rwa

Cover reveal: Author Shawna Romkey’s “Speak of the Devil”

Author Shawna Romkey's cover reveal

Author Shawna Romkey’s cover reveal

 

 

http://www.shawnaromkey.com

 

 

What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?

 

 

After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the event and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she finds out who…what they really are and that they are falling too.

 

 

Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, find a way to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?

 

 

What do you think of this great cover?  Due out March 15th, 2013 from Crescent Moon Press.  http://www.crescentmoonpress.com/

Jerowrimo prep

In order to prep for any writing challenge it’s necessary to decide what kind of animal you are with writing.

Do you have an outline or are going to put one down on paper/bulletin board?  This could mean you’re a plotter.  You like to know how characters will develop throughout the chapters ahead of time or maybe you have an idea of the order of scenes you want to develop your character arc in…

If you don’t do any of that you may be a panster.  You just write.  Your characters are in your head knocking on your ears to get out.  Great.

Either method works and I sometimes use a combination of the two.  I did so much traveling last year that I would get dream like story ideas as I dozed away on the plane and immediately grab my iphone to write up a sentence or two of what I remembered.  These little gems are filed away in my “to do” file on my laptop and are festering in the back of my head for any writing challenge I undertake.

So.  I already have enough coffee lined up for the month of Feb.  I know when and where I need to visit family and friends.  I’m twitching to use the Twitter hashtag #1K1HR at will multiple times a day.

I also know exactly what I’m doing with Charlie Mac and my Beachbody business so I don’t feel like I can’t write each day.  I have a schedule all planned.

Time to get in the writing kitchen and put words on a blank page that I will call my own.

An Unpublished Author’s Check List Re: Author Shawna Romkey’s post

As I read Author Shawna Romkey’s latest blog post (found here http://www.shawnaromkey.com) I thought – OMG!  I feel pressure from reading that.

 

The next thought I had was – I’m a *little* different as I’m unpublished.

 

1.  Write.  This is the most important one for an unpublished author IMHO.  Not only do you need to practice the craft of writing and take workshops offered through a writing group like Romance Writers of America (http://www.rwa.org) but you need to keep writing after the first manuscript is done.  Why?  So you’re writing can improve and so when you pitch an agent or editor you have a backup when they ask “What else are you working on?”  Also, markets change for books each year.  One manuscript may not sell but the other one might.

 

2.  Read.  My recommendations are:  (A) Read in your genre.   (B) Read books to help you write such as “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler.  Pick up books or workshops online/offline on grammar, beginnings, middles, ends, story, dialogue…Another great book is “Goal, Motivation and Conflict.”

 

3.  Listen.  Find at least one critique partner.  Someone you trust to read your book (not rewrite it) and give commentary on story and grammar.  Or, find an editor and pay them to read your work plus provide a copy edit or a story edit.   I use Angel Editing http://www.angelediting.com  but there are others.  Nancy Cassidy has The Red Pen Coach at http://www.theredpencoach.com  and I haven’t used her but it’s a great place to start as she’s also an author under the name Lilly Cain and a member of my writing group.  Be prepared to mentally argue every point but reliquinsh your hold on your novel as a pristine object.  It’s time to dig in and think about the changes they all suggest.  Grammar has to be done.  Story has to unfold.  Your work can only get better.

 

4.  Travel.  Or enter contests or check out Savvy Authors http://www.savvyauthors.com  I travel to conferences to pitch my work to people I won’t be able to see and to get around being in the slush pile.  However, I also recently just entered three contests to have my work judged by editors/agents/writers to see if there’s a new suggestion I can use and see how I do.  Check out this article written by an agent http://pubrants.blogspot.ca/2012/08/68-queries-in-60-minutes.html  and realize that while this process is daunting to you it is also daunting to the people in the industry but they tackle new submissions with what fits them.  Your work may not fit an agent or editor.  Have a cry and move on to submitting it to someone it might fit.  But keep submitting!

 

5.  Make your promo list now.  You have the time and energy.  Local media, online media, radio/tv/paper, reviewers, giveaways…  Start with your calendar and learn what the peak times are for your genre.  If you know where your book will enter the market start searching and making friends on Facebook/Twitter/Blogs.  You’ll need another author’s promo on your published work and it’s easier to do it if you’ve had a conversation with that author.  Plus, for my genre, there’s outfits like Author Buzz and Eye on Romance that have specific databases that let you in to a world you can’t get into yourself:  reaching The Reader.   Also, check out Goodreads if you haven’t already.

 

6.  Write some more.  Use Twitter’s #1K1HR for support as you slave over your computer hoping for the best possible outcome for your unpublished work.

 

7.  Let yourself refresh each day with something you enjoy.  This “writing thing” that your family labels for you is a long process.  I’ve heard authors at conferences speak about the length of time it took to find an agent or editor – some are 2 months and others are 3 years.  Do not give up but treat yourself to do something besides staring at the rejection letters.  You’ll need to re-energize once a day.  Listen to music with a candle or watch a movie.  Go for a walk.

  And sometimes you just need a little wine…

 

 

Books to read over the holidays! In paperback…

(1) Dreaming of the Wolf by Terry Spear

Award-winning author Terry Spear has written a dozen paranormal romance novels, with over 60,000 copies sold. She received Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year in 2008 for Heart of the Wolf. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry is a librarian by day. She lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.terryspear.com/

(2) Libertine’s Kiss by Judith James

Seizing the opportunity to follow a dream, Judith James’ writing combines her love of history and adventure with her keen interest in the complexities of human nature, and the heart’s capacity to heal. Her latest what if was inspired by the Restoration poet Lord Rochester. Can a promise long forgotten and a friendship forged in the past help two lonely people find each other and themselves? Can a debauched court poet and notorious libertine convince a wary Puritan miss he is capable of love? These are the questions asked by LIBERTINES KISS, to be followed by THE KING`S COURTESAN in 2011.

Ms James is always pleased to hear from fellow readers and writers and invites you to visit her at www.Judithjamesauthor.com

(3) The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey

http://www.mercedeslackey.com/biography.html

The Sleeping Beautyis the fifth book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series.

Godmother Lily serves the Kingdom of Eltaria, which may be the most imperiled of all the Five Hundred Kingdoms. It has the misfortune of being small, rich, and surrounded with enemies. Governing it has been a constant juggling trick.

But now The Tradition has decided to land the blow of making the King a widower, and his daughter the Fairest In The Land. This can only mean bad things for the King, the Princess Rosa, and above all, the Kingdom itself.

(4) Waking up with the Duke by Lorraine Heath

http://www.lorraineheath.com/index.html

Meet London’s Greatest Lovers! New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath’s delights and enchants, moves and mesmerizes historical romance readers with Waking Up With the Duke, the third installment in her unforgettable series in which the rakish sons of a scandalous Dowager Duchess, discover passion, pleasure, and true love. Perfect for Lisa Kleypas and Liz Carlyle fans, Waking Up With the Duke transports readers back to Victorian England, where a dangerous passion is born when a handsome rogue nobleman is approached with a most unusual request…

(5) Revealed by Kate Noble

http://www.katenoble.com/

Phillippa Benning is the unrivaled beauty of the Season. But when another lady challenges her for a marquis’s attentions, Phillippa entices him to a secret rendezvous-only to stumble upon The Blue Raven, England’s most famous spy, lurking at the site of her planned tryst.

The Blue Raven has uncovered an enemy plot directed at upcoming society functions, but he’s unable to infiltrate London society. Phillippa makes an offer: in exchange for entrée among the ton, he agrees to have his true identity revealed at the Benning Ball-guaranteeing her unrivaled notoriety. As the danger draws closer, the mysterious spy and Phillippa give in to mutual desire. But when the game turns deadly, betrayal waits around the corner, and Phillippa must decide once and for all-is it the myth that captured her heart, or the man?

(6) Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/

From Publishers Weekly:

Shape-shifter Mercy Thompson has a complex life, juggling two werewolf lovers and a job working for a fae mechanic; things get even more hectic when her boss and mentor is arrested for killing a citizen of the fae reservation. As the fae seem content to let him rot, Thompson takes it on herself to clear her friend’s name, beginning a lone-wolf investigation that may cost her life. Briggs’s third novel featuring Thompson (after Blood Bound) is another top-notch paranormal mystery; her well-balanced contemporary world, where humans live uneasily among werewolves and fae, is still a believably lived-in world; the ever-present threat of government legislation against nonhumans (though familiar to X-Men fans) adds weight to her paranormal elements, and thoughtfully researched mythology adds rich detail. Thompson is a sharp, strong heroine and her lycanthropic love triangle is honest and steamy. Briggs never shies from difficult material, and she moves effortlessly from werewolf pack psychology to human legal proceedings, making this a tense, nimble, crowd-pleasing page-turner.

Going to get my “read” on!

Tara

December 4th 2-4pm Jennie Marsland at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Halifax NS

Today I have another guest blogger answering my questions about her book, “Shattered.”  Set around the Halifax Explosion she is appearing December 4th 2-4pm at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, downtown Halifax, N.S. and again January 10th 7pm at the Keshan Goodman Library in Clayton Park, N.S.  Jennie Marsland is a local author and part of the Romance Writers of American Atlantic Chapter.  She has other books that I’ve happily read including “McShannon’s Heart.”

Jennie Marsland on Twitter @Jenniemarsland

Jennie Marsland on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jennie.marsland

“Shattered” is available for sale at http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-ebook/dp/B005PGR1L0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322484090&sr=8-2

 

What made the story behind the Halifax Explosion appeal to you as a romance writer?

The drama I suppose. Families were separated and spent days not knowing if their loved ones were alive or dead. There were miracles of survival and heroic rescues. As well, I can’t help feel for the returned veterans who had already suffered in the war overseas and then had to go through the trauma of the Explosion. In a romance, you have to create problems or danger for the lead couple, and the Explosion certainly qualifies. Also, I could do the research in my own back yard.

 

What did you find in your research behind the Explosion – the way people from around North American came together? How widespread a tragedy it was at that time of year?

It amazed me how quickly other countries, particularly the US and Britain, came to Nova Scotia’s aid. Many Nova Scotians had family ties in New England and in the ‘old country’, but I have to think that all the help wasn’t completely altruistic. Halifax was strategically vital to the war effort, and it was essential that the port be up and running again as quickly as possible. Which takes nothing away from the generosity of the thousands – even school children – who provided money or help to the city.

Who is your favourite character in your novel, “Shattered”?

Ask the tough ones, won’t you? I’d have to say Alice. In spite of the poor treatment she’s received from her family, she isn’t selfish or bitter. She knows what she wants and she won’t settle for less. She has inner strength she doesn’t know she possesses – until her feelings for Liam bring it out.

What is it about romance writing that you enjoy the most?

The lead couple’s journey from fear and doubt to love and trust, and the growth they experience along the way. In Shattered, Liam believes he’s too damaged to love or be loved, and Alice has to learn to believe she has a right to go for what she wants. Her unselfishness is almost a fault in the beginning, but in her circumstances, it’s hard to blame her. I don’t like romances where the couple fall for each other too quickly – I like a slower, more gradual build-up.

How long did it take to write “Shattered”?

About eight months. If there was a wishing fairy, I’d ask to be able to write faster.

Are you working on a second novel related to “Shattered”?

Yes. Alice has an older brother, Carl, who’s just come home from the front and is throwing his family into chaos. I enjoyed writing his character so much that I decided to give him his own story. So, I beat him up, put him on a train, gave him broken ribs and pneumonia and dumped him off in a small town in Saskatchewan. I fell in love with the prairies on a 4H trip when I was in high school. Carl’s story is called Deliverance, and that’s what he finds, thanks to the former Red Cross nurse who takes him in. The first chapter is included at the end of Shattered. There might eventually be a story about Alice’s sister Georgie as well.

 Anything you’d like to draw attention to at the time of this blog posting ie. events, workshops, signings etc.?

I’ll be doing a book signing at the Maritime Museum here in Halifax on Sunday, December 4, from 2 to 4 pm. I’m really excited about this. The museum has a very poignant Halifax Explosion exhibit. In one display, there’s a little china cup with ‘Remember Me’ painted on it. That cup survived in a house that was totally destroyed. It gives me chills every time I look at it. Also, I’m doing a workshop on researching for historical fiction on January 10, 1012 from 7 to 9 pm at the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax. As for online events, I’m guesting on fellow author Julia Phillips Smith’s blog, A Piece of My Mind, on Thursday, Dec.1. I Facebook and tweet all my online and in-person events, so readers can easily keep up by following me on Twitter or FB.

Jennie's latest book, self-pubbed this time!

 

 

 

What I know after 5 years of grief.

What I know.  Sounds like I have a secret to tell, doesn’t it?

Here it is.  You may have already guessed it for yourself.  Death waits for no one but life continues even as you exit this world.  For what – we don’t really know or comprehend.  We try to – maybe we go to church, maybe we pray, maybe we meditate or visit spiritual places and for some of us we write about it.

So today I let myself be taken care of.  I visited Michelle Carter at Willow Esthetiques for some 3 hour pampering.  Then, I went to Planet Beach Contemp Spa for a massage where I can listen to music and let myself really relax in a room by myself.  Carrie Hayden is great there.  Then, I went to Starbucks instead of Sweet Smiles Pastry Cafe and the universe let me know that wasn’t a good decision as I almost choked on a cake pop.  Damn those cake pop photoshopped pics – they always look great on the menu photo but mine was so dry I started to choke in my car.  Maybe if I had gone in the Starbucks some cute guy would’ve offered his help and my romance writer side would write our life story the moment he touched me.  LOL.

Tonight I’m going to the Women of Excellence Awards.

All of these events, besides the choking one, are positive reminders that the world keeps spinning with or without you.

And today.  My friend and author Julia Phillips Smith http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com has her release on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Sanguinus-Vampire-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00689V17I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321467880&sr=1-1 and at Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105486

What a great day for her.  To know that years of dedication and work is realized through the Internet.  That there’s a choice in the publishing world.  With great support from her Romance Writers of America Atlantic Chapter group she’s flying like the eagle I chase when I go to Cape Breton.  Such an inspiration.

So.  Take flight.  Go to school.  Get that job.  Make your priorities as Chalene Johnson says in her Car Smart series before your goals.

Or attend Jac McNeil’s speaking engagements through the Royal Bank series as mentioned by the Centre for Women in Business.  http://www.highlandcoaching.com/join-me    Jac and I met at her retreat last October, I joined her Tribal X group and then enlisted her aid in business/writing coaching.  She’s a firecracker so let her engage in you and let yourself fly.  Fly high.

Hmm… upon review that’s a lot of Estrogren I’m pumping into your lives today.  My Dad was always pushing my feminist side and told me in my first year at Trent that Women Studies 100 would be good for me.  Maybe I’d better put *that* on my EHarmony.ca profile.  :-)

Guest Blogger Author Julia Phillips Smith 11/11/11

Today I have the privilege of introducing author Julia Phillips Smith.

http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com

Julia has a book coming out in a week and notices of “Saint Sanguinus” will be updated on her website through the link above.

If you’d like to chat with her sooner join her on Twitter @apieceofmymind

Please enjoy her comments below and I’ll put an update of the status of her book when it’s on Amazon/Smashwords etc.

Author Julia Phillip Smith shot by photographer Caroline Ruyle

 

Julia Phillips Smith:

Sometimes people come into your life seeming to have always been there for you, even though you’ve just become friends.

When Tara rejoined my writers’ group last year, this happened for both of us—we connected instantly, recognizing that we ‘got’ each other creatively, intellectually and personally.

She knew that living under the surface of novel-writing Julia was filmmaking Julia, and having brainstormed together at the writers’ retreat, she knew we could work well together.

And so the great adventure of stepping back onto a set wearing my director’s hat began.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Tara from the deepest part of me, for giving me my creative life back. Once she suggested we work on the book trailers for SAINT SANGUINUS, a dormant part of me surged back to life, carrying the entire launch of my debut novel along with it.

This important life milestone would never have happened if Tara hadn’t suggested we work together.

So I just want to say thank you.

And here’s to a beautiful friendship.

Excerpt:

An elite brotherhood stands between humans and vampires, preventing one side from annihilating the other. Who are called to this service? Only those warriors who curse God with their dying breath.

Welsh warrior Peredur falls to a spear before he can claim Tanwen for his bride. Raging on the battlefield, Peredur utters the curse that seals his fate and leads him to another life. Using the power of a saint whose bone makes up an amulet, Peredur takes on the trials to become a true member of the brethren. Yet his need for the chieftain’s daughter Tanwen still burns.

Tanwen resists her father’s command to take a husband. The only one who understands her sorrow is Cavan, the wise woman’s son. When he promises that he can reunite her with her beloved, she agrees to his terms. But does Tanwen truly understand the depth of the price that must be paid?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nanowrimo and other adventures!

As I hit my stride this Monday morning I realize I love writing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just setting up my first critique partner and starting to submit short stories so my writing could be crap. But the act of brewing coffee after walking the dogs and then settling in front of the laptop to write with them at my feet is precious. I hope that no matter what happens with my writing as I pursue it as a career that I keep this enjoyment with me.
So I am loving Nanowrimo which is an organization that organizes a challenge – write a book/novel in a month. Their website is http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

This challenge is supported by my writing group that is a part of Romance Writers of America. I’m using it to write a Fae story because I can’t get enough of the Sidhe Court. I just finished Yasmine Galenorn’s “Night Veil” and I’m impatiently waiting for the next one! I also loved the Mercedes Lackey series like Born to Run. And while I enjoy the tv series “Lost Girl” I am finding it harder to watch as I emphasize so much with the female lead that sometimes I just can’t watch what she goes through.
This past Sunday I missed out on my Romance Writers of American chapter meeting. I worked instead at the Trend and Fashion Expo http://www.trendandfashionexpo.com run by East Coast Dynamics http://eastcoastdynamics.com for Fifth Avenue Collection http://www.fifthavenuecollection.com/taram     I do love that job. And, as it was at the World Trade & Convention Centre the event had help setting up and tearing down so I wasn’t covered in sweat and changing into outfits like other events/festivals. I have to thank Brennan Handy and Devin Sherrington for helping me keep fitness in my life as all the cardio pays off at events like these where you’re packing and lifting boxes.
Hope you all had a great weekend and here’s hoping we get a light winter. LOL.

By the way on November 11th, 2011 Author Julia Phillips Smith will be releasing her debut novel “Saint Sanguinus.”  Check her out at http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com  and on November 10th, 2011 she’ll be chatting about her self publishing at DartNet After Hours held at Sweet Smiles Pastry Cafe in Dartmouth, N.S. on Portland Hills Drive.  http://dartnet.ca

 

Watches, Rings and Gold

Silver, colour and my draw for a 50.00 gift certificate

Greece and other pics – a short, sweet summer of memories.

I just came from a great Writer’s Retreat at White Point Beach Lodge past Liverpool in Nova Scotia with RWAC.  Very productive.  Time to submit stuff!  We watched the films “It’s Complicated” and “Due Date.”  Love, love Meryl Streep.

http://www.romancewritersac.com

P.S. Get Ready for 11/11/11  http://juliaphillipssmith.com

Adirondack Chair overlooking a lake next to the Atlantic Ocean

I know I’m lucky.  I managed to find a second job that pays well and it’s in direct selling with Fifth Avenue Collection (My Open House is Oct 28 7-9pm, Oct 29 2-4pm, Oct 30 2-4pm if you’re interested stop by).  This second job has given me the freedom to take a few “extra” trips this past year that I ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to take.  I went to Calgary, Alberta is August and saw my Grandmother before her 104th birthday and I’m glad I did as she passed away October 2nd, 2011.  When Debbie Ford from TPI Travel said, months ago, that she had a Greek trip planned and there were a few more seats available my hand went up.  I hummed and hawed over going to Greece the past year and realized, like Whistler, B.C., New Zealand, Australia and Runaway Bay, Jamaica that if I could go I should just do it.

The Greek trip was amazing.  I saw a lot of great islands, our group was not affected by the strikes, I climbed up to the Acropolis in Athens but forgot my memory card, did some shopping and sat by a harbour eating Apple Pie with ice cream while enjoying a latte in Mykonos and saw plenty of beaches.  I hope the people of Greece climb out of their economy like Germany did years ago and realize their strengths (which is why Germany is so successful today in its economy).  For now, here are some photos.

CRETE, SANTORINI, PAROS, MYKONOS

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Review of “Bought: The Penniless Lady” by Deborah Hale

At the last RWA chapter meeting I won the book “Bought: The Penniless Lady” by Deborah Hale.  ISBN – 13:978-0-373-29633-0

Find out more about this Canadian author at http://www.deborahhale.com/

I was thrilled!  Not only to win the book but to be able to offer a review on an author I enjoy on the page but to also do a review on someone I’ve met.

Hadrian Northmore is my kind of man.  He’s determined, bold and a completely unique character.  If you’re expecting a gentleman who only exists on intrigues and playing chess then don’t open this book.  Hadrian is a self-made man with a hero’s quest to make a better world for children and to win Lady Artemis Dearing’s heart.

Lady Artemis Dearing doesn’t know her own beauty and her first encounter with Hadrian is breathtaking simple.  They have an argument.  They storm away from each other.  This encounter makes Lady Artemis come up with a deadly plan to intertwine their futures together in a way I was not expecting.  Each chapter encourages me to turn the page to see what else these two characters are like.  They’re not your romantic stereotypes and the way they’re developed left me wishing for more when I had finished the book!

Their romance is full of chivalry and when they’re in a room together the tension pops off the page.

Can they find each other over their plan for a child’s future?  Pick up the book to find out!

“Bought: The Penniless Lady” by Deborah Hale is available at Amazon.ca for $6.99

Great read! Find it at Amazon.ca