Hearts on Fire by Ashli Rose

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It has been five years since Ava Kingston left her parents’ house in New Jersey. She ran and never looked back, all because of one night. One night that could’ve changed her life forever. Now living in Chicago, working as a journalist, Ava thinks her life is finally where it should be. She is working toward a promotion, has a great family, and a few amazing friends. What more could a girl want? Just when Ava comes to a calming sense of closure in her life, her past reappears in the form of the Hunks in Uniform calendar. Will Ava’s feelings for this fearless firefighter resurface against her better judgment? Or will Ava try to forget the one person she ever really loved?</div>
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Gavin Sawyer is a Chicago firefighter who is stopping many women’s hearts as a model for the Hunks in Uniform calendar. Gavin only tried out for the calendar because of her—the one person who knew he was worthy of such prestige. He knew how much she wanted him to do it, but then she was gone. Without a warning, Ava left Gavin behind with a broken heart and bruised ego. He loved her, but she ran. One night separated them forever. Now, five years later, Gavin will stop at nothing to win her back. A chance encounter with Ava sets his heart on fire and proves that old feelings really do die hard.</div>
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“Come on,” Gavin said as he pulled her over to a group of people gathered around two men singing “Imagine” by John Lennon. Ava turned to Gavin with a look of shock. He remembered. She had told him in conversation the week before that she loved classic rock, especially The Beatles. She also told him that if she ever had a daughter, she would name her Lennon. Thinking back on it, Ava was surprised Gavin asked her out after that comment. Ava held Gavin’s bicep and laid her head against his arm. She closed her eyes and listened to the two men sing one of her favorite songs. At one point, she began to sway, and she felt Gavin pull her into his body. It felt right being with him. Their bodies fit together perfectly, and she didn’t want to break contact with him. Fire was shooting through her veins, and she couldn’t believe that someone’s touch could do this to her. When the two men were done, the crowd erupted in a loud applause. Ava didn’t notice, but she had been crying. That song always did it to her.<br />
“Are you OK, Ava?” Gavin asked as he wiped a tear with the pad of his thumb.<br />
“I’m fine, Gavin. That is my favorite song, and I always get emotional when I listen to it. That was amazing. Thank you.”<br />
“Of course, but you haven’t seen the best part.” Gavin pulled her through the crowd, and in the middle of the circle was a huge peace sign made out of stone with the word “Imagine” in the middle. Along the outside of the peace sign was a bunch of different flowers outlining it. This truly was amazing. Ava could only imagine what John Lennon would’ve been capable of had he been alive today.<br />
Ava looked at Gavin and reached up on her tippy toes to kiss him on the cheek. “Thank you, Gavin. This has been the best date ever.”<br />
Gavin held Ava in his arms and kissed the top of her forehead. “So, could we add this to the list of things that you like?”<br />
Ava laughed into his chest. “Yes, Gavin, we can.”<br />
The next moment happened so quickly Ava didn’t even realize what was going on. Gavin dipped Ava back and planted a sweet kiss on her lips. Thankfully, Ava didn’t scream when it happened, because the kiss probably wouldn’t have been as amazing. Gavin’s lips were so soft against hers, and they tasted like mint and lemons. Ava cupped her hands behind his head and opened her mouth so Gavin could deepen the kiss. Gavin’s hand was on Ava’s lower back, and the other was behind her head. They continued their kiss, dancing with their tongues. They would’ve kept kissing if it weren’t for the applause and whistles they heard around them. They broke their kiss, and Ava buried her head in Gavin’s chest once again.<br />
“Good job, man!”<br />
“Get a room!”<br />
Gavin just waved to everyone, and Ava pulled him toward the street.<br />
“Oh my god. That was so embarrassing,” Ava said with a slight blush in her cheeks.<br />
“Was it really that bad kissing me?” Gavin asked with his hand over his heart, faking insult.<br />
“No, the kiss was amazing. I have never done anything like that in public before.”<br />
Gavin pulled Ava closer. “Good. I like that I was able to share that with you. But, I promise, Ava, the next time I kiss you will be behind closed doors, and I will not stop there.”<br />
Ava’s cheeks burned, and she knew she was red. The thought of Gavin’s lips on hers again was causing a stir in her belly. She wasn’t the type of girl to sleep with someone on the first date, but she could make an exception for someone who made it the best date she’d ever had.<br />
If this date gave Ava any clue as to how their relationship would be, Ava was going to be one lucky girl.<br />
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© Ashli Rose, Hearts on Fire 2014</blockquote>
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Ashli Rose is the author of the new novel Hearts on Fire in the Hearts on Fire Series.</div>
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A Jersey girl born and raised, Ashli lives in Bergen county with her husband Patrick and two year old daughter, Laila. She loves spending time with her family, watching teen shows(She’s a sucker for PLL and Teen Wolf), taking pictures of her daughter, and shopping for shoes that she will never have enough money to buy. Ashli is obsessed with all things Michael Kors and would purchase all of his bags if she could.</div>
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Ashli graduated with a BA in English from NJCU and during the day she is a Pre-K teacher to 30 energetic four and five year olds. Between them and her two year old it’s a miracle that Ashli found the time to write this book. It has always been a dream of Ashli’s to write a book, it wasn’t until the New Year that she decided to make that dream a reality.&nbsp;</div>
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COVER REVEAL- Christina Tetreault’s Redeeming the Billionaire

Billionaire Trent Sherbrooke works hard and plays harder. He’s never once cared what the media or society says about him, until now. Intent on making his way into the United States Senate, Trent hires campaign advisor Marty Phillips. A ruthless force in politics he’ll stop at nothing to get his candidate elected.

After a chance encounter throws local small business owner Addison Raimono in Trent’s path, Marty believes his found Trent’s ticket into Washington.

Ignoring his conscious that insists he leave Addison alone, Trent sets out to win her over. Soon what he assumed would be a relationship to salvage his reputation turns into so much more. But can a relationship started on a lie ever survive?

Interior designer Addison Raimono doesn’t have time for a romantic relationship. She’s to busy keeping her fledging business afloat, but then again a man like Trent Sherbrooke doesn’t enter a woman’s life everyday.

Interior designer Addison Raimono doesn’t have time for a romantic relationship. She’s to busy keeping her fledging business afloat, but then again a man like Trent Sherbrooke doesn’t enter a woman’s life everyday.

Sisters – The Second Love Story

My grandmother Kathleen and her identical twin Eileen

“I held my twin to a higher standard than my other sisters.” My grandmother Kathleen once said about her identical twin, Eileen.

As a romance writer the first part thing I think of when putting together a story is, who is going to fall in love and how are they going to do that.  In Falling for Shock, not only do I have the beautiful love story of Layla and Oliver, but I also have the more familial love story of Layla and her twin sister Lucy.  What would one sister give to help another and how far would they go to risk their own life for their sibling?

Luckily, I didn’t have to go too far for research into the world of twins. Twins are a prevalent part of my family. Over four generations we have racked up thirty-seven sets of twins, including my grandmother and her sister and my two sisters, Kelli and Kristin. Kelli and Kristin are identical twins just like Layla and Lucy Brooks and since I grew up with them I often found myself on the outside looking into their strange little world. They had their own language as kids, dreamed the same, finished each other’s sentences, said the same things at the same times, felt each other’s pain and many, many, many other weird coincidences… it would take a full novel just to list their weirdness.

Instead of being technical and going through my twin journey while I wrote my book, I decided to ask the many sets of twins or mothers of twins if the twins are too little, one simple question: What is the best and worst thing about being a twin? Now the cool thing about this impromptu survey is in some cases I didn’t ask the twins this question while the other was around.  I even went so far to  make separate phone calls or texts in order to receive these answers. The ones who have an asterisk by their names are the ones who were asked separately and take note of their answers.

 

Identical Sisters, Kristin Calise & Kelli Pirro

Identical Sisters, Kristin Calise & Kelli Pirro

*Kristin Calise:

Best: My twin understands me like no one else because she are an extension of me.

Worst: With the twin bond comes a sense of morality – pain is greater because not only am I watching my sister go through something horrific but I’m feeling it as well. I’m living it too.

*Kelli Pirro:

Best:  I like being a twin because there is an extra me. My twin always knows what I’m thinking and feeling because it’s what she would be thinking  and feeling herself, on her own.

Worst:  Superficially, I hate when people compare us together, especially physically. If I’m heavier or if she’s heavier there’s judgment or comments like, “oh your sister is skinner”.  But on a more deeper level I hate when their pain becomes your pain, too. Not that we magically share pain, but if she’s  hurt, then I am too because I’m watching her being hurt and emotionally seeing her in a pain is pain for me.

 

 

Identical sisters LeAnna Wilcox and Amanda Granner

Identical sisters LeAnna Wilcox and Amanda Granner

*LeAnna Wilcox:

Best:  Always having someone there to play with/talk to. And double the “stuff” (clothes, toys, etc).
Worst: Always being considered a pair instead of as individuals. Like one won’t get invited to a party because someone doesn’t want to invite the other twin.

*Amanda Granner:

Best: Always having a friend who knows what you are going through. Being able to share twice the stuff growing up and sometimes into adulthood. Also fooling your college friends who think they just saw you on another part of campus.

Worst: Personally, I have a hard time making other close friends because I already have my sister. And being lumped together as one unit.

 

 

Identical sisters Lori Tumolo & Theresa Clark

Identical sisters Lori Tumolo & Theresa Clark

 Theresa Clark:

Best:  The best thing is the connection. There’s nothing like it. All I have to do is give my sister a look and she knows what I’m thinking.

Worst:  The worst thing is being thought of as one being instead of 2 individuals. It was worse when we were younger, but still tends to happen now too.

 Lori Tumolo: 

Best: The best thing is always having a best friend. A friend from birth who will always be there when you need them. And also always having someone who understands you and someone to talk to. The connection. Sometimes it’s like we have the same mind. We know what each other is thinking. And know what the other is going to say before it’s said. Not that it has to be said because we already know.

Worst: The worst thing is there is None. Yeah we get asked every time we go out if we are sisters. Like no, we are not sisters we just look exactly alike but have never seen each other before! But really nothing about being a twin is bad. I love it.

 

Fraternal sisters, Cheryl Davis & Nancy Holincheck

Fraternal sisters, Cheryl Davis & Nancy Holincheck

Cheryl Davis :

Best: The best is always having someone to play with when growing up. I love being a twin. I would not change it for the world.

Worst:  Being compared to one another when growing up by everyone from other parents to teachers to friends. It never ends. The other worst is never having my own birthday lol.

 

 

 

Jessica C (Fraternal twin):

Best: Is having  such an unexplainable bond with her brother. We have a 6th sense about each other and know when the other is sad, sick, happy. The bond we share is the most unexplainable, extraordinary, treasured thing in my life.”

Worst: The worst part to being a twin to always being considered a “package deal”. Since my twin is a boy, it cause a lot of conflict and hurt feelings growing up.

 

 

Fraternal brother and sister, Jana Brekken & Jeff Leake

Fraternal brother and sister, Jana Brekken & Jeff Leake

 *Jana Brekken:  

Best: Always having a best friend. I’ve met other twins who aren’t as close with their sibling but that’s not the case with us.

Worst: Well, I would say sharing clothes if I had a sister, but I don’t (definitely one of the advantages of having a twin brother), so I’d have to say when people ask if we are identical. Uh, no, we’re a boy and a girl, it’s kind of impossible to be identical.

*Jeff Leake:

Best: I like having a sibling my same age, because we can go through things together and they know how it feels.

Worst: I’d have to say, always being associated with your sibling as if you are the same person.  Also, I’ve been asked at least fifty times whether I’m an identical twin or fraternal and that’s after I tell them I have a twin sister.

 

Mothers of Twins have some stories too!

My mother and her girls, including her identical daughters.

My mother and her girls, including her identical daughters.

My mother (mother to identical twins Kelli & Kristin): 

Best: One of my favorite, most enlightened memories of being a mother of twins is the morning I had my first ultrasound where I found out I was having twins. My husband was getting the car after the appointment and I was standing in front of a large picture window lost in awe of the miracle that was given to me. I had to thank God right then and there for this incredible blessing.

Some other positives were:

-Being stopped all the time and asked questions about the girls.

- I love seeing how close my twins are. They always have each other and they truly are two bodies who understand one mind.

Worst: No one is allowed in the circle of twindom. It’s an exclusive club and it can be hurtful, but at the same time I am glad they are close.

Some more negatives:

- Being pregnant was horrific! It felt like aliens took over my body and all I could do is let them.

- My husband and I didn’t sleep for two years during the infant and toddler years.

- I love babies and I wanted to hug and snuggle my tiny twins, but because they were so much work to do, I couldn’t shower them with an undivided attention like I had with my singleton.

- On the downside of being stopped in public though, I also had a three year old who was left out when her sisters were getting all the attention.

- Emotionally, when I punished one of them it was as if I was punishing both because the other would cry. Their sympathy was so great for each other.

 

Melissa (mother of identical twin girls E & L) :

Best thing about the girls being twins is when they do funny things and they both laugh in the same laugh at it.

The worst is when they tattle on each other.

 

Erin McRae (mother to A & J siblings 1 year apart in age):

My kids are 12 months and 5 days apart. They look alike, act alike, and are best friends. They aren’t twins, but twins do run in my family. My cousin (who is a twin) says that A and J remind her of her and her brother. They act like twins, they even have their own language. They carry on conversations that no one but the two of them have any idea what they are talking about. They also always to to one another first for comfort. I love that they are so close.

 

Do you know, are related to, or are you a twin yourself and have a story to tell… or if you want to add to the Best and Worst things about being a twin? Then please leave it in the comments below!

 

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FALLING FOR SHOCK BLOG TOUR

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TUESDAY, JUNE 10:                                WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11:

Curl up & Read                                          MJ Schiller

Fictional Fantasies                               My Secret Book Spot

True Story Book Blog

 

Thursday, June 12:                             Thursday, June 26:

Cecily’s Book Review                          VoElla – Voice of Entertainment

Hooked on Books                                                               for Women

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3 Falling for Shock Signed Paperbacks

 

5 Shock Keychains

3 Shock Keychains

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5 Couple Bookmarks

5 Couple Bookmarks

5 Cover Bookmarks

5 Cover Bookmarks

Dreaming in History

multiculturalnight

Not many times can I say that being a Historian has brought me heartache, but I experienced it last night. After watching The World Wars on History channel this week, I had a dream – or nightmare to be more specific-  that Hitler and the monstrosities he caused were happening now. He was eradicating the Jewish and multi-racial friends and family that I love beyond words. We were blockaded in an abandoned school waiting to see who was going to go down this black hall next. One after one went some of my cousins, my sisters, my husband, my friend’s husband, my brother-in-law. I thought they would take me next but they didn’t. Those of us who met the criteria could stay, but we had to watch what was happening. I was trapped in the dream, crying out for the loss my family, my sister and friend’s husbands and in complete and utter shock, watching everyone around me falling apart with Hitler and Mussolini laughing at our sorrow. Cold, painful fright gripped me. I wanted out of the school, out of my dream and somehow I finally woke myself up.

Unconscious tears had wet my cheeks and I turned seeing the familiar body-shaped lump in the bed next to me… my husband. I woke him up, causing him to fret and gently he peeled our covers away, asking, “What’s wrong with you? You’re sweating.”

I clung to him, saying I’d had a nightmare, but it was real! I couldn’t help but think if World War II had happened now and those monsters were around, the days I know as history would be my present day. No more loved ones, no more family, no more incredible people in the world.

My husband tried to pacify me but I couldn’t go back to sleep. Instead, I thought about what it would have truly been like to live in Europe during the 1940s. Those tyrants were real back then and someone had gone through what I’d experienced in my dream in their own life and time.  How frightened and devastated those poor people must have been!  Through my dream, I had the tiniest glimpse into that world and it was a deathly scary place. My mind can only imagine what it would have been like, but real, beautiful people lived through it.

So today, more than ever, I mourn and ache for those lost during the Holocaust – whether they were the ones who perished or if they were broken ones who watched a loved one be taken, abused, and killed. I didn’t know any of them personally, but I do know them in spirit. They live in the diverse people I know in my life right now. They are the ones, should history ever repeat itself, I would always fight for even when they can’t fight for themselves.