Shelli Stevens, the author your mother warned you about!

by JoAnne Kenrick
Shelli Stevens is a NYT bestseller author with a backlist to make your toes curl and your hair stand on end! She writes hot romances and leaves no page, erm I mean corner, unturned.
I'm just thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview her for The Pop Culture Divas! We talk life of the writer, upcoming books, awesome backlist titles, and of course we talk HAWT heros. If you haven't read Shelli's work before, you are about to discover a gem! If you are like me, a huge fan of her work, this will be a real treat! But whoever you are, put up your feet and pour yourself a drink, because it's time for a natter with Shelli Stevens...and check the bottom of the post for a contest ;)

Where were you, and how did you find out, that you had made the NYT bestseller list? Dish!!

Well, it never occurred to me that I would have a chance at hitting the New York Times list, so I never checked or really thought about it. I found out when I was out walking, shortly before I pick my daughter up from school. My good friend, and fellow author Karen Erickson, called to tell me she'd found my name on the list. I totally didn't believe her and made her send me links...even then I kept thinking it had to be a mistake. It was an absolutely awesome moment. That series must've struck a note with readers, and it really touches me to realize that! I certainly never expected to be able to say I hit the NYT list. Who knows if it'll ever happen again, but I'm thrilled that it happened once!

Can you remember the name and author of the romance book you 'borrowed' from your mother all those years ago that got you hooked on the genre and the idea of writing your own stories?

Unfortunately I can't remember the name. All I remember was that it was a Harlequin Presents, and the heroine had been shipwrecked on an Island or something. She had amnesia I believe... I just remember thinking OH WOW! SEX! I was probably eleven or twelve. My mom finally got tired of me asking to read them and said go for it, but I warned you! I was totally hooked and devoured every romance novel in every category/genre I could find after that.

And has your daughter or your mum read any of your stuff? If so, what did they think of it?

My daughter is eight, so she's just newly into the reading world. She's still into Judy Moody and The Magic School Bus type books. My mom has read a few of my milder ones, but she still thinks they're pretty risky! Said they were hotter than Peyton Place (which I had to immediately Google since I had no idea what that was!).

Writers get inspiration for stories from all over the place, and sometimes comes from the most strangest of places. So, I have to ask, where did the story spark come from for the holding out for a hero series?

Well, honestly, jury duty. I was on a pretty intense case that lasted almost two months. And I remember one of the witnesses had run to try and avoid testifying. Gone halfway across the country. They brought her back and she had to testify, but it sparked an idea for my first book Going Down. I figured a good match for the heroine, my runaway witness, would be a small town Sheriff. And then the idea of making it a book about brothers, all with careers deemed 'heroic' would be fun. So I ran with it. I had so much fun with that series. Fell in love with the Wyatts and that small town :P

Did you get the pleasure of interviewing--you know, for research purposes only of course ;) --any men in the field for your heros? Like a broody police dude or a smoking hawt fireman? If so, deets please?

I don't know any Sheriffs or police officers really, so I had to do research for that one. But for the Army hero, I interviewed my friend who is an Iraq vet (she read my flashback scenes for authenticity). And for my firefighter, I interviewed an old friend of mine who's now a firefighter. I was a college jazz choir geek and he was our sound tech. Then I found out later he was a firefighter gracing the cover of a calender! I keep thinking I should get him to speak at one of our local RWA chapter meetings :P

In Negligee Behavior, that knowing something threatens the HEA [happy ever after] before the lead characters do plot arch is a surefire way to get me screaming at my eReader. I loved that you included the POV [point of view] of the evil villain set to ruin the romance between the hero and heroine and to get his grubby hands on her fortune. Was it a conscious decision to have three POVs, if so, why did you go that route?

Thank you! I actually really love a villain POV. I especially love writing it. Something about tapping into my inner evil side. You get to be in the head of my villain in my upcoming book Savage Hunger too!

Talking of Negligee Behavior, which has one of my favorite opening scenes for a romance book ever, where on earth did the idea of the bride escaping before the I dos by jumping on the back of a strangers motorbike on the Vegas Strip?

No idea. Really no idea. LOL. Maybe because I started that book a long time ago. At the time I'd been reading a lot of chick lit. But I knew it would be a fun premise. And it was. That book was so much fun!
And is there going to be a follow up to Negligee Behavior for the lovable Brit bartender?

I'd like to at some point, though at the moment have a full plate with the Savage series I'm working on. But the Brit just screamed for a book. My problem with Sebastian is he has some baggage, and his book might not be as light and funny as Negligee. So I'm struggling with that, and I can't help but worry that it would bother readers to read a heavier book after Negligee.

I admire your talent to make your characters on the page so believable and real. Do you have any writerly tips you use to work on your characters?

I try and write characters like real people. How I imagine a conversation with my friends would go down. I want them to be real. Someone I can relate to, or someone I'd fall for, a best friend I'd have. Or that one crazy guy/girl at the party is always fun to put in a book.

Is there a character you found particularly stubborn, who refused to conform to where you wanted to take the story?

I'm not sure there's one in particular. Quite often I plot a book (loosely) and the characters reveal something about themselves that'll take my book in a whole new direction.

What's your daily writerly life like?
Lately it's a bit of a mess, I'll be honest. With the holidays and wrapping up the year. But generally I try and write 1k a day at least. A writing routine is huge in finishing a book.

How do you go about writing a book from start to finish and then to final draft?

You just sit down and write. The 1k a day works like magic. If you do it, you literally have a single title book in three months or so. I take the finished product, read through it again and see what things need to be changed. Then I have betas and critique partners read it. Then after another read through/tweaking, I'm done and send it off to my editor.

Secret to success?

Write. Ignore the doubts and insecurities. Write and build a backlist. And then go out and talk to people. Make friends. Have fun with readers and other writers. Be a real person people can relate to. Nobody wants to see you like a human commercial for your books. I'm personally more likely to buy books from someone I talk to online all the time and really like as a human.

Any new year resolutions for you?

Oh I'm sure some of the same ones everyone has! To be more healthy. To keep at the weight loss. But I'm also making this the year of me. It's my theme. I'm making time for me to write. To work out. To date (if I should be brave enough!). To enjoy life!

If you could change anything about 2011 what would it be?

To not get so freaked out by the NYT hit. It kind of messed with my head and made it hard to write. I thought people would be judging me more, be analyzing my books more (why did SHE hit). It gave me all kinds of self-doubt (where as you think it would do the opposite!) and angst.

Anything new coming up that we should get our knickers in a twist about, erm, I mean keep our eyes peeled for, in 2012?

I have my book Foreign Affair coming out with Samhain in February, and in the spring I have Savage Hunger, a paranormal I'm super excited about coming out at Samhain as well!

Lastly, do you have words you'd like to share with your readers?

Thanks for reading me! For taking a chance on me (not to quote Abba or anything). I hope you always love and defend the romance genre. It really is a wonderful escape and a chance to get a Happily Ever After. Have a happy and wonderful 2012!

Thanks so much, Shelli, for taking the time out to dish the dirt with us pop culture divas!!

And now on to the deets for Shelli's upcoming books so we can look forward to them, and mark our calenders!

Revenge can be sweet…and oh so sexy.
Lena Richards’s whirlwind vacation to Europe with a friend is a welcome chance to shake her pre-wedding jitters—until she learns her high-school sweetheart is cheating on her, Hawaiian-style. Figuring all’s fair, she indulges in a fling of her own with a sexy New Yorker she meets in Amsterdam whose kiss blows her mind—and the lid off her hormones.
Tyler Bentz is wary that the petite bombshell, who only a short time ago insisted their one kiss must never happen again, has done a complete 180. His questions only make it clear she’s interested in probing of the sexual kind. Who is he to turn her down?
As they burn their way across Europe, something shifts, and it’s not just the earth moving with their exploding passion. Lena begins to realize what it really means to fall in love. And Tyler finds himself tumbling hard and fast.
Reality catches up with them in Paris, leaving Tyler to wonder if Lena’s really the one, or if he’s nothing more to her than a pawn in her game of revenge.
Releases 7th February 2012
Available for PRE-ORDER now: Amazon | Nook | Samhain | Google Books | BooksOnBoard

Coming this Spring.... and is it just me, or does the cover remind you of a certain Antonio Banderas in his younger days? Maybe it's the pose, either way...HELLLO!

The man who vows to protect her may be her biggest threat.
Savage, Book 1
Being the daughter of a world-renowned scientist, Sienna Peters has struggled to carve out her own career in the field. But her world is sent spinning when she discovers a secret species being held in the lab where she works, and the horrible things being done to them. Compelled to do more than hand off an information-packed jump drive to her father, she sets out to free the creatures.
The minute his team enters the compound, federal agent Warrick Donovan knows their mission will have more trouble than they bargained on. Unfortunately, trouble comes in the form of Sienna Peters, the younger sister of his close friend. Now not only does he need to save her pretty ass, he needs to discover just how involved she is with the imprisonment of the shifters.
Sienna knows she should trust no one—not even the man she might still love. But as the danger escalates and past passion ignites, her heart has other ideas. Even when the shroud of mystery is ripped off more than one stunning truth

Use the rafflecopter to enter for your chance to win any ebook from Shelli's extensive backlist!

Wanna find out more about Shelli and her awesome books? You can stalk her, I mean find her, here: FACEBOOK | TUMBLR | TWITTER |

by JoAnne Kenrick
Can he win her over with his secret weapon, a Sweet Irish Kiss, or is Rachel still too scared to love? Book one of JoAnne Kenrick's amazon bestselling series with Decadent PublishingEx Ghost Tour Guide turned smutty author. JoAnne Kenrick grew up in a small sea-side town on the coast of North Wales and lived in a house that backs onto a graveyard.
She now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two kids, and two puddy cats. When they aren't demanding her attention, or jumping on her head, she strums away on the keys of her little laptop, creating worlds and adventures she could only ever dream of. Come across the pond and faraway....with JoAnne Kenrick!
AmazonAll Romance, And Bookstrand bestseller.


  1. Hello Shelli! I've read Bad Girls Do and loved it. I'm about to start your Seattle Steam series. I would love to win Take Me. It has been on my wishlist since I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    Geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Hi Shelli!
    I read and loved Flash Point! Those Wyatt men are some kind of hot:) I'm definitely a fan of your work and would love to start reading your Seattle Steam series starting with Dangerous Grounds. Can't go wrong with a little coffee and a sexy cop;) Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I love Shelli Stevens! I think there is only a couple I haven't read, but I hope to resolve that soon!

    twitter - blakesmomma


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