Six-Book Giveaway, Chapter 1–Beth Kery is here!

Note: the giveaway of Sweet Restraint is now closed.  The winner will be posted over the weekend.

I’m in such a good mood these days.  RWA was a blast.  I turned in Book 3.  Even better, my editor likes it– really likes it.  (And those of you following this blog know that I worked my tail off with that book…)

So now I feel like celebrating.

I’ve got six books from GREAT authors to giveaway–trust me, you’ll want to check these out.  It’s a wide range of books, everything from sexy erotic romance to regency vampires to contemporaries and–psst– even a RITA winner.  And who knows, maybe we’ll even have an author or two drop by to say hello.  Like my first author…

Beth Kery!

Yep, that’s right– fellow Chicago author and just generally fabulous Beth Kery is here today.  And I’m kicking things off by giving away a copy of her new release, Sweet Restraint.

sweetrestraint

This time, he’ll never let her go…

Chicago Special Agent Shane Dominic was in love with Laura Vasquez until the day she left him and married another man. Thirteen years may have passed, but Laura’s never disappeared from his fantasies, or destroyed his desire to learn the truth about why she left him. When her husband, the criminal mastermind behind an international ring of thieves, is murdered, Shane knows this is his one last, desperate chance to learn Laura’s secrets. And he’s not above using their scorching hot passion for one another and a little domination to do it.

One look at Shane, and Laura’s own memories come back to haunt her. Her feelings run deep, but she’d never divulge her secrets—a desperate vow that’s compromised when Shane stuns her by taking her as his captive to a secluded cabin. Here, she will finally belong to him, be subjected to his every torturously erotic whim, and be forced to trust him with a shocking truth she’s hidden for so long—one that will expose them to a danger closing in on the both of them.

___________

I love Beth’s writing.  I’ve read both Wicked Burn and Daring Time and really enjoyed them both.  Great characters, great use of Chicago, intense emotion, and whew– are they steamy!  I picked up Sweet Restraint the day it came out and I can’t wait to dive in.  And now Beth has generously donated a copy for one of you.  She also very kindly answered some questions I asked her about writing, her books, and just about her in general.  Here goes:

JJ: When did you first realize you wanted to write, and how did you get started?

BK:  When I was in my twenties I had a brief stint of writing. I always had read in all genres, but for whatever reason, I just thought I could write romance. So I gave it a whirl, and submitted to Harlequin—I can’t even recall the line anymore. I ended up getting a call from assistant editor, saying she wanted the full manuscript. I was on pins and needles waiting, but I got a rejection. The thing of it was, the rejection came with all these specific suggestions that the editor wanted changed to improve the book. I was so naïve. I had no idea it was actually a successful submission, relatively speaking—the phone call, the detailed personalized notes about changes, etc. I ended up trashing the manuscript! So it wasn’t until over a decade later I heard about Ellora’s Cave, and I thought—hmmm, I could write that. And I did, and I could, I guess. LOL. I always think of that Harlequin episode and mentally kick myself in the butt.

JJ: What is it about writing erotic romance that appeals to you?

BK: I read every single Sandra Brown book ever written and used to always wish it was more descriptive as far as the sex scenes. (That’s not a criticism of Sandra; to this day, I think she writes some of the steamiest scenes imaginable.) As the years passed, authors like Christine Feehan really started to push the envelope sexually, and I loved it. When I discovered Ellora’s Cave, I thought—finally, a publisher is giving women what they really want in regard to sex. For me, the genre of erotic romance is ideal. A rich, emotionally intense love story is so important to me, but I like that in this day and age, sex can be an integral part of that romance. I think it is in real life, so why not in books?

JJ: What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

BK: Write. I’m not being facetious, I just mean that so many other things can sidetrack you from your art. I would suggest setting a daily word count and fulfilling your goal. Writing itself will inspire ideas and free up your creativity. Even if what you write is total crap, at least you know that’s not the direction you want to go. It’s more than you would have known by surfing the Internet all day. *grin*

JJ: How did you come up with the idea for Sweet Restraint?

BK: Sometimes I have these sort of…snapshot visions, just a quick flash of a scene. That happened for Sweet Restraint. I had a flash of a man breaking into a woman’s house and going to her jewelry box. But instead of stealing anything, he removes a fake emerald necklace and replaces it with the real one. Then he exits her life. Whenever I have flashes like that, it’s a great source of creativity, because the ‘whys’ start to kick in. Why would he do that? What could have possibly motivated him? Why didn’t’ he tell her, etc. The answers to the questions start to flesh out a story.

JJ: What did you enjoy most about writing Sweet Restraint?

BK: It was my first book for the Heat line at Berkley, so I felt like I got to explore a few sexual taboos. The hero in Sweet Restraint takes the heroine captive, essentially, which is a hot point for women…on many levels. I think women (and men, for that matter) have a lot of sexual fantasies that they’d never really act on and would never want in real life. So it was interesting for me to write something a little more forbidden than what I’d done previously. I mean, really, I’d never want anyone—even if it was  man I’d loved since I was a girl and had to keep at a distance at all costs—to kidnap me and tie me up to a bed. It’d piss me off to no end. But it was fun to write it within the fantasy forum of erotic romance.

JJ: What do you do on those writing days when you’re stressed, worn out, or distracted?

BK: Typically, I don’t realize I am stressed out until I find myself getting all snappy and short-tempered. Hubby is usually the undeserving target, poor guy. When I recognize it, I just have to step back, take a hot bath, go out to dinner or for a long walk with my husband…gain a little perspective. It’s getting to the point where I recognize that I’m morphing into the Wicked Witch of the West Loop that’s problematic. LOL.

JJ: What’s the best compliment you’ve received about your writing or a book?

BK:  I get the biggest kick out of hearing that someone recommended one of my books to someone who hasn’t ever read erotic romance, and that their friend loved it. A specific story—a good friend of mine from high school had only read my Ellora’s Cave books, and was so excited to read Wicked Burn when it released. She and a friend, and both of their families took a trip together, and my friend brought Wicked Burn along on the plane. Well her friend asked her what she was reading on the plane, and my buddy gave her some vague answer. Well her friend started reading over her shoulder. The kids ran wild on the plane because the two moms couldn’t part from the book. Afterwards, my friend said that her friend was really blown away by Wicked Burn, and she’d never picked up an erotic romance in her life. I love that story.

paradiserulesJJ:  What can you tell us about your next release, Paradise Rules?

BK: It’s a story about a woman who has to return to the island where she was born and that she’s avoided like the plague until then—Oahu. Lana’s a successful blues singer, and because of a dark history with men, she tends to want to be totally in control with her sex partners. When she meets local businessman and island god Jason Koa, however, she has to play by a whole new rule book. He constantly challenges her to face her fears and not to give in to her desire for escape…both from her past and from the volatile passion that erupts between them.

JJ:  Fun questions: (borrowed, in part, from my girl Rowena at The Book Binge).  What are you watching on TV these days?  What are you reading?)

BK: I feel like a social misfit, because I rarely have time to watch TV. I’m reading Robyn Carr’s Temptation Ridge at the moment, and really enjoying it. Melissa Bliss, a dynamic and knowledgeable romance bookstore owner in Westland, Michigan, recommended that I read Shannon McKenna, because she thinks her stuff is similar to mine. So I have Behind Closed Doors on deck.

JJ: What are you listening to on your Ipod?

BK: Audioslave, Joe Cocker live in concert, Pearl Jam.

JJ: What is your biggest weakness (shoes, purses, chocolate, etc.)

BK: Chocolate and red wine. (My husband would say shoes.)

JJ: Complete this sentence:  One fun thing about me that people might not know is…

Umm…I’m kind of a goof. I get kind of punchy sometimes. People always think I’m quiet and serious, but I think of myself as always looking for an excuse to laugh.

JJ:  Thanks so much for coming by, Beth!!  Love these answers.

__________

So now for the giveaway– one lucky person who comments below will win a copy of Sweet Restraint.  P.S. This contest will run for more than one day, until I post that the giveaway is closed and that we’re moving onto the next one.

P.P.S. Beth and I will be doing a book signing together in the Chicago area on August 2nd.  Here’s the information, so if you’re in the neighborhood, drop on by:

August 2nd, 1:00-3:00PM
Best Sellers Book Store
6509 W. 127th St.
Palos Heights, IL

Happy reading everyone!

Edited to add:  the giveaway will remain open until 10pm CST Friday, July 24.  Winner will be announced over the weekend.

55 thoughts on “Six-Book Giveaway, Chapter 1–Beth Kery is here!

  1. Carol Thompson says:

    Hi JUlie,

    If the giveaway is open worldwide then please enter me in the drawing.
    Thank you.

    Carol (South Africa)

  2. Stacy ~ says:

    Hey ladies, cool interview! Beth, I ordered my copy of SR because the Schaumburg Borders didn’t have it, and I want to be ready for the 8/2 signing. Looking forward to seeing you & Julie again. Hope Shannon can make it. Not sure about Michelle.

    I like that you are pushing boundaries with your stories, because well, they’re wicked hot 😉 and also because it says it’s okay to fantasize about being really naughty, that doesn’t mean you have to want it in real life. Or maybe you do, and it says that’s okay too. And I love how you can tell a really erotic story but make it incredibly emotional at the same time.

    Julie, please don’t enter me in the contest. See ya soon 🙂

  3. Nicole Morgan says:

    Hello Julie,

    This is the first time I’ve been to your site. I love the clean look of it!

    First of all, about Beth Kerry. I have recently finsihed reading Wicked Burn and it was AMAZING! She has such a unique and refeshing approach to telling a story. It’s not carbon copy of all the other authors out there today. I read some of her excerpts and can honestly say that I have never read anything like it before.

    She has a real talent, so regardless of whether I win or lose I already plan to purchase Dairing Time and Sweet Restraint.

    Thanks for allowing me to add my two cents. Although with inflation it might cost you five. LOL

  4. Lea says:

    Hi Beth and Julie!

    What a wonderful insightful interview. 🙂 I loved LOVED Sweet Restraint and am so looking forward to Paradise Rules.

    I haven’t read Shannon McKenna’s work and will now have to add her to my list.

    Please don’t enter me in the draw, I already have my copy of “Sweet Restraint”.

    Thanks for sharing
    Best to you both.
    L

  5. Julie says:

    Hi Stacy! Looking forward to seeing you at the signing! And I agree with your comments about Beth’s books– well said!

    Carol: Yep, international is fine– although it might take a bit longer to get to you. 😉

  6. Virginia C says:

    Hi, Julie! I’m glad that you had a great time at the RWA confab. Congratulations on your new book! Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks!

  7. Sarah Simas says:

    Hi Beth and Julie!

    Great interview! I loved the questions! And Beth, chocolate is my major weakness- well, that and gawking at a broad shouldered men! lol

    I was so excited to see SWEET RESTRAINT in the book store the other day! I just adore the cover. So sexy!

    I have to agree with an earlier comment- Julie, your site is beautiful.

    Smile!,
    Sarah

  8. tennismom mary g says:

    Hi Julie & Beth
    Great interview! Really neat that SR started from a vision of a necklace. Behind Closed doors is the first Shannon Mckenna book I read. She has a new one out next week. While her books might be similar to yours in hotness, there are no “fleshy knot” moments.
    I already won & read Sweet Restraint so don’t enter me in the draw.

  9. Maureen says:

    Very cool to hear your third book is on its way, can’t wait for when it comes out. And ecstatic about your book giveaway. I’m dying to know what books are being given away.

  10. Gabriela says:

    Hi Julie! Great interview with BK. I love all her books. I started reading them thanks to Casee’s review at The Book Binge. It would be great to win her newest release!

    I’m sorry the coffee at RWA was craptastic, but it was nice meeting you at the signing.

    Gabby

  11. Lora :) says:

    Thanks Julie for introducing me to Beth Kery. She’s a new author to me and I’ll be adding her to my next book order.

    I’ve read all of Shannon McKenna’s books and they are HOT. But I must say Robyn Carr also knows how to write a fabulous Hot scene with some of the best character driven books I’ve ever read.

    Looking forward to book #3. 🙂

  12. Lori says:

    Hi Julie and Beth. Wonderful interview! I’m looking forward to Sweet Restraint! I adored Wicked Burn. And I love Shannon McKenna. She is so totally my crack addiction. Hope you like Behind Closed Doors.

  13. Val Pearson says:

    Hi Julie and Beth!

    First off, great interview. I have not read Sweet Restraint yet but can’t wait to. I have never read any of Shanna McKenna’s books but by the look of things I am totally missing out!

  14. blodeuedd says:

    Hi Beth and Julie,
    If this one is open worldwide then I am in 😀
    I am shamed to admit that I have not yet tried Beth Kery, but soon, since my fellow bloggers adore the books

  15. Cybercliper says:

    Great interview!! I am so glad that authors are pushing the envelop when it comes to writing steamy scenes. I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until I re-read some of my older books.

  16. Krystal says:

    Free book giveaway? That’s amazing!! 🙂 And I have not yet read Beth Kery’s books, but today I am heading to barnes n noble, my book heaven, and will defintely pick up one those books. Have a wonderful day!

  17. Roberta Harwell says:

    Hello Julie and Beth,

    I’ve heard great things about this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win it. Have a great day.

  18. Liz V. says:

    Great interview!
    “Wicked Witch of the West Loop….. LOL!

    Have fun at the signing. I’ll see if my Chicago emissary (Robin) can go and get a book to send to me.

  19. Lindsay Wolford says:

    I can’t wait for your third book. I’m really looking forward to it.

    I’ve never read Beth Kery, but I will definitely check out her books.

    Please enter me in the drawing also.

  20. VampFanGirl says:

    Fabulous Interview Ladies!

    Beth, I loved hearing about your thoughts on why erotic romance appeals to you as a writer. And I must say that ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is one of my favorite contemporaries. It has an amazingly hot stalker scene in the beginning. This, of course, caused some controversy but it’s the controversial romance novels that I tend to love the most.

    Enjoy!

    ~VFG

  21. Frances C says:

    Hi Julie,

    I am so looking forward to your 3rd book. Congratulations on finishing it. Thanks for the interview with Beth Kery. I’m not all that familiar with her work, but after today that all changes.

    And…Beth…

    Thank you so much for the advice. I am an aspiring writer with the worst case of writer’s block. I kinda lost my way on a story I was writing. A few friends read some chapters and loved it. The problem came with the pressure to write as fast as they were reading it. Also, all of the advice was crippling my creativity. I must say the idea about setting a goal of a certain amount of words per day is a great place to start. Sometimes the simple ideas are the most helpful. Thank you.

  22. Ruth Macey says:

    Hi Julie,
    Well it sounds like you had a terrific time in DC. I love it there. And I like that you seem like a free spirit, go girls.
    The girls enjoyed your books over the 4th in South Haven and can’t wait for the next one. Looking forward to meeting you on the 2nd of Aug. Well I better go put my reading glasses on because it looks like a lot of good reading. Good luck and keep those fingers writing.
    Ruth Macey

  23. Cathy M says:

    Hi Beth, Wicked Burn was so wonderfully erotic and I loved the story. Sweet Restraint sounds just as luscious and I can’t wait to read it.

  24. booklover1335 says:

    Hi Julie & Beth,
    Just dropped by to say hi. Beth Kery is one of my new fav authors. After reading Daring Time I was hooked and have been working my way through her back list. To all who have not tried her work yet…you should you won’t be disappointed!

    Please don’t enter me in the giveaway. I just got my copy of Sweet Restraint yesterday 🙂

  25. Colleen says:

    I haven’t read anything by Beth but based on your previous recommendations I’m sure it’s fantastic and will be checking out her books.

    If the signing wasn’t so far south and I didn’t need to be on the North side later that day, I’d come out to meet both of you.

  26. Julie says:

    Hey everyone! Just wanted to say hi and thanks for all the comments! I’m reading and enjoying them all. Based on the recommendations, I think I’m going to have to check out Shannon McKenna’s books…

    As a heads up, the Sweet Restraint giveaway will stay open through the end of the day tomorrow (Friday).

  27. cathiecaffey says:

    Hi Beth! Hi Julie!!! So great to be visiting here! I so wished I was close to Chicago to meet you both! I’m way too far away but I’m sure there will be so many there for you! I So can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    Beth, you know how dearly I love to read your books! And had so much fun reading your interview here! Love those fun questions! Beth with all you’re doing, are you getting to write full time? Thanks for all you do! I’d love to be in for SWEET RESTRAINT!

  28. Terri W. says:

    Hi Julie and Beth!

    Great interview and please enter me too.

    I’ve been wanting to read Sweet Restraint.

    Thanks!

  29. Amanda says:

    Ooo I’d love to read Sweet Restraint, I have it on my wishlist,

    Great answers to the questions Beth, I love hearing authors thoughts on things

  30. bethkery says:

    Hi All–Many thanks for the kind words.

    Frances, good luck getting through your writer’s block. It’s nice to be one hundred percent muse-inspired, but since the muse has a lot of work to do, sometimes we have to do without her. On those days, you just have to work. 🙂

    VFG and Jane–oh, Behind Closed Doors sounds even more interesting now!

    Danielle–I hope you can come to the signing! I’d love to meet you in person.

  31. Mitzi Vance says:

    I just read Practice Makes Perfect and loved it! I couldn’t put it down!. I had not previously read any of your books, but now can not wait to read others!

  32. Maureen says:

    Congratulations on your editor loving book 3. I have never read a story by Beth Kery but this one looks good.

  33. Lais santos says:

    Hey, Julie!!!
    That’s so exciting!!!
    I want one!!! I totally trust your picks, cause after reading both of your books I just know they must all be great!!!
    Looking forward to read your next book and still waiting to see them in Brazil, my mom is dying to read them!!!

  34. Janice Thomas says:

    Heyyyy guyzzzzz..!

    How do I participate in the Beth Kery book giveaway…?!!!
    I’ve been hearing a lot of Great things about this author.
    Awwww…I feel sooo late…I snooze…boooo..whoooooo!
    J.T.

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