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You probably think I’m talking about the inauguration.  Yes, that too!  I’ll be forcing the darelings to watch it with me, no matter how they plead for Spongebob instead, and they are going to be completely bored and have no idea what the big deal is – and that is awesome.  Now we just have to deal with the question my eldest burst out with yesterday evening, in the middle of the Lakers game: “Hey!  How come there are no girls?”

But it’s a happy day in the Dare household for yet another reason:

Yes, my ARCs arrived!  But…there are ten of them.  Ten.  Don’t they know I need at least 200?  Ack.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with them, but for the moment I’m holding my preciouses close and just staring at them a lot.  Okay, and fondling them, but we won’t talk about that. 🙂

Hope it’s a happy day for you all as well!… Read More »

The short answer is, because I live it.

Seriously, when my books come out, I expect I’ll get some comments on the fact that they include a fair amount of slapstickyness.  People stumbling, tripping, falling on faces and arses (usually the heroines).  Some people like that kind of comedy in moderation (raises hand) and others don’t–it’s not ALL there is to my books, of course.  But I write it in because…honestly, I don’t know how to write a heroine who doesn’t fall on her face occasionally.  Because I do it all the time.

Right after New Year, for instance, I made a lunging grab for my younger dareling as he took off across the parking lot.  My boot caught on the curb, I fell swiftly and hard, and I ripped a newish pair of jeans and still have yellowing bruises on both knees. *sigh*  Yep, that’s me.  As my grandmother used to say, “Just call me Grace!”

These incidents also factor into my own real-life romance.  It’s astounding that Mr. Dare convinced me to marry him at all, considering that I incurred some serious blunt trauma on one of our first dates.  And it was all his fault. Yes.  It was.

See, we were at the Getty Center in LA (and the man was getting some serious points for taking me to an art museum on one of our first dates.  I’m not sure he’s taken me to an art museum since, but…)  The Getty Center is several galleries, connected … Read More »

Um, just not from me. 🙂  How I long for the day when I can give away my own books!

Christy Reece is giving away a shiny new ARC (advanced reading copy) of her debut romantic suspense novel, Rescue Me. (Release date April 28, 2009) Christy is a fellow Ballantine debut author, and Rescue Me is the first in a back-to-back trilogy.  She’s already sold a second trilogy to Ballantine for release in 2010, so hers is a name to watch!  Just pop on over to her blog and comment before this Wednesday, and you could be among the first to discover this hot new talent!

And one of my RWA local chaptermates, the amazing Maureen Child, is giving away copies of all three of her current releases (yes, you read that right – she has three current releases.  At one of my very first chapter meetings, we all enjoyed a delicious cake in honor of her 100th sale.  One. Hundredth. Sale.),  Her new urban fantasy, Bedeviled, just went on sale this week, and it’s getting great buzz.  She signed copies at our chapter meeting today, and they all sold out before I could get one!  Not to mention, Booklist gave it a starred review–I’m a librarian, so to me a Booklist starred review is like the holy grail.  I can’t wait to read it!  (But I must, since I couldn’t get my hands on a copy today…)  To enter, visit her blog and leave a comment … Read More »

I have some!

I mean…I found some online.  If Random House can post them on their site, I figured it should be safe for me to do the same, right?

Aren’t they pretty?  I really have to hand it to the Art Department at Ballantine – they worked very hard to get so many details right, when it came to the heroines’ physical characteristics and the settings of the books.  These must have taken so much time and effort.  I’m really impressed and very grateful.… Read More »

I hope you all had lovely holidays!  We certainly did at the Dare residence.  This was the first year that both darelings were really old enough to get excited about Christmas and Santa (who did not disappoint!), and we all had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa Dare, despite passing around a nasty cold.

Now 2009 is starting off with a bang!  Huge congratulations to Erica Ridley, who has just announced her first sale–a two-book deal with Kensington.  Hooray, Erica!  Congratulations are also in order for former Fanlitter Lori Brighton, who also recently inked a two-book deal, also with Kensington!

My own exciting news: As of today, all three of my books are available for pre-order on Amazon!  Here are links to Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion.  (I just have to stop once again and marvel at the fact that I actually got to keep my books’ original titles!  How often does that happen?) Over the holidays, I completed my copy edits on SIREN, and now it’s back to working on Stud Club while I wait for book three edits.

Everyone’s talking and blogging about New Year’s resolutions this week, it seems.  Well, 2009 is going to be a busy year for me.  I have three novels and one e-book novella releasing.  I plan to complete at least 2-3 more new books.  I’m serving on the board of my local RWA chapter, and I’ll be sending my … Read More »

At last! I can finally say my books come out this year! And now all three are available for pre-order:  GODDESS OF THE HUNT, SURRENDER OF A SIREN, and A LADY OF PERSUASION.… Read More »

The blog will be on holiday for a few weeks, as the Dare family gathers ’round to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.  Grandma and Grandpa Dare will be arriving for a visit, to the delight of all.  The darelings are all aflutter with excitement for Santa’s arrival.  And I got the lovely Christmas gift of copy edits for SURRENDER OF A SIREN, which I must complete before the year’s out.  It’s appropriate, because SURRENDER is the only of the three books which actually includes a Christmas!

Oh, and I’ve seen the mockup for that cover…it’s beautiful!  And I still can’t show it to you. 🙂

One of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to be a more consistent blogger.  But until then, I wish you all a very Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and more!… Read More »

Okay, so getting back to this whole “How I write a book” series.

Lessee, I’ve blogged about the thinking and the “moments” and the research and the imaginary casting call for my characters.  Once I’ve let all that ferment for a while, I usually sit down and outline.

Well, sort of.  This would not be a formal-looking outline, with neat indents and A’s and IV’s and etc.  This would not even be a scene-by-scene outline.  It’s more like, I sit down with my laptop and just spew out all the notes and scenes and dialog that have been coalescing in my brain, in somewhat sequential fashion.  Some bits will be very fleshed out, with whole chunks of inner motivations and dialogue.  In other parts, I’ll have something like “they encounter difficulties”–meaning, the difficulty will be mine when I reach that section and must figure out what the heck should happen.

I begin at the beginning, and I work to the end. The end result is messy and uneven, but this is the stage where it starts to all come together as a story.  And to swipe the motto of one of my soon-to-be publishers, “It’s all about the story.”

I have writer friends who swear by storyboards, post-its, index cards, spreadsheets, and the like.  I’ve tried them all.  I’ve learned this: I am allergic to squares.  Trying to fit a story into a series of boxes…erg, it makes me break out in hives.  To me, a story is linear.  It … Read More »

They suck.

I haven’t given up blogging, swear.  Just alternately cursing the sun and, when meds are working, trying to catch up on other stuff.

The wedding was great, in case you’re wondering!  I love watching people in love, and weddings are one of the best places to find them.  Not only the happy couple, but all the couples in attendance. Weddings seem to remind everyone of why and how they fell in love in the first place, and much sweetness ensues.  I just adore being in the midst of it.

I may be weird, or maybe it’s a career thing since I’m a romance novelist…but PDA (public display of affection) rarely bothers me.  The other night I was in the grocery store, and there was this cute young couple chasing one another around the produce section, canoodling amongst the cantaloupes, and it just made me so happy to see them.  They radiated bliss.

My favorite place to see couples in love?  Disneyland.  Seriously, it really is the happiest (and kissiest) place on earth.

How about you?  Does PDA ick you out?  Or are you a happy-couple voyeur, like me?Read More »

Hope you all had a lovely holiday!  My eldest dareling came down with a stomach bug, and Mr. Dare worked overtime.  This added up to very little work time for me, and of course my copy edits are still calling…I did manage to send off a sneak peek of Stud Club to my agent at 3:30 this morning.  *crossing fingers*  Haven’t done a lick of Christmas shopping.  *sigh*

So, I haven’t had much time to think of a blog topic.  However, a very dear friend (whose initials might include a C and an M) is getting married very soon.  I really think we ought to prepare her for the wedding night in true historical romance fashion, by giving her “the talk.”

So I challenge you all to pass on your favorite romancelandia advice to the bride, a la “Lay back and think of England.”  Extra points to you if it involves an agricultural metaphor. 🙂  Or, since the hero of her forthcoming novel is an ornithologist, a few bird-and-bee analogies would not go astray.… Read More »