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Archive for November 1st, 2010

Once again, using the magic of random.org, the lucky reader is…

Chey!

Congratulations, Chey, you’ll receive your book shortly. Thank you to everyone who participated!

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One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly…

Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child…

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Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about my newest book, Undeniably Yours or, as I like to call it, the accidental sequel.

When I wrote Exclusively Yours, it was absolutely meant to stand alone. After writing two connected westerns and the third book in my Devlin Group series, I really wanted to write a book that, when it was done, would be done.

Then Kevin happened.

Kevin Kowalski is the younger brother of Joe, the hero of Exclusively Yours. And even though he was single, having been through a bad divorce, I never once thought of him as sequel bait while I was writing the first book. But then, after Exclusively Yours was turned in and I was supposed to be working on something else, a first line came to me:

Every time the New England Patriots chalked one up in the win column, Kevin Kowalski got laid.

I was hooked. I couldn’t not write Kevin’s story, despite my original intention to write a stand alone title. And, to be honest, I wasn’t quite done with the Kowalski family. They’re a funny, close-knit bunch and a blast to write.

But now, I’m probably going to have to say goodbye. Kevin was the only single sibling and I don’t think it’s too great a spoiler to say he’s now living happily ever after. That hasn’t stopped friends from offering suggestions, however, on how to extend the series.

Long-lost cousins?

Rapid aging the Kowalski kids?

Joey, the oldest of the next generation of Kowalskis, would have been sixteen at the end of Undeniably Yours and I don’t feel even a twinge of a story about him. Add in the fact I don’t really write twenty-somethings and that’s quite a rapid aging.

The example of aging and writing the “kids” that first jumps to mind would be, of course, Linda Howard’s Mackenzie family. Another, to my mind at least, would be Seth from Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay series. While he was a younger brother rather than a son, he was still a “kid” who then got his own story as an adult.

I admit, if I was introduced to and got to know a character as a child in a book, I have a hard time adjusting to that character as an adult starring in his or her own romance, even Seth who wasn’t a “little boy” in the first three Chesapeake Bay books. I love that entire series, but the first three were easier for me to read.

How about you? Do you like reading about the next generation of a family, or do you prefer an author move on to a new family?

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Many thanks to Shannon for being our guest today! For more info on Shannon and her books, visit her website here, follow her on Twitter here, or become part of her Facebook page here. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of UNDENIABLY YOURS. Winner will be announced Sunday. Good Luck!
*****ETA: Carina Press has Shannon’s first book, EXCLUSIVELY YOURS, discounted for $.99 right now. You can find it at Carina Press here. So…Go. Buy. Read. Enjoy. Then come back & tell us how you liked it. 🙂

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Video game designer River Weston is ready to sell her soul to smooth out the glitches in her latest project. When she unwittingly taps into a parallel dimension via cutting-edge technology, a Dark Lord is quick to take her up on her inadvertent offer. Trapped in the world she thought she’d created for her game, River finds herself in a very real alternate dimension that she must escape from before her soul can be used to unleash evil—upon this dimension and many others.

River’s only ally is the sexy and mysterious Chase Hawkins. A prisoner of the Dark Lord, Hawk is a man adrift—literally. His body safe at home under the watchful care of the Guardians’ scientists, his astral-traveling spirit has been enslaved by his people’s worst enemy, the Dark Lord. Clinging desperately to his sense of self, Hawk is determined to turn the tables on his captor before the connection to his body is lost. When the beautiful, achingly familiar River enters the picture, he vows he will do everything he can to save her from her bleak fate.

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Nora Roberts delivered an excellent speech in Orlando at RWA 2010. In it, she emphasized that writing is hard work. A sale doesn’t happen because someone is luckier, smarter, or has better ideas. It doesn’t happen because someone has connections in the industry. As they would in any career, all of those things can help. More than anything though, a sale happens because someone is disciplined enough to learn the tools of the trade and then uses them to finish the project to the best of their abilities.

Discipline means writing when we are overtired, overworked, or would rather be sunbathing.

I mention the sunbathing because I have an awesome (for me) tan this year. And I have to be honest. I’m not the most disciplined half of the Taylor Keating writing team. The tan is all the proof my partner needs.

I do, however, have a healthy work ethic. My day job is demanding. I routinely take on more things than I can handle because I like the challenge. (My writing partner warned me my life was in danger if I continued to pursue night courses for university credit while we’re under contract.) If I can find a way to multitask, you can bet I’ll multitask.

I have a strong sense of responsibility. I treat my partner with the same respect I would any co-worker. If she is expecting a completed project from me at the end of the weekend, then I give her a completed project Sunday night. She delivers hers on Fridays.

We share those traits. We also bring special skills to the team. My partner is a faster writer. She can stick to a throughline. She’s organized and likes to plot out the entire story. She has a business degree and therefore seems predestined to absorb what happens in the writing world. Her tan isn’t nearly as awesome as mine. I, on the other hand, am the editor. I know how to spell. I build the worlds and add the subplots. I introduce the plot twists. Sometimes when I hand off the project to her on a Sunday night, she loses sleep over the fact I haven’t stuck to the storyboard. I’m fairly certain that, if asked, she’d say I make more work for her. I’d then tell her to consider the world of possibilities I’ve opened and that she should be thanking me.

We aren’t inflexible. She’s as busy as I am. She has a full-time writing career of her own. She also has a young family. We accept that there are times when we simply can’t pull our weight. That’s when the negotiations begin.

We set realistic schedules that suit us as individuals. Nothing says failure faster than a ninety-hour workweek. And because we work in such different ways, when one of us can’t meet the schedule we’ve set, the other is able to fill in the blanks. We communicate daily. If I can’t meet my workload I let her know well enough ahead of time so that she can make adjustments to hers. She offers the same courtesy to me.

Discipline keeps Taylor Keating’s nose to the grindstone. Successfully multitasking means determining how long she should hold it there while standing in the sun.

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To find out more about Taylor Keating, please visit their website at www.taylorkeating.com. And to be entered in the drawing for a $25 gift card to Amazon, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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