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12 Days of Christmas featuring A Special Holiday Scene of AJ and Mia from Beat of the Heart by Katie Ashley (excerpt and giveaways)

Beat of the Heart
AJ & Mia Special Christmas Scene

After years of bad relationships and a cheating ex-fiancé, twenty-eight-year-old Mia Martinelli prefers healing her patients’ hearts on the Cardiac Care floor rather than risking having her heart broken again. But that all comes to a screeching halt when caring for the head roadie for Runaway Train puts her into the orbit of drummer and Latin Lover, AJ Resendiz. After a scorching weekend of steamy passion, Mia’s intention of getting out with her heart unscathed is challenged by the stud with the wicked sense of humor, especially when he wants to continue seeing her. But when the harsh reality of AJ’s hoard of female admirers sends her insecurities into overdrive, Mia bails, leaving him handcuffed to his bathroom shower.
AJ never imagined that after two weeks of the best sex and female companionship he’d ever experienced, he would need rescued by his band mates from his shower prison. Although he tries to forget the sensual brunette whose curves made his mouth water, AJ can’t get her out of his mind…or his heart. Months later when he finally seeks Mia for answers as to why she left, nothing could prepare him for their life-altering reunion. 
Can AJ prove to Mia that regardless of the women after his body, his heart belongs only to her?
I was in the middle of a very X-rated dream involving Mia wearing nothing but a sparkly red Santa’s hat. She was riding me hard and fast when a high-pitched squeal brought me out heaven and back into reality. In a matter of seconds, that squeal became a full on scream, and I knew it was time to get up and at it for my Bella. After I threw back the sheets, I staggered out of the bed, grinding the sleep from my eyes. Glancing over at the clock, I saw it was one in the afternoon. Mia had left Bella with me, so she could go Christmas shopping with Abby. 
As I bent over the frilly, pink Pack N Play wedged into the corner of the bus’s bedroom, Bella’s tiny features were crumpled in rage. Her fists waved angrily back and forth, like at any moment she was going to knock the hell out of whoever she could get her hands on. She was truly Mia’s kid. Okay, fine, maybe she had inherited a little bit of both of our temperaments. 
“Easy mi princesa.” 
At my words, Bella popped open her once pinched shut eyes and stared up at me. “What’s wrong, mi amor?” I asked as I reached over to pick her up. 
Her screaming quieted to snubbing as I took her in my arms. Kissing the top of dark head full of hair, I inhaled of her sweet baby smell. “It’s okay. Daddy’s here now.” I felt around on her diaper to see if she was wet. “Hmm, you feel dry to me.” Raising her above my face, I did the usual sniff test of her butt to see if there was another surprise lurking. “Nope, good to go there. So you must be hungry, huh?” At her hiccupped reply, I started for the bedroom door. “Let’s go get some of the milk mommy pumped for you before she left.” 
When I got to the kitchen, I found Rhys seated at the table in boxers slurping on a bowl of cereal. “You slept in too, huh?”
“Yeah. Last night’s show was killer.” He motioned to Bella. “Not to mention her three a.m. scream-fest.”
I winced. “Sorry dude.”
He shrugged. “It’s okay. It’s not like we haven’t kept each other awake before with screaming chicks.”
I laughed. “True.”
Balancing Bella in one arm, I opened the fridge. I scanned the shelves twice, but I still didn’t see the container Mia always left. “Hey man, have you see Bella’s milk?”
“You know, the milk that Mia pumps for Bella.”
When I glanced up from the fridge, Rhys had paled. “Uh…is that it on the counter?” 
Closing the fridge, I peered over to the counter to see the empty container. “Yeah, that’s it. But why is it empty?” 
“Oh fucking hell,” Rhys groaned before bolting from the table. The next thing I knew he was in the bathroom heaving his guts up. 
The prospect of not eating didn’t sit well with Bella, and she decided the best way to let it be known was to start screaming again. “Shit!” I exclaimed as I started fumbling around in the cabinets for some formula. Thankfully, the bus door flew open, and Mia came clattering up the stairs. At the sound of Bella’s cries, Mia dropped her packages and hustled back to us. “What happened?” she asked as she took Bella into her arms. 
“She’s hungry.”
“Why did you feed her the milk I left?”
“Um…” I rubbed the back of my neck and tried to think of how to explain what had happened. I knew Rhys would be even sicker if Mia knew he’d accidentally drunk her milk, and I was pretty sure she’d be absolutely mortified. “I…accidentally dropped it.” 
Mia smiled. “You stugats.” 
My eyes widened. “Hey, I know that one from The Soprano’s. But you’re right. I am a stupid dick.”
She reached up with her left hand to cup my cheek—the one that glittered with her engagement ring. “But I love you anyway.” 
Bella squealed in rage, signaling it was time to get with the feeding program. Mia glanced over her shoulder. “Will you bring the packages back to the bedroom while I feed her?”
“Sure, mi amor.” 
“Don’t peek.”
“I won’t.” I gathered up the bags and started for the bedroom. As I passed the bathroom, I rapped on the door. “You okay, man?”
“I’ll live,” Rhys moaned. 
I grimaced as I went on into the bedroom. When I got inside, Mia was on the bed feeding Bella. I put the bags in the corner. “So you bought me something today, huh?”
Mia smiled. “Maybe.”
Eyeing one of the multicolored bags, I asked, “Is it something sexy for you to wear for my eyes only?”
She rolled her eyes. “You wish.”
“You know all I want for Christmas is you,” I teased as I sat down next to her. 
“You have me. Always,” she replied. 
“Best. Present. Ever,” I murmured, before learning in to kiss her. When I pulled away, I grinned. “You’re the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.”
Mia threw her head back and laughed. “You’re terrible.” 
“But you love me anyway.” 
“Yes, I do.” At Bella’s cooing, Mia glanced down and smiled. “So you think your naughty daddy’s pretty funny too, huh?” She closed up shop by bringing Bella to her shoulder to burp her. 
“She finished already?” I asked, rubbing Bella’s back. 
“I think she just wanted a snack.” 
“More like she wanted to give her old man some hell by waking him up from a perfectly good sex dream.”
Mia’s dark eyes widened. “AJ!”
I laughed at her outrage. “It was about you, amorcito mio.” 
“I don’t care. Don’t say sex in front of Bella.”
“Like she even knows what it is.”
“I don’t care,” Mia huffed. 
I shook my head and grinned. “You’re so cute when you get riled.” At Mia’s, ‘You do not want to go there with me’ look, I held up my hands in defeat. “Fine, fine. You know, you haven’t told me what you wanted for Christmas.”
Mia sighed. “All I want is to be off this bus in time to get a live tree for Bella’s first Christmas.”
“Last show is the nineteenth. Then we head home.”
Mia quirked her brows. “You’ll take us to the tree farm the moment we get back to Georgia?”
I lifted my hand and swiped my chest. “Scout’s Honor.”
 “And you promise to go with me to take Bella to see Santa Claus?”
Oh shit. That was something I sure as hell hadn’t bargained on. All I could see in my mind was a crowded mall with a line full of screaming kids—you know, a true hell on earth. “Um, well…”
“AJ, it’s her first time sitting on Santa’s lap. I know she would want her Daddy there for that.”
“Please, she can’t even sit up yet. I highly doubt she’s going to be sitting on Santa’s lap.”
“Fine. Be that way.” 
At her tone, I knew I was in trouble. “If I don’t go with you to see Santa, I’m probably not going to be doing much decking of your halls this holiday season, am I?”
“Are you making some sexual innuendo with deck the halls?”
With a smirk, I said, “Don’t say sex in front of Bella.”
Mia shook her head. “AJ, you drive me crazy!”
“But you love me anyway, right?”
She huffed out a frustrated breath. “Yes, I do. More than you can ever imagine.”
“Aw, thanks, amorcito mio,” I said. After I gave her a smacking kiss on the lips, I winked. “You wore me down. I’ll go with you to take Bella to see Santa.”
Her dark eyes lit up. “Really?”
“Yeah, really.”
“Thank you, thank you!” she cried before kissing me. As she rubbed my cheek, she said, “I can’t wait to spend our first Christmas together as a family.” 
“Me too.”  I took her face in my hands. “Thank you for coming out on the road with me. I know this isn’t how you saw your life or how you thought you’d be spending your first December with Bella.”
“It’s okay. All that matters is I’m with the two people I love most in the world—my amazing husband and my daughter.” 
“I feel the same way. Always.”
Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.
She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.
She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.

Book 1 Runaway Train: Music of the Heart


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THROWBACK THURSDAY: Meet and Greet Aidan Fitzgerald, The Proposition by Katie Ashley (plus giveaways)

It’s throwback Thursday at the Avenue! What better way to do it than to reminisce one of my favorite scenes in one of my all time favorite books, THE PROPOSITION by KATIE ASHLEY. 

Let’s meet and greet the man who captured the hearts of millions, Aidan Fitzgerald.

Aidan Fitzgerald rubbed his blurring blue eyes. He peeked through his fingers at the clock on the computer screen. Damn, it was already after seven. Even if he wanted to finish the project, his brain was too fried. He could barely make out the words in front of him. He turned off his computer, secure in the thought that his newly elevated promotion of Vice President of marketing meant he could wait until the morning and not have someone bitch at him for slacking off.

With a groan, Aidan rose out of his chair and stretched his arms over his head. He grabbed up his bag and headed to the door. As he flipped off his office lights, his stomach rumbled. There was probably nothing at the house to eat, so he’d need to pick up something on the way. For a brief instant, he wished there was a woman waiting on him with a home-cooked meal. He quickly shrugged the thought away. A couple of meals weren’t worth the hassle of long-term relationships. In the end, he was much happier with begging dinners off one of his married sisters. At least until they launched into one of their tirades about how he couldn’t be a bachelor for the rest of his life, and at thirty-two, it was time for him to settle down and have a family.

“Bullshit,” he muttered under his breath at the thought. The attractive cleaning lady down the hall raised her head.

She then gave him an alluring smile. “Goodnight Mr. Fitzgerald.”

“Goodnight Paula,” he replied. He smacked the button for the elevator, fighting the urge to close the gap between them and strike up a conversation. He raked a hand through his sandy blond hair and shook his head. Talking to Paula would most likely lead to some tryst in the storeroom closet, and as much as he would enjoy that, he was getting a little old for those kinds of hook-ups.

The elevator jolted him down to the first floor. Heated voices met Aidan the moment he stepped off, causing him to grunt in frustration. Damn, the last thing he needed after working late and being cock-teased by the cleaning lady was to come up on some domestic dispute. And from the tone of both a man and woman’s voice, that’s exactly what it was.

“Connor, I can’t believe you cornered me here at work!” a woman hissed.

“What was I supposed to do? You won’t answer my calls or emails. I had to see if you were all right.”

“I told you to leave me alone, and I meant it!”

“But I love you, Em. I don’t want to lose you.”

At the sound of scuffling, the woman’s voice raised an octave. “Stop! Don’t you dare touch me!”

The protective side of Aidan stirred at the woman’s tone, sending him barreling around the corner. “Hey! Get your damn hands off her!” he bellowed.

The couple startled at the sight of him. The woman’s tear stained face flushed crimson, and she ducked her head to avoid Aidan’s intense gaze. Immediately, he recognized her—Emma Harrison, 4th floor advertising, and the woman he’d tried unsuccessfully to take home from the company’s Christmas Party. From the way she refused to meet his eye, he knew she recognized him as well.

Aidan turned his attention to the guy, Connor, whose eyes were wide with fear. He hastily dropped his hands from Emma’s shoulders and took several steps back. Connor looked like he was ready to bolt out the nearest exit. Aidan then realized how intimidating he must appear with his fists clenched at his side, his jaw hard set. He tried relaxing his stance, but his blood still pumped so hard in his ears he couldn’t.

Connor held up his hands in surrender. “I’m not sure what you think was going on, but we were just talking.”

Aidan narrowed his eyes. “I think from the way she was crying and begging you to stop touching her, it was a lot more than talking.” He started to ask Emma if she was all right, but she blew past him and escaped into the restroom. He glared at Connor.

“Look man, you’ve got it all wrong. I—”

“What’s not to get? You obviously can’t let your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife or whatever she is go, even though she can’t even stand for you to touch her!”

Nervous laughter erupted from Connor. He silenced it the minute Aidan cocked his eyebrows at him and took a step forward. “Trust me, you’re so very, very wrong. Emma’s not my ex.”

“Then what’s the deal?”

Connor cleared his throat. “Fine, you want the truth? Here it is. I’m gay, and Emma’s been my best friend since middle school.”

Aidan’s mouth dropped open. “Seriously?”


“Huh…then I stand corrected. Sorry about that.”

Connor shrugged. “It’s okay. I probably would’ve done the same thing if I thought some asshole was hassling a woman. Well, I probably wouldn’t if he was twice my size like you.” He glanced past Aidan to the bathroom and grimaced. “Dammit, I hate when she’s mad at me. I don’t think she’s ever been so angry and so hurt. I just don’t know what to do to make it right, ya know?”

Aidan shifted on his feet, sensing the conversation was headed into emotional territory, which was somewhere he tried avoiding at all costs. He held one hand up. “Hey man, it’s really none of my business.” But the moment the words left his lips, he was sure they had fallen on deaf ears. The anguished expression on Connor’s face told him he wouldn’t be getting away without hearing the full, dramatic story, unless he literally tried to out run him.

With a sigh, Connor ran his hand through his dark hair. In a low voice, he said, “She’s crazy about kids, and her biological clock is all in a snit to have baby for like the last two years. Loving her the way I do, I’d promised her I’d be the father and donate to the cause.”

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the story Aidan had expected. “Don’t tell me. You chickened out when it came down to doing the deed?”

Connor scowled at him. “Ha, ha, asshole, real funny. For your information, it was going to be done in a clinic.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Aidan mused, with a sly smile.

“Dude, gay, remember?”

“Sorry.” For reasons he couldn’t possibly fathom, Aidan was so intrigued by the story he felt the need to prompt Connor to continue. “So what happened?”

“My partner isn’t ready to have children. I promised him that Emma didn’t necessarily want me involved, but he won’t budge. It’s been hell choosing between the man I love and my best friend.”

“Why can’t she just go to a sperm bank or something?”

Connor chuckled. “Emma has it in her mind there will be this horrible mix-up where her choice of a prime donor’s sample was swapped with some serial killer’s.”

Aidan grinned. “I guess I can see her point.”

A buzz went off in Connor’s pocket. He dug it out and then groaned at the ID. “Shit, it’s Jeff. He’ll have my ass for coming here and trying to talk to Emma. I really, really have to go.” His gaze once again went to the bathroom. “I hate to leave her though…”

“You go on. I’ll see she gets to her car okay.”

“Really? That would be awesome.” He thrust out his hand. “It was nice meeting you…”

“Aidan. Aidan Fitzgerald.”

“Connor Montgomery.” After they shook hands, Connor smiled. “Thanks for all your help and for totally misreading the entire situation.”

Aidan laughed. “It was a pleasure almost kicking your ass.”

“Hey now,” Connor replied. When his phone rang, he winced and gave a short wave before bringing it to his ear. “Babe, yeah, sorry I missed your texts. I’m on my way home now.” He pushed through the glass doors and disappeared into the night.

With a shake of his head, Aidan started across the lobby to the bathroom. He rapped on the door. In a shrill voice, Emma shouted, “Go away, Connor! I have nothing else to say to you! Not to mention, you just embarrassed the hell out of me in front of one of the biggest assholes in the company!”

“Biggest asshole, huh?” he murmured under his breath. Not exactly a title he was proud of, especially coming from a woman. He was used to hearing much more flattering descriptions of himself from them. Well, at least in the beginning before he walked away. After that, things usually took a nasty turn.

“I’m not leaving this bathroom until I know you’re gone!”

Aidan sighed. She was a determined one that was for sure not to mention stubborn as hell. His mind flashed back to how beautiful and sexy she’d looked at the Christmas party—how the slinky green dress she’d worn flowed over her curves making her irresistible. When he’d seen her across the room with some girlfriends, he had been determined to spend the night with her. Her shy smiles and glances up at him through her eyelashes had spurned him on to close the small space between them. Of course, by the time he’d arrived at her side, her interfering friends had already informed her of his dubious reputation as a heartbreaker and serial womanizer.

“Women,” he muttered under his breath as he pushed through the bathroom door. Emma sprawled out on the tapestry settee with a wet paper towel over her eyes. On one side, her skirt was jacked halfway up her hip, giving him a fabulous view of legs and thighs. At the sound of footsteps, she gave a frustrated grunt. She stabbed the air in front of her with her index finger. “I swear if you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to kick you so hard in the balls there will no longer be any question about whether you can father my children!”

Aidan chuckled. Her deep auburn hair so foretold her fiery personality—one she’d showed him at the Christmas party. All her bashfulness had evaporated in an instant when she told him in no uncertain terms that she had no desires to be one of his conquests or one night stands.

“Actually, it isn’t Connor.”

Check Katie Ashley’s Page to get more excerpts!

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.”

BLOG TOUR: Don’t Hate The Player…Hate The Game by Katie Ashley Review and Giveaways

Title: Don’t Hate the Player 
Author: Katie Ashley 
Genre: Young Adult 
Publication Date: April 30, 2013 
Event organized by: Literati Literature Lovers 

For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It’s been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather’s tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake’s past.

While cleaning out Jake’s room, Noah and Jake’s dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake’s mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down.

Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate–the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah’s eye and meddled with his heart.

Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake–one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free. And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.

for the complete TOUR SCHEDULE, click here

It is never easy to write a book that captures the essence of every single emotion. To talk about love and friendship and everything that takes place in between is never something that can be done without wrenching the way you feel about them. I have always admired authors who can manage to do this  because it takes a lot out of them to dig in and generate stories that resonate long after you have finished the book. This is what Katie Ashley does best! 
The story begins kinda slow that it lets you see how things got to where they did. But once that is shaken off, the book somersaults into various kinds of emotions and that is where the narrative is the strongest. The story speaks a lot of language…love, loss, forgiveness, grief, friendship, family, fears and taking chances…
What is even more interesting is how Katie manages to stick her story inside all of these and make each and every character stand out. The writing is dynamic, with a lot happening on almost every page that made me spent almost overnight reading…savor every word page by page and moment by moment.
“As I stood there trying desperately to steady myself, a realization washed over me. This time I 

didn’t bother fighting the bile rising in my throat. Instead, I heaved the entire contents of the 

cafeteria’s shitty lunch onto the emerald grass. Over and over again, I threw up as if I were trying 

to purge myself of the dark feelings overtaking me. 

Jake is dead. 

My best friend is dead.”

This gripping story will literally make you cry in places but makes up for it with its comical parts.

“I want you to find the girl who this ring belongs to. Even though Jake didn’t get the chance to give 

it to her, I want her to have it.” 

I stopped myself from blurting, “Are you insane, Mrs. Nelson? I know you loved your little boy, but 

he was a major panty chasing manwhore! I’d have better luck finding all the girls he deflowered or 

potentially gave an STD to than the one girl he might actually have had feelings for!”

I also loved how the relationship among the characters especially Noah and his Mom was strongly conveyed in the story. The challenges of being a single parent, the changes that was about to happen in their lives and how they were able to cope with it gave this story added depth and interesting facet.

“Noah, I know that things are about to change, and our lives will never be the same. For almost 

eighteen years it’s been just you and me.” 

“Yeah, it has.” 

When Mom took my hand in hers, I braced myself. She was about to lay some serious shit on me. 

“I just want you to know that I’ve thanked God every day for giving me you. Even though you 
weren’t planned and the situation was hard, I wouldn’t trade any of it for a second. You’ve been 
the greatest accomplishment of my life.”

I thought the romance between Noah and Maddie was realistically and movingly handled. It was simple yet captivating. You can feel the chill, the pain, the awe as Noah finally admits to Maddie about the secret and his mission to find the girl who owns the ring, and how he was able to finally confess his true feelings for her. And it’s these set of emotions that keep the drama going and made my heart pulsating.

“There’s something else I need to say—something I should have said to you yesterday an even 

weeks before that.” Gently, I traced my thumb over her cheekbone. “Madelyn Elizabeth Parker, I 

am truly, madly, and deeply in love with you.” 

I’ve been in love with you since the day I saw you after Jake died. You appeared to me like an 

angel, and in a way, you have been my angel. You are so beautiful sometimes that it stuns me, and 

it leaves me speechless. When you smile that smile that spreads across your face and brings out 

your dimples, it makes my heart melt.” I leaned in closer to where my breath brushed against her 
cheek. “You’ve been my beacon of light in my storm of grief, and I don’t know if I could live without 

Katie doesn’t only write books. She tells stories that impart valuable life lessons, bring us hope, lift our spirits, and make us smile.

 A must read for all. I totally recommend this one wholeheartedly.

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.

BLOG TOUR RECAP: Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley April 1st -10th

Blog Tour Recap

April 1st
April 2nd
April 5th

BLOG TOUR: Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley Book Trailer, Radio Interview with Runaway Train Band and Giveaways


For Abby Renard, the plan was supposed to be simple—join her brothers’ band on the last leg of their summer tour and decide if she’s finally ready for the limelight by becoming its fourth member. Of course, she never imagined stumbling onto the wrong tour bus at Rock Nation would accidentally land her in the bed of Jake Slater, the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train. When he mistakes her for one of his groupie’s, Abby quickly lets him know she sure as hell isn’t in his bed on purpose.

Jake Slater never imagined the angel who fell into his bed would resist his charms by promptly kneeing him in the balls. Of course, the fact she seems like a prissy choir girl makes her anything but his type. So he is more than surprised when after betting Abby she wouldn’t last a week on their tour bus, she is more than willing to prove him wrong. But as Jake’s personal life begins to implode around him, he finds an unlikely ally in Abby. He’s never met a woman he can talk to, joke with, or most importantly make music with.
As the week starts comes to a close, neither Abby nor Jake is ready to let go. Can a sweetheart Country songstress and a bad boy of Rock N Roll actually have a future together?
Location: Austin, Texas on Runaway Train’s Tour Bus 
What: Phone interview with Pam and Jenn from Austin Local Radio Station 
When: Day after Rock Nation 


Pam: This is Pam and Jenn coming at you live from Austin’s Rocked out studios! Jenn: We have the guys of Runaway Train with us on the phone fresh off the huge Rock Nation music festival! *sound drop of an out of control crowd*

Pam: We both know how much you guys rock but can I get a roll call for the listeners out there? Names and what you do?

Brayden: Thanks for having us on your show, ladies.

AJ: She said roll call, not suck up time.

Brayden: Shut up.

Jake: Well, as the front man, I’ll go first since I’m most important.

Rhys: *muttering* Douchebag

Jake: Anyway, I’m Jake Slater—lead singer, guitarist, and song writer for Runaway Train

Brayden: I’m Brayden Vanderburg, and I’m lead guitarist, background vocals, and I also do songwriting.

Rhys: I’m Rhys McGowan, and I’m the bassist.

AJ: Saving the best for last. I’m AJ Resendiz, and I’m the drummer. I really know what to do with a stick…..and I also do some background vocals.

Jenn: Sounds like four of you have your hands full! Pam: Right!!! What or who do you do to wind down after a show like Rock Nation…the groupies must be lining up for a ticket to the bus after the show *both laugh out loud*

Brayden: Well, there are no groupies for me. I’ve been happily married for five years, so after the show, I’m usually talking or Skyping with my wife, Lily, and our two children, Jude and Melody.

Jake: Bray is the Old Fart of the group.

AJ: *snickering* You got that right.

Brayden: Yeah, well, what these guys aren’t saying is they can get pretty geriatric after a show. Like crawl in the bed and sleep for hours and days.

Jake: That’s because not only have we put everything we had into a show, we’ve usually burned off all the excess adrenaline with some lovely ladies.

Rhys: Damn straight

Pam: So I heard through the grapevine that you have a bus guest? Truth? *sound bite of the Jeopardy thinking music*

Jake: Oh fuck…I, erm, I mean…

Rhys: Oh no, you made the bet, so you should be the one to explain it, asswipe.

Jake: *groaning* Okay, so yes, we have a guest on our bus. Her name is Angel.

Brayden: Talking about her like that makes her sound like a stripper. Tell them the truth.

Jake: Fine. Her name is Abby. She’s a singer, and she accidentally got on the wrong bus. Okay?

AJ: Nice stall job, man. Why don’t you tell them about how she accidentally fell into your bed, and instead of falling for your charms, she nailed you in the balls?

Rhys and Brayden: *laughing*

Jake: Whatever. She’s a real piece of work that’s for sure.

Jenn: Sound like you are going to have your hands full boys! Pam: *jumps in with a little too much excitement* Jake how do you think you will fair with Abby in the bus?

Jake: I’ll be fine. I know how to handle women.

AJ: *snickering* Oh, you don’t know how to handle this one.

Rhys: Jake’s just saying that because for the first time ever, he’s met a chick who isn’t swooning for him or intimidated by him.

Jake: Whatever…next question please.

Together: Oh to be a fly on the wall for the next week! You think I can get a follow up interview on Sunday *snickers*

Pam: Did I just hear the Abby put you in your place Jake? *drops sound bite of a whip crack* She must be some lady!

Brayden: Abby is a true lady, and you can bet that she’s going to keep Jake on his toes for the remainder of the week.

Rhys: *wistfully* She’s something all right…

AJ: Seriously she’s gorgeous. And she wears dresses like a lady too

Jake: *snorting* Oh yeah, those sundresses showing her fabulous rack and fantastic legs are really lady like.

Jenn: Ok all joking aside what’s next? You have just about 3 weeks left one the tour and a new album after that. Anything you can share?

Jake: Bray and I have been working on a lot of new material for the album

AJ: You’re not going to mention the duet? *smacks* Ow, dude, what the hell?

Rhys: Yeah, Jake, tell the listeners about the duet you wrote with Abby

Jake: *mumbling under his breath* Yeah, so I’ve written my first duet—

AJ: Like ever…the guy NEVER does collaborating with anyone, but he’s written a song with Abby.

Jake: Like I was saying, it’s a duet called “I’ll Take You with Me”. I plan on recording it with her too.

Pam: Ok guys we are going to take a call…Cris your on with Runaway Train…OMG!!!! *long ear piercing scream* I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Each and every one of you! YOU SO ROCKED OUT ROCK NATION!!!!! * continuous screams* Jenn: Wow! *mutes the phone line mid scream* Guys how do you deal with that? Pam: Right! How can you live your life? I also think it’s best if we drop this call. Cris you rock but this is about the guys.

Jenn: Never a dull moment!

Pam: Well I think we have taken enough of your time this morning. Good luck with the rest of the tour! Good luck with the new album. Most of all…Good luck with the little sassy thing on your bus this week! *sound bite of Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train* Jenn: Let the games begin!

Pam: Be sure to stop and see the guys on the last leg of the tour and you can pick up their current album on iTunes and be on the lookout for the new album! Both: Thanks and hope to chat soon…Jenn: Maybe Sunday! *both snicker and laugh*

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.

WORLD TOUR: Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley, April 1- 10

World Tour Schedule

April 1st
April 2nd