December 27, 2013

Please Give A Warm Welcome to Author, Letty James

Welcome to Cheryl’s place! I’m thrilled to have you here.
It’s great to be here Cheryl. You are a peach to have me. (Yes, I was raised in the South.) What a terrific way to start the New Year – talking about books!
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a late bloomer. I started writing soon after I got married at 29. I had no idea what I was doing – I just needed to get the visions in my head down on paper. Then I went to a writers’ workshop and the instructor introduced a method of plotting involving worksheets, notebooks, tabs, etc. Ack! Who knew it would be so much work? It scared me off, but the visions keep coming. So two kids and many, many years later, I tried again. This time I just wrote what felt right. Something that made me laugh and that I knew in my heart was spot on. And my first story sold to Harlequin – after sitting for a year on somebody’s desk!
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I currently teach elementary school art and while that’s not a pastime, I have so much fun planning lessons and trying new things that I’m sure my hourly rate has gone waaayyy down. Then when I get burned out, I curl up with a cup of tea, and the cats, and read, read, read. When I’m feeling fat (which is about every other day) I take a walk with friends.
Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Write, read, repeat. Make friends with writers. Pick writers’ brains. Write what excites you, not what somebody else wants you to write. Write to your favorite writers. You never know who will write back. I find most of them do!
What genre or genres do you write?
Contemporary romance, erotica, and mystery – I can’t seem to stick to one genre and like to mash them all together. I believe every story should have a bit of romance!
Tell us about your latest release(s)?
My latest is an erotica release from Soul Mate Publishing titled The Hot Shoppe. It’s the beginning of a series and is two stories in one book, all of the stories following that initial Harlequin story. Hot men, a group of girlfriends, a small town, food, music, sex, what more could you want? The Hot Shoppe II? Coming soon!
What’s your current WIP?
I am currently working on a contemporary romance set in Scotland and Montana – cowboys in kilts!
Where can we stalk you?
Check out my website where you’ll find all sorts of juicy info about yours truly. Or go to where you will find my current catalogue. Here is a link to The Hot Shoppe.

And finally, please share an excerpt of your book!
Gladly! I’ve included a bit from both stories.

Here’s a tempting morsel from Devilish from The Hot Shoppe.

When developer Stowe Hampstead arrives at Claire Fouchet’s coffee shop, she tries to squash the explosive attraction. Could he be interested in more than just her historical property or is he just the devil in disguise? 

“Claire’s house of pain. What’s your pleasure?”
“How about a cup of coffee before we get intimate?”
Fuck. I recognized that low rumbling voice—it could melt the chocolate chips right out of my scones. Jonathan Stowe Hampstead, III, one of the biggest developers in Annapolis. How did he get my number? One remark to my real estate agent friend, Christine, about selling the house, and the vultures were on their descent. And Jonathan Stowe Hampstead, III, was a top scavenger, having just bought the stores on each side of The Hot Shoppe, my coffeehouse and personal empire. Rumors circulated that he wanted to buy The Hot Shoppe, too. What was it about developers in this town? Pretty soon, the only historic pieces left of Annapolis would be the facades of Main Street.
“Hello? Are you still there?”
I clicked off the phone and resumed brushing my hair, managing to make a black tangled mess of it with my shaking hands. The man made my body do stupid things every time he came into the shop. Things like drop pitchers of milk, jam the register, and mix up orders.
I was expecting a call from my brother, Gavin, letting me know how the private inspection had gone yesterday. Gavin was chomping at the bit to sell his piece of The Hot Shoppe, so we’d brought in a private inspector for the property. I didn’t want any nasty surprises when the city inspectors showed up. I’d wanted to be there, but Gavin had thrown his macho weight around, claiming I couldn’t keep my feelings to myself and we needed to keep this quiet until we got the full report. I acquiesced. After all, I’d be there for the city inspectors. I’d get the happy job of showing them we were in tip-top shape.
The doorbell rang. I slid down the banister just for fun and flung open the door.
Not Gavin.
Double fuck.
I sucked in my breath and narrowed my eyes, girding for battle. He seemed oblivious to my agitation as he leaned against the doorjamb, showing his perfect teeth, his model-worthy cheekbones, and somehow managing to have his blond hair perfectly aligned on a cold windy day. The devil shouldn’t look so smooth. I wanted to reach up and ruffle his hair just to see what he would do.
Any other man would look way too girly in a yellow polo and khakis. Stowe managed to make them sexy. The little man on the horse galloped over broad pecs. His biceps bulged underneath the slim sleeve band. Visions of pushing him off the porch and into the muddy grass danced through my head. Would he resist or pull me down into the mud with him? Heat flushed my cheeks, but I kept my gaze level on his. I’d never seen his eyes this close before. Blue, with a hint of gray. Smoky. I reminded myself that smoke was very elusive. Sneaky. Getting into places where you least expected it.
“Hello, Claire.” He stood up straight and thrust his hands in his pockets, rattling keys. Somehow, I thought his voice would be different outside the shop. Less seductive. But it held the same low drawl I’d remembered, like extra cream in my coffee, which always made me feel warm and content. Like after good sex.
I snapped back to attention and those smoky eyes gave me the once-over as if reading my mind. Suddenly, I became conscious of the absence of bra and panties. Surely he couldn’t tell what I was wearing, or not, under my ripped tee shirt and too-short sweat pants? Ah, the hell with what he thought.
I’d been planning to work on scone recipes today, not entertain gentlemen callers. Besides, I suspected he was no gentleman. Just like I was no lady.
And a peek at Delightful…
When sexy guitarist Gavin Fouchet tricks Molly Cartwright into a date, she wonders about his ulterior motives. After all, he’s thirteen years younger. Will the night be disastrous or delightful?

 “I really wanted to like him.” Molly Cartwright twirled a lock of hair around her finger. “But when he told me he didn’t like to read, that just killed the date for me. Can you imagine? Not liking to read? Hmph.” She buried her nose in her mug of coffee as her two best friends, Claire and Christine, nodded in commiseration.
“The man’s a moron.”
Molly almost dropped her mug as the deep voice became flesh and blood, straddling a chair, pulling it close enough that if she leaned to the left six inches she could kiss him.
Gavin Fouchet.
How did the man always appear next to her without her knowing? With his long black braid and olive skin, he could have been an Indian scout—and she the deer. Unlike the deer, she would gladly give up her body to this hunter. Molly blushed as she always did when Gavin appeared. Talk about hot triggers. But he was Claire’s brother and way too young for her. Twenty-five to her thirty-eight. Jeez, it’d feel like cradle robbing.
Wouldn’t it?
She hadn’t seen Gavin much since he’d sold out his share of The Hot Shoppe to Claire, but he still showed up once in awhile to help out. That was the problem—she never knew when she’d see him.
“Oh, Gavin, shut up,” said Claire. Gavin had been dubbed the Hot in the Shoppe by his co-workers, but Molly never teased him about it—way too dangerous. She’d flirt, a bit, not too much, because she always ended up blushing and Gavin would give her that slow, sexy grin, making her want to offer herself up to the coffee gods in exchange for just one kiss, one hug.
Man, how did it get so warm in here?
“So did the moron ask you out or was this another one of Christine’s great ideas?” Gavin glanced at Christine, then turned to Molly. Did she only imagine that his dark chocolate brown eyes promised pleasures beyond her imagination? Scratch that, they were certainly within her imagination. She could feel herself blushing all over. Again. Curse of the fair-skinned redhead. She looked down and rubbed the edge of the table with her thumb.
“I resent that, Gavin,” said Christine. She flipped her dark hair over her shoulder, then pointed a red-lacquered nail at him. “If you can do better, be my guest. This guy had potential. Top-dollar real estate agent, good-looking, straight. Let’s see what you can do, Buster. Find Molly a date she actually likes. Someone she might want to have sex with.”
“Oh, God, Christine. Why don’t I just sit here naked? Would it be any more embarrassing?” Molly hid her face in her hands, while Claire and Christine laughed. She peeked through her fingers at Gavin. The sly grin had emerged, making her think he wouldn’t object to seeing her naked. She closed her eyes, but instead of soothing darkness, she saw her and Gavin, here, on the table, extremely naked, having wet orgasmic sex. She groaned. Her mid-afternoon break had not turned out to be very relaxing.
“I could do that,” said Gavin. “I could find Molly a date. A man she might want to have sex with.” He drew the word might out like the last note from his guitar, with all three women rapt until the very end.

Hope you all enjoyed those bits! Drop me a line sometime and keep writing!

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  1. Hi! What a fun post. And - Great excerpts, Letty! Can't wait to read them both.
    Merry holidays.

    1. Thank you, Laura! And a Merry Merry Holiday to you, too.

  2. Well, considering I've known you for a number of years now (note to others, we met in an online writing workshop), I learned things you've never mentioned before! Letty's got a great mystery series idea, too, that I got to play Beta reader on and have my fingers crossed that someone picks it up soon, too!

    Happy holidays, Letty, Cheryl, and all!

    Beth Daniels, aka Beth Henderson

    1. Thank you, Beth! And here I thought you knew all about me. That's whats great about being a writer -- there's always a little mystery in everything we do.

      Wishing everyone a productive and prosperous New Year!

  3. Yum! Hot men at the hot shoppe and hot men in kilts!! Where do we begin? Do we need to read these stories in order? Or can I be disorderly?

    1. Oh Sharon! Have you ever been orderly? Ha! What I love about these stories is you can start with any of them -- like a box of chocolates!

  4. I loved Delightful and Devilish! I can't wait to read the next Hot Shoppe book!