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Afton Locke: Deadlocked by Dawn — Out Today!! (Excerpt)
Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Danger is sexy. Why? Pounding heart, rushing blood, a wild cry in the night. Is it danger or passion? Hard to tell because they evoke the same responses. They wake us up and put all our senses on high alert. The difference is while one can end in death, the other can lead to eternal love. Danger also makes us vulnerable. Forcing us to trust, and Delia has a big problem with that…

Deadlocked by Dawn

 Order it now on Amazon!

Other vendors: https://books2read.com/u/mBoNdv

Paradise in the Florida Keys…

After 2020, Delia Sloane struggles to keep Rainbow Falls Resort afloat while grieving the loss of her father and husband. She refuses to let her Key Largo slice of paradise—a haven for non-mainstream couples—die. But when a serial killer begins attacking her guests—leaving a single dreadlock on each victim—everything spins out of control, including what’s left of her family.

Hides a killer…

After her brother’s experience with police brutality, the last place she wants to turn to for help is law enforcement. Scarred mentally by a deadly force incident, Detective Will Peterson has avoided homicide cases. But only he has the skills to drill into the elusive killer’s twisted mind.

And it just got personal…

When a hurricane strikes, exposing the horrible truth behind Delia’s losses and threatening everything she holds dear, trusting Will may be her only hope. Are they up to the challenge?

Playlist

Escape – Rupert Holmes

Abacab – Genesis

Excerpt

Deadlocked by Dawn – Copyright © Afton Locke, 2021

They climbed the metal staircase and arrived at her door. Her hand trembled as she swiped the card key and opened it.

Will’s eyes looked electric blue in the semi-darkness, burning into her soul.

“Would you like me to come in?” he asked, his voice so husky she could barely understand him.

The throbbing magnetic pulse between them was much easier to comprehend.

She answered by grabbing his hand and pulling him inside. While he closed the door, she turned on her pineapple-shaped lamp, nearly knocking it over. She felt as if she swam underwater as he looped his arms around her waist. She locked her own behind his neck, exploring the crisp texture of his hair while they kissed again.

His hot tongue explored her mouth, making her melt at every joint, especially between her legs. The olive pantsuit she wore seemed to catch fire as her skin ignited with desire. Was it chemistry? Or the danger?

Stop. They had to stop.

She wrenched her mouth away. “I-I haven’t been with anyone since Keith.”

“There’s been no one since Amy, either.”

“Then why are we here?” she asked.

He brushed his knuckles down her cheek. “Because we need each other.”

Maybe if she hadn’t heard about the video of her father, she wouldn’t be so emotional right now. So vulnerable. It felt as if a dam had broken inside her, washing away all her control.

Every pain she’d ever suffered bubbled to the surface—Keith’s drowning, Jamal’s injury and imprisonment, her economic problems.

The force of it flooded her. Made her grab the lapels of his blazer and wrench it off. As if joining with him would cure every pain she’d ever endured. Wildness and pain filled his eyes, too. He grabbed her hips and slammed them against his pelvis. Against his steel-hard desire.

She kissed him until her lips bruised. Until the pain mixed with the losses screaming and aching inside her.

“Where’s your bedroom?” he asked, breathing hard against her cheek.

She cupped her hand over the swollen ridge behind his zipper. “We’re not going to make it that far.”

Where readers can find me
Newsletter: http://www.aftonlocke.com/mailing-list.html
Web site: http://www.aftonlocke.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AftonLockeAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/aftonlocke
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Afton_Locke
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/aftonlocke
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aftonlocke/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aftonlocke/

About the Author

Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who prefers romantic fantasies to everyday reality. Fantasies take her to different times, races, places, and beyond. She lives with her husband, several unnamed dust bunnies, and a black cat that can be scary or cuddly, depending on the current book. When she’s not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and watching retro T.V.

N.J. Walters: Cozy Winter Days
Friday, February 26th, 2021

Winters are long where I live. Since I’m not a big fan of the cold and wind, I tend to stay inside on those days and get cozy. Here are my top tips for staying comfy and content on blustery winter nights.

  1. A fire—if you have a fireplace. I don’t, but if I did, I’d have one crackling away for warmth and ambiance.
  2. A blanket or quilt. I’m a huge fan of a cozy blanket. I have a chocolate brown fuzzy one that is always draped over my legs whenever I’m curled up on the sofa.
  3. Fresh baked goods. I tend to make cookies since I can either make smaller batches or freeze some. But pie and cake work, too. You really can’t go wrong with something yummy fresh from the oven. If you don’t bake, treat yourself to a good quality chocolate bar or something from a local bakery.
  4. A hot beverage. I drink tea, not coffee, but whatever works for you is great. Some days demand hot chocolate, with marshmallows. Some nights call for a glass of amaretto. (Or whatever alcoholic beverage you enjoy.)
  5. I love slipper socks. I find them more comfortable than slippers. I have a pair that are fleece-lined and keep my toes nice and warm.
  6. A good book. There’s nothing like curling under my blanket (with my slipper socks on) enjoying a hot drink, some chocolate, and a good book while the wind howls outside. If you enjoy a sexy sci-fi romance, you might want to check out my latest release.

If you’ve read the Marks Mercenaries series, you might remember that the hero from Salvaging Abby is from Gravas, a highly secretive world with advanced technology and a kickass military. Oh, and their assassins are the best in the known universe.

Gravasian assassins are ghosts, whispers on the wind, and feared by all. Kyler el Darkos is even deadlier, more dangerous. He’s no ordinary assassin. He’s the king’s blade, answering only to the king of Gravas, his loyalty absolute. Few know of his existence. He lives and works alone. Gravasian justice is swift and brutal. His job is to see it carried out.

Kyler’s Justice
Assassins of Gravas, Book 3

Kyler el Darkos is an elite Gravasian assassin who answers only to the king of Gravas. His mission: Find Balthazar and eliminate him and any of his associates for their part in abducting the king’s son and trying to market stolen Gravasian weapons. His search has brought him to the planet of Mortis and Hell’s Gate, a bar owned by Balthazar’s father. The last thing he expects is to fall for Etta Mortis—his target’s sister—a woman who tempts him to risk his honor for a chance at love.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WC4C3TY/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1068531
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kyler-s-justice
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kylers-justice-n-j-walters/1138805287

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, assassins, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/gdblg5
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

Cindy Tanner: Trust the process
Thursday, February 18th, 2021

On a whim late last year, I decided to redo my laundry room. It wasn’t a completely unplanned project, but something I have wanted to do for the last seven years and had lacked the inspiration on what to do. I had a vague idea. Paint, add storage and much-needed organization because I was tired of tripping over things every time I stepped foot in there.

Halfway into painting my white walls teal I was having doubts. Serious doubts. I didn’t like the color. I loved the idea of teal walls but the reality had me questioning my choice. I wasn’t sure it was going to pair well with cabinets I had spent the previous three days painting white and grey. My trust in the project was gone. I was doubting my lack of a solid plan. I was ready to head back to Home Depot for new paint when my husband stopped me with a gentle reminder that I always have self-doubts right before I finish a project.

He wasn’t just talking about around-the-house projects, and his words hit me hard because I have been waffling on my latest release, which will be my third release ever. I thought the first two had taught me enough that book three would be easy. I have been dragging my feet because it isn’t only a third book. It’s the final book in my debut series and as excited as I am to move onto new works. Things that are a bit different there is something scary in the new and unknown.

Finally finishing the laundry room meant it was going to be different. New. As much as I had thought I wanted the change something deep inside me decided to fight against it at the last minute. A year of quarantine and living in the unknown didn’t help but I told myself to trust the process. I have always been an observer, a planner. Even if I don’t have an elaborate plan I’m prepared. So I finished the laundry room and I love the color. I love the color more than I thought I would and now doing laundry is a bit more fun.

Somehow, it was harder to trust my process for writing. When it comes to writing, I’m a pantser. When I try to plot and outline, my characters laugh and decide to mutiny and do their own thing. I have learned the hard way that my characters are as stubborn as I am. Probably more. So the doubt I experienced with Say You’ll Be Mine was fierce. Once the manuscript was done, I reviewed my release plan. Then scrapped it and made a new improved plan. Doubted that one too so I made another. (Do you see the pattern?)

I didn’t trust my process. I chucked my process out the window. Now I’m left with the comical aftermath of where it is plan to see I need to listen to my own advice and trust my process. I can say with conviction that I have learned my lesson!

Say You’ll Be Mine

Nona Walker is living a lie.

The petite beauty is a force of nature, all unapologetic sass and in your face honesty. Or so it appears. Beneath the surface, a fear of history repeating itself and bringing pain to those closest to her lingers. Love and loyalty drive Nona to keep the people she cares about at arm’s distance, especially her hot and handy coworker.

A true romantic, Ben Booker has been harboring a not-so-secret crush on Nona. The time he has spent working side by side with Nona has proved no other woman can capture his attention.

Can Ben convince her to claim the happily-ever-after she doesn’t feel she deserves?

Get your copy here!

Sierra Brave: Scarlett and the Big Bad (Excerpt)
Monday, February 15th, 2021

Hello Readers,

I’m Sierra Brave, author of the Horse Mountain Shifters series. I’m excited to be back on Delilah Devlin’s blog today to share an excerpt from my upcoming paranormal romance. Scarlett and the Big Bad is a fantasy Red Riding Hood retelling but also the first in a three-book series filled with magic, romance, danger, and angst.

Most everyone knows the original story of Little Red Riding Hood, but Scarlett Capuche, the heroine in my book, is a young woman, who in some ways is as naïve as the original. Imagine being raised away from society and only being taught what your captures want you to know?

I imagine everyone remembers the old lines of “What big eyes you have, Grandmother!” The only elderly matriarch in Scarlett and The Big Bad isn’t exactly on her side, but the (were)wolf is much more open with his intentions. He does reveal something huge to her though…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s a fun little compare and contrast:

 

Scarlett and the Big Bad
Fated Fairytales 1

What if Red Riding Hood invited peril, and the big bad wolf was the only hero who could save her?

Promised power and position, Scarlett Capuche left her tiny village to join the prestigious Order of the Phoenix.

Monty Blackwolf never wanted a mate, especially not a human raised on a hidden farm for blood-ritual sacrifice. But his werewolf’s heightened sense of smell drew him to Scarlett’s sweet fragrance from miles away.

Duty-bound to protect her, he will break her of her religious devotion to the magical terrorist group responsible for the murders of his parents and older brother, even if he has to put her over his knee and turn her bottom as red as her hair.

She belongs to him now, and he will claim all of her despite his affliction with a unique, third shifter-form he doesn’t fully understand and isn’t able to control.

Will Monty save Scarlett, or will he prove more dangerous to her than anyone else?

Author’s Note: If you’re offended by steamy fairytale retellings with graphic language, explicit put-you-in-the-moment love scenes, elements of power exchange, and domestic discipline, you might want to look for a different book.

Buy Links:
(Available for pre-order until release date 3/9/21)
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VS2SS2N
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VS2SS2N/
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKyePP

Excerpt from Scarlett and the Big Bad

As she relaxed against him, his heart drummed against her back, the beat syncing with hers. The lump in her throat dissolved as her chest rose and fell with his.

She stared at the ceiling. The lights appeared to blur as she mewed and groaned. His hands, big and rough, worshiped her skin, every inch touched, washed, tenderly explored but never exploited. After a while, Scarlett blinked and stretched, realizing the naked girl staring at her was her reflection. Monty patted her dry as she sat on the edge of the tub.

“What happened?” Her heart pounded as confusion nipped at her brain.

Standing with only a towel wrapped around his hips, his six firm abdominals close to her eye level, he shrugged. “We had a bath. I think you might have dozed off a little. It’s been a long day.”

She tapped her finger against her lip as he hung up the wet towels before grabbing a fresh one. She most certainly had not been asleep. Now back in her right mind, she remembered every slight movement of his hand, every turn of his fingertips, the coiling in her stomach as the tantalizing sensations coaxed forth primal feelings she’d never imagined she’d possessed. She recalled breathing in his scent so deeply she could taste it even as they laved the fragrance away, and she had fantasized about him manhandling her, forcing her legs open and entering her even though he had not.

About Sierra

Sierra Brave is a multi-published author of heart-pounding, blush-inducing romance with put-you-in-the-moment love scenes. She enjoys writing about a variety of gorgeous alpha males who can’t resist head-strong heroines. Curvy girls have a special place in her heart and often grace the pages of her books. Tales of shifters, cowboys, twisted fairy tales, space pirates, Amazon warriors, and vampires capture her imagination as do tempting spanking and ménage scenarios, but she also engages in more down-to-earth themes such as office romance. You’ll find lots of unique characters and humor in all of her stories.

Follow Sierra:
Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/7332d9f55a11/blushing-press-sign-up-page
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sierra-Brave-Author-1422713414692067
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sierrabraveauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BraveSierra
BookSprout: https://booksprout.co/author/2937/sierra-brave
Blog: https://sierrabrave.rocks/news-and-musings/
Website: https://sierrabrave.rocks/

Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Valentine’s Day (Contest)
Friday, February 12th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Colleen C!
*~*~*

©Diana Cosby 2021

Valentine’s Day is muse-inspiring for romance, but it seems nature is inspired by the theme of ‘Love’ as well.

During this time-frame, I’ve noticed that foxes like other animals are more attentive to their mates.

Deer along with other wildlife are pairing up as romance is in the air.

It’s neat to see birds tending to their mates and bringing them special treats.

I also notice during this romantic season that birds tend to keep in close proximity to their mates, plus help them build nests for spring.

Take care, and wishing each of you a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Contest

 ***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Inspiration From Nature – Valentine’s Day,’ on Delilah’s blog between 12 February 2021– 21 February 2021.  The winner will receive a signed copy of His Destiny, book #4 in the bestselling The MacGruder Brothers Series.

About the Author

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

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series and The Oath Trilogy, she released the bestselling The Forbidden Series.

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

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
The Forbidden Series

Jaap Boekestein: To Dance (Contest–Two Winners!)
Monday, February 1st, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Katherine Horvath and Peggy Fowler!
*~*~*

I like dancers. Those beautiful movements, the expressions, the costumes, the emotion, and yes, the bodies, too. Like any art form, dance is a way of communicating. A story is told, and I love stories. I wrote three fantasy novels about three dancing half-sisters and how they lived in a city full of scoundrels, wizards, and monsters.

There was a time, about fifteen years back, when I went to dance performances, mainly belly dancing. That habit bled to death for various reasons (time, a relationship, et cetera). Usually, I went to a festival in which various acts performed. I learned that there are also male belly dancers. And apparently, I have the belly for it!

Once there was a single female performance in the Regentes Theatre in the Dutch city of Den Haag (I’m a Dutchie for those who didn’t know). The theatre is located in an old swimming pool, and it still has a lot of the original 1920s Art Deco elements.

Most people think that belly dancing is a bit of shaking with the belly, pelvis, breasts, and butt, and yes, those elements are there for sure, but of course, it is much more. Belly dancing consists of all kinds of movements and traditions, from various cultures. There is also room for modern dance types from jazz ballet to house. I once saw a Russian dancer do her belly dance to house music, and it was totally worth it.

But back to the performance I witnessed… I sat in the front row, partly for room for my legs, partly to get a good look. There was no partition; the dance floor started immediately. For those of us in the front row, our feet rested on the dance floor.

Dark room, a single spot. A beautiful, tall dark-haired lady entered. Lebanese? Something like that. Melancholic music began, the dance began. Her performance stood for her life story, or the story of her family. After all these years, the details are getting a bit vague. Anyways, that night she combined belly dancing with modern experimental dance.

She was good. Love, marriage, children, quarrels, loneliness, hope, the threat of war and flight, passion…  She brought everything to life, caught in the spotlight that followed her. The audience was carried away, without words, without explanation, just by the enchantment of the music and her dance.

The light was now red in color, the music more challenging, her movements voluptuous. A scene in a nightclub from a strip show? Yes, something like that. Lust. Sex. She wiggled her butt, looked over her shoulders at her audience.

Swallow. Yes. Good art plays with your emotions. Art or pleasure, and she used both to play with us.

Big me, short hair, broad shoulders, a head like a rock. Knife scars running from my right ear to my chin. There I was, sitting in the front row, massive between the frail ladies and wiry gentlemen. Who go to dance performances? Mainly dancers, professional, hobby, former and whatever dancers. A dancing public. I was the very clear exception. I’m not a dancer. I’m a writer.

She looked at me. I looked back, appreciative.

She came over to me with swaying her hips.

Something snorted inside me. It came out like a grin. Nostrils open, muscles tense. Control is nice, but feeling the inner beast is fun, too.

At the last moment, less than half a step away, she turned and sat down.

Her butt on my lap, her legs over mine.

There, trapped together in the spot. Beauty and the Beast. Agility exposed on that massive hump of meat and bones.

She turned, squirmed, she danced while sitting.

I kept my hands at my sides. If it had been just the two of us, I would have grabbed and played with her. But there was an audience, so I didn’t, and she knew I would not. Damn, women aren’t crazy. She knew and enjoyed the power she had.

Me, too. Standing on the edge, just not letting go of the beast… That’s nice, too.

She jumped up again; the lap dance was over. She threw me a kiss, and I returned it with a grin. Like a twisting flame, she turned farther up the floor, on her way to the next part of her life story.

Jump after it! Stamp exaggerated, big gestures, big strides. A troll and a fairy. Do it! She would whirl around me, and I would chase her like a golem.

No, I didn’t. It was her performance. Not mine, I told myself. Besides, I wasn’t that brave. No. I didn’t dare, although deep in my heart I wished I had.

In the end, the performance was over.

I went home happy, melancholy, full of creative energy.

Once I went to dance performances.

One day, we’ll go again.

We? Yes. She and I. No, not her, not the dancing lady. Another special lady, but that’s another story.

Contest

Comment for a chance to win a copy of First Response! I’ll choose two winners!

About the Author

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Inside First Response, read “Save Me Twice” by Jaap Boekestein – Playing with handcuffs leads to unexpected and sexy consequences for a timid office worker when she loses the key.

Jaap Boekestein is an award-winning Dutch writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and whatever takes his fancy. He usually writes his stories in the coffeehouses of his native The Hague, the Netherlands. Over the years he has made his living as a bouncer, working for a detective agency, and the Justice Department.

Ava Cuvay: What a Dragon Wants… is Balance (Contest)
Friday, January 29th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Eniko, Misty, Colleen, bn100, Debra, and Fedora!
*~*~*

I’m a Sci-fi Romance Writer. Or, at least, I was.

But then an Earth-bound dragon-shifter story idea knocked at my brain, and I had to write it. Because, you know… dragon-shifters!

The idea was a Viking shifter and a Chinese shifter come together to battle a prophesized World Destroyer. An East-meets-West story with a strong emphasis on the concept of yin and yang (and fortune cookies) and rich with references to the two cultures.

No biggie, right? Except for the small detail that, aside from my avid support of a local Chinese restaurant, I know nothing about that culture. And even less about Vikings. Or Minnesota, where the Viking clan now live. Or LA, where my story takes place…

When I write my alien-planets-filled-with-alien-creatures books, I get to just make stuff up for the most part. But not with What a Dragon Wants. Oh, my… I was going to have to research for my story. Not just a quick Google of a few details, either. This was gonna involve intense research. I had to be thorough. I had to be accurate.

And most importantly, I had to be sensitive.

I wasn’t crafting some culture from the weird synapses in my brain; I was trying to convey cultures that actually exist (or have existed) on this Earth. The suspension of disbelief would be narrower and the readers less forgiving if I got it wrong. And there are soooo many ways to screw up!

Critique Partners were important, and Sensitivity Readers were crucial. I inquired around my small network and found several kind souls willing to help in this endeavor. Heck, one day subbing at the local High School, I walked into the Mandarin teacher’s room during passing period and did the whole “you don’t know me, but I have a huge favor to ask” awkwardness. Probably not my finest five-minutes, but I was desperate to get the Chinese culture right.

I’m so grateful for all the comments and suggestions I received from my Critique Partners and Sensitivity Readers. I always am, as they help make my story the best it can be. And in the particular case of What a Dragon Wants, they certainly caught several places where I had proverbially stepped in it.

Did we catch everything? Probably not.

Will someone with a greater or more astute knowledge of these cultures find fault in my story? Possibly.

Did I attempt to craft an interesting, sexy, multi-cultural paranormal story that is entertaining, sprinkled with humor, and not grossly offensive? Absolutely.

The theme of yin and yang—of balance—runs through my story. The same theme also applies to how well I incorporated the aspects of my various cultures with the made-up story of my dragon-shifters and their world-ending-prophesy. And, while only time (and my readers) will tell if I accomplished this balance, it was a fun challenge and an exciting, somewhat nerve-wracking, endeavor.

G I V E A W A Y!

Comment on this blog, and I’ll pick five random winners to receive either a Kindle ebook or a signed paperback (US only) of my What a Dragon Wants novella. Then you can tell me how well I managed to balance it all. 🙂

Ebook available exclusively on Amazon KU and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TB8C2GZ/
Print available at multiple online retailers.

About Ava Cuvay 

Ava Cuvay writes out of this world romance featuring sassy heroines, gutsy heroes, passion, and adventure… often set in a galaxy far, far away. She resides in central Indiana with her own scruffy-looking nerfherder and kiddos who remind her daily she’s not as cool and hip as she thinks. She believes life is too short to bother with negative people, everything is better with Champagne, and Han Solo shot first. When not writing, Ava is thinking about writing. Or wine. And she’s always thinking about bacon.

Website: https://avacuvay.com/books/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Ava-Cuvay/e/B01E5OIZ0I/
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15051407.Ava_Cuvay
Facebook: https://facebook.com/AvaCuvayAuthor/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ava-cuvay