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Desiree Holt: Advance to the Rear (Contest)
Friday, January 18th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Sheryl Stark!
*~*~*


Want to win a tote filled with books from your favorite authors?
Want to find out ow Strike Force came to be?
Want to win a copy of UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER, Strike Force Book #1?
Leave a comment

In honor of the prerelease of ADVANCE TO THE REAR, Book #4, Strike Force, in my reader group I am running a contest for four more weeks. Each week we award one book but at the end of the campaign, on release day, February 12, some lucky person will win a Desiree Holt tote filled with signed books from some of your favorite authors, including the fabulous Delilah Devlin.

The concept of Strike Force originated from many conversations I was fortunate to have with a former member of Delta Force. He shared what he could of his experiences and patiently answered my tiring questions, so I could get it just right. In addition, I am so lucky to have become friends with a former member of one of the elite forces who is now in law enforcement. He has been invaluable in making sure my information is correct and that I don’t throw outrageous stuff into my books. In fact, he’s a fanatic about it, one of the reasons I dedicated the book to him.

The concept of ADVANCE TO THE REAR is, as they say, ripped from the headlines and is a very real probability.

Here is an exclusive excerpt.

Bang!

The explosion two streets over erupted in the night air. At the same moment, Slade detonated a small amount of Semtex on the back door and blew it open, the sound barely seconds behind it. Then they were in the rear room of the house, a room as barren as the one at Ibrahim’s. The two hostages, a man and a woman, huddled together in a corner, looking both terrified and bewildered. Both looked disheveled and each of them sported bruises on their arms and their faces.

Bile rose in Marc’s throat, as it always did when he saw how human beings had been unnecessarily been abused. Once out of here and back at the FOB, they’d get proper attention. Right now, though, the only focus was getting the fuck out of here.

This was always the hairiest part. They had scant seconds to pull this off. Slade held up a finger to his lips to signal silence, then mouthed “U. S. Army.” He and Marc pulled the hostages out through the back door, silent as ghosts. Beau and Trey had their guns out and ready to hit anyone who came through the door from the front of the house. In seconds they were all out in the alley behind the house where Ibrahim, good as his word, now waited in his cousin’s van. Seconds later they were all inside. Down the narrow street and around the corner. They stopped only long enough for Ibrahim to get out and melt away. If he was caught driving them he and his family would be annihilated.

Then Slade took over and they headed hell-bent for leather out of town.

The hostages sat silent and petrified in the middle seat, sandwiched between Trey and Marc. They clung to each other as if that contact was their only salvation.

“I know you can’t figure out what’s happening,” Trey said, his voice soothing. “All you have to know is you are with American soldiers and in less than thirty minutes we’ll all be out of here.”

Still neither of them spoke. Marc could imagine the treatment they’d suffered, the way their captors had terrorized them. But at least they weren’t screaming and trying to run away from the team, or doing anything else to hinder their departure. Beyond a cursory examination to make sure the two were mobile and didn’t need to be carried, the team had not questioned them.

“Still all clear back here,” Beau said from the third seat. He was on his knees, his rifle pointing out the window of the rear hatch door.

Marc knew he had one order to execute. If anyone came up behind them, shoot and keep shooting. Marc kept checking his watch, counting down to when the Night Stalker would be there. So far so good. They were out in the desert now, the driving slow going through the sand.

They were almost at the extraction point when Beau hollered back to them.

“Enemy vehicle on the horizon. Right on our tail.”

The MH-60 M Black Hawk zoomed in and hovered just past the van, skillfully handled by its Night Stalker pilot. Marc helped hustle the aid workers out of the van and into the chopper, handing them up to the two men crouched in the open doorway. Sand kicked up everywhere from the rotors, getting into even their eyes and teeth.

Beau was the last one in, crouched in the open doorway, positioned with his gun. Just as they lifted off, the four-wheel drive vehicle made it to the outskirts of Agadez and came plowing through the sand. The man riding in the rear began firing the vehicle-mounted machine gun while two other climbed out and started firing assault weapons at the chopper.

The pilot banked to the left, away from the line of fire, even as Beau fired steadily at the men below. And then they were out of range, rising higher until the desert was far below them.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DiqRCf 
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/advance-to-the-rear-1 
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/advance-to-the-rear-desiree-holt/1130030868?ean=9781786864505 
https://apple.co/2RKmbwU
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Desiree_Holt_Advance_to_the_Rear?id=tH-ADwAAQBAJ&hl=en_US

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PRIZE ALERT! Be sure to enter!
Thursday, January 17th, 2019

I’m finishing up a book today, so no time to chat! But I wanted to remind you that there are still some active contests happening on this blog! Enter before it’s too late!

These contests are still active!

  1. Landra Graf: A Trip to the Stars (Contest)
  2. Montana Bounty Hunters: Animal (Contest & Excerpt)
  3. Caroline Clemmons: The Widows of Wildcat Ridge (Contest–Two Winners!)

 Animal 

Caroline Clemmons: The Widows of Wildcat Ridge (Contest–Two Winners!)
Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Thank you to Delilah for hosting me today.

Do you prefer mountains or the beach? I enjoy both, but I love mountains most. I find them inspiring. I remember one trip, for instance, to Estes Park, Colorado several years ago. This magical trip occurred on the first weekend in October.

While we were there for a conference in which my husband participated, we stayed in a lovely hotel. Our room had a huge plate glass window view of the mountain. I had taken my laptop with the intention of writing while my husband was busy. This beautiful, slow snow came with giant snowflakes that stuck to the pine trees.

How can anyone be expected to work in those conditions? I confess that for the most part, I watched the snow fall. Where we live in the Fort Worth area of North Central Texas, we don’t get much snow—some years none. You can understand how fascinated I was with this lovely sight.

The conference featured a tour for spouses on Saturday afternoon. One of the sites we toured was the Stanley House Hotel, which Steven King supposedly used in THE SHINING. It’s a lovely hotel and not at all frightening. While we were walking through, a Regency reenactment group was holding a dance that looked entertaining.

Our tour guide said she lived in a haunted house that had had a poltergeist when she and her husband first moved there. She reported the poltergeist swept dishes off shelves and was a destructive nuisance . I’ll bet even Stephen King would find that frightening. I certainly would.

One evening, my husband and I strolled to the center of town. The elk that came up to feed and drink are protected and have right of way. I couldn’t help laughing at them as they wandered on and off the street and caused drivers to stop. This was the first time I’d seen an elk that wasn’t in a zoo.

I’ve been to Colorado several times, but this was the most memorable visit. I’ve written numerous books that take place in a mountain setting at different seasons. When I’ve done so, I recall the wonder of that trip. Perhaps to people who are used to a lot of snow, such scenes are annoying instead of awesome. To me, if was wonderful and unforgettable.

I relied on these memories for my latest release, GARNET, book 9 in the sweet western historical series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Though GARNET is set in Utah, I picture the Wildcat Ridge Mountains resembling those on the Colorado trip I so enjoyed. In GARNET, a terrible mining tragedy has left many widows in town.

Here’s the book’s description:

Garnet Chandler is fighting to hold onto her café, her niece and nephew, and her sanity after the deaths of her husband, his brother, and his sister-in-law. A persistent prowler and the threat of losing custody of her niece and nephew spur her to action. She doesn’t need another man, but she needs a husband long enough to convince the children’s grandparents she can offer them a stable home.

Bounty hunter Adam Bennett was ready to settle down when his friend was killed by a horse thief. He set out to capture the man who had also killed a guard when escaping prison. Adam must have let down his defenses because the man he followed and two cohorts waylaid Adam, beating him and stealing all his possessions before kicking him down a steep ravine. Adam is determined to capture the three as soon as he heals from their encounter.

Garnet and Adam join forces to achieve both their goals but will that be enough?

The buy link is http://getbook.at/garnetWOWR . GARNET is available in e-book and will soon be available in print. Of course, it’s free in KU.

Here’s an excerpt…

A loud rap at the back door startled her. She kept the curtains closed unless they were serving food and couldn’t see who had knocked.

Joey grabbed his stick. “Don’t answer it. Might be the robber there.”

She wiped her hands on her apron. “Or a friend who needs something.” Joey didn’t know the Colt .45 was in her apron pocket. After taking a deep, bracing breath, she opened the door.

The dirtiest man she’d ever seen stood there. His beard was as dirty as his clothes. Fresh cuts showed through the mud on his face. He was tall and broad-shouldered but looked as if he could barely stand.

“Ma’am, my name is Adam Bennett. Please don’t be put off by my appearance. I was robbed up the mountain a ways and lost all my gear. I’m mighty hungry. If you need anything done, I like to work for a meal.”

Joey was by her side. “He isn’t the one from last night.” All the same, her nephew kept his pick handle in his hand.

“We’re the Chandlers. Come in and sit down. Wait, wash your hands and face at the sink first. You can’t handle food while you’re that filthy.”

While the man washed his hands, she filled a plate from leftovers and poured a cup of coffee. “Joey, please get my medicine box from upstairs.”

He leaned close. “I don’t think I should leave you alone while he’s here.”

Joey took being man of the family seriously. “Oh, all right. Hyacinth, would you get the medicine box for me?”

“How come he doesn’t have to and I do?” Usually sweet, Hyacinth was a bit spoiled and definitely jealous of her brother.”

“Because Mr. Bennett is injured and needs our help. Please hurry.”

Her niece stomped up the stairs while muttering under her breath, her golden curls bouncing with each step.

When Garnet glanced at the man, she saw he’d wolfed down his food. “I’ll get you more. How long since you’ve eaten?”

“Not sure how long I was in and out of consciousness up there. They attacked me on Saturday morning. What day is this?”

“Monday. No wonder you’re hungry.” She set another plate of food in front of him and refilled his cup.

Contest

I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of GARNET to two people who comment today. Tell me your most memorable vacation in a comment to enter.

Montana Bounty Hunters: Animal (Contest & Excerpt)
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Rebecca Merz!
*~*~*

Series lovers, I have one for you! Love a lot of badass alpha heroes, fast action, great sex, and humor? Well, that’s what I deliver in Montana Bounty Hunters! And another installment is set to drop next Tuesday!

Are you caught up? No? Then click on a cover to pick up your copy of one of these fast-paced stories and begin your blitz-read through the series, because next Tuesday Animal is coming!

 Dagger Reaper's Ride
S*x on the Beach Hook
Wolf (Montana Bounty Hunter) Animal

Contest

Enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Tell me whether you’ve ready any of the series, and if you have, which book are you on?

Excerpt from Animal

Animal tuned out the crackling, thudding sounds of his team members moving through the forest.

On day three after he’d joined the hunt, he wasn’t regretting his decision to give MBH a try. He’d been unwilling to make any long-term promises. Hadn’t signed a contract or filled out a W-9. Not yet, anyway. When Fetch had described what Tibbets had done, and then talked about the hunters who were already on his trail, Animal had felt a stirring of interest. Manhunts were something he was familiar with. So, he wasn’t hunting a high-dollar target through the Hindu Kush mountains. Wasn’t dropping into some walled compound to sweep a house in the dead of night.

Still, this felt familiar. Moving through the bushes. Tracking a target. Looking for campfires, footprints, signs Tibbets had stopped to piss or shit. That morning, they’d found a butchered deer. Most of the carcass had been left for scavengers. So, it hadn’t been left by a game hunter. He’d taken a portion of a haunch, had roasted it over a quickly built fire, and had eaten as much as he could before moving on.

Looked like Tibbets was feeling pretty sure he’d slipped the noose. He hadn’t even bothered to try to bury the evidence he’d been there.

The first afternoon, Animal had ridden along with Carly and Reaper. They’d shown him the warrant and pictures of Tibbets and his family. They’d canvassed businesses in Olney—gun shops, grocers, gas stations, but no one recalled seeing him or his cousin Murray.

That evening, they headed to Tibbets’s favorite haunt again. The women sat at the long polished bar, chatting up the bartender and the waitresses. Dagger and Mace played pool with two plugged-in and gossipy locals. Reaper and Animal sat at a table, watching the doors. But none of them were getting any bites.

About an hour into their surveillance, Hook and Cochise arrived.

Hook slapped a map on the table. “Found the parcel his family owns. It sits on a creek.”

“’Bout damn time,” Reaper had muttered.

The next morning, they’d geared up and surrounded a small, ratty camper trailer. Tibbets had been there recently but was now gone. After tearing through his belongings, searching for clues where he might have gone next, they bagged up dirty clothes for Mace’s dog Taco to scent on.

The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.

They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, to keep an eye any one of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out, but the rest of the team grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking him into Flathead National Forest.

Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.

This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.

They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.

“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden by the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.

Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.

Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.

He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.

A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.

“Where’s mama?” he whispered.

As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.

He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.

Mama Bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.

“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.

“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.

“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.

“You, shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping.

The bear’s head moved from Animal to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.

The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.

Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.

Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.

Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.

When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”

“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?

Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.

Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.

Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”

“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.

He ground his teeth as his face heated.

“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”

He narrowed his gaze, not liking her smartass tone. Did she know how close he was to exploding? Men he’d fought with knew better than to talk to him when he was like this.

A throat cleared beside him. “Ma’am, you need to pack up,” Reaper said, his voice even.

Her hazel gaze darted from Animal to the man standing beside him. “Why? She’s gone.”

“The bear’s the least of what you have to worry about out here.”

She seemed to finally take in the fact that she was surrounded by five well-armed strangers. “Were you tracking her?”

“We don’t hunt bear,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.

Animal felt a little of his steam begin to cool hearing Reaper’s clipped delivery. Someone else here got the fact she had no business out here. Alone.

“Well, I thank you for your advice, but I have no intention of packing up and leaving. It took me three days to get here. I’ll be setting up camp.” She bent and swiped at the straps of her backpack then reached inside it. She pulled out a small 9mm Colt Defender but had the good sense to point it away from the group. “I’m not unarmed.”

Animal grunted. “Think that would have stopped her? If you didn’t hit her in the head, you’d just piss her off.”

“Well, that’s not your worry, is it?” Again, she lifted her chin.

Damn, if his body didn’t go hard. The way she locked her gaze with his, she didn’t show any fear. Foolish was what she was. He could get around her gun and have her on the ground in the time it took her to realize he’d even moved.

“This is no place for a woman on her own, not today,” Reaper said.

Her back stiffened. Her cheeks paled just a bit.

“We’re not what you should fear,” Carly said quickly, stepping past Animal and Reaper. “It’s gonna take a few minutes for these two get over the adrenaline rush to explain. I’m Carly,” she said, reaching out her hand.

The woman passed the gun from her right to her left and shook Carly’s hand. “Carly, it’s nice to meet you.” She didn’t smile, and her gaze kept scanning the rest of them, like she expected them to make a move against her.

Animal drew a deep breath. He knew what she saw. He wasn’t into scaring women. Happened naturally, often enough. He set his hands on his hips and glanced at the ground while he waited for the tension in his body to ease.

“We’re bounty hunters,” Carly said. “We’ve been tracking a dangerous felon. He’s in this area. It’s not safe for you to be here.”

As Animal glanced up again, the woman’s frown deepened. “I’ve been here a day. Haven’t seen anyone but you. How do I even know you’re telling me the truth?”

Carly glanced back at Reaper. “Show her the warrant.”

Reaper reached into his pack and pulled out the folder. He passed it to the woman.

She held the folder in the crook of the arm and thumbed through the documents. “Okay, so I believe you’re what you say. But since you’re on his trail and he’s not here, why do I have to leave? Obviously, he’s already passed my location.”

“Because there are going to be more teams out here, combing the area. We’ve got the jump on everyone else. When other teams arrive, our skip might double back to evade them. No place in this wilderness is safe.”

Her lips thinned then twisted. Her gaze went back to Animal. “Dammit, I just got here.”

Animal stepped forward, using his body to intimidate her. Yeah, he felt no shame doing that. Not when scaring her into making the right choice could keep her safe. “You’re not safe on your own. Pack up.”

Damned if the woman’s mouth didn’t twitch like she wanted to laugh.

He glared.

She arched a brow. “You’re right. It’s not safe to be alone out here.”

Her expression gave him no ease. He narrowed his eyes until they were slits as he waited for what else she intended to say, because there was no way in hell she was giving up so easily.

She gave a little shrug and grinned. “I’ll go with you.”

Jean Adams: Dabbling
Monday, January 14th, 2019

Hello, my name is Jean Adams and this is my first time on Delilah’s blog. I hope it won’t be the last.

Although I live in New Zealand, I originally hail from England, where I hope to revisit some time. Truth be told, if I could live where they live in The Coroner (a UK TV series) I’d upsticks and go tomorrow. ‘Nuff said about that before that pesky frog decides to revisit my throat.

My writing is pretty eclectic. By that I mean I write what takes my fancy and don’t stick to any one style. My latest what if, is a novella about an older couple who meet again after fifty years.

I’ve dabbled in contemporary, time travel (ancient Egypt), erotica, family, and currently have a TIP (trilogy in progress) set in ancient Egypt (historical, nothing to do with time travel.) Two other books are also in the works; a contemporary, and another set partly on Atlantis. I call it an archaeological paranormal.

When I say dabbled, that’s just about the right word for it. So I have been prompted to sign up for a writing course that also teaches marketing without being salesy or scammy. That’s what scares me about marketing; all the scammy messages out there screaming “read my book”. Don’t know about you but I find them a real turn-off. So I never do any. Now, hopefully, all that will change.

Having been a sub-editor for many years, apart from writing I also do some editing and proofreading. I don’t make a song and dance about it, but if friends ask me to run my eye over their manuscript for a small fee, I’ll do it.

I also teach romance writing for a New Zealand writing school from a course I wrote especially for them.

Being a great believer in love and romance, I firmly believe there’s someone out there for everyone. You just have to wait, keep your eyes open, and not settle.

Publishers:
The Wild Rose Press: Contemporary
Yesterday’s Dreams, The Fires of Passion—2 book series
A Man Like Saxon
A Place of Healing
No Other Love
Honey’s Greek Billionaire
Heart of Atlantis (TBA)
Blake (TBA)

The Wild Rose Press: Erotica
The Boss’ Temp-tation
Midnight Madness
The Good Neighbor
Good Girls Do trilogy – Lessons in Lust, A Long and Lusty Road, Tender Lusting Care

Highland Press:
Beats a Wild Heart
Eternal Hearts, time travel
Forever One, part of A Twist in Time anthology
Soul Mates, older couple novella
A Touch of Magic, part of Christmas Tidings 2018 anthology
Trilogy in progress. Daughters Of Isis (Egyptian goddess): Might have to change that name, however : Daughter of the Nile, Daughter of the Temple, Daughter of the Palace.
Futuristic sci/fi trilogy novellas seeking new home: originally with Secret Cravings (now defunct).
Love Slave, Tempting Tempest, Dariela and the Virgin Soldier.

Oh, my aching fingers and bloodshot eyes…
Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Does anything out there think a writer’s life is glamorous? Or easy?

Well, let me tell you about my day…

It started at 7 AM. I slept in. Usually, I’m up at around 5:30. Today, however, is Sunday, and I gave myself a little extra rest, because I knew today would be a bitch. I woke up my computer and quickly scanned my emails. Ah. The editing job I’d expected finally arrived. Yay. I scanned the rest of the subject lines and decided nothing else couldn’t wait, so I opened my manuscript.

I wrote, and wrote, and wrote—stopping for a quick breakfast then lunch, stopping to pee, stopping to get up and walk around to regain feeling in my toes. I didn’t stop writing until I’d written 4,210 words. After shipping off pages to lovely beta readers, I closed out my manuscript then darted across the road to have coffee with my dd.

Back at my desk again, I opened the rush editing job I have to finish by Tuesday. I edited 32 pages, closed the document, then picked up the stack of short stories I have to have read this week. I read five while sitting in front of the television, not really watching, but sitting there rather than at my desk was a welcome change. At 10:30 PM, I finished reading five stories and decided I’d done enough for the day.

I have to repeat this cycle tomorrow and the next day to keep on schedule. Now, who thinks a writer’s life is glamorous? As soon as I put my computer to sleep, I’m heading to bed to play a couple rounds of Charm King before I set my alarm…

Blue-eyed Inspiration…
Saturday, January 12th, 2019

I’m writing my stubby fingers to the bone, so no time to write you a love note! Enjoy!