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Atlanta, GA, United States
I am the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best Selling author of The Proposition, Proposal, Music of the Heart, and Nets and Lies. I am represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich for all books except for Proposition and Proposal.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teaser Tuesday from Drop Dead Sexy coming October 2014

Today's Teaser Tuesday comes from Drop Dead Sexy. Here's the blurb in case you missed it. 

For Olivia Sullivan, love is more a four letter curse word than a sentiment. Growing up as the daughter of a small town mortician, guys didn’t warm to the fact there were dead people in her house. At thirty, taking over the family business and becoming the town Coroner helped to cement her undateable status. Of course her past sex history didn’t help matters either.

Attempt number one with her first love ended barely before it got started with a horrific latex allergy hospitalization. Attempt number two had him coming and then going with an undiagnosed heart condition. For the past three years, Olivia has closed up shop for fear of what might happen next in the bedroom.

After being forced to go single to her mother’s lingerie shower, Olivia stumbles into an out of town bar with one intention: find an able bodied stud to go home with to end her losing sex streak. Enter Holden Caulfield Mains aka Catcher, who earned his nickname not just from the book he was named for, but for the fact he was sure to catch the attention any woman who came within a five mile radius. Waking up after a night of the most mind blowing sex she could have ever imagined, a horrified Olivia runs away thinking she’s left Catcher behind.

When Olivia’s small town is wracked by its first murder, she never could have imagined her one night stand would reappear in the form of the GBI’s lead investigator. To her mortification, Catcher isn’t ready to let go of their sizzling chemistry, and he doesn’t understand the meaning of no. As things start to heat up between them, the body count starts to rise, and they’re led on a wild goose chase from back woods mountain Nudist Colonies to altercations with the Dixie Mafia. Can Olivia and Catcher survive to solve the murder while also not succumbing to their explosive passion?



And here's the snip from Olivia's POV. 

As I rounded the sharp curve, what appeared to be my salvation loomed in the distance.  Oh sweet heavens, it was a bar. Gunning the accelerator, I couldn’t seem to get there fast enough. I feared it was just another mirage in the desert of my datelessness that might evaporate the closer I got. But then it stayed a shining beacon of hope as I whipped into the parking lot on two wheels.

That’s when I got a good look at my alleged salvation, which at best could be classified as something from Nightmare on Hee Haw Street. I exhaled the breath I’d been holding in one frustrated pant that came off more like a grunt. Multicolored Christmas lights ran the length of the ramshackle roof that hung over a long, rectangular building.  A giant sign hung over the top of the bar with some of its bulbs burned out, so instead of reading The Rusty Halo, it said the Rusty Ho.

See, this is exactly what happens when you go off half-cocked searching for cock. Shaking my head free of my self-deprecating tirade, I glanced in the mirror to survey my reflection. Okay, so the Rusty Halo/Ho wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned on my quest to end my long suffering sex drought. It was the epitome of every backwoods dive of a honky tonk. But tonight, it was going to be Club 54 or whatever the hell the most happening hotspot was now. I was Dead Woman Walking when it came to sex—it was going to go down tonight and so was I.

Throwing open the car door, I grabbed my purse and then stumbled along the gravel pavement. Just as I passed a rusted-out Ford pickup, a hound dog bellowed in my ear, causing me to jump out of my skin and almost piss my panties. “Jesus!” I cried, glancing over at the long-eared, brown hound dog. Sitting behind the wheel, it looked like it was waiting to drive its inebriated owner home at the end of the night.

Once I got my wits about me again, I made it to the door.  Smoothing down my hair and dress, I drew in a deep breath.  Okay, Olivia Rose Sullivan, get a grip and get in there and get some!
With that internal pep talk, I pulled open the door and took a determined step inside. The moment my heels slid through the sawdust and peanut hulls that covered the floor, I knew I had made a terrible, terrible mistake. The happy hoots and hollers of the patrons brought my attention up from what had to be a blatant health code violation to the small stage across from me. As a Skynyrd cover band blared out the opening from Free Bird, lighters appeared out of the pockets of faded Wranglers and overall bibs, cutting through the hazy smoke rings. The firelight helped to illuminate the room, giving me a good look at my male choices for the evening.

My raging libido instantly shriveled at the sight of what had to be the reunion cast of Deliverance. Instantly the tune of Dueling Banjos started to play in my head. No, no, no, this couldn’t be happening. I could not bring myself to go home with a hillbilly, regardless of the state of tumbleweeds blowing through my nether regions.   

And then the crowd parted, and the banjo music playing in my head screeched to a stop. Sitting at a table alone was the living and breathing embodiment of my fantasies. Even though he was sitting down, I could tell he was tall because his knees bumped against the tabletop. His wavy dark hair fell across his forehead, which seemed to cause him great irritation because he kept pushing it back with his fingers.

Instead of Wranglers or overalls, he had on suit. The jacket was draped across one of the extra chairs while the sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up at his elbows. His tie sat a little askew as if he had been itching to rip it off. Multicolored folders littered the table along with the foamy beer he was nursing.

Even though people bumped and jostled me in the crowd, I stood frozen to that spot, undressing him with my eyes. A wet spot formed on my chin, and I brought the back of my hand up to swipe it away. Oh yeah, I was drooling. After thinking of having to bed Toothless Joe, this was a dream come true.


As if Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sinfully Handsome sensed someone staring at him, he jerked his head up, meeting my gaze. Then the most panty-melting smile imaginable stretched across his drop-dead-sexy face. And in that bright and shining moment, my poor, male-neglected vagina, which for so long had been flat-lining on life-support, coughed and sputtered back to life. The same jolt of electricity shuddered through its long dormant walls as if the paddles from a crash cart had been administered and a doctor yelled “Clear!”  Through a miracle I had actually found the Dr. Feelgood who was going to end my long suffering sex drought.  
Saturday, June 7, 2014

EPILOGUE for Strings of the Heart!


So when I finished Strings of the Heart, I knew it wasn't entirely finished. I knew you would see Rhys and Allison's wedding in Brayden's book. But some people really, really wanted some loose ends tied up, so I love to please my readers. 

Here is the epilogue of Strings of the Heart

Strings of the Heart Epilogue
                                        Five Years Later

They say that dealing with small children is like trying to herd cats. That thought flashed like neon in my mind as I stood surrounded by my gaggle of child models who each had a mind of his or her own. Ranging in age from five to thirteen, most of the kids’ minds were working against me at the moment. With the clock ticking ten minutes past when the fashion show rehearsal was supposed to start, I was taking slow, deep breaths and trying not to have a meltdown.

I clapped my hands to try to get their attention to somewhat focus on me. “Okay guys, now I need you all to get in line and stay in line. We’re going to pretend it’s just like tomorrow, and there’s an audience full of people,” I instructed. Gazing over their heads, I stared desperately at Abby, Mia, Lily, and some of the other moms. They took the nonverbal cue, and each went to their child, or children, to give a last minute pep talk, or in some cases, come to Jesus talks.

Six months ago a charity fashion show to raise money for autism awareness and research seemed like a great idea. Now that it was the day before the show, I was having second thoughts. In fact, I was wondering what in the hell I was thinking. Not only was it being held at an exclusive venue like the Ritz in Atlanta where a red carpet would be rolled out for the celebrity attendees, but every media outlet from the local Atlanta stations to TMZ were running a story about it. I’d had more microphones shoved in my face the last few days than I had since Rhys and I had become an official couple. After all, the fashion and music world often merged together, and as the wife and sister of rock stars, I was a unique commodity.  

The past five years had been a whirlwind of professional and personal highs. After I went out on tour with Rhys, I had stayed true to my word by finishing my degree in fashion design, as well as getting so much on-the-job training. Rhys also kept his word by buying our own bus. I toured around the country with him and even the world. I kept right on helping out with Jax and Jules as well. Three years into our relationship, Rhys popped the question while we were on a trip to Scotland. Of course, I had said yes, and we got married six months later in Savannah. Although Rhys had wanted to tell his parents to fuck off when they broached the subject of a society wedding in his hometown, I managed to change his mind when I pointed out that I wanted to marry in Savannah since we truly came together for the first time as a couple there. In the end, he managed to cut most of his mother’s suggestions on the guest list to where he was happy with the venue in the city but without her snobbish circle of social elite.  

A year after the wedding, I got down to business working on launching my own clothing line—Allie Cats. It was an eclectic mix of styles that I’d been inspired by while in school at SCAD. While I had moderate success with it, I hit the fashion jackpot when I turned my attention to what all the Runaway Train children were wearing. On a whim, I did a small collection of children’s clothes called Allie-Beans, a nice homage Jake’s old nickname for me. It became an overnight hit, and at only twenty-five, I became a well-known name in the children’s fashion industry.

With the success of Allie-Beans, I wanted to do something to give thanks for the amazing blessings I’d been given. That’s where the idea for the charity fashion show came from. While Rhys had thought it was a brilliant idea and had encouraged me like he always did when it came to my career, neither one of us had realized that it would mean me staying home for a month from the latest tour to get the line and show ready. More than anything in the world, I wished he was with here to reassure me that everything was going to be fine. He wasn’t even sure that he would be able to make it in time for the show tomorrow, which was an issue for more than just him since all the guys’ children were modeling.  

Once the moms had stepped aside, the kids seemed to have a renewed determination. I got a thumbs-up from the stage manager, and I knew it was now or never. “Okay, guys, it’s time. Remember what you practiced, but remember to have fun.”

When the upbeat tempo of the house music started thumping out of the speakers, I slipped out from behind the curtain to stand out in the audience. Tomorrow I would be backstage checking outfits and cueing kids, but today I needed to make sure everything was flowing well.

First up was Brayden and Lily’s, Jude. At thirteen, he was modeling some of the Allie-Beans pre-teen line. With a shy smile, he started out from behind the curtain. It was hard to believe he was a teenager now, considering it seemed just like yesterday I was holding him as a baby. With his sandy blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and tall, lean figure, he certainly had the features of a model. Once he passed the awkward teenage phase, he was going to be a real heartbreaker. He was truly his father’s son in the fact that he had picked up a guitar when he was just five, honing his talent over the years. I could totally see him wanting to follow in Bray’s footsteps in the music industry.

Next up came my eight-year-old diva, Bella. She had insisted on wearing one of the pieces from the formal line that was yards of satin and beading. She had already asked me to design her Quinceneara dress, which was still seven years away. As Bella strutted down the runway, I couldn’t help grinning. She had inherited so much of AJ’s personality. Of course, it didn’t hurt she was a real beauty—a perfect mixture of AJ and Mia’s best features. Her glossy back hair hung down the back of her royal blue party dress. When she and Jude met up on the runway, Miss-Eight-Going-On-Eighteen winked at him, and I had to cover my mouth with my hand. Shy Jude turned five shades of red, but he didn’t mess up. I could totally see the day when the five year age difference wouldn’t matter as much…I just hoped AJ wouldn’t kill Jude, considering it would probably be his flirty, forward little girl making the moves.

By some sort of miracle, each child performed amazingly, and I could only hope and pray they would do the same thing tomorrow. Five-year-old Gaby wore a sparkly pantsuit. Nine-year-old Melody modeled a hat and sundress combo while six-year-old, Lucy, who was more of a tomboy, wore a sportier top and pants. I gave her a big thumbs-up when walked in front of me. She had come so far in her diagnosis on the autism spectrum.  

After Abby and Jake’s five-year-old twins made their debut in matching outfits—Jax in shorts and Jules in a skirt and sweater—, I headed back stage for the finale—the moment I would walk out on stage and then be joined by my models for the big finish. Of course, I had to make a pit-stop first for my last, and most favored model.

In Abby’s arms, a six-month-old baby boy sucked voraciously on a pacifier while appearing absolutely adorable in a rocker-themed outfit of black and white converse shoes, tiny, ripped jeans, a Runaway Train t-shirt, and beanie. The moment his eyes met mine, his face broke into a wide grin, causing my chest to fill with warmth I’d never before knew existed.

Samuel Rhys McGowan wasn’t bone of my bone or flesh of my flesh. He hadn’t grown under my heart, but instead, he had grown in it. When a roadie’s seventeen-year-old daughter came to us and asked us to take her unborn baby, our world was turned upside down. Rhys and I had only been married a year, and we didn’t plan on having children for a long time. Why she wanted us out of all the Runaway Train couples, I still have no idea. She said it was because she had liked the way Rhys and I interacted with Jax and Jules, along with the other Runaway Train children. Despite my original doubt, I knew from the moment I tentatively reached out to touch her extended belly, the baby was ours. Whether or not we would one day have kids of our own was still to be seen. For the moment, Sam was keeping us on our toes.

Taking Sam into my arms, I kissed his chubby cheeks. I took my walk down the catwalk, just as I would tomorrow. Once I was finished, all the kids came back out on stage, and we took our bow to the hoots, whistles, and applause of their parents. As I gazed around the group with Sam in my arms, tears stung my eyes at how incredibly blessed I was.  
                                                                                                ***
After everyone left the rehearsal, I took Sam and headed home to our apartment in Dunwoody. Jake had generously given Rhys and me ten acres of his land on our wedding day, and we had built a house just down the road from him and Abby. I rarely stayed there when Rhys was away. Even with Sam, it didn’t feel like home unless he was with me.  

Although I was exhausted, I didn’t collapse on the couch. Instead, I fed and bathed Sam, and when he was still not sleepy, I headed into my home studio. Since Sam wasn’t the type of baby who liked to be rocked to sleep, I eased him into his bouncer saucer to let him bounce out his excess energy. He was perfectly content to play until he practically passed out. I turned on the iHome on the desk, sending classical music throughout the room.

As stood behind my desk surveying some new Alley Cat designs, an arm snaked around my waist, drawing me against a familiar body. When his head came to nuzzle my neck, I sighed with contentment as my heartbeat accelerated. Rhys had made it home a day earlier than he had thought. The warmth of his tongue licked up my neck to the shell of my ear. “You better be careful about starting something. My husband is supposed to be coming home soon,” I said, trying to suppress my laughter.

Rhys tensed behind me. “What the fuck?” he demanded, as he spun me around.

I giggled as I threw my arms around his neck and then smothered his face in kisses. “Oh baby, I’m so glad you’re home.”

He snorted contemptuously. “Me too. I obviously need to spend less time on the road and more time ensuring my wife is faithful.”

Smacking him playfully on the arm, I countered, “Do you think between the fashion show and all of this—” I motioned to the stacks of design papers, scraps of clothing, and sewing materials around me. “That I have time for an affair?”

“Well—”

“Not to mention Mr. Demanding over there.” I jerked my chin over at Sam in his bouncy saucer.  
Rhys’s face lit up like a Fourth of July sparkler at the sight of Sam. For the moment, I was forgotten as Rhys’s “Daddy Vision” honed in on his son. He hustled over to Sam. At the sight of Rhys, Sam gave an appreciative gurgle and held up his arms. “Hey there, little man. Look how much you’ve grown.”

I couldn’t help laughing at his statement. “It’s only been two weeks since we flew out to see you, Rhys. And we’ve Skype’d every night.”

“It’s not the same,” Rhys countered, peppering Sam’s face with kisses. Like Jake, Rhys had worried about his ability to be a father and to a love a child, especially because of his childhood. But all his worries been in vain the moment Sam was born. Sam’s birth mother had let us be in the delivery room, so he’d been ours practically from the moment he drew his first breath. I could count on one hand when I had seen Rhys cry, but the moment Sam was put into his arms, he sobbed uncontrollably. And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly love him anymore, I fell in love with him all over again.

After Rhys raised Sam up to blow raspberries on his tummy, sending Sam into a fit of giggles, Rhys glanced over at me. “How’s everything with the show?”

“Good…I think.” I leaned back against my desk. “I mean, whenever you work with kids, it’s a crapshoot.”

Rhys chuckled. “That’s the truth. Of course, I’m pretty sure Jake, AJ, and Bray will lay down the law to their kids. And for the most part, the Runaway Train kids aren’t heathens.”

I laughed. “That’s true.” Turning back to my desk, I picked up an envelope that I knew would make Rhys really happy. As I waved it at him, I said, “Guess what came yesterday?”

Just like I had predicted, his dark eyes lit up. “The symphony season tickets?” When I nodded, a broad smile spread across his cheeks. It wasn’t so much that Rhys was such a mega fan of classical music, but more the fact that the tickets were for Ellie. Since she adored music so much, he had started flying her and Trudie up for the weekend, so that we could all go together. While I’d initially worried that she wouldn’t do well off her usual schedule and out of her comfort zone, Ellie truly enjoyed each and every minute in Atlanta. We even took her out to Jake’s farm, and then to our new house once it was finished. Rhys also stepped up to lend his name to several prominent autism charities. He even did a commercial and print ad with Ellie to give a name and face to the issue. I was so proud of him.

When it came to Sam, Ellie was just as mesmerized by him as she was by music. She would sit for hours,  stock-still, just watching him sleep. As Sam got older, he would reach out for her, which always caused her to smile. Regardless of the lackluster response by Elliot and Margaret about Sam’s arrival, Ellie showed how thrilled she was in her own special way.

“I think it’s way past someone’s bedtime,” I remarked, when Sam snuggled into Rhys’s chest with heavy, drowsy eyes.

Rhys kissed the top of Sam’s blond head. “I think so too.” After he closed the gap between us, the eyes, which had once looked adoringly at his son, turned over to give me a lustful gleam. “Why don’t we put him to bed, and then I’ll put you to bed?”

A shiver went over my body. Besides the one racy Skype chat, it had been two weeks since we had been together. My body ached for his hands, his mouth, his tongue, and most importantly his dick. Cocking his head at me, Rhys gave me a seductive grin. “Am I to consider that shudder as a yes?”


Licking my lips that had run dry, I hastily replied, “Yes. Oh yes.”  
Friday, May 30, 2014

Prologue for Vicious Circle...Are you ready for the dark side?

As you may or may not know, I'm an equal opportunity writer--I don't stay in one genre. I've written Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy...you name it. 

After becoming Sons of Anarchy obsessed, I was hit by a ton of bricks with a MC story/series. At first, I thought, "No, no, no! That's too out of my realm!" But the characters simply would not take no for an answer.

Here's the blurb in case you missed it, and the Goodreads link! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20622381-vicious-cycle?from_search=true

David aka ‘Deacon’ Malloy has devoted his adult life to the Hell’s Raiders motorcycle club. Plucked off the streets as a teenager for his fighting ability, he willingly embraces the violent life-style of his new family. After his adoptive father’s murder during the last club war, he slid into the vacated role of Sergeant at Arms. His world is thrown for a loop when a former club whore dies, and the five year old daughter he had no idea he had fathered is deposited on the club steps.

Alexandra Evans followed in her parents’ footsteps by going into education. As a Kindergarten teacher, she loves helping her young students learn to read and write. At the start of the school year, one little girl stands out to her above all the rest. With an aura of sadness about her, Willow Malloy is someone who needs all the tender loving care Alexandra can give. When she suddenly stops coming to school, Alexandra goes in search of her. What she finds is a clubhouse full of bikers, and a father hell bent on keeping his daughter always within his sight during a turf war.

The moment Deacon lays eyes on Alexandra he knows he has to have her. He doesn’t give two shits about the fact she’s a na├»ve civilian or that she has no desire to become another one of his conquests. He’s never found a woman he couldn’t have, and he wants nothing more to persuade Alexandra into changing her mind.

Will Deacon seduce Alexandra into his dark world, or will she help him embrace a brighter future for himself and his daughter?



I give you know the prologue for Vicious Cycle


Bouncing her legs on the worn, leather couch, Willow happily followed along with Dora as she went exploring. No matter where the cartoon went, it was always better than the run-down apartment building where Willow lived. At the sound of splintering glass shards crashing across the kitchen floor, Willow abandoned Dora’s world, tucked her ratty teddy bear under her arm, and hightailed it out of the living room. Although she was only five, she knew all too well what was to come after the angry voices and the throwing things began. She had learned to read the signs, and sadly she was never wrong.  There weren’t many places of refuge in the tiny apartment where she and her mommy lived. But there was one place she could always count on to ride out the violent storms.

To other kids her age, the dark recesses under the bed were a frightening place. But for Willow, the known horror that often surrounded her was far less scary than the unknown. Lifting up the faded blue and white patchwork quilt, she crawled across the dingy carpet and underneath the ratty mattress that smelled like smoke and pee. Dust bunnies clung to her clothes, clouding her lungs and making it difficult to breathe.
Once she settled in, she pinched her eyes shut and imagined herself miles and miles away. Whenever she was scared, she always went to be with her Angel Mommy. In Angel Mommy’s world everything was happy, beautiful and pure. Rainbows stretched across the sky over castles filled with unicorns. But the best part of all was Angel Mommy herself. Angel Mommy never drank too much out of the bottles with dark liquid that made her real mommy angry and then sad. Angel Mommy never had boyfriends who yelled at Willow or smacked her in the face or on the bottom. For Angel Mommy, Willow was her whole world—the only focus of her love and attention. They would play for hours and hours, running along the grassy meadow or playing hide and seek in one of the castles on the hillside.  

She’d first begun to dream of Angel Mommy two years before at Christmas time. After her real mommy had drunk from the bad bottles and Mommy’s boyfriend had stuck himself with the scary needle, they started yelling at each other. Cowering on the couch, Willow had tried to hide behind the pillows. As Mommy and her boyfriend’s voices rose louder and louder, they began to push and shove each other. When Mommy tripped over one of Willow’s shoes, she lost her balance and fell into the small Christmas tree in the corner. Ornaments had broken and scattered along the floor.
After Mommy had screamed at Willow and thrown the offending shoe, hitting her in the face, Willow had tried to pick up the mess to make Mommy less mad. An angel in a long white robe was the only thing that hadn’t broken. It had soft, dark hair that she could stroke like one of her dolls, and it also had soothing brown eyes that gave Willow the reassurance she so desperately needed. Willow hadn’t let Mommy see that she kept the angel. And that very day, Willow named her Angel Mommy and always kept the ornament close to her side.

Under the bed, she let her hand creep down to her shorts pocket where Angel Mommy waited to give her comfort. Willow stroked the doll’s hair as the yelling in the living room grew louder. Just as she was about to plug her ears with her fingers, there was the bang of the front door blowing open and hitting the wall, like when Mommy’s boyfriend came home angry. More voices now. More yelling. More breaking glass. It sounded like the living room was being torn apart.

Mommy was begging someone with a voice that Willow wasn’t used to. It rang with fear, and it was usually Willow who was afraid, not Mommy. Thump, thump, thump. Willow began to shake at the sound. Was it pounding boots? Mommy didn’t like when Willow’s shoes made loud noises. Holding her breath, she prayed to Angel Mommy that the man in the boots wouldn’t find her. But even as she was saying the words over and over in her head, the scary person came inside her bedroom. She could tell right away from the size of his feet that it was a man. He started over to the closet. Clothes and toys began to litter the floor as he went through her possessions as if he were looking for something in particular.
Then he went over to her chest of drawers. One by one, he pulled the drawers out and tossed them to the floor. When one landed a little too close to her, she jumped and hit her head against the mattress, causing her to squeak. The small noise caused the man to freeze.

Willow’s heart began to beat wildly, and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. As she tried burrowing farther underneath the bed, the mattress covering her was ripped away. With a scream, she stared up at a man who was a vision out of her worst nightmares—long, stringy black hair, an angry red scar that ran down his face and onto his neck, and a patch over one of his eyes. Willow pinched her eyes shut with fear. Please, please, help me, Angel Mommy!

But then Big Booted Man grabbed her up and hoisted her over his shoulder. She could barely breathe, least of all cry out or scream—it was as if her voice had been snatched away the moment her precious hiding place had been invaded. Her body trembled with fear as he marched out of her bedroom and into the living room. He tossed her about like a mistreated baby doll. When they finally came to a stop, he jerked her around to where she was facing out from his chest. His arm wrapped tightly around her waist, binding her to him.  

Her voice momentarily returned at the horrific sight before her. “Mommy!” she cried. Mommy and her boyfriend, Jamey, were tied with rope to two chairs from the kitchen table. Jamey stared at her with the same aggravation he always had. But Mommy wasn’t talking or looking at her. Blood trickled out of her nose and mouth, her head hung limp. When she didn’t respond, Willow kicked at Big Booted Man to try to get away. “Mommy!” she shrieked.

She was rewarded with a smack to the head and face. “Shut the hell up, brat!”

Although she shouldn’t have, she cried out with the pain. Her face stung as if someone was poking her repeatedly with something tiny and sharp. It sent tears to blur her eyes.

She jumped at the sound of a gravely, harsh voice behind her. “Crank, watch yourself. She doesn’t get hurt until I say so, got it?”

 “Yessir,” Crank replied.

Willow turned her aching head to see a mean man staring at her. The look he gave her made her tremble all over. His black eyes focused on her with such hatred, even though she had never met him before. “Aren’t you a pretty, little thing,” he said.  

Since she couldn’t speak, she only stared at Mean Man. He then turned his gaze from her to one of the men who was standing behind her mommy.  

“Wake the bitch up,” Mean Man commanded.

The man grabbed Mommy’s hair and yanked her head up. She cried out, her eyes blinking furiously. When she met Willow’s gaze, she sucked in a harsh breath. “Leave her out of this. She has nothing to do with my business,” she said, in a pained whisper.

“Ah, but you see, she is part of you two, so she’s my business. Since you decide to fuck with my business, I’m going to fuck with yours.” Without taking his eyes off of her mommy, he took a step closer to Willow. “I think it’s time we showed your daughter what happens when you double cross someone.” Mean Man waved a gleaming silver knife in front of Willow’s face. When the blade pressed against her neck, fear overwhelmed her, sending warm liquid dribbling down her legs. Big Booted Man who held Willow pulled her back from the blade to give her a shake so hard her teeth clattered. “The little cunt just pissed all over me!” he exclaimed.

Mean Man narrowed his eyes. “Don’t be such a pussy, Crank. Now hold her fucking still, you hear me?” 

Crank grumbled but kept his arms tight around Willow. Mean Man glanced at Mommy and Jamey before he once again pressed the blade to Willow’s neck. “Now let’s try this again, eh? If you don’t fucking tell us where the shipment is, I’m going to start cutting pieces out of your kid!”
Jamey rolled his eyes and gave a contemptuous snort—the kind he usually gave Willow when she tried to talk to him about dolls or her favorite television shows. “Go ahead and slit the brat’s throat. I don’t give a shit.”

The Mean Man’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “You just playin’ me, man? ‘Cause I will seriously hurt the little shit.”

“You heard me straight. I don’t give a shit if you spill her blood all over the floor because it won’t be mine flowing out of her.”

“If she ain’t yours, whose kid is she?”

“She’s Malloy’s bastard.”

Mean Man hissed at the mention of the name. “Which Malloy?”

“Jamey, don’t,” Mommy protested, looking scared. All her young life, Willow had wondered who her daddy was. Whenever she asked, Mommy would call her daddy bad names. She’d never even seen a picture of him. Now it seemed Mommy had been hiding who her daddy was because she was scared. Willow couldn’t help wondering if her daddy was as bad as these men.

“Shut your trap, bitch,” Mean Man snarled. He then jerked his chin up at Jamey. “Tell me which Malloy the brat belongs to.”

“She’s Deacon’s.”

A name. Willow had finally heard her daddy’s name. For some reason hearing it made her feel like she knew him somehow. Her happiness was fleeting. Hearing her daddy’s name seemed to make Mean Man very happy, and Willow imagined that couldn’t be good. A smile curved on his lips. “Well, now. This certainly changes things, doesn’t it?”

His knife lowered from Willow’s throat. When he took a step closer to her, Willow cringed back against Big Booted Man. “This seems to be your lucky day, little girl. Letting you go now is going to serve my purpose far more in the long run.” Mean Man cocked his brows and stared at her. His rough hands came to cup her chin, tilting her head to look at her from several angles. “I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before. You’re the fucking spitting image of that cocksucker.”

Mommy leaned forward in her chair. “Just let her go, okay? Using her won’t do you any good. Deacon doesn’t even know she’s his—I left him before I found out. He doesn’t like kids, so he won’t give a shit about her.”

Mean Man tsked at Mommy. “He might not care at first, but I’ll give him some time. Even if he doesn’t want her, I guarantee his brother, Rev, will. And I’ll use any leverage I can against Deacon and his brothers.” He motioned to Crank. “Put her down.”

Relief filled Willow when she felt the ground beneath her feet again. Mean Man crouched down beside her. 
“I want you to listen to me and listen good. You tell no one what you saw here tonight, understand?”

Although Willow bobbed her head furiously to show she understood, it didn’t seem to satisfy the Mean Man. He leaned in to where she could feel his hot breath burning against her cheek. “If you say a fucking word to anyone about me or what you saw, I will come to you in the night and cut out your heart. Got it?”
Apart from the times when she explored with Dora or escaped with Angel Mommy, Willow spent a lot of time afraid. But, until now, she had never experienced such frightening fear like this. The tremor seemed to flood every part of her body. Although she shook from head to toe, she couldn’t make herself reply.

But somehow Mean Man was satisfied with her lack of response. He turned back to Mommy. “Does she have somewhere she can go?”

Tears streaked down Mommy’s cheeks. “Yes, she stays with the lady down the hall a lot.”

Willow’s fear dissipated a little at the thought of Mrs. Martinez whose warm and cozy apartment she stayed in during the times Mommy was away with Jamey or working. Mrs. Martinez always cooked something for Willow, and she even let her help prepare the food. She let Willow call her Mama Mari, and it was like getting to have a grandmother like her friends at school did.

“Fine. She goes down the hall, and we finish this.”

“C-Can I at least say goodbye,” Mommy questioned, as her chest rose and fell with sobs. Seeing Mommy cry made Willow start to cry.

“Hurry it up,” Mean Man replied, shoving Willow toward the chair where Mommy sat.

Clambering as best she could into Mommy’s lap, Willow buried her head in Mommy’s neck. Still bound tight by her fear, she couldn’t seem to make her lips move to say the words she was screaming in her mind. No matter how mad and mean Mommy was, Willow always loved her. She wanted nothing more than to be hugged and kissed by Mommy, but she very rarely got what she wanted.

“I love you, Willow. You be a good girl for Mrs. Martinez. She’s going to take you to your daddy. You be good for him, okay?” Willow nodded. Mommy started to cry harder. “I’m sorry I was a bad mother, baby. I hope you’ll have a better one now.”

Willow jerked back to stare into Mommy’s eyes. What did she mean a ‘better mommy’? Was she going somewhere? If Willow went to live with her daddy, did that mean she would never see Mommy again? It made her cry as her tummy twisted. “I love you, Mommy,” she whispered, finally finding the words she desperately wanted to say.

“I love you, too, Willow.”

“All right, enough sentimental bullshit. Crank, take the kid down the hall. Tell the woman to get the fuck out of the building for the next few hours if she knows what’s good for her.”

Big Booted man responded by snatching Willow up again and marching her to the door. As Willow gazed over her shoulder, Mean Man closed the gap between him and Mommy. Just as they started out of the apartment, Mean Man’s knife went to Mommy’s throat. Mommy looked straight at Willow. “I love—” Her words were cut off when the knife slid across her neck.

Willow’s mouth opened in a scream, but nothing came out. As hard as she tried closing her eyes from the sight of the red blood pouring from her mommy’s neck, she couldn’t. The last thing she saw as she was taken from the apartment was Mean Man turning back to her as he brought his fingers to his lips to remind her to keep quiet.

Willow knew that she would never tell. She never, ever wanted to see Mean Man again. No matter what was done to her, she would never tell.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Strings of the Heart Musical Accompaniment

As you're reading along through Strings of the Heart, you're going to have a lot of songs referenced. So here's a quick playlist to go to.




The Weakness in Me: One of the song Allison performs at Saffie's Tea Room



Am I the Only One?: Allison's second song at Saffie's




Moonlight Sonata: Rhys's cello and piano duet with Ellie



Bring Him Home: Rhys's second cello and piano duet with his sister, Ellie


You and Tequila: Eli and Allison's duet




You're Beautiful: Eli's serenade to Allison



Drunk in Love: The song Eli and Allison dance to at the club






Say Something: Allison accompanying Jake, which causes her to runaway from Rhys






Portland, Oregon: The song that gets Rhys fired up in Portland!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Strings is LIVE!! And a NSFW teaser!!


Yes, yes, YES, guys and gals, Strings of the Heart has been unleashed upon the world!! 

Here's where you can find it: 

Kobo and iBooks always takes a bit longer, so please have patience with me. 








Here's a naughty tease from the book to whet your appetite! 

The bathroom door flew open, and Rhys stormed in. Glancing at his reflection in the mirror, I shook my head. “I have nothing left to say to you, so leave me alone.”

“No.”

Whirling around, I narrowed my eyes at him. “Excuse me?”

“I said no.”

I threw up my hands. “Fine, I concede; you win. Does that make you happy?” When he started to open his mouth, I shook my head furiously from side to side. “Don’t you fucking dare say ‘no’ again!”


“I didn’t come in here to gloat.”

“Then what did you come for?” When he cocked his brows at me, I demanded, “What do you want from me, Rhys?”

“Everything.” He strode across the room to me. “I want to take everything you’ll give me and more.” Grabbing my arm, he jerked me into the handicapped stall. My body slammed back against the metal wall. My whimper of pain died on my lips as Rhys pressed his body against mine. The hardness of his erection burned into my thigh. Gripping my hips, he tugged me closer against him. His fingers closed over one of my thighs before bringing it up over his. It gave him the perfect angle to rub his erection against my core. I moaned, clawing desperately at him to get more friction.

“Why are you doing this now?” I demanded.

Rhys shook his head. “I don’t fucking know. I just know that I couldn’t bear sitting in that booth one more 
minute and letting Eli have everything I wanted.”

“You want everything with me or just everything with my body?” I asked.

As he stared into my eyes, his hands slid over my waist to cup my buttocks. “I know I want my hands on this fine ass that you’ve been shaking all night at everyone but me.” One hand left my butt to come and cup my breast. “I want my hands and mouth on these gorgeous tits that you’ve rubbed all over Eli.” I widened my eyes when his hand left my ass to cup between my legs. “But most of all, I want to bury my dick so far in this pussy that no man here will doubt who it belongs to, especially Eli.”

Although I wanted nothing more than to be with Rhys again, this all felt wrong—the anger and jealousy fueling our actions were not healthy. “But it doesn’t belong to you,” I countered weakly.

“It doesn’t?” His fingers tore away my thong before they plunged deep inside me, causing me to gasp with pleasure. “Tell me, Allison, did he make you this wet?” Rhys demanded.

Panting, I shook my head. “No, he didn’t.”

Rhys rewarded me for my response by speeding up the pace of his fingers. Throwing my head back, I moaned. My hips took on a rhythm of their own. I was getting so deliciously close that my toes were curling in my heels when Rhys suddenly withdrew his fingers. “No, please. Please don’t stop,” I begged.

“Who is the only man to have made you come so hard you’ve screamed?”


“You. Only you, Rhys,” I replied, breathlessly. 
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strings of the Heart Teaser




Howdy guys! I missed Teaser Tuesday, but how's Teaser Thursday sound? lol




In one fluid movement, Rhys closed the space between us, backing us into the corner of the drawing room. Immediately my head spun as I went into sensory overload at the nearness of him. His deep musky scent filled my nose while the heat radiating off his tux-clad body almost singed the skin exposed by my strapless couture. While I stared questioningly into his face, his dark eyes remained locked on my chest. To the average observer, one would have assumed Rhys was exhibiting typical male behavior by ogling my breasts, but I knew better. Most of all, I knew him better than that. His attention was drawn to the pendant nestled in the valley between my average-sized cleavage. 

When his fingers grazed against the bare skin of my breastbone, I couldn’t help the tremble that went through my body. I wanted nothing more than to feel his hands on me. If I was honest, I fantasized about them most nights, especially to get me through a dry spell without an orgasm. 

Once he had grasped the pendant, Rhys weighed it in his hand, taking in every aspect of it before his gaze flicked up to mine. “I can’t believe you still have this, least of all wear it.”

His almost accusatory tone momentarily stung me, and I jerked back from him. His grasp remained firm on the pendant, causing the satin ribbon to slice into my neck almost like I was on a leash. “Why wouldn’t I still have it?”

He shrugged. “I guess because it was so long ago when I gave it to you.”

“It was at my Sweet Sixteen party,” I reminded him. 

“I remember,” he murmured. 

“You do?”

He held my gaze as he fingered the raised magnolia on the pendant. “Of course I do.” One side of his lip quirked up in a half smile. “That was only four years ago, Allie-Bean. I’m not so old that I’m having memory loss.”

A nervous laugh escaped my lips. “You’re not old.”

“Just older than you,” he mused. 

“Only by a few years,” I countered, kicking my chin up determinedly. 

In his brown eyes flecked with gold, I saw the question he would never dare to verbalize. Four and half a years had passed since that momentous night out by the fountain at my party. There had been other loves and other life experiences for me. After all that time and distance, he wondered what was it about the simple necklace, hand painted by his sister, that made me continue to wear it, especially on the choker so close to my heart? 

What I wanted so desperately to tell him was I wore the necklace because in spite of all the loves and other life experiences for me, I was still madly and completely in love with him. Swallowing hard, I replied, “I like to wear it because I love magnolias—I always have. Magnolias remind me of strong women—the kind I aspire to be like. But most of all, it reminds me of home.”

Rhys slowly nodded his head, accepting my half-truths as if they were the gospel. In the end, maybe avoidance was better for both of us. At least for now, I would keep telling myself that. Now that we were on the cusp of uncharted territory, I would play the game for as long as I had to win his heart.



Preorder Link: http://www.amazon.com/Strings-Heart-Runaway-Train-Ashley-ebook/dp/B00J3Z4E4G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396576333&sr=1-1&keywords=strings+of+the+heart





Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy One Year Anniversary of Music of the Heart & Giveaway

A year ago today I published Music of the Heart!!!

Back in November 2012 after The Proposition's release, I started what I thought would be my next book. The rockstar genre was huge, and I wanted to put my feet in the water. Of course whenever I set out to write a book, I always want take the similar tropes of a genre and turn them on their heads to where the action, the characters, and even the setting are all my own.






For my rocker book, I envisioned a virginal missionary's daughter with the voice of an angel and the bad boy rocker, lost and adrift in the unreal waters of celebrity, who was forever changed by her love. I got 11K words in when my course of writing changed because of the Cliffhanger of Doom in  The Proposition. Readers were rabid to know what happened with Aidan and Emma, so I had to put Music of the Heart aside and work on The Proposal.

When Music of the Heart debuted, I never, ever in my wildest dreams imagined how successful it would be. I just wanted an audience to read and enjoy it. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Within the first week of release, I was #3 overall on Amazon. NUMBER FREAKIN' 3! Proposition and Proposal only got to 7, so I'd never made the Top 5. Then Music spent 3 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List and 4 on USA Today. An amazing abundance of blessings came with this novel. I also never imagined more than one book, but then because of my amazing readers loving and embracing AJ, Rhys, and Brayden, it has become a series.

I can never thank my readers enough for blessing me with their love and support of Jake and Abby, and in turn, AJ and Mia and I hope Rhys and Allison. For writing reviews about how they wept and laughed and then also wanted to throttle Jake...and maybe Abby!

Check out the contest here for signed books & a Coach eReader case
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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