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Archive for the 'Real Life' Category



Joe, Logan, and a little bit of real life…
Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Hey there! For those of you who’ve been gobbling up the Texas Cowboys stories, you won’t have to wait long to read Slow Rider, which features my two Texas cops, Joe and Logan. I had originally put SR up for pre-order with a late February release date, but you’ll get it read it much sooner. I decided to push it up because a couple of projects I had hoped to have ready in the next few weeks aren’t rocking along as fast as they should be.

There’s one really good reason. And it’s a real-life thing, but since I always try to be real here, I’ll tell you all about it.

Last year around Thanksgiving, my 98-year-old grandmother, who lives with us, began failing. You may recall that in late 2016 she broke her back. She went through rehab and recovered her mobility. This time, she’s just running out of juice. She’s entitled. She’d tell you that, too. From walking very unsteadily, she’s now completely bedridden. She did a three-day stint in the hospital where they evaluated her for hospice, but funnily enough, they found her to be too healthy for hospice. You have to have a terminal diagnosis to get in-home care. You’d think her age would be enough to cover that requirement, but no.

So, we did look at alternatives. They offered rehab. Six weeks worth, where they’d try to get her back on her feet. She didn’t see the point and didn’t want to leave home. She’d rather die here. So, a nursing home was out of the question, too. Instead, my aunt, my lovely dd, and I have broken up every 24-hours into shifts where we stay with grandma, feeding her, keeping her clean and comfortable, and yes, changing bed pans and adult diapers. Truly, it’s not as horrible as it sounds. And we love her, so this is what our family does. Because we can. We are well enough ourselves, my aunt is retired, I work from home, and my dd trades off childcare with her husband and me. Yes, I have added shifts of babysitting when she’s with grandma and the baby-daddy isn’t around to look after her.

We’re not sure how long this will last. We’ve already been at if for a while, which is why my productivity has gone to shit.

But I’m adjusting. Next month, I hope to have the following ready to go:

 

02/06/18 – DAGGER, Montana Bounty Hunters series (Indie)
02/16/18 – NIGHT WATCH, Texas Cowboys series, reissue (Indie)
02/27/18 – PIRATES, A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology (Indie)
02/28/18 – REAPER’S RIDE, Montana Bounty Hunters series (Indie)

In the meantime, I’ve moved up Slow Rider to January 23rd!

Slow Rider

When Joe Chavez and a fellow sheriff’s deputy pull over a speeding motorcycle in the middle of the night, neither is particularly shocked to find Paraiso’s wild child, Sarah Michelson, riding bare-assed naked, nor are they surprised when she invites them to join her in a sexy threesome. Talking her way out of an embarrassing date with the county judge, who just happens to be her daddy, Sarah promises the officers the ride of their lives. Having the men turn the tables on her and introduce her to some scary D/s play, she learns some things about herself she never suspected. Too bad Joe will never see her as anything but a sexy hell cat in need of taming…

Pre-Order your copy now!

Soft Resolutions (Contest)
Monday, January 1st, 2018

dreamstime_xs_48277248Happy New Year!

Here’s to a shiny, hopeful 2018! And I can’t believe I’m even typing those digits. Sheeeee-ett. I remember when I was partying like it was 1999! For real!

A new year, and it’s that time again. I know many of you never make a list of resolutions because you feel as though you’re setting yourselves up for failure, but I believe we can all set some “soft promises” to ourselves.

I’m a list girl. Always have been, and the older I get, I lean on them even harder. If it’s not on my list, it’s not on my radar sort of thing. But my lists are usually compiled of very finite goals and are almost always aimed at writing projects. So—work-related! Not at all a “soft promise”. So far as those go…

I don’t usually set weight goals because, like many of you, I always let myself down. I have no desire to be reed-thin, but I do want to feel better, so that’s my soft goal: Feel better in 2018! And I do have a box of some diet stuff waiting for me to get serious for a week or two to get the process going. Yuck, but I can do anything in the short-term. My hope is to eat less, move more, even if the moving is just cleaning house or walking rather than driving across the highway to my dd’s for coffee.

Then there’s the art thing. Writing is my creative passion, but for the past few years, it’s felt more like a job. I show up every day at the keyboard and pound out words or edit others’ words. I’ve been feeling a little empty, like the creative spark needed a new outlet. I’ve been making jewelry, but it doesn’t always feed my need for color and freedom because wrapping, linking, beading doesn’t feel explosively creative. This year, I’m going to try to get the creative zest back in my life. First, I’m going to write a series that lights my fire: Montana Bounty Hunters. Humor mixed with action and sexy times feels right. I had so much fun writing the first book, REAPER, that I’m eager to see what happens next in that world. And, I’m rejoining the local art guild this month. It’s time to take a few classes, learn some new techniques, and get out the paint!

Lastly, I want to learn to be a saver. I’m luckier than most in that I won’t have to depend on Social Security when I’m in my dotage. I have a couple of retirements that will kick in when I hit 60, but I’d love to feel more in control—and to take some trips. So, with Hawaii and Iceland in mind, I’m taking the 52-week savings challenge. It’s small beans, but I hope it will help me learn a little discipline. No, I don’t need another paint brush or the latest tablet. Not that I am any good at denying myself little treasures, but one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I get EXTREME pleasure from treasure hunting at flea markets and yard sales. Those pretty buttons, odd beads, and small machinery finds help feed my art habit. So, maybe I don’t need a new Michael Kors bag, but I can get my shopping on looking for just the right piece of bric-a-brac for the next mixed media piece I work on.

So, that’s my soft list of resolutions. Not a big list, and I won’t attack it with any “all or nothing” ambition, just a quiet plodding resolution.

So, how about it? Do you have a “soft” resolution?
Something you’d love to do for yourself this coming year?

If you comment, you’ll be entered to win a small Amazon.com gift card.  ~DD

Plans for New Year’s Eve and Three Stories Coming Soon! (Contest & Excerpt)
Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Just one more day until we party like it’s 2018! Woohoo! Do you have big plans? A party? We’re still on grandma duty, so likely, we’ll raise our glasses early before my dd heads to grandma’s, and I bed down on the sofa at her place to watch the kids, while my SIL’s watching over restless prisoners at the county jail. Well, they do say you should start the year the way you intend it to go. We’re thankful for jobs, thankful to still have grandma with us, and I do love spending time with the kids, so there you are!

I’m busy still looking at this last chaotic year and making plans for 2018. Plans that include new stories for you! And, hopefully, a few of trips. I’ll be in Nashville in March for a readers’ conference, Hawaii in April for a writers’ retreat (!!!), July in central Arkansas for another writers’ retreat, and lastly, I plan to be in Florida in October for a big writers’ conference. Four trips! I feel guilty about the expense and the time away—don’t most mamas feel that way, too?

Anyway, below are three stories dropping into Kindles very soon! Bound & Determined is coming January 9th! The other two are February releases. Drool away!

  

Click on the covers to reserve your copy!

Contest

For a chance to win a free download of one of my recent releases—your choice—tell me what your New Year’s Eve plans are!

Excerpt from Bound & Determined

When the DJ’s speaker set crashed to the floor as the first women to arrive rushed the tables nearest the stage, Tara Toomey scrambled for a replacement and chalked the mishap up to high spirits.

When one of the volunteers carrying a tray of Jell-O shots tripped, and cherry and lime gelatin slid in glistening trails down his face and naked chest, she laughed as eager women offered to lick him clean.

However, it wasn’t until one of her staff whispered in her ear that she knew she was in for a long night. The main attraction had yet to arrive.

She crushed her dog-eared copy of the “Hook-up” program in her fist and headed toward the old-fashioned, double swinging doors, ready to stomp all the way to Redbone Ranch to drag his butt to town.

As she passed excited, tittering women her smile felt strained, and her nerves stretched taut. The “Annual Honky-tonk Hook-up” had always been a good time, but this year she wished she hadn’t been so quick to volunteer her bar again. Sure, it was good for business and many of the “blow-ins” from Houston, San Antonio, and San Angelo returned throughout the year because they enjoyed the event and Paraiso’s authentic western ambience.

But Tara wished she could return home, crawl into bed, and pull the covers over her head. The last thing she felt ready to do was watch one particular cowboy strut his stuff across the stage and land in some other woman’s clutches—even if it was just one night, completely innocent, right, and for a really good cause. The fact he might blow off the auction pissed her off almost as much as the thought of the spectacle he’d cause if he did finally make an entrance.

If anyone thought splintered speaker casings or a little spilled Jell-O were trouble, they hadn’t seen a room full of women erupt in the wake of one seriously sexy cowboy. Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback: Hotter With A Pole (Contest)
Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

UPDATE: The winner is Ronnie C!

* * * * *

Christmas is almost here! And so much is happening in my world, I’m having a hard time catching my breath.

Some of you may remember that, last year, my family was dealing with my then 97-year-old grandma who had fallen and broken her back. After spending time in rehab, she was moved home, and our family pitched in to give her round-the-clock care. Well, this year is a new crisis. Beginning about two weeks ago, her health is failing, and despite the doctor’s best efforts, and ours, she’s declining. I suppose it’s to be expected at 98, and she’s ready for it. Still, we’re all very saddened, and we’re back in “pitch-in” mode.

My dd is her nighttime care-giver now. My SIL just started a new job with the sheriff’s office and works nights. So, guess what my job is? Yeah, I’m the kids’ nighttime babysitter. They are running me ragged, and my working hours have been slashed. We’re all tired and squeezed. No complaints though. Grandma and the kids come first.

So, here’s hoping your holidays are more joyous and restful than mine!

Contest

Comment for a chance to win one of my Delta Blue or Delta Fire stories! 

Hotter With A Pole

Hotter with a Pole

Noah hopes buying the classic ’68 Camaro from a fellow firefighter’s widow will ease some of the grief weighing down his heart. When a noise under the hood sends him looking for a mechanic, he finds so much more. Big and burly Hoyt grabs Noah’s attention right off, and not just because of his bad-boy biker looks and ice-blue eyes. The fact Hoyt is a Dom and a member at Club LaForge certainly interests Noah.

Hoyt never thought he’d feel that rush with a man again after his partner died, but his body certainly reacts to meeting Noah. LaForge seems like the perfect place to meet and work off some energy and explore this sudden flood of desire. The heat between them starts to burn through their emotional barriers, whether the men are ready to make a deeper connection or not.

 

Read an Excerpt

Noah stopped before the sign at the intersection. One right turn and one block’s drive, and he’d be at the fire house.

His fingers tightened on the leather-wrapped steering wheel of the Camaro. He still didn’t think of it as his Camaro. No one at the station would either. It was Danny Truitt’s car.

And the only reason Noah was driving it now was because Danny was dead.

“Huh.” Noah rubbed the pain over his heart. It was funny, but even thinking those words still had the power to make his chest tighten. Which made driving his buddy’s car feel somehow disloyal. Read the rest of this entry »

A Question…
Sunday, November 19th, 2017

My dd and I had a long, two-day drive from Arkansas to Virginia, so we had tons of time to ponder what’s wrong in the world. One segment of our two-day conversation had to do with Blake Sheldon being named “Sexiest Man Alive”. No, we don’t begrudge Blake his honor, but it began a rather fierce discussion regarding who our personal choices would be. Names like Brad Pitt, Jason Momoa, Ryan Reynolds, and Steve Buscemi (hey–ex-NYC firefighter!) were considered. We finally agreed on Idris Elba!

BTW, has anyone seen the movie The Mountain Between Us? I’ve been dying to!

So, let’s keep today’s question easy. You’ve probably already had this discussion with your bestie. Think about just one…

Who is your personal choice for Sexiest Man Alive?

Happy Birthday!
Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!…

Today, my sister, Elle James, and my grandmother, Gladys,  share a birthday! Elle’s age, I’ll skip, but grandma’s an amazing 98 years old! Sis is flying in to celebrate. We’ll have cake and gifts. So, I’ve been up since before the crack of dawn to get some work done! I know, it’s a sickness. Write, write, write…

So, if you have time, be sure to buzz by Elle’s Facebook page or leave a message here! If living with Grandma has taught me anything, we have to celebrate every day like a victory!

My Little Warriors (Contest)
Thursday, October 12th, 2017

UPDATE: The winner is…Stephanie!

* * * * *

When I sat down to write my blog, I didn’t have a clue what it would be about. When I’m in Promo Ho mode, it’s easy. I tell you about a book, offer you a tease, and I’m out. When I’m not in Promo Ho mode, I have to think. Gah.

So, this morning, with only one desk light lit, I glanced around for inspiration. Of course, my jumble of junk, on both sides of my monitor, drew my attention. At first, I was just admiring that my oak desk was dusted. My dd did that for me. And she arranged my treasures the way she saw fit. Since they weren’t put back exactly as I had them arranged, they look “new” to me. Yes, that’s King Kong peeking out from behind my crystal ball. Harley Quinn is on the right, and you can see her blue pigtail on the left. I love me some Harley. I’m not a My Little Pony person, but the 8-year-old knows I collect toys, so she gave me one of her favorite ponies. Now, it’s going to be there forever, guarding my bamboo plant.

There’s a piece of a shabti—that Egyptian head in the background, and yes, it’s the real deal. The fragment came from some ancient person’s tomb. And you probably can’t make out the bronze piece in front of it, but that’s a bunny rabbit broach from ancient Scythia—which is purportedly where the legend of the Amazons came from.

I have a piece of smooth, square stone that looks like a piece of Tootsie Roll, and that’s the only reason it’s sitting here instead of my bowl of rocks in my living room. A gift from the same 8-year-old, again. She knows I like weird.

See the little grouping of miniature figures at the center of the pic? Those are my Night at the Museum pieces. Not long after I first saw that movie, I was visiting a friend in town who owns a consignment shop, and those little guys were arranged across the top of her checkout stand. Well, of course, they had to come home with me. There’s a Plains Indian, a knight in armor, a Zulu, a Roman, and Napoleon Bonaparte. I’m sure my dd cussed about moving around all my little bits to dust. Especially these tiny pieces. But they are my companions. And I talk to them. Especially when it’s still dark outside. I keep hoping they’ll come to life and wage battle on my desktop.

So, tell me. Do you have cluttery junk on your desk or work area at home? Do you “collect” little inspirational trinkets? Comment for a chance to win a $5 gift card from Amazon!