Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Musa Publishing: Why I Write Sex

It's blog day for Leigh Daley!!! I'm also at the Musa blog talking sex---again!!! Come by and visit!!

Musa Publishing: Why I Write Sex: I write under two pennames—Arley Cole for my YA-friendly fantasy and Leigh Daley for my steamy romance. Arley Cole keeps it out of the bedro...

Across the Plain of Shining Books: Leigh Daley: Storm Duty

I'm guesting today at Pat McDermott's cool blog! Writing romance short fiction has some challenges. Come by and let me know what you think!!

Across the Plain of Shining Books: Leigh Daley: Storm Duty: The Plain welcomes romance author Leigh Daley, here today to write about the challenges of building romantic tension in a short story. Leig...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let's Hear It for the Boy

I recently read a very interesting blog post from a romance author/reader who described her deep and abiding love for Alpha males in all their smoldering, dominant glory. She loved their "take no prisoners" attitude and thought they were especially hot when shapeshifting into various powerful animal forms.

Now, I am not going to knock that. There is something special indeed about a growling werewolf, pirate captain, or imperious aristocrat that makes the heart go pitter-patter.

However, I continually find myself drawn to another type of romantic hero--the Regular Guy.

I am married to a Regular Guy. He's in his mid-fifties, bald, paunchy--and unbelievably sexy to me (though my daughter wonders what I ever saw in this perfect specimen of middle management).

Regular Guys don't shapeshift or conquer kingdoms. They go to work, come home, barbecue, give the kids a bath, and make love to their wives. Most of the time, we never really see the warrior that lurks within.

But I swear to you, each morning, somewhere deep in their psyches these Regular Guys gear themselves up for the day with the same attitude as the knights of old. They strap on their swords and head out to do battle with their customers or machinery or paperwork, knowing that each conquest carves out more space for their families to dwell in a land of peace and prosperity---aka suburbia.

I LOVE Regular Guys! I love those hardworking men who take care of business, then cut the grass.

I have known a bunch of these men and watched a number of them fall head over heels in love with the Regular Gal who makes all their priorities realign. I've also watched a number of them get their hearts broken savagely when said Regular Gal turns out to be a Regular Bitch.

If I have to be honest--and I do becaue this is a blog post--I have to tell you that I love to read these kinds of stories. They make me appreciate my own man and his regular, balding, incredibly sexy self.

My latest story, "Storm Duty (Finally Ever After)" follows a Regular Guy in the middle of restoring power to his destroyed community after the April 27 tornado disaster. Unfortunately, his ex-wife shows up to help work storm duty--rekindling all kinds of feelings from both parties! There are excerpts at the Musa site and the Amazon site. Feel free to drop by and see how sexy a Regular Guy can be!

Musa Publishing:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Musa Publishing Rocks!!

Woohoo!! Happy birthday, Musa Publishing!

And welcome to this fabulous hop! If this is your first stop, you are in for a treat! You have the opportunity to meet a truly amazing group of authors and hear about (and enter to win) an incredible lineup of books as well as win a KINDLE FIRE!

One thing that Musa does is encourage all kinds of author participation. One of those bits of encouragement resulted in the "Finally Ever After" line of stories. Each one brings a couple back together again for a second chance at love.

The instant I heard this idea, I wanted in, and my new release, Finally Ever After: Storm Duty will debut on October 12. The story takes place in the immediate aftermath of the terrible April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak which took place almost literally in my backyard.

I was horrified by the devasation to the towns I knew so well and put my hero and heroine right in the middle of trying to get power restored so that rebuilding could begin. Writing about such a frightening event helped me personally as I got the chance to voice some of the strong emotions I had felt during that time. I hope seeing this couple revive their relationship will renew my readers' hope and belief in love.

Can Kyle and Jenna find each other again in the midst of the devastation? Or will their jobs pull them apart and leave not only their homes but their hearts shattered?

In the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, Kyle Mathis just wants to guide his linemen to restore power to the devastated town of Milton. When reinforcements in the form of corporate deskjockeys come to work storm duty, he’s glad for the extra bodies to help serve food and support the crews working eighteen hour days.

But Kyle is not prepared to face one of the latest arrivals, his ex-wife Jenna. Jenna left him years ago, choosing her career over their marriage. However, being back together in their home town brings back memories and desire—for both Kyle and Jenna.

CONTEST: To win your own pdf copy of Finally Ever After: Storm Duty (perfect for reading on that Kindle Fire you can win), just follow this blog and leave me a comment with your email address. And I am sweetening the pot to include a $10 MUSA PUBLISHING gift card. Yes, I want you to read my stuff, but I want you to read other Musa authors as well!! Don't forget that the more you comment, the better your chance to win the Kindle Fire grand prize!

In case you don't feel lucky, just click here to buy your own copy from Musa Publishing! Pre-orders are available. Amazon and Barnes & Noble links will go live October 12.

Here are the rules one more time:

1) HAVE FUN!!!


3) THIS TOUR STARTS: October 1, at Midnight (pst)

THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 7, at Midnight (pst)

Winners will be drawn and posted October 9th! ***

Come Join the Party on October 7th at The Romance Review Forum to enter to win more prizes. (Exact address will be posted as soon as I get it)


5) Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire is for US and Canada mailing addresses only. International winners will receive a $50.00 Musa Gift Card. Winner will be announced on October 7, 2012 at 11 est at The Romance Review Forum.

6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? ***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***
Here are the links to go to your next stop! Thanks so much for coming by!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wicked Pleasure Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop
Sept 7th thru Oct 7th
Welcome to my little corner of the scavenger hunt! Thanks for coming by today!
When I was considering just what to post, I thought it might be interesting to talk a little about the background of my latest story, Finally Ever After: Storm Duty. Last April 27, a series of powerful tornadoes devastated my home state of Alabama, and I lived through every minute of it, less than 50 miles from two towns completely leveled by EF5 storms.

At my dayjob as a customer service representative of an electric utility (yes, I am that mean woman in the power office—LOL), I got a firsthand view of the incredible damage wrought by these storms and the inspirational hard work and commitment of the linemen who literally worked day and night to get the power back on.
These guys were out on the ground while the winds were still blowing to make sure that people were safe. Then crews from all over the Eastern United States showed up by the hundreds to help restring lines to hospitals and schools and neighborhoods so that life could get back to normal and rebuilding could start.

I have never been so proud to be associated with a group as I was to be part of the massive restoration effort that took place those five days after the storms.
Finally Ever After: Storm Duty is really a love letter to my linemen, those ordinary yet heroic guys I know so well. So many of them had lost their own homes, but still made their job their first priority. Getting the electricity back on in a community isn’t just their job—they serve as front line responders in times of disaster and they treat power restoration as a vital part of the rescue and recovery work to be done.

I love these guys and wanted to be sure they got their due. Plus, I am here to tell you that linemen are HOT! It takes real muscle to do the work they do, plus brains to figure out the complexities of the modern electrical grid!
So the next time the wind blows hard or the ice falls and the power goes out, remember that somebody’s husband or boyfriend or father (wife, girlfriend, or mother too—props to my girl linemen out there ‘cause those ladies ROCK!) is out there right in the middle of it so that you can pop microwave popcorn and watch movies until the storm passes. Be nice to them!

By Leigh Daley
Their careers drove them apart--could disaster bring them back together?
In the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, Kyle Mathis just wants to guide his linemen to restore power to the devastated town of Milton. When reinforcements in the form of corporate deskjockeys come to work storm duty, he's glad for the extra bodies to help serve food and support the crews working eighteen hour days.
But Kyle is not prepared to face one of the latest arrivals, his ex-wife Jenna. Jenna left him years ago, choosing her career over their marriage. However, being back together in their home town brings back memories and desire--for both Kyle and Jenna.

Can Kyle and Jenna find each other again in the midst of the devastation? Or will their jobs pull them apart and leave not only their homes but their hearts shattered?

Finally Ever After: Storm Duty will be out October 12 from Musa Publishing and will be available for purchase at as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and loads of other places.

Come visit me at or as my fantasy writing alter ego Arley Cole at I’m on Facebook as Arley Cole with a Leigh Daley page.

I am also on Twitter as @arleycole and on! I am a serious fanfiction writer and do not apologize for it one bit. When I’m writing fanfiction, all my work improves and goes faster. So I keep writing fanfiction to keep those creative wheels greased. Come see me there! My WIP is a crazy urban romance called “You’re in Good Hands” that features the SUPERHOT Mayhem from the Allstate commercials and that pretty girl eating Werther’s caramels. I double-dog dare you to follow it!
Now for my SCAVENGER HUNT QUESTION to win a $10 gift card from Musa Publishing!
Storm Duty is set during what natural disaster?
(Hint: I mention it early on!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"The Bitch Is Back" (Thanks, Sir Elton John)

Well, I am a wretched blogger. I never blog, primarily because I live in fear of what I might blog about. I am really bad to tell the actual truth in blog posts. For instance, my last post involved killing my muse through a variety of neglectful and malicious activities.

This time, though, I have good news and thought it might be nice to blog about it.

The bitch is back.

And my muse is most certainly a bitch. She did produce a nice Wiccan Haus submission, but instead of editing it as requested for resub, she's turned her attention to fanfiction.

Why in the hell did she decide my next project needed to be---get this 'cause it's insane--an Allstate insurance fanfiction urban romance called "You're in Good Hands" starring Mayhem and the pretty girl off the Werther's candy commercials???

Yes. That is where my time and attention are going these days. I'm hooking up a couple of TV commercial characters in what is rapidly turning into a really fun project. I double-dog dare you to start following it at just for the hell of it. Believe it or not, it does have reviews. I'm not the only person out there captive to an unhealthy attraction to Mayhem. Dean Winters is super hot.

But I've learned a couple of things the hard way in the past few years. The first is that I never need to eat wheat ever again. It does awful things to my body. The second is that if writing is not FUN, I will not do it. Or I'll just write out of some kind of terrible pressure to perform/succeed/begin-a-profitable-writing-career-that-will-take-me-away-from-all-this-and-make-all-my-dreams-come-true.

And when the FUN goes, the crap writing starts and my muse begins to die a slow choking death from stress.

Now, I am not turning my focus completely away from my original pursuits. In fact, during all this I have actually got other work started as well (The Merchant's Son by Arley Cole--the fantasy penname).

But I am having FUN again at last. And since statistics show that most writers barely cover their expenses with their stuff, I figure the FUN factor has got to be the most important one. I don't want to spend all my days stressed out and dissatisfied with my life.

And don't even get me started on that whole 25 Reasons to Quit Writing by Chuck Wendig. I have considered every damned one and known in my heart that he's 100% right. But it doesn't change anything. I have to write, and damn it, it had better be FUN.

So thanks for coming back from the brink of death, Muse. I'm glad to have you here, even if the rest of my family thinks I'm insane.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have FUN writing to do. I left Nerian Elidor being attacked by giant bloodsucking wasps and Mayhem from Allstate in bed with the candy girl--though not like you think. Best of all, it's FUN.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How to Poison Your Muse

Section of Arthur Hughes' The Lady of Shalott

I think I have poisoned my muse. She's been silent now for freakin' months. Sometimes I think I've killed her.

In case you've decided that writing is a mind-sucking, finance-draining, life-eroding waste of your time and mental energy, here's how I think I did it, so you can too.

1. Quit writing. Yep, finding the time and energy to write after every other freaking thing in your life can and has gone wrong quite simply sucks. So don't. Deal with the crap coming apart around you, the day job that leaches away every last piece of humanity and creativity you possess, and just quit opening the literary floodgates daily. Eventually that flood of words you've been counting on will just drain away to nothingness out the back corners of your brain and you won't have to worry about it anymore.

2. Quit reading. I can't remember whose advice it was to read 2,000 words a day and write 2,000 words a day, but damn it, that was awesome advice. (Somebody credit that one so I can give credit where credit is due!) By the way, reading Yahoo News does not count as reading, so feel free to keep up with Snooki's baby and the never-ending tide of Kardashianness. Just quit reading good stuff by people who are doing cool things with language and character. Quit stoking that fire and it'll go out.

3. Quit moving. Walking makes our mental processes sharper and that is an actual scientific fact. Heck, I used to plot out entire books at the ironing board. Ditch the treadmill and the morning walk. Ditch the cathartic rounds of housecleaning or leaf-raking or car-washing that used to rejuvenate you. Just sit on the couch and watch endless reruns of Family Feud. Include the family so you can disguise it as "bonding time."

4. Speaking of that, start watching more TV. Between endless reruns of Pawn Stars and Family Feud, my household's viewing habits have become downright toxic to brain cells. Our deepest topics of conversation involve debating the merits of Family Feud hosts. Steve Harvey is pretty damned funny---but don't bother with Richard Karns. You can tell he just doesn't want to be there. And John O'Hurley absolutely needs to just go to the house. See what I mean? My muse has tried to guess Top Answer Number 3 so many times that her brain has melted out her ears. 

5. In the absence of TV, be certain to surf the internet for any and all meaningless dodges of your real interests. Stay on Facebook looking for funny pictures--does George Takei have anything better to do with his time than put up hilarious pics? George, do a convention! Take a class! Remodel the great room! Find a hobby! Please!

In general, quit engaging with your creative life at all. Don't blog. Don't challenge yourself to think. Fail to make time for the writing part of your life that used to consume you and trust me, your muse will drop dead of neglect and starvation.

But the quiet that comes from your muse's demise won't be peaceful. It'll be a bitter, agonizing long silence that echoes back whispers of what you wanted to do, what you used to be. Your brain will transform into a mausoleum filled with the dead bones of characters you never fleshed out and walled up passages that used to lead to adventures you'll never have and places you'll never visit.

Well, that's how it feels in the graveyard of my creativity right now.

Okay, Muse, I've blogged--that counts as writing. I read something really good today (Ted Mendelssohn's The Wrong Sword which was SO funny and really well written--go buy it). The TV is OFF (at least as far as I am concerned--yes indeed, my son is watching Pawn Stars but I am NOT), and I'm about to go iron clothes then take a walk.

Muse, I expect you back on your feet and full of creative juice when I return. Damnit, I've got books to finish!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

And welcome to the Musa Publishing Blog Hop! First of all, I want to express my sincere thanks to all the troops and veterans who serve all of us in such an important and unselfish way. I also want to thank the families of these soldiers who share their loved ones with all of us. My sister is married to a Naval pilot, so I know first hand how many sacrifices have to be made as a member of the armed forces and as the spouse or child or parent of these courageous warriors. My hat is off to all of you!

I am Leigh Daley, author of the upcoming story "Storm Duty" to be published by Musa. I write fantasy/YA fantasy as Arley Cole, but Leigh Daley is all about romance.

"Storm Duty" takes place immediately after the tragic tornadoes of April 27, 2011, in a small Alabama town where Kyle Mathis, an electric company engineer, is trying to get the power back on for his community. However the return of his ex-wife Jenna Harlow complicates the restoration efforts as the both of them confront the devastation before them---as well as their feelings for each other, long buried, but not forgotten.

Leigh Daley needs some followers!! So one lucky follower of this blog will win a free copy of "Storm Duty" on its release as well as a copy of my other book, The Blacksmith's Daughter by Arley Cole. Just follow this blog and leave a comment that you have done so with your email address and preferred method of e-book format.

 To get back to the Musa Publishing Memorial Blog Hop just click HERE!

Thanks for dropping by!