Five Things K-lee Klein Likes to Do When Not Writing – Guest Blog and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes K-lee Klein who is celebrating the recent release of her newest book Unbroken Hearts. Enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Thanks for being here for my Unbroken Hearts blog tour! And thank you Long & Short Reviews for taking part. Unbroken Hearts, book 2 in the Unbreak My Heart series, was released on October 11th from Dreamspinner Press.

Though it’s the second edition, the new Unbroken Hearts contains more than just a polished, rewritten Unbroken Hearts, but also the short Unwrapped Hearts and 25,000 words of new material in the love story between Brett and JT. I hope you enjoy it and please make sure to enter the Rafflecopter draw at the end of the post.

I considered talking about my Top 5 recipes but…I don’t cook. Lol. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 things I like to do when I’m not writing.

1. Movies. I love films, especially big action superhero flicks that are best enjoyed in the theatre. I’m one of those weirdos who still buys DVDs of the movies I love. The Captain America films are my favourites and I may have seen each of them at least 5 times in the theatre. I also collect gay films and a lot of comfort watches.

2. Reading. What writer doesn’t like to read, at least in my experience? Of course, my reading habits are a little off since I’ve been stuck in a wind tunnel of fanficiton for a few years now. There’s just something about the familiarity of the characters and the fact I already love them with all my heart. Anyone ever heard of Stucky? They’re totally my OTP. 😉

3. Music. Live music (I’m a concert hound), music in the car, or just crutch-dancing in my living room and being judged by my cats–music is very important in my life. I have several stories featuring musicians because I love writing them too. I’ve even written songs for some of my books, Unbreak My Heart & Unbroken Hearts included.

4. Spending time with my kids. They’re all in their 20s (coughcough—and 1 is 30) and even though we live in the same city, can a mom ever see her kid enough? I have a girl & 2 boys and we’re all very close. We go for dinner or play crazy (inappropriate) games. And we go on holiday every year together to a little cabin by a lake. This year we’re spending time Christmas in Mexico. I can’t wait!

5. Travelling. Whether with my family, my husband, or by myself, I love going packing up and hitting the road—preferably on a plane, train or cruise ship. I’m not big at being in the car, especially since I’ve messed-up both knees. Traveling can be painful now but it’s hella worth it every time.

Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle, so he could have JT Campbell in his life. JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.

About the Author: K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook author/reader group | Goodreads

Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press or Amazon.

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Top 5 Things I Like to Do When I’m Not Writing by KC Burn – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes KC Burn who is celebrating the recent release of Tea or Consequences. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10 Dreamspinner store credit.

Top 5 Things I like to do when I’m not writing…

You besides the day job and sleeping? Ha! I’m KC Burn, and I’m thrilled to be here in honor of my new release, Tea or Consequences. Here are my top five… have we got any in common?

5. TV – big surprise, right? But it’s an activity hubby and I like to do together to relax. I love mysteries and sci-fi shows, as well as some sit-coms. I’m looking forward to seeing the new Doctor in Doctor Who and checking out The Orville. I also adore Midsomer Murders, among other things, and have recently discovered the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

4. Movies – But I don’t have the best taste. I love comedies or action movies with lots of explosions (yes, I saw ALL of the Expendables movies in the theatre… wanna make something of it?). I’ve seen lots of terrible Dolph Lundgren movies. And I’m not at all interested in feel good movies where I might cry. Considering I’m a romance author, I’m strangely not a fan of romances or romantic comedies, although there are a few exceptions.

3. Travel –I’ve ticked off some of the top destinations on my bucket list (Egypt, Mexico, UK, France, Hawaii), but for someone with a history degree, there are so many more places I’d love to see. I’m finally at a place (knock on wood) where I’ve got both adequate vacation time and some extra funds to actually take some trips. Next I’m hoping for Italy… we’ll have to see.

2. Board games – we can spend literally hours playing board games – the strategy kind, like Settlers of Catan, not like Monopoly. Not only do we own probably about a hundred or so games of our own, there’s a board game café close to our apartment where we can go and test drive other games. The current favourites right now are Castles of Mad King Ludwig and TIME Stories. If you’re at all interested in getting a taste of different games, I highly recommend watching Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop series on YouTube.

1. Escape Rooms! So much fun! If you’re not familiar, it’s basically getting locked in a themed room for an hour where you have to solve puzzles in order to “escape”. Living in Los Angeles gives me access to a number of these, and when we can make our friends’ schedules mesh, we go! I adore the way they work the brain and make you work as a team. If there aren’t any nearby for you to try out, or if they’re too pricey, you can get a taste of them in Escape! on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel.

And now that you know this about me… you’ll probably be able to see some of these influences in Riley, my amateur sleuth in Tea or Consequences 😉 He’s a bit of a geek, just like me.

Riley Parker: temp, twink, geek… sleuth?

Maybe Riley isn’t living up to his full potential, but being a temp executive assistant suits him. He’s never bored at work, he’s got friends who let him geek out, and he’s got a carefully crafted twink exterior… which might be getting constrictive now that he’s on the other side of thirty. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s comfortable.

It all unravels when he takes a job working for a tea-obsessed cosmetics queen, the owner of Gautier Cosmetics. During the launch party for a new product, Riley finds his boss dead under suspicious circumstances, and the homicide detective is none other than Tadeo Martin, Riley’s high school obsession who never knew he was alive.

Tad drafts Riley to get the scoop on the inner workings of Gautier, and for Riley, it’s like a drug. His natural inquisitiveness is rewarded with more and more Tad. Unfortunately, his snooping puts him in the running for two other roles: suspect and victim. The killer doesn’t care which.

About the Author:KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own — getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.

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Tea or Consequences is available at Dreamspinner Press and Amazon.

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One of My Favorite Places to Go on Vacation by Julia Talbot – Guest Blog


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Julia Talbot, author of Sparkle and Shine, which is newly re-released by Dreamspinner Press.

One of my favorite places to go on vacation

Hey y’all! I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m here to combine one of my favorite places to go on vacation with shouting out my latest release at Dreamspinner. Sparkle and Shine is one of my favorites, and Dreamspinner Press is being kind enough to release it for me again!

Evan and Brooks are rodeo cowboys in the story, trying to find their way with the rodeo, a little girl, and a friends to lovers situation.

So, I decided to tell y’all about Las Vegas.

Now, the average American probably doesn’t think rodeo when they think about Las Vegas. Rhinestones and neon, casinos and mobsters; that’s what we associate with that town. Buffets and steak houses, if you’re old school, celebrity chefs and designer clothes if you’re hip. (I haven’t been hip since the 90s, I’m afraid).

But when I think of Vegas, I think of three things. The PBR (professional bullriders) finals in October. The National Finals Rodeo in December. And country music concerts.

I’ve been to the PBR finals 5 times. I’ve seen Tim McGraw twice in Vegas. I’ve never been to the National Finals because, well, someone has to die for you to get good seats, and it comes right before Christmas, but someday I plan to go.

I love Vegas. I love the glitz and glamour of the strip. I love the weird themed hotels, though I have to admit, it’s gotten fancier over the years, less individual and kitschy. The first time I went, I was just going with friends, and I stayed at the Luxor, which back then had a scale replica of King Tut’s tomb, and an Imax ride Egyptian Adventure. I think there’s a Mexican restaurant now where the tomb used to be…

I’ve seen an exhibit of the Titanic, the wax museum, a collection of Liberace’s costumes (talk about rhinestones! Google him, y’all) and a PBR bar with a bucking machine inside it. We’ve watched rodeo cowboys play poker, and being the uber fans we are, we made $5.00 last three hours on a nickel slot so we could stalk them. We’ve taken weird little trains from one end of the strip to the others, listened to hundreds of languages, and people watched until we couldn’t take anymore. We’ve eaten at the Border Grille, at Chef Ramsey’s place in Caesar’s, and had steak frittes at the Paris. We’ve walked the strip for miles, even when the wife had the flu, and we’ve seen a bazillion shows, from Cirque de Soleil to Absinthe to concerts.

In short, there’s an awful lot to see, even if you don’t like rodeo, but really, how can you not love cowboys?

XXOO
Julia

All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.

But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue.

First edition published by Torquere Press, November 2007

About the Author: Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.

Top Five Favorite Vacation Destinations by Roe Horvat – Guest Blog


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Roe Horvat who is celebrating the recent release of The Layover.

Top 5 Favorite Vacation Destinations

#1 My Backyard, Gothenburg, Sweden

Seriously. When the house is empty and the weather reasonable, I’m stretched out on the recliner under the blue sky, reading, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, listening to the neighbor’s kids screeching, and thinking: mhmm, somebody else’s problem.

#2 Sarek National Park, North of Sweden

…is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life (see pic). It took us eight days to hike through the Park. You’d need to carry the food on your back, of course, but the water from the glaciers is drinkable without chemicals. Be careful while wading through the streams; it’s easy to underestimate the force and temperature of the water. You won’t know you broke your toe until you’re on the other side trying to put your boots back on.

#3 Brno, Czech Republic

My home town. I’m rarely there since I moved away from Central Europe ten years ago. There’s beer, baked pork and sauerkraut, delicious white wine, medieval castles, gothic churches, cobblestoned streets, and, most importantly, friends and family.

#4 My Office

I’m not a workaholic. Erm…hopefully not. Besides writing, I freelance as a graphic designer, so working during vacation time is a common occurrence. My cave is my safe space. We have a pub next door that serves some of the best burgers in Gothenburg, and there’s a bakery around the corner. If only the main entrance to the gym were somewhere else—it’s like working by the gate to Mordor.

#5 Provence

Seen the movies? A Good Year? French Kiss? It looks exactly like that, I swear, no filter. Stay in Aix-en-Provence, visit The Gorges Du Verdon (take three times more drinking water than what you think you’d need), Marseille (preferably when the fog creeps up from the harbor), and Calanques National Park. Use copious amounts of olive oil on your salads, drink wine with every meal, and ignore the rudeness of the staff because life’s good.

Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful.

Jaded Ondro never would have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation. Life has taught Ondro not to hope, but then, he never believed in love at first sight either.

About the Author: Queer author, storyteller & graphic designer

Roe was born in former Czechoslovakia and endured a miserable adolescence in the post-communist wasteland. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, they left for Germany and later, Spain.

Finally, they settled in Sweden, where the weather is nasty but the freedom great. Roe works as a motion graphics artist, loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams and everything in between, preferably by the fireplace with a strawberry daiquiri in hand.
Roe writes contemporary romantic fiction – it conveniently balances out their real-life pragmatism.

When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, Roe can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Dreamspinner Press, or Kobo.

Enjoy New Year’s Eve in Sydney by Nic Starr – Guest Post and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Nic Starr who is visiting with us today to celebrate the release of her newest book Runaway. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

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A big thank you to Long & Short Reviews for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Runaway.

Runaway is my latest release. It’s part of the Dreamspinner Press World of Love collection. The World of Love stories are “contemporary romances spotlighting the unique features, qualities and attributes of a specific country as well as the universality of love wherever it’s found.”

The story of Nate and Damien takes place in the Australian state of New South Wales, starting in a small country town on the north coast, followed by time spent in Sydney. To celebrate the release of the book, I thought I’d share some of my beautiful city of Sydney with you all.

New Year’s Eve

One of the things that Sydney is renowned for is the magnificent display of fireworks that happens over the harbour on New Year’s Eve. The event is so spectacular that it is witnessed by hundreds and thousands of people on and around the harbour, and millions worldwide who watch the televised broadcast.

I think the reason the outside event is so large and popular is because it is NYE, it occurs in such a brilliant location and because it is our summer. The weather is usually glorious so celebrations start early in the day as people claim their vantage points and settle in for a party in the sun followed by sunset and then the show.

There are actually two fireworks displays. The first is at 9am to cater for the kids. The family display is over 8 minutes with fireworks being fired from 4 barges in the harbour. The main show is at midnight (obviously) and goes for 12 minutes. Fireworks are shot from 7 barges, as well as buildings in the city, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Here are a few facts from 2016. There were an estimated 1.5 million people watching from the foreshores. Here were over 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects and it cost approximately AU$7million dollars for the combined 9am and midnight shows.

There are people who disapprove of the amount of money spent, plus the environmental impact of the fireworks but it’s a huge tourist drawcard plus a highlight for Sydneysiders. The whole show is choreographed to music and simulcast on the radio. My favourite parts this year were tributes to Prince and David Bowie.

Click here to see video that shows some of the highlights of the 2016 fireworks – just outstanding!

And here’s a photo taken from my vantage point at my Mum’s place.

I hope you liked seeing a little piece of Sydney and enjoy experiencing a little more when reading Runaway.

If you’d like to see some more of my beautiful country, you can visit the following blogs who are hosting me during the Runaway release.

April 5 – MM Good Book Reviews

April 10 – Alpha Book Club

April 11 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

April 12 – The Novel Approach

April 13 – Open Skye Book Reviews

April 13 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

April 14 – My Fiction Nook

April 17 – Love Bytes

April 18 – Divine Magazine

April 19 – Long and Short Reviews

 

Dr Nathan Powell is ready to settle down near his family, and hopefully find the man of his dreams. He returns to the small coastal town where he grew up, but while life is simpler than it was in the city, there are also complications—like patients’ reactions to an openly gay doctor. And like running into Nate’s first love, Damien, an out-and-proud local business owner who is unwilling to be any man’s dirty secret. The reunion reignites old desire even while it stirs up Nate’s guilt over the way things ended with Damien.

When Nate’s nephew runs away, Damien accompanies Nate on his mission to find the young man. The drive to Sydney, and the search of the city, gives Nate time to reconnect with Damien—and to wonder if he made the right decision years ago—when he determined a future for them was impossible. Is a fresh start realistic for two men in their forties? But before he can ponder the second chance they’ve been given, Nate must locate his nephew.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

About the Author: Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

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Five Things I’d Want with Me if I Were Marooned by Lucie Archer – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lucie Archer whose newest book My Paradise Is You recently released. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.

Hey everyone! This is the last stop on my blog tour for My Paradise Is You, and along the way I’ve asked people what they couldn’t live without if they were stranded on a deserted island. I’m not surprised most readers mentioned books or their Kindles, and a good portion said their family and pets. All excellent things to have, if you ask me, so I thought I’d wrap up the tour with five things I’d want with me if I ever get marooned. God forbid. (I’m going to exclude family, pets, and books since those are almost a given.)

1) My laptop

Maybe this is cheating a little, but without access to WiFi, I’d have so much time on my hands to write without that little time suck called the Internet. I’d settle for a pen and paper though, because batteries die, but really anything I could write with/on would do just fine.

2) A multi-tool

In any kind of survival situation, tools are going to come in extremely handy. I’d prefer something with a sturdy knife on it as well as various other gadgets I could use to crack open coconuts and fashion whatever I might need during my stay.

3) A fire starter

Fire is a necessity for cooking, purifying water, keeping warm, driving away mosquitos, and scaring any large predator that might be lurking around, so if I get stranded, I’m going to need one at some point. In fact, I’m not sure I would survive long without one, and since I have never been successful in my attempts to start a fire by rubbing sticks together, this is the next best thing.

4) Sunscreen/protection

I like to tell people I don’t get sunburned. Instead I blister. After receiving some very serious sunburns in my early teens, the sun is something I no longer like to mess with. I’m sure there would be lots of shade courtesy of beautiful palm trees, but a lot of people underestimate how powerful the reflection off the ocean can be. Better safe than sorry. But enough with my skin cancer PSA.

5) My bed

This might be asking too much, but I’m not the kind of person who falls asleep easily. And that’s compounded when I’m in a strange place. So if I ever get stranded on a deserted island, someone please ship me my bed!

How was that? Pretty reasonable I think. I’m a rather pragmatic person, and I’m very low maintenance, so I like to think I could get by without modern conveniences for a week or two. Any longer than that and I might be in trouble.

When two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust-fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.

About the Author: Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

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Blog tour:
February 23 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 1 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
March 3 – Love Bytes
March 6 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 7 – Sinfully Gay
March 8 – Long and Short Reviews

My First Love – Historical Romance by Rowan McAllister – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rowan McAllister who is celebrating the release today of her newest book We Met in Dreams.

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It’s release day and a big thanks to Long and Short reviews for having me on here to introduce my latest historical.

Though I loved writing my contemporaries and have dipped my toes into pagan paranormal a couple of times, I always come back to my first romance genre love- the historical. There’s nothing like escaping into a bygone era without cell phones and televisions, computers and cars, and the overwhelming “noise” of the modern age… even if just for a little while.

There’s also nothing like going down the rabbit hole while researching one either. You finally find the perfect house to set your book in, and then you come across an interesting ghost story about a neighbor, or you learn the house was one of many destroyed in the bombings of WWII or converted into a school. Or you start searching for the wine or spirits that everyone who was everyone was drinking at the time, so your character can be quite the posh gentleman, and you learn how nearly all the wine grapes in France were wiped out by a blight, and the only thing that saved them was grafting onto rootstock from the U.S. (we may never know what a truly “French” wine tasted like).

I’m not the kind of history buff that wants to read about the great battles fought, the deeds of the high and might, or other greatest singular moments in time. I like the little things, the odd little stories and anecdotes, stories about medicine and science and agriculture.

It’s tidbits like these that make me follow those little threads of information down and down, clicking and clicking until I almost forget what the original purpose of my search was. Then of course I have to backtrack to get to the meat and potatoes I need for the my story, but I’ve learned something new along the way.

(BTW, this is also how I lose hours and hours on Pinterest, following the breadcrumbs of cool stuff and brilliant ideas down and down until I have so many ideas I have no idea where to start.)

We Met in Dreams was born of my fascination with these parts of history as well as the study of the human mind, and just a bit of spiritualism and the unknown. I gladly followed those threads and added a bit of what I learned to Arthur and Fox’s story. I hope the readers can find a lovely escape from all the noise, noise, noise, noise (channeling my inner Grinch there). I also hope they enjoy the ride as much I did.

In Victorian London, during a prolonged and pernicious fog, fantasy and reality are about to collide—at least in one man’s troubled mind.

A childhood fever left Arthur Middleton, Viscount Campden, seeing and hearing things no one else does, afraid of the world outside, and unable to function as a true peer of the realm. To protect him from himself—and to protect others from him—he spends his days heavily medicated and locked in his rooms, and his nights in darkness and solitude, tormented by visions, until a stranger appears.

This apparition is different. Fox says he’s a thief and not an entirely good sort of man, yet he returns night after night to ease Arthur’s loneliness without asking for anything in return. Fox might be the key that sets Arthur free, or he might deliver the final blow to Arthur’s tenuous grasp on sanity. Either way, real or imaginary, Arthur needs him too much to care.

Fox is only one of the many secrets and specters haunting Campden House, and Arthur will have to face them all in order to live the life of his dreams.

About the Author: Rowan McAllister is a woman who doesn’t so much create as recreate, taking things ignored and overlooked and hopefully making them into something magical and mortal. She believes it’s all in how you look at it. In addition to a continuing love affair with words, she creates art out of fabric, metal, wood, stone, and any other interesting scraps of life she can get her hands on. Everything is simply one perspective change and a little bit of effort away from becoming a work of art that is both beautiful and functional. She lives in the woods, on the very edge of suburbia—where civilization drops off and nature takes over—sharing her home with her patient, loving, and grounded husband, her super sweet hairball of a cat, and a mythological beast masquerading as a dog. Her chosen family is made up of a madcap collection of people from many different walks of life, all of whom act as her muses in so many ways, and she would be lost without them.

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Cross My Heart by Catt Ford – Spotlight and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Catt Ford, who is celebrating the recent release of her newest book Cross My Heart.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Roland Reynolds—or Lana Renault, as she’s now known—knows that life is no fairy tale. Fortunately she has her trusted friends, nicknamed the “the dwarfs,” to keep her company. She lives her life to the fullest while keeping what’s beneath her skirt to herself.

American painter Daniel Hunter is no stranger to adversity either, and it’s left him with not only strength but secrets. Unlike Lana, he remains aloof, content to observe life and beauty from the sidelines… until the first time their eyes meet on a crowded Paris street.

Cupid’s arrow finds its mark in Daniel, but while Lana longs for romance, she knows there’s no prince in her happy ever after. If their story is to have a fairy-tale ending, Daniel will have to convince Lana to let down her walls—and, in the process, reveal what he fears sharing the most.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Daniel took great pleasure in watching people, even though hope was dying for finding the one to inspire him to paint again.

Until he saw her.

The first time, her confident stride caught his eye. Attracted by her long legs and perfect derriere, he followed along in a desultory way until he lost sight of her in the crowd.

She must live or work somewhere near his arrondissement, because he kept spotting her. Daniel hadn’t seen her face yet, but he admired her figure and the way she dressed. Like most Parisian women, she had that street-chic thing down. While her clothes were simple, they fit exceptionally well.

She probably wasn’t avoiding him purposely; it was simply one of those frustrating quirks of fate that she always seemed to vanish before he caught up. She couldn’t possibly know how much he wanted to see her face.

The colorful scarf she usually wore helped draw Daniel’s attention to her. Her hair wasn’t tortured to stick straightness. Instead, dark waves danced in the temperamental spring breeze as she moved, her stride long and energetic. Maybe the sun dazzled his eyes, but he thought he caught a glint of purple highlights. If only he could get close enough to check without alarming her.

Some might call him a stalker or obsessive, but ever since… it… happened, Daniel preferred not to get too close to his fellow beings. Watching them from afar was sufficient.

Even Daniel wasn’t sure exactly what he was searching for, but he hoped he’d know it when he saw it. Purely physical beauty did not satisfy him. He wanted something more, a quirk of personality or a hint of the inner spirit. Even a crooked smile might do the trick.

Ironically, now that Daniel had enough money to be able to paint anything he wanted, his muse had deserted him. If only he could catch up with this girl and she sparked his fancy, Daniel was sure he would be able to paint again. If he could convince her to sit for him.

Today she carried a large, flat portfolio, and the breeze lifted it like a sail, pulling her quickly along the pavement. Daniel tried to work his way through the throng of people without stepping on toes or elbowing ribs to get close enough for a good look. She laughed to herself as she turned to wrestle the errant portfolio back under control. For one breathless moment, the world stood still and their eyes met.

She was lovelier than he’d hoped, but not only for her cheekbones and eyes. In that one quick flash, he felt as if her essence had been laid bare to him, all the imperfections and fears, but more importantly the indomitable spirit of her being. Everything about her, the way she moved and the curve of her lips, said that if he was lucky enough to know her, life would be full of pleasant and interesting surprises.

In that split second of awareness, Daniel saw her and he knew she saw him. Then the wind caught her hair and tossed it playfully into her face. She reached up to smooth a strand behind her ear and turned away as if their souls had not just touched. Apparently unmoved by the moment they’d shared, she crossed the street with the rest of the pedestrians.

She was the one. He had to paint her. If only he could do justice to her. Shaken by the glance they exchanged, he doubted his own ability to capture what he’d seen, but he had to try.

Standing immobile on the pavement, buffeted by the hurrying crowd, Daniel let her slip away and disappear.

Damn. So that’s what it feels like.

About the Author: Catt Ford lives in front of the computer monitor, in another world where her imaginary gay friends obey her every command. Catt likes cats, chocolate, swing dancing, sleeping, Monty Python, Aussie friends, being silly, spinning other realities with words, and sea glass. She dislikes caterpillars, cigarette smoke, and rude people who think the F-word (as in faggot, or bundle of sticks) is acceptable. A frustrated perfectionist, she comforts herself with the legend about the weavers of Persian rugs always including one mistake so as not to anger the gods, although she has no need to include a mistake on purpose. One always slips through. Writing fiction has filled a need for clever conversations, only possible when one is in control of both sides, and erotic romances, where everything for the most part turns out happily ever after.

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Where Do Characters and Plots Come From by Karen Stivali – Guest Blog


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Karen Stivali as she celebrates the upcoming release of Moment of Fate, the fifth book in her Moments in Time series.

Where do Characters and Plots Come From?

Readers often ask where authors find their motivation for characters and plots. Is it purely imagination? Are things based on your real life experiences? Do the characters share your personality traits?

The answer to all of those questions is yes. And no. For me, as well as most of my author friends, the stories are completely fictional, the characters are not based on people we know in our real lives. But, and it is a significant but, small things may be pieces of us. A location we used to live. A restaurant we used to go to all the time. A particularly funny or poignant memory. And perhaps a facet or two of our own personality.

In MOMENT OF FATE I don’t have a ton in common with the main characters. Bryan is the lead singer in an up and coming rock band (I can’t sing a note and even if I could I don’t have the personality to be the front man—I was in the drama club in HS and was perfectly content working on the stage crew), he’s a sexy, gorgeous, charismatic gay dude (I’m none of those thing), and he’s got a sister he’s extremely close to (I’m an only child). But…he attends NYU as a photography student (I graduated NYU’s film school) and he’s got a secret he doesn’t share with anyone, which is the fact that he has chronic Lyme disease and pretty serious anxiety issues as one of the many symptoms. He doesn’t tell anyone because he stubbornly refuses to accept the limitations of a chronic illness and he doesn’t want anyone—himself or anyone else—to define him by his ailments. I’d like to say that’s not a trait I loaned him, but confession: I have chronic Lyme disease and yes it made my lifelong anxiety issues many times magnified. Like Bryan, I don’t talk about it because I refuse to be controlled by an illness any more than I have to be. But the lesson he learns in the book is one I definitely had to learn myself while figuring out how to cope with a disease that simply won’t go away.

Likewise with Oliver. He’s a teacher who spent several years engaged to his female BFF in a marriage of convenience because he wanted a family and wasn’t ready to accept his sexuality and come out. I’ve never gone through being closeted, but I am familiar with needing to make the best of things and making sacrifices for a friend. He’s also a writer, as am I. So again, I loaned him aspects of myself but he’s completely his own person. And I think his character arc of needing to learn to live your own truth is something universally relatable.

So, as I said in the beginning, when people ask authors if the characters are completely fictional or not, the answer is pretty much always yes. And no. No matter what the ratio is, the one thing that’s always true is that the characters very much become their own people in our minds. That’s why this series has gone from its original status as one short novella to one with seven books (and counting). The Moments In Time characters a part of my life. Thank you for making them a part of yours as well.

Bryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet, the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sow his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate may have other plans.

This is a standalone novel set in the Moments In Time world. You do not need to have read any of the previous titles to enjoy this book.

About the Author:Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.

When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her.

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Other books in the Moments In Time series:
MOMENT OF IMPACT (Book 1)
MOMENT OF TRUTH (Book 2)
MOMENT OF CLARITY (Book 3)
MOMENTS IN TIME (a compilation of Books 1-3)
MOMENT OF DOUBT (Book 3.5)
MOMENT OF SILENCE (Book 4)
MOMENT OF FATE (Book 5)

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Dreamspinner Press, Google Play, or iBooks.

Rushing Love by Meg Bawden – Spotlight and Giveaway


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Meg Bawden who is visiting with us today to celebrate the upcoming release of Rushing Love. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win an autographed paperback.

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Hi there! My name is Meg Bawden, and Long and Short Reviews has graciously accepted me on their blog today for the release of my new story, Rushing Love.

Rushing Love is a M/M romance story set in South Dakota, USA. I wrote it for the States of Love line from Dreamspinner Press and I can’t wait for its release. I had so much fun writing it and I can’t wait to share it with you. Please allow me to share the blurb with you:

After a devastating break-up with the man he thought he’d spend his life with, Flynn Webb takes a holiday to a South Dakota dude ranch. It’s something completely different from anything he’s done before, and it helps that it’s as far away from his ex as possible. Trapped in his own depressive thoughts, Flynn is surprised to meet Grayson Harland. Not only is Grayson a sexy cowboy—one fifteen years younger—but he’s the most charming man Flynn has ever met.

Flynn doesn’t have much experience with being seduced, and he has even less with guys like Grayson taking an interest in him—and Grayson is definitely interested. What begins as a fling while visiting iconic South Dakota sights soon develops the potential for much more. But Flynn is afraid that falling in love again so soon—and with a man so much younger—will lead only to another catastrophic heartbreak. Luckily for them both, Grayson isn’t giving up without a fight.

If you’re interested you can find the story here: Dreamspinner Press or Amazon.

To celebrate the upcoming release, I’d like to share an excerpt with you.

*****
“Tell me about yourself. If we’re on a date, I should get to know you, right?”

Grayson glanced at him briefly and smiled. “All right. But I expect the same from you. I’m Grayson, born on September 13, 1995. I was a big baby, and Mom loves to remind me of the pain I put her through.”

Flynn laughed.

“I don’t watch TV, don’t have time. But if I did, I’d watch something with hot guys in it.”

“Queer as Folk.”

“What’s that?” Grayson pulled onto another road. It looked like it led to the monument, because farther down, there was a ticket booth where people were collecting money.

“You haven’t heard of it?” Flynn went to get his wallet, but Grayson grabbed his hand and entwined their fingers. The touch sent a thrill through Flynn’s body. Grayson’s hand was warm and rough, and his fingers were much longer and wider than Flynn’s.

“Nope, should I have?”

“It’s a gay TV show. Full of hot gay guys that fuck. Brian…. Oh God, I’d bend over for Brian.”

Grayson’s eyebrows furrowed. There was a line in front of them, so they weren’t getting anywhere fast. He looked more than happy to drive with one hand and hold Flynn’s with the other. “Reality TV show?”

Flynn laughed. “Nope. Made up. But Brian is still hot.”

“Should I be jealous?”

“Are you jealous?” As soon as it escaped Flynn’s mouth, he pursed his lips. Goddammit. He had to remind himself that he’d only known Grayson for two days. Two damn days! He had no reason to be jealous.

“Yeah, I am.” Grayson stared at him. “I like to think I can make you mine.”

Words escaped Flynn. His chest felt tight, constricting until he could barely breathe, and his stomach was doing these silly little backflips. He liked those words, a lot, and he didn’t understand it. Couldn’t.

“Was that the wrong thing to say?”

“No….” Flynn cleared his throat. “No, it wasn’t.” He leaned in for a kiss, but before he could make it, the car behind them beeped their horn.

“Later,” Grayson promised. “So what about you? You haven’t really told me much about you yet.”

Flynn shrugged. “There’s nothing much to tell. I grew up in a religious home. My mom was a single mother after my dad left her for one of his groupies. He was a musician.”

“You’re joking.”

“Nope. And you know how they were in the seventies, even the late seventies. They liked their music and pot and sex. So Dad ran off and Mom raised me on her own. We were looked down on by the church, no matter how much Mom tried. She was never good enough for them.”

“Not all churches are that bad.”

He shook his head. “No, not all. But a lot are. Are you religious?”

“I suppose I believe in something being out there, but I don’t go to church. Mom used to, but she gave it up when some of the townsfolk started talking bad about me and Thomas for being gay.”

Flynn sighed. “Yeah, that’s how bad it got for Mom, even worse when some of the women from church saw me kissing a boy when I was fourteen. There are so many bigots now, but imagine in the early nineties. We were ridiculed. We had to pack up our stuff and move. Eventually, though, Mom sort of just gave up. She fell into depression and committed suicide when I was seventeen.”

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!”

“Yeah….” Flynn shook his head, pushing the memories out of his head. “It doesn’t matter. It happened and I’m over it. Well, not over it, but I’ve moved on.”

“I’m sorry, Flynn.”

He smiled and squeezed Grayson’s hand. “It’s fine. I’m fine. How about we focus on more positive things. Like how gorgeous I am.”

Grayson laughed and released Flynn’s hand as he drove up to the ticket booth. He handed the attendant the money and started to drive again. The road from the booth led straight to the parking lot, and it was a little hard to find a parking space, but they finally did.

They both exited the cab, and when Grayson reached him, he slipped his hand into Flynn’s again. Flynn knew he should have been worried about other people’s reactions. He knew from experience that not everyone was okay with seeing gay affection, but at that moment, as he stared up into Grayson’s eyes, he didn’t give a damn.

About the Author: MEG BAWDEN was born and raised in North Queensland, Australia. She’s loved stories since before she can remember and has always enjoyed creating characters of her own, even if it did begin with drawing faces on toilet rolls and giving them names. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she’s loved the M/M genre since 2004, the first book she read being Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez.

Writing M/M since 2007, Meg has never had the confidence to attempt publishing her own stories, but in 2015, she decided that it was all about to change thanks to the amazing friends she’s made in the M/M genre and their support and encouragement. So watch out world, Meg Bawden is coming out to have some fun!

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