Tag Archive: pussycat death squad


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This is another awesome cover from the talented mouse of Whit Holcomb. The hero of this story is Egyptian-American and the heroine is from the mythical country of Laritrea. I took a few liberties with this cover. For one thing, the hero is wearing a keffiyeh. This is a throw-back to those old eighties “sheikh” romances. North African Arabs don’t typically wear this headdress, but I liked the look and the bit of nostalgia. The mosque in the background is actually in Algeria. As the country of Laritrea doesn’t exist, I don’t think using a photo from another country does any damage, as long as I acknowledge it.

Here’s the blurb:

Exiled from her homeland and fearing for her life, Astaria was forced into a marriage of convenience. Now the political situation in her country has worsened and she returns in an effort to save her family.
Kaeden is a Marine who specializes in hostage extraction and now he faces his most difficult mission; rescuing his wife from certain death and even more dangerously, sharing his love for her. Together they face almost insurmountable odds for love and for life.

Remember I’ve having a special, early discounted sale for the members of our Facebook Group, Y’all Better Get You Some. For everyone else, it’ll be released in about a week. https://www.facebook.com/groups/390282744475965/

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I’ve been working very hard to wrap up Pussycat in Peril. As y’all know, I really love my pussycats and have a lot of fun writing these stories. The covers are fun too. From the start of the series back at Loose Id, I wanted the covers to have a comic book feel to them because in my head these women are superheroes. Larger than life. Able to leap tall buildings, yadda. I remember giving the artist pictures of She-Hulk and other similar comic book heroes, but also pictures of Pam Grier as Coffy. No, I’ve never seen Coffy, or any blaxploitation film. My mama was having none of that, but I have seen the posters and screen captures and they are bad-ass to the extreme. So I wanted me some of that.

The Pussycat book covers, more than any others have a style book. The backdrop must be an international location. The Pussycat books are in a way a tribute to what I loved about romance novels when I was a youngun; they allowed a small town girl like me to travel the world and I thought that was hella cool. So those exotic locales must be incorporated as well. PDS_2x3The heroine has to be an active figure, no damsels in distress, and she has to have a weapon. That hasn’t been a problem thus far, but will be in the next Pussycat book, Diamonds on the River, because she’s a jewel thief and doesn’t do weapons. My son wants one of my books to have a woman with an missile launcher. So I have to keep that in mind. He also wants me to write a book with a boy defeating an evil monster that eats the children in his village. Yeah, this gig is a family affair.

Anyway, back to Pussycat in Peril. I’ve really struggled to come up with a concept for this book cover. I bought a stock photo a while back, and it’s good, but it doesn’t really capture the vibe of the story. For one thing, I really want this heroine to be wearing a hijab. For a lot of reasons, but mainly authenticity. They’re stranded in the mythical North African city of Laritrea under siege by a ISIS type group. It would be normal for her to wear a hijab, and she wears an abaya to conceal her rifle as she’s a sniper. I want him to wear a keffiyeh, though they’re not common in the region, primarily because of all those sheikh books in the 1980s. I hated those books with a passion and made my hero, who is Egyptian Arab as unlike those stories as possible. For one thing, my hero is an American Marine, born and raised in Tennessee. So yeah, you can see my problem. A stock photo, with a man and a woman, she must have a weapon and both must be in traditional clothing. The main problem with her is that in most stock photos when a woman has a gun she’s also half naked. I guess it’s supposed to soften her aggressiveness or something. But having fired a semiautomatic weapon I can tell you, hot shell casings are very much a thing and if you get one of those down your bosom, well, yeah, not fun. Also, if she’s wearing a head cover  it would be ridiculous for her to be half dressed below the neck. The struggle is real.

Since I started self-publishing, nailing down the cover image I want is one of the first steps in writing a book. I keep an idea folder on my computer and I start by storyboarding the cover and sometimes the scenery. I’ve started doing this on Pinterest as well. If you’re interested in this process, check me out on Pinterest. Sometimes we have to make changes when Whit and I don’t agree on the concept, or the image doesn’t work for some reason. He’s very particular about the type of photos he works with and it took me a minute to grasp the technical aspects of cover art. And then there are those times when he just doesn’t like the picture. No technical reason. He just thinks it’s ugly. Given all that, this is the first book I’ve written in a while that didn’t begin with the cover. As I said, I found some stock, but it didn’t really grab me. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I finally found the pictures I want, with emphasis on pictures. This cover is going to require four, possibly five stock photos. Whit’s going to have to do a lot of meshing. Unfortunately, Whit hates meshing.

In a word folks, this cover is going to be amazing. Watch this space. With any luck it’ll be out before Easter!!!

Me and My Pussycats


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I’ve had a lot of inquiries about the original Pussycat Death Squad book. (And I really appreciate it, because these books really are my heart.) It came down in late summer because I got the rights back from the publisher. You might have noticed, I got the rights back to six books in the past few months and I’ve been working my poor husband like crazy to get new covers done. He works full-time and this is his busy time at work. And, much as he would deny it, the man is an artist. And yeah, (whispering) he has an artistic temperament and since he’s working for free…yeah, I have to take my covers when he gets around to them. He’s working on the new cover and he should have it finished by the end of the week and it’s a beauty! I know I say that every time, but the man just amazes me.

The next Pussycat book is Pussycat in Peril. It’s the third book in the series and is about Astaria, who, if you will recall was the second in command to Lelia in Pussycat Death Squad. Astaria has found herself trapped back in her home country in the middle of an internecine war and must be rescued by her husband. (Her husband? Where the hell did she get one of those? And more importantly, why?) It’s a marriage of convenience story, and those have always been one of my fave romance tropes. It was also strongly influenced by Roberta Gellis’s The Kent Heiress. To the point of, dare I say it? Being FAN FICTION!!! Quelle horreur! Gellis’s story takes place during the French Revolution and I always wanted to do a contemporary story of that nature, but couldn’t really come up with a suitable setting. Then the Arab Spring happened, and voila my imagination was off to the races. (No, I  don’t know why I’m speaking French this morning, but the setting of this story was a former French colony.) I’m loving the heck out of this story, especially since the Arab revolution and the aftermath is still very much in the news.

Astaria, the heroine is of East African lineage, and like all the Pussycats is as lethal as she is gorgeous. As a sniper in the counter-revolutionary forces she has no trouble living up to the “Hot Shot” title Kaeden has given her.  Kaeden Nassir, the hero is just awesome. An Egyptian American Marine from Tennessee he is everything a hero should be; madly in love with the heroine, and prepared to die to protect her. Suffice it to say, it would behoove you to be careful any time he has his precious “Arkansas Toothpick” in his hand. As for the photos at the top of the page, Astaria’s father was an archaeologist excavating Roman ruins in their home country. The pictures are of Roman ruins in Libya and, as I’ve mentioned before, Laritrea is loosely based on that country and activities occurring there. I’m hoping to have it ready in time for a Christmas release.

As always, thank y’all so much for your support. I love writing these stories and it’s still amazing to me that y’all enjoy them as much as I do .

Next Best Thing Blog Hop

The lovely and talented Yvonne Nicolas invited me to participate in this blog hop. I’ve never done one before and I think it’s hella cool. She asked me to answer a few questions about my current work-in-progress.

What is the working title of your book? Until last week the title was Pussycat Death Squad: Goddess of Milan. Now it’s Pussycat Death Squad: The Lion in Russia

Where did the idea come from for the book? I’ve always been fascinated by Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who seems to pretty much do as he likes, up to, and including murder (allegedly). A while back I read a story about the murder of an Ukranian dissident who everyone knows was killed at the behest of Putin (allegedly) and the germ of the story was formed. Later, I read an article in Vanity Fair about the way Putin is imprisoning the oligarchs, the Russian billionaires and confiscating their wealth, and the story grew from there. The 90s were a very exciting time in Russia in a way that reminds me of the Robber Barons of American history. The way the oligarchs took control of much of the wealth of the country is very familiar to a history geek like myself.

What genre does your book fall under? Multicultural Romantic Suspense, though really that should be Action Adventure, but I don’t think that’s a sub-genre under romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? Viggo Mortensen would be perfect for Leo. For Vries I think it would be Taraji P. Henson.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book? Vries must protect the man she loves from political assassination, even though she runs a risk greater than bullets; losing his love.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher? Self-published

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Four months

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? There are a lot of books with Russian heroes about these days, but theirs are about the Russian mafia. My book is about the oligarchs and is more of a political drama, but obviously there are some similarities. Certainly it can be difficult to tell the criminals from the politicians in this story, especially as it pertains to the level of violence. But with the female assassin, and bodyguard I can’t think of anyone who has written anything like it. It’s very James Bond/Nikita.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Khordokovsky and Alexander Litvinenko all inspired Leo. Vries is a bit La Femme Nikita meets Naomi Campbell meets Pam Grier. She’s a supermodel assassin with a big fro, wearing a designer maxi dress who in the opening scene kills a man by poisoning him with a syringe hidden in her platinum Black Power afro pick!

What else about your book might interest the reader? This book is a sequel. The first story, Pussycat Death Squad came out in 2009. The Pussycat Death Squad concept was inspired by the late Libyan leader Muammar Quadaffi’s all-female Amazon Guard. This series will continue next year with Pussycat Death Squad: Diamonds on the River.

Be sure to visit these authors on the blog hop:

Sienna Mynx

Yvonne Nicolas

Serenity King

KR Bankston

Goddess of Milan Cover!!!

I’m so excited about this cover that I just couldn’t wait to show you guys. Whit actually finished it on Sunday, but he wouldn’t let me show y’all yet. Something about her thumb wasn’t right. *le sigh* But it never pays to argue with the talent, so I jusr smiled and did my “Yes, dear,” Stepford Wife style. God willing this book will be out the first week of October. Meanwhile, just enjoy the pretty.

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Wow, the past six months have been an absolute whirlwind, and the changes keep coming. I’ve taken down my website and now only have the blog. What do you think of the roses background? It’s a favorite picture of mine. Some people complained that the white text was too hard to read on the dark background. Is this better? Hot for Teacher was slightly delayed by my husband’s hernia surgery. He’s my cover designer and just hasn’t been up to any design work for the past couple of months. Fortunately, he’s feeling better now and I hope to have the book out the first week of June. That pushes the new Pussycat Death Squad book to August, but I’m determined to make the schedule. Superstar should be right on time.

You guys so totally rock and I always want to produce my absolute best for you. Dark Star sold well beyond even my wildest dreams and I love you for that. I want to always be deserving of your incredible support. I haven’t forgotten the write as you go contest, just a bit sidetracked by my husband’s illness. Please do continue to submit ideas. I was thinking that maybe limiting it to holidays wasn’t such a good idea. So, you guys submit any ideas you want for a story I can write and post on the blog. I’m really looking forward to your ideas. Again, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.

 

I keep telling y’all if you haven’t grabbed this one you’re seriously missing out. I love this review.

http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Reviews/Aiobhan-Belen-reviews-Pussycat-Death-Squad-by-Roslyn-Hardy-Holcomb.aspx

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