Friday, October 29, 2010

Got Trailer?

Another first...I made my very first book trailer! For PAY UP!! Well, I didn't personally make it, but you know what I mean LOL. Just like anything, it was an invaluable learning experience. I hope you like it!!

Pay Up by Kaily Hart

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm up on Amazon and...a teaser excerpt from my WIP

I noticed over the weekend my latest book, PAY UP was up on Amazon! WOW. For me, it's the closest thing I can imagine it would be like to see my physical book sitting on a shelf at a book store (or at Target, whatever - I'm not fussy :)). I'm not exactly sure why I get so excited seeing my books out on these sites. Perhaps it's because they're sharing virtual shelf space with best selling authors, authors and books I read. Perhaps because I know it means it's that much more accessible to readers. Perhaps because it's just another form of validation on this path to becoming a successful author. Regardless of the's just way cool! I'm on Amazon!

In between looking at my covers on 3rd party book sellers ;), I thought I'd provide an update on my WIP. PLAY ME is coming along nicely and should be finished any day now. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. Gabe is an hot alpha hero, enough to make any society princess take notice, but things aren't always what they seem. It's a story about chance and what can happen when two people on completely different paths find themselves thrust together. Will they continue on as before or...just go for it? I thought I would share a snippet from the page I'm currently working on:

    “Show me your vibrator.”
    Lily was pretty sure she’d passed the point of being able to pretend any kind of worldly sophistication, but she thought she’d give it one more shot just the same.
    “Um…what makes you think I even have one?”
    He smiled. It was wicked and full of knowledge.
    Yeah, that was probably a fail.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I was Attacked by Pirates

It was bound to happen. I've been expecting it. Well, sort of. I told myself in a way it would be a form of flattery--that someone would actually go to those lengths to get a hold of a book I'd written. I also thought I'd simply shrug it off as part of the changing industry we're in at the moment. I thought I was prepared for it, but I wasn't.

My new book, PAY UP is on at least 2 download sites for FREE. It's only been out a week! Of course, we're going through the steps to get these taken down, but I can't help the way I feel. I used the word 'attack' in the title and that's what it feels like. An author at the recent RomantiCon conference said she detemined there had been over 8,000 downloads of one of her books on these sites. That's absolutley astounding. I'm sure there are people out there that don't think their actions through fully, think they're not really hurting anyone, may not even know this is illegal. It's stealing though, plain and simple. It's hard work to create a book and have it published through a reputable publisher. It's an investment, both financial and personal. It's often the result of great sacrifice. It takes guts and sweat and a discipline you have to pull from the very depths of you and it feels like someone is trying to take that away from me.

I've been e-pirated and I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

RomantiCon, a Book Signing and a new Release, OH MY!

OK, I have a LOT to pack into this post. First off, I can now officially say I'm a multi-published author. PAY UP released today! Big sigh of relief. Of course, I'll be waiting for those first impressions of the book, so I'm still nervous, but I'm SO excited it's out there today.

The last week has just been a whirlwind of awesomeness. I attended RomantiCon 2010 in Ohio and had the BEST time. When I tried to think about why the event was so great, it's because it was well rounded. There was something for everyone. It had amazing opportunities to meet authors and readers. I'm not much of a social butterfly or a mingler, but I met and talked to a LOT of people at this conference. Everyone was so friendly and approachable. I met Ellora's Cave founder and many of the staff who were wonderful and worked so hard organizing and managing this event. It had interesting and informative workshops. The social events were amazing and just SO MUCH FUN, I can't even tell you. There was a book signing, which was awesome. It was special because it was my first but it would have been exactly what I would have wished for if I could have scripted it out myself! And there were the Cavemen. OMG! Not only are these guys absolutely beautiful to look at, they're great guys. They attend most of the events, provide entertainment ::fanning myself remembering:: and mingled and danced with attendees. They really are such great sports. They posed for photo after photo without complaint.

SO, you wanna see some photos?

I got an award!! I was given a 2010 Rising Star award at the dinner on Saturday night. I was SO surprised and SO psyched 'cause it meant another photo op with all the Cavemen!

Nara Malone, me and Marilyn Campbell
Nara Malone, Marilyn Campbell and I all share an editor at Ellora's Cave and we all picked up an award that night!  How cool was THAT?

And of course, all the winners got to pose with the models. Sigh...

Me & Grace Bradley
One of the highlights for me was hanging out with my editor. It's amazing what you share with someone you've never met in person. I haven't figured out if getting to know her better will help with that or not, but she's not only talented, she's a really great person! Grace, I think the next drink was on me :).

I lost count of the number of authors I already knew by reading their work or seeing them on the social network scene.
THE Jaid Black
I have to say I did have several 'fan-girl' moments at the conference. Not all are captured on film, but those that are, are pretty special!  I had an opportunity to meet THE Jaid Black. She started it all - Ellora's Cave, the erotic romance wave and a new book publishing model! 

Me & Desiree Holt

Desiree Holt! She went out of her way to send me a wonderful message when she read PICTURE THIS. I'm still blown away that she read and liked my book!

Helen Hardt & I
Helen Hardt! I've known Helen a long time from the internet. She's always been generous and friendly and she's even nicer in person. AND she looks so YOUNG! We sat next to each other at the author meet and greet as well.

I signed at my very first book signing and it couldn't have been a more positive experience. Well, I guess if I'd sold a hundred books, that might have topped it LOL. I sat between the fabulous Helen Hardt and Francesca Hawley. I signed and sold my books, I chatted to readers and even had people stop by who had already read my book. My very first autograph was so special, I took her picture. Thanks, Sheila. Hopefully, I didn't weird her out too much! You'll forever be my first!

What can I say? These guys are drop dead gorgeous and the nicest and most gracious guys you'll ever meet. It's a deadly combination, let me tell you! I watched them pose happily for photo after photo with attendees and dance up a storm with everyone on the dance floor. I had a chance to pose with them in costume for our Friday night Roaring 20s party

and snapped as many pics as I could get while we partied. They're not bad dancers either. In fact, they're awesome. I'll be thinking of them...fondly for months to come I have no doubt LOL!!



ALL of them! Sigh... 

Oh yeah, I have a book out today! PAY UP released from Ellora's Cave and I can now refer to myself as a MULTI-published author. I'm so excited for this story because I really connected with the hero in this one. Rio (God, just the name is hot), is protective and respectful of women, but that doesn't detract from his mega-alphaness. Actually, it just amps it up even more.


Neighbor. Friend. Lover.

At least that’s what Carly Wagner wanted Rio Reyes to be. She’d settled for two out of three for almost a year and it just wasn’t enough. Not anymore. When Rio proposes a shockingly sexual bet, she knows it’s out of character and he’s not really serious, yet she can’t resist. The pay off could be finally getting her hands on the gorgeous firefighter she’s drooled over since she moved in next door.

The timing had never seemed right for him and Carly, but that hadn’t stopped Rio from imagining wild and wicked things about her. It had been a joke—sort of, but Rio’s shocked when she takes him up on the dumbass bet. Now he’s in a world of hurt, because regardless of who wins, he might be crossing a line he never thought he would and jeopardize a friendship that means more to him than anything.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Published - Lauren Fraser

I have the awesome pleasure of welcoming Lauren Fraser to Just Published today! Lauren is an Ellora's Cave author and we also share the same talented and amazing editor! Lauren's sharing her writing journey so far and opening up about what worked for her and how she got to this point in her writing career.

The details of Lauren's first book are:

Title: Longing for Kayla
Genre: contemporary menage
Words: 23,000 words
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Date Published: July 2010
After dumping her boyfriend during her birthday ski weekend, Kayla runs to the two men she can count on, her best friends, Jesse and Chris. Reckless and hurt, she throws caution to the wind and confesses her deepest fantasy—to be with two men at once.

Jesse and Chris have shared women before, but Kayla is not like other women. She knows them better than they know themselves. But what she doesn’t know is that Jesse has a forbidden fantasy of his own. When she discovers it, she encourages Jesse to go after what he wants with Chris in the bedroom, opening a whole new world to the three of them.

In love with Kayla for as long as he can remember, Chris is excited to finally have her, but he never expected to desire both of his friends. He’s straight. How the hell can he want Jesse as well? With everything changing, can these friends move beyond what they’ve known and find a way to build on the newfound love between them?

Go here to find out more about Longing For Kayla!

OK, so let's get to the meaty stuff!

How would you describe what you write?Sexy contemporary alright maybe steamy contemporary since the books are pretty hot.Typically m/f but my Ellora's Cave release kind of went a slightly different direction and is a m/m/f story.

LOL, what’s your writing process in a nutshell?
I tend to be a huge plotter. Before I ever sit down to write I know how the book is going to play out roughly and I certainly have the end all figured out, but even though I have it plotted sometimes the words don't flow on the page as well as I'd like so I tend to jump around. When a scene isn't flowing I table it and move to the next one and usually when I get that one down it becomes easier to go back and write the previous one. Although I have it plotted out sometimes when I jump to another scene the dialogue takes me in a slightly different direction than I had originally planned. The end result is still the same but it played out slightly differently which is part of the fun I think. The characters kind of had a mind of their own even though I thought I had them all figured out.

What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written? Number of years ‘seriously writing’, etc?
I started seriously writing about a year and a half ago. I have a couple of finished manuscripts that I have never actually submitted anywhere, although my plan is to change that. I've reworked one and am in the process of submitting it and the other one still needs work LOL I have been incredibly fortunate so far in my path to publication. A little over a year ago, I saw a contest that Freya's Bower was offering. I'd never submitted anything before, in fact the whole idea terrified me but somehow a contest seemed less threatening for whatever reason so I entered. And I won. Since then I feel like I have learned a lot and hopefully that's reflected in my work. I certainly see it when I look at those 2 completed books that haven't been submitted. LOL.

How did you pick your publisher?
Like I said I picked my first publisher because of the contest and I knew a couple of authors who really liked their editors there. I picked Ellora's Cave because it has an amazing reputation and it was my go to place for books that I enjoyed reading for pleasure so it kind of seemed like my dream publisher.

So, what’s your ‘call’ story?
I entered a pitch contest that my now editor at Ellora's Cave was doing and I won. To say I was thrilled is putting it mildly. She emailed me to say I'd won the pitch and since my story was a novella I could send her the whole book instead of just the first three chapters. When I saw an email in my inbox from her less than a week later, my stomach sunk. Since she had gotten back to me so quickly I was sure it was a rejection letter and I was terrified to open it. But I put on my big girl panties and opened up the email, but instead of a rejection she said she loved the story. Holy smokes did I scream. My husband was at work so I couldn't call him, so I immediately picked up the phone and called my parents who had recently retired, talked their ears off. Then when my husband got home I jumped around some more. LOL

Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
No, I didn't have an agent then and I still don't.

What’s it like working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear?
So far I haven't found the process to be nearly as painful as I've heard. I've been really lucky with my editors and they seem to enjoy my voice and don't want to change that, so they absolutely offer suggestions that I have to admit make the book so much stronger but it's still my voice which is nice. My books wouldn't be nearly as strong without my editors. I think a great editor can fine tune a book, taking an alright or even a good story and make it great.

How did you feel the first time you saw your cover? How much input did you have? It was really exciting to see my name on the cover of a book. The amount of input I've had on the covers varies from publisher to publisher, some I've had a lot of input others not quite as much but each time it's fantastic to see my name on the cover.
What was release day like for you?
Exciting and terrifying. It's always amazing to have a book released. It's thrilling and fantastic but also somewhat terrifying, there's always the fear that the book won't do as well as you'd hoped or that someone won't like it.

How did you market your book?
The promotion end of things I am still trying to learn. I did the yahoo groups, I also guest blogged on several websites. I have my twitter and facebook accounts although I'm still learning how utilize that to it's fullest potential since I'm not overly chatty. I know I still have a lot to learn about the promotion end of things and what works and what doesn't work. I'm not naturally overly extroverted so talking about myself a lot took a bit of practice.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned during the publishing process?
I think how long it takes for things to happen was a bit of a shock. I never realized how slow the print process was when I first started looking. E-publishing is considerably quicker than print. Like I said I've been incredibly lucky and winning the pitch contest really fast tracked things because I was on my editor's desk right away rather than having to go through the normal channels.

What do you think were the factors that got you published?
Hard work, determination and I think being open to helpful criticism has been really beneficial. When my critique partners read my stuff and are a bit harsh or have lots of comments rather than getting my nose out of joint, I look at it for what it is, help. Sometimes it's hard to see what's missing in your own work because you can see it all so clearly in your mind but that doesn't mean it looks that way to an outsider.

What’s your 5 year plan look like?
I am planning to continue to write erotica, I'm really enjoying the e-publishing process but I would also like to try my hand at print publishing as well. So far I've mostly focused on novellas and I'd like to write and submit some full length books as well.

So, what’s next for you?
I have a really sexy geek story coming out soon from Liquid Silver called The Geek Next Door. It was a fun book to write because the man character was different than I usually write but he is certainly sexy in the bedroom so that didn't change too much. LOL. Here's the blurb:

When the woman of your dreams only sees you as her geeky neighbor, sometimes you have to go to extremes.

Computer nerd, Dylan Crane has been in love with Erin since she moved next door two years ago. Unfortunately, she’s never seen him as anything other than her best friend--until one afternoon when her world flips upside down and everything changes.

Erin Sharp learns firsthand just how sexy a man with a brain can be. She already loved Dylan, her friend, but as their relationship evolves, she wonders if she could finally have it all.

When her career ambitions get in the way of their relationship, Erin has to decide what matters most to her – getting the job she always wanted, or the man she needs and desires.

What’s the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
Don't let fear hold you back from going after what you want. Write, write, write, the more you write the more you will figure out what your voice is and what style suits you. Also I think it's really important to read a lot in the genre that you plan to write. It gives you a real feel for the different publisher's and what works, but it also will give you a real feel for whether that is comfortable for you or not. Just because a genre is hot doesn't mean it fits your voice so I think it's important to write what you like. And I guess find a critique partner, someone who will be honest with you about what's working and what's not.
To find out more about Lauren, check her out on the web:
Group blog:

Thank you so much for having me as a guest today, Kaily.
Lauren, thank YOU so much for your frank and open discussion!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stranded! Now what? Shelley Munro has some ideas...

Today I have the wonderfully prolific, the wonderfully talented and well, just wonderful, Shelley Munro visiting with me. Shelley has been incredibly supportive and I'm so excited to have her here. It's also exciting because she has a new book out! It's an historical romance called The Spurned Viscountess and you just might want to add it to your TBR pile. Unless you win a copy here, of course :).  Instead of a standard interview or a blog, we decided to do something different and fun. I posed a single question to Shelley. Well, technically it was more than that, but it's related:

If you were stranded but could only take one thing from each of the following categories, what would it be & why:

Person – I thought about this for a good ten minutes. I thought of all the sexy movie and pop stars and decided I’d keep my hubby. I’ve spent 28 years training him. He’s almost perfect and I know I can count on him. He’s also very resourceful and thinks outside the box, which I think would be very handy.

Animal - An alpaca. Their wool is lovely and soft and they’d be too cute for my hubby to eat. I’m a vegetarian so any animal is safe from me.

Food – My head is telling me to be sensible and take lots of fresh fruit but my heart is crying “chocolate”. I love chocolate. It’s one of my favorite food groups.

Book – I have so many favorite books, it’s impossible for me to choose just one. I think I’d take my current read with me, which is Moon Sworn by Kerry Arthur. The Riley Jensen series is one of my favorites and this is the very last book in the series. I’m reading slowly and savoring it.

Music – I’ve turned into a bit of a country music fan after our last visit to the US. We could only get country music on our rental car radio and after a month, it must have sunk into our brains. I went from someone who actively disliked country music to a real fan. (Note – we don’t have any country music stations in New Zealand. I usually listen to pop and rock)

Personal Item – That’s easy. I’d take writing materials so I could write my own stories and maybe send a message for help.

Shelley, awesome answers! I'd probably take my hubby as well and for the same reasons LOL. Of course, if I didn't say him, he'd probably get huffy.

Shelley is holding a CONTEST today. She's giving away a download of her new book The Spurned Viscountess to a lucky commenter on this post. Just answer this question - If you were stranded, what one book would you take with you and what one type of food would you take?

The Spurned Viscountess


She must marry him.

Cursed with the sight and rumors of witchcraft, Rosalind’s only chance at an ordinary life is marriage to Lucien, Viscount Hastings. She doesn’t expect love, only security and children of her own. Determined to go through with the wedding, she allows nothing she encounters at the gloomy Castle St. Clare to dissuade her.

He wants nothing to do with her.

Recently returned from the Continent, Lucien has no time for the English mouse his family has arranged for him to marry, not when he’s plotting to avenge the murder of his beloved Francesca. He has no intention of bedding Rosalind, not even to sire an heir.

Dark secrets will bind them.

Though spurned by her bridegroom, Rosalind turns to him for protection when she is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents and haunted by terrifying visions. Forced to keep Rosalind close, and tempted into passionate kisses, Lucien soon finds himself in grave danger of falling in love with his own wife…

The book is available from Carina Press! If you've never checked out Shelley's blog, you should. Find out more about Shelley from her website.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gulp...I'd almost forgotten

It's October. RomantiCon is this week. I'm SIGNING on Sunday!!! That is, I'll be doing a book signing. Of course, it's my first. And I'm SO excited to be able to check that one off the list, but it's scary too. The good news is I'll be in the same room as many fabulous and talented authors. The bad news? Well, I'll be in the same room as many fabulous and talented authors!! Authors who have been doing this far longer than I have, have extensive backlists and have readers who know who they are! They'll actually be signing books! Me? I'm not sure. I'm looking forward to the experience, I'm eager to learn how experienced and established authors handle these things, and I'm looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere of being in a room with so many like minded people. But I'm scared too. It might be unlikely I'll come across anyone who's read my book and I'm not sure I'll sign or sell any copies of Picture This. I'm not sure anyone will even talk to me, but darn it, I'm going to have a good time with it regardless!

If you happen to be in the area (yeah, right :)), I'd love for you to stop by and say Hi! I'd probably be forever grateful LOL. The details are:

Date and Time
October 10 at 12 pm – 3 pm

Days Inn & Suites
4742 Brecksville Rd., Richfield, OH 44286

More about the event