Breathless Press, Winners

Winners of the 2013 Breathless Press Awards




The Best Of 2013 – Adonis (Winner: His Secret Dancer by Faberge Nostromo)
Worlds collide when Franci sees Danielle at Tomasz’s club and Dan’s secret is laid bare. Can love conquer all and these star-crossed lovers embrace their star cross-dresser in a boy-girl-boy/girl ménage a trois?

The Best Of 2013 – Anthologies (Winner: Ad-Dick-Tion Vol 3)

The Best Of 2013 – Best Cover (Winner: Colour of Dreams by Tia Dani)
What happens when a Wiccan high­priestess and three mischievous nymphs conjure spells on an environmentalist and a jet engine designer? Magic, mayhem, and wild nights of passion.

The Best Of 2013 – Contemporary Romance (Winner: Winter Gifts by Kelleia Ashley)
A blizzard, a hunky chef, and an accident-prone milkmaid—ingredients for a passionate fling, or a recipe for a blazing romance, hot enough for a lifetime of winters?

The Best Of 2013 – Erotika (Winner: Christmas Eve Surprise by Ivy Bateman)
Christmas is a time for love and thoughtful gifts, but sometimes surprises go a little too far.

The Best Of 2013 – Naughty Nursery Rhymes (Winner: Red as a Rose by D. F. Krieger)
In this sexy retelling of Red Riding Hood, danger abounds. Can a seductive witch save the big bad wolf she finds in her grandmother’s bed? Or will she fall prey not only to the woodsmen that hunt him, but the lure of her own powers?

The Best Of 2013 – Paranormal (Winner: Birthrite by Max Ellendale)
No job, new gift, a pack of wolves, and two feral mates. How can Shawnee possibly decide her future and keep her loved ones happy? Or worse, satisfied.

The Best of 2013 -Timeless (Winner: Conquest of the Heart by Michelle Stegman)
Madeline wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she has fallen in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?

The Best of 2013 – Staff Choice (Winner: Timeless Night by Torie James)
In an epic battle of good versus evil, one woman finds herself the focal point of a magical feud. Sabrina thought she knew who she was until a knight of long ago returns to steal her heart.

The Best Of 2013 – Lycaon Press (Winner: Sightseers by Tricia Cornwall & Erasing: Shadows by K. D. Rose)

What if the only way to stop a kidnapper and save a best friend’s life was to fall asleep? Would you close your eyes? – Sightseers


What if to save the ones you love, you had to unlock the key to a different reality? – Erasing: Shadows


The Best of 2013 – Realms (Winner: Stolen Time by J. M. Powers)
After her plan to steal the Magic Stone goes awry, Margery accidentally travels to the future and is forced to reassess the true meaning of love. 


We asked our winners – in the spirit of award season – who they would like to thank for winning the award.

The Best Of 2013 – Adonis (Winner: His Secret Dancer by Faberge Nostromo)

I was totally gobsmacked to win the 2013 Best Of Adonis award for His Secret Dancer and I’d like to thank my editor Tasha Taylor, my brilliant cover artist Mina Carter, the lovely and very understanding Gayl Taylor (we will talk guitars at some length one day), all of the Breathless Press author family for their support and encouragement, especially Doris O’Connor and Leona Bushman, my family, all my friends who voted for me and the person who made me do it—the lady in the bikini with the wine and the MacBook; Raven McAllan, it’s all your fault.

The Best Of 2013 – Anthologies (Winner: Ad-Dick-Tion Vol 3)

The Best Of 2013 – Best Cover (Winner: Colour of Dreams by Tia Dani)

The Best Of 2013 – Contemporary Romance (Winner: Winter Gifts by Kelleia Ashley)

Joshua Ashley, my husband and biggest supporter, is responsible for me winning this award. He pushed me to try when I would have given up my dream of becoming a writer. I also have a fantastic group of family, friends, and fans who support my writing. I love them all. 🙂

The Best Of 2013 – Erotika (Winner: Christmas Eve Surprise by Ivy Bateman)

I would like to thank my incredibly supportive fans and friends. I would also very much like to thank all the very helpful and patient people at Breathless Press who helped bring this book to life.


As well, Hugh Jackman and Aurthur Darvill who were huge inspirations, unknowingly, but brilliant all the same, when it came to writing “Bob” and “Tim”.


The Best Of 2013 – Naughty Nursery Rhymes (Winner: Red as a Rose by D. F. Krieger)

I would like to thank my editor, Leona, for pushing me and raising the bar. Every book I write, she heightens her expectations and forces me to write something far greater than I ever thought myself capable of.

The Best Of 2013 – Paranormal (Winner: Birthrite by Max Ellendale)

I’d like to thank the Academy– oh wait, no. Wrong scene. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for Birthrite, especially my sister who acted as my nonprofit PR rep. Jules, Justyn, Deadra, Victoria, and all the behind the scenes folks who helped bring this story to life. And my family and friends who are endless sources of support.

The End.


The Best of 2013 -Timeless (Winner: Conquest of the Heart by Michelle Stegman)

The Best of 2013 – Staff Choice (Winner: Timeless Night by Torie James)

“I want it duly noted that if this were the actual Academy Awards, I’d be Jennifer Lawrence-ing my way to the podium in excitement. Which would end with me taking a header into Brad Pitt’s lap. C’mon..let me dream!


Seriously, though there are so many people to thank it would take me a good six or seven hours to list them all. Luckily, they all know who they are because I make sure to tell them every day how amazing they are and how much better my world is because of them. For all the wonderful people who have taken New Camelot to heart and found something beautiful about my world…this is for you! Thanking my fab lovelies here at Breathless Press is a must since without them none of this would be happening. They took a chance on a chubby woman with a dream of knights and chivalry, vampires and Fae Folk. Here we are, and we are just getting started.


Lastly, I want to thank that awkward freckle faced little girl with big glasses, big hair and bigger dreams. The one who got lost for a while as she traveled the road of life and found out that she could change her stars and that her feet knew the way the whole time. Ever forward, ever onward.” ~Torie James~


The Best Of 2013 – Lycaon Press (Winner: Sightseers by Tricia Cornwall & Erasing: Shadows by K. D. Rose)

Erasing: Shadows tied for best book. I would like to thank my editor, Leona Bushman who took a chance on me, is unfailingly supportive, and a smart cookie to boot! – KD Rose




The Best of 2013 – Realms (Winner: Stolen Time by J. M. Powers)

Wow. There are a lot of people to thank for winning this award. My publisher, Breathess Press, for nominating my book, Stolen Time deserves a huge thank you. I can’t forget the people who chose to vote for my books, including my co-worker, Jessica, my daughters, Ayla and Jenny who tweeted like a bird to get the word out. I’d like to thank my sister, Cheryl Hartsell, for her push to “get writing, wench” during the creation of Stolen Time or this book wouldn’t have been finished in order to be nominated. I’d like to send out a big hug to a certain Delta employee, Darrel a.k.a. Mountain Man, who gave me pointers in order to create an accurate airplane hangar scene.

So you see, as an author, I have many people behind me. And many to thank. Especially my editor, Spencer Freeman, an invaluable addition to my writer world. She helped me polish this Magic Stone book to perfection. I also need to thank her for her comments–which at times made me laugh so loud I woke my dog. (My dog doesn’t thank her though.) Last but not least, thank you to Maggie Montgomery, my blurb wizard.



Breathless Press, Excerpt, Promo, Top Ten List

Top Ten List from Faberge Nostromo featuring As Dreams Are Made On




A stricken starship, a captain lost in space; a beautiful alien girl, marooned and adrift in time; the perfect robotic servant. Can he help them come together and find the space and time for love?



Her starship, Prospero, out of control and hurtling toward an uncharted world, Captain Jane Ferdinand takes to the escape pods. Finding herself alone on an island, the last thing she expects to find is love

Miranda, marooned since a baby with only her father, Jacques-Pierre, and their ultra-adaptable android servant, R.E.L, spends her time exploring her father’s books and dreaming of love. And on a night when a mysterious shooting star flashes across the horizon, she finally makes full use of R.E.L.’s adaptability to explore her emerging desires—desires that, with gentle guidance from Captain Ferdinand, help her discover her awakening sexuality.

But can her dreams and their love survive when R.E.L.’s gender adaptability threatens to come between them and Captain Ferdinand uncovers the secret that her father has kept from Miranda for twenty years?



“I am a woman, Miranda. Flesh and blood. The same as you.”

Miranda breathed in slowly, her gaze flitting from Ferdinand’s eyes to her lips.

“Yes. Yes. You are. Captain, kiss me again.”

Ferdinand sought her mouth now, more eagerly, and darted her tongue inside. The kiss was full and deep, both girls probing and tussling with their tongues as Ferdinand ran her fingers through Miranda’s long purple tresses. She felt Miranda put her hand on the small of her back, pushing harder, her other hand stroking her neck. She felt her body come alive to Miranda’s touch as her hands explored every inch of her back and shoulders, gently sliding over her uniform, tracing her spine and muscles through the tight material, kneading and caressing in turn.

Their mouths parted, tongues teasing until Ferdinand leaned to one side and danced a series of butterfly kisses on the smooth blue skin of Miranda’s neck and throat. Miranda gasped and slid her hand around from Ferdinand’s back and inched toward the curve of her breast.

“Captain…” Miranda whispered.

“Jane. It’s Jane,” Ferdinand replied in between the pattern of kisses she was placing on Miranda’s neck. Miranda inched her fingers toward Ferdinand’s breast until they gently brushed the smooth lower curve. She stopped.

“Jane, should I…”

“Yes, Miranda,” Ferdinand replied. She placed a hand on Miranda’s and gently moved it up until Miranda’s slim blue fingers covered her breast. “Let your emotions and desires tell you what to do.”

Ferdinand’s nipple hardened as Miranda gently explored the curve and outline of her breast through the tight silver of her uniform. Ferdinand released her hand and placed her own on Miranda’s pert, firm breast, feeling her nipple already hard through the silk. She circled the tight button with her thumb and felt Miranda mirror her movements.

They kissed again, deeply, as each felt the other’s soft curves and hard nipples, Miranda’s fingers exploring, Ferdinand’s confident and insistent. Ferdinand was wet now and wanted those smooth blue fingers to explore inside her. She knew she had to gently lead Miranda there, to teach her, guide her.

Buy link

Top ten things you don’t know about me:

1.  Cotton or Silk?

For me – silk shirts, maybe a silk linen mix, Egyptian cotton sheets (white, freshly ironed), cotton/linen trousers, Italian silk ties when I’m in a smart suit; but for the lady in my life? Oh, silk, please, oh yes; with maybe a few leather accessories?


2.  Champagne/beer/wine?

The lady in my life can always be seen sipping something fizzy from a flute and I do like to help her with that. She says you should always have a bottle of champagne in the fridge for a special occasion and sometimes the special occasion is that you have a bottle of champagne in the fridge…

When I’m out with the boys I’m a beer man, real ale; Adnams from Southwold in Suffolk or Fuller’s London Pride. But when I’m relaxing at home, a soft Italian red or a more robust Australian shiraz, if its called for.


3.  Plotter/pantser

Pants, oh dear yes pants… with the merest hint of a plot idea floating away at the back of my mind. Usually my characters drive what I write. Sometimes you just have to let them have their head and hang onto the reins. I usually have an idea of the arc of the story and the plot points I need to hit but even the starship in As Dreams Are Made On dictated some of what was happening, deciding its own layout and technology. In my current WiP I have a whole planet that won’t do as it’s told.


4.  Describe your workspace

Coffee shops, kitchen table, buses, trains… no set space right now. Huge chunks of my first book were written on a smartphone on trains to and from London and nearly all of my editing takes place in coffee shops.


5.  Sports fan or just tolerate it?

Not really a fan of any particular sport but I could easily spend the whole fortnight glued to the BBC for Wimbledon and I’ve adored the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Winter Olympics. I tolerate football when it’s the World Cup.


6.  Who is your biggest influence on writing?

The book I’ve just read.


7.  Favorite food –

Almost anything really. I’ve eaten a bug straight off a tree in the Amazon jungle, what looked like frogspawn in Cambodia and a horse steak in Iceland but the one thing I always, always say ‘yes’ to is a full English breakfast.
8.  When did you start writing?

I always have. I wrote a sort of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea meets James Bond short story in primary school and have wanted to be a writer ever since. It didn’t really happen though until I met Raven McAllan as she sat sipping wine, writing on a MacBook by a pool in South Africa. Something sparked from that meeting and I though “I could do that”… “I should do that”… “I’m doing that”. And I did do that.


9.  If money were no object, where would you like to live?

Back in my hometown, London. I’m an east end boy and I miss it loads. I also love to be in New York. I’m a city boy who currently lives in the country.
10.  What’s next for you?

As Dreams Are Made On hits the (virtual) streets, I have a short story that’s about to lurch into editing, about a Scottish vampire and his werewolf surrogate mother, and I’m deep into my next full length novel, a sci-fi romance where the captain and first mate of a starship on a dangerous peace mission have their emotions and sexuality challenged by the mysterious alien empaths tasked with bringing about peace on a planet ravaged by a gender war.

Author Bio:Faberge Author Pic

Faberge Nostromo grew up in the East End of London before escaping to East Anglia. He has been a civil servant, a tea boy, sound engineer, a librarian, and an IT consultant, but always knew that he was a writer. He now lives deep in the heart of Suffolk with his wife, son, and too many guitars.

Breathless Press, Interviews, Promo, Spotlight

Author Interview of Allison Merritt featuring Wildwood Spring! Releases on 2/28/14


It releases on Friday, February 28th.  🙂



When Celia Landry and Turner Wildwood face their fears, they’ll find the path to love.



No one goes to Wildwood Manor, a hulking stone house on a hill outside town. Legend has it crazy old man Wildwood owes his life to the magical water of the spring at the back of the property. Celia Landry needs that water to save her mother, and she’ll brave anything to get it.


Turner Wildwood, the son of the house’s eccentric builder, is growing as reclusive as his father. When Celia turns up at his door, he’s drawn by her beauty and bravery. Wary of strangers, he doesn’t reveal his identity, but agrees to her request. When she returns to Wildwood in wake of personal tragedy, he’s waiting there with a stunning change in his heart. He knows he should tell her the truth, but he doesn’t want to ruin their budding friendship.


Celia’s curiosity leads her to part of the frightening answers hidden behind Wildwood’s doors, but her own troubled past may lead Turner into danger neither of them suspected.

Buy Link



“Would you like to dance?” Mischief sparkled in his blue eyes. “This is one of my favorite songs. Despite my almost solitary upbringing, dance was part of my education.”

She felt heat scorch her cheeks. “Not part of mine, I’m afraid.”

“I’ll teach you.” He faced her, putting one hand on her waist and taking her hand in his. “Do the opposite of what I do. I’ll count.”

He counted in fours, moving in time with the music. Celia stumbled, but after a few moments, she caught on. Turner led her around the room as they spun in circles. She laughed, forgetting her worries. It wasn’t a ball and they were both in their nightclothes, but it was as elegant a dance as she could hope for.

Turner grinned as he pulled her a little closer. Their bodies came together, fitting perfectly. He dropped her hand, wrapping both arms around her waist. They stopped moving, standing in the shadow of the mastodon. Dark blond hair fell over his forehead, but it didn’t hide the desire on his face.


“Yes, Celia.”

Her name was a delicate breath of air, and he clung to her as though afraid she was a dream. She was too wide awake to believe that. Her senses seemed sharper than ever. He smelled of the lemony soap Mrs. Southard used for washing the sheets and the coffee he’d had at supper. Even in the muted firelight, she saw him clearly, his golden hair bright as sunbeams, his blue eyes the color of the sky after a storm.

She’d never been a romantic, knowing all too well she’d either be a spinster or a housewife too busy with chores and children to consider stolen kisses. She’d never imagined a man would want to show her stars, or dance with her around the skeleton of an ancient beast. These were moments she could cherish forever, think of when her world came back into focus.

It all had to end.

He lifted his hand to her face, pushing a strand of hair over her ear. “You look upset.”

“I’m grateful.” She forced the words out. “It’s not every day I get escorted around a ballroom.”

“You mean it might never happen again.” He looked somber. “You’ll return to the kind of life you led before we met. One where you’re often hungry, alone, and overworked.”

She glanced away, hating the truth of his words. “It isn’t that bad.”

“Somehow I don’t believe you.”

He wouldn’t, not after the way she’d reacted to everything he’d shown her in his life. They were from different places and he could never understand how she’d lived before. She couldn’t explain it without risking his pity.

“You could always stay. I’ll find something for you to do in the manor. Official book reader. In the evenings you could recount all my favorites and the new ones I don’t have time for.”

His breath stirred the hair near her ear, tickling her skin.

“I think I prefer the title of cookie sampler. Who wouldn’t want to sit in Finny’s kitchen all day tasting the items he draws out of the oven.” She pressed her cheek against his velvet lapel and closed her eyes. “You should have taken me back to town when you found me at the spring.”

“I couldn’t do that.” There was the slightest hitch in his voice, as though the idea caused him pain.

“I’ll be ruined for life outside of Wildwood.”

“Good. Then you’ll have to come back.”



Welcome Allison Merritt! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

I’m from Southwest Missouri where I live with my husband and a very spoiled Japanese chin named PeeWee. I write historical, paranormal, and steampunk romances.


What were your inspirations for the story?

It was rumored in the 19th century that there were healing properties in the spring waters in Arkansas, which is what attracted so many visitors to the area. Wildwood Spring doesn’t really exist, but I thought it would be neat to make the hero a reclusive-type character who the town citizens believe is kept alive by the even more mysterious water from the spring on his property.


Please share your setting for Wildwood Spring. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?  

Wildwood Spring is set in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. If you’ve never been there, I recommend a trip, because it’s this fantastic little town carved out in the Ozark Mountains on massive hillsides and deep valleys. It has the largest number of original Victorian homes in America and as you might have guessed from the name, there are a lot of springs to visit. Blue Spring, which has a lovely botanical garden, was one of the stops for the Native Americans passing across the Southeast on their way to Indian Territory in the early 19th century. That was one of the things that inspired me to make the heroine, Celia Landry, part Native American. When I visit, I always stop in at the Crescent Hotel, built in 1886, which has a dark history as a treatment center for cancer patients and is supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of a construction worker, a nurse, a patient, one of the girls who was a student there when it was a girl’s school and a couple more. I always take pictures when we go, trying to capture ectoplasm or ghosts.


When did the writing bug first bite?

My mom tells me that my first story was called Sally is My Dog and it was about our beagle, but when I was about 11 or 12, my best friend declared she wanted to be an author and I was copycat, so I said I did too. It stuck and with the exception of a few years of not writing, I’ve pretty much been at it ever since.


Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

I recently discovered Karen Witemeyer, who writes inspirational historical romances. She’s very funny and talented. Louis L’Amour was a huge influence on my writing, my love of the Old West, and historicals. And Linda Lael Miller has always been one of my favorite romance authors whether she’s writing historicals or contemporaries.


If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

I have to laugh here because I’d be seriously intimidated by my favorites. It’s kind of funny to say, but I’d gather up my critique partners because they’re awesome ladies. And I have to mention their names now. D’Ann Lindun writes contemporary western romances that are divine, Lisa Medley writes urban fantasy that will blow your mind, and Brenda Dyer writes paranormal romance with hot vampires.  Lisa’s the only one I see with any regularity, so I’d love to wrangle the other two. And if I could get Karen Witemeyer and Linda Lael Miller in on this, I think it would be amazing. The world would probably explode from awesome.


Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time? 

When the weather is nice, I love hiking, which inspires a lot of my historical romances. Antique stores are also my thing, because it’s like visiting a free museum. There are things inside that generations before ours touched and used. It’s amazing.


What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

Everyone thinks I was drunk when this happened, but I swear I wasn’t, so you’ll just have to believe it’s true. When my husband and I were dating, we stopped at a gas station and were sitting in my car, eating snacks and looking out over this theme park in Branson, MO. It’s on a spot called Mutton Hollow, because the people who owned it used to run sheep there in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s rumored to be haunted (read Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright) and I believe it. While we were looking at the different buildings, we saw something big creep up the side of a maintenance building out there. Something big and black and with an uncountable number of legs.  Something that resembled the worst spider in the entire universe. It crawled up the side of the building, onto the roof and disappeared into the darkness. I haven’t seen it since and I sure don’t want to. The theme park is abandoned now, but I think they still have church services in one of the buildings there.  Not me, no thank you.

Author Bio:

A love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She graduated college with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust since it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.