Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NEW BOOK RELEASE: Joy Avery's A Gentleman's Agreement (Contemporary Romance)


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 10-24-2015
Author: Joy Avery


When it comes to love, all deals are off!

Blake Farrington knows exactly who to call when he finds himself needing crisis management. Yes, this task is outside Eunice Howard’s usual realm of responsibilities, but he’s willing to make it worth her time. Plus, she’s ideal for the role. Who better to play his pretend lover than the one woman who knows him almost better than he knows himself?

The last thing Eunice Howard expects when summoned to her boss’s office is a request to play the role of his new love interest to appease his mother, restless to marry him off. Foolishly agreeing, she ventures with him to Farrington Estates for the Thanksgiving holiday. She thought she’d seen all sides of Blake Farrington, but the man who emerges is a man she could easily love.

Their agreement blossoms into a connection neither expected—nor are willing to admit. When the lines between make-believe and reality blur, something phenomenal occurs.



Joy Avery is a contemporary romance author who loves watching her imaginary friends fall in love. When not crafting her next love story, she enjoys reading, spending time with the family, playing with her two dogs, and cake decorating.

She’s the author of the novels Smoke in the Citi, His Until Sunrise (book 1 in the Indigo Falls series), Cupid’s Error-a Valentine’s novella, and His Ultimate Desire (book 2 in the Indigo Falls series).


The second they rounded the corner, Eunice snatched her hand away. “What the hell was that?” she asked in a whisper.

“What?” He wasn’t truly that clueless, but played so.

She released a heavy sigh and hiked up the stairs. Inside the bedroom, he was on her heels—right until the moment she stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door in his face.

Blake leaned against the door jamb. “Are you upset?”

“Yes. No. I mean—” She cursed under her breath.

He couldn’t understand why she’d gotten so distressed. Okay, maybe he’d gone a little overboard, but…

Eunice continued. “I don’t know. Did you—”

She yelped once the door slung open and he was standing there. He flashed one of his award-winning smiles in hopes of lightening the mood. She pushed him out of the way and moved toward the bed. Her hair was pulled into a high ponytail, and she wore a simple white nightgown shirt. It was sexy as hell.

“Did you have to take it that far?” she said.

“We’re supposed to be a believable couple, right?” She narrowed her eyes at him. Had she been a bull, he had a feeling this was the moment she would have charged. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize my words would affect you so…deeply. They were pretty poetic, huh?”

Eunice snatched a pillow from the bed and hurled it at him. What was with him and women with pillows?

“Enjoy the floor, Mr. Poetic.”

Blake barked a laugh.

Eunice climbed in bed.

He sobered.

She pulled the covers to her chin.

Blake pulled his hands to his waist. “Eunice?” When she didn’t answer, he rested his hand on the back of his neck. “Come on. You can’t be serious. You’re really making me sleep on the floor?”

“Goodnight, Prat. Sweet dreams.”

There was a hint of laughter in her tone. Frankly, he didn’t find anything funny. “Seriously, that bed is the size of a small island.”

“In that case, you should feel privileged. You have the entire ocean to yourself.”

Every damn body is a comedian in this house. “Okay. I’ll remember this.” This time, humor played in his tone. “See if you get a Christmas bonus.” He escaped into the bathroom, did his before bed rituals, then returned and made a pallet on the floor. Using the remote, he shut off the lights, then attempted to find a comfortable position.


Ah-ha. I knew she’d feel sorry for me. “Mmm-hmm,” he hummed.

“Your story… This is going to sound strange, but it actually happened to me in Central Park. Weird, huh?”

Not weird at all. Unlike her story, his had been steeped in truth. All except for the approaching her part. Unbeknownst to Eunice, he’d seen her in the park doing exactly what he’d stated. He’d also wanted to ask her out. But before he could, he discovered she’d recently started working for his company. Imagine his surprise when they’d bumped into each other at the annual Spring Fling he threw for his staff.

“Huh. Yeah. That is weird.”


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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Are You TEMPTED TO TOUCH Author Nigeria Lockley's Latest Story? Feature and Giveaway!


Author is giving away one autographed copy of Tempted to Touch and a $10.00 Amazon gift card.

Tempted to Touch
Publisher: Inheritance Books (October 27, 2015)
Genre: Christian Fiction
Author: Nigeria Lockley

About the book


Kira Seagram is frustrated by her husband Mason’s zeal for the Lord, so she pours all of her attention into her work and reserves her soprano singing skills for the shower. Kira would rather not use them if she get can’t the adoration and recognition she feels she deserves and doubts she’ll find singing lead for Mason’s choir. When a routine drop off at her son, Nate’s private school turns into a ten-year reunion with her ex-boyfriend, Quincy McAdams, Kira isn’t interested in Mason's half-hearted affection or willing to keep her voice to herself. With a firm offer from Quincy to help Kira cut a demo and possibly revive the love they let die, Kira has some choices to make. When Kira finds herself tempted to touch will she remain faithful to her husband or yield to the desires of her flesh?


When I rounded the corner Meena, my secretary, was standing in front of her desk smiling and waving at me. Her attentiveness and bright smile cut right into my investigation into why my marriage was beginning to fail.

“Hi, Meena. Did you miss me?” I asked, referring to the way she was waiting to greet me like a lap dog.

“Mrs. Seagram, you’re so funny,” she said, swiping her wispy brunette hair out of her eyes. “I’m so excited to see you because I can’t wait to see the look on your face when you go into your office.”

“Ugh.” I groaned, letting my arms droop at my sides. “You didn’t redecorate again, did you?”

“No. While you were at lunch you received a delivery and it’s mighty extravagant. I hope that after I’ve been married for ten years my husband still does things like Mr. Seagram.”

“Thank you, Meena. I’m sure it’s nothing out of the ordinary,” I said as I walked past her desk. I turned the knob and my stomach dropped to my heels. On the other side of the door a tall medley of flowers and fruit curled into a G clef awaited me. A smile spread across my face as I approached this massive fruit salad structure. I fingered the petals of the black orchids and inspected the assortment of fruits—pineapple chunks, mangoes, and strawberries covered in white chocolate. All of my favorite things were neatly assembled on my desk. Mason must have thought there was another dog sniffing around his backyard.

“Excuse me,” I said to Meena who was still standing in the doorway gawking at the flowers as I picked up the phone and dialed Mason’s cell phone number.

He probably thought this massive floral arrangement would get me to join the choir and keep my affections at home. I would have preferred some new shoes. Shoot, for a new pair of Fendi pumps I’d churn out “I Go to the Rock” in a heartbeat and have them saints running up and down the aisle of our church in a minute.

“Praise the Lord!” Mason shouted into the phone when he answered. Why did he have to be all holy all the time?

“Hello, Mason.”

“What’s going on, my love? You usually don’t call me in the middle of the day.”

“You tell me what’s going on, Mason. Do you think that a little gallant gesture and some white chocolate will get me to work on the record with your choir?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. The floral arrangement—”

“Floral arrangement?” he queried, cutting me off.

“If you thought that an oversized wreath would get me to sing with that little gospel choir of yours, you’re wrong.”

“Kira, I did not send you any floral arrangement.”

Half listening to his spiel, I dug my hand into the center of the arrangement and removed the card. Without your voice my music is all blues and no rhythm. ~Q

I read the message again and flashes of heat coursed through my fingers. His vulnerability was sexy. Quincy McAdams had gone from a chemistry major to a music mogul and his life was still missing something. The words on the card spoke louder to me than Mason until he shouted into the receiver,

“Well, where did the flowers come from? I will not ask again.”

About the Author


Nigeria Lockley possesses two master's degrees, one in English secondary education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second master's degree is in creative writing. Nigeria's debut novel, Born at Dawn received the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. Nigeria serves as the Vice President of Bridges Family Services, a not-for-profit organization that assists student parents interested in pursuing a degree in higher education. She is also the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home, King of Kings and Lord of Lords Church of God. Nigeria is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

A New Game Created for ALL Book Lovers: #LitVersations

If you are a book lover, a voracious reader, and love talking about books, then you should check out Debra Owsley and her new game Lit-Versations. I have known Debra for years, and she has always been a dedicated reader, promoter, and lover of books; it makes perfect sense to me that of all people, she would be the one to create a wonderful game like Lit-Versations.

To purchase Lit-Versations, you can visit Debra at Simply Said or through PayPal.me.

I talked with Debra about her love of books, her fave genres and authors and books, and about Lit-Versations. Check out the interview below!

Talking Books and LitVersations with Debra Owsley

I’ve known you for a long time, and since day one, I knew you to be a lover of books. Where did your love of books and reading come from?
Yes Shon, from MySpace days!!! I spent many hours in libraries. I wasn’t allowed to go to many people’s houses, so I went to the library. There I had friends and adventures and learned things that was not familiar, in books. I would DEVOUR them. I’d read fiction, nonfiction, craft books, anything that would cross my mind. I was very curious, so libraries sated my curiosity and my questions. My mom was also a huge reader of non-fiction and history.

What are your top three genres to read?
Fiction, Self-help, Biographies

Who are your top three authors?
Only 3? That’s like asking a mother of 12, who’s her favorite child! Donna Hill, Eric Jerome Dickey, Lolita Files, Bernice McFadden, and Lutishia Lovely are the authors I absolutely adore.

What is your most favorite book, and why?
My most favorite book is The Hand I Fan With by Tina McElroy Ansa. There is something about the way she told that story that really resonated with my soul. Everything in that story I could see, taste, and feel. Lena and Herman in my mind were real people. When I figured out what was going to happen in the story, I cried, slammed the book shut and just wept. I then started it all over ago so the story would never end. My tear stains are still on those pages. I never had a book affect me like that before.

You have a new, awesome, unique product out that is, not surprisingly, tied to your love of books: the game Lit-Versations. What was the initial spark that ignited the creation of Lit-Versations?
Lit-Versations©® The Book Conversation Game is a project I’ve worked VERY hard to bring to life for over two years. This idea came to me while listening to people discuss books and being interviewed asking the same questions over and over again. It was like the same questions, different book and same questions different author. I wanted meatier questions, questions that were open ended and led to a deeper conversation, a real Lit-Versation! So I created the questions I wanted to ask, 70 questions to get the Lit-Versation started!

What were some of the challenges (and rewards) that arose during Lit-Versations’ journey to creation?
I had so many challenges and tears creating this game. Two graphic designers, printers that made me say many, many bad words, picking reviewers I trusted not to let the cat out of the bag, getting samples made 4 times, deciding on the right questions, finding the right boxes, having them edited, (A million THANKS, Shon). It was a very stressful time and a lot of work. I’ve been told I’m a perfectionist and difficult, but I wanted what I saw in my head. I worked very hard to bring this project to life! The most rewarding things were when I was test marketing the game; people were as excited as I was! These where avid readers like me, authors, interviewers and bloggers. Once the first orders went out, I held my breath until the reviews came in from people who paid! That’s when I felt JOY like nothing else! I kinda felt like Sally Field… “They like me! They like my new baby.”

What are three reasons people should run, not walk, to purchase Lit-Versations?
There are way more than three reasons, Shon! Here are a few...
  • These questions open up refreshing dialogue with new and interesting perspectives.
  • A fun interactive ice breaker
  • I wanted people to love book discussions without being bored.
  • Helps others understand other interpretations of the story
  • Promotes richer exchanges and inspires thought
  • Great for authors to take along to gatherings
  • Great gift for book lovers and book clubs
  • Helps discussions stay on track and active
  • Great for all ages
  • This was created for book lovers, by a book lover.
Book clubs and reading groups, authors, teachers and parents, reviewers, bloggers, interviewers, and online chat facilitators can ALL benefit from and enjoy using Lit-Versations.

Any final comments?
Books can take you anywhere you want to be. Just do what feels right in your gut and in your soul. Do what makes your heart dance. Realize you’ve had the power all along. #SimplySaid

About Debra Owsley

Since December 2006, Debra Owsley has taken her love of reading along with her hobby and created the reading accessory business, Simply Said Reading Accessories.

Initially, the business was created to support her ravenous book habit! Debra never dreamed her two loves would turn into a marketing and promotional business that has allowed her to meet and work with authors she has read and admired for years. She also offers her work at book events and book festivals where she meets other avid readers and book club members.

Recently, she’s added a new project to her collection, a book conversation game named LitVersations. Debra says she created the game because "I got tired of the same questions and interactions." In creating the game, she believes it allows "everyone to feel like they really comprehended the book and the author's intentions. Also, to have more fun!"

Debra works with several major bestselling authors, bookstores, event planners, and industry professionals. Her “book candy” includes unique “gift-marks,” Kindle charms, book thongs, and many other special treasures for book lovers. She also creates whimsical displays for authors and other tools to promote literacy. Debra also coaches authors on how to promote and market their books on a budget.

Debra is a hairstylist and has been one for over 25 years. She loves to read, travel, blog, dance, and discuss books with friends over great food. She also has an in salon book club named Under The Dryer. She’s always sharing her latest reads with her clients and encouraging them to purchase books and support authors.

Debra can be found all over the Internet. To learn more about Debra, her wares, and her book loves, you can follow her at the following online outlets:

To purchase Lit-Versations, you can visit Debra at Simply Said or through PayPal.me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Passion for Writing with Danielle Rose: Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway!


Danielle Rose is writer of fiction and travel, as well as the owner of Narrative Ink Editing LLC. Danielle currently resides in the Midwest, where she spends her days at a local coffee shop planning her next vacation or plotting her next novel.

Danielle holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast program. In addition to her Master of Fine Arts, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and certification in professional writing from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

When not writing, traveling, or writing about traveling, Danielle enjoys being outdoors, cheering for her favorite football team (Go Packers!), and spending time with her husband and their furbabies: two dogs and a cat. For more information about Danielle Rose, visit her website: www.Danielle-Rose.com.

Places to find Danielle Rose


There's no wrath like that of a witch scorned.

Avah Taylor has been given a death sentence: as one of the only spirit users in her coven, Avah has been chosen to wield The Power, the ultimate weapon against the immortal vampire species witches have been at war with for centuries. The Power, given by the gods to one witch of each generation, is considered a great honor, but every witch before has died trying to master this all-too-powerful gift, one that the shell of a mortal can’t contain for long.

On the night of her birth rite, Avah’s coven is attacked, and Avah is left for dead. Confronted with a terrible choice, Avah must decide to either die or save herself by becoming like her enemies. Forced to seek refuge among the very beings she has sworn to kill, Avah vows revenge on those who took her former life from her.

As Avah slowly transitions into a life of blood and war and battles her own feelings for a man she is supposed to hate, she realizes everything she’s been told is a lie.

Purchase your copy of BLOOD ROSE today at Amazon!


Passion for Writing with Danielle Rose - Interview

Where does your passion for writing come from?
My passion for writing comes from everyday inspiration. I’m awestruck by the simplest things and how they can completely transform my view on the world. This often leads to the creation of a new novel or character.

If your passion for writing was a color, what color would it be and why?
A deep red. I’ve recently read that the color red is associated with fire, blood, energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love. I think those words completely describe my writing, my style, and my love for my work. I am deeply in love with my craft, and it’s terrifying. It’s an ugly kind of love—the kind where mascara-coated tears are streaming down your face and you just don’t care because you’re THAT into it.

How do you keep the passion burning in your relationship with storytelling?
To keep myself motivated, I do so many things: I keep supportive people around me all the time; I use the bribe system and treat myself when I hit my goals; I stay informed by reading craft books and attending writing/signing conventions; and I stay active on social media and interact with everyone. To me, maintaining the passion has never been the hard part.


Enter the BLOOD ROSE Giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy (1) or one of five eBook copies!

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I closed my eyes and focused on my mother, on her essence. I fought to ignore the overwhelming sensation to reach for Jasik, who lay nude beside me, with only a thin sheet separating him from me. I shivered at the thought of having him touch me again.

I exhaled deeply, focusing.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

My breathing became heavier. Slowly, it became nonexistent. I let go of the human tendencies, the instinctual habits, as my astral self left its binding shell. Soon, I was hovering over my old house, terrified to enter.

Instead, I opted for the front door. We needed their help, and I couldn’t afford to burn bridges.

I floated to the ground, looking around at the outside world. I could see nothing beyond the fog. My legs were heavy as I walked to the door. Slowly, I balled my fist and knocked. I could only lift my arm three times before the weight of my limb overcame me, and it fell limp to my side.

I knew my mother was rejecting me. That was the only reason staying felt physically draining to an astral being. She didn’t want to answer my call, but I couldn’t afford to leave without her help.

“I know you can hear me. I know you know I’m here. Please, Mom. We need you. I need you.” My words were barely above a whisper. It hurt to speak.

My breathing slowed, my body weak. I knew I couldn’t hold on much longer without her.

“I won’t leave. Not without speaking to you,” I said.

The door creaked open. The silhouette of a person stood in the distance. Her back was to me. She was fiddling with a vase of white roses on the table. Even though I didn’t recognize her, couldn’t see her face, I knew it was my mother.

I took a step forward, attempting to enter the house, but I was stopped. With my hand before me, I touched the clear barrier that prevented me from entering my coven’s home. I tried to push against it, silently begging for entrance. It did not give way.

“Why can’t I enter?”

“Your kind is not welcome here,” she said. She didn’t turn toward me. She didn’t look up when she spoke. She simply arranged the flowers. As she moved each rose, petals fell from the buds, drying and turning to dust as they hit the floor.

I tried to push my way into the house. I clenched my fist, brought my arm back, and banged on the barrier. I knocked again, over and over. It took what little strength I had left to not fall, to not return to my shell.

Her head jerked up, and the vase of dead roses fell from her hands, crashing to the ground and shattering into pieces. I blinked, and she disappeared. I blinked again, and she reappeared before me.

“Stop!” she yelled. “Do you really think the power of one vampire can withstand the power of an entire coven? You cannot break our barriers. Now you must leave here!”

“We need your help. Rogues, they’re coming. They’re coming for me.”

“Avah, you know we can’t help you anymore. You need to figure this out on your own. Now please leave.” She paused briefly before adding, “And don’t come back.”

A single tear slid down her cheek, but she turned away. When she faced me again, the tear was gone—replaced by the cold, hard stare with which she had welcomed me.

“I won’t leave. Not until I can speak to the elders. I need to learn about The Power. I think it can help us.”

She laughed. It was abrupt, mean. She stopped herself quickly. “You can’t possibly believe that The Power is still within you. You died, Avah. The Power moves on to the next chosen one. You know the prophecy.”

“No, it doesn’t. I’ve used it. It’s still within me.” I tried to reassure her, but I was losing focus. If she didn’t accept my astral self soon, I’d lose my connection to her.

“That’s not possible…” she said, confused. She turned away from me, lost in her own thoughts.

“I’m still the same. Becoming a vampire didn’t damn my soul. There’s so much we didn’t know—”

“Avah, stop! I can’t help you. Not anymore. You must leave here.”

“Not until I speak with the elders. They must know something. Rogues are coming, Mom. Whether you like it or not.” I was angry, and I was sure it showed. I wouldn’t budge. I’d die before I’d leave without information. I was stubborn, but I was my mother’s daughter.

She sighed, and the barrier lifted. With her acceptance, I was rejuvenated. I felt life flow through me just as it had when I first left to meet her. I stood tall, strong. I inhaled deeply. The feeling of power within me washed over my insecurities, my fears. I smiled and stepped inside.

“You can’t come back here, Avah. They won’t let me help you. Things… things have changed since you’ve left. There are new people in power, and they won’t let me help you.” She ran her hand through my hair, tucking loose strands behind my ear.

“I don’t understand. Are you not the high priestess anymore?”

“They may be listening. You must go!” Tears pooled in her eyes and threatened to spill.

“But we need help!”

“There’s nothing I can do to help you anymore. You must look within yourself.” She placed her hand over my heart and closed her eyes.

Listen, Avah. Listen to your heart. Find the strength within.

“It’s time to go back now. You’ve stayed too long.”

I knew she was right. My astral self had been away from its shell far too long. I never knew what would happen if I stayed in The Beyond longer than necessary, and I didn’t want to find out. I feared so much: The Power, Rogues, The Beyond… There was so much I didn’t know or understand.

“But I still haven’t any answers. I don’t know how to use The Power.”

She began pulling away. The world hazed over again, and through the smoke, I couldn’t see her silhouette any longer.

“No! Not yet! I need to speak with the elders!”

I was hovering over my body. I watched as Jasik lay beside me, whispering into my ear. He told me to be strong, to find my way back to him. Briefly, I wondered how long I had been gone. It seemed like only mere seconds had passed.

My eyes fluttered open as I reentered my body. Jasik leaned over me, running his fingers across my cheek. He smiled at me.

I smiled back and wondered how I’d break the news: the witches weren’t coming.

Purchase your copy of BLOOD ROSE today at Amazon!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Touring with Call on Me's Roni Loren - Giveaway, Excerpt, and More!

About Roni Loren

Roni [Site | Fb | Tw | Goodreads] wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that's it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

About Call on Me

Oakley Easton wants two things: to be a good mom to her daughter and to ditch her less than ideal night job. Hooking up with bad boy drummer Pike Ryland? Not on the agenda. She needs a promotion. Not sex, tattoos and rock ’n’ roll.

Pike isn’t about to let Ms. Prim and Proper shut him down so easily, especially when he stumbles upon Oakley’s sexy night job. She’s only playing a role on those late night calls with strangers, but when he gets her on the line, all bets are off. He won’t stop until that sultry voice is calling his name for real.

But as they move from anonymous fantasies in the dark to the flesh-on-hot-flesh reality of the bedroom, the risk of falling in love becomes all too high. And the safe, quiet world that Oakley’s worked so hard to create is about to be exposed to the one person who could ruin it all.

Purchase Call on Me at the following outlets: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Google Play | Kobo

The Giveaway!

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Custom 4-Pack of Brownies from Wicked Cupcakes (US ONLY); a $25 Gift Card will be sent if winner resides outside of US.

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Top 5 On the Spot Interview with Roni

As a writer, what are your top 5 must-haves when you sit down to write?

I wish I could say inspiration because it would be lovely to have that every day when I sit down. But the muse is a finicky sucker, and I have to write even when he decides to sleep in. But these are some of the things that are my must haves for my writing day.
  1. Caffeine – In the morning, this means coffee. The rest of the day iced tea. I’m not breaking any writer stereotypes with that one I’m afraid. Although, I am a new coffee drinker. I hated it every time I tried it until a few months ago. Then all of a sudden it was like—oh, NOW I get it. Does this mean I’m getting old? ;-)
  2. Music – I have trouble writing in silence, so Spotify is always on. If I’m in the writing zone, I listen to my faves playlist, which has everything from rock to country to pop and 80s. But other times, I’m easily distracted by music with words or music that’s too “loud.” Those days I pick from the bazillions of playlists that Spotify has. I really like Indie Chill Covers and Instrumental Covers lists because they’re songs I know but they are mellower, or in the case of the instrumentals, have no words to sing along to.
  3. Baby Name book – I keep one on my desk because I’m always reaching for it to name side characters. I know there are websites for this, but I find a paperback way easier in this case.
  4. Good notebooks and pens – I’m not one of those writers who writes in longhand. I’m not patient enough for that. But I do keep a notebook right next to me to make notes or jot down ideas. The Greenroom notebooks are my fave because they’re recycled and have that ivory colored paper which is easier on my eyes. You can get them at Target. And I am super picky about the pens I use. I like writing in pretty colors and am partial to Pentel EnerGel and Papermate InkJoy.
  5. Paperbacks of all of my books – My memory is not so hot, and I’ve made the egregious mistake of not creating a series bible early on. So I often have to flip through my previous books to refresh my memory on something so that I don’t mess it up in whatever book I’m writing. Like, oh crap, that girl has a brother not a sister. Or wait, what color are this guy’s eyes?

A Taste of Call on Me: Excerpt

“Don’t tease me, mama. Tell me. In vivid detail preferably.”

She pressed her lips together, humor in her eyes, and looked toward the road. “You sound like one of my callers.”

“You’re dodging my question.”

She nodded. “A fair assessment.”

“How come?”

She glanced down, a self-deprecating smile tugging at her lips. “It’s silly, right? I talk sex for a living but when it comes to talking to you about it, I lock up like some awkward virgin. I had to fight it the first few times we talked on the phone. Now, in person, it’s coming back.”

He appreciated the honesty. “I get it. Everything’s easier when it’s a role. You talk sex as Sasha. But it’s just you here tonight. Same for me. It’s easier for me when I’m the drummer from Darkfall. But the only person you’ve got in this car with you is James Pike Ryland. So don’t feel awkward. We’re on even ground.”

She looked over at him. “Your name is James?”

“It was my father’s name. But my dad walked out when I was five and I started going by Pike since my mom said she couldn’t stand to hear his name in the house. I legally changed it when I joined the band to separate myself from my history, but for some reason, James still feels like my real name. It’s what my brother called me.”

She considered him. “So if I was in here with Pike Ryland, rockstar, how would it be different?”

He laughed. “We are not going to discuss that. You would hate him.”

She turned her body toward him, devious smile beaming. “Oh, no. We have to go there now. I think I got a glimpse of him the first time we met.”

He rubbed the back of his head. How had he gotten trapped in this corner? “Fuck, all right. I do what’s easy. I tell women what they want to hear. Most girls just want to know how hot they are, how great they look in whatever they’re wearing. It’s much more about them and the conquest of landing the band member than it is about me. I figured that out early on. Then it usually ends up with talk of who I know, where I’ve been, all that shit that makes me sound like a big deal.”

Oakley bit her lip like she was trying hard not to laugh.

“What?” he asked, grinning. “That shit totally works.”

“Oh, I have no doubt. I’m sure ten minutes of that and there’s no more talking because the girl’s head is bobbing in your lap. Frankly, I don’t know why you even bother talking. I mean, looking at you is enough. You probably could just unbutton your fly and point.”

His mouth kicked up at the corner. “Yeah? Would that have worked on you?”

“That would’ve gotten you a knee to the balls. And a thank you for showing me where to aim.”

He laughed.

She turned, peering out at the passing mileage signs. “Looking at you is no hardship. You know that. But talking to James Pike Ryland is what got me here. The other guy would’ve never had a chance.”

The gently spoken admission thumped him right in the chest. He focused on the road, trying not to show on his face how the words had affected him. “Thank you, Oakley.”

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