Nan Dixon's Birthday Bash and Release Party!

I’m so excited that THROUGH A MAGNOLIA FILTER is releasing on Monday! This is the third book in the Fitzgerald House series. (Don’t worry – you can read them separately.) 

It’s also my birthday today – so I’m celebrating both events by hosting a month long drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card!

Since I was a child, I celebrated my birthday at the lake. The cabin was built by my father and has now been passed down to my sisters and me. And I've started new traditions that include having prosecco on the dock.

 But I don't mind not being at the lake this week, because instead, I’m watching granddaughter #2, Princess Crazy Top.  (You can track my two granddaughters on my Facebook page.) 
My daughter went back to work this week. So I'm following the tradition that my mother started. She always helped me through the first week I went back to work and I am carrying on the tradition.

About The Book

Dolley Fitzgerald is the youngest Fitzgerald sisters. She and her two sisters have turned their crumbling historic district Savannah mansion into a successful B and B and they’ve even purchased and rehabbed the mansion next door.
But building websites and running a B and B have never been Dolley’s dream. Even though she yearns to kick the Spanish moss off her heels, she feels shackled to her family and their business. She ignores her dreams of traveling the world and having a photography career.
Irishman Liam Delaney is a documentary film maker and world renowned photographer. His godfather’s death leads him to research Savannah and he’s fascinated by the history of the Irish in Savannah. He sets up a long term stay in Fitzgerald House while he and his crew are filming the documentary. And he takes on Dolley Fitzgerald as both a local guide and photography apprentice.
Not only are the creatively compatible, but they also have an emotional connection. Liam thinks he’s found what he longs for; family and roots. Dolley thinks she found a career which will take her around the world.
Can they ever find common ground?


You can preorder the book at the following locations.
AMAZON                                     GOOGLE PLAY
BARNES & NOBLE                    iBOOKS
BOOKS A MILLION                  KOBO


For the entire month of August, eHarlequin is offering 30% off all three Fitzgerald House series books.  Enter the coupon code FITZND30 when you check out.


Dolley and Liam are two of my favorite characters. (Don’t tell the other couples.) Liam reminds me of my mother, who came to America after only knowing my father for months while he was stationed in England during WWII. They wrote to each other for three years before she immigrated, but she picked up and left everything she knew and moved for someone she hadn’t seen in three years.
Liam is willing to leave Ireland for Dolley because he’s fallen in love with her family and Savannah. (Ahhhh – can you see that there might be a prioritization problem here?)


Website          Twitter        FACEBOOK        Pinterest     AMAZON


If you could live anywhere in the world—where would it be? Would you move for love? 

To be entered in the drawing - make sure you click in the Rafflecopter box on the LEAVE A BLOG POST COMMENT.

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NYTimes Best Seller JoAnn Ross is "Getting Lost"

Murphy Brothers, book 2

Welcome to River’s Bend — Oregon’s most western town where spurs have a job to do and cowboy hats aren’t a fashion accessory.

New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross returns to her Oregon ranching country roots with a poignant, emotional story about friendship, loss, and the redemptive power of love that binds us together through the worst of storms.

Growing up on neighboring ranches, Sawyer Murphy and Austin Merrill were always best friends. As teens, each secretly wondered if they could become more to each other. When the grown-up Sawyer returns to River’s Bend from deployment as a Marine Special Forces Ranger, Austin’s ready to move their relationship out of the friend zone while Sawyer remains stuck in the war zone.  She still holds his heart, but he needs to be alone.

Something that becomes impossible when, after a heart-shattering accident, they’re left to care for their best friends’ children. Despite concerns about their ability to take on such a monumental responsibility, together they embark on a shared journey where they’ll encounter challenges, joys, and, ultimately, a perilous event that takes them to the very heart of what it means to be a family. 

New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross wrote her first novella — a tragic romance about two star-crossed mallard ducks — for a second grade writing assignment. The paper earned a gold star. And JoAnn kept writing.

She’s now written over one hundred novels (she quit keeping track long ago) and has been published in twenty-six countries. Two of her titles have been excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. A member of the Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of best-selling authors, she’s won several awards, including RT’s Career Achievement Awards in both category romance and contemporary single title. In addition, she received RWA’s national service award and was named RWA Pro-Mentor of the Year.

Currently writing her River’s Bend series (a spin-off of her wildly popular Shelter Bay series), set in Southern Oregon ranching country, where she grew up, and her award winning Irish Castlelough series, JoAnn lives with her husband and two rescued dogs in the Pacific Northwest.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
JOANN: I grew up with my Irish seanachie (storyteller) grandfather, so I live lost in stories. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I can’t have even a short conversation without telling a story. When I’m reading, I disappear in whatever story the author is telling me. When I’m writing, I lower my cone of silence and live in my characters’ worlds. One time we were walking on Coronado Island and I saw this bungalow that was exactly my heroine’s Coronado Island house. I had to sit down on a bench in the park across the street and convince myself that I really could not walk up to the door and talk with her.

ANGI: Hugh Jackman or Chris Pine?
JOANN: No contest. I’m definitely team Hugh.

ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
JOANN: I’ve been fortunate, over various careers, to have met some people who might qualify, in a romance or thriller novel way, but I have to say my husband. Not so much because he was smart enough to marry me, but for all the years I’ve known him (since the week I turned fifteen), he’s been a backpacker/mountain bike rider/mountain climber who put himself through college fighting forest fires where my River’s Bend books are set. Then six years ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which, for a guy who pretty much defined himself by his super physicality, was an extra blow.

But it only took a week for him to find a movement neurologist and start in on a serious regimen of daily fitness therapy, much of it designed specifically for people with PD, but also more basic classes, like yoga. ( I have to admit that it wasn’t easy convincing a guy who grew up in cowboy country that he couldn’t wear his Wranglers to yoga class!) Every morning he wakes up, not knowing how much his body is going to cooperate that day, but since the three most important things you can do for PD is exercise, exercise, exercise, he gets up and works out, and I’ve never once heard him complain. That to me, is heroic.

ANGI: What's your most favorite thing to do in your state?
JOANN: We now live on South Puget Sound in Washington State, so since I’m a home cook, my favorite thing to do is to escape my office and go to the year-round waterfront farmers market a couple miles from our house and pick up a week’s groceries. Then we go next door to the wonderful fishmonger who sells fresh, sustainable seafood right off the boats. We may buy some chowder while we’re there. Then we finish off the day walking around the waterfront, eating our chowder while enjoying the tang of the salt air and watching the boats.

ANGI: What’s your favorite meal?
JOANN: Salmon. Grilled, blackened, smoked, poached, on pasta, snatched off the grill, burning fingers, while cooking. I could eat it every way, every day. We actually do eat it two or three times a week, at least one of those times grilled and blackened and served with various grilled veggies because it’s fast and easy and allows the buttery taste of the fresh fish to come through. Another favorite weekly meal is tacos made from fresh Oregon rock cod, caught by our fishmonger’s brothers where my Shelter Bay books are set. And since I’ve already cheated by not sticking with one, I’ll add Dungeness crab. But I can’t bring myself to murder the ones in the tank, so I buy them already steamed.

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
JOANN: I love Sawyer’s steadfastness. After Austin’s mother deserted the family when Austin was seven, he scrawled a note he passed her in second grade telling her that he’d always be her friend. Decades later, during a very difficult time in his life, he doesn’t waver from that promise. He has many other heroic traits (such as being really hot!), but for a true happily ever after, what more can a woman ask for from her man than absolute loyalty?

ANGI: Sand or Snow?
JOANN: Sand, if it’s on a Pacific Northwest beach, with lots of driftwood, sea stacks, and cool enough you wear jeans and a hoodie in July. That’s also super romantic to me, because when I was eighteen, my husband bought me a bag of saltwater taffy on the Oregon Coast where my Shelter Bay books are set, then we walked across the street to the seawall. While we were watching the resident whales, he proposed. We return there often and, yay (!), that taffy store is still there.

ANGI: Favorite Dog Story
JOANN: We’ve always had rescued dogs. Back when they were called pound mutts. We always adopt dogs no one else wanted, so we tend to get ones with issues that need to be worked out. But the unconditional love they gift us with is worth any problems. Shadow, who’s the inspiration for Gabe’s dog in One Summer, was horribly abused and came to us with such separation anxiety, he’d go crazy if he was left alone. We did all the things the dog therapists said, but nothing worked. He’d froth, scream (his bark can shatter glass), and even though he’s only nine pounds, he’d tear up door frames. Which meant we couldn’t leave the house together the first nine months he lived with us.

Then finally, we took him to obedience school hoping to help build his confidence. He discovered other dogs and went crazy excited with joy. So, of course, we immediately had to adopt him a friend. Essentially, we got our dog his own dog. This is the day Toby, who was rescued on his “kill day,” came to live with us fifteen years ago. Toby’s the one on the right, having a bad hair day. A few days later, after visiting Shadow’s salon, he was much more spiffy. It’s only a coincidence they look like brothers; they actually came from different parts of the state.

ANGI: Superman or Batman?
JOANN: Batman. Hands down. Going all the way back to my childhood days when we kids would sit beneath the Chinese elm in my backyard and trade comic books.

ANGI: What drinks or snacks are always on your desk when you’re writing?
JOANN: Coffee. Hot. Iced. Mostly lukewarm from sitting for two hours before I remember it’s there. I’m not a snacker.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: What’s one thing from your bucket list?

JOANN’s GOTTA ANSWER: I was having trouble with this, because I’ve been lucky enough to have pretty much done everything I’ve wanted to, including jumping out of planes solo, before tandem jumping came into vogue. (That was on my list from the time I was about five. ) However, after much thought and discussion with my husband, I realized it’s a simple one for other people. Not for me. I want to learn how to knit. Every time I try, going back to high school, it turns out to be a huge yarn fail. It’s also worse these days. I go into a store to just check things out and my head starts literally spinning inside from the overwhelming number of choices. Not helping is the fact that I’m allergic to wool. But I really want to learn to knit blankets for for Project Linus, a national volunteer group that makes blankets for children in need that I mention in many of my books. Including Long Road Home.

COMING this fall from JOANN
7 Brides for 7 Brothers

A Place in Time 
& Somewhere in Time, my first two Rum Runner Island books, set on an island off the coast of Maine, will be out back to back this fall. 

Murphy Brothers, book 1
Read a little, Buy the book

a Shelter Bay (9) & Castlelough (5) novel

Shelter Bay 10

JOANN is giving away 1 copy of RIVER'S BEND, either print or ebook, reader's choice. *autographed North America only, digital international.
Twitter @JoAnnRoss              
She’ll return mid-August

Get Lost on GoodreadsFacebook
or @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories

JOANN WANTS TO KNOW: Having grown up surrounded by lakes, rivers, and forests, when I need to escape, there's no place better to unwind than going to the mountains. Here we stay in a remote cabin at the base of Mt. Rainier where we can watch the glacier melt from the mountain roaring down the creek right outside the wall of bedroom windows. There's no TV reception there, so mostly we talk, play board games, walk in the woods, sit by the rushing creek, and read.  Do you have a special "Zen" place you get away to that makes the world go away?


Lena Diaz isn't Negotiating

The Marshland Justice series follows the quirky lawless town of Mystic Glades. Hidden deep in the Everglades in Central Florida, the town is home to more gators and snakes than people. The only way to get to Mystic Glades is through the swamp, or by using a secret entrance off a stretch of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley. Four scrumptious law-enforcement heroes will struggle through the series to finally bring the law to this town. They’ll discover that their big city ways don’t amount to much in a place where people keep pythons and panthers as pets, and where everything electronic goes on the fritz at exactly the wrong time.

I had a blast writing this series, which consists of four books. Nothing is what you expect and I took full advantage of the setting to do all kinds of odd things I’ve never done in other stories. It was truly a joy. The first two books were extremely well-received by readers and are available now online. MISSING IN THE GLADES won the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. And ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS is a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award. The next two books come out this year, in July and August. I can’t wait to see how they do and hope that readers who’ve enjoyed the first two books really love how I wrap up the series.

Catch all of Lena's GLIAS interviews.

Marshland Justice, book 3

A detective needed a mysterious woman's help—even if she had secrets to spare… 

In the heart of everglade country, Detective Colton Graham lays his plans to catch a robbery kingpin. What he fails to plan for is Silver Westbrook. Proprietress of a local B and B, Silver is as sharp-witted as she is easy on the eyes. But Colton senses Silver is hiding something. 

Suspicious that she might be harboring the very criminals he's tracking, Colton keeps a watchful eye on her. It doesn't take long to learn her true motives and her involvement in the case. But unfortunately for both of them, attraction can be the deadliest distraction.

Read a little, Buy the Book
Marshland Justice, book 4

Many women went missing outside Mystic Glades. She escaped. 

When he took the job, Zack Scott heard about the horrors waiting in the swamp. So when Kaylee Brighton dashed into the road like the devil was on her tail, the new police chief gave her a safe place to recover. Imprisoned for months, Kaylee could lead Zack to her captor. 

Though Zack swore to protect her, only Kaylee knew the darkness that awaited them if she returned. She couldn't begin to understand what drove Zack, but she knew the importance of having him by her side. Because it wasn't enough for Kaylee to have escaped. Now it was time to take back her life.

Read a little, Buy the Book

Marshland Justice, book 1

He was looking for a missing person. What he found was a beautiful stranger. 

Looking for a fresh start, detective Jake Young headed south on a case that could help launch his PI business. He knew no amount of work would make him forget his tortured past, but maybe Faye Star could help. Caught up in Jake's missing persons case, the distracting Faye was hiding a secret he was begging to find out. Expertly guiding him through the swamps, Jake's job grew more complicated when someone started taking shots at the free-spirited beauty. As much as she protested she could take care of herself, Jake stepped in, refusing to admit how desperately he needed someone to save. Especially since he'd never be able to save himself…

Marshland Justice, book 2

A mysterious beauty had nursed him back to health—and attracted the attention of some very bad men… 

Somewhere over the Everglades, the airplane's engine failed and Dex Lassiter plummeted into the swamp's murky depths. Amber Callahan didn't expect to find any survivors in the wreckage, but Dex was about as tough as they came. And too smart not to dig into why a woman like her had run away to settle in remote Mystic Glades. Or why a killer circled their every move. As floodwaters rose, deputizing Dex was just what this lawless small town needed. Because escape wasn't possible. And the only thing Dex did better than starting things was defending them.

Twitter @LenaDiaz     
Previous GLIAS interviews


E.E. Burke's Best of the West: The Bride Train Arrives with a New Installment

Preorder Today
Available August 11
The Bootlegger's Bride

A spinster, a bootlegger...an unexpected chance at love.
Leaving the safety of her old life, Prudence Walker rides the Bride Train west to the end of the line. Her last chance at matrimony. She's too plain to inspire desire. Nor does she expect to find love. She does have her standards, however.
Arch Childers longs to put down roots, only he's too busy managing his family's illegal whiskey business to pursue his dreams. His troublemaking brothers, deciding he needs help, kidnap a spinster lady and present her to him, bound and gagged, as his bride.
Prudence isn't immune to the charming scoundrel, but a bootlegger is the last man on earth she would marry...
That is, until Arch sacrifices his freedom to save her.
Tempting Prudence, Book 3 in The Bride Train series, releases Aug. 11. Preorder your copy today.

Here's a brief excerpt to whet your appetite.

Arch's mother put the rocking chair into motion while she sipped her tea. “Arch has probably told you, he’s the youngest of my six boys, only four still living. When he was a baby, I feared he wouldn’t live, either. He was so sickly.” She chuckled. “Wouldn’t think that to look at him now. He's growed up strong as an oak. Smart, too. I was pleased to hear he found a wife.” 
     Prudence lifted the cup to her lips to avoid having to respond with a lie. She'd let Arch kiss her and brush her hair, had all but said yes to his proposal. Why correct his mother's misperception if they would soon be married? 
     “There is another reason I stopped by. Arch’s brothers went into town three days ago, said they was taking care of the deliveries because Arch would be busy with his new wife. Nobody’s seen them since."
     “What deliveries?” Prudence asked before she realized she ought to know.
     Mrs. Childers stopped rocking, appearing surprised by the question. “Corn whiskey."
     “Whiskey?” Prudence fumbled with her cup. Tea sloshed over the edge and onto the napkin in her lap. “Why were they delivering whiskey?”
     His mother looked at her like she might be slow. “They were taking it to the customers."
     Pru forced herself to remain seated. She wanted to jump up and run outside to find Arch and demand he explain why he hadn’t told her that his brothers were bootleggers. Now the empty coffin made sense. What better way to transport illegal goods without being suspected.
     The rocking chair creaked as his mother put it into motion, expertly cradling the teacup so as not to spill a drop. “Childers make the best whiskey in these parts. Arch’s pa learned the secret from his granddaddy and he taught the boys the trade."
     Dear Lord. Moonshiners, the whole family…including Arch.
     “I’m surprised Arch didn’t tell you.”
     Reeling from shock, Prudence could only shake her head. He’d told her he wanted to have his own farm and raise horses. That was his dream. More like a convenient cover. “No, he didn’t tell me he makes whiskey.”
     “Oh, he don’t do the distilling. He delivers the whiskey and takes care of the customers. Handles the finances. He’s rounded up a good business out here in Kansas.” She spoke with pride, as if bootlegging were an honored profession rather than a scourge on mankind. 
     Marry a child of the devil and you're going to have problems with your father-in-law.
     The old Puritan saying pretty well summed it up. That Arch made moonshine, or sold it, was bad enough. He tempted her to give in to sinful urges. He didn’t feel a need to be honest about his livelihood and had hidden the truth, even after she’d shared her sentiments concerning whiskey. He thought he was above the laws of God and man.
     Prudence stared into her cup. Tiny specks swirled in the dark liquid. She didn’t have to read tealeaves to know their future. They didn’t have one…not together.

Moonshiners and Bootleggers: a colorful history

The term moonshine originated in Europe and was used in the England in the 1700s. It originally referred to occupational pursuits that necessitated night work, or work by the light of the moon. Those who made illegal whiskey worked at night so the smoke from their stills couldn’t be seen.

The term Bootlegger is believed to have originated in colonial America in reference to white men who sold alcohol to Native Americans. The practice was frowned on (for many reasons I won’t go into here), but the more determined peddlers wanting to trade spirits for material goods concealed bottles in the top of their boots.

The terms are often used interchangeably, but strictly speaking, the moonshiner manufactured the illegal whiskey and the bootlegger transported and distributed it.

In Colonial America, distilling whiskey for home use wasn’t illegal and the time-honored process was carried out in thousands of homes. But when country exploded into civil conflict, the federal government needed tax money to pay for an expensive war. In 1862, Congress passed a law making distilling liquor without a license a federal offense, thus birthing an illegal distilling industry and furthering the long history of moonshiners and bootleggers.

Drinking was the top recreational activity for men in the Old West. Enterprising businessmen out to make money were eager to obtain a less expensive product and mark it up for a tidy profit. In some cases, before the railroads were built, homemade "fire water" was the only option.

Do you know where the term "fire water" came from? When the Indians purchased liquor, they determined the quality by the "kick" it provided. The stronger, the better. To test, they would toss some of the liquor onto a fire. If it flared up, they would deem it of good quality. Considering what was added to the liquor to provide the kick -- things like gunpowder and arsenic -- the "fire water" test might not have been the best quality control process.

Some moonshiners would age their liquor in charred oak barrels to give it the appearance and flavor or aged bourbon whiskey. Other purveyors who sold to the public would purchase "white lightning" in its raw form (generally clear and colorless) and use different additives to please purchaser's tastes. 

Some additives for color and flavor included chewing tobacco, tea, coffee, prune juice, tea bark, burnt sugar, molasses, sagebrush, red pepper, dried peaches, black bone meal. Chemical ingredients such as tartaric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonia, strychnine, turpentine and creosote would make its way into the mix to add a little "bite." Sometimes, it could be a deadly bite!

Among pet names for whiskey on the frontier is one of my favorites: "Forty-rod." Meaning, the drinker could expect to travel around forty rods (220 yards) before the booze kicked in and he collapsed. White Lightning is a ubiquitous name everyone had heard about. But here are some of the less well known but equally colorful names: skull cracker, popskull, stumphole, bush whiskey, ruckus juice, rotgut, catdaddy, mule kick, panther's breath, alley bourbon, happy Sally, jump steady, see seven stars, old horsey, wild cat.

The conscientious distiller used clean equipment and made the best product possible. He took pride in his craft and earned a certain amount of respect among his colleagues and customers. At the same time, moonshiners were looked down on as lawbreakers and considered outside of “proper” society. 

Victorians privately enjoyed the vices that they publicly condemned.

Out in the Old West, illegal stills became the source of running battles (literally) between moonshiners and law enforcement officials who sought to shut them down. To avoid detection, stills were often located in remote mountainous areas with thick forests, such as the Missouri Ozarks. 

Arch owns a red coonhound
with three legs named Rebel
In Tempting Prudence, Arch Childers is a bootlegger from the hills of southwestern Missouri. He stakes a claim on railroad land over the border in Kansas and sells his family’s moonshine to area saloon owners. Arch keeps a low profile around town, but he has a bad reputation due to his profession, as well as his association with his troublemaking brothers. 

Prudence is deeply religious and fiery in her opposition to liquor, most especially those who peddle it. When she first meets Arch, she's sure he's as bad as the men who abducted her. As it turns out, he isn't the scoundrel she expects him to be. 

Can a "daughter of temperance" find happiness with a bootlegger?

Enter the drawing for one of three books from the series, or an autographed copy of Valentine's Rose or a $10 Amazon Gift Card.  5 winners. Comment, follow, join or tweet to increase your chances to win!

E.E. Burke
Award-winning author
Amazon Bestseller

Who is your favorite character from this series, and why? (If you haven't started The Bride Train series, just tell me what series you're reading now and whether you have a favorite character.)

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Get Lost in Pretty in Ink by Ava Blackstone

Never close your eyes while you’re getting a tattoo—even if you have a pathological fear of needles.

All Liv Voretti wanted was a small, tasteful butterfly tattoo. What she got was her (now ex-) boyfriend’s name—the worst goodbye present in the history of the universe. With the tattoo about to be revealed thanks to a strapless bridesmaid dress, Liv comes up with a desperate plan to keep her judgmental parents from pulling their loan for her clothing design business. Convince the stable, responsible, incredibly hot family friend—who happens to have the same name as her ex—to pretend to be her boyfriend.

Even with your eyes open, sometimes it's hard to see what's right in front of you.

The Vorettis are the closest thing to family Caleb has, and he’s not about to risk that relationship for a fling with Liv. She'd be bored with his predictable, color-inside-the-lines lifestyle inside a week. They're just not compatible, even if she is the last person he thinks about before he falls asleep.

But when Liv comes to him for help, he can’t say no—not when he’s the reason she ended up with her jerk of an ex in the first place. But as their pretend relationship becomes all too real, Caleb must decide whether he’s going to stick to the plan, or take a chance on a woman who isn’t the person he’s looking for, but might be exactly who he needs.

READERS: Describe your dream tattoo for a chance to win an ebook copy of Love And Learn, first in the Voretti Family Series. Be sure to leave your email contact info in comments so Jillian can enter you in the randomizer. Good luck everyone!

Buy Links for Pretty in Ink:
Amazon    iBooks    Kobo 


Liv’s stomach dropped to the carpet and quivered. She was inches from Caleb’s bare chest, wearing his half-way unbuttoned shirt. Her parents were going to jump to the obvious conclusion, the same way they had when they’d barged into her sister’s apartment four months ago and found Annabelle in bed with Ty. Their voices were already screaming through her head.

Olivia Marie Voretti!

I’m disappointed in you.

Is this the behavior of a mature businesswoman?

Caleb would probably jump in there with them.

She ignored the stab of hurt that thought generated. She didn’t care that Caleb saw her as an annoying little sister, forever frozen in time as an awkward thirteen-year-old. The only thing she was worried about was her loan, and how quickly her parents would take it away once Caleb filled them in on the tattoo.

Except, Caleb hadn’t said a word. Neither had her parents. Why weren’t they yelling? Was her dad actually smiling?

“This, uh, isn’t what it looks like,” she tried.

“Of course not,” Dad said. Yep—definitely a smile.

What the hell?

“We didn’t see a thing.” Mom winked at Caleb, who looked like he wanted to curl into a ball, stuff himself behind the row of peach dresses lined up in Ella’s closet, and die.

It was almost like her parents were happy to have caught her fooling around with a guy. But that didn’t make sense. The last time she’d made the mistake of telling her parents she was going on a date, they’d called her every hour to “check in.”

That’s because you were with CJ. If you’d been with Caleb… The Annabelle voice in Liv’s head faded out, too circumspect to finish the sentence, but Liv already had the idea. She was lucky this wasn’t the seventeenth century, because if arranged marriage were still socially acceptable, her parents would be offering Captain Integrity all their goats in exchange for taking Liv off their hands. In their eyes, he was the perfect man—the solid, responsible, good citizen needed to counteract Liv’s flighty DNA. Even as Caleb tripped all over himself, trying to explain the shirt fiasco, they were probably imagining a pack of perfectly groomed grandchildren who would eat all of their vegetables, do extra credit homework for fun, and earn perfect scores on their SATs.

She could rip Caleb’s shirt off right now and show them the tattoo, and they’d congratulate her on her wise decision instead of revoking her loan. It was too bad she hadn’t really hooked up with Caleb.


Here's a blurb from the giveaway book, Love and Learn: 

Annabelle Voretti has only ever taken one risk in her life—and it sent the most popular boy in school running straight from her arms to the Navy, leaving her with a raging case of sexual insecurity. Now Ty wants a second chance, but Annabelle has learned her lesson. Except what if? What if the only way for Annabelle to heal her sexual scars is to go back to the source? Some one-on-one tutoring from Ty might be just what she needs—if only she can find the courage to take one more crazy risk

An avid reader, Ava Blackstone didn’t discover her love for writing until she’d obtained her PhD in chemistry. As an alternative to the structured world of science, and with a little motivation from her husband, she began writing romance novels. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.

Ava is a winner and two-time finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest and has published five short romance stories in Woman’s World magazine. She is currently hard at work on the next contemporary romance in her Voretti Family series. You can find her at her website: http://avablackstone.com.

Interview with Ava Blackstone

Jillian: What's the first book you remember reading?
Ava: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. It's about a badger girl who doesn't want to eat anything but bread and jam, but eventually learns to appreciate all kinds of food. The book goes into absurd detail about every meal the characters eat--basically, it's food porn for children. So, I guess I was food-obsessed from a young age.

Jillian: What was the first story you remember writing?
Ava: A really bad rip-off of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, in which school supplies fell from the sky instead of food. Yes--it was every bit as horrific as it sounds. Let us never speak of it again.

Jillian: What's your favorite movie of all time?
Ava: One??? How about four.
1) Strictly Ballroom: I love the unapologetic over-the-topness and the dreamy love story. I blame the dancing-on-the-roof-in-front-of-a-Coke-billboard scene for the fact that I smile every time I see a Coke ad. Masterful product placement, guys.
2) The Princess Bride: One of three movies I had on video as a kid. I've watched this so many times, I pretty much have it memorized.
3) The Usual Suspects: The plot still blows me away.
4) A Room With a View: Hilarious and romantic. Plus there's that scene where the guys are running around the pond naked. So awesome.

Jillian: Who's your favorite villain?
Ava: Boyd Crowder from Justified. Sure, his moral code is a bit questionable, but he's fiercely loyal to the people he loves, and he gets things done. The romance reader in me really wanted him to get a happily-ever-after ending, but the show's writers didn't cooperate. So rude.
Jillian: Raylan's best frenemy—love Boyd Crowder!  

Jillian: Be honest, when reading 1st person...do you miss the hero's POV?
Ava: It depends on the book. In general, I am a big fan of the hero's POV. I read a lot of first person POV books that have alternating POV chapters, so you get one chapter from the hero's POV, and then one from the heroine's POV.

Jillian: What's the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Ava: I start plotting the next book. Plotting is my favorite part of the process, because the idea is still shiny and new and I haven't messed it up by trying to write it. And, because I haven't let myself play around with this shiny new idea while I was finishing the previous book, I'm super excited to get to it.

How to contact Ava: Website   Facebook 

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