It Started with a Kiss by Ella Quinn – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ella will be awarding an Autographed ARC of IT STARTED WITH A KISS (US Only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What is a young Worthington woman to do when the man of her dreams is not who she thinks he is?

This season, all eyes are on the Earl of Worthington’s spirited, beautiful sister, Lady Louisa Vivers. Many gentlemen are vying for her attention in and around the ton. Yet, Louisa longs for someone who can take her beyond the ballroom—a man who is worldly, adventurous, and passionate. She won’t settle for just any suitor. She wants her true soul mate—and she’ll know him when she sees him.

Is Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell, him? The moment he and Louisa meet, they share a powerful attraction. Rides at sunrise and waltzes at dusk follow. Finally, Gideon can no longer resist the urge to embrace her, and Louisa is sure he will ask for her hand. But Gideon believes he is in no position to marry. The Rothwell estate has gone bankrupt, a scandal simmers in its wake, and he has nothing left to offer. Now, he must decide if he will let pride stand in the way of true love—or if he will risk everything, and let the lady decide for herself…

Enjoy an Excerpt

Early morning, Hyde Park, May 1815

Dawn had broken only a few minutes before, but a light fog clouded the air making the sun look like a small yellow ball. Gideon, Duke of Rothwell, was certain he was the only rider at this hour of the morning. Needing the calm a hard ride gave him, he thundered down the empty carriage way. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a dark bay burst through the mist, disturbing his solitude. Yet it was the massive dog, almost the size of a pony, keeping pace with the horse that caught his notice.

What the devil?

Faisu, his black Murgese stallion, pranced nervously as Gideon brought him to a halt. “Easy, boy. We don’t need that beast tangling with you. He could sever your hamstrings in an instant.”

A moment later, a twist of long, dark hair pulled loose from under the rider’s hat, riveting his attention on the woman. By the time she was even with him, he’d taken in the neat figure encased in a dark blue riding habit, and her excellent seat.

She glanced over, slowing her horse for a bare moment as she passed him. Her cheeks were pink from the cool air and a smile graced her lush rose lips. Their gazes collided and held. As if they were the only two people on earth. In that second, Gideon felt as if he would tumble into the vivid blue of the rider’s eyes that reminded him of lapis.

She cannot be real.

He blinked and she was gone. He might have dreamed her except that a few seconds later, a groom raced by, clearly attempting to catch up with his mistress.

For a moment he was tempted to follow as well, but it wouldn’t do him any good. She was obviously a lady, and even if he could obtain an introduction, and their relations proceeded satisfactorily, he was not yet in a position to wed.

It was pure fantasy to think of marriage in conjunction with a woman he’d seen in passing. Still, he would have liked to have been able to dream.

Blast Father! If he were still alive, I’d shake some sense back into him.

But the old duke had been in the ground for over three months when Gideon had returned from Canada. Now all he could do was pick up the pieces his father had left behind.

About the Author: Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!

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A Small-Town Bride by Hope Ramsay – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes USA Today bestselling author Hope Ramsay, who is visiting with us to celebrate the release tomorrow of her newest book A Small-Town Bride. It’s the second book in here Chapel of Love contemporary romance series about a small-town wedding chapel is perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, and Sherryl Woods. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Top 5 Favorite Spring Activities
I love the Spring, it’s my favorite season. So paring down the list to just five things is hard. But I’ll try:

5. Planting the annuals in my front flower bed. I go to the nursery every year on Mother’s day and select bedding plants for my yard. It’s a wonderful way to spend a late spring day.

4. Going to the Winchester, Virginia Apple Blossom Festival.

3. Sitting under the Wisteria vine in my back yard when it’s in full bloom, usually in April. There is nothing like dining alfresco under the vine, drinking a glass of wine and drinking in the sweet smell of the wisteria.

2. Baseball’s opening day on (or around) April 1. In my opinion the opening day of the baseball season should be a national holiday. And I ought to mention that some years I have made the trip to Florida to catch spring training games. Ah, now that’s heaven.

1. Visiting the cherry blossoms on the tidal basin in downtown DC. I’m so lucky to live in the nation’s capital and can enjoy the cherry trees every year.

Amy Lyndon is tired of being the Poor Little Rich Girl of Shenandoah Falls. In her prominent family, she’s the ordinary one – no Ivy League education and no powerful career. But when her father tries to marry her off, she knows it’s finally time to stand up for herself, despite the consequences. Now that she’s cut off from the family fortune, her first challenge is to fight her attraction to her handsome new boss.

When Amy shows up looking for work with his landscaping crew, Dusty McNeil thinks there’s no way such a pampered princess will ever get her hands dirty. But as Amy proves him wrong and gets down to the nitty gritty, Dusty’s admiration turns to like, then lust – and then love. But can a high-society woman like Amy ever fall for a man like him?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Hon, are you all right? You’ve been in there a while, and I . . . ”

Amy opened the door. “I’m fine.” Her voice wobbled. She would not ask to borrow the phone. There had to be another way.

“No, I don’t think so,” Gracie said. “You come out and have your eggs and bacon.”

Oh crap. What was she supposed to do now?

“I . . . I . . . don’t. I mean I can’t . . . ” She let go of a long, trembling breath. “Daddy locked me out of the house yesterday and told me I had to marry Grady Carson. Then he took all the money out of my checking account. And I probably should call Grady, but I have to borrow your phone.” The words came out in a terrible, hoarse whisper.

She expected Gracie to yell at her for using the bathroom without having any intention of buying food. Or, worse yet, to take her into the back room and hand her a phone. But instead Gracie draped her arm over Amy’s shoulder. “Come get your breakfast. You can pay me for it later, after you sort things out with your father. And no woman should ever marry someone she has second thoughts about. Shame on your daddy.”

The tense muscles in Amy’s neck and shoulders relaxed as Gracie led her to the counter, where a plate of eggs and bacon awaited. “Eat your breakfast. You’ll feel better.”

Amy did as she was told, downing the eggs and bacon like a starving person. She had no idea where her next meal would come from, so she allowed Gracie to refill her coffee cup several times while the diner filled up with the usual Saturday crowd.

Pippa Custis, the owner of Ewe and Me, the yarn shop in town, came in for a bowl of oatmeal.

Walter Braden came in holding hands with his new wife, the former Poppy Marchand. For a couple of old people, they were sweet. They ordered two big breakfasts and spent the entire time gazing into each other’s eyes.

Alicia Mulloy, the hygienist at Dr. Dinnen’s office, ordered three different kinds of donuts. Amy wondered if Dr. Dinnen knew about Alicia’s sugar habit.

And then Dusty McNeil strolled through the door and turned Saturday into Man Candy Monday. Wow. He was like some unholy combination of Thor and Captain America all rolled into one gorgeous example of maleness.

Gracie swooped down on him with a cup of coffee and a plate of eggs and bacon, as if she’d been expecting his arrival. He gave Gracie a smile full of laugh lines and dimples and white teeth. And then he turned toward Amy.

Unlike the other customers, he didn’t pretend she was invisible. Oh no. He gave her a long, assessing gaze that made Amy’s pulse jump. Dusty McNeil had a badass reputation as a player who preferred the showgirls and cocktail waitresses who worked up at the casinos in Charles Town, West Virginia.

So why was he ogling her?

She had no idea, but she returned the favor. Who wouldn’t enjoy gazing at that chiseled face or those bright baby blues or all that golden blond hair?

And that’s when a crazy idea popped into her desperate head. Maybe she could invite herself over to his place for some Netflix and chill. Spending a night with him wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. And it would probably be way more fun (and warmer) than sleeping in the Z4.

Or sleeping with Grady for that matter.

But no. Initiating a booty call would not be the right next step. She’d chosen to sleep in her car instead of falling back on a man. She’d taken a principled position. So she pushed the ridiculous idea of sleeping with Dusty McNeil out of her mind and concentrated on her coffee mug while she tried to figure out what her next step ought to be.

She came up with exactly nothing.

“Y’all seem to be busy up at Eagle Hill Manor these days,” Gracie said to Dusty. And since Amy didn’t have anything better to do, she eavesdropped.

“Yep. Ever since that article in Brides. Willow’s hiring another event planner. Know anyone who might be interested?”

Gracie shook her head. “No, but I’ll keep my eye out.”

A job.

Why hadn’t Amy thought of that before?

A job would solve all her problems. And becoming an event planner sounded like the perfect fit except for the fact that she had zero real work experience. But she had been her sorority’s social secretary and had planned all kinds of themed parties and charitable events. She’d even had a hand in helping several of her sorority sisters with their wedding plans.

This was perfect. She’d get a job instead of a husband.

And wouldn’t that blow Daddy’s mind?

About the Author:Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards. She is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she’s not writing, she’s knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.

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What I Would Tell an Aspiring Writer by Marilee Brothers – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn winner and print copies of AFFLICTION and ALLEGIANCE to another randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

What I Would Tell an Aspiring Writer

Don’t be a Quitter

Thousands of people start writing books but, somewhere along the way, get bogged down and never finish. I can’t say I have all the answers, but here are some of the roadblocks I’ve experienced.

Expecting First Draft Perfection

The odds against writing perfect prose the first time around are astronomically against you. Nobody, I mean, nobody is capable of writing a final draft the first time around. One of my favorite writing books is Write Away by best-selling author Elizabeth George. Each chapter begins with a quote from the journal she kept while writing one of her 150,000 word novels (yes, that’s an enormous book). This woman, who’s sold a bajillion books, whose fans anxiously await her next offering, said after viewing her daily quota of words, “What am I doing pretending to be a writer?” We all have self-doubts. We can’t let them cripple us into believing we have to strive for perfection the first time around. That’s what re-writes are for.

Don’t Get Bogged Down in Research

I adore research. Google, I love you! Here’s an example of how research led me astray. In the last book of my series, Midnight Moon, I wanted to describe an interesting piece of Native American jewelry, one that might be easily imbued with mystical qualities. Had I been more organized, I’d have done my research well ahead of the time I actually wrote about it. But, no, I wasted three hours scrolling through countless websites as I looked for the perfect ring, pendant, bracelet or locket to fit my needs. Since the Big Dipper figures into the final plot, of course I had to order a pendant featuring the seven stars. For inspiration (heh). Bottom line: research first or better yet, underline or highlight the area that requires research. Trust me, it will save you time and money.

Fear of Rejection

Before I sold my first book I knew the odds were against me. A close family member told me only two percent of books submitted to agents and editors are published. Why did I persist? I admit I have a stubborn streak. When someone tells me I can’t do something, the little voice inside my head says, “Oh, yeah?” I wanted to prove I could start and finish a book. And I did. Even today, with six published books under my belt, old doubts still float to the surface. What if I can’t come up with a fresh plot? What if nobody likes my latest book? Fear of rejection is paralyzing. It stifles your creativity and moves you backward instead of forward. So, do what I do. Take a deep breath and kick it to the curb.

Forge a Relationship With Someone Who Will Make You a Better Writer

Writing is solitary, lonely business. The Internet has made it less so. Because it is absolutely impossible to be objective about your own writing, join a critique group, find a beta reader or, if you plan to self-publish, hire a competent editor who will go over your manuscript with a cool, dispassionate eye and offer the constructive criticism needed to polish your book. Trust me, it will save you many an embarrassing moment. How do I know this? Because people simply love to point out the error they found on page 44.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

You started the journey. You’ve made progress. Instead of looking back at what you’ve written and agonizing over your unpolished prose, take a moment to be proud of what you’ve accomplished. While you’re at it, promise yourself that you will finish. Try to squeeze in a little writing time each day. Before you know it, your book will be done and you will have accomplished what many others set out to do but failed, probably because of one of the roadblocks already described. Writers write. They persist even when discouraged. They finish what they start. You can do it!

Twenty-two year old Honor Melanie (Mel) Sullivan has an affliction. Due to childhood trauma and inappropriate social behavior, she is diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism. But, Mel knows Aspergers is not her true affliction. She prefers not to gaze into a person’s eyes because she is a soul reader, and what she sees can be frightening. It can also get Mel into trouble.

After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her family home in Southern California and travels to Oregon where she meets Harley-Davidson riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby-selling scheme involving a foreign girl from Kazakhstan, and others. Even though Mel’s life is in danger, she won’t stop until she finds the answers that will help those unable to help themselves.

*****

Transplanted California girl, Melanie Sullivan, vows to stay in Oregon until she nails the killer of her best friend, Dani. Mel’s ability to search a soul for innocence or guilt is a big plus. Her love for Billy the Kid, former Marine and now a detective with the 3 Peaks police department is also a factor in her decision. She’s not quite sure what’s going on with Billy. Has the PTSD from his Middle East deployments returned?

When a hate crime is committed in 3 Peaks, Mel is recruited by sexy Homeland Security agent, Mick, who requires her soul-reading ability. Mick doesn’t hide his feelings. He’s more than eager to step in if Billy steps out, a complication Mel doesn’t need or want. As she goes undercover, Mel embarks on a dangerous journey, aided by her Uncle Paco and devoted friends. Along the way, she learns a valuable lesson about the power of forgiveness.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Allegiance

I lean down to drop a chaste farewell kiss on his forehead. A split second later, I’m flat on my back, pinned to the bed and Billy the Kid grins down at me like a naughty little boy. He rips out his ear buds and pulls the cord free until the music washes over us. It’s a rock and roll tune, a blast from the past.

“Hey, baby,” he says. “Wanna dance?”

Before I can form an answer, I’m swept off the bed and twirled around until I’m dizzy and laughing uncontrollably.

He sets me on the floor and pulls me tight against his body. “You sneaking out on me, Minnie Mouse?

I manage a weak, breathless protest. “I’m supposed to meet Steve at 9:30 a.m. I need to get going.”

He cups my face between his palms and brushes his lips across mine. “You sure about that?”

“Well, um…”
My body says bring it on. My brain chimes in, promptness is overrated.

About the Author: Marilee Brothers is a former teacher, coach, counselor and the author of ten books. Marilee and her husband are the parents of three grown sons and live in central Washington State. After writing six young adult books, Marilee is once again writing romantic suspense for the adult market. She loves hearing from people who have read her books.

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A Bend in the Willow by Susan Clayton-Goldner – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan Clayton-Goldner will be awarding a $50 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.

Willowood, Kentucky 1965 – Robin Lee Carter sets a fire that kills her rapist, then disappears. She reinvents herself and is living a respectable life as Catherine Henry, married to a medical school dean in Tucson, Arizona. In 1985, when their 5-year-old son, Michael, is diagnosed with a chemotherapy-resistant leukemia, Catherine must return to Willowood, face her family and the 19-year-old son, a product of her rape, she gave up for adoption. She knows her return will lead to a murder charge, but Michael needs a bone marrow transplant. Will she find forgiveness, and is she willing to lose everything, including her life, to save her dying son?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Tucson, Arizona
1985

Catherine Henry told her husband, Ben, many stories about her past, and to her ever-deepening shame, not one of them was true. Though she longed to tell him who she really was, where she’d come from and what she’d done to escape, with each passing year the truth grew more difficult to tell. And that made her a liar, something she’d never intended to become.

Anxious to finish their son’s party preparations, she bent over the kitchen counter, putting the final touches on a sheet cake of a glitzy cowboy on a rearing horse. To the beat of Tina Turner belting out What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Catherine set tiny balls of silver candy in the frosting bridle and reins, the pointed tips of chocolate spurs on tapered boot heels. When the garage door rumbled open, she readjusted the volume, then checked her progress against the sketch she’d drawn on a piece of drafting paper.

Ben breezed in, his cowboy boots clicking against the Saltillo tile floor. He wore a gray three-piece pinstriped suit with a cream-colored Stetson that made him look as distinguished as a Texas senator.

Pumpkin, their twelve-year-old cat the color of orange marmalade, ran into the kitchen and circled Ben’s legs. He reached down to rub the cat’s ears, then pulled a treat from his pocket and tossed it onto the floor. Pumpkin chased after the dime-sized nugget, batting it around with his front paws for a few seconds before devouring it.

Ben hung his hat on one of the horseshoe hooks beside the door. He eyed the cake, then dropped his briefcase on the barstool. “Does our son have any idea how awesome his mother is?” Ben stood behind her, parted her hair and kissed the nape of her neck. “And while you designed this masterpiece, guess what I got invited to do.”

She turned and smiled. “Texas Two Step at the governor’s mansion?”

He laughed, looking her straight in the eyes like he always did when they talked. “Give a presentation on admissions and diversity to the American Association of Medical Colleges. It will get my name out there, put me in a better position to become a dean.”

She raised her eyebrows, impressed. “You go, cowboy. But you do know your butt looks much sexier in jeans. Are wives invited?”

“Absolutely. Next spring. Cherry blossoms on Pennsylvania Avenue.” He pulled her against him. The top of her head fit perfectly under his chin. She nuzzled her face in his shoulder and breathed in the familiar scent of Irish Spring soap. That a man like Ben could love her never ceased to fill her with amazement and a silent anxiety he might discover who she really was and disappear.

About the Author: Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers’ Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count.

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Outcome by Barbara Ebel – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

Fierce weather stalks Karen Puno and her dog, Putt-Putt, as they flee their home and reach the barrier island’s bridge where both their destinies change. Karen is about to give a woman named Jennifer Barns a gift that she’s been praying for … a new liver.

As a cascading medical crisis begins, it interlocks the lives of Karen and Jennifer’s college-aged children, an anesthesiologist, a crafty surgeon, and a feisty pilot involved with the organ harvest procurement.

Will Jennifer live through the heart-stopping surgical tension in the O.R.? Will Putt-Putt find shelter from the devastating storm and circumvent the horrific events that befall him? From tragedy to triumph, Outcome is an intense, heart-wrenching, and climactic novel.
*****
Has it been a long time since a book made you cry, or cheer, or make you regret finishing the last page?

If it has, then put OUTCOME on your reading list. It’s an emotionally-charged novel about the families, health-care team, and pilot involved with a liver transplant. Keep a box of tissues within reach. You’ll also need them for the heartbreaking yet glorious plight of the donor’s dog who goes missing in the original disaster.
*****
This is a totally new edition of Outcome which was first published in 2011.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Okay boy, we’re going for a ride,” Karen gestured. Putt-Putt readily jumped in the back behind piled-high back seats. She threw in his leash and closed the hatchback. Upon opening the garage door, she sulked at Rick’s Corvette because she was unable to drive it away from potential harm. She backed out and speed dialed Rick, who answered immediately with a groggy voice.

“I’m leaving the island,” Karen said loudly, pulling onto the main western road of the overbuilt sand bar. Crashing waves to her right sounded like muffled thunder and the sand blew hard, pelting her vehicle.

“Be careful,” Rick said, but she barely heard him. “Call me later, anytime.”

“I love you,” she yelled.

She pieced together his response of, “I love you, too,” as the connection severed and she saw a vehicle’s tail lights further ahead. Putt-Putt whined in the back and she checked the rear view mirror to see his wide-open eyes glued on her.

Karen felt terrorized by all the sights and sounds. She trembled and her heart rate sped. As she began ascending the steep bridge incline to cross the bay, waves chased in her direction, towering south in the Gulf to what would eventually be fifty-two foot monstrosities.

The wind and turbulence helped push Karen’s car as she descended the summit of the beach bridge going to the larger barrier island of Gulf Breeze. There police Officer Kent Milton was parked perpendicular to Karen’s northbound lane and monitored the evacuation.

About the Author:Barbara’s Ebel’s writing draws heavily from her experience as an anesthesiologist. As a physician, speaker, and former chemist, she sprinkles credible medicine into the background of her fiction where plots and vivid characters take center stage and her O.R. scenes shine.

She penned the Dr. Danny Tilson novels before the Annabel Tilson novels DEAD STILL and DEADLY DELUSIONS. Her Dr. Danny Tilson novels have received a multitude of accolades including but not limited to: Collateral Circulation was the National Indie Excellence Award 2015 Finalist for medical thrillers and Operation Neurosurgeon was the top finalist for best-selling medical mystery books in 2012. (Best Selling Books’ blog announced on PR Buzz Press Release Wire, Chicago, IL).

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In addition to her adult writing, she has illustrated and penned a children’s book series called Chester the Chesapeake. The books developed during her philanthropic visits with her therapy dog, Chester. The dog books continue to inspire adults and children alike. Along with her husband and four pets, ‘Doctor Barbara’ lives in a wildlife corridor in middle Tennessee.
You may find Chester at Dog Books for Children.

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Sheik’s Rule by Ryshia Kennie – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

 

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

His sister’s life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family’s security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he’s sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers’ desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman.

But K.J. is unlike any woman he’s ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir’s admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all.

Read an excerpt:

Just looking at that hand confirmed every doubt he had. It wasn’t just about customs, she was female and because of that and so many other things, she was the wrong person for the job.

“I’ll help you find your sister. You just need to trust me.”

“No!” The word came out with the pent-up fury that had built since the fateful call from Tara’s kidnappers and now the full impact of it sparked in his eyes as his temple pounded and his fists clenched.

“No,” he said with less edge but with no room for negotiation. He was wasting time, had wasted time, first waiting and now in a senseless airport run. “I don’t care what you specialized in. You’re a woman and because of that you’re going home,” he said bluntly. “I’ve wasted enough time. I’ll speak to the pilot and we’ll get you out of here.”

“You’re not being fair.”

“I’m not being fair,” he repeated, emphasizing each word. If she’d been a man he would have had her by the collar up against the wall, his face in hers. But she wasn’t and that was the problem. “You’re useless to me. I’d have to watch out for both you and me. That’s a distraction. Look at you – you couldn’t swing a punch or…”

One minute he was seething, glaring at her, and the next he was flat on his back.

“You bloody flipped me,” he snarled, leaping to his feet.

About the Author:

The Canadian prairies are my home and while the prairie landscape is blessed with beautiful blue skies, it also has four seasons that come on full throttle – especially winter and because of that I like to travel. Often on those trips, stories are born.

In 2011 I won my city’s writing award, and was the first romance writer to do so since its inception. In 2013 my romantic suspense was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. Published in historic romance and paranormal romance as well as romantic suspense, in February 2016, my first novel was published by Harlequin Intrigue.

There’s no lack of places to set a story as my imagination and the too long prairie winters may find me seeking adventure. The memories of those worlds both near and far, the words of a stranger, the furtive look one man gives another, often become the catalyst for a suspenseful story with a deadly villain and an intrepid hero and heroine who must battle for their right to love or even their right to live.

When not dreaming of other stories, I can be found scouting out a garage sale or two, dusting off my roller blades or just thinking about the next adventure that may be miles away or in my own backyard.

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Character Interview with Nicole Anima – Regenerate by Sarita Leone


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sarita will be awarding $25 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.

LASR: It isn’t often a superagent from a top-secret government intelligence agency spills the beans but that’s exactly what we’re hoping for today. Agent Nicole Anima, one of the globe’s hardest hitters, both tactically and intellectually, is here with us. Agent Anima, welcome to the blog. Thank you for taking time out of your busy butt-kicking, lifesaving adventures to stop in!

Anima: Thanks for having me. There’s a bit of a lull in my work just now, so I’m happy to visit with you.

LASR: Your work with The Octopus, right?

Anima: I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of—

LASR: Oh, right. You can’t admit the agency exists, can you? You’d have to kill us if you told us about the place, right? The one that “doesn’t exist” beneath the loamy Pennsylvania countryside?

Anima: Something like that, yes.

LASR: Okay, then, we’ll just go on to safer topics… Tell us, how is Benjamin Sinclair as a lover?

Anima: What? You can’t be serious—

LASR: Oh, no need to answer. We saw the sizzle between you two in REGENERATE.

Anima: Well, there’s bound to be some heat between partners who have a…ah, a history, the way Agent Sinclair and I do.

LASR: I’ll say! I’ve heard that some readers went straight into cold showers after reading certain parts of you story.

Anima: I don’t know what to say…

LASR: No need to say anything, Agent Anima.

Anima: Please, call me Nicole.

LASR: Great! So, Nicole, that whole save-the-world mission was quite an adventure, wasn’t it? You jumped from a plane, crashed into a continent, dangled off the side of a building—nearly nude, I might add!—with a bomb hanging off your bra clasp, and defeated a whole army of zombies. It couldn’t have been easy, taking all those risks.

Anima: Well, in my line of work I’m used to doing whatever it takes. I mean, the fate of the species depends on whether or not we’re able to uncover, eliminate, and restore.

LASR: For our non-tactical readers, please explain that.

Anima: Sure. Well, let’s say we’re sent on a mission to thwart a global takeover precipitated by an economic crash implemented by those who create and control a legion of zombies.

LASR: Hypothetically speaking, of course?

Anima: Well…yes, totally hypothetical. As I said, I’m not at liberty to discuss mission details…

LASR: So we won’t ask you to, but this does sound incredibly similar to your mission with that hunk Benjamin Sinclair in REGENERATE…

Anima: Um, yes, but really, similarities are not uncommon in many areas of life.

LASR: If you say so. So, back to the uncover, eliminate, restore business if you will.

Anima: When agents go into the field, they kick the bushes and see what scurries out.

LASR: Like zombies, in REGENERATE?

Anima: Sure, sometimes zombies are the menace. And when the subject emerges the agents on the mission need to eliminate that threat.

LASR: The zombies you and Sinclair found in Haiti, Belgium, and wherever else they lurked weren’t easy to kill, were they?

Anima: Zombies aren’t the hardest enemy to dispose of but you’re right, they do pose a unique set of challenges.

LASR: Unless you’re a regenerated commando who is invincible and immortal, like your sexy partner, Ben.

Anima: I can’t deny that Agent Sinclair has certain assets that make him a perfect superagent.

LASR: Oh, yes, we saw those assets! And let me tell you, he is a fine specimen of manhood—oh, he isn’t a man, is he?

Anima: Agent Sinclair is a regenerated commando.

LASR: And those assets…my, oh my…I’m surprised you don’t call him Ben rather than Agent Sinclair.

Anima: Trying to keep it professional here—so, with that in mind, would you like me to move on to the restore part of operational tactics?

LASR: Sure.

Anima: If there wasn’t something less-than-wonderful going on in the world, we wouldn’t be called in, so we strive to leave the situation better than it was when a mission is initiated. That means we restore as much as we are able to, once we uncover the threat and eliminate it. People don’t like their apple carts upset so we right them, pick up as many apples and we can, and leave with the hope that most of humankind never even realizes there’s been any sort of peril. We don’t want to disturb the human condition by triggering panic or cultivating fear.

LASR: In other words, the agents from The Octopus save the world without the world even knowing it’s been saved?

Anima: I can neither confirm nor deny—

LASR: Okay, I forgot that part but from what you’ve just told us, you and Ben—ah, Agent Sinclair are superheroes.

Anima: We’re two agents assigned to various operations where our distinct talents will be best put to use.

LASR: You’re psychic, aren’t you?

Anima: Yes, I am. The ability has been with me since childhood and aside from two instances, has not failed me.

LASR: Like when you drank poison in Africa?

Anima: Details of the mission like that aren’t open to discussion. I’m sorry.

LASR: That’s fine. We saw what happened. Tell me, can you read my mind now?

Anima: Why yes, I can.

LASR: What am I thinking, then?

Anima: You sure you want me to say? We do have an audience…

LASR: Go ahead. We’re all friends.

Anima: You’re wondering if Ben—Agent Sinclair and I are seeing each other or if you’ve got a chance with him.

LASR: Well done! So?

Anima: So do you have a chance to get cozy with Ben? You’ll have to ask him that yourself. I can’t speak for him.

LASR: But are you two still an item?

Anima: That’s a tough question. We have a history…

LASR: But do you have a future? Say as the future Mrs. Sinclair?

Anima: Time will tell, I guess. I can’t predict the future.

LASR: Can you tell us, at least, whether there will be a sequel to REGENERATE?

Anima: Oh, yes, there will be a sequel—a whole series, actually. As long as the world needs saving from zombies, nuclear war, biohazards, or any of the other horrors people inflict upon each other, we’ll be around.

LASR: Thank you for joining us today, Nicole.

Anima: My pleasure! Thanks for having me!

LASR: But The Octopus—it’s real, isn’t it?

Anima: I can neither confirm nor deny…

The Octopus isn’t an urban myth—and its agents are anything but ordinary. The intelligence bureau is so well-hidden most doubt its existence. A handful know its location. And fewer walk the halls in the subterranean compound.

Benjamin Sinclair didn’t ask to be a scientific miracle but every mission has its risks and one perfectly-placed bullet ended his life—for a brief moment in time.

Nicole Anima battles demons every day. Life as a paranormal resources operative gives her tortured mind a rest—and keeps her from contemplating her own death.

When Anima and Sinclair partner on a globe-trotting race to eliminate the threat about to cripple humanity, all hell breaks loose. Leaping from planes, crashing into continents, dealing with voodoo priestesses, and running through jungles with zombies hot on their trail doesn’t leave much time for romance, but this duo somehow manages to sizzle.

Two agents. Telepathic mind paired with regenerated commando. One world—and a mission to save it.




Enjoy an Excerpt
“I’m sorry.”

“And that covers it, right? I’ve tried to hate you for fourteen months, and that’s all you’ve got to say?”

Stop. Just, stop. The plea came from his mind as clearly as if he’d said the words out loud.

They were in too far to pull back now.

“How many times can I say I’m sorry?” A muscle worked in his jaw. “How many will it take for it to be enough?”

“Keep going. I’ll let you know when it’s enough.”

The closest zombie put a hand on her shoulder. Squeezed.

A warning.

She invaded his mind. So much white screeching noise, but something sinister, as well.

“Stop the car!” She leaned over the seat and grabbed the driver by the shirt. “Stop—now!”

They’d reached the restaurant parking lot. It was early, and the only cars belonged to employees. Parked near the back, far from the main entrance.

The startled man’s reactions were instant. His foot stomped on the brakes. By the time the car stopped moving, she was over the seat and pushing him out the driver’s side door.

Sinclair exited the back and they ran. The car idled for a moment.

Then, an explosion that shook the ground and sent the trio to their knees.


About the Author:

Sarita Leone is an award-winning author who has written romance in many forms including Regency, paranormal, and contemporary. She loves happily-ever-afters in any setting!

When she’s not writing, Ms. Leone spends her time hiking, learning languages, and traveling. She loves adventure and can pack a suitcase, grab her passport, and hit the road in less time than it takes to peel an apple!

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Wilde Thing by Jannine Gallant – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn commenter will receive a digital copy of the book> Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Wilde brothers are addicted to the rush of adventure. But one of them is about to learn no matter how often you look for danger, you don’t want danger finding you.

For extreme skier Tripp Wilde, pushing the limits is what he lives for. Unfortunately, the inherent risk takes a toll on his body. After an injury sidelines him, he ends up in the care of his little sister’s best friend, physical therapist Hannah Ryder—who has grown up in all the right ways since they last met.

Hannah doesn’t mix business with pleasure, even though she harbored a maddening crush on the irresistible Tripp years before. So, while Tripp tries every slick maneuver he knows to bed her, Hannah uses her own moves to keep the hotshot skier cooled off while trying to control her own growing desire for him.

After the pair witness what they think may be a murder on the slopes, along with the men responsible, no one believes their story. But when a series of unlikely accidents suggests they are being targeted, the two will have to trust in each other like never before if they are going to survive.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

When the door to his hospital room opened, Tripp didn’t bother to glance up from the text he was trying to send one-handed. He fumbled the phone and swore then tossed it down on the bed. “Damn it. This sucks. I feel like a freaking invalid.”

“Problem?”

His chin came up as his gaze shot toward the doorway. Not Jake, who’d left to get something to eat and promised to come back later to drive him home. Hannah Ryder. His little sister’s old college roommate. Once in a while, when he was actually home and not to the far corners of the world, he caught sight of Hannah around town, but they’d never been anything but casual acquaintances at best. From the way her golden eyes narrowed on him, Tripp got the feeling she could take him or leave him…and would prefer the latter.

“I guess I wasn’t imagining you were on the hill this morning when they hauled me out of the avalanche.”

“No, you weren’t.” She advanced into the room and stopped a yard short of his bed. Hands tucked into the pockets of her down jacket, she regarded him steadily. “How’re you feeling?”

Strong was the word that sprang to mind as he studied Hannah. Those golden eyes reflected intelligence in their depths along with a mental toughness. Model tall but without scrawny angles, this woman looked capable of taking down any man stupid enough to mess with her without permission. Not that he’d ever try.

Tripp let out a breath. “Uh, I’m feeling okay. A little loopy from the pain meds. I imagine my shoulder will hurt like hell when they wear off.”

“Probably, but they’ll give you more drugs to manage any discomfort. I ran into a friend on the nursing staff out in the hall and got the basic facts. No fractures. That’s great.”

He scowled. “The dislocated shoulder is bad enough.”

“And only a mild concussion. You were extremely lucky. You could easily have been killed.”

He rolled his eyes. “Aren’t you Miss Glass Half-full. Lucky would have been not getting caught in the avalanche. Really lucky would have been finishing my run before the cornice broke free.”

Her golden cat eyes darkened to the color of her tawny-brown hair as she tucked a stray lock behind one ear. “I’ll report back to Eden that you’re not going to drop dead anytime soon…unless one of the nurses gets fed up with your bad mood and kills you.”

About the Author:

Write what you know. Jannine Gallant has taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. She grew up in a tiny Northern California town and currently lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t busy writing or being a full time mom, Jannine hikes or snowshoes in the woods around her home. Whether she’s writing contemporary, historical or romantic suspense, Jannine brings the beauty of nature to her stories.

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Second Chance Marquess by Jessica Jefferson – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jessica will be awarding a $25 and a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When Wilhemina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation, and fortune, is at risk. A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Are you accusing Kitty of going after your brother for his money?”

“She wouldn’t be the first.”

Willie set her jaw firmly, just as she always had when she was angry. “A decade later and you’re still following your father’s example. You still think the worst of women, don’t you?”

“I’m simply waiting to be proven wrong.”

“You were,” she said quietly, almost too low for him to hear.

“Once, Willie, and even that’s debatable. Every woman after you has fulfilled my lowest expectations.”

She looked away, a pale blush spread across the creamy pale skin of her chest. “Mrs. Turner,” she reminded him, facing him once again. “Kitty’s not like that. She doesn’t need his money.”

“Both your parents are gone and last time I knew, you hadn’t a penny to your name. How can she not need my brother’s money?”

“Because I make sure she’s taken care of. I’d do anything for that girl, no matter how silly or naïve she is. She’s still mine to take care of.” She jutted her chin proudly, just as she always had. George had to remind himself that this was no longer the stubborn, hopeful young woman he once knew, but a strong, experienced widow standing before him.

“Mr. Turner left you comfortable then?”

“My finances are none of your concern. We are doing quite well considering our circumstance.”

He found that hard to believe. “Beg your pardon, Mrs. Turner, but a vicar and a viscount are two very different things. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll need to get on the road soon. I heard mention that there might be a great deal of rain coming, possibly snow, and I doubt the weather will hold off much longer.” He turned his back to her and continued gathering the necessary items from around the study.

“I can’t allow you to go by yourself,” Wilhelmina protested, ignoring his less than subtle hint that their discussion had ended. “There’s no way I could possibly trust you to address this situation fairly after the unwarranted judgement you’ve already made regarding Kitty’s character.”

“It’s only unwarranted if it’s not true and that remains to be seen, now doesn’t it?”

“I won’t let you do it, George.”

The use of his given name stopped him cold. He took a deep breath, then turned to her, arms folded across his chest. “What exactly do you propose I do then, Mrs. Turner?”

“Take me with you.”

About the Author:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, two young daughters, French bulldog Lulu, and English bulldog Pete. When she’s not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch “Real Housewives of [insert city here]” and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property.

Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist where she invites her readers to fall in love with romance again.


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A Human Element by Donna Galanti – Spotlight and Giveaway



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

Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.

Read an excerpt:

The man could hear the child’s bellowing cries coming from underneath the blanket covering it. She pushed the child into his arms as if eager to be rid of it. He took the bundle and handed the nurse his packages. The nurse began to close the door when he heard another far away cry.

The man wedged his foot in the door. “What was that?”

“N-Nothing.” The nurse looked up.

The man risked looking her in the eye.

“The girl is in pain and won’t keep quiet.” She clutched the envelope and folded her arms across her sagging bosom.

“It sounded like another baby,” he said.

“It’s just the whimpering slut. Now she’s paid double for what she’s done.” The nurse took a step back as if aware she had said too much already. She glared at him. “Now go on. You have what you wanted. And so do I.” She shut the door in his face.

The man in black stood there for a long moment, considering the woman’s choice of words. What if another child had been delivered and the frigid woman and country doctor kept it secret?

Fascinating.

He decided to keep this information to himself. He would find the opportune time to use it. He was a patient man. But first, he had to see for himself. He peeled back the child’s bunting and looked for the first time into its yellow eyes. For that moment, the baby fell silent.

“Welcome to Earth X-10.”

The baby resumed its wailing.

The man turned with his noisy package and melted into the darkness satisfied, as the doctor had been, that the night’s events had provided him with more than he had asked for.

About the Author:

Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books -http://www.imajinbooks.com/ ) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books -http://www.month9books.com/ ). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill (http://www.thebigthrill.org/) – magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem (http://project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogspot.com/search/label/Donna Galanti) . She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools.

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