Friday, June 6, 2014


Remember, you can have a dozen rejections on a book but only need one offer. Dawn Ryder

My guest is Dawn Ryder. She’s a bestselling author of many historical romances (under a different name and we've had the pleasure of her visits before) and now has also taken up the challenge of writing erotic romance. Check out her website to see the lists of both erotic romance and her historical selections. 
My blog shares the journey writers face on the road to and beyond publication. It’s a rocky road sometimes filled with good and bad. Dawn's topic is things that make a writer smile. These are important things for a writer to remember—not just the hard work of being a writer—but what excites you and makes you smile.

Thanks for having me over. A lot of writers talk about the hard moments, I love to discuss the moments that make you smile.

  • That moment when you decide to write a book. 

For me it came after an idea got lodged in my head. It had been there for a few months, a charter forming, growing, becoming something I was obsessed with telling her tale. Until one night, I turned off the television and opened up a blank word processing file.

  • Finishing that first book. 

Oh my. It was a major triumph. Plenty of times, I wanted to get up and find something else to do. But I realized I was making excuses for the fact that my book project was harder than I’d expected it to be. I had on those rose colored glasses that made me believe that the life of any author was one of leisure. But I did it. Because quitters never win and I needed to finish my heroines tale.

  • Writing the first scene that made me cry. 

It was a moment I still recall vividly. That part of the book, when the dark moment was overwhelming and I was so deeply involved in my story, it cut me deep.

  • The first time I submitted my book. 

My little baby, sent off into cyber space. Sure, I loved it but the sheer uncertainly of letting strangers read it was like a tsunami looming over me.

  • My first contract offer. 

Yup! I sold that book. Did I receive rejections? Sure did. But what I want to recall is when I opened an email with a contract offer. Remember, you can have a dozen rejections on a book but only need one offer.

Out of Bounds represents Dawn Ryder, my naughty inner child. She steps over lines just because they are there. Writing this erotic romance was a challenge and a hoot!


Power may be best when it’s shared…

He’s used to dominating…
Tarak Nektosha is a self-made man, against all odds. He accomplished that by making sure he’s the one in charge, both in the boardroom and in the bedroom.

She’s taking her power back…
Sabra Donovan has ambition to spare and energy to burn. So what if her last lover was a disappointment? She’s never going to be anyone’s plaything ever again.

Sabra’s outstanding performance at a corporate photo op attracts Tarak’s attention, and the lines begin to blur. What happens when the one on top surrenders and the one used to obeying begins to call the shots? Excerpt


Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over 8 years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California. You can find Dawn: Website and Facebook

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


UK author, Isobel Rey, is my guest today. I enjoy hearing how writers get ideas to write their stories. Isobel's started with a glass of red wine and telling tales from work. 
Her topic is on the glitzy and glamorous life of the rich and the powerful and how hard it can be for women to navigate the high octane business world. She says that any workplace that draws big money and people with big egos and ambition attracts partying, champagne, and bed hopping. But regardless of your place in the social strata, everyone wants the same things in life.

I love telling stories and I love listening to other people’s stories. So I guess it was inevitable that one day I’d end up writing.   I fell into this genre almost by accident. I was out with a friend one evening and she introduced me to a publisher friend of hers.   The three of us ended up having dinner and a lot of wine, and I mean a LOT of wine!   I was talking about some of the crazy worlds that I get a window into from my job and all the politics and sexual tension that go with them.   I work in advertising in London and I've worked with clients from all kinds of industries, some of them pretty glitzy and glamorous.  And what I've learned is, it doesn't matter who you are, what you do, where you are from, how much bling you wear or how much money you earn, everyone wants the same things in life and everyone worries about the same things.  

Several more glasses of wine into the conversation the publisher asked me to tell her some of the stories of the things I’d seen and heard.  Well the stories came tumbling out didn't they?!   There’s a scene in Substitute involving a one way mirror, three guys, two girls and a hidden audience,  and many people have asked me how I made that up, and they’re astonished when I explain that I didn't.  And no, before you ask, I wasn't there,  but the story was told to me by someone who was.   Even though the book is in the Erotic Romance genre, I think you still have to have a ring of truth in your stories!

I told the publisher how  hard  it can be for women to navigate the high octane worlds some of our advertising clients live in, when they are looking for love.  There are a lot of very good looking, charming guys out there, but they’re usually ambitious and ruthless and don’t want to get tied down. 

So the publisher encouraged me to try my hand at capturing one of these worlds in a novel.  I already had experience of writing advertising copy and I've been writing short stories for years but never done anything with them.   I wrote three sample chapters and she loved them.   So Isobel the novelist was born, almost overnight!   I can’t believe how lucky I am, I guess it was fate having dinner with her that night.

I was worried that I’d find the process difficult, but once I started writing I couldn't stop and the book almost wrote itself.    I’d sit down after work with a very large glass of red wine and start writing and then suddenly find it was 2 o’clock in the morning.   Alexia, my main character took over my life!   I went to work one morning hardly able to keep my eyes open, and my very sweet boss, Mary, asked me what I’d been doing all night, winking.  I said nothing, but Alexia has!   Mary still doesn't know what that means…….

Now I am planning my second novel,  and I've got quite a few ideas boiling away.    I've had a great response since the book was published in the UK and I’m really excited to know how readers the other side of the Atlantic will find it!   It’s set in London which can be a pretty amazing city to live in, fast and glitzy.  So let me know North American readers, I’d love to hear from you!   Right……..I’m off for a large glass of red wine……..

  • Does where you work ever spawned incidents in your writing?
  • As a reader, do you like stories that put you in a high octane world?


She's driven by his desire...

It took all of Alexia's courage to leave her abusive boyfriend and strike out on her own. When she lands a job at a glamorous sports agency, she thinks she finally has it made. But shy, blonde and beautiful, Alexia is totally unprepared for the fast sexual politics of rich men and ambitious women that is waiting for her. Most of all, she is totally unprepared for her dazzling but damaged new boss, Nathan Fallon.

"If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, you will enjoy this "


Isobel Rey is a Cambridge graduate. After interning at a stage/film talent agency, Isobel now works at a London advertising agency. This is her debut novel. Originally from Surrey, Isobel lives in London with her partner and a one-eared rescue cat called Thumper.

Monday, June 2, 2014


Sorry for the late posting. We've been having storms and internet has been on and off.

I don’t particularly like reality shows. I don’t care how “hidden” the cameras, those involved are aware of them and react accordingly. I do believe the producers will and do encourage certain actions/reactions to increase drama for the viewers.

I’m especially irritated with the alleged wilderness and survival shows. Those really get me. My husband loves the Alaskan shows—homesteaders, mountain men, and those that do trapping for the winter. I’m not saying all of them are bad but most of them aren't a good example of how to live in these areas or live off the land. 

Anyone who lives in remote areas or in harsh climates has a lot of respect for just what these climates can do for unwary and unprepared. The people who live there are rather contemptuous of stupid. Long time residents never go out unprepared if they want to live. They have a good research library and a damn good medical kit and books and contingencies in place in the event there is a serious medical issue on how to handle medical situations, human and animal (there are several good ones including one put out by the US Army and also books on how to use plants for medicines). They know the terrain, they know how much daylight they have, and they know where they will be stopping and what’s available to them when they do. They dress appropriately and have extras in case they get wet. Accidents can and do happen but the smart woodman prepares for those possibilities and are aware that being stupid can kill you. Even the savvy can be killed in a freak accident. 

Granted, there are some good pointers in these shows for when you’re camping out in harsh elements. How to create a shelter, make a warm bed, and keep you warm and hydrated.  But, invariably, these shows play the whole scenario of there’s a storm coming and we’re one step from death and what WILL we do? Hello, if you've prepared like a smart person would you ride out the storm. If you haven’t prepared you shouldn't be out there or standing in front of cameras showing your stupidity.  Feh.

Most trappers I've known through the years have used the summer to stock foods, lay in wood for the line shacks, plenty of blankets, and keep extra supplies to repair equipment. Even those who use winter tents know the likely spots to stop where there is plenty of wood and shelter from storms and winds. While I’m on irritations, I haven’t known a trapper to go out on the line unarmed. That’s for several reasons, one, to dispatch an animal that may still be alive in the traps, two, to protect themselves against an aggressive predators, and three, to hunt for food if necessary.

I caught part of one particular show recently. The guy is talking about a grizzly that’s been around and looking for food near his cabin. The grizzly had also caused some damage in its quest for food. Yes, he was smart to approach the line shack cautiously. Stop, look, and listen is a mantra for any savvy hunter or woodsman when approaching a place that’s unoccupied most of the year, or anyplace where dangerous predators are part of the population. You don’t know what’s there and it’s smart to be cautious.  Surprising a bear, for instance, and particularly a grizzly (which can be territorial and nasty on any given day) isn't wise. But where the hell was this dude’s rifle? He knows there is a grizzly roaming the area and has been hanging around the cabin and he doesn't have a rifle in his hands and a back up pistol on his belt? Seriously? And then he walks up to the cabin door and guess what? There’s hair on the door (I guess the bears up there are taught to be polite and knock). How dramatic.

Then there’s the dude who likes solitude and lives in this cabin in the middle of nowhere and when he’s there, lives off the land. That makes sense. But then he’s just about starving to death? In the summer and early fall?  How can you be hungry with all the abundant wildlife to hunt? If he goes to this spot regularly (and he does), how has he not researched edible plants and where they are? Oh, and here’s a novel thought if you’re going to live there from spring to late fall. Ever think of planting a small garden?  Fishing is good, but one pole and line? Ever heard of a trotline dude? When it comes to putting food on the table you look for ways to maximize success.

I've lived far way from trappings of city or urban life and in some harsh winter areas. I've lived off the land and without modern amenities. It’s a whole different mindset. I know the preparations involved to do so successfully. When I see crap like this it tends to scratch against the blackboard of my tolerance. So many of these shows tend to tick me off because they’re not as realistic as they portray themselves to be. Kinda of like reading a book with a good premise but with a hero or heroine who constantly do stupid things with little or no consequences. We call them too stupid to live. Some reality shows fall into the same category.  

Upcoming guest in June:
4th: Isobel Rey, 6th: Dawn Ryder 
13th: Elizabeth Staab, 18th Emily Greewood
20th: Marie Hart, 25th Annalisa Crawford