Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'Guest Blogger'



Kimberly Jayne:  Living the Life of the Demonesse—You Know You Wanna
Monday, May 9th, 2016

When you write a novel, you are mentally living in the world of your story from beginning to end. Make it a dark fantasy, and you’re living in a hybrid universe with sometimes bizarro events that cast long shadows over your big-arcing plot and, trust me, when you get out of your chair after a writing session, you can feel disoriented. But the weirdness is mitigated by what you know is the end result. Amid the jagged, upward progression of plot points are big reveals and emotional summits and canyons—in other words, a gripping rollercoaster ride. Hell, yeah.

When I conceived Demonesse: Avarus, I knew I wanted readers to be right there in the action with Maia Kelly as she learns who she is—who she was always meant to be—but the point of view for the story wasn’t really a conscious choice. I looked up from my keyboard one day and realized the story was writing itself in first-person present tense. I decided not to fight something so organic. Now my readers get to live Maia’s life with her, connecting in-depth as her life unfolds in sometimes fantastical and catastrophic ways before her.

See, empath Maia Kelly is the virtuous Catholic daughter of an excommunicated nun, for starters. After months of erotic fantasies, Maia awakens into her shocking new life as a seductive killer powerless to resist the moon’s calling, and no one she loves will ever be safe again. With her pious island existence shattered, she must choose between the demon who made her or going it alone in a supernatural sphere of unseen dangers she can scarcely comprehend. Either way, her nightmare has only just begun, and you get to be there when the black hole pulls her in.

kcDemonesse 1 400x625

Excerpt:

In the rain, Liam and I dash through the soggy fields behind St. Helens neighborhoods to Nigel Wickersham’s neglected farm. Fifteen months after the barrister’s death, burgeoning weeds have strangled a once-robust garlic crop and commandeered the five-hundred-year-old family graveyard. Hand in hand, we trudge between disintegrating headstones, up to our knees in wet, brittle sticks and thorns, until we reach the copses of rowans my ancestors planted to guard the dead against malevolent spirits and black magic. Clusters of crimson berries make them deceptively inviting. It was the Rowan tree on which the devil hanged his mother.

If you believe that sort of thing.

Again, the bitter chill of foreboding settles inside my chest. Lightning illuminates the dense fog descending upon us as we hurry toward Wickersham’s abandoned barn. We’ve almost reached it when a wand-like rowan branch scrapes the back of Liam’s hand—the hand clasping mine. He flinches from the sting, as I do vicariously through him, and he lets go to examine the raised, oozing wound. His reflexive gasp and the alarm in his eyes as he glances sidelong in my direction reveal that his long-held superstition about witches remains intact.

But he wipes the fresh blood on his pants and reclaims my hand. The twitch of his jaw, the flare of his nostrils, and an intrepid gleam in his eyes tell me more than any flashing inside his heart. He is too motivated by the girl at his side to let worry of the supernatural get in his way.

He pushes open the barn door, and we hurry inside. The air heaves with the smell of damp hay, and the tin roof above shivers and moans noisily in protest of the downpour. Liam lunges for the lantern that hangs from a rusty nail in a splintering support beam.

As I squint through the darkness at our musty retreat, I hear the scratch of a match, the whir of the lamp, and the clunky repositioning of the glass chimney. Incandescent light and the oily stench of stale paraffin wash over me, and our shadows shudder eerily across gray wallboards, shrunken and warped from unforgiving gales off the Channel.

Liam removes his newsboy cap, shakes the rainwater from it, and tosses it into the shadows. He sweeps up hay with one hand and sifts it between his fingers until he finds just the right straw and places it between his lips. Then he hikes his leg over a sawhorse and gets comfortable, beaming at me.

“Welcome to my castle,” he announces, arms indicating the vast emptiness of the barn.

Rain drips on my head and pools on the dirty cement floor. “You call this shelter?”

“You’re standing under the holes, lass. Move to the left and you’ll dry quite nicely, I should think.”

For the first time since I’d found myself in the garden staring at him across the fence, the prescience gathering in my spine will not be dismissed. The air particles flutter around me, tap-dancing on my shoulders, causing me to shiver.

“Do you think this place is safe?” I say.

“Safe for what?”

I follow Liam’s gaze across my white blouse. It is soaked, as is my undershirt, and reveals the chilled nipples beneath. I cover them quickly, warming them with my palms.

Liam’s eyes never waver.

I like that.

His admiration stirs a dire yearning inside me that I can’t quite explain. Only in dreams have I acknowledged such desire. Only in my fantasies have I invited a mindless abandon and allowed it to overtake me. But it has never swallowed me whole. I have always woken up just before, terrified and trembling to think what might happen if my body went that little bit further. Would I be changed forever?

I want to find out. What is it like to be swallowed whole? To lose yourself to sensations? To feel instead of think? To welcome submission with every breath instead of fearing the loss of control?

Sex is the one thing my moral compass—and my reverent Mum—reminds me I ought not do; and as if to spurn every pure thought ever instilled in me, I imagine how lovely Liam’s fingers would feel on my bare skin.

I gingerly remove my hands, daring myself to stay still and let him look, until my burning self-consciousness settles in my cheeks, clenches my stomach, and shallows my breathing. A storm is brewing, inside as it is outside, and I weigh running outside into the tempest, or staying right here in the eye of this one.

It is a dare I’m not yet ready to accept, so I turn and wander about while Liam palpates my backside with a hungry gaze. I feel him there, lingering.

“Aye, but you are fine, Maia Kelly,” he says. “Like a graceful rose in a field of scrappy violets. I confess, you had me spellbound from the first.”

I glance over my shoulder at a crooked smile as captivating as it is unnerving. “Liam McGill, the beatnik poet.”

“I’ve written of you many times. When I first saw you, crouched in your garden, you were gathering ripe tomatoes in your skirt and humming. An old Beatles tune I think.”

The apex between my legs tingles and I try to ignore it. “So, you’re a poet and a Peeping Tom?”

I second-guess whether I’d meant to say that. My tongue feels thick and my brain off-kilter, like when I’d first woken up from my nap.

Liam scoffs and smooths the hair from his forehead. “I hid in the barn, but I’m no Peeping Tom. I’ve just been too much of a coward to talk to you. Till now. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because—I don’t know—you accept me?” He disembarks the sawhorse and moves toward me. “You’re chilled. Can I warm you?”

Thunder booms outside and sea winds whistle through cracks between the wall planks, whipping Liam’s scent across my nose. Raw, male, magnetic. My breasts swell and tighten, nipples straining against wet fabric, and my womb feels like it’s vibrating. My breath hitches. My skin is a rippling, prickling cascade of goosebumps. And a wildfire sparks deep inside me—in my sex—as surely as if Liam has torched me with boiling paraffin.

What’s happening?

Liam’s breaths escape his lungs in an evanescent fog, but no silvery streams escape me. My body is not acknowledging the cold, yet I quiver with the feeling that a thousand ants march across me. From the inside. As if I am vibrating with the intensity of an electrified fence. I am so preoccupied by my body’s internal machinations, the simple act of sending a thought to my mouth is a physical struggle.

I try to make the sign of the cross to assure God of my intent to be Mum’s good girl, but my hands refuse to cooperate. I can only pray silently.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Help me exorcise these maddening cravings. Help me look beyond this farm boy’s alluring eyes, his irresistible aroma, and the bulging curve in his trousers.

I’ll bet his lips are soft and wet, and decadent as warm caramel.

I would like a taste.

­­­­­Want to read more? Get your hands on Demonesse: Avarus, Episode One at Amazon.

Kimberly Jayne is the author of the sexy dark fantasy series Demonesse: Avarus and the hilarious romantic comedy Take My Husband, Please! See more about her and her books at readkimberly.com. You can also catch up with her on Facebook at facebook.com/readkimberlyjayne/.

Susan Ann Wall: The Interview
Sunday, May 8th, 2016

sw1The other day, my 10-year-old daughter, affectionately known as Diva Daughter, interviewed me out of the blue. She’s an aspiring writer, and cute as all get out, so who was I to say no to such an interview. I thought it would be fun to share. Since she was handwriting the answers, I kept them short, but I’ll embellish the answers for you.

What is your favorite sport to play?

I love to play basketball despite the fact I tore my ACL last November while playing in an alumni game. I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough to play again like that, but maybe I’ll get over the injury once I’m fully healed.

What is your favorite sport to watch?

sw2I love to watch soccer live, especially if my oldest son is playing. He’s got some mad skills. I’ve been to a few Major League Soccer games (Seattle Sounders) and loved the atmosphere and the action. In fact, I loved it so much, I wrote the experience into my first Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series novel, The Sound of Consequence. That novel was just re-leased as part of a first-in-their-series box set called First Glance. The set features 13 novels for $.99. It’s a great way to meet new authors and get started on new series.

If we’re talking television, football is my favorite sport to watch. Marshawn Lynch – AKA Beast Mode – is my favorite player, but since he decided to retire, looks like I’ll have to find someone new. I married into the Seahawks fandom, but they are a fun team to love!

What is your favorite song?

sw3I have lots of favorites and my answer may change based on my mood, but in a pinch, I will always answer Last Man Standing by Bon Jovi. Part of the reason is due to a concert I went to back in 2006 in Denver when they opened with that song and Jon performed on a small stage that was only about 20 feet from where we sat. It was incredible. Even though I have since met him, that experience still rates in my top 10 memorable experiences!

Who is your favorite musician?

If you’ve followed me longer than 5 minutes, you already know the answer to this question, but for those of you who don’t know me, the answer is Bon Jovi. Did I mention that I met Jon Bon Jovi last summer? This is our engagement photo!

Aside from getting married and having kids, this has been the highlight of my life. During that meeting, I pitched a book idea to him and asked permission to quote lyrics at the beginning of each chapter. sw4HE SAID YES!! This month, I’ll be releasing that book, Whisper to a Scream, the story of a medically discharged, combat injured soldier (Skye Everhart) with PTSD and a prescription drug addiction who finds hope in the healing power of music, friendship, and love. This is the first novel in my romantic women’s fiction series Sunset Valley. Check my website and/or subscribe to my newsletter for release date information.

What is your favorite movie?

Dirty Dancing!! I once watched it five times in a row. This was back in the days of VHS, so I’d watch, rewind, watch, rewind…an entire Saturday afternoon. Nobody puts Baby in the corner!! I love the dancing, the love story, the family dynamic, the way Johnny looks at Baby! Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray had incredible chemistry in that movie!

Who is your favorite actor?

Tom Hiddleston! I can’t even really speak when it comes to Tom, I love him so much. I have a life-size Loki cut out in my office and I sleep with a Tom Hiddleston pillowcase covering my favorite pillow. He can sing, he can dance, he can melt panties with that smile.

Who is your favorite actress?

Jennifer Garner. I fell in love with her during Alias, but I love her in every movie she’s done. I love how she can be cute and sweet and then be total kick ass! She’s a good person, too, which makes it so easy to love her!

What is your favorite TV show?

Alias, hands down. I own all five seasons and was devastated when the show ended. I used to binge watch all the episodes leading up to a new season. Diva Daughter and I will pop in a DVD and spend an entire day watching the action!

Who was your childhood best friend?

My childhood best friend is still my best friend, Amy. I even named Diva Daughter after her. We’ve been best friends since the moment we met in kindergarten back in 1977 … just shy of 40 years!!

What is your favorite book?

The Chosen by Chaim Potok. When I was a senior in high school, I was going out with a boy who was a bit of forbidden fruit due to his religion. His parents tried to keep us apart, but for a few months, love prevailed. A friend suggested The Chosen to me. Even though it wasn’t a love story, the theme reflected much of what I was experiencing in that relationship. The story has always stayed with me and I still have the paperback I bought back in 1990.

*~*~*

So what did Diva Daughter miss? Any questions you are dying to ask? Hit me with ‘em!

 

sw3National Bestselling Author Susan Ann Wall writes racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction. Her newest release, Broken Strings, is romantic suspense novel available in the Love Notes ebook collection.

www.authorsusanannwall.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/susanannwall.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@susanannwall
Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/susanannwall
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Ann-Wall/e/B007NZU7X0
Goodreads:  www.goodreads.com/susanannwall
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/nQ7wH

Michele Mills: Wine Makes Everything Better—Especially Post-Apoc
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Wherein: I write a guest post about my ten all-time favorite post-apocalyptic/dystopian TV shows or movies without doing a lick of research—typing on laptop, with a glass of wine on hand. My debut, Die For You, was going live that night, therefore wine.

mmCapture

Possible recipe for disaster, right?

Here’s how it went down. I’m just gonna leave this here, verbatim (spelling errors included):

  1. Jericho– Do you guys remember this show from TV? I can’t remember the name of a single actor in the series, but I remember that I loved it. It was about the world being annhililated by Nuclear War. Jericho was a little town in the country and little towns survived. The realistic everyday life of people surviving an extinttion event. Lots of drama and angst. I remember my husband thought there was too much “soap opera” in it, but I don’t know, I liked it just the same. I was sad when it was cancelled. Damn networks.
  1. The Last Ship– I love this show so much.
  1. Comet– That part in the book where Adam and Rachel are walking through Macys and she gets to pick out whatever she wants because all things are free now- that’s a homage to this movie. From the 80’s. I’m probably the only one who remembers it, but to me it’s special because it’s a girl-centric post apoc movie. Like those ever happen.
  1. The Walking Dead– I’m watching this on Netflix right now!!! I’m at the start of season 3, right after they slaughtered all the zombies who were hiding in the barn (and Sophia). This show is effing awesome. If you’re not watching it, you should.
  1. Logan’s Run– I remember being younger and this movie played on TV often. It’s seems to have fallen off the map nowadays, but really, it’s a great movie. A future with only young people. You’re killed if you even remotely start to grow old. Ouch. That would suck. What a great reimagining of our future. Epic storytelling. Makes me want to watch it again…
  1. Soylent Green– Am I even spelling this right? Oh, f#@K it, I’m not looking it up! I remember they were turning people into a food product that people were innocently eating. Yuck! Charleston Heston was young and not so much into the NRA back then. It was awesome. Freaky. The kind of futuristic sci fi that creeps you out and makes you think hard. Perfect.
  1. World War Z– Brad Pitt. Zombies swarming like ants. Brad Pitt. Need I say more?
  1. The Last Stand– This started it all in my brain. In fact I like to tell people Die For You is like The Last Stand but without all that God and evil stuff and way more romance. Oh, and not as long. Promise.
  1. Virus/Outbreak– It’s all a bit of a blur. I remember there’s a movie with Dustin Hoffman and lots of Hazmat suits and a movie with Matt Damon, both about a worldwide viral I tell you, I can’t get enough of movies like that. In the movie with Matt Damon I remember he watches a neighbor getting brutally murdered by someone pretending to be a cop. Yep, put a reference to that in my book. The ideas come from everywhere! Everywhere, I tell you! *pours more wine*
  1. Warm Bodies– The writing is amazing. Literary level, but about zombies. Oh, wait, I’m talking about movies! Yes, the movie based on the book was good, too. This book is why in Die For You, Trevor talks about putting a Van Gogh on the wall. This book (movie!) totally influenced me. I remember I sent a fangirl email to the author, couldn’t help myself.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Promise I’m much more coherent when not tipsy!

Oh, by the way, here’s that book of mine I was so excited about:

mm1Capture

Kindle | Kobo | Nook | Google | ibook | ARe

Love, in a hopeless place.

Catastrophe Series, Book 1

Two months after a virus took out civilization, Rachel Donnelly is the last living soul in California, as far as she can tell. Until she runs into a Marine sniper, battle-hardened but alive and healthy.

Adam Sanchez would love nothing more than a slamming session of I-can’t-believe-we’re-alive post-apocalyptic sex in the back of his Hummer. But Rachel’s fragility, inexperience—and much younger age—hold him back from exposing her to his raw, aggressive sexuality. If anything, Rachel needs protection. Especially from himself.

As they band together with other survivors to battle feral animals, violent ex-cons, and motorcycle clubs jockeying for power, Rachel grows stronger in mind, body, and spirit—strong enough to give the dangerously sexy Marine what they both crave.

The power of their passion rocks Adam’s world, bringing him to his knees—which, he discovers too late, is the worst possible place to be when danger springs from the shadows.

Warning: Contains a sexy Marine, a tattooed ex-con, a girl who blossoms into a sexually assured young woman, laughter despite the pain, m/f/m ménage, hope, love, and more bad language and violence than are strictly necessary.

Michele Mills teaches High School English to unruly teenagers and enjoys cooking for her husband and two sons. DIE FOR YOU, the first book in her new post-apocalyptic series from Samhain is available now. You can find her pretending to be professional on both Twitter and Facebook.

 

Elle James aka Myla Jackson: RT2016 in Vegas was a Blast
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

The Romantic Times Convention was a lot of fun this year. How could it be anything else when it was located in Vegas, baby! I participated in 9 events! But this year, I took my two grown daughters and my new personal assistant.

ejIMG_3084

I could not have done it without them! Between bag stuffing, decorating and getting all of our stuff to and from the conference rooms, we put in over 10,000 steps each one of us every day of the conference. The conference rooms were a long way from our hotel rooms.

ejFullSizeRender

My youngest daughter, Megan, and I went to the Thunder Down Under show at the Aria Hotel. And yes! I was called up on the stage. What a thrill to have 5 handsome Aussies dancing all around me! My 23-year-old daughter was green with envy! We also went to see the Zarkana Cirque du Soleil show. Hmm. I had a little too much wine and slept through half of it. Not surprised? I know.

The highlight of my entire RT experience this year was the SOS Military Tribute. The Honor Guard from Nellis, AFB presented the flag, and Brigadier General AJ Tata spoke about his experiences as part of the Army’s combat infantry. Our theme was military heroes. It was amazing! Wish you all could have been there. I had tears in my eyes.

This month, I have two releases. I know. Damned over-achiever! But that’s good for you, because it means more to read! DEADLY OBSESSION Book #5 in the DEVIL’S SHROUD series and a Romantic Times Reviews TOP PICK! and MONTANA D-FORCE book #3 in the BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS series.

This is what you’ll find in DEADLY OBSESSION…

ejDeadlyObsession

 A war hero and a sexy realtor fight growing attraction while unraveling deadly secrets of a forgotten past

Available now!

A Romantic Times Reviews TOP PICK!

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | Nook | iBooks |Googleplay

ejMONTANAD-FORCE1667x2500

MONTANA D-FORCE:

Former D-FORCE and troubled LA screenwriter struggle against their growing desire while trying to stay alive in the crosshairs of a murderous rapist. Releases May 3rd.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon  | Amazon UK

Sign up for my newsletter to learn more about my upcoming release and for a chance to win great prizes! Hurry!

Elle James’s Newsletter

Lizzie Ashworth: Getting Ancient Rome Right!
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

lawrestlers

Happy May, Delilah fans! I’m Lizzie Ashworth, here for a day to bring you a bit of sexy fun. Right now I’m immersed in writing a historical romance set in Ancient Rome. It’s a love-hate relationship!

Research is at the heart of any historical fiction. Without details of place, dress, and social customs, an author can’t create a believable story. I love research but sometimes I just want to write the damn story.

Unfortunately, the further back you go in time, the harder it is to find information. For my current research on Rome, I’m regularly frustrated by gaps in the record. I want the story to be as accurate as possible. How do I know if I’ve got the right information?

I confess. Without Google searches, I’d have to fold up my tent and go home. One thing I’ve learned, though, is not to take one Google search as the whole story.

For example, one academic source insisted that women in Rome were not allowed to drink wine. (Wine was the ONLY alcoholic drink known in those times other than beer, which was considered disgusting and only for savages.) Initially, I found a few other sources that affirmed that information. I started writing scenes based on that information. Then one day I stumbled across an article that explained the women/wine thing.

la4-old-paintings-by-bryan

In early Rome, in the nearly six hundred years of its existence as the Roman Republic, the Senate made laws and oversaw government operations. Conservatism ruled the day. In those years, wine was forbidden to women except at special festivals where men weren’t allowed. Restricting wine except in women-only events meant women couldn’t get tipsy and provoke men with unbridled sexuality.

But in the mid-first century BC, Julius Caesar wrested control from the Senate (for which he was assassinated) and became the first emperor of the Roman Empire. Another four hundred years would follow under the rule of emperors. Social norms relaxed in the empire. Wine-drinking for women was no longer a crime punishable by death. Whew! By the time of my current work (50 AD), women had gained many social liberties including the right to own property, the right to divorce, and even the right to run their own businesses.

Notoriously, the empire also saw sex scandals, blood sport in the arena, and other excesses which have become the hallmarks by which most of us remember Rome.

As an author, I want to entertain readers with compelling stories about fascinating people. But I also want my stories to reflect the truth about those times. This means the work takes longer. Sometimes hours, days, even weeks elapse as I try to uncover some obscure detail.

Here’s an excerpt from my current work in progress, a continuation of the story of Caerwin and Marcellus. In Book I, Caerwin and the Roman Dog released last November, Caerwin is taken captive by Marcellus as his Roman legion crushes her native tribe in Rome’s quest to seize Britannia. I’m planning for a late summer release of Book II.

Excerpt…

Caerwin and the other women waited in the carriage. Outside her window, she watched Marcellus. The baggage wagon had pulled forward so that both conveyances waited in the shade of tall trees. A cluster of taverns and eating places lined the wide roadway.

Antius attended Marcellus who stood fully in her view outside the front of the carriage as he began divesting himself of his weapons. No one could enter Rome bearing war gear. Antius received each item, making a stack that she guessed would be put away in the trunk: the sword, the red sash around his midsection, the wide leather straps he wore across his chest bearing his medals of commendation. Caerwin shifted uncomfortably as her mind raced ahead to the inevitable conclusion of this process. Surely he wouldn’t…

The segmented torso armor clanked as it joined the pile, reminding Caerwin of all the nights she had watched him undress from the comfort of his bed. Or discomfort in the certain knowledge of what would come next. She wriggled on the seat, unable to look away.

Marcellus pulled his tunic over his head. Her mouth went dry. It had been weeks since she’d seen him undressed. He stood in the dappled sunlight in nothing but the cloth that wrapped his loins. The gods! Had there ever been a man of such beauty as this? Muscle curved across his shoulders and chest. A narrow line of body hair descended briefly down his lean abdomen. The wound on his bicep remained a puckered red line along the bulge. His hands, his forearms, the line of his jaw…

She licked her lips, absorbed fully in this vision of manhood standing just yards away. Everything about him incited her. Her breath came in short light bursts. Her pulse throbbed in her throat—and in less modest places. Moisture crept between her tightly clenched thighs.

Antius unfolded the long white yardage of Marcellus’ toga then sorted out the tunic with its two red stripes. Marcellus paused, standing fully facing Caerwin and meeting her riveted gaze. She gasped at the unmistakable knowledge in his dark eyes, the slight smile curling his lips. By the goddess Sabrina! He had intentionally positioned himself to disrobe in her view. He had purposefully captured her attention to display himself.

He turned slightly and shifted his hips so that the front of his loincloth gave full evidence of his pleasure in her attention. Her eyes closed in the sensation of him over her. She could feel him in her. She squirmed. Her nipples hardened. Her hands filmed with sweat. She wanted him in ways she’d never known possible.

“What mystery holds your adoration?” Junia said. Her forehead wrinkled as she gazed at Caerwin. “I must know.”

Caerwin’s face heated as she tore her gaze away from Marcellus. Just as he had placed himself in her view, he had also made it impossible for Junia or Porcia to see him. Unless Junia came to Caerwin’s position in the carriage.

“I…It’s…” Caerwin stammered. What could she say? Marcellus meant this for her, not to be shared with Junia.

Against her intention, her gaze drew back to Marcellus. The moment had passed. Marcellus had already shrugged into his tunic and Antius had begun to wrap the toga. “An eagle,” she said finally to Junia. “Powerful animal. Quite beautiful.”

“Indeed,” Junia said suspiciously.

~~~
Check out my Roman Pinterest page for some fascinating images and facts about that long lost world.

Sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter. Fun stuff, excerpts, pre-release deals, and much more. Sign up at http://eepurl.com/bHOyS9

Follow me for free erotic short works, hot photos, and the occasional rant on my blog at http://lizzieashworth.com/

Like my Facebook author page for updates on other nice and naughty works https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLizzieAshworth/

Irish Winters: In the Company of Snipers
Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Hi Everyone!

I’m Irish Winters, author of the romantic suspense series, In the Company of Snipers. First of all, thank you Delilah for having me on your blog. What an amazing opportunity to reach out and meet new people!

A little about me…

It’s all about your heart. I put my passion for writing aside when I married a Vietnam vet back in 1972, then worked over thirty years for the Air Force. I didn’t get serious about writing romance until five years ago while I was recovering from a crazy heart condition called a-fib. Needless to say, any heart problem is a pretty big deal. Mine made me stop and think about my priorities. About my family. My sons. My grandchildren. About death. About what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Until then, I hadn’t given my passion for writing its just due because, like the rest of us, I had a real job to pay the bills. Not anymore!

With my heart fixed and my priorities fixed along with it, I retired from Uncle Sam and got serious about writing. By the time I published ALEX, my “In the Company of Snipers” series was born, and another dozen guys were clamoring to have their stories told. So… along came MARK, ZACK, HARLEY, and CONNOR. Then RORY, TAYLOR, GABE, MAVERICK, and tougher-than-nails CASSIDY, my first female sniper with her own novel. ADAM joined The TEAM on April 30th. LEE and KY are close on his six later this year, with HUNTER, ERIC, and JAKE chomping at the bit for 2017. My “Snipers series” is 16 books great and counting. Is there romance involved? Hot, steamy sex? Is there intrigue and mystery? Does someone always have to die? Yes, yes, yes, and—yes!

So you see, it’s all about your heart. Fix your heart. Follow your passion. Run headlong off that cliff called life and live!

Come visit my guys and me at:

IrishWinters.com or on Facebook or at Irish Winters Blog

A little about ADAM, Book 11…

iw1Capture

He lives for the rush…

Thrill seeking ex-Navy SEAL Adam Torrey loves a good HALO jump. There’s nothing better than the exhilaration and freedom of a heart-stopping, high altitude plummet to earth—until he comes face to face with Shannon Reagan, daughter of the billionaire inventor behind the world’s most lethal military drone. She’s champagne and caviar to Adam’s beer and pizza. They have absolutely nothing in common. Except those damned drones…

She’s living the dream…

Her father’s dream. Not that Shannon has a choice. She already has everything she’s never wanted. Obscene wealth. Dubious fame. A failed marriage. An unwanted pregnancy. When her father’s integrity comes into question, she jumps at the chance to redeem him by accompanying the drone prototypes to Hawaii. Why not? It’s a simple flight across the Pacific with Agent Torrey. She’ll be in one of her father’s corporate jets. What could possibly go wrong?

Excerpt from ADAM…

iw2Capture

Rising back to the surface, he sucked in another gulp of air and returned below the waves. His chest burned with the strain of the shallow dive on his tender ribs, but he’d seen enough. Working his hands and fingers alongside her thigh and knee, he freed all of her except for her foot. The netting had wrapped itself around her ankle and held her tight, her leg stretched taut by the rising tide.

Damn. He needed air. Topside again, he found himself clinging to the cargo door beside her, more tired and weary than he’d ever been. She was really stuck. Cords of shuddering pain wrapped wickedly around his chest, limiting what little air he could suck in. Even if he could dive again, he couldn’t break the nylon without some kind of a sharp tool. Time was running out.

“How you holding up?” he gasped, wiping the spray out of his eyes. “Still with me?”

Shannon nodded, but fear shadowed her face. Yeah. She was scared and he was scared for her. She blinked the saltwater spray out of her eyes. “Are you hurt?”

“No.” He shook his head. “I’m good. Don’t worry about me. I’m not leaving. I’ll get you out of here,” he promised, reaching one hand to smooth the sodden hair out of her eyes. Not only was she stuck, but every swell of the ocean against the cargo door and the downed craft splashed waves of saltwater back into her face and eyes. She wouldn’t need to sink in order to drown. The ocean would do it for her.

“I’m really stuck, huh?”

“Yeah. You are, but…” He looked around for something sharp to cut the nylon. “I won’t let you drown, Shannon. I’ll be right back.”

With a desperate lurch, she let go of the door and clutched his wrist, her fingernails digging into his skin for dear life. “Don’t. Please don’t… go.”

“Hey.” He covered her hand with his, wanting to instill hope where there was damned little of it to offer. “I need to find something to cut the net off your foot.”

She stared, her eyes bleak. This girl didn’t believe him. He hoped she wasn’t right in that conclusion. His ribs were on fire. Breathing had become an extremely difficult mechanical effort. Suck air in. Push air out. Pray to be able to do it again. She might be right, but he’d never tell her that.

“Shannon.” He brushed another handful of wet hair out of her face and pressed his forehead to hers. “Trust me. I’m coming back if it’s the last thing I do.”

She let go of him, her cheek flat against the only thing that kept her afloat and blinking with those big sad eyes as the ocean splashed another drowning wave into her face. Coughing it out of her mouth and lungs, those soft blues looked gray and utterly without hope.

Damn it. The only way to convince her that he meant what he said was to act, so Adam turned his back to her and swam for his life, intent of finding the first sharp thing he could. He staggered to shore, holding his right arm tight around his ribs to control the pain while he searched. Some of this debris had to be small enough and sharp enough, damn it. At last, a shiny piece of jagged metal. It would have to do.

He’d turned back to the water when he spied a black handle sticking up from the sand. He looked twice. Could it be? A knife? The best find of all. Crouching to one knew, he pulled it up. Damn. It wasn’t just a knife. It was a Night Stalker Bowie. He glared down the beach with different eyes now. Where the hell was Ramsey?

Since the confrontation before takeoff, Adam hadn’t thought twice about the ornery bastard, much less that he too might need rescue. It made no sense he could be there. No one in his right mind would’ve remained in the cargo hold during the flight. Between the high altitude, freezing temperatures and hypoxia, Ramsey had to have known he’d never survive without specialized equipment. An ugly thought sprang to Adam’s mind.

Sabotage.

ADAM is available at Amazon

A little about the series…

IN THE COMPANY OF SNIPERS

This multi-book series revolves around ex-Marine scout sniper, Alex Stewart, and his covert surveillance company, The TEAM, home-based out of Alexandria, Virginia. An obsessive patriot and workaholic, he created the company to give ex-military snipers like him a job and a chance to serve their country again.

In the Company of Snipers is a collection of 16 love stories. Each book is a complete romance in itself where, in the course of an active TEAM operation, one agent will come face to face with his or her demons. They’re all patriots and warriors, dealing with what they’ve lived through or the mistakes they’ve made. By the end of the telling, it is my hope that you, my reader, will come to realize along with my heroes that…

Love changes everything.

Ebooks, paperbacks, and audio are available on Amazon

Delilah Night: Writing Interracial Couples (Contest)
Friday, April 29th, 2016

Representation matters.  Seeing yourself and identifying with characters in media of all flavors is important. This is a really important topic and I could probably write volumes on how representation has intersected with my life and those of my loved ones, and academics break it down on a larger scale. But today I’m going to focus on one small aspect of how my life and quest for representation has played out in my writing—interracial couples.

dnWedding Photo

I’m a white woman married to an Indian-American man. As someone in an interracial marriage, I want to see couples like mine hooking up in romances. As a writer, I can make that happen. Capturing the Moment is my sixth story with an interracial couple, five of which feature a character who is Indian-American.

As a white woman, my representations of non-white characters are always going to be flawed. Despite being part of my husband’s family for a decade, a mother to two multiracial children, and a friend of persons of color, I have no live experience to inform my writing. I need to be very careful in my choices when writing non-white characters.

dnCapturing the Moment Cover

When writing Arjun, my male lead in Capturing the Moment, I made a deliberate choice to make him Indian-American. The experience of being Indian-American is very different than that of a person growing up in India (which is not to imply that there is a monolithic experience of growing up in India). Friends and family members have a wide variety of experience as to whether or not they speak any of the twenty-three official languages of India, eat Indian food, watch Bollywood films, like Indian clothes, and so forth. Arjun has an Indian first name and an Americanized nickname. He speak Punjabi. He has strong ties to his family, which is very important culturally. That said, by virtue of growing up in the US he has the same cultural touchstones as Meg, myself, my husband and friends, and so forth. In other words, I had more wiggle room to create an authentic character.

My beta reading team also includes several Indian Americans, and my primary beta reader is my husband. Whether on this story or others, they have helped me improve with each piece. A beta sent me an article (http://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/post/95955707903/skin-writing-with-color-has-received-several)  discussing why using food words like “chocolate-colored eyes” can be seen as offensive, and I have tried to ensure that I no longer do that (or fix it in edits). I once had a character speak in Hindi, and it was just awkward. In retrospect, a friend was right, and I was doing it to make them seem more “Indian.” They aren’t afraid to call me out and educate me, and I don’t give them white tears over it, although I have to sometimes make difficult choices because they have different opinions (for example, my husband has no issue with the food allegories, but I still chose to omit them). I even asked a friend to look over this blog post!

I was more nervous about writing Darany, the Cambodian tuk tuk driver, than I was about writing RJ. I erred on the side of Darany having stronger English skills than my drivers in Cambodia. Using dialects can reinforce racial stereotypes, even if that isn’t the intent of the author. I kept him in the background, in part, because he isn’t central to the story—I wasn’t writing a triad, and, in part, because one long weekend in Cambodia means I have no understanding of his culture beyond what my conversations with my drivers taught me. Not including him would be inauthentic as well—writing a story in a setting without including anyone from that culture, as well as ignoring that tuk tuks are the means of transportation for tourists.

That said, reading my stories isn’t a substitute for reading the work of actual authors of color.  If you want to read truly authentic Indian American characters, I highly recommend the Serving Pleasure series by Alisha Rai. (http://alisharai.net/) Other authors of color I recommend are Beverly Jenkins (http://beverlyjenkins.net/), K. A. Smith (https://authorka.wordpress.com/), Cathy Yardley (http://cathyyardley.com/about-2), Rebekah Weatherspoon (http://www.rebekahweatherspoon.com/blog/), Milly Taiden (http://millytaiden.com/), and K.M. Jackson (http://www.kmjackson.com/). You can also check out #weneeddiverseromance on Twitter (https://twitter.com/hashtag/weneeddiverseromance)

dnPreah Khan Photo

Exclusive Excerpt (set in Preah Khan, the temple pictured above)

It was a ten-minute walk down a jungle lane to the entrance of Preah Khan. The only sound was birdsong and the whisper of wind in the leaves overhead. If there hadn’t been scaffolding on the exterior walls, it would be easy to imagine they were the first to rediscover the temple.

“I feel like Indiana Jones,” RJ said.

“I know what you mean.” Meg smiled. “Although, I wouldn’t trust you with a whip. Instead of the Holy Grail, you’d discover the nearest emergency room.” She pulled a guidebook out of the backpack he was carrying and opened to the appropriate page. “Luckily, I have a map. It looks like a big complex. If we follow the central path from this entrance, it’s a straight shot through. We can explore a little on either side and not lose the path.”

RJ blocked her view of the guidebook with his hand. “Don’t be so practical. What does Impulsive Tattoo Meg think?”

“Impulsive Tattoo Meg doesn’t want to spend the day lost, either.” She put the book away.

“Killjoy.”

“Ground Rule Number Four, Arjun. My game plan is law,” she said smugly.

“Given that Rule Number One has been tossed out the window, doesn’t that make it Rule Number Three?” He gave her a light smack on the butt, then stepped out of her reach. Meg had been known to retaliate.

She shook her head in amusement and lifted her camera. She aimed at him instead of the temple and pressed the shutter release.

“What was that for?” he asked, surprised.

“I want to remember you like this, here,” she said, reviewing the picture.

“When do I get to take a picture of you?” Not that he hadn’t been sneaking pictures all morning.

“What’s stopping you?”

He ran a finger along the neckline of her T-shirt. “You’re wearing too many clothes.”

Her eyes widened. “That’s not going to happen. No nude photos of me can be the new Rule Number One.”

dnCapturing the Moment Banner

You never forget your first love…

Meg and RJ were passionately in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.

Meg has only one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before she must leave for her sister’s wedding in Bali. She fulfills her dream of taking a photograph of the sun rising behind Angkor Wat, one of the oldest temples in the world. But her joy is short-lived when she turns around to see RJ standing behind her.

RJ threw himself into work after Meg ended their relationship. He’s built a successful business, but it’s a hollow victory. He’s come to Siem Reap to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. But first he has to convince her to spend the day with him.

Meg is as physically attracted to RJ as she ever was. Maybe the secret to finally getting over him is a one day only, no strings attached fling.

Can RJ win Meg back, or will she love him and leave him?

Capturing the Moment is now available everywhere!

  • Totally Bound (https://www.totallybound.com/book/capturing-the-moment)

About the Author

After 30 years of snowy New England winters, Delilah Night moved to steamy southeast Asia. While she doesn’t miss shovelling snow, she does miss shopping for bargains at Target.

In 2014, Delilah visited Cambodia for the first time and fell in love with Siem Reap. Many of her misadventures from that vacation (including the one with the monkey) made their way into this story.

Connect with Delilah on her blog (delilahnight.com), Twitter (https://twitter.com/Delilah_Night), or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DelilahNight?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark)

Contest

Contest—Win a free copy of Capturing the Moment!

Who is your favorite author of color, of any genre?
Don’t forget to leave your email.