Literacy Signing – 7/17/13, 5:30 – 7:30 – Atlanta, Georgia – be there, along with over 400 authors!!
At the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, hundreds of romance authors—more than 400!—meet with and sign their books for fans, with the proceeds from book sales going to literacy organizations. Read more
Thursday 4/11 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm EDT #chat with #RITA finalists here!!!
Beginning April 11, RWA.org will host a weekly live online event for romance readers and RITA finalists once a week. I’ll be there to chat with authors, will you?
A message from RWA.org:
Each event, hosted through Shindig.com, will feature several of the 2013 finalist authors and books for a specific RITA category in a moderated Q&A format. We will discuss heroes and heroines, writing style, and other fun facts. Enter here to register for the first event featuring Ruthie Knox; Roxanne St Claire; Jill Shalvis; Roni Loren; Kim Law; Barbara Freethy; Barbara Hannay . . .click here Read more
Happy #ValentinesDay from R@R + 20 book Giveaway – Crazy!
Happy Valentine’s peeps! We’ve asked our authors what is the most favorite gift they’ve given or received on Valentine’s Day – their answers are below – enjoy!
For Valentine’s, there is only one way to my heart and that’s with a bouquet of tulips and hockey tickets. My husband always comes through every year, not only with those two things but also with a box of chocolates and a card that reminds me how much he loves me. For him, I always get a box of Whitman’s chocolates because it is his favorite chocolate. For the kids, I get them SpongeBob box of crabby patties and they just love that. This year though, my husband and I are going to Nashville to spend the night and just enjoy each other. Its our 16th Valentine’s day together and each one get better and better. He is the reason I write love stories, because he loves me so much.
Toni Aleo ~
Author of the Assassins series: Taking Shots; Trying to Score; Empty Net on sale in April!! & Blue Lines this fall
Toni Aleo |Facebook | Twitter
Music. For years, my husband and I have exchanged mixtapes and playlists–to flirt, to comfort, to encourage, or to tease. One of my favorites was one he made for me during those hardest, weepiest, sweetest first days of caring for our newborn. Hearing songs from that playlist still choke me up. But we also exchange them as Valentine’s–to communicate all those things that words, even for a writer, don’t fully express. Receiving a mixtape (or mixed CD, really) or playlist from the one you love is a singular thrill—it’s a like a coded love letter. Listening to one, I have some insight to some of his deepest, or even nuttiest, feelings about me. Making one for him, I can make choices that are braver and sexier and more interesting than I might normally make with words or actions. Music from the one that you love marks your time together like a diary. It scores the memories. It’s a private soundtrack, and all the songs are “your songs.” ~ Mary Ann Rivers, author of THE STORY GUY on sale 7/8/2013
Hobbits, Hunks, and Heroines and Giveaway (and it’s not a Hobbit)
The Escape Diaries by Juliet Rosetti is an irresistible read with the heroine Mazie Maguire wrongly convicted of killing her philandering husband. After escaping from prison Mazie’s life is an outrageous adventure of a woman on the run! It’s a great read that will keep you hooked until the last page.
Random House’s fabulous Sue Grimshaw came up with the idea of two Loveswept first time writers from opposite corners of the globe interviewing each other. And so here is Wendy Vella, from Auckland and Juliet Rosetti from Oshkosh, giving their take on hotties, heroines, and hobbits:
The temperature in Oshkosh. Wisconsin, where Juliet lives is pretty cold over the Christmas season, whereas Wendy is sitting on 25 degrees in Auckland NZ (That’s 82F.) and heading hopefully for a hot sunny Christmas at the beach!
So both of you tell us what you do over the Christmas period? Do you have traditions? What do you like to eat? (Besides chocolate because that’s a given). Read more
Real time romance, do you look for stories you can relate to?
Small town, up town, down town, any town – I’m just looking for stories I can relate to – are you? That’s the topic of the day, please join in the conversation and comment below.
As of late, the best seller lists are mixed – you’ve got the Fifty Shades of Grey series at the top of the charts and other mainstream romance titles filling in through out — this confuses me. Read more
What is The Popular Romance Project? Glad you asked!
The Popular Romance Project has been a labor of love since Laurie first began to explore the romance world at the 2009 RWA conference in Washington DC. Find out more about the project below.
RITA Award winners! And, who is the author you’d most like to meet?
Once again I had the amazing opportunity to attend the RWA 2012 conference in sunny Anaheim, California. RWA is an amazing event that I recommend for any romance enthusiast to attend. Whether you are a reader, author, agent, editor or just a lover of crowds, RWA is the place to be.
Not only do you have the opportunity to learn about the industry and about writing but you are within close proximity to some very famous authors! Read more
When The Prince Isn’t So Charming
In Alma Katsu’s The Taker, Jonathan St. Andrew has all the earmarks of Prince Charming: he’s handsome beyond belief and the eldest son in the family that owns the town. Who could blame Lanore McIlvrae for falling in love with him? But eventually, even the most lovesick girl will learn that actions speak louder than words. . .
I want to talk today about the myth of Prince Charming. Read more
Can you guess which author wrote this?
Authors have a certain, identifiable style that when you hear or read their words you know who wrote them. Today we’re going to look at a few first chapter paragraphs and see if you can guess the authors that wrote them. Have fun!
The Pigeon Man was usually here by now. Tuning out her companion’s self-serving story for a moment, Cath double-checked the LED display suspended over the station platform. Ten minutes until the train. In this woman’s company it would feel like a lifetime.
Can you guess?
Romcon 2012 – Denver, CO – 6/22 – 6/24 – General Admission Ticket Giveaway!
Romance authors tell all – ‘How do we come up with our character names?’ + Giveaway!
I love going through Soap Opera magazines for names because it gives me double – the character name and the actors’ real names. Then I play mix and match with last names and first names until something both sounds right together and feels right for the character. It’s a fun process, actually!
In my upcoming May book, Karma, the character Cara Hartley came to me from the character Cara Castillo played by Lindsay Hartley on All My Children. When I created Cara as a secondary character in Destiny, Lindsay Hartley was exactly who I envisioned as my character. Sometimes I’ll switch up the eye color just because I need it for the story, but the overall look of the character and the names are usually Soap related!
Naming a character, especially the hero and heroine of my books, isn’t a big time-consuming process for me. I have the standard baby name book that I refer to and use, but there are now so many baby name websites on the internet that also help in my character naming process. On a lot of those sites, I’m able to look up names by the year of popularity, and a lot of times I look up the names based on the year my characters were born, and go from there. Usually I can find something I like that “fits”.
The personality of my character is also an important factor to consider when I pick out names. I do like their names to reflect their personal character traits, which helps readers identify with them, as well. For my upcoming novella in “The Guy Most Likely To” Blaze anthology (out in July 2012), my hero grew up a computer nerd/geek. In high school, he had a difficult time fitting in. I named him Will. It’s a strong enough name to be hero material, yet isn’t trendy or popular. Sometimes, though, I do name my characters based on names I love in general. It all depends on the book, the story, and my mood!
Although character names can set the tone for an entire book, I honestly don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them when I’m first planning or even starting a book. I have, on more than one occasion, started writing a book knowing the characters’ names will change as I progress. As I write forward and develop the character, the naming becomes more easy for me. Once I know the person, I can do a much better job of making sure they have a name that’s suited to their personality and background.
Beyond trying to make sure I don’t do names that are too much alike in the same book, I’m pretty open to anything. I do like to avoid overly trendy names, and I do research to determine whether or not a character’s name would have been in use when they were actually born. I’m not talking about historicals, since I don’t write them. But, for instance, there are a lot of girls names that are very popular now that nobody ever heard of twenty-eight years ago when my heroine was born, so I wouldn’t want to use something like that.
I tend to pull out the old baby name book, or look at websites that list popular baby names by birth year on the Internet. I like one syllable names for heroes–as, I think, do a lot of authors–and more unusual or lyrical names for heroines. Probably my favorite combinations of hero/heroine names in my own books are Venus and Troy in Wicked & Willing, Amanda and Reese in Play With Me and Olivia and Gabe in Cold Touch.
Character names are really crucial to me. My go-to book for inspiration is “Beyond Jason & Jennifer,” because it lists the names not alphabetically, but by the type of personality that we associate with the name. Words have connotations the same as names do. For instance, we’ll make assumptions about a woman named Martha, for instance, that we wouldn’t about someone named Marie or Meredith. Sometimes, those name associations come from people we know, but I think it pulls mainly from our literary and film/television references. The heroine of my current WIP, for instance, is named Kate. I was actually really surprised that I hadn’t used this name before! It’s one of my favorite names, harking back to Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, which is my favorite of all his plays. Kate is also a name I love from the character on NCIS. It implies strength and sassiness, two qualities my heroine has in spades. The name works for her the way it wouldn’t have for any of my previous heroines.
The hero of this novella is named Shaw. It’s an unusual name…and I’ve actually used it before, many years ago, for a secondary character whose story I wanted to tell, but never got around to. This hero’s name is Shaw because I’m drawing inspiration from my favorite rock guitarist, Tommy Shaw. (::insert sigh here::) My hero is a rock musician and while he doesn’t look like my man Tommy, I’m picking up on his attitude a little bit. (My hero’s full name is Shaw Tyler…any guesses about the second rocker I’m drawing inspiration from?)
I’ve also learned that sometimes, if a story isn’t working for me, the character names might be to blame. I don’t know why or how that works…but on a novella I wrote years ago called, “Meltdown,” the hero was originally named Spencer. I loved the name…but it didn’t “fit” my hero. He wasn’t as strong as I wanted him to be, but I resisted the change. It wasn’t until my editor made the suggestion that I decided to give it a try. I changed his name to Simon and bam, he started to come to life.
On an interesting note…many of my early books have heroines with names that were ultimately rejected when I was naming my daughter. Ariana, Samantha, Serena, Miranda are four of those. I’ve never used my daughter’s name in a book…for obvious reasons! But I used all the rejects.
Names are fun! What are some of your favorite names? Thanks for blogging!
Hey, hey, we’re the Plotmonkeys. We’re friends, plotting partners, friends, mothers, friends … well you get the gist. Welcome to our blogging site where you’ll find our views on anything and everything depending on which one of us is blogging and what kind of mood we’re in.
We can’t tell you whether we’ll be talking about our families, our writing, how much weight we gained after eating that entire container of Ben and Jerry’s or how ticked we are about people who have twelve items in the ten items or less checkout lane. So hope you’ll come back every day to see what’s happening in the jungle including giveaways! You can find us at: www.plotmonkeys.com
Remember, every week 5 commenters are chosen to win a free book – winners announced on Sunday!
Romance At Random’s Weekly Winners!
Congrats to the Winners on Romance At Random!
Thanks again for blogging with us this week about everything romance — winners are below & if you are one, please send your snail mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get you your book! International commenters please provide us your email addy so we may prepare your preview book in Net Galley. Authors that may have offered a giveaway during the week will post their winners on those posts in the comment section — so take a look to see if you’re included!
Congratulations to these ladies!
Guest Post – Inconvenient, All-Consuming, Love by Stephanie Tyler + Giveaway!
Inconvenient, All-Consuming, Love by Stephanie Tyler
I’ve been writing paranormals as Sydney Croft (With Larissa Ione) for as long as I’ve been writing romantic suspenses. For me, the suspenses have to have a bit more realism in them, but the paranormals, well, now that’s a place where I can kiss realism goodbye and dream about my biker wolves and their forbidden loves. In the Eternal Wolf Clan series, the first of which is out today, Dire Needs, you’ll get plenty of alpha wolves, romance and suspense – and that’s what got me thinking about this topic of realism versus fantasy.
I admit I’m not a huge Sex and the City fan, but something always draws me to watch repeats whenever it’s on. Sometimes the women annoy me, mainly because I’ve known women like that – and because I think a lot of the drama is self manufactured and I want to shake them.
Having said that, there’s a quote from Carrie I love – it’s in the very last episode of the last season, when she says to her about to be ex, Alexander: “I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, all-consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”
And to me, that says it all about the type of romance I adore. Over the top. Sometimes ridiculous, couldn’t possible happen in real life (or could it? Who’s to say) inconvenient, all-consuming love stories are my absolute, complete favorite comfort reads – and some of my favorite books to write.
An article I once read was titled, If I wanted reality, I’d read the newspaper (if anyone knows who the credit goes to for that, please shout out!) I don’t want much realism in my fiction. I want the fantasy, the rescue, the alpha, larger than life hero. I want to sink into it, roll around in it and lose myself.
If you don’t have that, what’s the point? I don’t want to read about someone’s every day life – I want to read about someone with an every day life who’s thrust into the middle of danger, whose got a big, bad hero to protect her. I want the unpredictability – will she act like a tough girl or will she crumble a little and then regroup? Will she do something that might be deemed TSTL (and hey, for the record, I can honestly say that when I heard footsteps upstairs in my house and I knew no one was home, I raced up the stairs, unarmed – no one can tell me what they’d do in a situation like that.) or will she be smart from the get-go and save herself – and the hero?
What do you think? Do you like more realism than not or do you read romance for the thrill of the escape? Remember, 5 commenter’s every week are chosen for a random FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
On sale this week!! Friendly reminder – Romance At Random
Hi Ladies — reminder about our shopping list & the great titles on sale this week including:
Lover’s Leap by Emily March
Readers have fallen in love with Eternity Springs, the magical town in Emily March’s beloved series where something wonderful happens to hearts in need of healing.
Twenty years ago the town bad boy, Cam Murphy, left Eternity Springs in handcuffs, riding in the back of a sheriff’s van . . . and breaking young Sarah Reese’s heart. The defiant teenager vowed never to return.
In Australia, Cam makes a new beginning. He builds a successful business and suffers few regrets until Sarah—and their daughter—walk into his life, and then immediately run away. Realizing it’s time to right yesterday’s wrongs, he follows Sarah home to Colorado—and turns her world upside down.
Cam wants to know his daughter. He needs to prove to Sarah, the town, and himself that he’s changed. Will the residents of Eternity Springs offer forgiveness—and will Sarah have the courage to trust this man who is asking for a second chance? BUY NOW
A Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart. BUY NOW
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia GrantIn Cecilia Grant’s emotionally rich and deeply passionate Regency romance debut, a deal with a rumored rogue turns a proper young woman into . . . A Lady Awakened.
Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love? BUY NOW
Sweet Reward by Christy Reece WHEN RISK IS THE REWARD—LET THE DANGER BEGIN
Adrenaline junkie Jared Livingston has found the perfect blend of exhilaration and danger in his new job at Last Chance Rescue. Raised to depend only on himself, Jared tried marriage, but the end of the relationship renewed his belief that he was meant to be a loner. Now a desperate plea from his ex-wife puts Jared in the unique position of using the skills she despised to rescue her missing daughter. The case brings Jared face-to-face with Mia Ryker, the only agent ever fired from LCR—for playing too far outside the box. Now Mia’s back, and as a team, they’re as compatible as fuel and fire—blowing off tension in each other’s arms, blowing open the secret life of a wealthy philanthropist and his shameful dealings. Their search for the innocent child takes them to places neither have been before—to the edge of danger and to the edge of their hearts. BUY NOW
Book MatchMaker is here to mashup!+Giveaway!
The Book Matchmaker
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match . . .
I’ve been a bookseller, a marketing guru, a publicist, an editor, a writer and more importantly always a reader. No matter what kind of hat I’ve worn in the publishing industry there has been a constant common thread. Putting the right book into the right hands – I found it a challenge to get the match just right. My reward always came in the form of the reader returning and saying – What’s next?? What else should I read? Or while I was working marketing books on a larger scale, it became finding the right medium in which to reach the reader.
Recently I read an article in which Katie Freeman, a senior publicist for Pantheon and Schocken Books, said “the book must be the right fit to create a love affair . . . there’s little I adore more than playing book matchmaker.” I couldn’t agree more! A title I’ll gladly don!
A matchmaker to create love affairs, love of books and love of authors – and get those matches just right! When I was a bookseller, my goal was, yes to sell more books. However, what would be the point of suggesting a title or an author that didn’t fit the reader? The reader would never trust me to recommend anything else for them.
And while “If you like . . . try” works for some, I did those calculations mentally and then would present the reader with a different explanation. The music industry came up with a word for what I was doing – mashup. I would take other authors, TV or movies to help give the reader a better picture of what or who the book/author would be like. This also worked really well for those non-readers who were trying to find the perfect gift for their special reader – only didn’t know what they read!! Ah, she liked 27 Dresses? Try Kristan Higgins or Susan Mallery.
Lara Adrian – Take equal parts Christine Feehan and JR Ward
Stephanie Sloane – Julia Quinn with a little Sabrina Jeffries like a cherry on top!
Thea Harrison – The romanticism of a Shana Abe with the flair of Anne McCaffery storytelling.
Catherine Mann is a mix of Suzanne Brockmann and Cindy Gerard with just a touch of Debbie Macomber.
Kate Pearce – Think old school Robin Schone or Lora Leigh if she wrote historical.
And just for fun my favorite mystery author Donald Harstad – Dragnet meets Fargo, you can’t go wrong!
So what about you? How do you see Maya Banks or Virginia Kantra? How would you mashup your favorite author? Or do you see things differently in the mashups I created? Feel free to suggest your own mashup! Can’t find another author or title like your favorite? I’ll try my best to match you up with a perfect for you book!
***Remember, every week, 5 randomly chosen commenter’s will win a Free book! Winners announced on Sunday so comment below & good luck!