2011 was a really terrific year

I have my readers to thank for a really wonderful year as an author. 2011 is a year I’ll long remember and it’s because of you guys. In February, Colters’ Daughter hit the NYT and the USA Today for two weeks and was the first digital only book to do so. In March, just a month later, Hidden Away, book 3 in the KGI series hit #11 on the NYT and #43 on the USA Today. It also hit the digital NYT list and the combined print and digital as well as the Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list.

Then in April, Sweet Possession hit the trade NYT bestseller list as well as the USA Today list.

In September, my Harlequin Desire, Enticed by His Forgotten Lover hit the NYT and USA Today bestseller list and then again in November when Wanted By Her Lost Love releases so it was a very exciting year for category romance and the Desire line in particular!

Perhaps most exciting was how well received my Scottish historical trilogy was. Believe me when I saw I was terrified. I love writing historical romance. I’ve always loved it. It holds a very special place in my heart. I was so worried no one would like it and that I wouldn’t be able to continue writing those types of romances. But not only did you guys go out and buy them and talk about them and recommend them but you put all three on the USA Today bestseller lists for 10 combined weeks. You also put two of them on the NYT Bestseller list and Never Love a Highlander swept the lists much in the way Hidden Away did back in March by hitting three NYT bestseller lists, the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly. Never Love a Highlander also became my highest placement on the USA Today when it hit #32.

You guys have been absolutely amazing to me and I’ll never be able to tell you how much your support means.

Take a look above, because all of that? YOU made possible. Anyone can write a book, but it takes really special, devoted readers to put that book on the bestseller lists.

Thank you for making my year the best year yet.




Okay sorry for the late post. I totally thought today was SATURDAY. More proof that I am way too sleep deprived and should probably go to bed for a few days ;)

Anyhoo, without further ado, here are the winners of the Darkest Hour giveaway!

Jenn C. comment #36
Amanda, comment #113
Kimberly Flood, comment #59
TanishaS. comment #9
Jeana, comment #70
Heather Witzman, comment # 86
Daylea Hanzel, comment #22
Melanie, comment #110
Margaret Ethridge, comment #85
Mary, commment #94

AND the two winners of an ARC of Whispers in the Dark are:

Mary, comment #330
Diana, comment #284

Congrats to everyone! Now I need y’all to email me your mailing addresses so I can send out the books early this week! You can send to maya@mayabanks.com

YAY! contest part two!

Ok for this one, I have a few ARCs of Whispers in the Dark to give away and here’s your chance to win it :) Whispers releases January 3rd so not too long! But here’s your chance to get an early peek. I’ll leave the contest open until Sunday at which point I’ll post winners and you’ll have until Monday morning to get back to me with your mailing address. Books will go out Monday or Tuesday so I won’t chase you down to tell you that you’ve won. So be SURE to check back and if you win, email me your mailing address because you won’t have days and days to claim your prize. Sound good? Here’s a little about Whispers :)

She came to him when he needed her the most

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She’s the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he’ll never return to his family. With her help, he’s able to escape. But he isn’t truly free, because now she’s disappeared and he’s left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he’d once needed hers?
Now he rushes to save her before it’s too late

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who’d already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn’t have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He’ll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?

You can read an excerpt here!

Sound good? Then let’s get started :) To enter, just tell me you want the ARC!

A YAY contest!

I promised my readers that once I turned in Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5) that I’d have a few giveaways to celebrate. The FIRST, and I’ll do two separate blog posts, is for a chance to win a PRINT copy of The Darkest Hour. If you’ve never given the KGI series a shot, here’s your chance to do it absolutely free. The 4th book in the series, releases January 3rd, so I want to give everyone a chance to read that first book in the series and hey, if you like it, then maybe you’ll give the others a shot as well :)

So this is really easy peasy. If you want a copy, just drop me a comment below and tell me you want to be entered. As always, my contests are open to international entrants. I’ll leave the contest running through this weekend so that I can mail copies out next Monday.

Check back on SUNDAY to see if you win. You’ll only have a short time to claim your book and I won’t track you down, so you’ll need to check back, see if you won and then email me your mailing address.

Sound good? Then let’s get down to it. Ready, set, go!

A crazy writer’s process

I get asked a lot about my “process” and I always kind of laugh and say I’d like to know what it is too! Or at least I’d like to HAVE a process. Because a process hints at some sort of organizational skills at least. Right?

But I was thinking earlier about how anal I actually am about the way I write my books. So I thought I’d give you guys a laugh and to answer all the people who ask about my PROCESS.

The only actual writing process I have is HOW I write and format my manuscripts. In no other aspect of my work am I remotely organized and yet my chapters and stuff have to be written a certain way or the world ends. Weird huh?

Here’s how it goes.

I write each chapter as an individual word file. But before that, I create a folder. Under a folder called Books. Original huh? So I have Books on my hard drive. When you click on books, you get folders and folders of stuff that says “KGI” or “Scottish Historicals” or “Berkley HEAT” Very specific, no? LOL. So then when you click on say the KGI folder, then you get the individual BOOKS so yeah yet another set of folders. Are you getting the idea I love folders?

So then I’ll have folders for The Darkest Hour. No Place to Run. Hidden Away. Whispers in the Dark. Echoes at Dawn. (And other assorted folders that have character names that I won’t mention because it would spoil some of the pairings haha)

Anyway, under each book folder, I have individual chapter files from 1 to however many there are in that book. And that’s the way I write them. I create a new file each time I start a new chapter and I save them as “Chapter 1” and “Chapter 2” and so on.

BUT and you knew I’d have to further complicate this, right?

So once I get like two chapters of a book written, I then create what I call a “Working Full” file. And this is where I reward myself every time I finish a chapter by copying and pasting it into the “Working Full” file because then I get to see the word count and page count go up each time I insert a new chapters. I like seeing those numbers go up lol.

When I get to the end of a book, you’d THINK I’d just edit the Working Full, right?

Nope. That working full is purely a reward system for me. I then go back and open each individual file starting with chapter one and I edit and when I am perfectly happy with the way that chapter reads, I then create a brand new file and this is the one that I actually name whatever the book title is. So right now I have “Echoes at Dawn” and when I finish editing chapter one, it gets pasted into that main document called Echoes at Dawn. And then I move on to chapter 2 file and I do the same.

Once I’ve compiled all of the individual chapter files into the main document with the book title as the file name, THEN I am ready to send that bad boy in to my editor. *g*

Now aren’t you sorry you ever asked about my process??


Thanks to everyone for entering. I decided to have a few bonus giveaways as well so be sure to check below to see if you got an extra goodie!

The winner of the Carly Phillips ARC plus the $25 gift certificate to your choice of Amazon or BN is…

Nancy Walters, comment #58

Also chosen to win a copy of The Darkest Hour are the following. And be sure to tell me if you already HAVE THe Darkest Hour. If you do, I’ll substitute it for another backlist title of mine :)

Margaret Murray Evans, comment #255

Anne M, comment #50

Peggy, comment # 281

Allison Motherway, comment #6

Heather Nathan, comment #104

ALL WINNERS, please email me at maya@mayabanks.com and give me your mailing address so your books can get to you!

And as always, thanks for playing. Love y’all bunches


Carly Phillips giveaway!

So guys, here’s the deal. Carly and I both have books releasing on the same day. Destiny and Whispers in the Dark. And we thought it would be fun to give you guys a chance to win an advance EARLY copy of our books. I’m going to give away an ARC of Destiny right here on the blog and to accompany it, a 25.00 gift certificate to your choice of BN or Amazon just so you can do a little book shopping on the big Black Friday weekend from the comfort of your own home, in your jammies, on your couch :) Who needs crowds to shop anyway?

Here’s more about Destiny!

From New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips comes her second novel set in Serendipity, the quaint upstate New York town where love, fate, and fortune are intertwined…

Nash Barron may be cynical about love, yet even he likes a good wedding. But the only good thing about his brother’s wedding is Kelly Moss. Nash can’t help but admire her confidence and beauty, but he’s forced to keep his distance because getting involved with Kelly could destroy his relationship with his newly discovered half sister, Tess…

Kelly came to Serendipity to give Tess–her half sibling as well, thanks to an illicit affair–a second chance at life. She learned long ago not to rely on anyone but herself. Besides, she doesn’t want to upset Tess’s life by pushing for a fling with Nash. Except the more she gets to know him, the more vulnerable she becomes to the kindness beneath his gruff exterior, and the less she’s able to stay away. But she has other reasons for keeping her distance. Like the secret from her past she knows Nash will never forgive…

AND as a special treat for you guys, here is an exclusive excerpt you won’t see anywhere else!


Kelly couldn’t get out of the bar fast enough. No sooner had she found out that her new best friend had once been married to Nash, than she’d had to watch him fawn over Annie and worry about her welfare. The jealousy had bitten her hard and she hated everything about the situation she suddenly found herself in. Kelly had had enough of awkward triangles to last her a lifetime.

Once in the parking lot, she looked for her Ford Fiesta and realized she had the bad luck to be parked beneath a broken light. Instead of emitting a steady glow, the light flickered and she fumbled for her car keys inside her purse. Finally she pulled them from her bag.


Startled, she dropped the key chain on the floor, Nash’s voice taking her off guard.

“Why did you run out?” he asked, coming up beside her.

“I already told you. I needed air.”

“Why?” Little lines of disbelief crinkled around his eyes, making him even more sexy than usual.

She tipped her head to one side, wondering why he was questioning her over something so trivial. “Because it was hot in there. Why else?”

“Because you just found out that Annie and I had once been married.”

“Well you don’t pull any punches, do you?” she asked, embarrassed.

He propped an arm on top of her car. “Not when it comes to something … or someone I want.” His hot, serious gaze bore into hers.

At his words, the air left her lungs in a rush, his implication clear. “And since when do you want me?”

He laughed suddenly. Not a light chuckle, but a deep laugh that came from someplace inside him she’d never seen before.

“Since when I have I not wanted you?” He reached out and grabbed a strand of her hair, twirling it between his fingers.

The pull was strangely erotic and she felt the tug low in her belly. She swallowed hard and licked her dry lips. “Maybe I should rephrase. Since when have you wanted to act on it? Just last night we agreed we can’t go anywhere because of Tess.”

He nodded. “And I’ve done nothing but think about Tess since.” He paused. “But this thing between us. It’s electric and undeniable.”

His husky voice sent tremors of awareness darting through her veins.

“Are we really going to let a fourteen year old dictate how we act?” he asked.

Kelly blinked, stunned not just by his change of heart but at the rationale behind it. “I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

“Neither did I until Dare pointed it out.” An embarrassed grin lifted his lips.

“You and Dare talked about me?” God, could this night get any more mortifying?

He shook his head. “We talked about us.” He gestured between them. “Don’t forget Dare’s the one who interrupted last night.”

“Don’t remind me,” she said on a groan.

“He’s also the one who made me see reason. I mean, what he said about not letting a fourteen year old dictate our decisions makes sense.”

Kelly nodded slowly. “It does,” she agreed. “Unfortunately it doesn’t change the fact that nothing more can happen between us.”

He blinked, obviously stunned. “Why not? We’re both adults. We can trust ourselves to act like it before, during … and after things end.”

Well that was an optimistic summary, she thought. But at least he was honest – he’d be looking for something short term. So would she. If she allowed herself to get involved with him. Which she wouldn’t.

“I’ve already been through a relationship with someone who swore their marriage was over and there is no way I’ll put myself through that again.” She folded her arms across her chest, protecting herself with her words and her actions.

Nash placed his hand on her shoulder. She tried to step out of reach but her back hit the car. She couldn’t go far and he liked having her in his personal space. “Annie and I are divorced. She’s the one who initiated the damned thing. Trust me, she won’t hold it against you if you’re with me,” he promised Kelly.

Was the man obtuse? “Exactly my point! She may be over you but you’re not over her. All any observant person has to do is watch how you treat her and it’s obvious you still have feelings for her.”

“Of course I care. She’s sick and she needs a friend who’s aware and who understands. But that’s all we are. Friends,” he insisted. “Platonic friends.”

“Nash – “ Kelly held out a hand to keep a barrier between them.

“Kelly,” he mimicked gently. “You and I are nothing like me and Annie.” He thread his fingers through hers, slowly raising her body temperature. “Not once did Annie and I ever generate heat like this.”

Before Kelly knew what hit her, he’d pulled her forward. Her chest collided with his and their hips pressed together intimately. She found herself locked between his waist and the car, the hard ridge behind his jeans deliciously obvious and her body responded, melting for him. Molten liquid fire flowed through her veins.

Heat exploded between them and he sealed their lips firmly together. He was hungry, his mouth nibbling on hers, tasting, demanding until finally he slipped his tongue between her lips. She moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck, enjoying the sensations. Knowing this was all she could take from him, she eased her fingers through his hair and let him deepen the kiss. After all, how far could they go in a parking lot, but as she wondered, her stomach curled with growing need and an awareness of wanting more.

Which made her regretfully pull back. “You’re right. We’re explosive,” she murmured. “But you’re still emotionally connected to your ex which puts you off limits for me.”

Still shaking, she knelt down, picked up her keys and over his argument, unlocked the car, opened the door and slid inside.

“I’m stubborn,” he told her as he helped her shut the door.

Then she’d just have to be more obstinate than him.


Here’s all the ways you can learn more about Carly and her books!

website – http://www.carlyphillips.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/CarlyPhillipsFanPage

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/carlyphillips

Now for the important stuff. How to win! Just leave me a comment to let me know you want the book! To sweeten the pot a little, let me know what book you’re currently reading. I’m always looking for book recs! I’ll leave the contest open until Tuesday morning. That’s November 22. Winner will be posted here on the blog so be sure to check back to see if you win!

And also, Carly is hosting a giveaway on her blog and giving readers a chance to win an advance copy of WHISPERS IN THE DARK, so be sure to hop over, visit her and enter for your chance to win there :))

NYT and USA Today!

I warned my readers over at Facebook that you all would be getting a lot of loving from me this month. Just read the post below for some heartfelt thanks. But today I’m weepy again and extremely grateful to have such wonderful, supportive readers. Readers who followed me from contemporary erotic romance, to category romance, to romantic suspense and then to Scottish historical romance.

Because of you, NEVER LOVE A HIGHLANDER is currently #13 on the NYT Bestseller list and #32 on the USA Today bestseller list.

Not because of me. Because of all the wonderfully fabulous readers who supported this trilogy and who gave me the chance to fulfill a dream of mine that has been long held.

So thank you again. From the bottom of my heart. You are the very best part of my job and I hope we enjoy many years and many good books together

How time flies

Excuse me while I reflect a little on the past few years and damn how fast they go by! I’ve often said that March is my month. I don’t know, it’s just that good things seem to happen in that month!

in March 2008, I made my first sale to Harlequin and I also sold the first three books in my KGI series, effectively pushing my career in a new, exciting direction.

In March 2009 I took a huge leap and fulfilled a dream of mine by selling a Scottish historical trilogy. Now a lot of people were surprised. Some even questioned whether I’d be able to pull off something that wasn’t erotic (The same was said about the KGI series too lol and well the Desires and pretty much everything I’ve written since publishing erotic romance) But the simple truth, as I’ve said it many times, is that erotic romance was the deviation for me. I started my writing aspirations with historical romance and always hoped/planned to write historicals and contemporary action adventure stuff just like KGI woot!

But you know, selling something in March 2009 and then setting deadlines and such to publish them 2 and a half YEARS later? That may as well be a lifetime. That’s two and a half years to stress and worry endlessly over whether I can pull off a kickass historical. Whether I’ll be able to switch from contemporary romance to the magical historical story I have dancing around in my head. Thinking it and envisioning it is a far cry from actually putting it on the page and pulling off the execution. That’s two and a half years to agonize over whether I’ll be a complete and utter failure.

And then suddenly two and a half years have passed and I’m now on the eve of publishing the final book in that first historical trilogy. I shake my head because looking back, I’m still not sure how I managed to pull off those stories and get them down exactly as they were in my head. But I’m happy with the result.

I’ve had a lot of firsts in the last year and I have so much to be grateful to my readers for. You guys embraced my KGI series when I was terrified you wouldn’t. And then you embraced my historicals when again, I was terrified you wouldn’t. I wanted so badly to be able to continue my KGI series and to also continue writing fun, romantic, magical Scottish historicals. Thanks to you? I totally get to. I’m even now working on the 5th KGI story and as soon as I finish it, I’ll be starting work on my next Scottish historical series and I’m so giddy excited I can hardly stand it.

So I’ll be celebrating the release of NEVER LOVE A HIGHLANDER but not just as another book release but rather as the culmination of a long held dream of mine. A dream I’ve worked on for nearly ten years now. A dream that my wonderful readers have made possible. Thank you. You guys are the absolute best.

More Scottish Historicals? Why yes!

I guess I kind of just assumed that readers would know that I would continue to write Scottish Historicals. No idea why, mind you, it just wasn’t something I ever gave thought to explaining. But I’ve received many emails and questions asking if I’ll be writing MORE Scottish Historicals beyond the trilogy releasing this fall and ending with Never Love A Highlander next month.

The answer is absolutely! I love, love, love historicals. I began my writing career aspiring to be a historical romance author. And there is nothing I love more than Scottish Historicals.

Many of the questions have been whether I’ll continue writing about the McCabes or about secondary characters in the McCabe clan. While I won’t be writing about the McCabes, I will be beginning a new series and I can’t wait to dive into the first story. I’m SO excited about it. I adore the hero and heroine.

I don’t have an exact release date yet for the next historical after Never Love a Highlander but I believe it’ll be in the fall of 2012. Of course as SOON as I know, I’ll let you guys know. But you’ll have plenty of books to keep you busy in 2012, including two KGI books, two Harlequin Desires, Sweet Addiction, the Colter novella in June and of course a historical in the fall :)

Sound fair?

It is my sincerest hope that in 2012 I’ll finally get my schedule just as I want it and then you can look forward to a KGI book every six months. A historical every six months. And one book in the Sweet series spinoff every year in the spring.

In the meantime, know that I’ll absolutely be writing more historicals and will be publishing them on a six month schedule after the next one is released sometimes next fall :)