Friday, September 16, 2011

Erotic Romance Weekend - Sylvia Day (Guest Post & Giveaway)

And now we have the fabulous Sylvia Day joining us for Erotic Romance Weekend with a creepy but funny story on how her upcoming anthology with Maya Banks and Karin Tabke came about. She is also offering a giveaway at the end so stick around! Make sure to check out the great authors Kelly has visiting Secrets of a Book Lover too!

Sylvia DayAbout a year and a half ago, I went on a lovely writers’ retreat with my dear friends Maya Banks and Karin Tabke. We rented a quaint little home in Sonoma, CA. The moment we stepped into the house, we were faced with panoramic views. The entire living room and dining room were surrounded by walls of floor to ceiling windows. The setting was picturesque, with a beautifully landscaped garden and rolling green hills beyond that.

The first words out of my mouth? “Uh... where are the curtains?”

Both Karin and Maya shot me odd looks. “What the hell do you need curtains for when you have a view like that?”

“Well,” I said, “when it gets dark, we’re not going to be able to see outside, but everyone will be able to look in.”

“Who’s everyone? There’s nobody out here.”

I concede, they had a point. There was nothing but garden and hills outside the window. No homes, cars, or people. Truth be told, that’s part of what freaked me out. I’m an urbanite--miles of nothing is scary as hell to me. “A serial killer could be out there,” I replied.

My dear friends scoffed at me. Later, when it got dark, I freaked out. They were fine. But then again, out of the three bedrooms in the house, mine was the only one without curtains. Oh, great, I thought. The mass murderer can follow me to my room when I leave the crazy-assed living room with the ginormous curtain-less windows.

Over the next couple days, I tried to explain the correlation between staying out in the boonies and serial killers. “They go hand and hand,” I argued.” And with wide-open windows, they can track our every nocturnal movement.”

Sadly, as much as I love my friends, they just didn’t get it.

And then, late one morning, I was sitting in the living room with Maya when I heard the unmistakable heavy tread of a serial killer on the front deck. Yes, it was morning, but the mass murderer had already had a couple nights to scope us out after dark--through those massive, uncovered windows. Now he was closing in for the kill.

“Did you hear that?” I whispered to Maya.

“Hear what?”

“Bootsteps. On the front deck.”

“Sweet Jesus,” she muttered, with a look that accused me of being crazy. Then she froze. Her eyes widened. Because she heard them, too.

Karin, making coffee in the kitchen, was oblivious. The doorbell rang. And she--a cop’s wife, no less!--glides gracefully toward the door.

Now, we’ve all seen this in scary movies, right? Unsuspecting victim opens the door and *bam* She’s dead. I look at Maya in horror. Maya looks at me the same way.

“What the hell are you doing?” I hiss at Karin.

She glances over into the living room. “Getting the door.”

“Are you insane?” I ask her. “There’s a serial killer out there!”

With an impatient sigh, she goes back into the kitchen and looks out the window, which faces the driveway. “It’s just the cable guy, Syl.”

Maya, who knows as I do, whispers fiercely, “It’s always the cable guy!”

Dawning understanding (tempered by exasperation) swept over Karin’s face. She backed away from the window.

We’re in a rental property, after all. There should be no cable guy or electric guy or any guy coming around while the house is being rented. That’s what the property management team is for. They’ve said nothing about maintenance occurring during our stay.

We waited him out. Maya had her Blackberry in hand. I was eyeing the fireplace poker. We could take him if it came to that. Fortunately for him, it didn’t. He wised up and left.

Later that night, Karin--now wizened to the error of her ways--checked her bedroom windows (the same bedroom windows she’d been sleeping under for days) and realized that while she had curtains, her windows didn’t have locks. Vehement cursing accompanied her search for something to wedge the windows closed with.

Ha! I thought, triumphant. I was right (of course) and now they were listening to me.

The next morning, Karin tells me and Maya about the horrible nightmare she had after she managed to secure the windows and fall asleep.

“What happened?” Maya and I ask. “Did the serial killer get you?”

Yes, he did. He tied her up in a chair and made her watch as he strangled, stabbed, and eviscerated me and Maya. It was heinous.

Maya’s brow went up. My lips pursed. We glanced at each other. Then asked, “What’d he do to you?”

“Oh.” She shuddered delicately. “Nothing. He just made me watch.”

Men Out of UniformMaya and I decided that was the last time we’d warn her about a serial killer at the door.

But aside from educating my friends about the hazards of roughing it in picturesque homes in the wine country, something else came out of that trip to the wilds of Sonoma, CA--MEN OUT OF UNIFORM. It was during that trip that we decided to write the anthology and spend part of the advance for it on our next writing retreat: A week on Catalina Island, in a hillside condo surrounded by other hillside condos, where it would be impossible to miss hearing screams. Safe. Secure. With massive windows showcasing panoramic views of the ocean... and fully-functional window blinds.

Find out more about Sylvia and Men Out of Uniform on her website at: Also be sure to check out her upcoming paranormal romance A Touch of Crimson!

Sylvia is offering one copy of her upcoming release Men Out Of Uniform, shipped directly from her publisher, to one lucky reader. (I am so jealous!!!) Open to US & Canadian residents only. To enter just leave a comment on this post and fill out the rafflecopter below!


  1. What a great post! I love me some steamy books, and steamy covers are even better.

  2. Yum. That book covers looks good. I bet the book is nice and hot. I've been reading a lot of YA lately and need a good smut fix. LOL

  3. LOL, I loved the story. I am glad that Men Out of Uniform came out of it. Thanks for the wonderful story and giveaway!

    mary_reiss @

  4. Love that story, LOL! who'd really think about the serial killer in wine country? I like catalina better anyhow (not that i've ever been to sonoma to compare, but whatever) Thanks for the guest post, and I can't wait to read the book! Book Savvy Babe

  5. Men in uniform-Men Out of Uniform--gotta love em!


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Great post! I absolutely love that cover and look forward to reading this! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I love the way you all terrified each other. :) Can't wait to read your latest book!

  8. Men Out Of Uniform probably the most awesome title ever for a book :)

  9. love the post can not wait to in or out of uniform is fine with me...yum

  10. Great post. Love the cover and title of this book.

  11. HaHa...leave it to you three to have an experience like that. I was laughing the whole time I was reading this post :) I would absolutely love a copy of this book. It sounds hot, and with you three writing it I know it will be good. Plus my SIL is in Maya's book. She won a name a character contest with her and I think she is the heroine's best friend :D Congrats on the release Ladies!!!

  12. Oh i forgot my info...

    GFC follower: leaghchristensen
    Twitter: @leaghmaria
    Facebook: Leagh Christensen

  13. Great story...I think I would at least want curtains I could close at night.

  14. I would love to read this book. Men in uniform make great heroes.

  15. I would have been freaked by the lack of curtains as well.
    Thanks for the giveaway! Gloria

  16. I am looking forward to reading this book. I love the cover.

  17. I'M A FAN!!! PAUL MARRON ON THE COVER! Day has gotten lucky with all the beautiful covers she's got! Thanks for the post!

    alltherhage AT gmail DOT com

  18. Thanks for the awesome post and giveaway!

    GFC ~ erin

  19. LOL..Great story.I'm with you,need curtains to close at night no matter where I am. And what window doesn't have locks.Seriously :)
    Thaks for the giveaway

  20. I'm a fan of Sylvia's book and can't wait for the release of this anthology.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  21. Wow what a great giveaway!! =) Thanks so much for the chance to enter! =)

    Valerie Long

  22. Sylvia - This story always makes me laugh, especially was my house. :) Bella

  23. OMG! The window in your bedroom was so high it would have taken a giant-sized serial killer to see you all huddled in a pathetic ball of mush hiding under your covers!

    lol, I think it was funny when me and Maya were outside the first night and scratching on the window making serial killer sounds.

    the look on your face was priceless! muwhahahahahah!

  24. ROFL!! This was hysterical! Though I would have been the same way! Thanks for the great laugh!

  25. I am so in love with the cover of this book! I can't wait to read it!

  26. Thanks so much for stopping by with this story Sylvia! I would of totally been the same way, my imagination would of gone crazy. LoL

    Sounds like an awesome time though with Karin and Maya.
    "...scratching on the window making serial killer sounds." lmao Karin!

    Besides the huge stalker friendly windows, Bella, it sounds like a beautiful house!

    Thanks for commenting on Sylvia's post everyone!

  27. Glad you educated your friends! Really great story.

    The book looks awesome too!


  28. Great post and I love the cover!! mmm men in uniform... :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  29. I can't wait to read this book. It looks so good. =)

  30. I love the story. That would be my first thought as well. Would love the house, but the windows without curtains would just be too much. Guess it's from all the watching and reading about stories like that.

    Glad something great came out of the weekend. Can't wait to read the book.


  31. Bella's house is gorgeous! curtains would have ruined everything!

    hey, Bella. xoxoxoxox

  32. So glad to see I'm not the only cover-window lover in the room. :)

  33. I've been dying to read and review this book for my own blog! Thank you so much for the chance, I've had it on my wishlist for the past 2 months!

  34. I love an anthology and I could use something to warm me up today - it's getting chilly!

  35. Great post. Wow, that cover is gorgeous, I can't stop staring at it!

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

  36. I'm still snickering. I know how it is though; I still swear at crickets chirping at night, never mind the dawn chorus.

    I'm soooo looking forward to reading MEN OUT OF UNIFORM! Can't go wrong with such a hot Paul Marron cover!

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

  37. LOL, great experience staying out in the boonies but I am sure the piecefullness and breath taking view was so worth it during the day. Next time just take a gun with you - me being a Texan who loves guns, I would of in a heart beat - LOL

  38. OMG! What a fantastic story - I loved it and I'm still grinning. Did you ever contact the property management company to find out who it was? Looking forward to reading this one.
    Thank you.


  39. It is a gorgeous cover, isn't it? I love it. :)

  40. Excellent post. Loved the excerpt! :P


  41. The cover for Men Out of Uniform is sooo nice! I can hardl wait to read the book!

  42. Oh wow men in uniform count me in! :)

    Thanks for this giveaway!

    Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp


  43. I would have the same level of paranoia and I live in the 'burbs! I need curtains!! Thanks for sharing-made me laugh because I would have been thinking the same thing!!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  44. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  45. Hilarious story. I have to say, I never would have thought "serial killer". I just would have been concerned about being woken up as soon as the sun came up. I need blackout curtains to sleep after sunrise.

  46. Hahaha, what a great story! But I would have been there with you and the curtain thing, I have to have the windows covered at night...who knows what kind of person is outside watching in! Ick!

  47. That is a hilarious story and I'm glad you all survived the crazy serial killer. Can't wait for the antho. release!

  48. great giveaway! ive been wanting to read this book. i try to get anything of sylvias. shes a great author! :)

  49. Wow, did you all ever find out if that guy was legit or not? Great story. I live in the country and am not afraid of much but I would want curtains and be leary of strangers too if I were in a new place.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  50. Your story was so funny and reminded me of when I was younger and my parents would leave me and my younger sister at home by ourselves. My dad raised Beagles and they are one of the most barking and howling dogs ever. Sometimes we would walk around carry some kind of weapon because we thought we heard something and the dogs were barking.
    Your book sounds very good.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  51. Wooo
    That cover is just yummy,Nail diggin yummy:)
    Thank you for the chance to win

  52. Do you ever get a say on how your book design will look? Love this one by the way

  53. I never did hear if the guy was legit or not. I still wonder...

    I do get a say in cover design to a certain extent, yes. I can be overruled, but usually the editor asks me in advance what I envision for the art and we narrow it down by compromise after that.

    That said, I choose my battles wisely. There are some things I may not like on a cover, but I'll argue over something that bothers me more instead.

    There's really been only one time where I hated everything about a cover and I was overruled. Later--after the book was out and booksellers and reviewers said over and over again how horrible the cover was--my editor apologized for not listening. It's a rare thing for an apology like that, and I've admired and loved that editor ever since.

  54. I enjoyed the post and the book sounds hot. thanks for the giveaway

  55. lol I totally agree about windows needing blinds! I would have freaked out had I been with ya'll.
    I'm looking forward to reading the men in uniform =)


  56. I love the book cover- very hot! Do you have any say on the book covers?
    I can't wait to read this book!
    your1chef at aol dot com

  57. Thanks for sharing! It was a great story about how the book came to be. Would love to read it, the cover also looks awesome!


  58. Loved the post, very entertaining. I have Men Out Of Uniform on my TRL. The cover is great. I definitely couldn't do bare windows, especially at night. I'd be thinking too many crazy thoughts laying there. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  59. Is it bad that I was LMAO and reading along and then I hit the MOOU cover and my eyes went *bwoooop* and I forgot what you were talking about?

    I seriously never do that. *shamed*

    Being an Army wife living overseas cured me of my fears of stuff like that. If I hadn't I wouldn't have ever slept. Being alone with your toddler for weeks on end gets scary. I wore out my favorite CD listening to it to fall asleep at night.

    Thanks for sharing your story Sylvia! Looking forward to MOOU and of course Touch of Crimson. :)

  60. Love the story. I would have been right there with you about the curtains. That would freak me right out.
    Thanks for hte great giveaway.

    areeths at new dot rr dot com

  61. Congrats on the release! Looking forward to picking up a copy.

  62. I always enjoy hearing the inspiration behind the book. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the giveaway!

    Yummy cover!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  63. Thanks for the giveaway! The cover is awesome.

  64. It souns like one of those experiences you share many times over, it's funny now, but I'm sure it wasn't when you were experience it right? Can't wait to hear about what happens on your next retreat :-}

    I love the pic on the cover, very hot!


  65. Thanks so much for sharing this post! I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I'd be the paranoid one too. In fact I live out of town down a dirt road so now I'll probably be suspecting the UPS man for a while. That's in addition to trying to forget about the mutated bear on that movie Prophecy from 1979 with Armand Assante on it (happened to see it the other week on HBO or one of those channels).

    I love all three of you ladies works. I think you all write variety wonderfully and I'm always hooked no matter what genre/subgenre you go off in. I can't wait for Men Out of Uniform!

    pams00 @

  66. Great post! I have this book on my must reads list and wish list, can't wait to read it!

  67. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but if the inside is anything like the outside, then it's a best seller for sure! All joking aside, I can't wait to read it.

    Hollybwright at

  68. What a story. You should have saved that one for Halloween. It gave me goosebumps. hehe =)

    romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo dot com

  69. Wow, great story. I guess the moral of the story is everyone should listen to you. :)

    beckerjo at verizon dot net


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