I don’t know about you, but August flew by! I’m sure it feels that way because two weeks of the month were spent on my jaunt to Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
At the end of the month, I like to take a little time to reflect on what I accomplished. It might not be interesting to you unless you’re a writer and trying to gauge my personal productivity, but for me, it’s the moment I have to reconcile my dreams with reality.
It wasn’t a bad month, really.
First, I had four releases:
* Lesbian Lust with Cleis Press
* Red Stilletos with Ellora’s Cave
* Textile Free, my self-published free read
* Pleasing Sir on Smashwords (It should be up on Kindle in a couple of days!)
I had four stories accepted, and one rejected.
* Girls Who Bite (the Lesbian vampire anthology I will edit for Cleis)
* A Long Howl Goodnight by Ellora’s Cave
* A short story I can’t name for a collection I can’t name until the final approval is given by the publisher
* A short novella for a major NY publisher, which I can’t name yet either (sorry) 🙂
* Shattered Souls by Harlequin Nocturne
Here’s what I’ve accomplished writing-wise:
* I completed a western novella for Samhain
* I’ve written the first half of another novella for Samhain
* I’m half-way through the next chapter of Bad Moon Rising
* I completed another round of edits on Ravished by a Viking for Berkley
September will be another frenzied month. The pace won’t actually slow until December! But this next month, I will finish the novella for Samhain, the next chapter of Bad Moon Rising (I promise!), get half-way through the second Viking-in-Space book, and attend Lora Leigh’s RAW!
The following is from authors Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow… ~DD
Big thanks to Delilah Devlin for letting us come here and play today! We’ll get started with our first Q&A.
How You Doin’?
Q: The two of you have some very beautiful covers. Do you have any creative input on these? If so, how much or how little?
Michelle: I’m very lucky to have a really good friend, what was her name?, who does coverart for me at a couple of my publishers, man I wish I could recall… Steve…Bob…Nat…
Mandy: Hmm, odd. Wonder who the friend is. We should send her a fruit basket. Or hunky male cover models WITH fruit baskets. LOL. All joking aside, I really think that over the years we’ve been very blessed when it comes to cover art. There have only been a few that made me cringe. No. I won’t name names but I will say, they still make me cringe today. LOL. It was hard to recontract a few things because I loved the covers so much and knew they’d change. Like Gypsy Nights. I loved, loved, loved its first cover so much it was hard to agree to re-release it elsewhere.
I feel very strongly that cover art can make or break a book. Unless you’re to the point that your name on a blank screen will sell a book, you do need to be mindful of art. I’m curious, how do readers feel about cover art?
Michelle: Natalie Winters! That was the name. (*cough* aka Mandy Roth’s art penname)
I agree, cover art can really make or break a book. It’s the first thing a person sees while browsing. I, too, have had some covers that make me want to cry. I won’t list them, but I’m sure you can pick some out if you browse our websites, lol. New cover art day is like a holiday for me and a bad cover is like getting a single pair of plain white socks for Christmas—sure, you needed socks, but who wants to open that gift? A good cover is like a box full of coffee beans. Mmm… coffee…
This will be a dismally short report card. I dithered away this last week.
Okay, so I didn’t exactly accomplish nothing. I had to finish a final round of copyedits for Ravished by a Viking, which called for me to retool chapters 13 and 14. That was more work than expected. Which meant my plans for everything else were hosed.
I only completed one chapter of the fourth Lone Star Lovers book.
What does that mean for this week? I have to work like a bitch on crank. I’ve been so good for so long about keeping ahead of deadlines that this lapse is causing me a great deal of stress. Add to the fact I have to help watch kids and dogs this next week for my daughter’s family, and I hope like hell I can get through all the work I need to or I’ll be even farther behind.
Wish me luck and health (and sanity).
And because I feel like I have to put my goals out there or I will cheat, here’s what I HAVE to complete by this time next Sunday:
* Complete through chapter 7 of LSL-4
* Complete chapter four of Bad Moon Rising
* Re-envision and restart work on Viking-2
* Publish Pleasing Sir on Kindle and Smashwords
* Get the prep work done for September’s Plotting Bootcamp with Rose’s Colored Glasses
I’d never written an office romance. Since I’d worked in a corporate office setting in a previous incarnation, I didn’t think I’d ever find the sexy in it. I was wrong. I had so much fun writing Pleasing Sir that I plan on two sequels. All will go straight to Kindle and Smashwords. I’ll do my utmost to get PS up on Amazon this coming week for you to enjoy.
If you like sexy foursomes with a heavy dose of BDSM, I think you’ll be very pleased. ~DD
Raelie might be a submissive in search of just the right Dom, but she’s not the kind to sit back and wait for the right man to happen. When she gets the chance to fill in as Bryce Caldwell’s executive assistant, she decides some subtle seduction is needed to see if he dominates the bedroom the same way he does the office.
Bryce can’t keep his mind off the sexy blonde sitting just outside his office. Especially not after the security cameras in the copier room catch Raelie “misappropriating” office property. A little disciplinary action leads to a whole lot of complication while he tries to find out whether she’s the right assistant to fulfill a special vacancy. Add a second round of interviews, and suddenly, Bryce is finding out he’s not the only one who’s not sure who’s really in charge.
Note for Readers: You must be of legal age in your country of origin to read this excerpt.
On Tuesday morning, she dressed in another shirtwaist blouse. One that fit tightly over her breasts. Before she entered Bryce’s office to deliver his mail, she turned the top button snuggled between her breasts sideways. She hoped his gaze would be helplessly caught, waiting for her to exhale deeply and let the button slip. Not that she planned to let that happen. Power lay in the anticipation.
She entered without knocking, and this time, stifled the urge to give him a flippant greeting to get his attention. If obvious didn’t work with the man, maybe a tease would. As she bent over his desk to drop the envelopes and magazines into his inbox, she watched him from beneath her eyelashes.
His gaze swept her, lingering for a moment on the button between her breasts. Heat banked in his eyes, and his nostrils flared before he turned to the items she’d delivered.
She wasn’t fooled. He only pretended to ignore her.
Assured he was invested in the game as well, she gave him a more direct stare. “Is there anything else I can do for you, sir?” she said, lingering over the last word.
His head jerked, canting slightly as his gaze narrowed. “I think that’s enough, Miss Wood,” he murmured.
Chastised, but far from defeated, she walked away with a smile on her face.
He might be fighting his attraction, but she knew she’d captured his notice. Back at her desk, she closed her eyes, reveling in the tingling that tightened her breasts into aching little points, the tiny golden rings adorning the tips mashing against the cups of her bra and inciting her nipples into an even greater arousal. She waited for a moment when no one was around then massaged her breasts through her clothing until the tightness eased.
On Wednesday, she carried in the lunch he’d ordered, a Reuben and a small salad, sliding it beside him as he talked on the telephone. She reached for the napkin wrapped around the utensils, unfurled it and shook it out with a snap before laying it across his lap, her fingers brushing over him.
This time, he couldn’t pretend he hadn’t noticed. His voice trailed away mid-sentence, his breath caught because she’d managed to fleetingly graze his cock. His dark, thick eyebrows shot upward, touching that disobedient lock of inky hair she wanted so badly to comb back into place.
“I’ll be back later to clear that away, sir. Enjoy.” She walked out, not rolling her hips in a lewd way, but with her shoulders straight, her step light. His cock had stirred against his thigh as she brushed it. She’d accomplished what she’d come for.
Shortly after, she left for the ladies room carrying her purse snug beneath her arm. With her little fingertip vibrator, she used the memory of that fleeting touch to soar. If her cheeks were flushed when she returned, she was also bonelessly relaxed. She didn’t give a damn whether anyone with an expert eye guessed what she’d just done.
When Thursday rolled around, Raelie stayed past five o’clock to attend the meeting with the crew from the plaza worksite. She remained in the background, one leg crossed over the other. This time, she wore a looser skirt because she had special plans for after everyone had left.
Her foot kicked slowly up and down as she doodled, her skin warming just thinking about the naughty thing she planned to do. He’d probably never know. However, just the possibility of being caught was enough of a turn-on all by itself. The motion of her foot quickened, squeezing her thighs together, and by default, tightening her already throbbing pussy.
Lord, she wished she’d taken the edge off with her little vibrator before coming to the meeting. She glanced at her notes and realized she’s substituted “bend over” for “Windover”—the name of the plaza Bryce and Morgan’s company was building. She hastily scratched through it then guiltily looked up.
Morgan’s gaze narrowed on her, suspicion glinting in his green eyes.
She wrinkled her nose. Bryce’s partner, Morgan, was a flirt. He’d romanced every single woman who wasn’t dog-ugly in the building, but she’d been the lone bastion, holding out for Bryce.
However, her resistance to his charm appeared to have proven an irresistible challenge for Morgan Markham. Every day, the man sat his fine ass on the edge of her desk, trying to woo her, coaxing smiles and mock scowls, but so far not a single promise to go to dinner or the supply closet.
She had no doubt Morgan knew his way around women. He had tons of experience, and he knew how to extricate himself from sticky situations. His glib tongue could let a girl down and still make her feel like a desirable, attractive queen among women. She’d seen him do it more than once.
No, she didn’t want Morgan. Well, maybe once—and only if he was no longer Bryce’s partner—because she wouldn’t take the risk of Bryce being put off by promiscuity in his woman. Morgan wasn’t the dominant male she needed in her life. He never made her feel small and vulnerable or eager to please. He never made her wet with just the sting of his hot stare.
Despite Morgan’s best lines and flattery, she’d saved herself for Bryce, and he still didn’t have a clue, which didn’t dim her enjoyment of her crush. But she was making progress.
Even now, as she dangled one foot atop the other in the far corner of the room, removed from the discussion, she had his attention.
His gaze strayed to the glimpse of thigh the tightening of her skirt revealed with each slow swing.
She’d worn a beige skirt, nude hose and seashell pink shoes today, secretly mirroring the colors of her hair, her skin, her nipples. She’d felt sexy, nearly naked, when she’d dressed that morning, knowing she was exposing her personal, intimate colors to the man, and that he’d never know it.
The overlarge pearls nestled against her throat weren’t real, but they warmed to her skin. With a lazy finger, she lifted them and imagined Bryce tucking them one at a time into her ass while she whimpered.
Her chest rose around a deep breath and she raised her glance to find his gaze on her necklace before it darted upward to lock with hers. The moment stretched exquisitely long—a bit of subtle foreplay that enhanced her fantasy, fed her lust and her anticipation for the naughty thing she meant to do the moment she was alone.
I’m bleary-eyed this morning. Went to help dd with algebra homework last night, then had to get critiques prepared to distribute to the Rose’s Colored Glasses critiquers. Didn’t hit the pillow until 2:30 AM. Grrrr…need coffeeez. Sound zombie-ish enough?
If your life were literally flashing before your eyes, what are three moments or scenes from your past that you would expect to stand out?
So, she’s a day late. That’s actually my fault because she sent me her posting late Tuesday night, but I rolled out of bed, didn’t check my email and assumed she’d forgotten all about me. It’s funny that the topic of yesterday’s post had to do with the two miniature books I picked up in the bookstore with her… ~DD
“All the women I know feel a little like outlaws.” ~ Marilyn French
I’m not going to promote any of my stories, upcoming or past, in this guest spot. Uh uh. Nope. I’m gonna talk about something else. That quote is from a little book called The Goddess Within, and it’s full of quotes from women about life, love and happiness. I love that little book. It sits by my desktop computer and I flip through the pages often. When Delilah came up here for out roadtrip a couple weeks back, she saw it, and immediately wanted one. I almost gave her mine, because I’ve had it forever and have read through it over a dozen times, but I couldn’t bring myself to offer it up. Instead, we traipsed to the bookstore and I prayed that we’d find one for her, because I knew if we didn’t, I would give her mine. It’s a great book, and Delilah would appreciate it because she’s a great woman. She’s also a bit of an outlaw.
I know, I know, I didn’t need to tell you guys that. I mean, this is her blog so I’m sure you’ve seen that aspect of her a time or two, right?
Everyone knows that any business has it’s ups and downs, and by the time we’re adults most of us have learned that friendships are that way too. And that not everyone who pretends to be your friend is indeed your friend. Well, surprise surprise, writing is no different. In some ways it’s even worse because most of your writing friends are online, and you don’t get to have the in-person contact that often. Also because us creative types can be pretty intense about some things. Well, I know *I* can be intense, and a bit mercurial at times. Anyway… I’d planned to blog about our roadtrip, and share some things that happened. (Did y’all know that Delilah is oblivious to her surroundings most of the time? I mean, we passed some old hippies on Harleys on the highway and she didn’t see them, which was forgivable. But when we passed the hot hot guy standing at the rest stop next to his shiny Harley—dressed in faded jeans and fabulous black leather chaps that cupped his firm round ass—and she didn’t notice him. I was shocked. )
Anyway, back to what I was saying. I’ve had a ‘down’ period in my writing career the past couple years. It was deliberate. I wrote too much too fast and burned myself out to the point that I thought I might never want to write again. Let me just say that very few of my writing friends stuck with me once I took that break from writing. And the one thing all of those that did stick with me have in common? They all have outlaw attitudes. They believe in following their own path, and doing things their own way… and they accepted that my way was to take a few steps back before going any further. They’d still be my friends even if I did decide to never write again (which isn’t what I decided by the way). My friends would still be my friends because they know sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do—even if what you gotta do is a bit crazy. Make sense?
So, when I saw the above quote this morning I though of my friends Vivi Anna and Delilah. And this shot I took of them when we were having lunch in Calgary a couple weeks ago. I wish fellow Canadian author and friend Cathryn Fox could’ve been there too, but she’s way over on the east coast. Maybe next year Delilah and I will do a roadtrip that way. Maybe Vivi will want to join us.