The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom's hospital bills. My baby brother's tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just "VRI Inc.," and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing... except a single word, on the notes line: "You." If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it? I did. The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: belong." A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. "To me." The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom's hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you're desperate? You don't. I didn't. And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: "It's time to pay your debt." Would you have gotten in? I did. It turns out $120,000 doesn't come free.
This isn't a fairy tale. Not everyone will get a happily ever after. Sometimes we can't just walk away from the past. Love doesn't always save the day. The beast won't always get his beauty. But maybe, just maybe, we can get our happy ending.
When a wager goes wrong … Painfully shy Jane Huxley is the furthest thing from a diamond of the first water. Bookish, bespectacled, and, well, plain, she never expected to befriend a dissolute charmer like Colin Lacey, much less agree to help him retrieve a lost family heirloom. Fortunately, he is nothing like his cold, rigid older brother. Unfortunately, he is not above deception if it means winning a wager. And that puts Jane in a most precarious position. A formidable duke will marry a plain Jane … For Harrison Lacey, the Duke of Blackmore, protecting his family honor is not a choice, it is a necessity. So, when his cad of a brother humiliates the unwitting Lady Jane, Harrison must make it right, even if it means marrying the chit himself. And a marriage of convenience will become so much more … Her reputation hanging by a thread, Jane agrees to wed the arrogant Duke of Blackmore, although she’s convinced it will result in frostbite. Only after lingering glances lead to devastating kisses does she begin to suspect the truth: Perhaps—just perhaps—her duke is not as cold as he appears.
Falling for his deceased twin brother's mate was never part of Dustin's plan. This midwestern Alpha might be a little rough around the edges, but he lives by a few simple principles and honor is chief among them. Nonetheless, when tragedy strikes the Meadowlands Pack, Dustin feels he has no choice but to bring his twin's mate home to take care of him. The only problem is, Caleb isn't anything like Dustin expected of the city omega who stole his brother's heart and divided their family. What starts out as trying to do the right thing soon becomes a blurry series of complicated decisions that lead Dustin further away from the path he's always followed-and further into the arms of the one omega he was never supposed to want. Caleb has been through the worst a mated omega could fear. He's lost his mate and their unborn child, and now he finds himself at the mercy of an Alpha who has every reason to hate him. Despite being twins, Dustin and Caleb's former mate, Alec, are nothing alike. Caleb wants nothing more than to please his new Alpha and secure his position in the pack, but Dustin seems to take everything he says the wrong way. As forbidden tensions mount between Alpha and omega, Caleb begins to fear that Dustin will start taking his developing interest the right way. This is a hurt/comfort MPREG romance at approximately 37k words, HEA guaranteed.
Author: Robert B. Cialdini, PhD
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2009-06-02
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success. Some images that appeared in the print edition of this book are unavailable in the electronic edition due to rights reasons.
Author: L. C. Davis
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 2017-08-27
It's been four years since the tragedy that claimed the Mountain Ridge Alpha and Mel, the mutual mate of Alpha Hassan Amari and the beta Toval. As a mated Alpha-beta pair, Toval and Hassan have managed to defy the odds and come through tragedy stronger than ever, despite the shroud of secrecy that surrounds Mel's death. Strange letters from an impossible sender throw the fragile balance of their healing into question. Alphas are dying in Europe, and a group of omegas with a deadly mission has taken credit. They call themselves Epsilon, and they're hell-bent on overthrowing the hierarchical system that has ruled the shifter world for as long as anyone can remember. Meanwhile, the success of the European Council breeding program, known colloquially as the Futurus Initiative, has increased pressure on stateside Alphas to conform in order to save their dwindling population. Hassan and Toval's joint effort to fight the Initiative seems to have failed, but Epsilon has less peaceful methods in mind. One letter changes everything. The leader of Epsilon chooses Hassan and Toval to deliver his ultimatum: Abandon the initiative, or every pack Alpha in the Council will die. Toval and Hassan find themselves the unwitting messengers of this twisted message, pitted against a corrupt Council and a ghost of the past who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Time will tell if their love can withstand this dangerous new alliance. This is book 10 of the Mountain Shifters Series and contains story elements that are meant to be read in the context of the events in the rest of the series. This work is meant for mature audiences only.
Author: Tim Harford
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2011-05-10
Genre: Business & Economics
In this groundbreaking book, Tim Harford, the Undercover Economist, shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. When faced with complex situations, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a plan of action and blaze a path to success. Harford argues that today's challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinion; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt. Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with the compelling story of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and financial crises—as well as in fostering innovation and creativity in our business and personal lives. Taking us from corporate boardrooms to the deserts of Iraq, Adapt clearly explains the necessary ingredients for turning failure into success. It is a breakthrough handbook for surviving—and prospering— in our complex and ever-shifting world.
Plus-size Rebecca is on a jaunt to another world. She had hopes of finding herself a nice, sweet shifter like her sister, but somehow she ended up attracted to the big, fiery dragon. A dragon who isn't looking for love. If only he didn't have eyes that made her want to take her panties off and a body that sent her hormones into a frenzy, life would be a lot easier. Vikter Dragos is dying. His dragon couldn't find a mate and he's at the end of his time. He's fighting the attraction for a sassy, curvy human, but it's near impossible to stay away from her. If only she'd been his mate, everything would be smoother. He's losing control of his dragon and his emotions. With Becca around, he didn't know what to expect. Becca's in constant confusion over Vikter's hot and cold attitude. One moment he's kissing her like the world's going to end, and the next he's warning her away from getting attached. Figuring out how to scale this dragon might take more patience than she's got. When competition arises and Vikter sees another wants Becca, he'll face his feelings or risk losing her forever.
Author: Joel Abernathy
Release Date: 2018-06-08
Vengeance. My purpose, carved deeper into my soul than the names carved into my flesh. Dominic. The man who took everything from me, my own personal devil in shifting flesh. Ursache. My pack. The high-born family of wolves I've sworn my life to protect, even if my dying breath is pledged to another. Mason... My everything. Friend, confidant, enemy, lover. Most dangerous of all, he would become the reason I lived if I let him. He is the one thing I won't allow Dominic to take from me. Love is not a luxury I can afford, but the sweetness of revenge has nothing on the taste of him... This is the second book in the Flesh and Bone series, and the books are meant to be read in order. "Bleed" is an MM shifter romance with no MPREG. Readers 18+ only. This is a dark romance with themes that may be triggering to some readers. Please see the inside cover for content warnings that contain vague spoilers.
Her I wanted to have a pity party of one when I went for that beer. I never imagined I would meet a dark and dangerous man. That man took me on the wildest ride of my life. Literally and Figuratively. He quickly became my entire world. Him I didn't know I was looking for her. I saw her warming that bar stool and knew she would be mine. A man like me doesn't deserve the likes of her. But damned if I didn't take it. Her When we met for the first time we didn't know that we already had a connection. A cruel game was being played, and we didn't know the rules. Sam would save us, but at what cost? Sam was one of my main reasons for living. If he wasn't in this world anymore, would I still want to be a part of it?
Author: L. C. Davis
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 2017-11-29
Nicholas wants nothing to do with omegas, and Avery has already signed a contract binding him to another Alpha. Fate has other plans for them both. As the omega spokesman for the infamous Futurus Initiative, Avery is a controversial figure who's used to being envied, occasionally despised and always the center of attention. His kidnapping at the hands of the twisted omega at the helm of the radical anti-Futurus group known as Epsilon shook his perfect world to the core, and his abnormally conventional parents no longer know what to do with him. In a last-ditch effort to save their son's reputation-and his engagement to a prestigious politician-Avery's desperate family sends him to the small, quaint pack of Southbend for some much-needed rest and recovery. When Avery arrives in Southbend, he finds the Meyer household anything but welcoming and he immediately clashes with the rakishly reluctant head of the household. Nicholas might be a brilliant lawyer with good looks and charm in abundance, but he makes no secret of the fact that Avery is persona non grata in his pack. How is Avery supposed to heal his own wounds when an Alpha who looks at every omega with disdain makes him question everything, including his participation in the breeding program he's devoted his life to promoting? ~ Nicholas has it all on the surface-rising-star status as an attorney with his own practice, a sizable inheritance and the option of going home with any omega he chooses at the end of the night-but beneath the mask of his status, he hides a secret that makes him feel unworthy of the title of Alpha. Past abuse has left him with a deep-seated revulsion towards omegas, the very class of shifter he's supposed to crave. He uses work and meaningless flings with other Alphas and betas to distract himself from the family life he doesn't believe he deserves, but in the wake of his estranged father's death, Nicholas is called home to take on a role he never wanted. Forced to give up his high-profile career and take the reins of his family's pack, Nicholas finds himself wholly unprepared to fill the shoes of the man he hated. Because fate isn't cruel enough, the Spirits choose this moment to send him his destined mate-a charming yet infuriatingly stubborn omega he can never love or even claim. At least, that's what he thinks until he realizes that the very traits that repel him from other omegas draw him to Avery in a way he finds as bewildering as it is intoxicating.
Information Systems Research: Relevant Theory and Informed Practice comprises the edited proceedings of the WG8.2 conference, "Relevant Theory and Informed Practice: Looking Forward from a 20-Year Perspective on IS Research," which was sponsored by IFIP and held in Manchester, England, in July 2004. The conference attracted a record number of high-quality manuscripts, all of which were subjected to a rigorous reviewing process in which four to eight track chairs, associate editors, and reviewers thoughtfully scrutinized papers by the highly regarded as well as the newcomers. No person or idea was considered sacrosanct and no paper made it through this process unscathed. All authors were asked to revise the accepted papers, some more than once; thus, good papers got better. With only 29 percent of the papers accepted, these proceedings are significantly more selective than is typical of many conference proceedings. This volume is organized in 7 sections, with 33 full research papers providing panoramic views and reflections on the Information Systems (IS) discipline followed by papers featuring critical interpretive studies, action research, theoretical perspectives on IS research, and the methods and politics of IS development. Also included are 6 panel descriptions and a new category of "bright idea" position papers, 11 in all, wherein main points are summarized in a pithy and provocative fashion.
Author: B. V. Larson
Release Date: 2016-10-03
They hunt us. They bomb our worlds for target practice. A star cluster in the constellation of Orion rotates once every thousand years. Those who rule there have an ancient tradition: When each cycle ends, they train their fleets by spilling the blood of lesser beings. The enemy fleets are coming again. In response, the Rebel Worlds gather their starships to face the terrifying threat, and this time humanity is asked to stand with them.The last time they considered Earth, Vikings in longboats were raiding English coastlines. Today, we're less primitive. Today, we're a target. One man is chosen to command Earth's single ship in the Rebel Fleet. When the war breaks out, Leo Blake must win it... or die trying."Classic B. V. Larson. This book grabs you by the plasma cannon and won't let go. Fast adventure, fast action--and I loved the space-battles!"- S. Arthur