Archive for October, 2015
Saturday, October 31st, 2015
My life is a far cry from a romance novel, but I did something this weekend that I could see many of my heroines doing. I disobeyed my husband. Eekk! Isn’t that like one of those “Though Shalt Not’s” in the Bible? I don’t know. I conveniently skip over those parts that talk about minding your husband.
The rain in Texas this past weekend was insane. On our drive home Sunday afternoon, I noticed a tree had uprooted and was eerily close to falling on one of my neighbor’s houses. When I told my husband we should stop, he said, “Oh, I’m sure they know about it. Let’s keep going.”
So, I did. I went home, dropped the kids and him off, and turned right back around to visit my neighbor. I had a hunch they did NOT know that a tree was about to take out the entire side of their house. Call it a sixth sense, but the real reason was because it was inches from falling and no one was tending to it. I would say that’s a pretty big sign they didn’t know, wouldn’t you?
With much trepidation, I ran up to their door and rang their doorbell. Normally, visiting a neighbor isn’t so frightening, but when a two-ton tree is dangling inches above your head only leaning semi-upright by the smaller one-ton tree holding it up and the wind is swaying both of them, visiting your neighbor takes on a whole new meaning.
Long story short, my neighbors were not aware of their dining rooms soon demise, and they thanked me profusely for stopping and telling them.
Moral of the story, disobey your husband. No, not really! Listen to your gut, and do what you think is right. We wouldn’t respect our fictional heroines if they didn’t, and I couldn’t respect myself if I hadn’t.
When everything was all said and done, my husband was happy they I stuck to my guns and disobeyed him. This time!
The Ranch Hand
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?
About Erin Bevan
Erin Bevan was born and raised in Southwest Arkansas. She spent her teenage years working for her aunt at the local gas station flipping burgers and making milkshakes dreaming of the day when something better would come her way.
Fast forward ten years later, she found herself stuck inside an apartment in South Korea while her daughter went to preschool and her husband went to work. Alone and unable to speak the local language she turned to books for a friend. After reading a few hundred in such a short time, she decided to try her hand at writing one.
That first one sucked, but by the fifth and sixth book, Erin started to get the hang of this writing thing. Getting the first contract in the mail was a dream come true. Now, with three babies at home, she squeezes in stories one word at a time, one sentence at a time, one day at a time. She’s a full time mom, a full time wife, with a little writer sprinkled in whenever she can get the chance.
Friday, October 30th, 2015
Hey there. Have you heard what’s happening in November?
It’s that time again.
No, not American Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Every year it’s time to grab a pencil and a notebook, a computer, a tablet. Whatever you like to use for writing. It’s time to put some major words on the pages. The goal of the month is 50,000 words.
A pantser by nature, this past month I decided to try a little preparing. I took four workshops. Oh, I forgot I like to take workshops. All types of neat things are offered to help with writing. Whether it’s improving writing skills or some special techniques for murder. Yes, murder. Murder because I write suspense with romance tangled inside it.
Back to the workshops. This month, October, there were two offered on NaNo Prep. Surprise. I did learn some tricks to help me create a story. In the past, I always researched, maybe, a few facts, some names and started writing. This year I had the idea for the story. The research for the basis of the story, the main characters and a general idea for what might happen.
Thanks to the workshops, I now have a villain profile. Along with character details for the hero and heroine, and even what happens to the villain. The one exercise that stumped me was how many chapters and what would happen in each one. I can’t see that until I sit down and begin to write. Because the only complete book I have is still in rough draft. Make that half of a rough draft. A critique partner helped me with the first parts. The ending is all in one huge chapter and the entire story runs over 103,000 words. I started the book for NaNo 2012, and ended the month with over 75,000 words and an incomplete story. That didn’t stop me. I kept going at it pushing for an ending. Then last year in June (2014), I talked to someone about the basic idea of the story. She told me with her accurate knowledge it wouldn’t happen that way. Stumped, I sat staring at the computer. Then I asked some more questions. She answered them.
That sent me to rewriting the story. The same basic idea but a different villain and plan for what was happening to the hero and his friends. It took me about a year to rewrite this and it’s still not ready for pitching or submission somewhere yet.
This year I hope to have 100,000 words in rough draft with an ending. Yes, it will still be rough. However, I think it will be a better rough draft with less rambling and wandering off into different directions. There’s no guarantee though.
What I am saying here is come join in the fun. When you sign up, you post a summary of your idea for your novel and make some new friends online. You cheer each other on; you can contribute to a charitable cause—The Office of Letters and Light, if you so desire. You can buy cool things like t-shirts that celebrate your win. None of these is required.
Here’s the link to check it out: http://nanowrimo.org/
How much fun is it as a writer to join people all around the world to write for thirty days?
You could have a bright shiny new novel to play with.
Give it a whirl and see who you know that’s trying it. You can create buddy lists. Some groups create chat rooms for writing sprints.
I’m on there as Kathy Crouch. Look for me if you decide to join in for thirty days of wild fun and madness.
Kathy w/a C. K. Crouch
Thursday, October 29th, 2015
The Clergyman and the Merchant, a book out October 26, is our latest Summer Devon/Bonnie Dee gay historical romance
One of our heroes, Declan Shaw, the merchant of the title, appreciates good food which inspired me especially after experimenting with a dreadful shake (one that involved frozen bananas, protein powder and kale…skip the details.)
I read over Bonnie’s description of a meal prepared by Declan. I wanted to be like Declan and explore new worlds of food—perhaps ones that did not involve kale.
Declan Shaw is British, but he’s particularly interested in Italian food. I figured I’d try a typical Italian dish from the 1880s.
The first place to check is http://www.foodtimeline.org/food1.html to find something good from the Victorian era. No, nothing there.
I did more Googling—interestingly enough most of the historical articles I discovered were about the Italians contributions to American cuisine–their influence in the U.S. flourished from about the 1880s on.
But what about actual cooking in Italy in the 1800s? As most people know—and I soon learned—Italian cooking is all about the different regions. This site claimed that northern Italians didn’t even really eat pizza until the 1930s. http://www.foodbycountry.com/Germany-to-Japan/Italy.html
Whenever we write about a particular place, and I do some reading about it, I end up longing to head off for exploration. Maybe I should head to Italy and take a course? http://www.deliciousitaly.com/cooking-holidays/tuscany-cooking-courses-in-cortona
In the meantime, I gave up finding an authentically Italian recipe from the nineteenth century because, apparently, the French were the food writers then. I did find an elegant pesto made with a knife instead of a food processor so the flavors mingle but are slightly separated: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001570.html
But by then I was hungry enough to make my own version: Basil, and parsley (because I didn’t have enough fresh basil), almonds (because pine nuts, the usual variety are rather expensive), lots of garlic, lots of parmesan cheese, olive oil and a touch of water…and a tiny squeeze of lemon. And all ground together in the food processor into a twenty-first century paste.
In honor of Declan’s nationality and Bishop’s Hartfeld, the fictitious village of the book, I’ve also made pop-overs, my local form of Yorkshire pudding. So allow me to present food of the sunny south and a hearty British staple.
1 part nuts to 2 parts parmesan or asiago cheese to 3 parts green stuff (usually basil with a touch of parsley) at least a clove of garlic, and as much olive oil as needed. Or, if you’re feeling like you want zing, some lemon juice too. And if you’re feeling virtuous, cut back the cheese and olive oil. If it’s too thick use a mix of olive oil and water.
Preheat oven at about 400. Heat up the muffin pan you’ll be using too. Butter them.
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing your pans (that’s important)
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
Add 1 ½ cup flour.
The batter will be thin. Whip it until there aren’t any big lumps. Pour batter into preheated baking cups/muffin tin fill about halfway (12 regular muffin tins)
Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 425, without opening the oven. Then lower the temperature to 350 for a while more. Maybe ten minutes—it depends on the oven you’re using. Serve with homemade jam you bought at the church fete.
Links to our new book, The Clergyman and the Merchant
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-merchant-and-the-clergyman-bonnie-dee/1122636662?ean=2940152340655
All Romance Ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-themerchantandtheclergyman-1896440-162.html
Link to our blog (which we often forget exists) http://www.duetpublishing.blogspot.com/
Link to each of our pages!
Summer Devon http://summerdevon.com
Bonnie Dee http://bonniedee.com
The Clergyman and the Merchant
An excerpt from The Clergyman and the Merchant that includes some food and other yummy things:
When James’s gaze locked on his once more, Declan told him in the gravest tone possible, “You are beautiful in every way, and I want to shower you with affection, not flay you with a tongue like a blade.” He slipped his hand around the back of James’s neck and pressed a searing kiss to his mouth.
His own lips tingled when he pulled away. “Now, I want you to crawl over to that sweet little nest you’ve made up for us, take off the rest of your clothing, and await your next order.”
James exhaled a soft groan of contentment before moving to obey. The sight of him on hands and knees was enough to make Declan even harder. He quickly removed the rest of his clothes and dumped the formalwear in a pile. Cool night air tickled his skin like fingertips as he strode over to James, now nude and kneeling, head bowed in subservience.
Declan used his tie to loosely bind James’s wrists together, and took the clean handkerchief from his jacket pocket to blindfold him. “Enhances your other senses,” he explained. “I want you to open yourself to all the sensations I will give you.”
He rummaged in his small parcel of provisions and found what he was looking for, a fig so sticky it clung to his fingers. He smeared the dried fruit across James’s parted lips. “Taste,” he ordered, and James licked his lips.
“Sweet,” James murmured. “Honeyed fig?”
“Indeed.” Declan smeared again, then leaned close to kiss the sweetness from his lover’s mouth. The stickiness made their lips cling together a little as he pulled away. With his clean hand, he smoothed James’s hair back from his high brow. It sifted like fine silk between his fingers.
Declan knelt before James and continued to feed him morsels like a favored pet. A little cheese, a bit of meat, wafer-thin slices of bread which were only slightly broken from being stuffed in his pocket. He told James to tip his head back and squeezed a wedge of orange so the tart juice poured into his open mouth. Again, Declan licked and kissed that open mouth, plunging his tongue inside and crushing their lips together with bruising force.
James’s trusting willingness was coal to the fire in Declan’s belly. He would love to thrust a lot more than food into James’s mouth, but first… He uncorked the bottle of cheap wine James had brought and again ordered his obedient partner to tilt his head. Declan allowed the wine to trickle into James’s mouth, but it also struck his lips and dribbled down his chin, throat, and chest. Declan stooped to lick every drop from James’s skin. The combination of fermented grapes and salty flesh was more delicious than any famous chef’s concoction could ever be. James whimpered and shifted as Declan tongue-bathed him all the way up to his mouth…
Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
I know it’s almost Halloween, but I want to talk about Thanksgiving or just being thankful instead. Not because I’m craving turkey and dressing (even though I am!), but because I have so much to be thankful for that it will take me from now till then to list it all. Man, turkey and dressing with cranberry sauce does sound good though.
Everyone has problems. When we have them, they are the most important ones in the world and devastating for us, yet there is always, always someone else out there with something worse. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little pity party and bitch and moan about it. It doesn’t mean that you have to buck up and pull up those big girl panties right away. Instead, what that realization should do for us is give us hope and relief that we are in as great a shape as we are compared to others.
We will get through this and get through the next issue that arises, too. Why am I writing this? Not to be a downer, but to remind myself that I can do it. I can do whatever I need to do to get out of bed each morning and live my life. I’ve started over from scratch twice in my life, so I know it’s possible. I know I’m capable, and that I have a lot to be thankful for because I get to do something that I love to do no matter what is going on in my life at the moment.
So, being thankful extends to you. All of you out there whether you have read my books, will read them, or will never read them. You obviously read someone’s books or you wouldn’t subscribe to Delilah’s blog. Yes, I want everyone to read my books and to enjoy the story and hopefully get something from them, but just the fact that you read romance books and support writers who put a piece of themselves into each one is enough for me to say thank you.
Everyone wins when a book is bought no matter who the author is. You’re supporting the industry so that more authors have the chance to get their stories heard. Each time you buy a book, you add to all of our success in some way or another. If there aren’t people out there buying the books, we wouldn’t be able to make our living writing them. Thank you!
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Marla Monroe, and I write everything from romantic suspense to erotic romance. I also write paranormal and murder mysteries under Anna Riviera. I live in Mississippi and work in a hospital when I’m not writing. I love to read, and if I can’t read, I listen to books on my iPod. Other than that, my other passion would be animals, specifically, cats. I have six right now.
I have over 75 books out with the majority of them at Siren Publishing. You can find them at Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/marla-monroe. Scroll down to see all my available books.
As of last week, I have one pre-order, Learning to Trust Her Mates, book two in the Lost In Space series, a Futuristic/Science Fiction erotic romance series. You can pre-order here http://bit.ly/1OYVFqD or wait for it to be released on November 2nd.
Caro’s life as a model has left her cold and lonely. She’s been nothing but arm candy or a way to get ahead for so long she isn’t sure anyone can actually love her. Now she has the chance to start over on a new planet and just maybe find true love.
Gressen and Sabin fall for her instantly but sense her reluctance. There haven’t been females on Levasso for over thirty years and the sound of children would be a welcome addition to their world. They struggle to figure out how to make their female happy and agree to be their mate, but trust for Caro isn’t easy.
They recognize her struggle to fit in and contribute to their society, but will it come with a price to high for all of them? Can Gressen and Sabin give her the love and acceptance she needs, or will their focus be all about making babies?
I also have a three book combo out with the first three books in my Men of The Border Lands series of 13 books and counting. You can order it at Amazon http://amzn.to/1i4J5ct or at http://bit.ly/1Lxv5nF Bookstrand.
I would love to hear from you, so please check me out at any of these locations and be sure to sign up for my newsletter where I have exclusive shorts, updates on what is coming and what I’m working on as well as give-a-ways! Sign up here! http://bit.ly/1KKySeY
My webpage http://bit.ly/1pyW5dw
Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/18ohX3s
Google Page http://bit.ly/1y528cW
Face book http://on.fb.me/1wtA0Qs or www.facebook.com/marla.monroe.7
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Thank you for having me on the blog today. I know it’s not yet Halloween, but I have recently released a Christmas-time romance in eBook, the third story in my Love is Bliss series. HOLIDAY BLISS follows an older heroine and her frustrations as she tries to finish repairs on her home following Hurricane Sandy. Like the other Bliss stories, HOLIDAY BLISS is set in a fictional town, Bliss Township, on the Jersey Shore.
I got the idea to write shifter romances set in this area after multiple visits to the state. Over the last several years, I have visited New Jersey to participate in book festivals and signings. One in particular, the Collingswood Book Festival, is held in Collingswood. The town is closer to Philly than the shore, but if you’ve been to New Jersey (or live there, of course) you’ve seen how the towns are situated. It’s a very different place than Virginia, and I loved driving through the small towns and along the beach.
I originally conceived the Bliss series as a companion to my Home to Dareville series – not necessarily connected, but as a paranormal counterpart. In Bliss, the shifters around town are an open secret among the “normals.” There are wolves and panthers, and sometimes you’ll see them running along the beach. They aren’t dangerous, but sometimes they’ll get into scrapes!
If you like panther shifters and romance, hope you’ll check out HOLIDAY BLISS!
Two years after super storm Sandy ripped up the Eastern seaboard, panther shifter Sheila Houlihan has finally rebuilt her home in the shore town of Bliss, New Jersey. She looks forward to her first Christmas there, if only Jonah will finish with the interior painting.
Jonah, however, is interested in being more than Sheila’s handyman. He doesn’t care about the difference in their ages, and with Sheila soon to become an empty nester he knows she’ll want some company to keep her warm this winter.
It’s only a matter of getting Sheila to see that age is only a number.
Buy: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH
Romance Author Leigh Ellwood – Variety and Spice!
Monday, October 26th, 2015
Well, if you’re a fan and you watched the show as it was playing last night, you know. If you don’t know—don’t read any further!
So, Glen died last night. Or did he? How cruel are they to make us wait. If he did die, no doubt at some point Maggie and his friends will see a very poignant sight—Glen the zombie. I don’t think my heart could take seeing him destroyed.
If he didn’t die, there will be a nation of people sighing in relief.
Still, the drama last night is a reminder that no one is safe in the world of TWD. Do you love or hate that aspect of this show?
I’ll admit it. I love zombie movies. Even the cheesiest. Getting ready for TWD last night, my dd and I gleefully watched Burying the Ex—“Some relationships just won’t die.” So funny! But I’ll also admit, I didn’t embrace the idea of a series about the zombie apocalypse. I didn’t start watching until Season 2, and then I had to buy the first season to see what I’d missed.
You wouldn’t think it, but there are always surprises on this show. Not just favorite characters biting it. I wonder every season what they can possibly do to keep the interest going. This season started with a bang with that quarry filled with thousands of zombies. What a dreadful, hair-raising sight was that, huh? Rick is still scaring/bullying the folks in Alexandria into doing what must be done to survive, and winning converts very slowly. It took the nerdy guy with the glasses getting “blooded” last night to find out Rick was right. Or at least, I hope he’s come to that conclusion, because otherwise, he’s stupid—and destined to die, and I think I saw a little spark between him and certain dread-locked warrior-goddess.
But back to that all good characters must die…
Whose killing off the show crushed you? Hershel’s death was sad, sad, sad, but he was old, right? Still, his brave death cut right through me. My daughter and I both cried with Merle died. He was so wonderful to hate, and anything that hurts Daryl, hurts us. Yes, Beth was sad, but only in the context of what her death did to Daryl, really. My daughter hated that Shane died. He was one of her favorite characters. Merle was mine… What can I say, I love bad boys.
But Glen? Not sweet, brave Glen. We all remember meeting him the first time when Rick hears that disembodied, “Hey you. Dumbass.” What’s not to love about meeting such an energetic and smart survivor. No, I don’t accept that he’s dead. I’ll wait and hope. He crawled under that dumpster. Only Glen would figure out a way not to get eaten.
So, you tell me now. Are you a fan of the show? Are you watching Fear the Walking Dead, too? (I am!) And which character’s death ripped out your heart?
Sunday, October 25th, 2015
A little while back, I asked readers on the Wild & Wicked Cowboy website to help me come up with a title for the book I’ll be writing for the next Cowboy 12-Pack collection. Our last collection centered around cowboys who were firefighters, and I used a firefighting term for the title of that story—Controlled Burn.
This time, the collection will center around cowboys who are also in law enforcement. So, I thought it might be fun to come up with a law enforcement term/police slang phrase for the title for the new novella.
Here are some of the awesome suggestions readers had for the title of my next Cowboy on the Edge story. I’d love for you to cast your vote for the title you love the most. You can choose up to three…
And if you have a better suggestion, I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Controlled Burn!