Calista Fox reveals her Object of Desire

We're thrilled to have as our guest today Calista Fox!

Award-winning author Calista Fox (aka Ava McKnight) began her professional fiction-writing career in 2004, following an exciting career in PR, where she specialized in writing speeches and Congressional testimonies. Her books have received rave reviews and have won contests, and she is also the recipient of Romance Reviews Today’s Best eBook of 2008 for its category and a Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Sci-Fi Erotic Novella in 2006.

Nicole: Thanks for being here with us, Calista. Please tell us about Object of Desire. (Your cover is beautiful!) And do you have a review you could share with us?

Calista Fox: It’s always so much fun to be here! Thanks for having me again! ;-) I’m very excited about my single title release from Red Sage Publishing for a number of reasons. First, it’s only the second single title to be released in print by Red Sage—the first being Angela Knight’s The Forever Kiss, of course! Object of Desire is an action-packed spy/treasure-hunting novel, so it was great fun to write. I spent quite a bit of time dreaming up narrow escapes for the hero and heroine, but the characters also sparked easily because of their strong, sexy personalities, so developing their hot-and-heavy romance was also exciting.

Here’s a little about the book:

When treasure hunter and spy Laurel Blackwood raids Victoria Peak in Belize to recover a rare Mexican fire opal rumored to evoke dark desires and passions, she unwittingly sets off a sequence of dangerous events—and finds herself in the midst of a battle between good and evil… and lust and love. Laurel must keep the opal from falling into the hands of a deadly terrorist cell, a greedy Belizean dignitary, and one particularly hot and scandalous treasure hunter named Devon Mallory.

For ten years, Devon has had his eye on the $30 million prized opal and his heart set on winning Laurel for keeps. But her web of secrecy and now her betrayal over recovering the legendary stone without him has Devon hell-bent on stealing the opal from her and collecting on the massive payout. But Devon will have to make a choice soon, and decide which gem is his true object of desire...

The reviews have been great so far! The cover was featured in the July RomanticTimes Bookreviews erotic romance reviews section, and RT had this to say about Object of Desire:
“Bombings, kidnappings and hot, hot sex fill the pages of this engaging story. Not only are the alpha hero and heroine strong, they have intriguing flaws too.” ~ Donna

I’m really excited about RT’s review, but am also ecstatic over the 5 Blue Ribbons Romance Junkies gave the book:

“OBJECT OF DESIRE was a very good book! The plot was fast paced, the adventure was thrilling, and the espionage angle added a whole new edge to the book. The developing relationship between Devon and Laurel was fun to watch, and the romance between them was intense! I especially liked Laurel's character, because she was an independent female who didn't need any man to take care of her. She could do it on her own, so get out of her way. Devon made a very good foil for her, because he was there if she needed him, but he was man enough to step back and let her take care of her business. I loved it!” ~ Noelle

NN: I can't wait to read this book! Please tell us more about the hero of this story.

CF: I don’t like to play favorites with my heroes—I love them all!—but there is something incredibly sexy and charismatic about Devon Mallory that has stuck with me long after I typed “The End.” He’s a modern-day Han Solo. Cocky, dangerous and a bit of a reluctant hero. He’s a strong alpha male who doesn’t like to lose, and who sometimes has wayward intentions. But when he teams up with the right woman, he’ll move heaven and earth to keep her safe while they both reach for the brass ring.

NN: He sounds like my kind of hero! Please tell us more about the heroine of this story.

CF: The verve and skill of Lara Croft, the cunning of Ethan Hunt, the panache of James Bond… Laurel Blackwood jumped off the pages and ran away with the story while I was writing it! She’s a larger-than-life character who pulls over-the-top stunts, all in a day’s work. I loved that RT Bookreviews identified her as an alpha in the story, in addition to Dev, because she truly is a kick-ass heroine who let’s nothing stand in her way—not even the hunky hero!

NN: I love a strong heroine. One of your reviews mentions "intriguing flaws" that your characters have. Could you talk more about that?

CF: I love characters with unexpected quirks, and these two have their fair share! Among them, I’d have to say that Devon was fun to write because, although he’s a very strong-willed, skillful hero, he’s more of a lover than a fighter. Carries a gun, but couldn’t hit the broadside of a palapa. In fact, I think he only gets one shot off early in the book and then Laurel takes over! Plus, his greed wars with his conscience and that creates some strife in his life. As for Laurel, she’s a smart cookie, but her judgment is sometimes skewed where Dev is concerned. She’s also in massive denial over her true feelings for him.

NN: Those sound like wonderful quirks. How did you balance the sensual/erotic elements of this story with the suspense elements?

CF: It wasn’t easy! In fact, I wrote an article for Red Sage’s June newsletter that touched on blending suspense action with sex action! It really was more difficult than I’d imagined because Laurel and Dev were always being shot at or having to execute daring escapes… I wondered sometimes how I was going to get them together with all the explosions and shoot-outs and deadly situations. But these are two characters who have a natural spark to them, and as the story started to develop, the opportunities to strengthen their bond and give them a few moments of, um, unadulterated pleasure, just seemed to present themselves at the right time!

Plus, there’s a mystical fire opal that helps to draw out their deepest, darkest desires… Resistance is futile!

NN: What is it like having a ST release from Red Sage?

CF: Very exciting!! LOL I’m totally giddy over the whole thing! I’m a huge fan of Red Sage—in fact, I just signed my 11th or 12th contract with them. I’ve also been in awe of Angela Knight since reading Candidate for a Kiss in Secrets Volume 6. By the time I’d discovered the Secrets volumes, Angela’s single title was already on bookshelves. I had just started writing fiction, had just sold my first novella to Red Sage, and I told my friends I wanted my very first single title to be published by Red Sage. So this really is a dream come true.

And, as always, they gave me gorgeous cover!

NN: Absolutely! Congratulations on your latest contracts! You have a lot of novellas published. How was writing, editing and promoting this full length novel different for you?

CF: Writing the book was as close as I’ll ever come to giving birth! I’ll be honest, there were some very painful moments for me because I’m used to novellas and can crank one out over a long holiday weekend. It took so much longer to write Object! There were times when, after every page I wrote, I was checking the word count. Ugh—65,000… Ugh—65,250… Ugh—65,500… Will I ever finish??! I kept thinking, “Who would torture themselves with a full-length novel?” It was certainly a labor of love, but in the end, I was thrilled to have made it through all 300+ pages!

As for editing the book, I’m a diligent self-editor, so I fine-tooth-combed the manuscript before sending it in, and then made another pass before my editor started to work on it. A little distance can be helpful, and about three months had passed before she started her edits so I went through the manuscript again and made a few revisions that had been lingering in mind since handing it over. This resulted in her edits being extremely minimal. I can think of maybe three lines of dialogue that we moved around, and I kept asking her, “Are you sure that’s it?!” Our copy editor was wonderful, too!

Now for promoting… I think I’ve been promoting the book since I contracted it two years ago! I started with the base marketing plan I use for my novellas, then built upon the plan to try to reach a much larger audience. Needless to say, I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the book, which is now anticipated to be July 15 when I’m at the RWA National Convention—perfect timing!

NN: It will have been worth the wait! Thanks so much for being our guest! :) I've enjoyed it!

CF: Thanks again for having me! And don’t forget to visit my website at for some great contests. And if you leave a comment on the Fierce Romance blog, you’ll be entered to win an autographed copy of Secrets Volume 26, featuring the third story in my Rendezvous trilogy, Secret Rendezvous!
NN: Wow that's a fantastic prize!! Leave comments, everyone, for a chance to win!
To purchase Object of Desire visit:


Miriam Newman said...

Great cover! Best of luck with the book.

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Sounds like a winner. Will you be signing the book in DC? (Just in case some other lucky stiff wins it.)


I love the cover! It looks like he loves her, adores her, not just lusts after her like so many covers.

Carly Carson said...

Yes, what Kelly said.

Good luck with the release. I bet it will sell like gangbusters!


jrobe10689 said...

I am such a geek. If the hero is like a modern day Han Solo, you have me sold!

Chris R

Carol Ericson said...

Sounds like a great story with fantastic characters - gotta love those cocky heroes!

Calista Fox, Author said...

Good morning, all!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I, too, love the cover of OBJECT--for the reason Kelly pointed out and because it has such a sophisticated feel to it. Red Sage never disappoints!

Gwynlyn--Yes, will definintely be signing in DC and looking forward to it! I hope you'll stop by!

Jrobe10689--Guess that makes me a geek, too! I love some of the Sci-Fi heroes of days past... Like Starbuck and Apollo from Battlestar Gallactica! ;-)

Thanks, again, for commenting, all. I'll be picking a winner later today!!

Anna Letha said...

No I'm wishing I could go to RWA Nationals. Love the cover and the book sounds like loads of fun to read.

Kristin said...

Congrats on the release! The book sounds so good -- right up my alley. I love suspense and steam romance all mixed together!

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Calista,
Enjoyed your interview so much. The story sounds amazing. I'll be looking for it. No need to put me in your drawing. I already have vol. 26.
The heroine looks like a supremely happy feline. :-)

Liane Gentry Skye said...

That cover is smoking! can't wait to read this book. So proud of you, Calista!

Natasha said...

I'm right with you lovin' Han Solo and the original Apollo and Starbuck! Can't wait to read this, Calista!

Esmerelda Bishop said...

I'm sold. I love action adventure!! This sounds like a fantastic story! Congrats on the upcoming release.

Calista Fox, Author said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by today--I SO appreciate it! I'm just thrilled to hear from you all!

Sooo... on to the winner! Okay, I closed my eyes, scrolled up and down the comments and randomly/blindly selected a winner!

And the lucky commenter is...


Now... as it turns out, JeanMarie already has Secrets Volume 26. So... what's an author to do?

My dear, I will be sending you an autographed copy of my July single title release, OBJECT OF DESIRE!

Email me at with your snail mail addy, and I'll send you OBJECT upon its release!

Again... Thanks so much to FR for interviewing me and to everyone for having fun with me today! You're the best!!


Nicole North said...

Wow congratulations, JeanMarie!!

Thank you again, Calista, for being here today!!