Tag Archives: Jill Shalvis

#RWA17…the reason I go every year

So, of course, the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, are the Workshops I took at RWA 17. Between coloring, fangirling, attending the book giveaway signings, I did – actually – sit in on a f ew lectures and learn some things.

IF you have never had the opportunity to hear Damon Suede speak, I pity you. First, his voice is like a warm blanket thrown over your body on a cold day. Warm, rich, soothing. Second, he is a wealth of amazeballs information about character development, what makes people-characters tick, and what their motivations/conflicts/individual characteristics should be. Damon comes from a theater ( and life!) background and really helps you get into your character’s mind set, feelings, and persona just as if you were portraying them on a stage. I’ve already listened to his 2 hour workshop twice since I’ve been home because I purchased the flash drive of the conference classes. Each time I’ve heard something new and fresh I will be using in my next books!

Three uber talented and mega published romance authors, RaeAnne Thayne, Jill Shalvis, and Sarah Morgan gave a workshop on Contemporary romance in today’s marketplace.

They each have very different writing styles and ways of telling a story, but they also know their market. Thier stories are character and situational driven, and they bring into each one a perfect little snapshot of the contemporary age, without isolating themselves to this moment in time. Case in point: you can read one of their books from five years ago and even though things have changed in the tech world and the world in general, the stories told are still relevant and topical to today. That was my takeaway from this talk. Write the here and now, since I write contemp/romance, but make it relevant for the future as well. It’s all in the characters and how they are motivated towards their HEA. Love these three authors!

 

Another workshop with a trio of amazeballs and prolific writers, was one titled Fifty Shade of Funny with writes Jennifer Probst, Lauren Layne and Rachel Van Dyken. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture while I was in this workshop because I was fangirling like a two year old over Jennifer and Lauren and forgot!!!! I di remember their takes on what constitutes “funny” in a romance novel was very insightful, though, so that’s something ( heehee).

My absolute favorite workshop was the last one of the conference: The Neuroscience of high-impact Love scenes, presented by the amazingly brilliant, funny, and speedy-talker, Emily Foster. I wasn’t able to hear her speak when I was at the NECRW conference earlier this year because she was presenting at the same time I was, so when I saw her name listed on the RWA17 conference sheet for presenters, I knew I just had to attend her lecture. And, yowza, am I glad I did.

  

As a nurse I figure I have a pretty good idea of how the human body and the mind work. Yeah…not so much in reality. Emily gave me a completely different spin – a neuroscientific one – about how the body responds to desire and arousal, and how the mind is the major player in the difference, not the body’s reactions. Blew. My. Mind!!! Again, I played this lecture back once so far – but plan on listening to it, again and again, to make sure I get the character’s reactions to all things sex, correct!

These weren’t the only lectures I attended, but they were the highlights. There was sososososo much to do, sear, and hear at the conference I had to pick and choose wisely. Another reason I am so glad I purchased the conference recordings. I missed a bunch of really fabulous workshops and presentations because I needed to be elsewhere at the same time. Best $$$$ I’ve spent in a while, too.

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

#RWA17, Fan girling….it’s a thing

At 57 years old, you’d think I’d be beyond hyperventilating when I see a “celebrity.” Yeah…not so much.

My very first RWA in 2014 I actually burst into tears when I met and spoke with Nora Roberts. Not one of my finest, adult moments, but there was truly so much emotion stored up in me concerning her that when I actually got the chance to speak to her, I lost it. Like a two year old. She was gracious, lovely, and held my hand. I don’t think I washed it for 2 whole days!!!, but that might not be true because I blacked out after meeting her! and have no memory of the rest of the day!!

You can just make out the tears still wet on my cheeks in this picture her lovely assistant, Laura, took.

Anyway.

Fan girling. Yeah, it’s a thing.  A real thing. Even though I’ve been to 4 RWA conferences and 1 RT, I still get a little queasy butterfly feeling in my tummy when I see my writing idols casually walking around a hotel as if they were, well, normal people, not romance icons. Here are just a few of my absolute meet-favorites from this year. And I’ll tell you honestly, I really struggled not to cry when I met each of them.

First, one of my newest favs, Lauren Layne.

 

If you haven’t read any of her Wedding Belles series, or any of the Stiletto books, get yourself over to Amazon and get a bunch. You will not be disappointed.

 

Next, the amazeballs, uber-talented Jennifer Probst. I actually carted her book WRITE NAKED with me to Orlando because I knew she was going to be there and I simply had to meet her to autograph it.

I sat in on one of her workshops as well, but don’t ask me what she said. I was too busy pinching myself because I was sitting in the same room with her!

And look what she wrote to me!!!!!!

 

Okay, this next picture makes me giggle every time I see it! The incredible, sweet, absolutely lovely and funny Jill Shalvis was sososososos gracious when I basically interrupted her from eating at the Rita’s and begged – yes begged – for a picture.

 Can you see how giddy I am??!!!

And at the Literacy signing I bothered, er, spoke, to her again when she was with another of my favs, and Jill’s BFF, RaeAnne Thayne. Honestly, these two women are graciousness incarnate!!

 

last but certainly not least, I was able to “hang” with another of my favorite authors, Marianne Rice, who was attending her first RWA. We were having a good natured contest between us to see how many “big names” we could get to take selfies with us. Marianne WON, hands down!!! She got the fabulous Rachel Gibson!!!!  And Susan Elizabeth Phillips!!! Le sigh….maybe next year.

So, don’t ever be upset or embarrassed if you’re a fan girl, because we’ve all been there!! Some of us still are, despite our —ahem--senior ages!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

A visit to CRW…

Yesterday, I visited the Contemporary Romance Writers blog and gave a few tips about conference going.  Here’s the link: 

If you can’t access the link, here’s the article in its entirety

Memories from a first time RWA conference attendee. . .

(and what I learned to do- and not do – for the next conference.)

~ By Peggy Jaeger

In 2014 I attended my very first RWA conference in San Antonio. Not knowing what to expect from the conference, I’d gone with the idea that, as a trying-to-get-published romance writer, I was going to go all in, attend every workshop on craft and publishing, listen to every professional chat, set up as many editor and agent appointments as I was allowed, and basically do everything and see everything offered.

What’s that old saying: you make plans and God laughs? Yeah. Describes me perfectly.

The reality was so very different from what I’d planned, that it was almost comical.

First of all, there was no way I could attend every single workshop I wanted because so many of them overlapped or were at the same time as the others. I hadn’t realized I could see the full schedule on line before going, so I’d just assumed I’d be able to see what I wanted. Nope. Lesson learned? Plan ahead. Read through the online listing (now that you know it’s there!) and consider each class/workshop/chat for what it will bring to you as a writer. The conference is available on audio you can purchase, so if you miss classes, you can still hear their useful info when you get home.

I signed up for the Agent/Editor appointments. You were allowed one of each, so I scrolled through their names, saw a few big time agent names I recognized, then the publishers I knew about and made my choices. Again, God must have been chuckling big-time at my choices. Why? Because I hadn’t done any research on the people I was going to speak with. The Agent specialized in historical romance and YA. I write contemporary adult romance. The editor was from a house that was acquiring only through agents. Double flub on my part. Lesson learned? Research. Every single one of those agents and editors had a link to their websites, agencies, and publishing houses. If I’d done my due diligence and clicked on the one I wanted to meet with, I would have known before choosing them that they weren’t going to be interested in me or my work. Along with that, do not bring twenty typed copies of your manuscript to give to potential agents/editors. They don’t want to be schlepping a ton of unnecessary stuff home with them. This is the age of email and attachments.

Since this was my first RWA I had no idea all the “stuff” (and by stuff I mean swag and books) you receive at the conference. Every publishing house gives out complimentary books during their spotlight events; every breakfast, lunch and dinner has a guest speaker who also leave a book or two on every chair; the Goodie room is chock full of swag, free books, and just…stuff. I brought one suitcase with me that was already stuffed with my own stuff. Now I had over 6o free books and no room. Shipping them would have cost about $100.00. Lesson learned? Bring an extra bag/suitcase. You will be happy you did.

Again, since this was my first conference, I wanted to promote myself as a professional, so I brought nice clothes and outfits and shoes to go with them. Because I’m short all my shoes are 4 inches or above. If anyone has ever spent 12 hours in five inch heels you know the kind of agony I was in each and every night. Lesson learned? Dress appropriately, but comfortably. Kitten heels would have been fine! You want to make a good impression, especially on agents and editors, but you don’t need to look like you just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, or like you just crawled out of bed after a binge-drinking night at the hotel bar.

Realize you are going to see and possibly meet some of your all time favorite authors. It’s okay to fan-girl. It’s not okay to stalk. I stalked Nora Roberts at my first conference. The moment I saw her across the hotel lobby I simply lost my mind. She was on her way out of the building for a cigarette break. I am ashamed to admit this, but I followed her. It was like I was in some kind of trace. I knew what I was doing was illegal in 50 states, but I had no will to stop myself. When she stopped outside and lit up, I stood in the vestibule behind the glass doors just…watching her smoke. After a minute I realized what I was doing and snapped out of. Then I spotted Jill Shalvis on the escalator going down while I was going up. I jumped off and headed back down and followed her into the hotel coffee shop. Again… I was in a trance, I swear! Lesson learned? Be prepared to meet your writing idols but don’t do anything you could get arrested for!! When I spotted three twenty-somethings at the Literacy signing squeal like pigs when they met Jayne Ann Krentz, it drilled that lesson home.

One of the best things I did at the first conference was attend the RWA First Timer’s presentation. It was filled with helpful hints about how to get the most out of the conference without feeling overwhelmed, or as if you missed something. I highly recommend setting aside the two hours of the class and fitting it into your schedule.

This year the conference is in Orlando/Disney. In July. Florida in July is not a time frame for curly haired gals like me, so this year will bring its own set of problems and concerns! But I’m still going because I don’t want to miss the exciting, informative, and fun events and classes being offered. I’ll just need to pack an extra canister of hairspray.

Or maybe more than just one extra.

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

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The final tally in #Predators&Editors

Finished in 5th place!

Finished in 5th place!

So, for the past several weeks, the Predators and Editors 2016 readers poll has been in effect. I will tell you truthfully, I was lobbying hard for a  place in the ROMANCE SECTION and after all my arduous begging – I mean– hard work(!) I tied for 5th place. Not too shabby, considering the hundreds of entries.

I had a few people who are not involved with writing, publishing or anything related to either, ask me why I pushed so hard for a place in the contest results. I don’t get any prize money, or anything lucrative for coming in the top ten;  I don’t automatically have an influx in my books sales. The answer, though, really is a simple one.

I wanted to come in as high as I could because of the exposure an event like this has. I am still a relatively unknown author. Yes, I’ve had 7 books published in 18 months and I have three more due out this year. I have begun to build my — for lack of a better word — following. But I still need to grow more readers and a good way to do that is with global exposure such as the P&E poll. Hopefully, since I did finish so high up, people who don’t know my work will take a chance and order the book that came in 5th place – A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. And if they like that one, they might try the others, as well.

The snowball effect of finding a new author is a proven thing. When I discovered Jill Shalvis 3 years ago I went out and bought as many of her backlist as I could find and now I have all her new stuff on pre-order. I don’t think I’m the only reader who does this. In fact, I know I’m not, after talking with other readers.

So, thanks to all who voted for me. I promise I won’t hound you anymore. Well, at least not until next year when P&E rolls around again!

For those of you who haven’t read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin; to whet your appetite and — hopefully — you’ll want to read the rest!

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Blurb:

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.

Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.

Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

Excerpt:

His back was to me and he was carrying a table, but after he put it down and turned around I got a good look at the front of him.

And Holy Mary, Mother of God, what a front he had.

Close cropped military style hair the color of wind blown wheat topped a head which stood – truly – head and shoulders above everyone else around. The guy had to be six-three at least. Sharp, etched cheekbones God cut with a knife, sat under oval eyes which looked deep and dark from where I stood. His face was a composite of planes and angles, the carved cheeks meeting up with a chiseled-from-stone chin. Hardened concrete looked softer than this guy’s jawline. His nose was perfectly fixed in the center of his face, the slight aquiline bend at the tip bringing to mind Michelangelo’s David, the cupid’s bow under it deep and pronounced. Clean shaven, his mouth was full and thick and – God help me – looked utterly kissable.

I could tell even with the chunky vest covering his torso, he was closer to thin than stocky, but if I could guess from the way his biceps pulled against his sleeves, he had some muscle to him.

And some pair of legs. They went on forever, from heaven to earth in a full, hard line.

I don’t know how long I stood there, just gawking with my mouth open looking like a cannoli waiting to be filled, but I’m being truthful when I say I couldn’t move. My feet were frozen to the ground, my knees had locked, and my hips weren’t taking me anywhere soon.

This was one beautiful man.

Buy Links: Amazon //  Wild Rose Press //  Nook

When I’m not begging people to vote for me, you can probably find me anywhere here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

The year of YES

I did a post at the beginning of this year, telling you all that I’d made 2016 the year of saying yes for me to things I don’t usually  say yes to ( or even want to!) Thought I’d give you an update on how that’s going.

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I said yes to attending a woman’s expo earlier in the year as a vendor when an old friend asked me to. I was allowed to have my own “booth”, set up to sell copies of my books. This wasn’t a book conference, or a literary meeting, but an expo for women of all ages, all walks of like, and was filled with all things pertinent to, well, women.  Life style coaches, diet, exercise gurus, local and national vendors alike all converged on my local college for the day. I figured if I sold one book I’d be happy. Didn’t sell one book…sold 50. Mostly to people I didn’t know ( so that’s a plus!) Very glad I said yes to my friend when she asked me to participate. Another reason I was happy I’d said yes was when the guy at the booth next to mine told he was the sponsor of a woman’s retreat weekend, coming up this September and he would be thrilled if I participated and  maybe…wait for it…be a speaker. As a speaker, I’d also be able to sell my books during the weekend’s own trade/vendor show. Since this is the year of yes I said…Yes! I’ll let you know how it goes after it’s over next month.

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Even though I retired from my job last year so I could write full time, I said yes to going back for a few months to help my old office out with a problem. Because I knew there was an end-date on that “yes” I was happy to help out and actually had a good time interacting with my old patients and my crew. I really don’t think I need to tell you how happy my husband was when I said yes to this, since I would be getting paid for my time!

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I was asked to be a judge in our annual Keene Dancing with Stars and said yes – and was sosososo happy I did. I had oodles of fun and made some new friends.

I attended RWA in July ( you know that!) and this year when the call went out for volunteers to work the conference I said…yes. So glad I did because I got to chat up some of my all time favorite authors, like Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins, in a casual, fun-filled, no stress-sweat situation.

Remember my friend who asked me to participate in the woman’s expo? She also asked me to participate in this year’s Taste of Home Cooking show that will be happening this October at our high school, and again, I  said yes, because I get to sell my books to the 600-800 participants this event usually sees attend. More on that after October, but another good reason to say yes to something I’d rather avoid – crowds!!!

 

Here’s where you can find me when I’m not saying yes!:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Dancing with the Stars, female friends, Friends, Life challenges, love, New Hampshire, Project Graduation, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Evolving Romance reader….

When I was a teenager ( 175 years ago!), my taste in, and selection of, romance books was a tad different from what it is today. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers were my top reads back in the day and this little sheltered Catholic girl learned a whole lot about love, sex, and romance ( you thought I was gonna say Rock and Roll, admit it!) from those talented writers. In a world before the Internet, cell phones, reality TV and fame for fame’s sake, these books educated me in the ways of seduction, foreplay, and the real difference between men and women. Being transported back to the times when manners mattered, words could be used to seduce or slay, and women came to a marriage bed untouched and unknowing was fun to read.

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Flash forward to the present day and I’m invested in, and now  read a, different kind of romance story. While Regency tales of naughty noblemen and lascivious Lords are still fun for me to loose myself in, I know all about sex now, firsthand (!) so my eyes don’t need to be opened from reading about it, and I have a different perspective on what I want to read in today’s romance book.

Contemporary romantic fiction runs the gamut from sweet (no sex) tales of Amish women finding their true loves, to mild ( some sex, bedroom door closed) stories of women embarking on new life challenges; from sensual (sex with bedroom door wide open) stories of women discovering the meaning of their lives, to spicy (LOTS of sex in every place imaginable!) tales of women who are discovering their sexual – and personal – identities.

The common denominator in all the books I like to read now? The word contemporary.

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I lovelovelove reading about present day women of any age who are struggling, trying to make a better life, wondering if they will ever find their own happily ever after. Contemporary women in the here and now are my tribe. They live their lives with passion, fight for the ideas they believe in, aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and would do anything for, and sacrifice everything for,  the people they love. The men they let into their hearts may not always be deserving of such a place of honor in the beginning of the tale, but by the end of it, my contemporary girls have brought about a profound change in them – and in herself – that it facilitates their lifetime love. Their own happily ever after.

The contemporary romances I read – I will freely admit – run from sensual to spicy. Unlike when I was growing up, women can have sex freely these days without the dread of being burned at the stake ( don’t laugh – it happened), without fear of being abandoned by family and society, and without worry about getting pregnant – although this last one is a popular romantic trope to this day ( the unplanned OOPS baby).  They can engage in behavior that at one time would have lead to their banishment from society, their public censure, and their economic downfall. And they can have fun doing it now. Some of my favorite books to read are romantic comedies where the laughs equal the sexy parts, measure for measure.

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In my youth, the heroines I read fell into a very small category: ladies of noble birth or not. No in between. No shopkeepers, governesses, scullery maids.

Today, the heroines I read about are brilliant doctors, powerful lawyers, CEO’s of their own companies, tech executives. They are  nurses, teachers, veterinary techs, bus drivers, race car enthusiasts, television producers. And they are stay-at-home moms, policewomen. writers. They are all the women I know.

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So, in the past several decades I can truly say I have evolved as a romance reader.

But I have to admit I still love a Regency rake!

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Since I love contemporary romances, here’s where you can find the ones I write – stories about strong women, the families who support them, and the men  who can’t live without them. Amazon author page

 

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.

Blurb:

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#RWA16..more,more,more…

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Honestly, there’s so much to tell you all that I need to blog SEVERAL times per day but I am just too bushed come evening.

So, let’s go back to yesterday. I had a great breakfast and met some dynamite authors. Then on to t he AVON book signing, where I met these lovely ladies :

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Kristan Higgans, RaeAnn Thayne, and Robyn Carr. Gracious, lovely, funny, and sweet, every one of them. Oh, and of course, Jill Shalvis again!

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After that bit of wonderfullness, it was on to my second moderating job, Character Excavation, only I was nervous and called it Character Evacuation ( Lol!!) with Kristan Higgans, Farrah Rochon and Damon Suede. This was a masterclass, people, and should have been at least 2 hours. There was so much outstanding information on how to get to know your characters, who they are, what they want, why they want it, and how they get it, that my head was spinning. It needed to be at least 2 hours – maybe more!! Each presenter was an expert in the way they approach characterization. I’m so glad I went to this class.

In the afternoon I attended a workshop by social media guru Rachel Hollis and learned a bunch of new tricks about promoting your work I never knew. I will be putting these into implementation asap!

The last class of my day ( really, by now I was wrung out!! mentally and physically) was on how to build a powerful author brand with Angela James, Laura Bradford, Erin Galloway, and Michelle Renaud. I was so happy to hear every thing they said, I’ve already implemented – like tag line, branding, promoting it across social media sites for consistency. Yeah me and yeah them!

After that it was time for dinner. Now, I’m by myself at this conference and it’s always a little sad to see a single woman at a restaurant table eating along, but I said “F**K it! I’m hungry.” So I went down to the hotel resturant, ordered an adult beverage rwa102and lobster roll for dinner. Yumolicious.

After that I wanted to walk a little so I filmed some of the marina ( check out my FB page for the video ) and then ambled over to Ben and Jerry’s. I asked the girl for a small waffle cone with vanilla icecream. I gave her $10.00 and she gaveme back $1.10 in change. You do the math. Question: Does this look worth $ 8.90?

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While I’m in San Diego, here’s where you can reach me:  Tweet Me// Read Me//Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#RWA16, Day 2 wrapup…kinda

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I’m literally dropping in my heels. What a busy day, but what an exciting one, too!

First things first, I attended the RWA Leadership meeting. Very informative.

I volunteered at my very first workshop today as a moderator. I really wanted to get the experience – the whole RWA – and volunteering seemed like the best way. The one thing I forgot is that I hate the sound of my voice and I had to ANNOUNCE things over a microphone. Not fun. But… the speakers were Jill Shalvis (fangirl moment to the max!), SarahMorgan, and RaeAnn Thayne. They were sweet, funny and kind and made the whole experience great.

 

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Then it was on to the Kensington Publishers book signing, where I took the lovely pic of Jill ( above) and another gracious writer, Sylvia Day – whose line was out the door. Literally!

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This was my book haul just from Kensington:

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I’m so glad  I brought a spare suitcase this year!

I stopped by the general meeting to hear what’s going on with the organization and then time for a quick freshening up and outfit change before the Kensington Authors Reception at the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center. Since I am a new author with this wonderful group I wanted to meet and greet a few of my fellow writers and get to know the publishers. The food was amazeballs and the owner, Steven Zacharius, is a funny, lovely, and supportive man. I am so glad I have found a new publishing family.

Off to bed  with me now..oh, I did want to share one more thing. Yesterday was the first official RWA luncheon with speaker Beverly Johnson. I didn’t go because I don’t do well in crowds, so I wandered around the bay area for a while. This was my lunch:rwa11

I love that you can find a little taste of home wherever you go!!

 

While I’m in San Diego, here’s where you can reach me:  Tweet Me// Read Me//Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Day 2…Book signings, class moderating, networking…

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So, I’m still a little giddy and emotionally high after the Nora Roberts Literacy book signing last evening. There were over 400 authors present – big names and not so big( like moi!) – and the horde of fans who came to purchase books was immense! Romance fans are truly the best in the world. I was sitting next to Julie James and I swear, some of her fans squealed when they came up to her and met her!! It was amazeballs cute. I was over the moon at the amount of books I sold, but even if I hadn’t sold one, I’d have had a great time seeing all my fav authors and making some new friends.
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So, today is official day 2 ( but really day 1 for all the workshops and meetings).

I have a Leadership breakfast to attend in my role as NHRWA Secretary, then a Kensington Spotlight to hear Steve Zacharious’ “news.” I’m taking two workshops and then moderating one this afternoon with the fabulous Jill Shalvis, Sarah Morgan and RaeAnn Thayne as the speakers. Can you just say, “PINCH ME, NOW?” I know!!!

These evening I am attending a cocktail party courtesy of Kenisington Publishers where I hope to meet many of my new fellow authors.

Lots to do…lots to talk about…..later, peeps.

While I’m in San Diego, here’s where you can reach me:  Tweet Me// Read Me//Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Why we love Christmas romance books.

I was in Target the other day doing a little Christmas shopping and I found myself – surprise surprise – in the  Book department. There were no fewer than 15 brand-new Christmas romance  novels from 15 different authors.  Was I surprised? Not really.  We all know romance sells… And a Christmas romance sells even better.

This got me to thinking: Why is it that romance readers love a Christmas romance?

In the purest sense,  Christmas is a joyous time. We all want to be happy, in love, be loved, and give love.  The basic Christmas romance novel uses that universal desire for love and amplifies it. How you ask? Well, I’m going to tell you.

Typically, a romance novel set during the Christmas season will involve a heroine who is just not feeling the love. The love of the season,  or the love of a good man.  Enter our hero. He, too, may not be feeling the love of the season. He isn’t looking for his soul-mate; doesn’t think Santa is going to hand deliver a  girl for him down the chimney and leave her under the tree. BUT. It’s Christmas after all. The time of miracles; the time of wishes being fulfilled.

When our hero and our heroine do meet, it may not be love at first sight, or even second. Possibly not third, either. Some intangible thing, though, will bring them together and when they do find their love ( usually on Christmas morning or under the mistletoe) then the story gets resolved, because Christmas is the time for love to wash away all the evil, all the hurt, all the pain of the year before it.

I will admit freely and unabashedly I am a total sap for a Christmas romance story. The Hallmark channel and Lifetime Movie Network were made especially for me ( or so I tell myself). Their 24 hour a day holiday movies and specials – all about some sort of love/romance as the theme surrounding the Christmas season are favorites with romance novel readers from every walk of life. Happily ever afters abound, and Santa comes on Christmas morning, bringing you exactly what you wanted and wished for (usually a hunky guy in Christmas boxers…but I digress and that’s for another blog post).

Yeah, I know it’s kinda sappy and syrupy and maybe even schmaltzy, but I don’t care. Neither  do the millions of others who support ( read: spend their money on!) this cottage holiday industry.

So, while I settle down  in front of my roaring fireplace where I’m all warm and comfy with new Nora Roberts’ CHRISTMAS WIH YOU book, after just finishing Jill Shalvis’  MERRY CHIRTSMAS BABY , I hope you can take an hour or two this week and read a new holiday romance or watch the Hallmark Channel and/or Lifetime Movie Network. After all, we deserve a break from shopping, wrapping, cooking and decorating, don’t we?

Yeah…we do!

Christmas is coming and so is VALENTINE’S DAY!!!! Comingperf5.000x8.000.indd soon:: 3 Wishes, A Candy Hearts Story from the Wild Rose Press 2/8/16 release. Buy Links available soon!

Blurb: Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Friends, love, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor