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Archive for December 7th, 2011

Guest Blogger: Summer Devon (Contest)
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Summer’s two winners are Marika Weber and Elizabeth H.! Congratulations, and please email Summer to let her know which ebook format you want at

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That question that writers either love or hate: where do you get your ideas? I usually hate the question, only because I often don’t know any answer other “on dog walks.” But I can finally give an explanation for how a story came into being. I’m talking about Unnatural Calamities, the book that came out yesterday.

Go on, ask it. I’ll just wait here. Where did I get the ideas for that book, you ask?

I began Janey’s story as an exercise. I’d just read a fun Harlequin Presents and it had a few great tropes (if you need a definition, here’s a link to a trope site but watch out, that site will suck you in and spit you out hours later.)

That Harlequin contained a millionaire, a woman living under a false identity, and a secret baby. Ha, I thought, I can do better than that using even more romance standards. I decided to pile on as many clichés as I could: twins, mistaken identity, secret baby, amnesia, men with odd first names, a kidnapping, a rich guy, a fish out of water—all the while keeping the story believable.

About two chapters in, soon after I’d introduced the “grungy bad boy with mystical powers to attract women,” I became more interested in the actual characters and their story. Toph and Janey turned into real people for me and I wanted to make sure they got a fair shake.

So I continued writing, now employing my usual method—I usually write character-driven stories and I love me some tension. But I still managed to work in the romance standards, mostly disguised as people you’d meet on the street. If you pick up a copy of Unnatural Calamities, and you’re a romance reader, you might see many familiar figures or situations—but all twisted to fit a story I grew to love.

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She has a deft hand with banana flambé…and a touch that sets his body on fire.

Janey knows all too well she looks a wreck. What hard-working chef wouldn’t, operating on three hours of sleep? Stuck in a dull Connecticut town, taking care of her beloved niece, Rachel, Janey spends her days looking for a job and her nights working high-end catering gigs.

Just her luck, she runs into Mr. Perfect two days past her designated laundry day. And she’s just found out her niece is passing her off as “Mom” to avoid the embarrassment of admitting her real mother, Janey’s identical twin, is serving time.

Despite Janey’s questionable fashion sense and the juicy gossip about her checkered past, venture capitalist Christopher Dunham finds himself drawn to her spark. And warmed by her obvious affection for Rachel, so like what he feels for his own daughter.

When sexy, way-out-of-her-league Toph offers her a business loan, Janey can’t believe her long string of bad luck with bad boys has come to an end. At least, until a blast from her sister’s shady past turns up the heat on their attraction. And sets off a chain of events that could snuff out the flame just as their love starts to come to a boil…

Product Warnings: A comedy of errors, mistaken identity, poor girl meets rich guy, kidnapping at gunpoint, and hot handcuffed sex in a hotel bathtub—and that’s all before lunch.

I’d like to give away two copies of Unnatural Calamities or any other book by Summer Devon (including any m/m’s I’ve written with Bonnie Dee) winner’s choice from