Thursday, November 26, 2015


Each day a group of blogs will present special excerpts from some of the books...look below for the blog hop schedule.
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?
ADDICT — Rachael Orman
My name is Alix and I am addicted to sex… "They say it's like going into a cloud. Floating and calm." 
Chapter One 
Four nights a week, I sat at my desk off the lobby of the five-star hotel I worked at, waiting for him. It never failed; he always showed up. 
Flipping my wrist over, I checked my watch. Almost show time. Sitting alone at my desk, I separated my legs, forcing my skirt to climb higher up my thighs. The sensation of the satin lining sliding over my nylon thigh-highs had me biting my lower lip. Excitement pulsed through me, growing with each second that passed. I was ready for him. Just like every night I knew he came in, I had slipped my panties into my purse so I was bare under my skirt. 
While I couldn’t see the front door from my office window, I didn’t need to. Every female head snapped toward the door when he arrived. He simply owned the room from the moment he appeared. From the swagger in his step to the way his observant eyes scanned the area his every gesture showed he was all he appeared to be and more. His broad shoulders, thick arms and sexy smile only added to his appeal. 
As he stepped into my view, I slid my hand under my skirt. Skimming my fingers against my bare, damp flesh, I watched as he approached the front desk. The girl behind the counter jumped to help him, flashing him a smile when he leaned his elbows against the counter. The back of his finely tailored suit stretched over his flexing muscles while he talked to her. 
From my viewpoint I could only see part of his face, but I had watched him enough to have every detail of his face memorized. The crinkle of his cheeks meant he was smiling at her. My teeth dug into my bottom lip as I remembered the times I’d been lucky enough to get a full view of that smile. My fingers dipped between my swollen, needy lips to find the hard, nerve-filled nub nestled there. 
As he shifted his feet, his slacks tightened against one thigh and his ass giving me the exact material I needed. My fingers circled and teased my clit. My eyes zeroed in on his well-manicured hands, which were resting on the counter. They were too far away to get a good look at, but it was easy to imagine it was one of those hands between my thighs. Licking my lips, I fought to keep my face passive in case anyone else happened to glance in my direction. 
His fingers were long, sensual and always well kept. Most men didn’t care about hands, but he did — I did. As he picked up the key card from the counter between two fingers and nodded at the girl behind the desk, I pushed two of my own fingers deep into my pussy. It clenched tightly around my digits as I drank in the sight of him walking. 
The top two buttons of his dress shirt were undone, with no tie, no chest hair peeking out — just smooth, muscular skin to feast upon. He strode toward the elevators - toward me. 
Thrusting my fingers, I couldn’t help but focus on the movement of his hips. Each step only accentuated the slight bounce of his cock behind his dress slacks. Not that his short, light brown hair, brilliant blue eyes or kissable lips took away from my fantasy, but it was the way even his stride was sexy — the way every single thing about him controlled the very air I breathed. 
He was my addiction. A man I’d never even spoken to. A man whose name I didn’t know. I didn’t need to know more about him. I was already in deeper than I wanted to admit. Even after three years of not giving into the urges of my addiction to sex and masturbation, there was no thought of not touching myself when I laid eyes on him. Not that he knew who I was or what I did while watching him. That was okay, though. I didn’t need to lose my job. 
When he stopped to wait for an elevator, I sped up my thrusting, brushing my thumb against my clit as I moved. Biting down on my bottom lip, I held back the moan that threatened to burst from my lips as my release grew close. Just as the orgasm crashed over me, the man lifted his head and locked eyes with me. Unable to stop my fingers, I eased the rest of my release while his eyes burned into mine. 
There was no way he could have known what I was doing, but the quirk of one eyebrow made me think differently. I had been careful, but somehow he’d caught me. 
His eyes dared me to look away, but I couldn’t. Not even when his tongue dragged over his bottom lip, heat flashing in his eyes. 
A ding signaled the elevator’s arrival and broke our semi-intimate moment. 
Turning, he stepped into the elevator, only to turn back around to watch me as the doors closed. The movement of his large hand drew my attention to the front of his slacks as he adjusted his very noticeable, hard cock. My eyes snapped back up to his to find a sexy half-smile on his face. He had done it on purpose. He wanted me to see that he was turned on, that he knew what I had done. Closing my eyes, I withdrew my hand from my skirt and took a deep, calming breath, my heart racing for an entirely different reason than it had been. When I opened my eyes, the doors were closed and the elevator had whisked away the man I dreamt about. 
Even before I could come down from the high I got from getting off, I felt shamed. It was wrong. I knew it was. I didn’t even know the man. Sure, this time had been different than the many times in the past. He’d noticed me, but I was still at work. I shouldn’t even think about sex at work, but I couldn’t stop myself. I knew as soon as I got home I would have to do it again. That’s if I could wait that long. I might take a break before I was done at work and get off in the bathroom. 
It was a compulsion. It was an addiction. The path wasn’t new to me. I’d already been through the program. I’d been ‘sober’ or ‘on the mend’ or whatever you wanted to call it for three and a half years. During that time, I had only had sex with one man. Not even masturbating during that time had been a challenge, but I’d done it. 
Everything changed when I first saw him, right after my three-year anniversary. It had started as just staring at him from across the room while thinking every naughty thing I wanted to do to a man like him. Slowly, it had progressed into what it was— out of control compulsions. At least five times a day, I got off while thinking of one person, one man. I didn’t want anyone else. No one else even made me think of sex. 
Why him? I’d thought about it many times, but in the end it didn’t matter. My body wanted his in a way that I’d never encountered in almost thirty years of my life. No matter how I tried to fight it, I gave in before I even realized it. 
Running my opposite hand through the wavy brown hair that fell to the middle of my back, I knew I needed to get my mind off him and back on work, or I would be fingering myself in the bathroom before long. The only time I ever did it at my desk was when I knew he would be around. Even though I had memorized everything about him, my orgasm was always better when I could see him. 
It had been hard not to make a sound when I’d come, his eyes taking it all in —especially knowing he’d been hard. I’m sure he knew what was I was doing — at least had some idea — or why else would he have had a hard-on? Fuck, thinking about how large his dick looked even across the room, hiding behind slacks, made my mouth water and my pussy clench. As much as women liked to think there were men walking around packing serious heat, most weren’t. Most were just average, despite what they tried to claim — I would know, from the sheer number of men I’d been with — but I knew his had definitely been big. 
Someone clearing their throat had me crossing my legs and turning my chair. In the doorway stood a man and a woman in evening wear. I waved them in to the two vacant seats on the opposite side of my desk. 
How silly of me to forget where I was, or the fact that I had an appointment due to show up. Being an event coordinator for the hotel kept me busy most days. There was always something or another that needed to be followed up with, an event to get set up, people to meet with. Thankfully, I didn’t do the weddings. I had a single staff member that worked under me and that was all she did. Weddings were dreadfully boring and I was happy to avoid having to see stupidly happy couples together when more than half of them would end up divorced and hating each other in a few years. However, during the busy season, I would have to help her out because it became more than she could handle. 
The appointment didn’t take long. We only had to go over a few final details for a birthday party being thrown for the couple’s oldest child. A huge twenty-first birthday party for a bunch of spoiled brats. I had never been so lucky to get anything half as extravagant as what they had planned for the kid and his friends, but then again, my parents didn’t have the money that these parents obviously did. 
I was almost thirty. It’d been a long time since I’d lived at home. In fact, my twenty-first had probably been the last birthday I actually celebrated. I didn’t have friends to throw me a party, which was okay since I didn’t want one anyway. Who wants to celebrate getting old? I was single, no kids, and running out of my so called ‘prime’ years. I didn’t really mind though. What would change in another ten years? Nothing. I’d probably still be at the same job and still single. People like me just didn’t get married. Sex addicts never fully recovered. It would always be something I struggled with. 
Not to mention that even imagining the fun conversation that would have to take place with a man had me groaning. Seriously, who wants to say, “I might start compulsively wanting to have sex with you or myself”? Nope, not me. It was embarrassing enough to have to deal with it on my own. The only reason I had even realized that I had an issue in the first place had been because I’d gotten fired for masturbating repeatedly at work and watching porn. Not that it had changed anything. I’d crashed after that. Completely hit rock bottom. I spent hours alone playing with myself or finding men to sleep with. That was, until my landlord threatened to evict me if I didn’t start paying rent. Sounds crazy, but addiction is addiction is addiction. I lost sight of the real world and what was considered “okay” and “normal”. Orgasms had become all that was important to me. There was no one around to help me see what my life had become, not when addiction had first taken over. There still wasn’t anyone who cared or would even notice in my life. 
I had a mother, a father and a brother around somewhere. We weren’t close. I’d go months without hearing from any of them and that was fine by me. We didn’t even get along enough to pretend to care about each other. 
The only person I had to rely on was myself, and that was how I wanted it. I didn’t get lonely. I always had something to do, somewhere to be. Mostly I worked long hours, slept a lot and vegged at home, but it wasn’t hard to find something to do on the rare occasion that I wanted to get out for a bit. It was, after all, my job to know what was happening around town so I could plan other events around and between. I didn’t care to go out and party. It was easier to stay away from temptation when I was by myself, away from sexy people and sexy thoughts — except the one person who came to me when I was at work. That was one I had a hard time escaping. Maybe that’s why I had such a hard time fighting it. 
The ding of the elevator brought me back to where I was after yet again getting lost in my thoughts. I looked up. It was the suit man, only he wasn’t in a suit. He was in a pair of sexy jeans and a tight-fitting t-shirt. Another standard for him. He always arrived in a suit, but left in a different suit or jeans a few hours later. I had no idea where he was getting clothes from, since he never had a bag of any sort with him when he arrived or left. He never had company with him either, not men nor women. 
I had closely watched him trying to figure out what his story was, but he never gave anything away. Never talked to anyone in the lobby. Never met anyone outside. It was the strangest thing. He’d come in, stay for a couple of hours, then leave in a different set of clothes, only to arrive the next night in a suit again. At some point he had to come back when I wasn’t there. I didn’t work all night. It was the only solution I could come up with, anyway. 
Many times I had debated about clocking out and staying after just to see if he came back. I had even done it one night, but after working a ten-hour shift, I only lasted two hours before I couldn’t wait any longer and had abandoned the idea. I knew it was wrong, yet the desire to know more about him was so strong, I would most likely do it. That is, if I didn’t finally get in touch with my doctor and admit that I had relapsed. I didn’t want to call him. I didn’t want to have to admit it. I knew part of his solution would be to get a different job, one where I wouldn’t have to see the man who drove me crazy. That was something I wasn’t ready to do. Seeing him was what made my mundane life a tiny bit exciting, gave me something to look forward to. 
When I looked at my life in that light, it made me realize that I really needed to get out more, needed to find something to help keep my mind occupied and away from that man. Jennifer at the front desk would probably want to go out sometime. Plus she could tell me more about the mystery man, since she was the one who always checked him in and talked to him. 
Or maybe spending time with her wouldn’t be such a good idea. Every day when I watched him, I felt myself get more drawn under his spell. It wasn’t healthy, but still I couldn’t stop myself from yearning to get closer. Knowing more. Like what his voice sounded like, what he smelled like, what the brush of his hands would feel like, the rush of his breath against my neck. I wanted it all.


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? “Guys are pretty stupid like that, huh? It takes us a while to get it right.” ~


The girl sitting across the boarding area, with the pink-and-black-striped hair, kept looking at him. Eddie thought he was being paranoid at first, but she was clearly staring. He didn't think he could possibly know her – her look said she was part of a Punk crowd, and despite his appreciation for the genre, he'd never been associated with that social group.

Maybe he knew her from BU? They could have had classes together in college. She might be around his age. But though he felt like he knew her somehow, he didn't recognize her.

Pink Hair didn't make any effort to engage him. Nonetheless, there she was, staring again. This time, though, her eyes watered and she looked like she struggled to keep the tears away. Maybe she wasn't staring at him so much as through him. He should probably ignore her. But then her eyes drifted shut and a tear escaped, running down a surprisingly angelic face.

Shit, he thought. Don't do it, Besson. Just stay where you are.

Too late.

He moved to sit next to her. When he put his hand over hers, she jumped a little and looked at him, confused.

“Hey, you okay?” Eddie asked.

“Um, not really. But it's nothing. Don't worry about it.”

“If it was nothing, then you wouldn't be crying. Want to talk about it?”

Jesus, what was it with him and providing an ear these days? First, he'd been suckered into a conversation with his sister, Kay, out of guilt for his mean comments over the Fourth. She'd gladly dumped her relationship troubles on him, and he found himself giving her advice about how to work up to the marriage talk with Sam. He was a regular Dr. Phil. Or maybe Dr. Ruth.

Now, a stranger? Who next?

Maybe she'd say no.


“No, that's okay,” Angel Face said.

Oh, good. That's a relief, he thought. Eddie's hand was still covering hers and she looked down at it. Since she didn't pull her hand away, Eddie left his there. Maybe it comforted her. Maybe it would be enough and she wouldn't use him as a sounding board. She sniffed and when she looked up she smiled at him.

“I'm Reggie.”

“Eddie. You headed to New York?”

“Yeah. You?”

He nodded. “I've got a meeting.”

“Oh? You in finance or something?”

Eddie laughed. Hardly. “No. Reporter. I work at a small-town newspaper up north. My boss is sending me to meet with the new owner of the paper.”

She'd bristled a little at the word 'reporter', but relaxed again when he said he worked at a small-town paper. Huh.

“Because you run things?”

“Nah. They want to meet with all the editors and I was away when they came in July. I guess it's a done deal and they want to figure out where we all fit in their organization.”

“Oh. How long are you in the city?”

“A day. Fly down today, fly back tomorrow. What about you? Why are you headed to NYC?”

“I live in Brooklyn. I work in the city.”

“What do you do? If you don't mind my asking. Reporter's instinct to ask questions. Sorry.”

“It's okay. I'm a makeup artist.”

“Oh yeah? Where do you work? In the movies?”

“I did. For a long time, I worked in L.A.”

“But not anymore?”

“I've been on a Broadway play for the past seven months as the makeup person for the play's star, who was a client of mine in Hollywood. I followed him back here from L.A. It was a foot in the door. We were supposed to be done after six weeks. Then it stretched to six months. We're regrouping right now, but we're back to work tomorrow. They're talking about a long-term run.”

“Sounds like you're pretty excited about it.”

“It's my dream job. I always wanted to work on Broadway, but it's hard to get into the business there. Easier in Hollywood, where there are a million different productions. Eventually, you meet the right people and you're set. I got lucky and hooked up with a Hollywood stylist when he was just getting started.”

“Seems like you made a smart move.”

“I did. Now I get to work in my hometown and be near my family.”

Eddie laughed. “Me too. But somehow, I don't think my hometown quite compares with yours.”

“No? Population isn't in the millions? No loud noises, smelly exhaust, or ridiculous traffic?”

“No all-night takeout, no clubs with up-and-coming music. No way to escape your family, even when they're driving you nuts. I love everything about New York.”

“Me, too, but those are people's usual complaints. Everything you said, those are the reasons why I love living there. Plays, music, art, culture, food, history. It's all there.”

Over the loudspeaker, they heard, Now boarding Delta Flight 1220 to New York's JFK at Gate 8. Please have your ID and boarding passes ready.

“Time to board. Where are you sitting?” Eddie asked.

“Um, 14C,” Reggie said, looking at her boarding pass.

“No way. I'm in 14A. Looks like we're sitting together.”

Reggie smiled. “Good. I was going to have to ask your seatmate if I could switch. Now I don't have to do that.”


While they stood in line, she closed her eyes and said a little prayer to Nona.

If he's not the one, I might stop speaking to you, Nona. This doesn't feel anything like Declan or Liam, but it feels good.

Feels right.

I know it's early, but that has to be a sign, doesn't it? Please tell me that it's supposed to be a sign.

“Excuse me, miss. Are you listening?” the gate attendant said. That seemed rude on the surface, but Reggie could swear it was Nona speaking through another person.

“I'm sorry. I was distracted,” she replied.

“That's okay. It happens to the best of us. Can I have your boarding pass, please?”

Reggie handed her the paper and smiled. Eddie was waiting for her at the top of the ramp and he grinned at her.

“Am I distracting you?” he teased.

“You wish,” she volleyed back.

“Yes. A guy always wants to distract women so they won't notice his flaws.”

Reggie laughed. “Oh, we notice. We just pretend we don't.”

“Damn. There goes my disillusion that I had game. All this time, women saw through me. You've slain me, Reggie.”

“Are you always such a comedian?”

“I've been known to be funny from time to time. Not Conan funny, but maybe half-assed standup funny.”

“Cute, funny, and self-deprecating. Surely, you have faults.”


She smiled and shook her head. He was burrowing under her skin already. Reggie loved a guy who could laugh at himself and admit he wasn't perfect.

Once they were settled in their seats, Reggie turned to Eddie and said, “If you love New York, how'd you end up at a small-town paper?”

“My dad is best friends with the former owner. I attended college in Boston, then worked at the Globe for a while. Climbing the ladder at a big paper was endlessly slow. Marcel offered me the sports editor position at the Gazette and I said yes.”

“Do you like it? I mean, is there anything to report?”

“Sure. Local sports and regional teams, like the Sox, Bruins, Patriots, Sea Dogs, and Red Claws, plus college sports. The AP wire makes up the rest. We don't publish daily.”

“Huh. Who'd have guessed? Is working in your hometown better?”

“Sometimes, but I live at my parents' house,” he admitted.

“Seriously? How old are you again?”

He laughed. “I'm 28. I don't live with them. I have the in-law apartment over their garage.”


“It's cheap. Not free, but close. What about you? You said Brooklyn is your hometown?”

“Yeah.” Well, sort of.

The flight attendants announced that the plane was getting ready for takeoff, and Reggie's nerves kicked into gear. She flew all the time – or she had before she moved back to New York – but every single time, she grew antsy on takeoff.

A deep breath in and she tried to let it out, but her hands still shook. Large, warm fingers laced into hers. Reggie looked at Eddie, who smiled sweetly.

“It'll be okay,” he reassured her. “Safer to fly than to drive.”

“If I break your hand, I'm sorry in advance,” she warned him.

“Squeeze as hard as you want.”

Reggie's heart rolled over and exposed it's soft underside.

Don't fall for him. He's just being nice, she told herself.

But she didn't listen. Instead, her eyes probably gave away the fact that she was eternally grateful for his kindness. And that the physical attraction she felt toward him was deepening by the moment as he showed what a nice guy he was.

“Thanks,” she said with a half-smile.

Seconds later, the sound of the jets ramped up to a whine and the force of the plane, as it hurtled down the runway, pressed her into the seat. She closed her eyes and tried to just breathe, then she felt a thumb rubbing her knuckles. Her eyes opened and she looked at Eddie, who was so relaxed and smiling at her sweetly, Reggie had to grin widely back.

When they were finally in the air with the seat belt sign dark, Reggie forced out a sigh of relief. Eddie was still holding her hand and he said, “You've got quite the grip.”

Reggie instinctively attempted to pull her hand from his and he clamped down so that she couldn't.

“I'm sorry,” she said.

He lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed it. Her ovaries did a little dance. Bad ovaries.
“Don't be. You okay now?”

Reggie nodded. “Thank you. I never do well on takeoff, no matter how many times I fly.”

Eddie kept hold of her hand and rubbed her knuckles again.

“You fly a lot?”

“Not these days, but I did. I flew all over the world for movie premieres and film festivals. Not to mention awards shows. When your major client is world-famous, you go everywhere and are on the road a lot.”

“Is it better to be in New York now?”

“There are pluses and minuses. The weather isn't as nice as L.A. and I don't travel nearly as much. But there was snow this winter and the leaves are getting ready to change in Central Park. There isn't smog like in L.A. and I love being around enough to enjoy where I live.”

“Do you get to see many bands?”

Reggie nodded. “There's this great Neo-Punk group I like, The Flames. They play a lot around town and they're often at this one bar I love in my neighborhood.”

“You like Punk?” he asked.

Reggie laughed. “I know, hard to believe, right? With the hair and the clothes?”

“No, that's not what I was thinking. I love Punk, I just never got into the lifestyle. When I was at an age when it might have taken root, my friends and family would have disowned me if I'd walked around town looking like Sid Vicious.”

“That sort of thing isn't common in small town Maine?”

Eddie laughed. “No. Not really. Tell me about this group...”

They spent the rest of the short flight talking about music and the club scene. Before Reggie knew it, they were taxiing to the gate at JFK. As the plane stopped, she realized that Eddie had held her hand the whole time.
November 24
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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.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this story, sign up for my newsletter to receive news on new releases, extras, and random stuff!
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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