Forbidden Heat by J.L. White – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.L. White will be awarding a $40 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_ForbiddenHeatThey call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Isabella. My comfort zone consists of a bank of test tubes and a Bunsen burner. But having to take a philosophy class to graduate from college—well, that’s causing a different kind of burn altogether. I mean, the hottest professor at Hartman is looking right at me.

Can you blame me for looking back?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Feeling dizzy, I back away from the table with heavy limbs. The girls I met don’t notice my departure but Justin Kirby does.

He’s right next to me with his hand on my lower back.

“I need to sit down,” I say.

“Okay sweetheart,” he says.

He steers me away, past an empty chair.

“Wait,” I say, but he leads me to the basement stairs and we start to go up. I’m having trouble managing them.

I mumble something as we wind through the crowd on the main floor, bumping against a shoulder here and an elbow there. The music is pounding. I feel it in my body, but it sounds muffled, along with all the other sounds in the room. He steers me up another flight of stairs. He has to put his arm around me to keep me from tripping on the steps.

What’s the matter with me?

There’s a long, dark hallway at the top, with several rooms breaking off on either side. Justin Kirby is practically dragging me along.

When he opens a door, I see a bed in the room and know I’m in trouble. I’m almost too out of it to panic properly.

All of a sudden, he half lets go of me, half shoves me into the doorjamb.

I hit my forehead on the wood, trying to hang on to something. There’s screaming and yelling—I’m hearing his voice, I think, and someone else’s, a woman’s voice—but it’s all confusion to me and now all I can do is think about the fact that I’m falling and can’t stop.

About the Author: J.L. White writes steamy romances featuring smart, sexy women and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. Her sexy love stories are full of passion but don’t skimp on the tenderness. She’s addicted to trendy coffee houses, poolside lounging, and HEAs. When not tapping blissfully away on her laptop, she takes time to enjoy life with her husband and their children.

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Forbidden Heat will be $0.99 during the tour. Buy Forbidden Heat (Firework Girls, Book 1) and Midnight Heat (Firework Girls, Book 2) at Amazon.

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The Intergalactic Custody Battle by Lee J. Mavin – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lee J. Mavin will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC, 5 print copies of The Intergalactic Custody Battle (International Giveaway), and 10 print copies of The Diary of a 7th Grade Hybrid (International Giveaway) to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookBanner_TheIntergalacticCustodyBattleZiggy has been taken from away from Earth, stolen away so it seems to complete his training on another planet. Little does he know that his Alien father has grand plans for him, plans for him to take the royal throne and lead the Empire! Ziggy’s mother (a mere human) wants him back so she is going to fight for her Son’s custody, even if his father is the Emperor of an Alien race! An Alien race that has plans to expand its Intergalactic Empire. Ziggy’s best friend Hiroki, the tiny super genius, plans on finding Ziggy too, even if he does miss his year twelve math exams. The Intergalactic Custody Battle is the first of a trilogy that crosses the universe. Get ready for a wild ride across the galaxy!

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sigmund Zhao didn’t have a good memory. He was always forgetting things. He had barely scraped through Year Seven alive, trying to remember all those equations and diagrams in Science and Math. They kind of went in one ear and then out the other. It wasn’t just school either. Sigmund couldn’t remember a lot of things, like the different apartments and primary schools he had moved to all over Shanghai. He couldn’t even remember his mother’s birthday or even his own.

However he could remember one thing very well, the time his mother and father gave him the talk, the talk that no child wants to hear. It was the Divorce talk.

Sigmund remembered every word his mother had said.

‘I’m really sorry to tell you this, but your father and I are getting a divorce. Your father is going to move away for a while but this doesn’t mean he loves you any less. We are just not meant to be together.’

He remembered feeling alone and confused. He remembered crying for hours and hours. He even remembered shrinking down into the corner of the room, crawling like some sort of cockroach. Wait, that couldn’t be right. How could he have shrunk? That isn’t possible, is it?

But he did. He’d tried to hide away from it all, from the confusion and the pain. He’d felt himself shrinking smaller and smaller, then his arms had turned green and he felt things stretching out of his back. Yes, that happened but everything else was still cloudy.

Sigmund could hardly remember his father. There was just a hint of his voice echoing in the corner of his mind and a smell. He couldn’t quite remember what kind of smell, maybe a hint of pepper and something else. Something he had never smelt before. It was too weird a smell to be anything familiar. It was some sort of smell that didn’t belong in Shanghai, in fact it didn’t belong in China or the even the entire planet! It was a smell from out of this world!

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheIntergalacticCustodyBattleAfter six years in Shanghai, I am finally back in Sydney (brand new home). Here I will teach and focus on my writing! I will be starting my Phd in Arts at the University of Sydney in March 2015!

I have already polished off a children’s novel, a collection of poetry and am about to publish a series of stories titled “The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One” with ASJ Publishers. http://www.asjpublishing.com/

I’m also kept on my toes by my feisty wife and three year old daughter both of whom are Chinese. They like to let me know how bad my Chinese is on a daily basis.Oh yeah, I used to be an MC, I mean I was potentially the next Aussie Eminem,(just kidding) but there is an EP by yours trully somewhere out there in the world wide web….

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Take Me to the Willow by Shelly Brimley – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by Long and Short Reviews. What group did you hang out with in high school?

– I didn’t hang out with any particular social group in high school. I got along well with most people and had a handful of close friends that I spent most of my time with.

What are you passionate about these days?

– Parenting and writing. I feel very driven to be a good mom, but it’s a challenge. I find that trying to know the needs of your children and then being able to meet them is a daunting responsibility and one that consumes the majority of my energy. I want my children to grow up feeling ready to meet the demands of life, and I want to make sure that we are providing them with all that they’ll need to be happy, responsible, successful, contributing people. I also feel passionately about writing. I look forward to the few quite moments I can find when I can put everything else aside and just write. As silly as it might sound, I am very connected to my characters and to what is happening in their world, and I feel a bit unsettled if I’m unable to resolve a conflict for them or complete a thought before being interrupted.

If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?

– Part of me says I would submit to agents a hundred times until the right fit was found, but that is so exhausting and requires incredibly thick skin. The other part of me says I’d do it just the same. I guess I’m undecided… we’ll find out when I publish the sequel!

Ebook or print? And why?

– For me, print. I LOVE the feeling of holding a hard copy book in my hand while reading. There is no comparison. If I have to read electronically, I will, but I don’t enjoy the read as much.

What is your favorite scene in this book?

– This is really difficult to answer. It’s a toss-up between a few of them. But, I’ve read the book several times, and for some reason, I always seem to pause after the scene where Lawrence just can’t go on and they find him with Adelaide and Charlie. I like different scenes for different reasons, but this one captures a very raw and cruel reality that feels meaningful to me.

In defending his life-long friendship with Charlie, Will may have inadvertently had a hand in the growing chaos that leads to the horrifying night when his familiar world is shattered.

When Will Wright, the eighteen year old son of a small-town Arkansas sheep herder in 1905, begins reading his mother’s journal, he is inspired by its startling content to start putting his own experiences to paper for posterity. An unsophisticated but principled young man, Will is becoming increasingly aware of the hatred that exists in the world. When he begins his own journal, Will can’t know what events are to take place in the next five years – from his mother’s battle with a life threatening illness, to his embarrassments of learning how to be in love for the first time, to witnessing Charlie’s fate at the hands of the bigoted townspeople. While part of him wishes the pain in those pages didn’t exist, he knows that the original purpose for keeping the journal has been realized – to show his kin how he became the man he is. He will probably never go back through and read again the pages he’s written, but someday, someone will, and they will see that along with the hurt, Will’s life had been one that knew true joy, absolute love, and undying friendship.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I’ve only been in this cell for three days, but it feels like a might lot longer than that. I know what I did wasn’t considered proper by most folks down here in the South, but I don’t regret doin’ it. And I’d do it again, if I had the chance. Charlie never did anything wrong. He’s just colored. Not much he can do about that, and even if he could, I suppose he wouldn’t want to anyhow. I didn’t feel it right that Charlie be ignored when all he came to do was buy feed and tools like the rest of us. So when Eli Carver said he don’t take no “colored” money, I thought it best to point out that he must be blind as a bat since Charlie’s dollar and my dollar are both the same shade of green. And when I held the two right in front of Mr. Carver’s face and politely asked him to show me the difference, he later told Sheriff Coleman I was threatenin’ and causin’ a disturbance. When I heard that, it just made my blood boil, and I decided Eli Carver needed to be taught a lesson. I went back to that store, although Charlie tried to get me to leave it be, but the next thing I knew, I was holdin’ Eli a foot off the ground against the door to his very own supply store. If Sheriff Coleman hadn’t been right there, I might have been able to argue my side, but there’s no point arguin’ against proof and common sense. Besides that, Sherriff Coleman is known for his feelin’s about colored people, so I knew I was beat before I started. I suppose I just didn’t care.

About the Author:

Shelly Brimley was born in Flagstaff, AZ, where she lived most of her life until moving to Mexico to study abroad. After graduation, Shelly did some volunteer work in Africa and completed her graduate degree while working in an adolescent drug treatment center. After acquiring her Master’s degree, she worked as a counselor at a residential shelter for children who had been smuggled and trafficked into the USA from different countries around the world. She also taught English to adult refugees before resigning to raise her children. Shelly wanted to use her experience working with others as a source of inspiration in her writing, offering a voice for those who are not typically heard or considered.

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The Trouble with Misbehaving by Victoria Hanlen – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_TheTroubleWithMisbehavingLove, Betrayal and Redemption

Calista ‘CC’ Collins is used to being the talk of the town. With her scandalous past she’s learnt the hard way that a woman needs to be strong to get what she wants in a man’s world. And what she wants is the infamous Captain Beauford Tollier—roguish son of an earl, notorious blockade-runner and all-round knave of the seas.

However, Captain Beau is not one to be cajoled—he is done with the dangerous sea life and ready to follow the life of the straight and narrow. But with many powerful forces circling around him, Beau doesn’t stand a chance…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Clutching her elbow, he led her across the manicured lawn into a copse of trees.

What are you do—”

He swung them behind a tree and peered out. Whatever she wanted to talk about suddenly lost importance. The villains following him were the more immediate problem.

“Tell me—”

“Shhhh.” He pressed a finger to her lips.

Two men in top hats stepped off the gravel path and picked their way across the lawn.

Beau marched C.C. deeper into the grove around trees and shrubs. Then through an archway of fragrant vines to a fountain struggling to reflect hazy moonlight. They needed to stay quiet and hidden.

“Before you drag me any further into the bushes—”

Didn’t the woman know the meaning of shhhh? She would give away their hiding place if he didn’t do something quick. He pulled her to him and covered her mouth with his. Mint and vanilla filled his senses.

Her sweet, almost maidenly response surprised him. No, she probably wasn’t a tart. Just a hasty stolen kiss, yet he couldn’t help appreciate the tantalizing fit of her supple lips under his and how her body softened against him. His heart stammered and launched into a faster beat. Lifting his head, he gazed about her bewildered, upturned countenance, breathlessly poised for a man’s kisses. Hmm, not entirely a maiden either.

Perhaps another quick kiss would clarify matters?

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheTroubleWithMisbehavingAward winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is happily-ever-afters spiced with a dash of wit and a page-turning mystery. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.

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Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting – Guest Post and Giveaway

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

What kind of writer am I?
By Sandra Bretting

In the fable of the tortoise and the hare, I definitely identify with the tortoise when it comes to writing.

I’d love to be able to sit down at my computer and whip out a few thousand words every day. Charles Dickens did it in his time. Stephen King still does it.

My reality is far different. My reality involves logging six or seven hundred words on a good day. Here’s why: I can’t move on to creating new passages until I’m happy with the old.

Blame it on my birth sign…I’m a Virgo. Virgos strive for perfection. While it may not be possible, or even practical, we’ll torture ourselves until we can come reasonably close before calling it a day.

Which means I’ll spend two or three hours every morning rewriting passages from the day before. Only then can I move on to the next scene.

All is not lost, however. I recently found out I’m in good company. No less than Ernest Hemingway once said he was happy to complete five hundred words a day and would walk away from his typewriter after that.

Whew! If Papa Hemingway could write The Old Man and the Sea a few pages at a time, I should be able to complete a two-hundred-and-fifty-page cozy mystery using the same schedule. It may not be as good as his book, but it will be the best I can make it.

(Besides…Stephen King probably writes most of his words at night, when he can’t sleep since he’s already scared himself silly.)

The trick is to make the words sound effortless, as if they really did just roll off the computer screen fully formed and ready to go to press. It’s definitely a high-wire act, when you know a performer has spent hours practicing a routine, but makes it look impromptu.

I guess the moral of my story is I’ve decided to embrace my writing style. I may write slowly, but it will come surely. By the time one of my books goes to press, I know I’ve not only turned over every stone as far as word choices, phrasing and sentence structure, but I’ve pretty much upended every pebble and flipped over every boulder, too.

If that makes me a tortoise, so be it. I seem to recall it was the tortoise who won the race.

MediaKit_BookCover_MurderAtMorningside Hat designer Missy DuBois opened her shop, Crowning Glory, along Louisiana’s Great River Road to cater to the sophisticated Southern bride. But bless her heart, who knew creating stylish wedding veils would lead to murder?

Hired to craft a veil for a socialite getting married at Morningside Plantation means Missy can bask in the height of antebellum atmosphere. But when the bride is found dead in a women’s bathroom, Missy the milliner finds herself entangled in one unfashionable murder. With the list of suspects thicker than the sweltering Louisiana heat, including a gaggle of bridesmaids shedding nary a tear and a family with no shortage of enemies, it seems anyone at the mansion may have done away with the bride-to-be. While Missy has Southern charm to spare, she’s going to need more than manners and a manicure to put a hat pin on this murderous affair . . .

Enjoy an excerpt:

Time rewound with each footfall as I began to climb the grand outer staircase at Morningside Plantation. The limestone steps, burdened with the history of five generations, heaved their way toward heaven.

At the top lay a wide-plank verandah supported by columns painted pure white, like the clouds. By the time I took a third step, the digital camera in my right hand began to dissolve into the sterling silver handle of a ladies parasol. The visitors’ guide in my left hand magically transformed into a ballroom dance card bound by a satin cord.

Another step and the Mississippi River came into view as it flowed to the Gulf, languid as a waltz and the color of sweet tea. Could that be a whistle from a steamboat ferrying passengers past the plantation? If so, a turn and a wave wouldn’t be out of the question once I reached the top of the stairs, and good manners would dictate it.

I was about to do that when I realized the whistle was only my friend’s cell and not a Mississippi riverboat. “Ambrose! Turn that thing off. Honestly.”

“Sorry.” He shrugged. “I always forget you were Scarlett O’Hara in a past life.”

The mood was broken, though, and the sterling silver in my hand returned to plastic while the linen dance card hardened to a glossy brochure.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_MurderAtMorningsideSandra Bretting works as a freelance feature writer under contract to the Houston Chronicle. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and wrote for other publications (including the Los Angeles Times and Orange Coast Magazine) before moving to Texas.

Her Missy DuBois Mysteries series debuts from Kensington/Lyrical Underground in May 2016. Bretting’s previous mysteries include Unholy Lies (2012) and Bless the Dying (2014).

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Wanderlust by Bernadette Marie – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_WanderlustGia Gallow has traveled the world. Her wanderlust landed her in Georgia where she has created a life for herself away from the petty differences of relatives and domineering ex-lovers. Having settled in America, she has a successful business and dear friends—and the attention of both Dane and Russell Walker. Due to her own family’s dramas over dueling hearts, she might have to forget about her feelings for Dane to keep peace within the Walker family, but sometimes even running thousands of miles away can’t keep a heart from going after what the heart wants. And Gia’s heart wants Dane.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Dane wasn’t sure why his coffee suddenly tasted so bitter. It might have been the way his brother was looking at Gia when they walked through the door, and she was laughing at what he’d said.

Perhaps it was because his attitude had been affected by it and there had been no reason for it.

The way Russ had referred to her as a goddess still burned his ears.

Dane’s mother orchestrated everyone through the kitchen, and they all managed to have full plates of food when they were done. She’d managed to set enough chairs and tables, strung together, to house all the guests. He’d seen her do that at Thanksgiving too. He could hardly find enough room on his little table in his apartment to eat his microwave dinner.

“Eric and Susan, you sit there,” his mother pointed to chairs.

“Russ, you there. Gia you there. Dane you there,” she said pointing to three chairs near the end of the table which flowed into the living room.

“Let me take that for you,” Russell smiled at Gia and took her plate.

“Oh, thank you. You seem to come to my rescue for everything.”

“What can I say? I’m raised right.”

Dane let out a grunt, which had both of them turning to look at him. He simply forced a smile and took his seat—after Russ pulled Gia’s seat out for her.

At least the food was excellent. Dane to listened to Pearl and Tyson tell stories about their wedding on the beach at sunset and their honeymoon filled with snorkeling and hiking near the waterfalls.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like hearing the stories or the awws that came from every female in the room, but watching his brother lean into Gia, and her laughing at everything he said, seemed to be raking on his last nerve.

He took his plate into the kitchen for another helping of ham. He was a sucker for ham and tiny bagels. It was something he couldn’t explain.

“Does your family do this often?” Gia slid up next to him as he tried to delicately pull two pieces of ham apart.

Dane looked at her then at the table of family members who laughed and talked over one another. He shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. Mom’s always putting together a brunch or a dinner.”

Gia eased her hip against the counter. “You seem uncomfortable around them all.”

“Nah, just all the gushy wedding stuff I guess.” She pursed her lips. “You are not a romantic?”

Was that a loaded question? “Sure. I mean I can be romantic. I just”

She laughed and rested her hand on his arm. “I am sure you are the kind of man who could sweep any woman off her feet.”

Dane cleared his throat, only because he’d choked on the air he sucked in when she’d said that.

“I’m not too sure I’m very smooth with the ladies. My mind has been elsewhere for the past few months.”

She nodded and picked up the serving spoon to ladle more fruit on to her plate.

“I understand. I still have some friends back home who will not speak to me because I moved away. I will admit before I left, I might have pushed them away.”

“Why?”

She shrugged. “So I would not be hurt by leaving.”

Maybe she did understand. “I get that. I think”

“Did Susan make those little bacon wraps with dates?” Russ pushed in between them. “I didn’t see them, but dad has one on his plate.”

“Steal his then,” Dane said through gritted teeth.

“Lighten up.” Russ gave him a jab as he reached in front of Gia and grabbed the bacon on a toothpick. “Looks like I just missed them the first time.” Russ ate the first one and then reached for another.

“Did you try these?” he asked Gia, holding it up to her mouth.

“Not yet,” she said as he clamped the bacon wrapped date in her teeth and pulled it from the toothpick.

Dane was sure he heard both himself and his brother sigh.

She gave them a collective wink and carried her plate to the table, now occupying a seat left vacant by Pearl’s father who seemed to have disappeared.

“Could you be any more of a pig?” Dane finally took both pieces of ham and dropped them on his plate.

“Are you talking to me or the meat?”

“You,” he whispered gruffly. “You’re throwing yourself at her. It’s annoying.”

“And you’re not, so I don’t see the problem,” Russ argued as he returned to the table.

Dane stood there a moment trying to collect his thoughts. How had it happened that he’d moved away, and the world went on without him? He was finding out, very quickly, he didn’t like it.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_WanderlustBernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince
Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

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The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler – Spotlight and Giveaway

 


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Leffler will be awarding physical copy of the book and another historical fiction title (US Only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her Jewish heritage. Now eighty-seven years old and a widow, she is haunted by a lifetime of secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she’s presided over for a decade, but when a new member walks in–a fifteen year old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister Sarah–Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason.

She hires the serious-eyed teenager to type up her story of a daring female pilot during WWII who gambled everything for her dreams–and both their lives take flight in unexpected ways.

At times laugh-out-loud funny and at others heart-wrenching, this is a story of identity, betrayal, love, hope, and forgiveness.

 

About the Author:

Maggie Leffler is an American novelist and a family medicine physician. A native of Columbia, Maryland, she graduated from University of Delaware and volunteered with Americorps before attending St. George’s University School of Medicine. She practices medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and sons. The Secrets of Flight is her third novel.

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Things I Like Doing When I’m Not Writing by Norma Gail – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Things I Like Doing When I’m Not Writing
By Norma Gail

My entire day disappeared. The chiming of the clock above my desk never registered as I considered my years of family research in light of the new Ancestry DNA information I received. The same thing happens with a good Bible study. Timers and responsibility hold little power over me when I am studying something I enjoy. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.

Beyond family and friends, I have four loves, writing, reading, leading Bible studies, family history, and mountains. The passion to find my ancestors encompasses it all. Once discovered, they become dear friends who find their way into conversations, influence my reading interests and vacation stops, and look down on me from photos hanging above my desk. What did these people believe and how did their faith influence their lives? My family indulges me when I take off on one of my tangents.

I may write fiction but my love of a true story developed at the knee of my great aunt, listening to her tales of the Old West and of riding for help after witnessing the shooting of her father and older brothers in their corral. My desire to understand what happened has led me to reading choices, libraries, courthouses, and trips. It has reunited family members who didn’t know each other existed and filled countless hours and my file cabinet.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to his boss’s ranch to watch the cattle branding. This weekend, we head to a local Celtic Festival. If the travel involves Jeep trails, ghost towns, and old cemeteries, I’m even happier. Put this girl in jeans and hiking boots with a map and mountain road and I’m in my element.

Google searches are the greatest thing next to being there. I can create a screensaver for the family and locale I’m researching and end up with inspiration. I can find the current owner of my great grandfather’s ranch and plan a trip to see the actual site. I can create a playlist of music appropriate to the time and place on my phone and listen as I do my errands. Songs abound with romantic ideas.

So how did I end up writing a contemporary inspirational romance set in Scotland? I became fascinated with all things Scottish when I discovered a family tree as a child. My husband and I spent our 30th anniversary there, though I have not finished locating my ancestors. The vacation happened long before I decided to write a book, but the research helped with both. A dream about a kilted Highlander on a misty mountainside covered with sheep and my European immigrant husband made me wonder what it might be like to take a trip and fall in love.

The “land of my dreams” led to my first published book and I have a lot more research and traveling to do.

© Copyright Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, May 19, 2016

MediaKit_BookCover_LandOfMyDreamsAlone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancé reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student.

How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart?

Land of My Dreams, Christian Romance Novel, spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

Enjoy an excerpt:

When Kieran left his office, he saw Bonny standing behind her car, her foot tapping and shoulders sagging. “Can I help you, Dr. Bryant?”

She startled, and he realized he had been so intent on watching her that he had failed to give warning of his approach. The eyes that met his sparkled, their brilliance drawing him like a treasure hunter to a prize emerald. She was a lovely woman.

“Dr. MacDonell, hello. I’ve changed flat tires before, but these lug nuts won’t budge.”

He checked the urge to brush a smudge of dirt from her cheek. “It’s Kieran, and I’m glad to be of help.” He forced himself to ignore the nervous pounding in his chest and the urge to run. He was alone with the woman who had filled his mind day and night from the moment she had walked into the room.

“I’m Bonny, and thanks.”

“I’ll take that spanner off your hands.”

“Spanner? Oh, you mean the lug wrench, of course.” She held it out to him and smiled.

He took a deep breath. Her smile reminded him of sun breaking through a Scottish mist. His fingers brushed hers as he took it, and he realized how small her hands were, like his mother’s finest china. Dainty and delicate.

Something about the patient way she watched caused his uncertainty to subside. Rescuing a damsel in distress wasn’t a bad way to meet. Tossing the caber was no longer possible, but he knew how to change a tire. She stood near enough for him to smell her perfume—feminine, like a rose garden.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LandOfMyDreamsNorma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

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Boy the ebook for $0.99 at Amazon. Buy the print book from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore or Barnes and Noble.

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The Touched Series by Elsa Winckler – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elsa Winckler will be awarding a copy of one of the ebooks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by Long and Short Reviews to answer a few questions. If your book were made into a movie, who would you want to play your main characters?

Touched to the heart – Don and Caitlin – Henry Cavill and Emma Watson
Touched to the soul – Dale and Zoe – Travis Fimmel and Daisy Ridley
Touched to the core – David and Dana – Ryan Renolds and Ellie Kemper
Touched to the depth – Darryn and Hannah – Jake Gyllenhaal and Katherine Mcnamara

How do you come up with the titles of your books?

I seldom have a title when I start, the title only ‘reveals’ itself later in the story. In Touched to the heart, Caitlin, the heroine of the stories, is a physiotherapist. She massages Don’s sore muscles and he only later realizes that that was the moment she also touched his heart.

What does your writing space look like?

Our bedroom is quite big and has a bay window. I’ve had a desk made specially for the one wall with a bookcases for my favourite stories on the one side and a place for dictionaries, how-to books, etc. on the other side.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I love to cook and I knit. And I can’t go a day without reading.

What is your favourite color?

Green

What is your favourite pleasure food?

In Afrikaans we call it ‘Melkkos’, literally translated, milk food. Bring milk to the boil and add strips of dough that you’ve made with flour, an egg and milk. Add cinnamon sticks, butter and sugar and you have soul –food that comforts you.

What is your favourite season?

Spring.

What is your favourite television show?

Nashville – I’m a sucker for country music and sexy heroes and this series has both 

What is your favourite movie?

There are so many! Family Stone (2005) and The Holiday (2006)

Who is your favourite actor?

Colin Firth

What is your favourite song?

Real song – a song our son, Heinz Winckler sings https://youtu.be/8xYWaHKQUkw

What is your favourite comfort clothing attire?

Jeans, socks, soft top

What books might we find on your bedside table?

At the moment one from the Afrikaans author, Michiel Heyns – Lost Ground.

Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate, introvert, mother

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheHeartWhen it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn’t have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.

While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers — hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.

Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.

They’ve both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.

Enjoy an excerpt:

‘Where’s your girlfriend?’ Was the first thing that popped out of her mouth. Caitlin nearly groaned out load. She looked away and unlocked her car. ‘Sorry, none of my business,’ she mumbled and opened the door.

‘She’s just a friend.’

‘Did you enjoy your date?’ she asked.

He shook his head. ‘I was watching you the whole night.’

Stunned, she swallowed.

‘And you? Did you have a nice time?’ he asked.

‘I…’ At a complete loss for words, she frantically tried to think of a word, any word. Nothing came to mind. She shook her head. He’d been watching her all night?

He stepped around so that the car door was between them. Her hands were resting lightly on the door.

‘Thought so.’ His smile was devastating. ‘I’d like to take you out, Caitlin.’

‘As in a date?’ she asked, still stunned.

‘Yes, Caitlin, as in a date.’ He touched her cheek. ‘There is something here,’ he said and motioned with his hand between them.

She didn’t move, just stared at him. Was he really asking her out on a date?

‘I don’t know what it is, but it’s keeping me awake at night. Let’s try a date and see how we like it. Friday around seven?’ he asked. ‘I’ll pick you up and we’ll have dinner.’

Caitlin stared at him for another minute before she was sure she could string a few words together. ‘Don, you…me…’ She shook her head and grimaced. ‘We live in two completely different worlds, we have nothing in common. You are…you, the papers are full of your businesses. I’m a physiotherapist from Hermanus. I don’t think —’

‘Then don’t. Think, that is.’ He smiled. ‘You do know that you can’t believe everything you read in the papers. And I happen to like this physiotherapist from Hermanus.’

She looked at him a moment longer. This was so not what she should be doing. Hannah’s warning and her own misgivings about him swirled around in her head.

His eyes never left hers.

She was a big girl. And if she prepared herself for the worst, then surely she’d be fine.

‘Where? I’ll meet you —’

‘I’ll pick you up,’ he said and lowered his head.

‘You don’t know where I live and I always drive myself,’ she managed just before his lips touched hers lightly.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TouchedSeriesI have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exciting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

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MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheHeart Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, iBooks, eBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheSoulBuy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Noble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheDepthAmazon, Amazon UK, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, iBooks, Google Play, or Etopia Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MediaKit_BookCover_TouchedToTheCoreBuy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Kobo, Etopia Press, Barnes and Noble, or iBooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love’s Encore by Kathleen Ann Gallagher – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MediaKit_BookCover_LovesEncoreDesire wins the lead role.

Sadie Layne, a creative and motivated high school drama teacher, is grateful for second chances. After surviving breast cancer, she embarks on a celebratory trip to LA with her two best friends. Sadie never expected to run into the handsome and charming Vince De Carlo in the hotel lobby. She hasn’t seen Vince much since they worked together in a theater company years ago. Their meeting interrupts her plans and reminds her of the life she left behind.

Vince, a struggling actor and cover model, is in LA to promote a television pilot. His old attraction to Sadie is stronger than ever. He never forgot her, even though a trusted friendship and a scripted kiss was all they’d shared.

The reunited pair give in to temptation, but reality soon collides with lust as strong doubts about their blossoming romance get in the way. Sadie dreads facing her defeat as an actress, and Vince doesn’t think a struggling actor like himself is capable of providing the accomplished teacher with what she deserves.

Will the couple find a way to keep their sizzling romance alive and build a future together? Or will their uncertainty win the lead role and smother the flames?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“I’m here for the week.” She wiggled away and stood directly in front of him. She parted her lips and put on a sultry stare. Sadie took hold of his heart.

“You look more stunning than ever tonight.” Vince kept his voice low.

Then, he acted on impulse. He placed his hands on the sides of her face. When she responded with a smile, he couldn’t resist another minute. His heart soared as he gazed down at her. Sadie uttered a soft moan as their lips met. She reached up and placed her arms around his neck, quivered slightly, and nestled up against him, as if she’d wanted him to kiss her all along. His knees weakened as he sampled the sweet peach lip-gloss on her soft, luscious lips.

As he savored each moment, his heart pounded in his ears. If he didn’t break free, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. He was afraid to open his eyes to find it was all a dream. Vince tried to keep his cool as his breathing sped up like he’d run a marathon. His head spun with thoughts of making love to this amazing woman. Oh, how he wanted to show her how much she meant to him, but he’d wait. One thing he had learned from the way his father had treated his mother was to respect a woman. Sadie deserved so much more. Once their tender moment ended, he stood back, lost in her gaze.

“I’m crazy about you, Sadie. I always have been, but if I’m going too fast, please stop me.” He spoke close to her ear. Vince ran his finger along her cheek and gently lifted her chin. “We met up again this many miles away from Jersey for a reason.” He pushed a strand of her silky, blonde hair away from her beautiful eyes.

“You might have something there,” she agreed. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you know if you get out of line.”

She gave him a seductive stare and devilish smirk, which was out of character for Sadie, but he liked it. She had always been warm and friendly, but not the kind of girl who’d make a first move. Although, she did mention how her cancer scare changed her views on life. Whatever the reason for exposing her sensual side, it was certainly working in his favor.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LovesEncore Kathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. Kathleen discovered her passion for reading and writing in the fourth grade. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.

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