Writing Fiction When You’re a Nonfiction Writer by Christina Elliott – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christina Elliott 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.

Writing Fiction When You’re a Nonfiction Writer

Many acclaimed novelists have started their writing careers as journalists. Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Graham Greene to name but a few. But writing nonfiction is a different skill than writing fiction. To be sure, there are many similarities, but there are also key differences – namely one is restricted to truth and the other enjoys the panoramic realm of imagination. There are others that are less obvious, as I was to find out when I started writing fiction in earnest, trying to fulfill my childhood dreams of writing novels.

I’ve been a print journalist for thirty years. I’d written fiction on and off since I was a child. In fact, I won a prize when I was six years old for “writing interesting stories.” So becoming a journalist was a natural step for me. It’s been a career that I’ve loved but ultimately I also felt restrained by. It was always about writing someone else’s story. Fiction is your own story, of your own choosing, and I was eager to undertake this challenge, but in order to develop my fiction I had to “undevelop” several journalistic habits.

The key hurdle in writing fiction for journalists is emotion. Journalists are trained to be neutral observers, impartial witnesses, to present a balanced picture of the facts. Emotion, in your average news story, does not factor in the equation, although it does to a greater degree in narrative fiction. Emotion, however, is the cornerstone of good fiction. Novelists need to portray the range of emotion their characters feel in order to evoke emotion in their readers. There’s no need for balance or impartiality. Indeed, the less of that stuff, the better.

Those elements stand in the way of portraying emotion, and why, in my opinion, many reporter/novelists gravitate toward writing plot-driven stories, such as detective mysteries, where there’s more of a “just the facts ma’am” feel to that type of fiction. Mysteries, for example, generally involve little emotion or emotional arc in the characters.

When I was writing the first draft of my first novel, I got about 170 pages in and I realized what I’d written read like a reportage. I chucked it and started again. It actually took many more drafts before I found myself loosening the reins and letting that emotion come through. And when it did, it gushed out.

Something that really helped me in this regard was acting classes. Acting is all about depicting emotion. Once I gave myself license to do that physically in either scene work or exercises designed to reach and draw out inner emotion, it became much easier to do that on the page with my characters. I also understood better how emotion works in dialogue and scenes, how to show it more than tell it.

I firmly believe, however, that journalism is great training for novelists. Reporters instinctively know what a good story is. They know how to research, how to interview. They know that details can make a story come alive and how to construct sentences that make sense, and structure and order a story. They are exposed to all types of people, issues, lifestyles, experiences. As I like to say, I’ve interviewed bums to billionaires, presidents to prostitutes. All that makes great grist for the novelist’s mill. Maybe, most importantly reporters are used to sitting down in a chair in front of a blank computer screen and filling it with words—on deadline.

I would never exchange my background as a journalist for, say, an MFA. Yes, it may take some work to switch from one to the other, but many have done it, including myself.

Amid a sweltering Miami summer, a serial killer is haunting the city. Reporter Ingrid Sorenson is assigned the story and her primary source is brusque detective Rick Gonzalez. The pair clash, but sparks of passion ignite. They risk their jobs to give in to their desire, but mistrust of each other’s career motives wedges them apart. Then Ingrid gets a tip that leads her into the killer’s lair. She and Rick must choose between saving themselves or rescuing their love.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As Ingrid opened the door, Rick thrust a bouquet of white roses at her. “To make up for being out of touch,” he said.

She was touched by his thoughtfulness. “You didn’t have to do that, but thanks. They’re lovely. I’ll put them in a vase.” They entered and she disappeared into the kitchen.

“It was either flowers or chocolate,” he called as she disappeared into the kitchen. She filled a glass vase with water and set the roses in them.

“Good choice. I love chocolate, but I try to stay away from it,” she said, exiting the kitchen to place the vase in the center of the dining table.

“I figured. Chocolate can be a double-edged sword, but you can’t really go wrong with roses.”

“White’s an elegant color, too.”

“You’re an elegant lady.”

“You know all the lines.”

“I wish it was as simple as knowing lines.”

“It’s not, is it?” She gave him a bemused smile.

“You got that right. So how am I doing so far?”

“Mmmm.” Folding her arms, she tilted her head and squinted her eyes in a mock-study of him. “B-plus.”

“What? I thought I deserved at least an A-minus.”

“There’s always room for improvement.”

“Whoa, she’s tough, ladies and gentlemen.”

She laughed. “So, you ate pizza already.”

“I was starving and believe me, you don’t want to be around me when I’m hungry, but we can get you something to eat.”

“So you can do surveillance on me as I chow down?”

“You’re a feast for my eyes.”

Ingrid groaned. “Let’s get going before your lines make me lose my appetite.” She grabbed her purse.

“Sorry, I couldn’t resist.” He held open the front door for her. “I know a great empanada place in Coconut Grove. We could get a couple of them and go eat by the marina at a picnic table,” Rick said as he drove. “We can even sit side-by-side so I don’t have you under surveillance.”

“I love empanadas,” Ingrid said. “Definitely one of the best things I’ve discovered in Miami.”

“So am I up to an A-minus now?”

She laughed, suddenly feeling carefree and totally in the moment. “Yes, I’ll give you an A-minus for that.”

About the Author:Christina Elliott is a former Miami newspaper reporter and editor. She now writes spicy romantic suspense novels from Los Angeles, where she’s glad to report there are far fewer bad-hair days but sadly far less Cuban coffee. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

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Beyond Danger by Kat Martin – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Kat Martin who is celebrating the upcoming release of Beyond Danger. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Into the Whirlwind (print, kindle, or nook – US only).

Beyond Danger is Beau’s story. Mega-rich, black-haired, and blue-eyed, Beau is gorgeous to look at, and flashy. He was an amateur race car driver, sort of a Texas Paul Newman, before he left the racing circuit. Beau loves fast cars and fast women.

He is also wanted for murder.

That’s where private investigator, Cassidy Jones, comes in. She’s smart and she’s no pushover, exactly the woman for Beau. Best of all, she’s determined to prove his innocence.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Beau could hardly believe it. His father was sixty years old! The girl sitting across from him in a booth at the Pleasant Hill Café looked like a teenager. A very pregnant teenager.

“Everything’s going to be okay, Missy,” Beau Reese said. “You don’t have to worry about anything from now on. I’ll make sure everything is taken care of from here on out.”

“He bought me presents,” the girl said, dabbing a Kleenex against the tears in her eyes. “He told me how pretty I was, how much he liked being with me. I thought he loved me.”

Fat chance of that, Beau thought. His dad had never loved anyone but himself.

Shoving a hand through his wavy black hair, Beau took a steadying breath. He had always wanted a baby brother or sister. Now at the age of thirty five, he was finally going to have one.

Beau felt a surge of protectiveness toward the young woman carrying his father’s child.

He looked over to where she sat hunched over next to her mother on the opposite side of the pink vinyl booth. “Everybody makes mistakes, Missy. You picked the wrong guy, that’s all. Doesn’t mean you won’t have a great kid.”

For the first time since his arrival, Missy managed a tentative smile. “Thank you for saying that.”

Beau returned the smile. “I’m going to have a baby sister. I promise she won’t have to worry about a thing from the day she’s born into this world.” Hell, he was worth more than half a billion dollars. He would see the child had everything she ever wanted.

When Missy’s lips trembled, her mother scooted out of the booth. “I think she’s had enough for today. This is all very hard on her and I don’t want her getting overly tired.” Josie reached for her daughter’s hand. “Let’s go home, honey. You’ll feel better after a nap.”

Beau got up, too, leaned over and brushed a kiss on Missy’s cheek. “You both have my number. If you need anything, call me. Okay?”

Missy swallowed. “Okay.”

“I should have called you sooner.” Josie’s eyes teared up. “I didn’t know how I was going to manage the bills all by myself. Thank you, Beau.”

“Everything’s going to be okay.” He watched the women head for the door, the bell ringing as Josie shoved it open and she and Missy walked out of the café.

Leaving money on the table for his coffee, he followed the women out the door, his temper climbing toward the boiling point. His father should be the one handling Missy’s pregnancy. He’d had months to step up and do the right thing. Beau figured he never would.

As he crossed the sidewalk and opened the door of his dark blue Ferrari, his temper cranked up another notch. By the time the car was roaring along the road to his father’s house, his fury was bubbling just below the surface.

Unconsciously his foot pressed harder on the gas, urging the car down the two-lane road at well over eighty miles an hour. With too many tickets in Howler County already, he forced himself to slow down.

Making the turn into Country Club Estates, he jammed on the brakes and the car slid to a stop in front of the house. The white, two-story home he’d been raised in oozed Southern charm, the row of columns out front mimicking an old-style plantation.

Climbing out of the Ferrari, one of his favorite vehicles, he pounded up the front steps and crossed the porch. The housekeeper had Mondays and Tuesdays off so he used his key to let himself into the entry.

On this chilly, end-of-January day, the ceiling fans hadn’t been turned on, leaving the interior strangely silent. The ticking of the ornate grandfather clock in the living room seemed louder than it usually did.

“Dad! It’s Beau! Where are you?” When he didn’t get an answer, he strode down the hall toward the study. He had phoned his father on his way here from Dallas. Though he’d done his best to keep the anger out of his voice, he wasn’t sure he had succeeded. Maybe his father had left to avoid him.

“Dad!” Still no answer. Beau continued down the hall, his footsteps echoing in the quiet. As he reached the study, he noticed the door standing slightly ajar. Steeling himself for the confrontation ahead, he clamped down on his temper and shoved open the door.

His father wasn’t sitting at the big rosewood desk or in his favorite overstuffed chair next to the fireplace. Beau started to turn away when an odd gurgling sound sent the hairs up on the back of his neck.

“Dad!” At the opposite end of the desk, Beau spotted a prone figure lying on the floor in a spreading pool of blood. “Dad!” The handle of a letter opener protruded from the middle of his chest.

Beau raced to his father’s side. “Dad!” Blood oozed from the wound in his chest and streamed onto the hardwood floor. He had to stop the bleeding and he had to do it now!

He hesitated, praying he wouldn’t make it worse, then with no other option, grabbed the handle of the letter opener, jerked it out, gripped the front of his dad’s white shirt and ripped it open.

“Oh, my God! What are you–”

Beau glanced up to see the woman, Cassidy Jones, standing in the doorway. “Call 9-1-1! Hurry, he’s been stabbed! Hurry!”

The shapely brunette, his father’s newly hired personal assistant, didn’t pause, just pulled out her cell and dialed the emergency number.

Beau’s hand shook as he checked for a pulse, found none. The wound was catastrophic, a stab wound straight to the heart. No way could his father survive it.

Cassidy ran over and knelt on the floor beside him. “Here, use this to seal the hole.” She seemed amazingly in control as she handed him a credit card then ran to the wet bar and grabbed a towel, rushed back and handed it over.

Beau pressed the towel over the credit card on top of the hole, all the while knowing his father was already dead or within moments of dying. Whoever had stabbed him knew exactly where to bury the blade.

Cassidy reached down to check for herself, pressing her fingers in exactly the right spot on the side of his father’s neck. She had to know it was hopeless, just as he did, must have known Stewart Reese was dead.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Sorrow slid through him, making his chest clamp down. Or maybe it was sadness for the kind of man his father was, the kind who had wound up the victim of a killer.

He felt Cassidy’s eyes on him, assessing him with speculation–or was it suspicion?

Beau looked down at his father, his eyes closed, his face slack in death. Stuart Reese was dead and Beau wanted answers. He vowed whatever it took, for as long as it took, he wouldn’t stop until he found the man who had murdered his dad.

About the Author: New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

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January Releases from Dana Marton, Denise Grover Swank, and Kendra Elliot – Q&A

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Dana Marton, Denise Grover Swank and Kendra Elliot who have stopped by to talk about their January releases.

How would you describe your Mercy Kilpatrck series? What genre is it?

Kendra Elliot: My Mercy Kilpatrick series is labeled romantic suspense, but it’s more accurately described as a suspenseful police procedural with some light romance. I’m known for writing serial killers, but I’m also known for writing REAL people with relatable issues and emotions. The Mercy series immerses the reader in an unusual world of survivalists, sovereign citizens, and militias.

What can you tell readers about your heroine from your newest release Silent Threat?

Dana Marton: Annie is an ecotherapist. She heals people by connecting them to nature. She’s a total tree-hugging hippie and proud of it. She also fosters abandoned animals, among them two litters of baby skunks. When a grumpy, opinionated former Navy SEAL goes undercover at the rehab center where Annie works, she has her work cut out for her.

Let’s talk great hero material — what makes a hero….heroic? What makes your hero from Deadly Summer heroic?

Denise Grover Swank: Police Chief Luke Montgomery is a strong man who isn’t threatened by a strong woman. He’s loving and supportive and believes in his heroine, Summer, even when she falters.

What is your favorite parts of a story to write — the romance or action?

Dana Marton: This changed over the years. I used to enjoy the action scenes more. I’m a HUGE fan of action movies/spy movies/anything 007. But now, maybe because we are relentlessly bombarded with so many images of violence by the media, I’m really looking forward to the romance scenes where two people are one-hundred percent committed to each other, would do anything for each other, want to make each other happy. No matter what is happening in the outside world, politics, etc., remembering that love does conquer all makes me a happier person. And I hope the story will do the same for my readers.

Were there any TV shows or movies that inspired Deadly Summer?

Denise Grover Swank: When I started Deadly Summer for I watched three very different TV shows for inspiration: Veronica Mars, Unreal, and Gilmore Girls.

Summer Butler, the sleuth in Darling Investigations, is a washed up, former teen actress who is so desperate for a job she accidently pitches a PI reality TV show. Only she has no experience as a PI or in reality TV. My main inspiration came from Unreal, a Lifetime series that shows behind the scenes of a reality TV show called Everlasting, a The Bachelor copy-cat. The Veronica Mars portion is fairly obvious, and but the Gilmore Girls aspect is present in the town of Sweet Briar, Alabama, population, 2731. Setting is important in books set in a small town. I wanted a town as fun as Stars Hollow and quirky enough to host a Boll Weevil Parade to celebrate the decimation of the town’s cotton crop a century before.

What’s up next in your series?

Kendra Elliot: The fourth Mercy book, A Merciful Silence, will be out in June. Two more are planned for 2019. As for what’s next for Mercy, that’s a good question. I’m not a plotter, so I’m usually as surprised as the reader. I do know there will be more Truman, more Rose, and more cameos from characters in my other series.

Denise Grover Swank: Summer will be back in June with Blazing Summer. I love Summer and her world and I’m excited for my readers to meet her!

Dana Marton: The next book in the series, Threat of Danger, will be a June 2018 release, and I can’t wait! Derek Daley, one of Cole’s SEAL brothers, is now living in Vermont, a bestselling thriller author after a decade of international adventure. Returning to his hometown should be peaceful and relaxing. But then Jess Taylor, the girl next door, moves back home, too. She used to have a crazy crush on him back in the day. Now the girl with the cute blushes is all grown and then some, a kickass Hollywood stuntwoman. Derek’s chin does hit his wide chest, more than once, as the two are reacquainted. Except, now Jess is the one who wants nothing to do with him. But don’t worry about the two. Navy SEALs never admit defeat!

A former Navy SEAL, Cole Makani Hunter has returned home from a disastrous black ops mission without his best friend, his hearing, or the use of his right arm. So when his ex–commanding officer assigns him to an undercover mission at a rehab center for vets to discover who leaked sensitive military information to an enemy, he’d rather be anywhere but there. Almost immediately, Cole finds himself at odds with Annie Murray—a peace-loving ecotherapist whose dream is to open an animal sanctuary out of her home. While the two seemingly have nothing in common, their spirited arguments soon fuel a passion for each other.

But just as things begin to heat up between therapist and patient, dangerous complications arise. So does the past—and a shocking revelation that puts Cole and everything he now holds dear in the path of a murderous traitor.

About the Author: Dana Marton is the New York Times bestselling author of the Agents Under Fire series, the Hardstorm Saga, and the Broslin Creek novels. She is the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the RITA Award.

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Ten years ago, Summer Butler was television’s most popular teenage sleuth. Since then, she’s hit—what gossip sites just love to call—the gutter. Nearly bankrupt, betrayed, estranged from her greedy mother, and just about unemployable, she’s coaxed into that desperate haven for has-beens: reality TV.

Winging it as a faux PI, she’ll solve off-the-cuff mysteries in her hometown of Sweet Briar, Alabama. For added drama, there’s police chief Luke Montgomery, inconveniently Summer’s first and only love.

It’s when Summer stumbles upon a very real corpse that Darling Investigations takes an unexpected twist. The growing list of suspects is a big draw to viewers, but the reality is that Summer doesn’t know whom she can trust. Someone has written this killer new scene especially for her, and unless Summer gives the role everything she’s got, it could be her last…

About the Author: Denise Grover Swank is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of the Rose Gardner Mystery Series, the Magnolia Steele Mystery Series, The Wedding Pact Series, The Curse Keepers Series, and others. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomad, living in five cities, four states, and ten houses over the course of ten years before moving back to her roots. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in her own mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children (quite badly, if you believe her offspring). Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity—or so she leads you to believe.

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Raised off the grid by survivalists, Mercy Kilpatrick believed in no greater safeguard than the backwoods of Oregon. Unforgiven by her father for abandoning the fold for the FBI, Mercy still holds to her past convictions. They’re in her blood. They’re her secrets—as guarded as her private survival retreat hidden away in the foothills.

In a cabin near her hideaway, Mercy encounters a young girl whose grandmother is dying from multiple knife wounds. Hundreds of miles away, a body is discovered slashed to death in a similar way. The victims—a city judge and an old woman living in the woods—couldn’t be more different. With the help of police chief Truman Daly, Mercy must find the killer before the body count rises. Mercy knows that the past has an edge on her. So does her family. How can she keep her secrets now…when they’re the only things that can save her?

About the Author: Kendra Elliot has landed on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list multiple times and is the award-winning author of the Bone Secrets and Callahan & McLane series and the Mercy Kilpatrick novels. Kendra is a three-time winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award, an International Thriller Writers finalist, and an RT Award finalist. She has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on classic female heroines such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls. She was born, raised, and still lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters but looks forward to the day she can live in flip-flops.

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Mia’s Men by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

Mia’s Men, Book 1 in a Brand-new Reverse Harem Series by Lucy Felthouse, Available for Pre-order Now! (@cw1985) #reverseharem #whychoose

The Heiress’s Harem: Book One

Mia Harrington’s father just lost his brave battle with cancer. Naturally, she’s devastated. With her mother long-since dead, and no siblings, Mia has a great deal of responsibility to shoulder. She’s also the sole beneficiary of her father’s estate. Or so she thinks.

Unbeknownst to Mia, her father made a change to his will. She can still inherit, but only if she marries a suitable man within twelve months. If she doesn’t, her vile cousin will get everything. Determined not to lose her beloved childhood home, she resolves to find someone that fits the bill. What she isn’t expecting, however, is for that someone to be into sharing women with his best friend. In the meantime, Mia’s friendship with the estate gardener has blossomed into so much more.

She can’t possibly plan to marry one man, while also being involved with two others …or can she?

Pre-order now—coming 23rd January 2018!

(For those of you looking to purchase at non-Amazon retailers, pre-ordering is highly recommended as the book will be going Amazon exclusive shortly after release).

Pre-order the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, or Smashwords.

Add to your Goodreads shelves.

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, Hiding in Plain Sight and Mia’s Men (The Heiress’s Harem Book 1). 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

Another Dance by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lucy Felthouse, whose F/F romance short story “Another Dance” was recently released.

Can another dance help them forget the pain of the past?

Eden and Janine were best friends throughout their childhood and early teenage years. Then something happened that shattered their friendship, leaving Eden devastated and confused. Ever since her efforts to sort things out with Janine failed miserably, Eden has avoided her ex-best friend. Unfortunately, she can’t avoid her forever, since Eden’s sister is marrying Janine’s brother.

Thrown together in the same room for the first time in years, can the two women finally put their issues behind them and move on? Or is their shattered friendship beyond repair?

Please note: This story has been previously published in an anthology.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Eden had been dreading this day since the moment her sister, Carol, had announced she was getting married. A wedding was supposed to be a happy occasion, a cause for celebration. But not when your sister was marrying the brother of your ex-best friend.

Eden had done a successful job of avoiding said ex-best friend for ten years, crying off any get-togethers, school reunions, and even her sister’s engagement and hen parties. Understandably, it had made her incredibly unpopular with Carol and their parents, but she’d had to put up with their displeasure for the sake of her own sanity.

Today, though, Janine or no Janine, Eden was going to her sister’s wedding. It was kind of crucial, really, given she was chief bridesmaid. She was just thankful that Janine hadn’t been asked to be a bridesmaid. That would have been problematic.

“I honestly don’t understand what happened between the two of you. What made you fall out so badly that you still want to avoid her?” Carol was asking, as the hairdresser put the finishing touches to her up-do, then settled her tiara on top of it, leaving the attached veil trailing down her back.

Well you wouldn’t, would you? Eden thought, trying hard not to let her emotions show on her face. You’ve never been confused about your sexuality and come on to your best friend, have you? But she kept quiet, determined not to ruin her sister’s special day.

“Can you even remember what happened?” Carol continued, thanking the hairdresser and standing up. She moved over to the full-length mirror in the room and examined herself from every angle. The hairdresser held up another mirror so the bride could see the back of her hair. She nodded.

“Yes,” Eden replied shortly, then added, “You look beautiful, sis. Really gorgeous.”

Inside her head, though, she was already reliving that fateful night.

About the Author: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, Hiding in Plain Sight and Mia’s Men (The Heiress’s Harem Book 1). 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

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, or Smashwords.

Hiding in Plain Site Audio Release by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Lucy Felthouse, whose sexy spy thriller Hiding in Plain Sight, is now available in audiobook format! Enjoy over five hours of thrilling storytelling by Poppy Jay Fox.

Mallory Scott is a British espionage operative—and a damn good one, at that. Her current assignment to bring down a group of diamond thieves and scammers should be a piece of cake. She plans to get her claws into one of the gang, infiltrate the group, and uncover the information she needs to catch and prosecute them. Luck is on her side, and within twenty-four hours she’s lunching with Baxter Collinson, the youngest—and most handsome—diamond thief. What she’s not expecting, however, is to get on with him quite so well. Attraction bubbles between them—and for once, on Mallory’s part, it isn’t an act. For the first time in her career, Mallory struggles with what she must do. Can she ignore her heart for the sake of the mission?

Praise for Hiding in Plain Sight:

“…a cute little romp, & of course Felthouse delivers her usual flawless delivery. Fast-paced, fun, sexy, & with a twisty HEA that I think you’ll like.” 5 out of 5, Manic Readers

“A super romantic suspense from Lucy Felthouse. The characters are realistic and I easily identified with their emotions – I particularly loved the banter and the scenes between the main couple. It’s also got plenty of smexy and sizzling scenes which the author excels at. Recommended for readers of romantic suspense who enjoy a read which contains some sexy and explicit scenes.” 5 out of 5, A Readers Review

“One of the things I love about this author is her ability to write descriptions that make you see the scenes in cinema-scope. I especially loved her descriptions of Amsterdam. It made me feel as if I was there on an adventure with the characters. This is certainly a sexy story that fuses espionage, suspense and erotica very well.” 4 out of 5, Love Bites and Silk Ties

“…the test of any erotic thriller is whether it would work without the sex scenes, and in the case of Hiding In Plain sight, the answer is yes. There’s enough technical jargon to make the work of the agency seem believable, without weighing down the plot, and an edge of tension to remind you how much is at stake for Mallory and her team… a fun read that leaves you hoping for more adventures featuring this sexy spycatcher.” Elizabeth Coldwell

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, Hiding in Plain Sight and Mia’s Men (The Heiress’s Harem Book 1). 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

Audio links:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2CFX2t2
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2CF2Zql
Audible UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Crime-Thrillers/Hiding-in-Plain-Sight-Audiobook/B0788XKPLS/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1513422463&sr=1-1
Audible US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Hiding-in-Plain-Sight-Audiobook/B0788XKQQX/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1513422464&sr=1-1
iTunes UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/hiding-in-plain-sight-unabridged/id1326333627
iTunes US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/hiding-in-plain-sight-unabridged/id1326333627

eBook and print versions available here: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/hiding-in-plain-sight/

Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Was Published by Z. Allora – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Greetings! I want to thank Long and Short Reviews for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, things I wished I knew before I was published, and my new release The Great Wall. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of Secured and Free, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)

Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Was Published

1) I needed beta/critique partners.

I sent my first draft to publisher. (I know I know…) I was isolated in China and had NO CLUE on how many times you should re-read, edit, re-read a draft before you hand it off to a beta/critique partner to do the same. Then work through their feedback, re-read and do it all again before you even think about sending your work in.

2) Scrivener

This is a writing program, and at this point I don’t think I could write without it. I plot and have an outline but I have a constant rush of ideas when I’m not “writing” (aka working on the story) Scrivener gives me some place to put those notes. It allows me to label and shuffle chapters easily. It keeps everything on one screen for easy access (all my chapters, research, character sketches, world building, notes, summaries, POVs, etc.).

3) Character Sketches

These usually include: physical description, background, family situation, milestone experiences, internal motivation, external motivation, conflicts, relationships to others, and other basic information. Understanding the characters is a no brainer but a character page allows you to keep all the little details straight if you write another book with the same character. I live with characters sometimes for years but I like knowing their birthdates, eye color, and internal conflicts at a glance.

4) Publishing is more than writing

When a publisher invests in you there are things you can do to help ensure they see a return on their time and money. You need to maintain a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Redbubble, etc. (Facebook and Twitter are no problem for me). Having a blog and a website helps you interact with readers and allows them to find out more about you and about your work. (This takes blood, sweat and tears for me to do this one). Then there’s promotion which is tough to do because it feels like you’re saying buy my book again and again, which you are but I’ve learned to do is really share pieces of myself, the story, my process, and extras that have gone into beloved characters. You need to consider attending conventions, writing retreats, festivals, Pride, etc. so people can meet you in person. The writing part is easy… it’s the sharing that can be work.

5) Branding

My love describes Z. Allora as who I am when I’m my absolute self. Meaning a 13-year old boy who loves penises, bunnies, sex, and a beret wearing LGBTQ warrior ready to throat punch at a giggle’s notice. When a reader picks up a Z. Allora book they know it’s going to be a yaoified romance with lots of sex, fluffy deliciousness, and a happily ever after. I think branding who you are is essential because buying a book is a contract between the reader and the author. You want know if you’re on the same page with someone or not. Branding gives that information.

Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

To Enter the Giveaway: Leave a comment telling us what your brand is. Maybe you’re a reader who wants to cry their eyes out but better get a happily ever after. Or someone who writes thrillers with a thread of mystery weaving through your work. Perhaps you’re a mother who will cut you if you side eye any of her babies. Or someone seeking a life of peace and serenity. What’s your brand?

Many hugs, Z.

About the Author: Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.
To contact Z. Allora: E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.

Heaven’s Watcher by Kayden Claremont – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kayden will be awarding a $10 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.

Leather-wearing, motorcycle riding PI Heaven Vaughan is working undercover in a Las Vegas casino for the DA. She must find the evidence to convict the casino boss of ordering her brother killed, but the tall, dark, sex-on-a-stick head of security is constantly watching her. Just knowing he’s got his monitors focused on her makes her hot, and she can’t help but make sure he has something as equally arousing to look at.

Straight-arrow Darius Turner has one job—to safeguard the people in the casino. The feisty redhead dominating his viewing pleasure is playing havoc with his duties and with his libido. All he wants is to take her up on her teasing invitations, but he can’t let her get too close. If Heaven discovers his true identity, there’ll be hell to pay.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Heaven paused at the office while he opened the door and walked into his lair. Behind the desk, monitors filled the wall.

For a second, she stopped. Every part of the casino and hotel were displayed. She pointed at the wall.

“You watch all of these? At once?”

Darius chuckled as he passed her. “I have a team who views them.”

The corner of his lips turned up. “I check up on things from time to time.”

He lugged out the chair in front of the desk. “Please.”

Heaven sat down. “So, you enjoy watching?”

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she heard the innuendo.

His eyebrow rose as devilment danced in his eyes. “You could say that.”

“I didn’t mean…” Heat crossed her cheeks. How unprofessional to blush. She’d never been the teenager with a crush on the quarterback. She was a professional private investigator.

“So why did you bring me here?”

He sat down behind the solid, mahogany desk.

“To talk.”

Her whole essence quivered. With arousal or fear? She cleared her throat. “About?”

He placed his fingers in front of his mouth as if hiding the truth.

“I’m concerned about what just happened to you.” His thumb twitched. “Does it happen often?”

Heaven held back a gasp as relief rushed through her. He didn’t know about her job with the DA to gather evidence against the boss.

“Yes.”

Darius grimaced. “I see.”

“We’ve established that.”

She pointed toward the bank of monitors behind him.

About the Author: Kayden loves sexy, well-crafted stories of lust and love. Her sensuous style drives the characters in lustful romps. When she is not crafting erotic romantic stories, she can be found crocheting or making jewelry.

Kayden is a member of Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers, and Writing Community of Durham Region.

She hopes you enjoy her other books, Hell’s Bounty, Timeless Passion, Red Hot and Tartan Temptation, all published by The Wild Rose Press.

Kayden loves to hear from her readers.

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Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Crossing Quinn by Gail Koger – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

Quinn Jones is a formidable Coletti warlord. His mission is to capture Xenia and bring her back to Tanith to be mated with a warrior the Overlord has chosen. Problem is, Quinn finds himself falling for the beautiful Farin. Her unusual “psychic powers, combat training and berserker abilities” make her the perfect mate for him. How does he convince Xenia and the Overlord that she’s meant to be his?

Xenia and her parents are relic hunters who just discovered the fabled home world of the Nabateans. She isn’t about to leave the greatest find of the century to hook up with some Coletti. Not happening. Ever. No matter how many threats the Overlord makes or that he’s sending his best hunter to apprehend her. Okay, she’ll admit she’s drawn to the handsome warlord and she loves the way Quinn’s heavily muscled body fills out his black battle suit, but the egotistical jerk is about to get his ass handed to him.

When the galaxy is threatened with annihilation, Xenia and Quinn join forces to stop the murderous Tai-Kok. Fate has brought them together and nothing will stand in the way of their victory or their love.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I closed the door and turned to face the warrior. The direct approach was usually the best option when dealing with Coletti warlords. I took one look at the Coletti’s arrogant expression and decided to have some fun. “What did you say your name was again? Troublesome?” I shook my head.

“No. That wasn’t it. Sorry, I’m not good at remembering the names of Zarek’s servants.”

“My name is Quinn Jones. I am Zarek’s hunter and I hold warlord status,” he responded with a dangerous glint in his eyes.

“Whatever.” I hid a smile. The egotistical ass really didn’t like my dismissive attitude. He had expected me to be in awe of his amazing good looks and the fact he held the prestigious rank of warlord.

About the Author: I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and to keep from going totally bonkers – I mean people have no idea of what a real emergency is. Take this for an example: I answered, “9-1-1 emergency, what’s your emergency?” And this hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree.” Sometimes I really couldn’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.” The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.” Like I said, not a clue. “I’m sorry ma’am, but we don’t get birds out of trees.” The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too.” See what I had to deal with? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone, I took up writing.

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Her Rodeo Masters by Anya Summers – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya 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.

Ivy Phillips is on a mission. She’s an investigative reporter for the Pasadena Tribune, and is hoping to write the story of the century by infiltrating Pleasure Island claiming to be a submissive. Except, when she gets there, she inadvertently finds herself auctioned off for charity and now has two hunky cowboys who want to own her body and soul.

Dax Johnson and Nate Banks have been a rodeo team – and lovers – for years. But they’ve yearned to add a sweet submissive to their union. When they meet Ivy, Dax knows she is the one for them, and the duo set out on a seductive campaign to win Ivy’s affection.

But when the truth is revealed, will their newfound relationship survive? Or will the two cowboys ride off into the sunset without her?

Publisher’s Note: This is the ninth – and final – instalment of Anya Summers’ bestselling Pleasure Island series. While we recommend all the books, it can be enjoyed on its own.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“The bull pen meeting is about to start. You planning to attend?” Kevin Donnelly asked, looking every inch like he’d just stepped off the pages of Vogue magazine. He had movie star good looks, and fashionably cut, beach blond hair. He was wearing the latest skinny jeans and a hipster dress shirt in a silver gray. It was too bad the five foot seven, moderately buff and toned man was gay. Otherwise they’d be perfect for each other.

“Yeah, just give me a minute,” Ivy replied, refolding the paper in her hands. She shoved the letter and envelope into her massive tan leather shoulder bag that was essentially her life. There was room enough for her iPad, her makeup, tampons, condoms—although she hadn’t needed any of those in a while—wallet, keys, even a small yappy dog if she were so inclined. She carried everything in it. You name it, she carried it with her. Which worked out well for Ivy since she always seemed to be on the move.

“So, how did the other night go? You never mentioned your date, and I live to hear about my co-workers’ love lives,” Kevin simpered, giving her his full attention. This was one of the reasons Ivy loved him. The man was a consummate flirt, and knew just how to get a girl to spill all her secrets. How many times over the years had they done yoga and brunch on Sundays, where he would magically get her to tell him all her troubles? They were the best therapy sessions in the world.

“You and Chad are still not talking to one another, I take it,” she replied.

Kevin put his hands on his hips and did the gay male equivalent of tossing his hair back. “Please, honey, the man wishes he still had me. Nope, I’m moving on and into the market. Which means I don’t currently have a sex life and must live vicariously through you. So, no deflecting. I want all the juicy tidbits.”

She removed her iPad from her bag and said, “Yeah, well, good luck with that.”

“So the date the other night was a no go?” Kevin asked, his light ice blue eyes twinkling with interest.

“It’s fair to say I left as early as I could. When the crying started, there was really no point to saving the night,” she said. And wasn’t that just the kicker. Every single date she’d been on over the last eight months had been an absolute dud. She was in a relationship—just with her vibrator and her favorite Chardonnay.

“You cried?” Kevin asked aghast, a hand against his chest and his eyes wide with horror at her perceived faux pas.

“Nope. My date did. Going on and on about his ex. Clearly the guy wasn’t ready to get back out into the meat market. After listening for two hours about how much he loved Kelli with an ‘i,’ I was done,” she replied.

About the Author: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

Pleasure Island Series

Her Master & Commander, Book 1
Her Music Masters, Book 2
Their Shy Submissive, Book 3
Her Undercover Doms, Book 4
Her Lawful Master, Book 5
Her Rockstar Dom, Book 6
Duets & Dominance, Book 7
Ménage In Paradise, Book 8
Her Rodeo Masters, Book 9

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