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Whimsical Inspiration

Please welcome, romance author, Alexandra Isobel to the blog as she shares how the buttons she found strewn on a writing table have added inspiration to her writing life.

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I found these buttons on a writing table I frequent at my local college.

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They inspired my writing for the day.

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The next week I came across a container full of inspiration, so I decided to blindly choose two.

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Hmmm. Interesting thoughts. These buttons talk to me. So, I know I keep them on my bullet board over my desk and look at them often, whenever I need to remember to. . . 

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Trust my instincts, seek criticism and to find solutions as a way to create change.

 

About Alexandra Isobel:

Alexandra is a Canadian romance author, raised by West Indian parents; Trinidad and Tobago. Alexandra loves to read and write about alpha heroes and the women who love them. She is an English professor and early childhood educator, who loves action movies, coffee and listening to audiobooks on a long drive.

Connect with Alexandra on Social Media for inspiration & fun:

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More whimsy for creating an inspirational, colorful and positive workspace, from Alexandra Isobel’s own writing space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Vegas – Romance Style

vice what he wanted teaser

 

 

VICE (Vegas Sin Series Book 1) by my awesome friend and colleague, Rosanna Leo, is an enemies-to-lovers romance novel, which will whisk you into the bright lights and action in Las Vegas. This well-written novel is filled with witty dialogue, sweetness, sensuality and charming characters.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]Las Vegas has it all—casinos, gambling, money, and women. For a handsome business entrepreneur, it’s paradise.

Wearing success like a well-tailored suit, it’s business as usual for Liam Doyle while he runs his multi-million-dollar empire…until a pesky protester catches his attention.

Staging a one-woman demonstration, Kate Callender has the potential to be a huge pain in his ass. If he doesn’t take care of her soon, there will be bad publicity slapped all over Vice, the newest addition to his chain of casinos.

But there’s one tiny problem Liam didn’t count on—the feisty redhead isn’t about to go down easily. She’s fighting him every step of the way…and he’s starting to like it.

 

Excerpt:

“You,” she said on a breath.

“Me.” His enticing blue eyes traveled up and down the length of her, one eyebrow raised in frank admiration. “You obviously didn’t do your homework.”

Outrage surged through her system. “Why didn’t you tell me who you were yesterday? Why did you let me embarrass myself like that?”

The smirk disappeared, to be replaced by a mild expression of boredom. “There’s no need to be embarrassed. I always try to size up the competition.”

Doyle walked toward her, his large hand extended. The light in his eyes now hinted not so much at merriment as it did danger. She caught a whiff of her favorite men’s cologne by Michael Kors. She’d bought it for an old boyfriend once, but it smelled way better on Liam, as if it were an extension of his persona.

His entire ensemble, designer suit, pressed pants, and navy blue paisley tie, reeked of power and privilege that drew her like a moth to a flame. Damn, she’d always been a sucker for a man in a good suit. Get a hold of yourself, Kate. He’s hot, but so is the Devil.

He kept his hand out. “Please allow me to introduce myself properly. I’m Liam Doyle.” His gaze drifted toward her neckline and back up again. “I think you’ve heard of me.”

Wishing she didn’t have to, she took his hand. Electricity shot through her and that damned perspiration appeared on her upper lip again. His grip was that of a man who took what he wanted, when he wanted.

She held her head high. “Kate Callender.”

He held her hand for a moment, his gaze locked on hers. He then gestured toward the counter, where a teak tray was laden with biscuits and what smelled like expensive coffee. No Folgers crystals for this guy. “Coffee?”

“No, thank you.”

“Tea?”

“No.”

“So we’re done with the niceties, then?”

“I didn’t come here for niceties.”

“Then you’ve come to the right place.” Liam sat on one of the couches, motioning for her to do the same. She continued to stand. Something in his wolf-like gaze hardened even further. “Ms. Callender, why are you picketing my casino?”

His direct question set her even more on edge. She cleared her throat. “I have a right to protest what I see as wrong.”

His grim smile might have made a grown man sweat, but she didn’t look away. “Let me put this another way. Las Vegas is home to numerous casinos. Why mine?”

“If I’m trying to make a point, it only stands to reason I’d pick the most popular casino. I suppose I should congratulate you. Only open for two days, and Vice is already a hit. You must be so proud.”

“Yes. Despite having my grand opening spoiled.”

“Oh.” She inclined her head in mock sympathy. “I’m so not sorry.”

He peered at her, narrowing his eyes. “Are you a Bible-thumper?”

“No.”

“Campaigning politician?

Despite her unease, she laughed. “Do I look like Hilary Clinton?”

He looked her up and down, as if her vocation were scrawled somewhere on her and he simply needed to find it. “Aspiring actress? This is probably a publicity stunt to get you viral on YouTube? Trying to get an audition here as a showgirl? Sorry, I don’t use them. The whole concept is dated and demeaning to my female clientele.”

Okay, he got some points for that statement. “I’m not a dancer. I’m a singer.”

It was his turn to laugh. Despite the bitter tone, his deep timber called to her. “Same difference.” He stood. “I’m not auditioning you, Ms. Callender, as fun as it would be to get you on the casting couch.”

And there he lost those points again. “Have a nice day.”

“Wait! I’m not trying to get an audition. You need to listen to me.” In a nervous reaction, she fingered the pearl choker at her neck, the one thing she had left of her mother. The one thing her father hadn’t pawned.

Doyle turned back to her, one brow raised. “No, I don’t.” He eyed how she gripped her choker. “So you can take your fake pearl necklace and your sneakers and your attitude and go home.”

Her attitude? “No. You let me up here. I’m not leaving until you hear me out.” She let go of the choker and let her hands fall to her sides. “And my pearls aren’t fake.”

“Why are you here, Ms. Callender? Did you lose money at one of my casinos on your last night out with the girls?”

She didn’t want to dignify that with a response, but a smug statement like that couldn’t go unchallenged. “I’m not a gambler.”

He leaned against the armrest of the cushy couch and surveyed her through hooded eyes. “Ah, and now we come to the crux of the matter. So, you’re a do-gooder. Let me guess. Gam-Anon?”

“New Horizons.”

“Never heard of them.”

“That doesn’t mean we don’t exist. And unfortunately, there are lots of us. Far too many. What does that tell you, Mr. Doyle?”

Liam’s lips twitched into a smile that appeared slightly more friendly than his poker face, as if he enjoyed their banter. He loosened his tie, but his focused gaze continued to grate on her nerves. She stared at the strip of indigo silk at his throat, and was struck by a bizarre and unbidden image.

Her, on his bed. Her hands bound with his expensive tie.

The strange pounding in her head must have been her racing heart. Where did that come from?

Focus, Kate, focus.

“I’m not just here because it’s something I believe in. I’m here because my group gets bigger every goddamn week,” she said, concentrating on the task at hand, rather than Liam Doyle’s bed. Lisa’s sad face appeared in her mind, as well as those of her children, the ones who’d spent the last two nights crying for their daddy. Kate blinked away the tears which threatened and aimed her burning gaze at Doyle. “I don’t respect your work, Mr. Doyle. And I don’t respect you.”

From the furrow of his brow, Kate thought she’d struck a nerve. His tanned skin seemed paler. After a moment, he said, “So you’re trying to take down my casino with a one-woman picket line? No offense, but I’ve seen better protests at a garage sale.”

“I’m trying to create awareness.” Kate stood, having already had enough of their uncomfortable conversation. “I’m not a fool. My intention is not to shut down Las Vegas, or your casino. That’ll never happen. But if I can make a small dent in the wallet of the Strip’s wealthiest hustler during his opening week, then maybe people will take notice. Have you never thought about the addictions riding your customers? Have you ever spent time chatting with the compulsive gamblers downstairs? Because I bet you’d hear a lot of stories. And believe me, the worst ones are the ones they don’t tell.” She paused for breath. “My friend’s husband is probably down there right now, feeding your slot machines instead of his kids.”

“Hold on. Don’t pin that on me.”

“Oh? Who do I pin it on?”

“Look, if you want a donation, I already make plenty. Believe me, I make regular donations to people like Gam-Anon. You know, legitimate charities.”

“I’m not here for money, but clearly you are.” The words spilled out of her, kick-started by

adrenaline. “You’re a wealthy man. Did you have to open casinos? Were they such a passion for you?

Couldn’t you have opened, I don’t know, a supermarket chain instead? Or was that not sexy enough for the great Liam Doyle?”

His lips compressed. Had her comment hit home? Good.

“You have no right…”

“I have every right.” Her face was burning now. “If I can save even a few lost souls from places like this, then I’ll sleep a whole lot easier.”

She had to get out before she started crying. She wanted to leave with her head held high. Leave him thinking. She turned and headed for the elevator, but he grabbed her hand before she could get away.

“Wait.”

Kate yanked her hand out of his grip. “How do you even sleep, Mr. Doyle?”

His eyes bored into her. “Like a rock. But that crown of thorns must keep you up at night.”

She tried to appear like she was still in control, but that had hurt. “You just keep telling yourself that.”

Kate marched to the elevator and punched the button. As the door opened, she threw a look back at him.

“By the way, I will be back. I’ll show you how many lives have been devastated by your casinos.” She walked into the lift, even though she felt like running. She didn’t look back.

Liam called out to her. “Watch your step, Ms. Callender. I don’t forgive and forget.”

She channeled her last ounce of bravado before the doors shut. “You really should see someone for that. I hear being an asshole can be terminal.”

Once the elevator began its descent, Kate leaned against the back of the small space and closed her eyes, winded by her hostile exchange with Doyle. She didn’t open them again until the door opened.

 

 

Vice Banner Small

VICE is currently available for pre-order (release date: September 19) at Amazon (click here) and it is FREE at Kindle Unlimited.

 

 

 

 

 

Magic, sexy Scots, romance & love.

Please join me in welcoming the multi-published, and talented author, Rosanna Leo to my blog as she chats about why she chose the remote Orkney Islands of Scotland for this well-written, paranormal, intriguing, page-turning series. She also shares an excerpt.

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Thanks so much to the wonderful Selena for hosting me once again! It’s always a thrill to be here.

My new release is a paranormal romance, SELKIE’S LURE, Orkney Selkie’s 3, and is set in the remote Orkney Islands of Scotland.

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In this series, one will encounter mythical beings, magic and remorseless villains who want nothing more than to destroy my heroine and her selkie lover. However, these aren’t just paranormal romances. They are my homage to Orkney, a region known for its rugged beauty and hearty people.

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of discussing this series on BBC Radio Orkney. The interviewer asked me, “Why Orkney? Why would you set a series of romances here?”

I responded, “Why not?”

Orkney is a mystical place with wonderful folklore and legends. Its history features Norse invasions and Scottish earls. Its mythology is rife with tales of sea creatures and wandering spirits. Its people are proud, with a tradition that sets them apart from other Scots. These strong, seafaring people comprised a bulk of the employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada because they were so suited to the difficult work.

In other words, this place is interesting and I couldn’t help but set my series there. I hope you fall in love with my selkie hero Edan Kirk and his heroine Amy Woods, but I also hope you fall in love with Orkney.

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SELKIE’S LURE (Orkney Selkies 3)
by Rosanna Leo

Amy Woods, one of TV’s famed Beast Seekers, has come to Orkney, Scotland, to hunt sirens. One of them killed her sister and she has sworn revenge. Most people think she’s crazy for believing in monsters. She knows the truth. But while patrolling one of Orkney’s cold beaches, she runs into a naked selkie man rather than a siren, and he proves to be an alluring distraction.

1Edan Kirk is a selkie, one of an ancient race of seal shape shifters. When he hears of Amy’s intention to hunt sirens, tragic memories overwhelm him. He knows he must get rid of the pesky human. As much as he tries to convince her she’s on a fool’s errand, he can’t resist trying to protect her. After all, he has heard the enticing song of the sirens and he knows its deadly power.

As Amy and Edan engage in a battle of wits and wills, other emotions rush to the fore. Their connection is intense, the sort to come along only once in a lifetime. Edan recognizes her as his mate. However, another woman has set her sights on him as well, one whose powers of seduction are legendary. One whose voice has driven men to madness and devastation.

Can Amy accept Edan as her mate, making her home in the world of the supernatural? And can they save each other from a beast that cannot be destroyed?

Excerpt:

After patrolling the shore for the better part of an hour, Edan began to feel the call of his bed. He might possess more stamina than a human man but it had been a long day. Resolved to catch a couple hours of sleep before morning, he swam toward the shore. Relinquishing his pelt, letting it slide from his body, he stood up straight.

A man appeared before him.

No. A woman.

Because she wore fatigues, he was momentarily confused, but there was no mistaking her buxom figure. She was certainly doing her best to look like an army man, right down to her combat boots.

The lass smiled and aimed a camera phone at him. “Hello, sailor. Did you fall off your boat?”

Fuck. What sort of woman walked on the beach at four in the morning? “Something like that.”

Despite the obvious threat posed by her camera, he couldn’t help noticing she was a beauty. Perhaps not in the Hollywood starlet sense, but her imperfections intrigued him. She’d pulled her chestnut hair back into a tight ponytail. There was an asymmetry to her face that gave an edge to delicate features. Her nose was slightly crooked near the tip and one eyebrow arched higher than the other. Her generous mouth was compressed but it looked capable of wide smiles.

And her scent. It hit him hard and made him see stars, like that time his younger brother Calan lobbed a dictionary at his head. She smelled like strawberries, juicy and ripe from the bush. Interesting, considering she was dressed like Rambo.

His gut turned, as if skewered on a rotisserie. As his innards roiled, he couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to wind her ponytail around his fingers, draw her close and…

“Well?” Her eyebrow quirked even higher.

How much had she seen?

He stepped toward her but when she snapped several photos in quick succession, he stopped moving. “It’s not polite to take photos of a man in his birthday suit.”

“Yes, but you’re not quite a man, are you?”

She’d seen everything, then. He’d simply have to persuade her not to trust her senses. He’d talked himself out of worse scrapes. Edan waved his hand in the direction of his crotch. “I’m all man, lass, as you can see.”

She indulged in a quick glance. Her eyes widened in clear wonder, as if she’d never seen anything quite like him before. “Something more, then.” She nodded toward his pelt. “I’ll take that, please.”

“I don’t think so.” He hedged his bets he could convince her to give up whatever mischief she’d planned. How had he missed her on the beach? Too distracted by the thought of Breena, perhaps. “You’ve seen enough to understand I’m a selkie. If you know that, you know I need this pelt. If you’re looking for a lover, you need to be wily and steal the skin. I won’t just hand it over, unless of course you can prove to me you’d be worth a tussle.”

“I’m not looking for a lover and I don’t want to tussle with you.”

“I’d say that was a shame, you know, if you didn’t look as if you were out to blackmail me.”

Two men, also dressed in camouflage, emerged from behind a sand dune. One of them looked as if his sole hobby was frequenting the gym. Although the other man was smaller in stature, he presented more of a threat and it had everything to do with his professional-looking video camera.

“I’d give her the pelt if I were you,” the bigger man said.

“Who the hell are you people?” Edan demanded as he slowly handed the skin over to the woman.

She took it but didn’t lower her phone. “We’re the Beast Seekers. You’re our first selkie. Smile for the cameras.”

Purchase Links:

Liquid Silver Publishing Kobo |  iTunes  |  Amazon  | B&N | Google Play

Goodreads Link

About Rosanna Leo:

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at https://RosannaLeoAuthor.Wordpress.com

Connect with Rosanna:

Amazon Author Page
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter

Where have all the missing socks gone?

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Ever wonder where your socks disappear to after you know for a fact you put them in the wash or even in your drawer? Somehow they leave home and sometimes after a few hours even days they magically appear. Ever wonder what they’ve been up to while they’ve been gone?
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A well-crafted, vibrantly colorful illustrated series of books, created by Michael John Sullivan with captivating, fun and stories about THE SOCKKIDS adventures as they journey through the world, entertaining kids of all ages and at the same time providing valuable information.
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Please join me in welcoming, Michael John Sullivan, proud dad, author of several time-travel books, and creator and author of THE SOCKKIDS as she shares his story on how The SOCKKIDS were born.
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The greatest honor I’ve had bestowed upon me is being a father and I’m been blessed to have two beautiful daughters. They are opposites in most every way and it sparks a sometimes too dynamic relationship between the two. Born four years apart certainly can add to the disagreements.

As a parent, you wonder perhaps you should have done something differently. The toughest part is stepping back and letting them develop their own relationship without Dad’s interference.

But, I still boast with pride, on occasion, about the times they do say they love each other. I just happen to be doing this in front of them and my aunt on a hot summer day. I could tell my daughters were looking away, perhaps uncomfortable. Perhaps embarrassed, both of them diverted my thoughts again, this time making fun of my socks, mismatched as they were on this August afternoon. We started to laugh. I looked at my happy socks, loving how they were mismatched.

I saw some sighs from my daughters that they were actually enjoying each other’s company–at my expense. So, I continued to play along with the joke as my daughters recalled some of the times I walked around with mismatched socks. We laughed harder, louder, almost out of control.

Then I started thinking–it’s a writer’s instinct to do so–the imagination started to churn, swirling in many directions.

Where do my missing socks go?

What happens to them?

Are they runaway socks?

Do they seek other humans’ feet to warm?

Could they time travel?

The laughter continued while my mind continued to race. The ideas were percolating to a point of inspiration and motivation to put this into action like I’ve done with my other writing projects.

Kids. Socks. Missing. Time travel. Family of mismatched socks. All the thoughts came together to form THE SOCKKIDS.

On August 6th of every year, I wear mismatched socks to celebrate the birth of the SockKids.

 

 

 

THE SOCKKIDS are multi-colored, illustrated and animated children’s video and book series. The SockKids are a mismatched family of socks that sometimes time-travel through the spin cycle, teaching universal lessons of love and kindness, and creating a greater awareness of the many social issues facing children today. The SockKids help to educate and encourage children from 2 to 92 to find solutions to make this a better world.

Perhaps you’ll wonder where your missing sock has gone. You’ll have to look nowhere else but here – as your socks could be traveling with The SockKids on a cool adventure.

Children and their parents are drawn to the diversity of the family and the universal and timeless lessons they teach: don’t be afraid of new experiences; treat others as you would like to be treated; champion all children and embrace all cultures; and of course, beware of the spin cycle!

The latest in the series: THE SOCKKIDS SAY NO TO BULLYING is now available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Adorable. Inspiring. A true account of romance in the gym.

Forget reality TV dating shows where it is all most likely staged, scripted and dramatized for ratings.

Pull up a chair, sip on your favorite beverage and read an eyewitness account of a “real romance in the making.”

Please join me in welcoming, USA Today Bestselling Author, Cynthia Sax to my blog as she regales a true story about a couple’s blossoming romance she observed at her local gym.

Curvy Girl & Super Shy Hunky Guy
by Cynthia Sax

Like many writers, I’m an introvert. I prefer to be stationed outside of a crowd, looking in, watching. I often share my observations on Facebook, hoping they’ll inspire other writers and give reading buddies a smile.

Some Background

I’m a curvy girl happily married to a fit, good looking man (the Dear Wonderful Hubby). Readers sometimes think the Dear Wonderful Hubby is the exception, that no other gorgeous guy would find a curvy girl attractive.

 

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Usually, I workout on my recumbent bike at home but the Dear Wonderful Hubby and I were traveling and decided to use an outside gym for two weeks. Being positioned on the recumbent bike for an hour a day gave me plenty of time to observe the couple. However, I was too far away to hear what they said. All I could do was watch their body language (which was a great exercise for me as a writer).

First Post

I’ve been watching a real life romance between a super shy hunky guy and an oblivious curvy girl at the gym every day.

Hunky Guy runs on the treadmill every day, watching the business news as he works out.
Girls give him the eye (I admit to checking him out too – he’s no Dear Wonderful Hubby but he is REALLY good looking).

He pays them no attention.

Then this girl walks by. She’s a curvy girl, brown hair up in a ponytail, glasses, no make- up, wearing an oversized T-shirt, leggings, and black goth-like running shoes.
He almost gets whiplash, watching her pass him.
The next day, he changes his schedule, gets there later.
She’s already walking on a treadmill.
He’s looking quite wolfish as he passes her, hungry.
Most of the treadmills are busy.
He has to take one positioned five treadmills away from her.
He runs, watching the business news.
The treadmill beside him, closer to Curvy Girl, frees up.
He moves.
The next treadmill frees up.
He moves again.
Eventually, he claims the treadmill beside her. He has a bounce in his step, happy like anything. He glances at her. She doesn’t notice him. He takes his earbuds out. She doesn’t notice him. He slows his super fast pace to match her leisurely walk. She’s still oblivious. He changes his channel so he’s watching the same TV show (The Big Bang Theory). Still no response from Curvy Girl.
She finally leaves. He watches her go, his mouth opening and closing, no words coming out.
He’s been doing this for three workouts thus far, always moving until he gets the treadmill next to her, never able to get up the nerve to talk to her.
If you’re a curvy girl and a hunk has been working out next to you for several days in a row, please give him a smile.

 

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Additional Thoughts

I had observed them for a week and Super Shy Hunky Guy hadn’t yet spoken to Curvy Girl. From the way he reacted the first day he saw her, I got the impression he knew her (that’s why I call him Super Shy Hunky Guy). But I didn’t expect anything to happen.

And the next day, I was right.

Second Post

Went to the gym today.
Curvy Girl wasn’t there (it IS Sunday so maybe she took the day off or worked out at a different time).
Super Shy Hunky Guy was looking for her. Every once in a while, he’d glance at the treadmill Curvy Girl normally uses.

 

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Additional Thoughts

I really felt for Super Shy Hunky Guy. He clearly liked Curvy Girl but did she like him? Was she ignoring him because she was insecure about herself or because she didn’t like him?

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Third Post

I arrived at the gym a little late yesterday.
Super Shy Hunky Guy was already running beside Curvy Girl (she was walking at her usual leisurely speed) and they were TALKING.
More specifically, she was talking.
I couldn’t hear what she was saying. I was too far away and the music was loud. But she would talk quickly for a while. Then he’d say a few words. And she’d start talking again.
She seemed super nervous, kept giving him half smiles.
He seemed happy. There was a bounce in his step.
He helped her wipe down her machine after her workout.
She went to the change rooms.
He lifted weights.

The problem with these real life romances is I never get to see or hear the full story.

But I did get the impression that the attraction was mutual.

Yay for Curvy Girl!

Additional Thoughts

I could feel the magic in the air, the physical attraction, the way their gazes held a little too long, how they’d lean slightly into each other.

Here were two people who could very well be falling in love.

But I could also sense how nervous they were. The first few moments in a relationship are so very fragile. I was afraid something would happen or be said to damage it.

Unfortunately, I missed their workout time slot for a couple of days.

Final Post

It was my last day in the gym today. I’ll be returning to working out at home.
When I arrived, Curvy Girl was walking on the treadmill.
There was a lady working out beside her.
The next treadmill was free.
Super Shy Hunky Guy walked past Curvy Girl to get to the free treadmill.
Curvy Girl watched him pass her and she looked so disappointed—her body slumping.
About ten minutes later, the treadmill between them freed up.
Super Shy Hunky Guy moved beside Curvy Girl.
She said something (I couldn’t hear her) and beamed at him, her smile wide.
Super Shy Hunky Guy gazed at her as though she was some wondrous mythical being.
A slow sexy smile spread across his face.

(And I absolutely melted. There’s no doubt in my mind that he adores her.)

She’d talk. He’d say a sentence or two. She’d talk some more, acting less nervous and more happy.

They finished working out at the same time.

He helped her wipe down her machine and then walked her to the change room, his head held high, proud as anything, before he entered the guy’s change room.

If I were a betting gal, I’d put money on Super Shy Hunky Guy and Curvy Girl having a date of sorts after their workout.

 

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(My Dear Wonderful Hubby is also very fit and he loves me—a curvy girl.)

Additional Thoughts

Did I watch two people fall in love? I believe I did. These are the things romance writers (and often readers) live for.

Many reading buddies have asked me to write a fictional account of their story.

I doubt that I will. This was a magical experience for me and I don’t want to do anything to change it. I want to keep it as a very special memory.

I DO often write about curvy girls and their hunky heroes. My next story, ONE AND DONE, features a 30-year-old curvy gal and a smooth talking club owner. Smoke looks at Jenella the same way Super Shy Hunky Guy looked at Curvy Girl.

On release day, I can guarantee that someone will write me, telling me that type of romance would never happen in real life, that a hunky guy would never fall for a curvy girl.

You and I know it could and HAS happened.

 

ONE AND DONE
by Cynthia Sax

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He wants one night. I want forever.

Hit it and quit it—that’s Smoke Sheridan’s relationship philosophy. The tall, dark, and dangerous club owner never spends more than one night with any woman. He seduces the broken-hearted, leaving them with smiles on their faces and a sexual confidence other men can’t resist.

I need his services.

My boyfriend of four years dumped me because I’m a lousy lay. Smoke can help me win him back, teach me how to make my man writhe in ecstasy. I’ll show him such bliss, he’ll bellow my name in the dark of the night, want me with an all-consuming desire.

This sounds like a great plan. Except I see the loneliness in Smoke’s eyes, feel the wistfulness in his touch, experience the wanting in his embrace. The player isn’t as shallow as he appears.

And I’ve never been good at letting go.

ONE AND DONE contains inappropriate humor, very bad pickup lines, a BBW heroine who doesn’t know what she’s doing and a player who thinks he does.

This is a standalone story.

Buy Now

Amazon US
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ARe

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Kobo

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her online:

Website
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Blog

 

Interview with an Alpha Hero

Please join me in welcoming, Jake Becker, the hero in Emma Chase’s, SUSTAINED (The Legal Briefs #2) and  SIDEBARRED (The Legal Briefs #3.5).

If  you haven’t read THE LEGAL BRIEF Series, I highly recommend it.

I have mad love for all of Emma’s books and was thrilled when I heard she had written a new series after TANGLED. Drew Evans makes a guest appearance in OVERRULED (Book #1), and as always he does not disappoint.

However,  there’s a new favorite-of-mine-hero in town, and his name is Jake Becker. 🙂

 

If like me, you can’t get enough of Emma’s hero’s, and enjoy reading their thoughts, then I know you’ll get a kick out of my chat with Jake:


1Selena:
Jake, if by some miracle you had one free day to yourself with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

JAKE: I would hang out with my wife – that would be the most enjoyable thing I can think of – no matter what we were doing. Having a beach nearby would be a plus – because then I’d get to look at her in a bikini. And although I’m not really a “lay around” kind of guy, spending the day in bed with Chelsea – with no interruptions, except for when we’d have to come up for air to eat – would be awesome too.

Selena: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

JAKE: People are usually quiet – intimidated – when they first meet me. Unless they’re assholes or stupid. But normal people (read “not my clients”), tend to be naturally intimidated around me because of my size and generally non-friendly demeanor. After they’ve known me for a while, it’s different. They get that I’m not trying to be a dick – I just don’t see the point of inane conversation. And they understand that I would never use my size to hurt anyone – unless they tried to hurt someone I care about first.

Selena: Before meeting Chelsea, what was your idea of a great relationship?

JAKE: My idea of a great relationship was an interaction – usually a hook-up – that required zero thought, commitment, conversation or energy afterward. If a woman was on the same page with that, I’d gladly see her again. But the only relationship I was interested in was with my career – that’s where my focus was – where I invested my time. I was kind of an idiot before Chelsea.

1Selena: 
What three pieces of advice would you give to a man entering a ready-made family? I would imagine with 6 little ones in the house, would you advise the bonus dad not to sleep in the nude?

JAKE: Yeah, sadly, going to bed bare-ass is not an option. Somebody’s bound to have a nightmare, feel sick, need water – there’s a thousand opportunities for awkwardness or scarring someone for life. But the most important advice I could give is this: you have to want it. You have to want to be a part of that family’s life – whether it’s as a father or a friend. You have to be, not just willing, but eager to put them and their well-being before your own. For some guys, that’s hard – maybe even impossible.

But kids know when they’re not wanted, you can’t bullshit it.

And if you don’t want that responsibility, if you can’t handle it – it’s fine – but you have to be honest with yourself and the woman you’re into. If all you’re interested in is the woman – then you have to be man enough to walk away.

Selena: Let’s get a bit more personal, create a bumper stick that best describes your sex life?

JAKE: “Get it when you can – but know when you’re getting it. Planned is never fucking boring.”

Selena: Did you get any new tattoos?

JAKE: I did. On my forearm. It’s a C superimposed over an R – making a cool kind of symbol. There are vines entwining the letters together and the vines are made up of each of the kid’s and Chelsea’s names. The day I got it done, Chelsea was so excited – and grateful – she practically made my head explode in bed that night.

Selena: Thank you, Jake, it was so much fun chatting with you. Hope to see you in another book sometime in the future.

***

Hey, Emma, I really liked that you brought Jake with you to this chat. SIDEBARRED was a great ending to this fabulous series, and I look forward to  more. Which brings me to a question for you, can you tell us what you’re working on next?

EMMA CHASE: Thanks for having me, this was a lot of fun! I’m actually going to announce what I have in store next on May 1st – the week after SIDEBARRED comes out.

What I can say now is I’m SO EXCITED about what I’m working on!! There are some projects that you hope readers will enjoy – and some that you absolutely can’t wait to share because you KNOW they’re going to have fun and love it just as much as you do. This project is one of those. Stay tuned… – xoxo

Selena: I am SO looking forward to hearing more!

 

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There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.

Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man.
And he’s pretty damn good at it.

Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again….
So, of course something has to screw it all up.

It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.

And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.

 

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ABOUT EMMA:

Emma Chase lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two misbehaving (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.

***

Selena’s Review & Favorite Quotes from SIDEBARRED:

5 STARS!

I had a smile the whole time while reading SIEDBARRED.

Emma Chase is an auto-buy author for me, and I don’t have to read the blurb or see a cover to know I’m going to enjoy the story and the characters Emma creates.

SIDEBARRED is dedicated to the readers, especially those who enjoyed the LEGAL BRIEF SERIES (if you have not read this series, I highly recommend you do) and for those who can’t get enough of the McQuaid kids, and especially Jake and Chelsea. Although short, this story is a great way to end a series. It takes the reader into that place we often go after we finish a book—how is the couple—and in SIDEBARRED case—the whole brood faring after the epilog of the last book?

You will find out once you read SIDEBARRED and keep wanting more, which is why I hope Emma keeps on with this series with a spin-off featuring new characters.

The story is witty, fun, sexy and sweet. Although it’s fiction, the struggles, challenges, triumphs and everyday life of careers, and everyday living are relatable.

With thanks to Emma Chase and the publisher for providing the ARC

SELENA’S FAVORITE QUOTES:

Chelsea’s arms flail out to her sides and she yells, “Who are you?”

“I’m your husband.”

“Really? I don’t remember exchanging rings with a fucking caveman!”

I lean down over her, almost nose to nose. “Then you weren’t paying close enough attention.”

Brent would say this is healthy – getting it all out in the open. That theory can go suck a dick.”

**

“Sometimes I look around and wonder, how the hell did I get here? How is this my life? It all changed so fast. But then I stop wondering. Because how this life became mine doesn’t really fucking matter. I’m just crazy-happy that it is.”

**

“Okay, here’s the deal – your aunt and I have noticed that you and Peter seem…pretty serious. And…we want to make sure you’re being safe.”

The last word hangs heavy in the air. Like one of Cousin It’s rancid dog farts.
Riley’s face turns a startling shade of fire-engine red. “Oh my God. Is this really happening?”

I pinch the bridge of my nose. “I know, I know, it’s fucking awful.”

**

“There’s no way the person who made these lists actually has kids. They should be shot. And at this moment, I would defend the person who shoots them, pro bono. Just saying.”

 

 

 

Lauren Smith Unplugged

She’s naughty and nice, and a multi-published, best-selling author who is a lawyer by day, and a word warrior of sexy reads at night.

She was interviewed on Playboy Radio to discuss her steamy novels where she revealed a SURPRISING twist.

Lauren discusses this twist in our chat here on my blog. Read on to find out what it is.

 

Please join me in welcoming Lauren Smith to the blog.

 

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Selena:
 What is the most outrageous thing you’ve done in the name of “research” for one of your books?

Lauren: I haven’t done anything really crazy in the name of research. I have however, just done crazy things that are fun enough I hope they end up in a book someday. I once touched a four-hundred-year-old female mummy in a crypt in a church in Dublin Ireland where it was rumored Bram Stoker got his idea for Dracula because the corpses in this crypt didn’t decay.

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You can read my review of WICKED DESIGNS on Amazon and Goodreads. A fun, sexy book. ~Selena~

Selena: Tell us something that is not well known about you.

Lauren: I’m a virgin!

Selena: What did I tell you about the twist, folks? Lauren discusses her virginity in an interview (click here to read more). If you could have had the starring role in one film already made, which movie would you pick?

Lauren: Oh my heavens…it would be the girl opposite Scott Eastwood in the movie The Longest Ride…damn he’s heavenly and I’d want a piece of him.

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Selena: If you could have been told one thing that you weren’t told when you were a teenager, what would you like to have heard?

Lauren: Hmmm that’s a toughie. I’ve been really lucky getting good advice, so I’m not sure, but I know one thing that was told to me that helped when I was younger. “Tough out the things you hate doing. Some day when you’re old enough, you won’t have to do them anymore.”

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Selena: Name the most famous person you’ve had a face to face encounter with (“brush with greatness”).

Lauren: Apparently I bumped into that girl who was Willow from Buffy The Vampire Slayer when we were leaving a pizzeria in Los Angeles one time. But I was looking down and didn’t know it and my brother told me 30 seconds later and I was like…what?!

Selena: If you could be one for just 24 hours, what cereal box cartoon character would you be? Why?

Lauren: Count Chocula (but I’d want to be a girl version).

Lauren, thank you for the fun interview!

About Lauren Smith

Amazon best-selling author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

 

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Connect with Lauren Smith

You can purchase Lauren Smith Gear at her store where she sells items with exclusive designs showing off the fun and sexy League of Rogues series. Get your reader gear now!

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