If I’d Never Heard of Me, Would I Buy My Book? by JB Glazer – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

I chose to write about this topic because let’s face it, people have never heard of me. Out in the Open is my debut novel and has only been in market for about five months. Writing a book has always been my dream, and while I’m so proud of my accomplishment, I never realized how many others had the same dream. Okay, I knew many people aspired to write a novel, but I didn’t think there were that many that would actually do it. It seems that there are hundreds of new books available each day. So what makes mine stand out? And why should someone read my book? I attended a number of writing seminars and recall one of the speakers saying, “You need to find your parking lot. What is it about your book that makes it unique?” This piece of advice really stuck with me. I work in marketing and we are always trying to find the “white space.” What is the one area that no brand has tackled yet? Or how would you do it in a way that is unique? I felt this advice was a parallel to a topic I’m faced with constantly at work. But now I had to figure out a solution in my personal life—and without a brilliant team supporting me.

This is a tall order because it seems that just about every topic has been covered. But the fun part of writing is that while most romances have a set formula, it’s up to each author to figure out the journey to getting to happily ever after. I decided that I wanted my novel to feel aspirational yet attainable. If I had to sum it up in one word I was going for real. So often I read books and walk away thinking, “Yeah, that’s great but it could never happen.” So I chose to write about the struggles of a young twenty-something who is trying to find love while navigating her career. It’s a realistic situation people can relate to, whether they are in that life stage now or can look back and remember what it was like to be young, single, and trying to establish yourself while still figuring out who you are. I used advertising as a backdrop because I work in the industry, plus I think it’s fun and glamourous, though I’m a bit biased. While it’s a workplace romance, it’s really more about the character development and the struggles they face in balancing love while trying to advance their careers.

I will admit, I don’t have a formal writing background. It’s a craft I’ve always loved and I’d like to think I have a knack for it. When I first told my friends I wanted to write a novel they weren’t surprised. Although when a close friend served as my beta reader she had an amusing reaction, “It’s just like a book you’d read at Barnes & Noble!” That’s what I was going for. 

So back to the question of would I read it? The answer is yes. If I liked the synopsis and preview of the first few chapters I’d take a chance on someone new. Everyone has to start from somewhere. But don’t take my word for it. As Lauren said in her review, “I loved every aspect of the book – the writing was top-notch, the character development was stellar and the storyline was extremely well-crafted. I devoured the book, eager to find out what was going to happen between Lexi and Jake, and the ending definitely did not disappoint (boy did I not see that one coming).”

MEDIA KIT out in the openAdvertising executive Lexi Winters had a plan, but leaving her cheating fiancé, her beloved New York, and a successful career weren’t on her agenda. At twenty-seven she faces the harsh reality of starting over again. She returns to her hometown of Chicago and lands a new job, where she meets Jake Hartman, the agency founder’s captivating nephew. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Lexi is protective of her fragile heart and isn’t ready to date again. Jake is on the fast track to leading the company and has vowed to his uncle never to let anything—or anyone—get in his way. What begins as harmless flirtation soon crosses a line that threatens to destroy Lexi and Jake’s promising careers. In a relationship plagued by secrets, will they risk everything to be out in the open?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I like your dress,” Jake says, lightly touching the fabric on my shoulder. He slides his hand down the length of my dress, grazing my breast, and rests it on my knee. I raise my eyebrows at him.

“You don’t mind, do you?” he asks in a low voice.

“No,” I say, meeting his gaze.

He stands up, and I stand up too, thinking we’re leaving. “Wait here,” he says, then closes the curtains to our seating area, giving us complete privacy. He makes his way back toward me wearing a determined expression that makes my heart beat wildly in my chest. Is he going to kiss me here, in the middle of the bar? He looms over me and takes the drink out of my hand. I feel the color rise in my face, and my breathing becomes ragged. Jake tilts my chin so I meet his gaze and leans in close when suddenly the curtains part and Brad walks in. “Sorry, dude,” he says to Jake, “but Maurice just informed me there’s a girl here looking for you. She says you work together, and she’s on her way down.”

Jake’s demeanor immediately changes. He fully opens the curtains and moves to the other side of the couch, putting some distance between us. I look at him questioningly, but his flirty smile is gone, replaced with a cool stare. Then I see a brunette talking to the bouncer, and I’m guessing she’s looking for Jake. She makes eye contact, and he motions her over.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT JB Glazer Bio PicJ B Glazer developed a love of writing at a young age. She followed that passion to the University of Illinois, where she graduated with a degree from the College of Communications. She pursued a career in advertising, a field that provided an outlet to express her creativity. She has fifteen years of experience at the renowned Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, which served as inspiration for her novel. She’s also a wife, mom, marketer, referee, short-order cook, maid, chocoholic, shopaholic, and multitasker extraordinaire. Visit her website at www.jbglazer.com, follow her on Twitter @JBGlazer, or connect with her on Facebook.

Out in the Open is available at national retailers including Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

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Plight and Terror of Claire Sanchez from THE UNHOLY by Paul DeBlassie III – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Plight and Terror of Claire Sanchez from THE UNHOLY

I want to shed a little more light on the plight and terror of Claire Sanchez, curandera, medicine woman, protagonist in The Unholy. As a young child, she witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in the nighttime forest of Aztlan at the hands of a black-robed man. Hiding behind the tress, Claire, a five-year-old girl, was powerless to help. This nightmare haunted her waking life and dreams for twenty-five years. Day and night, she feared fulfilling her destiny as a medicine woman. Her mother died because of who she was. Terrible fright dominated her life. The black-robed man could find her and do what he had done to her mother. Death lurked around every corner of Aztlan. Religion, she came to discover, cloaked many a sordid deed and foul personage. There was no way she could continue to run. What she most feared came her way, discovered her whereabouts, what her life was about and was to become, and who she loved. The time came for her to decide. Decisions of life-long consequence are painful, agonizing.

Nevertheless, she, I feel, did not regret the decision she made. She had to face the ghost of her past or forever be haunted by nightmares of what might come and what she could have done differently. She was not one to be indecisive.

It was all a matter of timing. Yes, it was violent. Yes, the world of the supernatural and natural collided and forever changed the lives of so many people; but, she would not have it any other way. She needed to be true to her life, destiny, to herself as a woman who could run no longer. She could no longer cling to old ways and crippling terrors that needed to be confronted. She did what she had to do and for that she was satisfied and complete. To all who read, she would send courage as you confront the dark side of religion and a woman’s quest to discover self, destiny, and whether, because of the scarring of her past, she could ever love again.

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.

Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.

Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.

All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.

Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.

The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.

The crows waited, watched, then flew away.

About the Author:

Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-DeBlassie-III/e/B00E5TBJXY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Website: http://www.pauldeblassieiii.com/
Blog: http://pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com/

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Good Editor Required by Barry Finlay – Guest Post and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barry will be awarding a medium or large t-shirt with the author’s “Keep On Climbing” logo on the front to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

GOOD EDITOR REQUIRED

Now that I have gone through the writing process for a third time with my new book, The Vanishing Wife, I thought it might be of interest to your readers to share some thoughts on editing. I’m not referring to the work we do as authors to polish our manuscript. When I refer to editing, I’m talking about hiring a professional editor.

It’s not cheap and I’m sure that is a deterrent for many. But, can you really afford not to have your manuscript edited professionally? An author spends months, and in some cases years, pouring their heart and soul into their masterpiece. So shouldn’t the finished product be as good as it can possibly be? The answer in my opinion is a resounding “yes.”

The Wikipedia dictionary defines editing as “the process that can involve correction, condensation, organization, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete work.” While I don’t always agree with Wikipedia definitions, I think this one is perfect because that’s exactly what we should all strive for in our work: correctness, consistency, accuracy and completeness. If we can honestly say that our manuscript meets those criteria, we will have a piece of work that will make us proud. I credit my editor for helping me get closer to reaching the four criteria by forcing me to stretch my writing capabilities to the limit. I didn’t agree with or accept everything she suggested but her questions and recommendations played a valuable role in making my books better.

That’s why I think a good editor is so important. As authors, after we have read our manuscript a few times, I really believe we start to see what we intended to be on the paper, not what is actually there. An editor is a second set of eyes and they will find the typos and grammar and punctuation issues. But a good editor will also challenge your writing to bring out the best in you. They will ask questions, find places in your work where you should elaborate, suggest the elimination of redundancies if any exist and help to make sure the storyline holds together. The final say as an author is yours, of course, but the editor will make you think about your work. And your work will be better for it.

Of course, even the best editors may not catch everything. We’ve all found typos in popular novels. Even if your manuscript is edited professionally, those evil little typos can still find a way to lie hidden among the 100,000 or so words you have so carefully written. Your friends will gleefully point them out to you and that’s when you can tell them that you left the typos in the book deliberately to test their observational skills. While we try to catch them all, one or two typos are not going to affect our credibility as a writer with most readers. But weaknesses in the story line or numerous typos or grammatical errors will.

So while you are writing your masterpiece, set aside some money to hire a good editor. Check their references and ask what they consider editing to be to ensure it’s in line with your expectations. Try to be objective when looking at the suggested changes and think long and hard about them before accepting or rejecting them. The end result will be a good working relationship and a product that will win over your readers and make them want to read more from you. Most of all, you will be happier with the result.

How far will a man go when his family is threatened? Mason Seaforth is about to find out. He is a mild mannered accountant living a quiet, idyllic life in the quiet community of Gulfport, Florida with his wife, Samantha. At least, it’s quiet and idyllic until Sami, as she’s known to her friends, vanishes the night of their 20th anniversary.

Mason is thrown into a life that is meant for other people as he and their brash friend, Marcie Kane, try everything to find out what has happened to Sami. A search of Sami’s computer uncovers notes describing a past that Sami has buried for more than 20 years. Then come the threatening phone calls: to Sami, to their daughter Jennifer at university in Miami, and to Mason.

Mason and Marcie are thrust into a race against a sadistic killer to discover what has happened to Mason’s wife. He reluctantly exchanges his spreadsheets for a Glock 17 and he and Marcie follow a trail left behind by Sami which leads them to a potential confrontation with some very dangerous men in Canada. Mason is required to make decisions that he could never imagine himself making and each one has deadlier consequences than the last. The wrong one could result in the death of his entire family.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sami never went anywhere without her cell phone, and if she had gone out for a walk, she would certainly have taken the phone with her. He reached for his own phone and dialed Sami’s number. The number rang. And rang, and rang again. Mason held his breath. “Please, Sami, please, pick up,” he whispered. On the sixth ring, he heard Sami’s confident voice message. “You have reached Samantha Seaforth. Please leave a message, and I will call you back.”

In a shaking voice, Mason heard himself doing as she asked. “Sweetie, it’s Mason, I’m leaving a message. Where are you? Please call me back right away.”

It had been two hours since he first noticed Sami was gone.

About the Author:

In 2009, Barry Finlay went up a mountain as an accountant and came down as a philanthropist. After over thirty years in various financial roles with the Canadian federal government, he took his life in a different direction and climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro at age sixty with his son Chris. The climb and their fundraising efforts to help kids in Tanzania led to the award-winning book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey. He followed that up with the hilarious travel memoir, I Guess We Missed The Boat, which was named Best Travel Book of 2013 by Reader Views. Now, he has completed his debut fiction book, The Vanishing Wife. Barry was named to the Authors Show’s list of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” in 2012. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his philanthropic work in Africa. He lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Evelyn.


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What is the Hardest Part about Writing? by Sean DeLauder – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sean DeLauder will be awarding $25 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

What is the Hardest Part about Writing?

The hardest part about writing? Finding time to do it. No contest.

Ideas are never an issue. They come readily, rapidly. The problem is, I am limited by my mortality from exploring them all. So I have to be selective. That’s a minor aspect of the limitations of time. The biggest obstacle time creates is the lack of availability.

However, if you love writing, as with anything you love, you will make time for it. Anyone afflicted with a compulsion, be it pyromania, kleptomania, or writeaholism will, for good or ill, find a way to do it. Fortunately, the urge to write is a psychological disorder that is magnitudes lower in destructive capacity than most.

We all divide our time into segments, big chunks called days, in which we have a series of events we repeat every day. For me, the largest tend to be Work and Family. These are two categories to which I contribute gladly. It’s not difficult to make time for family and a job. There’s time for each. In fact, just enough time for each, just as the globe is separated into north and south hemispheres, coming into contact, prevented from overlapping, but encompassing the entirety of the Earth between the two of them. Adding a career as a writer is like trying to include a third hemisphere on a planet that is already completely occupied. It’s going to prove challenging and, invariably, take away from one or the other. Unless you’re able to sacrifice something else.

The most obvious way to make this time would be to add hours to the day. A 30-hour day would allow me, and probably anyone, to accomplish everything they’d like to in a single rotation of the planet. This would undoubtedly have corollary benefits, such as the obliteration of daylight savings time, which does little more than sabotage the function of my biological clock. Unfortunately, I lack the engineering prowess to successfully adjust the rotation of the Earth to make this happen. So time for writing has to come from the same 24 hours everyone else has.

I can’t miss time at work and I won’t miss time with my family, so the only time I have to sacrifice is sleep. I’ve done that. And it works. For a while. Then the lack of sleep begins to manifest in subtle ways, usually in my inability to remain awake in the middle of the day, while driving or having conversations. Surprisingly, this gets noticed quickly. When I become incapable of performing normal tasks, such as going to get the mail, without needing to take a 2-hour nap, I know that my writing schedule is not effective and an alternative is necessary.

The other option, also explored, is to write during the opportunities afforded in breaks during the day. Scribbling on napkins, on receipts, on my hand, on whatever happens to be available when I have a chance or an idea strikes me. This approach is not the best way to write a book any more than believing you can get all the sleep you need by resting during eyeblinks through the course of the day (you just can’t seem to get enough and deep REM sleep never has a chance to take hold).

So what options remain? Alienate your family? Quit your job? Descend into psychosis? Or, perhaps, stop writing.

Heavens no.

If you’re a true addict the way I am, you need to have a means to let the words out or they’ll come out anyway in a melodramatic, life-ending volcano through the top of your skull, leaving the coroner to clean up the mess (and collect your scattered ideas). You’re going to suffer either way. Why not make it worthwhile?

When you finish your book or chapter or sentence in a way that satisfies you, your sense of gratification and vindication will overpower your need to sleep or work or use the restroom. You’ll have the momentary strength to continue writing a bit longer, like the strength of the Grinch having found the true meaning of Christmas.

Besides, what writer wants sleep when they could be writing?

12_18 Cover_The Least EnviedCast back in time to a perilous wasteland, Andrew is tasked with recording the fate of an individual history has chosen to ignore. Threatened by knee-high creatures called Wogs, an enigmatic beast known as the Forest Monster, and the man orchestrating the slow annihilation of the world, Andrew discovers all hope for salvation and survival rests with a boy without a history.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“That statue,” said Andrew. He gave the stonework a quick look, then looked back to Hobert. “It’s a hero?”

Maybe the statue represented a hero who came before this era of desperation and despair.

Hobert cast a somber gaze into the street and nodded.

“A hero. Yes,” he answered. “He’s very tall.”

Andrew found himself suddenly interested. This was the story he wanted to write. A story about a hero, the obstacles he faced on his path to heroism, his guides, his arch enemy, the ultimate goal of being a hero, and, of course, whether the story continued or had an end.

“What made him a hero?”

Hobert shrugged, removed the pipe, and gestured toward the statue with the stem before poking it back into the corner of his mouth.

“He’s very tall,” he repeated.

Andrew paused, waiting for Hobert to continue, but that was all.

“Tall… and what else?”

Hobert’s smile faded and he faced Andrew, somewhat irritated. Two gray trails of pipe smoke jetted from his nostrils.

“What else what?”

“Beside being tall,” Andrew clarified. “To be a hero.”

Hobert fixed Andrew with a hard, querulous stare, then shook his head as though the question didn’t make sense.

“Being tall is being a hero,” he answered.

Andrew grimaced.

“What?”

“What what?” Hobert replied. “What don’t you understand?”

Andrew spread his arms.

“Everything.”

“Oh,” the fellow replied. He leaned back in his chair and pulled his hat down over his eyes. “Then you’re hopeless.”

About the Author: 12_18 AuthorPic_The Least EnviedThis author has held several positions in recent years, including Content Writer, Grant Writer, Obituary Clerk, and Staff Writer, and is under the false impression that these experiences have added to his character since they have not contributed much to his finances. He was awarded a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism and a BA in Technical Communication by Bowling Green State University because they are giving and eager to make friends. He has a few scattered publications with The Circle magazine, Wild Violet, Toasted Cheese, and Lovable Losers Literary Revue, and resides in the drab, northeastern region of Ohio because it makes everything else seem fascinating, exotic, and beautiful.

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The Cowboys of Copper Mountain by Katherine Garbera, Melissa McClone, and Jane Porter – Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn rafflecopter winner (international giveaway). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Three novellas and an unforgettable short story, now available together in one festive package!

A Cowboy For Christmas by Katherine Garbera

Annie Prudhomme never expected to be back in Marietta, MT and her family is fond of reminding her that she left them and the town behind in search of better things. A humiliating divorce that cost her everything she’d gained has driven her back home and her family isn’t about to welcome her back into the fold. She’s in town to rebuild the old home that she inherited and to move on once again.

Carson Scott never forgot Annie or the way she left. Now that she’s back in town he’s realizing that the old flame still burns hot but he can’t risk his heart the way he did last time now that he has his son to think about it. Being trapped together during a December snowstorm gives them a chance to rekindle their romance but is Annie back for good or is she just looking for a cowboy for Christmas?

Christmas At Copper Mountain by Jane Porter

Since the loss of her family in a plane crash, Harley Diekerhoff has led a quiet life and keeps to herself. Taking the temporary job at the Copper Mountain Ranch as widower Brock Sheenan’s housekeeper seems perfect for her. But her calm cocoon is invaded with the arrival of Brock’s pre-teen twins, Mack and Molly who’ve never experienced a proper Christmas and before she knows it, Harley’s determined to make their holiday perfect.

Annoyed at first by Harley’s interference, Brock is secretly pleased she’s changed Mack and Molly’s world. It doesn’t hurt that he finds Harley incredibly attractive, fierce, smart and passionate. It’s also an added bonus that she’s not afraid to challenge him and get his blood heated! But when sparks fly and the attractions sizzles between them, Harley’s not so sure she can handle something permanent with this dark, taciturn cowboy who doesn’t know how to let her in. But Brock is determined to hold on to her and praying for a Christmas miracle…

Home For Christmas by Melissa McClone

Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Rachel Murphy loves the scent of gingerbread baking almost as much as she enjoys creating custom edible houses at Christmastime. But she needs a bigger kitchen if she wants to make the most of her impromptu holiday business.

Enter Nate Vaughn, handsome venture capitalist turned Montana dude ranch owner and her brother’s boss. Nate’s commercial kitchen is perfect for the baker. And he thinks she might be perfect for him…as a business partner.

After being burned by a celebrity baker, Rachel’s wary of Nate’s interest in her gingerbread houses, not to mention his mistletoe kisses. She should leave the Bar V5 ranch and return to Arizona. Or can Nate convince her she’s already home?

Mistletoe Magic by Melissa McClone

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin’s heart and brings back long-forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won’t be spending this Christmas… alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn’t a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic’s waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn’t belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin Butler arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he’s not careful, he’ll wind up on Santa’s naughty list.

Enjoy an except for Home For Christmas:

Rachel leaned against the island counter, watching Nate Vaughn’s retreating backside, relieved to see him go. Forget about wanting a nice guy in her life, even flirting was too strenuous for her bruised heart. She only wished she hadn’t noticed how nicely Nate’s jeans fit or how his leather jacket showed off wide shoulders or how the duffel bag he carried made her wonder where he’d spent last night.

None of those things should matter.

Not to her.

He might be show-off sexy with that razor stubble on his handsome face and an I’d-like-to-get-to-know-you-better smile, but she didn’t need his business help or advice. She didn’t want anything from him. Well, except the use of his kitchen.

Nate glanced over his shoulder, meeting her gaze straight on.

Busted for staring. Heat rose up her neck. Good thing she was flushed from the heat in the kitchen. Maybe her blush wouldn’t give her away.

His lips curved into a wry grin.

Too late. Her face burned hotter. “Forget something?”

“If it’s not too much trouble, save a piece of gingerbread for me.”

By the time she finished baking, she would have platefuls of ends and cutouts. “No problem, as long as you don’t mind the scraps.”

“Don’t mind at all. My hungry stomach won’t know the difference.”

She expected him to turn back. Walk away. Let her work.

Nate continued staring. He must want another look at the gingerbread houses. Except… she wet her lips… he was looking at her.

The hunger in his eyes made Rachel’s blood simmer. His gaze ran the length of her slowly, appreciatively, like he wanted a taste of her.

Her heart thudded.

Something stirred inside Rachel. Excitement, yes. But also possibility.

He made her feel like an unexpected, but welcomed, guest at a cocktail party. That her flour-stained clothes were as appealing as a little black dress.

Did she dare let herself have some fun? Something missing from her life for a long time.

Self-preservation told her to look away. Run away would be better.

Safer.

She might not have dated many men, but she knew that look from the last cowboy who had broken her heart after Ty had broken his nose. Nate might be a great guy according to her brother, but she needed to keep her distance. She knew better than to think she could handle a man like Nate Vaughn.

About the Authors:

USA Today, and New York Times bestselling author of 47 romances and women’s fiction titles, Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award five times, with her Tule Publishing novella, Take Me, Cowboy, winning the Novella Category July 2014. Jane today has over 12 million copies in print, including her wildly popular Flirting with Forty, a novel picked by Redbook Magazine as it’s Red Hot Summer Read in 2006 before being turned into a Lifetime movie in 2008 starring Heather Locklear.

Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in sunny San Clemente, CA with her surfer husband, three sons, and two dogs. You can learn more about Jane at www.JanePorter.com.

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USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has written more than 65 books. Writing is the chief focus of her time after her family and the only thing she likes more than working on her own books is reading other authors. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and loves the opportunity to talk about writing with anyone who’ll listen. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.

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Melissa McClone has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

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Danse Macabre by Cristelle Comby – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will receive a signed copy of Danse Macabre. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Long and Short Reviews, Cristelle. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

PCP: Pace, Character and Plot. You need those three elements to grab any reader’s attention. Characters the audience cares for, interesting things happening, twists and turns to keep them interested.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

To me it’s the characters. I create them; flesh them out as much as I can. Then I answer to questions: ‘Where are they now?’ and ‘Where are they going?’

Plot is what allows my character to undertake the emotional journey I want them to make. Throwing things in their path, making the journey harder for them is what makes it interesting for the readers.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

It’s the darkest book I’ve ever written. There are several deaths along the story and, though I tried not to be too graphic about it, it’s got dark spots.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?

The next book in the series, because this one ends with a cliff-hanger. It’s the one I’ve been dying to write since I started this series, but I had to set the stage for it properly.

What are you reading now?

I’ve just started to read Gone Girl (because of all the movie hype). I’m about four chapters in, and I still haven’t decided if I like it or not (not a good sign).

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I stick with a two words routine. Book one was Russian Dolls, book two was Ruby Heart and this one’s Danse Macabre. They all fit the theme of the book, and key-words that connect with the case. For Danse Macabre, I’m especially glad to have been able to go with a French title (my mother tongue).

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I cannot write out of order. My mind is wired in a linear way, so I always start writing with the prologue and end with the epilogue. Some people can jump around all over the place, but that’s not me.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?

How much I like it. I have a very stressful day-job, and writing is like a big breath of fresh air amidst all the madness.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

It’s my feet on the cover of Danse Macabre. It was the first time I wore Pointe shoes, and I was in tears by the end of the photo shoot. Damn, but those things hurt.

Ebook or print? And why?

Print. I like the look and feel of a large library.

Favorite place to read?

On the train. I have an hour of commute to go to work every weekday. I alternate between playing audio books and music on my iPhone.

MEDIA KIT Book CoverPrivate investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are hired to succeed where the police have failed, to safely return home a missing ballerina. With no lead to pursue and no idea who could be behind the young woman’s kidnapping, they soon find themselves at a loss as to what to do.

To make matters worse, the heart of England seems to be caught in the middle of a little Ice Age. With snow endlessly falling and Tube lines either too cramped up to use or out of service, it is a pain to do any legwork in the huge metropolis.

Oh, and because trouble never comes alone, there may also be a serial killer on the loose in the streets of East London…

Enjoy an excerpt:

I take a better look at the dancer facing us. He looks… fragile more than shy. He has bags under his eyes, his nails show the traces of nervous biting, and his clothes are ill-fitting. Lack of sleep, tension, weight loss. What is going on in Marc Jules’ life? What is he trying to hide from us? ‘That’s not all, is it?’ I lean forward, look at him square on. ‘There’s something you’re not telling us. It’s plain to see.’

The young man shrinks in on himself even more. ‘No… no, nothing. I told you everything I know. I have no idea where Isabella is. I swear.’ A thought strikes me, and I try another angle. ‘She obviously means something to you.’

The man’s eyes shift to the side as he focuses all of his attention on the half-empty lemonade glass sitting on the table. Gotcha!

‘You like her, yet you refuse to help us; it doesn’t make sense,’ I continue. ‘What would Isabella say if she could see you now?’

‘I don’t know anything,’ Marc protests with fervour.

‘Really?’

‘I’d tell you if I knew. I like her, she’s my friend. I want to find her too.’

‘Then stop lying to us,’ Egan says. ‘What are you not telling us?’

‘If what you’re saying is the truth, you would do well to stop keeping things from us. You’re slowing us down, Marc; you’re wasting our time,’

I continue, relentless. I can feel we’re close to breaking him, so very close. ‘Do you know how valuable time is, in a situation like this? Time is everything. Every second we’re wasting on you is taking us further away from Isabella.’

‘You’re letting her down, right now.’ Egan adds. ‘Maybe you’re not her friend after all.’

‘No — she’s my friend. I swear.’ Marc rushes the words out, tears welling up in his eyes.

‘She’s helped me when no one else would. I owe her so much.’

My eyebrows rise up at the words and I cock my head to the side, my expression expectant.
Marc bites down hard on his lip the second he finishes his sentence. He didn’t mean to reveal this much to us, but it’s too late now. The cat’s out of the bag. I soften my tone now that I’ve got what I wanted. ‘What do you mean, Marc? How did she help you?’

‘I don’t… she just…’ He stops himself, crosses his arms over his chest. ‘It’s nothing to do with any of this.’

‘Let us be the judges of that,’ Egan says. ‘If Isabella was involved, it could be relevant.’
‘It’ll stay between us,’ I promise. ‘We’re not the police, Marc. Whatever it is, no one else needs to know.’

The young man lets out a long breath as he uncrosses his arms. Defeated, he lets his hands hang limp in his lap.

About the Author: 12_18  AuthorPic_Danse MacabreCristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Danse Macabre is her third new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve and Egan series.

Website: http://cristelle-comby.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cristelle
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cristelle%20Comby&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CristelleComby

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The 13th Descent by Ky Lehman – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ky will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

ONE CHOICE CAN MAKE AN IMMORTAL HUMAN.

BUT WHAT CHOICES NEED TO BE MADE TO GO BACK AGAIN?

The revolutionary year following Serenay “Ren” Avalon’s eighteenth birthday could rival Clark Kent’s entire adolescence.

After her mother and her grandmother were killed in a car bomb explosion at the heart of their sleepy hillside town where nothing extraordinary usually happens, she discovers that her mother is actually alive and in hiding, her long lost father is a Father, and her best friend, who turns out was once an Archangel, has taken a gargantuan step back in his evolution to live on Earth with her for the past thirteen lifetimes. And besides being the only one in her immediate circle with a serious case of past life dementia, she learns that during her first lifetime, she was married to one of the greatest teachers history has ever known who is now the gorgeous lead singer of a hot new rock band taking the world by storm, and who is keen to meet up with her again in the twenty first century.

As Ren realizes that the powerful family name she bears also brings with it the promise of an unnatural death, she is reminded that it has always brought hope to people on both sides of the veil, human and Tor. As the world draws closer to being completely shrouded by the dark cloaks of her age-old enemies, the Bloodstones, she now, more than ever before, has to draw strength from her origins to protect her family and their ancient truth from this global force responsible for torturing and killing centuries of her ancestors.

As she struggles to unearth who she was, who she is, and who she chooses to be, as well as the expectations of her first mortal love and the heavenly love she has always guiltily denied, she has until midnight on the Solstice find a way to bring light to a compromised heart and to a world on the brink of perpetual darkness.

This first book in The Rosefire Trilogy by debut YA author, Ky Lehman, is a reminder of how the choices we make in the throes of love, loss, hope, and adversity are what makes the divine human, and the human divine.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Come on, Renay! You’re as slow as a wet week,” she snaps.

“Right behind you,” I grumble, trying to coax my jelly legs to step out of the car.

She bustles us inside and disarms her house alarm. She grabs my hand, leads me straight to the navy blue comfy couch and gestures for me to sit. “Drink?” she asks.

“No, thanks.”

She goes to the kitchen and gets me a tall glass of water anyway.

Then everything goes from strange to downright bizarre when she sits down, squishes in next to me, puts her arm around my shoulders and rests her cheek on my hair. I am wedged in-between her and the armrest: I couldn’t move if I tried, and I honestly don’t want to. Hugs from my one and only aunt are like sunny days in the winter. They are rare. They are warm. They smell of cream and cinnamon. They go by too quickly. And you know you’ll have to wait a while for the next one.

“Look at me, Renay,” she gently commands. Bleary eyed, she carefully scans my face and sighs.

It seems she is already regretting what she is yet to say. A chill of forewarning forces a shiver: it sets my heart pounding and my legs that have finally regained feeling start to twitch and shake, preparing to run. She senses my panic and holds me tighter, and starts to softly hum a familiar tune that Nanna must have used to calm her down too. Slowly, the dread resides and the warmth returns. My stiff posture thaws allowing me to slump into her side. Realising she has been given the green light, she takes a deep breath and starts talking.

Aunt Romey has never been one to beat around the bush. Simple English. No fluff. The bare facts followed by her opinion of them. But this time, the candour I usually appreciate brings with it a realisation that hits me so hard, that, for the first time since the bomb went off, I am relieved the undercooked takeout chicken kept me home that night.

Bedtime stories that once lulled me into sweet dreams now leave me feeling cold, heavy and sick.

Horrifying truth gives a voice to the intoxicated mutterings of a grieving husband and father.

Nanna’s fairy tales.

Georgie Pa’s drunken rants.

All of the frayed strands and loose ends I’ve obliviously left hanging tangle and weave into the blood stained tapestry that is Aunt Romey’s history lesson.

Three versions of the same unfathomable story, each with its own conclusion. The fairy tale ends in hope.

The drunken rant ends in fear.

And the history lesson will only end with the death of the Three Roses, who my newfound enemies believe are Nanna, Mum and me.

Surrounded by the ghosts of our ancestors and their vindicating screams, I cling to the only olive branch within reach.

Mum may be on the run, but she is alive and well.

But the sinewy little branch is not strong enough to bear the weight of centuries of lost life. It snaps, and I limply fall into large, familiar, bloodstained hands that carry me off into the black quiet.

About the Author:

KY LEHMAN is a novelist, a children’s author, a teacher of swimming and water safety, wife to her high school sweetheart and the proud mother of their three very tall sons. She lives in the Yarra Ranges, Victoria, Australia, with her husband and their children where she is currently writing the second book in The Rosefire Trilogy, The 13th Rising.

Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter
Buy the book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Cajun Nights and the Characters Within: The Many Lives of a TV Series that Never Was by D.J. Donaldson- Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes D.J. Donaldson who is here to tell us how Cajun Nights almost became a TV series– three times.

CAJUN NIGHTS AND THE CHARACTERS WITHIN:
THE MANY LIVES OF A TV SERIES THAT NEVER WAS
by D.J. Donaldson

LIFE #1

Cajun Nights was my first novel featuring New Orleans medical examiner, Andy Broussard, and his suicide/death investigator, Kit Franklyn. A few weeks after the book was published, I got a call from my agent with the surprising news that, “There’s been a flurry of movie and TV interest in your book.” I’d never considered that such a thing was possible. So that was one of the best phone calls I ever had.

Subsequently, a production company headed by the former director of programming at CBS took an option on the series, planning to shape it into a TV show. As perhaps some of you know, this phase of things is known as “development hell”, because it takes a very long time to make anything happen. So a year went by with no news. I figure, okay, the thing is dead. But, the producers renewed their option for another year, which meant I got paid again. It wasn’t a lot of money, but with that check, I’d made more money from the two option years than the advance I was given on the book by the publisher.

So more time goes by with no news. Now, I’m not even thinking about it anymore. Then, while I was attending a scientific meeting in Dallas, I got a call from the agent in Hollywood who was handling the dramatic rights. CBS had agreed to pay for a pilot screenplay. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but if this guy had tracked me down in Dallas just to tell me that, it must be a big deal. And guess what… I got another check as an advance on the screenplay even though I wasn’t gonna write it. I was beginning to love the agent who created that contract.

They chose as a writer someone who’d had several movies produced. That may seem like something not worth mentioning, but I’d read an article once that said it was possible to have a career as a screenwriter and never have anything produced. (Yeah, I don’t quite get that either, but it sure seemed like the writer we had was the better kind.) With her experience and success, I was sure we’d get a great screenplay.

A few months later, a package arrives in the mail. IT’S THE SCREENPLAY. I’m so excited, I quickly skim the enclosed letter from the producers: “Read this over and tell us three things you don’t like about it.” That’s ridiculous, I’m gonna love it. After all, it was written by a pro.

Well, I hated all of it. The writer didn’t seem to “get” the relationship between Andy and Kit. I couldn’t believe it. The books show that non-romantic love is possible between an unrelated man and woman of greatly differing ages. Though he can’t admit it, Broussard loves Kit like the daughter he never had. Kit loves Broussard like a father, even though she has a father. How do I boil all the things I hate down to just three items? Somehow I manage and send my reply back.

As it turned out, the producers didn’t really care about any of my thoughts. Was I upset? Not really, because I figured they know TV, I don’t. And… surprise, when they gave the script to CBS, I got another check. Now I definitely love my agent.

The producers are sure the script will be approved and we’ll soon be shooting a pilot. They invite me to watch them film in New Orleans. They say they’ll even find a bit part for me. They predict that the series will run for ten years. And they should know. Their show, Cagney and Lacey, ran for seven seasons. Now I’m excited.

But… later, I get another call. CBS didn’t like the script. And they didn’t want to see a rewrite with the same story. The producers asked me if I had any ideas. The screenplay was based on the second book in the series. When I got this call I was sitting at my desk looking at the rough draft of book number three. I pitched them the story and they said, “Send us a copy by overnight mail.” This was back before manuscripts could be sent by e-mail. (I know, I can hardly remember those days myself.)

So another screenplay was written, which didn’t fare any better than the first. Thus life #1 of my hoped-for TV series went to a quiet demise.

LIFE #2

A few years later, while I was at the Kentucky book fair promoting book number five in the series, a young blonde fellow bought a book. We spoke for a few minutes and he moved on. Later, back in Memphis, I get a call from this guy. He wants to option the series for TV. I tell him about my earlier experience with the other producers, who failed, but he’s unfazed. We strike a deal. There’s talk about John Goodman playing Broussard. John Goodman… he lives in New Orleans and he’d be a great fit. I love it.

Within a few weeks the producer calls to say he’s on his way to Memphis and could I meet him and John Goodman’s “best friend,” at the Peabody Hotel. (The Peabody lobby is where William Faulkner and his mistress used to have drinks.) The meeting takes place and I give the best friend a copy of the latest book, which he assures us, will be in John Goodman’s hands within twenty-four hours. That was the last time I ever heard from him or the producer. So I guess the deal is off.

LIFE #3

In my primary occupation, I taught medical and dental students microscopic anatomy. One day I get a call from a former dental student. He’s now a part-time actor who’s been in a couple of notable films. He says that he and a long-time Hollywood promoter have formed a production company and are looking for material. He remembers that I wrote a few novels and wonders what I’ve been doing since he last saw me. I talk about my work and send him some books.

Very soon thereafter he calls me again and says he and his partner “are on fire over these forensic books.” They believe the series would make a great TV SERIES. He asks me who I’d like to play Broussard. I tell him I’ve always believed Wilford Brimley would be perfect. Incredibly, my former student says that his partner had lunch with Wilford just last week. He’s sure they can get him to sign on. With an actor of Wilford’s stature attached to the project, we’ll surely get a deal.

Was all this talk about Brimley just smoke? No. Because they actually got him on board. And what’s even better, my former student and his partner were working with another producer who had a development deal with the Sci-Fi network. They planned to present my series to the network three weeks hence, focusing on the real and apparent paranormal aspects of the first two books.

On presentation day at the Sci-Fi Network my student calls me just before they go in. I wait anxiously the rest of the day to hear how it went. Years later, I’m still waiting. The only contact I’ve had since presentation day is a big envelope from the producer who had the development deal. In the envelope is a bunch of stuff I wrote for the presentation along with a note from the producer that says, “Sorry we couldn’t have worked longer on this together.”

LESSON LEARNED

Early in the machinations of the first development deal, I used to caution myself not to spend any time thinking about how great it would be if every week I could watch my characters living and breathing on a TV show. My thinking was that if I kept a tight rein on my expectations, it’d be much easier on my psyche if things didn’t work out.

But then I realized I was missing out on the excitement of the possibility. Why not let my mind run with it? Then, even if none of the deals came to fruition I would still have the pleasure of being part of a great endeavor. So that’s what I did. And now, even though I never played that bit part in a pilot and I’ve never seen John Goodman or Wilford Brimley bring Broussard to life, I sure had a lot of fun along the way.

(By the way, if you’re a TV/film producer, the rights are available.)

12_17 _big_dondonaldson_64413Cajun Nights by D.J. Donaldson is the first novel in the incredibly popular Andy/Kit mystery series. Readers are thrown into the bayou with criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn, newly hired to investigate a string of murder-suicides plaguing the city. Her boss, chief medical examiner Andy Broussard (a super lovable protagonist and self-proclaimed foodie—a man after my own heart) accompanies her to the newest crime scene of yet another gruesome act. Throughout the novel, Kit and Broussard form a really fun team to follow, uncovering eerie clues linking the historic past of Haitian Voodoo and Sorcerers to the present.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes.

About the Author: D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Christmas with the Marquis by Jean Hart Stewart – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

 

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive $15 PayPal cash. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When an arrogant Marquis’s seduction fails, he plans a Xmas celebration at his country estate. Inviting the one girl who not only rejects him but seems to hate him is part of his plan to win her. His scheming soon turns to much more than decorating the house for Xmas. Abigail’s beauty incites a plan for revenge on the Marquis by his most depraved enemy, who is bent on kidnapping and raping Abigail. Can the Marquis save her and make this a merry Christmas after all?

 

Enjoy an excerpt:

Abigail called after them. “Galoshes are by the back door. Gloves and scarves also. You don’t want to wear your best clothes on an expedition like this, gentlemen”

She leaned back in her chair and watched them go. Startled, but pleased, she hurried to her own rooms to change into riding clothes and tall boots. She adored tramping in the woods and how could she not join in the search for the perfect Yule log? After scarcely a thought she pulled on the breeches she wore when she was riding at home with no one caring what she did. She pulled on her riding boots, although she picked her second-best pair. Who knew what such wonderful snow would do to good boots?

She ran lightly down the steps to the back door. A small screech escaped her when the felt herself hauled against a strong chest, and looked up in astonishment at a livid Jason glaring down at her. Maybe not Jason, right now. No, definitely the Marquis. An irate Marquis, giving her a good swat on her rear and glaring at her.

“Don’t you even think of trying to escape me, you little fool. You’re not at your country home. You’re at mine, with some of the most licentious noblemen in London who’d be delighted to see you so scantily clothed. Do you want them to line up at your door tonight, you vexatious idiot?”

Abigail simply stared at him for a moment, her temper ready to boil over, when he suddenly softened, ran his hands over her hips and around her waist and pulled her against him. His kiss was hot and blazing, lingering at her lips with his tongue pushing into her mouth in a dizzying display of passion that had her clinging to his coat lapels.

“My god, Abigail, how am I going to stay away from you?”

He lay his forehead softly against her hair and softly caressed her well rounded bottom.

Stunned, she couldn’t think of a thing to say. She wrenched herself away and fled back to her room. She’d simply not thought of anything but her own comfort and that wonderful snow. Of course a woman didn’t appear in breeches at a house party for London aristocrats! Not unless there was a hunt scheduled or good riding was available.

She was an idiot.

How could she face Jason, and indeed her grandmother? And she herself was supposed to be chaperoning Bettina?

Burying her face in her hands, she tried to shut out her regretful thoughts. The fact that her every thought centered on Jason and his reactions didn’t even occur to her.

She didn’t see the lascivious face of Lord Wilcombe, earl of Wilmington, watching them from a corner of the hallway.

About the Author:

Jean feels she’s very much a Californian although she was born in Ohio. California has been home for a good many years. Life changed drastically for her when she was six and her father died incredibly from an errant golf ball. A dishonest insurance agent forced her sheltered mother to seek work, and she became a teacher. Her hours required Jean to be alone in the house in the afternoon, and since she was forbidden to leave till her mother got home, she became an avid reader. The local library supplied most of the books and she developed early her two of main interests, Jane Austen and King Arthur.

Reading is still one of her favorite activities, although she sometimes has to push it aside to make room for her enduring love of writing. Her journalism degree was used infrequently until recently. Marriage and raising two children pleasantly got in the way. After twenty years of being a real estate broker and with the kids raised she finally could devote her time to writing, her first love.

Jean’s enchantment with the lore and legends of Druids and, therefore, delving into their history led to fascinating research that inspired her popular Garland of Druids Series for Cerridwen Press. She’s now enjoying writing stories filled with magic and romance for her Songs of the Mages Series, also for Cerridwen Press.

Few things in her life have been so satisfying, especially when all her books have a happy ending. Wonderful to make happen. It only gets more interesting when a secondary character demands his very own book. Who would want to deny him? Not Jean!

EDITED TO ADD: “She has recently left Cerridwen and Ellora’s Cafe Press and is now writing exclusively for MuseItUp, the largest Canadian publisher.”

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1771239.Jean_Hart_Stewart

http://www.jeanhartstewart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorjeanhartstewart

https://twitter.com/JeanHartStewart

Buy the book at Amazon or MuseItUp Publishing.

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If There’s No Mistletoe, Can They Still Kiss? by Kimberly Dean – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Kimberly Dean has stopped by Long and Short Reviews to share a special holiday guest blog with us. Enter the rafflecopter below to win a 0.5 oz bottle of Boucheron Trouble.

If There’s No Mistletoe, Can They Still Kiss?

The holidays are upon us, and everyone is caught up in the season. I have a sexy new romance releasing, and it made me curious about one particular holiday tradition – kissing under the mistletoe. When did this start? What does it mean?

Dating way back to Celtic Druids and ancient Greeks, mistletoe has always been magical and mysterious. It was considered a sexual symbol, acting as an aphrodisiac and bestowing life and fertility. It was also thought to ward off evil spirits and was often hung over doors to prevent the entrance of witches.

Kissing under the mistletoe came later with the Greek festival of Saturnalia. Sometime thereafter, it was made a part of marriage rites. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was a sign of peace. Arguing couples would kiss under the mistletoe to make up, and enemies would declare truces underneath the plant.

Mistletoe seemed to become associated with Christmas later in the eighteenth-century. In England, a young lady would stand under a ball of mistletoe that had been decorated for the season, waiting for kisses which she couldn’t refuse. A kiss would mean friendship or romance, but if the girl received no kisses, it meant she would not marry the following year.

These days, kissing under the mistletoe is more about fun and romance. According to tradition, if you decide to kiss someone under the mistletoe, a berry must be picked from the sprig before the kiss. Once the berries are gone, no more kissing is allowed.

Based on all that, I think my new book, Courting Trouble, will fit into the season quite well. It’s sexy, flirty, and more than a little mischievous. There’s no mistletoe, but there’s a lot of kissing going on!

12_16 kimberly dean Courting Trouble_300x450When times get tough, how bad does a good girl have to get?

Sienna Blakely is bright, articulate, underemployed and forced to rely on the one asset she vowed never to use – her looks.

With bills piling up, Sienna signs a contract with Luxxor Escort Services. A contract that strictly forbids any sexual contact with clients… And then she’s assigned to companion Jason Sloan. Just meeting the man causes a full-body jolt. Arrogant, powerful, and sexy, he’s trouble. And he can see through the facade she’s erected, right down to the intelligent and sensual woman underneath. He challenges her wits, and he challenges the rules.

About the Author: 12_16 kimberly deanWhen taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. Follow Kimberly on Twitter @KDean_writer or on her website at KimbrlyDean.com.

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