8:55 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Lorelei James

CONTEST: I’ll give away a Rough Riders T-shirt and 3 downloads -- Branded As Trouble, Rough, Raw and Ready, and Tied Up, Tied Down, from All Romance Ebooks (ARE). Please leave a comment along with you email address for a chance to win.

AL: Hi Lorelei! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
Lorelei: It is good to be here, thanks for asking me

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Lorelei: Let’s see, it’s finally summer in South Dakota, so we’re doing a little boating, headed to a rodeo here and there, and we always have family in town after the 4th of July – this year we’ll be together celebrating my Grandmother’s 100th birthday!

AL: So what handsome cowboy do you have for us to drool all over and about?

Lorelei: Ironically, my next book entitled…Shoulda Been A Cowboy, features Cam McKay who prides himself…on not being a cowboy. But I’m always on the lookout for cowboys, luckily living out here in the west, there’s plenty around. And I pretty much drool over all of them.

AL: When did you know you had to be a writer?

Lorelei: Since I was a wee lass in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew! I’ve always made up stories in my head, I dabbled a little during college, had my creative brain sucked out by three kids and then got back into writing when my youngest was three. So I always *wanted* to be a writer, but it took me a bit to get there.

AL: So tell us about your split personality Lori Armstrong?

Lorelei: I write medium-boiled mysteries with a tough, kick ass female character, under the name Lori Armstrong. I have four mass market paperback original books out in the Julie Collins series (Blood Ties was nominated for a Shamus Award, Hallowed Ground won a WILLA Cather Literary Award and was nominated for a Shamus Award and Shallow Grave was nominated for a WILLA Cather Literary Award as well as the High Plains Book Award). I have a new series coming out in January 2010 in hardcover, from Touchstone Fireside (Simon and Schuster) entitled No Mercy. I think because I write erotic romance some people assume there is lots of sex in the mysteries—not so. They are completely different animals, which is why I have two different names.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Lorelei: It depends on which genre I’m writing in. I do pretty detailed outlines for the romances, around eight pages or so for a full length novel. For the mysteries I usually know the eight to ten high points, who the murderer is, the reason for the crime. The fact I outline more heavily for romances really shocks some people.

AL: Now let’s get personal! Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

Lorelei: Most unglamorous thing. Hmm. Besides the mundane laundry, house cleaning, cooking, I’d have to say…picking up the ant-infested and muddy hammock that my youngest daughter rolled into the weeds.

AL: You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for.

1) What’s the movie about? A romantic comedy where a woman has to choose between two equally great, but totally different men.
2) Who’s your character? A rough and tumble bartender who has turned her life around and is skeptical on why one man would want her, let alone two good ones.
3) And who’s your leading man? My leading men would be…Jack and Sawyer from LOST. I cannot get enough of those two. Sigh. They fulfill my tall, dark and handsome, and blonde, dimpled and bad boy fantasies perfectly.

AL: If you could have any car in the world; would it be a slow rider, or one that the wind has to hurry just to keep up with you?

Lorelei: My dream car is a Dodge Viper. And a 350 diesel Dodge dually pickup.

AL: Young Guns, or 3:10 to Yuma?

Lorelei: 3:10 to Yuma all the way.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Lorelei: Nora Roberts: I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank page.

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Lorelei.

Lorelei: My pleasure, little lady!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Lorelei and/or her split personality Lori, please visit:



She’s the match, he’s the fuse…an explosive combination

One year ago Willow Gregory entered the Miss Firecracker contest on a dare—and ended up with the crown. As a working carpenter, she’s not exactly the tears-and-tiara type, and after a year of walking the straight and narrow she’s ready to cut loose.

Waking up in a sexy stranger’s bed with no memory of the havoc she wreaked the night before wasn’t quite what she had in mind. Nor was agreeing to his mandate—work for him at the tavern until she repays the damage. Or go to jail.

Blake West thinks he could possibly be the only man alive who could say no to a drunken, horny, naked beauty queen. There’s something about the former Miss Firecracker that makes him want to blow his Mr. Nice Guy persona all to hell.

It helps that Willow is ready to dive headfirst into a no-heartstrings-attached affair. Which fits in perfectly with Blake’s temporary gig managing his friend’s bar.

Every grinding kiss, every stolen touch leads to another…until a harmless little white lie becomes the detonator that could explode their chances at a happily ever after.


Willow Gregory woke up and realized covering her head with a pillow did not muffle the pounding inside her skull.

She shifted slightly on the damp sheets. The pillow tumbled away and a shaft of sunlight nearly fried her retinas. She squeezed her eyelids shut and muttered, “I’m in hell.”

“A hell of your own making,” a masculine voice drawled.

Willow shrieked and jackknifed, twisting her body toward the sexy rumbling sound.

Ooh big mistake. Sharp pulses lanced her brain like pointy metal spikes. “Ow. Ow. Ow.” She peeled her eyes open, one squinty lid at a time and saw a tempting feast of bronzed male flesh less than two feet away from her.

Holy moly. If her head weren’t inside a jackhammer she’d believe she was still in dreamland.

Her gaze moved across the man’s thick wrist and ropy, muscled forearm to his ripped biceps, then over the cup of his shoulder to the middle of his chest. His bare, wide, oh-so-lickable chest. His bare, wide, oh-so-lickable chest with an oh-so-delectable tattoo.

She studied the column of his throat, noting the golden stubble dotting his square jaw. Her eyes passed over the dent in his chin and the deep-set dimples bracketing his smirking mouth. She met his gaze. Amused hazel eyes surrounded by sooty lashes were as unforgettable as the rest of him.

Yeah? If he’s so unforgettable why don’t you know his name?

“Good mornin’ sunshine,” he said, his voice tinged with a husky twang.

Her lips parted but not a single sound came out.
His smirk became a lethal grin. “How’s the head?”

“Like it’s got an ax imbedded in it.” Willow winced. Ow. Even talking hurt.

“That bad, eh?”

You have no idea. I also have no idea who you are.

He shook his head and the ends of his curly blond hair brushed his collarbones. “There’s a reason they call those shots cherry bombs.”

“Cherry bombs?” she repeated, immediately regretting the reverberation inside her brain.

“Cinnamon schnapps layered with blue Curaçao and topped with a maraschino cherry. Very patriotic. But that didn’t mean you had to drink them all, Miss Firecracker.”

She cringed at his use of her former title. “Huh-uh. I handed over my crown, my responsibilities and my title last night.” And good riddance.

“Your successor might’ve gotten the crown but, sunshine, you’re still wearin’ the sash.”

Oh crap.

Please tell me I didn’t…

Willow’s chin fell to her chest. She wore the white satin beauty pageant sash. Nothing else. She yelped, wincing at her own high-pitched squeak as she snatched up the balled sheet in an attempt to cover herself.
“It’s a little late for that, doncha think?”

She snapped, “Who are you?” when she really wanted to demand, “How the hell did I end up naked in your bed with the mother of all hangovers?”

“You really don’t remember?” he said with a silken purr. “All you did? All you said to me?”

“No. But if you were any good I should—”

He briefly placed his finger over her mouth. “Ah. Ah. Ah. Don’t go there. It ain’t gonna end well for you.”

She paused. Did this fall under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” heading? She honestly had no experience with this kind of “morning after” situation.


“Did it end well for you?” she blurted. “Did we have sex last night?”

“No. But it wasn’t for lack of trying on your part.”

My part?”

“Uh-huh. I said no. Several times. I might’ve said yes if I’d seen you strip to nothin’ but that sexy sash.” He rubbed his meaty hand over his mouth and let his gaze drop to the aforementioned swath of fabric.

Her cheeks flamed.

“But I prefer the woman I bed to be coherent, not babbling about spending a year toeing the line and then demanding I ‘man-up’ and do my civic duty to help you make up for lost booty time.”

Aghast, she whispered, “I said that?”

“Yep. After the sheriff left and I got you calmed down.”

“Sheriff Mayhew was here?”

“Not up here, but downstairs.”


“In the bar. LeRoy’s Tavern. And it’s a good thing the sheriff knows your daddy, ’cause otherwise you woulda landed in jail.”

A spear of pain shot from her head to the base of her spine and she lowered to the mattress to quell the dizziness. “What did I do last night?”

“Got cherry bombed.”

“No kidding.”

“What do you remember?” he asked.

“I remember crowning Miranda Sue Maffini the new Miss Firecracker. I remember having a celebratory drink or five with the losing contestants in the back of somebody’s pickup. Then we were supposed to meet up here. So I walked from the town hall…then it’s sort of blurry.” She hesitated. “Was I with anyone else?”

“Not that I recall. You were by yourself the second you strolled in. Didn’t seem happy about it either.”

A glimmer of memory appeared. Sitting alone in a big booth. Mortified she’d eagerly fallen for the “we’ll meet you there” line of crap. Embarrassed and feeling like a loser. Acting like it was no big deal that she’d ordered a round of expensive specialty shots for her new no-show friends.

So she drank them all herself.

The night was a blank after that, which didn’t seem like such a bad thing, given the pathetic, friendless state of her life. “I’m in the apartment upstairs from LeRoy’s Tavern?”

"Yep.” The bed shifted as he scooted up.

Willow lifted her shoulders and studied the guy’s all-too-smug, all-too-handsome, all-too-close mug. “So if I’m at Dave’s place, where’s Dave?”

“On vacation.”

“Who are you?”

Two hundred pounds of warm male was right in her face. “My name’s Blake West. And who am I?” He swept a chunk of hair from her cheek. “Since I’m managing the bar while Dave’s fishing in Jackson Hole, that makes me your new boss.”

“I may be hungover, but I’m not stupid. I don’t work at LeRoy’s Tavern.”

He flashed her a dazzling smile. “You do for the next two nights, according to the sheriff.”

“Might go three nights, depending on how fast you fill up your tip jar.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you being a very bad girl last night, Miss—”

“—don’t say it: don’t even think it,” she warned.

“I thought you’d be proud of the title, bein’s you’re still wearing the sash.”

Willow ignored his sexy grin. “That part of my life is over and it doesn’t matter. So tell me, Blake West, how bad was I?”

“On a scale of one to ten?” He paused. His golden green eyes twinkled. Twinkled. “Fifty.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“The proof is right downstairs. You smashed a barstool into the wall after Norbert Fossum pissed you off. Broke the table too. You did about six hundred dollars damage.”

“No way.”

Way. And part of the reason the good sheriff didn’t toss your cute butt in jail was on the condition you work off the debt, not pay it off.”


“Said he wants you to learn a lesson about the high price of, as you phrased it, cutting loose.”

Shoot. Willow could imagine herself saying that. In fact, if she thought real hard, she could almost remember shouting it to the rafters after she realized her so-called new friends had stood her up. “And if I refuse?”

“Sheriff Mayhew reinstates the charges of drunk and disorderly, the destruction of private property and you hash out the details in court.”

She’d always admired the sheriff’s unconventional punishments to keep the peace in their town—until now.

Behind bars or tending bar…was there really a choice?

“Why’s he doing this to me?”

“Sunshine, you did this to yourself.”

He had a point. “So what are you getting out of this besides free labor? My humiliation?”

“Your humiliation? What about mine?”


“Yes. You working to pay for damages means I don’t have to tell my buddy that I let some smokin’ hot beauty queen distract me to the point she wreaked havoc in his bar on my second night in charge.”


Smokin’ hot beauty queen? Wow. Did he really mean her?
His eyes narrowed. “I recognize that scheming look from last night.”

“I am not scheming! I don’t have a scheming bone in my body.”


Why wouldn’t he doubt her? If everything he’d claimed she’d done last night was true? “It’s just…I can’t believe I did something so stupid.”

“Everyone makes mistakes.”

“Well, prepare yourself for quite a few more because I’ve never bartended.”

“More used to knockin’ ’em back than making them, are you?” he drawled.

Willow glared at him.
Which caused him to smile and set those damn dimples winking again. “No worries. You won’t be mixing drinks. You’ll be slinging them.”

Blake’s gaze trailed down her body. Not a covert glance from beneath his sinfully long lashes, but blatant masculine appraisal. When he deigned to look at her face, his eyes were heated and dark. “Oh yes, indeedy, you certainly are.” Then he shoved aside the blanket and stood.

Unlike her, he wasn’t naked. However, he looked damn fine clothed. And was there anything sexier than a hunky bare-chested man filling out a pair of hip-hugging jeans to perfection? Her head protested the exertion of imagining Blake West wearing nothing but his dimples.

“…out of hot water.”

Willow looked up. “What did you say?”

He smirked, recognizing she’d been ogling him. “I said I figured you’d prefer to go home and get cleaned up.”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me yet. I expect to see you back in the bar in two hours.”

“What time is it now?”

“Noon. The bar opens at two.”

“How late am I working?”
“Until close.”
She groaned. A twelve-hour shift. Chances were good she’d still feel like dog doo-doo twelve hours from now. Chances were even better her new “boss” knew that.
Holding the sheet close, Willow peeked over the edge of the bed. No sign of her clothes. She scanned the floor. Nothing. Ditto for the dresser next to the window.

“Something you need, sunshine?” Blake asked sweetly.

“Umm. Where exactly did you put my clothes?”

He grinned. “I didn’t put them anywhere. You did.”

“This is not funny. Where are they?”

“Now, that’s the question of the day, ain’t it? Look up and to your left.”

Willow carefully angled her head skyward. Her red bra and lacy thong dangled from one side of the ceiling fan, her denim skirt and red tank top from the other.

Fantastic. She flopped back on the mattress. Must’ve been a heckuva strip tease. How was she supposed to retrieve them without jumping on the bed like a naked, drunken monkey?

Thirty seconds later, a soft thump landed on the mattress. Willow turned her head to see her clothes wadded into a ball. “Thanks.”

“I’ll leave you to get dressed.”

“Will I be wearing a uniform today?”

“No. Just a white shirt and jeans. Or a skirt.”

At least she wasn’t expected to parade around in a Hooters-type get-up.

“Your purse and keys are in the living room. Don’t know what you did with your shoes.” His eyes narrowed again. “Remember. Be back here in two hours. Or I send the sheriff after you.”

REMEMBER: I’ll give away a Rough Riders T-shirt and 3 downloads -- Branded As Trouble, Rough, Raw and Ready, and Tied Up, Tied Down, from All Romance Ebooks (ARE). Please leave a comment along with you email address for a chance to win.


Rhonda said...

Lorelei, great post! I love all of Lorelei/Lori's books. She is such a wonderful person and author.


Kerry said...

This looks like an awesome read that my hands can't wait to get hold of. I love Lorelei books, i like curling up and getting lost in them. Wicked Post.
Happy postings peeps

Armenia said...

Nice post and excerpt. I love Lorelei's tough kick-ass heroines. Count me in for your great giveaway.

armiefox at yahoo dot com

Estefanie said...

wow! Love the excerpt. I am new fan of Lorelei.



joder said...

Great interview with a great excerpt! And I too was a huge Nancy Drew fan. I still have the original series books from when I was young.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Dani said...

Loved the interview. Great excerpt!!

Thank you for the contest.

dlbaath at yahoo dot com

delitealex said...

Great interview and excerpt. I really enjoy your books.


not your normal momma said...

I just found Lorelei's books and was utterly shocked to find your invite in my in box. I couldn't pass up a chance to learn mote about my new fave author.
Thanks wonderful interview.


Eva S said...

Thanks for the great interview and the excerpt! I've heard so much about these books, I'd really love to read them!

eva.silkka at gmail.com

conb00 said...

Wonderful interview Lori and Ann,I Love your books! can't wait to curl up to many more of them Lori!!! c(dot)barkowski(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I loved the excerpt of Miss Firecracker.

melissaconatser [at[ gmail [dot] com

Cathy M said...

Hi Lorelei, I just got thru reading Miss Firecracker, and you picked one of my favorite scenes to share. Definitely a treat!


Babyblue22 said...

Hey Lorelei, Ann!!!
Great interview! And the book sounds great, Love the excerpt!
God Bless your grandmother..100 WOW!! Have fun celebrating.


Tamsyn said...

That was a terrific interview and I really love the Miss Firecracker excerpt. Please throw my name in the hat for the contest.


Lorelei James said...

It's great to see James Gang members here (waving at Rhonda and Cathy M!) As well as you all who've taken the time to drop by - and I always love to hear I have new fans :)

Janneke said...

Great post... Love all your books and can't wait for the next in your Rough Riders Series on Aug 25...
Keep em comin'

Ann Lory said...

Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

Miss Firecracker does sound like it's name, doesn't it? A firecracker read. LOL!

Is that the first time you've heard that, Lorelei? Probably not. :-D

Anonymous said...

Lorelei, great post !! You know I love Julie - she rocks. Those McKay and West boys - mmnm, mmnm - yum. Can't wait for Aug 25th and Cam's story - SBAC.



Tarsilla said...

Hey ms. James! What a kick-ass interview! Loved the part about the ants in the weeds and the nora roberts quote! And to all new fans out there you just cant go wrong with lorelei james or lori armstrong!

Aliens said...

Great interview. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for Shoulda Been A Cowboy. Love your books.

Helen said...

All of Lorelei's books are unique and utterly enjoyable. Her fans are counting the days until the next one is released.


NoelleS. said...

Hi Lorelei,

Loved the excerpt. Miss Firecracker is definetly on my TBR list.


Tarsilla said...

ooops forgot my email: athena13sampaio@gmail.com
keep reading LJ!!

Becky said...

Lorelei, Great interview. Your books are awesome. You have amazing talent.



booklover1335 said...

Hi Lorelei,
Just dropped by to say hi, and tell you how much I am looking forward to Cams story, Shoulda Been A Cowboy. Less than a month away, and I am counting down the days!!! Love your books!

Please don't enter me in the contest, I have all of her ebooks, and would rather someone who doesn't have them get to discover L's hot cowboys!!

Cyndi-Lu said...

Fun, insightful interview AND I loved the preview and excerpt of "Miss Firecracker". I can't wait to get my hot little hands on this hot little read! I have only read 1 1/2 of her books and I am already hooked and hunting down the ones I haven't read. Thanks for the interview!

Mo said...

Lorelei, I so love your stories and I'm not a cowboy person. I just finished Miss Firecracker and Strong Silent Type. Loved them both. I have several other of your books and you are one of my MySpace friends so we have talked a few times. It is great to learn more about you and make you more than printed words and emails. Thanks for the info. Always love to receive whatever but the interview was a bonus. Mo

Keta Diablo said...

Hi Lorelei and Ann,

Great interview!

3:10 to Yuma for me too! I never get tired of watching it. So hoping they come out with a sequel with Crowe and the boy.

Your book sounds fantastic and I'll go check it out right now.

Cowboys and rodeos, huh? Like that too.

Often interviewers ask me about my exciting writing life and I tell them about emptying "Emma LaPounce's" litterbox three times a week. They don't think it's so glam then (lol).

Much good luck to you on sales, Lorelei.

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ketadiablo

Keta's Keep Blog: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

Jeanine said...

Love your posts as always!


capnnikki said...

Enjoyed reading the interview and am officially excited about the next book in the Rough Riders series. Glad we will get to know Cam.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book. Great blog.


Bella said...

Hi Ann and Lorelei! Great post! Can't wait for SBAC -- counting the days!



SiNn said...

I love your work Lorelei! awesome post cant wait to read your latest release

mortalsinn @ yahoo.com

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lorelei. Great interview and excerpt. I love your writing. Miss Firecracker sounds good.


Lorelei James said...

Ann - why, no, that IS the first time I've read that "red, hot, read", lol!

Glad you all enjoyed the interview, I love well-thought out questions.

Several more members of my James Gang stopped by - really, I have the best fans in the world!!! Thanks guys!!

Mo! So happy to see you here - you are the ONLY person who ever comments on my blog on myspace, so thanks for making the leap over here :)

Lorelei James said...

Hey all, I just wanted to mention that ironically enough, Miss Firecracker is up for book of the week at The Romance Studio! If you're so inclined, I'd appreciate your vote! Here's the link:



Ann Lory said...

Hey everyone! The posts are great. Thanks again for stopping by.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for showcasing the lovely Mrs. Lorelei...when I first read one of her books I fell hard! I love the entire series. I am waiting very impatiently for Should Have Been a Cowboy. Keep up the good work L!


Midnight said...

gotta love a almost bare naked man coming out of anyones bed, better yet, make it coming into bed!! hehehe


Midnight said...

forgot email:

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I love your books Lorelei. They are terrific. I have them all and you're starting to take up shelf space as they hit print. LOL. I can't wait to read Cam's story.



Book Junkie said...

Great post! I love Lorelei James, the RR series is the best!


Tiss said...

Lori is an awesome author, no matter matter what she's writing and still has time to go about life. I always like to read her guest blogs as it gives alittle more insite into her and what she does best, write for all of us!

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