One for the Price of Two by Howard Weiner – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Howard Weiner will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Fraternal twins are raised by an ambivalent aunt who provides an unusual childhood experience. One twin leaves home to join the armed forces and is ultimately assigned to a Special Forces unit conducting clandestine operations in North Korea. The death of one his unit members produces an introduction to an organized crime family specializing in murder for hire. The funeral for the family’s son and an interest in their daughter brings new blood and methods to the family business.


Enjoy an Excerpt

Later, she found she couldn’t explain what it was about the passenger who boarded in the midst of the newbies. He was taller than most, but that wasn’t it. His facial features were smooth, rounded with none of the angular bone structures most men had. He wore one of those rugby shirts with the parallel horizontal lines much like the old TV test patterns. His skin was light, very light. Perhaps that was it. Who lived in Las Vegas with milky white skin?

His long sandy hair was tied in the back—a man bun.

The horror that was the boarding process mercifully came to an end. The late hour guaranteed a quick trip to their runway and takeoff. Planes waiting to depart were not stacked up. A long, but quick taxi ride to the take-off area was the only thing between the plane and flight. Quickly, they were airborne, and shortly thereafter, they reached cruising altitude. Drink and snack service began.

The senior flight attendant encouraged economy passengers scattered throughout the plane to move forward. Seating was plentiful, and they wanted to bring this part of the flight service program to an end.

She completed the business class service and turned her attention to staging the extra beverages and ice needed to begin service in the economy section, when one of the other attendants started to complain.

“Didn’t she hear us ask everyone in economy to please move forward?”

“I’m sorry,” she started, “who are you talking about?”

“The tall woman sitting in front of the rear bulkhead.”

“Describe her,” she prompted.

“Tall, milky complexion, soft features, pony-tail, wearing a rugby dress.” She paused, “Can you imagine? Skin like that in the hot desert sun. She must hide under a ton of sun screen and big hats. Poor thing.”

“Did you say a woman?” she asked.

“Yes, a woman.”

The only person who fit that description was a man she saw during boarding.

Wow, she thought. It’s been a long day. Did I mistake a woman for a man?

About the Author:

Howard Weiner is a recent addition to the literary genre of fiction. Writing mysteries, thrillers, crimes—with a touch of romance—an approach described by one reader as “one bubble off.”

Many authors sharing the genre have characters whose fortune is determined by others. They literally have dodged the bullet that otherwise would have killed them. Weiner’s characters make their own fortune—good or bad—and they live with the results.

Weiner’s own experiences are blessed with no small number of noteworthy characters and events. He brings these slightly off-kilter individuals to life, complete with their own stories and dramas. Like the child prodigy in his first novel, “It Is Las Vegas After All”, who comes to the starting edge of adulthood and then loses the approval of his doting parents, the sponsorship of one of America’s great institutions of higher education, and gains the enmity of his girlfriend’s father—an international arms dealer—to become a home-grown terrorist operating on U.S. Soil.

A survivor of rich, nuanced bureaucracies in the public and private sector, Weiner writes about characters whose career choices and decisions are morally questionable. A student of personal behavior in complex circumstances, Weiner brings these often cringe-worthy characters to life. Some are amoral, others immoral in a narrow slice of their lives, yet they otherwise look and act like people we all know from work or even childhood. Like one of the female leads in his novel, “Serendipity Opportunity”, an out-of-the-box thinker who flunks most of life’s basic relationship tests, yet she is someone you never want pursuing you in the cause of justice. There’s a former foreign security official who uses his protected status as a witness for federal prosecutors to provide cover for his own mayhem and murder in Weiner’s third novel, “Bad Money”.

Many of Weiner’s stories are born out of real life events: The mix-up in luggage claim at the airport in, “Bad Money”, the chronic high school slacker in “Serendipity Opportunity” whose one stroke of good fortune creates his opportunity to perpetrate a complex series of frauds, or the brilliant student in “It Is Las Vegas After All” who uses his prodigious talents toward an evil end.

As a former federal official, Weiner can neither confirm nor deny having the highest security clearances in classified security programs. Yet, his knowledge of the dark web, criminal organizations, and security organizations takes stories from the popular press to the next level.

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A Hole in One by Judy Penz Sheluk – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Judy Penz Sheluk will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse.

They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of his innocence.

Dogged by incriminating online posts from an anonymous blogger, they track down leads from Emily’s ex-fiancé (and the woman he left Emily for), an Elvis impersonator, and a retired antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own.

All trails lead to a mysterious cult that may have something to do with the murder. Can Arabella and Emily identify the killer before the murderer comes after them?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Arabella Carpenter let the others go first. All three managed to clear the pond with their tee shot and land on the green, but not one was anywhere close to getting a hole in one. Arabella breathed a sigh of relief—since they were sponsoring the contest, their foursome might not be eligible to win, but it still freaked her out to think someone else might. She went through her mental prep, took her swing, and watched as her ball went directly into the woods.

“Hey, you made it over the water,” Hudson said, hopping into his cart. “For someone just starting out, that’s not a bad shot.”

Arabella caught Emily’s look and smiled. He really was a nice guy. “Thanks, Hudson. Whether I can find my ball is an entirely different story. Why don’t I look for it while you guys putt in? I’m sure one of you will be able to make the shot.”

They crossed the pond on a wooden bridge just wide enough for their golf carts, parked on the path next to the hole, and grabbed their putters. Luke, Hudson, and Emily went to the green and began debating which ball to hit. Arabella trundled over to the woods, feeling stupid and hoping like hell it wasn’t infested with poison ivy. The woods were thicker than she’d expected. She walked in a couple of feet, using her putter to push the branches aside.

That’s when she started to scream.

About the Author:

An Amazon international bestselling author, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE and A HOLE IN ONE) and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Her short crime fiction appears is included in several collections, including LIVE FREE OR TRI.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario.

Find Judy on her website/blog at, where she interviews and showcases the works of other authors and blogs about the writing life.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google, iBooks, or Barking Rain Press.

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Guarding Her Heart by Jade Webb – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jade will be awarding a $30 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.

Trust me, even though I’ve had a silver spoon in my mouth since I was a fetus and have a world-famous pop diva as a sister, there is nothing I want more in the world than to fade into the background and live out my Law & Order fantasy of becoming a public defender.

The only problem is my dad won’t bankroll law school unless I spend the summer following my older sister on her arena tour, keeping her out of trouble and making sure she doesn’t have yet another embarrassing public meltdown. Now relegated to a glorified babysitter, I am stuck lugging my ten-pound LSAT prep books through hotel lobbies and taking practice tests in my sister’s dressing rooms.

Then I find myself caught in a love triangle with my sister’s arch nemesis, bad boy popstar Jordan James and Liam, my sister’s confusing and irritatingly gorgeous Scottish bodyguard. Too bad I’ve sworn off love after seeing my own parent’s train wreck of marriage end with heartache and misery.

I’m tired of living under my family’s careful rules and law school is my way out. I won’t let anything get in my way. I won’t let anyone close enough to break down my walls. I have to guard my heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

The sound of the door opening behind me sends a shiver of fear down my spine. I drop the hairbrush and fumble to hang the dress back with the others on the clothing rack. I step backward and let out a loud gasp as I feel a hard, thick wall hit me from behind. Turning slowly, I take a nervous step back, sweeping my eyes up and down the giant man looming in front of me.

I feel my breath catch as I take him in. He easily towers over me, and is definitely over six feet tall. His body is literally radiating heat, and a quick glance up to his face reveals that it is not the good kind: he looks pissed. His eyes are narrowed into an intimidating glare, and his brow is deeply furrowed as his steel-grey eyes pin me in my place. We stare at each other for a few long moments, neither one of us uttering a word. His eyes flicker up and down my body and I swear I can feel my skin scorch under his assessment. I am so overwhelmed by his presence that I take another staggering step backward. My tactic doesn’t work and only seems to annoy him further.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” His voice is loud, authoritative, and surprisingly, unmistakably Scottish. Although I try to fight it, my mind instantly travels to my secret stash of Scottish highlander romance novels I read when I need to unwind after a long day. God, this guy would look amazing in a kilt.

At that thought, I feel heat instantly rush to my cheeks. God, why am I so awkward? Just calmly explain who you are and send him on his merry way. I open my mouth and inwardly cringe at how high-pitched and mousy I sound. “I- I’m here to see Daphni.” He stares at me blankly, his eyes narrowing even more in annoyance.

“My sister,” I clarify, my voice a bit more even.

He rolls his eyes at me and swears under his breath. “Great,” he mutters, “Another crazy fan.”

About the Author:

I am a lover of romance novels that feature strong heroines who know that the loves that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

I have loved romance novels since I was a teen, sneaking them into my Bible studies at my all-girls Catholic school. I love strong heroines who know that the men that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

Thanks to my own marriage, I have learned that the challenges of life can only help to make love stronger and I am grateful to my partner for embodying all the magic that love can offer.

When I am not writing or dreaming up new love stories, I am working in a retirement community outside of Boston that provides me with enough writing material for ten lifetimes.

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Guarding Her Heart is available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited $0.99 during the tour.

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A Walk on the Wild Side by Eileen Dreyer writing as Kathleen Korbel – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eileen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour and more chances to win.

J.P. O’Neill is in the fight of his life. A legendary agent with the DEA, he’s uncovered a conspiracy in his own agency. The only problem is he’s been arrested for the murder of his partner. If he goes to jail, he dies.

There’s only one solution—escape. The only way to do that is to kidnap his defense attorney. Lauren Taylor is a high-priced attorney doing a favor for a friend. Suddenly she finds herself on the run with the most dangerous man she’s ever met. Will she survive with her heart intact?

“Ms. Korbel generates an incredible chemistry between her two immensely appealing lovers that will set your heart on fire.” ~ RT Booklovers

Enjoy an Excerpt

The first time she saw him, he was unkempt, unwashed and unshaven. And that was after they’d cleaned him up.

“It says here you were a DEA agent,” Lauren mused, her eyes down on the file she’d been handed rather than the bedraggled man who sat across the table from her.

“I’m still a DEA agent,” he allowed, his voice gravelly with weariness, his hands clenched around a foam coffee cup.

He’d already finished the coffee. Now he was tearing little strips off the rim with his fingers, fingers that were so grimy that Lauren had thought twice about shaking his hand.

She knew his story was that he’d been undercover as a street person, but she wasn’t sure he’d had to go to quite the lengths he had. James O’Neill smelled like a cannery and looked like the bottom of an oil drum. His layered clothes were torn and filthy, his beard gnarled and unruly, a salt and pepper variation on the nondescript hair that straggled down the back of his neck from beneath a knit cap. The typical uniform of any of the thousands of lost men who wandered the streets and slept in parks and under bridges.

But that wasn’t what kept Lauren from facing him. She’d sat across from her share of derelicts. After all, she’d been with the public defender’s office before joining the firm of Paxton, Bryant and Filmore. She knew how to survive a pungent odor or two and didn’t think twice about the type of grime in which a man chose to coat himself.

What Lauren couldn’t quite face were James O’Neill’s eyes.

They’d been the first thing she’d noticed, the single startling contrast to the rest of the picture that made her believe that O’Neill had been, at least until a month earlier, one of the DEA’s top agents. Brilliant, according to the records she’d scanned. Canny, daring, a risk taker of the first order who’d netted some of the top players in the game by running some of the most unbelievable stings in the history of the agency. A legend in his own time.

The file before her also said that sometime around dawn the man who sat before her had shot down his ex-partner in cold blood in a public park rather than be hauled in on drug charges.

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling, RWA Hall of Fame author Eileen Dreyer has published 31 romance novels in most genres, 8 medical­forensic suspenses, and 10 short stories.

2015 sees Eileen enjoying critical acclaim for her foray into historical romance, the Drake’s Rakes series, which Eileen labels as Regency Romantic Adventure that follows a group of Regency aristocrats who are willing to sacrifice everything to keep their country safe. She is also working on her first non­fiction book, TRAVELS WITH DAVE, about a journey she’s been taking with a friend’s ashes.

A retired trauma nurse, Eileen lives in her native St. Louis with her husband, children, and a large and noisy Irish family, of which she is the reluctant matriarch. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.

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The Storm and the Sea by January George from Lawbreakers – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a digital copy of the book to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you like strong women who take a detour from the straight and narrow, this collection is for you! From computer hackers to art heists, to a mysterious woman reclaiming her legacy and a re-telling of a classic with a billionaire twist, this box set has it all.

Join us for a ride-along on the wrong side of the law, and see if you fall in love with a Lawbreaker.

Collection includes The Fighting Lancasters by Deb Julienne, Two Truths and a Lie by Daryl Devoré, The Storm and the Sea by January George and Painted Love by Viviana MacKade.



The Storm and the Sea

After an impulsive decision lands her in hot water, Adrianne Broussard is desperate to get to the far reaches of the Louisiana Bayou to make things right. But a tropical storm is barreling up the Gulf and she can’t find anyone willing to take her.

When Ronan Doyle’s fishing boat is locked up by a shady dock owner, he’ll do just about anything to get it back, even take a mysterious blond out in the middle of a storm.

But when they’re left stranded in the unforgiving swamp, and their secrets start to unravel, will they find the strength to trust each other, even if it puts them on opposite sides of the law?

Enjoy an Excerpt from The Storm and the Sea

He jumped the cabin steps in one leap, wrenching open the door. “We’re taking on water. Life jacket on, now!” Ronan pulled on his own, not waiting to see if she followed directions.

“What was that?” Adrianne cried, her knuckles white on the steering wheel.

Ronan shook his head, snapping the clasps before he turned to her. He shot a look over his shoulder. The smaller craft struggled in the waves, closing the distance. His fingers moved deftly down the black plastic clips, snapping them across her chest. “We hit something. We’re going down. I don’t know how deep it is, but we can’t stay here.” He scanned their surroundings. They were about thirty yards from land.

Adrianne clung to the backpack like it was a buoy. Tears glistened in her eyes. “Ok.”

Ronan framed her face with his hands. “I need you to do exactly as I say, ok?”

She nodded. She still wouldn’t let go of that damn backpack.

He pulled her behind him. The boat listed, the horrible sound of torn metal groaned below them. “We’re going to jump. Swim for the shore with everything you got.”

“I—I can’t,” she stammered.

Ronan glanced over his shoulder. The boat was close, its lone occupant fighting against the wind. Once they were in the water, the carcass of the Fiona would block them, but not for long. He smiled sheepishly at Adrianne. “Sorry about this.”

She looked up sharply. “What?”

He picked her up and unceremoniously tossed her overboard.

About the Author:January George has been writing since she was a child, but fell in love with happily ever after while traveling through Europe at thirteen when she ran out of books and discovered Harlequin. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and children.

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Top 5 Things I Wished I’d Known by Laura Lascarso – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Laura Lascarso who is visiting with us to celebrate the recent release of When Everything is Blue. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Top 5 Things I wished I’d known before I was published and one bonus!

1. There be rejection. I had been warned going into publishing that rejection is a part of the process, but I was continually surprised at both the volume of rejections and the range of reasons why my work was getting rejected. I’ve since moved from mainstream to indie publishing, which has significantly improved my spirits, but in the meantime it never hurts to build up a thick skin.

2. Grow your readership. I was fortunate to be published by mainstream fairly early on in my career, but I didn’t do much to cultivate a readership, thinking the majority of the marketing would fall on the publisher. Unfortunately, when my debut novel didn’t take off, my publisher wasn’t all that invested in growing my readership, which meant I had to start all over.

3. There will always be someone prettier than you. Yeah, so jealousy is a thing as much as we wish we were all so far above it. It’s hard sometimes to see others’ success and not ask yourself what you are doing wrong (or what they are doing right). I’ve learned that it’s best to focus on what I can control, which is the quality of my storytelling, and that if I work hard enough, one day my prince will come.

4. Celebrate your successes, aka treat yo’self. This is a really important thing for writers to do for each other and for themselves. Publishing books can mean long hours (after your regular day job) for not a lot of monetary reward, so whenever something goes your way, take a moment to pat yourself on the back and thank whomever helped you achieve it.

5. Take time off. As much as I wished at times I was a machine, I am not, and in order to sharpen the saw, it is necessary to let my creative fields lie fallow in order to reap the benefits of next season’s harvest. Did I fit enough clichés in there? It must be time for me to take a vacation!

6. (Bonus) If you build it they will come. Stay focused on your craft and the story you want to tell. Everyone has their own style, preference and rules that they follow. Be true to your vision and who you are as an artist, and your work will find its readership.

Sometimes the people we need most aren’t bonded by blood but by something deeper.

When they were kids, golden boy Chris Mitcham rescued dweeby Theo Wooten from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that “arise” at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and the stunted, tenuous relationship Theo has with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery? In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with several awkward firsts, a few haters, but also the tender comfort of an unexpected lover.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Be Cool

Being horny and almost sixteen is the absolute worst.

Take it from me, Theodore Wooten III, resident expert in the spontaneous boner. The cause of my lovesickness: Christian Mitcham. The cure: hell if I know.

With his sun-bleached hair, warm brown eyes, and devil-may-care attitude, people gravitate to Chris like sugar ants on a soda can, me included. He’s been my best friend since sixth grade when some neighborhood punks held me down on the sidewalk and tried to spit in my eyes. Chris called them off and threatened to beat their asses even though he was outnumbered and outgunned. I guess they believed in his conviction. I know I did.

“Chris is back.”

My twin sister, Tabitha, rushes into my room, even though the door was mostly closed. When we moved into this apartment, the owner paid a contractor to split the master bedroom into two bedrooms, so that we could each have our own room. Tabs got the en suite bathroom, and I got the window. Considering the view overlooks Chris’s property, where he can often be found strutting around shirtless in the wild, it now seems like a fair trade.

“You’re supposed to knock,” I grumble. My gut is a brew of excitement and nerves at the knowledge that Chris is back. My feelings toward my best friend have become more complicated over the past year or so. I’d hoped a summer apart would simplify things.

“I did knock, Theo. You just didn’t hear me,” says Tabs, she of the last word.

I was watching some skate videos online with my cans on. The music was loud, but not that loud. I toss my tablet on the bed, stand, and stretch, delaying the inevitable.

“Oooh, he looks good,” Tabs says as she opens my window, piquing my interest even more. “Buff and tan. He’s been working out.”

“Probably just surfing.” A cloud of swampy Florida air envelops me as I steal a glance over her shoulder. She’s right. He’s even more godly than two months ago. Lucky bastard doesn’t even need to try. Ever since Chris turned thirteen, his muscles have been bursting out like microwave popcorn. He lifts a burger to his mouth and sprouts biceps, sits up in bed and boom, there are his abs. Meanwhile, I grow taller and lankier and have to deal with my mom telling me to stand up straight or I’m going to get scoliosis, which I’m pretty sure isn’t how that disease works, but it’s hard to argue with my mom when she thinks she’s right.

My sister calls down to Chris. He’s carrying a new surfboard—midnight blue, probably a gift from his dad. He glances up and lifts his free hand in a friendly wave.

My gut twists in a nausea-inducing way. The feelings are still there, the sharp knife of longing that slices down my sternum and scrambles my guts. I lift one hand in greeting and hope I’m far enough away so he can’t see anything unusual on my face.

“Come down,” Chris calls. “Bring your suits.”

I’m already wearing my board shorts and a T-shirt. Standard summer attire. We live close enough to the beach that I can bike or skate there, even though my mom hates me going through all the traffic. Sometimes I just go to skate along the sea wall and smell the ocean. It reminds me of Chris.

The twist in my stomach coils into a hard knot of anxiety at the thought of our reunion, but it’ll be weird if my sister goes and I don’t. Plus, I’ve missed him like crazy. I got so bored this summer, I was finally able to nail a nightmare flip on my skateboard. Something to add to my college applications.

“Be right down,” Tabs calls to Chris, then bounces out of my room like a happy Pikachu. My sister’s always been the cheerful, outgoing one. I’m slightly sour.

I glance back out the window to find Chris still looking up at me. Of course I’ll be down. As if there was ever a question. I always do what Chris tells me. And until recently, I’ve been happy to do it. I trust him to know what to do in just about any situation.

Me, not so much.

I trail behind Tabs across our driveways and through the gate into his backyard. He’s laid out on a lawn chair, shirtless of course. His hair’s gotten longer. He likes it that way, so he can tuck it behind his ears. He’s got a deep summer tan, and his abs are even more ripped than when he left for summer a couple of months ago. His sunglasses are reflective so I can’t see his eyes. I worry he can tell I’m checking him out, so I stare at the shrubbery instead.

“What is this, a race?” Chris rises from the lawn chair to give me our usual bro-hug. He means my height. I must have grown two inches over summer, but I didn’t realize the difference until I have to lean down a little to embrace him. I catch a whiff of his hair—a mixture of sunshine, salt spray, and coconut shampoo. His skin is warm and feels good in my palms—dangerously good.

Chris hugs my sister too and asks her if she highlighted her hair. She did. He tells her he likes it, and my sister’s smile cracks wide open. We have good teeth, my sister and I, bright white and straight thanks to orthodontia. Our dad’s a dentist and our mom’s a dental hygienist. Our smiles are the one trait people say we have in common, though they probably see a lot more of Tabs’s teeth than my own.

“I wish my hair was your color naturally.” Tabs tugs at Chris’s golden locks playfully, which draws another deep chuckle from him. I study the flecks of quartz in the concrete and try to ignore the fact that my sister is flirting with my best friend. And she’s doing a really good job of it.

About the Author: Laura Lascarso wants you to stay up way past your bedtime reading her stories. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of storytelling to heal and transform a society. When not writing, Laura can be found screaming “finish” on the soccer fields, rewatching Veronica Mars, and trying to convince politicians that climate change is real. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband and two kids. She loves hearing from readers, and she’d be delighted to hear from you.

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My Five Top Movies by S.E. Harmon – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes S.E. Harmon who is celebrating today’s release of The Blueprint. Leave a comment for a chance to win one of three paperback copies of the book.

Hi all! Thanks to Long and Short Reviews for having me and helping me celebrate the release of The Blueprint. Coming up with a list of top 5 favorite anything was more challenging than I thought it would be! I didn’t want to get too random, so I decided to share my top five movies. This list is in no particular order because there’s no way I could pick a favorite (I’m lucky I was able to narrow the list down from 100).

1. The Princess Bride- What can you say about this film? I refuse to believe someone out there hasn’t seen this yet. It’s a classic. The end. Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

2. The Avengers- I’m a Marvel universe fan-girl, so really you could put any of their superhero movies in this category. I love superheroes and no one does it better than Marvel. They also manage to insert a little tongue-in-cheek humor in their script, which I really appreciate. Tony Stark delivers the best lines.

3. Jurassic Park- You can’t really match the movie theater majesty of seeing those dinos for the first time. Who’s going to be served with A-1 sauce? What will those pesky raptors learn how to do next? How many times can one freaking T-rex save the day? And once again, there was that tongue-in-cheek humor in the dialogue that I love. Favorite line? “Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

4. The Sound of Music
Because…Julie Andrews. I also love to sing and yes, I do know the words to all the songs. I do a pretty good goatherd if I do say so myself. And if Christopher Plummer singing Eidelweiss doesn’t make you sigh a little, you’re a bot and must be destroyed.

5. Rambo
You don’t want to watch the first three Rambo movies with me—I can (and do) quote them all. He’s damaged and lethal and has a big heart. If you’re stuck in some sort of enemy prison, he’s the guy you want on your side. My favorite is undeniably the first one—what seems like just a simple shoot-em-up movie is really a commentary on how America treated their soldiers (at the time), and the mental damage of vets who return from war. And a special shout out to Richard Crenna, who made a fabulous Colonel Trautman.

So there it is. Everything you never wanted to know about my movie likes. Do we have some of the same favorites?

Kelly Cannon is generally satisfied with his life—he has a great job that he loves, friends, and a wonderful family. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don’t fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don’t fall in love with your best friend.

NFL standout Britton “Blue” Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides. From his father, who’s only interested in Blue’s football career. From his coaches, who just want him to play without getting injured again. The fans. His agent. His mother, who popped back up on the radar after leaving his family years ago. Now his relationship with Kelly is on shaky ground, and that frightens Blue more than anything.

When Kelly admits he’s in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what’s really important. He doesn’t want to lose the number one person in his life, but the cost to keep Kelly close might be more than he’s willing to pay.

It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint—it’s time to draft a new set of plans.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I glanced down at my phone again. No missed calls, no missed texts. There was no point in redialing until Kelly was forced to get a restraining order against me. Nothing would budge him when he was being stubborn.

I wouldn’t stop by after we docked.

No matter how much I wanted to.

I was trying to give him his precious space. I scowled. Although why I was suddenly supposed to give Kelly, my best friend for practically most of my fucking life, space was beyond me. All I knew was that, a couple weeks earlier, he gave me some rambling speech about “finding himself” and “figuring some things out.” He needed time to figure out where his life was going.
I was doing my best to comply. But like most things you didn’t realize you were addicted to, staying away was easier said than done.

I would stay away. But if he didn’t answer in a couple of days, I’d track him down—in person. I sent him a text to that effect, using the word motherfucker quite liberally, and put my phone back in my pocket.

As far as threats went, two hundred and fifty pounds of irritated tight end on your doorstep was usually pretty effective.

About the Author: S.E. Harmon has had a lifelong love affair with writing. It’s been both wonderful and rocky (they’ve divorced several times), but they always manage to come back together. She’s a native Floridian with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts, and now splits her days between voraciously reading romance novels and squirreling away someplace to write them. Her current beta reader is a nosy American Eskimo who begrudgingly accepts payment in the form of dog biscuits.

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Captured by Ashland by Tara Lain – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tara Lain who is celebrating the recent release of Rome and Jules. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the page for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Captured by Ashland!

Hi and welcome. I’m Tara Lain and today I’m happy dancing over the release of my new paranormal romance, Rome and Jules. Long and Short Reviews asked me to share a little about myself and specifically suggested I might tell you a favorite vacation destination. Well, that gives me an excuse to share with you a huge, impending change in my life.

You might know that I love plays and theater, and a number of years ago, I heard about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. OSF takes place in the beautiful Oregon town of Ashland, and my hubby and I planned a trip to spend several days immersed in plays. The theater is quite a big deal. It runs 9 months a year in five theaters including an outdoor Elizabethan stage, and tackles many more things than Shakespeare. We loved our trip. The theater was first rate and the town is totally charming. It’s southern Oregon, so not so rainy as the north, but it’s hilly and packed with trees. The town hosts a university and of course the OSF, so while the base population is small, it accommodates many, many tourists and students every year and provides the services that tourists like – wonderful restaurants, adorable shops – things I personally like a lot.

We went back to Ashland a few times, once taking my husband’s father. He loved the town too. There’s a beautiful creek that runs through it, a gorgeous park, not much traffic, its near an airport, and altogether support life as we like it. Though we had no idea then, when we started casting around for areas where we might make a retirement type move (he’s retiring, not me!!) we settled on Ashland. As I write this, we’ve sold our house in California, my husband is in Ashland looking at a property we like, and we’ll be Oregon residents in less than 60 days! It seems appropriate that Rome and Jules is based on Shakespeare, because old Will will be playing a very important role in my next phase of life.

Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….

Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.

Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Excerpt 2 – Rome and Jules by Tara Lain

Crawling through the balcony window wasn’t exactly nonconfrontational. He plopped on the grass and pressed his back against the trunk of a tree. Maybe pebbles on the window? And if it’s not his room, dumbass? It made sense he’d have the one balcony on this side of the house. Do I risk it? He’s probably still out with Asshole Anderson. Man, that idea nauseated him. He closed his eyes and bumped the back of his head against the scratchy bark.

Lights shone against his closed lids, and he flicked his eyes open. Somebody’s in that room. He rolled up to a crouch and stared at the french doors. Like he willed it, one of them opened and out walked Jules.

Whoa. Rome sucked a breath, and his alpha-advantage eyes focused clearly on the scene, even though he was many feet away. Jules’s fair hair hung onto his shoulders, shimmering in the moonlight. He’d left his shirt open, and the white fabric barely contrasted with his pale chest—the chest that showed off those surprising muscles. He leaned on the parapet and sighed. Though hardly a whisper, Rome heard it clearly. He slipped a step closer.

Jules’s head snapped up. “Is there someone there?”

Wow. Could he hear that? Think fast. “But soft. What light through yonder window breaks?” Rome stepped out from under the tree branches and stopped. If Jules was going to scream, he needed a head start on the pursuers.

Instead, Jules gave that head cock, full of curiosity and unselfconscious charm. “I’ve always liked the sun.”

Rome let his smile break free. “I thought when I saw you that your hair looks like a great fall of sunlight.”

“How poetic.”

Rome walked slowly to the foot of the balcony and gazed up at Jules. Wild overgrown vines grew on trellises, some of them hanging away from the wall with the weight of the unkempt greenery. Rome pointed toward the window in front of him. “Is there someone sleeping inside?”

“No. There’s no one else in my end of the wing on either floor.”

“How nice.”

Jules rested his forearms on the balcony rail and leaned his chin on them. “When you broke in the other night—and I still don’t know how you did that—you said you wanted to be my friend and that you were worried about me being a pawn in a political game.”

“Yes. That’s all true.”

“Umm. But I don’t have any friends who recite Shakespeare to me. At least not Romeo and Juliet.” He smiled ever so slightly.

Rome’s heart beat hard. “And what does that suggest to you?”

“That the youngest son of the rich, powerful, and very homophobic Siracusa clan… is gay.”

About the Author:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

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Seeking Mr. Wrong by Tamara Morgan – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short reviews welcomes Tamara Morgan who is visiting with us today to celebrate the release of her newest book, Seeking Mr. Wrong, part of the Penelope Blue series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a Tamara Morgan gift package.

A fool-proof way to spice up any relationship:

1. Infiltrate a deadly ring of thieves, cons, and crooks.

2. Try to escape with your lives.

Penelope Blue used to be one of the best jewel thieves in New York City—but that was before falling in love with FBI poster boy Grant Emerson. Now she works at his side, helping her former enemy catch her past-life colleagues, and she couldn’t be happier.

If only Grant would remember to play by the rules.

Now he’s gone undercover on a cruise ship full of hardened criminals. To keep him safe, Penelope must pretend they’re nothing but strangers…while searching for an information broker desperately wanted by the FBI. While doing her darndest not to backslide and steal 20 million dollars’ worth of diamonds from beneath the noses of the criminal elite. It’s all Penelope can do to keep this mission afloat…

Good thing this cat burglar has plenty of lives to spare.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Before my foot has a chance to touch the ground, my back comes into contact with a fleshy wall that I could swear wasn’t there a moment ago. A pair of strong hands grab me by the waist to ground me, the grip familiar for the fraction of a second it lingers.

“Whoa, there,” says a low, rumbling male voice. “Take it easy. You don’t look too steady on your feet.”

Even if I had been steady on my feet, I wouldn’t be now. I know those hands, and I know that voice—and more importantly, I know the body that houses them both.

“She’s fine,” Hijack says for me, his hand once again taking a proprietary place on the small of my back. “She’s not used to the constant movement of the ship yet, that’s all.”

I manage a feeble smile and look up into my husband’s face. It’s a testament to his skills as a federal agent and a man of steel that no signs of his emotions are apparent. At least, no signs of his emotions are apparent to anyone meeting him for the first time. As I know full well, that unreadable look in his eyes only appears when he’s hiding something.

Amusement, if I’m lucky. Anger, if I’m not. At this point, it could go either way. I guess I’m not the only one who noticed Hijack’s hands in my hair.

Grant lifts a brow. “Good thing she has you to take care of her. And to speak for her, it seems. Does she have a name?”

“As it so happens, she does.” I offer him my hand. “Penelope. Penelope Blue. And you are?”

“Kit O’Kelly, at your service.”

I fully expect him to shake my hand or, given the formal way he introduced himself, bow at the waist, but he lifts my fingers to his lips and drops a light kiss on the surface instead. Between the tuxedo molded to his godlike form and the dark hair that gleams in the moonlight, it’s all I can do not to swoon at the contact. Especially since he lingers a moment longer than necessary, the touch of his mouth soft and warm against my skin. The whisper of his breath is a reminder of everything I want right now—and everything I can’t have.

“Penelope Blue, Penelope Blue…” He says my name with the affectionate inflection he normally reserves for our private time together. “The name is familiar, but I can’t think why. Should I know you?”

I struggle to keep a laugh from springing to my lips. The question is a ridiculous one. There’s no man on earth who knows me better than this one; even before we were married, he had an alarming amount of insight into my inner workings.

“Probably not,” I say. “I’m a pretty small-time thief. But you might know my father, Warren Blue.”

He pretends to think about it for a moment before shaking his head. “No, that’s not it. Were you in Prague last year?”

“Uh, no. I’ve never been.”

“Paris in the winter of ’14?”

“I’m sorry. You must have me confused with someone else.”

“Impossible. I never forget a face, especially one as beautiful as yours.”

I can’t help it. I blush. It’s the cheesiest and most overused compliment in the world, but the way Grant’s eyes—no, the way Kit O’Kelly’s eyes—are devouring me makes me feel as if I’m standing on deck without a scrap of clothing on. It’s been less than two days since he and I parted ways, and already his absence has become a physical ache.

This is a man I cannot live without, I think. And this is a man who’s never been in more danger than he is right now.

Despite the balmy air of the Caribbean, I shiver.

He sees it, of course. The stubborn idiot is unable to hide his concern over my well-being and starts to shrug out of his jacket.

“You’re cold,” he says. “Let me.”

I jump back, determined to put as much space between us as possible. If he touches me again, if he keeps being solicitous and caring to a perfect stranger, Hijack is going to notice. My ex-boyfriend is far too interested in my FBI husband for my comfort level. The last thing we need is him asking more questions.

“I’m fine,” I state, even as goose bumps break out on my arms. “It was just a cold breeze.”

Hijack clears his throat, and I turn to him with a smile, grateful for the distraction he offers. “This is Hijack,” I say, nudging him forward. “I don’t think you’ll have heard of him either—he’s even smaller time than I am.”

Both men laugh obligingly.

“Hijack?” Grant offers his hand. “That’s an interesting name. Am I to take it literally?”

“Not while we’re on board the Shady Lady.” He shakes Grant’s hand, both their fingers gripped way too hard for a friendly greeting. “Except for the ship itself, there’s nothing here for me to hot-wire. We’re sorry to have interrupted your meal, but like I said, the lady needed some fresh air. She wasn’t feeling well.”

The lady still isn’t feeling a hundred percent, but no way is she going to show it. If Grant thinks for one second that I’m not able to see my side of this job through, we’re both done for. I’m supposed to be the one worrying about him out here, not the other way around.

About the Author:Tamara Morgan is a contemporary comedy romance author. Ninety-nine percent of her information comes from television, movies, books, and all other pop culture activities that limit the amount of time she has to spend in polite company.

Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Inland Northwest, where the summers are hot, the winters are cold, and coffee is available on every street corner.

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Last Chance Cowboys: The Rancher by Anna Schmidt – Spotlight and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Anna Schmidt who is celebrating the recent release of her latest book Last Chance Cowboys: The Rancher, the fourth book in her Where the Trail Ends series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

“You can’t be sure we’re doing the right thing,” she said.

He drew closer to the barbed wire separating them. “It’s impossible to know what’s right. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting you.”

The world is changing, and the West isn’t as wild as it used to be. Trey Porterfield welcomes a new era of law and order—and the influx of settlers coming to the Arizona territory. But not everyone is willing to see the old ways change, and as the cattlemen and the herders take sides, a full-blown range war may be inevitable. There’s only one way Trey can see to bring peace to his feuding neighbors.

Marry the enemy.

Nell Stokes is a young widow fighting just to stay alive. In Trey, she sees a chance to heal old wounds and start over. Love was never in the cards, yet as Trey and Nell fight to unite the feuding land, they’ll discover a passion neither could have expected…and a danger far greater than either has ever known.

Enjoy an Excerpt

When Trey reached home it was after dark and he rode straight to the bunkhouse. Javier sat on the banco outside the door, his arms folded across his chest, his legs outstretched and his hat covering his face.


Trey reined in his horse and dismounted. By the time he had covered the distance between the horse and his friend, Javier was standing, watching closely as he clearly tried to judge Trey’s mood.

¿Qué más, jefe?

Trey grabbed his friend by his shirtfront and backed him up to the wall of the bunkhouse. Never before had he laid his hands on Javier in anger, but this time the man had crossed a line that friendship couldn’t forgive. “You tell me.” He stared at Javier, who met his gaze briefly, then glanced away.

“Not sure what you’re….”

Trey shook him. “The Stokes place last night—and the night before. You have anything to do with that?”

He had his answer before he finished the question. Javier scowled up at him, meeting his eyes directly. “You gotta choose a side, Trey.”

Trey felt an anger unlike any he had ever experienced in his life. It was born of frustration and exasperation, and fear. The fear that after the decades that his parents, his sister Maria and her husband had managed the ranch successfully, despite all kinds of human and natural disasters, he might be the one who failed. He gave Javier one more shove and then released him.

“Why do there have to be sides? Why can’t we all just live here and work the land and….”

While Trey might be quick to anger and quicker to let things go, Javier had no trouble showing his rage. He stepped closer to Trey and, with no pretense of modulating his voice, shouted, “You know why, Trey, and stop pretending you don’t. Them damned woolies chew the grass down to the nub, all the while their sharp hooves finish the job by digging up whatever’s left by the roots. This used to be open range—cattle range—and now we’re supposed to share it? You got any idea how far we’ve had to drive the herd to find decent pasture for the summer? That’s because of them.”

“And that makes it all right to terrorize a widow and her sick son for two nights running?” Trey roared in return.

Javier studied him hard for a long moment. They were both flushed, their fists clenched, their bodies poised for a fight. Javier was the first to step away. He stared down at the ground waiting for his breathing to calm, then looked up at Trey. “You falling for that sheepherder’s woman, my friend?” His tone was sympathetic.

Trey pulled off his hat and ran his fingers through his sweat-slicked hair. “She’s an innocent in this fight, and I just don’t want to see anybody else get hurt, Javier. There’s got to be a way we can work this out. They aren’t going away—and neither are we.”

“We were here first,” Javier said, his voice petulant.

Trey allowed himself a wry smile. “Technically the Indians were here first and look what we did to them. After that it was the Spaniards—your ancestors. And they raised sheep, my friend, long before cattlemen showed up.”

The two of them leaned on the corral fence and gazed out into the black night for a long moment. “This isn’t just about sheep versus cattle, Javier. The truth is things are changing—everything about the life our parents knew is different. Every year another new town springs up or spreads out. We either learn to live with that or we spend the rest of our time on this earth fighting against progress that’ll surely beat us in the end.”

“So what’s your plan?” Javier asked.

Trey shrugged. “Don’t have one—just the notion we need to make this more about how we’re gonna live in peace and less about needin’ to be right.”

“Let me ask you something, Trey. If that woman and her boy weren’t part of this, would that change the way you look at it?”

“I hope not—but yeah, maybe.”

Javier pushed away from the split rail fence. “Got to give you one thing—she’s awfully pretty, and from what I saw of her at the church social, she’s not afraid to stand her ground. She’s got conviction. You need somebody like that, Trey. Too bad she’s on the wrong side of things.”

Trey bristled. “Need someone like her? Is that how you see me? As a man who needs somebody to speak for him because I’m too weak to do it myself?”

“You’re strong in ways I’ll never be able to understand, Trey. But you’ve got this way of thinking that everybody’s as good as you are. Few are. Most folks are a blend of good and bad. Nell Stokes appears to know that.”

“I know that.”

Javier shook his head. “Trouble is you have this idea you can change those other folks to come around to your way of seeing things.”

“It’s called hope,” Trey argued.

“It’s called impossible.” Javier glanced back at a couple of the other cowboys coming out of the bunkhouse, stretching and yawning. “We got the night shift,” he said, as he pulled on his hat.

Trey turned to the other hands. “You boys head on out. I need Javier here to help me.”

“With what?” Javier’s eyebrows lifted with suspicion.

“Come morning we’re gonna pay a call on Henry Galway and see if we can work something out—a council or something to start decidin’ what’s fair. And then you are going to apologize to Mrs. Stokes for scaring the bejesus out of her and her son. But before we do any of that we’re gonna head for the Stokes place and see if we can repair any of the damage done there before she and her boy get home. Get some rest, Javier—we leave at daybreak.”

About the Author: Award-winning author ANNA SCHMIDT delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

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