Bargaining for the Billionaire by JM Stewart

Long and Short Reviews welcomes JM Stewart who is celebrating the release today of her new book Bargaining for the Billionaire.

9_13-stewart_bargainingforthebillionaire_ebookIn the tradition of E.L. James and Sylvia Day comes a sultry new series starring women who want to live out their wildest dreams . . .

You know what they say: billionaires do it better . . .

Grayson Lockwood is every girl’s fantasy. Fabulously wealthy? Check. Dangerous good looks, complete with a titillating tattoo on his rock-hard chest? Check. High-powered CEO? Check. Too bad none of that impressed the only woman he ever loved. Since she walked away from him three years ago, Grayson can’t get her out of his mind. To win her back, he’ll have to finally open up about the secrets he’s been keeping. But first, he may have to use a little deception.

Tired of her comatose love life, Madison O’Reilly spices things up by chatting online with a sexy stranger. All she’s really looking for is a hot fling-and BookNerd seems flirtatious and surprisingly attuned to her needs. As their chats become steamier, she begins to wonder just how long she can hold out before she has the real thing. But when he steps out from behind his avatar, Grayson can only hope that Maddie will finally see his true heart . . .

About the Author: J.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

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Porn Star by Zara Cox – Spotlight

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of the first book in Zara Cox’s new series Dark Desires, Porn Star.

9_13-cox_pornstar_ebookZara Cox brings her self-published novel to Forever as the start of a sexy new series.

People call me many things: CEO, billionaire, bastard. Q.
I love women. I love sex. I love money. I love hot, wild nights with no promise of a future, because a future is one thing I don’t have. I’m twenty-eight years old. I won’t live to see thirty, and I don’t care. Or I didn’t, until her.

Nobody plans for a life like this. Some of us just end up here.

They call me Lucky, though luck has never been on my side. Before I met Q, my life was a big, twisted mess. Never enough money, never anyone to trust. No way out. With Q, the shame and fear disappear. Instead I feel pure pleasure, and that’s something I’ve never had before. But if what I’ve just learned is true, we’d better enjoy every second together while we can…before our time runs out.

Previously published as I, Porn Star.

Enjoy the Excerpt:

“So it’s true? It’s not a con? This job really pays a million dollars? For…sex?” she rasps.

“You think I’d admit it if it was a con? What did the ad say?”

Her delicate jaw flexes for a second.

“One million uninhibited reasons to take a leap.
One million chances to earn a keep
One million to give in to the carnal
Are you brave enough to surrender,
For a payday to remember?”

It speaks even more to her desperate state of mind that she remembers the ad verbatim.

I remain silent and wait for her to speak.

“So…assuming it’s not a con, how will this work, then?”

“If you pass the next few tests, and I decide you’re a good fit, you get the gig. You’ll receive one hundred thousand dollars with each performance.”

“So…ten performances…over how long a period?”

“Depending on how many takes are needed, anywhere between three weeks and a month. But I should warn you, it’s hard work, Lucky. If you think you’re just going to lie back and recite the Star Spangled Banner in your head, think again.”

Her fingers drum on the table, the first sign of nerves she’s exhibited. “I…I won’t be doing anything…skanky, will I?”

“Define skanky.”

“This is going to be straight up sex. No other…bodily stuff? Because that would a firm no for me.”

My mouth attempts another twitch. “No water works, waste matter or bestiality will be involved in the performances.”

Her fingers stop drumming. “Okay.” She waits a beat, stares straight into the camera. “So when will I know?”

I hear the barely disguised urgency and I rub my finger over my lip again. “Soon. I’ll be in touch within the week.” I’m not sure exactly why I want to toy with her. But I sense that having her on edge would add another layer of excitement I badly need.

When she opens her mouth, I interrupt. “Goodbye, Lucky.”

A passing thought about the origin of her name is crushed into oblivion. I press the remote to summon the bodyguard to escort her out, and I leave the room.

In my study a few minutes later, I bring up the screen on my desk and activate the encrypted service I need. I open the application and within minutes, the members of my exclusive gentlemen’s club are logging in.

My email is short and succinct.

The next Q Production is scheduled for release on 20 May 2015.
Limited to ten members.
Bidding starts in fifteen minutes.

I start the countdown and rise to pour myself a neat bourbon. I swallow the first mouthful with two prescribed tablets, which are meant to keep me from going over the edge, apparently, and stroll to the floor to ceiling window. I look down at Midtown’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. This mid-level penthouse is one of many I own in this building and around New York City.

Technically, I don’t live here. I only use it when volatile pressures demand that I put some distance between the Upper West Side family mansion and myself. I would never stray far for long. For one thing, I’ve accepted that my family would never leave me alone.

I know what I know. So they’ve made it their business to keep me on a short leash. But with over three hundred properties in my personal portfolio, and a few thousand more under the family firm’s control, there are many places to disappear to when the demons howl.

Today, the Midtown penthouse is my temporary haven.

I turn when the timer beeps a one-minute warning.

I return to my desk and adjust the voice distorter. When the clock reaches zero, I click the mouse. “Gentlemen, start your bids.”

My words barely trail off before the first five bids appear on the screen. Sixty seconds later, the total bid is at a quarter of a million dollars. I steeple my fingers and wish I were more excited. The money means nothing. It never has. It’s the end game that excites me.

My mind drifts back to Lucky. I turn the gem of her elusiveness this way and that and admit to myself she has potential.

I want to take a scalpel to all her secrets, bleed them and soil my hands with the viscera. I also want to fuck her until her body gives out. Right in this moment, I’m not sure what I want more.

So I concentrate on the numbers racing higher on the screen.

Half a million. One million. One point five.

My phone beeps twice. I pick it up and read the two appointment reminders on the screen.

7pm – Dr. Nathanson. My shrink.
9pm – Dinner with Maxwell.

I re-confirm the first and delete the second.

Cancelling dinner with Maxwell will bring a world of irritation to my doorstep. No one cancels dinner with Maxwell Blackwood. For a start he’s one of the most powerful men in the country.

He’s also my father.

Yeah, my name is Quinn Blackwood, heir to the Blackwood Estate, only child of Maxwell Blackwood and Adele Blackwood (deceased). My family owns a staggering amount of property across the eastern seaboard of the United States and a few in the west. According to the bean counters, I’m personally worth twenty-six billion dollars.

But tangling with my father in hell is what I live for. Have done since I was fifteen. So I ignore his summons and watch the stragglers fall away until I’m left with the top ten bidders. The bids wind down, and within the space of half an hour, I’m just under two million dollars richer.

I spot the familiar name of the top bidder and I sneer. Taking his money on top of everything else is darkly satisfying.

Once bidding ends, I close down the application and call up another list. Dozens of charity websites showing pictures of starving children flood my screen. Within minutes, fifty charities are the grateful recipients of two million dollars.

I may be Quinn Blackwood, occasional user of prescribed meds to keep the demons in check, who moonlights as Q, porn star to an exclusive few who pay millions for my work.

And I may be an unhinged asshole with serious daddy issues.

But no one said I wasn’t a giver.

About the Author:Zara Cox has been writing for almost twenty-five years but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone outside her close family (the over 18s anyway!). This series is Zara’s next step in her erotic romance-writing journey, and she would love to hear your thoughts.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Google Play, iBooks, or Kobo

 

Domestic Discipline by Cara Bristol – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

ForeplayLove, desire, domination, and submission. Two domestic discipline romances by USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol in one volume.

Wife on the Lam

Janelle wants to take a luxury vacation for her wedding anniversary. Despite numerous hints, husband Brent misses all the clues and plans a business trip! Miffed, she flies off alone to a luxury resort. She’s going to celebrate—with or without him.

Brent didn’t have to work. He’d planned a second honeymoon to the luxury Cabana Resort. Janelle might have ruined his surprise, but he’s not going to let her ruin their anniversary, too. He has a little trick up his sleeve to take his errant wife in hand and get their marriage back on track.

Rahm’s Way

Before her military husband left for his tour of duty, Cadence Simmons relied on Rahm’s love, direction, and protection. His absence forced her to become more independent and make decisions for herself. After serving his country, he’s home for good and eager to resume their marriage as it was before. Only Cadence isn’t quite sure she wants things exactly as they were. Can domestic discipline guide this couple through some major changes?

Enjoy an excerpt from Wife on the Lam

Could she call the States from Isla Island? Because Brent traveled so much they had a comprehensive cell plan. She powered up her phone. Seconds later a text message beeped through. Her hand shook as she recognized Brent’s number.

Can’t believe U did this. Where R U?

She texted him back. Cabana Resort, Isla Island. I’m sorry.

She widened her eyes when seconds later a response popped up. He must have been waiting for her message. She could imagine his fury. Fortunately she was hundreds of miles away. Of course, if she hadn’t been hundreds of miles away, he wouldn’t be mad. With any hope, he’d cool off some by the end of the week. Or would he be angrier by then?

U R in so much trouble. B there Thurs.

Did that mean what it sounded like? She gulped. U R coming here? Yes. We’ll talk.

Talk was often a euphemism, but of course she wanted him to join her. Her heartfelt wish had been for her and Brent to take the trip together. And she was ninety-nine percent sure he wouldn’t spank her at a resort.

A young couple bounded onto the van. They greeted her with a hello and settled into a seat near the front on her side. Two women, arm-in-arm, wheeled their suitcases to the curb and boarded. More hellos. Of course everyone would be paired up. Cabana Resort promoted itself as a couples’ getaway.

Can’t U come sooner? She texted Brent.

Got the mtg.

Oh, right. His meeting. This wasn’t all her fault. He’d provoked her by his cluelessness.

Fine! She punched in her response.

This was Saturday. She’d make the most of the next five days before Brent arrived and she gave him a piece of her mind.

About the Author:USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol writes “nice and naughty” stories of love, romance, and humor featuring strong alpha heroes. She is a no. 1 bestseller in BDSM erotica, science fiction romance, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She is best known for her Rod and Cane Society domestic discipline series and her Breeder D/s sci-fi romance series. She lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook Author Page | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Domestic-Discipline-Cara-Bristol-ebook/dp/B01LM0K1O6/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-domesticdiscipline-2090428-354.html

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1146670410

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/domestic-discipline

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/domestic-discipline-cara-bristol/1124439142

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August Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ All About the Bear by Bianca D’Arc

BEAR
All About the Bear by Bianca D’Arc
Grizzly Cove Book 1
Publisher: Liefde Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (67 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Welcome to Grizzly Cove, where the sheriff has more than the peace to protect. The proprietor of the new bakery in town is clueless about the dual nature of her nearest neighbors, but not for long. It’ll be up to Sheriff Brody to clue her in and convince her to stay calm—and in his bed—for the next fifty years or so. Yeah, that might be enough. Then again, maybe he’ll keep her forever.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

LASR Anniversary: Megan Slayer

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Fun Songs of the Summer

When I’m writing, I love to listen to music. I need to have noise. It’s silly, but if it’s quiet, then I’m not very productive. Now I’ve been on a writing binge this summer and I mentioned needing music. So what’s on my summer music list?

Glad you asked! Here are my top 5 songs:

Catch a Wave by the Beach Boys – it just puts me in a great mood and makes me want to write playful scenes. Plus, it’s a good segue into something a little hotter.

Short Shorts by The Royal Teens – this one is a little older than I am, but I love it. This tune makes me want to write beachy scenes with lots of hugging and kissing in the sand. It kind of makes me wonder about the sand in places, but that lends itself to fun in the shower, trying to get the sand off!

Splish Splash by Bobby Darin – Nice segue, eh? I thought so. Yep, this is the splashing in the tub song, but it’s more. I like the part about everyone joining him in the tub. Does it make me think of a ménage? You bet!

Wild Thing by the Troggs – First, I think of the movie Major League and what’s better than baseball players? The boys of summer!! But I also think of hot, steamy nights and needing to cool off…in inventive ways. That ménage, now with baseball players who may or may not have been on the beach in shorty shorts and sand in dangerous places, is really starting to take shape!

Finally… (this one will date me a bit)

Rush, Rush by Paula Abdul – This one sets the tone for hot times and snuggling. So after all of the theatrics of the day for those baseball players, now they can get comfortable.

What about you? Do you have special songs for the summer? Something a little newer than the ones on my list? Something to recommend? I’m all ears!!

MS_TogetherinCedarwood_coversmBobby Gagnon came back to town in the hopes of starting over. He’s got his kids and his accounting business, but he wants more. One look at the hot guy sharing the running trail with him is enough to stoke Bobby’s fire. He wants to hook up with the sexy runner, but he doesn’t even know the guy’s name. Will the man even want to be with a single father?

Remy Bard never considered himself a kid person or parent material. He’s happy with his job at the Cedarwood Tribune, but it’s not enough. Something’s always been missing in his life. He keeps seeing the same guy at the park—tall, dark, handsome and hot as hell in those running shorts. Although he’s shy, Remy isn’t about to let this guy get away without at least one night together.

These opposites certainly attract, but will their differences be enough to keep them apart or will they find a way to come together in Cedarwood?

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. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm

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LASR Anniversary: Tess Bowery

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Garden marks in history

There is something compelling and intrinsically summer about the feel and smell of a kitchen garden. Our small plot of herbs, berries and veggies was the first thing to go in when we bought our first house, that feeling of ownership and belonging solidifying with every turned-over shovelful of that rich, dark earth. We’re urban gardeners, far from our families’ roots as farmers, but there’s still a magic to picking the first peas of the spring, and watching the strawberries and raspberries swell and redden in the sun.

I try an experiment in part of the garden every year, and last year’s ‘new thing’ was a packet of baby bok choi seeds, in the hopes of freshening up our stir fries and hot pot dinners. We were out of town when a heat wave hit, and the entire crop bolted, so I put the bok choi out of my mind and this year didn’t bother to reseed — on to asparagus and parsnips, for spring salads and winter stews. Except something wonderful and unexpected happened as soon as the weather turned warm. Little heart-shaped leaves began to push their way up where I had planned to put this year’s tomatoes, and within days —thank goodness I was lazy about weeding!—they developed into the delicate green leaves of more baby bok choi. We’ve enjoyed two meals out of the volunteers so far, with hope for more to come.

Sitting and weeding this morning, the dirt under my nails and the surprise bok choi flourishing in the space it reclaimed for itself, I flashed back to a study done in the 1970s, by a botanist named John Erskine. He travelled the province of Nova Scotia looking for evidence of colonial homesteads, houses and farms that had long since vanished. He wasn’t looking for foundation stones or rusted gates, though—he found his evidence of habitation in the plants surrounding the spaces where villages might once have been.

He found his long-deported Acadians in imported European plants, still seeding and replanting themselves in the reclaimed forests and old trails. Hawthorne hedges mark off pastures and boundaries from 350 years ago, collections of tansy, sorrel and hops flourish in spaces that may once have been kitchen gardens or herbals.

Flower seeds brought to Nova Scotia by trading ships clung to wagons and to horses, dropping along the stretches of wagon roads as farmers headed home from market, and found favourable soil. The roads not turned into modern highways have vanished along with the homesteads they connected to, but Erskine could trace their history in the unexpected patches of yellows and pinks that remained to colour the ground.

I couldn’t ask for a better reminder that the actions we take today will have ripple effects running down through time. What traces will my humble garden leave behind for future generations?

We are all autobiographers, in a way, leaving pieces of our own histories etched into the face of the planet. The next time I go walking in the woods and spot something out of place —a stand of horseradish, or patch of garden cress—my mind will be going to Erskine’s study, and the memories of a people who once made this land bloom. Will someone, hundreds of years from now, stumble upon some trace of my tiny asparagus bed and my perennial herbs and trace the memory of my summer days, recall the dirt under my nails for future generations?

It’s not a bad legacy, all told.

~~Erskine, John S. The French Period in Nova Scotia, A.D. 1500-1758, and Present Remains : A Historical, Archeological and Botanical Survey. Wolfville, N.S.: 1975.

SheWhomILove1400_webres Love would be simpler if it came with a script.

Marguerite Ceniza dies on the London stage each night, but her own life has barely begun. The ingénue is on the prowl for a lover, but while she burns with desire for Sophie, a confession could ruin their decade-long friendship. In the meantime there are always men vying to be her patron, and square-jawed, broad-shouldered James Glover can’t help but catch her eye.

Sophie Armand has been a lady’s maid for too long, and she’s sick of keeping secrets. Her hidden scripts and the story of her birth are only the beginning. Her nights are haunted by desperate thoughts of the beguiling Marguerite, and of James, the handsome tradesman who whispers promises of forever into her ear.

James has the kind of problem a lot of men would kill for—two women, both beautiful, both sensual, and both willing. Sophie wants marriage, while Marguerite’s only in it for fun, and choosing between them isn’t easy.

What’s the worst that could happen if he secretly courts them both?

Their romantic triangle is complicated in the most delicious way, until a shadowy figure from Marguerite’s past threatens to destroy the budding relationship—and their lives.

Warning: Contains a lady’s maid with secret desires, a corset-maker who knows his way around a woman’s body, and an actress who never has to fake it. Rated for adult audiences only.

**ARE Bestseller, and Finalist in 2016 Bisexual Book Awards for both Best Romance and Best Erotic Romance categories.**

About the Author: Tess Bowery lives near the ocean, which sounds lovely, except when it snows. An historian by training and a theater person by passion, she’s parleyed her Masters degree in English history into something that would give her former professors something of a surprise.

Her love for the Regency era began as they always do, with Jane Austen, and took a sharp left turn into LBGT biographies and microhistory. Now she indulges in both of her passions, telling the stories of her community in the time periods that fire the human imagination. Her first foray into contemporary M/M fiction, High Contrast, releases in 2016.

Along with writing, Tess splits her time between teaching, backstage work, LBGT activism and her family. She spends far too much money on comic books, loves superheroes and ghost stories, and still can’t figure out how to use Twitter properly.

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Buy the book at Tess’s website.

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LASR Anniversary: Wendi Zwaduk

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Summer Fun in the Sunshine with Wendi Zwaduk

It’s summer again! Hot days, sometimes hotter nights and lots of fun. As I write this post, I’m looking at cloudy conditions, but it’s been steamy around here until now.

I’ve been thinking about things to do outside for the summer. Quite a few came to mind.

One of my favorites is watching racing. I can’t get enough of the cars or trucks slinging around the track. I prefer dirt racing over racing on asphalt tracks. Why? There’s something fun about watching the dirt fly, smelling the acrid scent of the fuel and rubber of the tires as well as watching the blur of cars or trucks as they go by.

Another favorite is the annual 4th of July fireworks display. I’m either lucky or cursed—depending on how you look at it—to live in the country. In addition to the local city and township sponsored fireworks displays, quite a few of our neighbors have their own festivities. Now, my black lab and beagle/basset cannot stand fireworks. Not a bit. So when I have displays in front of the house, behind the house and a few going off to the north of the house, it’s bedlam. I’d really like it if the fireworks didn’t freak them out, but I kind of like having so many displays seemingly done just for me. It’s fun. Chaotic, but fun.

I’m also a sucker for the annual football draft—although it’s back in April—and the subsequent early practices. I’m a football girl through and through. Maybe it’s the muscle-bound bodies covered in sweat or the violence of the sport, but I love my football. I’ll watch practices just because that means we’re one week closer to preseason, which means one week closer to the season opener! Did I mention I liked football? Grin.

I do love the boys of summer, aka the baseball teams, but mine isn’t doing so hot right now. No matter. Hot bodies in mostly tight uniforms…that’s a winning combination.

Summertime also means I’m out with the dogs walking, too. The tot practices for cross country and I take the dog for a couple mile jaunt to keep us in shape. It’s nice to be in nature and exercising. Plus, that quiet time means I’ve got a chance to think through my next story idea or wherever I’m stuck in the book I’m currently working on.

So now I pose the question to you. What’s your favorite summer activity? Does it have to be done in the daytime? Let me know. I might like to try it.

herman_800The love of her life isn’t the man she expects but he just might be the man she never saw coming.

Cass Jensen writes hot books and likes her life as an author. She’s got the material things she desires, good friends and a side career singing with the band. What more could she ask for? A sexy man to warm her bed during the chilly Ohio nights—that’s what she wants. Someone to make her blood sizzle and her heart race. She heads to California to help cast the movie being made from one of her books. She’s not interested in dating another actor, but what if the man she needs is on the other side of the audition table?

Logan Malone is known as one of the biggest playboys in all of Hollywood. He’s rumoured to be dating half the single ladies in town and romancing the other half. There’s only one problem—Logan doesn’t want to be the player any longer. He wants a strong career and an even stronger woman in his life. When he meets Cass, he knows she’s the one he’s been looking for. But Cass comes with her own complications. Can he handle being her man or will the glare of the media be too much for them to handle as a couple?

He’s about to find out just how hard he’ll have to work in order to be her man, but he’s up for the job…

About the Author: 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 BDSM and LGBTQ 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 contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and AllRomance Ebooks. She also writes under the name of Megan Slayer.

When she’s not writing, she 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. Find out more about Wendi at: http://www.wendizwaduk.com/

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Buy the book at Totally Bound.

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LASR Anniversary: Charlotte Howard

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

A Very British Summer

Living in Britain means that we get to experience all four seasons in the space of one day – and summer is no different. Just this weekend, I decided to take my family to the local air show. One minute we were wearing T-shirts and sunglasses, slapping on the sun cream and forcing baseball caps onto the children, the next we were pulling on waterproof coats and sheltering under an umbrella behind a large lorry, desperately trying to escape the gale-force wind and rain!

As a writer, I work from home, and when it’s glorious sunshine, the garden becomes my office. I get to sit outside and listen to the birds tweeting and the bees buzzing (and the traffic), while tapping away on my laptop. I am surrounded by the scents of mown grass and growing mint. When it comes to taking a break – it is important to step away from the computer for at least ten minutes every two hours – I can dig in the dirt and weed my herb garden, or play with the dog, or sunbathe and read a book. I love being a writer during the summer.

And then it rains.

rainy dayThis is the view from my kitchen window on a typical summer day. See that river? Yeah, that’s actually a road.

On days like this, I am stuck inside. It’s still warm, but it’s wet and grey and miserable. In the winter it’s not too bad, because the heating is on and I can snuggle under my slanket / snuggie, with a hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies, while I let inspiration run through me. But in the summer it’s humid, it’s sticky, and the pressure is intense as we all wait for the rain to pass. Unfortunately, the rain in this particular village can last weeks rather than hours.

One of the good things about the rain though, like today (it is tipping it down as I write this!), is that I cannot be distracted by the sunshine, and so I do get some writing done. In fact, it was during a wet and miserable week that I wrote my latest erotic romance novella, One Night in Aberdeen. So while I pray for sunshine, perhaps rain would be better for my career as an author.

OneNightinAberdeenbyCharlotteHoward-1800HRRoss McKinley and his personal assistant, Lee Bradshaw, have been invited to Aberdeen by Ross’s ex-wife, Anna, to participate in a charity ‘slave auction.’ He finds the whole thing embarrassing, and not wanting to be ‘won’ on the auction block, he asks Lee to bid on him, and win whatever the cost. After a bidding war between Lee and Anna, Lee wins. Being the spoilsport, Anna begins subtly threatening Lee.

Ross finally takes Lee away from the event . . . and back to his hotel room where things quickly change from the boss-employee role to lovers. The following day when Ross is showing Lee around the city, it becomes obvious she’s not enjoying the adventure. She tells him about Anna’s threatening texts—she’s to quit her job and never see Ross again, or Anna will ruin his business.

When Lee refuses to let Anna manipulate her into quitting, will she be strong enough to fight beside Ross for his company? Or will Anna get the upper hand?

About the Author: British author, Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.

Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.

During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.

Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers Group.

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LASR Anniversary: Jan Graham

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

What says summer to me? A refreshing Hippie Juice, of course


Summer is always so much fun. My favorite part is the monthly party that friends of mine throw at their farm. The parties are a bit of an extravaganza, held each month during the summer season. It’s a great time to catch up with friends and meet new ones. One of the things that my friends and I do is to test out a new cocktail at each party.

Today I’m sharing my favorite cocktail with you, it’s Hippie juice and really was a smash at the party with everyone loving it. Although, I have to include a warning. This drink is so light and refreshing, you can almost forget there’s alcohol in it. I hope you enjoy it as much as my friend and I did.

Hippie Juice

1 seedless watermelon.
1 cup Vodka
1/3 cup Malibu (coconut rum)
1/3 cup triple sec
Bottle of Lemonade
Ice cubes

Blitz up the seedless watermelon flesh in a blender (to make about four cups worth) and add to large container, mason jar or bowl. Mix in the alcohol, lemonade and ice cubes to form a fluid mixture.

Because we make the cocktails for large numbers of people I’ve estimated the alcohol and other quantities so just adjust to your taste by adding more lemonade or watermelon to cut the intensity of the alcohol.

You can add strawberries or other berries if you like. Some recipes also include the addition of mint leaves. It’s totally up to whatever your inner hippie desires.

Resisting Love_200Kenzie Stuart is an artist who’s finally started to achieve her dream. She doesn’t need anything to interfere with that, especially a relationship. Her number one rule when it comes to men is, love them and leave them, without getting emotionally involved. This worked perfectly until she met Justin. When Kenzie realized she cared for him, her only option was to leave, but she didn’t merely walk away from the man she loved. Kenzie ran like the wind, determined to never look back.

Justin Davies waited until he thought Kenzie was ready to accept his affection. He believed he did everything required in order to win her heart, but Kenzie still walked out, leaving him to nurse his wounded heart. Despite everything, he wants her back and this time Justin has thrown the rule book out the window. He’ll recapture Kenzie anyway he can. By fair means or foul, he’s determined to break down her resistance to love.

About the Author:Jan Graham is an author of Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense, all her writing is erotic and some includes BDSM elements. She has numerous published titles to her credit, with more to come once she overcomes her current bout of procrastination. Jan lives in Newcastle, Australia where she writes, reads, feeds her Netflix addiction and drinks coffee with friends.

For those who enjoy labels and tags, as well as being an author, Jan is a blogger, a submissive, an aunt, dyslexic, a lover of all things erotic, naughty, a participant in the BDSM community, a widow, an orphan, and a member of The Australian Sex Party (no it’s nothing kinky, they are a legit political group).

In short, she is generally a bit of an eccentric who lives her life slightly left of center. You can find out more about Jan and her work by stalking her on the various social media sites where she occasionally hangs out.

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LASR Anniversary: Ravenna Tate

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My Favorite Summer Memories
Ravenna Tate

When I was younger, we used to spend every moment possible at my maternal grandparents’ house, especially in the summers. They lived on a large lot in the city, on a corner, and they had two driveways. Such a novelty for us!

Both had been born in Palermo, Sicily, to poor parents who did all their own farming and sewing. They brought those skills with them when they came to the United States at the tender age of twenty-one.

In their large yard were fruit trees, an herb garden, and a vegetable garden featuring corn, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, and even grapes. Yes, Grandpa made homemade wine, and of course we were allowed to taste it.

Aside from the incredible food available at Grandma and Grandpa’s house all the time, our summers included picking fresh fruit from the trees, admiring her beautiful flower garden, and watching Grandpa work next door in his shoe shop. There were advantages to having a shoemaker as a grandparent.

Not only was my grandmother an amazing cook, but she didn’t use recipes. A fact I wish I’d thought to take into account all those years ago. So many of the incredible things she made are lost to me because I’ve forgotten how to make them, and no one ever wrote them down. But I remember the tastes.

Among my favorites were homemade spaghetti sauce and pasta, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, every kind of imaginable cookie and baked good, homemade pizza, and roasted peppers and Italian sausage. I’ve tried many times to duplicate the tastes I remember, but I can’t even come close.

A few times, I spent a couple of weeks during the summer with them, just so I could have my own room to sleep in at night, and so I could watch her cook and listen to her amazing stories. She spoke in a thick, half-English, half-Italian accent, and was a gifted story teller. She also was an intelligent woman who could read people in a second. And she always right.

I learned a great deal from my grandparents besides gardening and cooking. I learned integrity, strength of character, and the value of hard work. But most of all I remember the summers at their home and in their yard. They’re among the best memories of my entire childhood.

Unyielding-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2016-finalcoverGraphic designer Lynda Shelton has agreed to marry Mergers and Acquisitions legend Merrick Dalton for one reason only. To save her family’s company. She’s warned this is a marriage in name only. Merrick will never love her. That’s fine with Lynda because she has sworn off men.

Merrick Dalton has wanted Shelton Energy for a long time, so when he’s asked to save the company, he jumps at the chance. He has vowed never to love another woman, but Merrick can give Lynda what he’s been assured she wants. Material comfort and social standing.

The one place where Merrick and Lynda connect is in bed. She has a penchant for his kinky tastes, and he stirs desire in her like she’s never known. But when their secrets surface, the reason they married turns into a dangerous game of illusions and lies.

About the Author:Ravenna Tate lives in the Midwest where it’s cold six months out of the year, but inside her stories you’ll find plenty of heat. The sex is hot, the men are alpha, and the women give them a run for their money.

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