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Archive for July, 2020

Michal Scott: Christmas in July — More Naughty than Nice
Friday, July 24th, 2020

One neat thing about writing under pen names is being able to live out different personalities. I decided to take advantage of two of mine and treat myself to two “Christmas in July” parties. As a host of each, I chose my inspirational romance persona, Revannable, and my erotic one, Michal Scott. Then I invited colleagues to send me links to their books that occurred during any winter holiday so I could share them with my social media followers. Each day I paired the books with a seasonal song.

The Preston Sturges film Christmas In July inspired me to do this. The comedy tells the story of a poor schnook who thinks he has won a slogan contest. He shares his good fortune by treating his whole neighborhood to “Christmas in July.” It stars a young non-singing Dick Powell and the entire Preston Sturges ensemble. I love picking out familiar stalwarts like William Demarest and the lesser-known, but just as recognizable, Jimmy Conlin.

Planning a party is half the fun. I delighted in choosing Christmas music for Revannable’s squeaky clean party. The joy of Christmas was heard in carols like “On the Way to Bethlehem,” “Il Est Né Le Divine Enfant (The Infant Child is Born),” and “Mi Burrito Sabanero (My Desert Donkey).” “It’s Christmas Time All Over the World” featured Sammy Davis Jr. with a chorus of kids reciting Merry Christmas in various languages.

For my friends whose stories dealt with Hanukah, I found a video of the “Dreidel Song” that brought back memories of my childhood learning to play with a dreidel in kindergarten. For those whose stories focused more on winter than a holiday, I shared Leroy Anderson’s lovely “Horse and Buggy” instead of the overplayed “Sleigh Ride.” But lest I give the impression that classic Christmas tunes weren’t welcome, I included Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra singing “White Christmas” together.

While Ole Blue Eyes and Der Bingle did the Irving Berlin classic justice at Revannable’s, things were merry and bright over at Michal Scott’s, too. Of course, the hot holiday hop had to start with Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby.” In the days that followed, a slew of sultry and/or double entendre-laden music sent the party from hot to sizzling. “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter, “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'” by Albert King, “Dirty Christmas” by Junksista and “Holly the Holiday Whore.” Even Ella Fitzgerald in a naughty holiday mood belted out “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney.” I shook my head more than once at some of the album covers that accompanied such titles as “I’ve Got Some Presents for Santa” and “I Know Just What You Want For Christmas.” Did record stores like Virgin Atlantic and Sam Goody have adult-only sections? The fun ends on July 31st.  Which party would you attend? Better watch out. Even in July Santa knows who’s more naughty than nice.

Light the Fire Again” inside Fireworks

In 1896 Adelaide Hanson spent an August night beneath the Coney Island boardwalk with Hero Williams then lived with a ruined reputation while he went off to conquer the world. Two years later he returns on July 4th, a wealthy fireworks manufacturer, determined to win her back before she marries another. Will a personalized fireworks display light her fire again? And even if it does, will she let it?

Excerpt from Light the Fire Again…

Finally worn down by the rumors and the slander, Adelaide went to Reverend Johnson to arrange for a doctor to examine her to provide proof of her virginity. She’d been saving to go to an art college and hated to see her funds depleted, but her vindication would be worth it.

The examination put pay to her detractors’ misconceptions, but instead of apologizing, they showered her with condescension, especially since she still refused to say who she’d been with. Adelaide ignored the slights. She was free, Black, twenty-five and, if not virginal because of her experience with oral sex, still a virgin.

But at the end of each day alone in her rented room that fact brought her little comfort. She cried herself to sleep, unable to heal her spirit, so battered and bruised and betrayed.

Then one Sunday after church, Oscar Thompson, a member of one of Weeksville’s most prosperous and civic-minded families, asked to escort her home. Their walk turned into several months of friendship from which arose an understanding that they would become engaged.

An understanding welcomed neither by the Eligibles or Oscar’s mother.

Now the hateful reminder of why she’d lived reviled and abused had returned and was being feted like some conquering hero. They wouldn’t be so welcoming if they knew Hero had been her partner. And precisely because they wouldn’t, she’d never expose him. She wouldn’t wish what she’d endured these past two years on her worst enemy.

“Yes, folks,” Hero said, startling Adelaide from her thoughts.

She focused and found his gaze settled on her.
“Two years’ absence has been more painful than I can say,” he said.

She blenched. Holy God. Two years’ absence truly had been more than painful. For her, they’d been hell.

“It’s good to have you back home, my boy,” Reverend Johnson said, clapping a glad hand on Hero’s shoulder. “May this year’s Fourth of July celebration bring you healing to ease all that pain away.”

Adelaide bit her lip to stifle her horror. Forgiving with seventy-times-seven mercy was what Christ expected. But watching Hero receive the same forgiveness and forbearance bestowed upon her made her sick.

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N.J. Walters: Secondhand Finds!
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Summer of 2020 is rolling along, and I’m still waiting for the warm weather where I live. I know a lot of you have been sweltering for weeks, but I’m still wearing a sweater. It’s been a strange year in so many ways. I miss the little things—breakfast out, going to movies, sitting in a coffeeshop reading a book, and snooping around the thrift stores and yard sales.

I was shopping at thrift stores long before it became fashionable. In the early years, it was by necessity. The only way I could afford anything was if it was secondhand. But I love the variety. You can find things you can’t find anywhere else. It’s true what they say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” There is truly something for everyone.

I’m always amazed and thrilled by my finds. Here are a few of my favorites:

#1 Alex and Ani bracelets for under $10 for all three.

#2 Fun owl china mug for $3.99

#3 Sterling Silver ring for $7.99

I used to go twice a week before the covid-19 shutdown. Most of the time I walk away with nothing, but sometimes, you find something truly special. For me, it’s like beachcombing. The fun is in the hunt.

Do you have anything fun and unusual you like to do?

And if you’re looking for a book to read and enjoy sci-fi romance with a sexy assassin, you might want to check out Spear’s Search, the first book in my Assassins of Gravas series just released.

Spear’s Search
Assassins of Gravas, Book 1

Spear el Gravaso—prince of Gravas and assassin—is on a mission to find his brother. His hunt had led him to an auction of Gravasian weapons that can only belong to the missing man. He needs to secure the items, get any information he can, and kill all those involved. Nothing and no one will stop him.

Sass was taken from a harsh life on the streets as a child and trained to be an assassin by the powerful Artemis. The lives of those she loves is on the line if she fails her mission—to win the auction of Gravasian tech. Only one problem—Spear is in her way.

Their battle escalates, as does the explosive heat between them. When it comes down to it, they can fight each other and one of them will die or they can join forces. But can they trust each other?


About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

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Poll Results! And Tell Me a Story! (Contest–2 winners!)
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

UPDATE: The winners are…Laura and Tanya!

Is that big enough of a hint? 🙂

Yes, both here on my blog and in the informal poll I ran on FB, cowboys won! So, the next anthology will be filled with yummy cowboy goodness. Thanks to everyone who voted! I won’t overrule your voices. This time. *snickers*

So, since I’m here, and I just shared a lovely photo of a cowboy riding into the sunset, let’s play a game…

Contest — Tell me a story!

Based on the photo above, tell me a story. It can be one line. It doesn’t have to be a good story. You can have fun with it! But tell me something and you’ll be entered to win your choice from among my latest cowboy series, Cowboys on the Edge. I’ll choose two winners!

Wet Down Controlled Burn
Cain's Law Flash Point

Click on the covers to learn more about the stories!

Contests still open!
Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

This is just a quick note to let you know what contests are still open! If you’re looking for more fun content and chances to win, also check out Delilah’s Collections!

  1. Desiree Holt: Summer Selfie Giveaway! — Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. One Last Poll, a Puzzle, and a Contest! — Win a FREE book!
One Last Poll, a Puzzle, and a Contest!
Monday, July 20th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Ani Stubbs!

The Poll

First, let’s take care of a bit of business! Thanks for your input on yesterday’s poll! I’ve closed it out and have narrowed the choices for themes for the next Boys Behaving Badly Anthology based on your input. Now, enter your vote in one last poll!

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

The Puzzle

Now’s the puzzle because you should be rewarded after the stress of having to choose!

The Contest

Tell me what’s happening in that photo for a chance to win your choice of download from among the Boys Behaving Badly anthologies!

What would you like to see in the next Boys Behaving Badly Anthology? (A poll–and a prize!)
Sunday, July 19th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Alison Greene!

So, I gathered your suggestions from my post over a week ago regarding the theme for the next Boys Behaving Badly Anthology—#6. Now, I need to know which theme really grabs your attention.

So, cast your vote! You can choose up to three themes. I’m not guaranteeing that the highest vote-getter will end up being the one, but I promise to consider your choices!

And to entice you to play, I’ll offer a prize—a $5 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment telling me which was the clear winner!

Thanks for adding your two cents to my decision-making process! ~DD

The Poll

Which themes appeal to you the most for the next Boys Behaving Badly Anthology? Choose up to 3 themes!

  • Cowboys and Ranchers (20%, 10 Votes)
  • Real Men, like lumberjacks, construction workers, etc. (16%, 8 Votes)
  • Silver Foxes, i.e., older guys (12%, 6 Votes)
  • Royalty...bad boys with a title...could be real world or a fairy king... (10%, 5 Votes)
  • Nerds and Geeks (10%, 5 Votes)
  • Military Men, any branch of service (8%, 4 Votes)
  • Second Chance stories (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Medical Men (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Bikers (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Captive--but not a rape scenario! (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Working Class Men (I'll find a sexier title, promise!) (4%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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Desiree Holt: Summer Selfie Giveaway!
Saturday, July 18th, 2020


Take a Selfie, Win a Prize
From now through July 31, Books 2-6 in The Phoenix Agency are ON SALE for just 99 cents.
Buy a book,  take a selfie (print or cover on tablet)
Hop on over to Desiree’s Darlings to enter for a $25 GC

The Books


Mia Fleming’s precognitive her visions about Carpenter Techtronics are so vivid, she resorts to sending anonymous emails to the company. She’s also having visions of a gorgeous man who arouses her to the point she’s satisfying herself just to get some relief. She’s shocked when the man shows up in her office, demanding to know what she knows about Carpenter. Dan Romeo is just helping his friend track down the person threatening his company when he meets Mia. One look at her and he has a hard time thinking about anything but indulging in off-the-charts sex with the intriguing woman—until bodies begin falling. As Mia’s visions escalate, so does the explosive sex between her and Dan, as well as an unexpected emotional connection. When Mia is almost killed, Dan and his team must race to find the culprits before they can strike again—or put Mia down for good.


Kelly Monroe was shocked when her dog, Xena, a Caucasian Ovcharka seemed to bond at once with Rick Latrobe, a partner in the high profile Phoenix Agency. Ovcharkas are known for linking with only their owners. But Xena is picking up Rick’s wave length, very much aware when an attempt is made on Rick’s life and sensing all kinds of danger signals related to Rick’s current project: ferrying a shipment of arms to a private security cadre in Iraq. Rick is nearly killed when the shipment is stolen by terrorists who are hot on his trail. Only Kelly and Xena—coached by members of The Lotus Circle to expand the psychic link between the three of them—can keep him safe. As Rick scrambles to learn who’s behind the whole mess, the relationship he and Kelly have deepens. But Xena is the real star, not only signaling when danger is at hand but “sniffing” out the killers.


Katherine “Kat” Culhane was a highly sought after remote viewer, but her gift was beginning to splinter, and just at a time when she needed it the most. Her sister Mari, along with Mari’s employer and his family, have been kidnapped. But Mike D’Antoni, a partner in the shadowy Phoenix Agency, is suddenly back in her life and could be the only person to help find the hostages. The chemistry between them is just as hot as it ever was, but they parted on very bad terms. Can they put the past behind them as they race to find and rescue the hostages? And what will happen when it’s time to say goodbye again?


Summer Cahill lives as quietly as she can, protecting her ability as a psychic healer. But danger brings former SEAL and Phoenix partner Troy Arsenault into her life—along with scorching nights and intense emotions. Resisting him isn’t even a question, in or out of the bedroom. He protects her from the evil stalking her even as he takes her beyond the physical boundaries of anything she’s ever experienced. When Summer is kidnapped, Troy’s world is turned upside down and he employs all the resources of The Phoenix Agency to rescue her. He won’t rest until she’s back safely in his life—and in his bed— for the rest of their lives.


Running back to Texas after an emotional disaster in San Francisco, J. L. Mitchell, microbiologist, is throwing herself into the development of a new, drought-resistant grain. Little did she expect to reconnect with Cole Martin, who rings al her bells, or to discover that her formula was at risk of being highjacked. As her work progresses, so does her relationship with Cole. When she is kidnapped, he brings all the recourse of The Phoenix Agency, where he has just become a partner, into play, hoping they will be in time.