Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
I don’t know if you know this, I have said it before, but before I became a full-time author, I was a professional project planner (PMP certified), first in the Army then in the IT field. So, planning isn’t just something I think about now and then. I breathe it. Love it. Revel in all the bright possibilities of a shiny future. To those of you who aren’t planners/listers, I know you think the rest of us are just a bit touched.
If, however, you’re like me, I’d love to hear how you get ready for those New Year’s resolutions.
For me, the process begins with something airy-fairy—a mind map. I love putting them together so much that I lead an annual workshop where everyone who participates has a chance to get their next year’s writing goals drawn up. Here’s my 2017 writing map. It’s just a starting point–the big picture goals I want to consider for the new year. I do one of these for my writing life and one for my “real” life. This gets placed beneath a clear mat on my desk to remind me throughout the year of what I dreamed I would tackle during the year.
This week, I’m leading a FREE online workshop, entitled Write 50 Books a Year, for writers who want to develop a more concrete plan for their 2017 work schedule. I teach it because it invigorates my own planning efforts—and it forces me to knuckle down and actually get the work done. Before January even rolls around, I’ll know exactly what I intend to accomplish.
If you’re interested in learning more about mind maps, check out my Mind Maps & Vision Boards Pinterest page.
For 2017, I’m hoping to get ahead of the work, although I think I haven’t evolved much from my Army days. I still work best under pressure. Deadlines are a huge incentive for me, but self-imposed deadlines aren’t all that exciting. But I really, really want to learn to work more methodically. I think I might live longer.
So, tell me something about how you approach the new year…
Monday, December 5th, 2016
Ever think that working as a librarian is a boring job? Spending all that time among dusty old books, having to be quiet all the time, never having any opportunity for adventure and excitement except that which you find on the pages of a book.
You couldn’t be more wrong.
Librarians are keepers of a vast amount of knowledge. More importantly, they are there to help all of us find what we need at any given moment. They have to follow trends and advancements in technology, publishing, and computer programs. They make sure books and information are readily available to all and not just a few. Knowledge is power. The quickest way to rob people of their power is to keep them uninformed.
The heroine of my latest book, Drakon’s Promise, is a librarian who gets a job that seems too good to be true—cataloguing one of the largest private collections of books. This gives her access to many rare and one-of-a-kind volumes. She also has a talent for psychometry, which allows her a glimpse into the lives of the people who owned an object. She has a special affinity for books. That talent brings her to the attention of a not-so-nice group of people—the Knights of the Dragon. They want to use her talent to help find a book that’s been hidden in the vast library. This book is so powerful it can help them capture a drakon.
She falls into a world of supernatural creatures, conspiracy, and murder. And along the way she discovers a drakon and falls in love.
And you thought being a librarian was boring.
Darius Varkas is a drakon. He’s neither human nor dragon.
He’s also the target of an ancient order who want to capture all drakons for their blood. When fresh, a drakon’s blood can cure any illness and prolong a human’s life, and the Knights will stop at nothing to get it.
When librarian Sarah Anderson stumbles across a rare book belonging to the Knights of the Dragon, she’s quickly thrust into a dangerous world of secrets and shifters and things she never would have believed possible. When the Knights realize Sarah has a secret of her own, she becomes just as much a target as Darius. Her scary dragon shifter just might be her best chance at survival.
Entangled Publishing: http://entangledpublishing.com/drakons-promise/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125114236?ean=9781633758001
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-drakonspromise-2173689-140.html
About the Author
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
Visit me at:
Newsletter Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/awakeningdesires/info
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Gifts come in many shapes and sizes, but I believe the most precious ones are those delivered from the heart. It’s easy to get caught up in the mayhem of life, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, but every day, there are people amidst the chaos who help you, who take time out of their busy lives to make a difference in yours. This year, why not return that gift?
This holiday season, as wrapped gifts exchange hands, I ask you to pause, reflect on those who’ve truly made a difference in your life, and if possible, find a special way to say thank you. This can be a simple gesture—something like a greeting card, a bouquet of flowers, or a heartfelt poem. Maybe you could bake someone their favorite cookies? Or, present them a coupon book filled with everyday chores, which they can tear out and give you to do on those trying days when they really need a helping hand. The absolute best gift you can offer another person is one given from the heart. And when special-delivered, without any strings attached, it touches their own.
This Christmas, I’m making gift baskets filled with my favorite homemade things, such as macadamia-butterscotch chip cookies, shortbread, double chocolate-orange-pecan biscotti, Vermont maple syrup, and more. With each one, I’m sharing a part of myself with the other person.
What ideas can you think of? Remember—the more original and inventive, the more fun! I can’t wait to hear your ideas!
My gift to you, one of my favorite recipes:
Griffin Westcott aka Wulfe’s Chocolate Covered Pecan-Hazelnut Balls
½ cup sugar 1 cup butter ⅛ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder 2 ⅓ cup flour ¾th cup hazelnut spread
½ cup pecans Melted chocolate to use to dip pecan-hazelnut balls into
Mix together sugar, salt, nuts, baking powder and butter. Add flour, mix. Press into an even layer in a greased 8×8 inch dish.
Bake at 350˚F until golden brown. (About 30-35 minutes.)
Once the shortbread is cool, crumble, and then mix in the hazelnut spread. Chill. Make balls with mixture, and place them into the freezer. Once frozen, dip the pecan-hazelnut balls into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper leaving ½ inch between each ball. Cool.
An avid baker who enjoys creating new twists on recipes, Griffin Westcott aka Wulfe is the hero of, “His Seduction,” the 5th book in the best-selling MacGruder brothers’ Scottish medieval romantic suspense series. For more information about the MacGruder brothers visit Diana’s website!
I sincerely wish everyone health, friendship and happiness this holiday season.
Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
Forbidden Series: Forbidden Legacy-#1/Forbidden Knight – June 6th, 2017
Diana Cosby ©2016
About the Author
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and Forbidden Legacy, book #1 of The Forbidden Series, she is now working on book #2, Forbidden Knight.
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Just a quick note…
I’m headed out the door to do some fun things with my dd and her 12-year-old. Girls Day Out. So, I don’t want to think too hard.
Answer this for a chance to win a free story from my short story list!
Have you finished your Christmas/Holiday shopping?
Psst! Remember to enter the two contests below that are still open!
Friday, December 2nd, 2016
Starting with my 4th book in the SEAL Brotherhood Series, my fictional characters in SEAL Team 3, based out of San Diego, have gotten involved in two wineries in Sonoma County. In SEAL The Deal, Mark Beale comes back to Sonoma County to help his dying sister sell her nursery business. And the romance begins when his sister’s dying wish is that he date her best friend Devon, who has also been asked to help dispose of the property.
Of course, they decide to keep the nursery and turn it into a world class winery, with the help of some investors from the Teams. And so we have Sophie’s Choice Winery, named after Nick’s sister, Sophie.
The winery makes a great backdrop for weddings for other members of the SEAL Team 3, and you know what happens at weddings! In subsequent books, the SEALs purchase a run-down winery in the Dry Creek Valley, and befriend the neighbor, a former Hollywood Director of zombie movies. This wild and creative secondary character has been a fun addition to my series. So now we have Frog Haven Winery.
Well of course the SEALs would want to make beer, and this being natural hop-growing heaven, they develop Frog Piss Beer, “Because Drinking Beer is Better Than Pond Scum,” as the label motto goes.
I’ve had fun with these, even created labels for the winery and the brewery, which I’m showing here. Oh yes, and then I had to make tee shirts.
Now, one of these days, I need to get back to my writing and stop running an advertising agency!
One commenter will win a Sophie’s Choice tee shirt, chosen at random. I’ll keep it open all weekend, and announce it back on Sunday night. Best of luck!
SEAL The Deal
About the Author
Sharon Hamilton is a NYT and USA/Today bestselling author most known for her SEAL Brotherhood series. She also writes a Golden Vampire and Guardian Angel series.
A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Author Page ** Sharon’s Blog ** Sharon’s Website ** Facebook**Twitter
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
Thank you for having me on your blog, Delilah!
I first heard of the Coming Together charity anthologies in 2014. The idea of marrying erotica and doing good appealed to me, and I submitted to Coming Together: For the Holidays which benefited Stand Up for Kids, a youth homelessness organization. In the past two years, my stories have appeared in Coming Together: Among the Stars (benefitting International Still’s Disease Foundation), Coming Together: Strange Shifters (benefitting Bat World Sanctuary), and Coming Together: Keeping Warm (benefitting Operation Warm).
After participating in these anthologies I decided that one day, when I was ready, I would edit an anthology for CT. Earlier this year, Coming Together put out a call for volunteers to come up with/edit new anthologies for publication in 2016. I decided to take the plunge.
Coming Together: Under the Mistletoe is the result of that plunge. My anthology benefits Project Linus, who provide homemade blankets to children in crisis. “Through the donation of new, handmade blankets and afghans, we are able to bring a little comfort, a little warmth and love to a child in need. We can’t cure the disease, we can’t mend families, and we can’t undo the abuse. But we can help, in the way of a warm hug when it is most desperately needed. As of October 2016, Project Linus has donated over six million handmade security blankets to children across the USA.” If you are a crafty person, you can make blankets to donate to Project Linus and give it to your closest local chapter (there are over 300). If not, they also accept monetary donations.
My eldest daughter nearly died at the age of a week old on November 10, 2008. She received a blanket from Project Linus while in the ICU. It was a moment of warmth and kindness in a time of darkness. We didn’t know if she would survive, if her illness would leave long term health concerns, or what the future held. For nearly a month my husband and I barely left our daughter’s hospital rooms at Mass General Hospital in Boston. When we entered the hospital, Halloween candy was half off. The first day that my daughter wasn’t attached to IV’s and cords 24/7 was Thanksgiving. When we left the hospital on December 3, 2008, Christmas was in full swing everywhere we looked.
For me, Christmas isn’t a religious holiday. But December and Christmas represent the moment when we left the hospital and finally felt hope again. In that spirit, I decided to edit an anthology set during the month of December.
Under the Mistletoe is a celebration of December first through the thirty-first, from the North Pole to the Antarctic. You’ll meet couples changing up the meaning of spin the dreidel, deciding the fate of their marriage on Hogmanay, and finding new love in a dystopian future, among many more. The poets will make you laugh, and maybe even cry.
As for my daughter? We were incredibly lucky. My daughter lost a kidney to her illness, and needed a helmet and corrective brace when she learned to walk, but you would never imagine her history if you were to meet her. She just finished second grade at the local public school here in Singapore (we’ve been abroad since 2010) with straight A’s. She loves ballet, gymnastics, and Indian Dance. She alternates between being her younger sister’s best friend and worst enemy. She’s hoping Santa will bring her a bike this Christmas.
Rather than excerpt one of the erotic stories, today I’d like one of my favorite poems from the anthology with you.
By Corbin Grace
I awoke from a slumber but sleep’s fog prevailed
And stepped from the house to see what had been mailed
Awareness arose from the bite of the wind
For I wore naught but slippers, apart from a grin
My icicle dangled; my spirits dismayed
For the knob wouldn’t turn as the lock had engaged
To gaze out their windows the neighbors might swoon
From seeing before them, a wintry pale moon
I reached for my phone before palming my head
For he hasn’t pockets, who wears not a thread
December had blessed us with snow’s frosty falls
But my only concern ‘twas to warm my snowballs
I wished, for a second, my wife would come back
From visiting family while I’d had a nap
But pictured—all year—that she’d laugh to disclose
I’d been redder than Rudolph and not just my nose
And then on the driveway, her headlights appeared
On Flasher, you Vixen, caught like a reindeer
Back in the house, she wiped tears as she laughed
And as quick as a send, I appeared on snapchat
To make matters worse, came to mind a detail,
That today it was Christmas, there wouldn’t be mail
Men, let me warn you, that turkey’s fowl call
Can make a guy drowsy; Merry Christmas to all!
Under the Mistletoe is now ON SALE
Contest! I have 5 pdf copies of Under the Mistletoe to give away. Please share your favorite Christmas memory in comments. Please leave your email in the comments so that I can reach you.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
Dear Readers and Friends,
Thought I’d share a little holiday cheer. Last night, our Elf on the Shelf, Zoe, arrived to greet the kids. She has a cast (so she knows some of what the 7-year-old is experiencing). We already have the Christmas tree up—a lovely, tacky, fake white Christmas tree with all our ornament-treasures we’ve gathered over the years. We start an advent calendar tomorrow night, counting down to Christmas. The kids get candies, pencils, small gifts stuffed in the calendar pockets so that every morning is special. On the 6th, the kids leave their shoes outside the front door to get a hint whether Santa thinks they’ve been naughty or nice. They’ll either get lumps of coal or a small gift let inside their shoes. All of this leads up to the night before Christmas when we have our “Ugly Sweater Party” and take pictures. We go all out. Easter’s almost as much fun. (So is Sharknado night!) We think of ways to keep the fun in big and small celebrations. And I don’t see all the bother ending when the kids stop believing in Santa or Krampus, because the adults love every minute too!
But let’s look briefly back at the month that’s ending. November was rough for a whole lot of reasons, but mostly…
NaNoWriMo. I really, really wanted to hit my 50k-word goal this year, but travel and illness nixed it.
Trip from Hell. The trip to Virginia to spend time with my son and his family over Thanksgiving went well until the day after Thanksgiving, when every single one of us began to fall sick. Worst stomach bug ever! We crawled back to Arkansas through torrential rains and 45-mile-an-hour gusts of wind.
I did manage to finish some stories and get them published. I hope you’ve sampled them. Thanks to everyone who’s already told me they want more Sara and Hunter! I’m listening…
As for what’s coming in December other than all the family time moments…
I plan three releases. I’ll be leading a FREE workshop to help authors plan their work in 2017, called “Write 50 Books a Year.” If you’re interested in joining in, here’s the link: Workshop Link
I’m big into New Year prep and resolutions. I’m still working on my 2017 mind maps. Anyways, sorry this was so long. I hope your December is wonderful! Drink plenty of mulled wine and rummy eggnog! Cheers!
With His SEAL Team, Part 2
An Amazon #1 bestselling short story!
Sharing my life with three virile Navy SEALs would be exhausting for most girls. But I’m not most girls. They’re high-drive, high T guys, competitive as hell, and I’m the one who reaps the rewards when they’re ready to blow off a little steam. I’m Sara. I belong to Hunter. Our relationship is a little complicated…
Get your copy at Amazon!
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Delilah Devlin, comes a sinfully hot collection for your reading pleasure…
From the author:
“This compilation includes twelve stories I believe are among my very best. Most are contemporary stories, but there are futuristic, historical, steampunk, and paranormal tales included in the mix. The collection is intended for bed-time reading. Read the stories while you’re alone or with your partner. Read them to your partner.
I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. Bon appétit!“
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Between a SEAL and a Hard Place
Uncharted SEALs, Book 7
The last person world-class sniper, Wolf Kinkaid, expected to see in the cross hairs of his rifle during an operation to take down a drug cartel assassin was his pretty, bounty hunter wife. He takes the shot, disarming the bad guy, but the assassin wasn’t working alone, and now, Piper is a target for revenge.
Solution? The two of them hole up in a safe house while his team tries to find the assassin’s psychotic brother. Piper and Wolf have issues to resolve, and all that time alone gives them something they haven’t enjoyed in excess for a while—each other. But while they get close, the enemy closes in…
Get your copy at Amazon!
Bad, Bad Girlfriend
Jolene Ledbetter is a big, beautiful woman with an even bigger heart. But she’s figured out that she’s become her studly, police officer boyfriend’s favorite doormat. Having put off the conversation she knows has to happen after his partner was shot, she’s ready now to tell him to “pee or get off the pot”—after a bout of really great sex.
Gabriel Devine has seen what his profession does to marriages. He’s not willing to risk that kind of heartbreak—not for himself or a wife who might have to face the possibility of getting that dreadful visit from the police chief. Besides, he likes what he has with Jolene. She’s pretty, funny, likes to cook the occasional meal, is ready at the drop of a hat for a little hot loving—but she’s sensible and knows he can’t give her anything more than that. So when Jolie tells him she won’t see him any more if he’s not willing to marry her, he’s shocked and angry.
With a girlfriend’s encouragement, Jolene arranges a special show at a strip club to prove to Gabe once and for all that she’s more woman than any man can handle, and if he’s not careful she’ll walk her pretty new Louboutins right out of his life.
Get your copy at Amazon!
Okay, so I don’t have covers to share just yet, but I do have releases planned for the month. Hopefully, you’ll get to see the next Step-SEAL story. So many of you have written to say you’re dying for Harley to be added to Sara and Hunter’s growing family. How can I resist the challenge? We’ll see what Santa brings… wink