Thursday, January 31, 2013

Author Spotlight - Kitty French

Today we have our very own fellow Minx, Kitty French, in the Spotlight. In case you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, Kitty is an erotica author who steamed up the Amazon charts before Christmas with her debut novel Knight & Play, which is STILL in 22nd place in the Erotica bestseller charts.

Now over to Kitty. Tell our readers a little about yourself.
I've been writing for a few years, mostly squeezed in around being a full-time mum to two little boys. They're now old enough to go to school full-time, leaving me with the luxury of quiet hours to write. It's bliss, once I can pick my way towards the laptop over hot-wheels tracks and lego forts!

What number book is this?
Knight & Play is my first published book. The sequel is due out in April, so these are exciting times.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I'm trying out a new approach at the moment. I'm writing in bursts throughout the day, usually for around an hour, and then I'll stop and do something else for half an hour or so - sometimes useful things like cleaning, and sometimes chatting on twitter or facebook. I'm finding it really helpful. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about the next scene I'm going to write, and I come back to the keyboard each time raring to go and aware of what I want to happen in the scene.
Last resort? If I've really lost my mojo, I go shoe shopping. Every girl needs fabulous shoes.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
As a self-published author, I've definitely found social networking to be key. Twitter has been a revelation! I've gone from being pretty wary of it to absolutely loving it, it's an amazing way to reach new readers. Facebook, twitter, blogging... they all matter. Do them all, and do them often. In the absence of a marketing budget, they are a gift, and best of all, you meet some fabulous people who help spread the word about your book.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
It's much easier now the boys are full-time. Oddly enough though, I find that words come easier to me between five and seven in the evening, which isn't ideal as it's dinnertime and the kids are racing around. I usually turn to my trusty notebook (preferably flowery) and pen (preferably glittery), and keep scribbling things down as and when I can. Burnt dinners have been known to happen. Thank god for coco-pops!
And then of course I write when the house is quiet and everyone is in bed. These are my favourite times, because they involve wine.

What was the most fun part of writing this book?
Most definitely the research! My writing has always run on the steamy side of romance, but a full blown erotic novel called for me to delve into areas of the internet previously unchartered, lol!
Knight & Play features a hero who runs an empire of sex clubs and stores, so sex was always going to be central to the plot.
Aside from the erotic elements, Lucien is Norwegian, the land of soaring alpine mountains and the beautiful aurora borealis. Immersing myself into books and video's about Norway was a real joy - it's number one on my must see places list now.

Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
Sophie would be a great friend. She's funny and loyal, but very down to earth and caring too. She's you, she's me, she's the ordinary girl next door who's life is turned upside down when she meets the anything but ordinary Lucien Knight.

Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
Oh god, yes! But then as a romance writer, I think that's my job.
Lucien is a gift to write. He's beautiful and sexy as sin, but he's also complicated and loyal. He's filthy dirty, but tender and kind too. I'm going to miss him when I've finished writing book two.

Do you write to music, or with the tv on in the background, or do you need complete silence?
I can't write with talking in the background, so TV & radio is a no-no.
Music though? Oh yes. I'm a spotify addict, and create playlists for my books to have on in the background as I work.

At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
This is a hard question. Was it the first time I put my fingers on the keyboard? Was it when the cover for Knight & Play arrived? Was it when I pushed the publish button on Amazon? Even now I mumble into my hand when someone asks me what I do, and that's just plain wrong.

I've been a writer for years, and like lots of others in the same boat, for some bizarre reason we feel knobby saying it out loud. Let's all ditch that. It doesn't matter where you are on the path to being published - if you put your time and efforts into writing and you want it with all your heart, you are a writer. Not an aspiring writer. A writer.


CEO of Knight Inc. Lucien Knight is catch-your-breath gorgeous and damaged by his troubled past in Norway. All grown up and relocated to London, he's built his empire of adult clubs from the ground up to become the gorgeous patron saint of the sex industry. No one knows the dark childhood secrets that have given Lucien a backbone of steel and a heart encased in ice.

No one until Sophie Black, that is...

From the moment girl-next-door Sophie accepts the job as Lucien Knight's PA, she understands how Alice must have felt when she tumbled down the rabbit hole.
Lucien takes her safe, vanilla life away and plunges her head first into a huge dish of fantasy flavours. Rich, spicy chocolate covered with dark, oozingly lickable sauce? Check. Tutti-frutti with indecently red, glistening cherries on the top? Yes please.

Lucien strips away all of Sophie's inhibitions, and when he instructs her to select three new toys, she soon realises he has more than a game of Monopoly on his mind...

He's opened the door to a whole new pleasure packed world without limits, and Sophie is utterly intoxicated. But how far is she willing to go? And what happens when she has to step back into reality again?

Lucien & Sophie's is a story of star crossed love and forbidden passion, a sexual odyssey that spans the globe and changes both of their lives forever.

* * *

We breathlessly anticipate the release of the sequel in April. Until then, if you haven't already read Knight & Play, you really, really should. Don't believe me? Check out the 200+ reviews. It's available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

About the author:
Kitty French lives in middle England with her husband, two kids and the oldest cat in the world. When she isn't writing, she's researching things on the net that make her eyebrows touch her hairline! Kitty loves to chat to readers. You can find her on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Late late resolutions!

So far this year I have mostly sulked, fretted, refreshed my inbox and wondered what on earth I keep punishing myself for. I have not done much writing or actually had any enthusiasm to do any. The spreadsheets that I downloaded at the end of last year, ready to fill with my wonderful daily totals, are there in Excel but other than share them with my Minxy friends I haven't done a thing with them.

Something occurred to me after we Minxes had one of our wonderful Skyping sessions, during which I was given several gentle kicks up the rear. For the last couple of years at least I've worked so hard at writing within the boxes that category romance requires. I've tried to venture out of the box a few times, or at least bend the sides a little, but that didn't seem to work.

But there's something I haven't done. I haven't kept going with the next ms while one is away. I've sat and found other things to occupy me. Fast tracks, pitches, contests. If I see any of those words I'm totally there. With bells on. Even if it's a genre I don't usually write. When really I need to work on a ms and see it through.

So my resolution as we are heading towards the second month of the year is to spend the next 11 months ignoring anything that promises* a shortcut to being published. I have had a long talk with myself (I do this a lot, please tell me I'm not alone) and convinced myself that by working hard and writing the stories I want to write I have a much better chance of success.

What do you do when it all seems so hard and it would be easier to quit writing and do something much easier instead?!

*these opportunities DO NOT promise a quick way to publication but somehow that's how my brain interprets them.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Author Spotlight - Christy McKellen

Today's spotlight author is an English author who writes spicy romance, and she's here to talk to us about her debut novel. Welcome, Christy.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Hi Minxes, thanks so much for having me on your blog, it’s an absolute pleasure to be here.

I’ve been writing with the aim to be published for about five years now – there have been some ups and downs, but they’ve all been useful learning experiences. I certainly feel like I’ve earned my authorial status I fit writing in around looking after my three children – two of whom are at school and one at home with me. Before I gave up work to raise my kids I was a Video and Radio Producer for the BBC and a couple of independent production companies. Making it as a writer has been a dream for me for a very long time, so I’m absolutely delighted that my debut novel has finally hit the virtual shelves.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
This is my first published book, but the fifth book I’ve written. Wouldn’t it be amazing to say you’d written 200 books! Maybe one day…

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I hate to leave things unfinished – I have a bit of a tidying compulsion – and that tends to keep me focused. It would feel like a real waste of my precious free time to let a story slide, especially if I was quite a way through it. Don’t get me wrong though, I like a good skive as much as the next person.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
To connect with as many other writers as possible through facebook, Twitter and blogs. The romance writing community is a strong, inclusive one and from my experience, other writers do amazing publicity for each other. Some people find it very hard to market themselves (me included) so other people talking about your book is the perfect way to promote it. Also, be friendly and professional in all your dealings with reviewers, book bloggers and readers. Most of them are doing promotion for you for free and should be afforded the respect they deserve for that.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I tend to write at lunchtimes when my youngest is having a nap (which I fear may be coming to a close soon!) and sometimes in the evenings if my husband is out. I try not to work too much at night because my husband can only be ignored for so long before he gets a grump on 

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
I try to get to the gym a couple of times a week and I walk as much as possible. I’m always on the go with the kids though, so my body gets a pretty good work-out every day.

At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
When I received my cover art – which I absolutely love! Seeing such an amazing cover with my name on it made it all hyper-real.

Do you write to music, or with the tv on in the background, or do you need complete silence?
I prefer to write with music on. I need some noise in the background or I feel too lonely. I make myself a playlist for the book I’m writing and listen to it over and over (with my headphones on if other people are around, so I don’t drive them insane.) I can’t work with the TV on though – too distracting!

Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
Oh yes. I love all my heroes and would run off with any of them. I need to feel that sort of connection in order to write them. After all, I want the best for my heroines and wouldn’t pack them off with any old chap.

Writing snacks – what are your favourites?
Kettle chips! The only problem is they make the keyboard greasy 

Thanks for having me today, it’s been fun!

Six months ago Ellie Holdsworthy’s life was all planned out - kids, wedding, happy ever after - until her boyfriend dumped her for another woman. Now her best friend, Penny - an heiress to a small fortune - looks set to run off with a gold-digger, and Ellie is determined to save her from certain doom . Unfortunately, the only person who can help is the one person she’d rather not ask...

Little does Ellie know, persuading her brother’s best friend - commitment phobic, playboy businessman, Gideon DeLancy - to hold an intervention at his beautiful Georgian manor would be the easy part. Keeping her hands off him is a whole other matter.

Gideon doesn’t intend to fall for his friend's snarky sister, and he sure as hell doesn’t expect their weekend to develop into a full-on sex-fest. When passion takes a strangle-hold, their differences don’t seem to matter. After all, a torrid weekend affair should be the easiest thing in the world to walk away from, so why are they finding it so difficult...?

About the author:
Formerly a Video and Radio Producer, Christy now spends her time as either a slave to her children or her muse. When she’s not writing spicy romance, she can be found stomping around the South West of England, glomming her to-be-read pile or escaping from real life with her rather delicious husband.
Christy loves to hear from readers. You can contact her on her blog, Facebook and on Twitter.

Her New Worst Enemy is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Inspiration!!

This post should have gone up several hours ago...Bad me... I missed it again...and I really have a good excuse this time though...I do...

I pressed send on my revisions for bk2 last night. To say these were hard would be overdoing it..because they were extensive but I think it was my effort that was lagging this time..because I had much bigger set of revisions on the book I sold...

This was one was hard because I have several other things going on in my life right now...Our house is on sale, which means everything has to be in place, including toys, dishes, clothes etc everything needs to be put away and neatly before we go to bed every night.

Having been a "I will get to it when I can, I have much more important things to take care of right now" kinda girl all my life, this is quite hard. But the hubster and I are getting better at having a system, so Yay!!

So this is our major goal this year- to sell our house, move into a new city and settle down into a new house where we can all be pigs again...Oink, oink!!

And just because it's blueghh...Monday and because I have been burning my retinas of late (before the revs came through) watching this guy play Lord Shiva in a show...I will give you a taste of him....

 And one as Lord Shiva, the god of destruction..

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Author Spotlight - Judy Jarvie

I'm very pleased to welcome my lovely friend, Judy Jarvie, to the Minx blog today.

Hi Judy, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? 
Hi – I’m a stay at home mum who lives in a village in Fife, Scotland and has a major fixation with reading and writing romance. I have books published with E-Scape Press, The Wild Rose Press and My Weekly Pocket Novels. Other hobbies are knitting, making soup and eating nice things which makes me sounds dull, hermit-like and possibly mad, sad and dangerous to know but I like a good laugh and lots of frivolity so don’t believe my own boring hype.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!) 
Book five is Instruction In Seduction released December 2012 from E-Scape Press. To be closely followed in Jan 2013 by Taking On The Texan also published by E-Scape Press (Taking On The Texan was first released as Secret Billionaire by Bridges and Knight Easy Reads from DC Thomson)

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping? 
Sometimes I just don’t do it. I think it’s important to switch off and just not write so that your minds gets some rest time. And there’s no better way to get your mind back on writing than to consciously walk away from it. My biggest light bulbs have come in the shower, out for a walk or at a zumba class, sometimes in a traffic queue. It’s good not to write too – refilling the well is vital.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I’m not great a promo. I have a blog and website and I use facebook like someone who tinkers only and doesn’t quite understand or slash is scared by it all. But I think it’s good to be open to trying new things. And it’s always good to expand promo horizons.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I like to write early in the day (especially when the kids are at school). Though if I’m struggling to write I will write at any time just to keep the momentum.

Do you write every day? 
I try to but it doesn’t always happen when life intervenes. And I like to take a break between books to replenish.

Which blog(s) do you read regularly? 
I used to read blogs a lot. These days I am being cyber frugal! Just because I am choosing to read a lot of books instead which is all to the good!

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be? 
No different at all. But I am far more nit picky about getting a polished draft than I was at the start (hangs head in shame!) Maybe I’m just getting better and mistook spotting.

What was the most fun part of writing this book? 
Instruction In Seduction is set in Edinburgh at New Year. It’s got a fun quirk and it’s sexy in tone. It’s got lots of places I love in it and a hero I want for my very own. What’s more to love?

At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer? 
I thought I was a writer at primary school when I won money in a competition because my poem about the beach came first and got published. I bought a fancy pen with the spoils. It became addictive from there.

Thanks for having me!

Thank you for popping by today, Judy.

It's a very exciting time for Judy as she has two new books out now/soon. The first is Instruction in Seduction, the second is Taking on the Texan. Here's a little about both.

Instruction In Seduction: It’s Edinburgh, it’s New Year and Ailsa is on the verge of a new improved sex life! She’s unveiling a sassy resolution - a sex life makeover to turn her into a ‘va va voom vamp’. Nick is the Aussie Adonis she lusted over when he was her boss. Thanks to Nick, Ailsa’s about to achieve her ‘vamp’ aspirations. But Nick has to spoil the fun by developing deep feelings for Ailsa...

Instruction In Seduction is available from and from

Taking On The Texan: Scottish soap-maker Jess Gilmour is too busy for a man in her life – but when a strong and smooth Texan cowboy sweeps her off her feet there’s a spark in her spurs to take a chance on romance. Texan rancher Gabe Garrett can’t help engaging with sweet but sassy Jess. He’s in the highlands for a wedding that marks his brother’s relocation from Texas, but soon he’s confiding his misgivings to Jess and keen to know more. Jess’s surprise visit to Broken Bridle Ranch could prove to be a visa to lassoing the dream but given that she has no idea about Gabe’s biggest secret, the gorgeous cowboy might be too much for the quiet, steady Scots business woman to take … coming soon mid January 2013

You can find out more about Judy on her blog here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The eyes have it...

Don't you love a hero with beautiful, expressive eyes?

For me, it's eyes first, then nice teeth and good wide shoulders. (Sawyer anyone?)

I was reminded of this just this morning in the butchers. There was a guy waiting in line in front of me, and when he turned around he looked at me with the most beautiful green eyes that I forgot all about the sausages!

So here, for your Monday morning delectation, are some of my fave men with eyes to melt in...

Colin Farrell - it doesn't hurt that he has that fabulously sexy accent too, huh?

Ian Somerhalder - one for you, Romy :O)

Gilles Marini. A firm fave with the minxes...

And, of course, old blue eyes himself, Mr.Bond...

Nominate in the comments box and i'll add them. It'll kill me to find pictures, but i'll go that extra mile. ;O)

Nominated by Teresa Ashley - the divine Rufus Sewell

For Karen (and me) the delicious Sawyer, a.k.a Josh Holloway

And Chris Pine, as nominated by Sally Minx

For Rachel, David Gandy. You can barely see his eyes at all, but who cares? It's all about the pants.

Feel free to add to this list in the comments - we are MORE than happy to compile a really detailed list of beautiful men.
The things we have to do at minx mansion. Such hard work. ;o)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Author Spotlight - Teresa Ashby

I'm so pleased to welcome Teresa Ashby to our blog today. As well as being a lovely friend, Teresa is a phenomenally successful writer, with more than 2,000 short stories and articles to her name, as well as a number of novels.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love both reading and writing and decided quite early on that I wanted to be a writer (just after I realised I could never be a nun and even if I could, I was never going to look like Audrey Hepburn). Although I started out trying to write novels, the short stories took over, but I still like to involve myself in something longer when I get the chance.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
I really and truly have no idea. I have written so many over the years. But if you’re talking about published ones, I’ve had eleven in large print. The latest one is out this month The Girl From Yesterday.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I’ve never enjoyed shopping for shoes – does that make me weird? Not that I don’t love shoes, I do. But since I broke a bone in my foot I haven’t been able to wear the high heels I love. Sorry – straying from the question. I write best if I’m sitting in the car with no distractions, but that doesn’t happen very often so it’s a matter of bum on seat and trying not to be lured by the internet.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
I wish I had one! It’s something I still struggle with. I do find it a turn off though when people are too pushy, so I tend not to post loads of messages on Facebook or Twitter in case it has a negative effect. Having said that, if you don’t blow your own trumpet (as my dear old mum used to say) no one else will do it for you. It’s a fine line I think.

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
Writing has to fit in with my day. I did go through a period of being a full time writer, but it didn’t work for me. Although it was very nice, I found myself drifting. The more I have going on in my life and the busier I am, the more focused I am when it comes to writing.

Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I have always, since the very beginning, wanted to write a book about a family gathering and explore all those wonderful complex relationships. I have a few notes which I add to from time to time and one day I will write it!

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Sorry, me? Keep fit? I used to walk my dogs for two hours every day whatever the weather, but now it’s more of a half hour stroll than a five mile hike. I swim once a week, does that count?

Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
They’ve all been friends – at least that’s how I feel about them. You get to know them so well that they feel like real people. But if I had to choose just one, it would be Cara who was in The Call of Home and also The Doctor’s Decision.

Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
Yes! Matt in The Call of Home. I really fell for him. He’s still my favourite hero. And to celebrate being invited here by the lovely Minxes, I’m giving away The Call of Home free on Kindle from the 10th to the 12th January.

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
I have many half completed books and stories where I’ve hit a roadblock and left them (I think sometimes that my mind must look like a scene from The Walking Dead with all the abandoned vehicles on the roads representing all the broken down stories). However, if I’m at a point where I know where I’m going, but not sure how to get there, I leave a gap and carry on. Often the answer will come later and you can fill in the blanks.

Finally, can you please tell us a little bit about your latest book?
Out on Kindle now is Doctor’s Decision which is about Australian doctor Cara, who was also in The Call of Home.

When ship’s doctor, Australian Cara Stanford meets trauma consultant Greg Harding on a busy quayside, the sparks fly! Despite the instant chemistry, both know that they won’t meet again after the ship sails. Cara will be returning to Australia as soon as her stint on the Princess Helena finishes and Greg has his work cut out caring for his widowed sister in law and her little boy.

The Princess Helena runs into trouble at sea and Cara finds herself coping with many casualties. Greg has to overcome his fear of helicopters to go to the rescue and when he is winched aboard he finds Cara is hurt too. He takes care of her as she recuperates, but just when Cara starts to let her guard down, a near tragedy brings her to her senses and thinking there is no future for them, she returns to Australia – alone.

The Doctor's Decision is available from and

And Teresa has very generously made The Call of Home free to download from Kindle up until the 12th January from and from

Thank you for visiting the Minxes today, Teresa.

You can find out more about Teresa on her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Double Minx Entanglement!

We've had a good start to the year this week, with TWO minxes receiving contracts from Entangled!

Me (Sallyminx) and Maya (Mayaminx) are delighted to squee today as we've both signed contracts, and will have Entangled Publishing releases this year....

Mine is a Flirt featuring a female mechanic - And Maya's is a scorching Dead Sexy. More on both in the following weeks as things shake out!


In other news - Blaze, the Minxes of Romance's anthology is currently #10 in the Preeditors and Editors Poll of Anthologies published in 2012, and if you've read it and loved it, we'd love your vote!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Man of the Month needed

Welcome back to a bright, shiny new year. Are you all excited for the fresh start offered by a new year?

Since it's been ages since we had a Man of the Month Poll here on the Minxes blog, I thought we could kick off the year with some eye candy inspiration. But coming up with a theme for this month's selection has been tough, and I'm stumped.

We've already done English hotties, Scottish hotties, Irish hotties, Welsh hotties, Jane Austen hotties, Disney hotties, medical hotties, policeman hotties, bearded hotties, Formula 1 hotties, Golf hotties, Athlete hotties, Rugby hotties here and here, Australian hotties, French hotties, Favourite TV hotties ... you get the picture, right?

What is there left to do?

Well, that's where you come in. Nominate your favourite hero in the comments section and we Minxes will happily do the research and present you with a delectable selection to kick off 2013.

I'll get the ball rolling by nominating the inspiration for the hero of my newest work in progress: Chris Hemsworth.