Welcome to Merlot, CA, an idyllic all-American town in wine country where love is in the air, the boys are grown as fine as the wine and the town is a breeding ground for second-chances, weddings, and brand-new beginnings.
The All-American Boy Series gives you a taste of 15 of your favorite bestselling authors’ brand new stories in this shared world experience. All books are standalone but may include cross-over in characters or scenes. Including our very own tale of lovers-reunited, The Boy She Left Behind.
Releases begin January 25th through February 12th on Kindle Unlimited and are now ready for you to pre-order.
Click here for more info and direct links to all 15 titles in the All American Boy Series!
Then grab a glass of wine, put your feet up and let us whisk you away to wine country.
It’s 2021 and we’re excited.
We have two new covers to share and another romance on the way!
When Susan and I first started writing romance as Stephanie Browning, we had three rules:
1. The bedroom door would only be slightly ajar;
2. Our women would be strong-willed and independent, and our men respectful. He could be a hottie on the page, but…
3., There would be no abs on the cover.
But with three contemporary romances and one boxed set already on the market, and a novella on its way, we realized it was time for a fresh look! So we’ve lightened up on the abs, made sure our covers reflected the story inside, and voilà! .
OUTBID BY THE BOSS
When Chas Porter catches Samantha Redfern bidding on an antique candlestick that rightfully belongs to him, he’s furious! But this is no ordinary candlestick; it’s the perfect mate to the only possession of worth Sam’s grandparents took when they fled England. One that Chas is desperate to recover.
MAKING UP IS HARD TO DO
If she’d known Jack Rutherford would walk back into her life, more ruggedly handsome than the day he left, Nicki Hamilton would have stayed in Toronto and left the past where it belonged. But he owes her. Big time. For fifteen years of silence, a dozen unanswered letters, and one broken teenaged heart.
UNDONE BY THE STAR
As heir-apparent to London’s most exclusive hotel, Alexis Kirkwood has spent her life preparing for the top job. But when she mistakes American film star Marc Daniels for a plumber, the sparks fly. An intense intimacy develops…until Marc’s celebrity gets in the way and hijacks Alex’s carefully-laid plans.
It’s an oft-used cliché, but sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. And finding an image that supports both the book’s title and its story line, is magic.
And part of an indie author’s remit.
Take Making Up is Hard to Do. It started life as a romantic suspense novel, lost its way, went through multiple rewrites and three different titles before it was deemed ready to publish.
Once we’d sorted out the cover.
As a contemporary romance with the bedroom door only slightly ajar, we needed a photo that would let the reader know what to expect. Not that we have any objections to a set of well-toned abs.
There are literally millions of images available from aggregates like Shutterstock, Can Stock and Adobe Stock. The trick is to narrow your search parameters along the way. We started with couples in love, couples kissing, dating couples, couples at the beach and so on. Big smiles and bikinis wasn’t what we had in mind.so we tried “couple from behind on the beach” and voilà! We had our image.
The dock was an unexpected bonus. With a title like Making Up is Hard to Do what was a natural pose for a couple gazing across the water was suddenly open to interpretation. Were they getting back together or were they still worlds apart?
The answer is on the page!
We like the look of Making Up is Hard to Do so much we’ve made it part of our Stephanie Browning brand. And used it as the cover for Love Me Now, Love Me Forever, our three-book boxed set featuring Outbid by the Boss, Making Up is Hard to Do and Undone by the Star.
A free read from my collection of mystery shorts: Revenge With A Twist
It was two o’clock in the morning on the eleventh of August and no one, except Louise Tellier Hannington Brown, had any idea where I was…
She’d called me out of the blue a week ago, unhappy with her lawyer, her husband’s lawyer and her impending divorce. I should have hung up immediately but we’d known each other since high school and I owed her one.
“If you think Ted’s hiding something on his boat, Louise, why don’t you just go down to the marina and check it out?”
I heard the flick of a lighter on the other end of the line. Louise smoked when she was agitated. I drank coffee. Pouring myself another cup, I walked out onto my back deck. It was going to be a scorcher.
I wiggled my bare feet in the sun. The nail polish might be a little chipped around the edges, but, all in all, I was doing pretty well.
Unlike the rest of us, Louise had been racking up her assets the old-fashioned way. Ted Brown was her third, and wealthiest, husband to date.
Brilliant and ruggedly good-looking, Ted had been at the forefront of the high-tech industry, launching first one company with his partners, and then another. Now he wanted to kick back and cruise the Caribbean. Without Louise.
“His lawyer’s slapped me with a restraining order! Can you believe it?” She exhaled angrily into the phone.
“What’d you do? Beat the guy up?” I watched Marm, my three-year-old ginger cat, chase a black squirrel out of the yard.
“I got tired of leaving messages on his machine so I went down to the marina. The guard wouldn’t let me past the front gate…”
“…and?” The squirrel was back, sneaking along the fence, a kamikaze rodent in black fur, searching for his target.
“What was I supposed to do? Say `thank you very much’ and go home?”
Apparently, she’d torn a strip off the guard, thrown her BMW into reverse and blocked the entrance to the parking lot, refusing to leave until the club manager had threatened her with the police. They’d called Ted. He’d called his lawyer and now Louise was calling me.
I went inside for a notebook. I’d worked off and on for years as a chartered accountant before specializing in the relatively new field of forensic accounting. I learned my trade at one of the biggest firms in the country, tracking “hidden” assets and investigating fraud. Now I was on my own, picking up enough business to pay my rent and my share of raising the kids.
Meagan and Patrick, my fifteen-year-old twins. At the moment, they were vacationing with their father in Cape Cod. Which suited me well. If I was going to get involved with Louise, I’d rather they were safely out of town.
To be honest, I felt a little squeamish about delving into Ted and Louise’s personal affairs, but under the latest family law legislation, she had a claim on half the assets Ted had accumulated during their six-year marriage.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why Louise wanted access to the Yellow Goose. Ted’s financial declaration, according to her calculations, was out by a few million dollars. If he was hiding something, it would, in all likelihood, be aboard the Yellow Goose, the one constant in his life.
“I can’t just sail into a strange marina.”
“At the very least, it’s trespassing.”
“It’s not as though you haven’t been there before…” if sarcasm was a liquid, Louise’s phone must be dripping with it.
I picked up a pen and started doodling. “You talking about the Somerset Yacht Club?”
“Don’t play dumb, Stevie. It doesn’t suit you.”
Oh, but it did. When it came to affairs of the heart, I was a total incompetent. Just ask my ex-husband, John Carston.
I’d married him when I was twenty-one, juggling kids and career to put him through law school. Twelve years later, we’d divorced. I’d kept his name and the kids. Since then, I’d had a few serious relationships, but none of them had panned out.
Then a year ago last spring, I’d bumped into Ted at the local boat show. He and Louise had split after a major row, and I was at loose ends having been without a partner for about a year. His offer to go sailing was irresistible. But by the end of the summer, he was back with Louise and I was in dry dock. The next spring I’d bought a boat of my own, the Indigo Blue, a twenty-four-foot Shark with a sweet cut to her jib.
“If I’d thought you and Ted were going to get back together, I never would have gotten involved.”
“Take the case and I’ll forgive you.”
“The guilt I can deal with, Louise. How much are you willing to pay?”
“Five thousand up front and a ten percent finder’s fee.”
Sailing’s an expensive sport. I took the job.