Saturday, February 25, 2023

Love and Valentines at Caynham Castle (Spotlight, excerpt, and review) GBP ADULT titles


Love and Valentines at Caynham Castle

Adult stories

Jeanne Adams, Morgan Brice, Caren Crane, Seressia Glass, and Nancy Northcott

Publisher: Rickety Bookshelf

Cover Artist: Lyndsey Lewellan

Release Date: February 1, 2023

Genres:  Contemporary, paranormal, MF, MM


Caren Crane's story—opposites attract & forced proximity

Jeanne Adams' story—Grumpy-sunshine, forced proximity, different backgrounds/worlds

Seressia Glass's story—friends-to-lovers, grumpy-sunshine

Morgan Brice's story—hurt/comfort, evolving relationship

Nancy Northcott's story–Second chance at love, redemption

Themes: holiday, dealing with the past, bargains and deals, redemption, facing the future

Heat Rating: Varies by story

Length:  150 000 words/482 pages

This is the fourth in the Caynham Castle shared-world holiday romance series. 

One castle, five authors, five love stories, all at the same holiday event!


Racing Toward Love 

by Jeanne Adams

Dr. Oriela Deschamps was overjoyed to get a job appraising an estate for the Wellington family in the small English town of Caynham-On-Ledwyche. From the first meeting with the Byron "Bo" Wellington, Ori knows the job is going to be a challenge. First, there's Bo himself - the sexy, grumpy heir to Ribald Racing Stables. Then, there's the exceedingly dangerous artifact that's the centerpiece of her appraisal. That artifact, a set of riding silks from 1947, carry a curse and someone wants them for dark and desperate reasons. Can Ori's magic save them, or will the would-be thief kill both Ori and Bo, just as they find their special Valentines?

Fae-ted Mates by Morgan Brice

Dawson and Grady King are honeymooning at Caynham Castle, hoping to take a break from monster hunting. They have one piece of family business to handle, involving a generations-long agreement with the Welsh Fae. When things go wrong, will Dawson and Grady survive, or will they be trapped in the Faerie realm forever?

Romance Sells Records by Caren Crane

After watching her mother’s hope for a grand romance get dashed time after time, Hannah Evans grew into someone with no tolerance for romance. Callum Hughes’ parents had an enviable relationship, and he wanted the same for himself: if only he could convince Hannah to trust what they could build together.

Cupid Comes to Caynham by Seressia Glass

In Cupid Comes to Caynham, Oliver Jones' family has run the Boar and Knight off and on for centuries. After his father's death, it is now Oliver's responsibility to manage the ancient pub, a duty that leaves him no time or desire for love--until professional tourist Shayla Munroe literally falls at his feet. With Valentine's and Shayla's departure date fast approaching, does love have time to bloom or will it die on the vine? Not if Venus and Cupid have anything to say about it.

The One Who Got Away by Nancy Northcott

Hastings Whitney grew up driven not only to succeed but to be seen to succeed. His focus on success cost him two marriages and any number of relationships. Now he has a second chance with the woman he never forgot, jewelry designer Corinne Lanier. Has he changed enough to balance work with a relationship? Or will a business crisis bring old habits back to the fore? And is there a sinister side to his problem?

Excerpt from Fae-ted Mates by Morgan Brice



“I can’t believe we’re really here.” Grady King pulled Dawson along by the wrist to the check-in desk. “It’s a real castle!”

“It’s called Caynham Castle. Not exactly a surprise—it sort of looks like one,” Dawson teased fondly.

“Yeah, but ‘Magic Kingdom’ isn’t a real kingdom,” Grady retorted. “Truth in advertising is rare.”

The lobby was in one of several buildings along the wall of the outer bailey. Dark wood wainscoting covered the lower half of the hewn stone wall, matching the counter. A large oil painting of a man in the opulent clothing of another century hung behind the check-in desk. Grady assumed it was one of the many Earls of Caynham whose most recent descendant still owned the castle and ran it as a hotel and event destination.

The woman behind the counter watched their banter with a bemused look. “Welcome to Caynham Castle. I’m Constance. Could I have your last names, please?”

Grady plunked their joined hands onto the counter so that the matching rings showed. “King. My husband and I have the honeymoon suite.”

“Theatrical much?” Dawson joked. “She’s seen married folks before, I’d wager.”

We’ve never been here before or been married before. Don’t dim my joy.” Grady knew he was being over the top, but everything about the trip had his excitement cranked up to the max. Honeymoon. England. Castle—and our own suite. Vacation. And no monsters for two whole weeks.

“He had a lot of coffee on the flight,” Dawson told the woman in a faux-apologetic tone. His grin made it clear that he enjoyed Grady’s enthusiasm.

“You have to understand,” Grady confided in Constance, “we’ve had several friends who absolutely loved their stay here. They told us plenty about the castle. I want to find all the gargoyles.”

“Let’s get you checked in so you can deposit your luggage and go hunting,” Constance said with a smile.

Grady’s eyes widened. “I didn’t mean hunting them—” He snapped his mouth shut, realizing that she hadn’t meant their kind of monster hunting. Dawson subtly elbowed him in the ribs, but his unspoken message was clear.

Don’t freak the mundanes.

“Grady and Dawson King.” Grady tugged a bit on their joined hands, loving how the matching gold bands caught the light.

“Ah yes, here’s the reservation. And it seems as if your friends have sent some welcome gifts. There’s a package from Teag Logan and Anthony Benson, one from Erik Mitchell and Ben Nolan, and another from Simon Kincaide and Vic D’Amato.”

Her tone shifted as she read the names, and her eyes widened. “Oh. Oh, my. Are you all in the same business?” She dropped her voice. “Do we have a ghost problem again?”


Meet the Authors  

All five authors are members of the same Facebook Author Group - Romance Bandits

Join them here 



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My review:

4.5 stars


Each of these stories is set at the picturesque Caynham Castle and its environs, and features a different aspect of the location around Valentine’s Day, with its attendant celebration Valentine Dance.

“Fae-ted Mates” by Morgan Brice follows honeymooning Grady and Dawson King, whose delightful vacation is temporarily interrupted by Dawson’s commitment to reaffirm his family’s accords with the fae…who aren’t all so sanguine about the arrangement.


This adult gay paranormal romance novella artfully combines romance, danger, and fantastical creatures in an exciting tale. The devotion between the main characters, the glimpse of fae politics and machinations, and the practical importance of maintaining both major and minor agreements is underscored. I love the alluring glimpses of Caynham Castle and its inhabitants (both visible and invisible), and I was caught up in the struggle the pair inadvertently became victims of. I learned about a new creature and a different way of affirming their connection, and both snickered at the reminder that one should heed the advice of those who come before us and sighed at the romance inherent in the story. Another great addition to a lovely collection of stories.

Each of these stories celebrates romance, and they all were entertaining, with vivid characters and descriptions, and I’ll be looking for other titles by the authors who were new to me.


A copy of these stories was provided for review

Friday, February 24, 2023

Light My Way Home: A Treasure Trail Novella by Morgan Brice (Spotlight, excerpt, and review) ADULT title GBP

I'm delighted to share a guest post by the prolific Morgan Brice/Gail Z. Martin, who discusses...

What’s in a character’s name? 


 Morgan Brice


I use baby name directories so much that even though my children are now adults, I still get social media ads for diapers.

Naming book characters is fun, but it’s also a commitment, especially for main or recurring characters. An advantage an author has over a parent is that since I’m naming an adult character I already know their personality, so I can pick a name that fits them. Parents pick up a name that sounds good and initials that don’t spell anything weird, and hope that little Wolfe or Adrianna grow into their names.

When I’m naming a character, I start by considering the time period of the story, the ethnicity of the character, and the location. Census records provide data on the most popular names for over a century, which is a good way to pick one that matches a character’s age. Ethnicity helps match a name to a character’s heritage and family history. Since naming trends differ by state, region and country, it can be worth a look to see what might link a character more closely to where they grew up.

Then I think about the kind of image a name brings up in my mind. Right or wrong, we all have opinions about who someone with a certain name might be like—jock, nerd, pretty, shy, popular, awkward, etc. Unless there’s a reason for the name to be a mismatch, I try to pick names that line up with those expectations. I choose names with harder consonants for action characters, softer sounds for support characters or characters who are healers/helpers.

I also check to make sure a name doesn’t already belong to a well-known person, or look or sound too much like another character’s name. (This is especially important with audiobooks!)

Beyond that, it’s just fun to pick out names for a character I’m going to bring to life and get to know. I only had three kids, but I’ve got hundreds of characters!



Adult title


Morgan Brice

Publisher:  Darkwind Press

Cover Artist: Adrijus Guscia

Release Date: January 25, 2023

Genres: Paranormal MM romance, urban fantasy

Tropes: Hurt/comfort, second chance, age gap, friends-to-lovers, misunderstood ghost, lonely lighthouse keeper

Themes: Working up the courage to love, getting over old betrayals, fighting the odds to stay together, forbidden love (medium and ghost)

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 22 000 words/ 74 pages

It is a standalone book and is the prequel to the series.

It does not end on a cliffhanger



A shy lighthouse keeper who can talk to ghosts. A lonely ghost mourning the losses of the past and hoping for justice. A love strong enough to transcend death.

Monty Clark is the new park ranger for the Cape May Light. He hoped to find someone to love who can accept his ability as a psychic medium.

Jon Richards was a movie stuntman murdered on the beach in the 1950s. When the new lighthouse keeper strikes up a conversation and invites him in to watch TV, Jon discovers that a beating heart isn’t required to fall in love.

Light My Way Home is an MM paranormal romance with a shy park ranger, a protective ghost, unsolved murders, a dangerous shipwreck, supernatural ninja nuns, vintage movies, old secrets, and love bigger than life or death.


"And that concludes today’s tour of the Cape May Lighthouse. Don’t forget to stop by our gift shop and tell your friends if you had fun today.” Lighthouse keeper Montana “Monty” Clark watched his guests troop toward the shop and followed close behind so he could ring up their snacks and souvenirs.

“What is that big thing out on the beach?” a lady who reminded Monty of his grandmother asked as he ran her credit card for a lighthouse Christmas ornament, some post‐ cards, bottled water, and a bag of gummy worms.

“That’s Battery 223, built to survive an air strike, and back during the Second World War, it protected the coast with guns that could fire shells miles out to sea,” Monty said with a smile as he carefully wrapped the ornament and bagged her purchases. “Of course, the guns have been gone for a long time. It’s part of the park now, but it’s closed up, so unfortunately, no one can go inside.”

“I bet it would be a popular tour if you could get that changed,” she replied. “Is it haunted? Seems like everything in Cape May has ghosts running around, or at least that’s what our last guide said.”

Even more than you know, Monty thought, although his grin never wavered. “People claim to have spotted some ghosts nearby, but I don’t think any of them were soldiers. The bunker’s guns never fired, and it didn’t come under attack.”

“You did a nice job with the tour,” the lady said. “Tonight we’re taking a ghost tour. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see some spooky stuff.”

“Good luck,” he answered and hoped he sounded sincere. Monty had been able to see and talk with ghosts all his life, and he knew that most people had no idea what they were asking for by seeking out restless spirits.

She gave him a cheery wave as she left, and several more customers kept him busy until the last of the cars drove away, and the lighthouse was peaceful again.

Monty liked the quiet. He enjoyed spending time with close friends, but being alone didn’t bother him. When he had read a book about a lighthouse keeper as a kid, he’d known right then what he wanted to do.

Unlike the lighthouse in that book, the Cape May Light wasn’t on a desolate, windswept rocky island accessible only by boat. As part of a state park in a touristy beach town, it had plenty of visitors in summer and lots of walkers and birdwatchers strolling the grounds off-season. School groups and tours came to learn about the town’s seafaring history, and Monty loved showing them around the building, answering questions, and tossing in unusual facts.

But at the end of the day, the quiet grounds and empty beach soothed Monty’s soul. He bustled around the public areas of the building, making a quick check for trash or lost items. Then he locked the doors and headed for a stroll on the sand to enjoy the sunset.

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

Author Links

Website | Audible Profile | Amazon profile

Facebook Group | Facebook Page

Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail) | Twitter

BookBub | Instagram

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Read a copy of my Badlands short story Restless Nights here for free


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My review:

4.25 stars



“Light My Way Home” by Morgan Brice is a novella in the ‘Treasure Trail’ series and features Monty, a lighthouse keeper who has the ability to see ghosts. This is an unexpected benefit for Jon Richards, a ghost who is shocked that someone can actually communicate with him. The connection between the men deepens, and Monty becomes invested in finding justice for Jon, and searches for a way for them to be together.


This adult gay paranormal romance story is engaging and fun to read, even if you’re new to the series. Even though this is a fairly short tale, each man became distinct in my mind, and I was anxious to see how they could find a way to be together. I was impressed by the excitement generated by Jon’s selfless actions, and loved the twists and turns of the story. I enjoy this author’s interconnected series, and I am always delighted to find out there’s a new story to savor, and this one whetted my appetite for even more adventures.

A copy of this title was provided for review

Monday, February 20, 2023

Siba - The Eternal Quest by B. Singh (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


Siba - The Eternal Quest


B. Singh



GENRE: Fantasy






An epic journey of adventure, heroism, and self-exploration through the eyes of a teenage boy named Siba.


Siba’s life takes an exciting turn when his pet parrot takes him to a magical forest. He explores the mysterious forest-dwellers and the precious ancient wisdoms of the fantasy world when a sudden tragedy jeopardizes life on earth. To save the world, he must embark on a legendary journey to the Pole Star.


Siba encounters many mythical creatures and numerous thrilling challenges that jolt him to his core. They leave burning questions in his mind about the world and his own existence. He must dive into the dark labyrinths of his mind, for the last hope of saving humanity seems to be hidden there.


Can he solve the mysteries of the mystical world and his inner world? Can he complete his journey to the Pole Star and save the world?


A perfect blend of fantasy, mysticism, and spirituality that explores the answer to the eternal question – Who Am I?






Chapter 19 – Fire & Fury


After hiding Celine, as Siba moved out of the crack, he saw the dragons were attacking his friends. They swooped and snatched the snow leopards with their steel-like claws. Streams of fire turned the ice into clouds of steam. Watching the snow leopards slaughtered and torn into pieces, Siba ran toward them to help. As he reached there, one dragon blocked his way and spewed fire at him. Siba ducked. The stream of fire hit the black armor but didn’t burn it. Siba was surprised to find himself unscathed. He remembered the armor was made from the dragon’s skin.


He got up at once and climbed the glacier. But his leather slippers slipped on the molten ice, and he fell inside a shallow crevasse. He felt a sharp pain in his right arm. He looked at it. His arm was injured and bleeding. He took his feathers out but couldn’t flutter with his right arm. He struggled with one hand but couldn’t balance to fly out of the hole.


After a long struggle and several attempts, Siba emerged out of the crevasse. But by that time, the dragons had already left, and their dance of death was over. Many snow leopards died. Many more were injured. Ajax emerged from one crevasse with one leg badly injured.


Musa shouted, “They are gone.” Several other snow leopards emerged out of the glacier from all directions. Holding his bleeding arm, Siba arrived there in tears.


 Amazon link



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


B. Singh grew up in a small city, Chandigarh, located near the foothills of the mighty Himalayas in northwest India. Since his childhood, he has always had an inquisitive mindset. He doesn’t settle for the pre-existing answers if they don’t make sense to him. Instead, he explores, experiments, and finds the answer himself. He has traveled across India from north to south not only for his education but also to explore different cultures and values. To continue his journey of exploration, he moved from India to Canada. After graduating from the University of Windsor, Canada, he conceived the idea of compiling his learnings in the form of a spiritual fantasy book. This well-crafted and awe-inspiring adventurous journey into a fantasy world is full of chiseled gems of wisdom that will enrich the lives of every human being on earth.


You can learn more on Instagram





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My review:


3.5 stars


“Siba: The Eternal Quest” by B. Singh features Siba, a boy on the verge of becoming a teen, whose life is full of challenges and obstacles to overcome. Accompanied by Rouble, a scarlet macaw, he embarks on a journey of discovery that leads him to many different types of animals and situations and encourages him to learn from them and other mentors. The more he learns, the more he realizes how much more he needs to discover.


This young-adult fantasy story is full of remarkable adventures that will stimulate the imagination and teach essential lessons about emotions, interpersonal relations, and perception. I feel that some of the language is aimed more toward an adult audience and will be a bit too philosophical and abstract for young adults to comprehend, but the lessons being imparted to Siba are well worth learning. His propensity to curse is a little disturbing, some of the language is a little stilted, and readers should be warned that there is a lot of death in the story, but overall this is a creative way to impart valuable lessons about life and obtaining emotional balance. There are a few dangling threads to encourage the reader to look for the sequel, but no major cliffhanger. Recommended for mature teens.


A copy of this story was provided for review

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Fall of the Pathfinder (Kessler Effect Book 1) by L. C. Lowe (Spotlight, Excerpt, and Review) GBP

Fall of the Pathfinder

(Kessler Effect Book 1)


L.C. Lowe

Publisher: L. C. Lowe

Cover Artist: Lance Buckley

Release Date: December 19, 2022

Genre: Science Fiction M/M Romance

Tropes: Slow Burn, Friends to Lovers

Themes: Finding yourself outside society’s labels

Heat Rating:  1 flame

Length: 75 448 words/284 pages

It is not a standalone story. 

The book ends on a soft cliffhanger (ie. the story is resolved but larger plot-lines are left hanging)


The company controls his life, but not his destiny.


Working for ARC in the depths of space, 17-year-old Julian Sastre has struggled in the mines for two years to make the family name mean something again. He is a Pathfinder - the most dangerous and elite job in the mines, seeking out the richest growths of C6.

When he is blamed for an explosion that causes a collapse, he flees into the ruins of Old Easton, the city his father’s mistake destroyed a decade ago. The only ally Julian has there is Garret, a charming thief with secrets of his own.

ARC is determined to capture him, and the Wasters who live in what's left of the city are more than they appear. Will Julian decide to protect what he truly cares about and find his own path?

Get the first book in the Kessler Effect series, Fall of the Pathfinder, and find out today!

Fall of the Pathfinder is a slow burn queer science fiction romance.


“I don’t—” Another crack. The window made a sound like breaking stone. Kernels of clear plastic pelted Julian’s right side. His HUD flashed a bright red damage warning.

“Big guy?”

“I’m all right!” Julian said.

Something hit Julian’s back. Hard. He couldn’t swallow down the grunt of pain. Another warning flashed across his HUD. He ignored it and kept his eyes focused on the map. “Left again. One de— Half of the last turn.”

The driver’s eyebrows slashed downward, but the smile didn’t quite leave the man’s face. 

They flew over the sand and the rover spent at least as much time in the air as it did on the ground, leaving Julian’s stomach behind each time it rose.

More debris clanged against them. The rear window cracked. It pelted his back. The debris overwhelmed the map with flashing red warning messages, but it didn’t matter. He was past the point of being helpful. If he’d let his teeth open, the only thing that would come out would be a scream.

The driver’s eyes never flicked away from the windshield, and his fingers never left the wheel. Not even to wipe away the blood rolling down his cheek.

Everything in Julian’s HUD lit up bright red, then it went dark. He looked down.

A rod of rusted metal was jutting through his side, just to the left of his belly button.

The pain hit him like it was waiting for him to notice it.

He ground his teeth together. The scream scorched his tongue. His arms shook. Sand streamed past his shoulders and into the rover. Julian pressed hard against the space of the window. It was the only way to keep himself from dropping forward into the seat with each bump. The pressure shoved the metal rod deeper, and spots of color danced across his vision.

The driver’s grip on the wheel was so tight that it made his knuckles white, but the guy was still smiling.

The roar of the storm was everywhere. It was filling up the world, and there was no room left for any other sounds.

The darkness was thick enough to feel. It pressed against Julian’s skin and sucked up the warmth. There was nothing but the dark, the scream, the pain, and the driver’s tight expression lit by the displays on the dashboard.

“Hold on!”

Laughter bubbled out of Julian. Holding on was the only thing he could do.

The rover hit a bump, and he flew. His head hit the roof. The world started spinning and flickering.

Julian bit the end of his tongue to keep the sounds locked inside. Another bump made him bite too hard, and his mouth filled with the metallic taste of his own blood.

They stopped.

His hand slipped, and he smacked the front window hard enough to make his vision flare red and then black. For a second, Julian was sure that he was going to pass out. He wanted to pass out.

Julian’s eyes cleared, and he got a look at the spot his rescuer chose to get them through the storm. It was a stretch of desert locked away inside a blacked-out Wall. The darkness of the storm had been bad, but the shadows that had pooled where they were now were something else. They were the thick, living kind that he’d only ever seen inside the mine.

The rover entered the space at an angle and the headlights caught on strange shapes and crumbled walls. It was impossible to see anything beyond the cones of light they cast in the heavy darkness, but Julian didn’t need to see to know where they were.

They were in Easton. The town his father destroyed.


About the Author

L. C. Lowe lives in Kansas City, where she spends most of her time trying to convince a very needy dog to let her pay attention to anything but him. She loves stories in all forms, be it books, movies, video games, or a car commercial that may or may not have made her tear up one (ok, maybe more than one) time.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Newsletter 



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My review:

4.25 stars



“Fall of the Pathfinder” by L.C. Lowe is an intriguing and complex science fiction story that features Julian Sastre , a young miner who is struggling to overcome the stigma of his name, dig out from crushing debt, and give his mother a decent life. Being punished and ostracized yet again for something beyond his control results in him taking a path he never would have considered before and exposes him to truths that make him doubt everything and everyone he’s ever known.


This is ostensibly a gay science fiction story, but there is no overt relationship in this first book of the ‘Kessler Effect’ series. The world-building is complex and intriguing, and the gradual revelations and twists keep one invested in the story, even though some of the events are harsh and shocking. As the warnings indicate, there is only a partial resolution at the end, so one definitely wants the sequel, to learn what is actually the truth and to follow these characters on their adventures. I definitely want to find out what happens next and will be on the lookout for the second book in the series.


A copy of this title was provided for review

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Litehouse Spinach and Parmesan Dip & Spread (Review)


3.5 out of 5 stars


I had the opportunity to try Litehouse Spinach Parmesan Dip & Spread. I love the idea of that combination of flavors, so I was anxious to try this product. Visually, it looked very appetizing, with a smooth texture and bits of spinach distributed throughout. The consistency was a bit thin to be a spread, and it was a bit salty, but it was tasty. It paired well with small snack crackers that were thick enough to mitigate the saltiness, but tortilla and potato chips were overpowered by the salty taste. I liked the flavor, but I would probably try another variety of Litehouse dip in the future.


The product was provided for review