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Showing posts from October, 2009

Witches, Vampires, Mermaids, Werewolves, Ghosts, OH MY!

by Deb Werksman It's almost Halloween so I think I have to talk about the paranormal romance subgenre and my current thinking. What I'm hearing is that Vampires are here to stay. However, I'm also seeing that it's absolutely necessary to do something different/interesting/fresh with them and their world. For some really interesting thoughts about why vampires are sexy, I recommend Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan of SmartBitches. We at Sourcebooks are having great success with Linda Wisdom's light paranormal Hex series, and we're launching a werewolf trilogy by Lydia Dare that I think is going to be fabulous (the werewolves get crankier and crankier as the moon waxes, then they turn into a wolf, then they're calm again for a few weeks--does this sound at all familiar?). Terry Spear's werewolf series continues to win awards and exceed sales expectations, and her readers love the real-life wolf connection that shapes how h

5 Reasons Why I Love Shapeshifters

Why do I love the furry critters? Considering the zoo in my house, a shapeshifter, or more, wouldn’t bother me one bit. If nothing else, I wouldn’t suffer cold feet during the winter, would I? Plus, look at this picture. Wouldn't you adore a Jake in your house? There’s so many of us who adore shapeshifters for one reason or another. For me, I tend to look on the quirky side. When I first mentioned Jake in 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover I had no idea he was a shapeshifter. At the time he was a hunky carpenter the witches liked to watch through high-powered binoculars. When he showed up in Wicked by Any Other Name I realized he was a perfect fit as the Border collie that hung around the witches. It would have been way too typical to have a wolf roaming in the forest but no one in town would think a Border collie just might be more than he appears. So here’s five reasons why I love the furry guys. Is there anything more faithful than the furred kind? Once they find their mate, their relati

A tale of two bookstores

I didn't intend to go into a bookstore yesterday. It just sort of happened. Actually, I think my car is possessed by a evil entity which insists that I periodically check out my local Barnes & Noble and Borders to see if they have my books in stock. I say evil because I never know how this will make me feel. First off, my regular Tuesday morning riding lesson was canceled, so I had the time free to run a few errands. I needed new shoes--which is always a hassle--a few things that my DH asked me to get for a Boy Scout function on Thursday, a training collar for my new puppy, and some environmentally friendly dish soap, which is only available in two stores that I know of. It was chilly and drizzling, which isn't great for anyone's mood, and though I had little hope for the shoes, I did manage to find a pair of Nikes that fit most of my criteria. Trust me, having a wide foot is worse than having a wide you-know-what when it comes to buying things that fit. Most of my sho

A Day of Waiting

Ordinarily, I’d talk about the fun I’ve had guest blogging this month and talking about my recent release, Hex in High Heels. Hm, I guess I just did that! But today is also the day of my husband’s surgery. A day of waiting to hear if he’ll be okay. Inside, I feel he will do fine and I'll catch up on my reading while waiting. So do yourselves a favor today and hug the one you love. I'll also be on the radio this week. Wed. The Donna Seebo Show on at 3pm PT and Thurs. on Sirius XM/Satellite, Broadminded w/ Christine and Molly at 9:30 am PT. Plus, I'll be signing my Hex series on Halloween night at Eclectic Books, 39520 Murrieta Hot Springs Road in the Margarita Ville Shopping Center in Murrieta, Calif. The signing is 7-9 with live music, costumes and a party atmosphere. I promised my husband I'd bring candy home to him. By then he'll feel up to indulging. Linda

Questions I Wish I'd Asked

by Libby Malin In my April 2010 release, My Own Personal Soap Opera , soap opera head writer Frankie McNally rarely has to deal with actors' agents. But as writers, we all interact with agents regularly. (And how was that for slipping a mention of my next book in with the topic of this post? LOL!) When I first started writing seriously, I queried agents left and right, scrupulously researching which agents would be best for me. For any aspiring authors on this blog, here's a quick rundown of the kind of research you might find valuable (I did): Read Publishers Lunch, the weekly round-up of deals produced by Publishers Marketpla ce , noting the agents representing works that are in the same genre and of the same tone as yours. Consider subscribing to Publishers Marketplace so you can search their deals database. Use websites like to look for more information on agents, whose names you cull from Publishers Lunch. Also use AgentQuery to look up


Yes! I'm at the Authors After Dark Conference in Suffern, NY , a readers' conference, and Wild Blue Under made its debut at the book signing today and I'm thrilled to say that it and In Over Her Head sold out. With approximately 60 readers and 25 authors (give or take), the odds of selling out weren't all that high, so I'm doubly pleased that all of the books went. I participated in a Mermaids & Myths event with Joey W. Hill where we discussed our stories. Joey has a beautiful erotic series that is based on the Little Mermaid mythology. It was fun to see how we took the same mythology and came up with divergent tales (pun totally intended). Joey's been published longer than I have, so most of the audience had read her stories, but I was so thrilled to have readers there who'd read In Over Her Head . I also participated in a panel on fairy tales and with my tag line: "fairy tales with a twist," a lot of people were interested in the stories.

I Got Lucky Tonight...

By Robin Kaye with a little help from her friends My pulse raced. I was afraid to breathe as I reached out to take it in my hand. It was hard, smooth, unyielding. I licked my lips in anticipation waiting to take possession. It was mine, all mine. My only regret was that it didn't come with batteries. No, I'm not talking about B.O.B., Romeo, Romeo just won the Golden Leaf Award for Best Single Title! I'm still amazed. Romeo, Romeo was up against two wonderful books, Stolen Fury by Elizabeth Naughton and The Forbidden Daughter by Shobhan Bantwal. Winning awards is great and I've truly been blessed, but when it comes right down to it, every time I get fan mail, I feel the same thrill. Writing is such a solitary occupation, and when someone recognizes my work, I get such a rush. I just received a 4-Star Review for Breakfast in Bed coming out in the December Romantic Times Magazine and better yet, one of my fans sent it to me with a note that she couldn't wait to r

Ack, I Missed My Post!!!

I had an excuse though!!! :) I'm on a really quick deadline, and planned on pre-posting last night, and voila!!!! Storms knocked out my Internet. And this morning, it was still storming. And storming, and storming. This is because a higher power than me knows I'm writing about werewolves in Oregon, and how can I write about rainy weather when we're in the middle of a Texas drought? So...I've got my rain, and no longer have to listen to a CD with the rain pitter pattering on it. :) I still listen to the howling CD Diva Donna sent to me. Thanks, Donna! :) But next, I've got to book myself into a Scottish castle. Anyone want to go with me? The reason? Book 7 and 8 just sold!!! Yep, two more werewolf tales, only one is set in the Highlands...where many of my ancestors came from. So, what do you think? Ready for hot men in kilts? Who are a little on the wild--werewolf-- side??? Have a super Thursday! I'm back to work.... Terry, the tardy! Sorry, sorry, sorry! "

First Kisses

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy Recently one of my critique partners and I were discussing favorite scenes in books, what we liked and why we liked them. We quickly came to the conclusion that we consistently liked scenes where the hero and heroine kiss for the first time. I have fond memories of first kisses from special ‘dates’ over the years. Usually the anticipation of those kisses proved more enjoyable than the actually lip contact. Maybe that is why first kisses in fiction make such enjoyable scenes. The author can take her time building up all that wonderful tension between the hero and heroine and the actual moment of contact never has to be disappointing. The author can revise and reinvent to her heart’s content, and the reader can savor all the lovely anticipation as many times as she wants. Since my new release, The Treasures of Venice has a dual storyline and two sets of lovers, I got to have all the fun of writing the ‘first kiss’ scene twice! Here is the f

Typing "The End"

I am thinking we would all agree that one of the high points in writing our stories is to type "The End" in bold print at the bottom of that final page. Maybe it is just me, but I always flash onto the scene in Romancing the Stone when Joan Wilder types those words - on a real typewriter no less - and is dissolving into tears while searching high and low for a tissue. I love that scene! Of course, until recently it was just a humorous moment in a movie with no relationship to my life. Now I have typed those words a few times, most recently two days ago. And let me tell you, it is a fabulous feeling! Of course, we know that just because we type "The End" it really isn't the end. We will read it over a few more times before we click the attach and send buttons. We will add a little bit here, take away something there, find some typo or misspelled word, all before we are satisfied enough to turn it over to our editor. And then it will be picked over by a series of

I vow...

To blog at least three times a week at my website from now on. I've also missed a day or two when I was supposed to blog here! (embarrassed blush) It seems possible. Daunting, but possible. I look at my life and say, "How can I possibly come up with something to talk about that often? I'm a boring person!" Friends have told me I'm wrong about that. LOL. So, I promise to try harder from now on. Now, what I need from you are your ideas! What would make for a blog you or others would like to visit? Do you need witty reparte? I can be witty. Do you want an account of my journey as a writer? I can share my journey. Do you want to know what I wear to bed at night? No question is too personal. I'll even tell you if I've cheated on my diet each day if you like. LOL. So, let me know what floats your boat. Excerpts? Pictures? Funny stories? The untold truth? Or something different each day so you never know what to expect? I could even resurrect my old advice blog,

Potholes in the Rocky Road of Publishing

I'm writing this on Wednesday morning after missing a call from our dear editor Tuesday afternoon while I was out cutting the grass--and after I'd returned her call only to get her answering machine. This was, as you might imagine, a call I'd been waiting for since September 20th when I sent in the manuscript for the sixth book in the Cat Star Chronicles series, Hero. Right now, my hands and feet are cold and I feel an odd fluttering in my chest. How I managed to sleep last night is a mystery. This morning I had to get up early to go to a unit meeting at the hospital. My friend, Suzy, called me at 6:45 and told me not to come. It was cold, dark, and raining and she was sure that nothing very important would be covered at the meeting (she was right), but I went anyway just to give myself something to do before I could make that call. Now I'm writing this blog to kill time before I call her again. I hate being on pins and needles, but in all honesty, I've felt that w

Emerald City

No wizard. No ruby red slippers. No yellow brick road. No Wicked Witch of the West. Well, there could have been the latter. Except this Emerald City was Bellevue, Washington and an annual writer’s conference that was put on last weekend. I was up there to hook up with friends such as the awesome Yasmine Galenorn and Maura Andersen and meet other writers. I also gave a workshop titled ‘My Bunny Slippers Ate My Homework – How To Create Memorable Creatures’. What can I say? Fluff and Puff insisted I do it. I sat in on fun workshops, connected with old friends, made new ones and drank lots of coffee. Tullys Coffee in the hotel lobby could do peppermint mochas, so I was there as often as an overly caffeinated person could be. And a fun bookfair open to the public. They had three of my books and I had a lot of people asking for 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover. I enjoy talking to readers, because I tend to pick up new authors to read from them and it’s fun to hear what they like about my books and

Pretty as a Picture

by Libby Malin Sourcebooks' artists have done it again! The cover for my April release, My Own Personal Soap Opera , is in and I love, love, love, love it! Let me count the ways: The cover captures the spirit of the book--humorous women's fiction where the heroine's main question is: where am I going? The cover plays off the word "soap" by having the woman sitting in a tub. The end of the book has the heroine in a tub, so it's a really nice overlap. The cover "brands" my kind of story because it has similar elements to my first Sourcebooks release, Fire Me --girl's partially obscured face in the lower left corner, blue-sky, cloudy (or bubbly!) background, a sense of impishness and wonder. So, thank you, Sourcebooks artists for another fantastic job! Covers ar e so important, and authors rarely have control over what goes on them. One of the things I've loved about Sourcebooks is how they ask authors to let them know what k

Domestic Heroes

Since Robin has her Domestic God, and I’m writing this while eating the dinner my husband cooked and served me in my office, I figured that he’s such a good guy, he needs his own title. And since I dedicate all my books to my own personal hero, Domestic Hero is perfect for him. My husband would be the first person to be embarrassed to have not only this title, but also a blog post dedicated to him. He’s more than content to give me the spotlight. I think that’s why this writing for publication thing has worked out so well over the years. See, he’s the one who found Romance Writers of America for me. I’d written my first story, but had no idea what to do with it from there. I had no idea about imprints, or who published what, or how to get an agent. No clue about POV, and inciting incident, or what a black moment was. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I had some innate sense of building up to a crisis, but as for what it was called… pfft . I had no idea you couldn’t head-hop (in the same paragra

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

By Robin Kaye Have you ever stopped and wondered how the heck you got where you are? I had a moment today when I did exactly that. I had just gotten out of the shower after eating lunch--I know, I should have taken my shower at a respectable time, but I began work, as usual, after making my first pot of coffee at 6:30 this morning, wearing my pajamas and ended up working in them until it was almost time for me to leave. Before my shower, I made lunch for myself and my home-schooled daughter, the 13-year-old ballerina, and left her with instructions to do the dishes. After getting myself back together, I investigated strange noises coming from the direction of the kitchen and found my 120 lb. yellow lab with his front paws on the kitchen counter slurping up the last of what was almost a quart of my homemade spaghetti sauce. Twinkle-Toes had neither done the dishes nor put away the leftovers. Sambuca, my dog, looked at me with a guilty sauce-laden face and I wondered how I got there. I n

Ready to Go Spelunking???

In Destiny of the Wolf, my heroine and hero end up in a cave--seems appropriate since Silver Town is an old silver mining town, and so at a point in the story...they end up in one of the them. Have you ever been in a cave? Normally, they're cold. Very cold. And when I've visited them, I'm usually dressed for warm weather, so it's a real shock to the system. Deep in the bowels of the earth, you'd think you'd be getting closer to the hot molten rock of the center of the earth, and it would be warmer, right? But then again, you're farther from the sun, so it should be colder, right? In some caves, it's definitely colder. I visited one in Maryland, loved the shimmering quartz in the rocks, the water dripping, the stalagmites reaching to the ceiling and the stalagtites clinging to the ceiling, and in some cases, the one dripping sediments on the other until a column is formed. But did you know that some caves deep in the bowels of the earth are actually w

My new writer's office

by Sharon Lathan For several months now I have been eyeballing the extra room in our house to be an office for me. The history of this one room is convoluted and messy! Once upon a time it was my son’s bedroom painted navy blue with jungle animal wallpaper border. Then when my eldest daughter moved out and he moved into her larger bedroom (necessitating the paisley flowers of her room be revamped with a wall mural of a nature scene) the room housed our brand new iMac as the kids’ exclusive computer, and served double-duty as my sewing room (rarely) and general catch-all/storage room (frequently!). Several years and 2 iMacs later, I decided the jungle print had to go and redecorated yet again. It was 2004 and the room served as the PC and Xbox gaming room since the now-high school daughter had a laptop and my son was far more interested in playing WOW than doing homework! It also was now the cat’s watercloset and so stuffed with junk that a serious re-do was desperately needed. Plus, a

Cruising and Shameless Book Promoting

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy As most of you know, Aunty recently returned from a fabulous eleven day cruise to Mexico. Yes, I had a wonderful time, but I'm here to tell you that it wasn't all fun and games! Okay, maybe it really was fun and games, but our lovely publicist Danielle has rubbed off on me, because I also found an opportunity to promote my newest release, The Treasures of Venice . In the midst of my cruise, no less! In case you haven't been on a cruise before, you might not know that not every day is spent in a wonderful and exotic port. Some days you have to spend getting from place to place. On these 'at sea' days, the cruise director and his staff try to provide entertaining ways for passengers to occupy their time. Since I am not a sun-worshipper, a card player, or an exercise fanatic (EEK!) , I do appreciate the efforts to provide other ways to occupy ones time. After all, there are a limited number of times Aunty can force herself to

Why does romance get such a bad rap?

MSNBC ran a poll a year or so ago to see how many respondents enjoyed reading romance. Great, right? An opportunity for those of us who love uplifting stories with a happy ending to show the world our support of romance novels, right? Well, yes and no... Romance readers and writers turned out to vote their support of romance novels, and when the poll closed, those who voted yes, they read romance, outpaced those who did not. My beef? (And I do have one!) The tone of the poll, the wording of the question and response choices made my skin crawl. Clearly the poll was created by some yahoo who'd never read a romance and could clearly need a little light and love in their otherwise jadded and cynical life. Romance novels - yet again- were called bodice rippers. To vote yes in the poll, you had to click the choice that said "Yes, yes, yes! Bodice-rippers are my ultimate escape." To vote no, you were to click 2. "No way. I don't touch those books." You could

The Times They Are a-Changin'

“All is flux; nothing stays still.” Heraclitus It’s a strange time here at Sourcebooks… I know what some of you are thinking—“WHAT?!?!!? My book isn’t even in stores yet/My book just hit shelves! What do you mean?” In publishing, we work MUCH further in advance than most people realize. That’s because the media (magazines, television, even newspapers and some websites!) works ahead, too. As a publicist, it’s my job to be aware of what’s happening… before it happens! Believe it or not, even though the August and September books have long been on shelves, October is just getting underway and we’re preparing for November and December, I’ve got new ARCs coming in for February. And March? Yeah, those will be in soon, too. There’s even one ARC I received that’s for MAY. When I say it’s a strange time, I mean it! There comes a point in the middle of the beginning of each season where my focus has to be split—while still staying very much with the current season (and let’s face it, the turn ar

Getting Away From It All

As rewarding as it is, writing can be stressful. Not, for the most part, the actual writing, but there is so much about the business of writing that isn't writing! As in every business, things don't always go your way and sometimes it's nice to do something distinctly NOT business oriented. Like read a good book outside of your genre of writing. Recently, I began a murder mystery blog. I've always loved to read murder mysteries, especially 'cozy' murder mysteries. What are cozies? Well, I'm glad you asked. According to Wikipedia, " Cozy is a subgenre of crime fiction whereby sex and violence are downplayed or treated humourously. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work that tried re-creating the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. " Think of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple as one of the foremothers of the cozy murder mystery protagonist, though the modern incarnation is just as likely to be a thirty-so

A Little Down Time. . .

I visited with my sisters this past weekend for a much needed break from the writing and nursing bizz. While I was there, we visited Shakertown, and you can't get much further from the computer age than that--or from any form of romance. As you may know, the Shakers were a religious community who believed in simplicity and chastity. Separated from the world, they were very forward thinking in their attitudes toward the equality of the races and sexes and their pacifism, as well as their agricultural innovations and superb craftsmanship. This particular colony at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky was begun in 1805 and endured through the Civil War until officially closing in 1910. I guess it's hard to keep a religion going on converts alone, and it's my opinion that the chastity thing was probably their undoing--it kinda helps to breed more members. Everything looks wonderfully peaceful and serene, but I wonder if there wasn't a bit of the usual conflict that occurs when people t