Monday, January 23, 2012

Special Guest - Roni Loren

First, I must apologize for getting this up late. Thanks Roni for understanding.

From Blank Page to Published Book - How Crash Into You Came To Be

Writing and publishing a book can be quite a journey. Every writer’s path is different, but today I thought I’d give you a peek inside the process of how CRASH INTO YOU came to be.

1. Trusting my story idea
Before I wrote CRASH, I had written a paranormal YA and a category-length contemporary romance. Though I read a lot of erotic romance, I had never tried my hand at one. But when the story idea for this book came to me, I knew it could only be told via erotic romance. I wasn’t sure if I had the talent to write that steamy of a story, but I figured I had nothing to lose. Most likely, no one would ever see all these hot scenes anyway, right? I mean, what are the chances this will actually get published? *snort* Fate must’ve chuckled at me over that one.

2. Letting others read it
I had been in a critique group for the second novel, so I was used to getting feedback on my stories, but this was a much different story than I’d written before. My critique group had mixed feelings about critiquing an erotic. Some were totally fine, others felt it was out of their comfort zone. So, I left that group and found a few beta readers who felt more comfortable with the genre to get their opinion.

3. Sending it to agents
I had queried my YA and had gotten a lot of rejections. Very well-deserved rejections I might add. That was very much a “practice” novel that should’ve never been sent out. But like most writers, I had to go through that phase to learn. Right as I finished CRASH, a blogging friend reached out to me to let me know that her agent was looking for more romance writers. She’d liked the excerpts on my blog, so she offered to give me a referral to Sara Megibow at Nelson Lit. I sent a few chapters to Sara and queried a handful of other agents. Sara got back to be lightning fast and loved the book. She offered me representation. One of the best days ever. :)

4. Revising
Sara gave me feedback on the book and we switched it around a few ways--first putting in more suspense, then backing off that and focusing more on the love story. This was a very good learning experience for me. I discovered I am much more of a contemporary romance writer than a romantic suspense writer. So though my books sometimes have suspense subplots, the focus is solidly on the couple and their romance.

5. Sending it to Editors/Publishing Houses
Just when you get through the trauma of querying agents, you go through another trauma--going on submission to the publishing houses. Getting an agent doesn’t guarantee your book will sell, so there’s always that fear you’ll stall out right at that last stretch. Luckily, Berkley Heat loved the book and offered me a two book deal.

6. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting…
Publishing is not fast. So I spent the time after getting the deal writing book two and a novella. Fifteen months after I got that original call from Berkley (and over two years from the day I started writing the book), CRASH INTO YOU, hit the shelves. It’s been a dream come true. I can’t believe I get to do it again with at least 3 more books. : )

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that's it. Her debut novel, CRASH INTO YOU, will be published by Berkley Heat January 3, 2012.

Tumblr (where I post mancandy photos): 
Buy links for book: 

Now let's hear about the book

Blurb - Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat—a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one Master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn’s past.

Brynn knows what attorney Reid Jamison is like once stripped of his conservative suit and tie. Years ago she left herself vulnerable only to have him crush her heart. Now she needs him again. Back on top. And he’s all too willing to engage. But as their primal desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate—and so does the danger.  Their hearts aren’t the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules. And his game could be murder.

Excerpt - *CRASH INTO YOU is told in chapters alternating between the present and ten years earlier. This is from a “past” chapter.*
“That’s one of the things I like about you. You don’t seem to give a damn about who my family is, so I can just relax around you.”
She laughed. “Yeah, once I found out you couldn’t fire me, you lost all shot of me kissing your ass.”
He slipped a hand onto her hip and pulled her closer, their bodies almost touching. “So what’s your stance on kissing other things?”
Every muscle in her body strained to move forward, to close the sliver of distance between them, but she held still. “Probably not a good idea since we work together.”
He smiled and shook his head. “See, you’re always such a half-empty kind of girl. Working together means we’ll get paid to hang out with each other.”
“And everybody in the office will think I’m hanging out with you for the wrong reasons.”
He shrugged. “That’s why we don’t tell. It’s none of their business anyway.”
She chewed her lip. “I like you, Reid, but I don’t know . . . it’s just complicated. I’ve got a lot—”
He put a finger over her mouth, hushing her. “Stop overthinking things, Brynn. It doesn’t have to be so complex. I know you don’t bullshit, so I’m not going to either. Since the first day I met you, I haven’t stopped thinking about what it would be like to touch you.” He cupped her chin and ran his thumb over her lips. “To taste you. I leave the office every day fighting a hard-on because just hearing your voice sets me off.”
She swallowed hard, the blunt words and his finger on her lips throwing gasoline on the flickering flame of longing she’d been fighting since they’d left the office.
“So in about three seconds, I’m going to kiss you. If you don’t want that, you tell me to stop, and I’ll never try again.” He curled his hand around the back of her neck, his gaze tattooing her. “One . . . two . . .”

Thank you Roni for visiting with me today.

And everyone look at the prizes she's giving away.

* One signed set of Romance Trading Cards for "Crash Into You" to a random commenter at every stop.

* A $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

* A signed set of Romance Trading Cards for "Crash Into You" AND a basket of romance novels (approx. $50 value) to the host with the most comments (excluding the author's and their own) including: Switch by Megan Hart, Big Jack by J.D. Robb, Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow, Beyond the Night by Joss Ware, and The Fallen: Raziel by Kristina Douglas.

Make sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:



  1. I've following the tour and having a lot of fun and learning a lot also. Crash Into You sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it to see what happens between Brynn and Reid.


  2. Very cool : )

  3. Not only do I enjoy reading the excerpts, I enjoy reading about the path a book travels from your pen to my hand!

  4. Hi Roni!

    Thank you so much for sharing the publishing journey of "Crash Into You" - it's very eye-opening to see just how much work (and how long) goes into getting your novel onto the bookshelves. :)

  5. I just found this tour glad I did before it was to late! Loved the excerpt can't wait to read more thanks for posting today :)

  6. Interesting interview about writing, good luck with the book.

  7. I've been hearing so much about "Crash Into You." Congrats to Roni on the release.

  8. I like the alternating past/present in the chapters. It's a great way to get a different perspective on characters and situations.


  9. Thank you for sharing. I always enjoy hearing about the writing process. LOVED the excerpt.


  10. Joanne, thanks for following the tour!

    Karen, thanks!

    Karen H, thanks, glad you enjoy seeing the behind the scenes. :)

    Melinda, thanks and it definitely can be a long haul :)

    Anita, thanks for hosting me! :)

    Savannah, glad you enjoyed the excerpt! :)

    Renald, thanks! :)

    Jane, thanks!

    Catherine Lee, thanks, I enjoyed writing it that way. Kind of felt like writing two books simultaneously.

    Marybelle, thanks, glad you liked it!