Writing Hot at Harlequin E

As a newly minted Harlequin E author, I was asked to write a post on “writing hot”. You can find the post by clicking here

I can’t wait for my new book to be released with them . She Wants It will be out this fall. No cover yet, but as soon as I have one, I’ll let you all know!

A woman used to being in control must learn to let go and let her new lover give her her ultimate fantasy. Torn between loving and leaving the talented chef, she soon learns he’s just as talented in bedroom as he is in the kitchen. It isn’t long before a whole lot more than food gets fired up under the hot Florida sun.

In Her Corner

Today I welcome Vicki Essex. She’s here to tell us about her new release IN HER CORNER and a little bit about herself.

Thanks for joining us today Vicki!

 Tell us a bit about your new release, IN HER CORNER.

In Her Corner is my third Harlequin Superromance title, and the second in a miniseries about mixed martial arts following my debut book Her Son’s Hero.

9780373608379 (405x640)

Where do you get your ideas? For example Life experience, fantasies, experiences and fantasies of friends, etc.

I knew after writing Her Son’s Hero that I’d write a book with a female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. Women’s MMA was still trying to make inroads in the broader market when I started putting the story together, but by the time I’d signed the contract, a new women’s only fight promotion called Invicta FC had just started up and then a few months later the world’s largest MMA promoter, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had announced they’d have their first women’s match. It was a lucky thing for me because I got to watch the hype grow over the internet and in the media and see how people really reacted to the idea of women fighting in the cage.

 What do you find draws you most to write?

I’ve always enjoyed working with words and figuring out what drives people to do the things they do. Understanding my characters and the challenges that face them has always made me think about my own interactions with the world, as well.

 What else do you have in the works?

 I’m contracted for three more Harlequin Superromance books over the next three years. Two take place in Everville, the town my second book, Back to the Good Fortune Diner, is set in. The other is a story about a celebrity pregnancy. I hope to tie all these stories together one day—in my mind, they’re all happening in the same universe.

 How do you name your characters? Any special tricks?

 I usually check the news to see what names I should definitely avoid. Often I’ll play phone book roulette and pick a name at random.

Do you own an ebook reader or read on an electronic device? If so, what?

I own a Kobo Touch, but I also have an ASUS Iconia tablet. I like the tablet since I can download and buy books from multiple vendors, but I enjoy the glare-free e-ink surface of the Kobo.

As a romance/erotica reader, what sort of stories do you personally prefer?

I love any stories where the characters are fully developed and layered—characters who have flaws and make poor choices, but redeem themselves somehow.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Sour cream and onion ring chips. They’re absolutely disgusting, can hardly be categorized as food and usually turn my stomach, but they’re so delicious. I only have them once a year on my birthday.

 Any vacation or appearance plans this year?

None that have been booked.

 What would your readers by very surprised to learn about you?

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will probably know this already, but I enjoy whiskey. I get a lot of strange looks when I order it at the bar.

For details on IN HER CORNER please visit www.vickiessex.com

Vicki Lewis Thompson – The Inside Scoop

Today I welcome Vicki Lewis Thompson .She’s here to tell us about her new release WEREWOLF IN LAS VEGAS and a little bit about herself. I had the pleasure to meet Vicki a few years ago at RWA National and so glad she’s stopping by for a visit today.

Thanks for joining us today Vicki!


Thanks for inviting me!  It’s terrific to be here.

1)     Tell us a bit about your new release, WEREWOLF IN LAS VEGAS.  So this werewolf walks into a casino . . . .  No, that’s not the story!  It starts off with a poker game, but that’s the end of the gambling part.  After that, we discover that a wealthy pack of werewolves do indeed have major holdings in Sin City and we learn how complicated that can be in such an urban environment.  I’ve also created a pairing I’ve never tried before – Giselle, who’s a werewolf, falls for Luke, who’s human.VLY cover

2)     Where do you get your ideas? For example Life experience, fantasies, experiences and fantasies of friends, etc.  I finally figured out that transformation stories are my favorite kind, and I’m inspired by any story in which someone makes a major change in his or her life.  They might be someone I know or someone I read about.  The werewolf stories lend themselves perfectly to that because for the lovers to end up happily ever after, they both have to make huge changes in their thinking.

3)     What do you find draws you most to write?  I write for the love of it –always have – but when I started making money at it, I realized this would be my job.  It’s my dream job, so I want to keep it.  I won’t keep it unless I continue to nurture my creativity and spend plenty of time actually writing.  Maintaining my career is a huge motivator because I don’t want to go back to any of my former day jobs.

4)     What else do you have in the works?  Cowboys!  I’m writing a series for Harlequin called the Sons of Chance.  I’m also about to begin a new project for NAL which is still in the planning stages.  I’m also self-publishing my backlist of the Nerd series and I’ve e-published a new one, NERDS ARE FROM MARS.  In the fall I’ll e-publish NERD OF THE JUNGLE.  I have such fun with my nerds and can’t seem to give them up.

5)     How do you name your characters? Any special tricks?  I have three or four baby name books, and my favorite one is falling apart from a lot of use and one unfortunate dip in the swimming pool.  Naming my characters is both fun and frustrating.  After more than 100 books, I have to be careful not to use the same names too often.  I have a real fondness for Jack, but I’ll have to retire that one.  I’ve had three heroes named Jack, and each of those books was memorable, so I have to be finished with Jack.

6)     Do you own an ebook reader or read on an electronic device? If so, what?  I own a Kobo, which I’ve used a little bit, but I confess I didn’t fall in love with it.  My plan is to get an iPad mini soon, because I want to jump into this brave new world but old habits are hard to kick!

7)     As a romance/erotica reader, what sort of stories do you personally prefer?  My reading candy is historicals, especially Regencies, because they’re nothing like what I’m writing.  It’s also fun to read books in which there are no condoms.

8)     What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?  I don’t know how guilty I am about doing it, but I’m fascinated with tarot cards.  Astrology, too, but I realized in order to become good at astrology I’d have to study a LOT.  I can absorb tarot a little at a time without bending my brain too much.

9)     Any vacation or appearance plans this year?  I’ll be at the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention April 15-18!  So New Orleans, here I come!  Other than that, I plan to mostly stay home and nurture my creativity, although I can guarantee there will be a couple of Disneyland trips in there.  A trip to Disney does wonders for my muse.

 10)  What would your readers by very surprised to learn about you?  I have no TV reception!  I own a flat screen and a DVD player, but no cable or dish network for this girl.  I’m very picky about what I watch, too.  I sit in front of the TV once or twice a week at most, and then only at night.  I’d rather read!

vltpublicity For details on Vicki Lewis Thompson please visit www.vickilewisthompson.com, Like her at facebook.com/vickilewisthompson or follow her on twitter @vickilthompson


NYT bestseller Vicki Lewis Thompson loves her job and plans to do it until someone pries her cold, dead fingers away from the keyboard.  She’s worked with four major publishers during a career in which she’s written more than a hundred books, earned the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, and experienced the pleasure of working at home dressed in a t-shirt and sweats.

Historical Passion

Historical Button


After living a checkered past, and despite an avowed disinterest in domesticity, multi-published erotic romance author Anya Richards settled in Ontario, Canada, with husband, kids, an adorable pup and a cat that plots world domination, one food bowl at a time. Her slightly darker alter-ego, Anya Delvay, emerges occasionally to write erotica.
Interested in all things historical and hysterical, Anya describes herself as intensely curious, (although the word ‘nosy’ has been bandied about) and a life-long people-watcher. Using what she’s discovered about people, places and various weird and wonderful things, Anya has written contemporary, historical and paranormal/fantasy romance novels, novellas and short stories for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Cleis Press and Spice Briefs.

To find out more, please drop by Anya’s website at www.anyarichards.com, follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One (1) full set of ebooks from this tour

Breaking Free
Historical erotic romance (Regency-set)
Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/breaking-free-p-6427.html
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Free-ebook/dp/B003UES8S4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333830145&sr=8-1
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breaking-free-anya-richards/1100397897?ean=9781609281236
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/breaking-free-12

For Claire Montjoye, widowhood is no release from scandal. Used as sexual currency by her notoriously libertine husband, she longs for a life of quiet respectability. But the ton’s disapproval ensures she will never be truly accepted—and any man openly seeking her company will be tainted.
When Xavier Westbourne pulls her away from peril, his touch fills her with yearning for unattainable dreams. Accepting his invitation to the opera is not only unwise for him, but dangerous to her lonely heart. But perhaps taking him as a lover will be enough.
Scion of one of Society’s most upright families, Xavier knows propriety as a cold, brutal master. Having endured one loveless marriage, he refuses to repeat the mistake, even for his motherless son. Yet Claire easily breaks through his wall of reserve, and her offer of private instruction in the sexual arts is irresistible.

Excerpt Two:
Instinctively, Claire reached out and stroked his back, feeling the way the muscles moved and reacted beneath her palm, offering comfort, even as her simple gesture caused a wave of longing to flood her body. He was obviously a complex man, yet she found it a simple thing to understand this about him, to read into his words the pain and doubt his marriage had caused. The coldness of his voice hid heat, and passion.
His wife’s rejection had made him think he was unlovable, unwanted.
But she wanted him, oh, how she wanted him! And he had, wittingly or unwittingly, offered her the chance to have him, if he would have her in return. The idea had sprung fully formed into her mind as he spoke and had taken easy root within her. She would offer him an education in lovemaking, which would serve him and his new wife, when he took one, well.
Fingers tracing the ridge of muscle alongside his spine, she felt it flex as he straightened slowly in his chair and turned to look at her, face impassive, yet watchful.
She had been alone so long.
Here was a chance to feel the warmth of another, enjoy passion again, and eagerness to take the opportunity fate had presented fired her courage. Perhaps it would be courting heartache but, oh, the memories she could store away for when he was gone, married to his new wife. Claire drew in a deep, steadying breath, and threw caution to the wind.
“We are not allowed to know our bodies when we are young, to grow comfortable with them, touch them for ourselves and find what feels right for us, and what feels wrong. Instead we are told it is sinful.”

Xavier watched as Claire laughed softly, and the silvery sound went in his ears and, somehow, made its way straight to his groin. He had been semi-erect from the first moment she touched him, but that breathy, tinkling sound made his penis granite hard. A rosy hue was visible on her cheeks even in the low light of the box, giving her countenance unmistakable warmth. The smile lingered on her lips and he wanted to kiss, ravish, it off her face. It took great effort to concentrate on what she was saying.
“I am a clergyman’s daughter, if you can believe it. Sins of the flesh. If I had a penny for every time I heard that phrase when I was growing up, I would be a far richer woman today.”

Excerpt Two Question: What is Claire’s father’s occupation?

Inside Scoop on Good Fortune

Please welcome Vicki Essex and boy does she have some yummy talking going on. I love Chinese food, like many of us, but there’s nothing better than getting the inside scoop.  Thanks Vicki!

Chinese Food…or As I Call It, “Food”

This month marks the launch of Back to the Good Fortune Diner, my second book with Essex_9780373718283_cover 312x496Harlequin Superromance, and one that features a Chinese American heroine.

Being Chinese Canadian myself, I’ve always wanted to share my culture in the pages of a Harlequin romance book. An important part of that lies in the traditional foods my family eats regularly. Unfortunately, Tiffany Cheung, my heroine, she doesn’t see a lot of the world-class Chinese cuisine in the small fictional town of Everville. In fact, her family runs an American-style Chinese restaurant where they serve sweet and sour chicken balls, egg rolls, and chop suey.

These aren’t delicacies we eat at home. Ironically, having grown up in Toronto, I didn’t have a lot of exposure to American-Chinese food until I was much older, so I had to research what menu items the Good Fortune Diner might serve. I read a couple of great books: Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States by Andrew Coe, and Eating Chinese: Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada by Lily Cho. They provided some really interesting insight into the history and migration of Chinese cuisine across North America.

Since I didn’t get to share all of the delicious recipes I know in the book, I thought I’d talk about what my family would order at a Chinese restaurant.

For four or five diners, I recommend three or four dishes to share, plus white rice. The dishes should look different at a glance, with colors across the rainbow and at least two meat choices and one vegetable dish. If the restaurant is authentic, they will also frequently provide a soup course—usually a thin pork or chicken-based broth with various dried goods and herbs—and a dessert course, which could be a sweetened bean soup like red bean soup, or fruit, usually orange slices.

Are you looking to get a little more adventurous than General Tao chicken? Want to impress people the next time you have to order food? Try some of these simple but delicious menu items:

Sauteed snow pea shoots with garlic: I love this green. It’s wholesome and delicious and is like a meatier and sweeter version of spinach.

Braised beef brisket: This stewed beef is frequently made with daikon or turnip, ginger, onions and star anise, and is delicious with its sauce on rice or on noodles.

Gailan with oyster-flavored sauce: Sometimes called Chinese broccoli, this dark green vegetable has a slightly bitter flavor, with a thick, meaty stalk and thick green leaves that are delicious and healthy for you. It’s also easy to make at home—just boil for 5 minutes with salt and oil in water, and serve with oyster flavored sauce.

Yow gai: This is a simple boiled chicken, usually available in a half or whole chicken portion, served with ginger and scallion oil/sauce on the side. It’s frequently available at Chinese barbecue houses.

Lobster: Many Chinese seafood restaurants have a lobster special. I recommend lobsters in ginger sauce, a staple in Chinese banquets. The lobster is chopped up and stir fried with garlic, ginger and scallions. Very tasty, though it can be a little challenging to eat. And yes, it will be the whole lobster, so be prepared to have a lobster head on your plate. It’s IMG_4445 WEB Smallactually a very tasty part to eat.

Do you have a favorite dish you order from your local Chinese restaurant? Leave a comment below and I will randomly draw a name to win a signed copy of Back to the Good Fortune Diner.

Learn more about Vicki and her books at www.vickiessex.com. You can also find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vickiessexauthor and on Twitter @vickiessex.