Breathing Life Back Into a Story by Wendi Zwaduk – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Wendi Zwaduk whose new print anthology, Second Chances, recently released.

Breathing Life Back into a Story

Something that scares an author is when their publisher collapses. It might not be a huge explosion or a minor implosion. It could be something as simple as the publisher decided to shut its doors. Simple and clean.

That’s what happened to me. I love all of my publishers. I do. Even the ones I’m no longer with. I love them. Why? Because they’re doing something I think is remarkable—publishing a book. That’s awesome. Now, I could do that myself. I could and I did with Second Chances, but they take the work out of it for me. Yes, I have to complete edits and approve of the covers and all that, but they do the formatting and distribution. Fantastic stuff.

So, one of those publishers of mine closed. Turquoise Morning Press. I learned so much there and love the friends I made along the way. I have no regrets except that they’re no longer in business.

But this is where the rub is. Those stories I had with TMP ended up without a home. What’s an author to do? I could shop them to another pub or dip my toes into self-publishing. I’ll be honest. Self-publishing, although it’s been done by a lot of people—kind of scares me. But…I tried it anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? Well, lots, but I won’t get into that.
So I tried. I put my chin out and gave self-publishing my best shot. Second Chances is what I have to offer. I breathed life into stories that might have otherwise have disappeared. How cool is that? It is to me. I loved these stories and didn’t want them to go away forever. Now, I control the destiny of them. That’s very cool.

Want to know more about my first foray into self-publishing? It’s only in print, but hey, there’s something awesome about holding a print book.

4_19 wendiAnything is possible when you only accept the best, even if it takes some second chances. Four stories of white hot romance from bestselling author, Wendi Zwaduk.

SIMPLY THE BEST
Can this seasoned officer accept what he never knew he wanted? She longs to wrap herself in his muscle-bound arms, but can a chance encounter really be simply the best?

SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL
He drives fast, lives on the edge and loved once, but things ended in disaster. Can he accept the woman who holds his heart, despite all of their gagged past? She never intended to leave him, but life got in the way. Is coming to terms with her past the key to winning the love of her life back?

BEST I EVER HAD
All he wanted was a pint of ice cream, not to be a witness to a double murder. Good thing she has not one, but two sexy men willing to keep her safe. Sam and Quint had it all until she came along. Can these three find love beyond the bedroom or will things go up in flames?

SWEET IN HIS ARMS
Gage Bell considered Ryan Dane the one that got away—except he never pursued Ryan in the first place. He’s done trying to ignore the way Ryan makes him feel, and an incident on the track has given him the right incentive to find the sweetness he’s always known was in Ryan’s arms. If Ryan will give him an inch and let him take the wheel, Gage is ready to run the right man over and over again.

About the Author: Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009.Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and AllRomance Ebooks.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

Did I Rescue Them or Did They Rescue Me? by Megan Slayer – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Megan Slayer who has stopped in to chat with us today.

Did I Rescue Them or Did They Rescue Me?
My latest release, Wild Card, is about a guy in porn who just so happens to be trying to get out of that line of work. He wants to be in mainstream movies. That probably won’t be an easy feat. Then there’s the guy he’s lusting after. He’d love to hook up with the guy, but would the guy really want to be with someone in porn? The not-so-easy feat just got exponentially harder.

But this post isn’t about the people in the book. Not really. It’s about a side character who happens to be vital to the main character. Kris, the porn star, lives next to a person who has a dog. I’d say owns, but the person is a real piece of work and mistreats the dog. Kris feels for the dog and adopts Nugent.

That’s what this post is about. Pets. I’m a huge animal lover, like Kris. I don’t want to see any animal harmed. It churns my stomach. I might not have rescued my pets in the same manner as Kris, but I did rescue critters—six to be exact.

4_12 megan catsOne cat came via an ad. I saw an ad for two orange kittens at one of the local stores. I told DH and it happened that he knew the woman who’d rescued them. She kept one, but the one with the crooked tail came home with DH. He might have a crooked tail, but he’s sweet and loyal and he’s much happier than how he was found—covered in muck and fleas by the side of the road.

Cat #2 came via the neighbors. They seem to be a Mecca for unwanted cats. Since they don’t believe in fixing those cats, kittens are born. One kitten, a little black one, took to my DS. The spunky kitten thought he was a dog, too and became fast friends with the dogs. This cat is DS’s best bud.

Cat #3 was the product of me trying to help a friend. She took in the mother cat and didn’t realize momma was preggers. Oops! I volunteered to take one of the babes. He’s a pistol, but I love him.

Then there are the dogs. #1 came along because we wanted to get a dog to grow up with DS. She swears she’s a person and that DS is her baby. Oh and she’s ultra-protective of DS and DH.

4_12 megan dogDog #2 is all mine. I say that because well, she adopted me. I wanted a beagle or a Bassett hound. She’s a little of both and so loyal, but so stubborn. She decided I was her person and she’s got wicked separation anxiety. Yeah, I have to call my dog to reassure her if I go away.

Now Dog #3 is well…he’s original. We got him because we wanted a noisy dog. Seriously. He fits the bill. He’s also, for a black lab, a horrible swimmer. Yeah. He HATES water. Loud noises are a no-no for him, too. But like the others, he’s loyal. He loves DS. He might be a little pushy—he is 110 lbs of dog, but his heart is in the right place.

See that’s the thing about my dogs and cats. We rescued them, but they really rescued us. They’re the best companions and loveable. The house wouldn’t be the same without all of them. I know the time will come when they’ll eventually leave us—that’s how life works—but I’m glad we’ve had them all.

That’s how Kris feels about Nugent. They’re kindred souls. Nugent was neglected and abused. Kris was, too. The porn industry isn’t exactly kind. When they get together, they save each other. That’s what I loved about writing these characters. I saw myself, so to speak, in them. I hope you do, too.

Want to know more about Wild Card? Here you go!

4_12 megan wildcardFollowing his heart and passion will be his biggest role of all.

Kris Hunter wants out. He’s done pornographic films for the last six years. The pay’s been good, but his creativity is nearly dead. His passion is to act and to be a star on the big screen in mainstream films. When he auditions for famed casting director, Zayn Mason, he’s convinced he’s on the right path. He doesn’t want to take the casting couch route to success, but he certainly wants Zayn in his bed. Can he follow his dreams and the man he desires or will forces beyond his control derail his progress?

Zayn Mason sees the potential in Kris. As a casting director, he looks for the right actor to fill the roles in movies. He’s seen plenty of talent come and go, but no one stirs his soul both creatively and physically like Kris. But Zayn knows the pitfalls of the movie industry. Crossing over from porn isn’t easy and Hollywood isn’t always forgiving. Besides, he’s got demons of his own. Can these men get beyond their pasts and find a future together under the bright lights of the silver screen?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of voyeurism and intimacy with multiple partners.

About the Author: Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009.Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and AllRomance Ebooks.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Website | BlogTwitter | Amazon |  Goodreads | Newsletter

Buy the book at Pride Publishing.

Deep by Skye Warren – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_DeepDark. Powerful. Dangerous.

Philip Murphy has all of Chicago under his thumb. Except me.

We met in a perfect storm of violence and lust. He saved me and then disappeared from my life. Now I pretend I never knew that kind of darkness. I focus on midterms and campus parties, as if they can wipe the slate clean.

Then he turns up outside my dorm room–wounded and barely conscious. He’s the head of a criminal empire, a powerful man, but he needs me now. There are traitors in his midst.

I can help him, but I can’t fall for him.

Not again.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The sound came again, louder. A shiver ran through me. It was coming from outside the room, but not from either side. It was coming from the door.

I crept over and looked out the peephole. An empty hallway bulged in the distorted lens.

Now I was doubting myself. Had I actually heard something? Maybe it had come from the dorm room across the hall. When I first moved here, it had been shortly after my “ordeal,” as my adoptive mother called it. I had jumped at every sound, both real and imagined, more traumatized by my brush with danger than I’d wanted to admit.

My gaze snapped to my phone.

I could call my adoptive mother right now, but I knew she wouldn’t want to be bothered. I could call the building management, but I knew what would happen. The same thing that had happened last time I called them. They’d send my floor advisor to check on me. If there was anything scary in this hallway, she’d have to face it first.

And if there wasn’t anything scary, if it was my imagination again, the PTSD I didn’t want to acknowledge, well then everyone would know how fucked up I was inside.

No, I had to be overreacting. This was nothing. There was no one in the hallway. And even if there was, it would be some drunk guy, passed out on the wrong floor.

I’m a normal college student, I reminded myself. I’m not afraid of anything.

Both of those things were lies, I was neither normal nor brave, but at least I could send a drunk frat boy on his way.

I opened the door a crack. Nothing.

Relief filled me, and I opened the door wider.

A body slid inside, slumped over without the door to support him. A short scream escaped me before I caught myself.

He was wearing a three-piece suit stained with blood, his expression slack, eyes glassy with pain and delirium. Philip.

Oh God, he was hurt. Really badly hurt if he couldn’t stand up. Horribly hurt if he’d ever have come to me of all people. I didn’t have time to process the shock of it, of seeing him again. I had to get him out of sight. If he’d been injured like this, someone was after him. Someone would want to finish the job.

“Come inside,” I whispered urgently, pulling his arm.

All that earned me was a weak groan.

Panic beat in my chest. Was he losing consciousness? Was he dying?

I managed to sling his heavy arm over my shoulders, staggering under even that much weight. Christ. Awake he was pure packed power. Half-conscious and injured, he was like a pile of steel bars—unmovable and unwieldy.

“I’ll never forgive you if you die on my doorstep,” I said.

Something like a grunt escaped him—it might have been a laugh. Either way, he surged up, tapping into some deep well of energy or survival instinct. His effort and all my strength pushed us through the doorway and into my dorm room. It had seemed small before. Now it seemed tiny as we bumped into walls and staggered to the bed.

I wanted to lay him down gently, careful with his wounds, but in the end we both fell under his weight, tangled on the bed in a heap of exhausted limbs. With a coarse shove I managed to get him on his back so I could shut the door.

The hallway was just as empty as when I’d found him. There was a little smear of blood on the doorjamb. It turned a mottled brown when I wiped it with my shirt.

That would have to be good enough for now.

I just hoped no one had followed him. I just hoped no one found him.

And I really hoped no one found me.

About the Author: Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.

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Buy the digital book at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, or All Romance, or you can buy the print book at Amazon.

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One Night in Budapest by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the author celebrating her new release – City Nights: One Night in Budapest

4_6 lucy OneNightinBudapestbyLucyFelthouse-500Hermione’s in Budapest on a romantic weekend break. Or at least it should have been romantic—an unexpected break-up means she’s visiting the Hungarian capital alone. Determined to make the most of it, she goes on a night-time river cruise, the perfect opportunity to see some of the city’s beautiful sights after dark.
On the boat, cute Budapest native Emil serves her cocktails. They chat a little on the journey, engage in some banter, and when Emil asks Hermione out for dinner, she’s seriously tempted. But she’s a long way from home, by herself—is dinner with a complete stranger a good idea? Hermione decides to take a chance, and what follows is an unforgettable night which will transform her life forever.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Locating the correct pier, Hermione pulled her ticket from her pocket and showed it to the girl welcoming passengers onto the boat. The girl—the badge pinned to her blouse giving her name as Reka—glanced at the ticket, and smiled. “Thank you. Please take a seat inside until the boat arrives. Enjoy your trip.”

With a nod, Hermione gingerly headed along the gangplank and boarded the vessel, wondering what Reka meant. Surely this was the boat? She shrugged, smiling at the other members of staff she passed, and followed the buzz of chatter to find the other passengers. Maybe it had been a misunderstanding, her meaning lost in translation or something.

Heading up a couple of steps to a bar room full of other tourists, she quickly took a seat at an empty table by the window. She’d have a great view of Budapest’s riverside highlights from here—and she was sure they’d look different again once night fell. Already the sky was darkening—it was almost four p.m. on a chilly January day.

She was so intent on admiring the Chain Bridge that she didn’t know there was anyone beside her until someone said, “Excuse me, madam? Would you like to take advantage of our special drinks offer?”

Turning to the source of the voice, her fluttering heart the only indication that she’d been startled, she smiled. “Maybe. What’s the offer?”

Her smile widened as she studied the man who’d spoken. He looked to be around her age—early twenties, and damn cute. Dark, slightly overlong hair curled on his head, deep brown eyes gave him an intensity that increased the flutters in her heart, and the dimpled smile he flashed as he replied lit up his handsome face. “It is happy hour. Two drinks for price of one.” He paused, looked at the empty seat beside her, then glanced over his shoulder as though checking if anyone was coming to join her at the table. “But perhaps you would only like one? Maybe I can see if yours can be half price…”

“It’s okay,” she replied firmly. “I’m going to be on the boat for a while, I’m sure I can manage two drinks. I don’t have to have them at the same time, do I?”

He shook his head. “No. I will be serving on the other boat in a moment, so I will look after you and your drinks to make sure you get special price.”

Immediately following his mention of an additional boat, a loud voice rang out. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are now ready for you to board the tour boat. Please be very careful while stepping from one boat to the other. As soon as you are all seated, we will begin the trip. Thank you.”

It was then Hermione realised that as she’d been gazing out of the window to one side, a smaller boat had pulled up alongside the one she was on. Everyone was getting up and moving to the staircase. “Thank you,” Hermione said, glancing at the man’s name badge. “Emil. I would absolutely like to take you up on your offer.”

He smiled, and she returned the gesture, only allowing the grimace to take over her face once she was out of his view. She was glad of any language barriers at that moment—hopefully it had prevented Emil recognising the blatant double entendre in her words, inadvertent though it had been.

As she emerged into the main space of the tour boat, she worried there wasn’t enough room for her and she might have to share a table with someone else. Not that it would be the end of the world, but over the past couple of days in the Hungarian capital, she’d become accustomed to her own company, even begun enjoying it. And the beautiful city had been more than enough of a distraction, in any case.

About the Author:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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

We’re Texan. We Bring Food. It’s What We Do by BA Tortuga – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back BA Tortuga who is visiting with us today.

We’re Texan. We Bring Food. It’s What We Do.
Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and the person voted most likely to bring food to any possible emergency.

You see, I’m a Texan.

Wedding? I bring food.

Illness? I bring food.

Death in the family? Lots of food.

Kidnapped baby? OMG, call the Ladies’ Auxiliary. That requires a metric shit ton of food.

Honestly, Southerners are obsessed with pot lucks and Texas cookin’ is one of the greatest things you’ll ever experience (I would kill from my stepmom’s homemade tortillas right now).

Food features hugely in my stories, and in Trial by Fire, it’s set outside my hometown and I let those beloved folks that I grew up with tell me what all they brought to the ranch when the shit hit the fan.

They responded with recipes.

Grape Jelly Meatballs

1 big jar of grape jelly
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
1 bag frozen meatballs

Dump these in the crockpot and stir. Low for 6 hours.

Chicken Spaghetti

1 lb. spaghetti noodles, cooked
1 lb. cooked, cut up chicken
12 oz Velveeta cut up
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can RoTel
1 can mushrooms
1/3 c milk
1 c. shredded cheddar

Heat up chicken, cheese, soup, RoTel, mushrooms and milk until melted. Add spaghetti noodles and mix. Put in a greased 9×13 pan. Top with cheddar cheese.

Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Pie

4 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon of butter
1 unbaked 9-inch piecrust

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a saucepot, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, and milk.

On medium heat, cook while stirring until it bubbles and thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.

Poke holes in the piecrust with a fork and bake it until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.

Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and bake 10 minutes. Serve cooled with whipped cream.

Grins

I have to admit, I’m starving now and I’m thinking about making chili for supper (that recipe’s not up for sharing, sorry. You want some, come on and visit. I’ll cook).

Much love, y’all.

BA

perf4.250x7.000.inddOne Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

See our review here.

About the Author: Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her at her website.

Buy the book ebook and print from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, or Barnes and Noble.

What Would I Tell a New Author? by A.K. Leigh – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A.K. Leigh will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter and an ebook copy of The Venus Cure to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What Would I Tell a New Author?
By A.K. Leigh, author of The Venus Cure

The first thing I would tell a new author is that writing is hard work and often requires personal sacrifices. It is hours of writing, crafting, and drafting–alone–followed by hours of editing and re-editing. Then more editing once the publisher gets a hold of it. The process is long, and sometimes tedious, but worth it when you have the finished product. The difference between someone who says “I want to write a book one day”, and somebody who actually does, is the hours they are willing to commit.

When writing my debut novel, See Her Run, I had two small children, worked out of the home part-time, and was studying full-time. I would stay up until 2am most mornings just so I could get the book finished. I was living on about 4-5 hours’ sleep per night and missed many extended family functions. Many authors will tell you the same thing. And yes, this still applies to people like Stephen King. He is famous for saying that being a writer is not good for one’s social life. Are you prepared to work hard and make the necessary sacrifices? If the answer is “no”, you are not ready to be an author.

Secondly, when you are first trying to break into the field it can seem impossible. There is a lot of competition. It gets frustrating at times, especially when you receive rejection letters one after the other. However, if you believe in yourself and the stories you have to share, don’t give up. The right publisher is out there waiting for you, the trick is to persist until you find them.

Alternatively, you can self-publish. Many authors nowadays, myself included, are what is known as “hybrid”, meaning they both self-publish and traditionally publish. If you do go down the self-publishing route, don’t skimp on production cost. Pay for a quality cover and editing. Readers and reviewers will notice and comment on it if you don’t.

The third piece of advice I would give relates to the dreaded self-doubt. We all have it, whether it’s our debut novel or out thirtieth. In fact, in James Patterson’s Masterclass–which I recommend as a basic introduction to the writing craft–he admitted to experiencing self-doubt. Accept it, but don’t let yourself wallow in negativity and remain in self-doubt for too long.

Instead, focus on what you can control: hone your writing skills, find your unique voice, attend workshops, read books in your genre to get an idea of the market, read books on the writing craft, network with authors and readers, and go to conferences. All of these help. But, the most important thing you can do is … write, write, write (and edit, edit, edit)!

P.S. Thank you for having me 🙂

MediaKit_BookCover_TheVenusCureTorrance Monroe couldn’t be happier. She has landed her dream job as a botanical scientist for the Parks and Wildlife Service in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her specialty will be the conservation, study, and propagation of the native plants that have fascinated her since her earliest memories: the Venus Fly Trap.

Dominique Black isn’t happy. As a Wildlife Officer, he has been working at the grass roots level to save the endangered traps from poachers looking to make a quick buck. It is grueling work, with the majority of offenders going unpunished. How could a scientist with zero experience in the field help him when even the law was failing?

The two are at immediate odds even though they share the same underlying passion for the plants…and each other.

However, after a well-known poacher harvests traps from one of the local swamp lands, Tori and Dom must set aside their differences in order to catch the criminal and keep the remaining plants from being harmed.

In the process, Tori learns to rely on the mysterious Venus Fly Trap folk lore she remembers from her childhood. Dom learns to release control and have faith in another person.

The Venus Cure is a fast-paced, erotic, and lightly mystical romantic suspense novella that centers around the serious issue of Venus Fly Trap poaching. The author chose the title based on five possible meanings. See how many you are able to discover!

Enjoy an excerpt:

Dom said, “Can I ask you something personal?”

She faced him, “Sure.”

“Are you and Frank, you know?”

She saw discomfort cloud his features. The thought of her and Frank being an item bothered him. He liked her. Tingles of pleasure shot up her spine at the knowledge. She liked him liking her. There was no denying it now. This wasn’t a misguided attraction. This was real, and he felt it too.

Somehow she was able to shake her head, “There is nothing going on between us.” She almost left it there, but an impulse made her add, “And there never will be. Never.”

She emphasized the last word. He had to know where she stood now, right?

His eyes stayed locked with hers. She could feel the tingles warming her, pulling her toward him like a magnet. Her body shifted by itself; her lips softened with the expectation of his lips against hers. The look on his face told her he wanted to kiss her. She wanted him to.

So why wasn’t he?

… This time he couldn’t talk himself out of it. His body seemed to take control. The next thing Dom knew, he was leaning toward Tori’s red-stained lips. He lowered his mouth to hers. It was a quick, soft peck. Nothing he hadn’t done with other women, but when he thought about pulling away, something happened. Something he had not experienced before.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheVenusCureA.K. Leigh is an international selling romantic suspense author, huge Michael Jackson fan, martial arts movie buff, astrologer, and identical triplet. She has a Graduate degree in Counselling, which she uses to help her develop rounded characters in her stories. When she’s not reading, writing, dreaming, or star-gazing, she spends her time with her three beautiful children. Though her books are set in North Carolina, USA (because she loves the state!), she lives in QLD, Australia.

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Pre-order the book for only $0.99 at Amazon.

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Earthquakes by Kelly Wyre – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Earthquakes Blog Tour Banner

 

Hi there! I’m so excited to be here today on Long and Short Reviews to talk about my new novel, Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story. It’s the next installment in the New Amsterdam series, and it involves guns and ballet, two of my favorite things.

To celebrate the release, I’m doing a blog tour, and no tour is complete without prizes, amirite? I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a lovely necklace with a quote from Sinatra’s, Strangers in the Night – “Love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance away” – and a free ebook copy of the book!

Earthquakes Prize Pack

 

How to enter? That’s easy… See the Rafflecopter Info at the end of the post for all the ways to win!

Winner will be selected at random after the contest closes on the 18th of March.

Meanwhile, I think I’d like to chat a bit about the characters in this world. It’s quite the web they weave. See?

New Amsterdam Character Web

 

CHECK OUT THE MASSIVE VERSION OF THE CHARACTER WEB RIGHT ‘CHERE.

I know that thing makes MY eyes cross, so let’s break it down.

Today? We’re going to talk about Mr. Kris Fawkes

Mr. Fawkes looks a bit like Daniel Craig: medium-blond hair, medium-light eyes, medium build, average height. He speaks with a British accent, and he’s the kind of man who can fade entirely into the background and you’d never think twice about him.

It serves him well, this chameleon routine.

Kris shows up in Winter’s Knight. He’s actually a man who outwits Clark’s information gathering skills.

(He’s… too mysterious for his shirt… too mysterious for his shirt… so mysterious is huuuu-urts…)

(Usually other people.)

Fawkes is the boogey man. A legend. Something used to threaten lesser mobsters into obedience. There’s this rumor about what he does to pimps with baseball bats… Well. We sort of hope it isn’t true and that it is at the same time.

Lucian and Clark manage to convince Kris that it would be to his advantage to join up with the Merry Band of Vigilantes, (as Clark calls himself and the rest of the gang trying to take down Hendrick Gray), at least for the job they pull in Winter’s Knight, and then lo and behold, Kris sticks around. He’s at Miss Maggie’s in Shot in the Dark. And he’s playing poker with the guys in Earthquakes. He even offers some (strangely human) perspective.

Kris owns a tea shop in Mirbest, very near to Clark’s bar, Glow. That’s likely not a coincidence. It’s also possibly the strangest choice most of us can imagine (particularly Ellis in Earthquakes; he’s definitely a bit WTF over Kris Fawkes and tea).

He’s dangerous, there are tons of rumors about him, and he seems to have insight into the underground workings of things that the gang needs, but they’re not too sure they want to ask a lot of questions about how Kris knows.

And he gets along with Garreth Black (more on him in later blog posts). Which speaks volumes about his moral compass, really.

But also Clark. So hey… maybe there’s hope, yet!

Until Clark’s done humanizing him though, probably best to steer clear.

As always, if you happen to have questions for this character, please feel free to ask ‘em in the comments! Follow the BLOG TOUR to learn more about the characters of New Amsterdam.

And to win prizes.

‘Cause PRIZES, y’all. They rock.

Thanks for reading!

Xxoo

Kelly

 

Want to Know More?

Check out the World of New Amsterdam

Peruse the Free Reads

See the Fan Art & Cool Stuff

 

And definitely catch up with Ellis and Bryn in Earthquakes, the latest installment of the New Amsterdam series. Need a taste? How ‘bout an excerpt?

PS – It’s better to read it with the SOUNDTRACK.

EARTHQUAKES: A New Amsterdam Story

Ellis had been close to martial artists when they were training. He’d sparred with Clark. He’d seen Kris and Daniel and all his friends shoot at the range. There was an economy of motion that the athletically and lethally inclined all shared. Ellis admired it, strived for it, and knew he’d never get there. He was a workhorse, not a prince of motion.

And as he watched Bryn begin to move – not merely stretch or contort but move – Ellis thought of churches and gods and houses of worship.

Bryn’s feet bent in ways Ellis had never seen. Bryn could balance perfectly on one foot or even a single toe. When Bryn shed his pants after a moment or two and took the first few steps in only a pair of snug briefs, Ellis wasn’t hit with a wave of arousal. He was struck dumb with awe. Every line of Bryn was defined. Even the lift of one arm and the point of his fingers were deliberate and beautiful. Ellis stood completely still and held his breath. He was in the presence of some sort of everyday magic and calling attention to himself might break the spell.

The concentration on Bryn’s face was unlike anything Ellis had ever witnessed. He didn’t exist for Bryn. Nothing did except the music, the motion, and whatever spirit had come alive in Bryn to make Bryn…shine. There was no other word for it. The light played through the windows and infused Bryn with incandescence.

And when Bryn started to dance, really dance, he outshone the sun. A turn here, a pointed foot there, a twist and a glide and… God, Ellis didn’t know what Bryn was doing. But he felt it. The music was hopeful and yet haunting, and Bryn’s dance tugged at every ache both old and new in Ellis’s body. Bryn’s face portrayed almost no emotion, but with every dart of his hand, every slice of his leg through the air, with every crumble, fall, and rise, Ellis was struck over and over.

I will try, said Bryn’s reach toward God and Heaven and all things on high.

Though I know I will fail, said the drop of Bryn’s arm.

I will carry on, said the sweep of his leg.

But I’ll lose, said an arch of his back.

I will fight, said a twisting leap.

I will fall, said the thuds of Bryn’s feet on the floor.

I want to love, said the open reach of Bryn’s fingers.

Please, said Bryn’s clutched fist.

Bryn’s expanse of chest, his shut eyes, and his rise onto his curled toes snapped something in Ellis, and as the music faded, Ellis couldn’t take it anymore. He shut off the music, strode to Bryn, and caught Bryn up in his arms. Bryn was sweaty and warm and breathing hard. Ellis couldn’t stop kissing him. Bryn melted against Ellis, resting heavily against him. Ellis ran a hand through Bryn’s hair.

“I see you,” Ellis whispered. “I see you.”

~*~

Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story

Ellis Parker is a lucky man: he escaped his persecuting family, survived his tour of duty, and met Maxwell Clark in the city of New Amsterdam. Clark showed Ellis more than the ropes: Clark helped Ellis figure out who he is – a gay submissive with a massive fixation on a beautiful, mysterious ballet dancer named Bryn Rothe. Ellis knows a Good Man when he sees one, and he wants nothing more than to score a first date with Bryn.

Little does Ellis know that Bryn has a violent past that is crawling out of shallow graves to haunt him. Even his hectic schedule and beloved stage aren’t enough to distract him. It’s impossible for Bryn to figure out how he feels about Ellis with his demons between them, but when Ellis saves Bryn not once but twice, Bryn is forced to admit that there’s something about Ellis that Bryn might not merely want but need.

Together, they journey to the scene of Bryn’s original crime – Charles Towne, South Carolina. There they will dig up secrets that might explain Bryn’s tortured life but might also be his – and Ellis’s – undoing.

Own a Piece of the City – Get your copy of Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story, Today!

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Contest Fine Print:

This giveaway will run throughout the blog tour, and finish at midnight on March 18. Winner must be of legal age, and legally able to accept the prizes as awarded. By entering this giveaway, you are confirming your eligibility. Void where prohibited by law. Entries will be collected by Rafflecopter on each tour stop and via my blog post. No purchase necessary to win. Odds of winning are determined solely by the number of eligible entries. Winner must respond within seventy-two hours of the congratulatory email and post. Posts will be made on my social media platforms. Winner may or may not be announced on the blog sites, in accordance with that site’s preference. It is the responsibility of the winner to watch for the announcement. A new winner will be redrawn otherwise. Shipping costs will be to the expense of Kelly Wyre, and can be shipped worldwide, where legally permitted. This contest is not sponsored by Blogger, Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, or any of the sites wherewith the giveaway has been posted. By entering this giveaway you agree to hold Kelly Wyre and designates harmless should something go awry with either contest or the prizes awarded.

1980s Movies and Patience by Grace Duncan – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Grace R. Duncan whose latest book Patience was just released.

*****

In my blog post for Divine Magazine, I talked about how Chad, the human mate in Patience, has an almost unhealthy obsession with all things 80s. The Divine Magazine post talks about the music so close to his heart, but he also has a love for 80s movies.

In the early part of the book, Jamie is stuck in wolf form. The stress from the end of the semester, combined with not shifting at all outside the full moon meant his wolf was going to take over whether he wanted it to or not. So, he was stuck for a few days, having to pretend to be Chad’s dog. While he’s stuck, he and Chad watch the first two Lethal Weapon movies.

Mind you, I’m not the biggest fan of Mel Gibson’s attitude any more than anyone else is. But you have to admit, he does crazy well:

I mean, really well:

And despite having to see them in all grays, Jamie found himself thoroughly enjoying watching the movies with his mate.

Unfortunately for Jamie, Lethal Weapon isn’t the worst of Chad’s crimes. In fact, to Jamie’s dismay, Chad reenacts most of the Risky Business scene:

At one point, Jamie actually puts his paws over his eyes.

Of course, no discussion of 80s movies can happen without mention of the director of 80s teen angst films: John Hughes. I had the opportunity to see The Breakfast Club in the movie theater when it came through for the anniversary while I was writing Patience. Chad convinces Jamie to let the movie distract him while they’re on the flight to Europe to research human mates. There is, of course, the opening:

And the very memorable ending:

Even Jamie had to admit it was a good movie, though of course he had to tease Chad about it.

I had a lot of fun with Chad’s 80s fanboy tendencies. In Acceptance, I have fun with Quincy–the jaguar–who is a huge anime fan and self-professed otaku. I look forward to writing about him in July.

Do you like 80s movies? Do you have a favorite?

3_8 PatienceFSJamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with, and same-sex versions are downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end-of-semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.

Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.

Jamie has no idea what the mate bite of a shifter will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt for answers while working together on one of Chad’s cases. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.

About the Author: 3_8 grace duncanGrace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

3_8 grace Patience blog tour

February Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Seduction in Session by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

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Seduction in Session by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake
The Perfect Gentlemen Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (400 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Privileged, wealthy, and wild: they are the Perfect Gentlemen of Creighton Academy. But the threat of a scandal has one of them employing his most deceptive—and seductive—talents…

Recruited into the CIA at a young age, Connor Sparks knows how dirty the world can be. Only when he’s with his friends can he find some peace. So when an anonymous journalist threatens one of the Perfect Gentlemen, Connor vows to take down the person behind the computer, by whatever means necessary—even if it means posing as his target’s bodyguard.

Publishing a tabloid revealing Washington’s most subversive scandals has earned Lara Anderson the ire of the political scene—and a slew of death threats. To keep herself from ending up a headline, Lara hires a bodyguard, a man as handsome as he is lethal.

When the bullets start to fly, Lara is surprised to find herself in Connor’s arms. But as they begin to unravel a mystery that just might bring down the White House, Lara is devastated when she discovers Connor’s true identity—and finds herself at the mercy of forces who will stop at nothing to advance their deadly agenda.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

The Second First Chance by Blakely Bennett – Cover Reveal

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This post is part of a virtual book tour for the cover reveal of Blakely Bennett’s newest release, The Second First Chance.

TheSecondFirstChance_Ecover

If you could have a second chance at true love, would you take it?

Jayden is offered the opportunity to journey back in time when she loses her soulmate, Callahan, on their twentieth anniversary. Enticed by the idea of meeting Callahan ten years earlier, she takes the leap.

From 2015 back to 1985, Jayden restarts her college experience at Florida State University. Her best friend Patrick from the first time around is at her side, supporting her attempts to win over young Cal.

Professor Travis Stratford has his eyes set on Jayden and throws his hat into the ring. Could he be a good distraction while she waits for Callahan to give her a second first chance?

Young Cal, still suffering from a recent loss of his own, is a different man than her Cally of the future. Will Jayden have the patience necessary to win him over? Will Cal believe her crazy tale?

Immerse yourself in this poignant, sexy, hilarious romance, which will have you laughing—and crying— your heart out.

About the Author: Blakely Bennett grew up in Southeast Florida and has been residing in the great Northwest for over ten years. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in psychology, which accounts for her particular interest in crafting the personalities, struggles, and motivations of her characters. She is an avid reader of many genres of fiction but especially enjoys erotica and romance. Writing has always been her bliss.

Blakely is married to a wonderful, loving, and supportive husband, who is also a writer, and who helps to keep her grounded. She is a mother, a communitarian, a lover of music (it is always on while she is writing thanks to Pandora), and a good friend. An advocate of love and female empowerment, she is also a facilitator for a women’s group. She loves to walk and hike for exercise, and finds that, since moving to Seattle, Washington, she is now one of those crazy people who walk in the rain.

The Second First Chance is her eighth novel. Her other novels include the Bound by Your Love Series (Stuck in Between, Bittersweet Deceit, & Blue Persuasion), the dark erotic suspense My Body Trilogy (My Body-His, My Body-His (Marcello) and My Body-Mine) and the contemporary romance, The Demarcation of Jack, which she co-wrote with her husband, Dana Bennett.

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Buy the book at Amazon, iTunes, or Smashwords.