Thursday, May 31, 2007
Ask Five with... (and a giveaway!) .....TONI BLAKE!!!!
Toni Blake is one of my all time favorite authors. I first read her when she wrote for Harlequin. I was thrilled to hear she was writing bigger books. Yay! More Toni!
I recently had the pleasure of reading TEMPT ME TONIGHT and it is fabulous!!! Bad boys, move over...meet Joe Ramsey...and the lady who has tempted him all these years.
I love that cover for TEMPT ME TONIGHT!
If you haven't read Toni Blake, well, you are missing out. Seriously! She can write them sexy, funny, with some decidedly delicious heroes.
Without further ado...meet Toni Blake!!!!!
1. What is the title of your latest release and what’s it about?
TEMPT ME TONIGHT was released on May 29 by Avon Red, but I think readers will find that, just like my previous book, SWEPT AWAY, it’s not your typical Red offering. By that I mean that while the imprint is billed as erotica, readers will find TEMPT ME TONIGHT falls more into the category of “super-sexy, super-steamy romance.”
TEMPT ME TONIGHT is the story of a woman who returns to her hometown after many years away to help her parents with some legal issues, but she soon bumps into her first love, who betrayed her when they were young. The book starts out to be much about her sexual attraction to him and how she decides to deal with it – through seduction, and through having the upper hand – but when she realizes her old feelings for him have never died, the book turns into a good, old-fashioned, heart-wrenching love story about youthful emotions, protecting our hearts, and forgiveness (but it also happens to come with lots of uber steamy sex ; ) )
I’m super-excited about this book, not only because I personally love it, but also because it was excerpted in the June issue of Cosmo! Now, I gotta be honest and tell you – Cosmo heavily edited the piece they used and I think readers will discover my “real voice” is a lot different than what’s in the magazine, but just to be featured in Cosmo is a dream come true for me, so this has been a super-fun time!
2. Which authors have influenced you over the years, whether for their writing or for their friendship?
Great question! And this might be a long answer because the romance community is so broad yet also tightly knit in ways. The first romances I read were Jenny Crusie’s Harlequin Temptations and they greatly influenced me, showing me that romance could be smart, sexy, and funny all at once. I’ve also been influenced by the writings of Kathleen Eagle, Teresa Medeiros, Judith Ivory, Barbara Samuel, and Rachel Gibson, just to name a few. I’m sure there are a ton of authors who influenced me early on who I might be forgetting about, unfortunately.
As for friendship, wow – so many people have befriended me along the way that it’s hard to name them all, but I’ll just mention a few who have always been wonderfully supportive and encouraging: Lori Foster, Elizabeth Bevarly, Laura Resnick (aka Laura Leone,) Jenny Crusie, and Teresa Medeiros have all been kind enough to give me advice along the way, answer questions for me, and help me feel my way through the maze of the publishing world.
Wow, I managed to keep that to a reasonable length, after all : )
3. What is the hardest part of writing?
These days, I find it challenging to balance promotional efforts with the actual time and focus required to write a good book. Part of that is because I have three books coming out three months in a row, so the promo push, for me, has been bigger than usual this time around. As for the actual writing, though, I suppose the most challenging part is pulling all the threads together in the end in a satisfying way. I tend to write fairly complex books with a lot going on and I usually reach a point of thinking: Oh no, I’ll never get this all tied up correctly. But then, somehow, I do. It can be nerve-wracking, though.
4. How do you stay motivated?
For me, writing is a pure joy, so I’m naturally motivated. It’s what makes me tick and I miss it immensely when I’m away from it. It’s the only thing I ever really wanted to do, and I’m thrilled that I’ve managed to make a career of it.
5. Looking in your crystal ball, what can readers expect to see soon in bookstores?
Well, after TEMPT ME TONIGHT this June, Avon is re-issuing my last book, SWEPT AWAY, in a new mass market version, available June 26, in just a few short weeks!. This book was the first full-length novel to launch the Avon Red line last fall, so I’m thrilled to see it getting a “new life” so soon! Also currently on the shelf (released May 1) is VOYEUR, an erotica novel by my alter ego, Lacey Alexander, put out by Penguin Putnam.
Next up for me (the Toni Blake me ; ) ) will be the release of LOVE LETTERS, currently set for June 2008. This book will mark my move out of the Red line and into Avon’s mass market contemporary program, but readers need not worry – the books will be the same as always for me, super-sexy and super-emotional. As for what it’s about, think Carrie Bradshaw meets Men in Trees. Also next June, I’ll take part in an anthology with twelve authors including Lori Foster, called THE POWER OF LOVE. Each story in this book is about women’s empowerment and the proceeds will go to a shelter for abused women.
I hope readers will sign up for my newsletter at www.ToniBlake.com so that I can remind them when new books are coming out and share new news with them when it hits. And if anyone out there is on MySpace, so am I, so feel free to “friend” me at www.MySpace.com/ToniBlake.
Thanks a bunch for a fun interview, Patti! You know how much I appreciate your support!
Thank you,Toni! You can visit Toni at her website: http://toniblake.com/index.html
If you have any questions for Toni, go ahead and ask her but she will be at the Lori Foster Get Together this weekend. She should be able to pop in Sunday to answer them for you.
We have a giveaway of a copy of TEMPT ME TONIGHT.
The copy from Amazon came today.
Post and you shall be entered into the contest for a chance to win a copy of TEMPT ME TONIGHT.
I will pick the winner Sunday night.
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