FEATURE: Amber Laura

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Amber Laura lives in the beautiful, wild country of northern Minnesota—tall pines and birch bark, hiking trails, lakes, and fresh air. But that’s only a technicality; in her imagination, Amber Laura has lived all over the world. She considers it one of the best perks to being a writer: easy, cheap travel. Well, that and the oddball characters she meets along the way….

Excerpt from Topaz and Lace 

Moving gingerly into her living room, Cassie sat down on her lumpy couch. Kicking her feet onto the scratched coffee table, she let her head drop back against the cushions. Closing her eyes, she tried to look at the situation objectively.

Instead, all she could see were Brannt’s wide, thin lips catching against her own; feel his warm breath as it melted inside her mouth; remember his rough hand as it massaged the back of her neck, bringing her head closer…closer.

A key turned in her lock outside.

Eye’s springing open, Cassie had just enough time to gain her feet before her front door was unceremoniously thrust open, with a thunderous Brannt standing over its threshold.

“What are you…? How did you…?” Cassie sputtered, her terrified eyes unable to look away from his dark, angry stare.

Brannt dangled a pair of keys in one angry hand. “I grabbed the spare copy from downstairs.”

“But those—” Cassie shook her head confusedly. “How did you get them?”

“I asked BJ for them,” Brannt answered her easily enough. “She was only too happy to oblige.”

“Those aren’t for public use,” Cassie moaned, but she wasn’t talking to Brannt. She was going to kill BJ. While she made one hell of a receptionist, she was clearly a terrible apartment manager.

Brannt smiled. It was cold, filled with mockery. “Which is why I told her you’d accidentally locked yourself out.” His smile widened. “Then she was only too willing to hand ‘em over.”

“Ah, and you were what, the Good Samaritan in this ruse?” Cassie batted her eyelashes sarcastically.

“Something like that.”

“You’re a real jackass, you know that.”

“Yeah? And you’re a little coward,” Brannt returned just as quickly.

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FEATURE: Julia Bell

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I live in West Yorkshire, although I’ve also lived in various parts of England. I have two children and five grandchildren. My various jobs have included working as a qualified nurse and I have also worked as a civil servant in the Prison Service. When my children were young I successfully completed an Open University B.A. degree studying psychology and sociology. I was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association for four years and I’m now a member of ALLi (the Alliance of Independent Authors). As well as writing I love country walks and travelling abroad (I adore bus stations, railway stations, airports and ferry ports – any place where people are on the move).

Excerpt from Songbird (The Songbird Story, Book 1)

I wandered slowly round the paintings and portraits, studying each one.  And then I came to a huge canvas and my heart nearly leapt out of my chest.  It depicted the scene at a pit-head after a disaster, when a rescue was in progress.  I glanced round the gallery and saw that two rows of chairs had been placed back-to-back in the middle of the room and I made myself comfortable.  I scrutinised the painting.  It was a bleak portrayal but so accurate.  I could see the grime of the area, the large wheel, the wheelhouse and the buildings associated with a mine.  A large group of figures surrounded the pit-head, the faces of the women pensive and strained, one girl clinging onto another, her hand over her mouth in horror.  The men looked determined as they stood outside the lift, waiting to enter and be taken down to see what they could do.  Their Davy lamps seemed to be the only bright part of the painting, small pinpoints of light in an otherwise dark and gloomy canvas.

“Which painting do you prefer, then?”  His voice from behind me made me start.

I turned my head and gasped with surprise.  “What are you doing here?”

He shrugged.  “It’s a public building.”

“Have you been following me?”

“I saw you running into the gallery and decided I would like to get out of the rain too.”

“I don’t think we should be talking.  Aren’t you worried about your reputation.”

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FEATURE: DJ Hunnam

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First introduced to the genre by her grandmother, DJ Hunnam is an author with a true love for great romance novels. After reading hundreds of them over the last twenty years, she finally decided to put pen to paper and craft her own HEAs. She loves to write about strong heroines who fall in love with super sexy heroes, while tackling real-world problems. Her books are packed with sizzling scenes sure to make you blush.

A scientist by day and author by night, DJ Hunnam straddles the fence between the mundane and the erotic on a daily basis. When she isn’t writing, you might find her curled up with a book, chasing her two wild sons, or pursuing her own HEA with her husband of ten years. She’s a sucker for dark chocolate, a good bottle of Malbec, and a sexy six-pack.

Excerpt from Faking it with Damian (A Clean Slate Novel, Book 1)

I slipped into the hallway and headed straight for Damian’s office. His door was shut, but I barged in, slamming the door behind me. With his Bluetooth headset in, he glanced up and smiled until he saw my glower.

“What did you do?” I hissed.

“Hey, I’m going to have to call you back,” Damian said to the person on the other end.

I paced back and forth as he said his goodbyes. The musky scent of his cologne permeated my senses and my body hummed in spite of my anger. He’d cut his hair since the last time I’d seen him and faint tan lines highlighted his cheekbones, I assumed from skiing. The man was sexy as hell and being enclosed with him was bringing back all of the things we’d done the last time we were in a room together.

“Hello, sweetheart. Long time no see,” he said as he leaned back in his chair and regarded me with a wry grin. His eyes trailed down my body.

“Don’t ‘sweetheart’ me.”

“Is that any way to greet your man after four long days apart?”

“What the hell is going on? Cindy just blindsided me in the bathroom.”

“Word sure does travel fast around here. I apologize you had to hear the happy news from someone else, but maybe if you hadn’t hidden in your office all day or if you’d bothered to answer any of my calls, I would have been able to fill you in.”

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