The Making of a Book

17 Apr

(It is our pleasure to present a guest blogger today…the super-talented Desiree Holt!)

 Downstroke, the story of an anguished love and its chance to mature, is my 100th release. And it’s appropriate that for a milestone like this the book should be one that came straight from my heart.

I didn’t begin it as I do many of my stories, with a kernel of an idea or a character who wouldn’t get out of my head. Or in the case of one book, one line of dialogue. To tell you about the birth of the book I have to explain that in a life that’s been fortunately varied and exciting I spent ten years in the music industry, as a booking agent and a manager. The music has changed and technology has altered many things in the industry. But one thing hasn’t changed at all—the excitement of a performance and the magic that an electrifying performance brings.

Driving into town one day I happened to pull an old cassette out of the console in my truck (yes, I know, cassette—LOL! That’s how long ago I was in the business!). It was the recording of a concert with a major headliner that one of my bands opened for. As I listened to the music I was transported back to that night in the open air amphitheater, the crowd stirring restlessly as it waited for the concert to begin, the notes of the band tuning up behind the curtain. The anticipation that something magic was about to happen.

Except for one story I hadn’t really drawn on those years of experience in my writing but now ideas began dancing around in my mind. I wanted people to know what it was like in the industry, to share the excitement I’d felt so many times over those years. I’d have a hero—Dallas Creed—and a heroine (ultimately named Charley) and against a backdrop of the music business and the tension of a stalking killer I’d tell their story.

When I walked into my appointment that day I came face to face with the man who would become the inspiration for Dallas Creed…lean and muscular, mid forties, blond with streaks of grey in his hair. Smoky eyes filled with wisdom and anguish. I couldn’t wait to get home and get started.

As I listened to the music again on the way back the title popped into my head—Downstroke. The word refers to the motion of the hand from the top string to the bottom on a guitar. And in my book it would also refer to the rise of my hero, his fall to the bottom and his rise again. I could feel him in my heart, a man who’d thrown away a chance at happiness for the glitter of fame and success, who’d nearly died because of it and now was back on top again but with an emotional emptiness he couldn’t fill.

And then back into his life comes Charley, the woman he’s always loved. She’s now a top-notch security agent with a successful business but also a void in her life. Twenty years of bitterness lies between them when she’s hired by his brother to find the killer stalking him.

Downstroke is a romantic suspense novel and a story of an exciting industry. But most of all it’s a love story of two people in mid-life who have a chance to recapture what they threw away.  Writing Downstroke was my reward to myself for all the time I’d spent learning my craft, earning my stripes, however you want to define it.

I hope you will love it as much as I do.

Desiree Holt is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the ages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit, and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”

 You can find her at and

Blurb and Excerpt of Downstroke:


 It’s been twenty years since Charley Roper and Dallas Creed parted with great bitterness. In that time she’s made a career for herself with the FBI and private security and he’s been a country rock music icon…tumbled to the bottom and risen again. Now someone’s trying to kill him and Morgan Creed wants Charley to protect his brother and find out who’s after him.

When they meet again after all this time it’s obvious the chemistry is still there, stronger than ever. They’re older but are they wiser? Caught up in the bitter wash of memories and the tension of a killer in stalking mode, Charley and Dallas begin a roller coaster ride that is emotionally erotic and suspenseful.  Is their love strong enough after twenty years to pull them back together?


 The night had a magical quality to it, a perfect Texas night with stars blinking against a black velvet sky. A very soft breeze stirred the air, chasing away the last heat of the day. The sense of expectancy in the outdoor concert facility was nearly palpable. Anticipation fairly zapped through the air like bolts of energy. I could even feel it myself, the kind of feeling you got on Christmas morning when you ran downstairs, or when you were right on the brink of the most outstanding orgasm you’d ever had. Seventy-five hundred people moved restlessly in their seats in front of me. An almost equal amount were spread out on the rise of the hill behind me, drinking and staring at the stage with binoculars, even though at the moment there was nothing to see. They were all waiting for the same thing.

The curtain was drawn across the stage, heightening the edge of expectancy. Especially for me, much as I hated to admit it. What was behind there? What was his band like now after they’d tasted success once and were back on top with him again?

I could feel the energy sizzling through the crowd. Well, why not? If nothing else, Dallas Creed had always had an electric presence. Add in the staging, his suck-my-tongue voice and the electricity of his music and you had a knockout winner.

The soft notes of a viola floated in the air from behind the curtain, joined immediately by violins, and I wondered what the hell? Violins? Then I realized it was a synthesizer. And obviously a damn good musician coaxing music from it. The sound that mimicked violins seemed to hold the audience in thrall, as if they were expectantly awaiting a grand moment. The music built and built as the magician behind the synthesizer added the full-throated sounds of woodwinds and the rich tones and powerful chords of an organ, swelling to a crescendo. The last note held and held and held, flowing out into the crowd, pulling at us as if to say, Wait for it, it’s coming.

Then I heard the familiar first downstroke of the rhythm guitars as they began the intro to the first song. The curtain drew back slowly to reveal the band onstage, the bass guitar and keyboards now adding their voices, the drums accenting them with a syncopated beat.

All sound ended abruptly and the crowd stilled for a breathless moment. The band launched into a rich intro to one of Dallas’ hits, an upbeat tune called Cowboys Get It Right, a song I realized the synthesizer had laid the foundation for. The spotlight came up and the man himself jogged onto the stage.

To my dismay, my traitorous heart tripped at the sight of him and an emotion I refused to name clogged my throat. Dallas Creed was definitely a lot older, forty-three to the twenty-three he’d been the last time I saw him in person. Newspaper photos had kept me up with his aging process, but no picture could do justice to the energy still radiating from this man. The energy that had drawn me to him in the first place.

And damn it. I still wanted him as badly as I had years ago. Wanted his hands on me, stroking my body. His mouth on my breasts, sucking them and nipping them the way he used to, the way that drove me so wild. His cock inside me, thrusting in and out with slow, powerful strokes, coaxing me from one orgasm to the next.

Hell and damnation.

16 Responses to “The Making of a Book”

  1. shannonemmel April 17, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Whoohooo! Welcome to our blog, Desriee!

    If “Downstroke” wasn’t already printed out and in my bag for today’s “beach reading”, it sure would be after reading your blog and the experpt!

    How exciting! Congrats again on your 100th release.

    Now…I’m off to the beach!

  2. Kaily Hart April 17, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Welcome, Desiree! So awesome to have you here today. Congrats again on your 100th release. You’re my hero 🙂

  3. desiree01holt April 17, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Ladies, thanks so much for having me here today. Love this blog. you guys rock. ANd Kaily, we must have a d rink together at RomantiCon.

    • Kaily Hart April 17, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      I would LOVE that, Desiree!!

  4. Desere April 17, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Wow thank you so much Desiree now I know so much more of what goes on in your brilliant mind !

  5. Debbi F. April 17, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Hi Again Desiree!! Followed you over here and again wanted to say congratulations on 100 books and counting. Can’t wait to read Down Stroke

  6. desiree01holt April 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi Desere and Debbie! Glad to see both of you today. You’re really making this blog tour a lot of fun. And Kaily? you’re on for the drink.

  7. Desere April 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Your the one that has made it fun for us !

  8. Toni April 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Congrats on the big 100!!! How exciting to get this far. I’m actually really excited, because I posted on another site, how fun it would be if the security agent was the heroine…AND IT IS!!! I really like that they are a bit older. While I’m not ancient, it is nice to read stories that are more with my age group and nothing can beat second chances.

    BTW – I would love to know which titles you have won awards on, as noted in the blog.

  9. desiree01holt April 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi Toni,
    Rodeo Heat received The Romance Studio CAPA Award for Best NBDSM book and received a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. Do You Trust Me was an RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice finalist, received a Holt medallion AWard of Merit and was an EPIC finalist. Trouble in Cowboy Boots received The Romance Studio CAPA Award for Best BDSM book. I’ve done a lot of research into the lifestyle and find the relationships emotionally deep and complex.

    And oh, yes, Charley in Downstroke is definitely the woman with the gun!

  10. Marilyn Campbell April 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Desiree, thank you so much for visiting us today! It was an honor.

  11. Venus April 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Sounds like another great one!

  12. Nara April 17, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Hi Desiree! Congrats on the 100th release and thanks for sharing it here with us on the blog. I can’t wait to read it.

  13. desiree01holt April 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    It was my very great pleasure. And the winner today of her choice from my backlist is…Venus! Please email me at with winner in the subject line. Just choose a book from my backlist and it will be on its way to you.
    And Marilyn, huge, huge thanks to you and the other ladies of Passionate Reads for hosting me today. It was great.

  14. Lauren Fraser April 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Welcome,Desiree, it’s fantastic to have you here today.

    100 books. Wow! That’s impressive. Congrats on reaching this huge milestone.

  15. Toni April 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Way to go Venus!!! It would be so hard to choose from.

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