Happy Halloween! I hope you all have your candy ready for the Trick-or-Treeting kids. I live in a rural area—behind a gate. If anyone shows up at our door, we’ll think we’re about to be robbed. So, needless to say, we have to take our own kidlets to Halloween “events” in order for them to have some fun. Hopefully, the strong storms we’re expecting today will be gone by tonight… So, tell me your Halloween plans…
It’s the 31st, which also means it’s the end of my October contest! I promised one lucky winner a bracelet, one I’d make according to her color preferences. The winner can take a look around my Etsy store to see what I do and then we’ll talk. I’ll make a stretchy bracelet, something she’ll love wearing. But who is our lucky winner?
I chose the blog date and the name of the winner using a random number generator. October’s winner is…Danielle Estes (Oct. 12)! Congratulations, Danielle! I’ll be sending you an email!
New Contest for November
Let’s make this super easy. Since Christmas is just around the corner, I’ll help one reader with her gift budget!
What can you win? An Amazon gift card worth $20!
What do you have to do to win? Simple. Comment on my blog—on any posting, from now thru November 30th! I’ll choose a winner at random from among all the comments. Good luck!
Hi All! Cynthia D’Alba here. Mega thanks to Delilah Devlin for being the Kick-Off blog for my Texas Tango Release Tour.
Today is Halloween Eve. Growing up, Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. I loved the dressing up, the becoming someone totally different from who you are every day. I’ve been everything from Jeanie from I Dream of Jeanie, to the standard hobo to Ms. Arkansas. Now, I have to confess, the year I played Ms. Arkansas I was twenty-five and teaching at a school of nursing! And before you ask…NO! I was never Ms. Arkansas. My singing and piano playing would have cleared the room…talk about scaring the poor children to death. 😀
Even today, I love to dress up in my cowboy hat, boots and denim. Makes this city girl feel just like a real cowgirl.
In TEXAS TANGO, both my hero and heroine are wearing masks to the outside world. Travis, as the long-suffering widower and Caroline, as the happy-go-lucky doctor with nothing to tie her down. Sometimes a costume can be fun, like the one I’m wearing in my picture for a book signing. But other times, the costume and mask are hiding true feelings from the world as well as the wearer, as in TEXAS TANGO. I wanted Travis and Caroline to have to face what they really want out of life and have to confess it to themselves as well as to the world.
TEXAS TANGO releases from Samhain Publishing in one week. It’s the second book in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series. Here’s a little more what it’s about.
Their wedding might be fake, but there’s no faking the mutual attraction.
Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 2
Dr. Caroline Graham is happy with her nomadic lifestyle fulfilling short-term medical contracts. No emotional commitments, no disappointments. She’s always the one to walk away, never the one left behind.
But now her great-uncle is gone and her grandmother is on her deathbed, more concerned about Caroline’s lack of a husband than her own demise. What’s the harm in a little white lie? If a wedding will give her grandmother peace, then a wedding she shall have.
Travis Montgomery has one dream left—to build the ranch he and his wife planned before he lost her to cancer. There’s just one thing standing between him and the last bit of acreage he needs—a last living heir who has one traveling foot out the door…and an unusual request that challenges his determination to never again place his heart at risk.
The land he wants in exchange for a faux marriage. Everyone wins. Until things start to snowball…and the hearts they stand to lose are their own.
Warning: This book contains a tortured widower who doesn’t want a wife and an independent doctor who doesn’t want a husband. Hot stuff between the sheets and failed efforts to avoid emotional involvements.
Want more? Click HERE for the opening of Chapter One.
TEXAS TANGO can be pre-order now from any of the stores listed below or check your favorite online store to purchase.
Thanks again to the Delicious Delilah Devlin for having me here today. I love love love to hear from readers and there are lots of ways to find me. Online, you can find me most days at my website or my group blog.
To send me snail mail, write to:
Cynthia D’Alba PO Box 2116 Hot Springs, AR71914
Now for the fun stuff! I have an exclusive two-day giveaway running today and tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll be here. You can sign up both days. So what might you win? Check out the Rafflecopter below! Good luck.
AND as my Release Tour moves into November, I have incredible jewelry prizes and some personalized prizes. So be sure to check my personal blog every day. It’ll remind you where I am that day so you can earn lots of entries.
And last, but not least, I have freebies for the asking. Texas Tango Cowboy Hat jar openers, Texas Two Step Cowboy boot jar openers, pens, postcards, trading cards. Drop by my contact page and let your request there.
One lucky person who leaves a comment here today will pick up a western-themed Christmas ornament, so be sure to leave an email address so I can find you.
Thanks Delilah for inviting me over today! Hope to see some of you on my upcoming tour stops.
I can’t believe it’s almost November! Where did the year go? And all you writers out there know what November is, right? It’s National Novel Writing Month!
According to NaNoWriMo’s website: “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Here’s a little more about how it all works.”
I love the annual challenge. When I’m dragging my feet about writing those darn words, and letting my confidence sag at the thought of writing a long story, I remind myself about what I learn every year in NaNoWriMo—50,000 words a month is doable. I like breaking it down by day: 50,000 words in 30 days is just 1667 words a day. That doesn’t sound so insurmountable now, right?
I’ve already updated my NaNo page. Yes, if you join the NaNo challenge, you set up a page on their website. I love seeing the NaNo-meter increase every day. And I love seeing my friends’ progress too! If you’re thinking of joining the challenge, be sure to add me. My NaNo name is DelilahDevlin.
Are you joining the challenge? If so, let me know your NaNo name!
I’m heading to the big city of Little Rock (just kidding, I think it’s only about 100k folks there!), but will be checking back in with y’all later this afternoon.
The winner of Saturday’s Flashback contest is…#14, Rachelle Lerner! Congratulations, Rachelle! I’ll be in touch to arrange delivery of your free download!
Don’t forget, everyone—my monthly blog contest ends this Thursday! Be sure to check out the rules (Pssst! All you have to do to win is comment on a blog!). Stuck for something to say about today’s blog? Just congratulate Rachelle. Or tell me how much you like or dislike Mondays! I sure hate this Monday, because I’ll be stuck in a doctor’s office having her read me the riot act about my weight. 🙁
Let me start by saying thanks to Delilah for having me on the blog today!
Since Halloween is right around the corner, I wanted to talk about ghosts and haunted houses. I lived in a haunted house for numerous years. It was a very beautiful, historical house, but never really felt like a true home. Over the years several visitors had said they’d seen or felt the presence of someone standing in their room at night. We didn’t talk much about these events until after I had moved to a new house. That’s when the stories were confirmed by relatives and friends.
There were two places, specifically, that visitors had had these experiences. The first one was the guest room. The door leading to the sitting room was originally an outside door. Everyone who stayed in that room said they’d been awakened in the middle of the night due to hearing the door slam. But it never opened. I had heard the noise myself on numerous nights, but never spoke about it.
The second hot spot in the house was the upstairs. In my bedroom, I ‘felt’ the presence of what I perceived to be a young woman in a long white gown standing by the windows. I also felt her in the master bedroom turret, again by the windows. What confirmed her existence was a conversation I had with my grandmother who lived next door. I had never discussed this ‘woman’ before with anyone. But one day, my grandmother asked me if I had any idea who was the woman in the white gown at the windows. She had seen her. I had only felt her. And despite me never telling my grandmother this, she saw what I had sensed.
There were other ghost tales from the house as well, including a old, bearded man seen in the kitchen, a civil war era ghost in the hallway, and a ghost in my brother’s room.
I had one cat who refused to go into the guest room at night. She would stand at the step leading up to the room from the family room and hiss.
I did discuss the situation of my haunted house, including additional details, with one of the founders of T.A.P.S. / Ghost Hunters. It was a very interesting conversation. He felt the same as I did, that the spirits in the house were not bad, but I did have a connection with them.
Nothing bad was ever felt in the house, but it was strange knowing we weren’t the only family/inhabitants there.
In my book SHADOWS OF THE SOUL I have a little ghost girl. I enjoyed writing her into the plot. Perhaps living in a haunted house sparked the idea for this character.
Do you have a haunted house or ghost story to share? I’d love to hear it.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Have a Happy Halloween!
SHADOWS OF THE SOUL
(Book 1 of the Paradisian Chronicles)
By Angelique Armae
Publisher: Diversion Books
When Hell’s sexiest bad boy–Nicolai Valentine–defied Lucifer, he lost everything.
Now Heaven’s fearless human warrior–Isabel Heart–has come to Nicolai’s rescue.
When the two meet…
A haunting past is reborn…
Isabel Godfroie Heart is a Paradisian Scholar-an immortal human trained in the ways of Heaven and Hell-who’s suffering from memory loss. During her last battle, a dark force erased specific portions of her past life memories. Now she remembers little of times past, save for the fact she’s a demon slayer mentored by the archangel Gabriel. When ordered to a new post to help translate a volume of ancient text from a forbidden verse, Isabel is forced to work with the dark prince Nicolai Valentine, a soul who may or may not be responsible for her memory loss. If only she didn’t find the tempting creature so hard to resist…
Born to a fallen angel and a mortal mother, Nicolai Valentine is a prince of the Grigorcov, the children of the fallen sons of God. Searching for the lost chalice that will save his kin from eternal damnation, Nicky unknowingly unleashes the Hadean Virus, a dark entity targeting members of the Grigorcov. Now the entity has been unleashed on man’s world and Nicky’s in a race against time to find the antidote that will stop this deadly parasite. But in order to keep the Hadean virus from attacking again, Nicolai must enlist the help of Isabel Godfroie Heart, the Paradisian Scholar he was unable to save from the wrath of Hell centuries ago…
Giveaway: A set of book cover magnets for Shadows of the Soul and The Bride Wore Demon Dust
Send your name and email address to: email@example.com to enter the drawing. Please put ‘magnet contest’ in the subject line. One winner will be chosen at random from the list of entries. US and Canada residents only, please.
Angelique Armae is a native New Yorker who’s as zany as the city she grew up in. As a child her favorite toy was Emerald The Witch, a small doll with green eyes, green hair and purple skin.
Miss Armae is published with Diversion Books and ImaJinn Books. Her books have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the Sapphire Award, P.E.A.R.L. Award and Word Weaving Award. Angelique’s first novel, COME THE NIGHT, made Fictionwise’s Best of the Best list, rounding out the top five best selling dark fantasy books of the year. Her current book SHADOWS OF THE SOUL, a novel about angels, demons, vampires and the humans who interact with them, made Amazon’s Kindle Bestsellers list.
Aside from writing, Angelique also dabbles in digital art. She is the recipient and two time nominee of the Dream Realm Award for best cover art.
When not working, Ms. Armae enjoys traveling, learning about the ancient Celts, exploring history and learning new languages. Angelique studied history and French literature at SkidmoreCollege.
I’m having a lazy Saturday. No plans other than playing with beads and posting blogs. Maybe I’ll get out of my pajamas. Maybe I won’t. I ran errands all day yesterday and attended an art guild dinner last night. I think I’m ready to return to hermit mode. 🙄
Do you have big plans for the weekend? Or are you like me—enjoying the first really cool weather, cuddling in blankies and sipping hot cocoa? Hope you enjoy the excerpt from First Knight and good luck with the contest! I’ll post the winner Monday morning!
Post a comment and you’ll be entered to win a free download of this book!
“Delilah Devlin has given us another sizzling hot read with FIRST KNIGHT… First Knight is the perfect erotic paranormal romance… I loved First Knight and it rocked my world.” ~5 Angels, Fallen Angels Reviews
“Delilah Devlin is a wonderful author and First Knight is a good example of her amazing skill with the written word… This is a tale of deep, true love with a little something extra!”~5 Hearts, The Romance Studio
“This is a truly beautiful love story… This short story has much in it to enjoy and to actually inspire. It is a story about redemption and about finding the “silver lining” in the cloud.”~4.25. Dr. J’s Book Place
While hiding her true identity, Maddie must seduce the mysterious Lord Garon to cement their marriage contract to ensure she won’t be returned into her lecherous stepfather’s care.
Fresh from Crusade in Palestine, Lord Garon has a secret he must hide, a hunger that must be fed, and a dark and uncertain future. Having shed himself of a fiancée he never met, he’s home to lick his wounds. The only thing he wants is a warm-blooded meal—but the new housekeeper is strangely insistent on giving him much more.
Maddie shivered at the creaks and groans the portcullis made as it slowly rose. The rain-laden wind carried the noises and filled the silences in between with a howling that sounded like the hounds from hell had arrived at the castle gate.
Shouts outside the curtain wall had alerted them only minutes before of Lord Garon d’Albermarle’s arrival. With only a bliaut over her sleeping shift, Maddie stood on the first step of the keep, holding a tray with a goblet of wine, ready to offer a proper greeting to her overlord.
“Are you sure this is the way you wish to go about this, M-Maddie?” Egbert asked, fidgeting at her side.
She swallowed against the sudden dryness in her mouth and nodded.
“It be on your head then,” he said, his always-mournful tone as dire as one of Father Ansel’s Sunday sermons. She sent thanks above that the cranky priest was away or her deception wouldn’t last past the introductions.
The clatter of dozens of hooves on the cobbled bridge beyond the gate filled the castle yard with thunder. From the encroaching darkness, the sounds were as ominous as the dark shapes looming on the gatehouse walls. The torches she’d ordered lit sputtered and flared, distorting and elongating shapes so the men riding through the entrance appeared as tall as giants.
Already tired and on edge because she hadn’t slept since a messenger had arrived, warning the castle of his lordship’s arrival days before, Maddie’s fevered imagination painted them darker and larger still.
“Be they devils?” Egbert asked, his narrow shoulders shaking. “No one travels on a night with nary a speck of light in the sky.”
“Hush!” The storm whipping at her clothing and the fatigue from months of worry over this very moment combined to make her hands shake and blackened an already foul mood.
The horsemen entered the bailey and a large figure separated from the contingent who approached the keep. As he drew closer, her fears weren’t eased one whit. The warrior sat atop a huge black destrier, forcing her to raise her gaze quite high to seek his face.
He wore a helm that left only his square jaw exposed. The darkness cast by the metal nose guard concealed his eyes. Only his mouth gave a hint of his mood—a thin, straight line with the corners crimped downward.
Under his stare, Maddie’s knees trembled but her tray never rattled. She squared her shoulders and shot a glance about her at the castle folk. “Stephen!” she called to the stable master. “See to their horses.”
In moments, boys scrambled to accept reins, and the creak of leather and the clank of iron filled the air.
The stable master himself approached the dark warhorse at the foot of the steps but the mounted warrior’s gaze never left Maddie.
She licked dry lips with an even drier tongue. “Lord Garon?” she asked, although there could be no question who led this contingent. All gazes remained on his intimidating figure. “Please come inside, milord. Your people will see to the comfort of your men.”
His mouth twisted. “And who will see to mine?”
Maddie’s heart leapt to the back of her throat. “I will, milord.”
A long pause indicated he looked her up and down. “And who might you be, madam?” he asked, his voice a deep, hollow rumble.
Maddie remembered to curtsy and then straightened, girding herself to speak the lie aloud. “Your housekeeper. I take care of things now.” The latter, at least, was the truth.
Lord Garon grunted. Without a glance at the stable master, he tossed down his reins and dismounted.
When he turned toward her, Maggie’s breath caught. Lord, he’s a tall man. I thought it was just the horse.
Maddie lifted the ornate chalice from the tray to deliver her much-rehearsed welcome.
Instead, his lordship’s lips pressed into a tighter line and he brushed past her.
She was left gasping on the bottom step. “What a rude ogre!” she exclaimed, annoyed he hadn’t fallen in line with the first step of her plan.
“Watch your tongue, madam,” an accompanying knight said tersely as he followed the lord up the steps. “He has exceptional hearing.”
“M-Maddie?” Egbert said, nodding toward the door.
She shoved the tray at his belly and grasped her skirts high to rush up the steps.
The plan had seemed so simple. All she needed was to get him alone and addle his sight with a little wine or ale so he’d not care she wasn’t the comeliest creature in the keep. Then she would seduce him.
And the sooner, the better. The longer she took losing her virginity, the greater the risk he would discover her identity. The truth was, she would rather copulate with the devil himself than be returned home.
However, this business of copulation, which had seemed a simple, messy, perhaps even enjoyable act, according to the cook, now promised to be a daunting trial.
The lord of the keep turned out to be a giant and as dour as a priest at confession. The thought of being naked with him and accepting his manstaff into her body frankly petrified her.
She rushed through the massive doors, hoping her preparations would meet with his approval. Nothing else could be allowed to mar her well-thought-out plan.
His lordship stood in the center of the hall, hands on hips. Unlike his men, he wore no chain mail, only a leather hauberk to protect his body. He’d removed his headgear, revealing hair as black as midnight and a face as hard as carved granite.
He was everything she’d remembered and more—more frightening, more imposing—and more beautiful because of the differences. Thanks be to God, he hadn’t recognized her.
His gaze narrowed on the hall and she looked around to see what might have displeased him already.
Around him servants scurried, delivering warm food to the men-at-arms as boys eagerly divested them of their armor. If she hadn’t been observing him so closely, she might not have detected the change in his posture. He scarce seemed to notice the din of activity. His mouth lost a little firmness, his hands unclenched on his hips and his chest rose and fell deeply.
In that instant, Maddie lost a measure of her fear. Here was a man savoring his first night home after a long absence. He had a heart and cared for something at least. Perhaps he wouldn’t be a complete troll when making her his wife.
This snippet is from page 69 of my third in the series, “Immortal Relations Coming Out.” The scene is the wedding of the vampire daughter of Magdalena and Gary whose name is Eviana to the human, Victor (soon to be her husband):
We boarded several limousines which whisked us over to where the marriage ceremony would be held and there we saw many of our old friends who had been there the day Magdalena and I had wed at the same location. Eviana had on the same dress Magdalena had worn the day she and I were married. It had a few minor alterations since Eviana was not quite as tall but had an ample bust and wanted the neckline plunging to show off one of her best features. Aside from these modifications, and the dazzling white color, it had the same haut-couture cut as the light blue, lacy, scalloped, and layered, shape-hugging dress I’d seen Magdalena in the first time I’d met her.
I guess I’d been so overwhelmed by the surprise my friends had prepared in my own wedding to Magdalena that I hadn’t really noticed all the white flowers that I now saw and which smelled so very sweet… I think they were Gardenia’s arranged hanging in twists around and down polls placed alongside as well as in the back and in front of the wedding venue. As I walked Eviana down the aisle, I could hear her thoughts of overwhelming love for Victor and the beauty of it was so intense that it was all I could do to keep from crying. I also could hear Victor’s concern that he might faint due to the picture of loveliness walking toward him and prepared to be his bride. I sent him my thoughts; Steady on young man, the ceremony will be over before you know it and you’ll have a long time to enjoy your life with this wonderful lady. If you can’t read her thoughts right now, I can and I can confirm her deep love for you. I am so very proud to welcome you into the family as my son-in-law! What is it the Brits say, something about keeping a stiff upper-lip? Well, just keep SOMETHING stiff for a little bit longer. Then I smiled at him and he smiled back, or maybe he was smiling as his future bride drew nigh. Whatever it was, he seemed to take courage in the stars he saw in her eyes. At this realization I could feel tears on my own cheeks.
Once again, Vladimir had a gift of a dazzling five carat Red Ruby mounted in a Gold ring. This looked to be a twin to the one he had provided when I wed Magdalena. I was sure this was also one from the Hermitage collection for Victor, the groom, to place on the finger of Eviana, his bride.
There was a reception held afterwards; however I only got a parting glance of Victor and Eviana as food evidently wasn’t on their minds. Vladimir had arranged for them to stay in the bedroom at the Menshikov Palace which was completed in 1721 and was the most luxurious building during the time of Peter the Great.
Soon, Vladimir had corralled us and we were transported to the same palace where we entered a private suite of rooms that had been prepared for us. There we found Vlad, Grandmother and Roger and after hugs and kisses we sat down to discuss the wedding and what we had accomplished at the Canadian Coven.
* * * * *
The cover from the first book, Immortal Relations, showing Gary recently converted to a vampire, Magdalena and Eviana with the fog shrouded Residency Castle in the background (a local art student did this cover for me). Read the rest of this entry »