Top 5 Weird Connections Between Me and Off The Beaten Path by Cari Z – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Cari Z who is visiting with us to celebrate the recent release of Off the Beaten Path.

Top 5 Weird Connections Between Me and Off The Beaten Path

1) This is only the second time I’ve ever written werewolves. I thought they were overdone and had no intention of going there, and then lightning struck and I had to eat my words. The first story I wrote with werewolf characters is buried in an anthology so old and outdated that no one will ever find it, and that’s probably where it should stay at this point.

2) This is one of the few stories where my physical knowledge of a place has come in handy, and it isn’t even a contemporary. I mean, it is, it takes place in the present day, but it’s paranormal. The setting is in the middle of La Garita Wilderness Area, though, which I’ve backpacked through. Funny how I’m so much better at using a factual setting when I’m going crazy with worldbuilding.

3) This book is slightly inspired by Captain America, one of my favorite superheroes. I don’t go into a lot of detail, but let’s just say my werewolves are less “magical, moon-called shapeshifters” and more “oh my god, this WW2-era supersoldier experiment has gone horribly wrong!”

4) When I wrote this book, I wasn’t a mother. By the time this book comes out, I will most definitely be a mom. I’ve got the feeling that, if anything, I underplayed the ferocity of parental affection that one of my heroes feels for his little girl. I already feel a lot of that, and I’m still carrying this kid around on the inside! Not for much longer, though.

5) This book was meant to be a one-off, a standalone novel that gave me something interesting to work on while hustling through a series I’ve been writing with a coauthor. ARC reviewers have seemed pretty invested in a sequel, though, so if all goes well, there are more werewolves in my future. I certainly hope so.

When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.

About the Author: Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing then because what else are you going to do for entertainment with no electricity? She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes. You can contact Cari at carizabeth@hotmail.com. In fact, please do. She’d love to hear from you.

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Saving Nary by Carol DeMent – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carol DeMent will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Whose story is it?

As writers, we search for that one compelling theme that will carry our story from start to finish. And when the story is set within the confines of an historical event, the search for that one story becomes difficult. Our research reveals countless stories of hope, despair, greed, and love, all crying out to be told. Once we select “the one,” those other stories can add dimension and texture to our plot.

In Saving Nary, the central theme centers on a father’s search for his missing daughters. In this case, the father, Khath, is a Cambodian refugee, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge. His daughters were taken from him and forced to labor in a Khmer Rouge youth camp and it has been four years since he saw them. Are they alive? Are they whole? Broken in mind and spirit by their ordeal, or miraculously unscathed? Khath’s search takes him from the refugee camps in Thailand to resettlement in the US, a process rife with its own challenges and setbacks.

Now that we have our protagonist and the elements of his struggle, we must decide the voices we will use to tell Khath’s story. Certainly, Khath can speak for himself, and often does. But is he always the best narrative voice? Sometimes, Khath’s actions are best seen from the outside, from someone who is puzzled by what he does and misinterprets it, or by someone who wishes him ill. At other times, we must set Khath’s struggle aside momentarily and peer into the life and motives of surrounding characters in order to see the big picture and fully understand the opposing forces that serve to build tension and intensify the drama of Khath’s situation. After all, life is not lived in a vacuum.

As a reader, be aware that writers will often choose to narrate a scene using the voice of the character with the most at stake in that particular situation. What does it mean, to use a character’s voice? Let’s suppose we have a scene in which someone intentionally and seriously injures another character. Told through the attacker’s voice, this scene will allow the reader to feel the hatred, or the love, or the avarice that caused the attacker to strike. We will learn how the attacker felt upon successfully overcoming the target. Was it triumph? Fear of being caught? Weariness or relief? Told through the injured character’s voice, we may feel the gritty pavement rending our clothing, we might smell the rank sweat of fear, or taste the coppery flavor of blood. We may struggle to breathe or writhe in pain; we may feel our life force ebb. Who has the most at stake in this scene? It depends on the story. Nothing is absolute in the writer’s world!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short post with its quick peek into just one small aspect of creating a novel. Thank you to Long and Short Reviews for the opportunity to share some thoughts on story development and narrative voice.

A Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Saving Nary explores the losses, loyalties and secrets held within families broken by war and genocide. This compelling novel presents a palette of unique characters who struggle to make sense of the events that led them to America, even as they ponder the bewildering culture and lifestyle of their new homeland.

Refugee Khath Sophal lost everything when the Khmer Rouge swept into power in Cambodia: his livelihood gone, his family dead or missing; his sanity barely intact from the brutality he has been forced to witness.

Now resettled in the Pacific Northwest, Khath treads a narrow path between the horrors of his past and the uncertainties of the present. His nights are filled with twisted dreams of torture and death. By day he must guard constantly against the flashbacks triggered by the simple acts of daily living, made strange in a culture he does not understand.

Then Khath meets Nary, a mysterious and troubled Cambodian girl whose presence is both an aching reminder of the daughters he has lost, and living proof that his girls, too, could still be alive. Nary’s mother Phally, however, is another matter. A terrible suspicion grows in Khath’s mind that Phally is not who or what she claims to be. A split develops in the community between those who believe Phally and those who believe Khath. And those, it seems, who don’t really care who is right but just want to stir up trouble for their own personal gain.

Khath’s search for the truth leads him to the brink of the brutality he so despises in the Khmer Rouge. His struggle to wrest a confession from Phally ultimately forces him to face his own past and unravel the mystery of his missing daughters.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As the sun rose, Khath sat cross-legged in a lotus position in the small Buddhist temple nestled below Khao I Dang Mountain. The barbed wire perimeter fence separated the mountain from the refugee camp, but the mountain lent its power to the area nonetheless. Pra Chhay and two other monks chanted the Heart Sutra, a prayer of enlightenment, the rhythmic drone rising and falling in a soothing and familiar hum as the scent of incense hung heavily in the hot, humid air. About thirty refugees sat on the straw mats covering the wooden floor of the bamboo temple. The lips of many were moving as they softly chanted along with the monks. Khath’s lips remained still, his heart empty. If asked, he would not disavow the teachings. He believed the teachings, yet the words of the Buddha had lost the power to move or to comfort him. He felt somehow distant from the teachings, as though they controlled behavior on a different world from the one he inhabited. It was a very lonely feeling. The monks chanted on, a background hum that began to irritate Khath. He might as well be listening to the drone of mosquitoes as he toiled on the dikes under the watchful eyes of the Khmer Rouge, their guns aimed and ready, afraid to brush the insects away from his face lest he be beaten for not putting full attention into his work.

Observing the others in the temple, Khath envied them their faith. Pra Chhay often said there were two levels of Buddhism, one being the simple devotions taught to uneducated villagers; the other consisting of the higher practices and theories studied by the scholar monks.

About the Author:Carol DeMent worked in the field of South East Asian refugee resettlement for seven years, and completed master’s level research into international refugee resettlement policy. She lived for two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and has traveled extensively in South East Asia. Her first novel, Saving Nary, was a Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

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Desiree Holt Presents the Omega Team Kindle World Authors


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions to celebrate the release of the new authors taking part in Desiree Holt’s Omega Team Kindle World. Kindle Worlds is a publication platform featuring Worlds which are really extended series where authors can write in a particular licensed World. Although they are open to everyone, it works best when the author who owns the World invites authors she believes will be a good fit. Each World has 3 launches per year and many include repeat authors. Often authors write a series within a series-their now 3-story arc within the Kindle World. You can see them all here. The authors will be awarding a prize basket including Omega Team mug, Desiree’s 3 books in the Omega Team series, Omega Tote Bag, and I love to read T shirt. (US only for physical prize; international winners will receive an alternate prize) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Former Delta Force team leader Grey Holden came from a long line of military leaders who believed the important thing was getting the job done, not boosting your ego. They called themselves Omega Men. Athena Madero left the police department angry at all the restrictions she faced as she tried to fight crime. Grey and Athena collided, literally, when both were working a covert investigation, the resolution of which resulted in the birth of The Omega Team. Others will join them as the agency expands its scope of activities to range from hostage negotiation and rescue to industrial espionage to fighting drug cartels to threats to national security. They will be led by Grey and Athena, whose passion for their work is only rivaled by their passion for each other. Welcome to a series that combines high danger with intense passion and heady romance.

Meet the authors and their stories

Dangerous Impulse by Taige Crenshaw

Choices lead to many paths but making one without thought leads to one that will change you forever as you embrace a dangerous impulse…

Jordan Zain is used to two reactions from people— fear or wanting to possess her. Being one of the Zain siblings has a notoriety…one she didn’t want or need. All of her siblings felt the same yet it was something they could not escape. Now she was being protected whether she wanted to be or not. She wasn’t one to just accept things and this time was no different. They’d sent a man who was familiar to her but it didn’t matter. Darius was stubborn and she was not able to shake him out of his formidable control. It was a challenge that she was more than up to taking it head on.

Darius Quinn didn’t like his current assignment but he’d do it. Protecting the life of a woman whose family was close to his and he’d grown up with should have been easy. Yet there was nothing easy about Jordan Quinn. The woman knew how to push all his buttons yet he could not let her see that. Jordan was someone he needed to keep at a professional distance if he wanted to keep his control. The problem is with Jordan she didn’t follow along with anyone else’s plan. She was not only knocking down his walls but making him want things he should not. Not with her.

Two strong willed people who both want their way must realize sometimes what you need isn’t what you get but when you accept what is to come you must give into a dangerous impulse….

Taige Crenshaw has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With interracial and multicultural novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s.

Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels.

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Dangerous Pursuit by McKenna Jeffries

Going after what you want isn’t usually a problem yet this time it’s more important than any other and it will take careful maneuvering to win this dangerous pursuit…

Jana Taylor didn’t shy away from anything or anyone. Working with a lawyer wasn’t usually an issue but it was him. The infuriating man who set her on edge and made her want to deck him as well as kiss him equally. It was a routine escort for some business for the company she worked for or so it should have been. Now they were in danger and they didn’t know if it was because of the company she worked for or something Elliot did for his law firm. Figuring it out would be fun since she loved puzzles but working with him not so much. Elliot didn’t seem to understand that he was in danger and it was her job to protect him. His stubborn instance he could protect himself would either get him killed or she would give into temptation and deck him…or maybe kiss him. Possibly both.

Elliot Stephenson wasn’t about to hide from anything or anyone. In his family you stood up and fought. According to what was needed it could be dirty or giving someone a fair shot. Either way it was ingrained in him to win any battle in and out of the boardroom. Almost dying wasn’t something he usually had to handle in his job as a corporate lawyer but since someone tried to kill him then he would adapt. Now it was his goal to get to the bottom of who it was then eliminate the problem. Having her—Jana Taylor—who was determined to protect him by his side was a good thing. For him. He’d been wondering how he’d get her to stop avoiding him and face what was simmering between them. Now with their circumstances she would have no choice. He wasn’t going to just be a protectee and would take part in protecting himself but he also knew he needed her. Not just to save his life but to also become part of it.

When stubbornness meets an obstacle they cannot overcome they have to learn to work together to embrace the dangerous pursuit.

McKenna Jeffries has loved the written word from time she picked up her first book. Soon she was creating tales of love and family. Although McKenna used to make up stories she never thought to put them on paper until….she realized the stories would keep filling her until they were written. Since then she’s been writing and sharing her interracial/multicultural books. There is always some new story floating around her head. An itchy feeling in her fingers fills her until she can get a piece of paper to write it down. She writes because it’s a love affair. Writing is in her blood and she enjoys taking readers on a journey.

With so many ideas filling her, McKenna is always hard at work.

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His Pryze to Claim by Aliyah Burke

A wedding, a car crash, and more heat than they know what to do with.

Liz Pryze is attending her cousin’s wedding where she meets the handsome best man. Sparks fly immediately but she’s determined to be on her best behavior and not proposition him. Not an easy task especially with the looks he’s been giving her all night.
Cullen O’Rourke is enamored by the bride’s cousin. Determined to get her alone, he offers to drive her when she’s recalled to work. The trip doesn’t go as planned when they’re rammed off the road and hunted. After she gets out of the hospital, together they figure out who’s after one of them and why. Being locked up with her in a cabin is the perfect time for him to claim his pryze.

Aliyah Burke is an avid reader and is never far from pen and paper (or the computer). She is happily married to a career military man. They are owned by four Borzoi. She spends her days at the day job, writing, and working with her dogs. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached here.

If you would like to be kept abreast of what’s going on in the world of Aliyah, please join her newsletter.

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Devil in the Details by Vikki Romano

When a merciless danger comes for Asher and Tara and threatens not only their lives but the lives of their friends, will they find a way to forgive the past so that they may have a chance at the future?

Vikki Romano is a techie geek with a background in hardware, software and developmental tech and an enduring love of literature. What began as a grade school hobby is now a yearning to write across genres, with readers snatching up her books to get a taste of the tech life and the danger that follows. She lives and continues to write in the Poconos, with her 2 parrots, 2 cats, a bearded dragon, and very little sanity.

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Her Last Hope by Jen Talty

Two adirondack chairs on a deck at sunset

Nicolaus Sarich started his career as a local police officer. After losing his wife in a boating accident three months after they’d married at the ripe old age of 20, Nick followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the Army. When his brother gets him an interview with Athena Madero and Grey Holden (the founders of THE OMEGA TEAM), Nick jumps at the chance to work side by side with his brother. Nick vowed to never lover again…but it won’t last when his first assignment is to rescue a powerful businessman’s adult daughter whose been kidnapped.Leandra Wakefield may have had all the comforts of her father’s millions, but she’s no socialite, spending her days as a private investigator, working mostly missing persons cases. Leandra is hired to find a missing young woman. As she digs deeper, she uncovers a human trafficketing operation and goes undercover to not only find the missing girl, but to bring down a monster. The planned seemed to be working well enough, until Nicolaus Sarich shows up, snatching her in the night. Reluctantly, she take’s Nick’s help…and in the process, they uncovered a love neither of them expected. But can they let go of the pains of the past and give their hearts completely?

Jen Talty is an award-winning author of Romantic Suspense. Dark Water hit #10 in Barnes and Noble and her books have been in the top 50 on Amazon. Jennifer grew up in Rochester, New York. She recently retired from being a full-time hockey mom as her children hung up their skates. She and her husband still live in Rochester while her children travel globe. Jen was the co-founder of Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer.

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Retribution by Jett Munroe (Cindy Garner)

Bryson Montgomery works computer magic for the Omega Team. Her extraordinary ability to access and maneuver around the Dark Web, that portion of the Deep Web where criminals conduct their business, has made an enemy who’s out to end her life. But who is it?

Oliver Lowell, former Special Air Service officer and current mercenary, met Bryson through freelancing work he’s done for Omega. They fell in lust immediately and have been content to keep their intimate relationship a secret from the others. When her adversary blows up her apartment, Oliver is tasked with protecting her. Not just because she’s on vacation in London, his hometown, but, more importantly for him, because she’s the most essential person in his world. He’ll protect her from this unknown enemy or die trying.

Her adversary follows them to a castle-cum-hotel in West Sussex, where Oliver’s skills are put to the test. Bryson’s life is on the line; failure is not an option. He must stop her enemy before their dark retribution can end the woman he loves.

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Seal Escort by Delilah Devlin

When “Snake” McPherson is assigned to guard a social media star, he’s not pleased. Edgy after back-to-back tours in the sandbox, the last thing he wants is to tail some “selfie-princess”. Worse, the spoiled little rich girl doesn’t want anyone to know that’s his purpose. No, she insists that he pretend to be her paid escort for a party on some billionaire’s private island. Worse, the woman doesn’t understand personal boundaries, that clothes aren’t optional, and takes risks that make his teeth grind in frustration. But that’s not the only thing about her causing him frustration…

Until recently, award-winning romance author Delilah Devlin lived in South Texas at the intersection of two dry creeks, surrounded by sexy cowboys in Wranglers. These days, she’s missing the wide-open skies and starry nights but loving her dark forest in Central Arkansas, with its eccentric characters and isolation—the better to feed her hungry muse!

For Delilah, the greatest sin is driving between the lines, because it’s comfortable and safe. Her personal journey has taken her through one war and many countries, cultures, jobs, and relationships to bring her to the place where she is now—writing sexy adventures that hold more than a kernel of autobiography and often share a common thread of self-discovery and transformation.

Delilah Devlin is a prolific and award-winning author of erotica and erotic romance with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing deliciously edgy stories with complex characters. Whether creating dark, erotically-charged paranormal worlds or richly descriptive historical stories that ring with authenticity, Delilah Devlin “pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” (Paranormal Reviews) Ms. Devlin has published over 140 erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths.

She is published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Grand Central, Harlequin Spice, Kensington, Montlake Romance, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing.

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Imminent Danger by Nicole Morgan

All Missions Go

Chase Edwards was a loner, a soldier who focused on one job, one objective, one mission.
With no job and little prospects on the horizon, Chase takes a private security job with his old Delta Team Leader, Grey Holden. When Senator Powers daughter, Chloe came into his life he thought she’d be nothing more than any other security detail he’d done dozens of times before.

Hiding from her conscience and a ruthless drug lord hell bent on revenge and out to kill her, Chloe was a bundle of nerves. Not quite sure how she had gotten herself into the mess she was in, she follows Chase Edwards every order. His larger than life presence made it easy for her to trust him, and even easier to fall into his arms.

When Chase finds out that the man he was protecting Chloe against has plans far worse than they ever could have imagined, The Omega Team must band together in order to protect not just one woman, but the entire nation.

Nicole Morgan is a USA Today and International bestselling author who has written romance in various genres. Many of her novels are erotic romance, which more often than not have a suspenseful back story. Basically, erotic romance mixed with your good old-fashioned whodunits. While she’s written everything from contemporary to paranormal, her leading men will more than likely be wearing a uniform of some kind. From military to police officers, she loves writing about those who protect and serve. It all began with her very first novel about Navy SEALs – which turned into a fan favorite series – and continues with her more recent releases. When you’re reading a book by Ms. Morgan, you’ll be sure to find a few twists and turns you were not expecting.

She is the founder of Romance Collections and is a proud member of Writerspace, a Romance Books ‘4’ Us Gold Author, and a Sweet and Sexy Diva. Additionally, you will find Nicole writing under the names of Taylor Brooks and Nicki Day.

When she’s not writing, Nicole can be found spending her time mentoring other authors or offering marketing and administrative assistance.

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Recon Strong by Krista Ames

Dirk Rockwell knew when he left the Marines that he wanted to be in private security. The need to protect had been ingrained in his brain for too many years not to. Lately, however, it was really taxing his nerves. He was used to killing if he needed to, to protect his charge, not step in between a disgruntled husband and wife during a domestic dispute. When he took on the latest assignment to protect a woman who’d snapped one too many secret photographs, he’d only agreed because an old friend had recommended him. Meeting Avery proved to him that not all women needed protection equally.

Avery Hanson lived for the rush of almost getting caught. That’s why she chose freelance photography as a profession. The sticky part was when she did get caught. However, this time wasn’t like the usual quick brush with the local law where she could talk herself out of it with a slap on the hand. She’d somehow gotten mixed up in some nasty hush hush with the federal government. This time, she didn’t just need out of yet another mess, she needed help staying alive.

Without the necessary channels to cover both their asses, Dirk enlists the help of The Omega Team. But will it be enough to keep him from losing his charge and his heart? </blockquote

Krista Ames was born and raised in Indiana. She now resides in Northern Michigan with the love of her life and their 4 children.

She is a full time stay-at-home mom and pursues her writing career when she’s not chasing kids, cooking or doing laundry.

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The Hardest Part of Writing by J.L. Petersen – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.L. Petersen will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Hardest Part about Writing

The hardest part about writing is facing publishing. I always wanted to write stories and have plenty of them in my head. But life had me pushing that aside until recently. In my “work” career I was a perfectionist. I would work hard and long to ensure I met deadlines, excelled at my and my employer’s expectations and through the years gained the experience and confidence to be at the top of my game. However, when it came to writing to publish I was starting anew. I hadn’t written anything non-work related in years (I won’t mention how many years) and dealt with insecurities and fear that I would embarrass myself. When Love in a Moment was published I was shy and hesitant to talk about it with anyone. But as I continued to publish I became more comfortable with putting myself out there to be judged by others. It was okay that my stories or writing style didn’t appeal to everyone. I have learned through the process to continue to improve at my craft and be okay with my work.

Another challenge was figuring out how to get published. All those questions every author asks themselves. Do I submit to the traditional publishing houses? Do I learned to self-publish? Is there something in-between? How much can I afford to spend to publish? How do I get editing done? Oh, so many questions and it seemed overwhelming. I’ll admit I still don’t know if the path I chose is the most lucrative but it is the most comfortable for me. Basically, part of my choice to go a direction different than the traditional route still had to do with being insecure that the big houses would dislike my work. But the more I’ve learned I know it’s not the way I want to go. The indie and small house publishing is more flexible, better timelines for turnaround and has a growing presence in the publishing world.

All in all the road I’m on has definitely been one with curves, pot holes and hills but I am getting a good workout and stronger for the walk.

Logan, the eldest of the MacBride clan, is thrilled at his brother Clay’s pending nuptials to Sandy. But when Sandy’s sister RJ arrives at the family’s ranch, Logan’s world is turned upside down. However, the sisters’ shared past has created scars and barriers against love testing Logan’s ability to push aside his need and patience to win RJ’s trust and ultimately her unwavering love.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Logan studied the woman. He’d bet his favorite horse she thought she was portraying herself as stoic. All he saw was a woman on the verge of breaking. Remorse filled him. He jumped in thinking he knew where the trouble was as he had done with virtually all his siblings since their father died. Now he wasn’t so sure he had approached this situation right. Straightening, he rubbed the back of his neck and tried again.

“Look, I may have jumped the gun a bit. There’s obviously something wrong that has both of you in tears. Can’t I help?”

Frowning at his words, RJ tried to determine if the man was playing her. She’d been burned before by family trying to manipulate her with caring to get what they wanted. Studying him, she captured his image as she would one of her pictures. Studying it for all the nuances not readily seen. Tall, lean with a broad chest, he stood with an ease many would envy. His hair was mostly covered by his cowboy hat, but black locks escaped at the back of his neck. His face was all angles with sharp cheekbones, strong forehead and a nose that looked like it had been broken along the way. His lips were firm and his eyes deep blue.

The eyes held her. There seemed to be sincerity in them but something else was pulling at her. When her mind grasped what that was, she sucked in her breath. Want. And, as if he realized she saw his wanting her, his eyes narrowed and became more intense. She pulled her gaze away quickly, and once again, turned towards the balcony doors. Gathering herself from the shock of his wanting her, she realized her body was tingling. Not good.

“I appreciate the offer, but it’s not something I want to discuss with a stranger.”

Logan was stunned to know she saw his desire for her. It only seemed to heighten his need to grab her and hold tight. When she spoke, he knew he needed a bit of space to process what was happening to him. “I can appreciate that. But don’t be hasty about leaving. Why don’t you join us at the ranch for dinner tonight? If you come about four, you and Sandy can have some private time to talk.”

About the Author:

J. L. Petersen lives in Denver with her husband. She finds inspiration in her adopted state of Colorado. She’s enjoyed reading all types of romance for years and finally found the courage to start telling her own stories. Ms. Petersen believes love is the strongest, most powerful of emotions. It allows us to trust, believe, forgive and have hope. Her stories try to bring those emotions to her characters.

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Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt – Teaser Excerpt


Elizabeth Hoyt is visiting with us today to share a teaser excerpt from her upcoming release on October 17 Duke of Desire.

Iris tasted of red wine—the red wine she must have drunk at dinner—and all the reasons he shouldn’t do this fled his mind. A vital chain broke in his psyche and everything he’d held back, everything he’d restrained with all his might, was suddenly set free. He surged into her mouth, desperate for the feel, for the taste of her, his wife, his duchess, his Iris. She was soft and sweet and warm and he wanted to devour her. To seize her and hold her and never let her go. The deep unfathomable well of his urges toward her frightened him, and he knew that if she became aware of them, they would frighten her as well.

But that was the thing—she wasn’t aware of them. She thought she was simply consummating their marriage or some such rot, God help them both.

She gripped his naked arms and the beast within him shuddered and stretched, claws scraping against the ground.

Dear God, he wanted this woman.

But he had to remember—to keep that human part of his mind awake and alive—that he mustn’t seed her.

Must never do as his cursed father had done.

He broke from her mouth, feeling the pulse of his cock against his breeches, and trailed his lips across her cheek to her ear. “Come with me, sweet girl.”

She blinked up at him, wide blue-gray eyes a little dazed.

He covered her mouth again before she could speak—either to consent or decline—and drew her slowly backward, step by step, toward the bed, until he hit it with the backs of his legs. He broke the kiss, looking down at her, her wet ruby lips parted, her cheeks flushed pink.

She looked edible.

“Raphael,” she whispered, his name on her lips like a plea, and something within him broke.

This wasn’t what he wanted. This wasn’t right. But it was the only thing possible and it would have to suffice because it was all he could do.

And trying to resist was killing him.

He traced a hand up her arm, over her shoulder, to her neck, and from there touched her bound golden hair. “Will you take down your hair for me?”

She gasped—a small, quick inhalation—and nodded.

He watched as she raised her arms, her stormy eyes locked on his, and withdrew the pins from her hair one by one until the heavy mass fell like a curtain around her shoulders. He bent then and gathered the locks in his hands, burying his face in her neck, inhaling her.

His woman.

He felt her tremble against him and then her fingers speared through his hair. “Raphael.”

He lifted his head.

Her hands fell away and she began undressing, her head bent down as she unhooked her bodice. He saw that her fingers fumbled and he knew that a better man would turn aside. Would give her privacy to collect herself and disrobe with modesty.

But he wasn’t such a man. He wanted all of her—her mistakes and her private moments, her shame and her worries—everything she held back from the rest of the world. As he wanted this. This moment of fumbling.

This moment of intimacy.

She pulled the bodice from her arms. Untied her skirts and let them pool around her feet before kicking them aside. Glanced up at him and then worked at the laces to her stays.

Her unbound hair fell over her shoulders, nearly to her waist, thick and swaying gently as she moved.

Beautiful.

She was beautiful.

She pulled her loosened stays off over her head and stood in chemise, stockings, and shoes. The tips of her breasts peeked out from beneath the thin cloth.

She began to bend for her shoes, but he stopped her. “No. Let me.”

He grasped her by the waist and lifted her to the bed.

Carefully he drew off her slippers, letting them drop to the hardwood floor before running his hand up her left calf. The room was so quiet he could hear each breath she drew. She watched him as he reached under her chemise, into that warm spot behind her knee, tugging at the ribbon of her garter.

Her breath hitched.

He glanced up at her as he found bare skin. Hot, so hot under her skirt. He could almost imagine he smelled her, standing between her bent legs. He pulled the first stocking off and moved to her other foot, smoothing his thumb over her arch, over that high instep, that sweet, delicate ankle. The curve of her calf—one of the loveliest curves in nature—elegant and perfect. Someday he’d like to draw her nude.

The faint, almost inaudible whisper as he pulled the ribbon off raised the hairs on the back of his neck. His nostrils flared and he couldn’t wait any longer. He lifted her bodily, moving her farther up on the bed, placing her head and shoulders against the pillows, and then pushed up her chemise, crawling between her spread thighs and settling to enjoy what he’d found.
There. There she was, her pretty, pretty pink cunny, all coral lips and wispy dark-blond curls. He hiked her trembling legs over his arms, ignoring her gasp of shocked surprise. He glanced up once and saw wide, wondering eyes gazing back at him. Her gentlemanly first husband had evidently never done this to her.

More fool he.

A LADY OF LIGHT

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and-nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS

Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER…AND DESIRE

Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involes herself in his life—and bed. Soon he’s drawn to both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

TEASER EXCERPT GOES HERE

About the Author:Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

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Last Gambit by Om Swami

Last Gambit by Om Swami
Publisher: Black Lotus
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (208 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.

Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side?

Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.

I have to confess that I’m not a chess whiz. I know the names of the pieces… I even know how they move. But, that’s the extent of it. But, the good thing is, you don’t really need to know chess to get a lot out of this book (though I’m sure a chess background wouldn’t hurt and you might get a whole other level of understanding from it).

The lessons that Vasu learns at the hands of the Master go way beyond playing chess–they are definitely life-changing and life-encompassing. The Master’s wisdom, and the way he imparted it, made me think at times of the relationship between Daniel and Miyagi in Karate Kid, though the stories couldn’t be more different.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was getting to see a glimpse of Indian life. This was something new to me, and it was presented simply as a background to the story. I found the glimpse of the culture fascinating.

All in all, this is a book I found easy to read, but at the same time it’s a book I think I could dip into again from time to time– just to pick places in random to reread and see what lesson I could learn more about…and to pick up little nuggets of information to think about.

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Fast Lust by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lucy Felthouse as she celebrates the release of Fast Lust.


When a straitlaced journalist and a fearless motorcycle racer are thrown into an interview together, will they find any common ground? Or are they destined to clash?

Gloria Heath loves her job as a lifestyle journalist. She also loves the perks—free meals, complimentary spa treatments, behind-the-scenes access and more. So when her boss sends her on an assignment to the British Superbikes tournament at Donington Park, she’s less than impressed. Sports are definitely not her thing, and her brief is to find a rider with an interesting back story and write about their journey. But how is she supposed to do that when she really doesn’t care one way or the other?

When she experiences the atmosphere and the racing, however, she starts to see the attraction. Soon after, she finds the perfect case study for her article. Rafe Donovan is fearless, ambitious, and the underdog of the tournament. He’s also drop dead gorgeous. She eagerly sets out to interview him, but soon discovers the bad boy biker is a tough nut to crack. The more she asks questions, the more he shuts down. Throw some chemistry into the mix and things go from bad to worse. Can she get the material she needs, or is her first foray into sports writing doomed to fail?

Note: Fast Lust was previously published in the British Bad Boys Boxed Set.

 

Enjoy an Excerpt

Gloria Heath gaped at her boss, Graeme, unsure if she’d heard him correctly. No, no, she couldn’t have heard him correctly, because she thought he’d said he wanted her to go and cover the first round of the British Superbikes at Donington Park. She shook her head and chuckled. He must have said The Great British Bake Off. That sounded similar, didn’t it?

Graeme frowned. “Something funny, Gloria?”

She snapped her focus back to her editor and smiled. “Sorry. I must be going deaf, or mad, because I thought you said you wanted me to cover some motorbike race.”

His expression was stony. “I did,” he replied coolly. “Do you have a problem with that?”

Blinking, she opened her mouth, then closed it again. Narrowing her eyes, she said, “But I’m a lifestyle reporter. I cover—”

“I’m well aware of what you cover, Gloria. I’ve been your boss for three years—don’t you think I’m familiar with what you write by now?” He sighed. “I know it’s not your usual thing, and is way out of your comfort zone, but don’t you think a change would be nice? A bit of a challenge for you?”

Gulping, she replied, “A ch-challenge? Graeme… did I do something wrong?”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s an article, Gloria, not a bloody punishment. No, you didn’t do anything wrong. Your work is exemplary—always has been, and I’m sure it always will be. But I have one of the sports writers off sick, with no one else available to take his place, and not covering the first round of the British Superbikes is tantamount to blasphemy for our motorsport readers.”

A feeling of dread settled in her stomach, making her nauseous. “Do I… have a choice?”

Graeme raised his eyebrows. “I’m an editor, not a dictator. But come on, Gloria, do me a favour here. Like I said, there’s no one else to take his place—you’re the only one with time in your schedule. If I’m not mistaken, the stuff you’re currently working on isn’t time-sensitive. Sunday’s race, however, is.” He leaned forward and put his elbows on the desk, then flashed her a smile. “We’ll even put you up in a nice hotel, right near to the track. One little article, Gloria. You’ll be saving my life. Please.”

Gloria knew when she was beaten. Graeme wouldn’t force her, she knew that, but it was clearly very important to him. And he’d never asked her to do something like this before—he was generally very laid back, and let her get on with writing pretty much whatever she wanted to. So one article out of her comfort zone—albeit way out of her comfort zone—was the least she could do. “All right,” she said resignedly. “I’ll do it, for you. But you have to give me a full briefing on what exactly you’re looking for. The last thing I want is to end up writing something where I’ve taken completely the wrong angle.

“And,” she added, “where the hell is Donington Park, anyway?”

Graeme’s expression turned despairing. “In the Midlands, Gloria. Near Derby and Nottingham. North of Watford Gap.”

“Bloody hell, that’s miles away! Have I got to drive? I’ll need a pool car.”

“Drive, get the train, hell, you can even fly. The circuit’s next door to a bloody airport. I don’t care, as long as you go, all right?”

She folded her arms. “The train will be fine. Though a first class ticket wouldn’t go amiss.”

Graeme rolled his eyes. “Done.”

“And about the briefing…”

“Of course! I wouldn’t send you in there unprepared. Right, you go and carry on with whatever you were doing while I get all the arrangements sorted. Come and see me when you get here tomorrow morning, and we’ll go through everything you need to know.” She nodded and stood up, then turned to leave. “Oh, and Gloria?” She turned back. “Thank you. I really do appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome, boss. Just don’t make a habit of it, all right?” She winked to show she was joking.

Grinning, he waved a hand at her. “Go on, get out. I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

About the Author: Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

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Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Mia Sosa who is celebrating today’s release of Acting on Impulse, the first book in her new flirty, multicultural romance series, Love on Cue.

After a very public breakup with a media-hungry politician, fitness trainer Tori Alvarez escapes to Aruba for rest, relaxation, and copious amounts of sex on the beach—the cocktail, that is. She vows to keep her vacation a man-free zone but when a cute guy is seated next to her on the plane, Tori can’t resist a little harmless flirting.

Hollywood heartthrob Carter Stone underwent a dramatic physical transformation for his latest role and it’s clear his stunning seat mate doesn’t recognize the man beneath the shaggy beard and extra lean frame. Now Carter needs help rebuilding his buff physique and Tori is perfect for the job. It doesn’t hurt that she makes his pulse pound in more ways than one.

Sparks are flying, until a pesky paparazzo reveals Carter’s identity. Tori is hurt and pissed. She wants nothing to do with another man in the limelight, but she’s still got to whip him into shape. Can Carter convince Tori he’s worth the threat to her privacy that comes with dating a famous actor, or will Tori chisel him down to nothing before he even gets the chance?

About the Author:Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

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The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

Author Karin Tanabe’s Japanese father was three years old when the firebombing of Tokyo and Yokohama occurred in May of 1945—his very first memory was seeing his city on fire and hearing the cries of babies on the shore, where they had been carried for safety. While many Americans associate World War II with a parent or grandparent who fought bravely in Europe, Karin’s understanding of the war started with her father being attacked by American bombs.

These memories, as well as those of a family friend whose own wife and family were interned in a war relocation center, and additional friends who were born in captivity, piqued Karin’s curiosity, and spurred her to write a love story born out of one of the most unlikely places: a mixed-race internment camp. THE DIPLOMAT’S DAUGHTER is a captivating and informed tale of three young people divided by the horrors of World War II and their journey back to one another.

Enjoy an Excerpt

A week later, Helene started to feel the baby kick. Christian was walking back from his second day at the German school when he saw his mother approaching. She had a smile on her face that belied her dismal surroundings. Christian had planned to tell her how his German abilities did not extend to writing essays in the language, but when he saw her happiness, he decided to delay the bad news. Within just a few days of his arrival, he’d learned why he couldn’t attend the American school. The elected spokesman for their side of the camp was intensely pro-German and anyone who sent their children to the American-style Federal School was deemed a traitor. There were whispers that one family’s food had been withheld for several days because their daughter, who spoke no German, enrolled there.

“Put your hand here,” Helene said when she’d reached Christian. She placed his right hand on the top of her stomach. She was wearing the dress that was given to women when they arrived, and Christian thought it made her look plain and homespun, definitely more Mrs. Tomato Soup than Mrs. Country Club.

They waited a few minutes, but nothing happened. Christian started to fidget, and his mother laughed at him. “Do you have somewhere to be? Wait to feel the baby.”

So they waited. Mothers walked by them and smiled, teenagers coming out of school slowed down and whispered, and finally, when Christian was about to pull his hand away, embarrassed, the baby kicked.

“I felt it!” he said, pressing his hand harder against his mother’s belly.

“I told you it would be worth the wait,” said Helene, her voice full of delight.

Christian thought of the tiny body inside his mother bursting with life. He imagined the growing organs, the heartbeat, the developing brain and he felt sorry for it. He wished it could be born far from loaded guns and barbed wire. At least it would have love, he thought, looking at his mother’s joyful face.

Helene kissed her son’s hand and walked off, letting him catch up to the other boys who were making their way from the school to the German mess hall, where they worked prepping the next day’s milk delivery. Internees in the camp woke up to a bottle of fresh milk on their stoop every day, one of the measures that the camp’s warden took to show that he was going well beyond the laws of the Geneva Convention.

The camp, it was whispered among the internees, was one President Roosevelt took great pride in, and the guards didn’t want any suicides or fence jumpers to ruin his vision. “They want happy prisoners,” his father had told him. “So just remember, it could be much worse.”

For Christian, sharing seven hundred square feet with another family and sleeping on floors with scorpions did not make for a happy prisoner. The view of miles of barbed-wire fencing him in did not help, either. The orphanage had changed him—he felt it in his newfound patience. Even gentleness. The way he felt toward Inge, had guarded her on the train, he was sure the old Christian would not have been as kind. But it didn’t mean he was elated about his circumstances.

Then there was the camp’s segregation. In two days, Christian had learned how bad it was. Though he had seen the large group of Japanese internees when he came in, invisible lines kept them apart inside. The Germans and Japanese, despite being allies in the war, occupied separate sections of the camp, ate in separate facilities, worked different jobs, and played different sports. The only places where they mixed were the hospital—as illness never discriminated—and the swimming pool. The few Italians were sprinkled among the Germans, but they kept to themselves, too.

About the Author:Karin Tanabe is the author of The Gilded Years, The Price of Inheritance, and The List. A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and The Washington Post. She has made frequent appearances as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and The CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in Washington, DC.

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Laura’s Interview by Marisol Fuentes – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
K.T. Castle will award paperback copies of The Bridesmaid’s Checklist Series and a $10 Amazon GC (US/Mexico only) to one randomly selected commenter and digital copies of The Bridesmaid’s Checklist Series and a $10 Amazon GC (international) to a second randomly selected commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Laura’s interview
by Marisol Fuentes

Marisol: Hello, everyone.
In today’s interview we have Laura Lowell from The Bridesmaid’s Checklist: Laura’s Wedding

Laura: Just to be clear, now my name is Laura Lowell-Holmes. Thank you.

Marisol: Oh, sure, Laura. Sorry about that. We’re glad you agreed to come today and have an interview. Let me tell you first that you look gorgeous. Marriage definitely looks good on you. How is married life for you and Edward so far?

Laura: Everything is going wonderfully. Edward is a great husband and newlywed life is awesome. Thanks for asking. (Is that what you wanted to hear? Let’s cut to the chase and give me some real questions.)

Marisol: (We’ll get to those, Laura. Be patient. First we need to warm up the crowds.)

Laura: (Whatever, Sol. Just, let’s finish this. Denise will arrive for lunch soon and I don’t want her to wait, you know she needs to get back to work.)

Marisol: (rolling eyes and exhaling) So, Laura, your wedding was such a wonderful event. Michael and I sure had lots of fun in beautiful Bora Bora.

Laura: (I’m sure you did. Michael and you surely enjoyed your suite.)

Marisol: (clears her throat) Was your wedding everything you expected?

Laura: My wedding was an epic event (for many different reasons, but I promised Kassie no spoilers). It will surely be talked about for a while within our circle of friends and the newspapers.

Marisol: It sure will (but not for the reasons you think, Laura). So, please tell the audience. Who helped you orchestrate such a wonderful night.

Laura: (Oh, please!) I’m so lucky to have a wonderful group of friends who supported me during wedding preparations. Kassandra Hope, my best friend, was a key element to make all the magic happen (as Denise did, but no one wants to hear about it. And BTW, I also had a wedding planner that was Kassie’s connection with the event venue.)

Marisol: (Enough, Laura. You’re the one who wants to keep this short) Kassandra sure is a sweet girl, we’re all lucky to call her our friend. But everyone wonders, Laura, if she was such a key element in planning your wedding, why were you so mean to her?

Laura: (Really, Sol. Everyone just wants to know why I’m such a bitch and you cannot say it in so many words?)

Marisol: (I can’t call you a bitch on a interview. It wouldn’t be polite. And yes, everyone wants to know why you went all Bridezilla during your wedding.)

Laura: (Fine) Now that I can see it from another perspective and think with a clearer head, I believe it was all of the nervousness and pent-up emotions that surface during this kind of events. There’s a lot of pressure around the bride, as most women know, and sadly they got the best of me. (Not to mention finding out that my BFF had slept with my fiancé before I could call him that and hid it from me until the last possible moment.)

Marisol: (You know exactly why she couldn’t tell you!) I can sure understand how tension and emotions can get the best of you. I can certainly remember how edgy I was during my wedding, (even if it was totally different from yours.)

Laura: (Oh, honey. I didn’t sleep with Michael before you married him. Although if I remember clearly we had some other issues to deal during your wedding.) You had a lovely wedding as well, Marisol. San Miguel Allende is a beautiful place to visit and we had a wonderful time during your wedding. (It was actually the worst wedding of my life, but that’s another story.)

Marisol: (It sure is another story, and Kassie already published it for the world to know.)

Laura: (Oh, kill me please.)

Marisol: (Come on, let’s concentrate and finish this.) For anyone that has read the blurb of the book, you know that “the whole event kicks off with the worst kind of surprise when Kassandra discovers who her friend’s fiancé really is.” That’s a hard pill to swallow, I imagine. Was is something easy to overcome? The relationship that your then fiancé and Kassie once had?

Laura: It’s never easy to know about your man’s past. But the past in inevitable, we all have it. (It would have been easier if I found out the moment I thought I was “introducing” them.) I can’t exactly blame them for having a relationship when they were both away in college, we all do silly things in college. (Right, Natalie?)

Natalie: (Don’t you drag me into your interview. I’m getting ready for lunch and would very much appreciate if you leave my husband and me out it.)

Laura: (You do know that Kassie will publish your wedding’s book next, don’t you? You should expect some attention after it does. You met your gray fox in college, and that’s going to be all out in the open soon enough). But as best friends always do, Kassandra and I found a way to settle everything and we now are in the best possible place.

Marisol: (snorted) That’s good to hear. There’s nothing better than knowing good friends found a way to patch up their differences. Was it easy, though? To letting go of the fact that your best friend once had a relationship with your fiancé?

Denise: (Easy? Are you kidding me? Nothing is ever easy with Laura. We all know that.)

Laura: (You shut up, D! No one invited you to my interview.)

Denise: (So you can drag Nat but I can’t contribute? How rude!)

Laura: (Just go to the kitchen and help little angel Natalie with our meal. You don’t have much time before you need to go back to work.)

Natalie: (Come on, Denise. Let’s start eating. Sol and Laura can join us when they’re over.)

Marisol: (We’ll wrap it up and join you. And, where is Kassandra? what is she doing?)

Denise: (I believe the question is: “Who” is she doing?)

Natalie: (Stop it girls! I’ll give her a call to see if she’s coming… or if she’s “busy.” You guys finish already and let’s eat something.)

Laura: So as I was saying, when there’s love between friends, anything can be settled.

Marisol: It sure can. One last question before we go have lunch─ehm─I mean, before we finish. Now that the wedding is over, and since Kassandra is the last single girl, what are your hopes for her?

Laura: I always hope that she finds her way to happiness. Regardless of what shape it has, if it’s through her career, through her friends, or through a man; I wish her nothing but the best. Always. I love her dearly, (and that, bitches, is nothing but the truth!)

Marisol: I completely agree. Thank you, Laura, for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview (even if the only thing you do all day is look at yourself in the mirror.) And to everyone out there, thank you for joining us today. If you want to learn more about Laura and Kassie, please take a look at their story in The Bridesmaid’s Checklist: Laura’s Wedding. You’re in for a different kind of wedding romance.

Laura: And if you want to hear what happens next, make sure to read Marisol’s Wedding. Where Kassie will tell you everything you need to know about Sol and her wedding.

Marisol: (That was unnecessary!)

Laura: (It wasn’t!)

Denise: (Just cut it out and come have lunch!)

Natalie: (Kassie isn’t coming today, she’s held at home by….)

Marisol: Please take a look at The Bridesmaid’s Series and get to know all of Kassie’s friends. Until next time.

Kassandra is a single, independent woman who prides herself on her own success. But when she’s asked by her best friend Laura to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding, Kassandra finds herself questioning her lifestyle. Helping Laura plan the wedding is no problem—she’s done it before for all their other friends. The first time was a blast, the second super fun, but doing it without receiving any help from the rest of the girls gets old really fast.

The whole event kicks off with the worst kind of surprise when Kassandra discovers who her friend’s fiancé really is, and she’s torn between supporting Laura’s future happiness and hiding the deeply buried, intimate past she shares with the groom-to-be. Struggling to be the bigger person and do all the hard work on her own, Kassandra finds surprising comfort in Josh, the best man in the wedding and someone she’s been avoiding for years. He’s charming, thoughtful, handsome, and the worst kind of womanizer, but she just can’t seem to stay away. All the while, Kassandra can’t help wondering if the wedding could be any more cliché—until she finds unexpected ways to change things up a bit.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I’d heard that saying more than once now. And I was about to hear it once again.

“Kassie! Kassie, wake up! I’m getting married,” a high-pitched voice squealed at me at 3:00 a.m.

Who the hell is this? I had picked up the phone without even looking at the caller ID. Oh, Laura. Great.

“Kassandra, are you listening? I’m engaged!” Laura screamed from the other side of the phone.

“Yeah, wow,” I said. “Congratulations.”

“I can’t believe you, Kassie. You should be more excited. You’ll get to be my bridesmaid!” The volume of her voice kept rising.

“I’m happy for you, Laura.” I really didn’t know at the moment how I felt. I was trying to look around to see exactly where I was. “Believe me. It’s just…it’s three o’clock, and I was sleeping.”

After looking at my surroundings, I remembered I was in my own house. I had a minor headache, probably from all the drinking the night before, and my body ached a bit. I looked beside me and found the reason for my hurt.

Next to me I found the silhouette of a beautiful man. The memories of the few hours before my abrupt awakening came back at me:

A bar. A blond. My home. Some sex…in that order.

“I know it’s late, but I had to give you the good news.”

“And news it is.” She was the last of my best friends who was single; not so long ago we roamed all the bars in town together, looking for men to hook up with, and suddenly she was engaged.

About the Author: K.T. Castle is an author/artist on a quest to find the words, forms, and colors to materialize the worlds and people of her imagination. She never saw herself as an incurable romantic, but lately, that’s what she finds herself musing about. Love is found everywhere, regardless if it comes from a nice person, an ass — mundane or even vampire. When she’s not busy with work, in front of a computer placing many thoughts in order, she makes her best to be creative or relax with a good book and a snack. Some of her favorite characters are Sookie, Rule and Shaw, Bella, Edward, Clary, Jace, Wrath, Hollywood, Blaire, Woods, Ethan, the Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel.

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The Bridesmaid’s Checklist is on sale for only $0.99.
The Bridesmaid’s Checklist Series
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