Friday, March 29, 2013

Monthly Round up for March

Well, it's another exciting month. Kelly Jamieson released Jilted on March 19th.

This is the first book in the Promise Harbor Wedding Series

Kelly also signed a new contract for "You Really Got Me" which will be out with Samhain in early 2014 This is BDSM/Suspense set in a California winery. 

Meg Benjamin's book Bolted--also part of the Promise Harbor Wedding series--will be released on April 2. 

The third and fourth books in the series--Busted, by Sydney Somers, and Hitched, by Erin Nicholas--also release in April on the 16th and 30th, respectively.

She's the One, the first book in Erin's new series, Counting on Love, will release on June 11th. Fan's of Erin's Bradford series will be especially happy to see several of their favorite characters from that series make an appearance in this one!  Also, keep an eye out for her cover reveal, happening soon! 

Kate Davies' new trilogy, The Girls Most Likely To, kicked off this month 
with the release of Most Likely To Succeed from Carina Press. 

Also, Kate's  newly-redesigned website launched this week! 

Check out the new digs here:

Finally, Juniper Bell has a new cover to reveal. My Three Masters, coming soon from Ellora's Cave, is the long-awaited sequel to My Three Lords

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday 13: Shoe Whoring for Spring

DESPITE the recent snow in parts of the country, it's springtime! That means we have to buy cute shoes, amirite?

We've gathered 13--and only 13, so it was a struggle--pairs of shoes we'd love to walk in this spring. One or more of these may make an appearance at RT, though probably not the McQueens. It's not like we're La Nora...yet.

Which is your fave?
  1. Alexander McQueen Red Suede Skull heels
  2. Barefoot Sandals
  3. Ruby Slippers
  4. Keane Sterling City MJ
  5. Manolo Blahnik Specchio BB in Silver
  6. Manolo Blahnik Specchio BB in Bronze
  7. Yellow Gogo Boot with Flower Cutout (Disco night at RT, anyone?)
  8. Sexy rhinestone lip sandals
  9. Anything by Yellow Box
  10. Clarks Valley Stone in Fuschia
  11. Pinup Couture Lolita Pump
  12. Calvin Klein Vallin Platform Sandals (thanks Kim!)
  13. Michael Kors Damita Wedge

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Busted Playlist

So my first book in over two years is releasing in another few weeks and to say I'm excited is putting it mildly. Pay no attention to the wild woman dancing behind the curtain. :) Working on the Promise Harbor Wedding series with Kelly, Meg and Erin was a new experience and absolutely one I'd love to repeat down the road. Writing Busted (my first contemporary romance in a really long, long time) came with its own joys and challenges and two characters I fell in love with. I can't wait for you guys to get a full look at Jackson and Hayley beyond the teasing glimpses you get in the first two books in the series, Jilted and Bolted.

One of the things that I need to write (with the exception of some more emotional scenes) is music. Whether it's the radio or a playlist, I always need that background music. Depending on the scene I'm writing, I may replay a particular song a dozen times or more, sometimes in the same day, to get the words down right.

I love hearing a song on the radio that will unexpectedly resonate with the book I'm working on. To give you guys a little glimpse into writing Busted, here are three songs I listened to a lot:

Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine

Kiss You Inside Out by Hedley

Home by Phillip Phillips. If I had to give Busted a theme song then this would be it.

Are you a music lover? Do you sing in the shower or pretend you're Kelly Clarkson when no one else is around? Do you wonder how the people who make music videos come up with concepts that don't always match what you might envision while just listening to the song?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Blogger Meg Lacey - What is sexy?

When Meg Benjamin sent me a message saying my blog was due March 26, I was in the midst of a revision for my August Entangled Book, Something’s Cooking. It’s a story about a Martha Stewart type cooking and living well guru who can’t cook and the reporter who thinks she’s a fraud and is determined to prove it.

One of the things I was working on was the sexual relationship coming from the characters growth and proximitry.

“How appropo,” I thought, “since the blog is “Nine Naughty Novelists.” However, after reading the nine bios I’m not sure I’m quite as naughty. I’d like to be, but wow, naughty takes a lot of effort. I might have to dress up—but then I realized that to be really naughty I should dress down—way way down, as in nearly nude. So I figured I’d better study what it means to be sexy .

It’s a term that is thrown around a lot today, through photographic images, double entendre television shows, and media that keeps the focus on sex, often at the expense of characterization, plotting and theme. Everyone from women in their mature years trying to ‘bring sexy back,’ to teenagers who are programmed to explore everything as they try to discover who they are or want to be, and finally down to the little second grader that I heard the other day asking if her shorts and top made her look sexy, are obsessed with the word. But what does it really mean?

One online definition is for the adjective, Sexy, “described as provoking or intended to provoke sexual interest, feeling sexual interest; aroused or interesting, exciting, or trendy.”

Actually though, that didn’t help me at all. Does that mean I have to tuck my boobs into an underwire push up bra, wear a thong, and impossibly high heels that I’d probably turn my ankle in when I tried to saunter to the bed? Does it mean I have to lightly run my fingers down my partners chest until I reach his own little tiny black silk bikini’s? Or should I reenact the Karma Sutra, and hope I can walk the next day? See what I mean? The whole thing gets very confusing. The problem is compounded by the fact that I write with a lot of humor.

On the first book I sold, Is There A Husband In The House?, I was writing a love scene, a scene that was actually very sexy, when I added a piece of dialogue. (I write with a lot of dialogue.) I got a note from my editor telling me she didn’t want to laugh in the middle of the love scene, so I needed to remove it. From a dramatic point of view, I completely understand her point, but from a personal one, I find that sex, love and laughter go together. I find that sexy—that relaxing that follows sensation and satisfaction, that appreciation of life that a sense of humor can bring to a situation, making it even more meaningful to those involved.

Ultimately, I think sexy really means being comfortable with yourself, being able to express yourself physically and mentally without fear, restraint or self-consciousness. Sexy is effortless, not manufactured. It’s not the smarmy line you can take two ways, or a comment that makes you roll your eyes, or a wardrobe that no woman serious about her profession would ever consider wearing in the office. (If I see one more top cut down to there and skirt cut up to here, I’m going to hurl!)

Instead being sexy is an experience that is as individual as each person, and as shared as each couple.

Sex is fantasy, but each one’s fantasy is different. What turns me on might not work the same for you. That’s what I love about romance literature and writers—no one approaches the word the same. It’s not just about thrusting hips and jutting appendages, or lips swollen to twelve times their natural size, or breasts so large that you can’t button a blouse. No. In our novels sex is powerful and arousing, but it is also understanding. Sometimes it’s tender, and sometimes fierce. Regardless of the approach, it’s the growing relationship between the couple that really makes it sexy. That is the type of sexy that romance writers excell at writing. I’m proud to be one of them.

Get in touch and tell me what sexy means to you?

Meg Lacey


Meg Lacey wrote her first novel in the sixth grade, but her fiction writing career didn't last. She went into theatre for a bachelor and masters in acting/directing. She ended up in media as a writer-producer. Over the years, Meg has been an actress, director, producer, creative director, CEO, copywriter, creative dramatics teacher, mime, mom, college instructor, and a school bus driver. She’s established two creative marketing/media companies, working as a V.P. and as CEO, working in all media: network cable programming to corporate initiatives; to video, games and interactive websites. The first book, in her paranormal series, Tales of the Sparrow, The Sparrow and The Hawk, was published 9/12, and the second, The Sparrow and The Vixen’s Three, will be available, 11/13. Her Samhain Publishing series, Million Dollar Men, launched with the first book, Million Dollar Mistake in 10/12, and she’s working on the second. And her first book for Entangled Publishing, Something’s Cooking, will be out 8/13. Her past Harlequin and current books are all available online.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Marketing Monday: Pinterest Verification

As authors, we know social media is an important aspect of our marketing efforts. But where should we focus our attention, and what can we do to stand out? In my Marketing Monday posts, I'll be tackling these questions.

Pinterest Website Verification

Who: any author who is on Pinterest and has a website

What: A logo on your Pinterest page (seen below) that indicates the website you have listed is "verified" by Pinterest.

When: NOW!

Where: On your Pinterest account page
Why: Two reasons--first, this sends a strong "social signal" that you understand the more sophisticated elements of social media; second, and most importantly, Pinterest is rolling out analytics that allow you to track traffic from Pins back to verified websites for business accounts ( Want to know the click-through rate of your pins? Want to know whether pins from your site are bringing people back to browse? Verify your site!

How: This part varies depending on what kind of website platform you use. If you have someone who manages or updates your site, they can help you. Otherwise,

Step One: navigate to your profile settings. Go to your profile, then click the edit pencil in the bottom right corner of your profile header (seen above). This is what pops up:

 Step Two: Click "Verify Website". You have two options for verification. First, you can download the verification file and upload it to your website. Second, you can grab the meta tag and add it to the of your website. If you manage your own site, uploading the file may be the easier way to verify. If you know your way around HTML or have someone managing your website, the meta tag may be easier. 

If you're going with the meta tag option, you can copy and paste this line of HTML code into an email and send it to your designer/site manager. They can add it into your tag and then you can verify!

Whichever option you choose, once the file or code is added to your site, click "Do This Later" if your designer needs time to upload the file or meta tag, or "Complete Verification" if you have done it yourself.

You website should now be on its way to verification! In the comments, let me know how your process went, if you have questions about this, or if there's a marketing issue you'd like me to tackle next month!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Flirty Friday - Now Comes The Night

This excerpt is from Now Comes the Night—book three in the Children of Night series. This is one of Damian's early encounters with his human lover, Paul. For those who are keeping score, this scene took place during the years when Damian and Conrad were separated.

Photo credit:

By the time they’d arrived at their destination Paul’s mind was just about the last part of him in which Damian was interested. The minute the apartment door closed behind them, they came together in a clash of hot mouths and groping hands—and stumbling footsteps that ended with Damian’s back connecting with the door. Paul pressed closer. Damian made no effort to resist. All those lovely hard muscles, aligning so perfectly with his own, was just what he had been imagining ever since he’d first laid eyes on Paul in the bar tonight. They were just what he wanted to feel right now. What he needed to feel. It really had been much too long.

Now Comes the Night by PG Forte is available from Samhain Publishing

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday 13: Thirteen 2013 Releases

1. With Strings Attached (Kelly Jamieson)--January 22
San Amaro Singles, Book 1

The melting point is where it all comes together... or makes a big mess.

Corey Fenwick keeps her bitter past as hidden as the sweet centers inside the handmade chocolates she sells to a growing list of upscale customers. Experience has taught her the only person she can rely on is herself, so her best-friends-with-benefits relationship with Matt is perfect -- no strings attached.

After his last girlfriend deemed him “boring”, Matt Ferber watched her ride off on the back of a Harley with a rock musician. Figuring he’s doomed to “let’s just be friends” with the women he cares about, the arrangement with Corey suits him fine too. Until his old friend Dylan Schell rolls into town to hang out while recovering from a surfing injury.

The sexy bad boy makes Corey’s mouth water, and she figures a harmless fling won’t hurt, especially when Dylan suggests she come between him and Matt -- in bed. It’s a win-win-win situation…until somehow there are strings attached. And too late they realize they’re getting all tangled up.

Warning: This book contains an independent woman, two hot guys, some trash talking, a little jealousy, a few beers, chocolate body paint and scary stuff like falling in love.

Samhain Publishing | Amazon Kindle

2. Ashes of the Day (PG Forte)--releases May 21
Children of Night, Book 4

Only blood can break your heart.

New Year’s Eve, 1999. The world is braced for Y2K, but that’s not the only ticking time bomb in Conrad’s life. Damian wouldn’t be the first vampire to find a way to die, but Conrad is determined he will not be one of them.

Present day. Damian struggles to trust that fate could possibly be kind enough to give him a love as perfect as Conrad’s. Conrad balances on the keen edge of his own fear that one more slip of his formidable control could drive his lover away—permanently.

Julie learns the hard way it’s not just interspecies relationships that seldom work out. Even between vampires, love is not a smooth course.

Meanwhile, intrigue and conflict within the nest continue to grow, fueled in no small part by Georgia’s slipping hold on a deadly secret. Marc works to consolidate his position as leader of the ferals—and discovers that being a walking anomaly has certain advantages. Including some that are totally unexpected.

Warning: Contains more love triangles, more power struggles, more tears and teeth gnashing, and even more graphic scenes of manlove between moody, domestically inclined vampires than in previous editions. Definitely not recommended for anyone suffering from ALSSD (Auld Lang Syne Sensitivity Disorder) or with aversions to ballrooms, evening clothes, sarcasm, or close-quarter stiletto combat.

Samhain Publishing | Amazon Kindle

3. Just What I Need (Erin Nicholas)--released February 26
The Bradfords, epilogue

Expect the unexpected…especially when a Bradford is expecting.

As family and friends gather to see Dooley and Morgan get married, anticipation is high—but no one saw this much excitement coming. A wedding that doubles as a baby shower, a limo that doubles as an ambulance, a hospital room that doubles as a honeymoon suite… Sure, why not? It’s a Bradford wedding, after all. Dani’s in labor, Sam’s in a daze, Ben’s taking charge, Sara’s crying, Jessica’s got a secret, Dooley’s missing his honeymoon—in other words, things are crazy. As usual. But through it all they’ve got each other. As always.

Warning: An epilogue to the Bradford series (seriously, this is an epilogue, so keep that in mind) featuring all the couples, a wedding, a baby—or two—and donuts. Because you have to have donuts.

Samhain Publishing | Amazon Kindle

4. Most Likely to Succeed (Kate Davies)--releases March 25
Girls Most Likely To... Book 1

Ten years after being voted Most Likely to Succeed, Kelsey Moore is still living in her hometown, still working in her family's flower shop, and too embarrassed to attend her high school reunion. Only the chance to reconnect with her study buddy--and secret crush--Nathan Barrow tempts her to go.

Nathan isn't sure why he came back for the reunion after spending the past decade working abroad. But when he runs into his former lab partner, Kelsey, he's sure glad he did. The chemistry between them is as potent as ever, and when she offers him a weekend of wild, no-strings-attached sex, Nathan knows he'd be a fool to say no.

Nathan can't be tied to one place for long. But the more time they spend together--in and out of bed--the more Kelsey wonders if their reunion could become something more permanent. That is, if Nathan is still interested when he finds out she's been less than honest with him about her life since graduation...

Carina Press | Amazon Kindle

5. Cutest Couple (Kate Davies)--releases April 29
Girls Most Likely To... Book 2

Ten years ago, Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple--until a graduation-night argument destroyed their relationship. Unable to contact him, Bree had no choice but to forget Marc--and raise the son she never got to tell him about.

Marc got Bree's message loud and clear when he never heard from her again. Now stationed near his hometown, he sees their high school reunion as a chance to make peace with the past. But after one glimpse of Bree, he knows he never really got over her. And after one glimpse of her son, Marc knows he's the boy's father...

Despite the secrets and lies that kept them apart, Marc and Bree can't resist picking up where they left off. But when the weekend is over, it may be too late to build the future they once dreamed of.

Carina Press | Amazon Kindle

6. Medium Well (Meg Benjamin)--February 19

Real estate agent Danny Ramos has always had a knack for selling homes, but when his boss saddles him with a neglected carriage house, Danny discovers that his abilities are more than simple intuition... 

On his first visit to the house, Danny is confronted with visions of a violent murder. His assistant, Biddy Gunter, doesn’t seem affected, and Danny starts to think he’s going crazy—until he gets a visit from his mother, who suggests that Danny’s uncanny talent to sell old houses may stem from his family inheritance: psychic empathy.

When Biddy reveals to Danny her own strange dream about the carriage house ghosts, they team up to investigate and discover both the house’s dark history and their own unexpected attraction. But as the hauntings turn from unsettling to downright dangerous, Danny and Biddy need to figure out how to rid the house of its ghostly inhabitants, before their budding romance meets an untimely end…

7.  Medium Rare (Meg Benjamin)--August 20

Rose Ramos was a reference librarian, until she inherited her grandmother’s house—and the family talent for connecting with the other side…
Moving into the lovely Victorian in San Antonio’s King William District is a dream come true for Rose—and also a nightmare. That’s the only explanation she has for the man hovering above her bed. But Skag is a ghost who’s been part of Rose’s family for generations. And now he’s all hers.

When Evan Delwin, a reporter out to debunk the city’s newest celebrity, posts an ad looking for a research assistant to investigate a famous medium making his home in San Antonio, Skag suggests that Rose apply for the job. Delving into the dark side has its own dangers for Rose—including trying to resist Delwin’s manly charms. But as the investigation draws them closer together, the deadly currents surrounding the medium threaten to destroy them all…

Amazon Kindle

8. Hat Trick (Kelly Jamieson)--February 15
Heller Brothers, Book 4

The Heller brothers are all heading home for the holidays in their short break in the hockey season. It should be a great family reunion since three of the four brothers are bringing their new girlfriends. But Jase and Remi just got the results of an important DNA test, and neither of them is in a mood to celebrate. Tag and Kyla also just got some surprising news that has them at odds, and Nicole’s nervous about meeting the whole family when she and Logan have been together such a short time. Instead of peace and joy, this holiday is full of angst, worry and love really enough to overcome all obstacles?

Smashwords | Amazon Kindle

9. A Love Worth Living (Skylar Kade)--releases September 10

When the nightmares yawn beneath her feet, the scariest part is letting go.

Dr. Carrie Farrow has dedicated her life to finding justice for the dead, but not without a steep cost. Years spent seeing the worst of humanity have left her determined to keep the living at a distance. It’s the only way she knows to keep her heart safe.

A dig in Rwanda changes everything. When she returns, her sexy neighbor’s concern and care slip past her iron defenses—and she finds comfort in a night of passion. But not the whole night. Before the sheets have cooled, she’s out of there.

David Cameron has walked a fine line, being there for Carrie without pushing the bounds of their friendship. When she falls into his arms, he believes the years of loving her from afar are over—until she makes it clear one night is all he gets.

Knowing one night will never be enough, David sets out to show her life is worth living, and love is worth claiming…if she’s brave enough to choose him.

And he’s brave enough to open his heart wide enough to catch hers.

Samhain Publishing

10. Jilted (Kelly Jamieson)--March 19
Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 1

The wedding’s off but the honeymoon is on…

Devon can do this. She can show up at her ex-boyfriend Josh’s wedding, even though he’s marrying her ex-best-friend. She can show everyone she’s happy with her fabulous life in Boston, her great career, her amazing shoes — and she can show everyone she’s over him.

Truth is, her life isn’t so fabulous. She’s just been downsized out of her job, her Jimmy Choos won’t pay her mortgage, and…she’s still heartbroken that Josh chose family over her. The real reason she’s enduring this wedding is that her next stop is nearby Greenbush Island, her last hope of finding a new job.

Josh knows marrying long-time friend Allie will make everyone happy after the rough time their families have been through, and since the woman he really wanted to marry chose her career and big city life over him—why not? But the perfect wedding turns into a perfect disaster when Allie leaves him at the altar for another man. He never saw that coming!

But hey, Devon’s there, offering to help him look for Allie on Greenbush Island, where he’d planned their honeymoon. Only, all they find there are their old feelings for each other and a temptation to risk their hearts one more time…

Warning: This book contains a firefighter hot enough to ignite flames, a woman who doesn’t want to get burned again, a honeymoon suite but no honeymoon, and sex not on the beach (sorry).

Samhain Publishing | Amazon Kindle 

11. Bolted (Meg Benjamin)--April 2
Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2

Sometimes you have to get lost before you can find yourself.

Greta Brewster McBain is in a bind. Two, if she’s really counting. First there’s the can-barely-breathe bridesmaid’s dress from hell. Second, the stranger who just carried her “perfect” brother’s fiancée out the church door has made it impossible to tell her own mother about her own divorce.

Rather than confirm her reputation as the family screw-up, Greta takes a drive to clear her head.

Trapped in a hole and unable to reach his cell phone, Hank Mitchell is resigned to becoming a permanent part of his own archeological dig when help arrives—in the form of a woman who looks like a Gone With The Wind refugee. Behind the ruffles and lace, though, is something he appreciates: a woman who isn’t afraid of a little dirt.

 Their instant connection draws Greta into the eccentric world of the Hotel Grand, where she impulsively trades her hoopskirts for an apron. Soon things are getting hot—not only in the hotel kitchen, but in Hank’s arms...

Warning: Contains hot moonlit sex, a melancholy turtle, two wisecracking seniors, and the world’s ugliest bridesmaid dress.

Samhain Publishing

12. Busted (Sydney Somers)--April 16
Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 3

His game… Her rules.

Hockey star Jackson Knight has a hundred reasons not to return to Promise Harbor, but none of them are good enough to get him out of attending his best friend’s wedding. Even with a career-ending knee injury, every puck-bunny in town will be gunning for him.

Worse, getting a pair of cuffs slapped on him at the bachelor party could ruin any chance of getting back in the game, even as a coach. Unless he can convince the arresting officer to smooth things over—by going to the wedding as his date.

 Hayley Stone figures posing as Jackson’s girlfriend is the least she can do to salvage his reputation. Plus, having a man with a toe-curling smile on her arm will keep her ex off her back.

What starts as a simple plan to deflect small-town pot-shots unexpectedly becomes a sizzling night that hits Jackson like a full-body-check to the heart. Now he’s determined to prove that she’s the best reason of all to come home—for good.

Warning: Contains a fiery powerplay both on and off the ice, skin-tingling forced intimacy, interfering grandparents, bear costume hijinks, a haunted house and the kind of game-changing chemistry worth fighting for.

Samhain Publishing

13. Hitched (Erin Nicholas)--April 30
Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 4

And she thought the bridesmaids dresses were her biggest problem...

Allison Ralston would rather be anywhere other than this wedding. Even if the wedding is hers. Especially since the wedding is hers. But Allie’s determined to restore her family’s happiness, and if tying the knot with longtime family friend Josh Brewster is the way to do it, then she’ll walk down that aisle, toss that bouquet and drink that champagne. Oh, she’ll definitely drink the champagne.

There’s only one thing that could get Gavin Montgomery back to Promise Harbor. And she’s about to say I do to another man. Now he’s back to claim what’s his—even if he has to do it in the middle of her wedding.

Allie is shocked—and okay, a little turned on—when Gavin literally sweeps her off her feet. Safe in his arms, she succumbs to fatigue, stress, and yes, the champagne, only to wake up in his bed. In Alaska.

Now that he’s put four thousand miles between Allie and all her responsibilities, Gavin’s determined to show her that they can make a life together. If he has his way, the next wedding Allie will be planning will be theirs.

Warning: Contains a guy so in love he’s willing to break up the wedding of the season, a bride who just needs to get to, well, anywhere else, and enough hot sex to take them from New England to Alaska and back again. 

Samhain Publishing

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Honest to God, that's going to be in the dedication of the Galveston steampunk I'm still working on.

Thanks to Google and a host of other sites, I've been able to find all the info I need to construct an alternate history of the Spanish discovery and colonization of Galveston and their other holdings in New Spain. I never had to go to a library, and I never had to go to Galvestion. (I do go to Galveston, actually, whenever I can - I've loved it since I was a child. But I don't need to have access to  documents and photographs there because everything I need, I've found online.)
I used the Internet heavily while I was writing Yours Mine and Howls, because I've never set foot in Cañon City, Colorado, the town on which Fremont is based. But between Google Maps and Fremont County's many excellent tourism and real estate sites, I was able to construct a believable setting.
Now I'm writing two contemporaries at the same time, which is daunting. Not the two-books-at-one-time thing -- that's actually easy, given my ADD  -- but the contemporary thing. I'm writing real people, with human strength and human frailties and human sexual organs and all that. So I have to make sure someone remembers to bring the condoms (werewolves neither contract nor spread STDs.) And if the heroine gets in trouble, the hero can be able to beat someone up, or pull a gun to defend her, but he won't be able to rip the bad guys to pieces and eat them (which really is a useful skill to have in a hero.) And no one has any supernatural abilities that can come in handy in a tough spot, like a photographic memory or the ability to transport yourself from one spot to another.
Besides just keeping my characters within the limits of human beings, though, I want to make sure they'e believable. I want 3D people with real flaws and real problems and real jobs and lives. And I've been particularly obsessing over the heroine of one of my WIPs, who is a skilled session/touring musician and songwriter. Her main instrument is the fiddle. ("I can play the violin, but most of the time when I play it, it's a fiddle. Way more country than classic. I do a lot of Celtic and folk stuff, too, but still -- that's fiddlin'. Violinists wear heels, and their audiences are usually sitting down. That's not my thing.")   She also does rock and pop, and I got to wandering if I'd invented a type of person who doesn't exist. Are there female fiddlers who work as session and backup musicians, and do they work across musical genres?
Well, I don't know if there's a lot of them, but I found at least one. She's hot, as both in demand and real good lookin' : (My heroine is a redhead, though.)
I found Emily Autumn through this excellent page devoted to the fiddle in rock music.
Then there's Sara Watkins.
Of course, Alison Krauss is a high profile fiddler but she's mostly bluegrass, notwithstanding the great stuff she's done with Robert Plant. (Although she was a prodigy, like my heroine. Alison got her first recording contract at 14.)

And there's Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks, who've now officially broken up. (I hope she and Emily do something else.)
So yeah, my idea of a gifted fiddler with a talent for other instruments and for songwriting is completely believable. 

But there was one other aspect of her personality that I came up with years ago, when the character first started popping into my head looking for a boyfriend. She was a child prodigy, and the country legend who gave her her first big break, when she was just a teenager, gave her her most prized possession as a gift for her 21st birthday: a fiddle that had once belonged to Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing.  

(Here, listen to Waylon explain it:)

Now, I had no idea if any of Bob Wills' fiddles were identified and floating around out there. I knew there was a Bob Wills museum in his hometown of Turkey, Texas, way up north in the bottom of the Panhandle.
So I'm engaging in a little research procrastination when I come across this heartwarming story: 40 Years Later Fruita Fiddler Bows Instrument Once Owned By Bob Wills (Note: Fruita is in western Colorado.) My favorite detail about this story? The fiddle still smells of Wills' cigar smoke. And you better believe that's going to find its way into my story.
I don't know why I worry so much about getting details right, even when it's something I'm making up entirely out of my head. Maybe it's because I get so annoyed when characters in books (not just romance, but any kind of fiction) supposedly have certain jobs or careers but behave in ways totally unbelievable. My big peeve is lawyer heroines who go around violating ethical precepts and ABA disciplinary rules, as well as ignoring every rule of federal procedure and usually committing a couple felonies to boot, as they sleep with/run away with/collude with/defend/attack the con man, attorney, billionaire, cop or renegade mercenary they're in love with, you know? If you're going to give your character a specific line of work, and it's not a line of work with which you're familiar, then either talk to someone who knows about it or, you know....look it up on the Internet.
My hero required no research. He's a rock star. The danger of writing rock stars is not that you'll go too far, make them do things too outrageous; it's that you'll make them too tame, too sane. (Seriously. Consult the autobiographies of Slash, Duff McKagan, Nikki Sixx, Ray Davies, etc. if you doubt this.)

Some of the most disgusting depictions of alcohol abuse I've ever read. This guy shouldn't be alive, and he knows it.
Sometimes I take it to extremes. I pester Crista McHugh, my doctor writer buddy, about how a body would look and feel after being in a hospital and on a respirator for 2 weeks.

I pester my husband about how much you can really pack into the saddle bags of a Honda Goldwing. 
My hero does not pop wheelies on his Goldwing. That's beyond douchebaggery.

And I learned something new about the Hub - apparently, back when the Goldwing was his sole means of transportation, he sometimes rode with his shotgun strapped across the bike's handlebars.

I have no idea why this was necessary. I don't think it's gonna fit in the book.
I also quizzed the Hub about SUVs -- specifically, what were the biggest SUVs available around 10-15 years ago. With four wheel drive - that was important. And he'd name a make and model, then say - "Wait. I don't think they offered 4WD until 2010," and I'd say, "Well, then I can't use it."
And he'd say - "Do you really think a reader's going to notice something like that? Or care?"
And I thought about it and I decided - probably not. I've seen some very, very picky readers, and I've read reviews by people who took exception to the smallest, most seemingly insignificant mistakes of fact or history. If a reader is going to check on the makes and models of SUVs available in 2000 while reading my book, then obviously my story isn't holding her attention, or else she's got issues which have nothing to do with me, right? 
Just to be safe, though, I decided the band bought a used Chevy Bronco in 2000. They were in production from 1992 to 1996.
Thanks, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Guest Blogger Cat Johnson - True and False

So I recently came to the Nine Naughty Novelists blog to do a bit of spying and see what kind of post I should write for my guest spot today. In the archives I found everything from how to create characters, to writing series, to 'womb orgasms'. I'm going to take the presence of this diverse subject matter to mean anything goes here, which actually makes it harder to choose than if someone said, write this, exactly this, and nothing else but this.

Anyway, after much thought—and procrastination—I've settled on a short True or False theme about me in particular, and most likely erotic romance writers in general. There is the public's perception of our lives, and then there's the truth. Here is goes…

TRUE: I write men I find sexy. If I'm not turned on by my heroes, it's likely my readers won't be either.

FALSE: No, I do not play out in real life all the sexual situations in my books. Some, but not all. J Sadly, the truth is if two strapping young cowboys showed up here at my house, I'd put them to work. I do need one cowboy on top and one on the bottom, but that's because there's holes in both the roof and the floor of my barn to be fixed.

TRUE: I rarely wear clothes. Seriously. Like once a week.

FALSE: No, it's not because I'm romping around nude having kinky sex all day. It's because if I take the time to dress in real clothes, I end up finding any number of ways to procrastinate for hours and not get to work. If I stay in PJs, or switch to my daytime PJs that at the ready and require no thought, I get right to work.

TRUE: I talk to men every day, scattered all over the world, and I make money from doing it.

FALSE: No, I'm not running a phone sex/webcam site. They're my military consultants and talking to them helps give me story ideas, and inspires new heroes for my books…and it's fun. J

TRUE: Working from home is great. No commuting time or expenses. No wardrobe expense aside for PJs (as mentioned above). I can have laundry in while I'm writing. Break for ten minutes to feed the animals then come back to work. However, it also means, for me anyway, there is no definite start or end to the workday aside from when I'm actually asleep, and that makes it very hard for me to shut down, give my friends and family time, and remember to have a life.

FALSE: No, I get no sympathy for working too many hours. In spite of my usual 18-hour day in front of a computer screen, it's very hard for friends, family, and the random postal worker to realize that even though I'm home, and in PJs, I'm still working. I swear!

TRUE: Being home doesn't mean we take advantage of that fact. I've eaten a handful of nuts for lunch, and leftover pizza or Chinese for breakfast, even though there's a fully stocked kitchen at my disposal.

FALSE: No, contrary to popular perception, we romance authors do not lie around and eat bonbons and drink champagne on a chaise lounge in silk lingerie ala Jackie Collins. I have, however, put a nice dent in a bag of Hershey's Kisses while wearing tattered flannel and sucking down lots of coffee.

TRUE: At the end of the day, I love my job as a full time romance author. Even with the insomnia, deadlines, ever changing market, sore wrists, and snickers from readers of "serious" literature, there's nothing I'd rather do for a living. And there's nothing false about that.

Want a taste of what I'm working on now? Check out the first book in my new Oklahoma Nights series with Kensington. Publishers Weekly called it "sex-centric…convincing and satisfying" so how could you NOT be curious! One Night with a Cowboy is out now and a national best seller. Two Times as Hot is on preorder for a summer release. And I'm halfway through writing Three Weeks with a Bull Rider for an early 2014 release.

Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks to the naughty nine for having me!

Cat Johnson

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Long-Distance Series

Tomorrow, Kelly Jamieson’s Jilted kicks off a four-book series, the Promise Harbor Wedding, written by four different authors. Four authors—Kelly Jamieson, me, Sydney Somers, and Erin Nicholas—living in places far removed from each other: Winnipeg, Denver, the Maritime, and Iowa. All four books begin with the same wedding ceremony that doesn’t work out as planned. But how did we go about putting this series together? Joint outlines? That might work, except not everybody in the group uses outlines. One benevolent dictator telling the other three how to write? Not with romance writers, thank you very much.

So how did we do it? A lot of trial and error, a lot of emailing, a lot of aspirin, and a lot of fun as it turns out.

The idea for the four-book series came originally from Lindsey Faber, the editor for three of us (Erin, Sydney, and Meg). We first tossed some ideas around in 2010, but nothing much came of it—brainstorming at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention is sort of a losing proposition.

We started thinking about the possibilities again last year, trying to come up with a basic situation that could serve as a jumping off point for four books, trying a couple of possibilities that didn’t ultimately work out. Of course the fact that we were in three different time zones didn’t help much—poor Syd was up in the wee hours when I was just finishing dinner. Thankfully the chat room we were using was one where we could save the discussion for future reference.

I’m not sure who exactly suggested a wedding, but I think it was either Kelly or Erin. Once that possibility had been raised, ideas began to flow. It would be a wedding that didn’t come off, a wedding-that-wasn’t. And all the stories would grow out of that initial disaster. Somehow we managed to browbeat Kelly into going first, so she decided she wanted to do the groom’s story. Erin agreed to be last and took the bride for Hitched. That left Syd and me to grab a couple of the supporting players—the best man in Syd’s case and the matron of honor in mine.

We decided that all four books would include the wedding as the first scene, but in each case it would be seen through a different character’s point of view. This meant we had to have a wedding scene to work with, and Kelly and Erin obliged. Syd and I contributed our own versions from different POV’s and the game was on.

From that point forward, nobody could make any changes to the wedding scene without telling everybody else what they’d done since the slightest detail could make a difference in somebody else’s description. In addition, we used each other’s characters, which meant making sure the dialogue and actions we came up with were okay. When I borrowed Syd’s heroine (a cop) to fill out a missing persons report in Bolted, I had to make sure I wasn’t having her do anything that would interfere with her activities in Busted.

It was hectic and sometimes frustrating, but at the same time it was loads of fun. Having three other authors to bounce ideas off and to complain to when your muse goes on a brief vacation was a wonderful experience. And the finished products had bits of all of us, incidents and ideas we’d all contributed.

So to the inevitable questions “Can the books be read on their own?” I can only answer, “Why would you want to?” Believe me, four authors are so much more fun than one.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

First Lines... and more!

Thanks to authors  
Suleikha Snyder, Selena Robins and Kate Davies
for  loaning us their first lines yesterday!

Here’s more about these three awesome books!  Check them out!

Line #1:  Bits of gold dust clung to her skin.

When fear writes the past, only love can direct the future.

Priya Roy is back in Bollywood with a rock-hard body, a precious gem of a secret and a heart of ice. 

Producer/director Rahul Anand won’t waste this second chance at his first love. He’ll melt Priya’s resistance at any cost—even if it means returning to acting and negotiating his way onto her next project. Hell, if she’d give him half a chance, he’d write himself into every scene of her life.

Talk show host Sunita “Sunny” Khanna and her brand-new producer, Davey Shaw, are determined to get Rahul and Priya on her show for a ratings-boosting reunion episode. She and Davey strike instant sparks, but Sunny, burned after her disastrous marriage to a Bollywood bad boy, is determined not to fall into the fire.

Lurking on the edges of the frame is Rahul’s stepmother, trouble-making man-eater Nina Manjrekar. And when she hijacks the script, only honesty can turn a first draft into the romantic superhit it’s meant to be.

Warning: This book contains smoking, smoking and then kissing, kissing while lying, and some really, really questionable décor.

Buy it here!

Line #2:  “Will Work For Sex”
Travel journalist Maddie Saunders has new attitude, and wants two new accessories to go with it.  One, turn her triple-X fantasies into reality with Mr. Sex-On-Legs- her friend, Alex Donovan.  And two, find her biological father to see if her gene pool has a deep end.
She never expected fulfilling both wishes would take her life down a drastically different path.
Alex Donovan, an investigative reporter, grits his teeth when he accepts a joint assignment to Hawaii with Maddie.  He's vowed to never get involved with any woman he can't walk away from.  Maddie falls under the heading of "Look, but don't touch."
Trouble is, Maddie excels at giving Alex a hard time-- in more ways than one.
Complicated?  Absolutely.
Especially when Alex discovers the shocking, unexpected reason they were both sent to Hawaii.
Warning: Side effects may include, but not limited to, spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter, hot flashes and dangerous chocolate cravings.
Contents include, one kick-ass heroine and sex-on-legs hero whose kiss could singe the eyebrows off a mannequin.  Can be read in bed with someone special or a BOB (battery operated boyfriend).  Please note: Batteries not included.
Buy it here!
Line #3:  Kelsey looked up from the counter as the bell over the front door chimed.

Book one in The Girls Most Likely to…
Ten years after being voted Most Likely to Succeed, Kelsey Moore is 
still living in her hometown, still working in her family's flower shop, and 
too embarrassed to attend her high school reunion. Only the 
chance to reconnect with her study buddy—and secret crush—Nathan Barrow tempts her to go.
Nathan isn't sure why he came back for the reunion after spending the 
past decade working abroad. But when he runs into his former lab 
partner, Kelsey, he's sure glad he did. The chemistry between them is as potent as ever, and when she offers him a weekend of wild, no-strings-attached sex, Nathan knows he'dbe a fool to say no.
Nathan can't be tied to one place for long. But the more time they spend together—in and out of bed—the more Kelsey wonders if their reunion could become something more permanent. That is, if Nathan is still interested when he finds out she's been less than honest with him about her life since graduation…
 Buy it here!