Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there were zombies…
That’s how it all started. Authors have created a major problem with stories like Cinder, The Dark Queen, and Asleep, and it’s wreaking havoc here in Ever After. Our queens are fighting for their lives.
Rather like Mother Nature, keeper of the fine balance that’s life in your world, tales that begin with “Once upon a time” were never meant to be messed with.
Now, Ariel is underwater with all the defenses she’s been launching, Aurora hasn’t slept in weeks, and Rapunzel is tangled in… Well, I can’t even begin to tell you.
Rather than try, I’ll let you see for yourself. You and I will talk again afterward—if I survive long enough. So, as our fateful story begins:
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…
Five authors came together on a mission to bring the world something new and exciting rather than the same tired anthologies or collections so common to the book world.
Their debut novel, Fractured Glass: A Novel Anthology, hit the world by surprise, taking several awards, and blowing readers away with its seamless integration from one author to the next.
When the five came together a second time, 7: The Seven Deadly Sins was created, and it, too, blew readers away with its unique approach to storytelling.
Who are these writers?
Jo Michaels, N. L. Greene, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, and Casey L. Bond.
New projects by the F5 will be published yearly, and following this author page here on Amazon is the best way to stay updated. Be sure and check out the book trailers on this page, and see which events around the world the ladies will appear at so you can get those books signed.
They possess the power to make their dreams come true—but it won’t be easy.
Preston Knight—Elvis to his friends—loves being a vampire. The night he was turned was the first step to him becoming the kind of man he always hoped to be. Now, he’s a rock star. What could be better? But the one thing that would make his world complete is just out of reach. The woman he yearns for has some serious secrets, and despite him knowing that she wants him just as much as he wants her, she won’t let him in.
Lily Gray never asked to be a vampire. The choice was taken from her eons ago, and things never improved. Now, she finds herself peddling drugs on the streets of San Francisco and playing the part of doting wife to a possessive and sadistic vampire with delusions of grandeur. But family means everything to Lily, and she’s willing to sacrifice everything for it…even her one chance at happiness with the sexy-as-sin vampire who sets her heart ablaze.
When one night of passion opens the door for a century of secrets to be revealed, Lily and Preston must fight for not only what they believe in but also what they love.
Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She's hooked on sexy romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence.
She lives in Northern California in wine country and one of her favorite weekend excursions is wine tasting with the love of her life. Together, she and her romantic husband have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.
“It’s up to you, Elvis.” Lincoln, the dealer, nodded in my direction and waited. I kept my eyes trained on the center of the table where chips sat in a small pile. I didn’t need to look at my cards again. I knew what I had: an eight and a queen of hearts.
There were six vampires at the table, counting both Gage and me. Gage had folded right after the deal, and so had one of the other players. I was the last to bet, and sometimes, I liked to spice things up a bit, so I matched the bet and sat back.
Heavy smoke hung in the air like delicate streams of fog, swirling in circled patterns under the light hanging from a long cord above the table. Four other lights hung on fixtures attached to the otherwise stark, tawny brown walls. Even with all the lights, the room seemed dark.
Maybe it was the darkness of the souls in the room. I wasn’t sure.
A droning sound buzzed from outside, a little annoying, but I managed to drown it out as I nonchalantly watched the faces around the table as the dealer revealed the flop.
The first card the dealer turned up was a jack of hearts, then a nine of hearts.
It was raining hearts for some reason, and I held two of them already. I held my breath, waiting for the third card in the flop. Crap, an eight of diamonds.
Not exactly what I was looking for, but a pair of eights with a queen high wasn’t completely a loss so I decided to hang in there and see if one more heart would show. There were still two cards to go, and a flush was possible.
I kept my eyes straight, my thoughts blank—or I tried—like I usually did as each card was revealed, always attempting to keep my composure, never deviating from the norm, not wanting to give away my emotions. I was an expert at reading people. Especially in a poker game. A blink of an eye, a slight twitch, a swallow, the slightest movement, anything…different could give someone’s hand away. I wanted to reach up and finger my shades that sat on top of my head. Just one little nudge and they’d be sitting comfortably on my face, shielding my eyes. But not only were dark glasses frowned upon in this high-stakes game of Texas Hold ’em, but any movement out of the ordinary might tip someone off about my cards.
This wasn’t our normal gathering with my brothers at the mansion. This was a high roller, unsanctioned but heavily guarded poker game with some seriously high-powered city officials that I’d bet my right nut were a drug cartel of some sort or another. The two thugs in the monkey suits positioned on either side of the door to the entrance had stood like statues most of the night; the bulge of a holster protruding from under their jackets an obvious clue. At least they were on the outside of the room, but they still remained at the ready if their services were required.
Gage and I didn’t normally seek out games with such high stakes, but he’d been bored lately, and when he ran into Lincoln—the game’s host—at Club Royal a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln had invited Gage and me to join. Said they’d recently lost two of their regulars and needed a couple of fill-ins.
When Gage approached me, I’d shrugged him off at first, not wanting any part of something that sounded so sketchy, but after he’d pestered me for the entire week, I finally gave in, needing a distraction from the long hours—sometimes days apart—from Lily, the sexy and sweet vampire I’d been trying to get to know better. Except, she was either playing hard to get, or just wasn’t that interested in me. Though I had a difficult time believing the latter of those two options since she continued to meet me whenever she had the time or, in her words, “could get away.” Away from what, I hadn’t been able to find out. Yet.
Getting thoughts of Lily off my mind was nearly impossible Her fair, silky-smooth skin; her mesmerizing dark coffee eyes that could hold my gaze for hours on end; the tips of her long, thick locks kissing the cleavage of her breasts where my lips longed to skim. I managed to clear my head just in time, as it was my turn to bet again. I slid my bet forward, raising the pot three thousand for appearance’s sake. In truth, without another heart or a ten, I had squat. I didn’t think the pair of eights would cut it. I had an excellent chance for a straight or a flush if either of the next two cards went my way. Since Gage had already folded, he sat still as a statue beside me, his hands together on the edge of the table. I knew he was busting a gut wondering what I held in my hand.
There were only four of us left in this hand, and I didn’t want to go home with a loss. Not against these guys. Two of them sat puffing on brown cigarettes, looking rather tough. They were tough, the sort who would drain the blood from a homeless person and leave them to die in the gutter without so much as a “thank you, ma’am.” Particularly, the one at the end with the light brown wool Stetson on his head. The word dangerous exuded from his pores. He wore that hat pulled low on his brow, shading his eyes just enough to where it was legal but not enough to reveal much about him. A neatly trimmed goatee graced his chin and his upper lip. A long ponytail made of cornrow braids hung down his back. He seemed on edge, or maybe it was just an act to throw me off.
Which he did when he raised another five thousand. That was steep, and the other two guys folded. Either the guy had something powerful, or he was bluffing his ass off and had nothing. Since I had the queen of hearts, I knew he couldn’t have a royal flush. But that didn’t rule out a straight or four of a kind. The bald-headed guy next to him folded, as did the next two. Now it was up to me, and six thousand was just about all I had left, so I shoved the entire stack I had into the middle of the table.
“I’m all in,” I said with feigned confidence.
After all the bets had been matched, the dealer flipped the fourth card.
A fucking nine of spades.
I watched out of the corner of my eye as cowboy hat’s mouth curved up on one side, the tip of his fang biting into his lower lip. Could mean he was nervous. Or cocky. Either way, my hand was dead unless a ten or another heart showed up.
My heart skipped a beat when the fifth card was flipped over. There it was, sparkling as if someone had lit it on fire. I managed to keep my composure as I chilled, though I could have sworn I heard fireworks go off outside.
The beautiful ten of hearts.
Stetson vamp chuckled and said, “Too bad. You played a nice hand.” Then he laid down his cards. A pair of nines, giving him four of a fucking kind, which would beat most hands. When he started to grab at the pile of chips, I cleared my throat.
“Hold on there, space cowboy,” I heard myself say, not sure if the cockiness in my voice would help or hinder, but that pile of chips in the center of the table belonged to me, and there was no fucking way I was letting this douche have them. I had a fucking straight flush, queen high. Beat that you fucking cocksucker. I wanted to gloat but managed to keep my cool and simply turned the two cards in my hand over and placed them face up on the table.
His face paled, if that were possible. His dark-stubbled jaw flexed. His eyes narrowed to slits. His left ear twitched, and he placed both his palms on the table as he stood, glaring at me. Everyone sitting around the table stiffened. The chips lay in a heap in the middle. He kept his large ebony eyes on mine, never faltering. I allowed myself to stare right back, not moving a centimeter. I was good at stare-out games. I’d had a cat, many in fact, and we constantly played this game. Stetson hat was no different in my mind. Though I was positive he thought differently. This guy was too fucking arrogant for my taste. I’d wondered from the moment I sat down if he was going to be trouble.
“Jace, you ready?” he barked.
The guy at the end of the table—Jace, I assumed—nodded. “Yep, I’m all tapped out. Ladies.”
Stetson hat shrugged into a light brown wool coat, generously embellished with dark brown fur at the lapel, all the while keeping his eyes glued to me. “Be sure to join us again. I look forward to the opportunity to win that back.” His eyes briefly averted to the large pile of chips in the middle of the table before returning to mine, and then he touched the rim of his hat and nodded like he was fucking Clint Eastwood. “Gentlemen.” He kept his lips tight as he turned and walked out. Stopping by another vampire on his way, he looked down at him, made some sort of gesture with his hand, and left the room. Jace, and two other large vampires went with him.
Gage cleared his throat. “Fuck, man. That was intense.” The three dudes left at the table all sighed heavily.
The vampire that Stetson hat had gestured to stood up. “Roach would like you to join him at his employer’s mansion.” Roach? What the fuck kind of person names their kid Roach? I almost laughed. The poor guy. No wonder he was so intense. “It is open to you any Friday evening. That is the night they entertain small groups. Midnight. Here’s the address.” He slipped me a card. I glanced down at the etching on the flat piece of metal.
Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got it.
Sweet Towers, Sky Deck.
When the vampire had left, Gage grabbed the card from me. “Shit. Looks like he wants a rematch.”
“Well, he isn’t getting one,” I retorted and threw the fancy card down on the table. This was over right now. I didn’t want any part of whatever the fuck that guy was dealing.
“I wouldn’t be so quick to pass on that invite if I were you, Elvis,” Lincoln, the vampire who’d hosted the night’s game, said. “That vampire works for Sweet, one of this city’s most dominant and influential business owners. He has the support of the local labor board, as well as several other highfalutin bigwigs in the city. It’s quite the honor to be invited, even if it was by his right-hand man. Sweet doesn’t give out invitations to his private parties very often. And his parties don’t have anything to do with card games, if you get my drift. Roach must have liked you.” He winked.
I raised my eyebrows up at Lincoln in question.
“You know. Sex, drugs. Those kinds of parties. Group or single, whatever you desire, so I’ve heard.”
Whatever kind of parties, I wasn’t into group sex or drugs. I had a woman, or at least a woman I wanted, as the vision of Lily’s striking brown eyes set against her smooth, deep black hair floated through my mind. I got to my feet and shrugged into my coat. “Come on, Gage, let’s split.”
Interracial/multicultural, New Adult Romance
nurse Sonnet Mendoza's new housemate Griffith Parker proves there is
more to a man than meets the eye, and shows her there's more to life
than just her career.
and cosseted, Sonnet Mendoza abided by her papi’s wishes her whole
life: no boys, studies first and always. Now an ER nurse in a busy
Chicago hospital, medical school is so close Sonnet can taste it—just
like her father always wanted. Just like she can she can taste all
the things she wants, like Griffith Parker, the man of her dreams and
her new housemate.
“graves” in a large hospital as a security guard while attending
the police academy during the day doesn’t leave ex-Marine Griffith
Parker any personal time, but after meeting the beautiful Sonnet
Mendoza business as usual is anything but. Sassy, smart…and
interested in him, too? Except, she’s made an art of keeping her
distance, and she's been clear that her plans don't include him. But
the heart wants what the heart wants. His wants Sonnet. He’ll put
it on the line to win her.
D. Howard is a pseudonym that the author publishes romance novels
under. Roxanne is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor's degree in
Psychology and English. She is a member of RWA PAN (Romance Writers
of America Published Authors Network). She loves to read poetry,
classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars
fan, musical theater nut, and loves marine biology. She resides in
the mid-west United States, and enjoys spending time with her husband
and children when she's not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her
readers, and she can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Elite Crimes Unit is a covert team
within Interpol that specializes in taking down the world’s top
criminals—and then offering them a deal. Because sometimes a
history of bad behavior can be a very good thing . . .
Jack Angelo is clearly off his game. First his
wallet gets lifted—by a pregnant woman, no less—on the ferry to
Finland. At his hotel, he’s seduced by a sexy redhead who takes him
for a ride, too. And when he finally starts casing the bank he’s
supposed to rob, yet another female fouls things up. All he wants is
to complete this assignment for the ECU to save himself and his
family. Little does he know that the women who keep interfering are
actually one woman—who’s about to show him just how outmatched he
really is . . .
Known as “The Chameleon” Saskia Petrovik is
a mistress of disguise tasked with watching the new recruit as he
meets up with his high-level crew of thieves. She has no problem
getting under the covers to pull off an undercover job—especially
with the man known as Gentleman Jack. But multiple identities can
cause multiple problems, and in these dangerous circles, the
temptation to show her true self could change a deceptive affair into
a deadly one . . .
Michele Hauf has been writing
romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty years.
Her first published novel was Dark Rapture (Zebra). France,
musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she
followed the adage “write what you know,” all her stories would
have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and
writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has
Dr. Bexley Vaughn is a genius at the top of her field. When she’s invited to apply her cutting-edge science to help the Memphis Knights football team return to its winning legacy, she jumps at the chance to work with two of the biggest names in the game. What she doesn’t expect is to fall hard and fast for both the veteran quarterback Paxton Davies and Dean Kincade, the eager young rookie looking to replace him. When things spiral out of control both on and off the field, Bexley will have to decide whether to risk it all on an impossible gamble, or to walk away and leave what’s left of her heart on the field.
The only thing she knows for certain is that, sometimes, finding love means re-writing the playbook.
SJ Noble writes sexy, sassy romances with hunky heroes and bad ass ladies.
She is the love child of authors June Stevens Westerfield and Sherry D. Ficklin, who have often lamented that between the two of them they are one amazing writer. Their debut series, The Memphis Knights Football Romance Novels, was born of Sherry’s deep and abiding love for football and June’s deep and abiding patience with her nonsense. They have been friends and partners in crime for most of the 21st century and plan to continue that streak well into their Life Alert years. They live worlds apart because, they suspect, that much awesome in one concentrated area *could* produce some sort of time-altering worm hole. That’s just science, folks.
“You know, I wish I had half as much faith in me as you do, Bex.”
He turns his full attention to me, his brown eyes dark and intense. For a moment I stare at him, my heart pounding hard in my chest as if counting the distance between us. When he leans toward me, I rock forward to meet him. There’s a voice in the back of my head screaming, but I stifle the sound. Meeting his lips with my own, I let myself tumble into him, a gentle warmth growing inside me. His hesitance evaporates and he clutches my waist, drawing a soft moan from my lips as my body reacts, taking us both by surprise. His lips are softer than I imagined, his touch gentler. It’s the sort of kiss you never expect, the kind that pulls you in like the tide rolling against the shore.
As soon as he releases me I feel the flush hit my face, my cheeks and ears burning with it. What the hell am I doing? Sliding off the desk I return the can to the fridge, keeping my back to Dean as I fight to steady my breathing.
“I’m sorry,” he says gently. “If I misread…anything.”
Taking a deep breath, I turn back to him, “No, no you didn’t. I just…can’t…”
Sliding off the table he crosses the room, taking my hands in his, “I’ve never met anyone like you,” he whispers, sending ripples along my skin. “Someone who takes none of my shit, but somehow seems to understand me better than anyone.” I inhale the scent of him and the room spins, everything becoming foggy, all the reasons this shouldn’t be happening vanish in a puff of smoke. “You can’t blame me for wanting you, for taking my shot.”
Reardon Lewis is a small-town lawyer in Cherry Springs, the place where he and his cousins grew up. With the body of a Viking and the heart of a geek, Reardon is loyal to his family and indispensable to his community. The only thing missing in his life is love, and it just so happens that the one woman he has always wanted but could never have has just moved to Cherry Springs.
Chloe Zahn is a successful businesswoman, a city girl, and a single mom. The last thing she ever planned to do was move to a small town, but that’s the choice she’s made to bring her son closer to his dad. The only problem? The Lewis family and the obvious disdain they have for her.
The more time Reardon and Chloe spend together, the harder it is to fight their growing feelings for each other. Things between them have always been Too Complicated, but Reardon knows this may be his last chance to win over the woman he's always dreamed of, complications be damned.
Too Complicated is the second in an all-new small-town romance series by Bethany Lopez. Follow the Lewis cousins as they learn about love and loss in Cherry Springs, the kind of place where there are festivals for every occasion and everyone knows your business.
“You’re an ass,” I managed, right as our aunt approached the table.
“Do I need to wash that mouth out with soap?”
Jasmine snickered and I stuck my tongue out at her.
“Really, Reardon?” Aunt Annabeth drawled as she set burgers and fries in front of both of us. “You’re a grown man, town lawyer, and upstanding citizen, yet you can’t stop fighting with your cousin like you’re ten years old.”
“Sorry, ma’am,” I muttered, chastised.
I caught Jasmine’s smirk, and I knew she’d seen our aunt coming and had set me up. Jasmine had always been the most cunning of our group.
“And you,” our aunt said, turning her attention to Jasmine. “When are you going to settle down and get serious with a man? You aren’t getting any younger.”
Jasmine was still sputtering when our aunt walked away.
I dipped my fry in ketchup and smirked back at her.
“Yeah, Jazzy, how come you’re not married with a pack of kids?”
Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She's a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.
Today we are celebrating the release of HIDDEN DEPTH by Brenda Rothert. This book is a contemporary romance, standalone title that is part of the Lockhart Brothers series. Check out the purchase links for the book below.
Hidden Depth (Lockhart Brothers, #4) by Brenda Rothert
I had it all.
Breaking into the entertainment business as a teenager wasn’t easy. I spent years of my childhood traveling, auditioning and hoping my big break would come. And when I did, I rose to a level I never imagined.
Elle Tyler: model, singer and actress. I couldn’t go anywhere without security anymore. It was everything I ever wanted and more - fame, fortune and worldwide recognition. At age twenty-four, I was living a dream.
But a single act of violence shattered my fairytale existence. In a matter of seconds, all the goodness in me was ripped to shreds. Overnight, the people around me dropped away, moving on to find the next big thing. I gave up on myself, becoming a woman so dark and forlorn I no longer recognized myself.
But the stranger who saved me that day, Justin Lockhart, never gave up on me. He still saw light through my darkness. And as we grew closer, I started to see it, too. And I also started to see that before that terrible day, maybe I didn’t really have it all. Maybe I was always missing the only thing that really matters.
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.