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Debra Parmley: Desperate, Dangerous, and Deadly
Thursday, April 25th, 2019

I am celebrating! This year marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of my first book, A Desperate Journey. Samhain Publishing originally published the western historical romance after being in the American Title contest.

My western historical romances have been described as “gritty.” The west could be a rough place for a woman, or a man, and I started out writing my first novel as a western. It started with a challenge. I was attending the Ozark Creative Writers weekend, and Dusty Richards, a well-known western author, issued a challenge. “Write your first novel, make it a western, and if it wins my contest, my agent will read the full manuscript.” I’d been writing short stories and poetry up to that point, never a full novel and that challenge was too good to pass up.

I sometimes will take a challenge or a bet, and when I do, it can be life changing. For instance, I asked my husband out on a date on a five-dollar bet, back in high school, but that is a story for another day.

Well, I wrote that western, set it along the old Chisholm Trail in 1867, and along the way, as I wrote, the story turned into a romance. So, it is a true blend of romance and western. If you pulled the romance out, there would still be a lot of story. It’s interesting to me that so many men have enjoyed reading the story and I think that is one reason.

Now you might wonder what happened with that challenge. Well, I finished the book in a year and entered it in the contest. By then, Dusty no longer had an agent, but he sat with me and went over the first chapters, giving me advice. I will always be thankful. I revised it and entered it the next year in a contest Bobbi Smith held at the RT convention in St. Louis where it won third place. Bobbi also sat with me afterward and said, “Debra, start your story in chapter three.” (I was giving too much back story and not getting to the action soon enough.) I rewrote the story and the next year entered it in the American Title contest, where it was a finalist, and during the contest, I signed with an agent, and a year later, he sold my first book to Samhain.

After Samhain published A Desperate Journey, my editor invited me to write a novella. Another western historical romance for a new anthology, and I wrote Dangerous Ties. This one starts out with the heroine strung up over a mineshaft and the rope is breaking. I’d paid attention to my mentors and was going to start my next story right with some action. Jumping right in. I thought this would be the first of many westerns with them. But then my new editor turned it down and wanted me to write erotic romance instead. A third book, a contemporary romance I’d written, was turned down after that. In the seven years I was with Samhain, I had five editors, but subsequent editors were not as enthusiastic as my first two, who I’d enjoyed working with on A Desperate Journey. Dangerous Ties went on to be published by a different publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing.

But now, writing a third was going to be impossible. Because different publishing houses held the rights to the two books. So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to have rights back, to have republished both books through Belo Dia Publishing, and to now be able to publish a third book and pull them all together. My readers deserve that, and it’s exciting to be able to do it in celebration of ten years of publishing.

This month, I am celebrating the tenth anniversary with the release of a box set of three westerns. A new book, Deadly Adversaries, brings together the daughter from A Desperate Journey and a son of the couple from Dangerous Ties. The box set, Desperate, Dangerous and Deadly: A Western Collection releases on April 30th in e-book and the pre-order is available now on Amazon. Get your copy here!

Dangerous Ties is also on sale for 99 cents for the e-book up through June. That’s the breaking rope over the mineshaft one, if you just want a nibble of one of my westerns to see if you like them. It’s a quick novella. It is also available in audiobook and in print.

Do we want a long bio? No, I’ve said enough about me. I’d rather focus on the books. If you want to follow me, I have all kinds of social media links for you below, and if you check out my YouTube channel, you will find my First Chapter Reads playlist where I read from the first chapters of my books, as well as the live giveaways I do after I attend author/reader events. Have fun discovering all the fun linky things!

About my books: I write in many subgenres of romance, so do look around my sites. Books are kind of like ice cream cones. Rocky road or westerns might not be your flavor, but strawberry or my 1920s series about flappers might be, or chocolate or my military romantic suspense stories might be. I am the sort of ice cream lover who would try all the flavors and would like a dip of each, please.

(Are you hungry for ice cream now? I am. Might have to pick up a pint to celebrate!)

Thank you Delilah Devlin for giving me a guest spot to share my anniversary celebration!

Debra’s social media links:
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My Favorite Hobby (puzzle)
Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

I finished editing Stranded and passed it to my sis, Elle James, to get it ready for upload! Whee! Now, I’m ready to play before I dive back into another round of edits… Have fun with me! (And yes, I backdated this post to fill in a blank spot in my calendar! Hate when I let that happen after years of perfect attendance!)

A Reminder! Coming Next Tuesday!
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Pre-order now!
It’s just $0.99!

Here’s what’s inside!

Plus!!! Elle James has a story ready to include! I’ll have more news about that later this week!

A Stranger’s Kiss by A.C. Dawn – Sparks in the sky ignite an inferno when a millionaire bad boy rescues a struggling romance writer stranded in an airport

Shelter from the Storm by A.J. Harris – A rogue super soldier and an ocean-dwelling scout discover the keys to surviving enemy soldiers and giant super-storms on their flooded world may be each other

Reviving Artemis by Ara Geller – Defying her alpha’s direct orders, a young warrior braves a pack of hunting werewolves to finally claim her Mate

Quincy Down Under by Delilah Devlin – A bounty hunter following a lead is trapped in an underground-bunker-turned-beauty-salon with a pretty beautician

Rescuing Alaska by Elle James – A former Navy SEAL on an Alaskan fishing trip is washed overboard and stranded on a bear-ridden island with the beautiful deckhand

Hourglass by Kenzie Matthews – With danger all around them, time-hopping graduate students find it hard to keep their clothes on while their time machine glitches

Out of This World by Kimberly Dean – When an astronaut is stranded without a research partner, her mission’s bad boy commander volunteers to help her complete her studies…on sex in space

Burning Stars by Kimberly Lithe – Heated glances and flirtatious banter ignite into a fever pitch when a mechanic aboard a stranded starship looks for her rescue from an intergalactic criminal

Switching Call by Lucrecia Christina – Stranded in a field, a tow truck driver learns from his sassy rescuer that there’s more to getting stuck in the mud than spinning tires

A Change in Predicament by Melanie Jayne – A doctor with a death wish and a history of bad decisions uses her wits to survive a kidnapping by the wounded leader of a dangerous gang

Put it in a Book by Michal Scott – Trapped in a book by a sorcerer for rejecting his sexual advances, an ex-slave’s daughter discovers one hope of rescue – a nosy thief

Undercover Lover by N.J. Walters – A DEA agent working undercover as a waitress in a dangerous biker bar is stranded without backup until a man from her past walks in

Too Deep by Sam Heathers – When an undercover officer loses her handlers in the outside world, she must trust the top lieutenant of a gun-running gang to survive

Going Down by Sukie Chapin – One broken elevator, one sexy boss, one hot night…maybe falling isn’t so bad after all


Beth Caudill: Real Life Inspiration
Monday, April 22nd, 2019

I wanted my fantasy world of Arilase to be similar to Earth but also someplace its supernatural inhabitants would be comfortable. A place of wonderful landscapes and magic. For the first two books in the series, we traveled to the lakes and woods of the wolves and the small towns and forests of the elves.

For this final book in the series, I wanted to explore the seas. To see the glorious frilled shark and the iridescent squid. To have a walrus and killer whales attack. To see the beautiful life on the sea floor. But along the way, I used some Earthly inspiration to develop my world.

Deception Island – a volcanic horseshoe shaped island near Antarctica. It looks really cool and I love the idea of the inner bay. In Cursed Seas, Desolate Isle is remote and icy where mirror-like ice caverns grow beneath the bay.

Little Blue Penguins – I love seeing animals pics from zoos and aquariums. I caught a video that the Boston Aquarium posted about their Little Blue Penguins exhibit. They are so cute. Thus, my Sapphire Penguins were born. They live on Desolate Isle and my hero Alexander acts as their guardian.

The Shell Grotto Margate – A video of these shell walls came across my facebook feed while I was writing my first draft. I instantly knew the walls leading to my Ocean Seer’s lair needed to be like this. Marvelous designs of shells glitter as my heroine walks down the steps to meet a sea witch who may or may not help her.

Our planet plays host to all kinds of interesting creatures, some very old and others may just now be identified. Make sure to take the time to explore the world around you. You never know what you might find.

Cursed Seas — Releases tomorrow!
Just $0.99!

She’s destined to be Queen. He’s trapped far from home. Together, they must navigate treacherous waters to safeguard the merkin and sea creatures of Arilase.

Chosen to become queen of the merclans, Kaycee dreads her first year participating in the Seven Seas Ceremonies. Swept away by cursed magic, she encounters a lone merman trapped on an isle of penguins. Although responsibilities drag her back home, she can’t forget the bleakness that surrounds him.

Alexander was the cherished heir of the Pelagius merclan. Then his arrogance cost him his freedom. Hexed to only assume his mer-form on the three nights of the triple full moons, his life has changed irrevocably. When a mermaid breaks his solitude, he clings to his affliction afraid to seize the hope she harbors.

Will the ghosts of the past keep them apart? Or will they learn to trust in each other to survive the treacherous waters, defeat an evil sorcerer, and permit love to rule their hearts?

Buy Links:
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About the Author

Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.

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Happy Easter!
Sunday, April 21st, 2019

I was up early today. First, my dd messaged to ask if I was dressed. Her hubby forgot his wallet and needed it dropped in town. Now, usually, I’d send her a rude emoji but it’s Easter, and I knew she had to help the bunny deliver goodies, so I ran into town to give my policeman SIL his wallet. *smh*

Then it was back to my dd’s for coffee as we waited for the kids to stir. Everyone awoke to my dd’s hand-decorated buckets filled with edible goodies and gifts. Everyone got things they wanted—the oldest girl got makeup and jewelry and an expensive mixed media sketchpad (she’s a budding artist—how could I, er, the bunny not indulge?), the baby got sidewalk chalk and glitter clay (also, a budding artist, so again, we have to encourage!), and the boy got lots of cologne and shaving stuff (because he’s very vain 🙂 ). We’re spiritual with a mixed bag of beliefs but not religious, so no church morning for us.

Next came the annual photos my dd takes in her yard. She lets the wildflowers take over every year until they go to seed. Her hubby hates them. Calls them weeds. But it’s hard to argue with the butterflies and bees that are attracted to her yard! Not much crimson clover this year, but we do have these pretty purple blooms… Oh, and the kids are darling, too!


Susan Boles: Brotherhood Protectors World and Cozy Mystery Connection
Friday, April 19th, 2019

When I began writing in the Brotherhood Protectors World last year, I wanted to create characters and stories that would cross over into my cozy mystery series and yet still be romantic suspense.

So I came up with the concept of creating a case of younger characters who are related in some way, fashion or form to the older characters in my cozy mystery series.

I thought this would be a good way to create great romantic suspense stories that might bring readers over to my mystery series out of curiosity to find out more about the town of Mercy, Mississippi — and the quirky characters who live there.

My first book in the Brotherhood Protectors World, Persuading Piper, features Ian “Hawkeye” Elliott, who is the son of the real estate agent in the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series. He’s come back to Mercy, Mississippi to conduct undercover protection for the town mayor. Trouble is, Piper, the daughter of the mayor, is his high school sweetheart and the one woman he could never forget.

My second book in the Brotherhood Protectors World, Handling Harley Ann, just came out. In this book, Harley Ann is the great-niece of Miss Edna — the eighty-year-old town busybody in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. In this book, Harley Ann’s criminal past comes back to haunt her. And, Jesse “Bird Dog” Miller just happens to be in town visiting his buddy Ian. Jesse won’t stand for any craziness going on around the lady he’s just discovered he might be falling for.

It’s been great fun to write a romantic suspense series that crosses over into my mystery series and yet appeals to a broad audience. I plan to continue to weave the two series together in the future and give readers a birds-eye view into multiple generations in a small town.

About the Author

Susan Boles is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series and a contributing author to Elle James’ Brotherhood Protectors World.

A lifelong love of all things mysterious led Susan to write mystery and suspense stories. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were the first to show her that girls can be crime solvers, Agatha Christie showed her that even small towns have big secrets, and Phryne Fisher showed the that lady detectives can be outrageously individual. Combining romance with the mystery is just the cherry on top of the writing cake!

She lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini dachshund, Lucy and her rescue cat of no particular breed, Zimba.

Stay in touch for further releases!

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Genevive Chamblee: Why Is the Love Genre Hated?
Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Romance is one of the largest, if not the largest, genre out there in the world of fiction. Yet, it is one that receives so much shade, especially its subgenre, erotica. Romance often is criticized for being cheesy or predictable, but this can occur in any genre. So, why does romance have so many critics? Well, here are a couple of reasons.

    1. Characters are all beautiful and/or perfect. Some readers find it difficult to relate to the main characters in romance land. See, real women wake up with eyes matted, breath that smells like tuna stuck in an exhaust pipe, and hair that will damn-near extract the bristles of any horse brush while the lovely heroine rolls over after a long night of evading bad guys in high-speed chase with little more than smudge lipstick and a flyaway strain of hair. Readers be like, “Beeotch, please!”
    2. Too high expectations. In my opinion (like anyone cares about that), this criticism comes from men and is related to the behavior of the hero in the story. In many (dare I say most?) romances, the heroes are alphas and are allowed to get away with saying and doing all kinds of hellish behavior whereas an ordinary man would get slapped nakkid, clothes hid, and smacked with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Compare a novel’s sexy billionaire restraining women with silk ties on his yacht to a real-life minimum wage Joseph Blowhisnose who binds women using a galvanized poly dacron rope in the back of his hoopty pickup. Who’s going to jail? Well, both of them if the women didn’t consent. The point is, one sounds far sexier (and acceptable?) than the other, provided the reader is into that sort of thing. (No shade being thrown for having kinks.) The average man may feel that he can’t operate on the same level as billionaire boy toy alpha hero in romance stories; therefore, it is easier for him to criticize the genre. Ironically, this is an alpha move—suppress all the competition (even if the competition is words on a page).
    3. Too expensive. This is primarily another male argument. “Who can afford to take a date for a lobster, caviar, and champagne dinner three nights a week and then jet off to the Bahamas for a spa weekend?” I’m going to go out on a limb here and argue that most women don’t expect this. (Heck, I don’t want this, seeing how I’m allergic to shellfish. Anaphylaxis shock isn’t the kind of thrill I actively seek.) Okay, so maybe the date example that I gave was extreme. However, I don’t think most women want expensive dates. I think all they want is NICE dates or fun dates. Hot dogs in a park at a free concert would be great. A rooftop picnic under the stars can be super romantic. In most romance stories where the couple goes out on a “romantic” date, it is the creativity and thoughtfulness of the date that steals the woman’s heart. And that’s how it is in real life the majority of the time, too.
    4. Too trashy. Here’s a dirty little secret about romance. It isn’t dirty even when the couple is rolling around in the mud. There are all levels of heat in romance novels. Not every romance contains sex, and sex doesn’t equal romance. Some sweet romances only show hand holding or pecks on cheeks/foreheads. Some may display a brief kiss or maybe a slightly more passionate one. Others may just allude to something has occurred while others leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to getting to the nitty-gritty. The point is, sex is innate and natural, and humans are sexual creatures. So, what is trashy about that? I suppose if a couple starts going at it in a dumpster that would be pretty trashy—not to mention would probably warrant a tetanus shot. The days of being shamed over sexuality or sexual desires are passé antiquated. The notion that women shouldn’t express sexuality is chauvinistic. Women are entitled to their desires as much as men are.
    5. Poorly written. This criticism appears to stem from a bias of comparisons. Any book in any genre can be poorly written. A terrible book (usually due to poor character development or major plot holes/weak plot) frequently occurs when a book has not been well or properly edited or has been rushed into production. It needs to be noted here that there is a difference between a poorly written book and a book that is poorly received by readers. The former is a novel with grammatical, structural, continuity, redundancy, fluff, etc. (As a side note, in my opinion—yeah, that again—I think continuity issues is the worst sin out of the previous list.) A poorly received may be well written but for some reason didn’t click with readers. Of course, there are some poorly written books that have sold well, but they are more of an exception than the rule. Romance authors who take writing seriously are professionals and take the time to ensure that they produce a well-written book. It may not resonate with readers, but it won’t be due to inferior writing.
    6. The sex is never that good. What? Is someone not doing something right? Okay. Next!
    7. Tacky covers. Not everyone is going to agree on everything. Some romance readers like to see hot bodies on the covers while others may enjoy ones that highlight scenery. Tow·mah·toe. Tah·mate·toe. Some prefer a matte finish while others appreciate glossy. It’s a matter of preference. In comparison to other genres, romance covers overall are no more tacky others.
    8. Predictable ending. This is only a real problem for persons who dislike happily-ever-afters (or happy-for-now). Yes, romance has a predictable ending—boy and girl fall in love (or boy/boy, girl/girl, boy/girl/boy… I’m not about to get into all of this, but you get the point.) Romances have a formula: they meet, fall in love, get torn apart, get back together, the end. The beauty of romance is the path taken to get from beginning to end. It’s the journey that is the thrill, the ups-and-downs of the roller coaster. By the end of the ride, the reader is satisfied if the author has done his/her job correctly.
    9. I honestly have to say that I don’t mind this. Yes, I know many people find it cringy and odd, but I know plenty of people in real life who fell for each other the moment they met or after the first date. The difference is, most of them did not profess this love to each other right away. But the feelings were there. I guess I see how it could be weird or creepy to profess to someone you just met you love him/her. And chances are it’s probably lust and not love (or one too many shots) anyway. I think the reason instalove happens in books, especially in shorter length stories, the action must move fast. Most people don’t go on vacation for months on end. So, if the story is about a couple who meet on a two-week cruise, the author has two weeks to get them together. The clock starts ticking the minute their feet hit the deck. Think of the 1994 movie, Speed, with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. The characters Jack and Annie had a deadline of a leaking bus gas tank (Spoiler alert … oops, too late. But hey, who hasn’t already seen this movie?) to get together as a couple. Yes, it was a subplot, but the relationship had to develop quickly nonetheless.
    10. Unequal characters. This bothers me a lot when I see it. Usually, it’s the hero that has it all together and the heroine is a mess. Sometimes, even strong heroines are written to dumb as dirt who requires saving. Listen, sometimes a man can be a hero without the heroine being helpless. Years ago, I was about to enter a store when one of the workers gathering the shopping carts noticed I had a flat. Now, how it managed to go flat as the pavement the minute I parked I don’t know, but it hadn’t felt like a flat on the drive there. He volunteered to help. Bless his heart, he had no clue. I had to tell him he had the jack upside down. Ultimately, I ended up changing my own tire, but he was my hero that day. Why? Because he noticed the flat. Had it not been for him, I probably would have driven (or attempted to drive home) and destroyed my rim which would have cost far more money than replacing a tire… although, that tire wasn’t cheap. Just saying.

And that’s all I got. As a romance writer, I was probably a little biased. Okay, I was definitely a lot biased. But as they say in the navy, “oh, well!” I hope this article brought you some chuckles. If you like this article, give me a like or hop on over to my blog (Creole Bayou) and check out what I’m doing at

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to or to Amazon at

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page ( along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.