Friday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

Things that make you go ‘Sigh…’

1 THIS. Just this…

This picture was actually my inspiration picture for Gabe Jackson, the hero from PLAY ME.

2. Freshly baked, warm, gooey, chocolate chunk cookies.

3. A note from a reader telling me they loved one of my books :-)!

4. Dark chocolate and a good red wine.

5. An unsolicited hug from one of my kids.

6. Writing that scene in a book, knowing I’ve nailed the characters, their intensity and the still fragile emotion of their fledgling relationship because at that point, they become ‘real’ and I can ‘feel’ them.

7. A chocolate soufflé with a warm molten center of rich, creamy chocolate served with vanilla bean ice cream.

Huh? There’s a pattern you say? What pattern :-)? Yeah, okay I like chocolate! What writer doesn’t? So…what makes YOU go ‘sigh…’?

Thursday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be…

An interior designer/decorator! Yeah, I was pretty surprised at this realization myself. I’ve already had one successful career in the IT consulting industry and working on my second with my writing. When I renovated my ENTIRE house a few years ago, it was a major undertaking.

This is actually a before picture of my living room and kitchen, totally gutted back to the bare bones! *shudder*

I was excited, apprehensive, and okay a tiny bit terrified. Or perhaps it was a LOT. I designed every aspect of the renovation which ranged from some structural changes to a lot of cosmetic things. I updated/upgraded EVERY SINGLE room in the house. Actually the outside underwent some pretty substantial changes as well. I selected every fixture, fitting, color and finish. I designed every tile layout. I picked the design for each molding and trim we used. I even designed the layout of the kitchen myself from a completely blank slate. I worked with the guys every day on each step of the process and you know what I found? I absolutely LOVED everything about it. I learned I love looking at furnishings catalogs, tile books, paint chips, architectural accents. I loved everything about the process, especially the sense of immense satisfaction I get when I can sit back in any room of my house and think… I did that. So, if I wasn’t a writer I’d definitely be in the design/decorating/home improvement industry.

What about YOU? What do you think you’d be doing if you could choose?

Wednesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

Romance. Proving the stereotype wrong.

It still ticks me off that romance gets such a bad wrap. And it’s usually a disparaging one at that! You only have to look at any industry sales figures, revenue numbers, really ANY metrics whatsoever to see how large the romance genre is compared to other categories. It’s a mammoth market segment any way you want to look at it. Yes, there are those out there disproving of popular fiction in general, but I think romance is in a class of its own when it comes to attracting criticism. I’m not sure there are any other genres out there where the type of reader is described with ridiculous generalizations and (wrong) preconceived ideas. I was actually told once that the only people who read romance are unmarried, overweight women who can’t get laid. Clearly, this guy was an idiot but it kind of sets the genre apart in my mind.

I wonder if it’s self perpetuated to some degree, even subconsciously? Is reading romance still done very much under the radar when in the general population? I’ll often see people sitting and reading all kinds of different books, but I rarely see someone reading a romance novel out in public and I do look! I myself may even be a guilty party. I was in a book store over the weekend and I always love to browse the romance section. Of course, right? Why then do I look around to see who’s there, who might be watching me, who could notice me walking those aisles? It’s kind of instinctive, and I’m trying to break myself of it, but it seems to be deeply ingrained. I think we’ve made great strides, but perhaps there’s still a long way to go.

So, I wonder…how proud are you of the fact that you read romance? Do you go out of your way to make it known? Do you just take it as it comes, but you’ll fess up to it or do you hide it as if your life depended on it?

Tuesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

Do You Check Out Other Women?

I’m a big people watcher. HUGE, in fact. It’s one of the reasons I love places like New York and Las Vegas so much. They both have some diverse people and the watching is awesome. It can be a problem because I’m often caught staring and invariably people think I’m rude or just weird and I’m not sure what’s worse :-). Sometimes I’m so busy observing that I may forget I’m supposed to actually be IN a conversation. It’s not unusual for me to be in a group situation and then realize later I probably barely said a word. It’s like I go into uber-stealth-observation-mode and forget what else is around me. I like to catalog everything someone is wearing, top to bottom. I like to understand how they’re wearing their hair and why, I like to watch all their mannerisms, how they walk, hold their hands, their head. I like to see how they express themselves, what their look seems to say about their personality. Of course, if I seem like I’m checking out a hot guy, it’s not so much of an issue. I can just shrug it off, but if I’m caught watching a woman, well…let’s say I’ve had some strange looks. I don’t mean anything by it and I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes down to it, but I’m in research mode, people!

It’s all of those little details that make up a character and provide the layers you need to make them come to life. I can’t keep writing characters with what I know and I’m sure readers wouldn’t want to continue to read about variations on the same character. I have to learn new things about people I don’t know to be able to breathe life into new, multi-dimensional characters with quirks and issues and flaws and insecurities. So yeah, I check out other women, wherever and whenever I get the chance. Perhaps I need to learn to be better at it?

Monday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

Who said sweet couldn’t be HOT too?

A number of reviews on my books have hit on something that has really pleased me. They’ve mentioned the hot love/sex scenes, they’ve highlighted the sexual tension, the heat level, the SEX in my books as being sizzling, but they’ve also mentioned the emotional intensity, the feelings, the LOVE in my books. That’s been great because when I write a book, I’m writing a love story first and foremost. I’m writing a journey between two people who’ll end up together. Yes, I write hot and steamy, actually very hot and steamy, but I think that it’s a crucial aspect of being able to fully develop and explore the burgeoning emotional arc between the characters. I firmly believe that the bedroom door needs to stay open. It’s during these very intimate scenes that the really good stuff happens (and I don’t mean the sex). These scenes are often when characters are vulnerable, where barriers are removed or enhanced, where issues are resolved or surface, where the intimacy propels the relationship one more step forward (or back) depending on the stage of the story. For me, not being able to write and include the details of these scenes would disadvantage the story I think and do a disservice to the characters. Yes, by this point they’re pretty real to me!

I love to write the alpha hero, unwilling to show weakness, probably rough around the edges, hard and perhaps tortured and explore the scenarios (and the woman) who could make such a man gentle, even tender, protective and loving. I adore it when someone talks about my books being sexy and scorching, but emotionally intense. Those reviews have been the ultimate compliment because I always think – who says an erotic romance can’t be sweet on some level as well?

Love is in the air…

Hi! I know I’m late to the party. I got sidetracked today by 35 very loud 5 year olds. Yep, 35! My twins had their birthday party today and I’m not sure my ears are ever going to be the same again LOL. So, I thought I’d share a little about me and post a couple of quick excerpts.

About Kaily

Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Ha! That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream  – to write. And romance at that! By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own mind, and is trying her best to bring the alpha male solidly back to contemporary romance, one hot story at a time. Two years ago she never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.

I have 2 books currently out with Ellora’s Cave (PICTURE THIS and PAY UP) and another one due to release (hopefully) next month PLAY ME). Yeah, I have a thing for ‘P’ words :).


     Oh my God, Samuel Steele was a walking, talking wet dream.
     She’d drooled from afar plenty, but up close he was downright gorgeous. Every woman in the place, and even some of the guys, had checked out his tight butt, flat abs and broad shoulders, and although he’d never worn anything but a suit to the office, that didn’t stop imaginations from running riot. His hair was dark and thick, his skin tanned, and regardless of the time of day, his jaw always seemed darkened with at least a day’s beard growth. And his eyes. She’d never been close enough to make out their color before, but they were a dark, piercing gray. They should have looked cold, but the way he was looking at her made her wonder if someone had turned off the air-conditioning.


“Really? Been to a lot of strip joints, have you?”
Rio shook his head, his gaze swinging around to rest on her. “If I’m interested enough in a woman to want to see her naked, I want to be the only one looking.”
Oh, boy. Why did that have to sound so damn hot?

And a teaser (unedited) from PLAY ME:

    “Show me your vibrator.”
    Lily let her hands slide from the muscled slopes of his warm shoulders. She was pretty sure she’d passed the point of being able to pretend any kind of worldly sophistication, but she thought she’d give it one more shot just the same.
    “Um…what makes you think I even have one?”
    He smiled. It was wicked and full of knowledge.
    Yeah, that was probably a fail.


If anyone would want to contact me (which I would love by the way) or just keep up with what I’m doing, you can find me all over:


Friday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

 Show me Yours and I’ll Show you Mine
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? For yourself or your significant other? As the holiday season approaches I find myself thinking what to get my hubby. I have this issue every year because he is just so freakin’ hard to buy for. He doesn’t really have hobbies as such, has everything he could possibly need for the interests he does have, and is just very…particular about things. Also, he spends a lot of time coming up with unique and special gifts for me and I hate feeling at a disadvantage. 🙂
I found myself in this same situation last year for his birthday. I wanted something extra special, something memorable, something he’d never guess and something he wasn’t likely to put away in a cupboard and never think about again. That’s when I came up with it. THE idea. I was going to go and get some nice photographs done of myself, have them made into a book. You know, sexy and suggestive photographs, lingerie type pictures.
It sounded great in theory. I’m not sure how it made its way from idea to reality, how I got the courage and determination to actually go through with it, but I actually did it! I found a specialist photographer I was comfortable with and it really as costly as I thought. Certainly no more than I would have spent otherwise. I even ended up having some nude and implied nude photos taken. I was THAT comfortable LOL.
Another surprise – I had fun with it. The photo session was just really great fun. I mean, who doesn’t like being the center of attention, especially when you have someone trying to make you look as good as possible? The result? It was fabulous. The pictures turned out great and hubby loved them! I’ve included one of the more *cough* discreet ones. It’s one of my favorites, actually. Now my only issue is coming up with something just as good this year!!
So…what’s the most daring thing YOU’VE ever done?

Thursday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

 It’s just … you
Writing is hard work. It’s grueling, mentally exhausting, sometimes stressful, anxiety ridden and SOLITARY! Well, unless you’re a NYT best selling author with an agent, publicist, editor and an assistant or two LOL. Even then, it’s still just you sitting at that keyboard creating and weaving stories. 
It’s all on you to come up with the next idea and execute it the way you see it in your mind. No-one else can do that part for you. It’s all on you to draw your inspiration from somewhere and wield enough discipline to keep going all in the face of increasing competition and possible rejection. 
Oh, and of course, none of us just write with nothing else to occupy our time. There’s family, other jobs, LIFE, which sometimes just gets in the way! In addition to being THE ‘creative director’, an author also has to worry about sales and marketing, branding and advertising, business planning and strategy, epiracy, going to conferences to continue to improve on the craft of writing and to network, and…probably a hundred other things. 
I have to say for me…I love that part about being an author. Yep, I like to be in charge. I’ve been the boss before and I really, really like it. It’s gratifying to know that it is just you. You’re the one in control of your own writing destiny, you’re the one steering your career, you’re the one who gets to make all the decisions. It’s kind of like being the CEO of your own little (perhaps VERY small 🙂) little empire and it requires you to learn and utilize a wide range of different skills. I LOVE being an author!

Wednesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

  I’ve got a spreadsheet for that…
Before becoming an author, I was in IT. I was a business owner and part of a corporate management team. Organization was probably one of my greatest strengthsthat and an attention to detail. I’m quite analytical. I like everything laid out in a structured fashion and have used spreadsheets for everything and anything for as long as I can remember. I use them for purposes you’d probably guess attracking expenses, etc., but I also use them for keeping track of a lot of other things.
I have a spreadsheet to track my submissions. I have a spreadsheet that contains a summary of every book I’ve ever read (well since 2002) sorted by author and release date and I track my kid’s holiday gifts on spreadsheets every year. I also use spreadsheets for my writing. Of course, right?
I’ve developed what I call the ‘character map’ which is how I create character profiles for my books. It lists details about my hero and heroine that typically never make it into the actual book, but allows me to learn who they really are. I also have one for plotting and outlining, tracking not what’s happening in each chapter, but how the characters are developing and what they’re revealing. 
Really, I could probably come up with a spreadsheet for just about anything. It’s a source of amusement for my family. Hey, I’m always happy to give them some light relief, you know and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I come up with another use for a spreadsheet.
So…how do YOU keep yourself organized? Are you a spreadsheet freak like me or do you have other methods?

Tuesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

     So…Twitter, baby
I’ve learned a lot about social networking since deciding to become a writer and since becoming published as an author. Prior to that, I thought it was something that wouldn’t interest me in a million years. I mean, who would actually want to interact with strangers, strangers who could be anyone? I dipped my toe in slowly. My blog was first. I struggled to think about things to write about. Seriously, I thought, who’d possibly be interested in what I had to say? It was a great exercise in discipline. I played around with it, posted my entries, figured out what I wanted to do with it and…found my groove. Who knew ‘build it and they would come’ could actually be applied to blogs LOL? And then I discovered, I not only liked to blog, I LOVED it. Never saw that one coming.
I figured I needed a web site soon thereafter, so created one in an evening with a front-end, user-friendly interface. It should be called ‘building a website for dummies’ it was so easy. Then it was…Facebook. I have to say it took awhile to get into the swing of things there. I like to be a person who knows the ins and outs of something and FB has its ‘quirks’. I’d sit staring at a blank status and think…what should I say? Now, it’s become second nature and I do really like the structured nature of FB.
Click to follow Kaily
Next on the horizon? Twitter. I have an account. I follow people. I have followers, but haven’t jumped into Twitter perhaps as much as I should. Not yet. Just like with FB I think there’s a learning curve to get the most out of it and it takes a while to get the ‘feel’ for one of these social networks. I hear others rave about Twitter and talk about its many virtues, so my goal in the next few months is to get immersed in it to see if it’s for me.
So…do YOU Twitter? Any tips, tricks, suggestions and/or recommendations for an author about to jump in?