Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The countdown begins!

Silver Bella
by Lucy Monroe
Cowboy Contemporary Romance Novella
Electronic Re-Release of novella originally published in print only in the Merry Christmas, Baby Anthology
Samhain Publishing - December 2012

I know we are just a day away from Halloween, but I'm so excited to share Silver Bella with you, I couldn't wait to begin the month long countdown to its December release!  

Cover model for Lexi Creations, Bella Jackson may look steamy on the cat walk, but under the covers, she's a total novice. What she needs is someone who can make her feel the way she looks, especially after the tell-all her smarmy ex sold to the tabloids. When sexy Texas oilman Jake Barton starts attending her trunk shows, she reacts like a cat in heat and that has never happened before. Hence the very disgruntled ex. Jake wants Bella and he means to have her, but once he realizes it's more than a roll in the hay he's craving, can he convince her to take a chance on Texas...and him?

With so many holidays just around the corner, what are you most excited for?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance Contest Winner!

Happy Halloween!
52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy Contest Winner!

Congratulations AquarianDancer you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's book Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It. Please email me your name and address and I will get your prize in the mail.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Holiday Reads - Week 1

As we eagerly await the December 4th eBook only release of Silver Bella (I certainly hope you're all as eager for this book's release as I am ::smiles::), I'll be posting weekly blogs with some recommended holiday reading.  Because I love a good Christmas story...or New Years story...or Thanksgiving story...or Valentine story for that matter.

Buy the Book
Pretty much any holiday story has that extra bit of sentiment that makes it special for me. :)

Personally, I love writing Christmas themed stories.  Silver Bella was one of my earliest and released in print in a six author anthology that sold very well, but went out of print within a year.  So, I'm VERY happy it's going to be released as a stand alone eBook by Samhain.

Another delicious stand alone Christmas story, is the award winning Jami Davenport's Love at First Snow - a novella packed with holiday sentiment and heart warming romance.

Four years ago, NHL defenseman Blake Daniels lost his entire family in a floatplane crash. This Christmas a snowstorm and a small gray kitten will lead him to life, love and a whole new shot at happiness.

Some of  my favorite holiday reads are the anthologies.

I discovered Linda Howard reading a Mother's Day anthology many moons ago.  I've had so many hours of reading and re-reading pleasure with her since, that anthology will forever be one of my favorite books. :)  Harlequin has re-released her story along with two others in the A Mother's Touch anthology.

Another wonderful anthology, this one Christmas themed, is Holiday Magic: The Gift of Love by Laurie Ryan and Lavada Dee.

It's your turn.  What is your favorite holiday themed story or anthology?  What authors have you found picking up a holiday story you wouldn't have read otherwise?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance by Lucy

Buy the book ~ Read and excerpt

Goodness Had Nothing to do With It
by Lucy Monroe
(Connected to Come Up and See Me Sometime)
Kensington Zebra - December 2005
ISBN 0-8217-7771-8

If you loved Lucy Monroe’s COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME, you won’t want to miss her latest romance! Funny, sexy, and full of heart, Monroe’s new novel makes “goodness” a whole lot better…


The last woman business consultant Marcus Danvers expects to find at Kline Electronics is Veronica Richards. He’s supposed to be rooting out a corporate spy, not rehashing an old love affair—with the woman who sold out the company they both used to work for and then took off without so much as a kiss goodbye. All the clues point to Ronnie as the firm’s newest mole, which means he’ll have to spend time with the stubbornly reticent—and mouthwateringly sexy—woman he hasn’t been able to forget, and uncover every last thing she has to hide…


It’s just Ronnie’s luck. The one man she’d hoped never to see again is suddenly everywhere she looks—and taking up a starring role in her daydreams, too. Remembering the passion she and Marcus once shared certainly isn’t going to help, though, not when she has so many secrets, and no explanation for the way she left him eighteen months ago—or at least not one he’ll want to hear. The problem is, when Marcus is around all her good intentions go up in smoke…

Please leave your answer in the comment section. Winners will be announced on Saturday. If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.

Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It has a connection to this year's Reader Online Retreat, which ORR author was this book dedicated to?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Humpday Hottie

While I'm enjoying the new American adaptation of Sherlock Holmes Elementary very much, I am missing my favorite Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series Sherlock.

For your viewing pleasure:

For mine:

Next fall cannot come quickly enough in this regard, but I'm not sure I like the sound of the Steven Moffat's 3 word Tweet teaser.  Rat. Wedding. Bow.  Will Season 3 be the last one?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

52 Weeks of Romance Contest Winner

52 Weeks of Romance from Lucy Contest Winner!

Congratulations Henza R. Mazengo you will receive a copy of Lucy's Monroe's book Playboy's Seduction. Please email me your name and address and I will get your prize in the mail.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Authors Against Bullying 2012 - We Can Make a Change!

"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everthing, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do." ~ Helen Keller

Stop Bullying
My mom marched to a different drummer from the time she took her first step.  Add to that the fact that she was genetically obese from early childhood (she weighed 200 lbs at age 10 while her siblings were all in the normal ranges) and she was the perfect target for bullies.  Only she wasn't.

She was a crusader and she taught her children to be crusaders too.  So, I went to school in hand-me-down clothes that didn't fit, my socks often didn't match and I was on the free-lunch program, but I was a crusader.  I boycotted class in 4th grade because my best friend was being teased.

My baby sister?  She was a crusader too, but feisty as Miss Scarlett, she was still a target.

She refused to conform, refused to give in to peers and their pressure to be like them when she found them objectionable.  And she spent four years in high school being tormented, verbally ridiculed and physically targeted.  The post traumatic stress was deep and ingrained and as the mother of an adult child and two teens, she still physically shakes when she thinks one of them might have become the same kind of target, or the issue of bullying comes up. My sister is strong.  Really, really strong.  As a family, we've survived some of the hardest stuff life has to offer and she's faced it head-on personally, but bullying leaves scars.

Stand Up to Bullying
Each one of my three children have faced one form of bullying, or another.  Their dad and I did whatever we could, including changing schools (taking one out of private school and putting him in public and another out of public and putting her in private), coaching them on how to deal , talking to teachers, administrators and counselors and it made a difference, but it didn't make life perfect.

Neither did boycotting my class in the 4th Grade, but it did make a difference.  Those boys never called my friend "hamburger" again.  Can you imagine?  The innocence of a time when being likened to fast food was the ultimate insult.  Sigh...  Anyway, we make a difference when we act, even if that action makes us look over zealous and protective (as more than one teacher and other parent accused me of being) or just plain silly (I boycotted by going into the coat closet and refusing to come out.).

Adult Bullying in the Workplace
Maybe you don't have children or teens in your life and you think, bullying isn't a problem for you, but then you'd be wrong.  This societal blight infects our adult interactions as well.  Bosses and colleagues bully employees to the point of causing serious physical and psychological health issues, coaches are allowed to call their adult players the vilest of names in the guise of "inspiring them to greatness", customers bully service industry workers because they can - getting loud and abusive and thinking that is acceptable behavior.

I once stood in line behind a woman berating the sales clerk at Macy's to the point that clerk was near tears. I stepped in with my "mom voice" (I got it from my mother - how I miss that woman!) and gently reminded the woman ahead of me about manners.  Now, it could have gone badly.  She could have turned and started yelling at me.  Frankly, I would have preferred that at that point, I felt that badly for the sales associate.  The other customer didn't.  She reigned it in. She apologized.

Will intervention always be met with a positive result?  Absolutely not, especially if it's handled with belligerence. (I have gotten dirty looks, nasty comments and been ignored on other occasions.)  Should that stop us from doing something?  No.  Sometimes, what we can do is smile and commiserate after, just letting the hurting person know somebody cares and it is *not* okay they were treated in such a way.

Sometimes, standing up to the bullies means being the first one to step out with something positive and kind to say.  Being the first one to say to the rest of the world, "This person has value.  I'll call this person friend, colleague, teammate, etc. with pride."  It means not being bullies ourselves, even temporarily.  It means changing how we respond to the world and incidents of bullying.  It means setting aside our own prejudices and belief that we can treat others differently because they aren't who we want or expect them to be.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

What about you?  Have you experienced bullying?  What is your favorite thing to do to make the world a friendlier place?

I look forward to hearing what you have to say!


Website | Facebook | Twitter

Resource links for anti-bullying:
Ambassadors 4 Kids
Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center
Peace Builders
Stop Bullying

Some disturbing statistics:
  • Every 30 minutes a teenager attempts suicide due to bullying.
  • About 47 teens are bullied every five minutes.
  • Victims of cyber bullying show more signs of depression than other bullying victims.
  • Cyber bullying is on the rise in dramatic numbers; it is relentless and more frightening if the bully is anonymous.
  • There are about 282,000 students who are reportedly attacked in high schools in our nation each month.
  •  71 percent of students report bullying as an ongoing problem.
  • The leading cause of death among children under the age of 14 is suicide.
  • “Bullycide” is the new term for suicide as a result of being bullied.
  • Teens in grades 6 through 10 are most likely to be involved in activities related to bullying.
  • Almost half of all students fear harassment or bullying in the bathroom.
Source: National Institutes of Health, SAFE, Tony Bartoli

Stop by these other author blogs and read articles, personal testimonials and interviews as authors speak out against bullying:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

52 Week's of Romance! Contest

The Playboy's Seduction
by Lucy Monroe

The story of Rico's brother, Andre, can be found in The Playboy's Seduction, a novella in the Dec '05 Mills&Boon Modern Romance Extra  with Lynne Graham's Prisoner of Passion to be released in the UK only.

Bethany's plan was to travel to Rome, find a gorgeous Italian, have a week long affair and return home reassured she was not the passionless prude her ex thought she was. When Andre, a luscious business tycoon, crosses her path, it seems her plan is set in motion. But is there more to this fling than just what's between the sheets…?

As a little something extra for the wonderful readers on the eHarlequin boards, I wrote a Special Epilogue for Both Stories.  I highly recommend reading both stories before reading the special epilogue.

Please leave your answer in the comment section. Winners will be announced on Saturday. If you leave your email address in your comment I will contact you regarding the prize otherwise you may check back on Saturday to see if you are the winner and email me.

The Playboy's Seduction is the story of Andre, which Lucy Monroe book tells story of Andre's brother Rico (Enrico DiRinaldi)?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Humpday Hottie

Thought it would be fun to visit some reviews.  In honor of Silver Bella coming out in December, I'll start with a review from the original release.

Ah, romance as only Lucy Monroe does it!  Experience the joy, passion and heartfelt emotions when two people meet and change their lives forever. Christmas is a time of family, bonds and new beginnings. All of this is depicted beautifully in Silver Bella. Bella and Jake are great characters and I’d love to see more of them someday!  - The Road To Romance

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

December release Silver Bella!

There was so much that happened last week that I couldn't put it all in yesterday's post.  I wanted you all to know, in case you missed it in the wonderful craziness of ORR, that Silver Bella will be released December 2012. It was originally published in 2005 as part of the anthology Merry Christmas Baby.  

Silver Bella
by Lucy Monroe
Cowboy Contemporary Romance Novella
Electronic Re-Release of novella originally published in print only in the Merry Christmas, Baby Anthology
Samhain Publishing - December 2012

Cover model for Lexi Creations, Bella Jackson may look steamy on the cat walk, but under the covers, she's a total novice. What she needs is someone who can make her feel the way she looks, especially after the tell-all her smarmy ex sold to the tabloids. When sexy Texas oilman Jake Barton starts attending her trunk shows, she reacts like a cat in heat and that has never happened before. Hence the very disgruntled ex. Jake wants Bella and he means to have her, but once he realizes it's more than a roll in the hay he's craving, can he convince her to take a chance on Texas...and him?

A note from Lucy:  This is the first book in a series of connected novellas and single titles originally released through Brava.  (See the Connected Books page  for more info.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

USA Today, Facebook, ORR...Catching Up

Man, was last week wild, or what?  We had over 630 registered readers and 40 authors at our Online Reader Retreat and gave away nearly 100 prizes.  I was truly overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and enthusiasm.

I know a lot of you saw on my Facebook page and Twitter that Not Just the Greek's Wife hit the USA Today best seller's list.  I'm still 100% over the moon about that!  The industry has changed so much and books and authors that once hit the lists simply aren't any longer.  I was stunned when my editor called me from London to tell me that my book had done it.  And it's all down to you!  Thank you for buying the book.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment, or post a reader review!  It makes a huge difference!

You've probably noticed my very pink theme on Facebook - because October is the official month for Breast Cancer awareness.  That means, if you are over the age of 40 and haven't had your mammogram this year, this is your reminder to make an appointment.  I'm also asking you very personally and with sincere hope you'll remember to start and/or continue doing your own breast self-examinations.  Both my sister and aunt are breast cancer survivors and their journeys were hugely impacted by early detection.

I personally support the Komen Race for the Cure and Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade

Speaking of Facebook, for any of you who do not know: FB now only allows 10% of the fans of a page to receive the pages posts before requiring the administrators to pay a fee to promote *each* post further. If you want to make sure you continue to receive updates from the pages you "Like" - you have to add an "Interests List" for your favorite pages like Lucy Monroe - Fans by following these directions:
To keep on RECEIVING POSTS you have to OPEN THE PAGE, hover the mouse on the "Like" button near the gear symbol. In the pop-up select "ADD TO THE INTEREST LISTS". Doing so will assure that you continue getting posts from the pages you love.
Funny thing about that.  I posted this to my FB group page and set up an ad to promote it so everyone would know to make the change if they wanted to.  About two hours later, my ad got cancelled, but FB assured me that my post was left in everyone's newsfeeds.  Apparently, FB only wants my money when I'm *not* telling readers how to get updates from me without me having to pay for it. ;-)

In my last bit of catching up, I want to tell you about a very special endeavor happening on Friday. I'm very honored to be participating in Authors Against Bullying.  I will have a blog post here and will be sharing on Twitter with the hashtag #AuthorsAgainstBullying.  I hope you will join in the discussion.  Everyone's opinion counts, everyone has a voice in this dialogue because every person deserves a life free from bullying.

And yes, it happens to adults as well as children.  Something, we'll be discussing here on my blog come Friday.

I look forward to chatting with you all on Friday!  Now, I've got to get back to writing or there won't be any books by me for us all to talk about later. :)

Have a great week!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Online Reader Retreat Prize Winners!

First, let me thank EVERYONE for their participation in the this years Online Reader Retreat! You all made the event special and wonderful and everything in between! I really do love connecting with my readers, it is just hard to attend conferences, write and still be a good wife, mother and grandmother.  Thank you for making this week a success for all.  I look forward to our retreat again next year.

As promised, here is a list of prize winners for the week (in all, more than 80!!! prizes have been awarded). You don't need to do anything, I've contacted the author who donated the prize and they will be getting your prize in the mail shortly or contacting you to deliver your ebook.  Let's give a rousing round of applause and heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors and special guests at this unique and fantabulous retreat!!! 

Door Prizes
Hot Ride (ebook) by Kelly Jamieson won by Danny Bruggemann
Lucky Break (ebook) by Kelley Vitollo won by Beth Reimer
Yes...My Master (print) by Justus Roux won by Carol Luciano
No Greater Glory (ARC ebook) by Cindy Nord won by Donna Antonio
The Fangover (ARC ebook) by Erin McCarthy (cowritten by Kathy Love) won by Amelia Durbin

Monday Giveaways
Fourth and Goal (print) by Jami Davenport won by Shelly Estes
Holiday Affair (ebook) by Annie Seaton won by Brandi Howell
A Night of Southern Comfort (ebook) by Robin Covington won by Valerie Cozart
Baer Truth (ebook) by Linda McMaken won by Stephanie Gibson
Under the Moon (print) by Natalie Damschroder won by Shell Bryce
Worth the Risk (ebook) by Robin Bielman won by Joanne Balinski
Just a Kiss (ebook available on release day 10/30) by Erin Nicholas won by Joan Varner
Yes...My Master (print) by Justus Roux  won by Christine Mead
The Sparrow and The Hawk (print) by Meg Lacey won by Neomie Lemke
The Murder King's Woman (ebook) by Jamie Leigh Hansen won by Alyn Yang
Oceans Between Us (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by Tammie King
Ruby Red (ebook) by Serena Zane won by Linda Henderson
All the Right Moves (print) by Tory Richards won by Debra Guyette
Pleasure Me (print) by Monica Burns won by June Manning
Bodygurads in Bed (print) by Lucy Monroe won by Fedora Chen

Tuesday Giveaways
Impact - Buckin Bull series (ebook) by Cassandra Carr won by Ginger Roberston
Not the Marrying Kind (ebook) by Nicola Marsh won by Sherri Wright
Holiday Affair (ebook) by Annie Seaton won by Carin Walker
Blood of the Demon (print) by Rosalie Lario won by Patricia Solla
A Desperate Journey (print) by Debra Parmley won by Lettetia Elsasser
Careless Love (ebook) by Theresa Scott won by Jan Douglas
Joy Restored (ebook) by Jude Urbanski won by Lorna Peters-Lindsay
Winner choice of backlist by Erin Nicholas won by Jody Faltys
Unbreak by Heart (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by Lexi Hansen
A Clockwork Fairytale (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by E Felder
Touch of a Scoundrel (print) by Mia Marlowe won by Janet Lombardi
The Senator's Daughter (print) by Tory Richards won by Janie McGaugh
Star Prince (ebook) by Ashlynn Monroe won by Desere Steenberg
Kismet (print) by Monica Burns won by Rachel Flesher
One Night So Pregnant (print) by Heidi Rice won by Elizabeth Ivanovich
Bodygurads in Bed (print) by Lucy Monroe won by Anna Cade

Wednesday Giveaways
Holiday Affair (ebook) by Annie Seaton won by Moran Videletz
Taming the Outback (print) by Ann Harrison won by Fiona Marsden
Dark Days of Promise (ebook) by Shaunna Gonzales won by Sihan Wang
Love Rehab (winner choice of print or ebook) by Theresa Scott won by Laurie Gommermann
Winner choice of Fight or Flight, Behind the Scenes or Acceptable Risks (ebook) by Natalie 
     Damschroder won by Shadow Kohler
Worth the Risk (ebook) by Robin Bielman won by Aimee Fleshman
Giving It up (ebook) by Amber Lin won by Jane Cheung
Just a Kiss (ebook available on release day 10/30) by Erin Nicholas won by Beverly Gordon
The Murder King's Woman (ebook) by Jamie Leigh Hansen won by Susan Romito
A Clockwork Fairytale (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by Hollie Rieth
How to Vex a Viscount (ebook) by Mia Marlowe won by Vicki Hancock
Deception (print) by Kris Kennedy won by Sheree Tieh
Inside Heat (ebook) by Roz Lee won by Lindsey Ekland
$5 Changeling Press gift certificate by Margaret Riley won by April Massey
Kismet (print) by Monica Burns  won by Robin Smith
Bodygurads in Bed (print) by Lucy Monroe Barrie MacLauchlin

Thursday Giveaways
Holiday Affair (ebook) by Annie Seaton  won by Elizabeth Hicks
A Night of Southern Comfort (ebook) by Robin Covington won by Kathy Tharle
Winner choice of Fight or Flight, Behind the Scenes or Acceptable Risks
           (ebook) by Natalie Damschroder won by Irene Soutar
Signed copy of Sleigh Ride with the Rancher (winner choice print/ebook)
            by Donna Alward won by Cathy R.
Million Dollar Mistake (ebook) by Meg Lacey won by Tina Brunelle
The Murder King's Summons (ebook) by Jamie Leigh Hansen won by Karen Coats
Finally Home (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by Judy Flohr
Tagged (ebook) by Gin Price won by Catherine Bent
His Mistletoe Bride (print) by Vanessa Kelly won by Ebony Morton
Touch of Scoundrel (ebook) by Mia Marlowe won by Sherri Goodner
Deception (print) by Kris Kennedy won by Zina Lynch
The Promise (ebook) by Tory Richards won by Ina-Ruth Thies
$5 Changeling Press gift certificate by Margaret Riley won by Stacey Krug
Obsession (winner choice print/ebook) by Monica Burns won by JaneMary Vongdara
Bodygurads in Bed (print) by Lucy Monroe  won by Cynthia St. Germain

Friday Giveaways
Subscription and an AdC cup by Loise Snead won by Sheryl Nyary
25% off certificate from "For Every Home" by Meg Lacey won by Kelly Garza
Signed copy of The Cruelest Cut (print) by Rick Reed won by Gladys Wilson
Nurtured in Purple (ebook) by Jude Urbanski won by Kelley Granzow
Worth the Risk (ebook) by Robin Bielman won by Erin Towne
Winner choice of backlist (ebook) by Avril Ashton won by Sherrill Hutchinson
Oceans Between Us (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by Lynda Harlan
Unbreak by Heart (ebook) by Helen Scott Taylor won by Melody Prater
Hot Number (ebook) by VK Sykes won by Danny Bruggemann
Deception (print) by Kris Kennedy won by Janet Kay Gallagher
Signed copy of In the Dark (print) by PG Forte won by Crystal Broyles
Talk Dirty to Me (ebook) by Tory Richards won by Tammy Sommervold
PS I'm Pregnant (print) by Heidi Rice won by Charlene Beverly
Bodygurads in Bed (print) by Lucy Monroe won by Carrie Divine

Prizes cannot be substituted or exchanged. If the prize is lost in the mail or customs, the giver cannot be held responsible and will not be shipping out replacement prizes.

Please do not contact me or the giver about not receiving the prize until a full thirty days have passed from today.  I can't tell you the number of people who have contacted me over the years about a "lost" prize only to have it arrive the day after I asked my PA to take some of her very limited time in my office (I'm not Nora Roberts - my staff is small and all work very part-time) to look into it. Which is why I've had to follow in many other author's footsteps and institute the 30 day rule.

And the winner is.....!

John Quinlan
ORR's Cover Model Winner!

Thank you to everyone who voted on Facebook and Pinterest. Here's a few more shots taken from the John Quinlan's website!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Live Multi-Author Chat

It has been a fantastic week! 
We wanted to end our week with an opportunity 
to chat with you personally! 
Writerspace has agreed to be our host this evening in a 
Several authors from this week will be chatting 
giving away prizes.  

Retreat Guest Blogger Margaret Riley

Submissions: Think Like A Publisher

I’m Margaret Riley, co-publisher, along with my husband Bill, of Changeling Press LLC. We publish short speculative serial fiction -- Women’s Erotic Sci-Fi, Paranormal, and Dark Fantasy Romance.

Like most small business owners, I wear a lot of hats. I’m a publisher and editor as well as an author. I like to tell people I have the greatest job in the world -- I buy books for a living. You’ll notice I didn’t say I reject books for a living. In the small press market, no one gets paid to reject manuscripts.

Most authors spend way too much time worrying over what font and spacing to use and how far to indent paragraphs, and not near enough time making the query short, concise, and informative. I have a macro that’ll fix your formatting in about three seconds if I don’t like it. Click. Poof. Done.

What I want from your query is a brief overview that tells me who you are and what you’ve sent me, so I can get on to reading the book. In order to think like a publisher or submissions editor, you need to see what we see when we read your query letter.
1) Does the submission meet our target market?
2) Does the author appear to have read our submission guidelines?
3) And the major question -- Will it sell?

As an editor, I can help you learn to take a decent sentence/ paragraph/ plot and give it punch. I can show you where your weak spots are and help you fix them. What I can’t do is sell a book you never send me.

I also can’t sell a book you send me that I never read because your cover letter tells me you didn’t do your homework -- it’s too long, too short, does not fit any of our genres and themes, or in general does not appear to have been written with our house in mind.

So. Rule one for any publishing house, anywhere. Read the submissions guidelines. Really read them What is the publisher asking for? What are they specifically not asking for?
When we open your submission package we’re expecting your completed work, attached as an RTF file, your bio -- who are you, in the publishing world, and what you know about how to sell your book to the public (blogs, chats, general marketing strengths) and the basic information about the book.

We need to know the things we’d ask if you were in a job interview and we wanted to hire you -- what makes you a fit for this company. We also need to know how well you know your way around the web -- not because we want to reject you or your work, but because we want to know, if we contract you, what kind of help you’ll need getting started.

And finally, we need to know enough about your book to know if we want to read it. You may have written the world’s next best seller 100K thriller. We don’t publish 100K thrillers. We sell Women’s Erotic Sci-Fi, Paranormal, and Dark Fantasy Romance. So if your cover letter tells me you’ve submitted this work to the wrong publisher, I’m not going to read it.

There’s one more thing we’re looking for. Something beyond this book. Think of the submissions process as a dating service. We’re looking for you. Because we sell books. Plural. We’re willing to work with new authors and strange and twisted plots and themes, because that’s what we do -- we publish speculative fiction. That means we’re looking for stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else. That also means we don’t expect your first book to sell like water in the desert. We’re not investing in your first book. We’re investing in this book, and the next, and the next…
Virtual Goodiebag with free flash fictionand a discount code.

I have the coolest job in the world. I buy books for a living.

Margaret Riley
Changeling Press LLC
Razor’s Edge Press

Retreat Guest Blogger Monica Burns

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

An award-winning author of spicy historical and paranormal romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today.

Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin's Heart.

From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it's possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

Buy the book
What a treat it is to be here at Lucy’s online home. I always love coming to visit, and for such a grand occasion. An online readers convention! Only my wonderful friend Lucy  could think up such an amazing event.

As I sit here staring at the screen, I’m trying to think of what I can blog about.  I suppose I could blog about heroes, nah, you’ve already read a host of those type of blogs. Heroines? Nah, they’re all over cyberspace too, and honestly, most of us want to talk men anyway. Hmm…what about heroes that haven’t been written yet? Now that might make for an interesting post. I could write about how I go about creating a hero from scratch. It’s really easy. NOT.

Okay, maybe it’s not that difficult, but there is some planning that has to go into the development of an awesome hero. First, you have to have an idea for a story. Something like, a guy who’s had a dark past. The problem is; you don’t know what sort of darkness is driving the hero. A writer’s brain is much like an ocean filled with ideas, but like fish in an ocean, they’re slippery little devils. We might catch a great idea, but not all ideas are perfect for the story we’re looking to tell. When all else fails, I fall back on eye candy.

The minute I have an idea, I start planning my hero. I always make my heroine for my hero. I like my heroes tall, dark and handsome like a lot of readers. So I sift through dozens of pictures to create an “image” of the hero in my mind. I have an archive of pictures that I use. Sometimes I’ll even use the same man in this book or that, but each time there’s something different about those men.

By different, I mean that the hero’s personality determines which photo to use. For instance, I might use a picture of Christian Bale, but I have more than a dozen of Bale in different poses and moods. That allows me to match a photo to the type of hero I’m writing.  For instance, when I have a hero who is a bookworm I might use this picture of Bale. There’s a reflective nature to his face here with just a hint of a smile. When I want an arrogant male, I might select Bale again as an image of the hero, but it’s a different photo that reflects the hero’s arrogance.

Then there’s the hero who  uptight, restrained and all business. This particular image of Bale reflects all of that. Even the serious part, or the look of someone who’s going to ask, “You’re joking, right?”

The image might be of the same man, but as you can see there are three different moods and demeanors expressed by these pictures. Once I have the right image to look at, I can now flesh out the unique traits that define who my hero is for the story.

Those traits might be a man’s who reflective and thinks before acting.

He’s an honorable man who cares about people. But he might be afraid to show his feelings because his emotions run so deep. No matter what the trait, each picture I use helps me visualize and create a hero that is needed for the story I’m writing.

While I don’t create my heroes based on pictures, the images I look at give me a frame of reference that help me write physical characteristics that make for a unique hero even if I’m using different images of the same man. A hero is more than an image. He’s a character of my own making. He’s a hero worthy of the heroine I create for him. The rest of the hero’s features, characteristics and inner conflict evolve in the story itself, and that is completely out of my hands because at that point, the hero is in the driver seat, and I’m just his voice. Perhaps that’s the best thing of all when it comes to writing a hero. I get to listen and share his inner turmoil, rejoice in his successes and see him earn his HEA, because after all that’s what it’s all about. The happy ending.

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Retreat Guest Blogger Meg Lacey

Hi everyone,  I’m Meg Lacey.

It’s a rainy day where I live, the perfect day to forget about everything and sit down with a good book and have a “Me” Day. I can hear some of you thinking, “Yeah, right, never going to happen! I have too much to do.” Work, family, school, etc.— believe me, I understand. As women, I think we come with guilt programmed into our DNA.

Take me for example. I don’t relax well. I wrote my first novel in the sixth grade, but my writing career didn't last. Instead I went into theatre before ending up in televison as a writer-producer for many years. Although I’m now writing fulltime, I still have tons of obligations that get in the way of taking a ‘Me’ day. But you know what? Lately, I’ve forcing myself to haul out my inner diva and say, “Screw it. I’m taking time for me!”  You need to do the same.

So today, or sometime soon make time for the Me in You. Forget the guilt and just go for it. Grab a glass of wine, a book and take a bubblebath, find a corner and indulge in yoga followed by dark chocolate, watch a sad movie and cry your eyes out, or do what I’m going to do today—go for a long walk in the rain. Before you go, though, I’d like to tell you about my paranormal romance series coming out from Imajinn Books,,  on Sept. 30, 2012—“Tales of the Sparrow.”  The first book is “The Sparrow and The Hawk. “

“Tales of the Sparrow” is a humorous, paranormal romantic adventure series set in the future—a time when magic, myths, shapeshifters and other mystical creatures are possible because the veil between this world and the next had been stripped away.

In the first book, The Sparrow and The Hawk…

Buy the book
Jillie Harte, code name the Sparrow, a documentary film maker is an agent for the NAS (Normal, Abnormal, Strange) Agency. Her assignment—find The Carmaletta Choker before it falls into the wrong hands and destroys the world. Franklin Doherty, and associates are suspected of having the choker; and they are definitely the wrong hands! To get close to Franklin,  Jillie is producing a film on “Decoration, Fashion and Accessories Throughout History,” featuring his antique collection. Her assignment is complicated by Griff Ryland, her new, hot cameraman, who is also looking for the necklace. Griff is an enigma. Is he friend or foe? And why is she so distracted by his "pure sex on a stick" appeal?

Like the Sparrow, Griff, aka the Hawk, needs to retrieve the choker. It disappeared from his dimension years before, and his job is to bring it back.  Since he can shapeshift into a hawk or a mountain lion at a moment’s notice, Griff feels certain of success.  But he doesn’t bargain for a sassy, sexy redhead—and for his overwhelming urge to settle their differences in bed.

Now Griff and Jillie must not only overcome the deadly dark forces who want the choker, but they must also face their developing relationship.

And they thought saving the world from evil and chaos was hard!!!!

 Excerpt:  The Sparrow and The Hawk

Jillie did another visual sweep of the lobby and met the gaze of a red-hot guy across the room. Jillie held her breath as the serious eye-yum moved toward her. The guy didn’t walk as much as he swaggered in that cocky, loose-limbed and fluid way that some great-looking men have programmed into their bones. He was tall and lean, with wheat-blond hair sporting a hint of a wave that fell almost to his shoulders, brilliant blue eyes, chiseled cheekbones and a strong jawbone. Still holding her gaze, the man smiled. His teeth were so strong and white that Jillie was tempted to reach for her sunglasses. He looked like a cover model for a man’s Western cologne. All he needed was a wild horse between his thighs, a wilder woman hanging onto him as if she’d never let him go, and a pulsating soundtrack. 
His smile broadened as he came close. “Hey,” he said. 
Jillie glanced over her shoulder to see whom he was addressing. 
“Hey,” he said again. 
Redirecting her gaze, Jillie was surprised to find him standing directly in front of her. Given her recent image of him on a horse, his “hey” sounded appropriate. 
“Hey, there.” His voice was deep and a bit raspy, intimate enough to make Jillie think of hot, sweaty sex. 
She frowned, wishing she could shut her eyes. Her nose started itching. Maybe she was allergic to so much male beauty.  His grin moved up a notch to more-blinding-than-the noonday-summer-sun. Jillie blinked. “You must really have a great dentist.” 
The guy looked confused for a moment. “Huh?”
“Forget it. Just a joke.” 
“Oh.” He hooked a thumb in his belt. “Are you Jillian Harte? I’m Griff Ryland.”
“You know. Griff Ryland.”
Words formed in her mind as she felt the full power of his blue eyes, but given his questioning look, she didn’t think her verbal answer came out well.  She tried again, taking care to form each syllable. “No. I don’t know any Griff Ryland.”
He shrugged, “We’ve never met personally.  I thought Kenny might have said something, since I’ve already heard a lot about you.”
Jillie tilted her head, wondering where this was leading.  “I know Kenny Podansky. He works with me.”
“Not on this project. You get me instead.”
“Can I do anything I want with you

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Retreat Guest Blogger Serena Zane

Visit Serena's Website
Serena Zane lives with her husband and son in the Northwest. She works hard, and plays hard, spending her free time studying the Middle Ages in a re-creationist organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc (SCA).; as well as writing her novels.

Serena started writing at an early age with short stories, and poetry inspired by her mother, a strong independent woman who loves to help others, and writes as well. In 2009, Serena became a member of Romance Writer’s of America, and has been working on her craft with the wonderful members of the Olympia Chapter. Serena has written two Sweet Romance stories based around her experiences in the SCA, Moonlight in a Pickup Truck and Follow the Heart. 

Vampire mythos classic vs. modern

Over the centuries the mythos of the Vampire has both fascinated and disgusted us. Like a car accident, we just can't look away. The thought that something so beautiful could be so dangerous is almost irresistible for the human race. 

As a person, I have a love of all things paranormal: vampires, werewolves, witches, etc... As a writer, the history of each has taken on a sort of morbid fascination for me. Due to the fact that there are so many different legends that have been created about the Vampire, I took what I loved most about each and then added my own twist on the vampire vs. werewolf wars of legend. 

Zaniac vampires, as I like to call them, are created. In their own sub-culture, a priestess in Egyptian times fell in love with a young warrior. However, he spurned her affections, and as a curse she created the first vampire. Each vampire after that was created from this first 'original'. Zaniac vampires can shape-shift, fly, have heightened senses, mind-control, and telepathy. Silver can kill them. As is traditional, they cannot be exposed to sunlight, are effected adversely by Holy Water, and a good old fashioned stake will take them out. While they can 'fall in love' and do so intensely, there is no such thing as a 'lifemate' unlike in my favorite novels by Christine Feehan.  They do have a marriage ceremony that ties them for life and vampires do not believe in open relationships once married. Adultery is punished by death. However, before marriage, they are rather promiscuous. Zaniac vampires are immune to drugs, or disease, and are of course immortal. 

The legend I have created to make this my own is a twist on the old vampire vs. werewolf wars. In Zaniac history werewolves were held as slaves by the vampire race. Werewolf blood is like a drug for vampires, creating a sense of euphoria. It is highly addictive. The werewolves rebelled back in the Middle Ages and a great war was started creating a rift between the two species. In the Dark Warrior series, vampire Damon Blake falls for Nikki Adams, who is part-werewolf. This creates numerous issues that Zaniac's can experience throughout this ongoing series. My newest release, Bane, explores how old grudges and beliefs can effect one's life. 

Just for fun, I have included a comparison chart below of some of my favorite vampire legends. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Vampire Mythos Comparison Chart

Bram Stroker
Christine Feehan
Dark series
Anne Rice
The Vampire Chronicles
L.J. Smith
Vampire Diaries
Stephanie Meyer
Twilight Saga
P.C. Cast
House of Night

Serena Zane
Dark Warriors & Hunter Diaries series

*Fog, bats




Magical Abilities


Preternatural Speed
Cons or causes Death


Wooden Stakes

Holy Water





Dependent on Lifemate


Loss of Emotion



Sleeps in Coffin


Sleeps in Ground