The Jake Bernstein FBI Series by Donna Del Oro – Q&A and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donna Del Oro will be awarding winner’s choice of ebook or print copy of A BODYGUARD OF LIES (print – 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.

First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I live in northern California, used to teach high school English, married with two kids.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since my teens. I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. It was a teen romance, naturally.

Do you have a favorite place to write?
My kitchen counter is my favorite place. I used to write in my office but I hated facing the wall. Now I can look outside and see my big trees and sunshine.

Why did you decide to write Lies in Wait?
LIES IN WAIT is the second book in my FBI romantic-suspense series. I love my hero and wanted to put him through a very difficult test and undercover assignment.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My hero, Jake Bernstein, is a former SEAL/Navy officer turned undercover FBI specialist. He has linguistic abilities and is fluent in four languages: German, Hebrew, Arabic and Farsi. He’s also very handsome and somewhat of a ladies’ man.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
In LIES IN WAIT, the villains are Islamic terrorists who are plotting to set off bombs in five different football stadiums on Super Bowl Sunday.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I proofread/edit my own work but I also have two critique partners who are very adept at catching mistakes I have overlooked. Three pairs of eyes are better than one set. Additionally, my editor at The Wild Rose Press is exceptional at finding problems in the plot.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
As a hobby, I sing in a Sweet Adelines women’s chorus. In 2018, I’ll be traveling with a group of singers in Italy. Evidently, the barbershop style of singing (four-part harmony) is popular in Italy.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read voraciously! Most of my favorite authors are Daniel Silva, Michael Connolly, Brad Thor, James Rollins, Tami Hoag and Sandra Brown.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Where do your ideas for the FBI plots come from? I have an FBI source but in addition, I get the ideas from real life events reported on various media and from nonfiction books.

mediakit_bookcover_liesinwaitA riveting blend of romantic thriller, mystery and WWII espionage that spans sixty years of lies. England’s secret service agency MI5 recruits Jewish-American FBI analyst Jake Bernstein to go undercover and investigate an elderly, naturalized American grandmother, suspected of being a notorious Nazi spy wanted for war crimes during WWII. Jake runs into a series of complications: This spy knows a secret that could endanger the British royal family; Jake’s attraction to the old woman’s beautiful granddaughter; a ruthless and violent Irish neo-Nazi group is tracking him; and a clever, cagey old lady stands in the way of justice. His priority shifts from finding the evidence to staying alive!

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Breakfast in the hotel dining room was to be served at 7 a.m.. Next stop: Cardiff, the capital of Wales, then their ferry ride to Ireland. He’d finally looked over the itinerary. The motor coach would be leaving that afternoon, after a tour and lunch in Bath. A quick perusal of the day’s agenda showed him they had the afternoon free to wander around Bath and do some shopping. Maybe he could invite Meg and her grandmother to spend some time with him.

Still drowsy with sleep, he looked over at the pillow next to his. Visualizing Meg lying there, her lush hair with all its variegated blonde hues fanned out, stirred him. The erection he’d awakened with grew harder; not surprising, he thought, considering his celibacy of late. Strictly his choice, despite the offers tossed his way.

The opportunities had been there and he’d ignored them, stubborn man that he was. Even late last night, when the two New Jersey sisters had called and invited him to a private party in Hank’s room. He’d declined tactfully.

At thirty-two years old, he found himself holding out for more.

Stupid fool, he scolded himself. Or as the Brits would say, sodding wanker! Or something to that effect. He should learn to take it when it was offered to him on a platter, free of charge. All he had to do was be nice to a girl for a few hours, promise to call her, and then…

Ah, but as Grandpa Nate would say, “nussing is free in dis vorld”.

Dreams of Meg had plagued him—rather entertained him—all night. Even now, recalling how her small, plump breasts bounced up and down while she ran alongside him, how her long ponytail swung back and forth, filled him with unbridled lust. The one time they’d stopped at the Roman ruins, they’d let their arms brush together. Neither had pulled away. Just that light touch had flooded his insides with longing. She appeared to feel the same. She’d flushed to the roots of her hair and after that, had touched him in some small way every chance she got. Each touch was electric, sizzling!

What he liked about her was her total lack of coyness or flirtatiousness. Meg was straightforward, without guile; she wasn’t playing games. He could read the honesty in her face when she told him about her breakup with the ex-fiancé and her distrust of men and their empty promises and vows. All lies, she’d mused with just a hint of bitterness. She’d finally come to accept the reality of men.

Or some men, she’d amended, adding quickly that she’d apologize if she was offending him. No, he’d said; I agree with you. Most men lie through their teeth. It’s a guy thing.

That admission had elicited a small, rueful laugh from both of them. And she’d let her arm brush his again, as if to reassure him. He was different, she was saying.

No, I’m not, he’d wanted to say. I’m a liar, an impostor. And you’re going to hate me when this is all over.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_abodyguardofliesDonna is a retired high school English teacher and is finally able to fulfill her dream of writing fiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing novels, she’s singing with the Sacramento Valley Chorus or traveling with her husband. Life is good and she feels very blessed.

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This tour is featuring the Jake Bernstein FBI Series LIES IN WAIT, Book Two of the FBI series will be out January 4, 2017, and the 3rd book will be attached a few months after.

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His Montana Rescue by Vella Munn – Q&A and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Vella Munn will be awarding a several photographs of Montana’s wilderness sent via email (international and U.S. giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

I’m such a book junkie that’s hard to answer, but even though his horror scares me, I swear no one does characterization better than Stephen King. He blows me away with the tiny details he uses to make even minor characters three-dimensional. When it comes to romances, my dear friend Catherine Anderson is a master of slowly building the process of falling in love. She too uses details to create a full experience.

Tell us something you hate doing. Why?

Shopping. Of any kind. Oh, I can tolerate grocery shopping because it has become a rote experience. Same things on the same aisles at the same store. Then I stand in the checkout line looking at other shoppers’ carts and am amazed that certain products exist. I’m not much for processed foods so learning there are such things as pre-mashed potatoes boggles my mind. As for the rest of the dreaded shopping experience, I was raised in remote, rural areas and to this day crowds intimidate me. Most stores have so many products jammed together and the colors are so bright. I feel my mind shutting down. What the hell did I come in here for? Shoot, I can’t even remember my name at that point.

What’s your pet peeve?

I’m not sure I have one because I pretty much roll with the punches. There is a matter of a 16 year old dog who lets me live with her. The older she gets, the less bladder control she has and there’s only so much the carpet shampooer can accomplish. I’d love to get new carpet instead of being on the constant search for damp spots. (Sorry if this is too much information)

When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music, do you have a playlist?

Music. Silence makes me antsy. I rely a lot on Pandora, lots of country and western but sometimes I’m in the mood for Indian flute music.

Who was your favorite hero/heroine?

I can’t say there’s been one favorite but Winter Barstow in my romantic suspense Death Chant is near the top of the list. She was found by the side of the road when she was a little girl and knows nothing about her background except she has Native American features. I love her mix of strength and vulnerability. For the record, I give all of my characters emotional hang-ups—just like real people.

mediakit_bookcover_hismontanarescueFormer firefighter Echo Rose may have recovered from the injuries that nearly ended her life but the emotional scars still linger. She now devotes herself to protecting wildlife and sheltering her heart until local contractor Rey Bowen reminds Echo that life can offer so much more.

Rey Bowen is not the only one at Lake Serene with secrets and a desire to reboot his seriously derailed life. Meeting Echo reminds him that life can sparkle with joy and laughter and passion, but can he show the cautious Echo how to love again even as he struggles to trust his own heart?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Ranger Echo Rose,” a rumbling voice said.

Taking it slow, she turned in the direction the words came from.

Rey Bowen was looking at her, or rather looking down at her. He wasn’t a giant of a man, just a shade over six feet, but that didn’t stop her from remembering she was at least seven inches shorter and only one hundred twenty pounds. For reasons she was careful not to examine too closely, she’d told herself the breadth of his chest and width of his shoulders were responsible for her unsettling reaction to him.

What was she thinking? Hadn’t she learned, painfully, to keep emotional distance between herself and men? She had, darn it. She’d never drop her guard.

Until she’d done in her ankle, she’d spent much of her time around physical people, most of them men. She still was around more men than women, but in recent months she’d mostly rubbed shoulders with people who spent their days behind desks.

Despite how she’d been forced to earn her living since last summer, she believed she still understood the physical male. When he was around women he was trying to impress, the breed carried himself as if he was a bull elk, strutting a bit, hard muscles pushing against too-tight T-shirts, and gazes giving out bedroom vibes.

Rey did none of those things. Instead, it was as if he’d built an emotional wall around himself. The reason was none of her business, darn it. She had enough to do dealing with her own life.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_hismontanarescueVella Munn freely admits to being a dedicated and sometimes demented fiction writer. She has always been drawn to nature and those who feel at home in it. A career writer, she has had way over 60 books published, most of them romances both past and present. As far as personal statistics go, she has one husband, two sons, four grandchildren, and is owned by two rescue dogs. Home is southern Oregon within a two hour drive of Crater Lake. She frequently visits Montana in her mind and heart.

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Character Interview with Nicky and Noah from DRAMA CRUISE by Joe Cosentino

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Joe Cosentino who is here with Nicky and Noah to talk about the 3rd book in the Nicky and Noah series, Drama Cruise.

It is my pleasure to welcome my leading characters, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver from Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino, published by Lethe Press. Thank you for stopping by to chat with us today Nicky and Noah.

Noah: It’s good to leave the books and stretch out.
Nicky: Noah is pretty stretched out already.
Noah: Nicky, in front of everyone?

Nicky and Noah, throughout the Nicky and Noah mysteries (Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise) we’ve watched your relationship grow from flirtatious to quite serious.

Nicky: I’m a one-man man, and that man is Noah Oliver.
Noah: Right back at you, Nicky.

Tell us about the Nicky and Noah mysteries.

Nicky: They’re funny, theatrical, sexy, wild, and wacky with a solid mystery in each book.
Noah: The first two Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. The clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Nicky and me.
Nicky: In the first novel, Drama Queen, it is winter, so white snow, cherry wood mantels surrounding blazing fireplaces, and hot chocolate are in abundance. College theatre professors are falling like stage curtains (while I direct the college play production), and Noah and I must figure out whodunit and why.
Noah: In the second book, Drama Muscle, it is fall, so gorgeous leaves of amber, violet, and scarlet blanket the campus. Nicky is directing the college’s bodybuilding competition, and bodybuilding students and professors are dropping like barbells. In each book Nicky and I eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book.

Was Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, well received?

Nicky: Reviewers called Drama Queen hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer wrote it was the funniest book she had ever read.
Noah: Not to mention the readers of Divine Magazine voted it their Favorite Mystery Novel, Favorite Humorous Novel, and Favorite Contemporary Novel of 2015. I always liked that magazine.
Nicky: When the ebook reached eighteen on the Amazon bestsellers list in its category and the paperback and audiobook with all twenty-four roles played by Michael Gilboe sold like tickets to Les Mis after the Tony Awards, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery. They liked us! They really liked us!

Did Drama Muscle, the second Nicky and Noah mystery do as well?

Nicky: Readers really liked the bodybuilders. And reviewers said the book packs a laugh a minute, is a romantic romp, and the coziest of cozy mysteries. It won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention, but I don’t have a big head.
Noah: Actually, he does. And one nice thing about the Nicky and Noah series is that each book is a totally contained mystery. So readers don’t need to read one before being able to enjoy another.

Tell us about the storyline in Drama Cruise, the third Nicky and Noah mystery.

Nicky: Drama Cruise takes place in summer as Noah and I go on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back. We must figure out why college theatre professors are dropping like life rafts as I direct a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from all over the world.
Noah: Complicating matters are our both sets of parents who want to embark on all the activities on and off the boat with us.
Nicky: Martin Anderson, our department head, and his husband are also along for the rocky ride. As in the first two books, there are a slew of colorful, hysterically funny victims and suspects like the cruise director who talks endlessly about her glory days as a theatre major in college, the ship’s doctor who is looking for the secret of life, our porter who wants us to adopt him, and the captain of the boat who insists he has seen the ghost of his former sea captain.
Noah: The theatre professors are equally as colorful, including an alcoholic who believes he has seen a mermaid, a hypochondriac looking for love, a comic with a cat of nine tails in her closet, and a Shakespearian actor who can’t keep his hands off his volume of the Bard—or off anyone else.
Nicky: And who is the mysterious Professor Nan Joy Hassahl?

I’ll never tell. How was life on the cruise to Alaska?

Nicky: We had amazing meals—
Noah: After amazing meals. And we saw fantastic ocean views of glaciers.
Nicky: We also embarked on land excursions to a tramway over the mountains, a totem pole park, a log climbers show, a frontier habitat, and a Native American village.
Noah: Our cabin sported a private balcony with amazing views.
Nicky: The private view was amazing all right. Ruff!
Noah: Nicky!

Any plans for the Nicky and Noah mysteries to become a television series?

Nicky: Rather than Logo showing reruns of Golden Girls around the clock, and Bravo airing so called reality shows, I would love to see them do the Nicky and Noah mysteries. Can’t you see Matt Bomer as me?
Noah: Neil Patrick Harris as me?

I want to play Martin Anderson. Nicky, I described you as having dark hair, green eyes, a Roman nose, a muscular body, and an enormous manhood. Does that help you solve the murders?

Nicky: It doesn’t hurt.
Noah: Guess again.
Nicky: Good one, Noah. I have to flirt my way into some places to get certain information. But even more, Noah and I use our theatre skills, including playing other people, to get clues.
Noah: Most of all Nicky uses his smarts, always a fine asset in an amateur detective.
Nicky: And in the third novel I get some help from Noah, our department head Martin, his husband Ruben—
Noah: And my parents who are pretty funny.

There is a great deal of humor in the novels.

Nicky: Since you come from a funny Italian family, Joe, you can’t help yourself. Also, we help you think of clever things to write about us.

Noah, what do you like most about Nicky?

Noah: Nicky has such an amazing never say die attitude, wit, smarts, and perseverance in the face of adversity. He is genuinely concerned for others, and he wants to help them.

Nicky, what do you like most about Noah?

Nicky: Noah’s gorgeous blond hair and blue eyes, kind heart, sweet disposition, and commitment to me.

Noah, what do you like most about your parents?

Noah: How much they love Nicky.
Nicky: Almost as much as your mom loves her camera.

Who else did you enjoy having on the cruise?

Nicky: I love Martin’s sense of theatricality, and his inquiring mind, meaning he’s a gossip. I also like how Martin and Ruben throw loving jibes at one another yet are totally in love, and can read each other like a book—no pun intended.
Noah: Jeff, the hypochondriac professor and Neem the ship’s doctor were sweet.

Which character do you like the least?

Nicky: Captain James Vessel is quite vocal about his homophobia due to what he calls his, religious freedom. Religious freedom means you are free to practice whatever religion you like, not take away someone else’s civil rights. But Vessel is in for a huge surprise as the book commences.

Are you happy to be in a gay-themed series?

Nicky: Obviously gay stories are part of my life. Also, there are still many untold stories about gay people. Go to the mall and look at the movie posters sans any gay characters on them. However, just as your Jana Lane series with its gay supporting characters has huge crossover appeal for gay people, the Nicky and Noah series with its straight supporting characters has a tremendous amount of crossover appeal for straight people. Besides, everybody likes a clever mystery, a sweet romance, and a good laugh.

Since you mentioned it, hint hint, tell everyone about my Jana Lane mystery series.

Nicky: Joe created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. In Rag Doll Jana stars in a murder mystery television show, and once again life imitates art. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels. Like Nicky and Noah’s mysteries, they have interesting characters, a strong plot with lots of twists and turns, and a satisfying but shocking ending.

How about my MM novels and novellas?

Nicky: Noah and I aren’t in them. Pout. Your MM romance novellas are published by Dreamspinner Press. They are AN INFATUATION (Divine Magazine Readers’ Choice Award 2nd Place for Best MM Romance), A SHOOTING STAR, A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and THE NAKED PRINCE AND OTHER TALES FROM FAIRYLAND. There is also your MM series COZZI COVE: BOUNCING BACK, COZZI COVE: MOVING FORWARD, and the upcoming COZZI COVE: STEPPING OUT taking place on the Jersey Shore and published by NineStar Press.

Like Drama Queen and Drama Muscle, is Drama Cruise available as an ebook and paperbook?

Nicky: Yup. This gives the reader an option to read it on a Kindle, Nook, or computer, or with book in hand on the train, at work (when nobody’s looking), or in bed.

How can your readers get their hands on Drama Cruise, and how can they contact us?

Noah: The purchase links for Drama Cruise are below, as are your contact links, including your web site. Joe loves to hear from readers, everyone, since it gives him a break from hearing from Nicky and me!

Will there be more Nicky and Noah mysteries?

Nicky: You tease. As you know, Drama Luau releases in six months, where Nicky directs a luau show in Hawaii, and muscular hula dancers start dropping like grass skirts. It’s a riot. You’ll never guess whodunit.
Noah: But you did, Nicky.
Nicky: With your help, Noah.

And mine. Thank you!

Nicky: It is our joy and pleasure to share our stories with you. So take your front row seat. The boat is leaving from port. Lights up and ahoy matey! Alaska here we come!

12_6-joe-drama-cruiseTheater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theatre professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationing theatre professors before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The stunning movie star’s long jet-black hair created a silky fan on the cold marble floor. Surrounding her were a crowd of guilt-ridden faces: her possessive husband and producer, her handsome young paramour and co-star, her aggressive agent and female lover, her jealous sister and stand-in, and her makeup man who knew all her secrets (and she knew his). A detective arrived on the scene, took one look at the murdered beauty, and fell in love.

“Nice job, people! Let’s take ten.”

That was me, Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing at Treemeadow College, a white stone Edwardian-style private college in the quaint and picturesque village of Treemeadow, Vermont. And how did I become the director of a murder mystery dinner theatre show on a ten-night June cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back? I spotted an online ad seeking theatre professors to present theatrical workshops for passengers on a cruise, culminating in a murder mystery dinner theatre presentation on the last evening. Okay, technically my colleague and fiancé Noah Oliver, Professor of Acting at Treemeadow, spotted the ad in an educational journal, but I applied for my department head and mentor, Martin Anderson (producing the show), my Noah (acting in the show), and me (directing). Martin’s husband, Ruben, came along for the ride.

Martin and Ruben are a sweet, elderly couple (don’t tell them I said that) who have been together forever and have two grown daughters. For our part, Noah and I are both tall, but the similarity ends there. I have dark hair, long sideburns, a Roman nose, and a pretty pumped body thanks to the gym on campus. Noah has exquisite curly-blond hair, sky blue eyes, a smooth build, and the most loving heart on land and sea. I am just a tad older than Noah—but what’s seven years? A lot when you are thirty-six and your lover is twenty-nine.

Oh, there’s one other little thing. Actually, it’s not so little. I have a thick nine-and-a-quarter inch penis—flaccid. Luckily, Noah is very open (pardon the pun) to my anatomical quirk.

After flying from Vermont to New York to San Francisco and waiting on endless security lines in the airports, the four of us got to the boat, where we waited on a long security line to come onboard. After unpacking in our cabin then getting a quick lunch at the bountiful buffet, Noah and I made our way through the sea of polyester, and somehow remained awake during the life boat drill.

Then we dodged photographers, dollar signs shining in their eyes like paparazzi at a closeted gay movie star’s mansion, and headed to our first rehearsal. As the dining room was occupied with guests eating lunch, we rehearsed in a nautical themed lounge onboard ship.

After an hour and a half of rehearsal, it was break time. While the other professors scattered like televangelists near an IRS building, Noah and I sat on a cozy loveseat next to a gas brick fireplace. Noah looked amazing in an aqua polo shirt and white pants, while I was a bit more toned down in yellow slacks and a cranberry hoodie. I took Noah’s soft, warm hand in mine, and said adoringly, “I can’t believe we’re here.”

Noah responded, “My first cruise.”

“My little virgin.” I kissed his cheek.

He looked out of the porthole and kissed the cleft in my chin. “The sky and the water are gorgeous.”

“I hope we get to the deck to see them.”

“We won’t be rehearsing all day, Nicky.”

“Don’t you need a break, handsome, young paramour character?”

Noah snuggled his shoulder into my chest. “I’d rather wallow away the minutes with my intended.”

We shared a warm kiss.

About the Author: 12_6-joeBestselling author Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle and Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press); Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries; and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015, and has won many Rainbow Award Honorable mentions including for Drama Muscle. Upcoming novels are Drama Luau (fourth Nicky and Noah mystery) and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (fourth Cozzi Cove beach novel, NineStar Press).

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Praise for DRAMA QUEEN, the first Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Mystery, Best Crime, Best Humorous, Best Contemporary novel of 2015):
“Without doubt the funniest book I have read this year, maybe ever” “brilliant” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“I cannot stop laughing. Drama Queen is Hardy Boys-meets-Murder She Wrote-meets-Midsummer Murders, with a side of parodic, farcical, satire.” “Who-dunits don’t come more whodunnity than this.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“I’m hoping that this is just the start for Nicky and Noah. If Jessica Fletcher could have so many murderers in Cabot Cove, why shouldn’t the same hold true for Treemeadow College?” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews

“This fast-paced, hilariously funny, entertaining novel will have you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who-dun-it!” Joyfully Jay
“a murder mystery, a comedic romp, an investigative caper, and a love story all rolled up into one nifty little novel” The Novel Approach
“I am not used to reading books that make me snigger out loud, but in Drama Queen Joe Cosentino has struck a great balance between his use of tongue in cheek humour and a compelling mystery which we want to see solved.” Divine Magazine
“I love this story, just the right mix, of fun, hilarity and mystery in the mix. The storyline is fresh and well thought out, and the dynamic of the characters is through the roof! Bike Book Reviews

Praise for DRAMA MUSCLE, the second Nicky and Noah mystery by Joe Cosentino from Lethe Press, Rainbow Award Honorable Mention:
“reading these books is like watching a fabulous comedic, murder mystery, action, adventure, romantic film.” “I was giggle snorting and laughing so much I had to stop reading. Joe Cosentino’s writing is absolutely flawless. He’s a master storyteller and will keep you guessing and utterly riveted until Drama Muscle’s highly satisfying ending. This is an absolute gem of a book, and series.” Divine Magazine
“Book 1, Drama Queen was always going to be a hard act to follow with its belly ache laughter approach but in this “smirkathong” – yes I was smirking throughout the book, my top lip still aches – the author succeeded in delivering another comic classic!” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“a perfect balance of humor and romance into a continuously twisting plot.” “Cosentino will keep you entertained and guessing until the very end.” 3 Chicks After Dark
“As with the first book, there are laugh out loud, completely funny sections. And enough of the mystery and suspense that keeps me reading” “I look forward to the next story” The TBR Pile
“laugh out loud funny” “Readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the killer to be revealed.” “As a romance, readers will love seeing Nicky and Noah settling in to living together in their Victorian home.” “I highly recommend this series.” Joyfully Jay Reviews
“This is a wonderful addition to the series! I fell in love with Nicky in the first book and he just gets better. Filled with humor and action. Noah evolves in this story, his character grows into a more mature yet still adorable sidekick to Nicky. They are perfect together, in detective work and in family situations. I hope that there are more to follow.” Crystals Many Reviewers
“This book is a comic romp that simultaneously celebrates and lampoons a mash-up of genres: the bloodless murders (in this case six) of Agatha Christie and her ilk, the screwball movie mysteries of Nick and Norah Charles (it’s Nick and Noah here), and the simile-rich voice-overs of film noir– all updated for a gay context.” Elisa Rainbow, Rainbow Awards

Girl in the Water by Dana Marton – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dana will be awarding a $100 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_girlinthewaterAfter the tragic death of his family, Ian, fresh home from the Army, is a shadow of his former self. Only his best friend’s disappearance in South America pulls him back from the ledge. He rushes to Brazil, but he gets there too late. The best he can do now is find his friend’s murderers. The single lead in the case is also the single biggest obstacle–Daniela, a mysterious beauty very much in need of protection, with a host of secrets hidden in a dark past. As the two of them track down clues and try to untangle an impossible case, they draw the attention of all the wrong people, and danger follows them back to the US.

Ian wants the murderers. Daniela wants Ian to acknowledge the hot sparks of passion between them. He doesn’t mind breaking rules, just never his own. Rule #1: You don’t seduce the woman you protect

Enjoy an Excerpt:

A couple of boats had been dragged up on the flat of the riverbank. Nobody around. Ian sat in the shade of the largest boat and pretended to be watching the barges and tugboats going past him.

He stole a glance at the house, hoping to spot Finch. Nothing there, but something rising out of the water maybe thirty feet from him caught his attention.

At first, he thought it might be a caiman—South America’s version of an alligator. Caimans were native to the area, although, he had no idea if they lived in this part of this particular river.

But instead, out of the river, rose a young woman.

She seemed to be struggling with…an anaconda?

When the shiny black, long body wrapped around hers, Ian moved, ready to dive into the water to help her, but she had the upper hand and dragged the wriggling beast toward shore with a triumphant smile, and he could see that she had a giant eel.

He couldn’t take his eyes off the thing. The eel stretched as long as the woman was tall, over five feet. They wrestled in the mud, the scene stunningly primal and elemental.

She had a piece of rag tied around her small breasts, and another around her slim waist, covering only the private parts of her body. She was the most stunning sight he’d ever seen, long dark hair streaming down in wet rivulets. A goddess risen.

A goddess in mortal struggle.

His western sensibilities pushed him to run and help, but the woman and the eel and their battle seemed somehow the spirit of the Amazon itself, and he felt like an interloper. He felt that he couldn’t take the woman’s triumph away from her.

And she did win, dragging the eel to shore, grabbing a rock the next second and smashing the eel’s head. The eel was still squirming when, with the same, sharp-edged rock, she gutted the thing, dumping the insides back into the river. She was not a peaceful goddess.

She washed the eel efficiently, then picked up the carcass and carried it, staggering under the weight, up the tall, steep bank, and in through the back door of the house Ian had been watching.

Ian’s chin might have dropped a little. Or a lot. In fact, he felt as if his chin just hit his lap.

Who on earth was she?

About the Author: authorpicNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Dana Marton has thrilled and entertained millions of readers around the globe with her fast-paced stories about strong women and honorable men who fight side by side for justice and survival.

Kirkus Reviews calls her writing “compelling and honest.” RT Book Review Magazine said, “Marton knows what makes a hero…her characters are sure to become reader favorites.” Her writing has been acclaimed by critics, called, “gripping,” “intense and chilling,” “full of action,” “a thrilling adventure,” and wholeheartedly recommended to readers. Dana is the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, the Readers’ Choice Award, and Best Intrigue, among other awards. Her book, TALL, DARK, AND LETHAL was nominated for the prestigious Rita Award. DEATHSCAPE reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Romantic Suspense Bestseller list.

Dana has a Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction, and is continuously studying the art and craft of writing, attending several workshops, seminars and conferences each year. Her number one goal is to bring the best books she possibly can to her readers.

Keeping in touch with readers is Dana’s favorite part of being an author. Please connect with her via her web site or her Facebook page.

Having lived around the world, Dana currently creates her compelling stories in a small and lovely little town in Pennsylvania. The fictional town of her bestselling Broslin Creek series is based on her real life home where she fights her addictions to reading, garage sales, coffee and chocolate. If you know a good twelve-step program to help her with any of that, she’d be interested in hearing about it! 🙂

***Visit Dana’s website to read the first chapters of her books!***

Website: sign up for her newsletter and get a FREE novel! | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads
Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or iTunes.

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How to Train Your Highlander by Christy English – Q&A and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Christy English, whose latest book How to Train Your Highlander, the third book in the Broadswords and Ballrooms series releases tomorrow. For a chance to win a copy, just leave a comment! Christy stopped by to answer a few of our questions.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The worst: To think about marketing. There is a time and a place for thinking about selling your work, but it is not during the writing process. During the first, second and even third drafts of a novel, my focus has to be on the story itself and the characters that inhabit it. As I take notes from my editor, we begin to think about the reader and about making sure that my words make sense, that the characters are believable and likable to a wider audience, but even then the book is the ultimate boss.

The best writing advice I ever received was two-fold. First, to go into your room, close the door, and write. No one can write your story but you. No one has your voice, and it is your job to find it, to hone it, and to bring craft and magic together on the page. Second, listen to your editor. She knows what she’s doing, and she wants to make your book better as much as you do.

If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?

I would desperately need an e reader, a power source, and a wifi connection. Without books, my life would be bleak, especially on a desert island. I would also need a laptop, which could connect to the previously mentioned power source. And I’d want a fridge so I could have plenty of cold Coca Colas on hand for the crunch times before a deadline.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

I’m not sure if it’s weird but it was a lot of fun. When I was living in New York and writing THE QUEEN’S PAWN, I traveled to Paris and looked at some of the old buildings that were still standing from the time when Princess Alais’ father and brother were alive. Her father began the building of the church of Notre Dame de Paris, and her brother built the first Louvre. I videoed myself at these places talking about King Philippe Auguste (her brother) and her father, King Louis VII. It was a ton of fun to do, but I think perhaps that people less enthusiastic about my subject matter might be bored to tears by the content of my impromptu chats. They are still on You Tube under my channel. You can take a look and see what I mean.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

One of my favorite characters from a book would be the couple from Lisa Kleypas’ fabulous romance, THE DEVIL IN WINTER. Watching Evie and Sebastian come together first out of desperation and then out of love is inspiring, What I love best about both of those characters is that they let love change them. They come together and become far more than the sum of just the two of them. Their relationship gives them both access to an inner strength that they did not know they possessed. Their love for each other makes both of them better people, and that is wonderful to watch.

Tell us about your family.

I am blessed in that I have a lot of family. There is the man I’m in love with, Eric, who is becoming a part of my family. And there are my book club friends who have been a huge and wonderful part of my life since I moved to the mountains of NC three years ago. There are my soul sisters, Marianne and Amy who I have known for over 20 years, and there are other soul sisters, Hope and Ellen, Trilby and Val, Cathy and Gina, Johanna, and Renee who have blessed my life. There is of course my mom and dad, and my brother, Barry, who always support me and my work no matter onto what path my work takes me. And there is my extended family, both of blood and of love, people that I see rarely but who are a part of my heart. And there is the wider family of readers, fellow book buyers who love the written word and a good story as much as I do. We’re all family, too, I think.

I also have to include all the characters in ever book I have ever written, because you live with your stories long after you finish writing them, and your books are your family, too.

12_5-christy-english-book-coverShe’s the Hellion of Hyde Park…

A foolproof plan to avoid marriage:
1. Always carry at least three blades.
2. Ride circles around any man.
3. Never get caught in a handsome duke’s arms.

Wild Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters is living on borrowed time. She’s managed to dodge the marriage banns up to now, but even Englishmen can only be put off for so long…and there’s one in particular who has her in his sights.

Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, is enchanted by the beautiful hellion who outrides every man on his estate and dances Scottish reels while the ton looks on in horror. The more he sees Mary, the more he knows he has to have her, tradition and good sense be damned. But what’s a powerful man to do when the Highland spitfire of his dreams has no desire to be tamed…

About the Author:12_5-christyenglishauthorphoto3small-240x300Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

Buy the book at Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, iBooks, or Indiebound

Love on Tap by Judi Lynn and Love & Rockets by Maggie Wells – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtua book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a digital copy of both books on tour to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



There’s a different rhythm to life in small-town Mill Pond, Indiana. And with the easy pace come friendships that are built to last and love that starts out on a slow simmer . . .

Charming boutiques, picturesque farms, and a growing foodie scene have turned Mill Pond into a tourist destination. And thanks to the culinary skills of Paula Hull, its beautiful rural resort is leading the way. The widowed mom left behind the stress of the New York City restaurant world to spend more time with her two young children. And now she’s ready to see if there’s more out there for her than being a chef and single parent . . .

Chase Atwood is the local good guy with a bad reputation. He’s a respected business owner and trusted friend, but the drop-dead gorgeous bar owner usually has women beating down his door—and Paula knows to keep her distance. His burgers and beer, on the other hand, are not off limits. But their mutual admiration is always on the back burner—until Chase turns up the heat. Soon he’s determined to prove to Paula that he’s the one key ingredient missing in her life…



Smart is the new sexy…

They say if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, but it’s not the sauce at The Pit BBQ that has Darla Kennet breaking a sweat. The sassy single mom has waited tables in Mobile for years to support herself and her daughter, Grace, and she’s never let anything get her rattled…until now. Somehow, handsome aerospace engineer Jake Dalton has gotten under her skin.

Although they went to school together, Jake doesn’t remember much about Darla. Back then the Brainiac future rocket scientist always had his head in a book. But now that a chance meeting has him helping Grace apply to space camp, he’s been pulled into Darla’s orbit. And it isn’t long before Jake and Darla have a heated meeting of their own celestial bodies. The trouble is, Jake wants more. Convincing cautious, fiercely independent Darla to trust him with her heart just may be his most challenging mission yet…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Chase was waiting by his boat. “Come on. Let’s spend as much time on the water as we can.”

He lifted the kids aboard and held out a hand to help her. Her legs were short. Getting onboard was a challenge. He reached across the water and lifted her next to him. He made it look easy. How strong was he? Biceps bulged, and she decided he must work out. When he started the engine, she stumbled as the boat backed away from shore. He reached out to steady her. At his touch, shockwaves sizzled through her body—electric. She hurried to find a seat.

He headed toward the center of the lake as they settled in place. Paula moved to the front of the boat to see better, and he glanced at Aiden, raising his eyebrows.

Aiden grinned and nodded.

Chase turned sharply, speeding forward, and water doused her.

Her hair dripped, her suit clung to her.

She sputtered, glaring at her bratty son. He and Chase burst out laughing. Even Bailey giggled. A fun prank. She shook her head. So much for taking more time than usual with her hair and makeup this morning. She undid the clasp in her hair and let it fly around her face to dry. The wind felt good. The boat’s speed energized her. She closed her eyes and raised her face to the sun. When she opened them, Chase was staring at her.

She blinked. “Do I look like a raccoon? Did my makeup smear?”

“No, you’re beautiful. You look like a Roman goddess.”

A short Roman goddess. She snickered. “Yeah, I get that all the time.”

But he didn’t smile. He was serious. “I love how black your hair is.” Heat rushed to her cheeks, and she looked away.

He cleared his throat and said, “Who wants to go tubing?”

About the Authors:

Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.

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Buy the book at Kensington Books.

Maggie Wells is a deep-­‐down dirty girl with a weakness for hot heroes and happy endings. By day she is buried in spreadsheets, but at night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, this mild-­‐mannered married lady has a naughty streak a mile wide.

Fueled by supertankers of Diet Coke, Maggie juggles fictional romance and the real deal by keeping her slow-­‐talking Southern gentleman constantly amused and their two grown children mildly embarrassed.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Buy the book at Kensington Books

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Bounty’s Song by Mandy Colton – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Gage Knight is a Texas bounty hunter and just doing a tough job when he’s sent to Nashville to pick up a grifting high-dollar fugitive. He arrives at the right place at almost the right time, but he makes a big mistake when he leaves.

Once a debutante, Danica Chastain is now a struggling songwriter with a dream of landing a job in the music business. On the day when her hard work seems to be heading in the right direction, a gruff man with a dark presence and wolfish eyes arrives at her door.

Although their immediate chemistry is off the charts, the two clash—for good reason. Danica is not who he thinks she is, and he’s not listening…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

That little bitch had pulled her con off so smoothly, Danica knew just like she knew her rent hadn’t been paid that Tara, if that was even her real name, the money, and her stuff was long gone. She would just wait and call the cops after her appointment at the record company tomorrow. Focus on your meeting with Hank, Danica. If that went well, she’d just find her another roommate, take what was left of her clothes, and leave this dump. She would hold her head up and keep moving forward with her mind on her future and dreams.

* * * *

The next morning, Danica spent much of her time stomping around and grumbling. Her routine was screwed. She’d found the coffee pot gone first and then, after taking her shower, found her blow dryer lifted as well. She’d had to painstakingly brush her hair dry. Then there was the underwear dilemma she’d faced next. She had none. It was all gone, and the only thing she could do was put the bra back on from the day before, which was not going to work for the panties. There had been too much freaking out the night before about bigger issues than to remember to wash them out or even worry about something as minor as going sans the drawers. She’d just have to temporarily go commando and leave early enough to buy herself some undies on the way to her appointment.

She was about ready to leave the apartment when there was a knock on the door. Danica looked out the peephole but didn’t see anyone. Hmm. She shrugged, opened the door to take a step out and look, immediately walking into a wall of man and muscle. Yelping in surprise, she quickly moved her eyes up to his face. Whoa. At first glance, the guy had a dark, daunting presence, almost intimidating as he loomed over her. A closer inspection made another thought cross her mind. What a hunk-o-man! Talk about tall, beefy, and ruggedly handsome. Not exactly swarthy but deeply tanned and a nice amount of past-five-oh-clock shadow framed a nicely chiseled jawline. The whole package made her shiver a little. She could smell the guy, he was so close, and his cologne was a heady alpha male blend of sweat, the non-stinky man-musk kind, and spice. Ooh, and leather. In fear of being zapped by a jolt of supercharged testosterone mixed with potently virile pheromones, she took a step back.

He stood there, intimidating-like, looking down his nose at her, eyeing her, nothing moving except for a pair of odd color eyes. They were mesmerizing. He cleared his throat, which broke her staring spell.

She finally said, “If you’re looking for Tara, she’s gone.” She scanned him again. At least the bitch had a little taste in who she screwed. Couldn’t say the same for the guys.

Suddenly his eyes changed and he looked a bit amused. What a pair of peepers he had on that strikingly handsome and chiseled face. The guy had bright-gray eyes, like a husky dog or a wolf. My goodness, how beautiful they were and framed by lush lashes, those making her a little jealous. Danica was curious if the eye color was real or if he might be wearing contacts. Before she had the chance to ask, he opened his mouth.

“Is that right?”

Wow. The beefcake wasn’t the meathead she was expecting, he could speak. Smooth, sexy voice too. “Yup, bitch is gone. That’s for damn sure.”

He snickered at that. “Mind if I come in?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. I have somewhere I gotta be.”

The guy rudely bumped her aside with his broad chest and walked right past, making her gasp because he didn’t have permission and she was pretty sure that brief contact had created a few sparks underneath her chassis. Sparky, like after a bump in the road and your loose muffler intermittently drags the asphalt before scraping your undercarriage again with a zing. Yeah, like that.

Danica put her hands on her hips and cleared her own throat this time. “Excuse me, but I think I just told you that Tara’s not here and I have someplace to go.”

He walked right through the apartment, opened a bedroom door, and turned to grin at her. Then he walked to the other and opened it. “Mmhmm. Bet you do have some place to go, being that you just missed your court date. Again. Skipping for a second time on the same bondsman. He warned you last time. Somebody was gonna be comin’ for your lily-white ass.”

“Why are saying ‘you’? Like I did that? I don’t have a clue what you’re even talking about. I haven’t done anything, and for your information, my white ass is clean. I have never needed a bondsman.”

That made the corners of his mouth quirk upward into a smile. “Nice to know. Let’s see some ID, sweetheart.”

She still had her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at the guy. “What? You think I’m her, don’t you?” Thoroughly insulted by the thought, she continued, “Freaking Jesus H. Believe me, I could never be as bad as that nasty-ass, thieving, nympho skank is.”

Those sexy lips began twitching at that. She couldn’t stop focusing on them. He stuck his hand out, doing a “give it”-type motion with his fingers. “ID, please.”

Aggravated now, she grabbed her bag and snapped, “Fine! Who the hell are you, walking right in and demanding ID? Why are you here?”

“I’m a bond enforcement officer working on behalf of the bondsman in Texas. The law and bond was broken by not showing on the scheduled court date. I’m here to collect Tara Morgan and take her to jail. If you’re not her, then just kindly show me some ID and I’ll go.”

About the Author:

Mandy Colton is from Louisville, KY, and lives a very quiet life with her husband and teenage son. A fan of romance, fun adventure, drama, humor, and on occasion, sci-fi stories. Her first book, Way to Go, and the continuing series came from her years, own adventures and experiences working in the travel industry.

Although she’s a great fan of the human imagination, she is also of the opinion that there are just no better stories than those that involve a bit of true life.

If you like my books, please review on Amazon or Goodreads. Subscribe for notifications on future new releases!

Website | Cavalcade Press | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

The book is FREE at Amazon.

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Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman by Anna Schmidt – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman, the newest book in Anna Schmidt’s Where the Trail Ends series. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book (US only).

What makes cowboys so appealing? Well, Hollywood has always made them the rugged handsome hero–for me the real cowboy is appealing because he faced such incredible challenges. I mean, have you ever seen the terrain in AZ and NM?

12_2-cvr-last-chance-cowboys-the-lawman_-anna-schmidtFrom acclaimed author Anna Schmidt comes a sweeping historical Western romance about the unbreakable bonds of family, second chances, and a whole lot of heart in the Wild West.

“This is me, Addie,” Jess murmured. “You and me, the way we always were.”
But it wasn’t, no matter how much she wished it were true. They were different now. She would always love him…
But can she trust him not to break her heart?

Jess Porterfield fled to the big city after his father’s sudden death, leaving behind his family ranch-and his childhood sweetheart. Now Jess has returned as the local lawman, determined to prove his worth…and win back the one woman he could never live without.

Young frontier doctor Addie Wilcox was devastated when Jess left her behind. Now he’s back and it’s difficult to remember why she should keep her distance. But with the town’s richest man set to see her hang for a crime she didn’t commit, Addie must put her faith in the lawman who broke her heart-and trust that together they’ll find their second chance at love.

About the Author:Award-winning author Anna Schmidt delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

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

The Christmas Tree by Allyson Charles and The Accidental Elopement by Maggie Dallen – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding digital copies of both books on tour to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It was one little fender bender. Sadie was only in picturesque Pineville, Michigan, for a day, trying to handle the ramshackle house her grandmother left her and juggle the sale of her failing design business at the same time. Her debtors don’t care that it’s almost Christmas. But then neither does the big bad contractor whose truck got squashed.

Colt McCoy might be the least festive person she’s ever met. He’s gruff, rude, and way too upset about a minor accident. Of course, he is nice to look at, with dimples hiding in his scruffy beard and a body like a lumberjack’s. And Sadie will have plenty of time to enjoy the view, since their community service sentence has put the two of them in charge of Pineville’s jinxed Christmas tree.

But as their squabbles over ornaments turn to laughter, anyone can see Colt and Sadie have something electric. The hard part is guessing if they’ll light each other up—or just keep blowing the fuse . . .

First comes love, then comes marriage—or is it the other way around?

Lucia is an Italian spitfire with big dreams like her billionaire grandfather. But she wants to become a top tier fashion designer, not the heir to the family business in Italy. Now is her only chance to forge her own path. And what better place to start than in New York City? But working behind a bar doesn’t exactly pay the rent. Her trust fund would come in handy, but she needs to get married first. Luckily, she may have found the perfect husband candidate in her co-worker, who just happens to be the most charismatic and devastatingly gorgeous man she’s ever met . . .

There’s more to Ryan’s charming smile than meets the eye—he’s out for revenge and working for his enemy is his best bet at getting it. When Lucia comes to him with her crazy plan, he sees a perfect opportunity to make his move. But doing that could mean hurting his new wife. They say nothing’s sweeter than revenge—but “they” never met a woman like Lucia . . .

Read an Excerpt:

Sadie Wilson knew she shouldn’t do it.

It was against the rules, and the key to her ordered life had always been to follow the rules. But the ping of her phone rang in her ears, a siren’s call. It could be what she’d been waiting for.

She peered out her windshield up the street. Maple trees, bare of any leaves and wound with hundreds of white lights, lined the avenue, giving the dark night a cheery glow. Green wreaths with red bows hung from each light pole. And the dark streets were empty of traffic.

She glanced down at her phone. Shoulders slumping, she blew out a deep breath. The text wasn’t the one she’d been praying to see. And because that was just the way her life had been going lately, of course her lapse in judgment would come back to bite her in the end.

The raccoon didn’t even try to avoid her car. It was a stationary shimmer of silver fur, black mask, and a raised paw, and she swore it was giving her the middle finger. She gasped, swerved. She pumped her brakes, knuckles whitening. The Nissan Maxima skidded sideways, executed a perfect pirouette, and slid inexorably toward the sidewalk.

The light pole on the sidewalk didn’t stand a chance. The front end of her car struck the pole, her hood buckling with the crunch of metal. Her body trapped by the seatbelt, Sadie felt her head and limbs snap forward before she collapsed back into her seat.

Groaning, she rolled her head, trying to work through the ache in her neck. The raccoon waddled down the street to her left, unrepentant. But it was the movement she caught from the corner of her eye that stopped her heart. Peering through the windshield, she saw it again. A flutter of red.

Swaying in its moorings, the light pole wobbled like a metronome, the ribbon in its Christmas wreath trailing through the air.

“Please, please don’t fall,” Sadie whispered. The twinge in her neck from the collision forgotten, she prayed for further disaster to be averted.

Luck was not on her side. The thirty-foot aluminum pole tore from its bolts with a shriek and toppled away from the crumpled hood of her car, the ribbon flapping cheerfully. The cab of an F-150 Ford truck broke its fall. “Oh, God.”

A choking sound across the street made Sadie spin. A man stood in front of the large window of a darkened hair salon, mouth gaping, brown paper bag dangling from the tips of his fingers. He swiveled his head from the truck to Sadie and back again. The shock evaporated from his face, his lips pressing into a hard line, his chest expanding with a heated breath.

Roaring, he chucked his bag on the ground and ran across the street. A bear of a man, he was tall and well built, making her own five-foot-nine-inch frame feel insignificant. Or maybe it was his righteous fury that made her feel small. A black knit cap covered his head, but Sadie assumed his hair was the same color as his short beard, dark brown. A blue-checked shirt peeked out from under his worn pea coat, and jeans stretched tight across muscled thighs.

“What the hell happened to my truck?”

About the Authors:

Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. She’s the author of the “Pineville Romance” series, small-town, contemporary romances published by Lyrical Press. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it.

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Maggie Dallen is a huge fan of happily-ever-afters. She writes contemporary and YA romance and has been known to rewrite the endings to classic love stories to ensure that they end on a happy note. In Maggie’s version, Ingrid Bergman does not get on the plane. She lives in Northern California and works at a yarn store to support her knitting addiction.

Buy the book at Kensington Books

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Q&A and Giveaway: Abbie Roads

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Abbie Roads, whose newest book Hunt the Dawn will be released on December 6. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book. Abbie has agreed to answer a few questions.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

In May I was in a car accident.

I looked in my review mirror and saw a car barreling full speed toward me. I knew that even if the driver slammed on their brake they’d still hit me.

And yep, she blasted into me without ever braking. It was the hardest hit I’ve ever taken in a car. I was parked at least fifteen feet back from the car in front of me and ended up smashing into them, causing them to hit the car in front of them.

The most horrible part about the whole thing—the thing that I had the most trouble dealing with—was my lack of control. I was doing everything right. But I couldn’t do anything to prevent that lady from hitting me.

For months, I had severe anxiety whenever I was in a car. I felt semi-relief in one place—the back seat. For some reason I felt safer there.

I’m a mental health counselor, so I knew I had to keep driving despite the anxiety or else I’d risk getting to a point where I wouldn’t drive at all. I know not to feed the fear. But it was torture. Every time I looked into the rearview mirror I saw that car speeding toward me. My heart would race, I had trouble breathing, I got sweaty palms–I’ve never had sweaty palms in my life! That’s also when I got a tic in my left eye.

The anxiety is better now, but gets triggered when I look in the rearview and see a car coming in too fast or when one who gets too close to the back of me.

But that danged eye tic still won’t go away.

What books have most influenced your life?

Romance novels! They have been a part of my life since I was about twelve years old.

Every week when we went to the grocery store my mom would buy me a paperback historical romance. She didn’t realize they were romance novels. I suppose she thought they were historical novels with covers featuring a bare chested man and lovely lady in an embrace. You know, as if that was just advertising.

Even as a child I knew that life was unfair and bad things happened to people. That’s why I loved romance novels. I craved the love story and I especially desired the Happily Ever After that comes with every romance novel.

Even now I mostly only read books with a happy ending and avoid the ones that will rip out my heart.

What are your favorite TV shows?

Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds, Shameless, Longmire, I Survived, Dexter.

Do you see a theme here?

What is your favorite meal?

I’m going to cheat a little on this answer and tell you my favorite foods because I always make a meal out my favorite foods.

Cheese pizza is one of my favorites. But I’m pizza picky too. I don’t love all cheese pizza, but I love spectacular cheese pizza. I’ll drive 30 minutes from my house to pick up a great pizza instead of eating something that’s just okay.

Another favorite is mashed potatoes. Homemade or from a box—I don’t care. I love them all. I’ll make a batch and eat them for a meal! They remind me of my childhood and my grandma.

My mom’s strawberry pie is my favorite dessert! I used to ask for strawberry pie instead of birthday cake when I was growing up!

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview, but have not?

Were there any bloopers when you were writing Hunt the Dawn?

Caution: Explicit words used, but in a funny way.

When I was writing Hunt the Dawn I decided that using the word “cock” to describe uhm… you know… was too erotic sounding. I made the decision to change it to “dick” instead.

So I went to the edit tool in my computer and did a find/replace. Easy peasy! With one click I changed all the “cocks” to “dicks”.

But there was a problem…

I wasn’t thinking that there were other ways the word “cock” is used. When I began editing I found some of these mistakes:

The woman’s head was dicked unnaturally to the side, ear touching shoulder.

He dicked an eyebrow at her.

And that wasn’t even mentioning the mice feces and dickroach dung.

She dicked her head ever so slightly almost as if she were listening to the words he hadn’t spoken.

Those errors made for a good laugh while I was editing. And boy was that a learning lesson. Don’t ever do a sweeping find and replace you never know what craziness might occur!

How about you?

What’s your favorite meal?

What books have most impacted your life?

12_1-abbie-roads-book-coverOut of darkness and danger

You can’t hide your secrets from Lathan Montgomery—he can read your darkest memories. And while his special abilities are invaluable in the FBI’s hunt for a serial killer, he has no way to avoid the pain that brings him. Until he is drawn to courageous, down-on-her-luck Evanee Brown and finds himself able to offer her something he’s never offered another human being: himself.

Dawns a unique and powerful love

Nightmares are nothing new to Evanee Brown. But once she meets Lathan, they plummet into the realm of the macabre. Murder victims are reaching from beyond the grave to give Evanee evidence that could help Lathan bring a terrifying killer to justice. Together, they could forge an indomitable partnership to thwart violence, abuse, and death—if they survive the forces that seek to tear them apart.

About the Author: Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark, emotional novels, always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. Her novels have finaled in RWA contests including the Golden Heart. Race the Darkness is the first book in the Fatal Dreams series of dark, gritty romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

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