Tamika M. Murray
Nonfiction Social Work
The struggle is real, but the help is sincere for adolescent students In Crying, Learning, and Laughing: Why Students Visit the Teen Center. The author recounts the stressful, but the often fun position as a case manager in a Teen Center. Students’ daily interactions in a School-Based Youth Services Program add color to the murky topics of teen dating violence, child abuse, and mental health issues. The unexpected crises don’t hinder the adolescents’ high energy, but it brings insight for the curious reader. Interesting and helpful, Crying, Learning, and Laughing explore the often chaotic life of teens and how social workers in schools shine a light during dark times.
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Tamika M. Murray, better known as Mika, was born in the urban, seaside town of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mika is a certified social worker, owner of Celestial Publishing LLC, freelance writer and soon to be author. She graduated from Stockton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Since then, her writing has appeared in over 50 online publications through ghostwriting. Mika’s helped over 200 children and adolescents during her career as an Adjunct English Instructor and Case Manager.
She plans to raise awareness about School-Based Youth Services Programs (Teen Centers) and why they are a necessity in all schools through the release of her book Crying, Learning, and Laughing: Why Students Visit the Teen Center, releasing on September 1, 2020.
She currently resides in Southern, New Jersey, with her boyfriend and three rambunctious kitties.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:Website Address: www.mikamurray.com
Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/CelestialScr81
Reign of Pride
Dark Reign Book 1
by A.G. Kirkham
Genre: Contemporary Mafia Romance
Nero was born and raised to take over "La Famiglia". It is his destiny. Along with this power comes traditions, one being marrying a dutiful wife to have dutiful babies and raise them to respect the ways of the family. It is a severe handicap to fall in love. Enemies take those you love and use them to their advantage. Can Nero resist the youth and charm of Felicia or will she be the downfall of his destiny? Can he lose all he desires by letting his heart rule instead of his head?
Felicia always knew that she would be promised in marriage, but was assured by her father that her future husband would be a man that she could fall in love with and would love her in return. Instead, when an attack hits the school, Felicia grabs her friend's hand and they run for their lives. Her quick thinking saved them both and her reward, Nero. Felicia understands tradition and the ways of the Famiglia but was not prepared to marry the next Capo. How does she make a man made of ice fall in love with her?
I was born in a small town in Italy. My parents are loving people; and true traditionalists. I grew up being a chatterbox of a child and evolved into a quiet and shy teenager. I was definitely not the life of the party. As a matter of fact, I never wanted to go to any high school dances or any activities the school offered. I was good with being alone. I had to grow into my own and I eventually became the fun loving, open-minded and creative person I am now. I love the ‘me’ I have become and I am grateful that this is where I have landed.
Writing is my release and I have escaped in my imagination to some incredible places meeting the most awesome characters. I also wanted to be a rock star but anyone who has ever heard me sing kindly convinced me that I do not have any talent. (In other words, I suck at it.)
Although I have been writing since I was in grade school, and I am a hopeless romantic.
Why I write romance? I thrive on two individuals connecting in mind, body and soul. The understanding of wants and needs and placing them as a priority and not out of fear of losing them or because you feel you need to concede; you do it because it feels easy and right in your own heart.
My other passion is cooking! I enjoy making meals for my family and friends and bantering around the table. I have colourful people in my life and they all add to my rainbow. I love music! I like it all, depending on my mood.
And lastly, I love to travel. I want to enjoy all that life has to offer. I want to meet people, learn from them and create the most fantastic, sexy love stories. If I can do this overlooking the ocean and feeling the breeze wash over me then I have my heaven on earth.
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The Future Mrs. Brightside
by Fiona J.R. Titchenell
Genre: Women's Fiction
After a year of making beautiful music together, Chloe Hatherly thinks she’s more than ready to make the age-old promise to her bandmate, Jon. In sickness and in health, for better or worse. When the sudden death of Jon’s father forces the couple to postpone their wedding in favor of a funeral, however, their relationship veers rapidly off course from the ever after they’d both envisioned. Now living in her intended father-in-law’s memory-steeped house and acting as round-the-clock caregiver for her fiancé’s worsening depression, Chloe finds herself afflicted with a songwriter’s block for which she’s only ever known one cure: leaving and writing a killer breakup song. Unlike the subjects of her past lyrical rants, Chloe can’t picture her life without Jon in it, and she begins to wonder if there’s a way to save the music she loves while keeping the vows she never had the chance to make — or if she and Jon have already been irrevocably parted by death, albeit not their own.
The Future Mrs. Brightside is an uncomfortably honest, sometimes hilarious, fiercely romantic prose ballad to the hideous beauty of love in good times and bad.
FIONA J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Pinnacle City: A Superhero Noir, The Prospero Chronicles, and the Summer 2018 Feminist Book of the Month, Out of the Pocket. The Future Mrs. Brightside is her first foray into contemporary women’s fiction. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Cal State University Los Angeles in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband and fellow author, Matt Carter, and has also published under the initials F.J.R. Titchenell. Find out more about her and her books at http://www.fjrtitchenell.weebly.com.
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Title: Rush of Love
Author: Nicole Ann Nielsen
Genre: Small Town Romance
Editor: Candice Royer
Publication Date: August 27th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amberâs PR
Nicole Ann Nielsen believes in romance, in love, and everyone deserves a happy ever after. And that is what she writes -- Contemporary Romance, with a dash of spice and a hint of suspense.
Nicole lives in scenic Cape Town, South Africa, and shares her space with her husband, two dogs, and a lone cat, her son and daughter having long flown the parental coop.
She is an avid reader, enjoys Pilates, inhales coffee, and loves dreaming about her next novel.
âHey,â she greeted, smiling.
Seeing her pretty face come to life on the small screen kicked up Kurtâs pulse rate. And stirred his dick. But then, heâd been walking with a semi-hard-on all weekend. Heâd managed â just â to not give in to the temptation and take himself in hand.
He cleared his throat. âJosephine.â Nope. His voice was still all croaky.
âYeah.â Oh, way to go, Kurt. Reduced to blubbering one-word answers.
âOkay then, whatâs up with you?â Jo moved position, and Kurt saw the iron post behind her. She was in bed. Like him.
Whatâs up? âMy dick,â he blurted, viewing the bulge pushing against his pajama pants.
She blinked. âOh.â
âOh? Thatâs all you gotta say? Oh. Since you walked into my office seven weeks ago, itâs had a mind of its own. And then I did that fool thing of hauling you out of â¦ Polly and kissing you. And then â¦ then Friday â¦ Friday, I truly lost my mind, and now my dickâs had a taste of your pussy again, and it wants more. Dammit, Josephine, stop laughing,â Kurt ground out.
He was staring at her ceiling, strips of wood lying atop support beams, while the sound of her giggles filled his ears. It was a beautiful sound, and a reluctant smile stirred his lips.
Her face filled his screen again. Big brown eyes were shining bright, and she was swiping a hand across a bright pink cheek. âShould I apologize, Sheriff?â
âNever.â He loved her just the way she was.
âHauling me out of Polly was â¦ hot.â
âSo Iâve been told,â he admitted.
She chuckled. âHave you watched the video?â
âYeah.â Just five minutes ago. Hence the call. He cleared his throat. âI need to apologize to you. You deserve more than âa haul out the car and kiss senseless on the side of the roadâ behavior from me. I wasnât thinkââ
âIt was real, Kurt,â Jo cut in. âThat kiss was real. Just like Friday was real. And both were hot. Donât apologize for being authentic with me.â Exhaling sharply, she added, âIâm suffering from the same malady thatâs afflicting you. Exceptâ â she grinned â âmineâs â¦ internal.â
He swallowed. Hard. âThis â¦ between us? Are we going there again? Are you prepared to give me a second chance?â
The prolonged silence was killing him, and he stared into his screen, into her beautiful eyes as she looked at him, wishing he could cup her face and feel her soft skin and will the answer he wanted from her sweet lips.
And then, âYes. Yes, I am.â
Kurt let out the breath heâd been holding, and his heart stuttered to life again. âWeâll talk when youâre back from California,â he promised.
A bright smile bloomed across her face. âWeâll talk.â This was quickly followed by a frown. âAbout California. Seriously, Kurt, did you have to sic bodyguards on me?â
âJo, your concealed license is not valid in California, and I donât like you being unarmed, so yes, until Iâm around to protect your ass and Branson is caught, you will have bodyguards on you. It falls under the contract protecting your entire family.â
Jo muttered something under her breath.
âSorry?â He wanted her to repeat what heâd thought heâd heard her say.
She looked him in the eye. âI love it when you go all sheriff-y on me.â
âJosephine,â he growled at the blatant lie.
She huffed. âOh, okay. I said â¦ youâve gone and made me all â¦ heated, Sheriff. So. Not. Fair. Youâre hundreds of miles away,â she whined.
Join the club, baby. Kurt chuckled. âOh, itâs very fair, Josephine. Iâll see you when you get back on Wednesday.â
âTill Wednesday, Sheriff Wheeler. Sweet dreams,â she added with a wicked smile stretching from ear to ear. She blew him a kiss and disconnected before Kurt could reply.
âSweet dreams, baby. Love you,â he whispered to the blank screen, catching the kiss, placing his fist over his heart.
Kurt lay back smiling. And opened the app to view That Kiss again.
But his smile had faded by the time the video ended.
Heâd mauled Jo, on the side of a public road. And left her.
Heâd slaked his lust, taking her, roughly, in a kitchen. And left.
After toying with her for years, heâd left her, without a backward glance.
Heâd not ever done right by her.
How was he going to make it up to her?
To The Bone
“Harley has skills.” Gretchen finally gives up on her phone and puts it on the table. “She can look at any building and tell you what period of style influenced it. Tell me when that wouldn’t come in handy.”
I shoot her a mock glare. “I can also tell which beam I should knock down to collapse a building on top of you.”
“Ooh, à la Wicked Witch of the West?” Henri laughs at the dismay on Gretchen’s face.
“East, dummy,” Liv says. “West is her sister that goes after Dorothy.”
I check my watch and realize it’s already past nine o’clock. It takes me almost thirty seconds to do the same math as yesterday to figure out what time it is back home.
Jet lag might not have hit me as hard as I expected, but my brain is definitely dragging a bit today.
Gretchen interrupts my thoughts. “You hear that, Harley?”
I turn to look at her, realizing I missed a significant chunk of conversation in that thirty seconds.
“Sorry.” I shake my head.
“Paolo set us up with Roland Lambert, one of the most prominent local cataphiles, to give us our tour tonight.”
“What’s a cataphile?” I ask.
Anders is the one who answers me. His Finnish accent is strong and I have to listen close to understand. “It’s what they call the people who are obsessed with the Catacombs. They like to go down and explore them.”
“Oh, cool. He sounds like he’ll be perfect.” A thrill of fear and excitement shoots through me. Now that I think about it, I remember cataphiles being mentioned a few times in that Catacombs documentary.
“I heard this creepy story once.” Paolo leans across the table like he’s telling us the most important thing ever. “The guy who was in charge of finding a way to get all the bones into the Catacombs, they say his spirit is still down there, that the owners of the bones he moved won’t let him leave.”
James groans. “Of course he is.”
Maud releases an uncomfortable giggle and swats Paolo on the shoulder. “Come on, ghosts?”
“There are a million stories like that.” Henri leans back, putting his hands behind his head. “I saw this video online from a university student who was recording down there. It’s super creepy. It doesn’t show what he saw, but he looks terrified and drops the camera. The last thing it recorded was his feet running away from whatever he saw. I guess someone found his camera later, but he never came out.”
An involuntary shiver slides down my spine, but when Gretchen starts laughing it fades away.
She holds her fork in front of her, pretending it’s a microphone, and does her best announcer voice. “No idiots were harmed in the making of this film.”
Title: The Wrong Cowboy (Granite Junction Book 1) Author: Megan Ryder Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western, Cowboy Romance Release Date: August 26, 2020 Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
Graduate from college? Check. Land a school counselor job? Check. Seduce her forever crush? Epic fail! The sexy rancher is clearly not interested in long-term. In fact, he’s not interested, period. But Emma is determined to change his mind until his cousin, Gabe Buchanan, puts a definite crimp in her perfect plans. Gabe has come to help his cousin with work around the ranch while struggling to unravel his next book plot. The last thing the he expected was to find literary inspiration in the curvaceous cowgirl pining over his cousin. Determined to prove he is the right match for her, he devises a plan to win Emma’s heart. As much as Emma wants her childhood crush to finally take notice, she can’t help but be intrigued by sizzling hot and funny Gabe. When he asks her out, she can’t say no. Besides, it’s just a friendly dinner. No big deal. Yet when the lines between casual and interested blur, neither can deny the chemistry between them. Can Gabe fill every box on Emma’s checklist and give her what she needs the most? His heart and a future together?
“He’s a handsome devil, isn’t he?” A low voice drawled from the back end of the car and she yanked her hand away as if it’d been scorched. She scowled at Gabe, who leaned against the bed of her truck, one ankle crossed in front of the other, arms folded across his chest as he smirked at her. Cam must have put him to work today, since it appeared he had just showered. His sandy brown hair was damp where it curled around the nape of his neck and up under his hat. His plaid shirt was clean, his jeans, worn and comfortable-looking, frayed along the seams, as if they were old. And damned if he didn’t look even better than he had in his fancy, city clothes that morning. She folded her arms and glared. “I thought all cars are women. Temperamental and something to be taken care of.” He pushed off the end of the truck and sauntered toward her. “That’s a very old-fashioned view of women, Emma. First off, women don’t need to be taken care of. My momma taught me that they can handle most anything thrown at them, possibly better than men, and I listen to my momma. Second, I believe in equality. A car can be male or female, and trust me. This beast is all male.” She sucked in a breath and narrowed her gaze. He was going to school her on feminism? “I don’t need a lecture on women’s rights, Gabe Buchanan. Because this car is tough, it must be male?” Gabe’s smile never wavered. He leaned forward as if imparting a secret, his breath teasing her ear. She shivered. “Nope. I checked under the chassis. He’s male.” He stepped back, his laughter ringing out around them. Her eyes widened and she was about to give him a blistering reply when she paused, realized he was teasing her. She relaxed and laughed with him. “Do you take anything seriously? He cocked his head, considering her words for a moment. “My momma, because she scares me. The IRS, for the same reason. God, because I’m hedging my bets there. And my family. Other than that, probably not.” She shook her head and turned to the cab of her truck. “I don’t think I’d better take anything you say seriously.” He rested a hand on the frame of the truck, right above her head. “You want to go for a spin? He handles real nice. If you’re good, I might even let you drive him.” “And how do you define nice?” She tensed, waiting for a smarmy come-on. He must have correctly interpreted her body language because he straightened and his tone, when he spoke, was serious for once. “It’s simple. Kind words, respect, maybe a little flirting. Nothing else. Anyone who asks for anything else is an asshole.”
Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.
The cold night air numbed Blaine’s entire body, waking her from a restless sleep. The fire had since died down to red embers. Mitchell was asleep with his back propped up against a large rock just outside the protection of the rock canopy. The moon was full and bright, casting long shadows across the campsite. An eerie mist clung to the forest floor, bringing an unforgiving dampness to the night. Blaine stood up and looked around. The cold that had awakened her intensified and seemed to touch her very soul—taking her breath away. She could feel a dark energy swirling around her. It pulled at her clothes and tugged on her hair. She tried to pull free from its grip, but her body froze in response.
The overpowering whispers and taunts of hundreds of screeching voices suppressed the night sounds of the forest. She strained to hear what they were saying but could not understand the words because they were all talking at once. She felt her feet leave the ground. She was lifted into the air, and became suspended in a parallel position. She screamed for Mitchell, but no sound came from her mouth. She began to rise higher when she felt a strong hand grab her right ankle in an attempt to pull her down. She could hear Mitchell’s voice calling her name, but it seemed so far away. A bright light flashed from below her, and she could feel herself falling. Mitchell grabbed her firmly by the waist and pulled once more, causing them both to tumble freely to the ground. Wild-eyed and bewildered, Blaine struggled to gain her senses. The odd mist was retreating, and as the voices trailed off, the words they were saying echoed in Blaine’s ears. “Bringer of Light . . . no more.”
The Blood King
Skylar remained where she was on the floor, rubbing at her throat and glaring at the others with those bright, watercolor blue eyes. At least her skin had turned less sallow. Seconds ago, her pallor had him…concerned.
Ladon did his best to push adrenaline, along with the burning need to claim her immediately, down deep in his gut, though it tested the limits of his control. He gave the members of his guard—his closest friends—as well as the advisors who made up his Curia Regis, a sharp nod and waited in silence while they filed out.
Brand sat, too, saying nothing, probably sensing the dangerous edge on which Ladon’s emotions balanced.
“Damage my future mate like that again, and I’ll rip your arms out of their sockets.” The warning slid from Ladon. He couldn’t have held it back even if he wanted to. Not that he wanted to.
Still on the floor, Skylar’s back stiffened. “I’m not your future anything, asshole.”
“Not helping,” Kasia said pointedly, adding a glare at him for effect.
Shit. Where’d his control go? He’d just been telling himself to cool it with the claiming language. Ladon clamped down on more words.
Kasia held out her hands and pulled Skylar to her feet, allowing Ladon a view of Skylar’s face. His body tensed in reaction. Now that he had a chance to study her, he couldn’t deny her beauty. Darker and sharper than her sister, those glacial eyes a striking contrast to her midnight hair, her skin a darker shade than Kasia’s paleness, and those lips…
Kasia focused on her sister, her gaze settling. “I love you, but you got this totally wrong.”
Given her attitude so far, Ladon waited for an immediate rejection, but Skylar didn’t speak for a long beat, searching Kasia’s eyes. “My sources informed me that a rogue dragon kidnapped you and dragged you here to mate you to a king. Brand is the rightful King of the Gold Throne, right? He killed Uther, and apparently at least some gold dragons now bear Brand’s mark on their hands, which makes him king. A king you’re mated to. Am I wrong?”
Kasia sent a smiling glance at Brand. “You got it mostly right, but what you missed was that I didn’t mate the king I was intended to.”
Skylar turned those ice-blue eyes on Ladon. As realization dawned, her lips quirked. “What happened, big boy? Couldn’t close the deal?”
Ladon held her glance with an unaffected stare, hiding his reaction. Why the hell was her insulting him so amusing?
In the suburbs of Chicago, Jayceon and Leah were all set to start their new lives together as husband and wife. In Jace, Leah thought she married the perfect man until she accidentally stumbles across his deleted secret that quickly turns her sanity, and their marriage, upside down.
The night before Jayceon marries Leah, he hits the record button on his iPhone when the curvaceous dancer—Jessica Fox—from his bachelor party makes her way back to his hotel suite. Soon after, the nasty recorded mistake comes back to haunt Jace, and the stripper, in the worst way possible.
The life Leah planned with Jace rapidly spins out of control when she becomes obsessed with the X-rated video, and the girl in it. Leah will do whatever it takes to right her new husbands wrong, even if it means getting rid of Jessica Fox for good . .
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"You make me so happy, Jace. I’m grateful to have found a man like you. I love you."
"Aww, baby, I love you too. And you need always to remember I'm not your dad or any of them fuck-boys out there today." He reached down and kissed her. "Most of all, I'm all yours." Just as the night was approaching perfect, Jayceon decided to speak the untruthful words that are going to eventually rock the very core of their marriage, and Leah's sanity: "Leah, baby, I will never hurt you…"
She held him close, believing their lives together wouldn't be much different from the loving, peaceful husband and wife moment their sharing right now. But, little did Leah or Jace know, everything was about to be turned upside down.
Author website link nickhaskinsbooks.com