Running With Quills, Blogsite for Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Stella Cameron, and Suzanne Simmons
Susan Andersen
Suzanne Simmons

Stella Cameron
Stella Cameron

Kate Douglas
Kate Douglas

Lori Foster
Lori Foster

Jayne Ann Krentz, Photo credit Marc von Borstel
Jayne Ann Krentz

Elizabeth Lowell
Elizabeth Lowell

Carla Neggers
Carla Neggers

  • Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Book taboos... what are yours!?

    My Man Michael banner - adjusted

    I have a new book out - Jan 27th release date - and I'm not sure how it'll be received.
    Some readers are already letting me know that it is very TABOO to change paths in a series.

    Now, I didn't change much, I promise!
    I have my SBC series...

    Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

    ...that each features a fighter.

    Again, let me stress that the books are NOT about fighting, but rather about a fighter in a romantic relationship, how he balances the grueling workouts, the dieting, the travel and promotion schedule - with love.

    So anyhoo... the first three were straight contemporary. No problem, right?
    But my 4th book, MY MAN MICHAEL, which features Michael "Mallet" Manchester, takes a wee trip.

    See, the book opens with Michael in a hospital. He's been in a wreck, his legs are badly damaged, and it's going to be a struggle for him to walk. Never will he be able to fight again.
    Tragic huh?

    Unless I get to play! And I like to play.
    Or rather, my muse likes to play.
    I honestly just trust my muse and go wherever it takes me.

    This time it took me to 2220.


    Morning brought the sounds of muted footsteps, soft chatter, and the rattling of trays and machines. Life disturbed the quiet that had settled over the hospital during the long night. Unshaven, sullen, bordering on depressed - though he’d never admit it - Mallet shifted, and winced in pain.

    All that had happened still seemed surreal – except for that awful pain. It was real. Very real. Dawning sunlight flickered through the frozen layer of lacy frost that climbed the bottom of the window, blocking a dull view of the parking lot. Mallet stared at it, brooding, wishing for a change.

    For uplifting news.

    It was futile, and he knew it – but he wouldn’t accept it. He couldn’t.

    Tomorrow they would release him from the hospital – and a few days later, he’d be expected to start therapy to learn to walk with only one good leg.

    Closing his bloodshot eyes and swallowing around the pain left in his throat from the resuscitation tube, he considered his destroyed future. How could everything change so drastically in such a short time?

    In the last four years, he’d made a strong name for himself in the SBC. At twenty-six, he was considered a major contender in two weight classes, and one of the most feared competitors in the sport. In another month, he would have fought – and won – the title belt.

    His hands fisted. His jaw flexed and tightened.

    Thinking of the wreck brought an invisible weight to his chest, crushing his lungs.

    Crushing his legs.

    Through closed eyelids, he saw it all, felt it and smelled it and relived it again and again. Flashing lights, metal grinding against metal, the acrid stench of burnt rubber as tires squealed and brakes ground without success; the lash of the seatbelt cutting across his body, trying in vane to pin him in place.

    The impact of the wreck sent his brand spanking-new, shiny black sport’s car turning and tumbling like a snowball going downhill. Each flip had compressed it more, disfigured it, destroyed it.

    Only when it slammed into a concrete wall did it finally stop.
    With Mallet trapped inside.

    Oh man! POOR Mallet.
    Heartbreaking, huh? Well, at least I thought so.

    BUT THEN...

    “I’ve never seen anyone sulk so much.”

    Startled, because he’d thought himself alone, Mallet looked toward that deep, melodic voice and found a slight woman sitting in front of the frost covered window. Or more like... she perched, butt and feet both on the window shelf, bare arms crossed over her knees.

    At either side of her, colorful flower arrangements, sent by fighters’ wives, made a bizarre frame.

    How had she gotten in without him noticing?

    Palest blonde hair in a deep side part hung straight and baby-fine to her shoulders. Large, heavily lashed hazel eyes studied him.

    Bemused, Mallet looked her over from her odd positioning against the window to her long, lithe limbs, to a mouth that defied description.

    Only in a fantasy, his fantasies, had he seen a mouth like that.

    “How’d you get in here?”

    I'm not giving anything away to tell you that she came to fetch Mallet, to take him to 2220 where he'll be whole in body, and very much needed - to train the fighters. Female fighters.
    And Mallet being a big old macho guy and all, well yeah, he wants to protect women, not teach them to protect themselves.

    But it's important to Kayli, so he tries to adjust - because she's quickly become important to him. Let me tell you, each of them has one wing-ding of a time adjusting!

    I don't think I've ever had so much fun with a book!

    Researching the future was a blast.
    Writing women who can kick ass because that's what they're expected to do was a blast. I personally love this book.

    To me, it reads with the same voice I inject into all my books. It's still a story of a sexy romance, still about family and community, still about Alpha guys and strong women, but... yeah, with a few twists.

    So here are my questions:

    The fact that I left contemporary for somewhat futuristic... does that irk you?

    Will it keep you from reading? (You can tell me! Promise!)

    Do you consider changing "paths" in the middle of a series, even a loose series like this one, to be a no-no?

    What are some of YOUR taboos?

    I had readers who were "WTF" about it. (You should know what that stands for, but if not, let me know.) There was a whole blog thing about it, with several readers sounding plenty irate.

    Now understand, readers are important to me! They don't direct my muse, which does it own thing, thank-you-very-much. But I do care about their feelings. I wanted to reassure folks at the "WTF" board, AND let them know that it's okay to complain, at least it's okay with me.

    Readers get very invested in stories and they care. If they didn't, a lot of authors would be out of business. But I really, REALLY hoped to reassure them that what they usually liked about my books was still there.

    Some readers wrote to me to say, "What's wrong with two humans having sex?"
    --- I wrote back that they were definitely BOTH human! LOL

    Another angry reader emailed that she wouldn't read about robots "getting it on."
    --- Um, yeah, no robots boffing, I promise.

    And yet another reader was really, REALLY peeved that I went paranormal with this book.
    --- Is time travel paranormal? Not sure. I just apologized for letting her down.

    Do you consider TT paranormal? Or just... TT? I always thought the two were very different, distinct sub genres.

    That's it about that topic. I don't want to anghst over it when the results will be in soon enough. :::Gulp:::

    I have a very love/hate relationship with new releases. LOL. I LOVE having a book finally hit the shelf, but hate the pressure of it doing well.

    Lastly, just for fun, I want to share some cool promo stuff.



    The guy standing up there is hanging the billboard vinyl. My husband took the pictures, and I chose this one to give a perspective on how big the thing is.



    That gold emblem says, "MMA Book of the Year," awarded by TapOut magazine.
    LOVE TapOut magazine - obviously.
    They also mentioned me on the cover, which was cool, and did an "exclusive" interview inside the magazine.

    The book will also be in OK and Star magazines.
    What kind of promo do you notice about books? What grabs your attention?

    Yeah, I'll shut up now! And here I thought this would be a super-short blog. LOL
    HUGS to all of you!



    Blogger Zed-Aitch said...

    I personally like a series that goes "off the track" every once in a while, though I don't see how that has happened here. The series is about fighters, and so is this book. So you changed the time frame, big deal! It's the characters in your stories that are important anyway. That has always been the strength of your work. You could plop your characters down any where, any time, and the story would still be terrific, because you write such strong and interesting characters. So, what this ramble is meant to say is, "You go, girl!"

    5:02 AM  
    Blogger DFender said...


    I don't have any book taboos... other than if they're boring I'm done with ' I give every story or book that I read a minimum of 100 pages. If it hasn't grabbed me by then it's bye-bye and into the garage sale pile. Other than that, I'm up for anything. Ha.

    Promos don't mean much to me either. I, of course, love a good cover but it doesn't "make or break" it for me either way. I don't look for trailers or promos. The greatest promotion for me is to visit an author's website and taking a peek at the current work in progress so I know what I have to look forward to. I LOVE that part... something to look forward to (y'know, like visiting with old friends) and

    Happy Moanday! ;-)

    Oh... and I already ordered MY MAN MICHAEL and I'm greedily rubbing my hands together in anticipation!

    5:14 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Zed-Aitch, thank you so much. I appreciate your faith more than I can say! :-) (Love your bright yellow birdie avatar!)

    Deb, Happy Monday to you too!
    Have you, by chance, checked out my brand-spanking new website? We're still looking it over for tweaks and glitches, but it's up and very purtee. :-)
    I hope it makes it easier to follow my new vs reissued books!



    5:30 AM  
    Blogger radiantfitness said...

    Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick took her Arcane Society storylines from historical to contemporary to futuristic, and I find it charming.

    My only taboos are social topic ones. Read a book once (Firefly?) by Piers Anthony where I interpreted both his storyline and his editorial comments at the end as arguing the "up" side of pedophilia. Haven't read another of his since.

    5:40 AM  
    Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

    That's gotta be kinda rough, isn't it? Attempting to keep the masses happy and at the same, growing as a writer with different ideas and sub-genres, etc. It's a fine line to dance upon, but it sounds like you've really pulled it off.

    I don't think of time travel so much as paranormal, but definitely sci-fi? I'm not even sure now that I think about it. In my world, paranormal is more like vampires and shape-shifting, etc., that could happen in today's world (for example, ENCHANTED INC by Swendson). Time travel, whether forward or backward, requires some type of science to back it, I'd think (like Kate & Leopold). Maybe I'm just rambling! LOL You definitely gave me something to think about though!

    Love the billboard!

    6:31 AM  
    Blogger Cheryl M. said...

    Hey Lori!

    I think this one sounds kind of fun!
    I enjoyed the fighter series, but I know that if you wrote every story in that series the same way it would get pretty stale after a while. When I find an author that I enjoy, I am willing to give them a chance wherever their muse takes them. I love, love, love Linda Howard's romantic suspense but I also enjoy her paranormals and Blair Mallory novels even though a lot of her readers don't. I think if YOU, the author, enjoy what you're writing, that comes through in the story and makes it work no matter what genre or storyline.
    As for taboos, I don't have any, lol. I'll read anything once :- )

    6:41 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am not fond of the masses dictating what an author writes. I am more fond of interesting characters, realistic romance and a rockin' plot. My philosophy is that it's only kinky the first time, and I am only disappointed if the book is boring or predictable.

    This is a bold step for you, Lori.
    As my mother would have said, "Congratulations, baby girl!"

    Lynne Thomas

    6:49 AM  
    Blogger BranS said...

    I am glad that you chose to write about Michael. I loved him in "Simon Says", how he was ready and waiting for Dakota to change her mind about Simon.
    The whole Time travel thing doesn't bother me. I figure some people wait there whole lives to find true love. Mallet just had to go to the future to find his. :) Very Much Looking Forward to ready this!!!!

    6:55 AM  
    Anonymous Lisa Cooke said...

    Lori, your books are so awesome, it wouldn't matter what year they're in. I love time travel--the whole "what if" thing always gets my imagination rolling.
    Good Luck with the release. It'll be another NYT, I'm sure!
    Lisa Cooke

    7:09 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Hi Brenda!
    You know, I don't really worry too much about pleasing the masses. That is, I don't mind being "dissed." LOL. If I did, I'd be curled up in my bed, never to show my face again!
    BUT I do mind if my overall numbers plummet. Gotta keep things up there and growing, ya know?
    So yeah, in that sense, it IS a juggling act!

    I was just on the Amazon boards, and oy vey! Some very UNhappy readers on that book. I apologized and moved on. I hate for any reader to feel like she wasted her money, ya know?

    Lisa, thank you mucho, but let's don't make any grand plans okay? I'm not counting on the list because the economy is soooo bad, and this book IS different (in that one small way. LOL) so I'm just happy if I can kepe my publishers happy!

    THANK YOU everyone else! I hope your faith is warranted. LOL


    7:35 AM  
    Blogger Bri said...

    Time travel is definately not paranormal. I agree with Brenda Bradshaw that it's more science-y(is that even a word? probably not lol). Keep up the good work, some of will read whatever you write no matter what.

    7:38 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Bless you, Bri! Maybe my most dedicated readers will save my goose this time around. LOL

    Hugs to you!


    7:40 AM  
    Blogger Lisa F. said...

    Hi Lori, I guess I've been in la-la land because I haven't heard any comments about Michael. I didn't know you had included time travel at all.

    I really don't have any taboos on what I read, as long as it has a happily ever after. While you are known for your strong heroes, I thought you did a great job with the novella in Star Quality which to me was light paranormal and I have no doubt My Man, Michael will be just as entertaining.

    8:03 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Lori,

    I have to agree with Brenda about time travel not being paranormal. It is a little sci-fi, but that's okay too. As for taboos, I don't really have any except when authors use the same plot and story line with different character names and promote it as a new book. I have started and stopped reading many authors because those authors started using a "cookie-cutter" pattern.

    Not sure how you want to take this, but I have already read "My Man, Michael". Walmart was selling it this weekend, and I picked it up on Saturday - it was done by Saturday night. A great read! As much as I enjoyed all of your SBC series, this one is my favorite so far.

    Keep on moving forward. Authors who write across genres, not only have amazing talent, but are also giving readers opportunities to explore other types of books without as much anxiety. Examples: James Patterson, Jayne Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle, and Elizabeth Lowell writing as Ann Maxwell and A.E. Maxwell with her husband.


    8:40 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Jennifer, trust me, I will take that with a GREAT BIG SMILE. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it. And if it sold on Saturday, oh well. LOL. Close enough, right?

    Thank you!!!

    Lisa F., yup, a wee bit (as I call it) of TT. LOL.
    I hope you like it!
    And thank you for the kind words on Star Quality. I had a lot of fun with that one.
    Jamie and my novella in Charmed also had peeks of paranormal. ;-)



    8:45 AM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Lori, you know I'm a huge fan and I'm really looking forward to this one. I think it's especially exciting when an author tries something new with a series--I thoroughly enjoy your LL Foster urban fantasies (I'm amazed at how you're able to change your voice so completely in that series) and I can't wait for My Man Michael to come out. I didn't realize it had the TT twist to it, so now I'm REALLY anxious to read it! Love the billboard idea--one question,'s it feel to drive by and actually SEE one along the highway? I think I'd freak!

    8:48 AM  
    Blogger Jayne Ann Krentz said...

    This one sounds like a lot of fun, Lori! I'm with some of the others - I don't think of time travel as 'paranormal' for some reason. Maybe because it has a long, established history in the romance genre and doesn't usually involved the "supernatural" (vampires, witches, etc.)


    8:55 AM  
    Blogger Jim said...

    Sounds like a fun book to me. Just another plot twist, which I really like. Sounds like there a bunch of stick in the muds out there.

    9:29 AM  
    Blogger Terry S said...

    It doesn't bother me at all. I will be so there buying when the ebook (future, remember?) is released.

    9:30 AM  
    Blogger elizabeth said...

    Lori--My only comfort zone where books are involved is DON'T BORE ME.

    For instance, I'm not wild about the Napoleonic Wars, or really about historicals in general--but I'm absolutely loving HER MAJESTY'S DRAGON and THE JADE THRONE.

    You can't please all of the readers all of the time, so be sure to please yourself along the way.

    Is the new book on Kindle?
    *runs off to check*

    10:16 AM  
    Blogger susan andersen said...

    Lori, I think this sounds like GREAT fun. I love the premise. So to answer your questions: No. Yes. No. :)

    I don't have any particular taboos, although I am drawn to certain story types more strongly than others. I imagine that's just personal preference.

    LOVE the cover of MMM--like Jayne's hero on the cover of Running Hot, he looks like a MAN, which is nice. Can hardly wait to get my hands on My Man Michael, even if I have to--dang--finish my RITA books before I can read it.

    10:21 AM  
    Anonymous Lou said...

    Lori - I think it sounds like great fun. Other authors have done TT successfully (Linda Howard - Son of Morning for an example) - I can't begin to imagine why folks are getting so upset. Must be narrow-minded or something.

    I'm looking forward to it. Besides, Mallett needs to be whole... just 'cause...

    10:43 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Thank you everyone!
    Ann, you KNOW I'll send you a copy - but I don't have any on kindle. LOL
    And yes, I'm all about pleasing myself when I write.

    But then, I do feel bad in this tight economy when readers get a book they end up NOT enjoying.

    Jim, I would never insult my readers! I wish they all loved every book, buy hey, it's not gonna happen. Readers get very invested in characters, especially in a series, and not every handles change the same.
    Me, I love a good shake-up. LOL. Long as no one is arrested or injured, change keeps the blood pumping. That's DEFINITELY how I feel as an author - I have to change things every now then or I'd be feeling far too stale.

    Hugs to all!


    10:56 AM  
    Anonymous kris b said...

    Lori your books are my favorite and I actually preordered this one! the time travel was the reason so i could see how you mixed it in with the rest of the series! I thought it sounded fabulous and.. uhh I didnt see a thing about robots! LOl that really cracked me up ya gotta wonder how people really see things sometime!
    I can't wait for michael and for everything you write it seems your muse always takes you in the right direction for me! and no time travel and paranormal are not the same, and I will be only wtf if you quit writing books and I have to wait forever to find a new favorite author!
    and I mostly like all books with humor thrown in! :-)

    11:26 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Kris, You've brightened my day in a big way! THANK YOU.
    Please do let me know your thoughts after you've read the book.
    that's Lori L Foster @



    11:33 AM  
    Blogger Catherine said...

    OMG! Loved the blog. LOVE the book cover. How cool is that billboard?!
    No robot boffing, weeelllll, I think I'll survive.
    Like everyone else, the only "taboo",--don't bore me. Again, like the rest--haven't read a book of yours I didn't enjoy. Can't tell you how many times I've read about Simon and Dakota ( too embarrassing), really like Michael in that book.
    Can't wait to read about Michael, sounds like a great book.
    TT, never thought of it as paranormal. Shapeshifting, vampires etc.. yes to the paranorm.
    You keep writing, I'll keep reading!
    Thanks for the great books.


    12:06 PM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    LOL. Catherine, I swear I could feel your enthusiasm and energy in that post!
    Thank you x 10!


    12:07 PM  
    Blogger wavybrains said...

    I love your voice, and I'll pretty much read whatever your muse deems worthy of the printed page :) And new and different beats stagnant any day. I have tremendous respect for your immense talent.

    That said, I generally don't like series shifting midstream. When I like a character and wait and wait for him to get "his" book, I'm not just wanting him to get his HEA--I'm wanting to return to that same universe. I want to see the other characters from the series again, and I want to revisit their time & place. Even loosely connected books do a certain amount of universe building, and readers expect that the rules of that universe will be applied. If Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters suddenly got super powers or Sabrina Jefferies' School for Heiress's landed in 3010, I'd feel really gypped and cheated. It would be a little bit like the TV moment when a show jumps the shark and takes an unbelievable (for that show) twist--you keep reading b/c it's your favorite, but some of the joy is gone from it. I'm not saying it can't be done successfully--Linda Lael Miller has thrown a few ghosts into otherwise contemporary series. But, my preference as a reader is to have a series maintain its original tone and genre. And to be honest, a part of me wishes that you had had Michael wrestle with the physical challenges of his new state instead of sending him back to able-bodied land--However, I look forward to reading his story nonetheless.

    12:58 PM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Wavy-brains, (boy do I feel silly calling you that, but I didn't see a name) THANK YOU for that very detailed explanation! I really think that's the case with the negative posts on Amazon.
    I threw those readers for a loop.

    I remember one time my dad was in the hospital, and while I was visiting, they brought in his food tray. There was this dish of what looked like custard.
    He went straight for it - and found out it was cheese potatoes.
    He actually gagged, and I asked, "Is it that bad?"
    He said, "No, but I wasn't expecting cheese potatoes. I was expecting custard."

    Same difference, right?

    I hope I don't disappoint too many readers with my cheese potatoes! LOL



    1:08 PM  
    Blogger Christina said...

    I guess I am the lone outsider in this subjext because I am not sure how I feel about the twist. When I read the review and blurb in RT I was kinda of disappointed I only read very limited paranormal and no sci-fi, but after reading your blog today I am willing to give it a try. I am not so close minded that I will toss away the whole series, b/c I love it!!! This will be my first experince reading a series where the author changed genres. I hope for the series sake it works out.
    Awesome on the billboard that must be so exciting to see your work that huge!!!

    1:32 PM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Christina, I hope your faith is well deserved, but if it turns out you don't enjoy it, PLEASE know that I understand and there are no hard feelings!

    Big hugs!


    1:37 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Time Travel???nothing wrong with that.
    It is the story that makes it readable...your stories are very readable.

    Book is on order. Date is around the corner. Looking forward to My Man Michael.


    1:44 PM  
    Blogger wstridgerunner said...

    There really isn't any "won't read" stuff with me, except for boring stories. I love to see authors try different things! Because you see; if my fav authors try different stuff, them myself, (loyal fan of fav authors), will have to read their different stuff! It's a win/win situation!! LOL

    1:58 PM  
    Blogger Stella said...

    Lori: This sounds GREAT! I have only one taboo: Bore me:) Bore me and I'm gone and this story surely isn't going to bore me.

    You have a true writer's heart and soul--you think in "what ifs" and when you do that, anything can happen.

    Another book to buy:)


    2:54 PM  
    Anonymous Carrie from Wisconsin said...

    Hi Lori,

    As a reader, the only thing that stops me from reading books is if it's a topic I do not like or find boring.

    Being a lover of sci-fi, the idea of TT is always interesting as long as it's handled right.

    People who make the assumption that there will be robots and/or aliens in a TT novel are ill-informed and not intelligent enough to read a story to find out what's actually in for themselves.

    There are people who do not adjust well to change and freak when it happens. I have to agree with some of the others here that a storyline told again and again will get boring for both the reader and the writer.

    I wish you luck with the success of your book!


    3:10 PM  
    Blogger still karibear said...

    The closest thing I have to a taboo is pedophilia - unless they're going to get what they deserve, which is one reason I like Andrew Vachhs. Otherwise, it's boredom. If a book can't hold my interest, it's history. Life is too short to waste on being bored.

    I'm looking forward to it - sooner or later, it will be recorded! And don't worry about those twits who have no sense of adventure.

    3:47 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Lori my local book store had My Man Michael on its shelves on Friday, which I was shocked by because the release date isn't for another few days, but i'm not complaining becasue I'm more than half way through it. I have to say I was a little nervous about the plot switch but I have to say I love the book. I like that this tough guy who is used to protecting women -- is thrust into the future where its the women protecting the men!
    I can't wait to go home from work an read more :)

    4:11 PM  
    Blogger L2 said...

    I think that taking the chance on something a bit different is what growing is all about. You don't have any robots or aliens having sex, so really all you did was move the setting to a different time period - and give us a view of what you think the future will bring.

    There would be who complained if you set your book in 1930 New York, or the Swiss Alps. But I think that the majority of your readers are adult enough to at least try the book before deciding they don't like it.

    Some of the comments that I have seen make me think that people aren't reading the book before they jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, they tend to be the VOCAL minority.

    Give it a few days, and the naysayers will be drowned out by those of us who will enjoy your writing no matter the time period - or the name on the book. I like your L.L. Foster stuff too - and I think I'm not the only one :o)

    Now there are also going to be some who don't like the book - but as long as they don't dismiss it out of hand because of the twist, they are entitled to that as well.

    I think your writing will handle the future well.

    4:52 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Lori,

    You are my absolute favorite author, but I have to be honest and say that I will give this book a chance, but I'm not sure about it. I am really not into futuristic kind of stuff. I'm kind of afraid that won't like it, but I'm going in with an open mind. Does this mean that that this is where the "MMA" series is going and that they won't return to the present? I will always try your books.


    Amy from Ohio

    6:15 PM  
    Anonymous Carrie from Wisconsin said...

    Hi Lori,

    I forgot to answer the other part of your blog questions. There are several things that draw me to books.

    1. An author I've read before and have enjoyed.
    2. If the book is x in a series of y books I already own.
    3. If the book contains characters I liked from a previous story but not necessarily part of a series.
    4. The title. A good, catchy title can get me to read the blurb on the back of the book or on the book flap but isn't necessarily enough to get be to buy it outright.
    5. The blurb on the back. If the story/plot sounds interesting to me, I'll spend a few minutes to scan the first couple pages. From there I'll make the decision.
    6. Subplots. To me, the subplot is the most important thing of the book. Is there more to the story than boy meets girl? What else is going on? What journey do they take? When do they take it? (I prefer past and future to present day, but I do read current day one as well.)
    7. Topic and genre. A book might be in the genre I like, but if the topic is one that is overused or that I've read too much of recently, I'll pass it up but make note of it for later. As much as I like forensic shows, even I need to take a break and watch a different genre from time-to-time.
    8. Excerpts. The Internet has given me the ability to read an excerpt from books and I've bought entire trilogies based on the excerpt from the first book!
    9. Sometimes, a really good cover can draw my attention, but it has to be really unique. I'm not drawn by the typical book covers. I'm not attracted by the typical sappy romance covers. I'm also not drawn to a book by the body on the front.

    For me, a cover will attract me if it gives something of the plot. For example, if a cover has a fancy hat, shoe, a purse spilled over and there is something odd in the contents like a gun, rope or candlestick (very clue-ish of me, I know) with a backdrop of a room, car or other area that is important to the story, I'll be more likely to pick up the book and read the blurb than I would be to see either of the main characters in some compromising pose.

    Let's face it, they're the romance genre and we know that the main characters are going to connect somehow in the boy meets girl plot. I like to see a little of what I might expect from the book on the cover.

    In other words, I enjoy it when a cover leaves me asking, how does that fit into the story? It means I'm intrigued enough to read the book.

    Hope this list helps!


    6:41 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Okay, everybody! Here's how we can effect change-buy two copies of the book and give one to the local library. That way Lori, and other authors we love, can touch even more people who will become fans! I would be willing to bet that for every naysayer on Amazon there are a multitude of adventurous readers looking for "new" authors to read.

    Keep the love flowing
    Lynne Thomas

    7:04 PM  
    Blogger Cory said...

    I haven't read any of this series, but I'll have to get my hands on this book! I'm hooked already!

    As for the types of promos I notice, generally online. I notice the occassional tv commercial for a book, but it's rare. If I don't see it online (blog, author's website, amazon recommendation), chases are I won't know about it.

    8:41 PM  
    Anonymous nancy said...

    Lori, I'm sorry, but I guess I am the exception. I absolutely love your books, and you are one of my very favorite authors. I am trying to buy and keep all your books. I have loved your books since you wrote the Buckhorn brothers series. That said, I am very disappointed in your switch with My Man Michael. I have read all the other fighter books and loved them. However, I can not bring myself to read a book set in the future. I read an excerpt somewhere and didn't like it. So, I'm sad and sorry that I won't be reading this one.

    5:55 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    After writing 17 pages yesterday, and thoroughly spending my brain, I went AWOL. Sorry folks! LOL

    Nancy, oh please don't apologize! You have no reason too. I would never, ever expect a reader to pick up a book she wasn't into.

    Cory, thanks. I'll cross my fingers and toes that you like it.

    Lynne, I like how you think! :-D Go girl!

    Carrie, the problem with that is that sometimes the stuff on the cover has NOTHING to dow with what's in the book. LOL. I've had that happen on some of my covers, and I've seen it with other books.
    But I do like an intriguing cover, too!

    L2, that's my thought exactly - that many are drawing a conclusion, dismissing it out of hand, without reading it, or at least reading PART of it first.
    But that's okay too. There have been times I've done the same with books. ;-)

    Happy Tuesday everyone! We're snowed in here in Ohio!

    6:13 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Anon, THANK YOU! Yay! I'm so glad that you're enjoying it. Let me know when you've finished, okay? I hope the whole story works for you.

    Hugs to all!


    6:15 AM  
    Blogger Caroline said...

    This book sounds great! How tragic it would be if we couldn't let our imaginations go. I think in this day and age everyone is looking to the future with unease and skepticism. Anything to help soften that, especially in a story plot, is welcomed!

    Good Luck with the release (even though you don’t need it ) and I will look for it....


    Love the Billboard!!!

    7:56 AM  
    Blogger Tina said...

    I have a lot of different thoughts and I'm going to try to marshall them into some coherent and relatively concise order.

    I absolutely love your SBC series. It is the reason I discovered you as an author and the reason I started picking up anything I saw with your name on it. Some stories that you have written have been better than others, but all have been very good and fun to read. Admittedly, I haven't picked up your L. L. Foster books yet, but I intend to.

    I do read paranormal, SciFi, and urban fantasy and I tend to prefer it to have a romantic bent. That said, I don't read a lot of straight-up "paranormal romance" because I don't think much of it is done well. If I can't buy into the world that's built, if it feels silly, cliched, and/or trite, or, if there are consistency problems and plot-holes you could drive a truck through, I simply can't suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the story. Conversely, the world-building can be great, but the characters are either unlikeable or the story is so overwrought, I simply don't care what happens to them. There are certain authors that pull off both the world building and the characterizations exceptionally well--such as Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz or Patricia Briggs. Others (and I'm not going to name names, since they are enormously popular), I can't stand to read.

    Also, I don't consider TT to be paranormal either. Whoever wrote that to you needs to look up the definition of "paranormal". That said, I don't read a lot of TT stories because I don't think it's handled well most of the time. It can be done, though, and I have read some that I really like. (Unlike ghosts--I've yet to read a story where one of the protagonists is a ghost that I liked.)

    Looking over this, it's a lot longer than I'd intended. Especially since it all boils down to this: I love your writing. I love this series. I will buy this book and read it because of that and keep an open mind about the TT until I get to the end. I think your main responsibility is to your muse, though I think it's really nice of you to worry about your faithful fans. But just because we're fans doesn't mean we get to tell you what should be writing. If that happened, you wouldn't be writing books anymore, you'd be taking dictation and that's not why we all fell in love with your work, now is it? Some people need to grasp that concept and give you (and the book) the leeway that you've earned with your past excellence to wow us again in a way that maybe we weren't expecting. They may find themselves pleasantly surprised.

    8:08 AM  
    Anonymous Kay Stockham said...

    Lori, I definitely don't think of TT as paranormal. It's more fantasy? Whereas paranormal is more werewolves and vamps etc? Just my take.

    I admit I was surprised when I read that it was a TT but then I shrugged it off because I happen to love TT. And with a fighter in it that wants to protect the women instead of train them? Hello, instant conflict. I love it! And I can't wait to read it.


    8:26 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Lori I finished MMM last night I loved it!!! I didn't want it to end :( Now I can't wait to read Drew's story.. I know it'll be great! Happy Tuesday

    9:22 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Caroline, Thanks! The billboards are fun. My husband has taken photos of all 5, even though they're the same! LOL

    Tina, Lots of great thoughts! Thank you.

    Kay, I appreciate the vote of confidence. :-) I sooo hope you enjoy it!

    Anon, YAY YAY! You finished it and liked it - that makes my day!

    Big hugs to all!


    9:28 AM  
    Anonymous Gram said...

    My only criteria is that the book be interesting and well written. I have my 25 page test and now I may start my own version of the page 99 test.
    I read all genres and subs. I am looking forward to this book.

    11:58 AM  
    Anonymous Julie F said...

    At first I was totally WTF! but I read My Man Michael and I loved it. I love everything you write, even if at first I'm not sure were you're going I still love it. Thanks for being such a great writer!!!

    1:03 PM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    LOL. So Julie, were you one of the WTF girls on a board I visited? LOL

    I truly was NOT offended! I promise.
    But I am sooooo glad you ended up enjoying the book!


    1:08 PM  
    Blogger Genella deGrey said...

    Lori – A couple of years (and about a hundred books) ago, I read a two-book series (or perhaps they were just related, hooked together by a secondary character getting their story in another book) which did exactly what you are talking about.

    Of course, I can't for the life of me remember who the author was or even the names of the books . . . But I _really_ enjoyed both stories. The first book was a straight historical and the second was supernatural/mythical.

    I was relieved to see that this sort of genre twist had happened between books, because I have a historical/supernatural/paranormal and the second book, or rather "related" book is a straight historical. No bells or whistles. ;)

    I don't think you should be worried – Your characters are probably well-drawn, and whatever happens to them, I'm sure your readers will want to follow wherever the story takes them.


    4:09 PM  
    Blogger Kelly Bishop said...

    I think TT is paranormal - but I like paranormal so it's not a problem for me.

    I think it's not so much of a "taboo" problem, as a reader picking up a book expecting one thing & getting something she views as totally different.

    If it's a change that's to her taste, no problem, if it isn't - lots of kvetching.

    I think an author should be able to take risks but better marketing would probably help avoid disappointments for some readers. (In other words, covers/blurbs that give us a clue to the change.)

    For me the twist that REALLY gives me heartburn is a book that is marketed & shelved as a romance but really isn't....

    (And if Nora ever kills off Roarke I'm going to go throw rotten eggs at her house. (G))

    5:34 PM  
    Blogger "Honey, I'm Home" said...

    I finally picked up a copy of MMM, at walmart of all places, this past Sunday... I was expecting one thing and got another. Which was totally fine. I got hooked on historical romance novels when I was a freshman in high school (late 80's). I recently got hook on Kate Douglas's Wolf Tales series, also love J.D Robb in death series and very recently Christine Feehan's Dark series. I never thought that I would try other romance authors but I did and I've enjoyed the majority of them.

    Lori, once I got past the twist, the time difference did not over power the story of Mallet and Kayli and the problem they faced in their colony. It had all I've come to expect from your stories just in a new setting. Instead of Dean's gym, it is a field in a colony in the future. What is wrong with that? Not a darn thing. What I hope is that Mallet and Kayli go back for a visit maybe?

    Now the foul mouth Drew is about to meet his match. I am looking forward to getting to know more about his and whether he was raised by pirates...LOL.

    Keep doing what you are doing, take the path that feels right to you. There are so many people out can't please everyone so just keep on keeping on.

    Stoughton, MA

    8:08 PM  
    Anonymous Carrie from Wisconsin said...

    I have to agree with Kelly Bishop about Roarke. I love the "in Death" couple and I am on book 15 in the series.

    That's why I like series and connected books because it gives me a chance to continue to enjoy established characters.

    As for intriguing covers, the point of my comment was to say that I prefer an intriguing cover that gives clues to what's in the book.

    Enjoyed the blog Lori! I'm looking forward to your next one!

    2:05 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster said...

    Genella, thanks for the vote of confidence. I hope you're right and I pulled it off! Time will tell. :-)

    Kelly, you cracked me up! Does Nora know about your plan? LOL. I'm pretty sure that whatever she does, she'll keep her readers happy with her writing genius!

    M. Stoughton, thank you SOOOO much. I'm thrilled that it didn't let you down.
    Drew... yeah, he's going to be something, huh? I know I'm writing him, but I don't know much more than that yet. I'll have a lot of thinking to do before I dig into his story!

    Carrie, thanks. I'm sorry if my cover fell short on cluing in on the TT.

    Happy Thursday all!


    4:05 AM  
    Anonymous Saralee said...


    I think TT stories are big fun! I like it when a writer "mixes it up a little" because then things aren't so predictable. My Man Michael looks like it's going to be a great read.

    I was a bit confused at first, because it took a while before I realized that 2220 was a year, and not a sector of the Universe or something.

    I bet it was fun researching all about women warriors. After studying Tae Kwon Do for six years, I found that in some ways I felt freer to be more feminine, because I didn't have to worry that I couldn't take care of myself. I've often wondered if other women feel the same.


    9:47 AM  
    Anonymous Carrie from Wisconsin said...

    Saralee makes such a great point about fear stripping away a woman's sense of femininity! Very insightful.

    4:10 PM  
    Blogger barb said...

    Don't let anyone try and change your muse! I love the fact that it led you "off the beaten path". On the "advice" of Kate Douglas (love her!) I started your SBC series & can't wait to read all about Michael! You give your muse a big cosmic hug and tell her what an awesome job she's doing so far! Love you just the way your are...and the billboard is awesome!

    7:53 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Lori,
    Love your fighter series. I'll read My Man Michael. I will be kinda disappointed not to get to catch up with past characters.
    I think TT is kinda paranormal, but I love romance in almost and sub-genre.

    6:37 AM  
    Blogger Christine Deffendall said...

    Lori, I have read all the SBC books to date. I think since they are only loosely connected, there is not a thing wrong (and probably many things right!) with taking the next one in a different direction. Looking "forward" to it!

    7:34 PM  
    Anonymous Pink Pelican said...

    When I find an author with whose "voice" I really connect, I'm willing to give most anything they write a try. I do find it somewhat disconcerting when a series takes an unexpected swerve from what I'm expecting.

    I just finished My Man Michael. It was a nice read, although not my favorite of your work. I like the MMA series, and for me, they just work better with the contemporary setting. This book didn't have quite the same depth for me that the others did. However, it won't stop me from eagerly picking up your future books.

    I have a couple of authors I refuse to read anymore: one because she so skewed the main character in mid series that I no longer trusted her at all; another because the main character never changed at all over the course of the series and became such a parody that again, I lost patience with the author entirely.

    I have a couple of authors who write multiple series, but I only connect with one of those series. I gobble up all the books in those series but remain largely uninterested in the others. Alternately, there's an author whose voice I love who did a bunch of stand alones and a series; I thought the series was stupid and stopped reading it, but continued to enjoy most of the other books.

    Ultimately, I think a writer has to write what comes to them and what intrigues them. If the story sounds good or I really like the author, I'll give it a try. If I don't like it, well, that's just a matter of personal taste. If I no longer connect with the author and her direction, I move on with varying levels of sorrow, frustration, irritation, what have you. But by the same token, there will be plenty of readers out there with tastes that converge with the new direction, so I think it all works out in the long run.

    I think a writer takes a chance when they make a major shift in midseries, because readers have to overcome expectations. We pick up series (even loosely connected ones) with a sense of comfort and familiarity, and a major twist pushes us out of our comfort zones. I don't think it's a taboo to do it, but it does explain why many readers get so "vklempt" and emotional when it happens.

    Looking forward to your next offering!

    6:49 AM  

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