Archive for the ‘Venus In Blue Jeans’ Category

Venus In Blue JeansMy first novel for Samhain Publishing, Venus in Blue Jeans, was released four years ago, January 27, 2009. It’s been quite a ride, but Venus started it all.

The whole Venus saga is kind of an illustration of the way romance publishing works. I started writing Venus because, frankly, a contest judge had pissed me off. I had another book that I was sending around the contest circuit. These days I can admit it wasn’t very good, but at that time I really thought it was. One contest judge told me flatly that my book wasn’t a romance because my hero and heroine didn’t meet within the first ten pages, and everyone knew that all romantic heroes and heroines had to meet within the first ten pages (preferably the first five). Now since I could immediately think of at least three very good romance novels where that didn’t happen, I was, shall we say, annoyed by this pronouncement.

So, I thought, what about a book where I spent the entire first chapter not having the characters meet? In fact, what about a book where that was the whole point of the first chapter? Thus was Venus born. Part of the first chapter is available at Samhain, and I’ve posted the whole thing here on my Web site.

Having had my revenge on the contest judge, I now had a collection of characters I really liked and sort of a plot. I say “sort of” because I knew in general terms where I wanted it to go, but I wasn’t sure about the specifics. And from this point on, I had a lot of help from a lot of different people. The folks in my critique group at my local RWA chapter, for example. They not only told me when I was going wrong, they also applauded me when I was going right. Contests were a huge help. A lot of judges liked that first chapter, but they also told me things I could do to make it better, and the things they told me helped me whip the rest of the book into shape, too. And I also had a wonderful editor at Samhain, Lindsey Faber, who always managed to pick out just the part of the book that wasn’t working (and the part I really hoped she wouldn’t notice!).

But that isn’t all of the saga. When I got the call (or rather the email) telling me Samhain was buying my book, I had a couple of hours of elation before my husband arrived home to tell me he hadn’t gotten a promotion at work he’d been promised for two years. It was probably the most rollercoaster day I’ve ever been through. When Venus came out on January 27, we went out to dinner that night to celebrate, and he left the next day for a new job in Colorado. I faced three months on my own, packing up the house and saying goodbye to friends and family as I prepared to move to the foothills. It was sort of hard to be as chipper as I wanted to be at the Samhain Café that day.

But now, four years later, I’m a happy Colorado resident with six more Konigsburg books to be proud of and four new non-Konigsburg books all coming out this year—Bolted from Samhain on April 2 and Medium Well (February 19), Medium Rare (August 20) and Happy Medium (December 17) from Berkley InterMix.

So to celebrate the start of it all, I’m giving away a copy of Venus In Blue Jeans, ebook or print, your choice. Just leave me a comment on this blog and you’ll be entered into a drawing next week.

Happy birthday Docia and Cal and Janie and Pete and Lars and Jess and Erik and Morgan and Tom and Deirdre and Nando and Kit and Joe and MG. And most of all, happy birthday Venus In Blue Jeans. I couldn’t have done it without you.


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Venus In Blue JeansVenus In Blue Jeans, my first Konigsburg book, is pretty lighthearted. Cal and Docia’s love affair is mutual and enthusiastic. But every romance has its bumps and they have a big one. In fact, there’s a point where it’s not clear they’ll make it. Here’s a little bit of that bump. But don’t worry–this is a romance, after all. HEA all the way.

“Y’all better give my baby some space now,” the woman murmured. “She’s had a rough couple of days.”

Docia’s father moved to her other side, wrapping one arm around her waist as her mother patted her on the shoulder. Cal watched as her parents walked her toward the waiting SUV without a backward glance.

He stood frozen for a long moment, aware of a score of curious gazes around the parking lot. “So long, babe,” he murmured and walked toward his truck again.

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Venus In Blue JeansThis week I’m giving you six from Venus In Blue Jeans, the first Konigsburg novel. Cal, my hero, is getting ready to dance with Docia, my heroine, and realizing once again how much he loves the Texas Hill Country–and Docia too, of course.

Cal was drunk. His head swam, his words slurred, the lights blended into a single flash above his head. In some part of his mind, he was vaguely amazed to be so far gone since he’d only had a single beer cup from the beverage stand. He was drunk on fiddle music, drunk on warm night air, drunk on the sounds of laughter and the jibes of his friends.

Drunk on Docia.

Most of all, he was drunk on Docia.

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Venus In Blue JeansHere’s a bit more from my first Konigsburg book, Venus In Blue Jeans. Docia and Cal (my h/h) are headed off to a dance where the citizens of Konigsburg are dressing up like the town’s earlier residents. This is Cal’s first sight of Docia in her costume.

The black satin top covered Docia’s upper body like a coat of paint. Silver roses were embroidered across her bosom, and silver lace rimmed the top edge of the bodice along the sumptuous swell of her breasts.

A great deal of sumptuous swell.

Another piece of silver lace circled her throat; she wore her hair in a topknot that looked like a cross between a Gibson girl and a can-can dancer.

She was a lonely cowboy’s dream girl—a dancehall queen with money, style and a creative imagination. She was also the hottest thing he’d seen since he’d discovered sex at age fifteen.


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Venus In Blue JeansVenus In Blue Jeans was my first book for Samhain. It features a hero and heroine, Cal Toleffson and Docia Kent, who are both more than six feet tall (in Cal’s case, way more). In this scene they’re sizing each other up, so to speak.

“The national ideal is five-foot-three-inch blond women who fit into middle seats just fine.”

Cal put down his glass, sliding his arm along the back of the couch. “Docia, no man in his right mind would want one inch less of you.”

“Good because not only am I not changing, I don’t want to; I like my size the way it is.” Her gaze drifted over his torso, down his legs to where his boots crossed at his ankles. “I like yours too.”

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Okay, this excerpt comes from my first Konigsburg book, Venus In Blue Jeans. The hero (Cal) and the heroine (Docia) are getting ready to make love for the first time–so it’s their first view of each other naked. Here we go!

Cool fingers wrapped around his shaft, measuring him, sliding lightly down the length of him.

“You’re very big.” Her voice sounded husky.

Cal swallowed, nodding. Even if he tried to speak, he figured his voice wouldn’t be more than a croak, and he wasn’t sure he could speak at all as long as her hand stayed where it was currently.

And then she grinned, eyes sparkling. “Fortunately, so am I.”

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