Get the Hollywood series at a reduced price during Oscar weekend

C5cxIXcWYAEOfBLIt’s Oscar weekend!

To celebrate, Ylva Publishing is rolling out the red carpet and offering my Hollywood series at a reduced price.

Each book can stand on its own and has different main characters:

Departure from the Script is a novella (short novel) about Amanda, an actress who struggles to get her career off the ground. At an anti-Valentine’s party, she meets butch photographer Michelle. She has never been attracted to butch women before, but Michelle has her consider a departure from her dating script.

Damage Control is a slow-burn romance in which world-famous actress Grace is caught in a seemingly compromising situation with another woman. She hires PR expert Lauren to convince the world that she’s straight. But for that plan to succeed, she really shouldn’t fall in love with her…

Just Physical stars spunky actress Jill who has taken herself off the romantic market after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At the set of a disaster movie, she meets stuntwoman “Crash.” Despite their growing feelings, Jill is determined to let Crash into her bed, but not her heart.

“Dress-Tease” is a short story that shows a sexy moment between Grace and Lauren from Damage Control.

You can get these books at a reduced price at the Ylva webstore this weekend.

I hope you enjoy the books and the Oscar ceremony!

Book giveaway on Oscar night

hollywood-117589_640Today’s the day—the Academy Awards a.k.a. Oscars will be presented tonight.

I have to admit that I haven’t closely followed the nominations (I guess I was too busy writing!), but I agree with what many people are saying: there’s a definite lack of diversity in the nominations. Hollywood focuses too much on white, straight actors/actresses, directors, and writers, while artists of color, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, and other minorities are underrepresented.

Well, the main character of my latest Hollywood novel, Just Physical, checks two minority boxes—three, if you count being a woman. Jill Corrigan is an out lesbian, and she’s also an actress with MS, multiple sclerosis. The disease makes working on the set of a historical disaster movie difficult, and it’s also the reason why she wants to stay away from relationships…that is, until she meets her new stunt double, Kristine “Crash” Patterson.

Just Physical coverInstead of handing out Oscars, I want to give away a signed copy of Just Physical.

All you have to do to be entered into the drawing is to answer a question and send me an e-mail with your answer:

What song does Jill hum while Crash is helping her take off the stunt harness?

If you haven’t read the book yet, no problem. The answer can be found in this excerpt.

Important: Please send me an e-mail with your answer. Don’t leave a comment on this blog which mentions the answer!

The giveaway ends at noon (EST) on Tuesday. I’ll e-mail the winner then.

Have a nice Sunday, everyone!

Picture-perfect characters (Ylva Publishing blog hop #1)

Just Physical coverYlva Publishing is starting the new year with a blog hop. Thirteen Ylva authors are blogging about their books and other interesting topics. I’m honored to kick off the blog hop with my contribution. Here it is: 

Have you ever thought that the main characters in romance novels—or romantic movies, for that matter—are just a bit too perfect? Perfect health, perfect looks, perfect jobs, perfect lives. No one ever has to decline a date because she can’t afford to go to an expensive restaurant. Most characters in romances look like supermodels and never gain weight, no matter how many high-calorie desserts they devour. Few suffer from psychological disorders or chronic diseases. At most, the characters are allowed to catch a cold, but nothing life-threatening or too debilitating. While their lives may be in an uproar at the beginning of the novel, we know that they’ll get their happy ending on the last page.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand why most readers—and writers—prefer perfect characters and happy endings. Our lives are already full of stress, small hassles, and big problems, so why would we want to read about them too? A little escape from everyday life with all its harsh realities can be nice every once in a while. I certainly don’t want to write books with endings that leave my readers depressed.

But I think even characters who aren’t perfect and who don’t get to live happily ever after deserve a little romance, and they can have a positive, uplifting ending too. Romance novels and complex characters who battle realistic problems don’t need to be a contradiction in terms.

That’s what I’ve been trying to show with Just Physical, my latest romance novel. From the reviews I’ve gotten so far, it seems I have succeeded.

Just Physical is the third book in the Hollywood series, which started with Departure from the Script and was continued in Damage Control. As with most of my series, you don’t need to read the previous books to understand and enjoy Just Physical.

biker-384924_1280The novel’s main character, Jill Corrigan, was introduced as a supporting character—the no-nonsense best friend of superstar Grace Durand—in Damage Control. Jill might be an actress in Hollywood, but her life is far from picture-perfect. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Jill takes herself off the romantic market, not wanting to become a burden to a potential partner. She also struggles in her job, since the director of the disaster movie she’s shooting will no longer allow her to do any of the physically challenging scenes. That’s how she meets Kristine “Crash” Patterson, the stuntwoman doubling for her.

Despite their growing feelings for each other, Jill is determined to let Crash into her bed, but not her heart. As they start to play with fire on and off camera, will they be able to keep things just physical?

Read Just Physical to find out. The novel is now available as an e-book at Ylva Publishing‘s very own webstore, at Amazon, and many other online bookstores. It’s also available as a paperback.

I hope I have succeeded in creating a romance novel that is realistic and complex, yet far from being depressing.

* * *

Blurb: Just Physical by Jae

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, twenty-five-year-old Jill Corrigan takes herself off the romantic market. Not wanting to become a burden to a potential partner, she focuses on her career as an actress instead. On the set of a disaster movie, she meets stunt woman Kristine “Crash” Patterson, whose easy smile instantly makes Jill wish things were different.

Meanwhile, Crash is trained to fall, but she didn’t count on falling in love. Despite their growing feelings for each other, Jill resolves to let Crash into her bed, but not her heart. As they start to play with fire on and off camera, will they really be able to keep things just physical?

* * *

January Blog Hop

The Ylva Blog Hop will continue tomorrow. The next stop on the tour will be Cheri Crystal, who has just published her newest romance, Across the Pond. She will be blogging over at Gill McKnight’s blog:

Check it out tomorrow (January 7, 2016)!

For a look at the entire blog hop schedule, visit the Ylva blog.

Writing hours in November 2015

ChristmasIt’s the middle of December already, and I only now get around to posting my numbers for November, which gives you a good indication of how busy I am. I’m very excited to say that I got started on my new historical romance, Shaken to the Core, at the beginning of December. Now I’m 20,000 words into the story and enjoying it very much.

What else is new? As you might know, my romance novel Just Physical has been out for a couple of weeks now, and reviews have been great. In Just Physical, the two main characters–actress Jill Corrigan and stuntwoman Kristine “Crash” Patterson–shoot a historical disaster movie. Guess what? That movie is basically the novel I’m writing right now. I so love connecting my books that way.

I also just published another book, Time Management for Writers, which helps writers write more, find more time to write, and make better use of the time they have.

In November, I spent most of my time doing research for my historical romance. I also finished translating Damage Control and the short story that goes with it, Dress-tease, into German. My goal was to translate 100,000 words during NaNoWriMo. I ended up with “only” 92,000 words because then I had translated both the novel and the short story and ran out of material to translate.

So, let’s take a look at my working hours in November:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2015 - TOTAL1,206 hours840 hours235 hours254 hours286 hours2,821 hours
January175 hours88 hours---5 hours29 hours297 hours
February155 hours53 hours4 hours9 hours36 hours257 hours
March116 hours120 hours32 hours1 hours25 hours294 hours
April79 hours86 hours6 hours18 hours48 hours237 hours
May97 hours100 hours19 hours54 hours32 hours302 hours
June143 hours80 hours21 hours2 hours25 hours271 hours
July89 hours42 hours1 hours0 hours19 hours151 hours
August112 hours111 hours---33 hours12 hours268 hours
September82 hours72 hours15 hours118 hours16 hours303 hours
October93 hours41 hours46 hours9 hours23 hours212 hours
November65 hours47 hours91 hours5 hours21 hours229 hours

Check back at the end of the month to see what I have managed to do with the rest of December.

Have a good rest of the week!


Now available: Just Physical

Just Physical coverMy latest lesbian romance, Just Physical, has already been available via the Ylva Publishing website for two weeks, but starting today, you can get it from all major online bookstores. Just Physical is the third book in my Hollywood series, but it has different main characters than the previous books, so it can stand on its own and you’ll be able to enjoy it even if you haven’t read Damage Control and Departure from the Script.

I have to say that I’m particularly proud of Just Physical. It has an unusual main character. Jill Corrigan is an actress who’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. While she’s still able to hide her occasional MS symptoms, she doesn’t know what the future will bring for her, so she decided to live her life alone and stay away from relationships. When she meets Kristine “Crash” Patterson, the stuntwoman doubling for her in a disaster movie, the attraction is immediate, but Jill can’t afford to fall in love. They agree on an affair that is just physical and will last only until filming ends…or so they think.

Just Physical is now available via:

Amazon (Kindle)

Barnes and Noble (Nook)




Ylva Publishing

I hope you enjoy it!

As always, comments, feedback, and reviews are highly appreciated!


Writing is rewriting

You’ve probably heard the old adage “writing is rewriting.“ Well, it’s true. Or at least it should be. While there are some people who unleash their rough first draft onto their unsuspecting audience, most writers know that careful rewriting and revising is where the magic really happens.

For my newest romance novel, Just Physical, which has been published today, I spent almost as much time rewriting and revising as writing the first draft.

Here’s a breakdown of the time I spent on Just Physical.

4Overall, I worked on Just Physical for 501 hours. That’s slightly less than the 549 hours I spent on Damage Control, the previous book in the Hollywood series, but that one was 140,000 words compared to the 116,000 words of Just Physical.

Also, I didn’t need to do as much research for Just Physical because it’s set in the same world of movie-making as Damage Control, and I had already created three of the characters—main character Jill Corrigan and her two best friends, Grace and Lauren, who were all introduced in Damage Control. I did do a lot of research into multiple sclerosis and also into stunt work, because the second main character, Kristine “Crash” Patterson, is a stuntwoman. I started research on March 1 and spent 73 hours doing research, plotting, and working on my characters’ backstory.

I started writing the first draft on June 1 and finished it on August 12. During that time, I spent 222 hours writing the 94,000 words of the first draft. Some of that time included getting feedback from beta readers and revising the story according to that feedback. I always sent them each chapter as soon as I had finished it, so by the time I wrapped up the first draft, it was in pretty good shape. Or so I thought.

I then spent 59 hours on the second draft. For the most part, I added new scenes that show my two main characters interacting with people other than each other. They both have friends and family members, so to make them more three-dimensional characters, I had to show those relationships as well. When I was done, I sent the 100,000-word manuscript off to my content editor.

Her feedback was tough. While she liked the novel and its characters, she felt it still needed a lot of work. And she was right. The opening chapters didn’t work, so I needed to cut the first two chapters and write a new opening. Some of the scenes in the last third of the book didn’t advance the plot, so they had to go too. I also had to add new scenes and rewrite existing ones to show more of Jill’s inner struggle and her emotional journey as she figures out how to have a life — and a relationship — despite suffering from multiple sclerosis.

I spent 142 hours rewriting and reshaping the entire novel. It had been some time since I last had to work so hard on revising and rewriting a book, but I think it’s been worth it. What I sent to the editor wasn’t a bad book, but it can’t compare to the richer, more complex version you’ll get to read.

I had two of my beta readers re-read this version of the novel, and they both agreed that it’s a much better read than the first draft. The new version also went to a beta reader who hadn’t read the first draft and could give me an unbiased opinion—and she loved it too.

When everyone was happy with the story, I sent it off to the copy editor, who pointed out a few awkward sentences and grammar mistakes that had made it into the book during the many revisions.

So, as you can see, my team and I spent a lot of time writing—or rather rewriting—Just Physical to make it a captivating romance with realistic characters that you will enjoy.

Just Physical is available as an e-book at the Ylva Publishing webstore. It will be available for pre-order from major bookstores such as Amazon this Sunday (November 22) and will be available for purchase on November 30.

I hope you’ll enjoy the fruit of my labor!


GCLS conference and writing hours in July 2015

gcls conIf you follow me on Facebook, you know that July has been an exciting month for me—how could it not be in a city like New Orleans? After a week of sightseeing, I attended the GCLS con—the annual lesbian literature conference of the Golden Crown Literary Society.

I can’t put into words the experience of spending five days surrounded by 350 readers and writers of lesbian fiction and attending so many great panels and workshops. The conference just gets bigger and more professional every year! There were so many different writing workshops, panels, chats, and readings that it often was difficult to choose which ones to attend.

As far as I know, the keynote speech and some of the panels and sessions will be available for viewing on the GCLS’s shiny new website—the one with the menu structure (don’t ask; it’s an inside joke), but what the videos won’t be able to show is what it’s like to be among so many other people who are just as passionate about lesbian fiction as I am.

It was wonderful to meet some of the friends I’d made last year, at the GCLS conference in Portland, or online, and to talk to fellow authors and readers I hadn’t met before.

The videos also won’t tell you anything about the 31-hour-long shower & coffee abstinence. There was a water boil advisory going on in our part of New Orleans right before the awards ceremony. I’m still waiting to see if that adventure will make it into the book of one of my fellow sufferers.

GCLS-AwardsSpeaking of the awards ceremony… That was definitely one of the highlights of the conference. Ylva Publishing won awards for Emma Weimann’s erotic romance Heart’s Surrender and the paranormal anthology Wicked Things, which I co-edited with Astrid Ohletz, as well as the holiday anthology Unwrap These Presents.

With all that excitement, I’m amazed that I got any writing done while I was in New Orleans, but I’m proud to say that I even met and exceeded my goal of writing about 15,000 words while I was gone. Now I’m 83,000 words into my work-in-progress, Just Physical.

Let’s take a look at my numbers for July:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2015 - TOTAL854 hours569 hours83 hours89 hours214 hours1,809 hours
January175 hours88 hours---5 hours29 hours297 hours
February155 hours53 hours4 hours9 hours36 hours257 hours
March116 hours120 hours32 hours1 hours25 hours294 hours
April79 hours86 hours6 hours18 hours48 hours237 hours
May97 hours100 hours19 hours54 hours32 hours302 hours
June143 hours80 hours21 hours2 hours25 hours271 hours
July89 hours42 hours1 hours0 hours19 hours151 hours

Please check back next month to see if I made my goals for August–wrapping up Just Physical and selecting the stories for the holiday anthology I’m co-editing with Fletcher DeLancey for Ylva Publishing.

Have a great week, everyone!


Writing hours in June 2015

sun-151763_640It’s the beginning of July, which means three things:

1. I’m leaving for my vacation / writers’ & readers’ conference in New Orleans next week. Yay!

2. There’s a heat wave in Germany. Right now, we’re having 102 degrees (39 degrees Celsius). Probably a good preparation for New Orleans, right?

3. It’s time to update my blog with my monthly working hours. So here they are.

In June, I worked mainly on the translation of Next of Kin. The English version has been published last week, and I’m pretty happy with the feedback mails I’ve been getting. Thanks to everyone who sent me an e-mail or wrote a review! I truly appreciate it.

I’m also 45,000 words into Just Physical, my new contemporary romance (which will be novel # 3 in the Hollywood series). I really like these characters!

Okay, let’s take a look at the numbers:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2015 - TOTAL765 hours527 hours82 hours89 hours195 hours1,658 hours
January175 hours88 hours---5 hours29 hours297 hours
February155 hours53 hours4 hours9 hours36 hours257 hours
March116 hours120 hours32 hours1 hours25 hours294 hours
April79 hours86 hours6 hours18 hours48 hours237 hours
May97 hours100 hours19 hours54 hours32 hours302 hours
June143 hours80 hours21 hours2 hours25 hours271 hours

With all the traveling, sightseeing, and attending the conference this month, I won’t have that much time to write, but I’m still hoping to end up with a total of 70,000-75,000 words of Just Physical by the end of July.

By the way, if you want to see some photos of my adventures in New Orleans, check out my Facebook page. I’ll share photos there.

Have a great July!


Created by Krystel Contreras & Jorge Courbis