Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jane Porter and new son Mac

(Jane, Ty and baby Mac and his two brothers Jake and Ty)

My sincere congrations to Jane Porter and Ty Gurney on the birth of their son Mac. Details can be found here

Jayne Ann Krentz talks about the enduring, alluring romance novel

Lit Life |

Recently the literary world was agog over a New York Times report that one category of book is actually selling better than it did last year, a slender little ray of sunshine in a dark and stormy year for book publishing (and everything else retail).

Interesting article which appeared in The Seattle Times

More on the Princeton University Conference

Just received my newsletter from Romance B(u)y the Book and found Michelle's comments extremely interesting; conference results.....

Friday, April 24, 2009

All About Alphas on Kate Walker's Blog

Whether you're a reader, author or an aspiring author, there are some incredible posts by Harlequin authors here.

Barnes and Noble 50% Coupon

Online Coupon L7J4J3D Details:

For each customer, this coupon can be redeemed once online at bn.com. This coupon expires May 04, 2009 at 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time.

Coupon shall apply to the purchase of the highest priced Audiobook MP3 in the order in which all other discounts combined are less than 50% off the item's list price.
Note: If the Barnes & Noble Selling Price provides greater savings than price with coupon discount, then Barnes & Noble Selling Price will apply. The Barnes & Noble selling price is the price at Checkout before taxes, shipping and handling charges, and discounts are applied. Member discount does not apply to Audiobook MP3s.

Additional Rules Governing Use of this Coupon: This coupon is (i) not redeemable for cash or cash equivalents (including Gift Cards and online Gift Certificates); (ii) not valid on past purchases; (iii) not eligible for purchases of the following products and services: any Audiobook format other than MP3 (e.g. CDs, cassettes, etc.) and physical books on which Audiobook MP3s are based (e.g., hardcover, paperback, etc); and (iv) may not be combined with any other coupon. This coupon is not valid at Barnes & Noble retail stores or retail stores owned or operated by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. Void where prohibited by law.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Follow RT Convention

Romantic Times Convention brochure http://www.romantictimes.com/news_conv09brochure.pdf

RT blog here.

Up-to-the-minute Twitter updates:

RT's Facebook page:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Love as the Practice of Freedom?: Romance Fiction and American Culture

Romance Fiction and American Culture,
a first-of-its-kind, two-day conference on romance
scholarship to be held April 23 and 24, 2009 at Princeton University!
You can attend!

You can find out more on Michelle Buonfiglio's blog here Michelle is also a panelist.

So my question to readers would be Why Do You Read Romance?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Tweets for Writers - Jane Friedman Writer's Digest

Interesting articles posted today on this blog

Take A Look At Brenda Novak's Auction

Here's some of the items which you can bid on at Brenda Novak's Jr. Diabetes Auction here

An AMAZING Flying Getaway courtesy of Margie and Tom Lawson
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 07:52:00 PM PST

Guest Blog at Romance: B(u)y The Book w/Newsletter Blast
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST
See Novak article

THE PERFECT COUPLE by Brenda Novak, Autographed ARC
Starting at $ 2.00
Wed 05/27/09 08:38:00 PM PST

Lunch with Best Selling Author Barry Eisler in San Francisco
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST

Amazon Kindle 2 (e-book reader) & $100 Amazon Gift Certificate donated by K.M. Daughters
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:10:00 PM PST

1 Week Stay for 6 at Cherry Adair's Guesthouse on the Lake
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:58:00 PM PST

Evaluation of a Proposal by Agent Donald Maass, Author of WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 09:18:22 PM PST

6 Night Getaway to Seattle and Victoria, BC for 2 Courtesy of Author Jane Porter
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST

NYTimes Bestselling Author Christine Feehan's entire DARK series, autographed & other goodies!!
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST

Romantic Times Convention Coverage

Per RT post, blog coverage will be here

Let the RT Party begin!

Love Story: Romance Novel Continues to Sell in Down Economy - ABC News

Harlequin, World's Leading Romance Publisher, Celebrates 60 Years


This aired recently, story here

2008 National Readers Choice Awards

Nominees listed here and winners to be announced at the Romance Writers Association Conference in Washington DC in July of this year. Congratulations to all.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Connecticut Author Workshop May 9th

On Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Connecticut Authors & Publishers Assoc. Presents the 6th Annual Writers Workshop

CAPA-University - Hartford Steam Boiler Bldg

Hartford, Connecticut


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Welcome Annie West

The lovely Australian romance author Annie West has agreed stop by today for an interview. Welcome!

Annie West Bio

Marilyn: Annie, I would like to congratulate on your latest April release, The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride. Can you tell us about the book and how you came to write sheikh romance stories?

Annie: Oh, Marilyn, thank you. I’m excited to have this book available now in North America.

I think my sheikh stories started with me telling my critique partner that I’d never be able to write one! I don’t think I’d read any and just assumed it wasn’t something I could tackle. Then I started reading them and loved them. I began wondering what it was about these stories that appealed.

There’s something scintillatingly dangerous and delightful about the fantasy of being swept into the arms of a mysterious, handsome stranger and carried off to his lair. The sheikh is the quintessential male, won over despite himself by the heroine. Initially he holds the power in the relationship and he may be ruthless in using it, which can put the heroine in a terrible situation – something we romance readers adore! Personally I love the fact that the heroine is usually in a vulnerable position when the story starts, but by the time it ends she has the man of her dreams.

Marilyn: Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Annie: I used to plot in a fair bit of detail. These days I start with a strong idea of the hero and heroine and a really vivid first scene. I have an idea for a conflict which keeps them apart but the characters lead me into the story and out again. I find this works best for me as I’m following their emotional journey far better than I could if I worked out all elements of the plot in advance. It can be scary at times but very rewarding.

Marilyn: How long have you been writing and what was your first book?

Annie: Hm, let me think. I joined Romance Writers of Australia and started work on my first manuscript in 1996. I had a couple of short stories accepted and then a book called ‘Strictly Business’ which I wrote especially for a small Australian romance publisher. That was published in 2000. Then in late 2005 Harlequin Mills and Boon bought the manuscript that became ‘A Mistress for the Taking’ (my first Presents story). I’ve recently sold another story to Harlequin, which is my 10th title for them. So it wasn’t overnight success, but it’s been a wonderful journey. I’m still learning along the way.

Marilyn: What are you currently working on?

Annie: Marilyn, I’m just starting a new project. Too early really to tell you much as I’m still working out a lot of details. At the moment (and this could change as I write and revise), my hero has just wandered out of the wilderness, wearing a tuxedo and a sexy smile, to collapse at my heroine’s feet. I DO enjoy setting up a new story! (G)

Marilyn: Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

Annie: Sorry to disappoint but this keeps changing. There are aspects of all my characters that I love – both the heroes and the heroines, so I can’t single it down to one. Certain characteristics, certain scenes or actions or even bits of dialogue by my characters grab me. I can’t pick just one!

Marilyn: What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you get to visit the places you write about?

Annie: Research varies depending on the book. A lot of locations are based on places I know. If I haven’t been there I either create a place based on locations I know or do lots of research. For this current release I started with a familiar location but Khalid’s kingdom is fictional and based on a number of other places.

I also did research on a number of issues, including the ins and outs of work in a racing stable. Fortunately a friend has first hand experience that came in very handy. I research on the net, from books and as much as possible from first hand experience. I love talking to people who know the details I need. Often the specifics they tell me never end up in the story but they helped me get a feel for a place or a situation which makes it real in my head and therefore easier to write.

Marilyn: Annie, what is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Annie: I’d love to say that I’m wise, witty and gorgeous but… Instead I’ll simply say I love romance stories. Reading great books is and always has been a major part of my life. That’s why it’s so thrilling to be able to share my own stories with other readers.

Marilyn: What would you say has been your most significant accomplishment as a writer?

Annie: Hearing from readers that my story has helped them when life got tough has been incredibly rewarding. It’s the most wonderful feeling to discover that a story I’ve created, sitting alone here with my imagination and my computer, has impacted on someone I’ve never met, who has connected with my characters and felt better for it.

Marilyn: When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Annie: Oh, Marilyn, now that’s an interesting question. I suppose I’d like to be remembered for stories that are genuinely from the heart, that are vibrant and real and pack the sort of emotional punch I love in the romances I read.

Marilyn: Do you see yourself continuing to write contemporary romance or is there another genre you would like to try?

Annie: I have no plans to try another genre. Other than contemporary romance I love historicals so I suppose that’s my second love, but I can’t see myself trying to switch to them. Instead I’ll just enjoy reading them!

Marilyn: Before I let you go, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Annie: Only that I love to hear from readers. If you pick up one of my books and want to share your thoughts, feel free! Writing is a lonely business and it’s great to hear from readers, so please, don’t feel shy about contacting authors.

Marilyn: Annie, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Annie: Marilyn, it’s been a real pleasure. Thanks for inviting me over. It’s been a treat!


For a chance to win a copy of The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride, how did Maggie and Khalid meet? Hint: http://www.annie-west.com

Please make sure to check back in May to see if you’ve won.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Welcome Abby Green

I'm so thrilled that Abby Green has agreed to be my first featured author interview.

Abby's bio

Marilyn: Abby, I would like to congratulate on your latest April release, The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress. Can you tell us about the book?

Abby: Hi Marilyn, thanks so much for your congratulations. It’s part of a series of books that Harlequin Mills and Boon commissioned in conjunction with the RFU, where international Rugby and the Six Nations forms the backdrop to the stories. We all got the bones of a story and had to flesh them out ourselves which was really interesting. I loved it as I got to have an Irish heroine and set it in Dublin, my home-town. Then I got a French hero to seduce my heroine and sent them to Paris - what more could a girl want?!

International Rugby is such a rawly passionate sport and I think it effortlessly evokes the passion of a truly great Harlequin Presents. And it’s become even more serendipitous as Ireland have just won the Six Nations Grand Slam!!!! Perfect timing!

Marilyn: Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Abby: I usually have a mixture of both, I tend to veer towards very complicated plots and then have to simplify them, and sometimes the characters help do that for you.

Marilyn: How long have you been writing and what was your first book?

Abby: I’ve been writing on and off for a long time, but consistently since about 2005. My first book was sold in 2006 and was ‘Chosen as the Frenchman’s Bride’

Marilyn: What are you currently working on?

Abby: I’m currently working on book number 11, which I still can’t really believe. It’s set in Athens, with a Greek hero and it’s going to be a marriage of convenience story.

Marilyn: Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

Abby: I don’t really have favourites but one characters that is close to my heart is Maggie from ‘The Brazilian’s Blackmail Bargain’, as she was the first heroine I dreamt up. Even though she didn’t make it into print until my second book!

Marilyn: What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

Abby: The best thing is definitely being able to stay in your pyjamas all day and turn off the phones, shut out the world.
The worst thing is possibly the isolation, or writing ten thousand words and knowing that you’re going to have to delete it all and start again!

Marilyn: What kind of daily schedule do you have? What types of things interrupt your writing? Describe a day in the life of Abby Green.

Abby: If I’m able to concentrate on writing, I start at about 9am, turn off the phones and work until lunch time, then I’d break and work again until 5pm, or 6pm. Although it really depends, sometimes I write during the night if I can’t sleep. I also like to try and get a walk or some exercise in, it’s such a necessity when you spend so much time sitting down.
Things that would interrupt me would be external events, like having to go out for an appointment…once you’re pulled out of the cocoon it’s hard to go back in…

Marilyn: If a movie was made about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Abby: I think I’d much prefer to see a film about someone else!!! But in fantasy land I’d have to say Susan Sarandon or someone like her.

Marilyn: When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Abby: I’d like them to have some favourite romances that they’ve kept and rated, just as I’ve done with my own favourites. We’re providing escapism and fantasy, so to be remembered at all in a world that is saturated with tv and movies and other books would be lovely.

Marilyn: What are you currently reading?

Abby: Nothing at the moment, I’m too busy working, unfortunately. Although I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the April batch of Mills and Boons, due out in a week or so.

Marilyn: Favorite song?

Abby: Oooh that’s too hard, I have no idea, I like too many.

Marilyn: Favorite color?

Abby: Lilac, or lavender…dark reds.

Marilyn: Abby, before I let you go, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Abby: Not really, just thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Marilyn: Abby, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Abby: Thanks Marilyn!

For a chance to win a copy of The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress, what was Alana Cusack’s occupation?
Please check back at the end of the month to see if you've won.

Harlequin Art Exhibition: The Heart of a Woman - Harlequin Cover Art 1949-2009

In celebration of Harlequin’s 60th anniversary, the internationally recognized publisher is sponsoring an exhibition of original cover art that will focus not only on the changing shape of desire and fantasy but also on the social meaning and context of these images. THE HEART OF A WOMAN: Harlequin Cover Art 1949–2009 debuts at the Openhouse Gallery in New York City on May 29, 2009, and will be on view until June 12, 2009.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Seattle Author Book - Ghosts and Love

I just saw this press release from a young woman who lives in my community here in Seattle (West Seattle). I'm hopeful her book will be a huge success.

PRESS RELEASE - April 3, 2009 - Seattle, WA (USA) -

West Seattle author Molly Ringle debuts in paperback this month with The Ghost Downstairs, a paranormal romance novel depicting an unusual workplace relationship in a house whose spirits refuse to rest.

The idea of setting the story in a former sorority house stemmed from Ringle's college days. She was a Tri-Delta in a huge old house that was, according to some members, haunted.

"The idea of who would be haunting a sorority and why stuck in my mind," Ringle says. Her house position as recording secretary led her to the file archives one day, where she discovered meeting minutes from the early twentieth century. She was intrigued by the strict rules the house once had regarding houseboys, college men who work in sorority kitchens. "The girls were expressly forbidden to interact with them, but I'm sure they did anyway," says Ringle. "So I took that, plus the ghost idea, and made up a story."

Though Ringle's sorority was at the University of Oregon in Eugene, she relocated the story to her adopted hometown of Seattle, and gave the fictional former sorority new life as a nursing home. Into this facility arrives the main character, Lina, a nurse moving in to assist the elderly residents.

Lina finds anything but peace. She soon hears of ghosts haunting the house, and of two tragic deaths that took place in the 1930s, when the house was still a sorority. Unexplained events lead her to ask questions of a handsome younger coworker named Ren. But Ren holds his own secrets, and the closer Lina gets to him, the worse the paranormal activity grows.

"In my own mind it's like a modern, supernatural Jane Eyre," Ringle says. "But others have told me it's like Twilight for grown-ups--with ghosts instead of vampires."

And at that old sorority house in Eugene, did Ringle herself ever see any ghosts or mysteriously levitating books? She smiles. "None. I apparently don't have the sixth sense. That's fine with me. My imagination's enough."

More about Ringle and her writing can be found at her site, http://www.mollyringle.com.

The recession heats up romance novels

In a down economy, sales of bodice-rippers are growing. Escapism is part of the allure, but there's more to the story.

Amid the ceaseless reminders that the economy is in a persistent vegetative state, it's easy to forget that some industries and products are thriving. U.S. News & World Report, which recently released its list of "10 Winners in the Recession," says that Hershey's chocolate increased earnings by more than 50% last quarter and the Burpee seed company has said it expects sales to increase by 25% in 2009 (and this was before the first lady's organic-gardening initiative).
Megan Daum LA Times

LA Times article here

Friday, April 03, 2009

Mills and Boon Set to Launch Social Networking Website

Famed romantic book publisher, Mills & Boon, is set to launch its own social networking website. Article

From the Telegraph

Another article.

It will boast forums, blogs from popular authors, and the opportunity to rate and review books, as well as tips for budding storytellers on the art of romance writing.


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