Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for September, 2016

Catching Up!
Friday, September 30th, 2016

Hey there! If you saw my post the other day, you know life’s crazy around here right now. First, the 7-year-old is doing well after her surgery. A metal plate was installed in her leg, a donor fibula replaced the tibia she lost to cancer, and bone material from her pelvis was inserted into the donated bone. We’re hoping it will “take” and grow. She was playing video games hours after the surgery. Nothing keeps her down.

My grandmother is surprising everyone with her recovery after breaking vertebrae in her back. The doctor saw her yesterday and said he’d thought she’d be there longer, but she might be home in a month. She wants to be back sooner.

Today, I’m doing my part, babysitting the little one while my daughter’s at the hospital. I’m not getting much done. I had to wait until she took a nap before I could post this blog. September was a wash, but I’m hoping October will be better. I’ll try to post my monthly recap later.

In the meantime, here’s a reminder that my friend, Lindsay McKenna’s latest romantic suspense released yesterday! Go get your copy!

Unbound Pursuit


Captain Talia Culver risked her heart again for Navy SEAL Wyatt Lockwood. The brave, cocky Texan was worth the risk and Talia couldn’t be happier. Still recovering from injuries she received from her last mission in Afghanistan, Wyatt whisks her away to meet his family on their sprawling Texas ranch. But things don’t go as planned when Wyatt hears the local gossip that his drug dealing ex-friend is out of prison and planning a drug run across the Lockwood ranch. Wyatt wants to enjoy some hard-earned down time with Tal, but he can’t ignore the danger at his backdoor.

As Wyatt plans a dangerous operation to catch the drug dealers, Tal fears she could lose the man she loves.

Get your copy!

Michele Drier: Mixing Fans and Authors
Thursday, September 29th, 2016


Oh, the dark Jean-Louis and the blond Nik.

Both of the leaders of the Kandesky Vampire family are delicious and dishy, but after finishing the ninth book in the saga, SNAP: I, Vampire, I had to take a hiatus to wear my other hat…murder mysteries.

As much as I love the international scope, the incredible wealth and the beyond-sexy vampires in the Kandesky Chronicles, I also love the puzzles and suspense of the world of mystery.

I write the Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries, a series about a small-town newspaper editor who works to understand the “why” behind dead bodies popping up.  This took me—and almost 2,000 others—to New Orleans last week for the granddaddy of all mystery conventions, Bouchercon.

But New Orleans, the home of voodoo, vampires and other undeads. What a draw!

As much as I wanted to sit in cemeteries, search for love potions, spend the night in haunted houses, I was good and focused on mysteries. And was rewarded.

Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Walter Mosley, Alexandra Sokoloff, David Morrell (of Rambo fame), Michael Connelly, C.J. Box, Caro Ramsey, Catriona McPherson, Charlaine Harris. On panels, meeting in the elevators, sitting next to them at dinner. And I can get fan-girl with the best of them.

Lee Child

Lee Child

Whether you’re a writer, wanna-be writer or fan, conventions are a shot of adrenaline. Every fiction genre has them. Sci-fi and fantasy, romance, LGBTQ, thrillers. Throughout the year, fans and authors of these books get together, swap ideas, tell stories, sign books and talk to fans. You’ll come away exhausted but the high will last for days. Pictures of you and your favorite authors, autographed books, programs and announcements, t-shirts, buttons, book bags and books…lots of books.

Unlike other industry get-togethers (the Oscars, Cannes, Grammies), book conventions are places where the authors and the fans come together to celebrate stories, ideas and talk about the written word.

Your feet will hurt, your back will be sore from lugging around a ton of books, but you’ll come away with memories that last…until next year!

I recommend them.

About the Author

Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, (called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death and Delta for Death.

Her paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 from Paranormal Romance Guild. The series is SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, Danube: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights,  SNAP: All That Jazz, SNAP: I, Vampire .

Visit her webpage, facebook page, or her Amazon author page,

mdSNAP_I_Vampire_eBook [974457]


From SNAP: I, Vampire, Book Nine of the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles


Sandor, the chief demon and our sometimes butler, hit a button on the remote and the interlocking metal shutters slid smoothly down.

I started to say, “Wait…” then remembered.

Jean-Louis and I had been lazing in the big bed, the centerpiece of the room, and watching the faintest pink wash across the top of an Alp. Lolling to watch the sunrise had been a part of my life with this man, signaling the end of our time together until night came again. Now the present slammed back to me. My slip of memory was natural. After all, both of us were sleepy and sex-logged.

“Wait for what?” my love, my husband and now my fellow vampire said, raising one eyebrow, stroking my cheek. “Did you forget?”

I buried my head in his chest. “Um humm…”

He pulled my head up and watched me with those glorious dark blue-verging-on-violet eyes. This time, there was a hint of mirth and a slow smile.

“Quit mumbling. Did you forget?”

I had forgotten. My thirty-two years of waking and watching the sun was pulled from my inherent memory. Only for an instant. Even though we’d been lovers for the better part of three years, now was different. Jean-Louis had wanted to marry me. In my mind, that meant I’d have to let him change me. It wasn’t fair to either of us for me to stay a regular.

A few weeks ago I’d said “yes”. Yes, to marriage and yes to change.

We’d had a lush and beautiful wedding at winter solstice and were on our honeymoon…and I was a vampire.

The sun I worshipped all my life in southern California was now anathema.  Jean-Louis, like all the others in the Kandesky family, spent most of his time working with regulars. He’d adapted an ability to survive small doses of sun, meaning I wasn’t totally cut off from what had been my passion. I’d exchanged passions. He meant more to me than the sun.

The family members used underground garages; heavily-tinted windows in their Mercedes; drapes over windows; dark, dark sunglasses and dinner parties to conduct business. And business was their business. The Kandesky family owned SNAP, the world’s largest and richest celeb gossip news network with TV and magazines that covered the Western Hemisphere and most of the Eastern one, as well.

Now, I was a family member.

Since Jean-Louis and I had been living together, a honeymoon seemed a quaint ritual. He insisted. “You’ve been through mind-shattering changes.” He held my hand, opened it and kissed my palm. “Thank you for saying yes. I want this to be the best for you.”

Then he licked my palm and gently sucked the webbing of my thumb, leering up at me. “Not to mention all the years we’ll have…” The rest of “in bed” was understood.

Winter solstice was the major celebration for the Kandeskys, the longest night of the year. After the ceremony and reception, with close to a thousand guests, Sandor bundled us into a Mercedes for the short trip to an Alp. Not just any Alp, this was in the Bernese Oberland, with Jungfrau barely looming over us. Jean-Louis knew a guy. He always knew a guy. But this guy owned a chalet on one of the lower slopes.

We were helicoptered in and met by two demons and some servants whom Sandor had sent ahead. After the helicopter left, a storm blew in and we had three days cocooned in rustic luxury and warmth.

“You probably didn’t know I controlled the weather,” Jean-Louis said last night and handed me a glass of Bulls Blood, my drink of choice now. “This was to give us a few days with no interruptions.”

“Do you think we’ve had enough?”

His eyes softened. “A millennium with you wouldn’t be enough,” he said, as he kissed me. Our tongues twisted together, heat soared through my body. I felt as though sparks were streaming from my fingers and toes.

“You have a slight glimmer.” He broke the kiss, smiled at me and carried me to the bed where we spent a few hours exploring every inch of each other’s bodies. I loved his long, expressive hands and what he did with them.

His was a well-muscled body, toned by work more than five hundred years ago. Thighs and calves defined from riding horses, back and arms from lifting heavy bales of cloth. Jean-Louis was in his late twenties when Stefan Kandesky turned him, and maintained his young male body. Even his scent, musky male overwritten with a hint of sandalwood soap and shampoo, made me shiver.

Last evening made me so sated and sex-drugged it was an instinctual reaction to try and stop Sandor from closing the shutters. In my haze, I reverted to my previous life as a sun-worshipper.

Once the shutters came down, Jean-Louis turned on a bedside lamp. “We need to talk.”

We need to talk? Wasn’t that supposed to be my line?

“I thought we’d been talking. What about?”

He reached over to pull my head onto his chest, which was sinful. I could feel his voice as well as hear it.

“Our idyll here.”

I tried to sit up, but he held me. “What about it? Aren’t you happy? I thought this was what you wanted.”

He twisted a hand in my hair and raised my face to give me a soft kiss. “I did.  I thought getting us away for a few days on top of an Alp would help you adjust to your new self. I’m surprised you had a flash of your regular life.”

Was he telling me I’d failed some test that I didn’t know was coming? Did he feel my momentarily forgetting was a repudiation of him? Of the Kandeskys?

“No, Maxie. Not that at all.”

Crap, I didn’t think about his non-verbal communication skills. The vampires couldn’t mind-read, exactly, but watched body language, facial expressions and mixed it with a vast collective unconscious. Most times, they used this to communicate with one another. Jean-Louis had been teaching me to control my mind and thoughts, but it seemed I had a way to go.

“Do you want to leave?” In truth, this time was magical and cemented my relationship with Jean-Louis. But I’m a woman of the twenty-first century and need to have adrenaline and stimulation for my mental health.

“I know that, my love. I’ll never be without you, ever. We’ve shut ourselves away for days from our outside lives. I think it’s time we get back.”

Lindsay McKenna: Unbound Pursuit — PRE-ORDER NOW!
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Unbound Pursuit — Releasing tomorrow!
$3.99 ebook



“Tal Culver had turned around to watch Mattie Lockwood, who with swift, knowing precision had gone to work dumping the paint-filled water from the thirty jars, washing them, and turning them upside down to dry on tea towels she’d set on the countertop.

The back door opened and closed, getting Tal’s attention. The children could come and go through two different exits. The side door led to the playground. The rear door, near the sink where Mattie worked, was hidden from view by a large mudroom. The hair on the back of her neck rose, instantly making Tal focus her attention on the entrance.

What the hell? Normally that reaction served to warn her that there was danger nearby, and it wasn’t something Tal ignored. She was in Texas. In a kindergarten classroom. Why was she suddenly on high alert?

Mattie heard the door open and close, too. She barely looked up, busily washing out the Mason jars. She didn’t want to be late getting Tal back to the ranch. Her mother was making a special meal of leg of lamb tonight for the family, and she needed to get home to help her with making the salad and the mashed potatoes and gravy. She figured it was the parent of a child who had forgotten something in the classroom coming back to pick it up.

A dark shape appeared at the entrance. Mattie she turned and gasped. The Mason jar in her hand slipped and fell to the floor, shattering.

“Mark!” The word came flying out of her mouth.

Her heart pounded in her chest as she stared up into his narrowed gold-brown eyes. He wore a black Stetson, a white long-sleeved shirt with a black leather vest over it, jeans, and cowboy boots. His mouth . . . oh, lordy, his mouth . . . she remembered only too well how wonderful he was at kissing her.

She took a step back, her eyes huge as she stared in disbelief at him. He stood motionless, like a tense statue. Mark’s gaze shot to Tal and then back to her.

“Who’s this with you, Mattie?”

She hadn’t heard his voice in four months, that same low, sensual drawl of his that made her melt, made her lower body burn with need of him. Gulping, she jerked a look toward Tal. “That’s Tal Culver, my friend,” she managed to say, choked up. She turned toward him.

“What are you doing here?” Tears clogged her eyes but she refused to let them fall, straightening her spine, throwing back her shoulders, her chin jutting out, anger flowing through her along with her shock.

“I need to talk to you alone,” Mark growled. “Get rid of her?”

Mattie scowled. Anger took over. “Go to hell, Mark!” She jabbed her finger toward the door of the mudroom. “Just get the hell out of my life! How dare you come back into it! You think you can just waltz in here after being gone for months without a word?”

Her voice was shaking, she was so angry and hurt.

And he looked so delicious to her. He was half Chippewa Indian through his mother, who was now dead. He had his mother’s coppery skin, that shining short black hair, those glittering, intelligent wolf eyes, as she used to refer to them, a gold-brown mixture. His mouth thinned, relaxed a little. For a split second, she thought he’d smiled, or that maybe some amusement had flittered across his narrowed, intelligent gaze.

“I’ve been real busy, Mattie. That’s not the welcome I was hoping for.”

She gulped back her tears. “What the hell else did you expect?”

Mark shrugged lazily, lifting one shoulder, keeping his gaze pinned on Tal. The woman seemed like someone he wouldn’t want to mess with. Mark saw the look in her eyes, saw the fine tension in her body, and felt the energy around her. If she wasn’t law enforcement, then she was military. He met her gaze and hardened his look in her direction, willing her to stay right where she was. Missing nothing upon first perusal, Mark could quickly size up another person and know just how dangerous they were. This woman was damned dangerous, even though she wore a camel-colored pantsuit with a bright orange tee beneath it. She wore no makeup, her black hair lying like a shining cloak around her proud shoulders.

His gaze moved back to Mattie. “I need to talk to you,” he repeated.

Snorting vehemently, she snapped, “I want nothing to do with you, Mark!”

His gut clenched, his heart twisting with guilt and need of her. Mark tried to bury the pain he carried deep within him. He watched the flare of righteous anger in her slitted dark green eyes. Reining in the desire for her that was always with him, he rasped, “Okay, then here it is: you tell your father to keep his wranglers out of the northeast corner of your ranch two nights from now.” His voice dropped. “This isn’t a joke. You need to keep everyone out of that area.”

He started to turn, stopped himself, lifting his head, meeting her tear-filled eyes. Less gruffly, the hardness in his gold-brown eyes dissolving, almost turning tender, he said, “Take good care of yourself, Mattie . . .”

Before she could snarl at him, he turned on his heel and was gone. When the door slammed shut, Mattie jumped. She was breathing raggedly, her heart sledgehammering in her chest. Gulping, she looked at Tal.

“Are you okay?” she asked in a trembling tone.

Giving a slight nod, Tal said, “I’m fine. Is he gone?” She gestured with her chin toward where Mark had disappeared.

Turning, Mattie quickly walked out to the mudroom. Peering out the window, she saw nothing but the outskirts of Van Horn. It was as if Mark had never been there. But he had. She had goose bumps across her skin, and she absently rubbed her upper arms, feeling stunned by his sudden and unexpected presence.

She heard Tal get up, the chair scraping back against the tiled floor. Because of her ankle, she couldn’t move quickly, and she hurried back and met her at the sink. “He’s gone.”

“Did you see where he went?”

Shaking her head, she whispered, “No . . . I looked, but he’s like a ghost. Just . . . gone.” Touching her brow, she added apologetically, “I’m so sorry, Tal. You didn’t need this. God, I didn’t need it either.”

LINKS — AVAILABLE in ebook and paperback ( at





Paperback available on pub date and

Tantor Media audio – available 9.29.16…

Get more info about Delos characters and books at:

And visit her official website for all the books she writes:

Real Life Question
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

I almost didn’t post today, but I suffer from the “anal” gene and couldn’t stand the thought of missing my goal of posting new content every day here. So, I’m going to tell you some of what’s happening in my life, because I’m a real person, facing real issues. And maybe some of you can give me some advice or at least share your experiences.

This past week has been difficult for this family. My 96-year-old grandma suffered a fall and fractured vertebrae in her lower back. She spent a couple of days in the hospital in Little Rock for evaluation. The doctors decided against surgery, no doubt due to her age, and sent her into a rehab facility in our town.

She’s miserable. Her greatest fear is spending her last days in a rest home. The “rehab” center staff feel they are better equipped to provide her care, but they don’t take into account her mental well-being. She’s very lucid. Hates the food. Dislikes the staff. Misses my dad’s coffee. She’s depressed, and I fear she will give up, especially after the meeting with the care coordinator today who said her recovery will be long-term.

I’m the only person in this family pushing for home health care. Sure, it’s inconvenient, and maybe her physical therapy won’t be as good or often as needed, but my grandmother deserves to be where she wants to be. At home, surrounded by the people who love her, fed meals she’ll actually enjoy eating, and drinking my father’s very superior coffee. And yes, we’ll have to pitch in more, but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? If she never heals, and spends the rest of her days in bed or a wheelchair, why not have it be in a place that she’s familiar with?

Okay, so maybe I’m sharing a bit too much. But this really bothers me.

Add that to the surgery our 7-year-old cancer girl faces on Thursday, and you can guess that the last thing I’ve been doing this week is writing. Instead, I’m worrying. And I’m not a worrier. I have a perpetually, annoyingly sunny disposition (other than when I’m watching presidential debates—I groaned, snickered, and shouted at the screen last night), so me being down isn’t me.

So weigh in. What would you do? Have you faced these choices too? Or have you planned how you will handle them in the future?

Melanie Jayne: Why can’t we be proud of our work?
Monday, September 26th, 2016

I have a friend that has worked with many authors for a number of years, and I respect her intelligence and creativity. I e-mailed an update on what was happening in my writing life. I told her about the book that I have coming out, and how much I love it. Her response stopped me in my tracks. She said I was only the second author that she had ever met who didn’t downplay her work.

At first, I worried that I had come off as too boastful, but then she clarified that she knew I put a lot of work into this book, and she was proud of me for saying that I liked it and that I was proud of it.

I started to listen a little more closely to my author friends, and I found that so many downgrade their work. One lady who wrote about a military character pointed out how little she knew about the Army. I know that she did hours of research and interviews; however she still acted as if she didn’t think that she knew enough to write an accurate portrayal.

Why can’t we be happy or proud of our work? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about a three-page Christmas card letter or a brag post on Facebook. What I’m talking about is a simple, “I like it very much” or “I’m happy with how it turned out.”  We put the work into the project, why can’t we be proud of the outcome?

As a romance writer, I write the story, then read it at least five times. My beta reader has seen it, my editor has prettied it up, and my proofreaders have argued the value (or not) of semi colons. I’ve made my cover artist pull her hair out because I’ve asked for just one more little tweak. When the book is finally published, I’ve put in hours upon hours of work into the product. I’m proud of it.  I’m ready to share it with the world. I know there will be some who don’t like it or find fault, but that’s just the way it is. I believe it is perfectly all right to dislike my book, but don’t disrespect the work that went into it.

I worry that when we devalue our work, it contributes to others seeing us as lacking.  I went to a huge book sale and signing five years ago. As I walked the aisles, I would stop when a book’s cover caught my eye. I was shocked at the number of authors that couldn’t describe their work in a positive light. There were so many “well it’s not” or “I don’t know if you’ll want to buy it,” that I made up the rule that if they couldn’t describe their work in a positive, coherent sentence, then I wasn’t going to buy it.  If you don’t like your book, why would I want it?

This doesn’t apply to only authors and their books. I hear so many of my women friends downplaying their contributions to life. Be it great cooking, a fabulous idea, or doing something nice for another. They shrug it off or list five ways that they could have done it better. Do me a favor, just say “thank you” when I compliment you.  Be honored that somebody noticed your good work and accept the compliment. Be proud of what you have produced and yourself.



I should have known better. Women like me, average and unseen, don’t have our dreams come true. And the one chance I had for my dreams, I watched die in our doorway while I hid on the stairs.

Now I spend my days terrified for my life and my nights resigned to the fact that I’ll be dead soon.

He can protect me. Forde has the reputation for handling cases that blur the line between right and wrong. Yes, he can help me, but he’s asking for too much from me – my trust, my body and for the chance to make my dreams come true.

If I could… everything would be Better.

Get your copy here!

About the Author

Melanie Jayne lives on a grain farm in central Indiana with her husband two English Mastiffs, Ginger and Duncan Keith. Still searching for what she wants to be when she grows up, she is currently writing full-time, and has worked retail, provided services in a federal courtroom, traveled across the state to close home loans and spent eight years behind the scenes at a casino.

She loves sports, reading and ridiculous TV shows. She loves to meet readers and attends many signings and conventions. Please stop by and say “hello”.



Tara Neale: What it means to be a Master and a Man
Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Almost five years ago, I met this amazing couple. I am sure they are tired of hearing the story, but it had such an impact upon me that I have to keep telling it anyway. They had been married more than twenty-five years…and He was her Master, she his slave.

He taught me in a single moment what it meant to be a Master and a Man. And never again will I ever settle for anything else.

All night He looked at her with such love and adoration. What my older daughter calls, the Mister Darcy look after the final scene in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when he professes his love. All I could think was how much I wished a man would look at me like that.

But he had only begun to teach me about love and Domination. You see when she started to feel unwell He knelt before her. A Master on His knees. Was He submitting to her? Hell, no, He was caring for, protecting, cherishing and loving what was His.

He spoke softly to her, gently caressing her. But when He turned to face us, there was nothing soft or gentle in this bear of a man’s eyes. It was the look of a predator, ready to defend to the death that which was His. To lay down His life if necessary to protect His sub and wife. And like that bear, He roared that she was ill and would be leaving us.

That night changed me forever as an erotic writer, a woman and a submissive. This man became the measuring stick against which I compared all others. And try as I feebly might, my paltry words have never been able to capture the power of that very REAL moment.

Was He a millionaire Dom about which best sellers are written? No, He was very much a working bloke who did His best to provide for His family. While He had once served Her Majesty with honor, His body was no longer the corded muscles that grace covers about Navy SEALs and Marines. His dark hair was liberally sprinkled with more silver than dark peppery hues. The six-pack that may have once graced His middle was hidden beneath more than enough cushion for the pushin’. In short, this man was nothing like the heroes that fill pages of romance fantasy.

Nonetheless, He was everything that women desire most…devoted, loving, protective and through it all very much a Dom.

So here are just a few of my thoughts on what it takes to be a true Master and Man like He was…

A dom thinks ‘kneel bitch’ are powerful words…a Man knows that ‘I am sorry’ are the most powerful ones He will ever need…and is not ashamed to use them.

A dom gives pain…a Man feels pain when you are hurting.

A dom commands obedience…a Man earns your respect.

A dom takes what is his…a Man gives of Himself without reservation.

A dom owns…a Man loves.

Luckily for us subbie girls, sometimes on very rare occasions you can find two-for-one sales and get the Dom/Master along with the man. But hold out for that sale, girlfriends…because one ain’t worth a damn without the other.

And, yes, after a rather convoluted path with lessons and pain galore, I too found that special two-for-one sale. Right now, my writing is taking a bit of hiatus as we settle into our new lives, move homes and deal with the realities of raising an autistic child.

Because the hard truth is that the REAL story begins where most of our books end. The words ‘I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you’ is not ‘The End.’ It is only the beginning.

And trust me, even life with the millionaire Dom/Man of your dreams is not without hiccups. The difference is that while life may still suck…love makes it so worthwhile. It is the only thing that will.

And while book boyfriends maybe nice…the REAL thing even if He is not book cover material is sooooo much better.


**If slightly ageing millionaire Doms who are devoted to their families even after the ink is long dried on the divorce papers appeal to you, then look for Rings of Fire, Book 2 in Tara Neale’s Apocalypse series. Coming in the New Year (2017).

Check out Tara Neale’s Author Page!

Meg Benjamin: Just Get Over It
Saturday, September 24th, 2016


In my newest book, Running On Empty, the heroine is a reality show survivor who willingly takes on another reality show (and a fake triathlon) even though she suspects the cards are stacked against her. Why? Because she wants to show people that she’s smarter than they think.

Let me explain. My heroine, Ronnie Ventura, was a supporting character in the first book in this trilogy, Finding Mr. Right Now. She was the bachelorette on a show called Finding Mr. Right, and she was a sweet but naïve participant who ended up walking off the show in disgust. She’s changed a lot by the beginning of Running On Empty (she also had a supporting role—an important one—in book 2, Love In the Morning). She’s more self confident, more assured, and a lot less innocent. But she still wants to try her luck with Fairstein Productions one more time because it annoys her that millions of people once thought she was an idiot.

When I showed a draft of Running On Empty to one beta reader, she was mystified. “Why would she care what other people think? That’s silly,” she said. I didn’t exactly know how to answer her because from my point of view it wasn’t silly at all. I’m a person who worries about other people’s opinions of me. It would probably be better for me if I didn’t, but I’m old enough to know that’s not going to change.

But my beta reader’s point of view was helpful because that was exactly the point of view of my hero, Ted Saltzman. He can’t understand why Ronnie would care about what people think. The citizens of Salt Box, Colorado, know that she’s both savvy and sweet. They love her, and so does he. Why worry about anybody else?

This conflict between Ronnie and Ted becomes the central problem between them. He can’t understand why she’s putting herself out there for Fairstein Productions to step on once again. And she can’t make him see why it matters to her. It finally becomes An Issue:

“I think Fairstein is run by a bunch of jerks who don’t want you to succeed. I think they’re stupid. I’ve always thought that. But I never thought you were the problem, Ronnie.”

She blew out a quick breath. “The people at Fairstein are a bunch of jerks. Well, most of them, anyway. But I still want to do this. I can’t explain it—not so that it’ll make sense to you. And I shouldn’t have to.”

I think both points of view here are valid. It’s understandable to care about how you come across to others. But it’s also understandable to think that not all opinions matter. The central plot of Running On Empty is Ronnie’s struggle to triumph over Fairstein’s machinations (she does, of course—it’s a romance). But the romantic plot centers on this question: if someone you love does something you don’t really understand or sympathize with, can you learn to accept it? To his credit, Ted does. But it takes him most of the book to learn how.

Here’s the blurb for Running On Empty:

She’s running her heart out to stay in the same place.

Ronnie Ventura has every reason to distrust Fairstein Productions: she’s had run-ins with their shows before. But Fairstein’s newest reality show offers Ronnie a chance to redeem herself from looking like a blonde bimbo. All she has to do is win a modified triathlon. Simple, right? Except this is Fairstein, and nothing is ever simple with them.

Ronnie’s boss at the Blarney Stone bar and café, owner Ted Saltzman, is a lot less convinced that another Fairstein show is just what Ronnie needs, particularly when he’s head over heels about Ronnie himself.  But she’s determined, and he’s a man in love.

Ted becomes her running coach, which fans their budding romance to a fever. But can Ronnie’s newfound confidence stand up to the usual Fairstein plots? And can Ted find a way to keep his true love in Salt Box if Hollywood tries to steal her away again?

You can find it at Amazon.