Luca’s Top Five Vacation Destinations by Luca Domani – Guest Blog


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Luca Domani who is celebrating the recent release of An American in Venice.

Luca’s Top Five Vacation Destinations (in no particular order)

1) Venice, Italy – Venice had to be on this list, for obvious reasons. I think everyone should visit Venice at least once in their lives. It’s one of those places that is both familiar and exotic. We have a preconception of the city from movies and books. The first time you see it, it’s like a fairy tale come to life. The lack of cars adds to the magic: to get around, you either walk or take a boat. It is one of the most romantic places in the world. Despite it being a bit of a tourist trap, I do recommend taking a gondola ride at least once. Just make sure you haggle about the price!

2) Nantucket, Massachusetts – If you are from in Massachusetts like myself, chances are you have summered on the cape. I love Cape Cod, but Nantucket has a special place in my heart. It’s a tiny island, with limited commercial development. You won’t find any big box stores here, and there is only one town, which is quaint and full of cobblestones. I find Nantucket to be one of the most peaceful places in the world. With its bounty of beautiful beaches, it’s possible to find your own piece of sand and surf, even during the busiest times in summer. The sunsets are picture perfect and not to be missed. Even the ferry ride from Hyannis is part of the experience. You don’t have to bring your car (the car ferry books up months in advance), since there is an extensive bike path system and a bus that goes around the island. Perhaps it’s only downside is how expensive it is to live there – the median price of a home on Nantucket is a million dollars!

3) Maui, Hawaii – There’s a theme to this list apparently. I am drawn to peaceful places with water. Maui is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, for good reason. The beaches are gorgeous, and the sunsets are magnificent. The flora and fauna are spectacular, and rainbows are a daily occurrence. I also recommend going to Mount Haleakala for the sunrise – many companies offer a biking tour including a van ride up the volcano in the morning and then a downhill bike ride on the way down. The Road to Hana, which is a drive around the island via the Hana highway, is also a must do. Just be sure to wear your SPF 50, the sun is much stronger at this latitude!

4) Disney World, Orlando, Florida – This might seem like an incongruous choice compared to the other places on this list, but I am a kid at heart. I will always come back to Disney, and the Magic Kingdom will always be my favorite. I like to stay on campus when I visit, at one of the hotels on the monorail. Disney requires a lot of walking, so always remember your sneakers and lots of water. Make time to relax and enjoy the hotel pool, so you don’t get burnt out from all the fun you’re having!

5) Napa Valley, California – Gorgeous scenery, amazing wine and delicious food – I don’t think I need to say much more to recommend Napa. Some of my favorite wineries include Duckhorn, Benessere and St. Supery. I also suggest starting with Robert Mondavi winery if you are a newbie, they have a fun and unpretentious class that teaches you how to taste wine. There are also so many great restaurants in the area and two of my favorites are Bouchon and Zuzu. Alas I haven’t yet had the chance to go to The French Laundry, which is considered one to be one of the best restaurants in the world, but it’s on my bucket list!

Tom has always been steady and predictable—a formula he’s sure will lead him to success in his career. When his method fails him and he loses his job, he throws caution to the wind for the first time in his life and books a European holiday.

Maybe Tom shouldn’t be surprised that Cupid’s arrow finds him in one of the most romantic cities in the world: Venice, Italy. When he encounters Giovanni working in the family pizzeria, it’s lust at first sight. Their time together touring the city is so magical it feels like a dream. But Tom is shy while Giovanni is charming and flirtatious. Tom has a newfound freedom with his unemployment, while family burdens weigh heavily on Giovanni. Add culture differences and miscommunication into the mix, and their brief romance might fade as quickly as the beautiful dream it resembles.

About the Author: Luca Domani has been writing stories since childhood. Although he has a doctorate in engineering, he has never given up on his dream of being a writer. He adores science fiction and is partial to postapocalyptic epics with zombie hordes, but at heart, he is a hopeless romantic. Luca is married to his high school sweetheart, who is his muse and the love of his life. They reside in Massachusetts with their dog and cat. An American in Venice is his second publication outside of a technical journal.

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Writing Critique Groups: Do’s and Don’t’s by Sara Turnquist – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

WRITING CRITIQUE GROUPS: Do’s and Don’t’s

One of the highlights of my week is writing critique group. I enjoy getting together with like-minded people, sharing my work and theirs, and giving each other feedback as well as encouragement. It gives me a place to bring my work in progress and have others put their eyes (and ears) on it.

Now that this group has been running for a while, a few things have stuck with me as definite strengths and potential pitfalls. Some from what I see in my own group, some from horror stories I have heard. So, if you are looking for a group or wanting to establish a critique group, let me give you some pointers.

DO: Have a published author in your midst

This is not absolutely necessary, but it is helpful. Otherwise, you might end up in a situation where it is the blind leading the blind. At the very least, the group’s leader (or wrangler, if you will) needs to be investing in learning the craft through writers conferences and books. A published author knows firsthand what editors and publishers are looking for in a manuscript. The author (published) is learned on craft and probably already investing in continuing education.

DON’T: Push others down

I understand that this, surprisingly, can be one of the major downfalls of a critique group. Members of the group, whether intentionally or subconsciously (I hope the latter) pushing the top talent in the group “down”. Being unnecessarily harsh with these bright rising stars may make someone feel good for a moment, but it will destroy the group in the end. And the damage it does to the members is unimaginable. Yes, we need to critique each other, but it needs to be done with a heart that seeks to better the other person and their work, not to take them down a notch. It just has to be done with the right intent.

DO: Be honest

On the flip side, it is so important that you bring your honesty to the other person’s page. No one in the group will grow if we all sit around and tell each other how wonderful we all are. There is a place for accolades, but the reason people join these groups is to have other critical (and hopefully kind) eyes on their work. To better their work. To better themselves as writers.

DON’T: Be afraid to share your work

And so you can see how important it is for you to be brave and bring your work, to share your art with the other members of the group. With any luck, you’ve found a group like mine that will share feedback seasoned with encouragement. If you get the sense that others are there to be critical, it’s not you, that is probably not the group for you.

Feedback may not always be easy to hear and there may be times you want to cry from honest feedback (this is the work of your heart, after all), but it should be delivered with some sense that they understand that very thing. That this is near and dear to you, that it’s not easy to hear, but that, just like stinging antiseptic, it must be done to help you get better.
In the end, that’s what it’s all about – honing your craft and becoming a better writer. So, walk into your writing critique group with that mindset. Yes, the encouragement and praise is great, but if that’s all you get, you’ll never grow. And isn’t that our goal anyway?

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle ranch and life insurance policy. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

Enjoy an Excerpt

A strong arm grasped Amanda, catching her upper arm and dragging her onto the horse. As soon as she was solidly on the animal, she grabbed ahold of Brandon as tightly as she could.

They took off. The bull pawed at the ground, making all manner of grunting noises, but as if by some miracle, he ran off to the left. All of this happened as if time had slowed.

The horse continued to push forward. And as they neared the edge of the fence, Brandon urged the horse to go even faster. Were they going to break through? What would happen to the cattle with the fence destroyed?

But as they approached the fence, the horse leapt. Amanda gripped Brandon impossibly tighter. Jolted when the horse landed, her teeth chattered.

Only then did Brandon slow the horse. He then placed a hand on her upper arm and pushed.

She released him.

He sucked in a deep breath and expelled it.

Had she been holding him too tightly? Her face warmed.

He took hold of her shoulders. “Are you all right?”

She nodded, and though their faces were but a breath apart, she was not quite able to meet his eyes, fighting tears in her own. Only then she found herself staring at his bare chest. Jerking her head away, she averted her gaze.

“Do you realize what could have happened?” His voice rose.

She nodded, still not able to meet his eyes. The force of his emotion hit her. Was he so concerned after her?

“I would have had to shoot that bull.”

What? Eyes wide, she tilted her face up to look at him.

“That bull is worth half my herd.”

So he was only worried about the cattle. Not her. His precious cattle.

About the Author:

Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Middle Tennessee where they currently reside. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. She enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara’s great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write clean Historical Romance. Sara has made several trips to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also the author of The General’s Wife, Off to War, Hope in Cripple Creek, and A Convenient Risk and a member of ACFW.

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Game on Askole 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.

Tihar travels to Earth to find and claim a Jones’ female. He knows they are fearless, psychic warriors and talented in bed sport. Ten minutes after meeting Sarah, Tihar knows the feisty, little human is the one he has been searching for. Now he must convince Sarah, she’s meant to be his.

The first-time Sarah sees Tihar, she’s a bit freaked out. The Askole warrior has tentacles, snakelike features and black armored-plated skin. Even weirder she finds him strangely attractive. Tihar’s torso is sculpted perfection and his black scales are kind of sexy. Who knew challenging Tihar to combat would start the Askole mating dance. He thinks Earth girls are easy and he’s about to learn messing with a Jones female is never a good idea.

As the two grow closer, their romance comes to a screeching halt when Askole rebels attack Tihar’s home world. He tells Sarah she is his heart’s destiny and he will love her to the end of time. He abruptly severs their mental bond and disappears. Reeling from shock, Sarah won’t let a galactic war stop her from hunting him down. Can the two of them find their way back into each other’s arms?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Poof! A tall, stick thin Coletti female wearing a pointy metal hat and bronze breastplate over a screaming red body suit appeared on the terrace and surveyed us like we were dog poop she had accidently stepped in.

“Say howdy to Lilkee, the paranoid whack job.” I waved at her all friendly like. “Lookin’ for your death bringers?”

She totally ignored me and drew her sword. Lilkee’s entire focus was on Detja. If looks could kill, Detja would be toes up.

“Lilkee,” Detja said, her voice terse and unfriendly. “Zarek is not here.”

The whack job smirked and stroked the hilt of her gem encrusted sword. “I know. I came to see the pitiful female your half-breed son has chosen.”

“Half-breed? Pitiful?” Kaylee narrowed her eyes. “One more insult and that skinny bitch is gonna get her ass kicked.”

“We’ll help,” I said.

Her lips curled in contempt, Lilkee examined Kaylee from head to toe. “You are nothing, but a filthy little primitive whose pathetic planet Malik plans to wipe from existence.”

“The only one being wiped from existence is Malik.” Kaylee stood. “If you’re a smart girl, you’ll leave now, before I beat the living shit out of you.”

“I am Coletti, daughter of Zarek. You could never defeat me,” Lilkee said proudly.

Kaylee punched her hard in the mouth, knocking her down. “Wanna bet?”

Two dozen Genghis Khan wannabes appeared around us.

“Oh, hell.” I grabbed a butter knife off the table.

“Kill them,” the whack job commanded.

About the Author: Howdy. My name is Gail Koger and once upon a time I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Too many years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. I took up writing science fiction romance to keep from killing people. So far, it has worked.

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Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell – Q&A and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).


 

 

 

 

 

Please tell us about growing up.

I was ten weeks old when I moved with my family from Illinois to Pakistan. After that we lived in Vietnam, Laos, and Ecuador, and travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. I never really knew the US as home until my tweens when my parents retired from the Foreign Service and we returned to Illinois. I credit my dad for giving me a world view, along with a deep appreciation for the United States. On the negative side, some overseas experiences still haunt me today, yet I know they helped create who I am. Some might consider my childhood “privileged” but it was far from idyllic; almost everyone has memories they would prefer to forget, but it’s the combination of “good” and “bad” that makes us dimensional, and I like to think, gives us compassion. My characters—even the supporting ones—often have something lurking in their shadows, and none is beyond redemption. On a different level, I love foreign cultures and settings. Born in China, my mom was the daughter of Christian missionaries. I credit her for my faith and spirituality, which subtly pops up in my writing.

Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

I like books on philosophy because this influences both plot and characters. Everyone has core values that they rely on throughout their life, and these impact behavior. I like my characters to have beliefs that then drive the plot. My characters aren’t perfect, but they’re doing the best they can. By the end of the book, they’re kinder and more compassionate which I think we all strive to be.

A few authors I enjoy: Kate Braestrup (Here If You Need Me); Jodi Picoult; Sara Gruen; Dana Stabenow; Marion Zimmer Bradley (Mists of Avalon); Richard Bach (Illusions); Pam Grout (E-Squared); Winston Churchill; Dorothy Cannell; Sandra Brown; Garrison Keillor, Wayne Dyer, Nora Roberts, Lillian Jackson Braun; James Herriot… Yikes! I could go on forever!

When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

I live on a no-kill ranch that doubles as a sanctuary for all wild creatures, great and small. Aside from my animal family—two horses, a dog and cat—I live among snakes, deer, coyotes, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, packrats, javelina, mountain lions, bobcats, range cows, and lots of birds. When I’m not writing, I’m caretaking the ranch and animals by providing habitat and water (especially crucial during summer). I usually don’t relax until the evening and before bed, I usually watch PBS. My favorite programs include everything on Sunday night (Grantchester, Home Fires, My Mother and Other Strangers, Last Tango in Halifax—pretty much anything!), Nature, Father Brown, The Coroner, Murder in Paradise, and currently hooked on The Great British Baking Show.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I was seven with a story about a donkey, which I also illustrated. So even then I had a Gemini’s inclination for diversity (my undergrad is in Art). I haven’t been blessed with a “singular purpose” in life although I do have a few “constants,” such as animals. That 7-year-old has never stopped writing. Over the years, I’ve taken college courses, completed manuscripts, attended conferences, entered contests—I was a 2012 Golden Heart finalist—knowing that eventually I’d arrive here. Now I take one page at a time.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

I have an office dedicated to writing so I never have to clean up! My best time to write is early morning, about 4:30 am until I go to the barn around 7:30. Then I try to carve out a few hours between ranch/animals chores. My only goal is to finish the book (and make it better than the last!). I write best with quiet.

Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Pretty much, a panzer! I start with an idea and begin writing. I have a direction I think I’d like my characters and story to go, but it’s not set in stone. I prefer to let them wander as they like. Often, I’m surprised by the journey. But I figure, if I’m surprised, then the reader will be, too. This wasn’t the way I was taught to write—where’s the start-to-finish outline? But then, I live my life in a similar way, so this feels natural. When I was working on my BA in Art, I had no idea that I would get an MBA. When I was in grad school, I hadn’t anticipated moving to Alaska. When I moved to Anchorage, I did so without having a job or a place to live. It goes on from there. But having faith and going with the flow works for me.

Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

As a panzer, I research as I go along since I usually have no idea what I need to research until it happens!  PS…I LOVE research.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

A few things that aren’t in my bio… I can operate a John Deere tractor; I relocate rattlesnakes unharmed (when they coil in inconvenient places like next to my deck slider); I once made bi-weekly appearances on a kids’ television program (Cactus Pete’s Funny Company); I can wiggle my ears; I served 18 months on a Federal Grand Jury; I once owned a women’s weight-lifting gym; and during college I worked as a go-go girl.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Smiles and laughter. And they might learn something about Roman Emperors (and other bits of trivia).

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Ignore the advice of others.  Believe in yourself. Trust your instincts. Have no regrets—don’t be sitting on your rocker at the end of your life wondering what might’ve happened if only you’d sent one more query…

Thank you for this interview and for spotlighting Spooning Daisy.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.

“Don’t look so surprised,” she said. “I know I’m not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that’s being kind,” she responded to Max’s smile. “But I’m an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen.”

Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like…concupiscence.

“Do I know what men want, or what?” Now Daisy smiled…at herself.

Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.
“Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who’s difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell…and next time it won’t be a cross-dressing felon.”

About the Author: Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

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The Kind of Writer I Am by Coco Gem – Guest Blog and Giveaway


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

The Kind of Writer I Am

I am a writer who hates writing.

I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but there is absolutely no aspect of writing that I actually enjoy. Just the thought of sitting down at a computer to write out a story causes me great anxiety. I keep a small green notebook in my purse, and it’s full of ideas for stories. The ideas are amazing… there are pages of them. The problem with me is that I hate writing. I love telling stories, and I love watching my characters come to life as the stories unfold, but I hate the semantics of writing. I hate that I am a perfectionist when it comes to grammar and spelling and how I arrange my words, and get so focused on how a story is written that I lose the magic of actually telling the story. I’m constantly policing my grammar. Is this modifier dangling? Is this the best word to use in this sentence? How could I better say this sentence? I drive myself so crazy with syntax that the story takes the backburner. I wish I could shut off the former teacher/ current editor part of my brain enough to just tell the story. I don’t write a story until I absolutely have to, until it consumes me so much that I can’t sleep until I tell it. Only then do I sit down to the grueling process of writing. This is probably why I write mostly short stories, because I have found neither the patience nor the attention span to write an entire novel.

I love to have written, but I hate writing. And all I’ve wanted to do my entire life was be a writer. Go figure. I’ve learned, however, to push past my disdain, though it is a lengthy process. I write in my office at a desk that is absolutely cleared, because I am so easily distracted that anything on my desk becomes a reason I can’t write. I light a candle, play some music that I’m in the mood to listen to (mostly Citizen Cope or Frank Ocean while I write), and type without backspacing until I get everything out. Then I take a break and go back into the story and clean up my errors and mistakes. This is pretty much how I work. It isn’t glamourous, but I would imagine that no great masterpieces are in their creation stages, so I’m okay with how this works.

“The Tryst” tells the story of one woman desperate for the approval of her very dominant partner and the lengths she is willing to go to in order to earn it.

“Me, Her, and Him” suggests that the best way to get over an old man is to get under a new one… especially when his gorgeous wife comes as part of the deal.

From stories of love and passion like “The Elevator” to stories of sheer carnal, insatiable desire like “Bad Girl,” Sweat chronicles the stories of women who take control of their sexuality and go after what satisfies them most—at any cost.

Enjoy an Excerpt from “The Tryst”

I take a swig from my flask to calm my nerves. I sit and wait a few minutes for my hands to stop shaking. Another swig. A deep breath. I close my eyes as I feel the warmth of the vodka consuming my body, and I will myself to calm down.

I am sitting in my car on this quiet side street, waiting for the butterflies in my stomach to subside. My makeup is perfectly applied, and my sexy lips are covered in bright red lipstick. My short, tight dress, under which I am wearing a red lace thong, barely covers my ass. On my feet are heels appropriate only for the bedroom or for the stage and my full breasts are straining against the thin fabric of my dress. My body is absolutely perfect, and my shaved pussy is already wet with anticipation. I refuse to lose my nerve. Tonight, I will go through with my plan. All the pieces are in place.

I examine my reflection in the rearview mirror and decide my already perfect pout needs more red lipstick. As I reach up to apply it, the 3-carat diamond in my wedding ring catches the glow of the streetlight outside, and I immediately pause. My heart, which had just slowed to its normal pace, starts racing again. I almost- ALMOST- start the car and abandon my mission.

I am the wife of one of the most prominent attorneys in our city. I am beautiful, I am charming and charismatic, I am well-educated, the very epitome of grace and class. I keep our home immaculate, and our children are well-behaved, well-mannered angels. All I have ever known is opulence. I wear my long hair perfectly styled, because it is important I remain camera ready at all times. I love the woman I am. I love my husband.

I love my life.

Tonight, however, I am preparing myself to be explored, degraded, and fucked in ways my husband could never imagine fucking me. I pull my ring off and put it in my glove compartment. I say a silent prayer that I remember to put it back on when the night is over.

I gulp from my flask again. And I wait.

About the Author: CoCo Gem was born on June 1, 1982, in Washington DC. An only child to older parents, CoCo became an avid reader at a young age, and has always had a love for words. “I didn’t have any siblings, so I found my friends in books,” CoCo says. “It wasn’t long before I’d read every book on my bookshelf and was asking for weekly library visits.” All throughout school, CoCo maintained As in English, and she went on to major in English Arts at Hampton University. She graduated and became a high school English teacher, and, for the next 9 years, shared her love of literature and writing with high school students in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

CoCo is an avid fiction writer who tends to focus on the less explored aspects of humanity, including overwhelming sexuality, the heaviness of human emotion, and the constant battle of consciousness. She has several published short stories available for purchase on Amazon, and she continues to write and publish stories on her personal website, www.alisahyman.com. Sweat is CoCo’s first book. Set to release in June, Sweat is a compilation of erotic short stories and poems that explore the sexual limits of her characters and entice readers to be more exploratory in their own sexual practices.

CoCo is currently working as a freelance writer/editor and content developer, helping entrepreneurs to develop the content necessary to build their websites and promote themselves. She is also ghostwriting two novels, and is planning to collaborate with other authors in the future. CoCo has one 14-year-old son and lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC. She sees herself one day landing on the New York Times Bestseller list… if she can ever sit still long enough to write a novel of her own.

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The Lost Sisters Trilogy by Dilys J. Carnie – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dilys J Carnie will be awarding a $20 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.

Undone By His Desire

Micah King arrives in North Carolina with one goal—to verify that Daisy Wallace is one of the women his security firm has been hired to locate. He wants to tell her the truth about why he’s there, but first he needs to make sure that she is indeed who he’s looking for. He never meant to get involved with her, but she’s just so tempting.

Will Daisy be able to forgive Micah’s lie by omission? After all, he’s deceived her from the first moment she laid eyes on him, and she’s had her fill of deceitful men. And can she forgive the woman who gave her up for adoption thirty years ago?

Rejecting His Desire

Rose Eagleton has never let anyone penetrate her tough exterior. She won’t allow herself to be hurt again, nor will she let anyone uncover the secrets of her past. When she meets Jack Calloway he refuses to let her hide behind her shell, but she knows one thing for sure—she can’t let him become important to her.

Jack is intrigued by the beautiful young woman who fights so hard to keep him at a distance. As he discovers the secrets she’s trying so desperately to hide, it becomes clear that her life is in danger. Can he break through her shell and provide her with the protection she needs but refuses to accept?

Seduced By His Desire

Kent Lloyd steps onto British soil wishing he was anywhere else. But when Jasmine Owen refuses to visit her newly found sisters, giving them one lame excuse after another, even Kent knows something is seriously wrong.

The last person Jasmine expects or wants to see at her door is the super sexy man who walked away from her bed after one wild night. But when her sisters suspect something is wrong, they send Kent to check on her. Jasmine hasn’t told her family about the stalker who’s making her life a living hell and has her in a constant state of fear, but it looks like she might not be able to keep the truth from them any longer.

Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex

Enjoy an Excerpt from Undone By His Desire

Micah watched the emotions cross Daisy’s gentle features. The shock was evident, the pain recognizable, and the realization she had family was priceless. She folded the piece of paper and put it back in the envelope. She looked up at him, the tears in her eyes tugging at his heartstrings.

“I have sisters,” she whispered.

“Yes, two. You are part of triplets.”

“I always wanted a sister, and now…now I have two. How insane is that?” She shook her head. “What is Poppy to you?”

“A friend. I’ve known her for a few years. She’s such a sweet lady, and she wants to make things right, she wants to try and bring you all together.”

“Have you found them?” Daisy asked.

He nodded. “Rose lives in Wilmington, and Jack has already made contact with her. Jasmine lives in Chester, UK. Kent landed in Manchester a few hours ago. I’m not sure yet if he’s made contact yet.”

“Jack and Kent are your business partners?”

“Yes, we were all in the Navy SEALS together.”

“I need a little bit of time on my own, Micah…I need to think.”

His gut clenched. “Do you want me to leave?”

“No, but I’m going to go walking for a little while.”

She turned and put her hand against his unshaven jaw, the heat of her skin making him turn his face into the warmth and close his eyes for a second.

“I don’t blame you, Micah.”

His eyes flashed open.

“You’re only trying to help a friend out, but this is so big. Can you understand how hard this is for me? I always knew I was adopted, but sisters…” She shook her head. “I’m thirty years old, all that time has passed and I never knew and that’s what I don’t know if I can forgive Poppy for.”

He covered her hand with his own and turned it over, kissing the palm. “Think about it, Daisy. I’m not going to push you into anything. It’s entirely your decision whether you want to meet Poppy and your sisters.”

She smiled at him, such a warm, caring smile. “You misunderstand me. I will definitely meet with my sisters, that’s unconditional.” She pulled her hand away. “It’s Poppy I’m not sure about.”

He turned as she made her way out of her sitting room.

“Daisy?”

She stopped in the doorway, her hands shoved into the pockets of her sweats, her head slightly leaning to one side.

“Promise me one thing.”

“What?”

“You’ll think about the circumstances surrounding why you were given up for adoption.”

She nodded.

“And…”

She raised her eyebrows.

“Last night.”

She blushed furiously, a lovely pink shade.

“Last night was beautiful and had nothing to do with why I’m here. I really do like you and would like for us to see where whatever we feel takes us.”

She shrugged. “There is no us.”

“Yes, there is. You just don’t want to admit it.”

She walked out the door without replying.

Damn it all to hell and back, he hoped he hadn’t blown it, not just for Poppy but for himself as well.

About the Author:I live on Anglesey which is a small island in North Wales.My life here is busy as I help with the family business (general dogsbody lol) and try and fulfill my writing contracts.

My office is under the stairs of our small welsh cottage and this is where I let my imagination run riot.

I love to write and be creative with my characters.

At the moment I am in awe of the people who have read my book, It is great to meet people who have taken the time to buy it and read it and I love meeting new fans.

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Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue – Q&A and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Victoria Sue who is celebrating the recent release of Who We Truly Are. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Why the author name – Victoria Sue?

The first book I wrote was m/f regency historical – think Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy. My first two names are Susan Victoria – so I swapped them because I thought a “proper” author should have a “proper” name. (insert eye-roll) Incidentally I did write two gay romance historicals but the m/f one is languishing gathering dust.

Where do you live?

Florida. I was born and lived in England up to seven years ago, and try as I might and despite the best efforts of my editors you can probably still tell in my books. Actually, the word “trainers” (English for sneakers) was caught by an eagle eyed beta reader in this book, after it had escaped me and three editors.

Coffee or Tea?

Alcohol. (!)

Beach or pool?

Pool I think. I burn really badly despite factor 3000 or whatever. Lugging the required amount of shade I need to the beach usually requires an RV.

Detailed sex scenes or closed door?

Yes please. (Waggles eyebrows)

Children?

Three. Girl and boy twins (25 years) and a girl (19).

How do you balance a home life with your writing?

What home life??

What other releases do you have this year?

The Alpha Heir and The Alpha King to complete the Kingdom of Askara trilogy. I’ve also just finished my first ever contemporary (gasp) but I might not release that until January. The fourth book in the Enhanced series, and Gael’s story, is hopefully being released in January/ February.

Where can readers find you?

Facebook – Victoria’s secrets or Sue Kellett. I will be at GRL in October and Coastal Magic in February.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Chapter One. I love the start of my books. I’m pretty fond of the end, but Chapter One is the most exciting. It’s always full of so many possibilities.

Talon’s deadly abilities are spiraling out of control. Desperate to keep Finn safe, Talon struggles to protect the man he loves with all his heart, and not become the greatest risk to Finn’s life.

Finn has no choice but to offer himself as bait for the evil forces kidnapping enhanced children, facing danger he is untrained and unprepared for, and he is having to do it alone.

Does Talon have one last fight in him? Will he slay everyone who wants to destroy Finn and the team, or will he finally discover that to defeat their enemy and the ultimate threat, the biggest battle he has to face is one with himself?

About the Author:Victoria Sue wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago, and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail.

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on Facebook.

Sign up for her newsletter and download a free story: The Wrong Alpha

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Weddings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt

As Christine Hershberger sat on the front pew bench, close enough to bask in the glow of her sister Mattie’s joy, she smiled brightly. At long last, she was attending the wedding that should’ve taken place years ago, when Mattie Bender and Amos Troyer were young and so deeply in love¬—before Dat had insisted that Mattie marry Marvin Schwartz instead. Now that Mattie and Preacher Amos had outlived their original mates, they were standing together, hand in hand, repeating the age-old vows after their new bishop, Monroe Burkholder. Christine, who’d lost her husband a couple of years ago, found it encouraging that at forty-five and fifty, her older sister and Amos had taken up where their youthful romance had left off, to enjoy a second chance at love that would see them through the rest of their lives.

Beside her on the bench, Rosetta grabbed Christine’s hand and squeezed it. This is so exciting! she mouthed.

Christine nodded, returning her younger sister’s squeeze. She had to admit, however, that the glimmer in Bishop Monroe’s green eyes eclipsed the happiness she felt for Mattie and Amos. Was it her imagination, or did Monroe glance at her as he led the happy couple in their vows, as though he hoped to be exchanging these sacred, binding phrases with her in the near future?

It was too soon to contemplate a wedding—the handsome bishop had only arrived at Promise Lodge a week and a half ago, on Christmas Eve. Yet Christine’s pulse thrummed with the distinct possibility that widowed Monroe Burkholder was as attracted to her as she was to him. Her soul took on the sparkle of the snowy, sunlit hills outside. Hope blossomed in her heart, because it felt absolutely wonderful to believe that such a prosperous, upstanding man might be interested in becoming her husband.

“Amos and Mattie,” Monroe said, his resonant voice filling the room, “I pronounce you husband and wife.”

The wedding guests sprang to their feet, their applause resounding like thunder in the lodge’s large meeting room. Mattie blushed prettily as Amos turned her to face the crowd. When he slung his arm around her to kiss her, a loud whoop went up from the men’s side.

Rosetta laughed, linking her arm through Christine’s. “And they’ll live happily ever after,” she said wistfully. “Maybe there’s hope for us, sister.”

Christine nodded toward Truman Wickey, their neighbor, who—along with Allen Troyer—had been Preacher Amos’s sidesitter. “Here comes your hope as we speak, Rosetta,” she said. “Now that our new bishop has performed his first wedding at Promise Lodge, it’s a gut time to ask his feelings about an Amish woman hitching up with a Mennonite.”

About the Author: Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

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Wrecked by JB Salsbury – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of Wrecked by JB Salsbury. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a print copy of the book.

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can—including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.

Enjoy an except

Oh no, fuck no!

I thought he was kidding. I should’ve known better. Aden’s intentions with me since I stupidly boarded this boat have been my torment for his enjoyment. He loved watching me squirm over the bait tank and when I proved I wouldn’t shy away from a challenge, he pulled out the big guns. From his flirty smiles to his teasing touches, he’s discovered my weaknesses and is exploiting them for his own entertainment.

Now this? Raw fish probably still warm from fighting for its life.

And now I’m God knows how many feet above water sitting on a two-seater bench held up by rusty ladders and staring down a piece of glistening pink meat.

“You have to eat it, it’s a rite of passage.” He offers the meat to my lips and I quickly turn my face away.

“I’m really not hungry.” As if the idea isn’t enough to turn my stomach, watching him clean the fish before sectioning off enough for lunch wasn’t much of an appetite builder.

“Of course you are.” He brings the piece to his own mouth and takes a bite, closing his eyes with a moan as he chews.

I feel a rush of bile hit my throat, or maybe it’s beer, either way it’s warm and it burns. “That’s disgusting.”

“You’re telling me you don’t like sushi?”

My eyes widen. Sawyer would say she’s never had sushi. But Celia’s a different story. She ate a live cricket in the eighth grade on a dare. She didn’t even flinch. “I like sushi, just not directly from the…um…source.”

“Doesn’t get fresher than this.” He takes another bite and I can’t deny that his response to eating it does give it some appeal.

“I think I need soy sauce or that green stuff.” What’s it called?

“Just try it.”

“I really don’t want to.”

“Oh come on.” He smiles in that cute crooked way that makes my heart dip and dive. “Live a little.”

I chew the inside of my mouth debating the cost/benefit of taking a bite of this fresh-out-of-the-ocean fish. On one hand, I’ll impress Aden. That in and of itself is worth the ick factor. But what if I throw up all over his boat? Is the chance of impressing him worth totally humiliating myself? I groan when I realize what I’m doing, exactly what I swore I wouldn’t do. I’m making an internal pros and cons list. I close my eyes and steel my resolve and my spine. Don’t think, just decide. I pop open my eyes followed by my mouth.

“Yeah?” He stares at my parted lips.

I nod, hoping he’ll hurry before I change my mind.

Lifting the rose-colored flesh forward, he places it between my teeth. It’s a small bite so I close my lips around his fingers expecting him to pull away…but he doesn’t. For a moment I’m suspended in his gaze, totally stuck while his hot fingers rest between my lips. This should be grossing me out; after all, I watched him gut this fish with his bare hands and to wash off all the blood he merely dipped them into the ocean. But all the thoughts of raw fish and a stranger’s finger do nothing to stave off the warmth blooming in my belly. My tongue pulls the meat deeper into my mouth, brushing against the rough pad of his forefinger. He bites his lip but finally drops his hand.

He watches intently while I chew and swallow.

“How was it?” His voice is low and gruff.

Lost in the heated moment, I barely tasted it. “Good.”

His hand cups the back of my head and he pulls me toward him, stopping just short of our lips touching. “I can’t fucking take this anymore.” His breath is sawing in and out, bursting against my mouth with impatience. “Let me.” It’s a demand, not a question.

A kiss. I don’t need to channel Celia or flip a coin…I know what I want.

I lick my lips and close the slight distance between us.

About the Author: New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury spends her days lost in a world of budding romance and impossible obstacles. Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award. JB Salsbury lives with her husband and two kids in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Withhold by Andrea Pearson – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Andrea will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. In addition, forward proof of download (a confirmation email or a screenshot) to withholdbonuses@gmail.com to receive the following: Discern and Praxis (first two books in the series), Hope(less) and (Mis)fortune by Melissa Haag, other titles by other authors, bachelor of science degree from Katon University, coloring pages, word search, fantasy illustration by Andrea’s husband (James E. Curwen, professional illustrator), maps illustrated by Andrea and her husband, etc. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In the ultimate battle between good and evil, Nicole is in a race to stop Keitus before he achieves his plans. If he succeeds, he will crush everyone who has opposed him and enslave Earth and countless other planets. Unfortunately, he is only minutes away from his goal.

With so much at stake, Nicole and her friends must approach Helen, a volatile and dangerous spirit who will probably destroy them regardless of whether she gives them what they want. And the chances of her helping them are slim.

Fast-paced and epic magical fights, exciting plot twists, and non-stop action and adventure await. So sit down, buckle up, and hold on for the explosive, much-anticipated conclusion to the award-winning and bestselling Mosaic Chronicles.

About the Author: Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo, and loves putting together musical arrangements. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels (the Kilenya Series and Mosaic Chronicles) and several novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family and close friends is where she’s happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

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Receive two books free (Discern and Praxis) just for joining Andrea’s Readers Group and signing up for the newsletter.

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