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Suzanne Enoch's Favorite Romantic Heroes

New York Times best-selling romance author Suzanne Enoch shares the inspiration for her latest hero, and gives us a list of the leading men of romance who set her pulse racing. Her latest work can be found in the holiday anthology "Christmas Brides," available on Kindle now.

Christmas BridesAt this very moment I have a photo of Joe Manganiello pinned on my desktop, as the physical inspiration for the hero I’m currently writing. I get to spend all day referring to his dark, unruly hair and his fine physique, and in my mind he also has a hot Scottish accent. Yep, it’s rough being a romance writer.

A romance hunk doesn’t always start out being a hero, of course. Sure, he has to have at least one redeeming quality, something that keeps the reader both interested in reading more about him and rooting for him to become a better man. He can be perfectly handsome from the beginning, but if on page one he’s a perfect character, that’s just boring. Maybe he’s selfish, or careless, or distrustful, abandoned, or wounded, vampiric, or werewolfian. What incentive, then, does this handsome lad have to improve himself? Ah, that would be the heroine. He has to see something special about her, something that calls to the best part of himself.

The male protagonist of a historical romance, which is the genre I write, has a fair number of employment (or lack thereof) possibilities from where he can begin his transformation into hunky hero – he can be the younger son of an earl, a soldier of fortune, a gambler, a duke, or a down-on-his-luck adventurer, among many other things.

And then there are princes, especially tall, black-haired, green-eyed princes like Prince Wulfiniski from Karen Hawkins's How to Pursue a Princess. That man has it all - broad shoulders, smoldering green eyes, and a wicked sense of humor that threw the poor heroine - and me! - into a flutter every time he walked into the room. All that and he's a prince to boot. What's not to love?

I never could resist a knight in shining armor, either, and Sir Gareth of Caerleon in Teresa Medeiros's Shadows and Lace is particularly irresistible. When the deliciously dark and brooding Gareth wins the fair Lady Rowena in a dice game with her deadbeat dad, he has to decide if his lust for revenge or his lust for Rowena will win out. This one has all of the humor, passion and charm you'd expect from a Teresa Medeiros romance and Gareth is a hero for all ages!

Oh, and then there's something about an American hero in Victorian England – especially when he's as smart as he is handsome, a self-made man with an eye toward the future and a wicked sense of humor that's impossible to resist. Even if the very proper heroine in Victoria Alexander's The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride is determined to do just that. Come on. We've met him. She doesn't stand a chance.

In my Rogue with a Brogue, Arran MacLawry is the heir apparent to the leader of clan MacLawry in the Scottish Highlands. He’s suspicious of the English, and even more so of any Campbells, the long-time enemies of his own clan. The last person he would ever intend to fall in love with is Mary Campbell, then, but that’s just what he does. And she falls for him as well, because he’s a Scottish laird’s brother and tall and broad-shouldered, with black hair that falls over his brow in the breeze, eyes bluer than a Highlands summer morning sky, and he dances a fair waltz. Yes, he’s drop-dead gorgeous – and he’s fair minded and witty and honorable even if he does like to fight and tends to kiss young ladies in public. You know, a hunk. A hero.

Do you have a favorite romance hero? Did you like him from page one, or did he grow on you during the course of the novel?

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Love is a Funny Thing for Tawna Fenske

Romance author Tawna Fenske gives us a hilarious look at how her everyday life experiences inspire her to write about the funny side of romance. Her latest novel, Fiancee for Hire, is on sale now.

TawnafenskeTen minutes ago, I was sitting at my desk giving thoughtful consideration to a topic for this blog post.

Okay, that’s a lie. I was actually googling photos of nudist weddings. It’s for a book, I swear.

In any case, I was nibbling frozen peas as I’m wont to do when I’m deep in thought on a writing project. One of the little guys slipped through my fingers and tumbled down the front of my shirt, wedging itself in my cleavage.

Naturally, that’s when my husband walked in the room. “Why is your hand in your bra?”

“I dropped a frozen pea.”

“Is this like last week when I found you licking your keyboard?”

“No, that’s totally different,” I insisted. “What else am I supposed to do when I spill yogurt on it?”

He walked out of the room shaking his head. “Remind me to stop asking questions when you’re writing.”

I share that exchange with you not because I had a fervent desire to fit the words “cleavage,” “yogurt,” and “nudist weddings” into one blog post (though for the record, that’s a worthy goal). It’s more [as] an illustration of my answer to one of the most common questions I get in interviews, which is this:

Why do you write romantic comedy?

As you might have gathered by now, I write romantic comedy because I would be abysmally bad at crafting serious tomes on existentialism.

I write romantic comedy because I once waxed off my own eyebrow and mistakenly used a green eyeliner to draw it back on. I write romantic comedy because I attended a fancy luncheon where I spit gristle into a linen napkin, fumbled it into the purse of the woman next to me, and got caught trying to retrieve it. I write romantic comedy because I unintentionally texted a boob pic to my realtor. Twice.

The great thing about being a magnet for ridiculousness is that I’m pretty much guaranteed to never run out of fodder for my books. Even more fortuitous is that Entangled Publishing has a home for my love-tinged absurdities with their Lovestruck line.

Lovestruck novels are all centered around witty dialogue, meet-cutes, and twists on classic tropes. Throw in a few heaping handfuls of sexytimes, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous beach read. I love writing them almost as much as I love reading them. 

Thanks to Lovestruck, readers of Marine for Hire have gotten to meet Sam, the Marine sniper turned undercover nanny who confuses the steps for changing diapers with the steps for disassembling a M-16 rifle (and learns they’re actually not that different).

Thanks to Lovestruck, readers of Protector for Hire (coming Dec. 2014) can meet Anna, a woman who makes a living planning weird weddings that include things like paintball wars or ceremonies in which everyone dresses festively in their birthday suits.

See? I told you it was for a book.

Readers can also meet their respective love matches and see how they set the sheets ablaze (hey, there’s an idea for a candlelit love scene gone awry…)

Now if I could just get that damn pea out of my bra.

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Jill Shalvis on the Making of "Merry Christmas, Baby"

Merry Christmas BabyWild child Chloe Thompson can't believe how much things have changed. She still can't get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up...and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen. Here, Jill Shalvis talks about the inspiration behind writing Merry Christmas, Baby.

I love the holidays.  All the kids are home, and it’s usually snowing outside and warm inside from the baking of cookies – or in my case, the burning of the cookies…

Last year when this happened, our new fire alarm went off and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.  We have really high ceilings and there was no way to reach the smoke detector.  A neighbor called the police, and a sheriff came to the door.  He looked a little rumpled and a lot overworked, but he smiled when he saw the burnt cookies.

“My wife does that a lot,” he said with obvious warmth and love.

It reminded me that one of my favorite couples--sexy sheriff Sawyer Thompson and wildcard Chloe Traeger from my book Head Over Heels--would be celebrating this holiday too, and chances were that Chloe was doing something to both irritate Sawyer and yet turn him on at the same time.

The thought wouldn’t leave me alone. But how I could I do justice in a novella to a couple who had an undeniably explosive chemistry and whirlwind romance the first time around?  I also didn’t want to give them some silly misunderstanding or lightweight conflict and take away from their intense and fierce relationship, the one I’d painstakingly built in Head Over Heels.  I mean, to be honest, those two nearly drove me to drink the first time around.

Then it hit me, the idea for the story I could tell that would at once both heighten their relationship and yet change it forever.  Picture me cackling and rubbing my hands together in glee over my laptop as I spun the new web.  I’m not going to tell you what I did, or what Chloe and Sawyer have to go through, but suffice it to say I loved every minute of the writing of this story, Merry Christmas, Baby.   

Though I was so happy to revisit these characters, it was also a little bittersweet since this would be the last Lucky Harbor – for now.  I never say never, especially since readers tend to get upset when they realize this might be goodbye to Lucky Harbor.  So let’s just call it a goodbye for now, okay?  Can we all live with that?  And I promise to come back and visit it when the time is right.

Happy Reading,
Jill Shalvis

Writing Big-Family Romances with Melissa Foster

As families across the country sit down together this week for Thanksgiving, New York Times best-selling author Melissa Foster shares how her personal insights into the large-family dynamic helps her experience the joys and appreciate the challenges of writing big-family romances. The latest novel in her Love in Bloom series, Seaside Sunsets, is available for pre-order now.

Seaside sunsetsAs the only girl in a family of seven children, writing about siblings—brothers, specifically—and large families is kind of my thing. The danger of writing these big-family romances is that I become attached to my characters and never want to let them go. This is why my Love in Bloom series is the umbrella for five family subseries so far, with two more planned for the future. Characters from each family appear in future subseries, which is not only exciting for me, but it gives fans a chance to read about the growth of characters after they’ve reached their happily ever afters.

Jealousies, secrets, trust, and loyalty all come into play in real-life families, and bringing those challenges to life for my fans in a realistic way is one of the most challenging and exciting aspects of writing big-family romance novels. Large families often have significant issues that those outside of the family rarely see, and since most of my characters tend to have emotionally rooted barriers rather than typical tropes of conflicting goals, I explore rich backstories with intimate, and often conflicting, relationships between siblings and parents.

While it’s important to know a character’s image and style, who a character is goes far deeper than physical appearances. We must understand what their lives were like before the story begins—from the schools they’ve attended to their previous relationships with friends and lovers and the emotional scars endured—and the ones they’ve left behind. Characters’ failures and successes help to form their fears and insecurities as well as their confidence, and each plays a major role in their development as an adult.

Understanding the roles between family members and how they will grow and change over the life of the series is also imperative in family romances. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but overcoming them within a family circle is vital in order to move forward as confident alpha heroes and smart, sexy heroines of romance novels. It would be easy to gloss over the families and make them happy-go-lucky, but that would not reflect real life, and I’m all about reality. The relationships we have with our siblings as teenagers are not the same as the ones we have as adults, and I try to bring those changing dynamics into the story. Although I have to admit that while certain parts of those relationships change, others never do—like the teasing and wrestling that goes on between brothers even as grown men.

For those of you who are wondering, no, my brothers do not mirror my heroes. However, at times in their lives, they certainly have played the parts. My older brothers were quick to come to my defense as teenagers, and they were just as quick to lock me in the basement with the crickets when I was too short to reach the light switch.

Creating large families isn’t about creating perfect, beautiful people. It’s about creating beautifully flawed characters with believable bonds that stand the test of time and provide a solid foundation for when a member of the family needs it most. My Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, and even my Seaside Summers characters (who have become a family among friends) were all developed with that in mind. And, of course, family loyalty is a big theme in all of my books, because as Hal Braden reminds us often, family knows no boundaries.

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Romance Authors' Holiday Recipe Series: Rosanna Chiofalo

Wrapping up our 4-part series, popular romance authors share their favorite holiday recipes--some even inspired by their novels--to help you with your holiday entertaining (part 1, part 2, part 3). Last but not least is Rosanna Chiofalo with her recipe for fried honey balls. Her latest work can be found in the holiday collaboration, When the Snow Falls.

WhenthesnowfallsRosanna Chiofalo’s Fried Honey Balls (also known as Pignolata or Struffoli)

Every year for Christmas I helped my mother make Fried Honey Balls. In my Sicilian dialect, they’re called Pignolata, but many Italians also know the golden balls coated in honey and adorned with colorful confetti as Struffoli. Whatever you call them, the appearance of these gumball-sized fried pieces of dough signify Christmas, and can be found in many Italian American bakeries during the season.

Cooking and baking was one way for my family and me to share the food from our culture, along with the other customs surrounding the holiday. In addition to special dishes, another custom my we shared while I was growing up was playing cards for pennies after our Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve—just the way my character Bianca Simone and her family gather to play cards in my novella “Seven Days of Christmas.”

Last year I decided to finally take on the challenge of making Pignolata to continue my mother’s tradition, especially now she’s older and does not bake or cook as much for the holidays. The gods of baking were with me, not only did my Pignolata come out great, but my husband even thought it was better than my mother’s! Shhh! Don’t tell my mother!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and share it with your loved ones during the holiday season!

Rosanna Chiofalo    

Fried Honey Balls

(also known as “Pignolata” or “Struffoli”)

DOUGH

3 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, add extra if needed

Vegetable oil for frying

SYRUP

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 ½ cups honey

Colored candy sprinkles

To make the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a whisk, then beat in the sugar, salt, and oil. Sift in the flour, and with a wooden spoon, mix to form soft, but not sticky, dough. Add a bit more flour if the dough is sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes (until the dough has a smooth consistency). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll, one at a time, into ropes about ½-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut each rope into ½-inch pieces, and transfer the pieces onto a lightly floured baking sheet, separating them so they don’t stick to one another. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let them rest while you heat the oil.

In a large, deep, heavy saucepan or pot, heat 3-inches of oil to 350⁰ (use a deep-fry or candy thermometer). Fry a handful of the pieces of dough at a time in the hot oil, stirring with a wooden spoon so they brown evenly, until they are a deep golden brown, for about 3 minutes. Resist the temptation to add too many pieces of dough to the hot oil as this will lower the temperature of the cooking oil. Drain the fried pieces of dough on paper towels.

To make the syrup:

In a large pot or deep frying pan, bring the water, sugar, and orange zest to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the honey. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the little balls, stirring to coat them evenly with the syrup. Be careful while working with this syrup. It is very, very hot. Continue to cook and stir for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the balls have absorbed some of the syrup and look glazed. Be sure not to let the syrup get too dark. Turn the balls of dough onto a large platter. Using a metal spoon dipped in water, form the balls into a pyramid. Add sprinkles.

Romance Authors' Holiday Recipe Series: Lin Stepp

Continuing our 4-part series, popular romance authors share their favorite holiday recipes--some even inspired by their novels--to help you with your holiday entertaining (part 1, part 2). Up next is Lin Stepp, author of the Smoky Mountain series. Her latest work can be found in the holiday collaboration, When the Snow Falls.

WhenthesnowfallsIn my short novel A Smoky Mountain Gift, Veda Trent makes up a recipe of her Aunt Rita Jean’s Christmas Cookies with the eager and excited help of eight year-old Pamela.  They cut out sugar cookie shapes of trees, stars, ornaments, snowmen, Santas, and reindeer, and then lavishly decorate the baked cookies with colored icings, candy sprinkles, silver balls, and cinnamon dots.  The book’s happy scene reminds Veda of loving times with her Aunt Rita Jean baking cookies in the same farmhouse kitchen. The scene also brings back memories of my childhood days making sugar cookies with my mother and of later decorating warm, fragrant cookies with my own eager, excited children … The recipe below from mountain storyteller Rita Jean O’Neill is also my recipe passed down from my mother.

 

        RITA JEAN’S CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Ingredients:

2/3 cup solid shortening                            

3/4 cup sugar                                                           

1 tsp vanilla                                                  

1 egg

4 tsp milk

2 cups plain flour

1/ 4 tsp salt

1 and 1/ 2 tsp baking power                                                             

Directions:

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla by hand.  Add egg. Beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients – flour, salt, and baking powder – and blend into creamed mixture. Chill for one hour; then roll out the dough 1/ 8 inch thick on lightly floured counter. Cut with Christmas cookie cutters.

Bake cookies 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees.  Cool slightly, and then remove. 

Decorate with colored icings and add assorted sprinkles, silver balls, cinnamon dots and decorative outlining as desired. … And above all, have fun!!!    

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Romance Authors' Holiday Recipe Series: Nancy Bush

Continuing our 4-part series, popular romance authors share their favorite holiday recipes--some even inspired by their novels--to help you with your holiday entertaining (part 1). Up next is best-selling romantic suspense author Nancy Bush. Her latest novel, Nowhere to Hide, is on sale now.

Nancy BushHere’s a favorite recipe that we make at my house at least once every holiday season.  It’s called MISTLETOE SALAD, but no, it’s not made out of mistletoe, which my main character in White Hot Christmas, Jane Kelly, lets everyone know is a parasite, and, well, is poisonous to boot.  However, this salad’s made with broccoli, tomatoes, and a whole lot of holiday love.  It’s red and green and absolutely delicious. 

 MISTLETOE SALAD

 Ingredients:

4 lbs. broccoli

2 large tomatoes (cut into ¾ inch cubes)

2 T. finely chopped red onion

1 ¼ cup mayonnaise

1 T. soy sauce

2 t. fresh lemon juice

2 t. season salt

Salt and pepper to taste

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

½ cup raw or roasted cashews

 Instructions:

Steam broccoli 3 to 5 minutes, drain.  Pour cold water over broccoli to stop it from cooking any further.  Place drained broccoli in a large bowl and add tomatoes and onion.  Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl: mayo, soy sauce, lemon juice, season salt and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Mix individual servings of broccoli mixture with ¼ cup dressing, then place salad on plates in front of each diner.

Serve the chopped egg and cashews in small bowls to pass around the table as a garnishment for the salad.

Happy holiday eating!  

Nancy Bush

Romance Authors' Holiday Recipe Series: Fern Michaels

In our 4-part series, popular romance authors share their favorite holiday recipes--some even inspired by their novels--to help you with your holiday entertaining. Up first is Fern Michaels, best-selling author of the Sisterhood series. The latest Sisterhood book, Eyes Only, is available for pre-order now.

Eyes onlyMy kids called this our "Happy Happy Christmas Candy Roll" when they were little.

The ingredients are as follows:

1/2 cup butter

2 (1 oz.)  squares of milk chocolate

1 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners  sugar

1 egg beaten

1 cup of chopped pecans  (you can use any nut you prefer if you don't like pecans)

4 cups miniature marshmallows

1 (3 1/2 oz.) flaked coconut  (1 can)

 Instructions:

Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Stir in egg and sugar and blend well.  Stir in pecans and marshmallows and mix until coated thoroughly.  Divide the mixture in half.  Shape each into 12" rolls.  Carefully dredge with flaked coconut.  Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, sealing tightly.  Freeze.  To serve, thaw and slice into 1/2 slices.  Or thicker if you prefer.  1/2" slices. Makes app 48 servings.

Enjoy!

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Shannon Stacey's Favorite Holiday Reads

New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey and author of "Her Holiday Man" shares her favorite romance novels…with a holiday twist.

Her holiday manThe holidays and romance novels. To me, they’re like peanut butter and jelly or hot cocoa and marshmallows—they’re wonderful individually, but together they make something extra special. There’s nothing like the holidays to make a romance’s theme of love and family really pop. I’ve read many over the years because they’re my favorite, and here are just a few of the holiday romances that have stood out for me.

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail

A hero bent on revenge. A stolen Fabergé egg. A thieving heroine who will die if she doesn’t get the egg back by Christmas morning. Stacy Gail’s outstanding narrative voice makes this sexy, atmospheric (almost Dickensian) steampunk novella a delicious holiday read.

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

This single-title romance from one of my favorite category romance authors was an instant keeper for me. Set in snowy Vermont and written in Morgan’s warm and witty style, Sleigh Bells in the Snow blends love and laughter and family and romance for the perfect holiday story.

Holiday Bound by Beth Kery

This unique story of sexy submission from a contemporary romance favorite definitely spiced up my holiday reading list. Beth Kery brings her trademark emotion and eroticism to a “snowed-in” cabin romance, making Holiday Bound a sizzling holiday story I’ve read more than once.

Dear Santa by Karen Templeton

This Silhouette Special Edition from 2007 offers a classic category romance story—emotionally walled-off hero who’s suddenly a single father, a small child and the woman who will love them both—but Karen Templeton’s distinctive voice and masterful storytelling elevate Dear Santa to an exceptional, emotional holiday read you won’t want to miss.

Christmas with Her Boss by Marion Lennox

Coming from New England—the land of white Christmases and sleigh rides and hot cocoa—I’ve sometimes had trouble connecting to holiday romances set in tropical locations or in Australia. But this sweet, heartwarming, funny story of a woman whose big-city billionaire boss is stranded at her small family farm instantly became my favorite and most recommended holiday romance of all time.

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Kindle Editor Q&A with Julie Kenner

Kindle Editor Alyssa Morris sat down to interview J. Kenner, winner of the first ever RITA award for erotic romance. The author discusses the challenges and benefits she faces writing in various genres, as well as how her past career as a lawyer inspires her writing today.


J kennerAlyssa Morris: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. You write in a ton of different genres. What are the challenges and benefits of writing in all of those different genres for you?

J. Kenner: The challenges are keeping your readership and recognizing that the readers who like the really steamy stuff may not like the light and funny stuff. And even more likely, the people who like the light and funny stuff might not like the steamy stuff. So just to know that you have different readers. But that also expands your readers. I’ve been surprised at how many crossovers there are, really, which is great. Time, also, obviously. I like all sorts of stories. If I could write in every genre in the whole wide world, I would be such a happy camper. But you have to kind of rein yourself in at some point. So that’s a benefit, it’s fun for me. And also, like I just had an indie-published demon hunting soccer mom book come out, which is a series I love. I was very sad when it was traditionally orphaned and the series ended so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring it back to life. And it’s really nice because I’m doing this super steamy stuff on the Random House side with my Stark trilogy and my Most Wanted, but sometimes you want a palette cleanser. So I was able to finish doing some edits on the demon hunting soccer mom in the midst of that and it kind of gives you a break and lets you get back into the really intense characterization of the erotic romances that I write. Because they’re very—the characters are messed up and the plots are very emotionally driven, so sometimes you want just a really light and funny break. Not that the demon series is totally funny, it’s got issues. But it’s a different vibe to it. So it’s nice to have that change and just get into the different mindset.

AM: Definitely. As a Texan, are you happy to be in San Antonio?

JK: I am! Although I have to say, it’s always fun to go someplace else. I’m looking forward to New York next year because who isn’t. I love New York, so that’ll be fun. And I love to travel, so one of the cool things about conferences is travel without guilt, because I’m going for work, so on the one hand I really like to go someplace that I’ve never been before, you know, maybe someplace on the west coast which RWA doesn’t go to very often. But on the other hand San Antonio is a really cool town. The River Walk is a lot of fun. I’m already used to the heat, so it’s not as big a deal for me, and I can drive. So I have all my stuff in the back of the van instead of having to deal with suitcases so that’s a benefit and makes it a lot of fun.

AM: Talking about travel, I talked to Julia London yesterday and saw you guys were just in London together?

JK: We had so much fun! Yeah, we had a blast. I had gone—we had talked about just doing a vacation together and going to London over the summer or this year, really, and then I had the opportunity to go to the Edinburgh signing that RARE did (Reader and Author Romance Events) and it was a wonderful event, but I had told Julia since I’m already gonna be over there I don’t really want to make that flight twice, so let’s meet up. So that’s what we did. And we shopped and we ate and we went to this wonderful cabaret and met some lovely ladies who were having their hen ‘do, which is their version of a bachelorette party. So we danced with them and just had a fabulous time. Really fun. Too much shopping, too much eating, lots of walking. Lots and lots of walking.

AM: So there are, as far as I can tell, a ton of romance writers who used to be lawyers.

JK: It seems to be a breed, yeah.

AM: Like you. So does that influence your writing at all?

JK: It does. Not as much as you would think. I originally wanted to be a writer and when I got serious about it I thought I must be John Grisham because I’m a lawyer, and that didn’t work out so well for me. That wasn’t really what I wanted to write. So I’ve done some characters who are lawyers, I’ve done some characters who are just in the legal world both real and imagined in a paranormal series that I had. But directly relating to the writing, it’s not so much. It’s more—lawyers live by deadlines. You have to have papers turned in on such and such a day, you know, the trial will start on such and such a day, the motions will be heard on this date, so that makes it very, coming into the world especially of traditional publishing when you have your deadlines, it makes it much, it feels normal. And you learn to work towards a deadline, You get that very clear, so yeah, it impacts everything. I’m pretty detail-oriented. You know, certainly used to being edited for trying to get—I’ve done Supreme Court briefs and everything so you edit those, you really edit those. So yeah it makes an impact.

AM: Are there any genres you haven’t written in that you’d like to explore sometime?

JK: I’ve written romantic suspense but I’d really like to take it up a notch and write it a little bit more thriller-esque because I just love reading those. Now whether or not I would ever make that a career I don’t know but I think it’d be fun to do. I have an idea for a mainstream women’s fiction, not even really women’s fiction. Whatever genre you would say like Water for Elephants is in, that kind of a book. Kind of spread over a lifetime, almost literary but very readable. Commercial literary I guess you’d call it The idea, I love it, but it doesn’t make sense for me to write it right now, so you’re kind of going oh. I would love to write YA because my kids are aging up and I would love for them to have something to read that I wouldn’t have to say no, no that's not appropriate. Here, go read my demon series. So yeah, apparently there are a lot of them! I just did a horror short story for Cemetery Dance and that’s a lot of fun, you know, but. You can spread yourself so thin and you can’t always grab the new shiny. It’s like oooo squirrel! (laughs) Which I have a tendency to do because I get so excited about the stories and I want to write them, but if I had Hermione’s time turner or something it would make life a lot easier. But I don’t.

AM: I just read Wanted, I read it in one sitting, I got totally sucked in, so what’s next in that world for you?

JK: Heated came out June 3, so it’s out and doing really well and I really love that character. And then Cole’s story, Ignited, came out September 2nd. So I’m excited about that. So that’s a lot of fun. And then next, I’m actually going back to the Stark world, so I’m excited about that, too. That’ll be a lot of fun.

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