Archive for November, 2011
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Persistence is a word often thrown around in publishing. If an author writes books and is persistent, she’ll get published.
Persistence has many faces. It can help a person get a promotion at work, lose weight, or even get your kids to clean their bedrooms when their junk drifts into the hallway. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always yelling!
It would be nice if getting published was as easy as making kids pick up their messes. Selling a book basically comes down to part stubbornness, part learning craft, and part finding the right story to hook an editor.
It took me seventeen years, many unsold manuscripts, and a fabulous agent to sell my little courtesan matchmaker book to Berkley. And mine wasn’t an easy road to publication. I have a file stuffed with tear-stained rejection letters to show for those unpublished years. If that isn’t persistence, I don’t know what is! But those letters also let me know I was on track as I studied craft and learned stuff like not starting a book from a horse’s POV (who knew?).
Those first letters began as “Dear Author” photo-copied form letters (with my first book) and slowly morphed (with subsequent manuscripts) into “Dear Ms. Smith, thanks but no thanks…” to “Dear Cheryl Smith, I love your voice but the story just isn’t quite what we’re looking for. Please consider me with future projects….”
I’ve been rejected by the best! But persistence kept me slogging forward when I thought a job as French-fry girl at McDonalds might be my future. Well, persistence and the overwhelming drive to write stuff. Every time I thought I’d quit writing and get a ‘real job’, a fun storyline would pop into my head and I’d be off to the races again!
So, yes, persistence is a key part of getting published. Mix that with a strong spine and the willingness to take the hard lumps with the good stuff in order to succeed. It will be worth it in the end!
If you’d like to learn more about Cheryl and her books, you can visit her at: www.cherylannsmith.com or Facebook.
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Yesterday’s winner, by random number generator, is…Wendy! Congratulations, Wendy, and be sure to send me an email with your mailing address so I can get your package in the mail!
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Answer the question and qualify for the drawing for this pretty Christmas tree ornament! It’s handmade and signed. I thought it was adorable, and I have some other ornaments I picked up from my favorite curio shop that I’ll share over the next month.
Answer this question:
What song would you sing at karaoke?
Monday, November 28th, 2011
Dead and Bored?
(Posted originally in the secret Undead Weekly ezine)
Have you done it all, seen it all, and nothing moves you? Perhaps you’ve been living your excellent undead existence day in and day out for a few hundred years now and the pressure to blend in to society is getting to you.
We have exactly what you need! A luxury resort set in the remote wilds of Alaksa. It’s the deepest part of winter when we’re open, so there’s no worry about exposing yourself to any pesky sunshine.
Come, relax, bring your bonded mate or loving companions to join you. We’re a full service establishment and can cater to the needs of the living as well as meet your every dark decadent desire. Care to journey back to your time as a sultan? Or do you miss those English schoolroom days with the strict teacher and her trusty paddle?
Our theme rooms, including two wildly popular slate-tiled dungeons, will certainly call to your inner beast. Want to swim or impress your seethe-mates with your vacation tan? No worries! We’ve got an entire pool wing decorated like a tropical island and the spray tan is free.
If outside sports are more your thing we’ve got skiing, tubing, and lots of winding paths illuminated by twinkling lights. Shed your civilized mask and take a blood bath in the Roman suite, ‘stalk’ live prey from willing donors (rules apply), or visit our orgy room with some close friends you’d like to get even closer to.
We promise, your vampire vacation at the V V Inn will be like no other trip you’ve had in decades! Have a shifter lover? No problem, we don’t charge extra for shedding clean up. Prefer to dance the night away or relax in an Irish pub? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re idea of a good time is more along the lines of reading collector edition books, a game of whisk, or drinking shots of an ancient vampire’s blood from a warmed snifter, then our English gentleman’s lounge may be just the spot for you.
Rafe and I will be your hosts for the week. We’ll make sure your every fantasy comes to life right before your very eyes. Be sure to call and book soon—we’re filling up fast and our Holiday ball only has a few spots left.
Inn Proprietors: Vivian and Rafe McAndrews
The V V Inn, Deadfoot, Alaska
(please call for plane coordinates)
~~ C.J. Ellisson ~~
Guest Speaker at Vamps at Sea – a Vampire Themed Cruise to Alaska
Facebook * Website * Everything Erotic * Digital Digest
Sunday, November 27th, 2011
Yesterday’s winner of a free download of SILENT KNIGHT is named
at the bottom of this post! ~DD
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I’m extremely excited to announce that The Cowboy, now Cowboy Lust, is a go!
And just to give you a hint about what you’ll find inside this volume, this is what I said in the introduction of the book.
There’s a reason Western romance stories never go out of fashion. The cowboy is an iconic figure that embodies the dichotomy of the fiercely independent, earthy alpha male while being a nurturing protector. Given a picture of a man on a horse, wearing Wranglers, chaps, and with a broad-rimmed hat shadowing his face, women melt. I melt—and admittedly, I’m a pretty jaded reader, but I’m still the reader who craves the romantic idea of that gruff, capable man.
Even when he’s up to his knees in mud freeing a calf from a wallow, his image doesn’t tarnish. The imagination sparks, filling in the details—the scent of horse, cow, and crisp, clean sweat; the sight of sun-leathered skin and crow’s feet; the feel of work-hardened thighs and arms; and the sound of a deep-voiced, Texas drawl.
Maybe my abiding affection for Western romances is grounded in the nine years I lived in the heart of the Texas Hill Country with a working ranch nestled up against my backyard fence. Cowboys in Wranglers, wearing straw hats and boots was a common sight. The slower pace of life there was a soothing balm after life in a corporate cubicle. The romance of the place—despite the dust, tarantulas, scorpions and snakes—enthralled me. Still does.
So when I put out the word I was looking for “cowboy” stories, I had high expectations. The writers delivered!
From Cari Quinn’s Riding Double, which has a wicked twist, to the last story, Anna Meadow’s haunting She Don’t Stay the Night, you’ll travel a breadth of distinct voices, settings, and themes.
Veteran erotica writer, Cheyenne Blue, will take you to the Australian Outback for riveting tale with a heroine on the run for her life. Michael Bracken tells a quieter, simpler tale of a cowboy and a school teacher in Drought that’s no less compelling.
There’s a female rodeo star determined to win back her buckle and her confidence in M. Marie’s Rough Stock, a gun-toting girlfriend set on firing up the hussy who laid hands on her man in Lissa Matthews’ Small Town Famous, and a gunslinging couple in the Wild West seeking revenge in Raney’s Last Ride.
Bored, yet? I dare you to give this collection a try. You’ll find humor, heart-melting romance, and sweet, as well as rough lovin’, in these here pages. Saddle up, y’all!
This is your lineup of authors and their stories:
Cari Quinn—Riding Double
Cheyenne Blue—Under the Southern Cross
Randi Alexander—Banging the Cowboy
Cat Johnson—Ladies Love Country Boys
M. Marie—Rough Stock
Sedona Fox—The Ranch Hand
Lissa Matthews—Small Town Famous
Tahira Iqbal—The Storm
Nena Clements—Caught Unawares
Kimber Vale—Some Like It Dirty
Chaparrita—Raney’s Last Ride
Delilah Devlin—Runaway Bride
Anna Meadows—She Don’t Stay The Night
Congratulations, authors! Readers, sorry to say, you’ll have to wait until Fall 2012 to find this book!
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Yesterday’s winner is…Ebony Morton! Congratulations, and email me!
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
Enjoy an excerpt from my one and only Christmas story! Post a comment and enter a drawing for a free download of Silent Knight!
“…The perfect holiday read! Delilah Devlin took a Christmas tale to a whole new level when she crafted SILENT KNIGHT.”
5 Stars, Heather, eCataRomance
“…[SILENT KNIGHT] is a sizzling hot vampire story tht will take you on a short escape — the perfect read for a busy holiday season. Sexy and fun, make sure Silent Knight is on your holiday “must read” list!”
4 Kisses, Karen Steele, Romance Divas
“Erotically decedent and thrillingly carnal, Noelle and Magnus’ story is enough to make a person self-combust with want.”
4 Roses, Angel, A Romance Review
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Noelle Moyaux questions her gift of sight until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger sets her on a path to save his soul.
Magnus Thornton is a millennium-old vampire who has found evidence of an old foe’s evil at work in the demolished city of New Orleans . Weary of the fight, he decides to greet the coming dawn after a night reveling in his favorite things–a bottle of Bordeaux and a willing woman.
Noelle seems the answer, but she quickly creeps into his heart-the vampire, so jaded from life he never speaks, must now persuade Noelle to flee the city before it’s too late.
Noelle Moyaux flicked off the battery-powered Christmas lights that ringed her metal cart, folded her purple tablecloth into a small tidy square and tucked it and the folding table inside the cart before latching the lid closed.
She wheeled the cart across the busy street and waved to her friend Gerard, the owner of a small Cajun restaurant. Continuing around the back of the eatery, she stowed her palmistry kiosk in the storage unit she’d rented from Gerard since before the troubles.
Today’s earnings were slim, despite the unseasonably warm weather that allowed the thin-blooded residents of the city to roam the streets in light jackets. No one believed in a future amid the chaos–and some questioned her ability since she’d received no divination of the coming catastrophe. Indeed, Noelle questioned her gift daily as she sat beneath her umbrella in front of the embroidered cloth advertising “Noelle’s News”.
If not for the little nest egg of money she’d saved from substitute teaching before the flood, she’d be in dire straits.
Clutching her purse close to her side, she headed down the street toward home.
One last night. One last chance to lose myself in The Hunger, a fine glass of wine and the body of a willing woman. Before my last sunrise—the first I will see in nearly a thousand years…
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Friday, November 25th, 2011
I thought about what I wanted to share here at Delilah’s and the fact that she’s got a lot of cowboy loving readers hit hard. So while I could talk about ranching and what kind of day a man or woman typically has on the ranch, that can get pretty detailed. Fun, but not the part that I know I love.
The SEXY part of the cowboys.
So I thought what about an excerpt from my new cowboy release? Something that’s got the working part AND the playing part, all rolled into one? A snippet for you from Rocky Mountain Heat with one of the oldest ranch/farm chores there is. Canning… (yeah, it’ll be sexy, give it a minute…)
Jaxi’s just put the canner on the stove and she’s sitting on the counter eating a peach when Blake interrupts her…
“You didn’t stop for dinner. Want me to warm something?”
Blake licked her neck and her collarbone. He unbuttoned her shirt. His fingers smoothed over her skin as he pushed the fabric aside to reveal her bra.
“I see what I’m looking for and it’s plenty hot already.” He slid the shirt off her shoulders to the countertop. “I like your bra, Slick, very lacy and pretty pink, but it’s a little too nice for what I have in mind.”
While he kissed, he brushed his fingers around her back, and the cool air of the kitchen flowed over her as he undid her bra. As if fascinated, he tugged off one shoulder strap at a time to let the cups fall away from her breasts.
“I had something real interesting planned yesterday when we got interrupted.” Blake lugged a tall stool from the corner of the room and returned to his spot in front of her. His head lined up with her breasts, and he hummed with satisfaction.
“We’ve had that stool since I was little. Ma used it to let us get a better reach on things, and it works as good now as ever. Maybe even better since the treats are sweeter.”
He cupped a breast in each hand and lowered his head to cover the exposed surface of one with his hot mouth. Jaxi braced her arms behind her on the counter as an electric shock pulsed all the way to her womb. He alternated sides, lapping and sucking. She shut her eyes and enjoyed his intimate touch.
“Keep your eyes closed.”
Blake slid away, and somewhere nearby a drawer opened and closed. She debated peeking when drops of liquid touched her skin, rolling down the swell of her breast. Moisture trailed to the tip of her nipple and clung there, cool in the moving air blowing in the window.
She opened her eyes to see he had the peach in slices. He’d crushed one piece between his fingers, letting the juice land on her body.
“Close your eyes,” he warned.
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Thursday, November 24th, 2011
For you Americans out there, Happy Thanksgiving! I just got home a little while ago. This week has been one health crisis after another. Tuesday, I drove dad to the pain management center for an injection into his back to help with his pain issues. He’s been miserable, but thankfully, the injection is giving him some relief. Last night, I had to stay at my daughter’s while she took her hubby to the emergency room after he got off of work at the prison. He has bronchitis and a viral infection of some sort.
All this got me to thinking that it’s a damn good thing we have family living close enough to help out. It hasn’t always been the case. So, today, I’m thankful that I’m healthy and that I’m here to help out the most important people in the world to me, my family.
What are you thankful for today? I don’t mind if you’re serious or funny. I’m just nosy.
I’ll be back later today when I get a moment by myself to make an announcement about Cowboy Lust! Enjoy that turkey coma! ~DD