Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'short story'



Readers and Authors: What do you want to see next? (Contest)
Saturday, May 18th, 2019

I love working on anthologies: crafting the call for authors’ submissions, reading their entries, selecting the stories that “fit” best together, editing them, and then, seeing them go out into the world for readers to enjoy. Getting to know authors—some old friends accepting a fun challenge, newbies who are excited about their first publication—is hugely rewarding for me.

So far, these are the books in the Boys Behaving Badly series. I want to continue with this overarching theme, because it’s fun! And for readers, it’s a great deal! All of the books are stuffed full of sexy short stories and only $0.99 per download! So, they’re not a huge moneymaker, but that’s not the goal here. We, the authors, want to be read!

Rogues Blue Collar
Pirates Stranded
 

So, now that my latest, Stranded, is out in the world, I’m ready to start thinking about what’s next…

I could use your help.

I have one idea that a friend and reader, Fedora, gave me for “First Response”, which would be about cops, EMTs, firefighters, Flight for Life folks, Coast Guard teams, etc. I think there’s plenty of good stories authors could have fun with there. Thinking about it, I can imagine what a first responder in a galactic rescue might look like, or men passing buckets during a fire in the 1800s, so the theme doesn’t have to limit the genre.

But I would like to consider other options as well. So, my challenge to you is help me find my next anthology theme. If you have a new idea, great! If you want to approve Fedora’s “First Response” idea, that’s great, too!

And authors, if there’s a theme you’d love to write a short story for, offer up the idea! Let’s have some fun!

Contest

Comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Sam Heathers: “Too Deep” from STRANDED (Contest)
Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Flechen1!
*~*~*

I am so excited to be included in Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology. For the most part, I don’t consider myself a fiction writer. I’m a lawyer. I started working with fiction as a way to improve my legal writing. But the more I do it, the more I love it. I saw the call for submissions just three days before they were due, and my mind started racing with different ideas. That night, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was mulling over scenarios and concepts, most of them involving heroines being professionally stranded.

Then, the nugget of an undercover officer popped into my head.

I wish I could say I had a classy, magical inspiration for the idea. I didn’t. It was a movie. A bad one. Like, one that’s so bad I’m a little embarrassed. It was 2 Fast 2 Furious. At least it wasn’t Tokyo Drift.

Fortunately, that meant that when the idea of an undercover officer came to me, an image of a heroine came with it—Eva Mendes’s character. I jotted down the idea (I knew I wouldn’t fall asleep if I didn’t) and laid back down.

As I waited for the bus the next morning, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to submit the story. I’d never done anything like this before, and I was nervous about trying to get a story together in just two days. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I figured I had to give it a shot. I hopped on the bus, pulled out a notepad, and mapped out the beats on the way to work.

My writing process wasn’t anything special either. After work, I sat down at my computer and started following my outline. It was a late night, but productive—I got the first draft done a little after midnight. The next day, my significant other read the draft and loved it. We chatted about ideas and edits, and I spent the second night fixing the draft up. The next morning, I did some fine-tuning and sent it in.

The one thing I would say was different about this, was how much fun I had. In a sense, I write for a living day-in and day-out. It can be difficult to come back home and keep writing. I’ve been in the middle of writing a few different novels for ages, and it’s tough to find the energy to return. But with an idea I knew I liked, a tight word limit, and a quick turnaround, I was excited the entire time. When I finished, I felt like I had a fun, enjoyable romp, which is everything I wanted from it.

Sam Heathers

Excerpt from “Too Deep”

When an undercover officer loses her handlers in the outside world, she must trust the top lieutenant of a gun-running gang to survive

Stranded

“Pick up, pick up, pick up.” I paced the park walkway with a burner to my ear, trying to will Frank to answer. Five rings. Ten. After the twentieth, the phone system cancelled the call. This had already happened twice in the last ten minutes.

Frank hadn’t shown up to a meet for three weeks. For the last two, his voicemail had picked up after four rings. This week, no voicemail.

I glanced around the park as I sat down. Normally, I opted for the cheaper flip-phone burners. But with Frank’s disappearance, I bought the more expensive smartphone and a data card.

After opening an Internet browser, I typed FRANK HASNA and hit search. Random results, nothing helpful.

I drew a deep breath and added…OBITUARY.

The first link delivered a nightmare. The article was from three days ago. Frank was dead.

Shit.

I dialed the number for the local Bureau office. “Agent Drew Bowers,” I said before the operator finished answering.

After some clicks and annoying hold music, another voice answered, “Vice Unit.”

“Agent Bowers.”

“Agent Bowers isn’t with the Bureau anymore.”

Frank hadn’t told me that. Why the hell hadn’t Frank said anything? “Where did he go?”

“Can I help you?”

“You can tell me where the fuck Agent Bowers went.”

“I’m not at liberty to—”

I hung up.

Shit. I was stranded.

Stranded. That’s what we call it when an undercover cop is left without contacts. When I went undercover, I gave up everything. What I got in return was a new identity. New social security card. New driver’s license. New rap sheet. The point was to make the old me disappear.

Two people knew who I really was: Frank Hasna and Drew Bowers. Frank was my primary contact—my old Captain. Drew, my Bureau contact. If anything happened to one, I could reach the other. They were the only two people who could get me back to my real life.

But once in a while, agents’ contacts died, leaving the agents to fend for themselves. Sometimes, they made it back alive. Other times, the script stops being an act—the undercover embraces the life and is lost. And sometimes, the jig is up. That’s when we get killed.

My other phone buzzed and brought me back to reality. I looked at the burner, hoping. No such luck.

Meet at the warehouse in an hour.

I put my phone back in my pocket, took the battery out of the burner, and threw it in the last trash can on the way out of the park. I carried the burner another block and tossed it in a dumpster.

Shit.

Get your copy of Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology here!

Contest

Head to Delilah’s Collections to enter to win a signed copy of this book! 
Rogues: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology!

Rogues

Get STRANDED for free! Plus, contests you don’t want to miss!
Saturday, May 4th, 2019

A reminder!

These contests are still open! Enter to win before they close!

  1. Diana Cosby: The Beauty of Spring (Contest)
  2. Reina Torres: Getting It On & Getting Off (Contest)
  3. Michal Scott: “Put It in a Book” from STRANDED (Contest)

*~*~*~*

I’m just popping in to tell you that STRANDED is now available in Kindle Unlimited for FREE! So, if you haven’t purchased a copy but would like to read it, pick it up now! Although, I do think the $0.99 price is very, very, very low!

And I hope that once you’ve read the book, that you’ll take a minute or two to post a review. Readers trust other readers to steer them right! Let them know how much you enjoyed it and what stories you loved best! I did my utmost to curate stories from a wide variety of genres and from authors with unique voices. I hope you found an author or two you’ll want to follow.

Click on the cover to get your copy now!

Stranded

STRANDED: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY is out today! (Contest & Excerpt)
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Booklady!
*~*~*

It’s finally here! 322 pages of goodness! My latest anthology, filled with wonderful stories—some action-packed, some poignant, some funny! All of them are sexy! I can’t wait to hear what you all think. And after you’ve had a chance to dive in, I want to hear what you’d like to see me do next. My plan is to publish at least one a year, depends on how busy I am. As always. 🙂

Anyway, I’ll give you an overview of the book then an excerpt from my shorty, which is a prequel to another Montana Bounty Hunters story (to be written soon!). My entry is entitled “Quincy Down Under”, and you’ll get the joke/double entendre when you read it. LOL

And there’s a contest, of course! You’ll have a second chance to win if you head over to the Collections website and comment there, too!

Contest

Comment for a chance to win a download of one of the full-size books below. You can tell me whether you love short stories. Tell me what theme you’d like to see for the next one. Or just ramble about what you’ll be doing while you’re reading the sexy shorties in this collection (passing time in a dentist’s office, reading sexy stories to your significant other in bed at night, etc.). Just be sure to comment!

Here’s what you might win (click on the covers to learn more):

Rogues Blue Collar Pirates

Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Stranded

Get it in Print or eBook!

The stories inside…

A Stranger’s Kiss by A.C. Dawn – Sparks in the sky ignite an inferno when a millionaire bad boy rescues a struggling romance writer stranded in an airport

Shelter from the Storm by A.J. Harris – A rogue super soldier and an ocean-dwelling scout discover the keys to surviving enemy soldiers and giant super-storms on their flooded world may be each other

Reviving Artemis by Ara Geller – Defying her alpha’s direct orders, a young warrior braves a pack of hunting werewolves to finally claim her Mate

Quincy Down Under by Delilah Devlin – A bounty hunter following a lead is trapped in an underground-bunker-turned-beauty-salon with a pretty beautician

Rescuing Alaska by Elle James – A Coast Guardsman on an Alaskan fishing trip jumps into frigid waters and dares a bear-ridden island to rescue a beautiful deckhand

Hourglass by Kenzie Mathews – With danger all around them, time-hopping graduate students find it hard to keep their clothes on while their time machine glitches

Out of This World by Kimberly Dean – When an astronaut is stranded without a research partner, her mission’s bad boy commander volunteers to help her complete her studies…on sex in space

Burning Stars by Kimberly Lithe – Heated glances and flirtatious banter ignite into a fever pitch when a mechanic aboard a stranded starship looks for her rescue from an intergalactic criminal

Switching Call by Lucrecia Christina – Stranded in a field, a tow truck driver learns from his sassy rescuer that there’s more to getting stuck in the mud than spinning tires

A Change in Predicament by Melanie Jayne – A doctor with a death wish and a history of bad decisions uses her wits to survive a kidnapping by the wounded leader of a dangerous gang

Put it in a Book by Michal Scott – Trapped in a book by a sorcerer for rejecting his sexual advances, an ex-slave’s daughter discovers one hope of rescue – a nosy thief

Undercover Lover by N.J. Walters – A DEA agent working undercover as a waitress in a dangerous biker bar is stranded without backup until a man from her past walks in

Too Deep by Sam Heathers – When an undercover officer loses her handlers in the outside world, she must trust the top lieutenant of a gun-running gang to survive

Going Down by Sukie Chapin – One broken elevator, one sexy boss, one hot night…maybe falling isn’t so bad after all

An Excerpt from “Quincy Down Under”

Meet my heroine…

“Looks like a damn hickey,” the elderly beauty operator said in her raspy voice as she set the straightening wand in its metal stand.

Tamara Adams rose from the seat at Miss Gracie’s station and leaned closer toward the marquee lights. Yup, the tender mark on her neck did indeed look like a love bite. She touched her finger to the burn and hissed.

“A little aloe vera will fix you right up,” Miss Gracie said and rummaged through a drawer to pick up a tube that looked to be twenty years old and squeezed of all its precious cream.

Tamara bit back a grimace and waved the woman away. “Thank you so much for straightening the back of my hair, but I’ll take care of the burn. You have a dinner at the senior center. Don’t want to be late,” she sang.

Miss Gracie’s eyebrows shot halfway up her forehead. “Thanks for reminding me.” She quickly retrieved her purse from her bottom drawer and headed toward the door leading out of the beauty shop.

The older woman glanced down at the cinder block holding the door open then gave Tamara a pointed stare. Tamara waved her hand in acknowledgement of the issue she still hadn’t addressed, and then held her breath as the woman slowly climbed the steep steps. Miss Gracie disappeared into the sunlight that filtered down the metal staircase—the only natural lighting in Tamara’s tiny shop.

When she was alone, Tamara moved toward her own station, her Sketchers sticking to the misting of hairspray that always surrounded Miss Gracie’s chair, making a sound reminiscent of Squidward’s tentacles.

She opened her own drawer, pulled out a tube of concealer, then did her best to mask the nasty red burn. So, maybe she should have treated it with antibiotic cream first, but she planned to hit Slim ’n’ Shorty’s for a drink as soon as she finished cleaning up and counting her earnings for the day.

Tamara snorted. Wouldn’t take a minute to empty her cash drawer. Miss Gracie’s elderly clients, the ones who could make it down the steep steps, had been the only customers that day.

Staring into her well-lit mirror, Tamara didn’t get it. She was a walking advertisement for her skills. Her messy-wavy, chin-length bob was all the rage in Hollywood. The platinum color with the lone rose-pink streak was flawless.

But she knew the problem was the location of her shop, and the fact she needed more noticeable signage for customers to even find it. Again, she snorted.

Hell, a billboard wouldn’t be enough to convince women to make the trek down into her doomsday-bunker-turned-hair-salon.

Footsteps sounded on the metal staircase, and she whirled, excited that she’d have at least one paying customer this day. However, the huge man descending the steps wiped her smile away. There was something about him that told her he was trouble. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled. She’d have to remember to take a razor to them later.

Read the rest of this entry »

Print is available now–eBook drops Tuesday! And I have a blurb!
Sunday, April 28th, 2019

I just wanted to let you know that the print version of this book
is available now for purchase–and the eBook, all 320 pages is just $0.99!

Also, be sure to head over to the Collections website. For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing excerpts and giving away prizes! You won’t want to miss a day, so subscribe and be sure to get the posts delivered to your inbox! Collections website

Stranded
Stranded

Pre-order eBook! (releases Tuesday!)
Order print version!

Women alone, unsure and in trouble… Real heroes showing up when a woman needs a little help…

Do you crave stories about savvy, capable women who suddenly find themselves in challenging circumstances—vulnerable to the elements or their situation? Love those stories even more when their fear is surpassed by attraction, and they become vulnerable in different ways…sexy ways?

Here’s just a glimpse of the stories you’ll find in STRANDED…

Inside these tales you’ll find damsels in distress, but they aren’t weak and waiting to be saved. These women are determined to save themselves. In Sam Heathers’ “Too Deep”, an undercover officer loses her handlers and is forced to trust a top lieutenant in a gun-running gang to survive. A woman trapped in a book by a sorcerer is rescued by a thief in Michal Scott’s “Put It in a Book.” In “Rescuing Alaska” by Elle James, a Coast Guardsman leaps into the frigid Alaskan waters then braves a bear-ridden island to save a woman swept overboard during a storm. You’ll find astronauts discovering love in the International Space Station, genetically-enhanced humans struggling to survive in a flooded world, werewolves warring with an outlaw clan, along with your more conventional corporate scion in an unconventional encounter in “Going Down” by Sukie Chapin. In all, you’ll find fourteen stories with one thing in common—couples depending on each other to survive and, perhaps, falling in love.

Michal Scott: Ida B. Wells-Barnett – Womanist OG
Friday, April 26th, 2019

Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Womanist Original Gangster

The term “womanist” was developed by African-American theologian, Delores Williams, to distinguish the feminist theology of African American women like herself and Katie G. Canon from the feminist theology of their Caucasian counterparts, where sexism in the church and the larger society was being addressed, but not racism. As African Americans in a predominantly white denomination, Williams and Canon and those who came after them, knew there could be no progress for African American women in the church, and by extension the larger society, if racism was ignored. I knew both Delores and Katie, studied alongside them, and belonged to the same denomination. I was privileged to call them colleague and friend. What Delores and Katie started doing in their writings in the 1980’s, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was doing in the 1880’s, and beyond, in hers.

Born into slavery in 1862 in Mississippi, Wells-Barnett lived as a life-long activist, confronting racial injustice wherever she encountered it. She sued a train car company when she was put off a first-class train even though she had a ticket. She marched in the integrated Illinois delegation to a 1913 suffrage demonstration, despite the handwringing racism of the march’s white organizers. She’s probably best known for her anti-lynching exposé, “The Red Record and Southern Horrors Lynch Law in All Its Phases” where she exposed lynching justifications for the lies they were. She continued her crusade here and abroad, despite having her presses of her newspaper burned and her life threatened numerous times. She married, raised a family and continued her activism until her death in 1931.

James Weldon Johnson wrote these words in his poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”:

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past
Til now we stand at last
In the white gleam
Where our bright star is cast

Johnson’s brother, John Rosamund Johnson, set the poem to music, and we in the African American community sing it as the Black National anthem. The hope and pride reflected in the words of “Lift Every Voice” have always warmed me with pride when I sing them. Knowing about this Reconstruction-era woman whose life and work embodies the anthem’s ode to perseverance inspires me as well.

“Put It In A Book” by Michal Scott
from Stranded

Stranded

The daughter of ex-slaves, Aziza Williams uses her freedom to teach slaves to read, a law-breaking activity that forces her to flee the United States for the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia, where her independent and injustice-confronting ways garners the unwanted sexual attention of a dibia, Dulee Morlu. In a cruel twist of fate, Morlu uses Aziza’s love for education against her and imprisons her in a book. He declares she will remain there until she submits to him. After a month of imprisonment, Aziza despairs that Morlu is right: no one will ever read her book. Fear that she may surrender to him begins to overwhelm her. Then one day hope flutters through her spirit as she senses the unfamiliar touch of Sekou Caine, an audacious and inquisitive thief, leafing through her pages…

Excerpt:

“Well, you’re free now.”

She looked toward the window. “Not for long.” Sadness glittered in the tears pooling in her eyes. “Many times with great delight he stated that only by giving myself to him, or having someone take my place, will I be free. If neither happens, I’ll be forced back into the book at sunrise.”

Sekou frowned, anxiety rolling in his gut.

“It’s how my story ends,” she continued. “He read it to me so often I have it memorized.” She closed her eyes and recited…

“Only two paths lead to freedom. Two paths she will never traverse: becoming the dibia’s slave or allowing another to make love to her and then replace her in the story, so now the story becomes his. So, in this story she will remain, too proud to yield and too principled to ask another to pay so high a price.”

She looked at Sekou.

“Why do you believe him?” he whispered.

“Because it’s true. I’ll never submit to him or let anyone be stranded as I was.”

A feeling swelled inside Sekou. He touched her hand and hoped the courage moving inside him might move in her. “We can change that ending,” he said, his heart thudding in his chest.

Aziza frowned. “How?”

He cupped her cheek. “Let me make love to you.”

She pulled away, horrified. “I couldn’t. Just these few moments of freedom…” She closed her eyes. “I couldn’t live knowing I’d stranded you within the pages of that book.”

He touched her cheek and offered her a half-smile. “I’d happily live in a book if I could free you.” And he knew his words to be true. He’d sacrifice himself for her, although they’d just met.

Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2JyIK4V

About Michal Scott

Michal Scott is the penname of Rev. Anna Taylor Sweringen, a retired United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. A native New Yorker, Anna is a recent transplant to the Southwest and is enjoying the great weather along with her husband of twenty-nine years and their two cats. Her love of history and romance came together in her first novella with Wild Rose Press, One Breath Away.

Anna has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2003 and holds membership in six of their chapters. She also writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance as Anna M. Taylor. You can connect with Michal on Twitter @mscottauthor1 and learn more about her writing at www.michalscott.webs.com.

A Reminder! Coming Next Tuesday!
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Stranded
Pre-order now!
It’s just $0.99!

Here’s what’s inside!

Plus!!! Elle James has a story ready to include! I’ll have more news about that later this week!

A Stranger’s Kiss by A.C. Dawn – Sparks in the sky ignite an inferno when a millionaire bad boy rescues a struggling romance writer stranded in an airport

Shelter from the Storm by A.J. Harris – A rogue super soldier and an ocean-dwelling scout discover the keys to surviving enemy soldiers and giant super-storms on their flooded world may be each other

Reviving Artemis by Ara Geller – Defying her alpha’s direct orders, a young warrior braves a pack of hunting werewolves to finally claim her Mate

Quincy Down Under by Delilah Devlin – A bounty hunter following a lead is trapped in an underground-bunker-turned-beauty-salon with a pretty beautician

Rescuing Alaska by Elle James – A former Navy SEAL on an Alaskan fishing trip is washed overboard and stranded on a bear-ridden island with the beautiful deckhand

Hourglass by Kenzie Matthews – With danger all around them, time-hopping graduate students find it hard to keep their clothes on while their time machine glitches

Out of This World by Kimberly Dean – When an astronaut is stranded without a research partner, her mission’s bad boy commander volunteers to help her complete her studies…on sex in space

Burning Stars by Kimberly Lithe – Heated glances and flirtatious banter ignite into a fever pitch when a mechanic aboard a stranded starship looks for her rescue from an intergalactic criminal

Switching Call by Lucrecia Christina – Stranded in a field, a tow truck driver learns from his sassy rescuer that there’s more to getting stuck in the mud than spinning tires

A Change in Predicament by Melanie Jayne – A doctor with a death wish and a history of bad decisions uses her wits to survive a kidnapping by the wounded leader of a dangerous gang

Put it in a Book by Michal Scott – Trapped in a book by a sorcerer for rejecting his sexual advances, an ex-slave’s daughter discovers one hope of rescue – a nosy thief

Undercover Lover by N.J. Walters – A DEA agent working undercover as a waitress in a dangerous biker bar is stranded without backup until a man from her past walks in

Too Deep by Sam Heathers – When an undercover officer loses her handlers in the outside world, she must trust the top lieutenant of a gun-running gang to survive

Going Down by Sukie Chapin – One broken elevator, one sexy boss, one hot night…maybe falling isn’t so bad after all