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Showing posts from May, 2010

Signing Books

by Libby Malin
www.LibbysBooks.com
www.LibbysBooks.blogspot.com

A funny video by mystery author Parnell Hall (like moi, an Edgar nominee!) has been making the rounds. Maybe you've seen it. If not, here 'tis:



Whew -- that's the first time I embedded a video. Hope it comes through okay. If not, you can go to this link to see it.

Parnell's poking good-natured fun at challenges all authors who aren't bestsellers face--how do you get the word out and draw crowds to book signings and to buy your book in general?

Here's the secret --

Okay, you didn't really think I'd give away the secret, did you? Especially when I don't know what it is myself! :-)

Seriously, most authors do their best to attract folks to a book signing with the usual tricks of the trade. Personally, I send out postcards announcing the signing to a growing list of folks interested in my books. I have one list of all the folks in my neighborhood and I'm sure to add a little label on those lett…

What's New with Sharon?

We are counting down our month of celebrating motherhood and exploring the new beginnings in our lives. Next up are the fabulous launch parties for Lydia Dare (Again girls? You must be exhausted!), Shana Galen, and Ashlyn Chase. After that we will spend the entire glorious month of June delving into SUMMERTIME!! I know I am ready for summer and all the fun to be had.

But for now I am forced to write about new beginnings. LOL! Ok, only joking as it is a wonderful topic and the blogs have been enlightening, encouraging, and entertaining. Yet I have to say that I have been scratching my head over what to talk about. Writing wise I am finishing up my fifth novel – tentative title The Trouble with Mr. Darcy due for release in April 2011 in case you were curious about that, hehehe…. Actually, it is done, although I haven’t typed The End as yet because I have to go over the whole thing at least one more time before I will feel it is truly DONE, ya know? My next project is already half way wr…

My Altered State of Consciousness...

By Robin Kaye



Joanne recently wrote a blog about falling in love and the altered state of consciousness that is brought about by infatuation. This is something I tend to suffer from with every one of my heroes. Joanne’s blog was wonderful and as all great blogs do, it got me thinking. Always dangerous, I know.

The one question I’m usually asked by readers and interviewers alike is which of my heroes is my favorite? The answer I always want to give is the next one. I have a nasty habit of falling in love with my next hero—the one hero I’m not supposed to be writing about. I’ll be writing one book, and a secondary character will invariably appear and steal my heart. I’m fickle that way when it comes to fictional men. I’m just lucky that hasn’t been my problem in real life. If it were, I doubt I'd still be happily married to the same man for over 20 years.

When I wrote Yours For the Taking, which will be released in January, 2011, I met a bevy of new characters—several of which were my…

A time of growth

Spring is definitely the time for new beginnings, perhaps even more so than the coming of the new year because in the dead of winter, the promise of new life seems so remote. But now, in late May, things are popping out all over the place. My roses are blooming,




















and just yesterday, one of the lilies I planted last fall burst into flower.




















Peaches isn't a little puppy anymore, but she is so full of exuberant life, she makes me feel young just watching her enjoy her first springtime as only a dog who was near death in December can do.


























And last, but certainly not least, my son Michael graduated from Purdue this month and has been accepted into graduate school. Now, that's a new beginning!




















I planted my garden on Tuesday--a bit later than I usually do, but what with deadlines and an over-abundance of rain, I simply hadn't gotten to it yet. As soon as I finished planting, a little thundershower passed over to give those seeds a good head start on growth.

And we could all use a little …

Birth of a book

May's theme here is all about motherhood.

Giving birth to my daughter was pretty darn special, but giving birth to my first mass market paperback Strange Neighbors has had some eerie similarities. And in some ways it was harder!

When I conceived the series, i.e. submitted it, I was hopeful but not counting on anything. Then I received the call. That was back in December of 2008. Natually, I was completely elated! It was the same when I learned my daughter was on the way.

Once I signed the contract I had to work with my editor (i.e. Doctor) to make sure everything was going well. Those early conversations, revisions and edits were like regular check-ups and prenatal vitamins. Very important!

I'd like to say it took only 9 months for that beautiful healthy manuscript to become a full fledged book I could hold and love, but it was more like a year! Okay, so that's not unusual in print publishing--but it seemed like an eternity!

My daughter came a week early. I landed in the hospi…

Love, Limerence, and Literature

Our theme this month is beginnings, which is perfect for a romance writers' blog since so many of our books detail the beginnings of a relationship. Most romances carry us from the initial moment of attraction to the resolution of the relationship--from falling in love to the promise of living happily ever after. And I think one of the reasons romances are so popular is their ability to help readers relive the ecstasy of falling in love. We've all been swept off our feet at one time or another--lifted and transported by a heady, intoxicating attraction that makes the stars shine brighter and the world whirl faster. Nothing compares to the beginning of a love affair--the joy of recognition when you meet your perfect match; the secret glow you carry in your heart; the delicious anticipation of seeing him again; and the sparks that fly when you're finally alone together. But in real life, there's a dark side to the early stages of love. Psychologists say infatuation is an …

A Breath of Fresh Air Supply

The theme for the end of May is new beginnings, but instead of a new beginning, what about going back to a beginning? Back to where where life was just beginning.

I had a family emergency over the weekend and couldn't do my scheduled Saturday blog post. Many many thanks to my Casa sisters for jumping in and taking over for me. The emergency was over on Saturday and that brings me to my "back to a beginning."

After the emergency, I had a lot of emotions, a lot of things to deal with. And I had concert tickets for an Air Supply concert. The question was whether or not I was going to go. After what had happened, actually, going was the best thing I could have done.

My best friend since high school had gotten the tickets. She and I were huge Air Supply fans in high school. We had every album, knew every song in order on those albums, knew the words to every song. We'd seen them numerous times in concert as seventeen and eighteen-year-olds, so when she saw they were coming t…

Tropical Island Getaway

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Ever wish you could just run away and have a brand new start on life? I'll admit, the thought has crossed my mind, or at least figured in my day dreams.

Back in the days of my DDJ (dreaded day job) my best friend and I liked to joke about running away to some tropical island where we'd lie about on the beach with native boys bringing us fruity drinks with little umbrellas.

Matter of fact, those shared day dreams eventually led us to make our very first trip to Hawaii back in 1992 (yes, I still have the T-shirt, old and faded in the rag pile)! However we were so busy sight seeing on that brief vacation (I think we were only gone 5 days because we both had kids at home) we only managed one brief afternoon on the beach. That was at Hanauma Bay, and alas there were no native boys. Also, our drink of choice was diet Pepsi. Still, that little jaunt whetted my appetite for lovely far off islands, and my BFF and I still joke about those native b…

Mothers in Writing

Since we’re blogging about mothers this month, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I portray mothers in my novels. I tend to make certain they’re absent or more of a villain than a helper to my hero or heroine.

I love my mom and consider her a good friend. So why do I kill off my characters’ mothers or make them horrible adversaries?

And my conclusion? It makes my characters more vulnerable. And stronger. If they’re alone in the world, they’ve had to make their own way, build their own life, go it alone. So it’s not that I’m against mothers, but characters lacking a mother or a supportive mother are more interesting to me.

That said, in my next novel, The Making of a Duchess, I’ve written a wonderful mother character. Rowena, the duchess de Valére, escaped the French Revolution with my hero Julien. Unfortunately, she had to leave her other two sons behind. Very early in the book, Rowena has to make a decision: save one son or lose all three. She decides to save Julien.


Rowena isn’t a centr…

Chhhanges

Many writers will tell you they will begin on one path and suddenly find themselves on another. My fans know about my witches in my Hex series with the fun quirky titles.
Do I love my witches? Absolutely!
When I wrote The Best Hex Ever, I created Maggie, a kick ass witch and Declan, a very sexy half fire demon along with a mouthy teenager I’m sure many parents might identify with.
My editor read this book in January and totally loved it. And along the way a light bulb went off in her head.
The last thing I want is to disappoint my readers. The witches will be showing up here along with some hot demon heroes.
I’m also working on a novella staring Thea that will hopefully come out this October.
Below is the launch copy for my new series titled Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend, which will also be the title for Maggie’s book, to be released in spring of 2011.
First in a new hot and funny paranormal series by bestselling author Linda Wisdom, featuring sexy demon heroes, the latest hot phenomenon …

PITCHING, ORIGINALITY, AND THE HOOK, HOOK, HOOK! (not in that order)

By Deb Werksman

I have just returned from a marvelous weekend with an RWA local chapter and the week before that I participated in an on-line pitch session and I had a GREAT time doing both--I love to take pitches (some of you may have noticed!) and it seems to me that authors are working hard at creating effective pitches. I'm hearing lots of good ones!

THE ANATOMY OF A PITCH
Pitches may be verbal or written, and by their nature they have to be concise and compelling, but they also have to include some key information:

*The author's publishing/sales history (how many books and how many copies sold to readers). This is where, if you're a debut author, you say so. If you're introducing a new pen name, please share your publishing/sales history of your previous name(s).

*The category and subgenre of the book: I can't tell you how many times a pitch gets derailed because I can't tell whether the book is mystery (which we don't publish) or romantic suspense (which w…

I'm Dreaming of the Wolf! & 2-Book Contest!!!

I just finished writing Heart of the Highland Wolf, Book 7, about hunky Highlanders, including a true family Highland story, changed a bit, and sent off my contribution to the nonfiction book: Make Love Like a Romance Author, and now I am beginning anew!

Which is one of the things we're talking about this month: new beginnings!

It's time todream of hot wolves and the trouble they can get themselves into. Hmm-hmm! :) So next up is Dreaming of the Wolf (or some such title) about Jake Silver from Destiny of the Wolf& Wolf Fever fame.

So what does a macho wolf do on his off-duty time? Photographs wildflowers. And nobody better snicker about it.

But something...or someone has gotten his undivided attention. And it's making him Sleepless in Silver Town.

I'll be talking about writing a series as the featured author for Calamity's Corner, June 1, and participating in Summer of Love on Jun 1 with a military tribute (for the Memorial Day weekend) and a free copy of To Tempt t…

Kids. . . and New Jobs

by Libby Malin
www.LibbysBooks.com

First, let me apologize. I've been so swamped with work and family activities that I haven't kept up with the blog lately. I was just reading through some of the really lovely blog posts about mothering and new beginnings that I've missed. They are wonderful and very moving. What lives you've led, ladies! Really sweet and full lives. Thanks for sharing your stories.

As for me, my mothering and new beginnings stories are simple. I have three kids and love them to pieces as any mother would. The oldest writes for the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong. The middle child is in pilot training in the Air Force. The youngest works for a think tank in DC, but she also writes fiction on the side. And the latest big news for her -- she just signed with an agent at the Gelfman Schneider Agency! I think I'm more excited for her than I was for myself when I first signed with an agent. It's been so fulfilling to use my experiences to help guide…

Beginning College and Friendship

by Mary Margret Daughtridge
“Can you take me to my chemo session?”BFF asked, after falling over herself with apologies for asking. “My car is in the shop.”She didn’t need to apologize. Our friendship has been around forever. She should know by now she can call me anytime. Still my quick “Yes!” couldn’t be attributed to altruism alone, or even the reciprocal bonds of camaraderie. FF has a gift for organizing ideas on a page, and I had blogs to write for my upcoming virtual book tour for SEALed with a Ring. “First,” she said, as soon as she was settled in the recliner and the IV’s were running, “explain what a blog is.”Computer literate long before I was, FF has only recently grasped email. She isn't au courrant with the Internet. I thought for a minute. “Do you remember newspapers?”“Yes,” she answered gravely. I guess she assumed, like the nurses, I was checking out her neurological status.“Well, then you remember how they used to have columns, and people read their favorite columns…

Getting Into Trouble

You'd think something as important as a new career would start with a bang--but my writing career started with a whimper.

I've worked in bookstores all my life, and I love my work. Not only do I get to spend all day, every day playing with books and talking to readers, but I'm able to put ideas into people's hands and encourage them to buy the books I love.

But working in retail means you're on your feet all day, every day, and after twenty years, it had taken its toll. My feet were permanently fixed in a high-heel slant, like Barbie doll feet. And they hurt.

Whimper.

I needed a sit-down job.

I decided to try medical transcription. I type fast, I'm a good speller, and I love using big words like desquamation and borborygmi, so it seemed like a great fit.
Unfortunately, doctors drone. And desquamation and borborygmi aren't nearly as entertaining when you realize they're happening to real people.


But I dutifully tapped away at the keyboard, transcribing my litt…

Beginning a New Series

Our theme for this month is New Beginnings and boy, that sure is appropriate for me. It's always a bit scary to start a new series, especially when it’s a bit more darker, a bit more dangerous, than my previous series. And to top it off, I’ll be launching it with a new publisher. Will my current readers follow me? Will they enjoy a darker read, and characters that aren’t based on shape-shifters?

My readers have come to expect a mixture of fantasy, romance & history, and I don't disappoint with my new series, THE ELVEN LORDS. Although this time I venture farther back in history, to the Georgian era, I still create an alternate magical universe centered in England. My heroes are half-elven, with the beauty and grace of the invading elven lords (think Legolas in The Lord of the Rings) and my heroines are women who are not only strong enough to survive in such a dangerous world, but able to find true love within it.

It’s odd, by my muse has taken a darker path. And I can’t do an…

Looking to Austen

This past Mother’s Day was lovely as my husband and children pampered with gifts and food. However, it was also sad since I lost my own mom in September. My sister and I planned a long chat to reminisce and cry, but in the end neither of us picked up the phone! I suppose it isn’t a surprise then that I am not feeling overly inspired to talk about the topic of motherhood as it applies to me. Thankfully I realized my blog date falls smack dab between our May themes of motherhood and new beginnings. Of course, many of the aspects involving motherhood include new beginnings – which is why we chose these themes – so it isn’t difficult to span the gap between the two. So I have decided to approach these themes as they relate to my novels and the world of Jane Austen.

Even a cursory glance at the mothers who inhabit Austen’s novels would lead to the conclusion that the only good mother to be found is a dead one! In Northanger Abbey Austen wrote in an explanation on the qualities of Catherine …

What to Do Before You Meet to Your Publicist...

by Danielle Jackson

Something I get asked quite a bit about at conferences and when I give presentations on publicity and marketing for romance is what authors can do before they are published. And you know what? It’s a tough question, because I don’t really know too much about what authors do before they are published aside from writing because I’m put in contact with authors after they’ve been signed!

Recently I attended the Chicago-North Spring Fling Conference in Illinois and I had to give the Sourcebooks Spotlight all alone—and it wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be!—but as I started preparing in the week prior what I would say and what I should be prepared to answer, I thought about what I like for authors to have when they come to me for the first time. Many of you here know that process; our publicity manager sends you an email with some general info and then I send you a follow-up email, usually with too many exclamation points at the ends of my sentences, but with a …

That elusive creature called the teenage boy

By: the Tammy half of Lydia Dare

I wish someone had given me a manual for parenting that elusive creature known as the adolescent male. It would have been much simpler had I known the fundamentals. But, unfortunately, they don’t come with instructions.

My parents had a house full of girls. There was my sister and I, our gaggles of friends who were at our house more than their own, and a stray girl or two with freckles and pig tails who just visited and chose not to leave, not until they were good and ready. The point of the story is - my house when I was growing up was a choked patch of estrogen. But then my sister and I both had boys. So, the tides turned. The estrogen that once soaked the hallowed halls of home was then filled with the scampering feet of little boys. Then the raging hormones of teenage boys.



It’s not easy raising a teenage boy. In this day and time, it’s hard to teach a young man what he needs to know. You still want him to do the basics like open car doors (o…

New Beginnings

By Robin Kaye

The theme for this month is new beginnings and since I’m beginning a new book and a new series, it seems apropos.

For me, the beginning of a book is the hardest to write since I’m usually still learning about my characters. It’s as if I’m feeling around a strange room filled with furniture in the dark, searching for the light switch or lamp, and trying not to kill myself in the process.

Normally, I know my hero/heroine, or both from one of my previous books but not in this case. While Hunter, my hero, was a character in Yours For the Taking, he was a very small secondary character. He may have had a line or two, but I knew what he did for a living, what he looked like, and everything there was to know about his family, yet Hunter was kind of an enigma

Unfortunately, I knew nothing about Toni, my heroine. She just popped into my head one day in all her goth regalia, and introduced herself. I knew what she looked like, what she wore, and how she sounded, but it took a lot of…

On being a mother. . . .

He turns fifty-five today, but when we first met thirty-four years ago, I knew he was the one. There was never a doubt in my mind, and without him, I wouldn't be the mother of my two wonderful sons.

I have never met a man, before or since, that I liked half as much and thought I could live with for thirty days, let alone thirty years. May 12 will be our thirty-first anniversary, and I love him even more now than I did back then.

The funny thing is, when I was growing up, getting married and having kids wasn't something I dreamed about. Oh, sure, I wanted romance as much as the next girl, but never having a boyfriend in high school will make you plan for other things in your future. I wanted to raise and train horses, but to do that, I needed money, so I went into nursing because I knew it paid well and that I would always have a job. That I liked doing it was just the icing on the cake. So, after three years in a diploma school, I graduated and began working the night shift.

I re…

Happy Mother’s Day!

This is my first Mother’s Day as a mom. I have a beautiful seven-month old daughter. I know it’s cliché, but having a child of my own has made me appreciate my mom so much more than I ever did before.

I confess, I used to consider Mother’s Day and Father’s Day little more than Hallmark holidays. No more! I don’t think most moms want jewelry or flowers from their kids (husbands, we’re not talking to you!). Most moms want appreciation.

Thank your mom for getting up with you every night, several times a night, soothing you, holding you, and rocking you back to sleep when she could hardly hold her own head up from exhaustion. Thank your mom for getting up with you at 6 a.m. to feed, change, and play with you—all with a smile—even though she was up with you at 12, 2, and 4.

Thank your mom for changing your poopy diapers and your wet diapers. You cried, kicked, tried to roll off the changing table, and basically did everything to thwart her, but she used her considerable skills at least 10 tim…