Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for 'sports romance'



Cara North: Where is Spring? (Contest)
Friday, April 22nd, 2022

I know I am not the only person getting snow at this point in April. I am not a fan of winter months to begin with. I write a lot of spring and summer romance for that reason. So, here is a list of what I am looking forward to when this season actually settles and acts like it wants to warm up around these mountains I live in. 

  1. Trees and flowers in bloom
  2. Fresh produce and farmer markets
  3. Mild mornings and evenings
  4. Putting the thermals away for a while
  5. Events and outings!

What are you looking forward to this spring and summer?
I will check back at the end of the week for answers and pick 3 to get a swag pack mailed.
US mail only for this one. 

If you are interested in contemporary, sports romance, and reverse harem style, you may want to consider joining my Patreon team. Even the $1 tier has access to the story I am writing in there before publishing it anywhere else. It is also available on Amazon Vella as a serial short, but well behind the Patreon posting of it. 

Join me at Swift University where a good girl has decided to go very, very bad. Readers get to weigh in on the character development, naming rights, and of course my patrons are thanked in the acknowledgements of the book. 

Here’s a look at the first cover. 

Links:
Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/musesandsirens
Right now, March is a Patreon exclusive! Read it before everyone else does by joining the team. 

Website: http://www.creativewritingwithdrnagle.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCaraNorth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caranorthauthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caranorthauthor
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/caranorth_author/?hl=en
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20650398.Cara_North
BookBub : https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cara-north
Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B002BLLE1U
TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdht9Kg1/

Dr. Tonya Nagle: A Plan for the Rest of February!
Thursday, February 17th, 2022

A plan for the rest of February? 

No worries! February has so much love to share all month long. From everyone paying attention to their hearts and getting check-ups to some social reminders to check in as we also celebrate Black History Month. 

If ever there was a month to take care of yourself and others, it is February. The post-January excitement is over and the reality that the new year is no longer exciting, it just is, begins to settle. If you are like me, you are also enduring some cold, winter weather. Brrrrr. This adds to the long list of things to do. 

So, it’s the 17th. I enjoy doing guided journals. I’m actually working on one for 2023. Here is a rough draft type sample. Maybe you can give me some feedback! If you love it, or hate it, or have suggestions, post here or send me a message. All my links are below. 

Grab a journal and let’s get started!

  • February 17th: Read this blog post and set up a plan based on the rest of the month’s suggestions.
  • February 18th-Feel good Friday!: The weekend may or may not signal some down time ahead for you. Today, take time to think of one thing that makes you feel great and take note of this day and every day after!
  • February 19th-Something new Saturday: Try something new today. I’m not saying you are going to like, it, but at least you can say you tried it. Never had kimchi before? Take a bite. Never watched a scary movie? Try one in the afternoon so you rom-com have plenty of time to watch a rom-com afterward! Lol. 
  • February 20th-Self Reflection Sunday: Since Sunday is usually the rest and prep day before the week launches again, take some time to rest and reflect. What went right this past week? What went wrong? Do you have 3 goals for next week? Write them down.
  • February 21st-Me, Me, Me Monday: That’s right! In the hustle and bustle of another manic Monday, look at your watch and give yourself 5-10 minutes to do something that is just about YOU. 
  • February 22nd-Tell Me About It Tuesday: Watched a movie, read a book? We always get so much negative stuff in our social media feeds, share something fun and recommend it to others. 
  • February 23rd-We, We, We, Wednesday: If Monday was all about you, Wednesday should be about someone else. Take time to make that call, send that email, or text and say hi to that person you’ve been meaning to connect with. It will probably make their day. 
  • February 24th-Think about it Thursday: If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? Write a little reflection and then let it be. You’ll come back to it later. 🙂
  • February 25th-Feeling This Friday: Touch is a sense we take for granted until we are tuned into something and purposefully pay attention. Take some time to touch something. 
  • February 26th-Selfish Saturday: Be selfish today, take 30 minutes to read, relax, something just for you! 
  • February 27th-Sunday Funday: Take some time to reflect on your past week, but also have some fun. Go back to that journal entry on what kind of animal you would be. Find any insight there? If not, look up the animal and see what traits you are proud of or are seeking to bring into your life.
  • February 28th-Monday Meanings: You did it. If you journaled every day and worked on these, then hopefully, it has brought you to a new habit that you can use to track your personal adventures. It may seem silly or frivolous but taking 5-30 minutes of your day for your own well-being is never selfish. People can’t draw water from an empty well, so you help no one if you don’t refill that source within you.

If you are interested in contemporary, sports romance, reverse harem style, you may want to consider joining my Patreon team. Even the $1 tier has access to the story I am writing in there before publishing it anywhere else.

Join me at Swift University where a good girl has decided to go very, very bad. Readers get to weigh in on the character development, naming rights, and of course my patrons are thanked in the acknowledgements of the book. 

Here’s a look at the first cover. 


Links:
Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/musesandsirens
Right now March is a Patreon exclusive! Read it before everyone else does by joining the team. 

Website: http://www.creativewritingwithdrnagle.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCaraNorth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caranorthauthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caranorthauthor
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/caranorth_author/?hl=en
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20650398.Cara_North
BookBub : https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cara-north
Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B002BLLE1U
TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdht9Kg1/

Genevive Chamblee: 10 Ways to Survive the Holidays
Friday, November 26th, 2021

I suppose now it is safe to say that we have officially entered the holiday season. In the U.S., there’s always been a little contention over when the holidays begin, as some skip from Halloween straight to Christmas and ignore Thanksgiving, while others do not concede that the holidays begin until the week of turkey day. And last year the holidays for most people didn’t feel like the holidays at all; although, the same could be said about this year. Usually, on Facebook and YouTube, there are tons of videos with Halloween decorations and creepy makeup looks as well as daily postings of gratitude. That really hasn’t happened this year, and if it did, it was on a much lower scale. Perhaps those are another thing that have been absorbed by the “new normal.” However, what hasn’t changed unfortunately is the sadness and despondency that the holidays can bring for some.

Holiday (and seasonal depression) is real. For some, it is due to the lack of sunlight when the clocks were rolled back an hour and the days are shorter. For others, it is the isolation and not being with (or having) friends and/or family. Still for others, it is the feeling of inadequacies due to lack of funds and feeling as if he/she cannot provide for their family and loved ones during this time of year. So, here are some tips to get through the holidays.

  1. Mental health should be everyone’s top priority. Take time to take care of yourself. Each day, do one thing no matter how small for yourself. This could be a walk in the park, a long bubble bath, giving yourself a facial, drawing, indulging in a movie, working in a garden, read a good book, or whatever. The activity of choice does not matter as long as it places a smile on your face.
  2. Do not dwell on events that bring you down. Missing loved ones that has left this life never truly goes away. It becomes something that we can live with an accept. However, this becomes a real challenge during the holidays, and it’s easy to become bogged down in the feelings of loss. Instead, engage in something that would have brought that person joy as a dedication to them. For example, if the person loved roses, place roses on their resting place. If that’s not possible, place them in your home or work office to remember the good times with them each time you look at them. One friend went skydiving during the holidays as she said it was something her father had always wanted to do. Since he was not able to fulfill that dream, she did it for him.
  3. For loved ones who haven’t passed away but for one reason or another cannot be present, bump up your contact with them in other ways. Facetime them more frequently. Go old school and send them a snail mail card with photos. Write more posts on their social media account. One friend did twenty-five days of vlogging (inspired by advent calendar boxes) and uploaded to his social media account so that his family would feel that they were a part of his daily life. In return, some of his family members did the same for him. It’s not the same as being in person, but it’s better than doing nothing and being lonely.
  4. Uplift others. One way to always improve your mood is to help to improve someone else’s there are plenty of ways to do this. It could be volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. It could be adopting an angle from the Angel Christmas Tree or purchasing a toy for Toys for Tots. Or it could be engaging in a random act of kindness. And smiling never hurts. There’s a local mom’s-n-pop’s breakfast bar where the workers are always chipper. It’s easy to see from their interactions with each other and customers that it isn’t an act and that the employees truly enjoy working there. They always brighten my day when I stopped by. Then, one day at lunch I stopped at a popular fast-food restaurant that the workers aren’t exactly known for their friendliness. I honestly can’t tell you why I was smiling when I got to the window as the person who took my order was sounding a bit perturbed. However, when I handed her my card with a cheery smile, I saw her disposition transform. I don’t know what was going on with her that day, but I hope that I brought a little more joy into it as the workers at the breakfast bar do for me.
  5. Get over the financials. Not everything is about money. There does not need to be tons (or any) presents beneath a tree have an excellent holiday. One tradition we have is watching a collection of holiday movies. While we will watch any, there are a couple that are on our “Must Watch” list every year, so much so that we purchased them on DVD in case we can’t find them on cable or satellite. We pop up some popcorn, curl under blankets, and sip hot chocolate as we watch. For us, this is better than any gift.
  6. Now, I know what some people may be thinking at this point—that all of that sounds good, but little children do not understand and will be disappointed. Okay, so this is where teaching moments about materialism come into play and help shaping values. Additionally, there are other ways to combat this. My child has a summer birthday, which meant most of her friends were away on summer vacation and wasn’t around for her birthday. Plus, family lived in a different town, which could make travel an issue at times. Since birthday parties were difficult to arrange due to these factors, the tradition was developed to spend the day doing fun activities. Over the years, we attended plays, visited museums and planetariums, had picnics, went on boat rides, etc. Many of the activities we engaged in were either free or had minimum costs. The same could be done for the holidays—driving around town and viewing decorations, going caroling, baking holiday cookies, playing in the snow (if you have snow), making crafts, refurbishing old toys to make them better, etc. Children may play with toys or wear clothes for a season, but they will always cherish fond memories.
  7. Now, this isn’t for everyone as I know plenty of people who are opposed to decorating or believe that decorating is only for children. In fact, a coworker proclaimed that since her children were grown that she was “past decorating.” I don’t know where the idea came from that decorating was only for children. If that were the case, the billion-dollar holiday decorations retail industry has it all wrong and has been making their money on a fluke. Literally, every time I hear this, my mind automatically pictures Charles Dicken’s Scrooge character. (Btw, that is one of the movies on our “Must Watch” list.) Decorating and making a home or a workplace festive can bring a great deal of joy.
  8. This may sound a bit odd, but invest in a sunlamp. If it is the darkness that has your mood sinking this time of year, some experts suggest using at-home portable sunlamps as an option for combating seasonal depression.
  9. Ditch dieting but adapt a good diet. Everyone knows dieting during the holidays is nearly always a bust. So, forget about it. Eat in moderation, but if you fall off the wagon with the strawberry cheesecake or haystacks, save the guilt and dieting for New Years. That being said, do try to maintain a healthy diet during the holidays. It’s so very easy to snack instead of consuming a “real meal.” A balance diet helps keep one’s energy up and avoid sugar-crashes, stomach aches, and nightmares or insomnia.
  10. Remember to exercise. I know that’s a dirty word for some people, but exercising has been proven to increase endorphins which can improve mood (and memory). The positive aspect about exercising is that it can be done in a variety of ways from running to swimming to dancing to weightlifting to aerobics to yoga to sports. There literally are endless ways to work exercising into one schedule and most of these are free. (Don’t we all just love free?”)

I want to end on another less mentioned group are the people who become so invested in the holidays that they forget to enjoy them. They are super busy getting things organized or agonizing over having things perfect that they miss all the fun. The holidays become a source of stress and work.

One of the secretaries at work becomes bitter each year with decorating the office. She says it’s “unnecessary.” Mind you, she does not have to pay for any of the decorations; there aren’t many; and they are stored in clearly marked boxes with easy access. Because her desk is located in the lobby, she feels the entire lobby is her area and that employees and/or clients have no say (or interest) in what occurs there. She views anything holiday-related, whether it be to hang a wreath on the door, fill candy dishes with peppermints, or display received holiday cards, as work. When she’s asked to address and send holiday cards to other departments, she complains that it is a waste of paper.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, another employee always would take it upon herself to oversee the staff Christmas party. She would schedule the date and time and rally for other employees’ participation. However, she often went overboard to the point that she drove her coworkers to the brink of insanity with her persistence that they give her answers so that she could micromanage every part of the party. Before long, she could suck the fun out of anything, and ultimately, she didn’t enjoy any of it herself.

I’m convinced that between these two examples, there is a middle ground where holiday peace and harmony exist. Not everything has to be perfect. In fact, perfection can sometimes be found in imperfection. The most horrible, misshapen dessert may be the one that tastes the best.

So, that’s all that I have. Are you a fan of sports romance? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these points? Did you find any of this information helpful? 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.

Penalty Kill, book #4 in the Locker Room Love sports romance series is now available for purchase. Grab your copy at Amazon or at https://books2read.com/penaltykill for more options. Continue reading for the blurb and more information.

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 contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Order your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B08YMYZF2S
Other book sellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/30zhdWC
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3vjFmP6
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3cjyFnE
iTunes: http://apple.co/30xulf0
Nook: http://bit.ly/3bEi0w4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/30CNe00

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: Unnoticed Traditions (Recipe)
Monday, October 25th, 2021

Bonjour, salute, and greetings once again, mes amis. Happy fall! Now, down in these parts of the deep south, we know it’s fall not so much by the temperature—although, it has cooled off some—but rather, by the lack of mosquitos, how the fish are biting, and the street lights popping on at 5:00 p.m. Some trees have even decided that they would grace us with a change in coloration; although, many are still blooming. And speaking of fish, I’ll tell a funny quick aside here.

I never realized that certain fish can’t be purchased or sold. That’s because some fish, while safe to eat, are considered gamefish and are prohibited from being legally sold in seafood markets, grocery stores, restaurants, and/or by individuals. One would think I would have known this, but the truth is… I never attempted to buy any of these fish. I live on the bayou; so, there’s no purpose. If we want perch or brim and whatnot, we simply grab a pole and catch it.

Now, that may seem like such a random thought for a blog post when talking about fall, but it actually ties in. See, it got me to thinking about all the small things that I’ve grown up doing but have never quite given much thought as to why I do it. One such tradition is having red beans and rice on Mondays. (Yes, that’s a thing.) And there’s a couple of caveats to this.

First, red beans and rice has been a part of Creole culture for over two hundred years and is a staple, comfort food in many Creole homes. According to historical accounts, the tradition of red beans and rice on Mondays began due to Mondays being the day most people did their laundry. Since the preparation is simple and the meal is both scrumptious and fulfilling, it is easy to understand why it quickly became a favorite. In an age when women typically prepared the family meals and did the laundry, preparing red beans and rice, just mixing the ingredients and allowing it to cook all day while the laundry was being done was easy. It also can feed large families for a relatively small cost.

I grew up on Red Beans and Rice Mondays, and to this day, it’s a tradition I tend to stick to a lot. However, I’m not as faithful about it as my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. One reason for that is the heat. Typically, on hot days, I enjoy a meal that is light and cool. Red beans and rice is definitely not that. But with the arrival of fall, it’s the perfect meal, especially to curl up and eat while reading a good book.

Experts and historians cannot agree on when the recipe first entered Creole culture. They also cannot agree on the original recipe or preparation of the dish. Another area that remains uncertain is the original recipe. There are hundreds of ways to prepare it, as no two recipes are the same. Some would argue there is no right or wrong recipe, either, but after seeing some of the ingredients some people put in their red beans and rice, I’m going to have to strongly disagree (and gag).

The following recipe is the one my family has used for generations. As with many Creole recipes, this one involves many ingredients. There are others that are much simpler to prepare and cheaper.

I use dried Creole red beans for this dish. There is a difference between a Creole red bean and another red bean, however, I won’t be getting into that here. Kidney beans are a good substitution if Creole red beans are not available. I begin by placing the beans in a slow cooker and allowing them to soak overnight. A quick tip, though, is if the beans will be on slow cook for more than ten hours, soaking them overnight is not necessary.

After the beans have soaked, drain and add butter, canola oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Allow to cook until the butter has melted. Stir. Add the spices (salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, basil, celery salt, thyme, onion powder, paprika, sage, and oregano). Mix well. Add tomatoes and stir. Allow to cook for approximately five minutes. Add chicken stock and stir. Add ham hock, andouille, and bay leaves. Allow to cook 8 – 10 hours.

In a pot, cook rice as directed. Serve the red beans in a bowl with a scoop of rice atop. For an alternative method, sometimes, about an hour before I’m ready to serve, I add my uncooked rice to my crockpot. This allows the rice enough time to cook without becoming overly mushy. It also allows for the flavors to really get into the rice. (Bonus, red beans and rice always taste better the next day. The same applies to gumbo.)

So, that’s all I have for a fall welcome. What’s your favorite fall recipe? Let me know your thoughts and opinions below. Oh, and if you like this post, please click the like button and share it. As they say, sharing is caring, and it does help my blog grow. If you’re not following me, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou. We have fun, and there’s no need to worry about what’s in the water. Not everything bites. Creole Bayou is a blog dedicated to all things Creole, Cajun, recipes, romance, trivia, psychology/mental health, self-help, writing, and books.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Penalty Kill, my sensual and saucy sports romance, that is guaranteed to make the already melted ice turn to steam and fog the plexiglass. Available at https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p and www.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 contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Order your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B08YMYZF2S
Other booksellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/30zhdWC
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3vjFmP6
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3cjyFnE
iTunes: http://apple.co/30xulf0
Nook: http://bit.ly/3bEi0w4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/30CNe00

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: Fall is Coming, Plus Inexpensive Halloween Decorating Ideas!
Friday, September 17th, 2021

It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall… Well, not really, but it hasn’t felt a whole heck of a lot like summer. I mean, it’s been hot, but hey, this is Louisiana. When isn’t it hot? And maybe I’ve just become immune to the heat, but it hasn’t felt as hot this year as it has previously. Or maybe it is due to that elephant in the room that everyone is sick of talking about but understands there’s not much getting around it: Miss Uninvited Guest COVID herself that has taken away many of the outdoor activities I generally participate in.  And we also had another unwanted party crasher in Ida, who just ransacked what Ms. COVID had left available. In any case, I find myself welcoming the arrival of fall for the first time. Along with fall comes the season of holidays. And in my mind, it’s never too early to begin planning for the holiday festivities. Well, almost never too early. I can’t quite get on board with the whole Christmas in July thing.

Halloween is my jam. It didn’t always use to be though. When I was younger, I didn’t enjoy going door to door asking for candy. I preferred being the person who distributed it to others. Then, when I moved to the place that shall not be named, the majority of residents in that area do not celebrate Halloween. In fact, there is an unspoken anti-Halloween movement where groups purposely engage in behaviors that will prevent people from being able to participate in trick-or-treating. For example, some organizations hold “meetings” that will keep parents at work longer. Others speak negatively about the holiday in an attempt to stigmatize parents who allow their children to celebrate or any adult who celebrates. Some even go as far as to destroy decorations. Others who aren’t anti-Halloween seemed to hold the belief that it was a holiday only for children, and thus, do not do anything special. While there, I learned to fly under the radar with some ways to celebrate without being too obvious to a casual viewer.

  1. Orange trash liners. Most people I know hate glitter and confetti because it gets everywhere and they hate cleaning it up. But let me tell you, my trash sparkles. Several years ago, I accidentally discovered this decorating gem. I needed trash bags and randomly grabbed a box without paying attention to color or size. It turned out that they were orange and didn’t fit any of the trash bins in my home. Additionally, they were super thin (practically transparent) and not strong enough to hold anything heavier than paper. Since I’d opened them before noticing my error, I decided to take them to my work office. At the time, I had a coworker who was convinced that anything having to do with Halloween invoked evil spirits and demons. So, when she saw the orange trash liners, she assumed I was involved in some voodoo witchcraft. She also was the kind of person who inspects other people’s trash and spread gossip about the contents. Honestly, using orange trash lines as decorations hadn’t crossed my mind. My hand happened to land on orange and could have just as easily grabbed blue, purple, or pink. When my coworker began with her neurotic blathering and accusations, of course, it tapped a passive-aggressive nerve in me. I had recently received a package that had black tissue paper, and my child had a project that she’d used black glitter. It all found its way into the orange trash bags daily. Now, normally, the trash was collected from each office, but I set mine outside my door for pickup by janitorial staff. So, each morning there was a translucent orange orb filled with black glitter and confetti. It wasn’t long before other workers adopted the idea. Simple and petty.
  2. Plastic caldrons are easy to find, inexpensive, and make excellent candy dishes. Most dollar stores and craft stores sell packages of plastic caldrons for just a few bucks. Fill with your favorite candy or popcorn and place wherever you like. At first glance it may seem like an ordinary bowl, but a caldron can add a fun pop of holiday spirit to a room without being over the top. For writers, use these caldrons to hold writing materials such as pens, erasers, paperclips, sticky pads, bookmarkers, etc.
  3. Of course, one can never go wrong with a holiday wreath. Depending on how obvious the design, holiday wreaths can range from being subtle to obnoxious. They can be delicate with silk flowers and frilly ribbons, a bit silly with googly-eyed ghosts and laughing Frankensteins, generic with pumpkins and black-and-white trimmings, or frightful with monsters and gory vampire teeth dripping blood. Perhaps the best features about wreaths are that nearly every place sells them, they are easy to make, and it doesn’t take much to refurbish them. Premade wreaths can be pricy at some stores; however, in general, really nice wreaths can be constructed with materials from the dollar store for only a few bucks. This means that wreaths are within most people’s budgets. For book lovers, add something that is themed for your favorite book or author.
  4. A friend had the daunting task of cleaning out his attic, garage, and basement. As would most people, he divided all the items into three groups: keep, sell/donate, and toss. When it came to the two aquariums, he could not find anyone to rehome them to. (I guess fish are not popular.) He didn’t want to throw them out because they were in perfect condition and he felt throwing them in the trash would be wasteful. What he knew was that he didn’t want fish anymore. When he’d moved, he placed the aquariums in his basement converted mancave. However, something about the ventilation in the room (he explained it to me but I forgot what he said) wasn’t conducive to having fish (even with pumps). In short, his tanks had become fish death chambers. After some thought, he decided to turn them into display cases. For Halloween, he decorated one in what I think closely resembled a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. He had skulls and fish skeletons guarding a half-sunken treasure chest while human skeletons were half-buried in rocks and plank. What was interesting about this décor was how pretty it was. While it gave the vibe of Halloween, it was more purples and blues than oranges and blacks for a refreshing take on holiday decorations.
  5. This idea may resonate with people who enjoy decorating but do not want to spend money on seasonal items. That is what sparked the next idea for a friend. She really enjoys the holidays but feels that she will never get her money’s worth out of decorations. She developed the idea to arrange of her “horror” and “spooky” books and books with orange, black, white, and gray covers on the same shelves on her built-in bookcase. She then added old muslin that she’d found stuck away in a box, used candles in worn candlestands, old jewelry (I don’t know why this worked with the theme but it did), and bottles she filled with water and dye to look like potions. What she ended up with was a show-stopping Halloween display nook that cost her zero bucks. She does the same for other holidays, and it only takes her a couple of hours to gather what she needs and design it. It changes the entire feeling of the room.

So, those are five quick, inexpensive, and maybe less thought of Halloween decorating ideas. Now it’s that time to let me know what your thoughts and opinions are. What did you think? Did you find any of this information helpful? 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 the Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Locker Room Love book #4, Penalty Kill, is now available. Grab your copy at Amazon or at https://books2read.com/penaltykill for more options. Continue reading for the blurb and more information about it.

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 contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Order your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B08YMYZF2S
Other booksellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/30zhdWC
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3vjFmP6
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3cjyFnE
iTunes: http://apple.co/30xulf0
Nook: http://bit.ly/3bEi0w4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/30CNe00

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.

Desiree Holt: Numbers Game (Contest & Excerpt!)
Monday, September 6th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…..Debra Guyette!
*~*~*

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon GC!

It’s football season! Yay!

Kick it off with a book that’s received almost all 5-star reviews.

What they said about the book:

“Numbers Game is a touchdown from start to finish.” N.N. Light

“Can we get some more collaboration books from Desiree and Liz? They actually touchdown together with this fantastic college football book.” Terra Oenning

“This book was amazing! Definitely check it out! I can’t wait to read more by these authors!” Kelz Marie

 “A great read. Did I mention it is SMOKIN HOT?” RCA

“This book will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting and WANTING it all!! If I could give it more than 5 stars, I absolutely would!!” Rosalie Belle

BUY IT HERE!
https://desireeholt.com/books/numbers-game/

Making a pass could just mean scoring a second chance…

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.

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/NumbersGame

Excerpt from Numbers Game

Every move after that, to her, seemed to have some kind of sexual connotation.

The air between them vibrated with the electricity sparking back and forth. By the time he paid the check and they left the restaurant, every pulse in her body pounded, her breasts ached, and her teeny tiny thong was soaked. She wanted to hurry home and take a cold shower before she did something really stupid.

In the truck, he turned on the radio and found a station playing oldies rock music that he tuned low. They rode in a silence that was more electric than uncomfortable, especially when he reached over and took her hand in his, giving it a gentle squeeze. When they reached her townhouse, he again lifted her from the cab and walked her to the door, holding her hand. When she had the door open, he turned her to face him and studied her face for a long time. She waited, wondering if she had the willpower not to cross that line from professional to personal and how much damage she’d do if she did.

“You have to be the sexiest sports reporter I’ve ever met. I would really like to kiss you. Would that be okay with you?”

She should have turned away, but she couldn’t find the willpower. The kiss was soft and gentle, a mere brush of lips, a touch of flesh. Then it was over, but she wanted more. A lot more. She could feel this spinning out of control, and she was powerless to stop it.

“If you invite me in, I’m not going to turn you down.”

Genevive Chamblee: The Non-technicality of Sports Romances (Contest)
Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

There is a contest! See below!

It’s August, and you know what that means… Football season is right around the corner. But wait. Let me cool my heels for just a second. So, everyone knows I’m a huge sports fanatic. Football, hockey, diving, baseball, cheerleading, volleyball, you name it. (Okay, strike that. Don’t name it. I made that challenge to my bestie who said boules. I didn’t even know what the heck that was until I searched it on Google, and now, I’m depressed that I do.)

Saturdays in fall, everyone knows where to find me—at an SEC tailgate, of course. (Specifically, supporting my Bayou Bengals. Love purple, live gold.) And after a year of social distancing, lockdown, and all other kind of medieval atrocities that drug themselves up from the decrepit crypts of the past to revisit and wreak havoc, I can’t wait to get back into the stands (safely, of course). However, my love of sports doesn’t stop at stadium gates or a remote control. It has spilled over into my writing. I’m an author of sports romance. What beauty to be able to blend two loves into one. Perfection!

Here’s the real secret about sports romances. The romance is at the core. So, even if a reader dislikes sports and/or athletics, he/she can still enjoy the romantic story. What makes sports romances stand out from all other romantic subgenres is that sports, naturally, play a large role in the story. Well, duh! Hence the name “sports romance.” But hang on a minute. Not so fast. This is where it may become confusing for some. In a sports romance, sports may play a substantial role, an essential role, or both. What it can’t be is a backdrop. To demonstrate my point, I like to refer to the 1950s sitcom, Leave It to Beaver.

In the classic sitcom, typical of its time, Ward Clever was the dutiful patriarch of the family. Husband to June and father to Wally and Theodore, Ward faithfully traipsed off each morning in his crisp white shirt, sensible shirt, and polished shoes with a hat on head and briefcase in hand to work to be the breadwinner of his family. But what did Ward do? For the six years that it was on the air, Ward’s actual job was vague. He worked for a “big company” doing who knows what exactly? He could have been a stockbroker, an architect, a real estate agent, an attorney, an insurance salesman, or a slew of other professions. The point is, Ward’s specific job title or duties weren’t important to the narrative of the show. All that was needed was to show viewers that he was a hardworking provider for his family. Thus, the nature of his job was a backdrop.

In a sports romance, it is not enough to have a character be a current or former athlete for the story to be considered a sports romance. If the sports aspect of the story is unimportant and can easily be substituted by something else, then that’s not a sports romance. Rather, it’s a romance with an athletic character. Now, I know the arguments against this position but think about it.

Many of John Grisham’s stories and novels feature characters who are attorneys. It makes sense. His plots deal with the legal system. Being an attorney is a central aspect of many of his characters and plots. In Harper Lee’s American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, it is fitting that one of the major characters, Atticus Finch, is an attorney. Exchanging the professions in these books would create an overall different feel and direction for the stories. Now, what if Frank Kennedy in Gone with the Wind was an attorney? Would it matter to the story? Would it change any outcomes or character arcs? In Bridget Jones’ Diary, Mark Darcy is an attorney. How much does this impact the story? Suppose he was a wealthy run-of-the-mill philanthropist or business investor? Would that make any difference?

Another way to consider it is this. Suppose a story has a character who is a vampire, but that character is never shown doing anything “vampirish.” Instead, the story focuses on retrieving a lost treasure and the only reason the vampire is relevant is because he/she was alive when the treasure was originally lost. The vampire poses no threat to the recovery of this treasure or any other characters in the story. He/she is simply there to provide expository information to the other characters. This wouldn’t be considered a vampire story.

Yet, that is only half of it. Just because a story is a sports romance does not mean it is chock full of sports jargon and Game Day scenes. I mean, it could be but not necessarily. On Netflix, there is a series titled Last Chance U. Its focus is on JUCO athletes. The majority of the show does concentrate on athletes participating in games and training. However, it also highlights their struggles with school and their personal lives. With some shifting, this show could spend more time emphasizing the educational aspect and still be equally interesting. The role of sports would be decreased but still prominent.

Some readers are put off from reading sports romances because they believe the text will be too technical for them to understand. Good and creative storytellers prevent that problem by presenting the sport in such a way that it can be understood by sports novices while not alienating sports enthusiasts. This reminds me of a conversation I had with two former neighbors some years ago. As I was entering my residence one Friday afternoon, one of the neighbors was standing outside speaking with another neighbor. I had been grocery shopping for a Saturday game day party. My neighbor, seeing the bags and being from a rival university, naturally tossed a few playful taunts my way. Smack talking is nothing for me; so, I gave it right back to him. In it, I mentioned that his team had no depth. The other neighbor’s eyes grew as wide as saucers (I hadn’t yet met him). “Listen to you,” he said. To which the first neighbor applied, “Oh, man, she knows her stuff.” (Well, of course, I do. *big eye roll* It’s so sexist and antiquated to think a woman can’t talk sports, but I digress.) So, once the second neighbor realized I could hold my own, he decided to have a go at me. Everyone was laughing and having a good ole ha-ha and kee-kee when the second man’s wife (who I also had not met) came outside and ventured across the lawn to join the bunch. Only, this beautiful woman wasn’t a happy camper. She had an issue…with me…because I had her husband’s full attention. And she clearly had no inkling of what is going on in the conversation and felt left out. Well, that wasn’t my fault, but okay.

What did I do? I changed my language. I began speaking in a way that she could follow the conversation without feeling patronized—something that it seemed her husband had never done. I was able to include her. The basics of many sports aren’t that complex and can be learned in a couple of minutes if one is interested. I convey this to readers who may be hesitant to give sports romances a try.

Okay, okay, I know what some people might be thinking at this point—that I’m biased towards sports romance. I won’t disagree with that. For that reason, it is only fair that I list reasons that a person may want to avoid picking up a sports novel for their next vacation read or rainy afternoon pastime.

First, sports romances aren’t for everyone. Read the rest of this entry »