Fun fact: It’s not my name and it’s not even one I picked. My first editor at Harlequin proposed it because my real name and every other one I suggested didn’t seem to fit the romantic comedy line I was writing for. (I had been pushing hard for Sarah Bell…when I was a kid dreaming of being a writer, that’s the name I wanted.)
In a nutshell – my name and Sarah Bell didn’t say the right thing.
And now Molly O’Keefe doesn’t say the right thing anymore. So, I’ve introduced M. O’Keefe. Which doesn’t seem like that much of a change, but somehow it says all the right things for the new direction I’ve taken with the Everything I Left Unsaid series with Bantam.
So, what’s different?
Everything I Left Unsaid and The Truth About Him are more erotic than the Molly O’Keefe books. And Burn Down The Night – is the hottest of all of them. In Burn Down The Night, Joan has kidnapped dangerous MC President Max and has him chained to a bed in a deserted Florida condo. She’s trying to convince him to help her save her sister – but Max is only interested in revenge against the men who tried to kill him.
So, while in theory Joan has all the power, she’s the one doing every dark and depraved thing he asks of her – all without ever touching.
It’s a pretty awesome power struggle if I do say so myself.
And while not strictly New Adult, all the books certainly have that “she’s coming into her own” vibe as well as a suspense-y tone. The books are grittier and darker than what I’ve written in the past. I also decided to it in first person.
All of this seems miles away from the short, light, romantic comedies I started my career with.
It’s all very exciting and in so many ways liberating. As I continue to write as M. O’Keefe I find myself following darker story lines. Plots I might have flinched away from I now rush towards. Using sex as a tool to tell women’s stories is endlessly fascinating.
I quite like this M. O’Keefe author and I really hope you do too.
Wanna know more? Here’s an excerpt from Burn Down the Night.
I wasn’t watching him sleep. I was thinking. I was formulating a plan. An argument that would sway him, that would make him see things my way.
The tiny, white bikini I wore was a visual aid.
Because if there were any breaks I caught in this life, they were a rocking metabolism and Aunt Fern’s rack. I made this cheap, white bikini look better than it should.
Sitting on the dresser, I licked yogurt from a spoon and tried to think of what was going to really sway a guy like Max. What was going to make him give up on revenge and instead help me get my sister free.
He was sprawled across the bed, the sheets pulled up to his waist with his injured leg kicked out. Every once in a while he jerked, like the dream he was having had teeth, and the handcuffs rattled against the bed.
This was kidnapping.
I could add that to the list of shit I never thought I’d do.
Finally he stirred in earnest and I held my breath. Trying not be nervous. Trying not to show him that I was scared. Max was a wild animal and if he sensed fear he’d come after me.
He lifted his head off the mattress, his black hair, wild around his head. That spot on his scalp with the stitches was so pink and wounded. Tender. The only soft thing about him. The rest of him, his chest and arms, was rawhide and muscle and grit covered with bright tattoos. And technicolor bruises.
Max was whittled down to the bone. No excess. I recognized it because I felt exactly the same way. Like there was nothing to feed me.
If we weren’t in this stupid situation, we might have been friends. Lovers for as long as we could make it work because we were the same kind of people. The same sort of wild and alone.
“Joan?” His voice was rough and deep. He lifted his hands to rub his eyes but the handcuffs stopped him.
“Morning, Max.” I licked my spoon. “How are you feeling?”
“I’d feel a whole let better if you let me go.”
“Not going to happen.”
He lifted his free arm. Stretched. Made a fist out of his hand and then relaxed it. “What’s your end game here, Joan? You’re going to keep me locked up here forever?”
“Only until you give up on this revenge idea.” And agree to my plan.
“Not going to happen,” he parroted my words back at me.
“How’s the head?” I asked.
He shifted in the bed and only barely winced. “Better.”
Good. This was . . . good.
“You think you could eat some soup without spilling it all over yourself?”
“I think I could teach you a lesson about having a smart mouth.”
I hummed in my throat as if disappointed in him and then dug up another spoonful of yogurt and put it in my mouth. He watched every motion. My tongue. My hands. He missed nothing.
And maybe it was because he was imagining what it would be like to kill me.
But I preferred to think he was wondering what it would be like to fuck me.
It was a long shot considering his injury, the fever, his being handcuffed to the bed. But I was banking on him being a dude.
And the white bikini. I was banking on the white bikini pretty hard.
“What are you doing?”
He lifted his eyebrows at me and slowly pushed himself up farther up the bed. He leaned against the cast-iron headboard, exposing all of his skin, which was covered in dark tattoos. He looked like some kind of leopard. Some sleek animal that if unchained would tear me apart.
He would tear me apart.
And I could not wait.