A Year in Review: 2013

I’m a little late ge05_TheirVirginHostagetting home after the holidays, but I love ringing in the New Year!! A sign of new beginnings, new goals, new BOOKS, and more fun!! But before I do that, I like to look back over the past year’s highlights!

The Masters of Ménage series saw two releases in 2013. In January, Their Virgin Princess released and in June, Their Virgin Hostage became available.

I added two titles to the Wicked Lovers series. In May, Xander, Javier and London got their happily-ever-after in Ours To Love (Wicked Lovers 7). Decker picked up Rachel and never let go in Wicked All Night, A Wicked Lovers Novella, which released in the Wicked and Dangerous anthology (with Rhyannon Byrd) in October.

Finally, Book 2 in The Doms of Her Life series, The Young & The Submissive, released at the end of October. Hammer, Raine, and Liam have been on quite the ride—and it’s not over!

All my Wicked Lovers books received beautiful new covers, as did Bound and Determined, Strip Search, and Dangerous Boys and Their Toys.

Wicked Lovers and Sexy Capers books began appearing in Target Stores, including copies of Bound and Determined specially signed by me just for their end caps!!

I also sold three more Wicked Lovers to Berkley, which will begin releasing in Fall 2015. Lexi Blake and I revealed a new cover for the sixth book in the Masters of Ménage series, Their Virgin Secretary. Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl, and I also showed off the cover for the third book in the Doms of Her Life series, The Bold and The Dominant.

I also attended several conventions this year, met wonderful new friends, and saw wonderful old friends. I enjoy each and every one of you!

So now it’s timtheirs to cherish_front mech.indde to look forward to this new year and the 2014 releases:

Forever Wicked, a Wicked Lovers novella (1001 Dark Nights launch book) – January 14.

Theirs To Cherish (Wicked Lovers 8) – March 4.

Their Virgin Secretary (Masters of Ménage 6) – April 15.

The Bold and The Dominant (Doms of Her Life 3) – Date TBD.

Somewhere in there, I’ll also be releasing My Brothers In Arms medieval series, starting with His Lady Bride soon! And hopefully I’ll find room for some other surprises along the way!

*Raises Glass* Here’s to what was 2013 and what will be in 2014!!! Thank you all for being with me in my heart! I can never say enough how truly grateful I am to all of you!!

Cheers!

Shayla

Introducing…Ask Shayla!

Happy Friday the 13th! I’m often asked questions about being an author and my particular writing process. I’ve been sitting on some of these questions for a while, trying to think of the best way to answer them. You know, something pithy and fun. I finally opted for simple honesty. I hope you enjoy!

1. What is your favorite book?

I don’t favor any one particular book. In fact, I’m not a big believer in “favorite” anything. I tend to do things by mood, so whatever I’m in the mood to read is my go-to of the moment. I’m also a little eclectic with it comes to reading. (Same is true for music, TV, movies…) Some things on my keeper shelves are titles from Lora Leigh, Rhyannon Byrd, Pamela Clare, Tami Hoag, and Lexi Blake, all the way to J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown. I even count some non-fiction among my favorites. I don’t have the chance to read as much as I used to, but I still find things I love every so often.

2. How crazy does it drive you when more than one character is demanding his/her story, and how do you choose which one gets their story told? Whoever is the loudest?

It’s happened, absolutely. The most notable case was between Hunter and Logan, the Edgington brothers in my Wicked Lovers series. Logan couldn’t wait to get his story out there. He yelled, hopped up and down, kept me awake with everything he wanted to do to win Tara back. Hunter didn’t want to talk at all. Before I started the book, he hadn’t met Kata, so he had no reason to be eager. As far as he was concerned, there was nothing wrong with him. Can you see me rolling my eyes here? Anyway, I exerted my will (a fun thing with two strong-willed Doms) and wrote them in the order I originally intended, refusing to put Logan ahead of Hunter on the schedule. They both grumbled, but I’m pretty sure my way was the right way.

3. I always love to hear where authors get their inspiration for books and characters.

I would say my biggest inspiration is music. I’m always listening for something new or finding fresh meaning in an old favorite. I write with music playing, and whether that’s alternative, classical, pop, or new age, there’s always something blaring in my office if I’m creating. Really juicy plotting time is in the shower, while I’m driving, or when I’m talking shop with other writers. Lexi Blake and I bounce ideas off one another really well…often with a bottle of wine.

4. Who is your favorite author, and is your writing style similar to theirs?

The answer to this question is much like the answer to #1. Since I don’t really do the whole favorite thing, I can’t pick just one. I’ve been influenced by a lot of people—not just authors, but family and friends, music, even where I live and the places I visit. I think it’s important, however, for an author to sound like themselves and no one else. I don’t want to be known as the person who imitates one of my peers. I once attended a writing class where the instructor said that a reader buys an author’s book over another because s/he is buying that author’s world view. That’s always stuck with me, so I think it’s important to present mine, and no one else’s.

5. The question I would ask is do you enjoy writing as much as we enjoy reading?

It depends on what day you ask me. LOL! Some days are lovely and beautiful. I’m in sync with the characters, and it’s a fabulous, almost symbiotic relationship. Then there are days where it’s like groping in the dark while walking barefoot over hot coals. And much like Forest Gump’s theory about life being like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get, the same is true of writing. When I sit down in the morning, I’m braced for greatness or frustration because one eventually leads to the other and back again. But if I plod ahead a little every day, I finally finish the book and I’m happy with the finished product. When I hear from lots of you with your reactions, any difficulty I experienced is worthwhile.

Did I answer your burning question? If not, leave a comment and I just might answer in a future blog… From among the thoughts left here, I’ll draw one for a special prize: A signed copy of the first book in any series I write. (U.S. only please.) Can’t wait to hear what interests you!

**Congratulations to the winner of the first Ask Shayla! blog contest, Heather Avilla!! Rachel will be reaching out to you via email and coordinate delivery of your prize. Thank you so much for participating in Ask Shayla!!**

Chats with Hammer, Raine, and Liam from Doms of Her Life

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Doms of Her Life, book 1

Recently, Jenna, Isabella, and I chatted with the main characters from the Doms of Her Life series – Macen Hammerman, Raine Kendall, and Liam O’Neill. Divided allegiances, torn friendships, unrequited love, drama and angst surround these three almost from the first page. Take a peek at what they had to say just before the start of The Young and The Submissive.

*     *     *

Shayla, Jenna, and Isabella sit down with Hammer in the bar at Shadows. It’s early afternoon, and he’s pouring a shot of Patrón, broad shoulders straining the seams of his suit coat. He stands as they enter and waits until they each grab a barstool.

Hammer: Drink, ladies? As you can see, I like tequila. Margaritas?

Shayla: Hi, Hammer. You’re on. No salt, please.

Isabella: Absolutely.

Jenna: *Eyes him* Yes, please.

Hammer pours and serves with a smile, but it’s not his usual charming grin. Shayla, Jenna, and Isabella all look at one another, hoping to get to the bottom of the problem.

Jenna: Thanks for taking the time to meet with us. I know you’re plate is full with a business to run and personal problems to unravel.

Isabella: Are you all right? *She sips her drink*

Shayla: Or are you having trouble knowing the woman you love is collared by another man?

Hammer: *Shoots Shayla a glare* Why would that be a problem? I’m having a great time listening to Liam all over Raine through the thin walls between our rooms. It’s fabulous. He’s such a prick… *He grits his teeth* But this isn’t over yet. I haven’t given up.

Isabella: *Clears throat* Obviously, that’s an upset for you. I guess you’re still remembering the incredible night you spent with Raine.

Hammer: Is the sky blue?

Shayla: I’ll take that as a yes.

Jenna: How will you try to lure her from Liam so you can have her for yourself?

Hammer: Liam can’t handle her. He doesn’t understand her. He’ll give her back to me soon enough.

Isabella: And if you’re wrong? What if Liam intends to do whatever it takes to win her for good?

Hammer: I have a backup plan.

Jenna: Is your plan waiting to see if Raine is pregnant? *Sends him a quelling stare*

Hammer: *Growls and glares.* I’m keeping my eye on that situation. I’ll know soon. I think that’s enough for now. Excuse me, I have things to take care of. Enjoy your margaritas.

As he leaves the room, Shayla, Jenna, and Isabella all take their drinks and wander down the hall to find either Raine or Liam.

Doms of Her Life, book 2

Doms of Her Life, book 2

Shayla, Jenna, and Isabella wander into the kitchen to find Raine baking. Her movements are rapid, almost manic as she stirs together ingredients, grabs items from the refrigerator, and checks a pan in the oven.

Isabella: Hello, dear. Everything smells wonderful.

Raine: *Turns to the women and puts on a smile* Hi, ladies. Help yourself. There are cookies in the jar on the counter. I’ve got a banana bread coming out soon. Any other requests?

Jenna: No. You don’t have to bake anything special because we’re here. Obviously, you’re upset. Talk to us. Tell us, is it that difficult being in love with two men?

Raine: *Presses her lips together and tries to hold it together* It’s fine. I’ll be fine.

Shayla: You’re not. Why don’t you tell us what’s wrong? We’re your friends. We can help.

Raine: *She slams down her spoon as her expression crumbles* It’s impossible, all right? They can’t stop fighting, and I’m squarely in the middle. They’re both good men in different ways, but I swear… There are times I’m not sure whether I should referee or submit.

Isabella: Probably a bit of both, but you’ll figure it out. *She smiles gently* What makes them fight? If you know, maybe you can remove the problem and simplify everything.

Raine: It’s me. I’m the problem. Don’t think I haven’t thought about leaving. But this is home…

Jenna: There’s nothing you can’t solve, Raine. What could be so terrible that you’d have to leave everything behind…or *Takes her hands* Last time readers saw you, weren’t you worried about being pregnant?

Raine: I don’t know yet. I…it’s too early to know. *She grabs the spoon and stirs the batter frantically*

Shayla: But isn’t your period late?

Raine: Not you, too. *She sighs heavily* Just leave it. When I know something, I’ll tell everyone, all right? Right now, I don’t know anything. Banana bread? *She pulls the loaf from the oven and sets it on the counter*

Isabella: With margaritas? No, thank you, dear. *Takes Raine by the shoulders* Putting aside the baby issue for one moment, tell us your next move. I’m sure you’d feel better if you knew for certain which man you intended pick. Any ideas?

Raine: No. None.

The ladies surround Raine as she fights tears. They share hugs all around.

Jenna: I know it hurts, honey, but you’ll have to choose.

Raine: Yeah. I don’t know how. I love them both for different reasons. How do I give up half my heart?

The ladies look between each other, empathy on everyone’s faces.

Shayla: Think long and hard. Go with your gut. If you need us, we’re here.

Raine: Thanks. You guys are great. Would you mind if I spent some time alone?

Isabella: Of course not, dear. Rest up. Hopefully, you’ll find answers soon.

The women all leave the kitchen and go in search of Liam. Maybe one person they talk to today will be happy.

As Shayla, Jenna, and Isabella roam the halls looking for Liam, they hear him come in the front door and double back. As one, they stop in the foyer and stare. He’s just come in from the gym and looks so manly and hard and shirtless. Jenna groans. Shayla blinks. Isabella sighs, then nudges the other two.

Isabella: Hi, Liam. Good time at the gym?

Liam: Hello. Not really. I wish I could say I’d worked off my aggression, but I make it a point not to lie to lovely ladies like you. *He tries to give them a gallant smile*

Jenna: Problems?

Liam: The usual. My raven-haired hellcat. I swear sometimes Raine should have been named Tempest or Storm. *Tosses keys on the table* You’ll have to forgive my mood. And my attire. If you’d like, I’ll shower and dress so we can continue this conversation.

Shayla: Don’t worry about us. We’re fine. Raine says she is, too, but—

Liam: *snorts* She could be drowning in a pit of alligators and she’d still say she’s fine. I mean to fix that. It’s only been a few weeks, but I will.

Isabella: But isn’t it more difficult to reach her because she’s not just in love with you? Are you worried about her feelings for Hammer?

Liam: I can’t speak for what’s in Raine’s heart. She hasn’t shared that with me. But I know what’s in mine. You already know how I feel about her… And Hammer? *He shrugs his shoulders* The man had years to claim Raine and didn’t. Now she’s mine. End of story.

Jenna: Unless she’s pregnant. What then?

Liam: Last week, Raine said she wasn’t late. This week…I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out. And I’ll deal with it, but I told her I’m not leaving. I meant it.

Shayla: I think Hammer has different ideas. What will you do if he makes a play for her?

Liam: *Determination tightens his face* Raine still wears my collar, and Hammer can kiss my ass. I think I’ve said enough on this, ladies. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the shower.

Liam ducks past them grimly, gym bag in hand, and makes his way down the hall, slamming into his bathroom.

Isabella: Isn’t this a fine pickle? I’m not sure we’ve seen any happy people at Shadows.

Jenna: It’s a tangled mess, for sure. I’m not sure I see any good resolution here.

Shayla: One where everyone can be happy? Yeah, that’s a tough one. We’ve got our work cut out for us!

*     *     *

Look for book 3 in the sexy, serialized Doms of Her Life series, The Bold and The Dominant, in 2014. Cover and release coming soon!

The Young and The Submissive – Author Interviews

TYATS_hi-res

Hi all!  I wanted to share an interview Jenna, Isabella, and I recently participated in, all about The Young and The Submissive. There have been a lot of burning questions about the series out there, so I hope this helps answer some of them. Enjoy! If you’ve got more burning questions about the series, post them here. Jenna, Isabella, and I just might follow up with answers…

Congratulations to M.Steele for winning my last blog post contest. William (hubby) Black will be in contact soon to coordinate delivery of your prize!

Hugs,
Shayla

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Book Reporter. It took some time, but I finally tracked down the lovely ladies who write The Doms of Her Life Series: Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, and Isabella LaPearl. Until recently, they’ve been hidden away writing Book 2, The Young & The Submissive, which just released on October 29.

When I arrived at Shadows, they were all waiting for me at the bar. After we ordered drinks, we sat at a table and began to visit.

BR: Will there be a book about Beck?

Authors: You never know… As we spend more time with Beck, we’re growing fonder of the big lug, and you’ll see lots of him in The Young and The Submissive, including a side or two of him that might surprise you.

BR: I have a crush on Beck, so this is all good news to me! *Crosses fingers for a Beck book* Next question… Should Raine choose Team Liam, Team Hammer or Team Ménage?

Authors: Raine should think carefully about her choices. All of them deeply impact her future and her happiness. Knowing exactly what she wants and why is critical.

BR: It will be interesting to watch Raine come to a decision. I always want to wrap her up in a hug. She’s a doll. I’ve heard this rumor that The Doms of Her Life series is a trilogy. Is that true?

Authors: No. We won’t elaborate beyond that. You’ll have to wait and see. But this is NOT a trilogy.

BR: Maybe that means there will be a ton of Doms of Her Life books. I’m definitely ok with that! *Grins* I’m not the only one dying to know something vital. Is Raine pregnant?

Authors: You’ll have to wait and find out. Yes, we might be tormenting you a little.

BR: The suspense is killing me! Telll me, do we learn any deep, dark secrets about any of the characters in The Young and The Submissive?

Authors: Yes! You’ll learn lots of new facts about a few characters that should help you understand what makes them tick. Lots of juicy stuff to come…

BR: *Sigh* Looking forward to it! And being the hard hitting reporter that I am, I saved the most difficult questions for last. Chocolate OR Strawberries?

Shayla: Both! They go together really well, so why choose?

Jenna: Both. Together. In bed. LOL!

Isabella: Strawberries. They’re juicy. Unless you give me white chocolate, too. Then it’s on!

BR: Black OR White?

Shayla: Both—and most every shade in between! But together, these two are striking.

Jenna: Both, but my favorite color is green.

Isabella: Both, preferably at the same time.

BR: Dogs OR Cats?

Shayla: I’m definitely a feline person. My friends know that I’m all about my furry baby that meows. I’ve had dogs, too and enjoyed their company. But I definitely have an affinity for cats.

Jenna: Dogs. Does anyone want a black lab puppy that weighs 85 pounds? Love him, but wow, what a handful!

Isabella: Neither. That way I’m the center of attention. LOL!

BR: Margarita OR Wine?

Shayla: How about margaritas AND wine? Really, that’s one ultimatum I just refuse to accept.

Jenna: Margaritas on the beach with cabana Doms. Not that I’m being greedy.

Isabella: Absolutely!

As you can see, these are fun, talented writers we can count on for an intense story. Thank you for chatting with me today. I leave you with a small snippet from the book.

Chapter 1

Macen “Hammer” Hammerman stifled the mundane conversation with his assistant, Raine Kendall, and stood, bracing his hands on the desk between them. Though his office door stood open—he wasn’t “allowed” to talk to her otherwise—they were as alone as they’d been in weeks. It was now or never. He had an important question to ask.

“Tell me something, Raine. Your period is what, five days late?”

 

The Young and The Submissive has released!

Have you heard the news? The Young and The Submissive (Doms of Her Life, 2) is available on most eBook sites!! It picks up where One Dom To Love (book 1) left off. For a peek into the continuing adventures of Raine, Hammer, and Liam are up to, read the excerpt posted here.

TYATS_hi-res

The Young And The Submissive
Doms of Her Life, Book 2

Raine Kendall has everything a woman could want…almost. Sexy, tender Dom Liam O’Neill is her knight in shining armor, but Raine keeps pinching herself. Is he too good to be true or is this growing connection one that could last a lifetime? She’s constantly torn by her abiding feelings for her commanding boss, Macen “Hammer” Hammerman, especially in the wake of the mind-blowing night he cast aside the barriers between them and ravaged every inch of her body.

Hammer, Liam’s former best friend, can’t stop coveting Raine. But Liam is determined to hold and guide the woman he loves and see if she can be the submissive of his dreams. However, he’s finding that her trust is hard won and he needs a bloody crowbar to pry open her scarred soul. So he risks everything to win her once and for all. But once he’s put his daring plan in motion, will it cost Liam his heart if he loses Raine to Hammer for good?
Congratulations to the winner of the Decadent blog contest, Jamie W.!! William Black will be reaching out to you via email and coordinate delivery of your prize. Thank you so much for sharing the news about Decadent!!

Updates – The Young and the Submissive and Wicked All Night (Excerpt)

What have I been up to you ask? A few things… The finishing touches on The Young and The Submissive with co-authors Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl, copy edits for Theirs To Cherish (Wicked Lovers 8), and, of course, celebrating last week’s release of Wicked and Dangerous!

Included in the Wicked and Dangerous anthology is my novella Wicked All Night (Wicked Lovers 7.5), featuring Decker McConnell and Rachel Lindon’s sexy, funny, thrilling story. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you enjoy this little taste.

Wicked All Night Excerpt
© Shayla Black (Shelley Bradley LLC)

Rachel smiled and braced her chin on his chest again.

“You’re easy to talk to.”

“You are, too,” he answered honestly. “Sorry if I got a little, um . . . demanding earlier. I promise I won’t drag you off by your hair— at least not often.”

“Did you hear me complaining?”

“Hmm . . .” He pretended to cock his head in thought. “Unless please, don’t stop’ is some new code for ‘no,’ then I guess not.”

Even in the dim light, he could see a faint flush crawl up her cheeks. “In fact, it was . . . wow.”

He cupped her chin and brushed a thumb over her slightly swollen lip. “It was pretty ‘wow’ for me, too, beautiful.”

And he meant that. It wasn’t because of her spectacular technique or her deviant sexual kink. It definitely wasn’t because she dressed as scantily as a Hollywood Boulevard hooker. It wasn’t at all because she knew how to seduce a man in sixty seconds or less. It was precisely because none of those things were true about Rachel. She had permanence stamped all over her, and he wasn’t a staying sort of man. He was going to have to be careful not to hurt her if— no, when— he left. Why lie to himself? This cozy feeling would pass, right? Probably, but . . . he didn’t want to know why the idea of parting ways with her made him somewhere between grumpy and enraged.

“Tired?” she asked with a smile.

“No.”

“Hungry or thirsty?”

“No.” He grinned. “Ask me if I’m horny.”

 

The Young and The Submissive / Lora Leigh’s RAW Event

TYATS_hi-resJenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl, and I have been working almost nonstop on Doms of Her Life 2, The Young and The Submissive, preparing for its late October release. It has been intense. It’s been a lot of long hours and hard work. It’s been exhausting—and I love it!

We’re taking a pause for a few days so I can attend the Reader’s Appreciation Weekend (RAW) beginning Thursday In Hagerstown, MD. I’m looking forward to the fun weekend filled with games, food, dancing, books, as well as visiting with readers and authors…and whatever mischief we all will get into. If you’ll be in the area this Sunday, there will be a book signing open to the public from noon until 2pm at  The Clarion Hotel and Hager Hall Conference and Event Center, 901 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, Maryland (MD) 21740. Come join the fun if you can!

Conventions come in all shapes and sizes. Large or small. Formal or intimate. No matter what the event, one of my favorite parts of any conventions is making great memories with everyone! Meeting the readers who support me, as well as those who are just discovering me for the first time, are definitely one of the biggest highlights. If you’re attending RAW, be sure to say hello.

Tell me, what are your favorite things about conventions or book signings? Or if you’ve never attended one, what do you think you would enjoy most?

I’m going to start packing…