Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPTS: Not My First Rodeo 2

 

We present you with not one, not two, but THREE excerpts from the new novella collection NOT MY FIRST RODEO 2 by Donna Alward, Jenna Bayley-Burke, and Sarah M. Anderson. Keep reading!


EXCERPT ONE – SEDUCING THE SHERIFF

Joe turned over onto his side, wishing he could fall asleep. Crime in their little town was generally the mild sort, and armed robbery was a total anomaly. But it wasn’t the seriousness of the crime keeping him awake. It was Cassidy, in his bed, dressed in some flimsy pink pajamas.

Bringing her here might have been a mistake. In the office, it had seemed perfectly sensible and platonic. They’d always been friendly. But sitting with her on the sofa as she got tipsy on a little bit of whiskey was something else. She brought out his protective instincts. She brought out more than that, too. When she’d looked up at him and said that she trusted him today…something had changed. He’d felt it, like a thump to the chest. There was something about the way she’d looked into his eyes. Nothing was completely platonic. They were two people of roughly the same age, single, and damn, she was pretty. Even during the stress of the day, she’d managed to crack a few jokes. He admired that.

He flipped over to his other side and closed his eyes, focused on slowing his breathing, and tried to lull himself into sleep. If only he could shut off his brain.

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Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post

Five Difficulties of a Coach/Player Relationship

Coach/player relationships hit about a thousand of my buttons, which is why I was so excited to write one in Coach’s Challenge. I have a thing for any kind of forced proximity romance (snowed in a cabin! Marriage of convenience!), and the secrecy inherent in the Coach/Player dynamic makes it super hot. But, as the title of the book suggests, it’s also not the easiest – and here are some reasons why!

  1. Alone time is hard to come by. Especially in the ECHL – hey, you’re on a bus with a lot of other guys, in a locker room with a lot of other guys, staying in a hotel with a lot of other guys….you get the picture. Throw in the adrenaline rush post-game and how do you find the perfect place where you won’t be interrupted to indulge in some sexy hotness? It’s one thing in your own locker room, but if you’re away in some strange state, in a city you’re not familiar with and an arena that isn’t yours…those dark corners aren’t always easy to come by! Also, hockey players wear a lot of gear. If you’re secret boyfriend is a goalie, you’re gonna have to wait a few minutes for him to get all that gear off before anything sexy can happen.
  2. Locker Rooms aren’t made for trysts. Seriously, it’s all hard benches, cold floors, lockers and smelly equipment. Not exactly the most conducive to a sexy moment, right? Showers are all right there in the open and everything, too. You’re going to have to be pretty creative. Besides, let’s say you work something out and find a way to get it on…then you’re going to be stuck having inappropriate thoughts about the many uses of skate laces during the pre-game speech.
  3. A coach’s job is to offer both praise – and critique. While this is great for a player’s on-ice development, relationship wise? It can be a little tricky. If you’ve got a coach with some strong opinions – and who’s used to shouting them out in the moment – then that might lead to some complications in intimate situations. Hearing a critique of your passing techniques is one thing…but no one wants a diagram about their bedroom skills and how they can be improved when they’re in the middle of things.
  4. Hockey has some of the most unintentionally dirty lingo in sports, and that might lead to some embarrassing interruptions when you’re not really in the mood for an audience. Because your teammates might hear the coach telling you why he wants you to “get it in deep” and not think anything about waltzing right in and interrupting you.  
  5. If you’re a coach, you’re going to be watching your secret boyfriend playing hockey in a lot of situations…both good and bad. And if you’re a hotheaded coach, you might take exception to the guy on the other team who just tripped your boyfriend on the ice. Especially when he has the puck, and a clear lane to the goal. And if your boyfriend gets that game winner in OT that wins your team a championship? You can’t really kiss him senseless without everyone knowing what’s up.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Guest Post

Why Arianna Hart Writes Happily Ever Afters

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My husband is a news junkie. He has the network news on TV and is on his iPad cruising other sites. When something big happens he is glued to the TV.

I hate that.

A lot.

I am not a news junkie. In fact, I would be really happy to only hear the weather report, the sports scores, and how kittens got rescued from trees. That doesn’t mean my head is in the sand or I walk around like Pollyanna, but why go searching for bad news?

I work in a school for kids who have dropped out or have been kicked out of regular school. I teach teen moms, drug dealers, drug addicts, gang members, depressed students, bullied students, and a huge cross section of LGBTQ students who felt they didn’t fit in at their regular high schools. Many of my students are now or have been homeless. Many of them have been abused or neglected by the very people who are supposed to love them the most. This year alone I had 3 students die from drug overdoses.

Trust me when I say, I know the world has bad things in it.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Things I Would Like To See More Of In Romance by Heather Slade

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In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

The answer is always, “yes, you can.”

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it.

Did you ever wish you could meet someone again for the first time?

I don’t just write romance, I jump in and roll around in it. I’m incurable. And an optimist.  I love the idea of meeting someone again, for the first time. Having that second chance at love whether it’s with someone you know, or someone you’ve just met. Reaching for the dream that you believe is impossible to achieve, because you wake up one morning and say, “what the hell—I’m going for it.”

I’d like to see more leaps of faith in romance. One of my favorite poems was written by George Sand. It begins, “Once my heart was captured, reason was shown the door, deliberately and with a sort of frantic joy.” I love the idea of throwing out all reason and allowing ourselves to fall in love without allowing fear to talk us out of it.

I believe there comes a time in everyone’s life, when they wonder what if? Or is it too late for all my what ifs? Letting love in, even when we think that phase of our life is over.  Deciding it’s time, finally, to make a a lifelong dream a reality.

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Guest Post

The Anatomy of a Hero by Jess Anastasi

No, I don’t mean that anatomy. Though I have to admit, when I wrote the title of this post, it did cross my mind that spending the next few minutes talking about the importance of aaaaaabs and biiiiceps drool on a hero. But, come on people, we’re trying to maintain some standards here… most of the time. Just a quick note, for the purposes of visualization, I’m going to be using TV heroes as examples. My job… so hard some days.

Ahem. Seriously now, have you ever thought about what all your favorite heroes have in common? And I don’t just mean those delicious bad-boy Alpha heroes like Dean Winchester from Supernatural who have a brooding smolder down to an art (and the single manly tear. My god, does that man know how to bring the feels). Some of my favorite heroes are kick ass chicks like Buffy (who doesn’t love Buffy) and River Tam from Firefly.

But I’ve definitely got a thing when it comes to a hero. And that is the imperfect hero. I love those heroes that have a dark side, either because they’ve experienced dark things, or have walked a dark path themselves. So, let’s look at some of these heroes and their anatomy. Inner anatomy.

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Guest Post

Top 5 Sexy Baseball Players by Lynn Stevens

 

Aw, baseball, America’s pastime. There’s nothing better than sitting in the stands and watching a player smash a 90+ mph fastball over the wall. The art of the game, the patience, the strategy, and those hot baseball pants, what’s not to love?

I’m a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan, but I love watching games even if my RedBirds aren’t playing. Pitching duels, high scoring games, the long ball, I’ll sit through anything. Even a rain delay. Naturally, I also enjoy the sexiness on the field.

So here are my top 5 sexy baseball players who don’t play for the Cardinals:

  1. Kris Bryant – 3rd baseman for Chicago Cubs – just look at those eyes. It also helps that he’s one hell of a player. His batting stance is almost perfect.
  2. Derek Jeter – former shortstop for New York Yankees – no list is complete without Jeter who seems to get better with age. Retirement suits him.
  3. Kevin Kiermaier – center fielder for Tampa Bay Rays – I watch the Rays when I can. For good reason.
  4. Dustin Ackley – 2nd baseman for Los Angeles Angels – The crooked smile is stuff novels are made of.
  5. David Freese – 3rd baseman for Pittsburgh Pirates – Okay this is a bit of a cheat since Freese was the hero of the Cardinals 2011 World Series run, but he plays for the enemy now so…

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Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: The Colorado Mountain Series by Kristen Ashley!

ANNOUNCING THREE BEAUTIFUL NEW TRADE PAPERBACK EDITIONS FROM THE COLORADO MOUNTAIN SERIES!

THE GAMBLE

Life isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s meant to be lived . . .

Nina Sheridan thought she’d found the perfect man who would become the perfect husband. She was wrong. When Nina realizes the man she planned to grow old with doesn’t know her at all, it’s time to rethink her idea of perfect. And what better place to get her life in order than a remote Colorado mountain town halfway around the world?

Gnaw Bone, Colorado, may not be flashy or cosmopolitan, but it’s got a brand of hospitality all its own. Nina isn’t entirely sure she’s ready to trade the life she thought she wanted in England for cozy evenings in her mountain retreat, and she definitely isn’t sure she’s ready to handle the connection she feels to the owner of her rental house, Max Holden . . .

Nina didn’t come to Colorado to find love, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. Now, if Nina can let go of her past, Max-and a future in Gnaw Bone-might just be the perfect second chance she’s been waiting for.

Add The Gamble to your shelf on Goodreads!

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Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Snow’s Surrender by Kristin Miller

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Hair black as a raven’s coat, skin as white as snow, lips as read as, blabitty-blah, blah, blah. If one more person calls me sweet and innocent, I’m losing my head.

I’ve got more pressing matters to think about. Like the fact that our wolf pack is in serious debt. If I can’t find a way to secure financing for our estate, we’ll lose our shifting sanctuary. My stepmother—wonderfully wicked as she is—has come up with a plan: seduce a rich jeweler who’s visiting for the weekend. And then, when he agrees to bond with me and make me his forever, we’ll be saved. Not such a bad deal, considering he’s crazy hot, and I’ve had a crush on him forever.

One problem: I’m not a temptress, not by a long shot. It’s a good thing my childhood best friend, Hunter, has come back into the area. He’s always been a playboy and knows how to get what he wants. He agrees to teach me the rules of seduction, but before long, I realize I’m the one being played.

Check out an excerpt from SNOW’S SURRENDER by Kristin Miller! 

SNOW’S SURRENDER is the last installment of A SNOW WHITE WEREWOLF TALE. Check out parts one and two here! 


Closing my eyes, I shake my head slowly. Because I want more of this feeling zinging through me, more butterflies, and more rain to cool my burning flesh. Why can’t things go this smoothly with other guys? Ones who are staying with the pack?

“You’re not with Malcolm this moment.” His lips brush my cheek. “What happens tonight doesn’t have to change anything tomorrow when you go back to him.”

Another kiss on my cheek, closer to my lips.

“We’re friends, aren’t we?” I say, leaning into him and the warmth of his embrace. “Even after all this, that won’t change, right?”

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Guest Post

Who’s the Best Boyfriend: Werewolf or Vampire?

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I’m excited to be here on EverAfter Romance today. For all you paranormal readers, I invited two special guests—Mr. Werewolf and Lord Vampire—for some fun insight into what it’s like dating a supernatural.

Juliette turns to her guests on the sofa Thank you, gentlemen, for joining me today for this interview on EverAfter Romance. Inquiring minds want to know who would be the best boyfriend for the modern girl. If you don’t mind, let’s get right to it. First question. Where would you take a girl for a romantic first date?

Mr. Werewolf: I would take her somewhere private and intimate so I could devote attention only to her. Perhaps a woodland picnic by moonlight.

Lord Vampire: That’s also where a serial killer might take her.

Mr. Werewolf: You would know, blood-sucker.

Lord Vampire: chuckles

Juliette: Okay then, Lord Vampire. Where might you take a girl for a romantic date?

Lord Vampire: My castle, of course. For a quiet, candle-lit dinner surrounded by opulence and luxury befitting her. I would treat her like a queen.

Mr. Werewolf: Not every woman cares for your money.

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Guest Post

Our Favorite Brits by Robin Bielman & More!

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In my new release, Talk British to Me, my hero is the Dating Guy on a popular morning radio show. To keep his identity a secret, he uses a different name and a British accent. This makes him a very popular Brit. He’s definitely my current favorite. But I’ve got others too—Daniel Craig (I may or may not have a picture of me photo shopped next to him, just saying), Henry Cavill, David Beckham, Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, to name a few—and I thought surely some of my favorite authors also have favorite Brits, so I asked them! Here’s what they had to say…

 

Samanthe Beck, author of Emergency Attraction ~ Hands down, John Oliver from HBO’s Last Week Tonight. I love him. I’m talking, like, restraining order level love. I can’t even properly articulate why this Brit works my shit, but he does. Want a .gif? Cuz I’ve got a .gif!

via GIPHY

Want video? I’ve got video!

 

Penny Reid, author of Dating-ish ~ Ada Lovelace is my favorite Brit.

Not only was she one of the world’s first programmers, she was also a mathematician, computer scientist, scientist writer, created the first algorithm, AND was a countess. I also love that she is Lord Byron’s only legitimate child. How cool is that? The father of romanticism gave birth to the mother of computer science.

 

J. Kenner, author of Bitch Slap ~ Bond. James Bond. Because freaking awesome, that’s why!

 

Rachel Harris, author of The Nanny Arrangement ~ Oh gosh, that’s so hard to choose! I think I have to go with Colin Firth. He’ll forever be Mr. Darcy and that man and movie can get me out of any funk I’m in. Sick? Pride & Prejudice time. Sad? Turn it on. Bored? Yup, I lose myself in his brooding stare. But I also have a huge girl crush on Emma Watson 🙂

 

Hayson Manning, author of Taming the CEO ~ My favorite Brit hands down would be JK Rowling for bringing us, Harry Potter. I’ve had the joy of reading the books to my kids, watching the movies. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried (don’t get me started on Hedwig). So thank you to JK Rowling for inspiring generations of kids to dive into a book (and their parents too).

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Cindi Madsen, author of Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny ~ It’s so hard to pick just one favorite Brit when there are so many hotties to choose from. I’m going to have to go with Richard Armitage. If you haven’t watched him in the North & South miniseries, you’re missing out. Between the looks, sexy accent, brooding, and the crazy intense romantic tension–need I say more?–I fell a little bit in love with him. (Oh & it’s totes on Netflix right now) 

 

Julie Richman, author of The Do-Over ~ Patsy and Edina. Hands down my favorite Brits. My nephew calls me “Aunt Eddie” – and there’s a reason for that (yup, I’m owning up to it). I can binge on Season’s of AbFab and love to do it with close friends and family members who “get it”. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are brilliant and a fantasy of mine, Sweetie Darling, would be to write with Jennifer Saunders someday. I’ll bring the Bolly. Wear LaCroix.  

(Welshmen aren’t Brits, are they? UK and all…because if we can squeeze them in…the handsome man on my next cover, Jason Caselton, would need to be on the list…and probably need to be on an AbFab episode).

*Robin here – I just googled Jason and yep, no problem staring at him for a while.

 

Anissa Garcia, author of The Promise Series ~ My favorite Brit?? I have to choose one?!! Hmm…Mr. Darcy because he has more than 10 thousand a year. 😉 But, seriously, he may not be completely charming, but he’s dashing, sincere, and tries to do the right thing. 

And Tom Hardy because he rescues people and dogs in real life.

 

Maggie Kelley, author of One Little Kiss ~ Well…wrap Matthew Goode up in a Union Jack and I’m a goner but…my true Brit crush is Mick Jagger. Never knew sexy until I spent a night in the third row of a Stones concert-watching Mick strut. Damn, that devil’s got all my sympathy.

Who is your favorite Brit?


 

About ROBIN BIELMAN

When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas.


About TALK BRITISH TO ME:

TalkBritishToMe_500x750As the Dating Guy on L.A.’s top morning show, I give the single guy’s perspective on dating, love, and sex—and I give great advice. Everyone’s hooking up…well, except for me. Sure, I can get any woman I want, but I’ve got a “no relationship” clause in my contract and the only woman I want has “relationship” written all over her. Probably stamped on her ass, too. And wouldn’t I like to confirm that.

Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with me. At all. Something about the next Ice Age might have even come up in her rebuttal. Adorable. Because she’s determined to ignore what one simple kiss proved: she wants me as badly as I want her.

Everything in me is screaming to go after her, but I’ve got a secret that I’m fairly certain will end up with her roasting my nuts over an open fire. So, job on the line? Check. Nuts on the line? Check. Can’t get her out of my head? Nail…meet coffin. But what a way to go…