Friday, September 26, 2008
A huge thank you to Delilah Marvelle for sharing herself with us for a few days! It's been wonderful having you here, Delilah. I wish you the best in your writing and your life. :0)
And a big thank you to all you Armchair Heroines, reading along and sharing your thoughts with us!
Without further ado, here are the two winners of this week's contest...
Maybe we should do Friday Fiction first...
No, I'll announce contest winners...
No, maybe Friday Fiction...
*giggling ala schoolgirls* I'm just messing with you guys!
Here are the lucky winners of Mistress of Pleasure...
Moongypsy (AKA Kathie)
Congratulations, ladies! Please e-mail Delilah at Delilah@DelilahMarvelle.com with your snail mail address, and she will have Mistress of Pleasure flitting its way to you!
For those of you whose names weren't drawn out of the magic turquoise box, click here to purchase Mistress of Pleasure from Amazon. And don't forget to visit Delilah's website, www.delilahmarvelle.com, to sign up for her newsletter!
And now, on with Friday Fiction...
Kathrynn Dennis is an author with whom I've just become acquainted. Horses figure prominently in her stories, for all of you hippophiles out there. You can read an excerpt from Dark Rider here. Her newest book, Shadow Rider, comes out in October.
Author Lee Silver will be my guest next Wednesday. You can read an excerpt from her romantic suspense, The Twist, here.
In contemporary romance, Susan Mallery has a new book out. It's called Sweet Trouble. You can read an excerpt here. Sweet Trouble is book #3 in Susan's Bakery Sisters series.
Happy reading and have a wonderful weekend!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Happy Wednesday, everyone! We are all ready halfway through the week and September is almost gone. It seems like once we hit September it is a slippery, downhill slide toward the holidays. Does anyone else feel that? :0)
If you are sliding all too quickly toward the craziness of the holidays, today is a perfect day to grab a cup of tea or coffee, take a deep breath and settle in for an interview with our "Word Wizard". Today I am talking with Zebra debut author Delilah Marvelle! Check out Delilah's book below:
REAL PLEASURE CAN'T BE TAKEN...
Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction -- in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle lays eyes on Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford, at a soiree, and hears of his scandalous reputation, she decides he's the perfect person for her to have a tryst with no strings attached...
IT MUST BE GIVEN...
Unbridled passion has again muddied Edmund Worthington's family name. After his very public dalliance with the strikingly beautiful and sensual Maybelle, his mother insists he marry her. But much to the Duke's surprise, Maybelle scoffs at his proposal. Never has he encountered such a brazen -- and maddeningly irresistible -- woman. But when Maybelle's grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of her school, Edmund devises a plan to make her his. He enrolls in the school, where no one other than Maybelle must give him expert lessons in carnal pleasure...
You can read an excerpt from Mistress of Pleasure here.
And, now, here's my chat with Delilah (a most delightful one at that)!
Tell us about your first book, Mistress of Pleasure.
Mistress of Pleasure is what I like to call "a humorous historical romance unfit for polite society" LOL. Here's the elevator pitch: Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction -- in the art of love and seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain indepedent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle's grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of the school, she discovers that men are in fact creatures of habit and simply need to be re-educated. Then Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford dares to enroll, looking to alter not only her lesson plans, but her very heart....
Sounds amazing (and I can attest, it is! I'm in the middle of it right now). For those of you unfamiliar with the term "elevator pitch", it is something authors put together and practice so that we are ready to explain our book to anyone in the time it takes to ride to a floor in an elevator. :0) Can you tell us a little about your journey to becoming a published author?
It's been a looooong journey, to say the least. Almost 11 years that include over 40 manuscripts and over 200 rejections (one from my own editor). I was of the firm belief that if I kept writing and writing it would eventually happen. Obviously, I had my ups and my downs (oh, so many downs...), but I kept on writing and writing and writing. I eventually finaled in the Golden Heart twice, in 2005 and 2007. Finaling in the Golden Heart is what ultimately sold me, I believe. Not just because I was a finalist, but because of the people I was meeting. Fellow Golden Heart Finalists and winners. Victoria Dahl, who was a Golden Heart Finalist and winner in 2005, basically gave me the chance of a lifetime. She wanted to know what I was writing and when I told her, she thought her editor, John Scognamiglio at Kensington would love it. So she queried him for me. He wanted the full. I sent the full out and 9 days later, I received "the call." After waiting almost 11 years for that call, not having to wait 3 months or longer to receive it was pure heaven. It all happened so fast. And here I am today!
How exciting and what a wonderful story! What are you working on now?
I am currently working on book 3 of my 5 book School of Gallantry Series, called Moment of Pleasure. With each book I write in the series I get more and more involved and I'm already dreading the fact that I will be ending this series because I love these characters so much.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
I love to run, kickbox, spend time with my kids, read, research, cook, and paint. And if I had more money, I would traveling a heck of a lot more.
Oohh, I'd love to do more traveling too. How do you research your historical romance novels?
I am always researching my historical romance novels. I have basically vowed to myself that I would stick with this particular time period (1830) for at least a couple of years. This really allows me to delve into every aspect of life then without constantly having to research every little aspect. Because I have a pretty large collection of rare and out of print research books, I'm fortunate to where I don't have to wander out of my house to research. I have all my books organized according to whatever information I need. Clothing, housing, the Season, London, and so on. I love having all the information all need and tidy and at my fingertips.
Your own private library! Do you base your characters on people you know or are they complete figments of your imagination?
I have to say both. Obviously the people around me and people in history inspire me to create the characters I do. But once I start writing them, they become their own, fitting neither into the people I know or what I expected them to be in my imagination.
I love it when that happens - when characters start to truly take on a life of their own. What is different about being a published author compared to what you imagined?
Heh. Great question. (Thank you.) I must say writing under deadline is pretty intense. It's like planting a seed in the ground and staring at it each day waiting for it to grow knowing you only have a week to see it sprout. Sometimes it feels impossible and yet, those seedlings sprout. I also think the amount of time promoting one's self is something I really did not expect to do. Didn't even cross my mind. From blogs, to websites, to myspace, to signings, to workshops and so on and so on, it's almost overwhelming. And one definately has to be careful as it can lead to great promotion but to little or no writing. All in all, however, the experience is AMAZING. I am loving every single moment of this wonderful opportunity I have been given and feel so blessed.
Your seed analogy is great! I feel that way sometimes and I'm not even writing under deadline. :0) Here's a random question for you...OK, actually three: If you could visit any person in the past (real or imagined), who would it be? Why? And what would you do?
I would visit with Edith Wharton. Why? Because, to me, she was not only the most amazing writer of her time but also because of how unbelievably self educated and disciplined this woman was. And what would I do? Oh my goodness! What "wouldn't" I do? LOL I would simply be asking her question and question. About her life, about her writing and about what inspires her and even what she eats (that's the chef in me...)
Pepper her with questions...kind of like what I've been doing to you! :0)
Thank you so much, Delilah for being here today!
Delilah is offering not one but TWO autographed books for today's feature! So please pull up a chair, relax a bit and join our conversation. Also, be sure to swing by Delilah's website at http://www.delilahmarvelle.com. It's gorgeous and entertaining! Sign up for her newsletter there as well. I love the "naughty word spotlight" and the historical personal ads that Delilah features in her newsletter.
So, let the conversation begin! :0)
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thanks to all of you who joined us for an awesome chat with New Zealand author Jane Beckenham. A huge thank you to Jane for taking time out of her busy schedule to hang out with us at Armchair Heorines!
And now, we have a contest winner...
Send me your contact information at Tiffany@TiffanyJames.net and I will forward it to Jane. Then the two of you can work out the details!
Thanks again to all of you Armchair Heroines!
No fiction excerpts today because I am off to a writer's retreat/conference...and I was supposed to have left 30 minutes ago. Yikes! I'll be presenting a workshop on marketing. So wish me good luck!
Be sure to join us next week for an interview with debut author Delilah Marvelle and a profile of a romance reader's haven on the internet (I haven't decided which one to profile - there are several - so make sure you stop by!).
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Welcome to another historic day here at Armchair Heroines! Today's Word Wizard is none other than Jane Beckenham. Jane is our first featured author from New Zealand!
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
ISBN 978 14199 17653
Release date: 31 July 2008
Adventure and love has always come from books for Jayne Seatoun until she wins a competition to visit England. But breaking and entering a crypt wasn’t on the agenda, nor was traveling back nearly five hundred years and being caught up in the politics of King Henry the 8th’s Court as she searches for a way home and ends up running for her life.
Tired of battle and bloodshed Lord Callum Broderick’s loyalty is divided. Does he save his sister, his lover or his neck from the executioner’s block? Love, honor and loyalty are codes Callum lives by...until he has to choose.
"Love in Waiting - a tale of eternal love, nearly lost in time. A wonderful new read from historical romance author, Jane Beckenham." (Melody Knight, author of GlassWorks, In Trysts, Of Dragons)
LOVE ACROSS THE AGES....
LOVE IN WAITING
Jayne Seatoun vacillated. It felt sacrilegious to be treading over this ancient spot, and yet she had to be here, the pull to enter so great she could not have retreated from the threshold. Hands trembling she reached out and trailed icy fingers across the engraved tombstone. Though her voice a hushed whisper, she read the inscription.
Amidst the silvery blue lights of a shadowed moon filtering through the crumbling crypt walls, the words, cast in stone, were almost ethereal.
"Love in Waiting - a tale of eternal love, nearly lost in time. A wonderful new read from historical romance author, Jane Beckenham." (Melody Knight, author of GlassWorks, In Trysts, Of Dragons)
LOVE ACROSS THE AGES....
LOVE IN WAITING
And here is my interview with Jane:
For my heroine, not only coming to grips with the fact that she’s been tossed back in time, knowing she has no idea how to get back, her life will never be the same. But then love gets in the way, and we all know that changes everything.
You have nine books published. Congratulations! Do you have one favorite? And if so, why?
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a bunch of Silouhette Desires, plus I’m re-reading Ashblane’s Lady by Sophia James. It’s so beautiful and I thoroughly recommend it.
I'll add that one to my "to be read" pile! Any all-time favorite books?
Tell us a little about life in New Zealand and being an author in New Zealand.
I have met some wonderful friends through writing as well! You have a husband and two daughters. How do you balance writing with family life?
I love writer's conferences! The energy is amazing. OK, here is a "random" question for you: On your website you said The Island of the Blue Dolphins was the first "real" book you can remember reading. So, in the spirit of that book, if you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you most wish to have with you?
Hubby, because he knows how to light a fire, chocolate and matches for the fire so we can be rescued….oh and soap - yes I know that’s four, but I can’t stand being dirty. All that sand and stuff. Very ikky.
Friday, September 12, 2008
So, for this contest, I went back to the trusty turquoise box filled with all of your names. This week's winner is...
Congratulations, Viola! Contact Renee and you two can work out the details. If you need Renee's contact information, you can e-mail me at Tiffany@TiffanyJames.net.
Thanks to everyone who joined us this week and thank you to Renee for giving us all a little kick in the planning pants!
Here are a couple of Friday Fiction links:
Hungry For More is the final book in the "One True Love" trilogy by Diana Holquist.
You can read the excerpt here.
I've been hearing a lot of good buzz about Zebra debut author Delilah Marvelle. Her first novel is a historical romance. You can read an excerpt of Mistress of Pleasure here.
One of my favorite Colorado authors, Robin D. Owens, has a new book out! You can read an excerpt of Heart Fate here.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Renee is offering e-copies of her books Going Topless and Courting Trouble in a contest so be sure and comment to be entered!
A TWRP Best Seller!
The Wild Rose Press
Regency Historical Romance
Blurb: Lord Anthony Darby is determined to marry a wife with an exemplary reputation. Then he sees his childhood companion, gorgeous, scandalous, Lily Kennyon again. And all he wants is her in his bed. He decides to avoid her. Until her father makes him an irresistible offer: he'll sponsor Anthony's entry into an exclusive club, if Anthony will accompany his outcast daughter to society events. Can Anthony resist Lily's sensual lure? Or will his hunger make him lose control?
Lily has always rued her impulsive nature. Never more than when her defiance led to an accident, which paralyzed her sister. Afterward, she decided if her sister would never marry, neither would she. Yet she wants to experience lovemaking. So, when Anthony courts her, she devises a plan to seduce him. But she fears she's falling in love. Then she discovers Anthony's attentions were all part of a pact with her father…
Read an excerpt here: http://reneeknowles.com/courting_trouble.html
Buy E-book link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=896
Buy in Print link: http://www.amazon.com/Courting-Trouble-Renee-Knowles/dp/1601542941/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221014585&sr=8-2
What reviewers are saying:
A Recommended Read and 5 Stars from Dark Diva Reviews!
"Ms. Knowles has weaved a very emotionally provocative and hot read. My heartstrings were pulled along the path of this couple, and I shared all of their passion, laughter, pain and enduring love.
I wholeheartedly recommend Courting Trouble and give it 5 Delightful Divas. If I could I would give it ten! I look forward to reading many more works by this talented author."--Eliza, Dark Diva Reviews
5 Angels from Fallen Angel Reviews!
"The chemistry between them is strong and immediate...Courting Trouble hugs the line between historical romance and erotic romance. Lily's awakening to passion is skillfully written... Courting Trouble simmers with emotion."--Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Stars! Black seal--Fantastic Stays on Shelf from WRDF Reviews!
"Both Anthony and Lily find balance and a red-hot romance in each other's company as they brave the Ton together…
Ms. Knowles makes her characters work for their happily ever after packing the pages with emotions that will leave you happier than ever … living up to the goal of a romance. Full marks for COURTING TROUBLE, as they court each other Anthony and Lily will win your heart too!!!" --WRDF Reviews
4 1/2 Stars from Cocktail Reviews!
"What a great read! The pace bounds along, sweeping the reader into the refined Regency world with ease and humour. Anthony is a very endearing hero from the first page: moral, honourable, and a little bit cynical, yet he still believes he can find love...
This sexy novel has some very hot love scenes that remain true to the setting and time period. Both characters are a delight, but this is Anthony’s story more than anything. His struggle to embrace love and happiness makes for a sensual, heart-warming read. If you love Regency romances with a touch of spice, I recommend Courting Trouble."--Cocktails Reviews
And here are Renee's words of wisdom for the day...
Do you have a plan? by Renee Knowles
So, you’ve mastered the art of dialogue. You can recite the rules about point of view in your sleep. And the grammar gods have nothing on you. But do you have a career plan? Have you figured out where you’re going?
Writing is first and foremost a business. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that when we’re sending our “baby” and our pride and joy out into the world on submission. Yet, to agents and editors, business is the top priority. And planning will give you one more leg up. How do you write a career plan? Here are seven easy steps to guide you:
Define your goals. Take some time to write down both your larger goals and some specific objectives that can help you realize them. It’s important to dig deep and pin down your ambitions. Do you want to write in multiple genres? Publish only one book a year? What do you want to be known for? Where do you see your career in one year, five years, or ten years?
Write out your mission statement. Your mission statement should describe who you are, what your writing is about, and what your values are. Keep it simple. One or two lines should be sufficient.
Develop your vision. A vision statement differs from a mission statement because instead of defining who you are now as a writer, it proclaims what you would eventually like to become. Be as specific as you can and think of the future.
Study your industry. It’s imperative to understand the industry and your specific genre. From determining who the publishers are that put out books that are similar to yours, to their word count requirements, to tracking which editors are moving where, knowing your market is invaluable.
Describe your strengths. Next, you will want to set up a company description defining your marketability. What makes your writing stand? Are you a New York Times best seller? Do you have work experience in the area you’re writing about? Consider how to market to your strengths.
Do a financial review. Determine where your money is going, and where it could best be spent. List categories and projected allocations for the coming year.
Take action. Detail all the steps, one by one, you will need to take to put this plan into action. List them and their timelines. Put deadlines on your calendar and celebrate when you achieve each step. It’s one stride closer to your ultimate goals.
Most of all have fun with it! This is your plan, customize it and make it useful for you.
Happy writing! --Renee
Friday, September 5, 2008
Hey, everybody! I'm a little late posting today...hope you were all waiting anxiously! Just kidding! I just sent my husband and darling children away for the weekend, so I'm settling in to catch up on e-mail, blogging and do some serious writing. Yeah!
So, on to what you are all waiting for...the winner of Kate's amazing book is...
Congratulations, Eva! E-mail me at Tiffany@TiffanyJames.net with your snail mail address and Compromised will be in the mail on Monday!
A huge thank you to Kate Noble! Kate, it was a pleasure having you here at Armchair Heroines. I am anxiously awaiting your next book in Spring 2009!
Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you all next week!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Happy Wednesday! Please welcome today's featured author, Kate Noble. Kate's debut novel from Berkley Sensation is Compromised. I just finished it and absolutely loved it!
You can check out Compromised here. And now, on with the interview...
Tell us about your debut novel, Compromised.
Compromised is a fun historical romance set in London – I can’t call it Regency or Victorian, because its time period is dead between, 1829. My hero and heroine, Max and Gail, bicker and snipe, set each other’s backs up constantly, and skate that thin line between love and hate. Whenever they are together sparks fly, but there’s one small problem: Max is betrothed to Gail’s sister Evangeline.
And I can attest - sparks definitely fly! Do you have any hard & fast writing routines or rituals?
Hard and fast writing rituals? Not really. I get into habits for a couple months at a time, but then those habits change. When I was writing Compromised, I would go to the gym every Saturday morning, then on my way home stop at my neighborhood diner, order an omelet and a lemonade and write for an hour, an hour and a half. When I was writing my second book (Revealed, which will be released in Spring 2009), I would type while having the Baz Luhrmann film Strictly Ballroom playing in the background – just a little noise to keep me company. I must have played that movie 600 times. One thing that is hard and fast for me: I always always always work better with a deadline. Necessity (or in my case, panic) is the mother of invention.
I can sympathize. I think I've listened to "Bleeding Love" a thousand times! Can you tell us a little about your journey to becoming published?
When I finished the first draft of Compromised, I was more shocked than anything else -- I had actually completed a book. The ‘now what’ phase began, where I sent the manuscript off to a couple of RWA chapter contests and got some good and helpful feedback, made some revisions, and then started querying agents. After a healthy number of rejections, I landed a great agent, then a publisher. The whole process from finishing the first draft to the date of publication took about 3 years.
Congratulations! What do you do when you aren't writing?
My main activity when not writing is procrastinating. I do this a number of ways: 1. Movies. I love movies, and I consider watching them studying story structure and characterization. Or that’s how I explain to myself why I paid money to see The House Bunny. 2. Television: two words – Project Runway. And 3. Reading. I’ve got a To Be Read pile literally floor to ceiling. I’m always telling myself I should write more often, but darned if my methods of procrastination don’t lure me away.
My reading pile is towering as well. :0) What are you working on now, writing-wise?
I turned in an outline for my third book to my publishers, and now I’m just waiting to hear if it’s accepted. While I wait, I’m ticky-tacking away on the draft. Because the hardest thing for me to write is the first draft, I want to get a move on it. It’s all downhill from there.
What is your favorite thing about being a published author?
I get to write for a living!
Your least favorite?
I have to write for a living!
And here is a random question for you: What do you always take with you when you fly?
A book and a pack of gum. My ears always pop on planes (hence the gum) and the book because… well, duh.
Awesome, Kate! Thank you for being here. It's been a pleasure! Be sure to visit Kate's website at http://www.katenoble.com/. It's gorgeous!
We have a signed copy of Kate's book for one lucky commenter. Same drill - comment by Friday and I'll draw a random winner!