasha's father, bribes Zaed to accept Natasha's expectations and wed her. But then, Zaed and Sophie fall in love. And the huge, elaborate wedding between Zaed and Natasha, a wedding that will join two powerful families, is next week.
You don't just back out at the altar. Not in Pakistan…
James, a UK based chef, has tried to make a career with EAT-TV, but his womanizing ways aren’t what they’re looking for with their wholesome family style image. However, the producers of a new reality show about single life, The Fixer Upper, think he’s perfect. Against his wishes his agent convinces him to give it a shot. His overpriced bachelor pad is needing a mortgage payment, and he needs a job to support the tween-aged daughter that’s recently been dumped in his lap.
Margaret Dumas is control freak who has micromanaged her marriage to shambles. When she makes a deal with her mother to quit fixing her up if she’ll do this new reality show, she thinks she’s won. No more blind dates, no more friendly advice, no more “chance meetings” with her Mother’s friends’ sons. The only catch is she’s got to go on detestable reality television and expose her dating habits to a total stranger who is supposed to “fix” her and make her a dating machine. As if.
When Margaret meets James, they clash on the surface, but deep down they recognize something in the other that they want. Redemption.
My name is Alix and I am addicted to sex.
Had been for years. I thought I learned how to live a normal life, but that’s the thing about addiction, it creeps back up when you least expect it. There is no one there for me, no one I can turn to for help. Until I’m given a chance to explore a side of myself I’d always kept locked away. I was lost…until him. I can’t tell you who he is, or why he does the things he’s done. All I can say is I hope one day I behave well enough to take off the blindfold and see the man who controls my addiction. My Master.
My name is John and I am addicted to control.
I tried to deny the dominate side of my personality. I didn’t want to admit how much I enjoyed the power, how much I enjoyed causing pain. That is until the woman I’d been secretly been stalking waltzed into a BDSM club right in front of me. All bets are off. She will be mine.
Together our addictions feed off each other, fueling the fire that burns within. Until suddenly the fire is too hot to handle, burning everything in its path. The pain and scars we’d both come into our fragile relationship with are split wide open, exposing more than either of us can handle, possibly leaving nothing behind to salvage from the ashes.
**Warning: Intended for audiences 18+ due to explicit sex & vulgar language, mention of rape/abuse**
She'd been dealt too many blows to count. He'd always lived life on easy street. Are they Yin and Yang or a mistake of epic proportions?
Makeup artist Reggie Reynolds has endured a life as colorful as her ever-changing hair. After a painful childhood and a tragic adolescence, by sheer force of will, she found success – first in Hollywood, then on Broadway. Returning to her hometown offers a chance to help her aging grandfather and realize her dreams, not to mention soothe a broken heart. But even her storied past won't prepare Reggie for what happens in her next chapter.
When reporter Eddie Besson meets Reggie on a flight to New York City, he thinks he's at an all-time high-point in his cushy, perpetual-youth life. Twenty-four hours with Reggie changes Eddie's perspective. Despite the fact she doesn't want anything to do with him when he leaves, Eddie can't stop thinking about the girl from New York City long after he's gone from the Big Apple.
As Eddie's perfectly-orchestrated life falls apart, he has some tough decisions to make, with only one thing certain: there will be consequences to pay for his lackadaisical approach to adulthood. Reggie's own soul-searching reveals some painful truths, including guilt about passing judgment on the guy from Maine. When she runs into Eddie again – this time on his home turf – sparks fly and decisions must be made, choices that aren't universally well-received. Will this unlikely pair go all-in, find a way to balance the scales and live life on their own terms? Or will tragedy tear them apart for good?
What would you do if you had no place to go and no one you could trust?
Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming, carefree sort of guy. When the mysterious Lena Benton walks into his bar looking scared and defeated, it's not something he can ignore. He's immediately consumed by concern for her and driven by his desire to help. She's just so beautiful. So wounded.
After being shuffled from one foster home to another growing up, Lena Benton dreamt of finding her prince charming. When the captivating Troy Harington sweeps her off her feet shortly after high school graduation, she's certain she's found her happiness. Unfortunately, Troy's true colors surface shortly after their marriage and things turn ugly. Lena only has one choice. She has to leave him. She has to run...
Lena's escape has brought her to Jackson, and he clearly wants to be there for her, but can she trust anyone again after what she's gone through? And will Jackson be able to help her heal without losing his heart?
Mangled Hearts become Entangled Souls
Cade is on the road to recovery with Francesca’s love and support guiding him. His life is changing drastically, from attempting to mend the rift between he and his father, to trying to have a normal relationship with his now fiancé. Most of all, Cade must find a way to control his urges so he can be completely released from rehabilitation.
Francesca is building her law firm with the help of those she loves most, but when a close friend reveals her true feelings about Francesca's engagement, it sends her emotions into a tailspin. Through all of this, she is forced to put her feelings on the back burner for everyone else, until the anniversary of Josie’s accident rolls around. Francesca must learn to put herself first before she falls apart.
In this novella, join Cade and Francesca as they explore their relationship and begin their lives together.
Thank you for picking up this Crimson & Clover short story, SURRENDER. If you've read THE STORM AND THE DARKNESS, you will recognize pieces of this from Ana's flashback to her prom night. SURRENDER is an expanded version of that scene, painting her teenage courtship with Oz with color and context.
Having read other books in the series will provide deeper insight, but they are not required to enjoy this story. SURRENDER is the first of many Crimson & Clover Lagniappes (or, bonus stories). You can pick it up anywhere in your series journey.
I hope you enjoy this quick, lighthearted read about the joyful innocence that accompanies first love.
Andi has always been anxious about her weight and like many women, thinks that unless she is thin, she has no value.
Follow her 'misadventures' and see if this is true or will she find there are more important things that makes a person who and what they are?
Jack Austin had it all – a great home, career, and the girl of his dreams. Then one night he lost them all, thanks to his father. Now he has seventy-two hours to find a way to get back his ranch, and win the heart of the only girl he ever loved.
Katrina Mitchell was a small-town girl who had big dreams. She was the first in her family to graduate high school, and was determined to go to college. Then she met Jack and found out love did not have to come with a price. They made plans for their future, but it all came crashing down around them.
She lost more than she could ever tell anyone that night. Now Jack needs her help. Can she help him without giving away a secret she had fought so long to hide?
Leaving the Marines and returning to the Tormented Souls clubhouse to live with my brother, the president, wasn't as easy as I thought it'd be. I have too many secrets, too many scars to hide from the world. I thought the years away would've dulled the crush I've had on Ellis since I was a child. They didn't.
He's got his eye on me and nothing I say will change his mind. Not even when my boyfriend shows up and he finds out the darkest, most embarrassing secret I have. He thinks it's the only one I have, little does he know, I have a bigger, scarier one that I absolutely refuse to share.
**WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT - Also, please don't bother reading if you think being in the Marines leaves you unfeeling and cold without the need for comfort when far away from home. Don't read this if you have problems with LOTS of sexy scenes or sex. There is vulgar language used so if that bothers you, probably best to skip this book**
A day of errands and fate were responsible for Nadia and Dillon’s paths crossing.
He asked her out, then found himself begging her to keep their first date, the date she had wanted to cancel. Five minutes of her time was all he asked for. He just wanted to see her again. They married and had a perfect storybook love.
But, when Dillon gets in a terrible car accident one morning on his way to work, Nadia’s world crumbles. Life as she knew it changed – perhaps for good.
From amnesia to a lengthy hospital stay to months of physical therapy. The stress of recovery has them questioning the state of their future together.
Will they find their happily ever after?
Joshua Elijah Griffin, IV is on his last chance. A stint in rehab and a transfer to a new school has scared him into putting his life on track. He’s determined to live up to his family’s expectations, but on the first day of class, Josh meets a girl, and he knows his father won’t approve, but in Carrington, he sees a kindred spirit. He's willing to give up everything to be with her.
Carrington Olivia Butler is ready to shine. Always in the shadows of her siblings, she goes away to college to break out of her shell. All Carrington wants is to feel special. Josh's attention is exactly what she craves, but their intense and sometimes volatile relationship is more than what she bargained for.
Josh’s demons return, and Carrington’s feelings fade, but both aren’t ready to give up hope. They give their love one last shot to survive, but hope, may not be enough.
**This book contains adult subject matter. Not intended for young readers**
When Isla Holmes’ life as a child is turned upside down and she is ripped away from her soul mate, she is forced to live a life with evil.
When Isla and her soul mate cross paths, will they find a happy ever after or will evil intervene?
She must help him without giving away her secret… “I never cared who you were. I loved you for you. Not what you had or how much you had.” ~
Chapter One
Jack lowered his head, capturing her mouth, crushing her to him.
“I need you,” he whispered against her moist lips. 
“Hurry, then.” She tightened her legs around his hips, and he stumbled toward the stairs. “We might not make it if you don’t.” Kat giggled as Jack tripped on the landing.
“Oh, we’ll make it,” he said, taking two steps at a time. Her soft, sexy laugh was intoxicating.
“Are you sure?” she whispered against his neck. 
His breath caught in his throat, and he froze as her tongue danced along his ear.
“That’s not fair.” His voice cracked, and his knees shook with each stroke. “Just remember, you brought this on yourself,” he said as he hoisted her up, tossing her over his shoulder.
“Jack, put me down. I’ll behave. I promise.” Kat’s voice dripped with sarcasm, His hand traced up her squirming thigh, and she shuttered, a faint moan escaping her lips. He lifted his hand, smacking down onto the tight denim that hugged the curves that teased him. Kat shrieked, and it echoed in the darkened staircase.
“You’re going to pay for that,” she said, laughing as he raced to the top. 
Jack lowered her to the floor, backing her against the bedroom door. Her heavy lashes shadowed her pink-tinged cheeks. She glanced up, biting her lower lip, looking so damn sexy. Jack let go a low growl and pulled her close. His hand stroked the length of her back up to her slender neck. He wrapped her long blond curls in his hand and pulled her head to the side, revealing her silky bronzed neck. His lips trailed a path to her shoulder, and she shivered in his grasp.
“Two can play this game,” Kat murmured as her hand slipped into the waistband of his jeans. 
Jack kissed the hollow of her neck, pressing into her. 
“Yeah, but I’m so much better at it than you are.” His seductive tone spoke his intention as he opened the door, backing her in, kicking it closed behind them. 
“Really? Show me.” Kat sarcastically smiled up at him and winked. She stepped out of her black high heals, and backed up to his bed. 
Jack froze as Kat lifted her t-shirt over her head. Her red lace bra dropped to the floor, and she shimmied out of her jeans. Her beauty taunted him. Jerking his shirt off, he kicked his boots across the hard wood floor. He grabbed his belt but her warm hands stopped him.
“Let me. I always loved taking the buckle off my cowboy.”
She inched close, and he tensed as emotions fought inside him. 
He stared at her shaking hands knowing she felt it too. She popped the button on his jeans and gently lowered the zipper. He stepped free from the last piece of clothing that separated them and gathered her into his arms. 
His mouth covered hers, silencing the aroused cries, lowering her onto the bed. His tongue caressed hers while his fingers traced a line to the tips of her breast. She squirmed beneath him, fighting to close the gap between them. His hand slid across her silky-smooth skin, exploring the soft lines of her waist and down to her hips as her body shook. His fingers slid into her, and she arched forward.
“Jack, please, stop teasing me.” 
He groaned as she grabbed him. Caressing, pulling him closer. He threatened to explode with each stroke.
“I’m going to do more than that, babe.” He leaned over her, gently restraining her hands in his as he kissed his way to the sweet nectar between her thighs. His tongue rasped over her tender flesh with the softest stroke. She screamed and rose to meet him.
“Easy, babe. Don’t go there without me.” He pulled her close, nibbling as she squirmed beneath him. 
“Now, Jack, please, now.”
He slid up on top of her, and she wrapped her legs around him, pulling him in. He sucked in a deep breath and pushed forward. Her muscles convulsed around him, and she gasped. Electric arcs pulsed through him as she met every thrust. Hunger strained every cell as he drew closer to the brink. 
“Jack… Jack…” She dug her nails into his shoulders and pulled him down. Her lips were inches from his, and he covered them hungrily. Convulsive spasms erupted around his hard flesh as her release washed over him. He pulled back and slammed in one more time and exploded with a force that stole away his last ounce of energy. Jack collapsed, fighting to breathe as Kat shuddered beneath him. He lifted his head and stared into her beautiful face, but she couldn’t hide the pain in those emerald eyes. 
What had he done? She deserved more than this.
“What are you staring at?” Kat’s sleepy voice was just a hint above a whisper. “Don’t go too deep in there. It’s never too good to think that hard after a workout. And was it ever a workout! That was amazing. Now get off of me. I can’t breathe.” Kat’s voice was raspy with a hint of laughter, which made the guilt racing through him sting a little less. He shoved his racing thoughts back and smiled. 
“Come on, babe, you love me when I go deep, and you know it.” He rolled on his back and stared at the wooden fan spinning above him. He loved this old house, and so did she.
“Is that new? All the changes you’ve made. Your grandfather would be so proud of you.” The love for this place echoed in her voice. 
Jack chocked on the pain, then swallowed hard to bury it. If his grandfather only knew how close he was to losing his dream. If Kat knew, she would… He rolled to his side, shaking away the inevitable he was running from and focused once again on his beautiful Kat. 
“So how do you want to spend the rest of our night?” Jack shoved the pillow beneath his head and pulled her close to his side. 
“By getting something to eat. I do remember you saying you needed to talk, wanted to go to dinner.” She shoved him away, tossing the other pillow at his face. “I love how you show up at the bar, with the pretense of food, and we end up here. How did that happen? And where’s my steak dinner?” Kat said.
He dropped his arm over his eyes and tried to come up with something funny, but there was nothing. He needed to escape the secret hell his life was turning into, if just for one night. And Kat was the only one who could do that for him.
“Kat, you… I know I owe—”
“Me, nothing.” She slugged him and curled up into his arms. “Don’t sweat it. We both needed this. I understand—” Her voice faded. 
He hated hurting her. Swore he would never be the source of her tears, and here he was, once again. He dropped his head on hers and held her tight. Her body shook and she squirmed out of his grasp, rolling onto her side, keeping her back to him.
“I know what we had, Jack. I get it. I once thought we could get past our differences, but I know better. So no pipe dream or heartache here.” Her voice broke at the end, and his stomach clenched. Damn it.
Her back straightened and she turned. Her cheeks glowed, and her lips curved into a devious smile. She rolled on top, straddling his hips, rubbing against him as he hardened beneath her. He groaned and clutched her ass, thrusting up as her lips brushed across his.
“Enough emotional drama for one night. It’s killing my buzz.” Kat smiled, and Jack knew she was right. “Thanks for the amazing booty call. We should do this again, but next time I’m going to insist on dinner first. I’m not that cheap.” Her laughter filled the room, and he joined in.
“Oh, poor baby. Look at what I did. I see a cold shower in your future, because I’m out of here.” Kat jumped up and he grabbed for her, but she slipped through his hands.
“Get that fine ass back here, Kat. You have to finish what you started.”
“Nope, I can’t, I have things to do.” Her voice came through muffled from behind the bathroom door.
“It’s midnight. What’s so important this late? Come on, you can’t leave me like this.” Her laughter echoed, and he growled.
“I’m done in here. Want me to start your shower?” 
Jack didn’t want her to go. He wanted her back in his bed, beside him. He threw the pillow at the door, and she peeked out.
“You’re such a baby,” she said.
He crammed the other pillow behind his head and watched as Kat shimmied into her skinny jeans, dropping her pink work shirt over her head. His groin tightened as the need to have her again burned. She shot a sly look his way as she slipped into her heels.
“You’d better take care of that. It looks painful,” she said mockingly.
“Hey, no kiss, no I’ll call you tomorrow? What kind of guy do you take me for?”
“The kind of guy who appreciates a girl who knows how things really are.” She placed her fingers against her lips and blew him a kiss as she stepped to the door. She grabbed the knob and stopped, peering over her shoulder. 
“You're getting better, you know. Moving here helped.”
“Only because of you, Kat. Only because of you.” The door closed, and the silence surrounded him. Kat was right; Meg was gone, a nightmare from his past, their past. His lips curved up into a smile, and he rolled onto his side. Tomorrow will be an important day, and if it went like he hoped, he would show up at the bar and take her to dinner. A real date, something she deserved. Then come back here and make her pay for leaving him this way.
HER RIDE — Rachael Orman
He's got his eye on her and nothing she says will change his mind... “I don’t want to drive in a car. I want to feel the wind and road the whole way.”
It had been one year, six months, and seven days since the last time my shit kickers stirred up the dust in my good ole’ home country of America. I had served in the United States Marines for seven years, but I had just landed back in my home state of Arizona to spend my final leave before I got out of the military. Really, it’s hard to believe how fast the years flew by. I enjoyed being in the military, but it was time for things to change. Watching people fight to get out of the airplane, I patiently waited until it was less crowded before pulling on my heavy backpack with a grunt, then exited into the airport.
The familiar scent of the airport had a smile tugging at my lips. It smelled just like I remembered it. Dirt. Might sound weird that I enjoyed that scent, but it also reminded me of riding. Tired, I leaned against a wall in the terminal to stretch out the cramps in my legs from the multiple plane rides it had taken to finally arrive home. Everyone was rushing around, but not me; I was taking my sweet ass time. I had spent so many years following every instruction thrown at me. Since I was on my own time, I was going to do whatever the hell I wanted. Finally I pushed off the wall, making my way through the masses of people until I spotted the back of a familiar head near the baggage claim. One of the benefits of being five foot nine was that I could see over quite a few people. 
Crouching down, I tried to blend in with the crowd a bit as I snuck up closer to the man. The closer I got, the more I could make out his broad shoulders as he leaned against the wall with his back to me. All his hard muscles were covered by a tight black shirt that was tucked into a pair of loose jeans. A leather vest rested over his shirt, naming the motorcycle club he rode with, Tormented Souls. He was imposing and I could see people taking an extra step away from him in fear as they passed; I knew this man though and was excited that he was the one who had come to pick me up from the airport.
Dropping my bag behind him, I jumped onto his back and put him in a choke hold. Instinctively, he turned and slammed my back into the wall he’d been leaning against; the hard impact of it had me letting out a soft ‘oomph’. Before he could do anything else though, I leaned forward to nip his ear and whisper, “You wouldn’t hurt little ole’ me, would you?" 
“Damn it, Ryan.” Ellis heaved out a sigh of relief. I laughed since I’d been able to catch him off guard, which was well and truly rare. “Get off me crazy ass.” Ellis grunted, squeezing my knees where he’d instinctively grabbed me when I’d jumped on him. Still laughing, I slid down off his back, trying not to notice the firm press of his hands as they moved from knees to thighs, continuing on to brush the curve of my ass before he removed them. A shudder worked down my back from his touch. I felt my face flare pink as I also felt a distinct reaction between my thighs from the brief touch. Ellis had been my childhood crush, but I thought I had finally gotten over that since I was no longer the naïve child I had once been. Hoping to hide my pink cheeks, I snatched up my backpack from the floor and started walking toward the bag carousel designated for my flight.
“Hurry up, the bags are coming out,” I called out over my shoulder to Ellis and the man that he’d been talking to, whom I’d barely noticed. Staring at the bags that spilled onto the metal carousel, I pulled my backpack on while thoughts of the past took over.
Ellis. He was a friend. A longtime family friend. I had lost my parents when I was 16. My brother, Patrick, had become my guardian because he was 19 and didn’t want me becoming a foster child. He was a mechanic for a local biker club. Being a normal little sister, I wanted to hang out with all his friends, and they all welcomed me as “baby girl” or some variation of the name. That is, until they realized I wasn’t like other girls. I showed them I was just as good as any man at any task, any job, and any skill. In less than a year, I was turning wrenches with the guys and answering to Ryan instead of the name my parents gave me, Shannon, or any name that included ‘baby’ or ‘girl’. Technically, I still went by my name, as legally it was Shannon Ryan. The men in the club had deemed me more man than woman after one of my many brawls; from then on out I was only called Ryan. If you called me Shannon, you didn’t know me very well. 
“Get your panties out of a wad,” Ellis snapped me out of my thoughts as he stepped up next to me. When my suitcase finally tumbled down onto the carousel, I grabbed it and muscled it over the side. The damn thing was heavy, considering I’d packed only one bag. I’d rather deal with one heavy bag instead of many lighter ones. I turned to look at Ellis once I had the bag on the ground. My golden brown eyes were instantly met with smiling dark green ones. I knew he was only trying to tease me, but I was too tired for that.
“Ellis. I’m just strung out right now. I’ve been flying for over 18 hours. I just want to shower in my own shower and sleep in my own bed right now. Please don’t give me a hard time. Just get me home. Please." I was just not feeling like myself. I was exhausted and my brain was tripping over itself trying to figure out why I got turned on from a brush of Ellis’ hand on my thighs. I blamed it on the lack of good sleep, good food, or maybe even a nice hot shower. “What did you bring here? Your bike?”
“Well, I figured you’d have some luggage so I brought Hammer here to take it back to Patrick’s for you.” Ellis nodded his head over his shoulder to the man he’d been talking with earlier. “And I brought my bike to take you back on. Unless you’d rather go in the truck since you're tired.” Sarcasm dripped from his voice while a half smile slid onto his face as we walked towards the parking garage. 
“Hm. Bike ride or truck ride. Tough choice.” I pretended to ponder over the decision, but I had known what I was going to say as soon as I knew my options. It’d be a bike ride every time and just the thought of getting on a bike again had me perking up. “I don't know, that is one difficult choice. Wind in my hair, feeling the earth fly past me, or sitting in nice comfy seats with the cool air conditioning on my face.” 
“Oh, please. When you put it like that, it’s so obvious.” Ellis laughed as he handed off my bags to Hammer before leading me towards the door by placing his large, calloused hand on the back of my arm. 
“I’m that easy to read, huh?” I laughed and Ellis returned the smile. Without another word, we took the few steps to his bike in the multi-level parking garage. Winking at me, he handed me a helmet that had been resting on the bike before he slipped on his own helmet. I was filled with excitement just to be on a bike again. It had been so long!
“I knew you’d take the feel of the road over… what’d you call them? Oh, ‘comfy seats’.” He made air quotes with his fingers as he smiled again, shaking his head at me. “You are such a road whore.” 
Rolling my eyes at him, I pulled the band out of my hair. Letting my long blonde hair fall down my back before tying it into a low ponytail so that I could slip on the helmet, I caught Ellis watching out of the corner of his eye before he turned his head away and took his beast of a bike between his muscular thighs. He pushed the start button causing the bike to roar to life, making my heart rate kick up a notch in delight. I could feel the rumble of the loud engine rattle all the way through me. It was like taking a deep breath after being under water for a long time. I loved riding almost more than living, and it’d been way too long since I’d lived. 
Ellis looked over at me, tilting his head to the side, signaling me to get on. Sliding my leg over the seat, I wrapped my arms around his lean waist. He backed the bike out of the spot carefully before patting my thigh with one hand as he tossed a comforting smile over his shoulder at me. The bike roared loud as he twisted the handle; I squeezed him tight with my arms and thighs as the bike took off toward the ramp and out onto the open road.
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Rene Folsom, author of contemporary and paranormal, lives in Florida with her husband and three kids. She has officially diagnosed herself with creative ADD and often has a million and one writing projects going at once. In addition to writing, she is also a graphic artist who enjoys creating custom book covers for indie authors. She is definitely an artist at heart and would love nothing more than to be elbow deep in clay during her waking hours.
Rene believes that all fiction is based on some form of reality—otherwise we would never have the inspiration or knowledge to dream up the realistic situations we portray with our words. She is proud to say that her personal experiences have been inspirational, though perhaps not always identical to that of her fictional characters. Where reality and fantasy diverge, however, must remain her little secret…
Ella Medler is a U.K. author and free-lance editor. She writes fiction in more than one genre, in a seemingly vain attempt to slow down her overactive brain enough to write non-fiction on subjects she knows a thing or two about. She also does not believe in the starchy use of English, and ignores the type of rule that doesn’t allow for a sentence to be finished in a preposition. Her books are action-driven, and well-developed characters are her forte. Loves: freedom. Hates: her inner censor.
HA Kay I was in grade 7, and bunking PE when I read Tolkien’s Two Towers from the LOTR trilogy.
I know what you’re thinking. Certified nerd! I remember what I was thinking. Where had this book been all my life?!
I loved it. I can’t recall the scenes I’d read then but I remember how transfixing Tolkien's Middle Earth was. I instantly wanted to write something like it.
But such dreams are easily forgotten in the wake of building a real career.
I went ahead and enrolled in a business college and did my MBA with tinselly rainbow colors, making a tiara out of my nerd cap. It was a good day. And it was a good year at the bank. But the best time was when I landed at an ad agency’s creative department to write jingles and slogans and slaughter both my languages (Urdu and English) in the process. I learned a lot there. I wrote a lot there. And I became apt in the art of killing my own brainchildren a.k.a. self-editing.
Then, I got married. Moved to the United States and started a family.
For two years I was a good stay-at-home mom. Then, I thought I could be good at something else too. I couldn’t decide on what exactly till I stumbled upon my old diary – a leftover from my baby and teen years. I read all the poems and stories I’d written therein, ranging from an ode to Mom to a soul-searching monologue. I realized I wasn’t bad. If I worked on my talent I could turn it into a skill. And perhaps be able to write like the numerous authors who’d inspired me for years. A lost afternoon in the school library from so long ago made its way into my present and I remembered the perfect Legolas. I remembered the imperfect Quasimodo, the roguish Rhett Butler and the ruthless Rory Frost too.
Suddenly, I wanted to create such characters and write their stories instilled with M. M. Kaye-like descriptions and Crichton-like research and Grisham-like authenticity, all tied together with intense moods borrowed from Victoria Holt. Tolkien’s magic dust and King’s dark secrets would just be the cherry and powdered sugar on top.
I enrolled in a writing program immediately and earned my diploma. Next I wrote and edited for a newbie magazine. I wrote two children’s books (5 Kids and 5 Snowmen and Boondon Ka Khel: The Playful Game of the Tiny Water Droplets), and co-authored a trilogy under the title Aoife and Demon.
Now, it’s Love Me Do.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Anne Conley has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She's been writing for public consumption for the last four years. Currently she is writing three romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God's four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, and Simon. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.
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Rachael Orman Mother by day. Writer by night. I spend a majority of my day with my children and reading while my nights are filled with the sound of the keyboard as I work on my next work.
I have written in nearly every LBGT category as well as the traditional erotic romance category.
I love to try new things and learn from every piece of work I write. I'll write just about anything once to learn from it. I've even ventured out of my normal erotica genre into Monster Erotica. Doubt you'll find me writing anything not erotic as you can barely get me to even read something out of that category, but then again, you never know what I might try next.
Never stop learning. Try everything at least once.
Lucy Gage started her writing career under another name, but the same vivid imagination and love of books still fuels her daily life. When she's not writing, you can find her spending time with her family in her home state of Maine, experiencing a life that helps shape her writing.
Look for her website in 2015. Book six in the Ward Sisters Series will arrive in 2015 and book 1 in the Vega Brothers Series – a Ward Sisters spinoff – launches later in the year.
Susan Griscom I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, spending most of my time daydreaming or playing around in the mud. I grew out of the mud play, well, most of the time, a good soak in the mud is always fun. I still daydream often and sometimes my daydreams interrupt my daydreams. So I write to remember them. If I didn't write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play--a dreadful disaster, though not from my writing, of course. I'm pretty sure it was the acting.
I enjoy writing about characters living in small quaint towns and tend to lean toward the unusual and edgy.
My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running hot, as does a steamy contemporary romantic suspense.
Felicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.
She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking, books, and animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She's currently working on various projects. She's the author of the White Aura series, Scarred Hearts series, and Intoxicating Passion series.
Sarah M. Cradit is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Gothic series, The House of Crimson & Clover, born of her combined passion for New Orleans, and the mysterious complexity of human nature. Her work has been described as rich, emotive, and highly dimensional.
An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying obscure subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf's personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She's a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Oregon, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.
Julie Elizabeth Powell I cannot ignore my dreams, so many of them, with names and places and ideas that spark my imagination and compel me to write; to create stories, whether fantasy or horror, or mystery or psychological thriller or murder or even humour and adventure. So, my garden is sown, flourishing, with all manner of growth, and still the dreams come.
Julie Elizabeth Powell, my soul lingering within my imagination; maybe you’ll join me?
Lynda Kaye Frazier I’m an avid reader of romantic suspense and started writing after a vivid dream. I know, sounds cliché, but that’s how it started. I work full time at a Cardiology clinic, then at night you will find me in front of my computer, writing. I grew up in Pennsylvania, but now live in Arkansas, surrounded by the Ozark Mountains where I get to enjoy the four seasons without a long, cold winter. Other than spending time with my wonderful family, my favorite things to do are writing, reading and listening to music, but my most favorite is going to the beach. Surf, sand and a good book, my stress relief.
Desiree A. Cox was born and raised in Iowa. She married her high school sweetheart and moved to the Philadelphia area after high school and has been happily married for over twenty-five years. She’s the mother of two sons and a daughter.
Writing has always been a part of her life. It started as a way to cope with her childhood shyness, allowing her to communicate without talking. Now she talks and writes … and talks. Desiree also enjoys traveling and spending time at the beach.
Over the past two plus years, she’s been working to get her thoughts in print. She is finally writing what she wants to write. Twisted by Desire, her debut novel, was published in December 2014. In March 2015, the sequel in the Lust, Desire, and Love Trilogy, Jaded by Desire, released. She also has a short story, Fantasy Come True, in the Wickedly Exotic Spring Erotic Wonderland box set that benefits the National Autism Association with 100% of the proceeds.
Look for Reclaimed by Desire, Book 3 and the final installment in the Lust, Desire, and Love Trilogy, later this summer.
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is an Adult Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader, and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.
Sydney has been blogging at for three years, where she interviews people about their tattoos, discusses her favorite movie quotes, reviews books (New Adult & only the ones she loves) and journals about her writing and editing process.
An active tweeterer, she is also a JuNoWriMo (3x) and NaNoWriMo (2x) winner who notes the sci-fi action flick “The Matrix” as the best representation of her life in the past. She is blessed to be awake now and doing what she loves.
She can recite the entire script for the 80’s teen comedy/drama The Breakfast Club and loves any and everything associated with the Avengers movie, especially Tony Stark.
When it comes to books, Sydney reads many different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, Cora Carmack, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Cassie Mae, & Emily Bronte. The Great Gatsby, Under the Dome, Losing It, CassaStorm, Switched, & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.
Elaine May is my Author name. I live in the West Country of England with my two beautiful daughters and yummy hubby. I love reading dark and twisted tales that mess with your head. I love to travel and spending time with my family. My dream is for people to like what I've written and hopefully get to go to a book signing event as an author.

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