Monday, March 31, 2014

Right brained? Left brained?

A friend of mine sent me the link to this test this morning and I thought it would make a fun post. Give it a try: are you more left brained (analytical, logical, verbal) or more right brained (imagination, intuition, non-verbal)?

You can find the test here:

I'll admit to be being surprised by my 25% left brain and 75% right brain score. In my day job I work with figures and do logistical planning. I run two romance writer organisations with all the admin that requires and create spreadsheets for just about everything. This score has made me realise that these are pretty amazing feats considering how much time I spend in my own imaginary world!

Let us know in the comments how you scored.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Author Spotlight - Genie Davis & Linda Marr

Today, for the first time in Minxy history, we introduce a novel-writing duo into our spotlight. Welcome to Genie and Linda.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and produced screen and television writer. Recent releases: the mystery thriller Marathon, the romantic suspense of Executive Impulse, The Model Man, and Five O'Clock Shadow, the literary fiction of Dreamtown. Her erotic romance Rodeo Man, written as Nikki Alton won a Romance Writer's of America Passionate Plume award. In film, her work ranges from supernatural thriller to drama, family, teen, and comedy. She’s written on staff for ABC-TV's Port Charles; written, produced, and directed for TLC, Lifetime, PBS, and HGTV, many television commercials, corporate videos, and the independent film, Losing Hope.

Linda Marr is a producer/writer on the news magazine juggernaut America Now. She’s also the co-writer of the comedy point of sale hit Dear Neighbor. She began her career in television journalism in NYC. Since then her many projects have included everything from the NBC situation comedy series The Mommies to HGTV’s House Hunters and Design on a Dime, to a skateboarding special for Nickelodeon and some of the most successful and famously mocked infomercials on the air starring iconic celebrities like Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban, Jenny Craig and Faye Dunaway.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
This is the seventh book that Genie has published and the second for Linda. It is however the first book that we wrote together but definitely not the last!

3. What inspired this book?
We originally thought it would be fascinating if there was a romance writer who could make her books come true – literally right off the page. We’d originally thought something magical could be the impetus for this happening, but in the end we decided it would be simple circumstance and a hero who had read her material and was drawn to it.

4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones and the young Josh Holloway from Lost.

5. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
By all means it was working together! Having worked as film and tv writers as well as writing novels on our own, there was nothing nearly as much fun as being able to have the back and forth experience of sitting next to each other and creating our own world.

6. Which of your characters would you most like to be?
We already are just like Jenna ha ha. Except for the hot private investigator saving either of our lives!

7. How long does it take you to complete a book?
Linda and I work very quickly but because we both write a lot of other things and Linda works as a television producer, too we usually only are lucky enough to write about 8 hours a week. So each book tends to take us about three months –we talk about what we’re working on even when we are not sitting down together, and we do outline.

8. Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
Whenever we hit a road block, because we’re not writing alone, we can just talk it over, and basically have fun bouncing ideas between us. If all else fails we get a Corona !

9. Where do you write?
When we work together, we usually write at Linda’s house in her den which looks out on her pretty front lawn. Her weiner dog mixes are nearby and there’s usually a plate of delicious vegetarian food on the desk for us to snack on. Right now we are using a lap top on Genie’s dining room table where her cat is relentlessly purring because he loves Linda too.

10. Do you connect with your readers at all, and if so which is your favourite platform for reaching them?
Facebook and Twitter are both great places for us to share things we love our readers to know about. Genie is a big social media fan and finds herself always checking in and finding some cool new link to post. Here’s where you can find us-
Twitter: @geniewrites @lindafromTN
Facebook for Genie and Facebook for Linda


Erotic romance writer Jenna Brooks lives an ordinary life in a quiet Oregon town, putting her sensual heart into her fiction rather than her everyday life. Deeply involved in her latest story about glamorous lovers on the run, she laughs off a carnival gypsy’s prediction that she’ll find everything she desires “between the sheets”u8212 apparently those her DeskJet is printing. Because suddenly, Jenna finds herself drawn into her own stories, literally. When the seductive, mysterious Riley Stone rescues her from an attempted hit and run, she’s plunged into a reckless, wild relationship unlike anything she’s ever experienced—except on paper.

Meanwhile, Riley is feeling pretty upended himself. A consultant with the FBI, he’s on a mission to derail a drug kingpin whose wealth and extensive real estate is managed by Jenna’s neighbor. He’d planned to ingratiate himself with Jenna just enough to gain access to her neighbor’s apartment so he can keep a close eye on his comings and goings. Instead, he finds himself not only drawn to Jenna, but falling for her, hard. On the heels of this realization comes the discovery that her new neighbor didn’t move in next door by chance: Jenna’s father is the last hold-out against a drug-money fueled billion dollar development scheme, and her neighbor plans to take and hold Jenna hostage until the necessary papers are signed.

As Riley struggles to keep Jenna safe, the romance they’ve woven could force them to pay the ultimate price: admitting they’ve fallen in love—for real.

Between the Sheets is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble and direct from Entangled Publishing.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Guest Post - Alissa Baxter

Romance Fiction vs Everyday Life

Romance novels represent slices of life arranged in such a way that a story can be told. The great thing about these stories (unless you read authors who delight in “padding” their books) is that the focus is on the interesting aspects of a character’s life. If something is dull or mundane, an author will often exclude it from her manuscript if it isn’t necessary to drive the story forward. A good love story will keep you enthralled from beginning to end, and you will close the book with a sigh of satisfaction, having been kept on your toes throughout the tale.

Reading romance fiction, therefore, opens you to a world where you don’t have to deal with ordinary or everyday occurrences. When you read about the heroine’s love life, very few authors will make you wade through pages and pages of descriptions of the dull details of her life, such as what she ate for breakfast, or the hours she spent in the arms of Morpheus (including each snore) before her alarm clock went off the next morning. No, the extraneous details are left out and you are plunged straight into the action.

In real life, however, we don’t get to delete the dull and ordinary from our everyday existence. We live through every minute of every day, and although there may be exciting bits here and there, the vast majority of our lives are made up of things that aren’t particularly special or interesting: brushing teeth, washing hair, showering, putting on clothes in the morning, driving to work in the traffic, walking up a flight of stairs to a school or office, making small talk with a colleague, sitting down at a desk, turning on a computer… We do these things every day, and sometimes I imagine that it would be great fun to fast forward life to the interesting bits, and leave out anything that didn’t measure up to a certain level of excitement.

But life doesn’t consist of an endless supply of exhilarating moments, and even if it did, those extraordinary moments would soon become ordinary if they were in endless supply. It is our recognition of the dull that enables us to appreciate the splendid, and a life well lived consists of the mundane and the exciting, the deep and the shallow. Every ocean has a shore, after all, and the ordinary parts of life only throw the extraordinary into light.

I guess this is why reading romance can be such an escape from real life. The novel is a form of art which can be made up entirely of a series of scenes where interesting things happen. Reading a romantic book is a great way to while away an afternoon or evening. The only instance where it could become problematic, I imagine, would be if someone started to live their life only within the confines of romantic fiction – eschewing the everyday shade and looking only for the escapist light.

Alissa's book, The Blog Affair, is available now from Amazon, Amazon UK, and direct from Decadent Publishing.

Twenty-something, white, South African Emma Bradshaw has a pattern of falling for unsuitable men and starts a blog about these so-called “serial datists”. Her search for new beginnings takes her to Cape Town, where she gets a job working for sexy author, Nick Reynolds. Romance with her boss is a no-no, but slowly, Nick works his way around her defenses. Trust him, or not, especially with her awful track record with men?

When an anonymous male reader of the blog challenges her on her ideas about the male species, Emma realises she must confront her past and find her true self before she can move forward...and love can blossom again in her future.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Honorary Minx Going HIGH & HIGHER!!!

What's a girl to do when she's asked to be an honorary Minx for a day? She says, Hells Yeah!!!

Zara Cox here, thrilled to be introducing my new books HIGH & HIGHER, the first two books in The Indigo Lounge Series!!

Before I go further, be warned, these books are SUPER SAUCY!! They will burn your fingers off and have you reaching for the ice bucket, lol. 

Feeling daring? Great, here's the blurb for HIGH (ON SALE FOR .99c/.49p for a limited period!):

Welcome to The Indigo Lounge, the scandalously sexy sky-high playground where anything can happen...
Flirty, dirty and utterly delicious, HIGH is the perfect next read for lovers of the internationally renowned This Man series from Jodi Ellen Malpas & Sylvia Day's Crossfire series.

Zachary Savage is a man accustomed to getting whatever and whoever he wants. He's buried his demons and risen from the ashes to become the playboy owner of the internationally renowned Indigo Lounge, a fleet of ultra-exclusive sky-high pleasure palaces.

He has everything he wants, until he sets eyes on Bethany Green. One look is all it takes ~ she has to be his. 

Bethany Green has endured the worst year of her life; bad luck and heartbreak at every turn. Karma swings wildly in her favour when a money-can't-buy golden ticket lands in her lap - an invitation to experience the scandalously sexy Indigo Lounge for herself.

Green by name and green by nature, is she brave enough to accept the hottest ticket in town?

One glimpse of Zachary Savage is enough to convince her that she isn't cosmopolitan enough to play in his glamorous, sinfully sexy world. But they're already in the air, and reality is a long way behind them. The only way is up.

The Indigo Lounge. Step aboard and check your inhibitions at the door.

And since HIGH is only part one, here's the blurb for book two!!

Welcome back to the Indigo Lounge, the scandalously sexy sky-high playground where anything can, and does happen... Flirty, dirty and utterly delicious,HIGHER is the sizzling conclusion to Zach & Bethany's love story which began in book one, HIGH.
When Bethany finds herself back on board the Indigo Lounge, this time for work purposes, she knows her life is about to once again slide into free fall.

Zachary Savage has branded himself onto her senses, and despite her attempts to protect her heart she's pulled right back into his sizzlingly intense orbit of sex, more sex and dark secrets. 

But even out of this world sex won't save Beth's heart when Zach is finally ready to reveal the truth...
HIGHER. The only way is up, and this time they're going all the way.

HIGHER is the perfect read for lovers of the internationally renowned This Man series from Jodi Ellen Malpas & Sylvia Day's Crossfire series.
High & Higher are two halves of one whole and best read consecutively. 

Amazon UK - HIGH
Amazon US - HIGH
Barnes & Noble  - HIGH
iTunes - HIGH

Amazon UK - HIGHER
Amazon US - HIGHER
Barnes & Noble - HIGHER
iTunes - HIGHER

Hope you have a HIGH week!! ;)

Zara x

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Author Spotlight - Victoria James

We're very happy to welcome Victoria James to the minxes spotlight today, so without further ado, here's her answers to the minx questions!

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

I’m a mom and wife and writer. We have two adorable (though a little crazy) kids, ages seven and three and we live near Toronto. I’m an Interior Designer/Small business owner…and as of last year a published Romance Writer J  I write contemporary romance for Entangled, Indulgence.  THE RANCHER’S SECOND CHANCE is my newest release for Entangled, Indulgence.

 What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)

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?

Well, shoe shopping is not on my agenda these days, thanks to two small children who demand all my extra attention ;-). I think it’s easier now that I’m published and have set deadlines. I have no choice! I will try and reward myself with favourite coffees. Or wine :-)

What is your top promo tip for other authors?

One of the biggest things I underestimated before I was published, was how little time there is for actual writing of new books. So, always make writing books the priority, even though there is so much pressure to do all the ‘social media’…

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?

I guess a little of both. This is the first year that I have both kids in school (for at least part of the day). My daughter (three years old) started pre-school in September. So…my day looks like this: 8:15am load kids into car and drop son off at his school, then head over to my daughter’s school. Usually I’m back home by 9:00am and I grab a coffee and get to work…until 11:15 and then it’s off to pick up my daughter. It’s not a lot of time at all, and it always seems that when I get into my groove, it’s time to rush out again. The rest of the day is usually kid stuff. I do try and write most evenings.

Do you write every day?

Usually. Weekends are hard with everyone at home and my kids are still young (read: needy). But if I’m not doing writing, I’ll try and do something writing related.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?

2.                 I really struggle with this. I never feel like there’s enough time. But (weather permitting) I walk my son to school in the morning and walk to get him in the afternoon. It’s 15 mins in each direction and even though that doesn’t sound like much, 4 times a day it adds up to 60 mins. Better than nothing! :)

 Do you write to music, or with the tv on in the background, or do you need complete silence?

I make a playlist for each book and I’ve started adding the playlists to my website for reader.

Writing snacks – what are your favourites?

Coffee. Coffee. Kettle chips (when I’m deadline crunched!

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?

I’ll email writer friends, drink wine, write a scene even if it’s out of order, I’ll review my notes or edit other scenes. Anything that will help make progress with my book.

Back Cover Blurb:

Widowed rancher Cole Forrester is all about running his family's ranch and guarding his heart. The last thing he's looking for is love, but when his little sister can't make it home to handle some of her wedding details, he's forced to entertain the event planner, Melanie Simms. Melanie is everything he's not even remotely interested in: she's high-society, complicated, and high maintenance. But when he's stranded with her at his remote cabin in the Colorado mountains, he realizes he's seriously underestimated her. She's hiding something about her past from him, but despite everything, he finds himself falling for the last woman he ever expected, and the first woman to make him want to give his heart and risk everything...


Twitter: @vicjames101

Monday, March 10, 2014

Author Spotlight - Lindsay J. Pryor

We're very happy to welcome Lindsay J. Pryor to the minxes spotlight today, so without further ado, here's her answers to the minx questions!

Tell our readers a little something about yourself. 
I’m the author of the dark paranormal romance series, Blackthorn. I was discovered by my publisher through Harlequin Mills & Boon’s New Voices Competition after I was a finalist in both 2010 (Blood Roses) and 2011 (Blood Shadows, then known as Beguiling The Enemy). Blood Shadows has recently gone on to become a No. 1 Best Seller in Gothic Romance on and Paranormal Vampire Romance on Amazon UK. As well as being an author, I’m a special needs teacher and I live in the South West of England with my husband and our rescue bunny.
What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!) 
Blood Torn is the third in the Blackthorn series. I’ve got several books outside of Blackthorn locked safely away in my bottom door – but most won’t ever be granted bail, let alone release. I’m currently writing the fourth book in the series, Blood Deep, which was signed a few weeks ago.
What inspired this book? 
The series started as a concept over 16 years ago with the ‘third species’ (vampires, lycans etc) forced into an oppressive human-ruled system that they need to somehow break out of. It was inspired by me getting lost in an isolated and run-down part of the city I had just moved to. The forbidden romances that evolved within that world became inevitable because I’m a romance writer at heart. I soon found that those romances were the driving force for the change this world was going to face. So, after deciding on the series ending and working backwards in loops, each book became inspired by the catalysts that needed to happen for this change to take place.
Who or what was the inspiration for your hero? 
Jask (leader of the lycans in Blackthorn) is an integral component in the eventual outcome of the series. But if you mean a physical inspiration, there wasn’t one. I’ve never used images or real people to inspire. When I needed to help the cover designer out though, I sent through an image of Josh Holloway. He’d make a perfect Jask.
Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre? 
I think I’ll always slant to either paranormal or psychological thrillers – in Blackthorn’s case, both. 
Outside of romance, I’ve got a supernatural crime thriller (though with romantic elements admittedly!) I’ve had underway for a number of years that I’m aiming to polish in the forthcoming months. Away from paranormal completely, I’ve also got a romantic psychological thriller I’m writing. It’s very dark, of course, as that type of hero has become something of a trademark now.
What was the most fun part of writing this book? 
I love it when the characters take over – when they write their own dialogue, turn left instead or right, reveal things I hadn’t worked out for myself yet, anything like that. I’m quite stringent with how I want a story to turn out because I can’t unravel too many plot threads in the series, but I always enjoy it when characters take things into their own hands (within reason!). Phia, the heroine of Blood Torn, was real handful and the most unpredictable character I’ve had to manage – but a fun challenge. I’m just glad she walked into Jask and not Kane or Caleb.
How long does it take you to complete a book?
With the first three in the Blackthorn series, which range between 115-140,000 words, they each took me about 3 months to write the first draft then maybe another two-three months of redrafts or edits. This is bearing in mind though that Blackthorn has been under construction for years with lots of groundwork in the background in terms of characterisation, world-building and plotting, so it’s not like starting a novel completely from scratch.

In general, I think it depends on the complexity and length as well as how clear a story is in my head before I start. I’ve always found my standalones quicker to write because I can focus on one book rather than write back and forth between books to ensure everything fits together.
Where do you write?
In terms of planning, I have a notebook with me wherever I go (except on my teaching days). As for actual writing, I’ve not quite mastered writing outside of my house yet – mainly because I have a habit of talking aloud when I’m absorbed! Any first drafts are written on my laptop because it doesn’t have any internet connection, thus no temptation to surf! I’m often sat in my lounge keeping my house bunny company during that stage. When it comes to redrafts, edits and polishing, I sit at my desk in my study. Before all of that happens, in the very early stages of devising a book, I’ve always had a habit of pacing around the house as I mull. I’ve now invested in a treadmill to avoid the floors wearing out.

Do you connect with your readers at all, and if so which is your favourite platform for reaching them? 
I connect with my readers regularly, mostly via Twitter and Facebook or through my website. A lot of my readers like to connect with me through email too, especially those who don’t like chatting in an open forum – which I totally get that having avoided it for so long myself. The main thing for me is enabling readers to contact me whichever way they prefer. There’s nothing quite like hearing from someone enjoying the series.
Book Blurb for Blood Torn
‘Vampires might bite, honey, but lycans tear.’

Jask Tao, lycan leader, rules his pack with absolute dedication and demands the same loyalty in return. In the world of Blackthorn, where respect is a rare commodity, Jask has earned his – few dare to cross him, and fewer survive to tell the tale.
When he captures Sophia, a rare serryn witch – whose blood is lethal to vampires – Jask knows just how valuable she can be. Despite her fiery nature, he also can’t shake the feelings that she rouses in him – feelings that he thought died along with Ellen, his mate.
Sophia knows she has to escape from Jask’s lycan compound – and fast. Inheriting her sister’s serryn powers can only mean one thing – that her family is at risk. She’ll have to get past the dangerously attractive Jask first but, scarred by memories of her mother’s murder, Sophia won’t ever give up.
Sparks fly between Jask and Sophia but, as both her family and the pack come under threat, they might just need each other if they, and their loved ones, are going to stay alive…
In this thrillingly sensual novel, Lindsay J. Pryor returns to the shadowy dystopian world of Blackthorn, where tensions are rising, the risks are high, and the most powerful loves are formed in the face of great danger.

‘DARK, SEXY AND THRILLING.’ ~ The Demon Librarian

 Buy Links

Thanks for going minxy for the day, Lindsay!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Author Spotlight - Zara Stoneley

We here at the Minxes of Romance love good bit of erotica. So we are delighted to have erotica author Zara Stoneley in our Spotlight today. Welcome Zara.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’ve has been writing stories for just about as long as I’ve been reading them. I sold my first erotic novel to Xcite Books in 2012, and since then have had hot romances accepted by several publishers. My stories have featured on romance and erotic bestseller lists in the US and UK.
I divide my time between a country cottage in the UK and a Barcelona apartment, and love my family, sexy high heels, sunshine, good food and wine, coffee, cats, horses, dogs, music, writing and reading - but not necessarily in that order! I like my heroes just how I like my coffee – hot, strong and moreish.
Find out more at:

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
Sadly, I am no Nora! My first release was in April 2012, and I’ve now had two erotic novels published with Xcite Books, one of which is being published in paperback by a New York publisher soon (more news when I can!), Xcite have also published two of my novellas. I’ve also self-published a series of three books, and had a few short stories published in anthologies. ‘Love Is A Four Letter Word’ was published by HarperImpulse (Harper Collins) on 27th February, and is my second erotic romance with them.

3. What inspired this book?
I do love a bad boy, and the whole idea of rich girl/poor boy rather than the other way round really appeals to me. I think, quite often, independent sassy women are drawn to that ‘wild streak’… although of course appearances can be deceptive and the ‘bad’ bit can just be skin deep! Human nature is fascinating, and the whole opposites attract idea is irresistible… and then if you throw in the idealistic ‘love has no price’...

4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
Well, I’m going to show my age a bit here! Back when I was a teenager I was in love with David Essex, the original bad boy.

Image courtesy of
David (for those younger than me) is a singer and actor. He was in a film called ‘That’ll be the Day’ in the 70’s, as a real bad boy, and also in ‘Silver Dream Racer’ as a motorcycle racer. And he was exactly what I had in mind for Jake. But I’m afraid (please forgive me gorgeous David), I did also ogle this man quite a bit (a more up to date version!)

5. Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?
I’ve been lucky enough to have erotic and contemporary romance published, but I’ve also hankered after writing a ‘bonkbuster’ for years. My lovely editor has given me a nudge in that direction, so I’m thrilled. And after that? I’d love to write a thriller/suspense.

6. In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
I spend far too much time on promo – I’d love to just sit in an exotic location (preferably hot and sunny), with a glass of wine and write beautiful prose, whilst somebody else did my marketing! Unfortunately the reality is sitting anywhere I can find to grab the odd hour or writing in between the other bits of life.

7. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
Day dreaming about Jake! No, seriously this pair have some serious chemistry and some great banter going on. I loved the teasing and the way they provoked each other. This was one couple I’d like to hang around for longer.

8. Do you have a writing routine? Do you write every day, and is there a time of day that works best for you in terms of being productive?
I aim to write at least 5 days a week, but sometimes it’s 7 days, sometimes 2! I aim to write around the 10-12k mark each week, but some weeks I can spend most of the time wrestling with planning if I think the story is losing its pace. As long as I get to the end of the month with 30k written then I’m happy, any less and I panic. My day kicks off with coffee and social networking, emails etc. and then I will have a quick read through the last few pages I’ve written before starting properly for the day. Unfortunately my muse often kicks in at 10pm which isn’t always ideal! If you’re serious about writing though, I think you do need to see it as a job and make sure you have some goals and discipline – and aim for a routine, even if it doesn’t always work out!

9. Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
Pause, read the last couple of chapters, have a dig into the characters and try and find out why they’re doing what they are. Then set a word challenge – as has been said many times before, you can’t edit a blank page.

‘Love Is A Four Letter Word’ by Zara Stoneley, published by HarperImpulse

Sometimes being bad can be too good to miss...

Take one rich girl who has a thing for the bad boys.
Take one tough guy who thinks possession is nine-tenths of the misery law.
Mix generously with a land dispute and a whole lotta lust…. And what have you got?
Sometimes being bad can be just too good to miss...

Love is a Four Letter Word is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sainburys and Google Play.