Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Year in Review

Happy New Year! 

So how was your 2013?  Mine was like no other.  I could never have even imagined it.  It far exceeded any expectations that I had.  And I've met so many amazingly wonderful people. 

First and foremost, this blog was born in 2013!  I hope you've enjoyed it so far and I hope that it only gets bigger and better in 2014.  I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing, but I'm just going with the flow.

I do want to share some of the authors and books that had a huge impact on me this year.  I hope that you've read some of these, and if not, think about adding them to your TBR (to-be-read) for 2014.  What better way to start the year than with a good book?

Lacey Weatherford:  What can I say about Lacey?  Let's start with her books.  I started with the first in the Of Witches and Warlocks series and quickly read through everything else she had written.  I finished the entire series, then it was onto Chasing Nikki and Finding Chase, followed by Crush.  And when Smitten came out in June, it led to the start of this blog.    Fire & Ice might just be my favorite of Lacey 's books, but everything she writes is amazing.  But Lacey is more than just a great author.  She is a wonderful person who truly loves her family, friends and fans.  I feel blessed to have met her!

Belinda Boring:  Belinda is known as the Queen of Swoon, but I like to call her the Queen of Cliffhangers.  Have you read her Mystic Wolves series?  Every single book in the series leaves you hanging and begging for the next one.  It's torture really, but in the best possible way.  And Loving Liberty, an amazing story about living the life you were meant to live and not the one that others had mapped out for you.  What can I say about Belinda as a person?  She is such a sweetheart and she makes me laugh all the time.  I cannot wait until we get to meet in person!

Cambria Hebert:  I fell in love with Cambria's Take It Off  series after I received an ARC of the first book, Torch.  And then when Tease came out, I knew I'd found another new author to love.  Apparently this was her first foray into Contemporary romance but trust me when I tell you that she can write, no matter what genre.  And have you read Charmed?  OMG, the woman made me fall in love with the grim reaper.  How does one do that?

Kamery Solomon:  Kamery is one of my favorite friends of 2013.  I absolutely loved the first book in her God Chronicles series, Zeus.  And until I read her novella, Forever, I thought I hated novellas.  But Kamery was able to tell a complete story in a short space and I loved it.   And I love her.  She is her mother's daughter, but she is also her own woman.  She has big dreams (have you read Big Apple Dreams?) and I really hope all her dreams come true!  I know I'll always be cheering her on.

Micalea Smeltzer:  I found Micalea simply because I loved the cover of Finding Olivia  Yep, I bought her book because of the cover.  Whoever said you can't judge a book by its cover has no idea what they're talking about.  But enough about the cover, because Micalea is a fantastic author and her writing speaks for itself.  She paints such beautiful pictures with her words and her characters feel like friends.  And I'm so happy to call her my friend!

Bella Roccaforte:  If you are a fan of paranormal, you must read INK: Fine Lines.  Bella's debut novel is fantastic and I can not wait to read the next one.  And the love triangle...this isn't Twilight.  There are crazy things going on in Bella's head and I'm so glad she's putting them down on paper. Bella is my newest friend and she has been such a great supporter of the page in that short time.  I don't know what I'd do without her.

Jennifer Culbreth, Emily Hemmer, T.H.Snyder, J.J. DiBenedetto...and so many others who reached out to me over the past year. To all those who wrote fabulous books in 2013.  Thank you for all that you do and I can not wait to see where you take us in 2014.

And to all the authors I'm just meeting or who are just starting out, I look forward to getting to know you and your characters.

But I can't forget people like the beautiful Kimberly Tallman.  Such a gorgeous cover model and just one of the sweetest people I have met this year.  I adore you.  And the amazing Regina Wamba at Mae I Design.  Every cover she creates is a work of art!  I honestly do buy books because she did the cover.  It's true!

And the people I could never forget.  Lisa, Kandi, Olivia, Samien, Dianne, Toni...the friends who love to read as much as I do and they share their love of books and authors and bloggers every day.  Just knowing these lovely ladies are there is sometimes what gets me through the day.  Thank you!!!

If someone had told me a year ago that this is where I'd be today, I would have thought they were crazy.  I have over 1000 followers on my Facebook page. I have authors emailing and messaging me, sometimes just to chat.  My name and this blog have appeared in several books and even on the back covers of two of those books.

This all started because I love to read.  That love will never die and I am so glad that it has brought me to where we are today.  I want to thank each and every author who writes these amazing books.for us.  And I want to thank everyone who follows the blog and the page.  You have no idea how much it means to me and I will never be able to put it into words.  I hope you will continue to follow along in 2014 and see where this amazing journey takes us next.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Out of Turn by Tiffany A. Snow

I can not even convey to you what the Kathleen Turner series does to me, how it makes me feel.  I only hope that you find a book or a series that effects you this way.  Or maybe you don't want to read a book that totally consumes you.  One that haunts your every thought.  Maybe you don't want characters that live in your head, taking up permanent residence so that they are all you think about. It's too late for me because that is exactly what this series has done to me.  That and so much more.

I instantly fell in love with these characters in No Turning Back and my adoration has never wavered.  As soon as I finished book #1, No Turning Back, I immediately downloaded #2, Turn to Me.  As soon as I finished Turn to Me, I immediately read them again.  I have never done that before with any book. Book 3, Turning Point, wasn't due out for a few more months so I had to wait and I really considered just reading them for a third time.  But I thought I should probably read something else.  And so I did.  I read many good books, but nothing was as good as the Kathleen Turner series.

I am consumed by this story.  I can not get enough of Kat, Blane and Kade.  The rollercoaster ride of emotion that Tiffany A. Snow takes me on can not be explained.  Every high and every low is felt in my stomach, my heart, my soul.  I have felt every heartache right alongside Kathleen.  She lives inside me.

If you've been reading the series, you know about Kat, Blane and Kade.  And we ended Turning Point (Book #3) with Blane accusing Kat of cheating on him with his brother, Kade.  Blane's Uncle, who had been trying to get Kat out of the picture all along, had set it up to look like there was something going on and Blane believed him.  The engagement was off and Kat, Kade and Blane all went their separate ways.

Book 4, Out of Turn begins with Kat trying to get her life back together.  Trying to move on, but in my opinion, not very successfully.  Kat loves Blane and is absolutely devastated that he would believe that she was capable of hurting him that way.  How could he believe his Uncle over her?  And where is Kade and does he know what his brother has accused them of?

When Blane suddenly reappears in her life, she can't handle it because she still loves him with everything she's got and she makes a frantic phone call reaching out to the one person who could change everything...for all of them. 

Blane knows that he was wrong, but how does he apologize? How does he make it right?  Is it too late?  Has he pushed Kathleen right into his brother's arms? 

By the end of Out of Turn, I was crying...seriously bawling.  I was an emotional mess.  I can only begin to imagine what I will be like after reading Point of No Return, knowing that it is the last and final in the series.  Dear Kleenex...send me a case.  I'm going to need them.

You can learn more about Tiffany A. Snow on her website:  www.tiffanyasnow.com

You can find the entire series at Amazon.com
No Turning Back
Turn to Me
Turning Point
Out of Turn
And coming soon (May 2014):  Point of No Return - preorder your copy now.

Tiffany has also written companion books from Blane and Kade's Point of View.

Get Blane's now:  Turn on a Dime - Blane's Turn

We'll keep you posted on when it's Kade's Turn.

Friday, December 13, 2013

INK: Fine Lines by Bella Roccaforte

Murder!  Strange dreams!  And a love triangle!  You'll find it all in INK: Fine Lines from Bella Roccaforte. 

Shay creates comic books, but there is nothing funny about them or about the fact that she's now being accused of murder because her latest scenes are eerily familiar to the scene of a horrific crime.  How is it that her dreams are becoming a reality?  Can she prove that it's just a coincidence?  But then again, is it?   

And then there is the love triangle.  Two childhood friends who grew to be rivals.  One has been Mr. Reliable, always there when she needs him, except when he's hitting the bottle.  And the other, the one who seems to really own her heart, but he runs every time things get too close.  Will he stick around this time when she needs him most?  Both are fighting demons of their own too, along with fighting each other, so can they keep it together to help Bella through the craziness that has become her life?

Fine Lines is the first in the INK series, although, there is a little prequel, INK: Sketches, available too which takes place a year and a half prior to Fine Lines.  I need to go read that one now, just because I want to, not because I feel like I need to. 

You can get your copy of INK: Fine Lines
At Amazon for your Kindle or if you like to kick it old school, the Paperback.
Or Barnes and Noble

To find out all you need to know about Bella, you can check out her various pages:


And if you follow my Facebook page, Roc n' Read, thanks to Bella's generosity, each week through the holidays, I'm giving away e-copies of INK: Fine Lines.  There are still 3 more copies to be given away! 

So now I'm waiting for INK: Vanishing Point so I can find out what happens next.  That's right folks...she left us with a cliffhanger!  I don't know the exact release date, but I suspect it is very soon!!  Can't wait.

In the meantime...I bet you're wondering what I rated INK: Fine Lines.  Well wonder no more, I give it 5 stars!  If you love a good paranormal story, one that is unlike anything else you've read, you should really check out INK: Fine Lines

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Very Mystic Christmas - from Belinda Boring

Who wants to spend the holidays with a pack of wolves?  I do!  And you will too after you read Belinda Boring's novella, A Very Mystic Christmas.

If you've read the Mystic Wolves series then you know (and love) Darcy, Mason, Devlin, Daniel, Jasmine and even Vlad.

And now Belinda Boring has given us an extra special treat this holiday season with this wonderful compilation of memories from their past Christmasas.  Read about Darcy's Christmases before she met Mason and joined the pack.  See how the Elf on a Shelf torments one pack member.  And even take a walk down memory lane with our favorite vampire, Devlin, to see how he spends the holiday.

A Very Mystic Christmas will put you in the holiday spirit and you'll want to spend your next Christmas with wolves too!  And as an added bonus, you'll find a recipe for so many holiday goodies, you'll be able to make something different for every party you'll be attending...or if you're just going to snuggle with someone Swoony and feed each other sweet treats all night long.
Get it now for your Kindle at Amazon. at just 99 cents!
(Sorry, but it's not currently available at B&N.)
And because we can never get enough of Belinda, check out these fabulous Trailers which Kendall McCubbin created for each of Belinda's books.
Forget Me Not  (Book 2 in the Mystic Wolves series)
Forever Changed  (Book 4)
Each of these videos is simply amazing!  I hope you enjoy them.
Be sure to follow Belinda Boring on Facebook at Belinda Boring - Author page.
Look for all her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

COVER REVEAL - Point of No Return by Tiffany A Snow

About the Book
Title: Point of No Return Book 5 in the Kathleen Turner Series
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Anticipated Release Date: May 2014
Blurb :
It's time for Kathleen to choose. POINT OF NO RETURN, the epic conclusion to The Kathleen Turner Series.
Pre-Order Links: TBD

About the Author
TiffanySnowI love to write and am thrilled to be a part of the Amazon Montlake family. My debut novel, NO TURNING BACK, is the first book in The Kathleen Turner Series. I write about things I love to read myself - a heroine who could be a neighbor or best friend; two men who each portray their own version of darkness and light, each vying for her affection; and a story that focuses as much on the characters as it does the suspense. NO TURNING BACK, TURN TO ME, and TURNING POINT currently comprise The Kathleen Turner Series. The fourth book, OUT OF TURN, will be released 12/17/13. There will be a total of five books in the Kathleen Turner Series.

As for me, I've been reading romance novels since I was way too young to read such things, have an unhealthy obsession for all things Doctor Who, prefer Pepsi to Coke and Absolut to both, think men who drink girly cocktails are wusses, have learned to never stop believing in my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, and can recite the entire scripts of When Harry Met Sally and Apollo 13. George Washington is cool, Bon Jovi still rocks the house, and Bruce Willis is the ultimate alpha-male hero. Most of all, romance never, ever gets old.

Visit my website www.Tiffany-Snow.com for more information and special extras.

Connect with Tiffany


If you've been following my blog all along or if you knew me when I started this series in the summer of 2012, then you know that I am obsessed with the series.  I read the first two, and then immediately read them again.  When book 3 came out, I read them all again and book 4 is slated for a December 17th release date, so you know I'll be reading them all again.  This one, the 5th and final in the series (my heart is breaking just typing that) will be out in May 2014.  I have never had a book or a series affect me this way.  I adore these characters and the journey they have been on.  I'm not sure what I will do when it finally comes to an end.  I may be in mourning for a while after.

Friday, November 15, 2013

COVER REVEAL - Tipsy by Cambria Hebert

Cambria Hebert's Take if Off Series is one of my favorites!  And while it's called a series, each book is really a standalone.  Next up in the series is Tipsy and today, we are revealing the cover!!

Title: Tipsy
Author: Cambria Hebert
Series: Take It Off - all the novels in this series can be read as stand alones
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Format: Ebook and Paperback

***This is a new adult contemporary novel and contains sexual content and graphic language. It is not intended for young adult readers.***

Julie Preston is an artist. But her canvas isn’t paper or clay. It’s hair. She spends her days coloring, blow drying and styling her clients hair at the Razor’s Edge salon. Julie is also annoyed. She went out on a date and had a great time, gave the guy her number and the jerk never called.

So when he waltzes into the salon and sits down in her chair she briefly considers strangling him with the pink cape she fastens around his neck.

Too bad she can’t.

Blue Markson, the guy who never called, is a police officer so causing him bodily harm would be a first class ticket into the slammer. Just looking at him again makes Julie forget why she was mad in the first place, but she’s already learned that Blue is nothing but heartache. So when he starts coming around, acting like he hadn’t made her stare at the phone for days, she tries to brush him off.


Her life is about to blow up in her face, she’s about to get caught up in a sticky web of crime and the one guy who can help her is the one guy she vowed never to trust again.

Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com

Author Links:
“Like” her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cambriahebert
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/cambriahebert/pins/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298677.Cambria_Hebert
Cambria’s website: http://www.cambriahebert.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tell Me Why by Sydney Snow

Suicide is a very tough subject and extremely heartbreaking.  And I would imagine that writing a book about suicide can not be an easy task.  Authors live with their characters, so telling a story involving such a difficult subject must be an emotional nightmare.

And I'm sure there is always the question of whether people will want to read it. 

Tell Me Why begins with Jessi's suicide.  It is a heartbreaking scene, but I urge you to keep reading.  The story continues by following Anna and Caleb, Jessi's best friend and stepbrother, as they cope with losing someone they love and not knowing why.  As they turn to each other to get through this difficult time and confront the feelings they have for each other, Caleb learns why Jessi took her own life and he struggles with keeping the secret from Anna not only because it was Jessi's dying wish but because he is afraid of what it will do to Anna and to their relationship.  It could destroy them both and what they are starting to build.

Tell Me Why tackles a difficult subject, but it also shows is that life is worth living and that you should never give up on life or love because you just don't know what might be right in front of you or around the next corner.  Life is worth living and I can promise you, even when you think things are at their worst, there is something wonderful waiting for you down the road.  Don't ever give up!

Tell Me Why coming November 17, 2013

Sydney Snow is the pen name of Lacey Weatherford.  But it doesn't matter which name she writes under, Lacey's stories will touch you in ways you can not even begin to imagine. 

Follow Sydney Snow on Facebook.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Chasing Olivia by Micalea Smeltzer

 I have admitted it before and I'll admit it again, I totally bought Micalea Smeltzer's Finding Olivia for the cover.  I adore the cover model, Kim Tallman and when I saw her on that cover, I had to buy it.  Since then, I have come to love Micalea also.  And you've probably heard me mention a time or two (or 100) how much I love the covers designed by Regina Wamba at Mae I Design.  

And now, Micalea has a follow-up to Finding Olivia coming soon.  And she had to use Kim as the model again and of course, Regina once again designed the cover.  So you know I love this one too and I'll be buying it as soon as it is released.  We have to wait a bit for that, but today, we can share the cover with you all!!  So how much do you love this one??

Cover Design by Regina Wamba of Mae I Design.

How far would you go to reignite the spark you once had?
Two years later, Trace and Olivia are as much in love as they’ve always been. But the spark they once had for life is waning and Trace is determined that they find it again. His solution? A road trip. But he doesn’t tell Olivia the real reason they’re heading north.
Olivia is happy to go on a road trip and have more adventures with Trace. Besides, she needs a distraction from the soap opera her life has become. With college over, this is the perfect opportunity to chase down the carefree girl she once was.
But life isn’t a fairytale and you can only escape reality for so long.
Love, laughs, and a hidden agenda.
That’s the name of the game when you’re Chasing Olivia.

Finding Olivia is on sale for .99 cents Saturday (11/9) & Sunday (11/10) only

Friday, November 8, 2013

Forever Changed - Mystic Wolves #4 by Belinda Boring

Confession time:  When I started reading the very first Mystic Wolves book, I was confused and I was thinking I wasn't going to enjoy it.  But it got better as I went along and by the time I reached that cliffhanger ending, I was cursing Belinda Boring for dragging me in and then leaving me hanging.  I couldn't wait to read #2.  And then #3.  Each one was better than the last and each cliffhanger did exactly what it was meant to do...keep us hanging and anticipating the next one.  I was able to read the first 3 back to back as I didn't discover the series until they were all out.  And then I had to wait until #4. 

Some days waiting felt like torture and as release day approached, the excitement built.  Lucky me, it was published a little early and I was up late at night watching my Red Sox win the World Series, so I was able to One-Click as soon as it was published!

I wasn't able to start reading right away as I was finishing something else that I had promised to read, but once I was finished with that, I moved Forever Changed to the top of my reading list.  But I told myself not to rush it.  Not to read too fast.  I wanted to savor it.  I wanted to let it sink in and wrap itself around my brain.  So I took my time reading it this week.  And I was not the least bit disappointed, well, except that she left me hanging again!  And she pulled my emotions all over the place!  She had me crying in public. 

But I have to say, this is the BEST in the series.  And I think this is the best thing Belinda Boring has written to date!!  I found myself wondering what goes on in that head of hers.  The detail.  The emotions.  Do the words just flow out of her fingers and onto the paper because while the story just flowed and didn't feel forced at all, there were times that I was just truly amazed by it all? 

Darcy!  Mason!  Devlin!  Please don't ever stop talking to Belinda because we need to hear your stories.  We need you to remain vocal.  We don't even mind if you start screaming at her, just as long as she keeps putting your words onto paper.

Book BlurbWaking up after an amazing night with her new husband and mate, nothing could've prepared Darcy for the epic bombshell Devlin dropped—explaining her heritage and revealing truths that completely blow her mind. When all she wants is to settle into marital bliss and pack life, Darcy's world is once again thrown into turmoil, forced to face a challenge that may very well destroy everything she’s fought so hard to preserve.

Not one to sit back and watch the one he loves more than life itself in danger, Mason immediately formulates a plan of action—taking a small group of trusted friends across the United States in the hot pursuit of answers. Time is running out, though. With every attempt to control Darcy's wild magic thwarted, and the dark presence of evil dogging their every move, Mason and Darcy will be left with no other choice but to make a stand—fight or risk losing everything they cherish most.

Decisions will be made. Love will be pushed to breaking point. Mason and Darcy face their greatest challenge, one that will leave them … FOREVER CHANGED.

Get your copy of Forever Changed at Amazon for Kindle or at Barnes and Noble for Nook.

Follow Belinda Boring on Facebook.

To start the series, you can get the first book, titled The Mystic Wolves for free at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.
Here is the book blurb from that one:  What would you do if a simple errand takes a deadly twist, turning you from cautious prey to dangerous predator?
Someone is trying to send a deadly message to Mason, arranging the deaths of those he loves and it puts the entire pack and Alpha on high alert.

(Note:  This post was written completely 'off-the-cuff' and was not edited!  I literally just finished reading this morning and threw my thoughts into this post.) 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Charmed by Cambria Hebert

How many times have you read something that caused a physical ache inside?  A small tornado twisting around in your gut?  That is exactly what Charmed has done to me. 

I didn't want to put it down.  I just wanted to keep reading, but I didn't want it to end. 

And how is it possible to fall from a guy who kills people for a living?  I'm not talking about a soldier, a member of the military, someone who kills the bad guys, but just someone who kills because the grim reaper told him to?  But believe me, you will find yourself falling for Charming, just like Frankie does. 

I am a big fan of Cambria Hebert's Take It Off series, but this is the first time that I ventured into one of her other series and she did not disappoint!  Charmed is actually the second in her Death Escorts series, so I know I really need to read Recalled, but I definitely didn't feel as though I was missing anything. 

Charmed is listed as a New Adult book and is recommended for readers 17+. 

Here is the book blurb:
Life or Death? Not many people would choose death. But what if death chooses you? What if death doesn’t mean the end of your life, but the beginning?
For a Death Escort, death is life. Death is your paycheck. Death is your job.

And Charming is the best Escort the Grim Reaper has ever had.
But when you piss off the Reaper, being the best doesn’t matter. So Charming is assigned a Target who is practically impossible to kill. He knows the Reaper hopes he fails—that he’s counting on it. So Charming vows to prove him wrong. He vows to make the kill.
But someone else vows to get in his way. Someone with a big mouth, a sugar habit, and blond hair. Someone who makes his heart start beating again.
And so Charming is left holding more than one person’s fate in the palm of his hand. He thought the choice would be easy, that there really wasn’t a question at all.
He was wrong.
Life or Death?

And I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that the cover was designed by the fabulous Regina Wamba at Mae I Design.  You know how much I love her work! 

You can learn more about Cambria Hebert and all her great books at her website:

I recommend you add everything she's written to your TBR!  You won't be disappointed. 

Easy to give this 5 stars!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Apple Dreams by Kamery Solomon

What happens when you follow your dreams?  They might actually come true! 

Kamery Solomon's foray into contemporary romance introduces us to Marama (Mara) Adams, a young woman who has always dreamed about seeing her name in lights on Broadway!  She moves to New York City to pursue those dreams and takes us along for the ride. 

Book Blurb:
Marama Adams knows without a doubt that she is meant to be a Broadway performer. Unable to wait any longer, she’s finally moved to the city from the west coast, ready for all her dreams to come true. She’s certain that her talent, work ethic, and positive thinking will land her on a stage in no time. Before she can really sink into the work though, Chris Williams, a handsome city native, steps in and begins to claim her heart. At the same time, her roommate’s brother, Evan Robbins, seems to want more than friendship from her. Will she be able to balance between her dreams and love?
Kamery does a fabulous job of pulling us into the theatre and showing us what we might never see when you're just sitting in the audience.  As we follow Mara through the audition process and then as we see the people in her life supporting her dreams and helping her to reach them, the excitement builds and I found myself wanting nothing more than to buy a ticket to go see Wicked.  So I did! 
And somehow, I think that when I am sitting in the audience watching the performance, I'll be experiencing it like nobody else in the theatre because Kamery drew such an amazing picture of what goes on in the wings.  Will Evan be working the lights?  Who really is the stage manager?  What would Mara (or Kamery) be thinking and feeling right now as she's about the step out on stage?
Big Apple Dreams will make you dream and hopefully, it will convince you to follow your dreams because you just never know where they might take you. 
Get your copy now for just $2.99 for your favorite e-reader:
Oh, and wait till you see who the stage manager is!  I think she steals the show.  ;)
I'm giving it 5 stars.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Release Day for Cherish Me by Jennifer Culbreth

Today is release day for Jennifer Culbreth's second book in the Protected Love Series - Cherish Me 

Protect Me was the first in the series and I was a big fan.   If you're interested, here is my blog post review of Protect Me.

Have you read Protect Me?  Well, how about a deleted scene?  I love reading what didn't make it into the book.  If I love a book, I want to read more!  So Jennifer has given us more...

Deleted Scene

From: Protect Me

Book #1 of The Protected Love Series

By Jennifer Culbreth

Location: Chapter Twelve, Page 204

She leaned back in his chair as she flipped open the top to the pizza box. She wasn’t hungry, and food would just make her more tired at this point. She unlocked her phone screen and hit her contacts button scrolling down until she saw the newly updated picture of her and Ryan next to his contact name. She had taken it the afternoon they had gone to the chocolatier. She smiled at the thought of how much fun they had. She was too tired to fight at this point. She really just wanted to be home, with Ryan. She pressed the dial button as she put the phone to her ear.

It rang twice “Babe, are you ok?” His voice came through the receiver.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just really tired and I don’t think I am going to make it until closing. Is there any way you could come and get me?” She could hear the exhaustion in her own voice.

“Of course I can, I will be there in just a few minutes. What do you say you come back and stay at my house tonight? I can have anything you need brought over, or picked up and delivered.” He sounded hopeful that she would say yes.

“Um, sure. I would love that.” She smiled into the phone as it reflected through her voice.

“Ok, I will see you in a just a few minutes.”

“Ok, see you soon.”

She pressed end on the screen, and was startled when she saw the door open to Trent’s office. At first she thought that maybe he had left something and was returning to get it before he went to his meeting. When she looked up to the man in front of her, she realized it wasn’t Trent. To her surprise Mr. Wilcox came in through the office door dressed in a designer suit and shoes. She immediately shot up out of the chair. The invasion of privacy immediately making her feel uneasy.

“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to startle you, Ms. Hastings” He held his hand up as if to excuse himself for barging in. “I was looking for Mr. Williams but apparently he is not in this evening.” His familiar southern accent rang out through her ears.

“Uh, no. Trent isn’t here. He left for a business meeting.” Her eyes darted around the room in search of something to protect herself with. “Mr. Wilcox, what are you doing here in LA?”

 “Well you see, Abbi, I happen to be a pretty well-known business man out here. I happen to do business with your boss as well; meaning I do a lot of traveling from Atlanta to Los Angeles, mostly for the weather though.” He regarded her coyly before stepping closer. She could feel her body immediately tense. Causing the aches through her body to sing out. “Mr. Williams has explained that the two of you are particularly close aside from your working relationship. You can imagine my surprise when he mentioned your name.” He smiled over at her before continuing, “Now, seeing as how I helped with your father’s estate maybe you could tell me who might he be meeting with tonight? I didn’t realize that Mr. Williams had any other associates aside from myself.”

“Oh, no Trent and I aren’t in a relationship.” She stepped back and shook her head. Where on earth would he have gotten that idea? Why is Trent telling people they were together? Why was Mr. Wilcox here in LA? All of the questions began piling into her head. He’d seemed harmless when she’d first met him but something in her gut was telling her that he wasn’t the most honorable man.

“No need to explain anything to me, I pass no judgment on how he runs the business. I can assure you I won’t report it back to HR.” He gave her a sideways grin as he stepped closer to the desk.

She felt the sudden urge to get out of there. She wasn’t sure what he was here for, but she could tell that it wasn’t anything that she wanted to be involved in.

“Listen, Mr. Wilcox, I really have no idea why you’re here. I also have no idea where Trent is or who he is meeting. So I should just be on my way.” She made a step towards the door.

“By all means, I understand you have a very important job to do. However I would like for you to pass along some information for me, I want my money. And I don’t like having to wait.” His tone suddenly turned very serious.

“Listen, I have about twenty dollars in my wallet. If that will cover it than I will go get it right now. If not, then I think you’re talking to the wrong person.” She edged her way a little closer to the exit at the side of the room.

“You’re very funny, Ms. Hastings. I would hate to have to break that funny bone of yours because of your boyfriend’s misjudgment in my patience.” He reached towards her and she flinched back. He recoiled his hand, “Please pass the message on to him, and let him know that I will be back, soon.” With that he turned and headed towards the door.

An eerie silence transcended throughout the office. It was so quiet her ears were ringing. She needed to get out of here. She didn’t give a damn if she had to wait outside for Ryan she was not going to stay in this building any longer tonight. She found herself very jumpy as she made her way out of the office and down the hallway, checking over her shoulder every few steps. The feeling that someone was going to jump out from behind a door caused her to almost run. Relief flooded through her body as she made her way out of the door and down towards the bar counter. She nudged her way through the crowd as she found Judy standing just towards the end of the bar.


In this deleted scene you see that Mr. Wilcox, the attorney from Atlanta who helped her with her father’s estate in the beginning chapter of Protect Me, is actually used as the villain. I read over this scene many times before deciding to change. I felt as though Abbi had entrusted too many less than honorable people by this point in the book. I wanted some of the people she had relied on to actually have good intentions.

The other reason I decided to change Mr. Wilcox as being the villain to Mr. Hernandez is because I felt it would flow easier. I knew that certain characters wouldn’t be continuing on to the next book and I wanted to keep the threat of retaliation alive. So instead I re-wrote this scene and introduced Mr. Hernandez. Other scenes earlier in the book, i.e. when Abbi is eaves dropping on Trent’s conversation with the “mystery man” were added to incorporate this scene into the book.

So that's just a little something from Protect Me, but this is Cherish Me Release Day!  If you've read Protect Me and loved it as much as I did, this is the day you've been waiting for.  In Cherish Me, we get Jace and Judy's story.  Jace and Judy played important roles in Protect Me and you really should read that before you start Cherish Me so you'll understand everything that is going on, but you should definitely read this series!

In anticipation of Release Day, Jennifer did a little interview with our favorite bodyguards and their beautiful ladies!   And if I didn't already love these characters, I certainly would now.  And characters they are! 

Jennifer: Ok kitties, you asked and you received. I just so happen to have some pull over at VIP Bodyguard Services and was able to get the guys and their lovely ladies over for an interview. Hi everyone and thanks for coming by today!

Ryan: Hi everyone, we are happy to be here. 

Abbi: Yes, thank you for having us, Jennifer. You know we love your hair so much that we couldn’t say no. 

Jennifer: Yes, I do have fabulous hair don’t I? **Smiles sarcastically**

Jace: Smokin’ hot boss lady.

**Judy slaps his arm.**

Jace: Ow! What was that for?

Judy: Don’t oogle. *Judy giggles**

Jennifer: Now do y’all see what I have to deal with, with this group? Ok let’s get down to business. I have some questions for you all sent in by the readers. Everyone ready? 

Judy: Yes, they are real.

**Jennifer cuts her eyes as a slight smile crosses her face. **

Jace: I can second that. 

Jennifer: Jace, I will cut you if you interrupt again. 

Jace: Sounds familiar…

**Jace covertly points over to Judy.**

Jennifer: Ok first question is for Jace from one of our lovely readers.  Jace do you happen to be looking for a new assistant? I’m qualified. 

Judy: Well, I can answer that one for you. **Cuts eyes towards Jace**

Jace: Fortunately I have found an assistant that both Judy and I agree on. His name is Romel and he makes an amazing cappuccino. **Smiles proudly over at Judy**

Jennifer: Ok, next question is for Jace again. What do you think would have happened if you’d met Abbi before Ryan had?

Abbi: I can answer that one for you! **Laughs playfully.**

Jace: Abbi would have kicked my ass to the curb a long time ago. No, but seriously I needed a woman who could roll with the punches and wouldn’t be afraid to put me in my place. No offense Abbi, you do a great job keeping Ryan in line, but I think the only woman on Earth I would ever want is sitting right here next to me. **Leans over and kisses Judy.**

Ryan: Aww. Look at you two love birds. 

Jennifer: Ok next one is for Ryan. If you were stranded on a desert island what 5 things would you want with you?

Ryan: You thought you were gonna throw me off didn’t you? You see, I avidly watch Bear Grylls so I know that I need a container for water, a lighter, blanket, an entire box of Zebra Cakes, and of course my woman. 

Abbi: Hell no I am not going to a deserted island with you. 

Ryan: Aww come on! What if I exchange my box of Zebra Cakes for S’mores Pop Tarts.

Abbi: Ok, I’m game. 

Jennifer: Ok, next up is Judy. What did it feel like the first time you and Jace kissed? 

Judy: Well, the first night we kissed was a week or so after we had first met. Contrary to popular belief I don’t kiss on the first date. 

Jace: Technically it was our first official date.

Judy: Ok contrary to popular belief I only kiss on the first date when I am shit faced. We were both smashed so the first kiss was sloppy and wet. But I could feel the sparks flying. 

Jennifer: Aww, aren’t you precious. ** Smiles playfully** Ok next one is for Abbi. It’s date night, but at home, what’s on the menu and what’s prepped on the DVR?

Abbi: Easy. Chinese take-out and anything with Adam Sandler in it. I love funny movies and he is by far my favorite actor. 

Jennifer: Short and to the point; I like it. Up next to bat is Ryan. If you hadn’t had to fill in the night you had met Abbi, do you think you would have found each other? 

Ryan: Hell, if I hadn’t filled in that night I can tell you I would probably be at the office right now plowing through paperwork and files on upcoming jobs. However I think we would have eventually found each other. **Reaches over and grabs Abbi’s hand.** Probably at the bakery because we both eat there at least once a week. 

Jennifer: Ok this one is for the group. What are your Halloween costumes this year? 

Abbi: This has become the debate lately. I think we should all dress up like the Super Mario characters. However, someone. **Ahem, points over at Judy** doesn’t want to be the mushroom.

Judy: I think we should dress up as Crayola Crayons. 

Jace: No way I am going to be a crayon for Halloween.  I think we should go as a BLT.

**Everyone looks over at Jace.** 

Jennifer: A BLT?

Jace: Yeah. You know I can be a piece of bread, Ryan can be a piece of bread, Abbi can be a piece of bacon, the baby can be a piece of lettuce, and Judy can be a tomato slice. 

Jennifer: That’s eerily planned out. 

Jace: I have been waiting on this since last year. 

Jennifer: Ryan, you weighing in on this? 

Ryan: I think we should be the cast from Walker Texas Ranger.

**The room goes quiet.**

Ryan: Oh come on! I can be Walker, Jace you can be C.D. Parker, Abbi can be Alex Cahill, and Judy can play Sydney Cooke. 

Abbi: No way. You lose. 

Jennifer: I agree, Ryan you lose. At least Jace’s is cool, who doesn’t like a BLT?

Jace: My thoughts exactly. 

Jennifer: Ok, last question and this is again to the group. If you were to get tattoo’s signifying your significant other what would it be?

Ryan: A .357 revolver. The first time we had breakfast I thought Abbi was going to pull it out when I mentioned Trish without explaining who exactly Trish was. 

Abbi: Ha! That’s what you get. 

Jennifer: Abbi, what are you inking on you? 

Abbi: I think if I were to add to my collection it would be a lion head down my arm. He’s kind of the leader of our pack and so it’s kinda fitting. 

Judy: I would get DO NOT ENTER right on my ass cheek. Just a friendly reminder for Mr. Rico Suave over here. 

Jennifer: Holy Moses, too much info. 

Jace: I would get an angel, because Judy is just a perfect sweet beautiful angel. 

Jennifer: **Props hand against chin while looking at Jace and thinking.** Yeah, Judy you got anything to follow up to that. 

Judy: No. He’s couldn’t be more right. **Smiles widely over at Jace.**

Jennifer: Ok! Well that’s it folks. I want to thank you for stopping by and I hope that your followers have had as much fun as I have. Never a dull moment.

Judy: Not when I’m around!

Abbi: Don’t forget Cherish Me is released October 26th! Make sure you get your copy to see what happens in Jace and Judy’s story! You won’t be sorry!

I can not wait to keep reading more from Jennifer Culbreth and the Protection Series!  Ryan and Jace have some other hot guys working for them at VIP Protection so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll keep the series going and let those other hotties tell their stories.

Here's a little more about Jennifer Culbreth.

Author Interview

  • What author(s) influenced your writing?
I grew up reading the classics. I fell in love with Mr. Darcy and Gatsby before the playboys like Christian Grey and Gavin Blake had even been thought of. Now, don’t get me wrong… I love a schmexy CEO just as much as the next girl. But I not only fell in love with the characters in the classic literature that littered the small book case in my room, most importantly I fell in love with the words. The beautiful words that brought the story to life. Authors such as Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, and Robert Louis Stevenson were my main influencers. The most influential authors for me, for their support and guidance, have been Gail McHugh and Teresa Gableman. When I started this journey I was scared to death, alone as I knew no authors, and clueless. I reached out asking for help to a number of authors whose books I had read and enjoyed and both Gail and Teresa graciously answered back. I truly have to say if it hadn’t been for them motivating me to take the leap I wouldn’t be where I am in this journey today.

  • What tips do you have for someone who is thinking about writing a book?
To go for it! Never in a hundred years would I have imagined I would be able to call myself a published author. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, or what your walk of life is. I grew up a tomboy who hunted and fished, and yes I still do to this day. I went to college first to join the Police Force and then graduated with a degree in Business thanks to the coaxing of my family. However I have had no formal training to become a writer. I had a passion. One that I embraced and stayed focused on and this journey for me will never end.
If you are considering self-publishing and you have the creativity, thick skin, and motivation to find the answers you need you have already met half the battle. The publishing world is full of amazing creative minds, being able to think outside of the box and explore new story lines and characters is important. Along with having thick skin. The Indie Author world can be tough and you have to really be able to take criticism. You will at some point get less than pleasant reviews, you will have those who want your cover to look a certain way, or want your story to go differently. But you have to always keep the spark alive and remind yourself that not every reader will fall in love with your book; and that’s ok. You will have readers who will love your work support you and those are the ones that truly matter.
I am always available to help in any way that I can to give advice and guidance to anyone interested in becoming an Indie Author. I have been blessed to have the amount of support from others through this journey and the most humbling part is being able to pass the torch sort of speak. I can always be reached via fb or email.

  • What do you do for fun?
Growing up in a rural area there wasn’t a lot to do for fun. We made the best of it though driving along dirt roads, hunting, fishing, and having cook outs with friends and family. We are all avid SEC Football fans and enjoy the family rivalries during the fall. Go Gators! I am lucky to come from a huge family and I love spending time with them. Two years ago I married First Class Petty Officer Culbreth and have been blessed to have an amazing partner in life. He inspires me, teaches me, and motivates me every day. I am very lucky to have him in my life.

We just moved to Colorado Springs and look forward to being able to enjoy the mountains and the outdoors here. Being a Florida native for more than 26 years you can imagine my thrill in looking forward to the snow! Hopefully before that happens we will be able to travel up and enjoy the sights of Cripple Creek and Pike’s Peak.

I would have to say my favorite hobby would be trying new foods. I don’t know if you would consider that a hobby but as often as I eat I think we can categorize it as such! I have a slight obsession with s’mores… I love Indian cuisine, and Gordon Ramsey is my favorite person to watch on TV. I look forward to heading up to the bakery I have heard so much about in Woodland Park and trying a bacon maple twist!

  • What is your favorite movie?
 I absolutely LOVE movies with action. That is one of the primary reasons why my books contain elements of suspense. I have to have something that keeps me on the edge of my seat. My favorite movie is Act of Valor. I balled in the movie theatre (only movie to ever make me do that), I cry like a baby every time I watch it at home, and even when I read the book. I can stand in the same places as those wives being married to an active duty US Navy Sailor myself. I can feel their pain, their angst, and their sadness. I love movies that draw me in like that.

However I don’t only like movies where explosions happen in every other scene. I also enjoy a movie that will make me laugh. This is The End is probably one of the only stupidly funny movies I have ever liked. If you are in need of a funny movie that will make your abs hurt from laughing I recommend it!

  • If you were going out on a hot date what would it be?
 Well, as most of you know I am just a down home country girl. Born and raised in the backwoods. So if I could choose any date it would probably be taking my huge, lifted, SUV out in the mud! Bonfire, good friends, apple pie moonshine, old country on the radio, and my hubby to cuddle next to. Of course at some point someone will have to make me s’mores…

·          Protect Me (Protected Love Series Book #1) released July 30, 2013

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·         Cherish Me (Protected Love Series Book #2) To Be Released October 26, 2013
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