That surprise I mentioned above? The Stiletto books have new covers! Same stories, just a bit of a face-lift? Why? Well, I love the old Stiletto-covers. They’re some of my favorites. But that original 3-book series has turned into an 8-book empire, and we decided it was time to freshen up the look a bit to better complement the Oxford covers.
Aren’t the new covers amazing?! They so perfectly capture when I think/feel when I think “Stiletto.”
2 lucky winners will win the entire Sex, Love, & Stilettos series as well as a $50 DSW gift card (because shoes) OR a $50 Amazon gift card (because books).
Because no Stiletto/Oxford story is complete without a swanky drink in hand,
I’m lucky enough to be married to a cocktail/cooking blogger (anthonyledonne.co), and when I begged for a custom cocktail for the Stiletto world, Mr. Layne came up with just the thing!
The Stiletto Cocktail is a modern take on the good old Cosmopolitan. It’s got the same familiar, feminine pink, but a touch more tart than the original, and a bit of fresh herb to brighten it up.
2 oz vodka
1 oz lime juice (freshly squeezed, preferably)
3/4 oz Triple Sec or Cointreau
1/4 oz Campari (a gorgeous red Italian liqueur that’s deliciously bitter, but you can sub with cranberry juice if you must!)
1-2 “sprigs” of fresh thyme (or use whatever herb you have! This is also lovely with fresh mint, basil or rosemary!)
Put all ingredients (including the fresh herb!) in a shaker with ice give it an enthusiastic shake—you want to make sure the herb gets pretty beat up in there to release the flavor!
Strain into your prettiest cocktail glass, and garnish with fresh herb (not the one you used to shake, get a fresh pretty one!)
Next in the Stiletto/Oxford Series
The final book in the Stiletto/Oxford book is just around the corner!
I Knew You Were Trouble will be available in June 13, 2017, and I’m so excited for you all to meet Nick Ballantine and Taylor Carr. My favorite part about this story is that it’s an interesting blend of “enemies-to-lovers” and “friends-to-lovers.” These characters are like oil and water from the very first meeting, but instead of going straight from bickering to kissing, they pivot first into “friend” territory—they become each other’s closet confidantes, the one they can count on. And it makes their evolution into romance all the more sweet.
Jake Malone from Book Two was originally supposed to be an uptight attorney—in fact, I wrote half the book with him that way! I didn’t love it, so I started over and made him a playboy from a rival magazine. Thank goodness I did—Oxford would never have been born otherwise!
Sex and the City was a big inspiration for the series. I wanted to write about my own group of fabulous gal pals in NYC, except with a bit more romance, and, uh, a little less 90s!
The original title for I Wish You Were Mine was Playing for Keeps — we made a very late decision to change it, because Playing for Keeps just wasn’t quite right for that story!
I get asked quite a bit which Stiletto/Oxford character I’m mostly like. I used to consider myself most like Emma, but plenty of friends have told me I’m a Julie, and that feels right too. I look the most like Grace!
My personal favorite hero is Mitchel Forbes (After the Kiss) because I love a Mr. Darcy hero! But the most fun to write was Cole Sharpe from Irresistibly Yours—he’s so ridiculously likable.
I have a playlist for each book, but with The Trouble With Love, my playlist consisted of one song: "I Told You So," by Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis. The mood of the song just perfectly summed up how I felt while writing, how I wanted readers to feel while reading. So of course, I couldn’t NOT give the song a cameo on the book.
Julie Greene’s iconic “running scene” in After the Kiss is based very much on my own life. I’m a “runner” now, but when I first started out years ago, I got on the treadmill for the first time, and thought I’d run 2 miles, and was ready for my cool-down. It had been .21 miles.