Archive for the ‘Honey Trap’ Category




hot men alert!

Filed under: free book, friends, hero worship, Honey Trap

Nicola Marsh is having a hot hero countdown to Valentine’s Day on her blog this month. Every day a different author posts a picture of a hot man who inspired a hero in one of her books. There are giveaways and lots of phoaaaaar.

Today I’m up, with a lovely pic of the lovely Maine man who inspired the hero of my book Honey Trap. And I’m giving away a copy, too.

Go visit, today and every day till Valentine’s Day, to check out the totty! And also to congratulate Nic on becoming a USA Today Bestseller!

Comments are off




good news

Filed under: contests, Honey Trap

Well, this is what I needed on a Monday morning, looking forward to most of this week trapped inside the house with chicken poxy Fecklet:

Honey Trap has just won first place in the single title category of Romance Writers Ink’s More Than Magic contest!






Honey Trap review

Filed under: Honey Trap, reviews

Part of my fireworks feeling yesterday was caused by a 5/5 review of Honey Trap on Trashionista. But I didn’t want to spoil the pretty picture, so I saved it for today. In part, it says:

…this book is part romance, part sass, part funny and part mystery. It is also incredibly sharp with both a tight plot and dialogue.

I was gripped from the first sentence, Sophie Tennant had never seen her date in real life, but she knew he was brown-eyed, brown-haired, slightly built, and a scumbag. I then couldn’t put it down until the end. In fact I even tried to go to sleep but ended up switching the light back on to read more.

And it got a squeal, too.







Filed under: contests, Honey Trap | Tags:

I’m off for three days to lead a residential course in writing commercial women’s fiction, for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. From past experience, I know it will be lots of hard work, but also hugely rewarding and lots of fun.

Husband is taking care of the Fecklet. Husband claims not to be able to cook. I’m not really sure this is true, since he lived on his own for many, many years before we married and I became his live-in slave–oh, sorry, excuse me–wife. 🙂 Anyway, so he will not starve while I’m gone, I’ve just been to Tesco and spent an inordinate amount of money on ready meals and healthy snacks. Hopefully it won’t kill the Fecklet to live for three days on fish fingers and baked beans.

While I’m gone I thought I would leave you with a…


The prize will be a HARDCOVER copy of One Night Stand. Or, if you’ve already got that book, then another book from my backlist.

This is sort of different from my other contests, because this actually requires you to have a copy of Honey Trap on hand. Though you could probably just go to the bookstore and take it off the shelf, looking for the answer. Or get it out of the library.

I’ve already said that I put little private jokes in my books…well, there’s one in Honey Trap that nobody, absolutely nobody, has noticed. See, there are several police officers in the book, because Sophie deals with the police as a private investigator and she also sort of has a stalker. And I named all the police officers after a very special group of people.

Who did I name the police officers after?

Email me the answer, using the contact link up on the top of the page!

(You are so cool if you get this right. And yes, you can go ahead and guess if you don’t have the book.)

I’ll announce the winner and the answer when I get back, on Thursday.





Honey Trap part 3: aromatherapy

Filed under: Honey Trap

For previous parts of this discussion, see here and here.

Honey TrapHere’s how I chose what my heroine does when she decides to quit being a private eye.

I was up in the Lake District visiting Anna and we were driving very fast through the countryside (Anna always drives very fast if she possibly can). And I was talking about my book, whilst watching the scenery go by. I remember going past a wind farm, and saying, “And that’s why Sophie can’t be a private detective any more; I need her to get away from her job so she can realise the moral implications of it. But I have no idea what she should do for a job instead.”

Anna turned deftly into a narrow lane, twisting between hedges, and, steering effortlessly, she said, “Aromatherapist.”

I burst out laughing and didn’t stop for several minutes. By the time the car stopped, Sophie was an aromatherapist.

The idea is it’s completely the opposite to being a private eye: it’s noninvasive, gentle, safe, something that doesn’t involve delving into secrets and darkness. It meant I got to have an aromatherapy massage as research. It also meant I had a lot of fun putting different scents into the book, and playing with Sophie’s response to them.

See, Sophie doesn’t actually believe in aromatherapy; she thinks it’s a load of crock, but it pays the bills and keeps her busy. As I was writing the book, I made sure that every time she uses an oil that’s supposed to have a specific effect, it has the opposite effect on her. So a relaxing oil will make her tense, a stimulating one will deaden her, etc. I’m not sure if this is hugely obvious in the book all the time, but it was a nice little joke for my own private pleasure.





Honey Trap and Dominick

Filed under: hero worship, Honey Trap | Tags:

I’ll talk more about Sophie tomorrow, but I’ve got a post up today on The Writing Playground about how I came up with the hero of Honey Trap, Dominick Steele. I’ll also be giving away a copy of Honey Trap there, to a person who comments.

So please visit The Writing Playground!

Meanwhile, here is a picture of the physical inspiration for Dominick Steele. A beautiful man, and one who happens to have grown up about forty miles from my home town…

Dominick Steele





Honey Trap and Sophie, part 2

Filed under: Honey Trap | Tags:

(The first part of this discussion is found below, here.)

Honey TrapSo once I’d decided to write about Sophie the private detective, I thought about her job. She’d mentioned to Eleanor, the heroine of One Night Stand, that it was mostly infidelity investigations these days, and I’d heard a few things on the radio about the idea of honey trapping–that is, tempting an attached man or woman with an attractive stranger to see if they take the bait and prove themselves unfaithful.

To me, it seems like a flawed concept: just because someone flirts, it doesn’t mean they’re habitually unfaithful, and besides, it shows that there’s a basic lack of trust and communication in the relationship. Seems to me that a counsellor is a better choice than a honey trapper. But Sophie, I discovered, saw it differently.

For her, a cheater is a cheater and the sooner they’re caught, the better. She doesn’t like honey trapping, but there’s something exciting in it for her. The control. The power. The slinky clothes and the makeup that’s a mask. The way she feels sexy and desired, even if it’s by the wrong people. She’d never admit it, though, not even to herself. Here’s how she explains it to her would-be boyfriend, Raj, near the beginning of the book:

“But you can’t like it, can you?” His voice was pleading.
“Like it? Looking like a tart? Making inane conversation? The scumbags drooling over me, thinking they’ll have a fumble? The only decent thing about it is the pow–”
She stopped. She’d been about to say “the power”.
“Is the money I get paid. It’s my job,” she said firmly. “Liking it or not has nothing to do with it.”

So then I had my character arc: Sophie needed to discover that life is not as black and white as she believes. And she also needs to find out how she can assert her sexuality in a way that’s safe for her. Of course, if honey trapping is a symptom of her problems, then the hero, in order to challenge her as much as possible, needed to be someone involved in the honey trapping.

But I didn’t think I could have her make that progression if she were still doing honey traps. I needed her to become disillusioned by the whole thing, to make a move towards something better for herself. So I decided two things: one was that I had to begin the book in a place I hadn’t usually begun my books before, which is several chapters before she meets the hero. I had to show her making the decision to turn away from her old life, towards something that she thinks will be better. Of course if she hasn’t dealt with her issues yet, things won’t get better; they’ll get worse.

And then I had to decide what she was going to do instead of being a honey-trapping private detective. That’s where a visit to the Lake District came in.





where Honey Trap came from: Sophie

Filed under: Honey Trap | Tags:

Honey TrapOn Wednesday I’m going to be blogging on The Writing Playground, about why rock stars are the best heroes, and doing that got me thinking about Honey Trap in general and how it started out. So I’m going to spend a few days blogging about how I started that book and what I did for research with it, in case anybody wants to know.

It was one of those books I love writing, where the characters come from a book I’ve already written, and I treat myself to finding out what happens to them.

When I was writing One Night Stand, I did a scene where the heroine, Eleanor, hires a private detective to find the man who got her pregnant during a one night stand. All Eleanor knows is that he looks like George Michael, and that his name might be, and probably isn’t, George. The detective she hires is called Sophie Tennant. I wrote the scene where they met, at a back table in Coffee Republic in Reading where I, myself, used to do a lot of writing pre-baby.

I didn’t have any plans for Sophie, particularly, except for her to look for George. But she jumped from my fingers on the keyboard onto the page. She came out like this:

Sophie was pretty but understated; she didn’t appear to be the sort of person who would pull out a gun at the smallest opportunity. I could picture her maybe doing a bit of lurking, but she wouldn’t be eating doughnuts and making crude remarks while she did it, if that makes sense. If I was going to g so far as to hire a private investigator, it was nice that she wasn’t a cliche…I looked at Sophie’s light brown hair, held back by a rubber band, and her hands, which were small and had fingernails bitten to the quick.

There were details there that really struck me. Her hair, which was so plain, for one thing. And her bitten fingernails. And her propensity for quiet lurking. And the fact that she was pretty, but didn’t make much of it. As I wrote more of her, it became clear that she had a talent for getting people to open up with her, and tell her their secrets.

I wondered what sort of burden that would be.

To be continued tomorrow…


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