Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You know you’re an avid romance reader if…

Today I thought I would pay homage to all the wonderful romance readers who have followed my tour and who have written such wonderful comments to me. Of course, each person’s mileage may vary, as we are all unique individuals, but I believe I have listed the general characteristics of many romance readers.

You know you’re an avid romance reader if…

Walking into a room covered in flowers and candles makes you weak in your knees.

You have sex more often with your partner (I can’t recall the percentage, but it’s been documented that women who read romances have more encounters than those who don’t.)

The sight of the New Romance Releases shelf in the bookstore makes your heart pitter-patter.

Your library card is frayed about the edges, worn in the middle, and frequently needs to be replaced.

You have a tender heart (you wouldn’t be reading romances otherwise).

You start to write your own books. (There can never be too many.)

You start a blog where you share your love of romance books, because you are too excited to keep your thoughts on the books you’ve read only limited to just close family and friends.

You recoil at the phrase, ‘bodice-rippers’, because romances have evolved so beyond that archaic term, that whoever uses it obviously hasn’t read any.

Even if you haven’t read all the classics yet, you recognize the names: Austen, Heyer, Bronte…and you’re itching to add to this list.

Moonlight is for stolen kisses, a quiet pond is for a boat for two, a rainstorm is for taking shelter in a gazebo, a tree-lined path is for walking hand-in-hand, satin sheets are for…well you know.

love animals. Not sure why this is a general trait…I think it has something to do with the tender heart.

You firmly believe that without love, life isn’t worth living.

Chocolate is high on your list of favorite foods.

As long as they have a good heart, you remain fond of men, even when they are behaving badly.

You are kind to authors, and other romance readers, because you know that they share your passion.

Of course, the only reason I could put this list together is because I’m an avid romance reader myself. It takes one to know one. :}

Wishing my Fellow Romance Readers all of my Best,

Monday, August 30, 2010

And the winner is.....

Congratulations Carolyn Hughey. You're the winner of Kemberlee's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finding Balance

I cannot emphasize how important it is to find balance in your life.

Last night I attended my daughter's 22nd birthday party. Time really does go by fast. The little girls in the picture above remind me of her when she was younger. I fondly remember the times she jumped on my bed to wake me up, the hand print in plaster of paris, and her resting her head on the dog's back. When she was young I was so tired trying to be Supermom. I celebrated each event as she grew. "No more diapers! Hooray! No more daycare! Hooray!" Today, I wish I had taken more time to just watch her and make more memories. I make a point of doing that now even though she no longer needs me quite as much.

As writers, we often complain we don't get enough writing time. When we are struggling to add another chapter, page, paragraph to our stories, remember our first priority needs to be making memories with your loved ones. The next book will always be there. Your children are going to grow up and leave the house...eventually. I'm not saying to neglect your writing. Just make sure you look for that balance. Keep trying to have it all. Cherish your children, go for long walks with your significant other, tell your family members you love them.

Live life to the fullest!

Until Next Time,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview with Kemberlee Shortland

I’d like to welcome our guest today Kemberlee Shortland. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called A Piece of My Heart. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

A Piece of My Heart is mainly set in the west of Ireland in a region called Connemara (pronounced con-uh-mar-uh). It’s a very rural area of wide-open space that’s flanked on one side by the Twelve Pins Mountains, and a coastline that rushes headlong into the Atlantic Ocean. In between, blanket bog stretches for miles and where the hand cutting of turf is still performed. Traditions are alive and well in Connemara, and it’s a place where the native language is nurtured. It’s this place I chose to tell the love story of Mick Spillane and Kate Conneely.

Mick and Kate thought they were falling in love. Kate hadn't been just the girl next door. She'd been Mick's life, and he hers. When an unforeseen force draws them apart they're left with wounds that refuse to heal. Now, ten years on, Mick's father's will should have been straightforward, except his addendum was like ice water in Mick's face.

It's essential that Mick and Kate work together to save his family's farm. Mick doesn't count on his new manager being accused of murder, and Kate doesn't expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin to claim Mick is the father of her child.

Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again; however this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for Kate's future. And none of them involve goodbye.

A Piece of My Heart is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

I often name stories from song titles or lyrics, and Janis Joplin’s song A Piece of My Heart has always been a favorite. The lyrics start out, Didn't I make you feel like you were the only man, And didn't I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can? And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I've had enough, But I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough. Kate has loved Mick for as long as she can remember. In their teens, their childhood relationship was starting to mature as they were. She’d always made it clear that she was with Mick. After the breakup, she found it difficult to move on. But when they were thrown back together again, the roller coast that is their relationship makes Kate want to give up, but her love keeps her strong. She’s a very strong woman by nature. When she sees something she wants, she goes for it. Janis had it right!

The other two books in the Irish Pride series are also named for song titles: Rhythm of My Heart, the story of a musician, come from a Rod Stewart song, and Shape of My Heart, the story of a woman living between two identities, is from Sting.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Good question. I’ve always written historicals. But midway through a WIP an idea came for Rhythm of My Heart. It was so present in me that I put aside my WIP and drafted Rhythm of My Heart in seven weeks! A Piece of My Heart is actually the second book in the Irish Pride series. It was drafted in 12 weeks. Shape of My Heart followed fairly rapidly. I had the whole series written and edited for submission inside 18 months. I’ve gone back to work on my historical, but I really enjoyed writing these contemporaries. There are some characters in each of the Irish Pride books who might get a story of their own one day.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a bit of a bothster! Initially, I have an idea for a story and start plotting the major events in the story and how I want it to end. I have to have character names and what they look like, too, before I can start to write. Then I start writing as soon as I have a catchy opening scene, then write by the seat of my pants until it’s finished. Sometimes the rough plot gets changed along the way. Nothing is written in stone. But the rough plot is a great way to get started and give you direction. You wouldn’t set out on the road for an unknown destination. You want fuel in the tank, a snack in the car, and some idea of the route you’ll take to get there. It’s the same for me with writing. I have a point A to start from and a point Z as a destination. It’s all the stuff in the middle that makes the journey exciting.

In A Piece of My Heart, I had the characters down, the major plot points, and how I wanted it to end. Along this journey, other things came along that enlivened the story. I hadn’t really planned on Gobnait’s character, but I wanted both Mick and Kate to have their own issues to deal with. Kate had to learn to trust Mick again, and Gobnait really tried that trust. But for Mick, she only solidified that with Kate was where he really wanted to be. So Gobnait was a great addition to my secondary character list.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

Writing contemporaries doesn’t really involve a lot of research for me. Living in Ireland and setting stories here sort of goes hand in hand. Research for me often means just stepping outside the door. We have Border Collies and worked them on sheep for a while when they were younger, so I have contacts in that field I can use for information when I need it. I’ve also lived in a few areas in Ireland, and traveled extensively around the country, so locations are at my fingertips, as are regional dialects and local traditions.

When I’m writing my historicals, then yes, research is invaluable. I’ve studied a lot of Irish history since I’ve been here (13 years now), gone on a lot of castle hunts, visited monastic ruins, etc., mostly just for fun. It’s nice when I can incorporate into my stories some of what I’ve learned over the years. For example, in A Piece of My Heart Mick became the historian I always wanted to be. And Shape of My Heart features an ancient burial mound, the story including the mound’s history. My current WIP is currently called The Diary which is set in 1014 Ireland. I’ve had to do a lot of added research on Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf, the use of souterrains and secret passages, lifestyle and clothing in the 11th century, etc. I love it all!

I admit I do like Wikipedia for basic information, but I always back up when I learn there with examples from other sites just to be sure the Wiki page is correct. But since I’m not writing historical fiction, the history doesn’t overshadow the story. I make sure all of my facts are correct, though. I don’t want glass panes in a window opening in an 11th century building. Stone castles didn’t exist until the 12th century in Ireland, and even then they were rare until the 14th century. Garderobes were where clothes were kept, not to use the toilet. And yes, sometimes ancient Irish warriors did fight in the nude! ;-)

I do have a host of historical texts in my own private library, but the internet is usually where I go first unless it’s something very specific that a book, like Mairead Dunlevy’s book Dress in Ireland in which she details what people wore through the centuries, right back to the oldest known garments fished out of Ireland’s bogs or found on bog mummies.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I’d just finished Rhythm of My Heart, which is mainly set in Dublin City. I really wanted to write a country story and was trying to think of something exciting that happens in the Irish countryside. Ireland is so laid back that unless it’s political or religious, you really have to dig. In the end, I had only to look under my own roof. Our dog Daisie was my inspiration for one of the subplots of A Piece of My Heart. She’s a rescue dog who was discovered in questionable circumstances. Molly in the story was modeled after Daisie.

The main plot of the story came about as a result of striving to write something different from everyone else. I’m always looking for a storyline that hasn’t been used before, or at least not very often. I wanted something that reflected life in Ireland, how it really is and not what Hollywood tells us. I didn’t want a pregnancy forcing a couple together, I didn’t want to write about the rich, and I didn’t want any convenience stories. In the end, we have Mick and Kate who grew up together on neighboring farms. Their fathers are best mates, and because they’re the same age they grew up in each other’s hip pockets. And as it happens in real life, relationships like that often bloom into something more as soon as the hormones kick in. Then something happens to pull them apart. Typical of Irishmen, they don’t wear their hearts on their sleeve. When Mick had the opportunity to attend college he went for it and didn’t look back. That left Kate with a hole in her life where Mick once was, budding love for the boy she grew up with, and frustration of how to get over him. Not easy when she was caring for his ailing parents and then the father’s will thrust them back together.

What I had in the end was a story as true to life as anything you or I have experienced.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I’m not sure that’s a fair question. All my characters are individuals. Writing a book is like raising children. You can’t ask someone which is your favorite without hurting the others. I will say that Mick was a hard man to like. But I understand his motives. They’re typically Irish, even if an American audience doesn’t understand right up front. I like Kate because she’s a strong woman who knows her own mind. She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and she doesn’t fear easily. Look how she deals with Flann. I enjoyed Flann’s character because he’s not what he seems. He’s definitely the baddie, but there’s more to him that meets the eye. Gobnait was interesting to write. She’s probably the most flamboyant character I’ve ever written. And I loved Molly as a character. Not many romances feature a dog as a strong secondary character. Without Molly, A Piece of My Heart wouldn’t exist. The story is as much hers as Mick’s and Kate’s.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

My methods are a bit haphazard. I’m not very good at making paper trails, but I do my best. I generally start out with how characters look, then I add pictures to use as guidelines. I sometimes use index cards if I want something on the desk in front of me as I’m working, but generally I just keep a file in the story folder on my computer. Each character profile includes basic information on their personality, background, work, personal goals, favorite music or music I’ll use while writing certain scenes, etc. I got the idea for Gobnait’s character out of a fashion supplement in one of the Sunday papers. There was a woman dressed all in red, some of her blonde hair had been gelled into prominent horns and colored red, and her make up was drastic to the point of almost being absurd, even for the catwalk. She was perfect for Gobnait. There wasn’t much to write on her character card other than putting the picture on it. Attitude screamed off this picture. She’s a bit of an airhead at the best of times, but she sure is a spitfire. Add in the accent and writing her was very enjoyable.

Often when I’m researching, I’ll get ideas for other stories. I have to put those into an idea folder and move on. The same thing happens when I’m looking for photos to use as guidelines. Like with Bognait, I’ll see a picture of someone and think they’d make a great character. Could be the look on their face, what they’re wearing or just the context of the picture. If they don’t fit into the story I’m working on at the moment, they go into a file for later. I have a really had time staying focused on one story when I’m researching. So many great stories out there! So much history.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

One author who inspires me is Linda Howard. I love her romantic suspense. I think the big push for me to hitch up my trousers was when I read Mr. Perfect. At the end of the story I said, “THAT is how I want to write.” There was action, romance, suspense, mystery, humor...all in one book. I wanted to do that, but in my own voice. I know I’ll never been as good as Linda, but she gives me something to aspire to.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Definitely interviewing anywhere I can. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. I’m also using club newsletters, newsgroups, and Facebook to spread the word. I have a website and blogs that I actively post on. My blogs are networked with other online sites so updates automatically post to Facebook and Twitter, and followers get RSS feed updates. There’s also, Shelfari and GoodReads. I pretty much talk about my work to anyone who will listen.

What do we have to look forward next?

The next release is called Constant Craving. This is the short story sequel to A Piece of My Heart.

The perfect life Mick and Kate thought they had was slowly dissolving. With Mick obsessing about the farm and Kate thrown into a life of domesticity, both lose some of what they'd fought so hard to regain.

It all comes to a head when Kate suspects Mick of having an affair. Kate’s parents step in to give each of them advice from their own years of marriage.

Now, both Mick and Kate have set their own romantic plans in motion, but it could all fall through when Kate nearly blows up the kitchen.

And as above, there are two other novels in the Irish Pride series, Rhythm of My Heart and Shape of My Heart. Constant Craving is now available through Smashwords and Kindle, and purchase details can be found on my website on the story's page,www.kemberlee.com/mybooks/constantcraving.htm.

In my in between time, I’m publishing author and industry articles at: www.kemberleeshortland.blogspot.com

Thanks, Kemberlee!

Thank you for inviting me. It’s been great. I hope you’ll let me return one day.

Absolutely! :)

To celebrate her book release, Kemberlee is offering a free PDFof A Piece of My Heart to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

Kemberlee will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Kemberlee is a native Northern Californian who was raised in a community dominated by well-known literary figures, such as John Steinbeck, Jack London, Dean Koontz, Robert Campbell, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Sterling, Robinson Jeffers, just to name a few.

In 1997, she couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend six months in Ireland, where she met a man who eventually became her husband. Upon permanently relocating to Ireland, Kemberlee established an Irish travel consultancy, building a reputation as one of Ireland's foremost Irish travel experts. And since that time, Kemberlee has had the opportunity to study Ireland's history and culture first hand, and has even picked up a cúpla focal . . . a few Irish words.

Over the years, Kemberlee’s love of Ireland has inspired a number of Irish set stories, including Moondance and The Power of Love.

A Piece of My Heart is Kemberlee’s first published novel. She invites readers to also look for the short story sequel, Constant Craving, which is now available. Check it out on her website. http://www.kemberlee.com

Check Kemberlee's website for excerpts, reviews, awards, and order and discount information. She loves hearing from her readers, so stop by her website and drop her an e-mail. http://www.kemberlee.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Hot Prospects Contest

2010 Hot Prospects Contest
Sponsor: Valley of the Sun Romance Writers

Looking to sign your first book contract, switch from a small press to a large publisher or simply explore another genre of romantic fiction? Turn up the heat on your writing career with the Hot Prospects Contest.
Fee: $25 for Valley of the Sun RW chapter members
$30 for non-chapter members
Chapter website has PayPal capability… www.valleyofthesunrw.com

Postmark Deadline: September 1st, 2010
E-Submit Deadline: September 1st, 2010

Eligibility: Any uncontracted work by an RWA member in good standing, who is able to enter RWA National Golden Heart or Rita contests may enter any category. This includes both published and unpublished authors.

Enter: 3-5-page synopsis and up to 25 pages of story (30 pages max). Entry or synopsis may be shorter, but neither may be longer than specified.

Categories/Judges: Trained judges for preliminary round,
Editors and Agents for final round.

1) Historical/Regency
Editor - TBA
Agent - Sharene Martin-Brown, Author Representative, Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency
2) Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal
Editor - Jennifer Enderlin, St. Martins' Press
Agent - Amy Boggs, Associate Agent, Donald Maass Literary Agency
3) Romantic Suspense
Editor - Katherine N. Pelz, The Berkley Publishing Group
Agent - TBA
4) Contemporary Long/Single Title
Editor - Deb Werksmen , Sourcebooks, Inc.
Agent - Elaine Spencer, Associate Agent, The Knight Agency
5) Series Contemporary
Editor - Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
Editor - Leanne Morgena, Senior Editor, The Wild Rose Press

GRAND PRIZE: The winner can choose between a book trailer, static banner and active banner from Bella Entertainment for the book of their choice (a $300.00 value) or $100.00 USD.

For More Information, entry form, and rules, see website at www.valleyofthesunrw.com.

Linda Andrews
Valley of the Sun Hot Prospects Chair

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Pacing" September Writer U On-line Class

September 1-30, 2010
"Pacing: How To Create A Page-Turning Manuscript"
by Mary Buckham

$30 at www.WriterUniv.com

What keeps a book intriguing enough to have fans turn the pages and not set it down? How can one author's books have you riveted and another's leave you feeling ho-hum? Ever wondered if there are key craft tips and techniques to balance fast-paced conflict, tension, suspense or mystery, action and emotion? In PACING: HOW TO CREATE A PAGE TURNING MANUSCRIPT you'll learn:

* The ingredients of a page-turner
* What hooks are and how to maximize them
* The power of effective scenes: common pacing pitfalls to avoid
* The ten elements of strong pacing
* How to use subplots and secondary characters
* How to avoid a sagging middle
* What a beat is and how to use it
* Great beginnings & endings that have your readers wanting more!

Mary Buckham is co-author of Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps To Building A Story That Sells and an award-winning romantic suspense author. Currently she is a national writing-workshop presenter online, at conferences and wherever writers meet around the country. Mary encourages you to visit her website www.MaryBuckham.com for more information about her and her current writing projects and www.BreakIntoFiction.com for more information about her Break Into Fiction™ book.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Welcome to my world!

On my blog tour, I posted my personal notes on the history of my new THE ELVEN LORDS series, along with a map of the seven realms and my working character cards for THE FIRE LORD'S LOVER. I have compiled them all and added them to my website under THE ELVEN LORDS history link, but you can go there directly from here:
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

And the winner is.....

Congratulations Donna Hatch. Patricia has picked you as the winner of her book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com (nospaces) to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Writer's Retreats

Writer's retreats are a great way to get away from your daily demands and focus on your story. My writing friends and I try to go on one every year. We usually go to a haunted hotel, but with the economy the way it is, we chose to take advantage of the lower summer rates at one of the Phoenix area resorts. With the online special, and sharing a room with three other writers, I was able to enjoy The Wild Horse Pass Resort and Casino for two nights for only $50. Now that is what I call a deal! I only lost $27 at the casino before I gave up. That wasn't too bad.

I find I recharge my batteries when I get away from home with my friends. We brainstorm books and find a central location to write. You should have seen the looks we received when guests walked through the lobby and noticed ten women with laptops. It wasn't the PTA, that's for sure!

This retreat was organized by Cheyanne McCray and Cassie Ryan. Some of the other writers having a great time were the writing team of Tia Dani, Erin Quinn, Kallie Owens, Kayce Lassiter, and Donna Warner. My sister, Tacha, also came along. One of these days we are going to get her to finish a story.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Interview with Patricia Sargeant

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Patricia Sargeant. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Heated Rivalry. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Kim, thank you very much for inviting me over to Much Cheaper Than Therapy. I enjoy your blog site very much and it’s a great honor to be here. Thank you.
Thank you also for asking me about Heated Rivalry. It’s a single-title, contemporary romance. The hero, Steven Crennell, is a former NBA superstar who’s suffered a career-ending injury and has started a second career as the junior partner of a family-owned advertising agency. Valerie Parker, is the agency’s senior art director and daughter of its founder. When Steven’s ex-fiancée returns wanting him to manage her account as well as her bed, Steven fakes an engagement to Valerie. The Heated Rivalry book video as well as an excerpt and back cover copy are on my website, www.PatriciaSargeant.com, if you’d like to take a look.

Heated Rivalry is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

The story is about the rivalry between Steven and Valerie. The book pretty much named itself.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

It was actually my editor’s suggestion. I’d started in romantic suspense with You Belong to Me and then On Fire. At first, I didn’t think I could plot a story without a dead body. Then I realized for me, the difference between romantic suspense and contemporary romance is that the villain in a romantic suspense is external. With contemporary romances, the characters are fighting internal demons, their personal fears and insecurities.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a plotter. I need a road map when I write. But recently I’ve noticed certain details bloom during the writing process that add interesting twists to the story. For example, when I was plotting Heated Rivalry, I hadn’t realized one of Steven’s internal demons was a compelling urge to please other people even at the risk of compromising himself. That self-destructive desire has a significant impact on the story.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I didn’t have to do as much research for this story as I’ve had to do with other stories. I use Google and Google Earth (for location checks) a lot.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Oh, so many. I love Jayne Ann Krentz’s dialogue. I love the emotion in Nora Roberts’s stories. I love the way Tami Hoag makes us face the gray areas between right and wrong.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Studies have shown that word of mouth is the most effective promotion. If you ask readers how they choose books or how they found their favorite authors, nine times out of 10, they say through recommendations by friends, family members and review sites. That’s why I like to send advance reader copies to readers who agree to post reviews on sites such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. I also participate in author giveaways, hoping to attract new readers to my stories.

What do we have to look forward next?

Thank you for asking. I’m taking on a pseudonym, Regina Hart, for my contemporary romances and keeping Patricia Sargeant for my romantic suspense. I’ve just turned in the manuscript for the first book of my contemporary trilogy featuring a fictional NBA team based in Brooklyn, New York. The title of the first book is Fast Break. It’s a 2011 release, although I don’t have a specific release date. The heroine, Jaclyn Jones, is the co-owner of the Brooklyn-based NBA team. The hero, DeMarcus Guinn, is the rookie head coach. During the story, the couple deals with their struggle for power as well as a traitorous business partner.

Thanks, Patricia!

Thank you, Kim. It’s been a great pleasure visiting with you. All the very best!

To celebrate her book release, Patricia Sargeant is offering a free book of Heated Rivalry to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Award-winning author Patricia Sargeant writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

A voracious reader, Patricia first realized she wanted to be a published author at the age of nine. She was drawn to write romances because she loves happy endings. Her romantic suspense novels feature ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Her contemporary romances reveal characters struggling to overcome their inner demons.

In addition to reading, Patricia’s hobbies include music, jogging and hiking. She loves movies and she’s addicted to crime dramas and TruTV.

Patricia loves to hear from readers. Her e-mail address is BooksByParicia@Yahoo.com

Raised in New York City, Patricia now lives in Ohio with her husband. Check out author’s website at www.PatriciaSargeant.com

Buy http://www.amazon.com/Heated-Rivalry-Dafina-Patricia-Sargeant/dp/075823144X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_5

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Noble Publishing

Offering author advances up to $1,000.00.

We're throwing down the gauntlet. We dare you to push the limits, stretch the
boundaries, and send us your hottest, boldest stories.

Do you have a story that's completely different? Too dark for other publishers?
Too controversial? Too unusual? A mix of so many sub-genres you're to the point
of making up descriptions that defy the imagination? If so, I'd love to see it.
Be true to yourself, be true to your characters, be true to your stories.

Noble authors are the crème de la crème. They write the most unusual, real and
honest stories, while still maintaining the integrity of a thoroughly engrossing
romantic plot.

Current Call For:
Erotic Romance
**NEW**Young Adult Romance
Foreign Affairs
Sweet Romance
***Looking for Sexy Witches & Warlocks for an October Series (any genre)***

Noble Romance Publishing is a royalty paying publisher. We also offer an advance
against royalties. Advances are paid upon publication and are negotiated on an
author-by-author basis.

Further details can be found at: http://www.nobleromance.com/Submissions.ppx
or, by e-mailing Acquisitions Editor Julia Daniels at Julia@nobleromance.com
So what do you think? Do you have what it takes? Are you ready to accept our

Noble Romance Publishing
P.O. Box 467423
Atlanta, GA 31146

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Secrets of World Building

September 1 - 30th, 2010

Every novelist, no matter the genre, needs to build a world that they invite the reader to experience. Building a compelling, evocative world that your reader can relate to on a visceral level will make your reader's experience come to life!

Join national bestselling, award-winning author CJ Lyons as she explores a variety of techniques that can help you build your fictional world.

Topics covered in this highly interactive workshop will include:

•Micro-world building details
•How to show, not tell
•3D characters
•Taboo topics: sex, religion, and politics
•Power of myth
•Darwin's Rules: Creature Building
•Racial Profiling
and more!
About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about. In addition to being an award-winning medical suspense author, CJ is a nationally known presenter and keynote speaker. She has been invited all over the country to present her workshops and speak to audiences ranging from physicians to first responders to romance and thriller authors including: Colorado Fiction Writers, Oklahoma Writers Federation, the University of South Carolina at Beaufort, RWA National, MWA's Sleuthfest, Lowcountry RWA's Master Class, Left Coast Crime, and PennWriters, among others.

Her first novel, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), received praise as a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller" from Publishers Weekly, was reviewed favorably by the Baltimore Sun and Newsday, named a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine, and became a National Bestseller. LIFELINES also won a Readers' Choice Award for Best First Novel.

Her award-winning, critically acclaimed Angels of Mercy series (LIFELINES, WARNING SIGNS, and URGENT CARE) is available in stores now. Her newest project is as co-author of a new suspense series with Erin Brockovich. To learn more about CJ and her work, go to www.cjlyons.net.


Deadline to Register: August 27, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

THE FIRE LORD'S LOVER appears in the newspapers

It's always exciting to see your book in the papers, and it was even more so to receive such a lovely review. When I posted this I realized that you couldn't really read the article, so here's a bit of what the reviewer said:

"Kathryne's story is richly woven, its characters strongly drawn and quick to engender feelings for them, whether good, or, in the case of Mor'ded, ill."~Claudia Sherrill, Today Staff

Monday, August 16, 2010

And the winner is...

Congratulations Caroline C. You're the winner of Caroline F's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adding Romantic Touches

Adding Romantic Touches

When writing romance novels, it is sometimes difficult to come up with those moments between the hero and heroine which show (not tell) how much they love one another. Roses and a trail of petals leading to two glasses of wine on the side of a bubble bath is an example of the big romantic gesture. I have to admit it had a big impact on me recently. But the simple gestures we can add show a man’s love just as much. For example, the hero can make a pot of coffee for her in the mornings even though he doesn’t drink coffee. He can bring her a glass of lemonade or soda while he’s up. Of course, women know helping with the dishes and taking out the trash without being asked is always appreciated. This past weekend, the man in my life put shelves up in my garage because he was afraid I might fall on the boxes stacked in there. That touched my heart. When the hero looks out for the heroine, the reader will want her to end up with that man. So the next time you want to show what a wonderful man your hero is, don’t forget the small gestures as well as the big ones.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

Friday, August 13, 2010

Interview wth Caroline Fyffe.

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Caroline Fyffe. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us again at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called MONTANA DAWN. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I’d love to, Kim…It takes place in the little town of Y Knot, Montana in the late 1800s. The McCutcheons, a cattle ranching family, have carved a dynasty from the wilderness by the sweat of their brow and their honorable values. Luke McCutcheon, the third brother and hero of this story, is the only one who was sired by an American Indian when his mother was taken captive. He’s the trail boss for the once-a-year cattle drive that the McCutcheons make. It’s during the drive that Luke stumbles upon a dilapidated wagon where he meets Faith Brown, in labor and needing his help. After the delivery, he offers to bring her along where one thing leads to another and soon all the trial hands are trying to catch the beautiful new mother’s attention, much to Luke’s dismay. I love stories about big families. I wanted to give Luke as much unconditional love as he needed to battle his own ghosts about his heritage

MONTANA DAWN is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Well, actually, it does have a specific tie in with the plot. I know it seems like it could just mean a pretty sunrise but Luke actually delivers a little babe and he gets to name her. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve loved the West forever! Growing up all my sisters rode their horses English --- but not me. I was the youngest and I had a little mare named Sherry. I insisted on riding Western even when I could have had all the wonderful hand-me-downs if I’d complied. And to this day I’ll take a Western movie over anything else. 3:10 to Yuma is a favorite! Or, it could be too that when I was little my nic-name was Bowie, after Jim Bowie. I was such a tomboy and I loved his show.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

That’s tough. I can’t say. I just sit down and start writing. After I have a main character, Luke McCutcheon, I go from there. It just unwinds like a ball of string. Well, maybe not that easy. Er, definitely not that easy. LOL But that’s how I start.

What are your favorite historical research books and why?

I have several book I love and visit all the time. Wild and Woolly-An Encyclopedia of the Old West is one. I like it because each topic is short and sweet. Another is Savvy Sayin’s – Lean & Meaty One-Liners. This book is a gem. It’s like riding alongside a group of trail weary cowboys headed for the ranch. You learn a lot. The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1899’s, Again, very brief descriptions on a lot of subjects. It usually has what I’m looking for.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I really enjoyed writing Luke. You’ll see why when you read it. But, in essence, he has a past that’s doggin’ his heals. You know--a tortured soul. It was nice to see him loosen up and laugh when things started going his way. I liked that.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I do a family tree chart. That way I get two generations back and give them all very brief pasts, characteristics, home towns, etc. That way I understand what makes my hero and heroine tick. And it gives me little bits of info to interject if I run into a wall.

What are some common speech terms, dress modes, transportation or housing facts that you found interesting for your time period?

I enjoy secondary characters that you can make say all kinds of funny things that your hero or heroine can’t. They would look to silly. It was Mrs. Hollyhock in WHERE THE WIND BLOWS that got all the good lines. You know, hillbilly talk.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

There are so many wonderful authors doing the American West. Dorothy Garlock, Robin Lee Hatcher, Pamela Morsi, Catherine Anderson, Cheryl St.John…lots. I respect them all for the magnificent stories they’ve created.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

That’s a hard one. I don’t really know. Although, I do think blogging is really important. It’s like a spotlight for that day but then it stays on the internet forever for others to see. Along with that I always have bookmarks with me. Book signings, Facebook. Sorry, I don’t know.

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m working on the sequel to MONTANA DAWN. It’s titled ONCE UPON A TEXAS TWILIGHT and will be out in May of 2011. It’s about Luke’s youngest brother who left the ranch to become a doctor. He’s the only McCutcheon thus far to go to university. He’s on his way to Rio Wells, Texas where he’s going to have his first practice. On the way the stage is attacked and….well, that’s another story. LOL

Thanks, Caroline!

Thank you, Kim. It’s been so much fun visiting today. I wish everyone happy trails forever. After all that talking I’m ready for a chocolate éclair and sasparilla. What about you? (I'm always ready! KW)

To celebrate her book release, Caroline is offering a free book of MONTANA DAWN to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

And, if you’re interested in winning more books and chocolate in celebration of the release of MONTANA DAWN, she’s having a launch giveaway. Just go to her website (www.carolinefyffe.com) and sign up for her News Letter on the contact page, you’ll be entered in the drawing for a basket filled with candies, chocolates, muffin mix, a handsome coffee mug (filled with even more chocolate!) and a jar of scrumptious jam, all made from the Big Sky State’s coveted huckleberry. Also included is an autographed copy of both MONTANA DAWN and WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. It’s as easy as pie. The winner will be drawn on December 10th, 2010--just in time for Christmas.

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


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Romance with a kick
Find Vijaya's paperbacks, Kindle, and audiobooks at:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Bestseller...and Eloisa James!

I'm happy to announce that The Fire Lord's Lover hit a bestseller list:


A big THANK YOU to all the readers who made it happen!

And I'm sharing another thrilling bit of news:


The fabulously talented author, Eloisa James, included My Unfair Lady in the article she wrote above for Barnes & Noble's Review column titled Twice-Told Tales. Eloisa introduces her wonderful Cinderella re-telling, A Kiss at Midnight, and also talks about other new twists on old classics, such as Lisa Kleypas's Love in the Afternoon and Sherri Browning Erwin's mash-up of Jane Eyre, Jane Slayre. I'm flattered to be in such fine company, and by Eloisa's very kind words about My Unfair Lady.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And the winner is.....

Congratulations Virginia C. You're the winner of Carolyn's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

When Life Gets In The Way

Most authors will tell you it is important to write daily. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. I am an elementary school teacher and there are two times of the year when I am so exhausted my brain cannot put together a single sentence. Those times are the beginning and the end of the school year. But that doesn't mean I put aside my writing career totally for those few weeks. Instead, I do "busy work." For example, I just finished going through decorating magazines and books to determine what furniture would go into each character's home. I also wrote down notes about this book and the next in the series. I also considered what I might do down the road for promotion. Tomorrow I might listen to a conference CD on the craft of writing while I get ready for work. Remember, there is more to being an author than just writing, so use those overwhelming times life throws at you to do the busy work.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

Friday, August 6, 2010

Interview with Carolyn Brown

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Carolyn Brown. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

Thank you for letting me stop here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy and catch my breath before taking off tomorrow morning to Oklahoma City to the Full Circle Book Store to sign books all afternoon. The lounge chair is comfortable and the chocolate wonderful. Y'all are a great bunch of gals! (Have a safe trip!)

I understand you have a new release out called Hell, Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Hell, Yeah is the spicy second book of hot new The Honky Tonk series. Cathy O’Dell and Travis Henry cause the sparks to fly and the fire to burn hotter’n than a hooker on the front seat of a holiness tent revival in Hell, Yeah.

It all starts on New Year’s Eve when the count down begins in the Honky Tonk. Gretchen Wilson is singing “Redneck Woman,” and every lusty woman in the beer joint is yelling, “Hell yeah!” with each number as they count down the last ten seconds to the New Year.

Gretchen Wilson asked the redneck girls to give her a big hell yeah and everyone got in on the fun even Cathy O’Dell, owner and bartender. That is until she looked up to see a man making a bee line for her. At first she thought he was an old flame from high school but the closer he got and the smaller the numbers got, the more she realized he was a hell of a lot sexier than that man had ever been. His blue eyes locked with hers and when everyone yelled “Happy New Year’s” he stopped. His toes were touching hers and the heat from his cowboy boots was enough to burn though the leather to her feet. The kiss came close to setting the Honky Tonk on fire, but even blue blazes weren’t as hot as Cathy’s lips were when it ended.

Travis Henry is a petroleum engineer from western Arkansas ─ a hunky, sexy cowboy without an impulsive bone in his body. But he didn’t have anyone to kiss on New Year’s and neither did the tall blond looking wistful in the middle of the dance floor. He’d always been drawn to tall blond women and she was a damn fine specimen so he kissed her. It was supposed to be one kiss not the beginning of a hot relationship with more ups and downs than a roller coaster.

Cathy had come out of a bad relationship a few months before inheriting the beer joint and she didn’t trust men in general. But most of all she didn’t trust herself to choose a decent man, not after her failure with Brad Alton. That, plus she’s put down deep unshakable roots deep in the Honky Tonk.

Travis is a wanderer with his next flight already in sight. When he finishes the Mingus oil job, he’s off to his dream job in Alaska. Wings like his and roots like Cathy’s did not mix, even if their hearts tried to shake the roots and clip the wings. Or do they?

Hell, Yeah is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Actually, it was a joint effort between me and my editor, Deb Werksman. I had something different in mind for book two and she came up with Hell, Yeah and I absolutely loved it. It was so much better than what I'd come up with. So much better in fact that I've forgotten what I did have in mind!

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love cowboys! Love western movies. Love western books. They are so down to earth and real.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I'm a bit of both. I plot and plot! Go to sleep at night with the plot in my head and wake up in the morning with it. Then the characters take over and boom! The plot goes out the window and they tell me what happened and insist on the story line being one hundred percent guaran-damn-teed right and I become a panster!

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

The internet is a vast source of research but I like to visit the places I'm writing about and get a feel for the place and people. For this series I was in Mingus several times and down at Morgan Mill to the feed store/restaurant/gas station a couple of times. Folks down in that part of Texas are right friendly. Stop in and have a cup of coffee with them. They'll tell you great stories.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

Well, Cathy was at the Honky Tonk already when I Love This Bar ended. It seemed only right that she pick up the reins, put on her cowboy hat and boots and run the place. Travis was on his way to the area but no one knew it just yet so they were bound to clash when he got there. And boy did they ever!

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

There are so many quirky characters in the Honky Tonk Series, it would be difficult to choose just one. I love Tinker, the bouncer, and Merle, the seventy plus year old pool shark, and of course Cathy with all her complexities and Travis with his determination. And Jezzy with her free thinking, flower child attitude. They all have their own personalities and quirks and make me laugh.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I'm not so sure I develop characters. I think basically I get to know them in depth as I write the story. It's usually on a need-to-know basis. They sit on my shoulder or on the futon behind my computers and tell me what I need to know to write that day. Then the next day I get more of what I need to know to get through the next scene.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

How many pages to do you have for this interview!? So many authors have inspired me. Leon Uris, LaVyrle Spencer, Harry Kemelman, Nora Roberts, Mario Puzo, Sue Grafton, Margaret Mitchell and the eclectic list could go on for several pages. I've always loved reading! It's the most wonderful escape in the whole world.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Blogs are very good promotion. Word of mouth is wonderful. If someone reads my book and tells a neighbor and the neighbor tells two people, pretty soon the word gets around. I always give a copy of my book to the local library and to the one in the town where I grew up and graduated from high school. The later might be an ego trip to show those who voted for me as the girl most likely NOT to succeed! LOL

What do we have to look forward next?

Two more in the Honky Tonk series. My Give A Damn's Busted will be out in October and Honky Tonk Christmas in November. So hang on to your hat. Keep your boots on and the beer cold!

I'm working on another series for Sourcebooks which will be published in 2011. Cowboys again! So get ready to ride again in May of 2011.

Thanks, Carolyn!

Thank y'all. It's been delightful to sit a spell and visit about Hell, Yeah. Here's hoping you can't put it down once you start reading it and want to come back for another dose of Honky Tonk good times in October with My Give A Damn's Busted.

To celebrate her book release, Hell, Yeah, Carolyn is offering a signed copy of Hell, Yeah to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Carolyn Brown lives in southern Oklahoma with her retired English teacher husband, Charles. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young forever. An award winning author, she has sold 55 books. They have been published in nine foreign languages, large print and in the near future two of them will appear in Japanese Manga. They have been reviewed in multiple publications including Romantic Times, Romance Review Today, Library Journal, Affaire de Coeur and Booklist. I Love This Bar and Hell, Yeah are also featured in the August edition of County Music People magazine.

Check out author’s website at http://www.carolynlbrown.com/

Read an excerpt and buy at AMAZON.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Perfect Shell

My daughter’s favorite activity during our recent vacation was collecting seashells along the shore. A true beachcomber like her mom, she was up at the crack of dawn because that’s when the best shells are available. Also like her mom, she also doesn’t realize that vacations are meant for sleeping in, hanging out by the sea or pool and not doing much of anything.

Another perfect morning dawned as the tide ebbed in and the sun’s rays stretched across horizon, staining the sky a bright blue. We had the beach pretty much to ourselves, except for the lone jogger playing tag with the sea. Strolling through the rocks and sand, we found all kinds of fascinating shells. Some whole, most not because of years of the pounding surf. Some still had creatures inside that we had to take back and toss into the sea when they stuck their black legs out and took a stroll along our condo balcony. My personal favorites were the corkscrew shells, but most of them were still occupied and had to be left behind. My daughter’s favorite was pretty much all of them.

“Look, Mommy. I found one.” My daughter holds up half a clamshell covered with some sort of black growth.

“No, Emily. That shell is broken. Let’s throw it back.”

“But I like it. I want to keep it.” Into the bucket it goes.

“Really, darling, we can’t keep all of them. See? It’s broken and not very pretty.” I pick up a shell, shake my head and for affect, look it over, show her the flaw and throw it back into the tide pool.

“Why not? We found them.”

Good point. Score one for the seven year old.

“Because its not perfect. We need to pick and chose the best ones.”

Good point, Score one for mom.

“I don’t care. I like them all.” She picks it back up and drops it into the bucket.

Okay, maybe I’ll find a use for it after all.

This conversation with my daughter got me to thinking about the perfect shell—and the perfect word. How many times have I struggled to find the right word? Said could be written as growled, or whispered, or muttered. It all depends on what feeling I’m trying to convey. I toss around a few more options and throw the ones back that don’t seem to fit, just like the shells that don’t fit my criteria for going into the bucket.

Picking the perfect word is as important as making sure I don’t find an unexpected guest on my patio later. I have to look inside and all around, hold the shell up to the light and run my fingers around the edges. In my manuscript I have to test out the word, and see how it flows in the context of the sentence. Does it convey what I really want to say? Is it pretty? Is it the perfect word to compliment my manuscript or the perfect shell to grace my bucket?

My daughter wants to be a writer when she grows up. I sincerely hope she figures out some day that there are differences in words and shells and that not all of them are as perfect as we sometimes think they are. Sometimes it might take a few tries to get it right, but in the end we will find the perfect word and the perfect shell.

What will I do with all the shells we collected? I plan on gluing them to a picture frame and putting a family photo from our vacation inside. What will I do with all the words that simply can’t be used? Throw them back for now and let the sea of sand and time mold them into something that can be used at a later date.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I've just recently posted this to my website, and thought I would share it here. I enjoy doing book videos. It's a way for me to put my creativity into something visual, and although it's hard to find eighteenth century pictures, it's even harder to find those combining the fantasy element. So I took a bit of each, and alternated them for the video.

I think I should call this a teaser, because unlike most of my videos, it does not go into the detail of the plot, because I had to intro the series as well. But I wanted it short, as close to sixty seconds as I could get, but with enough information to provide a good idea of the book. So for a quick break into fantasy, here is The Fire Lord's Lover:

Monday, August 2, 2010

And the winner is......

Congratulations Mindy. You're the winner of Linda's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail.com (no spaces) to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Info Dumping

Many new writers, and even some multi-published authors, dump too much information at the beginning of a story. This deprives the reader of the opportunity of learning about the characters and the plot piece by piece, which would help hook them into the story. I heard an author describe characters as having layers like an onion and the author’s job is to peel away one layer at a time.

In the movie, The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston, the writer resisted the urge to give too much information up front. We don’t know why she has a warrant for her arrest or why she divorced her ex-husband, the bounty hunter who is determined to take her in. We are given bits of information to piece together. Then, just when we are learning about one plot point, we are told he used to be a police officer, but we don’t know why he lost his job. We want to keep watching the movie to find out. Give your readers one layer at a time so their curiosity will keep them hooked and they will keep reading to uncover the plot points and character development in your story.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon