It’s finally here! 322 pages of goodness! My latest anthology, filled with wonderful stories—some action-packed, some poignant, some funny! All of them are sexy! I can’t wait to hear what you all think. And after you’ve had a chance to dive in, I want to hear what you’d like to see me do next. My plan is to publish at least one a year, depends on how busy I am. As always. 🙂
Anyway, I’ll give you an overview of the book then an excerpt from my shorty, which is a prequel to another Montana Bounty Hunters story (to be written soon!). My entry is entitled “Quincy Down Under”, and you’ll get the joke/double entendre when you read it. LOL
And there’s a contest, of course! You’ll have a second chance to win if you head over to the Collections website and comment there, too!
Comment for a chance to win a download of one of the full-size books below. You can tell me whether you love short stories. Tell me what theme you’d like to see for the next one. Or just ramble about what you’ll be doing while you’re reading the sexy shorties in this collection (passing time in a dentist’s office, reading sexy stories to your significant other in bed at night, etc.). Just be sure to comment!
Here’s what you might win (click on the covers to learn more):
A Stranger’s Kiss by A.C. Dawn – Sparks in the sky ignite an inferno when a millionaire bad boy rescues a struggling romance writer stranded in an airport
Shelter from the Storm by A.J. Harris – A rogue super soldier and an ocean-dwelling scout discover the keys to surviving enemy soldiers and giant super-storms on their flooded world may be each other
Reviving Artemis by Ara Geller – Defying her alpha’s direct orders, a young warrior braves a pack of hunting werewolves to finally claim her Mate
Quincy Down Under by Delilah Devlin – A bounty hunter following a lead is trapped in an underground-bunker-turned-beauty-salon with a pretty beautician
Rescuing Alaska by Elle James – A Coast Guardsman on an Alaskan fishing trip jumps into frigid waters and dares a bear-ridden island to rescue a beautiful deckhand
Hourglass by Kenzie Mathews – With danger all around them, time-hopping graduate students find it hard to keep their clothes on while their time machine glitches
Out of This World by Kimberly Dean – When an astronaut is stranded without a research partner, her mission’s bad boy commander volunteers to help her complete her studies…on sex in space
Burning Stars by Kimberly Lithe – Heated glances and flirtatious banter ignite into a fever pitch when a mechanic aboard a stranded starship looks for her rescue from an intergalactic criminal
Switching Call by Lucrecia Christina – Stranded in a field, a tow truck driver learns from his sassy rescuer that there’s more to getting stuck in the mud than spinning tires
A Change in Predicament by Melanie Jayne – A doctor with a death wish and a history of bad decisions uses her wits to survive a kidnapping by the wounded leader of a dangerous gang
Put it in a Book by Michal Scott – Trapped in a book by a sorcerer for rejecting his sexual advances, an ex-slave’s daughter discovers one hope of rescue – a nosy thief
Undercover Lover by N.J. Walters – A DEA agent working undercover as a waitress in a dangerous biker bar is stranded without backup until a man from her past walks in
Too Deep by Sam Heathers – When an undercover officer loses her handlers in the outside world, she must trust the top lieutenant of a gun-running gang to survive
Going Down by Sukie Chapin – One broken elevator, one sexy boss, one hot night…maybe falling isn’t so bad after all
An Excerpt from “Quincy Down Under”
Meet my heroine…
“Looks like a damn hickey,” the elderly beauty operator said in her raspy voice as she set the straightening wand in its metal stand.
Tamara Adams rose from the seat at Miss Gracie’s station and leaned closer toward the marquee lights. Yup, the tender mark on her neck did indeed look like a love bite. She touched her finger to the burn and hissed.
“A little aloe vera will fix you right up,” Miss Gracie said and rummaged through a drawer to pick up a tube that looked to be twenty years old and squeezed of all its precious cream.
Tamara bit back a grimace and waved the woman away. “Thank you so much for straightening the back of my hair, but I’ll take care of the burn. You have a dinner at the senior center. Don’t want to be late,” she sang.
Miss Gracie’s eyebrows shot halfway up her forehead. “Thanks for reminding me.” She quickly retrieved her purse from her bottom drawer and headed toward the door leading out of the beauty shop.
The older woman glanced down at the cinder block holding the door open then gave Tamara a pointed stare. Tamara waved her hand in acknowledgement of the issue she still hadn’t addressed, and then held her breath as the woman slowly climbed the steep steps. Miss Gracie disappeared into the sunlight that filtered down the metal staircase—the only natural lighting in Tamara’s tiny shop.
When she was alone, Tamara moved toward her own station, her Sketchers sticking to the misting of hairspray that always surrounded Miss Gracie’s chair, making a sound reminiscent of Squidward’s tentacles.
She opened her own drawer, pulled out a tube of concealer, then did her best to mask the nasty red burn. So, maybe she should have treated it with antibiotic cream first, but she planned to hit Slim ’n’ Shorty’s for a drink as soon as she finished cleaning up and counting her earnings for the day.
Tamara snorted. Wouldn’t take a minute to empty her cash drawer. Miss Gracie’s elderly clients, the ones who could make it down the steep steps, had been the only customers that day.
Staring into her well-lit mirror, Tamara didn’t get it. She was a walking advertisement for her skills. Her messy-wavy, chin-length bob was all the rage in Hollywood. The platinum color with the lone rose-pink streak was flawless.
But she knew the problem was the location of her shop, and the fact she needed more noticeable signage for customers to even find it. Again, she snorted.
Hell, a billboard wouldn’t be enough to convince women to make the trek down into her doomsday-bunker-turned-hair-salon.
Footsteps sounded on the metal staircase, and she whirled, excited that she’d have at least one paying customer this day. However, the huge man descending the steps wiped her smile away. There was something about him that told her he was trouble. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled. She’d have to remember to take a razor to them later.
Just after I moved to the area where I now live (New South Wales, Australia), I checked out possibilities for classes as I’m always interested in learning new things. Finding a six-week evening course on making silver jewelry, I asked if it would be suitable for a complete beginner; assured that it was, I signed up. Well, it wasn’t. The tutor preferred to work with the seven others all of whom who had done a course with her previously. She started me off cutting silver, and only later did I realize she hadn’t given any occupational health and safety information surely essential in a studio with sharp tools, soldering and electrical equipment, and a gas-heated dish. I pestered her with “Is this OK?” and “What do I do next?”, and filled a notebook with instructions. After the six weeks, I ended up with a ring, two pairs of earrings and an unfinished pendant. The ring was too small, one pair of earrings too heavy while the other, on which I etched a simple design, was definitely wearable.
But I did come away from this unsatisfactory experience with something worthwhile: an idea for crafting a story involving a silver jewelry designer. My contemporary romantic comedy, Silver Linings, was hatched. I’d recently completed Hot Ticket, which is located in tropical Darwin, and I wanted to set this new romance at the other end of Australia, in an isolated area with harsh winter weather. I love researching, and if it involves travel, so much the better! So I explored southern Tasmania, conceiving a wild island on the edge of the Southern Ocean. I also spent time in Hobart and nearby areas visiting galleries similar to where my characters could sell their creations, and inventing a funky bar where Alistair takes Cassandra after he almost runs her over. No one almost ran me over but I did get to a funky bar…
He almost runs her over, she breaks a shoe in a drain…what can he do but play Prince Charming? This near accident caused by Alistair is Cassandra’s introduction to life in the fun lane. Both fresh out of inappropriate relationships and jobs, each is novelty value for the other. But their exes are pulling tricks to be reinstated, offering lifestyles where income is guaranteed. So can Cassie’s passion for fashioning silver jewellery and Al’s for re-purposing driftwood timber keep them fed?
Friday, bloody Friday. Why did it always rain on Fridays?
Waiting at a red light, Alistair drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. Might as well rain forever. No job, retrenched this sodden morning after four years, downsizing they called it. No girlfriend, ditched last soaking Friday after two years, upsizing Toni called it.
By the time the light condescended to turn green, he could have become fluent in Urdu. He flicked the wipers to fast, the heater to high, and the headlights on as he joined the five p.m. traffic crawling towards Hobart’s Tasman Bridge. July in southern Tasmania made a man hallucinate about a tropical Queensland beach—and yet he loved the island. Which was why he’d fallen onto the singles trash heap. And why he’d probably be jobless until the South Pole’s icecap melted and drowned them all. He didn’t need to open the window to feel the chilly winds of a miserable future.
Jeez! He stamped on the brake. Why the hell didn’t the damn fool woman look? Glancing in the rear view mirror, he sucked in his breath. She was standing in the roadway. Thank God he hadn’t hit her. A bus behind him honked as he skidded to a halt. Just his luck, he’d pulled up at a stop. He inched forward, pushed into park, toggled the engine off and rummaged for his umbrella. He should clean up this post-Toni mess of newspapers, chocolate wrappers, apple cores, and—hey, was this lottery ticket as winner? Nah, nothing in his life was a winner. His fingers located the recalcitrant umbrella. He swung out of the car in time to see the bus driver make a rude sign at him. He returned it and was rewarded with a shower of slimy spray as the bus pulled out.
Cassandra had no desire to do a Cinderella and leave her shoe in the gutter, so she stumbled onto the kerb on one and a half heels. She glared in the direction of a silver bullet of a car. Not satisfied with half-drowning her, that maniac had ruined her shoes. She hobbled to a streetlight to lean against it, took off her left shoe and examined it. She’d felt it catch in a drain as she struggled to save herself from annihilation. Tatters of leather were all that connected the last two inches of heel to the first four.
The sight of her poor battered shoe crushed the last straw holding up her life. Straws had been crumpling for months, and after today’s incendiary stuff in her office, and terminal exasperation with her serial date-cancelling fiancé, she might a well drop out of civilisation. Ex-office, since she’d left her boss in no doubt that she would ever go back. And fiancé? Ex too? Her engagement ring, tossed among the clutter at the bottom of her bag two hours ago when Jeremy had cancelled tonight, was emitting persuasive return-to-sender signals. Then he’d couriered the theatre tickets for this evening, suggesting she took her brother. Getting run over was almost a preferred option to going anywhere with Gordon.
She sighed, regarded her shoe with displeasure, and pushed her foot into it. It would have to get her home, if she could ever manage to cross the road to her bus stop.
I just wanted to let you know that the print version of this book
is available now for purchase–and the eBook, all 320 pages is just $0.99!
Also, be sure to head over to the Collections website. For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing excerpts and giving away prizes! You won’t want to miss a day, so subscribe and be sure to get the posts delivered to your inbox! Collections website
Women alone, unsure and in trouble… Real heroes showing up when a woman needs a little help…
Do you crave stories about savvy, capable women who suddenly find themselves in challenging circumstances—vulnerable to the elements or their situation? Love those stories even more when their fear is surpassed by attraction, and they become vulnerable in different ways…sexy ways?
Here’s just a glimpse of the stories you’ll find in STRANDED…
Inside these tales you’ll find damsels in distress, but they aren’t weak and waiting to be saved. These women are determined to save themselves. In Sam Heathers’ “Too Deep”, an undercover officer loses her handlers and is forced to trust a top lieutenant in a gun-running gang to survive. A woman trapped in a book by a sorcerer is rescued by a thief in Michal Scott’s “Put It in a Book.” In “Rescuing Alaska” by Elle James, a Coast Guardsman leaps into the frigid Alaskan waters then braves a bear-ridden island to save a woman swept overboard during a storm. You’ll find astronauts discovering love in the International Space Station, genetically-enhanced humans struggling to survive in a flooded world, werewolves warring with an outlaw clan, along with your more conventional corporate scion in an unconventional encounter in “Going Down” by Sukie Chapin. In all, you’ll find fourteen stories with one thing in common—couples depending on each other to survive and, perhaps, falling in love.
First, I’d like to congratulate Delilah and the authors contributing to her anthology Stranded, which releases on April 30. It looks like another great collection. I can’t wait to read it.
It is my pleasure to reveal the cover for our upcoming anthology!!!
A Darker Shade of Evil is a compilation of urban fantasy and paranormal romances which include demons or the devil. The heat level is steamy to erotic. Ten USA Today, International Best Sellers and award-winning authors offer you wild and wicked tales to fire your imagination. These stories will lure you into danger and darkness, where sometimes the hunter may become the hunted, but Happily Ever After can also be found.
Thank you so much for including this short post today. I hope to return soon with more information about A Darker Shade of Evil and my story, Siren Descending.
The term “womanist” was developed by African-American theologian, Delores Williams, to distinguish the feminist theology of African American women like herself and Katie G. Canon from the feminist theology of their Caucasian counterparts, where sexism in the church and the larger society was being addressed, but not racism. As African Americans in a predominantly white denomination, Williams and Canon and those who came after them, knew there could be no progress for African American women in the church, and by extension the larger society, if racism was ignored. I knew both Delores and Katie, studied alongside them, and belonged to the same denomination. I was privileged to call them colleague and friend. What Delores and Katie started doing in their writings in the 1980’s, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was doing in the 1880’s, and beyond, in hers.
Born into slavery in 1862 in Mississippi, Wells-Barnett lived as a life-long activist, confronting racial injustice wherever she encountered it. She sued a train car company when she was put off a first-class train even though she had a ticket. She marched in the integrated Illinois delegation to a 1913 suffrage demonstration, despite the handwringing racism of the march’s white organizers. She’s probably best known for her anti-lynching exposé, “The Red Record and Southern Horrors Lynch Law in All Its Phases” where she exposed lynching justifications for the lies they were. She continued her crusade here and abroad, despite having her presses of her newspaper burned and her life threatened numerous times. She married, raised a family and continued her activism until her death in 1931.
James Weldon Johnson wrote these words in his poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”:
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered Out from the gloomy past Til now we stand at last In the white gleam Where our bright star is cast
Johnson’s brother, John Rosamund Johnson, set the poem to music, and we in the African American community sing it as the Black National anthem. The hope and pride reflected in the words of “Lift Every Voice” have always warmed me with pride when I sing them. Knowing about this Reconstruction-era woman whose life and work embodies the anthem’s ode to perseverance inspires me as well.
“Put It In A Book” by Michal Scott
The daughter of ex-slaves, Aziza Williams uses her freedom to teach slaves to read, a law-breaking activity that forces her to flee the United States for the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia, where her independent and injustice-confronting ways garners the unwanted sexual attention of a dibia, Dulee Morlu. In a cruel twist of fate, Morlu uses Aziza’s love for education against her and imprisons her in a book. He declares she will remain there until she submits to him. After a month of imprisonment, Aziza despairs that Morlu is right: no one will ever read her book. Fear that she may surrender to him begins to overwhelm her. Then one day hope flutters through her spirit as she senses the unfamiliar touch of Sekou Caine, an audacious and inquisitive thief, leafing through her pages…
“Well, you’re free now.”
She looked toward the window. “Not for long.” Sadness glittered in the tears pooling in her eyes. “Many times with great delight he stated that only by giving myself to him, or having someone take my place, will I be free. If neither happens, I’ll be forced back into the book at sunrise.”
Sekou frowned, anxiety rolling in his gut.
“It’s how my story ends,” she continued. “He read it to me so often I have it memorized.” She closed her eyes and recited…
“Only two paths lead to freedom. Two paths she will never traverse: becoming the dibia’s slave or allowing another to make love to her and then replace her in the story, so now the story becomes his. So, in this story she will remain, too proud to yield and too principled to ask another to pay so high a price.”
She looked at Sekou.
“Why do you believe him?” he whispered.
“Because it’s true. I’ll never submit to him or let anyone be stranded as I was.”
A feeling swelled inside Sekou. He touched her hand and hoped the courage moving inside him might move in her. “We can change that ending,” he said, his heart thudding in his chest.
Aziza frowned. “How?”
He cupped her cheek. “Let me make love to you.”
She pulled away, horrified. “I couldn’t. Just these few moments of freedom…” She closed her eyes. “I couldn’t live knowing I’d stranded you within the pages of that book.”
He touched her cheek and offered her a half-smile. “I’d happily live in a book if I could free you.” And he knew his words to be true. He’d sacrifice himself for her, although they’d just met.
Michal Scott is the penname of Rev. Anna Taylor Sweringen, a retired United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. A native New Yorker, Anna is a recent transplant to the Southwest and is enjoying the great weather along with her husband of twenty-nine years and their two cats. Her love of history and romance came together in her first novella with Wild Rose Press, One Breath Away.
Anna has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2003 and holds membership in six of their chapters. She also writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance as Anna M. Taylor. You can connect with Michal on Twitter @mscottauthor1 and learn more about her writing at www.michalscott.webs.com.
I am celebrating! This year marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of my first book, A Desperate Journey. Samhain Publishing originally published the western historical romance after being in the American Title contest.
My western historical romances have been described as “gritty.” The west could be a rough place for a woman, or a man, and I started out writing my first novel as a western. It started with a challenge. I was attending the Ozark Creative Writers weekend, and Dusty Richards, a well-known western author, issued a challenge. “Write your first novel, make it a western, and if it wins my contest, my agent will read the full manuscript.” I’d been writing short stories and poetry up to that point, never a full novel and that challenge was too good to pass up.
I sometimes will take a challenge or a bet, and when I do, it can be life changing. For instance, I asked my husband out on a date on a five-dollar bet, back in high school, but that is a story for another day.
Well, I wrote that western, set it along the old Chisholm Trail in 1867, and along the way, as I wrote, the story turned into a romance. So, it is a true blend of romance and western. If you pulled the romance out, there would still be a lot of story. It’s interesting to me that so many men have enjoyed reading the story and I think that is one reason.
Now you might wonder what happened with that challenge. Well, I finished the book in a year and entered it in the contest. By then, Dusty no longer had an agent, but he sat with me and went over the first chapters, giving me advice. I will always be thankful. I revised it and entered it the next year in a contest Bobbi Smith held at the RT convention in St. Louis where it won third place. Bobbi also sat with me afterward and said, “Debra, start your story in chapter three.” (I was giving too much back story and not getting to the action soon enough.) I rewrote the story and the next year entered it in the American Title contest, where it was a finalist, and during the contest, I signed with an agent, and a year later, he sold my first book to Samhain.
After Samhain published A Desperate Journey, my editor invited me to write a novella. Another western historical romance for a new anthology, and I wrote Dangerous Ties. This one starts out with the heroine strung up over a mineshaft and the rope is breaking. I’d paid attention to my mentors and was going to start my next story right with some action. Jumping right in. I thought this would be the first of many westerns with them. But then my new editor turned it down and wanted me to write erotic romance instead. A third book, a contemporary romance I’d written, was turned down after that. In the seven years I was with Samhain, I had five editors, but subsequent editors were not as enthusiastic as my first two, who I’d enjoyed working with on A Desperate Journey. Dangerous Ties went on to be published by a different publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing.
But now, writing a third was going to be impossible. Because different publishing houses held the rights to the two books. So, you can imagine how thrilled I am to have rights back, to have republished both books through Belo Dia Publishing, and to now be able to publish a third book and pull them all together. My readers deserve that, and it’s exciting to be able to do it in celebration of ten years of publishing.
This month, I am celebrating the tenth anniversary with the release of a box set of three westerns. A new book, Deadly Adversaries, brings together the daughter from A Desperate Journey and a son of the couple from Dangerous Ties. The box set, Desperate, Dangerous and Deadly: A Western Collection releases on April 30th in e-book and the pre-order is available now on Amazon. Get your copy here!
Dangerous Ties is also on sale for 99 cents for the e-book up through June. That’s the breaking rope over the mineshaft one, if you just want a nibble of one of my westerns to see if you like them. It’s a quick novella. It is also available in audiobook and in print.
Do we want a long bio? No, I’ve said enough about me. I’d rather focus on the books. If you want to follow me, I have all kinds of social media links for you below, and if you check out my YouTube channel, you will find my First Chapter Reads playlist where I read from the first chapters of my books, as well as the live giveaways I do after I attend author/reader events. Have fun discovering all the fun linky things!
About my books: I write in many subgenres of romance, so do look around my sites. Books are kind of like ice cream cones. Rocky road or westerns might not be your flavor, but strawberry or my 1920s series about flappers might be, or chocolate or my military romantic suspense stories might be. I am the sort of ice cream lover who would try all the flavors and would like a dip of each, please.
(Are you hungry for ice cream now? I am. Might have to pick up a pint to celebrate!)
Thank you Delilah Devlin for giving me a guest spot to share my anniversary celebration!
I finished editing Stranded and passed it to my sis, Elle James, to get it ready for upload! Whee! Now, I’m ready to play before I dive back into another round of edits… Have fun with me! (And yes, I backdated this post to fill in a blank spot in my calendar! Hate when I let that happen after years of perfect attendance!)