Six Books, Five Years, Two Men: the Paranormal Creatures of Sentries by Elizabeth Noble

5_24 elizabeth noble RingedLove_headerbanner

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Elizabeth Noble with the release of Ringed Love.

Six books, five years, two men: the paranormal creatures of Sentries.

Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble. Thank you so much to everyone at Long and Short Reviews for hosting me today.

The final installment of my Sentries series, Ringed Love was released yesterday by Dreamspinner Press on the five-year anniversary of the first installment, Marked Yours!

One of the constants during the Sentries series is the supernatural foes the main characters, Todd and Nick Ruger, face and battle. There are your traditional paranormal creatures, spirits, Wendigoes and demons. Then there are the unconventional creatures, those supernatural beings completely unique to Sentries. Creating not simply one, but several preternatural entities and integrating them into the entire series was an interesting task.

While writing these creatures, who became important characters in their own right, was a project in a sort of reverse engineering. My first step was to decide how big a part each sort of being would play in the overall series. Next I made a list of the types of powers and characteristics they’d need. Then, armed with my list, I developed my creatures.

This was world building of another sort. All worlds, and the beings that inhabit them need rules. Inventing a new group of related species took a considerable amount of research and record keeping.

Now keep in mind I’m not what someone would call organized, not by any sense of the imagination. However, while writing the Sentries series I discovered something about myself, a few things actually. I actually can keep notes in some sort of reasonable and useful order and I love detailed research!

At first glance you might inquire, ‘but you’re writing about beings you invented, how do you research that? Why do you even need to?’

Well, let’s go back to that whole world building/reverse engineering thing. Readers of the previous books in Sentries will likely recognize the entities I’m talking about. I created for my series a whole class of shifters. Yes, in this series the shifters aren’t the sexy heroes we see in other books. They’re the deadly, frightening, mysterious creatures only spoken of in hushed tones and with the shades drawn. In Sentries shifters are the really bad guys!

A couple hours of poking around in various myths and studying existing animals offered me some interesting characteristics for my made up class of shifters. There are three in all. The kelbit, the true shifter of the bunch, is a seriously creepy being we meet very early on in the series. The kelbit is a sexual predator using fear to stalk and trap its prey. Next is my reoccurring criminal masterminds the pyrahni. I took the name from the Piranha fish which strips the flesh off its victims skeleton. The pyrahni look human, but aren’t and use psychic abilities to strip their victims of free will. The final being, the syrane, we meet in Ringed Love.

All three of these creatures hunts its victims and exploits their emotions in some fashion. They’re tied together because each species surfaces and inhabits the human world because of some natural disaster.

Sometimes I wonder about myself for being able to come up with these ideas and invent such entities. This from the person who can’t watch scary movies after dark!

I loved writing the Sentries series and winding various threads throughout each book to come together in Ringed Love! Telling the story of Todd and Nick as well as the preternatural beings they face has been a pleasure. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I’ve loved learning about it and telling it.

Elizabeth

5_24 elizabeth noble RingedLoveFSNew Colorado Protectorate fell with the assassination of Chancellor Clarke. Like many others, Todd and Nick Ruger left the land of their birth and made a home to the north in Yellowknife. Their world was ever changing. The time came to say a sad farewell to some of their friends and loved ones, but they were taken in with open arms by others and in turn offered shelter to yet more. Through the years they remained steadfast in their duty as sentries to protect and defend those that needed it the most.

Time marches on but through it all they hold each other dear and cherish the love they’ve shared. There are still angry ghosts, Windigos and water spirits to contend with. Their lives change, offering them new roles. When the time comes, they do what sentries have done for generations prior and teach others the skills to carry on as sentries. The Rugers lives were rich and their hearts full with their devotion and love for each other. The tradition of the sentries lived on forever. It was the legacy of Todd and Nick Ruger. That was the way it was always meant to be.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“That could have been a real disaster if we were still on the bridge,” Todd said. They walked the entire inside length of the train. Once getting to the engine car and introducing themselves to the conductor, they offered assistance. The conductor asked that they help check for wounded passengers. As far as she knew, there were no criminals being transported on this trip, so there was no concern about someone leaving the train who shouldn’t. More than half the train’s crew was outside inspecting for damage to the tracks and train. The next hour or so was spent going from car to car and making sure everyone had what they needed.

“Was there something in the lake?” Todd asked when they were making their way back to their cabin.

“I don’t know,” Nick said. “For a second it seemed as if there was, but I couldn’t really tell if it was an illusion caused by the water moving or if something was coming out of the water.” He crossed the small room and peered out of the window. “It looks like they’re getting all of the crew back onto the train. I hope we get moving soon.”

Todd stood behind him and rubbed his shoulders, then pulled Nick against him and kissed his cheek. “You have plenty of time before you need to check in, so stop worrying.”

“Something doesn’t feel right.” Nick turned away from the window and slipped both arms around Todd.

Todd nodded. “I know.” He looked beyond Nick to the window. The train lurched forward and they were on their way again. “Things come out during natural disasters,” he muttered.

Nick settled more firmly against him and tightened his grip. “That wasn’t a very big quake and certainly not a major disaster, but we should check out the people on this train and the area.”

About the Author: 5_24 elaizabeth noble nerw logo EN 61915 copyElizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fanfiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess and her sidekick, tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening and winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!) and stargazing all year long. When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published two of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner up in the 2015 Rainbow awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Twitter

Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, or Barnes and Noble.

Wanderlust by Bernadette Marie – Spotlight and Giveaway

BB_Wanderlust_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bernadette will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_WanderlustGia Gallow has traveled the world. Her wanderlust landed her in Georgia where she has created a life for herself away from the petty differences of relatives and domineering ex-lovers. Having settled in America, she has a successful business and dear friends—and the attention of both Dane and Russell Walker. Due to her own family’s dramas over dueling hearts, she might have to forget about her feelings for Dane to keep peace within the Walker family, but sometimes even running thousands of miles away can’t keep a heart from going after what the heart wants. And Gia’s heart wants Dane.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Dane wasn’t sure why his coffee suddenly tasted so bitter. It might have been the way his brother was looking at Gia when they walked through the door, and she was laughing at what he’d said.

Perhaps it was because his attitude had been affected by it and there had been no reason for it.

The way Russ had referred to her as a goddess still burned his ears.

Dane’s mother orchestrated everyone through the kitchen, and they all managed to have full plates of food when they were done. She’d managed to set enough chairs and tables, strung together, to house all the guests. He’d seen her do that at Thanksgiving too. He could hardly find enough room on his little table in his apartment to eat his microwave dinner.

“Eric and Susan, you sit there,” his mother pointed to chairs.

“Russ, you there. Gia you there. Dane you there,” she said pointing to three chairs near the end of the table which flowed into the living room.

“Let me take that for you,” Russell smiled at Gia and took her plate.

“Oh, thank you. You seem to come to my rescue for everything.”

“What can I say? I’m raised right.”

Dane let out a grunt, which had both of them turning to look at him. He simply forced a smile and took his seat—after Russ pulled Gia’s seat out for her.

At least the food was excellent. Dane to listened to Pearl and Tyson tell stories about their wedding on the beach at sunset and their honeymoon filled with snorkeling and hiking near the waterfalls.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like hearing the stories or the awws that came from every female in the room, but watching his brother lean into Gia, and her laughing at everything he said, seemed to be raking on his last nerve.

He took his plate into the kitchen for another helping of ham. He was a sucker for ham and tiny bagels. It was something he couldn’t explain.

“Does your family do this often?” Gia slid up next to him as he tried to delicately pull two pieces of ham apart.

Dane looked at her then at the table of family members who laughed and talked over one another. He shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. Mom’s always putting together a brunch or a dinner.”

Gia eased her hip against the counter. “You seem uncomfortable around them all.”

“Nah, just all the gushy wedding stuff I guess.” She pursed her lips. “You are not a romantic?”

Was that a loaded question? “Sure. I mean I can be romantic. I just”

She laughed and rested her hand on his arm. “I am sure you are the kind of man who could sweep any woman off her feet.”

Dane cleared his throat, only because he’d choked on the air he sucked in when she’d said that.

“I’m not too sure I’m very smooth with the ladies. My mind has been elsewhere for the past few months.”

She nodded and picked up the serving spoon to ladle more fruit on to her plate.

“I understand. I still have some friends back home who will not speak to me because I moved away. I will admit before I left, I might have pushed them away.”

“Why?”

She shrugged. “So I would not be hurt by leaving.”

Maybe she did understand. “I get that. I think”

“Did Susan make those little bacon wraps with dates?” Russ pushed in between them. “I didn’t see them, but dad has one on his plate.”

“Steal his then,” Dane said through gritted teeth.

“Lighten up.” Russ gave him a jab as he reached in front of Gia and grabbed the bacon on a toothpick. “Looks like I just missed them the first time.” Russ ate the first one and then reached for another.

“Did you try these?” he asked Gia, holding it up to her mouth.

“Not yet,” she said as he clamped the bacon wrapped date in her teeth and pulled it from the toothpick.

Dane was sure he heard both himself and his brother sigh.

She gave them a collective wink and carried her plate to the table, now occupying a seat left vacant by Pearl’s father who seemed to have disappeared.

“Could you be any more of a pig?” Dane finally took both pieces of ham and dropped them on his plate.

“Are you talking to me or the meat?”

“You,” he whispered gruffly. “You’re throwing yourself at her. It’s annoying.”

“And you’re not, so I don’t see the problem,” Russ argued as he returned to the table.

Dane stood there a moment trying to collect his thoughts. How had it happened that he’d moved away, and the world went on without him? He was finding out, very quickly, he didn’t like it.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WanderlustBernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince
Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon Author Page
Enter to win a $20 Amazon GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Missed Connections by Tamara Mataya – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tamara Mataya, whose newest book Missed Connection, the first book in the Summer Love series, which releases June 7. Enter the Rafflecopter to win a copy of the book.

To celebrate the release of MISSED CONNECTIONS, Tamara has written this missed connection post between a fictional couple. Can you guess who these characters are?

Dearest B.

Every day I’m next to you and not able to tell you how I feel hurts, and yet you haven’t seemed to notice me as more than an employee. If I’m wrong, what color are my eyes? –FB

FB. (Farm Boy?)

I’ve been sitting here unsure how to answer for hours, certain this is not addressed to me from you, for you never let slip any indication of your feelings, not even when you brought in wood earlier. You only ever say three words to me. Tell me what they are and I will believe it’s you. P.S. Your eyes are like the sea after a storm. –Possibly your Dearest B

Dearest B

As. You. Wish. -FB

5_23 Missed Connections coverMissed Connection: I saw you standing there, and I was struck by your eyes. Gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as your smile.

Thanks to her job at a crazy New Age spa, what should have been a sizzling NYC summer is being hijacked by demanding hippie bosses. To unwind, Sarah spends her nights cruising Missed Connections, dreaming of finding an uber-romantic entry all about her. Of course, the moment she finds that Missed Connection, real life comes crashing down around her in a night of unbridled passion with someone completely different: totally off-limits Jack.

Best. Hookup. Ever.

Gorgeous and wealthy, hot as sin, Jack can give Sarah everything she needs—except an emotional connection. That she gets from her Missed Connection, the romantic stranger who never fails to make her swoon. But there’s only so much of Sarah to go around. Torn between the bad boy she can’t keep and the sensitive stranger who bares his soul online, her heart and body are soon in two very different relationships…or are they?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Excerpt from MISSED CONNECTIONS

Excerpt from MISSED CONNECTIONS

“No air-conditioning?”

Jack’s voice startles me, and I jump, dropping my shirt.

“No. I’ll have to look at getting a unit in.”

“Do you like big units?”

“Well, a tiny one wouldn’t do it…”

“Big ones are better for doing it.”

My apartment’s dinky but will need more than a small air conditioner. “For sure. I mean, mine’s pretty tiny, but it would still need…”

He bites the inside of his cheek and raises his eyebrows.

When he said unit, he was referring to… “Oh my God, so not what I meant!”

“Sure. And this?” He nods at the bag in his hands.

“I want it on the bed.” For crying out loud, am I capable of speaking without everything sounding like a “that’s what she said” joke? “In the bedroom is fine.” A giant, throbbing innuendo…What is wrong with me? This is Jack, my friend. Only my friend for reasons. Shaking my head, I shift a blue tub with my kitchen stuff into the tiny kitchen and move one from there into the equally tiny bathroom. On the way back, I trip over a bag and slam my leg into the corner of a box.

“Nice one, Grace.”

“Shut up.” I hiss through my teeth while rubbing my shin. “Ouch.”

“Are you bleeding?” He squats in front of me, cradling my calf to pull my leg closer. It’s tight quarters, and I can smell him—something fresh but mixed with his sweat. My mouth waters. Would I be able to taste it on his skin?

His fingertips graze the sensitive skin behind my knee. Jesus. He’s never touched my bare skin there before. It’s just my calf. How can that make me feel…restless and unfulfilled?

He traces the skin around the injury with a fingertip. “The skin’s broken, but it’s just the first layer. Nothing serious.”

Tell that to my pulse, which is doing a splendid imitation of a jackhammer. “Yeah.” My voice is raspy. “Nothing serious.”

His gaze crawls up my shin to my thigh, my torso, my eyes. Oh, he knows what this is doing to me. Deliberately, he slides his hand up my thigh before letting go. Then he stands and licks his lips, eyes locked on mine.

Now I’m covered with goose bumps, suddenly feverish with wanting his hands on my body again—and not wanting to let him leave my apartment until we’re sweaty for another reason. The intensity of the attraction I feel for him spreads through me from cell to cell like a virus. Liking him is deadly because I can’t feel this for him, can’t want him this much.

His fingers tangle in my hair and lift my face. I shouldn’t be taking a step toward him, grabbing

the front of his shirt, and pulling him closer like this. He crushes his body to me as his lips gently meet mine as if this means something. His tongue teases my lips open and eases inside my mouth, and when it touches my tongue, I shudder and clutch at him, desperate to pull him closer when I should be pushing him away.

But his hands are gentle, his lips are firm, and his tongue strokes mine in ways that dissolve rational thought and all the bones in my body. He tastes like peppermint and the last lover I can imagine ever wanting again because no one has kissed me like this—and I want more. I want it all. He wraps me in his arms and squeezes. I stretch up, allowing more of my body to press against his, then wrap my arms around his neck and gently grind my hips against his. One of his hands slips down my side and around to palm my breast, lifting and gently kneading it through my shirt and bra. He’s already hard.

He breaks the kiss, and I’m left breathless, but then he pushes me against the wall and pins my hands above my head—and who the hell needs air anyway? I arch against him, pressing my breasts against his chest, trying to ease the ache as he nibbles my earlobe and kisses his way down my collarbone, releasing my hands to palm my breasts.

I trail my hands under his shirt and over the cut ridges of his abs. He pulls one of my thighs up, pressing against my core, making me moan in his mouth when his lips find mine again. His mouth is everything. God, I can’t wait. This is going to be so damn good. We’ll have amazing sex, and then…what? Live happily ever after? I tip my head back to give him better access to the tender flesh of my neck.

Shut up, brain.

About the Author:5_23 Tamara Mataya Author PhotoTamara Mataya is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a librarian, and a musician with synesthesia. Armed with a name tag and a thin veneer of credibility, she takes great delight in recommending books and shushing people. She puts the ‘she’ in TWSS and the B in LGBTQIA+.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Books a Million, Indigo, or IndieBound.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler – Spotlight and Giveaway

 


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Leffler will be awarding physical copy of the book and another historical fiction title (US Only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her Jewish heritage. Now eighty-seven years old and a widow, she is haunted by a lifetime of secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she’s presided over for a decade, but when a new member walks in–a fifteen year old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister Sarah–Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason.

She hires the serious-eyed teenager to type up her story of a daring female pilot during WWII who gambled everything for her dreams–and both their lives take flight in unexpected ways.

At times laugh-out-loud funny and at others heart-wrenching, this is a story of identity, betrayal, love, hope, and forgiveness.

 

About the Author:

Maggie Leffler is an American novelist and a family medicine physician. A native of Columbia, Maryland, she graduated from University of Delaware and volunteered with Americorps before attending St. George’s University School of Medicine. She practices medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and sons. The Secrets of Flight is her third novel.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview and Giveaway – Katie Ruggle

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Katie Ruggle, who is visiting with us to celebrate the release of her newest book Fan the Flames. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a print copy of the book (US/Canada only).

Thanks for visiting with us, Katie. What is your favorite movie based on a book, where you preferred the movie?

Ooh, hard one. The book is almost always so much better. One of the few movies that I prefer over the book is The Thirteenth Warrior, based on Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead. My reason is shallow: I get to actually see the Vikings (mmm…Vikings) and all of the horses (I’m a total horse geek).

Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen for writing?

Laptop! When I was living off-grid in the mountains, I’d charge my machine during daylight hours (prime solar-power time) and write in the evenings until my battery ran out. I do go old-school and pull out a notebook and pen for lists (I write so very many lists; if I didn’t, I’d forget everything in the universe) and note-taking.

Do you believe in writer’s block? Has it ever happened to you?

I have to schedule writing into my daily routine. For me, it’s not really a matter of writer’s block, but more of an issue with the thousand and one non-writing life things that need to be done. If I don’t have a dedicated time to write (and only write), then other stuff (cough*Facebook-cute-animal-videos*cough) fills my day instead. Currently, I’m working nights at a bakery, so it’s especially important for me to schedule my writing between making a gazillion caramel rolls and sleep.

Is there a book you’ve ever read more than five times? Which book and what drew you back to it?

I have piles of them; they’re my comfort reads. It’s an odd assortment, ranging from Deerskin by Robin McKinley to The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White to On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to Phase by E.C. Newman to Sheltered by Charlotte Stein to Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series to The Self-Sufficient Life by John Seymour. In very different ways, each one has earned its place on my multiple-reread-worthy shelf.

Have you ever literally deleted or thrown away a book you’ve written?

Not on purpose! I’ve had a computer stolen (before I backed up my work remotely), which had lots of book starts (it’s how I record an idea—I begin writing the first chapter), and I’ve had the usual blue-screen-of-death nightmares, but I’ve never intentionally deleted an entire book. There’s something worthwhile in every story, so I like to hang on to everything I write.

You’re spending one year living on a desert island – which three authors do you want with you?

Can I have dead people? Not in zombie mode or anything, but in they-used-to-be-dead-but-now-are-alive-again-and-not-decomposing-for-this-year-on-the-desert-island mode? Because, if so, I’d like Mark Twain (practical and entertaining), John Seymour (very, very practical, but unsure about entertainment value), and Herman Melville (wouldn’t he know how to build a boat?). If I can’t have dead people, I’m going to have to think really hard about this. Dozens of authors immediately popped into my head, people who I figured would be a blast to hang out with at our tropical party, but then I realized something: no coffee. Most of the authors I know develop slightly (very!) scary personality disorders if they’re deprived of caffeine. I don’t want our year on the desert island to turn into a bloodbath because there’s no visiting Love Boat with an on-board Starbucks. I’ll just stick with my dead guys.

5_23-FantheFlamesIn the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath—and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war—with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

5_23-katie-ruggle-authorAbout the Author: When she’s not writing, Katie Ruggle rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

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

Things I Like Doing When I’m Not Writing by Norma Gail – Guest Blog and Giveaway

NBTM_LandOfMyDreams_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Norma Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Things I Like Doing When I’m Not Writing
By Norma Gail

My entire day disappeared. The chiming of the clock above my desk never registered as I considered my years of family research in light of the new Ancestry DNA information I received. The same thing happens with a good Bible study. Timers and responsibility hold little power over me when I am studying something I enjoy. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.

Beyond family and friends, I have four loves, writing, reading, leading Bible studies, family history, and mountains. The passion to find my ancestors encompasses it all. Once discovered, they become dear friends who find their way into conversations, influence my reading interests and vacation stops, and look down on me from photos hanging above my desk. What did these people believe and how did their faith influence their lives? My family indulges me when I take off on one of my tangents.

I may write fiction but my love of a true story developed at the knee of my great aunt, listening to her tales of the Old West and of riding for help after witnessing the shooting of her father and older brothers in their corral. My desire to understand what happened has led me to reading choices, libraries, courthouses, and trips. It has reunited family members who didn’t know each other existed and filled countless hours and my file cabinet.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to his boss’s ranch to watch the cattle branding. This weekend, we head to a local Celtic Festival. If the travel involves Jeep trails, ghost towns, and old cemeteries, I’m even happier. Put this girl in jeans and hiking boots with a map and mountain road and I’m in my element.

Google searches are the greatest thing next to being there. I can create a screensaver for the family and locale I’m researching and end up with inspiration. I can find the current owner of my great grandfather’s ranch and plan a trip to see the actual site. I can create a playlist of music appropriate to the time and place on my phone and listen as I do my errands. Songs abound with romantic ideas.

So how did I end up writing a contemporary inspirational romance set in Scotland? I became fascinated with all things Scottish when I discovered a family tree as a child. My husband and I spent our 30th anniversary there, though I have not finished locating my ancestors. The vacation happened long before I decided to write a book, but the research helped with both. A dream about a kilted Highlander on a misty mountainside covered with sheep and my European immigrant husband made me wonder what it might be like to take a trip and fall in love.

The “land of my dreams” led to my first published book and I have a lot more research and traveling to do.

© Copyright Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, May 19, 2016

MediaKit_BookCover_LandOfMyDreamsAlone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancé reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student.

How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart?

Land of My Dreams, Christian Romance Novel, spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

Enjoy an excerpt:

When Kieran left his office, he saw Bonny standing behind her car, her foot tapping and shoulders sagging. “Can I help you, Dr. Bryant?”

She startled, and he realized he had been so intent on watching her that he had failed to give warning of his approach. The eyes that met his sparkled, their brilliance drawing him like a treasure hunter to a prize emerald. She was a lovely woman.

“Dr. MacDonell, hello. I’ve changed flat tires before, but these lug nuts won’t budge.”

He checked the urge to brush a smudge of dirt from her cheek. “It’s Kieran, and I’m glad to be of help.” He forced himself to ignore the nervous pounding in his chest and the urge to run. He was alone with the woman who had filled his mind day and night from the moment she had walked into the room.

“I’m Bonny, and thanks.”

“I’ll take that spanner off your hands.”

“Spanner? Oh, you mean the lug wrench, of course.” She held it out to him and smiled.

He took a deep breath. Her smile reminded him of sun breaking through a Scottish mist. His fingers brushed hers as he took it, and he realized how small her hands were, like his mother’s finest china. Dainty and delicate.

Something about the patient way she watched caused his uncertainty to subside. Rescuing a damsel in distress wasn’t a bad way to meet. Tossing the caber was no longer possible, but he knew how to change a tire. She stood near enough for him to smell her perfume—feminine, like a rose garden.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LandOfMyDreamsNorma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

Website | Amazon Author Page | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads | Twitter | LinkedIn

Boy the ebook for $0.99 at Amazon. Buy the print book from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Touched Series by Elsa Winckler – Q&A and Giveaway

VBT_TourBanner_Touched

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elsa Winckler will be awarding a copy of one of the ebooks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by Long and Short Reviews to answer a few questions. If your book were made into a movie, who would you want to play your main characters?

Touched to the heart – Don and Caitlin – Henry Cavill and Emma Watson
Touched to the soul – Dale and Zoe – Travis Fimmel and Daisy Ridley
Touched to the core – David and Dana – Ryan Renolds and Ellie Kemper
Touched to the depth – Darryn and Hannah – Jake Gyllenhaal and Katherine Mcnamara

How do you come up with the titles of your books?

I seldom have a title when I start, the title only ‘reveals’ itself later in the story. In Touched to the heart, Caitlin, the heroine of the stories, is a physiotherapist. She massages Don’s sore muscles and he only later realizes that that was the moment she also touched his heart.

What does your writing space look like?

Our bedroom is quite big and has a bay window. I’ve had a desk made specially for the one wall with a bookcases for my favourite stories on the one side and a place for dictionaries, how-to books, etc. on the other side.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I love to cook and I knit. And I can’t go a day without reading.

What is your favourite color?

Green

What is your favourite pleasure food?

In Afrikaans we call it ‘Melkkos’, literally translated, milk food. Bring milk to the boil and add strips of dough that you’ve made with flour, an egg and milk. Add cinnamon sticks, butter and sugar and you have soul –food that comforts you.

What is your favourite season?

Spring.

What is your favourite television show?

Nashville – I’m a sucker for country music and sexy heroes and this series has both 

What is your favourite movie?

There are so many! Family Stone (2005) and The Holiday (2006)

Who is your favourite actor?

Colin Firth

What is your favourite song?

Real song – a song our son, Heinz Winckler sings https://youtu.be/8xYWaHKQUkw

What is your favourite comfort clothing attire?

Jeans, socks, soft top

What books might we find on your bedside table?

At the moment one from the Afrikaans author, Michiel Heyns – Lost Ground.

Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate, introvert, mother

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheHeartWhen it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn’t have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.

While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers — hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.

Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.

They’ve both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.

Enjoy an excerpt:

‘Where’s your girlfriend?’ Was the first thing that popped out of her mouth. Caitlin nearly groaned out load. She looked away and unlocked her car. ‘Sorry, none of my business,’ she mumbled and opened the door.

‘She’s just a friend.’

‘Did you enjoy your date?’ she asked.

He shook his head. ‘I was watching you the whole night.’

Stunned, she swallowed.

‘And you? Did you have a nice time?’ he asked.

‘I…’ At a complete loss for words, she frantically tried to think of a word, any word. Nothing came to mind. She shook her head. He’d been watching her all night?

He stepped around so that the car door was between them. Her hands were resting lightly on the door.

‘Thought so.’ His smile was devastating. ‘I’d like to take you out, Caitlin.’

‘As in a date?’ she asked, still stunned.

‘Yes, Caitlin, as in a date.’ He touched her cheek. ‘There is something here,’ he said and motioned with his hand between them.

She didn’t move, just stared at him. Was he really asking her out on a date?

‘I don’t know what it is, but it’s keeping me awake at night. Let’s try a date and see how we like it. Friday around seven?’ he asked. ‘I’ll pick you up and we’ll have dinner.’

Caitlin stared at him for another minute before she was sure she could string a few words together. ‘Don, you…me…’ She shook her head and grimaced. ‘We live in two completely different worlds, we have nothing in common. You are…you, the papers are full of your businesses. I’m a physiotherapist from Hermanus. I don’t think —’

‘Then don’t. Think, that is.’ He smiled. ‘You do know that you can’t believe everything you read in the papers. And I happen to like this physiotherapist from Hermanus.’

She looked at him a moment longer. This was so not what she should be doing. Hannah’s warning and her own misgivings about him swirled around in her head.

His eyes never left hers.

She was a big girl. And if she prepared herself for the worst, then surely she’d be fine.

‘Where? I’ll meet you —’

‘I’ll pick you up,’ he said and lowered his head.

‘You don’t know where I live and I always drive myself,’ she managed just before his lips touched hers lightly.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TouchedSeriesI have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exciting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

Website | Facebook |
Author Facebook Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Wattpad | Google+

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheHeart Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, iBooks, eBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheSoulBuy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Noble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheDepthAmazon, Amazon UK, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, iBooks, Google Play, or Etopia Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheCoreBuy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Kobo, Etopia Press, Barnes and Noble, or iBooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love’s Encore by Kathleen Ann Gallagher – Spotlight and Giveaway

MediaKit_BB_LovesEncore_Banner copy

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

MediaKit_BookCover_LovesEncoreDesire wins the lead role.

Sadie Layne, a creative and motivated high school drama teacher, is grateful for second chances. After surviving breast cancer, she embarks on a celebratory trip to LA with her two best friends. Sadie never expected to run into the handsome and charming Vince De Carlo in the hotel lobby. She hasn’t seen Vince much since they worked together in a theater company years ago. Their meeting interrupts her plans and reminds her of the life she left behind.

Vince, a struggling actor and cover model, is in LA to promote a television pilot. His old attraction to Sadie is stronger than ever. He never forgot her, even though a trusted friendship and a scripted kiss was all they’d shared.

The reunited pair give in to temptation, but reality soon collides with lust as strong doubts about their blossoming romance get in the way. Sadie dreads facing her defeat as an actress, and Vince doesn’t think a struggling actor like himself is capable of providing the accomplished teacher with what she deserves.

Will the couple find a way to keep their sizzling romance alive and build a future together? Or will their uncertainty win the lead role and smother the flames?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I’m here for the week.” She wiggled away and stood directly in front of him. She parted her lips and put on a sultry stare. Sadie took hold of his heart.

“You look more stunning than ever tonight.” Vince kept his voice low.

Then, he acted on impulse. He placed his hands on the sides of her face. When she responded with a smile, he couldn’t resist another minute. His heart soared as he gazed down at her. Sadie uttered a soft moan as their lips met. She reached up and placed her arms around his neck, quivered slightly, and nestled up against him, as if she’d wanted him to kiss her all along. His knees weakened as he sampled the sweet peach lip-gloss on her soft, luscious lips.

As he savored each moment, his heart pounded in his ears. If he didn’t break free, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. He was afraid to open his eyes to find it was all a dream. Vince tried to keep his cool as his breathing sped up like he’d run a marathon. His head spun with thoughts of making love to this amazing woman. Oh, how he wanted to show her how much she meant to him, but he’d wait. One thing he had learned from the way his father had treated his mother was to respect a woman. Sadie deserved so much more. Once their tender moment ended, he stood back, lost in her gaze.

“I’m crazy about you, Sadie. I always have been, but if I’m going too fast, please stop me.” He spoke close to her ear. Vince ran his finger along her cheek and gently lifted her chin. “We met up again this many miles away from Jersey for a reason.” He pushed a strand of her silky, blonde hair away from her beautiful eyes.

“You might have something there,” she agreed. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you know if you get out of line.”

She gave him a seductive stare and devilish smirk, which was out of character for Sadie, but he liked it. She had always been warm and friendly, but not the kind of girl who’d make a first move. Although, she did mention how her cancer scare changed her views on life. Whatever the reason for exposing her sensual side, it was certainly working in his favor.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LovesEncore Kathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. Kathleen discovered her passion for reading and writing in the fourth grade. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.

Blog | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Google

Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes and Noble, or Beachwalk Press.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Psychic Readings Done Here by Tanille Edwards – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tanille Edwards will be awarding a $15 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.

Three young girls go to a psychic after pooling their allowance money together. It’s been thirteen years and none of the prediction have come true until today. They face turbulent times in their lives that will make them stronger and bring them back together. The power of true, unceasing friendship and love conquers all. And the help of a psychic along the way doesn’t hurt.

The predictions a psychic made thirteen years ago bring three young women at the height of the most critical moments in their lives back together. Through their friendship, these young women learn about love, life, and cherishing what matters most.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Diane and a woman are sitting across from each other at a round table with a deep burgundy cloth on it. Diane, who is in her early fifties, and the woman, in her early twenties, are engrossed in a serious conversation with intense eye contact. Diane, who has short, gray hair, is trying to reach an understanding with the dark-haired woman.

I see the path people take during their lives as if they were movies on a screen. It could be the words spoken by one, a touch given, or a simple stare that gives me insight into a person’s life. I try to be an adviser to my clients, but I can only tell them what I see, not what they want to hear. I have been in the same location, in the same small town, for over 20 years. I moved up North after my mother passed away. In her honor, the honor of the lineage I share, I continue our work. I come from a long line of healers. There was a time when our folks could not get to a hospital—we had to learn to heal ourselves based on traditions passed on from the motherland. My people used remedies from the earth, things like black tourmaline crystals, raw honey, herbal roots like John the Conqueror root, and plants like Rose of Jericho to heal. Sometimes we are healing life situations, sometimes we are healing health. We learned old wives’ tales and used our secondary vision to lead us to solutions for others. Along the way, I was taught something many grapple with. You see, people can change their short-run destinies, but they can never change their fate.

The woman leaves. Diane heads toward the curtain that covers the doorway of the back room. She pulls the curtain to the side and walks through the doorway. On the other side of the curtain, there is a small kitchen area and a table. On top of the stove sits a teapot. Diane, who is wearing a red apron, reaches in the cabinet and takes out a teacup and a saucer. She pours tea in her cup and has a seat at the table.

What has been disturbing me since I woke up this morning is a dream that I had last night. My dreams are like a compass. They tell me the direction things are going.

Diane moves her fingertip around the teacup rim very slowly and watches the tea steam.

Recalled to me was a reading I did for three young girls almost twelve years ago.

Twelve-year-olds Rachel and Vanessa are standing with eleven-year-old Cassandra at the door of the shop. Diane walks from behind the curtain of the back room.

“Hi, how may I help you young girls?” Diane asks.

“We want a reading,” Vanessa says. She has long, wavy brown hair.

“Yeah, the sign outside says a reading is ten dollars,” Cassandra says. She has long, dark curly black hair in ponytails.

“Calm down, Rachel. Just act cool,” Vanessa says.

Rachel, who has short blonde hair, puts ten dollars on the table. The money is in singles, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.

“Well, I don’t usually do groups,” Diane says.

“Oh,” Rachel exclaims.

The young girls all look at each other.

“We can leave,” Rachel says.

“What?” Vanessa says. “Give us a moment,” she tells Diane.

The girls huddle together.

“Look, guys,” Cassandra says. “I need to find out my designer destiny. Will I grow up in the life of riches, wearing Gucci everything?”

Vanessa replies. “Even more important than your Gucci dreams is my career. At age twelve, I don’t have a career yet. This is serious. My parents are all over me. All my cousins already know what they want to be when they grow up! Rachel, don’t mess this up. This family holiday, I’m coming prepared with an answer for the career question.”

Vanessa approaches Diane as the group’s spokesperson. “So, can we still get a reading?”

About the Author: Tanille is the co-author and creator of the children’s green book series “Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures.” She is also the author of the new media young adult novels with music “Cameo by Tanille,” and “Broken by Tanille.”

The Undercover Starlet Journal is a title Tanille created to inspire young women and has extended Undercover Starlet into brand extensions that appear throughout her novels.

Tanille has been writing music and books since age 16. She earned an MBA at 21 and graduated magna cum laude.

Readers of her latest young adult romance novel “Broken by Tanille” get free music downloads of her new Pop R&B hits “All of Me,” “Feel It,” “Baby Comeback to Me,” “It’s Not Okay,” and “What’s a Girl to Do” all written, performed and co-produced by Tanille.

The Undercover Starlet Reading Project is a new project we’ve launched, tasked with inspiring young teens in urban communities to reads and express themselves. We are committed to going above and beyond to reach youth with inspiring messages.

Website | Twitter | Facebook
 

Buy Psychic Readings Done Here, Cameo, or Broken.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Simply the Best – A Collection of International Digital Award Winning Romances – Spotlight and Giveaway

MBB_SimplyTheBest_TourBanner

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

Media Kit _BookCover_SimplyTheBestThis collection of multi-genre romances features winning novels from the International Digital Awards, including historical, suspense/thriller, short historical, contemporary, paranormal, and young adult. Simply the Best of all worlds!

Haunted by Death ~ Dale Mayer

Death haunts anthropologist Meg Pearce…

In her last summer before college, an innocent camping trip ended in a friend’s disappearance…and destroyed her life.

Angel’s Assassin ~ Laurel O’Donnell

When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of dark passion and forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart with shadowy secrets of his own.

Be Mine This Christmas Night ~ L. A. Sartor

At Christmas, finding love and a family seems even more possible…unless you’re keeping a secret.

A Hunter 4 Rescue ~ Cynthia Clement

Worlds Apart. Joined by Love

A unit of elite alien warriors, known as Hunters, crash lands on earth and their leader is torn between getting his men to safety or protecting the human woman he has bonded with.

The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet ~ Charity Tahmaseb

Sometimes staying silent is the biggest lie of all

No one expects the girl who has mastered the art of keeping quiet to join the speech team. But Jolia does. When a crush-worthy rival offers to coach her in secret, she can’t say no. But secrets have a price, and this one might cost Jolia everything.

The Mapmaker’s Wife ~ Kathy L Wheeler

In the midst of his worn-torn country, love posed the greater danger.

A flippant proposal and an attack on her person finds one young woman married to the mapmaker who only needs someone to take control of his ungovernable child. Feelings quickly shift into something less platonic and when the enemy gains vital secrets, her suspicions land her in jail.

Enjoy an excerpt from The Mapmaker’s Wife ~ Kathy L Wheeler:

“Miss Ruthers?”

“Yes. It’s me, Mr. Williams.”

“Good heavens, you’ll catch your death.” He leaned over the edge, gripping the wood rail. She thought she caught concern, however fleeting. “You haven’t a coat.”

“No, Mr. Williams. I didn’t have much time, I’m afraid.”

“You’d best come in.” At his grim tone, she cast a glance to the bank of trees behind. “Now, Miss Ruthers. It’s freezing out.”

Clutching her torn shirt tighter with one hand, Elizabeth lifted her skirts with the other and trod up the wood stairs, head held high. Dignity was her only salvation. With a confidence she didn’t feel, she marched past him and into a kitchen a bit larger than the one she’d fled.

Dishes filled the sink and the floor needed a good sweeping. His limp seemed more pronounced as he filed in and hung the lantern on a hook next to the door. He shut it softly, staring at her all the while, arms folded over a broad chest.

The heat in the kitchen, after the cold night, seemed stifling and overwarm. His eyes moved over her, pausing at her throat where her frozen hand secured her shirt in a fist, rising back up to her damp hair, dripping puddles on the floor. She was so warm, she felt faint.

After a long pause, he asked, “Is there something you wish to tell me, Miss Ruthers?”

“I-I accept your proposal.”

About the Authors:

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author known for her page turning plotlines and heartwarming characters. A prolific writer, she specializes in Romantic Suspense, but also writes thrillers, comedy, and contemporary romances.

Website | Twitter | Facebook
Award winning author Kathy L Wheeler loves travel, fantasy football, NBA and musical theatre. As an avid reader of romance and patron of the theatre, her main sources of inspiration come mostly from an over-active imagination. Kathy writes contemporary and historical romance, from sweet to spicy.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

L.A. Sartor is a bestselling, award-winning author. She began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at L.A.’s insistence, wrote them down and L.A. illustrated them. As an adult, she writes suspense and action-adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she’s had a contracted adaptation! She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. L.A. loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter
Laurel O’Donnell is a best selling author and has won numerous awards for her medieval romances, including the International Digital Award and the Holt Medallion Award.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She’s worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (short and long) and works as a technical writer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Cynthia Clement is an award winning author who began writing when she was a teenager. Her novels reflect her love of romance, strong honorable heroes, and suspense intertwined with the intriguing and unexplained.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
This multi-author boxed set will be sold for $0.99 cents. Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, or Kobo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway