Kat Gamble | The Wonderful Chaos of Weddings

Marriage. Commitment. Forever. These words go hand in hand when you think about weddings and they conjure up images of white dresses, tuxedos, friends, family, beautiful locations, nit-picked details and, of course, heightened emotions.

And I’m not just talking about the wedding party.

Having been to my fair share of weddings as part of the party and as a guest I
can say that without a doubt that there is all kinds of crazy that happens at
these events. My own wasn’t without it’s hiccups. Our attempt at a low key, drama free celebration turned into anything but. Besides tripping as I walked (or should I say stumbled) down the aisle and bursting into nervous giggles as I tried to say my vows, my new brothers in law who don’t see eye to eye at the best of times couldn’t keep it together and got into an argument at the reception which then turned into a fight which of course ended up involving the food. If that wasn’t enough, our escape from the family drama turned into one of a different kind when we came home to find that our house had been covered with toilet paper and graffiti by an angry and vindictive ex. Not exactly the wedding of anyone’s dreams. So, yeah, when I talk about weddings that stray way off the plotted path, I have a little insight on the subject.

What I love to write about when it comes to nuptials is the complex mix of
emotions everyone has going into a wedding whether or not they are the ones
taking the plunge. There’s just so much of it, good or bad and even sometimes
mixed. How that not be worth some exploring?

To date, I’ve written about two destination weddings from the point of view of
the guests. In FUEL TO THE FIRE, the hero and heroine are exes brought together serendipitously, and quite contentiously, by a wedding. As things get physical and they begin to unravel their past, old emotions come into play. Secrets come out. The things they’ve believed for years change. They, and their relationship, change. The story is complicated and the characters go through so much to get their happy ending.

This time around I’ve written a story that’s much lighter, fun and contained in
one day. In PLAYING DIRTY, Olivia and Rafe are in Brazil on a picturesque beach at a luxurious, sun drenched resort as part of their respective best friends’ wedding party. Obligated to be there, they go along with their friends’ obvious and rather embarrassing attempts to bring the estranged couple back together. All the while, even with all the scheming, Olivia and Rafe enjoy themselves. All the time spent together flirting and the teasing is bound to bring up some old feelings, right? That’s what their friends are hoping!

It was so much fun (and maybe a little cathartic) to write a couple who are
having a good, if strange, time at such a beautiful wedding where everything
goes to plan!

PLAYING DIRTY by Kait Gamble

Playing Dirty

FROM POPULAR ROMANCE AUTHOR KAIT
GAMBLE

Sometimes the only way to get what you
want is to play a little dirty…

Olivia just wanted to give her best friend the best wedding experience and was fully prepared that her own devastatingly handsome polo-playing ex, Rafael, would be there too. What she didn’t expect was that all their friends would use the occasion to try to push her and Rafael back together.

Rafael just wanted to get through the event with a little dignity, but since his teammates got it into their heads that he and Olivia are meant to be, things have become a little complicated.

Their friends aren’t going to let anything get in the way of bringing Olivia and Rafe together—not even the couple in question.

Romance Contemporary
[Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: March 21,
2017, e-Book,  ]

About Kait Gamble

Kait Gamble

Read. Escape. Fall in love.

Kait was born and raised in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and started writing to entertain herself during the long winters as a child. Insatiably curious with a love of learning new things, she picked up many random
skills including three languages, and two martial arts. After travelling three continents (the other four are on her bucket list), she settled in England with her family where she spends most of her time cultivating her daughter’s love of reading and writing, scribbling ideas on every available scrap of paper and trying out dialogue on her cat.

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Shae Ross | Finding the inspiration for BOTTOM OF THE SKY

Here’s the quirky mix of inspiration behind my new release, BOTTOM OF THE SKY:

THE GOLD COAST, by Nelson DeMille

When I finished writing my last book, Rush, I took about a month off to binge
read. A friend of mine recommended this book. It tells the story of Long Island
attorney John Sutter, who lives a posh life with his beautiful and extremely
rich wife, Susan, until a mafia crime boss moves into the mansion next door.
Reading this book made me realize how much fun I could have writing about a
family engaged in organized crime and my brain started plotting.

The documentary COUNTERFEIT CULTURE

I wanted my crime family to be involved in something different. This documentary opened my eyes to the dangerous business of fake goods and I started to develop my plot around this theme. We’ve all seen the street vendors selling knock off sunglasses and designer purses, but the world of counterfeiting is much darker and deadlier than think the average person realizes.

The Port of Seattle

One of the many factors that add to the huge personality of Seattle is the
shipping docks at the Port of Seattle. I’ve always wondered “what’s in all those
stacked cargo containers and what happens at nighttime in those shipping yards?” What a perfect setting for intrigue and suspense!

The Skykomish River

The Skykomish River is about an hour North of Seattle. The river offers a
paradise of outdoor fun—fishing, kayaking, hiking, and biking. My alpha hero,
John Rossi, has the street smarts of a city boy who was raised in a rough
Seattle neighborhood, but the heart and physique of a mountain man. The bottom of the Sky River is at first a source of tragedy for John Rossi. But in the end it’s where he finds his salvation.

BOTTOM OF THE SKY by Shae Ross

Bottom of the Sky

Tragedy set his course for revenge. One woman stands
in his way.

John
The last thing I need is to be saddled with the on-the-run niece of the family I’m about to take down. Gianna Silva wants me to help her find her missing mother.But I’ve got bigger fish to fry–namely, her cousins Stefano and Santos Silva. I’m working on the inside,feeding information to the FBI, and
I’m about to drop the net on their ring of
counterfeiters. To keep Gianna out of my way, I’ve agreed to help her but under one condition: What I say goes. No questions. No push back. I make the rules.

The problem is Gianna Silva doesn’t know the meaning of the word
“rule” and she’s on to me. For two years, I’ve hidden my true identity behind a wall built from stone-cold revenge. I thought it was indestructible–especially against someone with the last name of Silva–the family I’ve vowed
to destroy…

Gianna
If I could find my missing mom by myself I would, but the only enemies she’s ever had are my dead father and his powerful family. Confronting the Silvas alone is too dangerous. I need an insider who knows how to play their game. John Rossi,with his cool, bad-boy confidence and access to the family is my best hope. I’ve bargained away the last dollar in my savings account in exchange for his help,but I’m beginning to think I made a deal with the devil.

I didn’t expect his rules to include sharing a cabin–and a bedroom with him–northwest of Nowheresville. I don’t trust him, or my attraction to him. But to find my mom, I’ll break everyone of his damn rules, regardless of the consequences…

Romance Contemporary [Author Self-Published, On Sale: March 19, 2017,
e-Book,  ]

About Shae Ross

Shae Ross

Shae Ross was born and raised in Ferndale, Michigan. After graduating high school, Ms. Ross attended Michigan State University and continued her education
at Detroit College of Law. Prior to 2014, she spent the majority of her career practicing corporate law, running a successful business and engaged in entrepreneurial ventures.

After having one too many stressful days at the office, Ms. Ross began to consider pursuing her lifelong dream of writing.

Armed with an English degree, an interest in historical settings and a huge collection of romance novels, Ms. Ross put pen to paper and began converting the characters in her head to ink. She soon found herself happily immersed in a new working world that included heroes and heroines, agents and editors, and a multitude of secondary characters.

Ms. Ross’ debut novel, PRETTY SMART GIRLS – LACE UP released in January of 2015. The second book in the series, PRETTY SMART GIRLS – FEARLESS is set to release in July of 2015. She currently writes in the new adult and contemporary romance genres and lives with her husband and three children in Holt, Michigan.

Pretty Smart Girls

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Cozy Corner | Spring is HERE!

It’s almost here! Can you feel it? Can you smell it in the air? Well, you can definitely see it in all the fresh new cozies popping up everywhere! Take a moment in your day to stop and savor the mysteries—they’re bright, they’re charming, and they’ll lead you on an exciting chase for a killer.

AND THEN THERE WERE NUNS by Kylie Logan

League of Literary Ladies #4

And Then There Were Nuns

The national bestselling author of The Legend of
Sleepy Harlow
returns to South Bass Island, where the
League of Literary Ladies has to find out who’s killing off
nuns.

B and B owner Bea Cartwright has taken on
the responsibility of taking meals to ten visiting nuns, who
are on retreat at the Water’s Edge Center for Spirit and
Renewal on picturesque South Bass Island on Lake Erie. But
the peace of the retreat is shattered when one of the nuns
is found at the water’s edge—murdered. And when a second nun
is killed, Bea and the other members of the League of
Literary Ladies—Chandra, Kate, and Luella—start to wonder
about eerie parallels with the Agatha Christie mystery
classic, And Then There Were None.
 
Since Bea has the trust of the sisters,
the local chief of police asks her and the other Literary
Ladies to interview each of them. Expecting a confession may
be asking for a miracle, but Bea hopes she can at least find
the killer before another nun gets crossed off the guest list…

Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: March 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425282953 / eISBN: 9780698407282]

KERNEL OF TRUTH by Kristi Abbott

Popcorn Shop Mystery #1

Kernel of Truth

An all-new Popcorn Shop Mystery bursts on the scene,
featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and
her poodle Sprocket.

Opening a gourmet popcorn
shop was never on Rebecca Anderson’s bucket list. But after
a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she’s ready for her
life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown
of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket
to start a new business—naturally called POPS. As a
delicious bonus, Cordelia “Coco” Bittles, a close family
friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca,
owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking
of combining their businesses.

But when
Coco’s niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her
chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local
sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong,
but Rebecca isn’t so sure. As suspects start popping up all
over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring
the killer to justice in a jiffy!

Mystery Cozy | Mystery Culinary [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: March 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425280911 / eISBN: 9780698193857]

Read KERNEL OF TRUTH- you won’t regret it!

MRS. JEFFRIES WINS THE PRIZE by Emily Brightwell

Mrs. Jefferies #34

Mrs. Jeffries Wins the Prize

Mrs. Jeffries is back in the New York Times
bestselling Victorian series, perfect for fans of Downton
Abbey.

NIPPED IN THE
BUD

The ladies of the Mayfair
Orchid and Exotic Plant Society are known for a bit of
friendly rivalry, but the backstabbing has never been
literal—until now. When Hiram Filmore, an orchid hunter and
supplier, is found dead in Mrs. Helena Rayburn’s
conservatory, Inspector Witherspoon is called in to weed out
a murderer.

When it comes out that Mrs.
Rayburn and her flowery friends knew each other from long
ago, Mrs. Jeffries begins to suspect that there’s more to
unearth about this case than meets the eye. Now she, along
with the rest of Inspector Witherspoon’s household and
friends, will have to dig up the past to figure out which
gardening gentlewoman had a grudge worth killing for…

A Mrs. Jeffries Mystery

She
keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon . . . and keeps him on
his toes. Everyone’s awed by his Scotland Yard successes—but
they don’t know about his secret weapon. No matter how messy
the murder or how dirty the deed, Mrs. Jeffries’ polished
detection skills are up to the task . . . proving that
behind every great man there’s a woman—and that a
crimesolver’s work is never done.

NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED!

Mystery Historical | Mystery Cozy [Berkley, On Sale: March 1, 2016, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425268117 / eISBN: 9781101624357]

RIPE FOR MURDER by Carlene O’Neil

Cypress Cove #2

Ripe for Murder

From the author of One Foot in the Grape—a new
full-bodied Cypress Cove mystery that is certain to delight,
even if one wine lover is about to expire…

Penny Lively loves running her family’s winery, but to keep
business growing, she needs to find a way to attract more
guests. When she’s approached to invest in a new train line
through wine country, Penny and her intoxicating winery
manager, Connor, hightail it to a lavish resort to hear the
details. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s daughter, Chantal, is
also there, swirling up trouble by flirting with the married
investors—and with Connor too.

When one of the investors’ wives is murdered, Chantal, who
was seen fighting with the woman, is the prime suspect.
Chantal may be a sour grape, but she’s no killer. So Penny,
who’s become a sleuthing connoisseur, starts sniffing out
the real suspect—and discovers that her fellow potential
investors have been savoring more than their share of deadly
secrets…

Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: March 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425274026 / eISBN: 9780698154346]

Until next time, get cozy and read on!

Kym Roberts is a retired detective sergeant who looks for passion, mystery and suspense in every book she reads and writes. She can be found on the web at kymroberts.com, on Facebook and on Twitter. Look for her newest release, FLIRTING WITH THE DEVIL, A Noble Pass Affaire Novella available now.

Kendra C. Highley | All’s Fair in Love and Baseball

There are three things I really love: baseball season, a good book, and a
swoon-worthy love story. So, writing the Suttonville Sentinels series has been a dream come true in a way. The second book SWINGING AT LOVE, features
a couple I fell in love with right away. Alyssa is practical, because she has to
be, but dreams of a little magic in her life. Tristan is driven, but gets lost
and needs an anchor to keep him from drifting. Putting a sassy ballerina
together with a “lost his swagger” ball player turned out to be its own kind of
magic. These two need each other, even though they don’t know it.

Anyone who participates in an activity that requires high skill—whether that’s
sports, or dance, music, or art—knows that losing your swing/step/sense of
rhythm is one of the most difficult things you’ll face. Finding a muse to bring
your skills back online? Priceless. When you think of some of the best sports
romances, the muse tends to be regular trope. Take one of my favorites: TIN
CUP
. If you haven’t seen it, it’s hilarious. Kevin Costner is a washed up golf pro with the skills to make the tour, but a temperament that won’t let him play it safe. Cue epic fall. Then he meets Rene Russo’s character, who happens to be a psychologist. Not only do they fall in love—she provides that anchor he needs to stay the course.

Then again, I find romance in baseball itself. There’s a grace to the game, a
nostalgia, a legacy. Seriously—have you noticed how many guys propose at
baseball games over other sports? You’re outside in gorgeous spring weather…that’s bound to make anyone think of love. And there’s the jumbotron,
ready to run a kisscam. Maybe that’s why I love writing about baseball players.

Or it could be their arms. Because, come on.

So here’s to training camp, the start of the 2017 baseball season, new love, and
ballpark nachos. See you at the game….

About Kendra C. Highley

Kendra C. Highley

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most critical job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

Suttonville Sentinels

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Lindsey Frydman | Why We Need New Adult Books

When new adult books exploded a handful of years ago, writers jumped at the
chance to explore this new category. Most of these authors self-published and
became extremely well known. Then as other authors jumped on the bandwagon, many did so thinking it might be a “get rich quick” scheme. Because of this, the quality of new adult books went down. Readers became disappointed with the overused plot lines that exist in a lot of NA. Even I’ve reduced the amount of NA I read. It’s gotten a bad reputation, which is why almost no agents want these stories and most publishers don’t either. I’ve also heard readers say they don’t read NA because the stories are all the same: predictable contemporary romance with lots of sex.

I might agree with the predictability of many NA plots. But I disagree when it
comes to claiming the NA category was created simply as a way to add more sex
into young adult books and ‘get away with it’. First of all, there’s sex in YA,
too. And not all NA stories include sex. (Imagine that!)

I’ve read tons of new adult books. (Most of them straight romance.) And yes,
I’ve grown bored with the overused plots that frequently occur—even ones written by my favorite authors. But how is this any different than the similarities within YA books? Vampires had their run. So did apocalyptic/dystopian worlds. As did the “chosen one” stories. My question is this: why can’t everyone see the need for the NA category—and the need for other genres of NA.

We have books for young children, middle-grade kids, young adults, and adults.
But what about the things that happen to you when you’re between eighteen and twenty-five? A LOT. Do you remember that time in your life when you were first set free from your parents and thrown into a whole new world all by yourself? Or maybe you’re going through that stage right now. It seems unfair to say NA isn’t sellable anymore when there are still plenty of readers buying them. Readers need and want to experience all types of stories, with characters in every age category.

In my NA contemporary romance, THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS,
the main characters never have sex. Sure, they kiss and get pretty freaking
close to having sex, but don’t. Why? Because the plot didn’t require the
sex—there’s plenty of romance and other subplots going on. I’m not saying sex
shouldn’t occur as much as it does in NA books. I’m simply saying that to
believe NA is merely sexed-up YA is…well, not true. My story isn’t simply a
romance filled with sex scenes. I added in some plot twists and as much emotion
as I could pack in there because I wanted to write a story that explored more
than simply the romance angle. My book has romance as well as the characters
dealing with grief and loss, survivor’s guilt, and extremely unique circumstances.

On too many occasions to count, I considered aging THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS down to young adult. If I had, I probably would’ve found an agent with it. (One was even interested in representing me if I aged it down.) But aging it down meant taking my main character, Audra, out of college, putting her back home with her parents, and giving her “teenage issues”. And none of those things would’ve done her story any justice. And based on the early reviews I’ve received, I’m glad I kept it as a NA book.

One reviewer said:

“Reading THE HEARTBREAK HYPOTHESIS is like hearing a new
voice that speaks out for teenage angst that’s fully captured in its powerful, moody glory. But the subjects that Lindsey Frydman deals with here are difficult, heavy and weighed down with the solemnity of death, life and deception.”

NA stories are necessary—it’s an important time in your life, and there’s so
much more going on than just a ‘boy meets girl, then they have lots of sex’.
It’s about discovering who you are on your own, dealing with new responsibilities, and finding your place and purpose in life. Everyone
eventually goes through this stage, so why would we not want books that
represent this age category? I can only hope that readers and publishers take
another look at how important new adult stories can be.

About Lindsey Frydman

Lindsey Frydman

Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else).

When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay
too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or
performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a
worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey
was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the
wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

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Casey Griffin | Six Reasons Why You Must be True to Yourself (And Your Date)

In SECRETS OF A RELUCTANT PRINCESS, Andy finds her escape from her embarrassing life through live action role-playing. Hidden from the cameras and away from the pressure at school, she feels like she can be herself and get closer to her crush, Kevin. Only she can’t totally be herself. She’s too afraid to take off
her mask in case he doesn’t like who he sees: the Porcelain Princess. But what
could possibly be wrong with that (famous last words—you’ll have to read it to find out…)?

What’s the trouble with pretending to be something you’re not in a
relationship? It’s exhausting.

It drains you, mentally and emotionally. It can be physically exhausting
too—Andy’s hidden secret comes with a lot of wardrobe changes. You could be
pretending that you’re more outgoing than you are, funnier, smarter, or maybe
you’re trying to hide a secret like Andy. But it’s not normal for you. It doesn’t come naturally, so you feel like you’re always “switched on” like an actor on the stage, constantly planning your next move, your next line. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

There’s a wall between you

I think people can tell when you’re not being real with them. You’re stiff, you’re unnatural, you won’t open up about things. As closely as you’re watching your every move, so is your date. If you’re not being yourself, then are they comfortable being themselves around you? They may not even be aware that anything is wrong, but they just know something isn’t clicking.

You can’t pretend forever

This person must be pretty special if you’re bending over backwards, putting on
a show for them. You really want them to like you, so you probably hope they stick around. Maybe they’re the one. If that’s the case, you can’t pretend
forever. And if they’re not the one, then why do you care so much?

It’s going to come out eventually

Once you start to introduce your significant other to friends and family,
they’ll get to know you through the eyes of others and hear their stories.
Chances are you haven’t been hiding yourself from everyone all the time. Maybe
the person you like thought they knew you, but now doubts will start to form and they’ll put the puzzle pieces together.

Do you really want someone who doesn’t want the real you?

You want to feel comfortable and confident in a relationship, not always
self-conscious and on edge. It would be awful to never feel good enough—whether they think that or it’s just in your head. You need to love yourself before anyone else can. Instead of focusing on the qualities you don’t have, take stock of what you do have, and feel proud of the person you are.

You can’t change for other people

Some people inspire us to be better people, to be kinder, friendlier, more
forgiving, or outgoing. I know my partner inspires me. Wanting to grow as a
person, to improve oneself is different than pretending to be that person. Just
make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Do it because you want it. Not
for someone else. Only if the desire for that change is in your heart will it
become part of the real you.

About Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

Rescue Dog Romance

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Jody Holford | My Favorite Bad Boys

Words are funny and powerful things. Put enough of them together and you have the ability to make some laugh, cry, or play them over in their head on repeat. When I think of the word ‘bad’, I don’t think of any of my characters really. So I started to question, what makes a bad boy, bad? As is true for many questions, there are a LOT of answers in this one little query.

To try and figure out how my BAD BOY NEXT DOOR fits in with those fictional men we love to hate and can’t help but like, I’ve made a list of some ‘bad boys’ I love to see where Wyatt Daniels fits in among them.

Raylan Givens from JUSTIFIED

United States Marshall Raylan Givens is one of the good guys, but he often makes
choices just on the boundary lines of good and bad. In essence, he does what
needs to be done to achieve his end goal. Though he makes the ladies swoon, he’s
not exactly long term commitment material. But there are times when it seems
like he wants to be.

Damon Salvatore from THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

The ultimate bad boy who falls for his brother’s girlfriend and, eventually,
gets her. He’s funny, snide, sexy as sin, and doesn’t think his non-existent
soul is worth saving.

Logan Echolls from VERONICA MARS

The broody stares and his love of renting out the penthouse suite at the hotel?
Definitely bad boy material. He’s rich and charming, but on the inside, he
thinks less of himself than anyone else could.

Jack Foley from OUT OF SIGHT

The bank robbing con who seduces the US Marshall as she shuttles him to jail. He is adorably and irresistibly charming, despite the whole thief thing.

I think Wyatt has elements of all of these men. He’s got those dark brooding
eyes that draw a woman in, though Shay’s the only one who makes him want to look back. Tall and powerful, he tries to make the right decisions, though he’s
capable of darkness if it’s for a worthy cause. He sees himself as tainted—touched by all of the bad things he’s seen and this gives him a ‘back-off’ vibe that very few people try to bust through. He believes Shay is better off with someone light and easy-going, but he can’t help wanting her and in the end, needing her.

It would appear the common theme is men who think they’re irredeemable, until they find the woman who sees through the façade—the woman who digs deeper and sees them for who they really are, or maybe once were. Whatever the case, even when they try to stop themselves, these men can fall hard. Often, like in Wyatt’s case, they end up wanting to be the man the heroine believes them to be. The reason they’re able to do that is because mixed in with the ‘bad’, is a whole lot of good.

Who are your favorite fictional bad boys? What makes you love them?

Find out more about BAD BOY NEXT DOOR

About Jody Holford

Jody Holford

Jody Holford lives in British Columbia with her family. She’s a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell, & Nora Roberts.She’s unintentionally funny and rarely on time for anything. She writes multiple genres but her favorite is romance.

Kendrick Place

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Gayla K. Hiss | First Meeting!

Enjoy an excerpt from AVALANCHE where the hero and heroine meet! First meetings are the best!

Excerpt

Fireworks exploded across the dark sky, but Jenny Snowfeather hardly noticed. The news about the cabin break-in had cast a shadow over her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue. She’d suspected a bear at first, until she learned two hunting rifles and ammo had been stolen, along with food and blankets.

A bright flash startled her.

“Watch out!” a man cried as the stray spark zoomed toward her like a small meteor.

She spun around to escape, slamming right into the man and his plate of barbecued chicken.

He grabbed her, stumbled, and pulled her with him to the ground.

A second later, the blazing miniature rocket whizzed over their heads and crashed into the lawn only a few feet away.

She squeezed her eyes shut at the near miss. When she opened them, Jenny found herself face-to-face with the handsome stranger.

His large, brown eyes stared back in surprise.

Her gaze traveled to his arm, sheltering her body.

Quickly, he withdrew it and rolled over, raising himself to his elbows. “That was a close one. Are you okay?”

She sat up and lightly brushed the grass from her blue sweater and faded jeans. “Other than a few grass stains, I’m fine.” Glancing back at him, she noticed the food plastered to his chest and smiled. “But you’re not.”

When she leaned over to flick the remnant of baked beans from his white cotton shirt, her eyes zeroed in on the holstered Glock beneath his jacket.

She drew back. “Look, I don’t know who you are or why you’re here, but nobody comes to my brother’s Fourth of July party packing a gun.”

He glanced at the exposed weapon on his belt and pulled his jacket over it. “I can explain.”

She scrambled to her feet. “Save it for Deputy Patterson. I’ll go get him.”

As she turned away, he jumped up. “Wait, Jenny, let me explain.” His voice was low and insistent.

How does he know my name?

“Are you okay, Jenny?” Billy Norton stood nearby with his grunge-style stringy hair, Nirvana T-Shirt and baggy jeans. Concern shrouded his freckled face.

The tall stranger wrapped his arm around her before she could respond. “She’s fine. Aren’t you, Jen?” He smiled at her as if they were sharing a private joke.

His bold move stunned her. And what was up with the familiar way he addressed her? No one called her Jen except her father and brother.

His disarming smile diffused her temper long enough to notice he was not much older than she, probably in his late twenties. Black, wavy hair framed his tanned, chiseled face. Like dark mirrors, his eyes flashed, pleading for her not to give him away.

She paused, then shifted her gaze to her old friend. “It’s okay, Billy.”

The crimson stain on the man’s shirt captured Billy’s attention. “What happened to you?”

The stranger glanced at his chest and returned a wry grin. “A head-on collision with a plate of barbecued chicken.”

Billy looked at Jenny. “Are you sure you’re okay with this guy?”

The man met her scrutinizing stare with an affectionate squeeze and a wink. She flinched, but the boyish gleam in his eye and his playful smile sparked her curiosity and overruled her better judgment. “Yes, I’m fine, Billy. Go on back to the party now. Don’t worry about me.”

As soon as Billy left, she turned and confronted the mystery man. “Okay. The show’s over. Now get your hands off me or you’ll wish you were packing more than that Glock.”

Like that? Then tell us your favorite first meeting in a novel and one reader will win a copy of AVALANCHE

AVALANCHE by Gayla K. Hiss

Peril in the Park

Avalanche

When Park Ranger Jenny Snowfeather runs into Deputy Marshal Chase Matthews at her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue, she suspects there is more going on in Eagle Valley, WA than fireworks. After Chase confides that he believes the fugitive who killed his partner may be hiding out in the area, Jenny is skeptical at first. But when her peaceful town is besieged with a sudden crime spree, she realizes Chase’s theory may be true.

As the manhunt advances to the rugged backcountry of North Cascades National Park, Jenny is confronted with her past mistakes. But she soon discovers the greatest threat of all is losing her heart to Chase, who is obsessed with capturing the fugitive at all costs.

Risking everything to help Chase find the man who could kill them both, Jenny’s faith is put to the test. Like an avalanche waiting to happen, their path is fraught with danger. Will the enemy get away with murder? Will Jenny and Chase reach freedom and safety, or be buried alive? They must tread carefully. One step in the wrong direction could mean the difference between life and death.

Inspirational Mystery | Romance Suspense [Mountain Brook Ink, On Sale: February 1, 2017, e-Book, / ]

About Gayla K. Hiss

Gayla K. Hiss

Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce the recent release of her debut novel, Avalanche, book 1 of her Peril in the Park series. Visit www.gaylakhiss.com to learn more, and connect with her on Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Guilty Pleasures with Angel Payne and Victoria Blue

Hello, everyone! Victoria Blue and Angel Payne here, saying hello once more! We’re the team behind the SECRETS OF STONE romance series, with Book 4, NO MAGIC MOMENT, newly released!

In all of our books, but especially with Michael and Margaux’s journey, we love to explore all the “unique” details of our characters’ lives, including the day-to-day personality traits that make them tick.

A lot of our readers ask where we come up with such interesting quirks for the Stones and their friends–and we often say we draw on a lot of the weirdness from our own lives. Over the years, as friends, we’ve learned a lot of these things about each other, and we thought you’d might have fun taking a peek at our weirder sides, as well.

We like to call this… “Guilty Pleasures with Victoria and Angel”. We hope you enjoy! How many do you agree with? What are your own guilty pleasures?

Pop Star:

Victoria: Taylor Swift

Angel: twenty one pilots

Broadway Musical Song:

Victoria: Seasons of Love from Rent, of course

Angel: Unexpected Song from Song and Dance

“Calories Aren’t a Problem” Dessert:

Victoria: Apple pie a la mode

Angel: A Farrell’s Tin Roof Sundae…or my daughter’s homemade cupcakes!

Stomach ache food:

Victoria: white corn chips

Angel: Saltines and Sprite–and cuddles from my doggo, which are food for my soul.

Author, overall:

Victoria: Christina Lauren

Angel: Sylvia Day

Book series in total:

Victoria: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Angel: Outlander

I’m-a-puddle romance book hero:

Victoria: Bennett Ryan from Beautiful Bastard

Angel: Gideon Cross

“I don’t want to think” TV show:

Victoria: Beat Bobby Flay

Angel: Timeless or American Gladiators

“Nobody’s looking” websites:

Victoria: Tumblr

Angel: YouTube

We hope you’ll check out our high heat romance series, featuring some of our favorite characters sharing tidbits just like this about themselves. It’s called The Secrets of Stone, and you can get started on it right now either at Totally Bound Publishing’s website, or wherever your favorite books are sold!

NO MAGIC MOMENT by Angel Payne, Victoria Blue

Secrets of Stone #4

No Magic Moment

Abracadabra…

My name is Margaux Asher—and I’m in love.

Crazy, right? Me, the girl who grew up in the lap of luxury and the shadow of cynicism, is now head-over-heels for an apple farmer’s son who rocks my world and steals my breath. He’s seen the woman beneath the princess, and loves me—for me. Trouble is…he wants all of me. But how can I commit that to him if I don’t know who ‘me’ is? There are pieces missing—and not just mine. Until Michael opens up and shares all of himself, we’re a great opening explosion, but not a lasting magic tale.

Don’t look at the man behind the curtain…

My name is Michael Pearson—and I’m in love.

Margaux is the fire of my dreams, the fulfillment of my fantasies and the woman who’s asked the impossible. When your past has been hell, how is it possible to walk through it again? But fighting it isn’t an option—especially when the ghosts rise up and battle back. Especially when fate issues an ultimatum—battle back, or lose her forever. Can I do it? Is love enough to change a person’s soul, or will our magic become a forgotten moment for us both?

Erotica | Romance Erotica Sensual [Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: March 14, 2017, e-Book, ISBN: 9781786511355 / eISBN: 9781786511355]

We LOVE hearing from readers, too! Reach out to us via social media too!

Victoria Blue

Victoria Blue

Victoria Blue lives in her own portion of the galaxy known as Southern California. There she finds the love and life sustaining power of one amazing sun, two unique and awe inspiring planets and three indifferent, yet comforting moons. Life is fantastic and challenging and everyday brings new adventures to be discovered. She looks forward to seeing what’s next!

Secrets of Stone

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

Angel Payne

Angel Payne

USA Today bestselling romance author Angel Payne has been reading and writing her entire life, though her love for romances began in junior high, when writing with friends on “swap stories” they’d trade between classes. Needless to say, those stories involved lots of angst, groping, drama, and gooey kissing.

She began getting a paycheck for her writing in her twenties, writing record reviews for a Beverly Hills-based dance music magazine. Some years, various entertainment industry gigs, and a number of years in the hospitality industry later, Angel returned to the thing she loves the most: creating character-based romantic fiction. Along the way, she also graduated with two degrees from Chapman University in Southern California, taking departmental honors for English, before writing five historical romances for Kensington and Bantam/Doubleday/Dell.

Angel found a true home in writing contemporary-based romances that feature high heat and high concepts, focusing on memorable alpha men and the women who tame them. She has numerous book series to her credit, including the Kinky Truth series, the Secrets of Stone series (with Victoria Blue, to be re-released through Totally Bound Publishing starting late 2016!), the W.I.L.D. Boys of Special Forces series, and the acclaimed Cimarron  and Temptation Court series.

Angel still lives in Southern California, where she is married to her soul mate and lives on a street that looks like Brigadoon, with their awesome daughter and Lady Claire, the dog with impeccable manners. When not writing, she enjoys reading, pop culture, alt rock, cute shoes, enjoying the outdoors, and being a gym rat.

Secrets of Stone

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A.M. Griffin | Welcome to the Dark Wolf Enterprises!

Hello All!

For those who don’t know me, I’m A.M. Griffin and I write smexy stories of alien abductions, vanilla stories about invasions and teenage love and I’ve just added sexy paranormal wolf shifters to my repertoire. I’m so excited about this new series and I’m happy that the readers can take this adventure with me into my new paranormal world.

LOVER CLAIMED is the second book in the Dark Wolf Enterprises series. The first book in the series is titled SHIFTER CLAIMED. Dark Wolf Enterprises is a multi-million dollar investment company owned and operated by a family of wolf shifters, the Farkas. Unfortunately for the brothers and owners; Andras, Kristof and Lajos Farkas, someone is embezzling millions of dollars from their company.

LOVER CLAIMED picks up where Lajos has separated from Kristof at Trudy’s house. Lajos has a simple task, to take Trudy’s dog to her best friend Meisha’s house and then to go to Trudy’s business to look for any clues left behind by the other shifters who attacked her.

The problem?

Meisha Komano doesn’t take kindly to coming home to find a stranger in her kitchen. The stranger could be one of the drug fiends from her neighborhood, a cop or a member of the Yaruzi, a Japanese gang who is after her and her family. Either way, Meisha’s first impulse is to kick ass and ask questions later.

The other problem?

Lajos needs to shake Meisha so that he can properly conduct an investigation and gather as much information about the other shifters as he can before his security team arrives. But the bigger problem is that he doesn’t really want to shake her—he’d rather keep her at his side for the rest of his life.

LOVER CLAIMED by A.M. Griffin

Dark Wolf Enterprises #2

<a href=LOVER CLAIMED” width=”200″ rel=”share” >

When Meisha comes home and finds a strange man in her kitchen, she does what any sensible person would do. She beats the crap out of him first, then asks questions after. When he explains her best friend is in mortal danger, Meisha knows the whole mess—including a recent murder and the threats on her friend’s life—may be her fault, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. And no sexy stranger is going to stop her.

Lajos Farkas isn’t expecting to meet a spitfire, martial artist when he’s on a mission to figure out who’s stealing from Dark Wolf Enterprises, and he certainly doesn’t expect her to insist on butting in on his investigation. But getting rid of Meisha is seemingly impossible, and when his wolf decides she’s his life-mate, suddenly he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her close and grow old with her.

If they can just stay alive long enough to make that possible.

If they can just stay alive long enough to make that possible.

Romance Paranormal [Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: March 14, 2017, e-Book, ISBN: 9781786511287 / eISBN: 9781786511287]

Excerpt of LOVER CLAIMED

Since the man lying on her kitchen floor had been so brazen about his break-in, it meant only one thing. All her threats to the people in her apartment complex were starting to fall on deaf ears. She needed to take this punk out into the courtyard and give the neighbors a reminder as to why they should leave her and her stuff alone.

She squinted at her captive. He was big, too big for her to drag out the door, down the stairs and into the courtyard.

Roll him?

Piper went back up to his face and swung a leg that looked as if it couldn’t support her fat body over the intruder’s neck, straddling him, trying to hump him to death. “Make sure you keep that up. When I get him out in public you can embarrass him all you want.”

Her burglar frowned and groaned. “Pft. Get off me, dog.” He tried to move his arms. Meisha smiled. She had tied them behind his back. His eyes flew open in panic.

Meisha pushed Piper aside just in case she needed to knock him out again. As soon as Piper was out of his way, the intruder landed his eyes on her.

She was right. His eyes were pretty. Light brown with a hint of gold speckles.

He squinted, his glare focused on her. “Untie me,” he ground out.

Meisha glared at him. “No.”

The color of his eyes flashed from brown to green.

She leaned closer to get a better look. “Holy shit, how did you change the color of your eyes? Is that some kind of trick?”

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he warned, ignoring her question.

Meisha raised an eyebrow and chuckled. “Really? You? Hurt me?” There was no way he was getting out of the bindings. When she’d first moved to the US from Japan, her mother had told her that she wanted her only daughter to experience a normal American childhood like she had. That meant enrolling Meisha into the Girl Scouts. Thanks to that organization, she’d learned to tie a wicked knot.

The intruder grunted. His face turned red as he tugged at his bindings.

Meisha nodded at his arms. “If you haven’t noticed, you’re all tied up. I could do whatever my little heart desires to you.”

The side of his mouth quirked up. “And tell me, love. What does your heart desire?” His voice had dropped an octave.

She caught her breath. The dimple in his cheek was…cute. Her heart fluttered. She scooted away from him. That was what she needed—distance.

SHIFTER CLAIMED by A.M. Griffin

Dark Wolf Enterprises #1

Shifter Claimed

The big break Trudy Hollander’s small accounting firm needs has finally arrived, but unfortunately it comes with murder, mayhem and Kristof Farkas, a man she just can’t seem to resist. Even worse, Kristof is the CFO of Dark Wolf Enterprises—the one person who can pull the plug on the job that will take her company to the next level.

Then there are the assassins who can jump from three stories up and still be able to run away…

Kristof has no intention of giving in to his inner wolf and claiming Trudy. She’s human. Too fragile to withstand being a shifter’s mate. But the need to protect her is stronger than his resolve, and his desire is more powerful yet. He’ll fight with everything he has to keep her safe, both from those who would hurt her, and from himself.

Romance Paranormal [Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: January 24, 2017, e-Book, ISBN: 9781786511126 / eISBN: 9781786511126]

The third book Hunter Claimed is available April 25, 2017

HUNTER CLAIMED by A.M. Griffin

Dark Wolf Enterprises #3

Hunter Claimed

Asha has a simple plan for her life—her hopefully soon-to-be immortal life. All she’s ever wanted was to be so powerful that no one could ever hurt her again, and once she becomes a Vampire her dream will come true. Sure, being a Vampire’s protégé isn’t the easiest job a girl could have, but there are far tougher roads she could be walking, like following in her drug-addicted mother’s footsteps.

Hunter Arany hates Vampires, and with good reason. So when Dark Wolf Enterprises is forced to hire a group of the blood-suckers to find out who’s been stealing company money, he’s sure having them around will be a problem. He never figured it would the Vampires’ human servant who causes him the most trouble—trouble of the love and life-mate kind.

He’s hoping to convince Ash a brighter future exists in his arms, but old dreams fade slowly and can become living nightmares—of the dying kind.

Romance Paranormal [Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: April 25, 2017, e-Book, / ]

About A.M. Griffin

A.M. Griffin

A.M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

Dark Wolf Enterprises

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