“That bitch!” Autumn seethed, taking a sip of her hot chocolate. We were sitting on her couch, the one I would be sleeping on until I got my bed and furniture back. “I always knew you couldn’t trust the little thief.”
“Caleb seems to think he can get my things from her,” I said, leaning forward and taking my peppermint tea from the coffee table. I took a sip of the minty water and savored the sweetness on my tongue. It was the only thing I could keep down, and thankfully, it also calmed my nausea.
“I don’t doubt it, he seems very . . . capable.” She looked at me over her mug and I could see the twinkle in her eyes. “Did you tell him about the baby?”
I glanced away. “No.”
She gaped at me. “Honey!”
“I know. I should’ve told him but—”
“I got distracted!”
She gave me an unimpressed look. “That is the worst excuse ever. You got distracted? By what, his big cock?” When I glanced away again she tsk-tsk’d and shook her head. “You ho.”
I gave her a pointed look. “Speaking of hoes, how was your night?”
She shrugged it off as if it was nothing. “It was . . . you know . . . it was okay.”
She tried to sound nonchalant, but her voice raised an octave, so I knew she was lying.
“Just okay?” I eyed her suspiciously because she wouldn’t look me in the eye. “Oh my God, you like him!”
Again, she tried to downplay it. “Of course I like him, I let him inside my vagina. Three times, to be precise.”
“But you like like him! I can tell.”
She avoided making eye contact with me and busied herself picking at the cushion on her lap.
“Don’t try to deny it. I’ve been your best friend for too long. I know when you like someone.”
She sighed. “Okay, so I like him.”
“I don’t know. I guess I just didn’t expect to like him.”
Autumn had trouble with commitment.
“So are you going to see him again?”
“Don’t try to change the subject,” she said, cocking an eyebrow. “We’re talking about you telling Caleb about the baby you’re growing in your womb.”
I bit my bottom lip.
“You know, maybe I don’t need to tell him,” I said.
Autumn looked at me like I was crazy. “You’re joking, right?”
“Why do I need to tell him? I don’t need some guy to help me with this. I’m quite capable of raising this baby on my own.”
“He’s not just some guy, he’s the baby’s father. And don’t you think he deserves to know?” Seeing the pained look on my face, she gave me an empathetic look. “Look, you of all people know how hard raising a kid by yourself can be.”
She wasn’t wrong. My childhood had been a disaster thanks to my hair-brained, selfish mother. It was the kind of childhood that made you not want to have children. I saw firsthand how easy it was to crush someone’s self-worth and confidence. My childhood was lonely. I grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Vegas with a mom who was always out cruising the casinos and bars for her next meal ticket.
I spent most nights home alone, and on one of these nights, after watching a Martha Stewart show about cupcakes, I decided to learn how to bake. Mom wasn’t home to supervise or to tell me how to do things, and one time my eight-year-old self almost burnt down our tiny kitchen. But thanks to some fast thinking I was able to stop a disaster from unfolding. Although, the stench of burnt cake and wax paper was hard to get rid of. Not that Mom noticed when she got home hours later, reeking of booze and too drunk to care.
By the age of nine, I was an enthusiastic cupcake baker who knew her way around the kitchen. Money was tight. So I would use the walks home from school to wander through parking lots of the casinos looking for spare change so I could buy ingredients for my next baking adventure.
I was also really good at English, so at school I started my own essay writing service, selling five-hundred words for five bucks. Some weeks I made up to twenty-five dollars, which meant I could afford to buy some baking books and experiment with different recipes and ideas.
My mom made my childhood lonely and sad, but her abandonment gave me the love of baking, and as a result, a rewarding career.
And probably the best mothering skills in the world.
Because I wasn’t going to be anything like her.
I took another sip of my tea. “I want to tell him. I do. But I just don’t know how to do it.”
“Stop having sex with him would be a start.”
“I’m serious, Autumn. I don’t know how to bring it up.”
“So am I.” She gave me a stern look. “You need to go over there right now and tell him you’re having his baby.”
What Matters More
Anya managed a nervous smile and thrust her arms forward, with the baking pan perched in her hands like an offering—one she suddenly wasn’t sure would be welcome.
“We made enchiladas for dinner,” she blurted out. “And we saved some for you. Tara said you can send her a thank-you note tomorrow. I kept them warm, and I have salad and some beer, too. Are you hungry?”
JT’s gaze zeroed in on the pan in her hands and he simply stared at it, not saying a word, even when Anya cleared her throat to ease the uncomfortable silence. She felt a blush creeping across her cheeks, and a panicked thought hit her. One that if she hadn’t lost her mind earlier, she would have been able to see coming before she found herself with these damn oven mitts on her hands.
Maybe this was a mistake.
She could see how this must look, this show of domesticity on her part that he certainly hadn’t asked for or even insinuated that he wanted. But here she was, making him dinner and keeping it warm until he arrived home, like she was some proper Kennedy-era housewife—which, on so many levels, she definitely wasn’t. Even the outfit she’d changed into, a lavender floral mini dress, made it look like all she was missing was a cute little vintage apron to complete the look.
Of course this was a mistake.
Anya considered setting the pan on the ground and walking away without saying another word. But then JT locked his eyes with hers. A hungry, heated look was on his face, and because she was regretting this whole thing now, she wasn’t sure whether that look was for her or the enchiladas. Either way, she needed him to say something soon because she was about to drop this hot pan and swoon, although not necessarily in that order.
“I’m starving,” JT rumbled. Then he made his way toward the door into the house, opened it, and invited Anya in with just the tip of his chin. She scooted past him in the doorway and swore that when she did, he actually grunted quietly as she passed.
Even then, she still wasn’t sure what he wanted to eat first.
Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
When independent student, Beri Baines, is selected to study abroad, she has no idea her independent nature will be challenged by the very charming and conservative Brit, Colin Chapman. Their strong attraction for one another continues to create conflict in their lives as the story leads them along and unforeseen events intervene and transform their future.
Their lives come full circle not realizing the implications of the choices they make.
The unique format of how this story is told, in two separate voices, is captivating. Each page is a stand-alone chapter alternating between characters.
The novel is loved by book clubs for the discussion it creates for readers.
About the Author
Chris Fedorka Tomalin is a published author. She spent thirty-five years as an educator. She holds a master's degree from the College of New Jersey and a mediators certificate from Rutgers. Chris is a mediator for the Kent and Sussex County Courts with people's Place in Delaware where she resides with her husband Tim and Roxie, her Cairn terrier.
Book one in the series, TIMBER is FREE
My hand moves against her opening, she is slick and wet, my fingers at her center, her whimpers louder as I circle her clit. I need to taste her, and I ease down Faith, between her legs, my tongue running over her entrance. Her fingers run through my hair, her thighs trembling. I look up. “You okay, golden girl?”
“Yes,” she says, her eyes meeting mine. “It’s just… I’ve never felt so many things at once.”
My hand stills against her. “Neither have I, Faith.” She understands what this means. Not just for her; for her virginity. But for me. “This isn’t how it normally goes.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just met you, just tasted you, and fuck, I love you.”
Her eyes stay locked on mine. “Me too.”
It’s simple and true and crazy and ours. And when my mouth returns to her cunt, I lavish her with love. It’s fucking fast, this rush of emotions, but I don’t give a shit. I’ve spent a long ass time looking, waiting, wanting. Now I found Faith and I won’t let go. When you know, you fucking know.
From Geek to Greek Billionaire
Nine and a half years earlier
Olivia hadn’t imagined that her first time would be in a large walk-in linen closet, even if it was in a five star hotel. One tentative kiss from the shy, sweet Alexander had changed everything.
Both of them were shaking in each other’s arms, the napkins they had come for lay strewn beside them by their feet.
Alexander’s touch stole Olivia’s breath. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. The inevitability was mesmerizing.
This shouldn’t be happening…We’ve only known each other a few weeks. Six whole wonderful, romantic weeks.
But no words would come out.
Was that romantic music playing only inside her head?
Within minutes their world turned into a grown up paradise where only love and pleasure existed.
Enveloped within those large muscular arms, Olivia welcomed the heat in her pulsating body as she tried to control her erratic breathing.
She smiled under Alexander’s stare, grateful that he also looked as shaken up as she was.
“Olivia, wow.” His low voice surrounded her in their cocoon. She loved the delicious scent of his understated cologne mingled with the smell of lemony fresh laundry.
“I…I’m sorry, Olivia. Are you OK? Did I hurt you?”
When she shook her head he sighed and added, “Good. I couldn’t help myself, I love you…so much.” He kissed her again and she wanted to cry from his sweetness. Her heart thrummed even faster as she looked up into his frank, green eyes. They were filled with awe as if he hadn’t realized the intensity of what he felt until the words had come out.
Their incredible bond of having given each other the gift of their virginities could never be broken. She felt it in her bones and saw it clearly in his face that Alexander was in the same exact nirvana.
As if psychic, he whispered into her temple, his warmth breath sending shivers of delight through her body, “You know I love you very much, right, Olivia? So much…it hurts. This isn’t just…”
She nodded and smiled, blinking tears away to enjoy the vision of the adoration in his eyes. In his arms she felt absolutely beautiful, not overweight or clumsy, or geeky.
Everything felt so perfect, so right.
She could imagine meeting his large family, those Anderson boys and the parents. She visualized how much her parents and her younger sister, Lisa would love this humble, shy yet amazing guy.
But there was no rush for any of that. At eighteen she was still in college to pursue interior design, and he was considering his options right here in Wrightsville Beach or in his birth country, Greece.
“I can’t wait to show you off at the gala tomorrow.” Alexander’s deep slow laugh reverberated within his chest straight into her heart.
“You make me so happy, Olivia. I could never imagine feeling like this about anyone in the world.” His lips trailed her temple to her ear, then from her cheek to her mouth.
Another kiss to seal their love. It was magical.
She was about to admit her love for him when the loud knock on the door jarred her.
“Hey, Alexander, are you there? Where’d you disappear to?” Brittany’s nasal voice broke through their haven.
Cool air met Olivia’s exposed upper body, making her shiver.
Alexander sighed and with a regretful expression let her go. “Be there shortly.” He called out. Then he helped her with her with her blouse before adjusting his own clothing.
“This summer, today, they’ve been the most important times of my life. You’re unforgettable. My Olivia.”
She felt her lower lip tremble again as she kept her happy tears at bay and smiled. They would see each other later and she would tell him that she loved him too.
It would all work out, she just knew it.
On sale for 99¢ for a limited time!
This is our spot. The place where he comes to see me. I know he can see me because the moonlit sky illuminates the area where I stand like a spotlight. But under the golden oak is shadow cast. I can only see his silhouette.
I’ve never seen his full face. Just his eyes. The look in his crystalline green eyes paralyzes me with awe, fear, endearment, and safety.
He stays in the shadows, waiting for me to come closer. But I cannot. There are stirring shadows all around us. He is unmoved. I am afraid.
My fear keeps me from going closer and running into his embrace. I know that he will wrap me in his arms, and I will be safe. But I stand still. Frozen.
“A well-written paranormal romance, Beautiful Nightmare seamlessly blends the real with the fantastic. The novel delivers with a creative story and the element of fantastic that’s simply put, quite fantastic. Son uses location and setting effectively to convey emotion and atmosphere; her dream sequences are eloquent with a poetic flair, and there’s a careful reverence in the words she’s chosen, elevating the novel over other works in the genre.” Self-Publishing Review,
“Filled with twist and turns, and an ending that makes me desperate for the next book, this book is definitely 1-click material. The characters, their connection, their journeys, and developments were well crafted and superbly detailed. Enjoy getting lost in this fabulous paranormal fantasy romance.” Bex ‘n’ Books,
Demon Magic and a Martini
“Speaking of worry …” Sin’s eyes narrowed. “I heard all about how you went demon hunting with Aaron, Kai, and Ezra. I have to ask … what the hell were any of you thinking?”
“You aren’t combat trained, and demons are the fiercest, deadliest opponents out there! Why would Darius even approve it? You’re all idiots.”
I managed a bleak smile. “Thanks, Sin. Appreciate the vote of confidence.”
She sniffed angrily. “You know you aren’t ready for that, and I’d really prefer my friend not get herself killed.”
Couldn’t argue with her there. I’d also prefer not to get killed.
Lifting the tattered book off her lap, she smacked it down on the bar. “We need to look at options.”
“Uh … options for what?”
“Defensive alchemy.” She cast me a flinty stare. “Since you’re all for the dangerous jobs now, you need to be armed with more than a couple of artifacts. I heard you used a smoke screen. What else did you take?”
Bemusedly, I watched her flip the book open. “Just flash-bang potions. What is that thing?”
“My grimoire. All Arcana mythics have one—where we record all the spells or transmutations we’ve learned or invented.” She turned several spotted, liquid-stained pages covered in handwriting and diagrams. “I can make smoke bombs and flash-bangs easily enough, but you need something to stop an opponent. Personally, I don’t like sleep potions. It’s easy to get it on your own skin and then you’re asleep instead of them.”
“Yeah, that’d be bad.”
She skimmed a few more pages. “Enhanced strength is useful, but it doesn’t last long, and unless you’re in excessively good shape, you’ll crash hard
“What’s wrong with speed? I’d like to be faster.”
“It’s hopelessly impractical. Your body gets faster, but your reflexes don’t, so it’s difficult to control without training and practice. You’ll spend the potion’s duration tripping over your own feet and running into things.”
“Oh.” Too bad. “What’s a fasting potion?”
“Drink it and you won’t need food, water, or a bathroom for about forty-eight hours. Good for certain situations, but you pay for it afterward.” She perused more recipes. “Enhanced perception, air buffer, true sight, anti-emotionalizer, allure-fume—none of these are useful.”
“Allure-fume?” I repeated. “What’s that?”
She winced. “Uh, it’s a … um … perfume.”
I stared at her pointedly, waiting for an explanation, and her cheeks turned pink.
“A few drops on the skin will make the wearer especially alluring to the opposite sex. Like pheromones.”
“Why do you know a potion like that?”
“I tried it out when I was younger, okay?” she muttered defensively. “Lesson learned. You don’t have to lecture me.”
“I wore it on a first date with this guy I really liked.” “Did it work?”
“It worked on him, plus every male who got within twenty feet of me. I spent our entire dinner date pushing random men out of our booth. I’ve never been hit on so many times in one evening. Most of the men were twice my age and married.”
Fighting back a snicker, I asked, “Did you go on a second date with your crush?”
“No.” She hung her head over the grimoire. “An early sign that my love life was doomed.”
An Atlanta Edge Hockey Novel
Published: March 2019
Atlanta Edge's hottest Russian hockey star made a big mistake. Now he must find a way to apologize big time to the girl he left behind in the States.
I've been a puck bunny most of my life. So when Roman Volkov, up and coming hockey star with the Atlanta Edge, takes me home and treats me like a queen, I believe I've found the man I can love. Then one morning, I wake to the news that Roman has left me behind while he plays in Russia. His agent takes pleasure in kicking me out of Roman's house. I don't believe anything the sleazy man says. Roman is good to me. No way will he treat me like this. So I go in search for the truth and I discover so much more.
I'm suffocating on the third line when the season ends. So when I get a call from Russia in the middle of the night to participate in a high-profile tournament, I go for it. I'm certain a gold medal will launch me into the top line with my team back in the States. No sooner than I arrive, I call Kitty Summerville to explain why I left without waking her. She's not answering. Has my ambition destroyed any chance of a future with her? When I return, my sexy kitten and I will have a long conversation.
Only, I want to know why is she living with my Coach, and his wife and family?
About the Author
Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And thatâs not all, sheâs crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card. Sheâs married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.
Submitting to the Cowboy
Tamara pivoted, her eyes widening as none other than the object of her obsession for the last twenty years entered with a loose-limbed stride that never failed to draw women’s attention, including her own. Connor Dunbar looked the same at thirty-eight as he had five years ago; ruggedly handsome with sun-streaked, dark brown hair worn long enough to pull back in a short ponytail, his jaw covered with scruffy whiskers a shade darker than his hair that was sexy as hell.
“Tam?” Surprise colored his voice as those incredible eyes landed on her frozen stance.
The slow stretch of his chiseled lips hit her with a gut-wrenching sucker punch as warmth encircled her heart. No, no, no, she lamented, resisting the urge to turn and bang her head against the wall. That reaction would not do. She’d stayed away so long to get over him, praying with endless regularity for a much less potent response when seeing him again. Disappointment swamped her upon learning those pleas had gone unanswered. Given she’d returned to put this ridiculous, one-sided infatuation to bed once and for all, her response didn’t bode well for achieving that goal anytime soon. I can do this, remain professional and do my job, she lectured herself. Easy. Piece of cake. And then a blue flame of pleasure lit up his eyes as he strode toward her, shredding her resolve in less time than it took to come up with it.
“I heard you were back, maybe for good.” Gripping her shoulders with his large, calloused hands, he pulled her close for a bear hug she knew meant nothing more than an old friend greeting another. “It’s damn good to see you, sweetie.”
Tamara stiffened, the endearment a reminder he would never consider her anything more than a friend. Pulling back from the comfort of his muscled body, she cast a quick glance down at the list of appointments and saw what she hadn’t had time to check. He was her first patient. Dismay changed to sudden concern, overruling her silent objection as the meaning of that sunk in.
“What happened? Were you injured?”
Connor looked puzzled and then his face cleared with a rueful twist of his lips. Rotating his left shoulder, he nodded to the computer. “It’s in my file, I’m sure. Gunshot wound several weeks back, followed by surgery to repair some damaged tendons. I believe it’s your job to help me gain as much strength back as possible.”
Shot? Tamara pulled back from the urge to sink onto the desk chair before her wobbly legs took the choice from her. Instead, locking her knees, she reminded herself of her job. Given her reaction to seeing him again was as strong as always, she wasn’t happy about having to put her hands on him or with being subjected to his close presence for a few weeks. It is what it is, so get over it already. She’d been repeating that phrase for a long time and it looked like she would continue to do so.
Baseball & Broadway
I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening before I depart for college. There’s a twinge of bittersweetness coating the air surrounding our table. It’s the last time I’ll see my high-school sweetheart, Easton, until Thanksgiving break. The last time he’ll hold my hand in his, the way he’s doing it now, for a long while.
I’m not sure how well our long distance relationship will work, but we’ll do what we have to. We’ve been together for so many years, I don’t know what we would do if we weren’t one unit.
We’re at our favorite Italian restaurant, Ramona’s. The flickering candles on the table, our water in wine glasses giving us a look of sophistication, and the Dean Martin crooning from the speakers, keeps our last outing romantic. It’s exactly like I pictured it, down to a T.
It’s crowded in here, which is expected for a Friday night. I don’t hear the other patrons, though. My entire focus is on Easton, as I try to cement his looks in my mind to last me for a while. I’m going to miss his bright green eyes laughing at me when I do something ridiculous. The way his lips pull up into a smirk when I bust out in song and dance regardless of where we are. I won’t be able to cheer for him from the stands as he rounds third base and heads for home.
Just like that, my mood starts to dim. I try to keep my smile firmly in place, but I’m beginning to think I should have chosen a performing arts school closer to him. Even if they are subpar to the elite school I spent my whole life hoping to get into, and actually got the acceptance letter to attend a few months ago.
Easton brushes his fingertips across my palm, bringing me back to the present. He always seems to know when I start to get sad, it’s comforting. I know that I shouldn’t dwell on the future. Everything will work itself out. I glance down at our hands, feeling the butterflies come to life, as they always do. That’s how I know we’ll be okay. Even after the years we’ve been together he still manages to give me warm fuzzies. I always feel that new relationship giddiness.
When I glance up at him, he’s smiling, but it feels forced. His lips aren’t quite as upturned as they usually would be. My stomach fills with dread. Whatever he’s about to tell me isn’t good, and I’m pretty sure this boy I’ve loved for most of my teen years is about to break my heart. I just hope I’m strong enough to pick up the pieces afterward.
Are you ready to discover new books and tasty food? I will be writing reviews of books and posting recipes that I have created! Hope you all enjoy!
Click on picture above to get your own copy!