Hey there, Delilah and friends! I’m so happy to be joining you this Friday.
I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer. Home in New Jersey has been hot and I recently took some trips for my job which I hope will inspire some new stories in the future. Chicago and Seattle seemed like polar opposites, but I had the opportunity to eat some delicious food, visit friends, drive up to Mt. Rainier and sightsee the Bean and Navy Pier. It’s been busy for sure and I already have an idea for a second chance friends to lovers slow burn between those two cities already.
Sometimes readers ask me where I get my inspiration from and how do I fit in writing with a full-time job. It’s definitely not easy and time management can either be a friend or foe. I take my laptop with me on almost every trip and pack a fresh notebook to jot down ideas that come to me. My current work in progress is a small town series based in my favorite place in upstate NY. I got the idea for the series while I was visiting during their annual wine festival and fell in love with the town immediately. It has everything from small shops with local gossip, a farmer’s market, small University, wine festivals, and the main street that just invites you to park the car and get out to explore.
I love to slow things down a notch with these books and get into the lives of everyday heroes and equally strong women. My Love By Design series takes place in New Paltz with a group of friends all grown up and finally settling down. There are secrets from the past, second chance love, surprise babies, and house flipping adventures taken straight from the Property Brothers.
So if small towns are your thing, please check out the first book in my series, Love Under Construction, and if you visit my reader group this week, there’s a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
XOXO – M.C. Cerny
Love Under Construction
About the Author
M.C. Cerny fell in love with books after experiencing her first real ugly cry reading, Where The Red Fern Grows. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Flashpoint was written in a series of post-it-note ramblings that would likely make her idol Tom Clancy and her mother blush. She is a post graduate of NYU and calls rural NJ home with her menagerie of human and feline fur-babies. When M.C. is not writing, you’ll find her lurking in Starbucks, running stupid marathons, singing Disney show tunes, and searching out the perfect shade of pink nail polish.
Reader group: http://bit.ly/FreshSexyBooks
Hint #1, it’s coming in this weekend’s newsletter. Are you a subscriber? No? Click on this link to join!
Hint #2 is this puzzle!
Good morning, Delilah, and thanks for having me over on this hot August day. It’s really cool and lovely to spend some time with you and your readers. When I was growing up, I didn’t like August very much. Hot and sultry as it always is here in New York, it meant that summer was winding down and it would soon be time to pack away the swimsuit, shelve those books I loved reading beneath a tree, and get back to the business of school and homework. Even when school was long behind me, the August gloomies lingered.
Then I decided it was time to grow up and shed those gloomies for good. My mother had always said that there was no such thing as a bad day, week, or month. All of them were presents, and it was up to us to make something good of them. So I decided to find out something good about August. How does an author do that? Research, of course!
So, welcome to Admit You’re Happy Month! Isn’t it great to have a month that urges us to sit back, take stock, and think about all the things we have in our lives to make us happy? August is also Family Fun Month, and, certainly, my family is highest on the list of blessings that brighten my days. Thank you, August, for reminding me of that.
August also won’t let us forget to keep admitting we’re happy. Every week is upbeat. Last week was National Simplify Your Life Week. That’s pretty difficult for me to do, with a family to take care of and a new book just out. I may have to save it for next year. This week, though, is National Smile Week. It’s good to remember when life gets a little overwhelming that we still have much to smile about, and so many people in our lives, and even strangers, who deserve our smiles. Next week is Friendship Week—a good time to remember how much our friends mean to us and how they have always been at our side through both good and difficult times. The last week of the month is Be Kind to Humankind Week. If we all celebrated that one, our world would certainly be a better, more peaceful place.
August is packed with important days in history. Some of them sad, but others are events that made our world a better place: On August 1, 1774, Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen. On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Spain. The sixth of August marks the birth of Alexander Flemming, who discovered penicillin. August 14, 1945, is the day World War II ended. On August 22 in 565, the Loch Ness monster was spotted for the first time. Old Nessy is said to still keep making appearances, though not only in August.
One of my favorite dates is August 18, 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment of our Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was ratified. Lucy Stone, who fought so hard to win that right for us was born on August 13, 1818.
August also saw the birth of many famous people. Here are just a few: Herman Melville, P.D. James, Louis Armstrong, Lucille Ball, Neil Armstrong, John Dryden, Cecil B. DeMille, Davy Crockett, Mae West, Alfred Hitchcock, Coco Chanel, Orville Wright, Mother Teresa, Claude Debussy, Dorothy Parker, Michael Jackson, Charlie Parker, and Mary Shelley.
So, happy August, everyone—and happy August 8, which is International Cat Day, as well as Happiness Happens Day. I’m now such an admirer of the month that it opens my new mystery, SECRET AGENDA: Who’s Castrating the Wolves of Wall Street? The villain’s first strike is on a moonless night in August….
Secret Agenda: Who’s Castrating
the Wolves of Wall Street?
They are the most powerful men in America: billionaires born to privilege and linked by their membership in the nation’s most elite fraternity. They have always snatched what they want. From the halls of their ivy-league college to the counting houses of Wall Street, nothing has ever stopped them from reaching their nefarious goals. But as they gear up for their biggest takeover of all—the presidency of the United States—they discover to their horror that someone else has a secret agenda too. One by one, they are being castrated by an unknown attacker….
SECRET AGENDA—a riveting mystery of political ambition set in the glittering heights of New York society and darkest depths of Wall Street depravity!
About the Author
Until she left to pursue her own writing, Barbara Brett was both a magazine editor and book editor and publisher. Besides Secret Agenda, she is the author of Sizzle, Between Two Eternities, Love After Hours, and, with her husband, Hy Brett, the critically acclaimed mystery, Promises to Keep. You can find out more about Barbara and her books on her website: www.brettbooks.com. And you can keep up with her news and her views on writing, reading, and life by following her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBrettAuthor.
On August 21st, Lion in the Shadows releases! It’s a very erotic story—so consider yourself warned! 🙂
This opening scene I’m sharing today includes details of rescue procedures I gleaned from reading articles and speaking to a fireman in the Texas Hill County, who specialized in cave rescues. That was one fun conversation!
In Lion, things get hot…and weird…really quick. So, if you love a hot paranormal with hints of ghosts/demon possession/shapeshifting, Lion might be what you need.
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me whether you could see yourself crawling through caves for fun!
Lion in the Shadows
When a teen dies inside an unexplored cave, it’s Lani Kimmel’s job to bring him out. This is not a pleasant job, but one she’s handled many times as a member of the local fire department and an expert in cave rescues. The trek into the cave awakens a creature that will push this no-nonsense woman’s boundaries of belief and test her newly emerging love for one man.
Rafe Chavez, the new sheriff in this small Texas town, has already staked a claim on Lani. He’s a man with a goal in his sights, and he’s not letting anything get in his way—until he dreams about an Indian brave who died in that unexplored cave, savaged by a mountain lion. When his dreams cross into reality, Rafe realizes he may be possessed by the Indian’s spirit—but the spirit isn’t alone, and it wants Lani.
Just when Lani’s resistance to his erotic persuasion crumbles, Rafe must push her away to protect her from another creature that has also cast its gaze upon her…
The earth shook, and the air stirred.
Sounds other than the usual chirping of cave crickets and the incessant drip of water intruded on the sleeper’s dreams, echoing down the cavern. Voices, laughter, feet scraping over stone.
The sleeper opened his eyes and found that, for once, the exercise wasn’t futile. A sliver of grayish light penetrated the gloom.
He stretched, willing blood to quicken through his body, to heat and ease muscles that had remained dormant too long.
Then a new scent—musky, warm-blooded, human—entered his tomb. He rolled to his feet.
Then gathering his strength he roared up the cave wall.
* * *
Lani Kimmel drove over the cattle guard onto the gravel road that marked the beginning of rancher McKelvey’s property. She followed the ridgeline of the steep, oak and cedar-covered hill, bouncing in her seat despite her truck’s heavy-duty shocks. The tires churned in caliche, the fine sandstone gravel pinging on the wheel wells.
She tried to keep her mind focused on the task of keeping her pickup on the rough road and away from the reason she climbed to the remote spot. But her stomach already burbled, her palms grew moist, and that little voice in the back of her mind—the one that sounded like her father’s—taunted her, What do you think you’re playin’ at, little girl? You aren’t strong enough.
As she rounded a curve, a long line of parked vehicles forced her to pull onto the shoulder to continue forward. Further along, she passed an EMS unit, two county squad cars, and the trucks and SUVs belonging to other members of the volunteer fire department. Parking in a narrow space between two vehicles, she had her door open before the engine finished chugging to a halt. Heat blasted her, and she grabbed her volunteer’s baseball cap to shield her eyes from the bright afternoon sun. Then she slid her duffel from behind her seat, kicked a booted heel against the door of her truck, and headed toward the mouth of the unnamed cave.
She nodded to the EMS team crouched beside two boys huddled beneath blankets, shivering despite the late afternoon heat. Compassion could have swamped her, but she quickly tamped down the emotion. If she thought too much about it, she wouldn’t be able to get through the next few hours. Their buddy likely lay on the bottom of the cave floor, and it was her job to bring him up.
Lani approached the group standing in front of a narrow black hole. Stones and gravel were already piled to the side as the men worked at widening the opening. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves. “Anybody looked inside yet?”
Cale Witte, the captain of the volunteer fire department, turned and gave her a crooked smile that creased his suntanned face. “Glad you could make it, Lani. Did you bring your vertical pack?”
Lani lifted her duffel. “Got it here, boss. So, we have a drop-off? Anyone hear from the kid inside?”
He shook his head, his grave expression telling her he expected the worst. “Those skinny runts shimmied through that hole carrying ropes and Maglites,” he said, sounding disgusted. “Said they didn’t know there was another level until their friend dropped out of sight.”
Lani swore under her breath.
Cale spat a stream of chewing tobacco. “A couple of us crawled in. The entrance is blocked with loose-packed gravel and stone. It’s pretty unstable, but the cave opens wide once you’re through the mouth. About twenty feet inside, it bottoms out. We shined our lights around, but it was too deep to see much. We need to climb down.”
“Well, that’s what I’m here for, huh?” Lani said, willing confidence into her voice.
He nodded. “No one knows caves like you do—that’s a fact. You better have a look for yourself.”
Randy Brandt, another member of the department, leaned on his shovel. “Think we’ve got this hole wide enough for your butt now?” His grin stretched across his handsome face.
Not for the first time, Lani thought Randy’s lean, muscled frame, and sun-tinted brown hair belonged in a firemen’s calendar. “Better put your back into it.” Lani gave him a teasing glance. “Gotta make room for that big head of yours, too.”
The men chuckled.
Lani took no offense. She’d long ago figured out she was one of the team when the men included her in the insults they traded. Besides, the banter helped drown out the voice that ate at her composure. The sooner she was in the cave—her world—the sooner she’d be in control. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most compelling and sought-after romance books are shapeshifter romances. Do you love shifter stories? I do! Shapeshifter books have been a hot topic in romance for quite some time. What makes creatures that can change from human to animal and back to human again, so appealing?
I have a few thoughts but would love to hear what you think. How many types of shifters have you read? What’s your favorite? Dragons, wolves, bears, lions, leopards, tigers, deer, eagle or more. I even read one about a shapeshifting seal.
So, what makes a shapeshifter story element so HOT!
- Readers, including me, love Alpha male characters. Brooding and troubled heroes and courageous heroines who can tame them. The rugged kick butt kind of guy who can battle evil, protect love ones, love intensely and save the world. He’s a primal, fierce being when his animalistic side emerges. Imagine the power and strength of predatory animals, then consider what a human male/female would be like possessing some of these traits. That makes for a powerful character.
- Many shifters possess super powers, like heightened senses, Superhuman strength or other mystical powers. Birds and other mythical creatures can fly. Who wouldn’t want the power to fly? Some may travel through dimensions, move objects or read minds. They demonstrate keen eyesight, hearing or the ability to run fast. These animal traits occasionally transfer to their human form.
- Conflicts and drama in these books are cranked up on high. A character’s human side may not always agree with his animal side, adding more dynamic struggles. Fights between two shifters or shifter vs human kick up the tension a notch.
- Paranormal and Fantasy world. The paranormal or mystical quality of these stories are interesting and compelling. Fans of paranormal and fantasy worlds are fascinated with strange, unusual or bizarre settings. Add in non-human creatures, an adventure and steamy love story—what’s not to love?
- Mythology, folklore and ancient history all report various shifters. I love the mythology and folklore that authors create. Some of these stories are based on actual mythology, other make up new realms. I used the Norwegian folklore of the Eigi Einhamr in a shapeshifting series, yet to be re-released soon. In this folklore, humans can wear the skin of any animal and change into that animal. Many people believed in shifters or believed that they were one. (more on that below).
Put fiction aside and look inside our real world. Within some subcultures, there are people who seriously believe that they are not human. These ‘otherkin’ are considered non-human and come in all shapes and sizes.
Some people claim that they’re truly vampires, not cosplay, pretenders or wannabes. Others call themselves theriomorphs (shapeshifters), some say they come from another world or other dimensions. There are those who claim they’re animal but can change into human form. Not sure I see the difference. It’s a wonderful, strange world we live in.
What are your favorite shapeshifter creature and/or books?
Share below in comments. I have a few shifter books and a backlist series that I’ll be releasing soon. My current shifter titles:
Dragon Witch is book one in the Dark Realms series.
A sexy space pilot on a desperate mission. A headstrong biologist he loves. And a dragon shifter caught in the middle as their worlds collide. Passion, love, greed and betrayal threaten their survival. When worlds collide, can love survive?
About the Author
Kathy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy paranormal, contemporary, and suspense romance. She’s a science geek by day and escapes into her writer’s world at night. Kathy’s books are passionate, emotionally-charged and always have a happy ending. Some of her fav things: walks on the beach, traveling, curling up with her eBooks, binge watching Netflix series and having dinners out with her darling husband. She lives in Pennsylvania in a 100-year-old Victorian house with a garage built out of reject tombstones.
Readers can find her:
Web site: http://www.kathykulig.com
Hot News Mailing List: http://smarturl.it/KathysHotNews
Get ready for NaNoWriMo!
Permission granted to forward
This message is for any authors or aspiring authors who might be interested in some intensive help developing their next stories.
Don’t let that word “intensive” scare you away; I’ve led newbies, as well as multi-published authors, through our plotting process numerous times. Everyone comes away with new knowledge and insight, or at the very least, some terrific brainstorming support!
While lessons and exercises will be posted throughout the month of September, this is truly a self-paced class. We all have busy lives, and the workshop is designed to accommodate any schedule. Enjoy the pitch below!
ROSE’S ONLINE PLOTTING BOOTCAMP
Dates: September 10 – October 6, 2018
Last date to register: September 10, 2018
Cost: $50.00—cheap, considering everything you get!
Your DI (Drill Instructor): Delilah Devlin
Offered through: www.rosescoloredglasses.com
What you can expect:
CHARACTER (Strengthening exercises)
CONFLICT! CONFLICT! CONFLICT!
Breaking through the STORY STRUCTURE stronghold
Battling the PLOT LINES
We do more in one month than some people do all year! Get tough! Get motivated! Get plotting!
Join your Drill Instructor, Delilah Devlin, to learn a methodical approach to harness your creativity in order to produce an in-depth plot for your next novel.
Sound scary? It is!!!! Especially when you’re staring at an empty page without a compass and a map to guide you through the novelistic jungle. Your DI will lead you through four weeks of tactics, exercises, and training that will help strengthen your abilities. Delilah will accomplish this with weekly lessons, bi-weekly chats, and daily online communication. Join her for bivouac in September!
Join this elite force now!
For those who don’t know, my sister and I co-founded the website for writers called Rose’s Colored Glasses in 2004. From that site, we run a critique group and provide workshops—some free and some for pay. In September, I will be leading a month-long plotting bootcamp. It’s a great time to join—something you can do for yourself to get ready for NANOWRIMO in November! Join me if you can! ~DD
How’s our workshop different from every other one out there? I’ll provide feedback and brainstorming every step of the way!
Interested? Follow this link to sign up: http://rosescoloredglasses.com/Online%20plotting%20boot%20camp.htm
And feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think might be interested with my thanks!
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author & Freelance Editor