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Archive for January, 2018



Brent Archer: Steak Pies and The Rain City Tales
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

My first experience with steak pies came in the spring of 2009. My best friend from college informed me that she was leaving Auckland after a two-year stint with her partner, so I decided I’d better get there before I lost the free room and local tour guide. For those of you who’ve read The Officer’s Siren, this might sound familiar. For the purposes of this post, I’ll call her Emily (like I did in the book). Emily took me to the grocery store after my jetlag wore off, and I found a huge selection of these wonderful meat pies. Now I love cheese, and I really love meat and gravy, so the combination of both in a pastry shell had my mouth watering before I even got to the checkout stand. They didn’t disappoint! My favorite by a mile was the steak and brie pies. Australian meat pies have the meat ground, but New Zealand Pies are chunks of steak. I’ve had both, but prefer by a mile the Kiwi (New Zealander) pies. I’d definitely brave the 13-hour flight to have these again.

After returning to Seattle, I didn’t find a source for these wonderful treats until another writing friend, Maia Strong (seriously, check out her stuff – she’s awesome), took me to Pies and Pints on Sixty-Fifth Avenue NE in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Although they had the Aussie version of the meat pies, I loved the place so much, I sent my guys there in both The Officer’s Siren and in the second novel of the Rain City Tales, Past Secrets Present Danger. Sadly, after 13 years, Pies and Pints in Seattle closed in 2017, but the wonderful space, and the yummy meat pies, live on as our guys’ go-to place after work for pool, pies, and tater tots!

The second installment of the Rain City Tales, Past Secrets Present Danger, is now available for download on Amazon and Kobo today! Past Secrets Present Danger follows accountant Roger Matthews navigating his partner, SPD Officer Paul Tomlinson’s, secrets and past when he lands in the hospital after a shooting. Stay tuned for Rain City Tales Book 3: I’m Yours due out before Valentine’s Day, and Rain City Tales Book 4: The Wedding Weekend, out in May 2018.

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You can order the first Rain City Tales story, The Officer’s Siren, here.
Checkout Brent’s website for more details on upcoming books.

Excerpt from Past Secrets Present Danger:

The pub teemed with people as they stepped inside, and Roger thought the restaurant seemed overly crowded for a mid-week evening. Paul navigated his way through the sea of chairs, holding Roger’s hand and steering him to a small table not far from the pool table, where Fred Collier waved his arms in animated conversation with Alex and Sarah Templeton.

“Not sitting at the bar this evening, gents?” The bartender, Seb, approached the table with two coasters and tossed the disks onto the table top.

Paul grinned. “No room. How’s married life treating you?”

“I think your buxom Italian wife disappointed all the women and over half the men in this place when she caught you,” Roger joined in.

Seb laughed. “Emily’s amazing. I’m still marveling at how awesome she is.” He leaned in. “Although, just between the three of us, I could do without the jogging outfits she comes up with. Love is blind, though, eh?”

As Seb moved to another table, Fred hurried over. “Paul, good that you’re here. Alex and Sarah challenged me to a game, and I need my partner.”

Eyeing his co-worker, Paul crossed his arms. “What’s the matter?” he asked, his tone wry. “Your pool-shark buddy, Mike, not available?”

Fred’s eyes widened. “It was just that one time, I swear. You were out of town, and I was in a bind.”

“That’s not what Sarah said,” Roger piped up. He loved joining in the teasing interplay between Paul and his boss, and loved even more the fact Paul’s friends and fellow officers had accepted him so readily into their circle. “She told me you constantly beg Mike to come play.”

Paul shifted his gaze from Roger to Fred. “Is this true?” he asked with exaggerated dismay and indignation.

Swinging his gaze toward Sarah and Alex, Fred glared at the couple. The Templetons exchanged glances and shrugged while smothering smiles.

Officer Jason Lynch and his husband Mike Bryant wove their way to Roger and Paul’s table.

Mike’s goofy smile lit up his face. “Did someone mention my name?”

Stifling a laugh, Roger sat back and watched the officers bicker about who was entitled to play and how often Mike was cutting in on Paul’s gig. Seb bustled over and planted his hands on his hips.

“All right, boys. If you don’t cool it,” he said, winking at Roger, “I’ll have to call the cops.”

The room filled with the roar of laughter from the three officers. Jason and Mike took the two extra seats at the table, and Roger handed his menu over to the pair.

“I’m ready to order, Seb,” Roger said.

Seb pulled his pad from his apron. “Shoot.”

“The steak and cheddar pie with a mound of tater tots.” He glanced at the beer list. “And…a bottle of Roger’s Pilsner.”

Mike chuckled next to Roger. “I’ll have the same, except I want a ginger beer.”

Seb nodded. “Paul?”

As his boyfriend and Jason ordered, Roger cast Fred a bemused grin. The poor guy was desperate for Paul to go shoot a game of pool with the Templetons, and Paul was purposefully taking his time, being indecisive about his food and drink order.

When Seb finally left the table, Fred plunked down between Paul and Jason. “Seriously, are you going to help me out, Paul?” He glanced across the table at Mike. “I’m sure there’s someone else here who’d play if you don’t want to.”

Paul leaned toward Roger. “What do you think, babe?”

“Let Mike play.” Roger grinned. “The game’ll be over in about five minutes.”

Another roar of laughter erupted from the table, although this time Fred didn’t join in. He looked like a spoiled child whose favorite toy had been stolen away.

Taking pity on him, Roger turned to Fred. “Just kidding. Go shoot one game.” Roger raised his index finger and waved it in front of Paul. “One game. You have commitments after we’re done eating.”

Heat burned through the look Paul shot him as he pushed himself to his feet. “Okay, Fred. You heard the boss. One game.”

“Commitments?” Jason looked between them.

Mike chuckled and reached his hand under the table. “Commitments.”

Eyes widening, Jason stared at his husband. “Oh. Commitments.”

About the Author

Brent Archer began writing in 2011 at the nudging of his cousins (ahem, Elle James and Delilah Devlin). His first story sold, and he was hooked! Keep up with Brent Archer and his current releases at his website, and follow him on Twitter: @brentarcherwrit.

Allie Boniface: Look up, Angel (F*R*E*E READ)
Monday, January 15th, 2018

First off, a big thank-you to Delilah for hosting me here on her blog!

So here we are in January of a brand new year. Can you believe it’s 2018? I don’t make formal resolutions for myself anymore (ugh! too much pressure!), but I do like to look at the new year for a chance to reboot my daily routines and take a look at how I can become a better writer.

One of my goals this year? To interact more with YOU, my readers. I read an article in the New York Times last fall that really stuck with me. It talked about how people need social interaction, and social support networks, to be both physically and mentally healthy. Among the statistics they cited? People who’d suffered a heart attack had only a quarter the risk of death in the next 3 years if they had a strong support network, as opposed to those without one. In general, people who are socially isolated have a higher risk for stress and inflammation, which in turn can lead to mortality risk factors like high blood pressure, a weaker immune system, and coronary heart disease.

Scary stuff, right?

And yet so many of us walk around attached to our phones, or sit in our living rooms focused on our tablets, and we forget to look up, to have a conversation with those around us, to talk and listen and engage in a very human, one-to-one way.

So my goal this year is to be more present and more engaged with the people in my life. I can’t always do that in-person with my readers, but I can chat with them online and in social media groups and I can develop relationships with them both because of, and outside of, the books I write.

All this is a very long way of inviting you to be part of my journey this year in building better relationships with my readers! Two ways I have already started:

I am resurrecting my blog, and each week I’ll put up a post that will feature a giveaway. I hope you’ll stop by, visit, leave a comment, and throw in your chance to win whatever prize I’m giving away that week.

I am also writing 4 short stories exclusively for my newsletter subscribers. These stories will be free, and they’re my way of thanking my loyal readers and followers for supporting me on my writing journey. The first story, “Look Up, Angel,” released last week, so if you’re interested in reading it, you can subscribe to my newsletter for all the details: http://eepurl.com/9TO79

Enjoy this excerpt, and then if you’d like, drop by my blog to check out this week’s giveaway. I hope you’ll become a regular there, or on my Facebook page, or simply drop in every now and then to see what I’ve been up to. In the meantime, Happy New Year! Have a wonderful 2018!

Look Up, Angel

Sometimes love is waiting for us in the places we least expect it. All we have to do is look up…

“You’re kidding.” Angela skirted a mom pushing a double baby stroller and darted across 42nd Street before the light turned red. A cab missed her by a quarter inch, hit a puddle, and splashed dirty water all over her ankles. Fabulous. She pressed her cell phone to her cheek. “Is this guy even qualified to be your cameraman?”

“He’s got some experience,” her best friend Sophie said. “At a local cable station, but at least it’s something.”

Angela glanced over her shoulder and crossed 9th Avenue. “Soph, this is one of the biggest shows of your career. And you’re letting a hometown boy who’s got — what? Two or three hours behind the camera? You’re letting him shoot it? I can’t believe Lon isn’t freaking out about it.” The producer of Sophie’s travel show freaked out about everything.

“Not like I have much choice. I’m in the middle of nowhere. This town doesn’t even have a decent coffee shop.”

Horns blared around Angela. People rushed by in an effort to get home. The marquees, the storefronts, the traffic itself, lit up Times Square. She passed three coffee shops in the time it took Sophie to complain about the lack of one in Lindsey Point. She’d never lived anywhere but Brooklyn, as a child, and now Manhattan, as a journalist fresh out of grad school. She couldn’t imagine a place without espresso and parking garages and twenty-four hour take-out.

“Well, you’re not there for too long, right?” she said.

“I’m not sure. It’s a heck of a good story, I’ll tell you that much. I might be here a couple of weeks.”

Angela turned a corner, then another, and stopped in front of her favorite Italian restaurant. She rarely cooked, and at almost nine o’clock, her empty stomach reminded her that it had no patience for her attempts to. “Listen, I’ll call you later. I’m picking up dinner.”

“This late?”

Angela frowned at her phone. “It’s not even nine.”

Sophie laughed. “Sorry. It’s just that this town closes up after seven on a weeknight. I’ve been eating dinner at six.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope.” Sophie paused for a minute. “Call me later, yeah. I want to tell you more about my new cameraman.”

Forty minutes later, Angela arrived at her apartment house in the neighborhood of Chelsea. The building was tiny, but it had a doorman and an exquisite view, if she craned her neck and peered out one window at just the right angle. Plus she could afford it on her salary, without a roommate.

“Angel,” Mario greeted her. He pushed open the door, tipped his cap, and waited until she was safely inside before securing the door behind her.

She smiled. Her doorman was the only person who’d ever called her Angel, instead of her given name, Angela. She thought maybe it was a nickname in the place he came from, not like she knew where that was, but she guessed maybe the Dominican Republic, from his accent. He had light brown skin and a near-perfect smile.

“Coffee tonight?” He held out a paper cup from the shop around the corner.

“You’re so sweet. Thank you.” He’d started the tradition sometime last year, soon after taking the job. She didn’t know if he gave free coffee to everyone in the building, because she kept crazy hours and didn’t see most of her neighbors, but she imagined it was a perk that came with living in a nice place like this one…

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Susanna Rogers: YA Books That Kick Butt
Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Becoming a kickboxer with a second-degree black belt helped Susanna Rogers improve not only her martial arts skills, but also her writing skills so she can write the kick butt heroines she loves. Her first YA novel, Infiltration, is about an elite soldier from the future who travels back in time to stop a virus taking over the world. However on another level, the story is about a girl who finds first love, discovers everyone has been lying to her and then has to make her way in the world. It does sound a bit like Buffy meets The Terminator but just remember – anything Arnie can do, a girl can do better! As part of her research, Susanna visited Arnold Schwarzenegger’s birthplace in Austria (see the fabulous photo above), watched many episodes of Buffy and trained in kickboxing for many years.

Infiltration

2120: A world ravaged by a devastating virus. Those healthy enough to live in New Nation lead a sanitized, orderly life where everything is tightly guarded by a brutal government. Lives, thoughts, information and emotions are all strictly controlled. Now: Seventeen-year-old elite soldier Nicola Gray is sent back in time for an important assignment. She alone will stop the virus before it takes over the world – her mission, to gather intelligence, find the cause and stop the threat, whatever it takes. She is trained to kill. But the past is not what Nicola is expecting. Overwhelmed by an alien world, she discovers feelings she can’t handle and a world with immense personal freedom and people who care for each other. She wants to stay. She wants to live. She wants a lot of things she can’t have…

Get your copy here!

Places you can find Susanna:
Her website – www.susannarogers.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/Susanna-Rogers-Author-1142712475829701/
Twitter – twitter.com/SusannaRAuthor
Bookbub – www.bookbub.com/authors/susanna-rogers

Joe, Logan, and a little bit of real life…
Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Hey there! For those of you who’ve been gobbling up the Texas Cowboys stories, you won’t have to wait long to read Slow Rider, which features my two Texas cops, Joe and Logan. I had originally put SR up for pre-order with a late February release date, but you’ll get it read it much sooner. I decided to push it up because a couple of projects I had hoped to have ready in the next few weeks aren’t rocking along as fast as they should be.

There’s one really good reason. And it’s a real-life thing, but since I always try to be real here, I’ll tell you all about it.

Last year around Thanksgiving, my 98-year-old grandmother, who lives with us, began failing. You may recall that in late 2016 she broke her back. She went through rehab and recovered her mobility. This time, she’s just running out of juice. She’s entitled. She’d tell you that, too. From walking very unsteadily, she’s now completely bedridden. She did a three-day stint in the hospital where they evaluated her for hospice, but funnily enough, they found her to be too healthy for hospice. You have to have a terminal diagnosis to get in-home care. You’d think her age would be enough to cover that requirement, but no.

So, we did look at alternatives. They offered rehab. Six weeks worth, where they’d try to get her back on her feet. She didn’t see the point and didn’t want to leave home. She’d rather die here. So, a nursing home was out of the question, too. Instead, my aunt, my lovely dd, and I have broken up every 24-hours into shifts where we stay with grandma, feeding her, keeping her clean and comfortable, and yes, changing bed pans and adult diapers. Truly, it’s not as horrible as it sounds. And we love her, so this is what our family does. Because we can. We are well enough ourselves, my aunt is retired, I work from home, and my dd trades off childcare with her husband and me. Yes, I have added shifts of babysitting when she’s with grandma and the baby-daddy isn’t around to look after her.

We’re not sure how long this will last. We’ve already been at if for a while, which is why my productivity has gone to shit.

But I’m adjusting. Next month, I hope to have the following ready to go:

 

02/06/18 – DAGGER, Montana Bounty Hunters series (Indie)
02/16/18 – NIGHT WATCH, Texas Cowboys series, reissue (Indie)
02/27/18 – PIRATES, A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology (Indie)
02/28/18 – REAPER’S RIDE, Montana Bounty Hunters series (Indie)

In the meantime, I’ve moved up Slow Rider to January 23rd!

Slow Rider

When Joe Chavez and a fellow sheriff’s deputy pull over a speeding motorcycle in the middle of the night, neither is particularly shocked to find Paraiso’s wild child, Sarah Michelson, riding bare-assed naked, nor are they surprised when she invites them to join her in a sexy threesome. Talking her way out of an embarrassing date with the county judge, who just happens to be her daddy, Sarah promises the officers the ride of their lives. Having the men turn the tables on her and introduce her to some scary D/s play, she learns some things about herself she never suspected. Too bad Joe will never see her as anything but a sexy hell cat in need of taming…

Pre-Order your copy now!

Lizzie Ashworth: Refuge in His Arms (F*R*E*E READ)
Friday, January 12th, 2018

Hi Delilah Fans! Hope you have a safe and warm holiday season. Now that all the excitement is dying down, I’ve got something to talk about.

Addiction. It’s a horror show for everyone it touches, and I’ll bet that most of you are touched by it, one way or the other. Fortunately—I guess—the addiction that touches me isn’t opiates or meth. It’s alcohol.

Alcohol is one of those ubiquitous parts of our world that almost everyone enjoys, a sociable, relaxing, and tasty treat. It’s been part of the human experience since pre-history. According to a February 2017 article in National Geographic, “Chemical analysis recently showed that the Chinese were making a kind of wine from rice, honey, and fruit 9,000 years ago. In the Caucasus Mountains of modern-day Georgia and the Zagros Mountains of Iran, grapes were one of the earliest fruits to be domesticated, and wine was made as early as 7,400 years ago.”

Plenty of evidence suggests that from the earliest days of mankind, intoxicants—especially alcoholic drink—have been at the foundation of religion, creative arts, and even the development of language. It seems that getting out of our minds actually helps us get into our minds.

That out-of-mind aspect, unfortunately, can become a serious problem for those who can’t get far enough or often enough out of their minds, and take up substance abuse as a way of life. Some even argue that substance abuse isn’t a matter of deciding anything, that compulsive consumption is an illness that we may be predisposed to due to genetics and/or early childhood experience.

It’s said that alcoholism accounts for around 88,000 deaths every year and costs the nation billions. On a personal level, suffering addiction or experiencing the troubles of a loved one with addiction is a tragedy that seems never-ending. So when I wrote alcoholism into a character in my most recent novel, Refuge in His Arms, it was a choice I made with some hesitation.

No one wants to relive painful experiences. Romance novels aren’t exactly a place where you expect to think about addiction. No one experiences difficult relationships in the same way. But alcoholism and other forms of addiction are pervasive. Characters without flaws are simply not believable.

My story isn’t meant to be a definitive analysis of alcoholism, and the character of David isn’t just about his love of drink. By the time we see him in this story, the worst of his struggle is behind him.

But like compulsive behavior for anyone, the tendency is never far away. And as David Evans shows us in this novel, when the right circumstances arise, the desire for that mind-numbing relief becomes a battle all over again.

I’m giving a discount coupon (GC48J) for Refuge in His Arms. It’s good for three days only, January 12-14, at Smashwords. If you have opinions about the issue of addiction, alcoholism, or if you read the story and have comments, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at ashworthlizzie@gmail.com.

Follow my blog for more of everything including a complete list of all my books and short stories!

Sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter, Liz’s Hot News, for freebies, pre-release deals, and much more.

Here’s hoping your shiny new 2018 is another step toward your happiness! ~ Lizzie

ELLE JAMES: BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS KINDLE WORLD RELEASE!
Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Thank you Delilah Devlin for inviting me to celebrate the release of the most recent books in the BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS KINDLE WORLD – http://amzn.to/2FqB7rk

What is a Kindle World? It’s a world created by one author but open to other authors to write in. It’s like fan fiction. Each of the authors who’ve written in my Brotherhood Protectors revisit my characters or settings and introduce characters and stories of their own.  This is a great opportunity for writers to reach new readers, and readers to discover authors new to them.

Take a chance and read all of them. They’re on Amazon and available on Kindle Unlimited.

Happy Reading!

Please join us for the FB party from 4-9pm CST Jan 11th and meet the authors, play some games and have fun!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1418129861629436/

Books in this release:

Texas Marine Mayhem – Cynthia D’Alba – http://amzn.to/2qUJg44
Moving Target – Regan Black – http://amzn.to/2D1Hxzq
Falling for her Bodyguard – Christine Glover – http://amzn.to/2EvDdoz
Rescuing Reya – Tiffani Lynn – http://amzn.to/2EsHEAw
Winter Flame – Aliyah Burke – http://amzn.to/2Dk7d7a
Conrad – Anne L Parks – http://amzn.to/2AOCBrA
Midnight Ranger – Kris Norris – http://amzn.to/2FohLD7
Chasing Katie  – Heather Long – http://amzn.to/2COpcSr
Guardian Ranger – Jesse Jacobson – http://amzn.to/2FnCarT

Gail Hart: Dare We Talk Religion?
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Hi, I’m Gail Hart, author of grown up romances for grown up girls. Thanks so much to my RomVets sister-at-arms, Delilah Devlin, for having me as her guest.

On Saturday my favorite writing group held its first write-in of 2018, and somehow the conversation turned to religion—which at the moment is at least a safer topic than politics!

Turns out, one attendee is a descendant of Jews who immigrated from eastern Europe to east Texas around the turn of the twentieth century and converted to Catholicism. She observes both of the religious traditions she inherited.

Another was raised Catholic but now describes herself as a “heathen.”

I grew up in the Unitarian-Universalist church but hadn’t attended regularly in about two decades. Then a couple of years ago I heard that the nearest UU church was calling a new minister. On a whim I went to hear his candidate sermon. He hooked me by using humor to make serious points; by revealing that he met his wife at Starbuck’s; and by quoting one of my favorite movie lines, “What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?” (For those of you too young to remember, the line is from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and the correct answer is, “African or European?”) So I returned to the religion of my youth.

The heroine of my latest book, Her Magic Touch, goes on a religious journey of her own. Over the course of the story, Sarah trades Christianity for an earth-centered religion—despite the strong objections of the men in her life. I hope you’ll enjoy watching Sarah learn to follow her heart.

HER MAGIC TOUCH

Sarah Talbot is trapped in a life at odds with her free spirit. She wishes she had the guts to chuck the business world for something more creative. Until then, she’s eager to explore her newfound gift for casting spells. Too bad the hunky bartender who gets her all hot and bothered has had his fill of hocus-pocus.

Abandoned by his teenage mother, ex-Marine, personal trainer, and part-time bartender Matt Lucas grew up in the loving but chaotic home of his aunt, a quirky local witch. He longs to buy his own gym, meet a sensible businesswoman, and build a secure, conventional life. The last thing he wants is to fall in love with a witch.

Can love conjure the magic these two hearts need to thrive?

Excerpt

Tension snaked through Sarah’s body as she listened to the phone ringing on the other end. After five rings, she was ready to hang up when a woman’s voice came on the line, breathing heavily. “Hello?”

She took a deep breath and plunged in. “Hi. May I speak to Ms. Parker?”

“You are, but it’s Zoe.”

“I’m calling because I saw the article in the Post…”

“I know. I’ve been expecting your call. That’s why I answered, even though I’m in the middle of feeding the goats, instead of letting the call go to voicemail.”

“How can you have been expecting to hear from me? You don’t even know my name.”

Zoe’s tone was soothing. “Then tell me your name, daughter.”

“Umm, it’s Sarah. Sarah Talbot.”

“And you want to learn about developing your gift.”

She gripped the phone more tightly. “You probably get calls from a lot of kooks, but I’m not one of them, I swear… hold it, how did you know why I was calling?”

“As I said, I was expecting you. The universe told me you’d be coming to me for guidance.”

“The universe talks to you?”

“Of course. It speaks to you too. How do you think you found me?”

“Through the Washington Post.”

“Yes, dear, but why do you think the reporter was led to write that article at that time?”

“Are you saying…”

“I’m saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Buy Links

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yanmfrmo
Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/ydfjhchz
iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/ya3qya8l
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/yc8wnyap

About Gail

Before becoming a writer, former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest finalist Gail Hart spent a few years as an Air Force JAG, then settled in as a lawyer and manager for the US government. Despite what opposing counsel sometimes said about her briefs, she didn’t write any fiction until later in her career. She must have been destined to be a romance writer, though, because even the law review article she wrote had “sex” in the title. She spent most of her life on the east coast but now lives in San Antonio, where she doesn’t miss the cold

Find Gail

Website: www.gailhart.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorgailhart/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Gail_Hart/