Friday, May 29, 2009

Brenda Novak GuestBlog: Bid! For The End Is Near! (And We've Got Some Real Steals)!

CONTEST TODAY!!! One lucky commenting Bella (LCB) wins an autographed set of Brenda's Last Stand novels (Trust/Stop/Watch Me)! Thanks,
Brenda Novak here

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Romance University - RU Ready?

Dedicated to providing resources for writers that will help build their careers and hone their craft, establishing a place where readers can learn more about their favorite authors, and opening a window into the male psyche.

Link here

Visiting Professors

Brenda Novak has three novels coming out this summer-The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Liar and The Perfect Murder, all part of her popular Last Stand Series. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May. To date, she’s raised over $500,000. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Milton Grasle lives in Illinois, just East of St. Louis with his lovely wife, Rhonda, and two spoiled-rotten dogs. He has written numerous short stories. Much of his success is owed to his wife, who has tirelessly critiqued and helped him with his writing. Rhonda is an accomplished author and has recently been offered a publishing contract on a novel.

Natalie J. Damschroder, author of Indulgence II, her second collection of short erotic romance, found her niche—romantic fiction—shortly after graduating from college. Four books and six years after starting, she finally sold. Now she struggles to balance her frenetic writing life with her family, the most supportive husband in the world and two beautiful, intelligent, stubborn, independent daughters (who have also decided to be writers). She somehow also fits in a day job and various volunteer positions in and out of the writing industry. Natalie’s published works include 7 contemporary romance novels, 7 novellas, and 14 short stories.

Lisette Kristensen is an aspiring writer of erotica and romantica. Through her writing, she attempts to explore all elements of erotica. It is her desire to show how the various fetishes and kinks can expand and deepen relationships, that would be presumably labeled vanilla. For she believes we all have a bit of kink in us, just waiting to bubble to the surface.

Theresa Stevens, Managing Editor, Red Sage Publishing
After earning degrees in creative writing and law, Theresa Stevens worked as a literary attorney agent for a boutique firm based in Indianapolis where she represented a range of fiction and nonfiction authors. The lure of the courtroom led to a nine-year hiatus from the publishing industry, but now Theresa is back as Managing Editor for Red Sage Publishing, a highly acclaimed small press. Her articles on writing and editing have appeared in numerous publications for writers. Visit her blog at where she and her co-blogger share their knowledge and hardly ever argue about punctuation.

Jessica Barksdale Inclán is the author of 12 books. Her most recent book, Intimate Beings, is the second in her paranormal series about a trio of siblings separated during childhood and forced on their own in adulthood to confront their special abilities and find not only each other but their own true loves. Jessica lives in Oakland, California and is currently at work on a contemporary novel and a book of essays and another romance.

Alicia Rasley is an award winning novelist and a nationally known writing workshop leader. Her articles are collected on Writer’s Digest Books released her writing craft book, The Power of Point of View, in 2008. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two college-student sons.

C.J. Redwine fears goats, loves stilettos and frequently lets her imagination run away with her. She writes edgy urban fantasy with a side of comic relief. You can learn more about her at and read samples of her writing, which is full of imagination and the occasional stiletto but is noticeably lacking in goats.

Romance novels offer comfort in down economy

Love may not conquer all in real life, but its power in relatively inexpensive books is quite a comfort in this economy. Publishers are seeing strong sales in the romance genre as other categories decline and consumers cut back on spending.
Article here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Romance authors more beautiful than their heroines

This arrived in my email this am and I thought, how could anyone vote for the most beautiful author as they are all so lovely. Appeared in the Examiner here

Chef Amore - Recipes for Book Lovers

Tara Green has developed this website site and should be fun when it's launched in June.

Website coming in June 2009!
Recipes for book lovers - featuring some of your favorite authors and books!
What can you expect from our website?
• Recipes for your book clubs
• Recipes for their book clubs
• Recipes for the holidays
• Recipes for every day
• Printable Recipe cards to add to your recipe boxes
• e-alerts when new recipes are added
and much more... here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Carly Phillips & HQN Lucky Streak Contest

From a press release issued by Earthlink in the UK today:

"With all the doom and gloom in the world, I thought it was the perfect time for something fun and lighthearted," says the author. "There's nothing better than a romance novel to lift your spirits and take your mind off your problems. The theme and setting of my new book made this contest a natural."

To enter, readers must tell Carly about the luckiest moment of their lives, in 25 words or less. One lucky reader will win $1,000 to try her luck in any way she chooses. One entry will be chosen to win the prize, which can be used for a trip to Vegas, 1,000 lottery tickets--or just to pay a bill. It's up to the winner's discretion to decide.

In LUCKY STREAK, New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips continues to explore the effects of an old family curse upon the current generation of Corwin men (HQN Books, June 2009). The second book in her new trilogy, this is Mike Corwin's story. When he awakens in Vegas $100,000 richer and married to the gorgeous Amber, Mike thinks he's hit the jackpot. The bad news is that Amber's a con who takes his money and runs. Seems the family curse has finally hit him. Hard. But to Amber, Mike isn't business as usual. If only she didn't need the money to ensure her father's safety, she might actually have fallen for the intense lawman. But when he catches up to her and the attraction kicks in, her biggest problem isn't getting caught--it's figuring out how to catch him for the second time.

To enter online, readers should visit follow the onscreen entry instructions and tell Carly Phillips and HQN Books in twenty-five (25) words or less the luckiest thing that ever happened to them. To enter via mail, readers should hand-print (or type), on an 8 1/2" x 11" plain piece of paper, full name, mailing address, telephone number and the luckiest thing that ever happened to them, in twenty-five (25) words or less and send it to "The Carly Phillips Lucky Streak Contest 20902." In the U.S.: 3010 Walden Ave., P.O. Box 9069, Buffalo, NY 14269-9069 or in Canada: 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, ON M3B 3K9. The contest begins at 12:01 a.m. (ET) on May 26, 2009, and ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on June 30, 2009. Online entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on June 30, 2009. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2009, and received by July 7, 2009.

Readers can learn more about the contest and review the official contest rules and regulations at A copy of the Official Rules can also be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope (postage not required from residents of VT) to "The Carly Phillips Lucky Streak Contest 20902 Rules," 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, ON M3B 3K9, Canada. Limit one (1) entry per person. If more than one (1) entry is received from the same person, only the first eligible entry submitted will be considered. By entering the contest, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Harlequin Enterprises Limited (the "Sponsor"), which are final and binding.

The stock market may be down and real estate sales plunging, but happy endings are up 32%, as HQN's parent company, Harlequin Books celebrates its 60th year of providing women with exactly what they want: involving, exciting, romantic reads. There's never been a better time to read a romance--or to win $1,000.

Tails of Love - Benefit book to raise money for local animal shelter

Pets victims of housing foreclosures

Benefit book to raise money for local animal shelter

Millions of households have pets and, annually, billions of dollars are spent on pet supplies and food. However, The Humane Society of the United States shares a much more sobering statistic.

Each year, millions of cats and dogs are left with shelters or abandoned to die on the streets.

With unemployment at a 14-year high and housing foreclosures at 60 percent, the situation is worsening. Pets are silent, invisible victims of housing foreclosures. It’s hard for people to find a place to live, pay bills and care for their pets.

To help ease the financial strain of the increasing numbers of abandoned pets, 10 authors have collaborated on Tails of Love, a romance benefit anthology scheduled for release June 2009 by Berkley Publishing. The authors and their agents are donating all of their proceeds to the Animal Adoption Foundation (AAF), a no-kill animal shelter in Hamilton County, Ohio.

A worthy cause

“This particular shelter has long impressed me as being very caring and very responsible to all animals,” explained New York Times best-selling novelist Lori Foster, the project’s lead author. “I visit the AAF and can see firsthand how caring and protective they are with the animals.”

In addition to Foster, Stella Cameron, Dianne Castell, Kate Angell, Ann Christopher, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sarah McCarty, Patricia Sargeant and Sue-Ellen Welfonder have contributed original short stories to Tails of Love.

“Animals bring so much joy to our lives, and yet so many are left abandoned, sometimes even abused,” Foster said. “It breaks my heart to see animals in shelters. I want to bring them all home. I can’t donate time walking them or caring for them. The next best thing is to donate money to ensure that they always have what they need.”

Foster has a list of other non-profit organizations she’d eventually like to help with a benefit book. She tries to choose local places, such as the AAF. And, in 2008, she and 11 other authors contributed short stories to The Power of Love, an anthology benefiting the Hamilton County YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter.

“Without the support of truly wonderful readers, the benefit books wouldn’t be a success,” Foster said. “To all my readers, thank you so very, very much.”

For more information on Foster and Tails of Love, please visit her Web site

Tails of Love trailer

Contact: Lori Foster

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Author/Reader Event - Lori Foster

Check this out. Again, I didn't pay attention so I can't attend but I'm going to next year! Author Lucy Monroe raves about this event and please check out the work Lori does for our armed forces. If you can't attend, at least donate, please.

Event details

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Flirting with Forty DVD - Jane Porter

If you're a Jane Porter fan and didn't get the chance to watch her Lifetime movie of the book, the DVD is available on Amazon.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Contest - Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery

May contest - Susan Mallery's May release of Under Her Skin. To win, post your favorite Susan Mallery book and why it was so special for you. Also, I can't send you the book without your email, so please include it with your post.

Lexi Titan can just see the headlines. All of Titanville will be buzzing. Not that she has any other choice. Faced with exactly thirty days to come up with two million dollars, she is out of options. Marry Cruz Rodriguez or lose everything—the successful day spa she built herself, her tyrant of a father's respect. And the long-standing competition with her sisters for the family business.

Cruz has money, success, smoldering good looks—everything but the blue blood needed to become a true member of Texas society. If Lexi agrees to be his fiancée for six months, lending him her famous father's influence and connections, he'll hand her a check on the spot. And in six months they'll go their separate ways.

But neither one is prepared for their long-ago shared passion to throw a wrench into what would seem to be the perfect deal….

Welcome New York Times Best Selling Author, Susan Mallery


Susan Mallery is the New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romances and she has yet to run out of ideas!! She has written series romances, as well as single titles, historicals, contemporaries, even a lone time travel and recently a women’s fiction. Always reader favorites, her books have appeared on the Walden’s bestseller list, along with the USA Today bestseller list and, of course, the New York Times list. She has won awards for everything from best single title contemporary, to best Special Edition of the year and recently took home the prestigious National Reader's Choice Award. As her degree in Accounting wasn't very helpful in the writing department, Susan earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction.

Susan makes her home in the Pacific Northwest where, rumor has it, all that rain helps with creativity. Susan is married to a fabulous hero-like husband and has a six pound toy poodle...who is possibly the cutest dog on the planet.


I would like to congratulate you on your latest HQN May release, Book 1 Under Her Skin- and the first in your Lone Star Sisters series. Can you tell us about the book and the series?

Susan: Thank you! I’m very excited about the release of the Lone Star Sisters series. The premise for the series started with a question: What would you get if you crossed Dallas with Sex and the City? The Titan sisters and their best friend Dana are like the women in Sex and the City, each unique but with a strong female friendship. They laugh together, cry together, support each other. Their father, Jed Titan, is a Dallas-type figure, a Texas tycoon on a major power trip. Instead of encouraging his daughters to be friends, he pits them against each other in a bid to inherit his entire estate. I was curious to see how these loving, supportive sisters would react with so much on the line. To them, it’s not just money; it’s their heritage.

The cover artists at HQN Books outdid themselves. Each of the covers is fun and flirty and right on point for the book. In Under Her Skin, for example, the heroine is a real girly-girl who loves all things feminine, so the red dress and kicky heels are very true to character. And there she is, kissing Cruz Rodriguez, who she met ten years before the start of the book. Back then, Cruz was a drag-racing bad boy with a wicked kiss. Flash forward ten years, and he’s got his own racing empire. He’s the kind of man who would succeed in any field because he simply won’t accept the alternative.

At the start of Under Her Skin, Lexi discovers that someone is trying to sabotage her luxury day spa by calling in a $2 million loan with just 21 days’ notice. She can’t turn to her father for help because admitting that she got herself into trouble will mean forfeiting her chance at the estate. So she goes to the only other man she knows who has a spare $2 million lying around.

Cruz loves the irony. Once upon a time, Lexi had been too good for him. Now she was coming to him for help. He agrees, but with a hefty price tag. He wants a toehold into the closed society of the Texas elite. He’ll give her the money, but she has to pretend to be engaged to him. And she has to make it look good.

What is your writing style like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Susan: Booklist has described my writing as both “funny” and “bittersweet,” and I’m very proud of both those descriptions. The humor isn’t calculated at all. It rises naturally from the characters’ reactions to the problems they face, the same way true humor comes in real life. My characters are like your friends and neighbors, real people facing life as it comes, dealing with real-world problems with wit and tenacity. And hey, in the midst of these realistic problems, they meet the love of their lives.

As for plotting, I’m such a plotter that I even have plotting parties. Seriously. My friends and I get together on a regular basis to help each other come up with new ways to torture our characters. I read recently that James Patterson writes 50-page outlines for each of his books. I come close to that. I write about a chapter a day, and for me, that means I have to have a detailed roadmap.

Describe a day in the life of Susan Mallery.

Susan: Oh, I lead a very glamorous life! I sleep in silk peignoir with a pillowed eye mask until about noon. After an hour or so of stretching and breakfast in bed, brought in by my hunky manservant, I don my feathered boa, dictate a few pages to my hunky secretary and then relax in the tub the rest of the afternoon.

Meanwhile, back in the real world… Successful writing takes dedication. I usually have a book at every stage of the publishing pipeline. For example, right now, I’m promoting Under Her Skin, Lip Service, and Straight from the Hip, my summer series. (Book four in the Lone Star Sisters series, Hot on Her Heels, will be released in November.) I’m also writing a book, expecting edits any day on my January release, The Best of Friends, and putting together proposals on future stories I’d love to write.

So a day in my life means saying goodbye to my hunky husband as he heads off for work, and then locking myself in my office for hours until I accomplish what I need to accomplish for the day. Did I mention I love it?

What are you currently working on?

Susan: I have a new series coming out starting next year. It’s open-ended, meaning it’s set in a specific place with an infinite number of characters. At least that’s the plan. So far, so good. The first book—Faking Perfect—features a former professional bike racer. Um, Lance Armstrong type bikes, not motorcycles. The town is Fool’s Gold, set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I’m having the best time creating my fabulous town.

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

Susan: Most of my books are set in an area where I’ve lived. My husband and I have moved a lot for his work, which has been a boon to my work, as well. In the past year, for example, I’ve released books set in Seattle (The Bakery Sisters: Sweet Talk, Sweet Spot, and Sweet Trouble), California (Sunset Bay), and now Texas (The Lone Star Sisters: Under Her Skin, Lip Service, and Straight from the Hip).

I do a lot of research about my heroines’ and heroes’ careers. Research is a major chore. For example, for Under Her Skin, I had to spend a lot of time in luxury day spas, getting massages, mud baths, and pedicures. For Sunset Bay, I had to spend hour after hour watching Project Runway and shopping for designer clothes. But I think it’s important to be accurate!

What suggestions would you have for beginning writers as far as "breaking into the business”?

Susan: For all writers, the best, most important advice I can give is to write every day, even if you can only squeeze in half an hour. It’s important to exercise those writing muscles. Storytelling is a natural talent, but it’s also a skill that can be improved with study and practice. For romance writers, my additional advice is to join Romance Writers of America ( and to take advantage of everything you can learn through RWA.

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

Susan: I get asked this question a lot. Honestly, the character I most identify with is always the one I’m writing about at the moment because I’m so deep inside her psyche as I write. (I say “her” because I tend to identify with my heroines more than with my heroes.)

I love all my characters, but the ones who stick with me the most are the most ordinary. These characters feel like real people, like true friends with whom I shared a lot of meaningful moments. I sat with them through problems and cheered with them when they persevered and found love. That’s why it’s so rewarding to me to write series, because it gives me the opportunity to check back in with these women who have come to mean so much to me.

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

Susan: In terms of my career, I’d say the brightest moment so far was when I made the New York Times bestselling list for the first time. But my most significant accomplishment is affirmed every day in the emails I get from readers, telling me how my books helped them through a rough period in their lives. It honors me and moves me that I’ve had an impact in the lives of people I may never meet.

Tell us something about yourself that we might not know.

Susan: Even after all these years and all these books and a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction, I still consider myself a student of writing. I study the craft of writing on a regular basis. I get a lot of inspiration from how-to books on screenwriting, although I doubt I’ll ever write a screenplay. I like the structure they offer. I also read a lot of psychology books, which help me gain insight into character and personality.

On a humorous note, I’m possibly the worst gardener in the world. Serious, I have the black thumb of death. Plants physically recoil from me when I walk by in the nursery. I can hear their little plant voices screaming “Don’t take me. Take her!” I love flowers and gardens, but I can’t grow anything. I’ve killed air fern before. It’s very sad!

Who is your favorite author?

Susan: Oh, no. I’m not getting in trouble with this question! I offered a list of my favorite authors once and left out my best friend. I’m still hearing about it 10 years later. So no way!

Lastly, do you have any last thoughts you would like to share with your readers?

Susan: Thank you to all of you who have read my books and recommended them to your family and friends. I love hearing from readers, and I hope you’ll check in on me from time to time at Writing is a solitary occupation, but when you read my stories and tell me about how they’ve affected you, you inspire me to keep writing. You mean more to me than I can put into words.

Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview and best of luck with your new series, I have my copy and hope to have it read over the weekend. You can see my review soon on Marilyn’s Romance Reviews Blog.

Susan Mallery website

On a personal note, Susan has charmed me over the years with her Desert Rogues, Marcelli Sisters and The Buchanan's and I can't wait for this new Lone Star series. Again, thanks Susan for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview!

April Contest Winner of West and Green's Books

Maureen, you are the lucky winner. Please email me with your details. Congratulations!

Emerald City Writer’s Conference Registration Begins Soon!

Please share this information with your writing friends, post on blogs and forward to loops!


Since you attended last year’s Emerald City Writer’s Conference, I wanted you to be the first to know about this year’s conference. As always, we have some phenomenal sessions lined up and some of the top editors and agents in the industry will be attending. Register early to get your top picks. (Remember, Emerald City Opener finalists get a private appointment with the editor or agent of their choice. The ECO deadline is June 1st.)

Conference registration begins May 16th. Please read on for more details about this year’s event. It is truly the one conference you will not want to miss.

20th Anniversary
Emerald City Writer’s Conference
Sponsored by the Greater Seattle Romance Writer’s of America
October 9-11, 2009
Bellevue Hilton
Bellevue, Washington

• Editor & Agent Appointments
• Educational & Inspirational Sessions
• Bookfair
• Chat Sessions with Your Favorite Authors
• Social Events for Networking

Join us as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the first Emerald City Writers Conference. In addition to group editor and agent appointments, the conference features educational sessions taught by published authors and experts in their field. Classes cover everything from the writing craft to online marketing. Chat sessions with best selling authors are also featured.

The annual bookfair offers opportunities to mingle with your favorite authors. Several social events provide opportunities for networking with other writers, published authors, editors and agents making this annual conference a not-to-miss event.

Our Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Claire Delacroix
Featured Speakers: Lisa Jackson & Christine Warren

Special Guests
Cherry Adair, Elizabeth Boyle, Stella Cameron, Megan Chance, Bob Dugoni, Yasmine Galenorn, Susan Mallery, Bob Mayer, Jane Porter and more!

Editor & Agent Appointments
Registrants are offered the opportunity to pitch in group appointments to editors and agents of their choice; appointments are scheduled on a first come, first served basis, so register today! Emerald City Opener finalists will receive private appointments.

Wanda Ottewell, Editor: Harlequin
Peter Senftleben, Editor: Kensington

NOTE: Peter will also be speaking at a session entitled “The Editor/Author Relationship: How to work with your editor from the call to published book and beyond”
Megan McKeever, Editor: Pocket Books

Steven Axelrod, Agent: The Axelrod Agency
Alexandra Machinist, Agent: Linda Chester Literary Agency

NOTE: Alexandra is also speaking at a session entitled “What Every Agent Wishes Every Author Knew.”

May 16th register here


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