Tag Archives: Ceremony of Seduction

Book ideas from a hot woman on a gravestone?

Coveted Dreams JonVJones Where do book ideas come from? Everywhere and anywhere! Join me for a discussion of some of mine…funny, snarky and even serious. 🙂

I’m always asked where I find my book ideas. This picture by Jon V Jones was the inspiration for my popular Maiden series so I thought this would be a great place to start. I don’t even remember WHERE I first saw this picture. It was back in early 2004, so it might have even been in a local gallery.

I fell in love with the picture and stood looking at it for quite a while. My mind immediately started playing “What if?”  You know…that game we all played when we were little and got in trouble for when we got caught playing it in class and not playing attention?

Or maybe that was just me.

I think the part that fascinated me the most was how the stone was slowly flowing up her body as if she WAS turning to stone.

POOF!  My gargoyle warriors were born.  Some more “what if” time and it became Stone Maiden, the first book in my Maiden series, about 900 year old female gargoyle warriors who can turn to stone to fight and heal. God created them during the crusades to protect those being downtrodden in God’s name.  To date, that is my most popular and asked about series.

Unfortunately, the publisher I started it with, imploded, and my series was orphaned after the second book, Fire Maiden, but I do still plan to write Ice Maiden and Chaos Maiden! So stay tuned!

SEDUCING THE SUCCUBUSFor my Sisters of Darkness series, my husband and I were watching the History Channel. I don’t even remember the subject of the show, but they said that Lilith, the Demon who in Jewish Folklore was considered Adam’s first wife, made from the same dust of the earth he was. There are other folklore stories saying that she was the one who convinced Eve to eat the apple and then offer it to Adam in the Garden of Eden. For that treachery, that folklore considers her the first succubus.

That was about the same time I was trying to come up with a new series idea for my agent to shop around. So that little snippet fell on fertile ground…aka, my overactive imagination!

I started thinking what pressure that would be to be Lilith. Yes, per the story she convinced Eve to take the apple, but she didn’t MAKE her take it. And she didn’t MAKE Adam eat it, either. Humans were given free will. But Lilith ended up taking all the blame? Sounded like a bum rap to me!

So I started thinking about what a succubus would really do after that black mark on her resume…so to speak. For that matter, if they are immortal like many demons are thought to be, then what would they do with themselves as the world started to become more modernized.

What career path could you really go for when your only skills were temptation and killing men with too much sex? My snarky side first thought, “Lobbyist?” But that wasn’t really helping me with my new series idea. So I figured, if I were in that situation, with those jobs skills….I would probably go find a job at a high priced legal brothel. But then I needed some conflict for my book, so I started thinking that after living that long, they had probably pissed some other beings off. Thus, the Sisters of Darkness were born. The series is about 4 Succubus sisters in Hell’s version of the Witness Relocation Program.


rp_ceremony-of-seduction-sm.jpg For my Seduction Series, I had never written erotic before, and my friend and fellow critique partner, Brit Blaise, suggested I try my hand at one. My first thought was, what world can I build where it will be easy for my heroine to need lots of sex? After all, I like story with my sex in books, so it HAD to be integral to the story and make sense for my characters to need lots and lots of sex…LOL!

My son came home from school and said they were reading a book in class about how certain words became almost taboo in a culture. I don’t even remember what book they were reading now, but it ignited my imagination. I thought about the words I had issues with – which weren’t many. But I did find one that had always bothered me. In fact I saved that “C” word for the truly evil of the evil.

So, being my smart ass self, I decided to create a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. (Gives them a great reason to have LOTS of sex!). They started as one race on their home planet – they were called the Klatch. One faction called, yep – you guessed it…. the C%@*$, tried to overthrow the King and Queen and when they lost, they were banished to earth.  On earth the name of their race became synonymous with evil and betrayer…

I wrote the first three chapters and sent them off to Audrey LaFehr at Kensington. It’s a long story, but she bought a 3-book series off of that 3 chapter partial. She never blinked at my use of that word. I also used that offer to get my agent, Paige Wheeler, who also never blinked at that word.

I kept expecting somewhere along the way for someone to tell me I had to change it.  But nope…

In fact, Ceremony of Seduction is in its 2nd printing!! It is my best selling series under either pen name. I think that’s my most outlandish book idea story! And even better, it’s true!

rp_SleepingWithShadowsEbook_Medium-187x300.jpg Sleeping With Shadows came about because I was contacted by my first love who had found me on Classmates.com. He was older than me and in the Navy. My grandfather (a Navy SeaBee) had gotten his word that he wouldn’t do anything “dishonorable” with his granddaughter. They shook, and that was it. Anyway, I was too young and the intensity of emotion was too much for me to handle, and I broke up with him. But for a while there, I thought I had found the man I was going to marry. And many times after that as I grew up, got married, had my son, divorced, remarried etc, I thought about him and wondered what he was doing.

When we got back in contact we had a lot of catching up to do. We were both happy with our lives, but were grateful to have found each other again. In fact, he’s one of my oldest friends (no, smartasses – not in age!!) But once we were in touch again we kept in touch, emailing when our kids made some new milestone or we had fun things going on in our lives. My husband never minded me staying in contact, and in fact, when I was in the hospital for all that time just after my brain blowout, he called Phillip to let him know what had happened and so he could talk to me.

But during all those walks down memory lane, he and I did have quite a few discussions about “What if things had gone differently.” Neither of us would want to give up the happy lives we have today, but it was firmly planted in my imagination. Sleeping With Shadows came out of all of that, but, I, of course, had to add a paranormal twist and a bad guy! This book contains some true stories out of my past as well as a whole lot of imagination. It became a reincarnation with a twist story, and yes, I did send him a copy of it when I was done and he said he really enjoyed it 🙂

The Pleasure Project After my brain blowout in 2010, I was trying to get back into writing, and my wonderful agent, Paige Wheeler, found an opportunity for me to try to break back in. Kensington (who had bought my Seduction series) was looking for authors to be in a futuristic erotic anthology. They had a big name author as an anchor for the anthology, but they were looking for others to fill out the rest. Paige asked if was interested, and I jumped at the chance. I had never written futuristic, but I had read a lot of it and knew my critique group would help me brainstorm something.

My friend a critique partner, Kayla Janz, suggested a space pirate, and that got the imagination firing. But I like to turn things on their head, so rather than having the normal male space pirate, My heroine became the infamous space pirate, Red Death. She spacejacks our hero and takes HIM as her sex slave!!

There’s more to it than that, since she also drags him into a war between two worlds and much more, but that was the main idea. One of my favorite characters to write in that book has both been raved about and panned by different readers and reviewers. The idea came from my friend and critique partner, Brit Blaise. I had Dani (aka Red Death) using a sex toy in one of the early scenes. When Brit critiqued it, she pointed out (rightly so) that in the future, there probably wouldn’t be VIBRATORS….so, the Pleasure Probe was born. And my heroine regretted buying the talking model!!

Needless to say, this thing can also fly, and enjoys taunting all the male characters–especially our sexy hero, to prove they can offer Dani better “equipment” than the probe can…LOL.

I have several other books published and each of those have their own spark of an idea. All book ideas come from somewhere! I have a growing file of book ideas, and I would have to live to be 250 to write all of THOSE!

How about you? Any of you have great book idea stories?


What inspired my books @TinaGerow

Coveted Dreams JonVJonesCoveted Dreams JonVJones

I remember stumbling on a link to Jon V Jones‘ website on My Space – yup – it was that long ago…LOL! My first book, Into a Dangerous Mind had just been published and my mind was wide open for new book ideas. And then I clicked on the link which would change my life! 🙂

This picture captured my imagination and this beautiful woman with large black wings who was slowly turning to stone became Ariel in Stone Maiden.  I started thinking about women who turned to stone. What world would that be, why would this happen….and my writer brain kicked in from there.

From this picture came a race of female gargoyle warriors created by God during the Crusades to protect those who were being unjustly persecuted in Her name. Now it’s modern day and these 4 are the last gargoyles left of a large army. So what do 4 women who have fought and protected people for 900 years do in modern day Texas?? They hire themselves out as body guards!!

But when the Angel Gabriel asks them to protect a country music songwriter who is being targeted by all the local paranormal beasties they find themselves embroiled in prophesy and using their cunning and fighting skills once again. That simple spark of an idea from that beautiful picture became The Maiden Series. So I owe that series idea to Jon V Jones!

I was recently looking for the picture above – Coveted Dreams and couldn’t find it on his site since it’s an older one. I contacted him and asked him about it and he dug out the link and sent it to me. He’s a REALLY nice guy and I sent him Stone Maiden and Fire Maiden and when I eventually get to write Ice Maiden and Chaos Maiden I told him I’d send those too. And now I have a beautiful copy of Coveted Dreams to frame and hang up! 🙂 I’m mesmerized by his art and I’m sure there are more great book ideas lurking in there!!

For The Sister of Darkness Series I wrote for Berkley, that idea spark came from the history channel. I don’t remember the name of the show but it was talking about how they think Lilith was considered the original succubus.  I had written succubus characters before in the Maiden Series and had a Succubus serial killer in Vortex Blues, so I was already sort of fascinated by that species. And really, let’s be honest, if you’re writing a paranormal erotic – what better character could you have than several succubus? Talk about motivation to have lots of sex – uh….you die if you don’t have it? Yup – great characters for an erotic. Throw in some Archangels some demons and the 3 horsemen of the apocalypse and you have a story about 4 Succubus in Hell’s Version of the Witness Relocation Program. Berkley only picked up the first two books, Seducing the Succubus and The Demon & The Succubus, but as I get time in between paying projects I’ll write the last two in this series too.

Two orphaned series (Maiden & Sisters of Darkness) means I’ll have to get those written as soon as I can!

My Seduction Series started because I wanted to try my hand at writing erotic. Before that my work was purely sensual. My buddy and the lady who started my critique group, The Butterscotch Martini Girls, Brit Blaise was already writing erotics and doing quite well. Multi published and kick ass in her genre. So when I said I wanted to try it out she was more than happy to help me. So I searched for an idea that would give my characters plenty of motivation to have sex. After all, I like plot with my sex, not just mindless sex. If a hero and heroine are being chased by bad guys and stop to have sex, they deserve to die a horrible death. That makes them what we call TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) lol…

So after watching a show on the Salem Witch Trials, followed by Practical Magic, my twisted mind came up with a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. LOTS of motivation for my characters to have LOTS of sex!!

I wrote the first chapter and gave it to Brit Blaise to critique and her feedback was that I needed to have the heroine masturbate in that first chapter to get the story moving…LOL! I laughed at that but took her advice! And the first book in that series, Ceremony of Seduction went into a second printing and is my best selling book of all time. 🙂 So I owe my Cassie Ryan success to Brit Blaise!! Thanks, girl 🙂

Take It Off was actually written for an anthology with 3 other authors that never happened so it was published as a standalone book. At that time it was the hottest Tina Gerow book (it was pre-Cassie Ryan) It was just a fun idea that came to me after watching some episodes of Cat House on HBO 🙂

A woman and a man have a hot one night stand but feel a definite connection and promise to “call.” Her mother has a health emergency and calls her daughter back to run the family’s legal Nevada brothel while her mother recovers. He goes to a bachelor party at that same legal Nevada brothel and assumptions abound on both sides.:) That was VERY fun to write!

Vortex Blues was sparked by a simple weekend trip to Sedona.  Sedona is known for its energy vortexes, which lends itself very well to paranormal.  So add in a Succubus Serial killer a Cop who isn’t warm and fuzzy with “paranormals” and a sexy Succubus who has to help him track down the killer and you have a really fun story! 🙂

My latest Tina Gerow release, Sleeping With Shadows, was sparked when I was contacted out of the blue by my first boyfriend, Phillip. Oddly enough we met when I filled in for the Sun City orchestra pit for Guys & Dolls. Their clarinet player was out and they called my high school band director who suggested me to fill in. Phillip and I literally clicked at first sight. And believe it or not I was 14 and he was 19. He was in the Navy and my grandfather, who was a SeaBee in the Navy, got Phillip’s word of honor that he wouldn’t do anything he shouldn’t with me 🙂 And he didn’t. Although I did get my first kiss and some great memories from Phillip.

Life happened and after dating for a year or so I didn’t see him again until I was in college and 21. We clicked again with that strong connection snapping back into place, but I was already moving to Texas to be a band director and moving in with my first husband (well, he wasn’t my husband yet…) Although I admit I was extremely tempted to scrap those plans and explore things with Phillip. We had always had this unexplainable connection and I think it scared both of us a little. So once again we drifted apart. Then one day out of the blue I got an email from him. He had found me on Classmates. I was married to my current hubby, Jon, and back in Phoenix. He came to Arizona often to see his grandma and once again we both felt that electric connection but were both happily married to others, so nothing came of it but a renewed friendship. Anyway – that ignited my writer’s brain and it became Sleeping With Shadows, a reincarnation with a twist story. Which explores that intense connection and the idea of soul mates and finding them in our many lifetimes. I think that’s the best book I’ve ever written and is my only self published book.

There are more books and ideas, but you get the idea. Book idea sparks come from everywhere, and writer’s brain will have me writing until my last breath 🙂 Have I mentioned how much I love my job???


My 10 “favorite” writing pet peeves @tinagerow


I suppose “favorite” might be an interesting description for pet peeves, but I think of it more as the ones that make me chuckle and shake my head at the same time rather than the ones that make me grind my teeth, if that makes sense!

I think in every profession, people have irritants or pet peeves. I know I have had in every job I’ve ever held. But writing has some interesting ones. And here are some of mine:

1. When people on Facebook send me an invite to an even that’s halfway across the country or even in another country. Uh….yeah, I’m in Arizona, so probably not going to make it to Australia this weekend to attend your book release party at that restaurant you listed. But thanks…

2. People on Twitter who get irritated when you have to abbreviate to get your message into the 140 characters. You know, like Sum1, or B4 etc. When you’re working with only 140 characters, you need to get creative sometimes and if it is still readable, don’t tell me I sound illiterate by doing it. Grrrrr….

3. People who tell me that I’m too Polyanna and shouldn’t post all that “positive” and motivational stuff because I’m a writer, after all, and should just post stuff about my books. Sigh…

4. When they find out you’re a writer, people who don’t consider you a “real” writer unless you’ve hit the NYT or USA Today Best Seller’s list. I WILL hit them both one of these days, but discounting my books, or me because I’m not there yet just irritates the crap out of me! Just me?

5. I had a woman send me an email that she had just read one of my erotic books (written as Cassie Ryan) and she just wanted to write me to tell me I was going to hell. Really? You just said you read the entire book! I’ll save you a seat next to the male hookers, lady! Yeah – she wasn’t too appreciative of that answer, and yes, I sent it….shouldn’t have lost my temper…but hey – I’m not perfect – which is apparently why she thinks I’m going to Hell…snerk!

6. Book promotion companies, freelance editors, cover artists, copyeditors etc who send me numerous emails or post on my Facebook wall about their services. If I need/want those services I’ll come find you. Usually by word of mouth from my trusted friends and fellow authors. If you’re being annoying and sound like a used car salesman with whatever you’re selling you’re going to end up on my “Nope – not doing any business with them” list.

7. Other writers who get mad/pissy when I don’t have time to critique their stuff, or when our critique group isn’t accepting any new members. It’s an established critique group of over 10 years. We work well as we are, and we are full. We are under no obligation to accept new members, and telling us we’re being elitist and snobby isn’t really a good way to get your name in the running if we ever ARE looking for a new member. Just sayin’

8. People who write to tell me what a horrible cover I have on whatever book they are looking at. I know not all my covers are wonderful. But honestly – I have little to no control over those published through a publisher. Some of them ask me for descriptions of the characters (and then don’t follow them) and possibly my suggestions for the cover (and then don’t follow them…lol) but other than my one self pubbed book – Sleeping With Shadows – I had little to no control over those covers. Interestingly enough – Ceremony of Seduction won worst cover of the year through some review site that I can’t remember the name of right now and the sales skyrocketed after that. Probably from getting so many mentions and the cover being reposted a gazillion times. Snicker…

9. When I’m sitting at Starbucks writing and sipping chai and I have to pee!!!!!! I can’t just leave my laptop there, so I have to slip it in my laptop bag, I’ll usually leave a coat or something like that on the squishy chair in hopes it will still be available when I come back, but then I drag the laptop bag etc to the restroom and then come back and pull the laptop out again and get re-set up so I can continue writing…snerk! It is SO much easier when I have a writing buddy to go with who can watch my stuff while I take a bio break, but usually at Starbucks I’m on my own. My critique group does sometimes have writing breakfasts at various places and then we can take bio breaks and leave our stuff there. Yeah – pet peeve, but not something I can do much about changing until I can convince someone to be my Starbucks writing buddy…LOL!

10. People who read over your shoulder as you’re writing/typing and then criticize what you’re writing. A few years ago I was writing at Starbucks in my favorite squishy chair and a woman asked me how I could write that “smut” all day! I told her that the chai lattes helped a lot. She huffed off… LOL. Then don’t be freaking reading over my shoulder, lady!!! It’s not like I was reading it out loud and exposing the masses to my “smut” 🙂

11. People who DO read their stuff out loud or make sure they talk loudly about what they are writing when they are at Starbucks… If I go there to write, that’s what I do. I’m not there to see and be seen. I love the energy of writing somewhere like that. I put my headphones in and listen to my writing soundtrack – which consists of lots of movie soundtracks (without words – otherwise I’ll type the words!!) and I sit, sip my chai and play with my characters. But lots of people apparently go there to see and be seen “writing” although I doubt they are getting much done! One guy even handed out full sheets of paper with his website and his list of twenty (self pubbed) books etc. I’m not knocking self pebbling – hell, one of my 14 published books is self pubbed. But generally, people like this guy didn’t want to go through the process of getting it published so he slapped a book together without editing or copyediting and added a cover (horrible, judging from the pictures he provided) and then will get pissed when people give him bad reviews or tell him that they refuse to pay $15 on Amazon for his epic 500K word ebook.

12. Top 10 lists that go over 10!!! Snicker…

What’s it like to be a working author with an agent?


I ‘m often asked this question.  I do know many other authors with agents, and all of us have a different experience due to several factors, but I can tell you MY experiences.

Let me just state for the record, that I don’t know everything there is to know about any of this by far! And this process/experience seems to change daily depending on the author and agent involved, the market, the house, the editors, the winds, or whatever… But this is what I know at this moment in time 🙂

Let’s start at the beginning. No, not the beginning of my writing career back when I signed on with my agent, just the beginning of MY experience with my agent. Paige Wheeler is my agent, and she’s fabulous. We’ve been together since 2005.

I did spend two years submitting without an agent. I started writing seriously for publication in 2003 and quickly published with a small press who is long gone…

Needless to say, I like the process WITH an agent a WHOLE lot better! I know some authors don’t like paying the 15% or whatever percentage they pay to their agent off the top of their advances/royalties etc, but I’ve never once regretted it. Paige earns every penny, and makes my life a whole lot easier and enables me to concentrate on getting more books out there faster, as long as my brain cooperates!

So anyway, before this process even starts I usually send myself any book ideas that pop up. What I mean by that is that I set up a rule in my Microsoft Outlook that if I send myself an email with the subject Book Idea, then it pops it in a folder I have set up with, yup – you guessed it – book ideas 🙂

As I go through daily life, any time a book idea or even something that might be a fun idea to go IN another book or series at some point pops into my brain – I break out the iphone or the laptop and send myself an email.

Then when Paige and I are ready to start a “round” of this process, she and I talk and we decide what direction or genre I’m going for. We used to just always aim for paranormal romance, or erotic paranormal romance, depending on which pen name I was aiming for a contract in. However, with the recent changes in the market, the genre and direction have been a discussion lately as well.

Once I have those in mind, I go through that folder of ideas and pick out the ones that I think might work – usually the ones that “speak to me” or resonate with me in some way at that time, then I add any new ones that might percolate up and mold all of them into a manageable list of ideas that I might like to write a book or series about.

I let those simmer in my mind a few days, or even gather together my critique group – The Butterscotch Martini Girls for some brainstorming, and I make sure those ideas have enough of a blurb to convey the major characters, the main conflicts (both for the overall story and for each major character), and some ideas on the story arc and HEA. (Since I write romance there’s always an HEA (that’s Happily Ever After for those not familiar with romance genre acronyms.)

Then I send those off to Paige and keep letting those cook inside my brain.

Usually by this point I have a few frontrunners that I would really like to write about, and I always make sure to let Paige know which are my favorites when I send them back.

If she and I agree that those are good, full ideas and she thinks there’s somewhere that we can sell/pitch them to, then I’ll take the chosen idea(s) and write a synopsis and first three chapters.

Now let me clarify this point. This has been pretty standard practice for me, especially when we’re pitching to an editor or house I’ve never written for before. I’m not sure how many other authors do it this way, but Paige and I do.

However, in the past when I’ve already been writing for a house/editor and was just pitching a new book/series – for say, a first look, then I could just flesh out an idea and/or synopsis and go with that unless that editor asked for more. For the last anthology I did for KensingtonThe Pleasure Project – I had already done three books for Audrey La Fehr (Ceremony, Vison & Trio of Seduction) so she just asked for a blurb, and offered a contract from that since she already knows I can write a book, meet a deadline and all the rest, and I was just going to be one of a few other authors in that anthology, not writing an entire novel length story that would sell or not on my pen name/reputation alone.

But before that, when I fulfilled my contract and wrote all three books in the Seduction Series, I owed Kensington a first look. What that means is that when I signed my contract there was a first look clause. It’s pretty standard for most contracts and says something to the effect of they get the first shot at the next thing I’m going to write in that genre and/or pen name after I fulfill my contract with them, (the specifics can change depending on how the clause/contract is written etc, but we’re just going for general idea here…)

So at that point, I wrote up just a synopsis for the next series/idea I wanted to write for them.

Then what happens is they can accept it, and the process goes from there, they can “pass”, which is a nice way of saying they rejected it (or at least to me it is…lol), and then you’re free to submit that somewhere else – which also means you’ve fulfilled your first look clause and are no longer obligated to submit new things to them per that clause in your contract.

However, if I’m taking that idea that my old house passed on and now I’m trying to submit to a new house/editor I’ve never written for before, I would need to write up the first three chapters along with the synopsis I’ve already written. Now I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case if I were Nora Roberts, Stephen King or J.K Rowling. But since I’m Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan – that’s still the case for me 🙂 – at least for now…but I’m optimistic!


A quick point here. I’ve sold books to New York as Cassie Ryan before. Cassie Ryan is an established New York author with sales numbers in the system that any editor/agent/sales department can look up. However, Tina Gerow is purely a small press published author and has no numbers in the system that editors/agents/sales depts can look up, so from a New York perspective, Tina Gerow is a brand new author. That’s not to say that they wouldn’t look at the fan base I’ve built or the popularity of past books I’ve written etc. It just means that when an editor goes to their sales director and tries to pitch buying my book – if it’s got the Tina Gerow name on it and not the Cassie Ryan name, that sales director will be looking at me with the risk/benefit to them of a new author – give or take some of those mitigating circumstances I talked about above.

But I’m sure you can see that if an editor goes to the sales department with a new book written by an author who has established sales in the system they can look at – and GOOD established sales in the system, vs an author who is brand new and unknown that they will be more apt to green light the first author.

Yes, I know that I’m the exact same person, and regardless of the two names, I write both sets of books. But the thinking is that readers will “know” the New York published name and may or may not know the non-New York published name. Thus the sales won’t directly cross over between the two.

And that’s true. I’m not secretive about either of my pen names. I don’t have a job or family reason to be, so I’m totally open about both. I do have crossover readers – readers who love both my Cassie books and my Tina books. But then I also have readers who only like the Cassie books or only like the Tina books. The biggest difference is that the Tina books are sensual and the Cassie books are erotic with a good dose of kink – although not a large dose of kink…LOL.

So if I sell a new book as Tina and they see it at their local Barnes & Noble on the shelves, the name Tina Gerow may or may not get them to pick it up, even if they are aware of the fact that I wrote both the Cassie books they’ve loved and the other Tina books. Make sense?

So going back to where I’ve fulfilled the first look clause and am now ready to have my synopsis and first three chapters submitted to new editors.

Paige looks over the synopsis and first three chapter and we discuss any areas that need to be beefed up or possibly changed outright. And let me make it clear that these are Paige’s suggestions. An agent works for an author. In effect, I pay Paige 15% of my writing income to help me in several aspects of my career. So she and I discuss things and she gives me her best suggestions on how she thinks my work will be viewed in the best light, and suggestions on how to move my writing career in the direction that I want it to go. After all, she’s got lots more experience in the business and with the editors we’ll be pitching to than I do. And I’ve learned to trust her opinion.

There have been times in the past when she’s asked me if I wanted to accept or turn down a contract that’s been offered. It’s up to me. I don’t HAVE to accept it!! Or to sign it! But like I said, I know and trust Paige’s opinion and if she advises that there’s something in my synopsis/three chapters that didn’t make sense or needs to be strengthened, I believe her and I go back and take a look at it!

Once we are both satisfied that they are in good shape and ready to submit, she and I discuss which houses and editors to submit to. She’ll tell me where she thinks would be good and will ask me if there’s anywhere else I would like to have them submitted. And if I’ve heard of some new line/editor/house and want to know her insight into them I ask this too – although I can ask her that at any time, not just during this process!

Once we have a firm list of where to submit, Paige goes to work and starts submitting. She’ll give me periodic updates – X, Y & Z passed on the project (there’s that nice word for rejected again…), X would like to see something slightly different and would like to know if you’d be willing to work up THAT, to which my answer is usually, SURE!

And then my favorite one – X is offering a contract for X number of books in a series – or a stand alone book etc, the advance is $X and the deadline/word count etc is…”

At this point in the process most of the contract details are NOT nailed down. But since I’ve been through this several times, those basic pieces of information are enough for me to say if I’m interested in the offer as is, or if I want to see if they can make some changes to the basics.

Once that’s negotiated and we’ve agreed on the basics, then Paige and her team go to work on the nitty gritty legalese – another reason I’m glad she’s on my side! That stuff makes my eyes cross. Although I DO read every word of every contract I ever sign. AND I make sure I understand it BEFORE I sign it. If I don’t understand something or I need more clarification, I call Paige and she patiently explains it to me. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to sign ANY contract without reading and understanding it first!

So once all the legal beagles have duked it out and smoothed everything to their satisfaction, and to mine, we sign the contract and we’re off.

And most likely once we’ve agreed on the basics I’m already off and running writing the rest of the book!

It would take another blog entirely to outline my experience from there (I’ll make a note to do that in an upcoming blog), but once the book is turned in, and usually before it’s even released, Paige and I get together and we start this process all over again! And the cycle continues…

Happy writing, everyone!


Ceremony of Seduction by Cassie Ryan

cassie ryan, ceremony of seductionCeremony of Seduction

When Dreams Of Desire – Twenty-three-year-old Alyssa Moss has lived her whole life in the shadow of her beautiful family. Voluptuous where they are lean, brunette where they are blonde, Alyssa is convinced she is an ugly duckling who will never become a swan. The only thing that sustains her is a recurring dream in which a seductive stranger named Stone worships and pleasures every inch of her. But maddeningly, Stone always disappears just as Alyssa is on the edge of dizzying ecstasy—with a puzzling promise that one day he will find her. That day has come. Become Reality…For years, Stone has searched for the kidnapped first princess of his people—an other-worldly clan whose life-force is sexual energy. Alyssa is that princess, stolen by a rival faction and banished to live on Earth. But now Stone has found her and will return her to her rightful home, one in which she will own the curvaceous body she was born with—and the passionate desire that throbs within it as she learns an endless variety of delicious pleasures and discovers the infinite power she feels when all her cravings are satisfied.

Buy it now!

5.0 out of 5 stars Ceremony of Seduction, August 9, 2007
Alyssa Moss has lived a sad life in the shadow of her beautiful family members. One of the only things that keeps her sane is the nightly visits from a beautiful man named Stone, though he always takes her on a wild ride but leaves before the act is consummated. It leaves her frustrated and makes her take matters into her own hands.For twenty-three years, First Prince Stone of the Klacks has searched for the kidnapped Princess Alyssandra. He can connect with her in her dreams, but he has not found her physical body. Now that he’s located her, he’s over the moon. He tells her that she is the First Princess of Tador, the chosen Queen, and he is her betrothed.

Alyssa can’t believe her luck. She’s never felt at home with her family and now she’s finally found people that look like her and make her feel at home. These people are highly sexual and she feels right at home with them until she hears about the ceremony for her twenty-fourth birthday, her coming of age. That makes her just a tad nervous. She has other things to worry about too, like the fact that the race of people who held her captive for twenty-three years, want her back so they can have their own ceremony and extract revenge on the people of Tador.

From the first erotic word to the last sensual line, Ceremony of Seduction wove a spell around me and didn’t let go. I loved the world that Ms. Ryan created. The people of Tador are highly sensual and very loving. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them all and the way Ms. Ryan portrays them.

I can’t wait for the second book in the series to see how things play out. Tador is a fantastic world that I hope Ms. Ryan plans to write about again and again so I can revisit it each time.

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed

Buy it now!

Happy Friday

Hi everyone! I’m still in shock that it is already Friday again and October already zoomed by.

Anyway, November is shaping up to be a crazy/busy month for me. Not only am I trying to get Triangle of Seduction (the third in the Seduction series) done by the end of the year, but I have eight Pampered Chef shows scheduled so far in November. Great for my paycheck, but I have a feeling I’ll be exhausted at the end of November…LOL! (BTW, I will be having a Black Friday Pampered Chef sale if you are interested.)

But that also means that my brain is firmly entrenched in those two topics. So, instead of a deep, introspective post, you get my ramblings.

My agent called me a few weeks ago to tell me that sales for Ceremony of Seduction are doing very well, so you can bet I’m doing a happy dance! But there are still plenty of the books on shelves for you to go and pick up! If you would like to read an excerpt and see my book video – you can check out my website – http://www.cassieryan.com or my MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/cassieryan44.

Just remember, this is a hot and steamy book and it will definitely heat up your weekend. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve gotten from people who said they and their significant other read the book together and shared many…uh…”hot” hours of “closeness.”

On that note – I’m off to write and get going on my every growing To Do list.

Have a great weekend!!


Deadline Stress & Other Maladies

Since my deadline is causing me major stress right now, you have two choices – you can go back to my post last Friday and re-read that and be uber impressed that I actually blogged on something informational while I’m having my stress meltdown (Rationalization – always a favorite 🙂 Or, you can just let me remind you that my contest for a signed copy of Ceremony of Seduction is over next week. I will have my kiddo draw the winner at random early next week from among all those who are subscribed to my monthly Tina/Cassie email newsletter.

If you’d like to subscribe, head on over to my MySpace page and look down the right hand side (Under the glittery thong and the slideshow of my cover and pic) and you can subscribe right there 🙂

Anyway, think productive story thoughts for me, will ya? I’m off to Starbucks with my iPOD and laptop and will be there until my butt falls asleep in the chair. (Talk about leaving you all with an ice pick visual picture! LOL)


Ceremony of Seduction burning up the lists!

I’m really excited!  Ceremony of Seduction is #6 on the Barnes & Noble Bestseller’s List for Erotic Romance!  Woo Hoo! 

Quick – check it out before it moves!  http://btobsearch.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?SRT=S&z=y&btob=Y&SZE=10&WRD=erotic+romance&Go%21.x=19&Go%21.y=10

I can’t seem to get the picture in here so you’re going to have to click quick and hope it doesn’t move unless it’s up! 🙂




Ceremony of Seduction Released!!!!


Ceremony of Seduction Cover



Woo Hoo!  I just got back from my local Borders store and not only do they have seven copies of Ceremony of Seduction, but it’s displayed face out.  Snoopy Dance!!!!  So run, don’t walk, to your local store and pick one up!  Also, I’ve had several readers ask me if they mail me their book, will I sign it.  Definitely!!  Just ensure you enclose a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope and I’ll be happy to sign and send it back to you.  (Please make sure you have the right postage!)  My addy is on my website!

I’ll be sending out my monthly newsletter later in the week (it comes out under the Tina Gerow name, but it has my Cassie Ryan news too!)  To celebrate my first release as Cassie Ryan, I will be holding a contest where I will give away a $25 gift certificate to Borders or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice.)  Everyone who is subscribed to my monthly newsletter is eligible.  If you’d like to subscribe, head on out to my Cassie Ryan MySpace page and you can subscribe there.  I will have my kidlet draw the winner at the end of August before I leave for Heather Graham’s Writer’s for New Orleans Conference.



Lay Down Dates and Other Party Games…

As most of you know, my first book as Cassie Ryan is getting ready to release.  And the Kensington Aprhodisia line usually has four books releasing a month.  So, when I saw on the loops yesterday that there were beginning to be Ceremony of Seduction sightings, as well as the other three books which are July 31st releases with mine, I wanted to go see for myself.  Before I could sign off my computer last night, an email popped in from a reader telling me how much they enjoyed Ceremony of Seduction, and asking when the next one would be out. 

Okay – great news that people are already liking it.  And fan mail is always better than “YOU SUCK” mail 🙂  So, today, I headed down to my local book store.  The other three books set to release with mine are on the shelf and available to buy, but mine was nowhere to be found.  When I asked at the desk they said it was still listed as not yet released.  Hmmm, okay.  I asked if it had a hard laydown date and I got a deer in the headlights look.

For those of you not familiar with a laydown date, let me give you a quick tutorial, at least as far as I understand it.  A laydown date is the date the book can hit the shelves.  Usually bookstores don’t follow them as law unless the publisher ensures the date is followed.  And for an author’s first book – as you might have guessed, most publishers don’t push too much to ensure it is followed.  So, why the big deal with laydown dates?  Tracking for lists (you know, NYT Bestsellers, USA Today and etc) starts at the laydown date, so any sales before that date don’t count toward making the lists.  Now, you might not think a new author (or one with a new pen name) is in any danger of this happening – but you never know!  And it helps to understand how these things work.

Anyway, back to our story.  From the first bookstore, I headed over to the second close-by store.  Nope – none of my books there either and once again, when I mentioned laydown date I got the deer in the headlights look.  Sigh…  All they could tell me was that maybe it will release closer to the July 31st date. 

So, what have I learned?  Well – my book is out there somewhere, and people are reading it and liking it 🙂  Which is definitely good news!  But if you want to help me get a fun, hot, irreverent book onto the lists – mark your calendar for July 31st and go grab a copy of Ceremony of Seduction then 🙂

How’s that for shameless self promotion?  LOL!