Tag Archives: Cassie Ryan

My Addiction by Cassie Ryan Now Available

My Addiction Now Available

ABOUT MY ADDICTION

my addiction, club desire, loveswept, cassie ryan, tina gerowIn a novel of erotic passion and deep commitment from the author of My Obsession, an undercover cop finds a soulmate who surrenders to his healing touch.

Fiercely independent and determined to free herself from her father’s manipulation, tech expert Kate Freewill finds a refuge in L.A.’s elite BDSM dungeon scene as the hot new thing to political and Hollywood A-listers. Still, all that glitters gets old, and Kate soon tires of the stream of well-heeled masters who expect her to be at their beck and call. Then she meets a very different kind of Dom—one whose quiet confidence, strength, and command bring her most willingly to her knees.

Undercover FBI agent Dex Alexander fits right into his assignment to expose terrorist links to one of L.A.’s most popular clubs. The case has reawakened a desire to find the perfect companion, and he knows that beautiful, vulnerable Kate is a woman he could love. But when her father’s corruption unwittingly makes Kate the target of a bigger enemy, Dex brings her to his Phoenix home—and his dungeon, Club Desire. Here she shows him just how eager she is to give him everything . . . and more.

Praise for Cassie Ryan’s My Obsession

“Fantastic . . . This series has been placed on my automatic buy list!”—Plot Twist Reviews (5 stars)

“A lovely story of second chances and learning that sometimes it’s okay to lean on someone else.”—FMR Book Grind

“I was seriously engrossed in this book and I will be waiting for the next book! If you like them hot with a plot, you’ll want to grab this one for sure!”—Crazy Four Books

My Addiction is intended for mature audiences. This eBook includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Click here to buy now!

Now Available: My Obsession by Cassie Ryan

Available Now – Released July 21, 2015

my obsession, cassie ryan

In this erotic story of temptation and total surrender for readers of Sylvia Day and J. Kenner, a powerful master gives his dream girl a new beginning in the dungeons of decadent ecstasy.

Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.

My Obsession is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences. Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-1-101-88381-5
Published by : Loveswept

 

Tina Gerow Interview Series

Hi, I’m Lisa Pietsch and I thought it would be fun to ask Tina a few hundred questions about herself and her work.  Some of the Q&A is pretty tame but a few of these will probably get downright weird (after all, it is Tina answering the questions).  So buckle up and hold on tight…

Here’s Tina!

Where are you from?

dayton-postcardI was born in Dayton, Ohio, but we moved to Arizona when I was still a baby.  So I grew up in the searing heat of Phoenix.  I still tease my Dad and sisters who are still in Ohio that I’m shoveling sunshine while they’re shoveling snow.  I’m sure they’re flipping me off on their side of the phone/email, but hey – I’ll take heat over the cold any day!!  I lived in Pearland, Texas, for 10 years after college and actually used my Instrumental Music Education degree for a few years.  But then Darian came along and kidlet changed my direction and here I am back in Arizona and only a mile from where I grew up!

Tell us your latest news?

Pinky_and_the_BrainI’m excited to be writing for the Random House Loveswept line!  After the brain blowout and a few slow years of writing, Cassie Ryan rides again!  Yay! 🙂  The first book in my Club Desire series –My Obsession, releases next month, July 21st!  In other news, I’m taking over the world….oh wait, that’s Pinky, not me….whatever!  I’m bringing kink to the masses, so same thing, right??

When and why did you begin writing?

my obsessionI’ve been writing all my life.  I wrote my first story in kindergarten with the help of my teacher, Mr. Riggins.  It was about a ghost who liked to come into classrooms while the kids were trying to take tests and stick his head up through their desk and the paper they were trying to write on…LOL!  I kept writing over the years and have found some of my old stories here and there.  I was sort of a warped kid – I know – still am!  Anyway, by the time I got to high school, I was in Accelerated English – it’s now called AP, but I went to high school back in the middle ages…snerk!  One of my favorite English Teachers, Mrs. Bailey told me that I was a really good writer, but if I wanted to be published someday I probably needed to stop writing the weird stuff and tone down the sarcasm.  I stopped listening after she told me I was a good writer – I was walking on air that she thought that.  Loved her!  So I took my dream of being a published writer with me and mentioned it now and then, but was too busy with life to pursue it.  But then, my hubby Jon told me that I always talk about it, I should just go do it!  That was in August 2003.  And I went to the local Romance Writer’s of America chapter meeting and never looked back.  My first book, Into a Dangerous Mind was published in 2005 and I haven’t stopped since….but sorry Mrs. Bailey – I still firmly embrace the weird stuff and sarcasm 🙂

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

i-love10I think I’m sort of weird in this category.  I considered myself a writer long before I was published.  When I wrote that first story in kindergarten and Mr. Riggins was proud of me, I considered myself a writer, and that never stopped.  I DID continue to dream of being a published author.  But I think if you write and you love it, you’re a writer.

What inspired you to write your first book?  

I had a friend who had some psychic gifts and I was curious and grilled him about certain aspects of it.  A story began to spin inside my head and turned into a psychic serial killer preying on women with untapped psychic potential!  I did mention my penchant for the dark/weird stuff, right?  Mrs. Bailey was right!!

Stay tuned for more in my series of interviews with Tina!

Upcoming Tasty Virtual Book Tour

My Obsession: Club Desire # 1 by Cassie Ryan

July 13th through July 31st, 2015

myobsession-banner

Tasty Book Tours is organizing a Tasty Virtual Tour for MY OBSESSION: Club Desire, a Contemporary Erotic Romance Series by Cassie Ryan, releasing with Loveswept on July 21, 2015.

The Tour will run from July 13th through July 31st, 2015.

The Tour will consist of Interview (3 Stops ONLY), Promo, Excerpt, Guest Post (3 Stops ONLY) and Review Stops.

Digital Galley is available for Request at NetGalley.

Media Kit, Tour Banner and Cover will be distributed about a week prior to the start of the tour.

Loveswept will be hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for Loveswept Mug, Flirt Mug and Ebook Bundle

If you have any questions about the tour, please contact Lisa at Tastybooktours@live.com, as the author is not involved in the tour preparations.

About the Book

cover64230-mediumIn this story of temptation and total surrender for readers of Sylvia Day and J. Kenner, a powerful master gives his dream girl a new beginning in the dungeons of decadent ecstasy.

Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.

268 Pgs. |Heat Level: 4

Purchase: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

Tour Schedule

July 13th- Mignon Mykel: Reviews– Rev/Exc

(Stop 2) Lush Book Review– P/Exc
(Stop 3) Born to Read Books – Promo

July 14th- Erotic Romance News- P/Exc

(Stop 2) Crazy Four Books- Rev/P

July 15th- JJ’s Kinky Books – Rev/P

(Stop 2) Bibliophile Wonderland Reviews– P/Exc
(Stop 3)  Deanna’s World – Rev/Exc

July 16th- Ramblings from this Chick– Rev/GP (1)
(Stop 2) Shyla Wolff’s Thoughts- Promo

July 17th- She Hearts Books- Rev/P
(Stop 2) FMR Book Grind– Rev/P

July 20th– Book Bitches Blog – Rev/Exc

(Stop 2) Between the Lines– Rev/P
(Stop 3) Books Need TLC– Rev/P

July 21st- Jen’s Reading Obsession- P/Exc

(Stop 2) Wicked Reads– Rev/Exc

July 22nd – Craves the Angst – P/GP (2)

(Stop 2) Underneath the Covers- P/Exc

July 23rd- I am Indeed – Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) Alpha Book Club- Rev/P

July 24th- Life with Two Boys- Rev/P
(Stop 2) The Jeep Diva– Rev/P
(Stop 3) Wendy-Miller Blog– Rev/P/Exc

July 27th- Bambi Unbridled- Rev/P/Exc
(Stop 2) – Those Crazy Book Chicks – P/Exc

July 28th- We Stole Your Book Boyfriend– Rev/P

July 29th- Cat’s Reviews – Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) In the Binding– GP/P

July 30th- Ellesea Loves Reading– P/Exc
(Stop 2) Crystal Blogs Books – Rev/P

July 31st- Booklover Sue– Rev/P

(Stop 2) Channelling Colee– Rev/P

If you want to participate in this tour, please email Tastybooktours@live.com with the following:

-Blog Name & URL

-Date Request

-Type of Stop (Interview (3), Guest Post (3), Promo, Excerpt or Review)

-Email Address, if NOT a Tasty Tour Host

About The Author

Cassie Ryan (aka Tina Gerow) started her career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners suggested she try her hand at contemporary romance, she gave it a shot—and Cassie Ryan was officially born. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

My Obsession Available for Preorder

On Sale: July 21, 2015

my obsession, cassie ryan

In this erotic story of temptation and total surrender for readers of Sylvia Day and J. Kenner, a powerful master gives his dream girl a new beginning in the dungeons of decadent ecstasy.

Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.

My Obsession is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences. Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-1-101-88381-5
Published by : Loveswept

 

#WritingTips – Fun snippets of writing tips to make you smile!

Every now and then I’ll go on a Twitter binge and post a bunch of writing tips or pet peeves or whatever else is on my mind that day.  So since I have the TimeHop application on my iPhone I can see what I posted in previous years on this day.  And apparently two years ago on this day, I went on a writing tips binge so I was inspired to do it again this morning.

For those of you not familiar with Twitter – if you’re posting something under a topic you want people to be able to search on and follow, you use a hash tag.  And mine was #writingtips.  So since a lot of my Facebook friends either aren’t on Twitter or don’t follow me on there – I have a TON of Facebook friends…lol…I decided to do a blog about them so everyone could experience my warped-ness…  I know – if you follow me on Facebook you already get a big dose, but hey – if you can stomach that much, what’s a little more, right?

Again, for those of you who don’t Tweet – you can only use 140 characters in your tweets so that’s why some of the funky abbreviations.  I didn’t type them all fresh – I copied/pasted…LOL!

Now for those of you who have had me edit your books somewhere in your past – some of these will look familiar – and you’re already used to my warped sense of humor…LOL!  But you may even have more “Tina gems” that I don’t have on here…

So here we go!  Here are mine – feel free to add your own in the comments – especially the fun ones!!  Don’t give up too early – some of the really fun ones are toward the end of the list! 🙂

1.  #writingtips If a cock leaps 2 attention, it had better have little feet & B ready 2 run across the room…LOL!

2.   #writingtips If writing anal scenes – don’t do a BrokeBack Mountain thing – sliding in w/ one stroke w/ no lube would HURT! Ouch!

3.  #writingtips Another bad euphemism:  “Dangling globes of manliness” – ACK!!  Just say NO!

4.  #writingtips If you aren’t getting hot and bothered while WRITING your sex scene, no one will while reading it!!

5.  #writingtips Make sure your hero and heroine’s internal thoughts & dialogue sound different. Each character’s should be unique.

6.  #writingtips Usually if a sentence begins with And or But, the ‘and’ or ‘but’ can B removed without changing the sentence & will read better

7.  #writingtips Action/reaction. Let us see the character’s reactions to things – internal thoughts, emotional reactions & physical reactions.

8.  #writingtips Don’t forget to SHOW emotions in your scenes. How are the characters feeling? SHOW US!! Don’t TELL us.

9.  #writingtips A hero who looks at, fantasizes about or ‘plays with’ other women than the heroine (unless it’s a menage book) is NOT heroic

10.  #writingtips Heroine can’t flirt/cheat on hero either – NOT heroic, If they both agree to a threesome etc – fine, but not outside of that

11.  #writingtips When writing romance, a hero who is a jerk or treats her badly is NOT a hero. Readers want a romantic hero – give it to them.

12.  #writingtips If your hero knows every brand name your heroine is wearing – he’s gay, folks! Which is fine if you’re writing M/M romance 🙂

13.  #writingtips Be realistic. Most guys (sorry guys) can’t come four times in an hour…some women can…Don’t make readers roll their eyes!

14.  #writingtips Word choice – jizz or love juice – YUCK! Just use come or orgasm. Don’t gross the reader out!

15.  #writingtips KNOW your reader demographic – for romance – mostly highly educated women 18-50  Don’t talk down to them!

16.  #writingtips If hero/heroine are running for their lives & stop to have sex – they kinda deserve to die…Just sayin’ LOL…

17.  #writingtips Call it what it is. It’s not a ‘man rod’ or a ‘love shaft’ or a ‘steely length’ It’s a penis or a dick or a cock. Really…

18.  #writingtips Don’t be afraid of words – use them, but use them well. Her yawning moist cavern is just icky! Sooo not sexy!! 😦

19.  #writingtips Afraid of using the “C” word? If can be done..lol! Read my Seduction series – used in non traditional way, but readers loved it.

20.  #writingtips “Clit” is better than a euphemism like “love button” – ACK!

21.  #writingtips Word choice matters. Thigh is sexier than leg. Breast is sexier than boob or tit.

22.  #writingtips If heroine/hero are chafing – and handcuffs aren’t involved – get them some freaking lube, ppl! LOL…That’s just not sexy!

23.  #writingtips If a scene doesn’t move the story forward – cut it! Seriously!!

24.  #writingtips World building: Make the rules for your world/characters & then don’t break them! You’ll lose the reader’s trust…

25.  #writingtips Make sure U know your book’s timeline. Keep a chart. If 3 nights have passed, but it’s never bn dark-better B a paranormal LOL!

26.  #writingtips If your prologue is just an excuse to do a backstory dump -cut it! Only use those when absolutely needed to set up a story-RARE

27.  #writingtips If writing a sex scene & you’ve never done whatever it is U R writing about – talk to someone who has!!  Seriously!

28.  #writingtips Avoid using euphemisms that will make most people laugh – “his hairy man sack” is just gross!  NOT sexy…lol!

29.  #writingtips Anything that pulls the reader out of the story & gives them the chance to put the book down-weed it out of your writing!

30.  #writingtips Try 2 avoid giving all your characters in 1 book names that R2 similar or all start w/ same letter-could confuse reader!

31.  #writingtips Use of “locks” for hair has become cliche – seriously. PPL have hair, not locks unless it’s a padlock in their hair – ouch!

32.  #writingtips Use age appropriate language 4 yr characters. If yr 20 year old heroine says “Golly gee” – that’s odd & jarring 2 reader

33.  #writingtips Schedule a time each day 2 write, sit butt in the chair & write-brain will get the hang of being productive on cue.

34.  #writingtips Watch repeated words used close together -distracting for reader. For me it’s usually a diff word in each scene I have to edit!

35.  #writingtips “Mary was scared”=Telling. “Icy tendrils of fear raced up Mary’s spine”=showing. Paint a visual picture!

36.  #writingtips Try to avoid using was/ing combos-makes it kind of passive. Was running can become ‘ran’  🙂

37.  #writingtips If yr pacing is slow & dragging-go back & make sure yr conflict is big enough & difficult enough! Conflict drives pacing!

38.  #writingtips READ widely. Pay attention to writing you enjoy & writing you don’t and figure out why on both counts!

39.  #writingtips Don’t use flowery writing-readers like simple writing that paints a visual pic, not something schlocky & makes them groan!

40.  #writingtips Make sure your events aren’t out of order. pick up book, walk to door, open it, walk through, out of order won’t work here

41.  #writingtips If yr hero is “hard enough 2 drive nails” he needs 2 call the # on the back of the Viagra box!! That’s not healthy!! Ouch!

42.  #writingtips Avoid cliches – find a new, fresh way 2 say something! Make it yours. Cliches R distracting 4 the reader & don’t add value

43.  #writingtips Remember even when writing that heroes usually don’t want to kiss a heroine right after she’s “swallowed” – Jarring for reader

44.  #writingtips If your heroine’s vagina is “weeping” – there’s salve for that…LOL! Get her to the doctor! Ewwwwww!!!!

45.  #writingtips Make sure the action is w/ the character, not the body part. Fists won’t clench on their own, the character clenches them…

46.  #writingtips Beware of over repeated actions. If yr heroine is always sighing the reader is gonna wnt 2 kill her by the 10th time…seriously

47.  #writingtips Keep in mind yr job is 2 paint a word picture 4 the reader so they cn C the pic U have inside yr mind when writing the scene

48.  #writingtips Beware of wimpy verbs that don’t give reader a visual picture – words like ‘put’, ‘got’, and ‘went’ Use a more descriptive verb

49.  #writingtips If the heroine’s heart clenches inside her chest and she’s short of breath, she’s not in love, she’s having a heart attack!!

50.  #writingtips Who vs That. If you are talking about a person – use ‘who’.  If you are talking about a thing – use ‘that’

51.  #writingtips Get rid of “filler” words like “just” and “that”, which don’t add much value

52.  #writingtips Write what you mean. If a heroine leans INTO a hero – that’s gonna hurt & require surgery – she’s prob leaning AGAINST him.

53.  #writingtips Watch out for body parts gone wild. Eyes can’t fly across the room unless they have little wings. Gazes can though…

54.  #writingtips Purple prose is distracting & annoying & doesn’t help your story, it only discredits your writing in the eyes of the reader.

55.  #writingtips Remove exclamation points, use your words 2 carry the emphasis, not throwaway punctuation that distracts the reader.

56.  #writingtips if hero’s “member” has a head the size & color of a large plumb, he’s got medical probs & his partner will NOT be excited!

A fun puzzle of Seducing the Succubus

No, seriously – this is a jigsaw puzzle of my awesome Cassie Ryan cover for Seducing the Succubus:

My Puzzles Jigsaw Puzzle Gallery – JigZone.com

Does SWAG really work for advertising books?

I’ve seen studies where they say that SWAG or giveaways other than actual books do very little for the most part to get readers to pick up your book.  However, I have bought and given out SWAG at most of the conventions I’ve attended.  Have I really seen a  Return on Investment?

To be honest, I don’t know.

But what I do know is what I’ve heard from others and what I do with SWAG when I get home.

 

When I come home from a conference or retreat I’m usually exhausted.  So the first thing I do is kick off my shoes, say hello to my guys and my kitties and then sleep!

 

I know, you want to know about the SWAG!  Well, to be honest – again – it really depends on how quickly I get around to unpacking my suitcase – or the box that I shipped home with all the “stuff” in it.

 

Sometimes that is a few days and sometimes it’s actually weeks.  Hey – I did tell you I’d be honest, right?

 

No matter when I finally get to it, things from there pretty much follow the same pattern.  If there is anything edible in the bag or stash of SWAG I sort through it and either eat it (if I didn’t already at the convention) or toss it.  Just don’t forget that if I ate it at the convention, the wrapper with your author sticker, website and name on it went into the trash as soon as I swallowed the food, and it will with most others too.  Usually those little butter mints are the first to go – I eat those almost as soon as I pick them up at the convention 🙂  Chocolate, believe it or not, if it doesn’t get eaten at convention, I usually toss it because it’s going to melt by the time I get home and I don’t want it all over everything.  Other types of mints, munchies, cookies, water bottles etc usually don’t even make it home –  so they get tossed.  Now that also means if the SWAG is on a “take it yourself” table, I just don’t take those.  But lots of convention goers take some of everything so a lot of those will end up in the trash.

 

Then I sort through for the “cool” stuff.  Mirrors, letter openers, alarm clocks, cool buttons, cool pens (I usually don’t take the boring ones or the ones I know I won’t use, but again – lots of people take some of everything offered, so you have to factor that in.

 

I know lots of people get those squishy things shaped like people or globes or whatever, and unless I think I’ll ever look at it again or it really makes me smile I’ll give it away at the conference or take it home for my son, sister, friends etc.  I don’t really have a desk anymore now that writing is my day job, so I don’t keep that stuff I have no place for.  If it just takes up space and doesn’t do me any good, I just don’t need it.

 

Then I look at what’s left – usually the paper products and magnets.  I have a ton of my own bookmarks, so unless I think they look really cool or they are for an author I really want to read – AND it looks cool – I don’t even bother to take them.  But several conferences make up the bags beforehand so I end up with a stack of paper to go through.  I usually use bookmarks for my own books when I read anything, but if there’s a cool looking bookmark and something I think my sister or one of my friends would like then I keep it, but if it doesn’t pass that test, it gets tossed.  As for magnets, if it has a fun saying or picture on it that I like and might smile at every time I see it, I’ll take it home and put it on the fridge.  Or if I think my sister, son, friends etc might like it, it might make it home.  But the rest get tossed.  Sorry…

 

But what about those little homemade books with excerpts in them?  Again – if I think my sister or one of my friends might like it, it might make the trip home, but usually those don’t make the cut either.  I just simply don’t have time to go through and read all those.  I know several authors swear by those, and maybe for them they work.  But in my experience as someone who looks through the stuff at the end, unless it’s from an author who I really want to get a “taste” of their work or a new book in a series I’ve read and loved, or something along those lines – it gets tossed.

But what about the little temporary tattoo sheets that also have a sticker with your author name and website on them?  Once I’ve used the tattoos – that backing sheet with your info is in my trash can.

But what about nail files with author names, websites and book names on them?  I usually toss those in the bottom of my purse and fish them out when I need a nail file, but I don’t ever look at what’s printed on it beyond when I first pick it up.

 

Are you seeing a pattern here?  Most people, unless they are hoarders just don’t hold onto “stuff” unless it serves a purpose for them.  If it’s something that people are going to actually use AND read over and over then that might stick in their subconscious and make them connect that with your book when they see it on the shelf, but unless it really is something that they love and see and use daily, it probably won’t make them go LOOK for your book.

Does that mean I’ll never again bring SWAG to a convention?    Honestly – as money allows I’ll probably still bring stuff.  But I’ll chose carefully.  I’ve brought buttons to several of the last conventions that seemed very popular, but I’m not sure what happened to a lot of them once people got home.  Every now and then someone will mention that they still have my button on their cork board at home or on their “normal” conference lanyard, but no one has ever told me it made them run out and buy my book, so who knows.  I had “Got Gargoyles?” buttons for my Maiden series which were very popular.  BTW – I stole the idea from Brit Blaise who had a “Got Cowboy?” button to promote her Cave Creek Cowboy series, and told me I was welcome to “borrow” the idea. 🙂  Then when I had my first series out as Cassie Ryan I took bright pink “Got Seduction?” buttons which were EXTREMELY popular, but again – not sure how often they made people pick up my books even though all of those had my name and website on them as well as the saying.  I do still have a letter opener from Judi McCoy but I usually picked up her books because I knew her and really liked her AND her books.  I also have a few really cool bookmarks from Cheyenne McCray, but again – she’s a friend and I love her AND her books.  I’d buy a Cheyenne McCray book with or without the SWAG, same for Jennifer Ashley.  I do still have some cool pens and nail files in the bottom of my purse, but I couldn’t tell you which author they were from unless they are my own or one of my critique partner’s…  I also still have a small mirror that folds out that I keep in my purse.  It was displayed on an author’s signing table at RT one year and said “Vampire Self Test” – Cute and useful so I took one.  I don’t remember if I bought her book or not and I don’t remember her name – there’s no sticker etc on the back of the mirror for me to remember it, but I do still have and use the mirror.

As for free books I usually bring all those home unless one of my conference roomies want some of them.  My sister and friends get to pick from what I don’t want and the ones I keep go into my TBR pile….until I get to them…unless it really catches my interest or it’s by an author I love.  For me, historical or Regency romances get read first, then paranormal romances and then erotic romances – usually the paranormals first 🙂  Then everything else as I get time and as it catches my interest.  Anything in my TBR pile after a year gets offered to my friends and family or gets traded in at the used bookstore or donated.

I do have a FEW conference bags with people’s author names/conference names on them.  Most of them I give to my sister who is a huge reader and collects SWAG for authors she loves.  I’ll get new bags at most every conference so there’s no need for me to build up 20 different bags at home when I’ll never use them.  I do still have one that has Jennifer Ashley’s name on it because she’s a good friend AND one of my favorite authors.  I also have a few different lanyards – two from Cheyenne McCray, one from my critique group – The Butterscotch Martini Girls — and one from my Cassie Ryan pen name.  My main conference one is one of those black ones with the zipper and the pockets in back.  The front has a velcro flap that allows you to store business cards and such inside it and then below is the clear plastic thing to hold your “name tag” they give you at most conferences – this one is also from Cheyenne McCray.  When I use this one at pretty much every conference I go to I pack it full of my business cards, a few pens and that’s usually where my hotel key card goes so I don’t lose it or bend it from being in my back pocket.  I don’t carry my purse around conventions!

That’s about it.  So choose carefully when you decide what money to spend on SWAG and what to invest IN.  Something that won’t make it farther than the hotel trash can isn’t really going to give you any return on investment for your hard earned dollars spent.  And as you can see, a lot of the other stuff may not make it much farther than that.

So does SWAG really work?  I really don’t know.  The verdict is still out, but I have a feeling many authors will keep using it as a marketing vehicle regardless of it’s ROI.  (That’s Return on Investment for those of you not into my Corporate America acronyms…lol)

How I Got My Agent

I wrote my last blog post on A Query Letter and the NY Call  I referenced that I would write this blog soon to fill in the “rest of the story”, so here it is!

I first met Paige Wheeler (Folio Literary Management) at the Desert Dreams Conference held here in Phoenix by the local Desert Rose RWA Chapter (of which I’m a member)  I had heard great things about Paige and so when offered the chance to sign up for an agent or editor slot at the conference, I chose her.

However, I didn’t have any new work to pitch.  I was with the now defunct Triskelion Publishing at the time and was writing a series there – The Maiden Series.  But I knew I wanted to break out soon and make a run for a NY publishing contract so I needed to start “shopping” for agents soon.  So I did something pretty unorthodox…I DID sign up for an agent appointment with Paige, and I didn’t pitch anything!  In fact I told her up front that I didn’t have anything to pitch, but that I wanted to use that appointment as an opportunity to see if we would work well together in the future when I was ready for an agent.  Paige smiled and took it in stride, and we had a great chat about writing, books and working in NY.

Fast forward to the next year when Audrey LaFehr from Kensington gave me “The Call” to offer a three book deal (that became my Seduction Series).  As I referenced in my other blog, I did tell Audrey that I wanted to use this deal to get an agent, and asked if she had any agents she particularly liked to work with.  She countered asking me who my top choices were.  Paige was my TOP choice so I mentioned her.  Audrey said she LOVED working with Paige, and told me to let her know how if she would be working through Paige or directly with me.

So once I got home and recovered my wits a bit…I’d taken The Call at work in my cubicle…I called Paige and asked if she remembered me.  She did, since it’s very rare to have someone take an agent appointment and NOT pitch anything 🙂  I told her there was a three book deal on the table and that I’d love for her to be my agent on the deal.  She asked me to send her the manuscript so she could evaluate it to see if she’d be interested in representing me.  Okay, fair enough, so I sent it off (pretty much as soon as I hung up the phone!)  Well, hubby and I were at Chili’s when Paige called me back so I did have to wait until we finished dinner and I got home…snerk!

A few days later I received a call back from Paige.  She offered representation on one condition…that I be willing and open to receiving feedback.  My first internal reaction was, “Well, duh!”  Who wouldn’t want feedback from their agent???  But from what I know now, there are plenty of authors out there who DON’T want to receive feedback from ANYONE, so it was a fair point.  I agreed and we were officially a team – okay, there was some signing of contracts etc involved, but you get the idea!

From there we discussed pen names – she suggested I take one since my Tina Gerow “brand” was all about paranormal romance and this new trilogy would be erotic paranormal romance.  Don’t want to give “brand shock” to my readers.  It was up to me if I was very open that I was both names or not, but that way the readers would know what they would get when they picked up each pen name.  And for those of you who know me, I’m VERY open that I’m both Tina and Cassie, but I do have some friends who have to be “hush hush” about their second pen name for day job reasons etc, so I do understand the reasons behind their secrecy.  I just didn’t have to do any of that.  So I used every bit of advice I’d received from writers over the years about pen names.  I wanted to find something I wouldn’t mind answering to in public, something that was easy to sign a gazillion times, something that didn’t sound like a pole dancing name, something that had a dot com URL available, and something that would fall in a good place on the bookshelves…  So Cassie Ryan was born – which falls just after Nora Roberts on most romance bookshelves, by the way! 🙂  So I’m hoping I’ve attracted some impulse buys from her readers browsing the shelves even though we write different things 🙂

Audrey approved the pen name (I think they just want to make sure it’s not something totally stupid or obscene) and we were off and running!

That was several years ago and Paige is still my agent and we get along great.  I totally trust her guidance on my writing career!  She’s a very savvy lady and if she’s willing to have me, I’d love to keep her as my agent for the long haul! Because I plan on continuing to write until they pry the laptop out of my cold dead hands 🙂  Sorry for the cliché visual…but it seemed to fit 🙂

So that’s my “how I got my agent” story and I’ve never regretted any of it!

So now off to get back to writing!!

A Query Letter and THE NY CALL

I just read my friend and crit partner, Brit Blaise’s blog about our long ago RWA trip and her query that ended up getting her a book deal with Avalon and it got me thinking about my own past history with publishing. In fact, I think it was on that same RWA trip that I heard an editor speak who would change my publishing career forever.

If you want to get the scoop on our RWA trip, here’s the link to Brit’s blog –
Brit Blaise’s Blog

As for me, I attended a Kensington Publisher’s Spotlight and heard their editors talk about a new line that was starting called “Aphrodisia”. They asked for writers to send them erotic romances, even partials so they could get this new line off the ground with a bang. I had just started an erotic romance with the help of my friend and crit partner, an already published erotic writer, Brit. So I decided to send off my partial. Why the hell not, right? Couldn’t hurt…

So here’s the query letter I sent in with my partial – verbatim (and I’m cringing at the typo that got by me then!!:

Audrey:

I attended the Kensington publisher’s spotlight at this year’s RWA National Convention in Reno, where one of your editors advised you were looking for erotic romance—even partials—for a new line. So I’m enclosing a partial of Seduction of the Klatch, a paranormal erotic romance that is just under fifty percent complete along with a synopsis. It completed portions are linear, except for the last scene, which jumps to the queen’s ascension ceremony. The story is about an ugly duckling who wakes up to find out she’s the crown princess of a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. She needs the help of the prince of her erotic dreams to help her save a world she never knew existed.

I’m currently published in paranormal romantic suspense with Triskelion publishing and my paranormal romantic comedy comes out in both print and ebook next month, also with Triskelion. I’m the president of my local RWA chapter, a member in good standing of the FF&P chapter, Kiss of Death and Passionate Ink (the new RWA erotica chapter) as well as a member of an active critique group.

I’m very excited to submit to Kensington’s new erotic romance line. I hope you enjoy reading Seduction of the Klatch and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Tina Gerow
encl.

So now the rest of the story…

I didn’t hear from Kensington for almost a year. In fact, I figured it sucked so badly that they had just circular filed it and didn’t even bother to reject me… But then….I got THE C ALL! Or actually my husband did. He was at home and got a call on our home phone from Audrey LaFehr from Kensington asking me to call her back. He called me at work with the information and as soon as I could I called her back – right there from my cubicle 🙂

I’ll admit – I was terrified! This was my first “Call”. When Triskelion had bought my first book, Into a Dangerous Mind, I’d gotten the “EMAIL” – which I still did a happy dance over. But this was New York calling – the big leagues, an actual New York editor! And I scrambled to remember everything I had learned about talking to editors and about getting “THE CALL” Anyway, I called her back, actually remembered my name to tell her who I was and managed not to sound like too much of a flake – I hope…LOL!

She told me that she loved my sexy writing and could I turn this world I had started into three books. My heat started racing, my palms started to sweat and I said without missing a beat, “Yes, I can do that.” Then she asked if I could finish the first book by the end of the month (I still had 50% of it to write) and get it to her. I found myself saying a confident, “Absolutely,” before panic set in. Then I told her I wanted to use this deal to get an agent and did she have any she liked working with. (I had heard about this tactic from a fellow RWA author – might as well make sure you have an agent your editor likes working with – right? Anyway – she threw me off when she instead asked me for my short list of agents I was considering. I told her Paige Wheeler topped the list – I’ll have to tell that story about how I met Paige in another blog. Audrey told me she LOVED Paige and I was off and running…. Although she did mention a few other things like she hated the title – sounded too much like “Seduction of the Crotch” for her taste…lol!! Which is true. It eventually became Ceremony of Seduction – my best selling book to date! She also asked if I would be taking a pen name since this would be my first erotic. I told her I’d get Paige’s opinion and let her know.

Anyway – I’ll give you the scoop on how I got Paige as my agent in my next blog, but I immediately called my critique group – The Butterscotch Martini Girls – together to figure out how the hell I was going to turn this into a trilogy and to gird me up for finishing the other 50% of this book in three weeks. Because, damn it! I wasn’t going to miss out on a three book deal just because I had to write a measly 40-50 thousand words and edit and polish an entire book in three weeks! I had seriously fallen down on the job because I figured they hated it so had resigned myself to the fact that I just couldn’t cut it as an erotic writer. No worries – I wouldn’t give up writing, I’d just stick with my sensual books that had gained me my current fan base.

But that’s how I came to write the query letter above for Kensington when I sent in my partial. When I was learning how to write a query a friend and NYT Best Selling author had shared one of hers with me and I modeled mine off of that. So feel free to borrow mine and update it if you’re learning – I’m a big believer in paying it forward 🙂

And like I said, I’ll write another blog going about how I got my wonderful agent, Paige Wheeler – who really is terrific!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day holiday planned! I’m off to write!!

Tina