A cold front’s coming through, a cold front’s coming through. In Texas, that warrants just as much excitement as a national holiday. In fact, maybe even more so. God seems to leave the heater on in Texas more than the AC and after months and months of hot weather a little cold front would be nice. Sad thing is that a “cold” front in Texas would only be considered a cool breeze, or maybe even a warm breeze in a place like Montana. But, hey, we’ll take what we can get.
Fall weather represents everything that makes me smile. Warm cups of coffee in the afternoon, leaves that change to bright shades of oranges, reds and yellows, sweaters, scarves and boots galore! If you asked my husband what autumn meant to him, he could sum it up in one word-Football.
His Thursdays and Saturdays are determined by how well the University of Houston plays, and if any of you follow U of H football, you would know that our weekends haven’t gone so well. Despite my husband’s ill feelings toward his alma mater’s sports program, he still takes the time to make me a large pot of chili or gumbo whenever I ask. Curling up with a bowl or mug of something warm and a good book is a rare treat now with three small children running underfoot, but I take the opportunity whenever I can.
So, what does chili and football have to do with my new story, The Ranch Hand? Absolutely nothing, but Texas and Montana does. If you’re looking for something to take you a way for a while, then let my rough and rugged Montana Man and my sweet sexy Southern Belle do the trick.
After all, the month of October is all about tricks or treating. Treat yourself to something you want to do for a change.
Jason Haverty is looking forward to the fall horse drive, until his boss and uncle informs him one of the new cowboys coming in to help will be riding his favorite horse. His annoyance is furthered when the cowboy turns out to be a cowgirl—a quick-witted and confident blonde beauty. Trying to avoid her doesn’t work. The more time he spends with her, the more an unexpected protectiveness toward her grows.
Bobby Jo’s Texas upbringing taught her to give just as good as she gets, a quality Jason finds frustrating and all the more endearing in this Southern Belle. When an accident on the trail places her in possible danger, Jason realizes she means more to him than he thought. The question is, does she feel the same?
I’m house-sitting today. I have my thumb drive and my watercolor paint and brushes with me. I’ll do something productive, no doubt. But I’m such a hermit. I love my work-cave with all my cluttery things around me. Once, I considered redoing my office along Feng Shui principles (a friend of mine had hers redesigned by a professional and said that she felt refreshed and inspired every time she entered that space), but the first thing that popped up when I started researching Feng Shui was the concept of decluttering. I knew in an instant I couldn’t work that way. I need my little things around me—my action figures, shabti, my Scythian rabbit, my fairy and dragon pictures, my little alien figures and Sheldon bobble-head… We’ll see if I can concentrate without them today. So, while I’m away from my desk, I am going to try to not look at my email or this page too often. I’m a little obsessive that way. While I’m a hermit about my workspace, I love to interact virtually.
My question for you is whether you are like me—a hermit who loves her online friendships? Or are you an extrovert who has simply found
a way to expand her circle of friends?
Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of one of the Base Branch Novels!! Winner’s choice!!
I’m baaack! Last time we talked about covers…because I love them!! But they’re really not the thing that makes me buy a book. I’m not that shallow. For me purchase comes with a blurb that makes my fingers itch to rip into the pages open or press the buy-now button faster than Flash. A good blurb gives enough to frame the story, but leaves you panting for the details.
Today I’ll give you a blurb I hope does just that. And an excerpt that makes you drool for more.
The Base Branch Series
Serve in the name of honor. Battle in the name of love.
Known by few as the Base Branch, the United Nations’ Special Operations Forces provide globe defense against any who threaten the fragile balance of peace.
ENEMY MINEWhen friends become enemies and enemies become lovers.
Born in the blood of Sierra Leone’s Civil War, enslaved, then sold to the US as an orphan, Base Branch operative, Sloan Harris is emotionally dead and driven by vengeance. With no soul to give, her body becomes the bargaining chip to infiltrate a warlord’s inner circle, the man called The Devil who killed her family and helped destroy a region.
As son of the warlord, Baine Kendrick will happily use Sloan’s body, if it expedites his father’s demise. Yet, he is wholly unprepared for the possessive and protective emotions she provokes. Maybe it’s the flashes of memory. Two forgotten children drawing in the dirt beneath the boabab tree. But he fears there is more at stake than his life.
In the Devil’s den with Baine by her side, Sloan braves certain death and discovers a spirit for living.
Stroke. Stroke. Breathe. Stroke. Stroke. Breathe. Sloan’s sun flushed skin prickled quickly in the cool water. For the next twenty minutes, she focused on the rhythm. She released every concern from her mind and swam. No, in hooker mode her legs couldn’t kick as furiously as she wanted nor arms stroke as hard, but her muscles still sang. The effort gave her brain a welcomed respite from the restless night.
Covert work had always been Sloan’s forte. Morphing into someone else. Hiding who she was. What she’d endured. But this assignment held in the balance every desire she’d clung to since the day she’d quit mourning her parents and started fighting, everything she’d thought beyond her grasp after so long struggling to make it a reality. This assignment had also tapped a well of emotion she’d thought long ago drained.
His voice destroyed her solitude. The dark timbre resonated down Sloan’s spine like a cellist’s bow being dragged across the C string. A fresh wave of gooseflesh crested over her. She curled the water’s surface and turned toward Baine. Words froze in her throat. Thick and unruly dark hair cropped neatly around his ears, but dipped and swayed wildly at his forehead. The perfect handle for screwing. Jezuz. If that one wasn’t enticing enough, the swells and dips of his traps, shoulders, and biceps provided a feast of options to grip while riding the sculpted V of his hips. Everywhere she looked his swarthy skin wrapped taut—over a defined eight pack, thick and sturdy legs, corded forearms. The short crinkles of brown hair that peppered across his chest and peeked out from the waist of his swim trunks sizzled her brain.
“Thank you.” Sloan aimed for courteous and non-solicitous, tamping down the resentment, warring curiosity, and wicked lust he stirred inside her with every bit of self-control she possessed.
The bespoke suit he’d worn so well the night before had been traded for charcoal swim trunks and a towel slung over one shoulder. He moved toward her with grace that belied his bulk, before dropping his towel on the chaise next to hers. Of all the chairs and loungers in the place, he’d chosen the only occupied lounger on the entire patio. The act, though in all likelihood innocent, rang in Sloan’s ears like a war cry. A deliberate move in a complicated game of chess. Having just finished her laps, his timing was too perfect to be coincidence.
Baine turned and settled his gaze on her. Sloan searched for any sign of recognition in the sky blue orbs, in the tautness of his square jaw, or the furrow of his brow, and found none. Good. If he recognized her, the mission would be ruined. Not that she’d live to see the fallout. It was good that his eyes hadn’t alighted with remembrance, but heedless of the boon, emptiness pitted her belly.
Every battle honed instinct screamed for Sloan to retreat. In submission, she pushed off the bottom and glided to the stone outcropping only a few feet away from the enigma that was Baine Kendrick. She should hate him on sight. Anger roiled just under the surface, but the sudden and undeniable physical awareness of him played bumper-cars with the ire and her brain.
“It’s all yours,” she said, levering herself out of the water. Thousands of droplets rained off her body, and Baine’s intent study likely cataloged each. Like a damn schoolgirl, her cheeks heated.
“That’s good,” he said. A smile pulled at one corner of his mouth. Then he added, “I think you would put me to shame in a proper race.”
Sloan shook her head, unable to speak. The twinge of memory of two forgotten children racing over the green grass was too sweet and painful to rouse.
He held out a towel, and she forced her feet to close the distance. Proximity sent a jolt of electricity coursing through her, similar to the energy that surged before a fight, but different. She swallowed hard, struggling to ignore the nuance, which made her hyper aware she wore only strategically placed strips of spandex. When her fingers closed around the terry cloth, Lana and Cynthia came ambling through the doorway onto the patio. Their conversation quieted once they saw her and Baine. The women waved.
“Good morning, ladies.”
They beamed at him as they walked by, then settled on side-by-side lounges at the opposite end of the row. Sloan nodded and soaked up the excess moisture from her hair and body in preparation for her escape. She secured the towel around her body with a tuck of its tail at the top of her breast, and gave him the best smile she could muster.
“Lotion me,” he asked. Though his tone made it sound like more like a command.
Sloan turned a palm up. “I’m sorry, I don’t have any.” She motioned toward the other women. “They might have some, and I’m sure they’d happily help.”
“And you wouldn’t,” he countered.
While she sputtered, something she didn’t recall ever having done in her life, he reached across her to a side table and plucked a tube from a decorative bowl. His body came so close to hers the heat he radiated seeped into her marrow. As he retreated, the dusting of dark hair on his chest tickled her arm.
“Here,” he said, slapping the lotion into her hand.
He sat on the end of the chaise, elbows on his knees. Hunching didn’t diminish his presence in the least. In fact, it drew Sloan’s attention to the sloping topography of his chest and the spread of his shoulders, which dwarfed the chair under him. When she didn’t move he tilted his chin up and directed her behind him with a thick arm.
She circled him in a wide arc, but surrendered, tucking behind him on the hard wood. Clinically, like she treated a field wound, Sloan uncapped the sunscreen, deposited a dollop on her palm and began rubbing it onto his back. From his nape she worked her way out over his shoulders, denying the tingle the friction created below her waist. Until he leaned into her touch.
Megan Mitcham was born and raised among the live oaks and shrimp boats of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where her enormous family still calls home. She attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a bachelor’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and special education. For several years Megan worked as a teacher in Mississippi. She married and moved to South Carolina and began working for an international non-profit organization as an instructor and co-director.
In 2009 Megan fell in love with books. Until then, books had been a source for research or the topic of tests. But one day she read Mercy by Julie Garwood. And oh, Mercy, she was hooked!
Megan lives in Southern Arkansas where she pens heart pounding romantic thriller novels and window-steaming erotic romance.
A few years ago, my husband and I stopped eating processed foods, started shopping at our local farmer’s market and adopted a healthy organic diet. We love to eat, and since we exchanged empty calories and chemically altered “food” for wholesome, delicious meals, we’ve never felt better. Both of us have lost weight, though we’re not dieting, and our overall heath has improved. Organic eating is about quality and bounty, not deprivation. We’ve never looked back since we went organic and have never been happier.
My fresh attitude toward food helped shape the characters of my contemporary romance NATURALLY YOURS. The heroine, Amanda Greer, is sexy and earthy with radiant skin and a lush figure. She is a master chef for a restaurant she co-owns, Organics Fantastic, and firmly believes in the healing power of healthy eating. When Amanda meets Iraq veteran and paramedic Mickey Kendall, and sparks fly, she uses her culinary skills, natural empathy, and sharp wit to mend his war-wounded soul.
–Contest—Leave a comment for Adele Downs and be automatically entered to win a Kindle gift copy of her Amazon Top 100 Best-Selling contemporary western novella KISSING HER COWBOY. Winner announced in the comments section October 10.
NATURALLY YOURS is a new release from Boroughs Publishing. Here’s a peek at the book:
“Who will save a man who saves the world?
Paramedic Mickey Kendall hasn’t slept a full night since his return from Iraq. He rescues victims by day and protects the innocent after dark. Mickey doesn’t do it for glory; he wants absolution, not admiration. He lives by the rule: No personal contact after a rescue. That code meets the ultimate test when Mickey saves a child’s life on a roadside and declines the parents’ invitation to dinner at their upscale restaurant.
Master chef Amanda Greer lives by the principle that delicious food and good company build bridges. When she learns Mickey has refused her business partners’ hospitality, she persuades him to change his mind. The handsome paramedic visits her restaurant and Amanda joins him at his table. Their unexpected chemistry turns kinetic and leads to a passionate kiss.
In Amanda’s arms, Mickey finds relief from the stressors that haunt him, but resists falling in love. When Amanda challenges him to face his demons and accept the love she offers, Mickey arrives at a crossroad. The war-weary paramedic must first save himself to claim the woman who reignites his passion for living and revives his wounded heart.
“You can’t go wrong with Adele Downs.” ~Will Work for Books
“They called you a hero in the press.” Her dark lashes lowered and lifted and she smiled at him with admiration shining in her eyes. “They were right, of course. What you did for Jack can never be repaid.”
Mickey winced at the hero reference. “I hate to disappoint you, but I only did what I’m trained to do.”
Amanda made sounds of disagreement low in her throat. “Elena told me at least a hundred and fifty cars passed her on the highway. Every one of them ignored her cries for help. Of all those people, don’t you think one might have been medically trained? Or at least cared enough to respond? No. You stopped. Only you.”
Oh. He hadn’t thought of that.
She pointed a finger at his chest. “There’s a difference between you and other people. There’s no other way to explain what happened on that roadway. Elena is convinced you’re special, and I never doubt her perceptions. That’s another reason why I wanted to meet you.”
Mickey stared into Amanda’s eyes and her pupils dilated. Her lips parted, ever so slightly, as if to welcome a kiss. Her tongue touched the inside of her bottom lip and disappeared. Mickey knew then, she felt it too. Synergy. Chemistry. An attraction so powerful it turned kinetic on contact.
Some called it love at first sight.
Amanda. Even her name was beautiful.
She took a sip of her drink and he watched her mouth and throat work the liquid. When she set down the tumbler, she wiped a droplet from the corner of her mouth with a trimmed, unpolished fingertip. Mickey wished he could have swiped the bead away with his tongue.
Amanda leaned closer and pressed a hand to his wrist. “Trained or not, you were the only stranger on that highway who had a heart.”
Mickey laid his hand over hers and she let him keep it there. Until now, he wasn’t sure he still had a heart. His had been chipped away, piece by piece, like a block of ice since the war. He’d considered it long gone, with his soul. In mere minutes, what was left had thawed in the center, leaving him raw and exposed.
Amanda continued to speak; clearly unaware she’d stripped away another layer. “I love Jack like he’s my own son. He’s a terrific kid. I’ve helped take care of him since the day the Martins and I started this restaurant. When you saved him, you saved us all.” Amanda leaned in and pressed a quick, sweet kiss against Mickey’s jaw.
Their gazes locked when she sat back in her chair. The gravity of her words and her straightforward kiss humbled him into speechlessness. He’d been thanked many times before, but this woman had gotten to him like no one else. He squeezed her hand and then downed the rest of his drink. Amanda took another sip of hers and set the glass on the table before retreating into silence. She turned the tumbler slowly in her hands.
Mickey looked back at her and tapped two fingers against the menu’s leather cover. “Nothing here is what I expected.”
Amanda returned a quiet smile, either assuming he meant food choices, or pretending he had. She tucked her arms beneath her breasts and leaned forward against the edge of the table, lifting perfect white swells above the neckline of her blouse. “Organic means untouched by artificiality. Grown and consumed in its natural state. We eat only healthy foods unspoiled by chemicals, preservatives, hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and genetically modified seeds or cells. Pure.”
Pure. Mickey gazed at the stunning woman by his side. The texture of her skin looked smooth as cream and welcoming to the touch. He longed to run his hands along her thighs, imagining sleek roads leading to heaven at their apex. “I like the sound of that.” The way she looked back at him while he studied her face made him wonder if she’d read his mind.
The one that had gone dirty.
About the Author:
Adele Downs writes best-selling 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 a past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report) and has presented workshops for writers.
When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.
‘Tis the season… of ghosts, witches, curses and supernatural mysteries.
Autumn is my favorite season. It’s not just the blazing leaves ranging from ruby red to gold, nor the culinary delights of pumpkins, cranberries and sweet potatoes… it’s something deep in my Celtic soul that seeks rebirth during this time of year as the nights come earlier and mists shroud trees and fields. This is a time of reflection, gratitude and renewal. Autumn reminds me of the cycles of time – life, death and rebirth.
I’m a sacred site junkie, and was fortunate enough in younger years to stand within Stonehenge at sunrise, sit in a crop circle, and visit many places of mystery and power around the world. I’ve lived in a haunted house on the side of an isolated Irish hill, and knew no greater fear than having to get out of my car and enter the dark house alone.
I’ve collected sticks, stones and feathers all my life. Everything has a purpose. Spirit tells me things in symbolic speak – whether it’s a red-tailed hawk soaring above my car, or an ant hill in my lawn, there is a message.
My mother feared her psychic gifts. Since she was born in September and died in November, I’ll share a story here today in her honor. She went home to Ireland to die, so I was thousands of miles away at the time, in the home she’d made on the far side of the Atlantic. We’d said our good-byes before she left. One morning my father, who was with her, called and said she’d surely not make it through the day… that he’d phone after she passed away. At three o’clock in the afternoon, as I stood in her kitchen looking out over her swimming pool, I suddenly felt her around me. A little decorative tile she’d kept propped up on the kitchen countertop for years slammed face down onto the counter. I picked it up and read, ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life.’ In that moment I knew she was gone. I knew my father would phone soon, and sure enough I got the call ten minutes later. She’d stopped to touch me one more time on her way out and had summoned enough energy to put on that impressive supernatural display.
That was twenty-eight years ago, and I still value her message. You can, too. No matter what you are going through, every day we can all say, ‘today is the first day of the rest of my life.’
So, let me take a moment to share a bit about the novella – Autumn Masquerade – I released it this time last year. It’s a tribute to the beauty of this glorious season. Anna works in the corporate world and carefully guards her secret – she is a gifted psychic medium who speaks with the dead. Circumstances force her to be the only psychic at a luxurious masquerade ball in a palatial mansion, and she fears being unmasked. What will her boss think if he finds out she is psychic? Even if he doesn’t fire her, will he ever take her seriously again? Perhaps what is really bothering her is that beneath those concerns, she has fallen in love with the handsome widower. His rejection would leave her devastated. Neither of them knows that help is only a dimension away. His deceased wife decides the only way they’ll ever get their act together is with some assistance from beyond the grave.
Have a splendid autumn and be sure to read some wonderful stories.
Delilah, thanks for having me as your blog guest today.
GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity.
When Ellora’s Cave put out a call for their “VaVa Boomers” series, I was intrigued. They wanted sexy seniors—mature heroines (not cougars) and heroes who have the benefit of experience and well-developed skills, “because love, like women and fine wine, gets better with age.”
And so my novella, AARON’S JEWEL, was born. Both Aaron and Julia have real-life problems to deal with, but their connection is immediate and there’s plenty of red-hot sex—when they manage to find time together. As a mature woman myself, I’m here to tell you that you’re never too old to want to love and be loved (and to have red-hot sex!).
A 5-star review by The Jeep Diva includes this snippet: http://www.thejeepdiva.com/review-aarons-jewel-cris-anson/
“…this is the first story I have read where we have over fifties meeting and falling in love in the lifestyle. It was interesting having them work around the issue of arthritis or slow recovery time…For those of us over fifty, this is a must read. It is quick little read but oh so satisfying. It is inspiring. There is life after divorce, after the kids grow up, after fifty.”
Finding a position as corporate legal counsel in one’s middle-50s after being downsized sucks, so Aaron haunts his local dungeon to soothe his frustration. Feeling squeezed by work and family obligations, editor and ghostwriter Julia turns up at the same dungeon to do “research”. The moment they meet, the Dominant in Aaron recognizes the submissive in Julia. He peels away the layers of her shyness along with her clothes. He gets her—his Jewel—naked and writhing against the cross and over the spanking bench. And she revels in his dominance and tutelage, discovering her wanton self whether tied to a bed in private or blindfolded and the target of many hands in public. But real life isn’t all adult fun and games. Not when grown children, parents, careers and aging bodies conspire to challenge their burgeoning relationship.
Whatever your age, I hope you find and enjoy a loving relationship. And remember, there IS life and love and sex after fifty. Indeed, after sixty! I’m living proof of that.
~~ Cris Anson
“Passion Without Boundaries” is the tagline on my website www.crisanson.com because I firmly believe that life doesn’t stop at the bedroom door. I had a deeply romantic relationship with my husband of 22 years, and I want to celebrate his memory in my writing. After he died, it took me a long time to come out of my grief, but parts of him — his honor, courage, optimism, tenacity, and lust for life — live on in all my heroes. They’re all alpha men, as well.
My first book, DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS, was published in 2005 and is still in print. AARON’S JEWEL is my 15th title with Ellora’s Cave. In the past few years I’ve become interested in the BDSM sub-culture and my most recent books reflect my hands-on research. I also blog about my BDSM experiences at Cris Anson’s Passions. http://crisansonspassions.blogspot.com/
My evening last night went something like this. I was babysitting the 10-year-old and 5-year-old, and I checked my Facebook messages for news from my daughter about when she might be coming home, because I didn’t have my phone and my daughter doesn’t have a land line at her house. I see that my daughter messaged me an hour earlier.
I talked to a clairvoyant! U there?
I tried to message her back, but she was already on the road home. When she arrived, she said, “Make coffee.” Her eyes were real big, so scurried to make coffee because I do everything she tells me to, right?
When we settled on the front porch (the girls were inside, who can talk over their noise!), she gave me that look—the one I know is filled with juicy delight. “I got the strangest telephone call this afternoon. Some woman called and asked me if I made her dzi bead bracelet.”
Ah. Elaine Something. Yes, I’d mailed a dzi bead bracelet to a woman out west. I’m wondering if there was a problem.
“Who made the bracelet?” the woman asked.
“My mother did.”
“Well, I needed the dzi beads to ward off negative energy, but when I opened the package, the bracelet was gorgeous, but there was so much energy coming off of it, I had to call.”
As it turns out, the woman feels energy coming off of objects. She said that I have a lot of it and that I’m very wise. That she can tell I’m very busy, always driven, doing too many things at once. She tells my daughter, “It’s because she’s lived many, many lives and this is her last rotation. Her last life. She’s trying to fit in everything she ever wanted to accomplish in this last life.”
My daughter said she teared up on the phone upon hearing that. We’d both hoped that when I passed, I’d come back to haunt her. But if I were Buddhist, I’d be completely happy hearing that news because if it is my last life, I’ve reached enlightenment.
But that wasn’t all the news she had. “Does she knew she has angels watching over her?”
Actually, I’ve been told by four previous psychics that I have three muses/guardian angels around me. (It was nice hearing it’s still true. Maybe I can finish another book. 🙂 )
“Does she have an issue with weight?”
My daughter said, “Actually, she does.”
“Tell her to buy Baltic amber and make something to wear against her skin. The yellower the better. But only Baltic amber.” Apparently, aliens brought Baltic amber to the Earth to preserve mankind. Okay. If that seemed a little strange, I’m still heading to Etsy to buy me some amber beads!
And then she went on to tell my daughter that she had so much energy it was making it difficult for her to concentrate. My daughter does have a lot of psychic energy. If she ever has a bad dream about you, it’s best to not step out of the house the next day. And she doesn’t just see ghosts like I do, they’ve spoken to her.
The phone rings as my daughter is dishing to me on the porch, and who does it turn out to be? Elaine.
“My mom and I were just talking about you and she wants to say hello.”
The phone is passed and I listen for about half an hour. Getting a word in edgewise with Elaine is hard, because she seems to be streaming information. She tells me she was moved to call again, because while she has seen angels around other people on occasion, usually they are standing, but this time, she “saw” a very large angel with outspread wings hovering in the air above me, his wings forming an umbrella, as though protecting me physically. And since I’ve been through some very dangerous situations, sometimes blithely oblivious to the peril, I kind of have to believe something has been watching out for me. She also said Jesus was beside me.
I’ll be talking to Elaine again. She seems quite nice. And I do feel as though I’m supposed to be her friend. I don’t think she’s a reader, and she didn’t know my name. She sounded elderly and like she spends a lot of time with her “calling” friends.
And while things like this don’t happen every day to me, it’s not terribly out of the ordinary, not in my life. The stories I could tell… Do you wonder why paranormal stories are so easy for me to write?
How about you? Have you had encounters of the woo-woo variety? Cool news from a psychic? It’s okay to admit it here among friends. 🙂