I love cable and the ability to binge-watch a series from beginning to end. It’s a gift really to watch characters’ arcs, story arcs, uninterrupted.
During the worst of the pandemic, I watched start to finish, Criminal Minds, Manifest, Queen’s Gambit (excellent, excellent!) and a few others I can’t think of off the top of my head.
Lately, I’ve watched some fun movies with the fam…Love Hard—which was surprisingly funny and good! A great catfish movie and the catfishing, nerdy hero was adorable. Cruella, which surprisingly I am mad about. I say surprisingly because I never cared for the 101 Dalmations movies.
tick, tick—Boom!I had to watch by myself because the fam did not like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights and was leary of this one. I loved it. Andrew Garfield was amaze-balls.
My latest two series binges are…Star Trek: Next Generation. I’m in season 5 at the moment. I have a serious crush on Lt. Worf, so I know I’ll be diving into Deep Space Nine as soon as I’m done with this one. Plus, I’m six episodes into Only Murders in the Building. It’s sooooo good!
So, my question to you is what have you binged lately? Share for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
I want to start by thanking Delilah for letting me come play in her space again today! It’s been a while, and I always enjoy visiting all of you here.
We just wrapped up my favorite holiday of the year here in the U.S. Thanksgiving is just the start of a long stretch of holidays, though. When I still worked in retail, that meant one of our busiest times of year, which made the holiday season a whole lot less fun with all of the extra hours we put in and some people who didn’t care if they were on a naughty list. I bet some of you have dealt with the same things in one way or another.
Holidays as adults are a lot different than when we were kids, aren’t they? All the work, not as much of the fun. Shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, decorating, other obligations. Kids get to enjoy only the good stuff, the fun things. They rip into gifts with no thought about the huge pile of crumpled wrapping paper shoved into a corner. They get to eat the foods without any of the prep work, though when I was a kid, we did ‘help’ my mom with the baking, as kids do—getting in her way, spilling flour and sprinkles all over the kitchen, then getting out of the way when fresh cookies came out of the oven and leaving her to deal with the clean-up. Wouldn’t you sometimes like to do things that way now? Take part in all the fun bits, but none of the messy stuff?
I’m afraid I can’t really help with that, but thinking about holidays as a kid also makes me think of favorite things from those long ago holiday seasons. Like my grandma’s nut rolls—she always made extras to put in the freezer so she had something quick to pull out when company came throughout the year, and I loved getting a nice slice with butter on. I begged her for the recipe for a few years before she gave it to me, and it still makes me smile when I look at the index card with her neat handwriting and imprecise measurements and directions. My nut rolls are still not quite there yet, but I work on them every year. (I also cheat and make the dough in my bread machine now.) Or my other grandma’s sand tarts. She rolled that dough so thin, you could see light through it when the cookies were baked. I gave up on making those a long time ago—much too hard to get that dough that thin, then all the time spent with the cookie cutters and decorations, and such a mess to clean up afterward. My mom did that every year, too, and I can’t imagine doing it with a kitchen full of kids underfoot. But I really miss those cookies…just the right amount of sweet and perfectly crisp.
For our Thanksgiving dinners, I used to experiment with different kinds of stuffing each year, until I discovered how amazing stuffing is when made with sage and onion bread. That is a constant on our Thanksgiving dinner table now, along with a corn pudding and some variety of homemade cranberry sauce, plus the turkey of course. One thing that has been on our holiday table for years, though, is my grandma’s china. My Pop-pop gave it to me as a gift one year, and using it for holiday dinners makes me remember Thanksgiving dinners at their house when I was little, with immediate and extended family and friends around the table.
I think most of us have some favorite holiday recipe or family tradition that we try to continue even as adults, right? Something for our kids or even just ourselves. I’d love to hear about yours, and if you share by the end of Friday, December 3, 2021, I have an ebook copy of my most recent release, Protecting Medusa, up for grabs via a drawing on RandomResult.com.
Protecting Medusa Blurb
Being the Medusa will put a real crimp in a woman’s social life. Lucky for Philomena Gregory, she gave up on men long before Athena’s curse landed on her head—she learned as a child men don’t stay, a lesson reinforced when she was a lovesick teenager. Not even the hot naked man in her bathroom will change her mind.
Ryder Ware has waited six years to meet Mena in person. She’s managed to avoid him every time he’s visited his son, her nephew. Flirting on the phone and via email is no substitute when a man is so intrigued. But now that Athena’s Harvesters have found her, Mena has no choice but to let him keep her safe—and close, very close.
Philomena may have to accept his protection, but, even if the chemistry between them is hotter than Hades, she won’t change her mind about a relationship, even after a little hot sex. Or even a lot of sex. Good thing Ryder’s a patient man. After years of waiting, what’s a few more weeks to convince the woman of his dreams he wants forever?
About the Author
Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, she went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Then, as a teenager, she found her mother’s stash of romance novels, and her future direction in writing was pretty well set in stone.
Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of more than twenty-five years, and their two young adult sons live near enough to see frequently, though no one else in the family reads as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention, plus some neighborhood stray cats who like more frequent attention.
Many years ago, my parents built a cabin in the Colorado mountains—in South Park to be exact (yes, that South Park). When it came time to drill the well, our contractor informed us we had to “witch” it first and provided us with dowsing rods.
The witching tool he gave us were two long thin metal rods bent to form an “L” shape. The well-digger instructed us to grip the short end of the metal, one rod in each hand, and allow the long side to point straight ahead as we walked. After about ten paces, the metal turned in my hands and the long ends crossed. Then my parents each had a try. No matter what direction we started from or where we walked, the rods crossed when we approached that sweet spot on the hill.
The well-contractor considered the terrain and then drilled the well remarkably close to where we had “witched” the well. It blew me away and made me a paranormal fan for life.
Dowsing rods, divining rods, and pendulums all work on the same principle. Something, or someone, from somewhere is providing knowledge to you through the medium of a rod or a pendulum. Another theory is that our own “higher self” controls the divining rod and provides the requested information from our inner knowledge. Either way, when dowsing for water with rods, the question is already asked: where is the underground water?
A pendulum can be used, much like a Ouija board, to divine several different questions. To make a pendulum, all you need is a long string or chain with a weight or bob on one end. A necklace and pendant would work just as well as those expensive, mystical pendulums you can purchase online. Rumor has it—a skilled medium can use a pendulum to find missing objects, answer questions about the future, and predict the sex of your next child.
There are a lot of websites that will teach you, convert you, and beguile you with information about divining, dousing, and pendulums. As with everything, please proceed with caution and understand that they are all trying to sell you something. You don’t need any fancy stuff to have fun with a pendulum or dowsing rods. And they aren’t scary – unless you write it that way.
In my novella Hunter and Lily Graham, Hunter uses a pendulum made from his father’s pocket-watch chain, an arrowhead from his grandfather, and rose quartz from his grandmother. All the items have special meaning to Hunter and give his pendulum unique qualities.
After collecting a bounty in Wichita, Hunter hoped to return home before the snow begins to fall.
Then he saw Lily Graham.
Beautiful and desperate, she fell to her knees and begged for his help. A child was missing, a young life in danger.
Hunter would need to call upon his supernatural skill to find the child, but time was running out.
Hunter and Lily Graham is free this month, along with several “out of this world” romantic offerings from other authors on the link below. But hurry! There are only a couple of days left to get free books from this collection of paranormal and alien romance stories.
Discover nail-biting suspense with paranormal romance author C. Marie Bowen. She weaves her supernatural characters into a collection of tales linked to her first award-winning novel, Passage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Mr. B, and their two rescue pets, Abby and Rue.
SILVER SOLDIERS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY
Editor: Delilah Devlin
Deadline: March 15, 2022
SILVER SOLDIERS is open to all authors.
Editor/Author Delilah Devlin is looking for stories for a romantic erotica anthology tentatively entitled SILVER SOLDIERS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY.
Why write a short story for this collection? Well, it’s certainly not about making a lot of money, so why do it at all? I’ve said this before, but here are my thoughts…
Writing a short story for a call for submissions is a chance to flex your writing muscle! It can be a chance to experiment with a genre you’ve never written. If you’ve never written a story in first person but don’t want to begin by writing an entire novel using it, start short! For myself, I’ve written stories in new genres or with fresh themes that ended up being so much fun to write they’ve spawned entire series.
You have a deadline! I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping my butt in the chair without one!
It’s a promotional opportunity! If selected, you’ll be joined by 12-15 other authors for the launch, sharing your audiences and, hopefully, picking up new readers along the way. Having your story in the collection is another chance to be “seen.”
And remember, you retain the rights to your story, so you can republish it for individual sale or give it away to attract subscribers to your newsletter. You might even decide there’s more story to tell and expand your short story into a novel.
Here’s what I’m looking for…
SILVER SOLDIERS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY will include stories that satisfy the reader who craves stories with older alpha male heroes. Those salt-and-pepper hotties with crow’s feet earned through rugged training and years of combat. Former soldiers finding their footing after their first careers, or current soldiers nearing the end of their military careers. They’re ready to find the right partner to put down roots, ones who aren’t afraid of scars and rough edges.
SILVER SOLDIERS will seek stories with varied settings here on earth, grounded in reality, or soldiers who might be something a bit more than human—supernatural creatures, or even aliens and cyborgs. The only requirement is that these soldiers understand loyalty, allegiance, and real courage.
I’m open to any subgenre of erotic romance you want to write. I’ll accept contemporary, historical, science fiction, or paranormal stories, and I won’t be picky about whether the stories are hetero, LGBT, ménage… Basically, you, the author, can go anywhere your imagination takes you so long as 1) the story is a romance, and 2) you have a bad boy somewhere in the pages!
The anthology will be sold at a low price—my intent is exposure for you and your writing. The more readers reached, the better! You will retain the rights to your story so that, at a later date, you can republish your stories individually.
I’m seeking hot and inventive stories from authors with unique voices, and above all, I’m looking to be seduced by tales filled with vivid imagery and passion.
Published authors with an established world may use that setting for their original short story.
This is erotic romance, so don’t hold back on the heat. Stories can be vanilla or filled with kink, but don’t miss describing the romantic connection between strong-willed individuals learning to trust and love one another. A deep sensuality should linger in every word. Keep in mind there must be a romantic element with a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending. Strong plots, engaging characters, and unique twists are the ultimate goal. Please no reprints. I want original stories.
How to submit: Prepare your 2,500 to 5,500 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12-point, black font, Word document (.doc or .docx) OR rich text format (.rtf), with pages numbered. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch, and double space (regular double spacing; do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). U.S. grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.
In your document at the top left of the first page, include your legal name (and pseudonym, if applicable), mailing address, email address, and a 50-words or less biography, written in the third person, and send to email@example.com. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories. I will try to respond no later than May 30, 2022 with decisions.
Payment will be $25.00 USD, ninety days after publication at the end of that month.
Who is Delilah Devlin?
Delilah Devlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance and erotic romance. She has published nearly two hundred stories in multiple genres and lengths and has been published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Entangled, Grand Central, Harlequin Spice, HarperCollins: Mischief, Kensington, Kindle, Montlake, Penthouse, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing.
Her short stories have appeared in multiple Cleis Press collections, including Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Lesbian Lust, Passion, Lesbian Cops, Dream Lover, Carnal Machines, Best Erotic Romance (2012), Suite Encounters, Girl Fever, Girls Who Score, Duty and Desire, Best Lesbian Romance of 2013, and On Fire. For Cleis Press, she edited Girls Who Bite, She Shifters, Cowboy Lust, Smokin’ Hot Firemen, High Octane Heroes, Cowboy Heat, Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors and Sex Objects.
She has also edited Conquests: An Anthology of Smoldering Viking Romance, Rogues: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Blue Collar: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Pirates: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, and Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology.
Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to Delilah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, funny story. My daughter and I decided to buy a VERY small turkey for the feast because we really hate the endless leftover turkey that has to be dealt with. We bought a 9-pound turkey. Yes, they do exist! But what’s funny is that when we thawed it and removed the plastic wrapping, we discovered how they made it weigh so little. NO LEGS OR WINGS. Or innards in the little plastic pouch. Yeah. But hey, the turkey was delicious, and we only have two days of meat to finish off. Actually, it was the least dry turkey I’ve ever eaten.
Solve the puzzle to see a yummy solution for all those leftovers hogging up your fridge. Then post the name of your favorite dish using Thanksgiving leftovers for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card.
I suppose now it is safe to say that we have officially entered the holiday season. In the U.S., there’s always been a little contention over when the holidays begin, as some skip from Halloween straight to Christmas and ignore Thanksgiving, while others do not concede that the holidays begin until the week of turkey day. And last year the holidays for most people didn’t feel like the holidays at all; although, the same could be said about this year. Usually, on Facebook and YouTube, there are tons of videos with Halloween decorations and creepy makeup looks as well as daily postings of gratitude. That really hasn’t happened this year, and if it did, it was on a much lower scale. Perhaps those are another thing that have been absorbed by the “new normal.” However, what hasn’t changed unfortunately is the sadness and despondency that the holidays can bring for some.
Holiday (and seasonal depression) is real. For some, it is due to the lack of sunlight when the clocks were rolled back an hour and the days are shorter. For others, it is the isolation and not being with (or having) friends and/or family. Still for others, it is the feeling of inadequacies due to lack of funds and feeling as if he/she cannot provide for their family and loved ones during this time of year. So, here are some tips to get through the holidays.
Mental health should be everyone’s top priority. Take time to take care of yourself. Each day, do one thing no matter how small for yourself. This could be a walk in the park, a long bubble bath, giving yourself a facial, drawing, indulging in a movie, working in a garden, read a good book, or whatever. The activity of choice does not matter as long as it places a smile on your face.
Do not dwell on events that bring you down. Missing loved ones that has left this life never truly goes away. It becomes something that we can live with an accept. However, this becomes a real challenge during the holidays, and it’s easy to become bogged down in the feelings of loss. Instead, engage in something that would have brought that person joy as a dedication to them. For example, if the person loved roses, place roses on their resting place. If that’s not possible, place them in your home or work office to remember the good times with them each time you look at them. One friend went skydiving during the holidays as she said it was something her father had always wanted to do. Since he was not able to fulfill that dream, she did it for him.
For loved ones who haven’t passed away but for one reason or another cannot be present, bump up your contact with them in other ways. Facetime them more frequently. Go old school and send them a snail mail card with photos. Write more posts on their social media account. One friend did twenty-five days of vlogging (inspired by advent calendar boxes) and uploaded to his social media account so that his family would feel that they were a part of his daily life. In return, some of his family members did the same for him. It’s not the same as being in person, but it’s better than doing nothing and being lonely.
Uplift others. One way to always improve your mood is to help to improve someone else’s there are plenty of ways to do this. It could be volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. It could be adopting an angle from the Angel Christmas Tree or purchasing a toy for Toys for Tots. Or it could be engaging in a random act of kindness. And smiling never hurts. There’s a local mom’s-n-pop’s breakfast bar where the workers are always chipper. It’s easy to see from their interactions with each other and customers that it isn’t an act and that the employees truly enjoy working there. They always brighten my day when I stopped by. Then, one day at lunch I stopped at a popular fast-food restaurant that the workers aren’t exactly known for their friendliness. I honestly can’t tell you why I was smiling when I got to the window as the person who took my order was sounding a bit perturbed. However, when I handed her my card with a cheery smile, I saw her disposition transform. I don’t know what was going on with her that day, but I hope that I brought a little more joy into it as the workers at the breakfast bar do for me.
Get over the financials. Not everything is about money. There does not need to be tons (or any) presents beneath a tree have an excellent holiday. One tradition we have is watching a collection of holiday movies. While we will watch any, there are a couple that are on our “Must Watch” list every year, so much so that we purchased them on DVD in case we can’t find them on cable or satellite. We pop up some popcorn, curl under blankets, and sip hot chocolate as we watch. For us, this is better than any gift.
Now, I know what some people may be thinking at this point—that all of that sounds good, but little children do not understand and will be disappointed. Okay, so this is where teaching moments about materialism come into play and help shaping values. Additionally, there are other ways to combat this. My child has a summer birthday, which meant most of her friends were away on summer vacation and wasn’t around for her birthday. Plus, family lived in a different town, which could make travel an issue at times. Since birthday parties were difficult to arrange due to these factors, the tradition was developed to spend the day doing fun activities. Over the years, we attended plays, visited museums and planetariums, had picnics, went on boat rides, etc. Many of the activities we engaged in were either free or had minimum costs. The same could be done for the holidays—driving around town and viewing decorations, going caroling, baking holiday cookies, playing in the snow (if you have snow), making crafts, refurbishing old toys to make them better, etc. Children may play with toys or wear clothes for a season, but they will always cherish fond memories.
Now, this isn’t for everyone as I know plenty of people who are opposed to decorating or believe that decorating is only for children. In fact, a coworker proclaimed that since her children were grown that she was “past decorating.” I don’t know where the idea came from that decorating was only for children. If that were the case, the billion-dollar holiday decorations retail industry has it all wrong and has been making their money on a fluke. Literally, every time I hear this, my mind automatically pictures Charles Dicken’s Scrooge character. (Btw, that is one of the movies on our “Must Watch” list.) Decorating and making a home or a workplace festive can bring a great deal of joy.
This may sound a bit odd, but invest in a sunlamp. If it is the darkness that has your mood sinking this time of year, some experts suggest using at-home portable sunlamps as an option for combating seasonal depression.
Ditch dieting but adapt a good diet. Everyone knows dieting during the holidays is nearly always a bust. So, forget about it. Eat in moderation, but if you fall off the wagon with the strawberry cheesecake or haystacks, save the guilt and dieting for New Years. That being said, do try to maintain a healthy diet during the holidays. It’s so very easy to snack instead of consuming a “real meal.” A balance diet helps keep one’s energy up and avoid sugar-crashes, stomach aches, and nightmares or insomnia.
Remember to exercise. I know that’s a dirty word for some people, but exercising has been proven to increase endorphins which can improve mood (and memory). The positive aspect about exercising is that it can be done in a variety of ways from running to swimming to dancing to weightlifting to aerobics to yoga to sports. There literally are endless ways to work exercising into one schedule and most of these are free. (Don’t we all just love free?”)
I want to end on another less mentioned group are the people who become so invested in the holidays that they forget to enjoy them. They are super busy getting things organized or agonizing over having things perfect that they miss all the fun. The holidays become a source of stress and work.
One of the secretaries at work becomes bitter each year with decorating the office. She says it’s “unnecessary.” Mind you, she does not have to pay for any of the decorations; there aren’t many; and they are stored in clearly marked boxes with easy access. Because her desk is located in the lobby, she feels the entire lobby is her area and that employees and/or clients have no say (or interest) in what occurs there. She views anything holiday-related, whether it be to hang a wreath on the door, fill candy dishes with peppermints, or display received holiday cards, as work. When she’s asked to address and send holiday cards to other departments, she complains that it is a waste of paper.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, another employee always would take it upon herself to oversee the staff Christmas party. She would schedule the date and time and rally for other employees’ participation. However, she often went overboard to the point that she drove her coworkers to the brink of insanity with her persistence that they give her answers so that she could micromanage every part of the party. Before long, she could suck the fun out of anything, and ultimately, she didn’t enjoy any of it herself.
I’m convinced that between these two examples, there is a middle ground where holiday peace and harmony exist. Not everything has to be perfect. In fact, perfection can sometimes be found in imperfection. The most horrible, misshapen dessert may be the one that tastes the best.
So, that’s all that I have. Are you a fan of sports romance? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these points? Did you find any of this information helpful? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
Penalty Kill, book #4 in the Locker Room Love sports romance series is now available for purchase. Grab your copy at Amazon or at https://books2read.com/penaltykill for more options. Continue reading for the blurb and more information.
When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.
Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person of interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.
Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?
The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.