Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
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Delilah’s Scavenger Hunt (Contest)
Saturday, July 28th, 2018

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

I woke to thunder showers today, so no morning pool time. And, yes, I am that spoiled. However, in my defense, I live in Arkansas. Without a pool, summers would be unlivable. The weather’s so muggy it’s like living in a sweaty armpit.

Sooooo, here I am at my desk, trying to procrastinate so I don’t have to start working again on another editing project. I’m cool once I’m “in”, but I have to drag myself to open the document, kicking and screaming. Not that I don’t love the story. So far, I do.

Back to the procrastinating thing. I spend a lot of time working on this website, so it only seems fair I should expect everyone to love it as much as I do, in all its nooks and crannies. For the most part, it’s up to date—except for the “For Readers: Free Stuff” page, since I haven’t been making trading cards or updated my bookmarks in forever. But the books…? You have plenty to peruse. So, in the interest of acquainting some of you with what’s on my site, I’m holding a scavenger hunt!

Now, this is important. YOU CANNOT POST ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS. If you do, you’ve done the work and shared the answers with everyone else, and what’s the point? You don’t want competition for the prize do you? NO! Send your answers to me PRIVATELY at Delilah@delilahdevlin.com!

Scavenger Hunt

Here are the questions…

  1. What titles do I already have listed for pre-order on my Upcoming Books page?
  2. Which of the future projects at the bottom of the Upcoming Books page interest you?
  3. How many Standalone western titles do I have listed?
  4. Which series on my By Series page would you like to see more of?
  5. Tell me which story on my Short Stories page you’d most like to read. (You might get a surprise!)
  6. How many people “Follow My Blog”—meaning, how many people get it sent to their email inbox!?

And the prize?  How about a signed, printed ARC of Stepbrothers Stepping Out: Ultimate Collection!

Stepbrothers Stepping Out: Ultimate Collection

Elizabeth Andrews: Birthday Gifts (Giveaway)
Friday, July 27th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Tracy Howard!
*~*~*

Hello, all! Thank you first of all to Delilah for being such a gracious hostess. Visiting here with you all is always a lot of fun.

So…birthday gifts. My birthday is this weekend. I joke about not counting the numbers anymore, but still wanting the cake and presents, but really, I do still count the numbers, even if they’re daunting. This birthday will be the first without my dad, which is not so much fun. But I have a birthday dinner date with my husband this weekend, so that will help, and my boys will come bearing gifts, but I’ll have to get my own cake, I think. Something decadent and pretty, maybe.

But I’ve been thinking about birthday gifts lately, not just because my birthday is so close, but birthday gifts in general, and from previous birthdays. To be honest, I don’t always keep track of whether a gift was for a birthday, or an anniversary, or a holiday. I only know if it’s something extra-special to me. Sitting here at my desk, I can see several gifts from previous occasions, and I know a few were birthday gifts–a little stuffed dog covered in pink hearts, a small orange traffic cone that says “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” (my husband has a sense of humor about my writing and my love of western movies), and a candle that makes my office smell like pineapples when I light it. None of these are big gifts, but because of the thought behind them and the gift givers, they are special to me and make me smile when I look at them.

As a kid, my favorite gifts were books, no matter what the occasion. Yes, I loved if I got a new doll or something pretty, but the books were the best for me. They’re still one of my favorite things in the world.

My birthday gift to myself this weekend (besides a cake), will be a visit to the eye doctor, which is several years overdue, and an hour on the massage table. And probably some reading time, which is an all-year-round gift to myself, if I’m being honest.

In a manuscript I’m working on, the heroine has never really had anyone make a big deal over her birthday, but the hero’s family always celebrated birthdays in a huge way, so when he surprises her with a party on her birthday, she doesn’t quite know what to make of it, but it does make her see him in a very different light. How can she not fall a little more in love with him after that, even if he is totally unsuitable?

I’d love to know about some of your favorite birthday gifts from birthdays past (or present). Something you always wanted? An unexpected party? Just some alone time, maybe? I have a signed trade paperback copy of Hunting Medusa to give away–everyone who comments with their favorite birthday gift by midnight on Saturday, July 28 will be entered into a drawing for the book.

And if you’re celebrating a birthday soon, or just celebrated recently, happy birthday to you, too!

About the Author

Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.
Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and-though she loves horror- romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.

Along with her enormous book collection, Elizabeth lives with her husband of more than twenty years, though no one else in the family reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.

Hunting Medusa
The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1

Ever since the original Medusa ticked off Athena, her cursed daughters have been paying for that mistake. To this day, successive Medusas play cat and mouse with the Harvesters.

When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.

Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together.

Though there attraction is combustible, her impending PMS (Pre Magical-Curse Syndrome) puts a real damper on any chance of a relationship. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester tracking Andi, and they must cooperate to stay one step ahead of a ruthless killer before they can have any future, together or apart.

Claire Davon: Shifting Auras (Contest)
Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Hello Delilah and friends, and thanks for letting me take over your blog.

Sometimes, when I try to explain to friends and co-workers (or my boss!) where my ideas come from, I get anything from a raised eyebrow to a polite “that’s interesting” or “I never would have thought of that.” Whether that’s a good or bad thing is unclear. Many of my original ideas come from the murky depths of my sleeping mind.

My latest Soul Mate release, Shifting Auras, started life in 2011 that way—as a half-remembered snippet of a dream. I wrote down what I could remember, and the germ of an idea started there. I wrote out some ideas and put the story aside. When I went back to it, a new idea started coming to me. Perhaps it was all the Marvel movies out there but I began thinking of a group of powered humans, ala the X-Men, and the government agencies they might be working through. The idea of having supernormal powers has always fascinated me. What would it mean to be telekinetic or psychic? Would it be good or bad? What would it mean for us and the world? I didn’t want to go down the road of “mutants are evil” as some current shows and movies have done, so I centered it around a shadow government agency. It’s been so much fun to write the series, and there are more books to come. Part of the challenge is finding powers for my characters. Outside of the popular ones, there are many others to play with, and I’m trying them all out.

I grew up reading anything that my parents had in the house. As it happened, much of what they had was science fiction and fantasy, so I skewed toward that from an early age. When I was younger it wasn’t an accepted thing to do, but I found my tribe, and we wrought havoc together. I could identify with Maya Wingfield, the heroine in Shifting Auras, who always felt like a bit of an outcast. I think that’s what makes these sorts of stories interesting. It’s the idea of not quite fitting in, of not belonging, whether you are a newcomer to school, entering an unfamiliar work place for the first time, or visiting a city where you are unsure of your welcome…or you have the ability to know what a person is thinking. I see it as a burden as much as it is a boon. The need to belong, to find people who accept you, is such a part of the human condition that it cuts across all social strata, whoever you are.

I will pick two people who answer this question to get a free ARC of Shifting Auras. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? Post your answer at https://www.facebook.com/ClaireDavonindieauthor/

Again, thank you to Delilah for the opportunity to interact with all you fine folks. If you’re curious about me, I can be reached at the following places in addition to my Facebook page noted above.

Website: www.clairedavon.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClaireDavon
Newsletter/mailing list: http://clairedavon.com/mailing-list/

Here is a snippet of Shifting Auras, available exclusively on Amazon…

Maya backed away from him and toward the door, her hands going up in front of her body. Could she get out if she needed to and start screaming for help? Or could he use his power, whether telekinesis or something else, before she got a word out?

“Relax,” Ian said, his voice rising in jagged syllables. “Crikey, your emotions are written all over your face. The sensitive in Hammersmith can probably hear you. Take it down a level.”

He filled the room. She had no doubt he was faster than her and could get to her before she could yank open the door. He probably didn’t even need to move to shut it.

“I’m not here to hurt you, Maya. Bollocks, can’t you feel that? Reach in and find out if I’m telling the truth. I’ll let you.”

Bobbie made a noise and began to retch on the comforter. The air conditioner filtered the sour smell into the room.

“I . . .” she said and stopped. Touching his mind, she felt his shield again, a malleable surface she wanted—needed—to see beyond. A beat of anger at her friend pulsed under the shield before he lowered it just a little. He burned with determination and a sense of mission, but there was also sensual awareness pulsing under the skin. It was something she’d never touched before in a man. It glowed hot with primal need, searing through her and manifesting as red in his aura.

Maya concentrated on her breathing until she was lightheaded from hyperventilating. Putting a hand on her wrist Maya was relieved to feel her heartbeat slowing. Ian’s hands were overlapping on his belt buckle, a posture of waiting but not of ease. She noted with little surprise that his palms had a faint red glow in the center. Telekinetic, then. No surprise. He could, in fact, shut the door even if she got it open. She was trapped inside with someone of unknown motives, who may not have her best interests in mind. Universe rarely did, from what her parents had said.

“Um,” she said and stopped. After several moments of silence Maya relaxed and inclined her head. “You’re a big man and the whole thing is a bit sketchy, don’t you think?”

“It’s dodgy, luv, I get that. Do you think I’m dangerous?”

Maya swallowed, wishing she had a glass of water. Silence filled the room, punctuated only by Bobbie’s piteous noises. She noticed that he hadn’t made any move to go from the room. His aura was barely visible in the dim light. Pink and blue banded together, not mixing but staying distinct. Compassion, then, and dedication. No darker emotions, although something lay deep inside, but it was in a place she couldn’t get to.

“Not dangerous per se,” she said. “Not safe either. Thank you for helping Bobbie.”

Ian made an impatient gesture with his hands, waving them first toward Bobbie and then Maya.

“There is a lot we need to discuss.”

“Please,” she said, putting a hand to her head, feeling an incipient headache begin. “Just go.”

He opened his mouth but then shut it. Still he waited, his heavy scrutiny pleading with her to change her mind. She pointed to the door, aware she was being rude, but in that moment not caring. Too much had happened, and she needed him gone.

He retrieved a business card from his wallet and handed it to her. Their hands clasped momentarily, and electricity danced down her forearm. Without looking, Maya curled her fingers around it, but still gestured toward the door. Finally, Ian nodded.

“Call if you need me. We need to talk.”

“No, we don’t,” she replied. “Thank you but I have no interest in any of your groups.”

“You will.” With that, he made a short bow, spun on his heel, and left.

Maya leaned against the door after he had gone. He felt so familiar, but he was Universe. Never trust the government, that’s what her parents had said. Even if she felt like she should.

Taige Crenshaw: People Watching…
Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

I have something I need to admit. *looks around then leans in* I’m a people watcher. There, I said it again. I’m talking about this because I had a conversation the other day that somehow lead to my being a people watcher. Yep I’m a people watcher. In my conversation I explained what I meant and why. Simply, it’s this—sitting back and observing others as they interact, or anyway I can get it, makes my mind race with ideas. I like to observe them and build stories about them. Imagining all sorts of scenarios about what story will fit them. I get a lot of my ideas from my people watching. There is something that can spark an idea which will expand into so much more. 🙂

Recently, this happened to me as I was out doing errands. I was walking and, in front of me, I saw this couple. As I shopped, they were just ahead of me so I was in a great place to people watch. The more I saw them the more my ideas flowed. It ranged from a newly dating couple to a established one. Then something happened to fuel my thoughts. Suddenly, they stopped and their body language went from close to distant then angry. That’s another great tool of the imagination—reading body language. But that’s another conversation for another day. Curious about what was happening before me, I stopped. The couple was too far away for me to hear but seeing the way they were I was able to figure out they were having a fight. The man stormed off leaving the lady, and she looked sad. It was an intense moment. I felt bad for her and the man she had been with. No, I didn’t know what they had fought about, but the emotions from their interaction were there to see.

As I walked away, I was wondering and my mind was filling in what could have happened. I’m a people watcher.

Veils Rising

Veils Rising – Man with secrets.
A Zuri Maji on hunt for answers. Will they survive?
Universal Link for Amazon, Nook, iBooks and Kobo, etc: http://bit.ly/veilsrising

About the Author

Taige Crenshaw has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance.

With interracial and multicultural novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future, she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s.

Always hard at work creating new and exciting places, Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels.

You can find out more about Taige…
website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com
blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaigeCrenshawAuthor
facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WordSlingerCafe
Or twitter: @ https://twitter.com/TaigeCrenshaw

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and from Taige’s writing projects, giveaways, contests, reveals and more? Click on http://bit.ly/taigenews and signup today.

Money can’t buy happiness…
Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

I was sad to hear about Demi Lovato’s overdose today. I’m a fan, and I’ve been following her journey. It’s a reminder about how difficult it is to beat addiction. Demi’s always let us see her vulnerabilities and has been honest about her addiction, eating disorder, and mental illness. I wish her well and hope she finds sobriety again.

Genevive Chamblee: Romance, Erotica, Porn, & Other Adventures
Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Romance can be like an addiction. People crave it. Some people have it in their lives but desire more. Some want to explore new aspects of it that they have not experienced. Still, others who have only heard about or seen it from afar strive to introduce it into their lives. Books are a perfect way to do all of these things. And the best part is, readers can choose how it happens.

Want to be whisked back in time or catapulted into the future? Fine. How about being swept off one’s feet in a realm or universe that does not exist? It is possible. Perhaps it high action adventure on the rolling seas or the three of not knowing what lurks around every corner with that special someone at your side. Not out of the question. Or maybe love in the here and now with a sexy co-worker is the fantasy. Done. Romance novels have something for everyone.

Romance novels are also convenient. Traditional books can be purchased, of course, but also audio for listening while motoring down the cruise way, commuting on a train, or tuning out in a boring business meeting you’ve dread all week. (I’ve done all of these things.) They come in e-form and can be read on readers, laptops, smartphones, or tablets. And they can be read anywhere—in restaurants, parks, mountain cabins, backseats, airplanes, doctors’ lobbies, police stations… Well, maybe not at the police station. If one is there, chances are probably other issues are taking priority. The point is: romance is accessible in so many forms all the time if a person only reaches for it.

At one point in history, romance novels were the redheaded stepchildren of the literary world, branded to be a dirty little secret. Publishers and critics did not take them seriously, and the genre was chalked to be nothing more than a cheap thrill. Funny that one would consider Jane Austen’s writings to be lumped as a collection of soft porn. Fortunately, those days have passed. What has not passed, however, is a clear understanding of the difference between romance, erotica, and pornography.

Actually, pornography needs to be taken out of the equation of this discussion since no one seems to be able to define what it is exactly, including the judicial system. It seems to be a vague, catchall to snare anything offensive. But what is offensive to one is not to another. The best definition I have heard of pornography is it cannot be described in words but one knows it when it is encountered. However, for fun, one standard definition of pornography is the depiction of erotic behavior that is intended to cause sexual excitement or the depiction of acts in a sensational manner to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction. Now, isn’t that a doozy? Intense emotional reaction. Hmm. Moving on.

Erotica is a simpler term. In fiction, erotica is stories that the main focus is the sexual relationship and that relationship pushes the story forward. That does not mean erotica is without plots or subplots. It simply means removing the sexual relationship would cause the story to crumble. The sex in erotica is necessary and in the spotlight.

So, how is that different from romance? In romance novels, the focus is on the romantic relationship (which may or may not involve sex) between characters. If sex does occur between the characters, it is to deepen the bond between them. Removing this element from the story would not be detrimental. However, omitting the romantic relationship would dissolve the story. Many stories may have romantic subplots or themes. However, in those, the relationship is secondary to whatever plot is happening. In order for a literary work to be considered a romance, the relationship must take center stage. For example, in a movie like Bourne Identity, there is a romantic interest between Jason and Marie. If the writers and producers wrote this out of the script, the movie still would work. Why? Because the plot is not the romance but Jason discovering his past. It is about fight scenes, car chases, and things getting blown the hell up. Viewers are more interested in if he or won’t he learn the truth. Will the villains be caught? Will Jason live or die? This movie is clearly an action suspense with a romantic subplot. Now, consider another movie like 27 Dresses. If there were no spark between Kevin and Jane, what would be the point of this movie? Write out the romance, and the movie would be less than ten minutes. This movie is a romantic comedy.

For an example of erotica in film, think of a lot of the 1980s b-movies. Many focused on overly hormonal teenager boys looking for ways to score with their female classmates or strippers. The relationships between the characters really did not matter as long as they got freaky between the sheets.

I used examples from movies, but the same principles apply to books. If one ever wonders if a book is truly a romance, just ask can the story exist without a romantic relationship between characters. If the answer is yes, it’s not a romance. With that being said, romance isn’t only fun. It brings people to life. It eliminates boredom. It allows people to feel special and that someone cares. It is not dirty or frivolous or something that needs to be hidden. And it sure as heck isn’t easy to write. Some people are fortunate enough to experience this daily, weekly, or monthly in their lives. Others may not, but that does not mean one cannot live vicariously through books. Therefore, no one should ever be embarrassed to purchase or be seen reading romance novels. Get your piece of romance. You deserve it.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, being released in November. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Preordering information coming soon. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ezor to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click on http://bit.ly/2zJjUdb and signup today.

My email address for reader contact is: genevivechamblee@outlook.com
Vonna Harper: Midnight Touch
Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

I haven’t taken a psychology course for mumble-mumble years but assume Freud’s teachings/theories/observations are still part of psych programs. Back when I was a student, his beliefs were presented pretty much as gospel, but I’m here to announce he didn’t know what he was talking about, at least when it came to one thing.

Back in 1908 Freud declared that a happy person doesn’t fantasize, only a dissatisfied one. Well, he was dead wrong.

As an erotic romance writer, I’ve written a lot of stories with submission/bondage themes. Not BDSM so much as capture and helplessness because, being honest here, the theme pushes my personal buttons. I’m also the product of a very conservative upbringing which means I used to ask myself if there was something wrong with me. There probably is, just not when it comes to the directions my fantasies take me. I came to that conclusion after doing some research and want to share some of what I learned since I know a lot of erotic romance readers are drawn to the same themes I am.

According to psychiatrist Ethel Person of Columbia University, 51% of women imagine being forced to have sex and another third are turned on by pretending to be a slave who must obey a man’s every wish.

What’s behind those mental journeys? Psychologists Harold Leitenberg and Kris Henning state that women who find submission fantasies arousing have no wish to be raped. Thanks to fantasy they are able to control every aspect of what happens. Via thoughts of ropes and bondage, they’re the ones in charge. University of California Santa Cruz professor Eileen Zurbriggen’s research led her to conclude that women who fanaticize about submission have a more positive attitude about sex and are less sexually guilty.

My latest erotic romance, Midnight Touch, is probably the darkest story I’ve ever written. The true darkness took place during Sara’s past when she was married to an evil man. She’s now free and determined to forge a new life, but the past won’t leave her alone. It first appears in the form of Mace Seeger who knows more about Sara and her husband than he wishes he did. He’s as trapped by a man who might not be truly dead as Sara is.

Vonna Harper
www.VonnaHarper.com
https://www.facebook.com/vonna.harper.35