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Strategies of the Heart Book 1
BY RM ALEXANDER
When Texas oil mixes with Hollywood wine, love must prove it is thicker than blood before a murderous adversary calls checkmate.
After a nasty divorce, all Paige Reed wants is a little worry-free fun. This leads her to a location shoot where she meets Hollywood insider, Kellen Richards. His charm, wit, and sexy Texan accent sweep Paige off her feet. Then tragedy strikes.
Now engaged in a lethal game of chess, the stakes are high. Kellen vows to protect Paige with every weapon at his disposal while she fights to find her place in a world that has been turned upside down. A dangerous game of chess is threatening to rock Hollywood to its core, and they must choose to fight for their love or risk losing their lives…
A quivering cabin and bone-chilling wails woke Paige from the shallow doze. Her groggy eyes glanced first to the businessman gripping the armrests and then out the small window. A burgeoning flame lit the wing with a trail of heavy black smoke. She jumped forward in the seat, heart frantic in her chest.
Paige stretched and searched for signs of land. Billowy clouds mocked her fear—no ground, no safety. Frantic, Paige turned back to the inside of the plane, searching for assistance.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. We ask, at this time, that you buckle your seatbelts and follow the directions of your flight attendants.”
The plane jolted and dropped forward. Oxygen masks dropped from overhead compartments. Screams ripped through the air. Paige yanked a mask down, wrapped a strap around each ear, and gripped the armrests with white-knuckled hands. Her eyes locked on the pamphlet sticking out from the chair pocket. Images of passengers with heads between their knees begged her attention.
Do this. Do this now.
Paige bent over and clasped trembling hands around the cascading tresses. Turning her head, she looked past the businessman to a child pressed against his sobbing mother. Paige guessed the boy had to be no more than six or seven, little eyes orbs of terror as he looked at her. She attempted a smile and hoped it resembled a glimpse of hope to the frightened child. The boy clawed at his mother’s arms and Paige turned away.
The plane lurched to the left. Overhead compartments popped open. Bags and laptops plummeted into the aisles and hit shrieking passengers.
We’re going to crash. The thought seared her mind with steady, quiet certainty. Where were they? What ground would be meeting them? Mountain? Water? A farm field? Did it matter?
Kellen’s face flashed before Paige’s eyes—the single green eye and single blue eye, the brilliant smile, the face more enticing than his famous brother’s. Thoughts bounced back and forth as her rear rose off the seat and pressed against a tensing seatbelt. How he wasn’t famous, how he wasn’t the actor like his brother. And how she wouldn’t have had the chance to fall in love if he was in Grey’s place. The phrase swiped at her thoughts. Fallen in love. Now she’d never be able to tell him.
Paige closed her eyes, focusing on the image of him reaching out a hand as something nearby exploded. A deathly silence swallowed the plane.
Paige Reed blacked out.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t surrounding myself with books. As a child, I’d grab piles of books from my bookcase and read long into the night, then shove them all under my bed. A trip to the library meant a treasure trove of new adventures. By the time I was twelve years old, everything was fair game: from Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club to V.C. Andrews, Stephen King, and John Saul. As I grew older, the genres I ventured into became even more eclectic. The only requirement was that I could get lost in the story.
It was an easy jump to start writing, but not so easy to take the leap into sharing my work with others. But when my oldest was born, something seemed to snap in my head. I knew what I wanted and that was to make a career by creating on paper what played in my head. A series that had already been haunting my dreams for months that I knew would be my first attempt to break into the publishing world.
While I wrote the Sci-Fi / Paranormal romance series, SHADOWS first, MATTER OF CHOICE, a second-chance-at-love contemporary romance, would be the first to be published in 2014. Since then, I’ve been honored to be nominated for several Readers’Choice Awards and to be a 2016 Top 10 finalist in the Global Author Academy Awards. Until that point, I was strictly writing romantic suspense as RM Alexander. But, like my reading habits, my characters wouldn’t remain locked in the box of a single genre, so, in 2019, I launched the pen name, Melody Ash. Now I was free to write romantic suspense in all its subgenres under RM Alexander and speculative fiction as Melody Ash where romance was not key a driving force in the story.
As a complex trauma survivor, I often write characters who often face the worse circumstances and must search for their inner strength. It is my hope readers not only connect with the characters and stories but also are encouraged, as they read the last word, that their real-world problems can be overcome.
Outside my writing world, I spend my time with my husband, two children, and Pomsky (who you’ll likely find on my social media) in Indiana. I still love to travel and am addicted to orange juice, Ghirardelli chocolate, and adventure.
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