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:~: Monday, January 11, 2010 :~:

30 Days of Treasure Hunting! - DAY 25 - Susan Lyons!

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My guest today is author Susan Lyons!

Award-winning author Susan Lyons writes sexy romance that’s passionate, heartwarming, and fun. She is published by Kensington Aphrodisia, Berkley Heat, Kensington Brava (as Susan Fox), Harlequin Spice Briefs, The Wild Rose Press, and Freya’s Bower. She has degrees in law and psychology and has had a variety of careers, but fiction writer is by far her favorite, giving her an outlet to demonstrate her belief in the power of love, friendship, and a sense of humor.

Susan's latest release in SEX ON THE BEACH:

An exotic wedding turns into an erotic escapade for three unlikely couples who find lust – and maybe even love on the white sands of Belize.

In “War of the Sexes,” wedding planner Sarah McCann learns that the groom’s best friend, Free Lafontaine, intends to save his pal from the mistake of marriage. It’s an all-out war between the sexes – a war that just might have two winners!

In “Sex With the Proper Stranger,” model Tamiko Sato comes to the wedding as arm-candy for the bride's deep-in-the-closet uncle, so what’s she to do when resort manager Ric Nuñez proves far too tempting? Is Ric the man who can heal her wounded heart?

In “Sexy Exes,” Giovanna Moncrieff and her ex, James, mix as well as Italian olive oil and English tonic water, so it’s embarrassing – and exciting! – to discover the flame of passion still burns. Is true love possible the second time around?

Today Susan is giving away a copy of the SEX ON THE BEACH. Simply answer this question: Where and when did Susan get the idea for her January release, Sex on the Beach? (Hint: no, she wasn’t in Belize!)

Welcome, Susan!


It’s fun for an author to set herself new challenges, though sometimes she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it. I’d never written a book with three interconnected novellas when I came up with the idea for Sex on the Beach. In the past I’d written either “pure” single titles (i.e., one heroine and one hero) or novellas that went into anthologies with other authors.

But when I decided I wanted to set a story around a destination wedding in Belize, it struck me that it would be fun to follow three separate romances, all taking place during the same week. Not only that, but to see each couple through the other couple’s eyes. To add to the fun, each couple would have an important reason for keeping their romance a secret. Are you getting the picture? The book was fun to write, but a real challenge when it came to keeping track of what was happening when, and who was observing what.

As an author, I enjoy writing different lengths of stories. With a novella, I can explore a smaller period of time or smaller issue. With a full-length book, I can go into more depth and have more subplots and secondary characters. In my life, both as a reader and as a writer, I enjoy reading both, depending what I’m in the mood for at the time.

How about you? What’s your preferred length of story and why?



Blogger booklover0226 said...

The idea of Sex on the Beach came to Suson on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

I really don't have a preference for a certain length for a book. As long as the story is good, I'm happy.

Tracey D

1:30 AM  
Blogger SiNn said...

The idea of Sex on the Beach came to Suson on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

sometimes i think a story is too short and can have more other then that it doenst bother me if it wraps the story up in ashort story then sure but mostly i dont like to be left hangin

3:09 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

The idea came to her in Vancouver, BC on a cold winter day.

I really enjoy short stories. My only complaint is that I am disappointed to leave the "world" so quickly when the characters are well written and interesting.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Hi Tracey, SiNn, and Susan. Thanks for dropping by, and for visiting my website.

I agree, you don't want to be left with the feeling that a story has been cut short. In romance, especially, you want that warm glow of a full and happy ending.

And it can be hard to leave that special world of the story, and the characters you've enjoyed - but personally, I find that just as true in a long book as in a short story.

8:00 AM  
Blogger sherry said...

The idea came to her on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

I really prefer the books that I read to be a longer story around 300 to 350 pages. But I do read short stories too. The problem that I have with short stories is sometimes the characters in them don't get developed enough and sometimes it seems like at the end of the story there should be more to it. If it's an author that I like I'll buy one anyway or if I want to try out a new author a anthology is the way that I go.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Laurel said...

A good story can be of any length as long as it is complete and satisfying.
Most of the time I want a full length novel so that I can escape into it for a long getaway, but sometimes I just need a quick reprieve from the day.
No cliff-hangers that leave me waiting a year for the next sentence!
The perfect story is one which leaves you hungry for more of an author's work.
Now, I have to get back to reading "Stolen Seduction."

Laurel N

9:49 AM  
Blogger Booklover1335 said...

I wish I could find some inspiration on cold winter days like Susan...guess you have to be in Vancouver, BC for that to work. Me I'm just freezing my tush off in the midwest :)

To answer Susan's question I like my stories no less than 100 pages. Sometimes I prefer a short and satisfying read because that's all I have time for and want the complete love story. Other times I like the relationship to develop over time, with deeper emotions and for that to work it usually takes a longer novel. Basically if it is a well written romance...I love them all, long and short :)

10:21 AM  
Blogger joder said...

I am not at all particular about the length of the story as long as the author portrays a strong connection between the characters and doesn't scrimp on background info. And I'm lovin' the sound of this book and really hoping I win it!

And today's answer is....The idea of Sex on the Beach came to Suson on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Sherry, that's a great point about using anthos to find new authors.

Laurel and Booklover, that's an excellent point about different stories fitting different needs, moods, etc. For example, this weekend I knew I didn't have the time or mental energy to really "get into" a book, so I picked up an antho of 3 novellas. It worked perfectly!

Other times - e.g., if I have a long flight - I love finding a book (the kind Elisabeth writes!) that will really drag me in, grip me, hold my attention, and keep me happy as the long hours pass.

Joder, I agree that the strong connection between the characters is so important. In a romance, when the story (long or short) is done, I want to truly believe the heroine and hero know each other at some deep level (and aren't just in lust with each other!). They don't need to know each other's favorite colors, etc., but they need to have that deeper, stronger kind of knowledge and connection - the kind that makes me believe they belong together, that they like and respect each other as well as loving each other, and that they'll be able to work through the problems life throws their way.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Mimi Barbour said...

The idea must of come to her at English Bay-as she walked with her man-holding hands-in the sunset. Yep! That sounds about right.

As an author, I like writing short stories because it's less work....but having said that, as a reader, and if its a really good book, then the longer the better.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

LOL, Mimi. Yeah, short stories are definitely less work!

As for strolling English Bay in the sunset -- what a lovely image. It does happen, but more often I'm at home at the computer writing someone else's love stories!

11:27 AM  
Blogger Armenia said...

I prefer full lenth books, but found recently enjoying single author anthologies. These stories are usually related and we get to read about each characters story.

The idea of Sex on the Beach came to Susan on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

11:46 AM  
Blogger limecello said...

Hi Susan (and Elisabeth),
I *so want* to get "Sex on the Beach" - it's next on my book list. I'm reading Sex Drive right now... and loving it! It's not what I thought it would be, which is actually really enjoyable.

As for story length... it depends on my mood. Recently I've been really busy, and I never have much of an attention span, so novellas as working - I can put the book down or power through and read the story and won't be up til 3 AM. Otherwise... novella, novel, I love them all.

Also... HI Susan!!! :D

Susan got the idea for Sex on the Beach on a cold winter day. Like it is here. Only she was in Vancouver, BC.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Aly said...

A book that is very well written is NEVER long enough! And a book that is poorly written is always too long :) LOL!

I am what my girlfriends call a "Series Whore" so short normally doesn't work for me unless it goes with a series!

But on the days where I don't have time to really sit down and read I have found novellas to be the greatest thing invented! Which is why you will find so, so many on my bookshelves! LOL!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Ina said...

Hi Susan!
*gg* I love the title of your book - can't wait to get my hands on it ;)
you got the idea on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

The lenght of the book depend on the mood I'm in... for example, when I go by train I like to read short stories...

greetings, Ina

12:12 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Hi Susan,
Congrats on the new release. I like short and long stories. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a short story that I can read in one sitting.

Susan came up with the idea for "Sex on the Beach" on a cold winter day in Vancouver.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Gee, I go out for groceries and everyone pops in for a visit!

Armenia, one comment I've heard from people is that, with anthos, they like to see some kind of theme or something to tie the stories together. That's definitely what I was aiming for with Sex on the Beach (and Sex on the Slopes, which will come out next December, and is set in Whistler).

12:44 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Hi limecello! I'm so glad you're enjoying Sex Drive. I'm almost scared to ask what you expected and how it differs... Just so long as you like it. LOL.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Aly said: "A book that is very well written is NEVER long enough! And a book that is poorly written is always too long :)"

Oh man, ain't that the truth!

When a book's good, you just want to lose yourself in that world rather than say goodbye to it, and to those wonderful characters.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Hi Ina. Yeah, I like the title too. I haven't had a really good track record with titles. At least half the time the one I suggest (and sometimes they're actually brilliant - LOL) gets turned down. Like, for Sex Drive (the "planes" book of my "planes, trains, automobiles and a cruise ship" Wild Ride to Love series), my title was Fly Me. I thought that was a great title!

Anyhow, Sex on the Beach was my title, and they kept it! Hurray for Berkley. Then, when my editor and I brainstormed what I should write next for them, we thought it would be fun to do another destination wedding book, this time set in Whistler, and she said, Sex on the Slopes, which of course was perfect. Hurray for her! (I think there will also be a Sex on the Sea, set on a Greek island cruise...)

12:49 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Hi Jane, thanks for dropping by. Happy reading!

12:49 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Susan, I just have to say that cover is 'smokin'. I had to hide it from my DH when I was uploading your blog for today. He would have taken the laptop and I wouldn't have gotten it back!

Thanks so much for being here!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Thanks so much for having me, Elisabeth.

And yeah, that cover is something. It does make me wonder who they're marketing to - i.e., maybe men more than women?

Whenever I look at her, I think I need to go on a diet! LOL

1:00 PM  
Blogger Sue A. said...

I don't really have a preferred length, but how busy I am does have a play in the length of the book I choose. And only because I don't like to stretch out my reading over a long period of time.

Susan congrats on the release of SEX ON THE BEACH!

7:39 PM  
Blogger Spav said...

The idea of Sex on the Beach came on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

I don't really care about the length of the book, I just want the author to write the story the best way they can, and if that is with more words then it's ok.

8:08 PM  
Blogger robynl said...

The idea of Sex on the Beach came on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

I like the books to be app. 350 pages or so. It depends on my time availability as to what # of pages I like to read.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Hi Sue. I agree. I like reading a book over a fairly short timeframe. Otherwise I lose connection with the characters and story.

Hi, Spav and Robyn - thanks for dropping by.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

The idea for Sex on the Beach came to Susan on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

It also depends on my mood. If I've just surfaced from a 500-page epic, I'm not likely to start another novel, but a short little novella (or a categorical) would sound nice. If I had the whole day to myself (and plenty of tea), then bring on the novels!

10:54 PM  
Blogger jeanette8042 said...

Oooh the book sounds fabulous!

Answer: The idea of Sex on the Beach came to Suson on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

11:10 PM  
Blogger flchen1 said...

I guess the brisk winter air was inspiring for Susan--she thought up Sex on the Beach on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC!

As for story length, I totally enjoy both long and short stories. With shorter ones, I love getting a taste of an author and a story that'll fit into a the free time I have available, but I sometimes hate for the story to end! As for longer ones, I love the extra development, but sometimes I don't have the time to fully appreciate a more involved plot and story!

Guess I love them both!

11:29 PM  
Blogger Mitzi H. said...

Answer: The idea came to her on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC.

Short or Long Stories? For the most part, I prefer longer stories. To many times I read a short story (novella) and I feel that I want more or that there just wasn't enough written to capture the depth of the romance.

I also think novellas are a great way to find new authors. I have found several from reading the Secret Anthologies.

Love your books Susan. I have She's On Top on my TBR stack.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Amy S. said...

The idea for Sex on the Beach came to me on a cold winter day in Vancouver, BC. I thrive on sunshine and warmth, and I wasn’t getting any, so instead I nourished my soul with memories of tropical holidays, like the one I took to Belize.

I like books that are both long and short. Anthologies are great to find new authors to read.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Julie, yes, it's great to have variety. Going from an epic to another epic is pretty exhausting! And only reading short stories can get a little unfulfilling.

Mitzi, I hope She's on Top finds its way to the top - LOL - and you enjoy it.

Flchen, Jeannette, and Amy, thanks for coming by - and for being readers! Here's to books and stories, whatever their length.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Allison('s)Reads said...

Hi Susan and Elisabeth! The idea for the stories in Sex On The Beach came during a cold winter day in Vancouver BC (was it raining too :). I really enjoy shorter novels or anthologies especially as they work for me on an e-reader for quick reads on the go or when I have a chance to read... As once I start a good read I don't like to stop until it's finished! So shorter stories help me do that in less time!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Susan Lyons said...

Allison - was it raining? Hey, it's Vancouver - you bet it was raining. Of course, I shouldn't dump too much on Vancouver because probably everywhere else in the country it was snowing and below zero.

Yes, isn't there something satisfying about knowing, when you pick up a story, that you're going to be able to read right through to the end without having to put it down?

10:29 AM  

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