Perfect Stranger by Roxy Matthews ~Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology Author Spotlight Interview @AuthorRoxy #newyearnewme #GenX #love #mustread #secondchance #writerslift #contemporaryromance #romancereaders #sweetromance #bookboost #contemporary #romancereads #anthology #collection #holidayromance #spicyromreads


Blurb:


Learning to live after loss hasn’t been easy for Pam Mason. So when her best friend sets her up with a ‘New Year, New You’ adventure, Pam isn’t convinced it’s what she needs.

That is until a perfect stranger’s indifference sparks a flame inside her, one that tears down her defenses and melts his chilled heart. 

Together they can build happy memories, if only they can get past their volatile one.

  
Where can readers find Perfect Stranger?
Available exclusively in the Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology
#kindleunlimited
Universal Link: http://mybook.to/STC
 
Sweeter than chocolate and hotter than your heart’s desire. 
 
Celebrate the day of love with sixteen sweet and spicy stories from some of your favorite USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Authors. Brimming with love, passion, and angst, this anthology will satisfy your sweet tooth, set your heart on fire, and leave you yearning for more. 
 
So tear into your favorite box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, pour a glass of wine, and start reading for some decadent, melt-in-your-mouth Valentine-themed romances.
 
 
Author Interview
 

Hello and welcome, readers! We have Roxy Matthews here with us today. Roxy, thanks for visiting us.

Thank you for having me. 



How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

Of course, I grew with an intoxicating desire for books, as most authors do. Not only did I live through reading the stories, but in penning my own. I was close to ten when I started work on my first book. Of course, back then it was just a bunch of lined paper folded in half, but it meant so much to me to sit in that open pavilion on a wooden picnic table, a pencil in one hand, an eraser in the other, my imagination on fire. But, sadly, it fizzled away until I was in my early twenties, when I finally sat down once more, this time with a notebook and pen, never to let that fire be doused again. 



Tell us about your title featured in: Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology.

Perfect Stranger is a story of two troubled souls, who after just one volatile meeting change each other’s lives. Pam Mason, tortured by the death of her husband, had forgotten how to live. With the help of her best friend, Pam is set on a ‘New Year, New You’ path that leads her to Doctor Thorpe’s couch and his lack of compassion. Michael Thorpe, traumatized from being dragged through the mud by his ex, was about to lose his standing in the medical field until Pam Mason tears him a new one. With forces beyond their control at work, the two find their way through their pasts to a future that promises beautiful memories.

How did you come up with the storyline?

In all honesty, it started as a RomCom, with three blind dates and was meant to revolve around those dates with Doctor Thorpe being the final one. 

Enter ‘Knight in Shining Armor’. Perfect, right?

Nope, because Pam was not on board with her terrible dates being aired out to the public, and Michael Thorpe was not playing nice. So, my plans had to change because both had issues they needed to work through and refused to follow with my comedic approach.



What inspires you to write?

This question always befuddles me because I don’t actually need to be inspired to write. I just do it. Daily. You know when you have something running through your head over and over and over, that you just have to get it out? That’s how writing is for me. Everyday my mind is going, and in all that noise of work, life, bills, and stress, voices come through. Voices that refuse to quiet, stories that demand my attention, unwilling to budge until I put those words to keys. 

What is your favorite genre to read?

I absolutely love Dark Fantasy and Romantic Suspense, give me some good Horror, Psychological or otherwise, and I am popcorn deep, my toes hidden under a blanket from the ghosties. 

What would you say is the one thing you are most passionate about outside of writing?

Easy one, my babies and grandbabies. Just those darn smiles from any of them is enough to melt my heart and turn me to goo.



When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Bahaha. What? You mean there’s time to do anything other than work and write? I seriously need to watch a webinar on this one. 

Tell us about your other books.

Well, I have nine other pieces and considering I love to cross genre and genre hop, they are a mix. I have one short story collection which is more macabre, titled ‘From the Depths’. A novelette, ‘Hypno-Planticus’ of Sci/Fi origin, another Sci/Fi mixed with Fantasy is my novella, ‘Holiday Resistance’.  My Romantic Suspense endeavor is a five-book series, Pale Bay Treasures. And to finish, a Dark Fantasy three-book series I am currently working on. The first installment, Fame Nor Fortune is live, it’s sequel Dead Nor Alive is currently underway.



Where can readers find you?

Plenty of places actually, which I’ll list below, but a google search of my penname, Roxy Matthews, will find plenty of resources throughout my career. 

Here are just a few…

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0741VZ4V4

https://bluebaloo79.wixsite.com/roxymatthewsauthor

https://www.facebook.com/YouWillLoveMyBooks

https://twitter.com/AuthorRoxy

https://www.amazon.com/Roxy-Matthews/e/B0741VZ4V4/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxy-matthews-a5849a114/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17060600.Roxy_Matthews

http://roxymatthews.allauthor.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/roxy-matthews



About the Author: 

Roxy Matthews, a member of the Silverleaf Writers Guild, is a multi-genre, self-published author of full length novels, novellas, and short story collections. In 2018 she was named one of Canada’s Best Writers of the Year by Polar Expressions Publishing.

Her work has been featured in Suspense Magazine and several anthologies, including ‘The Way Through’ by Polar Expressions Publishing, The Charmed Writers Flash Fiction Anthology 2019, and Naughty Night’s Press’ Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology.

 

One Great Love by Gina Azzi ~Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology Author Spotlight Interview @gina_azzi #onegreatlove #findingloveinscotland #keiraandlachlan #valentinesdaylove #sweetromance #contemporaryromance #valentinesdayromance #secondchance #lovestory #secondchancelove #contemporary #romancereads #anthology #collection #holidayromance #spicyromreads

 

Blurb:
Four years ago, Lachlan Begay moved to London and broke my heart.

Despite my best efforts, I never truly moved on. 

Every time Lach visits Scotland, we fall back into old patterns that result in new hurts.

My hurts.

Now, my heart is breaking for a different reason.

Preparing my nanna’s final Valentine’s Day gala at our family farm, the last person I need twisting my emotions is Lachlan.

But here he is, setting me on fire with a single glance. 

This time, he swears he’s mine.

This time, he promises me a future.

This time, he says all the words I’ve been waiting years to hear.

The only problem? 

I don’t believe him. 

 
 
Where can readers find One Great Love?
Available exclusively in the Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology
Grab your pre-order copy for 99 cents, but only for a limited time!
 
Universal Link: http://mybook.to/STC
 
Sweeter than chocolate and hotter than your heart’s desire. 
 
Celebrate the day of love with sixteen sweet and spicy stories from some of your favorite USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Authors. Brimming with love, passion, and angst, this anthology will satisfy your sweet tooth, set your heart on fire, and leave you yearning for more. 
 
So tear into your favorite box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, pour a glass of wine, and start reading for some decadent, melt-in-your-mouth Valentine-themed romances.
 
 
Author Interview
 

Hello and welcome, readers! We have Gina Azzi here with us today. Gina, Thanks for visiting us.

Hi there! Thanks for having me.



How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

 I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, making up short stories and plays for my friends to act out. In 2011, I started taking writing classes in New York City for fun and to meet other writers. When I moved abroad in 2012, I continued the courses online and began expanding a piece of flash fiction into my first novel, Corner of Ocean and Bay. In 2015, I moved to Dubai and learned I was pregnant with my first daughter. That’s when I began self-publishing and never looked back!



Tell us about your title featured in: Sweeter Than Chocolate: Valentine’s Day Anthology.

One Great Love is a sweet and spicy second chance romance set in Scotland. It’s a novella focused on acceptance and forgiveness between Lachlan and Keira, college sweethearts with a complicated past. 



How did you come up with the storyline?

One Great Love is a novella spinoff from the Finding Love in Scotland Series! So the second chance romance aspect was quite natural and part of Lachlan’s story from One Last Chance and This Time Around!



What inspires you to write?

Everything! My family, my friends, articles I read and movies I watch. So many different ideas and storylines fill my head, especially when a particular issue interests me, and then I can’t not write. 



What is your favorite genre to read?

Romance! I love the marriage of convenience trope and military romance. 



What would you say is the one thing are you most passionate about outside of writing?

Traveling! I love the adventure of going to new places, trying new things, and meeting new people. I search the internet for destinations and flights the way my friends check out home décor! 



When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Be with my family. My kids are at super fun ages where I get to enjoy all their imagined games and act like a kid myself. We love Friday night pizza parties, Sunday brunch, and all the spontaneous dance parties. 



Tell us about your other books.



I have three interconnected series out with a new, super angsty duet releasing in Spring.

The Kane Brothers, starting with Rescuing Broken, is a second-chance military romance that will introduce you to the hot and charming Kane boys. 



The College Pact series has four sports romances featuring resilient heroines. Start with The Last First Game for an unexpected love between a sexy, football God and the medical intern he falls for!



Finding Love in Scotland is all about second chances set in Edinburgh. Begin with One Last Chance (and meet Daisy Kane from The Kane Brothers!)



Corner of Ocean and Bay — my first novel — is a YA romance about first loves and friendship. 



Keep an eye out for The Regret Duet, kicking off with Broken Lies, in March 2020!



Where can readers find you?

Connect with me here: 



Website: https://www.ginaazzi.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gina_azzi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginaazziauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gb346806

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gina_azzi

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GinaAzziGoodreads

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gina-azzi

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/gina_azzi



About the Author: 



Gina Azzi writes Contemporary Romance with relatable, genuine characters experiencing real life love, friendships, and obstacles. She is the author of The Kane Brothers Series, Finding Love in Scotland Series, The College Pact Series, and Corner of Ocean and Bay. All of her books can be read as stand-alones. 



A Jersey girl at heart, Gina has spent her twenties traveling the world, living and working abroad, before settling down in Ontario, Canada with her husband and three children. She’s a voracious reader, daydreamer, and coffee enthusiast who loves meeting new people. Connect with her through www.ginaazzi.com.


I have a #newrelease today, and I’m featuring Stella Moore and her book, Daddy’s Perfect Princess.

Cover (1)

First, I will mention that this is another beautiful Blushing Books cover.

Perfection comes in all sizes.

Blurb:

Left humiliated and heartbroken by the man she’d planned to marry, Mindy Kirkman goes on a mission to get the best revenge (body) she can. Her plans take an unexpected turn when she falls hard for sexy personal trainer, Fox Washburn. But Mindy’s quest for revenge takes her down a dangerous path. Will she sabotage her happiness with Fox? Or will she finally accept that perfection comes in all sizes?

Purchase Links: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F2MQZTY/

Fox took her hand again and led her through a door to his bedroom. She felt like she was walking on clouds. Was this actually happening? Was she really about to get a spanking, not just for fun or role playing, but an honest to goodness discipline spanking?

Fox led her to a bare corner of his bedroom and turned her to face the wall. “Hands on your head.” She quickly complied with the gruff order, and her heart tripped over itself when she felt his fingers in the waistband of her leggings.

“Fox,” she trailed off, unsure of what she wanted to say next.

“They’re coming down, little girl. We already talked about this.”

“Yes, I know, it’s just,” she was mortified to hear the tears in her voice, “I don’t want you to see me. I’m not, you know.”

“I don’t know. Not what, Melinda?”

“I’m not skinny like the girls you’re used to!” she blurted out, tears blurring her vision. “And thank God for that.”

Of all the answers she’d prepared herself for, that hadn’t even been on the radar. “What?”

He leaned down, his breath tickling her ear as he spoke. “I love the way you look. I love your round bottom, your bouncy breasts, every single inch of you. I’ve had to fight to keep my hands off you since the moment you walked into my gym.”

Pinch test be damned, this was definitely a dream. “You don’t mean that,” she replied instinctively. The idea of a man finding her sexy, as she was and not as she potentially could be, was beyond her ability to comprehend.

“I’m going to let that one slide. But we have some work to do, me and you. Now, your leggings are coming down and I don’t want another word about it, or your weight, or I will take my belt to your bottom when we’re finished. Understood?”

The emotions raging inside of her robbed her ability to speak, so she simply nodded. Squeezing her eyes shut, she held her breath as he tugged her leggings and her panties to her knees. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured, one huge hand stroking her bare skin until she trembled. “But you’ll be even more beautiful with this bottom painted a nice pretty red. Stay in the corner until I call for you.”

About Stella and how to find her:

Nestled somewhere in the Southeastern United a States you can usually find Stella curled up on her couch with her tablet, a blanket (because even during a southern summer, she’s freezing) and a glass of wine. If she isn’t writing or tweaking her newest work, she’s glued to a book. Romance, suspense, thrillers, Stella loves a little bit of everything.

Other than reading, she spends her time listening to her husband play his guitar and throwing spontaneous dance parties with her two teenage daughters in the living room. When she can convince everyone else to venture outside, she loves hiking and swimming. Her husband is fairly certain she’s secretly a mermaid, as she’d live in the water if she could.

Stella has been writing spanking fiction off and on for years, but she’s just recently taken the plunge into writing full on novels. She is from the school of “write what you know”, and her husband is always willing (sometimes too willing!) to assist with any research she needs.

Follow Stella:
Instagram @author.stellam
Twitter @authorstellam

I have a story, Where I Should Be, in this anthology released today, Real Men: Silver Foxes.  I loved writing Crystal and Paul’s story.

Real Men. 
Real Lives.
Real Romance.
Younger men can be fun and exciting. But, sooner or later that appeal eventually diminishes, and women want more than just those fleeting moments of desire. 
They want something real. 
And they find themselves craving a man who can offer something more.
A man who will treat her like a lady.
A man that will leave her breathless.
Enter the world of these women who find the real men that they hunger for.
These men will give new meaning to the term silver foxes.

Blurb for my story – Where I Should Be

Some say love finds you when you least expect it.

For over twenty years, Paul has kept to the road as a long-haul truck driver more than he’s been home.  He isn’t running away from his past, he just prefers it stay where it belongs, in the past.  It’s impossible to repeat mistakes which involved others if you have no one.

Right after high-school graduation, Crystal ran off with her “bad boy” boyfriend, Derek.  She never anticipated things getting as bad as they did.  She never expected to indulge in activities she did and to wound up not only hurting herself but hating herself.  In the last year, she has decided to change her life and be a better person, but Derek finds her each time and obliterates all the effort she’s made.

Breaking free of him again, she stumbles into a truck stop and into Paul’s arms.  A man desiring only solitude, and a woman wishing to escape her life become traveling companions.  They find they not only share a physical attraction, but each discovers that together might just be where they should be.  There’s more than the obvious concern of a big age difference hindering them from pursuing their relationship, and both will need to believe in themselves as individuals and as a couple to make it work.

 

June by Alicia Stone

Living a lie in a web of deceit, Cassandra finds the courage to challenge her controlling husband.

Today I’m pleased to introduce a contemporary romance from Alicia Stone.

BLURB

Living a lie in a web of deceit, Cassandra finds the courage to challenge her controlling husband. She sets in motion a tragic chain of events that leads her across Europe from the medieval city of Tallinn to the showboating glamour of Nice. Cast aside and the victim of cruel revenge, Cassandra fights for her future and discovers she is not alone. Her new-found strength is tested to its limits, for where love is concerned there is often a reckoning.

EXCERPT

Women’s toilets, a curious place for confidences. Strangers become acquainted in the queue for the loo. Teenage girls discuss conquests as they hog mirrors, applying make-up. Cassandra had once seen a laughing group of Japanese women roll their trousers to their knees, fastidious in their preparation for a Western bathroom experience. She would have given much to understand their chatter. Quite extraordinary what she overheard about people’s lives in toilets, but this was gossip, and the gossip was about her. She knew these voices, Malory Jacque and Miranda Pym.

“Of course Cassandra’s very nice. Oh, Lord. No paper. For heaven’s sake. A hotel of this repute. I shall speak to the manager. Andrew knows him from cricket.”

“Hang on. I’ll pass some under the door. Lord, this reminds me of school.”

Cassandra heard scuffles and giggles.

“She’s pleasant…easy-going in that reserved sort of way. Good for dinner parties.”

“Thanks. Oh yes. Marvellous. Pop her next to anyone. She’s sort of…you know…”

“Neutral? A foil?”

“That’s it. Rather beige.”

Cassandra froze in her cubicle. The toilets flushed and the voices moved over to the wash-hand basins.

“Oh, no. Would you look at that? They’ve changed the hand cream. I always liked the wild heather. This won’t do.”

A blast from the hand driers drowned any further eavesdropping. The door swung open; there was a clack of heels…

“But when you consider the husband…”

The door closed.

Cassandra waited for a moment before waving her hand at the automatic flush and coming out. Standing before the mirror, she remembered what Perry had said at breakfast.

“Sweetheart. Do you think that shade of blue suits you? Book club today isn’t it? You’ve never worn the cashmere I brought you from Cairo. I found it in your closet the other day.”

She had poured his coffee, put another round of toast in the retro Italian toaster, and slipped into their bedroom. The unopened duty-free bag stood upright in the bottom of the ‘hers’ wardrobe. Shrugging off the blouse chosen earlier, she removed the ribbon tag from her gift and pulled the soft jumper over her head, making for the kitchen.

“Pussy-cat, lovely. Want to stroke you.” He didn’t. Instead, Perry was out of his seat even as she offered more toast.

“Carbs, Cassandra, carbs. Got to look after the waistline.” He held his stomach in and blew her a routine kiss, but she was already moving towards the sink.

Would the puff of air reach the cupboard housing the seldom-used twelve-place dinner service, or would the vapour simply dissipate mid kitchen, she wondered.

“Late tonight, some of the faculty…a little do. Back on the Nine o’clock. Have fun with the ladies.”

Cassandra had dropped the toast into the bin and stared out of the window. Next-door’s cat had emerged from a clump of daisies and shuddered, the tail bolt upright. Cassandra loathed cats, especially when they treated her garden as their personal litter tray. He, for the cat was a Tom, was the same shade of grey as her jumper.

Now she was staring at the reflection in the mirror. Her face lost, framed by the heavy ornate coving and flock-wallpaper of the Victorian hotel. She had often pondered what people would say about her. They might use affable or good-natured if a little shy. What they didn’t see was that she was bored; Cassandra was bored to her very core. Not languid though, never that. There was so much that people did not see. Cassandra composed herself, took a breath, and fixed her smile as she hurried to re-join the discussion about a book she had no wish to discuss.

~ * ~

A creature of routine, she went shopping after Book Club. Every trip to the supermarket was at best an exhausting in-your-face reality experience, at worst a sensory assault. From the seductive smell of the in-store baked bread and the sweet blowsy lilies in pretty buy-me cellophane wrappers to the whole gamut of riotous colour, compelling fonts and unashamed branding the weekly shop was a marketing horror to be endured. Enthusiastic staff spoke of must-buys or operational matters over the public address system interrupting the bland music and the periodic wails of infants distressed or seeking attention. Employees wearing uniform fleece offered tiny plastic pots as if shoppers were at some impromptu cocktail party or were institutionalised, standing in line to take their medication before bedtime.

“Can I tempt you to try a French cheese on offer today? Our own-brand mayonnaise has been voted Britain’s favourite. Would you like to see if you can taste the difference?”

There were endless choices, from the selection of three types of trolley at the entrance to the alternative methods of checkout at the exit. Early on in their relationship during a trip to the supermarket, Perry asked that Cassandra take on the responsibility.

“Sweetheart, shopping is ghastly. You are so much better at all this pointless busyness than I. Look about you,” he glowered. “Eighty percent of the people here are women. You are among your own kind; you know what to do; you have the time. Lucky, lucky girl, whereas poor old me, cash rich; time poor.”

Money wasn’t a problem. Perry urged her to spend what she liked. They could afford to live well on his salary and his grandfather’s trust fund. Bunty and Reg, his parents, bought the couple’s house as a wedding gift. Early on in their relationship, Bunty had trumpeted aloud at Cassandra’s modest choice of food retailer and her student habit of shopping around for bargains.

“My dear, a housewife is judged by her table. Top end for groceries, always. It’s what Perry’s used to.”

Cassandra did the shopping, coasting in neutral following a set path. Her face assumed a forced smile. She manoeuvred the trolley around slow mannerly pensioners, avoiding the child, skidding to a halt in the detergent aisle. She read labels comparing saturated fat and salt levels, catering for Perry’s current preferences and tastes. He was most particular. Cassandra willed herself not to judge the large woman with the trolley stacked high with snack and convenience food or to think too uncharitably of the salad afterthought perched on top of the high-fat, sugar-laden mountain. She rejected the self-checkout points, aware of her need for human interaction, chatting at the till, agreeing that the weather was shocking and that the three-for-two offer on the Imperial Leather soap was excellent value.

“My husband won’t try any other. His mother uses the same brand…you know, a family thing.” Cassandra despised the words and herself for the weakness that was her norm.

The cashier listened with her head to one side. Was there a fleeting edge of solidarity or sympathy in the amber eyes? Perhaps it was the magnifying effect of the tortoiseshell glasses. Cassandra felt odd and lightheaded but conscious of a moment of female kinship and understanding with a woman she’d never met before.

“Are you alright dear?” The amber was almost orange, owlish, and wild.

Cassandra considered the question as she used her credit card. The first attempt failed as she tapped in the wrong number. Concentrating, she began the process again until she met with success. She stopped in the act of lifting the bag of shopping into her trolley.

“I think…I am.”

The cashier reappraised her as she handed over the receipt.

“Changes take time to work their way through, don’t you find? The trick is to make the right choices. Take care now.”

There was no one behind her in the queue. The adjacent cashier was busy. No one else had overheard. What a curious exchange; not at all the usual bland pleasantries between staff and customers. Cassandra wheeled her trolley away, leaning against the metal frame. Glancing back at the checkout, the grey-haired woman was changing her till roll and did not look up.

Driving home through the rain, Cassandra thought about the book club. Perry had suggested she join. One evening at dinner, he announced that everything was arranged. The wife of Perry’s occasional golf partner would introduce her to the club and pick Cassandra up, taking her to the first meeting.

Debbie, in a red sports car with a mane of tawny hair, tanned, wearing a lime green trouser suit, pulled up outside sounding three long beeps. Cassandra rushed out of the house, flustered with a wave of greeting. This went unobserved as Debbie shot into her driveway, executing a three-point-turn, which halted two inches from the next-door’s spotless and regimented recycling bins.

“Hop in. Running late. A cul-de-sac in Westmead,” she surveyed the immaculate new-builds, “bad luck. My book choice this month so they can’t start without me. Got the top down…nice day…about time. Awful summer, you’d never think we lived in the south of England for pity’s sake.”

Cassandra held out her hand to no avail as the car sped forward.

“Belt up.”

The recollection of that first meeting made Cassandra grimace and smile. She couldn’t recall the name of the first book, the plot, or the characters, only that awful new girl paralysis, all the other women staring, appraising, and judging. Fighting an overwhelming instinct to run away, she defaulted to a learned behaviour; she smiled, crossed and uncrossed her legs, agreed and disagreed, nodded and listened, wholly intent on blending in. That was three years ago. Members came and went, but the core remained the same. Perry liked to ask her about the group, wives of cronies in his wider circle, so she stayed. Debbie stayed the course too, catching Cassandra’s eye at the more outrageous comments, winking with mirth at the absurd.

Perry wanted to know who was bright. Who led the group? Who did most of the talking? That was in the early days. Of late, he had not asked much about the reading group, but Debbie had become a friend. An unlikely pairing perhaps, but, as the first meeting finished and they walked towards the waiting Mercedes, Deborah Gore-Hamilton said, “I’ve got your number, Cassy Bishop. If you need an ally, I’ve got your back.”

That was how their friendship started. Cassandra was no longer alone.

ISBN: 978-1-62420-316-9

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble