What's New?
This month, we celebrate the release of Santa's Naughty Helper, the first book in the Lawyers in Love series. The series will consist of three books: Santa's Naughty Helper, Fortune's Slings and Cupid's Arrows, and Heart of Glass. The first and third book are set at Christmas while the second book features a Valentine's Day celebration. 

Shy lawyer Kevin Anderson is presented with an unexpected opportunity when he draws hunky litigator Erik Wilson’s name for their office’s secret holiday gift exchange. Kevin has pined for his friend for a long time, but he fears ruining their working relationship if Erik doesn’t return his feelings. The anonymity of the exchange gives him the chance to let Erik know someone is interested, so Kevin turns the gift into a game: twelve days of presents, each more suggestive, culminating with a Christmas Eve meeting—if Kevin finds the courage to see it through! 

Erik is intrigued by his secret Santa, who has given him something to look forward to during the holidays for the first time in years. But as Christmas approaches, he realizes he doesn’t want a mystery man; he wants his best friend, Kevin. When his attempts to instigate something with Kevin fail, Erik accepts the dinner invitation of his secret admirer. Little does he suspect that Santa’s naughty little helper might be just the man to make all his Christmas dreams come true in a holiday friends-to-lovers romance that progresses from sweet to spicy for two sexy lawyers.

Santa's Naughty Helper is available from Dreamspinner Press on July 5!

In other news, Breaking Bonds is available as an audiobook! You can find it on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes
Behind the Scenes
Fun fact: The Lawyers in Love series is one of the (very) few books we've written that is set outside of the South. At least one of the main characters in each book works at Caldwell and Monroe, a fictional law firm in New York City. That's the farthest north we've ever gone -- fictionally, at least!

In Santa's Naughty Helper, Kevin gives Erik a series of gifts leading up to Christmas Eve. We originally planned to base the gifts on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," but we had to abandon that idea because deciding on gifts that fit the song and that helped move the plot and romance forward didn't work out. Once we gave ourselves the freedom to choose whatever gifts worked best, the story started rolling along nicely. 

It's been a while since we wrote this book, so I asked Ari to help jog my memory for some behind the scenes info. She remembers that we were still using a familiar relationship dynamic that we were familiar with from our fanfiction collaborations: one of the leads is outgoing and one is more reserved. 

Neither of us can remember why we chose to make Kevin and Erik lawyers, but Ari says the holiday party decorations were based on her memory of ice sculptures and champagne fountains from parties at the country club where she worked when she was in high school. 

I chose to spell Erik's name with a K instead of a C because of the Phantom of the Opera. I was a huge fan of the musical when it came out in the late 1980s, and while I didn't get to see it on Broadway, I did get to see a touring production in the early 1990s. The musical led me to read Leroux's novel and as many spinoffs as I could find. My favorite was Susan Kay's novel, Phantom

Erik receives a box of Godiva chocolates because Godiva is one of our mutual favorite brands. 
Coming Up
August 1 — Out of the Ashes will be released by Dreamspinner Press. This is book one of our new Asheville Arcana series that will be published as part Dreamspinner's Dreamspun Beyond line. We have two more books planned for the series. 

November 8 — The second edition of Fortune's Slings and Cupid's Arrows will be released by Dreamspinner Press! This is the second book in the Lawyers in Love series. It's been heavily revised from the first edition. I'll talk more about that in a future newsletter!
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I think Herc's Mercs: Where Angels Fear to Tread is the closest Ari and I have gotten to writing BDSM, but I love reading it. The theme of wanting a place to belong combined with the idea of found family is one of my hot buttons as a reader, and in Secured and Free, by Z. Allora, all three of the main characters want a sense of belonging and acceptance, and they're each wounded in some way. They made me ache for them, and I loved it. 

If you like BDSM and hot threesomes, you'll enjoy Secured and Free, which is book two in Z. Allora's Entwined Dreams series. 

Secured and Free is available from Dreamspinner Press!
Copyright © 2017 Ari McKay, All rights reserved.

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