Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jayne Rylon : Maintaining the Lines between Corporate Existence and Erotic Novelist

Ever wonder what your favorite author's do when they're not writing?  If writing is a full time gig, or if they have "day jobs"?  I got a chance to catch up with Jayne Rylon, author of the new release KING COBRA and asked her what it's like to lead a double life.  A straight-laced corporate employee during the day, I wondered how she managed to keep the lines between that and her steamy, erotic author existence.  This is what she had to say.  And after you read this, make sure to check out the synopsis of her newest release, as well as enter the great giveaway going. 

Maintaining the lines between corporate existence and being an Erotic novelist.
I started writing in the summer of 2006.  At that time I worked for the Department of Defense as a management analyst.  Shortly thereafter, I left and started working as a Sr. Financial Analyst for LimitedBrands, the corporate headquarters of brands like Victoria Secret and Bath and Body Works.  By the I exited corporate America last week, to pursue my dream of being a full time author, I was the Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis for Lane Bryant.  As both my corporate career and my writing career flourished, I made choices along the way about how much to share with my employers about my “second job”.
In the beginning, I didn’t even mention it.  Writing was a hobby to start.  I was an avid reader and my husband made an offhanded comment one day, asking if I’d ever considered writing something.  The next day I started writing Dream Machine.  I’d taken creative writing in high school and my undergraduate degree was in photography with a minor in English as I’d considered photojournalism.  But I’d never planned to write fiction for fun.
Until that day.  By the end of the year I’d finished Dream Machine and submitted it to a contest to get some unbiased feedback.  From there it was requested by one of the judges, an editor for Samhain, who ended up rejecting the manuscript but gave me invaluable feedback on my writing.  I wrote another book, Picture Perfect, and sold that to Cobblestone Press in 2007.  So, I started talking to friends and people about the fact that I had gotten published.  Still, I never mentioned my pen name.  Ever.
During my time with Limitedbrands, I kept my identity a secret.  Back then, people didn’t generally understand digital first publishing anyway and due to the sexual content of my books I didn’t feel comfortable allowing that to influence people’s opinions of my business acumen and work.  Although honestly, I’ve used everything I learned in my jobs in corporate retail environments to build my own brand and run my own business.  Because the reality is that writing books is only a small part of what it takes to be a successful author.
At the tail end of my time working with that company I hit the NYT Bestseller list.  I think by then most everyone I worked with knew I wrote.  I was taking time off to travel to conferences and book signings plus the validity of hitting major bestseller lists made me feel more comfortable sharing about my “little hobby”.  And when I was approached by Lane Bryant, I was very open.  I told them upfront in my interview that I had another career and that it was significant in my life.  I told them what I wrote before I was hired, “Yes, it’s like 50 Shades, but probably dirtier.”
And when I decided recently to walk away from corporate America, I think everyone was clear that I wasn’t running away from something I disliked… I’m very fortunate to have had two careers, which I enjoyed, going and gaining momentum at the same time.  But that I was running toward my dream.  Because if I can dedicate my entire focus, time and energy to this pursuit, I have to be able to do better at it, right?
In the end, I guess everyone has to make their own decisions but I think a lot of the backlash I worried about along the way might have been colored by my own insecurities.  As I felt more confident, I shared more and in general people’s reactions were always highly favorable, supportive and shocked (which was fun!).  I’m thinking of having a “retirement” party in a few weeks and inviting people from all the various parts of my life.  How bizarre it would be to see them all mingling together J

Nothing’s sexier than seven men with hot rods. 

Hot Rods, Book 1
After Eli’s mother died, his father honored her life’s mission as a social worker by taking in several kids from the wrong side of the tracks. Not all of them stuck, but those who did became Eli’s quasi family.
Their bonds, forged in fires set by their personal demons, are unbreakable—or so Eli wants to believe. Especially since he and Alanso, his best friend and head mechanic, witnessed the overpowering allure of polyamory while visiting the Powertools crew.
Much as Eli would like to deepen the relationships among his foster brothers and sister in the Hot Rods Restoration Team, he’s hesitant to risk everything on a quick romp behind a stack of tires.
But when Eli catches Alanso exploring their mutual fantasy at a known hookup spot in a public park, all bets are off. And Eli must decide if it’s time to jump in full throttle—and trust his instincts to guide him through the night. If the pair can dodge the potholes in their own relationship, maybe they can race together toward the unconventional arrangement with Mustang Sally they both desire.

Warning: Fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a wild (and naughty) ride!

Buy Links:

Prize Information:
Jayne is giving away a prize pack that will include a variety of items including T-shirt, print copy of Pick Your Pleasure, flavored lube, autographed cover flats, playing cards, keychain, etc. The rafflecopter code for this is below. I have set it up so readers can comment daily to have more chances to win.
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Contact Jayne Rylon:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Construction Beauty Queen by Sara Daniel

Construction Beauty Queen
by Sara Daniel
Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled (Bliss Imprint)
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 67,000

Buy Links

For more buy links and to preview the first chapter visit:

Chicago socialite Veronica Jamison is determined to shake off her sheltered lifestyle and overbearing parents. She heads to her grandfather’s small town of Kortville, ready to roll up her sleeves and work for the family construction business. She’ll prove her worth, even if it means answering to the company’s ruggedly handsome co-owner, Matt.

Matt Shaw just wants to run his business, spend time with the niece he’s raising on his own, and give back to the townspeople who have stood by him. Managing a spoiled-rotten princess he knows he’ll never be good enough for? Not part of his plan. But as he gets to know Veronica, he learns there’s more to her than her beautiful looks and designer clothes. She’s got a heart as rich as her background.

With the quirky townspeople rallying against Veronica inheriting her grandfather’s business, it’s up to Matt to try to drive her out of town. But how can he, when instead she’s driving her way into his heart?

"You left your tools behind," Veronica noted as Matt backed out of the driveway. "We didn't finish hanging the gate, and I really wanted to meet the owner of that house."

"I'll come back and finish up. The job's almost done."

"So I'm your top priority." She leaned her forehead against the window. "That's so sweet."

His chest tightened, but he kept his voice impassive. "You have a warped idea of top priority if you think someone who makes you beat yourself up with tools and then pass out is sweet."

She lifted her head enough to smile weakly at him. "Matt Shaw, you are without a doubt the sweetest boss I've ever had."

His fingers twitched. He clenched the steering wheel, but it was a poor substitute for the skin he longed to touch. "You're only saying that because I haven't fired you yet."

“I loved Matt and Veronica and fully enjoyed this book.  I laughed and cried, it kept me entertained and it was hard to put down.” –Crystal from My Reading Room, 5 stars

“This book was exactly what I needed today.  It was sweet, funny and something to get completely lost in for a couple of hours.”  --Shannon from Cocktails and Books, 4 stars

About the Author
Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance and captivating emotional drama. She writes to entertain and to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after. On the personal side, Sara is a frazzled chauffeur, chef, personal assistant and slave to her children. She's crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. She has her own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband. In addition to Construction Beauty Queen, she is also the author of The Wiccan Haus: A Man Worth Fighting For, The Wiccan Haus: Psychic Lies, Mr. Forever, More Than a Fantasy, Zane’s Art, and Wyatt’s Guilt.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Caramel and Magnolias by Tess Thompson

Crushed by a broken heart ten years ago Cleo Tanner walked away from her acting dreams and now leads a quiet secluded life in Seattle. Sylvia her best friend from college is trapped in a loveless marriage distraught by her inability to conceive a child - until an adoption agency owner in relentless pursuit of Cleo offers to help.

Just as Sylvia begins to experience a profound love that only a mother can feel, a detective approaches Cleo with disturbing questions about the adoption agency. Determined to protect her friend Cleo jumps into a dangerous investigation that forces her to confront the ghosts of her past.

Bestselling author Tess Thompson, whose debut novel Riversong touched the hearts of readers worldwide, delivers a captivating and suspenseful tale of the possibilities that await us in life and in love - if we can find the courage to get off the sidelines.

A toast to friendship, motherhood, mended hearts and new beginnings, Caramel and Magnolias reminds us it's never too late to reawaken the heart.

Note from the Author:

I’m not sure about other writers, but I find I don’t necessarily know, thematically, what I’m writing about in my novels until after the first draft is finished. When I read through the completed draft for the first time I see clearly how it is reflective of my current circumstance. This was the case with Caramel and Magnolias. There was a primary aspect of my personal life where I had chosen to remain on the proverbial sidelines, as is the case with all four of my main characters. I was in an unhappy marriage, much like the one I describe for Sylvia (although there was no infidelity) and felt there was no way to get out. I have young children and like so many of us, would do anything to protect the family unit and the thought of hurting a good man who was loyal and supportive was excruciating. So instead of acknowledging to myself how dead I felt inside, I turned all my energy into my work and my children. However, there came a time when I could not squelch my feelings any longer and made the hardest decision of my life. Ending a marriage is painful and messy. But on the other side of it was feeling alive again - just as it was for my characters. Now I just need the happy ending I wrote for them for myself.

RATING: 4 Chirps

Overall, I enjoyed this story.  The problem for me was the mash up of character views.  I found myself confused a bit from the very beginning, going from one POV to another, everyone having a say.  I found it a bit hard to keep them straight in my head.  Aside from that, the story was touching and  shocking at the same time.  

Sylvia is desperate for a child.  She'll do anything, and her friends will do anything to help her.  Her husband, however, wants nothing to do with adoption.  Eventually he leaves her, which leaves her to adopt alone.  As with any good romance, this leaves room for the knight in shining armor, and another love connection develops.  It turns out her husband was not "her person" after all, and everything comes together for her in the end.

In the meantime, Cleo absorbs herself in finding the truth about the adoption agency.  Having been manipulated into dating a man to help her best friend move to the top of the list, Cleo uses her connections to determine the secret he's hiding.  With the help of Peter Hall, a detective who has opened her mind and her heart after years of seclusion from men, she discovers much more than she bargains for.  And more people than she could have imagined are affected by the truth.  

Overall, the story has as wonderful message, which is summed up in one line in the book.  Throughout all the turmoil, fear and betrayal the characters felt - the choice was in their hands.  Don't shut yourself off from love.  Take the opportunity where you can, and savor every moment of it.  You never know when it will be threatened, or taken away.  And I wish Tess all the best of luck in finding that for herself.

"Choose to live, to love, to be chosen." 

Tess is giving away an eCopy of Caramel and Magnolias to one lucky reader who comments below.  There will also be a grand prize giveaway of print copies of both Caramel and Magnolias and Riversong.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for those of you who just can't wait to get your hands on this book :


Barnes and Noble:

Feel free to contact Tess and say hi. 

Tess Thompson Contact Links
FB Author Page
Amazon Author page

You can also follow Tess on the rest of her Caramel and Magnolias tour at these stops.  

4/8 RomFan Reviews / Ariesgrl Book Reviews

4/9 For the Love of Bookends / Storm Goddess Book Reviews

4/10 Kricket's Chirps / My Secret Romance

4/11 Romance Book Craze / Rambling Reads / Twinsie Talk 

4/12 Queen of all She Reads / Salacious Reads