I’ve talked a lot this year about the struggles I’ve had, and along the way I’ve mentioned on Facebook and Twitter how the romance community rocks, about how many authors have contacted me in person at a conference, or emailed me, or IMd me on Facebook and in one way or another have offered support.  Some of them may know what they’ve done, others may be totally unaware of how much something they said affected me (in a good way), and how much I appreciated the time they took talking with me.

So I’ve decided to thank them by featuring their books here. I’ve gone to their websites and gathered their bios, covers and blurbs from their latest books (or the first book in their latest series) and am sharing them here in hopes that you’ll discover some new authors to love and support. I’d originally created today’s post a few days ago and set it to post the first Friday of 2015, but after a conversation today I knew I didn’t want to wait even two weeks.

The authors I’m featuring have no idea I’m doing this, or who will be featured next. They’ve not contacted me asking to be included — it’s not an advertisement. It’s my way of publicly saying “thank you!”



Lissa Matthews_webToday’s featured author is Lissa Matthews. While I’d seen her online when I was first published, Lissa was one of the first authors I met in person at my very first RAGT in 2011. (That’s Lori Foster’s annual Reader and Author Get Together in Cincinnati.)  We chatted briefly in the conference insanity, but we’ve chatted more online the past year since we’ve been in the FIVE ALARM ALPHA bundle. And found we have a lot in common about what we’re prepared to do–and not do–when it comes to our writing process.

Living in North Carolina, talented, multi-published author, Lissa Matthews, has many loves in her life: Family, friends, NASCAR, football, music of all kinds, cooking, BDSM, and last, but not least, coffee. She loves it so much she and those who know her are surprised she hasn’t floated away on a caffeine-induced cloud while giving life to feisty heroines and hunky heroes.

Lissa’s love of romance came from every book she has ever picked up. No matter what she read, she fell in love with the written word. The promise of escape, the deep, intriguing characters, and the winding journey from beginning to end, constantly drew her into bookstores and libraries as she was growing up.

Her first stories were written in junior high and she kept it up through college. She would stay up late at night when her kids were little reading romance and still penning her own stories. In 2007, when she and her family moved to North Carolina from Florida, she began pursuing writing as a profession and she couldn’t imagine doing anything else… Well, except maybe writing in her own cupcake bakery/coffee shop. But that dream is a ways down the road… Lucky for Lissa, she believes in dreams coming true.

Lissa is married with two children and seven, yes, seven cats. She blames her oldest child for the cats.

Lissa’s Website ~ Lissa on Facebook ~ Lissa Matthews on Twitter


The Cupcake Cowboy, Lone Star Sweets, Book 1

CupcakeCowboy300blackJackson Dawson had known only one way of life: ranching. That is, until he went to college in the city. There, he was introduced to a whole new world of people, food, and way of life. He never dared to imagine that he could do or be anything other than a rancher’s son, but with his mother’s words ringing in his ears and his sister’s encouragement, he took a chance. And in the process, found himself and met the woman of his dreams.

Pastry Chef Cass Jamieson’s only desire had been to own a bakery. After a stint in pastry school, she quickly learned that trying to make your dreams come true wasn’t easy. She was dejected when her bakery closed and soon returned to the classroom as a teacher to eager young bakers with the same stars in their eyes that had once been in hers.

So, when the stubborn, determined, and hot as summer in Texas cowboy walked into Cass’s pastry kitchen, it turned her life and libido upside down. When he seeks her out for heated kisses and her thoughts on his cake bakery idea, she gives in to the lust, but gives cautious business advice born of experience, only Jackson didn’t see it that way.

Who will bend first in this battle of wills involving sugar and spice and everything naughty and nice? Come take a ride with The Cupcake Cowboy and find out…

Warning: Uses of frosting that frosting was never intended for. A dirt road showdown. A lesson in milking cows. A whole truck full of mouthwatering cupcakes (some with liquor). A little family drama. And dreams on their way to coming true…

Read an excerpt

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Or if you prefer paranormals, there is Lissa’s…

Shifting Currents

ShiftingCurrents300x450Blake doesn’t want a mate. No way. No how. And he certainly doesn’t want her camping on his land, floating down his stretch of river, or looking like she belongs in his bed.

But that’s exactly what he gets when he happens upon a curvy woman with shades of sunset hair named Leah.

She’s on vacation and isn’t looking for any complications, especially in the form of a shifter or the possessive MINE signal he gives off.

So, what are two bears to do when they’ve convinced themselves they don’t want, much less need anyone else?  They give in to the pull and mate, of course, but in sex only. No life commitment. No cubs. No changing the way they live: Separate and independent of each other.

Except when she leaves his mountain, Blake can’t get her off his mind and Leah can’t stop craving his particular brand of gruffness. Now, the one thing neither wanted, has come full circle, and is ready to bite them both.

This is a fun shifter story. It’s not angsty. It’s not death defying. It’s not filled with external conflict and danger. It’s a short story about two people who realize, they need each other, despite the fact that they’ve lived their lives never needing anyone. read more…


(Leah here — LOL, I just noticed the heroine’s name. Totally unintentional on my part in choosing this book — I simply looked for Lissa’s latest.)

Pay it Forward Friday — Lissa Matthews

2 thoughts on “Pay it Forward Friday — Lissa Matthews

  • December 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Leah ~~ what a fantastic way to say “thank you”.
    And you couldn’t have picked a better one to start with. Lissa Matthews is totally awesome. I’ve read both books you showcased and totally enjoyed them. Shifting Currents was really a favorite. Love those wolves!!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. I know your 2014 has been rocky so I wish you nothing but love, laughter and success in 2015. May it be your most successful year ever.

  • December 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Leah- U r awesome to give back like this!! Thank you for writing such wonderful books-I’ve read and enjoyed most of them. Thanks for featuring an author in your newsletter. I’ve not read any of Lissa’s books yet, but I just purchased “the cupcake cowboy”. Sounds cute and fun!
    Merry Christmas Leah!

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