Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Blog with Vanessa Kelly/V.A. Sykes

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Marie.  Some of your readers might know me as historical romance writer Vanessa Kelly.  In fact, I do have a new historical coming out in October, called His Mistletoe Bride.  But I don’t want to talk about my historical romances, but about the contemporary romances I write with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes.

Writing books with one’s hubby is an interesting experience, but it’s worked out pretty well for us.  Our first book, CaddyGirls, was released by digital-first publisher Carina Press, but our subsequent books are self-published.  We’ve enjoyed diverging from the traditional path.  It’s given us control over our work and allowed us to write the stories we wanted to write—stories which don’t necessarily fit in the box of traditional publishing.

Plus, I get to pick out the covers, which means looking at pictures of hot, partly naked men in a variety of interesting poses.  For some reason my husband usually passes this particular chore on to me.  Ah, well.  One must suffer for one’s art!

I’m very pleased to tell you that hubby and I have recently released two new books.  Both Fastball and Hot Number are sexy contemporary romances.  Fastball is actually a prequel to our award-winning romance, Hardball, which came out last year.  As you might surmise from the title, Fastball is a sports romance, starring a very sexy major league baseball player as the hero.  And when I say sexy, I mean sexy!

Hot Number is also a fun and sexy romance, set in Las Vegas.  It features a brilliant but nerdy math professor who decides to have a wild week in Vegas.  Unfortunately, she ends up getting busted for card counting by a casino chief of security.  Fortunately, said security chief is also very hot, and he’s definitely out to give our heroine a wild ride.

Releasing two new books is certainly a cause to celebrate, but I’ve got other good news to share. Both Fastball and Hot Number have been released under the branding of a new author’s group called Rock*It Reads (RIR, for short).  All the members of RIR are traditionally published authors committed to producing high quality, self-published romances. We do that by ensuring that our self-published books receive a strong editorial review, go through a solid copyediting process, and are properly formatted for a multitude of popular eReaders.

The members of RIR are Monica Burns, Pamela Clare, Lila DiPasqua, Cheryl Holt, Kris Kennedy, Margo Maguire, Mia Marlowe, Elisabeth Naughton, Sharon Page, Joan Swan, and moi, writing as both Vanessa Kelly and VK Sykes.  Please check out our beautiful new website for all the latest on RIR and our self-published books:  We’ve got lots going on, including a new review column in collaboration with Barnes & Noble.  Our B & N column, called Love Rocks, will be spotlighting the best in self-published romances, unearthing those sometimes hidden gems that you might miss.  We’ll be putting out a new column every two weeks at  We hope you’ll join us!

Vanessa Kelly writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra and contemporary romance with her husband under the pen name of VK Sykes.  You can find her on the web at or at  And be sure to visit her at or follow her on her blog: