Afton Locke Newsletter #32
November 2022



Oyster Harbor is back! Thelma's Song releases today. I'm also pleased to share releases from other great authors. These hot reads should keep us warm all winter long!


Earlier, I took a little break from writing and tackled a huge sewing project instead -- a Victorian 1880s bustle ballgown. I used a pattern I'd bought around 20 years ago. The company that made it had long since gone out of business. Too bad because I wanted to send them a critique. It was a real adventure! Some important pieces were missing. Others were way too big. Without years of sewing experience, it never would have worked. My creativity got majorly tested. It took months. Women sure wore a lot of layers back then. In the summer, I can't even imagine...



New Release


Thelma's Song


where passion and race collide...





    Though her bluesy voice can bring grown men to tears, Thelma Waters moves to Oyster Harbor for a peaceful life--avoiding singing and men. Anything to forget her wild youth as a performer, so addicted to fame she'd do anything to get it. When Tom Lewes--Oyster Harbor's remaining bigot--hires her as a lounge singer to save his failing restaurant, he stirs up more than her old talent.


    His obsession with profits reminds her of every man who used her, especially the one who shattered her heart. Meanwhile, his grief over his daughter's death intensifies when restaurant renovations uncover a shocking secret. Reminding her of the child she lost so long ago.


    And as soon as Oyster Harbor restores what Thelma has craved for so long, her dreams of family are ripped away, turning her song of joy to the bluest of blues. Will Tom be the answer to her prayers, or her biggest heartache yet?


Private Dancer by Tina Turner ~ Let's Make a Baby by Billy Paul ~ Nightlife by Ray Price




Buy Now:
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    Tom Lewes, the proprietor, stood there with his arms crossed. The man looked as crabby as he had the day she'd met him. She blinked, adjusting her sun-filled vision to the darkness--black mourning clothes, the shadows behind him, and raven hair. Wavy and thick, it begged to be stroked. The irises of his green eyes even looked dark.

    "You're prompt, at least," he said, stepping back. "Come in."

    "Thanks. Uh, where can I set this tablecloth?"

    He indicated the empty dining tables with the sweep of a hand. "Anyplace will do."

    Some had dingy tablecloths and some had none. If she got the restaurant's laundry business, she'd have her work cut out for her. She chose a table next to a window and set down her load.

    "Let's see what you've got."

    He all but shoved her out of the way to get to the goods, and his words sent a wedge of heat between her cotton day dress and her skin. Mr. Lewes, you wouldn't be able to handle what I've got. Before she could stop it, a giggle escaped her.

    He glared at her. "Is something funny?"

    "No, sir," she replied, unfolding the tablecloth she'd laundered as a test. "It's kind of dark and gloomy in here, though."

    Scowling again, he held the fabric to the light from the window, turning it this way and that. His hands, strong and a little rough, told her he rolled up his sleeves around here and pitched in. She couldn't help picturing his fingers working her dress instead.

    Obviously, I've been without a man for way too long.

    "I-it's...spotless," he uttered, sounding as if he couldn't believe it.

    "I told you I'm good."

    "The work is yours." He folded the tablecloth and named a price. "How does that sound?"

    Cheap! Did he think she was desperate? Or worthless? "Too low."

    "Oyster Harbor is a small town," he said, crossing his arms again. "It's the best rate you're going to get from me."

    His voice, crisp and clipped as a dose of heavy starch, ran roughshod over her nerves.

    "Well, the hospital's laundry does keep me pretty busy," she said as she tapped her fingers against her cheek.

    His arresting eyes, topped with bold, dark brows, bored through her. "I'll pay you what I said for the first week. If I'm satisfied, we'll see about increasing the rate."

    "Fair enough."

    "Good. I'll show you to the laundry room."

    She held up her hand. "Aren't you forgetting something?"

    "What?" he barked, stopping in his tracks.

    "My dinner? You promised if I could get the stains out of that tablecloth, you'd give me the best seafood meal on the house."

    "I remember. Would you care to pick it up at six this evening?"

    "Didn't I make myself clear before? I don't eat out of boxes like a dog. I want to dine right here...with you."

    Her cheeks burned. Had she really said those last two words? He might be a total crab, but from what she'd gathered, he was also a decent, hardworking businessman. Exactly the type of man she admired. He wasn't hard on the eyes, either. His broad shoulders and narrow waist filled out his black shirt and trousers right well.

    He cocked his head. "Why on earth would you want to dine with me?"

    She shrugged. "I'd like to get to know you better. After all, we're going to be working together."

    "After I show you the laundry room, you'll know everything you need to about me."





Get creative!


Reply to this newsletter and briefly tell me which of your creative projects you're most proud of. The fastest answer will win an ebook copy of Plucking the Pearl -- Book 1 in the Oyster Harbor series!


Facebook Takeover Join me today at the BWSL Facebook group for my takeover ~ 2 - 3 PM EST. Prizes!



More Great Reads!



Jolly Rancher by Siera London




    Enemies to lovers. A grinchy cowboy. A gossip columnist. A night to remember...or forget. #FridayReads #bookaddict #iamreading #Kindle


Diesel Conrad
Amanda says we're enemies--I call bull.
My mind is a bit tangled after my fall, but my gut tells me this woman is mine.
Granted, I've forgotten some insignificant sh_t, like my name, but I'm certain of two things.
She wants to get naughty with me, and I have the equipment to give her a very merry sleigh ride.


Amanda "Messy Mandy" Murphy
All I want for Christmas is my winter white vacation, but my twin sister's grinch of an ex-boyfriend roped me into selling his ranch before Christmas.
The arrogant, too gorgeous man is my personal bah humbug.
Or at least he was until the accident. Now--he's convinced I'm his.
It's messy, and I'm going to need a Christmas miracle--fast, because his mistletoe kisses jingle all my bells.


Buy Now:







Sinfully Hot by Tina Donahue




    A hotter-than-sin reaper. A badass demon. Hell doesn't get steamier than this.

    Zekiel owns the newest nightclub in the French Quarter. The decadent atmosphere draws the corrupt, their blackened souls just what he likes to reap.

    Jewel is not amused. Not only has Zekiel cut in on her territory, Satan's gotten hardcore, upping her quota. All hell's going to break loose if mortals don't start selling their souls to her.

    The race is on. Zekiel claims victory and wants Jewel as his prize for one evening. Nothing forbidden. Nothing denied. In other words, the whole enchilada, including voyeurism and BDSM.

    After the first promising look and lingering touch, they're goners...even though they're supposed to be competitors.

    This book was previously published in a box set.


Buy Now:
Buy Links







This year we went to Grenada because I had to get my Caribbean fix. (Unfortunately, we sat next to someone with COVID on one of the flights home, and my husband got it.) It was cool to see cactus near the beach, and the snorkeling was great. What's not to love about eating most meals outside? Our room was poolside, and one of our neighboring couples was very amorous practically 24/7. The muse was a-mused.



I was thrilled to tour a chocolate factory! We even sampled some raw.



Be sure to attend the Interracial Romance Authors Expo (IRAE) in 2023 (4/27 - 4/29).



Coming Soon


Stay tuned for more Oyster Harbor! It'll be movin' on to the 1940s. I may even spin off a new series out of it.


Sorry to confuse you all with my recent changes. Am I writing suspense or women's fiction? Drama or comedy? The muse is not exactly sure herself. She does seem to deliver romance and a happy ending (in some form) every time.


To learn more about my crazy muse, watch my podcast interview with Angela Kay Austin.
She has a whole YouTube channel with podcasts on books, writing, travel, and more!



Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes outside the box. Her trips always inspire her, sometimes years after they're over. She lives with her husband, usually surrounded by animals, both wild and domestic. When she's not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and watching retro TV.


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Thank you for reading! Feel free to email any comments or suggestions. Until next time...



© Afton Locke 2022