Thursday, May 26, 2011

Let's Share - and Sing - on Thursday

Ah, it's Thursday...almost the weekend...we've got a good weather report...and I've just gotta share - and sing:

Enjoy and happy Thursday ~


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writer Wednesday: My Fave Workshops

I've taken my fair share of writing workshops over the years. A few didn't really strike a chord while others I've taken over and over and over again because they're packed with great information and lessons.

Many of my writing friends are also big fans of classes and workshops, online and off. After all, we want to be the best writers we can be and that requires continually growing and learning.

Here is a listing of my favorite workshops - those that I take more than once. I'll add to this list as I find more faves:

* Anything Margie Lawson teaches: Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors, Empowering Characters' Emotions, Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist, Deep Edits...they're all amazing! I've taken almost all of them multiple times and will go back for more. Margie offers certain classes online and others in "person". If I haven't already taken a class, I like to buy the lecture packet first then read through it, get the info in my brain so that when it's homework and discussion time I can really focus. Click here for her lecture packets page. Current schedule is here. Visit her website for all of the details.

* "Growing Your Audience" with Ann Charles and Jacquie Rogers - This is a new-to-me class. I'm taking it now (next week is the last week). It's all about figuring out what the term "target audience" means and figuring out your target audience and finding ways to reach and interact with them. What I love most is the "thinking outside of the box" component of the lessons. I have a four page list of target audience members and creative ways I can reach them. Ann and Jacquie are very responsive and answer questions in a timely fashion. I love this class! Here's the link to Ann's workshop page.

* "Writing a Hot Sex Scene" with Delilah Marvelle - I don't even know if Delilah still teaches this workshop. If not, too bad for you! This workshop was amazing - partly because there were only a handful of us in it so our scenes got some very special attention from Delilah (in my case that meant lots of blue ink - she didn't use red. Thank you, Delilah.)

* "Story Mastery" with Michael Hauge - An amazing workshop that addresses plotting, story components, blurb writing and character development. Mr. Hauge works with novelists, screenwriters, filmmakers, speakers and corporate leaders. If you ever have the chance to hear him speak or take one of his classes, run - don't walk! His website has some great articles also.

* "After the First Three Chapters Blues" with Beth Henderson - A great workshop that addresses plotting, specifically how to get over the hump that hits after the first few chapters. I'll definitely be taking this one again. Come prepared with a newer, recently read book in your genre for "dissecting" purposes. I fell behind with this assignment and never got back on track.

* "The 'W' Plot...or The Other White Meat for Plotters" with Karen Docter - This class teaches a specific plotting technique . (I sense a pattern here...Are you figuring out my writing weakness?) I use this technique with each book I write. This is a hands-on-your-book class so come prepared.

Have you taken a writing-changing class? Please share! Leave the class title, instructor's name and basic description in the comments.

Thanks for joining me today at Armchair Heroines ~


ArmchairBEA: Best Loved Book Blogs

I'm a huge fan of blogs and blog reading and blog surfing - just ask my husband...he frequently has to disconnect the signal so I can actually get some writing and work done!

Here are some of my faves and why I love them:

RomCon - You'll find four blogs in one handy, dandy site. One blog focuses on Contemporary Romance, one on Historical Romance and one on Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal Romance. The fourth is the RomCon Central blog with a little bit of everything including updates on the RomCon Readers Convention.

The Book Reading Gals - Heather and Melanie have a spot on the web that's packed with info for romance readers: events, reviews, interviews, the RomCon Reading Challenge and the RomCon Spotlight which happens every Tueady and highlights an author attending RomCon.

Romancing the Book - Literally bursting at the seams with reviews, discussions, interviews, contests and giveaways.

Booking Through Thursday - A thought provoking, book-related question every Thursday.

The Book Binge - Here's their "About this Blog" blurb which explains it all:

We are three everyday average women who love to read. We don't have degrees in English and we're not professional writers, but we're fun, fearless, and we tell it like it is.

We're fans of romance so if we've read it, you'll hear about way or another. Enjoy!

Access Romance - "Where readers and authors connect"

Beyond Her Book - Barbara Vey's blog at Publisher's Weekly.

A Bit O' Muslin - Historical romance author, Delilah Marvelle's blog. She posts once monthly (which works great for me because that's often the only time I have internet). A Bit O' Muslin is littered with strange and bizarre stories about the history of sex, scandalous women and lascivious men. Great fun!

Like with yesterday's post I could go on and on, but I'll stop here because my beloved is threatening to unplug the internet or take away my computer (if the former doesn't work)!

Thanks for stopping by ~


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ArmchairBEA: 2011 Must Have Releases

Current Read: Kiss Me If You Can by Carly Phillips

Today's Armchair BEA post is all about 2011 releases I'm giddy to get my hands on. Some of these I have sitting on shelf but haven't been able to read them yet because I'm so far behind on the 2010 books I was giddy to get my hands on...*Sigh* Such is the life a book lover! Here's my partial list of 2011 need to have romance releases:

Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Available October 1st, 2011

Leah and the Bounty Hunter by Elaine Levine

Available August 2nd, 2011

Healing the Highlander by Melissa Mayhue

Released February 22nd, 2011

Highlander's Curse by Melissa Mayhue

Released March 29th, 2011

Redeeming the Rogue by Donna MacMeans

Available August 2011

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Available May 31st, 2011

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Released February 15th, 2011

This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Released February 2011

A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Released March 2011

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Released January 2011

Maid for Love by Marie Force

Released April 2011

** I'm thrilled to see Ms. Force self-publishing books because I love her writing and hate to wait so long for new books. Yeah, Marie!

Fool for Love by Marie Force

Available June 1st, 2011

There are so many more I'd love to list here, but I'm out of time! Check back in throughout the year...maybe I can swing an interview with a couple of these authors!

Thanks for dropping by Armchair Heroines today ~


Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA Intro

Welcome, Armchair BEAers, to my blog, Armchair Heroines!

My name is Tiffany James. I've basically had a book permanently attached to my hand since I learned to read! I read a little bit of a lot of different things but my faves are classics (Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain) and romance fiction, which is what this blog is all about.

Armchair Heroines hosts author interviews, giveaways, a review here or there, fun, games and a writing related post on Wednesdays ("Writer Wednesdays"). I'm just getting back to blogging after taking a break to deal with some health stuff.

You can most often find me avoiding housework of any kind by sticking my nose in a book or typing madly on my computer.

Most people don't know that I can't stay upright on a pair of skis. Not a big deal, right? Here's the clincher: I grew up in the mountains of Colorado (my face is red with shame and embarrassment).

I now reside safely and without fear on the plains of Colorado where I can fondly gaze upon the mountains and not hear their mocking cries.

My view of the mountains:

Here's a picture of my favorite armchair for your viewing pleasure:

Alas, I'm afraid I'm going to have to say good-bye to it and its soft, richly colored fabric one day very soon...

Looking forward to this week packed full of blogging and books!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Armchair BEA

Current Read: Kiss Me If You Can by Carly Phillips

Those of us who can't attend Book Expo America in New York this week don't have to miss out on all of the fun. Welcome to Armchair BEA! A chance for book bloggers to chat, network, dish books and even listen to panels. All of the deets are here.

I've never participated in Armchair BEA so this will be a learning experience for me. I won't be in the fray but participating in ways that are comfortable while taking it all in.

I'll be posting for Armchair BEA each day - hopefully - as well as several of my usual features.

Hope to see you there!


The Next Best Thing Mini-Review

Current Read: Kiss Me If You Can by Carly Phillips

The Next Best ThingThe Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! It's been a long time since I read a book that made me laugh or cry - out loud. This one had me doing both. A beautiful story about recovering from a devastating, debilitating loss and learning to live again. Comic relief offered by a crazy town, old classmates and, of course, family members. I've read Kristan Higgins before, and she's never disappointed me. It's always a bit of an adjustment when I read her books written from first person, but once I do get used to them I thoroughly enjoy them.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Twitter Resources

Current Read: Highland Knight by Cindy Miles

It's Writer Wednesday here at Armchair Heriones! Today's post is all about Twitter - Twitter Resources to be more exact. I've been pushing myself to better understand Twitter, what it's all about and how to use it without breaking any rules. :0)

Here are some of the resources I found in my Googling:


The Top 327 Twitter Tools, Twitter Resources, and Twitter Services

154 Ways to Tweet: What to Tweet, How to Tweet

** Includes a link to John Kremer’s Twitter Mania Manual: Your Guide to Success Via Twitter!

Mashable’s Guide Book to Twitter

Twitter 101: Clarifying the Rules for Newbies from SheGeeks

5 Tips to Grow Your Twitter Presence from ProBlogger

13 Odd Ways to Use Twitter from Social Media Trader

Mashable’s “10 Tools to Organize Your Tweeps

** NEW Twitter Basics and FAQs from Domestic Diva Mysteries

**NEW David Meerman Scott's article, "The Secret to Getting 50,000Followers on Twitter"


The Twitter Blog

Twitter Tips and Resources


ReTweet Rank: Find out who’s retweeting your tweets and where you stack up against other tweetpeeps

TwitScoop for trends on Twitter

TweetBeep, “like Google Alerts for Twitter”

Twitpic – share photos on Twitter

TweetBurner – track the links you tweet

Twictionary - The Dictionary for Twitter

HootSuite, Twitter management tool

TwitList by Mashable

Do you know of other Twitter articles, resources or tools you use and like? I'd love to hear about them! Please leave a comment.

I'll be adding to this list whenever I find new info so check back often.

Thanks for joining me today ~


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Booking Through Thursday's Age Appropriate Question

Current Read: The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

btt button

Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?

Absolutely! I love to read YA and middle grade books (especially aloud to my nine year old daughter - we laughed till we cried while reading Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key). I still have some favorite picture books that will always have a special place on my bookshelf. And you'll have to pry my romance fiction out of my cold, dead fingers! Plus, you know what they say about age:

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Chili Davis

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~Mark Twain

How about you? Do you act your age when it comes to reading?