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Showing posts from October, 2008

Romeo Romeo Launch Party!

By: Robin Kaye

Fall is my favorite time of the year and the perfect time to launch Romeo, Romeo! So join the fun and have a cyber-toast with me.

Everyone who comments today and tomorrow will be entered into a drawing for two autographed copies of Romeo, Romeo and two Barnes & Noble gift cards. There will be four winners. The contest ends at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time November 1st.

Independent businesswoman, Rosalie Ronaldi’s life would be perfect if she could just figure out how to keep her nosy, pushy, Italian family from trying to marry her off.

Nick Romeo, Brooklyn’s Donald Trump without the comb over, thinks independent women are an urban myth, until he meets Rosalie and realizes they’re no myth, just a pain in the ass. He’s finally met a woman who is looking for the same thing he is, a commitment free relationship and is shocked to discover that all he wants to do is take care of her... Before too long, he's moved in, cleaned her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and a…

Some Halloween Fun...

Since I'm a big kid at heart, and also because I'm in the throes of trying to potty train an obstinate three-year-old and need a little more laughter and a little less screeching in my life at present, I thought I'd do something fun and festive today. I love Halloween...every year, I wish I could turn into a seven-year-old kid again, just for the night, so I could get away with trick-or-treating while wearing an awesome costume. And in case you're wondering, yes, I was one of those kids who trick-or-treated even as an obnoxious teenager. I have a friendly and very well-developed "Gimmie candy!" smile. It all worked out. Anyway, today, in honor of the impending sugar-filled holiday, I'd like to present my Top 5 Halloween Specials and Must-Watch Movies (how's that for a mouthful?). So without further adieu... 1. Garfield's Halloween Adventure I watched this every Haloween, growing up, and even though cable now stinks and they don't play Hall…

Are We Having Fun Yet?

By: Marie Force
This past weekend, I attended the NJ Romance Writer's annual conference for the first time. The conference was really well done and full of great info. I enjoyed keynote speakers Eloisa James and Lisa Scottoline, who both encouraged us to write from our hearts and our lives, to write what we know and believe to be true. I think that's really important advice, and while we can't always experience what our characters do (hello, never been married to an NFL star my own self), it's essential that we tap into our own wealth of life adventures to bring life to our characters. Last year I wrote a book about a woman who was dealing with the aftermath of her mother's death. I don't think I could've done that story justice before I lost my own mother. I knew exactly how my character felt, what chores she had to deal with, the logistics of probate court and cleaning out her mother's belongings. I still choke up when I read certain parts of that book…

How I found magic at Barnes and Noble

by Mary Margret Daughtridge



It was the last week in March and I hadn’t received my author’s copies yet, but I figured I would any day because SEALed With A Kiss was slated to be released around April 14.

I was in the local Barnes and Noble. I’m a great believer in the power of visualization so my intention was to go to the romance section and visualize my book there under the D’s. But first I swung by the new release shelf, because I like to see what’s just come in.

When I saw the new release shelf, I was overcome with the weirdest, most swimmy-headed, what’s wrong with this picture feeling I’ve ever had. Finally I realized what was odd was that one of the books on the shelf had a cover all in blue with a hunky guy--just like the cover of my book. Shocked, I read the author’s name. Mary Margret Daughtridge. Same as mine too. Finally the truth dawned. It wasn’t just like my book. It was my book.

But I didn’t think it had been released. Now, I wasn’t sure if I was really seeing it, or if I…

A BIT OF DATA AND ONCE AGAIN, THE "HOOK"

By: Deb Werksman

We had our quarterly meeting at Sourcebooks last week, and I came back with some very interesting data.

Did you know that 93% of books published in 2005 sold fewer than 1000 copies?

And 98% sold fewer than 5000 copies.

At Sourcebooks, we acquire with an eye to selling significantly more than that--10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and above.

Looking at readers, among "heavy users" there's a lot of exploration, so if you are just starting out and have a great "hook" that can get their attention, you can begin to build readership. "Light users" will tend to rely on bestsellers, because they want what's tried and true and they're relying on tastemakers to point them in the right direction. So while there's a "long tail" of many, many titles that sell just a few copies, the bestsellers are still going to outsell the aggregate of the "long tail."

All this argues, once again (my favorite subject) for the strong "hook.&qu…

Vampires, and Werewolves, and Beasties, Oh My!!

Ever since I was young, I loved Dracula. He was suave, sexy, handsome, and …did I mention sexy? When he swept the lady in her beautiful gowns off her feet and made her swoon, when he kissed her and …well, all right, the original story was not enough of a romance story. So now, authors from all over the world have united and brought us the REAL vampire…the one with foibles, a dark hero, not the fiend as portrayed in the original version. With happily ever afters. Sigh… And he’s sexy.
I love vampires, but then I took a turn at writing a sexy werewolf romance. What's not to like about a hunky hero who is protective of the heroine and his friends in either of his forms, from hard and lean to furry and cuddly? Forget the: "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down" scenario, unless you're the villain and the werewolf hero is after you. :) Loyal, dependable, wary, independent, strong, and sensitive...and sexy. Yep, gone is the ferocious tyrant of a w…

Who Would You Want on Your Island?

By: Marie Force

I'm on my way home today from the RWA conference in New Jersey, so I'll check in when I get home late this afternoon. Based on what went on in San Francisco this summer, I'm sure my sides will be aching from spending time with Robin and Judi! I'll be sure to report on the many ways that Robin is sure to misbehave...

Anyway, I was recently interviewed by a blog site and one of the questions they asked really made me think: If you were stranded on a desert island and could choose six heroes from literature and film to be stranded with, who would they be?

Here is my answer: No. 1 would definitely be Roarke from the In Death books! Sigh… the hair, the money, the bod. Yum. If I knew that Richard Gere’s Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman would pick me up in a Lotus I might be tempted to give prostitution a whirl (just kidding). Fr. Ralph from The Thorn Birds movie used to make my heart pound as did Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music. Also, get me Kevin Costner …

Jazz and Nick Hang out at the Full Moon Cafe

The ageless woman was the picture of pure goth in her black velvet gown that fit her like a glove, black lace fingerless mitts covering her hands that ended in blood red nails that matched her lipstick. Her dark eyes were lined with kohl pencil and appeared mysterious with their soul-stealing gaze. She sat in the chair as if it was a throne and fingered the tiny microphone clipped to the deep v neckline of her gown. She made a small gesture toward the vampire holding a camera and immediately smiled wide enough to display gleaming white fangs.

“Good evening, my dark of the night viewers. This is Drusilla with After Midnight Broadcasting and tonight we’re at the Full Moon Café with two special guests.

“As you know, we love to hit the nightspots popular with the preternatural community and tonight we were lucky enough to connect with popular witch (a hint of sneer appeared on her perfect features since vampires aren’t too fond of witches no matter how popular they are) and curse eliminator…

WIN TIME AWAY FROM THE KIDS!

How’s that for a hook? (And, yes, I do giggle every time I use the word “hook” in a context other than sea-related, why do you ask?)

As you can see, I got my book cover, and, to celebrate, I just had to put it on my NEW website. And of course, you can’t launch a new website AND a new cover without something stupendous, so….

Go to http://www.judifennell.com/ and see all about my promotional contest for my Mer books. You can win one of THREE romantic getaways at Bed & Breakfasts in the areas where my stories are set.

The Atlantis Inn (http://www.atlantisinn.com/) in Ocean City, NJ and the Hibiscus House (http://www.hibiscushouse.com/) in West Palm Beach, FL have joined with me to offer you a two-night stay at their beautiful resorts. You can see all the rules and beautiful pictures, as well as be able to register at (http://judifennell.com/contest.html . We’re working on having local restaurants chime in, maybe a spa or two…one never knows. And, who knows, I might just pull a few names…

Inspiration

One of the questions I get asked the most about my writing is "Where do you get your ideas?"
I wish I could answer, "I stock up when they put them on sale at Wal-mart." Wouldn't that be great? A ready supply of fresh ideas available on your pantry shelf whenever you needed one?
Unfortunately, creativity doesn't work that way. In fact the question of how the seeds of stories develop into fleshed out characters and plots is a pretty big mystery even to me. How do I do it? It just comes– or not, as the case may be– at unexpected moments.
Where inspiration comes from is an easier question. Ideas are everywhere, and I never know when I'll cross paths with one and plant it in my brain to nurture and take root.
I feed my ideas with music. Sometimes it is just the melody or mood of a song that will stir the creative juices. Other times a line of lyrics will trigger an onslaught of story ideas or character history. I think music, being another media born of the righ…

Interview with a Regency Lady

by Michele Ann Young


I thought I might ask my heroine, Lucinda Graham, to talk to us today. Graham is not her real last name, but since there a couple of people who she would prefer not to find her, I don't want give her real identity away.

Michèle: Welcome to the Casablanca blog, Lucinda. I understand your story will be in stores any day now and then the whole truth will come out, but in the meantime, perhaps you could tell us a bit about your story?

Lucinda: Who is this us? And why are you wearing, (peeks at the interviewers legs) pantaloons?

Michèle: Actually these are called jeans or pants.

Lucinda: They certainly look very comfortable. But doesn’t your husband get all hot and bothered seeing your legs, like that?

Michèle: Well yes they do look rather good.... Can we please get back on topic? The us I spoke of are your readers. People who care about you.

Lucinda: And they won’t tell my husband where I am?

Michèle: Believe me, women today are very good at helping other women flee men…

Fantasy Favorites

By Sharon Lathan

I have long since accepted the twist of fate that brought me to the world of romance and have learned to laugh at the irony that this life-long reader of fantasy and sci-fi is now writing sappy stories of happily-ever-after! Vague twinges of guilt remain when folks mention popular romance authors with an awed respect that I could only honestly muster if suddenly face-to-face with JRR Tolkien or Isaac Asimov, but gradually I am being educated. Still, I can’t deny that when I curl up with a good book, I grab for something more in the sword-and-sorcery genre – after I finish reading all of the Casablanca novels that is. To honor my first love - and figuring some of you weirdoes who write about sexy alien-cats, vampire and witch affairs, and time traveling dragons might just know a little about what I am saying – I shall pay homage to my fav fantasy writers.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Yep, the grandpa and master of all modern fantasy. No debate. I read The Hobbit when I was 12 and nev…

Love of Language

By Malena Lott
Ramona, my protagonist in Dating da Vinci introduced herself to me in waves. First, as a grieving widow. I felt empathy for her immediately. And raising two boys on her own? As a mother of three who depends on her hubby mightily to share the load, I admired her courage just to get out of bed each day. Yet, as we moms know, that’s what we do: whatever it takes.

Her passion for teaching English to immigrants at the Panchal Center for Diversity was a pleasant surprise. I loved that she held on to her passion for teaching and language when her world had crumbled around her. In fact, her teaching was the one place where she felt comfortable. She was now like them – outsiders desperately wanting in. She was as lost as they were.

Yet I wanted her reaching for something more and I liked the idea of her being a student at the University of Texas, too. She had put her dissertation on the “Language of Love” on hold after her husband Joel died, for obvious reasons. In searching for j…

Small Wonders

It's been an interesting few weeks for me. I've been across the country and back, lived in a couple different houses, driven up and down the Eastern Seaboard (not for fun, sadly), uprooted the kids, and now, finally, have gotten my husband and myself and the kids and pets all in one place, in one state, and am settling in. It's not perfect yet, but with every box unpacked, every beloved knicknack placed, I can feel myself relaxing. Getting comfy. Every laugh from the kids, every precious item appearing in a place that it will come to inhabit, is a small wonder for me, letting me know we're headed the right way. That everything is going to be just fine.

It's been like that with writing, at least for me. My path to publication, in the great scheme of things, was pretty fast. So there's been a lot of learning along the way for me, and with the rush of three books in two years, it's taken some time for me to start settling in. You know...to get comfy. …

Blogger's Block

Ah, another blank blog page to fill. You wouldn't think it would be that hard for a writer, but perhaps what I'm experiencing is blogger's block! Whoa! think I just coined a phrase there.... but perhaps I'm not the first. This blog will ramble, because that's what I do when I'm blocked. I just keep writing. You're seeing the process right here in black and white, I think. See, now I've changed the color! Might stimulate some brain cells. Though, as it happens, I prefer blue. Songs have been known to help when I'm writing romance novels, but blogging is another story altogether! A good, sexy man might help, let's see...whoops! There he is!!!! He turned me rather green with envy for whoever gets to....well....do ANYTHING with him! I found him a while back and have been looking for a place to use him. Helps to have a stable of studs to help you out, don't you think? My hero!!!!
I think I'll use this nice lavender for a while. Sort of romanti…

Budgeting your Books

by Danielle Jackson

On Tuesday, The New York Observer posted this article about the current economic struggles and publishing—what does this mean for romance publishing in particular? It’s something I’ve been thinking about and that Sourcebooks has been thinking about, as we head into the winter months and begin pushing for holiday sales.

While “budget” has become a buzz word in almost every workplace, and even in the home, Romance Fiction continues to be a booming industry. People are searching for an escape from these hard time and many turn to romance fiction—in particular mass market romance fiction—to lift their spirits. RWA reports that Romance fiction generated $1.375 billion in sales in 2007, so people are out there, eagerly reading!

I know you are all committed to doing whatever it takes to make your books be as successful as they possibly can. We’re a great team, with an awesome and dynamic new romance line bringing fresh voices, new ideas and interesting books that don’t follo…

How I Write

People have often asked how I write. I tell them I usually use a computer. Although, when I get stuck, I’ve been known to pick up a notebook and write longhand. But that’s not what they meant when they asked. When I thought about it, I realized I use a soundtrack in my writing and my life.

I’ve always been a total music junkie. I have over 10,000 songs on iTunes and am never without my iPod. I’d sooner forget my phone than my iPod. I can live without the phone, but I don’t think I could live without my music.

Music and literature have made more of an impact on my life than anything else. Maybe it’s because I moved around so much as a kid. Music and literature were my only constants. As long as I had my books and my albums with me, I was home. Yeah, I know, I’m showing my age.

Music has given my life a timeline—I can tell you in which of my 30+ childhood homes I lived when a particular song was popular. For instance, I know I lived on Minna Street in Brooklyn when my uncle used to hang ou…

Romantic Horrors

Posted by Christina Harlin

My favorite holiday is coming! Each Halloween I indulge one of my great weaknesses: the horror movie. Looking over my list of possible rentals for this year, I noticed that romance and horror don’t often mix. Of all the scary movies I’ve seen, very few of them contain a memorable love story. Horror movies are typically anti-romantic, as scares come from people being estranged, alone, or betrayed. After all, it’s kind of hard to make an audience feel terrified when there is a sexy romance cooking up. And these days, as often as not, a movie-couple’s romance can be destroyed by that perpetual deal-breaker: one of them ends up trying to kill the other. Ah well.
To celebrate Halloween, horror and romance, I’ve made another list! These are some scary-movie romances I have found memorable.
Poltergeist (1982). Now considered a classic, this haunted-house-in-suburbia movie is famous for the snow-screened tv set, the diminutive psychic, the scary-as-hell clo…

The Secret Writers' Creed and Other Tall Tales

posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary

Not long ago, Aunty Cindy and Marie were sharing a cyber-cup of tea and discussing The Wild Sight(Marie enthusiastically holds two thumbs up in endorsement). Just about the time the discussion got lively, a couple of the characters from TWS also happened by. Thought you might like to listen in:

Marie: In The Wild Sight, you have two things you don't often see in a romance: a hero and heroine who, for a while, think they might be brother and sister, and a man with "the Sight." Tell me how you decided to take these risks with your story and if you think they made the book easier or more difficult to sell.

AC: Well, technically the hero never believes she's his sister since he is instantly attracted to her. She suffers some real angst for awhile, however. (evil grin) I knew this possible siblings angle would be a make or break issue for the book. Luckily my critique partners were very supportive and told me, "Can't wait to…

What's Next?

By: Marie Force
I'm being asked "what's next?" a lot now that "Line of Scrimmage" has been out for more than a month. It reminds me of when I got married and people started asking when we planned to have kids. Then we had our daughter and they asked if we'd be having another one. Once we had a daughter and a son, a few asked if we were going for number three, but that tapered off once they took a good look at the glazed look in our eyes from a baby who didn't sleep for the first 18 months of his life. Now that my first published "baby" is out in stores, the question becomes what's next?

I'm very excited about my second book, "Same Time Sunday," which is based on a conversation I overheard in an airport ten years ago. A young man and woman waiting with me for a delayed flight were talking about the difficulties of their long-distance relationships and both were worried about the weekend ahead. They discovered they were on th…

How to write a sex scene

by Mary Margret Daughtridge

In less than two weeks I have to give a talk on how to write a sex scene. The more I thought about it, the less I could think of anything noteworthy to say. I’m no expert, but I thought a scene in which my characters have sex would have the same requirements, craft-wise, as any other.
I did some research. After I read twenty or thirty articles, I realized how to write a sex scene was code for how to write sex that turns readers on and doesn’t turn them off—or if one fancies oneself to be among the literati, how to include the sex that will get my book published but not open it to charges of pandering or titillation. One sage grudgingly admitted one could hone one’s craft by reading a few “tawdry bodice-rippers.”
After several hours perusing the net on the subject, I found only one tidbit of advice all agree on: don’t use gratuitous sex. Yes. Whether the wise ones were romance writers or imagined themselves a superior breed, they all used the exact, same word…

Bringing the Regency to Life

by Michele Ann Young

One of the things a historical author has to do, apart from providing and entertaining story, is to bring something from history to life for the reader. In The Lady Flees Her Lord, most of the story is set in the English countryside in an imaginary village in Kent near Maidstone. Because I have amazingly fond memories of English country fairs all across the country, I decided that it might make a good form of entertainment for my characters, seeing as they would be spending little time in London.

Fairs were originally set up by royal charter for trade. They also involved an element of entertainment and over time villages held their own small fairs on the village green as an annual event.

So I went looking for descriptions of what might be going on at such a fair. The picture at the top is of Bartholomews fair in London. This was a huge event and a country fair would be very much smaller and more intimate and the games much more hokey.

Roundabouts were popular, b…

Don't Cry Wolf Video Trailer

There's something to be said about any species who truly care about one another--not that there's this primal urge to mate with another and that's the extent of the relationship--like in so many kinds of animals. Procreation of the species, a biological urge, nothing more. But like with wolves that for the most part mate for life, it's really nice to know that some species feel so close to one another when they choose a mate, it's forever. :)




So I dedicate the Don't Cry Wolf video book trailer to any species of animal that takes their mate relationship seriously--and loves them forever. :)

Terry, who is still taking care of a sick mother, who is getting better though, because she's demanding lots more...LOL......

Heart of the Wolf, Don't Cry Wolf, Betrayal of the Wolf, Allure of the Wolf
http://www.terryspear.com/

Fluff and Puff's Reading Hour

Puff – “Hey Fluff, Linda’s new book, Hex Appeal, is out!”

Fluff (yawning while nibbling on a bit of licorice root) -- “I saw it when I went to Target with Jazz. She picked up a copy.”

Puff (outraged) “You went to Target without me?”

Fluff – “You were attacking that vacuum thingy Krebs had made up to zap our poop, remember? Jazz wasn't going to wait around while you killed it.”

Puff – “Oh yeah. Dumb thing didn’t even squawk when I pounced on it. But I can’t believe you went without me! Did you get anything for us?”

Fluff – “Jazz bought us some MilkBones.” Both bunny slippers brighten up since they love the crunchy dog bones “I tried to talk her into some Hershey Kisses, but she said no way. And she rearranged Linda’s book on the shelves and even put a few copies back in the Halloween section. They really should have put us on the cover.”

Both bunny slippers do their best bunny slipper pout.

Puff heads for the distinctive red and white bags and rummages through the contents. “A t-shirt th…