Sneak Peek- STILL ME– Chapter One

STILL ME FINALIt’s almost time!!

The 3rd book in the 20 Something series, STILL ME, releases tomorrow, and to celebrate, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of Kenley and Larson’s story. It takes place in Atlanta where Kenley moved to satisfy the ultimatum of her fiancé. As you may have seen hinted at in Book 1, CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, and Book 2 STILL YOURS, Kenley’s engagement hasn’t quite turned out the way she expected. Hope you enjoy CHAPTER ONE!

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

Don’t Look Up

 

 

 

 

 

The key to career advancement is being left at the altar. At least it worked for me. If I’d only known getting dumped would lead to a job at the network, I’d have done it much sooner.

Well, maybe not. It wasn’t like I’d been in control of that situation anyway—the dumping part had been Mark’s idea. But still, two months later, here I was in the Worldwide News Network’s Atlanta headquarters, grateful to be back in the news business after stupidly quitting my last TV job. (Also Mark’s idea, the weenie.) I was way better off without him. Really.

 

“Know anyone in southern Missouri?” Deb turned to me from the desk adjoining mine. “Please say ‘yes.’”

“Yes, actually. A couple of people. Looking for tornado witnesses?”

“Yep. We need to find an iReporter on the ground there to give us some sound—maybe even some amateur video until our crew can get there.”

A senior producer, Deb had taken me under her wing as soon as I’d been assigned to her show. As a news assistant, I did whatever she and the associate producers needed, answer phones, monitor the news feeds, order graphics, coordinate with field crews. Occasionally, I got to write a script or a tease. Deb was a little like a twister herself, doing all that and more, and making it look easy. Someday, I wanted to grow up and be Deb.

“Okay—I have a couple friends from college who live in Missouri now,” I said. “One from J-school who’d probably be great, actually. I’ll try to get in touch with them. We’ll see if there are any cell towers still standing, though.”

“Thanks, Kenley.”

Deb went back to punishing her keyboard, writing a script for the primetime news show she produced, Overstreet Live. It would air in a half hour, and so far, we had no one lined up to talk about the tornado aftermath.

The storm had touched down only about fifteen minutes ago but had been a big one and had reportedly taken out several schools and had severely damaged a hospital as well as destroying a Mississippi River casino and dozens of homes. There was no word on casualties at this point, but the count was sure to be significant. We’d look bad if we didn’t have at least something on it for the show. Obviously, we couldn’t have a news crew located in every tiny town in the nation, but viewers sort of expected us to.

I tried the one phone number I had—for my sorority sister from Missouri—it went right to voicemail. Then I logged onto Facebook and found my journalism-school friend, Beth. She’d actually posted only a few minutes earlier, telling her friends she and her family were safe, hunkered down in their basement in a neighboring town.

I messaged her. “Glad to see you all made it safely through the storm. How’d you like to report for Worldwide News tonight? Give me a call if you can.”

I typed my phone number and was waiting for a reply when the show’s anchor, Larson Overstreet, came over for a final pre-show chat with Deb. He stood a foot away from me as they discussed the story that had been at the top of the rundown. Then he asked about the latest on the Missouri tornado.

“How’s it going? Any video yet?”

“Not yet,” Deb answered him without pausing in her lightning-fast typing. “Kenley’s your girl for that.”

In my peripheral vision I saw Larson turn toward me, and I tensed.

“Um… yes. I’m working on it. Hopefully I’ll have something soon.” I didn’t look up at him, just kept my eyes trained on my computer screen as if it emitted a powerful tractor beam. Pretty typical of all my interactions with him over the past few weeks—he’d speak to the side of my face in that deep, shiver-inducing voice of his, and I’d do my best to give short answers and avoid eye contact.

Larson walked over and sat with one hip on the edge of my desk, giving me an unavoidable view of his suit-clad torso and one powerful-looking thigh. “Great. I’d love to have something on it off the top. Any hope of getting someone at the scene who can talk to us on-air?”

Still keeping my eyes down, I worked to make my voice steady and even. “I’ve got the fire chief in Carutherstown lined up for a phoner. I’m working on a possible iReporter.”

“Okay, great. Thanks.” A pause. “You look lovely tonight, by the way.” He rose and sauntered off toward the studio.

I resumed breathing and finally looked up, watching his retreating form—tall and on the thin side, wide shoulders, perfectly-cut strawberry blond hair. As he did every weeknight, he wore a beautiful suit that probably cost more than my car—designer label, without a doubt.

Not that WNN was famous for its high salaries. No, Larson didn’t need the money. Everyone here knew he was the only son of Warren Overstreet, the president and CEO of Overstreet Resources, one of the oldest and largest asset management firms in the country. His mother was Corina Videau, the famous clothing designer and heir to the Vivienne Videau cosmetics fortune. Larson didn’t have to work a day in his life if he didn’t want to.

Maybe he hadn’t been satisfied with being obscenely rich—he needed to be famous, too. It had probably taken Mom and Dad one or two phone calls to get him on air here, hosting his own show. At twenty-six years old.

Hmph. Rich boys. “You look lovely tonight,” I lowered my voice and mocked his compliment, certain it wasn’t sincere. “Smooth-talking jerk.”

Deb’s fingers paused on her keyboard. “You should be nicer to him. He’s just being friendly. And he’s not a jerk. He’s really sweet once you get to know him.” She gave me a reproving look, her sharp, dark brown eyes seeing right through me. Though we’d known each other only a month, she was one of those people who lured you right past the shallow end of small talk and into the deep end of real life before you’d even had a chance to acclimate to the water. We discussed far more than work during our long hours here.

And Larson might as well have been Deb’s second son, as much as she doted on him. In fact, pretty much everyone around here kissed his privileged butt. He’d been deemed WNN’s rising star and potential ratings savior, the embodiment of the network’s hopes of bringing in the coveted younger demographic.

“I won’t be ‘getting to know’ him, and he could be made of pure sugarcane for all I care—he’s not my type,” I muttered to Deb, unrepentant.

“What? Single, handsome, and rich?” She laughed.

“Single and handsome I have no problem with.”

“Oh, so it’s the whole double-heir-to-the-wealthiest-families-in-America thing that bothers you. I can see how that would be a huge turnoff.” She looked up from her monitor and smirked at me.

I had to laugh. “It is actually. I know—I’m weird. Do you know anyone nice from the feed room, maybe? Any twenty-five-year-old unpaid interns still living in their parents’ basements? That’s more my speed these days.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, kiddo. You could totally land a guy like Larson.”

The muscles between my shoulder blades tightened. Deb had no idea what a nerve she’d hit. “I’m not selling myself short. I just don’t happen to like rich men.”

I had liked one, loved him in fact. But three weeks before our enormous society wedding, he’d informed me God had told him to break up with me. Apparently, the Almighty already had His divine eye on someone new for His devout follower because Mark had immediately shown up in public with a new girlfriend. They were now quite in love, or so I heard.

Deb leaned back in her chair and stretched, then scrubbed her fingers through her dark, short-cropped hair before sitting up straight again. “Well, all I’m saying is you should take it easy on Larson—give the guy a chance. He doesn’t have too many real friends here. And underneath that silver-spoon, Park Avenue exterior is the kind of boy you want to bring home to Momma.”

I literally shuddered at that thought. “Mine would marry him herself if he looked at her twice.”

The only person more distressed than me by my broken engagement had been my mother.

Mark Fitzsimmons (of the Buckhead Fitzsimmons) hadn’t just been my fiancé. He’d been her trophy, a wealthy future son-in-law to parade around at social events, a name to drop among friends at the country club my parents couldn’t really afford. He was living proof she’d done her job—made her daughter desirable to a man from Atlanta’s highest social echelon and married her off to money—almost.

My phone rang, and I checked the screen—Missouri area code. “Beth? How are you? You’re all okay?”

“Hi. Yes. It hit just south of us. My neighborhood seems to be fine. So—reporting for Worldwide News—really?”

“We’ve got a crew on the way, but they won’t make it in until tomorrow, and there’s no local affiliate close to you. We need some pictures tonight, like, as soon as possible. How fast can you get over to the hospital? And please tell me your phone can record video.”

Beth agreed to help us out, and I gave her the number to call for the director’s booth when she started seeing some tornado damage. We’d put her eyewitness account live on the air along with any video she could shoot.

“We’ve got ourselves an iReporter,” I said to Deb as I ended the call.

“Awesome. Can you finish a couple of scripts for me while I work on the new rundown?”

“No problem.”

Beth did a nice job with her off-the-cuff reporting, better than the fire chief, actually. Poor guy’s voice was shaking the whole time. And Larson handled the constantly-changing show smoothly, making what was chaos behind the scenes look planned somehow. He was a spoiled-rich-pretty-boy, but I had to admit he did have some talent.

After the show I gathered my things, trying to scoot out as quickly as possible. The crew often went out for drinks after the show. I’d avoided the get-togethers so far, and tonight would be no exception. Saying a quick goodbye to Deb, who’d just emerged from the director’s booth, I headed for the hallway.

“Kenley.”

Shivers. Could I pretend I hadn’t heard him? No—that would be weird. I turned to face Larson. Goodness gracious, the man was beautiful. I swallowed. “Yes?”

“Nice work tonight. Some of us are heading for Darby’s. Want to join us?”

And now my heart’s slamming like he just asked me for unprotected sex. Regulate yourself, Kenley. “Oh. No. Thanks. I can’t. I have to… get home.”

“You sure?” His face contracted in a cajoling smile. God, he had a good smile. Of course with his family’s money, he’d undoubtedly had access to the orthodontist-to-the-stars, but it was more about what the rest of his face was doing. He had the most appealing laugh lines I’d ever seen, radiating out from the sides of his mouth and even appearing at the corners of his eyes whenever he laughed or smiled. Which he was doing now with heart-liquefying effectiveness as he approached me. “Traffic’s going to be a nightmare out there right now—unless you enjoy spending quality time on 285 with America’s least patient drivers.”

I took a shallow breath. “Right. I know. But I’d better get started. My family, you know. They’re expecting me for dinner.” Now I sound like I’m ten years old. He probably had a mental image of me pedaling down the interstate on a sparkly pink bicycle with handle streamers.

Larson’s answering grin looked genuine, not derisive. “A family that has dinner together. Must be nice.”

I nodded and whirled around again, hot-faced, eager to reach the safety of my car, but not necessarily to go home. Family dinners probably were nice in some homes. In mine, they’d been considerably less nice since my failure to close the deal with Mark. At our table, the main dish was a generous portion of guilt served with a side of pressure.

*       *       *

What do you think??? Ready for more? The book goes on sale at midnight tonight on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other major ebook retailers. Happy reading and I hope you enjoy Falling in Love Like a 20 Something!

 

Last day to sign up for STILL ME *Giveaway*

There’s still one more day to register for the Goodreads contest and get your chance to win one of five PAPERBACK copies I’m giving away to my readers! The contest is open *worldwide*. If you want a signed paperback, here’s the link, but do it today before it’s too late!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Still Me by Amy Patrick

Still Me

by Amy Patrick

Giveaway ends October 09, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 Good luck! And if you don’t win, paperbacks will be available at major online retailers next week. The ebook releases Friday– but can pre-order yours here at a special reduced price:

STILL ME PRE-ORDER

 

COVER REVEAL- TEACH ME by Ella Sheridan

I’m excited to help celebrate an upcoming book release by my Lucky 13 Golden Heart sister Ella Sheridan! TEACH ME is the first book in her new Southern Nights series.

Here’s the beautiful cover and a bit about the story:

4a_Teach Me E-Book Cover

Teach Me (Southern Nights Book One)

A woman determined to heal…

Shy researcher Jess Kingston spent the last eight weeks recovering from her ex-boyfriend’s brutal attack. Body healed, she’s ready to put her life back together—except her ex isn’t ready to let go. She won’t cower in a corner while Brit tortures her, but she’s powerless to fight back.

 

A man determined to resist…

Ex-military security specialist Conlan James avoids commitment like the plague. His job, his Harley, and the occasional one-night stand are all he needs, until the day he rescues Jess from a tense situation and realizes he can’t get her off his mind. He can teach her to protect herself, but protecting his heart is another matter.

A madman determined to win…

As the deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Brit heats up, so does the hunger between Con and Jess. Safety might be found in numbers, but in bed, all bets are off—and the wrong move could lead to heartbreak. Or death.

OOH… doesn’t that sound like some good romantic suspense?

I met Ella as part of the incredible 2013 Golden Heart finalist class, and since then, she’s been published multiple times. Here’s a little more about Ella and where you can connect with her:SONY DSC

Ella grew up in the Deep South, where books provided adventures, friends, and her first taste of romance. Now she writes her own romantic adventures, with plenty of hot alpha men and the women who love and challenge them. With a day job, a husband, two active teenagers, and two not so active cats, Ella is always busy, but getting the voices in her head down on paper is a top priority. Connect with Ella at www.ellasheridanauthor.com .

 

Author Website: www.ellasheridanauthor.com

Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/IJkRf

Author E-mail: ellasheridan.writer@gmail.com

Social Media Links:

Amazon Author Page                     https://www.amazon.com/author/ellasheridan

Facebook Author Page                  https://facebook.com/ellasheridanauthor

Twitter (@AuthorESheridan)      https://twitter.com/AuthorESheridan

Goodreads                                         https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7350508.Ella_Sheridan

 Want one more look at the cover? Me too… here’s the full fold-out. The pre-order links follow:

4b_Teach Me Printable 330 6x9

 

Amazon               http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Me-Southern-Nights-Book-ebook/dp/B00NW16WTC/ref=la_B00G3BYYN4_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411680673&sr=1-4

ARe        https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-teachme-1635417-149.html

Kobo     http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/teach-me-11

Congratulations to the winners!

I’m happy to announce the winners of my Goodreads giveaway for 3 print copies of STILL YOURS, book 2 of the 20 Something series. STILL YOURS FINAL COVER

In all, 603 readers registered for the giveaway, and the winners are….

Sarah Jane Ramsdale of Norwich, Great Britain, Andy Colletto of Connecticut, and Rachel Mahurin of Missouri! Congratulations to all three of you. Your print copies were shipped today (along with a little something extra). Hope you enjoy the read.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

For those who didn’t win the drawing but would like to read STILL YOURS, the ebook went on sale today at a very low introductory price! You can find it at these retail outlets and soon to come on iTunes, All Romance, and Google Play as well.

To purchase on Amazon, click here

To purchase on Barnes and Noble.com, click here

Print copies are available through Amazon, by ordering in-store at any Barnes and Noble or at Barnes and Noble.com, or through CreateSpace.com.

 

Cover Reveal for Caitie Quinn’s WORTH THE FALL

I’m so excited to share the beautiful cover of my friend Caitie Quinn’s latest release WORTH THE FALL. It’s second book in her Brew Ha Ha contemporary romance series, and releases this Fall!

Here’s the story:

Kasey Lane is having a bad week.

Understatement.

Her idea of success never involved losing her job, man, and apartment in 24-hours. Now, with nowhere to go and no way to pay for it anyway, Kasey decides it’s time for a fresh start, which means a new apartment, a new career, and…no men.

But as a magnet for ridiculousness and absurd brushes with the law, her start goes from fresh to stale in record time. It doesn’t help that Mr. Wrong keeps showing up during her adventures gone awry and taking over. Now, as Kasey plans her way to independence she has to decide if the only path to success is going it alone…or if maybe a partner in crime can make the journey sweeter.

And without further delay… here’s the cover, designed by Okay Creations!!!

Isn’t it adorable?

You can add WORTH THE FALL on
Caitie is fun and funny and one of the sweetest people I know. Here’s a little more about her:

Caitie Quinn is the Rom Com Writin’ name of YA Golden Heart writer, Bria Quinlan.

Caitie writes stuff. Stuff that’s funny — hopefully.

She’s a lover of the Romantic Comedy and manages to always bring light-hearted romance and shenanigans to her stories. They may be set in a city that looks remarkably like Boston. But don’t quote her on that.

If it’s not funny, you can totally blame the weather, or her lack of chocolate, or the formatting, or her cat. Wait, she doesn’t have a cat. Scratch that last one.

Check her out on twitter @CaitieQuinn or at www.caitiequinn.com.

STILL ME Cover Reveal!!!

I have the cover design for STILL ME- A 20 Something novel, and I have to say, Miss Kenley’s a little hottie on her cover! :) Thanks to my talented designer Gabrielle Prendergast of Cover Your Dreams for creating this beautiful look. This is Book 3 of the 20 Something series and will be released on October 10, but it’s already up for pre-order on Amazon. Check out the cover, then I’ll tell you a bit about the story.

STILL ME FINAL

I loved writing Kenley’s story. We meet her in Book 1, CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, just before she gets engaged and moves back home to Atlanta to satisfy her fiancé’s ultimatum. In book 2, STILL YOURS, both Heidi and Mara suspect something’s not quite right in paradise for Kenley and Mark. Now, we find out what’s really been going on. Here’s the “official” story blurb:

23 year old Kenley Moran is going through a mid-life crisis… WAY early. Pushed since childhood by a nightmare stage-mom to use her looks to “land a rich man”, she’s reeling from a broken engagement and regretting the day she gave up her career in TV news for a guy.

Now Kenley’s determined to change her life, shunning makeup and fashion and fighting her way back into the highly competitive career she loves, off-camera this time. When she lands a producing job at Worldwide News Network in Atlanta, she plans to keep her head down, work hard, and prove she’s not just another pretty face. And vows NO ONE is EVER going to make her compromise herself again.

WNN anchor Larson Overstreet has it all—old money, good looks, a prestigious job, and more women than he can count throwing themselves at him. Problem is… none of it is real. He’s known his whole life that people are only interested in him for his fortune and his famous family name, in that order. Except for Kenley. The shy news producer isn’t interested in him at all.

Working closely with the anchor of her new show, Kenley’s dismayed to feel an instant spark. Larson’s everything she doesn’t want. He’s too good looking, too charming, and worst of all, too rich. She’s not looking for another big money honey. In fact, she’d prefer a nice little guy from the mailroom, maybe a guy who lives at home like she’s been forced to do.

But when they must travel together for a special report, Kenley realizes Larson’s not the spoiled pretty rich boy she pegged him as, and she’s not as immune to him as she’s pretended to be.

Now, even at the network level, what happens behind the scenes is the real story.

I can’t wait for October to get this story out into the world!!! But first, Mara’s story, STILL YOURS, has a book birthday coming up SOON! September 10th. I’ll leave you with one last look at Kenley’s cover. Let me know what you think. ;)

STILL ME FINAL

STILL YOURS- 20 Something Book 2 is now available for pre-order!

I didn’t know it would happen this fast, but I’m excited to announce Book 2 of the 20 SOMETHING series, STILL YOURS, is now available for pre-order on Amazon, and will be up on KOBO within a day or two!

Thanks to everyone who’s been asking where and when they can read Mara’s story. The official release date is September 10, and a pre-order assures STILL YOURS will be automatically delivered to your device the minute it’s published!

STILL YOURS FINAL COVERHere’s the link if you want to check it out! STILL YOURS on Amazon.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal — STILL YOURS: A 20 SOMETHING NOVEL

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you the cover for Book 2 of the 20 SOMETHING series, STIILL YOURS. This is Mara’s story, and is a standalone novel, but of course contains some scenes with Heidi and Kenley and is more fun when read as a part of the series as a whole.

Here’s a bit about it:

23-year-old Mara Neely knows who she is and what she wants—she’s an ambitious reporter with a taste for himbos— beautiful dumb guys who don’t even tempt her to get involved past wham-bam-thank you-sir. When she takes a TV news reporting job in Providence, it’s a great step up career wise, but it’s also a little too close to home … and to him, the only guy who’s ever tempted her to let go and love someone.

To billionaire web entrepreneur Reid Mancini, Mara was like a rare comet– beautiful, exciting, and impossible to hold onto. Now his first love is on his television screen and back in his life, and this time, he’s got a surefire plan to catch a star and make her fall.

What do you think? Second chance love stories might be my very favorite! And now…. the cover….

STILL YOURS FINAL COVERI personally love the scene of Providence with its river bridge in the background. And she just “looks” like Mara to me, right down to the tiny gap between her teeth! Kudos to my cover designer Gabrielle Prendergast of Cover Your Dreams!

If you’ve read CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, you’ve already met Mara, but don’t think you actually *know* her until you’ve read this book. She’s got some surprises up her sleeve! And wait until you meet Reid. Mmmm. I LOVE this guy. STILL YOURS will officially release on Sept. 10, but it will be available for pre-order within days at Amazon and KOBO. Before I go, I’ll give you one more look at the lovely cover, this time close-up and in detail!

STILL YOURS FINAL COVER

AE Jones MINDSWEEPER Cover Reveal!!

 

I’m so excited to bring you this today. AE Jones and I met as members of the 2013 Golden Heart finalists, and she ended up taking home the Golden Heart in the Paranormal category. Now… we’re both moving into the “published” part of our writing careers, and AE’s debut novel MINDSWEEPER comes out September 15th. I’m going to tell you more about this amazing book and its charming author, but first…. TA DA!!!

Cover_ Mind Sweeper by AE Jones

Isn’t it cool? Read on to find out more…

An angel, a demon and a vampire walk into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s just another day in the life of Kyle McKinley.

Kyle was born with the ability to erase memories, and the inability to keep her opinions to herself. She and her teammates – a vampire who looks like a sexy pirate with fangs, and a Shamat demon with a penchant for Italian pastries – provide supernatural damage control when humans see too much. Today’s problem? A sword-wielding angel and a demon had a supernatural smackdown during happy hour in a Cleveland bar, leaving behind a headless vampire and a dozen human witnesses.

This latest supernatural slip-up is attracting all kinds of attention. So much attention that the police step in, and Kyle has to deal with Joe Dalton, a know-it-all human with the sexiest turquoise eyes she has ever seen. Kyle has no room in her life for yet another human who will treat her like a freak. However, Dalton definitely makes her naughty parts sit up and take notice, and it’s more than mutual. But before they can act on their attraction, they must join forces to solve a dangerous puzzle. And when they uncover the truth, the apocalyptic ripple effect forces Kyle to make a choice. Learn to trust again, or risk losing everyone she cares about, including Dalton.

Doesn’t that sound fun???

Add MINDSWEEPER on Goodreads

About A. E. Jones AE Jones pic

Growing up a TV junkie, award winning author AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural—their angst and their humor. After all life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

AE lives in Ohio with her eclectic family and friends who in no way resembles any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

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Now that you’re dying to read MINDSWEEPER and have gotten to know AE, let’s take one more look at that gorgeous cover!

3D Cover Mind Sweeper by AE Jones

Book Birthday!!!

My very first book baby, CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, is finally out there to make her way in the world. Though the book went live a few days early on Amazon, today it’s available across ALL digital platforms– literally around the world– and I couldn’t be more excited!

It’s been a day full of guest-blogging, interviews, and fun Tweets, as well as personal notes from good friends. Thanks to everyone who’s already bought and read the first book of my 20 SOMETHING series!! If you loved it and would like to leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble (or the site of your choosing), I’d be oh-so-grateful.

If you haven’t tried it yet and are in the mood for a fun and flirty New Adult romance, you can find it here…

Amazon

Barnes and Noble/Nook

Kobo

iTunes (ibooks)

Google Play

All Romance

To learn more about CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING and the entire 20 SOMETHING series, visit my website!

CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING COVER- FINAL