Thursday, December 31, 2009

January Contest

Thanks to Harlequin Free Book Friday, I'm offering a copy of Debbie Macomber's Home for the Holidays.  It was rated 4 1/2 stars on Barnes and Noble. 

Here's the book description:

Everyone wants to be home for the holidays…

The Forgetful Bride

Caitlin Marshall's trying to go home to Minnesota, but at the last minute she gives her airline ticket to a stranded soldier. So Cait spends Christmas with Joe Rockwell, who was a childhood friend—and is still a terrible tease, claiming that Cait's his wife. Oh, sure, they were "married" in a pretend ceremony when she was eight, but now Joe wants to make their "marriage" real!

When Christmas Comes

Emily Springer trades her Leavenworth, Washington, home for Charles Brewster's Boston condo. Then Emily's friend Faith comes to visit her in Washington—and instead finds Charles, a complete stranger and a curmudgeon, to boot. His brother, Ray, meanwhile, shows up at Charles's place, only to discover Emily living there. But through all the mix-ups and misunderstandings, among the chaos and confusion, romance begins to emerge….

In order to win a copy, please share with us your favorite holiday you and your family celebrate and how you will celebrate it in 2010.  For an additional chance to win, share a favorite recipe of that special holiday.  Don't forget to leave your email address to I can contact the winning person.

Happy New Year to one and all and thanks so much for stopping by Romance Author Buzz.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Seattle regains title of 'most literate city'

Central Connecticut State University ranks Seattle no. 1 when it comes to literacy, based on an algorithm that takes into account number of bookstores, advanced degrees, Internet usage, library usage and newspaper readership.

Seattle has once again been named America's most literate city in a survey conducted by John Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, who has been conducting this survey since 2003. Last year, Seattle had to share the top spot with Minneapolis, but this year Seattle has sole claim to it.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., has risen to the number two ranking, and Minneapolis is no. 3. Seattle was first in bookstores per 10,000 population; first in educational achievement (high school/college degrees held by adults); third in Internet usage; fourth in library usage and 17th in newspaper readership. For the full story and the methodology of the survey

By Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor

Seattle Times Review of Jayne Anne Krentz - Fired Up

"Fired Up:" Krentz' tale of an ancient curse, a powerful lamp and a psychic P.I.

Seattle author Jayne Ann Krentz, whose novels regularly ascend The New York Times' best-seller list, has been expanding her fictional universe over the past several years with books featuring a rich cast of psychic protagonists. Originally conceived as a romantic-suspense historical series, Krentz's "Arcane Society" novels have gradually moved into later centuries, where her characters deal with the legacy of old formulas and artifacts that have unleashed both good and evil into the world.

Now, in the series' latest development, Krentz has expanded the "Arcane Society" novels to span three eras, writing the three novels of the "Dreamlight Trilogy" under not only her own name (which she uses for contemporary settings), but also her two pseudonyms: Amanda Quick (historicals) and Jayne Castle (futuristic novels).

Don't be put off by the complicated-sounding plot premises in Krentz's fictional world of psychics and "sensitives." Though there is a bit of a learning curve to encounter when you first step into an "Arcane Society" book, this series (like all good romantic fiction) focuses on strong relationships, fiery attraction and deep loyalty. The icing on the cake is the firing of the reader's imagination: What if you could, for example, touch someone's handprint and realize that he had recently committed a murder?

The newest Krentz, "Fired Up: An Arcane Society Novel, Book One of the Dreamlight Trilogy" (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 368 pp., $25.95), is a Seattle-based contemporary story that's the first of the three "Dreamlight" books. Like certain epic poets, Krentz begins her saga in medias res; the next book will be set in Victorian London, and the final book in the future. These books focus on a unique artifact: a 17th-century lamp that looks like nothing special but possesses considerable power.

First created in the 17th century by the renegade psychic researcher Nicholas Winters, the lamp holds the key to the destiny of the researcher's male descendants. A metal vessel about 18 inches high with dark crystals embedded around the rim, the lamp can only be accessed and activated by a woman who is able to control the lamp's energy and call forth its light.

Krentz's protagonist, Jack Winters, is afflicted with an inherited curse that can only be lifted with the aid of the lamp. He needs to find not only that missing lamp, but also the woman who can activate the lamp — the psychic Chloe Harper, a private investigator. Her psychic sensitivity to "dreamlight" (the psychic traces left behind by dreams) also allows her to read fingerprints and other traces of those who once touched any object.

Chloe's talents make it relatively easy for her and Jack to find the 17th-century lamp Jack is seeking (it's in Las Vegas, of all places), and also for her to authenticate it. They aren't the only ones eager to acquire the lamp, however, and Krentz ramps up the suspense as they face several nasty antagonists. Only together can Chloe and Jack tap the full, terrifying power of the lamp and of their own senses — and, not surprisingly, the power of their increasing attraction for each other, which Krentz makes clear in some incendiary sexual encounters.

Lots of evocative Seattle descriptions and settings make "Fired Up" particularly fun for Northwest readers, who may start looking up and down our rainy streets in search of a little psychic energy.

By Melinda Bargreen

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ways to Make It To the List - The Telegraph (Calcutta, India, Bookwise)

In the ‘books of the year’ lists that many newspapers and magazines publish at this time of the year, four features will be found in the list of 2009 that will tell the shape of things to come in the world of books.

First, the lack of unanimity between competing lists. We all have our favourites, and so do those who compile these round-ups of the year’s ‘best books.’ Therefore, there are few common titles that appeal to all.

But, not surprisingly, many of the titles in these lists are not from the bestseller lists that are hyped by mass-circulation magazines. Editors take their decisions based on their own assessment of which are the best ones, and this need not necessarily be their assessment of the market; aesthetic factors loosely defined as language, style and relevance of subject matter also play a part.

Second, quite a few deal with the leading issues of the day such as climate change, globalization and its discontents, the global financial crisis, terrorism and fundamentalism, and so on: they serve as backgrounders with some analysis thrown in. The line between up-market journalism and book publishing is becoming very thin now, partly because newspapers and magazines cannot afford to carry long articles with the background and the pros and cons of every issue. Besides, the common reader rarely reads editorial pages where ‘underlying causes and their consequences’ are discussed.

Third, since the digital age gives readers a wide variety of choices, clarity and definition, knowing what or who is the potential audience is the only way to break into the market. As a result, general interest is out, niche is in. This goes for fiction as well as for areas where the audience is ‘targeted’ according to readership surveys by market researchers.

Formula books that had been the main domain of publishers such as Mills and Boon have been extended to general fiction now, with editors telling authors what to put in or keep out according to the trends of the day. Of course, there are exceptions, but the general rule is to give readers want they are looking for.

Fourth, mass-market publishing is now a sub-division of the entertainment industry. So, an important consideration for a book to be published is its potential to spin off into television serials or sitcoms, or even full-length films.

Along with this is the growing realization that people are similar in their prurient interests — even though they may be sharply different in their civilized concerns — and the best way to capture market share is to cater to the lowest common denominator of sex, glitz, romance and violence. This formula had been in the making for quite some time, but has achieved much greater sophistication with the advent of computer graphics and digitalization.

Hence the question: Will these four factors provide the guidelines for future publishing programs? Where will celebrity books, which always make a big splash to begin with, fit in this world of hard-nosed business philosophy?

The answer to the first question is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. It is ‘yes’ because these four factors have always been key to publishing decisions. In one way or another, they are all related to the market potential of the book, which is the main reason for the book’s existence.

It is ‘no’ because the emphasis is now changing with greater public interest in contemporary affairs that are not adequately covered by the media, and also because technology or the communications revolution has made the market that was hitherto out of reach more accessible. Editors can afford to take greater risks with proposals that were non-starters earlier. This is reflected in a slew of books on remote subjects that prima facie would have few takers. But India is a vast market and there will always be a few hundred interested readers provided one could reach them — which one can now. And once publishers succeed, celebrities will simply wither away.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sending Warm Holiday Wishes Your Way!

As I'm getting ready for my family to spend the holidays here with me in Seattle, I just wanted to wish all of you who have stopped by this year to Romance Author Buzz the warmests wishes for love, peace and joy.  Thanks so much for spending time on my blog.

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

UK Cheltenham Literature Festival 2009


One of the oldest and best loved Literature Festivals in the world, with its signature blend of award-winning writers and world-renowned thinkers, the festival is a crucible for topical debate and discussion. It is a celebration of the joy of books, the thrill of debate, and the unique two-way conversation between writer and reader.

Mills and Boon author Sharon Kendrick at the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2009

Video Link:

What Makes a Literary Hero?

This Romance Novel Requires a Joystick

There is no shortage of buxom women in video games, but as a rule of thumb, they're too distracted by fire-breathing dragons to notice the strapping warriors swinging their big swords next to them. One new developer aims to change that.

PassionFruit Games is setting out to play toward an increasingly active female gaming market by inventing a new genre: the romance novel game
the rest of the article here

Friday, December 11, 2009


This month I'm offering Robyn Grady's Devil In a Dark Blue Suit.  To win a copy, share your favorite Holiday Story, Book or Movie.  While you're at it, hopefully you'll follow my blog.

Stop over to my review site for another contest at Marilyn's Romance Reviews.  You'll also see my review of this book.

You can also read more about  Robbie's on her website.

Please leave your contact email so I can notify you.  Happy Holidays.

Writing Competition Winners Announced - Harlequin Presents, Mills and Boon Modern and Modern Heat

My author friend Susanna Carr was just announced one of the winners in the Harlequin writing competition and I'm so very happy for her.  Stop over to her blog and congratulate her.  You'll also notice that she's a Presents fan as well.

Stop over at her blog  or visit her website

Susanna writes fun, sexy and sassy romance books.

Here's the post announcing the winners  at I(Heart) Presents .

Here's the list of the winners:




Modern Heat


We discovered that both of our Presents/Modern winners were North American and have some recent publishing experience, whereas both of our Modern Heat winners are from the UK and are unpublished. It is so great to think that through our competition we have found talent from both sides of the pond with such different levels of experience.

Both winners, Susanna and Gill, win an editor for a year, and our runners-up, Maggie and Joanne, have won a consultation on their entries with an editor. Please join me, and the editorial team, in congratulating them!

Romantic Times 2009 Nominees

Well the news is out all over the internet Romantic Times 2009 Nominees.  What an incredible line up and to think I've read so many of these wonderful authors.  Here's the list

Monday, December 07, 2009

Introducing Rachel Bailey - Silhouette Desire Author

I'm so excited, a new Silhouette Desire author with her book debut in January 2010.

From her website:

I live with my own personal hero and four dogs on the east coast of Australia. Our house is on my dream property – 10 acres of native trees on the side of a hill, within driving distance to the beach.

At school, I wasn’t particularly interested in writing or English. Science was my favourite subject and I took chemistry, physics and biology. My mother still teases me that I’d take my science textbooks away on holidays with us.

After school, I enrolled in a science degree (of course) but impulsively changed to an arts degree on the first day. I double majored in psychology and went on to do a second degree, this time in social work.

I loved practicing social work, but now have the perfect job – I spend my days in the peace and quiet of my trees, surrounded by my dogs, making up stories for a living.


As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of science fiction, until one day when I was 16, I saw Pride and Prejudice on television. The old version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I adored it. I’d seen it in the TV guide and, since I had a crush on Laurence Olivier after seeing him in Henry IV, I’d taped it.

I watched that tape so often I can still recite most of the dialogue by heart. I sought out the book, devoured it, then found every other Jane Austen book and read and reread them frequently. I only discovered romance as a genre about four years ago. Imagine my delight when I first read modern versions of Jane Austen! 
Now I read most subgenres of romance, from category to historical to romantic comedy. Such a banquet!

Book Description:

Tycoon Damon Blakely had one year to produce a legitimate heir. Luckily he had a bride candidate in mind. Lily Grayson had been the perfect mistress…until she’d left him. And when he proposed his plan, Damon learned why. Lily was already expecting his baby.

The millionaire’s shock and anger was quickly trounced by Lily’s counteroffer. She would give their child his name…but theirs would be a paper marriage. Lily claimed Damon had no room in his heart for anything beyond business. The terms of his proposal left him little room to argue…until he could get Lily back into his bed.

I had a ball writing Lily and Damon’s story – getting to know them and their lives. And now I’m looking forward to sharing them with readers!


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