SECRET SANTA BABY with Robin Covington




Torn Between Two Lovers…or Something Like That.

In my Christmas novella, Secret Santa Baby, Tessa (the heroine) is in love with Nick but she previously dated his best friend,Damien.  Now,Nick is trying to win Tessa and Damien suddenly decides that he wants Tessa back.  Clear as mud, right?

I had to tread carefully with this situation because I didn’t want to Tessa to look like a “ho” but also wanted to keep the tension in the story with the love triangle.  I thought about the twists and turns of the plot, the timing and the history of the characters long and hard before I started writing. Would I show Tessa with both Damien and Nick?  Was Nick breaking them up or was it long over? How would the guys still remain friends when she picked her man?

I write romance, so the relationship with Nick and Tessa had to be paramount. I knew that I needed to give them the page time for love scenes, bonding moments, and tender mercies. I couldn’t give that time to Damien because I didn’t want the reader to root for them to get back together.  And, I was uncomfortable having any physical intimacy between Tessa and Damien on the page. Since I was writing a novella, I didn’t have the page count to have her jump from bed to bed and not have her look like a slut.

It was also imperative for me to keep the Tessa/Damien relationship in the past and to establish that it wasn’t a love match for either one.  Again, I had been writing a full-length novel I could have written it differently, but with this story I needed them not to be right for each other and everyone knew it from the get go. So, I had them a year from their break-up, never fallen in love with each other and I also made Damien a playboy who couldn’t love Tessa like Nick already did.

So, while the love triangle was tricky, once I figured out the moving parts it all fit together.


What’s your favorite or least favorite book that featured a love triangle? What about it worked or didn’t work for you?




Tessa Stoneman hasn’t been able to get long-time friend and business partner Nicholas Boone out of her head since they shared a single kiss in college. Even when she dated Nicholas’s best friend. Now that she’s giving up her position at GameNerdz to strike out on her own—and now that she’s single—maybe it’s the right time to see if there’s still something between them.

Nicholas knows once Tessa leaves the company she helped found, they might drift apart. Before she starts her own company in the new year, he wants to woo the woman he fell in love with during college. So he poses as her Secret Santa, gifts her with items from the song “Santa Baby,” and plans a big reveal at the company holiday party. But when his best friend wants to rekindle his romance with Tessa, will Nicholas lose his last chance?





Robin Covington, who NYT Best Selling authors, Robyn Carr and Carly Phillips, said was their new “auto-buy author”, writes sizzling hot contemporary and paranormal romance. A Night of Southern Comfort, her best-selling debut was nominated by RT Book Reviews for the 2012 Best Contemporary Romance from an Indie Press for bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. When she’s not exploring the theme of fooling around and falling in love, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Mangianello.

Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, a Goddess at The Naked Hero, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today. You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@RobinCovington).


Entangled Publishing/buy links:


Barnes and Noble




Robin Covington, A NIGHT OF SOUTHERN COMFORT and a giveaway

So, I’m sitting here in my writing cave and I’m stumped with a topic for this blog psot. My writing buddy Kimberly Kincaid has been dying to interview me (she’s a fabulous 2012 Marlene winner, a 2011 Golden Heart finalist and the most awesome yoga instructor ever) – so in between my contorted downward dogs and planks, she posed the following questions to yours truly . . . . 

KIMBERLY:  What are your go-to’s for inspiration? Can you tell us a little about your process once the muse lights that spark?

ROBINMusic, photographs, poetry – they all get my creative juices flowing.  My process starts with the first line of the WIP and that is what I use to unfurl the entire story.  I write a one-page, bulletized plot outline of the book and then I start on page one in a Word document. I also write in order – no skipping around for me!  It gives me the hives to think about writing one scene out of order.

KIMBERLY: You are having a dinner party and can invite five characters from any book(s). Who do you invite and why? (and the foodie in me wants to know what you’re serving, too!)

ROBINWell, I know the foodie in you is dying to know what I would serve as well. 

KIMBERLYYou know it!

ROBINI like simple, country food.  I’d probably have a casual BBQ with pulled pork (NC style), cole slaw, beans, fried chicken and cold beer. Yum!

As for my guests . . .  Adrien and Jake from Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series.  I’d love to talk books with Adrien and well . . .  Jake is easy on the eyes. : )

Wrath – the blind vampire king from J.R. ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood – because that would be just pure awesome. 

Elizabeth Bennett Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice” because I love witty conversation and laughter.

Victor Bayne from Jordan Castillo Price’s “Psycop Series”  because he can see and talk to dead people.  That is something I’d love to talk about!


KIMBERLY: Describe your ideal writing day.

ROBIN: Oh – just long uninterrupted hours to write in my writing cave with unlimited food that I love and no worries about what isn’t getting done with the house, kids, laundry etc.  I would also love to have a couple of writing friends with me and we could have a little retreat.


KIMBERLY: What is the craziest/most fun thing you’ve ever done in the name of researching a book?

ROBIN:  I actually called my Aunt and asked about our family history to get more information on the bootlegging business.  The Covington’s in VA were a crazy, entrepreneurial lot who made some good money purveying the illegal hooch.  So, I called her to get the dirt so that I could weave it into my story and also got a few fun stories about illegal stills and moonshine flavors.  Good stuff.

KIMBERLY: What’s next on tap for you?

ROBIN:   I just completed a Christmas novella and now I’m working on the sequel to “A Night of Southern Comfort” – working title is “Southern Temptation”.  It’s Lucky’s story (Jackson’s best friend) and he’s a naughty ladies man who has now set his sights on his best friends little sister! Fun ensues  . . .

 Thanks for having us at the blog today! This was fun.  In honor of the amazing Manic Readers site, I’m giving away a copy of “A Night of Southern Comfort” to a lucky commenter!  


Thank you, Robin, that’s so sweet of you to say!  

Ok y’all. Pertinent comments, giveaway ends @midnight 6-29-12 with the winner announced shortly thereafter.  Good luck. Keep reading for a taste of what you could win. 🙂


One night of passion… 

Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr.Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he’d buried years ago. 

He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor’s daughter…and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional,Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can’t keep the same promise. 

But when the stalker’s attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela’s life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.




Mr. Sex-on-a-Stick took his last shot and accepted the congratulatory thumps on the back from his friends. He didn’t smile in response, just quirked his full, sensual lips and turned to face her head-on with an expression full of hot promise. Catcalls and low whistles from his friends drifted across the crowded bar.

Come on, handsome. Don’t let me strike out at my first real bar pickup.

The breath she didn’t realize she was holding whooshed out as he separated himself from his friends and headed over to her. His movements were precise, controlled, and deliciously predatory. He possessed the confident demeanor of either military or law enforcement. He definitely wasn’t a paper-pushing warlord or a politico. Years of experience trained her to spot those guys a mile away. No, his mask of control was one born of the need for survival, much like hers.

Okay, big boy. You let me peek behind yours and I’ll let you peek behind mine.

He stopped in front of her, his thigh brushing her leg and setting off a series of sparks underneath her skin. His chocolate brown eyes met hers, filled with the assurance of decadent possibilities.

Michaela opened her mouth and shut it again. Now that he was here, she had no idea what to say. What would Angelina do? Channel your inner Jolie.

She cleared her throat. The result was a sultry, sexy voice she didn’t know she possessed. “May I buy you a drink?”

He glanced at the glass in her hand and nodded.

“A Southern Comfort.” She spoke in the general direction of the bartender, unable to tear herself away from her companion. “Neat.”

He slid onto the stool next her, his leg still against hers and her temperature hovering near the boiling point. He leaned on the bar, creating their own intimate circle as the noise of the busy bar faded into the background. His lips curved into a slight smile.

“Is there something funny?”

“No. Not at all.” His deep voice rumbled in her ear, his warm breath grazed her cheek. “I didn’t take you for the whiskey type.”

“And what type am I?”

He leaned back, examining her ice-blue satin, strapless cocktail dress and matching Manolo Blahnik pumps. She squirmed in her seat as her body responded to the desire pulsing between them.

“Honestly?” He cocked his head. “You strike me as the chardonnay type. A proper drink for a proper lady.”

She laughed. Any other night, his description would have been close to the mark. “Whiskey’s a drink of control and power.” She took another sip and caught his stare over the rim of her glass.

“I see.” He lifted his glass and downed the contents, then turned his full attention back to her. “So…why are you drinking alone?”

“I’m not drinking alone. Now.” Michaela gestured toward his drink and ordered him another when he nodded.

“Okay, so you’re here…?”

“Celebrating my new life.”

“Aahhh.” He lifted his glass to her in salute. “Let me be the first to say that your ex-husband is an idiot.”



On her fortieth birthday,Robin Covington decided that having a mid-life crisis and finding a boy-toy were far too tacky, so she delved a little deeper into the “bucket list” and pulled out the long-shelved dream of becoming an author. Now, she spends her time writing sizzling romance where the hero and heroine can’t keep their hands off each other.


She doesn’t miss the boy-toy at all.


Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, and a guest contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today.

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children, and ginormous puppy.  You can find Robin on her website, Facebook,  and Twitter (@RobinCovington).


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