Whiskey Neat By Lani Lynn Vale ♥ Promo Tour

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Title: Whiskey Neat
Series: Uncertain Saint’s MC
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Genre: MC Romance
Published: March 3, 2016

Photographer: Furious Fotog
Cover Model: Chase Ketron


Whiskey Neat CoverGriffin Storm wasn’t prone to violence, but when someone takes what Griffin holds dear, the world as he knows it is gone.
Retaliation, revenge and rage fuels him. His MC, The Uncertain Saint’s, do their best to offer support, but Griffin is beyond redemption. He’ll do what he has to do. Kill who he has to kill.
He doesn’t care if that means he dies. If it gets him what he wants, then it’s worth it.
He fakes it all until the night he walks into a sex shop for batteries and lays eyes on a woman that will change his life.
Lenore makes him think past tomorrow. Makes him want to see just what the future might bring.
But his life’s a dangerous one built around pain and deception, and not for the faint of heart.
He won’t give up the past, not until he’s done what he promised to do.
And if that means she’s not there when the dust settles, he’ll risk it.
Lenore, though, won’t give up on him. She’ll fix him, whether he wants her to or not.

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“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m Lani Lynn Vale’s #1 fan. I love her work, I’ve read all of it, and a lot of it I’ve read more than once. I’m thrilled with the direction she’s going in with the Uncertain Saints MC series. There is a clear and distinct difference to Vale’s writing here. Her voice is a bit edgier in Whiskey Neat, and it absolutely had me sitting up to take notice.” ~Danielle from Red Cheeks Reads

“Whiskey Neat is a great start to her new series, with feisty heroines and hotter hero’s. I can’t wait for the next in this series” ~Erica from A One-Click Addict’s Book Blog

“I have LOVED LOVED LOVED every book that I’ve read by this author, and Whiskey Neat is no exception.” ~Jennifer from The Power of Three Readers


“Come on, Doogan,” I urged, giving his collar a tug.
Doogan didn’t budge, which was why I had a front row seat as a man sailed over the railing of Mr. Marshall’s porch, and landed about ten feet away from where I was standing.
“Oh, my God,” I breathed.
I didn’t move, though, because the man was suddenly surrounded.
Men in leather were everywhere…but the one man that held my attention was stomping down the porch steps and heading straight to the man on the ground.
Griffin, the man who’d bought batteries from me just two days ago, was well and truly pissed.
When his eyes swung to me, I didn’t know what to do.
Should I run?
Stay where I was?
Question after question barreled through my mind, leaving me shaking in fear…and something else I wasn’t ready to admit to just yet.
“Go home,” he ordered.
I blinked, looking to my left and right to be sure he was talking to me.
Since I didn’t see anyone else around me, I decided he was talking to me, but I just couldn’t get my legs to cooperate out of fear.
Not to mention that I would have to walk through the lot of them to get to my house.
When I didn’t move fast enough, he issued the order again, only this time it was biting.
“Go. Home,” he snapped.
I turned on my heel and started walking, coming to a sudden stop when Doogan still refused to move.
“Mother of God,” I whispered.  “Come on Doog,” I whispered frantically.  “Let’s go.”
He did move, just not in the correct direction.
No, he walked straight up to Griffin and licked his hand, a hand that was stuck out, not in invitation to approach, but instead to stop the dog from getting too close to him.
“Can’t you control your fuckin’ dog?” He grated out angrily.
Tears were stinging my eyes, because, by that point, I had the attention of not just Griffin, but the whole freakin’ lot of them.
My heart was beating frantically in my chest as they watched me, and I just knew that if I didn’t get the hell out of there I’d get the hell beaten out of me…or worse.
“Where do you live?”  Griffin asked, taking a hold of Doogan’s leash.
It slipped from my hands, and I watched in helpless horror as it did.
And what did Doogan do?
He freakin’ followed him!
“Umm,” I whispered.  “Three duplexes down from here.”
“Be back,” Griffin said as he took my hand in his free one and started to walk me back to my house.
The men returned their stares on the man they were circling, and I glanced over my shoulder just in time to see one of the big ones kick the poor guy on the ground next to his feet.
He didn’t say a word, and neither did I.
I was too scared.
What if he beat the shit out of me?
Raped me?
What if…
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Griffin growled, interrupting my inner diatribe.
“I know,” I lied.
He snorted.  “Stop shaking.  I said I wouldn’t harm you.  I’m a cop.”
Yeah, but good cops didn’t beat the shit out of people in the dark of night.
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lani author picI’m a married mother of three. My kids are all under 5, so I can assure you that they are a handful. I’ve been with my paramedic husband now for ten years, and we’ve produced three offspring that are nothing like us. I live in the greatest state in the world, Texas.

Title: Jack & Coke
Series: Uncertain Saint’s MC #2
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Pre-Order Now
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ROAD TO ROYALTY (LOST KINGS MC SERIES BOX SET) By Autumn Jones Lake ♥ Promo Tour

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ROAD TO ROYALTY (LOST KINGS MC SERIES BOX SET)
by
Autumn Jones Lake
INCLUDES:
SLOW BURN (LOST KINGS MC #1)
CORRUPTING CINDERELLA (LOST KINGS MC #2)
STRENGTH FROM LOYALTY (LOST KINGS MC #3)
BONUS CONTENT:
CHARACTER INTERVIEWS, GLOSSARY, BONUS SCENES, PREVIEW OF TATTERED ON MY SLEEVE
(LOST KINGS MC #4)
by Autumn Jones Lake
© Copyright 2015

Amazon Pre-Order § Kobo § Nook § iTunes §

Pre-Order Price
Until Release Day – $2.99

After: $6.99

Off Sale July 31, 2015

 
ROAD TO ROYALTY T2
Original
publication date: October 14, 2014
Forced to
represent an outlaw biker, a married attorney must come to terms with her
feelings for her client while avoiding the danger he brings into her sedate
life.
ROAD TO ROYALTY T4
Original
publication date: December 2, 2014
Although
attorney Hope Kendall cares deeply for President of the Lost Kings MC, Rochlan
“Rock” North, the truth is they come from completely different
worlds. Add to that the fact that they are also both headstrong people, and
they have a very rough road ahead of them.
ROAD TO ROYALTY T1
Original
publication date: March 17, 2015
As a dark cloud
descends over Hope and Rock’s already precarious future, will a long-hidden
secret push them both past the point of no return?
BONUS
CONTENT: Glossary, Character Interviews, Two BRAND NEW, NEVER RELEASED BONUS
SCENES, Preview of TATTERED ON MY SLEEVE (LOST KINGS MC #4)
Also
includes excerpts from three other HOT MC Romance authors: Bink Cummings,
Phoenyx Slaughter, and Sapphire Knight.

 

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OTHER BOOKS IN
THE SERIES:
 
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Three Kings, One Night (Lost Kings MC #2.5) – a collection of three short holiday stories set in the Lost Kings MC world.
Tattered on My
Sleeve (Lost Kings MC #4)
 
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*Wrath and Trinity’s story can be read FIRST in the series.
 
As an only child, Autumn kept herself entertained by making up all sorts of stories. For a long time, life and school dimmed her enthusiasm for creative writing. But as soon as she rediscovered her love of storytelling, she put her fingers to the keyboard and hasn’t looked back.
Her favorite books to read are mystery, thrillers, horror, romance, erotica and urban fantasy.
Her favorite thing to write is romance. All of her stories have to include a hunky hero and an optimistic ending.
When she’s not writing, Autumn spends time listening to music, going to concerts, and driving her family nuts. She enjoys reading, gardening, acting, and collecting nail polish. (Her husband says she shouldn’t be allowed to include gardening in her list of hobbies, because she makes him do all the work, but that’s not relevant.)
Autumn lives in Upstate New York with her husband and their three rescue dogs. She is actively involved with several dog rescue groups and her local RWA chapter.
 
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One To Save By Tia Louise ♥ Book Blitz

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TITLE : One To Save

AUTHOR : Tia Louise

GENRE : Contemporary Romance

RELEASE DATE : March 26, 2015

 

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Cover Design by Steven Novak, www.novakillustration.com
Photography by Lauren Perry, www.Perrywinklephotography.com

EARLY REVIEWERS ARE SAYING :

“In a tale of angst and pure raw heat, Tia Louise delivered a fabulous ‘hold your breath’ story for one of the hottest couples.” –Kelli C., Goodreads

“A sizzling, suspenseful romance that took me to another place. I completely lost myself in this book!” –Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads

“The writing and storytelling were spellbinding. I read this book in one sitting because it was more than a romance book, it was also a suspenseful read.” –Four Chicks Flipping Pages

Synopsis

“I lost myself in the darkness of trying to protect you…”

Some threats come at you as friendly fire.

Some threats take away everything.

Family won’t let you go down without a fight.

The Secret isn’t as secure as Derek’s team originally thought it was, and a person on the inside of Alexander-Knight is set on exposing him, breaking him, and taking away all he holds dear.

Refusing to let anyone suffer for his crimes, Derek takes matters into his own hands. He’s exposed, he’s defenseless, but his friends are determined to save him.

#SaveDerek

A STAND-ALONE, ONE TO HOLD NOVEL. Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT :

One to Save
By Tia Louise
*unedited draft, subject to change
Release Date: March 26, 2015

Page 1, Chapter 1: Secrets

Melissa

In the cool darkness of the semi-crowded bar, I study the glass in front of me and consider my journey. Memories of my old life fade like smoke in a glass. The shame that held me so tightly now dances at the edges of my mind like the whisper of a bad dream, a flicker of shadows that no longer make sense in my world.

Young women in their shiny slip dresses twist and laugh on the dance floor, but instead of resentment, my lips melt into a smile. My old self—cynical, bitter, defeated—is a memory I have to work to recall. These days I could dance all night with them, but I’d rather spend my energy on other activities.

The slim glass holds a pale amber liquid, and I can’t resist taking a sip. An involuntary wince pinches my eyes as I put it down. Seven and seven. Refreshing citrus dragged down by the heavy undertone of whiskey. So gross.

Sliding my palms over my thighs, I realize my outfit isn’t much different from those girls on the dance floor. The deep red silk is fitted at my waist, and drapes loosely over my torso. My long dark hair is swept over one shoulder revealing a thin spaghetti strap. I lightly touch the delicate gold chain around my neck leading to the floating heart pendant that sits between my collarbones, and light glances off the thick gold cuff on my wrist.

Unlike that first night, I’m alone here. My best friend Elaine is miles away with her new husband, most likely indulging in that blissful honeymoon period of early marriage. Make that, most certainly indulging. I know those two very well.

I came by myself to the bar in Princeton after finishing my business with a client in town. My infant son is back in Wilmington, spending the weekend with his grandmother. Studying my hands, I admire the deep blue sapphire ring on my finger, but I have no wedding band.

At thirty-two, I’m an unmarried mother of a beautiful little boy, and I wouldn’t change a thing… Yet. The tiny silver scar at my hairline reminds me of what a bad marriage is, and with my successful marketing business and the gorgeous cottage at the beach that I own, I’m satisfied with my life, calm. Not desperate. I’ll take my next steps deliberately, with confidence.

All these thoughts preoccupy my mind when I blink up and catch him watching me from across the square-shaped bar. Blue eyes, strikingly blue because of the way they stand out beneath his dark brow, coupled with collar-length thick dark hair.

He’s massive, at least six-two, and elegantly dressed with a thick stainless watch on his wrist. I can spot his type a mile away—rich, powerful, accustomed to getting whatever he wants… I know what he wants. A smile teases at the corner of my mouth. No coincidence I happened to look up at that exact moment to catch his gaze.

He starts to move, but his eyes never leave mine. I don’t look away either. I also know what I want. Thick cords of muscle ripple beneath the thin black sweater he wears as he glides past the oblivious patrons talking and laughing. Some are more animated than others, waving their arms and putting their drinks in peril. A close beard shadows his face, and the muscles low in my pelvis tighten at the thought of how it will feel brushing the soft skin of my inner thighs…

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NOOK | KOBO | ARe

AMAZON INTERNATIONALS

PAPERBACKS AVAILABLE AT :

AMAZON | CREATESPACE

 

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Teasers

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ENJOY THE PLAYLIST HERE : SPOTIFY

 

The Author

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Tia Louise is the Amazon and International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.

From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to picking up USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning a 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.

A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations…

Connect with Tia:

FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | TWITTER

PINTEREST | TSU | INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Sign up for Tia’s Book News: http://eepurl.com/Lcmv1

Get Exclusive Text Alerts and never miss a Sale or New Release: Text “TiaLouise” to 77948*

*Max 6 messages per month; HELP for help; STOP to cancel; Text and Data rates may apply. Privacy policy available, allnightreads@gmail.com.

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Books by Tia Louise:

One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013

One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014

One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014

One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014

One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), 2014

One to Save (Derek & Melissa), 2015

One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), coming June 25, 2015!

SIGNED COPIES: http://smarturl.it/SignedPBs

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Behind The Blindfold By Natalie E Wrye ♥ Book Tour

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Title: Behind The Blindfold: Uncovered Vol II

Author: Natalie E. Wrye

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: February 28, 2015

Book Tour: March 2-6 and March 9-13th

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BTB Vol II

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2nd and final installment

Saturday Blake has uncovered one of Mark Rich’s biggest secrets.
Betrayed, frightened and hurt, she tries to move on, believing that the game is over, but she is sorely mistaken.
There’s another player in this game…and they won’t play by any rules.
And Mark’s not done with her yet…

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Volume 1:

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BTB Vol I

SBB - Synopsis

A flash of green eyes, and then…he was gone.

Mysterious, secluded, powerful, seductive.
Mark Rich shows up in a gallery, and then at a party, and then in Saturday’s dreams.
Wealthy? Yes. Sexy? God, yes.
But who is he? Ostensibly, he appears to be a jack-of-all-trades – a multifaceted Renaissance man.
Her artistic heart will follow him to the depths of his realm, to a world of beauty, art and desire in which she so desperately wants entry.
But Mark has a dark secret…deeper than any shadow Saturday has ever encountered.
Blinded by a craving she has never known, will she find the strength to remove the mask and look past her heart into a reality that may shatter her?

BTB Vol I Teaser

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Natalie Wrye is a math geek by day, writer by night. She is a single, former Yankee living in Northwest Georgia with nothing but her Friends and Gilmore Girls reruns to keep her company. Natalie started writing nonsensical stories at the ripe age of 6; she hopes things have changed since then. She loves chocolate, cuddly things, and large libraries. Oh…and she thinks it’s pretty cool to talk in 3rd person.

* Talk nerdy to me at NatalieWrye.com or NatalieWrites@NatalieWrye.com.

**Oh, and don’t forget about my Facebook Author page: Natalie Wrye.

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Missing Pieces By Meredith Tate ♥ Promo Blitz

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MISSING PIECES

by Meredith Tate
Add to Goodreads

Buy from Amazon 




Your family is the most important part of your life. Your families are the people you love, and love is what separates us from scoundrels and criminals. It maintains order. Your parents, your sibling, and your Partner, are the ones you love. There should never, ever, be anyone else who comes close to that bond. You have only one best friend, and that is the person you’ll be marrying someday. We must learn to differentiate the relationships in our lives: the people we love, and the ones we don’t. It’s inappropriate, it’s foolish, and it’s forbidden to think otherwise.



Trace Bailey’s mouth is her worst enemy – somehow it always gets her in trouble. Luckily, she has a partner in crime – her best friend and neighbor since age seven,Piren Allston. He can’t get enough of her crazy sense of humor, and she loves that he’s always up for another adventure.

They can’t be friends, though, not in their world. Trace and Piren were Assigned to other people at the age of six, and they’re supposed to marry their Partners when they turn twenty-four. Failure to comply leads to Banishment, a fate worse than death.

Worse still is the growing realization that their bond is stronger than just friendship.

In a world without freedom, there are still choices to be made. Following their hearts means losing their family, but following the law means losing each other.

Forever.

I committed a felony on my thirteenth birthday.
My parents don’t know. In fact, nobody does. If anyone learns, I’m screwed — a “fate worse than death,” they call it.
I didn’t murder anyone; what I did was far worse. The crime was quick, it was careless, and it happened entirely inside my head. A wandering mind is a dangerous place.
I was at the library studying for a history exam when it happened. A girl sat down beside me and pulled out her books, spilling highlighters and pens all over the table. I’ve known the girl a long time; she’s been my best friend since childhood. She flashed her familiar smile, and an unexpected urge shot through me: I wanted to kiss her.
The forbidden thought flashed through my brain and vanished in seconds, but the intensity lingered behind, as if a magnetic force ripped through my whole body. My eyes grew wide. The pencil slid from my hand and landed on the table.
“What?” she asked.
I gaped at her.
She poked my arm. “Out with it.”
My mouth opened, but no words came out. I shook my head, backing my chair away from the table. Heart thudding like a bass drum in my chest, I bolted from the library.
Lying in bed that night, my mind raced, struggling to recall the exact wording of the Law I just broke. They made us memorize it in fifth grade, but only pieces clung to me: Only desire your Assigned Partner. Only kiss your Assigned Partner. Attraction to the Unassigned is forbidden, punishable by Banishment.
Tracy Bailey is not my Assigned Partner; she’s not even supposed to be my friend.
I hardly slept that night, but woke the next day relieved that my secret was safe. That’s the good thing about thoughts; they only get you in trouble if you share them.
My Partner is a girl named Lara Goodren. I met her at the Assigning Ceremony eight years ago, when I was six.
“I love you, Lara Goodren,” I said to her, when prompted by the Master of Ceremonies.
“I love you, Piren Allston,” she replied.
The audience erupted, clapping and hooting their approval. Mom and Dad snapped a million pictures as I wobbled on the stage, staring at the ground.
Then back to our seats, and on to the next couple. The whole exchange was awkward as hell, but I did it anyway, as expected and without question.
That was the first time I said “I love you” when I didn’t mean it. It wouldn’t be the last.
Meridith Tate

A proud New Hampshire native, Meredith Tate lives in St. Louis with her husband. She loves reading and writing in all genres, but has a soft spot for dark young adult and new adult speculative fiction. Meredith has a master’s degree in social work from the University of New Hampshire. She is a contributor to the St. Louis Writer’s Guild’s “Write Pack Radio Show” every Sunday afternoon. When she’s not writing, Meredith enjoys traveling, playing the piano, befriending wild geese, and spending time with family and friends. Much like her characters, she’s always up for another adventure.

Maximum Risk (The Andrades) By Ruth Cardello ♥ Promo Tour

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Title: Maximum Risk – The Andrades, Book Three
Author: Ruth Cardello
Release date:01/27/2015
 Price: $3.99
Book description: From
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author!

Max
Andrade:
Rich,
bold, unapologetic. He is a man who doesn’t hear the word no until
he meets Tara. In his obsession to have her, he’ll offer her
anything except his heart.
Tara
Holmes: Outspoken,
hardworking, levelheaded. She makes her living by exposing unfaithful
spouses. She doesn’t believe in love, especially not with a man who
sees her as nothing more than a challenge.
When
Madison
D’Argenson
hires Tara to uncover the truth about Aunt Patrice, Tara is pulled
into Max’s world.
How
far would you go to help a man who doesn’t want to be helped?
And
how long would you give yourself over to the pleasure of his touch if
you knew it would end as soon as he discovered your lie?
Purchase links:
Amazon § Amazon UK § IBooks § 
Barnes & Noble (NOOK) & kobo
links will be available on 01/27/15
Author Bio:
Ruth Cardello was
born the youngest of 11 children in a small city in northern Rhode
Island. She spent her young adult years moving as far away as she
could from her large extended family. She lived in Boston, Paris,
Orlando, New York–then came full circle and moved back to Rhode
Island. She now happily lives one town over from the one she was born
in. For her, family trumped the warmer weather and international
scene.
She was an educator
for 20 years, the last 11 as a kindergarten teacher. When her school
district began cutting jobs, Ruth turned a serious eye toward her
second love- writing and has never been happier. When she’s not
writing, you can find her chasing her children around her small farm,
riding her horses, or connecting with her readers online.
Author Contact:
Other Books by Ruth Cardello:
The Legacy Collection (*also
available in audio)
Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire (Free
at all eBook retailers)
Book 2: For Love or Legacy
Book 3: Bedding the Billionaire
Book 4: Saving the Sheikh
Book 5: Rise of the Billionaire
Book 6: Breaching the Billionaire:
Alethea’s Redemption
The Andrades (*also available in
audio)
Book 1: Come Away with Me (Free at all
eBook retailers)
Book 2: Home to Me
Book 3: Maximum Risk
Book 4: Somewhere Along the Way
(preorder now, release date 05/26/15)
Lone Star Burn (*also available in
audio)
Book 1: Taken, Not Spurred
Book 2: Tycoon Takedown (preorder now,
release date 03/10/15)
The Temptations
Book 1: Twelve Days of Temptation
Book 2: Be My Temptation
Taken by a Trillionaire (preorder now,
releases 05/12/15)

Autumn By Christopher Scott Wagoner ♥ Promo Blitz

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FOREVER AUTUMN
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Synopsis
Life’s going well for Steven Borgia. Sure, he may not be a famous professional wrestler like his father, the legendary Deathslayer, but he has carved out a niche for himself as a beloved kindergarten teacher in New York City. There’s just one thing missing: someone special to share his life with.
When Steve meets the sharp-tongued Autumn—a big wrestling fan—he’s mesmerized by her sarcastic and bold personality. Feisty and foul-mouthed, she seizes life by the throat and refuses to let it go. They may seem like opposites at first, but they complement each other very well. After all, differences make good sparks, and there are plenty of sparks both in and out of the bedroom.
Steve’s new happiness is threatened, however, when Autumn’s life is in jeopardy. Only her estranged father can save her, and he’s nowhere to be found. Can Steve and his bizarre assortment of friends and family reconcile the two before tragedy strikes?
Hilarious and heartwarming, Forever Autumn takes you on a journey that will tickle you in more ways than one.
Excerpt
Steve meets Autumn for the first time.

When he was a few people from the front, he could hear the barista’s voice as she attempted to handle a complicated order.

“Vanilla Latte, double shot espresso, extra large,” she said, her voice fraught with stress.

“No,” said the angry heavyset man at the front of the line. “Vanilla steamer, one shot of espresso, extra large.”

“Sorry, sir,” she said, “I’m new here.”

Steve strained to see the barista’s face, but the fat man was nearly as tall as he was, and she was granted total concealment by his corpulent mass.

“Sorry doesn’t fix it,” said the man, turning away from her with his drink wedged between pudgy fingers. “I intend to speak with the manager about this!”

The man left, people shrinking to get out of his way. Steve was able to see the barista at last. His breath caught in his throat. She had black hair done up in pigtails that cascaded down her slim shoulders. Her eyes were a soft, rich brown, with a slight almond shape to them. Her tan complexion was even and attractive, from her dark brows past her thin, roman nose and down to her wide, feminine lips. She had a metal hoop pierced through her right eyebrow, and a golden stud gleaming over one nostril. The black sweater she wore under her red coffee house apron had the sleeves rolled up the elbows, revealing several tattoos. He could only see her from the waist up, but she had moderately large breasts which strained against the layers of fabric atop them.

The girl took two more orders while Steve stood enthralled. When it was his turn he was still staring at her. She raised an eyebrow, finally heaving an exasperated sigh and asking;

“Can I help you, or are you just trying to catch flies with your mouth?”

“Huh?” he said, sputtering. “Oh, sorry!”

He quickly moved to the counter, offering her a nervous smile. She glanced back at him, one eyebrow arched, as he continued to stare.

“This is the part where you tell me your order,” she said sarcastically.

“What?”

“Your order?” she said. “You know, you, as the consumer, tell me, as the barista, what you want to drink and I make it for you. Are you a foreigner?”

“A foreigner?” he said, his voice breaking.

“No, you speak English too good,” she said. “Are you autistic or something, like Rain Man?”

“Uh, no,” he said with a slight chuckle.

“Then what’s the hold up?”

“Sorry,” he said, “I’ll have the usual.”

“That’s great,” she said with mock sincerity “except that I’m new here and have no frame of reference as to what your ‘usual’ is.”
“Oh,” Steve said, “a large Colombian dark, with four sugars and six creams.”

“Holy crap,” she said with a short bark of laughter, “you even like the taste of coffee?”

“I’m in a coffee shop, ain’t I?” said Steve, growing perturbed.

“Yeah,” she said, preparing his order, “you are at that.”
She put the cup on the counter and eyed him expectantly.

“This is where you pay.” she said.

“Oh, right.” Steve dug in his front pocket. Change spilled out of his hand and onto the counter. He cursed as he strove to collect the pieces of silver as they rolled around at his feet. The barista snickered as he frantically bent over, his butt facing toward her. The frustrated patrons behind him were giving him dark glowers. Had he not been so large a fellow, no doubt some may have been moved to verbally berate him.

“You fucked up,” said Autumn in a singsong, sports fanatic way, “you fucked up, you fucked up!”

Several of the people behind Steve in line gasped, horrified that a sales clerk would curse so readily in front of customers, particularly in such a mocking manner. Steve, however, was overcome with laughter, actually dropping more of his change in his mirth.

“Old ECW chant,” he said, finally giving her the correct amount. “Nice! Haven’t heard that since back in the day.”
“You like wrestling?” said Autumn, filling an umbra paper cup with dark coffee.

“Yeah,” said Steve, “I actually used to be one, for a little while.”
“Really?” said the woman, slapping a plastic lid on the cup with some awkwardness, “you don’t seem the type…what made you quit?”
“Well,” said Steve, collecting his coffee and a hand full of condiments “I-”
“Yo, buddy,” said a man in a flannel vest a few spaces behind Steve, “flirt on your own time! I gots to get to work!”

Several others, emboldened by the tubby man, added their voices to the chorus.

“Uh,” said Steve, staring into the woman’s eyes. He again found himself lost in them, not quite sure knowing why, or caring. “Uh, I-”
“Sorry sugar,” said the woman with a wink, staring past him at the next customer, “I gotta earn my bread. My name’s Autumn, in case you can’t read my nametag, and that’s Autumn like the season, not Auggie like the hideously deformed kid from Wonder, you dig? I work most Tuesdays and Thursdays, so come in and say hey if you want. Or not.”

Author Profile
Christopher Scott Wagoner: Strange visitor from another world! Jettisoned from his planet at an early age, he was adopted by a kindly midwestern couple and taught to fight for truth, justice, and the Native American way!
When he’s not busy saving the Galaxy, Chris finds time to pen fiction novels. Forever Autumn is his first book without dragons in it. He is rumored to enjoy Professional Wrestling, cartoons, and jokes that fall on the ‘offensive’ side. Unsubstantiated accusations that he used to teach preschool have never been confirmed by him, but he has a lot of pee stories.