Dallas Fire and Rescue Kindle World

Hello again! I am back with some exciting news!! Last week, my first kindle world book was released! That’s right, the amazing Paige Tyler invited me, along with several other authors, to join the world she created. For my Fab Five readers who didn’t want the series to end, I wrote a bonus novella, crossing over some of my characters from the “Fabs” series with the characters in Paige’s world.

My title is “Dallas Hot” and I’m going to share a little bit of it with you today. If you followed the series, you’ll remember Shane and Chloe’s twin daughters, Mary Kate and Angie Beth. Well, in Dallas Hot, M.K. and Beth are all grown up. This story is about them; it’s mainly Mary Kate’s story, but in May, I’ll be writing another one, and it will be Beth’s story.

Here’s the blurb for Dallas Hot:

Mary Kate O’Grady is at loose ends, working in her family’s downtown restaurant while she figures out what she wants to do with her life. Until the night a sexy Dallas firefighter saved her life, then it all became crystal clear.

While her family is busy rebuilding, Mary Kate is pursuing her future. A new career was always the plan, but a romance with her rescuer, Braydon Butler, definitely was not.

As the two become closer, the investigator’s report comes back and the result is arson. Mary Kate discovers the culprit and his motive is shocking. She has the grim task of telling her family of her findings and it could ruin her relationship with her twin forever.

How can she find the happiness and fulfillment she has longed for if her sister isn’t there to share it with her?

See, all grown up…

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the story:

Mary Kate O’Grady sighed as she stood up from her seat in the break room. She tossed her trash away and carried her dishes into the kitchen. Resigning herself to another boring evening working in her family’s downtown Dallas restaurant, she squared her shoulders and started to walk out into the dining room. She was on waitress duty that night, and the place was busy. Truth be known, she would like to be anywhere but here.

“Better put a smile on that mug before you go back out there,” her twin sister, Beth, said from her place in the kitchen, where she was putting the finishing touches on one of their mother’s famous desserts.

“Easy for you to say, you love this place,” she retorted.

“M.K., I know you don’t like working here, but it’s a darn good thing you have this to fall back on until something more to your liking comes along. Just try to go with the flow, what do you say?”

“You’re right; it’s just that I want so much more in my life. I crave excitement and adventure. You’ve always loved this place. Even when we were kids, you wanted to be here. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking, waitressing or hostessing, you thrive on it. I don’t, I just…don’t.”

“I get that. We may be twins, but we are nothing alike, that’s for sure. I see myself running the family business someday, with Alex. You can’t wait to get out of here.” Beth shook her head.

“I have to go. You and Alex make the perfect cousin team, and I’m sure that, one day, you really will be running this place with him, if not running one of the other restaurants in the chain. Hell, you’ll probably be running the whole chain. Later, sis,” she said as she headed toward the swinging door that separated the kitchen from the dining room.

Dark-haired, brown-eyed beauty, Mary Kate, made her way back to her cousin, Alex, to let him know that she was back from her break. Alex was the stepson of her Uncle Ryan and had been managing the restaurant in Dallas for several years. He and his wife, Chelsea, both worked there, as did Ryan, his wife, Katy, and Mary Kate’s parents, Shane and Chloe.

It was truly a family business, built from scratch by Ryan, Shane and Chloe, many years before. Chloe was an excellent cook, and when she and Shane decided to open the original restaurant, they invited Ryan to move out from Indianapolis to join them in the venture. Having just lost his first wife in an accident, he welcomed the change. The place was such a success that, a few years later, the trio decided to expand. The family now owned a chain of restaurants across the country. Of course, the fact that all three of the offspring were a part of the business thrilled the family. Mary Kate did not intend to make it a lifelong career, though. How her parents would react to that news when the time came for her to move on, she didn’t know. She only knew that she had to get out. She had to find something else or she would go crazy.

Alex smiled at his younger cousin. “I hope you had a nice break, because this place is hopping tonight. I have four tables ready to seat in your section.”

Pasting a fake smile on her pretty face, she replied, “Okay, let’s get going, cuz. You get them seated and I’ll be around to take drink orders.”

The rest of the night passed in a blur. After those four tables of patrons were gone, more arrived. At the end of the evening, while she was counting her tips, she decided it hadn’t been a wasted Saturday night after all. She had raked in quite a pocketful of cash. Of course, even though the patrons who frequented the establishment were known to tip well, it was always a shock to her when the actual totals were tallied at the end of a long and tiring night.

She walked into the kitchen, where her twin was finishing up. Beth looked exhausted.

“Sis, are you okay? You don’t look like you feel well.”

“I am just tired. I’ve worked seven days without a break. At least, I have the next two off. As soon as I finish cleaning up for the night, I am going home to a nice hot bath and bed.”

“Why don’t you go on and let me finish for you?”

“Are you sure? I would have thought you would be out the door by now.”

“I haven’t worked seven days in a row. Now, go on. You know I don’t offer often, so better take me up on it.”

“I think I will. Thanks, sis.” Beth untied her apron and tossed it into the laundry bin. She hugged her sister and whispered, “Love you; I’ll see you at home later.”

Both girls, although in their twenties, still lived at home. Neither of them was ready to move out. Beth was seeing someone, but it wasn’t serious. Mary Kate was about as picky about dates as she was about her job. Until the right one came along, she would continue to live at home and work in the family business.

She finished cleaning the grill and talked to the others who were still lingering in the kitchen as she worked. When the kitchen was once again spotless, she said goodbye to the other workers as they trickled out, one by one. The only person still in the building was Alex. As general manager, he always stayed until everyone else was gone.

“Hey, Mary Kate, you about ready to head out? It’s been one busy night, and I, for one, am ready to call it a day,” he said as he walked into the kitchen.

“Sure, I’ll walk out with you,” she said. “Just let me grab my things from my locker.” She went into the break room and grabbed her purse before joining her cousin, who was waiting by the back door.

Alex walked her to her car before he got into his own vehicle and pulled out of the lot. Mary Kate waved goodbye to him as she fumbled in her purse for her cell phone. She knew her friend, Julie, would still be up, and she wanted to make plans with her for the following week. Finding a mint in the jumbled contents, she unwrapped it and popped it into her mouth. Where was that darn phone?

She emptied out the contents of her leather bag onto the passenger seat. There was no phone. Putting everything back in, stopping to pitch some old receipts into the trash, she finally had her purse back in order. “Nothing like cleaning out my purse at midnight in the parking lot at work,” she grumbled aloud as she opened the console in her car to see if she had left her phone there before work. No such luck, she thought as she realized that she must have put the missing phone in her locker after she had last used it on her break. Damn! She was going to have to go back in and get it. She was off until tomorrow night, and she just couldn’t do without her phone until then.

Looking around to make sure no one was lurking in the lot or the area nearby, she carefully got out of the car and ran to the back door of the establishment. Fumbling with her key, she finally unlocked the door and went into the break room. It was eerie, being in here alone after hours, with no one bustling about. She walked into the break room, located just off the kitchen, and unlocked her locker. Sure enough, her cell phone was sitting on the shelf. She hadn’t noticed it when she had grabbed her purse in haste earlier. She sat down at the table and dialed Julie’s number. I might as well call her now, before I go back outside, she thought as she waited for her friend to answer.

“Hey, M.K., what’s up? Did you just get off work?” Julie asked when her voice came on the line.

“Yeah, a little bit ago. I had to come back in and get my phone. Dumb me, I forgot it in my locker.”

Julie laughed. “Sounds like a typical M.K. thing to me.”

“Very funny, Jules,” she retorted. “Sorry to call so late, but I figured you were still up.”

“You know it. I got in from a date a while ago. I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one again. Can you say boring with a capital B?”

“You seem to have a lot of those. You need to be more selective, like me.”

“If I was as choosy as you, I’d never go out,” her friend replied with a giggle.

“True, that may explain my lack of a social life these days,” Mary Kate agreed. “Anyway, all that aside, I am off Thursday and Friday this coming week. Think you could swing a few days off and join me for some fun?”

“I am off on Thursday every week, so I can use a vacation day for Friday. What did you have in mind?” her friend asked with interest.

“I thought maybe we could head down to San Antonio Wednesday, after work. I am on day shift that day. Head back Friday night. Just a short girls’ trip,” she said.

“Sounds like a plan to me. I haven’t been down there in ages. We can do some shopping, go to the Riverwalk, and relax.”

“Exactly what I was thinking.”

“Make the plans, I’ll put in for the day off on Monday morning,” Julie said with enthusiasm.

They chatted for several more minutes before Mary Kate announced that she had better head home before her family started to worry.

“I sent Beth home a while ago and she’ll be freaking out,” she explained to Julie.

“Tell her I said hey, I haven’t seen her in a while.”

“I will tell her. She’s always working or out with the new guy in her life. I don’t see much of her anymore, either, to be truthful.”

She ended the call soon after that and picked up her purse and keys. Glancing around, making sure she had everything this time, she went to the door of the break room.

“Ouch!” she exclaimed when she touched the doorknob. Why was it so hot? She quickly looked down and saw it. But not before the smell of the thick smoke assaulted her nostrils. Smoke! But how? She had just come in a few minutes ago, hadn’t she? Had she lost track of time while talking on the phone?

Frantically looking around the room, she spotted a blanket in the corner. Thank God, someone had left it there! She quickly ran to fetch it and carried it to the sink. Wetting it first, she placed it under the crack in the door to keep the smoke out. She felt the door. It was scorching hot! She dialed 911 and waited nervously for the dispatcher to answer.

“What is the nature of your emergency?” a voice asked after the second ring.

Mary Kate hurriedly told the voice on the other end of the line the nature of her dilemma and her location. “I-I had to come back in for something I forgot. I made a call, and I guess I lost track of time. I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I got ready to leave again.”

“You are alone?” the woman asked.

“Y-yes, I am trapped in the employee break room, off the kitchen. Apparently, the fire is in the kitchen. I can’t get out. Please…send someone. My parents and my aunt and uncle are the owners. The O’Gradys, you need to contact them. Please, help me!”

“A unit has already been notified. They are on their way. Is there a window in the break room?”

“Y-yes, but it’s a very small one. It’s up high; I don’t think I can climb up there.”

“Stay put, help is on the way. Stay on the line with me until they arrive, miss.”

“I need to call my dad,” she protested.

“No, I need for you to stay on the line with me, please, Miss O’Grady. Help is on the way.  Someone is notifying your family as we speak. Please, remain on the phone with me.”

“Okay,” Mary Kate said in a low voice. She had never been so frightened in all her life.

“Now, I need for you to remain calm. Is smoke coming into the break room now?”

“N-no, I put a damp blanket under the door.”

“That’s good, quick thinking.”

“Shouldn’t I try to go out there? There is a fire extinguisher by the door. If I could get to it, I could…”

“Absolutely not, do not try to be a hero,” the dispatcher advised. “Stay where you are until help arrives.”

In the distance, Mary Kate heard sirens. She listened as they got closer and closer, screaming to other drivers to get out of their way. She said a silent prayer that they would get to her in time and that they would save her family’s business. She felt guilty about her lack of enthusiasm for her job earlier. Even if she wasn’t cut out for a life in the restaurant business, it meant everything to her family. Please, God, make them hurry.

“I-I can hear the sirens,” she said into the phone.

“Good, they should be there in another two minutes. Just try to remain calm.”

She got up and walked over to the door. Tripping over the legs of the chair in her haste, she went down. Hitting the floor with a thud, she groaned. The smoke was beginning to seep in, in spite of the blanket she had placed under the door. Her face was now parallel to the door…

 

***

 

“Who could be calling this late?” Chloe asked sleepily as she heard her husband, Shane, answer the phone. “Are the girls home?”

“I see. Thank you, we are on our way. Oh, have you notified my brother?”

Chloe sat up in bed, wide-awake now. When Shane hung up the phone and turned to her, she asked, “What is it? What’s happened?”

“We have to go, now! The restaurant is in flames, and Mary Kate is trapped.”

“What? How can she be trapped? What is she doing there alone? Where are Beth and Alex?”

“I don’t know. Ryan and Katy are on their way there and probably Alex. Get dressed and see if Beth is here. There is no time to waste.”

Chloe O’Grady hurriedly changed into a pair of jeans and threw on a sweatshirt. Running a brush through her short blonde hair, she joined her husband and daughter in the hallway, a few minutes later.

“Beth, thank God you are okay! Why was your sister still there?” she asked as she hugged her daughter.

“S-she offered to finish cleaning up for me. I was so tired, I didn’t argue with her. But I don’t understand how she is trapped. Alex always waits until the last worker leaves. I can’t imagine that he left her there.”

“We don’t have time to speculate about it. Come on, we have to get downtown,” Shane reminded them as he headed down the stairs.

When they arrived at the scene, the rescue squads were there. The firefighters were already dousing the flames, and an ambulance was waiting.

“What is going on?” Shane asked one of the rescue workers. “I am Shane O’Grady, one of the owners. I was told that one of my daughters is inside.”

As Shane spoke with the worker, Chloe spotted her sister-in-law, Katy, coming towards her. Katy hugged her and said, “Alex says that he walked Mary Kate to her car and made sure she was safely inside before he left. The only thing that makes any sense is that she must have gone back inside after he left.”

“Where are Alex and Ryan?” Chloe asked.

“They are up there, as close as the firefighters will let them stand. They are waiting for word. Come on, I will take you to them.” Katy turned to her niece. “Come with us, honey.” She pointed to where the men were standing.

Shane soon joined them as they waited for what seemed to be an eternity. Flames shot through the roof of their beloved business. None of that mattered to any of them right now. None of the O’Grady family would breathe easily until they saw Mary Kate exiting the building safely.

“Stand back, folks,” one of the firemen said. Chloe watched as the men did their jobs. Nervously, she glanced back to the entrance.

“If Mary Kate is in the break room, shouldn’t we be waiting around back?” she asked suddenly.

Shane spoke to one of the men in charge. He shook his head. Shane returned to the group and repeated what the man had said to him. In a solemn voice, he said, “They say we must stay here. It’s much too dangerous for us to be back there, since the kitchen is where they believe the fire originated. We have to do as they say. I’m sorry, baby, we have to wait here…and pray.”

The seconds slipped away, each one of them knowing that the longer they waited without seeing their beautiful daughter, the slimmer the chances became of her being rescued in time. Shane put his arms around his wife as she cried softly into his chest. Ryan pulled Beth close and comforted her as Katy went to other friends and employees who had arrived on the scene.

And then, Shane gave a shout as he saw a man, dressed in fire gear, walking around the side of the building. In his arms, he carried a woman, her long dark hair blowing in the breeze. Shane started to go towards them, but the workers held him back.

“Sir, please, let him get her to the ambulance. The rescue team will assess her condition.”

No one was stopping Chloe. She broke free from her husband’s grasp and ran to the ambulance to see her daughter.

The entire original Fab Five series of nine books is now available as a box set, too, so you can catch up, if you have yet to begin the journey. Here is the buy link.

And here is the buy link for Dallas Hot:

Check out the rest of Dallas Hot and the other books in the Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World here:

http://paigetylertheauthor.com/BooksDallasFireAndRescueKindleWorld.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Catching Up…

Louisville signingHi! Wow, it’s been a while since I posted anything. Life has been a whirlwind, starting with a trip to Arlington, VA for the Passionate Pen conference, sponsored by Blushing Books, LazyDay Publishing and Mystic Books. The workshops were great! I met a lot of readers, authors, and editors and got to spend time again with some of my favorite folks, including Bethany, Allison, Joey, and Alta, some of the wonderful people at Blushing/LD/Mystic.

After that it was home again and back to the routine, well sort of. September was a busy month! I had a book signing at the library in my hometown, got to see a lot of old friends. The following weekend, I spent the an evening with my lifelong friends, you remember them, my Fab Five series was inspired by them. The next day, I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for another book signing. Again, saw some old friends and met some new ones and already looking forward to the next Kentuckiana Authors Book Blitz. That wasn’t all. The weekend after that, we drove to Maumee, Ohio to attend the wedding of our great nephew. It was a unique and beautiful wedding and reception. Spending time with family we don’t see very often was fun. The next day, we went into Toledo and met with one of my readers on her birthday. She introduced us to her best friend and we had a good time visiting with them. After we left them, we stopped to eat at the famous Tony Packo’s before heading home to Indiana. Whew! Time for a break. So you would think. Are you kidding? After all that excitement, I had writing and editing to catch up on.

Tyrel and Molly

I recently finished a sweet Christmas novella, to be included in an anthology with ten other authors. The proceeds from Christmas Miracles will go to St. Jude’s Hospital. I’ll provide more information as it becomes available. Right now, it’s set to release at a special price on Black Friday and that price will run through Cyber Monday.

Tony Packos

That done, I’m working on a spicier little Christmas story from my alter ego, Isabella Kole, titled Training Mrs. C. I”m expecting edits soon from another Isabella book, The Longing Within, which releases in November. Then it’s on to the next book. Never a dull moment around the old writing cave.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I hope you’re enjoying the scenery and cooler weather as I am.

That’s about it for now. Just wanted to stop by and say hello. I’ll be back with a teaser and the cover from my November release soon.

It’s An Anne Thing!

Anne's book coverToday is release day for my dear friend, Anne Welch! Her first book, a funny and entertaining little piece of work has hit Amazon and made its way onto the kindle of a lot of folks. As many of you know, Anne is also my PA. We’ve taken some very interesting road trips together to various parts of the country to attend author events and I’ve visited her several times at her home near Nashville, Tennessee. She talks about some of these trips in her book. Oh yeah, there’s an entire chapter about me. Now Anne knows a lot of people and some of them have also found their way into her stories, along with her “houseboys,” which if you follow her on Facebook, you’ll be quite familiar with . 🙂

I was amazed when we attended RT in NOLA this past May at the way Anne set up court each night in the hotel lobby bar. Honestly, we got there early in the evening after our day’s events were over and she chose a table. Authors, aspiring authors, bloggers, editors and readers flocked to her table. We were “the” table. Even the staff catered to us, letting us order things not on the menu. Everyone loves Anne! We had so much fun that week. Many of my street team members were there, and meeting them for the first time was something none of us will ever forget.

In August, we traveled to Houston for the Indie Mashup. Since my family lives near Dallas, my mother, brother and niece made the trip over for the day. OMG, my niece and Anne are like besties now!

I could go on and on about some of my experiences with this wonderful lady but you need to read her book to find out more. I’ll be visiting her Facebook release party in a little while and giving away some ebooks of mine as prizes. There will be a lot of guest authors and plenty of prizes, including a kindle fire. Please join us. https://www.facebook.com/events/317480051790068/?ref_notif_type=plan_mall_activity&source=29 

Here’s a little info on her book for you:

http://www.amazon.com/Its-Anne-Thing-Welch-ebook/dp/B00OW7MQSG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415749984&sr=8-1&keywords=It%27s+An+Anne+THing

From my early days, I’ve enjoyed good-looking guys and making people laugh. So combine stalking hot guys and keeping the cutest ones for houseboys with my quick wit and you have “ It’s An Anne Thing.”
Read about some of my real life shenanigans and laugh. If I put a smile on your face, I’ve done my job.

Anne and AnnaAuthor Bio
Anne grew up in a very small town in South Carolina, where as a kid, she always loved to read books, make people laugh and write songs. After having success in her home state she decided to pursue dreams of becoming a writer and moved to Nashville, TN. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or searching for a husband. She loves spending time with her friends, nieces, nephews and her two fur babies. She enjoys making people laugh so if you would like please feel free to follow her on Twitter @merri_aw or on Facebook.com/itsanannething. Or drop her a line at itsanannething@yahoo.com. She loves hearing from her readers.

http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Welch/e/B00OWLOJQE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Follow her on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/anne.welch.56

https://www.facebook.com/itsanannething?ref=br_tf

I’m heading over to the party now so please come join us for lots of shenanigans, Anne style!

 

Houston MashupHi and welcome back to Anna’s World! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but you’ll find out why in this post. I’ve been very busy the past few months! I just returned from a trip to New Orleans for my very first RT Conference! What a blast we had. My PA, Anne Welch, and I met at her house in Tennessee and drove down. The drive was scenic and fun-filled, with Anne serenading me with her version of Let It Go while counting the dead armadillos along the road. Yes, that’s Anne! We had the opportunity to meet some very talented authors, attend some informative panels, do a lot of promoting and of course there was the big book fair on Saturday where I signed books! Some of my street team members joined us mid-week and it was great to finally meet up with them and share some good times. My new publisher, Blushing Books was there and I enjoyed spending some time with them as well.

That being said, I’ve also been busy with books!! My cookbook, Nana Anna And Friends Are Cooking has been released from Rebel Ink Press and is available from Amazon and B&N. Rebel also put together an anthology of my three short romances, all set in the Hoosier state, and it’s available from Amazon and B&N in paperback form and in ebook form on Amazon and ARe. It’s titled Friends, Enemies and Lovers.

The seventh installment in the Fab Five series was released in April by LazyDay Publishing. A Dangerous Road To Destiny is available as an ebook from Amazon, B&N and ARe. The series will soon come to its conclusion with two more stories that you won’t want to miss.

Submitting to Bryan, the sequel to Accepting His Terms written by my spicier side, Isabella Kole, is completed and should be out sometime this year. I’ll give you more details as they come in.

Now, I’ve turned my attention back to Anna and am getting ready to begin the second book in The Promises Trilogy for Rebel Ink Press. Remember Our Promise was the first and so many readers asked for a series after they read it that I decided to make it a Trilogy.

So you see, I’ve been quite busy and there are two more book shows in the works. I’ll be signing at the Indie Mashup in Houston in August and the Indie Mashup in Tampa in September.

Here’s a little info about A Dangerous Road To Destiny:DangerousRoadcover

The Fab Five are back, and another O’Grady employee needs their assistance.

Joanna Barnes and Marcos Avila mix like oil and water. When the restaurant he works for in Dallas sends him to Houston to open a new Chloe’s Place in a hotel chain, Marcos meets Miss Barnes, who gets under his skin from the start. Joanna works for the hotel, and when she tries to tell him how to do his job, it infuriates him. When both their employers have to order them to get along on the job it becomes evident that they might like each other a little more than they are letting on. Both Joanna and Marcos scoff at the idea.

Joanna has been hurt in love and would like to find a man she can count on. She begins to see that she does indeed have feelings for Marcos, but starts dating Greg Grayson, whom she met on an online dating site instead, thinking he is the safer choice. Marcos could easily break her heart.

Greg Grayson, however, is not who he appears to be. When Joanna and Greg meet and begin dating, Marcos is concerned. Seeking the help of his respected employer, Ryan O’Grady, the two men have Mr. Grayson investigated, and what they find doesn’t bode well for Miss Barnes.

Realizing his feelings for Joanna go much deeper than he cares to admit, Marcos sets out to change her mind about him and about Greg. But that day, Joanna finds herself in a dangerous position; will Marcos get to her in time? Will the couple finally realize their destiny, or will Greg make sure it never happens?

And Friends, Enemies and Lovers:
Three couples. Three romantic love stories set in the beautiful Hoosier state that will warm your heart.

Friends…A Woman Like Her…Amy and Dillon have been friends since the day they met at the engagement party of her best friend and his brother. Three years later, they find themselves wondering if there is more to their relationship than friendship. Amy is ready for a committed relationship but Dillon has never been a fan of marriage. Can the two come to an understanding or is it time to move on? When Dillon’s life is on the line, the decision may be made for them.

Enemies…A Holiday Hideaway…Sara and Cade are fierce competitors in the law firm they work for. Both young and successful, each desires to be a partner in the firm. When Sara wins the partnership, but finds herself as second chair in a big case Cade is working on, a case that could win a partnership spot for him, will sparks fly? Before the case begins, however, the two find themselves in the same secluded hideaway for the holidays. Will the sparks fly in a different way?

Lovers…If You Love Me…The prequel to A Woman Like Her finds Ashley and her husband Adam contemplating the state of their marriage. Will a former lover steal her away when he conveniently shows up in town at the same time Adam walks out on Ashley? Ashley must decide which man holds her heart in his hands. Will she choose the man who left her years ago who wants a second chance or the man who really loves her?

Want to hear how the cookbook came about?Nana Anna
One evening as I sorted through my recipe box I came across some old family favorites. Memories came flooding back of days gone by in my grandma’s kitchen. Now that my two oldest granddaughters are showing an interest in cooking and baking, I thought about how wonderful it would be to create a collection of family favorites and put them together in a cookbook. I soon enlisted the help of some friends and family members. Nana Anna And Friends Are Cooking is for you, my readers. Fall in love with our old family favorites, enjoy and pass them along to your own family and friends. With Love, Anna
Okay, that’s about it for now. More to follow! Until then, have a safe and happy holiday and keep reading!
Love, Anna

Friends, Enemies & Lovers

Out With The Old And In With The New…

Anna@wedding

It’s almost 2014 and and as this year comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my first year as a published author.

The two words that immediately pop into my head are #1…CRAZY and #2…AWESOME!

Crazy in a good way, as I attempted to find the right groove in which to do all the things necessary to get my name out there. Working a full-time day job made things somewhat tricky as to finding time for writing, editing, picking out cover photos, and promoting. I found the time, however, because a lifelong dream was realized in January when the first book hit the ebook venues. I wasn’t about to let it stop there! I set a goal for myself, one that many said was unrealistic. Well, guess what…I met that goal and exceeded it!

Things really got crazy when a reader, who I had met through another author, approached me and asked if she could start a street team for me. She also offered to be my assistant, to help me with some of the things I didn’t have the time to do. Up until then, marketing had been a one-woman team…ME.  After some thought and lengthy discussions with Anne, I decided to take her up on her offer. Soon, a few other readers she and I were acquainted with offered to join the bandwagon. So, Anne, Crysty, Deb, and I started the street team, Anna’s Fab Friends. Personal friends soon got on the bandwagon and the group began to grow. Lee, another friend from way back in the hometown days had begun to market for me in the state he lives in so I asked him to join the group. He did and is now an integral part of the team. He and Anne work together behind the scenes planning signings, contests, and many other marketing ideas. We have over fifty members now, adding more as we go along. We have members from the US, Australia, Canada, Scotland, and many places. We have aspiring authors, published authors, a country singer, and a wide variety of readers in the group. My daughter and my niece have joined. We run contests, they promote for me, and we have a good time. Most of all, we’ve become a close knit group, always willing to send a word of encouragement if one of us is having a bad day. We can joke with each other, we can cry with each other, and we ARE truly the Fab Friends. Ironic, since the Fab Five series that I write is  about an awesome group of friends. In fact, many of us are planning to meet in May in New Orleans at the RT Book Reviews Convention. Fabs are coming from Australia, New York, Tennessee, Florida, maybe Pennsylvania, and I don’t know where else but I do know it’s going to be a blast!

AWESOME…is thirteen books released in twelve months! Twelve under Anna’s pen name and one under my spicier side, Isabella Kole. Ah yes…Isabella or IzzyB as we call her in the Fabs…she was another goal of mine. I normally write sweet, sassy, sensual books but the readers and other writer friends were encouraging me to try something a little different. With the popularity of Fifty Shades Of Grey, books about BDSM were being released like crazy and doing quite well. It wasn’t something I had ever considered writing, but after much thought, I decided to try my own version, a tamer yet sexy version. Accepting His Terms is about a couple experimenting with a light form of domestic discipline. It’s been well-received and the readers as well as the publisher want more. And so it begins.

My first book, Crossroad To Love, reached the semi-finals in the Authorsdb Cover Contest! The results of that contest will be announced in February. My team worked hard to get votes so I’m anxious to see how that goes!

book-contest-semi-finalist

I’ve been a bit slower with my writing the last few months. I needed a breather, to catch up on my personal life, and work on promoting the thirteen books already written. I did some book signings, attended a book show, and got my batteries recharged. I’m ready to go into 2014 full steam ahead with many things already in the works. The Fab Five series has more books to be added, Remember Our Promise is now the first in a trilogy rather than a stand-alone, IzzyB has more to offer, and I’ve come up with an idea for something other than a romance novel…

So as 2013 comes to an end, I want to thank all of you for making it a fun, exciting, and worthwhile year for me.

Anne designed this and my street team shared it on Facebook…so sweet

CongratsAnnaIzzy

As we enter 2014, I am more determined than ever to make it an even better year! Happy New Year to all of you and I’ll see you back here next year!!!!!

Love,

Anna/Isabella

Anna Speaks…

loves-winding-road-cover-2.jpeg

Welcome back to Anna’s World.  Sorry, ladies, but Cougar Bait can’t stay front and center forever, I had to let him go home…you can still read about him and look at his pics in my archives. It’s time to move forward and fill you in on all the latest things going on…and believe me…there have been a lot in the past few weeks.

First of all, there was some sadness in my world, as a dear friend, neighbor, and co-worker passed away suddenly. I have taken a few weeks off from my writing as I remembered her and paid my respects. I appreciate all the words of kindness from my friends as I dealt with this tragic loss.

In good news, things have really taken off and I’ve been really busy promoting my work. I was introduced to a lovely group of readers by my friend, author Sable Hunter. I’ve made some dear new friends and have gained some new readers. Thanks, Sable, for giving me the opportunity to meet your friends and for sharing your readers with me. A few of these new friends approached me about starting a Street Team for me. What this means is that they are helping me promote my books, sharing the news about them with other readers. We’ve had a lot of fun putting this together and are planning lots of fun things for the months to come. My team is called Anna’s Fab Friends, in honor of the Fab Five.

Look at what one of my team created for me…I absolutely love it…

Anna logo

Another good thing is the fact that I was pleasantly surprised to see the shiny Silver Star on the AllRomance site for The Road To His Soul…what a fabulous feeling to know that the readers made that happen by buying my book.

I also had my first public appearance this past week. I was asked to speak at a local women’s club about my books and my writing. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. I sold and signed my paperback books afterward and hopefully this will be the first of many such events.

I received the cover and blurb for my August Rebel release, Remember Our Promise. I’ll share that in a few weeks.

Book #4 in the Fab Five series will be released on July 10 from LazyDay Publishing. I’ll share a little of that with you today…Love’s Winding Road.

This is the unedited blurb…

The ‘Fab Five’ are back with even more drama in their lives. Marianne’s family is in turmoil, as both of her sons deal with life-altering decisions.

 Young Dr.Jackson Jacobi is reeling from the sudden break-up with his long time girlfriend, Alexis, and her move to Paris to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

He is splitting his time between finishing his residency at a local hospital, preparing to open an orthopedic practice with another doctor, and helping his younger brother, Jordan, recover from a horrific automobile accident that left him unable to walk. Jordan’s dreams of becoming a pro-football player have been abruptly ended and Jackson tries to help him find a new direction for his future. Sworn off women after the break-up with Alexis, Jackson is pleasantly surprised to find he is attracted to his brother’s new physical therapist. Fiery redhead, Stacie Abbott, may be just what the doctor ordered for both Jackson and Jordan.

 As Stacie and Jackson work together to ensure that Jordan walks again, they develop a playful, friendly relationship. The couple decides to take it to the next level, and enter into a passionate affair. But Jackson soon discovers that Stacie has trust issues. She was in love once before and it had ended badly. Her college boyfriend had left her to go back to his ex. As Alexis begins to cause problems for the new lovers, Stacie wonders if history is about to repeat itself. Will Jackson be able to convince her he is not like her former lover? Or will Alexis succeed in her quest to tear them apart?

            Was that enough of a teaser to get you ready for it??? Or do you need a little excerpt too?

Stacie Abbott twirled a strand of her long, curly red hair as she studied the chart of her newest patient. Reading about what had happened to the young boy just about broke her tender heart.

“What’s wrong, Stacie?” her friend and co-worker, Ginger, asked as she walked into the office the two girls shared and sat down at her desk.

“I’m reading the chart notes for my new case. This poor kid has really had a rough time. He was on a football scholarship, with hopes of going pro someday. Now, that’s never going to happen.”

“Oh, that’s the doctor’s son who was in that horrible car accident back in May, isn’t it?” Ginger asked as she glanced at the chart on Stacie’s desk.

“Yes, it is. He’s home now. I’m to start going to the house for his therapy. He had some therapy while he was in the hospital. They want to start him off with sessions at home. He’ll come to the rehab center eventually as he progresses.”

“What’s his prognosis for walking again?” Ginger asked.

“At first they weren’t sure. Apparently he’s been making some progress. It’ll be slow going, but with a lot of therapy and some determination on his part, he should walk again. I just don’t know about his part of it, though. He has to be terribly down about all this.”

“Didn’t he see a counselor?”

“Yes, he did. I haven’t met him face to face yet. I start tomorrow.”

“From what I hear, the dad and brother are both docs and the mom is a nurse, so I’d think there’d be plenty of support there.”

“The brother is finishing his residency at Baylor. He’s planning to open an orthopedics practice. He should be very helpful.”

“Oh, that would be Jackson Jacobi. I met him once at a party. He’s really hot. At the time I met him he had a girlfriend, though.”

Stacie looked at her friend and rolled her eyes. “Of course you’d notice he was hot. I’ll let you know if I agree after I meet him. I’m sure I will meet him at some point.”

“Just saying, girlfriend, you might want to check him out.”

“I’m there to work, don’t forget.”

“But it doesn’t hurt to look, now, does it?”

Stacie shook her head and went on with her reading. When she finally put the chart into her bag and prepared to leave for the day, she looked over at Ginger.

“Dinner with me?” she invited.

“Sure, it’s not like I have a big date or anything,” Ginger said. “Where do you want to go?”

“I’d like Mexican, how about you?”

“Sure, let’s get out of here. Maybe we’ll find some cuties to buy margaritas for us,” Ginger teased.

“Do you ever stop?” Stacie grinned as she herded her friend to the parking lot. “Chuy’s okay with you?” she asked as they reached their cars.

“Fine, I’ll meet you there.” Ginger got into her car and started the engine.

Stacie pulled into the restaurant parking lot five seconds after Ginger did. The two friends went inside and chose to sit at the bar, rather than wait for a table.

As she perused the menu, Stacie looked up just in time to see the most gorgeous man she had ever seen in all of her twenty-six years. Well-groomed, well-dressed, with dark hair and perfect features, he was absolutely heart-stopping.  He was seated at the bar with a friend and the two were drinking tequilas. A plate of appetizers had been placed in front of them by the bartender, and the two men were talking as they ate. When the man happened to glance her way, he smiled briefly, then went back to the conversation he was having with his pal.

“Did you see that guy, Ginger?” she asked her friend breathlessly.

“Which one are you talking about?” Ginger asked as she looked around the bar.

“Directly across from us, the two guys drinking tequila,” Stacie replied, nodding toward them.

“Oh my God, Stacie, that’s him.”

“Him? Who? What are you talking about?” Stacie asked, in a confused whisper.

“That’s Dr. Jackson Jacobi, in the flesh.”

“You’ve got to freaking be kidding me. He really is hot. For once you and I agree. Oh my. This new assignment could get interesting.”

“Slow down, Stace, breathe deeply. Let the pro here give you some pointers on how to approach this situation.” Ginger giggled as she looked over at the two men again.

“Oh, this ought to be good.” Stacie teased her friend, rolling her eyes.

“The guy with him isn’t bad, either. I wonder if he’s a doctor too.” Ginger smiled in the direction of the two men.

“Quit looking at them and let’s order. I’m starved,” Stacie hissed.

The girls ordered their food. As they continued with their meal and conversation, the two men stood up to leave. Dr. Jackson Jacobi stood at least six feet tall, his build a perfect match for his height, as Stacie noticed immediately. When they walked past Stacie and Ginger, the men told them to have a good evening.

“Thank you,” Ginger gushed.

“Thanks, you do the same,” Stacie replied, smiling at Jackson.

After they’d gone, Stacie looked at her friend. “Do you think they caught on to the fact that we were discussing them?”

“I don’t know. For all we know, they were discussing us.”

“They didn’t stop to get acquainted, though, so that may mean they both are taken. That would be a damn shame, wouldn’t it?” Stacie asked thoughtfully.

“You really are looking forward to meeting him, aren’t you? I wonder if he’ll remember seeing you here.”

“I don’t know. If he’s at the house tomorrow, when I show up for Jordan’s appointment, I guess I’ll find out.”

When she had gone home to her apartment later in the evening, Stacie couldn’t help but wonder about the gorgeous brother of her patient. Finally giving in to sleep, she dreamed about Dr. Jackson Jacobi most of the night. Waking to the blast of her alarm clock, she sat up, rubbing her eyes. I’ve really got to quit thinking about that guy if I’m going to do my job. I’ve always been a professional, and I can’t let anything get in the way of that.

She was due at the Jacobi house at ten. After a leisurely breakfast, she hopped into the shower and, after toweling herself dry briskly with a fluffy towel, she dressed in her scrubs. Taking extra care with her hair and makeup, Stacie was finally ready to meet her patient and whatever family members might be present for that first meeting.


Book Signing

That’s all for now…have a happy and safe 4th of July and I’ll see you all back here after the holiday. I’ll be spending it with my family.

Love,

Anna