Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Lauren Dane tagged me in the Next Big Thing blog hop. The blog hop is an author answering ten questions about whatever their next “big thing” is. That author then tags more authors and so on and so forth.

It’s a fun way to find out a little bit about what your favorite authors are doing – or maybe being introduced to new authors. I’m going to talk about the book I just turned in, which will be out from Berkley Heat in September, 2013.

1. What is the working title of your book?

UNCOMMON PASSION. It’s the second in a series set in Galveston, Texas. The first book, UNCOMMON PLEASURE releases in March, 2013.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

One of the secondary characters in UNCOMMON PLEASURE, Ben Harris, intrigued me. He’s the second participant in a menage, the guy the heroine knows is up for anything, any time, with anyone. I got to thinking about what kind of man that would be. He could be fun-loving, easy-going, obliging…or he could be tortured, carrying the weight of a terrible past, and using sex to avoid dealing with what he’s done. Ben’s the second kind of guy. 😉

3. What is the genre of the book?

It’s erotic romance.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ben looks like Bailey Chase in his Deputy Branch Connally incarnation on Longmire.
Rachel Hill has all of Abbie Cornish’s reserve in Bright Star.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“A virgin refugee from a fundamentalist cult determined to experience life and sex to the fullest gets involved a man with troubled past equally determined feel nothing at all.”

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

This will release from Berkley Heat in March, 2013.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about 10 weeks to produce. I spent another 3 months getting crits and revising the manuscript.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think the virgin-meets-bad boy trope is fairly common in erotic romance. In fact, I’d already done a similar story, so finding new emotional territory to explore made this book an interesting challenge!

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always been interested in the question of what turns someone into “that guy”, the one the characters can turn to for the ever popular “one night of no-strings-attached” sex. Giving him a heroine who needed experience but turned his definition of “experience” on his head seemed like the best way to create conflict.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s got all the characteristics of an Anne Calhoun erotic romance: a troubled, experienced paramilitary hero and a heroine who knows exactly what she wants who sets him back on his heels. Plus, there’s the ever-popular scorching sex. 😉

More seriously, in this book I explore family and friendships more than I have in previous erotic romances, so if you like community and family issues with your smexxing, give this book a shot.

I tried, folks, to find someone to tag for this blog hop, but everyone was either on deadline or had already participated. 🙁 So check out some of the amazing writers I contacted, all of whom have fabulous books releasing in 2013.

Megan Mulry, Mira Lyn Kelly, Alison Kent, Miranda Neville, Leah Braemel, Ruthie Knox, Elyssa Patrick, and Jill Shalvis.

Breath on Embers: A Visual Tour

I spent a week in New York recently, and while I was there took some pictures on the Upper East Side, where the story is set.

We’ll start with Ronan’s building:

That’s the Croydon, at the corner of 86th and Madison. To the right is Central Park. I used to live in that building, but a rent-controlled two bedroom apartment was only in my dreams.

When Ronan and Thea return from skating at Rockefeller Center, they stop for little while at the north end of the Great Lawn. The view to the south is of Midtown Manhattan. The nighttime view is quite spectacular, but I wasn’t there at night. 🙁

Ronan’s firehouse:

The rectangular frame in the center of the shot with the 9 illuminated spots is that firehouse’s tribute to the 9 firefighters they lost on 9/11. Starbucks he and Tim visited was one block west, at the corner of 85th and Lex. They all look the same, and the exterior was covered in Manhattan’s ubiquitous scaffolding, so I didn’t take a picture.

That’s St Ignatius Loyola at the corner of 84th and Park Avenue. The interior is quite lovely.

Finally, the lights strung in the Park Avenue planters.

That’s closer to Grand Central than the UES, but you get the idea. The lights are strung for over fifty blocks, lighting the way as Ronan and Thea carried their tree home.

Several readers have asked: I made up Idylle. But, perhaps secreted away in the Fashion District there is such a place…

Finally, a bonus Agony/Ecstasy photo. Above is a picture of the building Cole “owns”, overlooking the Metropolitan Museum of Art. To the right, the glass walls enclose the Temple of Dendur, which is the view Cole and Marin see at the very end of Transformed.

Not too shabby. 🙂

Excerpt Tuesday – BREATH ON EMBERS

BREATH ON EMBERS releases next Monday, December 3, 2012. In the following scene, Thea and Ronan have just finished checking out the Macy’s Christmas windows and are walking over to Saks 5th Avenue when they get distracted by a lingerie shop window…

A flash of red in a dimly lit window caught Thea’s eye; her steps slowed and by default, Ronan slowed with her. The mannequin wore a red silk robe stitched with intricate patterns that covered her from her chin to her wrists and ankles. Toggle fasteners held the robe closed to mid-thigh, where her white hand held the skirt open, revealing rich brown velvet inside.

“Oh, that’s gorgeous,” Thea breathed.

She pulled on the door handle but the lock held. The word Idylle was etched in ornate script on the lower right-hand corner of the window, next to a silver door adorned only with a placard listing a phone number. Ronan pulled out his phone and keyed in the number. It rang twice, then a woman answered.

“Idylle,” she said, giving the word a French lilt.

“Are you open?” Ronan asked.

“Yes,” she said. A second later the buzzer sounded on the door. Ronan opened it for Thea and followed her up the stairs to the second floor.

The interior of the shop was warm, dim and quiet. It expanded to fill the length of the row building, with polished hardwood floors and walls painted a metallic silver. Mannequins modeled more elaborate ensembles. One wore a red silk bustier and a pair of tight jeans; the next figure wore the same bustier but with a matching silk thong. A sheer green nightgown trimmed in paler green velvet draped another. Columns of wooden cubes rose behind tables displaying folded items, and more cubes along the walls held women’s undergarments. A trunk by the counter held neatly folded robes like the one displayed in the street window. At the back of the space, three six-panel doors lined the end of the long room. A brass hook on the doors held an oval sign turned to Unoccupied, so Ronan assumed those were the dressing rooms. The woman behind the counter gave them a welcoming smile then went back to her work.

Words weren’t necessary. The shop spoke for itself.

Beside him Thea pushed back her fur-trimmed hood, exposing her blond, tumbled hair. Her cheeks were pink from the cold air, her full lips slightly parted with amused fascination. “This city never fails to surprise me,” she said.

“You never know what’s behind a door. Let’s do some shopping,” he murmured in her ear.

Amusement danced in her slate-gray eyes. “Are you trying to tell me my basic black panties ruined the Santa’s helper outfit?”

“Oh yeah,” he said as he tugged off his hat. “It was horrible. Couldn’t you tell by the way I crawled all over you then lost it like a teenager?”

One corner of her mouth lifted. “I was a little uncomfortable flitting around the Upper East Side in that outfit and a thong. Anyway, you weren’t supposed to see them. You were supposed to take the blow job and send me off into the night.”

He wasn’t going to apologize for wanting more from Thea than anonymous physical release. “I’m difficult like that.”

“Yes, you are,” she replied. Some of the teasing had gone out of the banter, and to cover the new tone humming in the air she looked around the shop. “What do you like?”

“You want me to pick it out?”

“A place like this isn’t for me,” she said archly. “I’d never buy underwear here unless I was doing it for you. It’s meant to be worn for five minutes, then removed.”

“With my teeth,” he said. She actually giggled at that. He lifted his hand to her jawline, then brushed his thumb over her lips. Blood rushed to the surface of her skin, and her tongue flicked out to touch his skin. “Pick out something you think I’d like,” he said.

Read another excerpt and preorder from the retailer of your choice here!

Guest Post: Beth Kery “Because” + Giveaway

The Serial Novel, Another Reader Choice

by Beth Kery

When I was first asked by Berkley to write a serial novel, I was a bit dubious. Wouldn’t people be upset that they weren’t offered the book all at once? As I began the intensive, unique process of writing this book, however, I realized that the serialization process doesn’t limit readers’ choice. It increases it.

Because You Are Mine is one novel—Francesca and Ian’s steamy, addictive romance. Each “Part” consists of two hefty chapters and releases every Tuesday starting July 31st for 8 weeks.

People have busy lives. There are those who will appreciate the idea of consuming a book like they would a television episode. I like the idea of the element of time being more controlled, so that the ‘episode’ can be talked about simultaneously, using social media and other pathways, giving the romance community and readers something immediate to share.  I know I’m often telling my husband that I can’t ‘commit to a movie’ at the moment, but how about a television show? I think some people feel the same way about a novella or serial versus a full novel.

The nice thing about it is, voracious readers who consume an entire novel in hours aren’t left out of this experience, by any means. People demand availability of choices in this day and age, and this publishing model offers that. For readers who insist they must have the book all at once, there’s always the option of waiting until the book is fully out and available. There was a lot of behind the scene work that went on to get this book to the public so quickly. For my part, I worked my butt off, although it was totally a blast to be so submersed in the writing/editing process. Keep in mind, if Because You Are Mine had been done under the traditional publishing model, readers wouldn’t put eyes to it until next winter, at the earliest, probably not until spring of 2013. The publisher allotted a huge amount of energy and resources to make these extra choices possible to readers.

But aside from the unique release of the book, it’s Francesca and Ian’s story that I’m so excited about. I like to describe it as a little bit Cinderella, Pretty Woman and Fifty Shades of Grey, and a lot Beth Kery. I hope you’ll take the journey with Ian and Francesca in whatever way you choose, and have as much fun reading this sexy romance as I had writing it.

Thank you for having me here!


Readers: you can find more about Beth and her best-selling, hot books at her website:

Follow these links to the first two installments of the Because series. Part two is out today!

Because You Are Mine Part I: Because You Tempt Me

Because You Are Mine Part II: Because I Could Not Resist

Beth’s gifting a copy of the first installment Because You Are Mine to one lucky person who comments!