Outside the Lines Launch & Giveaway!

 

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What happens when everything you know has collapsed, and all you have left is broken pieces?

Get it on Amazon!

About Outside the Lines
Outside-the-Line-COVER

Don’t take up space.

Don’t talk too loud.

Don’t tell anyone.

I’ve always been the problem child. Blue—my name alone should have warned anyone with a half a mind that I’d be trouble. Who’s named for the broken crayon nobody wants?

Professor Rhys Kennison should have seen me coming a mile away, and I should have known better than to fall for someone so far out of my league. But his touch is like fire and his taste…like the finest chocolate. What woman could resist that combination?

We’re headed for disaster, though—after all, it’s what I know best. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop destroying anyone who gets too close. And Rhys doesn’t understand. How could he? When I don’t even understand myself?

Trigger warning: this story contains descriptions of sexual abuse that are required for the story
Heat rating: Entry-level BDSM (with consent) and super-steamy sexy times

Outside the Lines is the fourth book in the Without a Trace series, but may be read as a stand-alone story.

Add Outside the Line to your TBR list on Goodreads:

Tracing the Line

Note from the author
Every author has one book that pulls at their inner spirit more than others. Often, more than one. While I fell in love with Zi and Kai in Tracing the Line, Blue Trace has a complexity I couldn’t resist writing. Her story holds a personal element that I’ve never experienced in any other book I’ve written (even the ones that will never see the light of day); she’s as much me as she’s nothing like me.

My goal in any story is to present a realistic character in extraordinary circumstances. To show real women living their lives and falling in love. To be honest about the scars and fears we all carry, so that we’ll know we’re lovable and worthy of love. This story does contain an emotional description of rape, but it’s not, in my professional opinion, gratuitous or dishonest. Blue’s character is defined by her struggles, and to honor those of us who’ve been through sexual assault, I wrote that scene with horror and anxiety clawing at my heart.

I hope you enjoy and find much to celebrate in Blue’s world. Several readers didn’t care for her in book three–and for good reason! Her redemption, though, is this book, and perhaps you’ll discover how incredible she truly is.

As you are, too. <3

SERIES-Teaser

Special sneak peek:

Ch. 3: The curve balls have Blue second-guessing everything, and she’s desperate to feel something—anything. The last time, she ran the show and drove Dr. Rhys Kennison out of his mind with lust. This time, though, Rhys has something else in mind…

Rhys sits at his desk, laptop open, focused on the screen. I knock lightly on his door as I step past the threshold. The scent of espresso beans assaults my nostrils, though I can’t spot a coffee cup anywhere.

When he glances up, shock and apprehension inform his expression, though his gaze can’t resist wandering. Hunger or fear? Unsure, the confusion makes me bolder.

“Bad time?” I ask, keeping my voice soft.

He leans back in his chair, eyes never leaving mine. With a heavy breath, he rakes his hair with agitated fingers. The stubborn strands return to their lax, messy style, which works on him, though I’m curious what he’d look like sans glasses and fuddy-duddy clothing.

“You shouldn’t be here.” He speaks slowly, as though attempting to convince me…or himself.

I nod, tipping the door closed and twisting the old lock. I stop at his desk, a barrier between us. “I could leave.” I can only imagine what he sees—a simple cotton dress, falling inches below my ass. I went braless—I usually wear one, if only to prevent “show-through.” And as I slip off the short leather jacket to ward off the October chill, my nipples press against the striped green blue material.

He fights to keep his gaze decent, and I bite the inside of my cheek. I’m sure this won’t last, but damn, the way he looks at me, fire burning beneath that abashed, reserved exterior? I could eat him for breakfast, lunch, and twice for dinner, as my mother used to say.

I round the desk, drawing a finger over the uncluttered wood. He regards me, his expression inscrutable. When I reach him, I lift myself onto the surface, crossing my legs.

“Your choice, Professor. I can stay, or I can leave.” My hair falls in loose waves over my shoulders, and my eyes are quite pretty, or so I’m told—light, mossy green, muddy at the centers with gold and a hint of turquoise. Since everybody likes to comment on them, I hope he finds them intriguing.

His armor cracks the tiniest fraction, as though he’s in a daze. He rolls forward a few inches, resting his hands on the desk beside me, careful not to make contact. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“You keep saying that, but I’m not sure I believe you.” His dark eyes seek mine for something I know I don’t possess, though I can’t figure out what. His knuckles brush against my legs, easing beneath my dress.

Glimmers of desire brighten inside me. With slow movements, he stands, his palms skimming my thighs. He glances down as he reveals my naked mound. He inhales, sharp and surprised.

Whatever has always inspired me to push the envelope—force the issue, shove forward only to fall back—trickles away, and uncertainty fills my lungs. After a day Sidebar-skyscrapertoo long and painful to process, grief wails from deep within. Guilt sours my arousal—I’ve once again manipulated a situation because of my sorrow, my shortcomings, my failures as a person.

He cuts off my remorse, mouth hungry and off-center. His hands cup my jaw, thumbs encouraging my lips to open beneath his. Tongues tumbling together, our kiss struggles to find a rhythm. He pulls away, resetting the moment, and when his lips cover mine again, thoughts disintegrate in the scintillating heat. I whimper as his tongue possesses me, and he tugs at my neckline, baring my shoulder. The stretchy fabric slips lower as his lips follow south, and he suckles my nipple, teeth gentle then sharp.

I bite my lip to stay quiet. My fingers slide over his scalp as he tends to my other breast, clothing pooling around my waist.

“Lie back, Blue.”

As much a request as an order, I meet his gaze, the hunger stealing my breath. I couldn’t disobey if I wanted to…

Blue’s never run from a challenge, but she’s in way over her head. Every mystery has a secret, and Rhys is no exception…

Get your copy on Amazon!

The Playlist
For once, I had no problem finding songs for a playlist. 🙂 I listen to many different types of music, and every now and then, I hear something that strikes me as “that character’s theme.” Enjoy!

Twitter-2

About Ally Bishop

When you do something effortlessly and people commend you continuously, you have found your gift.

That’s what I tell people all the time. And it’s true.ally

I get story. I always have. I started writing when I was 8 on a Smith Corona (the electronic kind — I’m not THAT old). I wrote stories in every spiral notebook I had. Eventually, I graduated to a Mac (yes, I’m one of THOSE people). I imagined new worlds, emotional conflicts, and HEAs while I waited at stoplights or wandered the grocery store. But here’s the thing: I didn’t just dream it up and write it down — I critiqued what I read. I knew when ideas were good, and when they stunk. I ran writing groups, judged creative contests, and eventually got two graduate degrees in writing. That’s right: I love it that much.

So here I am, years later, writing kickass heroines and devastating good guys, along with some mystery and vampires thrown in (I promise: THEY’RE COMING). And what’s really cool? I do what I love. Wanna write a success story for your life: I promise you, that’s it. Do what you love. And hopefully, you can make a living at it too. That’s the golden ticket, Charlie.

And chocolate doesn’t hurt, either…

The serious stuff:

I have an M.A. in creative writing, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing with a focus in publishing. I produce two podcasts, host one, and am a freelance editor and publicist over at Upgrade Your Story. In my free time (what is that, exactly?), I read, workout, game, and converse. I’m a high introvert despite my extroverted behaviors, so you’ll find me behind my computer most days. I’m married to the wild and brilliant Billy Crash, have two dogs who are filing to change their species designation to “human,” and can often be found wandering Manhattan in search of the perfect writing spot.

You can find me at Twitter at @upgradestory & @allyabishop, Facebook, Pinterest, and my website.

Looking for the giveaway? You found it!

Giveaway

PageCurl’s Halloween Book Hop

Halloween Pumpkin In A Mystic Forest At Night

 

Wait…you’re here? Did I miss something? Crap. I did, didn’t I?

:checks schedule:

Huh, I don’t see anything…

I’M KIDDING.

First: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

And second, we have some treats to be giving away. 😀

Go here. Sign up.

Seriously–it’s that easy.

Oh, right…what do you get? Ooo, lemme tell ya.

You get my first book for free. And my second. And if you love them and want more, let me know, and I’ll add you to my early readers club, where you get first access to my books, before anyone else! (And early readers get a mention in the book!)

Good deal?

Cool beans—I can’t wait to hear what you think of the Without a Trace Series!

Okay, okay, fine. I’ll even make it more fun. Go sign up, and two winners will get signed copies of the first THREE books of the series. Deal?

Man, y’all drive a hard treat bargain! It’s a good thing your costume’s adorable. 😉

Sign up here!

TRACING THE LINE RELEASE PARTY!

 

headerA new steamy romance novel from Ally Bishop…

What if the man of your dreams is involved in a world you despise?

Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and more!

About Tracing the Line

They say love doesn’t hurt. But it’s a lie. I promise you, love someone long enough, and they’ll destroy your soul.

I’ve spent my life taking care of everyone else: my family, my ex-husband, my friends. Deep down, I know I should focus on myself, but how can I when I’ve got one sister about to implode while the other battles her own guilt?

The minute I met Kai Isaac, I should’ve run in the opposite direction. His business isn’t one I want any part of, and I’ve got way too much drama in my life already. But his kiss…those eyes…the raging inferno he creates when he touches me…I can’t stay away.

Life’s reeling out of control, and he’s my only refuge from the storm. My sister Lux says trusting someone means not knowing everything about them and being okay with it…but what if not knowing the truth ruins everything?

Heat rating: Super sexy, with very light kink 😉

Tracing the Line is the third book in the Without a Trace series, but may be read as a stand-alone story.

Add Tracing the Line to your TBR list on Goodreads:

Tracing the Line

Note from the author Thank you so much for checking out my book, Tracing the Line! This is book 3 in the Without a Trace series (but can be read as a stand-alone story!), and tells the tale of Kai and Zi, Lux’s sister—it comes right after Inside the Lines. If you read and Lux and Fin’s story, you’ll recall a little of Zi’s story…and this time, you get a front row seat to the heat. Keep an eye out as book 4 in the Without a Series will be out this year!

Special sneak peek:

Ch. 1: Zi thinks she’s here to spend the day with Lux and watch a filming of a short indie film. But Lux has other ideas…and they don’t involve Zi just watching…

It’s definitely a film set. There’s a screen against one wall around which cameras, poles with lights, and several people cluster. The rest of the room lies in shadow, in which Lux and I are standing.

“Answer my—”

“Lux! How are you?” A tall, thin guy pulls Lux into a hug.

She embraces him back with a huge smile. “Ger! Awesome to see you.” When she pulls back, she introduces us. “Ger is the director on this film. Ger, this is my sister Zi, and she’s here to fill in for Fiona.”

He holds out a hand, his expression weary but cheerful. “Ah, our last victim. I mean, participant.” He smiles warmly as we shake, and I’m wildly conscious of how cold my fingers are against his very warm ones. “We weren’t sure if we had one more to go—the other party canceled, too.”

“You don’t need Zi?” Lux asks.

“No, no, we can use her. I’ll get Kai to stand-in. Let me sound the alarm to get ready.”

“Ready for—” My question dies on my lips as he turns away, bellowing at his people to get “set up.” I turn to my sister, drawing myself up to my full five-feet-eleven-inches so I can glare down at her. “What am I getting ready for here?”

My tone brooks no excuses, and she lifts a shoulder with a heavy exhale. “They’re making a promotional film for a movie series their doing. It’s silly, fun, whimsical, sweet—”

“And what am I doing here then?”

“You’re one of the cast.”

If the idea of being filmed wasn’t terrifying enough… “Doing what, exactly?”

Lux nibbles her full bottom lip. “Making out with someone.”

“What?” My voice drops an octave.

“It’ll be fun, Zizi Baby. It’s a series of strangers connecting, kissing a bit, showing who we are at our most intimate.” Lux seems to rethink her words. “Hm, okay, maybe that does sounds a little scary.”

“No, absolutely not.” I spin towards the door. “Not going to happen.” But there’s several people behind us now, doing God only knows what, so it’s not like I can run out into the hallway. I feel a heavy hand on my shoulder, and Ger is back, a big smile on his lean face. “Zi, right? We’re going to get you into hair and makeup briefly—just a few minutes—and then we’ll be ready.”

I glare at my sister. “Are you going to explain this to him, or am I?”

Lux takes Ger’s arm. “We’ll be right over.”

Ger laughs and nods. “No problem. Kai’s in a meeting so we’ve got a few minutes.”

Lux doesn’t even give me a second to yell at her. “Look, I know this is weird, and I know this wasn’t what you expected. But you’ve been single for two years now. Not a single date…text…anything.” She grips my arms, staring into my eyes. “You need to have some fun. Let loose a little. This is safe; these are nice folks, they’re doing cool things, and you get to make out with someone for a few minutes without any repercussions. Maybe you’ll rediscover your sex drive.”

“I have a perfectly fine sex drive, thank you very much.” But I can’t deny her words. I’ve worked so much and so hard, and if I’m honest, it’s been easier than even contemplating dating again. She knows why I haven’t stepped toe on the field again, and she’s probably right: if I’m not thrown into the pool, I might never swim again. But that doesn’t mean I’m letting her off the hook. “Why didn’t you just tell me what this was all about?”

“Because you’d never have come. And you need this, Zi. You need something. God, you’re younger than me, yet you act like you’re older.”

I stick my tongue out at her. “Easy for you to say, Ms. Hottie-with-a-Scottie.”

She grins, any mention of her love Fin MacKenzie turning her cheeks pink with delight. “Very true. And we need to find you your hottie, okay? But first, we have to get you in fighting condition. Today might be a good ice breaker.”

I widen my eyes and blow out a breath. “I’m not sure making out with a stranger is going to fix anything.”

“Maybe not.” She steers me towards a door on the other side of the room. “But it can’t hurt.”


Here I am, makeup-ed and my hair spritzed and coiffed—the stylist insisted my long locks should be down in soft curls and used a surprisingly small amount of makeup—and I’m standing on “my mark,” an “X” of black tape on the floor.

“Just do what comes naturally,” Ger says, patting my shoulder. “We’re looking for honest reactions.”

“Don’t I need another party for this?” I ask, my acidic tone a result of my nerves.

Ger chuckles. “You do. He’s on his way.”

I’m just hoping he’s not a stunt double for a hunchback. Lux stands off-camera, chatting with a “grip,” or at least, I think that’s what the woman’s called. A gaffer? I can barely remember my own name at this point.

In order to make me feel more comfortable, Ger introduced me to several of the people standing around in casual wear, some manning cameras and mics, others with clipboards. There’s not that many people—maybe eight, total, but it seems like a lot in this small space.

“Sorry that took so long,” echoes a deep voice behind Ger.

“No worries, Kai. Zi, this is our executive producer, Kai Isaac.”

I’m not a short woman, but Kai makes me feel tiny. If the man didn’t play basketball, coaches somewhere must’ve drowned in sorrow. His dark hair, wavy, in a rumpled, not-quite-styled look begs to be touched. Like the rest of the crew, he wears jeans and a t-shirt, and he moves with an elegance that belies his casual air. But I’m captured by his gaze. Smoky green and muted amber, with flecks of gold around the center, and when those eyes meet mine, there’s a softness that steals my breath.

“Good to meet you,” he says with a smile.

His hand feels huge around mine as we shake, and I struggle to find my tongue. “Y-you as well.”

“Now that we’re all here, we can get started.” Ger steps back, leaving Kai and me facing each other. “Remember: we want this to be honest, so try to relax. We’re going to roll tape, and you’re going to get started when you’re ready. And…action.”

Suddenly, the room seems too small and too big at the same time. Kai looks down at me, his full lips curved with a small grin. “Are you okay?”

“We’re not supposed to talk or something first?” I lick my lips, my mouth dry, and I’m wildly aware that I didn’t chew gum after eating breakfast. God, is my breath bad?

“Not really. The goal is to show what happens when strangers lose themselves in another person.”

I’m pretty sure I’m already lost. I trail my hand through my hair, nerves fluttering. How am I still upright? He steps closer, reaches for my hands. His touch is gentle, and he draws my palms up to his shoulders. “Pretend we’re in a club, and I’ve gotten up the nerve to ask the most beautiful woman in the room for a dance. You don’t know me, but there’s something between us.” He grins, both charming and teasing. His broad shoulders are hard beneath my fingers, and as his hands rest lightly on my waist, it’s impossible not to melt against him, to feel his long, muscled body against mine.

“I don’t know how to dance,” I whisper, then want to kick myself. With my hormones firing like loose cannons, anything’s liable to come out of my mouth.

“I’ll teach you.” With aching slowness, he lowers his mouth to mine. His lips are soft, curious, and as we explore each other, he tightens his hold around me, his fingers slipping into my hair. He deepens the kiss, his tongue sliding against mine, and he tastes of cinnamon with a hint of coffee. I can barely take a breath as I dissolve against him. His palm grazes my hip, seeking purchase as he presses me closer, and I can feel the hard length of him against my lower stomach. Some part of me is relieved: I’m not the only one getting turned on. A small voice in the back of my mind reminds me that I’m making out with a total stranger, but that doesn’t seem to make much impact. Or maybe, that’s the point?

Minutes—hell, it could be hours—pass, and we break away, both breathing heavily. I catch a faint whiff of something mildly spicy—aftershave?—mixed with him, and I want more. He holds my face close, his gaze seeking. Satisfied, his lips brush against mine. An invitation, and one I’m more than happy to oblige. This time, I guide our pace, mouths hungry and wanting, my hands exploring the hard planes of his back and shoulders. He answers easily but doesn’t push. Instead, I take us deeper, dropping my hand to his ass and pulling him against me. His mouth trails to my neck, searing my skin with kisses and small nips. It’s all I can do not to moan. His fingers slide beneath my tank, over the bare skin of my lower back, as his lips blaze a path over my shoulder and collarbone. My knees weaken, and I hold onto him as every nerve ending sparks with pleasure.

I’m ready to explode when he gently pulls back, drawing his hands up to my shoulders. “I’d love to enjoy you even more, but I’m not sure if you’d want that on camera,” he says softly.

Once she’s had a taste, can Zi resist Kai’s heat? Get your copy of Tracing the Line to find out!

The Cast of Tracing the Line

Zi

Kai

Young man relaxing

Blue

redhead girl with hair on wind

Ella

Ella

Noah

Lux

Lux

The Playlist
This was a challenging one to find music for…only because there are so many songs that inspired me while writing this book!

About Ally Bishop

When you do something effortlessly and people commend you continuously, you have found your gift.

That’s what I tell people all the time. And it’s true.ally

I get story. I always have. I started writing when I was 8 on a Smith Corona (the electronic kind — I’m not THAT old). I wrote stories in every spiral notebook I had. Eventually, I graduated to a Mac (yes, I’m one of THOSE people). I imagined new worlds, emotional conflicts, and HEAs while I waited at stoplights or wandered the grocery store. But here’s the thing: I didn’t just dream it up and write it down — I critiqued what I read. I knew when ideas were good, and when they stunk. I ran writing groups, judged creative contests, and eventually got two graduate degrees in writing. That’s right: I love it that much.

So here I am, years later, writing kickass heroines and devastating good guys, along with some mystery and vampires thrown in (I promise: THEY’RE COMING). And what’s really cool? I do what I love. Wanna write a success story for your life: I promise you, that’s it. Do what you love. And hopefully, you can make a living at it too. That’s the golden ticket, Charlie.

And chocolate doesn’t hurt, either…

The serious stuff:

I have an M.A. in creative writing, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing with a focus in publishing. I produce two podcasts, host one, and am a freelance editor and publicist over at Upgrade Your Story. In my free time (what is that, exactly?), I read, workout, game, and converse. I’m a high introvert despite my extroverted behaviors, so you’ll find me behind my computer most days. I’m married to the wild and brilliant Billy Crash, have two dogs who are filing to change their species designation to “human,” and can often be found wandering Manhattan in search of the perfect writing spot.

You can find me at Twitter at @upgradestory & @allyabishop, Facebook, Pinterest, and my website.

Looking for the giveaway? You found it!

Giveaway

Valentine’s Day with a Gun

Valentine

I wrote this many moons ago about my first marriage. He was an abuser, though I don’t think he understood that, even deep down. Who knows? I’m posting it as-is. It was Valentine’s Day, and a huge bouquet of yellow roses sat beside a massive spray of exotic blooms flown in from Africa. The only flower I’ve ever disliked is a yellow rose, and the only one he loved came from Africa.

Its weight clings to my palm, promising protection. I grip the black and metal handle, checking the safety. It’s on. I debate whether I should flip the switch.

Our life is like that. Moments of safety lasting only as long as the current is stopped, the wires do not connect. Then something happens, disturbs his napping demons. The switch is thrown. Jolts of electricity course through the lines, obliterating all in its path in its race to destroy us.

I grip the weapon, its cool surface reassuring. Tuck it in the waistband of my jeans, but it slips through. I’ve lost too much weight this past week. Shove the nose of the barrel in my pocket, hands shaking with contemplation. I slide the nightstand drawer closed.

Close the door.

Locked doors. Doors in our house never open to me. I’m not allowed in. Something is hidden. I’ll never know.

But then, does he?

Stairs between me and the way out beckon and threaten at the same time. Should I go or should I stay? Should I stay or should I go now, sings my addled, trembling thoughts. I shake it off, leaving behind my life, our life.

Dogs bark.

Three dogs. I can’t take all of them with me. Medications and vet visits are too expensive. So I take the small one, still a puppy, the one he says he’ll kill if I leave. White fur and a black nose. Dark eyes that look up at me. She knows, even as I carry her to the car. She knows the secret in my pocket.

My secret. I don’t want to use it. If I pull the trigger, will it destroy him? No, not the gun. What I know—that’s what can lay ruin to his world. Words are weapons when fitted together the right way. Can I destroy him? Can I live with myself if I do?

The chilled metal presses into my hip bone, reminding me of its presence. I look at the dog, the one that is now mine, and together, we examine the Smith & Wesson. Oil from past cleanings slides over my fingers, leaving behind its slick stink.

Leaving behind my life, I close the car door.

I look up. He’s standing there, silent, watching. My breath stops. My heart whispers in my ear words I could say. Should I say them? Can I?

Snow flakes, whimsical and pure, dance on his eye lashes. “I’ll miss you.”

Will you?

His voice, soft as sun-warmed chocolate. “I still love you.”

Memories and scars bear witness to his kind of love. Thoughts tumble, jostling each other to make sense. Can’t push the words over my lips. They sit on my tongue, lined up like tiny soldiers.

Can’t do it. I want to, but I can’t.

It’s all left hidden inside me as I slide behind the wheel.

His eyes meet mine, the color of ice-crusted ocean.

“You’ll be back.”

Engine turns over, guttural growl echoes.

Never.