to day 2 of the Fresh Ink Group Authors’ Blog Tour with Superstar Drummer Mark
Herndon. Comment on his post here or at Contest@FreshInkGroup.com to enter for one randomly awarded free book
trailer or one of seven (7) daily free books. Thanks for hosting, and thanks
for visiting. Be sure to subscribe!
Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon yearned to fly jets as a
military brat, then discovered the dream of playing drums, vowing to come back
one day and perform at the very place where he once had to stand outside just
to hear. Along the way, he loved and lost and made plenty of mistakes,
persevering to achieve all that he imagined before having so much taken away.
After decades with one of the most celebrated bands of all time, he still lives
his dreams, playing, producing, flying, and now writing with keen observations
about life and living in the spotlight.
spent nearly three decades behind the drum kit for country-music band Alabama.
He’s enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame along with the other three
members of the legendary group. But despite the celebrity such a position
affords, Mark maintains that common-man element that makes him a likeable soul.
In The High Road: Memories of a Long Trip, Herndon invites readers to
follow him on a jaunt through his past, beginning with his childhood as the son
of a respected military man and a devoted mother, through his years in country
music’s biggest band, and into his post-Alabama days as a private commercial
pilot and doting father to his own daughter.
A rebellious and free spirit, Herndon lets readers in on the fun, games, and
pranks—some of which go awry—of his youth. He shares what it was like watching
the band blow up into bona fide superstars. He also sheds some light on the
politics that go on behind the scenes in the music industry. But this memoir
isn’t a dirt-dishing tell-all sort of story. That’s why it’s titled The High
Road, as that’s the route Herndon has chosen to travel. Mark was there for
all of those great Alabama moments—meeting President and Mrs. Reagan, the
successful tours, and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame—but it’s
the quieter moments that show he’s no different from any worker in the
factories or waiters working tables at the local diner. Mark Herndon is an
ordinary man who has lived an extraordinary life.
High Road is now available in keepsake dust-jacketed
hardcover edition, as well as softcover and all major ebook formats at
retailers everywhere, worldwide. Find Mark at FreshInkGroup.com. However, at
MarkHerndon.com—for a limited time—you can order signed, personalized copies
for you and all the Mark Herndon / Alabama / country-music fans on your list.
again to our generous host for allowing Mark Herndon and Fresh Ink Group to spread
the word about his exciting memoir and new dust-jacketed hardcover edition!
Mark’s flight schedule keeps him busy, but soon after he lands you can expect
him to respond to your comments. Specify that you want to be notified of new
comments to catch his responses!
Thank you so much for hosting me so I may share some information impacting every American’s healthcare and quality of life. It’s about government-imposed rules rapidly constricting opioid prescribing, completely negating their use in most cases.
I am angry at this immoral interference in opioid prescribing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). I can’t stand the iatrogenic suffering inflicted therefrom on the millions rapidly tapered to too-low-doses of opioids, or suddenly cold-turkeyed altogether and even suiciding. I hunkered down to research and write my book to help those suffering millions get their opioids restored and to free hundreds of innocent physicians imprisoned for daring to prescribe the best analgesics known to control pain safely. As an R.N., once sole Charge Nurse in the ICU at New York City’s University Hospital, I intimately dealt with post-op pain as patients recovered from surgical anesthesia. On other wards—Neurology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, and Urology—I cared for hundreds of patients with varied pain conditions who also required narcotics like morphine, codeine, dilaudid, and meperidine. I know pain as a nurse caring for suffering others, and as a seven-year-old suffering burns and subsequent keloid-removal surgeries at age ten.
Horrendous suffering is inflicted by agencies threatening opioid-prescribing clinicians, ordering one-size-fits-all low 90MME (morphine milligram equivalents)—as if these Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) police and Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors studied medicine at the academy and in law school. I discuss all this in my new book, American AGONY: The Opioid War Against Patients in Pain, published by Fresh Ink Group. To give you a look at the inflictors of such sufferings, those I call “The Victimizers,” here are some excerpts from Section VII Solutions, Chapter 24 Actions, and Part III End the War Against Patients in Pain:
Defective Detectives: DEA police must be stopped from targeting physicians, from spying on their patients’ records—both Electronic Medical Records and PDMPs (Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs)—from seizing MDs’ assets, and from making phone calls threatening doctors if they don’t lower medically indicated opioid dosages.
Imprudent Jurisprudence: DOJ prosecutors are victimizing innocent physicians and other opioid prescribers across the nation. Their modus operandus? Throw everything, including surgical collodion, at the doctors they’ve targeted for imprisonment to see if anything sticks. But when a physician won’t agree to bogus lesser charges that require a much lower sentence, DOJ prosecutors charge “conspiracy.”
Empty of Empathy: The misguided 2016 CDC Guideline developers had the nerve to include anti-opioid zealots from an organization rabidly opposed to any opioid paincare medications whatever. My critique of this fatal document comprises Chapter 7 of American AGONY.
As you read the many personal stories of pain patients; their family caretakers; those who’ve chosen suicide; doctors wrongfully imprisoned; and even physicians who are themselves pain patients, you’ll weep as I have for these American Agony victims. It’s why I can’t shut off my anger until America restores medical practice to physicians only, until pain is treated routinely—as it always has been—with appropriate prescription opioids at dosages individualized for suffering patients’ specific needs, by highly educated medical professionals only.
Thank you again for this opportunity to share vital information on this urgent life-threatening subject.
Dr. Helen Borel wrote poetry and played piano as a child growing up in two orphanages. She became a registered nurse, then earned her master’s in creative writing. After 18 years as a medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical copywriter, she published books, literary criticism, satire, and fiction. She became a doctor in psychoanalytical studies with her own website, PsychDocNYC.com. Always outspoken for the underdog, her intense research is the basis for her passionate expose of government wrongs and the legal rights pain victims must assert. Find her at PsychDocNYC.com and on Twitter: @BorelMedWriter or @PsychDocConnect.
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar fashion, please click HERE.
Steven is giving away (3) Signed Paperback copies of “THE MEREST LOSS.” For your chance to win, be sure to leave him a comment below.
Getting to know Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS.
THE MEREST LOSS, a story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
The Writing Process
1. How did you set about writing your novel?
I planned thirty-six chapters of not more than 2500 words for my novel, even before I had a subject. This arose from a conversation with one of my Creative Writing tutors.
Me: I can only write short stories. I could never write a novel.
Her: But you can write a 2500 word short story?
Her: Well, can you write ten 2500 word short stories?
Me: Yes, I suppose so.
Her: Well, if you write thirty-six short stories on a linked theme, you have written a novel.
2. Where did your ideas come from?
Originally, I was planning to write a Dick Francis style thriller and I was researching a jockey called Jem Mason, who won the first Grand National at Liverpool in 1839. I found a line in his description which said something like ‘also famous for his relationship with Harriet Howard, who ran away to live with him in London when she was fifteen and who also became Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer’. I decided she was an even more interesting character and I set about writing a fictional account of her life.
3. Are you a planner?
As my answer to question one indicates, I am absolutely a planner. Once I have my outline however, I don’t write in a linear fashion. I move across the timelines and try to complete each chapter as a mini story.
4. How do you write, e.g. manuscript/PC?
I write straight on to PC and I edit on the PC. I have also used Dragon software to dictate on to PC. It works to about 85% accuracy once it learns your voice and I find it helps to unfreeze my thinking if I am struggling to type words on to the page.
5. When do you write: are you a lark or an owl?
I write at odd times. I often write late at night, but I also write early in the morning when ideas that have been running through my mind overnight are still fresh. I like to write to word count. I think 200-300 words at a time, edited and polished, is good going.
6.Do you have any writing rituals or habits?
I am not sure they are rituals or habits, but I do commit to reaching my word count every time I sit down to write. Even if the writing isn’t very good, I can always improve it later. ‘You can’t edit a blank page’ is good advice.
7. How do you edit?
I edit as I go along. I might generate 300 words of ‘new’ writing and then move to a section of ‘old’ i.e. unedited writing and spend time editing. I am always going back to the beginning and reading through, to make sure the continuity is right.
8. Have you experienced writer’s block and if so, how did you overcome it?
Not really. I just keep writing. Eventually it comes out.
9. What do you enjoy about the writing process?
I think I enjoyed the research process the most. I am not a natural writer. Nothing came easy. However, I think the planning and organisation skills I learned in my business career, allied to the writing craft skills I learned in my degree and my masters degree gave me the tools of the trade. I think Harriet Howard’s story deserved to be told as it is a fascinating tale. I hope I have done it justice.
10.Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I have met some tremendously naturally gifted writers but that alone will not make you a published author. I genuinely believe that, however gifted, you need to learn the craft of writing. Invest in a creative writing course and learn about structure, plot, point of view, character, setting and dialogue before you start writing. When you have finished the first draft of your novel, understand that you have only just begun the process of writing a publishable novel. Even if all your friends and family tell you your novel is brilliant, invest in an independent development and copy editor before you even think about publication.
Follow Steven Neil on TWITTER for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.
Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.
As an expat who worked in fifteen countries spread through the Middle, Far East and North Africa, Colin Guest has lived a life most only dream. He started writing after his retirement and has had nine books published, with five made into Audiobooks.
Among a variety of articles Colin has written about, one is on helping wildlife. Colin is keen on both the environment and wildlife. As such, for those interested in helping wildlife, Colin recommends you volunteer at a wildlife animal rescue/rehabilitation centre. However, be aware, that strange though it might seem, volunteers have to pay to work at one. Also, as the charges can vary considerably from place to place, you should check out both costs, and plane tickets to get there. The reason why you have to pay to work, is that none of these places receives any monies from their respective governments. Given the costs involved in volunteering, Colin recommends that where possible, combine a holiday, with a period, (usually a minimum of two weeks, as a volunteer.
As a volunteer, Colin worked at two centres in South Africa and one in Thailand. The normal duties for a volunteer include cleaning cages, enclosures, preparing food and feeding the animals. While in Thailand, it included helping clean out pools for a variety of animals
While working at SanWild, a massive rescue/rehabilitation centre in South Africa, Colin had an incredible experience. A television crew along with presenter came to film the various wildlife for a television show. During this time, one of the centre’s lions became involved in a fight with another lion. As a result, it suffered an eye injury that required medical attention. A vet was called in to treat the lion, which after he had darted it, went in to check it was unconscious. Once satisfied, a group, including the television crew and Colin, went into the encloser. While the vet worked on the lion’s eye, the cameraman filmed the whole procedure. After finishing treating its eye, a group of men, including Colin, picked the lion up on a stretcher, then carried and put it down under a tree to recover. Once all were safely outside the enclosure, the vet gave the lion an injection to bring it back to life, then quickly joined those waiting outside.
It is due to incidents like these that volunteers never know what they will encounter during their stay at a wildlife centre. One thing is sure; you will always remember the time you volunteered to help animals in need. Not only that, it can be a subject for you to write about.
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.
Genre: Women’s fiction, Literary fiction, Contemporary romance based on true historical events, Inspirational, Strong female protagonist
Originally from the former Soviet
Union, Janna Yeshanova escaped in 1989 when persecution became violent during the
crumbling of the Soviet state. This required getting permission to emigrate and
a long dangerous train trip across central Europe with her elderly mother, her
young daughter, and the $126 she was permitted to take out of the country. She
did this by overcoming gridlock in Russia, animosity and graft at the border,
and neglect in the west. Safely out of Soviet control, Janna and her family
spent months as refugees waiting for permission to come to the United States.
Arriving in the United States
knowing not a soul, Janna settled in Ohio and began to rebuild her life. She
earned a second master’s degree and was invited as a speaker at the Bosnia and
Herzegovina International Peace Conference in 1996. While building her business
as a Leadership Trainer and consultant, she has become a Professional Certified
Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation. She offers life
coaching services to individuals, conflict resolution to couples and groups,
and soft skills training to organizations of all sizes.
Her book, Love Is Never Past Tense, offers a message of hope and inspiration,
showing that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.S
A couple’s quick
romance and hasty marriage is torn apart by family and fate, leaving them to
face the collapse of the Soviet Union separately. Years later, old memories are
stirred to give their love a second chance.
Serge and Janna’s
chance meeting at a Black Sea beach sparks a passionate romance and a quick
marriage. Serge’s parents, suspicious of Janna’s motives and heritage, force
him to break up with her. As the Soviet Union collapses, revealing ethnic and
social pressures, each faces danger separately. Serge drowns in self-doubt, his
life spiraling down and in. Janna plots a dangerous exodus to America with her
mother and daughter. Years pass, stirring old emotions. Then changing
circumstances give their love a second chance. Janna Yeshanova tells a story,
providing a very personal view of political and social change.
Love is Never Past Tense is part romantic drama and part a look at real people responding to life-changing events, but mostly a suspense adventure about living through one of the biggest changes in living memory.
Love Is Never Past Tense is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle eBook formats. The newly released audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The audible and Kindle versions are enabled with WhisperSync.
The audio is narrated
by Daniela Acitelli, a narrator with dozens of audiobooks to her credit. Even
those familiar with the story found new meaning in her presentation. It took me
two years to find her.
Serge didn’t try
to catch up to the shuffling, thin, leather skirt. He hadn’t a clue what he
would do if he actually caught up with her. So he continued following her along
the high embankment for a fairly long time, until they crossed the whole of
Lanzheron Park. But, reaching the beach, the girl quickly descended to the sea.
Serge even began to jog a bit to keep her in sight. His head was clear this
morning, and soon he would try out his cunning for the first but not the last
time this day. The spy set up camp at the upper solarium and watched over her.
Maybe she was waiting for some company, or a young man, or a girlfriend (which
would undoubtedly seem to be better), but to our spy, all were equally bad
possibilities. This guessing game carried on in his head, but it seemed she
wasn’t looking for anyone. She ducked into the changing room, and her leather
skirt momentarily hung over the edge of the stall. After a minute, she exited,
and Serge, pulling his long hair away from his head with both hands in anguish,
groaned something unintelligible. Her breasts exited the little room first. The
spot from where Serge looked down provided such visibility that his knees began
to tremble. Her face was impossible to discern through her long hair and
sunglasses, but something told him it would also be in order. She laid before
her a light beach towel and laying down she took a book from her bag and began
to read. Burning her “landing site” into his mind, Serge took off like a shot
to the nearest cabana rental. Fast as lightning, he exchanged his clothes for a
key, crammed two metal rubles in the pocket of his swimming trunks, and became
Don Juan. He feared, though, that there were already a bunch of admirers
slinking ever closer to the sacred beach towel, and that he would simply be too
late. He’d have to crawl to his place in line, and like the others, would have
a poor chance of success.
He flew down the
stairs and quickly found the beach towel, but … its owner was nowhere to be
found. There was a book, a beach bag, and sunglasses, but their owner had
disappeared. Oh, yes! This would be the second time that a smart thought
visited Serge’s head today. People come to the sea to swim, after all! This
interpretation of her disappearance comforted and delighted Serge. He became
bolder and impudently tossed his glasses onto the same towel and cheerfully
marched to the water. With his half-blind eyes, he surely could not see her.
And where, among dozens of bathers? He dove into a wave and swam away from the
shore. First, he couldn’t stand to watch bathers jumping around like frogs in
the shallow water. Secondly, at this moment, his exceptionally quick-witted
head told him he couldn’t be the first to return to her beach towel. Then he’d
have to take his glasses and fiddle around a bit in front of the beach towel to
buy time as he came up with a new plan. Perhaps he’d cover himself with the towel,
or maybe … no, he needed to work on his initial scenario.
He even came up
with a sophisticated opening: “Excuse me, young lady, but I left my
glasses here on your towel. I simply didn’t have anywhere to put them, or
myself for that matter.” With this, his stockpile of ideas was depleted …
At last he
climbed out of the water and headed along the well-trodden route to her beach
towel. The towel was in place, and on this towel lay the magnificent body of
its hostess, but Serge’s glasses were lying a little bit farther on the edge of
the towel. Serge squatted down and mumbled his introduction. He was counting on
her to respond with typical beach chit-chat: “Where are you from? How long
ago did you arrive in Odessa?” or other such nonsense.
glasses are fine,” she responded. “I figured someone just confused
their beach towel with mine but have a seat anyway.”
She scooted over,
freeing up half the beach towel. He got scared. If he lay down, then he
wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to nuzzle up to her. Then he’d certainly
look like a pervert, a youth brought up with no manners, or a pest—in a word,
he would give the exact opposite impression than he wanted. He mumbled
something like a “thank you” and lay down beside her on the sand. She
motioned towards him with a little bag of sunflower seeds, “Help
” Oh God, what’s
this?” resounded in Serge’s mind. “Are you kidding me … sunflower seeds?” And
his hand with a subsequent “thank you” reached in the bag.
”Lord, who is she talking about? I’ve only heard of them in passing, but I don’t know the slightest thing about them …” Serge thought to himself.
Janna,” she came to his rescue.
he stammered in reply, “but at the institute everyone actually calls me
Serge, or Seriy …”3
You’re actually black as tar. Where did you get such a tan?” she asked,
spitting out sunflower seed shells. Not even awaiting a response, she
exclaimed: “Here is an interesting moment”—and she began to read her book
aloud, something about Ptiburdukov and his Varvara, who was leaving her first
husband for him but couldn’t make up her mind. Janna read for a while, probably
about five pages, and then thrust the book towards Serge and said, “You
read from here,” marking the place with her fingernail. Serge began to
read, but he didn’t understand a word. He was too busy worrying about his
diction, trying not to miss any letters or words. He fought through two pages,
but his audience was clearly not impressed.
like a cigarette?”
“If he has a
smoke, then he’ll stop reading.” Serge could almost hear her thinking. He
pulled a cigarette from a mashed-up pack of Javas,
the best tobacco the Soviet Union could offer at that time. She handed him the
matches. He brought the flame close to her face. She took a drag and rolled
over on her back. Serge absolutely didn’t know what to do: read, blow sand from
her, ask her about something. But she was not waiting for any questions and
didn’t ask any questions. It was as if he simply was present. And that was
that. The only thing that remained was for Serge to stare dumbfounded into the
sand and observe the ants. Having smoked half the cigarette, she jammed the
other half into the sand and turned back over on her stomach, brushing her leg
up against Serge’s. But she did not hasten to remove it. Silent Serge, who
really didn’t look the part of a reasonable person, turned into an animal. His
uncontrollable desire sprang to life, pulling his swimming trunks down into the
sand with such force that it became painful. Serge secretly burrowed a hole in
the sand, easing the pressure. He became obsessed with a craving to climb on
top of her. But this was out of the question, which made his desire even
Let’s go for a swim,” she said, lifting herself up on her elbows. For the
first time he could see her breasts up close, causing his heart to leap through
his ribs like a bird in a cage. He muttered he’d catch up to her, and when she left,
his desire ever so slowly began to
hide itself away, until he was finally able to get up and head towards the sea.
around in the waves, which towards midday became quite sizable. He flopped
about next to her, often brushing up against her body. Then he suggested
tossing her in the waves. He cradled her head and shoulders, gathered her hands
into his, and finally lifted her up and tossed her into the waves. Janna liked
it, and so did he, but for a different reason: every time she hit the waves,
her bathing suit slid down slightly, and when her breasts finally became
exposed, he was ready to splash to his very death. Suddenly, she ended up
cradled in his arms. With one arm, she grasped his neck, and he now understood
that everything will happen, he just needed to patiently wait.
starts, eventually, it ends. The delightful swim as well: they returned from
the water and again lay down on the beach towel.
“I want to get
tanned like you.” (She had already switched to the informal you4 in the water. He liked this, as it
made him feel less uneasy around her). She placed her arm next to his for
comparison, and her brown skin seemed much paler than his almost blackened arm.
Guiltily, he informed her that he just returned yesterday from his
apprenticeship in Baku, and so it was not surprising that he was so dark.
beautiful hands,” she pensively remarked. Then, determined, she added, “No, you
just wait. I’ll catch up with you in two days. Just wait and see.” These words
poured over his body like oil. For Serge, this meant that he would spend at
least two more days with her.
“Get some ice
cream. Do you need some money?”
“I have it,”
answered Serge, but before he could get up and leave, he had to turn and crawl
to hide his “desire” …
first three days together, Serge (as they called our hero at the time) was the
quieter of the two, once in a while muttering some insignificant phrases. The
first time he saw her, he silently followed her for a long time. She walked
along easily, shifting her long, rather well-proportioned legs. Her thin
leather skirt swung from side to side, barely hiding her shapely hips. A green
blouse tightly covered her beautifully straight back. All the while, Serge
followed her like she was a vision, lacking the courage to come closer or to
back away. He knew that making her acquaintance was a long shot; she was simply
out of his league. How could he possibly know that she, a complete stranger,
would inexplicably impact his life and be with him forever, whether she was at
his side or not?
Sophie used to be fearful, with a troubled past. Now, she’s a confident young woman helping others turn their lives around – or is she?
A nasty surprise awaits her after the funeral of a friend and she soon finds out that nothing is as it seems.
Caught up in the dark world of gangsters and villains in the heart of Manchester she attempts to find Cassie’s killer. Following a trail of lies, she gets so wrapped up delving into the lives of others she doesn’t notice her own life falling apart, back into the grips of addiction.
Can romance blossom for Sophie after all the mistakes she has made in the past, or will her only comfort be drink? Things never end up the way she intends.
“Kennedy Ryan’s writing continues to amaze and inspire. She is a genius wordsmith and a prose poet. And in Banner Morales, she has created the perfect heroine for this day and age. Don’t miss this read. It’s everything.” — Emma Scott, Bestselling Author
Block Shot, Kennedy Ryan’s enemies-to-lovers, second-chance standalone romanceis LIVE and FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
If I had a dollar for every time Banner Morales made my heart skip a beat…
The heart everyone assumes is frozen over.
Her anger is…arousing.
Every glare from those fire-spitting eyes, every time she grits her teeth,
gets me…well, you know.
If I had a dollar for every time she’s put me in my place, I’d be an even richer man.
I’m a successful sports agent because I assume “no” means you’ll think about it.
I’m sure what you meant to say is “Coming right up.”
They say even rich men don’t always get what they want,
but those men don’t know how to play the game. The trick is to keep them guessing.
Take Banner. She assumes she’s winning, but this game?
She doesn’t even know how to play.
If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, I’d have exactly one dollar.
One night. One epic fail. One dollar…and I’m out.
I’ve moved on.
I’ve found success in a field ruled by men.
Anything they can do, I have done better.
They can keep the field while I call the shots, blocking them when I have to.
And Jared has the nerve to think he gets a second chance?
Boy, please. Go sit down. Have several seats.
I’ll just be over here ignoring the man carved from my fantasies with a lust-tipped chisel.
Oh, I didn’t say the struggle wasn’t real.
But I’ve got that one dollar, and Jared won’t have me.
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
I stretch my arm toward the wall and turn out the lights.
With the light snuffed out, my other senses rise, hunting for her in the dark. The smell of her hair and her quick, shallow breaths. My sight adjusts until the heavy black curtain completely obscuring her fades to gray. Light from the outer room spills under the door, revealing just the shape, the outline of her, but still camouflaging details. I cup her cheek, taking a moment to appreciate the softness of her skin, the silky hair brushing my knuckles. I’m not an idiot. She wants the lights out because she’s self-conscious, but from my perspective, she has nothing to be ashamed of.
“I think you’re beautiful, Ban.”
“You do?” she asks, her voice hushed.
My words surprise me as much as they seem to surprise her, because I don’t say shit like that to girls. The prettiest ones usually seem to already know, which makes any admiration I’d express redundant. But Banner . . . she’s so beautiful, and I’m not sure she knows.
“I do.” I push the hair away from her face.
“Uh . . . thank you.” Her laugh isn’t much more than a breath. “The lights are out, so I’m not sure that compliment counts.”
“I know your face by heart. You have seven freckles here.” I swipe a finger over the straight bridge of her nose and drift down to caress her full lips and the tiny dent in her cheek her smile displays. “And a dimple right here.”
I explore the smooth skin of her nape, under a heavy fall of hair.
“Now I want to know your body, too,” I say softly. “Take off your clothes for me, Banner.”
After a sharply indrawn breath, she raises her arms. The rustle of her clothes—the sweatshirt, jeans, socks, shoes—being discarded whisper in the dark. I approximate her by touch, reaching for her arms and closing my fingers around the softness, the velvety skin. I lower my head and run my nose along her neck, discovering.
“You always smell so good.” I’ve wanted to tell her that since the first night we studied here.
“Pretty Pastel,” she replies, her laugh low, nervous.
“What?” I pause.
“The smell. It’s my dryer sheets. The scent is Pretty Pastel.”
“I like it.” I resume my exploration, running a palm over her shoulder, her collarbone until I find the soft, full weight of her breasts, testing them in my hands, cupping them, holding them, brushing the nipples with my thumbs until they pebble and her breaths come harshly.
“You like that?” I ask.
I see her head nod in the semi-darkness. “Yeah. It feels good.”
Her touch startles me in the best way, her hand finding my face, traveling over my mouth, eyes, and hair. I sense her approach, feel tiny pants of breath on my lips, and anticipation has me panting, too, shortens my breath and sharpens my senses. Her mouth seeks mine, eager and sweet when she kisses me. Her pleasure, her excitement matches, answers, fans mine.
I guide her back down to the couch, and with a hand at her shoulder, urge her to stretch out. I’d shave points off my GPA for a glimpse of her, but she doesn’t want that. I get it, so I settle for a taste.
A Top 30 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.
She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.
Drake Savage has always done the right thing, especially where beautiful and fiercely determined Serena Mallery is concerned—even when it means keeping his feelings for her to himself. Serena has always wanted more than what their small town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts has to offer, and Drake’s roots are so deeply entrenched in the Cape, it’s all he can do to watch her pack up her life and move away.
Serena has always had big dreams. As a teenager she dreamed of becoming an interior designer and marrying smart, musically inclined, sexy-as-sin Drake Savage. Now she’s finally landed a killer job with a top interior design firm, but though she has spent the last four years working side by side with Drake, he’s never made a move. Four years is long enough for her to accept reality, and her new job in Boston is the perfect way to move on.
A weak moment leads to sizzling, sensual kisses, opening a door through which they’ve both been aching to walk. But Serena’s determined not to give up her shot at the career she’s always dreamed of, and Drake has loved her for too many years to stand in her way. With true love at their fingertips and a world of unstoppable passion igniting between them, can the two star-crossed lovers find their way to their happily ever after?
“Enough guilt tripping. This is great news,” Rick said with a genuine smile, which faded as his gaze shifted to Drake. “It’s what you’ve always wanted.” He seemed to direct his comment at Drake instead of her, as if reminding him of her plans.
“I know. Ever since I was a little girl. Isn’t it fantastic? I’ll miss you guys so much, but I couldn’t turn down an interior design job with Kline, Heinan, and Bruce, or rather, KHB. They’re one of the most sought-after design firms around.”
“You’ve wanted a career in the big city for as long as I’ve known you,” Desiree said. “So even though I’m going to miss you, I’m happy you found something so amazing.”
“Congrats, Serena,” Dean said as he draped an arm around Emery’s shoulder. “I appreciate all you’ve done for us.”
It wasn’t lost on Serena that Drake hadn’t said a word. “Thank you. I still can’t believe they called. I had almost given up.” She’d interviewed with KHB last winter and had thought they’d written her off. The resort had only a few winter clients, which had freed her up to get back into the industry by working part-time for Shift Home Interiors. Although she loved the work she’d done for Shift because it included space planning and helping to set up offices from scratch, and not just decorating work, the owner had recently had a baby and cut back to working only part-time. She couldn’t afford to hire Serena full-time. But even with a degree and several years of design experience prior to her current job, most of the bigger firms had turned her down.
Cosmos ran into the yard and leapt into Desiree’s lap. He began licking her face, making them all laugh. Except Drake, who remained stoic and still beside Serena, save for the muscles bunching in his jaw. She might as well get the worst part of it over with.
“There’s one tiny hitch,” Serena said, finally meeting Drake’s gaze. “They want me to start next week.”
Drake dropped his fork with a clank, a scowl twisting his handsome face into a mask of frustration. “Next week?”
“Hard to lose your fuck buddy, huh?” Violet mumbled.
Emery choked on her drink. Dean patted her back, chuckling along with Rick. Mira went wide-eyed, and Drake turned a scowl on Violet.
Serena rolled her eyes. She was used to Violet’s insinuations. There was no doubt that she and Drake were close. He’d always looked out for her, but that didn’t mean they were sleeping together—despite the fact that Serena had spent too many nights thinking about what it might be like to have his strong arms wrapped around her and those piercing eyes boring into her…
Drake’s dark gaze slid to Serena, and her stomach skidded to a halt. Yeah. She needed to get out of town all right.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.
Following the USA Today bestselling author of Lost and Found Sisters comes Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship
Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.
Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person? Can she even trust herself?
Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.
Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of RAINY DAY FRIENDS by Jill Shalvis for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
It was truly my pleasure to read RAINY DAY FRIENDS for review, but I would have picked this book up to read just because it is a really good book!
Jill Shalvis’ writing takes me on an emotional roller coaster, laughing one minute and tearing up the next! The characters are strong, stubborn, loving and sometimes just plain unlikeable! The one thing that the Capriottis always are is family! And family doesn’t mean blood!
There isn’t just one plot rolling out in RAINY DAY FRIENDS, there are several that intertwine throughout! I had no problem following along with what was happening, even though this is part of a series of books, and I haven’t read any of the previous Wildstone novels.
I give RAINY DAY FRIENDS by Jill Shalvis five steaming hot cups of Reviews by Room With Books coffee! I recommend you grab a copy of RAINY DAY FRIENDS by Jill Shalvis and a cozy place you can read it uninterrupted! I know you’ll love it as much as I did!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.
If you want to catch a Magical, you have to go about it the right way.
You have to have the right tools, the right training, a certain disregard for danger and a flair for the dramatic. Oh, and it helps if you inherit your father’s wicked bounty hunter skills, which give you superhuman reflexes and senses.
It’s really hard without the last one.
Andromeda Nyx has all the skills to be a successful bounty hunter. But after five years of training and catching nothing but Flinks–the lowest-level Magicals, the kind that think it’s funny to steal just one sock from a pair and hide it somewhere in the garden–she’s itching for bigger game. When her mentor says going out on her own to catch a Sprite is too risky, she decides to freelance. When the Sprite she catches turns out to be a messenger, Nyx is chosen as an ambassador for the bounty hunters and must travel to the decrepit world of the Magicals, Himnara.
While there, she is informed of a plot by Arcanus Emerson Kain—the leader of a rogue sect of Magicals—to invade Earth for a seemingly bizarre purpose: he wants to steal people. Along with her mentor Ridge, Nyx must find a way to stop Kain before his power becomes too great.
“Samuel Thews writes a rousing tale of magic, bounty hunters and war. I suspect that I like my teenage heroines to always be confident and either compassionate and positive, or cynical, violent and jaded.”
“Andromeda is a complex character, as are her Father and some of the others in the story. My favorites, outside of Andromeda, was Whitchurch. He was a charming, crazy and wild old bounty hunter that Andromeda meets in an enemy prison. Between his wit, his skills, his experience, his brilliance and his caring, he is just a wonderful person. The nude fishing and other zany things make him a bit crazy.”
“How … how long have you been here?”
“Oh, must be a few years now. The name’s Whitchurch, by the way. Clinton Whitchurch.”
“Crazy Whit—,” I blurted before catching myself. “I mean—”
“Hah!” he guffawed. “Yes, that’s me. Crazy Whitchurch. Don’t worry, I’m not offended.”
I apologized again, but he would have nothing of it. The man was a legend, eccentricities and all. He’d retired years ago but had toured the world in his time and done all sorts of experiments with various gadgets and Magicals. Everyone thought he was crazy because since he’d retired he no longer had collars, so he did all of his experiments on the run, chucking this or that at a Magical and then fleeing for cover. He also liked to go fly fishing naked—which, now that I think about it, might be the main reason they called him crazy— more so than the experiments.
Ridge told me he disappeared on a sojourn to Africa a year before I became a bounty hunter.
“Everyone thinks you’re dead,” I said.
Author Samuel Thews
Samuel Thews has been writing stories since he was old enough to hold a pencil. As a child, he reveled in the stories of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brian Jacques and other fantasy authors. A life-long reader, he is a fan of J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman and mystery author M.C. Beaton. He has also read Les Miserables not once, but twice. Unabridged, of course.
Although his educational background is in science and law, it is still the magical and fantastical that excites him. He enjoys writing stories for his daughters, who will hear one bedtime tale and ask that it be turned into a book. Writing with a whimsical style, he seeks to evoke the light, refreshing reading experience found in fairy tales and cozy mysteries.
A native of North Carolina, he currently lives in a rural part of Orange County with his wife, three children and their ever growing menagerie.
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