THE HIGHLANDER’S CURSE by Isabella Kole

The Highlanders Curse_500x755Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted recently, but it’s been a whirlwind, what with writing, editing, releases and the holidays! My spicy side has a new release. It’s called The Highlander’s Curse, from Blushing Books, and is my very first paranormal, time travel romance. It’s very steamy and romantic and I am pleased with the way it turned out. Author Isobelle Cate offered some assistance with the Scottish parts, Author Alta Hensley “dared” me to go hotter and my awesome editor, Staci Taylor pushed me just a little bit to add more spice. A friend and former co-worker, Lucy, has been after me forever to write a book about a Scottish ghost in an old castle. Well this may not be exactly what she had in mind, but as the story developed, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. I’m going to treat you to the blurb and a little tidbit from the book to whet your appetite. We’ve also got a release party going on over at Facebook right now so I’ll post the link at the end and feel free to join us for a lot of fun and some great prizes!

Blurb:

A beautiful castle in the scenic Highlands of Scotland, a sassy, stubborn modern girl from Cincinnati, Ohio and a would-be Duke cursed by a witch two-hundred years before set the stage for a love story that could forever change history. Ian Galloway has come back to claim what is rightfully his and to find his soul-mate. Amanda Brown has just inherited his castle. When the proper Highlander Duke meets the willful, modern girl, he decides she is the one, but before she can cross the portal with him and become his Duchess, she must be tamed. He makes it clear that her sharp tongue and disobedient ways will not go unpunished.

Will she give up everything to go back in time with the man she has fallen so deeply in love with, or will her fears of the unknown keep them apart forever?

Excerpt:

The year was 1814 and thirty-year-old Ian Galloway stood in the field beyond his home and gazed at the large castle. Galloway Castle had been in his family for many years. Ian was to become the next Duke of Galloway and it had been strongly suggested he find a young woman to become his Duchess. In all his travels over the vast Scottish countryside the handsome young Duke hadn’t been able to find the woman with whom he’d choose to spend his life with. His golden hair blowing in the wind, the plaid kilt rustling around his muscular legs, he looked around once more at the lush green countryside. His land, the property his sons would someday inherit. But first, he must find a mother for the sons he planned to sire. Of course every young woman in the villages that surrounded Galloway Castle wanted to be the next Duchess of Galloway.

One beautiful young woman in particular had her sights set on the young Duke. Her name was Bridget MacCloskey. Some said she was a witch. Ian had scoffed at the idea. Bewitching she may be with her long golden locks and full bosom but witches didn’t really exist. It was folklore. He had been seen squiring the luscious young woman around the village but he had not asked for her hand in marriage. In fact, he had decided to end things with her that very night. But first, he needed to return to the castle. There was business to be dealt with.

As he entered his majestic home a few moments later, he was told by a servant that his father wanted to see him immediately. He wasted no time finding the elder Duke.

“Father, ye wish tae see me?” he asked as he entered the library.

“Where have ye been all afternoon? Whiling away the hours daydreaming?” his father said in a booming voice.

“I was surveying the land, Sir.”

“The war is over. It is time tae think about the future of our land. We have to see that the farms begin tae thrive. Yer soon tae be taking over and ye have yet tae find a suitable wife. What say ye for yerself, lad?”

“I refuse tae chain myself tae the wrong woman for eternity.”

“Ye have a high opinion of yerself.”

“I will continue tae search.”

“Time is running out, my son. If ye are not married by the summer, yer step-brother and his wife shall be the Duke and Duchess of Galloway.”

Turning on his heel, Ian stormed out of his father’s library. He walked swiftly down the vast hallway and out the massive front doors of the castle. He walked to where his horse was lazily feasting and untied him, mounted him and took off at a gallop, thundering down the lane.

As he came to the clearing below the castle gates, a carriage approached. When it came to a halt, Ian yelled, “Whoa,” and stopped his steed beside the carriage. As he looked at the driver he asked if he could be of assistance.

“The young lady wishes tae speak to ye, your Grace,” the driver said.

The door to the carriage opened and Ian saw that the lady in question was none other than Bridget MacCloskey. He jumped down from his horse and held out his hand.

As the beautiful buxom blonde took his hand and gracefully emerged from the carriage, she said, “It’s so good tae see ye again.”

“What might ye be doing out on this beautiful day, my lady?”

“I feel the time has come for us tae speak about our future.”

“Is that so?” Ian asked with a raised brow.

“My father is of the belief ye have no intentions tae make a life with me. Is that so, your Grace?”

“Milady, I have thought long and hard on this very subject. It is true I must find a Duchess before I can assume the duties as the next Duke of Galloway. And though I have seriously considered a match with ye, I have come tae the difficult decision that it cannae be. I am sorry if this distresses ye. My sincere apologies,” he replied as he kissed her hand.

“Why, ye are the most reprehensible creature I have ever known. Ye shall pay for this, Ian Galloway. I curse you…”

Ian looked at the driver and said, “Please take her away. Our business here is over.” He jumped onto his horse’s back and galloped away, never looking back.

That evening when his son did not return home, the elder Duke sent his men to search for him. They searched far and wide, over the countryside, in the forests and hills and the nearby villages but there was no sign of the young Galloway heir. No one had seen him.

For weeks, they searched. The weeks turned into months, the months into years. Ian’s father finally succumbed to a broken heart. His stepbrother reluctantly took over as the Duke of Galloway. Ian’s mother and stepbrother never gave up the search.

Ian Galloway was never heard from again…

How about some buy links and the link for the event going on as we speak?

Buy Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-curse-blushing-books/1120995108?ean=2940150030398

http://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Curse-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B00RPYZRCU/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420326363&sr=1-5&keywords=Isabella+kole


Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/324505084418950/326107357592056/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity

Stop by for some fun!

Love,

Anna/Isabella

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The Seduction Of E.J.

The-Seduction-of-EJ-Final-1950Hi and welcome back! I’ve been busy the past few weeks. I was in Houston for the Mashup a few weeks ago and had a great time meeting some other authors and a lot of awesome readers!

Since returning home, I’ve been hard at work writing the long-awaited second book in The Promises Trilogy, A  Cowboy’s Promise. I’ll tell you a little more about that as it progresses but right now I’m going to fill you in on Isabella’s  newest book, coming from Blushing Books on September 30!                                               

This will be Isabella’s third book. As many of you know, Isabella Kole is my spicier side. She was created on a dare and I thought there would only be one book. Well, I was wrong. After Accepting His Terms was so well received, there was a second, a sequel called Submitting To Bryan. After that one, the readers still wanted more from the same characters but I’d already begun writing The Seduction Of E.J. There will be a conclusion to the Lincoln sisters’ stories, however. I’m thinking of titling it The Dangerous Dom…

I’ve also been asked to write a paranormal…hmm…set in a Scottish castle…my readers are not shy. That may develop too at some point in time, you never know.

But for now, let me fill you in on the soon-to-be-released, The Seduction Of E.J.

Blurb:

E.J. Haney is running from a promiscuous past. Involved with the wrong guy, when she makes the decision to make a new life for herself, she goes to the extreme. Hiding behind the facade of a prim and proper small town schoolmarm image, she vows never to love again.

Jacob Ransing is hot, sexy and divorced. He’s also the new guy in town, moving to E.J.’s town as the new principal. Despite all her reservations, E.J.can’t help but fall for his looks, charm and personality. But there is one problem, her belief she’ll never be good enough for the sexy man with the reddish-brown hair.

Jacob decides a firm hand is the only way to turn her around and it’s working until the past rears its ugly head. Can the new lovers move on to find the love that was meant to be or will the past come between them?

Interested yet? How about a little sneak preview?????

Excerpt:

Erica Jo Haney sat behind the desk in her classroom grading the day’s papers handed in by her fourth grade students at Lincoln Elementary. She pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ears, finally giving up and removing the clip holding her long brunette locks into a tight coil at the base of her neck. As she pulled the loose strands back to place them into the clip, there was a knock on her door.

“Come on in,” she said as she hurriedly finished her hair and looked up to see who had entered the room.

“Honestly, E.J., when are you going to drop the spinster schoolmarm look? Your hair is beautiful and you should wear it down,” fellow teacher and friend, Michelle Marks said as she sat down at one of the desks.

“I am not out to impress anyone with my looks. If I want to make my way as an elementary teacher, I need to look the part,” Erica retorted.

“This is not the sixties, get with it,” Michelle replied wearily.

“So did you stop by to harass me or is there a reason for this visit?” she asked as she looked at the stack of papers waiting to be graded.

“I won’t keep you; I just wanted to remind you of the game Friday night. You and I are working the ticket booth. All teachers have to take a turn,” Michelle said with a grin.

“I’ll be glad to have my turn over with early in the year. The pre-season warm up game is as good a time as any. Friday night ballgames aren’t my idea of relaxation after a long week of school and fourth graders.”

“When are you going to get a life?” her friend asked in an exasperated tone.

“I had a life, not a great one, but a life before I decided to change my ways and do something constructive with my life. You know that. You’re the only person in this town I’ve confided to about my past.”

“But you gave it up, got your degree and moved here to start a new life. That doesn’t mean you have to become an old maid. You should be getting out, dating, and meeting nice men.”

“Do nice men really exist?”

“Sweetie, you got a raw deal. But that’s in the past. Don’t you think it’s finally time to move on? What happened in Chicago with Dane shouldn’t define the rest of your life.”

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to move on, to be honest with you. Dane hurt me. The fact that he was never going to change, made me realize I’m not worthy of a good man’s love. If I wasn’t enough for him, how could I be enough for a decent guy? I’ll always be the girl who just isn’t quite up to par.”

Shaking her head, Michelle added, “I heard the new principal from the junior high will be working with us at the game. I’ve also heard he’s pretty hot.”

“I still haven’t figured out why someone like him would leave a city like Chicago to settle in a small town like this.”

“You should talk! Isn’t that exactly what you did?”

“I doubt his reasons are the same as mine,” E.J. answered with a grimace.

“You’d be surprised how many people have skeletons in their closets, my friend. I’ll let you get back to your papers. Don’t stay here all night. You can grade papers at home, you know.”

“Yes, I know, and I’ll be leaving soon. See you tomorrow.”

When Michelle had gone, Erica turned back to her work. Finally giving up, she stuffed the stacks of papers into her brief case and locked her classroom. On the half hour drive home to her small apartment, thoughts of the life she’d left behind came flooding back. A life in a city far away, with a man she had thought she loved, who hadn’t loved her in return. The lifestyle they’d led would have shocked her friends and family. The parties, the cheating, and the job she had held as a dancer in a club would have made many of her new acquaintances blush. How had it happened? She had met Dane in school. She was floundering with her classes, trying to decide on a major when the best looking thing she’d ever seen had entered her life. They’d met at a party, of course. He was fun and full of energy and ideas. He knew all the right people, had all the right connections for the fun life. She had quit school and moved in with him within a month. It soon became apparent it wasn’t in the cards for it to be a monogamous relationship. The first time she’d caught him cheating, she’d been devastated. But as time went on, she learned that if you can’t beat them, join them. And that’s exactly what she did. They continued to live together, continued to be lovers, but it was an open relationship. She took a job dancing in a club to make ends meet. Dane was an artist, a free spirit. He was talented but they needed income to carry them through his lean times. So he painted, she danced, they lived together and partied often. She took numerous lovers in an attempt to make Dane feel the hurt she felt each time he had cheated on her. But he didn’t care. He was okay with an open relationship. He may have loved her in his own way, but it would never be the type of relationship Erica craved. One day he had come home and announced to her that he had been offered an art show in New York by a big name gallery. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and one he couldn’t afford to pass up. He asked her to accompany him. When she had asked him point blank if he was asking her to go with him as his wife or as his roommate, she got the answer she expected. He saw no reason to change things. The relationship worked for him and there was no reason to change what wasn’t broken. It was in that moment she had made a life-altering decision. She didn’t want to continue the lifestyle she had been living with Dane. She knew he would never change, but she could if she set her mind to it. So she had said goodbye to Dane, and watched silently as he packed his belongings and moved to New York. He was out of her life for good, and it was time for her to make a new life as well. The pain in knowing she didn’t mean as much to him as he had meant to her would remain with her for a very long time. The things she’d done in an attempt to win his love now made her feel ashamed. She was the classic good girl gone bad for the love of a man who didn’t deserve her. Picking herself up and dusting herself off, Erica returned to school, earned her teaching degree and sought a job in a small town close to home. She wanted a fresh start in a place where no one knew about her partying days with Dane. The fourth grade position had opened up unexpectedly in the small town of Lincoln, and she applied for and got the job. She was now in her third year there and during those three years she had not dated, had not partied, nor had she mingled with anyone but Michelle. She and Michelle had become good friends almost immediately. The other girl was always trying to get her to go out, but Erica, or E.J. as she was known around school, was adamant about keeping a low profile. She wanted nothing to do with the kind of life she had fallen into in her youth. She was now a responsible adult and she had to maintain a reputation. So she wore her glasses instead of her contact lenses, kept her long, thick hair rolled into a clip at the nape of her neck and she dressed very conservatively. Anyone who met her would think she had always been a mousy type and that was just the way she wanted it. As for Dane, she never heard from him, but knew from the news that he had made it big in the art world and was now married, living in New York City. Had he changed? She doubted it, but if he had, she was happy for him.

When she arrived at the tiny apartment she had rented when she’d moved to town, she wearily made her way to the door, unlocked it and went inside. Kicking off her shoes as she walked down the hallway to the bedroom she threw her purse and briefcase on the bed. Changing into a pair of flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt, she went to the kitchen to warm up the leftover meat loaf from the night before, threw a baked potato in the microwave and tossed a small salad. After dinner, she did the dishes and went back to her papers. Working until midnight to finish grading them, she finally fell into bed, exhausted, and fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

The next morning the alarm clock next to her bed blared in her ear much too soon. Thank goodness the week was almost over. It was Thursday. She opened the blinds, pulled back the frilly, feminine Priscilla curtains at her window and looked outside. The sun was shining but being late fall she knew it was deceiving, so she pulled a crisp, white blouse, blue sweater and black skirt out of her closet before hopping into a hot shower. She stepped out of the stall a few minutes later, briskly toweled herself dry and threw on her clothes hastily. Applying minimal makeup and pulling her hair into the usual clip, she grabbed her coat, purse and briefcase and ran out to the car. She would eat donuts and drink coffee in the teacher’s lounge when she got to school. The teachers at Lincoln Elementary took turns bringing in donuts and the first one to arrive always made a fresh pot of coffee to start their day. She loved all of her co-workers. They had made her feel very welcome and her three years at the school had been extremely rewarding. Her fellow teachers thought she was a bit odd in the fact she kept to herself outside of school but they respected that. She was well-liked and would be welcome at any gathering should she change her mind and decide to attend at any time.

She was greeted with smiles as she entered the lounge.

“Hi, E.J.,” the fifth grade teacher said as she sat sipping her coffee.

“Good morning,” E.J. replied. She sat down after pouring her own coffee and added, “Ready to start the day?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be. We’re testing today, so it should be fairly quiet, how about you?”

“I’ll be handing back the tests my kids took yesterday. I got them all graded last night.”

“That’ll be my night tonight, I’m afraid. Oh well, at least I’ll have it done before the weekend and I can play. Are you going to the big game tomorrow night?”

“I have to work the ticket booth, so I’ll be there,” she replied.

“The pre-season game is a big deal around here so you’ll be busy.”

“Great,” she groaned as she looked at the clock on the wall. Standing up, she said, “I’d better get going. Have a good day.”

“You too, maybe I’ll see you at lunch.”

As she walked down the hall to her office, she saw an unfamiliar face talking to the principal. The man was tall, with reddish-brown hair and he was dressed impeccably. He smiled at her as she walked by and spoke to her in greeting. Putting her head down, she mumbled a response and hurried to her classroom. When she was seated behind her desk, she let out a long, deep breath. That man was the hottest looking guy she’d seen in the whole three years she’d been at Lincoln. Who was he? What was he doing here? And more importantly, why did she care? Get a grip, Erica Jo, she told herself sternly. Her new life didn’t include looking at strange men and thinking they were hot. That was all in the past and that was where it had to stay. Didn’t it?

She made it through the morning, forcing thoughts of the strange man out of her head. Visions of him popped up occasionally but she made them disappear almost as soon as they appeared. She had to stay strong. No falling back into the old lifestyle now. She’d worked too hard to mess things up now. She was no longer a promiscuous twenty-something. She was nearly thirty and a respected member of the community and that’s how it had to be.

She went to the teacher’s lounge at lunchtime and ate the ham and cheese sandwich she’d packed while chatting with some of the other teachers. No one mentioned the man who’d been in the hallway that morning so she didn’t either. Either they hadn’t seen him or they knew who he was and thought nothing of it. She could have asked about him, but that would be out of character for her so she remained quiet and listened to the others talk about their weekend plans.

When the day was over, she hurried home. She planned to have an early evening since she’d been up late the night before and she’d be at the game the next night. It sounded like she would be putting in a full night’s work selling tickets. She relaxed in bed with her kindle, finished the book she’d started the weekend before and turned out the light. As she slept, the man with the reddish-brown hair invaded her dreams. They were together, strolling in the moonlight. When they stopped, he’d turned to her and kissed her gently. A feeling washed over her she’d never experienced before. It was a feeling of contentment and wonder. It was as if it were the most natural thing in the world for the man she’d seen earlier in the day to lean over and kiss her lips ever so gently. No one had ever kissed her gently before. It was a new and enlightening experience, and it seemed so real that when she awoke in the middle of the night, she had to look around to make sure she wasn’t outside in the moonlight. But she was alone, in her bed, in the dark. Yes, alone, in her bed, in the dark, just as she was every night these days. The reality of that hit home for the first time. She’d thought that was what she wanted after sharing a bed with so many different men during the dark time she was with Dane in the city. She thought she wanted to be forever alone. But now, after the dream, she wasn’t so sure that was what she wanted after all.

On Friday, she was more quiet than usual. She told her class to take some time to study and do their assignment with the promise of no homework for the weekend if they behaved. While they were doing that, she let her mind wander again since she couldn’t concentrate on any work. Did she really want to spend the rest of her life alone? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if she could find the one man who was her soul mate? Did he even exist or was he a figment of her imagination? Surely not all men were like Dane? Shaking her head, she chastised herself for even letting her thoughts go there. Never again, she had told herself. Never would she ever let a man drag her down the way Dane had. She had loved him in the beginning, or thought she had. But his kind of life was not what true love was supposed to be about. It worked for some couples, she knew that, but not for her. She had fallen for the wrong guy and now she was too afraid to try again. Her interest in the strange man was a fluke. She really could care less who he was. So he was good-looking. Looks weren’t everything. Dane had been hot and handsome too and he had known it. She really had no desire to get mixed up with another hot guy who thought he was God’s gift to women. By the time she went home to get ready for the game, all thoughts of the hot guy with the reddish-brown hair were banished from her mind. Or so she thought.

I hope that’s piqued your interest somewhat. Look for The Seduction Of E.J. on September 30 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Blushing Books website.

 

 

IzzyB’s New Release

submitting-to-bryan.jpg   My spicier side, Isabella Kole, or IzzyB as some like to call her, has a new release! As some of you know, Isabella was created on a dare. A group of author friends “challenged” me to write a spicier style of romance and I was a bit skeptical. What would people think? Would they read it? Would they like it? Could I do it? Never one to back down from a challenge, I decided to give it a shot. I only intended to write one Isabella Kole book…but Accepting His Terms was so well received that I decided to try again. Today, Submitting To Bryan, was released by Blushing Books.

I am currently at work on a third one, The Seduction of E.J.

Here’s a little taste of the new book:


Janis Lincoln found the man of her dreams in handsome co-worker, Bryan Walsh, until he tells her exactly the type of marriage he expects. She is shocked. Can she submit completely to him? A free spirit, she balks at his first attempt to discipline her. 

Returning to her old college crowd and an old flame, she finds herself caught up in the club scene once more. Realizing her heart is with Bryan, she nearly loses her life before she has a chance to decide if she can be the kind of wife he wants. 

When the couple announces their engagement to his parents, another storm is brewing. Janis is not the girl they’ve chosen for their son. On Thanksgiving night when Jan walks in on her fiancé and the girl his parents want their son to marry, she bolts a second time and calls off the wedding. 

Will Bryan be able to convince Janis she is the only one for him? Can Janis submit completely to Bryan?

Want more?

Chapter One

Janis Lincoln lightly tapped on the thick, oaken door of her sister’s office. When she heard Jill’s voice telling her to enter, she walked in and sat down.

“Hi, sis, what’s up?” Jill asked as she looked up from her work and smiled at her younger sister.

“Can you break for lunch soon? I really need some sisterly advice,” Jan replied grimly.

“Uh oh, are you having problems?” Jill asked in a concerned tone.

“Sort of, but I’d really rather discuss it in private. I thought we might be able to grab something at the deli and head to the park.”

Jill shot a questioning look at her younger sister before glancing at her watch. “Oh wow, I had no idea it was so late. Let me just finish up a few things and I’ll meet you in the reception area in a few.”

“I’ll be waiting. Take your time,” Jan replied as she stood up to leave.

“I won’t be long.”

Ten minutes later Jan and Jill were walking to the parking garage.

“How’s the little guy like it now that Mommy’s back to work?” Jan asked as Jill drove to the nearest deli.

“He doesn’t seem to mind. After all, I’m only in the office two days a week and he seems to love the other kids in his day care.”

The two sisters leaped out of the car and quickly got in line to order their food. They jumped back into Jill’s car and she drove to the nearest park, where they walked to a secluded picnic table.

“The weather is gorgeous, isn’t it?” Jill asked in an attempt to put Jan at ease.

“I guess so. I really hadn’t noticed,” Jan answered as she took her turkey sandwich out of the wrapper and took a bite. She washed it down with soda before speaking again. “Jill, I need to talk to you about Bryan.”

“I wondered if that might be it. So the two of you are having problems? How serious, Jan?”

“Serious enough I’m considering breaking up with him,” Jan replied sadly.

“I would have thought the two of you were starting to get seriously involved. I had no idea you would ever dream of breaking it off. This must be big.”

“You know how you were always the rebel in the family,” Jan began.

“Well, I know Dad always said I was,” Jill said with a light laugh.

“I find myself becoming more and more of a free spirit. Bryan is, as you know, older than I am. He says I need a structured relationship. He thinks I’m a silly twit is what it boils down to.”

“I’m sure he doesn’t think of you that way. You work with him. He’s seen how smart you are on the job. Where is this all coming from?” Jill asked.

“I think I was enamored by his good looks and charm at first. The fact he’s older was a turn-on for me. But I feel like spreading my wings. Bryan thinks I’m acting like a spoiled brat and there’s where the structure comment came into play.”

“What does he mean by a structured relationship?” Jill asked.

“He is ready to move to the next level. Along with that comes a set of rules. If I don’t follow the rules, he wants to…punish…me. Can you believe that? And we’ve had some discussions about intimacy. His idea and my idea are a little different. He’s been around the block a few times, let’s just say. He knows about things I’ve never even heard of.”

“Bryan? Are you serious?”

“Serious as a heart attack,” Jan replied as she took a bite of her dill pickle spear.

“Wow, you just never know, do you? So, about the punishing part, you…don’t like that idea much?”

“I know some couples are into that, but I guess I’m just a little too independent. I don’t like the idea at all.”

“Has he ever…?”

“No!”

“Are you really thinking about breaking up with him?”

“Yes, I am. I hope to be able to continue working with him, but I think I need to test the waters, date some other guys. I thought Bryan was the one, but now I’m just not sure. I’m very confused.”

“Do what you have to do, Jan. Your job is secure. Jarrod is your employer, not Bryan. You work with Bryan, not for him.”

“Bryan may not take the breakup well. On the other hand, he may find he wants to be with someone more his age.”

“He isn’t that much older, eight years isn’t a lot,” Jill pointed out.

“It is if two people are light years away from each other in what they want in a relationship.”

“I guess that’s true. You can come to me anytime you need to talk. Just be careful. Make sure you can live without him before you take a chance on losing him forever.”

“I’ll be very careful in making this decision, believe me.”

“We’d better head back. I have a full afternoon ahead of me,” Jill said as she gathered her things and stood up.

“Thanks for the chat. Thank God Bryan is at the site with Jarrod today. I really need some time away from him.”

“When a girl says that about her boyfriend, something isn’t right,” Jill answered. “Maybe you do need a break from each other.”

The rest of the afternoon Jan spent catching up on work and thinking about her situation. By the time the end of the workday arrived she had come to a decision. She was going to take a few days off work and she was going to tell Bryan they needed to take a break.

She knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to tell him. They were planning to order pizza at her place that evening when he returned from the job site. She would tell him after dinner.

As she walked to the parking garage, her cell rang. “Hello,” she answered.

“Babe, I’m tied up at the site, so Jarrod and I are going to grab a bite up here. I won’t be over tonight.”

“Okay, we’ll make it another night,” she said, partially disappointed and partially relieved she didn’t have to tell him of her decision until another time.

“Are you going to stay home?” he asked.

“I guess so, I really haven’t had a chance to decide what I’ll do,” she replied, resenting the question.

“I have to go, we’ll talk tomorrow.”

“All right, but I’m going to be taking a few days off. I’ll go ahead and come in tomorrow though.”

“Why do you need time off?” he asked.

“We’ll discuss it later. You have to go,” she said, desperately wanting to end the call.

“Okay, Babe, I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you,” he said as he ended the call.

Love you…did he really mean that or was it just a convenient and comfortable phrase? Did he have her best interests at heart, or did he want complete control in the relationship? She hadn’t been able to figure it all out, and her inexperience didn’t help matters at all. If only she knew someone who could help her. She had talked to Jill, but she wouldn’t understand, neither would her mother. She wasn’t close to her sister-in-law, so that left virtually no one to confide in. She was too embarrassed to tell her friends about the kind of relationship Bryan wanted.

The decision would have to be a personal one. But it could wait just a little while longer. As Jill had pointed out, she had to be absolutely certain she could live without him because she knew that chances were, if she did this, she would lose him forever.

On the other hand, Bryan wanted total submission on her part. Her free spirit couldn’t quite come to terms with that concept. Bryan was sweet, considerate, and loving. But if they moved forward, he had been very clear about the kind of relationship he expected. Back to square one, Jan spent the greater part of the evening pondering the pros and cons of both scenarios, breaking up with him or entering into the kind of relationship he wanted.

By morning, she was bleary-eyed, tired and sorry she had agreed to go in to work. Gulping down a piece of toast and grabbing a cup of coffee on the run, she raced out the door and drove to work, dreading for Bryan to see the way she looked. He would comment on it, she felt sure.

She said hello to the receptionist and headed for her office. She noticed as she walked by that Bryan was not in his own office. Was he out for the day to the site, or was he in the building? It didn’t take long for her question to be answered as he poked his head in her door as soon as she’d sat down.

“Good morning,” he said with a smile.

“Hello,” she replied. “Was it really late when you got in last night?”

“Around nine, we ran into some issues at the site and Jarrod wanted to clear it all up before we left.”

“It’s cleared up then?” she asked.

“Yes, it sure is. Now, how about our pizza night? Are we on for tonight?”

“I’m a little tired. I didn’t sleep well last night and I was hoping for an early night tonight. Can we make it tomorrow night instead?” she asked as she sipped her coffee.

“Are you coming down with something?” he asked.

“I don’t think so, just one of those nights I couldn’t sleep.”

“You look a little worse for wear, so yes; you can have an early night tonight. I’ll see you later. Maybe you can knock off early if you get caught up with the designs for the new site.”

“Gee thanks, a girl always wants to be told how awful she looks,” she teased.

“Jan, you know you are always beautiful to me. That doesn’t hide the fact your eyes are bloodshot and you don’t seem to be your usual chipper self.”

“Okay, I get the picture. Now let me get to work.”

“I’ll catch you later. Let me know if you leave early.”

“Sure, Bryan,” she replied as she picked up the designs she’d been working on the day before and prepared to work on them.

She sighed as he quietly closed her office door behind him. He’d always been considerate at work. Actually, he’d always been considerate period. If it wasn’t for his attitude on relationships, he’d be the perfect guy.

She thought back to the early days when they began dating. Then she thought about the night they’d first discussed moving forward in their relationship and how shocked she’d been to learn he expected her complete submission…in every way. Was he from the fifties or what?

She struggled to stay awake all morning as she finished her work. When lunchtime arrived, she called out for a salad to be delivered and ate at her desk alone. She sat back in her chair and closed her eyes, relaxing for the remainder of her lunch hour before resuming her work. At three o’clock, she turned off the computer, locked her work away in a file cabinet, and locked her desk.

She called Bryan and when he answered she said, “I’m going home now. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ve decided to postpone my few days off for a while.”

“We’ll talk about that tomorrow night. I still don’t understand why you need time off. Are you going away?”

“I’m not sure, Bryan. I just felt like I needed a break. You’re right; we’ll talk about it later. I’m going home and going to bed.”

“Get some good rest, babe. Love you.”

“Bye, Bryan.”

As soon as Jan entered the apartment she’d taken over from Jill when she’d married Jarrod, she kicked off her shoes, threw down her purse and headed for the bedroom. She collapsed on the bed in her clothes and was asleep within minutes. The sleepless night and the day’s work had definitely taken a toll. Usually full of energy, the decision weighing on her heart had drained her both physically and mentally.

Several hours later, she woke up, got her bearings and changed into her pajamas. Looking at the bedside clock, she saw that it was nine o’clock.

“I guess I should eat some dinner,” she said aloud as she walked to the kitchen. Taking a can of tomato basil soup from the cupboard, she warmed it on the stove, poured it into a large mug and carried it back to the bedroom where she flipped on the television set and settled down to watch a movie. Finding she couldn’t concentrate, as soon as she’d finished her soup, she turned out the lights and went back to sleep, happy for the reprieve from her thoughts of Bryan.

The next morning she felt refreshed and ready to set the world on fire. Smiling, she entered the offices of Baine Construction and spoke to everyone she saw before making her way to her office. She poured a cup of coffee and sat down to tackle the day’s tasks. Just as she was getting caught up on her emails, Bryan poked his head in to say hello.

“Hey, baby, did you sleep well? I didn’t hear a peep out of you all night, so I didn’t bother you.”

“I did sleep and thanks for not texting or calling. I really needed the rest.”

“We still on for tonight?” he asked.

“Sure, come over around seven.”

“I’ll bring the pizza. The usual?” he asked with a grin.

“Yep, that’s fine with me,” she replied lightly.

Smiling as she began to work, she thought to herself, I’m going to let this decision ride for a while.

Perhaps it was the good night’s sleep from the previous night, or maybe she just wasn’t ready to give up on him yet, but whatever the reason, Jan was determined to try and change Bryan’s mind about the structured relationship he was so adamant he wanted.

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Submitting-Bryan-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B00LXM1MRY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405730602&sr=8-1&keywords=Submitting+To+Bryan

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2916&welcome=1

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

Who Is Isabella Kole?

Accepting-His-Terms-CoverWelcome back to Anna’s World! Today I have a surprise for you. I’m going to introduce you to someone very near and dear to me. Her name is Isabella Kole, or as I affectionately call her, IzzyB. Just who is Isabella Kole? Well, to be quite honest, she’s me…or the spicier side of me…

A few months ago, a group of writer friends who write erotic romance and spanking stories asked me why I didn’t try one. As most of you know, if you’ve followed me at all, Anna writes mainstream romance, some dramatic, some light, but all just a little sweet and sexy. I mentioned this to one of my publishers in passing one day and she wasn’t opposed to the idea, so I wrote a rough draft. Then one night, Sable Hunter invited me to chat with her street team and promote my books in her group. She encouraged me to come forward and tell them about IzzyB. Up until that time, I was keeping the fact that IzzyB and Anna were the same person a secret. So I told them a little about the story, Accepting His Terms, and was met with such enthusiasm I couldn’t believe it. In fact, several of the people I met that night, came to me a few weeks later and asked if they could start a street team for me. And that’s how Anna’s Fab Friends began.

The writer friends who had first encouraged me came together and helped me too. One helped me kick around different ideas for a title until together we came up with the perfect one, another read the story and offered suggestions, another one did the same. All were supportive and encouraging. Members of the street team beta read for me as the story progressed. As I began to tell people about the new book, other author friends offered to host Isabella on their blogs. Everyone, including my readers, were very receptive to the idea.

My street team and I decided to market Isabella as the spicier side of Anna…because that’s exactly who she is. Isabella’s debut erotic romance is an Anna love story with Isabella spice. There is no better way to describe it. So if you like Anna’s romances but would like it spicier…Isabella’s your gal. If you prefer Anna’s sweet and sexy stories, there are plenty of them around and more to come.

Accepting His Terms by Isabella Kole debuts October 9th from LazyDay Publishing, the same publisher who released Anna’s Fab Five series. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as an ebook, it’s one you won’t want to miss. Not your ordinary spanking story…I wanted to do something just a little different…I did it my way…and I hope you’ll give it a chance. Branching out is never easy but I was determined to see this through because of all the support I was given from author friends, readers, friends, family, and my publisher. Will there be another Isabella Kole book in the near future? That remains to be seen as Anna is very busy at the moment, but if you like it, please let me know by leaving a review. If I know you like it, Isabella might be persuaded to do an encore.

Now here’s the blurb for Accepting His Terms:

Jill Lincoln has the hots for her stern, hunk of a boss, Jarrod Baine. With his piercing steel-gray-blue eyes, hair as black as coal, and a body to be enjoyed, she wonders what it would be like to be his woman. But she’s only one of many who would give her eye teeth to be in his bed.

 The day Jarrod rescues her from a would-be assault by a young mail clerk; she finds that he is as attracted to her as she is to him.  As the two begin a relationship, it becomes very apparent to Jarrod that Jill is a nervous, high-strung lady and he searches for the best way to ease her tensions. Together they begin to form a strong bond as they experiment with discipline.

 As the couple realizes their feelings run much deeper than an office affair, Jarrod asks her to be his wife. As they enter into a hot, passionate marriage, complete with the discipline, by mutual consent, a deeper emotional bond is formed that continues to grow much stronger over time.

But when Jill suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage and Jarrod is not by her side, she retreats into a deep, dark depression, turning away from the one man who can save her.

Will their bond be severed forever?

Did that whet your appetite at all? Just in case, let’s throw in a small excerpt:

On Saturday morning, Jarrod kept his word and phoned Jill to tell her he would pick her up at noon.

She flew around her apartment, straightening, fluffing pillows, and making sure everything was in place. Then she treated herself to a long soak in a cherry-blossom scented bubble bath before getting dressed for their date. She chose a green floral sundress and a pair of sandals. It was spring in Tennessee and the weather had turned warm. After her makeup and hair were near perfect, she sat on the couch waiting for him to arrive.

At eleven-forty-five, her doorbell rang, she sprang from the couch and let him in.

“I’m early, I know, these are for you,” he said as he entered the room and handed her a bouquet of flowers.

“Flowers?” she asked, “Thank you.”

“Have you eaten?”

“No, I had a late breakfast,” she replied.

“Good, there’s a nice little Italian restaurant in the winery. I thought we could have lunch there before we do our wine tasting.”

“Oh, that sounds fantastic. I love Italian food.”

He grinned. “Are you ready to go?”

As he drove to the winery, she said, “I thought it would seem odd to be out with you, but it doesn’t. The other night at dinner was the only time we’ve been together outside the office.”

“It feels perfectly natural to me, Jill,” he replied as he cast a sideways glance in her direction.

She smiled and asked him about the music playing in his CD player.

When they reached the winery, he walked around and opened her car door, helped her out, and took her hand as they walked inside.

They sat at a corner table and as Jill looked around, she said, “This is nice. I like the atmosphere.”

“Romantic?” he teased.

She blushed and took a sip of her water.

“So after we finish touring the winery, what would you like to do?” he asked.

“You mean there’s more?” she asked with a smile.

“If you’d like; we can extend this afternoon date into an evening date. Do you dance?”

“I love it,” she replied.

As his hand reached across the table to caress hers gently, she shivered. As her gaze met his, she saw amusement in his eyes.

“Are you cold, sweetheart?” he asked with a sexy grin.

“Uh… no…” she stammered.

Their lunch arrived and the moment passed. As they made pleasant small talk and enjoyed their food, Jill found herself becoming aroused. The sound of his voice, the look in his eyes, and the touch of his hand made her nipples harden and heat to flow through her veins. She caught him watching her and she was sure he’d looked down at her breasts. She shivered again.

“Are you sure you’re not cold?” he asked again, the amused look back in his eyes.

“I’m really quite… warm,” she answered with her sweetest smile.

“I can see that,” he said in a low voice as he leaned across the table. “I think we should get started on our tour before you get any… warmer.”

She stood up and took the hand he offered. As they made their way to the winery, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, “You’re cute when you’re… bothered.”

“Bothered? What makes you think I’m bothered?” she asked.

“Your body betrays you, my dear,” he teased as he leaned over to kiss her.

They began their tour, tasting many of the different wines offered and finally Jill chose her favorite, a sweet red.

“We’ll save it for a special occasion,” he said as they walked to his car.

“Where are we going dancing?” she asked.

“Well, this is Tennessee. Where else but a good old country dance hall?” he asked.

“You… like country?” she asked in surprise.

“I’m an old-fashioned southern country boy at heart.”

“I never would have guessed that,” she said as he pulled out of the parking lot.

They arrived at one of the well-known bars in town and as they sat waiting for the band to begin playing, he asked if she was hungry.

“A little, how about you?” she replied.

“They have great wings here, how about it?”

“Sure, that sounds good.”

They talked some more about movies they’d like to see, books they’d read, and when their wings arrived, they ate, laughed, and talked some more. It was becoming more and more natural for her to be in his company. He really was quite different away from the office. There was still a commanding presence, but there was also a softer, more romantic side to Jarrod Baine.

“Oh, look, the band is ready to play,” she said as she looked up at the stage.

“And they’re starting with a slow song. Let’s go,” he said as he stood and took her hand.

As she was whisked into the arms of the man she’d spent months dreaming about, Jill melted. The moment he pulled her close to his chest, she knew there was nothing she wouldn’t do for this man. She was his. Whether he knew it yet or not, she would surrender to him, and she would love him for as long as he wanted her in his life.

She looked up at him and caught sight of the corners of his mouth turned slightly upward. His eyes danced as they gazed at her. She put her head on his shoulder and as he pulled her closer, he whispered, “I could stay like this all night.”

She nestled closer, letting her right hand tease the hair at the nape of his neck. Her body was on fire, as a warm wetness flowed from within. Her nipples were aching, begging for attention. Her left hand moved down his back.

“If you don’t stop that, I’m going to take you to the parking lot and have my way with you in the car,” he warned as he nibbled at her ear.

“In that case, I won’t stop,” she teased.

“Oh, you’ve got such sass… you know I owe you a spanking for putting yourself at risk, for staying late that night, and now with all the sass and teasing you’ve been throwing around, I think you’ve had your three strikes. You’re out, baby.” He spoke in a low, husky voice.

“Three strikes? I’m out?” she asked as she raised her face his.

 Hmmm…what’s gonna happen next? You can find out by downloading Accepting His Terms at either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

http://www.amazon.com/Accepting-His-Terms-ebook/dp/B00FPWB1QK

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1117061855?ean=2940148463177

 

 

You can find Isabella on Facebook. Please swing by and give her a “Like”…she’ll appreciate it.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Kole-Author/580591041984962

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll have my good friend, Ginger Ring, here on the twelfth talking about her first release which comes out on October 10th!!!! So excited for her!!!! And on the 22nd, I’ll be telling ghost stories…as part of Sable Hunter’s Halloween Blog Hop so you’re not going to want to miss that…contests and prizes too!!!

halloween-blog-hop.jpg