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A Valentine’s Day Ruby Release!

Ruby LoveThis year Valentine’s Day falls on the same day as our Winter Writing Festival check-in, so I’m celebrating a little early. Happy Valentine’s Day!

People in young relationships traditionally do something romantic and often extravagant on Valentine’s Day. However, as a relationship matures and becomes settled, we frequently become complacent and neglect to observe this holiday for lovers.

Sometimes it’s because we’ve become overly practical and decide we don’t need to be romantic on cue. As a result, some of us celebrate some other day when there’s no wait for a table at a good restaurant, roses only cost $9.99 a dozen, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are marked down to 50% off.  And then there are some who have trouble thinking of ways to be romantic and simply don’t do anything. If you’re like me and you married one of those individuals you might want to read a Ruby blog I wrote in 2010, Valentine’s Day Encouragement for the Romantically Challenged, for a bit of consolation.

In my opinion, rescheduling your personal Valentine’s Day to a more opportune time is great as long as you don’t ignore spending time with your sweetheart and showing him or her the depth of your love. My family moves holidays all the time to accommodate everyone’s schedule. We’ve permanently moved Mother’s Day to the Saturday night before to avoid the mobbed restaurants, so is it any surprise I moved Valentine’s Day?

I must confess, the WWF check-in day wasn’t the only reason I wanted to celebrate today. The other reason is I officially launched my debut novel, The Memory of You, last year on Valentine’s Day here on the Ruby Blog, although, the book was actually published on February 6th. (Incidentally, that book is presently FREE at Amazon to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Operation Homecoming.)

This year, I (and my alter ego, L.L. Kellogg) pushed hard to publish our seventh novel by February 5th, simply so I could say I published seven books in one year. Silly, I know, but it was my goal. And anyone who’s participating in the WWF knows how good it feels to meet an especially challenging objective.

The third reason I wanted to officially launch this book today is because the story actually opens at eleven p.m. on the night before Valentine’s Day. So without further ado (drum roll please), I’m proud to announce my alter ego, L.L. Kellogg, has just released  The Naughty Never Die,  Book 2 in the Seduction series.

The Naughty Never Die Book Cover SmallerAnyone who’s read Book 1 of the series, Hypnotic Seduction, knows there was a minor  suspense element in the story, however, it wasn’t substantial enough to categorize the novel as suspense. This new release was originally called Finding Trouble (the title under which it won the Ignite the Flame and Touch of Magic contests and became a Daphne DuMaurier finalist). It was SUPPOSED to be strictly a romantic comedy, too.

Much to my dismay, however, L.L., in her usual obnoxious way, took the story places I really didn’t want to go, because I DON’T WRITE SUSPENSE. But would L.L. listen to me? NO WAY. She insisted on bringing out the inner Snookie in my uptight, prissy Jersey Girl heroine and threatening her life.

(So maybe you can understand why I locked L.L. in her room today and refused to let her attend this launch party. You should’ve seen the floozy outfit she planned on wearing.)

Anyway, we once again ended up writing a fence-straddling plot. The romance half of the book is laugh-out-loud funny, whereas the suspense subplot is dark and edgy and scandalous enough to make our philandering politicians seem like choir boys. It’s still a Red-hot Romance that’s a Little Naughty and a Lot of Fun, but it’s definitely different than my other novels.

If only the good die young,

then New Jersey’s virtuous First Lady should be a cinch to kill.


Unless….deep down she’s really quite naughty.

The Beauty—a chronic people pleaser who’s had enough of her goody-two-shoes life

Since her mother’s untimely death, crusader Josephine Callahan has served as New Jersey’s First Lady. Acting as her father’s official hostess in the governor’s mansion is tantamount to living in a fishbowl, which makes S-E-X extremely difficult. On the brink of a nervous breakdown, frustrated Josie loses her usual good sense along with her cool and lets her assemblyman boyfriend sweet-talk her into an impromptu romantic getaway–something she would never consider if she had a clue someone is trying to kill her.

The Beast—an incurable bad boy who refuses to admit beneath his scars lurks a hero

A deliberately twisted message, via the governor’s spiteful assistant, misleads ex Special Forces officer, DJ Ryder, as to the true objective of his freelance assignment. He’s told to, not only track down the governor’s classy daughter and hold her in protective custody, but to also teach her a lesson by letting her believe she’s been kidnapped.

When Josie discovers the scarred, but still sexy, badass has played her for a fool, she retaliates by feigning a raging case of Stockholm syndrome, teasing the brute until all he can think of is the ‘hold her’ part of his orders. How can Ryder concentrate on keeping Josie safe when he’s busy avoiding the danger she poses to his heart?

Now that I’ve shared what my heroine, Josie, will be doing for Valentine’s Day, how about you?  What plans to have with your sweetheart?

Do you ever have trouble keeping your plot from going places you’d prefer not to visit—like the sick mind of a psychopath?

Leave a comment to be eligible for a drawing to win a $25 American Express Gift Card.

35 Responses to “A Valentine’s Day Ruby Release!”

  1. Happy release day, Laurie! That book sounds like another great one.

    I do have trouble with my plots sometimes … or, rather, my characters like to do things I have no desire for them to do. (Close enough, right?)

  2. Happy release day, Laurie!! And I’ve learned that I need to plot more than pants if I have any HOPE of not ending up with random scenes that suggest complications I have NO TIME FOR in my books. So I definitely hear you on that!

    And as to Valentine’s Day–I suspect I will be working. But at least on something I love!

  3. Rita Henuber says:

    Woot! Happy Release Day!
    My characters always want me to go down other paths. Geeze!

    • Thanks, Rita. Just as long as your characters aren’t leading you down the GARDEN path, you’re probably doing okay. My characters constantly drag me there so they can get frisky. :)

  4. wanda barefoot says:

    Congrats on the new release Laurie! Your book sounds awesome and I’d love to read it! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. SEVEN books in one year?! Laurie, you are a MACHINE…a love machine. Hmmm…I think that’s a song. ;)

    I can so relate to your post. After 18 years of marriage, hubby and I opt to spend a quiet romantic dinner at home (a yummy, but easy one) and open a bottle of wine…after the kids go to bed, of course. We don’t like to spend gobs of money on things we won’t use (or flowers that will die within a week), so we do things like buy a DVD or something we’ll enjoy and will use. This year, we opted for laughs (because we both could use them lately)…we’re buying each other a comedy CD to listen to in the car when the kids are screaming. LOL

    • That sounds lovely, Anne Marie. I’m making my hubby a nice dinner tomorrow night and I’ve got a copy of Making the Curve with Clint Eastwood. LOVE Clint’s movies. That man may be old, but he’s still got charisma.

  6. Jazz supper club. Most romantic thing about it is that wonderful hubby arranged it all and then surprised me with it. Great food, champagne, and dancing. Loooove it! Can’t wait to read your latest

    • That sounds like fun, Chris! I’ve never been able to talk mine into going OUT for Valentine’s day. His opinion is that Valentine’s day is February 14th, the day after the 13th and the day before the 15th, and there’s no difference between them. Any romance in my house is all created by me. (See Article for The Romantically Challenged) :)

  7. Hope Ramsay says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Happy release day. This one sounds great, like all the others!

    My plots. . . You know how OCD I am about plots. And yet, they still get away from me.

    • Thanks, Hope. I think sometimes (note: I say SOMETIMES) when the characters and plot take over and leave you with your mouth hanging open, it makes for some of the best stories. Lots of surprises.

  8. Elisa Beatty says:

    Ooh, what a great storyline!!! Happy release day!

    I wish I had CLUE how to control my plots…they careen around without any permission at all from me. I’m aspiring to be Hope when I grow up!!!

  9. Tina M says:

    Happy release day..The book looks really good..

  10. Amanda Brice says:

    Happy release day, Laurie! Sounds like another winner.

    My plots tend not to get off track mostly because I sit and think and think and think and think for months (literally) before I start writing, but my problem is that I write short. Really short. So I kinda wish they would go offtrack and I’d have some new tangents to run down. LOL

    • Amanda Brice says:

      As for Valentine’s Day, I hate to admit it, but I typed “THE END” last night at 2:30 am so I’m kinda braindead right now and had totally forgotten that’s tomorrow! Yikes.

      We’ll probably cook something yummy to eat after the kids go to bed.

    • Maybe it’s time for a subplot, Amanda. Congrats on finishing the book. It’s a great feeling. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day dinner.

  11. kim brooks says:

    Happy release day! I am adding this to my reading list.

  12. delia says:

    Congrats on the new release!

    I’m a panster but I have plot milestone that I want my characters to reach but some how they end up anywhere but there. They’re so BFE that it’s a struggle to get them back on track. One of these days my attempts at plotting will work but I’m not holding my breath that it will be anytime soon :)

  13. Diana Layne says:

    The new book looks like a whole lotta fun.

  14. Kelley Bowen says:

    Fantastic job meeting your goal, Laurie! Congratulations!

    I need to learn how to write to an outline. More plot will hopefully mean less desperation driven revision ;)

    • Thanks, Kelley. When I first started writing, I was a pantser. Then I entered a contest that required a full synopses of the story I hadn’t finished. It was a good feeling to write that first synopses before the book.

      Since then I’ve refined my process.
      1. Character survey
      2. GMC Charts for hero, heroine, and antagonist
      3. I decide what the black moment and resolution should be
      4. I ask myself what my characters need to learn in the course of the book to be able to triumph over the black moment.

      That’s about all the outlining I do now. So I consider myself a PLANTSER–a little plotting and a lot of pantsing. When I know what my characters need to learn, it’s a lot easier to determine what my scenes have to include to teach my characters the lessons they need.

      Your writing process should be whatever works for you. If it isn’t working, then think about changing it.

  15. Sorry I’m a day late, Laurie. Congrats on your new release.

  16. I’m pleased to announce Tina M won the random drawing for the $25 gift card.

    Congratulations, Tina!

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