So I got the phone call last night from my agent and my editor that HOLD ON TIGHT hit the New York Times Bestseller List at #22!!!!!
I still can’t really believe it. I mean, last night, I was hyperventilating and in a general state of, well, stunned. Like, really and truly and I’m so absolutely thrilled and thankful and grateful to all the people who bought the books and talked them up and blogged them. You guys are awesome!
Even better, I get to share the thrill with Larissa Ione – we released the same day and her book, Ecstacy Unveiled, hit the New York Times at #23 and the USA Today Bestseller List at #58 (she’s hit both lists before and she just keeps climbing higher – I’m so proud of her!)
Larissa and I have done a lot together – I mean, we write together as Sydney Croft. But it’s more than that – we sold our own first project within three days of one another. She hit the Times with her third single title. I hit it with mine. And we’re right next to each other. And we have purple covers. So it’s really strange and really cool at the same time.
Zoo had a work dinner last night – when he came home, he said, you’d have thought I hit the list – everyone was buying me shots and drinks and stuff!
For the record, I had a brownie for dinner. I know – I’m actually pretty happy about that. Chocolate for dinner – who can complain?
Today, I’ll be trying to keep my mind on my revisions – and you can read my interview over at the Black Raven Cafe – stop on by and say hello and you’re eligible for a backlist giveaway!
Here are a few questions I’ve gotten about the Hard to Hold trilogy – they’ll end up being a part of my FAQs page after this for future reference!
Is the trilogy stand-alone?
Yes…and no. Absolutely, you can pick up any of the books and get a complete reading experience that resolves the main hero / heroine relationship. However, I love my subplots, and they do continue – Hard To Hold continues a subplot into Too Hot To Hold, and then a new subplot in Too Hot To Hold continues in Hold On Tight. So, for the peak reading experience, I think it’s best to read the books in the order I wrote them. And, of course, you need to read all of them. And then buy multiple copies and give them as gifts to everyone you know. What? Books make great gifts…buy a book, save the world! Or a SEAL, as it may be.
Were any of these books harder to write than the others?
Too Hot To Hold was the most difficult for me to get a handle on. I’ve been told by my very patient editor that often the second book in a continuing trilogy is enough to make an author want to beat her head against the wall. Okay, she said it a lot nicer than that, but still.
Do you picture celebrities when you’re creating your characters? Real people you know?
Neither. Especially not the real people because, hi, that’s weird. It’s like when people want their names used as the main character in my books and no way, cannot do that. I can picture my characters clearly in my head, well enough to describe them to you, but with enough left to the imagination that you can create your own picture in your head.
Did you pick the titles for your trilogy?
Sort of, kind of one of the titles. Ish. How’s that for an answer? Not what you were looking for? Okay, here goes.
I’ve been obsessed with the title, Hard To Hold, for quite a while now. I think I titled two manuscripts that will never see the light of day that. In fact, when Sydney wrote her first proposal, Unleashing The Storm was actually called Hard To Hold. Of course, once it was written in the contract like that, no one ever referred to the book like that again and we came up with Unleashing The Beast very quickly (and Beast was quickly vetoed and replaced with Storm.) But I digress.
So when I sold the SEAL series, Book 1 was Harder To Breathe (because I love that song), book two was Hard to Handle and Book 3 was Hard To Hold. And then Shauna said that Harder To Breathe made her think of an asthma attack and well, yes, she’s right and so we went round and round trying on titles. Most of the ones I came up with were too suspensey and not enough of the romance angle. And then Shauna called me and said, Nita suggested these: Hard To Hold, Too Hot To Hold and Hold On Tight. And I loved them. And finally, I get to use, Hard To Hold as a real title.
5. I have a case of Diet Dr. Pepper. (it’s the little things)
6. For Nano-ish – I need 3K today. I need 5K but would take 3K. It’s been days of, working / writing all day only to have word count remain the same – this happens when I have to put the mess together, revise scenes / rewrite, etc. So in the end, it’ll be a stronger mess but I really like to see the word count piling up. That should start to happen now.
7.HARD TO HOLD releases in 13 days! (can’t say this one enough)
8. I was informed that the Hold trilogy sold to Germany! Gus is taking credit for this, since he is of German descent, as is Zoo.
9. This prompts my mother to ask why my 3rd Blaze has not sold to Italy yet when the first two did. Do you want me to call them, she asks. Um, no. Please. The episode where Marie (from Everybody Loves Raymond) calls the FBI about Robbie’s job springs to mind.
10. HARD TO HOLD. 13 days. Panic begins to set in…(did I tell you that when my mom offered to let a relative know when the book hit stores, the relative said, ah, it’s okay – we’re not big readers.) Dude, seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.
I’ve gotten a couple more reviews for HARD TO HOLDand I’m quite happy with them. There’s just something really satisfying about seeing phrases like, in-depth character study, mentioned when they talk about Jake’s book.
Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Hard to HoldStephanie Tyler. Dell, $7.99 (370p) ISBN 978-0-440-24434-9
Tyler (Beyond His Control) bundles thriller and romance in a very appealing package to launch a new trilogy. While working for Doctors Without Borders in Africa, Dr. Isabelle Markham is kidnapped and left for dead. After being rescued by Navy SEAL Jake Hansen, Isabelle returns stateside, working in a naval hospital and trying to put the trauma behind her. When Isabelle’s uncle, an admiral, hires Jake to guard her against future attacks, Jake and Isabelle slowly begin to reveal their innermost secrets and personal demons, and their connection intensifies into sizzling bedroom encounters. Tyler’s in-depth character study transcends the formulas of romantic suspense, making the attraction believable and real. Readers will eagerly anticipate future installments. (Dec.)
4 Stars from Romantic Times Magazine: (reviewer Annette Elton)
Get ready for two complicated characters in a dangerous and complex situation. Tyler¹s hero and heroine have some serious emotional baggage, which makes it all the more engaging to watch them learn to trust one another. While this has a military plot, which is quite dark at times, it’s better than other military romances because the focus is on the romance and the mystery surrounding the characters, not operations and jargon. Tyler kicks romantic suspense up a notch with this one.
Okay, back to work on Zane’s book now. Because it’s really not writing itself…
New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler writes what she loves to read — romantic suspense novels starring military heroes and paranormal romance novels novels starring warrior heroes, all complete with happy endings. Her alter-ego is SE Jakes and she also co-writes as Sydney Croft. She lives in New York with her husband, her kids and her crazy Weimaraner, Gus.