Cheryl Holt Banner

Oregon Coast Scene

National award winning Seaside author, Cheryl Holt, will hold her first local book signing in two years.

The event will celebrate the release of her sixth novel, Love Lessons, which was distributed worldwide by New York publisher, St. Martin's Press, on October 1st. Holt, a lawyer and mom, began writing commercial women's fiction eight years ago when she left the work force to stay home and raise her two kids.

"Because of my legal background," Holt says, " I had hoped to become a suspense writer, but after numerous attempts, I couldn't sell one of my manuscripts." She changed directions, penning an historical romance that finally established her in the New York publishing world. Her manuscript caught the eye of the senior editor at Kensington Publishing, and the company went on to publish five of her novels.

"I now write Cinderella stories for grown-up women," Holt says. "They're loads of fun to write and to read.

They always have a happy ending, nobody gets killed, and the bad guys always get what they deserve."

In an attempt to break out of the pack, Holt has changed directions, once again. The current trend in women's fiction is toward extremely steamy love stores that border on erotica. A handful of stars, such as Bertice Small and Susan Johnson, have achieved staggering heights in their careers by writing the racier books.

"St. Martins had been searching - for years - for an author who could help them garner a corner of this hot market, so I decided to take a stab at it," Holt explains. "Lucky for me, they picked Love Lessons. It's been the kind of life-altering, career-changing event that all authors dream about when they're first starting out."

In fact, all of St. Martins promotional materials and advertising, as well as most of the reviews the book received, have called Holt the "next Susan Johnson."

St. Martins will publish Holt's Total Surrender, in July 2002. Initial sales numbers for Love Lessons have been so good that the company just contracted with her for her eighth and ninth novels, two more erotic historical romances that will be published early and late in 2003.

Be sure to catch Cheryl Holt's book signing Saturday, November 10, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at Tillamook Head Books, 150 Avenue U in Seaside.