Saturday, January 31, 2009

Romance and Chocolate!

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Schulz

I know I mentioned this event before, but since it's so close now, only 1 little week away, I thought I'd mention it again: I'll be one of a bunch of authors at a "Romance and Chocolate" book signing event at the Borders in Farmington, Connecticut next weekend.

It's going to be held Saturday, February 7th, from 2 - 6 in the afternoon, and we'll be reading excerpts, giving away gift baskets, and offering corny games and prizes to any suspecting book browser who wanders our way!

Check out the finalized list of authors (in no particular order):

Denise Eagan

Kristan Higgins

Kathryn Smith

Stella Price

Jessica Andersen

Marie Force

Cat Johnson

Tilly Greene

Allie Boniface

Annette Blair

Isabelle Santiago

Emily Bryan

Donna Michaels

Leigh Ellwood

The Borders is located at 1600 South East Rd, Farmington, CT, and the phone # is 860-674-8110, so if you're anywhere close by, stop by! We'd love to see you :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Finished...For Now

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." ~Abraham Lincoln

Well, the print galleys for One Night in Memphis are proofread, the first round of edits for One Night in Napa are done, the blurb form is tweaked, and for right now...I'm finished.

Next week, I'll get another round of edits for Napa, and then I'm hoping for my cover sometime in the next month or so after that (can't wait to see what the artist does this time!). Then some of my promo events start up (check out the sidebar...will I see you at any of them?)

I suppose I should really start thinking about what project is next. I want to submit Summer's Song to my Samhain editor, so I need to do another read-through of that. And actually, I should decide which One Night... book I want to start drafting. I have One Night in Savannah outlined, and I'm pretty happy with it, so we'll see. I should probably pull out a map and see what cute/attractive/jazzy/sinful city in the midwest I can set a novel in. So far I've done both coasts and the south.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Opportunities

"If you're not actively involved in getting what you want, you don't really want it." ~Peter McWilliams

An opportunity for readers: The Long and the Short of It is, in their words, "desperate" for new reviewers. If you like to read romance, you enjoy discovering new authors, and you'd to get like free ebooks (and print books too!), consider joining their team. They also run an incentive program, so you earn points that go toward cool prizes with every review you do. Interested in finding out more? Click here.

And an opportunity for writers: NYT best-selling romance author Brenda Novak runs a hugely popular and successful online auction each May to raise money for diabetes research. She's looking for donations for her 2009 auction right now, so consider giving away a signed copy of your book(s), or a critique of an unpublished author's first three chapters, or a gift pack, or... This is a GREAT opportunity to promote yourself, so click here if you want to know more!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Donna Bolk

Welcome to a wintry edition of Writers' Wednesday (here in the northeast, anyway). Welcome to Wild Rose Press best-selling author Donna Bolk. Sit back and enjoy!

Good morning, Donna, and welcome to my blog! Can you tell us a little about your background?

I've held a variety of jobs over the years, to name a few; gas station attendant, prison courier, instructor, waitress, role player, army sergeant, and dog groomer.

I will celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary this year. My husband and I, have had the pleasure of raising three incredible sons, who are now in their twenties. Our oldest son is and artist, our middle son is a songwriter and bass player in a punk band, and our youngest is pursuing a career in writing.

Currently, my sister and I own and operator a dog grooming salon. I have the good fortune to be able to go to work each day and collect more than my share of doggy kisses, and unconditional love. And at the end of the day, I get to slip into my furry pink slippers and write. Life is good.

What an interesting and exciting life so far! So when did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing. Growing up I went through the daily - I want to be when I grow up stages. I discovered through writing I can do just that - from detective to showgirl, I can be them all.

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

I'm in the editing stages of Package Deal. It will be released through The Wild Rose Press in 2009. It's a romantic comedy that centers on a foster mom, and her five kids.

Saving Cinderella was released in 2008. It's a Cinderella in reverse story, about a young woman who goes from riches to rags. It's a romance so you know there's a happy ending for my heroine.

Wow, sounds intriguing. How do you go about developing your characters?

I start with a story idea, and two main characters, the other characters flow from the story line. For example in Saving Cinderella, by the time my hero a Adam (a country doctor) arrives at his ranch, his twin brother Josh is waiting on his porch. Now, Mallory my heroine is already out of element, going from rich to poor and city to country life. But she has the added surprise of her husband's twin bother, and to make things even more interesting, Josh is preacher. And because I so enjoyed his character, I had to give him a love interest. Enter Harley, a lady with a shady past. So, as you can see one character just rolled into another.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Write for the pure joy of it. Getting published is great, but if you don't love what you're doing it will get old and heart breaking. And of course the standard read, read, read, and write, write, write.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I read everything, but my favorite genre is woman's fiction, closely followed by romance. As for favorite author there are just too many to choose just one. However, I will put Donna L. Bolk at the top of my list as favorite author. I am a firm believer that you have to be your own biggest fan, if you don't believe in yourself, you can't expect a reader to believe in you. I give one hundred percent plus to my writing. The reader deserves no less.

Your own cheerleader - I like that theory! What do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?

Most difficult - that's easy. Where do I put that dang comma! The most rewarding is also easy. Hands-down it's hearing from my readers.

Great interview, Donna. Anything else you’d like to mention?

Thank you for letting me share a little about my books and myself . And thank you to the readers who took time out of their busy schedules to read it. Warm regards to all!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today, Just a Picture

"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle." ~Amy Bloom

I know, there were a lot of great photos from the inuaguration a week ago. But this one I love: the Obamas between balls, in a freight elevator (who said being President was glamorous??). And she's wearing his coat, because, you know, it was about 20 degrees in Washington that night. I just love the intimacy between them here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What's in a Warning?

“Why haven't women got labels on their foreheads saying, "Danger: Government Health Warning: Women can be dangerous to your brains, genitals, current account, confidence, razor blades and good standing among your friends” ~Anonymous

Two parts of writing blurbs I'm not crazy about: (1) The Warning and (2) The Comparison Titles. For marketing purposes, Samhain likes authors to add a warning to any titles that have explicit language, sex, situations, etc. But they also like it when authors come up with "creative" warnings that are humorous or sarcastic or somehow tease the reader into buying the book. Since my books are more sweet/sensual than anything else, and PG-13 rated, I don't have any necessary warnings. But my editor wants a cute, clever warning, so I spent yesterday wracking my brain trying to come up with something.

Here are three possibilities for One Night in Napa I have so far. Which one jumps out at you the most?

#1: Warning: This title contains a ticking clock, family secrets, and enough sexual tension to heat every corner of an enormous mansion…especially when the power goes out.

#2: Warning: This title contains a hunky hero who thinks he knows it all, an unconventional heroine who’s gonna show him how wrong he is, twisted family secrets, obscure references to Greek mythology, and fireworks galore.

#3: Warning: This title contains lots and lots of sexual tension, innuendos galore, and twenty-four short hours in which family secrets turn out to be more dangerous and damning than you’d ever imagine…

I also have to come up with book titles that are similar to mine, so Samhain can market appropriately to booksellers. But I always struggle with those too. That's next on the agenda...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inspiration and Motivation

"I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces." ~Harold Ross

Hey writers, one of my favorite ezines just published their January 2009 issue, and it's a great one for jump-starting your writing.

WOW-Women on Writing's "It's About Time" issue features all kinds of articles on how to get more writing done, how to set goals and deadlines, why blogging is such a great tool, and more. They also have contests to hop on over and check it out!