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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Blog Schedule 2016 Revisited: The Link Between Happiness and Relationships

As some of you know, I haven't done a very good job of sticking to my blogging schedule. When something isn't working, it's time to do things a little (or a lot) differently. With that in mind, I'm returning to my roots. In other words, no concrete schedule. As much as I like the idea of order, I'm officially freeing myself to blog at will, and today I'm pleased to share this video with you. 

While piddling around online, I decided to visit the site of a fellow counselor and ran across this poignant video about happiness. The message is old school, but since we tend to ignore it and instead focus on quick fixes, it couldn't have come at a better time. 

*Warning* This video lacks bells and whistles, but the information is noteworthy. Take a look and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts about Dr. Ted's talk. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Character Interview: "Tying The Knot" (Cedar Falls) by Shea Balik


Title: "Tying the Knot, Cedar Falls Series #11"
Author: Shea Balik
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Genre: MMRomance/Erotic Alternative Romance
As I sit here waiting to interview two of the characters from the Cedar Falls series, I can’t deny being a bit nervous. As the author who created them, I should already know what they’ll say and how they’ll act. But with Jesse Grant and Flynn Anderson I have never really been sure what to expect from either of them.   They were notorious for going off script. Often reinventing scenes to fit their own quirky style. So I have no idea what’s going to happen today.   Gathering my notes, I wait for the first character, Flynn to join me. He’d already called, warning me they were running late because Jesse couldn’t find the boots that matched his outfit.

When the pair arrived, they were giggling like teenagers. “Sorry we’re late,” Flynn said, handing me a box from Sweet Buns. Opening it up, I found my absolute favorite. Zane’s famous gooey cinnamon rolls. “I hope this makes up for any delay Jesse caused.”

Jesse scowled and stomped his foot, just like always. “I couldn’t help it. I had to find my boots.” Sticking his foot out a bit, Jesse looked at me. “They were worth it, right? I mean they totally match the shirt I’m wearing.”   The pink neon Go-Go boots most assuredly matched the bright shirt. The effect was a little eye-watering, making it a challenge to read what was on his shirt, but I managed.

“I just found out I’m awesome...you might want to get yourself tested.” I couldn’t help it, I laughed out loud.   Jesse’s bright pink lips curved upward as he fluttered his mascaraed lashes. “Oh good, you have a sense of humor. I have to admit, I was worried you would be a stick in the mud.”

 That surprised me. “Oh? Why would you think that? I did create you after all.”

 Jesse shrugged. “Yeah, but you also created Mayor Donald Murphy and Betty Sue. Neither of them have a sense of humor. There are times I’m not even sure they have a pulse. So there was no telling what type of person you were.”

 “Look,” Flynn interrupted. “As fun as this is, do you think we could get to the interviews? Jax doesn’t like it when I’m gone more than short time.”

 “Oh, uhm, sure,” I say.   It had been decided they would interview separately and Flynn would go first. After making sure Jesse was comfortable, I led Flynn into another room to start the interview.
  Shea: First of all, I’d like to thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I think it’s important for the readers to learn a little more about the characters they read about.
  Flynn: I’m happy to do it.
  Shea: Let’s get started then, shall we? Flynn nods his agreement. Your story was one of the saddest I had written, especially when it delved into your struggle with dealing with your twin, Freesia’s death. Did telling your story help to cope with that loss?
 Flynn: Tears instantly sprang to Flynn’s eyes. Wow, you sure go for the hard hitting questions.    Shea: I feel a bit guilty for causing Flynn to be so emotional. If you want, we can come back to that question later.
  Flynn: No. He shakes his head. If we need to talk about it, I’d rather get it out of the way. We sit there in silence for a minute while Flynn collects his thoughts. For the most part, yes, it helped. Freesia’s death had eaten away at me for so long, there were times I felt like I was drowning in it. Up until the book, I was never allowed to talk about to allow me to get out all the anger, resentment and guilt I had inside of me. By telling my story, I got to do that and the crushing weight of her death became a little lighter. Flynn gave a small smile. Well, that and Jax. He has helped me the most.   Shea: Oh? In what way?
Flynn: A blush spread out over Flynn’s face. Mostly with his love and support, but he also introduced me to BDSM. Now, whenever I get overwhelmed, we head to the playroom in the basement and he helps me to get the poison that lives within me out. With him, I’m safe to yell, scream, kick, swear...one shoulder lifted up in a half shrug. Whatever I need, he provides. After, when I’ve finally released the tormented feelings inside of me, he holds me, takes care of me...that small smile grows...but most importantly, he loves me.
 Shea: That’s sweet. I’m really glad you found someone who takes such good care of you. Flynn beamed. When your story ended, your mother was placed in a mental facility. How is she doing?   Flynn: That smile he’d worn a few moments ago disappeared. Better. She is out of the facility and has managed to find a job and pay the bills. She still refuses to speak to me. I’m not sure we’ll ever have a good relationship, but at least she’s now able to leave the house and get on with her life.   Shea: I’m glad she is somewhat better. At the same time, I’m sorry to hear that she won’t talk to you. I hope one day, she’ll be able to understand Freesia’s death wasn’t your fault.   Flynn didn’t respond so I went on to the next question.
Shea: Let’s get off the sadder topics. I understand there is some good news you and Jesse have to tell me today.
Flynn: That smile was back and bigger than ever. There is. Jax and I are getting married.
Shea: Congratulations. When is the big day?
Flynn: In just a few days.
Shea: Did Jax propose or did you?
Flynn: He gave me a huge, “cat that ate the canary,” grin. You’ll have to read the book to find out.   Shea: I laughed. Good point. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me. Congratulations on your wedding, I wish you and Jax all the best.
Flynn: Thank you. It was my pleasure to talk with you, Shea.   While I waited for Flynn to send Jesse in, I wondered if I would be getting an invitation to the nuptials. Maybe I should have asked.
Shea: Smiling, I stood up to give Jesse a hug when he entered the room. Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me. I get a lot of questions about you and the fans will be excited to hear what you have to say.
Jesse: I’m happy to do it, especially since I’ve always wanted to meet you.
Shea: Oh? I’m flattered that you have. May I ask why?
Jesse: Anyone that put up with my quirky ways without batting an eye, is someone worth meeting. Jesse chuckled. Like that Bigfoot hunt I wanted to go on. You just wrote it and didn’t even question whether or not it was a good idea.
Shea: Chuckling. Well, when it comes to you, I find it best to just go with the flow. Arguing the sanity of your crazy ideas only leaves me with a headache.
Jesse: See? That’s why we make such a good team.
Shea: I guess we do. So tell me, how has life been for you now that you managed to get Parker to admit his feelings for you?
Jesse: A cheesy, love struck grin appeared. Great. No. More than great. Fantastic, superb, phenomenal. There aren’t enough adjectives to express how much I enjoy waking up beside him every morning. Although, I could live without his snoring.
Shea: Parker snores?
Jesse: Like he’s a chainsaw cutting down the forest.
Shea: Laughs. I imagine you don’t get much sleep.
Jesse: Sleep? What’s that? Since Chastity gave birth to Lily sleep has been harder to find than Bigfoot.
Shea: Speaking of them, how are Lily and Chastity?
Jesse: Great. There was a glow of happiness in his eyes as he talked about Lily. I never knew having a kid was so much work, but having Lily in my life is worth it. No matter how bad my day is, she always smiles when she sees and all the bad stuff just melts away. As for Chastity, she’s still trying to figure things out. She’s started college classes but I’m not sure she’s made up her mind about what she wants to do.
Shea: I’m sure she’ll figure it out eventually. Flynn just informed me that he and Jax are getting married. What about you and Parker? Are you thinking about getting hitched?
Jesse: His whole face lit up. Actually Parker and I are also getting married. There will be nine couples Tying the Knot on Saturday. It will be an event to remember, unlike the bachelor party, which we’re still fuzzy on.
Shea: Bachelor party? Did you do something special?
Jesse: Jesse’s head cocked to the side as he gave me a funny look. You wrote the book. Don’t you already know what happened?
Shea: Good point. But the reader’s don’t.
Jesse: Well than they should read the book to find out. I may not remember all the details, but it was just as big as the wedding is going to be.
Shea: What about the wedding? Can you give us any details?
Jesse: Laughs once more. All I can tell you is, you don’t want to miss it.
Shea: Realizing I wasn’t going to get any more details, I figured it was time to wrap things up. I want to thank you for coming and answering my questions. I happy that you and Parker have gotten your happily ever after.
Jesse: Your welcome, Shea. It was great meeting you. He hands me an envelope with my name on it. This is your invitation to the big day. I hope you can come. I know the other guys would love to meet you as well. Feel free to bring whoever you want with you.
Shea: To my readers. You heard the man. You’re all invited to the Cedar Falls event of the year. I’ll meet you there. (Jesse Grant and Parker Flemming's story can be found in 'Nice 'n' Rosy (MM), Cedar Falls Series #3') (Flynn Anderson and Jax Rankin's story can be found in 'Painful Pleasure (MM), Cedar Fall Series #5')

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

It's Here! "Tying The Knot, Cedar Falls #11" by Shea Balik

Release Blitz! “Tying The Knot, Cedar Falls #11” by Shea Balik

Title: “Tying the Knot, Cedar Falls, Book 11”
Author: Shea Balik
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Welcome to Cedar Falls, a small North Carolina town nestled amongst the Smokey Mountains. Where the people are friendly and the men are hot. Love is in the air for this special Cedar Falls edition.
Having decided to all get married at the same time, the couples must find a way to compromise on everything from decorations, to the cake, to the reception. And since no wedding would be complete without a bachelor party, Jesse Stone takes over the planning and leads his friends into a night of strippers, alcohol and a few other surprises that had Jesse on stage taking his clothes off.
Have a tissue handy for there won’t be a dry eye in the church as the couples recite their vows.
~ Playlist for Tying the Knot ~

Playing when Parker pops the question
  1. Love Someone by Jason Mraz
  2. Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
  3. All of Me by John Legend
Strip Songs
  1. Pony by Ginuwine
  2. It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls
  3. S&M by Rihanna
  1. Marry Me by Train
First Dance
  1. Grow Old with Me by Todd Odell
Music for reception
  1. Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor
  2. Love on Top by Beyonce
  3. Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars
Take the journey with the first nine couples as they get engaged in their own special way. As with all the Cedar Falls characters, they each have their own unique story that will pull at your heartstrings.
Aidan & Zane
“Sweet Buns, Cedar Falls #1”
Ethan & Bram

“The Collared Pup, Cedar Falls 2”
Jesse & Parker

Nice’n’Rosy, Cedar Falls 3″
Tag & Ryder

“Lube Master, Cedar Falls 4”
Jax & Flynn

“Painful Pleasure, Cedar Falls 5”
Harley & Nathan

Bound for Your Pleasure, Cedar Falls 6″
Angelo & Kit

“High and Tight, Cedar Falls 7”
Griffith & Stone

“Utopia, Cedar Falls 8”
Jake & Shane

“Euphoria, Cedar Falls 9”
About the Author – Meet Shea Balik
Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head.  Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin. Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching.  You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.
Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

Yeah, I know that is what it says on all my books and you were hoping for more.  Well, since you went the extra mile to find out more about me, here it goes…
I grew up in the north, mostly Illinois and Michigan, but in high school my family moved to Nashville, Tennessee.  I graduated from high school there before marrying and moving to Norfolk, Virginia where my husband was stationed in the Navy.  Unfortunately we didn’t make it and ended up divorced but I did get an amazing son out of my marriage, so I can’t complain.
Now I live in sunny Florida, where the weather is always warm, or so we like to brag to the Northerners who are freezing their asses off in the winter while under six feet of snow and driving on ice.  Nope, there is no ice down here, except for what we put in our drinks to keep cool on the sandy beaches with the sun baking our skin to a golden brown. Well, unless you are me, who burns instead of tans.
It is the perfect life, if one discounts the hurricanes and rainy season.   Still, it beats having to shovel snow for months out of the year.
As for traveling, I am still working on traveling to every state within the United States.  I’ve been to at least half.  My favorite mode of transportation is the car, for I feel it is the best way to see the country.  Okay, okay.  It may have something to do with my being afraid to fly, no make that terrified.  I always felt if we were meant to fly, we’d have wings. Not that I won’t get on a plane, because I will, and do.  After all, how else does one get to Hawaii quickly?
For out of the country traveling, I have been to every Caribbean country that cruise ships visit, several times.  Being a Floridian means easy access to ports and cheaper rates.  Although, now that I’ve cruised so often, I get discounts for being a frequent cruiser.  In a perfect world, I would cruise around the world, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, unless I win the lottery.
I have also been to India, three times.  Each time I went it impacted my life in profound ways.  But for me, the thing that sunk in the most, was just how lucky I am to live in the United States.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known that, but seeing just how people live in other countries, especially the poor, isn’t something one can easily forget.   Not that it was all I saw, for it wasn’t.  The people I dealt with were kind, generous and eager to please.  I enjoyed getting a chance to visit there and experiencing their culture, which was rich with history.
Well, I hope that gave you some insight into who I am.  Please check out the rest of my website and keep reading.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spotlight on O2O Rewards: "Blazing Love" by Chantel Rhondeau:

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win this blazing hot romantic suspense by Chantel Rhondeau!

An emotionally injured veterinarian assistant tries to resist the heat of a blazing hot firefighter, but she can’t avoid the flames of his passion. 

Veterinarian assistant Laura Lyons loves animals, loves her job, and is trying to love her life. But after her fiancĂ© was killed in an accident seven years earlier, she shut everyone out, determined not to become attached. Laughing and pretending she has no problems without letting anyone know the real her is the easiest route. 

Thayne Bloodgood is the most eligible bachelor on the Sayle Fire Department’s roster. Handsome, strong, and loyal, the single ladies fawn over him—all except the one he wants. Thayne is determined to break down Laura’s defenses. The desire in her eyes when they flirt isn’t his imagination. Winning her heart is a challenge he’s ready to meet. 

Will this relationship blaze too hot, burning them both in the process, or can Thayne become the kind of man Laura needs and prove to her it’s never too late to love? 

CONTENT WARNING: Sizzling love scenes - 18+ suggested readers.

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