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Archive for January, 2014

Adele Downs: A Cowboy Heart Stays True
Friday, January 10th, 2014

A Cowboy Heart Stays True

A cowboy on horseback might fade into the sunset at the end of a traditional western saga, but our beloved American icon won’t disappear anytime soon. The resurgence in movies, television, and books about heroes like those on hit TV series Longmire, Hell on Wheels, and Justified remind us why we love those hunky alpha men. These handsome cowboys are loners but not lonely, dedicated to justice and a cause, and remain tantalizingly out of reach. Once a cowboy commits to a woman, though, his heart stays true.

KISSING HER COWBOY character Treymont Woods was inspired by the classic western yarn. Our hero is forced to take light duty work around Breezy Meadows Ranch after a rodeo accident. While Trey’s body heals, he offers riding lessons to Houston locals on the greatest horse that ever lived, Big Blue. When police officer Daisy Phillips arrives for her first session, sparks fly. But her invisible wounds run deep, making it hard for her to form connections. KISSING HER COWBOY is the story of two broken people who heal on the road to their happily ever after.


A Lunchbox Romance Short Story
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A cowboy with a fractured back and a cop with a broken spirit heal on a Texas ranch with the help of a stallion named Big Blue.


“Oh, Lord.” Treymont Woods kicked up dust on his boots as he sauntered from the stables to the woman who just had to be his new riding student. Her flaming red hair swooshed from one side of her shoulders to the other as she watched his stallion, Big Blue, canter inside the corral. Her hands, knuckles white, clutched the fence and every muscle in her tall, slim figure looked tighter than rail posts. Before he could get to her, she pivoted toward the parking area, moving her feet like she was fixin’ to run.

“Hey there!” He called out as a distraction. By the time Trey reached the woman’s side, he could hear her breathing like she’d raced a Texas mile. Before he could introduce himself, she turned to him with wide green eyes and shouted, “He’s huge!” Pink splotches bloomed under the freckles on her pale skin.

She licked her bottom lip and shook her head. “No, no, no, no….” and started backing away. “I can’t do this. Keep my deposit. I’ll figure something else out.”

Trey lifted his hands in mock surrender. “Okay. No problem. You don’t have to ride if you don’t want to.”  Her jeans looked too tight for riding, anyway, and that white blouse would be smudged inside five minutes. Hadn’t the woman ever been to a ranch before?

She stopped moving then and frowned at him, causing twin lines to form above her nose. Her adorable nose, now that he’d gotten a decent look. In fact, everything about the woman seemed downright appealing, despite her reaction to Big Blue. Who in their right mind wouldn’t love the greatest horse that ever lived, on sight?

About Adele Downs:

AdeleDownsPublicityPhoto (2)Adele Downs writes contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report), the trade journal of Romance Writers of America, and has presented workshops for writers. When she isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

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Buy Link: Kissing Her Cowboy

Dana Lorraine: Dying to Love Her
Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Happy New Year everyone! I’m Dana Lorraine, writer of dirty words and sexy men. Thank you to the wonderfully talented Delilah Devlin for hosting me on her blog today. I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate the release of my paranormal erotic ménage, Dying to Love Her!

So I always liked to write. When I was in high school I wrote for the school paper and never shied away from an essay contest. In college I didn’t cringe (too much) when a lengthy term paper was assigned, but it wasn’t until I started writing book reviews that I realized what I wanted to do was write stories.

I’m an avid reader when I have the time. Sadly, there hasn’t been much reading as of late but I always find a spare moment for my favorite authors and series (J.R. Ward and R.G. Alexander…I’m waiting).

Before I started writing I would read four to five novels a month plus shorter stories. I used my check from Barnes & Noble to pay for my addiction and when they became popular I bought a Kindle (before the Nook was created) so I could feed my habit anywhere and anytime of the day.

Those books I loved I had to tell the world about so I started writing reviews. A few sentences were never enough for me. I had to pen witty paragraphs. I didn’t have an interest in leaving a review that wasn’t well written or anything but glowing…that is until I started writing romance myself.

It’s not that my reviews became negative but when I didn’t connect with a story I now knew why. If I got bored it was because there was too much passive voice. If the sex scenes fell flat it was because they were all tell and no show. So I started leaving reviews that were more like the critiques I would give to my critique partner.

Then I finished Dying to Love Her and it got published by Ellora’s Cave, *insert the most awesome booty-shaking happy dance here*and I stopped writing reviews—for the most part. If you’re one of my favorite authors I want to show the love and I’ll leave a review but otherwise I shy away.

Now I know how much work goes into writing a book and what a personal experience it is. I’m not as quick to judge an author’s choices unless asked to critique for them personally and then I’ll be brutal with my opinion. And I’d hope my critique partner would do the same for me because I’d much rather see those critical opinions before the book gets published. LOL!

I’m still a fan of reviews although I rarely use them as a way to select books. I’m a go with your gut kind of reader. If your blurb and cover catches my attention, I’m sold. I’m a little different—I like to read reviews after I’ve read the book to see if readers share the same opinions as me (kinda like a book club but without the food and wine).

Recently, I read a blog post by a very talented writer who said she didn’t read book reviews (really not one?) because they are meant for readers and not writers. I don’t think that’s true at all. Every time I wrote a review I wrote it with the author in mind. I think authors who don’t at least take a peek at their reviews every once in a while are missing out on an opportunity to receive some very constructive feedback and hopefully a few five stars. Because in the end, don’t we write the book for the reader and if we don’t take the reader’s experience into account aren’t we missing the whole point?


When Melanie Woodson joins Empriva Fitness she expects to lose weight, not gain two sexy vampire personal trainers. With an exercise regimen that includes passionate horizontal workouts, fat-burning orgasms and lusty words of encouragement, she’s in serious danger of forgetting their relationship is based on a business agreement and not mutual attraction.

Alec Kosta and Rook Abernathy, best friends and owners of Empriva, have waited over a century for the right lifemate to come along. Now that they’ve found Melanie, with her endless curves and quick wit, they’re ready to give up countless lifetimes to spend just one with her.

But time isn’t on their side—they’ve tasted her blood and now mere days are all they have to convince her their love is real or risk losing their chance to be with her forever.

A Romantica® paranormal ménage erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


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Jasmine Haynes: Love, Valentine Style! (Contest)
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Delilah!

Happy New Year to everyone! I can hardly believe it’s 2014. Another year bites the dust! And what do I find in the stores now that Christmas is over. Valentine’s candy, cards, and assorted gifts! I have to admit I love Valentine’s Day. Sometimes the hubby and I go out, sometimes we stick close to home. This year it will be on a Friday, so it’s kind of a perfect date night. I’m thinking fondue. A reader recently told me that was her special Valentine’s date last year.

Heads up here, I’m doing a drawing for an ebook copy of my erotic romance Kinky Neighbors. Leave a comment on this blog along with your email address (this is will not be used for advertisement, it’s only so I can contact you if you win).

LVS300And because I love Valentine’s Day, this year I decided to be a part of a brand new Valentine’s anthology with never-before-published stories from some wonderful writers, Pamela Fryer, Haley Whitehall, Raine English, Lois Winston, Melinda Curtis. And me! We’re all in Love, Valentine Style!

Here’s a blurb for my story which is called Be My Other Valentine.

Five years ago, Grace was given a sacred duty by a woman dying of cancer: Every Valentine’s Day, Grace must deliver a special cake to a girl named Valentine, addressed from the girl’s mother in heaven. But this year, Grace’s van gives up the ghost before she delivers her cargo.

His daughter Valentine is all Brian has left of his wife, but he’s forgotten the cake Valentine receives every year, and they’ve moved to a new house with no way to contact the baker who follows his wife’s wishes.

In their quest to fulfill a dying woman’s last request, can Grace and Brian find their own Valentine?

So Grace is a fabulous baker and she makes wonderful specialty cakes for birthdays, weddings, and all occasions. Of course, I’m not a baker! So when I was putting the story together, I had to come up with some cool cake ideas. The little girl in the story, Valentine, is 5, so I had to think up all the cakes Grace has made over the years. I have to tell you, the internet is a fabulous tool. You can find just about anything you want with just a few keystrokes. So here’s a couple of web pages where I found some really fun cakes!

What’s great about this site is that there are recipes and instructions for making the cakes yourself. They’re great for a kid’s birthday party. I once made my husband a cake in the shape of cat. It was actually kind of cute, but the cake itself tasted terrible! Grace would never make a terrible cake. But she did make several of the creations I saw on this cool website! Here’s a little excerpt of the story:

He reached over to open the door. “It’s cold, get in.” When she hesitated, he added, “If your car won’t start, you won’t be able to turn on the heater.” He smiled and patted the seat next to him. “And I have seat warmers.”

“Oh God, you’re evil. I’ll put the cake on the floor behind the passenger seat. It won’t slide as much when you’re driving.”

He kept the engine running and pushed the buttons for both seat warmers. Her van was visible around the corner, and they would see when the tow truck arrived.

Settling beside him, she asked, “So I’ve been dying to know if your daughter likes the cakes.”

He smiled. Valentine was the light of his life. “She adores them.”

“Which one did she like best?”

He supposed it was like a painter or a musician or a writer asking if you liked their latest work. Her cakes were an art form. “The lamb. Or maybe that was just my favorite. Because Valentine was very partial to the pink and red ladybug.” There’d also been an amazing butterfly, its wings topped with colored fruit jellies arranged to look like a pink monarch, and a Finding Nemo fish, which had been pink instead of orange and accented with red stripes instead of black. “You’re very talented.”

Even in the shadows of the car, he recognized her blush. “Thank you. Valentine? For her birthday? I didn’t realize that was actually her name. Her mother didn’t say.”

His mood immediately spiraled. He hadn’t known what Marilyn planned until she’d done it. And when he’d seen the credit card bill later, he almost choked. But she was gone by then, and over the years, he’d realized what she’d given Valentine was worth every penny. In fact, it probably wasn’t enough. This woman—he hadn’t even asked her name—had already provided far more than the money Marilyn had paid her. A childhood’s worth of cakes, a mother lode of love. Why would she go to such lengths for a woman she didn’t know and a child who hadn’t even been born when she made the deal?

Hehe, there are the cakes! You can see samples of the lamb (they called it a sheep), Nemo, the butterfly, the ladybug. Of course, I changed the color to match Valentine’s favorite. Gosh, I should have used the panda, that one was cute, too! And what cake did Grace make for Valentine this year? LOL, you’ll have to read the story to find out!

Don’t forget to leave a comment and your email address to be entered in the drawing. You can find Love, Valentine Style exclusively on Amazon.

You can find me at:
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Thanks again for having me, Delilah!

Jasmine Haynes

What Does the Fox Say?
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Yeah, I got nuthin’ today—only because I’m obsessed with this song. If you’d been at my daughter’s house last night, you’d have thought we’d all joined the looney bin. My dd and I showed the little ones the video (what do they know about furries anyway, right?) and for the rest of the night, all you could hear was “What does the fox say? Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding…”

It’s catchy–like Ebola. You’ll see. I dare you to watch it just once. And pay attention to how many downloads this video has gotten!  🙂

Ann Jacobs: Keeping to the Facts
Monday, January 6th, 2014

Keeping to the Facts—Only the Facts, Please

Organization isn’t my strong point, so I’m always looking for gimmicks to minimize my frantic searches through completed books in a series to find that one vital piece of information that’s absolutely necessary to keep me from making a mistake that some discerning reader’s certain to pick up.

My writing style is linear—that is, I write stories from start to finish without leaving some piece of the puzzle to fill in at a later date. At least that’s what I try to do.

When writing a series, however, I have to make certain that the later books don’t contain information that contradicts some fact I already had established in an earlier book. I’ve learned the hard way that if my editor doesn’t catch these inconsistencies, some eager reader will. If I’m lucky, that reader will write and tell me—if I’m not, she’ll tell every one of her Facebook friends and I’ll be getting a lot of social media attention that I didn’t want.

There are lots of ways to avoid these embarrassing gaffes, from creating a very simple card file of pertinent facts to methods so complex that they can add months, not days to the timeline of writing a series—or even a standalone book for that matter.

Have you ever had to search back in a manuscript to find whether a secondary character’s eyes were blue or brown? Or whether you already mentioned a prop that now has significance later on in a story?

If so, then you’re a lot like me—and my lapses become more so as the time between having written the initial piece of information becomes greater. For example, I wrote the three-book, Caden Kink series over a six month period starting about eighteen months ago. Meanwhile I have started another totally unrelated series.

Therefore, when readers began asking me for a fourth story about the Caden patriarch, I needed to find a simple tool to help me gather information about characters and interactions among those characters which were already established in the first three books. I also needed to gather details about the common setting so as not to create inconsistencies in the new novella.

ajshowcase-scapple_headerScapple is a simple new application from Literature and Latte, designers of the much more complex writing aid, Scrivener. Scapple works as a brainstorming application that is part outliner, part mind-mapper, part writer’s journal. I’ve been using it lately to gather and relate information in Lovers’ Feud, Shotgun Relations and Wild One, that I will use in creating the backbone of a new story which must, by its definition, tie in closely with information I had already established bit by bit in the stories of the new hero’s three grown children.

Generally I find writing aids overrated. Scapple is not. As a matter of fact, it’s awesome! A very inexpensive tool, it allows the writer to jot down notes about characters, character interaction and setting, to arrange them logically in terms of the new book’s premise, and to make connections that make sense.

I’m very glad I stumbled onto Scapple. If you ever have trouble keeping up with what went before, whether in a single book or a series, I encourage you to try it. It’s available for Macs as well as PCs.

Ann Jacobs
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Join Ann on a Quest for Pleasure…two series, ten futuristic BDSM tales of brave heroes and the women they choose to take into a brave, new future:


No Bounds, available now from Ellora’s Cave and other online retailers

Michele Drier: Long Winter Nights
Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Long Winter Nights

SNAP_4_BOX_SETThese are the dark days of winter.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun rises at about 7:20 in the morning and sets at 4:55 in the afternoon.  This gives us just over nine-and-a-half hours of daylight. Not much time for leisure activities.

For a person like me, who has SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) these short days do make me sad…and blue, and not wanting to get out of bed.

Last winter, though I found a way to make it through this time of dark. I hung around with the Kandesky vampires.

This is their favorite time of the year—their biggest holiday is winter solstice, the longest night of the year. There may only be nine-and-a-half daylight hours, but there are fourteen-and-a-half hours of dark.

During the weeks before and after winter solstice, the family gathers in Hungary from around Europe and North America. Most festivities are at Baron Stefan Kandesky’s castle but the family’s Budapest properties also host visitors. They give gifts, have parties, visit with friends and relatives they haven’t seen for a year.

And last year was even more special because they were having a death penalty trial for their worst enemy, Matthais. He headed up the Huszar vampire clan, the Kandesky’s neighbors and bitter rivals for several centuries.

Set against this festive season are the Huszar’s years of treachery, violence and deceit. These are highlighted when Maxie Gwenoch, the regular who heads up SNAP, the Kandesky’s mega-business, must take the stand and tell her story of kidnapping and rape.

Jean-Louis, second-in-command of the Kandeskys and Maxie’s lover, a stunning five hundred year old Hungarian vampire, is carrying a load of guilt because he didn’t keep her safe. Now, he’s with her—especially through these long winter nights.

And he wants to marry her and turn her. Can she give up the sun for the one she loves? Can she give up the glorious sex to stay a regular?

When I’m with Maxie and Jean-Louis, I’m in an altered state of consciousness. Their world is filled with luxury, glamour and mind-blowing sex. Of course, there’s also violence, fire fights, blood and death. With a combination like that, my “real” world of cooking, laundry and bill paying looks good…not!

I recently saw Janet Evanovich speak and she said she lives in the world of Stephanie Plum when she’s writing. Can’t wait to get back to it every morning.

I understand.

These long winter nights are bearable now because I spend them with Jean-Louis, Maxie and the family.

mdmy bio pix

Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home.  During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

She writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries and the six-book Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series, and has just published her eighth book, SNAP: Happily Ever After? She’s working on the seventh book in the series, SNAP: White Nights, scheduled for publication in early 2014.

Flashback: Darkness Captured (Contest)
Saturday, January 4th, 2014

UPDATE: The winner of the Amazon gift certificate is…Gail Siuba!

* * * * *

If you’ve been visiting here a while, you know I love mythology, and that sometimes I interweave some of the stories I love into the stories I write. One such story is the ancient tale of Inanna. At least that was her name to the Sumerians. She has also been known as Ishtar and is perhaps the source of the story of Lilith. Inanna was the goddess of sexual love and fertility. She was bold and selfish and had a sister who was the Queen of the Land of the Dead, a crown Inanna coveted for herself.

At the heart of the stories in my Dark Realm series is Inanna. She’s never a major character, but her influence is felt throughout. She’s mysterious and beautiful, and evil to the core. Until you see her in The Land of the Dead, enslaved to the husband she lured there and left to save herself. Then you almost feel a little sorry for her. I tried to stay true to her spirit. She wasn’t completely without a heart. And she was a woman before she was a goddess, or in the case of my Inanna, a vampire. Enjoy this little glimpse inside Darkness Captured, the last of my Dark Realm stories.

Post a comment today and you’ll be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift
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Darkness Captured


“Delilah Devlin delivers an erotic tale of good and evil elevated to a higher level… The erotic scenes in this book are hotter than Hades and ten times more tempting. I dare you to resist!” ~ 5 Cups, Coffee Time Romance

“Another hot read of dark sensuality, riveting situations and jaw-dropping desire.” ~ Fresh Pick!, Fresh Fiction

“Devlin creates memorable characters with exceptional emotional depth. Her magical worldbuilding sets as atmospheric scene for a fast-paced story. The sexual tension runs high and the encounters are smokin’ hot.” 4 Stars, RT Book Reviews

Driven by insatiable desire, a werewolf will enter hell to rescue a princess captured by the Master of Demons…

Headstrong and proud—a royal creature of sinuous grace, all primal instinct and lethal beauty—the shapeshifter Gabriella has agreed to serve as emissary to the vampires who rule in the shadows of the New Orleans night. But she cannot resist the pull of the demon she glimpses on the other side of a mirror, and she is drawn to him hungrily, through a magical portal into the Land of the Dead. Now an eternal nightmare awaits Gabriella at the hands of a mesmerizing dark lord who satisfies her every erotic need…while slowly devouring her soul.

The powerful warrior wolf Guntram Brandt is responsible for the safety of the vanished princess he swore allegiance to years before. Yet it is more than a soldier’s loyalty that pulls Guntram down into the depths of nightmare—for Gabriella ignites within him a burning animal passion that must be satisfied.

But when offered an escape, will she follow her rescuer to safety—torn between her lustful obsession with the dark lord who has enslaved her and her fierce sensual attraction to the only wolf who could ever master her?

Gabriella landed on her knees in the middle of the Persian carpet. Once again facing the crudely carved stone walls of Alex Broussard’s magical bolt-hole. “Alex, you lousy bastard, you can’t do this to me—”

Her shout was cut short when the object of her bitter tirade grabbed the hand of the pregnant woman who’d been resting on a deep sofa inside the cavern when they’d flashed inside. He cast Gabriella an apologetic smile, palmed the crystal key to the room, and they both blinked out in a narrow flash of white light.

“Sonofabitch,” she muttered, reaching up to grab the silver-linked choker from her neck that he’d used to subdue her and ripping it off. How could he do this, leave her in his bolt-hole, after everything she’d done to help him in his quest to usurp command of the vampires?

While he’d disappeared for hours, clutching the phoenix-creature he appeared to love against his chest, she’d helped round up the sabat, nipping at the council-members’ heels to herd them toward their rooms where Nicolas posted guards to keep them in lock-down.

Malcolm, Nicolas’s next-in-command, had led away Inanna’s private security force to the barracks for “debriefing” and posted their own men around the compound to keep things quiet while Alex’s closest advisors sorted through the chaos that was the aftermath of Inanna’s expulsion into Hell.

When Alex had at last returned, looking like he’d just had the sweetest sex of his life,  Gabriella shook her fur, pulling on her human skin, ready to remind Alex about their agreement when his gaze fled up the staircase, again.

The look on his face, one filled with a mixture of impatience and tenderness, had made her heart sink. When she’d cleared her throat to remind him she was still standing there, another look crossed his face—one that had her backing up a step and stammering.

The collar had been a real kick in the ass. He’d pulled it from his pocket and apologized, all the while grappling her to the ground to loop the damn thing around her neck. “I swear. It’s just for now,” he’d ground out as she wriggled beneath him. “Just until I get everything sorted out.” Read the rest of this entry »