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Caroline Clemmons: Texas Lightning (F*R*E*E READ)
Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Thanks to Delilah Devlin for hosting me on her blog.

I’m excited to tell you about TEXAS LIGHTNING, the first of my Texas Time Travel Series trilogy (Try saying that fast three times ☺). Reader reports have been very enthusiastic. Except for the words “damn” and “hell” a few times, this is a sweet romance. The second and third of the trilogy are TEXAS RAINBOW, releasing April 18, and TEXAS STORM, releasing May 25.

Years ago, I discovered the time travel books of Kathleen Kane before the author switched names and subgenre. I fell in love with time travel featuring ordinary people. I also have enjoyed the time travels of other authors, such as Beth Trissel, Linda LaRoque, Diana Gabaldon, and Peggy L. Henderson.

I especially enjoy the idea of a character from the past coming forward to today. Think about it—when someone goes back in time, they know what’s going to happen in that era. On the other hand, when a person comes forward, everything is new and requires huge adjustments in learning and attitudes. What a challenge for a character—and what fun for the reader. If there’s mystery and/or suspense, even better.

This is what I wrote in OUT OF THE BLUE, when an Irish woman from 1845 plopped down in contemporary Texas to help a detective solve several murders and discover who was trying to frame and kill him. Except for this book, my new trilogy is a departure from the usual books I write, but still in a western setting.

TEXAS LIGHTNING depicts Penny Terry as she stumbles forward into a complicated scheme to steal the ranch that had been hers. While unraveling the mystery, she learns why her father was killed. In this case, there’s even a fabulous treasure. Of course, she also falls in love.

The setting is a ranch in Central Texas on the Medina River somewhere between Bandera and Medina. Bandera touts itself as “The Cowboy Capital of Texas”. My family once stayed at The Mayan Ranch, a dude ranch near there. Our daughters and I fell in love with the ranch and the area. My Hero prefers to read about riding horses and ranching rather than experiencing them first hand. Hero was a good sport but would rather have been fishing. ☺

Texas Lightning

How can two people from different eras own the same ranch?

Penelope Jane Terry knows everything about ranching in spite of being a lone woman. She is determined to send to jail the rustlers who believe they can steal what is hers… until she is caught spying on their dirty works and must ride for her life. What Penny doesn’t count on is being hurtled over a 120 years into the future.

Jake Knight believes the attractive woman who stumbled into his home one rainy evening either has amnesia or is certifiably insane. Unless, that is, she is in league with whoever is trying to drive him out of business. Someone is trying to force him to sell his ranch by staging a string of damaging incidents. Jake’s been kept so busy making repairs that he can’t run his ranch properly. Even if he were stupid enough to wish to sell, the ranch is so firmly entailed that no one can break the conditions.

Jake gradually learns Penny is who she claims, no matter that time travel is supposed to be impossible. They’re locked into a clash only one of them can win. If an outsider weren’t trying to kill Jake as well as bankrupt him, perhaps he and Penny might be able to reach an agreement. And, then they discover there is a huge treasure….

TEXAS LIGHTNING Excerpt:

Finally, the lights of home shone faintly in the distance. Nothing had ever looked so good. She couldn’t keep going much further. Damned if blisters hadn’t burned on her heels from walking so far in wet boots. She was near frozen in these wet clothes.

Wait.

How could she be so cold now when the heat earlier had nearly suffocated her? Nevermind, she just wanted to be home, safe, and in her bed. There stood the fence next to the paddock. Almost home now, keep walking.

Don’t pass out, don’t fall. One foot in front of the other. You can do this. Stumbling from fatigue, she labored up the front steps onto the long wrap-around porch and bumped into a rocker. Who’d put that there? Just like her cook to move stuff around without telling her. How she’d love to sink into it and rest. First, she had to send for the sheriff and find out if Star came home.

At the door, she paused and listened for men talking—rustlers waiting to waylay her. She heard no sound. Lights shone so brightly, her cook must have waited up for her with every lamp in the house lighted. She eased opened the door, listened again, then walked in and leaned her rifle against the stair’s banister.

“Did Star come home?” She unbuckled her gun belt and hung it on the newel post—not something she’d do under ordinary circumstances.

Tugging off her gloves, she avoided a couple of cactus spines stuck in the fingers. How had they remained there without her feeling them? No matter, she sat down on the third stair tread to remove her boots.

She should have gone around to the back door, but she couldn’t walk another step. Weariness and sore muscles overwhelmed her and she wanted nothing more than to shuck out of her wet things and lie in her nice bed—if she could summon the energy to walk upstairs. Eyes closed, she leaned back against the stairs. She heard footsteps approaching and raised one foot.

“Had me a passel of trouble. Help me get these danged boots off, would you? Then I’ll tell you all about it.” A dog’s cold nose pressed against her cheek. She jumped and pushed her hair out of her eyes. A black and white dog stared at her. “Who are you?”

“His name’s Rascal.” An unfamiliar baritone said, “He’s mine.”

She looked up.

Whoa! The man who faced her was a stranger. In spite of her wariness, her mouth dropped open in awe. Instead of her arthritic middle-aged cook, this man was young and tall and definitely fit. And handsome. Unbelievably, mesmerizingly handsome.

He might be as comely as a fairy tale prince, but the regal disapproval on his face appeared anything but friendly.

Energized by fear, she jumped to her feet and grabbed her rifle. “Who the heck are you?”

He crossed his arms and ignored the Winchester pointed at his middle. His dark hair glistened in light that seemed too bright. Dark blue eyes had tiny creases at the corners, as if he laughed a lot.

He sure wasn’t laughing now.

“I might ask you the same question. And what are you doing tracking in mud and dripping water all over my foyer?”

Your foyer? This is my house, and it’s been my house since my daddy and I built it six years ago. Don’t you think for one minute I’ll let you steal my ranch.”

The dog growled, the fur of his ruff bristling.

The man snapped his fingers. “Quiet, Rascal.”

Who was this man? He didn’t look the type but maybe he was one of the men stealing her cattle. Could he and his dog have been waiting for her? She gripped the rifle with all her strength. Why hadn’t her cook shown up to help her?

Oh, no, had they killed him?

He glared at her. “Lady, I don’t know who you are, but this is my house, get it? I grew up here. My daddy grew up here. My granddaddy grew up here.”

Penny’s knees trembled, but she fought fear to appear strong. “Don’t try and trick me. The Double T ranch was started by my granddaddy in 1836. No con man is going to steal it from the Terry family, and you can take that to the bank.”

“The Terry family hasn’t owned this since Penelope Terry died in 1896. The Knight family has owned it since then.” He threw up his hands. “Hell, why am I arguing with a crazy woman?”

“Crazy?” She was about to light into him when the first part of his statement hit her. “Hey, what do you mean, I died? I’m as alive as you, whoever you are.”

“What the hell are you talking about? I see you’re alive. I said Penelope Terry died. Are you hard of hearing as well as nuts?”

Increasing fear spiraled inside Penny, knotting her stomach. How could this man think her dead? What kind of trick was he working? Had she been conked out long enough that her cook sent men out to look for her and they decided she’d died?

Forcing herself to appear calm when she shook inside, Penny stood erect. “I’m Penelope Jane Terry and you can see I’m very much alive…”

Amazon US buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B6R1K44?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Amazon UK buy link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Texas-Lightning-Time-Travel/dp/1986339459/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1521667698&sr=8-3&keywords=Caroline+Clemmons

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/138-9010344-2686736?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Caroline+Clemmons

About the Author

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains from a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won numerous awards. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Follow her on BookBub.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

Lizzie Ashworth — Regency Romance (Free Read)
Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Hi Delilah Fans! Thanks for stopping by my guest post today. For the last month or so, I’ve been reading Regency romance novels. This isn’t my standard fare. I lean more to the erotic end of things in my novels and short stories. But Regency has something to offer anyone who enjoys romance.

Despite the (mostly) lack of torrid sex scenes and descriptive words for body parts like, well, you know, Regency stories set 200 years ago tend to be long on sexual attraction and desire. Which, as we all know, is a lot of the fun in romance. Just as in any contemporary romance, these ‘bodice-rippers’ feature tall muscular men who are unbelievably handsome and who, despite all odds, take one look at the female in question and fall completely in love.

Of course, he doesn’t know it yet. They’re star-crossed lovers who can’t possible have a future because—well,  he’s a duke and she a mere seamstress. Or she’s lost her reputation due to some gossip about the ‘ton,’ as London life is called. Or because she’s from a titled family and he’s not, although this is rare because the happy ending usually involves his vast mansions with herds of servants and all the money they could ever want or need—without having to work.

What’s remarkable to me is the frequent reminder in these stories of how far we’ve come, ladies. Seriously, have you lately stopped to think that a mere 200 years ago, in a tradition going back as far as history, women were the property of men without the right to own property in her own right or to divorce her husband? Even 100 years ago, women were still under the thumb of a father and then a husband, although at least by then laws had pretty much curtailed the husband’s right to beat his wife.

Even fifty years ago, being a virgin until marriage was considered the norm and only ‘fast’ girls ran the risk of a scandalous premarital pregnancy. When birth control pills were introduced in the 1960s, everything changed.

Really, things started to change when women gained the right to vote in 1920. Women tended to support social change that not only benefitted themselves but also men in issues such as labor laws that eliminated child labor and created new ideas like weekends, a forty-hour week, and workplace safety regulations. But it would take until even later than birth control pills before publishers started to put sexy romance stories into the mainstream.

When I read Regency romance—which I enjoy because it’s a complete vacation from the real world and hey, what’s reading romance about anyway if not to escape reality for a few hours?—I’m often bemused by the arcane details of life in those times. Multiple layers of clothing including corsets for women and yards of pristine neck cloth for men—among other things—would be absurd in today’s world where both sexes routinely swim or jog in form-fitted Spandex that leaves pretty much nothing to the imagination.

What would one of those folks think now? I look around me at romance novels which explore bondage or menage and have to smile. We’ve definitely come a long way, baby.

If you’d like to explore Regency, here are a couple of authors I’ve been enjoying. And don’t forget to check out my newly revised Cannon Cousins series. Book I, HERS TO CHOOSE, is now FREE at your favorite ebook retailer. Visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/1490513906.

Allie Boniface: Where do you get the ideas for your books? (F*R*E*E STORY)
Sunday, March 18th, 2018

I get this question a lot: Where do you get the ideas for your books?

My answer? Everywhere.

But one of the more interesting ideas behind a book happened about eight years ago, when I picked up a newspaper and saw a short article with the headline “Husband and Wife Discover They Are Twins After DNA Test for IVF.” I was immediately intrigued. What on earth would that feel like, to discover that the person you had fallen in love with, you were blood related to?

Turns out it’s not that far-fetched a question. I did a little reading, and then a little more, and I found something called Genetic Sexual Attraction, which is something that happens when two people who are genetically related, but denied the ability to properly form emotional bonds as children, meet as adults and develop strong feelings for one another. These days, with anonymous donors more and more common in the world of fertility, it’s actually not unheard of for people who are blood related to cross paths as adults and, yes, date or fall in love.

So that brought me back to my original question: what would it feel like to make that discovery? Could you “unlove” the person you thought was your soulmate? Could you possibly stay with the person anyway? Would you tell anyone? And that’s when I knew I had to write a romance novel with those questions at their core.

Labyrinth of Love is the fourth book in my Hometown Heroes series, and it features two related love stories, sixty years apart. Within those two stories I finally got to weave the idea of that long-ago newspaper article — but I’m not saying any more! If you want to find out what happens, you’ll have to read the book.

If you want a little teaser first, you’re just in time to sign up for my newsletter and receive my next free short story, “Roses are Red, Violets are Pink.” It’s a tie-in to Labyrinth of Love, so you can get a peek at the small town of Lindsey Point and a little of its history before you dive into the series.

Happy reading, everyone!

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Lizzie Ashworth: Check out these F*R*E*E Reads!
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Hi Delilah Fans!

Great news today—lots of free reads, yours for the taking. These freebies are at Smashwords, Amazon, and Instafreebie. Download any format anytime but for today, the link takes you to Instafreebie. And there’s more free reads than those listed below, so check out Liz’s Author Page for more. Looking forward to your review!

Here’s the rundown (Click on the title at the top!):

Hers to Choose
Cannon Cousins Book I in this newly revised and expanded series

Bryn McClure is running out of time. With foreclosure in the last stages, she’s about to lose the beloved twelve-hundred acre Ozark farm she inherited from her grandparents. Her desperate last hope is to sell hunting rights for deer season.

Alex Cannon is running out of options. His cousin and property development business partner Dan has spiraled into a life-threatening depression. Alex hatches a brilliant idea of what might help Dan, and on advice from an old friend, contacts Bryn. A hunting trip might be the perfect route to a new outlook for Dan, especially with the extra touch Alex wants from Bryn.

When Bryn agrees to Alex’s special request, she’s thrilled not only with the promise of badly needed income, but also with the prospect of sexy kink. Her social life has languished during her lonely year of rural living. It seemed like such a good idea when she agreed to it.

But standing on her porch watching these two gorgeous men climb out of their truck and walk toward her, she thinks maybe she hadn’t fully appreciated how complicated things could become. Alex stuns her with his warmth and charm, but the cold and angry Dan is the one who expects her submission. By the second day, when the first spanking sparks her passions, she realizes she may be in for a lot more than she expected.

Dare to Ask

In this sexy novella, a spur of the moment dare forces a woman to blurt out an invitation to a younger man. Instantly regretful, she wants to drive away and never come back. Worse, he accepts. Now what?

Tess and the New Year
Short story spinoff from the House of Rae series.

When Tess answers her door, the last person she expects to find is Josh Carter. He comes on a mysterious mission. What a way to start the year!

This short story forms a new chapter for Josh and the House of Rae series, a continuing collection of stories that plunge deep into a near-future world of devastated landscapes, religious terrorism, legalized prostitution, and a spreading plague of brown death. Backed by desperate governments, a network of psions organize energy grids to distribute the healing effects of pleasure energy harvested from dance centers and sex houses. But that’s not all that comes to be expected of these native-born Indigos. Slowly the curtain pulls back to reveal dark energy rising from the ground and the dimensional shift that empowers them. Still learning the skills of his mysterious talent, Josh and his brothers in light gain strength from sex. Now it’s Tess’s turn to enjoy what Josh has to offer.

A Gift for Jarrod
Erotic Novella, the opening to the Jarrod Bancroft story

It started innocently enough. A rich young man in search of adventure in sadistic humiliation. An older woman intent on her profession as dominatrix. Their crossed paths should have been six weeks of a purely business relationship.
But things never go as planned.

His Only Love
An Erotic Gay Romance Novella. A spinoff to the Caerwin of Britannia series

As Saturnalia dawns and Rome’s Legio XIV Gemina prepares for the midwinter celebration despite their station on the far western border of Britannia, Greek slave Antius faces the disaster he set in motion involving his beloved master and legion commander, Marcellus. He takes refuge with his young lover even as an intimate betrayal unfolds between trusted friends.

Enjoy!

24-Hour Giveaway! (F*R*E*E READ)
Thursday, February 15th, 2018

The guest I scheduled to appear today is a no-show. So, lucky for you!

For just 24 hours, this book—the first in my Texas Cowboys series—is free! It’s available in Kindle, ePub, and pdf! Download your copy today and share this with a friend! Just click on the picture and enjoy!

Victoria Pinder: Forbidden Royal (Contest)
Thursday, February 1st, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is Lisa B.!

* * * * *

Thank you, Delilah, for having me. Delilah is delightful to authors and runs an online critique group that’s pretty darn awesome. And today, she’s letting me take over her blog to talk about my upcoming release.

Forbidden Royal Links:
Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/i4oumu
Apple Books: http://hyperurl.co/z5dvet
Barnes and Noble: http://smarturl.it/qvk0ou
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/4uee6g
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/u9ujfj

I’m so excited. So, I decided to share all about Forbidden Royal, my new release this week and let you get to know the characters Amy and Lucio, the heroine and her handsome prince, where they meet and fall in love. These are questions I asked my characters BEFORE they re-met. Amy knew Lucio when she was a freshman in high school, but she didn’t dare talk to him then. So, these are their answers to some fun questions.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Amy: Living my life without parental pressure to be what they weren’t. I’d love to just get away, maybe sit on a beach, under an umbrella and do absolutely nothing for once. When I go to work, it’s often rainy or foggy. When I leave, it’s the same. I’d like to see the sun and breathe free air.

Lucio: To not have to get married before I turn 30. As a prince, I can do anything I want, but I can’t stop time.

What is your greatest fear?

Amy: That I’ll somehow transform into my mother or my sister and suddenly find myself caring about titles and bank accounts of a man I meet, instead of true issues, like politics, that can affect our lives.

Lucio: That I’ll get kicked out of my family because I refuse to marry a woman

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Amy: I always give in to my parents. I don’t know why or how, but they know how to apply the pressure and get me to do what they want. So I’m like their wind up toy still seeking affection when we all know I was the nerdy, backup to my sister’s perfection. I don’t know why this bothers me as an adult. I have a job. I pay my own bills. I shouldn’t care what my parents tell me anymore.

Lucio:  That I hide myself, perhaps too much. The tell all book of complete trash writing was total fiction, but millions of people believe I could be that much of a jerk because I don’t open up to people.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Amy: I earn enough money at my job writing my reports to pay for my flat and I don’t have to ask anyone for any money, ever. I love the freedom!

Lucio: Completing my training with the CIA, Interpol and British Intelligence where I am able to help discover subterfuge and lies before enemies attack my parent’s country.

Which living person do you most admire?

Amy: Living. This is hard, but I’m going to say the Dalai Lama. He seems to peaceful and honorable and trustworthy. I wish my own head was half as calm as the man seems, and that I could help bring peace to the world simply from prayer.

Lucio: Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos I guess. I was born a prince so I never had to prove my worth, but men like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos get to create their own image and company and build who they are from the beginning. I absolutely admire that in American businessman.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Amy: Drinking wine out with my mates on a weeknight and not worrying I don’t have money. I mean I don’t drink every night or anything, but just being with my friends, in a nice restaurant, and that I can buy my own bottle of wine… this means life is pretty good.

Lucio: I suppose I should count but I’ve dated countless women and never had issues. Reports say I’ve dated over a 1000 women but that’s clearly a miscount. It wasn’t that high and most people lie because they want to be associated with a prince.

What is the quality you most like in a man/woman?

Amy: Honesty and being comfortable in their own skin.

Lucio: I’d say honesty as well. In a woman it would be almost refreshing.

What is your most treasured possession?

Amy: My collection of photographs. I’ve been printing and creating photo books since I was a teenager. It’s so much fun to go through old photos. Most people my age are all digital but I have my printed out pictures and albums that I like to pull out and see.

Lucio: My mind. I always try to keep up on science and breakthroughs so I can find something of use and value to help my country.

On what occasion do you lie?

Amy: To my parents on why  I can’t come and visit them and that I’m happy to see my sister. The truth is I’d skip her wedding next year if I could, but that doesn’t make me sound very nice. Of course I’ll go, but I’ll do whatever I can to delay the inevitablility.

Lucio: I’ll do whatever I can to protect my country, including lie to get to the truth. I’ll infiltrate any organization and lie to really rout out the truth.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Amy: My thighs. I’m not heavy in most places but these thunder thighs actually jiggle if I’m not careful.

Lucio:  I’m a guy. I go to the gym daily because I need to work out. I dislike being flabby and work hard to ensure I stay in the best possible shape I can.

And you can read the first three chapters of Forbidden Royal now! Please go to https://dl.bookfunnel.com/802j3fwjj9 (Book Funnel) or https://instafreebie.com/free/qGimq (Instafreebie).

Contest

Also I’m running a giveaway this week if you’re interested in winning pearls just like Amy wears in the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Drive Me Crazy (F*R*E*E Read)
Saturday, January 27th, 2018

It’s Saturday, right? Hard to tell these days. I relieved my daughter a little while ago. I spent the night at her place, walking dogs and taking care of kids—a break from taking care of grandma. I’m really having to work hard to fit in “writer’s work” with caregiving activities. Not that I’m complaining. I wouldn’t. This is what family does. Or at least, what family does when it can. I know that not every family can be “all hands on deck” in a crisis.

Yesterday, at last, we were approved for hospice. No, she’s not going into a facility. She’s staying home, and we’re still her caregivers, but there’s more support—on-call nurses, aides to help with baths a few times a week, some supplies, medicines to keep her comfortable.

We see to her needs, sleep when we can, hold her hand when she’s scared, listen to her stories. And oh, the stories. Who knew grandma loved a Blackfoot boy when she was young. Her mother made her break it off, and she’s apparently regretted it all her life, because here she is talking about a painful breakup eighty years later. Love is a powerful thing.

Hope you enjoy the free short story below. It’s a complete story. Make sure you don’t have any children reading over your shoulders. 🙂

Drive Me Crazy

Drive Me CrazyShe’s out for one night of passion in a trucker’s big rig…

Just a glimpse of him standing in profile, arms crossed over his well-developed chest and leaning his firm round butt against the dispatch counter, was enough to shore up my weakening resolve. Dressed in faded blue jeans, a black, chest-hugging T-shirt, and a red Razorback ball cap turned backwards on his dark shaggy hair, he was every woman’s blue-collar fantasy.

My mouth dried as I glanced down his tall, muscled frame. What woman in her right mind wouldn’t want one night with all that ripped hotness?

And that’s all it could be—one night. I’d waited until the last possible moment to make my move. The midnight drive to the dispatch office had given me plenty of time to argue my way out of what had seemed like a good plan earlier when I’d realized that the planets had aligned to give me this one last chance to fulfill a long-standing fantasy.

There’d never been the right moment. For the longest time, I was married. When my husband left me for a younger version of me, Danny had been dating a woman with two kids, and seemed to be heading down a straight road to marriage.

We’d flirted; he’d issued lazy, playful invitations for dates or a quickie at the Motel 6 down the road. But I’d never detected even a hint of serious interest. If something was going to happen, I had to be the one to make a move. Today had been my last day at Henderson Transport. It was now or never. Read the rest of this entry »