Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sunday Snippets for Under Umbrellas, Going Viral, and Good Stepbrother

 

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Sunday Snippet from Under Umbrellas:

Laurel shook her head.  “It’s like living in a damn soap opera.”  She frowned.  “And it all boils down to Joey has ruined our sweet, charming, southern town.”

“I don’t know that I’d go that far.  The town is in an uproar.”  Keely shrugged.  “And Joey has been at the center of a few controversies.”

“Sweetness, I’m not sure you need to tie yourself to Joey.”  Laurel sat back.  “There. It had to be said.”

Inhaling sharply, Marti about choked on a blueberry.  Reaching for her drink, she took a few sips to wash everything down.  Then she set down her fork.  The dessert had lost all flavor.  “You think I shouldn’t marry Joey?” Her hand shot to her chest at even saying the words aloud.

“Marti,” Keely began gently, “he has a horrible time sticking, doing the right thing.”  She set her own fork down and reached across the table to touch Marti’s hand.  “How has he been since this started?  Does he have that scared rabbit look that always precedes a bad decision?  Has he been to see Finn?  These are all indicators of imminent doom.  You know this.”

Shaking her head, Marti assured them.  “No.  He’s been wonderful.  Sure, Hope House has him unhinged this morning.  He mentioned laying low…”

“And where has he been all day?” Laurel asked quietly.

“Working.”  Marti frowned.  “He called me once.  It was really sweet.”

The two older women exchanged looks.

“What?” Marti began.  “It doesn’t mean anything.  He just…loves me.  That’s all.”  She could feel the emotional roller coaster coming to a stop at the station.  All she had to do was hop on, it was time for a ride.  “I’m gonna go.”  She reached into her sock and pulled out a $10 bill.

“Keep it.  I forced the dessert on you and the drink is free for friends.”  She smiled sadly at Marti.  “Want me to drive you?”

“Nah, I’m good.  I need the air,” Marti explained.

“Or shall I drive you?” Laurel smirked, directing the question to Keely.

“I’m exercising, dammit.  This is a lot of the reason I have to exercise.”  She, too, pushed back from the table.  “I’ll walk out with you,” she told Marti.

“Thank you for everything,” Marti murmured sadly as she walked toward the door.

Keely caught up to her not far out of the cafe.  “Hey, wait up!” she called.  When Marti slowed to an almost stop, she took three or four big steps and pulled up to her side in a second.  “You know we love you, right?”

“I know.”  Marti’s words were soft, barely audible.  She gave Keely the side eye.  “Love hurts.”

Chuckling, Keely nodded.  “It sure does.  And you know we love Joey, right?”

This time, Marti hesitated more before answering.  “Yeah.”

“We do.  I just don’t know what it’s going to take for you to be able to have a happy life together.  Finn won’t ever let go.  He thought she had before, but clearly she never did.  Some part of her held on.  Having you in the picture has only escalated her behavior.”  Sighing, her friend reached out and stopped her.  They were at the corner anyway, about to part ways.

“I hear you, I really do,” Marti assured her.  “I just want to believe what we have is stronger than all that.  I hope we’ve moved past…our past.”  She met Keely’s gaze.  “I love you all and know you mean well, but this is another instance where it’s up to us.  We’re the ones who have to live with the consequences of our choices.  There’s no protecting us from them.”

“I hope you don’t need protecting, but with Finn…who knows?”  She threw her arms around Marti and murmured, “Love you.  Hang in there.  Or run.  But if you stick it out, we’ll be here for you.”

 

Going Viral LKB

Sunday Snippet from Going Viral:

The Office Eye Candy: Fun to Look at, Painful to Date

Abbie Baker | On March 21, 2015

If you had asked me a year ago just what I thought about office romances, I would have told you that nobody in their right mind would ever have one. Nothing good could happen from one, right? If you had asked me that a year ago, though, I would have taken inventory of all the men I worked with and would have come up with Nathan, 47, balding and wheezy; Derek, 59, a happily married father and grandfather; and Tyler, who while the right age, is gay. When you have the male coworkers I had then, it is easy to be judgmental about workplace romances.

When your elderly fellow employee retires and is replaced with a young, good-looking, single, straight guy, however, it becomes a whole lot easier to decide that nothing is just black or white. I am here to tell you, though, that your first instincts are correct: do not cross the line. Because if you do, you could end up right where I am now: loveless, mad, and with yet another reason to hate Mondays.

If you have been following the dating drama that is my life, you know that tonight was my much-anticipated date with Toby, my heart-stopping, next-cubicle neighbor. We bonded over a jammed printer, shared dismay when we thought the company was being closed, and laughed together in relief when we found out that we were only changing buildings. All in all, we were clearly destined for couple greatness.

In preparation for the big event, I was waxed, polished, and tweezed. I spent a week’s salary on a form-flattering outfit, and I spent an hour on my hair. But I didn’t mind. It was an investment in my future position as Mrs. Toby Lockland.

Is there someone you can sue when a fool-proof investment falls flat?

That’s right, ladies. Toby was an epic failure, and you guys are all going to reap the rewards of my humiliating ordeal.

 

 

Sunday Snippet from Good Stepbrother:

I wish I could say that I straightened up after that, but we all know that’s not the case. If it was, you wouldn’t even be listening to my story. So you all know Carter found my mom and his dad getting it on. I didn’t find out about their love affair until a few nights later.

“Bri, where are you going?” Mom asked me as I readied to go to the mall with Britney and Jennifer, like we did every night.

“Going to the mall,” I sullenly replied, running my brush through my hair. “Can we talk, honey?”

“You’re moving your mouth, aren’t you?” I snapped, rolling my eyes in irritation. “What happened to my sweet little girl?” she asked softly and I turned to her with a huff. “She grew up.”

“You’re jaded. I’m sorry.”

“I just realize that everyone in the world is out to fuck you over, so why bother being nice? Nice girls finish last. I don’t plan to ever finish last.” I whipped back around to my mirror and heavily lined my eyes with ninety-nine cent black liner.

“Baby, that’s not true.”

Mom sidled up to me and put her hand on my shoulder. I shrugged it off. I didn’t want or need her pity, thank you very much. “Whatever. So can I go or what?”

“Sure, just I wanted to talk with you about something.”

I narrowed my eyes and looked her over. She looked…happy. Her eyes shone with happiness, her cheeks were flushed, and I noticed she wore cute clothes and makeup. She hadn’t worn cute clothes or makeup since Dad kicked us out months ago. “Who is it?” I asked. “I’m not calling him Dad.”

“Charlie Travis,” she murmured gently, not meeting my eyes. My heart thudded, hard in my chest. Carter’s dad? No! No way! “What?” I hissed. “Carter’s dad? Isn’t he like… married?”

“His wife left him for some guy she met online. I took the old beater into the shop to get the oil leak fixed and we got to talking and well one thing led to another and I really like him, Bri.”

I pushed away from my mirror and ran a hand through my hair. “Wow. You can barely let your crotch cool before you’re jumping back in with someone else.”

“Brielle! That’s not how this is! I didn’t plan on falling in love with Charlie. I didn’t. It just happened. All of a sudden I realized I did.”

Tears prickled at my lashes and I blinked furiously. “You’re in love with him?” “I am, Bri. I love him. He’s offered to let us move in with him. I think he’ll be proposing before long.” My mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water. My mother was in love with Charlie Travis, Carter’s father. Carter was the boy I loved more than anything in this world and couldn’t love ever because he deserved so much better than me. “So we’re moving in with them?” I managed.

“I’d like to. It would be lots better than this shitty apartment. You’d have a father figure, and a brother…”

I grabbed my purse and laughed. “Carter Travis will never be my brother.” I darted out of my room and ran through the living room to the front door. Mom called my name, but I couldn’t process. I just couldn’t think. Throwing the door wide, I took off. I never made it to the mall that night. Instead, I made some calls and found a party. It was easy enough to have a guy come pick me up. They all wanted to arrive at a party with me. “Thanks,” I told the tow headed boy who had happily come to get me from the corner of Rose and Piedmont.

“Want to dance?” he asked eagerly and I shook my head. “Know where I could get some E?” I asked.

His face fell and he nodded. “Yeah, I hear that Peter Jenkins deals.”

“Perfect, thanks.” I leaned across the cab of the car and kissed his pimply cheek. “Give me a ride home later?” I asked hopefully and he nodded, his eyes wide. “Point me to Peter.”

“Right there.” He pointed to a lanky guy who was at least twenty-one leaning up against the rickety old barn by the bonfire. It was supposed to just be a simple “kid” party on the farm. I planned to make it fun. I needed to forget. A couple of little white pills would do nicely.

 

Meet Kennedy Morgan

Sunny, 4th floor girls LKB branded

 

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Blurb:

Meet the girls of the 4th floor college dorm: Irene, Brittany, Denise, Nikki, Sharon and Sunny…the badass punk rocker who falls for the cowboy upstairs. Everything is great until things start disappearing, personal items like a bra, and silk pajamas. Soon there are more questions than answers. 

Read the series to see who’s spying, and stealing, and scaring the 4th Floor Girls.

 

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A native of Alberta Canada, Kennedy has always been fascinated by music and writing.She prefers her romances to be full of suspense and loves to write stories that leave you turning the pages and on the edge of your seat.

Love Kissed Authors Reveal: Top 5 Man Crushes

Scarlett Jade’s Top Five Man Crushes:

  1. Ed Sheeran (I would have all of his babies)
  2. Idris Elba (um yup I’d have his babies too)
  3. Luke Sital-Singh (he’s so cute!)
  4. Paul Walker
  5. Vin Diesel

Nicole Andrews Moore’s Man Crushes:

  1. Dwayne Johnson (that smile, those hands…)
  2. Vin Diesel (he can talk me right into bed with that voice)
  3. Joseph Morgan (Klaus on The Originals…the accent!)
  4. Ian Somerhalder (maybe I just have a thing for vampires)
  5. Ryan Gosling (Duh.)

Amelie Stephens’ Man Crushes:

  1. Liam Hemsworth
  2. Robert Downey Jr.
  3. Theo James
  4. Daniel Gillies
  5. Hugh Dancy

Lexi James’ Man Crushes:

  1. Ryan Gosling
  2. Adam Levine
  3. Ian Somerhalder
  4. Bradley Cooper
  5. Kellan Lutz

FYR: Going Viral, Book One of The Abbie Diaries by Amelie Stephens

It’s a Feed Your Reader Alert!

Love Kissed Books

is offering up 50 copies of

Going Viral, Book One of The Abbie Diaries

on Library Thing!  

Go here to sign up to win an ebook from debut author,

Amelie Stephens.

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Going Viral LKB

 

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Blurb:

Meet Abbie, cubicle dweller by day, blogger by night. Acting as her online diary, the blog feature a no-holds-barred, true life, gritty account of her sometimes funny, sometimes painful, often dirty love life. Oh, and she doesn’t always change the names to protect the innocent.
After a date with coworker, Toby, she has a new reason to hate Mondays. When the post goes viral, Toby seeks revenge and enlists the help of his buddy Parker to do it. Both guys soon realize when she isn’t bad -mouthing men, she’s pretty likable, maybe even lovable. All may be fair in love and war, but what happens next will rock the internet and her world.

 

 

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Amelie Stephens is a twenty-something wife and mother who loves to tell sweet and funny romantic stories, often those that have come from her own life. When she’s not changing diapers or cooking meals for her family, she’s writing.

Sunday Snippets for Under Umbrellas, Going Viral, and Good Stepbrother

 

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Sunday Snippet from Under Umbrellas:

They walked to the door, Marti in the lead, a smile playing on her face.  Joey guessed she was already imagining what she would be indulging in today.  Reaching out, he pulled it open for her.  Marti had barely made it through the opening when she froze and Joey bumped into her.  “Babe,” he complained, trying to nudge her forward.

“I can’t even,” she mumbled.

In front of her, leaning against the counter, basking in their discomfort, was Finn.  “Fancy running into you here.”  Her smile grew impossibly wider as she rubbed the side of her belly.  “So when are you due?  Martha, right?”

Before anything else could be said, Laurel interceded.  “Get out, Finn,” she ordered.  “I have the right to refuse service.  You need to leave.  And don’t even think about coming back.”

Whipping around to address the fuming proprietor, Finn pouted.  “You’d deny a pregnant woman food?”

“Just so we’re clear, I’d deny you air, if I thought I could get away with it.  I’m not feeding you and there’s no loitering.  Go away.”  Laurel crossed her arms angrily over her chest.  “Marti, what can I getcha, gorgeous?”  She smiled and completely ignored Finn.

It seemed Marti stood frozen in place.  Reacting as quickly as possible, Joey wrapped an arm around her waist.  “I know we’re starving.  Could you get us our usual?” he asked quietly.  “We’re going to go sit.”

“Of course.”  Laurel shrugged and started to walk into the kitchen when Marti snapped out of it.

“Oh, I brought you something,” she murmured with a grin.  “You know how Joey seemed certain we were having a boy?”

“I’m having a boy,” Finn announced to anyone who might be listening.  Naturally, everyone continued to ignore her.

Reaching into her purse, Marti pulled out one of her gender reveal announcements, took a few steps until she stood before the counter and beside Finn, then pushed the candy bar towards her friend.  “It’s a girl!”  She beamed.

“Oh, that’s cute.  I have a reveal of my own.”  Finn smirked.  Though no one truly noticed what she was doing, she suddenly yanked her long sleeved shirt off.  “It’s hot today anyway.”

Underneath the shirt, she had on a black lace edged tank top with the words ‘Joe’s Boy’ in baby blue scroll on the belly.  After a collective gasp erupted and all hell threatened to break loose, Joey marched over to her, grabbed the shirt she had haphazardly flung onto the counter, and covered her belly with it before he spun her around and walked her out of the cafe.

“I’m pretty sure I heard Laurel kick you out,” he hissed as they out the door.  As soon as he was certain it closed behind them he turned on her.  “What the fuck is wrong with you, Finn?  Why would you want to hang on to someone who clearly doesn’t want you?”  He shook his head and rubbed the back of his neck.

Reaching out, he realized she planned to touch him, but he backed away.  “What?” she asked innocently.  “You always used to love my massages.”  She blinked at him a few times, no doubt to show off the cat eyes he’d always found so appealing.

Ever since he’d known Marti, he’d had no interest in her or anyone else.  The woman filled him so completely that he couldn’t imagine hungering for anyone ever again.  This was love, real love.  It made him smile.

Seeing it, Finn apparently believed she’d found her foothold.  “That’s right.  You remember,” she murmured seductively.

“No, I don’t,” he assured her while he increased the distance between them.  “We were together in a drug induced or drunken haze.  That’s no way to live.  There was nothing of substance to hold onto.”  He frowned.  “It may have seemed fun at the time, but I was young and dumb.  Now, I’m older and wiser.  I know what I want.”  He looked through the glass window and smiled lovingly at Marti, unsure of whether or not she even paid attention to him.  “I don’t have time for this, Finn.  I don’t have the energy.  And I sure as hell don’t have the desire to deal with you any more.”

“Oh, you’ll have the desire,” she warned as she drew closer and backed him into a nearby lamp post.  “You are tied to me.  Eighteen years.”  her last words came out a growl.

Shrugging, he pursed his lips.  “Maybe.  I doubt it.  I’ll take a paternity test.  We’ll talk then.”  He brushed past her and walked to the door.  “Until then, leave me alone.  I’ve made my choice.  You weren’t even in the running.”

 

 

Going Viral LKB

Sunday Snippet from Going Viral:

Sometimes the gentlemen’s guide to living right sucked. Like how you always had to repay your debts. Normally, repaying a debt was something that Parker Bryant would do without flinching. He hated owing someone; he loved finally being debt-free. Not this time, though. If these were his choices, he would much rather just keep owing Toby.

“I need you to meet Abbie and pretend to date her.”

Toby had said this seriously, but Parker still hoped it was a joke. “What do you mean? Why?”

“I need you to make her fall in love with you. I need you to become her perfect man. I need you to do this for me. And then I need you to break up with her, and break her heart.”

“WHAT? NO! No way, Toby. No. I know you are upset. But I can’t do that for you. No.”

“You have to. Just listen. It’s the only way. It’s the only way to get revenge. She needs awful material? She needs stories to fuel her hate-filled fans? She needs men to treat her badly in order to get attention and please her followers? Then let’s give her something real to write about.”

“Listen, Toby. I get it. I get why you want payback. And I support it. I just cannot do this.”

“But you don’t get it, do you? You don’t have a choice. You owe me, remember? And I am calling in the favor now.”

Parker sighed because he could not deny it was true. It happened the year before when Parker’s girlfriend at the time, Becky, had cheated on him. He was not in a good place and he had done some things he was not proud of as a result of her treachery. Namely, he had stolen her most valuable possession – the ring she had gotten from her mother, who had gotten it from her mother, who had gotten it from her mother, who had received it on her 25th wedding anniversary. It was the only sure fire way he knew to emotionally ruin her like she had done for him.

Becky had called him in a panic when she realized it was missing. “Please, Parker,” she had begged. “I know you hate me right now, but you have to help me! Have you seen it? I think it was stolen, but maybe I dropped it somewhere? I .. I’m not sure. Please. Would you look around your place for me?”

He told her he didn’t see it and asked her not to call him anymore. A month later, the shock and initial anger having worn off, it finally hit him just what he had done. He knew he had to return the ring but certainly didn’t want her to know he had stolen it. So he asked Toby for advice.

“Give me the ring, Park, and let me take care of it.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to return it. I’ll think of a reason for having it, I promise.”

Parker handed over the ring, and Toby left. And returned a few hours later with a black eye.
“What happened?”

“I gave her the ring, and she asked how I had it. I told her I found it in my car and said it must have fallen off when I was giving her a ride home at some point. She didn’t believe me. Neither did the guy she was with. They knew they couldn’t prove it, though, so he gave me a little vigilante justice and roughed me up a bit before I could leave. You know. Just in case I wasn’t saying everything I knew.”

By this point, Toby had taken a bag of peas out of the freezer and placed it on his eye.
“I’m sorry, Toby! That should’ve been me. How could I let you take the fall, dude?”

Toby looked at him as if he were crazy.

“Are you kidding me? If it had been you, they would have really caused some damage. She definitely wouldn’t have believed you were innocent, and he would have loved to prove his worth by defending her from her lying, stealing ex. I’ll be alright. I’ve gotten a lot worse, you know. Relax. It’s over now, but just remember you owe me.”

They had both laughed at the time because they knew that it was unlikely Toby would ever call in the favor.

But neither of them was laughing now. So Parker did not want to have to pay his debt, or at least he did not want to pay it in this way, but Toby was right. He didn’t have a choice. He owed Toby, and he would do whatever it took to pay him back.

“Alright,” he asked his waiting friend, “how exactly are we going to do this?”

 

Sunday Snippet from Good Stepbrother:

I met my next boyfriend, Toby McLean at a football game, where I was supposed to be cheering on Jameson. My eyes strayed repeatedly to his tall form as he leaned against the fence, cigarette smoke circling his head. Streetlights danced on his black leather jacket. He was hot.
By halftime, I had scrambled from my position on the bleachers to the dry grass of the field so I could talk to him. I sashayed to him like I was a supermodel. He was a lot older, I could tell that, and I wanted to see if I could get him interested in me. “Hi,” I breathed, sidling up to him under the light.

“Hey, babe,” he offered, inhaling deeply on his cigarette stub. He flicked the butt into the grass and blew out a cloud of smoke. “What’s your name, baby girl?”

“Bri,” I cooed, running my fingertip down the sleeve of his jacket. “Yours?”

“You’re awful young to be over here flirting,” he chuckled. “I’m Toby.”

“Age ain’t nothin’ but a number,” I giggled, tossing my hair over my shoulder.

“Tell that to the cops. You’re jail bait.” he smiled and ran a hand through his shaggy brown hair. “You’re hot though.”

“I know,” I replied. “And if you play your cards right, Toby, I could be yours.”

His eyebrows shot up into his hairline and he licked his lips. “Who says I want you, baby girl?”

“You do.” I told him, squeezing his bicep. “But you can’t have me… yet.” I turned to go back to the bleachers and gave him one long, sultry look over my shoulder as I strolled away.
Looking back to the bleachers, I saw my best friends sitting there with their mouths open in shock. I was flying high. I felt so gorgeous, so sexy, so wanted. I knew Toby wanted me. Everyone wanted me.

Except my father. My smile faltered and I blinked back tears as I climbed into the seat between my best friends. Things weren’t the greatest at home anymore. I blinked a couple of times and tuned into what the chatterboxes next to me were going on about.

“OMG! He could be an axe murderer!” Britney squealed. “You don’t know him!”

“He’s hot though!” Jennifer sighed. “Look at that, he’s all brooding and dangerous.”

I shrugged and tried to play it cool. “His name’s Toby, and he will be mine.”

They both squealed and giggled around me while I narrowed my eyes and focused in on my next target. Jameson Keller was so yesterday’s news.

Meet Amelie Stephens

Going Viral LKB

 

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Blurb:

Meet Abbie, cubicle dweller by day, blogger by night. Acting as her online diary, the blog feature a no-holds-barred, true life, gritty account of her sometimes funny, sometimes painful, often dirty love life. Oh, and she doesn’t always change the names to protect the innocent.
After a date with coworker, Toby, she has a new reason to hate Mondays. When the post goes viral, Toby seeks revenge and enlists the help of his buddy Parker to do it. Both guys soon realize when she isn’t bad -mouthing men, she’s pretty likable, maybe even lovable. All may be fair in love and war, but what happens next will rock the internet and her world.

She’s in love with not one, but two men. What’s a girl to do?

 

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Amelie Stephens is a twenty-something wife and mother who loves to tell sweet and funny romantic stories, often those that have come from her own life. When she’s not changing diapers or cooking meals for her family, she’s writing.

Love Kissed Authors Reveal: Top 5 Foods

Get to know some of your favorite Love Kissed Authors. 

Every now and then, we’ll be adding posts to help you get to know our authors better.  Today, we polled the Love Kissed ladies and asked them…

What are your top five favorite foods?

I know.  Heavy stuff, right?  Here’s what they had to say.

From Scarlett Jade:

  1. chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream
  2. pork chops with peas and onions
  3.  mushroom ravioli
  4. fresh bread with butter
  5.  strawberries with whipped cream

From Nicole Andrews Moore

  1. Sushi
  2. Lobster Bisque
  3. Hot fresh bread with butter
  4. Parmesan Crusted Chicken from Long Horn
  5. Stampede (also from Long Horn: amazing layered chocolate cake)

From Lexi James

  1. Chicken wings with celery and bleu cheese
  2. Almost anything with bacon
  3. Cheese pizza, the more cheese the better
  4. Lobster or snow crab with drawn butter (oh, hell.  almost anything with butter)
  5. Cheesecake (just about any variety from The Cheesecake Factory)

  1. Baked Potatoes
  2. Bacon anything
  3. Sushi
  4. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  5. Spaghetti