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Archive for June, 2022

Desiree Holt: Missing Pieces (Read Chapter One!)
Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Writing the Guardian Security series has been and continues to be one of my most rewarding projects. Moving Target, Book 1, has been through several revisions. It was the very first book I wrote but not the first one I published. It changed personality several times before it hit the marketplace.

When I was writing it, everyone in the group of authors I belonged to helped me and gave me advice. One of the things they told me was, “Write about things you know and use familiar areas as settings.”

Moving Target is set in a small Texas town just like the one we lived in at the time and the hero’s house is the house we had built.

I struggled to get that first book finished, mostly because the plot I had just wasn’t working. Then I read Cry No More by Linda Howard. I wrote Moving Target (at that time titled Run for Your Life) in an effort to create a hero like Linda Howard’s Diaz. It was successful and inspired me to create the series.

Silencing Memories, Book 2, was based in part of a plot from an episode of CSI. And the Vanetta ranch is based on one just outside San Antonio, Texas, close to where we lived. Killing Lies, Book 3, came from an idea I got from a friend of mine talking about a friend of hers!

Running Scared, Book 4, came from some articles I read about the illegal use of digital games in the espionage business. And Finding Redemption, Book 5, was born when I read an article about Mexico’s Quintana Roo Jungle. But mostly, I wanted to base a hero on the man who was my son’s closest friend and who died way too soon of a heart attack.

The latest release in the series, Missing Pieces, features Dino Brancuzzi, the best friend of the star of Finding Redemption, who is based on a friend of my son. Many of Ethan Caine’s characteristics showed up in Dino, and I wanted to tell his story. Also, I have a huge fascination with civilian Black Ops stories.

This entire series holds a very special place in my heart, and I hope you will take the journey through all of the books to meet some very interesting characters and go on some exciting adventures.

Here’s a taste of the first five books in the series and then keep reading for Chapter One from Missing Pieces.

Moving Target

They’re trying to kill her, and she doesn’t know why…

Kathryn Holt knows only that she has to get far away as fast as she can. In a frantic, cross-country odyssey, she transforms from pliable Kathryn to feisty, determined Kate Miller, staying one step ahead of the killers on her trail. Then Fate delivers her into the hands of a dark knight with a tortured past. The safety he offers is as tempting as he is.

After having his perfect life ripped apart, recluse Quinn sees protecting Kate as his chance for redemption. He never plans on wanting the guarded beauty, never mind falling for her. Denying the explosive chemistry between them is useless, and as danger closes in, he must fight to expose the killer or risk history repeating itself.

Silencing Memories

Just when architect Alexis Craig thinks she’s gotten her life back on track, the terrible nightmares return, and out of nowhere, a stalker sends note to her office. Photos follow, then emails, and she can’t dismiss the threat any longer. Hiring security seems the logical answer, but there’s nothing logical about her body’s reaction to the sinfully sexy expert bent on keeping her safe.

Guardian Security partner Nick Vanetta believes there’s more behind the situation than a simple fixation, and he wonders if the answer is buried somewhere in her past. As they dig deeper into her family history, the sizzling attraction between them burns hotter and the job becomes much more than playing bodyguard to this headstrong woman. To protect the woman he loves, he must find the stalker…before it’s too late.

Killing Lies

After her husband was killed and she lost her unborn child, Sarah Madison believed she’d never find love and happiness again. Instead, she has channeled all her energy into her job as assistant to the sexy CEO of Guardian Security. When he proposes a marriage of convenience, the chance to become a mother is tempting, and so is her new prospective husband. His only flaw—the distance he keeps between himself and his sweet little daughter.

Reno Sullivan’s life is a mess. His first marriage was based on a lie, and the fiery death of his wife left him to raise a baby—a constant reminder of his wife’s deceit. He desperately needs someone to mother the child and take charge of his personal life, and his no-nonsense assistant is perfect for the job. Unfortunately, the alluring woman in the bedroom next to his chips away at his determination to maintain the hands-off clause in their agreement and the ice around his heart.

A near-tragedy and Reno’s fear of love could kill Sarah’s hopes of turning their fake marriage into happily ever after…

Running Scared

When computer program designer Zoraya “Zoe” Lombardo wakes up next to her business partner’s dead body with a gun in her hand and no memory of what happened, the first thing she does is run. The second thing she does is call the one person she trusts to help her—the man she abandoned two years ago. He’s not as bossy as she remembers, but he’s sexier than ever. She made a mistake not listening to his warnings, and she’s more than willing to kiss and make up…if she can just stay alive long enough.

Zak Delaney, partner in Guardian Security, never expected to hear from his ex-fiancee again. After Zoe left, it took him a long time to put himself back together. Now he must cast aside his hurt and anger in order to protect her. He’ll have to rely on his resources at Guardian Security to clear her name and every ounce of his self-control not to fall for her charms again. But as danger closes in, Zak will have to learn to trust Zoe as much as she trusts him or face losing her again…and this time for good.

Finding Redemption

Lisa Mallory’s marriage from hell ended with her husband’s unsolved murder. Four years later, her eight-year-old son, Jamie, is kidnapped. When every other avenue of finding him fails, she turns to her brother’s best friend. He’s not the man she’d have chosen, but to get her son back, she’ll suffer anything…even the desire he stirs that she’d thought long dead.

Ethan Caine, former Marine/special ops agent, is dealing with his own private hell. All he wants is to be left alone with a bottle of whiskey to drown the guilt of surviving a mission gone wrong. When he finally agrees to go after Jamie, he certainly doesn’t want the boy’s mother slowing him down. Besides, she makes him ache to have her naked and beneath him. Worse, she stirs dreams of the future…something he doesn’t deserve.

Passion explodes between Ethan and Lisa in the exotic Quintana Roo jungle, even as the past and present threaten to steal it all.

Missing Pieces

Ten years ago, Jen LaCroix left Dino Brancuzzi carrying a big secret. Now, her life is in danger and he’s the only man she can trust.

When a valuable shipment disappears from the museum where she works, the finger points to her and the number of dangerous people after her continues to increase. Leaving that secret, Dino’s nine-year-old daughter, Deanne, with Ethan Caine, Jen finds a place to hide in the Caribbean.

Dino is stunned to discover he has a daughter and immediately launches a search to find Jen and protect her. He might have made the biggest mistake by not realizing in time that he loved her all those years ago, but can he forgive her for keeping the child a secret?

Read Chapter One from Missing Pieces

A suburb of Detroit, Michigan

Jennifer LaCroix took a breath in an attempt to still her galloping pulse and get herself under control. What an unbelievable mess this was. And just how had it all ended up in her lap, anyway? It had to be Sutherland, that jerk, pointing his finger in her direction. She’d never liked him or trusted him, not in all the years she’d worked at the museum, and now she had even more reason not to.

Chaos reigned all around her. A shipment of antiquities, the largest yet, was scheduled to arrive at the museum for a special show. They’d be on display for three months, thanks to the owner who’d loaned them, and the entire shipment had somehow disappeared. Craig Sutherland, the museum director, swore he’d never signed for them, but the shipping company driver insisted he had. Meanwhile, they were missing.

In the ten years Jen had worked here, she’d never seen such pandemonium. But of course, a disaster like this had never happened before, either. When the discovery was made three days ago that the latest shipment of artifacts had gone missing, everyone went crazy. Of course, they did. Those artifacts were rare and uber costly. Some even said priceless. Crazy was a mild term for how it had been since then. FBI agents were all over the place, and the museum board was everywhere, scrutinizing everyone and everything. Giving everyone the third degree.

The board was also doing its best to clamp a lid on things, because if the owners of the artifacts heard, there’d be ten kinds of hell to pay. The blowback might even cause the museum to close. The story was all over the media, the board was in an uproar, the staff was in a panic.

Sutherland was sweating bullets, despite his efforts to maintain control. Major donors were involved in the museum, many of them thanks to his efforts. If they all pulled their support, the place would definitely close. No wonder Roger Welborn, the chairman of the board of directors of the museum, was raising holy hell and rightfully so. He was angrier than she’d ever seen him. It was almost as if they’d been stolen from him personally. Thank the lord, at least, he wasn’t here today, throwing his weight around, telling her how the museum was his responsibility and if she knew anything at all, she’d better tell him or get herself a good lawyer.

Sutherland, who was also her immediate boss, still denied any involvement, of course. Said he hadn’t even been at the museum the day the shipment arrived. That it was scheduled for a different day. The driver was now nowhere to be found, and the signature on the receiving form was totally illegible.

And now, here she was, headed yet again for the room the federal agents were using. Why? She’d already told them everything she knew at least five times. Answered their questions a million times. But the damn suits had summoned her for questioning yet again. Summoned! Read the rest of this entry »

FOR AUTHORS! Seeking bloggers July through September 2022!
Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

FOR AUTHORS! Guest Blogging on the Delilah Devlin Website July through September 2022.

Have a new release coming out? An older title you’d like to highlight? A special event on your website you’d like to let readers know about?

NOTE: Email me directly at with your response!


Hey there, Authors! I like to host a guest blogger two to three times a week on my blog ( Right now, I need to line up bloggers for dates from July through September 2022.

I will need bloggers for the following dates:
July 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 21, 27, 28, 29

August 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29
September 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 18, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29

If you are interested in being a guest, please look at the available dates and let me know if you would like me to pencil you in. I advertise the daily blogs widely. I have 2,971 blog subscribers, who get posts sent straight to their email inboxes every day. My blog also feeds to my Facebook page, which has 4,968 friends, and my Fan Page, which has 4,336 follows. I also post the blog to my Pinterest—total followers 21.2k. If a date isn’t listed but is particularly significant for you, ask me about it anyway! I do try to work people in.

I prefer posts that talk about something more than just new or older releases, but you have room at the bottom of the post for covers, blurbs, links, and short excerpts. You can talk about hobbies, what’s important to you, what inspired this particular book—the field’s wide open, but remember, we wish to appeal to readers rather than other writers. Please keep the number of pictures you want posted to no more than 2, although that’s not a hard and fast rule. And readers love contests and love questions only they can answer that allow them to interact with you!

If you’re interested, contact me! Give me your preferred date(s). First come, first served.

Delilah Devlin
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author & Freelance Editor

It’s my birthday!
Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

“Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me”…! Well, I prefer the Beatles’ birthday song! If the Stones had only done one… LOL

Yes, that’s me a 64, sitting at my desk, getting a few wrinkles, letting the silver in the blond just happen, and yes, that’s the devil looking over my shoulder. What you can’t see is God on the left and Jesus to the right! Of course, the watercolor painting of the little girls is my sister and me!

My dd is trying to make the day special. I’ve already gotten a bag of goodies from her, and she’s talking about a trip to the flea market (the only shopping I love—oh, the “treasures” we will find!). I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Michal Scott: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley — An Extraordinary Life In Her Own Words (Contest)
Monday, June 27th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…flchen1!

As a writer, I’m fascinated by women who use their agency to tell their own stories or stories others need to hear. This is particularly true of formerly enslaved women like Ida B. Wells Barnett, Harriet Jacobs, and Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. I’d like to share today about Elizabeth.

In 1818, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born into slavery in Virginia. The family that owned her allowed her to learn to read and write. She also learned sewing, the skill that eventually set her up in her own business. While still enslaved, her owners moved her to Missouri in 1846 where she used her sewing talent to raise money for her owners. It was here that she first caught Mary Todd Lincoln’s attention.

Elizabeth’s owners agreed to set her and her son free if she could raise $1,200. By 1855 with the help of vigilance committees, she was able to raise the money.  She used her skills as a seamstress to pay back these loans. In 1860, she moved to Washington D.C. and built a dressmaking business thanks to referrals from Varina Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis. One of Elizabeth’s patrons ordered a dress from her for the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. This patron recommended her as a dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln. The rest as they say is history.

She was an integral part of the Lincoln household and recounts her life with them as part of her memoir, Behind the Scenes: Or Thirty Years A Slave and Four in the White House. However, the work was not as well-received as the narratives of other former slaves. Her recounting was seen as a breach of trust between her and Mary Lincoln. The book had poor sales, and she lost customers because of the controversy it created. The White House Historical Association has a fuller account of her life as a slave and her time in the White House on their website:

She did not let the book’s reception get her down. She defended what she did and continued to help others by teaching other Black women how to sew and founding two organizations to aid other Blacks:  the Contraband Relief Association, a relief organization for Blacks freed by Northern troops and had come to Washington D.C. as “contraband of war,” and the National Home for Destitute Colored Women and Children. In 1892 she moved to Ohio to accept the position as head of the Department of Sewing and Domestic Science Arts at Wilberforce University. It is believed she suffered a stroke and returned from there to Washington D.C. where she died in the hospital she helped found. She was eighty-nine years old.

I love learning about women like Elizabeth Keckley, women who used their abilities to make life better for themselves and others. Her life is a witness to perseverance and encourages me to press on at a time when parts of our society seem hell-bent on stripping women of their rights. Share a story of your own about persistence in the comments for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hand for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. Never having been courted, cuddled or spooned, Mary now fears any kind of physical intimacy when arousal forces her to relive the asphyxiation of her hanging. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy freeborn-Black Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing a relationship with Mary was foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Then just as Eban begins to win Mary’s trust, an enemy from the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

An excerpt from One Breath Away

Home at last, she’d see if meeting Eban meant this night would be good.

Since her ordeal, her sex rivaled the Chihuahuan Desert in dryness. Yet Eban’s gaze had summoned the fragrant flow that even now moistened her core. Could it be her body had finally healed? She swayed, dizzy with expectation.

The squeak of the indoor pump provided no distraction from the lingering tingle where Eban’s fingers had rested against her spine, where his lips had kissed her hand. She focused on her task to temper her excitement.

Fill the bucket. Lift the bucket. Carry the bucket. Empty the bucket. Fill the bucket. Lift the bucket. Carry the bucket. Empty the bucket.

The pans she filled slowly simmered then steamed on her small, pot-bellied stove.

Her heart seized as she fingered the simple gingham curtains covering Harvest Home’s windows. Harvest Home’s humble kitchen contrasted sharply with the trappings that had graced Mary’s Manor, her Weston restaurant expansion.

She’d looked up the word manor and decided her place would imitate that kind of luxury as much as possible. Brocaded drapes and white, linen tablecloths had dressed up the Manor’s supper room. Slipcovers made from the same linen covered the cushioned chairs. White, bone china and delicate silverware completed the picture of elegant dining she hoped to draw.

A Franklin stove, indoor pump, double sink, polished counter tops and spacious storage cupboards made the Manor’s kitchen a dream made true. Nothing lacked for the grand opening. Picturing couples enjoying themselves in her simple but elegant setting had become her favorite pastime.

Then Judah Little and his lies thwarted her plans. Thwarted. A good word. A true word.

“But not for long,” she whispered. “That dream will come true just as this dream might come true tonight.”


Swimming in the rain…
Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Hum the subject line to the music of “Singing in the Rain”… That’s what I’m doing in my head.

That picture isn’t me, my girls, or my pool, but that’s what I was doing today. I took a break from an editing project and hit the pool. The temperature was in the mid-90s until some clouds rolled by and dumped a bunch of rain. Since there was only thunder in the distance, we all ran out to the pool. Lord, it felt so good.

That’s all I’ve got. I finished up the edits a little while ago, and I’m going to close down my computer and do NOTHING for the rest of the evening. I’ve earned some laziness. I don’t even have the energy to break out the paints.

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend—that you’re recharged and ready for another week. I start on my next book tomorrow! Whee!

Saturday Puzzle-Contest! Plus, More Open Contests!
Saturday, June 25th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Cara!

It’s Saturday, and I have edits, edits, edits. Not the fun stuff. I can’t start the fun stuff (my next book) until I get this job out of the way. But onward!

Before we get to the puzzle, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who purchased and read Victoria’s Six. And thank you to all who posted reviews! They matter!

Victoria's Six


I chose today’s puzzle image based on the fact that today is International Day of the Seafarer! So have fun! Solve the puzzle and tell me who your favorite seafarers are for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Open Contests

  1. The Saturday Puzzle-Contest! Plus, More Open Contests! — Have fun! — Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Scavenger Hunt! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. The Weekend–Batman-style! (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
The Weekend–Batman-style! (Contest)
Friday, June 24th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Beverly!

Psst! There are four open contests besides this one!
Hit “BLOG” above and scroll down to find them!

I’ve used this art before. I love it. It reminds me of the Batman graphics from the old TV show and comics. Are you old enough to remember them? I loved how cheesy/campy that show was. Blap! Zok! Pow!

Fridays feel like they need that sort of emphasis. Fridays are days I typically look at what I should’ve accomplished during the previous week, and I get a final adrenaline surge to finish it up! Blap!

So, what’s still on my plate? I have a set of edits that were tossed over the fence at me—at the last minute—that I have to concentrate on to complete ASAP (that deserves its own Batman graphic!).

So, for a chance to win your choice of a downloadable book from my backlist, tell me whether you use weekends as a chance to finish up projects or do you look at them as a time to relax? Also tell me whether you think I should do my own Batman-style graphics to describe my superhuman efforts? (Just kidding.)