Interview + Giveaway with Lorelei James

Here at The Book Pushers we are so lucky to be able to talk to some of our favorite authors, and today MinnChica is jumping around like a little fangirl. Lorelei James is one of the best erotica writers out there, and her cowboy series have readers everywhere looking for a bronc riding hottie in tight Levi’s.

The 11th book in her Rough Rider series, CHASIN’ EIGHT, comes out June 28th and will be featuring rodeo bad boy Chase McKay. Lorelei also writes for the NAL imprint at Penguin, and her Blacktop Cowboy Series will be releasing the third book in the series, WRANGLED AND TANGLED on November 1st of this year.

As Lori G. Armstrong, she also writes mystery books. Her two series feature PI Julie Collins and Mercy Gunderson, the former black ops Army sniper.


Lorelei, Thank you so much for being here!

LJ: Thanks for having me!



The Book Pushers: Where did the idea behind the Rough Riders come from?

LJ: Growing up in South Dakota, I’ve always been surrounded by farmers, ranchers, and cowboys. Lucky me, huh? But most the westerns I read were historical, and few authors were talking about modern day ranchers and the life they led. And a lot of what I read wasn’t necessarily wrong, but it glossed over some of the difficult aspects of living in rural America that I wanted to explore and most people who live in urban areas don’t get to see—whether or not it’s politically correct. So the McKay family was born in my head—a family that’s been ranching in Wyoming for generations. Creating such a large family has allowed me to write from many points of view, in additon to exploring family dynamics. Each book focuses on a different family member. In starting this series, I also wanted more down and dirty details about what exactly went on behind the bedroom door or in the pickup truck, so I made the series an erotic romance series.


The Book Pushers: Can you tell us a little more about Chase and his story?

LJ: Chase McKay is a professional bull rider and has had a rough go of it recently, both on and off the dirt. After he’s caught in an…indelicate situation, he’s kicked off the PBR tour to get his act together. He doesn’t want to deal with his family’s pity and judgment (his parents are Charlie and Vi, his older brothers Quinn – his book was STRONG SILENT TYPE – and his brother Ben – his book COWBOY CASANOVA is next, releasing in December 2011 ) so he decided to hide out in his cousin Kane’s  (RAISING KANE) trailer in Wyoming. Problem is, someone else is already hiding out there, Ava Cooper, a friend of Ginger’s, a Hollywood actress who is on the run from the tabloids.


The Book Pushers: How many books do you have planned for the Rough Riders Series?

LJ: In a perfect world, where I hit all my deadlines and the stars align perfectly, there will be 16 books total in the series, 2 a year through 2013.


The Book Pushers: Which of your characters did you enjoy writing the most? Which did you have the hardest time writing?

LJ: Usually the character I enjoy writing the most is always the most difficult. And since I just finished Chase’s book, I’ll have to say that boy gave me a rough time.  I never “know” a character right off the bat, it takes a while to get into their head. Chase was a little resistant to me digging deep. 🙂 Ava was a little easier, but when writing romance I find the female point of view easier to write than the male.


The Book Pushers: How many books are you contracted for with the Blacktop Cowboy Series? Do you have them planned out already?

LJ: Since the Blacktop Cowboys series is with a different publisher,  those contracts are set up differently, usually 2 books per contract, so I’m contracted for WRANGLED AND TANGLED, which releases Nov. 1st and ONE NIGHT RODEO, which will release in July 2012. I have plenty of books planned, it could be as long running series as the Rough Riders, but we’ll have to wait and see.


The Book Pushers: You have written award winning mysteries under a different pen-name as Lori G Armstrong, do you have other plans to write more books under this pseudonym?

LJ: I’m currently working on the 3rd book in the Mercy Gunderson series, DARK MERCY, which will hopefully be out sometime in 2012. The mysteries are completely different from the  erotic romances. They are dark and fairly violent – they’ve been called “medium boiled” mysteries by mystery reviewers. My female characters are very tough women who don’t need or want a man and are struggling with some pretty big personal issues. I write them in first person, and the focus is on the main character and her relationships—to others and to violence—not just focused on an intimate relationship. There is a thread of romance in both series, but it’s not center stage.


The Book Pushers: Do you also have plans to write in other genres or settings?

LJ: I love switching back and forth between writing the darker aspects of life—the mysteries—and the happier aspects of life—finding that perfect love match in the romances. I’m constantly jotting down ideas for new characters or plots, but right now, I’m trying to focus on the books I’ve got contracted. But I’d love to write paranormal, historical western, YA and a thriller.


The Book Pushers: What appeals to you about cowboys? And who is your ultimate favourite favourite cowboy they can be real or fictional (TV/Movies).


LJ: I love fictional cowboys, but I really love the guys I know personally who embody everything I write about. They are very inspiring in so many ways. Right now, my favorite western type show is Justified – I love love love me some Raylan Givens. I’m looking forward to seeing Daniel Craig as a cowboy in Cowboys and Aliens.

The Book Pushers: What made you choose Wyoming as the setting for your books?

LJ: The Sundance Wyoming area is one of my favorite places on earth. And since it’s within driving distance of my house, if I need inspiration, I can just hop in my car and drive there.


The Book Pushers: Your books are very hawt and sexy. The love scenes between characters adds so much to the romance and characterization, does this have a large impact on your writing or the characters themselves?

LJ: Both, definitely, how characters react to sex and sexual situations is fascinating. Some books are steamier than others, with menages, etc., and I don’t ever think…hmmm…I haven’t had a menage situation for two books, so it’s time to add one in *this* book. Each book is character dependent upon what I write for their scenes, there is no formula. All sex scenes need to move the story forward—or backward. Sex scenes need to affect the characters, either positively or negatively. And I’ll throw it out that I often use sex scenes as a tool to show that not all sex is sexy. It’s often messy, inopportune, one-sided, or even a big mistake. I’ve had some criticism about that, and I’ll take the hits but I won’t apologize or change the way I write those highly intimate scenes because they don’t fit into preconceived ideas for traditional romances, because they’re too real. My books are not standard romance fare, slapping the erotic label on them changes the rules completely. That said, the books are first and foremost romances.


The Book Pushers: Is there any scenes you have written that have made you laugh out loud or were plain fun to write?  And this goes for sexy ones too!

LJ: I usually make myself laugh at least once during a book. But I really laughed after I finished the “goat scene” in SADDLED AND SPURRED. I wrote a sexy scene in CHASIN’ EIGHT that involves a balance ball…and that’s all I’m sayin’. 🙂

The Book Pushers: Those McKay men are very protective and loving towards their wives, and now most are Daddies. Will we get to see more funny stories and plot lines surrounding their kids?

LJ: Oh, I think I’ll include snippets of their lives as parents when it fits the storyline. I get asked a lot about specific characters—after their happily ever after, as it were. As much as I love giving back peeks, with 10 books behind me in this series, I could fill up the entire book with scenes from previous characters that aren’t germane to the current main characters, so it’s a balancing act not to cheat the main characters in the story, but satisfy the curiosity of long time fans. I’ve also been asked if I intend on writing about the next McKay generation and the answer is…most likely not. That would mean some of the older characters would die, and I couldn’t write that and I think my readers would string me up if I killed off characters. 🙁  But luckily, I have lots of ideas for new books once I finish the Rough Riders series.


Because we are such huge fans here at The Book Pushers, we will be giveaway one ebooks of winner’s choice from Lorelei’s Rough Riders Series. Either leave a question for Lorelei or let us know YOUR favorite cowboy book to be entered to win! Open International and will close on Monday July 4th. Good Luck!

81 thoughts on “Interview + Giveaway with Lorelei James”

  1. Maria S (pronounced Mariah)

    Ahh…the dreaded first comment…it never wins but I have time to comment now…so be it!

    I literally just finished the first book in this series last night. I picked it up as a freebie on my Kindle a while back and decided that now was a good time to read it! I loved it!

    I live in Texas where my daughter is absolutely in love with “hot cowboys” as she puts it these days! The Cowboys in your books were smoking hot! I will absolutely be reading more of them in the very near future.

    Since this was my first cowboy book (I know, I know, shame on me) I would have to say Long Hard Ride is my favorite…so far that is!

  2. Aaaahhh, big fangirl squeal here! 🙂 Thank you for the great interview! I have to admit that I don’t really read any other cowboy books, only occasionally. I haven’t found any other author with a similar “voice”. I adore these McKays/West cowboys just too much. As I’m living in Europe I don’t get to see any cowboys so I need to get my fix from your books. 😉
    Which book was the most controversial/talked about one?
    Can’t wait for Chase’s story!

  3. Pingback: Interview with Lorelei at The Book Pushers — and chance to win! |

  4. Okay, MinnChica, spill the beans, darlin’…where did you get that WRANGLED AND TANGLED cover? Far as I know it hasn’t been released yet.

    It has been changed slightly from that version — just curious if you have an in with NAL or something

  5. I never read a cowboy book and my friend told me about Lorelei James. I fell in love! I think every girl love a sexy man with a cowboy hat!!

  6. Great interview! I’ve read all the books in the series and will be picking up the next one tomorrow! Can’t wait since I love the McKay and West families.
    How do you get the idea for each story basis?

  7. Will my all-time favorite cowboy book would have to be Lonesome Dove. I love the book and the mini-series. There is a scene in the mini-series where the cowboys cross a river in nothing but their hats, chaps and boots. There’s a very quick peek at full frontal cowboy!

    I love both the Roughriders series and the Blacktop Cowboys series. I’m so glad there are several more books to look forward to.

  8. I love all of your books and can’t wait for the next ones to come out. Your Rough Rider series are my favorite.

  9. I love all of L’s books but have to say the RR series are my favourite. My favourite is Raising Kane. I can’t wait until we read more about the West boys. It’s not so much a question but I’m reading All Jacked up right now and wondered if you could describe the McKay brand that all the girls have tattooed.


  10. So can’t wait for Chase!!!
    What other character in the McKay/West family are you going to write about???

  11. Hi

    Great interview.

    I love your cowboy books and am glad to see the Blacktop Cowboys will have more this year and next.

    Do you think you will stay with the cowboy theme after the Rough Rider series?

    Thanks for the chance.


  12. Great interview and I can’t wait to for Chasin’ Eight tomorrow. Love the Rough Riders series and Lorelei has been writing superb books. I always am looking forward to her next book.

  13. Absolutely love both RR and Blacktop Series, and Mercy well, she’s my hero! Thanks for a great interview and more insight into your writing process. I am constantly amazed at how each and every book is unique, diverse and yet still related…keep on writing Lori!!

  14. I love all the RR books and can’t wait for CE!!!!!!! L- You do such a fantastic job of sucking me into the story, and I love each book for different reasons!!!

  15. I’m fairly new to the romance and erotic genre, but I am loving all Lorelie James’ books. Well written, great story and plot lines. My favorite series and love reading and re-reading the books. Looking forward to reading Chasin Eight. I will be taking my time reading and savoring every well written line! I know I won’t be disappointed. Never am with LJ’s books. Great interview.

  16. Claudia – it seems there are certain aspects of the books that get discussed more often than others. I’ve heard these comments:

    There’s too much sex in LONG HARD RIDE and Channing is a pushover.

    That Chassie got “gypped” in ROUGH, RAW AND READY because she has to share Trevor with Edgard.

    The opening scene in COWGIRLS DON’T CRY was unnecessary and unrealistic because “real” women wouldn’t make that mistake — which I’ve interpreted to mean that most real or normal women don’t have regrets about a sexual incident in their past.

    Where was the explicit sex in SLOW RIDE?

    I address a lot of those issues on my website in the extras section. I think these days there’s no filter on a lot of what’s out there in cyberspace, whether in a review, a blog post, etc., which is why it’s my policy not to comment on reviews — whether it’s positive or negative. I’m fortunate to get to write the books the way I want, and if my editors and publishing houses are happy after we’ve been through several rounds of edits, then I’m happy — and I hope readers are happy.

    Did that answer your question or did I go off on a tangent again?

  17. If you write a paranormal, what characters do you think you will use? Vampires, shifters, witches, demons, angels, etc? Which are your faves?

    Thank you so much for the interview and the giveaway.
    GFC: June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  18. I am so happy a friend of mine recommended this series to me or I probably would have never found it. I like erotic books but it’s hard to find one that has romance and a storyline in it, so I had stopped reading them for a while. They’re usually a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am type of book, but not Lorelei’s. I LOVE these books! Lorelei’s version of a cowboy is way better than what I pictured and there IS romance in them too! I’m just getting ready to start Keely’s book. I have been DYING to read this book, the little spit fire that she is. I have a feeling this will be my fav, but I keep hearing all about Kane and how great his book is. It’s hard to pick a favorite out of these books.

    Thank you for writing these books. I hope the series goes on for a long time.

  19. Congratulations to the best erotic western writer in the world on another new release!

  20. Great interview Lorelei!! Chasin’ Eight is another great addition to The Rough Riders, it is making Cowgirl Up And Ride share the number one spot as my all time favorite book. The Rough Riders are my favorite and Black Top Cowboys is heading right there to the top with them. I can’t wait for Wrangled and Tangled, Cowboy Casanova and Dark Mercy =) Keep em coming!!

  21. I absolutely love your books! I recently discovered them and have read all of them! I can’t wait till tomorrow! I have to say my favorite is cowgirl up and ride! Although I was suprised by just how much I loved rough raw and ready! I fell in love with trevor and edgard but I didn’t want chassie to feel left out again and I thought you handled it so well! My question for you is what character suprised you the most while you were writing?

  22. I enjoy seeing all the kids from previous McKay families we’ve seen get hooked up. My question is how do you keep all the names and ages straight among the children. Do you have a spreadsheet? LOL! Just teasin’ L!

    I’d love to see a novella of Carson and Carolyn from way back when he was a bad boy like Colt. :o)

  23. Tabatha Bishopp

    I just want to say that I absolutely love the RR series! After reading the first one, I went through the first 8 in just a few days! Branded As Trouble has to be my favorite, because both Colt and India had a lot to over come from their past. They were really fun characters and the title of the book was just perfect! Can’t wait for tomorrow to read about Chase!

  24. Lorelei, Congratulations on your upcoming new release. I can’t wait until tomorrow. As with all of your books, I will likely set my alarm for 3:00AM since that’s when the books usually pop up on my kindle. I have to start the moment I receive the download! I have enjoyed everyone of the Rough Rider series as well as the West books, the Blacktop Cowboys series and the non-series books. I think my all time favorite is still Cowgirl Up and Ride. I just loved watching the relationship between Cord and Aj develop. The ehtire story was just beautiful, especially the way Cord’s perspective changes were depicted. Thank you so much for many hours of reading enjoyment. I wish you many years of continued success and fabulous books!

  25. Nicole,

    I’m usually working several books ahead — at least thinking about them when I’m working on the current book, but I make sure I write down the premise/plot/changes/growth for each McKay character as it occurs to me, so I’ve known the stories/arcs for the remaining characters since about book 7. That said, the characters usually have a mind of their own and don’t always fall in line to what I’ve got planned for them!

  26. I love all the RR books. I cannot wait to read CE so much so that I took off tomorrow to read in peace. I love all the books, but I have to say Tied Up, Tied Down is my favorite still, we’ll see after tomorrow. I love all the McKays but so far no one has surpassed Kade for me, yet. Again we’ll see. I just finished rereading the whole series, almost done with CDC and I’ll be totally ready for CE tomorrow morning. FYI, love all your books.

    I do have a question, after all the RR books are done, and you pick up the West side of the family, which West book would you start with?

  27. I absolutely love the Rough Rider series! Having read all of them so far ,its hard to pick a favorite bbuuttt…..I love Long Hard Ride ( Colby is one HAWT cowboy) and i love me some Colt and Kane too! I cant wait for Chase’s book, he will be a fun one to get to know! I just purchased my first Lori Armstrong book – No Mercy…..on chapter 6 and it is really good!
    Thanks for giving us great books with fun, sexy, sassy and hawt charachters to read!

    P.S. – i hope you get to write many many more blacktop cowboys books! I really enjoy series books!

  28. I love all the RR and the Blacktop series but the book that I can read again and again is “Saddled and Spurred”…between the goats, bunnies, the 4-wheeler accident and the cracks me up every time I read it! I got so pulled into that book with a wide range of emotions from laughing so hard I had tears to down right anger at her sister. Normally I only read books once and that’s it but there are a few authors I can read again and again, thank you for being one of those authors!

  29. Pamela Fleites

    My favorite book is Cowgirl Up and Ride…. I just love Cord!!!!! I think Cord & AJ make a great couple even though it took him long enough to figure it out… I love all the Rough Riders Series.. Can’t wait until tomorrow for Chasin’ Eight 🙂 Lorelei, as long as you keep writing about these cowboys everyone will keep reading cause we sure can’t get enough of them.

  30. I am a BIG RR fan! I have loved them all so far. I can’t wait untill 6:30 am tuesday when I can start “Chasin Eight”! lol love my nook! My favorite of the RR book? Hmm…. I can’t pick just 1. I will go with my 2 favorites. Branded as trouble, and Rough, Raw and Ready. I do have a question as well.

    I have read both Blake and Nick Wests story. I was wondering if you are going to mix up the story lines like you did with the first 3 “West story lines (Chassie was part of the RR, Blake appeared in Branded as Trouble,and had his own story and Nick just had his own story.)?

  31. I think Long Hard Ride is my fav, of course I haven’t read a Lorelei James book I didn’t like so I can’t wait to read this latest one!

  32. Love Lori Armstrong but have yet to try Lorelei books. Guess I should start w/ the first one in the series? I have always been curious as to how an author writes the super smexy scenes. Do you work it all out in your head? Do you write it out and then see whether it works or not?

  33. I’ve got to say that my favorite thing about your books is how realistic the characters and plot is. The emotions and development–I can see that happening in real life. Please tell me you’ve got Ramona West’s book planned.

  34. June,

    If I write a paranormal, or actually finish the one I have started someday…there are no cowboys in it. I, personally, cannot suspend my disbelief for cowboy vampire books, so that is a sub-sub genre I won’t tackle.

    I read a lot of paranormal because it’s currently something I’m not writing.

  35. I LOVE your books. I’m wondering will we see more of the West side of the family? Will that be another series?

  36. Mary,

    It’s not because I’m pimping the latest book, but Chase really surprised me. The further I got into the story, the more I realized there was more story to tell and this would be my longest book. My editor was very surprised when I told her how long it was 🙂

    But my boy Chase took me on a helluva ride. After Chase, I’d have to say Kane. His hidden sweetness and helpfulness under that gruff interior melted me a little.

  37. Sharon,

    When I get back to the West series, I will probably do Ramona’s story since readers have been nagging me about it since she got into the bar fight with Keely in SHOULDA BEEN A COWBOY –

  38. Kimmy,

    Yes, there will probably be some cross over with the Wests and the McKays who’ve already had their books, because I plan for them to be occurring simultaneously with the Rough Riders series.

  39. I just put my Ken-doll on charge in preparation for Chase & Ava. Cannot wait.

    I think so far Kane is my all time favorite male character but I love India for who she was and then who she became and I want to be friends with Keely. She rocks.

    As I have mentioned many times, I think that you always give us Alpha Males, strong females and excellent sex — yeah some really excellent sex– I choose the rope.

    But one of your strongest skills is that you always teach us a life lesson in your stories.

    That is always what I remember about each book, I may not remember the title or which character is in which book but I always walk away with the lesson.


  40. Meredith,

    Oh, don’t get me started on the C and K name issue — hee hee. Yes, I do have a spreadsheet, but usually if I’m really stuck I post a question to my Yahoo group and have the answer immediately. Sometimes I feel the fans know the books better than I do!

  41. You know we all love all your cowboys..but just curious as to which book, after all said and finished do you wish you could have changed?

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