Tuesday, November 26, 2013





HARD AS IT GETS is one steamy read! How did you first get into writing?


Thanks so much! And thanks for having me here! I’ve been a writer all my life. I’m a historian by training, so writing non-fiction was a part of my job for the fifteen years I worked as a college professor. But I started writing fiction in 2008 in kind of an unusual way. I hit my head on July 4, 2008. I didn’t think much of it that day, but soon after I realized I’d really hurt myself, and it turned out I had a minor traumatic brain injury. As I recovered, I was filled with an amazing urge to be creative, so I started taking guitar lessons (still not very good at that!) and wrote my first novel in 12 weeks (fortunately, I’m better at that LOL!). The experience of writing that first book was truly transformative. It was what I was supposed to be doing, so I revised that book until it sold and kept writing new ones. And I haven’t looked back since!


Why did you choose to write romance?


I had been an avid reader of paranormal romance for years at that point, so I wrote what I loved. But I also picked romance—unconsciously, I think—because to me it’s an incredibly hopeful genre. Romance stories are inherently stories about people who can’t find love or think they don’t deserve it who overcome the odds and find it in the end. In the years leading up to starting writing, I experienced a number of very hard personal losses, so writing in this genre was one way I worked through those issues.


What does “Hard Ink” refer to? What importance do tattoos play in your story?


Hard Ink is the name of the Rixey brothers’ tattoo shop in the Hard Ink series. Nick and Jeremy Rixey are co-owners, though Nick (the hero of book one, Hard As It Gets) prefers to be more of a silent partner, despite Jeremy’s efforts to put Nick’s artistic talents to work. In this series, tattoos are a way people remember, pay penance, or highlight what’s important to them. The act of creating permanent marks on skin has deep meaning to them. And the shop creates a gritty setting where diverse kinds of people meet and interact in the series. I really love it!


Describe Becca—what do you love most about her? And Nick?


I’d love to! Because I really loved writing these characters!


Becca Merritt is smart and strong and honest and protective. I really loved the way she was willing to stand up for those she loves, even against people and forces who might be stronger and even a little scary. There’s a scene in particular when she dresses down Nick’s Special Forces teammates after a fist fight where I was particularly cheering for her! LOL

Nick Rixey is, omg, so freaking hot, you guys! He’s brooding and tortured and honorable and when he falls he falls  so hard. I especially loved Nick’s mix of hard, alpha edges with his artistic side. When Nick shows Becca what her idea for a tattoo might look like on her skin, it’s just scorching!


What significance does the military play in the book?

Military themes are central to the whole Hard Ink series. The military isn’t just sexy window dressing nor is it just there to provide an intriguing backstory. The prior SF guys are this series are entirely defined by their military experience good and bad. It informs their identity, their sense of honor and duty, their view of the world, and of course gives them the skill set required to fight the battles they face in the series. The overall series mystery the characters are working to solve revolves around a military conspiracy in Afghanistan, so even though they’re out of the Army, the military themes are central.


If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?


In #HardAsItGets, an ex-soldier joins forces w/his dead commander's daughter to regain his tarnished honor & save her brother from a gang


Is there a particular author or book that has influenced your writing?


There are a number of authors that have influenced me, but if I had to pick one it would be J.R. Ward. A lot of what I know about how to write sexy, authentic male point of view comes from reading her books. And I definitely learned the importance of a good bromance to a romance novel from her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, too. Given my ginormous fangirling, you can only imagine how flipping excited I was when this happened:


“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”

~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets


You guys, I bawled like a baby in the middle of a huge workshop put on by my publisher. For real. LOL


What advice would you give aspiring writers looking to get into the publishing industry?


Here’s my advice:

1) Write, write, write. You can’t revise what you haven’t written and you can’t sell what you haven’t written. And the psychological and emotional boost you’ll get from writing “The End” for the first time cannot be overestimated.

2) Revise, revise, revise. That first time you type “The End”? Yeah, you’re nowhere near done. Your book will need to be edited, by you, several times before you ever put it in front of an agent or editor. You get one shot with them, so don’t waste it by not showing them your very best and most polished work.

3) Find critique partners. And your mom, siblings, and best friend do not count (unless you’re really lucky, like me, and your best friend happens t also be a professional author). You need other aspiring

writers in your genre who will give you honest but constructive feedback about how to improve your manuscript. Let them catch all the embarrassing goofs and plot holes you thought you caught before it gets to an agent or editor.

4) Want to be a professional, then act it. And by that I mean join the professional organization(s) of the genre in which you write. Through them you will find classes to help hone your craft, critique partner match-ups, networking opportunities, calls for submission, and other opportunities invaluable to breaking into publishing.

5) Don’t give up. You will hear way more no’s than yeses, particularly early in your writing career. Stick with it. Believe in yourself. Give yourself one day to wallow in the rejection and eat a bunch of chocolate and then get right back on the horse. If your first book doesn’t sell, chalk that up to learning and write a second.
What can fans of HARD AS IT GETS look forward to next?
I’m currently writing four series: two contemporary (Hard Ink, Heroes) and two paranormal (Hearts of the Anemoi, Vampire Warrior Kings). I’ll have books from all four of those releasing in 2014. My next release is Hard As You Can (Hard Ink #2) coming 2/25/14!
About Hard As It Gets:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

Read Chapter 1 of Hard As It Gets

Buy at Amazon | B&N | iTunes



About Laura Kaye:


Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.






Banner Option II
DAC Cover
Firefighter and eco entrepreneur Walter Graham II is tired of dating beautiful, but unsettled women who don’t know what they want from life. He wants to date a woman who’s as smart as she is attractive—someone who can talk about interesting things—someone confident about her work. He wants to date Jane Fox, but the sexy older woman keeps coming up with logical reasons why a relationship could never work between them. Yet he has to keep trying because Jane is the only woman who has even turned on his body and his brain at the same time. If he could just get his reluctant ‘cougar’ into bed, Walter is sure he can give that smart mind of hers a lot more to consider than just their age difference. Man and Woman

Walter grinned, reached down, and took her hand gently into his, tugging her toward the door. “I wouldn’t know. I don’t do caffeine much. Come on.” He looked at Amanda. “Heads up,” he said, tossing her the keys to his van. Amanda laughed and caught the keys. “At least you throw straighter than Daniel. He usually beans me in the face.” Jane wrinkled her face as Walter propelled them out the door. Daniel? Who was Daniel? She heard Harrison laughing again, but couldn’t quite catch what he said. “Going completely off the grid is not possible in most established locations. When I did the feasibility study. . .” “You did a feasibility study?” Jane asked. Walter laughed. “Well it seemed like a good idea before I started spending thousands of dollars doing more renovations on North Winds. You did quite a lot before I bought it.” Jane swallowed. “Yes. I did. Of course. . .I didn’t mean. . .” She halted her speech when she and Walter cleared the door of the building. “Jane,” Walter said, laughing as he looked down into her wide scared eyes, “do you want me to kiss you until Mrs. Cochran over there starts blushing. . .” Jane’s gaze swung to the older woman, walking toward the pool house with her flamingo beach towel over one shoulder. “. . .or can we just have an agreement that we’re going to explore all this sexual tension later? I would like to talk to my architects while the blood is still mostly in my brain,” Walter finished, chuckling as Jane bit her lip in thought. “I didn’t come here for. . .” Jane stopped when she saw Walter was still smiling. “Would you believe I don’t know why I’m here? Are you still dating that woman you were with the other night?” Jane’s question made him dizzy. . .and oh so incredibly happy. Walter’s slow head shake from side to side was accompanied by a grin that stretched his face. Harrison was going to laugh his ass off again, but Walter couldn’t find it in himself to care. “No. That didn’t really work out well, though I did make the number one slot on her ‘worst guys to date list’. She updated the online version with her phone right after I paid the check for dinner. How about you? You still dating the suit guy you were with? He seemed mostly decent.” “Kenneth?” Jane asked, swallowing hard as she scrambled for a way to explain. “Not really. . .well sort of, I guess. It’s not. . .I found Kenneth when the guy before him stiffed me for dinner. Kenneth got to hear the waiter inform me that the guy had run out the side door.” Walter laughed. Guys could be such idiots. “Nice save. . .I suppose. Are you seriously interested in your rescuer?” This was the moment, Jane thought. This was the moment she could move on or do something about the tug inside her that was stronger than Walter’s grip on her hand. “Kenneth kisses well, but. . .” She bit her lip when Walter raised one eyebrow. “But it wasn’t anything like kissing you. Nothing has been like kissing you. That’s my problem.” Walter let out the breath he’d been holding and tightened his grip. “Have dinner with me, Jane Fox. I haven’t kissed anyone since I kissed you. Just know that at the end of the evening, I will definitely want to kiss you again. We’ll flip a coin for who pays for dinner though. I’m about to sink the rest of my savings into this project and I may lose my ass.” Jane giggled with panicked relief that all Walter had asked for was a dinner date. Her fluttering pulse and the throb between her legs meant she’d have probably done pretty much anything. It was shameful, but still true. “That would be a terrible shame, Walter Graham. Your ass is really cute, especially in those jeans you’re wearing. I don’t think I can just stand by and let that happen.” Two seconds later, Jane squealed when Walter lifted her in the air and spun her around. “Put me down. What was that for?” She pushed out of Walter’s arms the moment her feet touched earth again. Her instant reaction to being plastered against him made her extremely glad she had worn the padded bra today. “You are the smartest woman I’ve ever met. I want to hear what you think of their estimate. It’s due today,” Walter said, grabbing a hand to tug her forward with him again. Jane rolled her eyes. Had she agreed to dinner? She didn’t remember doing so. “Walter, not that you asked exactly, but I might not be able to do dinner tonight. I’m on call for babysitting JD. Lauren almost never calls, but I did offer.” “Ah yes. . .you’re being the Super Aunt of Super JD,” Walter recited. He wondered what Jane would be like if she got to start from scratch with a baby. His gaze went to her breasts before falling to her stomach. It was pretty easy to imagine his child there. “I don’t think I like that look in your eyes. It reminds me too much of Harrison,” Jane said. “Maybe I’m trying to channel him today. He refuses to have anything to do with the eco improvements. Time to sink or swim, boy,” Walter said, mocking his grandfather’s gruffness. “Harrison does not sound like that. Never moonlight as an impressionist, Walter,” Jane ordered, liking the low snicker she got in reply. Behind the pool house, Jane saw three men talking as they studied the area. Two had tools in their hands. A third carried a computer tablet, which he wrote on with a stylus. “Are those your architects?” she asked. Walter raised his hands and cracked his knuckles. It was his one nervous tell. “Yes. Their original guesstimate was high. If I can’t get them to come down to something reasonable, it will take most of my savings just to install the geo thermal system.” “I know how those work. What are they asking?” Jane demanded. Walter quoted the number and watched Jane shake her head. “No way. Half that I think.” Walter snorted. “If you get them to go half, I will definitely buy dinner.” “Deal,” Jane said, smiling as they made their way forward. Excitement climbed as she met their surprised gazes. She hadn’t spoken a word yet and this was already the most fun she’d had in days.
Fireman quote
Donna McDonald's idea of success is to be on an airplane and see a fellow passenger reading one of her books. If the person is laughing or smiling, she will consider it a bonus.
Her work history covers everything from housekeeper to business owner to college English instructor. It also includes an eighteen year stint as a technical writer, publications planner, and information architect in the corporate world. Her current career goal is to be a prolific, multi-published author for the rest of her life and write stories readers will love to read. She thinks a little travel and adventure would be nice, too.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Paige Tyler didn’t want to be the preacher’s daughter anymore. She wanted the freedom to live her own life, do what she wanted and find the man of her dreams. What she didn’t expect to find was that man drunk off his ass and needing her assistance to handle three guys wanting to beat him up in a bar fight. Jacob Young’s life was a mess. Finding solace in a bottle of booze was the answer to his guilt-ridden conscious until an angel in leather pulls him up by his boot straps, brushes him off and convinces him life is worth living. Do opposites really attract? Can a cowboy with a wounded heart be the answer to her prayers? It’s all in For the Love of a Cowboy. TBR OCTOBER 14TH


“Hi. I’m Jacob Young.” “Nice to meet you, Jacob Young.” “And you are Angel?” She grinned thinking about the name she’d put on the note she’d left on the nightstand at the motel. “Angel is a nickname. My real name is Paige.” “Nice name. It fits you.” “Thanks. My dad thought so I guess.” Taking off his hat, he twisted the brim in his fingers. “I hoped I’d see you again. I needed to say thank you.” “For what?” The girl sitting on the stool next to her left, so he took the seat as she spun around to face him. “Savin’ my ass last week.” “I didn’t do anything.” She sipped her soda. “Yeah, you did. My memory is kind of cloudy about the particulars, but you kept those guys from killin’ me and then took me to the motel across the street to keep me from drivin’.” “You remember quite a bit then, Jacob.” “Where did you learn to fight?” “Tae-Kwon-Do lessons for way too many years.” “Ah.” He glanced at her glass as she drained it, then signaled for the bartender. “Another of whatever the lady is drinkin’ and Coke for me.” “Two Cokes, comin’ up.” “You aren’t drinking tonight, Jacob?” He dropped his gaze to his hands, slipped his hat back on his head and then looked at her. “No. Funny really. After the trouble last week, I haven’t had a drop since. I have you to thank for that too, I guess.” “Listen. I’m not sure what got you drinking so heavy in the first place and I hope what happened last week opened your eyes, but I didn’t do anything.” “Yeah, you did. You showed me how destructive my life had become over something I really didn’t have a lot of control over.” He reached over to squeeze her fingers. Goose bumps rose on her arm, making her frown. She’d never had a reaction like that over a man’s touch before. Calluses scraped against her skin. He worked for a living apparently. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to be forward.” “It’s okay.” She sipped her drink. “What got the fight started last week anyway, if I might ask?” “Somethin’ stupid, really. I challenged them to some pool for money thinkin’ I could win back what I’d lost at darts, but I was too drunk to even shoot the cue.” She thought about the puke on his shirt and grimaced. “Yeah, you were pretty drunk.” “Unfortunately, I’ve been more or less in the same condition for the last several months.” “Too bad.” “Yeah, but I think things are turnin’ around. Like I said, I haven’t had a drink in a week.” “Great. I’m glad.” “The best thing is, I don’t want one. I’ve been in this bar every night since last week waitin’ for you to show up and it hasn’t bothered me not to drink. I’ve watched others actin’ really stupid and I realize now how senseless the whole ritual is.” He drank half his drink and then set the glass back down. “You don’t drink when you come in here?” “No. I lost my mother to a drunk driver seceral years ago so I refuse to drink and drive. If I drink, I bring a driver with me, but since I’m on a bike, it’s hard to bring someone who can ride.” “What kind of bike?” “Harley Softail. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandy Sullivan is a romance author, who, when not writing, spends her time with her husband Shaun on their farm in middle Tennessee. She loves to ride her horses, play with their dogs and relax on the porch, enjoying the rolling hills of her home south of Nashville. County music is a passion of hers and she loves to listen to it while she writes. She is an avid reader of romance novels and enjoys reading Nora Roberts, Jude Deveraux and Susan Wiggs. Finding new authors and delving into something different helps feed the need for literature. A registered nurse by education, she loves to help people and spread the enjoyment of romance to those around her with her novels. She loves cowboys so you’ll find many of her novels have sexy men in tight jeans and cowboy boots.
WEBSITE http://www.romancestorytime.
 FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandy-Sullivan/120827420748
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sandys37