Tag Archives: NYC

#RWA2019 #RWA19 Wrap Up… And an open letter to the RWA Board.

On the train back home on Saturday, I had a few hours to ponder on this year’s RWA experience for me and I came up with quite a few things.

When I was first published 5 years ago and went to my very first RWA in San Antonio, every class I took was craft-related. I wanted to hear from the experts about how to master the art of romance writing. I didn’t even know that the publishing houses gave away free books! I was so intent on taking every craft class I could to make myself a better writer.

The second year I did know they gave away free books and I split the time 50/50 between craft classes, (fangirling) and going to book signings.

Third year I only went to book signings! hee hee

Fourth year I attended nothing but marketing classes ( and a few book signings) because now that I had over 10 books published I figured I knew what I was doing, writingwise, but now needed to know how to effectively market and sell those books.

This year, no book signings other than my own, and nothing but marketing classes. Well, that one on RomCom writing. How much my perspective has changed over these five years!

This year, for the very first time ( which is disgraceful that it took so long) the first and second black women were awarded RITAS. This was an historic RITA ceremony and while I am thrilled for the AOC who won, I am disheartened that it took so bloody long for it to happen. The board’s directive to solve this issue is imperative.

That’s all the good stuff. Now…the not so good.

Dear RWA Board Members.

I recognize that this was a hard year for you all. Cockygate, then the plagerism scandal; the #dontattendtheRitas movement because of the diversity issue. These have been tough hills to climb, I get that.

But…..

  1. Attending RWA in NYC is wicked expensive. The rooms alone are bankruptable to most writers who don’t make 6 figures ( hell, even 4 figures) a year. There must be some hotel that can accommodate this group for less money.
  2. And while we are on the subject of expensive hotels, 37 dollars for a breakfast buffet is ridiculous! I can’t believe there wasn’t some cost reduction that could have been given due to the large volume of guests RWA provided for the hotel.
  3. Now…the elevators. We’ve been in many hotels for RWA and this hotel has, hands down, the absolute worst elevators of any we’ve stayed in. They  broke down 3 times, took between 4 and 7 minutes to arrive most days ( yes, I timed them) and simply could not accommodate the amount of writers who needed to get to classes, all at the same time.
  4. The cost of registration is very high. Very high. And this year ( as last year) I personally don’t feel the cost was worth it for the mediocre quality of the workshops given. DOn’t get me wrong – some of them were fabulous. Truly. But overall I found the choices lacking.
  5. And having said that, there was a greater emphasis on indie and self publishing than ever before. Many of us are still traditionally published – like I am – and have no desire to switch to Indie.  It would have been nice to have a 50/50 split instead of the topheavy indie offerings. Just sayin’
  6. Now, the RITAS. In the past we’ve had desserts on the table to snack on during the long ( and long winded) ceremony. Little petit fours, snack cookies, delicious desserts to help sugar us up and get us through the event. This is what we had this year:

A box of lemon drops. LEMON DROPS. Really? I paid $499 for a lousy 8 pack of vile tasting hard candies that looked like the came from the land of Halloween candy rejects? Badly done, RWA. Badly done. And while we’re on this subject, $8.00 for a shitty 8 ounce glass of soda and $20.00 for a half glass of champagne was insulting. We’ve already been monetarily gouged for the cost of registration, the hotel, the food and now add insult to injury and charge penurious amounts for a drink at a ceremony?

Yeah, I think I’m skipping San Francisco for sure. I simply can’t afford it.

You can do better than this, RWA. You really can.

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A busy day in #NYC and #RWA2019

 

Today was the official first day of the conference, but nothing started until 2 pm, so i took advantage of the beautiful day and toured around the city a bit.

Visited the place where I spent many a happy day as a NYC college student, The New York Public Library on 42nd street and Bryant Park

Okay, go ahead and laugh, because my eyes really do look crooked int this photo!

I passed by my favorite street address in all the world

and two buildings I’ve visited more times in my life than I remember.

SO when the festivities began at 2, I spent the rest of the day learning, networking, eating, and visiting with the best people in the world: My romance sistahs from from and near!

Today is the INDIE BOOK signing, so if you’re attending, look for me! I’ve got free books!

Until next time ~Peg

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You can take the girl out of the city….

but apparently you can never take the city out of the girl.

I arrived yesterday in NYC from sweet home New Hampshire, and the heat slapped me silly the moment I stepped out of Grand Central Station. The Hotel this year is only about 3 avenues and 2 blocks from GCS so, ever the money conscious chick, and knowing this burg like I know the back of my hand –  having spent my youth as a citizen of these fine streets – I hoofed it from the train to the hotel.

In the heat.

At midday.

In the busiest city in the world.

Lugging my suitcase behind me.

Yeah…didn’t think that one thru all the way, did I?

Got here ( sweating like a working farm animal) and THANK YOU JESUS my room was ready because if they told me it wasn’t, it wasn’t gonna be a pretty sight.

My room is big enough to house 4 people comfortably and no, I’m not offering any space to anyone, so get that outta your heads asap.

DOn’t have much of view by daylight

But night time is pretty cool, with the lights of 42nd street lit…

Oh, and that heat that was apparent when I arrived? About 5 pm tonight severe weather loomed in, enough so that a storm hazard warning blared on my phone. Torrential rain for 2 hours. Flash flood warning. Whipping winds.

Felt like home….

Until next time ~ Peg

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How many books does it take to land a Literary Agent?

Remember that tootsie pop commercial “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Toostie pop?” If you’re over 40 you do.

I’m waaaaaay over 40.

But I digress.

I’ve been TRADITIONALLY published for 4 years now. My first book hit the shelves from The Wild Rose press in 2015. Since then I’ve had 3 books published with Kensington/Lyrical,  9 more published with WRP and 3 more contracted, one ( so far) published with Limitless and 3 more planned for that series. I’ve won over 20 industry writing awards for my books, the most recent, the 2018 OKRWA International Digital Award and the 2019 Golden Quill Award. I’ve done speaking engagements on romance topics, I have a fierce social media presence and a good following of readers and bloggers and I’m an active member of my local RWA chapter.

I’ve done all the work to get those books contracts, too. On my own. No Literary Agent. And let me repeat – these are traditionally published, not self-pubbed books.

So, why am I still trying to land a Literary Agent when I’ve had such success on my own getting book contracts?

A good question and one I’ve had a lot of people ask me.

I see having a Literary Agent has having someone who is always guarding my six ( or, at my back for those of you who don’t watch NCIS). Someone who will do their best to try to find the publishing contracts for me, instead of me having to invest so much time and energy in doing so when I could be writing. A literary agent knows the ins and outs of the publishing community, what’s new, what’s going out of style. They’ll be able to garner you international rights so your books get to other readers in other countries; they know what conferences to attend, what CONS to do books signings at to increase your exposure and get you more sales. They are your first professional reader and editor, able to tell you where you need to make changes to your manuscript to get it “publishing ready.”

Having a Literary Agent may seem old fashioned to some of the new wave of Indie writers, but I still see having one as an entree to places in publishing I could never go to or get into without one. Literary Agents have relationships with publishing houses that I never will – or can. Editors for those houses trust their judgement. If they talk up an author and her work, those editors will listen instead of unknown me writing a query letter that will probably go into a spam file.

I respect Literary Agents and think they are so worth having. You have a doctor to protect your health; a dentist to protect your teeth. A literary agent protects you and your work. Makes sense, no?

And yet, I still haven’t been able to get any LA’s interested in representing me, so I ask again, how many published books – traditionally published books – does it take before someone will be interested in representing me?

The answer to the tootsie pop question was 3. It takes 3 licks to get to center of a tootsie pop.

I’ve queried upward of 25-30 Literary Agents the past few years. And I’m still not …at the center of the tootsie pop.

Le sigh. Maybe this year at #RWA2019 I’ll finally meet the Agent of my dreams. I can always hope and dream……

Hey, did you know my current book  is currently on sale exclusively at AMAZON and KU?
Here are the links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XmMfBn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JkOZpA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2XcgTZS
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2xnWg2x

Going to #RWA2019? Follow me on the hashtag #Peggyworksaconference for daily updates on what’s going down and who I’m fangirl stalking.

Until  Next Time~ Peg

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#ConferencePacking…the bane of my existence

So today’s the day I start to try on clothes I haven’t worn in a while ( okay, a year!), figure out how many “travel sized” personal care items I need to buy, do laundry to ensure I have enough underwear to last a week, and find shoes that go with more than one outfit so I don’t have to pack my entire shoe closet.

Stress, they name is Margaret-Mary.

Cause of stress? I need to pack for RWA.

I am, usually, a fabulous packer. I just came back from a week in London with one suitcase and a backpack, and my packing skills are enviable. When you fly international, you’re only allowed so much poundage per stored luggage. I came in under, more than 20 pounds lighter than what they allow.

Score! If the plane had crashed due to overpacking and overweight, it wouldn’t have been because of anything I’d contributed to.

You’d think since RWA is in NYC this year, I wouldn’t have to worry. No planes, no airport parking, just a drive to MetroNorth, hop on a commuter train and then hail a cab from Grand Central Station to the Marriott Marquis.

Easy peasy.

Yeah., not so much.

Backstory: I have 2 torn rotator cuffs and a bunch of ancillary damage to both shoulders. Due to scheduling issues I’m not having my first surgery to repair one shoulder until the end of august. What that means is that I’m severely limited in how much I can pull/lift/push with my arms. I’ll be attending RWA solo, as always, and getting my suitcase filled with a week’s worth of stuff and then carrying it to NYC is going to be a pain in the…shoulder.

So that’s one point.

Point 2 is since I haven’t been able to exercise much due to the pain and immobility issues of the shoulders, I’m a little….chubbier….than usual, and I haven’t bought any new clothes, so I need to be able to fit into the stuff from last year. And fit into stuff where I won’t look like  a stuffed sausage!!! Can you lose 4o pounds in a weekend?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Le sigh….

Oh well. Let me go try stuff on and see what — it anything — fits and doesn’t make me look like a tent.

And don’t forget to come see me in NYC. I’m doing 2 book signings this year:

And

Come see me and get a free book!!!

Until next time ~ Peg

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#ConferenceTime

In one short week I head to NYC for the annual RWA conference. Can I just tell you how happy I am that I don’t have to fly  to the event this year??!!  A quick drive to New Haven and then a hop on board Metro North and I can be in NYC much quicker than if I have to fly to ports west of here.

Any hoo…

This annual conference has become for me, a time to re-energize, revitalize, and reevaluate my writing career. I get to see writing friends I only see at conferences since we live in different places, and I get to fan-girl my favorite authors and do a little harmless stalking. Hee hee.

I’ll be updating the blog daily with fun stuff from NYC and the conference, so be sure to check out my hashtag #peggyworksaconference on my twitter and instagram feeds.

Until next time ~ Peg

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DIRTY DAMSELS #CoverReveal #LimitlessPublishing

Well… I’ve been waiting forevah to show this cover to you, so….here it is, the cover for my 7.2.19 release of DIRTY DAMSELS ( DotComGirlsSeries, book 1) from Limitless Publishers:

and here’s the book flat that goes along with it:

Now, it’s going to be exclusive for KU and here’s the link for the Kindle version: Kindle 

Buy you can also get a print copy here: POD

Costs: KU ( free with subscription)’ KINDLE: 3.99 and POD 12.99

*** Preorders are available right now, so order your copy today and on July 2 it will be in your inbox when you wake up, just in time for a 4th of July Beach read!

I’m over the moon about this new series. It’s a little…sexier, than I usually write, but fun, too!

Blurb: The cover jacket is written in the male Point of view ( isn’t that sexy?!) But the book itself is written in first person, female – or heroine’s view – Cynderella Jones.

When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a small and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels is booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.

And uber talented writer and graphic artist, Nancy Fraser, made me a fabulous Book trailer to go along with the fun, flirty theme of the book. I simply adore the jazz music! The video is on my You Tube channel, but you can get a gander at it here, too.

Honestly, I’m giddy!! ( Can you tell??) Get your preorders made today, peeps!

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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#TuesdayTeaser Dirty Damsels

Since I’ve got a library of new books coming out in the next few months-to-a- year, I thought I’d start a little sumthin’ sumthin’ on the blog called  TUESDAY TEASER as a way to get everyone interested in what’s coming down the book pike for me.

Why TUESDAY TEASER? Simple answer: I lovelovelove alliteration!

I don’t have my cover from the publisher to share yet, but here’s a little bit from my July 2, 2019 release of DIRTY DAMSELS from Limitless Publications:

When the bridal party fanned out around the altar, the organist signaled a music change, and the entire congregation stood as a unit. I turned to get a view of the bride and her father as the interior doors opened.

None of the drama that’d filled Carrie Ann’s world a few hours ago could be detected on her beautifully made-up, heart shaped face. Luminous blonde hair was coiffed in a waterfall of curls cascading down her neck and shoulders, and a tiara, its faux diamonds twinkling as the sunlight filtered through the stained glass windows, sat atop her head.

The bridal gown designer’s creation of the sexiest dress I’d ever seen drifted down Carrie Ann’s delicate shoulders. The dress was almost completely see-through, strategic silk swatches placed in front of cut-out panels in swirls and circular designs lined with illusion material. At first glance, all I saw were the intricate, etched shapes. Closer inspection and I realized there was more of Carrie Ann on display than previously thought. The neckline was a delicate thread of lace baring her down to below her bellybutton. Again, illusion material gave the semblance of propriety. The deep neckline accentuated her beautiful, full breasts and showed more cleavage than should be seen in a house of God. I could stuff my bra with a box of Kleenex and still not achieve this girl’s natural endowments. The dropped waist was cinched tight, and I wondered how the poor thing was ever going to be able to sit. Or manage to pee. The material hugged her hips, thighs, even the backs of her knees all the way to the floor. One full breath, or pig-in-a-blanket too many at the cocktail party, and this dress was in serious danger of exploding off her. She walked, on the arm of her father, slowly up the aisle, and I knew it wasn’t because she was trying to ensure everyone got a perfect view of her dress. A sloth in a coma moved faster than this gown allowed the bride to.

A few pews in front of me, Carrie Ann’s mother sniffed and dabbed her eyes with a pink handkerchief. When dad and bride sauntered by me, I saw the back of the gown for the first time and gasped. Lined with the same illusion material, it dropped down to the gentle rise of the bride’s butt cheeks. Truly. You could see the top of the crack of her ass in full glory. But it was a superb ass, I will admit, something mine will never be. Full, tight, and round, the dress hugged every God-given inch of it.

At the altar, Casey took Carrie Ann’s hand, leaned in, and whispered something. She grinned from ear to ear. The guests sat and the ceremony began.

Peggy here – this is what I imagined when I came up with Carrie Ann’s gown:

You can see more images from what I “see” in the book on my Pinterest Board DIRTY DAMSELS

The idea for Dirty Damsels came to me when this tagline popped into my brain one, random, Sunday: What would happen if Cynderella had a one night stand with a man named Prince?
Heehee.

Hope you’re intrigued!

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#SundaySnippet 12.2.18 An Oldie but a goodie ( and an award winner, too!)

 

I’ve got an oldie but a goodie here today, peeps. My first book for Kensignton/Lyrical Shine and my first book in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, COOKING WITH KANDY. I chose this book for today because it’s currently on sale – the ecopy – for 99 cents and I thought to myself, “self, what a great way to promo the book so people can learn about it and buy it for the romance readers on their holiday lists.” 

Shameless self promotion, thy name is Peggy.

Also, after this post was already in production, I found out that COOKING WITH KANDY won first place in the Contemporary Novel category in the OKRWA  IDA contest! So YAY for me! Here’s the link to the winners; OKRWA IDA My name and the book are listed first – and yes, that makes me very conceited to mention it, but happy too!

Here are Josh and Kandy…..

Josh returned to the filled room and scanned it for Kandy.

“She’s in the ladies’ room with Gemma,” Cort said, coming up and handing him a drink. “Here. Give her this. She’ll need it. And by the way, good move with Chandler. I never liked him.”

“Seems to be the general consensus.” He took the proffered glass.

He made his way to the other side of the room, ignoring the stares and whispers of the crowd, found the lounge, and knocked. “Kandy? It’s Josh. Can I come in?”

It was Gemma who answered. “Yes.”

The sisters were seated in twin floral Queen Anne chairs, Gemma reclining back into hers, arms crossed over her chest. Kandy was opposite, head wrung in her hands.

“Cort thought you could use this,” he said, handing her the champagne flute.

He’d expected tears, but was surprised to see Kandy’s beautiful face pinch in a scowl, her eyes flaring with sweltering anger and venom when she looked up at him.

“Thanks.” Kandy took the drink and downed half of it in one gulp.

When she wiped her lips with the back of her hand, the corners of Gemma’s mouth lifted and she asked Josh, “What did you do to the turd?”

“Explained he needed to leave, put him in the elevator, and made sure he went down in it.”

“Made him how?” Kandy asked.

“Little persuasion trick I know. His wrist’s gonna be sore tomorrow. Maybe for the next few days.”

“You physically removed him?” Gemma asked.
 Josh almost laughed at the excitement in her voice. He shrugged.

“Yeah. He was going to follow Kandy if I didn’t.”

“Please tell me you have unmarried, available brothers at home,” Gemma said.

It hurt to keep the smile from his face, but he did. “Three, in fact.”

“Are they all like you? No, scratch that.” She sighed, the sound wistful. “I doubt there’s anyone like you.”

“If you mean are they all workaholics and career-driven, then no. They’re not like me. But they are available.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.” She glanced at her sister and said, “Well, looks like my work here is done. She’s all yours now.”

She stood and kissed the top of Kandy’s head. “Evan Chandler is an egotistical, phony prick. Remember that.”

“How could I forget it?” Kandy grabbed her sister’s hand and kissed the back of it. “Thanks.”

When Gemma left, Josh took her empty chair. “You okay?”

She took a deep breath before saying, “Mad, but okay. I underestimated him.”

“How so?”

“I didn’t think he’d have the guts to crash my party. I thought he was too much of a wimp to risk it after our last encounter. Guess I was wrong.” She stood and crossed to the vanity. Peering at her reflection, she ran a lazy hand through her hair, fluffing the curls. She caught his gaze, watching her, in the mirror. “Aren’t you going to ask me about it?”

He’d considered it. But the weary look in her eyes told him he was better off asking Stacy or Gemma.

“No. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’ve got a pretty fancy shindig going on out there.” He cocked his thumb in the direction of the ballroom. “Maybe you want to get back and enjoy it. Bask in the adulation,” he said with a good-natured grin.

She turned to him and her eyes softened. When her lips moved upward into a small, lazy smile, the dimples dancing, his legs went a little soft and he was thankful he was seated.

“Yeah,” she said, moving to him. When he stood, she linked her arm in his. “Thanks. You’re right. Let’s go have a party.”

He returned her smile, glad he could help.

“You’re not so bad, Keane. This bodyguard thing might be fun after all.”

It was a moment before he trusted himself to speak.

“I aim to please.”

Buy Links: Kobo// Apple // Amazon // B&N // Google play  // Books a Million // Walmart

And remember – all the Will Cook For Love books are on sale right now – just in time for the holidays! Put a little romance under your tree this year….

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

My mind is numb, but my motivation is turned on high!

RWA15 has turned into one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Ever. The diversity of the workshops is truly amazing,  today no exception.

This morning, during breakfast, I attended  a doctoral focus group gaining information on what romance novels mean to writers and  readers. The panel I was with were a widespread group of traditonally published and self-pubbed authors who brought a wide array of ideas and thoughts to the table. After that, a heartwarming speech by author Julia Quinn didn’t leave a dry eye in the house (or ballroom, if we’re being literal!)

My morning session included  workshops on how to tweak my prose, and how to zing more emotion into my writing. It seems my writing does indeed need zing after hearing these authors speak! After lunch, I pitched myself ( not literally, folks) to my dream Literary Agent. I’m keeping her name mum, but she is fabulous! Fingers, toes, and whatever else my arthritic body will let me cross, crossed. More to come on that to be sure at a later date.

The afternoon workshops had me laughing with Susan Ann Phillips as she taught a packed house how to give our characters more depth and dimension, and then on to another packed conference room where the amazing Kristan Higgins schooled us all in the care, keeping and use of  secondary characters. It seems she has a secret boyfriend named Tom Hiddleston  aka Loki, and she enjoys using images of him in her lectures. Thank you for doing so, Kristan! Both of these talented ladies had the rooms rolling with laughter.

Dinner tonight is a treat for me because I get to see my baby girl and spend some quality time with her, so I’ll sign off for now to go get ready.

Here are some pictures taken today to ponder over.

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today’s book haul – how the heck am I gonna get all these home…and there will be more tomorrow!!!

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Just hanging out in the hotel lobby, all decked out and waiting for someone to dance with.

And then there was this guy…I just can’t explain him.

 

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