Thursday, November 26th, 2020
The “Devlins” are up early today. There’s so much work to do to be ready for our Thanksgiving feast! We’ll eat early this evening when my SIL finishes his shift at the local PD. My dd and I spent yesterday cooking all the dishes we could in advance for our family of seven. I say I helped, but mostly I was “dishes-cleanup” girl, and I used my new Dash egg cooker to boil a ton of eggs. No one trusts me to actually cook anything! Due to COVID, our gathering is much smaller than in past years—just the folks who occupy this house. We’re staying safe though we will miss our extended family. We’d rather miss them this day rather than forever. I hope you all plan safe gatherings, too.
We have pies, deviled eggs, and a cheesy hedgehog ready. Today, we’re baking the turkey and ham, the stuffing, the candied yams. Yum. The house will be alive with music. Yesterday, we jammed to Aretha and CCR in the kitchen. So joyous! I hope everyone out there jams to great music, dances with the kids, and shares a meal to remember always. Find the joy, y’all—in being together and holding your loved ones close!
Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
Dear Delilah Fans,
My new release is a real scorcher. When the idea for this novella started forming in my mind, the story unfolded in quick bursts. Then I panicked. It was way over the top.
So I shelved it. Over a couple of years, I’d go back and do what writers do, pick at it, think about it. Then the ending became clear, and that pulled it back from the danger zone.
It’s still an edgy story and for those of you with trigger issues, please note that the story involves initial dubious consent.
Allison is an independent woman with strong ideas about what her life should be. Her relationship with Dane is steady and comfortable for them both. I can’t say much more without giving away too much of the story – it’s full of surprises.
MMF romance has always been hard for me to imagine. Men aren’t generally comfortable with same-sex experimentation. Most menage a trois involves one man and two women. But that’s not what women like to imagine. The idea of two men touching you is, well, pretty damn hot!
Him & Her…and Him
Christmas Eve. Iced in at her boyfriend Dane’s business, Allison Spears mouths off to a man working there, daring him to, well, take her by force, if she has to be blunt about it. Next thing she knows, he has her backed up to the wall, his eyes glinting with lewd intent. And damn it, he’s taking her breath away.
Where is Dane? Why won’t this stud Hank back off? She knows there are ways to force him, but things are getting heated and maybe… Maybe she doesn’t want him to quit.
What begins as a rough and tumble encounter turns into something completely unexpected as Hank reveals what Dane had asked him to do. Next thing Allison knows, she and Hank and Dane are connecting in ways she never imagined. Her secrets aren’t the only ones popping up around here.
Excerpt from Him & Her…and Him
“Do you want me, little girl?” Hank said, his lips curling into a sardonic grin.
Was this his game, some kind of fucking ego trip where she was supposed to beg?
“No, hell no,” she snapped, trying to gain control. If she could get her knee in position… “I don’t even know you. And I’m not a ‘little girl,’ you sick pervert.”
He barked a laugh that echoed off the walls. “I noticed. And sure you do. I’m the guy you think about when you’re lying in bed all alone and touch yourself.”
“Of all the… I don’t…”
“Don’t lie to me, sweetness. You get punished for lying.”
In a half-hearted attempt to free herself, she shoved against his hard chest. He didn’t move a centimeter. Instead, he laughed again. Fear spiked up her throat. What if…
Then a darker emotion swept down her belly where it coiled and waited like a low-lying reptile, a most degrading sensation. Her desire for him to force her doubled, tripled. Take her right there on the cold concrete garage floor. An image of being bent over his knees, her naked buttocks stinging under his big palm as blow after blow slapped her—her thighs squeezed together at the thought.
“Yes,” she said breathlessly.
“Yes, I touch myself.”
“Fuck.” He stepped back, his glittering eyes raking her up and down until she felt stripped bare. She straightened her clothes with short jerky motions, trying to regain control.
Novella of 22,200 words: MMF erotica romance
Only 99 cents!
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
Some of you who loved my Stepbrothers Stepping Out series of erotic short stories especially enjoyed my With His SEAL Team series within the series and nagged, er, encouraged me to write the final sequel—Sara’s and Hunter’s wedding! Well, I finally wrote it! I hope you enjoy it! It’s short, so the perfect read when you’re taking a break from all that holiday preparation! Plus, it’s only $0.99—and FREE in Kindle Unlimited. It’s packed full of naughty goodness. Sara is after all the luckiest girl in the world. 🙂
With His SEAL Team, Part 6
Tomorrow at sunrise, I’m marrying my steplover, Hunter. At long last, I’m marrying the man I’ve loved since we first met when our parents married–a dream come true.
However, one pesky question remains unanswered. I don’t know what happens after we say, “I do.” Is tonight the last time Hunter will share me with his friends, my dearly beloved playmates?
Note: This 6,400-word short story is the sixth installment of the short story series, With His SEAL Team.
Get your copy here!
If you haven’t read all of the series, check these out. They are all available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Just click on the cover!
Open Contests! Plenty of Prizes left!
- Payton Harlie: Love in Lockdown — Pandemic Partner with Benefits (FREE story!) — Everyone, get your FREE story!
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- It’s Tuesday, so of course it’s a PUZZLE-CONTEST & more! — Ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
- Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Deer (Contest) — Win a signed book!
- Today’s cards… (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
~ Amelia Earhart
It’s November. Time to go inward, to reflect…
I embarked on this new writing career a year ago—I haven’t looked back.
Parts of this year have lasted for a couple years. Parts never began. But thankfully, parts have held onto joy, no matter what.
I am thankful for the love and support of my children, as I embark on a new career. How many hours have they spent teaching and reteaching me how to use social media, graphics programs, and my new best friend, Alexa? They’ve stuck with me. They have assisted with edits, formatting, repeating again and again, “You got this Mom. Stick with it!”
I was blessed with my first grandchild. He is the love of my life. He is just now learning how to try. He tries. He fails. He tries again. His trying is just lifting his head up during tummy time. I root for him. It’s not lost on me how he’s helping me keep my head up, too.
Writers, for the most part, work alone. We fuss and fret over our characters, our plots, the conflict, the resolution, while staring at a computer screen or note pad, reliving the plots again and again. I train myself to a single-pointed focus, the immediate life of my characters, and I do it in solitude, but I am buttressed by a community, even when alone. This month I am giving a special thanks to my crew of other writers and friends and all the advice, support, encouragement they provide, helping me keep on.
The definition of tenacity is, “the quality or fact of continuing to exist; persistence”. Determination. This is life.
“And I’m scared, damn it.” He placed both palms on her shoulders. “Because if I touch you….if I taste you again….if I have you, I may never be able to let you go. I’m at least ten years older. I’m jaded and tarnished. I don’t deserve someone sweet and innocent. And you sure as hell deserve better than me.”
The good man, who only saw his damaged parts couldn’t recognize the value of his kindness and character. “Don’t I get to be the judge of what I need, and what I want? Why do you get to tell me no, making the choice for both of us? We’re both consenting adults. I am an adult. I’ve been deprived of my own decisions for long enough. The life I lived was far from Sunnybrook Farm. I grew up with strippers, call girls and junkies. Not to mention the bullies and thugs, con artists and thieves who populated my upbringing.”
Get your copy here!
Read the entire series…
Click to order all three!
About Bernadette Jones
Romantic Suspense Writer, Never Give Up-er,
First Wives Club-er, Lifelong Dream Achiever & Mom
Bernadette Jones has been making up stories since she learned to read on her daddy’s lap. She has imagined casts of characters everywhere she’s called home: Texas, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, Massachusetts, and now New York.
Books and music filled her life as she, her dad and two brothers traveled the country. She would sit in the back seat of the car—her older brother always got to ride shotgun—listening to the current music on the radio, looking out the window and spinning a story based on a phrase she’d heard in the lyrics. As you can imagine, traveling the country, the music changed from state to state, as did the stories. To this day, she enjoys a wide variety of music and book genres.
After a career in corporate writing, she’s decided to settle down and put pen to paper doing what she loves. Living the dream in her NYC apartment with her canine companion, she’s bringing her stories and characters to life.
You can find Bernadette at:
Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
Happily Ever After… Who doesn’t love a good old fashion boy gets the girl fairy tale? There’s a reason fairy tales have been around for ages, telling stories, teaching moral lessons, and preserving history. Even in this fast-paced, techno world where magic has faded and innocence is devalued, we still gravitate to stories that end happily ever after. I love a happy ending as much as the next person, but I think even better than the ending is the main character’s journey.
When I was a kid, I dreamt about being swept off my feet by Prince Charming or magic fixing all my troubles. As I got older, I realized that all the Fairy Godmothers in the world wouldn’t have been able to help Cinderella if she wasn’t ready, willing, and able to help herself. Somewhere along the line, it penetrated my thick skull—happily ever after is there for people who are willing to create it. Since then, I’ve been chasing my happily ever after. A big part of that dream is my writing career.
When I saw a chance to write for a twisted fairy tale anthology, I jumped at the chance. It was so much fun to use a familiar backdrop to send the characters on a whole new adventure. I chose Robin Hood and twisted the story from Robin the knight coming home from the crusades to save Nottingham to Robyn being the wife of a knight who followed the Lion Heart to the Holy Land.
Left behind to fend for herself in an increasingly desperate situation, Lady Robyn Ashby fights to survive and protect her people after losing her home and land to the greedy and corrupt King John. Robyn, Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, and the rest of the fabled bandits find a haven in Sherwood Forrest and, true to legend, help and protect the downtrodden citizens of Nottingham. When her husband returns from the dead, can Robyn set aside her bitter resentment and strike a blow for the people?
“The Lady of Sherwood” is my installment in Ravenous Fables! Full of reinvented fairy tales, this anthology is bursting with adventure, romance with a liberal dose of heat, and of course, happily ever after! They’re not your mama’s fairy tales! The paperback is live now, and you can preorder the ebook for just 99 cents! Worth every penny!!
An excerpt from “The Lady of Sherwood”…
With a sigh, Robyn pulled off her boots. The grass felt like a carpet under her feet, and she wiggled her toes.
“You can’t trust him, Robyn,” Will Scarlet said, materializing out of the forest.
Robyn closed her eyes and let the sunshine hit her face. So much for her moment of peace. “I have no reason not to trust him, Will.” She opened her eyes and looked at the young man. “I know we don’t want to remember this, but he didn’t know how it would turn out when he left. They all believed they were on a mission for God and King. He’s not the same man who left us.”
The realization slowly dawned on Robyn, though she hadn’t wanted to admit it. Her anger and resentment of Simon had kept her warm on cold nights when her belly was empty and her heart broken.
Will scoffed, “I can’t believe how quickly, you of all people, forget. He’s a king’s man through and through. People don’t change. This fallen lord ruse is meant to toy with your heart. It seems to be working, judging by the way you stare at him. Why don’t you open your legs for him and have done with it?”
Robyn’s cheeks flamed with anger and embarrassment. Before her reprimand could leave her lips, Simon hurtled out of the trees, tackling Will. They scuffled in the grass while Robyn watched with bemused irritation. Larger and stronger, Simon had Will by the back of his shirt and shook him like a mother dog with an irascible pup.
“You’ll apologize to my wife, boy,” Simon snarled.
“She doesn’t need you to defend her.”
With a sudden movement, Will dropped and twisted out of Simon’s hold. Simon might be bigger and stronger, but Will was faster. Simon lunged after him, and they tumbled to the ground. Will managed to pull away, and the two men separated, glaring at each other. Robyn’s bowstring sang twice in quick succession as she planted an arrow at their feet. They froze and looked at her. She walked to Will and plucked the arrow from the ground.
“Get out of my sight,” Robyn said with icy finality.
Will’s wide-eyed expression crumpled, and his shoulders slumped. He spared one final glare at Simon before slinking away.
Robyn turned to Simon and pulled the other arrow from the earth, wiping the tip clean with her shirt before putting it in her quiver. She turned to leave, uncertain what to say and in desperate need of space.
“When did you learn to shoot a bow?”
Simon’s question stopped her in her tracks. “When I had to hunt or starve. Hunger is a powerful motivator and an unforgiving tutor.” Robyn’s anger surged forward, reminding her that this man had caused years of hardship. She spun on her heel, confused by her own seesawing emotions.
Simon’s hand closed around her elbow and turned her back to him. She stiffened in his hold.
“I’m sorry, Robyn.” He pulled her into his arms and crushed her against his chest, which was as warm and solid as she remembered. Her anger snuffed like a candle. Tears pricked in her eyes as she rested her cheek against his chest. Over the years, Robyn had dreamt of him holding her like this, even when she burned with hatred for him.
“I’m proud of you. I always knew you were strong. I hope one day, you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me,” he whispered against her hair. Simon let her go and brushed a tender kiss across her lips. He looked at her for a heartbeat before stepping away.
Robyn swallowed and sat in the soft grass. Unbidden, a memory floated to the surface. Simon sat beside her on the grass next to the lake at Ashby Manor. Hot summer sun filtered through the leaves of the trees. She had worn her hair down at his request, though it was incredibly uncomfortable in the heat. He swept it up in his hand and blew cool air across her neck, making her shiver and her stomach clench with desire. Lazily, he laid her back on the thick grass and, one by one, worked the buttons of her bodice loose. The image dissolved in her mind, but she could still feel the kiss of sunlight on her bare chest, the cool grass in her fists as she clutched them in pleasure, and his mouth. Oh, she remembered his clever, wicked mouth and how he seared her skin with teasing kisses until she writhed beneath him in need.
Robyn pulled in a shaky breath. The memory left her aroused. She wasn’t that woman anymore, and the days of sunlight were lost to the shadow of hunger, hatred, and death. Robyn swiped an impatient hand across her face to erase the tears, wondering if they were for the woman she used to be or the one she had become.
“Robyn?” Little John called from within the camp behind her.
Grateful for the interruption, Robyn pushed to her feet and slung her bow over her shoulder. “I’m here, John,” she answered as she banished her melancholy thoughts and strode out of the meadow.
About the Author
A.C. Dawn is an active and enthusiastic author and reader of short stories, novellas, and novels. She enjoys bringing her characters to life and strives to stir the imagination of her readers. She believes the best writing touches the reader in ways they hadn’t expected and will never forget!
So, that’s the official bio…
Really, I’m a lover of chocolate, a strong jawline with a 5 o’clock shadow, and romances that make your heart pound and your middle get all squishy. I love quiet country living on my north Georgia farm with my family and fur babies of all shapes and sizes. I think the scariest thing in life is how fast my daughter is growing and an empty coffee pot. I can’t stand slow drivers in the fast lane and wimpy handshakes.
I have endless stories rumbling around among the rocks in my head. I can’t wait to share them with you!
Saturday, November 21st, 2020
I feel like I have to explain my desk before I start. 🙂
The document on the bottom is my bloggers’ schedule. Duh. Anything that says “DD” is mine. So yes, I do “pencil” in my guests on a hard copy. The squishy toy on the left is a fish squishy the 7-year-old gave me when she heard I was scouring the house for the stress ball my physical therapist recommended I exercise my hand with. She said it would be better because it’s softer. LOL. She’s really sweet. The tile on the right says “Artist” and it was from the 16-year-old, who gave it to me for my birthday this year. I love messy paintbrushes—to me, they are a testament to the work that, lately, fills my “well” with happiness. The pretty jar holds a tiny, very fragrant candle I light when I want to improve my mood. And in the bottom right corner is my mom’s mousepad with all the presidents through 45 on it. I gave up my Thor’s hammer pad for mom’s…well, because. I like touching something she touched every day.
So, to the cards…
I have this “Women’s Empowerment” deck of cards sitting on my desk to the far side. It was a gift. I generally don’t like the new age stuff. I prefer tarot cards, famous quote books, etc., for my daily inspiration, but the WE cards are pretty. I opened the box and looked for a card that “called” to me today. These two made me pause.
The first reads, “Be still my mind. Be here now.” I’m not a “now” person. I’m a dreamer (a great thing to be for a writer, BTW!). However, I have work to complete and need some focus, so this thought helps.
The next says, “I enjoy the ups and downs of everyday life. Only the present moment is real.” I do appreciate the ups and downs. If we didn’t have them, life would be boring and we’d never learn a thing. The “only the present moment is real” thing is also very true. What you do now defines who you are and will be. So, today I will write because I want to be a writer. Writers who don’t write are just dreamers without the proof of the stories spinning in their heads.
So, does any of that help me begin my workday? Um, yeah. I guess. As soon as I hit “publish” to post this blog, I will begin “the work” and then I can claim to be a writer once more.
My philosophy isn’t deep. It’s self-serving, right? I need a kick in the ass because I have a minimum of 2,000 words to write today!
If you’d like to deliver that kick, tell me how you go about girding yourself to do “the work” of being who you are for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
These contests are closing soon!
- My Furbaby-Jealousy (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
- Anna M. Taylor: Who’s On Second? (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
- Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Deer (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
Friday, November 20th, 2020
©Diana Cosby 2020
Photography is an enjoyable pastime, one that refills my muse. On my walks, I see such a huge variety of animals and birds, but it’s always wonderful when I see deer.
I usually come across does with their young. So, it’s a treat when I spot a buck; on rare occasions, I’ll see more than one.
Deer are beautiful animals. Seeing them always takes my breath away. They have such a calm and majestic presence.
As spring arrives, I keep watch for fawns. They’re usually hidden deep in the woods or when alone, laying down in tall grass, so it’s always special to see them.
As the year passes, the spots fade from the fawn’s coat as they grow. By winter, they’re so big, it’s hard to tell the yearlings from the adult deer.
What do you like best about deer? If you’ve seen deer, what’s your favorite memory?
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 have been translated into 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 and The Oath Trilogy, she released the bestselling The Forbidden Series.
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Inspiration From Nature – Deer,’ on Delilah’s blog between 20 November 2020 – 29 November 2020. The winner will receive a signed copy of Forbidden Realm.
Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
The Forbidden Series