November 21, 2011

Author Spotlight: Guest Post by Cat Johnson + GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone!

Today we have a guest post by author Cat Johnson. Cat is also giving away an ebook copy of her holiday book, Nice & Naughty to one commenter.

And now over to Cat Johnson...

Guest Post: 3 Odd Jobs and How I Used Them in My Books by Cat Johnson

Like most actors, writers often have held interesting and diverse odd jobs and I’m no exception. I mean, you have to pay the bills, right, and it’s very few of us who are lucky enough to make a living at our craft. So here is a short list of just some of my past odd jobs, and the book titles that job has made me uniquely qualified to write.

Tending Bar:
I put myself through college tending bar at a golf club. Yes, it was a lot like Caddy Shack. Frighteningly so. Oh, do I have stories about that place and no, I haven’t written them down, but I dare you to find more realistic bar scenes than you’ll find in my stories Private Lies, Trey (Red, Hot & Blue, Book 1), Educating Ansley, and The EX-Files. Standing behind that bar, handling the bottles, and the drunks of which there were many, I’ve got the details down. I can still pour a perfect martini up, mix a Long Island Iced Tea, and get just the right amount of head on a tap beer, and I hope that all adds realism to my stories for the reader.

Yup, I’ve rolled more 6-foot round tables during set-up and break-down than I can count, even though I’m not quite 5-feet tall myself. I’ve served passed hors deourves as well as French service. I can fold you a cloth dinner napkin to look like a fan or a swan, or a flower. I worked a wedding on a beach in a tent during a hurricane and had to hold the center tent pole down in a gust of wind. Thanks to these experiences, writing the scene where my team of Special Operatives goes undercover as banquet waiters was a piece of cake in Jimmy (Red, Hot & Blue, Book 3). And yes, the cummy-looking Parsnip Soup served in shot glasses I describe Jimmy carrying was an actual dish I saw served at a high dollar fundraiser.

Writing the heroine in Nice & Naughty came equally as easy since I’ve worked with those overworked women trying to run a catering business. And anyone who ever worked at Susan Lawrence Catering in Chappaqua, NY will recognize the coat closet-turned-office I describe in the book. Sad but true, the woman’s office was literally a closet, pole and all.

Mucking Horse Stalls:
It’s a shitty job, no pun intended. You have to do it when it’s 100 degrees and you’re sweating and covered in dirt, and you have to do it when it’s ten below zero, you can’t feel your hands or your feet and the poop is frozen to the floor of the stall, but you still have to do it. And I did do it, for about a year I guess. But that experience did two things for me. One, it prepared me to take care of my own horses. And two, it educated me enough to write the horse farm scenes found in both Jack (Red, Hot & Blue, Book 2) and Jared (Red, Hot & Blue, Book 4). I’ve actually watched a doctor diagnose an abcess in a hoof at the horse farm, as well as found one in my own horse here just as Nicki does in Jack.

But more importantly, yes, the farmer’s son I wrote about in Jared, the one unloading the 200 plus bales of hay and flinging them two at a time through the hay door in the barn, was very real.

Long story short, there are a lot of truths woven into fiction, if you know where to look.

Cat Johnson

As a thank you to all the blog readers who took the time to stop by today, I’m asking Good Choice Reading to choose one lucky commenter on today’s post to receive a download of my holiday eBook, Nice & Naughty.

Thank you Cat for stopping by Good Choice Reading today. I would love to have a horse, but I don't think I can deal with the whole cleaning in below zero weather, especially frozen horse poop lol.



What’s better than a fireman? Twelve of them, naked, on the pages of your calendar.

The hot firemen you loved in Opposites Attract are back with their friends, but now they're wearing a lot less clothing and heating up the holidays like never before. Be prepared for secret identities, a sizzling calendar shoot, smoldering bachelor firemen up for auction, sexy Santas and a whole lot more!

Secret Recipe: A famous lifestyle maven who secretly can't cook? Good thing a sizzling hot fireman/calendar model knows his way around the kitchen and is there to rescue her and her charity event from certain disaster. If they detour to the bedroom on the way to the kitchen, even better.

Mr. December: When the real December calendar man gets sick, a rich department store owner has to step in for him and play Santa. Once he meets the pretty lady photographer sent to cover the event, things really start to heat up. The only problem is, she has no idea who he really is, and he’s not all that keen on telling her.

Can't Buy Me Love: What do you get when you take one over-worked caterer on the brink of a nervous breakdown and add a hunky fireman for sale at the charity bachelor auction she's catering? You get a woman who finally finds the one gift to buy herself that she's never going to want to return.

If you love the old black-and-white classic holiday movies such as Christmas in Connecticut, Shop Around the Corner and Holiday Inn, you’ll love the three Nice & Naughty stories they inspired.

This book was previously published. It has been reedited from the original version.

To Enter:
- Must be 18 & Over
- Must FILL OUT THIS FORM. You can also find it below.
- Contest ends Sunday 27th
- Winner will be chosen Monday 28th and an e-mail will be sent.
- Winner must reply within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.
- Please make sure to check SPAM box.

Good Luck!




  1. You could tell that you had experience working on a farm. I've also had that same job (since I was 12)- it may be shitty but it teaches you some valuable life lesson like self-discipline and responsibility. Working on the farm has now become me working on my own farm for my own horses. It doesn't matter if you don't feel like mucking or cleaning hooves, you know that the horses rely on you so you suck it up and soldier on.
    Through college I worked on the farm, groomed dogs, worked at Victoria's Secret, a go kart track, and a hunting/fishing/camping store. I do believe that all of those jobs contributed to the person that I am today.

  2. Agreed, Meagan. Hard work builds character. I always thought that anyone who wants to own a business should work at every single one of the jobs of the people he employs. I don't care if he's the suit-wearing owner of a restaurant and the job is dishwasher, because you can't make intelligent decisions unless you have the experience of everything and everyone involved.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. These covers look yummy. I haven't read any of these books but they are going on the list. They sound like something I would really enjoy.

  4. Thank you, Sariah! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Cat you have some fabulous book covers. Do you have any say on how you want the covers to look also I was wondering how do you get such wonderful story ideas. Nice And Naughty sounds like such a hot story it is so going on my to be read pile.

  6. Great post.Love the cover :)
    Nice and Naughty sounds like a great book.

  7. Thank you for the great post and the giveaway. I do love your covers!

  8. SKYLA- I do have some input on the covers, more at Samhain than I would if I published with say, a Kensington or some other big publisher. We're given a long cover art form to fill out and on that we explain to the cover artist our vision for the cover, summerize the story, describe the characters, provide links to pictures and models we like, and other book covers we think have a similar look or feel that we want.

    For my books that I've released on my own, I do my own covers, so that is only limited to my Photoshop skills. Nice & Naughty is one of my out of print backlist so I re-released that on my own and did the cover myself.

    As for the story ideas--for Nice & Naughty my editor at the time said "I'd love to have a book about firemen who play Santa Claus around town" and viola--I wrote it LOL. For the other stories, in particular my military and cowboy books, a lot of the story ideas come from my real life consultants in the military or rodeo worlds.

    THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by to comment!!!

  9. love the interview and your odd jobs. im familiar with the horse crap in the hot sun ! <3


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