Nina Pierce’s little secret

Today on Fiction and Fur we have Nina Pierce, USA Today bestselling author. Join me in welcoming Nina.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of A TOUCH OF LILLY.

When my children were growing up we had all kinds of pets from fish to hamsters to rabbits and of course the more traditional cats and requisite dog every family with children seems to acquire. Since the kids flew the coop … er, I mean left the nest it’s just me, the mister and my three kitties.

Does your pet help or hinder your writing process?

catsOh, the cats definitely hinder my writing progress. The biggest cat arrived a skinny stray at our doorstep eight years ago. He used to curl on my lap while I wrote. The problem is his 20 pound self still thinks he can fit there, but when he manages to squeeze himself between my belly and the keyboard, there ain’t no typing going on around his huge hulk.

Tell us a little about your writing schedule and does your pet play a part?

A writing what? Oh, schedule? As in I’m supposed to plan when I write? LOL! Okay, seriously, over the last few years my creative time has really shifted. I used to get up early and get my writing in before the kids went to school. But since they went off to college it seems my muse doesn’t even wake up until after noon. I usually spend the mornings doing marketing (code for mess around on email and facebook). It seems that’s when the cats are most active as well. They always seem to be under foot looking for playtime or treats. When I finally settle down in the afternoon, it seems they’ve also found a warm place to curl up and sleep.

If your pet could talk, what secret would it tell us about you?

I have no doubt they’d tell you about the can of whip cream I stash waaaaay in the back of the fridge. When I have a scene that doesn’t seem to be coming together I pull it out and spray it directly in my mouth. Something about that creamy goodness on my tongue seems to bring out my creativity and I seem to be able to work through the plot problem. Of course the only reason they’d share this with you is because they’re quite bummed I don’t share with them. But hey, a gal’s got to have something that’s just hers.

Tell us a little about your latest release or your work in progress.

A touch of lillyNina PierceMy newest release, A TOUCH OF LILLY, is a sexy, sci-fi romantic suspense novel. I loved writing this story. It’s sort of Star Wars meets Jack Reacher. And though many people don’t like the idea of a science fiction story, this is at its heart … a romance wrapped around a deadly mystery.

Ex-Chicago detective LILLY D’ANGELO has a secret she doesn’t share with anyone. A master of the one night stand, she’s given up ever finding a soul mate and thrown herself head first into her career. That is, until she captures the wrong alien. Kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade, she’s shipped into deep space. Barely escaping with her life, Lilly now travels the galaxy working as a bounty hunter using her secret talents to bring down criminals and seeking revenge on the one male who ruined her life.

Agent DALLAS SAWYER works for deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left several of his team members murdered, a president executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of a passionate night they won’t soon forget and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.

Because in deep space … true love can happen with just a touch.

About Nina Pierce

USA Today bestselling author, Nina Pierce, grew up in a house full of readers. Nina’s discovered the passionate side of romance with her sexy stories. For her, it’s all about the sweet scent of seduction mixed with the heartwarming aroma of romance.

Nina resides in New England with her high school sweetheart and soul mate of twenty-eight years and several very spoiled cats who consider her “staff”. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her three grown children, one love-sick son-in-law and a heart-melting grandson.

You can keep up with her new books at her website ( or by following her on Facebook ( or Twitter (


Marissa Doyle’s crepuscular critters

Today on Fiction and Fur we have Marissa Doyle, best-selling author of young adult and historical fiction. Join me in welcoming Marissa.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win
Courtship and Curses.

I’m a cat person. I grew up with cats and adore them, and like visiting my mother not only because she’s mom, but because I can hang out with her two Siamese cats. We call it ‘kitty therapy.’ My husband, alas, is allergic to cats, as is my son. Whenever we went to my Mom’s for holidays, my husband would wear a heavy-duty particle-filtering mask or else he’d have an asthma attack in about thirty minutes. My niece and nephew used to call him “Uncle Darth” (as in Vader) as a result. Needless to say, Christmas is now at my house.

So I assumed we’d be a petless family because…um, dogs? No, not a dog person. And gerbils and hamsters never particularly appealed to me either.

And then one day my son volunteered us to take care of his class bunny over school vacation. I was worried–my husband would not be able to manage being Uncle Darth for an entire week. But to our surprise, neither he nor our son had any problems with having a bunny in the house. And little Butterscotch was so darned cute…

And that’s how we became bunny people.

Saffron and BeaOur current buns are named Saffron and Beatrice, and they are total lovebirds. We lost Saffron’s sister Asuka to an infection, and knew we had to find him a new playmate. He went on several “dates” with bunnies from our local rabbit rescue, and it was love at first sight with him and Bea-bunny. He used to be a total fraidy bun, but when the even-more-timid Beatrice moved in, he totally became the man of the family and is much braver and more laid back…and has helped her get over her difficult origins (she was rescued from a horrible hoarding case.) Both bunnies have been fixed, by the way: the House Rabbit Network (, a MA based rabbit rescue group, takes care of this for all the bunnies it fosters and finds home for.

Do your bunnies help or hinder your writing process?

Saffron and BeaThey don’t really affect my writing at all, as I write primarily in the late morning through the afternoon, which is prime siesta time for them. Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they’re most active near dawn and dusk. So by the time I’m done writing for the day, they’re starting to wake up from their day’s hard sleeping and are ready for snack-time and supper part one. Saffron and Beatrice are pretty self-contained, but our very first bunny, Simon, used to come galloping up the stairs to my office and snooze under my writing desk while I was working. Saffron and Beatrice won’t even consider climbing stairs.

Saffron and Bea SnugglingBunnies are awesome pets for writers because they don’t bark (though they do like playing with noisy toys) and are litter-box trainable. Saffron and Beatrice don’t even have a cage–they’re totally free-range, like a housecat. That means a certain amount of house-proofing was necessary–Beatrice likes to chew on wires–but it wasn’t anything too difficult.

Tell us a little about your latest release or your work in progress.

Charles Bewitched class=Courtship and Curses
I’ve had two recent YA books come out: the paperback edition of Courtship and Curses, the third book in my Leland Sisters series, about a young witch making her debut in London society in 1815 and foiling a dastardly French plot, and Charles Bewitched, a novella set in the same world and with some of the same characters as my first book, Bewitching Season. For my work in progress I’ve changed both continents and centuries, and am writing a YA historical fantasy set on Cape Cod just as the US enters World War I. I’m also awaiting edits for my first adult book, a contemporary fantasy set in a fictional university in Boston where the Greek gods are alive and well and teaching Classics. It’ll be coming from Entangled Publishing in fall of 2014.

If Saffron and Beatrice could talk, what secret would they tell us about you?

That Mom is a total pushover because she thinks we’re soooooo adorable. We just wish it translated into more freeze-dried banana slices at snack-time, but she’s really strict that way. She does talk good baby-talk to us, though, and has a thing for re-writing Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics to include references to bunnies. She doesn’t sing them very well, though.

Maggie Robinson’s furry friend

Today on Fiction and Fur we have Maggie Robinson, best-selling author of hot historical novels by Berkley and Kensington. Join me in welcoming Maggie.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win

FitzAfter failing to have our heads examined, my husband and I just adopted a mostly Border Collie who’s about 9 months old now. We always had pets when the kids were home, but the kids are all grown with kids and pets of their own. It seems the granddogs and grandcat were insufficient, and now we have shed dog hair of our very own all over the house.

Does your pet help or hinder your writing progress?

There is an old leather chesterfield sofa right next to my desk chair. Fitz calls it “his” sofa. You can see him on its back playing peek-a-boo with the lace curtain in one of the pictures. In the other, he’s proudly guarding the holes he’s dug after eating my showy irises. He climbs on the arm in an attempt to get on my lap when I’m typing, which so far I have rebuffed–he’s too big to be a lap dog, though he doesn’t seem to know that. He then curls himself up on the sofa and sighs dramatically at my rejection, still keeping me company at the keyboard. I get up very early and try to write straight until noon, after which I try to live life.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

In the Arms of the Heiress debuts July 2! Here’s the back cover blurb:
It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love…
Independent heiress Louisa Stratton is going home to Rosemont for the holidays, and at the family’s request, she’s bringing her new husband—Maximillian Norwich, art connoisseur and artful lover, the man she’s written of so glowingly. There’s one hitch—he doesn’t exist. Louisa needs a fake husband, and fast, to make the proper impression.

Charles Cooper, captain of the Boer War and far from silver spoons or gilded cages, is so hard up that even this crazy scheme appeals to him. It’s only thirty days, not till death do them part. What’s so difficult about impersonating a husband, even if he doesn’t know a Rembrandt from a Rousseau?

The true difficulty is keeping his hands off Louisa once there’s nobody around to see their ruse. And then there’s the small problem of someone at Rosemont trying to kill him. Keeping his wits about him and protecting Louisa brings out the honor he thought he’d left on the battlefield. But when Louisa tries to protect him, Charles knows he’s found a way to face his future—in the arms of his heiress.

Summer2013TourI also have another book, Lady Anne’s Lover, out on July 30. So it will be a busy month for me and I hope I keep the characters straight. It’s pretty strange, cause both books feature heiresses and wounded soldiers–the books were written two years apart and set a century apart, but they’re being published within weeks of each other, LOL.

If your pet could talk, what secret would it tell us about you?

He would say I have a heart of marshmallow and no standards of housekeeping. Where’s the vacuum? Look at the dog hair!

Maggie Robinson will give away a copy of IN THE ARMS OF THE HEIRESS to one lucky person who comments on this blog.

Also check out some of Maggie’s other recent books:

Captain Durant’s Countess, E-book exclusive, Kensington Brava, March 2013
In the Arms of the Heiress, mass-market paperback, Berkley Sensation, July 2013
Lady Anne’s Lover, trade paperback, Kensington Brava, August 2013
In the Heart of the Highlander, mass-market paperback, Berkley Sensation, Oct 2013

Kristan Higgins’ little helpers

Today on Fiction and Fur we have Kristan Higgins, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award.

Does your pet help or hinder your writing progress?

MaddyMy mutt, Willow, is unaware that there even is a writing process. She views my office as the place we go so I can give her an uninterrupted tummy rub. The cat, however, is very helpful—he walks over the keyboard from time to time, and just the other day stepped on the “/” key so that my page count increased by nine pages. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

MaddyTHE BEST MAN is the story of Faith Holland, who returns home three years after her fiancé left her at the altar (he, uh, came out of the closet, which definitely put the kibosh on things). But Faith doesn’t blame Jeremy; instead, she holds Levi Cooper as the man responsible. He was Jeremy’s best man, and you think he could’ve said something, right? Wrong. Levi’s not really thrilled to have Faith back in town; as the local police chief, he’s got his hands quite full already, thanks. Besides, she always rubbed him the wrong way. But, as my cat would tell you, there’s a fine line between rubbing someone the wrong way, and getting that same person to purr. (Am I getting that right, Huck? What’s that? You need a snack? You bet, big guy. I live to serve.)

If your pet could talk, what secret would it tell us about you?

Willow would tell you that I always roll down the car windows so she can lean into the wind, that I know where all the itchy spots are, and that I eat too many Hershey Nuggets with Almonds when I’m tapping away at that little silver box. Huck would tell you…nope, not getting anything from him. He’s forgotten about me now that I’ve filled his bowl.

Kristan Higgins will give away a copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to one lucky person who comments on this blog.

Joyce Lamb’s kitties are the keepers of her mews, fur sure

Today on Fiction and Fur we have Joyce Lamb, a three-time Rita finalist and author of romantic suspense novels, including True Vision, True Colors and the recently released True Shot. Also the curator of USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. (

Does your pet help or hinder your writing progress?

Joyce: “Me-ah.”

MaddyThat’s the (cranky) sound my kitty Maddy makes when she’s irked to find the laptop occupying her favorite spot. What follows: I try to ruffle her ears, scratch that spot at the base of her tail, rub her belly, all with one hand while also trying to keep typing. This is NEVER enough for her. More “me-ahs,” growing in volume and irritation, assault my ears. And what do I do? Most of the time, I set the laptop aside and give her what she wants: her place on my lap and my undivided attention. She’s not spoiled. Nuh uh. Not at all. And I resent the implication. : )

AllieThe other puddy, Allie, is way more polite. She curls up next to me and purrs – and stares. Strangely, this is just as disruptive as Maddy’s more aggressive approach. I mean, what’s she thinking while staring at me like that? (Other than: “When’s my next meal? Huh? Huh? You’re not going to forget, are you? Because you’d be amazed at how quickly I could waste away.”) She’s also just so darned cute that I can’t resist. Next thing I know, I’ve set the laptop aside and proceeded to love her up exactly the way she wants: a vigorous and thorough belly rub.

So the fiction part of this post goes like this: The kitties are NO help. Their “pay attention to meeeeeee” routines distract me from my work. I could get SO much more done if they’d go sleep in the sun for 18 hours, like most puddies. And isn’t that more acceptable behavior for cats anyway?!?!

But … wait.

Turns out, giving a belly rub to a fluffy, warm, purring kitty who appears to love me above all else (other than food, of course) … well, it relaxes me. And a relaxed me thinks more clearly. And when I’m thinking more clearly, the creativity flows.

So … I guess that means Maddy and Allie are the keepers of my muse. Or, mews. Heh.

Funny kitty story from years ago: I adopted a sweet little kitten from an animal shelter who loved to hang out on my desk with me while I wrote. He was most fascinated by the mouse – funny, right? – and every time I’d scoot that thing across the mouse pad, he’d attack like it was an actual mouse trying to make a break for it. Cracked me up every time. And then one day, the unthinkable happened: Hobbes (aptly named because he pounced on EVERYTHING, just like Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes fame) plopped his tiny little fur butt on the delete key while I blissfully and ignorantly scratched his ears and tickled under his chin. Next thing I know, two full pages of work have disappeared. UNSAVED work. Ack. Lesson learned: Control S, Joyce, control S!

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Flash HeatJoyce: My most recent release is called Flash Heat, about a newspaper photographer who has in her possession an incriminating photo, except she doesn’t know what the photo is or who’s after her for it. The hero is a grumpalicious reporter who just can’t get enough of giving poor Bailey a hard time (cuz, you know, he likes her!). It was one of the funnest books to write because Bailey and Cole have the most fun banter. Example:

“If you backpedal any faster, you’re going to leave a Cole-shaped hole in the wall.”

He grinned. “Kind of like the Road Runner, huh?”

“If you make that meep-meep sound, I’m going to be creeped out.”

“I try to keep my meep-meeping to a minimum.”

Another example:

“Come on,” Cole said. “You’re not chicken, are you?”

“Don’t even go there.”

“Don’t make me cluck.”

“God, I can’t stand it when grown men cluck.”

If your pet could talk, what secret would it tell us about you?

Joyce: Um, well, let’s see. I suspect both Maddy and Allie would tell you that I watch WAY too much TV. But, then, they benefit from the fact that I spend a good chunk of my Saturdays parked on the sofa with an empty lap.

They would probably also tell you that I snore. Obnoxiously. I’ve awakened in the middle of the night to Maddy stroking my cheek with her paw as if to say, “Hey, lady, could you keep it down? I’m trying to sleep here!”

Of course, if they COULD talk, they wouldn’t waste time or their breath telling you my secrets. They’d immediately launch into a chant: “Treat! Belly rub! Treat! Belly rub!”

So, how do your kitties keep you entertained – or distract you from your work? (One commenter here will win the book of your choice in the format of your choice – print or e-book – from my backlist.)

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my awesome furry friends with you!

You can find out more about me and my books at