Today I am so pleased to welcome Skylar M. Cates to Joyfully Jay. Skylar has come as part of the Beach Read Bonanza event to talk to us about her release, Exposed. She has also brought along some great giveaways! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Romance on a Yacht

It sounds perfect, right? In many ways Exposed took the reader on a journey of places I always enjoyed: Miami pools, Key West, and the deep-blue waters of the Caribbean. This book had a fun and breezy setting that was perfect for a juicy, beach romance.

BeachReadBonanza_FBpostBut behind the gorgeous setting, there was a whole lot of betrayal going on. As Daniel, a profession athlete, begins a steamy affair with Rafe, a crew member, all is not as it appears. Rafe is hiding his true identity, and as he genuinely falls for Daniel, Rafe wonders how to escape the very trap he set.

Exposed was a fun book to write. When I decided to place the guys on a yacht, I really loved the idea. However I underestimated some of the issues this type of setting would have for me, the naïve writer. While I have been to all the locations in the book, I have never known a billionaire with a luxury yacht. I wish! As a result, I spent hours looking at pictures of yachts, studying the yachts security systems, and plotting scenes that would not get too repetitive given the limited space on a yacht, even a luxurious one.

However, after writing scenes to demonstrate my careful research, my trusted beta reader told me it was too much. Readers wanted the action and the characters. Forget the details of the various rooms on the yacht, she advised me. For the most part, I listened to her and cut it down, but I worried some reader out there would criticize the book for lacking these details. There were other things to consider. For instance, I studied all the proper names for the yacht, but just because they were “right,” would my character actually use those terms? These were setting decisions that I hadn’t anticipated and struggled with during the drafting process.

Do I regret the exotic setting? Not at all. The yacht was still the perfect place for the two men to get all down and dirty together. It kept them isolated from the greater world, especially the press, and it kept them with nowhere to hide—nowhere to avoid the giant sexual tension between them.

For me, I like a summer read that takes me places I would love to visit in heat. Key West, for example, is a blast to write about. Other places the yacht traveled, such as the Grand Caymans, gave the reader a glimpse into lesser known areas. Most people think of the sandy white beaches of the Cayman Islands, and do not know of the section called “Hell.” So it was fun for me to take readers to some of these locations.

Exposed still has a warm and fussy place in my heart. Partly because it was my first work with Dreamspinner, and partly because of the beautiful locations among the treachery. I enjoyed the contrast with external setting and internal strife as Rafe struggled with his deception. Would I ever set another book on a yacht? I don’t know. Exposed was so much fun to write and I love a good beach setting, but when it comes to writing more yacht scenes—–that ship might have sailed.

Thanks for hosting me today. I appreciate it. Have a great summer!



Exposed Cover ImageAfter years of running from a traumatic secret,  young journalist Rafe Quintero is making his way in the world alone. Now that he’s landed a job at a Miami newspaper, he’s hungry for success. His goal? A blistering expose on a closeted PGA golfer Daniel Andrews. Rafe will stop at nothing to get the scoop—even if it means going undercover on Daniel’s private yacht.


Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Skylar can be found on Facebook or Twitter. She loves to hear from her readers.


Skylar has brought a copy of Exposed to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, June 25th at 11:59 pm EST.  This post is also part of our Beach Read Bonanza. You can enter here and at the 11 others stops for a chance to win a beach bag full of goodies, including a Kindle! 

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
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  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
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