The one year we’ve really needed a break and Mother Nature is being a huge asshole. We’ve been good for fifteen months, staying cooped up and being creative about our “adventuring”. All we asked for was a little pool time on Memorial Day Weekend…
For one, spring came really, really late. Usually, our pool becomes swimmable sometime in April—sometimes as early as mid-month. This year? Here we are, a day away from Memorial Day, which is always roasting hot, and we’re looking at more 75-degree weather—the coldest it’s been this time of year in fifty freaking years. So, yeah. Not happy. Wearing long-freaking-sleeves. Staring at a pool I’ve only braved twice so far this pool season.
So, last night we cuddled up on sofas and watched The Curse of La Llorona. Not the greatest horror movie, but enough jumpy-outtie stuff we giggled a lot. Hope your weekend is wonderful! Today’s puzzle is a photo of the youngest member of our family taken a few years ago. Enjoy!
For a chance to win a download of your choice from my backlist of books, tell me what you’re doing this weekend!
I should know. I wrote it. And yes, this is my unabashed reminder that you NEED to read this story. It’s a celebration of our military heroes—both on the battlefield and here at home. So, if you’re looking for something to read this weekend, or to re-read, here’s my suggestion. Just click on the picture below and go get your copy. You’ll laugh, get hot, and cry. And forever after, if you think of just two words, you’ll remember the journey and the final scene… Hey, Zig…
Broken your own rules? Done something impulsive and reckless? Well, sometimes you do have to take risks. That’s how memories are made, right? I can honestly tell you that I didn’t make it to fifty-three without a few wild memories of my own. There was that one time when I was about twenty…wait, maybe I should keep that to myself. Haha! At any rate, life is dull if you don’t let down your hair from time to time. Sure, you’ll make a few mistakes, but I can tell you from experience that it’s worth it. *wink, wink*
Anyway, that’s exactly what happens to the rather stringent Lauren Clark in my latest release. She’s the type to read all those pesky terms and conditions. She works hard and prefers her men domesticated. And taking a walk on the wild side? Yeah, that’s never going to happen! But after her boyfriend dumps her Lauren ends up pouring her heart out to a handsome stranger. His silver-eyed stare and wicked grin tempts her. And there’s nothing tame in the way he kisses. So maybe, just this once, Lauren will gamble everything for a single night of passion. But what happens when she finds out she’s been deceived? Ah! Let the games begin! 🙂
Dirty Deception—Last Chance to Call You Mine Anthology
For a single night with her, he’ll be whatever she craves…
Lauren Clark has landed the job of her dreams and she’s ready to celebrate. When her boyfriend dumps her via text message, Lauren finds herself baring her soul to the dark-haired stranger two barstools over. Going home with the delicious hottie probably wasn’t the wisest move. And how was she to know that her Mr. All-Night-Long would end up being her new boss?
Alexander Costa isn’t one to second guess a good thing. And the sweet redhead with the luscious curves is a damn good thing. When her boyfriend is a no-show, Alexander seizes a chance to make Lauren forget all about her broken heart. Sure, maybe he knew exactly who she was the instant he walked into the bar. Maybe he has a rule about office romance. But just this once Alexander doesn’t want to be heir to the Costa fortune. He only wants to be the man that makes Lauren burn…
Also, keep your eye out for Dirty Addiction (Chloe’s story), May 2022!
Bestselling author Anne Rainey, “wastes no time getting right to the erotic heart” (Publishers Weekly). She is published by Kensington and Entangled Publishing. Her books have won numerous awards and have been translated into Italian and German. In addition, Anne has dipped her toes into self-publishing with her exciting paranormal series: The Zenarians. Anne is from the midwest and has had a variety of odd careers, including sales associate, nail technician, chiropractic assistant, and restaurant hostess. Her love of books has opened her up to a thrilling career as a romance author. Her stories are filled with passion, love, and the sometimes-exasperating bonds of family.
Do you have a best friend? Or maybe a friend you’ve known for a very long time? I met my oldest friend when we were in kindergarten together. We haven’t always lived in the same town, but we’ve kept in touch over the years. We know each other’s likes and dislikes, strengths, and quirks. We remember events from the distant past, but usually not the same ones. It takes time to build a friendship like that.
That’s something I wanted to explore in my books, Courting Trouble and Courting Innocence. The stories are hot romances, but beyond the love stories, I also wanted to explore the relationship between the heroines. Sienna and Erin have been best friends since childhood. They’ve laughed together, spent time with each other’s families, supported one another, and are now young adults entering a new phase of their life and friendship.
Because friendships change, too. And sometimes you don’t tell your best friend when you’re doing something you know she won’t approve of… Or seeing a new hot guy who’s not really your boyfriend… Friendships can be as complicated as romantic relationships.
That’s why I gave a story to each friend, and then added new friends in the following books in the series. These women have each other’s backs, even when they might be being bad. Because who better to court trouble with than your best friend?
Sienna is bright, articulate, and woefully underemployed. In order to get by, she signs a contract with Luxxor Escort Services. A contract that strictly forbids any sexual contact with clients… But then she’s assigned to accompany former hockey player, Jason. The chemistry between them is hot, and soon Jason is tempting Sienna to break all the rules.
Excerpt from Courting Trouble…
Setup – Jason shows up at Sienna’s apartment right after Erin has been dumped.
Still in a crouch, Jason rested his elbows on his bunched thighs. He glanced around the room, and Sienna became uncomfortably aware of the wadded-up tissues, the empty ice cream carton, and the general state of her crummy apartment.
“Looks like you’ve been at this a while,” he said.
Hours. It had been hours and hours of Erin crying and asking why.
He cocked his head. “So, are you pissed off yet? Or do you need to stew in it for a while longer?”
And there was the Jason she knew, virtually poking her friend with a rude stick. Sienna counted to ten.
Only Erin responded in a way Sienna had never seen before.
“Of course, I’m angry,” she snapped, fire lighting her eyes. “Why would you say that? I have every right to be angry.”
“You bet your ass you do.” Jason clapped his hands against his thighs and pushed himself to his feet. He grimaced halfway up. “You want to do something about that?”
Erin’s hair tumbled down her back as she looked up at him. She was enthralled with the stranger who’d just walked in and taken over. “Like what?”
“Work off some steam? Pump out some aggression?”
Aggression? Sienna rolled her eyes. Erin didn’t have an aggressive bone in her body.
Erin surprised her again by throwing the pillow to the floor. “Yes.”
Erin starts using matchmaker Luxxor Limited, not realizing that the company is truly an escort service. She gets more than she bargained for when she’s set up with another client, lawyer Colton King. Her big brother’s best friend.
Excerpt from Courting Innocence…
Setup – The women of Luxxor are trying to figure out who to pair Erin up with, while keeping the real nature of the company secret from her.
“Omigosh. He’s a client?”
Both Nina and Rielle swiveled their heads around fast. Sienna had grabbed the paper and jumped to her feet. “That’s it!”
“Who?” Rielle asked. “What’s it?”
“Him.” Sienna slapped the piece of paper back down on the desk and pointed at the first name on the list. “Set her up with him.”
“Colton King?” Rielle pulled back. “He’s sexy and you know—huuuh—but for Erin?”
Nina’s eyes narrowed. “He’s too tall, and, if he has a sense of humor, I’ve never seen it.”
Yet she could practically see the energy that was flying off Sienna in a ray of colors. Surprise and excitement tingled in the air. The icy blonde was usually much more contained. “What is it you’re not telling us?”
Her employee sat down fast.
“Erin has wanted him forever,” she shared conspiratorially. “He’s her older brother’s best friend, but also the kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Her parents would never let her see him.”
The three of them leaned in like girls around a campfire sharing stories about the cute boys at school.
“Did he want to see her?” Rielle asked.
“Does it matter?” The gears in Sienna’s brain were turning fast. It was clear on her face. “You’ll either give Erin the thrill of her lifetime, or he’ll put an end to her using a matchmaker so fast, her head will spin. I know he will.”
All through my family, coworkers, readers, and friends, it is well-known that I will travel the world for food. Foodies Unite. I have always been a person who never could settle for the status quo when it comes to my food. My family would get very frustrated with me when I was younger because when it was my turn to cook, I always imagined some dish then prepared it for dinner for the household. I will honestly say it wasn’t always executed well. LOL. I was trying vegan meals before I knew the word vegan. I’m not a vegan now, but it is one of the foods I love to eat, but I also like bacon.
I once wandered into a natural health food store and grabbed a pack of peppermint gum that tasted wonderful but smelled like soil, dirt, the Earth in your mouth, to the annoyance of my entire family each time I placed a piece in my mouth. LOL. They honestly never knew what to expect from me.
Food is something readers will see placed inside most of my books. Food from all types of cultures. In 2019, my daughter, my road buddy, and I traveled to Quebec City, Quebec. All the pictures here are from that trip. We ate our fill of poutine, crepes, sweet and savory, pastries, gelato, creamy ice cream, and coffee. The dark brew is another love of mine. We had tickets to go to Toronto in 2020. However, everything got canceled. I sometimes wonder if we would have gone if we would have been stuck on the other side of the border when they closed their country to America. Hm, it is a thought. LOL. We also lived in Germany for five years and could not believe how fantastic the food was there and in the many surrounding countries. My waistline can attest to that fact. ROFL. We couldn’t leave the country or the state during the pandemic, so we had to be selective about the restaurants we set out to eat in. Usually, we went right when a place opened to beat the crowds.
Coffee. Some call it a “Cup of Joe,” but I think it should be renamed as “Cup of Convo”. I’ve never sat across from anyone named Joe (I know it has something to do with grieving sailors), but I have sat with family, friends, strangers, and readers over a cup of convo and shared bits of my life or my work. A stranger has become a lifelong friend by the time we have drained the French Press dry just through the brew and babble. Even wine hasn’t connected me with another person as much as coffee. Lastly, I will say that one of my favorite things to do while traveling is finding a café or small coffee shop with my journal and pen and writing down whatever unique, new story idea that the place/country inspires, while I nibble drink some fancy latte.
Are you a “Foodies Unite” member? If you are, let me know about a new place you recently ate and what you had there or about the best cup of coffee and conversation you have ever had. 😊
COVER REVEAL for To Kiss a Flame
The one thing that Aubrey Carsen always wanted was to be a firefighter with her two friends. She returns home to her small town and new firehouse, with secrets following her, only to prove herself like a proby. But she can take it. Soon she discovers that a man from her past, an old high school crush—a man too sexy to be wrapped up in a suit all day—is too close for comfort. The day she rescues a little boy from a tree, things begin to unfold in a way she never expected. Now, being back in town has a whole new outlook. Is it possible that her time has finally come and everything she’s wanted will fall in line? Even as she is afraid to believe it.
Pierce Emory, the bank loan manager, has been burned by love for the last time. His ex-fiancé walks out on him the week before their wedding, and he can’t see himself getting lost in love again. Then his beautiful, tough neighbor comes knocking at his door in a storm. She’s sexy as hell, but there’s something about her he can’t place. When he discovers the curvy beauty was the good girl from high school, the home before dark and straight A’s, quiet type, he can’t believe her transformation. Now, she’s back in town, and the old spark between them has ignited into a flame that threatens to scorch them both.
To Kiss a Flame will be sold at Amazon, BN, Kobo, Draft 2 Digital, iBooks
Drawing ONE winner from those who comment on my Will Travel for Food and a Story post on Delilah’s blog between 26 May 2021 – 2 June 2021. The winner will get an e-Copy of To Kiss a Flame on release day, a Hero candle, and a $10 Amazon GC.
I spent years in the Army, years in a corporate cubicle, a stint in a classroom, a non-profit, etc. My time was mine to manage inside my employers’ bubbles. In fact, I was a project/program manager for years, and I planned work for others. None of that really prepared me for being a self-employed, full-time writer.
Most days, I happily hit the keyboard. I’m enthused about my story that has a drop-dead date to complete or I’m staring at a deadline to return a set of edits. Deadlines do help with motivation. However, there are days when I have my lovely month-ahead calendar sitting in front of me, with all the work parsed into numbers of pages to get me to the finish line within a very doable timeframe, when I look at it and think: But I don’t wanna. Not today.
This week is soooooo hard. It’s the last week of school for our four online students. Their mother and I have been their support/mentors/tutors all year long, bending our work schedules around theirs to make sure everything gets done.
Online schooling is hard. But we managed to help all four kids, 7 through 16-years-old, get through it. And we managed to have fun along the way, with family movie or game nights and special dinner rewards, and with limited excursions to the park or the flea market (large areas, few people). We’ve followed the rules and kept everyone healthy and happy for 14 months. We’ve drawn closer as a family because we had to be each others’ friends and playmates.
During all of this, I have managed to write. Not as prolifically as I did maybe eight years ago, but more so than I did three years ago. I carved out hours in my schedule to retreat to my “mole hole” and write.
So, why am I dragging ass lately? We’ve made it through a huge commitment. Next year, we’ll only have one child staying home because the rest have been vaccinated, and all of us have learned how to use a mask. Next year, should be easier, right? A cakewalk, really.
So, back to why I want to blow off today… There’s not anything special happening to draw my attention. I simply don’t want to open the files I need to open and bury myself in another world. I want to drink some coffee, sit on the back patio, and play some Charm King on my phone. Something that will add pages to write to all the days that follow.
In my brain, that seems like a wonderful tradeoff—until tomorrow morning comes.
I love this quote…
My answer today is tomorrow!
For a chance to win your choice of a download of one of my books, share a motivational quote or tell me how you deal with self-motivation. Are you a Last-Minute-Mary or do you do today so tomorrow is free?