Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Reindeer Sing White Christmas

Two more shopping days until Christmas! Are you ready? In honor of the holiday, I'm sharing one of my favorite videos from this time of year. Enjoy :)


Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday: Two More Excerpts for You!

Since it's the final day of my cover reveal tour through Black Lion Tours, I thought I'd share 2 more short excerpts with you from Inferno of Love, releasing in January 2014!




A flash of memory hit Finn in the gut, he and Aubrey sitting on the Bradleys’ back porch and watching a meteor shower. Make a wish, she’d said the first time they saw one shoot across the sky, and he’d given it his number one wish, the biggest he could think of, not knowing there would be twenty more by the time the shower finished. 
I wish I could marry this woman, he’d said to the sky. Marry her and have kids with her and live in a place like this someday. 
The Bradleys’ cedar deck spread out before them, three levels leading down to a heated in-ground pool, and he knew it had been silly to want something so extravagant. But sitting next to Aubrey, listening to her talk about all the places they might go someday, he’d believed it possible. He’d believed anything possible with her, even that the son of a dirt-poor steel worker and a pill-addicted homemaker could marry a brilliant, Boston-bred girl and make her happy...



“Mmm...” Honey began humming again. Aubrey’s face grew hot, and she wriggled in the chair to try and find a comfortable position. “Count backwards from fifty,” Honey said. “Slowly.”

Aubrey wet her lips. “Uh, okay. Fifty, forty-nine, forty-eight...” When she reached one, she kept her eyes closed and waited.

“All right, you’re standing next to a car you know well. You’ve ridden in it lots of times before. Your boyfriend is beside you, opening the door. What do you see?’

She screwed up her forehead and concentrated. “Nothing.”

“Relax. Don’t force yourself to remember anything in particular. Just think of him next to you. His cologne. His smile. It’s dark, right? It’s nighttime.” Honey paused. “What else is there?”

“A gravel parking lot,” Aubrey said before she realized it. “There are lots of cars, but everyone else is inside. No one else is out there, just us. Aaron’s trying to hold my hand. He keeps asking me to get inside his car.” Her fingers dug into the padded arms of the chair.

“Mm hmm. Good. What else?”

“I don’t want to go with him. I keep looking over my shoulder, toward the restaurant.” What was she looking for? Who was she looking for? Then she saw him – the figure from her dreams, the tall, thin, silent man. He stood a few feet away, hands in his pockets, watching her. She couldn’t see his face, but she knew him. Without a shadow of a doubt, he was someone she’d met that summer. In Lindsey Point? At the Cove? Her head ached with the effort of trying to remember... 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: We Need Some Heat!

Brrr!! It's awfully cold in my neck of the woods. We got hit with 2 back to back storms in the last week, and we have about a foot of white stuff on the ground out there. One of my kitties doesn't mind, though - she's ready for Christmas!



In other news, Black Lion Tours is hosting a cover reveal tour for me this week, sharing my gorgeous cover for Inferno of Love in a bunch of places all around the web. You can win a copy of the first book in the series, Beacon of Love, too, if you visit any of the participating host blogs. Here are yesterday's sites; please drop by and give them some love!

http://markedbybooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/inferno-of-love-blog-tour-hometown.html

http://www.iknowthatbook.blogspot.com.ar/2013/12/cover-reveal-inferno-of-love-by-allie.html

http://www.thestuffofsuccess.com/2013/12/cover-reveal-inferno-of-love-by-allie.html

And if you want to know what's in store in Inferno of Love, here's a brand new mini-excerpt to add some heat to your day. Enjoy!

She closed her eyes as he rained kisses along her collarbone. Words mixed up inside her head, words like yes and why and this is how. The synapses in her brain sizzled, connections there, then pulling apart, then gone. She breathed him in, loving the scents of soap and aftershave mixing with bleach from downstairs and above it all, the Lindsey Point air. Saltwater and pine. Yummy...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Join Me for a Blog Tour!

Happy Friday! I'm excited today because IMG Tours is sponsoring a cover reveal tour for Inferno of Love, due out in mid-January ~ and you'll have a chance to win goodies if you visit the blogs who are kind enough to host me today.

I'll be posting the blog links all day long, over at my Facebook page, so if you haven't yet liked me over there, please join me today. And in addition to the IMG tour giveaway, I'm throwing an Amazon gift card into the mix for anyone who comments on my Facebook page today about the tour.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: What's on Your Wish List?

'Tis the season to be wishing for gifts under the tree, which leads me to ask: what books are on your Wish List this year? What are you reading right now, and what would you like to be reading in the new year? I'd love some good recommendations, by the way.

And...in this world of technology, how many of you are wishing for old-fashioned books on Christmas morning? Or is an e-reader on your list? Maybe a few ebooks to load up your Kindle? Or a gift card to your favorite online bookstore?

Monday, December 09, 2013

Monday Mentionables: The Allure of Audio Books

In the most recent issue of Romance Writers Report, one of the articles discusses the audio book market - specifically for authors. I will echo the sentiments in that article and say that if you're not taking advantage of that market as a writer, you're missing out.

Audio books may not be huge sellers, compared to print or ebooks, but they have a steady audience, and with the ease of downloading files today, I think that audience will only grow. Today, if you're signing a contract with a publisher, consider trying to keep your audio rights for yourself. In my experience, most small presses will take those rights but probably won't use them. I was lucky; Samhain never took  my audio rights, so when the up-and-coming company Audio Lark was looking for new authors, I was able to sell my books to them. In the last year, Audio Lark has stopped producing audio books, but 4 of my books produced through them are up and available on Audible (the biggest seller of audio books, an affiliate of Amazon), and I still receive royalty payments from them every quarter.

Today, ACX provides indie authors with a super-easy way to produce their books in the audio market. All you have to do is sign up and post your project. You'll have to provide a script for potential narrators, and then you'll need to audition narrators and decide who sounds best. This is a crucial step! Make sure to take your time and choose someone whose voice matches the tone and content of your book. Also make sure the audition tape is professionally produced.

You have 2 choices when it comes to ACX: you can pay your narrator upfront (probably at least a few hundred dollars for a full-length novel), or you can opt for 50-50 royalty-sharing, which means you split all royalties but you pay nothing upfront.

Hearing your book spoken out loud is a crazy and wonderful experience. Being able to earn royalties on it is even better. If you haven't yet explored the possibility of turning your books into audio books, now's the time to do so! (And if you want to check out my audio books, here's my page at Audible. Please consider giving one a try - you can listen to free samples of each one!)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Setting Goals for 2014

Can you believe it's December already? In another few weeks, we'll be saying goodbye to 2013. For me, it was an exciting year in my writing. I released my very first indie title, The Promise of Paradise, I released the first Hometown Heroes story Beacon of Love, and I wrote the second Hometown Heroes story which will be coming out in early 2014, Inferno of Love.

(By the way, if you have a blog and would like to host, both Black Lion Tours and IMG Blog Tours are scheduling cover reveal tours for Inferno of Love for mid-December. There are giveaways to whet your appetite...)

At the book signing over the weekend, my fellow authors and I talked about our writing goals for 2014 - because the best marketing is always to write your next story. What are my plans for the new year? Well, besides seeing Inferno of Love on the cyber and print shelves in January, I hope to release my "Cocktail Cruise" trilogy, 3 novellas set in and around a Caribbean cruise ship. I also hope to fine-tune my Young Adult novel and send it out to editors and agents, and maybe start a new project that's been simmering in the back of my mind. (Actually, I have a few of those...will have to decide which simmering project I'll bring to a full boil).

So there you have it! What are your writing goals for 2014?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Monday Mentionables: What Women Want

A great big thank-you to everyone who came out and supported the vendors (including Yours Truly!) at yesterday's What Women Want shopping extravaganza!



What's even better than signing and selling a few books at an event like this one? Meeting other local business women and entrepreneurs who are more than willing to connect and share other marketing opportunities. When I got home from yesterday's event, I had 3 new Facebook friends and messages. Gotta love networking ~ as popular and widespread as social media sites are, don't ever underestimate the power of talking to people in person. You never know who you'll reach that way!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Time to Shop!

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Or, now, a Gray Thursday shopper? Or don't you bother with the crowds around Thanksgiving time at all? My husband and I used to get up early, strategy map planned and flyers in hand, and hit the stores before dawn on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We continue to do that, even though many stored opened Thursday night, but the crowds on Friday morning aren't anything like they used to be. It makes me sad, that so many consumers are supporting the stores that open on a holiday, rather than spend the time with their families. Oh, well.

Speaking of shopping, if you're in the New Windsor, NY, area this Sunday, stop by the What Women Want shopping event at the New Windsor Hilton. Great chance to pick up holiday gifts, treat yourself, and support Safe Homes of Orange County. I and two fellow Hudson Valley authors will be there, at the Naughty and Nice Romance table. For more information, click on the picture below!

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/diva-affairs-presents-what-women-want-holiday-extravaganza-tickets-8555330223

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving!

Since I won't be blogging tomorrow, I want to wish all of you here in the United States a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am most thankful for my family, my health, my good friends, and the wonderful readers and fans I have discovered over the last 7 years of my writing journey. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings all of us!

 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Mentionables: What Women Want!

Happy Monday, everyone! Just wanted to mention that I'll be a featured vendor at the What Women Want extravaganza in New Windsor, NY, this-coming Sunday, Dec. 1st! Looks like it will be a great afternoon for shopping, and admission is only $10 + a new toy that will go directly to Safe Homes of Orange County. For all the details, click on the poster below!

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/diva-affairs-presents-what-women-want-holiday-extravaganza-tickets-8555330223

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Writing Workshops in Brief

As I promised, here are the highlights of the workshops I attended at last weekend's Master Class writing retreat!

Hooking the Reader: Discussion centered on a story's first page, and what it needs to accomplish. Most important, what details of character and setting emerge? What kind of story is it (what genre)? What hints are placed about the character or plot?

The Heart of the Matter: Talked all about theme. We had to do a pretty thoughtful homework assignment in preparation for this workshop: write the "elevator pitch" (a quick, compelling description of your story), write a 2-sentence summary, write the theme in a few words, write the back cover copy. At the end of it, decide what the "heart" of your book really is. Keep this in front of you all the time that you're writing and revising this story. Remember what is most crucial to this story. Put that on every page or in every chapter.

Plot and Pacing: I loved this one. Write down the 5 most important things that happen in your story. Then look at Freytag's Pyramid, which describes the Inciting Incident (what starts the action/conflict in a story), the rising action (increasing conflicts or tension), the climax, the falling action, and the denouement (final wrap up of all loose ends). Then go back to your 5 important things. Ultimately, they should match the different points of the Pyramid. If they don't, what part(s) of your plot might be missing? The editor giving this workshop also showed a very explicit breakdown of different popular books and how the action rises and leads to a powerful climax and ending.

Character: Use the Myers-Briggs (or any other psychological test) to assess your characters and draw out their strengths, weaknesses, flaws, & tendencies. You can also use the results to see how well you really know your characters. You might think you're writing a strong alpha male hero, but look at his actions & interactions in terms of one of these psychological tests - what other actions could you give him to strengthen the way he comes across to the reader? Do you truly know how he's coming across?

Happy writing, friends!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Mentionables: A Writers' Retreat in Review

I'm back from my writers' retreat in the very remote and beautiful location of Silver Bay, New York! It was a fantastic and very intense 36 hours of writing work, and it definitely stretched my boundaries as a writer. Here was my view first thing each morning:



And here was the Inn, where we stayed and socialized and had readings:



Saturday afternoon, we all had 25 minute in-depth critiques of the first 20 pages of the manuscript we had sent in, back in the summer, to be considered for acceptance to the conference. 5 editors from high-powered NYC publishing houses attended; my session was with the very gregarious and very knowledgeable Katherine Jacobs, who's with Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan. Since the weather was so nice, she decided to do her critiques outside rather than inside, so we sat on the Inn's porch in rocking chairs and ate chocolate (she brought) and talked plot, theme and character. Really, it was a writer's dream:




The 35 of us attended workshops on Opening Pages, Getting to the Heart of the Matter (Theme), Plot & pacing, Character Development, and Publishing Myths. We also spent Saturday morning in small groups of 7, reading and critiquing each other's pages. I gained so much from the experience, even though it definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Going to this retreat without knowing anyone else forced me to sit with others at meals, share my work with people I had never met before, and talk about my book over and over again - which in itself really helped shape the story.

By the end of the weekend, I was both star-struck and exhausted. Some of the writers who attended were powerhouses, award-winners with multiple hardcover books under their belts, agents, and publishing contracts that lead well into 2020 (check out Sarah Albee, Kathleen DubleAlison Ashley Formento, & Kristi Roberts, among others. Fun fact: if you click on The Benevolent Society on Kristi's website, you'll see the chapter she read and we critiqued on Saturday morning in our small group). Also of note: Editor Kathy Dawson was there too ~ she's an executive editor with Penguin who's starting up her own imprint in 2014 - talk about the opportunity to meet with someone who's a leading figure in the publishing industry!

I came away from this retreat ready to tackle the revisions of my YA novel and very aware of the WORK that goes into being a truly successful published author. I definitely recommend attending a retreat, workshop, conference, speech, or class to re-energize your own writing and to always, always keep learning and aspiring for more and better.

On Wednesday, I'll share the specific work we did in our workshops, passing along some of the great information I came away with. See you back here then!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Preparing for a Writers' Conference

So I'm off this weekend for the Eastern NY SCBWI Falling Leaves Master Retreat - and I'm pretty excited (and a little nervous too), because I'll be spending the weekend with a variety of other published authors and NYC editors. We had to submit a writing sample back in the summer to be accepted, and we've been assigned actual homework (!) to prepare for our writing work this weekend. I expect it to be an intensive discussion of Young Adult novel writing, and I'm hoping to get a lot out of it. I've been to a few other writers' conferences and am trying to use my previous experiences to prepare:

~Be open to meeting new people. All kinds of people attend conferences, at all different points in their writing careers. There's always someone else to learn from, and someone else who wants to learn from you. Be frank, kind, and polite when talking to other writers.

~Be prepared to talk about your work. For almost every homework assignment, I had to prepare an "elevator pitch" of my novel - the 1-2 sentence description of my book I could chat up while riding in an elevator with an editor/agent/colleague. Always be prepared to talk about your work (and why it's brilliant!) in a succinct, interesting fashion,

~Take breaks when necessary. I've found that sometimes, writers' conferences can be overwhelming and exhausting. It's good for me to take breaks every so often to recharge, in my hotel room or even a quiet corner of the lobby. Staying well hydrated and snacking when needed is key too.

~Be tough. If you're attending a critique session or otherwise sharing your work, be ready for and open to constructive criticism. Remember that, like readers and reviewers, some people will respond positively to your work, and some might not. Take in everyone's opinions, and then go home and mull over which are solid criticisms that you can use to make your writing better.

~Look forward to learning more about the trade. This is the time to soak in everything you can from other people who are working in the industry. Ask questions, attend as many sessions as you can, and take notes.

~Be inspired! I hope to come away from this weekend knowing more about the YA novel-writing industry. I also hope to get some feedback on my own project and, maybe, make some connections with other writers and editors in the genre. Incidentally, here are the 5 editors that will be working with us this weekend:

Aubrey Poole, Associate Editor at Sourcebooks
Mallory Kass, Editor at Scholastic Books
Katherine Jacobs, Editor at Roaring Book Press
Kathy Dawson of Kathy Dawson Books, imprint at Penguin Young Readers
Michelle Poploff, Executive Editor at Delacorte Books (division of Random House)

I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Beacon of Love Now Available in Print!

Exciting news! Beacon of Love is now available in print! This is your chance to read the first book in the Hometown Heroes series, before Inferno of Love comes out in January. Beacon of Love has 4+ stars on Amazon, and reviewers have called it "a tale of intrigue and suspense, of the past colliding with the future, of loved ones lost and new love taking root" and "a romantic mystery that captures your attention right from the beginning."

Enjoy!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Mentionables: A Veterans' Day Remembrance

Happy Veterans' Day, everyone! Thank you to everyone who has served this country and who keeps us safe.


"Nov. 11, 1918 was the day the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War."

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: It's Time for a Cover Reveal!

OK folks, I was going to wait until next month, but I figured what the heck? It's November, there's a chill in the air, Daylight Savings Time means it now gets dark before 5:00....so that means we need some heat, right?

Drum roll....here's the fabulous cover for my upcoming release, Inferno of Love. What do you think?



(P.S. - If you want to read the blurb, it was featured here last week. Take a peek!)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Introducing Inferno of Love!

Well, I'm working on the final edits for Inferno of Love, which should have an early 2014 release date. Are you excited?? I am. Here's a draft of the blurb - it might be tweaked between now and release time, but it'll give you an idea of what you can expect from the second story in the Hometown Heroes stories of Lindsey Point:


What happens when your soul mate returns after twelve long years – and has no idea who you are?

Aubrey Anderson is a pediatric occupational therapist who’s spent the last twelve years rebuilding her life after a car accident killed her boyfriend and crushed her legs. A series of strokes on the way to the hospital left her with no memory of either the accident or the weeks leading up to it, so when she starts having nightmares she can’t explain, she decides to return to the scene to see if she can piece together her past.

Finn Cavallo is Lindsey Point's resident playboy, owner of a popular bar, and hero of the Cove Fire, when he pulled seven people from a burning building twelve years earlier. But his flirtatious personality hides the heart of a man who lost his soul mate the night of the fire. When Aubrey walks into his bar with no memory of who he is or what they had, he’s stunned – and it takes everything he has not to tell her about the summer they spent falling in love.

It's only a matter of time before bar conversation turns to passion on the beach and more. But when a series of events raises suspicion that Finn himself might have started the Cove Fire, Aubrey is forced to do whatever she can to discover the truth about both their pasts, including going back to the spot where it all began...

Stay tuned! Over the next couple of months, I'll be posting excerpts, teasers, and the official cover right here on Wednesdays - with chance for you to win fun stuff! Hope you'll join me :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Beacon of Love is Releasing in Print!

Exciting news this morning, folks: my recent digital release, Beacon of Love, will be available in print this November! Stay tuned for the exact date, price, and all the details!




Welcome to Lindsey Point, Connecticut: suspicious of outsiders, loyal to tradition, and absolutely devoted to its local legends.

Enter Sophie Smithwaite, travel show host, in town to film an episode about Lindsey Point’s haunted lighthouse. But digging into the story of a tragic murder-suicide and love gone wrong reveals startling connections to Sophie’s own past. When a gorgeous local handyman fills in behind the camera, Sophie’s life gets complicated by more than just her family history.

Part-time paramedic, handyman, seasonal Santa... Lucas Oakes does it all--except get attached. He’s still reeling from the death of his best friend ten years ago and the more recent infidelity of his ex-fiancee. Yet despite Sophie’s big-city nosiness and her insistence on chasing long-dead ghosts, he’s drawn to her.

But mixing with an outsider means questioning people and traditions Lucas has always defended. When a series of attacks seem to be connected to Sophie’s investigation, both Sophie and Lucas must decide if they are willing to risk everything to uncover the town’s secrets...and their own.
CONTENT WARNING: Contains one barb-slinging travel show host, one hunky handyman who knows exactly how to use his tools, and a small town brimming with secrets...


reviews

5-STARS
"The connection between Lucas and Sophie is amazing and the power they have over each other is remarkable...Beacon of Love was an amazing tale of a small town with a hot romance built into it. It tested beliefs, friendship and faith. This book gave me everything a great read could give. It had the romance, mystery, suspense and hot handy man all wrapped into one and I loved it!" —5-Star Amazon Review

"Beacon of Love has likable characters, lively dialogue and a local mystery which needs to be solved. Well paced with just the right amount of humor, I found myself turning the pages to see just what was going to happen next...the scenes between Sophie and Lucas are fun, light and full of sexual tension..." —Queen of the Night Reviews

4-STARS
"I really enjoyed the premises of this story. True love...Secrets....New Love....Wonderful!" —4-Star Amazon Review

"Beacon of Love by Allie Boniface was the perfect slice of heaven for me! Not only did we get a nice romance, but we also got to dig into an old mystery and try to solve a 50 year-old murder..." —Romance Addict Book Blog

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Why I'm in Love with Nashville

So fall television has started...with mixed reviews, I hear. CBS has already shuffled shows around (and canceled some). Hubby and I have tried a few of the new sitcoms, but I can't say I'm loving any of them.

Mom - the subject matter of a single mother who's openly cheating with her married boss (and that's just the beginning of the dysfunction), doesn't reach humor even though it tries with the daughter-sneaking-around-and-then-getting-pregnant plotline or the estranged-mother-of-central-character-reappears-in-therapy-and-tries-to-make-nice plotline.

The Crazy Ones - It certainly has promise with Robin Williams as a main character, and I'd probably watch it just to see what he does. But Sarah Michelle Gellar doesn't work for me as the put-upon working daughter trying to save her father's totally ambitious but floundering career in advertising.

The Millers - Couldn't make it past the first five minutes. The whole premise of a newly divorced middle-aged man moving in with his newly divorced parents (who apparently still live together) tries to rest on a lot of raunchy humor. But, um, no. Didn't work for me.

So what do we watch in this house? Hubby loves his reality TV, especially Duck Dynasty (it has its moments, but I have yet to watch an entire episode), Pawn Stars, and American Pickers. I will say the history of both those shows is kind of cool. We do watch Survivor religiously (we haven't missed an episode in 27 seasons), always entertained and fascinated by the personalities thrown together on the island and how they interact - or don't.

We tune into The Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls for laughs and Person of Interest and The Mentalist for drama/who-dun-it mysteries.

But my latest addiction is the very soapy Wednesday night drama Nashville. Anyone else watch it? Yes it's campy, yes it's far-fetched, and yes it pulls out every possible plot contrivance. But something about it has drawn me in. Perhaps it's the characters and the way they are continually tormented by the next  thing that can go wrong. (Among other things, the season 1 finale featured an alcohol-fueled car crash, a surprise pregnancy, an in-the-closet-out-of-the-closet gay character, a marriage proposal, and a mother's suicide to protect her celebrity daughter from a sex tape scandal. Told you it was soapy!)



Perhaps it's the actors themselves: Hayden Panetierre, Connie Britton, and Charles Esten are simply captivating on screen (and easy on the eyes).  Perhaps it's the music, original country songs written for every episode that just ooze angst and heartache and hope. All together, there's really nothing about Nashville I don't like. And getting attached to the characters and watching the way the writers create captivating story lines has influenced my own writing as well.

So what about you? What do you watch?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Story Ideas are Everywhere



While I was getting a manicure over the weekend (in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month - do you like it?), the nail tech and I got to talking. She asked the inevitable question: where do you get your ideas? And I told her, as I usually do, that all I have to do is read the paper or turn on the news. Case in point, headlines from the last couple of weeks that got me thinking:

Family Friend Arrested After Teacher Finds Pot in 3-Year Old's Backpack

Massive Hunt for Missing Autistic Boy in NYC

Hawaii Surfer Throws Punches to Escape Shark

Groom Who Halted Own Wedding with Bomb Threat Jailed

In fact, here's a great website that collects these kinds of headlines. If you're a writer and you're stuck for ideas, get to browsing. It's crazy what a true-life story might inspire in your own fiction!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Mentionables: A Romance Ezine and a Call for Erotic Category Romance

Happy Monday! The Romance Reviews just released its October 2013 ezine, and Beacon of Love is featured on page 20. Check out this link for all kinds of great romance reads!

AND, for all writers, Lyrical Press just released this announcement:

Going forward, Lyrical is going to focus on erotic romance, with a tremendous push of category erotic romance. Sure, we know other houses are doing category, but we're going where not many have ventured. As Penny and I talked about, Lyrical will dare to put a new spin on classic category romance. Rather than fear putting a toe past the invisible line and stop at steamy, we're going straight to erotic romance. 

Since Lyrical loves breaking rules, we're increasing the ‘traditional’ category word count to 50,000 - 80,000 words. This ensures every category book will have a simultaneous digital and print release.

In fact, every Lyrical book over 50,000 words will be have a simultaneous digital and print release beginning November 2013. Yes, you read that right. Every book over 50,000 words will be released digitally and in print at the same time.

Each category line will be a fully branded and unique Lyrical Press imprint. 

Category erotic romance
  • Entice: Category contemporary erotic romance
  • Enigma: Category contemporary suspense erotic romance 
  • Fervor: LGBT category contemporary erotic romance
Will we still publish non-erotic romance? Absolutely. Non-erotic romance will be published under the umbrella of Lyrical Presents: Romance. 

Lyrical will also open our house to erotic romance serials. These are books 90,000 - 150,000 words. Serials will be released monthly in 25,000 word installments, attractively priced at $1.99 each. 

We want danger, excitement. Shock us. I dare you.

If you write erotic romance, you can check out Lyrical's website for all the details!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: What Women Want Expo on December 1st - Mark Your Calendars!

Great Friday news! Just in time for the holidays (I know you don't want to hear it, but it will be gift shopping time before you know it) I and fellow romance/women's fiction authors Liz Matis and Marianne Sciucco will be at the What Women Want Expo on Sunday, December 1, at the Homewood Suites in New Windsor, NY. All kinds of vendors will be there, plus Safe Homes of Orange County will receive a portion of the proceeds in addition to all of the toys collected at the event.

If you're local to Orange County, please join us!!



Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Have You Liked my Facebook Page Yet?

Happy Columbus Day! (do we still celebrate this? I know it's become a little less politically correct to do so.). Well, okay, happy Monday instead! And if you happen to have this day off, then I hope you're enjoying it. Around here, we're trying to do the late-fall clean up: empty planters of the last remnants of summer flowers, move deck furniture inside, spruce up the sign post at the bottom of our driveway with some fall decorations and mums.

Oh, and write! Did I mention write? The tentative release date for Inferno of Love is January 2014, and I have lots to do before then! Will be sharing the cover with you in December, and I can't wait. I promise some teasers and excerpts as well. So get ready for a brand new story featuring the folks in Lindsey Point, CT. And in the meantime, have you liked my Facebook page? (yes, I'm sneaking in some shameless self-promotion today) I'm only 5 away from 300 Likes, and I'd love to jump that hurdle this week :)

Thank you!!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: My Final Thoughts on the Convention

Happy Friday, everyone! A few thoughts on the writer's convention that I didn't share on Wednesday's blog:

1. People love series. I didn't realize this quite so much until the convention, when both readers and writers talked about how well books in series sell. Readers become attached to characters and love to see them get their own story or a new story in the next book that comes out. Glad Inferno of Love will continue the Lindsey Point tradition from Beacon of Love for me!

2. Erotic is still one of the hottest-selling sub genres of romance. There was a panel at the convention (I missed it because I came in late on Friday) about BDSM and the different toys used in the bedroom - and apparently it was the best attended panel of the weekend! It's interesting: ebooks and ereaders have really accelerated, or at least perpetuated, this love of erotic stories. People no longer have to worry about hiding book covers or titles, because no one can see what you're reading on that Kindle (one woman, a manager of some company, told me that very fact, that she read Fifty Shades at work and no one knew it).

3. Connecting with readers, esp. online, is key. Social media makes it easier that ever to meet and chat with, to virtually become friends with, so many people from around the globe. Readers love to check in with authors' Facebook or Twitter pages, or attend a Goodreads event and talk about books. Of course, this means that authors have to be ever-vigilant with updating these sites and maintaining a near-constant presence on them. Which brings me to my final point...

4. Writing is a full-time job. At least, it almost has to be if you want to sell big. I didn't meet anyone else at the convention who worked full-time outside the house and wrote full-time. All the authors, both the big sellers and the newbies putting out their first title, either worked part-time, were stay-at-home moms, were retired, or didn't work at all outside the house and instead wrote full-time. I was really, really surprised. And it made me both a little discouraged, that perhaps my dream of being a best-selling author won't happen while I'm also a full-time English teacher, and a little reassured: I don't put out 3 books a year because I'm simply doing other things. I love teaching. I do wish I had more time for writing. But at least I can be a little less hard on myself for not keeping up with all these other authors I see who are producing and selling books like mad. There really are only 24 hours in a day...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Blogging Over at The Romance Studio!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! I'm blogging over at The Romance Studio today about my thoughts after last weekend's writing conference - please stop by and join me!


Monday, October 07, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Recovering After Indie RomCon!

I made it back from Nashville! The Indie Romance Convention was a good experience - I learned a lot and can't wait to share it with you. Today, however, I'm up to my ears in my day job, and catching up with home stuff after a weekend away, so I'll have more details for you back here on Wednesday. (Biggest piece of info that surprised me: there are very few of us who work full-time day jobs and are also published authors trying to grow our careers. When I bemoan the fact that there aren't enough hours in the day, I found that, in fact, that might be true - for everything I want to do. But more about that later.)

Until then, here are a couple of pictures from the weekend:


One of the ads I purchased, on a display placard in the main meeting room (it worked!)


Visited downtown Nashville on my Sunday down time

Friday, October 04, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Planning a Trip to Tennessee

Fun facts about my trip to the 1st Annual Indie Romance Convention this weekend:

1. I have to fly west in order to get south (the convention is in Tennessee). Don't you just love airline routes?

2. The town where the convention is being held is home to the largest, and the original, Cracker Barrel restaurant.

3. The "fun unknown fact" about me that I sent in for the Saturday evening game/giveaway is that I don't like & don't eat any kind of cooked fruit. This includes apple pie, blueberry muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies...

4. I'm looking forward to meeting new readers and writers!

See you back here next week with a full report...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Getting Ready for a Convention!

5 days and counting until I'm off to the 1st Annual Indie Romance Convention in  Lebanon, Tennessee! Very much looking forward to chatting with other indie writers and readers and learning more about the industry! For anyone who's in the area (I'm told it's about 20 miles outside of Nashville), there will be a book signing open to the public on Saturday afternoon, at the Comfort Inn in Lebanon, from 3:30 - 5:00. For all the details, click here.

Also, I'm giving away an Autumn Tote filled with goodies, as part of the charity raffle at the convention. Looks fun, right?



And over the weekend, I treated myself to a specially-designed manicure, in honor of all things romance (yes, those are hearts, if you look closely):



I'm ready to go! Will make sure to tell you all about it next week :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Congratulations Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered my recent giveaway....and now...drum roll....congrats to the lucky winners!

The Promise of Paradise Audio Books (2 winners) - Sebella Blue and Coleen Burright!

Choice of any signed print book from my backlist - Amy Hart!

(Amy, Sebella and Coleen, email me at allieb@allieboniface.com to confirm your email/choice of book - and thanks so much for participating!)

Don't worry, more contests to come in the upcoming months :) Always something to celebrate when books are being written!

Happy Monday, everyone~

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Why Email Subscription Services are Great Ad Options for Writers

TGIF! Whew, it's been a long week here on my end...glad it's almost over! If you've been following me here, you know that I've been participating in a couple of different parties and blog hops, and my contemporary romance, The Promise of Paradise, has been on sale as well. Through tomorrow evening, you can still pick it up for $0.99.


From a marketing perspective, it's been an interesting couple of days. In conjunction with the sale price, I took out 2 online ads, through BookBasset and E-readerNewsToday. Both are email subscription services that send out daily email announcements featuring free or bargain books. (The biggest one of these subscription services currently seems to be BookBub, which costs anywhere from $100 - $500 for an ad - but authors report HUGE sales returns that are worth the initial output of $$). BookBub has become tougher and tougher to have an ad accepted these days, though, plus it was a little above what I was willing to spend.

Happily, through these 2 ads I did take out (and I'm sure it helped that they ran on back to back days), as of last night I had sold just over 200 books in about 36 hours. Now, the royalty on a $.99 book is of course fairly low, but considering name recognition (getting my book in front of new readers), the potential visibility is worth just as much as money returns for me. Side note: late yesterday, I broke the Top 100 for both the Women's Fiction and Contemporary Women categories!

Also - and this is so important - sales of all my other books went up as well (BookBasset allows authors to feature up to 5 books for the single ad price of $22.00). Though my other books are traditionally published, which means I don't have access to real-time sales, every single Amazon ranking improved over the course of those same 36 hours.

Lesson? Taking out ads on these kind of email subscription services seems to be a pretty good marketing technique, one I'll probably do again. And the more books you have, the more "trickle-down effect" you'll enjoy across all your titles.

So keep writing and keep marketing. Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Mentionables: The Party Continues!

Happy Monday, everyone! Thanks so much to all those readers who stopped by last week to take part in the Sultry Summer Blog Hop. The grand prize winner is being announced today, so make sure to visit the Safari Heat website and see if it's you!

And the news isn't over yet...

The Romance Studio is holding its 10th Anniversary Party this week, which means lots of excerpts and fun posts for you to read. Even better, they're giving away a $170 Amazon gift card AND there is a HUGE list of individual author prizes you can win. All you have to do is visit the party site and fill out the entry form. I love my prize package for this one, too: it's a blown glass wine stopper in the shape of a lighthouse (to celebrate my novel Beacon of Love), along with any choice print book from my backlist AND a collection of romance novels that I'll put together and send the lucky winner. Make sure to enter by clicking here!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Are You Still Hopping? There Are Still Prizes!

Oh my gosh I'm such a slacker today! Forgive me... :)

It's Day Five of the Sultry Summer Blog Hop, and there are still prizes to be won! Check it out:


The Hop's Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 7” with Second Prize a 100.00 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N! Plus books to go on the winner’s new Kindle! (Note: due to shipping costs, winners must reside in the U.S. or Canada).


Even better, there are four ways readers can get extra entries into the grand prize giveaway.  You will get an entry for completing each of these: leaving a comment, following my blog, following me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter.

All the rules and a description of how the hop will work are listed on the Safari Heat site. Click the banner above or follow the link below.


http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com

Today's prizes:

Three Book Marks: Lara Adrian
Signed Book: Sleep With The Lights On By Maggie Shayne
Signed ARC Copy: Born in Blood by Alexandra Ivy
Signed Book: Like Humans Do by Daryn Cross
Pre-Made Book Cover: Carey Abbott

Signed Book: Coming Clean by Sue Margolis

In addition to these great prizes, I'm also running a giveaway this week and next. What can you win? I'll be giving away 2 audio book copies of The Promise of Paradise AND one signed book from my backlist (you can view it here). All you have to do is enter right here, via Rafflecopter.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome to the Sultry Summer Blog Hop!

Welcome to the fourth day of the Safari Heat Blog Hop contest!


The Hop's Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 7” with Second Prize a 100.00 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N! Plus books to go on the winner’s new Kindle! (Note: due to shipping costs, winners must reside in the U.S. or Canada).


Even better, there are four ways readers can get extra entries into the grand prize giveaway.  You will get an entry for completing each of these: leaving a comment, following my blog, following me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter.

All the rules and a description of how the hop will work are listed on the Safari Heat site. Click the banner above or follow the link below.

http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com

Today's prizes:


Swag Pack: TG Ayer

Signed Book: Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian

Signed Book: Darkness Rises by Dianne Duvall

Signed Book: Skin Deep T.G. Ayer

Three Bookmarks: Lara Adrian

Pre-Made Book Cover: Carey Abbott

Signed Book: Poems by JoAnne Myers

 
In addition to these great prizes, I'm also running a giveaway this week and next. What can you win? I'll be giving away 2 audio book copies of The Promise of Paradise AND one signed book from my backlist (you can view it here). All you have to do is enter right here, via Rafflecopter.

Have a wonderful weekend!
 

Day Three of the Sultry Summer Hop!

Welcome back to the third day of the Safari Heat Blog Hop contest!


The Hop's Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 7” with Second Prize a 100.00 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N! Plus books to go on the winner’s new Kindle! (Note: due to shipping costs, winners must reside in the U.S. or Canada).


Even better, there are four ways readers can get extra entries into the grand prize giveaway.  You will get an entry for completing each of these: leaving a comment, following my blog, following me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter.
All the rules and a description of how the hop will work are listed on the Safari Heat site. Click the banner above or follow the link below.


http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com

Today's prizes:

Five-Dollar Gift Card to Are: Dynese Bridger
Signed Book: Perfect Mate by Mina Carter
Signed Book: Ruthless by Debra Webb
Signed Book: Coming Clean by Sue Margolis
Five-Dollar Gift Card: Carey Abbot/Tabitha Blake

Signed Book: Coming Clean by Sue Margolis



In addition to these great prizes, I'm also running a giveaway this week and next. What can you win? I'll be giving away 2 audio book copies of The Promise of Paradise AND one signed book from my backlist (you can view it here). All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter (scroll down to Wednesday's post)

Here's today sultry read, from my EPPIE-nominated contemporary romance One Night in Memphis (and yes, it was inspired by an actual night I spent on Beale St. a long time ago...) Enjoy!

In the moment before Dakota knew what was coming, Ethan bent down and kissed her. His hands moved to her face. His mouth landed squarely on hers, hot and hungry; his tongue parted her lips before she realized what was happening.

Oh wow, this wasn’t supposed to happen…was her first thought. Oh God, I want him to kiss me like this all night was her second. She leaned into him, into the solidness of him against her, and was amazed at the feeling of rightness that swept over her. A whimper escaped from the back of her throat. She let her fingers pull at his waist, drawing him closer. There was attraction, she thought, and then there was inevitability. 

There was the hot jolt of desire that pulled you toward someone because you liked their eyes or their smile or the way they filled out a pair of jeans. There was the want that warmed beds late at night because company was better than being alone.

And then there was something beyond the physical, beyond the way two bodies fit together. There was chemistry that created itself from bits of conversation, from skin brushing skin by accident, from the air surging between two people who were simply supposed to be together. There was a strange working of the universe that led you to someone you’d never even envisioned and then suddenly couldn’t imagine being without.

Sensations too strong to ignore slipped into her veins. She felt herself sway and wondered if it were the crowd pushing her or the ground wavering beneath her. Closing her eyes, not caring where she was or who might see, Dakota gave herself up to the kiss and the way it turned her mouth into an animal all its own. His palms pressed against the small of her back. His tongue was inside her, and he was tasting and whispering and asking a question she didn’t know how to answer. Ethan brushed the hair from her cheek with one hand and a lightning bolt moved straight from her toes up to the crown of her head.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day Two of the Sultry Summer Blog Hop!

Welcome back to the second day of the Safari Heat Blog Hop contest!


The Hop's Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 7” with Second Prize a 100.00 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N! Plus books to go on the winner’s new Kindle! (Note: due to shipping costs, winners must reside in the U.S. or Canada).

Even better, there are four ways readers can get extra entries into the grand prize giveaway.  You will get an entry for completing each of these: leaving a comment, following my blog, following me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter.

All the rules and a description of how the hop will work are listed on the Safari Heat site. Click the banner above or follow the link below.

http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com

Today's prizes:


Signed Rack Card: Bobby Romans

Signed Book: Sleep With The Lights On By Maggie Shayne

Signed Book: Blood Destiny by Tessa Dawn

Signed Book: The Rancher She Loved by Ann Roth

Singed Book: Love’s Prophecy by Brenda Dyer

Signed Book: Billion-Dollar Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Signed Book: Against the Mark by Kat Martin

In addition to these great prizes, I'm also running a giveaway this week and next. What can you win? I'll be giving away 2 audio book copies of The Promise of Paradise AND one signed book from my backlist (you can view it here). All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter.

Here's today sultry read, from my very first novel, a "24 hour" contemporary romance novel set in one of my favorite cities: One Night in Boston. Enjoy!

Jack placed both hands on Maggie’s cheeks, and she gave herself up to him. Their tongues twisted in pleasure, seeking, finding their way, filling hungry spaces between them. She gasped, feeling as if he’d slipped inside her and turned her inside out. One hand made its way from her cheek to her throat, down one bare shoulder and then lower, where it rested on a breast that ached for his touch. Maggie’s toes curled inside her shoes. Nipples rose under the memory of his caresses. She let her hands roam across his face, through his hair, plucking at his lapel and pulling him closer.

Ten years of lost passion spilled from them both. A whimper escaped her lips as Jack moved his mouth to her earlobe and down one side of her neck. He whispered something into the hollow of her throat, burying his face in her hair. For a crazy moment, she wanted to tear off her dress, peel away his tuxedo, feel his bare skin against hers and remember the way they’d moved together a hundred times. A monumental ache consumed her.

And if the door behind them hadn’t opened just then, Maggie was sure she would have lost herself in Jack’s embrace for the rest of the night...
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: Remembering Sept. 11th & a Safari Heat Blog Hop

Welcome, everyone! I know some of you are probably here for the Safari Heat Sultry Summer Reads Blog Hop, and thanks for dropping by :) Before the details, though, I'm taking a moment to remember and honor all those who lost lives and loved ones on September 11, 2001. May we never forget and always honor the privilege of living in a country that banded together and rose above the sorrow of that day...



Now, as many of you know, the Safari Heat Blog Hop contest begins this week!


The Hop's Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HD 7” with Second Prize a 100.00 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N! Plus books to go on the winner’s new Kindle! (Note: due to shipping costs, winners must reside in the U.S. or Canada).

Even better, there are four ways readers can get extra entries into the grand prize giveaway.  You will get an entry for completing each of these: leaving a comment, following my blog, following me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter.

All the rules and a description of how the hop will work are listed on the Safari Heat site. Click the banner above or follow the link below.

http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com

Today's prizes:
Signed Swag Pack: Dianne Duvall

Signed Book: Crush by Alan Jacobson

Signed Book: The Look of Love By Bella Andre

Signed Book: Coming Clean by Sue Margolis

Signed Book: Murder Most Foul by JoAnne Myer

Pre-Made Book Cover: Carey Abbott

Signed Book: Release Me by J. Kenner
In addition to these great prizes, I'm also running a giveaway this week and next. What can you win? I'll be giving away 2 audio book copies of The Promise of Paradise AND one signed book from my backlist (you can view it here). All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter.

Without further adieu, here's today's Sultry Summer read, from (of course!) my contemporary romance novel Summer's Song. Enjoy!

"Yes," Damian said, his breath warm on her cheek. "Sometimes I write my own songs."

He repositioned the instrument, curved his fingers into place and began to play. The melody was simple, a sweet tune that rose and fell without lyrics. It reminded Summer of a butterfly in the morning or dawn above the ocean. The notes dropped honey-like into an endless pool of longing. In the middle, it changed, became low and sensual with guttural chords that hovered and hung in the air. Damian’s shoulders hunched, and his arms tightened with intensity as he played on. A pause, and then the first melody returned, sweeter than the start, if that was possible. The sun coming out after a brilliant summer storm. A baby waking with a smile to a brand new day. It faded, grew, then faded again to nothing. With the final chord, the notes vanished into the night.

"God, that was…" Summer couldn’t find the words. "…beautiful," she finished, but it wasn’t enough to describe the passion or the complexity of the song.

He smiled. "Thanks."

"Does it have a title?"

He looked toward her and paused, opened his mouth and closed it again. "Summer’s Song."

Damian set down the guitar and moved toward her, and this time Summer saw the kiss coming. She felt it, knew it and wanted it with every part of her. He brushed his lips against hers, reached up with one hand to cup her cheek, and the step fell away beneath her. Sweet lightness flooded her stomach, her chest, her mouth. He pulled away, whispered her name, pressed his cheek to her temple and let her feel the pulse that raced there.

"Summer." The name sighed out of him, and he kissed her again.


 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway