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Showing posts from March, 2012


While luck is a key element of gambling,  Lady Luck is also best known for her caprice. Excerpt from my  SIBA and TRR award nominated FORTUNE'S SON She had staked only twenty guineas and already had thirty. Her breathing quickened in anticipation of the next turn of the cards. The   tallière   flipped the nest two in quick succession, the three of spades and the four of hearts. “Three wins, four loses.” She exhaled in relief. He dealt again, “Queen wins. Knave loses.” “You have won again, my lady!” George cried. “But it was so easy!” Susannah gasped in delight, receiving resentful looks from anguished punters groaning as the croupier swept to the bank any coins resting with a knave. “You are exceeding lucky,   my lady of hearts . Do you wish pay or   paroli ?” asked the   tallière   once more. Her breath hitched at the decision. She turned to George, “Did you not say that with   quinze-et-le-va,   the payout is a full fifteen times my stakes?” “I

The Moo-ral of the Story About Luck by Grace Burrowes

I believe there is such a thing as being in the right place at the right time, as, for example, when I found myself standing in line at a bar, and a friendly editor with a knitting bag happened to be waiting for a glass of water (swear to goodness) right beside me. I hardly ever drink alcohol, but considering it was the first conference where I’d put myself up to pitching, you could say—I would say—that a lucky thirst possessed me. The editor not only extracted a pitch from me, but ended up offering me contracts (plural). I also believe bad things happen to good people, which some of us might call bad luck. I do not believe bad luck and good luck can always be distinguished from each other. Take, for example, my dear old dad, who as a young man wanted nothing in this life so much as to own a dairy farm. Dairy farming is relentlessly hard work, dangerous, and difficult, but this was his dream—his only dream. As dreams go, owning a dairy farm has a drawback. A modest dairy ope

What You Told Us: A Short Survey of Romance Reading Habits

by Deb Werksman Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks Casablanca . Several weeks ago [Jan 26] I took the opportunity to conduct a short, informal survey on reading/book buying habits on the Casa Authors blog. I’d like to share a summary of the results with you. . Overall, 76 readers responded—and I stress readers. Over the previous three months, almost half read between six and 20 romance novels, while over 35 percent read between 21 and 70 books. Sixty-four percent of those responding are not authors. Over 80 percent read historical romances over the previous three months. The second most popular sub-genre was Contemporary (68%), followed by Paranormal (61%). Most readers (62%) bought some books in each format—digital and print—while 22 percent bought only print books and 16 percent bought only ebooks. Fifty-four percent of all books purchased were print and 46 percent were digital. The overwhelming majority—88%—purchase books online, at Amazon,, ARe, etc., while almost half—

Stephanie Julian's New Way To Procrastinate

I have a new love. It's called Pinterest. I'd read about authors who make scrapbooks and collages for their books and I have always had a bulletin board filled with pictures of hot guys above my desk. Pinterest allows me to have lots of pinboards and readers can get a glimpse of the inspiration for my stories. Like this one on the left. This is what I picture Cal in WHAT A GODDESS WANTS to look like. Hot, right? How about these? On the right is my inspiration for Remy, who you'll meet in GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE in July. Remy is the younger cousin of Rom. That's him on the bottom left. Remy and Rom have some unique qualities that make them eminently qualified to protect a goddess. And Amity, Etruscan Goddess of Health, is going to need all the help she can get. Yes, there are two heroes for one heroine in GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE. Sometimes, two really is better than one... If you'd like to check out my board for Forgotten Goddesses or any of my other boa

Luck of the Draw by Tamara Hogan

At the time I write this, the romance writing community is eagerly awaiting the announcement of the finalists in the Romance Writers of America's RITA and Golden Heart contests, which acknowledge excellence in published and unpublished romance fiction. Over at my other group blog, The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood , regulars who've entered the Golden Heart are starting to get twitchy, but those of us who've entered books in the RITA are...pretty chill. Having your book be named a finalist in any writing contest depends on an epic alignment of taste, subjectivity, and luck: which preliminary round judges were randomly selected to read your book? Do they like your voice? Did you use a trope that they love/hate? Does your hero remind them of a rat-bastard ex? Are your love scenes too hot, too cold, or just right? Does your runaway enthusiasm for em-dashes annoy them to high heaven? It's a matter of taste, the luck of the draw, the buttercream frosting on an already-delicious

"May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor" by Catherine Mann

Anyone who’s read the Hunger Games or has seen the movie recognizes the quote in the title of today’s blog for our March theme of luck. “May the odds be ever in your favor” – a commonly repeated send off in the Hunger Games for the tributes going to fight to the death. Talk about high stakes! Hearing those words, seeing the characters , the Hunger Games world – it was all just as I envisioned when reading all three books in the trilogy. And that’s saying a lot! I had such high expectations for the movie, it was an incredible relief not to be disappointed. Especially since I was one of the record breaking numbers to attend the midnight debut, along a friend and a van load full of teenagers. Sure, there were some parts left out that missed, and I’ve had a blast discussing those with the scores of other people I know who also attended the Hunger Games on opening weekend. But then that’s just extended the fun of the movie even longer. What are your thoughts on movie adaptations of boo

Sourcebooks Ebook Bracket Challenge!

Have you heard? Sourcebooks is letting READERS pick the next 99 cent ebook deal! Starting Sunday, March 25, Sourcebook invites you to take part in the first ever Sourcebooks eBook Bracket Challenge ! By using the Twitter hashtag #eBookBracket , readers can vote over Twitter for the next eBook from Sourcebooks they want to see discounted to $0.99 for one week in early April. The Rules: 1. You MUST use the hashtag #eBookBracket for your vote to be counted—otherwise it won’t count! 2. Please remember this is a FRIENDLY competition 3. VOTING Rounds: Round 1 (8 titles): March 25-March 26 until 4pm CST - 4 Titles moving on to Round 2 announced the morning of March 27 Round 2 (4 titles): Begins 9 am CST on March 27-March 28 until 4pm CST - 2 titles moving on to the Championship Round announced the morning of March 29 Championship Round (2 titles): Begins 9am CST March 29-March 30 until NOON CST Winning title announced on Twitter and Sourcebooks Buzz Blog by 5pm CST on Marc

LUCKY WITH COVERS, by Kathryne Kennedy

Okay, I’ll admit, I’m not sure if I believe in random luck. Making your own luck, though, I definitely believe in. I’m the first to admit that there’s a lot of luck in publishing…catching that editor at just the right time with a story that moves her. But unless you are really working at your craft--writing, and submitting your stories--‘luck’ will never have a chance to strike. But my luck surely held when I became a Sourcebooks author. From an editor who truly cares about her authors to an owner who is dedicated to building her author’s careers to a publicist who cares just as much about promoting your books as you do, I got very lucky. And this is where I get to the subject of my post. My covers. I think my covers just keep getting better and better. In many ways my stories are a challenge. I mix fantasy and history and romance in pretty much equal measure, and that’s really hard to translate in a cover. So Sourcebooks truly had a challenge when they took me on as an author,


To be perfectly honest, I'm lucky to have remembered to write this post at all. It's 9:25 PM on Thursday night, and I really want to watch "Awake" at 10:00, so I'll have to hurry. The fact that I can watch TV again and have a couple of favorite shows is one of the things I've been feeling lucky about lately. Giving up a paycheck that made me feel like I could buy pretty much anything I wanted was a little scary, but since I never bought much anyway, it wasn't a bad tradeoff because it gave me the one thing I didn't have. Time. Nevertheless, I did buy one thing that's kinda cool, though. Cheap, too. My mask for the RT Booklover's Convention, which I think is quite awesome!   I'm extremely lucky since trying to transfer that picture from my SD card to my photo files crashed my computer and this post had been saved as a draft. Even the manuscript I'd been working on at the time survived unscathed. Honestly, it

What is it About Luck? Shana Galen I write a lot about luck. I don’t mean to, but it always seems as though some character is particularly superstitious or thinking about luck or wishing she had more luck or—uh-oh—out of luck. I’m not a big believer in luck myself. I don’t play the lottery or gamble or toss pennies into fountains—very well, sometimes I give my daughter pennies to toss into fountains. My characters often do believe in luck. In reality (can you have reality in fiction?), they’re probably just smart or talented and make their own luck, but that doesn’t stop them from believing in it. Take Bastien from my latest release, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride . He believes in luck. He’s a pirate, and sailors are notoriously superstitious. Here’s a few lines from the book where he discusses luck with the heroine, Raeven. Her father, a British admiral, has just spotted Bastien’s ship, which is currently housing the admiral's kidnapped daughter. His cobalt eyes were steady, the quest

Getting Lucky

by Joanne Kennedy When I was a kid, my sister and I used to hunt for four-leafed clovers in the grass. These elusive little good-luck charms never seemed to turn up when you were looking for them--but when you least expected it, you'd stumble across one by accident. That's how luck works. By definition, it's a happy accident of fate, and I always seem to stumble into good fortune when I least expect it. And while hard work, perseverence, and focus help determine our lives, it's often luck that has the most influence in leading us to our destiny. Here are four strokes of good luck that led me to the here and now: Finding my Place: I moved out West in 1992. At the time, I thought I was running away from home. In reality, I was running to home--to the place where I belonged, and the place that has defined me ever since. Finding my Hea rt: I met my husband by chance. I was running a bookstore; he was a customer. We definitely weren't looking for love, but after

Luck or hard work?

The luckiest people I know are the ones who work hardest. I was recently thinking about a woman I nominated for a service award. Some would call her lucky to be a New York Times best-selling author. I know different. She works her tushy off! No matter how under gun she is with a deadline, or under the weather, she's always positive and helpful to others. Until I got to know her, I thought she was lucky too. Actually, the woman types 120 words a minute. Her publisher likes her to put out at least three single titles per year (because they know she can) and she somehow manages to do it...but it's not easy. At one point she admitted that it was taking a toll on her health. I suggested she ask for more time to complete each book so she can enjoy life a little. I don't know if she finally did that or not. I worry about her, because she's one of those people who just can't say 'no' even when she should. I wonder how the people who work the hardest to get where the

Lucky 13 and Fate by Judi Fennell

I know, I know. 13 is supposed to be un lucky. But I've never exactly been a traditional sort of person. That could have something to do with the fact that I was born on the 13th. I consider that very lucky--that I was born, that is. You know, when you think about the odds, it's like 8 billion to one that you would turn out to be you. One quicker little wiggle by the sperm swimming beside the one that made you, and you'd be someone else. You could even be the opposite gender. Tall instead of "average." A genius instead of... well, not. Or maybe not instead of a genius. (I, personally, think all of my readers are geniuses, but that could just be me...) I always tell my kids to be thankful for what they have because, you know, one little mishap, one misplaced gene, and it could all be so different. I also remind them that they're the sperm that won. (TM) [Yes, I am trademarking that. I came up with it; it's mine. But feel free to use it with proper attributi

Charmed, I'm Sure

by Olivia Cunning A few months ago, I was doing some research about lucky charms. Not the cereal. I already know plenty about that sugary goodness. I was researching objects that are thought to bring good luck. The reason? In one of the Sinners on Tour books, everyone's favorite quirky drummer, Eric Sticks, thinks he's targeted for injury (or death) and he figures a good luck charm (or twenty) can't hurt. So he starts to accumulate them. Eric's first and probably most morbid good luck charm, was a lucky rabbit's foot. Surprisingly, the rabbit's foot has been considered lucky for centuries and by various cultures around the world. To be considered truly lucky (for the human possessing the charm, not the rabbit), the charm must be the left, hind foot of a rabbit killed in a cemetery under a full moon on Friday the 13th. I believe Eric picked up his rabbit's foot at a swap meet, so it probably wasn't all that lucky. Especially since it was green. Yes,

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

By Robin Kaye Did you know… That St. Patrick wasn’t Irish? He was actually born in Britain and was kidnapped and taken to Ireland and was a slave. He escaped after about ten years, became a priest, and returned to Ireland to convert the Pagans to Christianity. That the Charitable Irish Society in Boston started the first St. Paddy’s Day parade in 1737? That the first New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade was in 1762 and is the longest running parade in history? It was started when the Irish militia in Lower Manhattan marched a few blocks to a tavern. As it turns out, the Irish in New York had staying power and during the potato famine they realized they had power in their sheer numbers—in ten years a million Irish immigrants came to New York and made the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade the largest and longest parade in the world. Every year there are 160 to 180,000 people marching and 2.5 to 3 million spectators. That Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato to Ireland in the 16th cen