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Archive for 'historical romance'



Michal Scott: African-American Opera: My Latest Rabbit Hole (Contest)
Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Going down the rabbit hole is what we authors call picking up a thread of research that takes us away from our intended purpose. My latest is African-American opera. What got me started was my quest to track down a modern adaptation of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold. I learned of an African-American version where James Brown’s first gold record is the gold stolen in the opera. Looking for information on that performance has taken me down many paths in my latest rabbit hole. Before my quest, I’d have had to admit my knowledge of opera depicting aspects of African-American life was limited to the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Scott Joplin’s Tremonisha. I soon became lost in the wonderful facts I discovered about old and new works. And truth be told, I loved being lost.

My rabbit hole was really a gold mine. I struck a rich vein every time I began a new internet search. I’ve learned about modern works like Tulani and Anthony Davis’ X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X that premiered at the American Music Theater Festival in 1985. Last year, the Seattle Opera performed Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a daring piece that incorporated jazz and opera.

This month I learned about 1949’s Troubled Island by composer William Grant Still. You can learn more about the piece here…

In 1936, Still began the opera set in Haiti’s slave rebellion. He asked poet Langston Hughes to write the libretto. Hughes had collaborated with African American composer James P. Johnson to write a blues opera called De Organizer. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union sponsored performances of the work in 1940. In 1937, Hughes moved to Spain to correspond on the Spanish Civil War. Still’s wife, Verna Arvey, a librettist in her own right, finished Troubled Island‘s libretto. Completed in 1939, it took ten more years before the work was performed by the New York City Opera. This made Troubled Island the first African-American grand opera to be produced by a major opera company.

I was drawn to learn more about William Grant Still, the music of Langston Hughes, Verna Arvey, James P. Johnson, famous sponsors of work by African-American artists. Can you see why research is an underground rabbit warren from which I might have never returned to the story that initiated the search in the first place? I plugged up my ears against the siren call of all these facts and made my way back to the surface. I’ve tucked the information away for another time and other stories.

I’ve yet to find the James-Brown-gold-record version of Das Rheingold but I haven’t given up. If you come across it or any information about it, please let me know. But beware lest you fall into a rabbit hole research trap of your own.

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments if you have a favorite opera or if opera is something you avoid at all costs.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman is his mate foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt from One Breath Away

“Caesar King?”

He removed his hat and extended his hand in greeting. “At your service, Queen.”

She donned her hat and examined him with that regal air.

“Miss Payne, if you please. You may call me Queen after the nuptials.” She finished tying her hat’s long ribbons beneath her chin. “Although, even then, I’d prefer Mrs. King.”

“You don’t say?” He chuckled, taking her measure from head to foot. “Well, Miss Payne it is…for now.”

She filled her face with a frown. “I don’t appreciate being examined like some newly purchased cow, Mr. King.”

He pulled back. Amusement wrestled with annoyance. “I’m making sure you measure up, Miss Payne.”

“Pray to what criteria? I doubt there’s a standard for marriages of convenience.” She shoved her valise against his chest then crossed her arms, causing her lovely bosom to swell.

He inhaled against the pull of desire throbbing in his privates. “The same criteria as you I suspect: my own self-worth and what I deserve.” He dropped the bag at her feet. “So, by that token, I don’t appreciate being treated like some fetch-and-carry boy.”

She lowered her gaze. But for the set of her jaw he’d have taken the gesture for apology.

He leaned forward and whispered, “If you ask me nicely, I’d gladly carry your bag.”

“A gentleman wouldn’t need to be asked.” Her tone dripped with disdain. “A gentleman would simply take it.”

“I do many things, Miss Payne.” He pushed up the brim of his hat and grinned, fired up by the hazel flame sparking in her eyes. “Pretending to be a gentleman doesn’t number among them.”

Buy links: Amazon – https://amzn.to/2VT5u0F

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

It’s Saturday! What are you reading? (Contest–2 Winners!)
Saturday, February 6th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Beckie and Eileen Airey!
*~*~*

It’s too bad the only Saturday song I can think of is Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park”—because I detest it. I know, there are Chicago fans out there, but I’m not one of them. But Saturday needs a theme song, don’t you think?

And it can’t be this one either… *shudder*


Now, you can thank me for the ear worm. 🙂

But it is Saturday! For me, it doesn’t mean much work-wise (every day is a workday), but it does mean the kids don’t have online schoolwork, so I’ll be seeing them in my office a heck of lot more. Argh.

Now, if I had time on my schedule to read a book today—I don’t! I’m editing and reading shorties for the anthology—I would likely pick up a book I’ve already read. One of my “comfort reads”, like Johanna Lindsey’s Warrior’s Woman or Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard, or maybe Julie Garwood’s Saving Grace. I have a single shelf of books I’ve read over the years that I consider my comfort reads. Okay, I think I’d read this one:

It was the first Sci-Fi romance I ever read, and I shared it with the ladies I bunked with during Desert Storm. That copy was so dog-earred by the time I returned home—LOL!

Anyway, for a chance to win your choice of stories from my backlist, tell me what you’re reading this weekend, and whether you have any comfort reads you’d like to share with other readers!

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

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

Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Wildlife (Contest)
Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

UDPATE: The winner is…Linda Richter!
*~*~*

©Diana Cosby 2021

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  I love writing, and continually find inspiration from nature.

I’m amazed at the huge variety of wildlife where I live, and I look forward to seeing what nature photos I can take on my walks.

Every so often, I’m able to get close-up photos of hawks, birds, and other animals.  Being only a few feet away from wildlife is an amazing feeling.

Seeing and photographing wildlife is a relaxing pastime, one that refills my muse.

With the celebration of the new year, I look forward to what wildlife I’ll come across next.  What wildlife do you like to see?

Contest

***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Inspiration From Nature – Wildlife,’ on Delilah’s blog between 3 January 2021– 10 January 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

Lizzie Ashworth: A Holiday Gift for You! (FREE Books!)
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Hi Delilah Fans!

The holiday season is always a time for raw nerves and overwrought emotions. I for one am susceptible to depression, that kind of misery that makes you want to never leave your bedroom. Maybe it’s natural that when the days are their shortest, our energy levels will sink as well. The weather is cold (for most of us), the nights last forever, and our culture’s coping skills involve spending money we can’t afford.

Over the years, I’ve found relatively inexpensive ways to celebrate the season without going to great expense. One year I solicited donations from a few friends to purchase and have delivered a new range for a neighbor with six kids and no functional oven. Other years I baked cookies and candies to share with neighbors and friends. I always try to send out Christmas cards with a short note updating friends about my past year.

This year, besides a joyful week with all three adult kids at home, cookies for neighbors, Zooming with siblings and their kids, and a nice meal for my 97-year old mom, what I’m giving you are some free stories to snuggle up with. Some are naughtier than others, but among them, I hope you find something that makes your day a little brighter. Here’s the line-up:

 
 

Holiday Journey: Follow the chance encounter of two travelers stranded in an airport just before Christmas. The attraction is instantaneous but even though he’s willing, she’s wary. Novelette Make it yours at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/675289, set your own price.

Christmas Hideaway:  Caryn hadn’t expected a snowstorm when she hid away in a remote cabin to lick her wounds. She also hadn’t expected an overbearing park ranger to confront her. But the snow kept falling and the temperature kept dropping, trapping her at his cabin. What could possibly go wrong? Novella Make it yours at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/685194, set your own price.

A Taste of Love: Senna and Teutonius, both enslaved Celts serving their Roman masters at a remote encampment in occupied Britain, manage to exchange warm greetings amid holiday duties. Short Story Make it yours at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/759904.

His Only Love: An enslaved Greek, hopelessly in love with the Roman commander, finds a moment of pleasure with a slave of his own before facing the wrath of his beloved. [Explicit gay sex, BDSM.] Novelette Make it yours at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/759899.

A Gift for Jarrod: A young man enters a training academy for submissives, anxious to understand his unusual desires. His Christmas couldn’t be more wonderfully unexpected. [Explicit BDSM] Novella  Make it yours at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/383857.

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Lizzie Ashworth

Diana Cosby: My Favorite Inspiration from Nature Photos of 2020 (Contest)
Friday, December 18th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Beckie!
*~*~*

©Diana Cosby 2020

Cooper’s Hawk

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

I love taking nature photos, it’s an enjoyable pastime, one that refills my muse.  Today I’d like to share some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken this year.  I hope you enjoy.

As I walk through the woods or along the marsh it’s always wonderful to come across deer. They’re beautiful and have such an amazing presence.

On rare occasions, I see foxes, which makes when I do see them, extra special.  This spring I had the honor of seeing a pair of foxes with their kit.

Baltimore Oriole

Bluebird

Cardinal

There is such a huge variety of birds where I live, I never know what I’m going to see.

Turkey

Turkey Vulture

Ruddy Turnstone

This year was the first time I saw a turkey in the wild and was able to get a photo.  A few weeks ago, a Turkey Vulture land in a tree near me.  They’re huge and this one had about a six-foot wingspan.  In addition to seeing my first ever Ruddy Turnstone, I had to share at least one photo of bees. 🙂

Living near the ocean, in the salt air, the sunrises are gorgeous.  What is your favorite nature memory of 2020?

Contest

ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘My Favorite Inspiration from Nature Photos of 2020,’ on Delilah’s blog between 18 December 2020 – 27 December 2020.  The winner will receive a mug.

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