Category Archives: 2015
Taking a Break
I hope are enjoying your summer and catching up on your reading. I have been been quiet as I am dealing with some personal matters. My posts over the next few months will be sporadic. Sometimes life has a way of presenting situations that you never imagine but
have to get through.
Romance Reader Girl
Book Release: My Enchanting Hoyden by Julie Johnstone
Blurb: A bargain born of desperation ignites into passion as one lord’s quest to save his family leads to the discovery that he can never settle for less than love.
Forsaken, abandoned, and duped, Miss Jemma Adair has no other recourse but to request her grandfather’s help to avoid living on the streets. His asking price? She must marry a neighboring lord’s odious son. Thankfully, there is a way out of her dilemma—ensuring the rake never asks for her hand. But what is Jemma to do when her ally is an all-too handsome silver-tongued lord with a penchant for poetry that makes her question giving her heart to another man?
Philip De Vere, Lord Harthorne, wishes to marry for love, but inherited debt and family obligations force him to seek a wealthy wife. Yet experience has taught him that ladies of the ton prefer rogues to gentlemen with a poet’s soul. But when an unrepentant hoyden claims to know a thing or two about how to make a man a rake, Philip finds he cannot resist Jemma’s offer or her.
Excerpt: Philip barreled out of the study, down the corridor into the main hall, and brushed past the footman who was reaching to open the door for him. Philip, needing an escape from his own thoughts, flung open the door and stormed outside. He would have kept going straight to his awaiting carriage if he hadn’t crashed right into something very soft. That something let out a hearty umpf that told him right away the something was a someone. And when he looked up, he realized that someone was Jemma, teetering on the edge of the steps, her eyes wide and her arms waving frantically in the air as she tried to right herself.
For a moment, he stood stock-still, fascinated with the emotions careening across her lovely face. Determination. Fear. Frustration. Back to determination. An inspiration of words hit him: An Ode to a Tempestuous Woman.
She swayed backward, and he reached out and snagged his hand about her waist to save her. He meant only to bring her forward, but he overestimated how hard to tug and she ended up barreling into his chest, her hands grasping—no doubt in self-preservation—both his arms. The beat of her heart hammered against his chest, and the poetic words that had failed to come to him for more months than he could remember flowed through his mind as he stared down into her dazzling eyes. How had he failed to notice that gold flecked her blue-green eyes? He’d never seen the likes of her color.
“I could write a hundred poems about your eyes,” he blurted, lost in them.
Immediately, she tugged away, then moved down to the step below him and tilted her head up to look at him. She raised her hand to shield her eyes from the setting sun, or maybe to hide her eyes from him so he wouldn’t wax eloquent about them anymore. He felt like a fool. He could make a joke of it to save his pride, but he refused to do so.
The moment she realized he wasn’t jesting was clear by the flair of her nostrils and the subtle way she tried and failed to inhale a deep breath. “How boring that would be,” she finally said. She lifted her chin. “Would it go something like, She had round eyes, very oddly colored both green and blue?”
Ah. She didn’t truly see herself. Given that he barely knew her, he couldn’t decide if the revelation was surprising or shed light on her prickliness. If she saw herself as odd, maybe her sharp wit was a defense against her insecurity. The thought tightened his chest. His sister had seen herself in that same light for most of her life, and it had been hard to watch the toll it had taken.
Devil take it. He should simply leave, but he couldn’t do it. He wanted her to see herself through his eyes, so she would have a bit of confidence when having to brave the cruel ton in her debut. “I think the poem would go more like this: She had eyes of emeralds and sapphire ice, entrancing and fearsome at once. Beguiling, beseeching, bewitching in thrice…”
His heart pounded as he looked at her. He didn’t know where that had come from, but he was damned proud of it. That was his one last act as a non-rake.
She turned her face away for a moment, and when she glanced back at him, she shook her head, almost as if at herself. “You have a beautiful gift for lying.”
He frowned. “Was that your version of a compliment?”
She cocked her head and drew her eyebrows upward. “Take it as whatever you desire.”
He wanted her to realize she was lovely because soon she would realize how little it might matter without a dowry, but it appeared he had bungled it. He could feel the heat in his cheeks. Rakes didn’t blush, damn it all.
“I do not lie, Miss Adair.”
“You’d be the first man, then, Lord Harthorne.”
“Jemma!” a voice said in clear dismay from a few steps beneath her. Philip blinked in surprise at Jemma’s sister, Miss, Miss― Ah, hell. Her Christian name had completely escaped him. He could recall she was the younger sister, though, so propriety demanded he use her Christian name. Jemma had struck him dull-witted. Fine start to being a rogue, this was.
He sketched a hasty bow. “I didn’t see you standing there Miss…?” He certainly couldn’t pretend he remembered her name when he’d just told Miss Adair he didn’t lie.
“Miss Anne,” she said, offering one of her pleasant smiles.
She was a pretty thing, her pale looks currently all the fashion, but strangely not compelling to him as her flame-haired, freckle-flecked sister was. Everything about Jemma begged inspection, dissection, and quill to paper to figure out the conundrum she presented. Whereas Miss Anne appeared to be an open book. There was nothing wrong with that, but he had always liked the puzzles of life.
He cast a sideways glance at Jemma and found her studying him as if he were some foreign specimen she wasn’t sure whether to crush under her slipper or capture in a jar. “It’s a pleasure to see you again,” he said to Miss Anne.
“You’ll be seeing more of me,” the young lady gushed. “And my sister. We’re making our debut this Season.”
His gaze immediately went to Jemma’s face. He couldn’t help it. She displayed her displeasure vividly. A dark scowl marred her lovely features, and her lips pressed into a thin, white line. Clearly, she was not nearly as pleased to be making her debut and partaking in the Season as her sister was. He could relate. The prospect of countless balls filled with nonsensical chatter, false smiles, and his having to actively search for an heiress did not entice him in the least, but it was necessary.
“I wish you both happy hunting,” he said, unsure what else to say. “I’m certain we will run into one another again very soon.”
Jemma snorted, and her sister elbowed her in the side. Jemma cut her eyes to her sister before focusing on him once again. Something mischievous stirred in the depths of her eyes that matched the wicked smile suddenly lighting her face. “Is that what you are doing, Lord Harthorne? Hunting?”
“Are you?” he parried to sidestep the need to lie.
“No. I’m running.”
“Jemma,” her sister groaned.
She shrugged. “I doubt Lord Harthorne is bothered by me speaking my mind. Are you, Lord Harthorne?”
He had to smile. He rather liked her bold nature. “As long as your words don’t sting me, I am not bothered a bit. In fact, I find I’m quite intrigued.”
Her eyebrows knitted together. “My aim is not to intrigue.”
“Don’t you want a husband, Miss Adair?”
“About as much as I want the plague,” she replied cheekily.
He threw his head back and laughed, even as her sister grabbed her hand and started tugging on her. “I’m terribly sorry, Lord Harthorne. My sister is not herself tonight.”
“I’m myself,” Jemma called over her shoulder as her sister dragged her up the few steps to the front door.
As the door opened, Philip remembered the money in his coat. He’d forgotten to give it to his sister. “Miss Adair!”
Jemma swung around to face him and quirked her brows up. “Miss me already?”
By God, she was an outspoken lady. He itched to get home and create a poem worthy of her.
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-Romance Reader Girl
Embrace the Fire Through Hell and Back # 3 By: Felice Stevens
Blurb: Brandon Gilbert has spent years in hiding, but finally he’s accomplished his dream of working as a public school teacher. When offered the chance to help bullied children, there was no way he could say no. Not to mention that meeting Dr. Tash Weber, the psychiatrist who helps them, a sad yet sexy older man, ignited a spark inside Brandon he’d never had before.
Though five years have passed since the death of his lover, Dr. Sebastian “Tash” Weber has no interest in relationships or love. But young, enigmatic Brandon awakens his heart and his desire. Despite Tash’s best efforts to push him away, Brandon unlocks the passion for life Tash thought he’d lost forever.
Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan for either Brandon or Tash, but neither family disapproval nor self-doubts can stop them from embracing the fire that burns between them. And when Brandon returns home to fight for a future he never imagined possible, he and Tash discover that the one thing worth fighting for has been with them all along
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Publisher | Kobo | iTunes
Author Info: I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
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“Maybe we should get started? I’m, ah, kind of interested in seeing what you want me to do.” Beneath lowered lashes he shot a glance at Tash, who, thank God, had turned his attention to talk to the other men in the room.
Though he couldn’t remember their names, Brandon recognized the husky blond-haired man, hovering protectively next to a dark-haired young woman, from the picture hanging outside on the wall.
“That’s Mike, Dr. Levin, the dentist. He and Drew’s sister, Rachel, are dating,” Gage murmured in between sips of coffee. “She’s got a PhD in child psychology and set up the suicide prevention hotline here at the clinic. They really thought of everything here.”
Once again, regret slammed into Brandon. What dreams could Ash, Luke, and he have accomplished if someone had cared about them? Ash might not have run away, and Luke might’ve had someone to talk to instead of becoming so sad and withdrawn.
“Hey, Randy, where’d you go?”
Brandon blinked and found Gage’s sympathetic gaze trained on him. He swallowed hard and averted his eyes. “Nowhere.”
Gage shot him a sharp look but returned to sipping his coffee. As Drew approached, Brandon braced himself for the inevitable onslaught of getting-to-know-you questions. It didn’t matter as he had his whole pretend history well rehearsed.
“So, Randy, we’ve already heard from Gage before today. What do you think we need to do, to reach and help as many kids as possible?” Drew sat in the chair next to him.
Brandon instantly sensed Drew was a person who rarely passed judgment on people; he was the person you wanted to come home and tell all your problems to.
“I think you need to make sure the kids know first this is a place of trust and security. Also if they come here to talk, or we talk to them anywhere, we’re there to help them work out their own solutions safely.”
Rachel’s friendly smile encouraged Brandon and increased his confidence. “The most important thing to teach these kids is that they have a chance to break free and be what they want to be.”
Drew rubbed his chin, and his eyes clouded. “One thing from the beginning I have to make clear. If we hear of any abuse, we go straight to the police. If there’s any bullying, the school and the parents have to know.” The smile he wore so easily faded, replaced by an almost trembling frown. “We lost someone very dear to all of us because we held back, and I made the mistake of trying to handle the problem on my own.”
Rachel whispered in Mike’s ear, and he came over to place a hand on Drew’s shoulder. Drew smiled tremulously at him but continued. “The consequences are too enormous and dangerous if we don’t bring in the authorities when we know a person is at risk.”
The police? Shit. He couldn’t be a part of this. For years Brandon had evaded them, deliberately taking every precaution to keep as far away from them as possible. Now with this project, he’d be putting himself practically in their pockets. Though the mission sounded amazing, he knew he’d have to decline. He couldn’t afford the risk.
“Um, I’m not sure if I’m the right person for this.” Brandon’s fingers shook as he reached for his jacket. The room fell silent as he fumbled and stuttered over his words. “I mean, I’m so new; you really need a person who’s more experienced.”
He stood and grabbed his backpack. “Uh, I have to go, but I’ll let you know if I can do it. Thanks.”
“Wait, Randy, please.” Tash put himself in between Brandon and the door, but Brandon couldn’t let the disappointment and confusion in Tash’s handsome face dissuade him from leaving. He circled Tash and wrenched open the door.
“I’m sorry. I gotta go.” Cheeks burning, Brandon put his head down and raced through the hallway toward the front of the building. He’d just reached the door, when it burst open, and a tall, dark-haired man stood facing the street, shaking out his wet umbrella.
“Excuse me,” muttered Brandon, brushing by him, not waiting for a response. He plunged headlong into the foggy drizzle that had begun again, uncaring if he got wet. His long strides ate up the block as he pushed himself farther and farther away from the clinic. It hurt, walking out so abruptly, but once he got home, he’d call Gage and make up some excuse.
At the intersection he spotted a cab with its light on, and even though he could barely afford the fare for his monthly subway pass, he hailed it, asking it to drop him off at the nearest subway station in Carroll Gardens. He’d find a way to get home to Flatbush somehow.
The farther away he got from the clinic, the better, yet as he sat back in the cab, he couldn’t help recalling the disappointment in Tash’s face. But Brandon knew if he stayed he’d do more than disappoint everyone, and that wasn’t a chance he was willing or able to take. Copyright © Felice Stevens
Needing Moore Series Boxed Set by Julie Richman
Holy Smokes, I read nearly 1000 pages in three days. I have never read three books so quickly in my life, until I was introduced to author Julie Richman and her hero Schooner Moore. If you are looking for a series that will make you think about love, life and family this is the series for you. I am in love with these books. The characters are written very well and the story line makes you crave for more. Clear your schedule folks when you sit down to read this series. – Lindsey, Romance Reader Girl
I lost the love of my life when she disappeared without even a goodbye.
It was the 80’s – there was no internet, no Google, no cell phones.
If you wanted to disappear, you could.
And she did.
She crushed my soul.
A friend just told me he saw her on Facebook.
And now I’m a keystroke away from asking her the question that’s haunted me for two decades.
“Why did you leave me?”
Two decades after she broke his heart, sexy entrepreneur Schooner Moore uncovers the truth and betrayal his life has been built on when he Facebook friend requests college love, Mia Silver. Determined to win Mia’s love once again, Schooner embarks on a life-altering journey that could cost him everything.
MOORE TO LOSE – Book 2
Continuing the fight for their happily ever after that began in Searching for Moore, Schooner Moore and Mia Silver struggle to overcome the ghosts and baggage they accumulated during their time apart.
Exploring the missing 24 years when they were separated, Moore to Lose follows Mia’s journey from heartbroken teen to kickass businesswoman to her emotional reunion with Schooner and the exploration of the love that was ripped from them.
But is their love really strong enough to overcome the damage of those missing 24 years or will they continue to be ripped apart by pasts that can’t be changed?
MOORE THAN FOREVER – Book 3
Is the love they always dreamed of enough?
Continuing the emotional journey of love and betrayal that began on a college campus in Searching for Moore and turned their worlds upside down in Moore to Lose, handsome, California entrepreneur Schooner Moore and sharp and sassy, New York advertising agency owner Mia Silver continue to be confronted with the harsh reality of the remnants from the lives they lived apart for 24 years.
Now, Schooner Moore and Mia Silver face the ultimate challenge – were they really meant to be together or will their pasts continue to tear them apart?
On the heels of the birth of their newborn son, Nathaniel, Schooner and Mia must decide if their love and loyalty to one another is strong enough to learn to grow together as a couple or if the life they always dreamed of sharing was better left as a teenage fantasy.
You can find this amazing series on AMAZON.
A Taylor-Made Love by Kary Rader
Oh my goodness, Kary Rader’s follow up to A Taylor-Made Life is out!!
A Taylor-Made Love, Book Two Taylor-Made Series
Contemporary New Adult
by Kary Rader
Logline: When twenty-year-old widow Taylor Smith-Taylor falls hard for her attorney Brad Richards, her life and her company—the one she promised her late husband to never let fail—fall to pieces, and she must choose between the past she’s promised to keep and the woman she wants to become.
When fate spares your life, your destiny is always love
Twenty-year-old widow and cancer survivor Taylor Smith-Taylor is running her late husband’s billion-dollar gaming business because she’s made a vow to keep TME—and Gavin’s memory—alive. But she’s falling hard for her sexy attorney Brad Richards, and it’s not just their professional connection that has her tied in knots.
When Taylor’s new idea takes off, she relies on Brad to help. Using company funds to back the innovative project, they begin a tumultuous affair and a multi-million dollar negotiation that could dominate the market or put the company in jeopardy.
As the corporate dealings escalate, their volatile relationship leaves their priorities more tangled than their bed sheets, and a fatal accounting error divides them, putting the company on the brink of bankruptcy. Brad pushes Taylor to embrace her idea, and him, by selling TME—a decision that, for her, goes deeper than money. When she refuses, it seems easier for both to walk away, and only a perspective from the grave can help her realize her future comes down to one choice: the love she’ll lose or the love she’ll make.
Buy Now on AMAZON
About A Taylor-Made Life – BOOK 1
You can read my review HERE.
WINNER of the 2014 RomCon Reader’s Choice Award
FINALIST in the 2015 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) eBook Awards
Seven years ago while I was pregnant with my youngest child, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma cancer. He went through surgery, chemo and was pronounced cancer-free two weeks before my son Brady was born. I never dealt with those emotions I experienced while he was sick. There wasn’t time. But three years ago when a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, all of them came flooding back. As a result, I wrote A Taylor-Made Life.
A Taylor-Made Life became an Amazon Bestseller and I’ve received letters from all over the world (e.g.UK, France, Uganda) saying how the story has touched hearts. It has a 4.21 Goodreads average with over 400 ratings and recently won the 2014 RomCon Reader’s Choice Award. The story is a finalist in the 2015 Electroinc Publishing Industy Coalition’s (EPIC) eBook Award. ATML also won several RWA chapter contests. It continues to touch people with its special message.
“A Taylor-Made Life is one of the best books I’ve read this year and it’s not one I’ll soon forget… Taylor and Gavin stole my heart and my breath, and I wasn’t ready to let them go.” – Nikki Barrett, Storm Goddess Book Reviews
“Beautifully written, and I would dare anyone not to cry….. Gavin and Taylor have such depth and emotion, it’s hard not to fall in love with them. These two characters will remain in my memory forever.” – Melissa Limoges, Insert Clever Quip Here Book Reviews
“6 Stars, 2 full boxes of Kleenex…Beautiful!” – a.c. Mason, bestselling author
“Kary Rader is a wonderful new voice in New Adult fiction. Taylor-Made is a must-read.”– Jill Limber, author and editor, Boroughs Publishing Group
Kary Rader is a part-time Twitter sage, stay-at-home mother of three, and slave to the characters and worlds inside her head. Always creative, she’s drawn to stories with fantastical worlds and creatures. With a little bit of magic and divine guidance, there isn’t anything that can’t be accomplished with words. It’s the power of words that creates and destroys. Vanquishing evil and injustice while finding eternal love in the process is all in a day’s work. With the help of her critique partners and master cartographer imaginary places come to life.
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KaryRaderauthor
Cora Carmack’s SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
HERE’S THE SCOOP!
Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:
ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!
Check out this message from Cora!
*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven’t yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I’m not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*
Hello beloved readers!
The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was “Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?”
At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They’d make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end… I couldn’t envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).
But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It’s a wonderful experience, but in Stella’s case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.
I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said… Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, “Mine. This is my story.” I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn’t take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn’t want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn’t mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, “Someone needs to tell this story. And I’m strong enough to do it. Let me.” And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I’d been adamant wasn’t right for her. Because as it turns out… Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren’t so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.
So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It’s about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It’s about the way that kind of event can change everything– how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It’s about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you’re still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.
So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…
ALL CLOSED OFF:
Stella Santos is fine.
Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.
But none of that matters because she’s just fine.
For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.
When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.
ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don’t have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I’ll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I’ll be able to ensure that I’m able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won’t be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you’ll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.
Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella’s story. When it’s finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.
All my best,
*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)
And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…
Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.
If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….
If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….
If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…
I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.
So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.
#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.
Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Newsletter **Author Goodreads
Release Day: Dropping Gloves by Catherine Gayle
Release Day: Predestined Hearts by Kelly Elliott & Kristen Mayer
Love has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.
Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.
As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.
Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.
The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.
But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.
When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?
A light rap on the counter brought my attention to the man in front of me. He had dark-brown hair that was tousled about in disarray. His warm brown eyes melted through me. The five o’clock shadow from the stubble on his face showcased his strong jaw line. He was sinfully gorgeous and I could feel my insides turn all gooey from the sight of him in front of me.
My mouth was dry as he looked at me expectantly. In that moment, it was as if something within me altered and changed. I couldn’t explain it.
Get it together, Ashlin.
“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day. Can you repeat what you said?” My voice came out fairly normal, which I was proud of, versus the crazy energy I felt pulsating within me.
He gave a gentle look; it wasn’t cocky or knowing, but only sweet. “Is there anything I can get you?”
Smiling back, I responded, “I’ll have the beef stew and a water.”
“Good choice. Coming right up.” He rapped his knuckles on the counter as he walked off to the left.
I wasn’t paying attention to how his white shirt was rolled up to his elbows. Nope. And I wasn’t paying attention to how his khaki pants hugged him in all the right places. Nope. And I for sure wasn’t staring at him as if he would be sex on a stick. Nope.
Seriously get it together, Ashlin. My life has turned inside out and the last thing I need to be thinking about is sex.
The man turned back toward me and I looked up at the television screen that was above, hoping I wasn’t caught ogling the bartender. I need a life, seriously. Time passed and before I knew it, a steaming bowl of beef stew with a little plate of bread was set in front of me.
It smelled delicious. “Thank you.”
The bartender smiled. I glanced back to my stew as I ate.
He responded, “You’re welcome.”
Taking a bite, it was one of the most delicious stews I had ever tasted. I moaned in appreciation.
“It’s that good, eh?”
I licked my lips and felt heat creep up on my face. Not realizing I had closed my eyes, I tentatively opened them and glanced at the bartender, who was looking at me more intensely than before. “Oh, I did not mean to do that out loud.” Picking up my napkin, I dabbed the corner of my mouth. “Give my complements to the chef. It’s incredible. I’d love to get the recipe.”
He leaned on the counter. “I’ll let the chef know. I know him pretty well, and I’d say if he could get that type of reaction out of every beautiful woman who ate the stew, he’d serve it all the time versus only on special occasions.”
The bartender moved a little closer to me and I smiled at his playful face while wanting to reach out and trace that devastatingly handsome jaw line. Conspiringly, he whispered, “I’ve heard that the recipe is a family secret. You’d have to marry the chef in order to get it.”
I giggled as he winked at me. “Okay, if I get that desperate to have it, I’ll know to bring a ring and my bended knee.”
He chuckled and stood. “So, what brings you to Savannah?”
“Is this where I lay all my troubles on the line for the bartender to listen and give advice?” I teased with him as I cocked my head.
He shrugged as he mixed a drink. The bar was otherwise vacated except one person at the end who nursed a beer. “I happen to listen and give advice for free on Wednesday’s.”
My smile was wide. There was something magnetic about this man and I didn’t want our conversation to end. “Well, it’s a good thing
Gazing around the room, I searched for Daniel. My father and mother were busy talking to Mr. and Mrs. Stowe along with two other couples, whom I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing. A young gentleman had been talking my ear off and I was in desperate need of fresh air.
Turning to him, I asked, “Will you please excuse me? I am in need of some fresh air.”
“Shall I join you?” he asked.
I quickly shook my head. “No. No, that will not be necessary. I have a slight headache and need some time alone.”
Nodding his head, he smiled and took a step back, giving me a quick bow. Returning the polite gesture, I began toward the kitchen. One look over my shoulder showed my mother watching me intently. I’m sure she was distressed at the idea of me wandering off and being late to sit down for dinner.
Somehow managing to find my way to the back gardens, I smiled and inhaled a deep breath. All I smelled were azaleas. I walked along the cobblestone pathway that intertwined among Magnolia trees and some of the most amazing flowers I’d ever seen. My mother would be green with envy were she to lay her eyes upon this colorful garden.
“It goes on forever,” I whispered.
“One can easily get lost back here.”
I stopped the moment I heard his voice. Closing my eyes, I placed my gloved hands on my stomach to calm the butterflies. Inhaling a deep breath through my nose, I slowly blew it out as I turned to face him.
His eyes widened and he licked his lips. I raised the corner of my mouth and bowed slightly. Daniel walked up to me and smiled, causing my knees to shake. For a moment, it felt as if the earth was moving and I fought to stand upright.
He took a step closer to me as his eyes moved about my face. When they landed on my lips, I instinctively licked them. His eyes were ablaze with fire. I took a step back as he took another step forward. My breathing increased as I felt something I’d never felt before.
Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.
One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.
Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting
her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again.
With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story
entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a
couple of months.
it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had
the makings of a novel.
meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily
in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very
blessed and thankful.
Release Day: My Seductive Innocent by Julie Johnstone
Blurb: Miss Sophia Vane, a hoyden of the first order, makes an unlikely match when she weds Nathaniel Ellison, the rich and wary Duke of Scarsdale. What starts with an unexpected friendship soon blooms into a fiery passion. But a betrayal plunges Sophia into the thorny world of London Society and entangles her in a labyrinth of manipulation and jealousy that will test the strength of her marriage. Behind her husband’s sudden icy facade, Sophia believes dwells the caring, passionate man she loves. To break through the barriers and reclaim their happiness, they must do more than simply cast away their pride. They must fight for their very lives.
Excerpt: Sophia trailed her fingers over Nathan’s strong jawline. She would reveal some of her fear in hopes that one day he would reveal some of his. “You’re like Michelangelo’s David. I’m afraid one day you will wake up and wonder who the stray puppy is that you married.”
He stood so abruptly she feared he was about to agree with her and then walk out of this room and her life. He looked down at her from his towering stance, reached behind him to tug off his shirt, and revealed a rippling abdomen and muscled chest. She stared in awe and wistfulness; his body―marred only at his shoulder by the bandage covering his healing wound―was every bit as beautiful as his face.
“I’m no statue, Sophia,” he growled as he yanked his boots off, then his pants and undergarments. She gaped at the size and power of his body that could not be denied now that he stood there without a stich of clothing.
“You are perfect,” she whispered, ashamed that she was so far from it, so very unmatched to him.
His gaze grew hard. “Expecting perfection from me will hurt us both. I like that you’re not perfect. Do you understand?”
She understood that he’d been hurt deeply and that he was trying to tell her how without saying it explicitly. “I do.”
He lowered himself over her, and something fierce glittered in his eyes. “I’ll hurt you and I’ll fail you, and then you’ll see. You won’t think me perfect. You won’t want to love me then.”
“Come to me, Nathan,” she replied, knowing arguing was futile. “Show me your imperfections.”
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