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FREEBIE!!! Let Love In by Melissa Collins is FREE

Let Love In is FREE!!!

Book One in The Love Series by Melissa Collins is currently free on all platforms!

hosted by The Hype PR

What would happen if you lost everything? If the people who were supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how would your world change? 
Madeleine Becker lost everything when her parents died when she was ten years old. Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is forced to start all over again. The only way for her to move on is to build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her logic: she can’t get hurt if she doesn’t fall in love. 
That theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He understands Maddy’s pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate his world. Maddy’s inner strength, snarky personality and breath taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past. 
Together they find out what happens when they let love in.
About the Author: Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream. 
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born. 

Hello June Giveaway!!!

The past five months have been soo overwhelming. We have reached more than 7,700 likes in Facebook, more than 2,800 followers in Twitter, lots of 5 star reviews, overflowing book sale and new releases, what more could we ask for? Now as we welcome June and enjoy the heat of the summer, let’s all take a look back of our most unforgettable reads!
SUPERIOR. Must have. Must read. 
Highly recommended. Absolutely amazing.
Blew our socks off. Great plot. 
Intriguing characters with just enough drama and steamy scenes.
EXCELLENT. Pretty darn good. 
Would definitely recommend to others.
We would like to thank everyone, Authors, Readers and wonderful Followers for sticking with us. We hope to be able to continue sharing our love of great books with you. 
And what better way to celebrate this wonderful journey than an awesome giveaway!
Enter to win a handful of swag plus an e-reader case with autographs from some of our favorite authors. 
Goodluck and Happy Reading!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TARRYN!

Happy Birthday to one of the smartest author ever and one of TBA’s in-house favorites! 
You deserve all the success, happiness and love in the world.
Happy Birthday Tarryn! 
Here’s a little happy dance for your special day!
TARRYN FISHER’S BOOKS
MUD VEIN
AMAZON | B&N | SMASHWORDS | ITUNES

THE OPPORTUNIST
DIRTY RED

THIEF

Anniversary Special and HUGE Giveaway from Omnific Publishing

**Blows noise maker and taps mic** 
 Happy Fourth Anniversary Omnific Publishing!!!! 
 Help us celebrate four years of amazing authors and amazing reads. 
 To celebrate we have some awesome giveaways planned!! 
 Enter to win a kindle fire LOADED with the entire Omnific catalogue. 

“Omnific is romance…without rules.”

Omnific Publishing, is an independent publisher of romantic fiction, founded in 2009, and home of the popular novels by Alice Clayton, Debra Anastasia, Emma Chase, Dr. Ivan Rusilko and many others.
Follow Omnific:
To see all ninety-five titles click here >> Omnific Publishing Titles <<
Omnific: The Complete Ebook Collection
Purchase here
Stay tuned next week for flash giveaways that you do not want to miss!! 
**throws confetti everywhere**

TBA Lovapalooza featuring a Valentine’s Day with the Kelly Family (Picturing Perfect by Melissa Brown)

THE BOOK AVENUE LOVAPALOOZA 
featuring a Valentine’s Day with the Kelly Family
Picturing Perfect by Melissa Brown

Life may not turn out like we planned, but sometimes that’s what makes it perfect…
Hadley Foster has always been a planner. But, since the age of nineteen, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan… not at all. And the changes continue to mount when a trip to Europe with her best friend starts a domino effect in all aspects of her life. Suddenly, the future she had envisioned for herself seems unlikely to happen. It’s time to, make a new plan… or accept the dominoes as they fall.
Jason Kelly has a great life. He’s a successful self-published writer who’s living his dreams. But, something is missing. Hadley Foster. Letting her slip through his fingers is one of his biggest regrets. Over time, he had to accept the idea of being without his first love as he watched her fall in love with someone else.
When circumstances bring Jason and Hadley back into one another’s lives, they’re forced to deal with their past, their present and the possibility of a future together

SPECIAL VALENTINE SCENE 
WITH THE KELLY FAMILY


“Good job, little man.” I heard Jason say from down the hall. I’d been sequestered to our bedroom while he and Marty ‘prepared’ for Valentine’s Day. I heard rustling papers and plastic and couldn’t help but be intrigued. “Mommy’s gonna love this.”
I could hear the pride in his voice. My heart swelled in anticipation. Observing Jason and Marty interact would never get old.
“Mommy Vaaaa-tine.” Marty yelled from the living room.
“You’re blowing our cover,” Jason whispered with a laugh. “All right, all right. I guess you can join us on the couch, Mommy. We’re as ready as we’re gonna be.”
Quickly, I placed Jason’s gift in my pocket and walked toward the living room. When I rounded the hallway corner, I couldn’t help but gasp. Red streamers and white twinkle lights dangled from the ceiling. Small vases were placed around the shelves and countertops—each one filled with three flowers. One red, one white, one pink… each color representing a member of our family.
“You never cease to amaze me, Mr. Kelly.”
“Marty stayed up all night… he’s been anxious. Wanted to give you a proper Valentine’s Day.”
“Vaaa-tine,” my two year old little guy ran to my feet and extended his hand. A simple red heart, scribbled with white and pink was tucked between his pudgy little fingers.
“Thank you, sweetheart. I love it.”
Scooping Marty in my arms, I joined Jason on the couch, placing the little guy on my lap. It was obvious that Jason was doing his best to disguise a smile, but I could see right through him. “Marty stayed up all night, huh?”
He nodded emphatically, “Mmm hmm. I was just his grunt. He’s been bossing me around all morning.”
“It smells good,” I said, smelling the aroma of coffee and cinnamon coming from the kitchen. Marty hopped off my lap and returned to coloring at the coffee table.
“Fresh cinnamon rolls.”
“My favorite.”
“I know,” Jason said, placing a small kiss on my lips. “I have a confession to make.”
“What’s that?” I whispered, curious.
“I didn’t get you any flowers.”
I pressed the small red valentine to my chest, “This is all I need. Seriously.”
“That’s from your son. I have something else for you.”
“Seriously, Jase. You’ve already done enough! Breakfast, homemade valentines, streamers…”
“Here,” he said, placing a small box in my hand.
“Jase—”
“It’s nothing. Just open it.”
The small velvet box creaked as I opened it. My hand pressed to my mouth as I stared at the locket that hung from a silver chain, Marty’s birth stone dangled from the chain.
“Open it,” Jason said, adjusting his glasses, a wide grin on his handsome face.
The vintage locket opened easily. Inside was a picture of Marty and a simple note that said. “We love you. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“I love it,” I said, wrapping my arms around Jason’s neck, nuzzling my lips against his warm skin.
“Good.” Jason’s voice was soft and loving as he stroked my back.
“I have bad news, though.” I pulled away from him, looking back at the locket.
“What’s that?” His brow furrowed.
“This side… it’s not going to work.” I said, pointing at the small note inside the locket.
“What do you mean?” He asked, “Why not?”
I had absolutely no poker face, but I did my best to stay serious as I removed the envelope from my pocket.
“Here.” I said.
Confusion remained on Jason’s face as he opened the envelope. When he removed the ultrasound picture, his eyes widened and his chest heaved.
“You’re… you mean you’re…pregnant?”
I nodded, tears welling in my eyes. “We’re pregnant. So, I’m afraid we’ll need that space in the locket…for his or her picture.”
“Oh my god, Haddie,” he said, placing his hand on my abdomen. “I can’t believe it.”
“Are you happy?”
“Are you kidding me? I’m… I’m… I can’t even form the words right now. That’s how awesome I feel.”
“Good,” I said, a satisfied grin.
“How far along?”
“Just eight weeks. I didn’t want to say anything until I knew for sure.”
Marty wandered back to the couch, hoisting himself up to Jason’s lap.
“Hopefully Mr. Marty Pants won’t mind sharing the spotlight.”
Jason shook his head, “He’s a champ. He’ll be just fine.” Jason placed a small kiss on the top of Marty’s head. “Won’t you, big brother?”
“Vaaa-tine!”
“That’s right, buddy. Mommy just gave us the best Valentine ever.” He turned to me. “Seriously. The best ever.”
I have always been fascinated with books—-ever since I was a little girl sitting in front of my record player, following along with my huge 12×12 storybooks.
I love books—everything about them. I love reading them, being surrounded by them in bookstores and libraries, and most recently, writing some of my own.
“Bouquet Toss” is available as an e-book and paperback on Amazon.com. It is a story that is very close to my heart, one that was very cathartic to write and has opened me up to all sorts of writing possibilities.
“Champagne Toast” is a companion book to Bouquet Toss and was released on January 8th and is also available as an e-book and paperback through amazon.

TBA Lovapalooza 2014 featuring a Valentine’s Day on the Lazy K Ranch by Kristen Proby

THE BOOK AVENUE LOVAPALOOZA
featuring a Valentine’s Day on the Lazy K Ranch by Kristen Proby

CHEMISTRY WAS NEVER THIS SEXY IN HIGH SCHOOL.
In her sizzling new series, USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby sets the stage for a passionate reunion under the breathtaking Montana sky.
Cara Donovan’s summer tutoring job is turning out to be a challenge—and not just because of her troubled twelve-year-old student. It’s his uncle Josh who’s the real problem. If problem is the word for an irresistibly cocky, muscle-bound rancher with a taste for tight Levi’s and shameless flirtation. . . .
Cara is nothing like the wallflower Josh King remembers good-naturedly teasing in high school. This Cara is gorgeous, confident, fun. From the moment the fiery teacher steps foot on his family’s Lazy K Ranch, the stubborn playboy is determined to corral her. So what happens when his luscious lover takes over the reins?
The first in a steamy trilogy, Kristen Proby’s enthralling novel is filled to the brim with one hardworking family’s triumphs and challenges, all the wild adventure of the modern West, and a whole lot of titillating fun.
Special Valentine’s Day on the Lazy K Ranch
It’s been a hell of a long day. The kids at school were loud and obnoxious. Well, more so than usual. Working with middle schoolers is typically loud and obnoxious. But with it being Friday, and Valentine’s Day, no one wanted to listen or focus.
And I can admit, I was just as bad as they were.
Josh, my fiancée, had two dozen red roses delivered to me at work, which made the girls sigh in envy and the boys smirk. And then the questions began.
“When are you getting married?”
“Are we invited?”
“Can I see your ring again?”
“When is he going to come visit?”
Definitely not a productive workday.
When I came home, Josh was still out working somewhere on the ranch. So, I changed out of my work clothes and got dinner under way while I watched a Nicolas Sparks movie marathon on TV.
Josh offered to make reservations and take me out for Valentine’s Day, but since it’s our first, I’d rather just stay in and enjoy him.
I’d be content doing that every day for the rest of my life.
“Hey, baby,” Josh says as he enters through the back door. He’s dirty and looks exhausted. He’s the only man I know who works from five in the morning until seven at night, sometimes longer depending on the time of year.
“Hi, handsome.” He leans in to kiss me softly. “Rough day?”
“Yeah, but I’m all finished now. It smells fantastic in here.”
“I thought I’d make a lasagna for dinner.”
“My favorite.” At six-foot-four, my man towers over me, smiling down at me with that dimple winking in his cheek. “Special occasion?”
“It’s Valentine’s Day, silly.” I shrug and grin happily. “I thought I’d make my man dinner.”
“Your man appreciates it.” He kisses me again, but doesn’t pull me to him, not wanting to get me dirty. “Let me quickly shower and change and then I’m all yours.”
“That sounds like the best offer I’ve had all day.”
He winks and saunters down the hallway to our bedroom. While he’s in the shower, I set the table and pull the lasagna out of the over to rest, toss the salad and slip bread in the oven to toast.
Just as I pull the pan of bread out of the oven, Josh returns and pulls me in his arms, oven mitts and all. 
“Now I can say hello properly,” he growls and kisses me long and deep. He cups my ass in his big hands and pulls me against him, pressing his erection to my belly. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you.” I blush and glance down at my simple black maxi skirt and red V-neck top. “And thank you for the beautiful flowers.” I gesture to the big bouquet sitting on the dining table. “They were a big hit.”
“With you or your students?”
“Both.” I giggle and kiss his cheek as he pulls away and sits at the table. “Are you watching chick flicks?”
“Of course.” I shrug and dive into my salad. “It’s the day for it, after all.”
“Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed it,” he says and polishes off his lasagna. “’Cause I have plans for you for the rest of the night.”
“You do?”
“Yes. If you don’t mind cleaning this up, I have something to take care of.”
“Go.” I wave him off and begin clearing the table. Just as I close the dishwasher and turn it on, he returns, wearing a pair of blue sweats that sit low on his hips, and no shirt.
No fucking shirt.
“Well, hello, mostly naked man.” My eyes travel up his body, soaking in the muscular abs, chest and arms. Those amazing arms the size of my thigh and to his handsome face. He’s grinning at me, his chocolate brown eyes soft and happy, as he saunters to me and pulls me into his arm. My cheek rests on his bare chest and I take a deep breath, loving the way he feels against me.
“I love it when you’re mostly naked.”
“I love it when you’re all the way naked,” I replies and lifts me in his arms, carrying me back to our bedroom.
“Is this what your plans are for the rest of the night? Nakedness?”
“Baby, that’s my plan every night.” He kisses my cheek before setting me on my feet and turns me around to face the bathroom, which has been covered in lit candles. He’s run a bubble bath with rose petals and there is a bucket sitting on the floor next to the old-fashioned claw foot bathtub with a bottle of champagne chilling inside.
“Seriously?” I whisper.
“It’s just a little pampering,” he murmurs as he nuzzles my neck from behind. He pulls my red shirt over my head, unclasps my bra and then pushes my skirt down my hips to pool around my feet.
“No panties,” he says with a smile in his voice as his hands glide over my ass and hips. “Naughty girl.”
“I thought you might like that,” I reply with a grin.
He scoops me into his arms again and lowers me into the deliciously warm bath. “I love this tub. Thank you for installing it for me.”
“If a new bathtub makes you happy, baby, who am I to complain?” He sheds his sweats, pours us each a glass of champagne and follows me into the tub, leaning against the opposite end from me. “I’d like to propose a toast,” he says as he holds his glass up. “To the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. You are the best part of my life, Carolina. You’ve made our home come alive with your laughter and big heart, and I’m thankful every day that you’re here with me. Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.”
I blink the tears from my eyes as he clinks his glass to mine and then take a sip of the bubbly wine, sink back in the water, and take a deep, relaxing breath. “This is heavenly, Josh.”
He sets his glass on the nearby windowsill and pulls my right foot into his grasp and begins massaging the arch with his thumbs.
“Correction: now I’m in heaven.”
“You deserve to be pampered,” he replies with a smile. “And I get you naked. It’s really a win-win.”
“I like the way you think, Mr. King.”
I sip my bubbly and sigh contentedly as Josh continues to rub my feel. Finally, the takes my glass from me, sets it beside his own and pulls me into his arms to kiss me softly, brushing his lips gently over my own. He nibbles the corner of my mouth and then nuzzles my nose before whispering, “I’m going to wash your hair now, baby.”
He turns me away from him, and scoops water over my hair, with what I’m not sure, and I’m too relaxed to open my eyes and turn around to look.
Who cares, anyway?
When my hair is all wet, he lathers it up with my shampoo, massaging and scrubbing my scalp for long minutes. 
“Good God, you’re good with your hands, babe.”
“Hmm, they love touching you.”
He rinses the suds carefully out of my hair and then conditions it before rinsing it one more time, then pulls me to lie against his chest.
“Do you have any idea how much I love you?” His lips are next to my ear as he whispers the sweet words.
“It can’t be any more than I love you,” I whisper back and melt against him. 
“Are you ready to get out of this tub?” he murmurs.
“Hey, I’m just along for the ride tonight, right?”
“Interesting choice of words,” he replies, his voice full of humor. 
“Oh God, no horseback rides tonight.” I look back at him with wide eyes. “Please.”
“No, baby, not tonight.” He gently pushes me forward so he can pull himself out of the tub first, dries off, then helps me out. He covers my hair with a towel before drying the rest of my body himself, then to my surprise, wraps me up in a big fluffy robe that I don’t recognize.
“This is new.”
He smiles serenely and nods. “Just something to keep you warm in.”
“You’re good to me.”
“Always.” He kisses my hand, then leads me to the vanity, pulls out my stool and sits me down. I watch him carefully, his face and body. He looks relaxed and peaceful as he reaches for my brush and drags it through my wet hair before blowing it dry, strand by strand. “I love your hair.”
“I know.” I smile at him in the mirror and sit quietly as he finishes drying my hair, then lifts me in his arms again and carries me to the bedroom, when the bed has been turned down. He sets me on my feet, unbelts the robe and pushes it off my shoulders.
“Your body is spectacular,” he whispers as his eyes travel over my skin. “All of it’s hills and valleys. Your smooth skin. The way it blushes when I touch you.”
His soft words are turning me on, big time. 
He palms my ass in his hands and lifts me effortlessly against him. I wrap my legs around his waist as he climbs onto the bed and hovers over me, his elbows now planted beside my head.
“I’m going to make love to you tonight, Carolina.”
“I sincerely hope so, Joshua.” 
His eyes flicker with humor as he lowers his head to take my nipple between his lips, sucking it gently. His hand glides down my ribcage to my hip then drifts between my legs. His fingers flirt with my pussy, then one fingertip glides from my clit, through my folds and slides home.
“Fuck me, you’re so wet baby.”
“You turn me on, you know.”
He grows and bites my neck then licks his way up to my ear. “You fucking make my cock throb. I can’t even think about you during the day without sporting a hard on for an hour.”
I giggle and then moan when he brushes over my sweet spot. “Oh God, right there.”
“I know,” he says and brushes over it again, making my hips buck. “Should I taste you before I make love to you?”
“Please,” I whimper, circling my hips.
“Please to what, sugar?”
“Please make love to me. I can’t stand it.”
He pulls my leg up around his elbow, opening me wider, and slips inside me slowly, stretching me as he sinks as far as he can. He groans and covers my lips with his, sucks and nibbles them as he begins to move in long, measured strokes, making me crazy.
“Faster, babe.”
“Fuck no, this is going to be slow, Carolina.” He nibbles down my jawline to my throat and then buries his face in my neck as he continues to torture us both. “Every time is like the first time with you. Every fucking time.”
He lets go of my leg and cups my face in his hand, gazes down at me with so much love in his brown eyes, I feel my own eyes fill with tears. 
“Your eyes are so green right now,” he whispers. His hips gradually speed up, just enough that when he drags the head of his cock over my sweet spot it sends me that much closer to my release. “That’s right, you’re going to come for me, baby.”
“Oh God, so close,” I whimper and cup his ass in my hands, urging him to thrust faster. I squeeze him with my most intimate muscles and smile in delight when he mutters under his breath and begins to lose control, moving faster, harder.
“Ah, baby, love you so fucking much.” His jaw clenches and I know he’s as close as I am. I pull his lips down to mine and kiss him with everything in me as I fall apart, convulsing around him, my hips bucking uncontrollably. He thrusts hard, twice, then follows me over the edge, rocking against me as he succumbs to his release.
“I love you too,” I pant as he reverses our position, nestling me against his chest. 
“That was just the beginning, my love.”
“Best Valentine’s Day ever,” I reply with a grin.

Kristen is the author of the Amazon and USA Today bestselling With Me In Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

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TBA Lovapalooza featuring A Special Valentine Scene from Undefeated by Scott Hildreth plus Giveaway

THE BOOK AVENUE LOVAPALOOZA
featuring UNDEFEATED by Scott Hildreth

WARNING: This book contains scenes of abuse. They are descriptive, heartbreaking, and may cause you to feel certain emotions. If you’re incapable of reading about a woman that recovers from an abusive relationship, don’t read this book. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. 
Kace Meadows lives in Austin, Texas. Now 26, she has been in an abusive relationship since she was sixteen years old. As abusive as it is, she can’t seem to find a way to allow herself to end it. With her abusive boyfriend, she can’t seem to win. 
Shane Dekkar is an unknown, undefeated, and somewhat shy boxer from Compton California. After the death of his grandfather, he moves to Austin and meets Kace by happenstance as she and her boyfriend are in an argument in public. He is drawn to her, and she to him. 
When he meets her again two years later, he begins to believe in fate. But, as he prepares for a potential shot at a championship fight, there’s not time in his life or career for a woman. 
Shane fights his inner demons by using his fists. On the street or in the ring, Shane does what he does best, he wins at any cost. Unlike Kace, Shane can’t seem to lose. 
Undefeated is an extremely romantic erotica novel about fighting. Fighting for what you believe in. Fighting for life. Fighting to live. 
And fighting to find love in the most unlikely places. 
Be prepared to be moved, touched, stand up and cheer, and cry your eyes out. This book will, without a doubt, knock you unconscious. 
CAUTION: Graphic sexual content. This book contains fighting scenes that are descriptive. Additionally, it contains graphic scenes of street fighting that may be perceived as unnecessarily violent. Lastly, the abuse scenes in this book are descriptive, realistic, and emotional.
SPECIAL VALENTINE SCENE
FEBRUARY 2014 

SHANE. Coexisting with another person that you love or care for is one thing. I’m quite certain that it is satisfying to most people. Sharing your life – truly sharing it – well, nothing compares. The taste of love, for me, is something that most people will never savor.

“Kace babe? Are you about ready?” nervously I paced back and forth across the living room floor.

“Just about, babe. I’m almost done,” her voice echoed from inside the bathroom.

Valentine’s Day. Something I really know nothing about. I know it’s a day that we are expected to express love for our respective others. It seems quite foolish to me to choose a day to express your love. I believe it is my duty, in accepting Kace into my life, to express my love to her every day. She should never wonder what I think, feel, or desire.

“Okay, here I am,” she said as she walked out of the bathroom.

Wow.

“Uhhm. Babe. You look. Wow. You look remarkable,” I stammered as she turned in a slow circle.

She was dressed in a black dress, heels, and the necklace I bought her at the mall. Ripp actually helped me pick it out, and I must say that it was a great Valentine’s Day gift. A silver necklace with two silver hearts – each had our name engraved on it. In a sense, according to Ripp, Kace’s own heart shaped dog tags.

“All for you,” she stopped turning, faced me, and smiled.

“Well, I just love it,” I admitted.

I placed my hands on each of her shoulders and held her as I slowly kissed her. As our lips parted, I looked into her eyes. I had so much I wanted to say, but needed to wait until we were at dinner. I looked into her eyes admiringly and smiled.

“You look nice. I like the formal look on you. Black slacks, dress shoes, a light blue dress shirt, and a jacket. Is this the way the future Heavyweight Champion of the World dresses?” Kace giggled as she slowly looked from the floor up to my face and back down again.

“This is how the man that loves you dresses on Valentine’s Day, babe,” I laughed.

“Well, I just love it,” she giggled mockingly.

“Let me see if our ride is here,” I said nervously.

“You stay here, let me see,” I said as I pointed to where she stood and turned for toward the door.

As I opened the door and looked out into the driveway I was immediately relieved and excited at the same time. I wanted Kace’s Valentine’s Day to be so special. She said she had been with Buster since she was sixteen, and even when she was young, he never celebrated Valentine’s Day. She said he had told her it was a stupid holiday. This was her first Valentine’s Day ever. I wanted desperately to make it one that she would remember.

“Our ride is here, babe,” I said excitedly as I walked back into the living room.

When I walked in, she was rubbing the necklace with her fingers. “I love this necklace,” she smiled.

“It looks great, babe. Come on, our ride’s here,” I held my hand out toward her.

As she grabbed my hand and we walked to the door, I hoped that her night would be memorable. As soon as she stepped through the door, I knew at least the first part of it was a clear winner.

“Shane! Really? Oh my God!” she screamed as she let go of my hand and ran toward the driveway.

“I guess you’re okay with the transportation arrangements?” I smiled a prideful smile as I walked toward where she was standing.

“A horse and carriage? Who wouldn’t be happy? Oh my God. We’re going to ride in it?” she giggled as she slowly raised her hands toward the horse’s neck.

“You can pet the horse, ma’am. They’re very tame. Mr. Dekkar, pleasure’s mine. We’re all rootin’ for ya in that fight comin’ up, son. The great state of Texas has your back on this,” the man said as he held the reigns of the horses.

“Thank you sir. I’ll try not to let you down,” I nodded as I slowly approached Kace.

I’d never been around a horse, and to be quite honest, I was nervous. I can’t remember that I have ever even seen one in person. As Kace’s hand worked its way up and down the neck of the horse, she smiled an involuntary smile that spoke clearly what she felt. As I touched her shoulder, she turned to face me.

“Ahhh, baby. Your make up is going to be a mess,” I said as she turned around.

Without speaking, she reached up and wiped the tears from her face with her index finger.

“I…” she looked down at her feet and back up at my face.

I held my hand on her shoulder and guided her to the side of the carriage. As she grabbed the brass handle to pull herself into the carriage, she turned to face me. Her mouth opened and she paused, unable to speak.

“Save it babe. Get in,” I laughed as I held her hand and lifted her into the open top carriage.

“This is just…I love you, Shane,” she said as she sat on the wooden seat.

“I love you, babe,” I responded as I jumped into the seat beside her.

“Where’s he taking us?” she asked.

“We’re going to eat dinner, babe,” I responded, smiling.

Kace had been begging to eat sushi for nearly a month. She had never eaten it before, but couldn’t wait to try it. Purposely, I had made all the excuses in the world to wait to take her, knowing I wanted to treat her to it on this day. There was a small family owned sushi place two miles from where we lived, and according to all sources, it was second to none. Seating was limited, as the restaurant had ten tables total.

I approached the owner a month prior to tonight and asked to lease the entire restaurant, attempting to plan a private dinner for Kace and I. Hesitantly he calculated what his anticipated profit would be for the night. When he gave me the six hundred dollar figure, I gave him a thousand.

As the horses trotted down the street, Kace tilted her head back and smiled.

“I love that you can smell them. The horses. They smell so good. This is just too much,” she rested her head on my shoulder and sighed.

The methodical sound of the horse’s hooves on the street was hypnotic and relaxing. The two miles took about half an hour to travel, and Kace enjoyed every moment of it. As cars passed the carriage, she waved to them as if she were a celebrity. In her mind, she probably felt like one. As I watched her glow with pride, I knew that I had made a great choice.

With the carriage.

And with Kace.

SHANE. “Are you serious? We get to eat sushi?” Kace squealed as the horses pulled the carriage into the parking lot of the small restaurant.

I smiled as I saw the expression on her face, knowing that her expressed joy was genuine. Small things made this girl feel so special. The last ten years of her life, so to speak, she has lived in seclusion. Her life was just beginning, and she was enjoying every minute of it.

As the carriage stopped, she turned to me with a look of sheer disappointment.

“They’re closed, babe,” her shoulders slumped as she spoke.

“Let’s get out and check the door. Maybe they’re open,” I responded as I reached for her hand.

The look of disappointment stayed with Kace as we walked up the sidewalk to the front door. The neon sign inside the window was clear, bright, and illuminated for all to see, CLOSED. Kace turned to me and smiled from ear to ear as she pushed against the door and it opened.

“They’re open, babe,” she giggled as she peered inside the door.

“Well, let’s go in,” I smiled as I held the door open.

Kace stepped through the door, and I followed her into the restaurant. I looked at the owner and held my index finger to my lips, hoping he would get the message to not let Kace know what was going on. His nod confirmed he understood what I was trying to say.

“Sit wherever you want, babe,” I said as Kace looked around the small restaurant.

“There’s nobody here, this is so nice. Maybe no one knows they’re open because he didn’t turn on the OPEN sign,” Kace smiled as she started to sit at the table in the corner.

I sat on the opposite side of the table and smiled – content that Kace was so excited having the opportunity to try sushi for the first time.

“I have no idea what to get, I have always wanted to try sushi, but never had the chance,” she rubbed her hands together as she spoke.

The owner and his wife ran the small sushi restaurant. They were both Japanese, and acted as the waiter, waitress, owners, and sushi chef. The man approached our table, holding menus and smiling.

“Good evening, welcome to Wasabi. Is this your first time at Wasabi?” he asked as he stood at the edge of our table.

“This is my first time ever. I’ve never had sushi,” Kace blurted as she opened her hands and motioned over the table.

“Well, if you would prefer, I will prepare you a special plate. A little bit of everything that Wasabi is famous for,” the owner said as he alternated glances between Kace and I.

I shrugged my shoulders, “Sounds good to me. Kace?”

Kace nodded her head eagerly and smiled.

“I’ll have water to drink,” I said.

“I’d like water as well,” Kace said.

The owner nodded, smiled, and walked away. Kace turned to face me and grinned as she covered her mouth.

“This is so exciting. I hope no one else shows up until we’re done. It’s like it’s our own little sushi restaurant for Valentine’s Day. I love it,” she covered her mouth with both hands as she giggled.

“I have something for you,” she said as she reached into her purse.

Kace removed a card from her purse, handed it to me, and leaned forward onto the table eagerly waiting for me to read it. As I opened it, she sat back in her seat and smiled, appearing extremely anxious.

I smiled, closed the card, and placed it on the table. The owner approached, quietly placed two glasses of water on the table, smiled and turned away.

“Kace, I have something else for you,” I reached into my jacket pocket and removed a small thin box containing a diamond tennis bracelet I had purchased for her.

As I handed her the box, she looked confused.

“You already gave me a card and this necklace,” she said as she reached for the box with one hand and rubbed her necklace with her other hand.

“Well, I just thought you’d like this. And I have a few things to say as well,” I said as I motioned toward the box.

“Oh my God, Shane, this is too much,” she shook her head as she looked in the box.

“Put it on,” I smiled as she pulled the bracelet from the box.

I reached across the table and helped her with the bracelet. As she clasped it, she rotated her wrist and stared at the bracelet, smiling. Making Kace feel special meant more to me than anything else that I could offer her. I don’t ever want her to wonder how I feel about her, I want her to know.

“Shane, I love it – it’s beautiful. And so many diamonds, this is just crazy,” she looked up from the bracelet and smiled.

“Okay. And here’s what I want to say,” I inhaled slowly and waited for her to make eye contact.

“Here in six months, I will be fighting for the championship. After the fight, I will have accomplished everything I ever wanted to or needed to – as far as fighting goes. I won’t need to fight any longer. Depending on whether I win or loose, I will make between one and a half and two million dollars. I want to pay to remodel the gym, which will be about two hundred thousand. The rest, I want to donate to build a home for battered women. A safe house,” I paused and waited for Kace to respond.

“Oh my God, Shane. Wow.” Kace’s eyes widened as she spoke.

“Wait, babe. That’s not all. I want to retire after the fight. I want to retire, and I want. Well, I want,” I paused and took a deep breath.

“Kace I want to have kids. I want that bad. I want to be a husband and a father, and there’s no one on this earth that I want to do that with but you,” I paused as the owner carried two plates to the table.

He placed the plates on the table and stood proudly, smiling at his presentation.

“Sashimi, Hot Roll, Tiger Roll, Cucumber salad, California Roll, and Special Roll,” he said as he pointed to each of the items on the plate.

“Thank you,” I said as I nodded toward the owner.

Kace looked down at the plates and back up at me. She picked up the chop sticks, looked at them curiously, and placed them back on the table. She glanced down at the presentation of sushi, and toward me, and smiled.

“I tell you what. You teach me how to eat this without looking like a fool, and I’ll have your baby,” she said as she looked into my eyes.

I tried to refrain from smiling, but I couldn’t. Kace was as adorable of a woman as she was beautiful. As my mouth formed a smile, she formed her hand into a fist and extended it to the center of the table.

“Pound it,” she said.

I shook my head slowly, and made a fist. As I extended my hand toward hers, she smacked her fist against mine sharply.

“There it’s a done deal,” she smiled as she pulled her had back to her side of the table.

And, as I taught Kace to eat sushi on our first Valentine’s Day of what would be a lifetime of them, I knew.

This woman would be the best mother that a child could ever ask for.

Readers, 
I will never forget the first time I actually felt as if I had helped someone resolve an issue in their life. I was in middle school. It started then, and has continued throughout my entire life. I have always made myself available to talk to people and resolve (or attempt to resolve) issues that they struggle with. Having an exceptional ability to communicate has always been a gift of mine, and I have enjoyed doing so. Telling stories has always been second nature to me. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a child. I have written poetry, romance, self-help, addiction, alcoholism, codependency, technical, and satire. There isn’t a genre or a topic that I feel more comfortable with. I enjoy writing about whatever it is that I feel passionate about at the time. Being open-minded and often seeing abusive relationships unfold, I have always been passionate about abuse, or the prevention of it. My main focus has always been people that are incapable of helping themselves, primarily women, children, and the elderly. I have talked to hundreds of women that were in abusive relationships, and assisted many of them in removing themselves from these relationships. I try to focus in my writings to develop a story that makes people stop and think. To look at a subject or subjects from a different point of view. If I am able to get my point across, and make the subject entertaining to the reader, I feel that I have met my objective. I feel that I have tremendous depth as a person, and have had some great experiences in my life. To date, what life has offered me has been nothing short of spectacular. My opinions, point of views, and perspectives on matters are just that; an opinion. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong in what I write, but more of a belief. I always believe in what I am writing, and I further believe that the reader may benefit from viewing it from the written perspective. I hope that you enjoy reading what I have written as much as I enjoy writing it. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than knowing a reader enjoyed something I have written. Considering that, please take time to leave a book review if you have read something I have written. 
Best Regards,
Scott Hildreth
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12 Days of Christmas featuring A Special Holiday Scene of Brody & Kacie from Room For You by Beth Ehemann (excerpt and giveaways)

12 Days of Christmas featuring A Special Holiday Scene of Brody & Kacie from Room For You by Beth Ehemann (excerpt and giveaways)

Brody & Kacie Special Christmas Scene

“That thing is way too big!” Kacie said with wide eyes.

I turned away from the huge pine tree, half covered in snow and cocked an eyebrow at her. Grinning, I couldn’t help myself, “Why, thank you.”

She rolled her eyes and shook her head, “I meant the tree.”

“Come on, the bigger the better, right?” I wiggled my eyebrows at her, “At least that’s what you’ve always said.” I watched with pure delight as her eyes bugged out of her head and darted toward the girls who were throwing snow at each other, blissfully unaware that I was making sexual innuendos at their mother.

“I don’t even know what to say to you right now.” Kacie giggled.

“Say yes. Let’s get this one. I know it’s big, but think of how fun it’ll be to decorate.”

“I don’t even think we have enough ornaments to cover half that tree.”

“Oh, I’ll take care of that, don’t you worry.”

“What do you think, girls?” Kacie looked to them for approval. They jumped up and down and started chanting my name as I grabbed the saw. “Brody! Brody!”

Sophia had given us the very important job of picking out the 2013 Christmas tree for the family room at the Inn. Kacie said they normally went to the church Christmas tree lot and grabbed one, but that wasn’t gonna fly. I wanted to show the Twinkies a real, old-fashioned Christmas this year. We bundled up in our snow pants and boots and drove out to Sullivan’s tree farm. After grabbing a cup of hot chocolate from the warming house, we loaded onto a big, wooden wagon pulled by Mr. Sullivan’s tractor. He drove us out about a quarter of a mile and dropped us off amongst rows and rows of trees to pick from. As we hopped off the wagon, I grabbed a saw from the small box and off we went to find the perfect one. It only took about 15 minutes before I spotted it. It was a beautiful, twelve-foot tall Balsam Fir and it was screaming at me to take it home. I felt like Clark Griswold himself, determined to conquer that giant beast.

I started at the base and sawed slowly until only a small section of trunk remained attached.

“Twinkies! Come help me give it a push!” I called to Lucy and Piper.

(more…)

SPECIAL POST: ALEX ALT POV (The Light in the Wound by Christine Brae)

There is no doubt that I love Alex. The unconditional love he has for Issy is just unbelievable. Since I can’t get enough of this guy, Christine Brae has allowed us to share with you all a special post on one of the my favorite scenes told in Alex POV. Let’s check it out!

ALEX’S POV
The Light in the Wound 
by Christine Brae
“Damn it!” My hands pound on the steering wheel as I weave in and out of traffic. I stop myself right before the last syllable and my lips curve into a slight smile. She’d be glaring at me by now before reaching out to swat me playfully. My thoughts are interrupted by the ringing of my phone. 


“Alex.” 
“Hey, it’s me. Are you almost there yet?” It’s her best friend Betty. Well, I’d like to think, her other best friend, Betty. 
“Not yet, I’m stuck in fucking traffic. But I should be there in less than an hour.” 
“Okay. I didn’t tell her you were coming to get her. She’s going to argue against it and I just can’t deal with it right now.” Her voice fades in and out. She’s driving home from a convention with Leigh. 
“Got it. Don’t worry, I’ll be there soon,” I say, as I turn into a side street hoping for a short cut. “How is she? Is she upset?” 
“No, she’s actually the opposite that’s why I’m worried. A calm Isa means a bottled up Isa. And you know how she gets when she internalizes stuff. Take care of her, okay? Just make sure she gets home safe and sound and I’ll call her in the morning.” 
“Yes, boss.” I say as I hang up the phone. What I really want to say is that I would make it my life’s commitment to take care of her if I could. 
I finally make it in a little over an hour and jump out of my car, leaving the keys in the ignition. I know the guys at this bar. This has been THE bar for many, many years. For some reason, I don’t see her at first. She’s tucked away at the end of the bar, right where the counter meets the wall. There’s a guy sitting right next to her and you can tell from his body language that he’s putting the full moves on her. His left arm is now on the back of her bar stool and their shoulders are touching. I see her only because she throws her head back in that giggle of hers that drives me crazy. 
Three steps later, I’m right by her side. “Dude, she’s with me.” I recognize the guy from the International School I attended. Another jock. Football, this time. He ignores me at first until she jumps up, excited to see me. My God. She is beautiful. She’s wearing this dress that’s way too short and her endless legs stop at another sexy pair of four inch heels. All that running that she does is so worth it. 
She trips and falls right into me. Her arms wrap around my neck and I hold her close. Too close. I’ve held her before but this time it’s different. Her full weight is upon me and I press on to her even more. I think I’ve crossed the friend line. No. I’m sure I have. But I don’t care. I caress her back as she nuzzles into my chest and tells me to take her home. I half-carry her into the car and as I strap her into the front seat, she looks at me with those soulful doe eyes and asks me why I always save her. Because I love you, I want to say. And this is what people who are head over heels in love do. 
She’s a chatterbox in the car on the way to her house. I try not to say a word, hoping she’ll open up about her latest discovery and tell me how she’s feeling. The sweet sound of her voice fills the car and I finally have to laugh when she asks me when my last oil change was. We arrive at the house and I hand her off to Mellie. I kiss her forehead as I send her off upstairs. I remain in the dark entranceway and for a while, I’m unsure of myself. I should probably leave so she can sleep this off. Before I decide what to do, Mellie is back downstairs. 
“She’s asking for you, sir Alex,” she whispers as she shuts the doorway lights off and bolts up the front door. 
“Thank you, Mellie. Don’t worry about the front door. I’ll lock up when I leave.” 
I run up the stairs hoping to catch her while she’s still awake. She’s sitting up against the headboard, tucked under her blanket, her smiling eyes half closed, her voice croaky and tired. She asks me to stay until tomorrow. I want to. She’s wearing mismatched pajama tops and bottoms. It’s just so her – always making a fashion statement even when she goes to bed. The top she wears is a button down and as she leans over to prop some pillows up on my side for me, I see that she has freckles on her chest. I want to kiss them so badly, feel every single raised bump on her skin with my fingers. Why am I so nervous? It’s not like I haven’t done this before. In fact, I’ve been doing this for so long. Meet a girl, take her home, stay over for the night. And here I am. Pitifully grateful to just hold her close. Ecstatic to have gotten a glimpse of her secret freckles. 
“Night, Alex. This is why I don’t drink. It makes me so tired,” she says as she lays her head on my chest. I wrap my right arm around her and feel her chest rise up and down against me. Her hand is gently tracing circles on my torso and I’m closing my eyes, acknowledging every touch. I am ruined. From this moment on, the slate in my brain is wiped clean and I have no memory of any other woman in my life but her.

Book Title: The Light in the Wound 
Author: Christine Brae 
Genre: Contemporary Romance Fiction 
Release date: July 23, 2013 

Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes. 


When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.

Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.


check out my review here

I love to read, write about reading, shop, write about shopping, three day weekends, high heels and purses. I’m a wife, a mother, a corporate executive, a loyal friend and a passionate believer in true love. This is all you need to know about me. If you get my stories, you get my heart. 

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MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL: Reminiscing Noah’s Birth, The Proposal by Katie Ashley

We can all agree that MOTHER IS A SYMBOL OF SACRIFICE…

The pain the mothers bear during pregnancy; the one who bears us when we are sick, staying up late just to make sure we feel better the next day; the one who wakes up early to prepare our food and everything we need to school and goes back home to clean and do the laundry; the one who gives up her own desires for the benefit of the kids at every stage; Who cares for a child, who worries until a child is back at home, who waits at the door if a child is late, who shows the right path, who speaks our language…

A mother’s love is something that no one can explain, it is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain. It is endless and unselfish. A mother is a symbol of selfless love and sacrifice.

On this very special day, we give tribute to our mothers, to Jenn, our partner and to all the mothers out there, who in one way or another have sacrificed her own comfort and happiness to give the best for their kids. 
So as a special post, we are reliving the moments of some of our favorite mother/kid scenes from our favorite books. here’s one from my ULTIMATE FAVORITE, Emma and Noah, The Proposal by Katie Ashely.

Emma’s head fell back against the pillow from the exertion. She didn’t know if she had any strength left within her to push again. Closing her eyes, she drew in a few deep breaths to try to dispel the exhaustion.

“Just one more big push, Emma,” Dr. Middleton said.
Gripping her hands tight into the backs of her thighs, she put everything she had left and then some into the push. Dr. Middleton’s voice echoed over the loud groan emitting from Emma’s lips.
“And here he is!” she exclaimed, holding a wailing and bloody Noah up for both Emma and Aidan to see.
The world around Emma shuddered to a stop, and all she could focus on was Noah’s strong cries. It was as if every molecule, every cell, and every fiber of her being hummed and buzzed with the new life in front of her. Noah—flesh of her flesh and bone of her bone—was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen or heard for that matter. Tears stung her wide eyes.
“My, my, he’s still a big boy for being three weeks early,” Dr. Middleton remarked with a smile.
Unable to speak, Emma reached out her arms for Noah, desperate to hold him. He wouldn’t feel real until she could put her hands on him. “Hang on, Mama. Let’s get him cleaned up a bit,” Annie said.
A towel was placed on Emma’s belly, and then Noah was laid in it. He continued to scream as Annie toweled him off. Once he was cleaner, she wrapped him in a blanket. An eternity seemed to pass before she handed Noah into Emma’s waiting arms.
After kissing the crown of his head, Emma gathered him against her chest. His wailing immediately ceased. His eyes, once pinched shut in anger, popped open, and he stared up at her. The moment their eyes met, Emma’s heart stilled and then restarted. Her emotions spiraled out of control, and she wasn’t sure if she could keep them in check. “Hey my little angel. I’ve been waiting for you for so, so long,” she murmured.
When Aidan leaned over the side of the bed to rub his thumb over Noah’s cheek, Noah kept his gaze on Emma. “Looks like he only has eyes for you,” Aidan mused.
She didn’t bother wiping the tears streaming down her cheeks. Glancing up at Aidan, she asked, “He’s beautiful, isn’t he?”
Aidan smiled. “He’s the most amazing and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” he replied, his voice choking off with emotion.
“Daddy, are you ready to cut the cord?” Dr. Middleton asked passing Aidan a pair of surgical scissors.
Emma watched with amusement as Aidan’s shaky hands took them from her. “Um…where should I…?”
Annie motioned to an area, and Aidan hesitantly cut Noah from Emma. “Good job.”
“Okay, Mama, I hate to take him away, but we need to weigh him and get his PKU done. Then you can have him back for awhile.”
After kissing each of his cheeks and his tiny button nose, Emma reluctantly handed Noah over to Annie. Craning her neck, she watched as they set him down on the scales. “He’s seven pounds, seven and a half ounces.”
“Imagine if he would have stayed in cooking for another three weeks or longer,” Aidan said.
Emma shuddered. “Don’t even joke about how big he could have been. He was plenty big enough!”
With a chuckle, he kissed her. “Speaking of amazing and beautiful, can I just say how proud I am of you?”
She grinned up at him. “Really?”
He bobbed his head. “I just saw life come out of you. It’s…well, it’s fucking intense!”
“You know, some men have a hard time ever looking at their wives or girlfriends the same way again after experiencing birth,” Dr. Middleton said, finishing up with Emma’s post delivery care.
“I can see why,” Connor murmured from his corner perch.
Aidan shook his head. “She might be a mother now, but she’ll always be my Em,” Aidan replied.
“Damn, Big Papa, that was sweet,” Casey remarked, swiping the tears from her eyes. She leaned over to brush the hair out of Emma’s face. “That was both exhilarating and terrifying. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Emma kissed Casey’s cheek. “I’m so glad you were here with me.” Glancing over her shoulder, she smiled at Connor. “And you too.”
“I’m just glad I got to see it all without having to really see it all…if you know what I mean,” Connor replied, with a wink.
Emma and Aidan laughed while Casey shook her head. “I can’t believe you’re so scared of a vagina.”
“I’m intimate enough with Emma without having to get up close and personal with her vagina!” Connor countered.
Emma turned her attention away from Casey and Connor’s bickering and back to Noah. She watched as he had his footprints taken, screamed as he was stuck for the PKU, and then finally was swaddled into a blanket and a cap placed on his head. “Ready to hold him, Daddy?” Annie asked with a smile.
Emma’s heart melted a little when Aidan glanced back at her for her approval. She grinned and bobbed her head at him.
“You don’t want him back first?”
Although she wanted nothing more than to have Noah in her arms again, she wanted Aidan to have his first moment as a father. “No go ahead. It’s time you held your son.”
“Okay,” he said.
As Annie passed Noah into Aidan’s waiting arms, tears welled in Emma’s eyes at the look of absolute and total wonder that came over Aidan’s face. He stared down at Noah, unblinking and unmoving. Finally, he shook his head. “He kinda looks like a glowworm all bundled up like this.”
“Keeping him swaddled makes him feel like he’s back in the womb,” Emma replied.
Aidan continued staring down at Noah. One tiny fist escaped his tight bindings, and he thrust it up at Aidan almost defiantly. It caused Aidan to smile broadly. “Ah, there’s that Fighting Fitzgerald spirit coming through. No one ties you down, right Noah?”
Emma shook her head. “You’ll be changing your tune about that defiant spirit when he gets to be a teenager.”
“Nah, I like him tough and feisty.” Noah’s response was to stick his tongue out, which made Aidan chuckle. “Yep, see, already a cocky little thing like his Old Man.”
Casey took a hesitant step towards Aidan. “So we know he’s got his daddy’s douchenozzle personality—”
Aidan arched his brows. “Hey now.”
Casey grinned and patted his back. “Just teasing you, Big Papa. My question is who does he look like?”
“He looks just like you, Em,” Aidan noted as he took in Noah’s tiny features.
“Hmm, let me see,” Casey said, peering over Aidan’s shoulder. She squealed and clapped her hand to her chest. “Oh my God, that face! He’s so handsome and adorable!”
Emma beamed from ear to ear at Casey’s compliment. Connor walked over to them. “Between Aidan and Emma it was a given he’d be good-looking. But is he really Emma’s mini-me?” Connor questioned.
Casey cocked her head. “No, he’s got a lot of Big Papa in him, too.”
Aidan threw a glance over his shoulder at Casey. “Really?”
She nodded. “He’s definitely got Em’s hair and mouth, but he’s got your nose and eyes.
Aidan grinned at Emma. “He got some mighty fine genes that’s for sure.”
She laughed and rolled her eyes. “Uh-oh,” Aidan murmured as Noah’s face clouded over, and he appeared ready to cut loose with a giant scream.
“Looks like right now might be a good time to see if he wants to latch on,” Annie suggested.
“He’s already hungry?” Aidan asked incredulously.
“Some come out of the womb ready to eat, others it takes hours,” Annie replied.
“If he’s hungry, I want to try,” Emma said, holding her arms out for Noah.
“Yeah, um, on that note, I think I’ll head out,” Connor said, starting for the door.
Casey laughed. “Why don’t we go out and tell the rest of the waiting crowd that Noah’s here.”
“There’s a crowd?” Emma asked in surprise.
Casey nodded. “Nate texted me that the waiting room is full with yours and Aidan’s families. Patrick’s out there, and Grammy and Granddaddy just walked in. He said Becky’s boys made her promise to bring them even if it was the middle of the night. “I’m sure they will all want to get a peek at Mr. Handsome.”
Emma felt slightly overwhelmed at the prospect of all the visitors, especially with her post-delivery exhaustion setting in. But a sense of renewal filled her at the thought of all the people waiting to see and love Noah. It made her feel very grateful and very loved. “Okay, that sounds good.”
Once Casey and Connor left, Emma slid her hospital gown down on one side and took Noah from Aidan. As she brought him to her breast, apprehension filled her that she might not be able to do this. What if her milk wasn’t strong enough, or they had to seek out a Lactation Consultant? She had heard from her friends as well as reading in books how breastfeeding was tricky business.
But miraculously after rooting around for a few seconds, Noah latched on to her nipple and began to nurse heartily.
“Oh you’re so very lucky,” Annie noted.
With tears filling her eyes, Emma glanced lovingly from her son back up to Aidan. A smile filled her cheeks. “Oh, you have no idea.”