FEATURE: Christina Lynn Lambert

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I have loved reading ever since I was a kid, so much so that I liked to make up my own stories. My first story is a romance, with some sci-fi, paranormal, and suspense elements. My style is more gritty than sweet and I look forward to writing many more stories with strong heroines and imperfect but determined characters.
When I’m not writing, I’m hanging out with my husband and two daughters. I enjoy reading, hiking, running, swimming, and exploring new places. I do not enjoy cooking.

Excerpt from Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures, Book 1)

Sydney sat in the conference room at Brass Cat Advertising, sipping her coffee and wishing the caramel latte could take her to an alternate reality. One where Derrick Porter wasn’t sitting in front of her. His presence had caught her off guard. Sydney took another sip of her coffee as she tried not to stare stupidly, but holy chocolate-covered cherries, the man was hot.

Dark hair and eyebrows made a striking contrast against his strong bone structure and fair skin. His lips, good grief. They looked so soft. Derrick’s long, lean body fit nicely in a suit. The material stretched over his broad shoulders and came in at the waist. He probably had amazing six-pack abs.

When they’d met that Saturday in running group, it hadn’t merely been the fog coupled with Sydney’s exhaustion and two-year streak of celibacy that had made Derrick appear so handsome. Even under the bright lights of the conference room, he was gorgeous. What rotten luck that she couldn’t seem to get away from him.

Great Oaks wasn’t exactly a large city. Eventually, she would have run into Derrick somewhere. Maybe at the store or at some get-together at Carly’s. That wouldn’t have been too bad. She could have dealt with a polite conversation before walking away to catch her breath, pushing Derrick out of her head with every retreating step. On their Saturday-morning runs, Sydney had already planned to wear her earbuds and let her music help her be antisocial.

An ongoing work project was a much worse problem. As it turned out, Derrick knew her boss, Shayla. Only two days after meeting Derrick and trying not to think about the fact that their being partnered at their running group was an obvious setup, Sydney would not have the luxury of ignoring his existence. She ground her teeth.

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FEATURE: Alyne Hart

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I began my story-telling journey first with my dolls, then it progressed to paper. I have a deep love for anything romantic, and I’m a believer that in love anything is possible.
I write (mostly) strong, witty and intelligent women and strong, sexy, intelligent men. (and my own little fantasy – they can all cook)

Most of my stories involve people with problems bigger than just trying to find love, making peace with the past and rekindling old flames. I love small towns, cowboys, rockstars, and men in uniform.

Excerpt from The Island 

“So what are you saying?” I begged for an answer.

“I’m saying, I love you,” Gabe nodded earnestly.

“And I love you,” Michael echoed.

“This makes no sense,” I muttered quietly.

“No,” Gabe chuckled softly, “it really doesn’t. But it’s happening.  I think we all knew it would happen too, right from the beginning.” He looked at Michael and Michael nodded yes. “Michael and I, we’ve been talking about this, and maybe we’re too late bringing it up and given tonight I’d say we were. We’ve been talking about what happens when we leave the island. Neither of us wants to be without you, and we’re yours. If you’ll have us.”

“This is so crazy.” I shook my head in disbelief. “I don’t even deserve one of you, much less both of you.”

Michael shook his head. “Not true,” he protested, “you deserve everything.”

I gulped a deep breath of air, not able to grasp all of this as a reality, “how? How would it work? I mean, I couldn’t share you guys with anyone…I don’t even understand how this can work.”

“With trust and love,” Gabe assured me. “The rest, I think we just figure out as we go along. As far as jealousy, seeing you with Michael makes me happy, because he’s happy. I love both of you, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.”

Michael looked at me, his eyes conveying a deep sincerity, “I don’t know, I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me. When I see other guys hit on you, I wanna kill em. I can’t stand to think of you with anyone else. When I see you with him,” he looked over at Gabe, “I don’t know. I like it. I’m happy. And I don’t want any other girls – I just want you. I want us.”

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FEATURE: A.K. Evans

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A.K. Evans is a married mother of two boys residing in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lafayette College in 2004 with two degrees (one in English and one in Economics & Business), she pursued a career in the insurance and financial services industry. Not long after, Evans realized the career was not for her. She went on to manage her husband’s performance automotive business and drive the shop race cars for the next thirteen years. While the business afforded her freedoms she wouldn’t necessarily have had in a typical 9-5 job, after eleven years she was no longer receiving personal fulfillment from her chosen career path. Following many discussions, lots of thought, and tons of encouragement, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
Between her day job, writing, and homeschooling her two boys, Evans is left with very little free time left. When she finds scraps of spare time, Evans enjoys reading, doing yoga, watching NY Rangers hockey, dancing, and vacationing with her family. Andrea, her husband, and her children are currently working on taking road trips to visit all 50 states (though, Alaska and Hawaii might require flights).

Excerpt from Everything I Need (The Everything Series, Book 1)

Charley and I were in the limo on the way back to my place. This was after we left Lou’s and stopped first at her place. Everyone, the guys and the girls, went in and we all hung with Charley’s friends for a few minutes while she packed a bag to take to my house that night.

I know she had been a little hesitant to spend the night with me at my place since Nikki and Monroe were here only one more night. Thankfully, they not only reassured her that it was fine, but also encouraged her to go with me. Despite me not knowing the cause of Emme’s nightmares, it was clear that Nikki and Monroe knew that Charley had never spent the night away from Emme. I’m certain that was part of the reason they pushed so hard for her to come and spend the night with me. This would be her first time spending the night at my place and I was very much looking forward to falling asleep with and waking up in my bed with her wrapped in my arms. I was having everyone over tomorrow so I knew she’d be able to spend the day with her girls then.

After she packed a bag and everyone said their good-byes, we dropped my boys off at Stone’s place since they had all met up there. We told them we’d see them all tomorrow and were now alone in the limo going to my house.

Stone’s place was about twenty-five minutes from my home, so the moment we were alone Charley pounced. She straddled my lap and ran her fingers through my hair before dropping her mouth to mine.

Damn if I didn’t love her fucking mouth. My hands gripped her thighs and worked their way to her ass as I kissed her back.

“You are so damn sexy,” she said as she pulled her mouth from mine.

“I think you’re a little tipsy, gorgeous.”

She smiled at me and rolled her hips. “Just tipsy enough to make this fun.”

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FEATURE: Anna Faversham

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England is my home but I’ve also lived in New Zealand, a beautiful country and the people are great. I’ve lived in central Africa too which was an interesting and useful experience that I’ll never forget.
On returning to England, I’ve written and read for the BBC and published short stories as well as three novels. Two are set in my county of Kent and the latest is set in the beautiful Isle of Wight.

Excerpt from One Dark Night (Dark Moon Trilogy, Book 1)

“The tune continued. It was magical: conjured from the wind it seemed and mixing with nature’s sea symphony. Yes, this was the most special moment of her life and then Daniel crowned it with, “I love you, my cherished Lucy, and I shall be honoured if you will marry me.”

Every fibre of her body screamed in affirmation but she could not speak.

Daniel smiled, and said, “The answer in your eyes is all I need. The words can come when they will.” He poured some wine for each of them, took a sip, then took hold of her hand and pulled her into his arms. As he did so, the flautist began to play a hauntingly beautiful tune and he danced her out onto the beach.

A paper-lace moon, the size of a dinner plate, hung in the pink-flecked eastern sky. As he spun her round she saw lilac and pink wispy clouds suspended against a turquoise sky blending into the liquid silver sea, so still, she felt she could walk on it. No one, not even those ladies who arrived in their fine gowns and fashionable carriages for the Summer Balls, could ever have felt as she did tonight.

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FEATURE: Kate Forest

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Author Kate Forest has worked in a psychiatric hospital, as a dating coach, and spent a disastrous summer selling above-ground swimming pools. But it was her over twenty-year career as a social worker that compelled her to write love stories with characters you don’t typically get to read about. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two kids, and a fierce corgi.

Excerpt from Interior Design and Other Emotions 

The chilly metal seeps through my coat and the green velvet dress that Sarah and I found at a consignment shop. The best thing is that I didn’t spill anything on it, and I can probably sell it back for not much less than what I bought it for.

Chris shoves his hand in his pocket and fishes around for something.

“Gina, we make a good team.”

“Team?”

“I mean we’re good together. I want us to continue to be good together.”

“Why wouldn’t we?”

“I-I…” Chris stands and takes a few paces away from me. “I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Except I love you.” He turns back.

“I love you, too.” I scramble in my head for the right response. I try to pick up on the cues of his body language. Something is troubling him, but his words are positive. If I had years of decoding people and their meaning, I might be able to guess at what he’s trying to say. “Chris, did I do something wrong at the party?”

“No, sweetheart, not at all.” He returns to the bench and takes my mittened hands in his fine-leather-gloved ones. “I’m just trying to say we should spend even more time together. In the future, too.”

“Okay.” I race through all the lessons Jennifer has gone over with me. I pick two or three things that Chris could be hinting at. “Chris, do you want…want me to move in with you?”

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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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