Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest Blogger J. K. Coi


Hey, I’m glad to be a guest today and want to say thank you first and foremost to the Nine Naughty Novelists!

My newest book was released this month from Ellora’s Cave as a Quickie, and it’s called The Morning After—for reasons which become fairly obvious on page numero uno.

I have to admit to being surprised by the response I’ve had so far. I thought I would be getting a lot more flack because it isn’t paranormal. Not a demon, vampire or other dangerous creature in sight. This book is strictly about the relationship between a normal man and a normal woman who are having their fair share of problems in a marriage that is on the rocks. That’s a new path for me, but I’m glad to say it’s one my readers haven’t seemed to mind.

I had a blast with this story, although I was amazed by how different it was to write. When you aren’t necessarily creating a world from the ground up, worrying about the rules of immortal warrior, demon harbingers of doom, or how to save the world from apocalypse, the focus really is on one thing only: The conflict that has to be driven to shattering heights between your characters.

That isn’t to say other genres don’t have conflict—they all do, it’s the driving force of any good book—but you don’t get those other shiny, glittery things to distract your reader with when you’re writing a straight contemporary. And I realized that this is what makes a book truly memorable, no matter the genre. When you think about it, if you’re writing romance of any sort—urban fantasy, a science fiction, paranormal or historical—and you can remove all the parts that pigeonhole it into that particular genre, but you’re still left with a moving, emotional story about two (or three) people that tugs at your heart, then I think you’ve got a winner!

So what are your favourite genres? Does it matter to you as long as the characters resonate?

Check out The Morning After from Ellora’s Cave here: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8066-the-morning-after.aspx

Blurb:

Waking up naked in bed with a man’s arms holding you close wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing…except when that man is your husband.

Leslie has tried so hard to put Leo’s betrayal behind her—the ink was almost dry on the divorce papers. But when circumstances throw her in bed with her estranged husband one last explosive time, Leslie learns how quickly anger can turn to passion and hurt can turn to need, even while she knows there’s no way she can ever trust him again.

What Leslie considers goodbye, Leo insists is only the beginning. But the damage between them runs too deep, and sometimes, the only thing more devastating than the night before, is the morning after...

Excerpt:

Consciousness came slowly.

It started with a groan, a deep breath, and a fuzzy sense that all was not as it should be this bright new morning. Indeed, the fact that warm light penetrated her still-closed eyelids at all was worrisome, since her large bedroom windows should have been covered by the heavy, thick drapes she’d spent a small fortune to have custom made.

The sunshine wasn’t her only reason for coming to the conclusion that this morning would offer a few extra challenges. The relentless pounding in her temples, and her pasty, dry throat was also a pretty big clue.

Being buck naked beneath the soft cotton sheet was another.

However, the biggest and most compelling sign that Leslie Stevenson was in serious trouble on this particular morning came courtesy of the heavy, even breaths raising gooseflesh on the skin of her nape. The warm, wide chest pressed up against her back. The thickly muscled arm draped over her waist. The hand cupping the weight of her breast. Especially when her memory of just how the as-yet-unnamed—and very naked—man might have ended up in this bed with her was proving to be an elusive one.

Daring to open her eyes, Leslie bit back an oath as a fresh spike of pain knifed through her forehead to the back of her skull. She didn’t think she’d had that much to drink last night.

How did I get here? Why can’t I remember?

Lifting her arm, she moved to push her hair out of her face, but stilled suddenly as the hand around her breast…squeezed.

She held a harshly drawn breath, waiting nervously. Was her mystery bedmate awake then, or just a grabby sleeper? Could she somehow slip out of here without having to endure the awkward morning after, since it seemed she didn’t even have the benefit of memories from the night before to make said awkwardness worthwhile?

She shifted her hips and started a slow shuffle out from under him, but didn’t get very far. The arm tightened around her waist, pulling her back into the cradle of his solid, warm flesh. She gasped as bold evidence of a raging morning hard-on pressed intimately against her buttocks. The hand clutching her breast repositioned itself, a calloused thumb flicking across her nipple—which tightened beneath this stranger’s bold touch. Her body betrayed her, sending a sharp thrum of intensity to her belly until she wanted to thrust her hips back harder against his erection.

She groaned and shut her eyes tightly as his hips pushed forward, as his cock slid deeper into the crack of her ass. Damn. There should be at least some small nugget of memory to tell her how she’d gotten herself into this particular tight spot, but the details of last night weren’t becoming any clearer, even as soft lips dropped to the curve of her shoulder.

It shouldn’t feel this good. To be held. To be touched.

She remembered her determination to go to the ritzy nightclub last night. Kind of a test. She also remembered forcing her feet to cross the threshold, and then making her way to the bar on the other side of the dark room. She’d ordered a drink in an attempt to numb her scrambled nerves. Leslie and crowds certainly didn’t mix, but she’d been working so hard to overcome the irrational phobia that had made her feel like such a freak for so many years.

But last night she’d felt strong, even though her temples had ached and her fingers shook while she waited patiently for David. Then came the call on her cell phone to say that he was working late and couldn’t make it. And she remembered all her hard-won strength falling away, proving that it had been nothing but a flimsy mask. She had lurched up from the barstool, desperate to be gone from that place.

Until…

He appeared across the dance floor.

With a gasp, Leslie clutched the bed sheet to her chest in a tight fist. She twisted around and glared into the face of the last person she should find herself naked in bed with…

Her husband.

4 comments:

Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine, J.K.! So happy to have you here and talking about MY favorite gentre, straight up contemporarary romance! I've never written anything else, though I do admire those with the imagination to create unique worlds. Your story sounds awesome and you are so right - the characters and the conflict are totally in the spotlight in this genre.

Meg Benjamin said...

Now that's what I call a punchline! Your book looks great, J.K.

J.K. Coi said...

Thanks both of you! I'm glad to be here. I've been hanging around for a few weeks and this blog is too much fun! :)

PG Forte said...

I love openings like this. I will definitely have to check this book out.

And I totally agree with you. It's definitely the relationship between the characters that make or break the story...but the shiny, glittery things are so much fun!