FEATURE: Kara Liane

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Kara Liane is a lover of all things romance. She holds several degrees, including a Master’s in Management from Wayland Baptist University. Her husband of 15 years proudly serves in the U.S. military, and together with their twin elementary-age sons, reside in New Jersey. In her spare time, she reads and writes various things including poetry, stories about her kids, and her new novels.

Excerpt from Playing Heart to Get (Tryst of Fate, Book 1)

“From the moment I saw you, I thought you were an angel. I am drawn to you. I can’t make it any clearer. Your innocence, beauty, and charm have sucked me right in. I didn’t stand a chance, did I?”

I think he asked that last part rhetorically. I didn’t know how to respond. My mind was all of the sudden a jumbled mess. He did this to me. One minute I was fine, and the next minute I wasn’t. I was constantly off-balance. We were too far apart on the couch. He moved in closer to me closing the distance, and practically sitting on top of me. I moved my legs out from under me. Gee golly whiz, I was breathing heavy and probably embarrassing myself. We were staring into each other’s eyes. We both knew in that moment this would be the first time our lips would touch. I knew once I finally had a taste of him, I would never be able to let him go. Once I was surrounded by this heat again, I would be homesick when we would have to part.

I could hear his breathing change too. We did affect each other so completely. It was the final confirmation I needed for my body to green-light this whole thing. He moved his one hand to my cheek, and rubbed his thumb over my lips. I gasped at the shock of his fingers on me. I closed my eyes. I couldn’t watch him move any further into me; it was just too intense, and too intimate. It was too much! I was trembling with need and want. Everything led to this moment. Until finally his lips met mine in a crash.

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FEATURE: D.E. Haggerty

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I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book.

Excerpt from Fat Girl Begone 

Gabe pulls me out of my chair and spins me in front of the mirror. “What do you see?”

I don’t see anything because I automatically closed my eyes when they met the floor-length mirror. Floor-length mirrors are like the devil incarnate and should be avoided at all cost. You can gain ten pounds just by walking past one.

“Open your eyes, sweetheart,” Gabe whispers into my ear. My eyes can’t help but obey his softly whispered command. And now, crap, I’m looking at myself in the mirror. “What do you see?”

“Some fatty. Although the new outfit is nice.” I’m wearing one of the outfits I picked up with the girls on Saturday. The tank top fits snugly over my breasts before flaring out and falling loosely to my mid-thigh. My skintight capris go to mid-calf and are bright pink to match the black checkered tank.

“The clothes are hot. As is the woman wearing them. She’s not some fatty, though. Nope. This woman has curves in all the right places. Tits and ass, babe. That’s what all the men want.”

“Yeah, right.” I turn my head to avoid looking at the mirror any more, but Gabe grabs my jaw and forces my head to turn back.

“I’m not going to deny you could stand to lose some weight. But fifty pounds? No way. There’d be nothing left of you. And if you think this week was hard?” He shakes his head. “To keep that weight off, you’d have to eat even less than you did this week. All the time.”

“But I want to be thin and fit.” I barely stop myself from stomping my foot.

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FEATURE: Camille Taylor

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Camille Taylor is a romantic suspense author and lives in Australia. She spends her time reading, writing and procrastinating on Pinterest looking at nail art, books, and cake decorating. She enjoys most genres, particularly romance and mysteries. She started writing at sixteen and is currently working on her Harbour Bay Series set in Australia. Camille is an incurable genealogist and has traced her heritage to England, Scotland, Ireland and Russia.

Excerpt from Bella Italia (Heavenly, Book 1)

His mother stopped beside him. “Quite the change, isn’t it?”

It was indeed. His gaze shifted back to Adelaide. She had put on weight, not a lot but it was a start. Her eyes no longer held dark circles beneath them and then of course there was that smile. He felt it all the way to his toes.

“That camera certainly did the trick. You should have seen her face, Antonio. My God what a wonderful sight to see.”

He was sorry he’d missed it. He’d also been scared to witness it which was why he’d sent it by courier and not delivered it by hand. But he was glad he had put a smile on Adelaide’s face—that was all that mattered. He only hoped what he had to say didn’t take it away.

“I have bad news. The trial has been pushed back.”

Dawn’s gaze drifted to Adelaide. “I don’t think she’ll be too concerned over that. She loves it here and everyone loves her.”

Antonio wondered who ‘everyone’ was. It sounded like a lot more than just his family. He frowned. Adelaide spotted him, her smile growing wider. His stomach flipped and his heart pounded.

She raced over, her sleek body graceful. Her clothes hugged her form, the jeans practically a second skin and the white blouse only seemed to highlight her high, firm breasts and narrow waist.

Adelaide launched herself into his body and wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing against him. Unprepared for the attack, Antonio had to take a step back to regain his balance otherwise he would’ve landed on his arse on the ground with her on top of him. His body reacted to the image. Damn. He had been trying so hard not to. He held her waist in his hands and shifted her just a bit to the right so she would never know just how happy he was to see her.

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FEATURE: Lise Arin

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Lise Arin is the author of the recently published novel, Matilda Empress, the story of a woman struggling to achieve her political ambitions at a time when her birthright, her aptitude, her experience and her talents were not enough to guarantee her success. Formerly, Lise earned a Masters of Arts, a Masters of Philosophy and a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature from Harvard University. She has taught courses on the 18th- and 19th-century novel and on the mechanics of writing at both Columbia University and Barnard College. She lives in New York City and is hard at work on her second novel, entitled Damsel.

Excerpt from Matilda Empress 

Hearken to me, Bernard de Ventadour, for I sing to you the history of a beautiful queen of the English and the terrible wars and devastation that convulsed her mighty realm. Her celebrated comeliness ornamented her high lineage, and she married to complement her status. Yet her bold, fierce desires brought forth much trial and tribulation. Only when she learned to abase herself did the Lord lift up His countenance upon her, and grant peace to her and to her people. Be it known unto you that she was Matilda, daughter of King Henry I of England.

Woe unto that obstinate minstrel! Son of a kitchen maid, who is he to recite my chronicle, and make his art of my fate? His poem distorts the truth, so that I am reduced to a shallow figure of sin and suffering, almost grotesque in my contorted passions, inexplicably drawn to the forces that would destroy me and my kingdom. He paints me as a gargoyle, a she-beast frozen in vice whose redemption seems miraculous, unmerited, unexplained. Retired from the world, at the priory of Notre-Dame-du- Pré, outside Rouen in the Duchy of Normandy, I still catch wind of his stilted, simplistic narrative. Worthy readers, listen to me, as well as to the versemaker; I am more than his opportunistic entertainment.

I have had plenty of time to record my own story. I did not dictate my recollections to a clerk, but wrote down my memories in the years of quiet hours that I whiled away in my solar. My script is not elegant, like that of a monk; my letters are often cramped and ill-formed and never seem to stretch out evenly across my page. But what I recalled was too private, at the time, for the assistance of a secretary. I submit to you simple strips of parchment, rolled up and tagged with my imperial seal.

Authentic copies, meticulously replicated by the trusted scribes of this priory, and signed in my own hand, have been transported in ironbound oaken coffers to the courts of those of highest birth and consequence. Each chest has three locked compartments, to separate the scrolls into chronological periods, for my archive unspools at length. Those parchments on the left, the Treasury of the Lion, begin the tale; those in the center, the Matter of the Crown, continue it; those on the right, the Mirror of the Plantagenet, bring my tumultuous biography to completion.

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FEATURE: Melissa Abigail

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Melissa Abigail was born in the southern U.S.A. to South American parents, lived in the borough of Brooklyn, N.Y., and was raised in the humble suburbs of southern Ontario. A citizen of the world, she’s managed to fit in nowhere in particular but everywhere at the same time. A lifelong writer, creator and artist, she embraces thought-provoking ideas and diversity in film, fiction & life.

Excerpt from Judge by the Cover: High School, Drama & Deadly Vices (Hafu Sans Halo, Book 1)

Haruna felt a small amount of relief bubble to the surface. They were going to finish it after all. But best of all, Ryu had good ideas. Great ideas. She rested her chin in her hands and watched him thoughtfully as he looked into his copy of the Merchant of Venice. She laughed to herself, and he glanced at her with raised eyebrows.

“I was just thinking—you’re really good at this, Ryu. You’re like a natural philosopher.”

“Is that a compliment?” Ryu asked in a flat tone that matched his look of scepticism.

“I just didn’t know you had it in you is all. Why do you act like someone who doesn’t care about school when you’re this smart?”

Ryu sighed, then bobbed his shoulders.

“Because I don’t care about school. What’s the point? Why do we do anything? What motivates us? What motivates you? Besides grades, of course.”

“Well what motivates you? Are you going to say ‘nothing?’”

“I never said nothing motivates me. Just school isn’t the most important thing, that’s all.”

“Then tell me. What’s most important?”

Ryu paused. His mouth lolled open. His eyes glazed over.

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FEATURE: Eva King

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Eva King was born in Spain. During her teenage years, she moved with her mother to Scotland, where she fell in love with the culture and one of its men. She now lives in Barcelona with her husband, two children and a cat called Hamish.

Excerpt from Damage Control 

“What’s wrong?” I asked her, sitting right beside her.

“Nothing really,” she attempted, still not looking right at me.

I nudged her, trying to get her to open up without speaking.

She looked at me and smiled. “You promise not to say I told you so?”

“Nope,” I joked. “I promise to try my best.”

Her eyes watered as she told me, “You were right about Jason. He….”

“He what? Did he try to hurt you?”

I had to stand up even though I knew she needed comforting. It was hard to hold back the anger that bubbled inside me. I would kill the arsehole if he’d hurt her.

“No, not at all. But… you know.” She stopped, trying to find the right words, then she wiped her eyes. “He tried to go further than I was ready and… when I made him stop, he started calling me a tease. That’s when I left and… now I’m here.”

She stood up and gave me a weak smile.

“Come on then, just say it. I know you’re dying to,” she said, stepping closer to me. Close enough to touch, enough to smell her shampoo.

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FEATURE: Tania Joyce

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Tania Joyce is an Australian author of contemporary and new adult romance novels. Her stories thread romance, drama and passion into beautiful locations ranging from the dazzling lights of Sydney Harbour or the glitter of New York, to the rural countryside of the Hunter Valley or Darling Downs.
She’s widely traveled, has a diverse background in the corporate world and has a love for shopping, shoes and shiraz. She’s rarely seen without glitter, sparkle and stilettos.

Tania draws on her real-life experiences and combines them with her very vivid imagination to form the foundation of her novels. She likes to write about strong-minded, career-oriented heroes and heroines that go through drama-filled hell, have steamy encounters and risk everything as they endeavor to find their happy-ever-after.

Tania shuffles the hours in her day between part-time work, family life and writing. One day she hopes to find balance

Excerpt from Propositions (Strictly Business, Book 1)

Prologue

Two suitcases packed to the brim. One suit bag bulged at the seams. Nate Somers stood beside his bed and assessed the luggage lying before him. He rubbed the back of his neck with the palm of his hand as he surveyed his room yet again. What else will I need? He was unsure if he’d packed enough—he’d never stayed in one location for more than a few weeks at a time since his university days.

Living in Sydney for the next six months overseeing the opening of the new hotel for his family’s business on one hand was exhilarating and exciting, while on the other it was making him apprehensive. Because this was his project. The first one he’d seen from the ground up. Location, designs and plans had all been his idea.

Out of the bay window of his Chelsea home he caught a glimpse of the dawn erasing away the night sky, and the glow from the streetlights shimmering upon the murky waters of the Thames River. He hesitated for a moment to take in the view before he crossed the room and drew the curtains closed. This time leaving London somehow felt different. He tried to shrug off the niggling sensation that had settled in the center of his shoulder blades. Surely it was nothing. Maybe it was because he had no idea when he’d be back here again.

He made one last round of his rooms to make sure he hadn’t missed anything. In his office, his desk was all in order. Not a pen out of place. Just the way he liked it. Back in his bedroom, the metal runners on his drawers glided smoothly on their tracks when he opened them. They were nearly bare of all contents. A few neatly folded socks and jocks remained. His walk-in robe echoed with the sound of his movements as he skimmed his eyes over the railings where only a few suits and shirts hung, half still wrapped in their dry cleaning plastic. In the bathroom he checked his toiletry tote again before packing it into his luggage. He should’ve found the time to go shopping because he didn’t like the toothpaste from Japan that tasted like strawberries, or the mouthwash from China that was too sickly and sweet. But yet again this had been a fleeting visit. He spent more time away from his home than he cared to think about. Continue reading “FEATURE: Tania Joyce”