Friday, February 29, 2008

Guest Blogger - Kate Davies

I’m a sucker for the classics.

Which probably explains how I ended up becoming an English teacher. Shakespeare, Poe, Frost, Hardy…be still my heart!

Then, of course, there are the classics of romantic lit – Austen, Bronte, even L.M. Montgomery.

But there’s another kind of classic that I adore. The classic romance storyline.

Amnesia, friends-to-lovers, secret baby, and marriage of convenience are just some of the classic themes of romance fiction. And I believe that they are all classics for a reason. Their popularity is enduring because they connect to some larger archetype, striking a chord in readers.

So when I set out to write Lessons In Love, I picked one of my favorite storylines—the fairytale classic Cinderella. Creating a fictional European country and populating it with an interesting royal family was great fun, as was tossing a carefree American girl into the mix. I loved playing with the conventions of the theme, adding my own twist to the tried-and-true.

Lessons In Trust, the follow-on book, came about in much the same way. I’d already introduced Princess Lucia in the first book, and needed to find a deserving hero for her. And thus the princess-and-the-bodyguard storyline was called into play.

Both books bring together lovers from two different worlds (look! Another classic theme!), adding an extra layer of conflict to their interactions.

It can be a double-edged sword, using classic themes and storylines. Some may look on the plot as been there, done that. But as King Solomon said in the Book of Ecclesiastes, "there is nothing new under the sun". Even Shakespeare borrowed well-known stories and archetypes. It's what the author does with that theme that makes it fresh and new.

And that's why I love the classics. It's the joy of discovering something new where I'd expected the same old, same old. So whether I'm reading or writing, the classics are what call to me.

How about you? What classic storylines/themes are your favorites?

Kate
http://www.kate-davies.com/
...because a little spice is nice!

Hero Inspiration Contest Reminder

Just a reminder that the hero inspiration contest is still going on. There are several strong candidates and I will be announcing the winner on Sunday!

Remember...the winner will be acknowledged in the dedication of Neo's book.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Announcement, Announcements, Announcements...

Did you go to Outdoor School when you were a kid? And did they do the whole sing song, "Announcement, Announcements, Annoooooouuuuuncme-ents" thing at your camp too? Well that little diddy keeps going through my head. I guess because I've got tons of stuff I want so say.


First, I know you all know I'm attending Lora Leigh's RAW in September because Tisa generously posted the bulletin for me. But I wanted to make sure you were all aware I will also be at Lori Foster and Dianne Castelle's Reader Author Get-Together in June in Ohio. Cool, huh? I've been trying to go for three years, but always had a graduation to attend the same weekend. This year no graduations - though my cousin is getting married. I told him I was so sorry, but had to go as I'd promised. He understood. :)


And because my first grandbaby isn't due until Aug 10th, I am going to try to attend RWA National in San Francisco in July - at least for a couple of days.


Also, I will be in Detroit speaking to GDRWA and hopefully having a booksigning in September. For more info, go to my Chats & Signings page. (I'll be hopping a plane to RAW right after.) I hope I get to meet some of you on my travels this year!



And can I get a drum roll please?


Tons of readers have been asking for them, not to mention booksellers...


READY, WILLING & and ABLE are being released as mass market paperbacks this summer! See my Upcoming Releases page for details.

And don't forget that my second inspirational (and only book written with a co-author - Nicolette Derens), Miss Fix-It, will be out as an eBook on March 11. We are going to host a two week long blog party for the release with daily prizes and lots of fun, so stay posted.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mom's Birthday Weekend

I promised to tell you all how the High Tea for Mom went and it was lovely. My baby sister Mo and I put on a Tea bar none, I have to say. LOL My mom and other sisters were happy and well fed. Mom insisted on going shopping as it is her habit to buy gifts for her girls on *her* birthday. Cool, huh? Then yesterday, we had a HUGE pinochle/poker party for Mom's 65th for all of her friends and the extended family. Tonight my sister Di is putting on an Italian dinner for just family (about 23 I think as some of the nieces and nephews are in college and can't make it) at Mom's house as it is her official birthday.

We usually take her away for her birthday every year, but this one she just wasn't up to it. It's amazing that we've been able to the last few years and none of use were complaining about not being able to this year. My sister KT put together a DVD of the last 15 years of birthday weekends we've done for Mom. It was so neat to watch. Brought back so many good memories.

Hubcap and I played pinochle as partners last night and I remembered again why I'm so in love with him. Alpha male and all, he knows how to play as part of a two-person team an he knows how to have fun. We were teaching my niece to play and it was all good - relaxed. Nice. Oh, and guess who was high winner at the big money poker table last night? Mom! She may not be able to get the right words out all the time since the stroke, but the woman's brain is still working just fine. Do you know she came in first at Pinochle Club a couple of months ago? She's just amazing.

Well, that's all for now!

But please keep the hero inspiration coming. I'm really loving it and saving several links for future inspiration as well.

Hugs,
Lucy

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The New Book & A Contest

I started a new Harlequin Presents this week. My Sicilian hero, Valentino (don't you love that name????) loved early and lost. He's got an eight year old son he loves very much and no desire to ever take another wife. Picture Raul Bova with brown eyes as visual inspiration for my hero.

My American heroine has her own tragic past that Tino knows nothing about. She comes off as sunny and optimistic, which she is - but she's more than aware of the painful toll life can take on a person. For her inspiration, picture this model with peacock blue eyes.

He won't give anything but sex and she can't help giving him love. His son's art teacher, she seems to be embroiled more deeply in his life than he ever expected or knew about. In a knee jerk reaction against getting too close he makes a few mistakes that come back to bite him in the butt when he finds out the heroine is pregnant with his baby. She's willing to raise her child in Sicily so it can know the family, but she wouldn't marry Tino Grisafi if he came gift wrapped in rubies.

I love this story line and both of these characters and am really looking forward to writing all this angst! LOL

Now, for the special contest. I'm having a terrible time coming up with visual inspiration for the hero in my next Presents. Neo Stamos has dark hair, green eyes, and is 6' of solid Greek muscle at 34 years old. I was hoping you all could help me out. Just post a comment with a link to a picture you think makes a good hero inspiration pic for Neo or send me a pic in an email.
I will draw two winners - one just from the comments on this blog (for a book from my prize store and chocolate) and in addition, if I use one of your inpsiration pics (and I'm so hoping you can help me out with this), I will give that winner a signed by me book of choice and mention of thanks in the dedication of Neo's book. Cool, huh?
Now, I'm off to make high tea for my mom and sisters. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. :)
Hugs and happy day!
Lucy

Friday, February 22, 2008

Uber Cool Video

Hey, all...I'm back!!! :) Sorry it wasn't Tuesday like I said, but we're in the middle of bathroom remodels (yes, after the indoor flood - I decided I needed more chaos inside the house) and I've been updating my "writing nest" in my bedroom. The new swing arm table I bought is kinda cheap, but Hubcap is going to fix what ails it. Not like he doesn't have enough to do. LOL

I've started a new book and I'll tell you all about it along with running a special contest tomorrow.

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day...Hubcap and I went on a date to the Zoo and the Portland Rose Gardens. The Zoo was closed and the Rose Gardens were in hibernation, but it was still beautiful at Washington Park and the company made up for any lack in the setting. I wrote an article about Washington Park for Affair d' Coeur magazine. If you get the magazine, let me know what you think. If you don't get it, you should. LOL

And last but not least (for today)...this is the amazingly wonderful video COS Productions did for the re-release of 3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys:





What do you think?

Hugs,
Lucy

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Public Service Announcement

National Center for Family Literacy to receive up to 100,000 books with estimated valued of $700,000

Toronto, (February 11, 2008)—eHarlequin.com (www.eHarlequin.com), the online site for Harlequin Enterprises Limited, is challenging its community members to read an astounding 100,000 books in one year in the 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge. When the reading challenge ends on December 31, 2008, Harlequin will make an unprecedented donation of an equivalent number of books to the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). The estimated retail value of a 100,000 book donation to the NCFL by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. is $700,000 U.S.

The stated mission of NCFL is to create a literate nation by leveraging the power of the family. Family literacy helps parents and children form a learning partnership that ends the cycle of poverty and low literacy. NCFL works to find solutions to the literacy crises that build on the family by creating a new cycle of ongoing learning and mutual support. Since its inception in 1989, NCFL has provided leadership to solve the national literacy problem. Through groundbreaking initiatives, NCFL fuels life improvement for the nation’s most disadvantaged children and parents. More than one million families throughout the country have made positive educational and economic gains as a result of NCFL’s work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers.

“Recent studies show that people are reading literature less and less,” said Sharon Darling, president & founder of NCFL. “This reading challenge not only will provide an important incentive for everyone to read more, it also will greatly benefit the millions of adults who have low literacy – 34 million in the United States alone and 771 million globally.”

In addition to promoting literacy, the 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge encourages readers to discuss the titles they have read on the eHarlequin.com website in their own blogs. Those participating in the challenge share their thoughts, reviews, opinions, recommendations and progress. Another remarkable and unforeseen aspect to the challenge is that many people who were not bloggers—or who even knew what a blog was—are now passionate blog hosts and are spearheading online discussions in the forums.

“Our readers are very passionate,” says Jayne Hoogenberk, community manager for eHarlequin.com. “They read, talk, think and dream about books 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. The median number of paperbacks read in one year by Americans is 12. The median for Harlequin readers is 30. Since we’re always looking for ways to inspire and challenge our community members, we wondered if, as a group, they would be able to read 100,000 books in a single calendar year and through our donation of 100,000 books, share that love of reading with others who don’t have such easy access to entertaining and engaging literature for women.”

The original book challenge was laid down on eHarlequin.com in January 2006 and challenged community members to each read 100 books. Seventy-five community members took up the gauntlet. By the end of the year, 55 of those people had read or exceeded the goal. In 2007 eHarlequin.com challenged its members to read 10,000 books collectively. By year end they had read an astounding 24,440 books. To date 350+ participants have accepted the 2008 100,000 Book Challenge. In one week they have already read some 1,000+ books.

“The response of the past two years was so overwhelmingly positive that we had to keep going,” states Hoogenberk. “We also knew that we had to up the ante. And so the 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge for literacy was born. Last year we capped the number of participants and still easily surpassed our target. Since the event has generated such positive feedback, and in order to reach our goal of 100,000 books read, we’ve decided to leave registration open-ended this year.”

There are no hard and fast rules other than participants being asked to have at least 50% of their list be novels published by Harlequin. This allows readers to discover the outstanding breadth of editorial Harlequin has to offer. The other 50% of books can be any genre by any publisher. Likewise, all formats—print, eBooks, audiobooks, etc.—are acceptable, and readers are encouraged to seek them out and give them a try.

The range and diversity of Harlequin readers is not confined solely to the type of books they read or the medium in which they enjoy them. The online nature of the eHarlequin.com community illustrates the significant power of books to unite readers in a global way. Geographic boundaries have become meaningless in this venture as the challenge brings together readers from countries as varied as Germany, France and the Philippines, as well as Harlequin editors in Toronto, New York and London and Harlequin authors from around the world.

The 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge is taking place right now at eHarlequin.com. If you are interested in participating, please contact Jayne Hoogenberk at jayne_hoogenberk@harlequin.ca.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lora Leigh's Reader Appreciation Weekend 2008


Announcing the 2008
Lora Leigh
Reader Appreciation Weekend!

Join Lora and friends for a weekend of fun, fellowship and great food. RAW will be held at the Pullman Plaza Hotel, in beautiful down town Huntington, only miles from the airport, and providing free shuttle service from Huntington Tri-State airport to the hotel. I think everyone will be very happy with the accommodations.
PHOTO URL: http://www.pullmanplaza.com/images/Pullman-Plaza-Pic.jpg
You will need to reserve your room as soon as possible after February 16th at the hotel to assure you get the accommodations you require. You will pay for your room once you check in.
Pullman Plaza Hotel
1001 Third Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
1-866-613-3611

Your Registration at Raw 2008 includes meals at the Friday night Slumber Party and Author Panel, the Saturday Masquerade Dance, as well as the Sunday Night Get-together for all of those staying over.

A good time will be had by all at the Masquerade Party on Saturday night. Wear a mask, a full costume, or come as you are, it’s up to you.

Make your reservations to attend RAW 2008!
Friday September 19th to Sunday September 21st.

Join authors
Shayla Black ◊ Diane Whiteside
Veronica Chadwick ◊ Kay Stockham
Lorie O’Clare ◊ Lora Leigh
Lucy Monroe ◊ Shiloh Walker
J.R. Ward ◊ Sylvia Day/S.J. Day
Jacqueline Frank ◊ Kate Douglas
Nalini Singh ◊ Diane Castell
Jules Bennett ◊ Mary Wine/Dawn Ryder
Angela Knight ◊ Bianca D’Arc
Jasmine Haynes/Jennifer Skully/JB Skully
Delilah Devlin ◊ Donna MacMeans
MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Raw 2008 is an intimate event, limited to 250 attendees, providing plenty of face-to-face time for fans and authors. Fans are asked to please bring only two or three books outside those purchased at the event.

The cost of RAW 2008 is the room rate, transportation if you choose to rent a car, and a $110 registration fee.

Each Raw participant receives a tote bag, t-shirt and much more!

Once your registration form and fee is received, you may then register your room at the Pullman Plaza Hotel, in beautiful down town Huntington and providing free shuttle service from Huntington Tri-State airport to the hotel. Room rates are $89 or less, depending on the room and if you share it.

More information will be on the RAW 2008 Yahoo Group.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RAW2008/

As Raw 2008 is limited to 250 guests to the main event, and 250 to the Masquerade on Saturday night, only, once the registration limit is reached, all mailed registrations over that limit will be returned to sender, unopened.

Register quickly and be a part of an exciting and personal author/reader event.

** Please be sure all registration forms are TYPEWRITTEN so they are legible. It would be a very sad thing if you missed RAW 2008 because we could not read the registration form.

Be sure to read below for Masquerade masks for the Masquerade Ball. You can wear costumes or not. Masks or not. But our Theme is the Masquerade Weekend.




Lucy is seeing light at the end of the tunnel and plans on being back on Tuesday. February 12th. The books is finished and she is madly wading through emails.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys

They're not the marrying kind-more the Do NOT Take Home to Mom kind. But these three brothers are about to meet the tempting women who have what it takes to tame their inner bad boys...

RAND: After tragedy struck six years ago, Rand buried what was left of his heart. But Phoebe Garrison isn't giving up, and she's got an enticing deal: the coveted deed to property his company needs in exchange for one hot week in her bed. It's an offer even the brooding Rand can't refuse. Now, as every hunger is explored, every secret revealed, Rand knows he'll need more than one week to indulge his fantasies with this amazing woman...
COLTON: Waking up in Vegas next to a naked showgirl named Fayre after a scorching night of passion puts a smile on Colton Denning's face-until he discovers she's his new wife. How could the stable, workaholic Colton have married such an unpredictable force of nature, a woman as likely to throw pottery as a kiss? But when it comes to tender love-and erotic war-Colton's discovering that all is Fayre...

CARTER: As marriage proposals go, Carter's offer to Daisy Jackson lacks romance: Marry me and I'll give you a half-a-million dollars. To fulfill the requirements of his father's lucrative will, he needs a wife, and Daisy needs the money. But after a wedding night of absolutely explosive sensuality, Carter wants more than an arrangement. He wants Daisy, to have, to hold, and everything else...

With these bad boys, you may kiss the bride is only the beginning...
****************************************************************
Stay Tuned for a Guest Blogger over the weekend..... Drama Queen is back!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Guest Blogger - Melissa Lopez

Boomerang Love’s inspiration.

Our muses can be influenced by a song lyric. A favorite quote. A women’s magazine survey. A Hollywood entertainment show. A sporting event. A too-die action hero. Even another author’s story. Absolutely anything can jump start our muses. That’s what is so great about being an author. You never know what will tickle a muse’s fancy.

Boomerang Love’s inspiration was a combination of things.

More than a year ago Samhain Publishing put out a call for sun, sand, and sex anthology stories. I’d grinned in delight as I read the theme. Beaches! Exotic locations! Authors love the travel channel, especially me. I starting thinking of all the beaches I’d yet to visit, including those in Australia.

Ever since watching "Crocodile Dundee” an Australian comedy set in the Australian Outback I’ve been fascinated by the country. Yes, my fascination goes back that far. The country has such an allure for me, its beauty, the men, and the accents. I didn’t have to give it a second thought. I knew I wanted to try for a story slot. And so did my muse. Through the weaving of a story I knew where my muse was taking me.

The actual concept inspiration for Boomerang Love sprang from the relationship of my youngest son’s favorite hero and his wife. Steve and Terri Irwin.

http://www.australiazoo.com.au/

Some mothers watch hours on end of cartoons with their little boys, not me. Mine still wants to grow up to be a crocodile hunter. And then one day I listened as the couple shared their “love at first sight” tale. The couple married within a few short months of meeting one another.

Almost immediately my muse asked me…what if a heroine left, instead of staying? Would she return? Did she dare? What about the hero? Would he be able to work her out of his system? The plot to Boomerang Love fell into place as I drafted a short premise up.

In those minutes the Thorn brothers were born.

I invite you to…Take a walkabout on the wild side.

To read an excerpt, follow the link and click on Boomerang Love’s cover.

http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/melissa-lopez

Thanks so much for having me Lucy!
Melissa Lopez
http://melissa-lopez.com/
JOURNEYS OF LOVE every woman needs to take.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Guest Blogger - Jane Beckenham

Nominated for Aussie Author of 2007

Thanks Lucy for having me here. Lucy is my hero. She is a writer who has proven that if you keep on going, it will happen. Perseverance, persistence and patience, and of course that one definite thing…a darn good story. However, here’s my spin on life, words and whispers…

It’s that time of evening again, time to feed the starving family, and as I toss the vegetables into the stir-fry writing is never far from this maddening crowed and my hero whispers sweet nothings in my ear.

I’m in my multi-task mode and stare with adoration in my heart at the colorful array of food I will soon serve my family. I, too, have my moment of understanding, that true love is just like a bowl of stir fry veggies, it comes in lots of colors and flavors and there is no one straight path to finding true and everlasting love.

I want to be nice to my characters, give them love and kindness, not despair and angst. But how then will a girl who feels she does not belong anywhere, who feels un-loveable, find her own true love unless she hurts enough to realize what is most important to her. How to make him hurt? Give him what he would hate the most. Love. Commitment!

Sure I can do this. I can multi-task…even when I’m spinning…

They say a woman’s work is never done, how true, but take a pause for a minute and think of the writers of this world. We juggle our lives, and the many lives of the characters in our head, both already down on paper and still to be published…all the while creating a gourmet feast for the family and playing mum’s taxi service for the little darlings.

And would we have it any other way? Not on your life, or the lives of our characters.
Right now I have to worry about two daughters, a hubby, dog, 2 cats, and five assorted fish, plus Ramona and Kalim. And whereas I do nice, loving things for my family and the menagerie, I have to hurt my characters, be the big bad meanie.

As my teenager would say… “That’s soooo not fair.”

So next time, you wonder how a writer comes up with such wicked ways to torture their characters, the ones you love, the ones who you have come to care about, please believe that we don’t really want to be mean. It’s the character’s fault really…truly, they whisper in our ear when hubby isn’t listening begging to be put down on paper. So we do as we’re told and in the process go grab a bowl of veggies wondering if amnesia will work this time.
*****
Jane Beckenham is a multi-published author of both contemporary and time travel/historical books.
For Love, honor and romance at the turning of a page
http://www.janebeckenham.com/

Nominated for Aussie Author of 2007
You can still VOTE- http://www.aussieauthor.com/

Really Cool Valentine's Contest

Listen...you all know about Nicola Marsh, right? She's an amazing author and uber generous. She's having a Valentine's Day extravaganza of giveaways (including a prize from me). Visit her blog at http://www.nicolamarsh.blogspot.com/.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Guest Blogger - Chantal

Hi Lucy, thank you so much for asking me to help you share this website by doing a guest blog. I'm tickled pink :)

Have you heard of Freerice.com yet? It's a website that started in October of 2007.

The concept is simple. Just click on the multiple choice answer that best defines the given word.

For every correct answer 20 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations world food programme. It's a wonderfully educational way to help those in need and learn a thing or two at the same time.

Right now my best vocab level is 35. I have stayed up way past my bed time trying to beat it, lol.

Give it a try and let us know your score. Be warned: Free rice is very addictive :)

Chantal Foisy-Nguyen

Diamonds Down Under

DIAMONDS DOWN UNDER

IMAGINE.....two powerful families...five missing pink diamonds...one bitter feud spanning decades...DISCOVER…..six passionate stories from Australia and New Zealand's hottest Silhouette Desire authors in a brand new continuity series, commencing this month with Vows & A Vengeful Groom by Bronwyn Jameson.

VISIT THE WEBSITE.....
http://www.diamonds-downunder.com/

for a chance to win manuscript critiques by editors and an agent, or a telephone conversation with the senior editor of Desire. Or if that’s not enough excitement, some lucky person can win a gorgeous diamond pendant valued at US$350. Get ready to sparkle!



p.s. Don't forget to vote in the Brava Novella Contest. http://www.bravaauthors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=215