Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'anthology'



In One Picture: Reina Torres’s “Far from Over” (Contest at Collections website!)
Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Psst! We’re beginning a fun thing over on Delilah’s Collections, which involves the authors of FIRST RESPONSE. I’m repeating the blog here, so you see what we’re up to, but the contest itself, and future “In One Picture” posts, will happen over there!

“Far from Over” by Reina Torres
They missed their chance at the academy, but after she rescues him from a pile of rubble, a fireman decides it’s time to make her burn for him

From “Far from Over”…

Smokin’ Joe’s Bar wasn’t his normal haunt. Center City was a few hundred feet smaller than Chicago, not that Chi-town let them forget the difference. Still, Center City was big enough to house a handful of bars frequented by firefighters, but beyond that, Joe’s was one of two bars owned and run by firefighters.

It had probably been a great place to get together a few years ago, but the decorations inside looked like they hadn’t changed much since the Marlboro man was big. And he was still hanging on one of the walls. Things were clean and well kept, just old. Just go to any bar that was packed on a night like this and you’d see why they were packed. Joe’s had just gotten stuck in the past, but he wasn’t there for the decorations of even the liquor. He was there for one reason, Gina Ferrer. She was bartender in Joe’s every night she wasn’t working at Station Five.

Just $0.99!!
Order your e-copy here:
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play
Get your print copy!

Contest happening now over on the Collections site:

Is there a bar in a movie/TV series/or book that you wish you could visit?
Name it for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

FIRST RESPONSE is out today!
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Just $0.99!!
Order your e-copy here:
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play
Get your print copy!

We (all 15 authors!) are very proud of this edition! The stories are spicy and fun! We set the price low, not because we didn’t think people would be willing to pay a higher price, but because we want to share it with as many people as we can! So, get your copy! It costs less than a cup of coffee—even the straight, unflavored cup! Remember, I have a short story in this volume, too! One related to the Montana Bounty Hunters

Also, please visit the Collections website for the next wee while. Starting tomorrow, the authors will be sharing photos that depict an aspect of their stories, plus, there will be more contests! 

And reviews are always much, much appreciated!

FIRST RESPONSE releases next Tuesday! Read an excerpt! (Many CONTESTS!)
Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Pre-order your copy here:
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Well, the book is in the can! Film-speak for it’s loaded and ready for release day! I can’t be more excited! The stories are all soooo good, with a wide variety of themes and genres! Something for everyone!

My own story, “In the Wild” is related to my Montana Bounty Hunters series. In fact, the hunter in this story will appear in the spin-off series, Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT! She’ll have her own full-length story, but you can meet her below in the excerpt. Yes, HER! 🙂

Have you checked out my Collections website where all my anthologies “live”? We’re running a ton of contests. If you haven’t already been on that site, here’s a list of contests that are still open. While you’re busy entering to win something, be sure to check out the authors who are part of this anthology. There are some very familiar names (Elle James, Reina Torres, N.J. Walters, Melanie Jayne) and some authors you might not be aware of just yet. You’re going to find new authors to stalk, promise!

Contests Still Open on the Collections Website

  1. Megan Ryder: Claiming Lyla (Contest–4 Winners!)Absolute last day to enter! (Okay, so this one’s right here! Still counts!) Win books or a gift card!
  2. January George: Blackout (Contest)Absolute last day to enter! Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Tray Ellis: Falling Off the Single Track (Contest)Absolute last day to enter! Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Melanie Jayne: Drive (Contest)Absolute last day to enter! Win the ENTIRE NOVUS SERIES!
  5. Megan Ryder: Claiming Lyla (Contest — 4 Winners)Absolute last day to enter! Win an anthology or an Amazon gift card!
  6. Reina Torres: Far From Over (Contest — 2 Winners!) — Win an anthology!
  7. Margay Leah Justice: Handcuffs and G-strings (Contest) — Win an anthology!
  8. Kimberly Dean: Thinking Time (Contest — 3 winners!) — Win an audiobook!
  9. Elle James: Sheltering Charlotte (Contest — 2 Winners!) — Win a FREE book!

So, yes! A ton of contests! Have you entered? Don’t miss the contest I’m running here, today. You’ll find it under the excerpt from my story!

Excerpt from Delilah’s story, “In the Wild”

If not for her GPS device, Martika Mills wouldn’t have had a clue where she was. All she knew was that she was soaked to the skin, mud sucked at her boots, and two days into this hunt, she was no closer to finding Marlon Oats.

Earlier that morning, after sliding a twenty to a gas station attendant on the Montana border, she’d thought she was getting close. She’d gotten a description of the car Marlon had “borrowed” on his flight into the wilderness and had found it parked in a narrow roadside viewing point, just inside Yellowstone National Park.

After that, she’d followed the narrow stream into a deep gully off the road, knowing Marlon considered himself quite the fisherman, or so his mother had said. No doubt he intended to live off the land until the heat died down after he’d failed to make his date with the judge in Helena, where he was due to be tried for robbing a pawn shop in Springdale at gunpoint. His mother had been very helpful, liking the fact that Marti seemed like “a nice girl” who might “ask” her son to let her put him in handcuffs rather than shooting him. His mother didn’t want Marlon hurt, even though his skip might cost her the home she’d lived in since she’d married Marlon’s no-account, long-dead father.

Marti was just about to call it a day, figuring she had just enough daylight left to get back to her SUV parked behind Marlon’s at the roadside park, when she spotted a puff of dark smoke rising over the gully. Noting its direction, she climbed up a steep embankment, seeking footholds in mud and rock and grabbing vines along the sides of the rocky face until she stood at the top and realized the land on this side of the stream was flatter and filled with tall spring grass—and a herd of buffalo that didn’t seem to pay her any mind as she bent over and dragged in deep breaths. She glanced at her hands braced on her knees and grimaced, because they were covered in mud, which she shouldn’t give a shit about because her jeans were streaked with dirt as well.

Marlon had a lot to answer for, but thoughts of the rich bounty she’d score kept her from throwing in the towel. Her mother liked to say that stubborn was her middle name, which was a quality that worked well in her line of work. She always got her man because she never, ever gave up. She’d been bounty hunting for nearly three years now, the last one going solo because she didn’t like sharing her bounty with a partner or an agency, although she was considering working for one again. Agencies often served as bail bondsmen, too, and therefore had the downlow first on the richer bounties. Fetch Winter from Montana Bounty Hunters had been working on recruiting her to join a new satellite office he was trying to get off the ground in Dead Horse, Montana, to service southwest Montana and into Wyoming. He needed hunters with experience, and he’d heard good things about her.

She’d heard good things about the agency, too, if a you discounted the cable TV show that followed his hunters out of Bear Lodge. Fetch gave his crews a higher percentage of the bounty than most agencies did, and he’d assured her that he wouldn’t be looking to do any spin-off series featuring his other offices, but he had admitted that the bonuses for the hunters who permitted the production crews to accompany them were very generous. The job was hers, if she wanted it.

But first, she had to find Marlon Oats.

Trying her best not to draw the herd’s attention, she walked along the edge of the ravine, keeping within the narrow line of trees standing along the edge of the ravine as she made her way toward the place she believed a campfire had been lit.

As she drew closer, she stayed hidden and peered into a clearing. A small tent had been pitched, one that had seen better days. One of the screen windows was torn, and one of the poles that held up the tarp over the door was missing. But she couldn’t make out whether anyone was presently occupying the campsite.

Just then, she heard movement coming from the stream below and a soft off-key whistling. Hunkering down, she waited patiently until the person climbed over the edge of the embankment and stood.

“Marlon, you sweet idiot,” she said under her breath. Her heartbeats quickened, and she drew slow breaths. She needed calm, not adrenaline, to get closer to her target.

Marlon strolled toward his campsite holding a string of four fish, which he lowered into a pot beside the fire. As he began taking them out, one at time, gutting and filleting them, and then tossing the pieces into a pan he’d filled with oil, she moved closer, choosing her footsteps carefully, grateful for the chorus of gargling grunts from the buffalo nearby that masked the sounds her feet made in the suctioning mud.

She studied Marlon to see what challenges he might present. A rifle leaned against the tent, and he held a knife in his hand. Slowly, she dropped her backpack to the ground and drew her own 10mm Remington from the holster on her thigh, and then began to work her way toward the edge of the tree line, knowing she’d eventually have to expose her position to prevent him from making a move toward the rifle.

Soft chuffing grunts sounded from the herd, but she ignored the animals, keeping her gaze fixed on the more dangerous game in front of her.

Then she stepped on a twig, and it snapped.

Marlon’s gaze swung toward her position, and his eyes widened. His gaze shot to the rifle, but she shook her head.

“I’m a Fugitive Recovery Agent, so you know why I’m here,” she said, keeping her tone low and hard.

Eyes still wide, his body tensed as though he was preparing to bolt upwards and make a run for it.

“Don’t even think about running,” she bit out.

He blinked, and his gaze went to something behind her. “Bitch, you might want to think about making a run for it.” Then a smile stretched across his face as he slowly stood and waved his arms.

What the fuck…?

Then she heard it. A deep, gargling grunt. With her handgun still held in both hands in front of her, she darted a glance behind her.

A large bison bull faced her from about twenty feet away, his head lowered toward the ground, his gaze fixed on her.

Marlon laughed then darted toward the tent.

No way was she letting him get anywhere near that rifle, even if he promised to shoot the bull. As big as the fucker was, Marlon’s peashooter wouldn’t do anything more than piss the animal off. “Marlon!” she rasped as loudly as she dared as she weighed her rapidly dwindling options. “Stay clear of that rifle, or buffalo or not, I’ll shoot your ass.”

“Your choice,” he said, raising a hand to his mouth and issuing an ear-piercing whistle. Then he turned and ran toward the gully.

Another grunt, this one louder and harsher, sounded, and she knew she couldn’t just stand there; she broke into a run, following Marlon as he ran parallel to the gully, keeping twenty yards ahead of her.

Behind her, she heard the heavy thud of hooves striking damp earth, coming closer and closer.

Any second now, she’d have to veer toward the gully and jump, and hope like hell that she didn’t break something on the way down.

Then another sound came from a distance. An engine. Something small. She dared to glance back and saw an ATV running parallel but slightly behind the bull. The person driving it wore a green Park Service uniform.

Oh, thank God! But was he too late to distract the angry animal from trampling or goring her to death?

Ahead of her, Marlon gave a gleeful laugh and ran toward the naked edge of the gully, took one last glance behind him, then slid down the side on his ass, disappearing from sight.

Time for her to do the same, although with the way her hiking boots were gliding in the muck, she thought she’d be a lot less graceful and likely pitch headfirst over the rocky ledge.

The ATV’s motor revved, bringing it closer by the sound behind her. But she didn’t dare glance backward. The bull’s hooves were shaking the ground beneath her feet.

With her lungs and legs burning, she veered right, just as the ATV pulled into the path of the bison.

She peeked behind her again. The buffalo slowed then gave a loud chuffing grunt, trotting now behind the ATV. The ranger slowed, too, coming alongside her and reaching out an arm.

No way could she swing onto the back. She wasn’t particularly graceful, would miss by a mile, and get trampled for her efforts. She waved him away and veered toward the ravine.

Glancing backward, she watched the idiot ranger stop his ATV and begin waving his arms high over his head as he walked backward towards her.

“Get on the ATV,” he said, his voice calm as the buffalo ran several steps forward then made a little circle, which left him a few feet farther away when he halted, still grunting his warnings.

How like a man.

“I’ll take my chances in the ravine,” she snapped. “Besides, that’s where my skip went.”

“Get on the goddamn ATV! I’m trying to rescue your ass.”

“They teach you how to talk like that at ranger school?”

“Jesus Fucking Christ.”

He walked toward her, giving her Remington a hard glare.

She holstered it quickly but backed away, holding out her hands. “We’re good. The bull’s more interested in your Tonka toy than me now.”

Just then, the bull proved her right when he ducked his head and butted against the ATV, flipping it onto its side.

Contest

For a chance to win a copy of one of our previous Boys Behaving Badly Anthologies, let me know whether you’ve already pre-ordered your copy of FIRST RESPONSE!

Megan Ryder: Claiming Lyla (Contest–4 Winners!)
Friday, June 12th, 2020

UPDATE: The winners are…gift cards: Colleen C and Mary Preston; and anthology: Debra Guyette and Becky Parsons!
*~*~*

Hi! My name is Megan Ryder, and thank you for having me back on the blog for another chance to talk about my books. Today, I’m thrilled to talk a little bit about making the transition between contemporary and paranormal romance.

I’ve been writing for a long time (longer than I care to admit) and I’ve been writing contemporary romance for most of that time. I’m published with a few books including sexy baseball heroes, a matchmaking bride and her bridesmaids, and lately, cowboys. While I love all of those, my first love has always been paranormal romances, especially shifters, but I was always hesitant to make the shift (pun intended) to a new genre. When I heard about this anthology, my short story popped into my head completely formed as a prequel to my series and the perfect way to test my skills.

My story centers around a female shifter who is trapped into running from a group of alpha males who want to forcibly claim her as a mate, only to run into another alpha who offers to save her. The only problem is – he really IS her mate and she doesn’t want a mate at all.

In paranormal romance, I wanted to deal with the concept of consent, because “fated mates” being a trope in the genre often blurs the lines for consent. In this story, I wanted her to be a strong alpha female and her mate to be willing to see her that way and accept her and look for her consent, even as their natures want them to mate.

It was fun playing with the paranormal world, setting up the shifter structure and society, and dealing with the biology, too. And I slipped in something I thought was relevant to our current times.

Check out the snippet below and let me know what you think.

Contest

For my giveaway, let me know if you like the “fated mates” trope, where characters have one and only one mate for them (and often they know it and can’t fight it for long). I’m giving away 2 electronic copies of the anthology – First Response (given on release day) – and 2 $10 gift cards to Amazon.

Excerpt from “Claiming Lyla”

A she-wolf being hunted by pack males during a claiming rite is rescued by a rogue alpha determined to make her his own, despite her desire to be independent…

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly AnthologyLyla folded her arms in front of her, a defensive gesture, closing herself off from him, while plumping up her full breasts so they strained against the lace. “What do you want?”

He cocked his head at the howls growing closer. “You don’t have much time, or much of a choice, sweetheart. You either deal with me or them. And trust me, I’m the lesser of your evils.”

A laugh broke from her throat, a raw, harsh sound that held no humor. “I’d prefer none of you. Why can’t you leave me alone, you bastards? You want me to just roll over and spread my legs like a good little bitch. Well, fuck that.”

He winced at her harsh tone and steeled himself. A breeze picked up her scent and tickled his senses with it, and his cock hardened further, painfully. His wrists burned hotter under the skin, prickling like a thousand fine needles that made him want to scratch an itch. Nothing would appease the sensation, he feared. He cursed under his breath. Fuck. Not the best time to find his mate. Not here. Not in this goddamn situation. This night had just gone to shit, and now the bonds were pulling him in even tighter.

A.C. Dawn: My Writing Journey
Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

I started my writing career as a ghostwriter. It was a great way to cut my teeth and hone my craft, but the pay was abysmal, and of course, other people took the credit for my work. So, last year I finally made the leap to writing for myself, and so far, the pay hasn’t been any better, but it’s been a blast! I’m back for another Boys Behaving Badly Anthology and have several more anthologies planned for the coming year. The most fascinating part of this journey has been developing my writing process and learning about that of other authors. It’s amazing how differently everyone approaches writing. Some authors meticulously plan out their work step by intricate step. It’s like a beautiful dance in colorful illustration before the first word is even put on the page. For others, they wade in with a vague notion or idea and just see where it goes. My process lies somewhere in the middle.

Typically, I have a rough outline of where the story will go with major plot points. How I get from point to point isn’t necessarily defined. Sometimes, the storyline drives the words, but more often, I find the characters and who they want to become influences the story the most. I’ve been astonished at how some of my stories have turned out!

No one was more surprised than me when I finished my latest short story, The Invisible Goddess, about Hestia, the Greek goddess of fire, hearth, and home. I call her the forgotten Olympian because she has almost no stories about her. She’s rarely mentioned at all in the myths. So, I reinvented her with the idea to make her bolder and write a bit of romance into her hum-drum life of keeping Zeus’s court at Olympus. What I ended up with was a fiery hot goddess who brings Olympus to the brink of war over her hand and in the middle of it all, a primordial god of darkness stirring the pot, and the heroine’s heart. The god of darkness wasn’t even in my original outline of the story! This is the coolest part of writing. I love it when my imagination gets churning, and suddenly, a story that I never even realized was there materializes on the page. I look back at this short story and wonder where the heck it came from!

Aside from how writers approach the structure of their stories, I also find the logistical aspect of how authors work intriguing. Some authors write every day, 8 hours a day. It’s their job, and they treat it as such. Of course, that whole time isn’t necessarily spent spinning words onto the page of their latest and greatest novel. A lot of it is spent working social media, responding to emails, editing, and updating their website and blog. Some authors have a particular place they like to write, or they have a prewriting routine they do. Other authors don’t touch their keyboard for days or weeks. Then, they sit down and binge write for days on end. Again, I find myself somewhere in the middle.

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly AnthologyI’m not cool enough to write full time- yet! One of these days…. But for now, my writing must fit in with a full-time job as a nursing instructor, a 21-acre farm, and a family. I don’t have time for rituals or routines- other than coffee. There is always time for coffee! I fit writing in whenever and wherever. I often peck away at my keyboard at my daughter’s horse riding lessons and scribble ideas on the back of my grocery list while waiting in line at Costco. I wish I was one of those disciplined souls that would get up 2 hours early and write before work. Countless failed early morning exercise aspirations have proven that it isn’t a sound strategy for me! My main goal is to write a little bit every day. Sometimes, it’s literally a single sentence, and sometimes, when the writing gods smile upon me and the stars align, it’s pages. In the end, it always seems to come together.

Anthologies, like the latest Boys Behaving Badly with my gracious hostess, Delilah Devlin, attract me because I can write tons of different storylines, and they’re typically short story to novella lengths. I have several going at the same time. One of the other things I’ve discovered about my writing process is the stories and characters often need to marinate at different points along the way. Sometimes, we gotta give each other a bit of space! I also like to sleep on my stories. Seriously, I do my best writing as I am falling asleep. I’ll turn a particular point around and around in my head, and in that semi-dozing state, my mind forgets boundaries, conventions, and the distractions of daily life. Suddenly, the imagined world is possible and some of my best ideas have come from this technique (Ok… I’m not sure that falling asleep is a technique, but I’m going to go with it!). I’ve also utterly annihilated storylines and caused myself tons of extra rewrites because I came up with a scene that I just couldn’t live without. I guess that’s why they call it a process!

I will continue to hone my practice and do hope to transition to writing full time. I have dreams of writing full-length novels with glossy dust jackets adorned with my picture and having a fan base that stretches beyond blood relatives! For now, I’ll continue to grab the time as I can find it and inspiration where it is granted. I can’t wait to see where my journey takes me next. I hope that you’ll join me along the way!

My website and latest releases, including The Invisible Goddess coming this fall, can be found at acdawn.com or wander over to my Facebook page and follow me there!

As always, many thanks to Delilah for letting me pop in! Until next time…

Here’s a picture of my home base in north Georgia…

Two Important Notices about FREE Reads!
Sunday, May 24th, 2020

These offers have ended…
*~*~*

First Notice

For those of you who don’t know it, I curate collections of themed erotic romance. Right now, on my Collections website, I’m offering a FREE copy of one of those anthologies…

Conquests

It’s all Vikings. All over the world. And they are hot as hell! So, if you’d like to pick up a FREE copy, do it now! This offer won’t last long!

Get your FREE copy here!

Second Notice

Brian is about to leave Kindle Unlimited. So if you haven’t already snagged your free copy there, do so now!

Brian (Montana Bounty Hunters)

Get your copy here!

Reina Torres: An Idea, Some Spare Parts, and a Little Bit of Magic (Contest)
Sunday, May 17th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Pansy Petal!
*~*~*

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

My degree is in Costume Design and Construction, so I make the BIG MONEY! Just kidding, but you knew that already. What I love about costuming, especially on a big scale with a small budget, is just how creative you have to be.

I guess, when you look back at my life, my passion has been in the arts. I was a type-A student for the academics stuff, but I loved the arts. As I grew older, it wasn’t just being a dancer or an actress, the background/technical theater “stuff” became my new focus.

Now, I never made a living as a costumer, but when my son was in middle school, they did a small scale production of Pirates of Penzance. There was already a costumer on the show, but I enjoyed finding cheap alternatives for costumes… and that continued on into my son’s high school years. When they did a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I had a blast!

But I also had a huge headache!

How do you take $600 dollars and make a complete production with one seamstress (me) and my costume assistant (my son)? Well, my mother’s curtains became Peaseblossom’s bodice and hood, a bag of ripped T-shirts from Goodwill were cut into leaves for Oberon’s costume so he could hide as part of the forest…and on and on…

But my biggest “make it work” moment was Bottom’s donkey head. It started out as a random concept of putting foam on a hat and then adding the “skin.” So out I went to get foam scrap, some super glue, a yard of grey felt, and a few random odds and ends.

I had to chop the foam and stick it here and there on the baseball cap from my son’s peewee days, and then carve away the mound of foam until it looked like a donkey head. It’s a random, learn-as-you-go process, but that head cost me less than ten dollars and it was a complete labor of love…and creativity.

Now, why am I telling you all of this?

Well, writing a short story, for me, follows the same process.

Get the idea, gather some parts (plot points), and start adding in the magic. For the First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology I started with the idea…a rescue.

Firefighters. Good one.

Oh, a firefighter rescuing a firefighter. Okay…then what?

Rival firehouses? Okay…that’s good for conflict!

Maybe they knew each other in the Academy? And they were almost a thing? Okay, okay, keep it coming. And now that he…no, now that she pulled his hot ass from the frying pan…oh…someone’s getting lucky! Oh, wait! No, they both are!

Once I had those pieces together, I realized I needed more pieces. I went to a talk done by Kristin Higgins’ husband about firefighters, and when I asked him for his advice about what kind of an accident would require time off but not endanger his job or career, he answered and I’m so grateful.

All of this for a short story?

Yep! Absolutely! And writers? We do it over and over again. It’s a rush, it’s a drudge, it’s a crazy random happenstance sometimes! So, here’s hoping you’ll order your copy of First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology and discover the rollercoaster that I took Webb & Gina on!

You’ll also see them in my Center City First Responders Series! So make friends with them now!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you’ll enter the giveaway, too!

Contest

Sometimes, we have to create on the fly. A missing ingredient in a recipe. Or a Halloween costume created from some bedsheets and bungee chord? Tell me what’s a moment that made you celebrate your own creativity!!

Win your choice of one of my books, like Justice for Sloane!