Dark Love Boxed Set
Publication date: July 18th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pretty When You Cry:
A new dark romance novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderlust and Prisoner…
I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside was full of sin, and the first night I escape, I find out it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.
My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.
That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me. Because the only thing darker than my past is his.
Caught for Christmas
I’ll be home for Christmas…
The plan is simple. Break into the club and steal the money I need to save my father. The ex-military bouncer isn’t going to stop me, even if he is hot as hell.
If only in my dreams…
Except he has a curious knack for knowing my next step.
And there’s something dark underneath his desire, something dangerous. If he catches me, he might not let me go.
Excerpt from PRETTY WHEN YOU CRY:
He’s beautiful in a strange and sinful way, one that makes me more afraid. Not colorful exactly. His eyes are a gray color I’ve never seen before, both deep and opaque at the same time. The building itself is beautiful too with its wrought iron gate around a large courtyard. The fountain in the center is broken, but that only adds to the mystique.
The marquee sign reads Grand, a flash of neon pink against the black night.
He steps closer, the light from the sign illuminating his face, making him look even more sinister. “What’s your name?”
I couldn’t answer those other men, but I find something inside for him. I find truth. “I’m not allowed to say my name to someone else.”
He studies me for a long moment, taking in my tangled hair and my white dress. “Why not?”
Because God will punish me. “Because I’m running away.”
He nods like this is what he expected. “Do you have money?”
I have twenty dollars left after bus fare. “Enough.”
His lips twist, and I wonder if that’s what a smile looks like on him. It’s terrifying. “No, you don’t,” he says. “The question is, what would you do to earn some?”
My voice is just a whisper. “I’m a good girl.”
He laughs, and I see that I was wrong before. That wasn’t a smile. It was a taunt. A challenge. This is a real smile, one with teeth. The sound rolls through me like a coming storm, deep and foreboding.
“I know,” he says gently. “What’s your name?”
He studies me. “Pretty name.”
His voice is deep with promise and something else I can’t decipher. All I know is he isn’t really talking about my name. And I know it isn’t really a compliment. “Thank you.”
“Now come inside, Candace.”
He turns and walks away before I can answer. I can feel the night closing in on me, the sharks in the water waiting to strike. It’s not really a choice. I think the man knows that. He’s counting on it. Whatever is going to happen inside will be bad, and the only thing worse is what would have happened outside.
I hurry to catch up with him, almost running across the crumbled driveway, under the marquee sign for the Grand, past the broken fountain, desperate for the dubious safety of the man who could hold the darkness at bay. It’s the same thing that kept me in Harmony Hills for so long—fear and twisted gratitude.
Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender.
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Masterfully imagined by Dr Olufunmi Olayinka, The Dragon Society tells the chilling story of a Nigerian-trained doctor who moved his family to the UK and came into financial hardship leading to him accepting membership of a prestigious secret society. The group promises lifelong prosperity and goodwill, but at the expense of many innocent souls who will come to sudden demise to make way for these wealth. Fusing Biblical truths with a searing fictional storyline, it’s no wonder critics are celebrating the volume as “Intriguing, captivating and thought provoking”.
The Dragon Society: Faith-Twisting New Novel Exposes Secret Society’s Evil.
Is There A Short Cut To Prosperity? Read On!
There’s no point in beating around the bush; everyone wants to accumulate masses of wealth for the least possible work. While to some this wishful thinking remains a comforting fantasy, there are others who will try to achieve their dreams by pushing themselves and working very hard. Unfortunately, there are a few others who will stop at nothing including joining a secret society group in search of wealth!
Dr Olufunmi Olayinka’s new novel reveals the hidden cost of such wealth which is the untimely death of many innocent souls.
This bold and raw journey of discovery is all laid out in The Dragon Society. Prepare to have faith redefined, as anything is possible behind these closed doors…
As a porter in a London hospital, Dr Steven Attah wonders whether moving his young family from Nigeria to the UK was a good decision. When his friends introduce him to the mysterious and powerful Dragon Society, the answer seems to be yes as success and wealth flows to his family.
But when disaster strikes, he discovers the true cost of membership of the society. When the full extent of the powerful and terrifying influence that the Dragon Society has over Steven and other members of his community emerges, the society comes under threat from internal and external forces. But, as the society fights to defend its reputation, will Steven be able to free himself from its clutches and get the chance to rebuild his life, or will he discover that once you’ve joined the Dragon Society you can never completely leave it?
“This is a fast-paced adventure that crawls into many areas of the psyche and faith,” explains the author. “Everyone has dreamed of building wealth, and those who have considered doing it through anything other than solid hard work are likely to find out the hard way that there is no genuine alternative to honest hard work. This story examines the risks of becoming a member of secret societies both to the individual, his immediate family members and the society at large.”
“Culturally related crimes are very common amongst Africans particularly Nigerians, and both the local and international authorities aren’t able to bring those responsible to justice, because these crimes are not recognised by the legal system. My story highlights the need for clear international and regional human rights law that addresses harmful cultural practices. There is also the need for strategic litigation as illustrated in ‘The Dragon Society’ with the aim of establishing precedents. The narrative is far more real and vivid than it first appears.”
Readers agree, leaving many positive reviews. B. Babatunde comments, “Everyone needs to be alert to the reality of evil influences and one needs to be very careful. You might just be surprised how much of what happens in the physical is linked to activities in the spiritual sphere.”
M. Ajayi adds, “All that glitters is not gold. The novel is intriguing, captivating and thought provoking. I will highly recommend.”
The Dragon Society from Austin Macauley Publishers, is available now: http://amzn.to/1l3p3Bq.
About the Author:
Olufunmi Omopariola Olayinka was born at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, UK in 1970. She spent most of her developmental years in Nigeria.
She is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK and holds a diploma in Psychological Therapies from the Leeds Metropolitan University.
She is happily married with two beautiful children. She lives in Rotherham, UK. She enjoys writing fiction in her spare time.
Out now–enter to win!
by Sherilee Gray
About the Book:
She swore never to trust him again…
Fiery mechanic Alexandra Franco should have known better. Years ago, her best friends’ older brother took her virginity and broke her heart-or rather, doused it with gasoline, lit a match, and then walked away. And Alex definitely should not have indulged in another hot night with him after the fact. He’s not the same boy she fell for, and she sure as hell doesn’t want anything to do with the wealthy, ruthless man he’s become.
Walking away from Alex was the biggest mistake of Deacon West’s life. She belongs with him, and if getting her back means playing dirty, so be it. If she’ll grant him a three-month, no-strings affair, he won’t sell the building Alex and his sisters use for their auto repair business. Hell, he’ll even sign it over to them. But will Alex ever entrust her heart to him again, or are they destined to crash and burn?
In their teens, the local boys had dubbed Alex and Deacon’s sisters the Axle Alley Vipers. All three were beautiful, tough in their own way, and if you tried to get too close, tried to touch, they would take a bite out of you.
Jesus. Nothing had changed.
When he got to the parking garage below his building, he saw Martin had done his job. Deacon’s car was parked behind Alex’s metallic-purple Viper, caging her in. Her choice of car said more than he thought she realized. Playing up to that moniker, to what it meant, was just another way to keep everyone at a distance, to protect herself.
She stood against the driver’s door, arms crossed, more pissed than he’d ever seen her. Her long, shiny brown hair was pulled up in a messy bun that was sexy as hell on her, and those dark, exotic eyes had landed and stayed on him as soon as the elevator doors had opened and he’d stepped out.
His cock twitched under that intense stare.
He allowed his gaze to travel over her. Did she have any idea how stunning she was? The woman could wear a potato sack and still make his dick hard. The intricate rose tattoo decorating the upper half of her right arm drew his eye. It covered a jagged scar you could only see under a certain light, and it moved as she shoved her hands in her pockets, flexing her finely honed bicep. “This your doing?” she asked.
He kept on walking toward her. She tensed as he came closer, but he didn’t stop until he was close enough to smell her vanilla scent, hear her subtle exhale as he leaned in. “You were in my parking spot.”
Fire flashed in her eyes. “Bullshit. What about the other ten free spots?”
He shrugged. “I like this one.”
She blew out a frustrated breath. “If you’re so damned attached to this one, let me out and you can have it back.”
He reached out, ran the tip of his finger along that scar. It curved around a rose petal, then joined a thorny stem. He felt her tremble. Jesus, he loved that, loved how easily he affected her. “Let’s stop playing games. This isn’t about a parking spot, and you know it.”
“I said no.” Her voice shook and her breathing quickened.
Sherilee’s always had a big (some may say warped) imagination, and as a kid scared herself conjuring up horror stories full of ghosts and other terrifying creatures. As she got older the stories changed quite a bit, but they were always there. Still, she never dreamed of actually writing down any of those wonderful imaginary people or places. Not until many years later when her sister introduced her to the wondrous world of romance novels, and her very large book collection.
She’s pleased to say, she still has the big imagination and monsters in her stories… only now they’re chasing their happily ever after.
Sherilee Gray is a kiwi girl and lives in beautiful NZ with her extremely supportive husband and their two children. When not writing or fueling her voracious book addiction, she can be found dreaming of far off places with a mug of tea in one hand and a bar of Cadburys Rocky Road chocolate in the other.
Giveaway: Sherilee is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card
Check out the excerpt below!
Imagine being in love with the same girl since you were ten years old, only to have her fall for your twin instead. This story is rocky.
It will rip you apart and possibly put you back together again.
I know this because it’s my story.
The pain and anguish experienced in this is what it was like to hold onto hope that some day we’d find each other again. I won’t sugar coat the details of what I went through to have her, nor will I apologize for any actions that led me right back into her life.
Sometimes love isn’t enough.
Sometimes it takes a little fate.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I wanted you to know that I’ve arrived overseas, and have settled in the best I’m able to. I owe you both an apology. Never in a million years did I see things playing out the way they have. I didn’t show up at the wedding to ruin everyone’s lives. The truth is that I couldn’t help myself. I had to pursue her, because I’ve loved that girl since we were children. She’s everything to me.
I know I made a mess of things. I screwed up and embarrassed you. I ruined my relationship with Branch, but I think you deserve to know why. All this time, all the years since they started dating, he’d been feeding Kat and I lies, keeping us apart. From the age of twelve he told me Kat wasn’t interested. I trusted him.
Apparently he was doing the same to Kat, telling her that I didn’t like her that way. All this time we could have been together, but instead he weaseled his way into her heart, making her feel bad for ever having feelings for me.
I’m not saying that what I did wasn’t wrong. I know right from wrong. Two people went into my hotel room that night, and what happened was mutual. We knew the risks, but took them anyway. I honestly couldn’t stop myself. Once the truth was revealed nothing could have kept me from her.
You may never be able to understand what it’s been like for me, watching her with him, year after year, as if I was a punching bag. I’ve got thick skin, but even the toughest person would have broken down at some point. I’ve been trained to replace pain with power, but this doesn’t apply. I’m on a path of destruction, because I simply don’t care anymore. Branch ruined my life. He was the reason I had to get away. Joining the military was my way out. I knew it would keep me from coming home, and bearing the burden of watching them happy. I punished myself for loving her, and attempted to move on with no result. No matter how hard I try I can’t stop loving her, and that’s why I know I can’t come home. There’s nothing left there for me except pain. I’ll never regret being able to live under the same roof as my two best friends, but I will hate myself for not going after what I wanted sooner. I could have prevented all of this. We could be sharing our lives together, having children, and waking up to knowing nothing will tear us apart. Instead I’m on the other side of the world, throwing myself into defending my country, because it’s the only thing keeping me going.
I can’t promise that I’ll write back all the time. It’s hard for me to sit down and put my feelings on paper. I’ve already been warned that what I’m about to see over here will haunt me forever. I’m used to living in hell, so I’ve got every reason to believe that I’ll get through it. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry that I was such a disappointment. I was acting out, because I couldn’t have what I wanted. Jealousy took control, forcing my hand to make irrational decisions. At the end of the day I deserve to be here, in the middle of this battle zone. If something happens to me and I don’t return please don’t dwell on my death. Just know I’m no longer in any pain. Nothing will ever hurt me again.
Thank you for bringing me up right, and teaching me what love was. As much as it hurts, I don’t regret experiencing it. How I feel about Kat is something special. Not everyone finds their true love so early in life. Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t keep her. Maybe I had enough time with her when we were younger. No matter the case, I’m appreciative.
Take care of her and Branch. Help them to make amends. We’ll always be family.
Until next time with love,
And the first book in the series:
My heart belonged to Branch and Brooks Valentine since we were children, when we were all too naïve to know what that even meant. We didn’t understand that when we became adults, love would change us. I had to make a choice and when I did, it ripped our bond apart. Brooks left town, and he took half of my heart with him. It was difficult, but I coped and planned my future with Branch. I thought I’d made the right decision. I loved him and I always had.
Brooks showed up to be our best man the night before our nuptials. After drinks and too much reminiscing, I ended up in bed with the wrong brother. To avoid the humiliation and the fact that I’d ruined all of our lives, I left Branch and the only family I’d ever known.
That’s where my story should have ended.
Two years, one beautiful little girl and an abusive marriage later, I was standing there staring at the man that would always hold my heart.
The only question was…
Would I give it to him?
I’m Katy Michaels and this is my story.
Jennifer Foor is an award-winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.
She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart.
Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Kathleen!
It’s a pleasure to be here, Becky. I’m presently spending six months traveling around the country, and I just left a quilter’s home. I am in awe of you quilters. What beauty you create!
Thank you 🙂
What 5 things should readers know about you?
- Right after completing A Duke’s Wicked Kiss, a freak accident left me nearly blind with less than a 50% chance of recovery. Four surgeries later, I have perfect vision, thanks to a miracle worker of a surgeon in Budapest, Hungary. With horribly impaired vision, I revised and edited A Duke’s Wicked Kiss, and managed to write four more books. All but one of them are to be released in 2014.
- I landed in Budapest under dire circumstances but ended up falling in love with the city and remained.
- I’m a pantser, meaning I do not plot my books. Instead, I get quiet and centered, and let my characters create the story. In between having them dictate to me, I thoroughly research the setting and era. A Duke’s Wicked Kiss takes place in India and England in 1857 so a great deal of research was required.
- I like to spend time at the New York Café in Budapest. It’s where Michael Korda hung out with other artists before he escaped the Nazis and fled to America. He wrote and produced the film Casablanca which was based on his experiences in the New York Café. Give yourself a treat and google the images. What an outstanding coffee house. A visit never fails to stir up my creative juices.
- If I ever return to the U.S., I want to write all my books surrounded by animals in a wonderful rescue preserve that I develop.
Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉
Miss Suri Thurston is an illegitimate daughter of a duke and high-caste Indian royal who, despite having been raised under the best circumstances alongside her titled half-sister, is nonetheless an outcast who intends never to marry. Upon her father’s death, she travels from England to her birthplace in India, ostensibly to visit her married sister, but Suri has secret plans. Before she can help others, she feels she must validate her self-worth by confronting her maternal grandmother who’d tossed untouchable infantSurito hungry lions. Suri’s plans are upended when she arrives in Delhi and encounters the man who, ten years prior, left an indelible imprint on her soul with a single, wicked kiss, stolen in her father’s stables. Now himself a duke, he is beyond reach of even her dreams.
The Duke of Ravenswood’s title does not stop this trained spy from completing his mission for Queen Victoria. Or from being riddled with guilt. He blames himself for his wife’s death, for his elder brother’s demise, and for leaving his younger brother in the hands of a brutal father. He dedicates himself to the duty of preventing an uprising of sepoys against the British East India Company, but when Suri appears in a Delhi ballroom with a mission of her own, all his well-intentioned plans run afoul.
As for what they must take on a desert isle if stranded, Suri and the duke would definitely need to have apple tarts with them. Once a reader has read the book she’ll understand why. 😉
Oooh! Now I’m going to have to read it—soon! You had me at “spy” and then added in “apple tarts”. The heck with the rest of the TBR!
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
I was in Budapest, Hungary when a sudden illness took my husband’s life. As a way of dealing with grief, and all the legalities of losing someone in a foreign country, I would walk the frozen streets of that historic, beautiful city. Three months later, I returned to my flat, set my fingers on the keyboard, looked to the heavens and started writing. All I knew was that I needed to write something historical, far removed from what I had to deal with on a day-to-day basis. I also needed a happy ending. A Duke’s Wicked Kiss is what flowed out of me like warm honey off a spoon. What a healing balm that was!
It’s wonderful that you could channel your grief into something so productive. Now that I reflect on it, I guess I did something similar—I started a quilt on my husband’s birthday, the year that he died. I did hardly anything else until it was done, and it’s still one of my best, I think.
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been completing actual manuscripts since 2009, but as a child, I used to write and tell stories to my siblings to lull them to sleep. My mother was my inspiration. She and I were the readers in the family. One day, she shoved a book across the table and said here, you should write these. I know you can do it. The book was by Lavyrle Spencer.
That’s fantastic! (Although I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any Lavyrle Spencer—yet!)
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?
I love that stories pop into my mind and roll around like water in an eddy, with new and unexpected characters and circumstances showing up all the time. The most challenging aspect for me is that I am dyslexic. Thankfully, I am a fast and good typist so I generally write with my eyes focused on a wall somewhere.
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I’m writing two books at once (three if I can get away with it). The Seduction of Sarah Marks that released in June is book one of Those Magnificent Malverns. Each member of this quirky, fun family deserves a book of his or her own. Book two should emerge in late winter or early spring. A Duke’s Wicked Kiss is book one of Her Majesty’s Gentlemen Spies. I am currently on chapter three of book two. I am also working on a WWII story. I wish I didn’t have to sleep!
Tell me about it! Sleep is so overrated…a lot to look forward to. Can’t wait!
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
I love the classics. From a young age, I was in awe of the mere construction of those authors’ works. I was eight-years-old when my sister gave me two leather-bound books for Christmas: Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. I stepped back in time with those two books (I still have them) and have loved historical novels ever since.
What a fantastic present!
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
Like writing more than one book at a time, I am reading two books at once: The Bloodletter’s Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia) by Linda Lafferty. It’s a gritty, gripping novel based on a true story of the Hapsburgs and a wildly insane prince. I am also reading No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, this year’s Rita winner in the historical category by Sarah MacLean. It, too, is rather gritty. Both the heroine and hero are rather dark as well, but the story is good.
I read Sarah MacLean’s! I agree—great characters 🙂
If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?
5 star review says it should be a classic.#historicalrom. On a secret mission, a proper duke falls for an improper daughter of an Indian royal and British noble.
Great job! I’m so glad you could be with us today, Kathleen!
About the author:
About the book:
Miss Suri Thurston knows the pain of abandonment. Intent on confronting the grandmother who tossed her to the lions, she travels from England to her birthplace in India. Her plans run afoul when she encounters the man who, ten years prior, left a mark on her soul with one stolen kiss. But he is a duke, and far beyond the reach of even her dreams.
The Duke of Ravenswood, secret head of the British Foreign Service, has no time for relationships. His one goal is to locate and eliminate key insurgents involved in an uprising against the British East India Company before it’s too late. But when Suri appears in Delhi, his resolve is tested as he finds his heart forever bound to her by the one haunting kiss they shared once upon a time.
With Suri’s vengeful Indian family looking for her death, and insurgents intent on mutiny tearing their world apart, can their love rise above the scandal of the marriage they both desperately want?
by Kevin Berry
Publication date: January 3rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
The sequel to STIM…an Aspie new adult contemporary novel set in an earthquake zone.Chloe is different. She has Asperger’s Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder and probably a few other inconvenient conditions as well. She’s a quirky, resourceful and clever psychology student, but her world is literally about to be shaken apart. A devastating earthquake sparks a chain of events that spiral her life out of control. She’s off her meds. Her oddly-named cat is missing. She doesn’t know what she wants out of life any more. Misfortune and uncertainty don’t mix well with bundles of energy and Chloe’s tendency to ignore consequences. It’s as if mayhem and trouble are her constant companions.Will Chloe be able to cope with the earth-shaking events that rock her world?
Kaleidoscope begins just before Chloe and Robert’s new semester at school, as Chloe is returning from an unsatisfactory summer visit with her father. She’s looking forward to getting back to her usual setting and routines…little does she realize as the novel starts out that life will soon be anything but routine–troubling for anyone, but particularly problematic for Chloe.
Chloe has Asperger’s Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder (which she doubts, because she “can concentrate on most things for as much as several minutes at a time”), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and dyscalculia, as well as other disorders she doesn’t list for us. In short, she’s on a lot of meds, and maintaining a specific order for just about everything in her life is very important to her.
Unfortunately, her world is thrown almost right away when she finds out that her roommates Stef (also her cousin) and Robert (also an Aspie, and Chloe’s boyfriend) have moved to a new house in her absence–events at the end of book one (Stim, Robert’s book) have led to making the move necessary–but no one told Chloe until she got off the plane. Now Chloe can’t walk to university anymore, and she has to figure out where to put all of her things (she has certain clothes for each day of the week, and each day must have its own drawer–but her new dresser has only six drawers–a problem), and Robert’s already started reshelving her books for her, which means she’ll probably have to rearrange them as soon as he’s done…
I felt hesitant about letting anyone, even Robert, sort through my books one by one. They’re too personal. Seeing and touching all of someone’s books is a bit like fondling their underwear.
(A disturbingly apt simile…it was too good not to use it!)
And that’s all before the earthquake hits.
It happens in the middle of a school and work day, just as Chloe was sitting down to get started on her course reading for the new school year.
I sat and pulled out a photocopy of “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognising One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments” (Kruger & Dunning, 1999) an article I was supposed to read for Psychology. This actually sounded intriguing. I’d always wondered why losers and idiots think they’re talented at everything.
(Chloe doesn’t see the point in prevarication, as you discover about one-point-two seconds into the novel.)
Next thing she knows, her dresser being one drawer short is no longer such a big issue–she’s lost all of her clothes. And her cat. And her cousin–Stef’s older sister is MIA. It takes her a few more days to realize she doesn’t have her meds, either.
But by then she’s discovered coffee, and an energy she never had before. Why fix what’s not broken? Clearly the drugs were only holding her back…
Some of my favorite bits were when she talked about becoming a bestselling novelist, one of her new post-meds life goals:
“What makes you think you can write a bestseller?” demanded Stef. “Apart from your university essays, you’ve never written anything longer than a shopping list.”
“I’m going to buy heaps of books about writing bestsellers. I’ll read them, and then I’ll just do it. Obviously.”
Because that’s totally how it works, right? 😉
Dealing with a devastating act of nature would be hard enough for anyone, but for someone like Chloe who’s also suddenly taken off meds? Recipe for disaster. Watching her nearly lose everything and then try to wrest her life back is quite a journey–with many funny and moving moments along the way. Kaleidoscope is definitely a worthy sequel to Stim.
(Kaleidoscope could probably work as a standalone if needed, but getting the full picture of these two characters’ lives from both sides–Stim is from Robert’s point of view–will definitely enhance the reading experience.)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nothing says, “Good morning!” like a nearly-shirtless guy, am I right? 😉
by: Ashlee Mallory
Release Date: 3/24/14
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Old acquaintances, New Lovers, and Murder…
A hopeless crush…
Back in high school, Allie McBride thought the sun set around Sam Fratto’s smiles, even if they were only friends. Now she’s older, wiser, hotter, and teaching at the same school they grew up in. When Sam joins the faculty, she has a chance to make good on the crush that got away. But when a dead body turns up on school grounds, they realize there might be a murderer in their midst. The heat keeps getting hotter between Allie and Sam, but more might be in danger than their hearts…
The cute kid from high school is all grown up…
A family crisis brings true-crime writer Sam Fratto back to town after more than a decade’s absence. Teaching at his alma mater seems like a good way to pass the time—especially when he sees that Allie, the geeky, sweet-mannered girl from high school, has blossomed into the saucy teacher in the classroom next door. Too bad finding a dead body transforms his return into one of his true-crime books come to life. And when it seems the killer might be after Allie next, it’s up to him to keep her safe…
A killer determined to keep the past buried at any price…
As if dealing with the return of one ghost from her past wasn’t enough, it looks like the killer might be the person they least suspected. Someone from the past. Someone with something to hide. Someone who thinks Allie and Sam are getting a little too close to the truth. If Allie and Sam are going to get out of this alive, these two friends to lovers will have to work together…or die together…
Ashlee lives with her husband, two kids, a dog, and cat surrounded by the majestic mountains of her hometown of Salt Lake.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, she always wanted to know what it was like to live on the other side of the mountains. In college, she interned a semester in DC and later attended law school in Syracuse, New York, where she also ventured to Israel for a summer semester. After graduating law school with a taste of what it’s like living in the bigger world, she moved back home to Salt Lake and took the Utah Bar Exam, got married, and settled in with her hubby and two wonderful kids. After a few more years in the legal realm, she grew restless and turned her pen to one of her first loves—writing stories.
Currently, when she’s not working the day job as in-house counsel, she spends her time with the family and squeezing in writing time—anything to avoid the housekeeping. Just kidding, honey! 😉
She writes with romance and humor at the heart of every story—and a healthy dash of mystery and suspense.
Hopefully she pulls it off.
I am so excited to have Rebecca Zanetti here today, talking about her latest release, Rising Assets!
Welcome, Rebecca! I’m so glad you could be with us today.
Hi, Becky! Thank you so much for having me over today to celebrate the release of RISING ASSETS! It’s so nice to be here, and these were fun questions to answer.
Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.
Absolutely! RISING ASSETS is a best friends to lovers story set in a small Montana town where everybody not only knows everyone else’s business but feels just fine getting involved in private matters. In fact, there are no private matters. So, when Colton Freeze starts to fall for his best friend, Melanie Jacoby, the town creates a bet on when they’ll actually get together. Colton and Melanie are very attracted to each other, but they need each other in their lives and have to figure out if the risk is worth the reward.
I LOVED the bet! And how you used the “everybody knows everything” part of small town life to such humorous effect. I’m especially thinking of what happened when Colt was suffering under a misunderstanding and he and Mel ran into his parents out on the street–such a funny scene!
Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?
Colton Freeze is the genius in the family of cowboys, and he takes over the family businesses, as per his grand plan in life. Melanie is his best friend who owns her own ranch and is faced with problems requiring help. They’re both strong, stubborn, and loyal. Colton is a take-charge kind of guy, but Melanie can stand on her own two feet. When they get together, it’s explosive and emotional.
That’s for sure!
What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?
The final scene when one of them risks all was the most fun to write because it was sweet and sexy at the same time…and a huge risk. That’s all I can say without giving spoilers. 😉
Say no more!
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I finished my first book in January of 2009, and I’ve always wanted to write. I also wanted to study journalism, practice law, and travel the world a little bit. So finally I had time to really study writing and give it a shot, and I sold to a publisher in December of 2009.
What do you like best about being a writer?
Fun question! I like being able to be myself and let the crazy out a little bit. It’s nice to share my imagination in a fun way and not feel like an oddball. As for the writing process, I just love writing the first chapter of a book, when there are no rules and you’re not locked into a world yet. That first meet or reunion between a hero and heroine is my favorite.
I think yours has to be my favorite answer yet to that question. Awesome!
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
Frankly, the most challenging part is balancing the creative aspects with the business requirements of being a writer, and not losing the creativity in the process. It’s too easy to get bogged down in marketing, promotion, and statistics, and I often have to remind myself to just get back to the book and have some fun. Writing is the fun part.
I’m always amazed when I see authors on Twitter, FB, and their blogs–they talk about watching TV, going to movies, and I wonder–when do they find time to write? Some days it’s all I can do to get five minutes on my email and read twenty pages of a book….
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
Right now I’m starting the fourth book in the Maverick Montana series that features the mysterious Hawk and Dawn Freeze. I have two releases in May: BLIND FAITH from the Sin Brothers series on May 6th, and TAMED from the Dark Protectors on May 15th.
Ha! I knew there was going to be something between Dawn and Hawk the minute those two were brought up together in this one. I’m so glad they’re getting their own book–excellent!
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
I like how J.D. Salinger and Stephen King put words together on paper, and I think their talent and hard work are truly inspiring. The first romance I ever read was a Nora Roberts. It was one of her MacGregor books, and I was hooked on romance from that time forward. So, I guess I’d say Nora inspired me the most. 🙂
LOVE Stephen King’s writing ability–even my mother, who doesn’t like a lot of his subject matter, agrees about his sheer talent.
Can an English major admit she hasn’t read Salinger? No? Well, then, of course I have…. 😉
What are you currently reading?
Right now I’m re-reading Gina Maxwell’s RULES OF ENTANGLEMENT because I love this book and wanted to escape into the story again.
I read my first book from Gina this past year–loved it! RULES is on my TBR…
Please share a favorite scene from your books with our readers.
Definitely. Thanks for asking!
His mouth was on hers before Melanie finished saying his name. Heat and power slammed from the kiss, and her mind swam.
Fire lashed through her so quickly her knees weakened. Her nipples scraped his chest, and lava consumed her. Her eyes fluttered shut, and she fell into the storm created by a man much more dangerous than she’d known.
She kissed him back, her body alive, her mind shutting down.
There was nothing but the whirlwind of impossible need cascading around them, through her, into her, beyond her.
The kiss was hard, angry, and more passionate than she could’ve dreamed.
Many times, they’d come close to kissing, but one of them had always backed away. With a grin, or a joke, they’d escaped ever taking the chance. The one thing Melanie knew for sure was if Colton ever kissed her, if he ever showed her that side of him, there’d be no turning back. Ever.
As he released her mouth to pin her with a dark gaze, there was no question he knew it, too.
Determination filtered through his eyes, and his jaw firmed. Something new and intriguing fluttered alive in her abdomen. Satisfaction lifted his lips as her eyes widened.
Holy crap. Colton Freeze didn’t want to turn back.
That was a fantastic scene! It really grabbed me when I read the book 🙂
Thanks again for having me over today. I really enjoyed this interview!
Thank YOU so much for coming! I loved your responses, and cannot wait for Hawk and Dawn’s book! (Though I imagine Colt will have more than a few things to say about it… 😉 )
USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.
Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day–or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.
by: Rebecca Zanetti
Friends with benefits was never the plan…
Melanie Jacobs is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.
Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger for more.
Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?
An exciting new romantic suspense…
Andrew Jackson “Jack” Kent’s on the hunt for white collar criminals, and as a private investigator he always gets his man. Except in this case it’s a woman, the brilliant cellular kineticist Dr. Morgan Mackenzie, whose next thrilling discovery is—him.
On the run from her employers with the formula for a priceless but deadly diet drug, Morgan agrees to a night of pleasure with the outrageously sexy stranger. But when she leaves the next morning, Jack won’t let her get far, and that’s when she realizes the horrible truth. Her cowboy on a white horse isn’t a hero after all. He’s part of the posse.
Yet when Jack goes to turn Morgan in, he learns who the real criminals are, and suddenly, it’s a race against time to find a murderer before they’re killed themselves. To do that Jack needs to convince Morgan he’s on her side. Even though she doesn’t trust him, Jack is a drug she can’t resist, leading her to find out that more often than not you’re Damned If You Don’t fall in love.
Let multi-published author Linda J. Parisi take you through the darker, spicier side of Romance with her Paranormal, Paranormal Romantic Suspense, and Romantic Suspense tales. Winner of the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book for her novel, Noble Blood, and winner of the 4th Annual Stroke of Midnight Contest for her novel, The Joining: Bound by Blood, Linda is a long-time member of the RWA and the current secretary of Liberty States Fiction Writers. Linda has seen the publishing industry turn upside down yet stay the same because everyone loves a well-written Romance. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, John, and a family which includes Audi, a Cocker Spaniel mix who had her at woof!