Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'anthology'

Beverly Ovalle: Help Celebrate My Writing Birthday! (Contest)
Thursday, February 11th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Margaret, bn100, Debra Guyette and flchen1!

Hi! I’m Beverly Ovalle. I wanted this date since it is my birthday! This marks eight years I’ve been writing.

I am a writer, but I’m so much more, too. A wife, mom, and grandma along with being a crafter. I guess you could say I’m a serial hobbyist. Let me name a few.

My most recent hobby is welding. I took a class through the local community trade school. I’m planning on going back for more. I had a ball doing it.

I love to sew. Back in the day, I made all of my first child’s clothing until he was about two. Before that, I made my dress clothes for work. I still sew. My most recent was a tree skirt for my daughter. I’m in the middle of completing another one for my nephew and his new bride. I didn’t finish it in time for the wedding so I’m mailing it off before Christmas to them.

Another hobby is stained glass. I’ve made windows in a previous house I lived in. I let this one lapse because small children and glass bits don’t mix.

I make jewelry on occasion and bookmarks for swag when the mood hits me.

I have a cricut. I love that but haven’t had much time to go further in-depth. It looks like so much fun so I had to try it.

I also love to build puzzles. All winter long my daughter and I work on them. This past year it was all year round. Being quarantined it gave us something for the whole family to work on.

The IRS might say my writing is a hobby, too, lol. They would be wrong. Like sewing, it is a lifelong love.

In high school, I had to choose between track and the creative writing club. I chose writing. I don’t remember when I started, but I’ve done it throughout my life. I managed it between a full-time job and a growing family. Now, I’m retired and seem to have less time for it.

However, I’ve set a schedule I hope to meet. Currently, I’m working on a book that was supposed to be released last year. I wasn’t happy with it, though. My goal this year for it is April. My next is July.

One book is a military shipboard romance, part fiction and part truth, called China Fleet Club. The other, Taming Tamara, will be the fourth in A Dragon’s Fated Heart Series. I’m also working on a cookbook I’m calling Not Hamburger Again! A total departure from fiction for me.

I’d love to hear about what hobbies you do. I’m always looking for my next great obsession!

In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I post a bit about my books, more about my hobbies and life in general. Be ready to see lots of food, lol. Also, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, my website, and my blog.

Honestly, I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook, so those are your best bets to chat with me. The most fun, too! If you just want to see books, follow me on Amazon. But hobby discussions are my bread and butter and keep me active and interested. I’m too restless for just one thing, but obsessed enough to be that serial hobbyist you know and love!


My most recent story is in an anthology #Mommastrong. All proceeds go to a well-loved friend everyone calls Momma to help in her fight against cancer. My contribution is a sci-fi romance. A second story in The Road to Eden short story series called “Mama Said.”

Mama Said ~ An Area 51 short story:


Let me know your favorite hobby for a chance to win an ecopy of #Mommastrong!

Boys Behaving Badly (Contest–Three Winners!)
Thursday, February 4th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Brenda Rumsey, Kelly Samuels, and C. Marie Bowen!

This month, I’m reading the rest of the cowboy stories that will be a part of my next Boys Behaving Badly short story collection. I’m having a blast reading the offerings from some very talented authors! Once I select the stories, edit them, then compile them into a book, I’ll hand them over to my sister, Elle James, to create a cover for the antho before we get it up on Amazon for you all to purchase! (These big books are always offered for only $0.99—a steal because we want everyone reading the authors’ stories!) It’s a huge undertaking, but one I love. Every anthology, I’ve added new author friends, many of whom who come back, again and again, to submit new stories for readers to enjoy.

As soon as Cowboys is in the can, I’ll be searching for a new theme for the next anthology. That’s where you come in. Below, I have the covers of the previous anthologies so you can see what themes we’ve covered. For a chance to win a download of your choice from among these titles, tell me what you’d like to see next!

Click on the covers to learn more about these books!

Conquests Rogues Blue Collar
Pirates Stranded First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

A.C. Dawn: Under the Sea (Excerpt)
Thursday, December 10th, 2020

The holidays are here, and despite the rocky ride of 2020, I am so very thankful for my abundance of blessings and love that fill my life. One of my greatest blessings in 2020, besides my loved ones and their continued health and happiness, has been embarking on my writing adventure. Many thanks to Delilah Devlin for accepting my story into her anthology and letting me drop in here! It has given me a confidence boost to chase this crazy author dream!

My favorite part of writing is the process. It’s fun to read back over what I wrote and think, “Damn, girl. That’s not bad!” Of course, just as often, I reread something and shake my head as I hold down the delete button. But more than the final words on the page, I love dreaming and scheming about stories and the twists and turns of the characters. It’s a testament to just how big a nerd I am that I enjoy immersing myself in the world of my characters. I seriously prefer hanging out with my imaginary friends more than real people…. Hmmm…. I probably should talk to someone about that! Anyway, moving on. 😊

I also enjoy learning about new subjects and researching facts. So many times, I remind myself that I was just supposed to check what year the typewriter was invented to make sure it fits in the story, not research the entire history of typewriters! I’m like Alice in Wonderland on the internet. So many rabbit holes! A writer friend of mine posted this the other day, and it’s so true! My internet browsing history would raise an eyebrow or two, and my Facebook feed looks like it belongs to someone with multiple personalities.

I find inspiration in many different places. For my latest story, it came to me from an old folk tune. I was writing a story about pirates for an upcoming anthology, but it just wasn’t flowing well. So, I turned on some music (Yes, I listen to folk music—nerd, remember??) and heard a song called “Maid on the Shore.” It’s about a woman who lived alone on an island, walking the beaches. A captain of a sailing ship saw her and ordered her brought to him. Once onboard, she sang the sailors to sleep, stole their treasure, and rowed back to her island. It caught my attention, and down the rabbit hole I went, wondering about this siren’s story. She was clearly different than Odysseus’ sirens. It didn’t take long for her tale to unfold in my mind, and I knew I had to tell her story.

That’s the part of writing that is just so freaking awesome! A song I had heard many times before caught me at the right moment, planted a seed in my imagination, and BAM—storytime, here we come!

Under the Sea

Here’s a snippet from my story, “Before Words, There was Song,” part of the Under the Sea anthology releasing Jan 31, 2021!

“Well, now, Daughter of the Sea,” Manannan said, pulling Ciara’s attention to him. “It is time for you to join your sisters.”

He reached his hand down in invitation, and Ciara simply stared at him. Confusion and questions overwhelmed her. Just hours ago, she had been chasing Dougan and dreaming of a life in a quiet fishing village. Now, here she sat with Manannan mac Lir talking to her in the middle of the ocean. It was beyond belief.

The God of the Sea waited patiently and gently prompted, “I’ll answer all your questions on the way. Take my hand, Daughter, and let our journey begin.”

Ciara put her hand in his, and he pulled her up in front of him on Enbarr’s massive back. The horse surged forward, and faster than the wind, they began to run across the water.

Ciara looked over her shoulder toward the shore she could no longer see but was all she had ever known. The wind whipped her hair around her face. She buried her hands in Enbarr’s silky mane and asked the question her whirling thoughts kept coming back to.

“Who am I?”

Manannan slowed Enbarr to a gentler pace.

“Let me tell you a story. Eons ago, the Great Goddess, Gaia, released from her womb a storm into the sea. It contained all the songs of the earth. It swirled and danced through the waters of the word, leaving behind magic and life. The gods still walked the land of Erin at that time, and we danced in joy as the music poured forth. The songs were too beautiful to let fade into oblivion. We gathered in council to find a way to capture the melodies.

Since they were born of the sea, the gods asked me to create something to hold the music. I crafted a creature from the spray of the sea, the cry of the bird, the call of the whale, and the beauty of the reef. She rose from the sea, and with the ocean’s infinity and the fluidity of water, she captured all the melodies of the world. I named her Eulah, Gem of the Sea, and she was the first Siren. Over the centuries, the sea has brought forth more melodies and more sirens, but one had not been born for a long, long time.

Fifteen years ago, a great storm full of fury and darkness swelled from the depths. Terrible and vicious, the sea raged, and the men and women of Erin begged me to calm it. I felt their terror as the towering waves bore down on the shore. The wind screamed, and Gaia shook beneath their feet, expressing her displeasure at the folly and short memory of man. The Children of Erin had turned their faces from her, distracted by the new god and his prophets and priests. Her anger called forth the storm to punish them, but I could not let her destroy my faithful people, even though there were far fewer who called my name than in times past.

I rode out in the blackest night I have ever seen. The storm pulled at me, seething with hurt and vengeance. Enbarr and I plunged into the tempest, so strong it threatened to pull the powerful Enbarr beneath its roiling fury. I called to wind and water, who knew my command, but they couldn’t hear me over their roaring. Through the tumult, the faintest of melodies played, new and unheard. At that moment, I knew how to calm the sea and save the Children of Erin.

I gathered sea spray and added the sea bird’s cry, the call of the giants of deep, and all the reef’s beauty. The voices of the Children of Erin intermingled with the melody of nature. The first wail of a babe, the tears of a maiden, the wisdom of an old man, and the last breath of a crone joined in accompaniment. With ancient magic, I created the last siren, capturing the storm’s song and the melodies of man.

The magic of the world had changed over the centuries. The gods no longer walked among men. This siren did not come forth as a goddess fully formed and radiant of song and beauty. She came to me as a babe in arms. As I looked at the tiny creature whose cry held a heartbreaking melody, I knew she would be different than her sisters. I brought Muirin, my most cherished selkie, to land to raise the child with the instructions to return her to the sea when her song was ready to be sung.”

Manannan fell silent. Ciara’s mind fit the pieces together. She was a siren, made by the hands of a god. The Great Goddess created the melodies that coursed through her blood. She held within her the song of death, fury, and destruction.

Ciara’s adventure is just beginning!

Be sure to preorder your copy of Under the Sea to find out how her song ends and enjoy several other stories of the deep!

This Writer’s Life & a Poll (Contest)
Saturday, October 31st, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Monica Lemmers!

It’s November of the most trying year I’ve ever lived—and that’s saying a lot given the losses our family has suffered the past nearly three years. Sometimes, it truly feels like we’re living in the dawn of an “Extinction Event.” We’re doing what we can to keep ourselves healthy. I’m sure we’re making mistakes, but we’re masking, handwashing, keeping kids out of school and online, and trying not to go stir-crazy in all our togetherness. Take Halloween. We’ll be playing Halloween games and holding a scavenger hunt in lieu of trick-or-treating. Family fun. Making an event out of everything (just not an extinction event) is important for us because the kids always have something to look forward to.

All this togetherness has taken a toll on my writing. I’ve produced less than half of my usual number of stories this year. I need alone time to create. After Mom died in January and my dd’s family moved into the house, and then the pandemic forcing everyone into closer quarters 24/7, alone time is something I’m training my brain to find in the midst of kid-chaos. Of course, I wouldn’t trade having family around me for anything, but I really do have to commit to sitting my butt in a chair to write more consistently.

That’s why I’m taking up the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. It runs from November 1-30. The goal is to write 50,000 words. If you carve that up into a daily wordcount goal, that’s 1667 words a day. Completely doable. I begin tomorrow. So, today, I have to figure out what I’m going to write. I have a title (Preacher), a cover (Two, actually. See below!) and a blurb, but no idea what’s going to happen in the story. Not one clue. But I have today to figure out at least the first scene, and since it’s a Montana Bounty Hunter book, I’ll probably jump right into a takedown because those are the most fun scenes to write.

This month, is also the deadline for submissions for my Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology. NOVEMBER 15TH AUTHORS! Tell you what—accept the NaNo challenge just long enough to write that 2500-5500-word story! You can do it! So, you know, I’ll have to add reading submissions to my To Do list! Want the rules? Follow this link.

I’m also trying my hardest to cut out some time to improve my art. I love doing it at night after the hustle and bustle of the day. It’s relaxing. And I think I’m learning. This is last night’s piece. I used Nupastels which, for me, is like drawing with crayons. Completely fun and liberating. I love the foreground, the sky? Not so much, This was taken from a photograph from western Ireland.

So, that’s going to be my November—write, write, write, read, art. 🙂

The Poll

My lovely sister, Elle James, gave me two versions of Preacher. I love the one with the scenery beneath the title, but when I ran them both by my Street Team, they preferred the plainer cover. So, help me make up my mind!

Which cover for Preacher do you prefer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The Contest

Comment on something I’ve written about today—NaNoWriMo, the poll—for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

A.C. Dawn: Coming this weekend — Samhain Secrets 2!
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

Happy Fall, Y’all!

I love the autumn season. The colors are brilliant. The harvest is coming in full of bounty and goodness, and hallelujah, pumpkin spice is everywhere you turn! I love pulling out my warm sweaters only to change them out by noon for a tank top (I live in the South!). I love picking apples and making apple butter, apple cake, apple bread, apple pie, apple crisp… you get the idea. I love fall festivals and the restfulness that settles over the land. It’s the absolute perfect season, in my opinion!

As a kid, fall only registered on my radar because it heralded the coming of one of the best days of the year—Halloween. I loved dressing up and trick or treating. I loved the parties and silly haunted houses. And like all kids, I especially loved the candy! My rural midwestern town always gave generously to all the little ghosts, witches, princesses, cowboys, and other creatures that knocked on their doors on Halloween. The only thing I didn’t like about Halloween was the ghost stories.

Thanks to my overactive imagination—which serves me well as an author, but not so much as a kid who struggled with remembering the difference between fiction and reality—I always shied away from scary stories. However, it was hard to avoid them altogether. Every year in school, we would listen to a record (yes… a record—I’m that old!) of Edgar Allen Poe’s poems and stories. The Raven and the Tell-Tale Heart particularly stuck with me. They would lodge in my brain for weeks after listening to them. I would think about them over and over, hearing the thump of a heart beneath the floor or tapping at the window. I saw the Raven and the sad man sitting in his dreary home pining for his lost love. I felt the terror of the old man waking with his killer in his room and, at the same time, felt the tinge of insanity of the killer. Did I mention my overactive imagination?

I was probably around ten when it really got the best of me. After being primed by scary stories, I was ready to see ghosts and goblins around every corner. It turned out I didn’t have to look further than my bedroom in our old farmhouse. I shared it with my younger sister, and there was a large closet in the room with an old wooden door. The closet door had a several-inch gap at the bottom that let light spill into the room when the door was shut, a feature which my parents used as a nightlight for my little sister. The bed was tucked into a corner, facing the closet, and I shared it with my sister. After we got tucked in for the night, my mom closed the door, and my imagination started to churn.

I heard every sigh and moan of the old farmhouse. Every creak was a footfall of a monster coming to get us. I told myself over and over that there was nothing to be afraid of. Mom was downstairs, and certainly, no monster could get past her. I had almost gotten my fears under control when I saw them—a pair of witch’s shoes clearly outlined in the gap of light at the base of the closet door. They had heels and my imagination quickly filled in pointed toes and a pair of legs with striped stockings. The green face of the Wicked Witch of the East came to mind, and I knew it had to be the worst sort of witch behind that door. I swallowed hard and struggled to stay in bed. It was a rule in my house that once you got put to bed, you didn’t get up unless you had to use the bathroom or the house was on fire. My sister had slipped blissfully into dreamland, completely unaware of the terror on the other side of the closet door.

Then, the tapping began. From the window on the far side of the room came a scratch-tap, scratch-tap. Well, this could be nothing other than more witches trying to join their sister in my closet. I looked back at the shoes in the closet. They had disappeared. The witch had gone to let in more witches. I pulled the covers over my head and told myself that I was imagining things. There were no such things as witches, but when I poked my head out, the shoes had reappeared. I imagined the closet was stuffed with witches, all ready to do who-knew-what to me. My heart hammered, and I listened to the noises of the house and the continued scratch-tap at the window. What other creatures had come to torment us?

I sat up, resolved that I would stay awake all night. Somewhere in my sleepy, terrified mind, I convinced myself that if I just stayed awake, the witches wouldn’t be able to come out of the closet. Of course, I couldn’t stay awake all night and finally fell asleep. When my mom woke us the next morning, I catapulted out of bed. Startled, Mom asked why I had slept sitting up, and if the storm had woken me. She gave me a very strange look when I flung open the closet door. No witches or shoes or broomsticks greeted me—just my sister’s stuffed animal that had fallen on the floor. I looked at the leafless tree outside the window, its twiggy fingers almost touching the glass. In the light of day, it all made perfect sense, but that didn’t stop me from insisting that the closet door stay open at night from then on.

I can vividly still recall that night and the feeling of unease that hung over me for days. I started writing about that time, trying to let the things my imagination conjured play out on the page. Here I am, decades later, with a slightly better hold on reality, still putting words on the page and hoping that they inspire and entertain. It’s funny now that I look back on it. I would still say that I hate scary stories, but the experience they gave me taught me a lot about the power of a story.

What do you think of scary stories? Have you ever encountered a story—scary or otherwise—that lingered in your mind?

As always, thank you, Delilah, for letting me share my thoughts! It’s always an honor and pleasure to drop in here 😊

Set to be released on Halloween from Carpathia Publishing, check out a fabulous collection of Samhain inspired tales. Beware—they cover the spectrum of spookiness! Samhain Secrets 2 is due out on Amazon this weekend, including my story—“The Knife’s Edge”!

Samhain Secrets 2, including “The Knife’s Edge”

It’s been a century since the Queen of the Damned has walked the earth. As she rises on All Hallow’s Eve, Jason, the ancient Vampire King, is ready to meet her and send her back to Hell where she belongs. He only needs to know one thing—where is she rising?

Adelaide Buckley is supposed to have the answer. The black sheep of the family, she comes from a long line of witches and seers, but her third eye has always remained resolutely closed. With the future balancing on a knife’s edge, can she overcome her magical blindness and see beyond the veil to reveal the location of the bloodthirsty queen before she unleashes Hell on Earth?

The link is coming!

About the Author

A.C. Dawn is an active and enthusiastic author and reader of short stories, novellas, and novels. She enjoys bringing her characters to life and strives to stir the imagination of her readers. She believes the best writing touches the reader in ways they hadn’t expected and will never forget!

So, that’s the official bio…

Really, I’m a lover of chocolate, a strong jawline with a 5 o’clock shadow, and romances that make your heart pound and your middle get all squishy. I love quiet country living on my north Georgia farm with my family and fur babies of all shapes and sizes. I think the scariest thing in life is how fast my daughter is growing and an empty coffee pot. I can’t stand slow drivers in the fast lane and wimpy handshakes.

I have endless stories rumbling around among the rocks in my head. I can’t wait to share them with you! 

REMINDER TO AUTHORS! Call for Submissions! Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology
Saturday, October 17th, 2020

Readers & Authors, pass the word along! ~DD

Editor: Delilah Devlin
Deadline: November 15, 2020 December 6, 2020

COWBOYS is open to all authors.

Editor/Author Delilah Devlin is looking for stories for a romantic erotica anthology tentatively entitled COWBOYS:  A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY.

Why write a short story for this collection? Well, it’s certainly not about making a lot of money, so why do it at all? I’ve said this before, but here are my thoughts…

Writing a short story for a call for submissions is a chance to flex your writing muscle! It can be a chance to experiment with a genre you’ve never written. If you’ve never written a story in first person but don’t want to begin by writing an entire novel using it, start short! For myself, I’ve written stories in new genres or with fresh themes that ended up being so much fun to write they’ve spawned entire series.

You have a deadline! I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping my butt in the chair without one!

It’s a promotional opportunity! If selected, you’ll be joined by 12-15 other authors for the launch, sharing your audiences and, hopefully, picking up new readers along the way. Having your story in the collection is another chance to be “seen.”

And remember, you retain the rights to your story, so you can republish it for individual sale or give it away to attract subscribers to your newsletter. You might even decide there’s more story to tell and expand it into a novel!

Here’s what I’m looking for…

COWBOYS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY will include stories that satisfy the reader who craves stories with cowboy heroes. They may ride into the sunset, but cowboys never go out of style. They embody the fiercely independent, earthy alpha male and a hero who isn’t afraid to show the gentle, nurturing side of his complex nature when he’s faced with a woman/man or an animal in need.

Even when he’s coated with dust from riding behind a herd of cattle, or up to his knees in mud freeing a calf from a wallow, his image doesn’t tarnish. A woman’s imagination sparks, filling in the details—the scent of horse, cow, and crisp, clean sweat; the sight of sun-leathered skin and crows feet; the feel of work-hardened thighs and arms; and the sound of a deep-voiced drawl.

COWBOYS will seek stories that satisfy the reader who craves the romantic idea of that gruff, capable man while exploring stories set in the American West, a new colony on a far-away planet, or exotic International settings!

I’m open to any subgenre of erotic romance you want to write. I’ll accept contemporary, historical, science fiction, or paranormal stories, and I won’t be picky about whether the stories are hetero, LGBT, ménage… Basically, you, the author, can go anywhere your imagination takes you so long as 1) the story is a romance, and 2) you have a bad boy somewhere in the pages!

The anthology will be sold at a low price—my intent is exposure for you and your writing. The more readers reached, the better! You will retain the rights to your story so that, at a later date, you can republish your stories individually.

I’m seeking hot and inventive stories from authors with unique voices, and above all, I’m looking to be seduced by tales filled with vivid imagery and passion.

Published authors with an established world may use that setting for their original short story.

This is erotic romance, so don’t hold back on the heat. Stories can be vanilla or filled with kink, but don’t miss describing the romantic connection between strong-willed individuals learning to trust and love one another. A deep sensuality should linger in every word. Keep in mind there must be a romantic element with a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending. Strong plots, engaging characters, and unique twists are the ultimate goal. Please no reprints. I want original stories.

How to submit: Prepare your 2,500 to 5,500 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12 point, black font, Word document (.doc or .docx) OR rich text format (.rtf), with pages numbered. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch, and double space (regular double spacing; do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). U.S. grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.

In your document at the top left of the first page, include your legal name (and pseudonym, if applicable), mailing address, email address, and a 50-words or less biography, written in the third person, and send to If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories. I will try to respond no later than January 30, 2021 with decisions.

Payment will be $25.00 USD, ninety days after publication at the end of that month.

Who am I?

Delilah Devlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotica and erotic romance. She has published nearly two hundred stories in multiple genres and lengths, and is published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Entangled, Grand Central, Harlequin Spice, HarperCollins: Mischief, Kensington, Kindle, Montlake, Penthouse, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing.

Her short stories have appeared in multiple Cleis Press collections, including Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Lesbian Lust, Passion, Lesbian Cops, Dream Lover, Carnal Machines, Best Erotic Romance (2012), Suite Encounters, Girl Fever, Girls Who Score, Duty and Desire, Best Lesbian Romance of 2013, and On Fire. For Cleis Press, she edited Girls Who Bite, She Shifters, Cowboy Lust, Smokin’ Hot Firemen, High Octane Heroes, Cowboy Heat, Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors and Sex Objects. She also edited Conquests: An Anthology of Smoldering Viking Romance, Rogues: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Blue Collar: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Pirates: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, and First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology.

Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to me at

M. A. Monnin: Music as a Muse (Recipe)
Friday, October 9th, 2020

I brake for great songs. Not literally, but when I’m driving, I tend to station-surf, hunting for a song that lifts me up and reflects my mood. Between FM, satellite radio, the cd player, and yes, even a cassette player, there are plenty of options in my car. I’m constantly searching for songs that make me feel—feel happy, sad, romantic, or amused. One tune that I block out all else to listen to is “Samba Pa Ti” by Santana. Something about those notes evokes yearning and sensuousness, and lifts my soul to a satisfying high.

So when I answered the submission call for short stories involving a supernatural connection to jazz for the anthology All That Weird Jazz, I knew the story I wrote would involve a song that pulled the main character in, a song like “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak, or “Still Got The Blues For You” by Gary Moore. A song that takes the listener to another world. A Siren Song.

In my story “Siren Song“, Hawk Hathaway’s soul is touched by a song, too, one that leads him to a life-changing dilemma. He listens to local jazz at The Gimlet Lounge, a bar above an old speakeasy, sitting in the dark, sipping on drinks served to him by attractive bartender Greta, who with her pierced eyebrow, plaid skirt, and biker boots is both from a different world and so out of his league.

For myself, listening to music while enjoying a refreshing drink (alcoholic or not, I’m not partial), soothes my soul and provides a calming effect that I appreciate more than usual during this troubled year. Here is a cocktail with a history as old as The Gimlet Lounge, and I’ve included a non-alcoholic version as well. It’s one of my favorites.

The French 75

The French 75 is a champagne cocktail that has been around since the early 1900s and got its name from the French artillery gun used during World War I. I enjoyed several of these when The National World War I Museum in Kansas City served them at their exciting evening events that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War. They are typically made with either cognac (French brandy) or gin. For cool fall and winter nights, I prefer them made with brandy, but on hot summer nights, a French 75 made with gin is particularly refreshing.

Serve in a coupe or flute. Makes one serving.

French 75

½ oz. cognac
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
3 oz. Champagne
Twist of lemon peel for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice and add cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake, then strain into glass and top with Champagne. Add lemon peel.

French 75 Mocktail

3 oz. Tonic water
2 oz. Sprite
Twist of lemon peel for garnish

For the mocktail, pass on shaking over ice because both of the ingredients are carbonated. Instead, pour ingredients directly into a flute or coupe, and stir with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

The tonic water adds dryness to the drink, and there is no need to add lemon juice since Sprite already has lemon flavoring. I use Fever Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water.

Enjoy your drink, turn on the stereo or stream your music of choice, and if you have no dilemmas of your own to ponder, why not check out Hawk Hathaway’s in “Siren Song“?


All That Weird Jazz

Jazz. A music of improvisation, of passion, of its very own kind of magic. Considered by many to be the only truly original American form of music, it has since its birth in a smoky room somewhere also been tied to the strange, wrapped up in the supernatural, associated with the occult, at least in hints and shadows. Pro Se Productions now brings together several of the most innovative writers in genre fiction today in ALL THAT WEIRD JAZZ, telling the tales of the unusual between the notes, the magic behind the music.From straight up pulp action to ghostly noir to a dragon who digs Jazz more than anyone else, ALL THAT WEIRD JAZZ takes love for this unique musical styling to an all new level, complete with adventure, thrills, and even a chill or two.

Paperback Link:

Ebook Link:

About the Author

A. Monnin is an AF veteran and avocational archaeologist. She lives to travel, and can’t wait until her next foreign trip. Egypt, the French island of Guadaloupe, and the Balearic Islands are all on her agenda.

You can find her here:
Facebook: MA Monnin
Twitter: mamonnin1
Instagram: M.A.Monnin