Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Downstroke Book Tour: Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway with Desiree Holt

ReaderGirls would like to welcome author Desiree Holt and the tour for her latest book,  Downstroke, to our blog today. Ms. Holt wants to share her thoughts on how she writes and has also provided an excerpt of what promises to be a sizzling adult read (with a sizzling cover). The Giveaway can be found after the blurb.

Jazzing the creative juices 
by Desiree Holt

It seems like it was forever since I sat down to write my first book, but in reality it was only seven years ago. Wow! Time sure flies! When I realized that my 100th title was about to be released I thought, Holy cow! Did I realy write all of those? And it really doesn’t seem as if my brain is slowing down. 

I think from the beginning my problem has been, not a lack of ideas but too many. I could hardly decide where to start or which plot to develop first. There are so many things that interest me and flip a switch in my brain.

I live in the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by ranches and–what else–cowboys! There’s something about seeing those endless acres of rolling pasturelands, the massive herds of cattle, the rugged cowboys that captures the imagination and doesn’t let go. I always seem to start out with one plot, one story and before I’m finished I have a whole series battling to get out of my mind.

The military and law enforcement are two other areas where I never run out of ideas. Working on the campaigns of the local sheriff and having access to his staff not only gets me information but opens doors to other plots.

People interest me. Maybe it comes from all my years working for small newspapers. Or the years I spent in public relations. Either way I have an insatiable curiosity where people are concerned. When I find myself getting bogged in a plot or a character, I give myself a break, drive into the little (and I mean little) town where I live, and sit at a sidewalk table drinking coffee or a milkshake and watch the crowd go by. And play the What If game. What if that woman is really running from the law? What would bring her to a dot in the road like this?

I pull out the notebook I always carry with me and jot down my ideas. If the day is nice and the sidewalks busy I can spend an entire afternoon doing this.

I also take two days a week when I don’t write at all. I’m fortunate enough to be retired so I don’t have to wrestle with the evil day job. I write for six hours every day. But burnout always lurks so I make sure to schedule days out with friends.

Of course, they’re all writers so it’s kind of a busman’s holiday! But I’m airing out my brain just the same.

I play another game when I watch television. Is there a tiny plot point in the story that could spin off into a story itself? One of my books came about because of a two minute scene in an old episode of CSI. Downstroke, my 100th title, came about because I was listening to an old cassette tape (now that’s really old!) of a concert and the memory of that night popped into my head. An hour later I met someone who looked like perfect hero material and Dallas Creed and Downstroke were born. So ideas come from everywhere. And I hope I never run out of them.

Something else I like to do is read what I’ve written out loud, even if it’s just to myself. I can pick up stale dialogue, repetition or clunky phrasing and then my overactive brain kicks into gear again.

My characters come from everywhere, too. I like to base my characters on people I know, or know of, and since I’m always collecting more and more people, my collection of characters expands.

When I stop writing at the end of the day I’m done, basically. I let my brain air out. Stop thinking. Or at least concentrating. And when I get an idea I give myself permission not to tell myself it’s stupid. I look for the plot in it and see where it takes me.

Do I have days when the words just won’t come? Of course I do. That’s when I take my breaks. My other trick is to work on two or three things at the same time, so when I hit a roadblock in one place I can move to another. And often one plot will kickstart the one I’m stuck on.

The thing I worry the most about is sameness. Repetition. I don’t want people to pick up my books and think each one is alike. So when I’m outlining a story I always look for some way to make it different. Unique. Tempting to readers. So I work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I’m already working away on the next hundred titles (LOL!) and as long as my imagination keeps running wild I’ll keep on writing.

For more on Desiree Holt:
visit her website:

About the Book:

Ellora’s Cave ♦ Release Date: April 8, 2011
Romantic Suspense
ISBN ebook 9781419932847 ♦ Novel 

It’s been twenty years since Charley Roper and Dallas Creed parted with great bitterness. In that time she’s made a career for herself with the FBI and private security and he’s been a country rock music icon…tumbled to the bottom and risen again. Now someone’s trying to kill him and Morgan Creed wants Charley to protect his brother and find out who’s after him. When they meet again after all this time it’s obvious the chemistry is still there, stronger than ever. They’re older but are they wiser? Caught up in the bitter wash of memories and the tension of a killer in stalking mode, Charley and Dallas begin a roller coaster ride that is emotional erotic and suspenseful. Is their love strong enough after twenty years to pull them back together? 

Twenty years ago Dallas Creed and Charley Roper were lovers with their entire future ahead of them. Until they split. Badly. Now he’s a country rock icon who made it to the top, hit bottom but is back at the top of his game. And Charley’s the private security specialist hired to protect him from an unknown killer in stalking mode. Caught up in the bitter wash of memories they begin a roller coaster ride that is suspenseful, emotional and erotic. Is their love strong enough to erase the past and bring them back together before the killer strikes again?

I felt unwelcome tears prick my eyelids. Me, the woman who, these days, thought of emotions as a disease. His voice was stronger now, the essence of it so much more mature. How had I missed such talent back then? Missed what he was really meant to do? But I knew the answer. I’d been so involved in plans—plans for my career, for his, for our future. A future I simply created without really talking to him about it. Assumptions can just kill you.

The song built to its amazing finish, the rhythm guitars and the strong bass emphasized by the pounding drumbeat, until they reached the final chord, the final notes. Dallas tilted his head back, arm raised upward, and suddenly everything stilled. He removed his guitar and set it on a stand, then bowed his head to the audience. Noise erupted like fireworks, the crowd cheering and whistling and stamping its feet, and screaming his name.

The sheer stage magnetism of the man and the incredible quality of his music would have stirred a dead person. I had clapped along with the others, tapping my foot to the beat. I was breathless, despite my intention not to be affected.

He bowed his head once more then waved to the crowd as he jogged back to the wings. I noticed he skipped his usual walk along the edge of the stage to shake the hands of those who’d crowded their way up there. A safety feature, I was sure. I was also sure it was Morgan who’d insisted on it.

The crowd stayed on its feet, the applause resonating, the band playing the chorus over and over until the house lights came up and they finally realized Dallas Creed was done for the night. The entire performance had been amazing. Polished. Electric. Emotional. The adjectives piled up on top of each other in my head and still they missed the mark. Dallas Creed had a magic you didn’t get with practice. It came from inside the soul. Why hadn’t I seen it all those years ago?

Follow Desiree's tour and you may win a t-shirt! The more comments you make during the tour, your chances of bringing home a fabulous t-shirt improve. The Downstroke tour is here. Thanks to Desiree Holt for spending time with us today. Good luck readers. Don't forget, Downstroke is available now!


  1. Thanks so much to Reader Girls for hosting me today. I'll be popping in and out so ask me anything and I'll do my best to answer.

  2. I love that you shared with us how you get your book ideas, I find the tv one very intriguing. I often get ideas but don't know how to put them on paper. I so want one of those t-shirts!!! Hope you have it in size HUGE lol

    Love your books!

  3. still not even close to catching up on your 100 backlist...The Bargain still my fav...

    What is your next release and when? Cowboy, paranormal or contemporary?

    Respectfully a fan

  4. Next release: Crack the Whip, April 22, hot cowboy! And The Bargain is about to be released in print.

  5. The name of the book alone...hello HOT!

    Thanks! mmafsmith(at)gmail(dot)com