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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Guest Post with Author VK Sykes and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author VK Sykes to RFTC. VK Sykes is celebrating the recent release of Curveball and has stopped by to chat. Please give VK Sykes a warm welcome.

V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance. The second book in their Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, in the romance category. Vanessa also writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name.

Places to find VK: 
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Hi, Dani! Thanks so much for having “us” on the blog. I think most readers know me first as the Vanessa Kelly who writes Regency-set historical romance, but I also write contemporary romance with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes. Being part of a married writing duo tends to raise a question or two—such as, how do you write the sex scenes or how do you do work together without killing each other?

I must admit that we do occasionally have rather heated discussions about a particular scene or character, but we’ve also managed to develop a way of working that minimizes conflict.

Here’s what we do: Randy generally comes up with the core idea, we brainstorm the plot together, and then he goes off to research and write the first draft. I know I’m making it sound a lot easier than it is—well, this part is easy for me—but Randy is a first class researcher and he also excels at plotting. And, of course, he’s awesome when it comes to writing male characters.

So where do I come in? Well, there are those pesky little things called emotions, and then there are those infamous sex scenes. When Randy gives me the first draft there tends to be gaps in the manuscript with little notations like: insert sex scene here, or add emotion here. If there’s one thing hubby does not like to do, it’s write a sex scene!

As for how we manage to work together without killing each other, we’re rarely working on the same manuscript at the same time. When he’s writing the first draft of one of the contemporaries, I’m using usually working on one of my historical romances. Basically, each of us has ownership over the manuscript at any given time. That doesn’t mean we don’t consult each other during the process, but it does mean that we’re not competing against each other as we write. We hand the book back and forth until we think it’s where it needs to be, and then we’re good to go.

A lot of women have said to me that they can’t imagine working with their husbands, so I’m very aware of how blessed I am to have Randy as my writing partner. He’s funny, smart, and a great writer. He also lets me win most of our brainstorming arguments, which is yet another reason why I love him!

To thank Dani and her readers, I’d like to give away two digital copies of the latest book in our Philadelphia Patriots series of sports romances, Curveball!


Taylor Page has never wanted anything but a career in major league baseball. Through talent and guts, she's finally landed a position as Assistant General Manager of the Philadelphia Patriots. But she wants the ultimate prize--General Manager. The only problem is that most men in baseball still don't take a woman exec seriously, especially a thirty-year old blonde with no on-field experience. She needs to do something big to convince her bosses she has what it takes to run a team.

Veteran Pittsburgh outfielder Ryan Locke's career is in jeopardy when a suddenly unreliable throwing arm comes on top of rehab from a major injury. He's had a solid run but he's not a star with a mega-contract. A single parent with a troubled daughter and an alcoholic mother to provide for, retirement is out of the question. Ryan's best hope is for a trade to an American League team as a designated hitter, allowing him several more years of play.

When Taylor needs to find a replacement for an injured first baseman, she comes up with an innovative but risky idea: convince her boss to make a trade for Ryan Locke, and then convince the still talented slugger to play first base for the Patriots. With Ryan dead-set against that plan and both their careers on the line, neither Taylor nor Ryan can afford the explosive physical attraction between them. But despite Taylor's best efforts to resist Ryan's campaign of seduction, she's not sure she's got to willpower to keep from playing along.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords |

Click for info.


Check out what's up for grabs.


Up For Grabs:
  • 2 lucky winners will win an eBook copy of Curveball

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment/question for VK Sykes.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

82 comments :

  1. I am new to your books, but I have been hearing wonderful things about this series.. I love baseball and can't wait to start reading these books... I love it that you are a husband and wife team..

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    1. Hi, Kathleen! We do have fun working together - most of the time!!

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  2. Can't wait to start this series....thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. Thanks for telling us your process. I'm always curious how the work is divided when an author is really more than one person.

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    1. Anne, fortunately, this process works really well for us - and reduces friction, too!

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  4. Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! This book sounds like a great read, so fingers crossed! :-)

    Best Wishes,
    Lindsey V.

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    1. Thanks, Lindsey! Our Patriots anthology is still available for only 99 cents, so you can read the first three books in the series for less than a dollar!

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  5. I had NO idea that two people write these books that I LOVE! How very cool. Great job, you guys!!

    Barrie

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    1. Thank you, Barrie! I think a lot of folks aren't aware that we're a writing duo.

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  6. I love sport romances! I just bought the 1st 3 books of the Philadelphia Patriots Series and am looking forward to reading Curveball as well. Thank you for sharing your writing method.

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  7. Congrats on the new release. Curveball sounds like a fantastic addition to a wonderful series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first three books in the series and cannot wait to read this one. Do you have any idea how many more books will be in this series?

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    1. Joanne, we're currently finishing up the first draft of the next book, Payoff Pitch, and we hope to write many more books in the series. We also just signed a contract with Grand Central to start a new series called Lobster Bay, which is set on a small island off the coast of Maine. And we'll be publishing a romantic suspense book in the fall, too. The hero is a former soldier and ex-baseball player. Whew!!

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  8. Sound like you make a great team, bringing the best of both worlds to your story. I am new to your books but I love sports themed books and would love to check this series out. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Thank you, krg! Our antho is only 99 cents for a limited time, so that might be a good way to start.

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  9. I was seriously skeptical when I bought the first three I am not a baseball fan but after I read them I fell in love with the series and cannot wait to read Curveball.. thank you for the chance to win a copy.

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  10. I don't think, no wait, I know I could never work with my husband. We have way different styles of doing things and would drive each other crazy. I give you credit.

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  11. VK, I love your books and would love to win...thanks Will there be more? Please?

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    1. LS, there will definitely be more books in the series. We're working on one now. We'll also be publishing a romantic suspense in Oct. that also has a baseball theme.

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  12. I enjoyed the first three, but admittedly not a knowledgeable baseball person! I'm so glad you two have written another one for our enjoyment!

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  13. Thanks for the great post, Vanessa! I love that you have teamed up with your hubby--you've got a great team there! I love your Philadelphia Patriots series--I may live in NJ(Cherry Hill), but my heart is in Philly! Keep up the wonderful work!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! When we were in NJ a few weeks ago for a family reunion, Randy and I went on the tour of the Phillies stadium. It was so much fun!

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  14. Congrats on the new release and thank you for the opportunity to win! I love this series and can't wait to see what happens next! I love how well rounded it is getting male and female perspective to make a great book! Kudos to you both for bring able to work so well together! Thanks again and gave a great day!
    Maycee
    majorsqueenbee at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you so much, Maycee! We think we're definitely stronger as a team.

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  15. Love this series and can´t wait for my chance to read more! =)
    Happy Thursday!
    //Linda

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  16. Great Post and giveaway. This book sounds amazing!

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    1. I had to admit, Melanie, that Curveball is one of my favorite books, so far!

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  17. do the guys on the team ask you who going to be next in the book and do you do book ark or the trading card they would be great for these books
    as soon as i get the comp back i add you to google
    allso i did sen the form to you for the reader

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    1. Desi, trading cards is a great idea. Did you email me on my Vanessa Kelly website or my VK Sykes website?

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  18. Great insight into your writing process! I am looking forward to reading this!

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  19. I bought your sports "bundle" a little while back but haven't had a chance to read them. We are a big baseball family so anytime I see romance books that include baseball? Heck yeah! Looking forward to adding this one to my collection, too! I think it is great how you guys work together. My husband and I are both control freaks and would want to take over the book with our ideas. We work together side by side well but not usually on the same task. It works better if we divide and conquer. :)

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    1. Hope you enjoy, Amy! And we're also into the divide and conquer method.

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  20. Hi, Vanessa and Randy! I love Vanessa's historical romances and the books written by both of them. Vanessa, I loved the way you told us about who has what job when you're working together. I don't think that most men are comfortable writing about sex scenes and emotions, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Cathy, I think you're most likely right - and thank you for all your support!!

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  21. What a wonderful way to start the summer... Curled up in a lunge chair with a book from one of my favorite authors!!

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  22. I enjoy romance books with a sports backdrop, but I haven't read this series yet. Was your husband always a writer or is this something that developed as he watched you do it?

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    1. Penfield, my husband was always a non-fiction writer. He was a researcher/writer who wrote reports, speeches, etc... When I asked him to consider writing with me, he confessed that he used to write short stories when he was younger, and really loved it. It was meant to be!

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  23. I've seen your books on Amazon before, but will definitely go pick up the first three now that are $.99. The price drops are a great way for me to find new authors to follow, and these kinds of giveaways are awesome for a book addicted person like me! Thanks! How long have you been writing together, and how did that happen? And most importantly, if you both have different ideas for how a scene should play out, who wins more often? lol

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    1. Marcy, we've been writing together for over 5 years. With the VK Sykes books, I usually defer on plot issues to Randy, and he usually defers on emotional issues to me. Seems to work out pretty well!

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  24. Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

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  25. Love this series!! Can't wait to read this one! I was so excited when the 1st three were available for .99 cents on Amazon!

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  26. Wow this looks great! I'll have to add to my TBR pile! My husband and I are such a team that we do almost everything together, so i love seeing that you two are writing team! Very cool!

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    1. Thanks, Casey! Randy and I pretty much do everything together, too. We like it that way!

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  27. Congrats on the new release. I've been a fan since I read Caddy Girls and was wondering if you had plans to write Josh's book.

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    1. Thank you, Jane! I'd love to write Josh's story someday, and we had that idea in mind when that first book was published. We'll see - maybe a novella!

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  28. Congratulations on the new release! I haven't read any of your books, but they look really good. I am loving the covers too!

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  29. I have the other two books in the series and this would complete my hat trick (wrong sport, I know). I also wonder how do you split the writing duties between each other? Who types?

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    1. Chanpreet, we brainstorm the plot and then Randy writes the first draft. He passes the digital manuscript on to me and I revise it. Sounds easier, doesn't it?!

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  30. I read Hardball and I really enjoyed it - I live in Wilmington, so it was cool to read a romance that took place nearby!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Jo. I'm originally from South Jersey, so I know the area well!

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  31. Love your books. That is a very nice picture of you and your handsome hubby.

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  32. Love this series-- and I'm impressed the two of you can work together so well! I'd never be able to do it, haha. Congrats on the release!

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    1. Thanks, CMD! I'm really fortunate to have such a great writing partner, and a great husband!

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  33. Do you find it difficult to chose titles between the two of you? lisagk(at)yahoo

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    1. Randy chooses the titles, Lisa. He's better at it than I am.

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  34. This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
    Books like this make me wonder whether the author had any influence from friends and family while writing it.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

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    1. Meghan, Randy is a baseball fanatic so there was definitely an influence there!

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  35. How fun! It looks like a book that is up my alley!

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  36. Hi Vanessa! I love that you and Randy can work together, you're a great team. I love sports related books so I can't wait to read Curveball!!

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  37. You are a new author for me and I am going to be looking into your books. What type of genre do you like to write.

    susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

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    1. Susan, I write historical romance under my own name, Vanessa Kelly, and I write contemporary romance with hubby as VK Sykes. I'm happy to say I like writing in both genres!

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  38. I love romance of any kind!! I like the idea of a husband and wife co-writing romance and so glad that you two have seemed to have found a great way to write together!! Here's to many more books in the future!!

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  39. Sounds wonderful! Can't wait to read it!

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  40. Ohh I love sports romances, I have yet to read any in the Philadelphia Patriot series but it is something I'd like to read soon! :)

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  41. Very interesting description of the story.

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  42. thought I am not a fan of baseball. I love sport romance, they are fun and the guys are topically yummy :) hehe just cause I don't watch it does not mean that I don't enjoy reading about it. The books tend to make it more exciting with their plot.

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  43. I love sports books, particularly baseball ones and have really enjoyed the other 3 by this author. Thanks for the giveaway. This storyline sounds very interesting.

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  44. I just realized that I have Fastball and Hardball on my Kindle. I have got to get started on this series! I love the book descriptions. Thanks for the giveaway!

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