Book Tour/Giveaway/Excerpt

Title: Rock Radio: A Novel
Author: Lisa Wainland
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit/Romance Suspense
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Limited Time Special 99 Pennies
Passion, intrigue, scandal—this rock station with a dangerously sexy bite has it all!

 

 

 

After a painful breakup, lone WORR female disc jockey Dana fights to pull herself together while wondering if she’ll ever find true love. When she meets Cody, the hot lead singer of an up-and-coming band, the passion between them is electric. But Cody’s long-buried secrets could get in the way of them finding a lasting rhythm. 
 
Drive-time deejay Jonny Rock had never been serious with any of his conquests, until now. Nineteen-year-old intern Heather is insatiable in and out of bed…and he can’t get enough. It’s a perfect set up until their relationship threatens to end his career—and his marriage.
 
Three lives collide in an explosive story of desire, betrayal, and music. 
 
But they are not alone. 
 
Dana is being watched, stalked by a listener who plans to make her his…by whatever means necessary.
 

 

 

 

“A fast-paced and fun throwback to the heyday of the radio era.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

 

“It had me hanging on until the very last page.”—Readers Favorite

 
Before iPods and mp3s, satellite and internet radio…before corporate America changed the rules, radio was the ultimate music medium, and disc jockeys ruled the music world.
This is their story.

1998
(cue the music)

Dana Drew felt like her world was closing in.
She could feel a cry rise in her throat as she tried to compose herself. Loud rock music blasted from the speakers. She loved rock, but hated this song.
Of course it would be playing now, she thought.
Everything she knew and believed was turning out to be a lie. The man she loved was pulling away from her. Sam hadn’t said it, but she could feel it—the relationship she’d invested her heart in was coming to an end.
The chaste kisses, the dismissive way he spoke to her, the late nights at the office. She confronted him before she left for work today (not her best timing), but he denied anything was going on. In many ways, the torture of uncertainty was worse than knowing it was over. A small sliver of hope gnawed at her logic.
Could she be reading it wrong? Maybe it was all in her mind.
The pit in her stomach argued otherwise.
The digital clock on the board in front of her continued to countdown.
01:00, 00:59, 00:58…
Time didn’t care about her pain, it just plowed forward into what now was the unknown. Plans, dreams, hopes were disappearing.
Could she ever trust her judgement again? Would she ever love again?
Tears stung her eyes, but she held them back, taking a deep breath. The song was quickly ending and she needed to regain her composure.
Disc jockeys didn’t have time for feelings when they were on the air.
The final notes played. Dana potted up the fader, put on her headphones and coaxed a smile into her voice.
“Good afternoon…what a fabulous day! Great weather and awesome music. Who could ask for anything more? Love that song! Hope you do too ‘cause I’ve got more just like it coming up on Miami’s rock station, WORR!”
Her life was falling apart, but to her listening audience, all was right with the world.
It wasn’t normal.
It was rock and roll.

(turn it up)

Jonny Rock just got laid.
Tall and tan, with bright, spiky, bleached-blond hair, Jonny was a rock star—in his own mind.
Jonathan Roeker had been a poor student from Philadelphia. Bad grades and an even worse complexion were not a recipe for success. But he had drive, raw ambition and an intense love of music.
Besides, radio deejays didn’t need a pretty face, just a good set of pipes and a lot of attitude.
Jonathan was blessed with both.
An overnight shift, a skillful dermatologist, and Jonathan was on his way. Jonny Rock was born and Jonathan Roeker was left far behind in a middle-class suburb. Now Jonny was the man, the assistant program director of WORR—Only Rock and Roll, Miami’s alternative rock station. It wasn’t an easy road, but he had made it.
And he was loving every minute of it.
Jonny stretched his arms over his head and flipped on the radio. It was two in the afternoon and he was on the air. The miracle of voice-tracking, he thought to himself. He could record his breaks the night before into an automated computer, giving himself free time in the afternoon for some extra-curricular activities. All while his wife listened to him “live” on the air.
He couldn’t ask for a better set-up…

 

Bestselling author Lisa Wainland has spent more than two decades in the world of radio. When she’s not writing, Lisa is a successful voiceover artist who works with some of the biggest names in radio and television. Rock Radio is an Amazon bestseller and Readers’ Favorite Award winner.
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Book Tour/Giveaway/Excerpt

Title: Bad Company: A Stepbrother Romance
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2019

“OMG!! This book is AMAZING!! The drama and turmoil the characters go through feel so real that you have to know what will happen next. Definitely, a must read!”

Logan
From the moment we met, I despised Leah as much as she hated me. It only made matters worse when my mother became involved with her father. So, ten years ago, I moved away. But when I come back for the big anniversary party, the rivalry has disappeared and we’re being congratulated for putting aside our differences. What they don’t know is that if I get my way, tonight we’ll be sharing a room…
Leah

From the moment we met, I did everything to get Logan’s attention. All that he’d direct toward me were mean pranks often leaving me in tears. Even when he left for ten years, I still tried to get his attention. It took me a long time before I finally gave up. When Logan shows up unannounced for the big anniversary party, I expect the worst case of rivalry yet, but instead, we’re actually getting along, and everyone is thrilled. And when I end up finding out the truth of why he is back, it shocks me to my core.

I was dying to ask her where she was, if she still lived here, how she was doing, who she was dating or married to, but I couldn’t give myself away. If my mother thought for a second that I cared, she would wonder what was going on. I didn’t need her to be suspicious. I left the topic of Leah alone and soon we were wrapped up in conversation and we passed the afternoon away talking and getting reacquainted. It had been so long since I had seen my mom, and it was nice to just spend the time talking with her. I missed her a lot. I had been so wrong before I left, and I felt the need to apologize to her, Joe had looked after Mom just the way she had said he would. I had been foolish to think otherwise.

Shortly before dinner, Mom had to run out to the store to grab a couple of things for the dish she planned to make. She had offered to take me with her but with the time difference and all the travel I was tired, so I decided to just stay and hang out until she got back. I put the magazine down I had been reading and wandered into the kitchen. A sense of déjà vu came over me as I grabbed a glass and opened the fridge looking for juice. I poured the cold orange liquid into the glass and shut the door and that was when my eyes caught her beautiful red hair. I stared for a moment, taking her in, and then I let my eyes wash slowly over the rest of her, it was like I was on sensory overload. The outfit she wore accentuated her soft curves, I wanted to run my hands over them, and my mouth nearly watered at the sight of her lips. She stood leaning up against the door frame her arms crossed in front of her. “What are you doing here?” she asked, a smirk playing on the corner of her mouth.

I could barely take my eyes off her, she had grown up, and the way her green eyes danced over my body told me she was as happy to see me as I was her, or so I hoped. “Well, someone didn’t send me my usual Valentine’s Day letter, so I came to get it in person.”

“Don’t hold your breath, Logan, there is no letter.” She walked over and took the juice out of my hand and brought the glass to her lips. I stared at those perfect kissable lips, the ones I had dreamed of kissing for the past ten years. She never took her eyes from mine as she drank the cold liquid. “You know I never loved you.”

She placed the cold glass back in my hand. I watched her eyes do another quick sweep of my body, then she turned and looked over her shoulder at me, smiling, before heading upstairs. I firmly planted my eyes on her tight ass as she walked away from me. I wanted so bad to grab it and pin her against the wall and do things to her that I shouldn’t even be thinking about doing. Instead, I quickly averted my thoughts and my eyes when I heard the front door slam and my mother came into the kitchen carrying a bag full of groceries.

“Logan, what on earth is wrong?” she asked looking at me.

“What do you mean?” I asked as I took a sip of the orange juice, still imagining Leah’s kissable lips on mine.

“You look like you did when you were ten years old, as if you were doing something you shouldn’t be.” She laughed.

Just thinking of fucking my stepsister ten ways to Sunday, I thought to myself. I finished my juice and then helped Mom put the groceries away.

S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 

An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel “It Was Always You” was born. 

When S.L. Sterling isn’t writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 

In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.
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Book Tour/Excerpt

Title: Calming the Riot
Series: A Riot MC Novel
Author: Karen Renee
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 28, 2019

“… totally captivated throughout this addictive page turner.” ~ Wendy’s Book Blog


“… well written MC romance story full of action, suspense and love.” ~ Amazon Review


“… has great chemistry, intense heat and lots of action.” ~ Amazon Review

Jim “Liar” Huntley’s loyalty to the Riot MC brotherhood is unquestionable. Especially since before becoming a fully-patched member, he killed a man to protect a brother. When a favor to another brother forces him to meet Andrea Paglia, he knows she’s out of his league. Making matters worse, she is off-limits because she’s old friends with the President’s old lady. Weeks later, Liar notices his brothers ogling Andrea at a club party, and he cannot restrain his anger.
Andrea falls in lust with Liar the moment he walks into her massage studio. She senses Liar restraining himself around her, but she’s determined to go after the man she wants. For once, she grabs what she wants from life. Conflict arises when former co-workers implore her to lend them a hand during the holidays. Forced to tell Liar about her past, she uncovers another facet to her alpha biker. 
Little does Andrea know, she’s being used as a pawn in a larger scheme to bring down the Riot MC. Liar believes Andrea deceived him and will not be betrayed twice. The perceived deception tears Liar and Andrea apart while also forcing a rift between the Riot MC brothers.
Liar discovers he was wrong, and struggles between guarding his heart and asserting his love for her. Will he be able to claim her as his own?
I bolted up from my seat. “You don’t tell me what I can and can’t do. Hell, what we shared was…”
No way could I admit that he was the best I ever had and the best I ever would have. That seemed like too much of an ego stroke to a man like him, and with his very mixed signals, I wasn’t about to give him that stroke. My prior experiences with men hadn’t been the best, so I was reticent for that reason as well. I couldn’t put my feelings about last night out there only to have him take advantage of me. Then he’d be no different than the many men in my past who took my giving and caring nature and used it to their benefit. Rarely did they reciprocate those caring or giving feelings. My thoughts were interrupted by Liar.
“Pretty damn great. What we shared was great, but I’m telling you, no more pullin’ shit to get me to give you what you want. I won’t be led around by my dick. Yesterday excluded, obviously.”
If it hadn’t been for Jackie, I would have been supremely offended by his remark. However, Jackie had told me plenty about the many issues facing the various brothers of the Riot MC, and I knew that a few of them had a tendency to be influenced too much by their libidos. It would seem the only downside to that would be for those men, but there was a downside for strong women, too. These men viewed women who were aggressive sexually as women who were insistent to lead them around by their cocks. While the knowledge Jackie had imparted to me meant I wasn’t offended, it didn’t mean I wasn’t pissed because I was.
Planting my hands on my desk, I leaned toward him. “You have some nerve assuming shit like that about me. I have no damn desire to do that to you. It was clear you had some cockamamie reason for keeping your distance, and I didn’t agree.”
His eyes narrowed. “Don’t get pissed.”
I rolled my eyes. “Gee, is there anything I can do? First, you tell me not to get clingy, now I’m not supposed to come on to you or even get pissed with you. I think the woman you’re looking for has the last name of Stepford,” I said in a saccharine sweet voice.
Liar didn’t roll his eyes, but he did close them. “Fuck me. She ain’t just a pain in the ass, but a supreme smart-ass to boot.”
“I am standin’ right here, man. No need to refer to me in the third person or do you refer to yourself that way too?”
That wasn’t only a not very nice thing to say, it was apparently the wrong thing to say. Slowly, Liar stalked around my desk. He invaded my personal space and tilted my chin up to look at him. His eyes slayed me. Angry, hard, bright, or even dull, they were gorgeous, and right now they were hungry with a dash of irritation. “You need to keep that shit in check.”
I pressed my lips together, but I couldn’t hold it back. “That another order?”

His eyes bulged, and then his mouth took mine in a rough kiss. It was hungry, it was angry, and it was delicious. I almost thought he could give me all the so-called orders and demands he wanted to; if disobeying him resulted in kisses like this, then my disobedience was going to be a ton of fun.
   
Karen Renee is the author of the Riot MC Series. She has wanted to be a writer from a very early age, and she’s finally bringing that dream to life. She has worked in advertising, banking, and local television media research. She is a proud wife and mother, and a Jacksonville native. When she’s not at the soccer field or cooking, you can find her at her local library, the grocery store, in her car jamming out to some tunes, or hibernating while she writes and/or reads books.
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Book Tour

Title: Davan Part 1
Series: A Barber Shop Ink Novel
Author: Penny Blush
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 3, 2019

 

Amazon Review – “TOTALLY BOOK OF THE YEAR

 

Books and Wine – “Davan equals Hot!!
Amazon Review – “Emotional read with some twist

 

 

 

 

I met the woman of my dreams at my sister’s wedding. 
 
I was standing on the edge of the dance floor talking with my cousin when she walked right up and asked me to dance. A woman has never approached me like that before, bold and full of confidence. I’m a big guy and in my military dress uniform I can appear to be quite intimidating. 
 
My size didn’t faze her though, she walked right up grabbed my hand and dragged me out onto the dance floor. 
 
I met the woman of my dreams at my sister’s wedding.
 
Too bad I am already married.
 

 

 

 

My name is Penny Blush, I love all things book and book related. I’m hoping that the people who make the James Bond movies will call me to ask to use my name as the next Bond Girl *Fingers Crossed*
 
When I’m not hoping for the Bond people to contact me, I can usually be found with my nose in a book. Getting lost in a story or thinking about stories I would like to write.
 
I’m Australian, I love to sing, and Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I believe in magic, fairies, the power of the universe and that everything happens for a reason.
 
Basically, I’m a crazy person, and I’m ok with that, at least my life is not boring!

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Book Tour/Giveaway

Title: Balance
Series: The Chicago Defiance MC Series #6
Author: KE Osborn
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 29, 2019

Smart, sexy biker!? Yes, please! Strong, independent starlet!? Hell yea! …this book has a fast paced plot that will keep you interested until the very end.” ~Amazon Review


“This is a beautifully written story which is thrilling, emotional and heartbreaking…” ~Amazon Review

Opposites attract.
That’s how movies tell the tale.

My lifestyle—not for the faint of heart.
My oath—to protect the brothers I’ve come to call family.

This life isn’t for everyone.
Especially those in the spotlight.
Meeting a Hollywood A-lister isn’t on my bucket list, and falling for one does not suit my plans.
But a biker who hides in the shadows and an actress bathed in neon lights, calls for disaster.

This story isn’t only about finding stability—it’s friendship, conflict, deception and slaughter. 

Death—it’s coming.

Will we find the right balance?
Australian author K E Osborn was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. With a background in graphic design and a flair for all things creative, she felt compelled to write the story brewing in her mind.

Writing gives her life purpose. It makes her feel, laugh, cry and get completely enveloped in the characters and their story lines. She feels completely at home when writing and wouldn’t consider doing anything else.


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Book Tour/99 Cents/Excerpt

Title: Jace: Phoenix Skulls Motorcycle Club
Series: Phoenix Skulls MC
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 18, 2019


Ignored, unloved and verbally degraded since the day he was born, Jace didn’t know what real love was. He spent his young life trying to stay invisible. It was the only way he could avoid the ugly taunts and physical assaults of his peers. But when you’re twice the size of the other children around you, invisibility becomes a problem, and at that point Jace had to learn how to fight, and fighting became a way of life, a means to survive.

There was one person on earth who loved Jace, and who he truly loved in return. That was his little sister Rosie. Rosie was autistic and destined to be as neglected by their father as he was. Jace recognized her worth and her intelligence at a young age, but his stepmother, frightened of what she didn’t understand and envious of how much Rosie loved Jace, insisted he be sent away to a boarding school.

Jace languished, miles away from the family that couldn’t stand to look at him, and the sister who he knew needed him, until once again his world was rocked and he returned to Boston. On his way home, at fourteen years old, he met a legend…or maybe two. A man with blond hair and incredibly intense blue eyes named Doc Marshall that reignited a spark of interest inside Jace that he’d been too busy to covet for a while. He wanted to ride a Harley. He wanted to be in a motorcycle club, and he wanted more than anything to be the guy in a leather vest who rode off into the sunset with his beautiful old lady behind him.

Jace had to put that dream away for quite a few years. Although he was bigger, stronger and smarter than most of the adults in his world, that lost, scared little boy still lived inside of him. The rage that lived there too lay dormant, most of the time. When it flared up, however, it could be lethal, and more than once it was.

By the time Jace was twenty-five, he’d been incarcerated more than once, beaten, stabbed, burned and constantly abused. Meeting two men would change his life. One had a heart of gold and saw the potential in Jace and fed it. The other he’d met once before when he was a boy, and the other man was barely out of his teens. It was Dax Marshall, now the president of the Southside Skulls. Jace was flabbergasted to find out that Dax was not only impressed with his work, but came to be impressed with him as a man as well. Between his boss and his mentor, and the place in the Skulls Dax offered him, Jace finally had real hope for his future. Then one day he skidded into the life of the most beautiful woman in the world and although Jace knew she was way out of his league, he was helpless not to fall in love with her. Of course, she had a few flaws of her own. She was possibly the meanest woman Jace had ever met, and she might just be addicted to sex as well…but sometimes a man has to make a decision to take a right, or a left, or continue up the mountain and around the tight, dangerous curves. Everything Jace had learned or experienced in his life, had led him to that moment…climb on the back of his Harley as he revs up the engine and find out which way he chooses to go!
Chapter One

Jace Bell changed schools four times before he got to the fourth grade. He hated that, and he resented his father because of it. He never told him that, though. Already at eight years old, there was nothing that scared the boy, except for his father. “The Colonel,” as Jace called him–behind his back of course–was a real colonel in the army at that time. He was a career military man and he never said no to an assignment, no matter how much it might fuck up his only child’s life. Jace didn’t have a mother. He never wondered about that until he started school and realized that almost everyone else did. He asked the Colonel about it and his response was, “She didn’t want to be a mother. She didn’t particularly like either one of us, so she left.” That was it. That was the only conversation they ever had about her.

Jace wasn’t always the only new guy. Military life meant going to school on an army base where there might be a new kid every day of the school year. He also wasn’t the only kid that got picked on, but as a little boy, with no one to talk to about it, he felt completely alone in his misery. Each time they moved, the town changed, the army base looked a little different, and the schools and teachers changed…but the bullies were always lurking. At only eight, and in the third grade, Jace was already as tall as a sixth grader. He looked about twelve years old, and mean kids liked to point out the obvious. They called him “Jace the giant” or “Jaliath,” and sometimes on the playground they would actually pretend he was Goliath, and they would throw stones at him.

Jace never once thought about telling the Colonel about the abuse. He did his best to avoid it, by avoiding everyone. He knew he was big and ugly, but he thought if he stayed silent, and out of everyone’s way, they would forget he was there. It worked at home. Sometimes, even when the Colonel was there, he’d go days without talking to Jace. Most of the time he wasn’t there, but it was even worse when he was gone. Jace would be left with a babysitter or nanny, and those were as ever-changing as his schools were. He had a lot to do with that. He wasn’t nice to them. He wasn’t necessarily mean either. Jace didn’t know the meaning of the word “intimidating” back then, but nevertheless he had figured out how to become it. He would quietly stare at the young babysitters no matter what they said to him, refusing to answer them, and giving them the meanest look he could muster. Most of them didn’t come back after the first day, and by the time Jace turned nine, the Colonel had given up and just started letting him stay by himself.

Jace maintained the anger he felt inside of him, the hate he felt for other people, the sadness and worthlessness he felt over never being wanted…well into the middle of the third grade. Then a well-placed rock and a particularly bad day unleashed a kind of rage that no third-grader should even possess. That particular day, he’d waited in the boy’s bathroom, like he did most days, for the rest of the kids to leave before he started walking home. He wasn’t afraid of them, but he preferred avoiding them to the confrontation if it was at all possible. That day as he was leaving, he saw the only person in the world he could honestly say he liked. It was his third-grade teacher, Miss Morgan. She had pretty blonde hair and light blue eyes and she smiled at him, a lot. No one else ever smiled at Jace, and it gave him a warm feeling deep in the center of his chest. She always wore flower print dresses and when she stood close to him, Jace could smell her floral perfume. It was like being in the middle of a sunflower field with the sunlight shining down on his face. Sometimes Miss Morgan would rumple his hair with her hand or look at one of his assignments and tell him how smart he was. No one else ever told him he was smart either. He’d just assumed that he wasn’t at that time. Jace didn’t understand the feelings he had for Miss Morgan. For months he thought that he only wished she were his mother. He imagined her making him cookies after school and giving him hugs and saying nice things. But that day he had a new feeling. It was jealousy, or envy, but again, Jace had no words to describe it.

He heard a loud rumble as he came out of the bathroom and he looked in that direction toward the front of the school. A big, dark motorcycle, black and shiny with a ton of chrome, pulled up in front of the school and the man on the back of it pulled off his black helmet. Jace was fascinated by the machine, at first. He spent a lot of his time at home, putting together model cars that the Colonel let him buy with his allowance. He thought about buying a motorcycle once, but so far he hadn’t. Now looking at the black Harley made him want to run right out and get one…a model, that is. It might have been the coolest thing he’d ever seen. But then, he saw her.

Miss Morgan came out of the front door of the school…but she looked different. She wasn’t wearing the yellow sunflower dress she had on that day. She’d changed into a pair of jeans, and a long-sleeved black shirt and boots. Jace had never seen her in anything other than a dress, but when she walked straight for the motorcycle, and the man on the back of it…he understood. That ugly feeling started in the pit of his stomach when Jace saw the way she smiled at the man. It was even prettier than the smiles she gave Jace. Her whole face lit up. But that wasn’t the worst of it. That ugly feeling moved up into his chest when he saw the man stretch out a tattooed arm and pull Miss Morgan in for a kiss. Jace had only seen people kiss like that on late night television, the kind he wasn’t supposed to be watching. It looked like the man was trying to suck off her face, and Jace almost went over to help her. When she pulled back, however, she was still smiling, only now there was another kind of look about her, like a glow or something. The man on the bike handed Miss Morgan a helmet, and Jace watched her put it on and climb on the bike. She wrapped her arms around the man and laid her head against his back. Once her legs were pulled up and her feet on the chrome pegs, the bike took off…and Jace felt like he was watching his princess ride away on someone else’s horse.

With those confusing feelings festering inside of him, Jace started walking toward home. He made it about three-quarters of the way before he felt a stinging feeling on his right cheek. He thought he’d been stung by a yellowjacket at first until he heard the giggles. He looked over toward a clump of bushes and trees and the freckled face of Randy Barr. The biggest bully in school was looking out at him. Randy was laughing and Jace would never know if it was still about what he was feeling for Miss Morgan, the feel of the rock hitting his cheek, Randy’s smiling face, or the culmination of all of it…but he snapped. For the first time in his life he felt the need for violence. He could almost taste blood in his mouth as he dropped his backpack and began to run toward the bushes.

Jace was almost there when his nemesis seemed to realize that this time, Jace was going to fight back. His green eyes widened and Jace heard a scream just before he dived through the bushes toward him. He missed, and Randy took off running after the two girls and a boy that had been with him and had already gotten a good head start. Jace’s legs were long, and Randy’s weren’t. In three long strides, Jace caught up with him. He pounced on the boy, knocking him to the ground. Randy’s face was buried in the dirt and when Jace grabbed his shoulder and pulled him over onto his back, it was so filthy that all Jace could see were his frightened eyes and the blood that seeped from the kid’s nose and ran down his chin. Randy opened his mouth to say something. Later, he would claim that he was going to apologize for what he’d done earlier. Jace didn’t believe that, and he didn’t care. Before Randy had a chance to speak, Jace unleashed all that anger. He beat that boy until he was unconscious. When Jace realized Randy was no longer moving, that’s when he stopped. Just like that, the rage was gone, and Jace just felt tired…and ugly inside. The “ugly” was probably guilt, but Jace’s grasp of emotions was all over the place all the time. All he knew at that moment was that he did feel sorry for what he had done. But he didn’t feel sorry enough to believe he might never do it again.

He got off the boy, leaned down, and picked him up…and he carried Randy home. Randy’s mother was still screaming when the MPs got there and took Jace into custody. Probably because of who the Colonel was, they didn’t hold him long. The Colonel picked him up, angrily lecturing him all the way home about how a “man” does things. When they got there, he was told that he was grounded for two weeks. Now Jace would never dare laugh in the Colonel’s face, but laugh he would later on. Being grounded meant nothing to him. It meant spending all of his time in his room, watching television and putting his models together. His “consequences” had only further impressed upon him that fighting back had been the right thing to do.

Jace was suspended from school twice that year for fighting. He didn’t like Miss Morgan anymore. He’d felt betrayed that day when he saw her kiss the motorcycle man…but the rock on her finger and the swelling of her belly a few months later really did him in. He stopped even trying to ignore his tormentors, and he would revel in the feeling that unleashing all of that anger gave him afterward. It was almost the end of the school year when he was expelled altogether. That made him even happier. He’d gotten into putting together model motorcycles, small, replicas of Harley Davidsons. Not having to go to school kept him from having to see Miss Morgan. It kept his tormentors away, and it gave him time to do the only thing that really calmed him down: put together and take apart his models. It didn’t really matter anyway. The Colonel had new orders and it was time to pack up and move again. There would be another new school, and new bullies and a new teacher he already decided that he wasn’t going to like. What Jace hadn’t bargained on was the new woman that would come into his father’s life, and into his home. Myrna would be the catalyst that would change everything, but at the time, when Jace was only nine and his father announced he was marrying her, and they were having a baby…Jace was sure it wasn’t going to be for the better.

Jace knew from the start that Myrna didn’t like him any more than anyone else did. She tried to pretend in front of the Colonel, but Jace knew it was fake, and what Myrna wasn’t bright enough to realize at that point was that the Colonel couldn’t care less if she liked his son or not. Jace did wonder sometimes about why he was so unlovable. He thought it was mainly because he was big, and ugly. He’d never been little and cute like any of his classmates. His hair was dark, his eyes were black, his nose was too big and his lips too small. When he was nine years old his hands and feet were bigger than the Colonel’s and by the time his father married Myrna, Jace was half a foot taller than her. She acted like she was afraid of him, although Jace had never even intimated that he’d lay a hand on her. His rage was focused on the kids at school who gave him a hard time. He didn’t like Myrna, but he never thought about hurting her.

He thought about Miss Morgan often, even after the move. Each time he saw a Harley on the street with a woman on the back, he wondered about her. He also had to watch Myrna’s belly get bigger every day, and that reminded him of his old teacher…his first love…as well. Jace also instinctively knew, even at such a young age, that Myrna and the Colonel both already liked the unborn baby more than they did him. Myrna had people in and out of the house, decorating the nursery. She turned it into a fairyland, as soon as she found out that she was having a girl. Jace wasn’t allowed in the nursery. His father told him he’d break something or trip over something with his huge feet. To spite him, Jace would break into the locked nursery door at night. He would move things around, and sometimes take things. Then he’d lock the door on his way out and let Myrna wonder about it the next day.

The day that his sister was born, the Colonel came home from the hospital and made him take a shower and dress in his good clothes. Jace didn’t tell his father, but he had no desire to see the baby. He’d never known a baby, but he’d seen them on TV and they didn’t look all that interesting. When they got to the hospital, the Colonel checked in at the nursing station with an older woman with white hair and bright pink lipstick and scrubs.

“I brought my son to see his new sister.”

The nurse looked at Jace and smiled. “Well, isn’t she a lucky girl to have such a big, strong brother to look after her?” Jace didn’t say anything until he felt a nudge in the middle of his back.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, in a voice that was already much too deep for a nine, almost ten-year-old.

The nurse came around the desk and led them to Myrna’s room. Jace stayed in the background while the Colonel fussed over Myrna and the baby in a way that Jace had never seen the old man act. Jace wondered if the Colonel would like the baby more, just because he liked Myrna more than Jace’s mother. Jace was smart enough to know that didn’t make any sense, since it wasn’t his fault who his mother was. It wasn’t his fault that she had made him ugly. The Colonel was a good-looking man with light brown hair and green eyes, so Jace was sure his mother had been the ugly one. But what confused him was how he was the only one who seemed to know that wasn’t his fault.

“Jason, come meet your sister,” the Colonel snapped at him. “Why are you always lurking in the corner? It’s creepy. You remind me of a serial killer, or something.” Jace didn’t know what a “serial killer” was, but he knew “creepy.” The kids at school had called him that, plenty of times. He wasn’t surprised that his old man used the term to describe him, especially now that he had a new kid to love. Jace did as he was told and went close to the bed. The Colonel held his arms out to Myrna, and reluctantly, it seemed, she placed the baby in his arms. Jace was suddenly looking into the baby’s face, and at first, he wasn’t impressed. She was pink and wrinkled and her eyes were closed. Her lips and cheeks were moving rapidly, like she was sucking on something. Jace thought she looked like one of the aliens on the old black-and-white movies he watched late at night. “Her name is Rosie,” the Colonel told him. As if the baby already knew her name, she pulled open her eyes and she was looking directly into her big brother’s. In shock, because he’d never seen anyone who looked like him, Jace said:

“She has black eyes, like me.” He was happy about it, but Myrna stole his joy once again, snatching the baby from his father’s arms and saying:

“They’re brown, and I’m sure they’ll lighten up eventually.”

Jace hoped not. He hoped that God…or whoever was up there…had finally put someone else on earth like him. For the next few hours, Jace was forgotten again, as usual. But he kept his eyes on the baby. He got a strange feeling when he looked at her, especially when she opened her black eyes and looked back at him. It was a good feeling. It made him feel warm inside…and he felt something else too…protectiveness. He knew, before he left the hospital that day, that he was never going to let anyone hurt his baby sister. Maybe that was his purpose in life all along. He was too young to know about any of that. But what he did know was that from that point on, the only time he felt content, and safe, was when he was in the company of his little sister, Rosie. Rosie liked him too. She’d smile and coo every time he looked at her. When she got old enough, she’d reach for him and cry. Myrna didn’t seem to like how close the two of them were, especially since Rosie seemed to prefer Jace over her. The Colonel didn’t notice any of it, of course. He was back to business as usual and Rosie’s newness, or whatever it was, seemed to have worn off.

When Rosie was two years old, Jace woke up to the sound of her screaming. His heart raced as he jumped out of his bed and ran down the hallway to the nursery. When he got there, Rosie was on the floor, bleeding from her tiny little mouth and nose. She’d tried to climb over the side of the crib and she’d fallen four feet to the floor. Jace ran over and scooped her up into his arms, just as Myrna came into the room. From there, it took Jace a while to even process what had happened. Myrna was screaming, and then an ambulance was there, and then the MPs. The Colonel showed up not long after and within days, Jace was on a bus, headed to a private, military boarding school, one thousand miles away from his sister.

Twelve-year-old Jace stared out the window of the bus, thinking about Rosie. His little sister was barely two years old and she wouldn’t understand why he went away. She was too small to understand that it wasn’t his fault, that he’d done everything he could do to protect her. The pain consumed him, mile after mile. It felt like it was eating his insides out and even at twelve years old he knew he’d never survive it. He had to find a way to deal with the pain…so somewhere along the path between Boston and his new school in New York, he let the pain simmer, and then burn, and ultimately turn into rage. Jace knew rage. He’d known it for years. The difference between rage and pain was that he knew what to do to release the rage when it burned too hot. From that moment on, Jace was like a volcano, always on the verge on a spontaneous eruption…and for the next fifteen years of his life, that rage would be his compass, leading him, guiding him, controlling him…and every so often leaving him dangling on the very edges of hell, sometimes hoping the thread would snap and put him, and everyone around him, out of their misery.


Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them.

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New Release/Excerpt

Title: Heart Strings
Series: Red Centre Series
Author: Emily Hussey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2019
Tragic events in her formative years colour Melissa’s perceptions of her place in the world. Trust and commitment are not concepts she embraces. Known in Alice Springs for her aloof behaviour, Melissa is okay with that. She prefers to view life through the lens of her camera.
Chris Harris is sociable and charismatic, with a wide circle of friends. He’s worked as a chopper pilot in the region for several years, and enjoys the work, but it’s time for a change. Even so, nobody would have predicted what would happen when he and Melissa had a dramatic confrontation on her father’s remote property.

It’s a case of yin and yang attract, luring them both out of their comfort zone. Does that mean Chris will tolerate irrational behaviour? Some people know when to cut their losses.

In a journey that takes Melissa from a remote Australian station, to the high fashion world of Sydney and beyond, she comes to realise there are choices to make in who she lets into her life, and who she loves.
Chris met her at the airport. She’d rung him from Alice, letting him know that she’d changed her flight and would be coming back a day early. She’d sounded abrupt on the phone and his gut told him not to ask questions. Perhaps the dinner had not gone well.

“Good time, huh?” he asked as she clung to him in the Arrivals Hall. “Or are you just pleased to see me?”

“Of course I’m pleased to see you, you fool. It’s been a tiring trip, that’s all.”

“And the party?”

“The party’s over. I don’t want to talk about it.”

He didn’t pursue the matter. He took her home instead and that night for the first time, she invited him to stay.

“Sweetheart, are you sure you’re ready for this?” Chris kissed her gently. “I don’t want to feel as though I’m rushing you or taking advantage.”

“Chris Harris, are you turning me down?”

His stomach churned at the anguish in her eyes. It made him want to hold her tight. “Are you kidding me? I’ll never turn you down. I just wanted to make sure…”

“Shut up and kiss me.” 

She grasped him tightly as though trying to melt into him. His aroused response was immediate and very apparent. She led him to her room, shutting the door quietly before turning to face him. With eyes fixed on his, she slid down the zip to her dress. Dropping it to the floor, she stepped out of it and grasping his face between her hands, reaching up to claim his lips.

With a soft moan, he slid a hand down her back to grab her butt and press her as close as it was possible for two people to be with their clothes still on. Opening her mouth to him, their tongues engaged, a gentle journey of exploration—teasing, tasting and exploring. He could feel her nipples, trapped in their lacy harness, hardening to pebbles and pressing against his chest. His arousal strained in response.

Pulling back, Melissa undid the buttons of his shirt, baring his skin beneath her fingers and darting quick licks across the hollow of his neck. At the same time, he unhooked her bra, dragging it off and casting it aside. He took one breast in his hand, caressing the peachy tip between the finger and thumb and causing her to throw back her head with mewls of pleasure.

The remainder of their clothes were discarded with mutual haste. With a gentle shove, she pushed Chris onto her bed, her legs entwined with his as they began an exploration of each other’s bodies.

Emily Hussey splits her time between work in Melbourne CBD and her home in Adelaide, South Australia. She has lived in several Australian cities, and spent a few years living in Alice Springs, the setting for the Red Centre series.

While there, she also obtained her private pilot’s licence, providing the technical background for the aviation scenes in the Red Centre Series.

Emily enjoys the short story format, and has been published in local anthologies. The genres range from crime to romance, with some contemporary fiction for good measure.

She was a marriage celebrant for 24 years, and has married couples in many different locations, ranging from private gardens, to beaches to caves or rural locations. Many of her clients remain friends to this day.

The bottom drawer is always full of outlines for future projects. So many ideas, so little time. Plans revolve around making writing her 9-5 job, and gaining inspiration from travels both in Australia and overseas.
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