A Small-Town Bride by Hope Ramsay – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes USA Today bestselling author Hope Ramsay, who is visiting with us to celebrate the release tomorrow of her newest book A Small-Town Bride. It’s the second book in here Chapel of Love contemporary romance series about a small-town wedding chapel is perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, and Sherryl Woods. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Top 5 Favorite Spring Activities
I love the Spring, it’s my favorite season. So paring down the list to just five things is hard. But I’ll try:

5. Planting the annuals in my front flower bed. I go to the nursery every year on Mother’s day and select bedding plants for my yard. It’s a wonderful way to spend a late spring day.

4. Going to the Winchester, Virginia Apple Blossom Festival.

3. Sitting under the Wisteria vine in my back yard when it’s in full bloom, usually in April. There is nothing like dining alfresco under the vine, drinking a glass of wine and drinking in the sweet smell of the wisteria.

2. Baseball’s opening day on (or around) April 1. In my opinion the opening day of the baseball season should be a national holiday. And I ought to mention that some years I have made the trip to Florida to catch spring training games. Ah, now that’s heaven.

1. Visiting the cherry blossoms on the tidal basin in downtown DC. I’m so lucky to live in the nation’s capital and can enjoy the cherry trees every year.

Amy Lyndon is tired of being the Poor Little Rich Girl of Shenandoah Falls. In her prominent family, she’s the ordinary one – no Ivy League education and no powerful career. But when her father tries to marry her off, she knows it’s finally time to stand up for herself, despite the consequences. Now that she’s cut off from the family fortune, her first challenge is to fight her attraction to her handsome new boss.

When Amy shows up looking for work with his landscaping crew, Dusty McNeil thinks there’s no way such a pampered princess will ever get her hands dirty. But as Amy proves him wrong and gets down to the nitty gritty, Dusty’s admiration turns to like, then lust – and then love. But can a high-society woman like Amy ever fall for a man like him?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Hon, are you all right? You’ve been in there a while, and I . . . ”

Amy opened the door. “I’m fine.” Her voice wobbled. She would not ask to borrow the phone. There had to be another way.

“No, I don’t think so,” Gracie said. “You come out and have your eggs and bacon.”

Oh crap. What was she supposed to do now?

“I . . . I . . . don’t. I mean I can’t . . . ” She let go of a long, trembling breath. “Daddy locked me out of the house yesterday and told me I had to marry Grady Carson. Then he took all the money out of my checking account. And I probably should call Grady, but I have to borrow your phone.” The words came out in a terrible, hoarse whisper.

She expected Gracie to yell at her for using the bathroom without having any intention of buying food. Or, worse yet, to take her into the back room and hand her a phone. But instead Gracie draped her arm over Amy’s shoulder. “Come get your breakfast. You can pay me for it later, after you sort things out with your father. And no woman should ever marry someone she has second thoughts about. Shame on your daddy.”

The tense muscles in Amy’s neck and shoulders relaxed as Gracie led her to the counter, where a plate of eggs and bacon awaited. “Eat your breakfast. You’ll feel better.”

Amy did as she was told, downing the eggs and bacon like a starving person. She had no idea where her next meal would come from, so she allowed Gracie to refill her coffee cup several times while the diner filled up with the usual Saturday crowd.

Pippa Custis, the owner of Ewe and Me, the yarn shop in town, came in for a bowl of oatmeal.

Walter Braden came in holding hands with his new wife, the former Poppy Marchand. For a couple of old people, they were sweet. They ordered two big breakfasts and spent the entire time gazing into each other’s eyes.

Alicia Mulloy, the hygienist at Dr. Dinnen’s office, ordered three different kinds of donuts. Amy wondered if Dr. Dinnen knew about Alicia’s sugar habit.

And then Dusty McNeil strolled through the door and turned Saturday into Man Candy Monday. Wow. He was like some unholy combination of Thor and Captain America all rolled into one gorgeous example of maleness.

Gracie swooped down on him with a cup of coffee and a plate of eggs and bacon, as if she’d been expecting his arrival. He gave Gracie a smile full of laugh lines and dimples and white teeth. And then he turned toward Amy.

Unlike the other customers, he didn’t pretend she was invisible. Oh no. He gave her a long, assessing gaze that made Amy’s pulse jump. Dusty McNeil had a badass reputation as a player who preferred the showgirls and cocktail waitresses who worked up at the casinos in Charles Town, West Virginia.

So why was he ogling her?

She had no idea, but she returned the favor. Who wouldn’t enjoy gazing at that chiseled face or those bright baby blues or all that golden blond hair?

And that’s when a crazy idea popped into her desperate head. Maybe she could invite herself over to his place for some Netflix and chill. Spending a night with him wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. And it would probably be way more fun (and warmer) than sleeping in the Z4.

Or sleeping with Grady for that matter.

But no. Initiating a booty call would not be the right next step. She’d chosen to sleep in her car instead of falling back on a man. She’d taken a principled position. So she pushed the ridiculous idea of sleeping with Dusty McNeil out of her mind and concentrated on her coffee mug while she tried to figure out what her next step ought to be.

She came up with exactly nothing.

“Y’all seem to be busy up at Eagle Hill Manor these days,” Gracie said to Dusty. And since Amy didn’t have anything better to do, she eavesdropped.

“Yep. Ever since that article in Brides. Willow’s hiring another event planner. Know anyone who might be interested?”

Gracie shook her head. “No, but I’ll keep my eye out.”

A job.

Why hadn’t Amy thought of that before?

A job would solve all her problems. And becoming an event planner sounded like the perfect fit except for the fact that she had zero real work experience. But she had been her sorority’s social secretary and had planned all kinds of themed parties and charitable events. She’d even had a hand in helping several of her sorority sisters with their wedding plans.

This was perfect. She’d get a job instead of a husband.

And wouldn’t that blow Daddy’s mind?

About the Author:Hope Ramsay is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming contemporary romances. Her books have won critical acclaim and publishing awards. She is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her Southern heroes. She has two grown children and a couple of demanding lap cats. She lives in Virginia where, when she’s not writing, she’s knitting or playing her forty-year-old Martin guitar.

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What I Would Tell an Aspiring Writer by Marilee Brothers – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn winner and print copies of AFFLICTION and ALLEGIANCE to another randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

What I Would Tell an Aspiring Writer

Don’t be a Quitter

Thousands of people start writing books but, somewhere along the way, get bogged down and never finish. I can’t say I have all the answers, but here are some of the roadblocks I’ve experienced.

Expecting First Draft Perfection

The odds against writing perfect prose the first time around are astronomically against you. Nobody, I mean, nobody is capable of writing a final draft the first time around. One of my favorite writing books is Write Away by best-selling author Elizabeth George. Each chapter begins with a quote from the journal she kept while writing one of her 150,000 word novels (yes, that’s an enormous book). This woman, who’s sold a bajillion books, whose fans anxiously await her next offering, said after viewing her daily quota of words, “What am I doing pretending to be a writer?” We all have self-doubts. We can’t let them cripple us into believing we have to strive for perfection the first time around. That’s what re-writes are for.

Don’t Get Bogged Down in Research

I adore research. Google, I love you! Here’s an example of how research led me astray. In the last book of my series, Midnight Moon, I wanted to describe an interesting piece of Native American jewelry, one that might be easily imbued with mystical qualities. Had I been more organized, I’d have done my research well ahead of the time I actually wrote about it. But, no, I wasted three hours scrolling through countless websites as I looked for the perfect ring, pendant, bracelet or locket to fit my needs. Since the Big Dipper figures into the final plot, of course I had to order a pendant featuring the seven stars. For inspiration (heh). Bottom line: research first or better yet, underline or highlight the area that requires research. Trust me, it will save you time and money.

Fear of Rejection

Before I sold my first book I knew the odds were against me. A close family member told me only two percent of books submitted to agents and editors are published. Why did I persist? I admit I have a stubborn streak. When someone tells me I can’t do something, the little voice inside my head says, “Oh, yeah?” I wanted to prove I could start and finish a book. And I did. Even today, with six published books under my belt, old doubts still float to the surface. What if I can’t come up with a fresh plot? What if nobody likes my latest book? Fear of rejection is paralyzing. It stifles your creativity and moves you backward instead of forward. So, do what I do. Take a deep breath and kick it to the curb.

Forge a Relationship With Someone Who Will Make You a Better Writer

Writing is solitary, lonely business. The Internet has made it less so. Because it is absolutely impossible to be objective about your own writing, join a critique group, find a beta reader or, if you plan to self-publish, hire a competent editor who will go over your manuscript with a cool, dispassionate eye and offer the constructive criticism needed to polish your book. Trust me, it will save you many an embarrassing moment. How do I know this? Because people simply love to point out the error they found on page 44.

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

You started the journey. You’ve made progress. Instead of looking back at what you’ve written and agonizing over your unpolished prose, take a moment to be proud of what you’ve accomplished. While you’re at it, promise yourself that you will finish. Try to squeeze in a little writing time each day. Before you know it, your book will be done and you will have accomplished what many others set out to do but failed, probably because of one of the roadblocks already described. Writers write. They persist even when discouraged. They finish what they start. You can do it!

Twenty-two year old Honor Melanie (Mel) Sullivan has an affliction. Due to childhood trauma and inappropriate social behavior, she is diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism. But, Mel knows Aspergers is not her true affliction. She prefers not to gaze into a person’s eyes because she is a soul reader, and what she sees can be frightening. It can also get Mel into trouble.

After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her family home in Southern California and travels to Oregon where she meets Harley-Davidson riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby-selling scheme involving a foreign girl from Kazakhstan, and others. Even though Mel’s life is in danger, she won’t stop until she finds the answers that will help those unable to help themselves.

*****

Transplanted California girl, Melanie Sullivan, vows to stay in Oregon until she nails the killer of her best friend, Dani. Mel’s ability to search a soul for innocence or guilt is a big plus. Her love for Billy the Kid, former Marine and now a detective with the 3 Peaks police department is also a factor in her decision. She’s not quite sure what’s going on with Billy. Has the PTSD from his Middle East deployments returned?

When a hate crime is committed in 3 Peaks, Mel is recruited by sexy Homeland Security agent, Mick, who requires her soul-reading ability. Mick doesn’t hide his feelings. He’s more than eager to step in if Billy steps out, a complication Mel doesn’t need or want. As she goes undercover, Mel embarks on a dangerous journey, aided by her Uncle Paco and devoted friends. Along the way, she learns a valuable lesson about the power of forgiveness.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Allegiance

I lean down to drop a chaste farewell kiss on his forehead. A split second later, I’m flat on my back, pinned to the bed and Billy the Kid grins down at me like a naughty little boy. He rips out his ear buds and pulls the cord free until the music washes over us. It’s a rock and roll tune, a blast from the past.

“Hey, baby,” he says. “Wanna dance?”

Before I can form an answer, I’m swept off the bed and twirled around until I’m dizzy and laughing uncontrollably.

He sets me on the floor and pulls me tight against his body. “You sneaking out on me, Minnie Mouse?

I manage a weak, breathless protest. “I’m supposed to meet Steve at 9:30 a.m. I need to get going.”

He cups my face between his palms and brushes his lips across mine. “You sure about that?”

“Well, um…”
My body says bring it on. My brain chimes in, promptness is overrated.

About the Author: Marilee Brothers is a former teacher, coach, counselor and the author of ten books. Marilee and her husband are the parents of three grown sons and live in central Washington State. After writing six young adult books, Marilee is once again writing romantic suspense for the adult market. She loves hearing from people who have read her books.

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Sheik’s Rule by Ryshia Kennie – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

 

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

His sister’s life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family’s security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he’s sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers’ desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman.

But K.J. is unlike any woman he’s ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir’s admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all.

Read an excerpt:

Just looking at that hand confirmed every doubt he had. It wasn’t just about customs, she was female and because of that and so many other things, she was the wrong person for the job.

“I’ll help you find your sister. You just need to trust me.”

“No!” The word came out with the pent-up fury that had built since the fateful call from Tara’s kidnappers and now the full impact of it sparked in his eyes as his temple pounded and his fists clenched.

“No,” he said with less edge but with no room for negotiation. He was wasting time, had wasted time, first waiting and now in a senseless airport run. “I don’t care what you specialized in. You’re a woman and because of that you’re going home,” he said bluntly. “I’ve wasted enough time. I’ll speak to the pilot and we’ll get you out of here.”

“You’re not being fair.”

“I’m not being fair,” he repeated, emphasizing each word. If she’d been a man he would have had her by the collar up against the wall, his face in hers. But she wasn’t and that was the problem. “You’re useless to me. I’d have to watch out for both you and me. That’s a distraction. Look at you – you couldn’t swing a punch or…”

One minute he was seething, glaring at her, and the next he was flat on his back.

“You bloody flipped me,” he snarled, leaping to his feet.

About the Author:

The Canadian prairies are my home and while the prairie landscape is blessed with beautiful blue skies, it also has four seasons that come on full throttle – especially winter and because of that I like to travel. Often on those trips, stories are born.

In 2011 I won my city’s writing award, and was the first romance writer to do so since its inception. In 2013 my romantic suspense was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. Published in historic romance and paranormal romance as well as romantic suspense, in February 2016, my first novel was published by Harlequin Intrigue.

There’s no lack of places to set a story as my imagination and the too long prairie winters may find me seeking adventure. The memories of those worlds both near and far, the words of a stranger, the furtive look one man gives another, often become the catalyst for a suspenseful story with a deadly villain and an intrepid hero and heroine who must battle for their right to love or even their right to live.

When not dreaming of other stories, I can be found scouting out a garage sale or two, dusting off my roller blades or just thinking about the next adventure that may be miles away or in my own backyard.

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Character Interview with Nicole Anima – Regenerate by Sarita Leone


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

LASR: It isn’t often a superagent from a top-secret government intelligence agency spills the beans but that’s exactly what we’re hoping for today. Agent Nicole Anima, one of the globe’s hardest hitters, both tactically and intellectually, is here with us. Agent Anima, welcome to the blog. Thank you for taking time out of your busy butt-kicking, lifesaving adventures to stop in!

Anima: Thanks for having me. There’s a bit of a lull in my work just now, so I’m happy to visit with you.

LASR: Your work with The Octopus, right?

Anima: I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of—

LASR: Oh, right. You can’t admit the agency exists, can you? You’d have to kill us if you told us about the place, right? The one that “doesn’t exist” beneath the loamy Pennsylvania countryside?

Anima: Something like that, yes.

LASR: Okay, then, we’ll just go on to safer topics… Tell us, how is Benjamin Sinclair as a lover?

Anima: What? You can’t be serious—

LASR: Oh, no need to answer. We saw the sizzle between you two in REGENERATE.

Anima: Well, there’s bound to be some heat between partners who have a…ah, a history, the way Agent Sinclair and I do.

LASR: I’ll say! I’ve heard that some readers went straight into cold showers after reading certain parts of you story.

Anima: I don’t know what to say…

LASR: No need to say anything, Agent Anima.

Anima: Please, call me Nicole.

LASR: Great! So, Nicole, that whole save-the-world mission was quite an adventure, wasn’t it? You jumped from a plane, crashed into a continent, dangled off the side of a building—nearly nude, I might add!—with a bomb hanging off your bra clasp, and defeated a whole army of zombies. It couldn’t have been easy, taking all those risks.

Anima: Well, in my line of work I’m used to doing whatever it takes. I mean, the fate of the species depends on whether or not we’re able to uncover, eliminate, and restore.

LASR: For our non-tactical readers, please explain that.

Anima: Sure. Well, let’s say we’re sent on a mission to thwart a global takeover precipitated by an economic crash implemented by those who create and control a legion of zombies.

LASR: Hypothetically speaking, of course?

Anima: Well…yes, totally hypothetical. As I said, I’m not at liberty to discuss mission details…

LASR: So we won’t ask you to, but this does sound incredibly similar to your mission with that hunk Benjamin Sinclair in REGENERATE…

Anima: Um, yes, but really, similarities are not uncommon in many areas of life.

LASR: If you say so. So, back to the uncover, eliminate, restore business if you will.

Anima: When agents go into the field, they kick the bushes and see what scurries out.

LASR: Like zombies, in REGENERATE?

Anima: Sure, sometimes zombies are the menace. And when the subject emerges the agents on the mission need to eliminate that threat.

LASR: The zombies you and Sinclair found in Haiti, Belgium, and wherever else they lurked weren’t easy to kill, were they?

Anima: Zombies aren’t the hardest enemy to dispose of but you’re right, they do pose a unique set of challenges.

LASR: Unless you’re a regenerated commando who is invincible and immortal, like your sexy partner, Ben.

Anima: I can’t deny that Agent Sinclair has certain assets that make him a perfect superagent.

LASR: Oh, yes, we saw those assets! And let me tell you, he is a fine specimen of manhood—oh, he isn’t a man, is he?

Anima: Agent Sinclair is a regenerated commando.

LASR: And those assets…my, oh my…I’m surprised you don’t call him Ben rather than Agent Sinclair.

Anima: Trying to keep it professional here—so, with that in mind, would you like me to move on to the restore part of operational tactics?

LASR: Sure.

Anima: If there wasn’t something less-than-wonderful going on in the world, we wouldn’t be called in, so we strive to leave the situation better than it was when a mission is initiated. That means we restore as much as we are able to, once we uncover the threat and eliminate it. People don’t like their apple carts upset so we right them, pick up as many apples and we can, and leave with the hope that most of humankind never even realizes there’s been any sort of peril. We don’t want to disturb the human condition by triggering panic or cultivating fear.

LASR: In other words, the agents from The Octopus save the world without the world even knowing it’s been saved?

Anima: I can neither confirm nor deny—

LASR: Okay, I forgot that part but from what you’ve just told us, you and Ben—ah, Agent Sinclair are superheroes.

Anima: We’re two agents assigned to various operations where our distinct talents will be best put to use.

LASR: You’re psychic, aren’t you?

Anima: Yes, I am. The ability has been with me since childhood and aside from two instances, has not failed me.

LASR: Like when you drank poison in Africa?

Anima: Details of the mission like that aren’t open to discussion. I’m sorry.

LASR: That’s fine. We saw what happened. Tell me, can you read my mind now?

Anima: Why yes, I can.

LASR: What am I thinking, then?

Anima: You sure you want me to say? We do have an audience…

LASR: Go ahead. We’re all friends.

Anima: You’re wondering if Ben—Agent Sinclair and I are seeing each other or if you’ve got a chance with him.

LASR: Well done! So?

Anima: So do you have a chance to get cozy with Ben? You’ll have to ask him that yourself. I can’t speak for him.

LASR: But are you two still an item?

Anima: That’s a tough question. We have a history…

LASR: But do you have a future? Say as the future Mrs. Sinclair?

Anima: Time will tell, I guess. I can’t predict the future.

LASR: Can you tell us, at least, whether there will be a sequel to REGENERATE?

Anima: Oh, yes, there will be a sequel—a whole series, actually. As long as the world needs saving from zombies, nuclear war, biohazards, or any of the other horrors people inflict upon each other, we’ll be around.

LASR: Thank you for joining us today, Nicole.

Anima: My pleasure! Thanks for having me!

LASR: But The Octopus—it’s real, isn’t it?

Anima: I can neither confirm nor deny…

The Octopus isn’t an urban myth—and its agents are anything but ordinary. The intelligence bureau is so well-hidden most doubt its existence. A handful know its location. And fewer walk the halls in the subterranean compound.

Benjamin Sinclair didn’t ask to be a scientific miracle but every mission has its risks and one perfectly-placed bullet ended his life—for a brief moment in time.

Nicole Anima battles demons every day. Life as a paranormal resources operative gives her tortured mind a rest—and keeps her from contemplating her own death.

When Anima and Sinclair partner on a globe-trotting race to eliminate the threat about to cripple humanity, all hell breaks loose. Leaping from planes, crashing into continents, dealing with voodoo priestesses, and running through jungles with zombies hot on their trail doesn’t leave much time for romance, but this duo somehow manages to sizzle.

Two agents. Telepathic mind paired with regenerated commando. One world—and a mission to save it.




Enjoy an Excerpt
“I’m sorry.”

“And that covers it, right? I’ve tried to hate you for fourteen months, and that’s all you’ve got to say?”

Stop. Just, stop. The plea came from his mind as clearly as if he’d said the words out loud.

They were in too far to pull back now.

“How many times can I say I’m sorry?” A muscle worked in his jaw. “How many will it take for it to be enough?”

“Keep going. I’ll let you know when it’s enough.”

The closest zombie put a hand on her shoulder. Squeezed.

A warning.

She invaded his mind. So much white screeching noise, but something sinister, as well.

“Stop the car!” She leaned over the seat and grabbed the driver by the shirt. “Stop—now!”

They’d reached the restaurant parking lot. It was early, and the only cars belonged to employees. Parked near the back, far from the main entrance.

The startled man’s reactions were instant. His foot stomped on the brakes. By the time the car stopped moving, she was over the seat and pushing him out the driver’s side door.

Sinclair exited the back and they ran. The car idled for a moment.

Then, an explosion that shook the ground and sent the trio to their knees.


About the Author:

Sarita Leone is an award-winning author who has written romance in many forms including Regency, paranormal, and contemporary. She loves happily-ever-afters in any setting!

When she’s not writing, Ms. Leone spends her time hiking, learning languages, and traveling. She loves adventure and can pack a suitcase, grab her passport, and hit the road in less time than it takes to peel an apple!

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Wilde Thing by Jannine Gallant – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn commenter will receive a digital copy of the book> Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Wilde brothers are addicted to the rush of adventure. But one of them is about to learn no matter how often you look for danger, you don’t want danger finding you.

For extreme skier Tripp Wilde, pushing the limits is what he lives for. Unfortunately, the inherent risk takes a toll on his body. After an injury sidelines him, he ends up in the care of his little sister’s best friend, physical therapist Hannah Ryder—who has grown up in all the right ways since they last met.

Hannah doesn’t mix business with pleasure, even though she harbored a maddening crush on the irresistible Tripp years before. So, while Tripp tries every slick maneuver he knows to bed her, Hannah uses her own moves to keep the hotshot skier cooled off while trying to control her own growing desire for him.

After the pair witness what they think may be a murder on the slopes, along with the men responsible, no one believes their story. But when a series of unlikely accidents suggests they are being targeted, the two will have to trust in each other like never before if they are going to survive.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

When the door to his hospital room opened, Tripp didn’t bother to glance up from the text he was trying to send one-handed. He fumbled the phone and swore then tossed it down on the bed. “Damn it. This sucks. I feel like a freaking invalid.”

“Problem?”

His chin came up as his gaze shot toward the doorway. Not Jake, who’d left to get something to eat and promised to come back later to drive him home. Hannah Ryder. His little sister’s old college roommate. Once in a while, when he was actually home and not to the far corners of the world, he caught sight of Hannah around town, but they’d never been anything but casual acquaintances at best. From the way her golden eyes narrowed on him, Tripp got the feeling she could take him or leave him…and would prefer the latter.

“I guess I wasn’t imagining you were on the hill this morning when they hauled me out of the avalanche.”

“No, you weren’t.” She advanced into the room and stopped a yard short of his bed. Hands tucked into the pockets of her down jacket, she regarded him steadily. “How’re you feeling?”

Strong was the word that sprang to mind as he studied Hannah. Those golden eyes reflected intelligence in their depths along with a mental toughness. Model tall but without scrawny angles, this woman looked capable of taking down any man stupid enough to mess with her without permission. Not that he’d ever try.

Tripp let out a breath. “Uh, I’m feeling okay. A little loopy from the pain meds. I imagine my shoulder will hurt like hell when they wear off.”

“Probably, but they’ll give you more drugs to manage any discomfort. I ran into a friend on the nursing staff out in the hall and got the basic facts. No fractures. That’s great.”

He scowled. “The dislocated shoulder is bad enough.”

“And only a mild concussion. You were extremely lucky. You could easily have been killed.”

He rolled his eyes. “Aren’t you Miss Glass Half-full. Lucky would have been not getting caught in the avalanche. Really lucky would have been finishing my run before the cornice broke free.”

Her golden cat eyes darkened to the color of her tawny-brown hair as she tucked a stray lock behind one ear. “I’ll report back to Eden that you’re not going to drop dead anytime soon…unless one of the nurses gets fed up with your bad mood and kills you.”

About the Author:

Write what you know. Jannine Gallant has taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. She grew up in a tiny Northern California town and currently lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t busy writing or being a full time mom, Jannine hikes or snowshoes in the woods around her home. Whether she’s writing contemporary, historical or romantic suspense, Jannine brings the beauty of nature to her stories.

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Second Chance Marquess by Jessica Jefferson – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jessica will be awarding a $25 and a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When Wilhemina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation, and fortune, is at risk. A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Are you accusing Kitty of going after your brother for his money?”

“She wouldn’t be the first.”

Willie set her jaw firmly, just as she always had when she was angry. “A decade later and you’re still following your father’s example. You still think the worst of women, don’t you?”

“I’m simply waiting to be proven wrong.”

“You were,” she said quietly, almost too low for him to hear.

“Once, Willie, and even that’s debatable. Every woman after you has fulfilled my lowest expectations.”

She looked away, a pale blush spread across the creamy pale skin of her chest. “Mrs. Turner,” she reminded him, facing him once again. “Kitty’s not like that. She doesn’t need his money.”

“Both your parents are gone and last time I knew, you hadn’t a penny to your name. How can she not need my brother’s money?”

“Because I make sure she’s taken care of. I’d do anything for that girl, no matter how silly or naïve she is. She’s still mine to take care of.” She jutted her chin proudly, just as she always had. George had to remind himself that this was no longer the stubborn, hopeful young woman he once knew, but a strong, experienced widow standing before him.

“Mr. Turner left you comfortable then?”

“My finances are none of your concern. We are doing quite well considering our circumstance.”

He found that hard to believe. “Beg your pardon, Mrs. Turner, but a vicar and a viscount are two very different things. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll need to get on the road soon. I heard mention that there might be a great deal of rain coming, possibly snow, and I doubt the weather will hold off much longer.” He turned his back to her and continued gathering the necessary items from around the study.

“I can’t allow you to go by yourself,” Wilhelmina protested, ignoring his less than subtle hint that their discussion had ended. “There’s no way I could possibly trust you to address this situation fairly after the unwarranted judgement you’ve already made regarding Kitty’s character.”

“It’s only unwarranted if it’s not true and that remains to be seen, now doesn’t it?”

“I won’t let you do it, George.”

The use of his given name stopped him cold. He took a deep breath, then turned to her, arms folded across his chest. “What exactly do you propose I do then, Mrs. Turner?”

“Take me with you.”

About the Author:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, two young daughters, French bulldog Lulu, and English bulldog Pete. When she’s not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch “Real Housewives of [insert city here]” and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property.

Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist where she invites her readers to fall in love with romance again.


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Spring by Lea Griffith – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lea Griffith who has stopped by today to celebrate the recent relief of Flash of Fury. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a print copy of the book (US/Canada only).

Thank you LASR for the opportunity to stop by and reach out to your readers. I love talking so this should be a lot of fun, lol!

Ahhhh, spring! The smell of flowers in the air, trees stretching brand new leaves toward the sky in supplication, and sunshine warming skin frozen by winter’s grip these are the thing that make spring one of my very favorite seasons. Things gone dormant to survive winter are given new life. Birds return in all their glory to sing to you from the boughs, or, well, your bird feeders.

Grass grows, flowers bloom, people sneeze, you’ve got to cut grass again, and yes—your feet go from perpetually freezing to so warm you must start painting your toenails so you can go barefoot again.

I love spring. And one of my very favorite things to do can only be done during this time. At least where I live. What is that favorite thing you ask? For me, it’s simple really. I love sitting on the porch, watching the world around me go through a metamorphosis of rebirth and delight. I love watching baby squirrels frolic in the trees. I love watching baby birds learn to fly. I love the colors, the smells, the promise of heat in the air—I love the NEWNESS, that feeling that something amazing is headed your way and if you’ll just take a few minutes to sit on your porch, or out in your driveway and watch or listen, you won’t miss it. It won’t pass you by. It’s about brand new chances and the promise of growth.

I write best in the spring months, another reason it’s my favorite season. I’m the most productive during the months of March through June. It’s not too cold and not too hot. Birds hit the bird feeders outside my windows providing a respite from hours at the laptop. I have three teenage girls and all the good stuff happens in the spring months—prom, spring break, graduation. Spring brings those thunderstorms that never fail to make my belly squirm in fear but also bring the rains that make the flowers come out of hiding.

By the time summer arrives, it’s just too hot in Georgia to sit on the porch, even if you’ve got fans. By the time summer rolls around you’ve got to be on the lake or at the beach, somewhere the water can cool you off. I enjoy both of those activities, but I love my porch.

So now that we’ve established my favorite spring activity, what’s yours? Do you canoe? Hike? Plant? Sit on your porch and watch the world wake up? Tell me! I’d love to know.

If reading is your favorite spring activity, or really just a favorite activity any time of year, I’ve got a brand new release that could help you fill your time—Flash of Fury. The first full-length from my Endgame Ops series, I’m bringing you international intrigue, suspense, action, and a romance that will stand the test of time. Pick up King and Allie’s story. Let me help you celebrate the arrival of spring!

Thank you, LASR! Xoxoxo

Lea

Their spark is immediate
Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.

But their secrets could burn them both
Allie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked—and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

About the Author:Lea Griffith has been reading romance novels since a young age. She cut her teeth on the greats: McNaught, Woodiwiss, and Garwood. She still consumes every romance book she can put her hands on, and now she writes her own compelling romantic suspense. Lea lives with her husband and three teenage daughters in rural Georgia.

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Annie’s Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lisa will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were childhood best friends until his father was shunned. Now, 10 years later, Levi returns to Arthur, Il, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Soon they begin imagining a future together, but that’s unlikely to happen. Levi is part of the English world, and Annie is Amish. But together, with love on their side, they may just find their way to an answered prayer.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

Annie Mast tossed a rock into Pebble Creek and giggled. She clapped her hands as the small stone hit the water. Beside her, Levi Miller nodded his approval. Their contest was always who could make the bigger splash. Of course, Levi usually won. But she guessed when her efforts trumped his, it was because he allowed it. After all, at eight years of age, it wasn’t easy competing with a twelve-year-old boy. Especially a boy much taller and stronger than she was.

Levi joined in the applause. “If you keep throwing like that, I’ll have to practice.”

Annie grinned. Automatically, they stepped side-by-side up the incline leading to their sitting spot. Hills were unusual in predominantly flat Illinois, but she was sure God had planned this particular elevation especially for her and Levi.

Without talking, she claimed her stone at the same time he declared his. Not wasting a moment, Annie reached into the wicker basket between them for a sponge cake. Levi accepted the napkin-covered, sweet-smelling dessert with an appreciative grin. As he did so, she automatically took in the curve of his high cheekbones and determined jaw. Brightness lightened his autumn-brown hair a shade. As always, he waited to bite into the treat until she held hers between her fingers. Together, they ate while the late August sun caressed them. In her long Amish dress and apron, Annie quickly forgot the unusually hot temperature when Levi pointed to old Sam Beachy’s barn.

“You want to know a secret?”

She lifted an inquisitive brow while anxiously awaiting the response.

“One day you’ll be as good a cook as Esther.”

Annie’s heart smiled. Everyone knew Sam’s wife made the best dishes around.

Excitement edged Annie’s voice. “You really think so?”

He took another bite before offering a quick, definitive nod and lowered his pitch to a whisper. She wondered why. There wasn’t anyone within hearing distance.

“There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Annie’s heart jumped with happiness. Even more than matching Esther’s baking skills, what really mattered was that she and her best friend were together. And as long as she was with Levi, how could life get better?

About the Author: Lisa Jones Baker is a multi-published author with Kensington Books. Her debut book of THE HOPE CHEST OF DREAMS series, REBECCA’S BOUQUET, won a Publishers Weekly starred review. A former teacher with a BA degree in French education, Lisa has been on 5 out of 7 continents, is a dog lover, enjoys positive thinkers, volunteering in her church’s food pantry, and strong female characters.

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Her Leading Man by Maggie Dallen – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

An avid knitter and manager of a yarn store in New York City, Caitlyn finds herself at loose ends after getting dumped by her long-time, live-in boyfriend. What better way to move on then to find a man like the old-school movie stars that she dreams about? But her first attempt at online dating is a disaster. Especially when the date turns out to be the new renter of a room in her apartment.

Wall Street powerhouse Ben needs a place to crash while his condo is being renovated. Love is the last thing on his mind since he’s just getting over a breakup. But he can’t resist a challenge, especially one like his prim and proper new roommate. A do-gooder with a heart of gold, Caitlyn is spearheading a fight to save an old theater, while Ben is working for the developer trying to tear it down. Sparks will fly, but they may not be enough to ignite big-screen romance . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt

Ben was living his worst nightmare. His worst fear come true—he’d gone and hurt Caitlyn, the one person he never wanted to see in pain.

But she was standing before him now and pain was clearly written all over her pretty features. He’d done that. Way to go, asshole.

She was waiting for him to say something. Anything. But for the life of him, he couldn’t think of anything to say. Nothing sounded right. His brain had temporarily shut down along with the rest of his body, and he stood there in the center of the kitchen like he was shell-shocked.

Because he was!

The L-word. She’d used the L-word. That was all he could think, over and over, as the paralysis spread. Why would she do that? They weren’t supposed to feel anything for one another. Friendship, maybe, but not this. And why the hell would she want a relationship with him?

Because she loves you.

No, because she thinks this is love. Could she really not see how wrong he was for her? She couldn’t have forgotten about their first date, not to mention all the other times he’d managed to drive her insane over the past few weeks.

He didn’t do real relationships. Not with her, not with anyone. She knew that. Or he’d thought she’d known that. It was obvious. They’d spelled out the rules.

A groan escaped his frozen chest, and he saw Caitlyn flinch as though he’d struck her. Gregory was right; she was too naïve and too sweet for this kind of relationship. He should have known she would read more into it than was there. She was a woman who screamed commitment and destiny, not fuck buddy and short-lived fling. Of course she would confuse intimacy with emotions. And that’s all this was. It explained his

own confusion, too—why he was so confused over what should be a simple business deal. Why he was jealous of Mr. Perfect tonight. They’d both let themselves get carried away. But he at least knew the difference between this short-term connection and the type of relationship that Caitlyn wanted and deserved.

He would destroy her in the long run. How could she not see that?

This was his fault. He should have seen this coming. He should have

listened to Gregory and put a stop to it earlier. Hell, he shouldn’t have started anything in the first place.

But none of that mattered now. It was too late to turn back the clock and

do the right thing. He had to make the best of the situation. Caitlyn was still staring at him with impossibly wide eyes, tears threatening to spill.

He couldn’t think of any way to make this right. What would Gregory do? Oh hell, what would Cary Grant do? They would never have gotten themselves into this situation. He was on his own.

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

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How to Catch a Cowboy by Sandra Madden – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

Matilda Rose Applebee isn’t looking for love when she captures Cooper T. Davis at gunpoint. Her younger sister is in the family way and claims Cooper is responsible. Matilda aims to haul the snake-belly back to her sister’s waiting arms. But Cooper insists Matty’s sister is mistaken as they begin a long and dangerous journey.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Matilda Rose Applebee had bided her time until she figured the fast-talking drummer had passed out. No more than a silver-tongued swindler, Cooper T. Davis drifted from town to town selling patent medicine. Until now. Marty was about to put an end to his nefarious career. With the element of surprise on her side, she’d slipped into his room, Winchester at the ready.

The man was snoring loud enough to cover the noise of a stampeding herd of cattle, let alone one small woman.

She hissed in his ear.

He moaned and pulled the pillow over his head.

“Git up, varmit.”

“Go away,” he mumbled.

“You’re comin’ with me now to marry my sister or I’m makin’ her a widow. Take your choice.”

Before she could stick the rifle in his ribs to show him she meant business, the shad-belly rolled over, away from Matilda. He didn’t even bother to open his eyes.

About the Author: This mostly truthful biography is longer than most of my books. But the older you become, it seems the more there is to say. Whether it’s important or not. Whether anyone is listening.

I was born in New York City but raised in Winthrop, Massachusetts, a small isthmus that juts into the Atlantic Ocean five miles north of Boston. During the long cold winters – read REALLY COLD! – I read and I wrote. My favorite authors were Bronte and Austin before they became required reading. I wrote stories to amuse myself which led to writing the 6th grade school play. When I discovered drama classes in the ninth grade, I gave up writing for a few years. And, yes, I was the perky cheerleader who played Emily in Our Town. Not a dry eye in the house!

Following high school graduation my family moved to the warmer climate of South Florida – just when I was getting acclimated to the constant cold.

At the University of Miami, I majored in Radio/TV/Film. (As the program was called in those days – and one of the first departments of its kind in the nation.) I minored in drama. For three of my four years in college I acted in thirty- minute radio dramas almost on a weekly basis. Inevitably these live broadcasts of Theater X were love stories in which I played the heroine. Usually, the tragic heroine. I credit this experience as having set me on a course of no return. Romance and fantasy became my fate.

But first I experienced a short-lived career as a broadcast journalist. I was too far ahead of my time to fight the slings and arrows of the newsmens’ contempt, so I switched. I became a broadcast copy/promotional writer and worked in the Miami and Los Angeles markets. But my most rewarding work was as a writer/producer/host for a Miami PBS station. (Due to the public broadcasting budget each person is expected to fill a variety of roles for one salary. One small salary.) I focused on How-To series, public affairs – of the political kind – and women’s issues. During this time I met many inspiring women who shared their stories with me, women whose remarkable achievements, great spirits and strength influenced my work as I started to write. First, I became a published poet. It didn’t take much time for me to write short verses.

As with most writers, I wrote my first historical novels in the evenings after my day job. A second wind is required to do this and it magically appears with the passion for writing.

Passion for the writing and persistence in submitting are the keys to becoming a published author. The secrets of the sisterhood gleaned from lessons learned along the way.

Not long after being published I discovered that a writer’s life is not all about the voices in your head demanding release to a page – frequently at an inopportune time. And it’s not all about three figure contracts, champagne tours and as much chocolate as you can consume. Oh. No. A writer’s life includes thundering deadlines, dry spells, assorted blocks, carpel tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulders. Occasionally, the green-eyed monster rears her head and wraps grown women in knots. But most of all, writing romance is a wonderful love story in itself. There is nothing else a romance writer would rather be doing. She is totally in love with romance and with the ability to share her stories with gracious readers. Thank you, dear reader.

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