Archive for the 'Writing Life' Category

Whew. Why did I think I’d be able to blog from RWA National Conference? I don’t think I even cracked open the laptop but once. It was iphone or nothing. But anyway, I am finally home and had such a great time. This was my first conference as a really, truly, almost-all-grownup author! And it ROCKED.

The fun started Wednesday with the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn Bulletin Board get-together, catered by the amazing Kim Castillo (we were enjoying the fruits cookies of her labor all week). Later that day, I had my first-ever book signing at the RWA Readers for Life literacy benefit. I only had about 15 copies there, and they were all gone within minutes, thanks to my wonderful friends. I can’t tell you how touching it was to see people I’ve “known” online for three years show up with hugs and misty eyes to support the release of GODDESS OF THE HUNT. I am so blessed with a wonderful network of friendship and support.
Me at my first RWA signing!! on Twitpic

Thursday started with breakfast with my roomies Courtney Milan and Carey Baldwin, plus…oh…a dozen? of the historical romance genre’s most esteemed authors. Oh my stars – Joanna Bourne, Sherry Thomas, Mary Jo Putney, and several more – all before I’d had my coffee. I may have dreamed it.

After breakfast, I attended the Rogue Digital Seminar presented by Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Kassia Kroszer of QuartetPress, Angela James of Samhain Publishing, and Jane Litte of Dear Author, … Read More »

I’ve been interviewed by The Season, author Beverley Kendall’s beautiful online newsletter for readers of historical romance.  Bev asked me all sorts of thoughtful questions about Goddess of the Hunt, writing in series, and what I’m working on next. In conjunction with the interview, she’s running a giveaway – one lucky person will win a copy of GOTH and a $15 gift certificate to the online bookstore of her choice!  So click on over and win.

It’s also a sort of holiday season for me…I’m getting ready to fly off to DC next week for the RWA National Conference, which is pretty much my Christmas in July.  It’s definitely the occasion that warrants the most shopping outside of December!  I’ve got my new frocks and shoes and bookmarks and promo buttons (click photo for a better view):

RWA flair arrived! Which are you? Goddess, Siren, or Lady? on Twitpic

I plan to set up a form on this website, to give away extras once I get home from conference…

If you’ll be in DC, please do stop by and see me Wednesday at the Literacy Signing (even if you don’t buy a book!  Really!), or the panel I’ll be on with authors Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, Tracy Anne Warren, and our wonderful agents, Kristin Nelson and Helen Breitwieser – it’s Friday at 2PM.

I’ll try to post a few updates and pix from conference!… Read More »

My first real copy of goddess! Yay! on Twitpic

I got two copies in the mail this morning from my editor’s assistant. (You can click on the picture for a bigger view.) I have since accomplished very little besides gazing into the shiny gold foil and fondling the embossing. It’s real! It’s really real! There are 384 pages inside, and my words are on each and every one!

Goddess of the Hunt
got some lovely bloggage this week. Michelle Buonfiglio listed it as a Top Ten Beach Read over at’s “Unabashedly Bookish” blog, and on Barbara Vey’s “Beyond Her Book” blog at Publisher’s Weekly, Stacey gave it a fabulous writeup (scroll down to the bottom). I’m in the process of writing up all sorts of promo letters, interviews, and guest blog posts for the coming month. Prepare to get sick of me. 🙂

AND – I had awesome news yesterday in the form of an email from my editor. Rights to all three books in the trilogy have been sold to publisher IKAR, for hardcover Slovak-language editions. I’ll be in translation! I can’t believe it.

Needless to say, it’s been a great week. I hope it’s been great for you, too. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, for those who live in the USA!… Read More »

I’m hard at work on my second book in this new Stud Club trilogy. At the moment, I think we’ve decided to call it TWICE TEMPTED BY A ROGUE. It’s been a mix of rough rough-drafting and research so far. I was joking on Twitter the other day that after four books, I’ve finally broken down and created a research binder, with color-coded tabs and everything. (Note: This is extremely unlike me.) I hadn’t expected to become so enthralled with the research for this book, and I’m a little worried that it’s partly procrastination…but I’ve been collecting and printing out all sorts of images and informational PDFs about the history, geology, climate, wildlife, and legends of Dartmoor.

Beautiful, isn’t it?  The area has such fascinating history (going all the way back to pre-history!) and folklore.  In addition to the tors–the craggy granite formations that pepper the area–Dartmoor boasts ancient stone circles and cairns (tombs), the ruins of medieval tinning operations, rivers and waterfalls, bogs and mires, and more.

“Worldbuilding” is a term most commonly associated with paranormals or sci-fi/fantasy.  It refers to the author’s creation of a fictional universe with its own unique rules, creatures, places and people.  In historicals, our “worldbuilding” is usually less about creating our own universe, and more about evoking a real-life historical setting.  However, every book in any genre involves a certain amount of worldbuilding–where do the characters come from, for one?   How do objects, people, fixtures, buildings relate to one another, spatially or otherwise?  … Read More »

While I was off gallivanting in cornfields, a controversy exploded in the online romance community last week. In case you’ve missed it, the online portion of it started with agent/author Deidre Knight’s open letter to RWA (Romance Writers of America), and RWA President Diane Pershing’s response. Today, Dear Author has a helpful guide to further reactions around the Internet.

At issue are RWA’s positions and policies on digital publishing. Currently, the organization does not recognize any e-publisher as a legitimate publisher (for the purposes of presenting at conference, taking pitches, etc.), because they pay on a no- or low-advance/greater-royalty model, instead of giving advances of $1000 or more for each book. This has resulted in a complete absence of digital publishing education at our upcoming conference. RWA’s current policies have also created ambiguity in membership status–members who publish with an e-press or small press are considered “published” in some respects, but not in others, leading to inequities in contest participation, etc.

I love RWA–both National and my local chapter. But I do think the national organization in particular could be doing far more to educate the membership about digital publishing and e-publishers. Today, digital publishing affects every published and aspiring writer of romance–we all need to understand e-rights contract clauses, the Google books settlement, DRM, and more. And I take issue with the president’s repeated assertion that e-publishing is not the venue of the “career-focused” author of romance. I’ve published with an e-press, and it was very much a … Read More »

(Title is inspired by Alice’s mad tea party in Wonderland)

I had a blast guest-blogging at the pirate ship Revengeyesterday, and I’ll be guest blogging at Risky Regencies tomorrow, so my Tuesday post is going to be brief. Do be sure to come back next Tuesday, May 26th when debut author and FanLit alum Jackie Barbosa drops by to celebrate the release of BEHIND THE RED DOOR! We’ll be chatting about the art of the novella. I think. 🙂

Yesterday I got fabulous news in the form of a letter from my Ballantine editor. She loves the manuscript I turned in for Stud Club book one, and thinks it’s good to go with just a few minor revisions. That’s always a great feeling!

However, the second part of her message was that the title The Desire of a Duke will probably need to change–it’s too similar to some other Ballantine releases coming out next year. Several of you have already been helping me brainstorm alternatives on email, but feel free to sing out here if you’ve got more ideas! (Or simply want to repost some of the late-night gems we were throwing around for laughs.)

Oh, here, let me:
The Disastrously Draining Decadence of a Duke’s Dependents
The Thoroughbred Duke’s Unbridled Passions
The Duke Doubles Down (it’s a gambling reference!)… Read More »

First off, thank you to everyone who helped make my first release day so very exciting! There’s still a chance to win a copy of my historical (NOT paranormal) novella, The Legend of the Werestag, at Jennifer Haymore’s blog. Check it out! And while you’re there, treat yourself to the blurb and excerpt of Jennifer’s debut historical, A Hint of Wicked, releasing in just a few weeks. It’s an intense, passionate story of a woman torn between her love for her two husbands. (Yes, you read that right.) And the stepback alone is worth the click over!

I usually do most of my writing at cafes, because I find it too hard to concentrate whenever I have the darelings around or convenient internet access. So I pack up my laptop and head off to Starbucks or the Bean and Leaf or Borders and camp in for a few hours. Sometimes I change it up and go to McDonalds, and I’ve become a regular customer at the one near my kids’ preschool on Thursday mornings.

You see, there’s an older couple that comes in on Thursday mornings, too. I’ve chatted with them a few times–the gentleman is always interested in my laptop and how it works. And he’s very proud of his successful kids and grandkids, as any father or grandfather should be. His wife is always with him, and though she seems like a lovely person, she’s not able to speak much. She seems to be in … Read More »

Hooray!  My e-novella, The Legend of the Werestag, is available today from Samhain Publishing!

This quirky, sexy historical romance novella is not a paranormal shifter story, but rather the tale of five romantically entangled Regency-era houseguests who become intrigued by the local legend of a cursed man-beast.  Among them is Miss Cecily Hale, a young lady who’s spent four years waiting for her girlhood love, Luke Trenton, to come home from war.  And Luke himself, who has come home from battle alive but changed, only to spurn Cecily’s long-held affections.  But everything changes the night they forge into the forest in search of the fabled “Werestag.”

To read a longer blurb and Chapter One, click here.  I’ve posted an exclusive excerpt from Chapter Two to the Samhain Cafe loop here.  Check back later this morning.   And I’m blogging today on the Samhain blog about how ALL romance heroes are legendary man-beasts. 😉

Later this afternoon, kindly bloggers at Dear Author will be helping me give away ten free downloads of the novella, as well as my last three Advance Readers Copies (ARCs) of Goddess of the Hunt.  That’s right – get over to Dear Author and leave a comment today, and you could win an ARC!  (And if you don’t win, there’s still one up for bids in Brenda Novak’s benefit auction.)

Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books gave The Legend of the Werestag a very favorable B+ review a few weeks back, and author … Read More »

Since I blogged last, I turned in the manuscript of The Desire of a Duke to my editor. Such a good feeling.

Then I met up with my wonderful friends and critique partners for the weekend, and among other things, they helped me hash out the plot of Stud Club book two. They also helped me brainstorm some new title possibilities for it, and now I think I’m leaning toward The Return of a Rogue. If for no other reason than that the acronym is ROAR. 😉

My goals for the week are something like this:
1) Sleep.
2) Spend time with the family.
3) Catch up on all the stuff I’ve put off in the last month. (LOTS)
4) Start promoting The Legend of the Werestag (releasing May 12th from Samhain)!
5) READ.

Mount TBR is nearing epic proportions. Aside from the pile of research I’m accumulating for ROAR (books on Devonshire, Dartmoor, house construction, smuggling, etc., etc.), it had been far too long since I’d been able to just sit down with a great romance and get lost in it. Sometimes I find it hard to get lost in a romance at all anymore, because I have a hard time turning off my writing brain and simply enjoying the story.

Lucky me, I did just that twice this past week with two brilliant, heart-tugging, beautifully written historicals, Elizabeth Hoyt’s newest, To Beguile a Beast, and Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I’m in … Read More »

It’s crunch time.  My deadline for The Desire of a Duke is Friday, and I’m on track to make it–which feels great.

Last week,  a few friends joined me in twitter-based rehash of my “Save the Kitties” writeathon from last year to motivate me to push through to the end of the draft.  The idea is to challenge yourself to write a certain amount over the course of a few days – if you meet the goal, you get to donate $ to a good cause (like Kitten Rescue, for me).  If you fail, you have to donate that money to a cause with which you, ahem, strenuously disagree (not telling which).  Add in public accountability, and I find this method extremely motivating for short bursts.  I’m proud to say I powered through to finish my manuscript in the wee, wee hours last Wednesday.   Now the book’s been out for some reads with CPs and friends, and the feedback coming back is frighteningly unanimous in pointing out the book’s major issue, so I have a very clear direction for revisions.  All of that is good.  🙂

So once I turn in my book on Friday (and I will!  I will!), I get to reward myself with a weekend CP retreat!  My main goal for the weekend will be to read, relax, and start plotting my next book, tentatively titled The Passion of a Warrior.  (Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?  Again, I’m open to suggestions.)

A few … Read More »