A Sexy Man With A Killer Smile

Not Broken: The Happily Ever After
by Meka James

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

Calida Jokobi doesn’t see it that way. Surviving an abusive relationship with a sadistic, manipulative man changed her. She has spent the last two years carefully constructing her new persona with two goals in mind: to keep the remaining pieces of her heart safe and her deepest secrets buried. One man puts it all at risk.

Malcolm has been a part of Calida’s life for as long as she can remember. A friend. Her first teenage crush. Now he’s asking for something she swore she’d never give again: her heart.

Calida must decide if she should risk the fragile façade she’s created and give Malcolm the chance he’s asking for.

They say love can heal all wounds…

Malcolm Frankel wants to prove to Calida it’s true. She survived a hell most people couldn’t fathom. He’s been by her side fulfilling whatever role she needs him to play. All except the one he wants most. It took nearly losing her to make Malcolm realize he couldn’t keep denying his feelings.

He knows no one goes through an ordeal like that and comes out unscathed, but the closer they get, the more he learns just how deep Calida’s wounds go.

She’s the only woman he’s ever loved, and Malcolm is ready to put his own heart at risk for a chance at mending hers.

 



Meet the characters

A chat with Calida Jokobi

What was your first impression of Malcolm?
Oh man. I met Malcolm when I was in third grade, so I was eight or nine. Can’t remember what I thought about him at that time other than he was Macy’s big brother.

What qualities attracted you to him?
He’s a sexy man with a killer smile. It lights up his whole face. And he can make me laugh. I love that, and he always knows when I need it. But mostly it’s his heart. He cares so much and so deeply about everyone. And seeing him with my son… it melts my heart every time.

Is there anything memorable Malcolm’s ever done for you?
Love me. I know that probably sounds corny, or cliché but it’s the truth. When you’ve been through what I’ve gone through before, having someone love you. Truly, honestly love you, faults and all with no judgement, that’s pretty damn memorable.

 

A chat with Malcolm Frankel

What was your first impression of Calida?
I think I’m offended. I’m sure I made a better impression. *Calida shrugs* Well, I remember the quiet, shy red-head that said a whole lot of yes ma’am and no ma’am to Mom. She went on and on about how polite you were.

What do the two of you do for fun or quality time together?
Well, I have a certain activity I never get tired of doing with my lady love here. But for a more PG, family friendly answer, really just hanging out with her and *our* son. We game, she’s not that good, but tries. Or watch a movie. I’m a simple man, all I need is her and Shawn to make it a good time.

How do you see your future with Calida?
Married. Three or four more kids so that Shawn has plenty of siblings. My future is with Calida. However she’ll have me, for as long as she’ll have me.

 



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Meet the author, Meka James

I was raised in a large castle with a moat, a drawbridge and a personal chef. Every night before bed I would wish upon a star for a handsome prince to come and whisk me off my feet and we’d raise a family of our own. Flash forward twenty years and that fantasy turned into real life. Well ok. I wasn’t born in a castle and I didn’t have a personal chef, a girl can dream though can’t she? In truth, I’ve led a fairly simple life. I’m a stay at home Mom to 4 super amazing (and stunningly gorgeous because yes, I’m biased) kids. We live in the great state of Georgia though my dreams are to kick my eldest out of the house and out of the state (yay college). Kidding, I’m kidding, don’t worry Baby, Mama loves you! Although one part of my fairytale is true, I did marry a handsome prince and we’ve been happily married for 11 years and counting. I’m an animal lover and own 3 dogs, a turtle, a bearded dragon, and my husband and kids own snakes (and if they get loose, I’m leaving them all!) In my spare time (no really, I get that sometimes!) I volunteer with the Atlanta Weimaraner Rescue and I enjoy playing The Sims 3. As for my writing, it was something I happened to stumble upon one day and it was something I surprisingly came to love and enjoy.

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Everyone Has a Secret or Two @pekavanagh

COLLECTING SECRETS
Book One of the Friends & Lovers Series

CS front cover

 

A grieving heiress.
A celebrity psychologist.
A decade of friendship.
Undone.

When Camille first met Jackson she was too young. Too innocent. Too traumatized.
Friendship was less than what she wanted, but all she could handle.

Ten years later and she’s a different woman. Strong, successful, brave.
At exactly the wrong moment, one bold move threatens everything.
The safe harbor of Jackson’s family.
The unconditional commitment of his friendship.
The collection of secrets she never knew existed,

Claims and confessions come hard and fast as Jackson and Camille navigate all that has never been said.
Each step they take, closer to the truth and each other, demands another layer of secrets must fall.

Collecting Secrets is a steamy standalone contemporary romance with no cliffhanger. You will meet characters who will reappear throughout the series.



 

From Collecting Secrets

This was not the first time Camille had looked foolish, but it might have been the first time she didn’t care. Unable to find her room key or hold back the torrent of tears, she plunked down onto the ugly hotel carpet in front of her door and sobbed, loud and hard. With nothing but the back of her hand to wipe away the tears and snot, the scene quickly escalated from tragic to gruesome.

Heartbreak was no stranger. But this particularly cruel break-up was the last straw. How dare he? She had given him everything and he claimed it wasn’t enough. He’d stood in the cold marble lobby and yelled at her. Accused her of cheating. As if…

Humiliation mingled with anger and desperation, halting any effort to pull herself together. They’d flown across the country to attend this wedding and now she’d be conspicuously dateless in a room full of happy couples. She tried to take a breath and choked on a new wave of tears.

A soft crush of footsteps stopped in front of her, but Camille had no interest in lifting her head off her knees to look.

“Hey, Cam. What’s wrong?”

She knew that voice, as well as the gentle stroke of his hand in her hair.

“Camille. You’re scaring me. What’s going on?”

His worry pierced through her pain and, with great effort, she tilted her head up to see her best friend’s face inches from hers.

His eyes flashed to fear. “Camille! What happened? Are you okay? Talk to me!”

It took so much energy to form words. “Calm down, Jack. I’m okay.”

“You don’t look okay. Did something happen with Charlie? Where is he?”

The questions were coming too fast for Camille’s throbbing, blurry head. “He dumped me.”

There, she said it. Out loud.

The line of his lips flattened and his breath growled. Rage filled his expression. “That mother fu-”

Camille shook her head, trying to regain her composure. “We flew all the way here and that bastard couldn’t even wait one more day.”

Jackson’s mouth softened. “I’m so sorry.” He rubbed his thumb across her cheek.

She looked into the warm brown eyes of her closest friend, the man who’d been like a brother for the past ten years. This was how she knew him best – kind, caring, and sweet. She didn’t care how the world saw him. She had gotten to know the real man.

“Let’s get you up and into your room.”  He slipped his long arms under hers and stood her up. She fell into his broad chest, melting into the arms that enveloped her.

“Where’s your key, love?” he whispered into the top of her head.

She mumbled into his chest. “I couldn’t find it.”

Keeping a firm grip around her with one arm, Jackson dipped down to pick her purse up off the ground. “Can I take a look?”

“Of course.” She had no secrets from him.

She winced when he had to unlock his arm from her waist to search through her purse. Of course, he knew exactly where she would have put the key: in the smallest zippered pocket. He waved it in front of the magnetic pad and the loud click confirmed his success.

As expected, the room had been cleared of all Charlie’s belongings. His compulsiveness would have prevented him from forgetting anything. Camille stepped away from Jackson to look around, hoping to find a belt, or a tie, or even a tube of shaving cream. Any excuse to contact him again. But there was nothing, not even a stray hair.

Charlie had almost snuck out without her knowing. If she hadn’t had to leave the restaurant to go to the bathroom, she would never have seen him, bags in hand, striding across the lobby.

Jackson stepped in front of her, halting her examination of the room, and began wiping her eyes and nose with a tissue.

“I’m a mess.” Only the slightest tinge of self-consciousness colored the moment. This was who they were and had always been. He pressed the tissue across her nose and she blew, like a small child.

“No, Cam. You’re just hurting.” He balled up the tissue and flicked it into the small metal bin to his right. “I know you’re upset, love. But, personally, I’m glad he’s gone. He was never good enough for you. And he reinforced his complete lack of class by doing this here. I mean, he couldn’t have ended it before flying to Chicago with you?”

Camille dropped her head, another rush of tears pressing against her eyes.

His broad palms cupped her face, tilting her up to look at him. “Hey, hey, Cam. He has no idea what an amazing woman you are. There are better things in your future. I know it.”

text

 

Author: PE Kavanagh
Publication Date: 2/14/18
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 



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Meet the author

author photoPE KAVANAGH has been a professional dancer, MIT-educated engineer, corporate executive, spiritual teacher, and chef. These days, her favorite titles are author, mother, and hot stuff. Visit her website to find out what she’s up to.

 

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Liars, Traitors and Fools

If you’re an author, you’ve heard many times that one of the most important ways to improve our writing is by reading. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to cross that task off my to do list no matter how often or how long it’s been there. I write, work, care for my family, help promote other authors and I’m in the process of starting my own business. But even though I haven’t had time lately to read, I can tell you Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire is a book you and I both will definitely want to add to our TBR list. The book’s author is fellow Navy Veteran, Kayelle Allen. Just from reading this short interview, I already want to know more about the main character in her story.
With that said, I’m happy to introduce you to Pietas. He’s an Ultra, a race of genetically enhanced people who are immortal.

Happy reading!

 

 

new 1How old are you?
I’m almost two thousand years old.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
I only look in the mirror to ensure my uniform is correct or that clothing is in place. However, your question likely assumes I will answer regarding my physical appearance. I’m 7 Terran feet tall, slender (dancer/swimmer type body), platinum blond hair (long – I cut it only for a specific ritual), and because my eyes have multiple green flecks, it gives the impression they’re turquoise, but they are quite blue. My people, as a general rule, do not have facial hair. I am perpetually clean-shaven.

What is people’s first impression of you?
I imagine they think I’m distant. I do not strive for friendliness, but I do show compassion. I’m a king, albeit in name only, since I’m in exile. I try to keep that in mind at all times and act accordingly. My people know me well and are loyal. I would die for them and they know it. Their impression is more important to me than a stranger’s.

Name three of your favorite things.
Sitting with friends around a good meal, my panther – Tiklaus, and a sharp knife at my side. Not necessarily in that order.

Name three things that tick you off.
Liars. Traitors. Fools.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Since I am immortal, I’ll go with “vacant.”

What is your favorite song?
Forged in Fire. It’s a military chant/song sung in a minor key. Our warriors have sung it through the ages. Here’s my favorite stanza.
“We can’t forget. We won’t forgive. We must return. We shall avenge.
We never quit. We do not sway. Our enemies–we will repay.
An Ultra’s will is set in stone.”
Each stanza ends with some aspect of an Ultra’s life. The final line says, “An Ultra’s heart is forged in fire.” Hence the name.

What would you most like to forget?
I have an eidetic memory. It’s impossible for me to forget, no matter how much I might wish otherwise. Besides, my experiences have made me who I am today. I rather like myself. I can look in the mirror and not avoid my own gaze. There’s something to be said for that.

Are you close to family?
Given the least opportunity, I would happily slay my “father” with not one nanosecond of guilt. My mother and sister are another story. Ultras are created, not born, except for my twin sister, Dessy, and me. So I’m rare among Ultras in that I have “family” as such.

What is your most prized possession?
My friend Six is human, which means he will someday die. We don’t talk about that. However, one evening while we were walking across the planet Sempervia trying to find my people, Six pulled a metal cup from his survival kit, filled it, and handed it to me. I drank, and went to hand it back. He said, “I want you to keep that.” Not understanding, I asked what he meant. He said, “The first thing I offered you was water. After I’m gone, whenever you drink from that cup, I want you to remember you had a human friend. Not all of us are your enemies.” His answer tore out my heart. I would not part with that beaten up, worn out and dented metal cup for anything. Not anything.



 

Book title: Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire
Author: Kayelle Allen
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Sci-fi
Release date: 12/29/17

When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that’s the problem. He’s not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it’s up to Pietas to save them. He can’t release one at a time. It’s all or nothing. He’s facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals all looking to him for answers.
It’s not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he’s loved for lifetimes is at his side. He’s bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.
But before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he’s fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever…

Here’s an excerpt

Six slid their canteen off over his head and held it out to Pietas.
Accepting anything from a human, an altered one at that, had violated every instinct at first. To take from an enemy, yes. Always. Let one give you something as if you needed it? Admit a weakness before an enemy?
Never.
But this was Six.
Pietas took it.
Ultras could go days without water, but they consumed it when they had it. He wiped one dusty hand across his mouth. The satisfaction of assuaged thirst never failed to please. What simple things in life brought pleasure! In captivity, he’d dreamed of even a drop to cool his tongue. He’d sworn he’d never take water for granted again.
Six had offered it to their companions during the climb, but the entire lot refused anything a mortal’s lips had touched. Yes, Six was a quasi-immortal, enhanced with Ultra blood. A “ghost.” But to the others, that gave him even less status.
Pietas wavered on few things, but on this? Should he call the man human, mortal, quasi-immortal, or ghost? He’d elected to choose as the mood struck. But one in particular annoyed Six.
“Thanks, ghost.” He thrust the canteen against Six’s chest.
Staggering, he swore in Spanish. “Find another name for me.”
“Tell me your mortal name then.”
“You know I can’t.” Six scratched his cheek. “Gotta protect my family. If your kind knew who they were, they’d slaughter them. You wouldn’t, but them?”
Now they were getting somewhere. “So you do trust me?”
“Pi, there’s more honor in your left big toe than your entire race combined.” He tipped up the canteen but then paused. “No offense.”
“None taken. But we’re stranded, my friend. Unless a miracle happens, by the time we get off this world, your family will be long dead.” He added, “No offense.”
Six finished his drink and plugged the canteen. “None taken. Sorry. Can’t do it.” He lifted the strap back over his head and settled it onto his shoulder, the canteen at his back. “Seriously, Pi, your people hear you call me you-know-what, it’ll give away I was Ghost Corps. We both know what they’ll do to me.”

 



 

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About the author

Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.

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2018 Author Goals

Happy New Year

 

Nope, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. 20171209_112851I’d already committed to losing weight to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure when I saw my doctor in the fall. Since then I’ve been walking one to two miles almost every morning after I watch my son get on the school bus.  I’ve also increased my fruit and veggie meals. As for my love affair with pie and brownies, well we still see each other, but it’s a more platonic relationship.

20171125_143601Other ways I’ve been working to improve my health are trying to get more sleep and drinking more water. I’ve even started drinking infused water. You can put pretty much anything in your water. The crystal-clear, snazzy-looking glass of water on the table next to me right now has sliced strawberries, cucumber, pineapple, lemon and kiwi. That’s what the cool people put in their water, right? You can  even get recipe books for infused water, but I just toss in whatever looks pretty. Does it make the water taste better? Nope. It still tastes like a tall, refreshing glass of nothing.

Although I haven’t made any typical resolutions, I have been giving more thought to accomplishing those items I’ve always wanted to do, but for some reason just haven’t been able to make them happen. Maybe this will be the year I get a motorcycle license. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to dinner at a nice restaurant once every other month.  Most of the goals I do have set, however, are those related to my writing career.

Here’s what I would like to accomplish in 2018:

I know some of you have been waiting for the sequel to Forbidden Kisses. However, book 2 in my Anchored Hearts series will probably not be released until 2019. It’s been gently pushed to the back burner while I work on a stand-alone novel, Remember Love.

23897044_10215479705964686_2049717737_oRemember Love
He can’t forget her. She doesn’t remember him.
Petty Officer Xavier Mitchell has two loves: His career in the Navy and his wife, Alexis. But as his military career advances, it becomes increasingly difficult to balance his focus on the demands of both.
When an accident causes Alexis Mitchell to lose her memory, her husband rushes to her side, prepared to do whatever it takes to help her remember him. But when it becomes clear that the key to his future depends on what his wife remembers, Xavier finds himself questioning whether the return of her memory is in his best interest. Is he willing to put aside his hopes for the future in order to help Alexis remember her past?

Steamy Connections EbookSteamy Connections
In order to make extra cash for surgery on a facial scar, Erin takes a job as a phone sex operator. When she falls for a repeat caller with an irresistibly sexy voice, she must decide if she’s brave enough to take a chance on happiness and meet him face-to-face.

 

 

Properly Kissed
Avery is a martial arts instructor who’s fed up with the lack of passion in her stale relationship. As a last-ditch effort to save her relationship, she plans a romantic weekend trip for her boyfriend and herself to reconnect. Her plans fall to pieces when she’s stood up and and stranded, but she soon finds herself doing combat with a sexy Marine.

received_10214196290400099I plan to continue working on Off Base as well as two short stories I plan to to release in 2019.

As an Indie author I’m learning how important it is to build my Author Platform – my fan base of friends, readers, supporters and writing peers who will cheer me on, provide advice for some of my stories, spread the word when I have a new release and yes, buy, review and recommend my books. I’d like to increase my number of followers by 2,500. (You can help right now, by sharing this post.)

I’ve got a number of blog posts planned for the upcoming year.  Some of those topics will be of interest to readers, but I’ll also include some tips and advice for fellow writers. I’m also planning some posts which will hopefully be of interest to the military community – active duty, veterans and military spouses.

As for my offline activities, I plan to attend two author conferences, Create Something Magical which is hosted by the Liberty States Fiction Writers and the Women Who Write conference.
I’d also like to attend four book-signing events in 2018. I’m already registered for  two in Pennsylvania – Unmask the Romance on 5/12/18 and Salute With Love on 8/18/18. I’m planning an event in New Jersey with the members of my MeetUp group and I’m on the lookout for something in the DMV/North Carolina area so I’ll have the opportunity to visit with friends and family while I’m there.

Forbidden Kisses EBookMy current book, Forbidden Kisses is on the shelf at my local library. I’d like to get it into more libraries, but I’ll focus on that task closer to the end of the year, when I have other books available.

I’m the organizer of a MeetUp group called New Jersey Indie Publishing. We get together to discuss ideas for promoting and marketing our books. I’d like to plan some beneficial and effective meetings and possibly even a fun outing.

As you may know, I love promoting other authors. That’s just who I am. I don’t worry that helping the career of other authors will hinder my own. There are plenty of readers to go around. I had an Indie Author Event and a Holiday Blitz which hopefully introduced you to some new authors. I’d like to do a couple more events in the upcoming year.

 

What are your goals for 2018?

 

 

Holiday Feature ~ Interview with Anne Kane @AnneKane

Anne Kane lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with a bouncy little rescue mutt, a cantankerous Himalayan cat and too many fish to count. She has two handsome sons and six adorable grandchildren. By day, she’s a respectable bean counter, but after hours her imagination soars and she writes romances that span the galaxy and encompass beings of all sizes, shapes and origins. She first started telling stories as a toddler and she just can’t seem to stop. When she’s not busy working on her next story, her hobbies include kayaking, karate, hiking, motorcycles, swimming, skating, playing guitar, singing and of course, reading.

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An Interview With Anne Kane

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
If money weren’t an object, I’d love to have more than one house so that I could always live in an ideal climate, not too hot and not too cold. I could spend part of the year in the Caribbean, or perhaps in Asia and then, when it got too hot there I could retreat back to somewhere in North America. There are so many beautiful places in the world it would be hard to pick just one or two. I suppose the perfect answer would be a yacht that could move from place to place whenever I choose. Yes, I think a nice yacht would be the best answer.

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
I think the easiest book I ever wrote was the third cyborg book – A Deliciously Bothersome Cyborg. It was one of those rare times when the words seemed to just flow without effort, and the story told itself. In contrast to that was the very first story I wrote for Changeling Press, which I have since released independently. Stranded on Earth was hard to write because I kept second guessing myself, and rewriting and changing settings, moods and everything about it. I had just sold one book to a publisher and I was terrified that it was a fluke and that I sucked as a writer. I worried about everything and just about ruined the story in the process!

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
The characters always come first. Once I can see them clearly, and understand how they interact with each other, and what their issues are, then I can move on to the bigger picture. At that point, the setting becomes clear and the story starts to unfold. It takes much longer to write the beginning of a book than the end!

What one resource or tool helps the most with your writing?
Google! It is so much easier to research facts these days than it used to be. If I want to know what the climate is like in a certain part of the world, or how a black hole is formed, I just google it. Of course you can’t believe everything you find on the internet but it’s usually easy to tell truth from fiction.

Do you work from an outline or do you prefer to just see where a story takes you?
Good question, and not an easy one to answer. I usually have an outline but more often than not the story takes me where it wants to go and the outline becomes irrelevant.

As far as writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m a morning person. I find it so much easier to write first thing in the morning. The words come easier and the storyline is clear. If I try to write late at night I often find myself staring blankly at the laptop screen wondering what to say.

If you could give your younger writing self once piece of advice, what would it be?
Ignore anyone that makes you not believe in yourself. I spent a long time not taking my writing seriously because I didn’t want to be laughed at, and I didn’t believe in myself. I like to think all those people had my best interests at heart but listening to the doubts they instilled meant it took me a long time to make a real effort to get published.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
More than I’d like to! I have one full length novel that just needs a bit of tweaking, and another that is about eighty percent finished. Then there’s the novellas, about a half a dozen at least, that are in various stages of completion. I doubt I will ever have all of my stories completed.

Do you write full-time? If not, what is your ‘day job’?
No, I don’t write full time although I’d really love to. In my day job I’m a CPA. I have my own firm so between that and writing it would be nice to have more days in a week!

Name 5 of your favorite movies.
Star Wars
Serenity
The Sound of Music
Up
Finding Nemo
I know, quite a mixture but I love them all!

Would you rather go out to see a movie at a theater or stay home and rent one?
Why?
I like to go to the theatre. I enjoy the fact that I can watch an entire movie without having to get up to answer the phone, let the dog out, change loads in the dryer or let the dog back in. That buttery theatre popcorn isn’t bad either.

Name 2 things you consider yourself to be very good at.
I’m good at organizing people and things and I’m very good at anything to do with numbers. I adore spreadsheets and algorithms!

Name 2 things you consider yourself to be very bad at.
Dealing with mechanical things (like my car) and following directions. I swear I could get lost in a one-horse town if you gave me a guide dog!

Most hated chore on the household chore list?
Laundry! When I had two toddlers in diapers, I lived in a remote spot with no running water and no hydro. In those days, diapers were not disposable and they needed to be washed. So I had to fetch water, heat it and wash the diapers by hand. Daily. That was decades ago, but I have yet to get over my aversion to doing laundry!

Tell us about your new release.

Title: Get Off My Cloud (Set In Stone)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release date: December 29, 2017

2670Six months ago, Lucas met the woman of his dreams but after a night of amazing sex he woke up to find himself alone. Sent to rescue the daughter of a billionaire from her own folly, he discovers her to be the same woman, and this time he intends to make sure she stays put this time.

When Olivia discovers a herd of live dinosaurs existing on a small island in the South Pacific, she’s ecstatic. This discovery could crown her career as a paleontologist and put to rest the rumors that her daddy bought her position for her! Of course, when her father sends someone to drag her home, she’s not willing to comply and the couple must find a way to deal with the sizzling attraction between them while running from a herd of angry prehistoric beasts.

 

Read an Excerpt

The voyage had been rougher than Lucas had expected. The fishing trawler he’d rented to get himself from the mainland over to the small island where the target was located had bucked and heaved on the choppy waters, at times threatening to turn itself upside down. Not an ideal ride, but it did the job. He was on the island. Now all he needed to do was locate his employer’s daughter and convince her to leave with him. Grabbing his backpack of supplies, he set out to find her.
Good thing the island was so small. As it was, it was past noon before he caught sight of a battered old canvas tent on the east side of a grassy meadow at the foot of a small hill. He made his way down to the bottom of the hill, cursing the lack of any kind of trail to follow. The low scrub bush that blanketed the area made foot travel slow going. Once he made it to the edge of the flat meadow, he paused to scout out the lay of the land. He wasn’t sure of the best way to approach the woman. She had no idea who he was, and she just might be armed. She would be perfectly justified in defending herself against an unknown male who suddenly showed up unannounced. The last thing he wanted was to engage in a shootout with his employer’s daughter.

Lucas pulled his field glasses out of his backpack and studied the base camp. Two facts immediately slammed into his disbelieving brain. Hard to tell which was more astounding. Firstly, those four-legged creatures stretching up to munch on the tops of the trees definitely did look like dinosaurs.

And secondly, Mr. Billionaire’s daughter was none other than the woman he’d spent one unbelievably fabulous night with almost half a year ago. The woman who’d seduced him, fucked him gloriously senseless and then disappeared before he managed to regain consciousness the following morning.

Hell, he’d started to think he’d dreamed the whole thing. No woman could be that gorgeously curvy, that amazingly good in bed, and then just leave without expecting anything at all from him. He hadn’t even taken her out for dinner. Or breakfast. Not that he was cynical or anything but women were expensive. They didn’t do anything without expecting some kind of payback, and they sure as hell didn’t do all the things she’d done for him and with him and to him without very high expectations.

So when she’d disappeared without a trace, he’d been speechless. Speechless and, if he were honest with himself, just a tiny bit bereft.

He’d wanted more. More of her. More of them together. Taking a deep breath, he strode across the field toward the woman who’d starred in all of his X-rated dreams for the past six months.

He could tell the exact moment she became aware of his presence. Her head came up like a deer who’d suddenly scented a predator. She turned in his direction, and her lips formed a surprised “o.”

Yeah. She remembered him all right. It was in her eyes, in the way the pink tip of her tongue darted out to wet her lips, in the way her nostrils flared as if breathing itself had become an issue.

Her lips curved upward in that slow, sexy smile he remembered so well, and it sent a bolt of heat straight to his groin. Instant hard-on. Yeah. That was her, all right. Olivia. New-age hippie. The first woman to ever love him all night and leave him wanting more the next morning.

He was close enough now to look right into her eyes, to see the warmth there, the genuine happiness at seeing him again. He didn’t get it. She looked thrilled to see him now, so why had she left that morning without so much as a fleeting message, or a goodbye kiss?

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All I Want For Christmas

At my age I don’t really need people to give me gifts on my birthday or during the holiday season. Don’t get me wrong – I love stuff. New stuff. Shiny stuff. Pretty Stuff. But spending time with friends and family is what I enjoy most. Besides, it’s easier if I get the pretty, shiny, new stuff for myself because I can get the exact make, model and style that I prefer. However, if someone were to give me a gift anyway, there are a number of pretty, shiny or fast things I’d love to receive:

 

 

A juicer

 

 

 

 

A milk frother for topping my coffee with creamy cappuccino-like foam

 

 

 

 

Spa pillow

 

 

 

 

Relaxation fountain

 

 

 

Ride Along in a NASCAR Race Car

But even more important are those gifts we could only hope to receive through kindness, love and the goodness of God:
World peace – yep, it’d be great if we could all just get along.
The end of homelessness and hunger
The end of child abuse
The end of veterans’ suicide due to lack of attention, resources and care from the country they risked their lives for

The list goes on – there’s so much need in the world and I would love to be able to take care of it all. But in the interest of saving time (because I’m getting ready to get my Christmas celebration on), I’ll wish you all happiness, health, safety and blessings.

christmas

What’s on your holiday wish list? Tell us in the comments.

Don’t forget – Books make great gifts!

FK Cover

He’s an officer. She’s enlisted. Their relationship is against military rules. Will they end their sizzling romance or keep it a secret… and pray no one finds out? GET IT HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Feature ~ Alishia Curtis

Having spent most of her twenties navigating the minefield that is dating’s landscape, Alishia Curtis writes her debut novel from a humorous, yet honest perspective on what it’s like to be a young lady reluctantly looking for love in the 2000s.
A child of God, lover of shoes, cookies, candies, and music, the mother of one delivers Sex and the Single Girl as her first, but certainly not her last, novel.

 Author of Sex and the Single Girl

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An Interview With Alishia Curtis

What do you do for fun?
Once upon a time, it was going out, dancing and drinking with friends; these days, not so much. Now sleeping is “fun”.

If you were stranded on a tropical island, who would it be with? You can choose any living, deceased or mythical figure.
My boyfriend, because he’s resourceful and would make sure we have food and a roof over our heads.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?
My first novel didn’t really provide any challenges as far as content. But in my next novel, I plan on touching on some controversial topics and that may prove to be challenging. Not only for the readers, but for me as the author. I want to tell a story without coming across as preachy or offending anyone, but still getting the message across.

Name three of your favorite things.
Music, cookies (specifically chocolate chip) and my mom.

Name three things that tick you off.
Inconsideration, ignorance and insecure men.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Personal real life experiences and my imagination.

Do you have any suggestions for those just starting a writing career?
Write for the love of it, not to get rich. Hopefully financial success will come, but I would hold onto my day job while I wait.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two have been started with a few chapters each and there are two more that are in the planning/outline phase.

Does your current book have any deleted scenes or alternate endings?
Yes and yes! Some of those deleted scenes are being worked into book two

What was your hardest scene to write?
I have a few party scenes and if I remember correctly, the wedding/reception scene wore me out!

Do you Google yourself?
LOL, I did when I first published my novel.

What is the best thing you have done in your life?
Give birth to my son.

What would you do if you won a few million dollars?
Pay off debts, give my family some of the money, invest, open my own bar and of course, quit my job to write full time.

If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say?
“Small town girl makes it big with hit debut novel Sex and the Single Girl.”

Tell us about your book.

Title: Sex and the Single Girl
Genre: Fiction, Erotica
Release date: October 11, 2017

coverMilan is a daddy’s girl who seems to have it all: she’s attractive, intelligent, comes from a good home, and has no problem getting attention from men. Only problem is she’s getting attention from every guy but the right guy. From the arrogant, but attractive neighbor with the noisy sex life, to the handsome musician that seems to be too good to be true, Milan must balance her struggling love life while keeping an eye on a sister that can’t seem to stay out of rehab and a mother finding love again after years as a widow.
With a degree she’s not using and a job she hates, Milan is a woman of today, experiencing what countless others have experienced upon graduating from college. In her quest for happiness, Milan leans on her best friends Cairo, the good-looking protector with a not so subtle secret and the incredibly honest Donatella, the conceited wild child with a foul mouth and insatiable appetite for men and money. Sex and the Single Girl follows Milan as she navigates her way through lustful, loveless relationships on her journey to find that perfect guy, who may have been right in her face the whole time.

 

Excerpt

“The funeral”

I remember that day as if it happened yesterday. I was sixteen years old and had just gotten home from school. I walked in to find my mother sitting on the floor in the middle of the living room, pictures strewn around her.

“Whatcha doin’?” I asked, plopping down on the chair closest to her.

That’s when I noticed the wetness on her cheeks and her smeared mascara. Nervousness caused my stomach to churn and I fought to swallow the lump that suddenly formed in my throat. As I took a closer look at the picture she held in her trembling hands, I knew something had happened. It was a photograph of her and my father, his hand resting on her prominent belly, a huge smile on his face.

“Mama? What’s the matter?”

I slid onto the floor beside her and when she looked at me with her swollen red eyes, I instinctively knew. I knew this time wasn’t like the others. This was more than just the usual disappearing act after an argument; this time he wasn’t coming back. We held onto each other, amongst pictures that contained years’ worth of memories, and we cried.

***

At the funeral, we sat on the front pew, accepting hugs and condolences from what seemed to be hundreds of mourners that had come to pay their last respects to my father. My mother sat beside me, quietly weeping behind the veil that covered her face. Suddenly a hush fell over the church as a woman dressed completely in red slowly walked up the aisle. There was a young girl about eleven years old, by her side.

The woman kept her eyes on my father and did not stop to acknowledge my mother and I as everyone else had done. Instead, she ran her red-gloved hand along the length of the polished mahogany coffin before stopping to stare into my father’s face. The people in the church began to murmur loudly. My mother’s body stiffened.

Noticing the change in her body language, I asked, “Mama? Do you know her? Who is that woman?”

My mother didn’t respond, but continued staring blankly ahead as the woman stood unsteadily, touching my father’s hands, then reaching out to touch his face. Her quiet sobs became a loud, painful cry and then she began to scream. She let go of the little girl’s hand and threw herself over my father’s body. The crowd let out a collective gasp!

“Don’t she know it’s unclean to touch a dead body?” someone said from the pew behind me.

Someone else yelled, “Somebody get her before she turns that casket over!”

All the while, the lady in red held onto my father wailing, screaming for him to wake up.

“No! No!” she wept. “This isn’t real! Wake up Stanley! Wake up! You can’t leave me!”

Some of the people who had come to stand behind her in line tried to pull her away, but she snatched away from them, holding on to my father’s lapel with one hand, and swinging wildly at them with the other.

“Leave me alone!” she yelled. “Leave me with my Stanley!”

Two ushers rushed down the aisle from their posts at the back of the church and succeeded in prying the irate woman’s hands from my father’s lifeless body.

“Why God? Why not me Lord? Take me too!” she screamed, the ushers all but dragging her flailing body down the center aisle of the church. My mother sat stone-still, her gaze unwavering as she stared straight ahead, eyes open but not seeing anything.
The young girl stood in the spot where her mother had left her, her head bowed and her eyes on the floor. Up until now, I hadn’t seen her face, but as she was led away by another of the church’s ushers, big doe eyes looked directly into mine. Shocked, my mouth dropped open and I blinked rapidly, perhaps trying to blink away what I was seeing, because the face that looked back at me was the mirror image of my own!

 

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