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Mary Kennedy Eastham: Why I write short fiction…
Monday, October 1st, 2018

Writing short fiction suits my personality. It’s kind of episodic. You gotta get in quick and figure stuff out fast. I approach it the way I do my daily work-outs. I try to mix them up. Example, today I shot a bunch of hoops, then in between, ran through an obstacle course, did some weighted hula hooping and finished up with a bunch of push-ups, all while throwing frisbees to my three Golden Retrievers. I just finished a two-week flash fiction class where we wrote a 500-word story every day then posted it online so members of the class could make comments. At first, I was so stressed. That’s just me. I’ve been writing a long time, but to do new things under a quick deadline with strangers commenting on your work can be scary. The surprise was that I got such wonderful feedback.

One writer said my work was beautifully cinematic. Another said I was a sentence-level writer. I had to look that one up. I took it to mean I love putting words and phrases together in a lyrical way, which I do. Someone else said my writing had beautiful movement, a quick rapid-fire pace and startling imagery. I was lucky. This was a really kind group. If any of you are wondering what the definition of flash fiction is, the instructor described it as combining the prism of the poem with the just slight indulgence of a short story. For the past year I’ve been working on my third book, a collection of short fiction called Little Earthquakes. Here’s an excerpt from a story I’ve titled “Teyana Lee”:

She spits her gum out in my hand. I don’t know how old she is. She could be 20, she could be 17. Her father/director/boyfriend/captor hands me his gunmetal grey suit jacket. No eye contact. Mr. GQ flies First Class often. My work husband James gives me the side-eye when we both realize the girl is barefoot with a brand new white band-aid on her pretty face. With much work to do for both of us on this New York to London flight, I forget about them.

The take-off is shaky, storm winds, a flock of birds maybe. I struggle to push my cart of drinks down the aisle. James will follow with warm nuts and exotic cheeses. Mr. GQ asks for two glasses of Champagne. It’s late. 

The girl came onto the plane with no carry-on, so probably no ID. I pretend both drinks are for him. The girl looks at me, her eyes waxy raw, her body turned into itself. Her feet are filthy. She’s not a girlfriend or his daughter. I sense this girl is playing a dangerous game. ‘I was the Trivia Dancer today on Kelly & Ryan,’ she tells me. Mr. GQ smiles. His eye mask is around his neck, ready to block out the world for the next eight hours. ‘They let me co-host during the Win-A-Trip segment,’ she says. ‘I wanna be a co-host for real someday.’

The plane hits a bit of weather.

‘She’s got quite the imagination,’ Mr. GQ says.

The girl lifts her hand to her face as if suddenly the overhead light is revealing too much. She quickly turns it off. Before their mini-suite goes midnight dark, I read the word SECRETS on her see-through skin. James snatches the drinks off the tray table. ’That’ll be all, miss,’ Mr. GQ says to me, covering himself and the girl with a blanket. In our stewardess training program, the instructor said to think of turbulence as angry air wrestling its demons. Smooth air is never far away. The girl pokes out from under the blanket, lights a match, holding it very close to her face. 

I reach over and blow it out. The girl pinches my cheek hard. ‘Hey,’ I say, ‘that hurt.’ I push her arm away. ‘It means I like you,’ she says defiantly. Something keeps me standing there. ‘Should I worry about you?’ I ask the girl. ‘No one ever has,’ she tells me as if she was a piece of sky…

Thanks for having me, Delilah and readers! Find out more about me on my website: www.rp-author.com/MKE
I’m on Twitter #Word Actress or on Instagram @wordactress

BONUS: If any of you like entering writing contests, check out the Soul-Making Keats Literary Contest: www.soulmakingcontest.us
Deadline is November 30th. I’m the Flash Fiction Judge.

Other categories include: Novel Excerpt, Short Story, Poetry, Humor, Memoir, Young Adult Poetry & Prose.

Winners come to San Francisco to read from their winning stories. I’d love to see you there!

Free Reads, Contests… Plus, My “Lazy” Sunday
Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Three Quick Reminders!

The offer of a free book, Stepbrothers Stepping Out: With His Pack, is still live! Get your copy here! I’ll be closing it down very, very soon!

Diana Cosby’s tote and mug giveaway is still open! Be sure to head here to enter: Fall —  A Magical Time of Year

My giveaway is ongoing, too! For a chance to win a free Night Falls story, enter here: Coming Tuesday…

My Lazy Sunday

typewriter keyboard in retro style

This morning, I rose at 6:00 AM, late for me, actually, since most mornings I’m up between 4:30 and 5:30. The extra half hour was nice.

I didn’t have to make breakfast for the house. That was nice, too. So, I reviewed my email, updated a couple of my work/schedule charts, then started editing.

No new words, today, so that’s a bit of a break, too.

Since my dd and my SIL are doing yard-work at my place this morning, I packed my laptop and headed across the street to her place to baby-sit the little ones while their parents work. They are watching Jurassic World, and not asking for my attention, which I usually give in spades, so a break again. I can complete this blog, and then head back into edits.

I hope to close down when their parents come and enjoy a blissfully aimless afternoon. We’ll see.

My issue is I’m a writer. I work from home, so I never escape my work. Ever. And that’s how I like it. I chose this life. I don’t have a job as a ______ (FILL IN THE BLANK). I am a writer/editor/teacher of writers. My work is never done.

Kind of like being a mom, huh? We work from dawn to dusk—and beyond. I wouldn’t chose another life, would you? But if you do crave the occasional, REAL break from work, how do you manage it? I’d really love to  know… 🙂

Coming Tuesday… (Contest)
Saturday, September 29th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!
*~*~*

This coming Tuesday, the first of two books (so far) in my Veiled Alliance series will release. This is one I wrote a long time ago, and now that I have the rights back… Well, we’ll see how you like it, and whether you want more stories. It’s super-sexy, and a different kind of paranormal.

Read an excerpt below, and see if this is something you might like to see more of!

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of my Night Fall stories!

Sin’s Gift

Sin's Gift

When police officer Sinead O’Rourke returns to duty months after being shot in an incident that claimed her partner, she knows it’s not going to be easy. Despite being cleared of any negligence, her fellow officers still wonder whether she’s responsible for his death. One more problem is that everyone knows she claims to have seen his ghost. After months of rehabilitation and lying like hell about the fact she’s not seeing spooks anymore, Sin’s determined to get back into the saddle.

Jake Chappa doesn’t want to partner with Sin. Been there, done that—couldn’t keep his hands off her the first time around. She’s too much of a distraction, and her penchant for rushing into trouble scares the heck out of him. Despite wishing she’d quit her job, he’s still deeply attracted. When an armed robbery goes down and something happens that rattles Sin to the core, he’s right there—ready to cover her back and her sweet body.

Pre-order your copy here!

Sexy excerpt…

Jake didn’t let her have any room to slam her door in his face. He skipped up the steps behind her and practically pushed her through the door. The urgency gripping his entire body had him on the verge of exploding.

She didn’t demur. Didn’t utter a single protest. She also didn’t look back at him as she headed to her bedroom. She undid her utility belt, drew her weapon from her holster and locked it in the safe under her bed. Then she stood and began to strip. First her uniform shirt, then the Kevlar vest. Her bra. She toed off her boots and unbuttoned her pants. Only then did she glance up.

Horny as hell, the edgy anger that rippled through him was potent, explosive. He turned on his heel and stalked into her bathroom, bending to twist the faucet handle and start the shower.

No long leisurely bath. A shower, and she wouldn’t be taking it alone. He stripped, dropping his belt and clothing on the counter, and stepped under the water, letting it sluice over the top of his head, hoping it would take the edge off—make him a little less dangerous.

When the curtain swung back and she stepped inside, his stomach sank. Anger flared in her gaze, and her chin rose. This wasn’t going to be an easy reacquaintance on either of their parts. She was ready for a battle.

She reached for the shampoo bottle and turned away, ignoring him while she soaped her dark red hair.

Jake’s hungry gaze swept down her nude back, noting bluish bruises on her side and ass, along with admiring her lean, almost boyish figure. He lingered over her heart-shaped backside, wanting to reach over and cup each firm globe in his hands.

“Quit staring,” she said, not looking back.

“I’m not,” he lied, a smile quirking up one side of his mouth.

“I can feel it, crawling all over my ass.”

“Always loved that ass.”

“Yeah, well it isn’t yours anymore.”

“Then what are you doing here? With me?”

“It’s my goddamn shower.” She stuck her head under the water and long ropes of suds slid down her skin.

Jake began to relax a bit. The hard bite of her voice was all too familiar. God, the sex was gonna be great. He reached over her shoulder, deliberately sliding along her skin, and grabbed the soap from the tile dish.

Her back stiffened, and she slowly turned. Her chest rose twice, lifting her round tits. Then she placed her hands on either side of the stall and spread her legs shoulder-width apart. Just like old times. Her signal she wanted him to wash her down.

Jake ground his teeth, felt the flex of his jaw and the tightening of his shoulders, then went down on one knee in front of her. He rolled the bar of soap between his hands then dropped it on the floor of the tub and reached straight for her breasts.

Sin’s breath hissed between her teeth on a long indrawn breath, but her gaze locked with his. He rubbed his hands around her small, round breasts, careful not to touch her tender nipples, drawing out the moment because he feared she’d cut it short. Afraid she’d remember she had reasons to hate his guts.

She stared into his eyes, and slowly, her body softened, rocking slightly into his hands, urging him without words to touch her cinnamon-colored nipples.

He relented, gripping them between his slippery thumbs and fingers, and tugged rhythmically. She had the most sensitive nipples, had nearly come a couple times when he’d plied them relentlessly.

Her lips opened around another indrawn breath. “Lower.”

Jake smoothed his hands down her sides, careful of the bruises, and along the front of her belly, slipping a fingertip into her belly button before drawing away to soap his hands again.

When he looked back up, her lips trembled, and she spread her legs a little wider.

Breaking with her gaze, he lifted his hands between her legs, staring as he worked the suds into her auburn thatch, then circled deeper, scraping his fingertips along her outer labia.

Her thighs began to quiver, and he didn’t hide his smile. He had her now. Her resentment was melting away, for now, beneath the quivering. The only time Sin didn’t like being in control was when desire rode her hard.

He swirled his fingers along her slit, fingered between them, then thrust one digit up inside her.

“Jake!”

“It’s okay, baby,” he murmured. “Everything’s okay.” He rinsed her with handfuls of water then spread her lips and leaned close, nuzzling her sex with his nose and mouth, rubbing the coarse stubble sprouting on his cheeks and chin to chafe her tender flesh.

Her legs wobbled, and he urged her to drape a leg over one shoulder, and then crouched lower and tilted his head to run his tongue along her seam, slipping between her folds to stroke inside, then curling his tongue upward to flick at her hooded clit.

Sin rocked forward and back, shuddering hard, and he rewarded her submission by thrusting two fingers inside her. He pulled up her folds to expose her reddening bud and latched his lips around it, sucking it hard.

Her fingers clutched his head as she jerked against him, and he could feel how close she was. Her pussy clasped his fingers, and soft moans, one after the other, rose inside the shower, echoing around them.

As much as would have liked to finish her now, his balls ached; his cock was stiff and riding high. He gripped her hips, kissed her pussy and shoved upward to his feet. “Get to the bed,” he said, wincing at the harshness of his voice.

Sin didn’t hesitate, stepping over the rim of the tub and grabbing a towel which she used to blot her skin as she strode to her bed.

He didn’t bother taking the time to dry off, following on her heels, dragging away the towel, then turning her and pushing her down on the mattress.

Sin scooted backward as he climbed over her, allowing her only enough room between their bodies to crawl to the center of the bed. Then he lifted her legs, urging her thighs around his hips. He dipped to capture her lips and rooted at her sex with his cock, until he found her entrance and slid into her slick cunt.

Jake flung back his head, his eyes squeezing shut. “Jesus, fuck!” He wanted to take her slow, wanted to make it last, because he didn’t know whether she’d ever be weak again and need his brand of comfort.

But his body felt ready to explode. He glanced down, catching the glitter of tears in her eyes again. Damn, she never cried. He pulled out slowly then sank back inside, trying to savor the clasp of her pussy around his shaft, the silken texture of her inner walls. But it was too late. He was too far gone. He pulled out and slammed hard inside her, then did it again and again, until he bucked wildly against her, stroking deep and hard.

Not deep enough. He pressed her legs upward, slipped his arms under her knees, and crammed the fronts of her thighs against her chest. He hammered at her cunt, but he wasn’t the only one unraveling.

Liquid spilled from deep inside her, washing him in welcome. He came so fast all he could do was clench his teeth and force his hips to keep rocking against her, until at last he felt the little convulsions that rippled up and down his cock.

When his arms began to shake, he let go of her thighs, allowing her to ease them down his sides.

He didn’t move off her, wasn’t giving her space to think about what just happened, because he didn’t want her to kick his ass to the floor. Instead, he cupped her injured cheek and the top of her head and lay down on her, sliding his mouth over hers to keep her lips busy.

The way she kissed him back, slowly rocking her lips, her tongue lightly skimming his, felt a whole lot like she was memorizing the taste and feel. Like she expected this to be the last time. Again.

And while he knew it would be better for both of them, he thought he just might want to die rather than walk away again. So, he broke the kiss, pushed his softening cock deeper into her, and leaned on his elbows to look into her face. “I don’t wanna talk.”

Her chin jutted. “Never do.”

“I don’t want us to say things we’ll want to take back. Not tonight.”

“You want to pretend?”

“I want to stay with you.”

Her eyes narrowed, spearing him. “What’s the matter? Haven’t gotten any lately?”

“You’re starting…” he warned.

Sin huffed out a breath. “All right. So, maybe I haven’t gotten any lately either.”

He shook his head. Every discussion led to an argument. No matter how large or small. “So, we’re agreed. No talking.”

Her eyelids dipped. “What if one of us needs to give a little direction?”

A smile tugged at his mouth. “Now, O’Rourke, you know there’s only one person who gives the orders in this bed.”

Diana Cosby: Fall – A Magical Time of Year (Contest)
Friday, September 28th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Debbie Watson!
*~*~*

©Diana Cosby 2018

I love fall.  For me it’s a magical part of the year, a passage of time that I enjoy.  It’s as if nature takes a deep breath, peace slowly settles upon the land, and leaves explode with a myriad of colors.

Nor is wildlife exempt from the changes around them.  Fawns lose their spot, my much-loved hummingbirds join many birds during their annual southern migration, and some animals like, Ian, the chipmunk, begin their hibernation.

The gorgeous swath of leaves throughout the forest provide an amazing backdrop to the wildlife settling in for the winter.  I enjoy each day of the beautiful colors of the leaves as soon they’ll fall to the earth rest with the arrival of winter, rest beneath a blanket of snow.

I’m fascinated by the changes in the insects during this time. Bees are hurrying around gathering pollen to make honey before the flowers wither, then they remain in their hive until the warmer days of spring.  As fall progresses, instead of the blue, green, and gold dragonflies of summer, dragonflies of amber and rust shades glide through the skies.

Fall flowers bloom with flourish, their vibrant colors blanketing the ground, igniting thoughts of the warm scent of apple pies, warm cider, and freshly baked cookies.  Soon winter will soon be upon us, but for this special time, I enjoy the blessed bounty given to us by the fall.

What do you like best about fall?

About the Author

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.  After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and the first two book of The Forbidden Series, she’s now working on book #4, Forbidden Realm, of the five-book series, which will be released August, 6th, 2019.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Contest

***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on Delilah’s blog between 28 September 2018 – 6 October 2018.  The winner will receive one of Diana’s mugs and a tote.

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author

www.dianacosby.com

Romance Edged With Danger

The Oath Trilogy

MacGruder Brother Series

Forbidden Series:  Forbidden Legacy/Forbidden Knight/Forbidden Vow/Forbidden Alliance‒Aug. 6th 2019/Forbidden Realm TBA

Augustina Van Hoven: An Innocent Man
Thursday, September 27th, 2018

There are some days when I wonder why I want to be a writer.  I work a full time job, and I have a family to take care of.  Writing has to happen in the evenings and on weekends. There are a lot of days that I don’t get to relax and watch television or work in my garden because I have a book deadline.  Writing is also a business that requires accounting and marketing, things that are not creative but absolutely necessary.  I ask myself, why am I doing this?  Why am I literally working two jobs and not having any down time.  Then it happens, a spark of an idea comes from someplace completely unexpected, and I’m like a kid at Christmas with a bright, shiny new story.  That is why I write.

Sometimes, the idea is like an explosion, and the whole story just appears in my head.  Other times, it’s like trying to light a fire the old fashioned way with flint and steel.  It doesn’t matter how it starts, once it begins I can’t rest until I find out how the story ends, and I’m lost in whatever world I’ve created.  This is the spark that makes all the rest of it worthwhile. The bottom line is writing a new story makes me happy.

My latest story came to me while I was waiting at the doctor’s office.  This office played real music in the waiting room, and while I browsed through a magazine, Billy Joel’s “An Innocent Man” started to play.  The song kept playing in my head for the rest of the day.  I really wanted to write a Halloween novella this year, and the song was the seed that grew the story.  It’s a story about loss, fear, betrayal, finding the truth, and healing a broken heart. An Innocent Man is now available for preorder and will release on October 12th.

Happy Reading.

An Innocent Man

After being jilted at the altar, journalist Becky Hollister moves to a new city to try to put her life back together and ease the heartache.  She’s surprised to find her new home is already occupied by a man who died 20 years ago.  Will solving his murder help her to learn to love again?

Sheriff’s deputy, Mark Collins, is intrigued by the feisty reporter and her determination to unlock the truth behind a crime that happened when he was a kid.  But every time he tries to get closer to her, she runs away like a wounded animal.  If he can help her solve the cold case, can he also help heal her broken heart?

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HFLVG75?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Barnes & Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-innocent-man-augustina-van-hoven/1129581080;jsessionid=0156137E02B8F33F7110A33A3B73DF45.prodny_store02-atgap13?ean=2940156064380

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1436558657

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/an-innocent-man-5

Augustina Van Hoven
Proving Love is Strange

The Rose Series
Love through Time Series
A New Frontier Series

Website: www.augustinavanhoven.com
FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Augustina-Van-Hoven-Author/336028986575129
Twitter:  @augustinavhoven
Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author

About the Author

Augustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two dogs and three cats. She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy. When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines.

Cynthia Sax: The Mom Heroine
Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Zebrina, the heroine of my latest release The Cyborg’s Secret Baby, becomes a Mom during the story (this isn’t a spoiler – grins – it is right there in the title).

She becomes a Mom. She doesn’t merely become a heroine with a child.

As most Moms know, there’s a huge difference between these two roles. A Mom heroine is a Mom on every page, not merely during the scenes with her child. Her child might not be physically with her but he/she is always emotionally with her. Decisions include the child. The child is considered whenever the heroine takes action.

Being a Mom changes Zebrina’s thinking. She no longer puts her wellbeing first. Her child is now her priority. Instead of living in the moment, she has to contemplate the future. She can’t leap before she looks. She has to consider repercussions.

Zebrina isn’t a perfect, Leave It To Beaver Mom. (laughs). She’s far from that. She makes mistakes. She gets angry and frustrated with her child. She says the wrong thing and hurts her child’s feelings. But she loves her child, lives for her ‘baby’, would sacrifice any hope at a forever love to ensure her child has the best chance at happiness.

Because being a Mom heroine changes the romantic relationship. In a child-less romance, the relationship between the hero and heroine (or whatever the relationship construct is) is the MOST important relationship. Every other relationship is minor.

In a romance with a Mom heroine, her relationship with the child is as or even more important than the relationship with the hero. The hero’s relationship with the child is equally important. Most single Moms I know would never consider a love interest who couldn’t bond with their children.

Zebrina can’t merely think about who is the best love interest for her. She has to consider who is the best father figure for her child.

Who is your favorite Mom heroine? What book does she appear in?

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby

A fierce cyborg warrior and his curvy human female share a no-longer-so-little secret.

Stealth, a K Model cyborg, knows his passion for Zebrina, the commander’s human daughter, is forbidden, yet he can’t resist the curvy female. He craves her touch, cherishes her sounds of pleasure, would do anything to keep her safe.

When he’s faced with the choice of protecting his fragile human or living to see the next sunrise, he chooses her, always her, sending Zebrina halfway across the universe to safety. He doesn’t realize their stolen moments had consequences neither of them believed possible.

After hearing her warrior died in battle, Zebrina focuses on the last gift he gave her. Doing what is right for their child is her sole priority. She will put their son’s happiness first, even if that means choosing another male over the love of her life.

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby is a STAND-ALONE story loosely connected to the Cyborg Sizzle series.
It is also a Second Chance Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, often-violent universe.

Buy Links:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cyborgs-Secret-Baby-Stars-ebook/dp/B07F2NK6D4
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyborgs-Secret-Baby-Stars-ebook/dp/B07F2NK6D4
Apple/iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-cyborgs-secret-baby/id1404800721
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cyborgs-secret-baby-cynthia-sax/1128976169
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-cyborg-s-secret-baby
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/870968

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes SciFi, contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com
Website: http://cynthiasax.com/
Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/
Facebook: facebook.com/cynthia.sax
Twitter: @CynthiaSax
Blog: http://tasteofcyn.com/

Favorite Quotes…
Tuesday, September 25th, 2018


 

Here’s one to chew on…

There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”
~ Jim Hightower