Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'sports romance'



Genevive Chamblee: The Beauty in Writing — It’s Not What You Think
Saturday, July 24th, 2021

I have a love of romance. Most romance writers do. Not only do I love writing it, I love reading it. I also love watching it—big screen, little screen, streaming… it doesn’t matter. If it’s romance, I’m all there for it. However, I will see that reading romance is slightly different than watching it on television. Reading, I tend to relate to characters more realistically than on screen. What I mean is when I read about a character rolling out of bed, I don’t envision her as being all put together with a perfect face of makeup and not a hair out of place. Hollywood shoves it in your face. I remember watching movies like The Princess Diaries, Losing Isaiah, Sabrina, The Devil Wears Prada, Moonstruck, and Miss Congeniality. (Yes, I realize most of these movies only had romantic subplots and were not true romances.) These movies come to mind for their “makeover” scenes of beautiful actresses who when dressed down still looked stunning. Granted, the “unattractive” pre-makeover character mostly consisted of baggy clothes and oversized glasses with some hair frizz. But then again, big glasses concealed Clark Kent’s identity as Superman. That’s not the point, though. When I think romance, I think beauty—not just outer beauty but inner, as well.

Now, what on earth does writing romance have to do with beauty you may be asking? Nothing, for a lot of people. For me, there is definitely a connection. When I sit to write, like many writers, I need to feel inspired and in the moment. Many years ago, I noticed that a major distraction for me was my nails. When I would sit to write, if my polish was chipped or nails uneven, I found myself reaching more for nail polish remover or an emery board more than typing. I wouldn’t be content to write until my nails looked presentable.

But it wasn’t just for my nails that I did this. If my lips were dry, I’d fumble through my purse until I found a lip balm or gloss. If my foundation was beginning to break down, I would either have to repair it or remove it. Since I tend to write a lot late at night, I often do so while treating myself a facial. Feeling pretty makes me feel good and happy and puts me in a state of mind ready to embrace writing romance. Maybe that association came from seeing such physically gorgeous people in movie romances. Or maybe not.

Makeup has always struck me as another level of creativity, expression, and art. I adore playing with colors, formulas, and application methods. And over the last several years, the beauty industry has blown up. There are so many options and brands now. Next to writing and sports, makeup is one of my favorite pastimes. Now, as anyone who knows me, they already know how much I enjoy playing mix ‘n’ match with my hobbies and passions. After all, it was a blending of my love for hockey and writing that led me to write my first sports romance. So, it’s not that unusual for me to blog about makeup, beauty, and pampering oneself.

As mentioned previously, when I’m writing, not only am I looking at the screen, but I’m glancing at my hands. If I want to stay focused on writing, I do a bit of hand-prepping before I begin a writing session. I thought today’s post would be fun to share some of the hand products that are in or on my writing desk.

  1. Pamper Luxe Ultra-Rich Hand & Nail Cream (Sea Mist + White Flower). I have not run across a product that has been more appropriately named than this. First, it is lux—like placing your hands in a cocoon of silk. Ingredients include aloe, keratin, peptides, shea butter, and vitamins. It’s nongreasy and smells amazing—light, fresh, and clean. It is like being seaside…just wonderful. What isn’t so great is that I’m not sure that this product is being made anymore. I purchased it at Ulta Beauty for about $3.00 for a 3-ounce squeeze tube. I’ve not been able to find it there again. Last year, I was able to order one from Amazon, and the cost was around $17.00 plus S&H. Since then, I’ve not been able to find it anywhere on the internet. I have found the Body Cleansing Oil Sea Mist + White Flower for sale on Amazon for $45.00 and images of the Pamper Luxe Ultra-Rich Hand & Nail Cream Coconut + Almond Milk version (neither of which I’ve tried). If you do come across the Sea Mist + White Flower hand cream at a reasonable price, it is a very good investment. It did wonders for my dry skin.
  2. Flowery Scented Cuticle Oil. This is a new discovery for me, and I’ve only been using it for about two to three months, but I’ve noticed an improvement in my cuticles. Aside from writing, I’m in a profession that requires frequent handwashing and using hand sanitizer. In addition to not being able to go to the nail salon, this past year has been rough on my hands and nails. I invested in two versions of this oil: the rose and the lavender. As the names suggest, these oils are both lightly scented and they smell delightful. The scents aren’t overpowering, and it lasts. In addition to smelling astonishing, the visual appeal is magnificent. There is actual rose and lavender bits in the bottles. They display beautifully. I don’t have any complaints. However, I’ve read some reviews about this product that it is overpriced for the amount. I paid around $8.00 a for 0.5-ounce bottle. But here’s the rub. Not much of this product is needed to do the job. I use it multiple times a day, and the bottles still look nearly full. Plus, I purchased mine during a buy one, get one half price sale. I also will say that I’ve seen other cuticle oils with the same amount of product priced around the same.
  3. The Body Shop Hemp Hard-working Hand Protector. I don’t have much to say about this product as I found it just okay. As the name suggests, it is enriched with hemp seed oil (cannabis sativa oil). I didn’t feel any extra (more than other hand creams) hydration, as this is billed to be for “very dry” hands, which I felt I probably should have with the $20.00 price tag. I bought this as a “treat-myself” moment and because of the hype surrounding it at the time. I don’t hate it. It’s just not my favorite.
  4. Good Vibes Only Hand Cream (from Bath & Body Works). I’m not going to be fair to this one, I know, but I’m going to try. I didn’t care for this one at all, and that is mainly because of the smell. I have the Vanilla Coconut, and I don’t’ care much for either of those. So, why would I purchase it? I didn’t. I believe it may have a gift or even a freebie gift with purchase. I don’t recall how it ended up on my desk, but I can honestly say it has been there for the longest because I only reach for it as a last resort. It’s a tannish color, and it takes a little to work into the skin. It does leave my hands soft, but the smell… The packaging is rather basic (a tube with gold metallic and chunky lettering). It’s affordable, around $4.00.
  5. Soap & Glory Hand Food. Yes, yes, yes. This is one of my favorites. Unlike the previous that had two of my least favorite scents, the Soap & Glory has some of my favorites: rose, peach, jasmine, bergamot, and strawberry for a heavenly blend. However, I will admit that some users may find the smell quite strong. But I don’t think it can be that bad since it frequently is sold out when I go to order. Ingredients include macadamia oil, shea butter, and marshmallow. It applies smoothly without leaving a grease residue. I think the regular price is around $8.00 at Ulta but it goes on sale often.
  6. Caudalíe Hand and Nail Cream. I call this my bougie hand cream because I find it a bit on the pricy side and question if I shell out that type of money for it. As it happens, I came about this as a GWP, and I must say I don’t mind this at all. However, if you’re a person who does not like fragrance, stay away from this one. The best part that I noticed about this product is that it does not completely wash away when I wash my hands which is great. I wash my hands more than two dozen times a day, and in between those washings apply hand sanitizer at least a half dozen times. This causes me to go through hand products like water. With the Caudalíe, I continue to feel its effects after washing my hands and do not need to reapply as frequently as I do with other hand creams and lotions. For that reason alone, it may be well worth the price.
  7. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. I purchased this lotion simply because of the Aveeno name and that it has oats as an ingredient. Am I blown away by this lotion? No. But on days that I write outside, this lotion seems to keep me cooler. Now, I’ve never seen it advertised as such, and I’m fairly certain that it does not contain SPF. All I can say is that my skin enjoys this product, it’s readily available at most local stores, and the price is not outrageous. For users who do not favor fragrances in their lotions, they will be happy to note that the Aveeno is available in a fragrance-free formula.
  8. Jergens Cherry Almond Moisturizer Original Scent. This is my go-to oldie. I love the scent of this because it brings back childhood memories, like that of my great grandmother who died when I had just turned five. I find this to be not only a good hand cream but an excellent all-over body lotion. Many times when I write in the park, this is the lotion I throw in my writing backpack. The park tables are wooden and tend to scratch and scuff my forearms. The Jergens smooths all of that away. The best part is that it melts into my skin and doesn’t pick up the dirt and macro debris off the table. The scent is faint enough that it does not seem to attract insects (e.g., bees, ants, wasps, etc.).
  9. Ella + Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover Lavender Scented. What initially drew me to this product is that it contains essential oils that help not dry out my nails. Not only am I afflicted with dry skin, but I also have brittle nails. Any tap will cause them to break; therefore, I don’t need else to worsen the problem. Many polish removers strip my nails, even the ones that claim they won’t. This remover (when used as directed) takes off my polish and actually leaves them feeling nurtured. It’s lavender scented; thus, it’s missing that harsh chemical smell most removers have. (It comes in unscented, too.) Furthermore, it contains vitamins A, C, and E, and is vegan. The biggest drawback with this product is that the bottle is small, and the price not so cheap.
  10. A. Colors Color Craze Gel. When it comes to nail polish, I’m still on the search for the perfect one. This is why I tend not to invest more than a few bucks into a bottle. I find that no matter the cost, whether a $1.00 or $15.00, the store-bought polishes that I’ve used have all lasted about the same length of time—one to five days, regardless of using base and top coats. I’ve had a few off-brands only to hold up a few hours before peeling off. I began going to nail salons during my time in graduate school because I failed to find a polish that would last any decent amount of time. However, my nails are completely wrecked after wearing acrylics, gels, or overlays after a few weeks. Therefore, I have to limit how often I go to the salon. Of course, COVID took care of that problem last year. Now, I’m back to doing my nails myself. The current L.A. Colors polishes that I’m rocking are the shades Undressed and Ravish.

That’s all I got for today. What are some of your favorite hand products? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou. Stop by for a bit of southern hospitality.

Penalty Kill

If you haven’t heard, my best-selling hockey romance series, Locker Room Love. Book 4, Penalty Kill, releases this August. >>> https://books2read.com/penaltykill

When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.

Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person-of-interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.

Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?

The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contact Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Preorder your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Other book sellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill

Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

Genevive Chamblee: 7 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important
Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

If you love reading, this may be a post for you.

Let me begin with a question, or rather, a series of questions…

Have you ever been let down by a book?
Have you ever wished that a book included a hair bit more than it did?
Have you ever flipped the last page and thought something about the story was missing?

Now, if you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, allow me to ask two more…
Have you ever left a book review on an author’s website or a review site?
Have you ever contacted an author by email, on social media, or in a private message?

Okay, we’re almost done.
If you answered yes to either of the last two questions (or gave serious consideration for doing so), what did you say/write?

I lay these questions out there for consumption after a roundtable gathering with a group of author friends. See, writers want to know what readers think, and many listen to the critics of their works. In fact, the main reason for having beta readers is to have that reader feedback to improve the story. But here is where things fall apart. When A. says a story was awful because the characters were unbelievable, that vagueness doesn’t provide the author much to go on to make corrections. It’s more helpful if there is an explanation. For example, saying a character is unbelievable because his language seems too sophisticated for his age would be helpful. Or saying that the dialogue seems stiff because it is filled with cliches provides specific direction as to the problem.

Writers have tough skins… well, most of them. They pride themselves on growing and improving their craft. Sometimes, a writer has a specific vision for a project. For example, if an author is a horror writer and writes a book with a lot of scary elements, that’s to be expected. An unfair criticism would be calling out the story for having too many creepy elements. However, what would be fair is asking the author to up the ante, for example, making what is meant to be “jump scare” less predictable.

As with anything, there is a polite way and not so polite way to do anything. Readers most definitely can communicate their likes and dislikes for a story in a tasteful way. If an author you are kind of interested in isn’t quite doing it for them, there is no reason a reader shouldn’t inform that author what is expected or wanted from him/her.

  1. Book reviews are for readers. While authors may learn from the reviews, the main purpose of reviews is to inform writers about the book. Usually, reviews come from either readers who have purchased or been gifted the book or professional critics. In any case, the review is written to relay the reader’s opinion to other readers. It is to give a type of synopsis of the book and an indication of what other readers may experience. However, all reviews are subjective, and that should be kept in mind.
  1. All reviews matter. There is a reason that the bride and groom have the first dance at the wedding, and it isn’t because it’s their wedding and they are footing the bill. It is to get things started and people moving to the dance floor. Think about going to a party or club with great music blaring, tons of people standing around, but no one dancing. Sometimes, there’s a hesitation to be first. However, once that first person begins, more are likely to follow. The same happens with book reviews. Once the first one written, other people are encouraged to do the same—either to agree or disagree.
  1. Leaving reviews is a way of becoming part of the reading community. It is a way for readers to connect with other readers. Some readers connect with other readers through review sites as well as the reviews they write.
  1. Sparking further conversations. Sometimes, reviews may lead to opening discussions about topics that matter but aren’t being discussed. Many fan theories of popular books have begun in the comment sections reviewing books or passages.
  1. Reviews speak for readers who can’t leave reviews. Not everyone is allowed to leave reviews of sites like Amazon. This point could be an entire post of its own. Basically, Amazon has set community guidelines that restrict who can post reviews. The claim is that this is to ensure that the reviews are valid, but let’s be honest. It isn’t true. There are people who purchase books from other places than Amazon who may want to leave a review but who aren’t allowed because they haven’t spent enough money on the Amazon site. Or their review may show up without the “verified purchase” marker beside their name. Or if an author has a link for his/her book that leads to his/her Amazon webpage, Amazon cyber tracking may consider that person to be a “friend” and either disallow or remove reviews. So, one reader who leaves a review may be speaking for many readers.
  1. It has been estimated that more than 85% of book purchases from the Amazon Kindle store is based at least partially on book reviews. These reviews are being used as a determining factor as to if someone wants to download an e-book.
  1. Book reviews help new authors get discovered and more exposure, not just to readers but to other book review websites, book clubs, and book blogs. They can even help sway the minds of library administrators whether or not to carry a book in the library.

That’s all I got. Do you agree or disagree with these points? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Penalty Kill

If you haven’t heard, my best-selling hockey romance series, Locker Room Love. Book 4, Penalty Kill, releases this August. >>> https://books2read.com/penaltykill

When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.

Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person-of-interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.

Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?

The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contact Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Preorder your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Other book sellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill

Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

Anna Hague: It’s all in the Name (Word Puzzle-Contest)
Monday, May 24th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…LL!
*~*~*

Hello, my name is Anna Hague, and thank you to Delilah for letting me be a guest blogger.

As I’m sure many authors do, I get asked many questions about my creative process. Where do you get your ideas? How can you come up with so many stories? Are your characters hard to write? Where do you get your names?

Bingo! I think that may be one of the hardest parts of writing. Your characters’ histories and personalities are important, but their names have to be perfect for their character. I was once halfway through writing a book for a publisher, and it wasn’t working. I didn’t have a tight deadline, but nonetheless, I had a tentative deadline for a book I wasn’t happy with. What was wrong with it?

I read through the entire manuscript searching for the problem. Every time I read the hero’s name, I cringed. This guy wasn’t a Jason Mathews—not at all. His name removed every bit of sex appeal I knew this guy had. Who was he?

One evening, I was watching Dateline. I love analyzing where exactly the criminal went wrong in case I need to commit the perfect crime. The lead detective’s last name on this murder investigation was Caldera. The name danced into my brain, reclined on red velvet sheets all while eating 70 percent dark chocolate. Conjuring up images of my dark-haired hero with olive skin, the name Caldera personified who I wanted him to be.

Now, for the first name. This is where I have a treasure trove of possibilities. In my other job, I’m a sports journalist, and for the last several years I’ve taken a less stressful version of the job and do freelance reporting for our local high school sports. Every event I go to, I grab a program or lineup list. These team lineups are priceless, and almost every name I have in a book has come from these lists.

The women in my novels, written and to be written, include an Allee, Haley, Emma, Sabrina, Evangeline, Rose, Avery, Lily, and more. My men are Jamey, Cameron, Tyler, Keller, Devon, Adrian, Maverick and Jordan.

Maverick was perfect for Thunderstruck because it’s set at a ranch in South Dakota. When I was writing the paranormal story, I found two kids on the boys’ soccer team named Maverick and knew I had the right name. Who became Mr. Caldera? Jordan. Jordan Caldera replaced Jason Mathews, and then the story sizzled.

Still on my list of athletes are Cannon, Thunder (who incidentally batted back to back in the baseball lineup), Gator, and Tremor. These are real names, not nicknames, and somewhere there has to be a story for all of them, but right now, they’ve yet to wander onto the page. Right now, I’ve got a Rose and Aaron and a Devon and Lily to deal with.

Thank God for high school sports.

Contest

Check out the word search below and find ten names I mentioned in my character list. Email me with your answers, and I will choose a random winner for a $10 Amazon card. Contest ends June 1. Email me at annahague80@gmail.com.

About the Author

Anna Hague spends part of her days in the writing cave creating her own spin on love stories. The other part of her days, she is a freelance sports reporter crafting stories about a variety of athletic events including high school, college, and professional level sports.

Anna reads all sorts of love stories, and she writes the same way. She has an erotic romance series with Wild Rose Press and has published the contemporary romance Heart Series and opened up the paranormal Storm Canyon Series with the first book Thunderstruck.

She lives in Central Indiana with her husband, three parrots, and two dogs.

Her motto: Creating different paths to love because different is the only way I know.

Social Media links:
E-mail: annahague80@gmail.com
Website: www.annahague.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AnnaHagueAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010050496430
Amazon Books. http://bit.ly/3hEPjlYAnnaHague
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AnnaHagueAuthor/
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/anna-hague

The Word Puzzle

Genevive Chamblee: Authors & Readers…
Friday, May 21st, 2021

Today is another gloomy day. It’s quite stormy out, and not the typical weather that revs up my creative writing juices. When I glanced at my to-do writing list and potential topics, none jumped out at me. I have plenty that I need to be doing, and the motivation to get going, but not the ideas. Generally, when I find myself stuck in such a situation, I switch to a different project with the hope to salvage at least part of the day, and that a change of pace will spark an idea. That didn’t happen today. Instead, I kept reverting to the questions that were holding my creativity captive on my WIPs. What do readers want?

As an author, I’m always interested in what readers expect from me. Anyone who has ever contacted me about one of my books or short stories with constructive criticism knows that I take what is said seriously. When readers ask, I do my best to deliver. However, sometimes, I have to wonder before I start writing questions that do not surface. For example, do readers like it when writers change their style? That is, if a writer is known for writing in first person, is it off-putting for readers when that writer writes a novel in third person? Or what about a writer who is known for writing steamy romances who changes it up a bit by writing a sweet (sometimes called “clean”) romance? Do readers enjoy learning about authors in the bios of their books? What tropes are romance readers sick to death of?

Another set of questions that crossed my mind was about fads and trends. Who really sets them? Is it the publishing houses or the readers? (Chicken or egg?) Are readers reading what’s out there because that’s all that’s out there? Or are publishers chasing the trends, seeing that a certain type of book does well or is popular and then pushing to publish only those types of books? Are readers truly put off by prologues, or do editors just not dislike them? Are readers more into realistic themes and/or stories or more into fantasy-type romance? Do readers prefer multiple points of view in stories or a singular one?

When I was younger, I loved reading details in book and would get lost in descriptions of rooms and costumes. I wanted the author to paint a world for me and leave no stone unturned. (To be honest, I still do.) Yet, it’s frequently said these days that readers prefer that writers only provide a sketch for the readers to fill in all of the colors and fine strokes and that details only add clutter. It’s said that readers do not want to wade through any descriptions because it slows the pace to less than the action sequence in a videogame. (Maybe that’s why I’m not a gamer.) Thus, do readers want more description in their romances or is less more? Or is that readers want more dialogue than description?

It’s an intricate dance between authors and readers.

Now, it’s time for you to sound off. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these points? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

If you haven’t heard, my best-selling hockey romance series, Locker Room Love. Book 4, Penalty Kill, releases this August. >>> https://books2read.com/penaltykill

When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.

Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person-of-interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.

Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?

The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contact Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Preorder your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Other book sellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill

Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

Resources:

Desiree Holt & Liz Crowe: Numbers Game (Contest & Excerpt)
Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Misty Dawn!
*~*~*

Numbers Game

That’s what it’s all about

Comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

Football is a purely American sport that epitomizes all the values that we hold dear in our country: hard work, teamwork, toughness, victory, and glory.  Football is a fast-paced game of action that could change on any single play. The anticipation of a game-changing play always keeps fans on the edge of their seats, waiting for the moment to explode in jubilation.

Football is America’s game.

So take a sports reporter trying to rebuild her career, a college football coach trying to rebuild his own position in the sport while leading his alma mater back to the glory days, and two romance shy people wondering if they dare take a second chance on romance and what do you have?

Numbers Game!

Former NFL player and coach Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater’s football team. But how can he can turn the team’s losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past…and into his heart?

Olivia Grant’s ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she’d had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn’t known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.

Get it here!
https://books2read.com/NumbersGame

 

A taste of Numbers Game…

Hatch winced at the memory of how goofy he must have sounded to the lovely woman he was going to be having a fair bit of contact with this season. Olivia Grant was, without a doubt, beautiful, not to mention sexy as hell. She was a natural reporter, putting him at ease, even in the face of his high-school-ish reaction to her at first. But dear Lord, the crap he’d said? That shit about her being “better than she thought” at the race? And “looking for a foot in the door”? He’d sounded about as slick as the grandpas he’d been named for.

He groaned and pressed his forehead to the leather blotter on his new desk. After his divorce, he’d made a point not to notice women, something that was a bit of a self-imposed penalty. But there was no not noticing Olivia. Her soft, dark blonde hair that kept dropping over one of her deep green eyes as she’d look down at her notes, then back up at him. That smile, and those full, barely lip-sticked lips. And there was no denying she had a body that would be hard to shake out of his brain. Scott had told him she used to play soccer here, a few years behind him as an undergrad. How he’d not known her… Granted, he hadn’t been a big partier then, kept mostly to himself and his close group of friends and, as always, focused on the game.

But damn. He’d missed out on something then, without a doubt. He felt his face flush red and his entire body begin to react in ways that didn’t really serve him well as a fully grown man, with plenty of experience under his belt, so to speak.

Thankfully, she’d left before he could embarrass himself anymore.

Home. Shower. Beer. Stare at a string of old movies on the giant television screen. Anything to get the lovely Olivia Grant and all her many attributes out of his head. She was, after all, the media. And everyone knew how he felt about the media.

It was get a grip time—on all parts of himself.

This was his chance at redemption. The opportunity was a godsend, considering the sorry state he’d left his life in on the west coast, and he didn’t intend to do anything to screw it up. He couldn’t afford to get distracted by a single thing. But how the hell was he going to do that when Olivia Grant might prove to be the biggest distraction of all?

Meet the Authors

USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and contemporary on a variety of heat levels up to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.

www.facebook.com/desireeholtauthor
www.facebook.com/desiree01holt
Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt
www.desireeholt.com
Follow me on
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/search?search=Desiree+Holt
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Desiree- Holt/e/B003LD2Q3M/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1505488204&sr=1-2-ent
Signup for my newsletter and receive a FREE BOOK: https://desireeholt.com/newsletter/

*~*~*

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She’s spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

https://twitter.com/LizCroweAuthor
http://www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/liz-crowe
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4350864.Liz_Crowe
https://www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M
https://www.instagram.com/etlizcrowe/
http://www.lizcrowe.com
https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r2a2q5

Genevive Chamblee: How to Find Daily Joy
Friday, January 22nd, 2021

After a year filled with natural disasters, unemployment, political and civil unrest, supply shortages, illness, quarantines, and death, I’d never seen so many people looking forward to a new year than in 2020. However, 2021, so far, has seemed to say, “2020, hold my beer.” Are we in for round two or the next level of Jumanji? Or maybe, it’s as some has speculated, the opening of the Hunger Games.

Whether we are or not, there comes a point where it can all become overwhelming and one needs to take a break. If life and reality is so heavy that all one can think of is despair and feel sadness, it is time to create an avenue of happiness, hope, and light in one’s life. Here are some ways to bring some daily joy into your life.

  1. TikTok. It just isn’t for kids anymore. If you don’t want to create videos, just watch those that do and enjoy the fun they bring to life. Try the dance challenges or play one of the practical jokes on a close friend with a good sense of humor. Enjoy the many artists and musicians that are on the platform. Learn to cook a new meal or about a new culture. Find new books to read or meet your favorite author on a Livestream. Make new friends. There have been some who have even found love there.
  2. Collecting. Begin a new collection. For many, collecting has a connotation of being a boring, dull, or introverted person. And objects collected have been thought of as being limited to art, stamps, rocks, leaves, dolls, and insects. However, anything can be collected. A good friend of mine who loves coffee collects mugs. It is a small way she inserts a bit of happiness into the beginning of her morning by pouring in her first cup of java. I recently met a group of people who collect Mini Brands. Granted, these things are as cute as the dickens. I’d walked past the surprise balls for over a year, never having noticed. Then, I saw a video of someone opening one and became hooked on the cuteness. There’s a whole community that collects and trades these. Some of the Mini Brand collectors have styled mini-kitchens and displays, while others have converted them to refrigerator magnets and jewelry. Another person stated that she collected eye shadow palettes. Some she uses, while others she displays.
  3. Family time. Unfortunately, many people have been furloughed, laid off, or had a reduction in hours. Others, who may still be working from home. Believe it or not, there are positives and negatives in this. A friend who now works from home admitted that although it was complicated at first and took some adjustment, she enjoys not having the mad rush in the mornings to get ready for work or her children off to school. She confessed that she has been able to save money by not eating out for lunch, not spending money on wardrobes and gas, not having to attend conferences or pay for school trips, and not paying for daycare services. Since she commuted to work, she spent over an hour each way driving. Now, she spends that extra time with family. She confessed that she always wanted to be a stay-at-home mother but couldn’t afford it. However, now she is able to have the best of both worlds. Although it isn’t perfect, she is enjoying the time she has while it lasts. She and her family have created new routines. They all participate in making dinner and find creative and fun ways to make cleaning (and other household chores) a game. They have found time to bond and grow closer as a family. Another friend who was furloughed stated that he despised his job but didn’t have the nerve to quit for fear of what he would do to support himself. He was eventually laid off, but he found another job that he is much happier at doing as well as starting a business that he has always dreamed of doing.
  4. New skills. As mentioned previously, many people have found themselves with extra time. Learn something new. A colleague who was planning to get married in 2020 postponed her wedding due to the pandemic and issues with venues and vendors. At first, she was very upset by this and confessed that she cried for weeks. Then, one day as she was watching videos on YouTube, she began getting new wedding design ideas. Later, she saw a DIY project that she wanted to try as centerpieces. Soon, she found herself creating decorations for her wedding that not only is she having fun creating but that also is saving herself money. A coworker reported that she took a page from the movie Julie & Julie. She’s always wanted to learn to cook, and she’s taken this time to do just that.
  5. Increased awareness. This came from my bestie and was a shock to me. I don’t know why since it’s basic. My bestie stated that when shelter-at-home regulations happened, he began to go stir crazy with such a disruption of his life. He’s truly a man on the go. However, once he became limited in where he could go and things he could do, he stated that he became more aware of his surroundings. He began to notice things in his neighborhood and community that he hadn’t previously. One of the most interesting things he said was the following. “When I purchased my home, one of the selling points was the backyard and view. As time passed, it just became a part of my every day, and I overlooked its beauty. I’d never enjoyed it fully. Being home all the time made me feel a bit stir crazy. One day, I took a book outside and read it beneath an oak in my backyard. It was so peaceful, and the weather nice. I wondered why I’d never done that before. I ordered a hammock from Amazon, and now, it’s one of my favorite places to relax, think, read, and meditate.”
  6. Pampering self. Roll the clock back to the fall of 2019 when the world had no clue what was looming around the corner. I had begun making plans for the 2020 football season as well as vacation. In December that year, I planned the items I would need. I decided that each month, I would purchase a few of these items to spread the expense over several months and prevent having to rush at the last minute. In February, when talks of a lockdown began, I didn’t believe it. In March, when it actually happened, I thought it would last only a couple of days. Therefore, I continued planning for my vacations and activities. By the time I realized they weren’t going to happen, I regarded what I had amassed and sulked. I had wasted my money. Or had I? Vacations are about relaxing and escape from the normal world. I wouldn’t call a pandemic being my “normal world;” although, I will admit that it has shaped me a new normal. However, just because my vacation plans had changed didn’t mean that I had to chunk all my ideas. I would just have to find ways to use the items at home and pamper myself. Fortunately, many of the items were skincare and perfumes. Who says one must have an audience in order to be smell nice or have clear skin? I also played with makeup that I had purchased in ways that I wouldn’t normally for work. For example, I had an opportunity to experiment with colorful looks instead of neutrals. Because work has been slower, I’ve found more time to read and watch television series that I’ve missed out on. And instead of feeling I’m missing out on being out with friends, I find soaking in a long bath or giving myself a facial isn’t a bad substitute. We’ve even had a few cyber girls’ nights in which were truly fun, and in all honesty, may have been more fun than actually being out, where parking is a hassle and some people can be real jerks. No matter why it occurred, taking time to do something positive for oneself is never a bad thing.
  7. Neighborhood book libraries. Until recently, I never knew these were a thing. For a couple of years, I’ve bypassed one in the downtown area but mistook it for decoration. It’s shaped like a house. And although it is clearly labeled as a book library exchanged, the words didn’t resonate with me. These are a great way to bring happiness into your and someone else’s life. For one, I hate the thought of throwing a book away. It seems like a waste. The public library system in my immediate area is, in my opinion, under horrible management. In the past, it has been proven that they throw away book donations without considering what they are, are rude to patrons, and act in ways that are most convenient for staff but not borrowers. For example, they keep the restrooms locked because children have not kept the area clean. There are two stalls in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. However, libraries in surrounding areas that have triple the daily traffic, restrooms with a half dozen stalls on each floor, and the same number of staff (percentage-wise), they keep their restrooms both unlocked and clean. But that’s a story for another time. The point is, neighborhood libraries offer communities a place to share books without the complications of library cards, due dates, or the fear donations will go straight to the trash. I will, however, point out that some public libraries feel threatened by the neighborhood libraries and have made partitions to the local government to place restrictions and limitations on neighborhood libraries.
  8. Music. Since the beginning of time, people have found solace in music. It is an easy way to relax, and with so many genres, a person most assuredly can find something he/she enjoys. When I was younger and suffered from migraines frequently, loud thumping music (I know. One would think I would seek silence.) would ease the pain away. Maybe the drumbeats vibrated out the pain. The entertainment industry has long used music to set moods and increase the ambiance. Injecting happy music throughout one’s day can lift the spirits and bring inspiration.
  9. Breaks. Then again, sometimes all that is needed is a break and time away. Media can be toxic, bringing into our homes and living rooms negative energy and bad news on a loop. The week after Christmas, the local media kept harping on severe weather that would occur on New Years Day. During nearly every commercial break it seemed, there was the news commercial to watch for the latest update of the weather at five, six, and ten. And while I’m all for people to be informed, I could have done without the constant reminder of what was to come. And dread was building. At the gas station, people were filling up gas cans for their generators. People planned to hunker down instead of attempting to have at least some type of New Year celebration, even if it was no more than grape juice in a plastic cup in the middle of the kitchen. On New Year’s Eve, there was rain (heavy at times) but no wind, thunder, lightning, or tornadoes. No watches or warnings were issued. And while everyone was relieved, the anxiety had built in so many for days. There is a difference between informing the public and inundating them with fear. And I know there will be those who will think it’s no big deal and that the meteorologist simply missed the mark. And would one hundred percent agree with that if I didn’t live in an area where so many people have PTSD from Hurricane Katrina and tornadoes? But the purpose of this point isn’t to place blame on the media. On the contrary, it is to point out that people need to recognize in themselves those things that are begin trigged and tune them out. Shut off all of social media and chill. There was a news article of a man who had isolated himself in a remote area for over a year. There were no cell phones, cable, or internet. When he left to return home, he had no idea of the pandemic. He’d not panicked, stressed, or been bothered.
  10. Great books. Of course, as an author, I’m going to end by saying a great way to bring happiness to any day is to curl up with not just a good book but, rather, a great one. And why not read something from an author you’ve never tried. During the holidays, I know I stocked my Kindle with new reads. Having a favorite go-to author that will never fail you is wonderful. But when I travel, I know I like to try new things and new adventures. If I’m going to always do the same-o same-o, why not remain at home?

Read the rest of this entry »

Genevive Chamblee: November Silver Linings
Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Bonjour. It’s November, and it’s a month that has so much happening for so many. For YouTubers, it’s Nonstop November, where creators aim to post videos daily. In the sporting world, it’s No Shave November where the men are allowing their beards to grow. And then, I heard of No Sex November. I’m not sure of who’s participating in that—I mean what group of people developed it—but it’s happening. Additionally, for many of my fellow writers, it’s National Novel Writing Month, also, known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo, that has a goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month.  I’m sure there are so many more, but the final one I’m going to mention is the media trend of posting daily what is thankful for, especially here in the United States, where many people are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving—well, that is, the people who didn’t jump from Halloween to Christmas. Granted, my social media presence has been lacking from some platforms, but thus far, I have not been seeing many Thirty Days of Thanks posts. I imagine for many people, that is hitting very differently this year.  It’s hitting me differently, too. That’s why today will be a different kind of post for me, but hopefully one that is found to be uplifting and inspiring.

On January 1, 2020, when people where celebrating the ringing in of the new year and making resolutions to follow their hearts’ desires, I don’t believe anyone knew the swift kick in the teeth the year was bringing with it. I can’t speak for other countries, but I know here in the US where people are used to doing nearly anything (legal) that they want, being told what to do on a large scale by the government was shock. Our go-go nature was dumped in timeout, and people had no idea what they were supposed to do sequestered in their home for weeks. Face it, I live in the south, and we get antsy when we have to spend a day inside because of hurricanes. (We throw parties during that time, BTW). And, oh my gosh, it was not just having to remain sheltered-in-place, it was that what we normally do inside was gone, too. For a culture that binge watches, many of us flew threw Hulu and Netflix in no time. Resources become like a forge. Mask-wearing was viewed as something from a B-film Sci-Fi. People lost their jobs and homes. Education became a nightmare. People got sick and died. And politically… Whew! Now, eleven months in, and it is no surprise to me that some people are struggling to find a happy or thankful place. But there have been some shining spots in 2020, and that’s what I will focus on today.

  1. Woke culture.

I’m one of those people who can walk through life, and if something does not bother or affect me, I will not notice. I think most people are like this, and that’s not a criticism. It’s human nature. Again, I live in the south. I do not on a regular think about how to react in a blizzard. Likely, I define and would behave differently in a snowstorm than persons who live in areas where winter is actually a thing. I mean, if there are snow flurries here, chances are, businesses are going to close. Now, I know that seems laughable to many, but why would southerners spend a lot of time thinking and preparing for icy conditions when it happens once every five years or so? We don’t know how to drive in it because we do not have an opportunity to practice. Most of us do not have the proper clothes for it because our coats are made for fashion and not warmth. Currently, the temperature outside is seventy-three degrees, and for us, that’s getting a bit chilly. I can count on both hands the number of times in my life that there has been one-inch or more snow in my yard and still have fingers left over.  So, I get it when Northerners laugh when Southerners freak out about snow flurries. The perspectives are different.

I think woke culture, which some people criticize for being too thinned-skinned, is nothing more than the intention of viewing a situation or event from a different perspective or point of view. It is a call to be objective and instead of subjective. It’s going beyond our small box of a world and showing empathy and compassion to others around us. How many times during an argument in relationships does one partner want the other partner to agree with him/her? The disagreement has sparked because of two varying points of view most times. Stepping back and considering from a different angle does not mean that one will agree, change positions, or diminish his/her morality. All it does is allow a person to stand a moment in another person’s shoes to understand that their feelings are valid to them. They are entitled and have a right to how they feel. And their feelings are independent to your feelings and have nothing to do with you. How does a wife feel when she attempts to communicate with her husband that she does not feel appreciated by him and he brushes her off with a “you’re being silly” or “get over it”? He might even shove in her face something that he has done for her in the past and insist that she be appreciative that he did it for her and attempt to make her feel guilty or belittled for asking for more? That’s the same in woke culture. It’s not asking a person to change. It’s asking for awareness, acknowledgement, and respect.

I think 2020 has been a year of wokeness for many. I for one had my eyes opened about a lot. Two of the biggest areas that I’ve come to learn about has been the struggle of Indigenous people and the treatment of the transsexual community. These were things that I had never heard discussed and was not aware that existed. I’m not around people who were affected by these issues. But once I heard them mentioned, I stopped to listen and learn. I’d assumed things that weren’t factual. And instead of arguing to hold steadfast the beliefs I’ve been taught, I grew quiet and opened myself to take in new information. Am I an expert now? No. Do I understand everything? No. Do I still have much to learn? Yes. Am I willing to learn those things? Yes.

When I write, I write with love. I write with the belief that true love exists. I write with the hope of bringing smiles and happiness to readers. To be able to do that, I need to understand people and multiple points of views. For me, twenty-twenty has been humbling. I have experienced human growth in ways I could not have imagined. And I don’t believe I’m alone in this. I have watched some of my closest friends grow as well.  Hopefully, this growth will be seen in my writing and in my acts as a person. I always strive to better my craft. But on a personal level, I strive to be a better person—a better friend, daughter, sibling, parent, and neighbor.

  1. Productivity

I’ve watched dozens of videos of people completing home improvement projects or taking on life goals. People who lost their jobs spent their time doing the things that they have been postponing indefinitely. They now had time to clean out the garage or convert the basement into a media area. They had timing to put together a shelving unite or finally organize and catalog the items in their collections. Some had time to research their family history or write the novel they’ve been wanting to write their entire lives. Others reconnected with their families. A friend confessed to me that he had re-fallen in love with his wife during the pandemic. “I knew I loved her, but I think over the last ten years, I had forgotten why. Being at home with her and our children every day around the clock for three months reminded me not only why I fell in love with her but deepened my love and appreciation.” I beefed up my writing game. Another friend, who lives across the street from his parents, stated that he and his father finished restoring a car his father had purchased more than twenty years ago. “It sat in the garage as his ‘project’ and has always been a source of conflict between him and mother. Especially when they would argue, he would lock himself in the garage for hours and tinker with it. Us kids were never allowed to touch it. He’s owned it for as long as I could remember. I had to have been a toddler when he bought it. I’m now 42, and he and I completed it a couple of weeks ago. It allowed me to get to know my father on a completely different level, and we got a cool car out of it.”

  1. Creativity

I believe many people may have overlooked the role creativity has played during this pandemic. People have had to develop and devise ways to handle problems that they have never had before. Persons who lost their jobs have found other means of income. Some have allowed their artistic sides to bloom. Reflecting back to March when the news media was advising everyone not to wear masks because they would worsen the situation. Now, there is much debate about who put that information out there and why, but that’s not to point here. The point I am attempting to make is that by the time the public had been instructed mask-wearing would help slow (not prevent) the spread and suppress the curve of cases, there were no masks available for purchase. So many people with sewing skills took to making masks. Some made businesses out of it or vastly grew their small business. No one has released the numbers, but it is evident that mask-masking is a lucrative business, as mask-wearers want to express their personality in this 2020 accessory. I suppose some people enjoy wearing masks regardless of the reason why. For a great many others, though, I believe that since they have found themselves in this situation, they have simply found a way to make it a little more tolerable.

  1. Progression

A coworker who is near seventy years old used a computer for the first time two months ago. She had avoided it, and the company had never pressured her to conform. She continues to do everything by hand. Any document that is electronic, someone must print it for her. Vehemently, she rejected change, and her stubbornness slowed the progress of her coworkers at times. However, a conference changed things. She needed to renew her professional license, and since all in-person conferences had been suspended, she was forced to do cyber attendance like the rest of us. What she found is that she didn’t like it, but it wasn’t as terrible as she’d expected. While it’s done little to convince her to change her ways or venture into the millennium, it has allowed her to see how her nonconformity makes it difficult for her other coworkers—not that she cares. However, she now remains silent when someone complains about her because she realizes her coworkers’ complaints are valid and have merit. Plus, she also recognizes that she now must tread lightly. Since she’s had some computer training, if she continues to upset coworkers, their complaints may be loud enough for administration to order that she comply with the same procedures as everyone else. She can no longer use the excuse that she does not know how. She knows very little about the computer, but she has demonstrated her ability to learn.

Another coworker stated that she was hoping to travel one day. Currently, she does not have the finances, and she contends that she may never earn enough to travel out of the country. In fact, she does not believe this will ever be possible for her. However, it is a dream, and as a dream she decided to work towards it in small ways that she can afford. One way is by learning a foreign language. She has downloaded apps that teach you to speak another language and listens to them in her spare time or while she is commuting to and from work. She admits that her progress has been slow but that she definitely knows more than when she began. Sometimes, achieving small goals can be as satisfying as reaching larger ones.

  1. Experimentation

This one I found to be so much fun. People let their guards down and began attempting things they’d never done before. Take a look at TikTok and how many people joined during the pandemic. People who would barely pose for family photos were encouraged and branched out to do dancing challenges. People laughed at themselves and opened up to just have fun. Some looked at the pandemic as the pre-apocalypse and decided to begin checking off items on their bucket lists. People adopted the attitude, if this is the end, why wait any longer? Therefore, they began experimenting and trying new things.

  1. Maintaining

While much of the focus has been on losses and gains, some people are very thankful for maintaining what they have. Although they haven’t had it easy, so many people are grateful that they have not been as effected by 2020 as others have been. Essential employees may have had to pull longer hours for the same pay and risk exposure to the virus more than others, but many are thankful to have been able to maintain their homes and livelihoods. They’ve taken everything in stride by taking recommended CDC precautions to keep themselves safe.

A YouTube content creator stated that her life has been minimally affected by the pandemic because she’s an introvert, used to living alone and working from home. Before shelter-in-place was an ordnance implemented by her city, she was already having most of her meals delivered and remaining in her home.

These are just a few of the ways that the year 2020 has not been a complete bomb and failure of a year. While there is a tendency to see all the things that have been troubling or traumatic this year, there have been some promising things to happen as well.

What good have you found in 2020? What are you thankful for this year? What are you doing this November? Will you be celebrating Thanksgiving?

Ice Gladiators

And also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my sports romance Locker Room Love series.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him. Grab your copy of Ice Gladiators at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

Missed the first two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Locker Room Love is a steamy standalone gay romance/ MM romance series revolving around professional hockey players. Set primarily in the Cajun and Creole bayous of south Louisiana, these love stories have a diverse cast of characters. These sexy athletes are discovering their own voice and the best romance of their lives, even if that isn’t their intention. Find tales of friends to lovers, enemies to loves, billionaires, bad boys, forbidden romance, first times, gay for you, and more. These alpha males are guaranteed to work up a sweat and melt the ice.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays (with bonus posts sometimes on Mondays), and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Keep safe.