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Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Dancing with a Poker Player

No, that's not a misprint.

A question authors often hear from readers is, “How do you come up with your ideas?” Today, I'm going to talk about the stories behind my two contemporary erotic romances at Ellora's Cave.

The answer for my Quickie, RHYTHM OF LOVE, is ABC's Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). I'm a diehard fan. So now you know something new about me. :-) No, I can't Tango or Salsa. Heck, I have a tough time putting one foot in front of the other sometimes! During the show's season, my schedule is arranged around it. The Latin dances, particularly the Tango, are rhythmic, sensual and just plain HOT! In fact I write all of my…err…steamier scenes to tango music. This wouldn't surprise anyone who knows me because tango music has always been a love of mine. It usually plays in my house, on my computer, in my car--everywhere.

One evening I'm watching DWTS and I thought 'Wow! I want to write a story about tango'. In two weeks the story was written, edited to within an inch of its life and submitted to my editor as part of the Ellora's Cave Dance of Desire theme. She liked it!

What made this unusual for me is RHYTHM OF LOVE is my first contemporary romance. I wanted to try something different. Everything I'd written up to then had been paranormal or fantasy and I needed to do something new and fresh.

Well, a monster was created. I enjoyed writing contemporary so much ACE OF SPADES was born from another favorite show of mine, Poker after Dark (PAD). I've been known to set my alarm to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to see NBC's PAD. I don't play poker, have no desire to play poker, but I am fascinated by the players. The millions of dollars that go through their hands is exciting by itself. Another thing that I see with each player is the camaraderie that they've built over the years, the respect they have for each other. And some of them are just so damn sexy!

RHYTHM OF LOVE is available now at: and here's the blurb:

Carter Gates, amateur Latin ballroom dancer, is ready to make a move on his sexy new assistant. Bree intoxicates him and her lithe body makes it hard to keep his hands to himself. But Carter has one rule--hands off the staff. His body isn't listening.

Bree's no better off. She has a taste for her new boss, one she can't quench. Hiding the fact she's best friends with his dance partner, she slips into a revealing outfit and his arms…just for one night of sexy, hot competition and a highly erotic tango that gives new meaning to “going up in flames”.

Bree's friend has other ideas--she wants to keep Carter for herself. However, after spending a passionate evening in Carter's arms, and his bed, Bree wants more. And she's determined to get it.

ACE OF SPADES is coming soon and here's a blurb:

Ace Spade is a gambler who knows how to handle success and luck--until he meets Rosemary Carino, the new hostess of the gentleman's club he frequents. He has reasons for keeping his business dealings private but his life quickly spins out of control. Roe's sexy and curvaceous body stirs a fire in him he can't extinguish--Ace is consumed with the need to have her in every way possible.

Roe gave up working the pole in topless clubs long ago. Thrust back into the business, she fights to stay out of the clutches of hotter-than-hell Aldan “Ace” Spade. It's not going to be easy. Her body melts around him, aches to know his intimately. Hiding her past from Ace turns out to be much harder than, once again, stripping off her clothes.

So you see, ideas do come from everywhere, and can pop up at anytime. In writing these stories my goal was to give you a glimpse into the world of Latin Ballroom dancing and into the fast paced, high powered life of a professional gambler.

I hope you have a chance to go Dancing with a Poker Player.

J. Hali would much rather be roaming where her fictional big cats live--in the high desert of California--so would her four furfriends. She enjoys spending time with her sisters and friends who willingly listen to her ramblings about the paranormal world of vamps, shifters and anything else that goes bump in the night. She promises to untie them soon!

For more information, you can visit her at

Growl and roar - it's okay to let the beast out. - © J. Hali Steele


J Hali said...

It's always a pleasure to be hosted at LASR/Whipped Cream site. Thanks for having me!

Annie Nicholas said...

Do you watch 'So You
Think You Can Dance'? I love watching that show but can't dance either. LOL

J Hali said...

Hi Annie, I'm a fan of that one too! I love watching people dance! And they always find such obscure music that I end up loving also.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, J -

Love your titles and your books sound yummy - cannot wait to read!

J Hali said...

Thanks, Tina, enjoy!