666 Things to Do with a Demon by Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon who are celebrating the recent release of 666 Things to Do With a Demon. Enter for the chance to win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card!

What you can’t see could kill you.

When Cecily arrives at her new home with her fiancé, Raf, she’s looking forward to a happy life with all her fears behind her. No longer a put-upon drudge, she is loved and free, ready to explore their new world.

After a summer spent battling the forces of darkness, Raf’s happy to get back to the garden of his chaotic ancestral home. There are flowers to tend and vegetables to harvest and he’s determined to create a perfect sanctuary for Cecily to call her own.

But when a demon made of glass escapes from an ancient church window, the peace of their idyllic village is shattered. Neighbour turns against neighbour, crops turn bad in the soil and flies blacken the air. As a child lingers between life and death, bewitched by the glass demon’s bite, Raf and Cecily must remind the villagers of what really matters and unite the community in a battle to send their infernal tormentor back to hell.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Peri sat cross-legged on the floor in the middle of her chalked-out pentagram with Grizelda, her sleek black cat, on her knee. Supposedly this made looking for a boyfriend more effective, but all she was doing was swiping left on the app, with Grizelda occasionally intervening to swipe left for her. Why did none of the men on Spellr look even vaguely appealing? Some weren’t too bad. In fact, some were quite handsome, but they all lacked that certain something.

And Peri had no idea what that something was.

All her friends were getting married, one by one, and Peri’s wardrobe was bulging with bridesmaids’ dresses. But there seemed to be no sign of her ever adding a wedding dress to her collection.

Her friends had tried to pair her off, usually with their own brothers or their husbands’ friends. They told her she couldn’t keep hunting for the perfect man, because he just didn’t exist. But Peri couldn’t help it. Life was too short to settle for second best.

But the Assistant Great Wizard’s Halloween ball was that evening and Peri still didn’t have a date. She could have turned up as a merry spinster, but she just wanted to be able to sweep up the grand steps with a devastatingly handsome man on her arm.

Is it too much to ask for?

She got up to her feet and paced back and forth across the room. Spellr was hopeless. Her friends’ matchmaking attempts had been hopeless. Then her gaze fell on the pentagram.

What if I—?

She’d once found a spell that would conjure a demon who would materialise in the form of the most perfect man one could ever meet. He would exist for the night, then by morning would be gone—much like Peri’s last experience with the opposite sex. But at least he’d be her demon for a few hours, because after she’d summoned him, he would be hers, to follow her bidding. At least, within a carefully defined set of rules, because no one wanted to upset a demon.

Peri switched on her computer and flipped through a folder of photographs she’d taken on her various visits to the National Witchcraft Archives. She found the image she wanted, of crabbed handwriting on a page of parchment. A very rare spell, one that had been assumed lost, or known only to sorcerers of rank like the Assistant Great Wizard, until Peri had found it.

It hadn’t been in the grimoire’s table of contents, and had looked like nothing more than a blank page to start with. But slowly the words had appeared, as if bubbling up from the parchment beneath, and quite by accident Peri had found herself staring at Ye Spelle to Summune A Daemon Lover.

Or, as it had been whispered about at university, The Sex Demon Spell.

Peri hadn’t photographed the page with any intention to use the spell. It had been more of a trophy find. But that was then. Now she needed the perfect man for the party, and if that meant summoning a demon lover for the evening, so be it.

She made her preparations, lighting candles at the five points of her pentagram and sweeping the space with a bundle of lavender. She set up her cauldron on a trivet in the middle of the pentagram and added the vast number of ingredients demanded by the spell, including an Eve root and an Adam root in a pouch, rosemary oil and red rose petals, all stirred with a length of unicorn horn.

Which would have been easy had Grizelda not decided to help. She rubbed herself around Peri’s legs and nearly knocked her over. She sent a candle flying, spilling wax onto the floorboards. She climbed up the shelves of grimoires and ingredients and batted at the jars. She leapt with no warning over Peri’s head, hell-bent on catching a spider.

And brought down a shelf with a clatter.

“What are you doing?” Peri folded her arms as Grizelda nonchalantly rolled about on her back, tummy uppermost, and proceeded to have a wash. “Some witch’s cat you are!”

Peri crawled about on her hands and knees with a dustpan and brush, trying to clear up the mess. At least the jars were old and sturdy—none had broken, even though some had lost their lids, spilling their contents all over the floor.

But Grizelda continued in her efforts to be as unhelpful as possible. She walked through powdered centaur tears and chased a bead of quicksilver.

“Griz!” Peri picked the cat up and Grizelda slipped out of her clutches, purring as she slunk onto Peri’s shoulders and draped herself there. “Right, let’s hope you behave now.”

Peri carried on clearing up, balancing the cat as she worked. But when she went back to the cauldron, the ingredients had turned into a revolting soup. Peri gave it a stir, trying not to inhale the rancid stench.

Will this work?

She intoned the words of the spell anyway, hoping things might not be quite as bad as they seemed.

Lightning cracked overhead and she stepped back, holding the unicorn horn aloft and chanting the last line of the spell again over the motorboat roar of Grizelda’s purr.

“Demon I summon thee! Asmodeus, come!”

Peri fully expected the room to fill with the smell of scorching, swiftly followed by her perfect man.

But nothing happened.

Rain battered against her windows now, the storm growing keener all the time.

No demon appeared.

As Peri blew out the last candle, Grizelda hopped down from her shoulders and twined around her legs.

“You can’t really be my date, Grizelda, sorry…”

And now it was time to get ready for the party.

About the Authors Eleanor Harkstead likes to dash about in nineteenth-century costume, in bonnet or cravat as the mood takes her. She can occasionally be found wandering old graveyards. Eleanor is very fond of chocolate, wine, tweed waistcoats and nice pens. Her large collection of vintage hats would rival Hedda Hopper’s.

Originally from the south-east of England, Eleanor now lives somewhere in the Midlands with a large ginger cat who resembles a Viking.

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Catherine Curzon is a royal historian who writes on all matters of 18th century. Her work has been featured on many platforms and Catherine has also spoken at various venues including the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, and Dr Johnson’s House.

Catherine holds a Master’s degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, writes fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London.

She lives in Yorkshire atop a ludicrously steep hill.

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The Foundation of Median Gray by Bill Mesce, Jr. – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

The Foundation of Median Gray

A number of elements came together to make Median Gray happen, but the basic foundation came from my own experiences as a twenty-something suburban Jersey kid working in New York City for the first time in an era when the city was more than a little crazy, quite a bit scary, and for all that, exciting…but maybe exciting like a walk through a spookhouse is exciting.

I started working in New York in 1980 and the city had yet to begin its turnaround. This was still the New York I remembered from movies like Midnight Cowboy, The Taking of Pelham 123, The French Connection. In my early years in the city, the 42nd Street and Times Square area seemed like the porn capital of the world. There’s an incident in Median Gray involving a cab on fire in Times Square that’s exactly as how I saw it. In fact, many of the incidents that don’t involve the main plot I took from things I or friends of mine witnessed.

In that period, I was hit by a taxi, saw a series of manhole covers a block from where I worked explode because of a gas leak, caught someone in the act of trying to pick my pocket, missed a bank robbery on the same block as the Empire State Building by ten minutes or so… The list goes on, but it gives you some idea of what the city was like back then.

When I first started dabbling with the novel in the late 1980s, it was sort of a response to what I was seeing. Over the years as I worked through rewrites, it became something else; kind of a nostalgia piece, a way of capturing and reliving those head-spinningly bizarre days. It’s a cliché to say this, but I wanted that New York to be an active character in the story, not just background.

I’ve always been a fan of police stories: dramas, procedurals, mysteries, the whole gamut. Maybe that’s why I’ve also been long fascinated by the police and police work, particularly on the mindset and the psychological wear and tear of being a cop. I’ve read a lot of books about being a cop, I’ve known – and even been related to – a number of police officers. I wanted to try to get that worldview right, even though this is a much more dynamic story than most real-life cops ever experience.

In doing that, I also wanted to puncture that myth of the rogue cop, the Dirty Harry-like rule breaker who cuts through the b.s. to take down bad guys everybody knows are bad guys but who manage to hide behind legal technicalities. That always grated on me a bit as it occurred to me: what if Dirty Harry or the Lethal Weapon cops or any of the popular mavericks weren’t the dead shots they’re always portrayed to be (most cops are not exceptional marksman; Chicago cop Dennis Farina, who went from being a consultant on crime movies like Thief to acting in movies and on TV used to joke he was such a bad shot his colleagues called him “The Great Wounder”). Pop culture maverick cops are unerring in their suspicions, and never miss their targets when they pull the trigger; there’s never any collateral damage to innocent bystanders.

In a busy metropolitan area like New York, well, to be blunt, it just ain’t gonna happen that way, and I wanted to capture just how dangerously messy that kind of citizen wish fulfillment could be.

The last major component was, believe it or not, the 1970s sitcom Barney Miller which was set in a fictional lower Manhattan police precinct. I had remembered a trivia question back during those days that there had been a survey of police officers about which cop show then on TV they felt most accurately reflected the day-to-day sense of what it was like to be a police officer. Their Number One choice was Barney Miller (picked over, if I remember correctly, Police Story and either Baretta or Kojak). Miller, officers felt, captured the camaraderie, the humor (sometimes dark), and the craziness that was routine. That cued me to what the tone of the novel needed to be.

I’ve never written a book that was sparked by one thing. Usually, elements percolate in my head, collide, and when they adhere to each other, at a certain point there’s a conceptual critical mass and then it’s time to sit at the keyboard. That’s what happened with Median Gray.

New York City, Summer 1963

Rookie beat cop Jack Meara is bleeding out on the dirty floor of a tenement hallway – next to the body of another cop. The eyes of the shooter burned into his memory. Meara watches and waits to see the shooter brought to justice, but, instead, “Tony Boy” Maiella climbs up the Mob ranks, slipping off indictments as easily as his designer overcoat. But on the eve of his retirement, Meara decides on one last kamikaze-like try to even the scales of justice.

New York City, 1983

Rookie detective Ronnie Valerio finds himself unknowingly pulled into the wake of Meara’s quest. A go-go palace bartender is being stalked, a body turns up in a neighborhood dumpster, machine guns blaze in the night, a New York bookie turns up dead in the Jersey Pinelands and the only thing they all have in common is, in one way or another, they all tie back to Jack Meara.

How far does a cop go to even a score? How far does a brother cop go to shield him? Is justice worth any price when the line between right and wrong blurs?

Enjoy an Excerpt

He hears a shout upstairs, something panicky about cops out front, feet stumbling down the stairs. He gets up, turns as a figure hurtles around the second-floor landing and down the upper stairs of the first flight. He barely gets his gun up, hasn’t even said anything when they collide, entangle, and there’s one, brief, brilliant second of mental clarity – when he’s swamped by just what an unbelievably fucking bad idea it was to come down that hall – and then that clarity collapses into panic as he and the figure grapple and try to untangle themselves, and then he feels himself losing his balance, falling backward, he reaches a foot back but there’s nothing there and now he’s on his back, his breath punched out of him as he skids down the stairs to the hallway floor.

He’s still got his pistol in his hand but he’s dazed, he can’t get enough breath to move, and he looks up, sees the guy he just wrangled with standing on the landing over McInerney, silhouetted against the soot-streaked window, sees the guy’s right arm coming up and he knows what that means, he fucking knows, and he feels everything from the pit of his stomach down to his groin turn to cold mush, he’s trying to draw in some air, enough to get his own piece up –

There’s a flash. Quick, bright, like lightning. In that flash, dark eyes look down on him, cold fucking hard eyes.

And with the flash…

There’s a POP – a small noise, like a single clap of hands, but in the confines of the hall it sets his ears ringing…

About the Author:Bill Mesce, Jr. Is an award-winning author and playwright as well as a screenwriter. He is an adjunct instructor at several colleges in his native New Jersey.

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Against the Wind by Tony F. Powell – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tony F. Powell 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.

Tony Powell was born on March 16, 1955 in Charlottetown, Labrador, NL, on the Northeast Coast of Canada, son of the late Benjamin and Effie Powell. Together they had nine children – seven boys and two girls. Six boys become bush pilots. Tony is married to Ida Powell, and they have one child, Ramsey, who is a medical doctor.

Tony will take you on his life’s journey. His stories are captivating, inspiring, and heart-wrenching. He never faltered in achieving his dreams and aspirations.

Tony has a great love for family and history. His greatest qualities are his positive attitude and calm nature, never allowing negative thinking to weaken his strengths and defeat his goals.

Tony’s early years took him to the rich fishing ground off the shores of Labrador. At the tender age of seven he would accompany his dad and the crew to haul the cod traps in an ol’ 10-metre motorboat. At age fourteen he was fishing as a share-man on his dad’s longliner in the furry seas of Northern Labrador.

At age seventeen Tony was guiding sports fishermen from all over the world, fishing for trout and Atlantic salmon in our rich Labrador rivers and streams. Their excitement became his enjoyment.

Tony begin his career as a commercial pilot at the age of twenty. His love of flight included seven years with Labrador Airways, coupled with three years flying the mission plane out of North West River, Labrador.

Tony’s dream was to have his own flying service. Pursuing his dream, he became owner/Chief Pilot of Labrador Travel Air, an aircraft charter company. With the newly constructed Trans Labrador Highway along our shores, Labrador Travel Air became history.

He has 45 years of flying experience and 27,000 hours of flight time on over 30 different types of single-and multi-engine aircraft on wheels, skis and floats, including a commercial helicopter licence, often logging 1500 hours in a single year. In Tony’s years of flight thus far he is very proud to have a proven record of never having any injuries to his passengers or himself.

Tony continues to fly seasonally on a legendary Beaver seaplane for Portland Creek Aviation, and has his own PA-18 Super Cub C-GTFP.

I invite you to come experience first hand Captain Tony Powell behind the controls of the legendary de Havilland pistonpowered Beaver during the seventies without heaters in -50°C temperatures. Watch him perform many lifesaving mercy flights while battling some of nature’s most severe weather conditions anywhere on the planet. His described flights will surely capture the attention of the most avid flyer as we witness him survive engine failures and even a crash landing amongst the huge trees in Labrador.

Come live out in real time his heroic shipwreck. Sit on his modified Mach Z Ski-Doo and feel the adrenaline flow through your veins as you race for dear life up the big mountain in the Race on the Rock at Marble Mountain, NL.

At age forty-eight, Tony was diagnosed with fourth and final stage cancer. Learn of his prognosis, and his courageous determination to survive. Experience his fight to beat the odds.

Throughout Tony’s recollections you will travel by air, water and land, experiencing historic events and fatal airplane crash scenes in Labrador, including the story of his Grandfather Powell sailing onboard the Dorothy Duff while delivering a load of salt cod fish to the Mediterranean Sea during WWI. It will surely chill you to your core.

Tony will welcome you to his childhood family home where you will find pure love overcoming many of life’s obstacles. Find out the true meaning of perseverance, courage and strength.

Tony has shown us what life’s struggles are all about and how he survived them.

This book is a true reflection of living our lives one day at a time. Each day we all journey Against the Wind and survive the storms of life.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

Tall Ships Enter Square Island Harbour

I can remember seeing many schooners docking at Dads wharf at Square Islands, including the ninety-three-foot Norma and Gladys, owned by Skipper Charley Kean, a good friend of my father. It was later acquired by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and became a floating museum, sailing about the province. I last stepped aboard the Norma and Gladys at Harbour Grace in 1976.

A frequent sight was the M.V. Catalina Trader, owned by S W Mifflin Ltd. out of Catalina. As a boy in the early 60s, I enjoyed trips from Square Islands to Charlottetown in this lovely ship. The captain was Freddy Brown, and some of the crew I remember were Stew Haynes, John Tippett, George Hunt, Sam Reid and John Manuel.

The most memorable schooner I remember docking at Dad’s wharf in Square Islands, Labrador, was the Sherman Zwicker, owned by Captain Maxwell Burry from Glovertown, Newfoundland. It was a 142-foot wooden auxiliary fishing schooner and carried a crew of eighteen men. It had been designed with a similar hull to her famous sister ship, the Bluenose, but had a 320 brake horsepower (240 kW) diesel engine installed from the beginning. Both the Sherman Zwicker and Bluenose were built at the same shipyard—Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

I remember Dad telling us about how Square Island Harbour would fill up with sailing schooners during July in the 1940s, when they couldn’t get any farther north due to the solid jam of Arctic ice. Sometimes there would be more than a hundred of them at the same time, and he could cross the harbour by jumping from one schooner to the other.

Back in Charlottetown, in the fall of 1965 I thought if I had an ice cream maker then I could make some pocket money by selling ice cream. My brothers Lester and Sandy did it in earlier years, but the old ice cream maker was no longer useable. I had an idea: I put ten dollars in an envelope along with a note to my Uncle Max Powell, in Carbonear, explaining this is a down payment for a one-gallon ice cream maker and asking if it would it be ok if I paid it out over the winter. With the next trip of the MV Bonavista arrived my onegallon hand-crank ice cream maker. I was a very proud boy.

Myself and my helper—often it was my cousin Johnny Marshall— would make a gallon of ice cream and go from house to house all around Charlottetown and sell it for ten cents per cone. After paying my expenses and sharing the profits with my helper I would clear anywhere between thirty-five cents to one dollar per gallon. My biggest single expense was the cones, at a cost of three cents each. I would buy them in cartons of four hundred. Sometimes on Saturdays we would make two gallons when the sales were good. Only a young lad of ten years at the time, I was running a lucrative little business. Pocket money all winter and by spring ice cream maker was fully paid for.

About the AuthorTony Powell was born and raised at Charlottetown, Labrador, Newfoundland Labrador, a proud member of NunatuKavut, Southern Inuit of Labrador. He is mixed blood Inuit and European decent, the son of the late Author Benjamin W. Powell of Charlottetown, Labrador, NL. His mom was the late Effie Mary Campbell Powell, born at George’s Cove, ten miles south of Square Islands on the southeast coast of Labrador. Married to Ida Powell of Conche, on the great Northern Peninsula of NL, they have a son, Ramsey Powell, who is a medical Doctor.

When Tony was a boy the main mode of transportation along the Labrador Coast was by a Team of husky dogs or snowshoes.

A travelling doctor and nurse visited our community once during the winter by dog team, and once during the summer by boat. The first scheduled Aircraft passenger service was Labrador Airways by single engine Otter in 1970 winter time only.


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Living Forward, Looking Back by Nate Nasralla – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nate Nasralla will be awarding a $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.

If we’re honest, we’ll admit our days are filled with normal routines, like eating cereal and sitting in traffic. We often wonder, “is this it?”

But do we really have to quit our jobs and travel the world to find a fulfilling, purposeful life? Is it possible to find significance in our daily routines, right here and now?

After experiencing a rapid series of major life changes within a single year, Nate stumbled upon a reality that’s shared by us all: there’s profound meaning in our ordinary, everyday moments, but we can’t see it.

Through painfully-honest storytelling and candid conversation, Nate shares how years of mistakes and missteps uncovered a simple framework that reveals the greater purpose behind our everyday lives, and why the answers to life’s deep questions are often backward from what we expect.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Are you living a meaningful life?

If we’re honest, most of us will answer “not sure,” or “not really.” It’s not an easy question to emphatically answer, “yes!” The reality is that our days are often filled with more routines than grand adventures, and we’re not fulfilled by the common things in life. Eating cereal, sitting in traffic, and staying home on a Saturday when plans fall through won’t make the headlines and highlights displayed on our social media feeds. Instead, we’re captivated by the extraordinary things which will never happen within a normal week – getting a big promotion, finishing a marathon, buying a new car.

I believe, however, that your regular life is far more significant than you realize. There is deep meaning hiding in your everyday conversations and ordinary interactions – you just can’t see it in the moment. You and I both need a framework to help us uncover more of the meaning in our ordinary, everyday lives. We need more stories.

About the Author:

Nate is an author and entrepreneur who helps us find more meaning in the ordinary, everyday moments of our lives.

Nate and his wife, Erin, were raised in Chicago and now hail from Denver. After moving cities and cycling through a rapid series of major life changes, Nate launched his publishing company, Live Forward, to help others find more meaning in their everyday lives.

Building on his experience as the co-founder of a successful, venture-backed startup company, and as a frequent speaker and trainer on storytelling for nonprofit leaders, Nate’s recent book, Living Forward, Looking Backward, helps others understand the greater purpose behind their own life stories.

Through Nate’s memories, stories, and candor, we learn how the principle of paradox and the story of the Gospel shows up in each of our lives, often in ways we don’t expect, and ways that feel even a little backward to us.

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The Perception Game by Cadence Vonn – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cadence Vonn will be awarding a $10 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.

When it comes to sex, school teacher Camille Weatherby considers herself an exhibitionist. She refuses to allow anyone to control her life, and relationships are out of the question. Any affairs are one-night stands, and the only thing that matters is the pleasure she garners from the thrill of possibly being caught. But an encounter with a hot stranger at a costume party leaves her disregarding that rule.

Millionaire bad boy Garrett Gerard craves control, especially in the bedroom, and money buys what he enjoys. His indiscretions have caught up with him, and his father presents an ultimatum–straighten up or lose the chance to be president of the family business. Camille tests his willpower, and he can’t resist showing her what it’s like to be with a dominating lover.

When their fling is discovered, Camille and Garrett are forced to fake an engagement to save their jobs. But the more they’re thrown together, the more sparks fly.

Enjoy an Excerpt

She removed her long coat, tossed it over a chair and strode toward the large window. “Impressive view.”

He kissed her bare shoulder from behind as he held her glass in front of her. “Makes one feel vulnerable and insignificant. Or powerful and in control. What do you feel when you look out?”

She turned, and his arm captured her waist. “Excited.” She raised her glass, giving him a salute before she took a sip.

“Excited about what I’m going to do to you? You don’t even know me and here you are, open to the possibilities.” His hand moved to the back of her head and gripped it tight. His lips inched closer to hers. Champagne-tinged breath whispered across her lips before he said in a low, seductive voice, “I have wicked plans for us this weekend. You wanted edgy, possibly forbidden sex. You’ve come to the right man. I think we’re meant for each other.” His mouth captured hers. The instant heat of his tongue explored its depths and made her lean against him. She gyrated her hips, hoping to torment him the same way he tasted her.

About the Author:

Cadence has been involved in the arts since she could pick up a crayon. She has a BFA in photography and silversmithing. If you get a glimpse of her notebooks you’ll discover she’s an accomplished doodler. She channels her daydreams into sizzling hot romances. Now she is living her dream with her husband on Whidbey Island with a view of Puget Sound outside her door.

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Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

There’d forever been a thread running through Trevor Estes’s life—his son Riley, strong and constant like heartbeat. But when Riley is killed in combat, everything in Trevor’s life unravels into a mess he doesn’t know how to mourn.

Until Jesse Byrne, Riley’s friend and platoon mate, arrives on his doorstep with a box of Riley’s things. Jesse’s all-too-familiar grief provides an unlikely source of comfort for Trevor; knowing he’s not alone is exactly what he needs. Trevor never imagined he’d find someone who fills his heart with hope again. As the pair celebrate Riley’s memory, their unique bond deepens into something irreplaceable—and something neither man can live without.

But diving into a relationship can’t be so simple. Being together means Trevor risking the last link he has to his son…leaving Jesse to wonder if he’ll ever be enough, or if Trevor will always be haunted by the past.

Read an Excerpt:

Jesse led Trevor back over to their rock bench and knelt to rummage in his pack. “In Afghanistan, the tradition is to shoot flares off on the one-year anniversary of someone—of losing someone.” He pulled a small box out of a zippered pocket and held it up. “Obviously we can’t shoot off flares around here, but I thought maybe we could light these for Riley tonight.”

Trevor stared at him before reaching out to take the box from him. “Sparklers?” he said wonderingly. “You bought sparklers?”

“Yeah. I brought a lighter, too.” Jesse brandished it. “Hey, if you don’t want to, that’s—”

“No, it’s perfect. Riley loved these things on the Fourth of July.” Trevor took one out. “Here, light me.”

It took a few tries, but soon Trevor’s sparkler was burning, the little stick spitting and glowing bright in the dark night.

Jesse lit his off of Trevor’s, holding it away from himself, watching the shower of sparks. “God, I haven’t done these since I was a kid.”

“You can write in the air with them, remember?” Trevor made a curlicue motion, leaving behind a spiral of light that dissipated a split second later.

Jesse tried it, and soon they were laughing, trying to top each other’s skywriting artwork, running through the box of sparklers until they were down to the last few.

Finally Trevor sank down on the stone bench, holding his aloft and looking up at the sky. “I miss you, Riley James. I love you.”

Jesse hoisted his sparkler up, too. “Miss you, Riles.”

About the Author:

Melanie Hansen likes to consider herself a cynic, but at heart she’s a hopeless romantic. Every morning she gets up before dawn to spend time with her characters, creating stories that are deeply emotional, sometimes heartbreaking, but in the end where love always wins. Melanie’s proud of the fact that two of her books have been named as RT Book Reviews Top Picks.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, ended up marrying a Navy man, and has lived and worked all over the country. Melanie hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

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Cast of Characters from In Bed With a Rogue by Samantha Grace – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Samantha Grace, whose newest book In Bed With a Rogue was recently released. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a copy of the book.

Hello, everyone! I’m Samantha Grace, author of the historical romance series Rival Rogues. It’s great to be here today at Long and Short Reviews. Recently I recalled my love for reading plays in my high school and college literature classes. Anton Chekov, Neil Simon, William Shakespeare, the Greek tragedies… It didn’t matter if I would like the story by the end—although 9 times out of 10 I did—I always experienced a rush of excitement when I opened the play and found the cast of characters. Maybe it was the sense of possibilities with each characters—what role would they play? What secrets would they hold? Would they be exactly what they seemed to be on the surface or was there more depth to them? I thought it might be fun to share the “Cast of Characters” for my newest release IN BED WITH A ROGUE and what role they play in a story I truly love.

Sebastian, 2nd Baron Thorne—hero; a rogue by reputation; jilted by the heroine in ONE ROGUE TOO MANY, whom he wanted to marry to help improve his sister’s standing in Society; son of an officer in the King’s military who was granted a barony for his service. Sebastian’s goals: Help his sister reenter Society and complete his father’s work for housing for homeless soldiers. Barriers: Gossips are spreading rumors that he is mad like his father; No lady of high standing will help his sister since they are giving her the cut direct (turning their noses up and shunning her).

Eve Thorne—Sebastian’s younger sister; abandoned at the altar 2 years earlier and her reputation suffered greatly; the ton assumed her fiancé had learned something horrible about her; spunky and resilient despite everything.

Lady Helena Prestwick—heroine; a viscountess; widow with a sterling reputation recently arrived from Scotland; has a secret past she wants to keep hidden; in London to search for her younger sisters whom she hasn’t seen since her father lost her in a card game to Lord Prestwick and he took her to his castle in Scotland; independently wealthy since her husband had no heirs. Helena’s goal: Find her sisters and provide a better life for them in Scotland. Barriers: She can’t search the fashionable brothels where one of her sisters is rumored to work because she is not a gentleman.

Fergus—Helena’s champion; he is her deceased husband’s land steward; Scottish; he is a father figure to Helena and a bit of a pushover when it comes to her; very protective.

Olive, Lady Eldridge—Lord Prestwick’s cousin who has taken Helena under her wing; a busybody and gossip, but good hearted; she caused a few problems for Sebastian in ONE ROGUE TOO MANY.

Lavinia Kendrick—Helena’s sister who is rumored to be working in a brothel.

Cora, Pearl, and Gracie—Helena’s other younger sisters.

Other characters play a role in the story, too, but these are the ones closest to Sebastian and Helena. Fergus and Lavinia are definitely favorites when it comes to secondary characters. Maybe they’ll each need a happy-ending of their own some day.

Not only do I enjoy reading plays, I love attending the theater. I had a chance to see “Wicked” onstage when the Romance Writers of America met in New York a few years ago and it was AMAZING! I kept thinking how each performer was at the top of their games. It was very inspiring for me as a writer. It made me want to be at the top of my game some day, too. Have you ever seen a professional performance of a play? Was it something you enjoyed or would you prefer sticking to movies?

To connect with Samantha…

Samantha Grace Author | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

9_19 Samantha Grace Author PhotoAbout the Author: Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publisher’s Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

Part-time hospice social worker, moonlighting author, and Pilates nut, she enjoys a happy and hectic life with her real life hero and two kids in the Midwest.

Website: http://www.samanthagraceauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Grace/264436686918343

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4946067.Samantha_Grace


9_19 Samantha Grace9781402286612-mHe’s the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family’s reputation no matter what it takes.


She’s the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he’s quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she’s got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes…





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