Thursday, January 12, 2012

A New Introduction… Beth Pehlke, Sourcebooks Publicist! + a Giveaway

by Danielle Jackson, Sourcebooks Casablanca Publicist 

I’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last few months that Sourcebooks Casablanca recently welcomed a new publicist to the mix: Beth Pehlke! She is wonderful and it is so great to have another romance team member in the publicity department.

Oh and if you’re wondering—yes, Beth (on the left) and I are standing with a cow in our photo! That is one of the Chicago Cows that were all over the city of Chicago in the late 1990s/early 2000s! Dominique bought one of the more literary themed cows [rumOr has it she Outbid some very famOus ChicagOans… One VERY famOus One], and it lives in the area of our building we call the bull pen!

Anyway… I thought a fun and easy way for us to get to know Beth was to invite her on the blog and do a little interview, and put her on the other side of blogging. On with the interview:

DJ: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
BP: Oh goodness, let’s see. I’m the youngest of three daughters. I’m a huge animal lover. I’m an Indiana University alum (Go Hoosiers!). Before working at Sourcebooks I worked for a corporate real estate company in their communication department, an NBA team and at a PR agency in NYC. Oh and I am kind of obsessed with my dog Roxy.

DJ: Aside from romance, what else do you work on at Sourcebooks?
BP: I have been able to work on a variety of genres since working at Sourcebooks. Primarily, it’s historical fiction, contemporary fiction and romance but I have also had some other types of books such as a zombie book, a funeral director’s memoir, and a sweet potato cookbook to name a few.

DJ: When I told you that you’d be working on romance, what was your initial reaction? :)
BP: Excited! Thrilled! Ecstatic! It’s a genre unlike any other and I am happy to be a part of it.

DJ: Have you found your niche genre in romance that you prefer (I’m a sucker for a good Regency, but try to keep things eclectic—I also love Paranormal!)
BP: I don’t like I could name a single favorite right now. I’m just enjoying experiencing all of them but I can say that contemporary and paranormal are up on my list.

DJ: What do you think about the ever-changing publishing industry? eBooks, promotion, marketing, etc.?
BP: It keeps you on your toes that’s for sure. But most of all I think it is fascinating. We are working in an industry that is rapidly evolving and to be able to not only watch it but work in it is amazing.

DJ: What has surprised you about the romance industry?
BP: I don’t know if it has necessarily surprised me but the level of community in the industry is outrageous! I knew there was a strong romance community but having been working in it now and seeing it first hand, it has really blown me away. Like I said before, it really is unlike any other genre in the book industry.

DJ: What do you love most about your job?
BP: Hmm probably the people I interact with every day, which includes the authors, book bloggers & my co-workers. When you work with people who are all passionate about books it makes work really fun and enjoyable.

DJ: What are some of your favorite books (non-romance titles are ok!)?
BP: Tough question. Let’s see, recent favorite is The Help. One of my all-time favorites is The Great Gatsby (can’t wait for the movie!). One of the most interesting books I have read is In Defense of Food – and recently I have been reading more books in that genre, the whole subject is fascinating. 

DJ: I know for a fact that in your spare time you are a GREAT baker—what’s one of your favorite things to make (and give us a recipe!)?
BP: One of the things I recently made a lot during the holiday season (and I made it for the Sourcebooks Publicity department) was this Cookies & Cream Peppermint Popcorn. It’s SO easy but tastes SOO good.

2 bags microwave popcorn, popped
1 (6oz) box candy canes, crushed
1 pack Oreo cookies, crushed
1 1/2 packs Almond Bark
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract or a few drops of peppermint oil

Directions: Place popcorn in a very large bowl. Pour crushed candy canes and crushed Oreos on top of the popcorn. Melt one pack of almond bark according to instructions on the package. Add the peppermint extract or oil to the almond bark and pour over popcorn. Stir. The Oreos will absorb some of the almond bark and the popcorn won't be fully coated.  Melt the remaining almond bark and pour over popcorn.  Stir until popcorn is coated.  Pour popcorn on wax paper and allow to harden. Once the popcorn has hardened, break into pieces and enjoy!
DJ: Anything else you’d like to share?
BP: Umm I don’t think so. Thanks for having me!

DJ: Thanks for visiting with us, Beth! I’m sure we’ll have you back soon. 

What’s something you’ve found interesting about the romance industry or publishing recently? We’ll do a giveaway of three copies of The Jane Austen Companion to Life—a very cute quote books featuring the wisdom of Jane Austen (US and Canada only, leave an email so we can contact you; winners will be announced in the comments on Friday!).


  1. I've experienced Beth's wonderfulness firsthand over the last few months. She's so nice and hasn't shown any signs of wanting to rip my keyboard away (I'm a debut author - I have lots of questions LOL).

    Love the picture of you ladies with the Chicago Cow. Very cute. One of these days, I'm going to finally make it to your office for a tour!

  2. Hey Beth! That popcorn looks dangerous.

  3. Welcome, Beth! I'm thrilled you're with us! I'm sure Danielle is too!!! :) The bull is adorable. They had them on display down here in Texas a while back! Back to edits!

  4. Something interesting to me about romance publishing: It's a female dominated industry where the ladies haven't just adopted traditionally-male modes of communication, coping, and doing business--yet. I hope they never do because it's the feminine ability to roll withe punches, cooperate, improvise, and make lemonade that will catapult romance publishing forward, AHEAD of the balance of the industry in the midst of significant change.

  5. And Beth, yes, of course, WELCOME, and thanks for all your hard work, and you wouldn't be planning on doing any baking the week of RT would you?

  6. SO nice to meet you, Beth. Great interview and I love the cOw trivia. Very neat and I can picture Dominique at an auction bidding away to get it!

    Question: What is it that authors can do to be best prepared when they are first meeting with you? Is there one thing that always seems to be a "go back and do this" kind of task?


  7. I'm lucky enough to have Beth as my publicist too! Thanks, Beth, for everything you've done for me so far - it's been brilliant!

  8. Hi Beth~ It's nice to put a name with the email signature! Beth is now my publicist too, and though I miss Danielle, my latest book launch went off without a hitch thanks to Beth. It was a lot of fun!

  9. LOVE the cow! Of course I would! Welcome to the mix, Beth. I can't wait to make that popcorn recipe. My kids and grandkids will love it...hmmm, I might rename it cowboy's trail mix and add pecans!

  10. I've been delighted by the popularity of classic authors like Georgette Heyer being found by a new generation of readers. I would love to see Sourcebooks publish some other great historical authors such as Pamela Belle or Elswyth Thane.

  11. Hi Beth - Welcome! I do love the pic of you and Danielle with the Chicago Cow. :)

  12. Welcome Beth! That was a great interview. I'm obssessed with my dog too. :) I take her all over the county I live in and take photos of her. In fact, I'd love to take a photo of her with that cute cow, but we are on the west coast so it would take more than a couple hour outing to accomplish that!
    As far as romance/publishing industry goes I know I have a lot to learn about e-publishing. I feel I'm quite behind in my knowledge of what's actually happening with it, how it works, etc.

  13. I'm fascinated by the opportunities open to authors now with the advent of ereaders and electronic publishing. It's a whole new (reading/writing) world out there!

  14. Great to meet you, Beth! Welcome! I love all the Os, Danielle. Nice hint! We have those cows in Houston, too.

  15. Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for the warm welcome to Beth!

    @Nancy I think authors should come to us prepared to be flexible and ready to collaborate on ideas to promote their books. I think paying some attention to what's going on in the romance community makes a big difference for everyone!

  16. Welcome Beth! I have enjoyed working together on The Highlander's Heart and I look forward to working on True Highland Spirit. Love the cow!

  17. Welcome Beth its so nice to finally put a face to the emails. I was lucky enough to meet Danielle very briefly a about two years ago.

    I wish I would have gotten a pic with the cow and regretted it since perhaps the next time I am in town

    OMG that popcorn looks so good.


  18. Thanks to everyone for welcoming Beth to the Casa Family :) Our winners today are: Margay, Nancy and Cindy. I'll be emailing you all shortly. Have a great weekend!

  19. WOW thanks everyone for all your nice comments and warm welcome!

  20. Welcome, Beth! So very glad to have you as a part of the SB family!