Monday, July 27, 2009

Guest Blog w/ Jimmy Thomas!

MEET Jimmy Thomas: International Romance Novel Cover Model,

and so much more….

Born and raised in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Jimmy began his active lifestyle at a very young age; from neighborhood sports of football, street & roller-blade hockey, to 2 years on a local soccer team as their team goalie. Jimmy then joined his school's cross-country track team, and also ventured on to the wrestling mat. With all the sports and activities he participated in, he found his biggest liking in weight-training. Jimmy vigorously worked out almost every day during his final years of high school... which led the beginning of who Jimmy Thomas is today.

From a home-gym above a friend's garage, to down in his own basement of barbells & dumbbells, Jimmy stuck with his workouts even throughout his college time in Boston where he followed his high school studies of Architecture. Once moving to Tampa, Florida, he continued his weight-training from his backyard and moved it to a local gym while pushing his limits to the max. Although he had his love for weight-training, Jimmy sought out another active & disciplined interest he also had... martial arts. Jimmy joined a Kenpo Karate school where he lived every waking, non-­working moment at; his love for the arts began to overtake him.

Among his many titles and talents are:

Architectural Designer / CAD Operator

Fitness, Print & Romance Novel Model

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Self Defense & Kickboxing Instructor

What Jimmy has to say about himself:

I'm very ambitious, determined, passionate and goal oriented. Extremely down to earth, easy going, but can be very blunt, although with good intent. I'll correct your English if it's spoken improperly (habit from my mother ;)). I can be sarcastic, but also very focused and serious. I'm confident, young at heart, spontaneous, and a total go-getter! I analyze a lot, but always to figure out, learn and put into a positive light. I can be stubborn at times and tend to learn things by trial and error, even if it's the hard way, which is a great learning experience.

I'm always staying busy, always thinking of new things and ideas. I'm adventurous, and love to travel. I've lived in Boston, Tampa, The Netherlands, and Los Angeles. I've been to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, Brussels, Paris, Venice, Rome, Pisa, Nice, The French Riviera, Barcelona, Gran Canary, all over Egypt [Luxor - Cruised down The Nile, Esna, Edfu, Komombo, Aswan, Cairo, Hurghada - scuba diving in The Red Sea] Jamaica, Cabo San Lucas, hiking and camping in Yosemite Park and Palm Springs, vacationed in San Francisco, Kentucky, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, Las Vegas, Kansas City... and traveled and vacationed to many other cities throughout the U.S.); it's great to see and experience cultures and places that you usually only see and read about in books.

I enjoy being active. I workout regularly, but not a fanatic even though most people assume I am. One thing I am a fanatic on though, is being SO turned off by smokers. I eat whatever I want and can't stay away from chocolate. I enjoy listening to energy/dance-type music as it motivates me. I'm always wanting to help anyone and everyone I can, sometimes to a fault as it takes up my own needed time. I LOVE to cuddle and kiss!!! I'm not one for going out to clubs; I wore that out in my 20's, I prefer a movie, whether a rental or the theatre (as I LOVE movies), dinner, conversation, road trips, camping, or a weekend getaway.”

A few questions for the charming Mr. Thomas now:

1. Where do you see yourself in about ten years? With so many things currently underway, it’s clear you will always be busy, but if you choose, ideally, what you would be doing, what would it be?

I’ve had a big interest in sci-fi, action adventure, thriller type movies for some time, to where I have written a screenplay for one and would love for it to be on the big screen some day soon. I’d also love to assistant direct it as well, as I can envision it as if I’ve already seen it. I feel I have a gift/talent to see what is wrong with something and how to make it right. When I walk into a gym it’s like I see everything in black and white and everyone working out wrong/improperly is red… and there is red everywhere! ;) This ability I have also includes perfecting photos, videos, and movies. So I’d love to get involved with learning directing/producing as soon as I can get many of my other projects finished ;)

2. What has been your most memorable experience as a model, so far?

Many actually! I’ve shot with 75 different female models so far, with many of them being ‘sensual to erotic’ style shoots… in others words, posing naked with each other, caressing, starring, wooing, kissing, etc. So all my sensual to erotic shoots have been my most memorable ;)

3. Is there anything special that you haven’t done yet that you really want to do?

Shoot with Jon Paul!

4. If you had it within your power to change one thing about humanity, or people in general, what would it be? In an ideal world kind of thing….

To get everyone to see that everything happens for a good reason, which in turn leads to positive outlooks on everything; no negativity, no depression, no panics, fears or worries... just happiness J








Monday, July 20, 2009

Guest Blog - Pauline Trent!

Over the last several months, I have been invited to write at many different blogs. As a new author, each one has been a treat and an honor. I’ll let you in on a little secret though: each one is a little intimidating. Not only are you introducing yourself to a new group of readers but you really shouldn’t embarrass your host. None, however, have been quite as intimidating – or as big of a treat and an honor – as guest blogging for Lucy Monroe. See, Lucy Monroe and I go way back – even if she doesn’t know it. I’ll explain…

Four or five years ago, now, I sold my first novel to the Dafina imprint of Kensington books. Only for various reasons, after we had contracted with Dafina, they decided to send me over to Zebra. Fine and good. What did I care? I was going to be published. Except that my Zebra editor looked at the story with a very different eye and told me flat out she couldn’t, she wouldn’t, publish it as it was. It needed too much work. Yes, I had talent. Yes, I could write. But wow…this one wasn’t going to see the inside of a bookstore any time soon.

We decided I would start on the second book in the contract. Give her something fresh rather than edit the first book. However, before I started writing on that second book, my editor was going to send me a few novels to read. She didn’t want me to model my voice after this author or try to write like this author. She did want me to pay close attention to how this author resolved conflicts, developed characters, gave out information. Surely by now you’ve figured out who this author was. Lucy Monroe.

I read a lot of Lucy’s work. I read a lot of other authors’ work, as well. I read good romances and bad romances and mediocre romances. I learned from all of them. But Lucy became a favorite, became a novelist whose skills I admired.

By the time I submitted that second book, my voice was strong and my writing ten times better. FALLING IN LOVE, the story of a small town woman and a world-weary Green Beret, came out last February, to deeply satisfying reviews. The second novel in the Lambert Falls series, FALL INTO ME, about what happens when an old-fashioned Southern gentleman and a headstrong Yankee woman collide, is scheduled for release in March. And I’m working on the third Lambert Falls proposal now. Thanks in no small part to Lucy, I’m actually a romance novelist.

Just last month, Kensington released that first novel back to me and I decided that I would work on it this summer. Tweak it and get it ready for submission to another publishing house. How much work could it be? It sold once, right? Wrong. When I read it again, after so many years, I was shocked. It’s really not very good. It will be, because my Zebra editor was right; I do have talent. But right now? It’s not very good. And I am reminded just how much I learned from Lucy Monroe – even if she doesn’t know it.

So, to be guest blogging for her is a bit of a dream come true. To be doing so right now, while I am reworking that first novel, is a lovely twist of fate. Leave me a comment about a time life handed you a twist that actually brought you full circle (or on any other topic) to be entered into a random drawing for a copy of FALLING IN LOVE and a Champagne Life on a Beer Budget goodie bundle. You can also check out what else I’m up to and get more Champagne Life on a Beer Budget tips at www.paulinetrent.com.

For now, I’m just happy to be here, introducing myself to you, and writing for Lucy. Because, after all, I love Lucy – even if she doesn’t know it.

~ Pauline

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Special Guest Blog w/ Erin Nicholas

“I knew Lucy Monroe when…”

You know what? That is fun to say! :)

I knew Lucy before she’d published 45 books, before she was award-winning, before she was a best-seller. Back when being a published author was just a mutual dream that drew us together. In truth, Lucy Monroe came into my life the way all blessings do… when I was least expecting it.

I met Lucy online on a writer’s listserve. I don’t remember what I posted or she posted that the other commented on (she probably does… she amazes me with the things she can pull out of the past while I struggle to remember what I had for lunch yesterday), but we started chatting off the listserve and discovered we had one of those unbelievable connections you just sometimes, inexplicably, find.

Over the years, Lucy has shared my contest wins, the contests where they hated my stuff, the rejection letters, the positive editor input, we even co-authored a book last year Miss Fix-It (under different pen names) and now… the publication of my first sexy contemporary romance!

She’s also been a key ingredient in some of my favorite girl’s weekends. One was my first romance writer’s conference when I traveled to Seattle (I’ll confess to being a little star-struck by meeting both Susan Andersen and Julia Quinn in person that weekend. I don’t think I made too much of a fool out of myself, but I admittedly gushed a little!). Another was a writer’s conference in the Midwest, just down the road from me. Probably the best was when her hubby flew me out to visit her shortly after we’d met.

Other than a favorite girlfriend, we had all the other ingredients for a great girl’s weekend too:

1. Chocolate. Check

2. Ability to talk fast enough to cover every topic under the sun in approximately forty-eight hours. Check.

3. Ability to survive on little to no sleep. Check

4. Side by side computers for marathon writing sessions. Check.

Wait. That’s just us? Maybe so, but I’ll tell you we had a great time plotting and talking through rough spots and redeeming our heroes!

Plus we shopped together for our mutual love of office supplies. I also remember a trip to the grocery store where Lucy insisted that we buy a few carrots and a decent source of protein, while I would have attempted to sustain myself with dark chocolate and chai tea lattes!

So, what would go on your “Must Haves for a Girls’ Weekend” list? Massages? Shoe shopping? Chic flick movie marathon? Reading an excerpt from a sexy contemporary romance by a new author?

Well, I can help with that last one! In celebration of the fact that a story born way back when Lucy and I first met is now going to be published and since Lucy’s been there through it all, I wanted to do something special on her blog! My release date is about 4 months away. So, once a month until November I’m going to do a contest right here on Lucy’s blog for her readers!

Just go to my website, go under Books and read the excerpt from No Matter What, then answer the question about the excerpt: What is one of the things Jaden swears she’s not going to do… no matter what?

The winner will be chosen from all the correct answers e-mailed to me (at Erin@ErinNicholas.com) before August. There’s a special prize, chocolate (I’m not new to Lucy’s blog!) plus a copy of something off my keeper shelf: your choice between my two favorite Lucy books (tough choice for me to make!!) or—for those of you who already have every one of Lucy’s books!— a copy of one of the other books I’ve re-read countless times from Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lori Foster, or Susan Andersen.

Then next month we’ll do it all again with a new excerpt and a new prize!!

So, the contest is open! Enjoy!

Erin

No Matter What, a November release from Samhain Publishing

www.ErinNicholas.com

Monday, July 06, 2009

Guest Blog and Book Giveaway w/ Margaret Mallory!!!

Thanks to Lucy for inviting me to guest blog today!

Since my debut book, KNIGHT OF DESIRE, was just released last week, I thought I’d share some of the highpoints and awkward moments I’ve had with my first book coming out.

Highpoint: My sister, a librarian, and her co-workers disrupted the library by shrieking in the backroom when my book came in. My sister cried when she read the dedication. J

Awkward: My mother read my book. She wasn’t supposed to read past the acknowledgments page—at least not until I razor-bladed out the love scenes for her. The former English teacher said it was “well written.” However, she liked the second half of the book better, “because it had less sex and more adventure.” Note: I don’t think the 2nd half has less—she just got diverted by the adventure. ;)

Highpoint: My 17-year-old neighbor had her mother bring her over to buy a copy of my book early, because she would be on a plane on the release date. Since I had just received a box of books from my publisher, I made my first sale ever to her. She decided to commemorate the event by writing “1st Dollar for 1st Book Sold!” on a dollar—and then she took the dollar back. Later that day, I found a wrapped package on my porch. The girl had put the dollar in a frame, along with lines she had cut out from the announcement of my first signing. This will be on my wall forever. When I was 17, the middle-aged moms of the neighborhood were like wallpaper to me—a pleasant part of the background, but not worthy of much attention. Her thoughtfulness touched me more than I can say.

Awkward: When my in-laws were visiting, they just HAD to joke about my husband inspiring my love scenes—repeatedly & in front of my college-age children. When they started teasing each other about how they might get hot when they read my book, my 19-year-old son had to leave the house. He told me later that thinking about “old people”—I assume he meant his parents as well as his grandparents—having sex was just too disturbing. A big yuk for him!

Question: Do all romance authors get hassled so much by family about their love scenes?

Highpoint: My hometown release signing was amazing. After living in front of my laptop for months, I was a bit shell-shocked to see so many old friends and acquaintances in the space of 2 hours. It was also a great joy. Several people, including my son’s friends, even came in medieval garb…or some approximation thereto. We sold a lot of books—I was signing the full two hours. My hometown was very good to me.

Awkward: Since so many people in town bought my book, I won’t be able to go to the grocery store or take a walk without running into people who will think about my love scenes when they look at me.

Highpoint: It’s been a delightful surprise to have friends and neighbors who are not romance readers call to tell me they couldn’t put my book down. The funniest call was from a man whose family was out of town. He said he went home from my book signing, popped a beer, and sat down in his backyard to read his first romance. Really, he told me, other men might read if it had a different cover and title.

I’m not the first, but I have to say it: I love Lucy.

Margaret

Be sure to leave your comments as I will be picking someone at random for a special prize! You can see what I'm up to at margaretmallory.com

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wednesday!!!

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for the helping comments on my big move blog. I am now writing this from my office upgrade! The room is a little bit smaller but is 100 percent mine. All of my materials are within reach and I should now be able to get more accomplished in a shorter period of time!~

Lucy is also back from Hawaii and lets just say she got some sun! She looks great and is going through all the emails and other loads of things that need to get done. I'm sure she will begin writing again in the next couple of days.

I have also picked a winner from the BIG BLOG CONTEST in celebration of Lucy's 45th release Watch Over Me! Judy - you have won!!!!!!!!!! Send me an email at lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com with your address and I'll get the prize sent out to you asap...

Have fun and stay safe out there...