Meet the Ladies in Red

Reality shows, such as ‘Top Chef’ and ‘America’s Got Talent’, take us into the hearts of many pursuing their dreams.  In front of viewers, they perform under pressure, wait in agony to see if they will continue to the very end, never giving up, giving us inspiration and the thirst to know more on how a dream comes to life. 

It is no different with writers. 

I’d like to introduce you to five great ladies who did not give up on their dreams…

(Kay Rogal) Welcome, ladies.  I have to ask…did your characters choose you or did you choose them?

(Mary Kate Gray) I’m normally more of a plot-driven writer.  I develop the characters to work within the plot I have in mind.  For ‘Small Town Secrets’, which releases August 13th, though, my characters came to me – especially Josh.  He appeared to me in all his black-hair and blue eyed glory.

(Lynn Cahoon) I usually start with an idea or a setting, then I let the characters develop the story.  So when I was writing ‘The Bull Rider’s Manager’ (the sequel to ‘The Bull Rider’s Brother’), I had a character I’d already developed – Barb Carico.  Thinking about the hero, I wanted him to be modeled after a middle school crush – Ken.  I was 10K into the story before I wrote Ken and Barbie…Ken is now Hunter, and he likes the name much better.  But it took me until the end of the book before I had him nailed down.

(Alicia Dean) In ‘Soul Seducer,’ I chose them. I wish I were more character driven and the characters talked to me and told me their story, but I find characters that fit the plot I have in mind, then they come alive once I delve into the story.

(Galen Rose) In ‘A Place to Rest My Heart’, my heroine Laney, pretty much kicked the door in and would not let me rest until I wrote her story. My hero grew from her story.

(Katherine Bone) In ‘Duke by Day, Rogue by Night’, My characters choose me, sometimes to my chagrin, as well as delight.  😉

(KR) How do you determine what type of personality to give your characters?

(MKG) The characters’ personality depends on their role in the story.  Josh is self-assured (and more than a little cocky) because of his time spent behind the network anchor desk.  Tara’s far more reserved, but that comes from some of the issues she’s had in her past.  They balance each other out, and I think that’s important in real life as well as in fiction.

(LC) In The Bull Rider’s Brother’ – I knew Lizzie was head strong and determined, but had been struggling, letting life get her down and in her way for too many years.  I wanted her to find her old fire in the story, and boy, does she ever.  I didn’t want her to say yes out of desperation, but out of completion.

(AD) It depends on the plot. For example, in ‘Soul Seducer’ I needed a heroine who had the courage to fight against death. I needed a hero whose job it was to bring death, and who could make us understand why he did what he did.

(GR) I’m a pantzer and my characters evolve as the story does. But I do a good bit of character background once I get going, so personalities grow from their history. I think it’s important to really get to know the main characters. Even minute details can have bearing on a story.

(KB) My characters play with me a little, at first.  Then, when they know I can’t resist them any longer, they lead me to my name books.  It’s strange because my characters’ names always jump off the page when I go looking for them.  And once we’re properly introduced, I learn their backstories and what or who they’re up against.  I adore the first meet, don’t you?  😉

(KR) Every author has a part of them in their book, what part of your book is ‘you’?

(MKG) Our neighbor’s dog is actually a part of ‘Small Town Secrets’.  During the years that we lived in our old house, Rosie became a beloved extended member of our family.  It seemed natural to build her into the story.  We might not live near her any longer; but by giving her to Tara, Rosie will always be with me.

(LC) In ‘The Bull Rider’s Brother’, it’s Lizzie’s fight.  After letting the world dictate her decisions for so long, she takes her life into her hands.  I hope I’m that determined about things that are important to me.

(AD) I love Elvis Presley and major league baseball. Both are mentioned in ‘Soul Seducer’, as they are in pretty much everything I write.

(GR) Wow, this is a great question! I’d have to say my heroine embodies a good bit of my snarkiness with a heart.

(KB) I would have to say the sense of empowerment a woman feels when she’s in love.  Though I write historicals, I love the fact that women clung to the dictates of society, but sought to bend the rules as much as they could in the Regency time period.  Every woman wants to love and be loved.  In my mind, there’s no better way to experience love, then in a world where men were men and honor and duty were the rule of the day.  I’m talking Alpha males, y’all!  Knights in shining armor, dukes and lords with charming wit and a passion to protect what belongs to them…That would be little ol’ me. 😉

(KR) What is your favorite indulgence after a long day? 

(MKG) I’m currently trying to shed a few pounds, so I can’t say chocolate…which is my normal treat at the end of the day.  I just bought a few tiki torches for our backyard, and my kids seem to really enjoy them. Having a “tiki torch night” with my family and the furry ones is a nice indulgence that I try to pencil into my family’s busy schedule once every week or two.

(LC) I’m on an ice cream kick right now.  Horrible for the ‘diet’ I’m trying to maintain.  If it’s not food related, then it’s a reality television show – like The Next Food Network Star or coming up Thursday – Project Runway!!!!!!!!! Yes, I am a contest show geek. LOL

(AD) A glass of wine and mindless, funny sitcoms.

(GR) Hmmm… dessert? I had to think about this one so maybe I need some more indulgences in my life!

(KB) Oh, this is a great question!  I’m partial to a steaming cup of hot tea or hot chocolate, curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket and watching The Vampire Diaries.  (Pirate!)

Thank you for joining us.  Remember…Never give up your dream…It is what makes you…

We would love to hear your dreams and what it takes to follow it.


 Molly Kate Gray / SMALL TOWN SECRETS / @mollykgray – Twitter /

 Lynn Cahoon / THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER -Crimson Romance-June 2012 / A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL -Lyrical Press- Nov 2012 /

 Alicia Dean / Soul Seducer / Amazon: / B&N / Crimson Romance:

Galen Rose / A PLACE TO REST MY HEART / / /

Katherine Bone / Rogues, Rebels & Rakes DUKE BY DAY, ROGUE BY NIGHT Coming Soon / /!/katherinelbone


Meet the Ladies in Red

Before a book goes into print, authors put their hearts and souls on paper, their muses pushing their heroes and heroines to life, taking them through black moments, twists and turns, ending happily-ever-after.  Querying, submitting manuscripts and the long wait for word on being accepted or rejected is experienced by all authors.  The birth of Crimson Romance brought new hope to many authors, especially Terry Newman and Ines Saint.  Crimson Romance’s editor, Jennifer Lawler, received their queries, and from there, the road to publication began…these authors’ hearts are coming to life July 9th…

Joining Kay Rogal (KR) are Crimson Romance authors Ines Saint (IS) and Terry Newman (TN), along with Crimson Romance’s editor and published author of non-fiction and fiction, Jennifer Lawler (JL) for a little fun, getting to know them and a wee bit of the behind the scenes…

(KR) Not only are you the editor of Crimson romance, Jennifer, you have published fiction and non-fiction.  If you could name one reason for writing fiction, what would it be? 

(JL)  I love playing God.  That probably gives you some scary insight into my personality.

(KR) If you could name one reason for writing romance, Terry and Ines, what would it be? 

(IS)  Hi, Kay!  Thank you for taking the time to get to know me better.  I’m addicted to reading the news, so I’m very aware of what goes on in the world.  I write romance, because I know there are a lot of people out there, who, like me, need to escape into something where a happy ending is guaranteed.

(TN)  I’m compelled to write (some may say it’s a calling, I say it’s an obsession!).  And romance is satisfying, because it’s a happily ever after ending!

(KR)  Somewhere in our writing, we put a little part of ourselves in it.  Jennifer, not only are you an editor, but a published author — Where would we find you in Tess and Michael’s story of falling in love in ‘Love by Design’?  Ines, where would we find you in ‘Strangers in the Night’?  Terry, where would we find you in JJ Sprightly and Kennedy King Cooper’s story of falling in love in ‘Out of Character’?

(JL)  My daughter is intellectually disabled, and I wanted to write about that not as the focus of the story, but as part of ‘Tess’s life, just like it’s part of mine.  And I have a thing for men who work with their hands, thus Michael’s a carpenter.

(IS)  Great question!  You’re right, there’s always a little piece of me somewhere.  In ‘Strangers in the Night’, I poured my feelings for my younger sister into my main character’s older sister, Tania.  I used to hope and fear for my younger sister too much, because I love her so much, but I had to learn to let go.

(TN)  Aside that they’re history professors and I’ve done a lot of graduate work in history, they’re both stubborn individuals.  I’ve been told I’m a tad stubborn myself.  Personally, I don’t see it!

(KR)  Terry & Ines, as readers, outside of Crimson Romance authors, who is your favorite author and why?

(TN)  Right now, it’s Janet Evanovich.  I love the Stephanie Plum series, especially the earliest books.  She writes with such humor.  That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish.

(IS)  This is a tough one, because I go through so many phases.  My one constant favorite author, I’d have to say, is Charlotte Bronte, because I adore everything about Jane Eyre.  I read it once a year.

(KR)  Jennifer, what do you love most about being editor of Crimson Romance?

(JL)  I love that we made something out of nothing — in January we had an idea.  Now we have launched an entire imprint!  I love being part of something big like that.  On a more day-to-day level, I love the stories and getting to work with authors to shape them — to help them bring out their best.  Also, the shirtless men are a bonus.

(KR)  Jennifer, Terry & Ines, what do you do for fun?

(JL)  I hang out with Greek sailors.

(IS)  I go through phases with this, too, but my two constants are hiking and traveling.  Each fills a different need within me.  Thanks for the chat, Kay!

(TN)  I love to travel, but haven’t had the chance of late.  I enjoy spending time with friends and family, trading snarky remarks.  I, also, love to play Banagrams — I could play that for weeks on end.  And I, also, work Sudoku puzzles whenever I get the chance.  Too bad I’m not getting any better at it!

Please don’t let the questions stop here, readers :)…I encourage you to ask away!

Thank you, Jennifer, Ines & Terry!  I loved getting to know you better and for making me smile.  It was a lot of fun!  


‘Strangers in the Night’ by Ines Saint – to be released on July 9th

‘Out of Character’ by Terry Newman – to be released on July 9th




Behind the Scenes


I’m the type of girl who can’t do without making time for a good book, dark chocolate, dark coffee, a margarita, a hero, heroine, heels and quality girl time…there’s, also, a little part of me that must indulge in the occasional massage to awaken my senses, eliminate the over-crowding in my mind and just do a little me time in order to take on whatever comes my way… 


Finding a good deep tissue masseuse can be time consuming and frustrating if they are not a good match for your body and mind.  Fortunately, I had found the perfect one.  No knot, muscle, ache, stress went untouched, until I had melted to the table, forgetting everything but one thought…‘what if’…

I had been playing around with the idea of a romantic suspense with mafia, white slavery, trying to add a new twist.  While my masseuse worked her magic on my body, I tried to concentrate on the heavenly bliss of me time, but the makings of ‘Sweet Revenge’ refused to wait.    


I began wondering, with today’s technology, how would the underground slavery market adapt with time?  The mafia needs time to abduct and sell women without being traced for days.  My antagonists, Old Man Donovan and his sons, take advantage of several sources in finding their ‘merchandise’. 

Research into white slavery led me to believe Old Man Donovan and his sons chose this market for the easy money which is estimated to be a multi-billion industry in competition with illegal arms and drug dealing.  The Salvation Army, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the dangers of social stigma, brainwashing and personal emotional scars discussed online opened my eyes of not every ending is happily-ever-after for many families.   


I wanted to create an awareness of the aftermath of white slavery, and, include a happily-ever-after.  After all, it only takes one person to make a difference, one person to take a stand…‘Sweet Revenge’ is the first to hit the surface of the white slavery ring, targeting its operators as they infiltrate undercover into the source’s home – Old Man Donovan’s – only to find there are more hidden agendas, turn-coats.  Old Man Donovan’s children and task force agents are ready to dig deeper until the ring is shutdown, bringing romance, intrigue, female fortitude and alpha males.  Book two and three, soon to come, will take you deeper into the underground slavery world of Old Man Donovan, his clan, heroes, heroines and the secrets that drive them all. 


I hope you will find a sweet revenge of your own with a massage, a good book, great girlfriends, those sexy heels that flirt to every guy that walk by, love of a good man, dark chocolate, a margarita or whatever you fancy in renewing your mind and body for what comes your way…


Enjoy the pleasures of life… 


Kay Rogal 


My Crimson Romance…‘Sweet Revenge’ comes out July 2nd