Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fan Letter To Shayla Kersten

Today it’s my turn to let my inner fan girl scream, as part of the amazing Fan Letter Blog Crawl that Kassa started.

Yesterday E.H. from E.H. on Books ‘N More did two letters - one to Ms. LaVyrle Spencer and one to Ms. Jourdan Lane. Tomorrow Orannia (from the wonderful Walkabout blog) will write her fan letter. So, don’t forget to check that out!

The blog crawl is a great way to let authors known how much we appreciate them and how important they are to us bloggers and readers. I’m happy to be part of this celebration of authors who’ve touched us and enjoyed us with their wonderful books. For me, one of those authors is Shayla Kersten. So, here’s my letter to her:

Dear Ms. Shayla Kersten,

When I first started reading M/M romance novels late last summer, short after I discovered the joy of reading romances in general, one of the gay love stories I picked up was your novel A Helping Hand. It was a rather random purchase, mainly inspired by the backblurb and cover, at one of the first ebook seller’s sites I dared to visit and trust with my credit card information, after days of hesitating and wondering if this so called Ellora’s Cave publisher would be legit. So, on more than one front it was a bold venture, but boy, am I glad I took the risk.
I not only met these deliciously hot cops Rich and Dan, I also read one of the best Gay For You themed romances as of today. I instantly recognized it as one of my favorite themes in gay romance, together with the Friends Become Lovers theme which was also there. The emotional and sexual tension between these two friends was keeping me at the edge of my seat and making me hold my breath until they finally found their HEA.

I loved how you wrote it all down, how you made me fall in love with these guys, how you let me feel what they felt, how you left me all hot and bothered after each sexy scene and how you kept me so invested that I really didn’t want to finish the book although I desperately wanted Rich’s and Dan’s happy ending.
You can imagine how happy I was to discover your pretty decent backlist. Off I went and bought several more of your books. After reading a few others I declared myself a fan of your work and added you to my auto-buy list. Or actually, I didn’t have one yet, but instantly started one then, with you as the first author on it.

Since then, I’ve read many of your books. And I have quite some favorites among them: besides A Helping Hand, there are for example Forever, Hidden Force and Past Lies.
It doesn’t matter if your heroes are cops (the Tennessee cops series), a Dom or sub (From Thirty Days to Forever series), an attorney or paramedic (Positive Possibilities), a tattooed cake baker (Icing on the Cake), a mayor or self-made millionaire (Past Lies), an archaeologist or time-traveler (For Olympus’ Sake), or a vampire (Eternity series), they all are easy to fall in love with because of the way you make them come alive and three-dimensional. The diversity of your characters never gets boring and they all have one thing in common: they’re sexy as hell!

Your writing has a lot of other qualities I love. Somehow you manage to make it easy to picture a scene with just a few well-placed words, I never go ‘wait, where did he place his leg/arm/etc.’ and have to go back to look it up. I just don’t get confused and it all makes sense, which is a writing quality I appreciate much. Another one is the slightly hidden but still present touches of humor in your books. It’s mostly in the way your heroes interact with each other, no matter how intense their relationships can get there’s always a light moment or two. Yet another quality is how you know how to explore every romantic relationship you write about, to its full potential. For example, I loved how you took Randy and Paul (from Past Lies) not only out of the closet (making them feel like teenagers again) but into some bondage and kinky play as well.

I could go on and on about how much I love your work, your heroes, their relationships and your writing. Just know that although I’m not much of a rereader I would definitely reread your books. The chance is getting bigger since I only have a few of your books left on my TBR shelf… No surprise that I’m yearning for your future novels. I especially can’t wait for the fourth Tennessee cops book!

So, here’s to many more of your wonderful books and thank you so much for the ones you’ve already written!


Shayla Kersten's blog
Shayla Kersten's books at Ellora's Cave


  1. HUGZZ!!!!

    Janna, you definitely know how to make a morning worth gettin' up for! LOL

    I awakened at five for the evil day job. Blurry eyed, slurping a too hot cuppa coffee, I pop onto Twitter and the first tweet I see is this...

    ErotRomReader New Blog Post: Fan Letter To Shayla Kersten: http://bit.ly/dt7Kcp

    I mean, literally first tweet. What are the odds on that? And I click through to this wonderful letter. *sniffle*

    Like a lot of writers, I have a fragile ego when it comes to my stories. Reviews can be both blessing and bane. Yours have always given me a jolt of joy. But this...


    I hope your day is as wonderful as you've made mine!

  2. Great letter Janna. I have read 30 Day and Forever and I just read Icing on the Cake which I enjoyed. I should look up more of her other stories because they were good reads.

    It's amazing how our early books in a genre can sometimes be make or break. Seems like you got lucky to pick an author who resonated with you.

  3. Fabulous letter, Janna.

    I've read many of Ms Kersten's books and enjoyed them a lot. Great job pointing out what made her books special for you.

  4. Awww Janna, what an awesome letter honey!!! And to see the author is the first commenter and what she said.... just gave me the sniffals!!!
    This was awesome!!!!!

    I am loving this author crawl!!!

    Hope you are feeling better my dear friend!

  5. Wonderful heartfelt letter!! Loved it. And, an author I will definitely check out!

  6. Oh, I remember the first review I read on your blog Janna, it was one of Shayla Kersten, I believe it was indeed the one of A Helping Hand and I knew I had to put it on my TBB list. The love you have for this author and her books is evident from your fan letter hon and I enjoyed reading it!!

    I hope that in the mean time you're getting a bit better health wise (((hugs)))

  7. What a great letter, Janna! SK was one of my early purchases, too, for the same reason (well, this Ellora's Cave place seems like it's legit...) and A Helping Hand was one of my early m/m romances! It definitely gave me the gfy love. I haven't read the D/s books, but they're on my reader now.

  8. @Shayla Kersten: Wow! That's some coincidence! :D
    I'm glad you like my letter and I'm happy that you came over to my place and left a comment. That certainly made my day! *hugs*

    @Tam: Thanks! :) I think you'll like the ones I mentioned as my favorites as well. Two of them are from the Tennessee cops series.
    You're right that I was lucky to pick an author who resonated with me in my early days of discovering this genre! :)

    @Lily: Thanks, hon! I know, you and I have pretty much similar taste re our m/m smut! ;)

  9. @Cecile: LOL, you're absolutely right! I'm loving this crawl as much as you do, hon! Thanks! I'm feeling much better now. :D

    @Blodeuedd: Thanks, sweetie! :)

    @FV: Thank you, I think you'll like her books, so when you have the time, definitely try one. :D

  10. @Leontine: Ah, you saw that review *g*. It was one of my very first ones, back when I didn't have readers or commenters yet, lol! A Helping Hand is a great first book to try from this author, so what are you waiting for? ;)
    I'm feeling much better, hon. I'll be back on my feet just in time for the warmer and sunnier weather, I think. :)

    @Chris: That's so great we have that in common! :) Only, I guess, you're a few years ahead of me with the early purchases ;) Btw I remember we emailed about this book in one of our very first email exchanges. The D/s books are pretty intense, but I think you'll like them.

  11. Years? Hon, that was last August for me. :)

  12. @Chris: No?! Really? You seem so much more experienced, lol! :)
    But now I remember you've told me this before, *blush* case of bad memory.

  13. Really lovely letter!!

    *adds another author to tbb* :)

  14. Great job Janna! Loved your author fan letter.



  15. What a great letter! I think you've converted more than a few new readers to the greatness of this author :) I love to read why books and authors touch readers so intimately. Very lovely...

    Thanks for participating and helping to wrap up the end few crawls on such a strong leg!

  16. Terrific letter, Janna. Like others, I also remember how Shayla Kersten was one of the first reviews of an m/m book that you did and how much you've admire her works since. That's great.

  17. Wonderful letter, you've definitely got me headed over to check out her books!

  18. Ahh Janna..

    What a great letter - I have read one or two of those book, but must catch up on the other soon..

    re-read - greatest honour..


  19. Janna - that is one fantastic letter. Shayla Kersten is a new-to-me author, but after reading your letter she sounds like an author I'd like to try. Any suggestions on where to start please?

    Oh, and I think I'm scheduled to post a letter after Bridget, but I'm not sure of the exact date. Do you know where I should look please? (I haven't written my letter yes, so am worried I need to...get a move on :)

  20. Wonderful letter Janna! I actually read "Helping Hand" and LOVED it. So I think I need to get Shayla's backlist.

    Orannia, the schedule says you post your letter 6/3 :) (Btw, start with Helping Hand!)

  21. @Mandi: Thanks and I'm sure you'll like most of her books. :)

    @MsM: Thanks so much, hon! =)

    @Kassa: Your words mean a lot to me! :) Thank you for this wonderful idea, Kassa! I'm sorry it has almost come to an end. :)

    @Kris: You do remember that? So, you were one of my early stalkers then. ;)

    @Patti: That's a good thing! You won't regret it. :D

    @EH: Thankies! :) Yep, it definitely is since I hardly ever re-read a book!

    @Orannia: I would start with A Helping Hand, just like I did ~ and Stacy agrees with that :)
    Oh, you better start writing, you're up June 3!

    @Stacy: Yay, for loving A Helping Hand!! You'll love her other books as well! :D

  22. Great letter Janna! Although I've only read Icing on the Cake I really enjoyed it and will definitely be reading more of her books.

  23. @Tracy: Icing on the Cake was very good, but I think you even like her longer stories better! :)

  24. Janna/Stacy - thank you! YIKES! I thought it was 6/6 - that will teach me to look more closely! And I've started....

    A Helping Hand - on the TBR list. Thank you!

  25. Hi Janna:

    Another new to me author. Lovely letter, heartfelt and complimentary. Sorry to be so long in commenting, I was off line all last week.

    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful letter with us!



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