Naked for National Nude Day!

I’ve missed it by a day but oh well, July 14th is National Nude Day in the US.  That’s cool, but don’t count on me expressing any desires to actually be nude in celebration or anything, cuz that won’t be happening…ever.  The date is interesting though because one year ago, nearly to the day, something happened that changed my life.

The summer was going as it usually does, kids home all day, husband home with us (both teachers on summer vacation) and various summery activities going on around me.  So the third week of July 2012 comes and that is when the life-changing event happened.  My husband took our two sons away for a week at Boy Scout Camp.  I love that week every summer when they all go to Boy Scout Camp.  It’s my favorite.  I have precious solitude and know I’ll get a lot of writing done.  House stays clean.  I don’t have to cook anything unless I want to eat.  I can swim in my pool without children splashing around in there.  I get to stay up late watching HBO and Showtime without worry that a kid will see what I’m watching.  *all the shows I like to watch are inappropriate for children*  Basically, I am a very happy woman alone with my free time.

I got right to work with a manuscript that needed some attention.  I wrote during the day and then in the evening I combed over online stock photo sights and looked for images that could potentially go onto my book cover.  On the second night of my domestic freedom, I found an image that changed everything.

The picture that inspired me.

The picture that inspired me.

It was a beautiful picture of a naked woman posing in an unconventional way but so perfect everything just clicked into place all in an instant.  A serendipitous moment.  I thought about the picture and what it would be like to be a nude model and meet the man who bought your portrait.  My first indie published book was born in that moment with just the seed of an idea and a picture.  Naked, The Blackstone Affair Book 1 was that story.  I sat down and wrote the opening chapter right then and had to set aside the other manuscript I was working on.  I wrote like a fiend for three weeks until it was done.  I couldn’t stop writing and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  The whole idea and story pretty much took over my life for the rest of the summer.

I was scared to self-publish Naked, because I had only written books for one small press publisher and knew next to nothing about how to go off independently all on my own.  But I was blessed with the wise words and helpful encouragement from a dear friend and fellow author, Belinda Boring, who got me to press ‘publish’ on KDP back in August of 2012.  What happened next was a whirlwind-roller-coaster–ride-of-crazy that didn’t really stop until after the holidays.  The books became bestsellers, landed me my super agent, and eventually a traditional publishing contract with Atria Books.  It’s all a blur to me now.  A crazy, scary, unbelievable blur with Christmas decorations and those little chocolate bottles with liqueur inside, mixed in. True story.

Naked went on to make the New York Times and so did its sequels, All In and Eyes Wide Open. Nobody was more surprised than I was, and nobody could have told me then, that one year later I would be a full time writer going to book signings and conventions with lovely people standing in line to meet me.  The whole concept is still bewildering and I imagine it will stay that way to some degree for the rest of my life.

The book that resulted.

The book that resulted.

So back to my original idea for this post–National Nude Day.  It was a good day for me to reflect on what inspired me to even write the book that changed my life in the first place.  A beautiful nude image.  Never give up on your dreams, you never know where they can lead.  Look where a naked picture took me!!!


xxoo R

An Eyes Wide Open Valentine

Eyes Wide Open “The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake.”                     Leonardo da Vinci

So here she is.  The cover for Eyes Wide Open, The Blackstone Affair Part 3.  I am utterly thrilled with all of the covers of this series as they have managed to convey the essence of each book the way I wanted them to.  All three have a photographic image of Brynne in a beautiful pose, naked but tastefully beautiful. Apropos considering she’s an artistic nude model on the side even if Ethan isn’t thrilled about it.  *smirk*

We also have a release date for the ebook on May 14th across all retailers, and up for pre-orders now. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Simon & Schuster.  The iBooks link is not up yet, but will be very soon.  Here is a cute animated reveal courtesy of Atria Books.

The description:

The third part in The Blackstone Affair series: A love on the brink of being destroyed. The fight of a lifetime to keep it alive.

Big surprises are on the horizon for Ethan and Brynne as they struggle to adjust to what life has thrown at them. Demons from the past are threatening to destroy the passionate bond they’ve forged despite their vow that nothing will ever keep them apart. A truly devastating loss coupled with the promise of a new hope opens their eyes to what is most important, but is it possible for the lovers to move on from the painful histories that continue to haunt them? A stalker is still lurking in the shadows, plotting evil amidst the distraction of the 2012 Olympic games in London. Brynne and Ethan are on the cusp of losing everything as the stakes rise. Will they yield to circumstances beyond their control or will they give every ounce of fight they have left to save each other and win the ultimate prize of a life together?

Eyes Wide Open is a passion-wrought story that shows us what pure love can achieve when tested and what the heart can accomplish despite danger and adversity. ~

We’ll have some sneak peaks coming soon.  Check over at Natasha is a Book Junkie blog for a little treat.

Happy Valentine’s love all around.

xxoo R

Exclusive with Mr. Blackstone

Mr BlackstoneHere is the link to the first exclusive conversation with the  he-can’t-possibly-be-real Ethan Blackstone.  Becca the Bibliophile was lucky enough to snag an interview with him and posted it on her blog.  *lucky girl* Click right here: Exclusive Interview with Ethan Blackstone.

I hope you enjoyed that.  *snickers*  Brynne sure has her hands full with him.  *very lucky girl*



My muse for Ethan, as always, the sublime, David James Gandy.

Moving forward…

A dear friend found this picture and it just seemed too perfect for our lovers from The Blackstone Affair to pass up.  Ethan is cherishing his girl, and Brynne is holding on to his back just above where his scars would be.  *sigh*  Ethan cannot change how he feels any more than he can stop time.  He’s just moving forward in the only way he knows how to.  I hope you are enjoying the journey of these two.  I know I am loving writing it.

Status update:  Still very busy writing Eyes Wide Open and taking my time to make it the best book it can be.  You wouldn’t want anything less and I wouldn’t dream of delivering less.  There will be some wonderful news coming early next week that I’m looking forward to sharing, but until then, it’s back to the writing cave for moi.  I have a list a mile long of things that need doing that definitely don’t get done on their own.  Like Christmas shopping for a couple of young men I know.  *Dreams of having an app that takes care of my to-do list for me*

I hope everyone is gearing up for the holidays and enjoying this time of the year with family and friends. *blows a kiss*

Blessings, my darlings.