What Had to Be Done

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A Thursday teaser from the novel

By DelSheree Gladden

I’m lacing my sneaker back up when voices drift over the boulders. I recognize them immediately.

“No, man. Don’t bitch at me. I’m just asking a question.”

“It sounds like you’re judging me.”

“She’s my sister, Felix.”

“So?”

“So, I want to know why the sudden change of heart. Leah has been after you for forever and you’ve never given her the time of day before. Now you’re all over her.”

“No, I’m not,” Felix snaps. “I had my arm around her waist. No big deal.”

“For you, it’s a big deal. You haven’t dated anyone I’m aware of in three years. Every time I try to fix you up, you say it was fine or okay and never call the girl back. Now you want to hang with Leah?”

“What? You don’t want me to date your sister?”

Carlos growls in frustration. “Date her all you want! As long as you’re not playing her.”

I feel my own hands tense up at Carlos’s accusation. Felix would never do that to a girl.

“I’m not. I’ve always thought Leah was great. I guess I just wasn’t interested in dating before now.”

“Now you are?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“You’re ready to date anyone, or just Leah?” Carlos asks.

For a moment, Felix is silent and I wonder if he’s going to answer. When he does, I wish he would have kept his mouth shut.

“I’m ready to date anyone but Anna.”

Carlos sighs. “Whatever, man. Just be nice to my sister. If you’re not serious, don’t let her think you are.”

“I won’t.”

Whatever they say after that, I don’t hear it. I don’t want to. I want to sit here and wallow. Lacey has other plans. Her hand reaches down for me and, when I take it halfheartedly, she yanks me up off the ground. My eyes survey the area for any others we might accidently eavesdrop on. Nobody.

“Quick question,” Lacey says, making my stomach sink to my toes. “Are you reconsidering the Batman lifestyle at this point? If so, you realize you’re going to be spending a lot of time with Isabel, don’t you? I met her the other day. No offense, but she’s not my favorite person.”

I laugh, and find I can’t stop. Lacey stares at me like I’ve totally lost it. I probably have. Through my giggling, I say, “I don’t think Isa is anyone’s favorite person. Except maybe my dad’s. And as much as I want to make it through summer without coming face to face with Felix again, Batgirl has officially hung up her cape. I can’t take anymore quality Isa time.”

“Good, ’cause even though you can pull off a bikini pretty well, nobody looks good in spandex costumes.”

“Very true,” I laugh.

“I never knew Felix was such a prick, though.”

I shake my head. “He’s not.”

“Oh, he definitely is. Did you hear what he said about you?”

I nod. Every word. Everything about our last couple encounters is engrained on my brain forever.

“You aren’t seriously standing up for him, are you? He said he’d date anyone but you, like you’re a goddamn leper or something. Any guy who talked about me like that would get a pool cue to their gut.”

What Had to be Done

Everyone has bad days. Anna Elizondo is going on three years of bad days.

It started with her mother’s illness and eventual death, continued with a decision that ruined a friendship, and culminated in her father announcing they were broke and moving away right before her senior year of high school.

Maybe a fresh start will turn things around. Or maybe it will put her face to face with her former best friend, Felix, and the hatred in he still carries for her.

The only bright spot in Anna’s move to Santa Fe is meeting her new swim coach, a long-time hero who has big plans for her athletic career. The pool is her refuge, but she can’t hide there forever.

Living in a small town makes it impossible to stay out of Felix’s way, and unlikely their history will remain just between them for long. If Anna can’t find a way to make things at least tolerable with Felix, it’s going to be a very long summer.

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.

Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Writing means rewriting

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By DelSheree Gladden

Writing and rewriting go hand in hand. Over the years, rewriting takes up less time, for most writers anyway. When first starting out, though, rewriting scenes, characters, or whole books will eat up a big chunk of most writers’ time.

My first serious attempt at writing a novel was at sixteen years old. I wrote the entire first draft of what eventually became Escaping Fate in a half-sized spiral notebook with a variety of ink colors. When I typed it up, it only came out to about 35,000 words. It wasn’t enough to really make a full novel.

At the time, I pretty much gave up on it and worked on other projects. A year or so later, I came across that battered notebook and reconsidered whether or not it was worth continuing to work on.

I started reading back through the story to see if there were changes that could be made to increase the length and flesh out the characters and story a little more. The main story in that first draft focused on Arrabella and her grandfather unraveling the mystery of Arra’s threatening dreams. There were very few side characters or scenes outside of their investigation.

The story needed to be fleshed out, so I started a massive rewrite where I limited the role of the grandfather and brought in a new friend, Tanner, who is also a love interest. Shifting the role of the grandfather allowed me to add new scenes and give Arra more personality through her interactions with Tanner. Tanner was also able to help Arra get to know the town a little better, and mention future characters she would meet in the second book when school started.

Overall, I was really happy with the changes, so I sent it out to agents and publishers.

And it got rejected by everyone.

At that point, my life was really busy with school and family, including a toddler. I put the novel aside for several years. When I dug it back out, I had two toddlers, but I was ready to give it one last shot.

This final look-through resulted in another full rewrite, including changing the point of view from third person to first. I brought the grandfather back into the story a little more, expanded on the dreams and completely redid the ending to make it more satisfying as well as lead into the next book.

When I was finally completely happy with the book, I decided to forgo the process of pitching to agents, and published the book independently. This whole process took ten years, but it was worth the wait and the lessons I learned along the way.

Escaping Fate

Escaping Fate Series, Book 1

Turning sixteen should mean driving, dating, and breaking curfew. It should never mean certain death. Arrabella’s excitement for her upcoming birthday is swallowed up by not only her dismay at being moved to a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, but by the terror of the dreams that assault her every night. Stalking her dreams, the raven haired beauty warns her, taunts her, as she is paraded toward her death.

Desperate for answers, Arrabella turns to her grandfather, the only one willing to delve into her family’s dark past. Warning her that once she takes the first step, there is no going back, Arrabella’s grandfather begins to unwind their awful heritage. The only joy she finds in the week leading up to her death is meeting Tanner Wheeler, a young man she barely knows but is immediately drawn to.

A story of selfish betrayal reaching back to an age of merciless gods and blood sacrifice, Arrabella’s world is sent into a deadly spiral.

Find it on

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.

Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Repelling the Shark

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A Thursday teaser from Book 5 of The Date Shark Series

By DelSheree Gladden

Piper’s expression pinched in confusion. “What the hell is a date shark service?”

It was a challenge not to laugh at her reaction, but Leo didn’t want to embarrass her. He was so used to discussing the date shark thing amongst his friends, he often forgot what a novel concept it was to most people.

“It’s basically a dating coach service.”

Her expression soured even more. “I’m not sure you’re qualified for that. Not if you and Legs are any indicator.”

“Katheryn and I had an understanding from the beginning. It worked well for us for a long time,” he argued, his tone a little more clipped than he meant for it to be.

“Clearly,” Piper said.

Her sarcasm annoyed Leo, but he brushed it off. “Actually, it was Eli’s business originally. When he met Leila, he eventually gave it up for her and Guy took over. I got roped into helping out.”

“But you don’t like it…”

Leo sighed. “It’s not always bad, but…it’s not something I would choose to do.”

“Then why not just tell Guy to find someone else?” Piper asked.

It wasn’t said with any attitude or unkind tone. She really didn’t seem to understand why he would do something he hated for his friend. It made Leo wonder whether she’d ever had someone in her life willing to sacrifice for her like that.

“He’s my friend,” Leo said simply. The expression on her face made it clear that wasn’t a good enough answer, so he expounded. “When I stepped in to help, Guy’s wife Charlotte was in the middle of chemo and she’d had a really bad scare earlier in her treatment and almost died.”

“So why are you still doing it?”

“I don’t know, to be honest. It’s just not that big of a deal most of the time. I rarely have to actually fill in for him when he’s gone, which is a few days every couple of months at the most.”

Piper pursed her lips. “So, what exactly do you have to do this time?”

“Take the client out to dinner and coach her through the meal, mainly trying to curb embarrassing or shocking behaviors so she doesn’t run off her upcoming date before the drinks are served,” he explained. He could only hope that was the worst of it.

“What kind of behaviors?” she asked with an interested gleam in her eyes.

Leo thought back to that last date and shivered. “She tried to feed me her chewed up food…like a mother bird does for her chicks.”

Piper gagged and she pulled back from the table. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

He shook his head. “Once, a woman brought thirteen porcelain dolls with her and tried to seat them all in their own chairs at our table. I was barely able to talk her into letting them share the two available seats without her bursting into tears and having a complete meltdown.”

After staring at him for several long seconds, Piper asked, “How did she get all thirteen dolls to the restaurant in the first place?”

“Specially designed, huge pieces of luggage with built-in doll compartments.”

Piper snorted and covered her mouth, but it didn’t do much to hide her snickering. “I’m sorry,” she said between laughs. “I know these women need help and I shouldn’t laugh, but…”

Leo chuckled. “I can’t help it either, sometimes. There was this guy once…”

“You date guys, too?” she asked, intrigued again.

“Not personally, but I don’t mind working with male clients. Sabine used to handle them, but she hated being a date shark and quit once she got her visa worked out.”

Piper crossed her arms and looked at him with an oddly pleased half-smile. “Go on. The guy you took out?”

“I couldn’t keep him seated at the table. Every time I took my attention off him, he would start introducing himself to the others diners and trying to kiss each one…on the mouth.”

Pressing her lips together to keep from laughing again, Piper shook her head. When she could manage words without the laughter, she asked, “Why?”

“It was a combination of affective and compulsion issues. He was referred to counseling and seems to be making progress.”

“Thank goodness,” she said. “Kissing everyone you see is a good way to get a punch in the mouth, or worse.”

Repelling the Shark

The Date Shark, Book 5

Simple and easy falls apart when secrets revealed require making promises and opening up to the possibilities of hurt and hope.

Leo Bailey has so far escaped the curse of the date shark business. He fills in when needed, but has held onto his casual relationships and family emergency-free existence. hover

Marriage and family are a vague idea for the future, but he’s not ready to give up the freedom of being single and answering only to himself.

When Piper Moretti witnesses the demise of yet another of Leo’s friends-with-benefits relationship, she doesn’t think much of it. She has a long list of more pressing responsibilities and headaches to occupy her mind.

Friends, and the strings that go with them, are at the bottom of her priority list.

When a date shark client who tops the list of bizarre behavior Leo has seen, his half-joking request for rescue drags Piper into the chaos and into Leo’s life.

Neither one wants more than a simple, no-stress friendship. Secrets and surprises force them to admit neither one is nearly as in control of their futures as they think they are.

Helping each other means getting involved, making promises, and opening themselves up to the hurt and hope they’re both terrified to face.

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DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their cousins close by. When not writing novels, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and working at the local newspaper.

DelSheree has several bestselling young adult series, including Invisible, which was part of the USA Today Bestselling box set, Pandora. DelSheree also has several contemporary romance and paranormal new adult series. Her writing is as varied as her reading interests.

Check out her latest books. Get updates and sneak peeks of new projects!

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Repelling the Shark: Date Shark book 5

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An excerpt from the upcoming contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author

DelSheree Gladden

“Look,” Katheryn said, “I’m happy to hang out with you any time, but I’m out for the kid parties and group picnics and whatever else involves sticky toddler hands and holding babies for hours on end.”

Leo huffed, understanding more than what she was saying. He was in no rush to settle down, but he’d been honest with Katheryn that it was something he wanted eventually. She didn’t. That had always been fine, because they both knew they weren’t anything more than friends in the long term. Her refusal to attend baby Moira’s first birthday party signaled and end to their friendship.

Katheryn had ordered her drink and muffin by the time Leo came out of his thoughts. He stepped up to the counter as she moved along to collect her iced coffee further down.

“Hey, Leo. You want your regular, or what? You’re holding up the line.”

He scowled at her, but there was no heat behind it. “Hey, Piper. Yeah, the usual.”

Her chuckle lifted his mood a little. He couldn’t remember exactly when she’d started working at the coffee shop, but it had been at least a few years and he always enjoyed her banter. She seemed at home in the shop and always knew just how to handle each customer.

“You and Legs,” Piper said, tilting her head toward Katheryn, “time to part ways, if you ask me.”

“I didn’t,” Leo said with a snort.

She winked. “Yeah, but you were going to.”

Chuckling, he shrugged before handing over his credit card. Leo wouldn’t call Piper a friend, seeing as he knew almost nothing about her outside the realm of the coffee shop, but he’d asked her opinion on women more than once. She’d never been wrong before, and he knew she’d assessed the demise of his relationship with Katheryn just as expertly.

Repelling the Shark

Leo Bailey is the only one in his circle of friends whose involvement with the date shark business has yet to see him tied down to marriage and family. Even if thoughts of one day creep into his mind occasionally, he’s not ready to give up the casual relationships or be expected to devote what little free time he has outside of the hospital to handling family emergencies.

When Piper Moretti witnesses the death of another friends-with-benefits situation between her favorite customer and the woman she refers to as Legs, she doesn’t think much of it. It isn’t the first of his relationships she’d seen fizzle, and she has a long list of more pressing responsibilities and stressors to occupy her mind. Friends, and the strings that go with them, are at the bottom of her priority list.

A date shark client who tops the list of bizarre behavior Leo has seen while helping out with the business drags Piper into the chaos and into Leo’s life. Neither one wants more than a simple, no-stress friendship. Secrets and surprises force them to admit neither one is nearly as in control as they think they are. Helping each other means getting involved, making promises, and opening themselves up to the hurt and hope they’re both terrified to face.

Coming to an e-tailer near you in July 2020. Watch for the announcement on BestSelling Reads and DelSheree Gladden’s website.

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing.

She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting and sewing.

Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Why I write

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Chromatic Typewriter created by Tyree Callahan

Monday musings by bestselling author

DelSheree Gladden

Writing is an important form a stress relief for me. It produces a tangible product that helps me feel like I’m actually doing something and gives me a chance to quiet the chatter in my head and explore the thoughts and emotions that inspire the chatter.

I started writing as a pre-teen, mostly coming up with rambling stories and vignettes that never really went anywhere. My early writings mimicked favorite authors, but were good learning experiences. I didn’t just learn the mechanics of writing and how to tell an interesting story. Those were important skills, but I also learned that writing provided an outlet for me.

As a kid, I was quiet and often lonely. I wasn’t very good at expressing myself or making friends. Writing let me say all the things I wished I could say to other people, express the difficult thoughts and emotions I was struggling with through characters’ stories, and vent the frustrations and joys I didn’t know how to talk about out loud.

I go through times when I quite literally need to write. When there’s too much going on inside my head or heart, I struggle to communicate it in a constructive way with the people in my life. I get emotional and reactive and end up making a mess of it most of the time. Writing, either as stream of consciousness writing or working on a book, allows me to sort out what exactly it is that’s causing so much strife in my life and figure out a better way to express it. Of course, this isn’t fool proof and I still end up in arguments or crying over stupid things when I get stressed out, but it helps organize the chaos in my mind a little better so it doesn’t happen as often.

Writing is self-care for me, but it also gives me the opportunity to share something of myself with others. Even as an adult, I still have a hard time making new friends and starting up conversations with new people. It’s overwhelming to start fresh when there’s so much backstory to explain! It’s how I often feel when starting a new book and having a handful of characters I’ve thought about and developed or a long list of research I want to shove into the story. Writing fiction has actually taught me how to be a little bit better at sharing the important parts of who I am with new people and letting the little details filter out where they fit best. I’ll never be outgoing or overly social, but I can at least talk to people without being overwhelmed by anxiety most of the time.

Like any creative art, writing is about expression, exploration, and getting to know yourself and the world around you a little better.

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Memory’s Edge, Book 2

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A Thursday teaser from the upcoming bestseller

By DelSheree Gladden

The cab lurched forward, finally jarring her from her shock. “I can’t believe you just did that.”

John had just spared her from public humiliation. He didn’t understand why she seemed so upset, almost angry. “Didn’t you hear what they were saying? How they were talking about you?”

“There were cameras,” Corey said quietly.

“So?”

“What will the headlines be tomorrow?” she said, panic thick in her voice.

John shook his head. “Headlines?”

She stared at him, confused. “You do remember your parents, don’t you? You remember their rules, right? You know what they’ll do if you hurt their reputation more than you already have.”

“More than I already have?” I asked. “I was beaten within an inch of my life and lost my memory.”

Corey braced herself against the door. “That’s the story now,” she said quietly, “but up until a week ago you were the son who ran out on his family and business…the scandal of the year.”

John didn’t understand. He was back. The story had been corrected. There was no scandal anymore.

Slowly, Corey turned to face John. Her face was a mask as she watched him, scoured him for understanding. “You don’t remember, do you? Not everything has come back.”

“No,” John said, “You and the kids, I remember most of that. The rest is still hazy.”

“Who wasn’t there, Alex? Who wasn’t there to greet you?”

For a moment, John didn’t know what she was talking about. She had said his parents would be there. They were. When John had thought about his family earlier, he’d remembered his brother, his nephew. Frowning, he tried to remember what would have kept them from being at the airport. After a year missing, wouldn’t they want to run up and hug him as well?

A sound, almost a cry of dismay, slipped out of Corey. “You really don’t remember.” It wasn’t a question that time.

“Why wasn’t David at the airport?”

Corey half-laughed, half-cried. “At least you remember you have a brother.” Shaking her head, she then looked up and blinked several times to stall the tears that had pooled in her eyes.

“Two years ago, your parents found out David’s wife was having an affair. David didn’t even know. He came home to find them throwing her out of his house. When he tried to stop them and figure out what was going on, they accused him of knowing and allowing it to continue, ruining the family’s reputation. He threw them out, mostly just so he could talk to Allison and try to understand what was happening. They went ballistic. They ruined him, Alex. When they disinherited him, it blocked him from accessing his trust, and then they demanded he return all the money they’d invested in his construction business—which forced him into bankruptcy. It didn’t matter that they had been right and he ended up divorcing Allison. He’s not allowed on any of their properties and they haven’t seen Parker in almost two years.”

Even with the explanation, John felt somewhat lost. “But, all I did was defend you.”

Spearing her hands through her hair. “Of all the times for you to finally stand up to them…” She shook her head. “Why did it have to be in front of the media?”

“I don’t understand,” John said.

“No,” she said, “you don’t.” Falling back against the seat, Corey seemed to grow smaller. “I’ve spent the last year trying, with David’s help, to keep our businesses going. Businesses we started with money from your parents. Money they could find a way to take from us, ruin us just like they did David. We could get you back only to lose everything else.”

Memory’s Edge

Book Two

Most people only have one life-changing experience, but John and Gretchen are on round two of having their lives sent into utter chaos.

After a year of living with Gretchen after being attacked and left for dead with no memory of his former life, John’s memory returns when his wife and children find him. Leaving Gretchen weeks before their planned wedding breaks both their hearts. Being reunited with his family is a balm to that loss, but John quickly realizes the old adage that you can never go home again is even truer when you still don’t remember huge sections of your former life. A spotty memory compounds family infighting, a risk of financial ruin, and having no idea how to step back into a marriage that is complicated by his lingering love for Gretchen.

Even though Gretchen was the one to release John and step aside, going home to her friends and family and the curiosity and pity of an entire community quickly overwhelms her. Friend and neighbor Carl has been in love with Gretchen nearly since the day they met. She knows he would be more than willing to help her forget the pain of losing John, but diving into a new relationship is the last thing Gretchen needs. Feeling lost, broken, and confused leaves Gretchen floundering to figure out how to move on.

As they both face starting over, again, the pull to fall back into the familiarity of each other’s arms weighs heavily against facing the struggle to move forward.

Memory’s Edge, Book One

Gretchen brought her car to a screeching halt in the middle of the highway, terrified she had just killed someone. The body lying on the road appeared so suddenly, she barely had time to hit the brakes. Luckily, she stopped short of him. Unluckily, someone else hadn’t. Her call for help may have saved his life, but the damage done may be impossible to repair.

Waking with no memory of who he is or how he ended up a broken mess in the hospital, he has no choice but to rely on his rescuer for help. “John Doe” is his only identity until fragmented memories begin cropping back up. They are only fleeting images of a woman, but John hides even that from Gretchen, afraid it will lead him back home and away from the woman he is quickly falling in love with.

Get it from:

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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