The Star Survivor by Veronica Scott

Thank you Veronica for being my first guest for 2017.

Thanks for having me as your guest and I’m honored to kick off 2017 here at your blog!

My latest science fiction romance novel is Star Survivor and has actually been the sequel most often requested by my readers. It’s a wonderful compliment to be asked for sequels but I also wanted to be sure I got it right and did justice to the two characters my readers were intrigued by.

Twilka and Khevan were secondary characters in Wreck of the Nebula Dream, the book I wrote based on the sinking of the Titanic, but set in the far future on an interstellar spaceliner. People definitely wanted to know what happened to them next. This new book is a standalone story but having read Wreck first might enhance the reader enjoyment a bit. It’s not a spoiler to say Twilka, the heroine in this new book, is definitely a survivor, not only of the wreck, but also of other events in her life. She’s stronger than she ever understood.

It took me a while to work out what the future would have held for Khevan and Twilka once they finally escaped the dying ship in the first book. I came up with a couple of romantic suspense type plots but nothing seemed right and I kept setting the project aside. So in mid-2016, I took a step back to reconsider. One of my jumping off points for this story was the realization that a person will probably only ever have one “Titanic” type of event in their entire life. (Certain real crew members of the Titanic were an exception to the general rule but that’s another story for sure). Life goes on and although the person has undoubtedly been shaped and altered by what they lived through on the fateful night, he or she still has to finish living out an ordinary human existence.

So I thought about what changes surviving the catastrophic wreck of the Nebula Dream would have made to someone like Twilka – rich, carefree and previously sheltered from consequences – and then how she’d go on afterward. I looked into the stories of real Titanic First Class passengers who survived the sinking and what they did next, which was interesting and illuminating, as far as choices for Twilka. You asked me about one of my character’s strengths and one of her weaknesses – Twilka is extremely strong as a person and refuses to ever accept defeat. She keeps fighting. Her father is a “generational billionaire” with many children by a number of wives, and I think the reader can infer Twilka has always had to fight to be ‘seen’ and to get her share of attention, time and resources. Her original weakness in Wreck of the Nebula Dream was expecting her social status and riches to solve any problem. Now that she knows better, her weakness is her lingering love for Khevan. Needless to say, things did not go smoothly for them as a couple after the end of Wreck. Or we’d have no story to tell!

The hero in this book is Khevan, the D’nvannae Brother – he’s sworn to serve an alien goddess, as either a bodyguard or a deadly assassin, at the whim of his Red Lady. At the end of Wreck, he and Twilka were together…but again, I had to consider what might have happened to him after the first few weeks of relief at surviving. His weakness is that he can only think of protecting Twilka, no matter the cost to himself, and so he makes decisions without her input on matters that very much affect her. It’s not that he doesn’t respect her or think highly of her abilities. He’s been so shaped by his responsibilities and experiences as a D’nvannae Brother that he can only see one path in any situation. His strength is that he’s a highly trained killer and no one is going to assassinate Twilka while he’s on the job.

One of your standard questions for guests is about what’s most difficult to write – characters, conflict or emotions. Star Survivor has all three elements of course, but for me the characters themselves are the bedrock foundation of any story and their emotions will then direct how the conflicts get resolved. I tend to write an external conflict underlying the plot which puts my characters in a situation where they have to make choices and take action – a lot of action! I’m not a plotter, by which I mean I start off knowing who my characters are, the beginning and the ending of the book, and a few major scenes along the way. Nothing more than that. Then I dive into the writing and let the characters tell me the details of what happens next as I go along. Sometimes the twists and turns will surprise even me!

Here’s the story of Star Survivor:

The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.

They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.

Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?

D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady.  Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.

But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

And a very short excerpt for you:

The dreams she couldn’t escape for long were especially bad tonight. Twilka tossed and turned on the huge bed in the city’s most luxurious hotel, more than a little afraid to seek more sleep. She’d clawed her way out of the nightmare where she was surrounded by laughing, faceless drunks, intent on living their last few hours of life aboard the Nebula Dream by passing her around among themselves. In the dream, there was no help coming, no rescue, and she woke screaming. Heart pounding, she lay still for a moment before reaching for the glass of water at the bedside. Should she take the meds her doctor had given her to suppress the memories?

No, the prescription stuff made her into a robot who’d sleepwalk through tomorrow’s activities, and she needed all her wits about her in the negotiations. Taking the glass, she kicked her way free of the covers and strolled barefoot to the private terrace, high above the planet’s surface. Inhaling a deep breath of the flower-scented air, she took one tentative step onto the balcony, clutching the door handle with her free hand. Acrophobia was a bitch. As she sipped the water, she reflected on the irony that she, of all people, was reluctant to take a drug to quell the nightmares. “A legal one no less,” she muttered to herself. After years of enjoying all the feelgoods all the time with no regard for consequences.

The view of the city was breathtaking, all colorful twinkly lights at this hour. Raising her eyes to the plateau, she took a deep breath. The Red Lady’s oversize temple dominated the horizon, glowing ruby like a baleful eye. Shivering, wishing she’d put on her robe, Twilka pivoted to re-enter the room. With a stifled scream, she saw a dark shadow standing beside the bed. Breaking the water glass on the door frame and holding the jagged base fragment as a weapon, she said, “I’ve activated my personal panic button. The hotel’s security detail will be here in a minute. Leave now and I won’t press charges.”

He stepped into the moonlight. “We need to talk. Cancel the alarm.”

Khevan. She sagged against the balcony door, allowing the broken glass to roll from her hand onto the carpet. “I told you, we have nothing left to discuss. Anything between us died a long time ago.”

There was pounding on the door. “Miss Zabour?”

He didn’t even glance at the portal, intent on her. “Send them away.”

What’s next for me? I’m currently writing the sequel to Star Cruise: Stowaway, which was a novella that appeared in the Pets In Space anthology. Then I haven’t decided what next, although I will say more sequel ideas for Twilka and Khevan keep coming to me now!

Author Bio and Links:

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”




 Star Survivor Buy Links:

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Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera

cam1800x2700-4-copyBlurb for Candleglow and Mistletoe:

Noelle Wentworth doesn’t mind getting away from St. Augustine to fill in at her ailing aunt’s candle shop. A few weeks in Snowing Rock will help her get past the humiliating memory lapse that ruined an important piano concert—and, ultimately, her marriage to her overbearing duet partner.

She’s mentally rehearsing for her comeback performance when the bus she’s riding in slides off an icy mountain road.
And one deep, calming voice emerges from the confusion to slow her racing heart—right before his ruggedly handsome face kicks it back into allegro.

Gabe Waters is usually prepared for anything—as a professional stuntman, his life depends on it—but nothing prepared him for Noelle, the unattainable high school crush whose bravery saved him from more than just a bully’s flying fist. There’s no hint she recognizes him, but Gabe knows that face, those eyes…and he sees something that wasn’t there before. Distrust and apprehension.

Their unexpected attraction kindles something as warm and sweet as a holiday candle. But the weight of their pasts could turn the promise of love to ashes.

Buy link on Amazon:

Universal buy link on Apple, Nook and Kobo:

Video of I Love You More

camel_Author bio:

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband.They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook:

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Follow her on twitter: @josieriviera


I also have a video for Candleglow and Mistletoe. Here’s the youtube link:


pastimes-1Thanks so much to Cynthia Wolf for her gracious invitation to return as today’s guest to her blog. You know me…I love to chat about ALL THINGS HISTORICAL and this visit is no exception. I’ll share a bit about me, my USA Today ‘recommended read’ love stories, as well as a lil’ tidbit in regards to the time period I love so much: The Victorian Era. A well-bred woman from the mid-1800s was called ‘The Household General’, which is a term coined in 1861 by Isabella Beeton in her manual “Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management”. Accordingly, she explained “…the mistress of a household is comparable to the commander of an army. To run a respectable house and secure the happiness, comfort and well-being of her family she must perform her duties intelligently and thoroughly.” Although Mrs. Beeton died in 1865, her book continued to be a best-seller that was well-loved by her upper class readers who had a large complement of domestics. And yet, even with these daily accountabilities, a pastimes-3well-bred Victorian lady still had time to enjoy all manner of pastimes. Other than, of course, passementerie pastime-4[needlework – for a lady’s hands were never idle], inside activities ranged from cards, playing musical instruments, and oil-pastimes-5painting, etc…to all manner of outdoor undertakings such as crochet, archery, and horseback riding. Indeed, the life of a wealthy woman in this time-period was a well-orchestrated blend of duty AND fun.  pastimes-6

pastimes-7And now a lil’ bit about me: Say hello to Bestselling Historical Romance writer, CINDY NORD…the USA Today ‘Recommended Read’ author of NO GREATER GLORY, the #1 Civil War Romance at Amazon for over one full year, and book one in her four-book ‘The Cutteridge’ Series. WITH OPEN ARMS, book two, debuted in August, 2014, and zoomed straight to a #1 Bestselling Western Historical Romance. Book three, AN UNLIKELY HERO, made its debut July 1st, 2016, and by midnight hit the ‘Top 100 Romances’ list at Amazon. Book four, BY ANY MEANS, is due for release July, 2017. Cindy is also honored to be a contributing author alongside notable cindy-nord-photoNYTimes writers in the delightful SCRIBBLING WOMEN & THE REAL-LIFE ROMANCE HEROES WHO LOVE THEM. All proceeds from this non-fiction anthology go straight to charity. She is a member of numerous writers groups, and her work has finaled or won countless times in competitions — including the prestigious Romance Writers of America National Golden Heart Contest. Even PBS Television came calling to interview her regarding her love of writing. A luscious blend of history and romance, her stories meld both genres around fast-paced action and emotionally driven characters. Please follow Cindy at her Facebook page [ ] for her Monday-thru-Friday morning “Coffee Klatch” — as well as on Twitter at @cnord2. Indeed, true love awaits you in the writings of Cindy Nord.  Long live historical romance. ♥

Cindy’s books:

my-books-no-greater-gloryNO GREATER GLORY:

Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.

Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Despite the responsibilities resting on her slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone rip away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp on her land. With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.

Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career. As the armies go dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the war with their lives—and their love—intact.

Zip over here to read the opening:


my-books-with-open-armsWITH OPEN ARMS:

A war-weary ex-soldier.  An untamable hellion.  Love doesn’t stand a chance in hell…

Hardened in childhood by the death of her parents, then left to run the family’s southwestern territory ranch when her brother rode off to fight for the Union years before, Callie Cutteridge hides her heartbreak behind a mask of self-sufficiency. Breaking horses for the army proves she’s neither delicate nor helpless. When a former cavalry officer shows up claiming to own her brother’s half of the Arizona ranch, she steels herself to resist the handsome stranger’s intention to govern even one single aspect of her life. After all, loving means losing…to her it always has.

For months, Jackson Neale has looked forward to putting the bloodstained battlefields back east behind him. Callie isn’t the agreeable angel her brother led him to believe, but he’s damned well not the useless rake this foul-mouthed hellion thinks he is, either. His quest for calm stability contradicts sharply with her need for control, yet still their heartstrings tangle. But how can these mistrusting partners transform their fiery passion into a happily- ever-after when all Callie knows how to do is fight…and all Jackson wants is peace?

ZIP over here to read the opening:


my-books-an-unlikely-heroAN UNLIKELY HERO (for a limited time only .99¢):

 He’s a hard-as-stone man with a broken past…and she’s a reminder of all he’s lost.

Rugged army scout Dillon Reed has met his match in spoiled Boston debutante Alma Talmadge, but an unwanted assignment escorting the beauty across the wilds of America soon evolves into a journey of monumental change for them both. With killers hot on their trail, the odds of staying alive are stacked against them…and yet, falling in love was nowhere in their plans for survival.

ZIP over here to read the opening:


My webpage:  

My Amazon Author Page:  

An Unlikely Hero buy link:  

No Greater Glory buy link:  

With Open Arms buy link:  

Barnes & Noble NOOK link (With Open Arms) buy link:  

Barnes & Noble NOOK link (No Greater Glory) buy link:  

Barnes & Noble NOOK link (An Unlikely Hero) buy link:  

Apple/iBooks (All Three Books) buy links:      

Facebook ‘Coffee Klatch’ site:  


Goodreads (With Open Arms):





Christmas Classics with Alicia Street

aliciastreetMiracle on Thirty-Fourth Street
Holiday Inn
A Christmas Carol
It’s a Wonderful Life

All holiday classics that I have to watch every year. I know every scene and outcome, and my poor husband, who gets coaxed into watching them with me year after year, can literally recite enough lines from each flick to earn himself a role in any remake.

But watching these stories play out never gets tiring—just the opposite. Why?
Because the holiday season is about remembering that warmth and love always come through somehow, even in difficult times.

Heartwarming stories filled with romance and Christmas cheer are part of my holiday season rituals, just like the must-have pumpkin pie and turkey I’ll be making next week for Thanksgiving and the tree I’ll be trimming soon after that.

That’s why I write a sweet Christmas romance every year and make them the kind that
that stir the heart and get you in the spirit of the season.

This year I’ve bundled together four of my Holiday Luv romances into a boxed set that’s available now.


Holiday Luv Bundle: Four Christmas Romances

The Christmas Honeymoon

Quiet librarian Serena always loved Christmas, until she was jilted before her December wedding. A year later, while trying to rekindle her tarnished holiday spirit, she meets Damien, handsome daredevil—and a total Scrooge. Their unlikely mutual attraction brings on a challenge that leads to one very romantic Christmas.

Be Mine for Christmas

Single mom Ellie is lonely and struggling to find a job. She takes her little boy to a Christmas tree farm to see Santa and runs head on into a blue-eyed Viking with a winsome smile. Reece opened his Christmas tree farm after the accident that nearly took his life. But it left him with the vision of a woman who would heal his heart.

The Christmas Wedding Cake

Natalie and Shane were inseparable sweethearts until a pair of mysterious emails tore them apart. Years later they meet again on a reality TV cooking show—and it’s more than the oven that gets heated up.

His Christmas Promise

A stray dog finds refuge with an ex-Army helicopter pilot and helps restore his grandmother’s will to live. It seems like a Christmas miracle until the bachelor war vet discovers the mutt belongs to a little girl who wants him back—and a single mom who makes him rethink his freewheeling ways and maybe even believe in love.







AuthorBio and Links for Alicia Street

aliciastreet-1Alicia Street is a USA Today bestselling author and a Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She writes both sweet and steamy romances. Her Dance ‘n’ Luv contemporary romance series springs from her years as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher. Alicia sometimes writes in collaboration with her husband, Roy, and is grateful to have the kind of marriage that proves romance novel love really exists.


Amazon Author Page





Suffragettes by Sylvia McDaniel

wildwesternwomenmistletoemontana_coverflatMany women cringe when they hear the word and few know of how they sacrificed so that we could have the rights we have today. I”m not talking about just the right to vote, but the right to have a bank account, own land, have custody of our children, and make our own decisions regarding our well being. Back in the 1800’s women didn’t have these rights and a young woman’s father made all her decisions for her until she was married. Then those rights were passed to her husband. And if there was abuse, that was her lot in life and she’d better accept it. If she’d didn’t, she would lose her children if she left her husband.

To obtain the rights, we have today, many women before us had to stand up and shout and be heard. Those were the suffragettes. One of my favorite research books is called Women Together: A History in Documents of the Women’s Movement in the United States by Judith Papachristou. The Women’s Movement began in the 1830’s. In churches women gathered to fight slavery and soon realized their own inequality.

While my stories are all fiction, I like taking strong women and putting them in precarious situations where they learn and grow. In my Scandalous Suffragette series the women all go to jail for marching on a Boston bank that refuses to give them bank accounts. College educated women, my heroines soon have to choose between love and their cause.

Mistletoe Scandal is the latest in the Scandalous Suffragette Brides and is part of the Wild Western Women Box, Mistletoe, Montana box set. Currently, the price is .99 cents. Here is an excerpt:

Leaning against his sled with his arms folded across his chest, he watched the woman coming toward him. He knew her type. She was fanciful and bold and knew the effect she had on men. He’d seen women like her use their control of men and even experienced their effects himself. After all, he’d been left waiting at the altar by a woman like her. The very reason he’d moved to Montana.

He would deliver Miss Walsh and then drive home to the safety of his ranch. Staying away from James and his family until his niece left town.

“Miss Walsh,” the newspaper man said, hurrying toward her. “Welcome to Mistletoe. May I take your picture for the newspaper?”

“Why, of course,” she said.

The preacher posed with Miss Walsh, smiling into the camera as the newspaper man lifted the fancy gadget around his neck to his face. With a pop and a flash, the camera took the photo.

Seth glanced uneasily at the sky. They didn’t have time for this nonsense. They needed to get on the road or face a very cold, snowy drive.

“How long are you visiting your uncle?” Tom asked.

“I have to return to New York after the first of the year,” she said.

Seth chuckled. Had anyone ever told this woman that sometimes the trains didn’t run because of snow on the tracks? She’d be doing good to get a train out of here in January.

“Miss Walsh, what are your plans while you’re visiting Mistletoe,” he asked.

“To visit with my aunt and uncle.”

The newspaper man’s questions were ridiculous and wasting time. It was time to go.

“What about the future? What are your plans after you leave here?” he asked.

Everleigh smiled and the men around her stared in adoration. “I’m going to work for the New York Times.”

Seth looked at her. Oh yeah, she was exactly what he thought. A highfalutin woman who wanted a career.

“Let’s go,” he said, waiting to help her into the sleigh.

She continued to talk to the newspaper man while the sun was being obliterated by clouds rolling across the sky. Most definitely, a storm.

They should have been on the road an hour ago. “Let’s go.”

She ignored him. He walked around to his side of the sleigh, got in, and snapped the reins. The sleigh started to pull away.

“Wait,” she called, suddenly springing into action hurrying after him.

That had gotten her attention. He stopped the sleigh. “You ready to leave now?”

Frowning at him, she climbed into the sleigh. “Shut up and let’s go.”



Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match… By Francesca Hawley


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00065]How does a lonely shapeshifter find love? That was the “what if” question that helped me create the concept for my current release, Alpha vs. Alpha. I reasoned that it isn’t as if your average shapeshifter could advertise on eHarmony or After all, explaining “and oh by the way I can change into a wolf sometimes,” would not be great icebreaker material on a date with one of the typical subscribers.

So, I came up with the concept of an online dating service which is supplemented by an office staff that could also provide personalized service if someone was willing to pay the price to be personally matched. The heroine of Alpha vs. Alpha is Serena Goldwolf is a bit abrasive and volatile but in her defense, this is only because she’s on the verge of going into heat. A heat cycle she wasn’t expecting because it’s brought on by meeting her True Mate, Damien Blackwolf.

What’s a True Mate? It’s a shapeshifter’s destined mate—a life partner and lover from whom there is no escape because they are fated to be together. A True Mate is the very last thing Serena wants in her life. Her parents are True Mates, and her perception is that her mother gave up everything to support her father.

Her mother put off college and had a pup as soon as they met. Serena can’t remember ever hearing her parents argue. Her mother would smile and nod when her father made decisions regarding how the Goldwolf pack will be run. Serena can’t and won’t live that way, so meeting Damien Blackwolf is a nightmare. She doesn’t want to find herself saying “Yes, dear” like a wolf-bitch version of a Stepford Wife no matter what half-assed pronouncement comes from her True Mate’s mouth. She fears that’s her destiny because her True Mate is an Alpha male. The conflict raging through her is, “do I have to give up me to be with you?” She fears the answer is yes, so she fights her attraction to Damien.

Damien is at the age where he wants to settle down. He has approached (Serena’s matchmaking service) to find a Chosen Mate, never expecting that he’d meet his True Mate. All he hoped for was a compatible female with whom he could share his life and have pups together. A female he could fall in love with and with whom he could share the rest of his life. Instead, the first female found for him was a scary stalker type female and he’s ticked. When Serena realizes that he’d been matched with a female she’d thrown out of the service, she’s angry too because it means she has to apologize and she hates it. And she especially hates apologizing to Damien.

All it takes is one deep breath, and Damien is sold on Serena. She’s his True Mate and he wants her in his life now and for always. When she runs, he gives chase…because that’s what True Mates do. Is he able to convince her that he wants her just the way she is? Pick up Alpha vs. Alpha to find out.


Alpha vs. Alpha by Francesca Hawley

Alpha female Serena Goldwolf has spent a lifetime vowing never to be a submissive mate to any Alpha male. But all it takes is one surprisingly sexual meeting with Damien Blackwolf, a dissatisfied client of her shapeshifter dating site, and she is aching to be owned by the hottest male on two legs—or four.

Damien Blackwolf doesn’t understand why the voluptuous Serena won’t admit they’re True Mates. To convince her, he decides to bring out her desires by dragging her to someplace private to get to know her…intimately. But how can he convince her of their destiny when she refuses to acknowledge their connection and runs away from him?

In a passionate battle of wills, there most definitely can be two winners.

Note:  This book was previously published elsewhere but has been revised and updated.


Alpha vs. Alpha

Copyright © 2005, 2011, 2016, Francesca Hawley

Serena Goldwolf’s head shot up at the irate shout coming from the outer office of her shapeshifter matchmaking business, She brushed her bangs off her forehead with a sigh. Damn it, couldn’t anyone in this office take care of stuff without her intervention?

The male voice continued to roar out there, and she knew her secretary wouldn’t be able to handle him because Kara was such an omega even omega males dominated her. Serena sighed again, saved her database update and headed out to confront the wolf male jerk. Serena took in the male outrage with a shake of her head. Asshole. He shook his head as if he’d heard her. Yeah right. She wished.

“I’m sorry, sir. Really.” Kara huddled in her chair, her head dipped and her eyes on her desktop. Submission in her posture and her voice.

“You people set me up with some stalker bitch! I want to talk to one of the owners, now.” A tall black-haired man with dark-brown eyes leaned on the desk, his large hands flat on the wood.

Serena took him in, her body responding immediately. Damn it. She didn’t need this shit, but she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He wore a very expensive, black Italian suit, Italian black leather loafers, a crisp white shirt and red tie. The ultimate in power wear for the busy executive. And he was so good-looking he resembled an escapee from Fashion Week. She shook her head to remind herself that he wasn’t all that…he was just a wolf like any other.


francescahawley200x300Hi. I’m Francesca Hawley and I’m a fat chick. A woman with dangerous curves just like my heroines.

Many people don’t like the word, “fat” but I do because it’s the truth and I’ve learned to own it. I am a fat chick and I always will be. When I first began to read romance, the heroines were all thin. I kept wondering, where were the fat heroines? I wanted to read about a fat chick who loved herself—or at least learned to love herself—and a hot alpha hero who liked her jiggly bits just the way they were. Since I didn’t find many big girls to read about, I decided to write about them, so Francesca Hawley – author of Romance with Dangerous Curves was born.

In a Francesca Hawley romance, my readers will find authentic, sensual, fat heroines who love and are loved by their intense, passionate, and seductive Alpha heroes. I hope you enjoy their dangerous curves just as much as their hunky heroes do.

Web site:





Good Reads:

Submit To Me by Anya Summers

submittome-small-copyIf he’d been wearing a hat, it would have been in his hands as he entered the Mullardoch Manor proper by way of the Dungeon Level and Dungeon Fantasy Club. He exited the elevator which opened into a grand foyer. Spying the pristine marble floors and wood paneling made some of his tension ease at the familiar sight.

Hunter had prepared himself for a boatload of groveling. When you pissed off your best friend’s bride-to-be, it came with the territory. He and Zoey—aka Declan McDougal’s fiancée— had gotten off to a rocky start, due to some misinformation of rather epic proportions that he’d bought courtesy of the media. And yes, after all his years in Hollywood, he should have known better than to trust a story without verifying it first before he repeated it. In his defense, the story had included a data leak that had published his home address for every crazy fan with a camera to stalk him, which had forced him to put his place on the market. Normally he loved his fans and enjoyed meeting them, but he also valued his privacy when he was at home.

For the record, he never groveled. Quite the opposite, in fact—usually the shoe appeared on the other foot, and it was, ‘Yes, Mr. Clarke,’ or ‘Right away, Mr. Clarke.’ So the fact that he was here and prepared to make amends already made him uncomfortable about the upcoming weekend. The last thing he wanted to do was drive a rift between himself and Declan over a simple misunderstanding. They’d been friends far too long, and Hunter valued the relationship more than his own self-righteous pride.

“Declan it’s so wonderful to see you,” a feminine voice murmured, sounding like heather and peat smoke.

That voice brought him up short.

He silently skidded to a halt with his rolling suitcase. Memories of that voice, of the way it sounded in laughter, filled with tears, or as she gasped when she climaxed, hit him like a tidal wave. It decimated his system. He knew he should do something. As to what, he wasn’t positive. Leave the manor? Make a joke? As confident as he had always been, that voice and the woman attached to it had been the only thing to ever truly rattle his cage. If this were a film, the hero would rise to the challenge and act like it didn’t affect him.

But real life had a funny way of not living up to the idyllic picture presented on the silver screen.

Hearing that voice made every nerve ending in Hunter’s body stand at attention, his heart thumped madly in his chest, and he cursed its effect on him.

Waltzing into Mullardoch Manor—one of his last few, safe bastions on the planet due to the data breach earlier this fall, a place where he didn’t have to mind his every word or gesture for fear of feeding a media frenzy—only to hear the voice that visited him in his dreams, made Hunter unable to believe his rotten damn luck. She was here in Declan’s home. Never in a million years would he have thought he’d run into her here.

He’d avoided parts of Scotland in the last ten years to ensure they never crossed paths.

Knocked completely off kilter, he, Hunter Clarke, recently named a Hollywood Icon for his work in film, stood rooted to the spot and watched the tableau unfold.

“I’m so glad you could make it, Veronica. It’s been far too long.” Declan’s back was to him, hiding most of the woman’s form with his larger frame. As it was, Hunter could only see her set of smaller, womanly shaped legs on the other side of him. He’d always loved her legs; the lithe shape had always fit around his waist just right.

Christ! Even seeing her legs made him remember how they had felt wrapped around his waist.

“I wanted to be here. It’s a day for family, and since your mom… well, I don’t want to get all maudlin on ye. She’d be happy for you, though, and I’m here to make sure you have family to witness it. Thank you for inviting me, cousin.”


What the hell? In all the years Hunter had known Declan, he’d never mentioned her. Hunter knew his friend had some distant relatives in Scotland that he didn’t see all that often. But Veronica was his cousin? His Veronica?


Submit To Me (The Dungeon Fantasy Club, Book 7)

Veronica McGinnis is a single mom, more concerned with her son’s homework than dating. She lives quietly on the Scottish coast, writing articles for the local newspaper and raising her child. When her cousin Declan invites her to his huge wedding, she thinks nothing of accepting the invitation. Veronica needs to escape her humdrum existence, if only for a while. She loves being a mother, but most days, it feels as though that’s all she is. As a submissive member of The Dungeon Fantasy Club, she’s been feeling achy and needy, and downright ready to jump the mailman’s bones – which, in her small town, is the epitome of desperation.

Hunter Clarke is a famous Hollywood movie star, appearing in several of the latest blockbuster films. His name and face, as well as his potential love interests, are constantly splashed across the news, right alongside politics and the latest baseball stats. One of the founding Dom members of The Dungeon Fantasy Club, he walks a tightrope, with salacious reporters just waiting to uncover the tawdry side of his life in return for a huge payday.

Hunter has to make amends with Zoey, his best friend’s fiancée, especially if he wants to remain  a member of the club, so it’s with his hat in his hands that he accepts Declan’s invitation to be one of the ushers at what promises to be the wedding of the century. Hunter couldn’t be more shocked when he enters Mullardoch Manor only to discover that one of the other guests is none other than Veronica, the first love of his life, and the woman who broke his heart.

When Hunter discovers that Veronica is a submissive club member, he tempts her into a private scene. Her sweet cries as she submits to his fervent demands make him wonder how he could ever have convinced himself that he could live without her.

Veronica’s only thought, however, is how much she needs to keep the secret she’s kept hidden for ten years. When the truth is revealed, she moves heaven and earth to shield the most precious person in her life from the fallout – even if it means leaving the one Dom she knows she could give her whole heart to.

Will Hunter be able to convince Veronica to submit to him for more than just one night?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual scenes including anal, as well as bondage and spanking. Though it is part of a series, it can, like the others, be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Available at: Blushing Books, Amazon


Anya Summers Bio

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

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Twitter: @AnyaBSummers


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Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

The Dungeon Fantasy Club Series

Her Highland Master, Book 1

To Master and Defend, Book 2

Two Doms for Kara, Book 3

His Driven Domme, Book 4

Her Country Master, Book 5

Love Me, Master Me, Book 6

Submit To Me, Book 7, October 15, 2016

Her Wired Dom, Book 8, November 14, 2016

Cowboy Heroes by Gemma Juliana

cowboyThere’s something special about the cowboys of old. Their word was their bond, and they lived and died for their beliefs. Promises were made to be kept. They did what they said they’d do, unless they died trying.

The cowboy was tough but fair in his assessments. He listened more than he spoke, but when he did speak his message was potent. There was no laziness or putting things off until another day. A work ethic ensured things got done, and they took pride in their work.

The cowboy image was one of strength and courage. They never shied away from a fight if it was to uphold justice or defend those who were defenseless. They chose their battles wisely, knowing some could be won, while others were best left alone.

They also understood that not all things have a price, and not everything could be bought or sold.

Our world could do with more strong, silent heroes who lived with a similar outlook.

When I wrote Love, Texas Style for Roping the Cowboy, the RB4U 2016 anthology, I chose to write a contemporary novelette where the old values are still important today. This is my first cowboy story, and is set in rural Texas, a place where a man’s word is still his honor, and a handshake is as binding as a signed contract. The hero thinks like a cowboy of old. Both characters grew up with cowboy values and a code of decency. That’s why Chase’s betrayal hit Amy so hard.

Roping the Cowboy has 9 unique novelettes from sweet to sizzling. It is available on Amazon now for preorder: and will be delivered to your reading device on October 15, 2016. For story excerpts go to:


Max struggles daily to hide his psychic gift with animals. Being a hired hand at a local dairy probably wasn’t his best idea, but his mom needs the money he brings in. And there’s the dairy owner’s sexy daughter he can’t stop thinking about. Will he ever have anything other than himself to offer her?

Genre: Paranormal Romance


COWBOYS ONLY by Nicole Morgan

Terry Reynolds runs his family’s cattle ranch in Antonito, Colorado. Born and raised on the one-hundred-plus acre property, it’s the only life he knows. Much to his match-making mother’s dismay, it’s the only thing in his life he truly cares for.

Andie Donahue has just moved to Antonito after inheriting a small two-bedroom cabin from her late aunt. She wants a new start and decides this is her chance. After discovering a dating site has matched her to a handsome cowboy in the same town, she wastes no time sending the hunk a message.

Terry has no clue why some strange woman has shown up at his ranch, or what the heck

she’s talking about. After running the adorable brunette off, he finds out the truth. Now he’s faced with making amends for his mother’s meddling. But did he just blow the best chance he had for love right out of the water? And worse…what does he do now?

Genre: Contemporary romance


LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE by Rose Anderson writing as Madeline Archer

In 1919, with soldiers off to war in Europe and influenza taking the heartiest in the homeland, a small ranch in New Mexico hangs on the edge of foreclosure. After the granddaughter of a Yaqui medicine man prays to the ancestors for guidance, a stranger arrives seeking work and he’s is unlike any vaquero they’ve ever known. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Genre: Paranormal


THE SHADOWS IN OUR PAST by Denyse Bridger 

Enroute home to Gold Ridge, Colorado after their honeymoon, David and Hannah Logan are attacked by a pair of bandits who plunge them back into a past they shared, but never truly came to terms with together… It’s been almost a year since the nightmare of violence and assault tore Hannah from David’s side and left him bereft and angry. When she returned to him, determined to rebuild what they’d lost, the light of love had come with her. Now, a new torment threatens to destroy everything, and Hannah’s biggest enemy might just be David himself…

Genre: Historical Western


rb4u-cowboy-3d1LOVE, TEXAS STYLE by Gemma Juliana 

Amy Waterstone must return to the family ranch in Glen Creek, Texas because her father had a serious accident. Then she learns her father compromised the ranch by taking a loan from Chase Storm that he can’t repay. The cowboy next door is the one man she never wants to see again. Chase has waited seven years for Amy to come home, and for a chance to redeem himself in her eyes. They’re both older, but are they any wiser?

Genre: Contemporary


BEAR COUNTRY by Michele Zurlo 

Tasked with scattering the ashes of her beloved aunt at the source of the Big Bear River

high in the mountains, Mallory must swallow her pride and ask Gavin, a laconic, sexy ranch hand, to guide her.

Genre: Paranormal/shifter



This luscious cowboy’s been on her radar for years, but he’s never noticed her. A speeding ticket changes everything, leading to a sultry weekend and no-holds-barred romance – Texas style.

Genre: Erotic Contemporary



Dr. Miranda Chase didn’t want to be home but she’d do just about anything for her dad

including temporarily taking over his veterinarian practice. However, once she met her dad’s client Garrett, she wanted to drop everything and run. Cocky cowboys just weren’t her thing.

Garrett Jackson cares more about his horse than himself or anyone else and when a tiny bit of a thing calling herself a vet blows into his life like a tornado, he’s literally knocked for a loop. He doesn’t have time for women.

But, when Garrett’s horse turns up missing, Miranda isn’t going anywhere. Forced to work together, they’ll learn a little bit about each other or die trying.

Genre: Western Contemporary Romance



(England, 1870) The Honorable Amelia Haddon must marry, or lose the income that supports her and her “companion.”  Averse to men, she is desperate until an American cowboy proves to be her unlikely rescuer. But will judgmental society drag this happy trio apart?

Genre:  Historical (Victorian England)


Please share in comments what you enjoy most about cowboy stories.


GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who writes love stories of all kinds, from contemporary to paranormal. She has a penchant for romantic international settings, whether real and fictional. Gemma lives in a cozy cottage in Texas with her very own hero, teen son, and a dog who rules them all. Chocolate and coffee nourish her muse and fuel her creativity. She enjoys traveling for research and spending time with family and friends. Gemma loves hearing from readers and making new friends.

The Crow and Blackfoot of the Montana Territory, Shirleen Davies

shirleendavies_promisetrail_800The Crow and the Blackfoot were two tribes of Montana whose lands overlapped. Both play a significant role in my newest historical western romance book, Promise Trail.

The Crows, sometimes we’re referred to as the “Crow Nation” derived their name from their own native word, Aspalooke, which literally means “children of a long-beaked bird,” but the French translated as “People of The Crow.”

The Blackfoot Tribe, or sometimes “The Blackfoot Confederacy,” traced their lands to around Alberta, Canada, but stretched all the way to the Yellowstone River of Montana. They were united by a common language, and originally carried the name Niitsitapi, literally translated “the original people.”

Although tradition made them enemies, each tribe had many similarities. Both were nomadic hunter-gatherers, lived in teepees, were expert horsemen, and hunted buffalo.

crow_indians_chief-1Spirituality was important to both tribes, each embracing a mystical, earth-based religion. Both tribes believed everything in nature—plants, trees, rivers, mountains, and rocks—had a spirit. Crow and Blackfoot men used sacred sweat lodges to breathe in the steam from the sacred rocks, allowing mother earth to draw negative energy and toxins from their bodies and spirits.  The men emerged sweaty and virile, cleansed and rejuvenated.

In their language, (Siouan), The Crow call themselves Absaroka, (opp-sah-loh-kay) children of the large-beaked bird. French traders translated it to (gens du corbeaux in French), people of the crows.

Appearance was important to the Crow. Men never cut their sleek, beautiful hair. It flowed from their broad warrior shoulders past their muscled chests and flat stomachs to their powerful thighs and calves, and down to their feet. Oiled with bear’s grease, their long hair shined like raven feathers. When hunting or fighting, they’d pull the long tresses into a bun.

Crow men took great pride in their dress, wearing opulent sun-bleached buffalo robes which were a brighter white and finer than those of other tribes.

The Crow were generally a friendly people, even towards the white settlers, securing them a sizable reservation in Montana. They’re main food source came in the form of American Bison, which they hunted with impressive efficiency and innovation. They also used the bison skins for clothing in the winter and for their traditional shelters, the tipi and skin lodge.  Their main form of transport came in the horses, which they learned to breed and keep.

blackfoot-blackfeet-indian-woman-child-history-tribe-1Crow women played an important role in society and were well regarded, evidenced by the fact that when a couple married it was always the man who moved into her home and never the other way around.

The Blackfoot were named that by French fur traders who watched them walk through a prairie fire, noticing the black bottoms of their moccasins. The name the Blackfoot called themselves means Lords of the Plains. And their plains, the majestic Blackfoot territory, held more buffalo per square mile than anywhere.

Four northwestern plains tribes made up the Blackfoot Confederacy: the North Piegan, the South Piegan, the Blood, and the Siksika tribes. They shared the same language and culture, had treaties of mutual defense, gathered for ceremonial rituals, and freely intermarried.

These handsome lords of the plains fashioned their flowing hair into three long braids with a topknot or pompadour. The women wore their hair loose or in two long, thick braids.

A war-like people, the Blackfoot granted a great deal of honor and tribal esteem to members who committed brave and heroic deeds. They played a significant role in the Indian wars.

I’d love to hear your insights or comments about the Crow and Blackfoot people. Please feel free to email me at

Enjoy your reading. I hope it includes a Cowboy!

Promise Trail, Book Six, Redemption Mountain Historical Western Romance Series

Shirleen Davies

 Bull Mason has built a life far away from his service in the Union Army and the ravages of the Civil War. He’s achieved his dreams—loyal friends, work he enjoys, a home of his own, and a promise from the woman he loves to become his wife.

Lydia Rinehart can’t believe how much her life has changed. Escaping captivity from a Crow village, she finds refuge and a home at the sprawling Redemption’s Edge ranch…and love in the arms of Bull Mason, the ranch foreman. For the first time since her parents’ death, she feels cherished and safe.

In an instant their dreams are crushed…

Bull is resolute in his determination to track down and rescue Lydia’s brother, kidnapped during the celebration of their friend’s wedding. He’s made a promise—one he intends to keep. Picking the best men, they are ready to ride, until he’s given an ultimatum.

Choices can seldom be undone…

As their journey continues, the trackers become the prey, finding their freedom and lives threatened.

And promises broken can rarely be reclaimed…

Can Bull and Lydia trust each other again and find their way to back to the dreams they once shared?

Promise Trail is book six in the Redemption Mountain historical western romance series. It is a full length novel with an HEA and no cliffhanger.


The first thing Bull noticed was her hair. The glorious, long strawberry blonde locks had been cut away, but he had no time to comment before his head exploded at her ear-piercing scream.

“Lydia, stop. It’s Bull. I’m taking you home.”

Holding both arms above her head to fend him off, she didn’t look up, panic taking control. “I won’t go back. I’ll never go back.”

Ignoring her words, he slipped an arm around her back, attempting to pick her up. Instead, her body jerked, arms flailing as she tried to push him away.

“No, no, no. I don’t want to leave.” Her words cut through him, but didn’t deter Bull’s response.

Capturing her wrists in one hand, he drew them above her head, searching her eyes. The pain, fear, and panic he saw might have deterred a weaker man. That man wasn’t Bull Mason. Behind the anguish and terror, he could still see the love, the Lydia he’d want until the day he died.

Tightening his grip, he leaned closer. “I’m not leaving you here. You can walk or I’ll toss you over my shoulder, but you are coming with me.”

Fear turned to resolve as she glared back at him, her voice rising. “I won’t go back to the ranch or Splendor or anywhere with you.”

“Of course you’re going back.” His grip loosened a little. Big mistake.

Hardening her heart, she said the only thing she hoped would stop him. “I don’t love you anymore.”

She saw pain flicker across his face, her chest constricting at his agonized expression. An instant later, to her dismay, it was replaced by a look of pure determination.

“To hell with this.” His muttered words were followed by him picking her up, flinging her over his shoulder. Exiting the tipi, he felt her hands beat on his back, her feet connecting with his legs. “Stop it, Lydia. We’re going home. You can tell me how much you hate me later.”

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Amazon Author Page Information and General Bio for Books

dsc_0254_0120-cropped-sm-useShirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance.  She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.

Shirleen loves to hear from her readers.

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Independent Body Part movement by J.M. Maurer

Adobe Photoshop PDFI confess…I’ve been ruined by Independent Body Parts moving all around. Have you?

When I first started writing, I didn’t know this phenomenon even existed. The fact that these body parts had effectively detached themselves from their rightful location so they could go about doing all sorts of actions—all by themselves—had me flabbergasted. I’m a registered nurse. How did I not know this was happening?

Now that I’m overly aware of this epidemic, I believe I can prevent many unnecessary visits to the emergency room and significantly reduce those very long wait times. But for now, I will stick to the serious matter at hand. The visions. The ones that occur each time I find independent body parts living in the pages of a book.

Reading was so much better before my brain started releasing the images that follow a line like his nose ran down my shoulder.

Do you see it? A detached nose with stick-figure legs and clown shoes running down a shoulder as if trying to escape the latest virus that is causing the cold of the century?

He must be on his way to the ER.


Cue some music from Mission Impossible and…

Stop. That. Nose.

I work hard at neutralizing free-willed body parts in my stories, even though I find them in nearly every book I read. And because of that, I often ponder whether I should give in to the Free-Movement movement—like so many other authors have—and let those body parts do whatever the heck they want. However, a rational part of me is afraid that if I did, those body parts would team up with other body parts and beat me upside the head. In which case, I’d have to adopt a new motto like:

When life knocks you down, get up like the Adams Family hand, get your fingers flying in whichever direction you please, and never give up.

In the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, Jessica Winters and Matthew Moi never give up. With effort and determination, they move beyond each of their dark pasts, find true love, and fight for the beautiful future they so very much deserve. Unfortunately, someone out there isn’t pleased with Jessica and that someone makes it very clear that Jessica’s life is in danger. Aware of the situation, Matthew vows to stop at nothing to keep the love of his life safe. But can he, especially when he doesn’t exactly know what it is he’s protecting her from?

Here’s the blurb for Seeking Hope (Emerging From Darkness Book 3):

I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.

Inevitably, they broke me.

I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.

I couldn’t.

Matthew Moi was different.

His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.

Falling in love with him came easy.

Marrying him—a dream come true.

Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.

As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.

Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.

Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.

Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.

*Seeking Hope is the final book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone. The trilogy reads as: Seeking Love, Seeking Redemption, & Seeking Hope. Follow Jessica and Matthew’s captivating and steamy love story from the beginning—start the trilogy for FREE today!


For the first time in a long time, I had an itch to do something ridiculous—two things, in fact. One was the reason I was sitting in the back of a musty old van. The other might just be the solution to my Holly problem.

At least I hoped so, because while my mind should have been racing with thoughts of my upcoming wedding, it wasn’t. Instead, I was thinking of my best friend. Problem was, no matter how I launched my plan to help Holly move beyond her commitment issue with Burdick, it wasn’t going to go over well. And the more I thought about her, the more I dreaded the growing possibility of a headache. I’d just gotten over a nasty headache and was now attempting to shake off the likelihood of another when the van rolled to a stop and the driver’s voice muttered in the distance.

“We’re here.”

Okay, Jess. You’ve got your plan and it’s a good one.

I was about to remind myself to stick to said plan when the driver hopped out and moved to my side of the van, his open door ushering in a blast of autumn air that chilled my skin. I shivered and scooted to the edge of my seat, waiting for what was to come next. The shrill of metal sliding over metal pierced my ears as the door slid open, and rough skin wrapped a secure hold on my wrist. This was it.

“End of the line.” His gruff tone registered somewhere between the brief time it took him to pull me out and when his tall, burly features came into full view. He snickered as I pulled the hem of my pullover down and worked to smooth it out. Judging by the way his eyes scanned up my body, I presumed his outburst had everything to do with my appearance. After all, this was the first time I’d pieced together an outfit for such an outdoorsy occasion. Eventually, he calmed and took my hand, turning it palm up. “You don’t want to forget this.”

Instinctively, my fingers clasped a tight grip around the cold steel as I stood, staring down at the black metal, hoping I’d do it right. I’d never held a gun before. They all made me nervous. Fact was, with a gun in the wrong hands, things could quickly turn ugly.

I knew all about ugly.

Drawing my attention his way, the driver stretched a tattooed arm, pointed a finger, and then offered his last words of advice. “Never give up.”

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j-m-maurerauthorAuthor Bio:

J.M. Maurer is the author of the Emerging From Darkness trilogy. She started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, she loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life.

When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.

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