These projects reflect our appreciation for characters that are slightly left-of-center.
Or not even near center. Genres don't matter. Originality does.
A collection of sweet, tender, poetic, beautiful, heart-wrenching, sensual, love stories.
These stories share a common theme of love, set in a time period before cell phones and social media.
"Second Best" by Brenna Aldrich
1944. The South. Can a heartbroken young woman learn to love again?
"Didn't It Rain" by Kathryn Burns
1964. Manchester. A teenager realizes her love for music...and for a girl.
"The Painted World" by Cassandra Campbell
It's 1959, New York and Tennessee. Will a young woman choose the life she's meant to live or the life she longs for?
"Adele" by Tony Healey
A couple who's been married for decades. A secret shared. And a love that shows the beauty in supporting a partner when they share their authentic self.
"Purple Roses" by Christina Thompson
A quiet farmhouse. A lifetime love, lost. A message sent from beyond that restores faith, hope, and blessings for a new love.
"She Screams" by Jacob Strunk
1940s. A smoky bar. Jazz. Where love and lust seduces like a song.
"Can't Get Used To Losing You" by Karen White
It's the 1980s. First love. Young love. But is it a forever love?
"To Love Is To Burn" by Amanda R. Woomer
1871, Peshtigo, Wisconsin. A deadly wildfire and the love that rises from the ashes.
These stories make us swoon, make us laugh, cause tears and sighs. The world needs more love, and we are excited to share it.
READ BY XE SANDS
In A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother, Anna Prushinskaya explores the deep life shifts of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood in the United States, a world away from the author's Soviet homeland. Drawing from inspirations as various as midwife Ina May Gaskin, writer and activist Alice Walker, filmmaker Sophia Kruz, and frontierswoman Caroline Henderson, Prushinskaya captures the inherent togetherness of motherhood alongside its accompanying estrangement. She plumbs the deeper waters of compassion, memory and identity, as well as the humorous streams of motherhood as they run up against the daily realities of work and the ever-present eye of social media. How will I return to my life? Prushinskaya asks, and answers by returning us to our own ordinary, extraordinary lives a little softer, a little wiser, and a little less certain of unascertainable things.
READ BY MCKENZIE CARTWRIGHT
Hail is a Dark Kindred. Since emotions are outlawed on his home world, he is learning to feel now that he lives on the Mother Ship. Strong emotions are bad news, though - they bring out the part of his DNA that is Bolaxian Beast, a race of beings known for their fierce breeding lust.
READ BY TATIANA SOKOLOV
Betrothed to the heir of Lord Canis, Aurelia finds herself thrown to the wolves. The Canis Clan are no ordinary warriors, but beasts raging beneath the skin of men. Their name chills the heart of every man in Britannia, though the heart of one maiden may be saved....
Once a mighty warrior in high esteem among the Clan, Sir Raf Canis knows all too well the dangers Aurelia will face in her new role as Lady of Blackens Gate. Tasked with the humiliating errand of delivering his brother's intended, Raf instead finds himself fighting for her life - and falling into an impossible love that he cannot deny.
READ BY AUSTIN BUNN, LUKE DANIELS, TANYA EBY, RALPH LISTER, AMY MCFADDEN, MIKAEL NARRAMORE, NICK PODEHL
Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Best Short Story/Collections
A brilliant, inventive debut story collection in the vein of Kevin Wilson and Wells Tower.
Brimming with life and unforgettable voices, the stories in Austin Bunn's dazzling collection explore the existential question: what happens at the end, and what lies beyond it? In the wry but affecting "How to Win an Unwinnable War", a summer class on nuclear war for gifted teenagers turns a struggling family upside down. A young couple's idyllic beach honeymoon is interrupted by terrorism in the lush, haunting "Getting There and Away". When an immersive video game begins turning off in the heartbreaking "Griefer", an obsessive player falls in love with a mysterious player in the final hours of a world.
Told in a stunning range of voices, styles and settings - from inside the Hale-Bopp cult to the deck of a conquistador's galleon adrift at the end of the ocean - the stories in Bunn's collection capture the transformations and discoveries at the edge of irrevocable change. Each tale presents a distinct world, told with deep emotion, energizing language and characters with whom we have more in common that we realize. They signal the arrival of an astonishing new talent in short fiction.
Includes a bonus monologue, "Basement Story".
Bunn is a screenwriter (Kill Your Darlings), former journalist (New York Times Magazine, Wired and elsewhere) and performer, whose work has been performed at The Moth, WBEZ and public radio.
READ BY TANYA EBY
My friends say Hunter's dangerous.
They say he's a threat to everyone in town.
But I'm not so sure.
As he stands before me in this crowded club with the lights shining around us, I catch something good under Hunter's dark facade. Something decent and profound.
I don't know who or what to believe.
But I will find out the truth.
Aeris Thorne is expecting a quiet vacation in the remote town of Deep Cove. But on a stormy night, she meets the alluring and mysterious Hunter Cayman, and her life takes an exhilarating turn. Aeris is both drawn to him and determined to find out what he's hiding in his lab on the promontory. But what Aeris doesn't know is that he's tormented by a secret: the truth behind his genetic research. As he and Aeris are drawn together, the walls he's built to protect himself threaten to crumble. At the same time, she begins to wonder if she's found the key to unraveling her own tragic past. When Aeris's life is threatened, Hunter is forced to make an impossible decision about her future - one that could change everything.
Wyshynski ratchets you up inch-by-inch, slowly, slowly - then tips you over the edge and sends you racing down the other side, all the way to the startling finish. Her fresh voice is addictive.
READ BY JOE ARDEN, MAXINE MITCHELL
He can't have her. And he can't tell anyone why.
Ski racer Dane "Danger" Hollister does not do relationships, though he keeps his reason a secret. The real-life curse he's inherited from his mother will eventually cost him everything: his place on the Olympic ski team, his endorsement income, and his ability to fly downhill at top speed.
Reluctant country girl Willow Reade meets Dane by accident. Literally. Her skidding truck forces him off the road during a blizzard. Stranded together in his Jeep as night falls, the two loneliest people in Vermont find themselves sharing more than they'd planned. And not just conversation.
Yet neither can guess how their unlikely tryst will threaten Dane's frightening secret and Willow's tentative peace with her own choices. Only mutual trust and understanding can end their pain and give them a hard won shot at love.
READ BY MATTHEW LLOYD DAVIES
Three sinners. Three confessions. And all the dirty little secrets you could possibly desire.
Father Stuart Ballard has been Marcus Stearns' confessor since the young Jesuit was only 18 years old. He thought he'd heard every sin the boy had to confess until Marcus uttered those three fateful words: "I met Eleanor."
So begins "The Confession of Marcus Stearns," a moving coda to the RITA® Award-winning Original Sinners series.
This collection also includes "The Confession of Eleanor Schreiber," a companion story written exclusively for this book.
And, finally, all secrets are revealed in "The Confession of Tiffany Reisz," an exclusive, in-depth interview.
READ BY KATE RUDD
When Penny moves to Hog's Hollow from New York City, her life changes drastically. Penny's mom now runs a cupcake bakery, and Penny is stuck helping out. But that isn't the worst of it. Not only did she leave her friends back home, but her dad stayed behind too. And then there's Charity, resident mean girl who's out to get Penny. With all this, Penny still finds some things to like: Tally and Blake...and Marcus - the cute, quiet boy who runs on the beach every night.
But just when Penny begins to accept her new life, she's forced to make a choice that will change everything.
READ BY TANYA EBY, AIDEN SNOW
She's the woman he doesn't remember. He's the man she can't forget.
Bad boy Hank "Hazardous" Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder, and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he's landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead.
Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient's heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she's afraid to risk her own. So she doesn't confess to her newest patient that they met just before the accident, an encounter he doesn't remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won't admit that she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department.
With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a handout from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.
This is a full length stand-alone audiobook. No cliffhangers, no prior experience necessary.
READ BY JAMES LARCENY, MACKENZIE CARTWRIGHT
He wants her soul. Too bad she already sold it.
Family is everything to gambling den darling, Teresa Valentini. Blood comes first, especially before men. So when her brother lands himself in hot water, she's willing to do whatever it takes to save him. And showing up topless in her unwitting savior's motel room is turning out to be the furthest thing from a hardship....
Will Caruso is the bad boy of New York's financial scene...and he just found out the very thing that drives his success is a damn lie. Now, he's exchanged his high-stress life for the open road, no one but his Great Dane...and half a million Instagram followers to keep him company. When a mysterious beauty arrives, her secrecy prods his suspicions, even while she tempts his lust to the breaking point.
Teresa met Will under false pretenses, but the bond consuming them is real. They're strong enough to overcome a little betrayal...aren't they?
Follow is a mega-hot contemporary first-person standalone.
READ BY CHRISTA LEWIS
It is Chicago. 1910. 11-year-old Lillian March looks over her mother's dead body with a sense of relief.
As a poor woman, her mother, Cora, never had any real choices or happiness in her life. Cora and Lillian flee to the bustling city of Chicago, where she is certain she will have the life of opulence she deserves.
Cora and Lillian face deep hardships in turn-of-the-century Chicago as Cora's mind continues its downward spiral. With no money and no hope for income, Cora sells Lillian to the Garden Room, a brothel, where young girls and desperate women are kept like flowers in a jar.
John March comes looking for his daughter and his wife in an attempt to rescue them, but even if he finds them alive, is rescue really possible?
In the Garden Room is an exploration of madness, desire and two women's choices in a time when they weren't really allowed to choose.
READ BY JOE HEMPEL, LORI PRINCE
This unlikely getaway driver never expected to help the mayor escape....
After a six-year absence, Addison Potts is back in Charleston to stir things up. And what better place to make her villainous return than her estranged cousin’s wedding? Only, the nuptials hit a snag when the bride doesn’t show, leaving Addison to play getaway driver for the jilted groom - a groom whose heartbreaking smile and deep, Southern drawl she should not be noticing....
Elijah Montgomery DuPont is the future mayor of Charleston. From his military career to city hall, every detail of his life has been meticulously planned. Until now. His only respite from life’s sudden upheaval is Addison, his new, improbable best friend. She makes him happy. She grounds him. And public disapproval be damned, he’s not willing to give her up. But with an election on the line and public pressure rising, Addison - and the cruel hand of fate - might not give him a choice.
READ BY CRAIG POWERS
Edmund and Mary Wilder are very much in love. But the death of their young son, Tommy, has shattered their family. Edmund is determined to bring them back together, drawing on the only bit of strength he has left - his love for Mary and their daughter, Stephanie. But Mary sinks deeper into depression while little Stephanie's anger grows. Edmund flounders in his attempts to rescue his family from the brink of collapse and doesn't know where to turn.
Then Mary receives an invitation for the family to become guests at Manor House, a seemingly quaint bed and breakfast. This, she assures her husband, is the answer to all their troubles.
Edmund arrives ahead of his family to spend a couple days working on his long-delayed novel. But his growing curiosity about the old house leads Edmund to an encounter that will change him forever.
What will you sacrifice for love?
An old fashioned psychological thriller with a nod to Stephen King, Manor House will keep you guessing and compel you to listen to the very end.
A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all.
READ BY LUKE DANIELS & ERIN MALLON
A sexy new stand-alone comedy.
I still don't know how it happened. One minute, I was arguing with my arrogant competitor - our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow, I went from throwing down to kneeling down.... It can never happen again. I don't even like him. He's too slick. He's a manipulating, mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes. So why can't I get him out of my head?
There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow. Ash is my missing my piece. She's the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don't call her the Ashkicker for nothing. Eventually I'll win her over...if my past doesn't ruin everything first.
"This book is what other romantic comedies should aspire to be when they grow up." (Romance Rehab)
READ BY LUKE DANIELS & ERIN MALLON
He puts the screw in screwball comedy....
At 34, I'm reeling from a divorce. I don't want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn's Dips and Balls. But my friends aren't having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I'm still taking a hard pass.
Free designer cocktails, they say. And that's a game-changer. Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That's when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don't expect me to actually go through with it.
All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she's a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.
I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn't leave a glass slipper, either - just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them. But I will find her.
READ BY A FULL CAST
NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED is a special audio-first anthology of poems, essays, and stories that explores themes of loss, love, and finding your own power. It's an astonishing collection filled with heart, tears, laughter, and ultimately hope.
This collection was created from writers across the United States and also in Australia, England, India, and New Zealand. Each piece is performed by a talented narrator. Music by Jennie Knaggs and Nick Shillace of Lac La Belle.
Writers include: Amy Oestreicher, Cat Gould, Charlotte McKinnon, Christa Lewis, Christina St Clair, Danielle Daney, Deepti Gupta, Echo Aspnes, Gina Dawe Weaver, Gracie Greenbaum, Jack Arkel, Jacqueline Pick, Janina Edward, Jerrianne Hayslett, Karen Randall, Karen White, Kass Hillard,Laura Schmidt, Lauren Ezzo, Lily Schmidt, Mark Blickley, Martha McSweeney Brower, Nancy Wagner, Rodney Vaccaro, Sandy Logan, Shahana Kumar, Sue Pitkin, Tanya Eby, Tamara Hansen, Tammy Scott, Tanya Eby, Tricia Lowther and Viiji Chary
Narrators include: Amy Landon, Amy McFadden, Bailey Carr, Cat Gould, Christa Lewis, Deepti Gupta, Emily Beresford, Emily Sutton-Smith, Erin Bennett, Erin Mallon, Gina Dawe Weaver, Gracie Greenbaum, Julie McKay, Lauren Ezzo, Lauri Jo Daniels, James Patrick Cronin, Janina Edwards, Karen White, Kate Rudd, Nancy Wagner, Nicol Zanzarella, Mark Kamish, Paul Heitsch, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, and Sue Pitkin
Cover by 10 Digit Press
Engineered by Featured Audio Produced by Blunder Woman Productions
READ BY GREG BOUDREAUX
It was meant to be nothing serious. And it was...until it wasn't.
Aaron Stevens likes his life the way it is. As a surgical resident, he is perfectly content with the fact that the precious hours he has outside the hospital revolve around taking care of his mother and sister. He doesn't have the time or inclination for a serious relationship. So the fact his lover lives halfway around the world and is fine with jetting off to exotic locales a couple times a year for a few weeks of hot sex is as close to perfect as he can get.
The last thing Jack Hayes ever expected when his best friend got involved with an American was to hook up with her son. And he sure as hell never imagined it would continue for as long as it has. For years, he has been at Aaron's beck and call, satisfied with submitting to him whenever Aaron and his busy life allow. But after a change in his family's company that has him looking for a new job and possibly moving, Jack has begun to examine what he really wants in life and isn't sure stolen moments here and there are enough anymore.
When Jack arrives to attend Aaron's sister's wedding, keeping what he and Aaron have a secret begins to take its toll. Aaron is unwilling to come out to his family, afraid of hurting them and ruining what should be the happiest day of his sister's life. As much as Jack has come to love Aaron, he can't bring himself to be the dirty secret in Aaron's closet. Aaron has a choice to make, because the tighter he holds on to keeping their “nothing serious” arrangement, the closer he comes to losing everything.
Contains explicit love scenes.
READ BY TANYA EBY, NEIL HELLEGERS
When he was young, Jimmy met a boy in a playground.
As the years passed, Jimmy grew older...but the boy did not.
Set in a haunted playground, The Red Boy explores the boundaries between parents and children, women and men, and the living and the dead.
READ BY AMY MCFADDEN
As a young girl, Willow watched her mother leave their home in Washington state in a literal blaze of glory: she set the mattress of her cheating husband on fire in her driveway, roasting marshmallow peeps and hot dogs before the fire department arrived.
And, with that, she and Willow set off to New Mexico, to a new life, to a world of arroyos and canyons bordering an Apache reservation. Willow was devastated. Her eccentric mother believed in this new life and set about starting a winery and goat ranch. But for Willow, it meant initially being bullied and feeling like an outsider. Today, as a grown woman, Willow much prefers Los Angeles and her job as a studio musician. But things tend to happen in threes: her mother dies, her boyfriend dumps her, and Willow discovers she is pregnant.
The DeVine Winery and Goat Ranch is all she has left, even if it is in financial straits and unmanageable back taxes. There is something, though, about the call of "home". She's surprised to find that her Apache best friend Darrel, along with the rest of the community, seems to think she belongs far more than she ever thought she did. Can Willow redefine what home means for her, and can she make a go of the legacy her mother left behind?
Told with Kaya McLaren's humor and heart, The Road to Enchantment is a story about discovering that the last thing you want is sometimes the one thing you need.
READ BY LUCY RIVERS
When she's hired to adapt the blockbuster novel, Beautiful Darkness, for film, screenwriter Jessica Yates sees an opportunity she can't pass up. The only thing standing between her and a guaranteed hit movie is the author. Lynn Baldwin’s rise from Midwestern housewife to literary superstardom has gone straight to her head, and she’s not willing to see her creation hit the screen without her total approval.
Features mild BDSM content with female dom, lots of laughs, and quirkJessica's personal life spins out of control. When there's more relationship drama and kinky sex off the page than on, she's forced to reevaluate what she really wants - before Beautiful Darkness destroys her Hollywood dreams forever.
Features mild BDSM content with female dom, lots of laughs, and quirk.
READ BY NOEL HARRISON, EMMA WILDER
For one night she had everything.
Pro snowboarder Stella Lazarus has always loved her brother's best friend. But the one time she tried to show him, she was shot down faster than you can say "competitor disqualified".
Until one blissful night in Tahoe, when Stella finally gets her man.
Or does she?
In the morning, Stella and Bear wake up to horrible news. The sort that sends them racing back to Vermont, and straight into the arms of guilt and family obligations.
For all of Bryan "Bear" Barry's life, three natural laws held true: his best friend Hank was destined for greatness, Hank's sister Stella was off-limits, and Bear would always manage to negotiate the rocky paths that life threw his way. In the space of two days, that's all shattered.
Bear can't believe he slipped up so badly with Stella. Even if his best friend wasn't lying broken in a hospital bed, it would still be unforgivable. Determined to do better, he devotes himself to his friend's recovery, denying himself the very person he loves. And the very thing he needs.
READ BY TANYA EBY
Storms rage across the Sharani desert. Those clansmen who survived the devastation in the Oasis take refuge in the Roterralar Warren. But just as they grew to understand in the Oasis, maybe they weren't meant to be together at all. Change is in the wind. The Orinai are coming.
Gavin struggles to find his place within the clans while Beryl begins to recognize that what he did in calling the Orinai will have devastating consequences. In an effort to atone for that, he sets in motion events that will lead to the end of safety and, possibly, the destruction of the Rahuli people.
After waking from weeks of troubled slumber, Lhaurel struggles with what she had to do in the Oasis and the burgeoning powers within her. As everything she holds dear begins to fall apart again she is plagued with the one, most important question. Can she save her people once again or is she unwilling to pay that price?
READ BY JAMES PATRICK CRONIN
The true blue line is not thin
Now mandatory in Police academies, FTO programs, and universities! The number one law enforcement philosophy series.
Written by full-time Police Detective and author Bernard Schaffer, whose new hardback novel The Thief of All Light will be available from Kensington Publications in bookstores everywhere.
Whether you're a hard luck grunt working the street or a white shirt administrator who'd need a GPS to find it, Way of the Warrior is for you.
Equal parts biography and instructional guide, Way of the Warrior focuses on the core of the individual officer: the warrior spirit. It discusses how to successfully uphold the law and not lose your mind in the process.
Contains information on:
What it means to protect and serve
Training and equipment
The eight golden rules of criminal investigation
The unsolvable problem of police work
The culture of law enforcement organizations
And much more!
This is a must listen for anyone in law enforcement but will also delight fans of thrillers, mysteries, and true crime.
READ BY TANYA EBY
We Got Him is the story of one family’s inherited flaws, harbored guilts, and obsessive desires, whether for a child, a parent, or a second chance to do the elusive right thing.
Powerfully worked against the unfolding events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Elizabeth Searle’s taut drama of a young, pregnant stepmother and her troubled stepson is a narrative tour de force, interweaving public and private acts of terror with the redemptive, but ever fragile, forces of love.