The Redemptionby Brooke Sivendra A Deacon Thomas Novel Publication Date: January 31, 2018 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Thriller
The Only One
(Brothers of Camelot, #1)
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The first in the Brothers of Camelot Series: The Only One
Can a man whore whose motto is “One and Done” keep it in his pants long enough to win back the trust of his childhood sweetheart?
Drake, otherwise known as Fitz, was dealt a tragic hand from the beginning. Pain and rejection melted away when a little girl with huge brown eyes, strawberry blonde curls and an explosive personality, walked into his new home and his heart.
Inseparable as kids, she’s literally ripped from his arms when they’re teens. Convincing himself he’s unworthy of her, he closed himself off to all future relationships, refusing to open his heart to anyone else. If only she would come back to him.
Isabella, with her unique personality, is the polar opposite of her rich socialite mother, with a determination and drive to be more than just someone’s country club showpiece.
She returns to her childhood town to start her own business, and prove she doesn’t need her mother, or a man, to feel complete. Thanks to her first love, her father’s betrayal and a slew of bad relationships, she’s locked her heart away, hidden behind her smile and sweet disposition. She’s found peace in her memories of Drake, hoping he’ll finally contact her, or maybe she’ll find the nerve to contact him.
Can their long-lost love be rekindled or do they need a little help from their friends?
Just as I set the milk in the formerly empty fridge, Drake grabs me from behind, turning me to face him. There’s a twinkle in his eye as he lifts me into his arms. Spinning, he sets me on the huge island as if I weigh nothing at all.
Even as high as the counter is, he’s still just a tiny bit taller than me. At least we’re closer to eye level. Grabbing his tie, I pull him closer, getting lost for a moment in those forest green eyes, I’ve dreamt about being with him like this forever.
“And just what are you doing, putting me up here?”
“You have no idea what you do to me,” he growls. Yes, growls. “I want to taste you so much, Bella. Can’t wait to see you in my shirt, in my bed. Hold you in my arms.
“So many nights I’ve spent in that bed, alone, thinking of calling you, imagining hunting you down and dragging you back to me. But stupidly, I decided to wait, give you the chance to call me, to come back to me,” Drake confesses.
At a loss for words, I continue to gaze into his eyes. Drake leans forward and slides my hair over my shoulder. My breath hitches as he trails kisses from my shoulder, up my neck, to behind my ear.
Her Motto in life:
You are as young as you believe you are,
so refuse to grow old.
Necie's a married, mother of five boys. She was born and raised in Nashville, TN. But she now calls Northern California home.
She has always dreamed of being a writer but thought that dream was impossible because she suffers from severe dyslexia.
But with her determination and the love and support of her friends, she is making her dream a reality.
She'd love for you to join her on this voyage.
To share with you, 'The Brothers of Camelot'.
They've been living in her head and her dreams for years, clambering to get out.
Let the journey begin...
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In HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD, Marissa Thomas offers readers an inside view of one young woman’s journey to fulfill her dream of becoming an actor. The personal and humorous story of Lisa reveals the often difficult and inspiring process of navigating the entertainment industry.
The acting bug bit Lisa during her first elementary school talent show. After receiving positive reviews for her performance from her fellow students and impressed parents alike, Lisa basked in the high she felt from being on stage. She ventured further into the acting world as a teenager when she enrolled in a twelve-week acting program. Although plagued with some doubt about her potential to become an actor, the experience reignited the spark that had originally lead her down the road of performance.
HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD follows the staggered path that Lisa took on her journey to achieve her acting dream. Her love for acting expanded when Lisa entered college and began auditioning for plays produced by the theater department. Reassured by the exhilaration she felt while acting, Lisa made the decision to leave her home and move to Hollywood to pursue her passion, but first she had to tie up a few loose ends. After a whirlwind romance with a fellow student, Lisa found herself moving into her own apartment while juggling school and work, as well as taking the steps to fill out her acting resume. A car accident that resulted in serious physical injuries led to a slowdown in her momentum. However, Lisa’s best friend, Mike, who already had a solid plan to move to Hollywood, gave her the encouragement she needed to overcome multiple obstacles so that she could move forward with her goal.
Marissa wrote HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD to give “anyone curious about Hollywood culture another point of view from someone coming from a completely different world, aka the Midwest, taking the plunge, and immersing herself in a new life.” Marissa says the book is “the story of my life. I can’t tell anyone any surefire methods of getting cast for your dream project. I’m just sharing my life experience. Anyone with a relentless dream has to find sanity in the limbo between a self-motivated fantasy career and the harshness of having to survive real life in the process. We’re all human, and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Set a goal, and break a leg.”
“I’m glad you get to come to opening night of the play,” I said to my boyfriend, casually, while we started digging into our boxed dinner.
“I know. I’m glad, too. You’ve been working hard, and it seems pretty important to you,” he replied.
“It is. We’ve all been working on it for months,” I reminded him.
“Well, is it because you’ve been spending all this time on it, or is it because it’s something you really want to do?” he asked.
It seemed like a very obvious question. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Why do we put all the time and effort into projects like this? Projects that don’t provide a paycheck, cause us to rearrange our schedules, and even add stress due to the unwritten requirement to provide a quality performance. He really made me think. It wasn’t even a conscious decision on my part. I welcomed the chaos of the production into my life. The answer to his question was as obvious as the soy sauce on the egg rolls.
My mind started to wander. I almost felt like I was becoming a part of an actors’ anonymous group and professing my addiction. My name is Lisa, and I’m an actress. I could picture the scene: Beautiful people sitting in a circle, each of them with a monologue in hand. And everyone waiting his or her turn to speak about the repercussions, good and bad, that the industry has had their lives. It was like a support group, to help each other through the bad auditions, drop hints about where to find the legit ones, and tips on how to nail them. Who knew how true that statement was? After a brief moment of fantasy, I was back to reality.
“I do. I really want to do it.” I turned back to my food and continued eating. “It’s something I want to pursue.” It felt good to say it out loud, and to admit it to myself.
About the Author
Marissa Thomas left her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue her dream of acting in Hollywood. Without industry contacts, she had to educate herself about the business. In How Not to Succeed in Hollywood, Marissa shares her experiences, both good and bad.
In addition to writing, Marissa is a licensed hair stylist. She also enjoys painting and produced the artwork for the cover of How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.
365 days in a year. 21 days to form a habit. 1 tool to make it all count.
Gratitude is free, unlimited, and always at your disposal.
What if building a gratitude practice was all you needed to unlock your best self? Your best life? What if you spent less time complaining and more time enjoying life? You have everything you need to manifest more of what makes your life wonderful. All you need is a little guidance! Your Trybal Gratitude Journal will be there for you, through thick and thin, to remind you to stay curious, be open, and give yourself grace.
About the Author
My latest project, the Trybal Gratitude Journal, is a culmination of a lifetime of practice, failure, and more practice. It feels great to be able to share some concepts and rituals I have developed to live my authentic life. Should you choose to take this journey of introspection through the window of a gratitude practice, you, too, will inevitably unveil your authentic self.
My wish for you is to experience the multifaceted magic of gratitude.
Which is exactly why I created the Trybal Gratitude Journal, and why I speak about Gratitude at a variety of events. It was, and continues to be a game changer in my life. If you so choose, it can be in yours, too.
I also founded a company called Trybal Performance. At Trybal, we help you unleash the vibe of your Tryb! We even offer downloadable gratitude coupons you can use to spread the gratitude. To learn more, please visit us at www.trybalperformance.com.
Today we have the cover reveal for Attack Zone by Jennifer Rebecca! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today:
I had one goal.
Win an Olympic Medal.
Winning the Ladies Figure Skating Olympic Gold Medal should be my only focus, but my life has other plans for me. My father, the U. S. Senator, and my Stepmonster like to remind me that my role in our family comes with great expectations — and even greater responsibility.
Translation: Marry a man that will make them even more prestigious and powerful.
But that’s not my plan.
I have one last chance to prove myself.
And now, on top of everything else, I have to aid the sexy as sin Detective Kane F**king Green in finding the person who killed my friend.
My name is Sophia Eleonore Dubois, and holy mother of Dorothy Hamill, my life just got complicated. . .\
“You have got to be kidding me,” I growl as I see that big blond bastard climb from his truck. Well, it’s really more of a sandy blond but I’m an alliteration kind of a gal.
The parking lot is still dark, with the exception of the tall lights that pock the black asphalt. It’s four in the morning, so the sun won’t be up for a few more hours. I should be the only one here. Something Kane and I had already argued out last night. I even won best two out of three on rock-paper-scissors.
“Better believe it, Princess,” he barks out as he pulls a gear bag from the bed of his truck.
“No. No, no, no, no, no. Put that back. You’re not supposed to be here,” I plead as I grab my own skate bag and toss it over my shoulder. “I offered to rock-paper-scisor you for this spot and you said no. That makes it mine by default.”
He sighs. “You know, you don’t always have to be such a selfish bitch.” I rear back as if he struck me. “You could share the ice.”
“I’m here at four so I don’t have to,” I whisper.
He shakes his head as if he’s trying to clear a bad thought, erasing something that didn’t turn out right on an Etch A Sketch.
I look away. If ever there was anyone who could make me feel like a bug, like dog poop on my shoe, less than, it’s Kane Fucking Green, and trust me, others have tried. I feel the burn in my nostrils. I refuse to let him see me cry. Ever. And Lord knows I have cried my fair share of tears over Kane Fucking Green, and I’m not going to shed another one. I’m just not.
I take a deep breath, turn on my heels, and walk away from him. I feel his gaze burn my skin. It’s not the only thing he’s burned in the last year. He’s burned almost every bridge I had. Literally, the only thing left in my life is figure skating. I feel him on my heels as I walk up the concrete steps at the front of my home rink, Del Mar Ice House.
The big glass doors and windows that line the entire front of the rink are dark. That’s weird. Usually, Vadim turns the lights on when he comes in to unlock the doors for me. Maybe he’s having a late start this morning. Although, that’s not like him at all.
Most people think that my early mornings are crazy. That my four-in-the-morning practices are insane. But I love it. I love the smell of fresh ice. I love the quiet time when I can pace through my routines free from distractions. It’s my time to think or to not think, to clear my head and just be free. And my life is anything but free. Being a sitting senator’s daughter pretty much guarantees that, so I love this time to myself. I love mornings like this.
Vadim, the rink owner, loves these mornings too. He’s always here well before my early time slot. He unlocks the doors for me and turns on the lights. We once struck up a friendship over our love for Moscow. He was surprised to find out that I trained there for a whole summer under some of the best figure skating coaches in the world.
From that moment on, we were bonded. He’s like a favorite uncle doting on his beloved niece. So Vadim took to surfacing the ice on the Zamboni before I come in, even though it was surfaced right before closing the night before. He sharpens my blades for me when I need it. And he’s the best. No one can get me a better hollow. So it’s surprising when the lights are still out upon my arrival.
Although, he did double-book this time with Kane as well. I was so mad when I found out Kane Fucking Green had weaseled his way into my favorite ice time. I need this time to clear my head. From people like Kane Fucking Green. I haven’t been able to be in the same room as him since The Event.
I don’t think anyone could blame me. Who did he hurt? He hurt me.
I look at my sterling silver Rolex watch on my wrist. It’s ten after four in the morning. That’s so unlike Vadim. He should be here by now.
“What’s wrong?” Kane asks, reading my mood.
“He’s late,” I say softly.
I reach for the handle of the door, and it pulls free without effort. The door is unlocked. I pause for a second and then walk through the door. Vadim must be here after all. He must have forgotten to turn on the front lights.
“Wait, maybe I should check it out,” he says as he places his palm on my shoulder. I immediately stiffen.
I shrug off his hold. “You would just love that, wouldn’t you?” I growl. “Oh, sure, go right ahead and enjoy my ice time while I stand here like an idiot in the parking lot, Kane.” I roll my eyes.
“Is that what you really think of me, Princess?” he asks, his voice low in warning.
“At this juncture, I’m not sure what to believe,” I say honestly, meeting his blue gaze.
“I suppose I deserve that,” he sighs.
“I suppose you do. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a National Championship to prepare for,” I say as I start walking down the hall toward the ice.
The rubber mats squeak under my sneakers—the shoes my stepmonster hates with a passion, but which are so comfortable. Especially after a long workout on the ice. I head toward the team boxes. That’s where I’ll put on my skates and stash my music and my water by the boards.
Kane is beside me as we turn the corner and stop in our tracks.
Whereas the main building lights were off, the lights over the ice are on. The whir of the Zamboni is deafening as it circles the ice top over and over. I gasp when Kane’s hand closes tight over my bicep, bringing me to a halt, and I raise my head to see what he sees.
Vadim is sprawled back over the seat of the Zamboni. His eyes point up at the championship banners of the local professional hockey team, all lined up in a neat row, but they don’t see them. They won’t see anything again. The bullet hole between his blank eyes saw to that.
“Holy son of Scott Hamilton,” I speak without thought.
“You got that right, babe. Whatever that means,” Kane says before he leads me back through the rink and out the glass front doors.
I open my mouth to say something, anything, but instead find myself racing over to the bushes to toss my cookies. Kane is behind me, rubbing my back and making soothing noises. He hands me a water bottle from his gear bag before pulling his phone from his pocket.
“Dispatch, this is Detective Kane Green, badge number 57635. I need to report a homicide,” he says into his phone before lowering the volume of his voice. “And I have Senator Dubois’s daughter with me.”
Six months ago, I had hoped to put Kane Fucking Green and all of his bullshit behind me. I swore I wouldn’t focus on anything but myself and this next Olympic cycle. Not my dad—the US senator—or his bitch of a wife. And definitely not the feelings of hurt and betrayal that seeing Kane always seems to bring to the surface. Not to mention other feelings. My name is Sophia Eleanor Dubois, “Sophie” to my friends, and I have a funny feeling Kane Green just screwed me and my plans . . . again.
I finish up my program, and the smile on my face matches those of my girls and their moms. I nailed it. But I can’t slack off now. This is my last chance at the Games. I’m aging out, and it’s time for me to transition to coaching full-time. But I want to win one. Just one Games.
“Go home and enjoy your weekend!” I call out.
They laugh and start to file out of the rink. I take a second and then a third victory lap around the rink. I shake out my arms before I move back to center ice to run through my long program.
It’s one of my favorite Celtic Woman songs. A slow, soul-wrenching melody in which I can show off the decades of classical ballet training. I slowly wrap my body around the music, letting it swirl around me as we float and fly down the ice.
This routine is all layback spins transitioning into perfectly choreographed jumps. I’m pushing my body around the short end of the rink and then diagonally down the length in an Ina Bauer when I lean so far back that my long, emerald skirt of my competition dress flows with me, as part of me, during my program.
I’m halfway across the rink when a pair of anaconda arms wraps around my middle and plucks me off the ice.
The scream that rents the air is torn from my lungs, and I have absolutely no shame in that. I’m still tipped over backward, and the strong arms that are wrapped around my waist pull my body flush with a decidedly . . . male one from the waist down. Blades clank against each other as our feet tangle, bulky, muscled legs against slender, sinewy ones, and then up and up and up until my pelvis is pressed against his. And he is unmistakably hard . . . everywhere.
My breath catches in my throat as I realize that we look like the famous V-J Day couple. I see the famous statue every time I drive past the USS Midway downtown. His hot breath blows in heavy pants across my face, and he smells of mint and man, sweat and sin. I open my eyes and stare straight into baby blues so light in color and cold in depth that a shiver wracks up my spine. Suddenly, I’m cold to the core. No, this isn’t some romantic comedy where the guy gets the girl; this man is no Prince Charming. These eyes belong to the snake that lies in the grass. This man is Detective Kane Green, my worst fucking nightmare.
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About the Author
Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.
Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.
10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.
Today we have the gorgeous cover reveal for Katy Ames’ AFTER THE STORM! Check it out and be sure to preorder your copy today!
Tristan Hurst is tired of running. He’s spent every day since he was 16 trying to escape the consequences of one inexplicable, horrible night. So when his cousin buys a Caribbean resort and offers him a job away from the family firm, Tristan jumps at the chance to leave behind his intolerable father and the life he barely lives.
Tessa Armstrong has a plan and moving to a tropical island isn’t part of it. But when she lands the position of head pastry chef at a luxury hotel, she can’t pass it up. A new country, a new kitchen. And a fresh start far away from the secrets that are becoming harder to ignore.
On an island where neither expected to end up, Tessa and Tristan discover something they’ve always wanted: a safe haven. And when friendship becomes something more, they think they’ve landed in paradise.
But there’s a storm coming, and the secrets they’ve worked so hard to escape aren’t far behind. And with them, a truth that has the power to wash away a love they never dreamed to find.
A standalone contemporary romance from the author of After the Island and After the Fall.
Tessa covered her stack of crêpes with a kitchen towel then waved. “Hey. Looking for something?”
He turned towards her, hand still on his neck. His eyes hit her face.
They were wary, almost hesitant. But oh, so blue. Not deep and dark, but bright and icy. And watchful.
“Yes.” His voice came out scratchy. Unused.
“Okay…” She scanned the kitchen, checking to see if there was anything out of place. Or something that looked like it belonged to him.
Tessa was about to ask what he was looking for when he saw something behind her. He came forward and, without thought, she stepped out of his way. “Did you find what—” Tessa turned and stopped. She watched in horror as he stuck one long finger into the bowl of whipped cream.
Her cream. For her cake.
“Excuse me!” She yanked the bowl away and hugged it to her chest. And told herself not to stare when he casually pushed that finger into his mouth and sucked it clean, his eyes narrowing as he watched her hands flex.
“Give it back.”
Tessa turned, shielding it from him. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Those black brows dropped, the line between them deepening. “Eating.”
“Not this, you’re not.” Tessa swallowed back a crazy laugh. This guy was nuts. Coming into her kitchen, taking her food. Sucking on his finger while looking at her like that.
With his attention on the whipped cream, the intruder took one step forward. Just one. And it practically had Tessa pinned to the counter. Her head fell almost all the way back as she watched, astonished, as he reached around her and dipped his finger—the same finger—back in, scooping up a huge dollop.
Tessa closed her eyes on a gasp. What the…!? She couldn’t believe he’d done it again. And she definitely couldn’t watch him lick it off.
“Stop,” she squeaked. Tessa glared at the black-haired giant and summoned all of the command she was used to wielding in a kitchen.
“That’s enough. You need to leave.” She looked pointedly at the door.
He didn’t pay any attention. Instead, he retrieved a drop of cream from the corner of his mouth with his tongue and propped his hip against the opposite counter. “You really should share.” He wasn’t looking at the bowl anymore. Those hypnotic eyes were on her.
Tessa wasn’t getting into a staring contest. Not with him, not on her first day. Not in her kitchen.
“You really should ask permission before taking things that don’t belong to you.”
“So I’ve been told,” he said, shoving both fists into the pockets of his dark jeans.
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About Katy Ames
Katy Ames has spent most of her life on the East Coast and hopes to spend more of it in the UK. In part, so she can indulge in her serious plaid obsession. There isn’t a teenage drama on the CW or a period British TV show she hasn’t binge-watched at least twice. And she can be persuaded to do most things with the promise of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, or a nap, not necessarily in that order. Katy is mom to a small human who has an obscene amount of energy and a blissful ability to ignore swear words, and wife to a man whose reading habits are far too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city she where never planned to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about for hours. Just ask.
Katy writes contemporary romances that feature heroes who are strong but not so silent, heroines who aren’t afraid to kick ass, and stories that get a little messy before they end happily ever after.
In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship…and then the boy of her dreams shows up?
Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,” a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.
“Beau Montgomery, what on earth!” someone, I think it’s Will’s mom, says with a squeal. I can’t single it out because my heart seems to stop beating.
Everyone scoots toward the patio entrance and gathers around. Will drops my hand to move closer.
And then I see him.
He’s standing behind Mrs. M next to his dad, a big smile on his face, and he’s tall. Real tall. His dark hair is longer and nearly falling into his hazel eyes, definitely a length that Orry won’t like much. His jaw is strong, some muscles pressing under his polo. He looks nothing like the boy I remember.
And suddenly I’m a little self-conscious. What am I wearing today? I can’t even remember. I could look down but that would mean looking away from him, and thenmaybe when I look back he won’t be there. I don’t know if he even sees me, but I see him. Clearly. After more than twoyears of nothing.
“Beau, is that you, boy?” Orry calls. Beau steps around the rest of the family toward his grandpa. He’s closer now, and I can get a better look at his face. My eyes explore his features and rest on his lips, which break out into a small smile and—Dang, is it hot out here?
“Hello, Granddad.” Orry pulls him into a hug and Beau has to lean over to reach him properly. Orry looks like a kid in his arms.
Cheese and rice, even his voice is sexy. Deeper but still with a familiar feeling that it stirs up in me, and an accent with a hint of Georgia twang instead of South Carolina
I like it. Lord help me, I like it.
Orry holds him out at arm’s length and examines him before giving him a pat on the shoulder. “You look more like your daddy than I expected. How tall are you?”
“Six one, sir,” Beau says.
“You look good, grandson, real good. Atlanta treating you well?”
“Yes, sir, it is.”
I want to move, but I can’t. My feet are stuck to the ground, not that I should move anyway. I don’t reckon I trust myself around him. Especially not right now when I’m not sure if I want to hug him or kick him somewhere that would hurt. I’d do a good job of it too and make darn sure my kick was as painful as him not showing up that night.
“When’s your momma coming?” Mrs. M asks him.
“Not until closer to the wedding,” he says.
I watch as Will hugs him. They’re both smiling, and it reminds me of before when he was here. They were inseparable—we were—and now I’m just standing here like an idiot. Which I am. Will looks in my direction, and then Beau’s eyes are on me, too. It’s even worse when he’s looking at me, especially now with a hidden glimmer in them. It’s not how he said hello to the others; it’s almost like his eyes hadn’t seen me before, and now he’s hyperaware. Just like I’ve been since his dad yelled his name.
He takes a step toward me.
About the Author
Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.
One and Done
Publication date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance
“If you kiss enough frogs, eventually you’re going to get a fungus…”
When Autumn’s best friend Summer surprises her with a girls’ getaway in Cyprus for her 30th birthday, she makes up her mind that now is her time to shine. This is exactly the fresh start she needs to put the past and a messy divorce behind her. She might have bought into the ideology of Mr. Right once, but that myth was long busted—been there, done that—and she has the broken heart to prove it.
When a family emergency causes her bestie to bail on her minutes before their flight takes off, Autumn finds herself alone and bound for the “Island of Love.” Summer had an itinerary chock-full of girlfriend goodies planned—massages, salsa lessons, parasailing… Okay, maybe not parasailing, but this was going to be a week of fun, and now suddenly it’s a week for one. Armed with her Best Friends Guide Book for Having Fun—and no best friend—Autumn plans to check into her beachside villa with her new BFF, Captain Morgan.
Being ranked one of the top surfers in the world does have its perks, but discovering your sex-tape was released on social media?—definitely not one of them. On the heels of a scandal that has sponsors threatening to cancel his contracts, Balen Kroft has strict instructions from his publicist to lie low for the next week while this whole fiasco blows over. Seven days of incognito before hitting the surf again at the Titan’s of Maverick Invitational might not be such a bad thing—rest, relaxation, and fun in the sun… Until he comes face-to-face with his own personal riptide. If he’s not careful, Autumn Harris may just pull him under.
The fiery ginger has no idea who Balen really is and he’s determined to keep it that way. After the last eight months and a series of self-destructive behaviors, he’s content to let her believe he’s a homeless, beach-bumming surfer, living a carefree life one day at a time.
Autumn’s sexy vagabond is just charming enough to convince her to let him crash in the spare room of her villa. In exchange, he offers to be her new bestie for the week, taking her on all the excursions her friend had planned. It’s a tempting offer…her own personal tour guide and the possibility of some hot, no-strings, surfer-guy sex? What woman in her right mind would turn that down? She’s a big girl who knows the score. What can possibly go wrong?
***One and Done is a fun, sexy, island romance intended for readers 18+
“Balen, are you homeless?”
His brow arched. Autumn wasn’t sure why he looked so surprised she asked. It wasn’t a very far leap. The writing was on the wall—his friend making that crack about him being a jobless beach bum, him volunteering to spend the week with her…and now here he was, needing a place to say. She wasn’t an idiot. One plus one usually equaled two.
Balen studied her until the tension in the room grew stifling. “Is my socioeconomic status an issue for you? You’ve got the spare room and I happen to be in need of one for the next week. I thought… Look, if staying with you is going to be a problem, I can leave.”
“I didn’t say I wanted you to go. It’s just…” The furrow of skin between his brows grew tighter and Autumn’s explanation died on her lips. But Balen wasn’t going to let it go. Great…she’d offended him.
“It’s just what, Autumn?”
Damn, this was getting awkward. “It’s just, now it makes sense. That’s all.”
“What makes sense?”
“Why you’d want to give up a week to spend it with someone you don’t even know. It makes more sense if you were down on your luck or something.”
The corner of his mouth twitched, not quite making it into a smile. “So, the lure of spending the week with a beautiful woman isn’t reason enough for you? Would it make you feel better if I told you I wanted to fuck you? Is that honest enough for you? Does it somehow make this scenario more believable?”
If he was trying to shock her with frankness, it worked. She was waiting for him to crack a smile and tell her he was joking, but he just stood there…staring at her. Holy shit, he was serious.
Maybe he was retaliating because she’d offended him? Autumn’s heart hammered inside her chest, heat bloomed in her cheeks, flushing down her neck and traveling lower. Refusing to let him rattle her with all his sexy, she notched her chin, met him dead in the eye and said, “I don’t think that’s it. You haven’t even tried to kiss me since we—”
He laughed, cutting her off. “So then I must be homeless? That’s your only other supposition here?”
His amber-flecked gaze dropped to her mouth, and Autumn instinctively moistened her lips. The air charged between them, becoming electric and lighting up her nerve endings. Undeniably, she had never been more attracted to a man than the one standing before her. She wasn’t sure why she’d made that snarky remark about him kissing her. It’d just sorta slipped out. Maybe she was subconsciously goading him.
When he spoke, his voice was lower—a husky rumble she felt all the way to her core. “Do you want me to kiss you, Autumn? Is it driving you crazy that I know what you taste like, what your mouth feels like against mine, and you can’t remember a single second of it?”
“Yes…” The confession was out of her mouth before she could call it back. She wasn’t sure if she was saying yes to the kiss, or yes that her alcohol-induced amnesia that was annoying the hell out of her—probably both.
Balen stepped closer and she caught a hint of his spicy scent mixed with the briny freshness of sea air. The heat deep inside her bloomed to a full-blown ache. He was so close his breath kissed her lips as she parted them in anticipation, waiting for him to close the scant distance separating them. Her breath stalled in her lungs, her lids fluttered closed. But his lips didn’t touch hers. Instead, they brushed the outer shell of her ear as he whispered, “Good…”
Her eyes flew open and she took a surprised step back.
“Learn from your mistakes, lest you repeat them.”
Really? This jerk is going to stand here and lecture me on propriety? Now Autumn was pissed. She didn’t need him judging her. She wasn’t judging Balen because he didn’t have a job or a place to live. Who the hell did he think he was?
“Fuck you, Dr. Phil.” She turned to walk away, but before she could put any distance between her and this morally arrogant, beach bumming surfer, Balen grabbed her arm and yanked her against him. His arm wrapped around her waist and a hand cradled the back of her head as his mouth came down on hers.
His lips were soft, yet frim as they crushed hers… Autumn’s startled gasp was all the invitation he needed to take the kiss deeper. Balen’s tongue delved inside, tangling with hers. Wow… Just wow…
The consuming way his mouth claimed hers, stole the air from her lungs. She felt his kiss all the way to her toes, lighting up every erogenous zone on the way down. Autumn melted against him, a soft, throaty moan of long-denied need escaping her on exhale.
How could she not remember this? It was amazing. Thankfully, Balen seemed more than willing to give her a reminder. His hand slipped into her hair, the tugging pull angled her head a little to the left. The kiss was hot, intense, and over as fast as it started.
Balen broke away and Autumn’s squeak of protest was drowned out by his own self-damning curse. Her heart was racing so fast she felt dizzy.
Reaching out, she grasped the island to steady herself, panting to catch her breath. Holy shit… She’d never been kissed like that in her entire life. The passion he sparked inside her was like an all-consuming fire. If just a kiss could do this to her, what would it be like to surrender herself to him? What had it been like?
“All right,” she said, still a little breathless. “You can stay…”
Melynda Price is a bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Against the Cage series has finaled in many awards such as the RONE, USA Today BBA, Golden Quill, National Readers’ Choice, and New England Readers’ Choice.
What Price enjoys most about writing is the chance to make her readers fall in love, over and over again. She cites the greatest challenge of writing is making the unbelievable believable, while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion and unique twists and turns. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price adds immeasurable depth to her well-crafted books. She currently lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband and two children where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua and a hot cup of coffee to write.
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When Dr. Jared Johnson's research project collapses, so does he. He tosses the funding rejection letter in his office wastebasket and his plans to marry the love of his life out the window.
The last thing he wants to do is return to his home town, Chandlerville, Kentucky. An unexpected call from his grandmother, a lifelong resident of the small town, convinces him that all things indeed happen for a reason and perhaps this is the right time to reestablish his roots and start anew.
When he arrives--single, with no intent to marry, he's shocked to learn that the town has unanimously approved his pastoral appointment to the newly refurbished 100-year-old Baptist church. Despite his divinity training, Jared never intended to pastor a church—not when his specialty is psychological profiling.
As fate would have it, the evil spirits that begin to permeate the town and its good-hearted citizens shortly after his arrival challenge his technical skills, experience and community relationships. To complicate matters, a local angel finds herself in the eye of the storm causing Jared to re-evaluate his past and question his future.
What the hell was I thinking? Everything I wanted and much more than I expected or deserved. How did I walk away--no run away is more like it. She was the best thing that ever happened to me. Have I lost it or what? Jared continued mumbling to himself fighting the images of Marissa Leonard's mocha colored, flavor enhanced, plump, kissable lips. Marissa was Dr. Jared J. Johnson's fiancée or, so he assumed. He hadn't spoken with her in a week, ignored her calls, responding to them with his pre-programmed, Busy right now. Will call you back.
For the first time in his life, Jared questioned his decision-making abilities. He was smart, educated and had thought he had a good head on his shoulders. But his recent decision to walk out on the woman of his dreams made him re-assess the wisdom of his ways. As his 'Great Uncle Chuck' used to say, 'for an educated man, you can do some stupid things'. Jared was very close to agreeing with his long-gone uncle.
Normally a man who thought in great depth before he made any decision regardless of how small, Jared cancelled his wedding like it was an appointment with his barber. He texted Mari, his almost betrothed, supposed everlasting love, ‘Can't talk now, need to reschedule dinner, will be in touch soon. Soon had yet to arrive.
Since he was driving, he made a mental note to check his cell to confirm the date and time of the text; his official melt down. He wondered if he had ‘flipped’ out…he only remembered episodic flashbacks. His psychology training allowed for the possibility of PSTD—post traumatic stress disorder but he had never served in the military so while he hadn't fully dismissed that PSTD could be a possibility--it certainly wasn't driven by military service.
He distinctly remembered his excitement when Sydney, his executive assistant, tapped on the glass window to his office door with a grin as wide as a circus clown waving a certified letter, mouthing ‘Yes’ and doing her happy dance. He beckoned her to come in, excited himself that the continuation award letter had finally arrived. It was late but that was nothing unusual with the Feds. They were always late with the grant award announcements.
The smile dropped, his heart skipped several beats as he read and re-read the life changing termination letter from the Department of Health and Human Services. From his perspective, there was nothing further to think about. His stellar career was finished. Dunzo. He packed up his laptop, grabbed his jacket from the back of his desk chair and tossed the letter to Sydney without a word. After slamming the door, he re-opened it not surprised at all to find a startled Sidney jump back to avoid a broken nose.
"Sorry, Syd. I'll give you a call. I've got to go now. Got something to do." He mumbled and exited quicker than he had re-entered.
A confused Sidney reopened the door that had just been slammed in her face, and yelled to her boss' back.
"Hey Jay, is everything alright?"
Without looking back, he yelled, "No."
As the elevator doors opened, he added. "By the way, tell your sister I'll be in touch."
Professional planner by training and nature, he violated project planning rule number one. He acted without a plan when he swung by his apartment, changed into his jeans and threw a few things into his duffel bag. He locked up his condo, remotely set his alarm from the car and pulled out of one of his two assigned parking spaces. Jared drove aimlessly for days.
Now as neared his hometown, Chandlerville, Kentucky, he wondered how he would explain his early arrival. He and Mari had confirmed with his grandmother via a three way call no more than two weeks ago that they would visit her and spend some time with her before returning to finish up his Atlanta-based CDC project. Jared knew his grandmother wanted him to move back home. They'd made no promises, but he and Mari had discussed the pros and cons of relocating to a small town.
He had mixed feelings about it because he'd spent all his adult life in big cities and wasn't sure he could re-adapt to small town living. Mari was born and raised in a small town, too but in upstate New York. Except for a few cousins, she had no close family in the North and rarely visited. She and a friend from her college days remained in contact--not regularly but enough to meet up and see a show in the City every two or three years.
So, the North and snow were out of the question. They had also agreed that Hot-lanta was not their preferred choice for raising a family. After talking it through and thinking about how close Chandlerville was to Nashville, one of their favorite places to visit, and to Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, they had tentatively decided they might give Chandlerville further thought.
Grams would be happy but shocked to see him so close to the wedding and without Mari. There was no way to explain away her absence and his unexpected presence especially since Gram had planned to attend the wedding in a few weeks. She'd been excited and hoped to get some sightseeing in while she was in the big A-T-L. She'd only been there once and wanted to go to one of those fancy 'upscale' restaurants as she said, the new Civil Rights museum and she was hoping 'her nephew or his new wife' could find someone to take her to a Hawks game.
Jay and Mari had laughed at his grandmother's sarcasm and promised her they would see what they could do. Without telling her, they had already purchased the Hawks and Museum tickets and made reservations for dinner at one of Atlanta’s renown restaurants.
He slowed as he turned off the highway feeling like a kid who had not only crashed the family car, but left it alongside the road and stolen someone's vehicle to make it home. Unlike the kid, however, he was less worried at this point, about the situation than the fact that he had to look his grandmother in the eyes and explain what would appear from her perspective to be the unexplainable. Eyes that despite her age, were more than just lucid. They were bright and would widen when she saw her 'boy' as she called him. The crinkles around her soft brown eyes would fill with warm welcoming tears of joy like they did each time she saw him. Nothing would be different except her disappointment when she looked around for an absent Marissa and listened to his sob story of betrayal.
The trucks and steep winding roads on I-65 challenged the best of drivers and Jay breathed a sigh of relief--thankful to exit from the highway and onto the bypass. Jay murmured, "I made it Grams.”
If nothing else, as had been true all his life, his grandma, Ms. Isabel Johnson knew the way. And she might have some answers for him. The unexpected revelation, warming sunlight and rolling green hills made for a brighter day. With a chest expanding breath, he rolled back the deep burgundy convertible top on his black metallic Mercedes and made a U turn. “Chandlerville, for better or worse, I’m back. Gotta make a stop by Cassies’. Gram would never forgive me if I didn’t bring her a pecan pie.”
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About the Author
In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing. With this backdrop, regardless of the date or time of your visit, you will find family.
My world (my back-story) is guided by my faith and the inspiration I receive from God. Without exaggeration, family and relationships are the core of every book I write.
I love to travel and like me, my characters are always off and running and in so doing require me to research (and often visit) so many fascinating places.
I also love music—all kinds and I’m never surprised by what track finds its way to my personal playlists and a character’s ring tone, door chime, or car radio station.
People frown sometimes and don’t understand my love of politics, but I have a political administration background and thrived on and in my past government career. For me, it’s the people, the process and what democracy offers. As with life, my fictional towns and cities include mayors, governors, school board members, etc.
If you haven’t guessed, I love my world that allows me to not only live the life I love but to also share it with others.
First Case Scenario
(Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City #1)
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Most cops walk a beat. She dances to one.
Undercover and using moves she didn’t learn at the Detroit Police Academy, Harlee races to identify the cold case murderer who has struck again. While juggling a charming ex-fiancé, a friend with benefits, and a partner who is too darn handsome for his own good, Harlee begins socializing with the potential suspects outside of work… until the killer learns of her double identity.
This mystery has a perfect blend of humor, sexiness and suspense. It is the first novel in the Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City Series.
Once upon a time, before becoming a big superhero detective, Liam Garrison was a hot street cop who pulled me over for speeding. All six feet and four inches of hulking, brawny Liam stood propped against my car while I quickly formulated my game plan.
“Harriet Lee O’Conner,” he read from my license, shaking his head. “Twenty-one years old.”
“My friends call me Harlee.”
“Do I look like your friend?” he asked, trying to sound tough.
“Do you want to be my friend?” I offered with a wink.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“Because I’m hot and you want my phone number?” I couldn’t believe I actually said this to a police officer.
He laughed at me. “Get outta here,” he said, handing back my license and registration. “You’re too much for me to handle. Don’t let me catch you over the speed limit again.”
“Okie-dokie,” I promised.
The very next day he pulled me over in the very same spot going the very same speed. This time, he wanted more from me, including information on where I was always going in such a hurry. I told him I was late for work at The Full Moon Gentlemen’s Club where I worked as an exotic dancer. We made a deal. That night I gave him a lap dance in exchange for the two speeding tickets he never wrote.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Annemarie is a former West Point cadet with a degree in Mathematics and Natural Science. She is a wife, a mother, and a proud daughter of a retired Detroit firefighter. When she isn’t busy reading or watching a whodunit mystery, she’s busy writing one.
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