I’m so excited to be back at Romance Junkies! I was here in October talking about my debut novel, Triple Threat, and it’s hard to believe I’m already back talking about the second book in the Art of Seduction series, Triple Time.
Last time around, I talked about my love for theater and how it led to writing Triple Threat. While theater is a huge part of my life, I couldn’t use it as a backdrop for every book (no matter how much I might want to). But I like to draw on my everyday experiences in my books. I think it gives them a sense of authenticity (and cuts down on the research, that’s for sure). So when it came time to write Triple Time, I looked to another facet of my busy life: law.
Although my nights are spent writing romance, my days are spent drafting legal briefs as a senior assistant state’s attorney (what most states call a district attorney). I specialize in appeals, which means that I don’t do trial work, like on Law and Order. Instead, it’s mostly writing, with the occasional court appearance where I argue not in front of a jury but in front of a panel of judges. Like my nights, most of my days are spent behind a computer, clacking away.
I really do enjoy being an appellate lawyer (most days LOL). It’s a different kind of writing than romance, that’s for sure. But it’s still about using words wisely, to maximum effect, like I learned to do as a journalism major in college.
In Triple Time, hero Gabe Nelson gets all my lawyerly qualities. Like me, he’s a prosecutor, although he does high-level, high-pressure trial work. And he has high aspirations; he wants to run for the top spot in the district attorney’s office (I’m perfectly content toiling away in anonymity, thank you).
I’ve always seen Gabe as a combination of my favorite fictional lawyer of all time, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Alex P. Keaton, Michael J. Fox’s character in the old TV show Family Ties. Sure, he’s a little bit on the stuffy side, like Alex. But he’s also a passionate defender of justice, one of the true good guys who believes in the system and is as concerned about freeing the innocent as he is about convicting the guilty. A lot like Atticus, even though he sits on the other side of the courtroom. I really enjoyed creating Gabe as a character, putting him through hell, and watching him grow.
It was fun and challenging for me to develop the legal subplot for Triple Time, too. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that was a problem for me in working through the legal issues. I needed the subplot to be believable and correct in law (I’m one of those annoying people who yells at the television when I’m watching police procedurals and something’s not realistic). But at the same time, I couldn’t make it so complicated or contrived that a non-lawyer wouldn’t be able to follow it. And I didn’t want it to over whelm the love story, either. I think I managed to get the balance right. I hope you think so, too!
How to unravel your straight-laced lover . . .
Gabe Nelson would be a great district attorney, but his public image is too boring to get voters’ attention. Tattoo artist Devin Padilla can help him show off his fun, sexy side, but she needs something in return—Gabe’s legal expertise to track down her missing brother. She’s not his type, but they can’t keep their hands off each other, whether it’s good for his image or not.
At first, Devin thinks she got the easy end of the bargain. Gabe’s the sexiest stuffed shirt in Manhattan, and his kisses practically set her on fire. But every deal has its fine print. As their relationship goes from business to pleasure, Devin realizes this one won’t cost her soul…it’ll just steal her heart.
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/n4tgswa
Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor.
A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenaged daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter. Triple Tine is her second novel. She is also the author of Triple Threat, the first book in her Art of Seduction series for Harlequin Blaze.
Of all the white knights in New York City, why did Gabe Nelson have to be the one to ride to her rescue?
Devin Padilla stared at her best friend’s brother and swore again.
“It’s nice to see you, too.”
She crossed her arms. “What are you doing here?” “Heading home. Same as you should be.” Disapproval dripped from his voice as he eyeballed her, frowning no doubt at her outfit of choice. Sure, the lacy camisole clung a little too tightly to her 36Ds and her short skirt showed off her J. Lo booty. But she was a bartender, for Christ’s sake, not an astrophysicist. How was she supposed to earn enough tips to support herself and set something aside for Victor if—no, when—she found him, if she didn’t give her customers something to look at on top of her witty repartee.
“Isn’t that dive you work at downtown?”
“It’s not a dive. And yes, it is. Sometimes I pull extra shifts for a friend at The Mark.” She never said no to extra cash, and she always raked it in at the Upper East Side hotel bar.
“Hello?” a voice interrupted from the pavement. “Injured man down here.”
“Get up, Freddie. You’re not hurt. I barely touched you.”
“You know this guy?” Gabe asked.
“He’s one of my regulars. Said he’d take me to the subway.” She glared down at him, hands on her hips. Just another one in a long line of losers that had hit on her in the past six months. It was like she was wearing a sign that said Attention all guys. Are you mentally stable? Gainfully employed? Reasonably attractive? Then keep away. “The subway, Freddie. Not to heaven against a slimy park viaduct.”
Freddie struggled to his knees. “It’s not my fault. You’ve been giving me mixed signals for months.”
“Mixed signals?” She raised one Doc Marten and aimed it at him, making him flinch before she broke off and scuffed the ground in front of him. He scuttled back like a frightened crab and she couldn’t help but scoff. “How’s that for a mixed signal, dirtbag?”
Gabe put a hand on her shoulder. “You’re relieved from duty, Freddie. I’ll see the lady home.”
“Like hell you will.” Devin shook off his hand. No way she was spending one minute more than necessary with Dudley Do‑Right. No matter how dead sexy he was. “The subway’s two blocks from here. I can make it just fine on my own.”
“I’m sure you can. But a gentleman always makes sure his date arrives home safely.” Gabe tugged off his suit jacket and wrapped it around Devin’s shoulders, shielding them—and the breasts barely concealed by her skimpy top—from Freddie’s prying eyes. “Isn’t that right, Freddie?”
“I’m not your date.” Devin’s gaze ping‑ponged from one man to the other. “Either of you.”
“Humor me.” Gabe’s hand held steady against the small of her back. The shivers she hadn’t noticed subsided, tempting her to succumb to the warm, reassuring feeling of a good man’s touch.
“Have it your way.” Freddie stood and backed away slowly. “But I’m telling you, man, the chick is trouble.”
Devin started for him but Gabe held her back, and damn if his touch didn’t make her quiver all over again. What was it about Holly’s stuffed‑shirt brother that got her engine revving faster than a dirt bike at the X Games?
It couldn’t be the banging body she was pretty sure he hid under all those designer suits—broad shoulders that led to an equally broad chest, narrow waist, lean hips and long, strong legs. Or his stormy, gray eyes, intense and mysterious, never revealing what was going on behind them. And it sure as hell wasn’t his lips, full, firm and just right for hours of sensuous kissing.
“That’s a chance I’ll have to take.” Gabe slid his hand to her elbow, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake.
“It’s your funeral,” Freddie tossed over his shoulder as he fled into the darkness.
In My Bookcase:
The Night Belongs to Fireman, by Jennifer Bernard
Goal, Motivation and Conflict, by Debra Dixon
Making it on Broadway, by David Wienir and Jodie Langel
With authors Jamie Schmidt, Erika Kelly and Sugar Jamison and Harlequin editor Patience Bloom at a library book talk/signing
Fangirling over Susan Elizabeth Phillips
My writing mascot, Romanatee
With Jennifer Bernard at RWA14
People ask me all the time how to become a romance writer. And I tell them the three things:
- Read, read, read. You can’t write in a genre if you don’t know the rules. And the first way to learn the rules is to read what’s out there.
- Join your local chapter of RWA. Go to meetings. Listen. Take advantage of the courses offered by RWA national, your chapter (if they offer them) and the many other chapters out there that have on-line offerings.
- Write, write, write. Some of it will be bad. That’s okay. Like Nora Roberts says, you can’t fix a blank page.
Day in the Week:
7:00 a.m.: Wake up after daughter and husband (teacher) are off to school
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Work my day job as an assistant state’s attorney
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Dinner and family time (usually watching something on TV)
9:00 p.m. – the wee hours: write, write, write, mixed with promotional stuff like updating social media, doing blog posts, sending business emails, etc.