I’d like to welcome fellow author, Lorelei James, to the purple velvet couch today. Her next book in her Blacktop Cowboys series, Turn and Burn, is out Tuesday, August 6th. RT Book Reviews gave it 4 ½ stars and says: “James continues to impress with the latest in her contemporary western Blacktop Cowboys series. She blends sexuality with emotions as her characters grow into their relationship.”
Welcome, Lorelei. Thanks for being here today.
Thanks for having me. Nice seeing you again after our fun panel at Bouchercon in Cleveland last year 🙂
Love the boots, by the way. For those who can’t see, Lorelei is wearing cowboy boots— purple Old Gringos embroidered from toe to heel with colorful flowers.
With your Rough Riders series, the books center around the McKay family, a ranching family in Wyoming. Give us some background on the Blacktop Cowboys series and then tell us how Turn and Burn fits into the overall scheme of things in this series.
I started the Blacktop Cowboys series because I couldn’t get enough of writing about hot cowboys. Okay, that’s not entirely true. By the time the first book CORRALLED released in August 2010, I was already 9+ books into the Rough Riders series. It’s a little daunting for new readers to see that extensive of a backlist, so I set out to write these books in the Blacktop Cowboys series more as standalone titles. I chose to write about a community instead of one specific family. So readers of the series have been introduced to both Fletch and Tanna in previous books, but someone who hasn’t read the previous books in the series won’t be lost if TURN AND BURN, book 5, is the first book they pick up.
What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?
I wrote an erotic western because so much of what I’d read in contemporary westerns was wrong—and since I live in the west, in rural America, I wanted to give a more realistic view. And also, the westerns I’d read didn’t have nearly enough sex in them for me so I spiced things up a whole lot.
Are you working on another book(s)?
I actually just finished BOUND, the first book in the new Mastered Series, which is not a western series, but it’s still a contemporary erotic series. I’ve just started on UNWOUND, the second book in that series. Both books will be out early in 2014 from NAL/Signet Eclipse. Then I’ll work on DOCTOR FEELGOOD, which is part of the Wild West Boys series and that releases digitally in December 2013, and then HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR, book 6 in the Blacktop Cowboys series, which will release in August 2014.
Do you work on one project at a time or multiples?
Multiple. It seems I’m always in various stages of production, right now I’m writing a new book, editing another book and finishing up synopsis for two other projects, and none of these books are set in the same world. I’d love to work on one thing at a time, but that’s not possible in today’s marketplace when I’m putting out four books a year!
Your book titles are fun. How do you come up with them (and do you want to do mine)?
I “borrow” many of the titles from popular music, which is fun. One quirk of mine is I have to have a title before I can even start on a book. Sure, I’ll even give you a title—LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR (I’m dying to write a book with that title!) [Love Aerosmith, but you really need to write that book, sweetie, and I’ll read it!]
I know you also write mysteries as Lori Armstrong – and for you Lorelei fans you really need to try her Mercy Gunderson series which is gritty and just fabulous. The books are set in South Dakota and the heroine is ex-Army and her love interest is a sexy Sheriff – yum. Tell us about Mercy and your other mystery series featuring Julie Collins.
There are three books in the Mercy Gunderson series NO MERCY, MERCY KILL, MERCILESS—unfortunately I’ll be taking a break from mystery for a little while so I can finish up other Lorelei James contracts. Mercy is cool-headed former army sniper who’s moved back to South Dakota after she’s injured in the line of duty and her father dies leaving her in charge of the fate of the family ranch. She’s thought she left violence behind but it is still part of her life after she returns home. In the Julie Collins series, Julie is a hotheaded private eye who seems to get embroiled in all sorts of nasty situations—especially after she gets involved with the president of the local motorcycle club. Those four books BLOOD TIES, HALLOWED GROUND, SHALLOW GRAVE, SNOW BLIND, are set outside of Sturgis, and if you know anything about the world of bikers, Sturgis has a wild reputation—deservedly so. That also means we have a large number of bikers who live here year round. I love writing about the area where I live, dealing with issues like motorcycle clubs, family ranches, race relations between whites and Indians, the vastness of the land and the preconceived ideas that people who’ve never been here have about “flyover” country.
Which do you like to write the most – mysteries or sexy contemporary westerns?
I like being able to move back and forth between genres—writing the worst of humanity; murder and the aftereffects of violence in mystery, and then the happily ever after where the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset together in romance. It keeps me balanced on a number of levels because I’m also writing mystery from singular first person point of view and the romances are written from multiple third person points of view—except for the Mastered series, those are written in third person singular, just another way to keep myself challenged.
Do you have a favorite character from one of your books?
Not a cop out, but I always like the characters from the most recent book I finished because they’re the ones freshest in my mind—so I have to say Dalton McKay and Rory Wetzler from REDNECK ROMEO, book 15 in the Rough Riders series that just came out June 18th.
What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
The easiest thing is coming up with ideas for new books. The hardest thing is turning that “great” idea into an actual book.
Your love scenes in the cowboy books are HAWT. Do you find love scenes difficult to write?
Not really because I approach love scenes the same way as any other scene; a sex scene needs to move the story forward, or in some cases backward, or it needs to strengthen motives and provide additional characterization. I just have to add more sex scenes when I’m writing an erotic romance because that’s what separates erotic from just a sexy contemporary romance.
Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing – and that includes the love scenes? *grins*
I’m not tellin’, darlin’—a girl’s gotta have some secrets! *grins back*
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
Several months, sometimes less, sometimes more, it depends on everything that’s going on around me in my personal life as well as my contract deadlines. But I do work seven days a week for the most part.
Guilty pleasure? Food wise? Oreos and peanut butter M&Ms. Booze-wise? I’m into flavored vodkas, Bud Light Lime-aritas and Moscow Mules.
Favorite bootmaker? Old Gringo.
Early bird or night owl? Both, especially under deadline.
Tequila shots or beer? Beer. Bud Light Lime.
Line dancing or Texas Two-step? Two step.
Your cowboys wear boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or go commando? Mostly they wear boxers and boxer-briefs. Going commando might be a little chafing on a horse!
Favorite author (when you have time to read, that is)? JD Robb.
Where can your readers reach you?
My website: www.loreleijames.com
Do you have a blurb you’d like to share for Turn and Burn?
Tanna Barker is a world champion barrel racer. But her personal life has been less of a success, and she’s feeling adrift. After her mother’s unexpected death, her father has remarried, and sold the Texas ranch she called home. Now a rodeo injury has left the restless spitfire holed up in Muddy Gap, unsure what her next move should be.
Until she meets her match in a wild, wild cowboy
Veterinarian August Fletcher has always put his job first. He’s never found a woman who could handle his on-the-road lifestyle. But when sassy, sexy Tanna blows into town, he finally finds the woman of his fantasies. And there’s something between them, but she claims she’s been burned by love ’em and leave ’em road dogs before. How can Fletch prove that he’s in it for the long haul, and that their sizzling relationship is better than winning any rodeo medal? It’ll take some sweet persuasion to convince Tanna that Muddy Gap is where she belongs.
Yhe books will be available in print at your local bookstores and online on August 6th. And in audio format.
For digital readers:
Barnes and Noble nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/turn-and-burn-lorelei-james/1112278453?ean=9780451413963
Thanks for visiting the couch today, Lorelei.
You’re welcome anytime.