Never Plan a Billionaire’s Wedding by Julia Kent – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Julia Kent who is celebrating her recent release Never Plan a Billionaire’s Wedding, the first book in her Whatever It Takes, Maine series.

Rule #1: Don’t fall in love with the groom

Stalker exes. Momzillas. Drunk uncles. Hurricanes. Jealous siblings. Paparazzi.

You name it, Kari Whitevelt has seen it all.

And that’s why brides and grooms hire her.

Because she makes it all go away.

Wedding Protectors, Inc., is here to make sure that special day stays special.

Whatever it takes.

No matter what.

But when her newest client turns out to be her own long-lost high school sweetheart, rising tech star billionaire Caleb Mikelmas, suddenly Kari’s not sure whether she’s protecting the wedding couple —

Or her own heart.

Tech billionaire Caleb never thought he had a chance, much less a second chance with his first love and high school sweetheart, Kari. When a case of mistaken identity turns their reunion into one big misunderstanding, unraveling his feelings about the one who got away while supporting his brother’s nuptials means facing old demons.

And kissing Kari.

He likes kissing Kari far more than that whole demon thing.

But if kisses were enough, Kari would already be his wife.

Maybe it’s time to revisit the past and right some wrongs.

One vow at a time.

Welcome to the Whatever It Takes series:

Every bride needs something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue –

But you know what brides don’t need?


Welcome to Wedding Protectors, Inc. Have a spritzer or a latte or some lovely Zen tea and sink into a comfortable chair in our sunlit offices as we listen to your wedding problem – and form the perfect solution to every possible contingency.

We plan for everything.

Except our own love lives.

But that’s not your problem. 😉

Enjoy an Excerpt

Carolina was introducing him to his former fiancée.

Fine. Near fiancée. It had been a promise ring, not an engagement diamond, but still.

The run he’d just finished was apparently unnecessary from a cardio standpoint, since his heart was now racing, crashing into his ribs as if it were fleeing a crime scene. Not that he was the bad guy. But still.
Kari. No way.

It was his Kari. And okay, maybe she was never formally his fiancée, but until college and distance broke them up, they always planned on it. He’d given her a promise ring in high school, so that was close enough.

When Carolina had mentioned she was meeting two wedding professionals named Katie and Carrie, he’d heard it as the more familiar spelling. She’d never spelled it out, and she hadn’t bothered to tell him Kari’s last name.

“Caleb, have you swallowed your tongue along with your manners? Shake the poor woman’s hand, for goodness sake!” Carolina crooned, giving him side-eye while managing a puzzled smile at Kari as the two stood awkwardly in front of each other, gaping.

Kari had changed in some ways, for sure, but it was her, alright. Her brown hair was a darker shade but still thick and shiny, framed in soft layers around her face, brushing the edges of straight, strong shoulders. He recognized those whiskey brown eyes, deceptively sleepy unless you knew her, knew that behind them, her brain was working constantly at warp speed.

She was taller now–or anyway, she didn’t wear four-inch heels back then–so instead of having to bend to kiss her lips, he could just dip his head.
If he wanted to kiss her.

If wanting to kiss her wasn’t the only thing he could think about.

About the Author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Amazon CA, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, or Google Play.

Coming Down Her Chimney by Imani Jay – Spotlight

Kareem spent his teen years fighting his growing desires for his sister’s best friend, Amy. Now, he’s taking part in a charity bachelor auction and his sister wins the bid… for her bestie. Readers who love holiday romances with bachelor auctions will enjoy Coming Down Her Chimney by Imani Jay, a steamy, small town, sister’s best friend, second chance romance.

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!

Amy My bestie dragged me to the lovely beach town where her parents retired. What she failed to mention is her brother, superstar basketball player (and my lifelong crush…), Kareem, is also here…

Kareem I spent my teens fighting my growing desires for my sister’s best friend. And seeing Amy again after all this time? She looks even better. And she’s still the sweet, funny, smart girl I could never forget… What happens when Kareem takes part in the local Charity Bachelor Auction and his sister wins the bid… for her bestie. Tag along for a safe, steamy, second chance romance with no cheating, no cliffhanger and a guaranteed HEA!

Enjoy an Excerpt Copyright 2023 Imani Jay

I push open the heavy glass door of our office building, the cold, San Francisco December air hitting my cheeks. I hurry inside, my heels clicking on the polished marble floors. As I make my way past the rows of cubicles, I catch a glimpse of myself in the dark computer screens – my curly hair bouncing around my shoulders, my brown eyes peering out from under thick lashes. I plop down at my desk, setting my coffee, purse and laptop bag down. I boot up my computer, the screen lighting up. Numbers, always numbers. Sometimes I dream in debits and credits. As I open up the latest expense reports, my mind drifts to the coming holidays. While my coworkers chat about their ski trips and what parties they’ll attend, I’ll be spending Christmas in the real cold with my sister and her family in Virginia. The thought of the frigid winter depresses me. I crave sunshine on my skin, sand between my toes. But my traitor parents left the city for a Caribbean cruise, so it’s whether a solo holiday in my apartment or family time on the East Coast. I’m interrupted from my daydream by the ringing of my phone. I smile when I see the name flash on the screen. “Hey Lisa!” I answer. My best friend’s bubbly voice comes through the receiver. “Ami! How’s my favorite girl?” We chat about life, work. As always, her law firm is keeping her busy. Then Lisa asks me about my holiday plans, and I sigh. “Pfff, my parents went on their cruise. So it’s Virginia with my sister or just me, takeout, and Netflix. I’ll live vicariously through your tropical vacation pictures.” Lisa gasps. “Oh my god! I can’t believe I didn’t think to invite you sooner. Come down to my parents’ beach house with us!” My eyes go wide. THE beach house? In Florida? That sounds like a dream. But imposing on their family holiday… “Are you sure that’s okay?” I ask hesitantly. Lisa scoffs. “Of course! You know Mom and Dad love you. And I could really use my bestie to help with all the holiday activities’ organization.” I chew on my bottom lip, considering. A warm beach vacation with Lisa and her awesome family does sound amazing. Way better than sitting alone in my apartment or going to freeze my butt at Marie’s. “Alright, I’m in!” I finally say. Lisa squeals in excitement. And as we discuss travel plans, I can’t keep the grin off my face. No snow for me this Christmas – I’m heading for sunshine and sand! Lisa fills me in on the details – I’ll fly into Tampa next week and drive down to the Keys to meet them. “And we can talk about you and my brother,” she teases. I feel my cheeks heat. Lisa laughs. I suck my teeth. “Girl, leave me alone.” Truth is, I’ve had the biggest crush on Kareem Mason forever. The first time Lisa invited me to her house back when we were in high school and became inseparable. But he’s always been older, cooler, waaayyy out of my league. And now, he’s a successful, rich and famous basketball player. I’m just me – no way he’d ever look at me as more than his little sister’s best friend. The thought of him makes my pulse quicken. I push that to the far corners my mind. “I’m just looking forward to sunshine and piña coladas,” I say breezily. “Uh huh, sure,” Lisa teases. “Well, I better get back to it. I have no intention of taking any work with me, and I hope you do the same. Get ready for the best holiday ever, bestie!” We say our goodbyes and I set the phone down, shaking my head with amusement. A week lounging on the beach sounds like heaven. I start mentally packing my bikinis and sunscreen, daydreaming about crystal blue waves.

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!

About Imani Jay

Imani loves reading romances with curvy queens who find their HEA with alpha hunks, so that’s what she writes! If you enjoy sweet and spicy stories filled with fun, heat and all the feels, you’re in the right place!

Website | Facebook | Reader Group | Twitter/X | Instagram | TikTok | Pinterest | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon | Newsletter

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Books: From Idea to Final Draft by Sarah Dressler – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Books: From Idea to Final Draft

If you’ve ever written, or read a book, you must know that a story goes through many versions before it’s ready to see the world. Your idea is like a baby plant. It needs tender care and nourishment to grow, that is the outline and first draft. Sometimes a plant doesn’t bear fruit for many years, this is like the revisions and edits.

It can take a really long time for a book to mature.

I’m sharing with you two excerpts from my novel Christmas Cove, about a writer from the big city out on her first assignment. When she arrives at the idyllic Christmas Cove, she finds the town… Christmasless. The first portion comes directly from the published novel, and the second one is how the same scene appeared in my first draft. Enjoy this little behind the scenes peek into the process of getting from idea to published book.

Excerpt from Christmas Cove:

Night came and went with another solid sleep. America looked at herself in the mirror, unable to believe what she had done, or what she had offered to do. Sure, she knew her reasons for wanting to bring back Christmas were purely in the interest of self-preservation. Wanting to succeed with her first article assignment was a huge driving factor, but the task at hand was so much bigger than anything she should have taken on. There was no denying her reign as the office elf, and she knew that if anyone had enough Christmas spirit to spread around, she did.

Now that the offer was out there, she would need to follow through. One way or another, she was getting her Christmas Cove experience, and an article drafted to prove it. Sure, she had enlisted Leo’s help, but if she had any real chance of success, they would need reinforcements. America checked her watch. Leo would be back any minute to pick her up. In the meantime, she pulled her coat back on and tidied her hastily twisted bun atop her head.
The pine tree, so generously given to her that previous morning by Leo, stood in its bare state beside her. There is nothing sadder than a Christmas tree with no lights. Except perhaps, she thought, one without ornaments too.
“This simply will not do,” America said.

Unrevised excerpt from the first draft of Christmas Cove:

America couldn’t believe what she had done, what she had offered to do. The task, now at hand, was so much bigger than anything she should have taken off. She loved Christmas, and there was no denying her reign as the office elf, but reviving an entire town’s Christmas spirit was above her pay grade.

Sure, she had enlisted Leo’s help, but if she had any chance of success, they would need reinforcements. America checked her watch. Leo would be back any minute to pick her up.

In the meantime, she pulled her coat back on and, looking in the round mirror by the sofa, she tidied her hastily twisted bun atop her head. The pine tree so generously gifted to her that morning by Leo, stood in its bare state beside her. There is nothing sadder than a Christmas tree with no lights, except perhaps, she thought, one without ornaments too.

“This will not do,” America said out loud and rushed to the bedroom.

With only three weeks left in December, travel editor, America Greene, arrives in the idyllic Christmas Cove to find it… Christmasless!

America needs a story, and fast, so she teams up with the town’s good-looking (and eligible) mayor, Leo, to light up Main Street and salvage her chance at being a full-time writer. The connection between them heats up, halls are decked, sleigh bells ring, and lights twinkle. Just when she thinks the holiday is saved, a nearby city threatens the future of Christmas Cove. With her heart, and career, hanging in the balance, she must learn that Christmas is much more than just a place on a map before time runs out.

About the Author:Sarah Dressler, originally from Florida, now calls the mountains of Colorado home. Beginning her writing career as an award winning fashion blogger, Sarah now writes fiction full time. She has spent her life traveling the world, first as the daughter of a US Air Force officer, and later as a military spouse. She enjoys sunset walks with her husband of nearly twenty years, and raising two very busy teenagers.

5 Prince Books Author Page | Instagram

Buy the book at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Google Play, or 5 Prince Books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hot Stuff by Ashton Brooks – Spotlight

This man of the month has it all, but his world goes up in smoke when a saucy out-of-town woman crashes into his life. If only she would let him capture her heart. Readers who love Sweet on Wilde by Fabiola Francisco and Something That Could Last by Ashley Cade will enjoy Hot Stuff by Ashton Brooks, a steamy, small town, enemies-to-lovers, cinnamon roll hero, thriller, found family romance.


    This man of the month has it all. His own pizza restaurant, a family of five loving sisters and a mother who dotes on him, best friends he can always count on, and he’s one of the town’s most eligible bachelors. Watch as his world goes up in smoke when a saucy out-of-town woman crashes into his life. If only she would let him capture her heart.



Enjoy an Excerpt Copyright 2023 Ashton Brooks

“CalSone Day?” I read the banner that is currently being hung up outside our family restaurant in preparation for the big celebration that is a week away. “Joseph, it’s Cal-Zone. With a Z!” I yell up at him, and watch his body sway slightly on the ladder. He looks over it and checks his phone. “That is a Z,” he shouts back and waves his hand over the sign. “It’s a fucking S.” I growl back. “Hold on.” I leave him and head into the restaurant to find my backup. Thank god all five of my sisters are in today so they can back me up. Our mother is in the kitchen preparing for the big event, so I won’t bug her, but the rest of them are needed. “Rosie, I need you all,” I whistle at her from behind the register, waving her outside. The look she shoots me is as sharp as daggers, but I know it’s only because I dared call her in such a manner. She must see the frustration on my face though, because her scowl quickly turns to concern. I hear her yell for the others and I let the door shut while I keep an eye on Joseph. He’s mumbling to himself, words I can’t hear, but the redness on his cheeks shows he must have realized he’s wrong. “What the heck, Rome?” My oldest sister, Romi, flings her hands up in the air. She’s scowling at me, and I meet her raised brows with my own. The rest of them follow out and stand amongst each other. “What happened?” Rumer asks, and I love that, as usual, she remains the calmest in the chaos. She’s the second oldest child and she has always been the peacekeeper. “I don’t know, he flipped a lid inside and said we all had to be out here,” Rosie lifts her shoulders. She is the youngest in our family so I can’t help but smile at her, even though she isn’t helping me. “The sign,” I point up at it and all five sets of dark eyes, the one trait we all share, jump to where the hanging red tarp is. “Cal..Sone Day,” Reagan reads, and I see her brow furrow. “With an S?” “Ahh, fuck,” Remi, the sister closest to me in age, laughs, “Joseph, what the hell did you do?” She is the wildest of my sisters, and she cusses about as much as I do, much to our mother’s dismay. “It says Calsone Day!” He yells down at all of us. “Calzone is spelt with a Z, Joseph,” Romi snaps back, her big- sister voice coming out. She sounds scarily like our mother when she does that, and Joseph is speechless. “Baby,” Joseph calls to her, “My phone says S. I’ll change it, I’ll change it.” He throws his hands in the air and starts taking down the sign. I wait him out, my hands on my hips, standing next to Romi. Joseph is her new fiancé, and he’s been trying to help out around the restaurant, but he still gets on my nerves. “Quit scowling at him,” She whispers next to me and nudges her elbow into my side. I grunt from the impact and turn to her with a smirk, “It’s not my fault the guy can’t spell Calzone right. And he wants to work here? Take over a share?” “He doesn’t want a share,” She sighs and stomps her foot, something all the women in my family are known for, “He just wants to be part of the business with us. I would think that is what you all would want. We need the extra hands. Rumer’s baby is due in a month, and her shift will need to be picked up.” “Romi,” I slide my arm around her shoulders, “It will be fine. And leave Joseph to me. He needs to learn just like Tommy did for Rumer. And now look, he’s the best meat guy in the town.” “I know you mean well Rome, but we both know that Joseph will never be good enough in your eyes. You hold grudges like no one else, and the fact that he ran over your bike tire when you were ten still makes you mad,” She argues, and I see the turmoil in her eyes. “It was a great bike,” I shrug my shoulders. “Roman!” “I’m kidding,” I give her a squeeze, “I will try and take it easier on him. Once he fixes the damn sign.” Romi huffs, shaking her head, but I do see a small smile on her lips. She heads back into the restaurant, and my gaze finds its way back to Joseph, who is rolling up the sign and tapping away on his phone. “Are we good?” His eyes shoot up to mine, “I ordered a new one, with rush delivery. It will get here before Wednesday.” “Great. We can hang it up right as everyone is walking in,” I grunt and shake my head. Joseph grabs his bag and his ladder, and scurries to his work truck. I watch him drive away and try to remember to breathe in and out. Calzone Day needs to be perfect. It’s a staple holiday at Mohagen’s, and has been since my grandfather first built it here in Candy Cane Key.  My father, Rebel, inherited it from him, and when he married mother, they took it over. Their wedding reception was hosted here, all six of us were raised in these kitchens, and took afternoon naps in the booth. The sign needs to be perfect. We can’t not have Calzone Day.

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!

About Ashton Brooks

Ashton Brooks is an author with a variety of stories that are in Contemporary Romance and New Adult romance. Her writing style is suspenseful and sometimes leads to heart-wrenching conclusions. With a background in forensic psychology she really goes for those investigative, dark and twisty feels. And of course, lots of love!

Brooks enjoys reading as much as writing. Television shows such as Criminal Minds, Scandal, and One Tree Hill are her go-to binge worthy series. She loves spending time with her friends and family with a good glass of beer or wine. If she isn’t reading or writing, Brooks is Pinteresting future home projects for her wonderful husband to accomplish.

Website | Facebook | Reader Group | Twitter/X | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon | Newsletter

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Once Upon a Christmas Castle by Virginia Barlow – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Virginia Barlow will be awarding a free copy of Gamble of Hearts to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lady Rosalind Chatham journeys with her family to Weston Castle to wed an ancient earl on Christmas day. Yearning for true love, she falls for the duke, her stepfather’s cousin, while preparing for her nuptials.

Lady Rosalind entrances the Duke of Weston. Concerned for her future with the tempestuous earl, he can’t afford to get involved. The fines and scandal will be too great for a man of his wealth and power.

When the truth comes to light, and he almost loses her forever, he finds he cannot afford to give less than his whole heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Careful not to make a sound, she sat on the window ledge and slipped her feet out the window. Turning to face the interior of the room, she inched her hips over the window ledge. She slipped on the ice, frozen to the brick outside the window, and slid down faster than she intended, cringing when the silk of her day gown ripped.

Panic gripped her like a cinched corset. She did not fear falling. No. The fine sheen of terror covering her brow appeared out of fear she might wake the earl.

Catching the edge of the brick where she lay against it halfway between her bosom and her waist, she sucked in a deep breath, conscious she must present a sight with her skirts bunched up and wedged between her and the window ledge. Her white pantalets and silk-stockinged legs dangled as she maneuvered her hands so she could drop to the ground. Thank the gods no one wandered the flower gardens beneath her to see her unladylike display.

Her prayer of gratitude stopped dead, and she received the shock of her life when a large pair of hands caught her about the waist!

She froze in terror, not daring to breathe.

“Lady Rosalind, how unexpected of you to drop by like this.” The duke’s deep voice laughed at her as he held her still.

She swallowed her cry of surprise and choked. God, what Cousin Lucius must be thinking about her right now.

About the Author:I have always loved reading romance novels. I used to sneak into my mom’s room as a young girl and read them while she was gone. As I grew older, my reading and tastes expanded to sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy.

I considered becoming an author in my late twenties but as a busy mother with toddlers, I didn’t have the time nor the energy.

Later, in my fifties, I decided to give it a try and have enjoyed every moment of it since. I recently signed my fourteenth contract and am doing my happy dance as I type this. My husband of forty-one years is my greatest support as are all my kids. Most of them are grown and carving out lives for themselves. They are the beat of my heart and with every grandchild, the rhythm gets stronger. I enjoy every moment of my life.

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | YouTube | Website | Goodreads

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dragon Song by Shirley McCoy – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a randomly drawn winner a $10 Amazon/BN GC.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Dragons rule the world. Princess Morgan Talbot of Esterhaven knows one rules her. Rownar, the most powerful dragon of all, forced a magical bond with her at a tender age. He intends to corrupt her soul, then consume her body. Now of age, Morgan knows she must take back her life and defeat Rownar, and all his kind. Connor O’Malley is the greatest dragon slayer alive. He spends one memorable night with Morgan, never thinking to see her again. Until he does. He is deeply shaken to learn the woman he fell for is a princess and determined to conquer Rownar herself. When Connor offers to train her, Morgan reluctantly accepts. Now an epic battle will begin, for a princess’s life, her soul, her kingdom, and the world.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As they cautiously navigated through the hoard, Morgan detected a slight glow in her peripheral vision. It flared up, then subsided. As they stepped forward, she discerned it again, and this time she whipped around quickly enough to see a small magical symbol etched in the floor behind them light up, then dim.

“Oh no,” she murmured.

“What’s wrong?” Connor demanded in a sharp tone.

She paced further and showed him. “I think if Meglos doesn’t already know we are here, he will soon.”

As if on cue, deep within the cave, the sound of an almighty clang of metal meeting metal filled their ears. Then came a roar, the kind which could only be made by a dragon.

Morgan knew her eyes must be wide as saucers, but she couldn’t seem to help it or move at all, in fact. Horror rooted her to the spot, unable even to speak, much less move.

Connor was not so afflicted. “Run!”

When she didn’t twitch so much as an eyelash, he yelled, “Run, Morgan!”

The volume of his words, his manner, and most of all, the use of her name, snapped her out of her panicked shock at last. She went from utter stillness to moving faster than she ever had in her life.

The dragon, shrieking and breathing fire all the while, flew after them.

About the Author:Shirley McCoy grew up in Baton Rouge, LA and started writing at an early age. Always talkative, when she was eleven she began to put her thoughts on paper, writing stories inspired by some of her favorite writers, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Madeline L’Engle. As she grew older, she developed a love of romance and in 2009 she decided to try her hand at paranormal romance. The result was The Smoke and the Flame and its sequel, The Wind and the Fire. The Smoke and the Flame is the first novel she has ever completed, although she has written several unpublished screenplays.

Shirley graduated from Nicholls State University where she majored in History and minored in English. Since graduating (she doesn’t like to think about how long ago that was) she has worked at some of the best libraries in the Baton Rouge area. She makes her home there and enjoys spending time with family members that live in town as well as with those that live out of town. She also loves seeing movies, reading, and going to the park with her niece in her free time.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Website | Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Background of the Book by Suzan Zoe Bella – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Background of the Book

High Point is set in rural Pennsylvania for the first half then Los Angeles California for the second half. The story is fact-based and revolves around a group of characters who start out in their early twenties. Mia is a shy country girl who had a rough life. She’s between jobs when the story begins and suffering from an anxiety disorder. Mackie is a coworker and friend to Mia, but the relationship goes south quickly when Mackie’s obsession with Mia turns toxic.

Jett is a rock star with dreams to become a professional Motocross rider but without family support, he must find a way to fund his true dream. He is introduced to Mia backstage and instant chemistry leaps off the page. Jett is a sweetheart. He’s also gorgeous and loaded with charisma, generous, and everything a girl could want in a guy. I like to make my heroes almost perfect. Jett does have a vulnerable side, which is portrayed in the story, which makes him even more endearing.

Mackie is a lunatic and was a fun character to play with. Her antics come back to bite her, and her one-liners are memorable. High Point is a second-chance romance. Many of the events were pulled from real-life experiences that I’ve wanted to write about for a long time. The romance is inspired by the only man I ever loved, and the ups and downs of Mia and Jett are portrayed realistically. No fantasy here! Mackie’s character was also real, which makes this story truly unique and perhaps not likable to some as Mackie is a lesbian woman. There is no LGBTQ romance in this book, though. Mackie’s desire for Mia is one-sided. Kat is Jett’s sister and she’s quite a witch. So we have the awkward, socially challenged heroine, the hottie sweetheart rockstar, the lesbian villain and the nasty interfering sister. The second half of the story brings in new characters to round out the plot and add even more dimension. I incorporated my love for Motocross into the plot. One thing readers should know, the fact that Mackie is a villain and a lesbian in no way reflects my views on LGBTQ society. I chose to write the story as it really happened. There was no other way to write Mackie’s character than how she really was. Of course, I heavily fictionalized everything and embellished the plot. But the characters’ personalities stayed pretty true to who they were. My goal in writing High Point was to rewrite history and give this story the ending I wanted it to have. I chose to really step out of the box here and write a book that could be offensive to some but is overall a fabulous read that scored four stars from InD’tale Magazine on the first published edition. After the review, I considered the reviewer’s trigger warnings and rewrote the book again to remove them and soften anything potentially disturbing. Even so, you can’t please everyone. I had to be happy with this book. If I’m not happy with it, I won’t publish it.

It’s only rock and roll but I hate it. Groupies, parties, a cheating ex, and a dark night spawned a wake-up call. I’d shifted my focus to work and avoiding social media. Singing lead for a famous band had become nothing more than a steppingstone to my true dream of racing Pro Motocross. I hadn’t dated in years. Then ‘she’ showed up and everything in me longed to be with her. I was stoked she’d agreed to join me at High Point Raceway for the weekend, even if it meant putting up with Mack. Better still, Mia wasn’t a groupie, not even close. She wasn’t even a fan of our music. If love at first sight had a name, it would be Mia Fringe and I had to make her mine. ~ Jett

I’d seen him in passing over the years. He was the neighbor of my best friend. But we’d never officially been introduced until the night Mackie badgered me into meeting him after attending his band’s concert. I tried not to look awestruck, stunned that someone this gorgeous had been within my scope for years but had not caught my attention. He had success written all over him. Girls like me didn’t end up with guys like him. Recently unemployed, still living on the family farm, and recovering from a nervous breakdown, I was a mess. But Jett saw something in me that nobody else ever had…worth. ~ Mia

Action, drama, and chaos kick off right from the start at High Point Raceway when Mackie has second thoughts about playing matchmaker between Mia and Jett. However, when the week of bliss comes to an end, Mia is heartbroken and confused as to why Jett doesn’t keep his promise. She accepts a job as a reporter three thousand miles away to escape the pain.

Ten years later, Mia and Jett cross paths in the most startling way. She’s about to discover the truth of what really happened so long ago. Will she be able to trust Jett again when he pleads for a second chance? Can love and forgiveness conquer a decade of hurt? It all goes down in the dirt during the last race of the season.

Enjoy an Excerpt

A shadow of disappointment prowled through my mind. He’d slammed on the brakes. I could’ve taken it as rejection. But he was no fool. He was bound to uncover the truth before giving too much of himself.

“We forgot to bring lunch,” I pointed out as we entered the cave.

“Oh yeah. I had other things on my mind. Maybe we’ll find some berries.”

“In May?” I giggled. “For that matter, why not root around in logs for honeycombs.”

He laughed. “We could do that.” Then he dipped his brows in a comical expression and said in a deep voice, “I’ll fight off the bears for you, my love.”

Love? He dropped the L-word? I stared at him. Was it a slip? Or a mere casual expression? After all, Europeans used it very casually. My thoughts went into overdrive. I hated when that happened.

“Let’s explore. Maybe the natives left behind some jerky,” he teased with a grin.

“The eternal optimist,” I countered. “I love it.”

We wandered deeper into the cave between moss-covered slate walls. Water trickled down the sides. The cave smelled musty. Something skittered across the rocky floor. I screamed and leaped sideways.

“There are creepy crawlies in here!”

“I saw that,” he said. “No worries. They’re more afraid of us than we are of them.”

“Uh…speak for yourself.” I shrieked again. “Jett!” I had jumped onto a ledge a foot above ground and clung to the wall. “I’m not this much country. Can we go please?”

“Okay, doll.” He smiled apologetically. “There’s nothing to see in here anyway. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

Something sticky brushed my face. I swatted frantically but seemingly had entangled myself in a web. The more panicked I became the worse things got. My flailing arms gathered more webbing. I slipped off the ledge in all my thrashing about and tumbled to the ground, scraping my arms and legs on the way down.

“Mia!” He caught my arms. “Stop. Baby, stop moving!”

“Oh no…” I whimpered. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” he replied calmly but apprehension snuck into his voice. “Just stay very, very still, doll.”

“Omigosh,” I cried.

He snapped a twig from a branch sticking out of the wall and in my peripheral vision his arm moved painstakingly slowly. I held my breath and didn’t dare twitch. A couple of agonizing minutes later, he tossed the stick aside then swept me into his arms.

“We should get the hell out of here,” he muttered.

I clung to him. “What was it?”

“You don’t wanna know.”

“Ew. Ew. Did it bite me? Am I okay?”

“Sshh, you’re safe now. It never touched your skin. It saw all that beautiful blonde hair and thought, hm, a perfect place to spell out the word radiant.”

“Omigosh. It was one of those…I can’t even say it. Ew. Ew. Get me out of here.”

He broke into a run with me in his arms. I didn’t take a full breath until we exited the cave.

“I need another bath.” I continued frenetically brushing my arms and head, still in panic mode.

We made our way back to the waterhole and I didn’t hesitate to strip down and dive in. I submerged myself, scrubbing my face and hair furiously. He dove in with me. When I finally calmed down, convinced I’d rid myself of anything that’d hitched a ride, I relaxed and casually swam around.

“Seems I’ve discovered your one fear,” he said upon swimming over to me. “You don’t like bugs.”

“No. I don’t. Especially the kind that makes webs.” I shivered at the thought.

“I’m really sorry.” He began to laugh. “I had no idea. I don’t mean to laugh. Honest. I’m not mocking you. But you were a sight back there.”

“Ha-ha.” I scowled. “Why’d you sound so urgent when telling me to stop moving?”

“I didn’t want it to bite you. Those things typically aren’t aggressive unless they feel threatened. And you, my dear, were definitely in a frenzy.”

“Now I’m cold, hungry, and freaked out. I’m never going into a cave again.”

About the Author: “I am a fan of happily ever after. My novels are too!”

Susan Zoe enjoys creating contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and romantic suspense stories with a gritty flair. Her stories are her own, and she typically writes outside the box. She’s always been a leader not a follower. Writing is her mental filter and how she processes the world around her, a fictional place where she can control the outcome at her comfort level with justice and happy endings. Her imagination is her greatest strength as it carries her away from daily stress.

As a survivor of hardship and chronic disease, she takes one day at a time and treasures the simple things in life. Susan Zoe is a Christian, loves animals, and practices being kind and generous every day. When not immersed in new stories, she enjoys watching movies, Motocross and Supercross, playing Yahtzee with her fiancé, and hanging out with her loyal 24/7 companion and trained service dog. She’s not a fan of sitcoms as they don’t offer enough mental stimulation. Losing herself in an intense story gives her brain the workout it needs to manage OCD, anxiety, depression, and stress.

Her achievements thus far include The Golden Wings Award for her debut novel The Satellite, the UK Nobel Pin and Editor’s Choice Award for her poem The Lonely Man, numerous 5 Star Reviews from Fallen Angels Reviews, Coffee Time Romance, InD’tale Magazine, Goodreads and more for current and retired novels. She was also a RONE Awards Finalist in 2017.

She loves to hear from readers and chat!

In her words, “Writing is the only time I’m truly free.” She’s happiest when her intriguing characters come to life and steal her away into their worlds where anything is possible.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

Buy the book from your favorite online venue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brazen by Carol Burnside – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Carol Burnside who is celebrating the recent release of Brazen.

Because of a secret not hers to tell, spinster Rachel must marry quickly, and Angus is the first man who comes to mind. He’s a hard worker and strong. She’s seen him eyeing her and senses hunger in his gaze. Rachel goes to Angus, the local blacksmith, alone at night and asks him to marry her.

Although eager to accept her brazen offer, Angus is suspicious, thinking it’s some kind of prank and she’s been put up to this to embarrass him. After all, what would a lady like Rachel want with the likes of him? His work is hot and dirty, and his lineage doesn’t exactly have the pedigree ladies look for.

When he realizes she’s sincere, his heart won’t let him refuse her, but even the road to a quick, convenient marriage isn’t smooth. Angus keeps his feelings for Rachel hidden. After the ceremony, Rachel finds a distance she can’t bridge…until tragedy strikes.

Will they ever find the courage to declare their love, or will their stubborn need to protect their hearts prevail?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Angus had finished washing the last of his supper dishes when he heard a soft knock at his back door. Who the devil could that be?

He opened it cautiously, seeing the hem of a fancy lace-and-lemon dress in the slice of light from his doorway, quite similar to the one he’d seen Miss Dunn wearing tonight. Of course, it wouldn’t be her.

“Who’s there, Miss? Show yourself.”

“It’s Rachel Dunn, Mr. Brody.” Her voice held a slight tremor, but she made no move to obey him. “May I speak with you?”

His heart thumped faster upon hearing her soft reply. Rachel here? “And John? Is he with you?”

“I come unchaperoned with a matter of some importance.”

She risked her reputation to speak with him? “I see.”

But he didn’t see, couldn’t fathom why she would seek him out. The fact that he was this close to her, alone and having a conversation, stunned him.

“Might I gain entrance before someone happens along and sees me, Mr. Bro—”

“Angus. My name is Angus.” His breath hitched at the thought of hearing his given name pass her lips. Calling himself all kinds of a fool, he stood aside. Rachel rushed past him like a flash of sunshine, and he shut out the night.

Her gaze darted around the room much like a rabbit seeking the nearest escape route. Angus stifled a sigh and moved from between her and the door. His size frightened most women.

The oil lamp he’d placed on the bedside table threw a dim glow around the room. He turned up the wick, enough that he could see color had risen high in her cheeks.

“Oh, dear! This is your…”

“Uh, yes.” He grabbed the lamp and gestured to the doorway on the opposite wall. “The kitchen is through there. I’m sorry. This is a shotgun house. I built my room at the back, as far away from the heat of the smithy as I could get.”

And he was running off at the mouth. Not his finest hour.

She turned to him with a tight smile. “Not your fault I turned up unannounced at the back door.”

Damn, but she was a pretty thing with her large, upturned eyes and high cheekbones. Not a short bit of fluff that hit him mid-chest like most, but willowy. Sturdy and soft at the same time.

“Nice place you have here, Mr. Bro—” She pressed her lips together. He held his breath. “Angus.”

“Thank you.” He praised whatever had sent her to his door.

About the Author: Carol Burnside is an award-winning author of “Sizzling romance with heart and humor.” Her personal second-chance-at-love story resulted in an enduring marriage to her high school sweetheart. They reside in the Texas hill country, where Carol enjoys visiting wildlife from her covered back porch. Like any true southerner, she drinks tea in some form year-round. Carol’s novel length manuscripts have placed in numerous contests and won several, including the prestigious Maggie Award for Excellence. She also writes as Annie Rayburn.

Amazon reviews say Carol’s books are:

“Highly captivating!” “intriguing and a wonderful read” “Emotional and heartwarming” “Engaging!” and “Great reading!”

Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Twitter

Buy the book at your favorite online venue.

Eight Years Gone by Cate Beauman – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Cate Beauman who is celebrating the recent release of EIGHT YEARS GONE.

A steamy second chance…
Jagger Tennyson never had it easy, but that all changes when Dr. Steven Evans knocks on his front door. Leaving poverty and hopelessness behind, Jagger creates a life he’s been too afraid to dream of. But tragedy strikes late one night, and everything falls apart. Jagger is forced to walk away, leaving the woman he loves.

Grace Evans grew up with wealth and privilege, but she’s no stranger to loss and pain. When she meets the gorgeous boy from the wrong side of the tracks, everything changes for the better. Grace has never loved anyone the way she loves Jagger. But he vanishes on the night that nearly destroys her.

Eight years later, Jagger comes home, and nothing is how it was supposed to be. Dreams were shattered, and trust was broken, but he wants to make things right. He’ll do whatever it takes to fight for Grace, but proving he still loves her won’t be easy.

When tragedy befalls Grace again, Jagger can help her pick up the pieces. But can Grace forgive the past?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Jagger settled his sunglasses in place as he stepped out of the shop’s short alleyway. He passed Simplicity’s storefront as Grace opened the big glass doors in anticipation of the day’s patrons.

She paused with her hand on the Open sign as their eyes met. Then she turned away, heading farther into the shop.

“Damn,” he muttered as he kept his pace steady on his walk down the pretty tree-lined stretch of Main Street, barely paying attention to the fall flowers decorating window boxes or the fact that a few of the stores along the block had changed hands since the last time he’d been there.

He exhaled a long, frustrated breath because the last twenty minutes had gone far worse than he’d expected. Cornering Grace had been a bit of a dick move, but he hadn’t known what else to do, especially after she’d locked him out.

This entire situation was boggy ground. Everything about the present was new territory.

Clenching his jaw, he flared his nostrils, remembering how Grace had looked at him while he followed her around the store—hostility and poorly guarded vulnerability. That was new, too, and he didn’t like it.

He’d watched her. When he pulled up at an empty spot by the coffee shop, he hadn’t realized she would be sitting by the window with Christy.

Initially, he’d planned to walk over to Maggie’s place and find Grace there, but he’d stared across the street instead, studying how easily Grace talked and laughed with her longtime best friend.

It was a shame when that had changed. He’d known the exact moment when she spotted him—when her eyes had grown huge with shock and her shoulders stiff with tension.

“Damn,” he said again because things used to be so easy between them. He and Grace had spent long stretches of each day together for the better part of five years.

Occasionally, they had argued or pissed each other off, but they’d never been able to stay mad at each other for long. Laughter and fun had always followed apologies and hugs—or a hell of a bout of sweaty makeup sex.

Clearly, those days were over. But he rubbed at the back of his neck because even as he thought it, he knew it wasn’t that simple. He’d seen the flash of desire in her eyes—had heard the breathiness in her voice after he’d touched her. Time had passed—years—but there was still something between them.

They needed to have a conversation, even if Grace wasn’t necessarily excited about the idea.

Is there really anything we need to say?

He shook his head as her last words to him stung. There was plenty to talk about because Grace had her hands full. When he’d left her behind, her life was supposed to have been better for it. She was supposed to have capitalized on her opportunities and made her dreams come true.

About the Author Cate Beauman is the multi-award-winning, international bestselling author of The Bodyguards of L.A. County series and the Carter Island Novels. She is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense and contemporary stories.

Cate’s novels have been named Readers’ Favorite Five Star books and have won the Booksellers’ Best Award, Maggie Award for Excellence, the Holt Medallion Award, two-time Aspen Gold Medal, two-time Readers’ Favorite International Gold Medal, three-time Readers’ Favorite International Silver Medal, and the Readers’ Crown Award.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband and their St. Bernard, Jack.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Goodreads

Buy the book at your favorite online venue.

Mister Write by Kate Stacy – Spotlight

A sexy, but growly author gets annoyed at his quirky landlord’s attempts to cure him of his writer’s block, but the more time he spends with her, the more her personality seeps into his story. Will his book have a happy ending? Or will his surly attitude run off his gorgeous new muse? Fans of Hope Ford, Kat Baxter, and Mia Brody will love Mister Write by Elyse Kelly, a steamy, small town, grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity, instalove romance.

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!

He’s moody, she’s perky, and he might wind up punched in the face… When a sexy but growly author finds himself chasing away his cheery, quirky, and maddeningly adorable landlord, he’s annoyed at her attempts to cure him of his writer’s block. But as Nate spends time with the charming beauty, more and more of Teddie’s alluring personality seeps into the pages of his manuscript. Will his book have a happy ending? Or will his surly attitude run off his gorgeous new muse? MISTER WRITE is a stand-alone, super sexy, grumpy/sunshine, beach romance with a HEA! So get yourself a fan because you’ll definitely need to cool down after reading this spicy, fast-paced, instalove book!

Add to Goodreads Here!

Excerpt  Copyright 2023 Elyse Kelly

“And the hits keep coming,” I say as I answer the call. Peter gives me a faux-offended look. “I’m just checking in on my dear little brother! For all we know, your Tracey—” “Teddie,” I answer before I can stop myself. I immediately regret opening my mouth when Peter gives me a mischievous grin. “Right,” he drawls. “Tawney—” I suck on my teeth. “Pete. Petey. Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater…” He snorts and raises an eyebrow. “I thought you were never going to call me that again.” “Well, you’re intentionally goading me.” His grin quirks up at the sides. “I’d call it more of a test. You failed, by the way.” “What? How could I fail?” I blurt out before relaxing back into my seat. “I mean, I don’t know what you’re testing, but I’m good at taking tests. I’m quite intelligent.” Peter shakes his head in amusement. “And yet you fall for my tricks every time. I can’t lie, though. I rather enjoy it.” I’m getting annoyed that he’s beating around the bush. “What was the test?” “Well, I thought I’d check and see how you’re getting on with… Teddie.” I narrow my eyes at him, and he rolls his before adding, “Yeah, I knew her name. And the fact that you corrected me means you know it too.” I lift an eyebrow. “Of course, I know it. We’ve been together for five days, fourteen hours, and twenty-seven minutes. Give or take.” “So, you’d say your routine has been shaken up? And how does that make you feel?” “Don’t lose sight of your qualifications, Peter. You’re a pencil pusher, not a therapist.” He shrugs. “My plan is working. I don’t care what you say. You obviously like her since you’ve felt bothered enough to remember her name. She might be just what you need.” I grunt and lean back in my chair, far enough to crack my back. “What I need is peace and quiet. What I need is time alone. But what I get is Teddie.” “What do you mean?” Peter cocks his head to the side like a dog trying to understand his owner’s gibberish. “She’s everywhere, all the time! Whenever I leave my room, she’s in the kitchen baking cookies or cakes or whatever the fuck she’s making for the day.” Peter gives a low whistle. “Sounds rough.” I glare at him, trying to think of other things I find annoying about Teddie. “She’s always… humming or singing.” “Yikes. Can’t carry a tune?” I throw my hands up. “No! Always on-key with perfect pitch, which makes it even worse! She’s like an angelic little songbird.” Peter gives me a sarcastic look through the screen. “Ah, yes, that must be fucking horrible.” “And she’s practically sunshine in a sundress. I’m losing my goddamn mind.” I run my fingers through my hair as if to showcase the point. “I know this is all some sort of cover, like she has a nefarious plot to snuff me out before I can leave a bad review or something.” Peter shakes his head at me. “Oh, my sweet, naïve little brother… You’re in a mess—that’s for sure. Let me tell you what’s actually going to happen.” He leans in closer, so I mimic his movements. “You’re going to fall in love with this woman and stay in Christmas Key forever.” “It’s Candy Cane Key,” I reply robotically before realizing what he said and sputtering. “That’s never going to happen!”

Buy Now or Read FREE with KindleUnlimited!

About Elyse Kelly

Hi, I’m Elyse! I’m just a true southern girl, reading and writing books, asking you to love me! My books are extra steamy, contemporary romances, all with HEAs and no cliffhangers! They’re short, smutty, and tastefully trashy. If you love over-protective, sexy, alpha book boyfriends who make you swoon and reach for your favorite… bookmark, then you’ve come to the right place. When I’m not writing books or doing bookish things, I’m probably listening to music, designing smutty stickers, adding to my spectacular band t-shirt collection, or learning how to do something new like arm-knitting because I’m neurodivergent AF! And yes, I really do know how to knit with my arms.

Website | Facebook | Reader Group | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon | Newsletter

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR