Friday Abs – enjoy!
Favorite Hottie Ryan Gosling is our Friday feature – Enjoy!
Have a great day!
The Staff from R@R
Absolutely – Ab(s) Appreciation Day
From the Staff on R@R
Cover Reveal! I think you’ll love this haute sequel from Savanna Fox
New Release: Forbidden by Jacquelyn Frank
About the book:
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes this first book in The World of the Nightwalkers—an exciting and sensual new spin-off series in which the Bodywalkers, an ancient race of the night, battles the evil forces who prey on them. Read more
Guest Post: Julie Anne Long’s new release where her hero is NOT a rake, oh my! + Giveaway
A fallen woman. A devastatingly hot vicar. A forbidden passion. As you might have guessed, A Notorious Countess Confesses was great fun for me to write. It’s the 7th book in my Pennyoryal Green series (its official release date is October 30th) and early reader feedback has been gratifyingly wonderful—e.g. All About Romance made it a Desert Isle Keeper, and Reader to Reader said “it’ll be hard to top A Notorious Countess Confesses.” I’m thrilled, because Adam Sylvaine might be my favorite hero yet, and Evie Duggan, complex, mature, the perfect woman for him.
I’ll begin with a little excerpt from Evie’s first encounter with the vicar: Read more
WINNERS ANNOUNCED Naughty & Nice Holiday Hop
To celebrate our new release, Naughty & Nice, (on sale 11/5) written by authors extraordinaire, Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe & Stefanie Sloane, we’re hopping! Make sure to visit each site to increase your chances to win!
Prizes - R@R is giving away (must be 18 or older to participate):
Defining Sexy Heroes, oh, this is fun!
What type of hero gets your engine roaring? Is it a vampire with cold hands and a wicked protective streak? Or do you prefer kilt-wearing Highlanders who fiercely wield their swords during the day and their…bigger swords…at night? Fun post by Kristin Miller – enjoy!
Since readers vary so much in taste, is it possible to pin down a definition of “sexy”? And if not, how do you write a hero who appeals to everyone?
I took my questions to the internet. Read more
Romance Guest, Andris, she needs a romance hero + Giveaway!
I need a hero!
By Andris Bear
Now that we all have Bonnie Tyler’s Footloose hit ringing in our heads, let’s talk romance. More specifically, the delicious, sexy cornerstone of every love story–The Hero.
From the playful romantic…
‘Girl, what have you been eating?’
To the picture perfect pretty boy…
The Marshalls, even sounds sexy, by author Kimberly Lang
We all have deadlines right, you know, those times when your blood pressure shoots through the roof? Kimberly gives us some insight on how to balance deadlines . . . sort of. Every week 5 randomly chosen commenters win a FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
Writers have lives, too. I know you know that. As much as we live inside our own heads, talking to people who don’t exist, we have all the same real-life things going on as everyone else. Kids have to be fed and ferried about, husbands need attention, friends need our support. As much as I love what I do, the real people in my life have to come first, just like every other woman who juggles a job and family. Read more
Guest post – What’s the Deal with Vampires?
Romance author, Laurie London, wants to know why so many of us have chosen the Vampire as our favorite supernatural hero. Comment below to win one of 3 signed copies of TEMPTED BY BLOOD from Laurie – winners will be announced by Laurie tomorrow at the end of the post – good luck!
Thanks, Romance @ Random, for having me on today. *Looks around.* It’s really pretty in here!
So what IS the deal with vampires anyway? Why do we love reading and watching movies about them? I mean, there are lots of supernatural monsters out there, so what makes the vampire compelling year after year? Read more
Guest Author, Kat Martin & her favorite places in the sun
Romance At Random is thrilled to have NYT Bestselling author, Kat Martin visiting us today. Explore various geographic locations with Kat that will not only offer you high doses of vitamin D but quite possibly a little romantic heat. Kat is giving away one copy of AGAINST THE SUN to a randomly chosen commenter so comment away – winner announced this week in the post – good luck!
Since my latest book, AGAINST THE SUN, big Jake Cantrell and Sage Dumont’s story, deals with a visit to Texas by a Saudi Arabian sheik and his family, I thought it might be fun to talk about favorite places in the sun. Read more
New eBook Release this month from Loveswept – Classic romances by Debra Dixon
Hot guys in the hometown tonight! Debra’s stories contain the sexiest heroes, don’t miss these favorite classic Loveswept books now available in ‘e’ – enjoy!
PLAYING WITH FIRE
Beloved and bestselling author Debra Dixon takes romance readers down to the bayou, where there’s a hot blaze simmering—and an arsonist on the loose.
For a woman who’s not looking for trouble, Maggie St. John sure is finding a lot of it these days—especially after she discovers a fire in a utility closet at the hospital where she works as a nurse. Now there’s an arson investigation, and she’s at the center of it. Maggie can’t tell which is worse: the sudden flashbacks to a terrible memory buried deep in her subconscious or the incredible tension that is building with the infuriatingly cocky and undeniably attractive arson investigator. Read more
Romance Guest – Exploring the Seasons of Romance + Giveaway!
Romance Author, Shelly Laurenston talks about ‘BEAR MEETS GIRL’ + Giveaway!
Here’s what readers are saying about Shelly’s newest romantic release, the latest in her Pride Series:
‘If you like Paranormal Shifter Romance books with some unexpected humor you’ll really love Bear Meets Girl.’
‘If you love the humor and storytelling from past books, you’ll get more.’
‘If you’re a fan, get the book, you get to live in this great world for a time.’
Setting: New York, NY
Hero: Lou “Crush” Crushek
Heroine: Marcella “Bare Knuckles” Malone
One sentence summary: A bear meets a girl…hijinks ensue. Heh.
Scene you like most and would never cut: When Crush meets his favorite hockey players of all time. Writing his reaction to meeting his heroes was such a blast!
Thing your heroine would never be caught dead doing/saying: Real ladies never engage in fisticuffs!
Tell us one quirky thing about your hero? Crush has a dog living with him that he insists is not his dog. Whose dog it is, of course, is not the point. It’s just not his dog.
Tell us one quirky thing about your heroine: Well, as far as the hero’s concerned, Cella Malone is nothing but one big quirk. So narrowing that down to one specific quirk is a surprisingly major challenge.
What you think readers will like best about this book: Watching a hero who hates change deal with change…and Cella.
What’s next: I’m currently working on Pride #8, but I’m still in the sitting and staring stage of my process. Sometimes I do research, but mostly it’s sitting and staring. Sometimes watching old episodes of “Law & Order.”
Question for discussion:
I just recently re-watched my favorite movie of all time “The Godfather,” and with “The Hunger Games” having just released, I wonder what you guys feel are the best adaptations of great (or just good) books? Romance or otherwise. For me, it’s still the Godfather. It took all the best stuff from the novel and created a brilliant film, IMO.
Shelly tells all — well, a few things:
1. What’s your favorite movie of all time? Heh. “The Godfather.”
2. What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in? Murder mysteries, legal procedurals. I have no desire to write them (and I don’t think I’d write them very well) but I enjoy watching them and reading them.
3. What’s the first book you remember reading? Something with a duck. I think its mother died. I remember it was sad.
4. What’s your favorite fairy tale? Rumpelstiltskin. I just don’t know why.
5. What’s your favorite cartoon character? Bugs Bunny. That bunny was just too cool.
6. What’s something you’d like to tell your readers? No. I’m not as crazy as the heroines I write. If I was, when would I have the time to do anything but raise bail money?
7. What would your occupation be if you were no longer a writer? I’d probably try to get back into marketing. The editorial side.
8. What do you do to unwind and relax? I started playing computer games again. I’m impatiently waiting for Diablo 3. I already have my preorder in.
9. Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it? Hate both. I either drink water, Coke with a lot of ice (but only when I’m eating out) or, if I need to be warmed up, hot chocolate with lots of chocolate.
10. What does love mean to you? Being comfortable in your own skin. You should always feel that way with the person you’re planning to spend your life with.
11. Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most? Least is the 1800s. All those bustles and things. Most is usually Medieval England but I’ve become a big fan of the Ancient Roman era. But that could also be that I’ve been really loving the dresses the actresses have been wearing on “Spartacus: Vengeance.”
12. What name have you been dying to use as a lead character, but haven’t found the right fit yet? Jebediah. I like those old Biblical names.
13. Dog person or cat person? Considering I have an 85-pound pit bull rescue that’s taken over my home since I got him last year…I’d have to say dog person. Although I do love the big cats. I’d happily have a pet tiger or mountain lion. A playmate for my dog. Legally and morally, though…there might be some issues with doing that, so I’ll refrain.
If You Know Her by Shiloh Walker
ON SALE NOW!
A SHADOW IN THE WINDOW
Nia Hollister doesn’t scare easily. She’s returned to Ash, Kentucky, with a vengeance—and with a mission: find the killer who brutally ended her cousin’s life. What she didn’t count on was trembling with desire every time she sees Law Reilly. If any man can help her escape the nightmares for a while, it’s him. But can she allow herself to take comfort in those strong arms when her sister’s killer still roams free?
She may think she’s a bad ass, but she should not have come back to his town. He is watching her—as she slips into Law Reilly’s house, as she storms into the sheriff’s office. These men won’t be able to protect her when her time comes. Timing is everything, though he can’t wait forever. She’s nosing around the woods, looking for his hiding place. Yes, he is watching her . . . through the window . . . in her bed . . .
If she’s not scared, she should be . . . because he is very good at what he does.
Shiloh Walker is the bestselling author of If You Hear Her, If You See Her,Chains, Fragile, and The Missing. She loves reading and writing anything fantasy and nearly every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full-time and lives with her family in the Midwest.
Like Shiloh on Facebook!
Check out the book trailer for the whole series below:
Welcome to the Journey . . + Giveaway!!
Although my debut FEVER doesn’t come out until Spring 2012, I thought it would be fun to let readers in on what goes behind the scenes of getting a debut author prepared for publication. Also, I’ll be giving away books from some of my favorite authors on every stop of the blog tour! This week, we’re starting with The Call. Yes, The Call. Even as romance readers, you’ve likely heard of how important this moment is for any writer.
A writer receives The Call. An agent who you’re interested in wants to represent you and you give your whole-hearted yes! What happens after you’ve finished Snoopy-dancing?
Well, you might know that there’s usually an extremely difficult process writers go through to get that agent. It starts all over again, only on a higher level, with an extremely specific target and pinpoint accuracy.
Depending on the agent—how hands-on he or she likes to be in the creative process—it’s not unusual for her to request changes on the manuscript before submitting it to editors. And depending on your project, those requested edits could be extensive or they could be minimal. Normally, if the agent wants big-time edits, they will discuss those prior to offering representation, because if a writer isn’t willing to make the changes the manuscript needs in order to become what the agent believes she can sell, well, then a partnership between the editor and writer would be moot. In my case, Paige Wheeler loved FEVER immediately. The only changes she requested were minor and related more to clarity than character, plot or structure.
Once those alterations are made, the piece gets a shiny new jacket and nudged out the door into the big scary world of publishing. The shiny new jacket is a cover letter from the agent, describing the work to the editor, where she could see it fitting into that house’s lines, what the author brings to the table–things really not all that different from the cover letter a writer creates to inspire interest from an agent. Most agents keep abreast of what editors and houses are looking for at any given time, what they recently purchased and what trends are taking place, so they typically know who to target with what type of work. Again, similar to how a writer targets an agent. An agent might also make a phone call prior to sending material to pitch a piece in an effort to gauge or even elicit interest beforehand. After researching the market and talking with editors, Paige sent FEVER to ten publishing houses.
In the case of FEVER, I remember receiving responses within two or three weeks. The bulk of answers returned between the three and six week mark and we went back and forth with a couple of houses for another couple weeks thereafter. Luckily, none of the rejections were negative—meaning it wasn’t because they didn’t like FEVER, but because of what was going on in the house at that time. Two large houses were merging when we were submitting, and both houses had decided not to accept submissions during this time. Another house had just acquired a story similar in plot and voice to FEVER and didn’t want to acquire another so soon. In other situations, an editor loved the book, but a more senior editor had championed something different, or the story didn’t fit the new direction a publisher’s line was taking.
In the end, we narrowed down the list to two houses, both very interested in FEVER and the books to follow. There were major considerations to weigh, including the editor I’d be working with, the strength of the publisher’s romance line, the house’s marketing plans for FEVER, their overall reputation, etc.. It was all very confusing and angst-ridden for me—in a good way of course, and Paige was endlessly patient in answering my questions and offering insight, yet not pushing in any one direction. She was great about asking me what I wanted, where I wanted my career to go, where I thought I’d be more comfortable.
When it was all said and done, I believe we started submitting in March and I signed a contract in June with Alicia Condon at Kensington Brava. I’m thrilled with my choice and have never looked back. Kensington has been wholly supportive of me as an author and Alicia has helped me improve my storytelling and structure, which has brought out the very best in FEVER.
Of course, my story is only one in a myriad of tales, each as individual as the author it belongs to. Today I’m giving away two books from one of my favorite authors, Lauren Dane.
Lauren Dane has been writing for publication just under eight years now. She sold her first book in 2004 (the first year she started writing). She has published 42 novels and novellas with another six, most likely 7, books out over the year. She’s been a multiple National Bestselling author, Bookscan bestseller list, USA Today list and the New York Times!
Her most recent release, NEVER ENOUGH – a contemporary erotic romance and last of the Brown Siblings series, hit the USA Today list! Just before that ONCE AND AGAIN hit the USA Today list and the NYT List as well. Taking Chase, a five year old book hit the USA Today list in the late summer.
Joan: Did your agent tell you how many editors she submitted the manuscript to, and if so, how many were there?
Lauren: My agent is very straightforward. When she pitched my first books especially she would give me a basic touching base mail on what she’d done. Where she’d pitched, who requested, that sort of thing. It’s been several years now but I think my first manuscript with her went to something like six editors.
Joan: How long did it take for you to receive an offer from the time the manuscript went on submission?
Lauren: Ha! Never on that book. Or the book after that. It was the third project she pitched for me, a novella written on a whim actually, that was my first sale to NY.
Joan: How many offers did you receive? Did the manuscript go on pre-empt or to an auction?
Lauren: I’ve sold twenty-three books through my agent. None of them was part of an auction or pre-empt. Some of them had multiple offers, some were option sales.
Joan: What did you do to take your mind off the submission process while you waited?
Lauren: I worked on the next project.
Joan: Did your agent have you make many revisions before the manuscript was submitted to editors?
Lauren: My agent is very editorial. At the beginning she and I would go over things back and forth a few times. These days it’s less, though she does almost always have editorial suggestions, etc on my manuscripts.
Joan: How did your agent decide which editors to send the manuscript to?
Lauren: Any agent worth their 15% is going to be very familiar with the market. Is going to make sure everyone who buys books like yours, or close to yours for lines that could be potential homes to your book. Sometimes it’s going to be a bad fit for a whole host of reasons – the editor is having a bad day, the editor hates your voice, the editor has just bought something similar to what you’ve just pitched, that story is one of his or her hated tropes or they just didn’t like your execution. But it is totally your agent’s job to figure out who the best audience for your manuscript is.
Joan: Was the manuscript a stand-alone or a projected first book in a series?
Lauren: Originally, the book she first pitched for me was a standalone, but I ended up writing a connected book.
We all go thru journey’s, mine was publishing, what has your recent journey been & how did you find, or, are you finding your success?
Also, don’t forget to visit www.joanswan.com for more details about the continuation of the Journey of a Debut Author Blog Tour and to keep up with the countdown for the release of my debut, FEVER!
Cover Contest, The Tally is in!
7/12/2011 UPDATE – Winner’s list — so this is how it shakes out:
The final tally :
19 Equals less than great
Overall, looks like the publishers have done a great job with the covers!
Now, by title:
|Title||Adore||Bonny||Cool||Dull||Equals less than great|
|just like heaven||11||25%||19||43%||7||16%||7||16%||0||0%|
|call me irresistible||14||32%||7||16%||8||18%||10||23%||5||11%|
|against the fire||10||23%||12||27%||15||34%||6||14%||1||2%|
|any man of mine||8||18%||22||50%||10||23%||4||9%||0||0%|
|seduce me in flames||18||41%||12||27%||9||20%||4||9%||1||2%|
|a secret affair||16||36%||19||43%||9||20%||0||0%||0||0%|
|in the air tonight||8||18%||11||25%||16||36%||7||16%||2||5%|
To further decipher this –
(wonder why??? Oh yeah, the 6 pack — & people say we don’t like sexy covers . . please )
Thanks for playing Cover Contest — sounds like most of you enjoyed it so we may have to do this again sometime
***Results were tallied by the webmistress so if there are any errors they are completely & understandably her’s, or mine, I’m the webmistress
Covers, covers everywhere! Gorgeous ones & some not so special ones What do you think? How do you rate the covers below — let’s duke this one out as these are all fav covers of mine so love to hear what you think!
I know we all like something different & that’s why I’m dying to hear from you! – remember, 5 randomly chosen commenter’s will be chosen every week to win a FREE book! Winners are announced each Sunday so GOOD LUCK!!
Covers are shown below in no sequence what-so-ever, just that they are there The rating system is as follows:
A – Adore
B – Bonny
C – Cool
D – Dull
E – Equals less than great
Here we go — have fun!!
WHAT ARE READERS LOOKING FOR?
Hey there –
Happy Friday! My, this week is going fast which is primarily due to the launch of our new site, Romance At Random!
Don’t forget, 5 randomly chosen commenter’s, through-out this weeks posts, will be eligible to win a FREE book – so, comment away!!! (Winners will be chosen on Sundays highlighted on a ‘Winners’ post for all to view so make sure you stop by weekly to see if you’re a Winner! )
Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing lots of traveling to various romance conventions across the country & have had the opportunity to meet with many romance readers (& to think, this is part of my job, HOW COOL IS THAT??). One of the things we always seem to chat about is what are we looking for in our Romance books.
There are certain elements in a romance story that are required, don’t you think? For example, ‘must haves’ include:
#1 – Alpha Hero – no exceptions
#2 – Strong heroines, the day of the TSTL are gone, LONG gone.
#3 – Angst, hurdles, believable situations or circumstances that keep the H/H apart, & bring them back together again.
#4 – EMOTION – thru the roof, we want to feel what the authors are writing & the characters are feeling.
#5 – Great characters – as readers often say, ‘if the characters are great, I’ll follow the story anywhere’.
I’ve just listed a few things that are key elements for romance readers, so tell us, what are some of the things that are important to you? What do you like to see in your romance stories?
Romance At Random is here for you – we want to hear what you have to say – why? Because, we want to know!
Happy Romance!! SueG