Outlaw Hearts by Rosanne Bittner – Character Q&A and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rosanne Bittner who is visiting with us today to celebrate the re-release of Outlaw Hearts, which will be back in print for the first time in over twenty years! Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance at winning a copy of the book.

Welcome the hero and heroine of the book Jake Harkner and Miranda Hayes who will be sitting down with us today for a quick Q&A.

LASR:What would your spouse say is your best physical attribute?

Jake: Her entire body and her beautiful golden hair.
Miranda: His entire body – gorgeous smile, strong arms, he was once dubbed the “Handsome Outlaw.”

5_28 outlaw heartsUnited by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.

Miranda Hayes has lost everything—her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone…until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.

Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He’s never known a moment’s kindness…until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.

Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price…and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Miranda watched Jake saddle up while she held the two gunnysacks full of supplies she had prepared for him. He gave Outlaw’s stomach a light punch. “Suck it in, boy,” he barked. “You don’t fool me, filling yourself up with air like that.” The horse’s belly contracted, and Jake tightened the cinch. “All I need is to be on a hard ride to get away from some marshal only to have my saddle slip on me.”

Miranda saw him wince, knew he was still in pain. “Jake, can’t you wait one more day?”

Jake kept his eyes on the cinch, thinking about the restless night he had had, lying awake and wondering what Mrs. Miranda Hayes would have done if he had gone out to her cot and planted his mouth on her sweet lips. “No, ma’am. Too dangerous for you having me here, what with that sheriff sweet on you and all. Hard telling when he might show up again.” He let down a stirrup and turned to meet her eyes. Was that a trace of tears he saw there? No. He would not believe that. “If you had any common sense at all, you would stay here and marry the sheriff and let him take care of you.”

Miranda stiffened with indignation, glad he had said something that made her momentarily forget about wanting to cry. “Why do all men think a woman needs ‘taking care of’? I’ll be just fine on my own. And if I did have common sense, you would be sitting in prison or hanging from a tree by now, and I would be five thousand dollars richer.”

Jake grinned. “You’ve got me there.”

Miranda thought how he looked even more handsome now in the morning light. It was the best he had looked since the first day she saw him in the supply store, bearded and mean-looking, then so sick after that. He had a fine, square jaw and dark, wide-set eyes that were perfectly outlined with dark eyelashes. Even his nose seemed perfectly matched to the rest of his face, and when he smiled, his teeth were straight and clean. She surmised that in spite of his cruelty, Jake’s father must have been as handsome as his mother was beautiful, for they had produced a son that was the best of both. How sad that they had never given that son a decent home.

A faint scar on Jake’s left jaw and another tiny one on his upper lip only seemed to make him even more handsome, lending a ruggedness to his looks that was accented by his tall frame and broad shoulders. She found herself wondering how his full, firm lips would feel on her mouth, how a man like Jake Harkner kissed a woman.

About the Author: USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting. She lives in Coloma, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.

Buy the book at Amazon, Apple, BAM, Barnes and Noble, Chapters, Indiebound, or Kobo.

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Interview and Giveaway: Ellie Eden

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Ellie Eden, author of the romantic suspense Letting Evil In. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a digital copy of the book.

Ellie started writing when she was a teenager, and her first book was published twelve years ago. She’s written more than 24 published books. They are written as Ellie Crowe; this romantic suspense book is written under a pen name (Ellie Eden). Letting Evil In, is based partly on real life and the chaos caused by Internet affairs.

“I found it fascinating and frightening that a laptop is a wide open window into your home. All sorts of people can come creeping in–people you would never, ever normally encounter,” Ellie explained. “My heroine, Kristi, gets caught in the fallout of her husband’s internet affair. Michael, the unfaithful husband, has spent the cold New Jersey winter in hot Brazilian chat rooms. His romance with Nara, a young drug dealer he would never have met in real life, exposes his family to terrible danger.”

She spent a year researching the book reading newspapers and magazine articles about Brazil and crime in Brazil. She also visited South America to get the flavor of the places she was writing about and talked to Brazilians.

“What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing the book?” I wondered.

“For some weird reason it was easier to write about the bad guys. I really loved writing about Nara and her world. I loved her casual and quirky attitude to life.”

She choose romantic suspense because it’s the genre she enjoys reading.

“Those are the books I always read – the hot alpha hero who makes you melt, the dangerous situation that keeps you breathless,” she explained. “I think the next best thing to making love is reading or writing about it. In Letting Evil In I found that one of my bad guys was surprisingly hot too. In real life, maybe not so much so! But on paper, safe in a book – maybe! And then there are all the fascinating things that can and will happen to the hero and heroine. That’s why I love Romantic Suspense.”

She’s also written a number of travel books about Hawaii. Those books too, she researched thoroughly in archives and in libraries and online.

“When writing a book, I feel totally in that world. I persuade my husband and kids to discuss the characters and the plot constantly! Their views lent enormously to the research.”

I asked her if she heard from her readers much.

“I really appreciate hearing from readers. I love people who take the time to write a book review. It makes me feel bad in a way as before I became a writer I would read and love a book but never think of writing a review. I do now. My favorite people, friends and strangers, are those that are kind enough to review my books. And when they actually discuss the plot animatedly, it’s the best!,” she assured me.

She shared her favorite fan letter with us:

Gripping story with well-described locations! Other reviews have mentioned the thrilling plot (very true!), but I also want to note the fabulous descriptions in the book. This book has an amazing sense of place. The story takes place in New Jersey, Florida, Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian jungles, and each location is described in such detail that you could easily picture it in your mind. (Including the mausoleum—eek!) The author truly paints pictures of the locations with her words. Highly recommended!

She always wanted to be a writer. Since she grew up in a very small town without much to do, she read.

“If I am not in the middle of a book I feel as if something is missing in my life,” she told me. “A book to escape into, whether I’m reading it or writing it, is another world that I need.”

“Ebook or print?” I asked, “And why?”

“My travel, children’s and middle grade books were all print books first and had a happy time on shelves in bookstores. I miss that. I miss the book signings. I miss visiting the bookstore to check if my books are in stock and sneakily rearranging them so they have a nice visible position on the shelves. You can’t do that when your ebook is sitting up there on a cloud. My romantic suspense book has started out as an ebook and I hope will shortly be brought out as a paperback.”

“What was the scariest moment of your life?” I asked.

“In my twenties I shared a house in Sydney, Australia, with another girl. In the middle of the night, my bedroom door opened. I saw the dark silhouette of a large man approaching the bed. He was holding a flashlight. His hand covered the light and it glowed red. I didn’t know whether or not to scream. What if I screamed and no one came? I didn’t know if my roommate was home. I didn’t know the neighbors and their house was dark. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. He left the room. I could see him and his flashlight moving around the living room. I didn’t know what to do. Should I try and climb out of the window? I was wearing just a flimsy PJ top. And if he heard a noise, he might return to my bedroom. Earlier, I’d been wearing a hairpiece of ringlets to a party. Not being very tidy, I’d left it on the floor. I tiptoed over, grabbed it, and put it on the pillow and then arranged my quilt to look as if I was in the bed. I thought if he attacked the hairpiece, I’d know I might as well scream. Otherwise I was better off silent. Then I spent the night quivering under the bed. It was a great relief finally, at dawn, to hear my roommate calling – Hey, why’s the front door open?”

Finally, I asked, “Could you ever co-author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?”

“I co-authored a book, Hardcore Inventing, with a volcanologist and inventor. He is quite the alpha male and the book featured his and other inventors experiences and advice. He was fun to work with as he let me run with it. Otherwise, I find it hard to write with other authors. A publisher once asked me and two friends to write a book with a story featuring a line of children’s products he wanted to bring out. Everyone had a different thing they wanted to do first. One friend wanted to consult an attorney. One wanted to work on the characters first. I wanted to work on the plot first. Eventually we each wrote out own books and submitted all three to the publisher! Although he paid us, none of the books were ever published. So that wasn’t a very successful experience!”

Enjoy watching the book video:

5_28 LettingEvilIn_ByEllieEden-800x1200 (1)When Michael goes on a photographic assignment to Brazil and fails to return, Kristi and her son fly to Rio de Janeiro, desperate to find him. Instead she finds that during the cold New Jersey winter, her husband has spent his time in steamy chat rooms with Nara, a young woman desperate for attention and involved in the Rio drug world.

As she searches for Michael in exotic but crime-ridden Rio, Kristy finds herself way out of her league. She turns to Italian-Brazilian Federal Agent Tony Lamazzo for help. As the harsh truth of her marriage brings a dose of reality to her life, she finds the temptation of getting closer to the strong, capable—and totally hot—Tony difficult to resist. She’s in Brazil on the Day of Dead, a day when Brazilians go wild. Why shouldn’t she go wild with Tony, for just one night, before returning home to start the new life alone she’ll have to learn to make for herself?

But when her son vanishes too, Kristi doesn’t know where to turn. Michael’s affair with drug-dealing Nara has exposed them all to the murderous wrath of a ruthless drug lord, and while she longs to trust Tony, she can’t trust his powerful and politically corrupt family. But in the dangerous slums and rainforests of Brazil, the danger mounts for both Kristi and her son, and a cold-blooded enemy has an agenda of his own. If she trusts Tony, she might save her son. Or it might just get them all killed…

About the Author:5_28 eyes photo Ellie Eden thinks the next best thing to hot romance is reading or writing about it. And she finds it even better to be somewhat scared or totally petrified at the same time. That’s why she loves Romantic Suspense. She favors strong, protective alpha heroes, but finds murderous but good-looking bad guys fun too, at least on paper. And she loves to escape into an exotic, preferably crime-ridden, location.

In another life, Ellie Eden is the best-selling author of two travel books and a number of award-winning biographies about mostly alpha heroes. She lives in Hawaii, spending a lot of time with family in California, and has two daughters and a son.

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Hope by Sam Rook – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sam Rook will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av’lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.

Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av’lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.

Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.

With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Just leave it alone, Lord Alextor.” Lanclor didn’t glance away from the window.

“Don’t you ‘Lord Alextor’ me, Lan.” Alextor grabbed his shoulder and swung him around. “Tell me what’s going on.” Alextor looked him in the eye, unwavering.

Lanclor glared at him, but knew Alextor was too stubborn to let it rest. He looked down at Alextor’s hand upon his shoulder. His friend quickly removed it. Lanclor walked over to his desk and sat down, placing his elbows upon the desk and clenching his hands together. “Yes, I had some luck.”


“And what?”

“Do you know who she was?” Alextor gave him an irritated look.

“Yeah. Someone I should never have gotten involved with.”

“She was that bad, huh? You’ll regroup next time, find someone better.”

Lanclor looked away, clenching his jaw. “Yeah.” He felt Alextor’s stare boring into the side of his head.

“By the Goddess.”

“What?” Lanclor looked up with an innocent expression that didn’t quite meet his eyes.

“You pursued someone you cared for.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Lanclor rose from his chair. “I have reports to do. We’ll have to talk later.”

“Bullshit. You write those reports for me, so if I don’t care about them right now, you shouldn’t either. Who was it, Lan?” Alextor leaned with both hands upon Lanclor’s desk, glaring at him.

Lanclor gave the window a momentary glance, then returned Alextor’s glare. “It’s not any of your business.” He cursed the despair in his voice.

About the Author: Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

Website | Amazon Author Page
Buy the book at Amazon.

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Elizabeth’s Favorite Historical Romances by Elizabeth Hoyt – Guest Blog and Giveaway

5_27 hoyt Dearest-Rogue-BlogTour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of Dearest Rogue.

Elizabeth’s Favorite Historical Romances
1. The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne: Joanna Bourne has a wonderfully elegant style of writing that reminds me a bit of Laura Kinsale. With an adventurous plot, a crafty heroine, a sexy, domineering hero, and sexual tension that crackles, The Spymaster’s Lady is simply gorgeous.

2. A Woman Scorned by Liz Carlyle: I must confess a terrible weakness for very wicked heroines paired with very good heroes. The problem, of course, is in the execution: so often a good man comes off as rather, well, boring. Not so the hero of Carlyle’s A Woman Scorned, Captain Cole Amherst. Not only is Cole a veteran, but he’s a man of the cloth, and yet he’s more than up to the wild Lady Mercer. Their battle of wills is so sexually charged the pages practically steam. This is simply a delicious book!

3. Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens: You really cannot go wrong with a Stephanie Laurens historical romance, but Devil’s Bride—the book that started the Cynster family phenomenon—remains one of my all time favorite books, with perhaps the most alpha of alpha male heroes!

4. A Lady Never Lies by Juliana Grey: I was given Juliana Gray’s debut historical romance, A Lady Never Lies, to read for a possible blurb and was completely blown away! Rarely does a new author have such a confident voice—witty, mature, emotionally delicate—and the fact that the book is set in Tuscany and the hero is an automobile inventor just added to the delight of discovering Juliana Gray.

5. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway: All Through the Night has long been a favorite of mine and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it. The dynamic between the hero who is wooing the heroine by day and hunting her by night—though he doesn’t know she’s the same woman—is incredibly sexy right from the first page.

5_27 Hoyt_Dearest Rogue_MMHE CAN GUARD HER
Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King’s dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she’s targeted by kidnappers.

Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they’re confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier’s hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

Enjoy an excerpt:

He cleared his throat. “Malcolm MacLeish is young and handsome—”

“A fat lot of good that does me, since I can’t see him.”

“— a gentleman of high spirits and quick wit and seemingly smitten with you as well.”

There was a silence.

“Smitten,” Phoebe said at last. “Smit-ten. The word sounds like a skin disease if you think about it too much.”

“He smiles every time he sees you,” he murmured quietly. Was he jealous?

“I smile every time I smell cherry pie.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” Trevillion said disapprovingly. “I don’t see why you’ve rejected him out of hand.”

“You sound like a querulous old aunt, scolding children for running through the house.”

“I am older than you,” he replied stiffly, “as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions.”

A terrible thought struck her. “Are you shoving me at Mr. MacLeish because I kissed you?”


“It was my very first kiss, you ought to know,” she said very rapidly, because sometimes it was just better to say the embarrassing thing and get it over with. “I’m sure I’ll improve with practice. In fact, I’m sure of it. Almost everything improves with practice, don’t you think? And
really, if I had a just a bit of help from your end next time—”

“I am not kissing you,” he said with the awful finality of a judge pronouncing a death sentence.

“Why not?”

“You know very well why not.”

“Nooo,” she said slowly, thinking it over. “No, I can’t say that I do, really. I mean I know why you think we oughtn’t kiss again: you’re as old as the Thames, you’re below me in rank, I’m too young and frivolous, and you much too serious, et cetera, et cetera, and et cetera, but frankly I don’t have any reasons not to kiss you.” She stopped for breath and to think and amended her statement. “Unless, of course, you’re either (a) a murderer running from the law or (b) hiding a secret wife. Are you?”

“I . . . what?”

“Are you,” she repeated patiently, “either a murderer running from the law or hiding a secret wife?”

“You know I’m not,” he said with impatience. It was a good thing she was so stubborn, because that tone might have put off many another young girl. “Phoebe—”

“So then there’s no reason at all not to kiss me again.” She folded her hands in her lap and smiled.

About the Author: 5_27 HoytElizabethElizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weeklyhas 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.

The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or email her at:Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.

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Five Things I Wish I Knew About Publishing Before I Signed My First Contract by Cara Elliott – Guest Blog and Giveaway

5_27 cara Passionately-Yours-Release-Week-Blitz

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. A randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will receive The Hellions of High Street series:

Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only things they are encouraged to pursue are eligible bachelors. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .

Five Things I Wish I Knew About Publishing Before I Signed My First Contract
1. A wry sense of humor is essential to survival.

2. Keep a suit of armor close at hand, even if you don’t write Medieval romances.

3. Chocolate is an author’s best friend (because comfort trumps calories!)

4. It’s not just you—all authors have very odd quirks!

5. Don’t read your Amazon reviews. Let your friends do it and send you all the glowing ones.

Passionately Yours, Book Three, just released

5_27 cara Elliott_Passionately Yours_MMWith her older sisters both happily married, Caro Sloane yearns for a romantic adventure of her own. Unfortunately the muddy, sulfur-scented waters of Bath seem the least likely setting for love or excitement. But the aspiring young poet soon finds inspiration when she runs into a familiar-and achingly handsome-Scottish laird.

Visiting Bath with his sickly sister, Alec McClellan is shocked to be reunited with Caro Sloane. He hasn’t been able to forget the English beauty since their brief but exhilarating first meeting. But Bath is not nearly as serene as it appears, and soon Alec must protect Caro from a danger that threatens to extinguish the sparks flying between them. Little does he know that a bit of danger is exactly what Caro is looking for . . .

Buy the book at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, or BAM

Sinfully Yours, Book Two

5_27 cara Elliott_Sinfully Yours_MMAfter an eventful Season, Anna Sloane longs for some peace and quiet to pursue her writing. Though her plots might be full of harrowing adventure and heated passion, she’d much prefer to leave such exploits on the page rather than experience them in real life. Or so she thinks until she encounters the darkly dissolute-and gorgeously charming-Marquess of Davenport.

Davenport has a reputation as a notorious rake whose only forte is wanton seduction. However the real reason he’s a guest at the same remote Scottish castle has nothing to do with Anna . . . until a series of mysterious threats leave him no choice but to turn to her for help in stopping a dangerous conspiracy. As desire erupts between them, Davenport soon learns he’s not the only one using a carefully crafted image to hide his true talents. And he’s more than ready to show Anna that sometimes reality can be even better than her wildest imaginings . . .

Buy the book at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, or BAM

Scandalously Yours, Book One

5_27 cara Elliott_Scandalously Yours_MMThe eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London’s leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor’s edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . .

However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia’s secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl’s young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.

Buy the book at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, BAM, or Kobo

About the Author: 5_27 Cara ElliottCara Elliott started writing Western novels at the age of five. However, she traded in her cowboy boots for Regency high-top Hessians after reading Pride and Prejudice in junior high school and hasn’t looked back. She graduated from Yale University, and she now lives and works in New York City.

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Get to Know Nancy Henderson and Bounty – Guest Blog

Long and Short welcomes Nancy Henderson.

5_27 NancyHello and thank you for the opportunity to be a guest blogger today! For those who are wondering who the heck I am, I’m Nancy Henderson, and I write historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. I also write humorous short stories/books about cats and cat ownership. (Go to http://www.litterboxesandhairballs.com for information.) Lately, I’ve been writing in the historical romance genre. My newest book release is called Bounty.

5_27 nancy BountyA bounty to live comfortably for the rest of his life…
A betrayal she would never forget…
And the journey of a lifetime…

Delilah Van Allen has her whole life planned. Independent as a mountain cat, she will escape to the wild and live off the land in peace. Until her father promises her hand to the commander of a fort in the remote Adirondack wilderness.

Mohawk scout Two Crows has been hired to escort a white woman to Fort Edward. He never expects to find love and risk the bounty—and the vengeance—he has been promised.

Bounty was a strange book to write in that the whole story line came to me entirely by surprise. Not to say I haven’t had other plots surprise me, but this was fully fleshed out by a simple conversation. I was visiting my mom and she was telling me how my aunt, her sister, wanted to come for a visit but didn’t know how she was going to get there because her daughter was borrowing her car. Suddenly I envisioned a hero (who is this man and why is he in my head???) taking a stranger on a journey. Where are they going? Why is so much at stake? What happens next? It was amazing, exhilarating and a blast to write!

Please check out my newest release Bounty. I’d love to hear from you! Visit my website at: http://www.always-a-story.com or http://www.nancyhendersonbooks.com .

All the best,
Nancy Henderson

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Character Interview with Bryant Holt from His Target, His Desire by Aspen J. Lee – Guest Blog and Giveaway

NBTM_TourBanner_HisTargetHisDesire copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Aspen will be awarding $30 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.

Character interview with Bryant Holt (ex Black-0ps)

Who has had the most influence on you?

My father. He was a tough son of a bitch but with a good heart. You always knew where you stood with him. His boundaries were firm but fair. When me and my brother hit our teens, we both went a bit wild, as you do when the testosterone kicks in. My mother didn’t know what to do. Poor mom fretted a lot. But dad took us a side and had a little talk. He said “You have your fun because you’ll never live this life again, but remember, if you respect yourself then you can’t help but treat others with the same regard. You do that, it will come back to you in return. Be good to your woman because the happiest times of your life will come from sharing it with someone you love, and I ain’t never pulling you from jail.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Falling in love with Cypress.

What is your greatest regret?

Not being there when my mom passed away. I was away on assignment and only found out two days later. She endured a long fight against breast cancer. She was courageous throughout, even when in excruciating pain. She never complained or felt sorry for herself. It killed me to see how gutted my father was when she died. A large part of him died with her.

When was the time you were the most frightened?

When I thought I would lose Cypress. When those guys came out of no where and tried to kidnap her, man if I’d been a couple of seconds later, she would’ve been gone. At this point I wasn’t sure who was after her. If it had been military, she’d be dead already.

If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why?

I never told my mom enough times how much I loved her. It’s only once they’re gone and you’ve lost your chance, do you realize how much you took them for granted. I take the time now to show my respect and love for my father. I’m making sure he knows my feelings for him. You’ve got to see the positives in everything you experience, even if it’s shit, otherwise the bad in life will start to weigh you down. Mom’s early death was a tragedy for us, but also a gift. I choose now not to take for granted those that matter to me the most.

What is your best memory?

Fishing. We lived close to the beach and in summer, every Friday evening mom would pack us a picnic dinner and we’d spend the evening fishing. Those times were the best. All of us together, sharing jokes, laughing, chilling as a family. Mom and Dad would usually end up talking about their childhoods and the sorts of things they got up to. Sometimes it’s easy to forget your parents had a history. That their life didn’t start the moment you were born.

Are you able to kill? Under what circumstances do you find killing to be acceptable or unacceptable?

Yes. I have. It’s part of my job. But I never do it without a heavy heart, and I’ve never forgotten the men I’ve killed. It’s your duty. It’s your leveler. Otherwise you’re no longer human. But the truth is, not everyone deserves the life they’re given.

Do you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love?

I never did until I met Cypress. I’d been looking in the wrong places and at the wrong women. I thought I was going to be a drifting bachelor, never finding fulfillment with one woman. But when you find the right one, falling in love is unavoidable and giving of yourself is easy. You want to please her.

What do you look for in a potential lover?

A woman who disarms me. Physical beauty is great, but if there’s nothing more beyond the border, than my interest won’t hold for the long run. I love to be kept guessing. I need a woman who challenges me, makes me strive harder to keep up, doesn’t take my shit. Strength is great in a woman, and I’m not talking physical. I mean a woman who knows her worth and won’t allow herself to be diminished.

Do you trust anyone to protect you? Who, and why?

No. I think you’ve got to find your own strength, learn to depend on yourself. There’s no guarantee that the people you love and trust will always be there. If you’re not prepared to help yourself then you should never expect others to do it for you. My dad started me and my brother with martial arts when we were young. He felt it was good for discipline and confidence. He also believed a man had to know how to protect himself and his own.

What is your greatest strength as a person?

Courage and loyalty.

What is your greatest weakness?

I don’t know when to let go.

Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at, and three things you consider yourself to be very bad at.

I’m good with weapons, hand-to-hand combat and pleasing a woman. I’m useless at cooking, table tennis and picking up after myself.

What is your idea of good entertainment (consider music, movies, art, etc.)?

Cuddling up with my girlfriend, cozy on a cold night, with a quick and easy feed, perhaps pizza, and a good action flick.

What is your favorite food?

Pizza, Mom’s lasagna, hot curry. I’m a savory food kind of guy. A good home cooked meal wins hands down. My mom was a fantastic cook. She used to make the best samosas, ever. She spent some of her teens in India as her dad worked for some shipping company based in Mumbai, Bombay, back then. She could make the hottest vindaloo I’d ever tasted.

How do you deal with stress?

I pump weights, pound the turf, kick box, parachute or anything else that gets the heart rate flowing. I find exercise is the best way to clear stress from my system. It also helps me streamline my focus. I usually find my solutions when my muscles burn. And I mean exercise in any form, including sex. A long session in bed is guaranteed make me forget what the hell I was worried about.

MediaKit_BookCover_HisTargetHisDesireThe rules of survival in this line of work: trust no one, hold no assumptions, don’t fall for your target. Bryant Holt breaks all three.

For 1.5 million, Cypress Howard is now his target. Ex-black ops, Bryant finds he can’t resist her temptations.

He’s way out of her league, sexy as hell and asking her out for dinner. It just doesn’t make sense. But Cypress is frightened of letting any one in.

Why? Because Cypress now lives incognito. The real her is dead, or so everyone thinks.

A deal is struck between secret factions and Cypress is now being hunted. Bryant’s claimed her, and he’ll do anything to save her. But first he must unravel the maze of her past.

When her life begins to implode, Cypress’s lover turns into James Bond. Who the hell is he? It’s too late to question, Bryant’s already chained her heart. All she can do is hold on.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Sorry.” She gave him a quick glance as her cheeks heated some more, determined to give him only a moment’s eye contact, enough to endorse her apology, before turning her attention back to the broad shoulders in front, but the arresting smile and deep brown eyes held her head in place.

“Pleasure’s mine.”

O-k-a-y. A delicious yet confusing comment.

“Bryant Holt.” A hand came toward her in the ritual of welcome.

Long fingers laced around, encapsulating her hand, locking it to his warm palm. When she glanced up, the intensity of his gaze, lessoned only a little by his generous smile, swallowed her.

“Cypress Howard.” The words came out quick. Great, now he would think her childish, gushing or simple. “I wasn’t looking.”

His brow furrowed, then one eyebrow shot up quizzically—sexy, in a cute, alluring way.

“Your screen, I mean. I wasn’t peeking at your typing, or rather what you were searching through.”

He gave a small nod to show he understood her bumbling explanation. “Doesn’t matter. My cells littered with work stuff, boring as hell and riddled with jargon even I can’t understand.”

“You work in this building? It’s just that I’ve been riding this lift for a year now and haven’t seen you before.” Left off the sentence end was an elaboration that went something like “yours is a face I wouldn’t forget,” but it was way too much of a pickup line. And what about everything else she’d said? Did it all sound cheesy?

About the Author:After joining her local writers’ centre and attending a workshop on romance writing, Aspen J lee decided she was set on the wrong career path. Swapping sides from factualising to fictionalizing life, she quit her job and started a Masters in Writing.

Soon after she discovered passion rather than academics was the key ingredient, so picked up the pen and began to fashion her own stories. Another workshop introduced her into the world of spicy writing. The end result was Slipping Through His Fingers, published by Siren-Bookstrand (2014). Two novels followed His Target His Desire (Siren-Bookstrand, 2015) and Bound (Eternal Press, 2015).

Aspen is currently crafting her fourth erotic romance and dipping her quill into a dystopian, both of which she hopes to have published later this year.

When Aspen can extract herself from her characters, she can be found in her kitchen, crafting magic of a different nature, with dogs and cats in tow. She lives on 6.5 acres, which she shares with the wildlife, a husband and three children.

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Summer Fire: Love When It’s Hot by Various Authors – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card. The book is priced at only $0.99! Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_SummerFire3D21 ALL NEW Contemporary Romance stories by NY Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors.

Love when it’s hot? So do we. Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion. Turn the fan to oscillate and join us for this steamy, groundbreaking bundle of summer tales that are hot hot hot.

Included authors:
Gennita Low
Stacey Mosteller
R.J. Lewis
L. Wilder
Victoria Danann
Kym Grosso, Cat Miller, Mimi Barbour, Clarissa Wild, Teresa Gabelman, Linda Barlow, Helen Scott Taylor, Victoria James, Mona Risk
Patrice Wilton
Joan Reeves
Danielle Jamie
Terri Marie
Lorhainne Eckhart
Brandy L. Rivers
Nicole Blanchard

Enjoy an excerpt from “A Season in Gemini” by Victoria Danann

Garland pulled up in front of her building, grabbed the rolling suitcase with essential stuff, smiled at Max, the doorman, and gave him the car keys so that he could have the car parked in a two thousand dollars per month garage spot nearby. She might not use it again for weeks, or even months, but it was nice to know she could.

“I’m home!” She took a deep breath and called out to anyone who might be in the flat. Since it was Sunday that would probably be either her father or no one.

She walked the length of the kitchen and beyond to a small, but elegant and sunny breakfast room that overlooked Central Park and was rarely seen by anyone other than the two living St. Germaines and staff.

“I say, ‘I’m home!’”, she repeated as she flopped into a chair opposite where her dad was having coffee and reading the paper.

David St. Germaine looked over the top of the Wall Street Journal. “So I see.”

“Wow. Welcome home.”

He slid a section of the Sunday Times toward where she sat across the glass top table. “I second the ‘wow’.”

Before looking down at whatever he wanted her to see, she could tell that he was the farthest thing from happy. When she’d seen him two days before at graduation, he’d been delighted. He and his date for the day. Garland didn’t remember her name. There was no point. Her father rarely saw women more than once.

On the cusp of fifty, he was still handsome, with a little silver above his ears and a tan that never faded completely because he made a point of sailing twice a month, when weather and business permitted. He’d been referred to as ‘eligible bachelor’ in the, ahem, society pages more than once, but Garland doubted the veracity of that claim. Since her mother’s death, he hadn’t given anyone reason to think he was ‘eligible’.

Garland tore her eyes away from his scowl, not his most attractive expression, to look at the paper in front of her. The front and center color image was none other than herself wearing a short sparkly dress that had ridden far too high as she fell backwards spilling a colorful beverage when she went sprawling into the laps of laughing friends.

The headline read, “Germane Enterprises Princess Out on the Town. Daddy’s little girl lets her hair down and her skirt up.”

As she stared at the page, her father said, “Nice dress,” in a tone dripping with sarcasm.

Without looking up, she said quietly, “We were just having some fun. We just graduated…”

“How many times have I told you that what you do reflects on me? And, by extension, on Germane Enterprises?”

She met his glare. “Thousands.”

“That’s right! Thousands. You would think a girl capable of graduating Dartmouth summa cum laude would get it after mere dozens of times.”


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No Better Man by Sara Richardson – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a print copy of No Better Man.

Favorite vacation destination

Aspen, Colorado (of course!): Living in Colorado, I’ve traveled to Aspen for years and it’s still one of my favorite places in Colorado. When most people think of Aspen, they think glitz and celebrities, but there’s this cool rustic vibe that gives the town a unique personality. It also has some of the best hiking in the state. Oh, yeah. And the skiing is pretty good, too. :)

Nassau, Bahamas: I just experienced the Bahamas for the first time in February and I’m hooked! While we were there, a friend took us out in his boat to Rose Island, which was quiet and secluded and had some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced right off the shore. As someone who’s not a big crowd person, it was the perfect escape!

Kauai: When my husband and I went on a babymoon to Kauai before our first child was born, I learned that this beautiful island has the best of both worlds—incredible beaches and incredible hiking. To me, that combination is pure heaven.

Lake Louise, Canada: Banff National Park holds a special place in my heart because that’s where my husband and I went on our honeymoon fourteen years ago. Even after we flipped and crashed our ATV, it’s still one of my favorite vacation destinations.

Alaska: What could be more romantic than the last frontier? Mountains, glaciers, quaint little towns, whales… those were my favorite things about Alaska. It’s probably the wildest and most pristine place I’ve ever been. Just don’t forget the bear spray! Due to my intense and irrational fear of bears, I took it with me wherever we went.

5_26 Richardson_nobetterman_MMA Daring Proposition

When it comes to business, Avery King always comes out on top. So after a very public breakup, work is the perfect excuse to flee the Windy City for the gentle breezes of Aspen, Colorado. Her mission: acquire the land of a rundown mountain ranch. Avery expects an easy win . . . until she meets the rugged and irresistible rancher who won’t give up his property without a fight. Bryce Walker is stunned by the stubborn beauty determined to get what she wants. But what she wants is his last connection to the life he used to have. Bryce has plans to return the ranch to its former glory and no way will he sell his family home. Yet the more time he spends with Avery, the more her sweet touch makes him forget his painful memories. Now Bryce must decide whether living in the past is worth losing his future . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

Ah, hell. Not this. What was it with women, anyway? Why’d they have this burning desire to get to the bottom of absolutely every feeling they had? Why couldn’t they sit in silence, enjoy the scenery? “I don’t know you well enough to be upset with you,” he finally said, increasing his pressure on the gas pedal. The cops were notorious for pulling over speeders on this section through town, but tonight he was willing to risk it.

“Look.” Avery’s hands sliced the air in front of her. “I understand why you don’t want to sell. Trust me. I get it.”

Ha. Trust her. He didn’t trust her any more than he trusted her father. At the end of the day, she worked for the infamous Edward King. She might be smokin’ hot and nice, and, like she insisted, a good person, but she still had a job to do. He wouldn’t forget that.

Instead of answering, he leaned over and flicked on the radio. Nothing like a little Brad Paisley to tune out a woman.

Avery shot him a fiery look, topaz eyes blazing, lips thinned into a warning that tempted him to test her.

That didn’t help things. She looked even better when she got mad. His grip on the wheel tightened until his knuckles ached. Mom was right. He had to get out more. Start dating again. Any woman besides Avery King…

She hunched forward and fiddled with the radio until he could hardly hear Paisley. Fine. That was fine. Five more minutes and they’d be back at the ranch anyway. He’d be free of her.

“You need to listen to me, Bryce. Please.” She launched into yet another impassioned monologue about how selling the ranch could change his life.

Yeah, well. He’d had enough changes in his life over the last few years. So sue him if he wasn’t interested. She didn’t seem to pick up on his lack of concentration, though. She went on and on until he pulled the truck into the driveway and parked in front of the office.

“Are you listening to me?” She leaned over the console between them and got in his face, close enough that he could smell oranges, that he could trace the sexy curve of her upper lip with his tongue if he’d wanted to.

“Have you heard anything I’ve said?”

The throb started again, deep in his chest, invading his body until it occupied all of him.

“Seriously, Bryce this is—”

Screw it. He cupped his hand around the back of her head and roughly brought her lips to his, totally unprepared for the impact it would have. Shock waves coursed through him, unleashing a craving stronger than he’d ever felt.

Avery squeaked in surprise but he didn’t let up. Need thundered through him and it was a helluva lot louder than the logic he’d spent the last several hours beating into his thick skull. Her lips were soft and moist and everything he’d hungered for during the last three lonely years. He gentled a hand up into her hair. It felt like silk against his skin.

A small moan purred in her throat and her upper body relaxed, lips melding to his in a pulsating heat. She ran her hands up his chest, and that was all he needed. He bent forward, halfway over the console, gathering her closer, kissing her harder, deeper. If it wasn’t for that console, he’d pull her right into his lap…

“Wow. Just…wow,” she whispered against his lips.

He answered by parting her lips with his tongue. There. That’d take care of her chatting problem.

Avery gasped a sharp intake of air, her chest rising against his.

Taking it as an invitation, he commanded her with his lips, opening and closing them in a sensual rhythm. A dull ache resounded in his chest. God, he’d forgotten the depth of a kiss…

He shifted to get a better angle, more access, but that console…

She pulled back with a small smile, lips grazing his in a tease, then she pressed in again and proved that she could make out as well as she could talk.

A scratching sound scraped the window. Moose whined, then barked.

Great timing, as usual.

About the Author:5_26 RichardsonNOBETTERMANSaraSara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.

Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After a brief stint in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons.

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A Day in the Life of Pearl R. Meaker – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Following Pearl

It’s somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 AM and my alarm is going.

My alarm has four puddy-tat paws and is either using the bottom section of our bed as a scratching post or is yowling loudly or is walking on my husband and me or is doing some combination of the above.

And it may not always be the same alarm.

It’s usually either Goldie, our 15-year-old female orange tabby or it’s Flaming Chi To, our 3-year-old – – – well, he looks like a lightly toasted marshmallow with Siamese point markings and blue eyes. (His type of cat are called “Color Point Shorthairs.” A boring name for a very cool looking cat of Siamese/Orange Tabby descent.)

My hubby usually goes back to sleep (unless he’s already left for work, then it’s rather hard for him to go back to sleep) but I get up to start my day.

Welcome to a day of following Pearl R. Meaker.

I take care of the morning necessaries while sharing the bathroom with Chi To and another of our four cats, 2 year old Mr. Midnight, (Guess what color he is?) (You get to wander around my house while I’m in here.) The boys both like to drink fresh running faucet water or lay down in the sink. After managing to brush my teeth around the boys, I’m off to do morning cat care. This is often accompanied by music on my iPod – bluegrass with or without vocals, Celtic, late 60’s/70’s rock, classical, environmental, relaxation, or medieval.

The cat most vocal about how starving she is is Millie, an 18-year-old black cat who is the grand lady of the house. But everyone has to wait for breakfast until I’ve given Chi To his medicine.

Flaming Chi To has cerebellar hypoplasia along with herpetic keratitis. The first is a neurological condition that affects his balance. His is a mild case but he still has some issues like being a messy eater and not being as good a jumper as cats usually are. The herpetic keratitis is an eye problem that is chronic and is what the meds are for.

Once Chi To is taken care of, everyone gets a wet food treat and peace reigns in the house. (Happy Kitties!)

Next, I do litter box duties.

Then, I get to feed me. Breakfast is usually an egg with some deli ham or turkey and cheese, toast, coffee and juice – and reading. I will offer you whatever we have that you might want and we’ll most likely talk – unless you also like to read while you eat.

This “following Pearl through her day” gets difficult after this point. After this, I don’t have a regular daily pattern. My husband’s work hours fluctuate, so that doesn’t help me keep to a regular schedule. There are no school-aged children in our home, which helps with scheduling in the school year. (They are the ones who have school-aged kids now). It is difficult for ADD Pearl to set and actually hold to a schedule that isn’t established by outside circumstances.

But let’s say I’m writing today, which is usually accompanied by the above listed types of music but nothing with vocals – otherwise I start typing lyrics, and I can’t publish those.

I write on a MacBook Pro laptop using Word for Mac, Scrivener, and a program that isn’t as well known, perhaps, called Inspiration9. Early thinking and plotting are done in my head and on Inspiration9 which does thought bubble diagrams and time lines – both of which the program can then show as outlines if you want, but why would I want that? 😉

The entire first draft is done on Scrivener. Every three to five chapters, I copy/paste them into Word and send them to my excellent writing coach, Mary Rosenblum, for initial editing.

Everything progresses in that way until the story is finished, then it’s off to the publisher.


I do have an office, which is also my crafts room, also where the two girl cats hang out much of the time. I write there sometimes. I also work in the living room, in the kitchen on the dining table, or out on our backyard patios.

Lunch is something light, like soup or a salad – and reading, or talking to you.

Afternoon (or morning) can also include doing various sorts of housework.

4:00 to 5:00 PM brings Chi To’s meds and cat dinnertime.

Dinner is rather varied and happens whenever my husband gets home from his ever-changing shifts at work – and reading if he has an evening shift and I’m hungry before he gets home. Are you staying for dinner? Let’s go out! 

I don’t usually work in the evening even if my husband is working an evening shift. Unless I’m caught up in a crazed fit of writing with the muse pumping words out in a steady stream, I relax in the evenings. I watch NCIS, Castle, Bones, or Elementary episodes that I’ve recorded or I watch a variety of goodies off of Netflix.

By anywhere from nine to eleven at night, I’m ready for bed and off I toddle off to sleep, dream and get up the next morning to enjoy another day in my life.

MediaKit_BookCover_TheDevilsMusicEmory Crawford doesn’t do martial arts nor is she an athletic, leggy woman who is built like a model. She’s a wife, grandmother, and empty nest lover of crafts, reading, birding and bluegrass music.

When an acclaimed scholar, best-selling author and fellow bluegrass musician is found murdered on the Twombly College campus where her husband teaches chemistry and forensics, Emory takes up her knitting caddy, to help her channel the spirit of Miss Marple, and heads off to help solve the crime.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Naomi explained, “I play cello and love chamber music so ethno-musicology is starting to look like a good field to go into. Interest in it will surely pick up now that Dr. Dawson’s book is so popular.”

Archie looked up at the mention of his book.

“Speaking of which, do you have it with you, Naomi?”

“Oh yes! I forgot.” She easily folded in half to dig into her M.A.S.S. canvas tote. “Here.” She held the book out for me to take.

“Personally signed to you and Jebbin.”

Archie made sure he was loud enough for everyone at the table to hear him.

They all looked at me.

“Ah, thank you, Archie.”

“What’d he write?” Myra asked me.

I opened the cover.

“To my dear friends, Dr. Jebbin & Emory Crawford. Even a banjo picker should be able to understand this. Ha Ha. May none of your murder songs come true! Dr. Archibald Finlay Dawson.”

I closed the cover.

“Well, I guess I can return the one I checked out of the library this afternoon. We were planning on buying one at your signing table anyway, Archibald. Can’t pass up having a signed best seller for a new doorstop.”

Archie raised his eyebrows.

“I’m joshin’ ya, Archie. Just joshin’.”

Archie looked relieved. He laughed it off and we all went back to our own meals and conversations.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheDevilsMusicPearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fanfiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts – when she’s not reading or writing – knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer.

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