Archive for December, 2017
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
Today is a rare chance for me to sit at my desk. All day. Well, after I have my first morning coffee with my dd across the street as we sit together and watch all the kids, other than the 4-year-old, climb into their bus for school. Then, it’s back to my place. Maybe I’ll start my day by clearing off my desk. I’ve let things pile up for a week. I can still see the monitor, so it’s all good, but since I have time…
I’m editing today. All day. Not my favorite thing to do, but I am enjoying the author’s story. I get the privilege of reading her words first. There’s not time for new words of my own, because I’m pushing up against the deadline to be finished with her work. Hopefully, this weekend I’ll be lost in my own writing.
All my Christmas presents are bought. All but my dd’s presents and a few things for the older ladies are wrapped (because my dd did the wrapping). I still have to make a few things—bracelets, a little sewing project. I’m feeling a little antsy about getting to those now.
I didn’t want any stress surrounding this holiday, but I’m beginning to feel the pinch in my neck. And I’m going to bed later and getting up feeling not so well-rested.
So, my question to you is:
How do you cope with the stress of the holidays?
Have fun with it. I’d love some nice nuggets of genius, but I’ll enjoy some silliness, too!
Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Greetings to Delilah and all her readers!
Thank you for letting me come over today and share a book with you. A Romance for Christmas is a sweet, feel-good holiday romance that reaffirms all you love about Christmas.
When the story opens, it’s Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves was lost. Everything but her little girl and a fierce determination to survive. When a cop brings Christmas to her door, he brings another gift she never expected to get.
“Mommy?” Christine’s young voice broke in on her thoughts.
Dara put down the romance she’d been re-reading, the favorite she’d had since she was sixteen. She’d sold all her others at a yard sale the previous week. “What is it, sweetie?”
“Why don’t we has a real tree for Chribmas?”
“Why don’t we ‘have’,” she corrected. “Come sit by me.” Dara patted the couch and tucked her chenille robe closer around her.
One arm around Matilda, her cloth doll, Christine climbed up beside her mother and cuddled.
Matilda’s going to need stuffing before long. Her head flopped forward, face against her flat chest. When did the lace on her dress get so ragged? Dara smoothed the doll’s dress. “Remember when Daddy went home to heaven before Christmas last year?”
Christine knuckled her eyes and yawned. “I ‘member.”
“And then Mommy got hurt in the car accident and couldn’t go to work?”
Dara took a deep breath. “Well, it meant there was no money for a real tree this year. But I’m sure Santa will still bring you presents.” Gifts Dara bought by selling her entire collection of romance novels at a yard sale at her friend Sherilyn’s house. “And we drew a tree, right?” She pointed at the crayon-bright drawing taped to the wall. Construction paper ornaments decorated each branch.
“But it doesn’t smell like a Chribmas tree.”
Dara hugged her. “I know, baby. I know.”
“How will Santa leave his presents?” Christine pulled away and got on her knees. “He can’t put them under the tree, Mommy.”
“Oh, honey!” She ruffled her daughter’s hair, swallowing the lump in her throat. “Santa will find a way.” She leaned forward and kissed her little girl. “We should get you in bed so he can come. He can’t leave presents while you’re awake.”
Two ways to get this book free!
First, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get this book free. Second, if you buy the paperback for a friend, you get the Kindle version for yourself at no cost. Now that’s a bargain. Merry Christmas!
Kindle Unlimited https://amzn.to/1wpW8qE
Here’s a free Christmas coloring book
for the kid in all of us!
About Kayelle Allen
Author Kayelle Allen is a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured. Come check out her site and learn about her books. She writes contemporary, plus Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr.
Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group Download four free books and get news about books coming soon. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
Popping in just to say—Woot! WMR is out! I’m on to the next project before I can circle back and think about what happens next in the series. I kinda know now, but I’m letting it stew. There will be fairies!
I hope you love this story! One reader has already said: “It is full of surprises. Very sweet, very sexy and very mysterious.”
Wolf Moon Rising
In Jefferson Parish, deep in the bayou, is a place called Bonne Nuit. Off the beaten path, isolated by swamp and connected to the sea, there the Beaux Rêve Coven thrives.
Five witches…Too many demons to count…
Aoife is the flightiest of the sister witches, and she has a secret, one her mother warned her to keep close to her heart. Her father was a fairy—which explains her quirkiness and her affinity for flowers. She lives in a cabin on stilts that juts into the bayou, and one of her demon guardians is a werewolf. She’s attracted, but how would he feel if he married her, fathered a child, and that child disappeared into the land of the fae? Desperate to find a solution to her dilemma, she flees her guardian’s protection. Her last hope is to enlist her father’s help. Plead her case. Her happiness, and that of her one true love, Sigurd, depends on whether she can escape this fairy curse.
Get your copy here!
Enjoy an excerpt…
For Sigurd, acting as guardian to the witch, Aoife, was both a blessing and curse. A blessing, because he’d never known anyone as innocent and pure, and a woman who truly didn’t know her own allure. A curse, because he had to guard her against his own lustful nature.
And again, he was thankful two other demons were assigned the protection detail, because more than anything, he wanted her kept safe. However, he was equally annoyed at having two competitors for her affection.
Of course, many more among the demons living around Bonne Nuit aspired to hear the “echo” of their bonding with a witch. Such a bonding brought power to the lucky demon—and demons were greedy about that sort of thing. They frequented Aoife’s small cabin poised on long stilts above the bayou on the flimsiest of excuses. One needed a fragrant oil to help him sleep. Another needed a healing balm to soothe a bruise. And they were constantly underfoot in her garden and her workshop, interfering more than helping—at least, to his mind.
However, Aoife appeared blissfully unaware of the males’ attempts at garnering her exclusive attention. Her radiant smile flashed indiscriminately upon her pursuers, never mind their unsuitability as possible mates. And despite the fact they’d done nothing to earn the right to call her wife.
Unlike Sigurd, who suffered her proximity and who stood ready to serve her in any way she pleased. Who quietly stood guard over her while she slept, losing his sleep and his pride because she slumbered so soundly, completely unaware of his constant state of arousal.
Sigurd wasn’t naturally a patient man, but he had withstood the torture of being close day in and out for seven months. He was nearing his breaking point. If something didn’t happen soon, he would press their leader, Ethan, to ask his pretty wife for help. Bryn liked him well enough, always turning to give him a wink when “family” dinners took place, and one of Aoife’s admirers fought for the privilege of sitting at her side. Sigurd preferred to sit across from her at the table anyway—the better to glower at his competition. And perhaps raise a lip in a menacing snarl.
Bryn seemed to be in his corner. Perhaps she would be eager to see her sister witch settled. If something didn’t change soon, he’d speak with her.
On this evening, Sigurd wore his wolfskin and lay curled on the wooden floor beside Aoife’s bed. Just before she’d begun softly snoring, she’d reached down and scratched behind his ears. Probably not an act she was even aware of doing. She was kind to all creatures and seemed especially fond of his wolf form, sometimes taking a brush to his fur or giving him a bath in the large metal tub on the porch. He lived for those moments.
He shook his head in disgust. What a sorry excuse for a wolf he was. Wolves weren’t pets. They were pack animals who needed to belong to a family and a mate. A male needed to dominate his bitch, but he didn’t think Aoife would ever agree to be his bitch.
However, the thought did stretch his wolf’s mouth into a feral grin. He laid his head atop his paws and settled with a disgruntled whine.
Minutes passed, and he was nearly drifting off to sleep when the bed creaked and feet softly lowered to the floor. He perked his ears and pushed up to peer over the mattress, just in time to see Aoife slip through her bedroom door.
He followed, freezing when her steps paused, ducking behind corners when she glanced around. Something was afoot, and his hackles rose when she reached for her cloak and a small bag from the hook beside the front door.
Was she meeting a lover? Or were the witches gathering in secret? Somehow, he doubted the latter because Bryn was very pregnant and couldn’t slide gracefully from Ethan’s bed. And Miren would have to escape three mates, and that could never happen. Which reminded him, where the hell were the other two guards?
When Aoife opened the door and crept outside, closing it behind her, he drew up short. He hadn’t considered how he would exit the house, so he quickly shook free of his wolfskin and strode onto the porch. His glance went to the steps at the side of the porch, but then a sound, a soft splash, pulled his gaze to the canal flowing past her porch. She’d taken a boat. The fact she was already on the water meant she’d been in a hurry.
What the fuck?
Footsteps sounded from inside the house. A door creaked open then slammed shut. So much for stealth. Hamdir, also a wolf, walked to his side, scratching his chest. “Where’s the witch? I was sleeping on the couch. Thought you were watching her.”
“I was.” I watched her escape. “Go back to bed. I have this handled.”
“Sure about that?” Hamdir yawned. “Don’t know how you aren’t dead on your feet. You really ought to let us have turns inside her bedroom.” His large hand patted Sigurd’s shoulder. “Driving to New Orleans in the mornin’, or I’d join you on this hunt,” he said with a waggle of his eyebrows.
His gaze followed Hamdir as he stepped back inside. Their group had grown complacent since Ethan defeated the council’s champion in battle and no retribution had been settled upon their unbanded group. Most presumed the mere presence of so many demons, concentrated in their small town, was deterrent enough to rogue demons seeking to steal a witch for a mate.
Sigurd was reminded he’d have to enlist another guard from among the bachelor demons during Hamdir’s absence.
A cool wind wafted against his skin, raising chill bumps. Early Winter in the bayou was mild, but he couldn’t easily follow Aoife on foot.
Instead, Sigurd shifted again and fell to his paws. With a single quick yelp, he leapt past the stairs to the bank. Lifting his nose to the breeze, he followed Aoife’s delicious witch’s scent through the murky, shadowed bayou. If he startled a gator, the bastard better move out of his way.
Monday, December 11th, 2017
Lone Star Leathernecks, Volume 2
Wrangling a leatherneck takes skill . . . and patience.
Subject: Mateo Lopez, USMC retired
Current Status: Medical discharge, recovering
Mission: Rebuild his life following medical discharge from the Marines after suffering a spinal injury. Care for and train his beloved horses once again.
Obstacle: Claire Windsor. The London-born trainer comes to the ranch, keen on beginning a training program designed to turn its horses into therapy animals. The last thing Mateo wants is a change in routine or a beautiful, talented woman with a sexy accent telling him what to do. But avoiding her may prove impossible, especially when she stands between him and the work he loves.
Find excerpt for Heather Long’s As You Were, Cowboy below.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=VaivDgAAQBAJ
Series Reading Order:
Semper Fi Cowboy
As You Were, Cowboy
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family.
She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
Heather is best known for her 18-book paranormal romance series Wolves of Willow Bend, which begins:
Prequel: Wolf at Law
1: Wolf Bite
2: Caged Wolf
3: Wolf Claim
3.5: Wolf Next Door
4: Rogue Wolf
5: Bayou Wolf
6: Untamed Wolf
Heather’s other fantasy romance series include the paranormal westerns Fevered Hearts starting with Marshal of Hel Dorado, Black Hill Wolves which start with What a Wolf Wants, Witches of Mane Street, Mongrels, and the forthcoming Bravo Team WOLF series.
Her contemporary romance series include: Always a Marine, Going Royal, Elite Warriors, The Love Thieves, beginning with Catch Me and Lone Star Leathernecks, beginning with Semper Fi Cowboy.
Heather is well-represented in fantasy with her superhero series Boomers, a sci-fi western called Space Cowboy Survival Guide, an urban fantasy series called the Chance Monroe Adventures, and a stand-alone ghost novel titled Haunt Me.
Excerpt of As You Were, Cowboy by Heather Long
Anger filled Mateo Lopez like hot shrapnel bursting with every word the gorgeous blonde issued in her cultured British accent. White-hot lances of pain radiated along his spine. All he’d done was move a few damn bales of hay, and it had left him sweating and gasping for breath. Accepting his limitations and giving in to weakness were not in his wheelhouse, although he’d elected to make the walk to his truck for the prescription the doctor insisted he fill. If he could avoid taking the pain pills he would. Now her.
“I beg your pardon,” she said, and he could practically feel the stiffness of her tone, as though a riding crop were delivering a fresh welt of pain across his back. “Mr. Wilks?”
“I’m not Tanner,” Mateo admitted. As grating as her pronouncement had been, his mother would tear a strip off his hide if he didn’t dispel the misunderstanding. “I’m Mateo Lopez, ranch manager.” Technically, he was the assistant ranch manager to his father. They split the ranch tasks between them. “I handle the trainers as well.”
He was the trainer.
The horses were his.
This . . . woman was not going to just walk in and take over like she owned the place.
“Please accept my apologies, Mr. Lopez. I thought you were Mr. Wilks.” Unease left her manner stilted, and a tiny frown line appeared between her cornflower-blue eyes, which gleamed with intensity even in the barn’s shade. Sugar nickered again and stomped her feet, disturbed by their nearness and likely offended by the lack of attention. The filly was lovely, and a diva in her awareness of it.
With a light cough to clear her throat, she recaptured his attention and continued, “If you could point me in Tanner’s direction, then I’ll excuse myself.”
“I have no problems excusing you, but the ranch is private property and, as I already stated, I oversee all the horses here. We don’t need a new trainer.” It went against the grain on every level. A spasm worked its way along his spine, and he gritted his teeth. Yes, Tanner had mentioned the potential plan—keyword potential. He hadn’t mentioned actually hiring anyone. Mateo attributed it to keeping the Colonel focused on his recovery. That was why, right?
“Mr. Lopez, I’m not sure what I’ve done to offend you, but my contract is with Mr. Wilks.” The stress of the word contract couldn’t be missed, nor could the way her chin lifted and her shoulders went back. Even her nose seemed a little higher, as though she physically held herself back from fighting with him.
“Lady, I don’t know what you think is going to happen, but no trainers touch these horses without my approval.” The horses were everything to him. There was no way Tanner was going to usurp his work to bring a Brit.
“I know exactly what is going to happen. I left a very lucrative and successful training program in Stafford to travel several thousand miles to make a dream come true. I apologize if I’ve offended you, but until Mr. Wilks decides to buy out my contract, I’m not going anywhere.”
Stubborn defiance flashed in those willful eyes. Red flushed her cream complexion, which drew his attention to the scatter of freckles across her nose and upper cheeks. They contrasted against her sharp look, and he couldn’t look away.
“What you left or didn’t leave is not my concern,” he said through his teeth. The spasm in his back was continuing to lash at his spine like blazing hot barbed wire. The need to collapse weighed on him, but he refused to give in. Not when he faced an opponent in better physical condition than he. Even if she was overdressed for the heat. To give in to weakness in front of her would be to concede that he couldn’t do his job.
Despite the rigidity of her posture, she couldn’t disguise the concern flickering in her eyes. The last thing he wanted was her sympathy. Not when she stood there with clenched fists. “I’ll leave you to whatever it is you’re doing and seek Tanner out myself.”
Though she turned on her heel and began walking away, Mateo couldn’t just let Claire leave.
“You have no business wandering around the ranch by yourself.” Not dressed like she was—she’d get heatstroke. “The ranch covers several hundred acres, and that doesn’t include the outer pastures.”
Halting, she still held her hands clenched tight as she turned to face him. “Mr. Lopez, was it?”
A shiver of humor evaded the pain storming his system. There was something about the way she framed his name in her perfectly sensible, clipped accent. Melodic and insulting all at once.
“You can call me Mateo.” He managed a smile, though it required him to clench his teeth.
“I’d prefer to keep the address formal in order to stay professional.” The brilliant blue of her eyes turned positively frosty. “That being said, Mr. Lopez, I spoke to a Maria. She directed me to the house, and I chose to stop at the barn on my way there. My mistake. I won’t continue to trouble you.”
The fingers of agony digging into his spine began to twist, and Mateo braced a hand against the door to the stall. White-knuckling, he managed to stay on his feet. A man appeared in the entry to the barn, backlit by the late-day sun, the hat on his head giving away his identity.
“Miss Windsor,” Tanner called as he strode down the aisle. “Maria told me you were here. Was on the way to the house when I saw the car outside.”
Shit. Mateo wanted to curse. Bad enough the foreigner was here. His best friend confirming her story, though—that made it all the worse.
Sunday, December 10th, 2017
Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me to guest on your blog.
Writing PROJECT DETOUR was a study of work-life balance for me. I was (okay, am) Brad. I get up early and tend my author work, drive into town to work a day job, then come home and get some words on the page. On good days, I even get a work out. On others, dinner is kind of a catch as you can sort of deal.
Basically I’m saying I run myself to the edge. Over and over. So when I had a character who got that part of my life? I knew I had to rescue him from this madness. If only one of us can get out, at least I’ve helped. And maybe I’ll learn something in the process.
I’m sure some of you have the same problem. When you’re at work, you’re thinking about home. When you’re at home, you’re thinking about work. And sleep? Forget about it.
But like I said, I’ve been learning some lessons in this journey. The best piece of advice I can give you is what they tell us on airplanes. Put your oxygen mask on first. Get enough sleep. Workout consistently. Eat healthy. And take time to relax. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessity.
My other piece of advice? Write everything down. I have a yearly, monthly, and weekly plan. I set goals at the weekly level to reach my yearly and monthly goals. Then, I schedule the activity in. If it’s not on my weekly list to get done? I’ve probably forgotten about it.
And one more idea? Schedule in fun time. It might be taking your kid to the carnival or walking your dog (which kills two birds as you’re getting exercise.) But get out of your head and your house often to laugh.
What about you? Are you a proud workaholic? ~Lynn
Book 3 of the Castle View series is FREE on Amazon only 12/10-11.
Get your copy fast.
Sometimes fate resets the work/life balance scales.
Brad Castle had a plan for his life. A plan that crashed when a car accident stole his ability to do even the most basic tasks. On the verge of watching his Castle View Winery fail, he finally agrees to his mom’s badgering of hiring her assistant to help him recuperate. Every day is a struggle, but he won’t let his business and everyone that depends on him down. Besides, he only needs her for six weeks.
Destiny Brooks has bigger problems than a golden-boy who always had everything he wanted. Problems that included busting through the roadblocks in her path to open St. Josephs’ first Physical Therapy business. Even with his mother’s constant matchmaking attempts, Destiny won’t lose herself for the sake of a relationship, not again.
Can Brad open himself up to the possibilities of a world beyond work before Destiny finishes her assignment and moves on?
Get your copy here!
About the Author
Lynn Collins is the romance pen name for New York Times bestselling mystery author, Lynn Cahoon. Lynn claims to be the unrecognized daughter of Barnabas (Dark Shadows) and says she grew up in a dark, dank castle on the moors, waiting to be rescued. Finally, as all good heroines do, she rescued herself and now writes about happily ever after’s in small town settings. Someday she hopes to write the next big gothic romance. She lives with her cat. Find out more at: www.lynncollinsauthor.com
Saturday, December 9th, 2017
So…. I wrapped up another story this past week—just in the nick of time. It releases next week! The puzzle is related (hint-hint!). I had already set up a pre-order for the story but had to change the description slightly, as well as the price (it’s cheaper!), because it turned out to be more of a novelette than a novella. I don’t think you’ll mind. For this writer, I begin a story, thinking it’s going to go a certain way, and then stuff happens. Crazy stuff I didn’t see until the characters encounter something surprising (right along with me!), and the story takes off in another direction. This story will require a sequel. But you’ll have to read it, and then you’ll get an idea of why. Hate being a tease, but hey, that’s my job, right?
In the meantime, I have to move onto other projects, like a certain SEAL stepbrother and a wedding…another bounty hunter adventure… I’m editing three stories for other authors—all due by the end of this month! I’ll be revising an old story I based very loosely on a Russian fairytale and releasing that this month—so be watching for it!
Play the puzzle—then I have a question for you.
Answer in the comments, and you might win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Which of my series would you like to see continued?
Check this page for a reminder of what’s already there!
(Shame on me, I haven’t updated that page to show the Montana Bounty Hunters!)
Don’t miss out on FREE STORIES! Again, here’s the deal…
Throughout December, leading up to Christmas on the Delilah’s Collections website, I and some of the wonderful authors who’ve appeared in my collections will be giving away our stories! My suggestion, if you’re interested in collecting them, is to subscribe to the Collections blog. Look for the sign-up in the right column on that website. It says “Subscribe To Blog Via Email”—easy, right? That way you won’t miss a single offering. And beware! These free stories will only be available for a short time, so jump on them!
Friday, December 8th, 2017
Hi Delilah’s readers!
I really appreciate Delilah letting me appropriate her blog for today, so let’s see if I can entertain y’all.
As you can see by the y’all, I’m from Texas. Born in Houston, raised all over. And by all over, I do mean all over. Norway, Egypt, Dubai, Honduras… Daddy was an engineer who designed offshore o’l rigs. Yes, o’l. It’s cute how some people actually pronounce that silent i in the middle. *gg*
I married the Air Force just to stay on the move, and I must say, it’s worked out pretty well. 23 years later, we’re still married, and we’re pretending to have settled down in the Midwest. Just for a little while.
Along the way, I’ve picked up a lot of odd ideas and ways of looking at the world. One of those ideas is actually something I remember from living in Norway. I’ve never enjoyed the cold, but Scandinavians seem to pull it off with style. They embrace not just the wintry weather outside, but the full coziness of life when they come in from the snow and ice.
In Denmark, there’s a specific word for it: “hygge.” Not higguh, not hoogah, but heugeh (sort of like a yew sound). However you say it, the concept of hygge is basically…coziness.
Turn off the glaring LED Christmas lights. Instead, light a fire and some candles. Wear your favorite cozy sweater, or pull a soft blanket over your lap. Close up the Kindle and read a paper book in your favorite chair, with a cup of real hot chocolate by your side.
It’s also hyggelig to go out and meet with friends at a cafe where the phones stay in everyone’s purses and pockets. To go out for a hike in the snowy woods, then come back for a little mulled cider and a board game.
Hygge is those moments of peace and contentment found both in your own company, and in the convivial company of friends and family.
It’s a Currier and Ives post card. It’s a Dickens happy ending. And it takes a little work to set up, but when you can finally sink into that comfort, it’s worth it.
Have a happy and hyggelig holiday!
And in the spirit of holiday reading, I should also mention that I was very happy to be able to participate in an anthology that just came out called MERRY & BRIGHT. Nine new stories that are set in the Nocturne Falls Universe, you’ll be charmed by these sweet, fun shorts that are just right for reading while you wait for your cocoa to cool.
My entry, Magic’s Frost…
Lonely werewolf Dima Samarin looks forward to watching his favorite winter elf every morning at the Hallowed Bean. He rescues her unfinished novel from the perils of spilled cocoa, and becomes her hero.
Elin Bergstrom’s day job is at Santa’s Workshop, but she secretly writes sci-fi novels on the side. She accepts Dima’s invitation to the Christmas Ball, but when their date gets derailed by a drug deal gone bad, this elf isn’t about to stay on her shelf.
Sometimes a werewolf can use a little helpful frost magic to win the day, and save their date.
You can pick up this ebook at:
It’s also available in print at