New Release!

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Book Title: Everything I Always Wanted

Author: Stephanie Nicole Norris

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

It was a mouthwatering kiss that changed everything…

One thing that held constant in Shelby Donovan’s life was her career. As a world renowned artist, Shelby’s paintings traveled the globe, landing in museums and homes across the nation. But what she couldn’t seem to get under control was her love life. Why? She asked herself that question time and time again. Her mother thought it was because of her best friend, Sebastian Cartwright. They’ve known each other for years. Sebastian and Shelby shared everything; embarrassing moments, secrets, dating tips, affection, and even an explosive kiss during one tipsy night on Shelby’s birthday.

But, when Shelby’s current boyfriend asks for her hand in marriage she should be excited, dancing, ready… but she isn’t. In fact, Shelby can’t stop thinking about the kiss she shared with Sebastian. It had to be a fluke, right? A simple, delicious, fiery kiss that pulled at her loins and caused her heartbeat to slam against her ribcage. Honestly, it rocked her world and thoughts of what could be played like piano keys in her head. But their friendship was too important to mix with the uncertainty of a relationship. Even worse, what if Sebastian didn’t feel the same way? It could ruin everything. Should Shelby accept the marriage proposal, or shed her fears and open up to her best friend? Find out in Everything I Always Wanted.

excerpt

Sebastian

She said yes. The restaurant erupted with applause and congratulatory praises as I sat there stunned. She said yes. Melanie grabbed my hand, her eyes bright. She was sincerely excited for them, but I hadn’t moved, blinked, or said anything. Alan moved from his seat and lifted Shelby, an overjoyed smile on both of their faces. A waiter approached with the bottle of wine I’d requested. He poured everyone at the table a glass and sat it in a bucket on ice.

“Congratulations!” he quipped. I gathered myself, standing to my full height and closing the few buttons on my jacket.

“Ms. Scott, excuse me for a moment.” I beat a hasty retreat, my long strides taking me past the bar to the men’s room. Inside I washed my hands and checked my reflection in the mirror. My mind was reeling from what just happened. She said yes. I smirked, my mood not even close to hearty. I composed myself. Shelby was the ultimate catch. Why wouldn’t he want to marry her? I convinced myself it was for the best. She deserved every moment of happiness in her life. Who was I to feel indifferent about it? I didn’t even congratulate her. Foolish. I was acting like a child, why? That was a question I didn’t need to answer. I had no right to want her. I was her friend; she confided in me about every part of her life.

I was to keep her safe and allow her to bare her soul without thoughts of stealing her heart. It was not my place, I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. I thought back to her twenty-first birthday. Something had taken over me that night. I don’t know if it were the alcoholic beverages that gave me the courage, but I’d stolen a kiss that night, and it was phenomenal. Nothing like I’d ever felt before or since. When she responded with such vigor, I’d convinced myself that we were good, and I wanted more of her, but the drive to her place gave me time to think.

None of my relationships thus far had lasted. Mostly because I couldn’t keep up with the demand of quality time. I was busy, all the time, and no woman wants a man who spends more time at work than with them. More than that, I’d shared countless stories about women I only bedded for my own pleasures. Simply because I saw no interest in pursuing a relationship. Our bond was as tight as a hogtie and I couldn’t very well offer her the love she deserved and then fail to deliver. The thought of breaking her heart was too monumental for me to pursue anything other than friendship with Shelby.

And even though I knew this and continued to tell myself it was for the best, I felt despondent. I had to find a way to rid myself of these emotions and move on. I inhaled and exhaled a deep breath and left the restroom. At the bar, I asked for another bottle of the rich wine the waiter had brought over to the table before my abrupt retreat.

“You wouldn’t happen to have a gift bow to attach to it?” I asked.

“Ah, yes.” The bartender disappeared for a moment and returned just ask quickly. He slid a ribbon onto the bottle and fastened it into a bow clipping the edges. “How’s that?”

“Excellent.” I made the purchase and strode from the bar a determined man. I pulled a smile back on my face as I neared. “Congratulations.” I held the bottle out to Alan and slapped him on the back. He stood and shook my hand.

“Thank you.” His smile was burgeoning.

I stepped to Shelby, taking notice of her downcast expression. I reached down and pulled her out of the seat, capturing her in a sealed embrace. “Congratulations,” I whispered, my lips hovering just slightly over her ear. I could feel a vibration run through her.

“You disappeared.” I could hear the question in her voice.

“Never fear, I’m back.”

She pulled back from me. “Is everything okay?”

“Of course. I want you and your fiancé to take this bottle of Tony’s finest wine and celebrate the night away.”

She smiled. “Are you coming along?”

I kept my face void of expression. “Why would I tag along, silly goose? This night is about you and him.” I released her and looked to Melanie. “We should get going so these two can enjoy their night.”

“We haven’t had a bite to eat yet,” she said.

“We’ll get something.” I looked to Alan then Shelby. “You guys have a great night.” We took our leave. I made sure to get Melanie something to eat before dropping her back at her vehicle. She was interested in more than just a five-page spread, but I wasn’t.

“Thank you for your generosity tonight, Mr. Cartwright,” Melanie said when we approached her car. “The night is young. Are you sure you’re ready to call it a night?”

I grinned. “I have to get an early start.” I placed a gentle kiss on the back of her hand and opened her driver side door. She crawled in. “Drive safely,” I said, closing the door and retreating to my vehicle.

I wouldn’t be getting much sleep tonight. In my garage, I switched gears, leaving my truck for my bike. I rode through Saint Louis for an hour and a half before returning to my penthouse. I strode through the rooms in darkness, tossing my keys on the counter. My eyes shifted around the cold, lonely place, and I settled on a bottle of scotch. My cell phone buzzed and my screen lit up. I check the Caller ID and found Shelby’s face on the screen. Why was she calling me? I decided not to answer the phone. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to have a reasonable conversation with her.

I left the phone on the counter and went in search of a shower. I was determined to get over tonight no matter what it took. Maybe I should’ve invited Melanie over. It had been months since I’d been intimate with a woman. Mainly because the one night stands and brisk temptations were not enough to fulfill the desire I had for her. Shelby, Shelby, Shelby, I thought. A grumble moved through me. I opted instead to drink the night away, by myself. Maybe things would be better after I’d had a little sleep. It seemed like a good idea at the time, until I found myself flat on my back staring at the ceiling.

This night was going to be a miserable one.

book trailer

meet the author

Stephanie Nicole Norris is an author from Chattanooga Tennessee with a humble beginning. She was raised with six siblings by her mother Jessica Ward. Always being a lover of reading, during Stephanie’s teenage years her joy was running to the book mobile to read stories by R. L. Stine.

After becoming a young adult her love for romance sparked leaving her captivated by hero’s and heroines alike. With a big imagination and a creative heart Stephanie penned her first novel Trouble In Paradise and self published it in 2012. Her debut novel turned into a four book series full of romance, drama, and suspense. To date Stephanie has self published seven books which includes five full novels and two short stories. They can be found on most retailers sites. Stephanie is inspired by the likes of Donna Hill, Gwynne Forester, and more. She currently resides in Chattanooga Tennessee with her husband and one year old son.

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Prowl

2017 will be my breakout year for collaborations. I penned this novel with Celebrated Author Deidra Ds Green. High stakes crime at its finest. Check out what we have in store for you with Prowl. We’re about to feed your need to read for sure!

Brooklyn, Drew, Symone and Leah grew up the best of friends. Their parents co-own and operate Patterson Pharmaceutical Company, a thriving business that has continuously grown over the last ten years. But after the economy took a hard turn, the family business suffered major losses, leaving the family’s income on pins and needles.

To make matters worse, the property the Patterson’s inherited from their late grandparents is up for auction from missed payments the family wasn’t aware they’d missed. With the family’s debt growing and relationships being tested, the four friends decide to take drastic measures to get the funds needed to secure generational survival. Being high end thieves wasn’t something they agreed on overnight. Taking from the less fortunate they couldn’t stomach. But stealing from those who already had plenty might just save the family from ruin.

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Love Is A Drug, Ink 2017

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A Sneak Peek!

Hola everyone! Today I have a snippet of my upcoming crime/thriller book, An Unfortunate Accident. This snippet is unedited so continue with caution (lol). This is for the sole purpose of giving you guys a piece of what I’ve been working on and please know I’m always writing. I have other projects I’m also working on and some that have been completed.

I do have a romantic suspense story coming that I’ve co-written with another author. I’ll post about that next, it’s fire! You’ll get a sneak peek of that one also but for now. Enjoy! Oh and if you’re not signed up for my newsletter you should do that asap. I’ve got contests/giveaways (plural) coming with these new releases and I want you to be apart of that but they’re only available to my subscribers! 😉

An Unfortunate Accident

“Baby, give me the gun.  It’s okay, it’s alright.” Nathan said.  He wanted her to focus on him.  It was obvious she was still in shock.  A sudden cry from the baby monitor sounded.  It was then that Renee snapped out of it.  When she came to she noted the gun in her hand, her grip loosened and it hit the floor with a thud. Shaking now, her eyes followed the deep red blood stain on their bedroom floor to the body laying still.  “Oh my God,” she whispered at first.  “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!” she said getting frantic with each exertion.

“Baby, look at me,” Nathan turned her to  face him.  “I need you to clear your mind.  Isaiah is crying, he needs your help.  Go to him.”  She folded her arms tight and her eyes traveled back down to the body.

“Renee,” he called.  Her eyes snapped back to him. “Isaiah.” He said.  He grabbed a towel and wiped the blood spatter from her face.  He wrapped her in another towel and escorted her out of the room to the hallway.  “Isaiah,” he repeated.  She put one foot in front of the other, her baby’s cry drawing her in the closer she got.  Nathan watched her disappear into the room before he disappeared into theirs.  He stood over the intruder with a million thoughts running through his mind.  Again, he knelt down and checked his pulse but there was none.  A harsh expletive flew from his tongue.  This was bad, very bad.  How would they explain this, who would believe them?  There was the video, it could show that they were attacked because they had the incriminating evidence.  Nathan shook his head.  That wouldn’t work.  No one would believe them.  They were an African American couple.  Their lives would be over as they knew it.  No one would come to their defense.  They would be hung out too dry, separated, thrown under the jail.  They would lose everything, their son, each other, their lives.  Beads of sweat surfaced on Nathan’s forehead and lines creased as he frowned.  He needed to handle this, he had to make it go away, he needed to protect them.  His mind continued to race.  How did he get in here? Where did he come from? The gate was locked at all times, how did this happen? The questions were overbearing.  Nathan stepped over his body and left the room, on his way downstairs he checked over his shoulder to make sure Renee was still in the room with Isaiah.  There was no sign of her.  He took the stairs two at a time and checked the front door.  It was unlocked.

Description

Nathan and Renee Johnson are more in love now than they were on their wedding day.  Their careers have sky rocketed and the move to Cleveland Ohio five years ago has been their best move. However, on the night of their eight year anniversary, Nathan and Renee’s life changes forever.  Leaving one of their favorite restaurants, tipsy and looking forward to an extensive night of passionate sex, a startled cry in the darkness of night captures their attention. Drawn to the sound, they discover a crime in progress and caught up in the horror of it all the couple take out their cell phone and begin recording. But to their dismay, they’re spotted by the perpetrator and he goes after them with a vengeance.

At day break, the magnitude of everything they witness hits the couple full force. They’ve noticed the vehicle sitting outside the gates of their two story Tudor style home last night.  And quickly things around them start to change.  With their lives in danger, the couple goes through any means necessary to keep their family safe and the costs weigh so heavy that they may not survive it.

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Book Festival!

I’m gearing up for the 2016 Chattanooga’s Authors and Entrepreneurs showcase, presented by S.W.A.T. Book Camp. Come out to meet and greet me and other fantastic authors. Entry is free, there’s even something for the kids! Stop by and grab a signed book!

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Join me,  Today 5:30 pm., Let me know you’ll be there by commenting on this post with your name and email address and receive a special discount and a swag bag!

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Chattanooga Readers and Writers Fair!

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Hola, come out and meet me today at the inaugural Chattanooga Readers and Writers Fair!  I will be set up on 11th Street, in front of City Hall. Times are from 10 a.m., until 3 p.m. The fair is outside and will go on rain or shine so cross your fingers for great weather!

I’ll have Mistaken Identity and the Trouble In Paradise series, so stop by and grab a book signed by me and one of this awesome swag bags!

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Will you be in attendance? I look forward to seeing you there!

Risky Retreat!

Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat! Here you can find a teaser of the romance, drama, and suspense that flow through my pages when I write. Even though this is only a teaser, it will still feed your need to read. Some of these stories are coming soon, some are available now and some are simply free short stories I wanted to share with you! Enjoy and don’t forget to check back in two weeks for the next Risky Retreat!

Until My Last Breath (Trouble In Paradise Book 4)

The day had been long and exhausting. Caroline sat in her office chair, legs crossed, bouncing her pointy toe heels. The back and forth flights from Chicago to Atlanta were making her exhausted. She’d done this so frequently that she now had enough frequent flyer miles to use to catch flights without using her credit card on file. In her thoughts Caroline pondered on Greg and the interesting morning they had. She wondered if he was serious about the things he said. A girl could hope, right? A part of her told her he was full of it and just telling her what she wanted to hear so he could get Victoria out of there safe and sound, but that would never happen. Even if he was serious, she would never let Victoria live where there was a chance she could come around and snatch him away again. Caroline had made that mistake on more than one occasion. She wouldn’t make it again.

Since being out of the psych ward she’d pick up a few bad habits. One being the pack of cigarettes in the inside pocket of her Vera Wang handbag. She tried not to smoke unless she was done with business. Nobody wanted to be around a walking ashtray all day, and she’d known from personal experience how unpleasant it was to sit next to someone who’d just taken a cigarette break.

Her phone buzzed and her assistant came through. “Mrs. Banks, you have a visitor.”

Caroline straightened up and stood to her feet. She checked her schedule to make sure she didn’t forget a client, but there weren’t any other appointments. She buzzed her assistant back.

“Pick up,” she said through the loud speaker. Caroline held the receiver to her mouth, “Who is it?” she said.

“He said his name is Mr. Faragosse,” she said.

Caroline froze. “First name, please,” she responded.

“Brandon,” her assistant replied.

Caroline dropped down into her seat. She hadn’t heard from Brandon Faragosse in a year, she wondered what he was doing here now.

“Send him in,” she said.

She quickly removed the mirror from her second drawer and checked her reflection. Confident that her look was on point, she replaced it no sooner than the mahogany double doors to her office opened, and in walked a sexy specimen of a man. Six foot two inches of dark skin, low fade, full beard, moist full lips, and dark brown eyes. Caroline crossed her legs letting her eyes roam the full length of him.

“To what do I owe this pleasure?” she asked.

He smiled. “The pleasure is all mine,” he responded. “I’ve been thinking about you.”

Caroline’s eyebrows lifted. “Is that so?” She watched his eyes assess her, moving from her curls to her lips, neck, and down her blouse. “Why don’t you have a seat,” she said.

“Don’t mind if I do.” He sat down and relaxed in his chair.

“So what can I do for you?”

“I’m glad you asked.” He paused. “I thought maybe we could get to know each other again. I miss talking to you, and more than anything I miss our midday office flings.”

Caroline grinned and shook her head up and down. “Yes, those were some good times, but you know I was a woman on a mission then. I needed you, and you wanted me, so we we’re looking out for each other,” she said.

He tipped his head forward in agreement, “I think we still could be of service to each other.”

“How’s so?”

“I have a problem with an inmate who needs to get an early release. In order for that to happen she’ll need to have a professional on the stand tell the jury that she’s been evaluated and holds no threat to society. I figured since we’ve done this before you’d be willing to do it again.”

Caroline held the smile on her face. She stood and rounded the desk, once in front of him she perched her booty on the front of it and crossed her legs at the ankles. This man had lost his mind. He seemed so sure of himself too. It was too bad.

“That was a one time deal,” she said.

He also stood, coming face to face with her. He smelled of peppermint and oozed masculinity. Caroline was very aware of his closeness and was not naïve to his hypnotic lure. “I understand that, but it doesn’t need to be,” he said. “Besides, I have something you want.” He grabbed her arms and ran his hands down them to her wrists turning her full circle pulling her backside into his center.

Charmed, Caroline said, “Proceed.” She couldn’t imagine what he could possibly have that she would want, well she could think of a thing or too. A rumble wouldn’t be so bad. She could definitely use the tryst but it wouldn’t be enough to put her neck on the line.

“Let’s just say I’ll make sure,” his lips touched her neck, his tongue tracing up to her ears, “no one ever finds out about those two women you have chained up in your basement.” Chills ran throughout her whole being. She jerked away instantly almost falling over her own two feet trying to get away from him. “You know,” he said, “you can get Alexis to do it, she’s got the credentials too. It shouldn’t be too hard since you’ve got her wrapped around your little fingers.”

Caroline was completely disturbed. “You can’t be serious. Blackmail, that’s what you’ve got?”

Brandon tipped his head in agreement. “We don’t have to call it blackmail, we can just call it a business deal. After all, blackmail is when you’re threatening someone. I wouldn’t threaten you, Caroline, because I know I don’t need to. You’re a good friend and I know you would want what’s best for the both of us. Moreover, I’d be willing to be of some assistance if you needed me. Now that doesn’t sound like blackmail, does it?”

“What is in it for you? Is this person another one of your bed bugs?”

Brandon laughed. “I would be offended, but you are so cute when you’re feisty.” He went to her and caressed her face. She jerked away. He put his arms around her waist and pulled her in hard, holding on to her tight. Their feet did a dance, backing up until he was pressing her against her windowsill. “I’ve always enjoyed this view from your office,” he said. “It’s nice to see it again. You should really appreciate it more often.”

“Why are you doing this?” she asked. “What have I ever done to you?”

“Oh, come on now, is what I’m doing really so bad? I mean when you wanted to be rid of Victoria, did you not hire me to do the same thing I’m asking you to do. Put your neck on the line. Did I not get rid of the evidence you needed so that Danielle’s charges could be dropped and she be released to wreak havoc on Victoria’s life? I did all you asked honey, and I didn’t bat an eye about it, did I?”

“I also paid you, not blackmailed you,” she said.

“Would you rather have payment? I’d be more than happy to pay you.”

“You know I don’t need the money,” she growled. He kissed her lips and she tried to bite him.

He laughed. “Woo hoo, feisty!” he said. “I figured you would say you didn’t need the money. Besides, you only paid me five thousand dollars. That wasn’t nearly enough for what I did.”

“Oh, please, you got your fill of her, didn’t you?” He raised an eyebrow, “Oh what, you thought I didn’t know? Please. Every chance you got you were rolling in the sack with her, and I was giving you more than money anyway. Don’t act like you didn’t like it,” she said.

“On the contrary, I did like it, as a matter of fact I loved it. Tell you what, just name your price. Do you want money? Or do you want me?” He licked his tongue out, tasting her lips.

His breath warm, sending chills across her skin. Although he was blackmailing her, he was still a force to be reckoned with. When they’d had their affair it was the most exhilarated she’d ever felt before, except of course, with Greg. She thought about his proposition. She didn’t really have a choice.

“And if I say no?” she tried him.

He pulled back slightly to study her face. “Come on now, don’t make me beg,” he said. He resumed kissing her neck moving to her shoulders. Slowly he unbutton her blouse. He kissed down her neckline to her breast. He drop to one knee and unzipped the back of her skirt. She grabbed his hands his gaze piercing through her. “Don’t stop me, you know you want this.”

Lord help her, she did want it, but she couldn’t let him know that. Not just yet anyway. She stepped away from him. “How do you know about the two women in the basement anyway?”

“Are we back to square one?” He asked standing back to his feet.

“I never asked you,” she said.

“I didn’t think you needed to. Come on you know I’m good at what I do. I watch people, that’s how I’m able to be where I need to be when I need to be there. That’s how I’m able to make moves and get what I want.” He was back in her face now, “That’s how I know about the two women in your basement, that’s how I know about Alexis Patrice, that’s how I know that you’ve got two men in your attic. I see, I watched, and I know,” he whispered into her ear. “You know, I can’t believe you’re still after him. After all this time you’d think you’d be tired of the chase by now. I mean, either he loves you or not—

She slapped him hard. “Don’t pretend to act like you know what’s going on in my life.” She sneered. He’d hit a nerve and she wasn’t having it.

He put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t come here to fight with you. Nowhere near it. I just came to get your help and maybe give you something in return.”

He stepped back in her face. “I will never understand how any man could turn his back on a beautiful, educated, successful woman as yourself. The man must be blind, crazy and confused.”

“Didn’t you get enough of me the first time?” she said.

“Never. Anyway, you were done with me before I was done with you, so I’ve got some built up frustration.” She stood with her back to him. He turned her around. “Listen, I need this done next week. Thursday to be exact.”

“Thursday!” she said. “That is too soon, I have appointments, clients,” she said.

“I know. I wish I could’ve had the chance to get to you sooner, but it’s okay. You can stand to cancel an appointment or two. I’ll be calling you Monday, but if you need me sooner,” he pulled out a business card and placed it on her desk, “you know how to contact me.”

Brandon grabbed her throat forcefully and shoved his tongue in her mouth. She fell off balance and he made sure to tighten his hold on her. Finishing her off, he sucked her lips in his mouth. He backed up, winked, and strolled out of the office.

Caroline didn’t know whether to be mad, horny, or irritated. She was starting to think it was a combination of all three.

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Until My last breath

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