Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Years!!!

Hey ya’ll! Drama Queen here...Mom (Lucy) came down with a really nasty cold just after her recovery from the flu. Talk about luck...not. After watching her cough and sneeze in her recliner with blankets and tissue boxes surrounding her, we both decided it would be best if I wrote the New Years Eve blog for her...

First, I would like to start off saying...HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! We are minutes away from beginning our year of 2008 and I am totally psyched! This holiday is all about new beginnings...I strongly believe in having no regrets and learning from all of our experiences...so say goodbye to the good and the bad from 2007 and get ready for a year that you can make truly fantastic. Keep your outlook positive! Now I know you all are familiar with the tradition of making New Years Resolutions and me and Mom have made ours...

My Resolutions:
1. Stop fighting with Mom so muchJ
2. Learn to cook
3. Inspire at least three other people to reach for their dreams

Mom’s (Lucy’s) resolutions:
1. Argue less with Drama Queen
2. Work out at least three times a week
3. Turn in all her books on time

Wish us luck and good luck to all of you!

Again, Mom’s giving out prizes so if you comment on this blog and tell us what your New Years resolutions are, you will be entered in a chance to win Champagne Bubble Bath and Harry and David Chocolates...We will post the winner on this blog at 10:00pm tomorrow night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 10, 11 & 12

Merry Christmas Eve!!!
Normally, I would be hightailing it over to my mom's to celebrate with the rest of my family and some very close friends - but...get this...I've got the flu. Seriously. So does Hubcap, DQ, and the older daughter. The boys don't have it, Praise God (really!). :) But no way can we risk exposing the rest of my family, especially my mom. So, we're staying home for Christmas Eve. For the first time in my life I won't be spending it with my mom and sisters, et. al. I know there's a lesson in here - an opportunity for growth. And I'm going to find it. :) Despite the rather virulent symptoms we are all experiencing, we are going to have a wonderful Christmas Eve. If low key. I told the kids they could open half their gifts...we'll have a lovely dinner and between bouts in the bathroom, we'll play board games and watch a Christmas movie. It's all good.
Anyway, I'm online because the flu has kept me from announcing the final winners in my Twelve Days of Christmas contest. And we can't have that, can we? :)
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten lords a-leaping...

The winner for Day 10's Prize Package including a "Lords a-leaping" ornmaent, Rwandan coffee and Heat of the Night by Donna Koffman is:


On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven pipers piping...

The winner for Day 11's Prize Package including a "Piping Piper" ornmaent, Columbian coffee and Wild Rain by Donna Koffman is:



On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve drummers drumming...

The winner for Day 12's Prize Package including a drum ornmaent, Sumatra French Roast coffee and Midnight Heat by Donna Koffman is:

CrystalGB

Hugs to you all and please email my admin with your full name and mailing address so she can get your prize shipped out to you. :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Guest Blogger - Stephanie Vaughan

First, I’d like to thank Lucy for having me today. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sitting in the audience of more than one panel discussion at the RWA national conference listening to Lucy speak, so it’s an honor to be asked to guest blog. To find out that she’s a fan of my gay romances, well… that idea takes a little getting used to.

And gay romances, for that matter… what’s that all about?

I’m obviously a big fan and so it’s probably no surprise that I’m thrilled at the level of acceptance they’ve achieved in recent years. When an author of Suzanne Brockmann’s stature – New York Times and USA Today bestseller many times over – adds a gay romance thread to one of her ongoing series, that’s a big deal. That fans have so overwhelmingly supported her and taken her heroes into their hearts is an even bigger deal.

When I wrote my first gay erotic romance in 2004, I was nervous, let me tell you. Every other email to my critique partner or editor usually included some version of, ‘Are you sure anyone besides us is going to want to read this?’ People had obviously been writing them long before I ever sat down at a keyboard and attempted one, but they weren’t nearly as easy to find then as they are today.

I have no idea if anyone’s yet documented who wrote the first m/m romance, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was done in pictures painted on a cave wall somewhere. I do know that in the 1970’s, fans of Star Trek began writing erotic fanfic starring Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock. These fans were usually women and the first stories were photocopied and circulated among friends or published in fanzines and distributed at conventions.

It took the internet, though, to make them more widely available and to let people really connect to talk about them. That’s when things really began to take off.

When I turned in that first manuscript I was pretty nervous and even more so when the publication date finally arrived. I had visions of ugly emails from outraged readers and maybe even a mass exodus from my newsletter group; of being carted away in the dead of night to the reeducation camp for the gender-confused. (What can I say? I’m a writer. I have a vivid imagination.)

What I got instead, though, were fan letters. Mostly from women, but I received one in particular that really got to me. It was from a gay man thanking me for writing a romance “for people like him.” He said, “I used to buy straight romances and change the gender of one of the characters in my head. Thank you for realizing that gay men are complex creatures and that we fall in love too, just like straight people do.” That letter touched me deeply and I still have it, pinned up above my writing space.

Since that first m/m romance, that’s nearly all I’ve written. I’ve got a couple of more traditional romances that have been published and really ought to write another story, to make it a trilogy. And I’ve written one story featuring two men and a woman. Whenever it’s time to sit down and decide which story comes next, though, lately it’s the m/m stories that speak to me. Sometimes it’s a noisy clamoring from a space opera warrior and the geeky washout from the diplomatic corps who nag at me until I tell their story. Other times it’s a heartbroken IT professional who knows he needs something to help him move on, but doesn’t realize it’s the cute guy he’s about to meet at a party.

Most of the time I’m too busy writing to analyze it much, but occasionally I stop and try to figure out just what it is about these guys that draws me so much to tell their stories. I’m a sucker for an underdog and I think it’s that, partly.

I don’t know. Maybe when being gay is about as noteworthy as having blue eyes or being left-handed, I won’t feel the same urgency to tell those stories. Someday, when we realize that no matter what we look like on the outside, the love we feel for each other inside is the same, maybe I’ll be out of a job.

I don’t think so, but if I am, that’ll be okay.

Stephanie Vaughan
http://www.stephanievaughan.com/
stephanie@stephanievaughan.com

Note from Lucy (who is indeed a true and huge fan - having all of Stephanie's books in her re-read folder): Look for Stephanie's latest release from Ellora's Cave, Home for the Holidays!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 8 & 9

Yikes...the last couple of days have been both terrific and awful. Terrific because I got to see a very good friend who is in town for the holidays and another wonderful friend I don't see often enough even though she lives only about 40 minutes away. But awful because I had a truly miserable migraine for the second visit and came down with some weird malais afterward. I don't want to call it a flu 'cuz I'm not throwing up, but it's like a migraine waiting to happen if that makes any sense and my revisions that were due tonight are not done. Feeling blah isn't conducive to good writing and last minute Christmas prep doesn't help. Neither does the surgery my daughter had to have on her toe or the emergency car repair one of our exchange students had to get done or the fact that both my PA and my housekeeper had to call in sick part of this week. Oh, man...I love this time of year, but it sure is hard on the nerves. LOL Only I'll probably have the revisions finished tomorrow, but that'll be too late for my editor as she'll be out of the office. Man!

However, that doesn't stop me from wanting to give away my 12 Days of Christmas prizes!

Let's see...

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a-milking...

And winner for Day 8's Prize Package including a "Maids a-milking" ornmaent, New Guinea coffee and His Private Pleasure by Donna Koffman is:

Amy from Alabama

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine ladies dancing...

And winner for Day 9's Prize Package including a "Dancing Lady" ornmaent, Ethiopian coffee and Born to be Wild by Donna Koffman is:

mammakim from MA

And I think it's time to award the winner from the Sightings Contest as well. That winner (to receive chocolates from Harry & David, a wonderful holiday recipe card collection and a book off my prize shelves - i.e. by another author) is:


And since there were two books to be sighted, I think there should be two winners - so the second one (to receive English toffee by Rocky Mountain Chocolates and a book from my prize shelves) is:

deseng (Michele L.)

Congrats and hugs to you all! Please email my admin with your full name and address so she can get your prize package out to you. :) To make it easier on her, please identify yourself as a winner from my blog and tell her the prize you won. (She'll double-check the blog, but this will make it simpler for her to do so.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guest Blogger - Jeannie James

Wow! What a crazy couple of weeks we just had!

Southwest Washington had an amazing storm. The power was intense, something I’ve never experienced before. We had winds clocked at 159 mph at a nearby weather station. Five people died, and hundreds of farm animals were killed. Interstate 5 was under ten feet of water for about a week, and many, many homes and businesses were destroyed or badly damaged.

My own family escaped the full brunt, ending up with only a smallish patch of shingles off our roof, and three downed trees. Though I have to tell you, nothing is quite so unnerving as lying awake in bed, hearing the shingles being ripped off the roof, and wondering what we’ll wake up to in the morning.

Now my heart goes out to all the people in the Midwest, who endured the brunt of the storm after it passed over us. What heartbreak!

I hate to spout off clichés, but adversity bring does bring out the best in people. And in some of the most unexpected ways. Let me quote from our daily newspaper, Aberdeen’s The Daily World.

“Hungry horses, survivors from Chehalis River flooding, received deliveries of hay Monday through efforts of back country horse enthusiasts
responding to the crisis.”
“A group of five diesel mechanics from the nearby Trans Alta power plant
were working their way through the flood-ravaged county and volunteering to
repair tractors and other machines needed by rural residents so they can be
used to clear logs and debris from fields. The mechanics have already helped
area fire departments start emergency vehicles.”
There were state and local responders working round the clock. Donations came in from all over. Friends and neighbors of mine staffed emergency food kitchens.

In our own rural neighborhood, people checked up on each other, they lent out their generators for a few hours to keep other’s freezer food from spoiling, they cut trees that were blocking their neighbors’ access, and bought food to deliver during their daunting trips to town, through floods and blocked roads.

It really lightens the soul to hear these stories, doesn’t it? I love the human spirit. I can actually feel tears pricking at my eyes as I write this.

But enough of this crying nonsense. I’ve got some writing to do. I’ve left my latest heroine, poor Nikki, waking up with a fiancé she doesn’t remember, a bullet hole in her side, and complete and total amnesia. Apparently, her last words to her fiancé before she passed out were, “Don’t call the police!”. I simply have to sit down at my PC and rescue the poor woman.

May you all have a joyous and happy Christmas season, and a fabulous New Year. Most of all, may you and your loved ones be kept very, very safe!!

Jeannie James
http://www.jeanniejames.com/
jeannie@jeanniejames.com

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 6 & 7

Sorry I haven't been posting - I promise to catch up tonight. But today is our Candy Exchange (a yearly tradition between my sisters and several of our friends) where we exchange candy, chit-chat and do a service project for the holidays. This year we are making scarves and providing gloves for the Harbor Light (a women & children shelter here). I absolutely love sharing this day with my sisters and our longtime friends. But since we have the exchange today, that means I've been uber busy with last minute shopping and making tons and tons of candy! I should get a few minutes tonight to catch up with you all though!


Now...on to the contest winners!



On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, six geese a-laying...


Winner of the prize pack including the goose ornament, Colombian Supremo coffee and Walk on the Wild Side by Donna Kauffman is:


pearl





On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven swans a-swimming...


Winner of the prize pack including the swan ornament, Guatemalan coffee and Santerra's Sin by Donna Kauffman is:


Laurie B


Both of you please email my admin with you full name and address and remind her which day you won, so she can get the prizes out to you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Moffit Family Christmas Party


For the last several decades (longer than I've been alive) my grandmother's family has had a family reunion/Christmas celebration the Saturday before Christmas. Well, it's usually the Saturday before Christmas except the odd year when that Saturday falls too darn close for comfort - and travel. Like this year. I've been going to this reunion every year since I was an overactive baby in my mother's womb. (I bet I was making stories up in my head even then.)

And this year was no different. And it was beautiful. Maybe I appreciated it more because two of those family member have died recently (my uncle while I was in Reno and my great aunt just a couple of days ago). Seeing the others was a reminder how blessed we all are to have each other and to be alive. I supervised DQ and her cousin handing out the grab bag gifts everyone brings for the kids ages newborn to 12. I chatted with the most charming 6 year old you ever want to meet. (Though I'm not sure the little boys in her first grade class that she knocks down so she can give 'em a kiss would agree. Oh, my...I spent a lot of time laughing with this little doll.) I visited with my grandmother who I see rarely as she lives on the other side of the state. Grandma Lucille is in her 80s and loves my books. (She got a huge grin when I gave her a copy of Deal With This and said the cover model was a hunk. LOL)

I visited with aunts and uncles and great aunts and my single remaining great uncle. I didn't take as much time with cousins (though I did chat with some), but you know...I felt the need to connect with the older generations while I still can. Okay, and yes...the little ones got some attention too, but that's a necessity, you know? My sisters were there with their families as well and it made me proud to be a member of my immediate family. My sisters and I had baked the turkeys and the hams (yes, multiple - it's a really big group of people) this year and my two older sisters made the gravies. Yum! My grandmother made my favorite - seafood salad. It's a two day recipe and despite her age, she keeps making it and I'm always grateful. ;-)

It's really special how supportive they all are about my writing. My grandmother, great-aunts and aunts are some of my staunchest readers. What a blessing! They're also just very special people, from my aunt who is raising her grandson to my great aunt who continues to donate time to teens at risk even though she can no longer drive herself anywhere and has to rely on others for things she never had to before.

My sisters and I talked about how important it is to keep this kind of thing going within our own very large immediate family. We currently get together every year on Christmas Eve, exchange gifts, share a wonderful meal and celebrate the gift of life we've all been given. We also have a lot of fun. Every year, at some point during the celebration, we watch the movie White Christmas. Last year, my sisters and I did our rendition of the "Sisters" song for my mother as part of her gift. It's a good thing I'm a writer and not a physical entertainer is all I've got to say. :) We know that Christmas Eve may not work as a family gathering day once our own children start to marry and having/adopting little ones - so we've got our collective eye to the future to make sure we don't get scattered like a lot of big families can.


But tonight (or rather this morning - it is after midnight)...I'm going to say another prayer of thanks for my family - all of them! And tomorrow, I'm having dinner with my mom, who has had a downturn in her health. But she always rallies and continues to bless us with her presence by the grace of God. :)

What have you been doing this weekend? Or what do you plan to do?


Hugs,
Lucy
Who is grateful for all of you as well!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...five golden rings...

Today's winner of the prize pack including a 5 Golden Ring ornament, New Guinea coffee and Surrender the Dark by Donna Kauffman is:

tetewa (from Ohio)

Hon, please email me your particulars so I can get your prize off to you!

Just an FYI, but CataRomance is having a Holiday contest with a pack of neat prizes from different authors. You might want to stop by and enter. :)

Guest Blogger - Deirdre Martin

Others might be decking the halls and singing “Jingle Bells,” but for me, the holidays are a time when I could easily curl up in a ball and hibernate until 2008, or chug down a gallon of eggnog and go reeling down the street weeping, “Who is Good King Wenceslas, and why won’t he leave me alone?!”


I get the holiday blues. Over the years, though, I’ve developed some strategies to lift me out of Yuletide glumness. And since I’ve also learned I’m not the only one dreading December, I thought I’d share.


  • Go out in public dressed as an elf. People love it, though watch out for surly teens who may try to steal the jaunty felt hat from your head or snatch your pointy ears. This is why I always carry pepper spray in the waistband of my bright red tights, and sharpen the tip of a candy cane.


  • Personalize your snowman. So many are ho hum: same old carrot nose, same old lumps of coal for eyes. Why not make yours stand out in the crowd? Last year, my snow person was Angelina Jolie. I used discretely placed giant snowballs and a set of big wax lips. The twigs for arms were a nice touch, too. This year I’m thinking of an S &M motif complete with a leather mask and whip.


  • Create alternate lyrics to your favorite Christmas carols. Here’s my own version of “Silent Night”:


    Silent Night
    I need a flight
    Down below
    To kiss Russell Crowe
    He’s an Aussie
    Who’s sexy and tough
    Sure like to see him
    In the buff
    Christmas saying, “G’daaayyyy”
    Chriiiiistmas Day saying “G’Day.”


    And here’s my version of “Angels We Have Heard on High”:
    Rappers we have heard on high
    Singing sweetly for their peeps.
    And their posse in reply
    Hopes that bling is all for keeps.
    Yo
    Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo
    Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo
    Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo
    Yo Yo
    Christmas with my bitches
    Yo
    Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo
    Yo Yo Yo Yo
    Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo—
    Yo Yo
    Mutha Ukin’ Christmas Time.


  • Eat whatever you want. Candy canes for breakfast? Bring it on, sistah. Panetone for lunch? Hey, it’s got raisins in it. Screw this “Eat something healthy before you go to a holiday party, so you’re filled up and don’t pig out.” Take a holiday from eating healthy.


  • Don’t make snow angels. Make snow devils.


  • Perform an interpretive dance to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” for friends and family.


  • Give nutty gifts, and ask for them in return. For example: I love religious kitsch, so last year for Christmas, a friend of mine got me a tin of New TestaMints. A few years back, I gave my husband a Winston Churchill doll. Forget about gift certificates, scarves, gloves, and iPODs. Go for the goofy.


  • Take two Christmas balls and turn them into earrings to wear at holiday parties. People will either praise your creativity, or leave you standing alone at the punchbowl. Either is good.


  • Make and break your New Year’s Resolutions now so that by the time January comes around, you’re ahead of the pack.


  • Get creative with fruitcake. Use it as a doorstop. Or hurl slices at the neighbor’s cat when it creeps into your garden to pee.


  • Make your own Advent calendar. Behind each window, put a pic of a hottie. December 1st: George Clooney. December 2nd: Johnny Depp. And so on. Save the best for Christmas


  • Quit being a self-absorbed sad sack and give to those in need. Bake Christmas cookies for a soup kitchen. Buy a gift to donate to Toys for Tots. Always works for me.


Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!


Cheers,
Deirdre


PS—Apparently, Good King Wenceslas was the Duke of Bohemia (now the Czech republic) who was murdered in 929 AD by his evil brother, Boleslav. He was an honest, principled king who braved a fierce storm to go out and feed a neighbor.


USA Today Bestselling Author Deirdre Martin is the author of five romances. Her next book, JUST A TASTE, will be in stores January 2nd, 2008. You can visit her website at: www.deirdremartin.com.

Friday, December 14, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 4

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...four calling birds...


Today's winner of the prize package including a calling bird ornament, French Roast coffee and Sean by Donna Kauffman is:



Stefanie from Belgium!



Hon, just email me your particulars and I'll get your prize package off to you next week.

Eight more prizes to give away and I've got this really cool set of Christmas recipe cards in a case that I'm dying to give away too. Hmm... Maybe I'll include them in the Sightings Contest. You all remember that one right? It was a few posts ago, but I'll draw the winner before the end of The Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway. :)

Sightings Contest

Okay...we need to make it official. To enter the sightings contest, all you have to do is let me know where you've seen DEAL WITH THIS. We'll have the second half of the contest when THE RANCHER'S RULES is on the shelves. I'm still stumped for prizes, but I'm pretty sure my PA will be able to come up with something neat. She and I both work to keep my prize closet well stocked. :)

So, where have *you* seen DEAL WITH THIS? Can be a Bricks & Mortar store, someplace online, or even on your own bedside table - how easy is that? The more places you've seen the book and tell me about, the more blessed I'll be - but to be eligible for the drawing, all you have to do is comment. :)

I've moved this post up in the blog to remind you all that since TRR is on shelves now, you can participate for that book too!
And also, just a quick reminder, but I've picked out two parts of the prize: Harry & David's Chocolates and a truly cool package of Christmas recipe cards.

The Rancher's Rules - Excerpt

WARNING RATED PG-13
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++



THE RANCHER'S RULES
by Lucy Monroe (c) 2006
1st book in Sunshine Springs duo
Harlequin Promotional Presents
December 11, 2007
ISBN 0-373-82057-7


Excerpt
++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The feel of Grant’s lips against hers was so overpowering, Zoe almost forgot to respond. Her body knew what it wanted however and she found herself arched against him, kissing him back for all she was worth. Her hands dug into the flannel covering his chest and she tried to eat his lips. He groaned and dragged her onto his lap, deepening the kiss.

At the first touch of his tongue, Zoe lost whatever sense of reality she had left. Her mouth opened and she invited him in with little flicks of her tongue against his. His mouth was hot, his taste utterly masculine. How had she gone so long forgetting how this felt?

Grant’s body shuddered under her and Zoe felt more than just his hard thighs against her backside. A responding wetness warmed her inner thighs as she clamped them tightly together in an effort to assuage the ache in her most feminine place. She squirmed against him, exultant when he bucked under her.

She licked the salt and butter from the popcorn off of his lips, tunneling her fingers into his hair, awed by the feel of its silkiness against her skin. His hands were locked on her hips and she desperately wanted to feel them move. Then they did. Right up her body to breasts that longed for his touch.

He brushed her already erect nipples as they strained against her top. She wanted more. She wanted to rip off every layer of cloth between her burning skin and his hands and she wanted those talented lips that were wreaking havoc with her mouth to do the same to the needy little buds jutting against his palms.

She rocked harder against him and he groaned deep in his throat. He bucked upward, pressing his hardened penis against the juncture of her thighs and she almost came apart.

It was too much.

It was too wonderful.

It was over.

Grant had torn his mouth from hers and yanked his hands away from her breasts. She kept her eyes shut and waited for him to resume the kiss, to go on to something better.
Seconds moved in slow succession.

She opened her eyes and could have screamed at the look of horror on Grant’s face. He stood abruptly and she fell on the floor, landing hard on her bottom.

So much for their first kiss in four years.

He moved to stand near the recliner.

Zoe climbed up off the floor. "Ouch." She rubbed her backside. "What was that for?"

Grant ran his fingers through his hair. "Sorry. I…"
She waited, but Grant never finished his sentence. He just stared at her, like she had grown a couple of antlers…or worse. Her body ached from wanting, not to mention her unceremonious trip to the floor. Grant’s dismayed features were not helping.

"Stop looking like that. It was just a kiss."

"Just a kiss? Zoe, you’re my best friend. A man does not kiss his best friend."

This was getting out of hand. "Grant, I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but your best friend happens to be female. There is no cardinal rule against kissing me."

"I have a rule against it."

Had he written that rule before or after their hot and heavy session in his barn when she was nineteen? She felt her face crease in a frown. "Well, you broke it."

"I know." He looked so genuinely dismayed that she fought with dual desires.

One to comfort and the other to smack him.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 3

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me...three French hens...

Are you all having fun yet? I sure hope so because I certainly am. :)

Today's winner (from the comments on my post on Brava Authors) of the prize package including a French hen ornament, Rwandan French Roast coffee and Bounty Hunter by Donna Kauffman is:

Catslady!!!

Please email me your full name and mailing address so my PA can get your prize out in the mail to you.

Sparkly News

Just found out that Meagan's Chance (my LC Monroe inspirational) is a finalist in the Eppies. I'm feeling pretty happy about that. LOL

Guest Blogger - Lori James


First, I’d like to thank Lucy for inviting me to appear as her guest blogger today. How did she lure me into doing this? Well, honestly, just about any request that is accompanied by, “Did I mention that I love the layout of your site?” gets my attention. So here I am, taking a break from wrapping presents to talk about one of my favorite things, All Romance eBooks (ARe).

ARe, an on-line retail outlet for eBooks which I co-own with my business partner, Barbara Perfetti, opened in November 2006. Now one year later with over a hundred publishers on board and over six thousand fantastic titles in our inventory, we’re well on our way to fulfilling our initial goal of bringing to you, the reader, All the romance you need from all the publishers you love.

Lucy asked me what inspired the creation of ARe and what kinds of things are influencing it’s continued evolution. Like almost everything that Barb and I do together, it started with one of us calling the other one and uttering those four little words that honestly can make both of our husbands wince: “I’ve got an idea.” In this particular instance, it was really the belief that romance readers deserved their own on-line store, one place where they could find books by all of their favorite authors and publishers.

Barb and I are both very driven, we seem to find inspiration everywhere, we have similar values, and we’ve each had lots of experience working in big business. All Romance eBooks isn’t our first collaborative endeavor, we also own Linden Bay Romance, a small independent press. Although it was our experience as a publisher that initially sparked the conceptualization of ARe, it quickly became apparent that in order to establish something that was truly unique, something we could be really excited about, we needed to focus on meeting the needs of three primary customers—readers, publishers, and authors. This has been very much a collaborative effort.

During the development stage we interviewed a lot of people and we listened. Raven Moore, president and publisher of Liquid Silver books, gave us a piece of advice in the beginning that has served us well. “Make it easy,” she said. That became our mantra. So much about life is already hard. We face enough challenges. Barb and I decided early on that we wanted the customer experience at ARe to be spectacular. We work closely with readers, publishers, and authors, accepting their feedback and often incorporating their suggestions as enhancements. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and we’re very invested in doing what we can to help grow the eBook market. It’s that desire that has led to the establishment of things such as our weekly Wildfire newsletter, ARe—The eBookclub, and our hosting of book signings.

While broadening our customer base continues to be an important focus, we’re also very committed to keeping the customers we have and serving them fabulously well. There’s a personal feel to the site akin to that of an independent brick and mortar store that specializes in romance. We know our site, we know romance, we know the publishers and the authors, and we know that even though we don’t see our customers face to face, that they are real people that are entitled to real service.

So what other things will shape ARe in the year to come? I don’t exactly know. It’s going to depend largely on authors like Lucy Monroe, and publishers like Samhain, Harlequin, and Torquere, and readers like you. Together, We ARe Hot!

All Romance eBooks (http://www.allromanceebooks.com/) distributes the romance eBooks of over one hundred publishers and their imprints. The All Romance eBooks site offers sorting by a variety of romance sub-genres, titles, authors, or publishers. Secondary sorts are available by best-selling, length, highest-rated, and most recently added. Readers have the ability to rate books they purchase with regards to their "heat level" and overall enjoyment and are rewarded with a free novel for every ten titles purchased. ARe—The eBookclub is a monthly on-line book club sponsored by All Romance eBooks. The club is actively promoted through the All Romance eBooks weekly newsletter, Wildfire, and through MySpace, utilizing their immense social networking and bulletin/event distribution services. All Romance eBooks was founded in 2006, is privately held in partnership, and is headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida. You may contact All Romance eBooks via email at info@allromanceebooks.com.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 2

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me...two turtle doves...

Oh, wow! This is FUN!!! So, our second day's winner of the full prize package including a turtle dove ornament, Guatemalen coffee and "Tango in Paradise" by Donna Kauffman (chosen from comments on my blog and the two guest blogs I did at I *Heart* Presents & Brava Authors) is:

Jane!!!

Hon, just email me all your particulars and we'll get your prize out to you.

The Rancher's Rules OUT NOW

1st book in Sunshine Springs duo
Harlequin Promotional Presents
ISBN 0-373-82057-7

What Zoe thinks…Loving your best friend is never easy – and when he’s sexy and turned you down flat once before…it’s even harder! Loving Grant is what Zoe has always done best…but now it’s time to move on. She already feels like she’s the oldest virgin in America – so she vows to find herself a man!

What Grant thinks…Grant can’t keep his eyes or his hands off Zoe – but she’s his best friend – a no-go zone! The fact that Zoe looks at him like she wants to rip his clothes off isn’t helping the situation… So he implements some important rules for them to obey. First is the No Kissing rule – well, that’s broken before it’s had a chance to be written… Then the Strictly No Sex rule…and that’s out of the window (well, on the kitchen table, actually!). Then the best rule of all: some rules are only made to be broken!

+++++++++++

Some pretty neat news and a gift to me, but The Rancher's Rules is #5 on the Border's Group Top 10 National Bestseller's list for series romance, the #1 selling Harlequin Presents on Amazon right now and #6 on their Bestsellers list for series romance as well as being on the Nielson Bookscan Romance National Bestseller's list. And Deal With This is on the Nielson Bookscan Romance National Bestseller's list for its second week while continuing to be in Amazon's Top 50 Bestsellers for Contemporary Romance. Cool, huh?

And if you're looking for a little self-indulgent pleasure for the holidays and a fun Christmas story, don't forget to pick up THE RANCHER'S RULES! I know several of you already have and I appreciate that more than I can say, but THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Come Visit Me...

I'm guest blogging at a couple of places this week and I'm really hoping you all will stop by and say, "Hi." :)

I did a blog post on my personal passion for travel (and included some neat pictures of me at the age of 18) over at I *Heart* Presents.

And you can see pictures of the way DQ decorated the big tree in the family room as well as part of my nutcracker collection on my blog at Brava Authors.

==> Your comments on either blog will be included in the drawings for my daily giveaway for The Twelve Days of Christmas. I am also giving books away on the Brava Authors blog, so your comments there will make you eligible for two prizes. Cool? :) I thought so, anyway. LOL

Speaking of guest blogs, Linda Winfree will be around to chat about her newest release from Samhain, Hold on to Me - the book pimping post below this one. So, make her feel welcome, yeah?

And we've got another special guest blogger this week that I think you're really going to enjoy. She's not an author, but readers love her... Wondering who she is yet???

Don't forget! The Rancher's Rules - my Christmas book - is on bookstore shelves as of today! I'll post more about the book tomorrow - maybe with an excerpt even. Sound like fun?

Also...please note that there were four different messages posted today that I think will be of interest to most of you. So, scroll down and make sure you didn't miss any of them!


Book Pimping...Linda Winfree's "Hold On to Me"

She keeps a secret buried in the past. He wants the truth—now. But an unknown killer could destroy their future.

by Linda Winfree
Book Three of Hearts of the South

For FBI profiler Caitlin Falconetti, immersing herself in her job is the only way to quell the memories of a vicious, near-fatal attack and what it cost her, including the only man she ever loved. Better to let him think she simply rejected him, rather than reveal a painful secret that she's certain would have destroyed his feelings for her.

Investigator Lamar “Tick” Calvert is determined to clean out the corruption-riddled sheriff’s department in his hometown. While he understands Caitlin's drive to excel at her job, that doesn’t mean he's happy about the prospect of working with his former lover, the one woman he tried and failed to hold onto.

A rash of unsolved murders, including a politician's daughter, brings them together to find the murderer before another woman dies. Daily contact re-ignites the lingering attraction between them, but Caitlin won't risk opening herself and revealing her secret. She plans to complete the killer's profile, make an arrest and get out of town for good.

Tick plans to solve this case, too, but now that Caitlin's back in his life, he also plans to finally dig up the truth about why she left him.

But there's an added complication—the killer isn't done, and Caitlin could be the next target.


Excerpt:



A beige Chevy sedan pulled into the driveway and Tick paused by his dusty 4x4, a hand raised against the glare off the car’s windshield. Another lost insurance salesperson who hadn’t figured out Long Lonesome Road turned into Old Lonely Road two intersections back.

The car door opened and a pair of black, high-heeled loafers kicked up tiny puffs of dust. No-nonsense shoes, but nice ankles. If she was blonde, maybe he’d have his life insurance coverage reevaluated. The woman stepped from the car and sunlight glinted off glossy black hair. Recognition slammed through him, stopping the breath in his throat.

She walked toward him, a black suit and ivory blouse hugging her slim, athletic body. His gaze dropped to long runner’s legs, made to wrap around a man’s waist, and he couldn’t help remembering having them around his. Arousal jolted him, hard, and fury rushed through him, even harder. He jerked his attention back to her face, the deep green eyes he knew so well hidden from him by dark sunglasses.

“Hello, Calvert.”

He’d always loved hearing her say his name, the way her husky voice with its hint of a cultured Texas drawl wound around the syllables. He still had dreams about that voice. Holy hell. This was really happening. Caitlin Falconetti stood before him in all her Bureau glory, and he was dirty, wet, and smelled of dead chicken. He swallowed and pushed all the relentless anger into his voice.

“Falconetti. What brings you to the wilds and badlands of Georgia?”

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - Day 1

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Oh, man, you are all so lucky you can't hear me singing this one. To say I have an off-tune voice is to be generous. ;-)


But I love the romanticism of this carol as much as the sheer fun of the idea of getting all those presents! LOL Okay, so I enjoy getting presents almost as much as I do giving them. :)



So, here we are kicking off the Twelve Days of Christmas daily giveaway. Each of the twelve winners will recieve a Donna Kauffman book (several are hard to come by collectibles - told you I had a great idea for the giveaways ::g::), a Twelve Days of Christmas ornament, a Mercenaries & TGP travel mug, a unique specialty coffee and Ghirardelli seasonal chocolates.


Today's winner will receive the partridge ornament, Her Secret Thrill by Donna Kauffaman and Ethiopian coffee in addition to the mug and chocolates.


And that winner is
DannyFireDragon!!!


Email me your real name and mailing address so I can get your prize out to you.

Other Prize Winners

Remember when Drama Queen blogged? And that uber cool prize (the cami set, some chocolate and a personally signed copy of The Real Deal) that she was supposed to give away. And she *promised* to post a winner, but you know? I noticed I'd never gotten an email from one and asked her about it today and boy, did her face turn red. She'd forgotten. So, here's the winner from Drama Queen's blog:

Jennifer!!! (no Y)

Please email me with your last name and mailing address so we can get that prize off to you. :)

And Anna Campbell had generously offered a copy of Untouched to a commenter from her blog.

That winner is Lily!!!

Lily, please email Anna with your details so she can send you your prize. :)

And last, but not least...last week's blog prize winner is:

Ai Yin!!!

Please email me with your last name and mailing address so we can get your prize off to you. :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell

Fairytale Romance with Anna Campbell

Firstly, Lucy, thank you so much for asking me to blog with you today. As you know I’m a great fan of your writing so I was really excited to have the opportunity to come by. Lucy and I met when she was a very popular guest at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Melbourne in 2005. I’d just read THE REAL DEAL and been blown away by it so I got very squealy and excited when I found myself behind Lucy in a line-up for something or other. Probably something glamorous like a cup of tea!

It’s been a really busy couple of months for me, but one of the major highlights was the release of my second Avon Romantic Treasure UNTOUCHED. This book has received some nice reviews, including a Top Pick from Romantic Times which is always welcome! It’s a dark, sexy Regency historical about a supposedly mad marquess and the woman kidnapped to ‘amuse’ him in his imprisonment. To me, it’s a sensual mixture of Beauty and the Beast and The Sleeping Beauty.

Which started me thinking about fairytale themes in romance.

I love it when romance taps into those deep elements of the human experience. Myths. Legends. Fairytales. Obviously paranormals are an overt example of this. But I think many great romances have their roots in a fairytale. Let’s face it – there’s a magic in the romance genre! We tell stories about the transforming power of love and that’s the story arc of so many fairytales too.

I thought about my critique partner Annie West’s debut A MISTRESS FOR THE TAKING. It’s a wonderful mixture of The Ugly Duckling and Cinderella. I thought about one of my all-time favorite romances LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase. It’s a definite Beauty and the Beast story as Jessica transforms the Marquess of Dain from a beast to a prince. BEAUTY by Judith Ivory uses The Sleeping Beauty as its basis. My first book CLAIMING THE COURTESAN is another Beauty and the Beast story as love frees the Duke of Kylemore from the curse that has blighted his life.

So here’s the challenge. Look at the romances on your bookshelves and ask yourself if they have fairytale themes. I’d love to hear your suggestions for books and fairytale matches. Some of the most interesting examples might combine two stories as their basis, like Annie West’s or UNTOUCHED. Are there any fairytales you don’t think would be suitable as the basis for a romance? I must say I can’t think of one that’s like Snow White. Too many heroes

My favorite answer will win a signed copy of UNTOUCHED so you can check whether I really have written a fairytale romance! By the way, if you want to find out more about UNTOUCHED or read an excerpt, please call by my website at http://www.annacampbell.info/ Good luck! And happy reading!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Catching Up :)

Lest you all think I forgot to draw a winner for last week...do not be discouraged. I didn't! I just forgot to post about it. LOLOL They say your memory starts going after you turn 40, but I'm wondering if it's just a typicaly author issue 'cuz more than one friend (younger than me) have complained about the same thing. :)

Are you all ready for this? Last week's blog winner is (DQ did the drawing):
Dena!!!

Hon, just email me with your mailing address and my PA will get your prize out to you ASAP. :)

Further catching up...Deal With This hit #10 on Amazon's Contemporary Romance bestseller's list and #32 for the Week ending December 1 on the Nielson Bookscan National Bestseller's list. Cool, huh?!!

While The Rancher's Rules is already available online and some stores, it will be available everywhere in a week a half! Watch for it. :) Maybe we should have a sighting contest for both Deal With This and The Rancher's Rules. Wouldn't that be fun? We can do it soon...before I start my 12 Days of Christmas daily give away. Oh, I love this time of year!!!

An Incredible Opportunity


INSTANT SEDUCTION

A brand new writing competition from the world’s best-selling romance series is about to hit the blogosphere!

It’s an exciting time for Harlequin Presents: from January 2008, there will be 12 of our intensely passionate romances available every month. And with this increase of titles comes a great opportunity for aspiring authors – we will be looking to buy more books for publication!

The old saying goes that first impressions are lasting impressions – and when it comes to reading a Harlequin Presents, that certainly holds true. If the first chapter doesn’t immediately grip the reader with its pace, passion and intensity, then she won’t continue to turn the pages.

So Presents is inviting unpublished writers to show us how they can grab the attention of our readership with first chapters that really sizzle. The INSTANT SEDUCTION competition offers prizes that are chances of a lifetime for the lucky winner and runners-up:


  • First prize win yourself an editor for a year!

  • Two runners-up will be given editorial critiques of their first chapter entries and also a personal telephone consultation about their writing!

Visit the I *Heart* Presents blogsite for full details of the competition – and the chance to prepare for publication with an exclusive series of writing tutorials prepared by the editorial team at Harlequin Presents, including advice on First Chapters, How to Write a Synopsis, Loving the Alpha Male and Generating Emotional Conflict.

Entries for the competition will be accepted as on-line submissions only from 1st January until 14th February 2008.

Entries should comprise of the first chapter and a synopsis of a previously unpublished/unsubmitted novel aimed at Harlequin Presents.

Address for entries: instantseduction@hmb.co.uk