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Showing posts from August, 2014

Jade's New Life Challenges

Jade's New Life Challenges Hello everyone! Guess what?  A. Jade has won the lottery and made a zillion dollars! B. Jade has had a summer melt down that involved bourbon and strippers, and is now writing from jail. + C. Had a baby! D. Has developed a medical condition that makes her insane. Answer: D.  I suppose C and D could be true and I really wish A was true, but sadly, no. What happened? I've been diagnosed with a hyper-active thyroid. Now before you start thinking "poor Jade," let me express that this condition is fully treatable, is genetic (my mom and aunts all have it as well as my sisters), and will really not cause more than a minor adjustment in my life once we get things under control. Now you get to guess what my reaction was when we finally got the diagnosis. A. OMG I'm going to DIE! B. OMG I can't tell anyone! I've been bragging about how healthy I am. No one can know! C. OMG, it's so damned hot in here! Did s

Historical Romance Writer Confessions: What It's REALLY Like to Write with a Quill Pen

In many historical romances, there's a point at which characters write. We all know the drill: ink, paper, quill, sand. The process of writing usually isn't as significant as what's written. But what if it were? Based on my experience using a metal calligraphy pen (since I'm left-handed, it went about this well ), I wrote the following passage in my first Matchmaker romance, IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE . In this scene, the hero, Henry, is attempting to write left-handed after an injury to his right arm. He sat at the desk, and with his left hand, he wrenched open the inkwell. Ink spattered onto the painted wood of the desk and speckled his hand. “Damn it,” he muttered. This blunder slightly damped the pleasure of answering Caro’s letter. Ink was the devil to clean up. He dipped a quill that felt shaped wrongly against the curve of his hand. His unpracticed fingers shivered once the pen took on its load of ink, and black blobbed onto the page. No matter. He was ju


Just came out of Sales Conference, a full two days of talking about our books, our authors, our PR/marketing plans, our cover designs and looking at lots of data As I think about the data, it reminds me of  conversations I’ve had lately with authors, both Sourcebooks' authors and many others I meet at conferences, along the lines of “you are not your reader.” Now, it’s probably obvious that authors are also voracious readers. But authors are not necessarily the demographic of their readership. So here’s a quiz, and as I look at your posts and answers (feel free to pose questions too) today, I’m going to share some of the data I have about who the romance reader is, and what I know about her (yes, she’s predominantly a “she”). PLEASE ALSO POSE QUESTIONS—I THINK THIS IS A REALLY USEFUL CONVERSATION FOR AUTHORS TO HAVE, AND QUESTIONS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS ANSWERS SOMETIMES. 1   (Yes or NO) Do you think you and your core readership match in: a


Part of the fun in writing romances is in creating a multitude of different heroes. I mean, seriously, I get to spend my days staring out the window, trying to work out what makes these sexy men tick. It doesn't hurt to seek some inspiration from Pinterest either... Now this is what I call work... Whether they are Alpha or Beta, delving into the depths of these men is fascinating - especially working out why they are the way they are. I love the fact that each hero I write is so completely different to the others... and I enjoy hearing from readers who fall in love with that one special hero in the series and why. But then I started thinking, maybe I could give those readers a helping hand when it comes to working out who their perfect match is in the London Steampunk series. So I decided to create a fun little quiz. Who's your perfect hero? Is it Blade, the seductive Devil of Whitechapel? Or Sir Jasper Lynch, with that cool, rational intellect t

The Aspiring Author

Have you ever met someone who said they were an "aspiring author"? Well, duh, who hasn't? It's a pretty common dream to have, after all. Books are awesome, and everyone thinks it would be incredibly cool to write one of their own. But not many people actually achieve that dream, do they? Before I was published, when all I did was glom every available book all day long, writing a book seemed like an impossible task. It was Mount Everest, and I was a pudgy teenager with acne and zero clue how to strap on a pair of hiking boots. I appreciated the effort of every person who scaled that peak, after all, they brought stories back with them. It was something I didn't think would ever be possible, so I didn't even aspire to do it then.  By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons I skipped the aspiring part and just started writing for fun. For my own entertainment. It turned into a novel. So I started mentally calling myself an

A Close Encounter of the Pinniped Kind

You can find many things in Pismo Beach: breathtaking ocean views, brisk winds and bracing, salty air, cliffs ablaze with flowering shrubs, and gorgeous sunsets. You can also find all kinds of engaging fauna, of both the domesticated and wild variety. Pismo is doggie heaven, without question, and at any given time you can find dogs running ecstatically along the beach, sniffing eagerly over every inch of the pier and boardwalk, or being fed and watered outside the most popular local eateries. Like this Golden Retriever, whom I first spotted licking out the remains of a bowl of clam chowder that its owner was holding.  A little unhygienic, perhaps, but who could resist this face? Cats are harder to spot, but the hotel we stayed at used to have a colony of semi-feral cats who lived in the bushes lining the clifftops and who emerged every morning to be fed on the outside deck of the hotel restaurant. And one of the used bookstores boasts a sweet-natured Maine coon cat who strol