A Day in My Life by Kevin R. Doyle – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Day in My Life

My average day has changed a lot in the last eleven months. Last May, after a little more than a quarter century in front of the classroom, I retired from teaching and took up fiction writing full time. At least, that was the original intention. As often happens, life tends to have other plans, and for the first nine months of my retirement I had to focus on taking care of an ailing parent. A few months ago, she passed on, and things are finally shaking out into what I’d perceived retired life would be.

While one may think that sleeping late is the ultimate joy, most days I wake up around seven, only thirty minutes later than I did while working. Breakfast and the news go together so I can see what happened in the world overnight, and by eight or eight thirty at the latest, I’m ready to hit the computer.

However, I don’t work straight through for any given number of hours or words. While I was teaching and writing on the side, I became accustomed to only doing a page or so at the most at any one time, and I find that now that I have practically unlimited time, I follow pretty much the same pattern. When I first sit down to get to work, I’ll do maybe five hundred words, or a bit more if I’m working on a first draft, then check my e-mail, take a walk, go for a drive, or get some errands done.

Periodically through the day I’ll write another page or so, maybe do a little marketing work, then go off and do something else for a while again. Off and on I’ll be responding to any e-mails I need to, and if the weather’s good maybe go for another walk or two. (All this, keep in mind, before my swimming pool opens up around the end of May. Lord knows how much I’ll be distracted then.)

One of the biggest changes, and one I was most looking forward to, between working and retired life is in the evenings. Even now, nearly a year later, it is so nice to stretch out on the couch and watch TV knowing that there are no lessons to prepare or papers to grade. For example, I taught high-school English, and most years about the time I’m writing this my spare bedroom would be piled with research projects, including outlines, note cards and other miscellaneous materials, that I would have to plow through before May.

This provides me time in the evening, if I wish, to rap out a couple of pages or so, but if there’s something on the tube I want to watch, cramming work in isn’t nearly the priority it was before.

This routine will probably change as the months and a couple of years go by. As I mentioned, though I retired in May of last year, it’s only been since about the first of March, roughly seven weeks ago as I write this, that the parental issue found its natural resolution. As such, I’m only now really able to ease into the retired/writing lifestyle, so I have no doubt I’ll be making some tweaks to my routine as time goes by.

They kept to the shadows so no one would know they existed, and preyed on the nameless who no one would miss. Where did they come from, and who was protecting them? In a city that had seen every kind of savagery, they were something new, something more than murderous. And one woman who had thought she had lost everything there was to lose in life would soon find that nothing could possibly prepare her for what would come when she entered their world.

Please listen to this audio excerpt

About the Author:A retired high-school teacher and former college instructor, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of four novels in the Sam Quinton mystery series, all published by Camel Press. He’s also written four crime thrillers, including And the Devil Walks Away and The Anchor, and one horror novel, The Litter, along with numerous short horror stories published in small magazines over the years. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel. A lifelong Midwesterner, Doyle currently resides in Missouri and has loosely based the city of Providence in the Quinton books on Columbia.

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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Audiobook narrated by Rosalyn Landor

Publisher: Print – Avon, Recorded Books (Audio Publisher)
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town’s marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn’t as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry – though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon’s heart beating a bit faster.

And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!

I can’t believe I’m the lucky duck who gets to review The Duke and I. For sure I thought, someone at some time must have already reviewed this book for LASR, but guess what? No one has! I can’t believe it! With the resounding success of the Netflix series, Bridgerton, I figured I was late to the party. I tried and tried to get the paperback through my local library but the wait was three months long. So, I checked the audiobook section and I couldn’t believe my good fortune. It was available!! And let me tell you something, if you haven’t heard the audio version of the novel, you are missing out. Rosalyn Landor did a splendid reading. Spectacular, really. So much so, that when I finally get to watch it on Netflix, I’m going to be comparing the acting to Ms. Landor’s rendition.
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Here’s another personal tidbit. I do a lot of tedious data entry at my day job. I’m in an office by myself so I can listen to audiobooks to my heart’s content. My boss only walked in on me twice and both times I was laughing uproariously. Oops. But she just smiled, gave me a few more needed tasks, and off she went. Supposedly the audio version takes 12 hours to listen to. You could have fooled me. My day positively flew! I grinned, I chuckled, and I most definitely laughed out loud. This book is awesome! Yes, I realize I’m using a lot of exclamation points in this review but how else can I explain how excited I am about my reading/listening experience?

First, a reader meets Simon as a little child; an only child. My heart broke. His father was an arrogant posterior – unrelenting, unforgiving, and an all-around ogre. Thank goodness little Simon had a staunch protector in his nurse. Child psychologists all agree that trauma experienced at a young age tends to affect that person into adulthood. Simon’s character epitomizes that fact. He grew up to be sophisticated, extremely smart, is respected but thought of as very ducal. The author explains the reality. Again, my feelings were affected. Simon certainly qualifies as a tortured hero.

Now, let’s look at Daphne Bridgerton, the heroine. She’s the very opposite of the hero. She comes from a large, boisterous family and she’s only known love. She’s unusual because she speaks her mind and has a fresh, unpretentious way of looking at things. Having grown up with three older brothers, she is wise in many areas, yet innocent as she should be in the areas expected of a lady. But wow, can she throw a solid punch. I really liked the heroine’s personality.

The first half of the story is about their meeting, the courting, the scheming, and working around her two nosiest brothers, Anthony and Colin. The family dynamics are fascinating and Ms. Quinn wrote them into the novel in a seamless fashion as a natural turn of events in the everyday life of the Bridgerton clan. A reader sees ballroom dramas, raucous dinnertimes with a reference to mashed potatoes on someone’s chair, and a healthy dose of love and laughter between the siblings. It was quite delightful.

The latter half of the novel follows the ramifications of Simon’s bad experiences in his youth and how it affects the marriage that eventually takes place between he and Daphne. I felt so sad for Daphne. She goes from a family that harbors few secrets to a husband who is haunted by them. It gets very intense and I worried for Daphne at a few points. I could understand her point of view, but I understood Simon’s too. I had no idea how things were going to be resolved. Of course it is, that’s part of the very happy and satisfying happy-ever-after of which I was thrilled with. And for those that feel a book isn’t complete without an epilogue, guess what? The audio version has a SECOND epilogue! Yes! And not only is it amazing and wonderful and intriguing and at times humorous, it tied up the loose ends about those letters.

I realize that a narrator can only bring a book to life if the author who wrote it provides amazing material, and based on my experience, Ms. Quinn did an outstanding job. Well, of course she did, it’s now a Netflix sensation, right? Well, Ms. Landor’s narration combined with a great novel has completely wowed me. I’m very happy, thrilled and although late to the Bridgerton party, just as enthusiastic as the many fans out there worldwide. If anyone is like me who hasn’t read, or even listened to this book yet, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present. The Duke and I ( or as the TV has it, The Duke & I) is a great read no matter how you get it.

Properly, or Not At All by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lucy Felthouse whose Properly, Or Not At All is now available in audiobook format! Good news for audiobook fans who love a spanking short story—Properly, Or Not At All is now available to listen, thanks to the amazing talents of Frankie Holland!

Can a husband and wife cope when one of their favourite sexual pastimes is taken away from them?

Tristan and Jayme are not only devoted husband and wife, they are also Dominant and submissive, with a particular penchant for spanking. They’ve been playing delicious kinky games for the fifteen years they’ve been together, and couldn’t be happier. However, when Tristan develops a health issue that means he can’t redden his wife’s backside for a while, it puts them under a lot of strain. It’s a big part of their sex life, and they’ll miss it badly.

They try to find a way around their unfortunate predicament, but in the end, Tristan declares he will either spank Jayme’s bottom properly, or not at all.

The prospect of no spanking at all dismays Jayme, but she has no other choice. Or does she? She continues to put her mind towards the issue and she indulges in some solo experimentation, with mixed results.

But how will Tristan react when he finds out his wife has gone behind his back?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“You know what this fucking means, don’t you?” Tristan snapped, slamming his car keys onto the hall’s side table and storming into the kitchen.

Jayme hurried after him, her heart racing. Tristan rarely got angry—sure, he often pretended she’d done something wrong and faked being pissed off about it when they played D/s scenes, but real anger—it was something that just didn’t happen. She wasn’t quite sure what had sparked it, either. The news had been unfortunate, yes. Inconvenient, yes—but it wasn’t the end of the world. Tristan’s only choice was to follow the doctor’s advice.

“Um, I take it you mean aside from the obvious?” she ventured quietly, not wanting to piss him off even more.

“Yes,” he said on a heavy sigh, making it clear his anger and frustration weren’t aimed at her. “Come here, you.” He held out his arms, and when she went into them, he hugged her tightly and kissed the top of her head. “Fucking hell, Jayme, I’m really going to miss spanking that beautiful arse of yours.”

“And I’m going to miss you doing it,” she murmured into his chest. Then, pulling back so she could make eye contact, continued, “But we’ll cope. There’s loads of other stuff we can do—we can still have fun. As much as I love it, it’s not worth making the problem worse, or screwing up your recovery once you’ve had the op. Your health is more important, babe.”

“Mmm…” came the reply, along with a very displeased expression.

“Hey,” Jayme said sharply, raising her eyebrows, “you might be in charge in the bedroom, mister, but I’m putting my foot down here. Hopefully you’ll get a date through for the operation really soon. And the sooner you have the op, the sooner you’ll be recovered and we can get back to normal. In the meantime,” she grinned widely, “we’ll just have to get creative, won’t we?”

Much to Jayme’s relief, Tristan finally smiled. “You’re right, as always, wife of mine. Clearly I’m not happy about this—fucking carpal tunnel bollocks, spoiling all our fun—but it could be a lot worse, I suppose. At least they’re not operating on my dick.”

“True.” She giggled. “That would take some creativity of epic proportions!”

“It would. So, does this mean we have to have sex more often, then?”

Frowning, Jayme replied, “How do you figure that out?”

“Well, if it’s too risky to spank you, then surely wanking is going to be bad for my wrist, too. And I’m not sure that when the doctor asked if we had any questions, he meant of this nature, did he?”

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“I don’t.” He shrugged. “But you can’t blame a man for trying, can you? Especially when that man’s wife looks like you.”

“No, I suppose not.” She grinned, then slipped her arms around the back of his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. Closing her eyes, Jayme allowed herself to get into the touching of their lips, the parting, the questing tongues, shoving all thoughts of not being able to have her arse reddened to the recesses of her mind. She loved Tristan with all her heart, and their relationship was so much more than sex and kink, so they’d just have to get on with it.

And what better way to get on with it than to find a way around their unfortunate predicament? She pulled Tristan’s bottom lip into her mouth, then sucked and nibbled at it, enjoying the guttural sounds this elicited from his throat. Letting go of his lip, she then sucked at his tongue, mimicking fellatio on the warm, wet flesh and smirking to herself as his rapidly growing erection pressed against her stomach.

God, yes. The two of them had been together fifteen years, married for thirteen, and were still crazy about each other. What was a little break from spanking in the scheme of things?

Sitting back suddenly as something occurred to her, she said, “Hey, gorgeous. Shall we take this to the bedroom? I’ve had an idea.”

Tristan grabbed her hand and they immediately headed for the bedroom. “Of course. What’s your idea, sweetheart?”

“Well, now,” she replied, grinning wickedly, “that would be telling, wouldn’t it? You’ll just have to wait.”

“Damn,” Tristan muttered, picking up his pace. “I can’t even threaten to punish you unless you tell me.”

“We’ll see.”

After throwing a confused look over his shoulder, he led them up the stairs and into their room before ushering her in and closing the door behind them. “God, you’re gorgeous,” he said, pulling her back into his arms.

“Now, now,” she replied, pushing his chest and wagging a finger at him. “No trying to butter me up just so I’ll cave and tell you what I have in mind.”

Adopting a mock-shocked expression, he said, “Moi? Would I do such a thing?”

“Yes! You bloody would!”

“Yeah, yeah, all right, all right. I totally bloody would. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. You are gorgeous, and I love you. And I want you.” Gesturing towards the erection that tented his jeans, he gave a wry grin.

“And you’ll have me,” Jayme shot back matter of factly, beginning to remove her clothes. “Now, Sir, could I respectfully ask that you get naked?”

About the Author Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name.

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Legend of Song de Light by Kaitlynzq – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding 2 $15 gift cards to her book boutique, 2 $10 gift cards to her book boutique, and 4 $4 gift cards to her book boutique to randomly drawn commenters (8 winners) via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The stories within Legend of Song de Light
connect, unfold, interweave many character’s stories needs, feelings, desires, dreams
their threads as two crescent moons connected under the firelights
that layer the chords, and form the lyrics

all of you entered my world as dawn’s awakening sky of soft palette my garnet heart melted in iridescence to bloom in sun’s rays glow in night’s depth as the stars echo the rhythm of my heart my insides sigh and expand in delight harmonious blend as our lives circle the melody

The audiobook is recorded in Kaitlynzq’s voice with a blend of music like a heart’s wave into downloadable mp3 files.

An audio book that is interwoven in the Lovecontu Song de Light Lovecontu series that includes

Ancient Script of Lovecontu audio poem
Legend of Song de Light audio book Legend of Song de Light audio play
Lovecontu Song de Light Lovecontu audio set

Listen to the synopsis: https://youtu.be/j2XiCz03N0Y

Read an Excerpt

“…I awoke to a sonic dream of rhapsody ensemble, hummingbird wings, and chimes that were the arrangement…”

“…Again and again I muted the caution sign, and proceeded with Kamille, but my mind got even more insistent as I thought of telling her…”

“…Those chrysanthemums burst a duet of color that are silk to the touch, and bring visions of a certain lady, but I haven’t returned to the garden since that day in May…”

About the Author:

My fictional stories are written from the inside view of a character’s interior heart-that beautiful, vulnerable, intimate space feelings, desires, needs, dreams a blend of delicate feather ripples of heart waves needs, feelings, dreams, desires quiet, gentle heart strings tender, continuous soft, vulnerable air mist circles, weaves to caress a sonic sea of heart’s breath

Woven into audio books that are recorded in my voice with a medley of music as a heart’s wave into downloadable mp3 files;

audio plays adapted from the audio books, and layered into pdf files like a heart’s song;

audio poems that are multiple poems designed to connect to form a story as a heart’s breath;

and audio sets that are sets of these interconnected stories with elements from each story that interweave in one another as heart’s wave, heart’s song, heart’s breath.

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