This is just a quick stop. Have a book to finish today, and I’m not losing focus until the damn thing’s wrapped!
Thanks to everyone who bought and is reading Shattered Souls. The book is currently sitting at #2853 in the Kindle store! Woot! If you read it, please take the time to post a review. They do help other readers decide whether they want to spend the money!
What am I working on now? It’s a novel as well. 70,000 words of naughty excess—with a tinge of suspense. I hope the editor loves it. 😯
What else have I been doing? In my spare time, because I need an outlet other than dropping in front of the boob tube, I’ve been making things. Take a look at my Pinterest page if you’re interested in seeing. And if you’re into Pinterest, what would you like to see on my boards?
But that’s not the question I want you to answer. Here you go…
We all have that “go-to” person. The one we call day or night when we’ve got a question. “My dishwasher’s not working. Who do you think I should call?” “I had a fight with my husband, do you think I was wrong?” Who is your answer person?
Love is such a powerful thing. It moves people in so many ways. As a writer I love exploring the various ways that love unfolds. All the paths it takes are fun to explore.
I enjoy watching movies based on love. The last few weeks have had some very interesting ones. Each was so different and to see the ways love came and was shown made me think. One of the theme of the movies was they followed families. The love, tribulations and all the things in between. From the beginning of time people have been falling in love. Love can make you crazy, giddy and bring you such hope and joy.
Love has many types – the love between friends and family. The love between lovers. Each has the core of opening yourself to another person and becoming a unit. With friends it is building a close-knit relationship that stands through good and bad. The same with family. With family we share and love.
The love between lovers is what I explore in my books. From the start of the initial attraction, the first steps to getting to know each other, the dating and then finally the all encompassing feelings and knowing you belong together. There are of course the ups and downs and the times when you fall in and out of love. But when you find that right someone it is magical, exhilarating and soul moving. Yeah, I am a romantic at heart. All the steps to the power of love fascinate me.
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Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Total-E-Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future, she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroines, and sexy heroes. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com or blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog.
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Hurricane — When life gives you a second chance how do you decide what to do? Buy here at Total-E-Bound.
Caitlyn’s story starts today! I’m excited, nervous, giddy. I better hide in my office cave or I’ll scare people today!
I received a nice bit of news yesterday. Night Owl Reviews named Shattered Souls a Top Pick! “An intriguing paranormal tale that combines romantic suspense with a mesmerizing tale of otherworldly beings.”Squee!
Here’s hoping you enjoy entering Cait’s world…
When her mentor is brutally murdered by a supernatural force, an alcoholic former cop turns to her past lovers—her ex-partner and a powerful sorcerer—to help her hunt down a demon terrorizing Memphis.
Caitlyn O’Connell had it all: a career with the Memphis PD, a passionate marriage, and the satisfaction that her work made a difference in the world. But she also had a secret, a supernatural “gift” that cost her everything. Now she scrapes by as a private investigator, taking cases the cops won’t touch and counting down the minutes until happy hour. But when Sam Pierce, her former partner and estranged ex-husband, comes to her for help with a bizarre murder case, Cait can’t say no. And not just because Sam is still as irresistibly sexy as he was on the day they met. Something sinister—and demonic—is terrorizing Memphis, leaving a bloody trail of bodies and clues only Cait can read. Together she and Sam will venture into a dark world of magic and unholy terror, hunting a killer who will lead them to the brink of reality as they know it—and back into the thrall of their stormy past. Steamy and suspenseful, Shattered Souls is the pulse-quickening new offering from romance author Delilah Devlin.
My webmistress did some updates on my site yesterday, and provided me a lovely surprise! The sequel to this book, entitled Lost Souls, is already up for pre-order on Amazon! And it’s set to release sooner than I’d expected—June 4, 2013! Read a description of the story when you click the link.
You want to know if I deliver on the spooky elements of the story. Judge for yourselves. Here’s just a tease.
Cait and Jason, her PI partner, are following a lead that takes them to a cemetery. Although Cait would like to turn her back on her heritage, and deny her inner witch, she finds herself pushed into a corner…
Cait didn’t like graveyards. They were too damn noisy.
The staticky hum began even before she’d parked the car inside Edgemont Cemetery’s gates. Spirits clamored, eager to connect. But her creaky “Spidey sense” tingled, telling her the ghosts of the departed weren’t the only phantoms there. From the moment she’d stepped out of the car, she’d felt an eerie, heavy presence.
Maybe she was uneasy because the sky had darkened with heavy, gray clouds where moments ago there’d been wispy streaks of white sliding across a blue sky. She’d shrugged it off as coincidence, unwilling to give in to the urge to slide her hand into her pocket and clasp the familiar flannel bag she’d stuffed there before she’d left her apartment.
Maybe it was the section of the cemetery she approached. Here the graves were older and many studded with ostentatious statues—lambs adorning children’s graves, their features blurred by erosion, and angels grown grubby with soot and dirt—hovering over sad little plots where rain and time had sunk the mounds. Water from the previous night’s storm settled in the hollows.
The prickle of goose bumps lifted the fine hairs on her arms and the back of her neck. Electricity crackled in the air.
And the whispers, usually so many that their individual messages were lost in the noise, coalesced into a single thrumming chant.
Beware, beware, beware…
Cait grew rigid, a heavy knot of dread settling in her belly. If she’d been alone, she might have heeded the warning.
“Hey, I found them,” Jason called from a small, manicured square enclosed inside a wrought iron fence. “Constance, Hope, Charity, all sisters. Here’s mom,” he said, pausing in front of the grave marked with a modest headstone. “Margaret Worthen. Damn, they all died on the same day.” He turned to aim a questioning glance her way.
Like she should know why they were here looking at the headstones of a family who’d died a century and a half ago? The list they’d found in the girl’s apartment had led them on this wild goose chase.
Despite the ominous signs, she shrugged, pretending indifference. So far, she’d managed to keep Jason in the dark about the details of the woo-woo side of their investigation. How the hell would she ever make it sound anything but crazy? “Maybe our missing girl was researching someone’s family tree?”
Jason grunted and knelt in front of the father’s more elaborate headstone. “Jonas Worthen. Same day. October 14, 1864. They had a family crest—a shield with a lion’s head and tree branches surrounding it. Guess it impressed someone if they put it on his headstone.”
A tendril of ice-cold air teased along her cheek, and she recognized the chill for what it was. Then something moved at the corner of her eye.
Expecting the caretaker who’d led them to the family plot and hovered nearby in case they needed further help, she turned, only to find a tall marble statue beside her—Blessed Mary dressed in robes, a finger lifted to her lips, which might have looked a little less sinister if her face weren’t blackened with grime.
Cait grimaced, thinking she’d let her imagination get away from her because the place creeped her out, but she couldn’t drag her gaze away. Some inner instinct held her immobile.
Jason leaned toward Jonas Worthen’s headstone. “There’s an inscription.”
“Ever near us though unseen,
Thy dear immortal spirit treads…”
The statue shifted. Almost imperceptibly. Her head lowering toward Cait.
Chest tight, Cait jumped back. “Jason, stop!” she tried to shout, but her throat constricted.
“For all the boundless universe
Is life—there is no death.”
The chill wind stiffened, grasping like invisible fingers at her hair and clothes. “Jason,” she repeated faintly. How would she explain this?
Frozen, she reached into her pocket and crushed the red flannel bag in her fingers, grateful as never before for her mother’s intervention.
Jason straightened and stepped backward, but his foot fell into a deep puddle at the edge of the mother’s grave. Cursing, he tugged his boot, but the suctioning mud held it.
The statue behind him was an angel whose even features slid into a narrow-eyed glare and whose lips pulled away from its teeth in a feral snarl. It reached out.
Inside her head came voices shouting, Run…run…run…
Advice she didn’t need. Her skin prickled into gooseflesh. Her heart skittered. “Hey!” Cait lurched forward and grabbed Jason’s arm. His foot slipped from the boot. He turned to retrieve it, but she shoved him forward. “Forget it—move!”
The caretaker stood at the bottom of the hill, his dark face tightening, eyes widening as he stared at the statue Jason had yet to see.
“Cait—my boot. What the hell’s gotten into you?”
The temperature was dropping fast. Didn’t he feel it? “No time. Run!”
She grabbed his hand and pulled him down the rise, falling in beside the caretaker, who didn’t need convincing.
“Holy Mary, mother of God…” he whispered under his breath.
“Consecrated ground,” she blurted, racing along, pulling still on Jason’s sleeve.
“It’s all consecrated ground. It’s a damn cemetery,” Jason muttered. Then his jaw dropped. “What the fuck?”
An angel with its serene face tilted toward the sky opened its eyes and peered down at them, the sockets hollow and black.
Another waft of cold air buffeted Cait’s back. “A crypt!” she bit out. “We need something covered.”
“Follow me,” the caretaker said, his burly body surprisingly nimble as he cut across a row of graves and headed to the east side of the graveyard.
The cold tendrils grew stronger, clawing at their backs. The trio’s labored breaths puffed in frozen clouds.
“Here,” whispered the caretaker, stopping at a stucco-and-concrete crypt and pulling out a ring of keys. His fingers shook as he flipped through them, found the one he needed, and unlocked the door.
The three of them lunged inside and slammed the door behind them.
Cait set her back to the door, digging in her heels. The door shuddered against her.
“What’s goin’ on, Cait?” Jason asked, his voice tightening, his gaze jumping from her to the worker.
The caretaker’s dark face was ashen. “Some bad mojo goin’ on here.”
“Did I mention that Henry’s killer isn’t human?” she said, her breaths ragged.
“No, you didn’t,” Jason replied with a nasty snarl. “What is it with you? Can’t you trust anyone?”
“I’m sorry, Jason. I never expected a freaking wraith to follow us here.” The door continued to rattle, and Cait began to worry about the stained glass panels at the far side of the crypt. Although she’d given up on God a long time ago, she made the sign of the cross over her chest.
“Why are you doing that?” Jason said, his expression growing pinched. “This is hallowed ground, right? Aren’t we’re safe?”
Cait grimaced while saying a silent prayer that was true. “Reflex. The bastards scare the bejesus out of me.”
Jason gave her a grim smile. “Paddy O’Connell’s daughter to the end.”
The caretaker lifted a shaky hand like a child requesting permission to speak.
“What?” Cait bit out as the door rattled harder.
“’Pears we’re safe in here, but how the heck to do we git out? We gonna die here?”
She wouldn’t admit to the two men who were looking to her for all the answers that she hadn’t strategized beyond finding shelter.
Cait slid down the door, letting the wind ravage outside unchecked. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the ratty, red flannel bag. For a long moment, she stared. Then, drawing her courage around her like a cloak, she crushed it in her fist.
It was just fabric, filled with desiccated flowers soaked in dragon tree oil. Not a precious gift her mother had given her. She had to try something.
Setting her face in harsh lines, she aimed a glare their way. “Either one of you have a lighter?”
The winner of the gift certificate is Belinda Baker! Belinda, email me to arrange delivery of your prize. Congrats!
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Today, just to entice you to keep reading, I’m offering a small gift, a $5.00 Amazon eGift certificate, to one lucky commenter. Just enough to buy a Kindle version of this book with a little something left over. *wink*
Yes, there’s spooky, creepy happenings throughout this book. Funny moments, too. But you want to know about Sam and Cait, whether they work as a couple and an investigative team. They’ve been on-again, off-again since their divorce. Their last separation was nearly a year. Sam is resistant to trusting Cait to keep it together, and she’s caused him worry and heartbreak. Cait loves Sam, but hasn’t trusted him with her secrets. The one thing that neither has control over is their overwhelming lust for each other. Take a peek inside their lives.
Here, Sam is delivering Cait to her front door after they’ve reviewed the day’s discoveries at Cait’s favorite bar. Sam’s already irritated because Cait withheld some information and insisted on meeting at O’Malley’s, even though she drank Cokes rather than her usual scotch. It’s been raining…
The parking brake grated. A car door slammed behind her.
She grinned, careful to wipe her face clear of amusement as she unlocked her apartment door. Before she could push it open, a hand reached past her and shoved it wide. Another hand slid around her waist and forced her over the threshold.
Shrugging away from his hold, she pretended to resist. The door slammed behind her, and before she could face him, his wet body crowded hers against the wall of the foyer, hands gripping her wrists and gliding them upward.
“Gonna pat me down?” she gasped, wishing those hands were caressing her.
“Just shut up,” he ground out, pressing close enough she felt his rigid cock grind against her buttocks.
Anger chasing desire was a heady cocktail. Cait knew all too well that the madder Sam got, the brighter the fireworks. “This is my house,” she bit out, “and I didn’t invite you in.”
“I’m not a fucking vampire, and you left me a key,” he whispered in her ear. “Invitation enough.”
So he’d figured that out. “Maybe I just forgot it was there.”
“You’re a lot of things, but careless isn’t one of ’em.”
The low, sexy rumble of his voice was doing a number on her, rasping nerve endings, igniting her arousal like kerosene poured onto smoldering coals. “Whatcha gonna do, Detective Pierce?” she asked, letting him hear the breathless excitement in her voice.
“Not what I should, that’s for sure,” he growled.
The whispered regret stung.
Stiffening, she muttered, “I’ll make it easy for you to do the right thing. I want you to go.”
“Liar.” His hand slid between her waist and the wall, then skimmed upward to cup her breast. He squeezed, shaping its fullness with his broad palm.
Another hand glided between her legs, and fingers strummed over her clothed sex.
Cait bit her lip, trying to hold back a moan. But her body betrayed her in a very obvious way.
“You’re wet, O’Connell,” Sam drawled beside her ear.
“So, it’s been a while. Coulda happened with anybody.”
“Sorry I’m not Jason?” he whispered, pinching her nipple.
The sensual torture earned a throaty groan. Then she remembered he’d asked something. “Jason?”
Thank you all so much for the great suggestions! The winner of the free pendant is Jackie! Jackie, send me your snail mail address and I’ll ship your prize!
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If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win an altered art pendant made by me!
I’ve been wondering what I can do for a contest to run alongside the release of Shattered Souls. Something that will entice you to stop by and check out the excerpts here, and something that will encourage you to talk the book up with your friends.
I love this book. Adore the characters. The hero and heroine are very strong individuals. The supporting cast is fun. I loved writing them all into the next story and having Cait find her witchy footing, albeit reluctantly.
So what might help you decide to read the book? Yes, I’ll share excerpts to tempt you. How about you tell me what would entice you to talk up the book and post it on your FB or website? Does anyone know how to run contests on Goodreads? What sort of prizes stimulate interest there? I’ve never spent much time there because I feel lost. I don’t know how to take advantage. I need advice! But in the meantime, meet Sam and Cait.
[Right now, you can save $7.00 on the Kindle version of Shattered Souls. Follow the link!]
The gruff voice was familiar. Felt right, hearing it in her bedroom—for all of two seconds. Then she pried open her eyes, wincing at the overhead light, and stared at Samuel Pierce.
Same taut expression, same hard body. Brown hair cut short, freshly shaved, and not a crease in his pale dress shirt or dark trousers. A silk tie ringed his strong neck. Strong lines bracketed his mouth, the corners turned down.
He didn’t seem particularly happy to be here. Which was sort of sad. Once upon a time, he’d sworn there was nowhere else he wanted to be more.
“How’d you get in?” she muttered. Was he aware his thumbs caressed her shoulders? She glanced down, then back up again.
Sam looked down at his hands, let go of her shoulders, and straightened. With his gaze still on hers, he raked a hand through his hair and sighed.
Now all six feet two inches of his sturdy frame loomed, bristling with ill-concealed impatience.
“Damn, Caitlyn, you still have a spare key on top of the door frame. I told you it wasn’t a good idea a long time ago. Anyone can let himself in.”
“Only person ever used it was you,” she grumbled, rubbing a hand over her eyes. “What time’s it?”
“Time to get your ass out of bed.”
“I don’t work on your schedule anymore.” She glanced at the clock on her nightstand and pulled on a scowl that would have had a lesser man backing up. “It’s eight fucking o’clock. Whatever it is can wait.”
Next Tuesday, January 29th, Shattered Souls releases. For the next few days, I’ll share pages from the book and talk to you about what inspired it. I know some of you have been waiting patiently for me to write another longer novel. Well, here it is!
Will you help me?
Authors will tell you that the best advertising for a book is word of mouth. Friends telling other friends about something they’re reading or are about to read is better than any ad I could run on an online review site. If you could start the buzz, I’d appreciate it. This is a book I know in my gut is very good. My editor when she bought the book told me my heroine’s voice was unforgettable. And what started as the first book in a series I thought would move from one couple to the next, ended up being centered on Cait and her ex-husband Sam. You will fall in love with Sam. And come book two, you’ll be ready, for a brief moment in the middle of that book, to kill me. But to get there, you must start with Shattered Souls. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, tell someone you’re going to be reading this book. Talk about it on GoodReads. Simple as that. And if you have a website and are looking for things to post, well I can hook you up!
So, how did the idea come to me? One night I laid down to go to sleep. The room was dark, but there was enough light to reflect shadowy images in the mirror. I thought I saw something move. And you know that creepy feeling—the one that lifts the hairs on your arms?—I had to get up, turn on the light and check out that mirror or I’d never get to sleep. It was as I was looking into the mirror, and looking into the sides, that you think you shouldn’t be able to see, that the idea came to me for the start of this story.
I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep. In fact, I knew in an instant where the story was going to take place, and I needed a road trip. I called a friend of mine, Shayla Kersten, and told her I needed to go to Memphis the very next weekend, could she come with me?
The next weekend was Easter weekend, but she was on board and we made that trip. If you’d like to see something of what we saw that weekend, check out these links. You will see some of those places reflected in the story I wrote: Rollin’ on the Trolley, Memphis Metal,Charmin’ Memphis PD, and this photo, taken at Edgemont cemetery, most definitely was featured in the book…
I had two people in particular to thank for this book. The first was Shayla, because she was game to help me out and didn’t mind that I had her crawling up hilltops for me or embarrassing her by asking people very inappropriate questions as I researched.
And there’s Virginia Ettel, who helped me craft “mama’s poem” at the start of the book. I hate writing poetry, and I do it very badly. That’s okay when Cait’s the spellcaster, but I needed something better for that first spell-poem.
Tomorrow, I’ll share the opening of the book so you can meet my hero and heroine.