A Cowboy Christmas Miracle by Carolyn Brown – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Carolyn Brown, whose newest release A Cowboy Christmas Miracle will be released on September 6. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a copy of One Texas Cowboy Too Many.

8_31 cowboy christmas miracleIt will take a miracle bigger than the state of Texas for these two feuding families to survive the holidays!

Opposites might attract…

The Brennans and the Gallaghers put aside their one-hundred-year feud every Tuesday for their weekly poker game. This week, the stakes are sky-high. Goaded to recklessness, Declan Brennan bets one thousand dollars that he can woo the next woman to walk into the saloon. A minute later, fiery-haired Betsy Gallagher pushes through the doors. If Declan can tame this wild Gallagher, he’ll have earned every penny.

If they don’t kill each other first…

Betsy can outshoot anybody in Burnt Boot and loves ranching more than anything—until she falls for Declan. He’s fallen for her too. But when she discovers what sparked their courtship, Declan will need a Christmas miracle to save his hide—and his heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“You cowboys are free to play poker here, but you’d best remember my rules. This is neutral territory, and by damn, I can—and will—drag that shotgun out from under the counter to enforce them. So keep it civil. Understand?” Rosalie shook her finger at the lot of them.

She hadn’t owned the bar very long, but she didn’t take crap off anyone. The wrinkles around her eyes testified that she was somewhere in her fifties. The strawberry-blond hair worn in a ponytail sticking out the back of her Dallas Cowboys ball cap didn’t have a single gray strand shining in it. Neither Brennans nor Gallaghers wanted to face off with those cold, gray eyes when she was angry.

“Yes, ma’am,” Quaid said respectfully.

“Then play cards or gather up your poker chips and get on out of here.” Rosalie turned back toward the poker table. “Where’s your O’Donnell buddies? I thought this crappy feud might be on its way out when Leah Brennan married Rhett O’Donnell a few weeks ago.”

“Never!” Eli said. “As long as a Gallagher is alive, we’ll keep the feud alive to show these Brennans who’s boss.”

“That’s crazy. Why do you play poker with them?” Rosalie headed toward the jukebox. “It’s all insane anyway. Y’all go to the same church, and nowadays, your kids go to the same school. You’re all ranchers, and both families have a granny who runs things. Sounds to me like you are more alike than different.”

“It’s so sweet to beat them.” Quaid laughed. “They whine like little girls when they lose to us Brennans.”

“Y’all need to end the feud. A hundred years is long enough for folks to carry a grudge.” Rosie plugged the money into the jukebox and chose a few country tunes.

Eli chuckled. “Like that’s gonna happen in my lifetime.”

Declan glanced over at Eli. “Lay out the rules if there are any. If not, let’s finish this game and wait for some old gal to come through the door so Tanner can get on with the business of falling in love with her.”

Eli nodded. “Rule number one: you have a month to make her fall in love with you and get her into bed. It can’t be a one-night stand. I’ll even give you a few extra days since Thanksgiving is next week and you’ll be busy on the ranch.”

Declan held up a palm. “Whoa, hoss! You’re already talking like I’ve lost this game. The rules are supposed to be for both of us.”

Eli flashed a go-to-hell look across the table. “You have until the week before Christmas. Tanner will want to take his winnings and do some shopping with them. And I’m the one making the rules, so don’t be yelling at me. Rule number two: it has to be a woman you’ve never dated before. Rule number three: just to make it interesting, it really does have to be the next woman who walks into this bar so that all four of us know who it is, and you can’t lie to us about having never dated her.”

“So.” Declan checked the calendar on his phone. “Friday, December 18, one of us has to be dating, have slept with, and made the next woman who comes through the doors fall in love with him. And how does Tanner prove to you that he did all that? He could just lie and take my money. After all, that’s what a Gallagher would do.”

“She has to tell it all over town,” Tanner said.

“What if she doesn’t kiss and tell?” Declan asked.

“If you are that irresistible, she’ll be bragging all over town that she’s snagged you,” Tanner said through clenched teeth.

“Okay, you’re on. If you win this hand, I’ll take that bet. And not a one of us around this table can tell anyone about the bet. It has to be a secret, and if it gets out, then all bets are off.”

Quaid threw up his palms. “You’re all crazy. What if the woman who comes through those doors is fifty years old and chews tobacco?”

Tanner shrugged. “A bet is a bet. Hope you like older women, Declan. Thursday night’s pickin’s are pretty slim here.”

There was no way a Gallagher was going to beat a Brennan in poker. “I’ll be glad to take your money tonight and at Christmas. I heard the crunch of wheels out there in the parking lot, so get ready to meet your woman, Gallagher.”

Tanner fanned out a royal flush. “I reckon at Christmas you’ll have to shell out more, but this pot is right fine for now. And I just heard that truck door slam out there in the parking lot, so get ready to meet your date, Declan Brennan. Remember, it’s a secret, Eli and Quaid. Anyone tells, and this town will see the feud fire up hotter than it’s been since your family started it.”

“We didn’t start anything. Y’all did.” Declan said a prayer as he glanced toward the door.

Tanner’s cocky little grin faded, and his face looked like someone had smeared ashes all over it when the door opened. Eli’s eyes came close to popping out of his head and rolling across the floor, and Quaid sucked all the oxygen out of the air in one big gulp. Declan felt as if he’d just been struck by lightning straight from God’s hand.

“You are a dead man, Tanner,” Eli whispered.

Quaid exhaled so hard that it whistled through his teeth. “And so are you, Declan. Granny Mavis will kill you if you go after her.”

“A bet is a bet. And a Brennan does not run from a fight,” Declan said.

Sweet Jesus in heaven. Declan had been in love with Betsy since they were kids in the same Sunday school class. He might have lost the poker match, but here was his chance, and the Gallaghers couldn’t do jack shit about it. Poor old Tanner had just set the whole thing up on a silver platter and handed him the rights to the whole thing. Talk about luck—Declan had lost the money on the table, but he’d been given the rights to Betsy Gallagher.

“Let’s call it off,” Eli said. “Just pretend it never happened and walk out of here.”

All eyes went to Tanner.

“Gallaghers don’t run either,” he murmured.

About the Author: NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author and RITA Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than seventy books. These days she is concentrating on her two loves: women’s fiction and contemporary cowboy romance. She and her husband, a retired English teacher, make their home in southern Oklahoma.

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

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Prodigal Son by Lisa Beth Darling – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lisa will be awarding a digital copy of Prodigal Son to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stop on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_ProdigalSonIn the final installment of the Sister Christian Series, the Court has demanded a hearing regarding Hannah’s capacity. Hannah and Nick are falling deeper and deeper in love. Looking forward to a bright future together they begin planning their life together. A shadowy stranger from the past has set his sights on Hannah and her 3.5 million dollar trust fund. Is he really Rick MacNeill, the son Hannah thought died in the terrible fire at Saint Anne’s? Is he someone sinister? The last of the family secrets come to light in this roller coaster ride of suspense, love, betrayal, and faith.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Walking up the front walk to the small house, Mason slid his key into the outer door, “A date with Spaulding, what’s next? You gonna let him and Jackson fight over you after school?” Once inside he threw his keys on the desk and then started sorting through the mail. “What the–? Geez, I hate junk mail.” He threw an envelope with the E*Trade logo on it into the trash still thinking of how his sister may be on the verge of having a better romantic life than he’d had in decades.

“Oh, no,” Hannah dove for it as though he’d tossed it into flames. “This . . .this. . .isn’t garbage.” She stuttered picking it up and dusting it off to hold out to him.

“I don’t have an E*Trade account.” Mason countered. “Of course it’s garbage.”

“Well, now, don’t be so hasty.”

“Hasty? What?” Hannah took him by the arm and led him over to the couch where she sat him down. “What’s going on, Hannah?”

Hannah was nervous and she didn’t quite know how to explain but she did her best. “I wanted to do something nice for you, to thank you for all you’ve done for me. So, well, here.” She handed him the envelope. “Open it.”

With somewhat of a sinking feeling Mason opened the envelope to find the check. “What the hell is this? Where did you get this money?”

“Don’t be angry.” Hannah got up and retrieved the motorcycle magazines she’d brought him while he was in the hospital from the desk. “I know you want a new bike and that’s exactly enough money for the one you picked out.” She gave him the magazines.

“You’re buying me. . .a motorcycle?” Mason was so stunned he found it very difficult to get the words from his head to his throat. “Are you serious?”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ProdigalSonLisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of 30 years, Roy and is mother to their two daughters. She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books. When she’s not writing she likes to garden and is an avid movie buff.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Character Interview with Wade Kelly – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Wade Kelly, who is visiting us with a special interview! Take it away, Wade.

Well, Wade Kelly fans, the next installment in the JOCK Series it out! Yes, indeed. My newest novel, Back Off! That’s My Jock can be found HERE.

8_30 wade kelly BackOffThatsMyJockFS

Not a fan? Never heard of my books? Then let me introduce myself!

My name is Wade Kelly and I’ve been published with Dreamspinner Press since 2009, but I’ve been writing as Wade Kelly since 2011 when I wrote the novel When Love is Not Enough. You can visit my website to learn more about me.

Wade: I’m here with one of the characters from the first book in this series, Cole Reid. Cole has had smaller roles in the last two books, but he is still one of my favorite characters of all time. If you’ve following this blog tour, you’ve probably noticed I’ve done a number of character interviews where the characters ask ME questions. I hope it’s been fun and entertaining.

Welcome Cole. I’m glad you could come by and chat.

Cole: Yes, because chatting is something I do so well.

Wade: Oh, come on. We all know you are not as much of a sourpuss as you like to pretend. Falling in love with Ellis had to have changed you a little bit.

Cole: Falling in love has made me question my sanity on more than one occasion. But, yeah, I’m not exactly the same guy I was years ago. *faint smile* Ellis has… he’s given me… I don’t think I can put into words what he’s done to my heart. Can we get on with the interview? I’m not used to being so candid in public. Tell me, did you enjoy transforming a cynical fatalist into a mushy love kitten?

Wade: *coughs and spews water from nose* What?

Cole: *clears throat* What I meant is, did you enjoy writing me as a grouchy person, just so you could alter how I think later on? Is that something you writers do to destroy perfectly happy curmudgeons?

Wade: As a matter of fact, yes! I like pairing up opposites because sometimes a person/character needs someone to balance them out. The “opposites attract” trope is a favorite of mine, and the jock/nerd is classic.

Cole: I’ll try not to take offense at being called a nerd, since I understand what you mean. Have you written this “opposites attract” theme in other books?

Wade: Yes. In Names Can Never Hurt Me I have a twink-type hotty hook up with his exact body-type opposite. In When Love is Not Enough and The Cost of Loving there is an artist and a firefighter, and in Bankers’ Hours I feature a proper & pedantic banker with a tough, ex-navy auto-mechanic. I like mixing things up and forcing the main character of a story to change. I think Nick Jones in Names Can Never Hurt Me has the best character arc of all the characters I’ve written. Even you, Cole, didn’t change as much as Nick. I see character growth as something very important to a story, even if they only grow a little. However, as much as I love the opposites attracting, my newest book Back Off! That’s My Jock is not about opposites. They are both soccer players who have a lot in common. The only thing opposite is…. well, maybe I won’t give it all away.

Cole: Where did you come up with the idea for my character and my T-shirts?

Wade: A guy I knew years ago was a physics major and he wore all kinds of funny shirts. I made yours all sciency, but your character was loosely based on a real person, though he’s not as dour as you.

Cole: Thank you. I appreciate the bitterness you wrote into my personality. It seems more realistic. Not everyone can be sunshine and rainbows. I prefer black clouds and smog.

Wade: Which makes you unique. If any readers out there haven’t read JOCK 1, My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! I recommend you read that one first before you jump into the others. And don’t forget I wrote a free short titled: Oh, Crap! This Jock’s Getting Married. Visit All Romance eBooks for a copy or email me.

Cole: Since you love interfering in my perfectly organized world, I want to thank you for not destroying my house when Ellis had the soccer team over. It’s nice to know a bunch of energetic athletes can be well behaved and respectful. Do you plan to have them visit me again?

Wade: Of course I do. Ellis is a soccer coach. I think you knew what you were getting into when you married him. Soccer is a part of who you fell in love with. Since Ellis loves his team, you know they will be by again for some shenanigans. But I will try to let you have some fun too. Not all parties will turn out like the impromptu pre-Christmas party Rob threw in your apartment in your senior year of college.

Cole: Rob. Somehow that guy comes in a turns everything upside down. When will it be his turn?

Wade: I guess you’ll have to stick around and wait for JOCK 4. We get a hint of what’s to come in JOCK 3.

Cole: Is there a character you wrote that you don’t like and would not get along with in real life?

Wade: Joan from When Love is Not Enough. Jimmy’s mother was awful. I would not like her in real life. In truth, she is loosely based on someone I KNOW in real life. Jimmy committed suicide. And sadly, a friend of mine committed suicide a couple years after my book was published. He knew nothing of my book, yet it almost foreshadowed his death. This type of tragedy is why I write to begin with. In my new book, JOCK 3, my character Sam could have been one of those people if I had written him a little differently. There ARE people like JOAN, and like Sam’s dad, who crush their children with hatred. I want to stop this from happening. I want to love and support those who grow up with hatred surrounding their sexuality. I hate that suicide happens because of it.

Cole: Thank you. My life may be good now, but it wasn’t always so. I think if I’d have had support when I was younger, I may not have been so bitter for so long. Meeting Ellis really did change me. Everyone needs someone to love them; even if it is from a friend or a neighbor. No one should be alone.

Wade: Exactly. *sighs* This little chat has gone on long enough. I think I’ll end it here. Thank you for indulging me. For the readers, here’s the blurb for Back Off! That’s My Jock.

8_30 wade kelly BackOffThatsMyJockFSDefining his sexuality didn’t make sense until his best friend spelled it out.

Doug Archer did some pretty idiotic things in the first eight weeks of his junior year of college. First, he kissed his gay best friend, and second, he kissed a guy he’d mistaken for a girl. Not stellar moments for Doug. If he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his spot on the soccer team to the new freshman, or worse, he might misconstrue his new friend Rob’s overly affectionate tendencies for flirting. But if Doug isn’t bothered by another guy’s attention, and he normally dates girls, does that mean he’s gay or bisexual?

Sam Garber suppressed his same-sex attraction his entire life. His father told him it was immoral, and Sam did everything he could to bury his feelings. However, after meeting Doug at a party and kissing him, Sam can’t think of anything else. He decides dating girls is the best way to keep his secret hidden. With playoffs in sight, this is no time to think about guys in any other context than soccer. Only, neither boy anticipates the difficulty in suppressing his attraction for another jock!

Wade: If you are looking for more fun, here are the other stops of this blog tour. Remember to comment:

July 27thCaraway Carter’s Wednesday Walkabout

August 1stJeff and Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

August 17th2 Chicks Obsessed

August 19thPrism Alliance

August 22ndLove Bytes Reviews

August 24th – Ashley John’s blog

August 25th – Dreamspinner Press’ Blog

August 26th – Release Day! I’m on Elisa Rolle’s blog

August 29TH – Joyfully Jay

August 30th – Long & Short Reviews

August 31st – TTC Books & More

September 2nd – MM Good Book Reviews

As for the giveaways… I, Wade Kelly, will be giving away one GRAND PRIZE (items listed below) and three runner up prizes of a $10 gift card for Amazon. What you need to do is leave a comment. ALL comments are logged for a chance at the prizes. ONLY those who leave a comment on ALL eleven blog stops will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. Last time I think there were 15 people in the Grand Prize drawing.

Note: If we’ve never chatted and you aren’t on Facebook, it is a good idea to leave an e-mail address because I need to know how to reach you. If I can’t, and I reply to your comment on the blog post that you’ve won but don’t hear from you, I have to give the prize to the next person on my list. Each comment gets you a chance in the drawing. If you leave one on each, that is eleven entries PLUS you are listed in the Grand Prize drawing. For a reminder of the rules, and where I’m stopping next, visit my blog post HERE.

Grand Prize includes all of the following:
1) One of my famous spoons in the colors of your choice
2) A $10 gift card from Amazon
3) One paperback signed from my back list (Not counting JOCK 3)
4) An e-book copy of JOCK 4, when it comes out.
5) And last, but not least, a soccer jersey for the player of your choice from the players in JOCK 3. (I’ll list them on my website along with pictures of the jerseys. They come in adult S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, & 4XL)

So there you go. If you have any questions, please let me know. Comment here or email me: writerwadekelly @gmail.com.

About the Author: 8_30 wade kelly Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.31.09 AMWade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.

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Meant to Be Mine by Lisa Marie Perry – Spotlight and Giveaway

8_30 perry Meant to Be Mine_Launch Day Blitz BANNER

This post is part of a virtual book tour to celebrate the release today of Meant to Be Mine by Lisa Marie Perry. Enter to win a copy of the book.

8_30 Perry_MeanttobeMine_MMSofia Mercer may have been sick as a teen, but she’s no delicate flower. And she’s proven it by making it on her own and starting a new life away from the town that turned against her, away from the boy who broke her already fragile heart. But when her aunt Luz dies unexpectedly, leaving Sofia with a mountain of regrets and the keys to a quirky boutique, Sofia has no choice but to return to Cape Cod. Only, this new life in her old town comes with complications.

Burke Wolf was Sofia’s first love—a relationship that burned bright and went up in flames. Seeing him again, Sofia can’t help but get caught up in that all-too-familiar tornado of passion and pain. He’s battled his own demons—that much is clear. But Sofia can’t afford to be careless with her heart . . . and loving Burke again might just break it completely.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

She hid her scar behind her clothes, hid her sexual hunger behind mannequins in a window, but eventually, he would bring Sofia Mercer out of hiding.

Their lips parted and he traced a finger between her breasts, up the jagged trail of thick, knotted scar tissue. He wanted to see it, assure her it wasn’t ugly, but he’d given his word that he wouldn’t look, and he would kick his own ass before he violated that trust.

“It doesn’t feel ugly,” he said plainly. “I’ve got scars, too.”

“From fighting. This is different.”

What had she been imagining, all these years? Schoolyard brawls? A teenage fight club? Did she define him as someone so out of control that he’d gone searching for split lips, black eyes, and fractured ribs?

Yeah, it was different. Her scar was a result of a lifesaving medical procedure . . . not violence.

Laying his hand flat, he felt her heart pound quick and strong. Caught up in the moment, caught up in her, he whispered, “Losing you would’ve killed me.”

He felt her slip away from him before she moved a single muscle. When she did retreat, sliding off his lap, fixing her clothes, and raking an arm across her mouth, she said, “I told Abram we weren’t together. Was that a lie? Can we be together, Burke?”

“Casually, yeah. As friends, of course. But don’t rope me into more. It wouldn’t be good for you.”

“That’s not your call.”

“It is, though. Tell me something and be truthful about it. How many panic attacks have you had since coming back to town?”

“A few.”

“Uh-huh. And how many came on when I wasn’t near you?”

“Uh . . .”

“Sofia.”

“None.”

“That’s my point. Think it’s a coincidence that your health teeters when I’m around? I’m harmful to you. I’ve known for a long time that I’m no good.” She didn’t know all the hell he carried. He’d do anything to spare her heart the burden of his skeletons.

“Stop it,” she whispered, getting to her feet. “You’d never hurt me.”

“Not intentionally, but the fact is I trigger something in you that you can’t physically handle. I meant what I said earlier—it would kill me to lose you. As much as I want you, and damn it, you know I do, I can’t keep putting you at risk.”

“Are you sure my health isn’t your excuse to justify walking away?” she challenged. “Hold me off, resist what’s good and real and permanent, then take off on your boat. That’s your plan, right?”

“It’s worked out nicely for years. You wouldn’t be the first woman to step back because she can’t handle my career. It’s dangerous, the hours can be shitty, and sometimes I can be on the water for weeks. I’d never ask you or anyone else to shut up and like it. If you want to bail now, I won’t hold it against you.”

“That does terrify me, but I’m not bailing. A career is one thing. Escape is something else altogether. I don’t think I can love you halfway—either I’m all in or I fold.”

Excerpted from MEANT TO BE MINE by Lisa Marie Perry. Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marie Perry. Used with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

About the Author: 8_30 PerryMEANTTOBEMINELisa MarieLisa Marie Perry encounters difficult fictional men and women on a daily basis. She writes sizzling, deep fiction featuring flawed heroes brought to their knees by the love of complicated women. She has received high praise from USA Today and has been nominated for an RT Book Reviews literary award. She lives in America’s heartland, drives a truck, enjoys indie rock, collects Medieval literature, watches too many comedies, has a not-so-secret love for lace and adores rugged men with a little bit of nerd.

For laughs, randomness and occasional inappropriateness, visit LMP at www.PerryTaleBooks.com.

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When a Marquis Chooses a Bride by Ella Quinn – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ella will be awarding a Signed ARC of When A Marquis Chooses a Bride (US ONLY) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_WhenAMarquisChoosesABrideThanks to their large extended family and unconventional courtship, the Worthingtons have seen their share of scandal and excitement. But nothing has prepared them for this…

The Dowager Lady Worthington isn’t quite sure what to make of country-girl Dorothea Stern. As the granddaughter of the Duke of Bristol, Dotty is schooled in the ways and means of the nobility. But her sharp wit and outspoken nature has everyone in a tizzy. Especially their cousin, Dominic, the Marquis of Merton.

Prematurely stuffy, Dom was raised by his cheerless uncle to be wary of a host of things, including innovation, waltzing, and most perilous of all: true love. Still, there’s something about Dotty, beyond her beauty, that Dom cannot resist. But the odds are against him if he intends to win her as his bride. Will he choose loyalty to his family—or risk everything for the one woman he believes is his perfect match…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Kimbal,” Dom called to his valet.

“Yes, my lord.”

“I shall be dining at White’s.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Dom scribbled a note to his friend Viscount Fotherby asking if he would like to join Dom for dinner. By the time he was dressed and had donned his hat, Fotherby’s answer affirming the invitation had arrived.

A short while later, just as a light sprinkle turned into a persistent rain, Dom handed his hat and cane to the footman at White’s and found his friend lounging in the room that held the club’s famous betting book. William Alvanley, another of Dom’s friends, was seated next to the window with another man staring intently at the rain.

He turned to Fotherby. “What are they doing?”

“Five thousand quid on which raindrop will reach the bottom of the sill first.”

Despite being close with many of the Prince Regent’s circle, Dom could not abide the excessive wagers his friends made. Alvanley would end up ruining himself and his estates at the rate he was going. “Are you ready to dine, or are you waiting the outcome?”

“Famished.” Fotherby tossed off his glass of wine. “Thought you weren’t coming to Town this year.”

“My plans changed.” Dom and Fotherby entered the dining room. “I have decided to take a wife.”

“Wife?” Fotherby choked. “Any idea who?”

“Not yet, but I have a list of qualifications. She must be well-bred, not given to fits of temper or strange starts, quiet, biddable, easy to look at—I must get an heir on her after all—know what is expected of a marchioness. And not prone to scandals. You know how my uncle hated them. I think that about covers it.”

“A paragon, in other words.”

Dom gave a cut nod. “Indeed. I could wed no one less.”

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

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

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Last Kiss of Summer by Marina Adair – Spotlight and Giveaway

8_30 Adair Last Kiss Of Summer Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of the first book in Marina Adair’s new Destiny Bay series, Last Kiss of Summer. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

8_30 Adair_LastKissofSummer_MMHe’s one bad apple she just can’t resist…

Kennedy Sinclair never dreamed she’d own a pie shop and an orchard in a small town like Destiny Bay. But nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s the perfect place to cross something off her “Life’s short so eat the icing first” list and start her life over from scratch. Her shop, Sweetie Pies, is famous for its hot, flaky apple turnovers and sinfully delicious deep dish pie. For Kennedy though, nothing is more enticing than the tall, strapping slice of temptation who keeps coming back for more.

Luke Callahan is determined to make his hard cider business a success. With his beloved father’s cider recipe and the opportunity of a lifetime in his grasp, he’ll stop at nothing to get this deal done. There’s just one catch: he needs Kennedy’s apples. At first, he thinks it’ll be as easy as pie to charm those apples right off her trees. But Kennedy isn’t falling for his tender charms or his wicked ways. When the negotiations start heating up, so do the feelings they have for each other. And it takes just one kiss to seal the deal…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Kennedy rested her elbows on the counter and leaned forward. “You cook, clean, and make house calls? Be still, my heart.”

“I aim to please.” He dried off his hands and brought two steaming mugs of coffee to the counter. “Which is why I was trying to be quiet, so you could get another few minutes of sleep, before I surprised you in bed.” He grinned. It was a wicked grin. “Again.”

Luke had done more than surprise her last night; he’d spoiled her for other men. Sure, he was an incredible lover, but it was the tender moments in between that made her nervous.

This thing between them couldn’t last. She knew that. She also understood that if he was looking for something more permanent, she wouldn’t be the kind of woman to inspire that kind of commitment. She was unable to do it with her perfect match, or even her own mother. The one person who was supposed to love her unconditionally. Which left Kennedy painfully afraid that she was missing that elusive quality that led to forever.

Finding out that she was right, that she was unlovable, from a man who obviously had an incredible capacity to love, as she’d seen with his friends and family, would be too painful to survive. So she took the moment for what it was, committing to memory the warm aroma of the coffee, the way the sun cast a glassy haze over the kitchen, and the sleepy expression on his face that made him look softer. More relaxed. Like this was where he was supposed to be.

In this kitchen—with her.

Kennedy was becoming more attached—she could feel it. The way he treated her, the way he made her feel, even the way he looked at her, like right now, as if she were special. Which made her feel special.

About the Author:

Author Marina Chappie seen outside her Santa Cruz, Calif. home, Friday February 17, 2012. (Photo by Tosh Tanaka)

Author Marina Chappie seen outside her Santa Cruz, Calif. home, Friday February 17, 2012. (Photo by Tosh Tanaka)

Marina Adair is a #1 National bestselling author of romance novels and holds a Master of Fine arts in creative writing. Along with the Sugar, Georgia series, she is also the author the St. Helena Vineyard series, and her new Heroes of St Helena series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.

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Winner Takes All by Erin Kern – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour celebrating the release today of Winner Take All by Erin Kern. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a copy of the book.

8_30 kern Winner Takes All Cover ImageMoney. Fame. Endorsements. Blake Carpenter had it all—before his professional football career spiraled out of control. Determined to rebuild his life, he takes on coaching the high school team in his Colorado hometown. Despite a few fumbles, Blake knows he can lead these boys to victory. As long as he can keep his eyes on the prize and off the team’s distractingly gorgeous physical therapist.

Annabelle Turner knows all about the scandal that cost Blake his NFL career, and she’ll be damned if she’s going to let his mistakes hurt her team. What she doesn’t count on is the intense attraction that turns every heated run-in they have into a wildly erotic competition. Point by point, play by play, kiss by kiss, they try to keep things professional for the good of the team. But when the score is this close—and the passion this fierce—it’s anybody’s game . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The parking lot was almost empty as Blake left the field-house after the team’s win. He strolled toward his truck, keys dangling from one hand and his gym bag in the other. As he approached, he noticed a figure leaning against the driver’s side door.

A petite, luscious figure in a pair of tight jeans and a Blanco Valley High hooded-sweatshirt.

Just the sight of Annabelle turned his body on high alert. Over the past week, Blake hadn’t been able to get their kiss out of his mind. Not only the feel of her lips pressed to his, but how perfectly her body fit with his. Each one of her curves had molded seamlessly against his harder and bigger one, as though they were two pieces of the same puzzle.

And look at him with all the lame metaphors.

Blake approached the truck, twirling his keys around in his hand. Because if he didn’t keep them busy, he’d yank her away from the door and kiss her again.

“Hi,” she greeted when he stopped in front of her.

He tossed his bag in the bed of the truck. “Hey,” he replied. “You’re here awfully late.”

“I wanted to hang around and congratulate some of the kids. You guys played a good game tonight,” she told him.

“Thanks.” And why did her praise have to mean so much to him? The parents and the school district was what mattered. Not some hazel-eyed opinionated goddess.

Annabelle scraped the toe of her tennis shoe along the ground. And for some reason Blake found the movement endearing.

He was turning into such a pussy.

“Blake,” she said on a sigh. She pushed away from the truck and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry,” she told him. “About before.”

“For what?” he wanted to know. “The kiss or the apology?”

She blinked at him and inhaled a deep breath. “For the way I acted afterward,” she clarified. “To be completely honest, I’m not sorry for kissing you. I thought that maybe…” Her words trailed off. “I thought I had taken you off guard and acted inappropriately. I didn’t want you to think I was being too forward. The sorry just kind of popped out before I could think.”

Blake pocketed his keys. “You did take me off guard. But that didn’t mean I didn’t like it as much as you did. I think we both know I did.” She’d been pressed up against him hard enough to feel the evidence between his thighs.

As though sensing his thoughts, Annabelle’s gaze dropped down, lingering long enough to elicit a reaction. “I think it’s safe to say we both liked it. A lot,” she added. “Probably too much, actually.”

“And how much is too much?” Because that was part of his confusion.

One of her shoulders moved. “To be honest, I’m not sure. I’m still trying to figure that one out.”

“Maybe we should try it again, just to see,” he suggested.

About the Author:8_30 kern Author Photo - Erin KernErin was born in Houston, TX. but spent the majority of her life in the Bay Area. She married her high school sweetheart and began her writing career while being a stay-at-home mom to her daughter.

Her first book, Looking for Trouble, was on the Amazon top 100 for four months, and on the indiereads.com top ten for four weeks. The second book in the Trouble series, Here Comes Trouble, was also a top seller on Amazon. Erin currently lives in North Texas with her husband and two children.

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Fatal Courage by Misty Evans – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour to celebrate the release of Fatal Courage, the latest book by Misty Evans. Check out the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC.

FC for WebsiteHe ruined her career…

In twenty-one missions, CIA golden girl Ruby McKellen has failed only once. Thanks to Navy SEAL Jaxon Sloan, the man who stole her heart and forced her to choose between him and her partner Elliot, she’s on probation and Elliot is in prison for national security crimes. To prove Elliot’s innocence and save her damaged career, Ruby is running an unsanctioned mission—but the only way to get the proof she needs is to go to Jax with her tail between her legs.

She wrecked his heart…

Jaxon left the Navy after the mission with Ruby in Morocco went south, but that one hot, unbelievable night with her will haunt him forever. Working for Shadow Force International now, his new assignment has brought him full circle—the CIA operative Jax’s testimony sent to prison has escaped and Jax has been ordered to hunt him down. Just like in Morocco, the one thing standing in his way is Ruby.

A second chance at love could prove fatal…

When Ruby’s life is threatened and Jax stumbles on information that might prove Elliot is innocent, guilt over putting the man in prison compels him to join her unsanctioned mission. What really happened that night six months ago? Is Elliot an honorable spy or a mastermind at manipulation? Ruby is the only one who can help Jax navigate the world of undercover lies and betrayal to find the truth.

In a battle of wills—and of hearts—Jax and Ruby must have the courage to face the truth about themselves, their past, and what it really means to betray someone you love.

About the Author: Misty Evans PhotoUSA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

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LASR Anniversary: Victoria Pitts Caine

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Growing Succulents

My new passion is growing succulents. Last year I made a succulent wall out of concrete bricks, stacked just right to expose the center hole, filled it with potting soil and I had an easy care garden. My front porch holds a very large and very old Jade plant.

Succulents are also known as fat leaves since they store their moisture in various parts of the plant. There are sixty different plants families including succulents and they do well in a hot, dry climate which is what we experience a good six months of the year.

If grown indoors, they need five to six hours of sunlight and don’t go with the temptation to overwater. You need a well-draining container and they’re less happy in glass. They prefer 70 to 80 degrees, so if you’re comfortable, they probably are, too.

This year for my spring birthday and Mother’s Day, I received a basket of succulents and a box of succulent starters. Since the starters were routed from California to the vendor on the east coast and then back again, I was worried they’d survive. They also sat in a delivery van and the little box was hot when I received it. I busily got them planted, hoping they’d endure their ordeal. Thankfully they did, and I have a beautiful planter to keep my other succulents happy at the entryway.

I have been told you can water them and ignore them, probably why I do so well. Did you know the best thing for succulents is a spray bottle? Spritz and forget.

Cairo_Cover_medLiz McCran and Donnie Barnes travel to Cairo, Egypt, in search of Addie and Gary Wright, who were asked to deliver a mysterious envelope. Within days of their arrival, the couple has vanished. When Liz locates the Wright’s contact, Mr. Moustafa, she receives the first of several riddles.

Rayhan Shenouda, an Egyptian working at the American Embassy, agrees to help but his desire is to win Liz’s heart. Following his traditional customs, and much to her surprise, he proposes within days of their meeting.

Will the Wright’s be found? Can Rayhan and Liz’s love withstand an inevitable collision of cultures and customs? Or will it all end at the hands of a nomad insurgent named Ahmad?

About the Author:Victoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from: Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel published in 2007.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.

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LASR Anniversary: Carolyn Haley

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Gardening

The first gardening mistake I made when we moved to rural Vermont 17 years ago was thinking that perennials are something you plant once and enjoy forever.

Ohhhhhh no. Oh-ho-ho-no.

Well, in some cases it’s true—we’ve got peonies, for example, that came with the place and must be decades old—but the very fact that perennials stay in the ground makes them subject to seemingly endless variables, all exacerbated by the seemingly endless microclimates that characterize the region in general and our yard in particular.

I knew going in that some perennials, such as gladioli, are sensitive and must be brought indoors for the winter then reestablished in the spring. So I skipped those. I also knew that some perennials, such as most everything in the mint family, are invasive and must be either contained or planted where they can run amok. So I avoided those, too.

Then went on to plant my favorite species, since our well-established perennials represented a previous homeowner’s taste. Pretty much everything I put in failed within 1-3 years, while the established plants flourished. Huh?

I can divide or transplant the established perennials with shocking brutality and they just keep going like Energizer Bunnies, but my carefully selected, carefully tended new perennials just don’t last. Heck, I’m the only person I’ve ever met who can’t keep daffodils!

Even after I got smart and started planting only Zone 3–hardy specimens (learned from cataloguing everything established and finding that to be the common denominator), I still lose the new ones. Or else they shrink back in number to a few feeble survivors that keep returning enough to keep giving me false hope.

The experience has taught me a lot about the dominance of microclimates over zone maps, the difference between reproductive techniques, and perennial vs. diennial growth patterns. It also clarified the definition of “partial sunlight.” The thing that surprises me year after year, however, is the fact that some perennials move.

It’s a creepy thought that nags at me during the winter. While the land is frozen for months, somewhere below my feet there are tendrils reaching out, or seeds that fell over the summer, which will result in plants emerging somewhere other than where I put them. Thus I’ve had grape hyacinths and glory-of-the-snows pop up in the middle of the lawn. Thus I’ve had a crocus appear even though I never planted one. Thus the horseradish emerged in the woods 30 yards away from its calculated placement, the phlox choked out a complete garden, the lupines stepped sideways two feet, and the bee balm took over the compost pile.

These plants behave, in fact, like certain weeds. Heck, perennials are weeds, if you consider this definition: “What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it” (E. J. Salisbury, The Living Garden, 1935). In my yard, some perennials are invasive weeds—like the nightmare phlox, along with lilacs, anything in the rose family, and lily of the valley, which to me is as pernicious as grass. I have come to hate grass, which grows like a metastisizing cancer where you do not want it and refuses to grow where you do.

What this all adds up to is a three-part lesson: (1) Do thorough homework before you plant perennials. (2) Be prepared to monitor them closely and manage them regularly. (3) Make sure you put clumpers in the garden and movers somewhere they can spread.

Else you’ll discover that perennials are actually annuals, because you’ll be reinventing your yard and garden every year!

IntotheSunrise_w9422_300On one day in 1975, Linny Eagan loses her job, her beloved, and her dream of becoming an equestrian champion. So she adjusts her dream to include only horses, since unlike men they can never betray her.

While recovering on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, after a fall in a show, she meets Con Winston, trail leader at a stable. Con dreams of being a cowboy artist on a Montana ranch, but must play family head-games with his father until his twenty-fifth birthday, when he will inherit a fortune that will actualize his dream.

Though Linny needs love and money, she needs independence more. With neither of them willing to abandon their dreams, they continue in opposite directions despite a perfect match of heart and mind. Only Con’s horse connects them, until distance proves that pursuit of a dream needs love to sustain it.

About the Author:Carolyn Haley is a writer, editor, and reviewer living in rural Vermont. Through her business, DocuMania, she writes magazine articles and commercial copy, while helping book authors through editing, production, and education. She is author of The Aurora Affair, a metaphysical romance, and Open Your Heart with Gardens, a primer about interacting with the living green world.

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