Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interview + Giveaway with VK Sykes

Athletes, we love them. Vanessa Kelly, we love her historicals. We've jumped on the suspense train (or at least Jamie has). Smash them together along with Mr. Sykes and you've got a recipe for a sexy story involving an athlete, a heart surgeon and a crazy stalker written by the husband/wife team of Vanessa Kelly (My Favorite Countess) and Randy Sykes. Today they're here to talk about HARDBALL.


Meet VK:
V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write sexy contemporary romance. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That's where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes, too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can find V.K. on the web at, and Vanessa at

Find VK: Facebook | Twitter

Jamie & Kati: Who is VK Sykes? (author, international duo of mystery, sometimes masquerades as historical romance author)
VK: All three, actually. VK Sykes is moi – Vanessa Kelly – and my husband, Randy Sykes. Under my Vanessa Kelly name I write Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra. As V.K. Sykes, Randy and I are published with Carina Press and we’re also indie published. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly who I am at any given moment in the day, but drugs or a stiff drink can often help with that. Oh, wait. I guess I shouldn’t have said that! (haha, we are all about the stiff drink here at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance)

J&K: What made you decide to write romantic suspense together?
VK: We write both contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Our current book, Hardball, is a contemporary romance with suspense elements. We both love romantic suspense and mystery – to read and to write. Even my Vanessa Kelly books usually have at least some element of mystery or suspense. So when Randy and I decided to write books together, suspense seemed the way to go. And for Randy, suspense was manlier than writing all that icky emotional love stuff. He usually leaves that part to me.

J&K: Do y’all have any writing rituals?
VK: Yep. We stay out of each other’s hair as much as possible. You can’t imagine how that helps to make a writing partnership successful.

J&K: Are y’all plotters or pantsers?
VK: We’re both plotters, big time. Story boards, outlines, character bios, GMC charts…you name we’ve done it. We’re both very linear people who like to chart a path forward.

J&K: Which 2 authors would you write an anthology with if given the chance?
VK: Jill Shalvis and Lori Foster.

J&K: How do family members/friends feel about you writing romance?
VK: Once they stop laughing about it, they think it’s pretty cool. But Randy’s sons will not read our books because they do have sex scenes in them. TMI for them, and I can’t say as I blame them!

J&K: Tell us a little bit about your book [no copy and pasting blurb :)]
VK: Hardball is a story of opposites attracting. Nate Carter is an uber-sexy, star baseball player with the world at his feet—big money endorsements, supermodels trailing after him…the whole works. Holly Bell is a very serious and rather shy children’s heart surgeon. Her work is everything to her, and she won’t let anything stand in the way of taking care of the kids who need her. The last person she expects to have a fling with is the brash but charming Nate Carter, and she’s completely flummoxed when she starts to fall in love with him. Nate, in turn, has never met a woman quite like Holly, and he’s very taken with her. But he’s also dedicated to his career and is on the verge of a big trade to a team in another city. That’s a big obstacle between them, as is his reluctance to dive into a committed relationship. Throw in a very sick child who Holly must save, and a crazy stalker, and things get pretty complicated for our hero and heroine.

J&K: Tell us a little bit about your hero and heroine.
VK: Nate is the prototypical bad boy hero – a handsome alpha dog, used to getting his way. But he’s also a really decent guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously. In fact, when he meets Holly he definitely feels off his game. She’s smart and serious, and is obviously well-educated. Nate is a self-made man and although he’d never admit it, Holly makes him feel a bit insecure. Holly actually feels the same thing about Nate, but in a much bigger way. She’s spent almost every minute of her life since high school working to achieve her goal of becoming a heart surgeon. Datin and men have not really been in the cards, and when Nate starts to pursue her, she’s not really sure how to handle him. Throwing those two together was a lot of fun!

J&K: What do y’all have next in store for readers?
VK: We’re releasing another book at the end of February, called Fastball. It’s actually a prequel to Hardball, and is the story of Nate’s best friends, Maddie and Jake. They’re great characters who also face a lot of obstacles – Maddie’s a sportswriter and Jake’s a ballplayer on Nate’s team, so for them to enter into a personal relationship is verboten. Needless to say, they don’t let that stand in their way and that’s when the fun begins. Oh, and Nate appears in the story too, which is kind of neat, we think.

J&K: Authors choice:
VK: If you could have dinner with any athlete on the planet, who would it be and why?

After years of hard work and keeping her nose firmly to the grindstone, Dr. Holly Bell has finally achieved her dream: a position as a pediatric surgeon at a prestigious teaching hospital. Children’s lives rest in her skilled hands. That means total dedication to her work and her patients without letting anything or anyone get in the way. And a hot affair with a superstar athlete is most definitely getting in Holly’s way.

Nate Carter, star pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots, has the world in the palm of his baseball glove. He’s at the height of his game, a west coast team is about to lure him with even greater riches, and the most gorgeous women in town are in full pursuit. Nate has everything he wants, or at least he thinks he does, until he meets the beautiful and brainy Dr. Holly Bell. He’s totally up for a hot affair, and Holly turns out to be the hottest.

But will Holly be willing to play his game? When the lovely doctor starts changing the rules, Nate realizes he just might be playing for keeps.
Where To Buy: Kindle |  Smashwords
Other Book in Series:

Today is your lucky day. VK has been generous enough to giveaway three(3) prizes to three(3) lucky readers. What are they you ask? 1)an ecopy of HARDBALL 2)an ecopy of CADDYGIRLS anddd 3)some Vanessa Kelly swag. You heard correctly.

Rules, schmools:
  • Leave a comment for VK answering their question: If you could have dinner with any athlete on the planet, who would it be and why?
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form with the name you commented under as well as your email addy. All other entries are optional.

A huge thank you to VK for hanging out at the blog today and offering these fabulous prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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