R.L. Merrill’s Top Five Musicals – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes R.L. Merrill, who is celebrating today’s release of Hurricane Reese.

R.L. Merrill’s Top Five Musicals –
(In no particular order because playing favorites is no fair)
Hurricane Reese features a pop musician who becomes a Broadway smash with his first musical, Ruby in Red Plaid, and decides to take some time off with his beloved grandfather who played piano for Frank Sinatra in the 1960s. The musical Reese ends up writing details an important event in his grandfather’s life, which turns out to be a little different than Reese had been led to believe. I’ve always loved musicals and dancing, and while rock and metal music has featured prominently in all of my work so far, this book gave me the opportunity to explore my more theatrical side. I helped choreograph musicals in my first years of teaching, performed in a college production of Kiss Me, Kate, and worked with show choirs for years, so this part of the story was a lot of fun to write.

1. Hair

Hair has some of the best songs ever. I fell in love with the show in college when a date took me to see a performance in Des Moines. I bought the soundtrack, listened to it non-stop, and I still sing it all the time. I was such a hippie anyway at that time in my life, well in dress and in political/social leanings, it just appealed to me. Plus, I was all about my long blonde natural hair then, haha. Not anymore. I cut it off when I got pregnant 17 years ago and I’ve never looked back. Now it’s pink!

2. Silk Stockings

I was a dancer from age 3 to 17. Tap, jazz, and hula. I absolutely loved everything to do with dancing, and Cyd Charisse was my idol. Her and Cynthia Rhodes were everything. I wanted to dance like them, I wanted to be them for a long time. But Silk Stockings I love not only for the dancing, but also as a child of the Cold War era, I loved this lighthearted take on the Soviet conflict and how love could cross even the stodgiest of boundaries. And Fred Astaire. Come on…

3. Phantom of the Opera

My stepmother and grandmother took me to see Phantom in San Francisco when I was a teenager and I was blown away. Never had I gotten such chills from listening to song. I’ve always been a horror fan and one who loved the villain more than the hero quite often, and so I always rooted for the Phantom and longed for an alternate ending where Christine remains with the Music Of The Night…

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This brilliant story of a street musician and the flower-seller who becomes his muse was so sweet, but the music ripped my heart out. The film version with Glen Hansard in all of his ginger beauty singing his heart out and Marketa Irglova’s pure voice singing a plea to the man who left her… Oh, the feels.

5. Singin’ in the Rain

Gene Kelly. Need I say more? The master himself pokes fun at himself in this one while falling in love with the adorable Debbie Reynolds. The acrobatic Make em Laugh, the Cyd Charisse number, and “Moses supposes his toeses were roses, but Moses supposes erroneously…” I did a tap solo to Singin’ in the Rain as a kid that I’m told was pretty special, so yeah, it’s been a favorite for a long time.

Tony award-winning musician Reese Matheson’s life resembles a natural disaster, and caregiver Jude De La Torre is caught in the eye of the storm. Can the love these two opposites find together survive caring for an ornery octogenarian with wayward balls and a meddling family insistent upon tradition?

A public break-up is not what Reese expects upon returning from the successful run of his musical in London. All he wants to do is spend time with his beloved grandfather and musical mentor, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Reese knows he doesn’t have much time left before the elder Matheson doesn’t remember him. In classic “Hurricane Reese” form, he moves into the cottage by the sea, displacing Jude, the intriguing caregiver he’d hired two years before. When Grandpa proves too much for Reese to handle on his own, Jude comes to his rescue, taming Grandpa… and the Hurricane as well. Soon all Reese can think about is how to get Jude out of his scrubs and into his bed. Permanently. Will Hurricane Reese destroy everything in its wake, or will this gay odd couple learn to harmonize together?

About the Author:Once upon a time… a teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ’n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut gay romance with Dreamspinner Press later, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real life and happily ever after. She writes stories set in the places she loves most, such as Hollywood, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Northern California—and Iowa. Ro also loves connecting with other authors online, at the annual Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, and chapter meetings for the Romance Writers of America, of which she’s been a member since 2014.

A sucker for underdogs, Ro has adopted a wide variety of pets including cats, dogs, rats, a snake and fish. Her love of horror is evident the moment you walk in her door and find yourself surrounded by decorative skulls and quirky artwork from around the world. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, educating America’s youth, being a mom taxi to two busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or head banging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press or Amazon.
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La Famiglia by Deanna Wadsworth – Exclusive Excerpt

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Deana Wadsworth, who is celebrating the release of La Famiglia, the latest book in her Men of Gilead series.

I’m happy to be at LASR again with my new release and latest Men of Gilead book LA FAMIGLIA. As you can see from the covers of the books so for, doggies play an important role in the series. I brought an excerpt featuring the adorable but wild Jasper from LA FAMIGLIA.

Forrester Giordano comes from a huge, nosy Italian family, and with their homophobic jokes and slurs, he’s decided to stay in the closet. He finds respite in his bookstore in the quaint village of Gilead—where he has a huge crush on one of his customers, Kyle Benson.

Kyle is determined to live his dreams, and though life isn’t easy being deaf, one by one he’s making them come true. He’s scored a great job practicing law, bought a cute bungalow where he can finally have a big flower garden, and he has a dog he loves, Jasper. Now he just needs one thing to complete his happiness: a family of his own to make up for the one he never had.
Forrester and Kyle’s relationship starts off hot and heavy, and neither man can deny the depth of their connection. When Forrester’s little brother gets mixed up with their heroin-dealing cousin and his mother falls ill, Forrester has a decision to make—maybe the hardest of his life. For the first time, he’s found a man worth coming out for.

Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan with la famiglia.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

Forrester woke to a strange snoring sound, disoriented. The silken sheets beneath his body felt nice but unfamiliar. His ass was tender, but he was warm all over. It took a moment for his brain to catch up to his environment.

You’re at Kyle’s.

He stretched languidly in the bed, his feet reaching for the coolness below. They’d left the light on, and he blinked several times, then rolled over with a dopey grin to wake up the snoring Kyle for another round.

Instead, he was nose-to-nose with the bug-eyed Jasper.

The instant the dog noticed him, he snorted and lunged, head-butting him in the face as he licked him.

“Hey!” He jerked out of the dog’s reach, but the insane little animal jumped on his chest and licked him right on the mouth. Then he ricocheted away.

“You little twerp,” he growled, whipping dog drool off his face. But Jasper had already leaped from the bed and dashed out of the room.

“Jasper,” Kyle hissed in reprimand from the doorway. “Don’t wake him up.”

“Too late.” Forrester sat up in the bed and squinted.

Kyle entered the room naked, tiptoeing as though trying not to wake Forrester. When he spied him already awake, he gave him an apologetic smile. “Sorry, he was whining downstairs.”

Jasper jumped on the bed, the carcass of a squeaky toy in his mouth. “You know what time it is, ya crazy dog?”

“Jasper.” Kyle lunged for his dog, the action making his penis waggle. But the little terrier leaped out of his grasp, and Kyle landed flat on the bed. Jasper raced around the room like it was playtime. Kyle groaned, and Forrester laughed at the picture they made.

Jasper jumped back up on the bed and crouched down, jutting his nubby tail in the air. The little canine’s energy seemed endless.

“Man, you are one hyper dog,” he observed. “What do you feed him, Kyle? Caffeine?”

“No, all Bostons are like that.” Kyle sat back on his haunches on the center of the bed, watching his dog shake the gutted toy madly. “Mom and I used to show them. Jasper’s grandma, Tanika, was the last dog we showed. After Mom died, I found out one of Tanika’s pups was having her last litter, so that’s how I got Jasper. His markings weren’t show-perfect, so they had him fixed. I kinda wish he wasn’t, so I could carry on our dogs’ lineage.”
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The longing to maintain a connection with his lost parent tore at Forrester’s heartstrings. “C’mere.” He held out his arms for Kyle to cuddle up.

With a grateful smile, Kyle slipped beneath the covers and tucked under his arm. They waited for Jasper to reach the conclusion bedtime had arrived. After rooting up the blankets and a pillow, he curled into a ball, and let out a snorting sigh.

“I hope you don’t mind, Jasper sleeps in here with me. I only leave him in his kennel when I’m at work.” Kyle shifted to face Forrester. “He’s my ears when I sleep.”


He nodded. “Yes, he wakes me up if he hears something. Someone at the door, noises. Or even if my phone or my alarm clock goes off.”

“Like a hearing-ear dog? Is there such a thing?”

“Yes, there is,” Kyle assured him, sitting up and removing his processor. He took the top piece off the curved part and placed it in a glass bowl on his nightstand. Then he looked back at Forrester. “He’s not formally trained, but Jasper knows when I can and can’t hear, and he helps me.”

Forrester studied the wild little pooch, impressed.

“I think he can hear when my CI is working,” Kyle said. “But then again, dogs are incredibly intuitive. We had another dog like that when I was little. Frieda would bump me when someone tried to get my attention. She even snapped at people who got too close to me when my Mom wasn’t looking or if I was sleeping.”

“So Jasper might bite me if I molest you in your sleep?”

He raised his brow in a warning expression. “He just might.”

“I promise to be on my best behavior.”

Kyle cocked his head to the side, expression unreadable, but he said nothing.

It suddenly struck Forrester how much trust Kyle placed in him, inviting him to stay when he was at his most vulnerable. It touched Forrester, and he did not take the gesture lightly.

Leaning over, he cupped Kyle’s face in both of his hands. Kyle flinched, but then Forrester kissed him slow and deep. When he withdrew, Kyle was smiling dreamily.

“Thank you for trusting me. Letting me stay. You don’t have to worry,” Forrester assured him. “Jasper and I will both be your ears.”

Those hazel eyes widened. Then Kyle nodded, reached behind him, and clicked off the light.

About the Author: Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions for different RWA chapters, including President of the Rainbow Romance Writers in 2017. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. An avid reader, she also loves gardening, cooking, music, and dancing. Often she can be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.


You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon

That Rat, Carter Janson by Amy Spector – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Amy Spector who is celebrating the recent release of That Rat, Carter Janson. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Hello, everyone! This is Amy Spector. I’m excited to be here today on Long and Short Reviews to share little bit about myself, about my new release from Dreamspinner Press, and to give someone a chance to win a copy of That Rat, Carter Janson.

I have always been a huge reader, so I thought it would be fun to share my Top 5 Favorite Books of all time!

1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – I have loved Neil Gaiman, ever since stumbling across back issues of The Sandman comic book back in college. But of all his novels, American Gods is by far my favorite. At least so far.

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker – This is one of those books I try to make time to reread every few years. My love of the books also has me watching every movie adaption I can find, too.

3. The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas — I love stories of revenge. I always remind my husband of this. LOL

4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson — Jackson has inspired so many horror writers for a reason. And this particular book, with the POV of someone slowingly succumbing to madness? Possession? It’s brilliant.

5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens — I’m a huge Dickens fan, but I have a certain weakness for this particular story. A beautiful story of redemption and Christmas.

There you have it! My Top 5 Favorite Books of all time! What are some of yours?

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Every man has secrets, but some are bigger than others….

Felix Peake escaped a shady past to carve out a successful career as an expert in Mesopotamian art and gain the respect of the Chicago art community. But when an assistant curator—a man Felix could easily see himself falling for—asks him to reauthenticate a cuneiform tablet to avoid a looming scandal, Felix’s carefully constructed life could crumble.

The tablet is a fake, and Felix is intimately familiar with the artist. Master forger Carter Janson—Felix’s ex and first love—disappeared from his life six years before without a word of explanation. Now, to hold his world together, Felix must find the original tablet, steal it back, and replace the forgery—all before the museum exhibit debuts. It’ll mean slipping back into a role Felix wanted to leave behind and risking his promising future. But even then, he can’t do it alone. He’ll have to confront that rat, Carter Janson.

States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.

About the Author:

High heel stileto ruby shoes or slippers

Amy Spector grew up in the United States surviving on a steady diet of old horror movies, television reruns, and mystery novels.

After years of blogging about comic books, vintage Gothic romance book cover illustrations, and a shameful amount about herself, she decided to try her hand at writing stories. She found it more than a little like talking about herself in third person, and that suited her just fine.

She blames Universal for her love of horror, Edward Gorey for her love of British Drama and writing for awakening the romantic that was probably there all along.

Amy lives in the Midwest with her husband, children, and her cats Bowie and Poe.

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

Bases Loaded by Sean Michael – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Sean Michael who is visiting with us today to celebrate not only the release of his newest book but also another special day!


Thank you to LASR for hosting me today – on my birthday!

One of the characters in Bases Loaded is Cajun to the bone and it was a lot of fun peppering his language with Cajun terms. As it’s my birthday today, I thought I’d look up a Cajun cake recipe that Jean might possibly make for me.

I found this one at AllRecipes and it sounds yummy.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, 1 1/2 cup sugar, salt and baking soda. Add eggs, pineapple, and juice. Mix at low speed until well blended.

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To Make Topping: In a saucepan, combine milk, 3/4 cup sugar, and margarine. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add pecans and coconut and combine. Remove from heat.

When cake comes out of the oven, pour on the topping and carefully spread on while cake is still hot.

I hope you like the cake if you try it, and I especially hope you like the boys from Bases Loaded!

Sean Michael
smut fixes everything

Can they survive the off-season and keep from striking out?

Baseball player Brett must get rehabilitation for his shoulder if he wants another season in the Major League. He and his partner, Benj, take off to the boonies to stay with physical therapist Ralph, a tough-talking, routine-setting guy, and Jean, Ralph’s Cajun lover, who cooks as well as he loves.

Brett and Ralph butt heads from the beginning. Ralph wants Brett to be more in touch with his feelings; Brett wants Ralph to give him his therapy and leave him alone. Benj and Jean get along far better, with Jean showing Benj around the kitchen and reassuring him when things with Brett get strained.

Before Ralph can even begin to work on Brett’s shoulder, though, Brett faces an even more difficult physical challenge, one that does more than threaten his career. He and Benj have to work through some tough issues, making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives together. Their gradual friendship with Ralph and Jean helps them through the bad times, but even that might not be enough to pull them through.

About the Author: Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

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Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Was Published by Z. Allora – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Greetings! I want to thank Long and Short Reviews for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, things I wished I knew before I was published, and my new release The Great Wall. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of Secured and Free, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)

Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before I Was Published
1) I needed beta/critique partners.

I sent my first draft to publisher. (I know I know…) I was isolated in China and had NO CLUE on how many times you should re-read, edit, re-read a draft before you hand it off to a beta/critique partner to do the same. Then work through their feedback, re-read and do it all again before you even think about sending your work in.

2) Scrivener

This is a writing program, and at this point I don’t think I could write without it. I plot and have an outline but I have a constant rush of ideas when I’m not “writing” (aka working on the story) Scrivener gives me some place to put those notes. It allows me to label and shuffle chapters easily. It keeps everything on one screen for easy access (all my chapters, research, character sketches, world building, notes, summaries, POVs, etc.).

3) Character Sketches

These usually include: physical description, background, family situation, milestone experiences, internal motivation, external motivation, conflicts, relationships to others, and other basic information. Understanding the characters is a no brainer but a character page allows you to keep all the little details straight if you write another book with the same character. I live with characters sometimes for years but I like knowing their birthdates, eye color, and internal conflicts at a glance.

4) Publishing is more than writing

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5) Branding

My love describes Z. Allora as who I am when I’m my absolute self. Meaning a 13-year old boy who loves penises, bunnies, sex, and a beret wearing LGBTQ warrior ready to throat punch at a giggle’s notice. When a reader picks up a Z. Allora book they know it’s going to be a yaoified romance with lots of sex, fluffy deliciousness, and a happily ever after. I think branding who you are is essential because buying a book is a contract between the reader and the author. You want know if you’re on the same page with someone or not. Branding gives that information.

Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

To Enter the Giveaway: Leave a comment telling us what your brand is. Maybe you’re a reader who wants to cry their eyes out but better get a happily ever after. Or someone who writes thrillers with a thread of mystery weaving through your work. Perhaps you’re a mother who will cut you if you side eye any of her babies. Or someone seeking a life of peace and serenity. What’s your brand?

Many hugs, Z.

About the Author: Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.
To contact Z. Allora: E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Blog | Queer Romance Ink
Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.

Winter Blogfest: Deanna Wadsworth

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one ecopy of my first holiday erotic romance, SECRET SANTA.

A Cookie Recipe and a Giveaway!

December is such a hectic time of year for me. As a professional hair stylist and nail tech, my day job is twice the workload as usual. So I don’t do the whole Christmas cookie extravaganza. I don’t even get as fancy cookie making as Daniel and Clay do in my latest book WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER. Thanksgiving is more my jam, I host it every year and pick up a lot of stragglers who don’t have family plans. I leave Christmas to the friends with kids.

But one thing I always do is make is my great-grandmother’s Scotch shortbread. Have you ever had shortbread? It’s kind of like a snowball but creamier. Probably because of the powdered sugar. I’m not much of a baker so I won’t pretend to know the science of why these cookies melt in your mouth, but they do. And this recipe is crazy easy! So from my home to yours, here is the recipe:

Scotch Shortbread

  1. Cream 1 cup butter and ¾ cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Stir in 2 ½ cup flour
  3. Press into 8×8 pan
  4. Bake 300 for 25-30 min
  5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut warm

I hope you try this recipe. Perhaps my family’s shortbread can become a holiday tradition for your family too. Enjoy this excerpt from WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER, one of the thirty holiday romances in the Dreamspinner Holiday Advent collection.


Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.

Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride. The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas


“Want some coffee?” Daniel said to avoid blurting, Damn the years treated you well!

“Sure, I’m freezing.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t know about the storm. It’s been all over the news.”

Clay grinned. “You know me. I never think things through first.”

He chuckled. “Since you’re here for the evening, do you want to help me make cookies? It’s sort of a cliché Christmas thing to do, but….”

“Sure.” The grin splitting Clay’s face was electric, and Daniel’s belly fluttered.

Daniel had not forgotten Clay’s toothy grin and those dimples. Back during Desert Shield, the dusting of a youthful beard had hidden his dimples, much to Daniel’s chagrin. But now Clay was clean-shaven, his cheeks a little pink from the elements. The long lean line of his throat, his solid Adam’s apple that bobbed when he talked—all exposed for Daniel’s viewing pleasure. He’d always had a thing for Clay’s neck. Weird, but he couldn’t help it. Clay had stayed in great shape too, unlike the twenty pounds Daniel needed to lose.

Making cookies isn’t helping that! And you were probably going to eat them all yourself!

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And here Clay was, looking like some sort of body-building Daddy.

Once Daniel got Clay a mug of coffee to warm up, he busied himself placing the fresh cookies on a cooling rack.

“What? No cutouts?” Clay said, startling Daniel with how close he stood.

He hadn’t realized Clay had come up beside him. Swallowing hard, he glanced over his shoulder and up. Clay was bigger, wider than he used to be. And damn, the gray hair looked good on him.

Daniel managed to sound calm, though Clay’s nearness made his heart race and his skin warm. “Nah, a cookie’s a cookie.”

“But it’s Christmas, Danny. Shouldn’t we make Santa or candy-cane cookies?”

“I just wanted cookies.” Call me Danny again, please! “No need for theatrics.”

Theatrics? C’mon, you gotta have cookie cutters around here somewhere.” The hopeful glint in his expression tugged at Daniel’s heart.

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Come on, Danny.”

And then, just like old times, Clay took over, tossing Daniel’s practical plan out the window and making everything more complicated.

But definitely more fun.

With a mismatched collection of cookie cutters, and Clay armed with the rolling pin and leaving a flour mess all over the counters and floor—which George happily licked up—soon they had a tray of hearts, moons, and trees ready to go into the oven. Clay insisted Daniel add food coloring to the frosting, one bowl of green and another of red, which turned out pink. Though he didn’t think it necessary, it was impossible to say no to Clay.

Especially with those dimples and that sexy throat, and the way Clay called him Danny with his now-rougher voice.

You’re hopeless!

Thanks for hosting me and if you share a comment (or better yet a cookie recipe of your own) then you will be entered to win my first Christmas story: SECRET SANTA—Just who was it that came down Adam’s chimney? Find out in this superhot holiday story!

Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.
Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride. The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas.

About the Author: Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President-elect 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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Winter Blogfest: Sean Michael

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of Daddy Needs a Date.

Winter Wonderland

I do love winter. Once Halloween is over, I’m ready for snow and lots of it. By November the trees have lost all their leaves and there are far fewer sunny days. The snow brightens everything up and dresses the trees up in their winter finery. While I love all the greenery in the summer, I love a winter view even more. It’s stunningly beautiful.

There’s also a hush that comes with a snowstorm, as if the snow itself is blanketing the world, not just with a blanket that you can see, but one that dulls all the other outside sounds. You can walk out in a snowstorm and all the falling snow makes no sound as it falls and hits the ground. It’s just quiet. When you go walking in freshly fallen snow, and you can hear the crunch of the white stuff under your boots, but while it’s falling, there’s nothing. It’s like magic.

It’s not just the snow, though, I also love the colder weather. I love coming in from the cold and taking off the layers, slowly warming up from the cold. Hot chocolate doesn’t taste nearly as good any other time of the year. It’s best enjoyed on a cold day – the colder it is the better the hot chocolate tastes. Even holding the hot mug feels good. There is more sun in the winter than in fall, the days often bright and sharp, the sky never so blue as it is on a deeply cold day.

I kind of hibernate in the summer. The hot days play with my mind and I don’t get nearly as much done as I do in the winter. The snow comes and with it my creativity awakens again for the season. I usually get far more done in winter than I do in summer.

Finally, there’s Christmas and the New Year. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays – with the coloured lights and all the decorations. Buying and wrapping gifts, making cookies and cooking for family. I even love the feeling on Christmas Day once all the eating and gifting is over, that sense of relaxation and ease now that everything is done.

As for the new year – I totally appreciate being able to reset, to wipe the slate clean and start over again. That feeling usually doesn’t last very long, but that’s okay, because where I live, there’s still at least three more months of winter to revel in.

So give me my winter wonderland and I am happy down to the bone.
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Sean Michael

smut fixes everything.

With four girls, single dad Ryan Withers has his hands too full to look for romance. He’s not complaining—he loves his daughter and the three nieces he adopted when their parents died, and he would do anything for them. He’s caught off-guard when his mother and daughter conspire to play matchmaker.

Alex Bernot works in disaster relief, his job taking him all over the world for extended periods of time, helping others. He’s staying with his aunt while he’s home, and she sets him up on a blind date. Finding a special someone isn’t really on his mind, but he goes to make his aunt happy.
Ryan and Alex enjoy each other’s company more than either of them expected, and they soon make a second date.

Their lives are complicated, though, in very different ways, and soon family needs and their jobs conspire to pull them apart. They’ll need to figure out how to work through the things keeping them apart, but first they’ll have to decide if they even want to….

About the Author: Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

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Jenn Burke’s Top 5 Favourite Spec-Fic M/M Romance Books – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Jenn Burke who is here to celebrate today’s release of The Gryphon King’s Consort. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win one of two $25 store credits for Dreamspinner Press.

Jenn Burke’s Top 5 Favourite Spec-Fic M/M Romance Books
Hello everyone! Thank you to Long and Short Reviews for having me here today. I’m going to share my top 5 spec-fic m/m romance books—and by spec-fic, I mean paranormal, romance, and sci-fi.

1. Wolfsong by TJ Klune

This book. THIS BOOK. Okay, I need to say more than gushing and flailing. Wolfsong is long, and therefore a commitment, but believe me—if you love paranormal romance, it’s so worth it. The story follows Ox, who’s always thought of himself as slow and not particularly smart, thanks in large part to his jerk of a father. When new neighbours move into the previously abandoned house next door, Ox’s life changes in the form of a precocious boy—werewolf—named Joe, who hadn’t spoken for two years but suddenly can’t stop telling everyone how Ox smells like candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.

There’s so much to say about this book—the slow development of Ox and Joe’s relationship, the way the narrative matures as Ox does, and the patient unfolding of the epic story. The sequel is due out next year, and I can’t wait to read it.

2. Reawakening by Amy Rae Durreson

I adore the world that Amy Rae Durreson has created for her Reawakening series. After an epic war a thousand years ago where the immortal and all-powerful dragons defeated the evil Shadow, they fell asleep, and the world of men continued without the influence of magical beings. But now something has reawakened the king of the dragons, and he goes searching for it—only to find a young and rather annoyed desert spirit who isn’t too fond of a dragon appearing out of nowhere and stating that he wants to include the desert spirit in his hoard.

3. Strength of the Pack by Kendall McKenna

When I first read this book, I had a moment of disconnection from the real world. Or, rather, this book suddenly seemed like it could be the real world. Like, of course werewolves exist and of course this is how they would function in the military. I loved the bond between Noah and Lucas and how they miscommunicated due to Lucas’s lack of understanding about werewolves. It was a fantastic adventure.

4. How to Walk like a Man by Eli Easton

Eli Easton’s How to Howl at the Moon series is just a joy to read, but this book (the second) is my absolute favourite. It’s about Roman, who started out life as a German shepherd dog working for the military. When his handler is killed, Roman discovers the spark that allows him to transform into a human. He’s this big, military protector guy who’s also very innocent and loyal, and his character is just so much fun to read.

5. Tap-Dancing the Minefields by Lyn Gala

I just finished reading this recently, and it’s going onto my best of 2017 list. I love all of Lyn Gala’s sci-fi, and this book is no exception. The main character is George “Tank” Tankersley, a 20-year-old private in the Army who accidentally discovers some military secrets while on a supply run to a base in Alaska. Except…he kind of already knows about these secrets. Or something like them. Because he spent high school fighting creatures like this. Basically, picture Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if Xander had enlisted in the Army out of high school, and you’ve got Tank.

I absolutely loved the concept of this book—the look at what would happen after high school if you’d spent your high school years fighting evil only to discover you have to keep fighting it. I’m really, really hoping the author has a follow-up planned.

Do you have a favourite spec-fic m/m romance? Please share!

Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

About the Author: Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of The Gryphon King’s Consort from Dreamspinner Press and the co-author of the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press. She’s also the author of Her Sexy Sentinel, a paranormal romance from Entangled Publishing.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

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Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

Thank you so much for joining me on The Gryphon King’s Consort blog tour. Enter for your chance to win one of two $25 store credits for Dreamspinner Press!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Writing a Series by Joe Cosentino – Guest Post and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes back Joe Cosentino to talk about his upcoming release The Perfect Gift. Check out his giveaway at the bottom of the page.

Writing a Series
by Joe Cosentino
I remember as a pre-schooler watching Search for Tomorrow and As The World Turns on television with my mother. Carrying on the family tradition as I grew older and went to school, at lunchtime I’d watch All My Children, and after school I’d hurry home for Dark Shadows and Edge of Night. What I found so captivating about these television serials was how the characters, relationships, and stories continued over a long period of time. Instead of getting involved in a character’s life only to never see him/her again after two hours, those characters became our friends, family, and loved ones over many years. We laughed when they laughed, cried when they cried, and felt romantic when they had romances. We advised them in our heads, rejoiced with their happiness, and pounded our fists against our chests when all was lost. However, tomorrow always came with a new set of stories for our favorite characters.

It was an incredibly exciting time for me when as a young actor in New York City, I won a role on Another World. Wouldn’t you know, it was the one daytime drama I had never watched. I was a snitch for the show’s very popular villain, Carl Hutchins, played by Charles Keating. The job only lasted a week, but it was great fun.

So, it came as no surprise that when I began writing novels, I would revel in creating series. Currently, I am up to eight Nicky and Noah mystery novels (five published so far), four Cozzi Cove beach novels (four published at this point), five Jana Lane mysteries, and I’m writing my second Tales from Fairyland. However, what I’m here to talk about today are my Bobby and Paolo holiday stories published by Dreamspinner Press. That series started with my popular novella and audiobook performed by Joel Leslie, A Home for the Holidays. The story chronicled the relationship between young American law student Bobby and his sexy, muscular, handsome Italian distant cousin Paolo after they met and fell in love in the gorgeous, magical Island of Capri. Now comes my two-part novella beginning a year after A Home for the Holidays ends. Bobby and Paolo are living in Philadelphia as a junior lawyer and junior fashion designer. When Paolo proposes, Bobby’s family and friends are intent on giving the couple a gaudy, elaborate wedding against their wishes. Bobby and Paolo jump through quite a few holiday hoops and finally have their perfect December wedding (December Grooms). A year later, since it’s again Christmas time, the couple tour many of the quaint and wonderful holiday sites in their area featuring elaborately decorated trees and wreathes, Dickensian villages, Victorian carolers and bell ringers, vendors selling hot mulled cider and roasted chestnuts, and bay-windowed shops. They exchange beautiful gifts, and enjoy spending Christmas with Bobby’s eccentric family and hilarious friend Jared. While playing department store Santa, Bobby’s father suffers a heart attack. A man in a Santa suit, who Bobby assumes is his father’s replacement, brings the young couple to the hospital room of a sick little boy. Could this boy be the holiday gift leading to happily ever after for Bobby and Paolo (An Unexpected Present)?

Will there be a third Bobby and Paolo holiday novella? I’m writing it now. As I mentioned, the stories always continue.

Thank you, readers, for your love, support, and requests for more Bobby and Paolo holiday stories. I hope you get lots of surprises in your holiday stocking, including something you never knew you needed. Enjoy my special holiday gift novella to you. Please know that it comes wrapped in a huge ribbon of love.

THE PERFECT GIFT (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 2)
published by Dreamspinner Press, e-book $4.99

Back in America after finding A Home for the Holidays and each other in Capri, new couple Bobby McGrath and Paolo Mascobello are ready to tie the knot during the winter holidays. Their families, friends, and pastor offer more advice than sages on speed. So, young lawyer Bobby and fashion designer Paolo are caught in the matrimonial holiday circus. Will a shocking turn of events somehow lead to the perfect wedding for the December grooms?

The following Christmas, Bobby and Paolo aren’t feeling the holiday spirit. They have a nice apartment, designer clothes, entertaining and supportive friends and family, but little time for each other. While out shopping in their quaint local holiday village, Bobby and Paolo encounter Gregory, an adorable seven-year-old who changes their lives forever, offering them a true holiday miracle… if they’re willing to accept it.

Enjoy an Excerpt from The Perfect Gift

A few minutes later, Paolo and I sat across from each other at our cherry dining room table. The scent of Italian cheeses, garlic, olive oil, mushrooms, spinach, and chicken filled the room. Between bites, Paolo asked, “What is it that you wanted to ask me?” The candlelight from our antique brass candleholders made him look incredibly sexy. He didn’t need much help.

I took in a deep breath. Though I had rehearsed my speech a hundred times over the last few months, what came out was, “I bought lemon gelato for dessert.”

He blew me a kiss. I caught it and placed it over my heart. Ready for take two, I took a sip of my herbal tea in a failed attempt at moistening my bone-dry throat. “Paolo, we’ve been living together for almost a year now.”

“Are you tired of me already?” He winked at me.

I slid to the edge of my seat. “During that time, have you… did you ever think about….”

The ingredient present in cheapest viagra uk the medication helps to dilate the blood vessels in your genital area. So give your sex drive a boost by buying buy cialis online icks.org online. This chemical helps to increase the production of the potent and novel anabolic steroids like tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) which are not detected by the standard tests. india viagra generic You can buy Kamdeepak capsules from reputed online stores in cialis order levitra the denomination of 180, 120, 60, and 240 capsules. He swallowed his food. “Bobby, I told you before. I look at other men. But you are the only one I want.”

“And you’re the only one I want.”

“Then it is a good thing we live together.” He continued eating.

“Do you miss your life in the villa with your family in Capri?”

“Not when I am with you. Don’t worry; we will never end up like Edgar and everyone else getting a divorce.”

“Why not?”

“Because we do not need a piece of paper to validate our love.”

The lawyer in me surfaced. “That piece of paper would enable us to make healthcare decisions for each other in emergency situations, and to protect our wills from a family member who might want to contest them.”

What reviewers said about A Home for the HolidaysK/I>, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 1:

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…..When you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews

“The one thing you can’t escape when reading Cosentino’s books is his humour; it’s what draws me back time and again to this author. Sometimes the humour is subtle, sometimes it’s unashamedly overt – every time it is hilarious.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail…exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz

About the Author: Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star.

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Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Giveaway: Post a comment about your favorite holiday gift. The one that reaches the star on the tree will win a gift audiobook of A Home for the Holidays, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 1, by Joe Cosentino, performed by Joel Leslie, published by Dreamspinner Press.

Top Five Vacation Spots in Colorado by Julia Talbot – Guest Blog

Hey, y’all!

I’m here to give you a first peek to Fangs and Catnip, my very first Dreamspun Beyond from Dreamsinner Press.

Carter is the new manager at the Dead and Breakfast Inn, and he falls for vampire silent partner Fallon, who is sure they don’t need a were-cougar as a manager…

I love the mountains in Colorado, where Dead and Breakfast is set, so I wanted to talk about my top vacation spots there! Here are my top 5.

5. Boulder. Foodies abound, so there’s tons of good food. The shopping is eclectic and amazing, and I love the nature trails and outdoor activities. There’s a comfortable feel to this city, one that makes it easy to kick back and wander.

4. Ouray They call Ouray the Switzerland of the USA, and it’s an amazing high altitude town. A hot spings pool, the Jeep capitol of the US, and goony golf carved right out of the mountain. You can’t lose, and the last time I was there, a herd of deer wandered across the parking lot at the hotel…

3. Estes Park. High above the rest of the state, Estes is the gateway to Rocky Mountain national park. Herds of elk can end up on main street, and there are great shops and restaurants, as well as the haunted Stanley Hotel. My advice is to rent a cabin and hang out for a week or more.

2. Durango. This town nestled just above New Mexico is my go to in Colorado now that I live between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I love the narrow gauge railroad that leaved there, the Sizzling Siam restaurant, with its two seats and standing counter. I adore the Purgatory ski mountain and the river running right through town. Best, it’s 3 hours away.

1. Glenwood Springs. Oh, y’all. I can’t rave about Glenwood enough. Skiing, rafting, snowmobiling, spas, vapor caves, hot springs, fairy caves, fancy old hotels, bizarre off the grid businesses and people, Hanging Lake, and the amazing Glenwood canyon… It has everything. You should go.

I hope y’all will check out the Dead and Breakfast!


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A Dead and Breakfast Novel

A romance worth fighting for—tooth and claw.

Solitary vampire Fallon Underwood gets all the social interaction he needs being the silent partner at the Dead and Breakfast B and B high in the Colorado mountains. Change is hard for Fallon, so when his business partner, Tanner, suggests hiring a new manager for the inn, he’s adamant that they don’t need help, especially not in the form of bouncy werecat Carter Hughes.

Carter is a happy-go-lucky kitty, and he loves the hospitality industry, so the D and B ought to be a great place for him. He falls for Fallon as soon as he picks up one of Fallon’s novels, and begins to woo the vamp with gifts. When Fallon finally succumbs to Carter’s feline charms, the results are unexpected, to say the least. Their mating will have irreversible consequences—for their bodies and their hearts.

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

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