Stay out of the bunkhouse.
By Cheryl Brooks
If you know me at all, you probably know me from my Cat Star Chronicles series. When I wrote the first book, Slave, I never envisioned a ten-book series. Then I sold it to Sourcebooks and was asked to write a total of six books. Later, they asked for three more. The tenth book, Rebel, was one I had to write, so I did, and they bought it.
I loved writing about the cats. My imagination had a fairly free rein, and I rarely had to resort to research. If I needed a new species or a new planet, or even a new word, I simply invented them. My science was reasonably accurate, and since there isn’t anyone with first-hand knowledge of the future on this or any other planet, no one could really argue the validity of what I’d written.
Then last year, my editor asked me to send her something new, so I sent her the manuscript for Cowboy Heaven. She liked it enough to ask me for a two book series with a related novella, which would all be marketed as erotic romance.
Now, as some of you may know, my alien cats are scorching hot. Those books could easily have been labeled as erotic romance, but my publisher chose to simply list them as romance. For that reason, they’ve popped up as sci-fi/fantasy, futuristic, paranormal, and one title actually wound up ranking in gothic romance on Amazon—I still can’t figure that one out! No doubt my cowboys will also get tossed into categories where they don’t belong.
Because the new series is set in present-day Wyoming (the novella takes place in Texas), a great deal of research was required. Granted, the places and people are fictitious, but I tried to make it as authentic as I could. Never having set foot in Wyoming, I relied on Google and Google Maps to help me out of many a tight spot.
And then there is the question of genre, which is even more confusing than the Cat Star books, so please, bear with me for a moment.
Cowboy Delight, which was released in February, is an erotic novella, and is therefore much shorter and hotter than your typical romance novel, and is only available in e-book format. Cowboy Heaven (which is also the series title) is a full-length novel which is being marketed as an erotic romance and will be published as an e-book, as well as in the larger (and, unfortunately, more expensive) trade paperback size.
However, the second book, which is currently titled Cowboy Bliss, has undergone a change and will probably be published in the mass-market paperback size. My editor didn’t think the heat happened fast enough for an erotic romance, so I had to rewrite it (taking out one of the heroine’s sexual partners) and they’re going to re-launch it as a “sexy contemporary.” I have no idea if the title will change or if it will even have the same series title, but since it takes place on the same ranch as Cowboy Heaven, anyone who’s read that book will consider it to be a sequel, even though it’s published in a different format.
Are you as confused as I am?
Back cover blurbs can be just as confusing as genres. Some are misleading while others are just plain inaccurate, often prompting readers to buy books that really aren’t their cup of tea. Therefore, anyone who doesn’t like cowboys or can’t stand the heat should probably stay out of the Circle Bar K bunkhouse. But if you enjoy romance with a touch of mystery, a dash of humor, sizzling hot sex, and modern-day cowboys who look fabulous in (or out of) their jeans and Stetsons, come on in and pull up a chair. My cowboys are sure to make you feel right at home.