Guest Post: The Trouble with Love Triangles by Marquita Valentine + $50 EGC Giveaway!
Love Triangles, Trapezoids, or Squares? Okay, all kidding and geometric shapes aside, many a successful book has been blessed or plagued with love triangles—Bella, Edward , and Jacob anyone?
When done right, a true love triangle can up the stakes and have me biting my nails over who the heroine (and sometimes the hero) should be with. Just when I’m all Team Hero 1, then Hero 2 does something so sweet that I forget Hero 1’s name. *grins* Read more
Winners Announced below – Leap with Books GIVEAWAY Hop
5 Random Winners will be chosen — to win FREE romance books from Random House — to be eligible, comment below & ‘LIKE’ our Facebook page – click here
Best of luck & don’t forget to take a look at our new release from Loveswept, RIDE WITH ME by Ruthie Knox – a ride you’ll never forget! Just $2.99
Ten 5 Star Reviews on Amazon
“Get ready for a wonderful ride with this book. I loved it. ” Kathleen Kelley
“I’m a sucker for road-trip books, and this one definitely fit the bill. ” Smexybooks
“The best Romance I have read… I think… ever!” Erin
Thank you all for blogging with us!! Join us for our Lucky Leprechaun Hop!
The Romance Studio + Giveaway!!
We are big fans of romantic fiction here at the The Romance Studio. And that fact alone was the biggest reason that we created this site. We wanted to build a place on the web for all fans of romance.
But we fans of the romance genre are a diverse group, yes? All of us are readers. But some of us are writers, published authors, agents, book sellers, cover models, publishers and more. Keeping that in mind, we designed a site that, we hope, has something for everyone.
The Romance Studio is an interactive site that is kept fresh and new by user entries. Most every page on the site is generated by user input, most of which is posted instantly to the site. Basic membership is free and allows users to post romance industry news items, information about writing contests, conferences, conventions – even post classified ads. Featured Members get even more options and opportunities to promote themselves and their businesses. Plus there is a database containing the records of all registered users who are industry professionals. The database is easy to search by name, specific genres and more. You can advertise your books or business with us, too. We have fabulous release parties monthly with our biggest event yet to take place for the holidays from December 19 – 23, 2011. Everyone, author and reader alike, is invited to attend and/or participate.
Our question for readers: What are you favorite online events, pertaining to the books we love, to attend and why? Remember, 5 winners every week are randomly chosen to win a FREE book – winners announced on Sunday! Good luck!
Bandit-Palooza by Anna Campbell & Giveaway!
Happy Holidays, Sue! Thanks so much for inviting the Romance Bandits to play. It should be a fun visit (for us, anyway!). We’ve already booked you a massage with Sven the lair’s resident masseur and Paolo, who’s proven creative with tequila, is concocting a special Sue Grimshaw margarita.
Oh, no, he just drank it. Bad Paolo! Bad! Now it’s back to the drawing board. And don’t think that hiccupping at me gets you off the hook, ragazzo!
So over the next three days we’re taking a peek inside the lair at the Holiday plans of the Bandits. Keep an eye out for that wily Golden Rooster who may just show up to cause mayhem!
The Romance Bandits grew out of the Golden Heart finalists of 2006. We had such fun on the contest loop, we decided to take the party public. The blog launched in 2007 and we haven’t looked back. We’re still a mixture of published and yet-to-be-published writers from the U.S., Canada, Australia and England. One of the strengths of our group is that we’re all so different – you never know quite what you’re going to get at the Bandit blog. Recently we had a major makeover and the Bandit lair looks particularly swish. Check it out at: romancebandits.com
Christina Brooke’s Recipe for the perfect Aussie Christmas:
Take one extended family
Sautee in the summer heat
Stuff with fresh seafood, salad, mango cheesecake and watermelon,
Toss lightly in sunscreen and throw in swimming pool to cool
Reheat in a vigorous game of cricket
Put in a shady, cool place to rest (and read)
Repeat as desired.
Sounds great, Christina. I’m sure people in the Northern Hemisphere have to get their head around the fact that Christmas comes in midsummer for Aussies!
Lemon Meringue Pie
Fluffy, sky-high, dangerous
Tastes just as good flat.
Two days of cooking
Eaten in twenty minutes
Christmas? Their house, please.
RITA winner Beth Andrews (www.bethandrews.net) is also feeling poetic (actually EVERYBODY today is feeling poetic – must have been something in that last lot of lair sangria!). Beth’s latest release is the third in her wonderful “Diamond Dust” trilogy for Harlequin SuperRomance, FEELS LIKE HOME.
Hark how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say
Beth’s shopping today!
Toss in a lime
It’s margarita time
For you and me
Golden Rooster makes three.
Fun in the lair
Cabana boys everywhere
Oh, how they look
Pretty in every nook!
2011 Maggie Award winner Trish Milburn (www.trishmilburn.com) exercized her rhyming muscles (and talked about exercizing her leg muscles – a cruel reminder at this time of year!). Trish’s latest release just in time for the Christmas is the breathless romantic suspense FIREFLY RUN.
On the road I must go
As long as there’s no snow
Visiting family with wrapped gifts
Eating treats that will lead to necessary leg lifts
Watching for Santa’s reindeer
On a midnight clear
And looking forward to a new year
Silent Night. Quiet Night. Fuzzy slippers. Twinkling lights.
Hallway clatter. Eyes wide. Cricket and Grayson chasing tiny reindeer.
Gifts shredded. Fruitcake flying, eggnog spilt, “Baby cats!”
Chastised whiskers, half eaten chocolate Santa.
Knock at door. Tall, black haired Irishman. Dimpled smile, eyes of blue. Mistletoe in hand.
Mouth falls open. Kitties purr, wind around legs.
“Meow, meow, meow. Meeeeeoooow.”
Goodness, can I bear to wax poetical after that? By the way, not ALL the Bandits versified to celebrate the Season as you’ll see over the next two days! My name’s Anna Campbell (www.annacampbell.info) and my latest historical romance is MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION.
There once was a jolly Bandita
With a fondness for lime margarita.
She went to @Random
For which she is Fandom.
And offered Ms. Grimshaw a lita/litre.
Hmm, I think I need to brush up my poetic skills.
So what are your Holiday plans? Special merit points if you tell us in rhyme or haiku or generally show off! We’re giving away lots of prizes (open internationally) during our visit. Commenters today will go in the draw for:
A signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION by Anna Campbell
An advance copy of Trish Milburn’s next Harlequin American Romance, THE COWBOY’S SECRET SON
Signed copy of Beth Andrews’s A MARINE FOR CHRISTMAS
Signed copy of Beth Andrews’s THE PRODIGAL SON
Signed copy of Christina Brooke’s HEIRESS IN LOVE
Signed ARC of Christina Brooke’s MAD ABOUT THE EARL
Signed copy of MONEY, HONEY by Susan Sey
Signed copy of MONEY SHOT by Susan Sey
$10 Barnes and Noble gift card courtesy of Susan Sey
Romance Bandits mousepad courtesy of Joan Kayse
Congratulations to all the Romance Bandits invasion winners. Please email me on anna@annacampbell with your snail mail details and we’ll organize your prizes.
ARC of MAD ABOUT THE EARL by Christine Wells – Anna G
Signed copy of HEIRESS IN LOVE by Christine Wells – Natasha Devereux
Advanced copy of THE COWBOY’S SECRET SON by Trish Milburn – Barb Riley
A MARINE FOR CHRISTMAS by Beth Andrews – Charlie Kenmore
THE PRODIGAL SON by Beth Andrews – Ilona
MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION by Anna Campbell – Donya
MONEY, HONEY by Susan Sey – Joye
MONEY SHOT by Susan Sey – Suzanne
$10 B&N Card courtesy of Susan Sey – Cheryl C.
Romance Bandits mousepad courtesy of Joan Kayse – Katie Lee
Mistletoe Mine (An Eternity Springs Novella) by Emily March – Available for $0.99
It’s always the season of hope and romance in Eternity Springs, a special town where lost souls and lonely hearts find an angel’s touch. Now New York Times bestselling author Emily March has written a wonderful eBook original novella, in which Christmas brings a family reunion and a family wedding.
Newly engaged to her college sweetheart, Molly Stapleton has one wish for her holiday wedding: get her estranged parents back together. Three years ago, a family tragedy drove Emma Stapleton away from her husband, Jared, and their sprawling Texas ranch. Time, false pride, and unhealed hurts have only widened the divide. But Molly, with the help of some very special people in Eternity Springs, has a plan. As Emma and Jared arrive in this magical town to share Molly’s happiness, they meet face-to-face, heart to heart. Will they accept this last chance to renew their promises of love—and cherish the gift from the daughter who loves them both?
Includes a special preview of Emily March’s forthcoming Eternity Springs novel, Lover’s Leap!
Climbing Into Your Character’s Skin + Giveaway!
Climbing Into Your Character’s Skin
‘Stay in your skin’ is a phrase my shifters use in my Feral Warriors series. It means keep your claws and fangs from erupting. Stay in control. But that phrase has a slightly different meaning for me, as the writer. To me, it means keeping my characters real and true to who they are. In my case, I’m not staying in my skin so much as staying in theirs.
So who are the Feral Warriors? They’re the last nine shape-shifters left in the world, each of whom shifts into a different animal—lion, hawk, wolf, jaguar, viper, etc. All are warriors, all are alpha males—big, strong, and dangerous. But each is also an individual with a distinct personality, a unique history—experiences that have formed him, wounds that have molded him. And each has something deep inside that keeps him from true happiness, a hatred that festers or a wound that refuses to heal. Each will be happiest when he finds the love of his life, but until he works past the internal roadblock that’s been screwing up his life (even if he doesn’t recognize anything is wrong), he’ll never be happy. Not even with the woman of his dreams. Which is why it’s so important for me to crawl into the skins of these males and to truly understand them—what makes them tick, what makes them ache or rage in fury. Once I understand them, I’m able to find the circumstances that will force them to face that inner roadblock, that wound that’s been festering inside for decades. Or centuries. Or even millennia.
And it’s in thoroughly understanding each male, inside out, that I’m able to find and recognize the woman capable of forcing him to change, the woman who, alone, can heal him. And complete him. Just as no two heroes are alike, neither are the women who will fight for their souls and, ultimately, win their hearts.
Lyon, the Chief of the Ferals, doesn’t have time for love and doesn’t want the weakness it brings. But he’s closed off emotionally and badly needs that love. And it comes in the form of sweet Kara who brings out all his protective instincts, making him feel again.
Jag, the bad boy with the foul mouth and the fouler attitude, delights in enraging his fellow Ferals, driven by a deep self-hatred even he doesn’t recognize. But Olivia, the latest target of his questionable charm, sees the truth. A warrior with a secret of her own, she’s tough enough to kick his butt and, ultimately, to help him heal.
Hawke, the hero of my latest Feral Warriors novel, Ecstasy Untamed, book 6 in the series, is the kindest of the Ferals, a warrior who loves kids and is protective of all his Feral brothers’ wives. So he’s devastated when his imprisonment in a Daemon spirit trap leaves him with a loss of control that makes him a danger to everyone around him. His situation goes from bad to worse when the newest Feral Warrior arrives with a woman on his arm—a darling female with a smile like the sun. Faith. Hawke’s far too honorable a man to ever make a move on a brother’s woman even if his heart knows she’s the one he’s been waiting for, the only one who can truly heal him and make his life complete.
So, who is your favorite romance novel couple? I’ll give away three signed copies of Desire Untamed, book 1 in the Feral Warriors series, to commenters. Winners will be announced in this post so be sure to check back! Good luck!
Sometimes I want to apologize to my characters. . . . + Giveaway!
Sometimes I want to apologize to my characters. Well, a lot of times. In Courting Darkness, I cried when I wrote some of the scenes, because I knew I had to do it. I had to hurt Camille. There was no choice, given the villain, given the circumstances, given the darkness of the story. If I didn’t hurt her, then the story and characters wouldn’t ring true.
Writing scenes where we rough up our characters is germane to urban fantasy. There’s no way to build tension in a fight scene if everybody knows your character will come out unscathed, shrugging off major battles with a smile and a skip. If you don’t make the journey harsh and demanding, then the end prize is anticlimactic, and a lie to the reader. And the last thing you want to do is make your reader feel cheated.
In the urban fantasy genre, while relationships are important, and sex can be important, action and characterization are the prime focus. And the best way to build characterization is to put your character through her (or his) paces—to force her to face her fears and enemies.
In Courting Darkness, Camille must face her worst personal enemy—her father-in-law. Hyto is a psychotic dragon who blames Camille for his son turning against him, although that’s not true, and he blames her for him getting kicked out of the Dragon Reaches—again not true. Hyto built his own downfall, but like many in this world, he’s not willing to accept responsibility for what the consequences of his actions. We first met him in book seven–in Bone Magic, where I established that he was dangerous and on the edge, and in that book, he developed a vendetta against Smoky and Camille. (Smoky is his son, and one of Camille’s three husbands—yes, she’s a lucky woman who has three adoring husbands).
Now, in Courting Darkness, he returns, and he kidnaps Camille. And the resulting scenes are not pretty. But if I’d created a deus ex machina—if I’d cheated and let her get away without being hurt, it would have cheapened the story. A psychotic dragon is not going to pull punches nor will he take a dive.
The key in situations like this is to avoid exploiting the damage, to avoid using violence gratuitously. It’s the difference between a good horror story, and a gore-fest. Yes, the action is brutal at times, and explicit, but because this is an ongoing series, I knew that whatever happened, I’d have to deal with in future books. And I wanted an ending that would leave the reader feeling like vindication had been achieved—and I always want to leave my readers smiling.
So yes, hurting our characters can make us cry. As a writer, it hurts me when I hurt them. But it makes the story more compelling.
What are some of the scenes you’ve read in books that left you breathless, where the main character got hurt, but in the end, it made the book—and the character—stronger?
remember 5 commenters are chosen weekly for a free book – winners announced on Sunday!!
New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes urban fantasy for Berkley: both the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series for Berkley and the Indigo Court urban fantasy series. In the past, she wrote mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and nonfiction metaphysical books.
Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 30 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Kirkland WA with her husband Samwise and their cats. Yasmine can be reached via her website at www.galenorn.com
Things I would never do . . . +Giveaway!
Inspiration – Pamela Clare & the ITeam series
As I was combing through Facebook one night I ran across Pamela’s mention of her days heli-skiing in Colorado — as my jaw dropped in awe & respect for this awesome woman & author, I thought to myself, that is something I would NEVER do. Seriously.
There are just some things, I can unequivocally say, that I will never do.
You must know of a few things as well — things that you would never do — things that you’ve seen on TV, like someone bungee jumping? Driving a race car? Jumping from an airplane?
There are things I read about too, in various books, romance books, that I know I would never do. I would never ride a horse bare-back; swim in the Thames; even marry a Duke – but, I love to read about it!
Now that I’ve bared my soul & have shared some of my nevers, what are some of the things you would never do? Remember, 5 commenters are chosen every week to win a book – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
Weekly Winners – Congrats!
Hi everyone! Thanks again for blogging with us this week — winners are below & if you are one, please send your snail mail to email@example.com so we can get you your book! Authors that may have done a giveaway during the week will post their winners on their posts in the comment section — so take a look to see if you’re included!
Now . . . R@R’s Weekly Winners . . .
Congrats to all:
3- Kim H
5- Julie MC
& 2 extras for fun!
Are romance novels to blame for problems like weight gain and unhappy marriages? + Giveaway!
Are romance novels to blame for problems like weight gain and unhappy marriages?
I don’t think so. However, it’s been making a lot of buzz lately. Apparently, at least one psychologist thinks romance novels give women unrealistic expectations thus leading to adultery and depression. (Because we all think 6’5” hunks grow on trees.)
After I read about this, and stopped laughing, I remembered all the readers that have said the exact opposite. One woman even said I saved her marriage because my stories “inspired her,” if you know what I mean. I had another reader who got inspired by some of my butt-kicking heroines to take up martial arts. I think that’s wonderful!
I love a good “escape” and I believe others do too. Where else can you find a guaranteed happy ending? Or a guaranteed sexy leading man? Reading brightens my mood. It always has. There’s nothing wrong with getting your hopes up or being inspired. I also don’t believe anyone who reads my books (or anyone else’s) expects to find a werewolf next door, like in Sex Symbol. Or a vampire down the street.
To me, romance novels are a fun way to keep faith in things like love at first sight and chivalry. Not to mention most of my characters also like to cook, so you’ll pick up some good recipes along the way.
My first novel was published in 2007 and I have yet to receive an email saying, “I’m sure my neighbor is a werewolf, but no matter how many times I stick him with silver, he won’t shift form.”
Or, “Where can I buy silver handcuffs?”
My point is, a little bit of fantasy is a good thing. Imagination is healthy. How sad would it be to never dream of anything? Personally, I pick up fiction to escape reality for a little while. Not that my life is bad, I just enjoy reading something different than my normal experiences.
The report I mentioned was like listening to comedy to me. Maybe that’s because I was reminded of all the women who shared their stories with me. Many of them took up gardening after reading about someone who liked to grow herbs or visited a location after reading a story that took place there. Now there are some happy avid gardeners and others who’ve found a nice new vacation spot.
I’ve never heard anyone who actually reads romance say the genre has negatively affected them. In fact, those who regularly read romance report happier relationships and a better perspective on life. That is, when you ask them. And that brings me to the question I’d really like to ask.
How has reading romance made a positive impact in your life?
By the way, if anyone reads my books and gets inspired to hunt werewolves, please let me know if you find one.
+ Romance At Randomly chooses 5 weekly winners – announced on Sunday’s – good luck!
That’s What I’m Talking About. . . .+ Giveaway!!!
Hi there! This is Jen, aka Twimom227, from the blog That’s What I’m Talking About.
Today I’m going to talk about reading book series.
Ever since I started reading books, I have adored reading book series. It started with series such as Little House on the Praire and Trixie Belden. As an adult I throughly enjoyed The Harry Potter and the Twilight Series.
After Twilight, I quickly fell into the paranormal romance and urban fantasy genre, and I realized that I was addicted to reading series. It seems that series are the norm for these genres and it works.
I love reading series because there is something reassuring about seeing familiar characters and settings over and over. I have about 20 “auto-read” series I currently follow and am picking up new ones all the time. But I wondered, why are series so popular?
I polled a group of twitter folks about their series-reading habits, reconfirming some things I already knew, but also discovering some new ideas about series.
First of all, each of the ten random folks that agreed to help me are avid book series readers, with the number of “auto-read” series ranging from nine to “a lot.” But it was Lillie who shocked me by telling me she had “at least 40” series on her auto-read list.
I wondered how do folks usually pick up a new series. Many folks responded that they pick up new series based on recommendations – from blogs, twitter, Amazon reviews. Several also take advantage of Amazon’s free books on Kindle. Like me, Rebecca mentioned that she has picked up a series after reading a novella from the series. Others responded that if they already read an author, they will pick up a new series by the same author.
I also asked if any of these women have stopped reading a series. Almost all of the respondents said that they either have stopped or will stop reading a series for the following reasons: repetitive plot lines from book to book, declining overall story arc or quality of subsequent stories, dramatic changes in characters and/or plotlines, and continual abuse of a main character.
So bottom line… What is the attraction to series and why are they so popular? Many respondents wrote it was the ability to follow favorite characters and enjoy preferred settings over time. @RuthieCardello replied “I love seeing a particular scene through another character’s point of view,” which I hadn’t considered before but realized that is true. Several hit upon the emotional attachment to characters, and I feel Kris summed it up wonderfully with “I think what I like most about book series is the sense of journey. As the series builds, the more you learn and, more importantly, become emotionally invested in the characters and their stories.”
I love reading series! And apparently so do lots and lots of other people. What about you – do you read series? What are your favorite must read series? Remember – every week 5 commenters will win a FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – Good Luck!!!
Debut Shawntelle Madison *Paranormal Plus* + Giveaway!
Happy August everyone! I hope you have many great books in your to-be-read pile and a nice glass of ice tea to fight off the heat.
First of all, thanks to Sue for letting me stop by to introduce myself. I’m the debut author of the Ballantine summer 2012 urban fantasy/paranormal romance featuring an OCD werewolf with hoarding tendencies. And Natalya Stravinsky doesn’t hoard just anything—she hoards holiday stuff. If you’ve decorated your lawn with it, she’s mostly likely collected it at her house. COVETED comes out early next summer and I can’t wait for you to meet her. In the book, Nat is restless and recovering from her split five years ago with her gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Thorn. But everything changes when complications pile up faster than her ornaments. When Thorn returns home, they discover that old flames still burn.
Before Nat can sort out their relationship, she must face a much hairier problem. Her pack is under attack from the savage Long Island werewolves—and Nat is the first target in the turf war. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and it’s enough to give anybody a panic attack. With the stakes as high as the full moon, Nat must summon all her strength to save her pack, and ultimately, herself.
When I tell others about my book, most people ask me where I find such ideas. Do they just pop up while I’m at the grocery store, or maybe while I watch reality television? Well, before Natalya’s character was born, most of my ideas did come from watching television. I’m definitely a reality television junkie and on any particular day you’ll find me watching Hell’s Kitchen or So You Think You Can Dance. Don’t get me started about the goodies on the Bravo network as well as Project Runway. While I watch these shows I have so many what-if questions going through my head. Surprisingly, Nat didn’t come from a television show. The idea for my book actually came from a family medicine medical journal. On the front page, I noticed an article about obsessive compulsive disorders. After reading the article, I ran through several what-if questions and Natalya’s character was born. Once I had my protagonist, her conflict came not long after.
Long before Nat made her appearance, I’d always preferred to write and read sci-fi/fantasy. Back when I was fourteen, I wrote (and never finished) my first book, a science fiction romance. I still love the concept behind the book, even though it was poorly written with maps galore. The notebook with those pages is in poor shape, but great memories are there. Back then, I had no idea all those scenes running through my head was a sign that I should write. That I should give into the urge to put those ideas on paper and learn the craft.
My mother’s an avid reader, and she exposed me early to romance. I loved to read the Zebra Historicals (in particular the western ones and the sci-fi romance ones) as well as books by LaVryle Spencer and Danielle Steel. I have fond memories of sitting with my mom reading books on a designated “book night.” No television. No radio. Just my mother and I falling into a story.
Throughout high school and college I didn’t write fiction much. Most of the time I was writing papers or working on proofs since I was a math major. The closest I got to writing was through English classes. Sadly, I also didn’t read as much as I wanted to either. College was about making academic choices—reading for leisure and writing were definitely on the backburner.
Fast forward eight years. With college behind me, my mind set changed. During school, scenes never came to me. My imagination had been silenced. But now I was home with three small kids and a husband. And that’s when the writing bug hit. The ideas came fast, but I had no idea what to do with them. I’d written academic papers before, but I’d never written a story. The only reference I’d had was writing the story I’d created when I was fourteen. I didn’t know about literary agents or what should be done to get a book published. So I had to start at the very beginning.
Enter my critique partner, Sarah Bromley. I’d written a few pages of a new manuscript by the time we had a fateful conversation about our writing interests. We were at a play group for our kids. While our kids played, Sarah and I discussed our writing. We’d both jumped back into the pool at the same time. Mind you, Sarah had written a lot longer than I had and she had a stronger background with a degree in English, but she was up to challenge of working with me on a critique partner basis. I’m so thankful for Sarah. Now that I look back, I had so much to learn about the craft of writing. And not just how to format a manuscript.
With time and perseverance, I made progress. I started writing in November 2008 and finished my first book in January 2009. By late spring, I queried my first book and joined Romance Writers of America (another HUGE help for me). While I queried my first book, I started another one. I was definitely hungry to write. I went from a third person perspective to a first. A big change. I dug in and let myself speak through the heroine. Everything flowed so much better. Craziness ensued and it was fabulous. I finished my second book about a witch matchmaker a few months later. That book got me my agent, but it unfortunately didn’t sell.
What did I learn from those first few months? Never take the journey into writing alone. Find a writer’s group. Join RWA, or SCBWI (if you write young adult), Romance Divas, or a find a writing buddy. The Internet, as well as the publishing industry, is a big place and it’s way too easy to get lost with all the information out there.
I remember 2009 as a year of writing, learning, and waiting. Writing to learn the craft, learning about rejections, rejections, rejections, and finally learning how to wait while on submission with editors. A big lesson that year definitely was the waiting aspect. As much as writers love to write, we have to learn to accept waiting as well. To keep from going crazy, I jumped back on the crazy train and started something new. While I was on submission for my second book, I started COVETED in February of 2010. (I’ve noticed I seem to start books in the spring. How interesting.) COVETED was the first book to make me cry while writing it. I felt close to Natalya and following her on her journey touched me as a writer. It’s those moments that make writing worthwhile and fulfilling.
I finished COVETED a few months later and my agent sent me out to editors in the fall of 2010. A month later, Betsy Mitchell, the editor-in-chief of Del Rey Books, called my agent with a two book offer. Thus my relationship with my wonderful editor Tricia Pasternak was born and Natalya had a home with Ballantine Books. It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now that I’ve had time to look back, I wouldn’t change much. Writing’s definitely a journey with ups and downs. With my first book, I still believe in the idea, but the execution fell short. I still had a lot to learn about finding my voice. That came with my second book. But I needed to write that first book to progress to where I’m at now. All those mistakes were steps forward. I’d never change a thing!
Thanks for reading about my journey! How about a giveaway? Tell me about your favorite reality show or a favorite book and I’ll pick a winner next week to win a $15 Amazon gift card. If the book’s dark or quirky I’d definitely love to know about it. It just adds more happiness to my TBR pile.
If you’d like to connect with me, you can find me on Twitter as Shawntelle, on Facebook, as well as through my website. I also do blog posts on Wicked Authors (Mondays) and Magic & Mayhem Writers (Wednesdays).
Evangelistic About Books, from Lisa + Giveaway!
Evangelistic About Books
When Sue Grimshaw invited me to blog about booksellers today, I couldn’t stop grinning. Seriously, I had a permanent smile on my face.
Because I love books. And I think we, the readers, are all booksellers. In fact, I think we’re the best booksellers on earth. Better than a brick and mortar store? Better than Amazon?
Have you ever finished a book and immediately told everyone you know to go read it? When I find a new book, or series, or author that writes a fabulous story with characters I wish I could invite over to my house for a barbecue, I tell people.
In fact, I get downright evangelical about books I love.
I just got back this week from the RWA National Conference in New York, and while I did my share of pitching my new werewolf series, and promoting my upcoming release, I spent just as much time recommending Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers YA series. I love those books and I love talking about them. I even got my daughter hooked on them and she in turn has passed them on to friends.
Earlier this year, I visited Europe for the first time, and brought along Teresa Medeiros’ Goodnight Tweetheart in my Kindle. I loved it so much that I wrote a review and interviewed Teresa on Sue Grimshaw’s Borders blog! I also buzzed about it so much at home, that my Mom and husband both read it as well.
And then there’s Goodreads.
Have you been over there yet? What a fun place to talk about books! I have found more new authors and great books over there just by meeting other readers and seeing what they’re excited about. For instance, have you caught Jeri Smith-Ready’s Shade series? Soooo Good! I’ve been busy lately recommending that series as well.
As a writer myself, I enjoy grabbing books by fellow writers I know, and helping to spread the word about their releases. Sherrilyn Kenyon really hit home during her speech at RWA National when she reminded everyone that there is room for all of us on the best seller lists. While other competitive industries claw their way to the top, we’re lucky to be able to support many authors in a genre that offers love and happy endings.
Are we lucky or what?
As a reader, there’s nothing better than finishing a book I can’t wait to convince everyone to buy, and as a writer, I hope to inspire readers to tell their friends about my book. Now that my first novel is about to hit the bookshelves, I’ve been over-the-moon excited by the readers who have reached out to me, anxious to read the series. I pinch myself daily! LOL
So what about you? Do you ever turn into a walking bookseller? What have you read lately that has you buzzing, and which books are coming up that you can’t wait to read?
I’d love to hear!
Reminder – 5 chosen commenter’s will receive a FREE book every week — winners posted on Sunday – good luck!!
You can find Lisa at:
What’s in a name, anyway . . . & Giveaway!!
This is just a fun post — & if you come up with a name that we all agree upon, you’ll win a free book & an opportunity to post on the blog!
We’re on the hunt for a good author name . . . something that would work with any sub-genre in romance.
What are some of the things you think are important for an author’s name?
Here’s a couple things I thought were important -
#1 – easy to remember, so when you are in the bookstore you can remember the name of the author you’re trying to buy!
#2 – placement on the bookshelf — ‘R’s’ are always good – who doesn’t want to be by Nora Roberts???
#3 – Needs to be interchangeable & can work well with any romance sub-genre
#4 – ???? what else??? what do you think? What do you think is important to consider when creating an author name?
Remember — comment below & TODAY – someone will win a Free Book + Opportunity to post on the blog!
BTW – there is a site that you can enter your name & find out more about it . . . here’s mine:
Your First Name of: Sue
Below is a brief analysis of the first name only. For an analysis of your full name and destiny, see our full free Name and Birth Date Report service for further details.
The name of Sue has given you a strong desire for a high standard of living.
From a very early age, your ambitions have been directed toward the accumulation of material wealth.
However, you have a generous side to your nature as well, and like to share what you have with others.
You have an empathy for the problems of others, particularly on social or economic issues, and you would gain satisfaction doing work of a humanitarian nature.
You have a clever mind and must have an interest outside the home to be happy.
Because of your interest in business and the affairs of the world, you find it easy to converse with all types of people.
Although the name Sue creates executive ambitions, we emphasize that it causes an emotional intensity that is hard to control.
This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the reproductive organs, and nervous system.
All of this is so untrue — I mean, the good stuff is accurate, but really, ‘emotional intensity that is hard to control’? Humph – they don’t even know ME.
Meeting authors, by Nikki + GIVEAWAY!
Meeting Authors and Reader Events- A Virgin Tale
Let me begin by telling you how excited I am to be here today! I feel extremely privileged to be asked to speak on any topic at all. I’m Nikki and I blog all about everything over at Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind. Well, mostly about sexy romance and a few awesome young adult books I get my hands on. Oh…and hotties. Lots of hotties.
I may have been reading for years…and blogging for the past year, but only recently did I meet my first author. I live in Massillon, Ohio. Not exactly the mecca of the writing community. I had heard that Leah Clifford lives near Cleveland, Ohio (also not a writing mecca) and asked her about the possibility of her doing a signing in the area. Ok, I begged her. To my astonishment she said there was in fact a signing scheduled and that she wouldn’t be alone. Courtney Allison Moulton and Lisa Desrochers was going to be with her. I was ESTATIC. Then the unthinkable happened. She invited me and my uber awesome cousin Julie A Lindsey out to dinner with them after the signing? WHAT?! Seriously?
I had the best time. The biggest thing I walked away from that event with? Writers are simply people. Super cool people…but just people. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. Talk, laugh and listen. All three of them (oh, that’s me in the black) were so nice. It was casual and lighthearted and for my very first signing…they made it easy on me. They certainly didn’t have to invite us out. So thank you to them for making us feel so at ease.
The very next weekend though….I got to go to my first conference!! I went to the Lori Foster Reader Author Get Together! It was affordably priced and within driving distance for me. I knew I couldn’t miss this chance. So I packed my bag and made the drive. It was one of the funnest weekends of my life. I got to meet all kinds of authors, agents, bloggers and industry individuals (Sue Grimshaw- *cough cough*). I even got to cuddle a giant cardboard cutout of my man Dare from Lori’s book “When You Dare”
Ok, I may have felt up all three cut outs. Notice the placement of my hands if you will. Totally didn’t mean that. Ok, I did. Can you blame me really? I mean LOOK AT THEM. If I could have smuggled one out on the top of my car, I totally would have.
The entire conference is laid back. You chat with authors, they pose with you if you ask, they sign books and you eat meals with them. Again, they are people. Rockstars to me…sure…but also wives, mothers, friends and sisters. I even got to meet Nalini Singh! I *may* have squealed a bit when I met her. I made some incredible friends that weekend. Authors who I am a fan of, I can now call friend.
Here I am with JA Saare. She is about the nicest person ever. We chatted for quite awhile while I was there. And since being home a bit as well.
Don’t be afraid to go to author events, conferences or signings. You will not regret standing in line to meet some of your favorite authors. They love you as much as you love them. Well, unless you’re creepy. Then probably not so much. You get what I’m saying. You, the reader, are why they are able to do signings and conferences! They WANT to talk to you! Don’t be shy! Some of them can be quite pricey. I can’t afford the big events. You do get lots of freebies though and Lori Foster’s event was only $50 + hotel! That’s unheard of, trust me. Local book store signings are of course only the price of the book you are buying for them to sign. It’s worth it..trust me. I wouldn’t steer you wrong!
I walked away with a ton of signed books, swag galore and FRIENDS! I’m already planning my trip for next year.
Thanks so much for having me here today! Anytime I have an excuse to show me fondling that cardboard cutout is a good day for me. You can find me online at my blog or on Twitter!
Nikki Brandyberry- Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind
Book Reviews, Caffeine and Craziness
Remember – 5 weekly commenters are chosen weekly to win a FREE book – winners announced on Sundays – good luck!!
Winners announced here — weekly giveaways!
Hi everyone — thanks for spending another week with us at Romance At Random! 5 randomly chosen commenter’s thru out the week are announced on Sunday’s to win a FREE book & here they are . . .
Don’t forget to send me your snail mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get you your prize!
Happy Romance & celebrate & safe, fun 4th of July!
Emily March’s Eternity Springs Series
Welcome to Eternity Springs, a little piece of heaven in the Colorado Rockies…
Gabriel Callahan has lost everything that mattered. All he wants is solitude on an isolated mountain estate. Instead, he gets a neighbor. Vibrant, no-nonsense Nic Sullivan is Eternity Springs’ veterinarian, and she has an uncanny plan to lure this talented architect back to the world of the living. First with a dog, next with a renovation project, and, finally, with a night of passion that ends with a surprise.
Now a man still raw from tragedy must face the biggest struggle of his heart. Can he forgive himself and believe in the power of second chances? Dare he trust in the promise of a future and a brand-new family here in Eternity Springs?
Read an excerpt of Angel’s Rest
Haunted by painful memories, pediatric surgeon Sage Anderson gives up medicine and moves to Eternity Springs. There she finds a place to call home, but even her newfound success as a gifted artist isn’t enough to keep her nightmares at bay. Colt Rafferty is about to change all that.
Eternity Springs is a refuge for Colt, a place to ground himself when the stress of investigating tragedies takes its toll. He has come here for a little R & R, but instead of relaxing, he finds himself fascinated by the mysterious redhead whose secrets beg to be discovered—a beauty running from her past, a heartsick woman in desperate need of the sweet sanctuary of a devoted man’s embrace. And he is just the man to show her the true path to peace—by offering her the healing power of love.
Read an excerpt of Hummingbird Lake
Married for more than twenty years, and with her children out of the nest, Ali Timberlake has come to Eternity Springs alone. She’s looking for answers to heartbreaking questions and searching for something that’s missing deep within herself. Taking a lease on the Bristlecone Café in pursuit of a lifelong dream, Ali feels revitalized as she becomes part of this charming mountain town. But a big piece of her is still back in Denver with her husband, Mac, a successful judge—and a man who isn’t going to let the woman he loves leave without a fight.
When Mac shows up in Eternity Springs—sexy, seductive, and determined to win his wife back—he experiences the wonder of the place that has given Ali such feelings of happiness and belonging. He wants that for her, but even more, he wants that with her. Ali has found a special place for her heart. But is there still enough room left in that heart for him?
Read an excerpt of Heartache Falls
Coming soon: Lover’s Leap
Twenty years ago, town bad boy Cameron Murphy left Eternity Springs handcuffed in the ba ck of a sheriff’s van. He never expected his past to follow him to Australia, but when the woman he loved shows up at his dive shop, along with a daughter he never knew he had, Cam realizes it’s time to right yesterday’s wrongs.
Only her close friends know town darling Sarah Reese’s big secret, until Cam returns to Colorado and claims her daughter as his own. Her life now in turmoil, Sarah battles a torrent of emotions—including that old attraction—in order to protect her loved ones. Cam wants to know his daughter, but first he needs to prove to Sarah, to the town, and to himself that everybody was wrong about him. Will the residents of Eternity Springs offer forgiveness—and will Sarah have the courage to trust the man who broke her heart?