Today, I am thrilled to welcome two wonderful authors to our blog, Myla Jackson and Shayla Kersten. Their new anthology, Masters of Desire was released January 20 by Kensington Aphrodisia. Romantic Times Book Reviews give Masters of Desire 4 1/2 stars.

Myla and Shayla will try to drop by today and answer questions, but be aware that both are located in areas currently hard hit by the weather (ice storm).

CYNDI: Welcome! So glad to have you here. You three ladies are long-time friends. How did you get lucky enough to work together on this book?

MYLA: We dreamed up this project at the Dreaming in Dallas conference, with a group of authors huddled around a table in the restaurant brainstorming. We were friends wanting to do something together. We thought to pitch it to Elloras Cave or Triskelion. When we actually got around to putting the proposal together, three of us had just sold an anthology to Kensington Aphrodisia. We thought, why not pitch this idea to our editor there? So we did! This project started out as a 6-author anthology called Damned Dangerous and Delicious with the idea of the short stories being about 10K a piece. When we pitched the idea to Hilary Sares, she liked it but didn’t want 6 stories in one anthology, she wanted 2 anthologies with 3 stories of 25K in each. We divvied up the anthologies and sent our ideas back to her, she bought it and voila! The first anthology came out as Damned, Delicious and Dangers. The second one was renamed to Masters of Desire.

SHAYLA: Myla pretty much covered the how but I want to add a little note about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people! This was the 2006 DARA conference. I was a total newbie stumbling around the conference in awe and confusion. I had written and submitted exactly one story. Before that all I’d written was fanfiction. We’re sitting around the table in the bar. The four published writers start brainstorming about a multi-author paranormal anthology. I’m just sitting there absorbing information. Then Delilah Devlin asks me what kind of creature would be in my story. Ack! I tossed out a succubus. Next thing I know, we’ve sold the anthology to Kensington and now I have to write a story about a succubus! I was shocked and amazed that my first sale was to a NY publisher. Right place, right time, right friends.

CYNDI: Wow. How fun to work with friends on a project. Are your novellas linked, like sharing characters or situations?

SHAYLA – No. Each of out stories are stand alone.

MYLA – All the stories are paranormals and have strong heroes and heroines, so they share those traits.

CYNDI: When you were working on the novellas, did you brainstorm together or critique for each other?

MYLA: Yes, we did do some brainstorming on the plots.

SHAYLA: We also set up a Yahoo loop for the group to make communication easier. And yes, we did critique each other.

CYNDI: Tell us a little about your novella.

MYLA: Pirate of Mystique Island

When Lord Rafe Herrington, governor of Mystique Island , attempts to push the shaman off her plot of land overlooking Siren Cove, he oversteps his bounds. The shaman curses him to spend equal time as man and beast with half his day in the water as a giant sea serpent and the other half as a man. Chased off his island by his own people and the native Caribs, he’s banished to a life at sea as a pirate. Determined to permanently return to his natural human form and regain his life and position on Mystique Island, Rafe is convinced his only way to break the spell is to kill the shaman.

Born of a human father and a mermaid mother, Melody is spellbound by birth to be half human and half mermaid. Her greatest wish is to return to the sea as a mermaid forever. The Mystique Island shaman is working on a spell to grant her wish, but Melody must use her skills as a siren to protect Mystique’s special cove and its secret from those who would attack and claim it as their own.

SHAYLA: Keket’s Curse

Given as a handmaiden to the ancient temple of Goddess Hathor , Jamila's body and beauty mesmerize all men. Cursed by a jealous priestess, she can never be truly satisfied--until centuries later, still young, still beautiful, she is saved by David. His kiss explodes her bonds--and sexual ecstasy is next...

CYNDI: Many of our regular readers are usually interested in how individual authors approach writing. Do you plot or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

MYLA: In the past I’ve been one to make a very detailed spreadsheet I call plotlines that lists by chapter and subplot, what will happen throughout the story. I did it for this book as well. Lately, I write a detailed synopsis and pants it. When I get in trouble, I go back to my plotlines and fill it in.

SHAYLA: I’m a pantser. Actually I really shouldn’t say that. I tend to write a synopsis with the high points of the plot then I pants the in between.

CYNDI: Do either of you have any writing quirks? Certain food? Clothes? Rituals?

MYLA: No major quirks. I do like uninterrupted quiet, no music and my family out of my office! I have to have a Diet Dr. Pepper close at hand for my caffeine fix.

SHAYLA: I have to have tons of coffee available. Since I work from home, I’m beginning to be superstitious about my bathrobe. Seems I think better in it! J

CYNDI: Yeah, I like the bathrobe look myself! A couple of more questions and then I’ll open the floor to questions and comments. Both of you are published with Kensington and Ellora’s Cave. If you could no longer publish with eiter of them, who would your dream publisher be? Why?

MYLA: I’d like to publish with a publisher who takes a real interest in my writing and wants me to be successful beyond the first book of mine that they publish, whoever that publisher is.

SHAYLA: Well, I’ve started tossing about ideas for a mainstream scifi series—of course there’ll be romance—so I’d have to say Tor or Del Rey since they are big in scifi.

CYNDI: What are your next projects?

MYLA: My next Kensington Aphrodisia project is for the Men in Blue Anthology and my novella is titled: Saturday Night Special. It’s about a Honolulu cop going undercover in a strip joint to capture the Black Widow killer. I had fun researching Honolulu for this one and my cop is soooo yummy!

CYNDI: That sounds wonderful. A research trip to Honolulu, huh? Color me green with jealousy. Shayla?

SHAYLA: I have a couple of gay romances at coming out with Ellora’s Cave. Positive Possibilities, releases on February 4th and Hidden Hands releases on April 3. On April 14, the the Black Lace anthology, Seduction, is released in the US with my short story, The Shopping List.

You ladies have really been busy! Thanks for your time.

You can visit Myla at her website:

Or Shayla at her website:

We’re giving away a signed copy of MASTERS OF DESIRE to one lucky commenter. Good luck.

MASTERS of DESIRE is now available at all the usual outlets, or CLICK HERE to go to the Kensington website.

Until Next Time




  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // January 30, 2009 at 12:58 AM  

    Great interview! Enjoyed it very much.


  2. Mona Risk // January 30, 2009 at 7:43 AM  

    Welcome the PFS Myla and Shayla. I enjoyed reading you interview. Being at the right place at the right time is how I sold too at the FRW conference.

  3. Mona Risk // January 30, 2009 at 7:44 AM  

    Ops, should read. Welcome to PFS.

  4. magolla // January 30, 2009 at 8:43 AM  

    It's been awhile since I read anything spicy. I need a little spicy. . .
    Great interview, Cyndi!

  5. Shayla Kersten // January 30, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

    Thank you, Scarlet! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Thank you, Mona. I still count my blessing I went to DARA that year!

    Hi, Magolla! Our book is definitely spicy!

  6. Myla Jackson // January 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

    Hi all! Glad you're enjoying the interview. The book is definitely spicy and fun and full of ACTION!!!! Just one note, my corner of Arkansas was hit by an ice storm on Tuesday and my internet service that hosts my website is down! Hope you'll come back to visit my website another time because it's full of fun excerpts! Have a happy, WARM day!

  7. Diana Cosby // January 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM  

    I enjoyed the interview. :) The Masters of Desire anthology sounds fabulous! Can't wait to read the stories!

    Diana Cosby
    His Captive/Alexander MacGruder
    His Woman/Duncan MacGruder - 4 star Romantic Times review
    Title TBA/Seathan MacGruder - Date TBA
    Title TBA/Patrik [Cleary] MacGruder - Date TBA

  8. Arkansas Cyndi // January 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

    Thanks everyone for dropping by!

    I'm heading out to do the laundry (laundromat - I'm telling you, you can find your next weird characters there!)

    I'll be back in a couple of hours

  9. jj Keller // January 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

    I always enjoy your posts! Excellent interview.

  10. Edie // January 30, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

    Great interview! The novellas sound hot, and it was interesting reading about how Shayla became part of the anthologies. Thanks for sharing, ladies!

  11. Mary Marvella // January 30, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

    Great interview Cyndi, Myla, and Shayla. My sympathies on the ice storm. I love the idea of an anthology written by friends.

    2 of my CPs will see this and wonder why we didn't finish ours.

    Thanks for spending time with us and tons of hot sales to you!
    Mama Mary

  12. Shada_Royce // January 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

    Hey Shayla and Myla - can I just say I LOVE M of D! WOW...what a wonderful collection of stories filled with sexy action and desire...sigh. And yes, the cover makes a nice nightstand addition - LOL!

  13. Cyrano // January 30, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

    Myla, Shayla,
    Great interview, very inciteful.
    I sure hope one day I can be in the right place at the right time too!
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    Ladies, have a great weekend,

  14. Mary Ricksen // January 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

    Wonderful interview by some very talented authors. This book is right up my alley.
    And the next conference I manage to make, I'm lookin' for your table!
    Great stuff ladies, thanks to you and our own Cyndi for getting you to blog!
    Oh, and stay warm and safe!!

  15. Pamela Varnado // January 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

    Thanks to sharing your insight with the PFS writers. Your stories sound very intriquing. I love a good pararnormal and when you top it off with lots of yummy sex, it's better than chocolate.

  16. Nancy // January 31, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

    Cyndi, another terrific interview!

    Shayla and Myla, I love that the anthologies were born at a conference (and I'm partial to DARA's Dreamin' in Dallas conf. :))

    Congratulations on these and all your sales, and a toast to many more!

    Nancy Haddock