Fifty Shades of Grey – Official Trailer

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The countdown has begun, it is just 205 short days until Fifty Shades of Grey opens in theatres. I don’t know if there is anyone who doesn’t at least have a passing familiarity with Christian Grey and his red room of pain. This stratospherically successful trilogy which was loosely based on the unlikely but impossibly popular Twilight Series is set to open in theatres February 14, 2015.

Despite my own mixed feelings about the FSOG series, most accurately described as horrified fascination I find I am looking forward to the film adaptation. To which the first official trailer only whets the appetite.

In the meantime we have little choice but to revisit the series to be suitably prepared come Valentine’s Day.

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When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

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For more like Fifty Shades you may want to consider the following:

 

 

Shadow Whispers – Lexxie Couper

Shadow Whispers

Title: Shadow Whispers

Author: Lexxie Couper

Release Date: August 12th, 2014

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About Shadow Whispers by Lexxie Couper

Temptation…

Jared died twenty years ago. Now he’s trapped between Heaven and Hell, sent back again and again to protect those whose time has not yet come. Never before has he been tempted by the desires of mortal flesh. But then, he never had to watch over Tess Darcy before. For Tess he’ll break every rule, even if it costs him his immortal soul.

Haunted by nightmares of the stalker who nearly killed her, Tess has buried herself deep in the Australian Outback to escape her past. But Kangaroo Creek isn’t quite the quaint little town it looked on the map. Nothing is what it seems here. Every night, the same incredibly hot erotic dreams visit her, leaving her wanting more. The Librarian’s channelling demons, and assures Tess the handsome hunk she just ran into is dead. The bookstore seems to have rather unusual clients, and destroyed photos have a way of reappearing over and over again.

Other than that it’s a peaceful little town… until the man who nearly killed her returns from the dead. Is Jared the man of her dreams? Can he save her from her nightmares, or will the magic that haunts this town consume them both?

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Excerpt:

Jared watched her walk from the library. Anger rolled from her in waves of tangible heat, rivalling the blistering temperature of the day. His gut tightened. Something had happened inside the old building. Something he should have seen, should have felt but didn’t.

He frowned, tracking her progress down the library steps. The smouldering sulphuric-red hue of her anger floated around her like a thundercloud, staining the air a deep vile scarlet. He’d never seen that color about her before. Auras of pensive blue, yes. Overlays of uneasy, guarded grey and insecure muddied brown, but never this turbulent red. Tess was angry. Very angry.

He clenched his fists, studying the color enveloping her. It boiled about her head, writhing and contorting—like a living thing in the throes of extreme pain. His heart clenched, feeling Tess’ torment. As always, he fought with the overwhelming urge to go to her. To embrace her, hold her to his body and kiss away her pain. She’d been through so much, possibly faced so much more, alone. And yet, she never faltered in her determination to deny it all. He admired her strength. It was almost stubborn, a trait he understood very well. A trait he’d been accused of more than once himself. Tess wouldn’t bow to her grief. But she wouldn’t acknowledge it either, and that was dangerous.

Jared’s heart clenched again. The One Almighty knew that, yet still he was forbidden to help her. Sent to protect and observe and that was all.

Denied longing flooded Jared’s being. He focussed hard on Tess as she made her way west, drawn to her innate sensuality and fragile resolve. What’s pissed you off so much, Tess? Why can’t I feel it?

A shower of brilliant white sparks suddenly erupted in Tess’ sullied angry aura, blinding him for a split second before disappearing again. Jared sucked in a hot, dry breath. She’d felt him. Her spirit had felt his presence. How had that happened?

How could that happen?

If her spirit sensed him…

His body stirring in a base, elemental way, he frowned at her back.

And she looked over her shoulder.

Straight at him.

His heart thumped into rapid life and, incapable of doing anything else, he stared straight back at her.

Time froze. For a glorious moment, Tess Darcy saw him. Deep, chocolate brown eyes held him prisoner before, with a distracted frown, she looked straight ahead again and continued hurrying along the street.

His pulse leapt into life and he felt the familiar tug on his being he’d experienced the second he’d laid eyes on her—like a fist around his damned soul. God, he was in trouble here. The last time he’d lost his heart to a woman, he’d had it destroyed. After so many months of watching Tess, of seeing her so deeply, knowing her soul so completely, his dead, shattered heart felt afire with life, with futile hope again. He couldn’t afford to fall for her. To do so would be just as dangerous as Tess’ stubborn refusal to acknowledge her grief. He couldn’t fall for her.

Yet he was.

And he was incapable of preventing it.

About Lexxie Couper

lexxie couperLexxie Couper started writing when she was six and hasn’t stopped since. She’s not a deviant, but she does have a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get erotic romances that can make you laugh, cry, shake with fear or tremble with desire. Sometimes all at once.

When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family, a husband who thinks she’s insane, a indoor cat who likes to stalk shadows, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.

Having no idea how old she really is, Lexxie decided to go with 27 and has been that age for quite some time now. It’s the best of both worlds – old enough to act mature, young enough to be silly.

Lexxie lives by two simple rules – measure your success not by how much money you have, but by how often you laugh, and always try everything at least once. As a consequence, she’s laughed her way through many an eyebrow raising adventure.

Find out more about Lexxie Couper:

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Surrender to Me – Monica James

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Ava Thompson left her one true love, Jasper White, to unearth her destiny. It was the only way for Ava to grow into the woman she’s always wanted to become.

Sadly, that destiny has led her back to the place that broke her … Singapore.

And more importantly, it has led her back to the man who broke her … Harper.

Ava is no longer the scared, lost girl she once was. She is stronger and determined to accomplish her dreams in order to find happiness. Hopefully, at the end of it all, she will return into the loving arms of Jasper White.

Six months later, Ava travels back to Los Angeles for an event that embraces the true meaning of love. Sadly for Ava, her meaning of true love has been lost.

Los Angeles is not how Ava left it. Things have changed. People have changed. She has changed. However, what has remained untouched is her passionate love for Jasper White.

But does Jasper feel the same?

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EXCERPT

He inches his face towards mine, and I too edge forward, so not in control of my actions right now, because kissing him is the only thing I can think of. But then I remember he’s drunk, and this kiss will be meaningless in the morning.Pulling back and shaking my head, in hopes of knocking some sense into my lust-filled brain, I whisper, “You’re drunk, Jasper.”Jasper smiles, but it’s a sad smile.His eyes focus on mine as he confesses, “I’m drunk on you. You’re my poison, Ava, and I don’t know how to stop consuming you.”A breath catches in my throat as words that should be interpreted harshly, aren’t at all perceived that way. I don’t know how to reply, so I don’t. I close my eyes and take five steadying breaths.

One.
Two.
Three.
Four.
Five.

Reopening my eyes, I see that I’m alone.

Peering up at Jasper’s house, I witness him turning back towards my car from his front door. The porch light reflects off his beautiful face, and his expression is mirroring mine. And that expression is one I have been trying so hard to keep at bay, but sadly have been failing at.

That expression is one of submission and surrender.

We both surrender.

And that fact scares the living shit out of me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MonicaJames1Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers, and her inspiration comes from every day life. She is an Amazon best selling author in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.

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Other Books By Monica James
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I Surrender (I surrender Book 1)

Synopsis: Singapore has stolen a piece of Ava Thompson. It took one life shattering moment for her to realize her ex-boyfriend is not the man she believed him to be. Returning home to Los Angeles was never going to be easy for Ava, as her heart has been shattered to smithereens and she’s convinced it’ll never heal. Or, so she thought. Enter Jasper White. Unbeknown to Ava, he will change her life forever. The attraction is instantaneous, which troubles Ava, who has sworn off men indefinitely. Yet, she is finding resisting Jasper—with his tousled bedroom hair and piercing cerulean eyes—harder than she ever imagined. That’s because Jasper knows what he wants … and he wants her. Can Ava surrender to her feelings for the one man who compels her to love again? What happens if love isn’t enough?

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Something Like Normal

Synopsis: Mia Lee has a secret… A secret she’s kept hidden since she was eight years old, however, Mia will no longer allow that secret to define her. An irrevocable decision has left Mia Lee a fugitive and on the run—a circumstance that should leave her weak and scared, yet Mia has never felt so alive. Under the pseudonym of Paige Cassidy, Mia is ready to live the life she’s never had, and she’s determined not to allow her tainted past dictate her promising future. Paige is on a Greyhound bus heading from L.A. to South Boston, Virginia, to start a new life. A life that includes finding her mother, who abandoned her at age three. But what she finds, is four people, who will change her life forever. Yet no one can outrun their past… Especially one filled with bitter memories, which refuse to remain hidden.

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Hollywood Dreams – Mae Archer GUEST POST

She’s fallen for his greatest role. But can she fall for him?
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Hollywood Dreams by Mae Archer

Release Date: 07/24/14

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Former soap star Tom Calvert dreams of making movies that matter. To get the part of a lifetime he becomes a method actor, living as Beau Tennant, a war hero with a disabling injury. While in character he meets Maree Reynard, a costume designer, and takes her on a date. But when this practice date becomes all too real he realizes that he’s made the mistake of a lifetime. Will he be able to get Maree to fall in love with Tom Calvert?Maree Reynard’s father is an actor and she has grown up on a studio lot. She has no illusions about the artifice of the movie-making business and has vowed she would never date an actor. When she meets and falls in love with Beau Tennant she knows that she’s found her dream man who is genuine and real. But when Beau disappears from her life she is heartbroken. She meets Tom Calvert on the rebound and sees their flirtation as a way of recovering her shattered confidence. Will Tom Calvert be able to convince her he is the real deal?

GUEST POST - Using Pinterest to Create Evocative Descriptions

Many years ago when I was working on my manuscript I would find photos that inspired me and faithfully save them on my computer. Accessing them later was always a hassle, the photos would all be strange sizes and could be hard to see, and sometimes I’d forget why I saved a particular photo. Then of course there was the space that this ate on my hard drive.

Fast forward some ten years later and I now use Pinterest where I create a secret board while I’m working on my novel. I usually always start with a photo for my hero and heroine.

My current novel Hollywood Dreams is about a woman who falls for a lovely, regular guy. They date, fall in love, and but he is hiding a deep, dark secret. Turns out he’s not a lovely, regular guy. He is instead a movie star who is in character as a method actor. Now he has to get the woman he loves to fall in love with the real him, and so the fun begins.

The inspiration for my hero Tom Calvert is Chris Pine.

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This is the photo that inspired Beau Tennant, Tom’s character part.

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And Jacqueline Bissett was the inspiration for my heroine Maree Reynard.

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I’ve found that when I’m working on my manuscript the best way to write truly descriptive passages is to be able to visualise what I’m writing about and capture the unique detail to bring that to light.

While the setting is in a sense another secondary character of my novel, descriptions should never be about stopping the action for a sight-seeing tour, instead the setting should be used to get across a sense of emotion and move the story forward.

Maree is the daughter of two soap actors and has spent most of her life on a studio lot, first as a child when her father took her in to work with him and later as an adult when she works as a costume designer. So the studio lot is her home away from her home.

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“With its mix of tin sheds and large buildings, the studio lot might look intimidating to most people, but to Maree it was almost as familiar as the palm of her hand.”

Sometimes I search for a particular image to set my scene. For example this photo inspired the setting for Maree and Tom’s first date. Tom is waiting for Maree to arrive and feeling self conscious and the setting acts to soothe his anxiety.

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“The restaurant was an outdoor patio with a huge ancient tree in the centre, its gnarled branches curving into the sky and over the heads of the diners. Lit by candles, there was an intimate ambience and Tom felt his discomfort fading.”

Then there is this scene when Tom and Maree have to go to a cabin that acts as a sanctuary for them and their relationship.

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“As Carter parked, Maree leaned forward to look out the window. The log cabin was on a slope, nestled among pine trees, their scent bringing to mind Christmas. As they walked up the porch stairs she turned and surveyed the view. They were halfway up a hill, and Lake Arrowhead stretched before her with white-capped mountains behind it.”

So as a writer don’t forget to use the setting to the best of your ability to create a sense of mood and atmosphere. Use visuals to develop evocative descriptions and practice weaving them into your manuscript.

And if you’re a reader don’t forget to check out my Pinterest board for Hollywood Dreams to see some more visuals to compliment the book.

http://www.pinterest.com/maearcher5/hollywood-dreams/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Archer_MaeMae Archer knew she wanted to be a writer since she was a child. She loved listening to her grandmother’s war stories about English maidens falling in love with handsome Yankees while England burnt under the Luftwaffe’s blitz.
When she discovered romance novels as a teenager she soon realised that her dream job was to be a romance writer. After many career twists and turns she’s making her dreams come true.
Her real life is like one of her grandmother’s stories. She met a foreigner who travelled through Australia and it was love at first sight. She married him six months after they met and every day since has been an adventure.
She lives in Australia with her husband and daughter.
Mae loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through her website: www.maearcher.com.

Falling for the Pirate – Amber Lin NOW AVAILABLE

Falling for the Pirate

Title: Falling For The Pirate

Author: Amber Lin

Release Date: July 21st, 2014

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About Falling For The Pirate (Men Of Fortune #2):

Falling For The Pirate CoverVengeance is a dish best served in bed…
London, 1812

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone—and exquisitely desirable.
And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia—unable to recall even her name—and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate.A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

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The Men of Fortune Series by Amber Lin:

#1 Letters At Christmas (novella) : Amazon / B&N

 

Excerpt:

It was warm in the room. Too warm. The blankets were suffocating, and someone had built a strong fire. She could smell the coal.

Coal. There was something about coal, but she couldn’t remember what. Her head felt foggy, as if filled with water, her thoughts adrift in the murky dark. There was something important she had to remember. Floating just beyond her grasp.

Cuts and bruises all over her body made themselves known as she came awake, as if they awoke too, one by one. Her palms burned, as though she’d fallen and scraped them. Her ankle throbbed—possibly she’d twisted it. Her side ached. What had happened to her?

If she held herself very still, the pain dulled to a muffled roar, just quiet enough that she could focus on other things.

Such as where she was.

And who she was.

Her eyes felt glued shut. She opened them by force of will and stared at a plain drapery striped with light and dark blue. Pretty; serviceable. She was almost sure she’d never seen it before. Almost, because she couldn’t remember what she had seen before. She could only feel certain she hadn’t.

The furniture looked heavy. Good quality. Not ornate.

That detail seemed meaningful to her. Not ornate. As if she had once lived somewhere that was ornate—with fancy tapestries and delicately carved furnishings. Somewhere much colder than here.

A faint memory of freezing water and sinewy shadows came to her, tickling her memory. Sinking, drowning. But nothing moved beneath her now, and her throat felt utterly dry. If she’d been in the water at some point, she was most definitely on land now.

She looked around, letting her gaze sweep the cozy room before landing on a large wooden chair. More to the point, the man sleeping in the chair.

His legs were spread wide—bracing himself, even in sleep. His shoulders were well above the back of the chair, his head leaning against the wall behind. He seemed too large for the furniture, like a grown man sitting on a child’s rocker in a nursery. Only, this chair was quite average-sized.

She had a sense of familiarity, of having seen him before. Which was strange, because she didn’t feel like the sort of woman acquainted with pirates.

And this man was most definitely a pirate.

He wore no jacket. She felt faintly scandalized, except he was also alone in the room with her. He was alone in the room with her, which was far worse than being in shirtsleeves. And if that weren’t shocking enough, the ties at his collar hung loose, baring a portion of his chest. Tanned. Sprinkled with dark hair. And wholly inappropriate for her to see.

She looked away—and right into his eyes. He was awake now. He’d been watching her examine him.

“Who are you?” Her voice came out low and rough. What had she been doing last night to make her voice so raw?

And had she been doing it with him?

The pirate stretched slowly, wincing as his body straightened into order. She had the sense he was rolling himself back up, as if he were a tree he had to trim just to stand upright.

“You asked me the same question last night,” he remarked.

His voice vibrated with sarcasm. He didn’t sound happy to greet her this morning. And, in fact, her sense of familiarity was completely misplaced if she’d asked for his name just last night.

“What did you answer?” she asked.

A glimmer of humour shone from his eyes before they went black again. Black like his hair. Black like the sea. He smiled, and the smile was black, too—with irony and annoyance. “I didn’t,” he said. “I’m not in the habit of explaining myself to thieves.

About Amber Lin:

Amber authorAmber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.

Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

 

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“The Austen Project” and Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

GUEST POST – teachergirl73

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To mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s works, there are several authors that have been committed to paying tribute to her stories. I was lucky enough in the fall of 2013 to attend a Q&A for the novel “Longbourn” by Jo Baker, following a special screening of Joe Wright’s production of “Pride and Prejudice” which was the setting used for her novel.  Longbourn follows the story of Pride and Prejudice from the viewpoint of the servants living in the Bennett household. It was an excellent read, and my review can be found here at Penny Dreadful Book Reviews.

 

 

A few months after reading Longbourn, I stumbled onto “The Austen Project”, where I discovered the plan to re-write several of Austen’s novels with a modern twist (http://theaustenproject.com/). The first re-imagining of Austen’s stories is Joanna Trollope’s version of Sense and Sensibility.

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sense-and-sensibilityTrollope’s modernization of Sense and Sensibility places the women of the Dashwood family in the present day, living in their beloved Norland Park, a beautiful old Georgian manor estate in Sussex.  Elinor, Marianne, Margaret and their mother Belle, are left homeless and almost penniless at the death of their father Henry. The girls’ half brother John, and his most unlikeable wife Fanny, force the ladies out of the only home that they have ever known as they claim John’s rightful inheritance as the first-born son.

The world is looking very bleak for the Dashwood women, when they are suddenly rescued by the charity of a distant relative. This long-lost connection is revived thanks to Edward Ferrars, who happens to be Fanny’s much nicer brother. It is clear that all the Dashwood ladies like Edward, but it is Elinor, the eldest daughter, who seems to have Edward’s eye and vice versa. But the main theme of this story is that “nothing is as it seems“, and the road to happiness is not easy for any of the ladies.

As I read Trollope’s version of Sense and Sensibility, I was reminded of why I try to avoid this story. I have read and watched various versions of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Emma over and over again through the years, enjoying every interpretation that I have seen.  Sense and Sensibility, however, might be the one Austen story that I never want to read or watch on the big screen again. The women are all victims, from the beginning until the end, and that is something that I just cannot digest as a reader.

Unfortunately, Trollope’s version did not help my issues with the Dashwood sisters, with Elinor playing the perpetual doormat, while her younger sisters Marianne and Margaret behave in spoiled and over-indulged manner. Even their mother, Belle, would rather keep her head in the sand rather than take charge of their unfortunate situation.

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In my opinion, the Dashwood sisters do not hold a candle to the Bennet girls from “Pride and Prejudice”.  I believe that even Emma Woodhouse, the main character from Austen’s “Emma”, who despite being a much indulged young lady by her widowed father, she is still a far more likeable character.

As I have never read anything from Joanna Trollope before, I’m not sure if this novel is typical of her writing style, but I don’t think that I’ll go seek out another by her. There were many points throughout the book that I found the writing to be choppy and disjointed. Her decision to have Belle’s daughters refer to her as “Ma” certainly doesn’t seem to ring true for a well-born English family, especially one set in present day. I was half-expecting the cast of Little House on the Prairie to step into the scene every time the girls called “Ma!”.  Unfortunately, my expectations for this novel were far higher than perhaps they should have been.

I am still looking forward to reading the rest of the novels from “The Austen Project”, with Val McDermid’s modern day version of “Northanger Abbey” in the waiting in the queue of my TBR list.  I feel like it might be a better fit for my personality :)

Rating: C+

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author1271052560Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather’s rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trollope. She was educated at Reigate County School for Girls followed by St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

From 1965 to 1967, she worked at the Foreign Office. From 1967 to 1979, she was employed in a number of teaching posts before she became a writer full-time in 1980. Her novel Parson Harding’s Daughter won in 1980 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

 

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Rival Love – Natalie Decker COVER REVEAL

Rival Love by Natalie Decker

Release Date: 08/26/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall.

But nothing lasts forever. Skylar’s world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom’s live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they’re not that different after all–and each is harbouring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out?

Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times.

Her passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her love of writing or her comfort in books.

She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, travelling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!

Author Links:

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