Please welcome Delilah Devlin, author of "Pitch Black," a short story in High Octane Heroes.
Please tell us about your contribution to High Octane Heroes.
My story is called “Pitch Black,” and is about what happens when the lights go out in a prison barracks housing murderers. Wonder where the sexy comes in? For def, not in the prison, but the hero shows what he’s made of getting to the heroine. I based this story on my daughter’s experiences when she was working as a corrections officer in a men’s prison.How did you get involved in the project?
I suggested it to my editor at Cleis Press. I told her “super alpha” kinds of heroes were extremely hot. She was dubious at first, so I did informal polls on my Facebook page to prove to her there was an audience, but once we had the title nailed, everyone knew this book was going to be special.What are some of your favorite stories in this collection?
Do not make me choose! LOL! I would not have included the stories I did if I didn’t love each and every one of them. They all share a certain theme and tone, but are all completely different, so readers don’t have to worry about getting too much of the same. There are SEALs, soldiers, S.W.A.T. team members, corrections officers, undercover police officers... And I’m sure I left something out, but there’s action and there’s plenty of sexy romance to keep anyone turning the pages!What is it about a hero that is so appealing to readers?
It’s the idea of a guy who is willing to sacrifice himself, to fight for what he believes in and who he loves. You imagine yourself as the woman he’s attracted to, and then think about all that intensity aimed right at you.What makes heroes fun to create as a writer?
The trick is to create heroes that are real. Not cookie-cutter guys, but flesh-and-blood guys who have those moments of doubt and fear, but push through to do what’s right. Then of course, action scenes are a lot of fun to write because you’re there, in the middle of it—feeling, smelling, seeing everything as it unfolds.Describe your ideal hero.
He’s a big dude. Muscular, but not too ripped. Not too pretty. With dark hair and piercing eyes, and the kind of strength he can put to use handling a woman with curves... And it would be nice if he had a sense of humor. :)What are some of your other published books?
The latest ones I have out there include my two Cleis Press summer releases, Smokin’ Hot Firemen and High Octane Heroes. Also, this year I had the first two novels in my Caitlyn O’Connell series release— Shattered Souls and Lost Souls. And if you think you’d like to try a modern mummy story, there’s Crescent Moon!On what other projects are you currently working?
Crescent Moon is a serialized novel, meaning it releases in 10,000-word installments. I’m writing the last installment right now. I’m also revising a BDSM novel for Grand Central’s Forever Yours line called Her Only Desire which will be out in December. As soon as I wrap up both of those, it’s back to the next Delta Heat novella—Mondo’s story.What drives you as a writer?
The stories in my head. Literally, I walk around with stories unfolding in my head like movie reels. If I didn’t write, I’d be in a mental ward.What is the best writing advice you ever received?
Write a story. Ship it. Write another.What can you be found doing when not reading or writing?
Making jewelry. I love playing with pretty beads and scraps of leather and silk, and figuring out ways to put them all together and make something I want to wear. I have a new Etsy business called The Emerald Casket so I can clear some of my workspace to make more!What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Food. Not just food, though. I love great food. Spicy, ethnic, strange—if it’s served on a plate and unmoving, I will try it. My favorites are Thai, Korean, Greek and Indian. I will drive hours for a great meal. And cheeses. I love them all from the smelliest Roquefort to the creamiest brie. Add a slice of apple or pear, a glass of wine, and I’m in heaven.Is there anything else you would like to share today?
I just hope everyone will check out our High Octane Heroes website at: http:// highoctaneheroes.delilahscollections.com/. We have excerpts posted there, and the authors have been talking about the inspirations for their stories. Happy reading!Thank you so much for your time!
What is it about heroes like Superman, Iron Man or Thor that revs our engines like no other? Is it the suit? The manly physique? Or is it the courage they display, wading in where others fear to go, to save the damsel, the city, the Earth? Are there real-life heroes who inspire the same lustful fascination? Kickass iconic heroes who enter danger zones in the name of duty, honor, country—or maybe love—who conjure images of hard, chiseled bodies, deadly glares and camouflaged features?
High Octane Heroes will satisfy the reader who craves the romantic idea of that “super alpha” man. Imagine the Navy SEAL sent on a suicide mission; the damaged Army Ranger home from war; the para rescue team member jumping into frigid waters; a SWAT team member entering a human trafficker’s den… military members and based in far-flung places around the world or the smoke-jumper living next door. Then imagine the romantic possibilities of being held against that massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to protect and serve…
Read an excerpt:
FROM “PITCH BLACK” BY DELILAH DEVLIN
Passion lights the way for an ex-marine corrections officer rescuing a female CO trapped in a prison block during a blackout…
Even through the rattle of the spray hitting her glass shower door, Jenna heard the front door slam. Rinsing the last of the suds from her hair, she turned off the water and tugged her towel from over the edge of the door, wrapping it quickly around her body. By the sound of the heavy thuds of his boots, he was a man on a mission. She had no doubts what was on his mind.
What had been on everyone’s mind during the debrief at shift’s end. She’d felt the glances, saw the condemnation simmering in the male officers’ eyes. Despite the fact females had been serving inside the prison for years, she was a problem. Too pretty. Too slim. A distraction for the prisoners and officers alike.
Things she’d faced down before. No matter how she’d tried to minimize her attraction—no makeup, loose uniforms, her hair pulled into an unflattering, tight bun—she still stuck out like a sore thumb. Danny had to come to her rescue, and that put him in unnecessary danger because guards caught in the dark were supposed to hit a wall and wait. He’d traversed the entire barracks to get her out. Yet no one pointed a finger at him for breaking protocol. They all understood the need.
More than once the LT and the major had offered her easier duty, inside the infirmary or permanently manning a hub’s control, but she’d refused, wanting to prove herself. Not because her sole ambition was to be the best corrections officer she could be, but because a successful stint there would make her application to the police academy stand out among the other candidates.
Danny knew this. But he didn’t support her. Even before they’d begun to see each other, he’d been after her to quit or transfer. When she’d been assigned to his shift, under his command, he’d kept silent about their relationship because he’d been hell-bent on protecting her. Maybe it was time she asked for a transfer to another shift.
The thought left her cold. Because even though things had gone sideways tonight, she’d known he would get to her. No matter what. And that thought had kept her from panic. Not something she would ever let him know.
Her bathroom door slammed open. Still dressed in his uniform, his shoulders spanned the door frame. His short black hair skimmed the upper edge. His dark blue shirt, spattered with raindrops, reflected the stormy color of his eyes as he raked her with a glance. Anger simmered in the glance he gave her.
Her chin shot up. “No, hello darlin’?”
His hand shot out, grabbed her arm and yanked her against his chest. “Fight me.”
Her eyes widened. “What’s this about?”
He gave a sharp shake of his head. “Shut up. Fight me.”
She inserted her free hand between them and shoved at his chest. “Danny?”
“Think you could have fought Draper off if he’d been after you?” he said, his voice a deep, graveled growl.
She swallowed hard against a burning lump at the back of her throat. So that was what this was going to be. A lesson. Proof she wasn’t strong enough, mean enough to be on that barracks floor. “Stop this, right now.” She pushed again, but he ducked down, shoved his shoulder against her abdomen, forcing her to crumple over him.
Then he was backing out the door, striding toward her bed. He shrugged his shoulder, and she tumbled to the mattress, her towel flying open.
Before she could roll over the side to escape, he was on her, his superior weight sinking her deep into the mattress. Covered shoulder to toe by his large body, she could barely breathe. “Danny.” He shook his head again, a grim set to his tight square jaw. “This ends, Jenn. Tomorrow, you’re gonna accept that transfer. Work in the warden’s office, guard the nurse, whatever, but you won’t be on that goddamn floor.”
“You have no right to dictate to me.”
“Don’t I? Wasn’t my ass on the line tonight?”
“I didn’t ask—”
“You didn’t have to! Dammit, I love you!”
His shout reverberated in the room and had her jaw clamping shut. Bitter tears filled her eyes. His eyes squeezed shut. Then before she could draw the next shattered breath, he rolled off her to sit at the edge of the bed, his back to her. His shoulders were slumped. “I can’t do this again.”
One randomly drawn commenter will win the grand prize package (US only):
* $50 Amazon gift cert, signed copies of Cowboy Lust and Smokin’ Hot Firemen from DelilahIndividual blog day prizes for randomly drawn commenters will include:
* Tiara from Sabrina York
* A print copy of Under His Skin and a So Inked mug from Sidney Bristol
Adele Dubois: a download of REV ME UPFollow the tour for more chances to win!
Brindle Chase: an eBook copy of his book Dark is the Night awarded every day of the tour
Delilah: a hand-painted art pendant, backlist downloads
Elle James: a prize package of books and swag on her blog day
Jenny Lyn: $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N and a copy of her new book
Megan Mitcham: a “hot high-octane guy” calendar
Sabrina York: an eBook of choice from her backlist on the day she blogs
Sidney Bristol: an eBook of choice from her backlist on the day she blogs
Tahira Iqbal: a digital copy of The Merger.