Archive for April, 2012
Monday, April 30th, 2012
The Mansions and the Mills
Thank you, Delilah, for having me as a guest blogger.
After finishing The Oath, a historical romance about a woman doctor in 1890’sNew York City, I began searching for inspiration for another book about a Victorian career woman. We tend to think of Victorian women as primarily wives and mothers, but often these same women created opportunities for themselves in a variety of occupations. Now I had to decide which one my heroine would pursue.
One day, I was driving to Manchester, CT, to brainstorm with my critique partner when I passed three stately Victorian mansions sitting high atop a hill that crowned a luxurious sweeping lawn, not far from a group of brick mill buildings. My friend told me the mansions and mills had been owned by a large, prominent family named Cheney, and silk fabric made there.
Silk? In Connecticut? That was news to me. Like all native New Englanders, I knew about the region’s once-thriving textile industry, but I’d never known anything about silk manufacturing except that it involved temperamental silkworms and mulberry leaves to feed them. Sensing a novel, I began researching the subject. Soon, many tantalizing dramatic possibilities emerged.
I started playing my favorite game of, “What if..?” What if my spirited heroine Hannah found herself in a marriage of convenience to a man who loved his silk mill and another woman more? What if she tries to win her husband’s love by learning everything she can about running his beloved mill and making it prosper? And what if she’s swept away by a forbidden love for Samuel, her husband’s artist brother? Add the theme of how one woman’s choices define and shape her life, and The Vow was born.
As a writer, I always keep my eyes and mind open to new sources of inspiration. So when I see three mansions on a hill, I don’t drive by without a second thought. Instead, I play, “What if…?” and see where the journey takes m.
Lindsay Chase is the author of The Oath and The Vow, part of Samhain’s Retro Romance line, and Honor, coming in July. Lindsay’s website is www.LindsayChaseBooks.com, and you can join her on Facebook and Twitter (@lindsaychase10).
Sunday, April 29th, 2012
Check the comments of yesterday’s post for the winner of the free download!
Oh! And remember The Texas Two-Step Grab Bag contest ends Tuesday! ~DD
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Why Attend a Conference?
Rachel and I are attending Spring Fling, the conference of the Chicago North chapter of Romance Writers of America. A large regional conference, it focuses on workshops and activities for aspiring and published authors, as well as a reader event that includes a book-signing.
Having just gone to the RT Booklovers Convention earlier this month, I am beginning to “get the hang” of how I like to “do” conferences. I figured I’d pass along some tips that work for me and Rachel:
1. Plan ahead. Look up the schedule on the Internet before you go, so you know what you want to attend and where, if any, slack exists so you can relax.
2. Come early to get the lay of the land, check in, and get your “swags.” Most conferences give various freebees, from books to pens, mirrors, and even candy in naughty shapes.
3. Many people use conferences as networking tools, so pay attention to the lounge and lobby areas. Editors and authors like to just hang out, rather than attend every workshop; impromptu discussions can take place. You never know who you might meet.
4. Don’t be afraid to have some fun. Most conferences offer parties of various kinds, from relatively mild receptions to full-blown extravaganzas with costumes, models, and stage productions. It’s not all serious, so lighten up and let your inner child play.
5. Bring business cards. Collect business cards. Even if your cards are simply your name and email, you have the opportunity to make connections and put a face to your branding. Folks are more apt to connect with a real person, which is invaluable as you’re starting out.
6. Take care of your appearance. You might want to dress up in order to give a good first impression. While jeans and a t-shirt are comfortable, you are representing you and your brand. Dress the part.
7. Remember to drink plenty of water and bring snacks. There’s no reason not to spend money at the hotel or convention center if you’ve budgeted for it, but why pay seven dollars for a bottle of water when you can bring it with you? Plus, you might not want to leave a workshop just because you get the nibbles.
8. Bring something to take notes with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. People love to talk about their craft. The more you ask, the more you’ll learn.
9. If you see an author you like, go up and talk with them. They’re here to connect with the fans. Take advantage of that and be a fan. Just don’t bother them if they’re trying to have a quiet meal or already in conversation with someone.
10. Be a sponge. Keep your eyes open. You never know when you might see the next idea for your novel, idea for a cool promotional concept, or a new friend. Let the world around you stimulate you. After all, that’s what you paid for.
A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder
Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available now from Samhain Publishing.
Watch for EMERALD FIRE, coming soon from Torquere Publishing.
Saturday, April 28th, 2012
One quick announcement before we return to our regularly scheduled snippet!
I sold to Montlake!!! The contracts are being finalized, and I spoke with my new editor yesterday. I have a two book deal for “Caitlyn O’Connell” stories. Below is the logline for the first book. You are sooooo going to love this one!
A bloody hand print on the inside of a mirror forces a disgraced ex-cop
to seek help from two former lovers, her ex-partner and a powerful sorcerer,
to stop a murderous demon
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On May 29th, the conclusion to the Logan brothers duet of stories will be released by Samhain. TWO WILD FOR TEACHER will see a happy ending for all the Logans. So if you haven’t read the first story, A FOUR-GONE CONCLUSION, you need to do it now! ~DD
“A FOUR-GONE CONCLUSION is a prime example on how a novella should be written; fast and fun, touching characters that pull you in and a story that is completely fulfilling.” 4.5 Cherries, Long and Short Reviews
One devilish night…or a chance at heaven?
Sam Logan’s foster sons have a bad rep in Two Mule, Texas. Most of it earned. When it becomes clear they don’t plan on giving up scootin’ after ever pretty pair of boots in town anytime soon, he issues the one thing he knows they can’t resist: a challenge. Find a wife.
The oldest, Johnny, is actually grateful. He’s had his eye on Mean Ellie Harker for a long time, and Sam’s challenge is the kick in the pants he needed to ask her out. Except before he can make his move, his brothers kidnap her right out from under his nose. Now, instead of being one question away from victory, he has to compete for the woman of his dreams.
Ellie thought she’d be a dried up old spinster before Johnny finally untangled his tongue long enough to ask for a date. But instead of teaching him better uses for that tongue, his brothers have whisked her away to the ranch. At first she’s furious…then intrigued when she starts to wonder what it might be like…
Warning: Four handsome cowboys. Four choices. Would it be a single sordid night or a chance at heaven as she savors every luscious inch of the Logan brothers?
“I could help you, you know,” Killian said, his tone casual.
Too casual. Johnny grunted. “With what?”
“Gettin’ you a wife.”
His hands tightened on the steering wheel. “Worry about findin’ your own.”
“It’s not how it works, bro. We’re brothers.”
“We’re not blood.”
“Blood’s not what counts.”
Which was a sorry damn truth they all knew too well. Blood had failed them all.
Johnny cussed under his breath. “How would you help? You gonna chat her up for me? You gonna tell her what a catch I am?”
“Well, you are. You stand to inherit a fourth of the Double Tree. And I’ve seen the way women look at you.”
“You’re not a bad lookin’ guy.
Johnny aimed a blistering glare his way. “You gonna ask me out?” Read the rest of this entry »
Friday, April 27th, 2012
Things are humming along regarding the things I can’t tell you about just yet. Negotiations are done. Now I’m waiting for contracts to be finalized. As soon as I sign, I’ll announce. In the meantime, I’m pounding away at my keyboard.
I have the most absurd schedule. Those 12 things I have to write or edit between now and January 2nd have to overlap so that I can finish them all on time and not have my name changed to MUD.
I’m nearing completion on one short. It’s a futuristic story. I’ll be hunting down beta readers before the day is out. I’m not sure about this one. It’s not my usual burning-up-the-sheets story, but then, the editor wanted sensual as opposed to erotic. There’s a lot of world-building that has to go into very few pages. I hope I’ve succeeded without boring the reader to death!
First thing this morning, I organized a round of critiques for this weekend with my Rose’s Colored Glasses group. Just one more thing off my plate—other then the fact I have to review three sets of authors’ stories myself before the weekend’s out.
I have to complete my review of the final galley for She Shifters. Although I’ve read this manuscript a dozen times, I’m still excited by the stories. I hope readers will feel the same way when they see it in July!
So where am I today? Deep in Storyland. Moving through worlds set in the future on the planet Mars, diving into icy waters with selkies, swimming in warm oceans with dragons, and hopefully, if I don’t run out of time, charging back to Memphis with my cops from Delta Heat. If I’m lucky, I’ll finish up just after dinner time.
And you thought the life of a writer was so easy!
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
I thought I’d better get these pictures up. I’ve been back over a week. These are just a few of the pics I took while in New Orleans. My cousin, who lives in Seattle, decided to come south to visit, but to add a little fun, he asked if I’d join him in New Orleans, then drive up to Arkansas. I’ll jump on any excuse to go there, so I loaded up my mom and aunt and drove eight hours due south.
Eight hours is a long drive, but we took smaller highways rather than the interstate. The scenery was much more interesting. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of the crimson clover blooming in the median.
That night, we didn’t have time for more than a quick stroll on Bourbon street (don’t ask me why I didn’t take any pictures there! I guess I was just tired!). However, the next morning while we waited for my aunt to get ready (she’s the slow poke), I took pics from our hotel balcony. We stayed in the St. Marie on Toulouse street. See the big white van? Well the street corner beyond that is Bourbon—so we weren’t far from all the action.
Another shot of the street below. I liked the colors.
Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Elle’s winner is named in the comments! Be sure to check there! ~DD
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Born to Be Wild
Hey everyone! I’m super excited to be blogging with Delilah today. When it comes to erotic romance, she is definitely a master. In fact, one of the very first erotic anthologies I ever read was a western that included a Delilah novella, and since then, I was hooked!
I write a variety of genres, romantic suspense being my main one, but if I’m being honest, sexy contemporaries are my absolute favorite to write because they’re always more fun. My latest release is definitely one of my hotter ones (Actually, my contemporaries only seem to get sexier and sexier with each book, but nobody seems to be complaining, so… :))
Born to be Wild, my latest ebook with Samhain Publishing, centers around Jake Bishop, a bona fide bad boy who comes home looking for a distraction. And he finds one in the form of Bree Lockhart, the wealthy good girl who spent a few months in high school being very, very bad with Jake. The moment they’re reunited, it’s obvious that the flame still burns hot, and Jake, of course, is determined to lure Bree right back to the wild side.
So, here’s a little excerpt that shows exactly how persuasive Jake can be! Anyone who stops by and comments today will be entered in a draw to win a copy of BTBW, so don’t be shy! Let me know what you think of the excerpt, or your thoughts on erotic romances, or how hot is too hot (if that’s even possible), or anything else that strikes your fancy! The winner’s name will be posted in the comments section at midnight tonight (eastern time).
Also, be sure to stop by my website (www.ellekennedy.com), or connect with me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AuthorElleKennedy) or Twitter (@ElleKennedy). I love chatting with fellow readers and writers!
Buy at Samhain
Buy at Amazon
Jake wanted to lick every inch of Bree’s delectable body. Unfortunately, she was sitting all the way across the table, and there was all this damn food between them, acting like a barrier. He couldn’t believe how incredible she looked. And he’d forgotten how frickin’ smart she was. As she spoke in length about her latest case—a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company that had knowingly sold defective drugs—it surprised him to discover that he was actually interested in everything she had to say.
“What are you thinking about?” Read the rest of this entry »
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
The winner (by random number generator) of all this wondersome, kitscherful goodness
that is the Tater Red’s Grab Bag & Elvis Contest is…
…Fedora! Fedora, hon, congratulations!
Be sure to email me to let me know where to send your prize!
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The Texas Two-Step Grab Bag
What can you win?
The picture only shows the major prizes I nabbed at the Texas Two Step Conference I attended in Dallas last month: the conference tote bag, books by Nikki Duncan, Lorelei James and Cindy Dees.
In addition, I will fill it up with miscellaneous promo items I have stashed around my office. I’m not going to tell you what because we all like surprises, right?
How can you win it?
Post a comment on any blog posting from today until the contest ends. Each entry counts as another chance to win!
This contest ends in just one week, May 1st!!
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And here I go…
Today begins my push to finish 12 projects I’ve committed to writing between now and January 2, 2013.
It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It is. It’s pure nonsense, but I’m going to give it my best try anyway. I’d love it if you could encourage me along the way. I’ll keep you posted as to my progress. So, nag me, hound me, beg me for details. I won’t mind.
You can start today by telling me one thing that will make me smile—however silly. Just post a little note to let me know you’re cheering me on while I bury myself in life on Mars as I dreamt it (Project #1).
And guess what? That silly thing is your first entry for the grab bag! ~DD