Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hot Nights, Dark Desires

Hi ladies! Please welcome three – er, four - of my favorite steamy authors, Stephanie Tyler, Larissa Ione, Sydney Croft, and my critique partner for the last 6 years, Eden Bradley. Together they’ve written an AWESOME anthology called Hot Nights, Dark Desires set in sexy, sultry New Orleans. Take it away ladies…

*Stephanie Tyler: NIGHT VISION is a really special novella to me – one that I wasn't sure would find a home. My current agent, however, was convinced. It's the novella she signed me on – and even though I'd gotten a close call on it right before I sent it to her, nothing ever materialized. So we decided that I'd work on other things and she said, don't worry – we'll find a place for Night Vision – the right opportunity will come along.

See, I wrote that novella, and my first Blaze, in the months after leaving my first agent who, after signing me on a book, decided she didn't like anything else I wrote. She was a really new agent and a really nice person (I don't even think she's agenting anymore) but man, she killed any self confidence I had by turning down proposal after proposal. And so, after we split, I was very, f*** it – I'm writing anything I want. And I came up with two proposals, one for Night Vision and one for the book that would ultimately become Coming Undone, my first Blaze and the first book I ever sold. And I got bites on both stories, although the bite for Night Vision never materialized – but I'm convinced those stories sold because I wrote them for me. I wrote what I wanted and I stopped trying to please the elusive 'someone' and instead, wrote to please myself. It was my ode to Road House - with an alpha hero and an equally strong heroine and I loved writing it.

2006 was a dream come true – I sold to Blaze, to Bantam as both me and with Larissa as Sydney Croft. But Night Vision kept bugging me.

So my agent, who is also Larissa's agent and Sydney's agent and Eden's agent said, I have an idea. And suddenly, I'm like, Larissa, we need to write a chapter and a synopsis for a Sydney novella!!!

This is the part where Larissa claims she almost killed me, because we were in the middle of a writing frenzy – you know, on things already contracted.

*Eden barging in: Of course, I had no idea about any of this because I’d only met Steph and Larissa briefly at the previous year’s RWA conference. All I knew was that I was dying to write this tattoo novella and was bugging our agent about finding a home for it, because, ya know, the abject terror of my first New York contract, dealing with having just finished my first full-length novel for Bantam and a novella for Berkley, and facing doing my second novel was not enough insanity for me. But that’s the thing about being a writer-it’s like existing in this strange state of schizophrenia where your characters start talking to you and you can’t always shut them up. And we don’t even need medication! Well, most of us don’t…Anyway, on with the story.

*Stephanie: So the three of us chatted via email and I told them that my story was set near New Orleans and dealt with an artist and Eden already had a novella she was dying to write about a tattoo fetish, so that fit perfectly. Larissa and I came up with an idea for a photographer for the Sydney novella, so that would fit into the art theme. The only change I made was to make my story post-Katrina, since it was originally written the March before Katrina happened.

And so we got our chapters together and our Bantam editor (again, we all share the same one) loved the proposal and bought it! And I was all like, and my part is all written already!

And Larissa's like, moron, did you forget you're half of Sydney?

Which, of course, I had – I was like, let that Sydney Bitch come up with something on her own. Which, of course, she didn't.

And, of course, I had revisions on Night Vision, so the word 'done' really wasn't correct.

*Waving – Larissa interjecting to say that most everything she's said so far is accurate, right down to the moron part* Yep, we suddenly had a novella to write while we were in the middle of writing Seduced By The Storm, and I was in the middle of writing my second Demonica book. The part she has conveniently forgotten? Well, the fact that all of this – an anthology containing novellas by Eden, Stephanie, and SYDNEY, was proposed to our editor before I even knew about it. I got this email from her that was like, hey, our editor loved the anthology idea! We need to come up with a proposal! Me: What anthology idea? Steph: Um…I thought I told you…

*Okay, back to Steph:*sighs* Okay, I don't remember that happening - I just remember all three of us were all excited when we sold this anthology because it's actually Bantam's very first Erotica anthology. Which is way cool.

*Eden Interjecting
: Ohmygosh-I had no idea Steph did this without even consulting Larissa! And she let her live! Good thing Larissa’s such a nice person. Or maybe that’s what that small scar on the side of Steph’s head is about…?

But yes, very exciting to be a part of Bantam’s first erotic anthology. Our editor made it clear it was a sort of experiment for Bantam, so we were all pretty thrilled that she had that kind of confidence in us!

*Back to Steph again
: So anyway, for the Sydney novella, we knew that we wanted to make the hero part of the ACRO (Agency for Covert Rare Operatives) world where the other Croft novels are based, but we only had a short span so we couldn't bring ACRO fully into the novella. So Hex, the hero, is in New Orleans and he's there to help a supermodel named Brenna who's haunted.

*Larissa here again* So yes, Shadow Play is the only paranormal addition to the anthology. I call it "paranormal lite," because with the short length we couldn't go as deeply into the paranormal or ACRO world as we do with the single-titles, but we still managed to squeeze some ghosts in there. Oh, and I got to make fun of yet another one of Stephanie's weird hero names. (She's glaring at me, but really…Hex? Trance? Ender? Oz?)

*Steph’s response: I LOVE those names!! Creed – don’t forget Creed!! Do you guys like odd names for characters? Any all time favorite character names for you?

*Eden chiming in: I love the character names-Creed is a favorite! My hero in this novella is Tristan Batiste. It’s New Orleans, so he had to have a French ancestry. French men are sexy-who’s with me on this? Actually, New Orleans is sexy! I swear, the place is just magical, and if you haven’t ever been, you must go. Right now! Stop at Café Du Monde and eat beignets and drink chicory coffee and watch the world go by. I could spend hours there. I have spent hours there!
Or…you could just read our anthology and get a real feel for the area.
So, why did I write about a tattoo artist and a woman who’s obsessed with tattoos? Mostly because I have a thing for art in general, and a thing for tattoos-which you can find out more about by visiting my blog: I’m talking about tattoos there all month in celebration of the release of our anthology.
I love tattoos-on men, on women. I think they’re a little dark, a little sexy. What do the rest of you think about tattoos?

Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for our book:
Inspired by the sultry heat and sensual ambiance of New Orleans, this steamy collection delves into the erotic underground of the Big Easy. Here is a tantalizing trio of stories by three rising stars that will tease your imagination—and seduce your senses.

Lush, haunting, and provocative, New Orleans has something to satisfy every desire—as three very lucky women are about to discover. In “Shadow Play” an ex-supermodel desperate to revive her career seeks the help of a gorgeous, reclusive photographer with a special gift—and offers him anything he wants in return. The result is a series of erotic positions captured on film—along with a mind-blowing physical connection neither expected…. In “The Art of Desire” a sheltered young woman turned on by the idea of getting tattooed dares to make her fantasy a reality. But as her arousing sessions with a dangerously handsome tattoo artist move from the tattoo parlor to the bedroom, they make an impression that’s more than skin deep…. And in “Night Vision” when artist Catie Lanford hires professional cooler Bat Kelly to whip the failing bar she’s recently inherited into shape, she’s not looking for a lover—until she lays eyes on the sexy wild man. Soon they’ve agreed to mix business with pleasure, and Catie discovers that Bat is just what she needs to set her artist’s imagination—and her body—on fire.

Abandon your inhibitions and excite your spirit with a gathering of tales that’s as sexy and spicy as the city of New Orleans itself.

You can find it on Amazon or on Barnes & Noble online, or at your local bookstores!
I hope you’ll visit us on the web for more book info, news and updates:

Thanks to the ladies at Killer Fiction for having us!


Christie Craig said...

I love New Orleans, and I love sexy stories. Thank you ladies for coming to Killer Fiction and sharing a bit about yourself and your stories.

Crime Scene Christie

Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin said...

Glad to be here, Christie!

Stephanie Tyler said...

Thanks Christie!!! This was a fun post to write :)

Gemma Halliday said...

I love, love, loved this book! Seriously made me want a tattoo. ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey, I know two (or three if you want to get technical *g*) of those great authors! :)

The stories sound great, gang!!!

Larissa Ione said...

Thank you so much, Christie! It's awesome to be here, and Gemma, thank you!

*waving to Tori*

Amie Stuart said...

>>but really…Hex? Trance? Ender? Oz?

Considering the hubster's nickname are those really a surprise, Larissa? LOL

Eden I LURVE Tattoos! I'm ready for a new one....something really special up my right leg *g*

Larissa Ione said...

Amie, that's a good point! LOL

Crystal Jordan said...

Can I just say the three of you are INSANE? This was hilarious!

felinewyvern said...

Wonderful post ladies. Love the sound of the stories in the book :D

Terri Osburn said...

I'm way late chiming in here but these stories sound great. And you gals are a hoot. That means I now have TWO books to pick up this week. Dang, this site is hard on my finances.

I got my first tattoo just over a year ago. It's my daughter's name (Isabelle) below my left shoulder with a tiny heart at the end that she drew herself. Yeah, I got major cool mom points that day.

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lovely, i just brought many different emo backgrounds on my blog

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