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Genevive Chamblee: Romance Bucket List
Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Most everyone has heard of a bucket list. For those who haven’t, a bucket list is a comprehensive wish list of ideas, achievements, and experiences that a person strives to accomplish in his/her lifetime. Bucket lists have no set number of entries or right or wrong listings. Each list is individualized by its creators. Some people share what’s on their list with others while some choose to keep their list private. Some people do not have a list at all and never make one. Just as there are no correct or incorrect listings, it’s neither good or bad to have (or not have) a list. It all depends on the person and his/her point of view.

So, why am I discussing bucket lists and rehashing information that is common knowledge? Well, as I was thinking of my own bucket list and running my mouth with friends and writer colleagues about our current works in progress, I began to see a pattern in romantic encounters we’d either shared in real life or have written about in our works. I decided to take a closer look to investigate if there exists a type of romance bucket list—not necessarily one that most people hope to accomplish, but rather, activities that most people have engaged in during their lifetime. And sure enough, there seems to be. As you guessed it by the title, I’m going to list them here.

Now before I begin, I need to make a disclaimer. This list is in no way comprehensive. If you feel I’ve omitted something that should be on this list, please comment on this post. Also, if any brands are mentioned, it is not an endorsement of any sort. This post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any brand or company.

Now, onto the list. This list is not in any particular order of importance. The numbers are ordinal only.

  1. Kissing beneath the mistletoe. Yes, people actually do this, perhaps not as much as in the past because fewer people seem to hang mistletoe during the holidays. And maybe that’s because the Hallmark Channel has purchased all of the mistletoe because they seem to have an abundance of it in their holiday movies.
  2.  Long walks on the beach with one’s lover. I’ll admit that this is not anywhere to be found on my personal list. Being assaulted by windblown sand and squishy stuff between my toes isn’t my cup of java (and I don’t even drink coffee). But I’m not hating. This looks super romantic—for others.
  3. Watching the sunrise (or set) together to end a wonderful date.
  4. Stargazing with that special someone in a remote location where the rest of the world fades into nonexistence.
  5. Making out in the backseat of a car/truck/SUV (you get the gist…automotive). This classic throwback still occurs. “Lover’s Lanes” do not appear to be the designated hotspot to engage in this deed, but there are plenty of other locales.
  6. Feeding each other. Perhaps only germaphobes will think this isn’t hawt. Nearly, every person I talked to/interviewed said they thought this was a loving and intimate act. And the food being fed doesn’t matter. However, if you’re interested, the four most common foods that I heard listed were chocolate, strawberries, grapes, and desserts in general.
  7. Dancing cheek-to-cheek even when the music stops playing. Y’all when this happens, this is how one knows he/she is really into a person There is no disputing the chemistry and romance when this occurs.
  8. This includes isolated foot, back, head, or neck as well as full body massages and does not distinguish between giving or receiving. This does not include massages given in those “suspect” parlors. That’s another type of list (“The Client List”). Oh, and scented oils and lotions are a bonus.
  9. Hot tubs, jacuzzies, and showers, oh my! Bathing or soaking together turns up the heat level to scorching. Steam rooms also were mentioned but not as frequently. I’m going to assume that may be due to most people having less access to steam rooms. Bubble baths popped up multiple times. (Get it? popped up as in bubbles… Yes, I’m a bit corner. Okay, a lot corny.) Anyway, Bubble baths were mentioned frequently, however, they were mentioned as “solo” guilts of pleasure.
  10. Private stripping/pole dancing. This wasn’t one I expected (and honestly, I’ had to side-eye many of my friends … lol), but this seems to be a very popular thing. Oh-bee-kay-bee. It made the list. Have fun with it. It’s all good.
  11. Spending a day in the park and eating food from park vendors. A very simple and inexpensive date but still romantic. Who said romance needed to cause bankruptcy, maxing out the Mastercard, or require a bank loan?
  12. Initially, I categized this with park activities. However, it became evident that romantic picnics frequently happened outside of parks (e.g., rooftops, beaches, observation points, even living rooms. So, picnics had to have a separate listing.
  13. And speaking of living rooms, sharing a bottle of wine in front of a fireplace, although the beverage does not necessarily have to be wine. Hot chocolate/cocoa had a high listing, too.
  14. Breakfast in bed prepared by a lover. And some of you probably were thinking I’d forgotten to add this to the list. But nope, here it is—saving the best for last. This is a granddaddy staple to the list, in my opinion, even when the mean is burnt to a charcoal consistency and the kitchen sink looks like an atomic bomb hit a navy mess hall. It’s the thought that counts.

That’s it for this list. Well, not really. There are several more items that were frequently mentioned, but I arbitrarily decided to stop at fourteen. If you would like a part two of this list, let me know in the comment, and I will be happy to oblige.

*~*~*

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance 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. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Genevive Chamblee: Hear ye, hear ye! Presenting Sigma Males!
Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Most everyone has heard of Alpha males, and the majority of romance novels feature Alpha males as the hero. For those who don’t know, an Alpha male is the head/slash leader. He is superior to other males in nearly every aspect (e.g., strength, charm, looks, health, athletic skills, wealth, and sexual confidence). Who doesn’t love an Alpha? Well, not everyone. The problem with Alpha males in many romances is that they are written like arrogant jerks who everyone cowards. Yes, they are tall, dark, and handsome and have redeemable (if not lovable) characteristics. However, much of the time to me, they come across as being over-the-top, unrealistic, entitled, one-note cardboard characters. Yuck!

Take for example, Alpha Joe. Joe is an ex-navy seal. His father died when he was in high school, and Joe became the man of the house, taking care of his mother and younger siblings. He has dark hair, dreamy eyes, and a 24-pack abdomen because 6 just wasn’t enough. Women swoon from his cologne and their panties saturate at his wink. He is founder and CEO of a successful, private security business and has all the right connections in town. He is rolling in money, and his wardrobes consists of tailored suits and too-tight jeans with black t-shirts—whichever suits his moot and portrays him as Mr. Bad Ass.

Everyone knows Joe and his reputation proceeds him. Anywhere he goes, men fear his temper and are careful not to anger him. A verbal reprimand or a stern glance causes others to quake. Other men either are vying to be his ride or die bro or despise him out of jealousy. A gray area does not exist. If Joe gets into a fight, he wins—usually hands down with not much effort, sort of a Superman verses Harry Lyme and Marv Merchants (Home Alone movie criminals) scenario. If the Alpha gets injured during it, he carries on as if nothing happened or has a speedy recovery time despite the seriousness the injury. No, that gunshot wound to the head is a mere inconvenience and annoyance. He’s courageous, tough, fearless, commanding, and demanding in all that he does, and he always gets his way.

Enters Jane, the petite beauty who weighs nothing and is gorgeous without a stitch of makeup. Her breasts are perky. Her hair windblown but still shampoo commercial ready. She probably comes up to Joe’s elbow, which makes her very easy for him to scoop up if he needed to—and he will. She’s fashionable, and her stilettos actuates her legs but don’t hurt her feet after eighteen hours of wear.

Now Jane is either going to be spitfire whose mouth writes checks her butt truly can’t cash or very timid, meek, and innocent. It doesn’t matter which one because she’ll need “rescuing” by Joe. She may be willing to accept his help and follow his every word or so inept that she digs her own hole into a crater. In either instance, she is attracted to Joe, the demigod who only has eyes for her. Even if she is the homeliest woman in the state and as awkward as an elephant on rollerskates, Joe wouldn’t side eye a runway model.

The thing about Joe is, he has a dark side that stems from his past. He might suffer from nightmares or restlessness. Anger rages inside of him, but he’s stoic and never communicates his feelings, which causes him to be emotionally unavailable and aloof to women. His brooding is seen as “sexy” and mysterious, and his jerkish (e.g., aggressive, sexist, self-centered, controlling, and difficult) behavior “excused”. But Jane just with a touch, gaze, or romp in the sheets can cure Joe’s PTSD without the need for years of professional therapy or psychotropic medication.

I hated characters like Joe (and Jane, too, to be honest). These types of Joes were 1-D Alphas (and the D didn’t necessarily stand for “dimensional”). But as a woman, I wanted to read about a strong male lead—a manly man worthy of fantasies. Stage left: Sigma male.

Not many people discuss Sigmas (or any other types) in the role of male Greek-letter archetypes, but they should. So, what are the other male archetypes? Well…

After Alpha comes Beta. Betas follow orders, non-assertive, and present no serious threat to Alphas. They don’t make waves, are mostly docile, easily are kept in line, and help maintain peace and order. They are responsible, likeable, and considerate. When an Alpha isn’t around, Betas hold down the fort, but they won’t ever challenge an Alpha for the position. Betas are often put in the heroine’s “friend” category. He’s there for her, always warm and kind, but never a love interest—even if he’s in love with the heroine.

The best way to describe Gamma males are they exist. For the most part, they are irrelevant. They hang back and do nothing, seek nothing, and offer nothing. This is the character that gets edited out of the book before the final copy (hopefully). However, Gammas shouldn’t be overlooked necessarily. Their go-with-the-flow personalities easily can slide into villain territory since they often are motivated by personal gain and not noted to be the most trustworthy.

Delta males are rarely seen in extended scenes in romances. That is because Deltas are average and normal. They don’t have enough magnetism or allure to be leading men, but they are sometimes necessary to communicate important information to move the plot forward. They are smart, insightful, friendly, open-minded, and frequently helpful when asked. Usually in romances, Delta men generally are written as minor characters.

Next are Zetas. (If you’re wondering the order, I’m listing them alphabetically—Greek.) Zetas are unconventional and don’t give a hoot about societal definitions or expectations of what a man should or should not be. They march to the beat of their own drums and do not seek social acceptance. Zetas are indifferent to seeking relationships with women. They are comfortable being alone, and for this reason, are never hero in romance novels.

At the bottom of the food chain, one finds Omegas. There’s no nice way to say it, but Omegas are the oddballs and freaks. Sometimes, they are the villains while other times they simply add the weirdo factor—the creepy guy who peers from behind the blinds and one wonder what (or who) he has hidden in the basement. Omegas define themselves by the world around them. The problem is, they are social outcasts, lack ambition, and irresponsible. Omegas are common characters in horror and science fiction. They are less seen in romances. However, in the historical fiction, Omegas may present as the rich, eccentric patriarch or relative who hides away in the mansion on the hill.

Alpha have a need to be “top”. When they don’t get their way, there’s a problem, usually resolved with fists flying. But Sigma males march to their own beat. They can be leaders or blend in flawlessly like a Tarte Shape Tape concealer. (Yes, I did just plug them because I love their products, and no, they are not sponsoring this post.) Sigmas are like chilling co-pilots. Just because they roll with the punches on trivial matter doesn’t mean they put up with bull or act as doormats. On the contrary, they handle business when needed. They are the nice guys with witty sense of humors and are equally as handsome and sexually sensational as Alphas. They are flawed, but they manage to suppress being a jackass.

One of the best ways for me to stop a Sigma was usually if I was more interested in a minor male character than the hero–that is until the author decided to write a sequel with the Sigma as the lead and transformed into another run-of-the-mill butthole Alphas. But before that happened, the Sigma often was written as a good, nonthreatening friend to the Alpha. Nonthreatening, as in, the Sigma fighting for a common goal as the Alpha and not being interested in Jane. However, the Alpha is wise enough not to cross a Sigma because he knows just beneath the surface lies a lion who is willing to go toe-to-toe and tear him from limb-to-limb.

Sigmas don’t seek trouble or bother with defining themselves by traditional stereotypes. They show up at the party with a case of beer and say, “okay, where do you want this?” when they don’t even drink. And usually instead of having a single massive flaw, Sigma have lots of small ones that makes them relatable. They may show insecurities or weaknesses, but they aren’t crippled by them. They may be less “mysterious”, but that’s because they don’t have anything to hide. Their histories usually aren’t as bleak, and they may have a ho-hum background.

What makes Sigmas so much fun is that they can be unpredictable. Their personalities are big and complex. They aren’t afraid to show emotion or vulnerability because they know they can handle them. They don’t feel compelled to be the center of attention because they understand a quarterback can’t win a football game without the rest of the team. They are okay without trophies and praises because their self-worth is sufficient. They show their love for others without being overbearing or domineering. And sometimes, they let the woman take the lead.

However, the best part about Sigmas are they don’t get caught up in stupid love triangles. They aren’t going to stick around while Jane makes up her mind or pound on their chest to get her attention. She either hops on his party train or he’s going to the next station. His baggage is low, so, he can move swiftly. Bye gurl!

When writing, my heroes, although sometimes described as Alphas, are truthfully Sigmas. They laugh and doubt themselves at times. Sometimes, they are the ones who are writing those ISF checks and must discover a solution. I especially enjoy writing them in my MMRomances. There is a tendency to stereotype gay male relationships as one partner having to be “the wife” or one being Alpha and the other being Beta. Heaven forbid they both be equal. These stereotypes need to be changed.

Sigmas are team players who fulfill whatever role is needed at the time, whether it be top, middle, bottom, or alone. Sigmas are there to get the job done, period. Unlike Alphas, Sigmas may not always have a solution or muck it up. But they have the ability to laugh it off and the flexibility to collaborate. While Alphas frequently go in with guns blazing, Sigmas may hang back to see how something plays out. A Sigma may have failures, but they are comfortable enough to exit their comfort zone or accept input. They use constructive criticism to grow.

Want to see Sigma, Alpha, and Beta males in action? They can be found skating about in my new adult sports romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance 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.

For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

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.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

Genevive Chamblee: Confessions of a Sports-Shaming Survivor
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

I’ve never been a tomboy, but I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. I like to be comfortable. I like vegging out on the couch and watching movies that make me use my brain cells to predict the ending and reading intriguing love stories. I’m also a huge sports fan. Football is a season of its own, and Saturdays are reserved for hot wings, loaded nachos, and pizza. (I would include beer since that’s always present for my guests, but I’m not a beer drinker). Game Day is sacred. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that my last two books (Defending the Net and Out of the Penalty Box) were both sports romances. What was a surprise, or rather an adjustment, was my having to work in an office that none of the employees were sports fans. OMG! Talk about feeling a slow death. In short, I was sports-shamed.

Now, I get it. Sports is not everyone’s thing. But, hey, this is the south. Next to Southern Baptist, SEC football is the next largest religion. I’m just kidding … well, kinda. When I transferred into my new position, I was viewed as an oddity. I don’t want to sound stereotypic, but they the women (and my new department only employed two male workers at the time, one of whom knew zero about any sport) found it weird that a “girl” would know so much about sports. Yes, I hang with the big dogs and can talk trivia with the best of them. I found it weird that my new coworkers were so uninterested in sports while previous co-workers who also were predominately female were extremely knowledgeable. I went from goals, touchdowns, and home runs to weeding gardens, cooking casseroles, and long-lasting nail polish. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking those activities. I do like gardening, even if I do manage to kill most veggies. And occasionally, I paint my nails when I have time and find a cute color.

There was a time, a long time ago—like in prehistoric days when I was in high school—I actually cared a lot about fashion, accessories, and doing my hair. College knocked that right out of me. I had 8:00 A.M. classes and no time for coordinating sweaters and socks. I was happy with clean and unwrinkled. Comfortable became my element and has remained with me. However, recently, I’ve taken more of an interest in cosmetics. I must admit, the beauty world has changed since I last paid attention. I’d never heard of primers, eyeshadow bases, or color correctors. I had no clue of the difference between a setting powder and a finishing powder. (And still don’t if I’m completely honest.) I still use the applicator that comes in the eyeshadow pallet instead of a brush (with a number/name) or sponge (and I won’t even say what I thought this was when someone first mentioned it to me). Contouring sounded like something that had to do with streets. When my coworkers started discussing bath bombs, I seriously considered calling Homeland Security and reporting them as a terrorist group plotting to blow up plumbing. It all seemed foreign to me.

But as I stated previously, I’ve never been a tomboy. I’ve always wanted to look pretty, but it wasn’t a priority. Lip gloss to keep from cracking and out into the world I venture. Yet, there are times when I want to take an extra moment to invest in my image. My coworkers seemed to believe it is either sports or beauty and that a woman can’t do both. I believe that thinking is outdated. I believe it is sexist to think women can’t be athletic or knowledgeable in sports. One search on YouTube will unveil plenty of talented male makeup artists. And when I say talented, I mean it. They transform their faces into palettes and create masterpieces.

Just because a woman doesn’t get all guzzled up to the nines (or tens) does not mean she’s ugly, homely, or letting herself go. Something is to be said for natural beauty. Likewise, there is no rule stating women can’t be feminine and enjoy sports. Women shouldn’t be designated to being designated to being the swimsuit model in high heels strolling around a ring carrying a “Rounds” sign.

By now, one might be wondering what prompted me to write this article. Well, several weeks ago, someone asked me what inspired me to write sports romance. I replied it was because I enjoy sports, which is true.

However, as time passed, I realized the answer was more deep-seated than that. I think that it is important for women to be portrayed as more than one-note and capable of being competent in areas that are “traditionally” associated with men. I feel more sports romances are needed what blends both the hard and soft sides of the industry. Additionally, I wanted to push myself into an area that I had not attempted previously. I knew sports, talked sports, but had never written sports. Writing sports romances provided me an opportunity to explore and balance two loves that are not as incompatible as some may think.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance 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. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

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.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given is due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.

Linda O’Connor: IN THE GAME HOCKEY ROMANCE series (Recipe & Excerpt)
Monday, February 18th, 2019

It’s February and we’re in the midst of a snowstorm in Ontario, Canada! I thought I’d share a spring-like recipe to try to nudge Mother Nature into giving us warmer temperatures. Everyone think spring!!

Lemon Mousse
Soften 1 package of gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water for 1-2 minutes. Then stir over low heat until dissolved.
Add: 1 Tbsp. lemon rind
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup white sugar
Stir in 2/3 cup plain yogurt OR Greek vanilla yogurt 0% fat.
Whip 1 cup whipping cream with ½ cup sugar and fold into above. Chill 3-4 hours. Serves 4.

I’m excited to share a little bit about the fourth book of my In the Game Hockey Romance series. It’s a stand-alone story and was one of my favourites to write. Jordan’s “spirited” aunt pops in for a visit to give Jordan some much needed moral support. I believe that our loved ones are always looking out for us as our guardian angels. And Jordan could definitely use the nudge in her love life!

Before the Whistle
(In the Game Hockey Romance series, Book 4)

Jordyn Kendra is a talented designer and savvy businesswoman. Spending eighteen hours a day establishing and running a successful business doesn’t leave much time for pursuing a relationship, and frankly she hasn’t really missed it. But when an invitation arrives that could help her fulfill her career dreams, she has to make a decision. What’s harder: going to a gala without a date or finding someone to ask?

Ben Matthews, head athletic therapist for the wildly popular Clarington Quakes hockey team, tends to stand out in a crowd. When Jordyn doesn’t recognize him, it puts a dent in his ego, but he catches her attention when he jumps in to save a life.

She’s a queasy bystander, cowering at the sight of blood, and he’s cool, calm, and confident, which she finds irresistible. With a little prodding from her spirited aunt, Jordyn realizes that she and Ben might be the perfect mismatch.

Before the Whistle – when cool and calm in an emergency is totally hot.

Excerpt

The man who’d walked in as she’d come out of the pool – and wasn’t he gorgeous? – glanced over at the teenagers and then stepped in front of her, blocking their view. “Hi. You’re Jordyn, right? Danni’s friend?”

Jordyn stumbled to a stop. The top of her head came level with the middle of his bare chest. There were only a few advantages to being short. Being eye level with that view – sculpted muscle, smooth skin, broad shoulders – was definitely one of them. She swept her gaze up to his face. He looked familiar, but she couldn’t place him.

“Ben Matthews. I work with the Quakes.” He took the towel from around his neck and handed it to her.

She took it without thinking. “Of course.” He was the head athletic therapist for the Clarington Quakes, the professional hockey team in town. She’d met him a couple of times at team events when she’d accompanied her friend, Dr. Danni Angelo, who was one of the team physicians. She hadn’t realized that impressive physique was under the loose team jacket he usually wore. “Hi, Ben. Yes, I’m Jordyn Kendra. Nice to see you.” She held up the towel. “Ah, thanks, but I don’t really need to take yours. I left one on the chair over there.” She pointed to the lounger at the end of the pool.

He nodded. “That’s okay. I can get another. You go ahead – it’s a bit chilly in here.”

Jordyn tilted her head. Really? The water was cool, but the air felt like a balmy summer day. She shrugged and wrapped the towel around herself. “I didn’t know you lived in this condo.”

He smiled. “Just moved in last month. I had an apartment close to the rink, but when something opened up with a view of the river, I jumped at it.”

“You can’t beat it. You’ll love it here. I’m sure you’re busy with the team, but it really is convenient having the pool, squash courts, and weight room in the building.”

“I’m certainly enjoying the view.” His eyes lit with amusement.

Jordyn nodded. “Well, I should get going. It was good to see you. Maybe we’ll see more of each other.”

He chuckled. “Maybe.”

That was funny? She didn’t get it. “Thanks for the towel.”

“Anytime.”

She walked toward the change room and glanced back as Ben dove into the water. Hmm. Perfect form and hardly a splash. For a huge guy, he was pretty graceful. It looked like he’d done that before. She fleetingly wondered if he ever had trouble with shrinking bathing trunks.

She headed inside and fiddled with the combination of the lock to her locker. She’d rather shower upstairs in her condo, but she’d brought a cover to wear in the elevator. She unwrapped the towel, threw it on the bench, and glanced at her reflection in the mirror across the room. Her heart pounded in shock.

Her bathing suit was completely see-through. Her eyes widened. It left absolutely nothing to the imagination. She groaned and covered her cheeks with her hands. No wonder the teenagers had been so interested.

She shook her head and laughed in embarrassment.

Buy link:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HFQGXSM/

About the Author

Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Website: http://www.lindaoconnor.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Newsletter Sign up: http://www.lindaoconnor.net/contact/

Genevive Chamblee: Confessions of a Sports-Shaming Survivor
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

I’ve never been a tomboy, but I’ve always been a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal. I like to be comfortable. I like vegging out on the couch and watching movies that make me use my brain cells to predict the ending and reading intriguing love stories. I’m also a huge sports fan. Football is a season of its own, and Saturdays are reserved for hot wings, loaded nachos, and pizza. (I would include beer since that’s always present for my guests, but I’m not a beer drinker). Game Day is sacred. Therefore, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that my last two books (Defending the Net and Out of the Penalty Box) were both sports romances. What was a surprise, or rather an adjustment, was my having to work in an office that none of the employees were sports fans. OMG! Talk about feeling a slow death.

In short, I was sports-shamed.

Now, I get it. Sports is not everyone’s thing. But, hey, this is the south. Next to Southern Baptist, SEC football is the next largest religion. I’m just kidding … well, kinda. When I transferred into my new position, I was viewed as an oddity. I don’t want to sound stereotypic, but they, the women (and my new department only employed two male workers at the time, one of whom knew zero about any sport), found it weird that a “girl” would know so much about sports. Yes, I hang with the big dogs and can talk trivia with the best of them. I found it weird that my new coworkers were so uninterested in sports while previous co-workers who also were predominately female were extremely knowledgeable. I went from goals, touchdowns, and home runs to weeding gardens, cooking casseroles, and long-lasting nail polish. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking those activities. I do like gardening, even if I do manage to kill most veggies. And occasionally, I paint my nails when I have time and find a cute color.

There was a time, a long time ago—like in prehistoric days when I was in high school—I actually cared a lot about fashion, accessories, and doing my hair. College knocked that right out of me. I had 8:00 A.M. classes and no time for coordinating sweaters and socks. I was happy with clean and unwrinkled.

Comfortable became my element and has remained with me. However, recently, I’ve taken more of an interest in cosmetics. I must admit, the beauty world has changed since I last paid attention. I’d never heard of primers, eyeshadow bases, or color correctors. I had no clue of the difference between a setting powder and a finishing powder. (And still don’t if I’m completely honest.) I still use the applicator that comes in the eyeshadow pallet instead of a brush (with a number/name) or sponge (and I won’t even say what I thought this was when someone first mentioned it to me). Contouring sounded like something that had to do with streets. When my coworkers started discussing bath bombs, I seriously considered calling Homeland Security and reporting them as a terrorist group plotting to blow up plumbing. It all seemed foreign to me.

But as I stated previously, I’ve never been a tomboy. I’ve always wanted to look pretty, but it wasn’t a priority. Lip gloss to keep from cracking and out into the world I venture. Yet, there are times when I want to take an extra moment to invest in my image. My coworkers seemed to believe it is either sports or beauty and that a woman can’t do both. I believe that thinking is outdated. I believe it is sexist to think women can’t be athletic or knowledgeable in sports. One search on YouTube will unveil plenty of talented male makeup artists. And when I say talented, I mean it. They transform their faces into palettes and create masterpieces.

Just because a woman doesn’t get all guzzled up to the nines (or tens) does not mean she’s ugly, homely, or letting herself go. Something is to be said for natural beauty. Likewise, there is no rule stating women can’t be feminine and enjoy sports. Women shouldn’t be designated to being designated to being the swimsuit model in high heels strolling around a ring carrying a “Rounds” sign.

By now, one might be wondering what prompted me to write this article. Well, several weeks ago, someone asked me what inspired me to write sports romance. I replied it was because I enjoy sports, which is true. However, as time passed, I realized the answer was more deep-seated than that. I think that it is important for women to be portrayed as more than one-note and capable of being competent in areas that are “traditionally” associated with men. I feel more sports romances are needed that blend both the hard and soft sides of the industry. Additionally, I wanted to push myself into an area that I had not attempted previously. I knew sports, talked sports, but had never written sports. Writing sports romances provided me an opportunity to explore and balance two loves that are not as incompatible as some may think.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance 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. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

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 sign up today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given is due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.

Linda O’Connor: Romantic Comedy (Contest)
Saturday, March 17th, 2018

As a physician, I’m always concerned (okay, completely anal 🙂 ) about infection control. I taught my three kids to wash their hands whenever they came home from school, after playing outside, really anytime they walked into the house. We all have separate toothbrush holders, and we each have our own tube of toothpaste. And don’t even get me started on sharing drinks. Infectious mononucleosis, influenza, herpes simplex, even hepatitis A lurk everywhere. So imagine my chagrin when, now that they’re older, they taste-test each other’s beer or share water bottles on the bench when they’re playing hockey!

 

This crept into Behind the Bench, the second book of my In the Game Hockey Romance series. Dr. Danni Angelo is the team physician for the local professional hockey team. She’s forever chirping at the players to use their own water bottles. The players tolerate the advice, even appreciate her concern, but they pretty much ignore her. She’s not giving up though – and she’ll add her two cents about the merits of full-face shields while she’s at it.

I also want to wish you Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! May your day be touched with a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed with smiles by the people you love!

 Behind the Bench
(In the Game Hockey Romance series, Book 2)

Dr. Danni Angelo is the team physician for the Clarington Quakes hockey team. She’s worked hard to earn the players’ respect, but the new coach, Trey Mason, is stirring things up, and Danni’s worried her job may be in jeopardy.

Trey finds Danni…distracting. Beauty, brains, and sexy moves on the ice have him uncomfortably attracted. He’s the new guy on the block. He has a reputation to build and a standard to set. The last thing he needs is a complication.

When the team spirals out of control and Danni and Trey get caught up in a drug scandal, things heat up on and off the ice. It’s a whole new game plan…Behind the Bench.

Excerpt

Danni watched the tail end of the in-house broadcast of the news conference and flicked off the screen. How could you not be impressed with that? Trey Mason was confident and eloquent, and spoke in a relaxed and engaging way. The beach-bum blond hair, sculpted cheekbones, and easy smile would win over the non-hockey fans, and his passion and knowledge of the game would impress the followers. He had it all, and landing in a town like Clarington must be a dream come true. For him.

And a nightmare for her.

She had worked part-time as the team physician for the Clarington Earthquakes, Quakes for short, for the past three years. It had taken time to gain the players’ confidence. Being a female physician for a men’s hockey team hadn’t been easy, but she’d built a solid professional relationship.

She loved everything about the job – the energy of the games, working with high-level athletes, and a new clinic in a state-of-the-art arena. She certainly didn’t want it to change because of a new head coach.

Trey Mason couldn’t fire her. Theoretically. That would be up to the owners of the team. He could, however, make her life miserable. And if there was friction between them, it would affect the players, and ultimately, what affected the players influenced the owners. There were two other physicians who shared the job with her and a few more who would be eager to take it on.

He, on the other hand, could be set for a long run if he delivered half of what he’d promised today. She certainly hadn’t seen any charm when he’d walked into the pressroom, and yet it came out in spades when he spoke. She could only hope that her initial impression had been wrong, because between the two of them, it wasn’t likely that he’d be leaving any time soon. Bottom line – she needed to suck it up and get along with the new guy. She sighed. She hated sucking up. She’d thought she was done with that. Apparently not. She shook her head and gritted her teeth. Time to smile and play nice.

Buy links:

Behind the Bench is part of the Coming in Hot: Rescue Me Romance Collection. It’s available for preorder for only 99cents. Coming April 17!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07942MKP1

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coming-in-hot-gina-kincade/1127238374

Contest

For a chance to win a Kindle Fire and a big box of books, enter the Coming in Hot: Rescue Me Rafflecopter:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1be7623365/

 

 

About the Author

Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.

Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Website:  http://www.lindaoconnor.net
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Newsletter Sign up: http://www.lindaoconnor.net/contact/

Ann Jacobs: Lovable Jocks, Crazy Kinks
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Motivation. Along with goals and conflict, it’s a major component of a great romance. A few years ago, I decided to write a series about some hot, successful football players whose unusual interests (call them fetishes if you must) played huge roles in how they lived their personal lives. GRIDIRON KINK includes the four BDSM romances that illustrate what events motivated each hero and heroine to embrace fetishes some readers may find strange—even a bit bizarre.

Romance is a must for me in everything I write, no matter what kinky actions turn my story people on. I lean toward conjuring up one hero, one heroine story lines, though there’s room for modification of that rule in some of my BDSM tales. In the GRIDIRON KINK series, I set out to write the stories of four mainly heterosexual couples for whom exploring their mutual fetishes—psychologically as well as literally—were integral parts of their journeys.

I hope readers will enjoy the four independent but connected short novels. In END ZONE, Jack and Tawny are young lovers who have embraced her 24/7 control over his sexual urges for his own good. Sid’s submissive dream girl learns to welcome his style of control by sensual rope bondage in place of her former master’s brutality in BEST RECEPTION. Jimmy miraculously finds his fantasy lover in the flesh, straight off advertiser’s billboards, in SACKMASTER. Finally, Matt is Keisha’s happy 24/7 slave, until circumstances force a switch of the D/s dynamic to save her life.

These stories have been updated and sanitized for their re-release in a brand-new box set featuring cover art by the fabulous Original Syn. I hope readers will enjoy all four in one handy package! Brand new and only $3.99 (or read for free with Kindle Unlimited) so get your copy now!

Website: http://annjacobs.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnJacobsAuthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/authrannjacobs
Email: ann@annjacobs.net



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