What’s in a Name? The Sexy History of the Cocktail Cruise Series Titles by Allie Boniface

A very special welcome to long-time friend Allie Boniface as she stops by Long and Short Reviews to talk about her new series.

What’s in a Name? The Sexy History of the Cocktail Cruise Series Titles

Mmmmm….frosty glasses. Little pink and orange umbrellas. Pretty colors, a sandy beach, waves rolling in and the sun overhead. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? There’s something about sipping a cocktail in summertime that’s oh-so-appealing. That easy, breezy carefree feeling is what I tried to capture in the titles and stories of the Cocktail Cruise Series. To be honest, though, this series didn’t begin with the titles. I did know I wanted to write about adventures on a cruise ship, because that kind of vacation tends to be a fun getaway. What better place to find love than on a singles’ cruise in the middle of the Caribbean?

8_18 Tequila Sunrise CoverSo Tequila Sunrise, the first in the series, begins on a singles’ cruise, where our heroine is introduced to a speed dating service that she’ll later expose for its questionable business practices. Louise’s favorite drink is a tequila sunrise, both for its taste and for its colors. When her first conversation with Toby revolves around the fact that he loves sunrises, because he works construction so he’s up early, she thinks it’s fate. That title was a no-brainer.

8_18 Sex on the Beach CoverI thought about writing a second book in this series after I finished Lou’s story, because her best friend Cass just cried out for a story of her own. Cass is very different from Lou, though, so while I was brainstorming the plot, I was also thinking of a way to tie in another cocktail. Cass is very liberal and very self-assured when it comes to her sexuality – it’s committing emotionally to men that she struggles with. So I thought Sex on the Beach would be the perfect title and Cass’s favorite drink. Have you ever tasted one of these? They’re usually orange-pink, sweet, and taste awfully nice going down. Like juice. Dangerous.

Well, then it came time for the third book in the series. In Between the Sheets, Andrea and Sebastian, two minor characters from the first two books, have their time on the ship to find love. But this title was a lot harder to come up with. I knew I wanted to continue the theme of “cocktails” and I wanted to find one that had a fun, flirty name, but I’m not that much of a drinker, so I went to Google for some suggestions. Have you ever looked up “drinks with sexy names”? Wow. I won’t re-post them here, but there are many X-rated ones that I knew I wouldn’t be using.

8_18 Between the Sheets CoverFinally I settled on Between the Sheets, because it seemed to fit a romance novel but wasn’t as overtly sexual as some of the others. It became Andrea’s favorite drink as well as the theme for the book that brings her, a single mother, together with a sexy South American dance instructor. And though they do end up “between the sheets,” their attraction and feelings really grow on the dance floor. Tango, anyone…?

To be honest, when I’m in the mood for a cocktail, I usually fall back on the Cosmopolitan (which has very little sexiness to it other than the fact that we can credit Sex in the City for making it popular). It has a pretty pink color, smooth fruity flavor, and just the right amount of vodka. Oh, but it does come in a martini glass, which I do find somewhat sexy. What’s your favorite cocktail, alcoholic or not?

About Allie Boniface: 8_18 Allie_AuthorPhotoA high school English teacher by day, author Allie Boniface writes small-town sensual romance and is the author of the fast-paced One Night novels and the Hometown Heroes series. In addition, her indie published Cocktail Cruise Line trilogy will be available in Summer 2014. Allie is an RWA member and EPPIE award finalist who regularly attends writers’ workshops and conferences. She loves chatting with readers and writers about all matters of the heart. Allie lives in the Hudson Valley, New York, with her husband and their two furry felines. You can keep up with all of Allie’s news and new releases on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.allieboniface.com.

Buy the first book of the trilogy for only $0.99 at Amazon.

Author Interview and Giveaway: Cerian Hebert

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Cerian Hebert, whose latest release Light the Way Home, will be FREE through August 21. Leave a comment or ask Cerian a question to be entered into a drawing for the winner’s choice of one of her backlist books.

Cerian started writing when she was about 12–she and her friends were certain there was a haunted house in their neighborhood and Cerian saw them all as a team of young ghost hunters and wrote down their adventures. As she got older, her interests shifted from the paranormal to horses and then to boys.

“Now-a-days I manage to write about all three,” she told me.

Even though she started writing at 12, she was 16 before she thought of it as something she wanted to do with her life and, even then, it took another ten to fifteen years before she really made a commitment to her writing.

Cerian told me that she’s surrounded by interesting people.

“My mother came from England when she was 17, my father was an army brat. He made his love of antique and classic cars his career. Growing up we’d always have interesting old cars. In fact, when we moved from MN to NH I did so in the back seat of a Rolls Royce. He literally wrote the book on hood ornaments for classic cars and would travel overseas all the time to examine hood ornament collections (yes, it’s a thing). His cousins in South Dakota are ranchers (which is why I write stories set in SD) and one of them was the proud owner of Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which was subject of a custody battle between my cousin, the Sioux, the paleontologist who found her and the US Government. My cousin won. I have 3 siblings. Sadly, my oldest brother passed away about 15 years ago, my sister was once a smoke jumper and fire fighter, and my other brother is a pilot with American Airlines. Compared to everyone I live a very dull life.”

In fact, when Cerian was growing up she wanted to be a paleontologist, museum curator, actress, Olympic horseback rider, archaeologist, oh, and of course a writer.

“One thing I did NOT want to do was work at a desk in an office,” she declared. “Unfortunately my mundane job is a data entry clerk. But at least I get to fulfill one of my dreams.”

Cerian is originally from Minneapolis, but she moved to New Hampshire when she was 11, so she considers her hometown Rindge, NH.

“As a kid coming from the big city, I loved the country setting, the forests and stone walls,” she said. “I loved the little pond across the road from my house, the little stream that ran through the woods in my back yard, the tiny library in the center of town, the town common that hosted fairs in the fall, and I loved loved loved all the horses in the neighborhood!”

Cerian has several projects she’s currently working on (she admitted she is very fickle when she writes). She has two contemporary westerns in the works, two horse-oriented stories that take place in New Hampshire and a paranormal romance set on the Maine coast. She has a hard time deciding on which one she wants to work on full-time.

Her reading shows the same trait–at the time of the interview she was reading three books.

“When I’m in the van waiting for someone I’m reading Till The Stars Fall by Kathleen Gilles Seidel. At home I’m reading Hank and Chloe by Jo-Ann Mapson (a random book I picked off the library shelf) and I’m going old school with When The Music Stopped by Elisabeth Ogilvie (because I love a story set in Maine). Plus I have several books on my Kindle I’ve started but put aside. Kind of draws the books out this way, but I like all my bases covered,” she explained.

I asked her to describe her writing space for us.

“Currently it’s wherever I can find a place for a tv tray. It’s not ideal, but we’ve had to reorganize the house and I had to sacrifice my desk for the greater good. My desktop is now in my daughter’s room so I’m generally in the living room with my laptop. I remember when I first started writing seriously-as an adult-I bought a book on how to publish a romance and the author was very big on setting up the perfect writing area, making sure it reeked of romance. I always dreamed of having one of those perfect spots. Maybe someday I can reclaim my place. For now, the tv tray will have to work.”

The hardest part about writing for Cerian is actually finding the time to write.

“My schedule tends to be crazy, with four kids needing to be here, there and everywhere,” she said. “I’m also the fetch-it girl for my husband. He works close to home and works 2nd shift, so if he wants an ice coffee during one of his breaks guess who gets to bring it to him. Also, without having a quiet room to work in, I tend to get constant interruptions. I’m sure I’ll be sad and lonely when the kids leave the nest, but at least I’ll get more time to write.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“Be persistent. Writing isn’t an overnight process and you can’t expect to sit down at the computer and tap out a best seller in a day or two. Be patient, listen to your characters, they may take you in all sorts of wonderful places you didn’t plan on going (but also rein them in if they get a little too out of hand and take you completely off course). Find a critique group. They’re few and far between, but a good crit group is invaluable. Make sure you have a thick skin. It’s hard to listen to people criticize your baby, they they’re doing it to help you. Don’t give up. If this is your passion, then keep writing.”

About the Author: 8_18 author photoOriginally from Minnesota, Cerian is currently settled in southwestern New Hampshire with her husband and four children, working for a well-known children’s magazine company. She’s known she wanted to write since she was twelve and between mucking stalls in New York and booking cruises in Maine, she’s been filling notebooks and now flash drives with her stories in pursuit of her dreams.

www.CerianHebert.com ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

8_18 book cover LTWHcov2aTorn between the home she loves and the man shes falling in love with, Hayden must decide which one she will leave behind.

Hayden Merrick has one thing in mind when she arrives in South Dakota. To meet her grandmother for the first time, then return to the life she loves on the Maine coast. She doesn’t expect to discover the truth behind her mother’s departure from South Dakota, find the father who abandoned her or a man who could prove to be the love of her life.

Ben Winslow hasn’t much time for romance, and no woman has interested him enough until Hayden arrives at his neighbor’s home. As soon as he meets her, Ben believes she could be the woman he’s always hoped for. First he has to convince her she could love the prairie as much as the ocean.

Hayden’s plans to return home are put on hold as she struggles with a difficult decision. Pursue a life in South Dakota with the man she’s falling in love with, or return to the life she loves at the edge of the ocean.

Ben hopes he can give her the best of both worlds.

Some Things About Me by Mary Wine – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Mary Wine as she visits with us as part of her virtual tour promoting her new release. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a print copy of The Highlander’s Bride Trouble (US/Canada only), the fourth book in her Sutherland’s Saga.

*****
Hello!
Thanks so much for having me over today. I’ve just giddy about my new release. The Highlander’s Bride Trouble. It’s book four in my Sutherland’s saga and I hope everyone is looking forward to it….so, about me….
• Balancing life and writing:

This is always a challenge. I’m lucky enough to be a full time writer. One thing I’ve always said is this….If you don’t treat it like a job, don’t expect it to support you…..and that about sums it up. I get up with the rest of my family in the morning and go to my office. I put my hours in. There are times when a scene is burning a hole in my head over the weekend and I sit down and write it. The rest of my family are big Gamers. I’ve never played Xbox or any of the others because my imagination is my playground.

• Character creation:

Charters pop into my head. In fact, they are door busting down sort of arrives. There are times I wish I could slap a few of them in chains until it’s their turn. I’m telling you, these Highlanders don’t grasp the concept of ‘wait your turn’. Sigh. I guess that’s part of the allure, isn’t it?

• Lessons I learned from my hero

With Saer McLeod, I learned to love myself because no one else is going to until you do. Except for your mom. He was born on the wrong side of the blanket and kicked to the curb by his fathers wife. He grew up unwanted by everyone but his mom. But he held his head high. I loved the way he was taking the McLeods in hand. They were beaten down and reduced to asking for him to be their laird. I loved the way he planned to build them up. Successful people don’t just happen.

• If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

Yes, because that’s how you discover new things! I love ice cream. I had to try it for the first time once. Think what would have happened if I never tried it? And there are all those flavors! Just like authors. Give them a try and discover new delights.

Thanks for having me by.

Mary Wine
MaryWine.com

Enjoy an Excerpt-

He reached out and stroked her cheek. “’Tis a sad thing to see how hard yer feelings are. But there is naught more to fear, she’ll nae have the opportunity to inflict such ills again.”

Nareen jerked away from the contact. She even took a swipe at his hand, but he moved faster, withdrawing in time to avoid being struck. Someone chuckled from where his men clustered near the fires, but Saer was watching her from narrowed eyes.

“I am nae afraid of anything,” she assured him.

“Is that so?” Saer inquired in a silky-smooth tone.

Nareen nodded. Satisfaction began to fill her, but it was cut short as he reached out and stroked her face again. She jumped, completely unable to control her reaction.

“Ye are making sport of me in front of yer men, like a savage.”

His eyes glittered, but it wasn’t with the outrage Nareen had intended to provoke. Instead, there was an unmistakable pleased looked in those dark orbs.

“I am a savage, Nareen.” He stepped forward, placing himself within touching range again. “I do nae let words stand alone. If ye truly have no interest in me, there is no reason to avoid me touch. Stand steady and prove ye are nae moved. I have no taste for a frigid woman.”

She laughed at him but stepped back again. “Then it seems we have a common ground, for I crave no man’s touch.”

His lips thinned. “Now that is something ye shall have to prove as well.”

“I will nae. Me word should be enough on the matter, if ye truly are me brother’s friend.” She didn’t care to hide behind her brother’s name, but the circumstances offered her few alternatives.

“As ye noted, I am a savage, and I always demand proof before I believe.”

This time, she was ready when he reached for her cheek. She stepped aside, avoiding him. She was just beginning to smile with her victory when he closed his hand around her wrist. He really was huge. His fingers closed easily around her smaller wrist, clasping it in an iron grip. She braced herself for pain, but there was none, only a secure hold that defied her attempt to break it.

“Release me.” Her voice had risen, and she shut her mouth before revealing any more of her unsettled state.

“Prove ye are unmoved, lass, and I shall be content to accept yer dismissal.” His tone had deepened, becoming something hypnotic.

“I am irritated.” And remaining still was proving too difficult. She twisted her hand, trying to break his hold again.

“Aye, ye are that.” He lifted her hand to his face and pressed a kiss on the delicate skin of her inner wrist. She shuddered, the touch intensely intimate. She’d never realized her skin might be so sensitive. The simple touch of his lips unleashed a bolt of sensation that shook her all the way down to her toes. His eyes filled with satisfaction.

“But ye are also affected.”

He released her, and she stumbled back a pace because she’d been resisting his hold so greatly. Laughter erupted from his men. Saer stiffened, and he crossed his arms over his chest.

“What?” she said. “Are ye trying to impress me by controlling yerself now that ye see yer men are enjoying the sport ye are making of me?”

“Aye, I am,” he answered darkly. “I am nae the one who chose this setting for our meeting, Nareen. Ye should nae have refused to see me again at court. That left me no choice but to chase ye.”

8_15 mary wine book coverHer clan is in chaos…

Raised by her father and brother, Nareen Grant is strong, confident, well-educated—and skilled with a bow and dagger. It’s a tumultuous time for Scotland, and events conspire against her. Betrayed by her family, she makes her way alone, until she lands in the lap of Saer MacLeod. But she wants no help from a savage man of the Isles.

And rivalries are deadlier than ever.

Raised on the rugged Scottish Isles, Saer MacLeod is considered fierce even by Highlander standards. He’s enchanted by the independent and headstrong Nareen. But when an old feud endangers her life, Saer’s fascination with her escalates into a ferocious desire to protect her… and claim her for himself.

 

 

 

About the Author:8_15 mary wine copy

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of erotic fantasy, romantic suspense, and historical romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives with her husband and two sons in Yorba Linda, California.

 

 

 

Website: http://www.marywine.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Wine/133965836120?ref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/207379.Mary_Wine

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Traitor’s Legacy by Beth Trissel – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $35 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?

Now enjoy an excerpt:

She dashed between them, followed by a wiry slave who made for the stables. “I am truly sorry for your violent reception at Thornton Hall and beg your forbearance,” she blurted, and flung herself at Vaughan’s feet just across from the wounded guide. “Spare my foolish brother, I beseech you.”

Hardly in a position to indulge her notions of chivalry, as he was stained with blood and constrained by the need to apply pressure to Percy’s wound, Vaughan scowled at her in bemusement. “Get up, woman. I shall consider your request.”

She raised her head and met his annoyance with a plea in her earnest gaze, like sunlight on water lilies. So clear, her hazel eyes, cast with a greenish hue, and her face was really rather pleasing. Remarkably so. What on earth was he thinking? Vaughan wrenched his attention away from the distracting girl. “Might I have clean cloth to stem the flow, Miss—”

“Monroe,” she supplied, and reached into her bodice. “Claire Monroe.”

Lovely name. Too bad it belonged to a Rebel.

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Beth-Trissel/276061290666

My Blog: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BethTrissel

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1404073285&sr=1-2-ent

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/beth-trissel?store=allproducts&keyword=beth+trissel

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How I Handle Negative Reviews by Brooklyn Ann – Guest Blog and Giveaway

A special welcome to Brooklyn Ann who is visiting as part of her virtual book tour organized by her publisher. You can see the other stops on her tour here– she’s giving away a print copy of the book at every stop (US/Canada only please). Just leave a comment or ask her a question.

How I Handle Negative Criticism
1.) Editorial:

This is the kind I find to be the most valuable. From my critque parteners to my content editor and copyeditor, these are the people who can tell me that something sucks, that way I can fix it before the readers see it. They help me cover my butt.

Of course, there are times that I disagree with a suggested change or omission, but most of the time that leads to me still making the change, or compromising and rewriting something to better express my point. Very rarely does my argument stand and the objected part of the story remains intact.

2.) People who know what I do, but don’t read books.

These ones I completely ignore. If you don’t even read books, how can you have a valid opinion on a person who does? Well, and I’m a little mistrustful of the aliterate set.

3.) People who read, but consider my genre to be “trash”

As in “Why don’t you quit writing trashy romance novels and write something good, like ___ or ____? I gotta admit, these ones still kinda irk me. For one thing, it’s kinda like trash talking cupcakes without having tried them. For another, in what universe is it okay to call someone’s livelihood “trash?” To tell someone they should quit writing what makes them happy and write something that that particular individual declares to have merit? As if you are their own personal pen-monkey? Argh!

Although I rant these things in my head, aloud, and with a serene smile, I just say, “I LIKE writing romance.” And then I drop the subject.

4.) Readers who love my genre, but hated my book.

This is the criticism that garners the most respect from me. The fact that I got any response at all tells me that the reader cared enough about my work to have an opinion. In fact I was actually pleased when a blogger went on a two page rant about how much she hated my first book. That person really cared, I really had an impact, I guess.

And for the few times that a particularly scathing comment pops up on a review site, I just comfort myself by reading the good reviews then get back to work on the next book, determined to make it the best it can be.

8_14 brooklyn book coverHe wanted her off his hands…

Vincent Tremayne, the reclusive “Devil Earl,” has been manipulated into taking rambunctious Lydia Price as his ward. As Lord Vampire of Cornwall, Vincent has better things to do than bring out an unruly debutante.

Now he’ll do anything to hold on forever

American-born Lydia Price doesn’t care for the stuffy strictures of the ton, and is unimpressed with her foppish suitors. She dreams of studying with the talented but scandalous British portrait painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence. But just when it seems her dreams will come true, Lydia is plunged into Vincent’s dark world and finds herself caught between the life she’s known and a future she never could have imagined.

 

About the Author: 8_14 brooklyn

A lover of witty Regencies and dark paranormal romance, Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new vampire series. The former mechanic turned author lives with her family in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com

 

Website: http://brooklynann.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brooklyn.ann.7

Twitter: @Brooklyn__Ann https://twitter.com/Brooklyn__Ann

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6506571.Brooklyn_Ann

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Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tera will be awarding a $10 Amazon Gift Card to THREE randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT SWC CoverWhat happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.

Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.

Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Grey’s arms and legs were on fire, burning from his very veins, blistering every nerve ending on the way out. Why was the pain tearing through his chest? He tried to hail the woman but nothing came out except a quiet groan. Was he dying? He arched his neck toward her sister. Her body was so mangled it was all but unrecognizable as human. The girl’s eyes were open, fixed, staring back at him. She was dead. Would he die, too? What was that thing? That monster?

Maybe this was all a dream. Maybe he still slept, back in his campsite a quarter of a mile away. He’d been sleeping there only a few minutes ago. Maybe he was just having a vivid night terror and he’d wake at any moment to the relief that this wasn’t real. The girl slid over to him, but he was already panting in pain. Fire in his blood burned him up.

Her mouth moved, but he couldn’t hear anything over the roaring in his ears. Like helicopter blades, the sound drowned out everything. Her lips were full, and when his vision blurred, he tried to focus on her face. She was beautiful. Tiny. Delicate like a hummingbird. Even through spilling tears, the moss green color of her eyes was clear and compelling.

Her voice overcame the screeching in his ears. “What’s your name?”

“Greyson,” he rasped. “Greyson Crawford.” Someone should know who he was. Notify Dad what had happened there in the woods of Enchanted Rock. “What’s yours?” It was getting so hard to breathe. He had to know. He’d leave the world on her name.

“Morgan. My name’s Morgan.”

About the Author:MEDIA KIT author picTera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love. A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit www.terashanley.com.

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To Tempt an Angel by Patricia Grasso – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patricia will be awarding a free eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

NOTE: this book is FREE everywhere!  Buy links are at the end of this post — why not download your own copy today?

Angelica Douglas has no idea that she’s the Countess of Melrose. What she does know is that she needs to support her family as a card shark, while finding a way to seek revenge on the men who ruined her father and sent her family spiralling down into poverty.

Robert Campbell, Marquess of Argyll, heir to the Duke of Inverary, has no idea who Angelica truly is. He just wants to watch over her and make her his mistress.

Angelica thinks Robert is simply a dashing rogue who is far too dangerous for her peace of mind. Robert thinks Angelica is an angel except when she’s being a pain in the behind.

When Robert finds out that his own father may have been one of the men who ruined Angelica’s family, he vows to keep a careful eye on her. When Angelica finds out that Robert’s father may have been one of the men responsible, she vows to stay as far away from Robert as possible. But when danger threatens, both Robert and Angelica must face the truth and let fate take the upper hand.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Towering over her, the man stood ten inches taller than her petite height of five feet, two inches.

Angelica tilted her head back to look into his black eyes.

Long moments passed. The sights and sounds and scents of the crowded Midsummer Fair disappeared as they gazed into each other’s eyes.

Recovering herself, Angelica gave him a sunny smile and produced a pair of ivory dice. She offered them to him for his inspection. Their fingers touched as he lifted the dice out of her hand; a jolt of excitement shot through Angelica, and she wondered if he felt it, too.

“I’m Robert,” he introduced himself in a husky voice. “What’s your name?”

“Angelica.”

“Are you a good angel or a bad one?” Robert teased her.

“I was wondering the same thing about you,” she answered.

He smiled at that and asked, “How much have you won today, angel?”

“Four pounds.”

“Then let’s set the stake at four pounds,” Robert suggested.

Angelica hesitated and worried her bottom lip with her small white teeth. If she lost the whole day’s earnings on one toss of the dice, her family would go hungry. But if she won, she’d have eight pounds for her day’s work. Ensuring her own victory wouldn’t be difficult, but this man frightened her in some indefinable way.

“Four pounds,” Angelica agreed, unable to resist the temptation of doubling her winnings.

“What’s your main?” Robert asked, passing her the dice without bothering to inspect them.

“Seven.” Tossing twelve or crabs was the only way to lose by choosing seven, but there was no chance of that happening with her loaded dice.

Angelica shifted the dice back and forth in her hands, as if trying to get the feel of them. When she tossed the dice, a four and a three came up.

“Let it ride,” Angelica said, casting him a side-long glance, hoping to double the eight pounds.

Robert inclined his head. He placed eight pounds down to match the eight on the table.

“Sacred sevens,” she whispered, and tossed the dice. This time a six and a one showed up.

Angelica gifted him with a sunny smile and dragged the sixteen pounds closer. Good Lord, her family could eat on this for a month. If her father didn’t steal it for drink . . .

“Do you play?” she asked him, feeling confident.

Robert fixed his dark gaze on hers, and Angelica suffered the uncanny feeling that he knew she was cheating. Then he dropped sixteen pounds on the table.

A four and a three appeared on her next throw. Angelica stared at the thirty-two pounds she’d won. “Let it ride,” she said, casting him a flirtatious smile.

Surprising her, Robert dropped thirty-two pounds on the table. Angelica tossed the dice; a five and a two appeared.

“This must be your lucky day,” Robert remarked in an amused voice. Carelessly, he dropped sixty-four pounds on the table and challenged her. “Will you let it ride, angel?”

Shocked by the size of his bet, Angelica flicked out her tongue to wet her lips. Should she meet his challenge?

 

I’m a dog person. Who lives with 10 cats. Get the picture?

My first brush with the romance genre happened in my high school junior year. I discovered Gone With the Wind and hid it behind my American history book to read during class. (The Civil War is American history.) The ambiguous ending left me dissatisfied, though. Rhett and Scarlet needed a happily-ever-after. Believing in happily-ever-afters positively screams romantic-at-heart.

On the other hand, I love murder and mayhem as much as happily-ever-after. My usual television fare is fiction and nonfiction crime shows, not love stories. Which accounts for the mysteries I sneaked into my historical romances. Now I’m trying my hand at writing a humorous mystery, sans historical and sans emphasis on the love interest. I even prepared for my mystery-in-progress by attending the local NRA’s Pistol School. Shooting pistols is great fun. I adore the .22 semiautomatics.

After graduating from high school without distinction, I earned both Bachelor and Master degrees at a state college. Again, without distinction. I held several part-time jobs during my college days: file clerk in an insurance company, long-distance telephone operator, kimono-wearing waitress in a Japanese restaurant.

And then I began my teaching career, eighteen years in the eighth grade and thirteen years at the high school. Weary with the same old routine, I decided I needed a creative outlet. So I decided to write a romance novel but only managed to talk about writing one. After five years of listening to me, a friend said to stop talking and start writing.

So I did.

I made every mistake known to man. Blunder would be a more appropriate word, but I did learn using the trial and error method. As well as studying the works of authors I admired.

After five years of writing for nothing but love, I sold my first novel. Since then, I’ve sold eighteen novels and won several awards— National Readers’ Choice Award New England Readers’ Choice Award, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice and KISS Awards, B. Dalton and Bookrak Awards for best-selling author. My novels have been translated into fifteen languages and sold in twenty countries.

If I had my life over, would I become a writer? Nope. I would enjoy being a Victoria Secret model. Perhaps in my next incarnation I won’t be too old, too short, or too unphotogenic.

www.patriciagrasso.com

https://www.facebook.com/patricia.grasso.902

BN http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-tempt-an-angel-patricia-grasso/1005102935?ean=9781927555071

Kindle http://www.amazon.com/To-Tempt-Angel-Book-Douglas-ebook/dp/B00A2WZ1IC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401151486&sr=8-1&keywords=to+tempt+an+angel

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/to-tempt-an-angel-2

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/to-tempt-angel-book-1-douglas/id576045599?mt=11

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Hidden Shadows by Lauren Hope – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MEDIA KIT HS_FinalCover_smallJenna Gregor is a busy, single mom of two, successfully overseeing a Perinatal Wing in a downtown Nashville clinic. On the surface, Jenna’s achievements are many, her future bright and promising. But in her past are secrets, sins she doesn’t want exposed. Sins someone else doesn’t want to forget, or forgive.

Just as Jenna’s life finally seems to be falling back into place after her bitter divorce—Bennett Aston can handle her sarcasm and stubbornness quite nicely—it all begins to unravel. Someone is lurking, hiding in theshadows, slowly and meticulously ruining Jenna’s well-crafted world. As threats evolve, suspicions grow, and death becomes a vivid reality, Jenna must decide whom she can trust and find her allies, before her secrets become her undoing.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Desiree sat alone in the shadows of the dimly lit room.

She was lonely, heartbroken, frustrated, but most of all, angry. It possessed her, consumed her. And it wasn’t the pure old-fashioned mad where a good long walk could blow off the steam, it was fury. The desperate kind—the kind that drove you mad and pushed you to hate.

The hate had pushed her to depression, then shoved her to obsession.

How could I have failed once more? The voice in her head sounded whiney, even to her own mind. That irritated her too.

She heaved a sigh, slouched lower in the lone chair furnishing her current home, careful that her foot did not touch the sliver of sunlight filtering through the flimsy curtain. She didn’t want any part of the light. Only darkness.

Only shadows.

She deserved them after another failure. She’d been certain her plan was foolproof. Certain that after bouncing from hospital to hospital in the last five years, she had formulated a cunning and clever plan. A plan that has yet to be executed, she mulled with a surge of annoyance.

Though execution had been her exact intent this morning when she stepped out of her dingy room.

She’d been ready. Ready and willing to take what wasn’t hers and make it become hers. But that chipper little nurse ruined it all. She’d come in just as Desiree was grabbing that beautiful newborn from her warm pink blankets and soft bed.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT lauren_hopeLauren Hope is the author of the bestselling mystery Screaming To Be Solved, and her first published work, The Shadow Series (Hidden Shadows, Chasing Shadows). Lauren creates a modern twist on the classic ‘whodunit,’ combining suspense, romance, even comedy, for intriguing, heartfelt stories.

With a background in Communication and Journalism, Lauren has sat behind the anchor’s desk and worked in the corporate world, finding her ultimate love in writing. Screaming To Be Solved was named a ‘Hot New Release’ by Amazon in 2013 and charted in the top 10 on Amazon’s international bestseller list.

She lives with her husband, daughter, and floppy-eared rescue pup in Tennessee.

Visit her at www.laurenhope.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Author.LaurenHope

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/authorlaurenhope

Buy the book at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.

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The Beauty Within by Shannon Curtis – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Shannon Curtis with us today to talk about her new release Enraptured. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a digital copy of the book.

The Beauty Within

We’ve all grown up with them – be it Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm, or even the Disney studios – fairy tales are a part of our cultural fabric. Intrinsically, we use the fairy tale model for modern stories – a likable character, seemingly insurmountable odds against a powerful foe, and then hopefully a fair and just (and happy!) ending…

8_12 Beauty and the Beast TVIn my Once Upon A Crime series, I take one of those fairy tales that I loved to listen to and read as a child, and adapt a modern romantic suspense to it, with a crossover into the Fairy Isle. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is the disparity between the male and female characters.

 

Usually the males are the Prince Charmings termined to save their particular Princess from Pure Evil. Whilst I love a Princess-In-Peril story, I must admit, I was a tomboy growing up, and I always wanted the Princess to be a little more pro-active when it came to saving her own skin. There was one tale, though, where it was the Princess who ends up saving her Prince.

Enraptured is based on one of my all-time faves, Beauty and the Beast. There have been so many re-tellings of this tale – and for a really good reason. It’s a gem. There is something about a strong heroine that will always capture my attention, and my daydreaming whimsy. Here is a gentle, kind, caring heroine who ends up risking all for her beastly beau. I also loved the strength, the steel fist within the satin glove, of this particular heroine.

My father is blind, so another attraction to this particular fairy tale is the ability of the characters to look past the obvious imperfections, the limitations – perhaps even the disabilities – to really see another’s soul. Seeing beyond the exterior to the beauty within.

Okay, and I do so love a cranky-pants hero who turns into a bumbling prat in front of his beauty.

8_12 Beauty-and-the-Beast-2012There is also the dark tortured hero that we chicks can’t seem to resist, the possibility that perhaps we might be the ones to ‘save’ his furry hide. Possibly one of the reasons why I love this tale so much is because our hero is tormented, suffering – and as a writer, I do so love to make my heroes really prove themselves to my heroines.

In Enraptured my hero, Gabriel Martin, is recovering from a gun-shot wound (so he really is that ‘wounded’ hero), and my heroine, Bella Tompkins, is his physiotherapist. Both are just a little damaged, and both really struggle with the their pain, and whilst they have their own Fairy Godmother trying to protect them, there is true evil stalking them.

Not everybody gets their Happy-Ever-After in this second installment of the Once Upon A Crime series…

Enjoy this excerpt:

He was useless, damn it. His shoulder ached constantly, he had a limited range of movement, he’d lost muscle strength and he still couldn’t feel all of his fingers. The tingling sensation in his fingers fluctuated from annoying on a good day to excruciating on a bad one.

And now he had another pest who thought she could poke and prod around, cause him more pain, just for the hell of it.

Several months after the accident, and he still couldn’t open a tin of Spam, for Pete’s sake. Just getting dressed was an ordeal that left him achy and trembling with fatigue.

‘Why don’t I make us some lunch, and then I can assess the damage to your arm and shoulder and take it from there?’ the woman said brightly.

He brushed past her and stormed out of the kitchen. ‘Screw you.’

8_12 Enraptured_Final
What happens when fairytales get the romantic suspense treatment? A cross-genre mash-up with enchanting results!

Once Upon A Crime…

Gabriel Martin was shot by his boss, and now he’s unemployed and unhappy. Furthermore, he has to deal with a continuous parade of in-home carers who just can’t seem to get his treatment right. Physiotherapist Bella Tompkins just wants to do her job in order to pay off her debts. A grumpy client is the least of her problems.

Neither of them is aware that there’s more going on than a rocky client-practitioner relationship. In the land of Fantasia, Esmerelda — Fairy Godmother Enforcer — and Rumpelstiltskin are working frantically to make sure that their beastly charge gets his fairytale ending. It should be a simple task, but nothing is ever as it seems on the Fairy Isle, where dark forces are rising, the consequences are dire, and Esmerelda has only an accident-prone fairy and an untrustworthy imp for help.

With the stakes rising ever higher, can Gabe and Bella get it together to save both their happy ending and the world?

About the Author:  8_12 Shannon_CurtisShannon Curtis has worked as a copywriter, business consultant, admin manager, customer service rep, logistics co-ordinator, dangerous goods handler, event planner, switch bitch and betting agent, and decided to try writing a story like those she loved to read when she found herself at home after the birth of her first child. Her books have been nominated finalists for Favourite Romantic Suspense for 2011 and 2012, as well as Favourite Continuing Romance Series by the Australian Romance Readers Association. Now she spends entirely too much time daydreaming about hunky heroes and malicious murders — for her books, of course! She loves reading, loves writing, and loves hearing from her readers, so visit her at www.shannoncurtis.com and say hi!

 

Buy Enraptured

Follow Shannon Curtis on Twitter

Shannon’s website

Find Shannon Curtis on Facebook

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22569083-enraptured

Product Page:

http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857991775

 

Secrets of a Heart by Samantha Garman – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card via the Rafflecopter at the end of the post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Long and Short Reviews, Samantha. Tell us about your latest release.

Charleston Heat, a contemporary romance. It was a big change from writing historical romance. It’s about an independent young woman who meets a famous drummer.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

Dandelion Dreams, which I guess could be classified as Contemporary Fiction.

What song would you choose for Karaoke?

Eye of the Tiger.

Which Star Trek or Star Wars character are you most like?

I’m an Ewok. I make a lot of weird noises and sounds.

Who would you most like to be stranding on a desert island with? Least? Why?

I’d choose to be stranded with my husband. He’s a lot of fun and into survival stuff. I’m pretty sure he’d keep me alive. Least would have to be Kim Kardashian or Rhianna. It’s a tie, I guess.

MEDIA KIT Book coverLondon, 1815. At the age of nineteen, Blaine Whitmore loses everything dear to him in a brutal assault on his family line. Left with nothing, he finds himself aboard a merchant ship sailing far from home. Years pass as a boy becomes a man, and yet no amount of time or distance will help Blaine forget all that he has lost. After ten years sailing the high seas, he is finally ready to restore the Whitmore name.

Felicity Canton is as lovely as she is penniless, and has been left to care for her three sisters while attempting to maintain a crumbling estate. With no hope for escape from her predicament, she is resigned to a peasant’s fate. She never anticipates attracting the attention of her wealthy and mysterious new neighbor, nor does she expect him to be her savior.

As Blaine searches for truth and doles out vengeance, he becomes increasingly captivated and distracted by Felicity’s beauty and inner strength. Does he dare confide in her the secrets of his heart? Will his future be as bleak as his past, or will he finally have a chance at happiness?

Enjoy an excerpt:

She took a healthy swallow of brandy, unaware of Gray’s steadfast gaze on her. “The sale of the manor will only cover the remaining debts. There will be nothing left to buy even a small cottage so that I can care for my sisters. I can provide them nothing.”

“Your father’s debts are not your fault, Felicity. The choices he made were his, and his alone.”

“Still, it is my burden to carry. Who will provide for Abby, Grace and Phoebe if I do not?” She set her glass down on the desk and took a deep breath. “We have no relatives, but I think I have found a way out of our predicament.” Gray raised his eyebrows, but said nothing. “Would you like to know what my plan is?”

He nodded. “Please, enlighten me.”

She took a deep breath and then stated, “I want to come work for you.”

“You want to what?” he asked in confusion.

“It is a perfectly reasonable request.”

“Reasonable? You are a gently-bred young lady, ill suited to menial labor.”

She sighed, crestfallen. “A paid position in a wealthy home is the best I can hope for. I can run a household. I will gladly be your housekeeper.” Gray was momentarily shocked into silence. “I have no hope for marriage. Winterbourne was my only opportunity. I have no dowry, and I come with three sisters equally destitute.”

“You could marry me,” Gray suggested slowly as if he was just coming to the conclusion himself.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author PhotoSamantha Garman currently lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. She loves Scotch, a great conversation with anyone willing to speak their mind and flannel pajamas. While yearning for a backyard and a dog, she’s decided to stay busy working on her next book, Dandelion Dreams.

Twitter: @samgarman

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