Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye (#darielsblog), an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover so I'll periodically segue into things music, animal, or psychology-related. The stars here, though, are all-conquering love and romance. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, shifters, angels, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my Dark Paranormal Romance Series Site.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Armed and Entertained: Roku, Redbox, and a Child-like Imagination


Actor Peter Cullen - Voice of Optimus Prime

Armed and Entertained: Roku, Redbox, and a Child-like Imagination
Not too long ago, I seldom watched TV, and most of my friends called me a “movie snob.” Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always enjoyed my share of action, sci-fi, and paranormal films and series, but the really good ones were few and far between. As we settle into Fall, new series and TV shows are premiering like leaves (how many puns is that?).

Now, armed with my Roku player and its many channels, plus Redbox on the rare occasion I can’t get it on Amazon Prime or Vudu yet, I’ve been watching multi-movies, especially series like “Transformers” and the unique vampires and weres of “Twilight Saga” (which I purchased, BTW) to mention a couple, and catching up on the fantastic series I never had time to watch before, let alone keep up with prime time scheduling.

Nothing (well, not many things, anyway :-) beats watching “Grimm,” “Supernatural,” Teen Wolf,” and “Arrow” back-to-back just to name a few, but I digress.

So, just recently I watched “Transformer” movies 1-3 back-to-back. I saw each at the theater when it first released, but this was the first time I’d watched them together. To put it simply, I became increasingly annoyed with the third installment, “Dark Side of the Moon,” and decided not to bother with installment number 4.

Why? You ask. Who is Rosie, and what the hell happened to Mikaela?? Call me a romantic…well, that is what I write, but the immediate and arbitrary replacement of Mikaela pissed me off. Of course, we all know Hollywood, and it could have been some contractual issue or maybe Megan Fox was too busy, or…you get the picture, but I’m still entitled to my romantic bias. On that note, don’t get me started about why “X-Men” is called that when so many women are involved.

Back to “Transformers.” On the bright side, nothing can replace that voice of Optimus Prime. One of the first things I did back in ’07 after seeing the first installment of the series, was to find out who owned that delectable voice! Peter Cullen does such an awesome job of portraying this fantastical character, that who would have thought it? But Optimus Prime actually becomes sexy. He was never sexy back in the day when transformers first arrived on the market as “the toys to give every child you knew at Christmas.”


All-in-all, I enjoyed the three movies and I’m content with leaving it at that. Have any of you seen “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction?” Tell me what you think about the series. So far this Fall, I can tell I’m gonna love “Scorpion” with Katherine McPhee and Elyes Gabel. What are some of your favorite series? Old or new.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dariel's Friday Flasher: "Confrontation"





Welcome back to Flasher Friday!! My friends and I have come together again to offer 100 words on the same pic, so make sure to click here and check theirs out, too :-)



Confrontation
Sadie. Always did wrap me in a fog.

“Why you standin’ in the doorway, Baby?”

Her voice slides along my spine and I come to attention, throbbing, heavy, belligerent.

A whisper of silk as she slithers out of that lace nighty.

She’s movin’ on the bed now, pullin’ covers back. J’adore and woman vaporize my mind and I feel her silky skin, her lips encircling me.

Sadie's husband Jim, my uncle, was cross the ranch taming that new stallion, but my body don’t give a damn.

“Just watchin’. Stay there.” I've gotta face him like a man.

“What you watchin?” She has no idea how deep I've fallen.

“Jim’s comin’ down towards the house.” I imagine blood’ll clear this fog. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making the Most of Pinterest: Fun Ways to Grow Your Business






A few weeks ago, my daughter came home for a break from grad school. During that two week period, she managed to do something that surprised me – entertained me for hours with pictures from her Pinterest account!
She also encouraged me to revive and actively engage my own account, so like a good mother, I did what she said. LOL Now, everybody knows Pinterest is lots of fun…addictively so, but in the midst of the fun and aggresively approaching addiction, I had an epiphany.
Someone once said “a picture says a thousand words,” and they were right, so in this age of technology, that same picture can be seen and enjoyed, interpreted, or both by millions at once. What statement are you making with your Pinterest account? Here are just a few you might want to consider…
1.   Self-expression – The boards we create and pictures we choose to “pin” say a great deal about who we are as individuals. Since we all wear many hats and our lives are multi-faceted, Pinterest is a great way to weave this mosaic onto one entertaining  page.
2.   Book story-boards – Several authors, including myself, enjoy “pinning” pictures of story characters to Pinterest boards. I have two such boards: one for all of my books, including works in progress (WIP’s), and the other for a current series, “Dark Sentinels.”
3.   Inspiration for books, covers, and characters – Pinterest can also help us conceptualize our stories, covers, and characters. As I collect more pictures, particularly for my “Male Inspiration” board, it’s funny how stories just pop into my head simply because certain pics stimulate creativity.
4.   Meeting new people with similar interests – This has been one of the best and biggest surprises of using Pinterest. Every time I pin something that’s been pinned by someone else, their board pops up and I get the opportunity to see what else they’re interested in. Sometimes I find that we have quite a few interests in common, so I “follow” them so we have more chances to get to know each other better. New friends and acquaintances are always a good outcome J
5.   Relaxation – Of course, this one is a no-brainer. It’s self-made entertainment in the raw when you periodically review your own boards. Sort of a slideshow of your interests.
6.   Creating fun, interesting tweets and shares – Pictures are retweeted and shared more often than anything else, maybe because most of us are visual creatures, and pics aren’t always asking for something or telling us to do something (although they can be, and that’s fine too. Just make sure it’s a really good pic). Pick one of your Pinterest “pins” and tweet about it. Keeps things fresh and you can make it a regular highlight for your Twitter “followers.” Who knows? Might even help win more followers.” I’ve also seen authors using Instagram and other photo boards for this purpose, and creating pics from quotes using programs like Share as Image.

7.   Using marketing analytics to track interests – Over the last year or two, a number of marketing analytics apps and programs have emerged to help monitor people’s interests, sync Pinterest accounts with Facebook and Twitter, offer suggestions to enhance your site, etc. Check out Tailwind, Pinvolve, Woobox and others to help optimize your Pinterest use and engage more viewers.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

13 Books That Made a Lasting Impression



12  13 Books That made a Lasting Impression

Most of us have read a lot of great books; in fact, I’ve read so many, I can’t possibly name them all here. Some are classics, some bestsellers, some indie, but all charged with energy that still resonates so powerfully that  I’ll never forget their titles or storylines.

When you think about it, most books stay with us for a reason – something going on in our lives at the time we read them, we connect with the characters on an emotional level, or they’re simply so entertaining that we’re taken away, whisked into another world we enjoy so much, we hate for the book to end.

Here’s my list of 13 books in random order (I had to make it a baker’s dozen). Tell me about some of the books from your list in comments or on Facebook. You never know – we might have some of the same selections:

Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” (strong heroine)

“The Twilight Saga” (strong heroine)

Tananarive Due’s “My Soul To Keep”

NIV Bible (first time I actually understood)

“To Kill a Mockingbird”

“The Count of Monte Cristo”

Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” (hated the movie, though – too dismal)

“Lord of the Flies”

Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Legacy” series (beautiful prose, strong heroine [her weakness becomes her strength], and excellent treatise of gray areas in each of us)

“Chronicles of Narnia”

Christine Feehan’s “Carpathian” series (yes, the entire series – inspired me to write professionally)

Nalini Singh’s “Arch Angel” series (again, all of it)

J.R. Ward’s “Blackdagger Brotherhood” series (some more than others, but yeah, pretty much all of these, too)


So, I might have cheated a bit with the four entire series, but feel free to do the same J

Double, Double, "Grimm" and Trubel



I am obsessed with this series. The fascinating wesen, not to mention what kind of mind thinks of all these creatures? Various and sundry powers and intentions mix with good, caring characters who only want to do the right thing.

Of course, the mega-hunk hero, Nick Burkhardt played by David Giuntoli is nothing to sneeze at either. He alone is enough to make me fall in love with the occult supernatural crime drama series! His side-kick, Russel Hornsby is pretty cool, too, and Monroe - come on! A reformed Blutebad (sp?) with a kind heart and a soft-spoken yet protective manner. What's not to love?

So what’s in store for next season – coming up October 24th at 9PM EST on NBC, BTW. Supposedly, even more deadly characters including an octopus-like wesen with dangerous abilities. Also, since season 3 left frustrating cliffhangers like Nick’s powers being taken by the Hexabeast Adeline, Chief Renard getting critically shot by the crazy FBI agent who sprang from nowhere during the last few shows, and the arrival and development of Nick’s new protégé, Trubel.

Also wonder what kinds of challenges Monroe and Rosalee will face now that they’re husband and wife. Juliette Silverton, played by Bitsie Tulloch sounded like she was at her breaking point in the last episode of season 3, so I’m sure that will be dealt with, as will the resurgence of Nick’s powers. That baby? I hope the series lives to tell us what becomes of her.


Either way, I can hardly wait until season 4. After catching up on the series with Amazon Prime, I’ve been hankering for my next Nick Burkhardt fix, so here’s a little something to tide me and the rest of the extreme “Grimm” fans over…Enjoy!  





Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dariel's Steamy Saturday Feature: "Love Out of Lust" by Ray Sostre


Blurb: “Love Out Of Lust”
A weekend of happiness and content between Daryl and Marisol was promising, but they’re not out of the woods yet. Marisol keeps getting harassed by her ex-boyfriend Jose, and Daryl is now caught in the middle of it. When a confrontation between Daryl and Jose rises, things get ugly.
Excerpt:
She opened the microwave door and placed her frozen dinner inside, setting it to defrost. She picked up the phone and checked her message. When she checked to see who it was from, she was relieved to see the message was from Daryl. It read: I’ll be home very soon. I took an early out to get you a Valentine’s gift.
Her heart fluttered with desire when she read his message. It appeared he didn’t mind the sexy signature she’d sent him. She was so happy to see his response, she quickly texted him back, almost forgetting about her cousin Alonzo.
A special gift? Oooo, what kind of gift? :-)
She set her phone down and waited for his response. She couldn’t stop thinking about Daryl getting her gift. Of course it was Valentine’s Day, but she wondered what kind of gift Daryl got her? She could barely stand the anticipation.
Her phone rang another notification, and Marisol couldn’t wait to read the next message. It read: Something nice and sweet; you’ll see. :-)
Buy Links:



Friday, September 19, 2014

"Unforgettable Lovers" Multi-author Book Blog Event Winners: Jacklynn Sizemore and Donna Reynolds!!




Special thanks to all of the authors who took the time to write POV responses for their characters! Each chosen character responded to this question: "What makes someone an unforgettable lover?" I really enjoyed getting to know more about each character, the plots were intriguing, and the covers were awesome!

The winners are Donna Reynolds and Jacklynn Sizemore!! Each winner will receive up to two books of their choice from the books featured during the event (my treat). Here's a recap (in order of appearance during the event) of the books, links to the event post, and purchase links for more info:


"Forbid My Heart" by Kayelle Allen - Coming soon!





Two more books featuring Luc and Rah are in progress. Click here to sign up for one email when a book is released.

"Lover Divine" by A. Star (awa Diantha Jones)
B&N 


"Adderley's Bride" (from Charlie Daye Presents "The Dreams and Nightmares" Anthology") by Danita Minnis
Buy Links:

Amazon US       Amazon UK          Amazon CA



"Artemis's Hunt" by Lia Davis
Artemis’s Hunt ~ Sons of War novella 2.5
By Lia Davis

Deception broke her heat. The truth fuels her hunt.

Sons of War series to date
Ashes of War, book 2
Artemis’s Hunt, book 2.5
More to come…

"Witch's Bane" (The Witch Chronicles Book 2) by Ann Gimpel

"Dark Sentinels Book Two: Torin" by Dariel Raye

"Never Surrender" by Deanna Jewel





"Together In Cyn" by Jennifer Kacey
The books in the Members Only Series can be found here...


"Traitor's Legacy" by Beth Trissel



"Murderous Lies" by Chantel Rhondeau


"Into the Arms of Morpheus" by Jessica Nicholls


Amazon (for ereader and print)

Smashwords:

Blog: 



Post Link Day 6
"Dark Shadow" (The Hidden Series) by LaVerne Thompson

"Playing the Rookie" by Rachelle Ayala

"Awoken By the Sheikh" by Doris O'Connor

"Better Than Perfect" by Tricia Drammeh

"The Star Catcher" by Stephanie Keyes
"The Couple" by Harlie Williams
Author links:
Author site:  www.harliewilliams.com
Amazon Buy Link:
Barnes & Noble Buy Link:
All Romance Ebooks:
Bookstrand:


"Rescued From the Dark" by Lynda Kaye Frazier