A Rocky Road To Romance

A-Rocky-Road-To-Romance-Final (2)Hey, welcome back! I’m excited this week because Book #5 in my Fab Five series is coming out in just a few days, on the 22nd! This is the book that will stay with you long  after you turn that last page. It was difficult for me to write, and several times I had to get up and walk away and return to it later. It will literally rock you to the core.

The story is about a girl in an abusive relationship. Having never lived it, I had to find a way to put myself into the victim’s head. And when I did, I became emotionally attached. I cried a lot while writing and editing this story. My heart went out to my heroine. I know women who have been in similar situations and it made me appreciate them even more after finishing this book.

The Advanced Review copies went out Friday night to a few people and I’ve heard back from some of them already. The general consensus was that it was well portrayed and a book that will long be remembered. I hope they are right because this book tells a story…one of survival…and one of the power of love…and of course, the most important quality in the Fab Five books…friendship.

Here is the blurb for A Rocky Road To Romance:

More Fab Five drama and this time it’s the O’Gradys facing turmoil at every turn.

 Chloe’s high-risk pregnancy has her homebound as she and Shane anxiously await the arrival of twins. Shane is busy between home and the office, so when Katy’s son, Alex, moves to Dallas, taking a job in the offices of O’Grady Enterprises, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

 Alex is attracted to the hostess at Chloe’s Place, Chelsea Wyatt. But Chelsea has a boyfriend…and a secret. When it becomes apparent to all around her she is in an abusive relationship, Alex is more determined than ever to convince her that he is the guy for her.

 As Chelsea comes to the realization she is falling in love with Alex, he gives her a small glimpse of what life with him could be like. But a bombshell is dropped on Alex when he is told someone is stealing from the restaurant and Chelsea is one of the prime suspects. Determined to prove her innocence, Alex discovers just how devious Chelsea’s boyfriend, Dante, is. And when Chelsea learns the truth and attempts to break free of Dante’s hold on her, he viciously attacks her, leaving her for dead.

As Chelsea attempts to recover from the physical and emotional trauma, Alex is by her side. The Fab Five rally around her and Alex, offering help and support. Can the young couple get back to the plans they made for a life together or is Chelsea too emotionally damaged after the attack to even consider it?

And here’s a little snippet for you:

Chelsea Wyatt parked her car in the employee parking lot of the upscale Dallas restaurant, Chloe’s Place, and looked in the mirror. As she brushed her hand gently across the bruise on her cheek, she decided it was hidden as well as it could be with the makeup she had carefully applied before leaving her apartment. Dante didn’t mean to do it, I know he didn’t, she told herself for the twentieth time. She sighed, picked up her purse and got out of the car. Walking in the back door of the restaurant to begin her shift as hostess for the evening, she hoped no one would notice. She wished she could confide in Alex, her friend at work, but he was the boss’s son. It was probably better not to go there.

Marcos, the restaurant’s head waiter, greeted her, “Hi, Chelsea, how are you this afternoon?”

“I’m good. How’s everything here?”

“Busy night ahead of us, lots of reservations,” Marcos replied, smiling.

“Business is good. The O’Gradys must be happy.”

Chloe O’Grady walked into the employee area to the right of the kitchen and laughed. “Yes, Chelsea, we are very happy.”

“Chloe, what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be taking it easy?” Chelsea asked. Chloe was in the beginning stages of a high-risk pregnancy. She was expecting twins and had been told to rest by her doctor.

“I’m feeling better and the doctor said I can stop in from time to time to say hello, but I’m still supposed to do the bulk of my work from home.”

“I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. When Katy told all of us what was going on, we didn’t know whether to be happy for you or concerned.”

“Oh, that’s so sweet, but it’s a happy thing. Shane and I’ve wanted a baby for a long time. And now we’re getting two, so all’s good! Now that the morning sickness is better, hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on out,” Chloe replied with a smile.

Chloe’s husband, Shane, walked in. “Honey, are you ready to go yet? I thought you were picking up work and going back home.”

“I’m just chatting. I’ll be ready soon.”

“Okay, let me know when you’re finished, and I’ll drive you home.” Shane leaned down and kissed his young wife on the forehead. Turning to Chelsea he said, “Hi, Chelsea. How are you tonight?”

“I’m good, Shane, thanks for asking. Congrats on the twins. I haven’t had a chance to tell you yet.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you later. I’m working tonight. I think Alex is going to stay and help out, too, since it’s going to be so busy. Ryan gave him the afternoon off in exchange for helping out in here tonight.”

“I guess I’ll see you later.” Chelsea smiled at the younger O’Grady brother as he left the room.

“I’d better leave. He’s not going to stand for me hanging around here for long. It’s going to be a long seven months.” Chloe laughed as she left for the corporate office to retrieve her work.

“Bye, Chloe, take care of yourself.”

Chelsea prepared to take her station at the desk in the lobby. Whew, made it through so far without anyone noticing my cheek. Maybe it’ll be okay.

But what Chelsea didn’t realize was that it had been noticed, by both Chloe and Shane. And when Chloe entered her husband’s office, which was in the corporate building next door to the restaurant, she sat down with tears in her eyes.

“You saw the bruise didn’t you, honey?” Shane asked, kneeling beside her. He put his strong arms around her. “Don’t cry, baby.”

“Why does she stay with that monster?”

“I don’t know, Chloe. I only hope Alex doesn’t go berserk when he sees her tonight. He really cares for her. I don’t know how much more of this he’s going to stand for before he says something to her. Or worse yet, says something to Dante.”

“Why can’t she see that the sweetest, most loving guy around is right in front of her? Alex would do anything for her. Why would she subject herself to the physical and mental abuse she puts up with Dante?”

“Some girls like the bad guys. And maybe she cares enough about Dante that she can’t pull away. I don’t know. I do know the guy is bad news. At the first sign of him causing trouble here, his ass will be grass.”

“I wish I could talk to her about it, but I don’t want to embarrass her,” Chloe said, wiping her eyes with a tissue.

“Maybe in time, she’ll open up to someone here,” Shane replied. “Come on, babe, let’s get you home. Isn’t Marianne coming over to visit a while this afternoon?”

“Yes, she is pampering me like crazy. And, of course, I love every minute of it.”

Chloe’s sister-in-law, Katy, walked in. When she saw Chloe’s red, swollen eyes and splotchy cheeks, she became concerned. “Chloe, is everything all right?”

“I’m fine, just getting ready to grab some work and go back home.”

Katy glanced at Shane and he nodded. “She’s okay, Katy. I’ll fill you in when I get back to the office. It’s nothing to do with the babies.”

“Thank God. Get yourself home where you belong. Marianne will be by to keep you company later, won’t she?”

“Yes, Momma Katy, she will. I swear all of you are like Momma’s to me now.”

Katy grinned. “We all love you like a little sister, Chloe. We wouldn’t have made you a ‘Fab,’ if we didn’t.”

“And I thank my lucky stars every day that the ‘Fab Four’ walked into my restaurant that autumn night a few years ago. My life is so much richer with all of you in it.”

“Chloe, you know we all owe you and Shane a great deal. Without the two of you, where would we all be now? Still in Iowa, Ohio, and Chicago, instead of in Dallas having the time of our lives, I’d imagine.”

“Oh, you would have eventually ended up here, Katy. You and my hot brother-in-law were meant to be, even without my help. Y’all are a match made in heaven. ”

“Okay, girls, enough about my hot, older brother, you’re gonna give me a complex.” Shane chuckled.

“Aw… baby… you’re hot too,” Chloe teased.

“Well, your ‘hot’ hubby is ready to take you home, so get your stuff together and let’s go.”

“He’s right, Chloe. Go home and get some rest. I’ll see you later. I’ll bring dinner on my way home, so no cooking.”

“Yes, Momma Katy,” Chloe replied humbly.

Ryan O’Grady walked in the room. “Shane, may I see you for a minute?”

“Sure, bro. I’m just getting ready to drive Chloe home, will it take long?”

“Katy, honey, would you mind driving her home? I really need to speak to Shane about an urgent matter.”

“Of course I can. Chloe, let’s get you settled and comfy on your couch.” Smiling at her handsome husband, she replied, “I’ll be back soon.”

“Love you, see you later,” Ryan replied.

“Love you, too.” Katy walked out to her car with Chloe, curious about the urgent matter.

On the way to Chloe’s house she asked, “What is going on? I find you crying in Shane’s office. Shane says he’ll fill me in, now Ryan has an urgent matter to discuss with Shane. I feel like I’m in the dark here.”

“I’m not sure what Ryan was talking about, but I’ll tell you why I was crying.”

“What is it, Chloe?”

“When I first got to the office, I went to the employee lounge and the kitchen to say hello to everyone. Chelsea had just come in to start her shift. Oh, Katy, she had another bruise and this time it’s on her face. I think Dante is abusing her.”

“We all know he verbally abuses her, he stands her up, is late for dates, and generally treats her badly. But I had no idea he was physically hurting her, as well. You’ve noticed bruises before?”

“Yes, but on her arms, never on her face. The poor girl tried to disguise it with makeup, but it’s there.”

“Alex will be livid. I think his attraction to her is more than just friendly. I honestly believe my son is in love with the girl.”

“You may be right about that. I wish she’d wise up and see that Alex is a much better choice than Dante. I don’t think she has a clue he’s that gone on her. And I think she’s afraid to break up with Dante.”

“This is bad. I feel sorry for Chelsea, but I worry about Alex getting involved in this mess, if Dante is violent.”

“He’s got all of us behind him. Shane has already said if Dante causes any trouble at the restaurant, he’s in for a rude awakening.”

“Shane will be there tonight, so if Alex is very upset, he’ll know how to handle it.” Katy pulled into Chloe’s driveway, so the conversation came to a halt. She made sure Chloe was safely settled on her sofa with a cup of tea and her work before she left.

“Thanks, Katy.”

“No problem. Marianne should be here soon and I’ll drop by with dinner later. Love you.”

“Love you too, sis.”

I hope you’ll take the time to download and read this story. I believe it will touch your heart and your soul.

It will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance.com

Book # 6 The Road To Forever will be released by LazyDay Publishing on September 25th. I am currently at work on Book # 7 and it should be released sometime in 2014.

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Until next time…

Love,

Anna

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Happy Birthday Rebel Ink Press!

SummerLovin_Button (2)Welcome to Anna’s World! Happy third birthday Rebel Ink Press! We’re all about Summer Lovin’ here today. What do you love about summer? I love ROAD TRIPS!

That’s one of my favorite things and this year we took a road trip the week of July 4th to Iowa to visit our son and his family. Every year for the past six years, our son’s employer throws a huge holiday bash, a hog roast, carry-in dinner, and fireworks show. Our son, who been trained to do so, in in charge of the show from start to finish, including choosing, purchasing, choreographing, setting up for, and setting off the fabulous nearly thirty minute show. And I do mean spectacular! People come from miles around to watch his show and he has become somewhat of a celebrity over the years in his small town, at least for one night each year! It was a proud moment for his family to be a part of it this year as we hadn’t been able to attend in previous years.

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That was one of the summer lovin’ moments for me this year. Now as summer draws to an end, we have some more fun for you as we celebrate Rebel Ink Press turning three. Some of Rebels’ titles are priced at $.99 through August 17, including my own, Unlikely Lovers. We are also having a huge giveaway which includes a kindle, some awesome swag, and some signed paperbacks, including a copy of my Sunny’s Love. I’ll post a list of participating authors at the end so you can click on them and visit each one. Be sure and click on the rafflecopter link on each one to enter the giveaway!

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Another of my Rebel releases, Remember Our Promise just came out last week. This has to be, hands down, one of my favorite books, for several reasons.

David and Lily were high school sweethearts, who made a promise to each other one hot August night, before they both left for different colleges. They promised to reconnect the year they turned thirty…and they went their separate ways…weird thing to promise you say? Well, as fate would have it, they ran into each other quite by accident…and you guessed it…it was twelve years later. Hmm, wonder what happens next? Do you think he remembers the promise? Does she?

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You can find out by purchasing the book, Remember Our Promise at Barnes&Noble, Bookstrand, AllRomance, or Amazon as an ebook or at Amazon as a paperback. The readers who’ve enjoyed the book so far requested that I write a sequel and since I usually try to do what the readers want, there will be two more making up the Promises Trilogy in 2014. I already have the titles and storylines in my mind, so just as soon as I finish some other projects, the readers will get their wish.

I’ve often said Remember Our Promise wrote itself…and it did…literally. It took me along for the ride and it was an exciting one, let me tell you. David is quickly becoming a favorite “book boyfriend” among my readers or so I’ve been told. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, I suggest you give him a try.

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Thanks for stopping by today to help us celebrate Rebel turning three and be sure you visit all the other blogs and sign up for the giveaway at each one.

HL Wampler                                      DR Slaten                                            Vivian Proud

Nancy LaPonzina                              Joanne C Berroa                               Lila Munro

Melissa Keir                                       Lori J Gordon                                     Sara Bella

Donna Steele                                    Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy     Juliette Springs

Suzzana C Ryan                                 Kate Roth                                            Anna Kristell

Wendy Smith                                    BethAnn Buehler                             Eden Glenn

Jane Wakely                                      Nora Snowdon                                  Erica Bayne

Britni Hill                                            BL Morticia                                         KD Ferguson

Bethany Cross                                   E Jaime                                                 Blair McDowell

Winfield H Strock III                       JL Oiler                                                 Alex Jones

Cassandre Dayne                             DH Black                                              Al Lohn

Jennifer Wilck

<a id=”rc-c5869e7″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c5869e7/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

Rebel Ink Press

Until next time,

Love, Anna

 

Anna Welcomes Carlie Sexton

FallenForYou coverI am so happy to welcome Carlie Sexton to my blog today! I met Carlie last winter when my first book came out. She was writing then and we had several conversations about her work and about mine. I’ve asked her to answer some questions for me and she’s going to tell us about her books. Part 1 and Part 2 are now available and Part 3 will be out in September.

Anna: What inspired you to choose your genre (genres)?

Carlie: My Killer Next Door series~ Fallen for You, Taken by You, and Given to You are erotic romance thrillers. The story itself is based on some of my real life experiences when I was in college (no, not the sex). I made the story erotic because that genre is growing rapidly. My books are different with the serial killer twist.

Anna: You’re right about that, the erotic romance genre is growing and the serial killer does give it a twist. Next question: We all have issues with balancing our time between writing, editing, promoting, along with other obligations and personal time. What works best for you?

Carlie: I am a full-time teacher, so fitting in writing has been a challenge. I, of course, do all of the elements pertaining to writing in the evenings or weekends. Time management is an issue and I think I have become a little one dimensional in attempting to find a balance. Still a work in progress.

Anna: You sound like me. As most people who know me are aware, I am still working my full time Monday through Friday job, as well, and all my writing related work is done in the evenings and on the weekends. Throw in social and family obligations and it sometimes gets tricky meeting a deadline. Now, on to the the juicy question. Tell us about your characters. What type of hero do you normally choose? What type of heroine?

Carlie: The hero in my series, Neil, is based largely on my husband~ confident, slightly controlling, demanding, affectionate, playful, intelligent, adoring, communicative. I like a hero who goes after what he wants.

My heroine Kate is more on the aloof side to begin with, but she becomes putty in the hands of the hero once he has won her over. I like heroine’s who are strong, but let the man be the man.

Anna: Who are some of your favorite authors? Did they inspire you to write?

 Carlie: This is an ironic question because Raine Miller did indeed inspire me to write. I work with her husband and found out she was writing books. Of course I bought Naked right away and devoured it. I decided I had a story to tell and began writing last September. She has been an inspiration and a mentor. Without her, I would have no idea how to promote my books and may not have even finished them at all. I also love Nicholas Sparks, Stephanie Meyers, Nora Roberts, Catherine Bybee, to name a few.

Anna: What has been the most difficult aspect of your writing career?

 Carlie: Hands down it has to be promoting my books.

Anna: I have to agree with you there. It’s hard to get the word out there. Now, something I ask all my guest authors. Give us a little dirt about yourself. What’s your favorite guilty indulgence?

 Carlie: I’m actually kind of boring. I do indulge frequently on mint chocolate chip ice cream. Ate some while doing this interview! Does that count?

Anna: Yes, it definitely counts. I love chocolate chip ice cream too but I prefer the vanilla rather than the mint. Now it’s time for you to tell us about your newest book.

 Carlie: I am releasing the third book in my series~ Given to You in September. I have already started a fourth book about two characters from the series, Mac and Natalie. I fairly certain it will be called Beholden to You. Mac and Natalie find themselves in a situation that she wants to keep secret from Kate and Charlie. They begin dating, but an old flame threatens to destroy their budding romance. There are complications and the choice of who to be with is spurred on because of the complications.

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Here are the links to find Carlie:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carliesextonromance?fref=ts

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/carliesextonauthor

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Killer-Next-Series-ebook/dp/B00D7NQSIU/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376094554&sr=1-2&keywords=carlie+sexton

http://www.amazon.com/Taken-Killer-Next-Door-ebook/dp/B00DTJXDIK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376094582&sr=1-1

Here’s the Blurb for Fallen for You The Killer Next Door Part 1:

If you believe your life is the sum total of your choices, what do you do when things just don’t add up? You are about to find out. It won’t be pretty. It won’t be dull. And surely, it won’t be safe. In fact, making just one wrong choice could put evil at your bedside watching you sleep.

And so it is with Kate Simmons, a young woman who, by choosing to regain her life, actually puts it at risk by the very choices she makes. After unimaginable heartbreak stops her world on a dime, Kate falls into a three-year blackness of self blame that brings her to the edge of life, itself. As time finally brings light back through tiny cracks of renewed desire, Kate moves out of the prison she made for herself in her mother’s home to find a new reality, rooming with her best girlfriend, Charlie. 

Yet, to be free is to be vulnerable, and Kate’s choices more than ever mark a splattered line between being happy and being dead. 

Care to choose? Here’s your menu: 
A strangely alluring building manager so possessed with wanting you for his own, he’ll bury more than the fact he has a girlfriend; a buff college student for whom you are clearly hot, as are all the other girls on campus; a pushy lawyer who is as handsome as he is intoxicated with conquest, who doesn’t take no for an answer, who gets what he wants — always.

Sometimes, it’s whom you choose. Sometimes, it’s who chooses you. If you’re Kate, it’s both, and it puts you on a perilous road where good looks and humor are the thin masks of jealous delusion and utter violence.

You’re in trouble when the sum total of your choices is written in blood red.

Thanks so much for being my guest today, Carlie, and best of luck to you with the new release coming up!

Don’t forget to stop back by next week, folks, for the Rebel Ink Press third anniversary blog hop! There will be a big giveaway!!!! Until then…Love, Anna