Today I have a spotlight and giveaway for Kelli Maine’s Give & Take series. One lucky winner will win the entire series! That might keep you reading until the spring thaw! But first, Kelli has 5 fun facts about her series to share with us.
5 Fun Facts about The Give & Take Series
It’s the end of an era. Okay, not an era, but it feels like one to me. Writing the last novel and novella, GIVEN and TAKE THIS MAN, in the Give & Take Series has been rewarding and bitter-sweet. Here are 5 fun facts about writing the series.
Fun Fact #5!
Kelli Maine is a pen name I came up with for writing TAKEN using the Find Your Stripper Name method. First Pet’s Name + First Road You Lived On. Mine would be Missy Main. That sounded a little too porn star to me, so I used my sister’s first name, Kellie. (Turns out there’s an actual porn star named Kelly Main – I’ve tried to Google her and can’t find her, but people like to tell me she exists! Who knew?) On the cover, my designer, Rachel Marks (who is amazing) asked if I would put the E in Kellie on the end of Main instead for a better balance in the design. I said sure! And that’s how my pen name came about.
Fun Fact #4!
TAKEN was a revision of an urban fantasy novel I wrote five years earlier titled, Taken By Seven. I kept Rachael and Merrick and one plot, her kidnapping. Over the five years between the two versions, I kept thinking about Rachael and Merrick and would joke to friends who loved Taken By Seven that the two of them were on Misfit Character Island until I could rescue them. Turns out Misfit Island was Turtle Tear Island and Rachael and Merrick were waiting for me to come visit and see what they had going on all those years instead of waiting to be rescued.
Fun Fact #3!
TAKEN was inspired by Lucy Christopher’s Stolen, an award winning young adult novel written in second person. I was blown away by this book and wanted to try something similar. Since I already had my own kidnapping story, I dove right in and began writing Taken. Second person POV is always a risk, but in romance it is especially risky since there are very rigid guidelines and expectations in the genre. Not being a romance reader—I’d read a handful before writing Taken—I wasn’t detoured. While the novels in the Give & Take series are erotic romances, I think of the whole as a family saga laced in mystery that could stand on its own without the sex scenes.
Fun Fact #2!
The Give & Take Series has a foundation that could be its own historical romance series. I had an old map of Turtle Tear Island drawn, a historical plantation in Florida identified for inspiration, a family tree going back to the eighteenth century and plotted out lives for the founders of Turtle Tear Island, Ingrid and Archibald Weston, and their children. Ingrid and Archibald are mentioned in every book and I consider them the Romeo and Juliet of the Civil War south. I’ve never written anything historical before, but I’m considering giving it a shot!
Fun Fact #1!
Since writing the prologue for TAKEN, I’ve known how the end of Merrick and Rachael’s story would go in TAKE THIS MAN. Their story has always paralleled that of Archibald and Ingrid, so it only made sense to bring it full circle with their wedding. Without giving too much away, in the story of Archibald and Ingrid, he propped a ladder at her window, climbed up and swept her away!
TAKE THIS MAN (Forever E-Novella; $1.99).
It’s finally here. After many twists and turns and shocking revelations, it’s time for Merrick and Rocha to declare their love for one another in front of their family and friends. And what better place than the historic island where their love first began?
GIVEN (Forever Trade Paperback; $14.00).
For Merrick and Rachael, Turtle Tear Island has become their own private paradise with days of unimaginable bliss and sizzling nights in the bedroom—and beyond. But Rachael and Merrick’s happiness is shattered when his daughter, Nadia, suddenly becomes increasingly demanding of his time and devotion. It soon becomes clear that Merrick will have to make an agonizing choice: the woman whose love saved his tortured soul or the daughter he never knew existed…
Rachel can’t stand the thought of losing Merrick after everything she’s sacrificed to be with him. She had thought she and Merrick were done with secrets, that the passion that burned so brightly between them had forged an unbreakable connection, but she begins to wonder if she ever really knew the man at all. Now the love they’ve fought so desperately to protect may not be enough to save them…
TAKE ME BACK (Forever E-Novella; $1.99)
Rachael DeSalvo is haunted by the past. She’s come home to her beloved Turtle Tear Island, where she looks forward to happy days and bliss-filled nights in the arms of Merrick Rocha. But when she finds a trunk full of old photo albums and handwritten notes, Rachael soon realizes that the island has not given up all its secrets…
For long before Rachael and Merrick made Turtle Tear Resort their home, this historic island was a haven for sensual, forbidden affairs. As Rachael and Merrick work to restore the grand hotel to its former glory, they will be caught in the perfect maelstrom of conflict and desire.
TAKEN BY STORM (Forever Trade Paperback; $14.00)
Maddie Simcoe knows the devastation that comes from keeping secrets. Now, she’s desperate to move on from the heartbreak that almost destroyed her— trading wild passion that once made her knees weak for a life of comfortable stability. But before Maddie can start over, she must return home to put the past behind her once and for all…
When Maddie blows back into MJ Rocha’s life, nothing will stop him from proving to her that walking away from him was the biggest mistake of her life — not even the engagement ring she wears. Her every look, every touch tells MJ that the fire that once raged between them still burns hot, and MJ won’t give up until Maddie gives in to the inferno.
No Take Backs
NO TAKE BACKS (Forever E-Novella; $1.99)
The man Rachael DeSalvo loves more than anything is suffering in silence. The grand opening of Turtle Tear Resort should be a time of celebration for Merrick Rocha. But he’s suddenly intent on selling off the business he built from the ground up-and Rachael’s hell-bent on finding out why. Only one man can give her the answers she seeks, but meeting with him would be the ultimate betrayal to Merrick. Merrick once asked Rachael to trust him against all odds…can he do the same?
TAKEN (Forever Trade Paperback; $13.99)
He steals her away to a deserted island, to the one place she’s dreamed of being-the one place she can’t go. He’s used to buying whatever he wants, but he can’t buy her. How can she resist the magnetism of his body, the longing ache deep inside her? She wants him to take her-on her terms. Every attempt he makes to love her only hurts her. How can they go on like this? This is the story of how she was . . .
About Kelli Maine
USA Today bestselling author of TAKEN and its sequel, No Take Backs, Kelli Maine watches entirely too much reality TV, which led to her compulsion to write dramatic romance novels. Blessed with a unique ability to bond with difficult people, she’s convinced she could win Big Brother. Her deathly fear of heights would keep her from completing half of the detours on The Amazing Race, and she’s shocked nobody has ever penned The Survivor Diet Plan: Eat One Cup of Rice for Thirty-Nine Days and Lose Fifty Pounds! Kelli lives in northeast Ohio with her family and a crazy cat that broke into their attic and refused to leave.
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Excerpt – TAKE THIS MAN –
He slowed to a stop beside the large, dangling frame. There was nothing fancy about it. It was black—and empty other than a white mat. From the right bottom corner of the matting, a black ink tree was sketched, jutting up with branches sprouting over the right top corner. On the tree trunk was drawn a heart, and inside that heart was written Merrick and Rachael Rocha, and the date.
The handwriting was familiar. I couldn’t believe he’d done this. “Merrick… you drew this?”
His dimples and the gleam in his eye couldn’t be contained. “I did. It’s the start of our family tree. We’ll put our wedding photo in it and eventually a family photo and then a photo with our grandkids.” He took me by the chin. “And in fifty years when we’re old and gray, we’ll renew our vows here on the island and have a new wedding photo to frame.”
Merrick kissed me then, a firm kiss, full of confidence, promises that would be kept, a lifetime of adventures to share and a family to love. My heart was on a precipice, ready to fall over the edge and burst with its fullness.
He took my face between his hands and nuzzled my nose with his. “Are you ready to get married now? To become my wife?”
I almost laughed with so much joy inside. “I’ve been ready!”
Then we did laugh and held each other until our giddy excitement was interrupted by the squawk of a walkie-talkie clipped to the visor followed by MJ’s voice. “NBT to Big Papa, what’s your ETA?”
Still chuckling, Merrick closed his eyes and shook his head. “NBT?” I asked. “Big Papa?”
“MJ’s idea,” he said. “He says he’s the NBT—Next Big Thing—and that even though he’s my little brother, he’d always think of me as Big Papa.”
I slid my hand up his thigh. “Big Papa, huh? I’ll have to remember that.”
“I want to hear you scream it tonight.” He shrugged his eyebrows up and down.
“Big Papa,” MJ said into the walkie-talkie. “Come in, Big Papa. Looking for an ETA here. Riley’s got his thong in a knot about putting the cake out too soon.”
“Forget the damn cake.” Beck’s voice now, fainter than MJ’s. “I’ve got a gator fifty yards from the gazebo. Get it gone—now!”
“Fine!” Riley’s voice now. “You fly in the cake from L.A. next time, tough man, and figure out how much defrosting time it needs so it’s not frozen solid or a ball of mush for photos.”
Beck let out a bark of laughter. “Yeah, that will always be all you.”
“Don’t act all muscles and tats with me. You’re in touch with your feminine side, Mr. Cello.”
“Big Papa!” MJ yelled this time. “ETA.”
Merrick and I couldn’t stop laughing. “You put those three stooges in charge of my wedding?” I gave him a playful whack on the arm.
He rolled his eyes. “Trust me, my selection of helpers was limited. Maddie and Shannon are around somewhere, though. Never fear.” He pressed his foot to the accelerator and picked up the walkie-talkie. “Big Papa to NBT. ETA five minutes.”
Five minutes and I’d be walking down the aisle.
Five minutes and this man beside me would be mine forever.
Five minutes and I’d become Mrs. Merrick Rocha.
Ready for your chance to win the full GIVE & TAKE series by Kelli Maine? This includes a mix of e-book and print titles -(US/Canada only)
TAKEN (trade paperback)
NO TAKE BACKS (e-novella)
TAKEN BY STORM (trade paperback)
TAKE ME BACK (e-novella)
GIVEN (trade paperback)
TAKE THIS MAN (e-novella)