Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toni Blake (Or Is That Lacey Alexander) GuestBlog: Toni, Or, Em, Lacy, Dishes The Dirt On Leading A Double Life

Contest!!! One LCB wins a copy of "Tempt Me Tonight," and another LCB wins "Voyeur" from Toni. And Lacey.
It's been fun making e-friends with Toni Blake over the last couple years. We met over her erotic romance, "Swept Away," (read my RBtheBook Feature and her AuthorView)and have forged a bit of a bond in our championing of novels erotic. Toni's new erotic romance is "Tempt Me Tonight," which has one of my favorite romance premises. You should ask her about it, after you wish her a warm -- or should I say steamy -- Bella buongiorno...

I recently announced in the online romance community that in addition to writing super sexy romances as Toni Blake, I’ve also spent the last three and a half years moonlighting – by writing romantic erotica as Lacey Alexander. There were all kinds of reasons why I kept it a secret, and I’ve gotten all kinds of support since “coming out of the closet” and even discovered I have a strong cross-readership. But that’s not what this blog is about. This blog is about the perils of leading a double life, and there are many, let me tell ya!

First of all, there’s the secret-keeping. Without going into the details, it really wasn’t my fault it had to be kept a secret – a pesky contract clause made it necessary. That said, I thought keeping a secret would be fun – you know, very doubled-agentish/James Bondish without causing anyone any harm. What I learned, though, was – keeping a secret is hard. To maintain my double life, I had to do everything twice, and I had to remember which one of me I was at any given moment. That means having two e-mail accounts, two Yahoogroup identities for the chat loops I took part in, and, again – any time I sent a message, I had to be sure I remembered which one of me it was coming from – which can get confusing when dealing with lots of communication.

Keeping the secret was also hard because as the erotica portion of my career grew, heck, I wanted to tell people. Without telling people, I had no one to celebrate successes with. And I also think people were beginning to wonder why it was taking me so long to write a book. After all, no one realized I was actually producing twice as much work as they saw coming from Toni Blake, or doing twice as much promo work.

So it’s a huge relief to have the truth out, but I still suffer many of the perils of being two people – because guess what? I’m still doing everything twice. I maintain two websites, two MySpace pages, and I still have two e-mail addresses and two times the communication with editors and readers. I do twice as much promo work because I have twice as many books out under twice as many names. Name recognition is what promo is all about, so I really feel I have to work twice as hard to keep two names afloat in the minds of readers. Oh, and I have twice as many deadlines, from three different publishers, so I’m always juggling them and planning my writing schedule for a year or two in advance. And if that’s not enough, now that my erotica identity is out, I harbor what I hope is an irrational fear of being bothered by creepy men. (So if you’re a creepy man and you’re reading this, don’t even think about it, dude.)

Okay, so now that I’ve whined and complained for several paragraphs, you may be wondering – is there anything good about this crazy double life of yours? Well, of course!

I love the freedom to write what I consider two very different types of books. After I finish what I hope is a deep, complex, very-sexy-but- heart-wrenching Toni Blake novel, it’s fun to write a not-so-deep erotic romp as Lacey Alexander. It’s also fun to get twice as much fan mail and twice as many pay checks.

This spring/summer has been especially gratifying as I’ve had three books out in row: In May, Penguin released VOYEUR by Lacey, June saw Toni’s TEMPT ME TONIGHT from Avon Red, and in July, Avon is re-issuing a mass market version of SWEPT AWAY, which was the first single title to launch the Red line last fall. Oh, and TEMPT ME TONIGHT was excerpted in Cosmo, which was kind of a dream-come-true thing for me! So it’s been a super exciting time in my career, full of fun and fanfare and all that good stuff!

So what am I next looking forward to? Well, to be honest, August. Because as wonderful and exciting as it is to have so many books on the shelves at once, at heart, I’m a writer and a bit of a hermit, too, and I’m just about ready to crawl back in my cave and get down the serious writing of books so that you guys will have something to read from me next year, too. When all is said and done, that’s what it comes down to in the end – I’m still that little girl in rural Kentucky sitting on my bed and writing stories in notebooks that I hope someone will read someday. They’re just a lot hotter than they were then. And I’m just glad I have a computer now, so I don’t have that ugly spot on my index finger anymore ; )
Do you lead a double life?
What do you do or love that would surprise your friends if they knew?

Encore! To check out Toni’s super steamy, super sexy, heart-tugging romances, visit ToniBlake.com, or you can discover your inner bad girl at LaceyAlexander.net. Or have twice the fun by checking them both out!
Encore due! Toni's got a great article about the differences between erotic romance and erotica in this month's "Romance Writers Report." And I'm not just sayin it's great cause it includes my timely, expert -- and, ok, maybe sometimes indecipherable -- opinions.


Stacy~ said...

Hi Toni! It's always a pleasure to see you here. As you know, I'm a huge fan of both your personas, way before I ever knew the secret. I think it's great that you can write the traditional romances as Toni, and the more adventurous erotic romances as Lacey. I find your LA books especially empowering, so even if what happens in them is not a person's particular lifestyle, it allows women to learn more about themselves and their sexuality and what they like. Very strong stuff.

Me? Ha, you've met me and know I'm plain ole boring *g* but the fact that I read erotic romance would be a huge surprise to my friends. I come across as the quiet one, and with that comes expectations and certain ideas that "good girls" don't fantasize, or even condone such behavior. Little do they know. I'm living proof that that is so not true. Still waters run deep and all that ;)

Btw, for those of you who might not realize, that's the lovely Toni with the uh, slightly rumpled illusionist Criss Angel, and he's holding her book. Toni's a star :)

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome back, Toni!!

I think having a secret identity is cool. If I were to have something published, I would give a different name just for the mystery of it. It's fun having secrets. But it would also be tiring to keep up the ruse for very long.

My biggest secret: I'm obsessed with Amazon. It's true. I'm completely addicted to that website and have very nearly maxed my credit card buying books. Since I made the pact with myself (I'm not buying any new books until I lose 30 lbs) I'm now going over to it just to drool. I have a wish list the size of small country.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Toni! Lovely to 'meet' you... To my shame I haven't read any of your books yet, but they are on my TBB list now... I think it's wild that you are able to be so prolific as two different people! You obviously work very very hard.

Nope, no double life here. As Popeye would say, I yam wot I yam... LOL

Although there are these trysts I sneak away to, at deluxe hotels, with a certain tall and strapping Italian American actor... No, gosh darn it, those are fantasies, aren't they? Ack, what a shame...

Toni Blake said...

Hello, ladies, and thank you for stopping by to comment! First things first, though - I want to thank Michelle for inviting me to blog with her today! I know you guys already know Michelle rocks, but I'll say it again - she rocks : ) And as she mentioned, we're quite like-minded in our quest to see erotic romance given some respect and taken seriously. I always explain to people that I don't write about sex because I think it's trivial or giggle-worthy - I write about it because I think it's such an important part of a relationship and life. So there ; )

Anyway, I'm thrilled to be here and look forward to chatting with you guys : )

Toni Blake said...

Ah, my dear Stacy - thank you for stopping by, my friend : ) And who called you boring? Whoever it was, they don't know what they're talkin' about!

And thanks for the kind words about my books, especially what you said about the Lacey books. You pretty much hit the nail on the head exactly in terms of what I hope to achieve with these books. Most of us aren't ever gonna do things that take place in a Lacey book, but isn't it wildly freeing and empowering to at least let yourself think about it a little? ; )

Heck, Lacey has opened *my* mind to things, weird as that sounds, me being her and all. But she's really such a ... separate and distinct part of me that sometimes I find it hard to believe I write those books ; ) Anyway, one thing I really enjoy in writing the Lacey books is exploring different aspects of sexuality that maybe I've never thought about before. It can be most enlightening.

And what you said about the whole "good girls don't fantasize," I so hear ya on that. I was raised in the Midwest, a very white bread, good-girls-don't upbringing, and when you come from that sort of background, it can be hard to even let your MIND go some places ; ) So I take a lot of secret pleasure just in the freedom of that.

It's interesting to me to read your secret, because, you know, until recently no one knew *I* wrote stuff like that. Some people are sincerely surprised, but so far, I've not had one even slightly unpleasant remark, which is way cool.

And thanks for mentioning the Criss Angel photo : ) It was fun to see that Michelle had nabbed that for the blog ; )

Toni Blake said...

Hi Julie! Thanks for the welcome : )

And yep, you pretty much summed up my secret life in a nutshell - it's fun at first, but soon grows wearying. I can't tell you how good it is to be "out of the closet" ; )

An addiction to Amazon does not sound like a bad thing to me ; ) And wow, that's quite a pact you've made with yourself. Good luck on it, but don't deprive yourself of the books for TOO long - that's just masochistic ; )

If you check back in, I have a question for you. As an Amazon addict, how much credence do you give the reviews posted there?

I will admit that when I'm waffling on whether to buy a book, I've been known to check out customer reviews and use that to help me make my decision. However, when one of my books gets a *bad* customer review, this makes me a little CRAZY because I'm so afraid potential buyers will judge the book by that alone and decide not to give it a try. So I'd be curious to hear from other folks how they view the online review system at Amazon, BN.com, the bookclub sites, etc. That said, I really do try not to check these things too often - because of the CRAZY factor ; )

Toni Blake said...

Hi there, Portia - lovely to meet you, and thank you in advance for checking out my books : ) I hope you'll like them!

Indeed, I am fortunate that I can be so prolific and I'm very thankful for that. It's something that started when I was first writing and trying to sell romances. I kept getting rejections, so I just kept writing more books, figuring the law of averages had to be on my side - the more I put out there, the better my chances of selling.

Now, taking on two whole identities - I'll be honest, it's been challenging. But rewarding, too, of course. And I never exactly PLANNED to have two separate careers going - it was all due to a bunch of serendipitous twists of fate, and here I am, smack dab in the middle of a double life ; )

No secrets for you, huh? Well, the trysts sound nice, fantasy or not ; ) Hey, I'm in the fantasy business - so I'm all for 'em! : )

Karen Kelley said...

I'm a slob. Oh, wait, everyone already knows that. Okay, I'm always on a diet. Wait, they know that, too. I write sexually explicit, steamy romances--LOL---I don't care if they know it!!! You know what, sometimes it's not all bad to hit your 50's.

You're a wonderful writer, Toni!!! No matter who you are!
Karen Kelley

Anonymous said...

Toni/Lacey ~

I DO lead a double life, but I do it under one name. I write sweet and VERY sensual, but I warn readers up front that I have two different identities. The covers of my books are dead giveaways as to what genre they are reading:)

I love all your books. I think I've told you before, but I'd read your grocery list if you'd let me:)

Keep 'em coming as Toni AND Lacey!


Julie in Ohio said...

Toni-- I do read the reviews but it's more for the entertainment factor. Some of the reviewers are crazy and what they write amuses me. But I won't buy a book because of one of their reviews.
I hate to admit it (more secrets revealled) the worst the review the more entertaining it is. Some reviewers go completely off and say the most absurd things. It makes you wonder if they really did read the book.

The only reviews that effect me and what I buy are from friends. If I don't know them or their taste in books personally then their opinion doesn't hold much weight with me.

Toni Blake said...

Hi Karen! Thank you so much for stopping in - you're such a sweetie : ) (For anyone who doesn't know, Karen and I are part of a group of authors who host a reader chat loop called Scamps, Vamps, and Spicy Romance, so though I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I still know she's a sweetie : ) )

Your message cracked me up - indeed, 'tis perhaps good to also find a place in life where you have no secrets 'cuz you just don't want to ; )

Kelley Nyrae said...

Hey Toni!!

I was a big fan of your Toni books, as you know, but I'd never read a Lacey book before knowing it was you. I do read erotica but not as much as I read books such as your Toni book. But, when I found out you wrote erotic I knew I had to pick up a book. As you know, I now love your Lacey books too! I like reading the hot stuff but for me HEA is a must. Thats what I love about the Lacey book. They are H-O-T but they also have that HEA that I love! So, you just keep on writing your Lacey and Toni book, and I'll keep on reading them!!

Hmmm, secret life? Nothing exciting that I can think of! Well, as Stacy mentioned, most of my friend have no idea that I do read erotica. Most of them aren't big readers in the first place and have never picked up a romance or erotic book. I think people who have never read erotica have big misconceptions about it. Anyway, have a great day!

Toni Blake said...

Hey there, Jules! Thanks for popping in - it's great to see you here : ) Very interesting that you write such different kinds of work under one name! I'm already breathing a sigh of relief for you that you won't have to maintain two websites, etc. etc. : )

Oh my God, I just have to stop and shout - IT'S RAINING! We've been in a major drought here and it just started pouring, so hooray for my yard. Anyhoo ...

Bless you, my dear Jules, for the kind words about my books - that's very nice for you to say!

Toni Blake said...

Hey Julie - thanks for the scoop on your view of reviews : ) It's good to know. I agree - sometimes you DO wonder if they're talking about the right book, don't ya? I really like knowing that maybe folks don't take them so seriously : )

And I also agree about recommendations from friends - that's very different. I've always believed that good word of mouth can really help sell a book : )

Keep reading, my friend, and don't fight that addiction too hard ; )

Unknown said...

HI Toni (waving frantically)!!! You were one of the first new authors that I learned about at Squawk Radio when you did your big coming out. Sines then I haven’t been able to stop reading your books! They are amazing. Tempt Me Tonight was awesome!!!! I really recommend it to everyone! It made me laugh and sigh. There were even parts where I just wanted to cry for poor Trish. And your Lacey books were the first erotica books that I read. I really enjoyed them and have read a lot of them. And because of them I have branched out to read other erotica Authors. So I just wanted to say thank you for brooding my horizons which isn’t always a very easy task. On another note welcome back Michelle I hope that your computer is feeling better now.

Julie in Ohio said...

Alas, Toni, I'm not known for my self control or discipline so I'm sure it won't be long before I fold. :o)
However, as of today I've only drooled...alot and often. :p
Nothing will stop me from reading. I'm just revisiting some old friends that I haven't read in a while. :o)

I have a question for you; With being such a busy bee, do you get a chance to read for fun? And do you stear clear of the hot stuff because you write that kind or do you enjoy a little of everything?

Toni Blake said...

Hello Leeann! I remember chatting with you at Squawk, I believe : ) Thanks for stopping in today - and wowsers, thank you for the wonderful praise of my books! I'm bowled over and mega appreciative! I'm so glad you enjoyed TMT so much - that just makes my day and I appreciate the recommendation! And golly, I find myself quite pleased to think I led you down the path to erotica : ) Hooray for sexy books!

Thank you again : )

Toni Blake said...

Hey Julie : )

Ah, nothin' wrong with re-reading some old faves. I'm sorry to say I hardly ever do that, but I wish I could.

Which segues SO nicely into your question : ) I do find time to read, but not much these days. Hence I pretty much always read stuff I haven't read before rather than stuff on my keeper shelf.

I tend to read mostly romance, but occasionally other stuff - I'm a big fan of Phillippa Gregory's recent books and I read the Stephanie Plum series and whatever else catches my interest. As for the hot stuff, I tend to personally like very sexy romances, but I seldom read erotica (another secret loosed!) I tend to gravitate to stuff like Rachel Gibson, Teresa Medeiros, Jenny Crusie - and I try out a lot of new stuff as it makes it way into my hands, too : ) I like both historical and contemporary, by the by.

For what it's worth, I don't actively avoid erotica - I just seem to prefer sexy romances more. When I first started as Lacey, I actively *did* avoid erotica - I decided I didn't want to read anything that was out there because I knew what I wanted to write and I didn't want to be influenced in any way; I just decided I was going to write it my way and it would either sell or it wouldn't, and if it didn't, I wasn't meant to write erotica.
When it did sell, I DID keep actively avoiding erotica, just for the same reason.

Over time, I've finally *quit* avoiding erotica, but I just haven't had occasion to read much. I do have a book by my friend Louisa Burton, though, sitting on my reading table and high on my TBR list, because she's wonderful and I expect it to be deliciously wicked.

Maureen said...

Hi Tony!

Congratulations on all your new books coming out. I can't think of any interesting secret part of my life. Although I know having the two names can be a pain for you I appreciate it when authors have different pen names for the different genres they write in. This way I know what type of story I'm getting.

amy kennedy said...

Hello Toni, wonderful to have you here.

Bellas. What a week I've had.

Toni, I think I get that--that Lacey opened you up to new things, a different persona allows you to delve where you might not have before...but since it's not really you...

Stacy and Leeann--you both just sold me on Toni/Lacey.

I think I'm an open book--although, if I were to write erotic romance I might do it under an assumed name, my mother wouldn't care, it's my in-laws I worry about, although I am almost 50, so then maybe I'll be like Karen Kelley and not give a damn.

Vivi Anna said...

Hi Toni! *waving*

I live a double life every day...actually it's a triple life...

But I'm having fun doing it!!!

tetewa said...

Hi Toni, glad to have you here today! Good luck on the releases and I think its great you lead the double life.

Toni Blake said...

Hi Maureen - thanks for stopping in and for the congrats on my current releases : ) That's exactly why I chose to go the two-name route, so readers would know what they're getting. Plus I feel like my Toni Blake "image" is quite a bit different than my Lacey "image," so I didn't really want to mix the two. That Lacey - she's a much wilder chickie than Toni, that's for sure ; )

Toni Blake said...

Hi Amy, and thanks for the welcome : ) And hey, a big thank you to Stacy and Leeann for selling Amy on my books : ) Amy, thank you so much in advance for giving them a whirl, and I hope you'll like 'em : )

No secrets, huh? I'm trying to remember, before Lacey, if I had any secrets, but I can't really think of anything noteworthy. So I can say that *taking on* a secret really did make life more exciting for a while ; )

Toni Blake said...

Hi Vivi Anna - thanks for dropping in! Okay, I know I've seen you post lots here at Michelle's blog and I know we're friends at MySpace, but I don't know about your triple life. Care to dish the dirt?

Toni Blake said...

Waving hi to Tetewa : ) Thanks for the warm welcome : )

Lois said...

A double life. . . boy, do I wish I did. LOL :) Alas, my real persona, off or online is quite boring and all that stuff. LOL :)

I think friends would be surprised how incredibly boring my life is. LOL :)

Boy, that was a boring answer. . . LOLOL


Anonymous said...

Hi Toni,
I don't really lead a double life. Other than the fact that I devour my romance novels. I ride a Harley during the day and read romance at night.

Toni Blake said...

Hey Paula! Well, the Harley thing is pretty freakin' cool : ) I'd love to hear more about that. And, of course, I love that you devour romance novels, as well : ) : )

Hi Lois : ) Thanks for stopping by. But come on now ; ) You know, whenever anyone tells me they're boring, I just plain don't believe 'em, so I'm betting you've got some wonderful, mysterious secret that I would find fascinating, but you just don't even realize it ; )

Did you ever watch the CBS Sunday Morning show when they would do the "Everybody's Got a Story" segment? They would throw a dart at a map of the United States, then get a phone book for where it landed, open it, and point to a name. Then they'd go do a story on that person. And they never failed at turning up something truly fascinating, even if it was something in the person's past, etc. So I think nobody's boring ; )

Lindsey said...

Yay Toni! I was so excited to learn you had a double life - it meant double the backlist to check out and double the new releases to look forward to!

I've never really had much of a secret double life, but I've always had varied interests, so people who know me from one aspect of my life are sometimes surprised at hobbies that seem inconsistent with my "image." Friends from my grad program are surprised that I got into romance or that I'm really into computer games. But it's cool - it makes me feel complex & mysterious! ;)

Anonymous said...

Morning Michelle and Bellas and Welcome Toni,

Weirdly (but in a very cool way), I just finished reading my first ever Toni Blake book - In Your Wildest Dreams. I have to say, I LOVED IT! The depth of emotion between Jake and Stephanie...I was gripped! Plus, can I just say, I really like that sex wasn't easy for Stephanie. It was so nice to be able to relate to a heroine :)

As for a double life...nope, I'm the most boring person I know. I have discovered erotic romance in the last year though ...very adventerous for me. Little steps I keep telling myself. Maybe I just need to find a man like Jake :)

All the best with the releases Toni! I'm looking forward to reading another of your books soon - any suggestions on where to start please?


PS I finally saw Cris Angel in the CSI episode...oh he was good :)

Anonymous said...

no I'm the what you see is what you get type of gal :)

Laurie D. said...

I've loved "both" of you for a long, long time - I was so excited to learn your secret!

I'm about as vanilla as you can get - no surprises here!

Big storms rolling through Ohio this afternoon - we even left work early after the power went out and didn't show signs of coming back on.

Toni Blake said...

Hey Lindsey! Thanks for popping in! And thanks, in advance, for working on my backlist - you rock the city : )

I was interested by your comment about having hobbies that seem inconsistent with your image. Yeah, I SO get that, 'cause I get those same comments sometimes. On one hand, I write "all those dirty books." On the other, I scrapbook, cross stitch, do genealogy, and make quilts by hand in homage to my Appalachian roots. That really seems to throw people sometimes - that I turn out to be so ... normal ; )

And I think you ARE complex and mysterious! : )

Toni Blake said...

Hi Orannia! Methinks we chatted at Squawk, yes?? Thank you for dropping by! And wow, thanks for the glowing endorsement for IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS! I'm SO glad you liked it! And glad you could relate to Stephanie. I could, too, actually - she was seriously a heroine written from the heart : ) And Jake - sigh. I do miss that guy ; ) But I love hearing from people after they've first "met" him ; )

Thanks in advance for looking for more of my books. I'd say TEMPT ME TONIGHT and SWEPT AWAY would be what I'd recommend next : ) Then THE RED DIARY, if you can find it.

Glad you caught my Mr. Angel on CSI : ) He's my rock-star-like-guy indulgence - and hey, while we're on the topic, I think it frequently surprises people to find out I'm into him. I liked his hair better a couple of years ago, but I still dig him. And you know what? He was tall! Everyone I talked with before I met him was SURE he was short and that I'd be taller than him, but not so! He towered above me!

Toni Blake said...

Hi Trish - thanks for stopping in! Trish is the name of my heroine in TEMPT ME TONIGHT, by the way : )

And hey Laurie D! Good to see you here! And thanks for the nice comment about "both of me" ; ) You're such a sweetheart!

Hope you got more rain than we did. Mine was a shortlived thing - less than half an hour - will barely make a dent in the brown grass ; )

And by the by, Laurie, knowing you as I do (I've had the pleasure of visiting with Laurie on many occasions,) I know something that might surprise people if they knew it about you ; ) I'm betting most people who know you in your everyday life outside of book circles would be surprised to find out you read the likes of Lacey Alexander books ; ) Am I right? It surprised *me* when I found out : )

I'm telling you, all you ladies who keep saying you're boring - if CBS Sunday Morning showed up at your house, they would dig up all kinds of interesting stuff about you ; )

Toni Blake said...

By the by, I have been totally remiss in forgetting to thank Michelle for the hot, wet dude in the previous blog post. Hot, wet dudes in my honor - always welcome : )

Sue A. said...

Toni/Lacey it great that you've let this one secret out, but it makes me wonder what other secrets you're holding. Mmmmm!

Speaking of having to do everything twice, did you have to wear a disguise during book signings as Lacey Alexander? Did you ever get double booked at a book convention where both of you were required to be present? Your life sounds exciting and stressful all at once.

The only double life I'm leading is the one here on the internet. I think we're all leading a separate life on the internet, somewhat anonymous, less inhibited and going where our interests and passions lead us. For me it's books. And I've found a large community of similarly minded people.

Toni Blake said...

Hi Sue - and thanks for coming by! : )

Actually, one of my reasons for "coming out" as Lacey was because I couldn't do booksignings for those books, which was a major bummer. I've spent the last month traveling around with my friend and fellow author LuAnn McLane on a regional book tour, and it's been SO nice to be able to sign both books - felt like killing two birds with one stone ; )

And yeah, the news started to leak out at an RT conference a couple of years back when a few people who knew I was Lacey kind of rushed up and said so ; ) But right now is the first time I've actually been able to say "both of us" would be at any events, so it's been fun, even if a little confusing for some people ; )

You make a great point about "life on the Internet." I think it DOES really provide people with an outlet to communicate where you can ... kinda be whoever you want to be. Which is kinda cool. (Except for the weirdos who lie and prey on people, ya know.) Ah, technology!

As for my other deep, dark secrets ... I'll never tell ; )

Anonymous said...

Hello Toni!!! I loved you as Lacey Alexander, and can't wait to pick up a Toni Blake book.

As for double lives go, I don't live one, I'm pretty up front about my likes and dislikes and my personalities, well as pretty up front as life lets you have it, right? Well, then again I've gotten into erotica and nobody knows about that one. Mostly because I think it's nobody's business about the books I read.

Toni Blake said...

Hi Judy! Thank you for stopping by. Color me thrilled to hear you love my Lacey books : ) And I definitely appreciate you checking out a Toni book!

Thanks for sharing your little erotica secret : ) It's safe with us ; )

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Toni, It's great to see you again after your visit to Romance Vagabonds. I think the duality thing is very interesting. I'm working on something right now I think I'd prefer a pen name for...because I'm really this nice, middle-aged new grandmother who works in a high school library. I wouldn't want the school board to get in a dither. ;)

Toni Blake said...

Hello again, Maggie, and thanks for coming by : ) I totally enjoyed blogging with the Vagabonds yesterday!

I will admit that the dual personas have definitely added a big new element not only to my career but to my life in general.

And hey, I hear ya on those concerns. Many people have them depending upon their "life situation." And just think, then you'd have a fun and mysterious secret to carry around with you all the time - and I can give you pointers on that ; )

Stacy~ said...

Hey, it's nice to see so many of the Scamps over here - very cool. Karen, you're a riot! Jules, I look forward to writing both kinds of stories. Kelley, it's always fun to see you. Laurie, you know you're my angel, who's got a bit of the devil in her.

Yeah, I'm curious about Vivi's triple life too - now that girl knows how to live *g*

To those who are new to erotic romance but are curious, one of the reasons I enjoy Lacey's books so much is the focus on romance. Yes, they do explore many different fantasies and can be a bit explicit and rather adventurous, but the number one reason I enjoy them is the HEA that has happened in all five of the stories I've read. I love romance, and if the stories were just about the sexual journey and not about meeting that special someone, I probably wouldn't feel as connected to them. That's why I think they are the perfect place to start.

Gosh, it's a totally gorgeous evening - 78 degrees and sunny. Just perfect. These are my favorite kind of days :)

Toni Blake said...

Hi again, Stacy! And thanks for stopping back in : ) Thanks, too, for adding the part about the HEA.

I call my Lacey work erotica, but more specifically, I refer to it as "romantic erotica." I personally feel that the story is very much about sex, but there definitely IS a strong romantic element to each book, and I've definitely noticed that many folks refer to the Lacey books as romance. VOYEUR is the June pick for Jennifer Crusie's Cherry Forum online bookclub, so I'm there discussing the book this week (if you've read it, feel free to come chat,) and this topic has come up over there, too. That one woman's erotica can be another woman's romance and vice versa, which I actually think is kind of cool.

Also, I'd love to share a bit of fun news before I go. TEMPT ME TONIGHT is one of Rhapsody Book Club's top 10 picks for June, and there's a little video about it on Romance Novel TV right now, so I'm way excited about that : )

If anyone has anything else to add or ask, I'll be checking back in a few times today, but in the meantime, I want to thank Michelle for inviting me to blog here, and I want to thank all of you who so kindly stopped in to post a comment or ask a question. I really appreciate the support, and also all the kind comments about my books. For my whole life, writing, for me, has been ultimately about making connections with other people through stories, and when I hear that something I wrote touched someone in some way, I know it must be working, and I thank you for that : )