Love Least Expected Meet the Authors: Katie Stephens
Everyone in Mason’s Circus understands and respects the powers of the resident gypsies—the Romani tribe—and most steer clear of any involvement. But when Susie gets caught in a web of prophecy and magic that brings danger to the troupe, her non-Rom interpretation turns out to be flawed. She pushes aside the man of her dreams to date alphabetically, in the hopes of saving her circus family.
Sam has had his eye on Susie since she joined the company. He’s puzzled by her actions, but not blind to the way she responds to him. A patient man by nature, he battles his need to claim her immediately or allow her game to continue. When disaster strikes, they join forces with their Romani friends to stop the curse before it destroys the circus.
About the Author
If you discovered a sealed box with “Katie’s memories” scribbled on the side, you’d find a lifetime of partially completed stories, plays and musicals. A retired music teacher and curriculum writer, Katie Stephens has opened that box and switched her need to create from music to literature. She writes both non-fiction and fiction, where she happily experiments with all genres.
When her muse takes a break, Katie is a staff reader for freeze frame fiction and a grant writer for the Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation. Although her grown children are scattered east and west across the country, she lives solidly in mid-America with three kitties and a husband who keeps asking when she’s really going to retire.
Praise for stories by Katie Stephens
“It just resonated with me … I found it powerful.” –Bryan Thomas Schmidt (author)
“… an inspiring, involving story.” –Lisa Shea (owner/editor, Mused, the Bella Online Literary Review)
“Well written—poignant without being pitiful.” –Brian Lewis (owner/editor, The Empire and Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation)
Mused, the Bella Online Literary Review (Summer 2012, Spring 2014—includes featured author interview)
Spark, A Creative Anthology (Volume I—Spring 2013)
The Seven Deadly Sins: A YA Anthology (releasing Spring 2015)
A Family Genealogy
How Do I Do That? Series (Spring 2015)
Alphabetical Disorder – Excerpt
She’d known Sam for years, thought about him, dreamed about him. Why had he never asked her out on a date?
She probably wasn’t his type.
Susie faced forward again. She couldn’t date Sam anyway. She wasn’t to S yet. She needed to find someone whose name began with … what was the next letter? Oh, yeah, J. Better yet, someone with a name using all the letters between J and R. Maybe there was someone out there with the name Quapolkman, Jr. Then she could skip all the way to S without breaking the rules. But that would defeat her purpose, wouldn’t it?
“Um, Sam, do you know anyone—a man—whose name begins with J?”
“J.” A small frown creased his forehead. “Well, there’s Jason, over in the clown troupe. Then there’s Jonathan in the arcade. And Jarod—”
“Crap. I’m sorry, Sam.” Susie put her hand on his arm, turning him to face her. “I still can’t believe he’s dead. I mean, I know he was your friend, and—” She broke off, at a loss for words.
Sam looked away without speaking, but not before she saw grief and pain clouding his blue eyes from the recent suicide of the troupe’s Elephant Man. A muscle twitched as he clenched his jaw. She wanted to hug him.
So she did.
She put her arms around that handsome, perfect man and just held him. A moment later, his arms slid around her waist. They stood there for a few minutes, for an eternity, holding each other. His one hand slowly rubbed up and down her back. The other pulled her closer into his warmth. She lifted her head from his chest, and the next thing she knew, he kissed her.
Soft, sweet. A whisper of lips moving together, stroking over and over. Not one of those desperate kisses, with tongues and teeth clashing. Susie had never felt a kiss like Sam’s before. That feeling, brought on by the tenderness of his touch, fulfilled a yearning deep inside. She didn’t know if he noticed it or not. She became lost in the moment. Lost in him.
She lifted herself on her tiptoes, moved her arms up to surround his neck, caress his shoulders, pressing closer, wanting more. He never paused, just kept on melting her with those amazing kisses. Butterfly kisses. Angel kisses.
Minutes or hours later, Sam ended the kiss. Susie sighed as she opened her eyes and he smiled, his hands gliding down her arms, raising goose bumps.
“What were you saying about the letter J, love?”
A small explosion inside her brain, like the magical poof as the rabbit disappeared, brought her back to reality. “Crap. I have to go.” She pulled back and headed for the stables, annoyed for breaking the rules.
Disappointment winged through her, and she wished again that she fully understood what the prophecy and cards had told her. Then maybe she could give up this half-assed alphabetical curse and concentrate on the man she wanted.
Did you know you don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day? You can pre-order #LoveLeastExpected now! When #love drops in unexpected, the strangest things can happen. Nine short #stories from sweet to #sultry, full of #romance, #magic and #love from award winning and USA Today recommended #authors.
About Love Least Expected
When love drops in unexpected, the strangest things can happen. Nine short stories full of romance, magic and love from award winning and USA Today recommended authors.
Under The Mango Tree: (Historical Romance) ~ by Meredith Bond
Lakshmi is a good 18th c. Indian girl who should not be hiding among the branches of the mango tree avoiding her chores. She truly should not be seen by a man who is not a member of her family—an Englishman, no less. And she absolutely should not even contemplate speaking with this man. But Lakshmi has never been one to follow the rules.
Rolf’s Quest: (Historical Romance) ~ by Aubrey Wynne
Time is running out for the royal wizard of Henry II. Rolf’s quest: find genuine love and lift the enchantment that has imprisoned his ancestor, Merlin, for centuries. Now he must win Melissa’s heart without the use of magic. She desires him, but will she defy her family and refuse her betrothed? Or will Rolf be doomed to a life of bitterness like his ancestors before him.
Fall Into Darkness: (Paranormal Romance) ~ by Valerie Twombly
Eli, bounty hunter for the Tribunal, is sentenced to earth to find his humanity. But when temptation is thrown in the angel’s path in the form of the soft curvy Ashley, he is unable to resist. Fate may bring them together, but desire could bond them for eternity.
Roses Are Wrong, Violets Taboo: (Southern Romance) ~ by Kris Calvert
When Alexander Chase Tabeau and Rose Westwood meet by chance, neither planned on stumbling into the best night of their life. But timing is everything and fate has a cruel sense of humor. With love on the line and nothing to lose, will one night together change their destiny forever?
Alphabetical Disorder: (Fantasy Romance) ~ by Katie Stephens
When a trick horseback rider gets caught up in a dangerous prophecy that jeopardizes the circus, she believes she can solve the problem by dating alphabetically. Now all she has to do is figure out how to manipulate her flawed interpretation so she can be with the man she loves.
Love’s Not Viral: (Contemporary Romance) ~ by Nessie Strange
When a crazed Hollywood star puts Aster Sanderson in the media crosshairs, her home becomes a prison. With her life out of control, the last person she expects to rescue her is her captor’s brother, James. Is their attraction a result of circumstance…or could it be something more?
Taking The Plunge: (Contemporary Romance) ~ by Kishan Paul
When Pete, Eve’s high school crush, shows up in her life, she pepper sprays him. Despite her efforts to push him away, Pete finds himself drawn to the red haired beauty. When logic and emotion don’t agree, which path should she follow?
The Trouble With Never: (Southern Romance) ~ by Isabella Harper
When Summer and Caleb run into each other after a long absence, sparks fly. Her painful past makes it hard for her to open up, but he’s more than willing to help. He’s loved her most of their lives. Can she learn to love and trust him, or will her fears push him away?
Keep Calm And Eat Chocolate: (Contemporary Romance) ~ by Michaela Miles
When institution residents Elle and Chris meet, their personalities clash. During a quiet moment in the garden together, secrets are shared and a bond is formed. Will their connection be their downfall or lead to the fresh start they deserve?