Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and psy/suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my website.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dark Sentinels - Book One: Sable

Thanks for stopping by to see my new cover, created by graphic designer Elise Trissel, daughter of award winning author Beth Trissel. Beneath the cover is a blurb for my upcoming paranormal release, the first in my Dark Sentinels series. Please let me know what you think!

Sable, a sentinel wolf shifter, is captured and locked in his wolf form until Akila, a veterinarian, tries to tame him and unleashes a 6'5" baby blue-eyed surprise.

Dr. Akila Marshall is a veterinarian with a calling – save as many stray animals as possible. The only child of wealthy, yet distant parents, she’s convinced that love is not for her. Until…

Sable’s search for his twin sister leads him to Akila. Born into a rare species of wolf shifters whose main purpose is protecting others, he has always been forced to fend for himself, but Akila’s loving, protective nature draws him – and not a moment too soon. Together, they must learn to trust each other enough to overcome a new, deadly enemy.

Longer revision of "Raven's Shelter," originally published in "Taming of the Wolf II" anthology

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Praise of My Favorite Man of All Time

I am, and have always been, a Daddy’s girl – a football throwing, track running, baseball smacking, "rather hang out with Daddy than go shopping with Mama" Daddy’s girl. My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003, and passed away November, 2007. He served in the U.S. Army long before I was thought of, and saw action during the Korean War. Not one day goes by that I don’t think of him, miss him, and smile with gratitude for knowing him. Times like this, I am not only grateful for what he taught me, but for what he did for all of us by serving in the Military. Military service is a sacrifice, and we should never forget that because of the sacrifices of others, we are allowed to live in relative peace, unaffected by war-ravaged streets, blood-shed, and constant fear for our lives.

This Memorial Day, I’m remembering the many times my Dad saved me from yet another shopping trip with my Mom and sister, the many times he allowed me to wear jeans and tennis shoes to school when my Mom laid out dresses for me, the many times he smiled indulgently to soften my Mom’s frowns when I ran in scarred and dirty from street football or backyard dodge ball, and the many times he told me how beautiful and smart I was until I believed him.

This same man who taught me to throw a football against my Mom's permission, sat proudly and patiently while I sang and practiced piano, and taught me to love and appreciate jazz music. He laid an unshakeable foundation so that no matter what happened with other men in my life, I knew that I was worthy of love and respect. Every girl needs one. Every woman needs to know the love of a good father. My Dad even talked to my x-husbands and patiently instructed them on how to "get along" with me, admitting that I could be "difficult" at times. Unfortunately, they had other ideas - that's why they're called "x's" :-D

I miss my Dad, but he will never really be gone from my life. His influence will always be with me. In fact, every hero in my stories, though each one is different, is patterned after some endearing characteristic of my Dad. This Memorial Day, say a special prayer of thanks for all of the brave souls who gave their lives to keep us safe, and a prayer of thanks and protection for all of those who are still with us, and if you can do something to make their lives easier and brighter, don’t hesitate to do it while you can. Have a glorious, blessed Memorial Day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank Loving Day

Just over 50- years ago, 54 to be exact, interracial/multi-cultural (IR/MC) marriages were against the law, and could get you jail time in many states here in the great melting pot. IR/MC marriages existed, but the two lovers often had to lie about or hide some aspects of their union.
When reformist and statesman Frederick Douglass married suffragist Helen Pitts in 1884, after fathering five children with his first wife, Anna Murray, his marriage to Pitts was constantly ridiculed by both Blacks and Whites. Actress/singer Pearl Bailey and her husband, jazz drummer/composer/band leader Louie Bellson often had to say he was of Haitian descent when they performed in southern states. The stories go on and on until one couple managed to overturn archaic laws forbidding marriages between people of different color.

In 1958, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter travelled to Washington, D.C. to be married. Five weeks after their wedding, they were awakened at 2 a.m. and arrested for being married to one another. Nine years later, after a number of hearings and setbacks, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor, overturning laws in all 50 states prohibiting interracial/multicultural marriages. June 12, 1967 is known as “Loving Day.” Thanks to the Lovings and their predecessors, we have a greater opportunity to choose the person we want to share our lives with based on love and common interests instead of skin color. So tell me about your experiences. Do you think legalizing IR/MC marriages has helped change people’s attitudes or interests?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Seven Layers to Love

Relationships are challenging. We have to go through several required steps, stages, or layers to get to the best part. I hear some of you thinking love at first sight, and a variety of scenarios that allow the skipping of layers. As a professional, I can't say this, but as me, I must say you are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Now that that has been established, let's move on to required layers. Note that many relationship tragedies could be avoided if people would just adhere to the layers. I like layers or stages best because they don't always have to be in this order, but like an onion, love is best for you when peeled correctly. You can always skip the preliminaries and cut right to the center, but you'll end up in tears.
Each layer is necessary at some point to some degree. I'll list them here and talk about each one later. For the sake of this article and my sanity, I'll call our two people Adam and Eve. Creative, huh?
. Something identifiable from the outside attracts (either initially or later on) Adam to Eve or Eve to Adam, hopefully both, but it doesn't require both until later. Often physical, but certainly not always. For me it's usually compassion and intelligence (really!).

2. Situations occur (naturally or not) allowing Adam and Eve to communicate (physical proximity is not always necessary for a time). For instance, Adam could end up working on a campaign with Eve (natural), or Eve could keep showing up in front of or behind Adam's house in lingerie (probably not).
3. Attraction grows (from Adam's, Eve's, or both individuals' perspectives). Best if mutual, but still not necessary yet. This is the turning point, though. Whichever party, Adam or Eve, is still holding out or acting as if he or she is disinterested, must be notified in no uncertain terms that the two of you are indeed in a relationship!
4. Adam and Eve's relationship grows through mutual respect and admiration (this doesn't stop them from making smart-ass comments to or about one another). The relationship thrives on creativity and the desire to do things for one another.  Notice the word mutual here. If the attraction is not mutual by this point, either cut your losses and move on, or repeat step two with the understanding that you have become a stalker.
5 & 6. Adam & Eve consummate their mutual affection sexually, notify each other that they want to, or notice they want to be with one another more than anyone else. Doesn't matter much which order  (obviously, notifying one another verbally is not necessary in every scenario).
7. Adam and Eve decide they want to stay together and commit to only have sex with each other. To clear up any possible confusion, this also disallows Adam's perusal of porn sites and staring at or drooling over other women, but Eve retains the right to peruse porn sites and stare at or drool over other men as long as Adam is not in the same vicinity. Why this double standard, you ask? Review #4, highlighted for your convenience. Even this, she does for Adam (such a selfless girl). Porn sites keep her abreast of new positions and trends, and staring and drooling perpetuate her sexual creativity.
So, there you have it. Of course, love develops and grows over time, as the couple meets and overcomes challenges together. What do you think?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Author Dara Young's New Release and Amazon Goodies!

Author Dara Young is my guest blogger today. Read on! For readers who have left comments throughout Dara's tour, you could win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com, and for those who leave comments here, I'll giveaway three kindle edition copies of "The Cancan Dancer!"
I'm happy to have you visit with me today,Dara! Tell us a bit more about yourself, your writing, and of course, your new release :-)

How long have you been writing?

With the intent to be published? Since 2009, so three years now. But I have always played at it here and there.

What genres do you write besides historical romance?

I have a paranormal romance I’m working on that’s about a group of superheroes. I’d like to write something in a steampunk vein as well.

Do you write to music? If so what was the sound track to The Cancan Dancer and the Duke?

I do often have music on when I write. I listened to a lot of classical music, including Offenbach who wrote the music for the Cancan. 

Where do you write?

On my couch or in my bed. I have tried to set up a desk, but the reality is I write all over the place depending on my mood and the weather.

What is the most you have written in one day?

I think I did 6K in one day. I was so exhausted I can’t remember. LOL!

You have to jump out of a plane w/ a holey parachute or edit your 100K MS by hand, what. do. you. do?

Where’s my red pen and paper? Cause seriously, there is just no reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. 

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was out of books by my favorite authors and I was really bored at work with surfing the web. I worked in an industry where the work came in waves, so some days were just really slow. I started writing to strengthen my typing skills and so I’d look a little busy.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I suppose I do, but I couldn’t tell you what it was. I am certainly wordy, so I think my style lends itself to writing historical. But then, when I write contemporary stuff, I can be totally snarky and that fits me really well too.

How did you come up with the title?

It was pretty obvious. I kind of went with that classic historical romance title.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Sort of. I danced in a ballet in high school that was about the artist Toulouse-Lautrec and it included a cancan. The dance really stuck with me and it seemed like a fun topic to write about.

Do you see writing as a career?

I’d like it to be, but for now I have to go to my day job. I really can’t afford to stay home and write full time until I write a few more books. But by all means, feel free to contribute to my dream. *wink*

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

This is from the Superheroes WIP:

Dalton watched as the firemen up and down the motel stood looking at each other confused. One minute they were fighting the fire and the next it was out. That's not how fighting fires worked. It was a process. A battle. It was not a switch that someone flipped and it was gone. The radio chirped into his ear reminding him he had a job to do.

"Everyone stand ready. I'm going to check on the woman and see if I can get a closer look." He closed his turnout up and buckled the strap on his helmet.

It was a slow climb up the stairs on the unburned end of the building. On the second floor, about halfway down the structure, stood a half-naked woman. Her red hair streamed around her, brushing the middle of her back. Her white t-shirt just covered what looked like a nicely shaped ass clad in matching white panties. Muscular and shapely, her long, lush legs stood solidly underneath her. Cream skin glowed softly in the ambient light from the street. There was no sign of fire, so he sidled up next to the woman to see what she was staring at so intently.

"Miss?” She seemed to be taking deep breaths, but did not respond. Wary of her lashing out at him, he peeked in the door of the burnt out room they were in front of. Holy Hestia! The walls looked like someone had punched through them with a sledgehammer and then took a big gnarly saw to the pipes. The room was soaked.

"Miss? Are you okay?" He reached out to gently touch her shoulder.

"What?" Big blue eyes looked at him dazed and unfocused, but it wasn't from drug use. She was the source of the power draw he felt earlier. He knew the look in her eyes and the confusion that came from an unexpected burst of power. An uncontrolled burst. An incog.

"Why don't we head down the stairs here? We can get you a blanket and maybe some pants." Yeah. She needed pants like yesterday before all his men got completely distracted. Before he got distracted.

"Oh, here. This is my room." She stepped in the open door to his left and grabbed a bag. She pulled the door closed and then pulled a pair of shorts from the bag. She handed them to him.

"Um. They're for you. Can you put them on?"

"Oh. Sorry. I'm a little..." She didn't finish, just dropped the bag and pulled the shorts on. Clothed, she picked it back up and looked at him.

"No problem miss." He just wanted to get her off the balcony and let the men get on with their work. Then he could figure out who she was and where she came from.

Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me and remember to comment on each post during the blog tour for more chances to win! (Not sure what I'm talking about? Click here.)
The Cancan Dancer and The Duke
The Wild Rose Press

Can a lady on the lam and a duke on the make find love at the Moulin Rouge?
Cathedrals and museums are not Lady Charise Colton’s idea of European adventure. Turn-of-the-century Paris beckons, and she wants to grab it while she can…or rather, cancan. Flirting with fate and half of Paris, Charise eludes her chaperones and joins the cancan revue at the Moulin Rouge.
Ethan Greer, Duke of Lofton, is in Paris to settle some estate business. Chafing under his responsibilities, he discovers an enchanting distraction at the Moulin Rouge, a flirtatious dancer who stirs his lust and something more. He must have her—even if it means offering carte blanche.
Terrified of discovery, Charise tries to hold her persistent suitor at bay, though her heart has already surrendered. Will she lose him if he learns the truth, or is love enough to bind the cancan dancer and the duke?

The singular sound was a soft whisper at first. The audience strained forward to catch even a note of the eerie melody carried on the fetid air of the cafe. As the song picked up, her voice grew stronger, the words more clear. Ethan relaxed into his seat and let the warm rich alto caress him. His body grew warm with the promises carried by the witch’s husky tones.
He remained unaware of anything in the room except the siren walking toward him. Each steady, unhurried step she took further drew him in. His gaze feasted on the curve of her hip, the swell of her breast. Ethan rode the knife’s edge between lust and propriety.
The song described, in lurid detail, two lovers in the throes of passion. Upon reaching him, the dancer propped the toe of her boot onto the edge of his seat—square between his thighs. The luscious creature presented impossibly sheer bloomers which hid everything and yet nothing, causing him to let out the breath he, until now, unknowingly held. His cock grew rigid, the uncomfortable throbbing causing him to shift. The desire to haul her into his arms and demonstrate every action she described with the most sensuous mouth he’d ever seen rode him hard. Her full lower lip begged for his kiss. Ethan wanted to see it slick and glowing pink from his attentions.
The wanton dancer continued to taunt him, but his good breeding won out. Forcing himself to stay seated, his fists balled and his jaw grew rigid with frustration, but his raging lusts remained leashed. The song ended, sending her into the nether regions of the cafe in a swirl of skirts.

Add it to my shelf at: GoodReads.com
Thank you so much for sharing your new release with us today, Dara! Good luck on the Amazon.com gift card to those of you who've been commenting throughout Dara's blog tour, and I'll announce winners of the Kindle edition copies of Dara's new release here on Monday! Make sure to leave your e-mail address. Happy Mother's Day :-) 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Weapon In My Arsenal: Using the Outline to Minimize Passive Voice

          Okay, you’re probably thinking I must have been living under a rock. No, it’s not as if I just heard about the outline and all of its values. It’s just that I’m the artsy type. You know, the don’t like to be boxed in, don’t like rules, don’t like to be limited type? That would be fine, and I could continue flying (writing) by the seat of my pants in my own little artsy world if I didn’t have this teensie weensie problem.  What do you get when you cross an organized, rational mind with an artsy type? Here it comes. I’m also OCD.  There. I said it. Just a tad, but acknowledging the problem is what? Is it 9/10 of solving it? I doubt that, but…wait a minute. I just gave everyone an example of why I need an outline. I’m supposed to be talking about my outline and here I am over in artsy type world talking about OCD.  Maybe if I don’t say it so loud it won’t be so annoying. Okay, … right, the outline. Here we go.

          There are several types of outlines, ranging from very detailed to signposts to notes. Since I’m already so resistant (kind of an all or nothing kind of gal, too), I’ve developed one that fits my style. It’s just detailed enough to meet my needs, but it doesn’t encumber me or require that I redo it too often. There’s lots of room to move and still stick to my outline.

          I start by listing the main and supporting characters across the top of the page just beneath the title and working blurb. This way I have the main plot, conflict, and enough characterization to get me going. You can use a chart, but I use a family-tree-like web since I’m used to using those in counseling and therapy. Next, I create a vertical line down the remainder of the page leaving enough room for me to type or scribble notes on the right side of the page. The left side of the vertical line is used to jot down main plot points for each scene and chapter, leaving space at the end of each to add or write questions or things I still need to work out.

          Along the way, I highlight the main plot points and estimate how many pages each scene and chapter will take. This way, I have an estimate of how long the story will be and how long it will take me to complete the first draft.

          This is a big decision for me – coming to the realization and finally admitting that I will be more productive using an outline. Now, for those of you who are die-hard pantsers, or maybe you’d just like to tweek your outline skills or try a new one, here’s a good resource for outlines in general. I posted a few more below. Happy, prolific writing J

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php - Randy Ingermansson’s “Snowflake” method

http://www.ehow.com/how_4536804_outline-writing-novel.html - Karen Silvestri - very practical, down to earth

http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/writing-an-outline.html - Glen C. Strathy – quite a bit more in-depth and detailed, but figured I should include at least one of these


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

POLL: What Do You Love Most About Romantic Heroes?

Gotta love those alphas! People often say that our fathers help shape our ideal man fantasies. Maybe, maybe not, but my favorite romantic heroes definitely have a few traits in common.

I like them taller than average (my father was 6'3"), let's call it "big-boned," attractive in a rugged sort of way, but most of all it's the way they treat the woman they love that impresses and moves me most. Ideally, my heros are generous with their resources (time, money, knowledge, skills, contacts), supportive of and interested in my dreams and pursuits (not envious, competitive, or resentful), thoughtful (if it's important to me, it should be important to him), and protective(after all, biblically, that's a big part of his role ;-)

Inquiring minds want to know. What qualities in a romantic hero move you most? C'est la vie! Feel free to add your own...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's a Wild Rose Press Celebration!

The Wild Rose Press is celebrating her sixth birthday today! Congratulatons! A wonderful relationship with writers, prompt, courteous communication, and, of course, spectacular books, have sky rocketed her growth and success. To RJ Morris, Rhonda Penders, all the editors and staff, Happy Birthday, and many, many more!