How We Handled the Research for the Book by Lauren Sevier and A. Smith – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lauren Sevier and A. Smith will be awarding a $10 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.

How We Handled the Research for the Book

Leather & Lace is set in New Orleans, so one thing we did was travel to New Orleans on a particularly hot summer day and toured the French Quarter. The majority of this novel takes place in the quarter and in one building in particular: the Cabildo, which is a state museum of history now. After we ate po-boys and and drank a daquiri, we toured the Cabildo to get a better grasp of the building for authenticity purposes. Getting to spend a steamy day in the city was just what we needed to capture the feel of it in Leather & Lace.

We also spent a lot of time researching the United States geography. In The Fool’s Adventure series, bombs dropped all over and literally reshaped what the country looks like. Partnered with climate change and rising seas, we really needed to understand how what happened in the Culling changed the fabric of the world so we could present the information as accurately as possible while taking some artistic liberties.

For the character of Will Ellis, extensive research was done regarding mental health issues in men. Specifically regarding PTSD in veterans and first responders and correlating depressive episodes and issues regarding suicide attempts.

Finally, there was research done to make sure all injuries and medical conditions explored in the novel were medically accurate and that treatment options (that were non-fictional) were given using the equipment and knowledge they would have available. Think more ‘field medicine’ than ‘pioneer medicine’ though at times it could be either or both of them depending on resources. The research and outcomes of all the medical injuries/ailments in the novels are discussed with board certified physicians for the most accurate depictions possible.

Overall, we take a very hands-on approach to research and try to make most of the details as accurate as possible while still leaving room for creative license since this is a fictional world. We want the book to feel immersive and realistic while still engaging the readers in escapism through the fantastical elements of the story. At the end of the day, every effort we make is for our readers’ enjoyment and so far we’ve found that when you keep your readers at the forefront of your mind while developing your stories, they notice and appreciate it. We have the best readers in the world and all we want to do is make them proud. <3

Three years wandering the desert is enough to drive anyone insane, and the limits of Bonnie and Jesse’s minds and hearts will be put to the ultimate test.

A deadly showdown with a murderous outlaw ripped Bonnie away from the relative peace and ragtag family she’d built at the end of Guns & Smoke. In the thrilling next chapter in The Fool’s Adventure series, we finally get the answer to the biggest question: What happened to Bonnie?

After three years of fighting to get her back, literally, Jesse James finds her in the most unlikely of places– New Orleans high society. With the help of his rival-turned-friend Will Ellis, and a sassy staff member, Jesse’s tasked with infiltrating the house of the man he believes was responsible for killing his parents in order to get her back. Jesse’s biggest challenge yet will be learning to fight for Bonnie in a way he never expected before: by fitting in.

Mired in high society politics and scheming, Bonnie is at the epicenter of one of the most ruthless gangs in the world. Years trapped in a gilded cage of wealth and lies has irrevocably changed her from a crass outlaw into a southern debutante. Gone is the dangerous glint in her eyes, replaced with suspicion when the devilishly handsome street fighter named Montana suddenly joins her father’s staff.

Can Jesse remind Bonnie of who she really is in time to keep her from giving her heart and hand away or will he discover that the wild, beautiful outlaw he fell in love with is truly gone?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Staring at her now, knowing that I’d desperately fallen for her all over again sent a stark jolt through me. This feeling between us wasn’t some average infatuation. Most people could live a lifetime and never experience the raging, all-consuming need to be close to another person, no matter whether you knew why.

My soul called out, and hers answered.

Everything that I’d lost three years ago was suddenly before me. In the span of a breath, I closed the distance. I clutched her hips, a smile curling over my lips at the little gasp she let out as her back met the steel door and my mouth covered hers. I reached behind her, flicking the lock. Too many times we’d been interrupted. I’d be damned if I let it happen now. Not when she loved me again.

About the Authors Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night. Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series. The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia. Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on Tiktok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!

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My Ideal Writing Space by C.L. Colyer – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

To see our 5 star review of the book, please click here.

My Ideal Writing Space

I don’t need much when I’m writing. As long as I have my laptop, a power outlet, Wi-Fi for all the times I need to look something up, a comfy place to sit, and a place for a drink and snack, I’m happy. If I’m in the zone, noise doesn’t bother me. Sometimes, it’s even welcome.

Now, if you were to ask me what my dream space would be, that’s another story. My dream space is a home library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on three of the four walls. There’d be rolling ladders that glide along a track, making it easy to reach the top shelves. The shelves would be stocked with everything from the classics to reference books. There would be books in all genres. Some bound in leather, others worn and well-loved, and still others new, many waiting patiently to be read. There’d be three comfy sofa chairs. One of the chairs would be wide enough for me to sit sideways for all the times I’m dreaming up new ways to get my characters into trouble. The other chairs are so my writing buds have a place to sit when they’re over. There’d be matching ottomans to kick our feet up on and end tables with lamps, cup warmers, and space for hair clips, pens, and notepads. A desk would be pushed up against one of the walls. Since this is my dream space, there would be a small fridge stocked with beverages and healthy snacks. Across from the chairs would be a large picture window that overlooks a lake. Of course, there’s Wi-Fi. I may never have to leave! One day. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. And thanks to Long and Short Reviews for having me on their blog!

Nothing frightens Atticus Everheart more than monsters, thanks to his older brothers, who often threaten to feed him to the beastly creatures.
Fearing that’s what they will do if he doesn’t replace the book he accidentally ruined, he takes a job tutoring a boy in his neighborhood.

Although nervous about the job, Atticus soon discovers there’s a lot more in store for him than teaching. Never in a trillion years would he have imagined he’d be hiding from monsters, working with ghosts, or searching for werewolves and witches. He’s not brave, and he has no plans to change.

Until he’s forced to.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“These came for you,” said Abigail, the oldest of his younger sisters. At eight, she was already smarter than him in many ways. She turned the envelope upside down over his bed. A pair of prescription, steampunk- inspired goggles tumbled out. Still ignoring Atticus’s prior demand, she settled on the window seat.

“I thought they’d never get here!” His previous statement forgotten, Atticus sat up and took off his glasses. He then slipped the leather strap of the goggles over his head and pulled to tighten them to a perfect fit. He raised his chin, wise and prepared, able to spot danger in a single glance.

“How do I look?”

“Like a weirdo.” Abigail pulled her honey-brown hair into a high ponytail. “Or a praying mantis.”

He should have known she wouldn’t recognize functional accessories if they stared her in the face.

“Did you have to get green frames?” she asked.

“I like green.”

“I think you look smart,” said Evie, the youngest of the Everheart children. She was a miniature version of Atticus, from her curly brown hair, round cheeks, and scrawny arms, right down to her bulbous big toes and curious nature. “Why are there round thingies sticking out from the side?”

“Those are monocles.” Abigail opened the newspaper to the comic section. “They magnify things.”

“These aren’t ordinary monocles,” said Atticus. “I can’t believe you think I’d want goggles if they didn’t do something spectacular. I’ll have you know these are the most advanced pair of monster-seeing goggles available, able to cut through the mundane to reveal beasts and demons, ghosts, and goblins.” At least, that’s what the ad had said. Atticus flipped down the crimson lens. “This one’s for flesh-eating monsters.”

“Oh, they’re way cool!” Evie inched closer and asked, “Do you see any?”

“Yes!” Atticus lunged forward and grabbed her, tickling her waist.

About the Author: C.L. Colyer found her love for writing in first grade when her class was sent to the library and asked to find a book for their first book report. While she doesn’t still have this book report, she’s very proud to say she got an A on it. Her favorite thing about the book was that it had no words. That’s right, not one! That gave her the freedom to interpret the pictures in any way she wanted and write her own story.

This sparked her love for writing essays. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she sat down and penned her first novel. This story has a special place in her heart because it’s the story that helped her discover her passion for writing. She has since written several books, many of which may never see the light of day, but all of which helped her learn to combine her passion for writing with her fascination with all things mythical. You’ll find examples of this in her novels.

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Friday Five Writing Prompt Challenge for February 3, 2023

Each Friday, Long and Short Reviews hosts a weekly five word writing prompt. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s five words to use as your prompt are:

mechanical, return, electronics, hunting, hen

A Reservoir Man by L.J. Ambrosio


A Reservoir Man by L.J. Ambrosio
Publisher: Film Valor
Genre: Coming of Age, Literary Fiction
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

A Reservoir Man, critics have hailed this explosive and timely work as “a must-read coming-of-age story of 2022.” Twists and turns further pull the reader in to Michael’s action-packed tale, with powerful themes, from betrayal and family to secrets and identity. “Be sure not to blink because you just might miss a pivotal moment in Michael’s rousing, larger-than-life story.” –R.C. Gibson, Indiestoday.com. “This book is a dream, a gamble, a utopia, even.” — Kalyan Panja, Bookmarkks.

This story spans the years from 1947 – the current time. Part coming-of-age, part an insightful look at one man’s journey through life in a very intense time of history, especially for a gay man.

It makes me think of an autobiographical memoir instead of fiction. The character of Micahel truly expresses the confusion he goes through trying to figure his life out and the pain he feels as he begins losing friends to AIDS.

Michael’s desire is to not be a reservoir man – not to be the kind of person who only does what’s expected of him instead of who he truly is. Michael’s sole aim in life is to find his own truth…and to help others find theirs. He does this throughout his life, and he finds he does some of his best thinking on a bench, watching the sunset. I really admired this character – in all his decisions, his main goal was to do the right thing.

The book was easy to read, and the dates at the beginning of each chapter helps ground the reader. There are some heartbreaking parts, especially the last chapter. But, even with that, the book ends on a hopeful note with the author stating “Non, je ne regrette rien.” (No, I do not regret anything)

Thank you, Mr. Ambrosio, for giving me the opportunity to find out a part of life I did not previously know much about.

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A Reservoir Man by L.J. Ambrosio – Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L.J. Ambrosio will be awarding a signed copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on a tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. See our review here.

What would I tell a new author?

Listen to yourself and get advice creatively, learn formatting, and understand the industry you are entering.

The hardest part about writing is

Spelling, run on sentences, the physical appearance, clothes, and haircuts of my characters. I don’t want them to look like someone I know unless I want them to…

Important Elements

Get a great cover design; don’t get too heady getting a title or silly; stay away from sexual implications in title design. Don’t let people read your book until you are finished, but you should have one person that you can trust that you can share with. You must get an editor – don’t be cheap; spend money here. If you are self-publishing know the field and know how to advertise. Release the book to critics before the public by three months. Reviews are important; get them. They are very important as is their posting on Goodreads and Amazon. Be a gentleperson; don’t be pushy and be humble. Do tours, blitzes, and interviews – anything to get your novel out there. Believe in yourself; you are the artist. Sex is important, but it doesn’t make it your novel. Your story is, and the relationship of your characters with life and themselves.

A Reservoir Man, critics have hailed this explosive and timely work as “a must-read coming-of-age story of 2022.” Twists and turns further pull the reader in to Michael’s action-packed tale, with powerful themes, from betrayal and family to secrets and identity. “Be sure not to blink because you just might miss a pivotal moment in Michael’s rousing, larger-than-life story.” — R.C. Gibson, Indiestoday.com. “This book is a dream, a gamble, a utopia, even.” — Kalyan Panja, Bookmarkks.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Michael had now become, after these last six months, a little more world weary and worse for the wear. Sitting on his bench, entering his last year at college. Michael still had not found his soul or his truth. His emphasis on sex was unfulfilling and empty. He wandered in the shadowy corners, the lightless streets, leading to a dead end and the darkness of an empty truck. Loneliness had become a fixture of Michael’s being. He longed for a few hours to be with Carol, Claire, or Raphael.

One day, while sitting on the bench, Michael heard in the distance Otis Reading’s “The Dock of The Bay” playing on a portable radio. The music came closer and closer and then quickly turned to the Four Tops’ “Reach Out (I’ll be There).”

Picking up his head, Michael saw this extremely attractive ethnic guy standing right above him. Michael said ‘hello,’ and the young man answered.

“My name is Nick. Do you dance?”

Michael said, “Sort of, but I do not have much of a chance to go dancing.”

“You want to go tonight?” Nick asked with a smile, and he started to sing “Baby I Need Your Loving” by the Four Tops.

Michael became a little concerned about the message of the song, so he suggested that they might talk over coffee before they venture out dancing. Michael decided to cut his next two classes and have coffee.

They spent hours talking about their lives. Nick was older than Michael by nine years. Nick said he had to prepare for graduation as did Michael. He was in the school for Education and would be graduating that year.

He was first generation Greek from Cyprus and spoke fluent Greek. His family lived in Harlem on 137th Street off Broadway. He had siblings, a brother and sister. Michael was taken by him. He made him laugh and feel amazingly comfortable. Nick invited Michael to dinner Saturday night. His mother would make Doimadakia, Humus, Tzataki and Moussaka. Michael agreed to go.

Nick’s parents were great. His mother was shy, his father a little less. They spoke with a broken accent, which Michael loved. They had a great dinner and talked a lot. Michael learned a lot about Cyprus.

Nick said after dinner, “Dancing, right?”

About the Author: Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career. He taught at 7 universities in the United States.

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Loves Me Knot by Aubree Valentine – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Aubree Valentine who is celebrating today’s release of Loves Me Knot.

Aubree is bringing the heat and the drama with this short and sweet second chance romance about a hot cop and the town’s favorite kindergarten teacher. Sparks will fly as these two reconnect and rediscover not only their love for one another but who they are now as individuals. Readers who love Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow will devour Loves Me Knot by Aubree Valentine, a steamy, small town, second chance, beach romance.

I thought I was going to be her forever. That was until she up and left Candy Cane Key and took my broken heart right along with her.

Now she’s back and damn if those feelings aren’t still there for the girl who’s all grown up and still drives me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I want her back and they say you’ve got to shoot your shot, but, I don’t know that I can handle another blow.

Guess I’m about to find out if she loves me, or knot.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“What are you doing?” I leaned closer to my best friend Abby and whispered through gritted teeth.

It was bad enough that I let her convince me to come with her to this Manuary charity auction. Now she was sitting here bidding, Candy Cane Key’s favorite Sherriff’s Deputy, who also happened to be my pain in the ass ex.

Deputy Ryan Albright worked the crowd of hungry local women with his piercing blue-green eyes, a charming and seemingly innocent schoolboy smile, and that sandy blondish-brown hair that I used to love running my fingers through. When he winked at someone in the front, a table of ladies that we graduated high school with whistled and placed another round of bids.

Abby’s hand went up and she doubled the last bid.

“Abby!” I hissed, suddenly wishing I was anywhere but here.

Betsy Henry, my arch-rival essentially since birth raised Abby’s bid while looking right at me with an evil smirk on her face.

Ha. If Betsy wanted a date with Ryan, she could have him. It would serve him right, too. After breaking my heart in two, Ryan absolutely deserved to suffer through a night with the likes of Betsy. Besides, it wasn’t like I was the one bidding on him.

Abby pledged another hundred dollars on top of Betsy’s bid.

What the hell was she thinking?

Did she want a date with Ryan?

There was no way.

Abby would never do that to me, nor would she do that to her boyfriend Liam. And if she was merely trying to up the bids and raise more money for charity then surely she would have placed a bid on some of the other guys, too.

Right?

I swallowed hard and my cheeks flushed when Ryan looked in our direction and shot Abby a confused glance before locking eyes with me.

“Abs. Really. That’s enough. Please, stop,” I pleaded.

“Going once. Going twice,” the auctioneer called out. “Sold to our very own Abby Monet!”

I gasped out loud.

Abby turned and looked at me with a satisfied grin. “You’re welcome.”

“What?” I croaked.

“That was all for you, bestie,” she winked. “You can thank me later.”

“Abbbbbbyyyyy. What have you done?”

About the Author Aubree Valentine began her book world career as a personal assistant for a close friend/author and as a book blogger. But, she’s been writing stories of all kinds since she was a child.

Her time spent as a personal assistant and book blogger only further fueled her love of romance and the desire to write her own happily ever afters, so with a hard shove from a friend (or four), she made the leap and officially published her very first book in 2016.

Since then Aubree has brought to life more than a dozen sexy alphas, including her beloved fan-favorite first responders from the Too Hot to Handle collection.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book and her fur babies. Or bringing to life some over-the-top craft project.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge for February 1, 2023

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews hosts a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate, please click here.

Today’s topic is: What I Eat On the Average Day

My Take on Critique Groups by Sally Basmajian – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

My Take on Critique Groups

I belong to two critique groups. One is made up of five female writers—some wise and some witty, but all darn good writers. We call ourselves LAKS, which stands for the Literary Ass Kicking Society, and that’s metaphorically what we do whenever one of us becomes sluggish and stops producing. The other is a much larger collective made up of writers at varying stages of their journey. It’s a local, inclusive group. I like to support it because the members were very encouraging when I started writing, and actually awarded me the first prize I ever won.

When I meet with my LAKS friends, I take seriously every piece of criticism they give me. We push each other to be better writers, and we’re all at similar stages in our literary journeys, so we aren’t afraid to be direct. While we don’t bludgeon each other with overly harsh, personal observations, we also don’t sugarcoat our comments or pull any punches. We hash through issues over coffee and heaping helpings of complex carbs. Later, when I’ve re-read their written critiques at home, I choose how many of their suggestions to incorporate in my next draft. More often than not, it’s the majority.

One of my LAKS colleagues, Lena, doesn’t even have to write her ideas out in full anymore. She just pens a bold “OTT” on any particularly florid passage I’ve written, to tell me that once more I’ve gone too far in trying to push a joke or describe a zany character. Is she right? In my opinion, yes—at least 80% of the time. I have her to thank for helping me realize that not everything I think is hilarious will amuse someone else.

In my larger community group, I apply a different filter. I do appreciate the general impressions of everyone in attendance, and I find many of their comments instructive. I also love the fact that the larger group organizes workshops and sometimes brings in knowledgeable professional speakers. Often, though, I disagree with the feedback from one or two participants.

As an example, a person in the group recently voiced a strong opinion that a novel’s character shouldn’t be called a nickname by her lover, because having two names made it confusing to keep track of who she was. In this case, the critic happened to be new to the group and had no grasp of the book’s flow. For instances like this, the rule I follow is to nod and pin on my brightest smile—and later not revise a single word.

It’s like hand-selecting the reddest apples at the grocery store, or buying a cheap, jumbo bagful and hoping for the best. Either option can be nutritious and tasty, and I do recommend both types of critique groups. Just remember to choose your companions wisely, and don’t be afraid to walk away if you end up frustrated instead of inspired after you’ve tried out a couple of sessions. In the long run, it’s more important to feel uplifted than to be critiqued in a manner that’s inapt or inept.

Suze Foster has always been devoted to her daughter. As a child, Jannie required extra support in school, but now-at age 29-she’s a rising executive. Suze, thrilled with Jannie’s success, is finally free to follow her own dreams.
Without Suze’s dedicated attention, though, Jannie flounders. In a careless moment, she floods her apartment. Enter our hero, Aram-her hot but significantly older neighbor. He saves the day, and for Jannie, it’s love at first sight.
Not so much for Aram, though, who falls head over heels for Suze when they accidentally meet. Unaware of Jannie’s feelings, Suze is equally smitten.
In this twisted triangle, can a happily-ever-after be achieved? Or will someone’s heart break and the mother-daughter bond be severed forever?

Enjoy an Excerpt

He was the most good-looking man she’d ever seen. Luxuriant locks. She bet that’s how a Harlequin Romance would describe his hair. And under the full beard, maybe even a cleft chin. And most definitely, a sensuous lower lip. Ooh la la.

As she mused in an X-rated way about his mouth, Jannie remembered something from a book she’d read where the heroine had a habit of biting her lower lip. It drove men mad.

So she tried it. Nibble, nibble.

Aram just looked at her. His breathing didn’t accelerate. His chest didn’t heave.
She tried again. Nibble, nibble. The prolonged silence was beginning to be uncomfortable.

“Are you all right, Jannie?” Aram finally asked. He studied her.

Well, that hadn’t gone so well. But she’d never tried to flirt with an older man before. Maybe they needed something more obvious.

She attempted to look coyly up at Aram through her eyelashes. This wasn’t as easy as all those romance authors made it sound. She felt her forehead contract, her nose wrinkle and her upper lip pull away from her teeth in her effort to do the impossible.

“Jannie, are you having an allergic reaction? Shellfish, maybe? Isn’t that crab I smell coming from your condo? Do you carry an EpiPen?”

She stamped her foot in frustration. It was supposed to look fierce and cute, but she could tell from Aram’s face that he was way more startled than turned on.

About the Author After leaving the corporate world, Sally Basmajian discovered the joy of writing. Her fiction and nonfiction stories have appeared in newspapers such as The Globe & Mail and in several anthologies. In 2022 she won prizes for memoir pieces (Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop, Gulf Coast Writers Association), and was thrilled to have a poem selected by the journal Antithesis. She expects to be busy in 2023, when her first two novels appear: in January, a light-hearted romance, So Hard to Do (published by Creative James Media) and in October, a much darker one, Fountain of Evil (Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC).

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Love All by Liza Malloy – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Liza Malloy will be awarding a $15 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.

College students Nate and Olivia are a perfect match on the courts—and in the sheets. Everywhere else, they’re polar opposites and sworn enemies. But as the chemistry builds, a figure from Olivia’s past unexpectedly pops back into her life and the couple realizes they have more in common than they thought. Are these star-crossed lovers doomed to repeat their parents’ mistakes, or can they build a life together once the final set is played?

This book is a standalone, steamy, new adult/college, sports romance, 77k words. Tropes include enemies to lovers, he falls first, and billionaire.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“You know, some people like to give others the benefit of the doubt and get to know them before assuming the worst.”

Olivia snatched the cherry from the shake that I’d set on the edge of my plate. “Some of us prefer to avoid disappointment. I’ll keep my assumptions until people prove me wrong.”

At least she was honest, I thought, oddly envious of the cherry stem as she pressed her tongue against it. “Challenge accepted.”

We left the diner, but the drive home was far too short.

“Thank you for the ride,” she said, already clutching her racket and duffel bag before I even slowed to a complete stop in front of her apartment.

“And for the excellent meal, right?” I added.

She stared dryly. “I’ll thank you for the food when you thank me for not pressing charges on the whole kidnapping front.”

I bit back a smile. Even pissed off, Olivia was captivating. “This was fun. Why haven’t we hung out before?”

“Because we have nothing in common.”

“Not true. There’s tennis, lame business majors, and douchebag fathers.”

Olivia gazed back at me and for the briefest of moments, I thought she would say something meaningful, but instead she just shook her head, dismissing whatever idea had crossed her intriguing mind.

“You can’t possibly want to spend more time with me. I’ve been a total bitch to you all afternoon.”

I wasn’t about to deny that last part, so instead I pushed my luck with a bad joke. “We could move into the back seat and you could make it up to me,” I said, wiggling my eyebrows seductively.

I’d hoped for a snarky comeback, but instead she just rolled her eyes and chuckled. “I’ll see you at practice,” she mumbled, climbing out of the car.

About the Author:

Liza Malloy writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She’s a sucker for alpha males, bad boys, dimples, and muscles, and she can’t resist a man in uniform. Liza loves creating worlds where her heroine discovers her own strength and finds her Happily Ever After. When Liza isn’t reading or writing torrid love stories, she’s a practicing attorney. Her other passions include gummy bears, jelly beans, and the occasional marathon. She lives in the Midwest with her four daughters and her own Prince Charming.

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Titanian Warrior by Victoria Saccenti – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria Saccenti will be awarding a $15 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.

One woman holds the key to his destiny—and his people’s salvation. Hagen drags himself to the gates of Hell, body and soul shredded by the bloodlust that consumes all the unmated of his kind. Awaiting the painful atonement that will buy him ten more years to find his eternal mate—or face oblivion. But Hades himself kicks him out with the bloodlust still prowling, unsatisfied, in his veins.

Bargained away by her parents to Master O, a mysterious, cruel wizard, Faiza serves in his household, keeping her small magic a secret, plagued by wild, confusing visions of a strange, suffering man. Then the master brings home a wounded Titanian warrior whose touch sends ice, fire, and desire racing through her body.

When she learns Master O plans to use Hagen as a weapon to conquer all races, she devises a desperate plan to free him—a plan that opens a portal to a world she’s never known. And a destiny entwined with danger that could destroy them all.

Enjoy an Excerpt

The towering pair of boulders stood as gatekeepers and markers of the way. A steep path snaked between them until farther down the hill, the road disappeared in thick fog. Leaning on the closest rock, Hagen steadied himself to catch his breath, then pushed on.

Bloodlust crippled his Titanian vision. Still, he stumbled, rolled, and crawled over jagged rocks and gnarled roots with single-minded determination to reach his appointed meeting place, the cavern at the base of the Shivaliks, and the sole entrance to Hades’s domain on the earthly plane. A perverse satisfaction filled him each time he scraped and sliced his exposed skin, as this was only a precursor to the punishment he deserved. If he could shred his flesh to strips in anticipation as he had done with his clothes, so much the better.

Hagen advanced through the haze, seeking the deity’s promised signal. Images of his frenzy during the last skirmish prodded him. He strained past gore-filled images, and the effort paid off. There, deep within the haze, a faint red light marked the spot. Alecto had not forgotten. A hitched breath escaped his lungs as he stood and trod on a more secure step.

As the haze dissipated, the cavern’s hungry mouth gaped before him. Healing and deliverance acquired through pain would soon be his. As he inched closer to the wavering light, he removed the last remaining strips of clothing. The offering had to be bare and unadulterated. Nothing but skin would satisfy the Fury, purify his spirit, and postpone the horror of termination for another ten years—a mere blip in the lifespan of a Titanian.

About the Author:

Award-winning, multi-genre author Victoria Saccenti writes romantic women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and paranormal romance. Not one for heart and flower stories, she explores the edgy twists and turns of human interaction, the many facets of love, and all possible happy endings. After thirty years of traveling the world, she’s settled in Central Florida. She splits her busy schedule between family and her active muse at Essence Publishing. However, if she could convince her husband to sell their home, she would pack up her computer and move to Scotland, a land she adores. On a side note, in one form or another, Scotland appears in most of her stories.

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