Tag Archives: Romance Writers

Conference comedown #NECRWA2017 #romancewriter

This past weekend I attended the NECRWA 2017 conference in Burlington, MA. Historically, this is a fabulous conference for romance writers to network with professionals, learn about craft, catch up with old friends, and make new ones. This year was no exception. Ii fact, this was a banner year for the conference and for me.

Let me ‘esplain….

For the conference itself, the committee tried several new “things” conference-wise that just worked. A bigger and expanded book fair; an exceptional cocktail hour and meal service; a large and varied collection of conference topics, and two break-out sessions after the conference was completed. I don’t think I ‘ve ever heard so many participant comments in the past that were so glowing of all aspects of the conference, so Kudos to the conference committee. You should all pat yourselves several times on the back!

As for me, well, this was the first time I’ve ever given a professional writing speech. Okay, speech isn’t the correct word. It was a workshop on writing romance stories for people over the age of 40. I’d given this presentation to my local NHRWA chapter last month and it was warmly received. I even wrote a blog about my nerves concerning it.  But they’re all my friends. I didn’t think they’d be mean and they weren’t ( of course they weren’t!!!) This time, the presentation was for a room full of people I didn’t know. At all. Now, some of my chapter mates attended to support me ( gotta lovelovelove that, right!!) And I knew the moderator from previous conferences. But the majority of that room was alien to me and boy-oh-boy was I nervous.

Turns out, I didn’t have to be. They all laughed in the right places, asked en-pointe questions related to the topic and I never once saw people yawning, checking Apple watches, or fidgeting.

Nirvana for a speaker!!!!

The best part? A few hours later I met one of the attendees in another workshop and she stopped me and told me how much I had inspired her and that she’d had an immediate story plot jump into her head. When she told me about it I started to well-up because I could see – really SEE – how the talk had inspired her. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so emotionally invested in a stranger before! Sniff…sniff…

So, now I’m home, getting back to the editing and writing grind today. Although, it really isn’t a grind. It’s an absolute delight in every way, especially, now that I know my words and thoughts actually helped another writer.

Le sigh…..I’ve got a great life.

When I’m not attending conferences you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

#ValentinesDayDate, #CandyHeartsRomances, #chat, #prizes

It’s a date for Valentine’s Day! A Candy Hearts Valentine’s Day Party. Win Prizes, Chat with Authors, fall in love with a fun, flirty romance.

 

Join the authors of the Candy Hearts Series for a live chat party this February 14th!
The party starts at 8pm ET.
Fun, Flirty, and Falling in Love
What do you need to do before the party?
 Visit the Wild Rose Press Candy Hearts series page, read the blurbs. We’ll be having a bit of fun.
If you guess the books, you could win a prize!
(all questions will be based on the blurbs, and we’ll have hints to make it fun)
Chat with the authors, win some books and
celebrate Falling in Love.
if you haven’t been to a Tuesday night chat at the Wild Rose Press, you’ll need to create a username and password to enter the chatroom

I’ll be chatting about  My Candy Hearts Book, 3 WISHES

Blurb:perf5.000x8.000.indd

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.

Excerpt:

At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

The Candy Hearts books are all on sale until Feb. 14 at The Wild Rose Press

When I’m not chatting on line you can find me here:

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

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

I need a little #writer and #RomanceReader help…

This is going to be a good test to see if anyone ever reads my blogs!!

help

I told you recently that I’m all atwitter and discombobulated because I’m putting together a Power Point presentation for my local NHRWA chapter in March and then for the New England (NECRWA) Chapter in April and I’m learning (slowly) the ins and outs of the PP program.

That’s fine. No worries there.

But…

I need a little help from my romance writer and reader friends. Who ( what author) do you read who writes romance with heroines and heroes OLDER than 45 years old? I’m not looking for writers who write about the fabulous 20 somethings or terrific thirty-year-olds. I want romance titles and books written about folks in their middle years. If you read romance books concerning this age group, please send me book titles or the authors who write them.

I have a few in mind, but I want to explore more. Please.

I’ll say thank you in advance.

thank-you1

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

#RWA16 the final day….Whew!

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So I’m sitting right now at the San Diego airport waiting for my flight. it’s 4 am PCT and I am TIRED with a capital T! Yesterday was a whirlwind, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.

It started with another book signing. The total now is 72.( this picture isn’t all of them!)

rwa26And I did break down and ship some of them home today. I just didn’t want to be bothered having to lug them all in my suitcase and then back home. Then off to Elizabeth Hoyt’s Emotion workshop. If you don’t know Hoyt, you don’t know historical romance. Her heat level is lava worthy. Her male characters are each and every one the type of man I could so see myself with IF I lived in Regency times. She gave an in-depth workshop on exactly what is needed to give your characters emotional depth and substance. And she should know – she’s an award-winning writing chicita with the writing chops to go with it.

A quick lunch of Diet Mountain Dew and a mounds bar – honestly there is never enough time to actually sit down and eat something nutritious for lunch!! and then it was on to a talk with Kristan Higgins, Elizabeth Hoyt and  Alyssa Day titled Sex with the terrible trio… This class was a no holds barred laugh fest about how to write sex for any heat level from sweet, to  close the door, to down and dirty and hothothot.  I haven’t laughed so much nor learned so much from a lecture since I took anatomy class in nursing school and saw my very first ( dead, as in, cadaver) penis. Truly, these three would be a hoot to just hang out and have drinks with.

My last workshop of the day concerned the DARK MOMENT on your story, and I’m not referring to Voldemort’s tattoo! Lisa Kessler gave numerous examples in film and fiction of that moment in the story when all seems lost and hopeless, the h/h will never get their chance at a happily ever after and your heart is pounding. Excellent discussion on how to up  the stakes on your story to make that dark moment the one people remember..

Alas, I did not actually get to attend the RITA awards live because my shuttle bus was coming for me at oh0threehundred-dark for my flight. But I did get to watch up until Robyn Carr’s acceptance speech on my computer from the webcam streaming, so I feel like I hit the high points.

Now, as I sit here – tired, hungry, and yet elated, I am thankful to go home because really, you can eat only so much bad food for a week, and I miss my bed. And my husband – I need to say that! But I take away from this conference so many first’s as memories: My first RWA literacy signing, the first time I volunteered at RWA, the first time I moderated worskhops. The first time I really got up my gumption and talked TALKED with uberfamous and wonderful authors like Jill Shalvis ( fan girl sigh) Kristan Higgins, and Elizabeth Hoyt. My first publishing party at my new home, Kensington/Lyrical.

My fan girl moments in the hallways included a quick chat with Jayne Ann Krentz, who was walking along with all the romance rabble ( like me!) like she was just another gal getting to an elevator. I saw Nora Roberts twice – I almost wet my pants both times!! Sylvia Day, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the amazing Brenda Novak…. so many faces for the writers I love  and worship.

In the next few days I will come down off this high and get back to the work of actually writing – I have deadlines now!!- but I will remember for years to come how wonderful, how supported, how inspired I was by everyone and everything RWA related.

Until next time…..be well, find your joy, and write your little hearts out.

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

New Candy Hearts Releases

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Today, I’m introducing you t0 3 more Candy Hearts authors, Tanya Henson, Erin Bevan, and Anita Kidesu and their Candy Hearts stories:   PICK ME, TEXT ME and SURPRISE ME. And don’t forget to enter THE WILD ROSE PRESS RAFFLECOPTER for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE. Details below.

PICK ME (Tanya Hanson)

Blurb:

pick me

Volunteering at a horse rescue has helped heal schoolteacher Kelsey Hunter after her celebrity ex’s betrayal. Life in the rural California community suits her better than the bling of Hollywood. When she seeks help for a classroom project, she’s thrown into the sphere of a down-to-earth organic farmer and horseman who could really steal her heart…

Landry Mills, successful mega-spokesmodel for a famed Westernwear line, returns to his hometown to regroup and reconsider signing the next contract. Meeting Kelsey explodes feelings in him he wants to make real. But finding out a fancy director’s son recently crushed her spirit has him take things slow. What will Kelsey do when she finds out he’s a celebrity in his own right? He might not be able to bear it…

Excerpt:

Landry stalked to the house and banged the screen door behind him. His furrowed brow stared back at him from his sister’s hallway mirror. A long, long time since any woman had said no to being with him. He didn’t much like the feeling.

Truth was, most times he did the refusing. Holding off pop stars seeking Americana photo-ops, keeping at bay minor European royalty in pursuit of a Wild West cowboy. Or the current divorced/separated/estranged Housewife of Somewhere Stupid wanting to appear wholesome.

He grumbled. And coffee wasn’t even a date.

On his way to the kitchen, he passed a credenza crowded with framed pictures. All the right family ones, but far too many of him.

From inside Amy’s fridge, he grabbed a bottle of cold water, held it against his hot face, then slammed the appliance door. Grunted, wondered at his pique. Maybe because he had decided to come home. To stay this time. Maybe try to find what Amy and Declan had had. Something real.

Even though it hadn’t lasted long enough for his sister. Iraq…There was something different about Kelsey Hunter. Something real about a hard-working woman in tight jeans helping out critters. He took a long swig, remembered. Stretchy pink tank top damp in the right places. Righteous dirt underneath her fingernails. Cinnamon freckles sprinkled across her nose, bright eyes, and brunette hair just a tad lighter than dark-roast coffee mixed with cream. All delicious.

Coffee!

“My goodness, big brother, what’s the deal?” Amy interrupted, trudging in from the living room. She reached for her car keys from a basket on the granite counter. Joy flitted across her face even now. The old house’s kitchen renovation had been his gift to her two Christmases ago. Sometimes his shoulder still felt the damp tears of her gratitude.

For a flash, he glanced out the window up into the hills. He couldn’t see the construction site from here, but he knew exactly where it was. Winsome Hill, the eco-friendly house he was building for himself. Amy had great taste all her own. Her choices for the place had been spot on. Just the right touch of woman for a bachelor pad.

And not so much to threaten another woman.

“You look like you’ve gone and lost your best friend,” she said.

Landry grumbled. He hadn’t had any real friends for far too long. Just hangers-on. Sycophants. An “entourage” of butt-kissers eager for handouts.

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press   Amazon

Author Bio

tanya

A native Californian, I call the central coast my happy home where I live with my firefighter husband.  Traveling to gorgeous places like Hawaii and the Canadian Rockies, volunteering at the local horse rescue, and cuddling up with my two little grandsons are pretty much the chapters of my life.
I’m a high school English teacher by profession, but romance writing is tons different than the classroom. Thanks to the Romance Writers of America and Los Angeles Romance Authors, I learned how to do it right.
Find Tanya here:   Website /Twitter

 

TEXT ME (Erin Bevan)

Blurb:text me

When Erika’s ex becomes her boss less than a year after dumping her by text, she gets desperate to find a date to the corporate Valentine’s dance so he doesn’t suspect she still has feelings for him. Though not a fan of texting for the obvious reason, she doesn’t have much choice but to tap the keypad in order to gain the attention of the only viable candidate from the classified ads.

Grayson made the mistake of listening to his brother a year ago and has regretted what he did to Erika ever since. But his brother’s next suggestion just might be his salvation when he takes out an ad for a Valentine’s date…and Erika answers.

Using a pseudo name and keeping contact to text messages only, Grayson’s plans to make Erika fall back in love with him appears to be working…until the date of the dance draws near, and she pushes a meeting—face to face.

Excerpt:

Valentine’s Day.

She sank deeper into the couch. What was she going to do? She couldn’t show up alone to the company dance. Not with the chance of Grayson being there. No way.

“Maybe go to another speed dating session?” She grabbed a tissue off the coffee table and wiped the excess slime from her fingers.

“My hairdresser’s single. You want me to ask him?”

“Your hairdresser’s gay. I don’t think he’d be interested in me.”

“Really?” Megan gave her a funny stare.

“Really.” Erika snorted. “Have you not seen the picture of him and his ex-partner at his station?”

“That was his partner?” Her friend’s mouth gapped open. “I thought it was his brother.”

She shook her head. Her friend was one of the smartest people she knew, but common sense eluded the girl.

Megan popped more hearts in her mouth. “That explains so much now,” she mumbled around the candy. “No wonder my hair always looks good.”

“Yes, it does.” Erika sipped her wine.

Her friend swallowed. “Well, I’m sorry, honey. I don’t know any single guys. If I did, I’d try to date them myself.”

“That’s okay.” She sighed and slumped back onto the sofa.

“Is Grayson single?”

“I don’t know. Why are you asking?” She narrowed her gaze. “You want to date him?”

“No.” Her friend said “no” as if it was the most obvious answer in the world. “I’m thinking about you. You wouldn’t go back out with Grayson again, would you? Please say no.” Megan’s shoulders sagged.

Go back out with Grayson. She never thought she’d be given another chance. Would she go back out with him after the way he treated her? Of course not. She deserved better, despite how wonderful he had been.

“I don’t think so. He really hurt me. I can’t give him that privilege again.”

“Good for you.” Her roommate perked up and patted her on the back. “Stay strong. You’ll find someone.”

“You’re right. I’m going to have a date for that corporate Valentine’s dance, even if I have to search the classifieds.”

“Surely, it won’t come to that.” Megan held up her glass for a toast.

Erika clinked hers with her friend’s. “Yeah, surely.”

Her roommate sat her glass down on the table and reached for more hearts.

“Here, give me one of those.”

“I love reading the little sayings.” Megan passed her a heart and tossed her dark hair behind her shoulder. “What’s yours say?”

She flipped over the candy to see the phrase. Bright pink letters stared back at her. Oh, you can’t be serious. “‘Text me’. Seriously?”

Megan burst out laughing.

“You would find that funny.” Erika popped the heart in her mouth and obliterated the little saying she had grown to hate so much.

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press         Amazon 

About Erin Bevan

Erin8

 

Erin Bevan is a wife and mother of three. An avid reader, one day she decided to try her luck in writing stories of her own, and the idea paid off. She spends her days deep in the heart of Texas, fighting mosquitoes, cleaning dirty faces, and writing when the kids nap. If it’s a really good day, she even finds time to brush her hair.

Find Erin here: Facebook   Website   Twitter

 

 

Surprise Me ( Anita Kidesu)

Blurb:

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Josie and Carson Sandberg are on the cusp of being empty-nesters. With a cross-country move and Carson’s busy work schedule, there hasn’t been much time to connect. When gifted with a romantic getaway and challenge that says “Surprise Me,” the two embark on a trip that reveals secret desires and more. But sometimes a fantasy is better left undiscovered.

Excerpt:

“Follow you home?” he asked, calculating in his mind how long it would take before he could get her in bed.

“I have a better idea.”

“What?”

“I can’t wait to go home to make love. Let’s go parking.”

Carson swallowed around the lump in his throat. “Parking? That’s for kids. We haven’t gone parking since…”

She chucked him under his chin. “I know. Since high school. But, surprise, I want to go parking.” She tugged on his earlobe. “Fumble in the dark. Sex in the back seat. Steam up the windows.”

Grabbing her hand, he headed for the parking lot. His cock pulsed to the beat of his pounding heart. If this was her idea of how to begin their Surprise Me week, then they were off to a good start. “Whose vehicle?”

Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press       Amazon:

About Anita:

My picture resized (2)

From the time she was a teenager, Anita would sneak her mother’s romances and read them until all hours of the night. She never thought about creating one herself, but fell into it with a few friends. On an over-long road trip, they started talking about their favorite authors and why they like their books. To kill time, they started making up their own characters and plot.

From that point on, Anita had story ideas and characters filling her head. Finally, to shut them up, (or so she thought), she started writing them down, surprised at how erotic her characters turned out to be.

Now, in between being a pharmacist, taking care of her two cats, and spending time with her family and friends, she writes. Her stories are about love and romance on the edge.

Her first book, South Seas Seduction, an erotica with The Wild Rose Press, was released in March of this year.

Contact Information:

Website/blog:    Facebook:    Twitter: Pinterest:   Amazon:

 

 

Enter the  WILD ROSE PRESS RAFFLECOPTER for a KINDLE FIRE. CLick on the http:// link

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Filed under Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

The Candy Hearts are Here!

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The first in the new series from The Wild Rose Press, The CANDY HEARTS have arrived. Join me in welcoming authors Ally Hayes and Emma Kaye  and Jana Richards today as they celebrate their additions to the series:  SECRET ADMIRER,  FOR YOU, and CHILL OUT.  And don’t forget: at the end of the release data there is a link to enter a RAFFLECOPTER to win a KINDLE FIRE courtesy of the Wild Rose Press! You gotta be in it to win it!

perf5.000x8.000.indd SECRET ADMIRER ( Ally Hayes)

Blurb:

Andi’s new to town and looking for a fresh start in the dating department. She’s attracted to the guy she sees each morning, but begins flirting via text with Garrett, a friend of her new co-workers. Despite many attempts and determination, she misses opportunities to introduce herself to Cute Coffee Shop Guy or actually meet Garrett in person. With Valentine’s Day approaching she succumbs to the sugar rush of Candy Hearts and when ‘Secret Admirer’ continues to appear in the messages, she takes it as a sign to decide which guy is her real Secret Admirer.

Excerpt:

I pulled my sporty hybrid into a spot right in front of the aptly named Fresh Start Café. The irony did not escape me. A loud overhead door chime announced my entrance. Though still not quite perky, I gave a weak smile to the few people who instinctively turned. I ordered a large cup to go and walked past the glass case of pastries toward the counter along the far wall offering the requisite sugars, creamers, stirrers, and lids. I only needed a lid, but that proved to be more challenging than I could’ve imagined. I struggled to secure it while avoiding a spill, but I couldn’t produce a seal.

“They are a bit tricky, but the upside is once they’re on, they’re on for good.”

Upon hearing a sexy, yet friendly, male voice, I looked up and blushed upon discovering the face matched the voice. He had medium length, messy, brown hair and soft blue eyes framed by amazing eyelashes. I caught myself staring and quickly looked away and resumed my mission with a renewed effort.

“Yes, snug I guess. You’re right.” Thankfully the lid made a satisfying pop at that moment indicating my victory in the lid battle. I quickly straightened, my hands shaking in time with my racing heart. I wasn’t expecting to meet a cute guy first thing in the morning.

The combination of surprise and attraction woke me better than any cup of French Roast could.

Buy Links:
Amazon   WIld Rose Press

About the Author:

aaly hayes

As the mother of three girls, Ally finds creating drama for her characters an escape from the real drama in her own home. Originally from Boston, she now lives with her husband and family outside Chicago and writes when not driving to practices and games.

Contact Information:

Amazon    Twitter      Facebook
Blog        Goodreads:     Pinterest:

(Read my review of SECRET ADMIRER here)

                                                            FOR YOU(Emma Kaye)

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Blurb:

It’s Valentine’s Day, and candy heart sayings mock Drew Engledown’s lonely state. He wants more in his life than work, but hasn’t met anyone he can imagine spending his life with. When he puts his own life at risk to save a friend, he’s sent back in time to Regency London and mistaken for a murdered earl. Has he been given a chance at love with the earl’s beautiful widow, or will he suffer the same fate as the previous lord?

When her husband’s heir lays claim to all she once owned, Lady Engledown is left nearly destitute. So she doesn’t know whether to be relieved or angry when the earl returns but claims he’s not her husband. Could he be telling the truth, or is he toying with her? She doesn’t know what to think of this man who is so different from the husband she never loved. Can they find happiness together, or will this man she comes to love leave her worse off than before?

 

Excerpt:

She took a delicate sip of the chilled liquid when they paused near the doors to the terrace. They were closed against the cool night, but a draft kept the over-warm air of the crowded ballroom at bay.

He pulled at his cravat, something he’d done repeatedly throughout the night, and let out his breath in a gush. “That’s better. It’s hot as an oven in here.”

She placed a hand over his to get him to release his collar. “We’ll stay but a few more hours. You may untie your cravat the moment we are out of sight within our carriage. Until then, please refrain from disrobing in public.”

He grinned and pulled her closer to his side than was seemly. “You’re just dying to get me naked, I see.”

She gasped. Heat flooded her face. “I meant no such thing. I—”

Drew laughed. “Sorry, sorry. I couldn’t resist. Modern humor.”

She flipped open her fan, waving it before her face in an attempt to hide a bit of the blush that had surely turned her face a brilliant shade of red. For a moment, she’d thought him capable of reading her mind, for thoughts of him naked had indeed entered her head.

Buy Links:

WIld Rose Press   Amazon

About the Author:emmakaye

Emma Kaye is married to her high school sweetheart and has two beautiful kids that she spends an insane amount of time driving around New Jersey. Before ballet and Scouts entered her life, she decided to try writing one of those romances she loved to read and discovered a new passion. She’s been writing ever since. Add in a hyper dog and an extremely patient cat and she’s living her own happily ever after while making her characters work hard to reach theirs.

Contact Information:

Website:     Facebook Page:    Twitter Page:

Goodreads:   The Wild Rose Press:

Amazon:  Newsletter: Sign up on my website:

                                     CHILL OUT (Jana Richards)

chillout

Blurb:

Renata Cabral needs to hide for the weekend. Her cousin’s Valentine’s Day wedding means she’ll face embarrassing questions from her large, extended family. Questions like “Why aren’t you married yet?”  Since the breakup of her last relationship, she’s not ready to answer that question. She invents a work-related excuse and escapes to a friend’s lakeside cottage.

Noah Brownlee has been hiding for two years. But now he’s ready to come home and mend his broken relationship with his brother. When a friend offers the use of his lakeside cottage, Noah arrives in the middle of a blizzard with his English Mastiff, only to find the place is already occupied. With her big brown eyes and quirky sense of humor, Renata stirs feelings he thought long dead.

As the blizzard rages, the candy hearts predict love. Can Valentine’s Day work its magic between them?

Excerpt 

“Dylan wasn’t just my brother, he was my best friend, and in some ways, he was like a father. When our mother died, he petitioned the court to make him my legal guardian so I wouldn’t have to go into care. He made sure I studied, pushed me to apply to med school, helped me with expenses.”

“He sounds like a wonderful big brother.”

His lips curved in a sad smile and Renata’s heart ached for him. “He was, and I know he’s going to be an amazing father. I want this animosity between us to end. I want my brother back.” His voice cracked. “But I’m not sure he feels the same way. I said some ugly things…”

“Perhaps, with the baby coming, he wants to mend the rift between you as much as you do.” She hoped she was right.

“Maybe. I’ll find out tomorrow. I’m going to phone Dylan and try to arrange a meeting.”

“It’ll work out. You’ll see.”

He leaned toward her, the corners of his eyes wrinkling with his smile. “I appreciate the pep rally.”

“Well, I was a cheerleader in high school. Rah, Rah.”

He laughed softly, then cupped her face with his hand, his thumb idly stroking her cheek. Her breath hitched at his tender touch. “Thank you for making this easier for me, Renata.”

He leaned in and her heart pounded in anticipation of his kiss. When his lips touched hers, a firestorm of longing ignited inside her. She strained toward him, needing his kiss, needing to heal his pain. His lips parted against hers, and she opened her mouth eagerly, reveling in his taste as his tongue danced with hers. The world faded away, and nothing existed for her except this man and all the tenderness she felt for him. It felt so right to kiss him, so perfectly, completely right.

Buy Link:

Wild Rose Press    Amazon

Author Bio:

jana

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

Social Media Links:

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, The Wild Rose Press, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

RWA15 final thoughts…

So it’s a little less than a week since I got home from RWA15 in New York. My mind and body were depleted and yet strangely energized as well. Last year – as an RWA conference virgin – I was too excited to appreciate the networking going on around me; too excited meeting my favorite authors in the flesh; too excited to realize what an unbelievable opportunity the conference was to enhance my career.

This year was different on so many levels. Oh, I was still excited beyond belief at meeting my favorite authors- and some new ones – but I took the opportunity afforded  me and branched out in several ways to advance my writing career.

Last year the workshops I attended had more to do with seeing the well known authors presenting them. I took no classes on craft, marketing or the business of publishing. This year, those were the only classes I sat in on.

Last year I stood in line for 2 hours to get Nora Roberts’ autograph at the Literacy signing. This year I volunteered at the event and was thrilled to be assigned to one of my favorite authors of all time, Jayne Ann Krentz. I learned more from watching her  interact with her fans for just 2 hours than I could have learned in years in public relations courses. She showed me – up close and personally – what it’s like to be on the other side of the publishing/writing curtain (like that little Wizard of Oz tie-in??!). As a fan I’ve always seen just my own reaction to meeting a writer one time. Ms Krentz had to deal with hundreds of fans all individually  and uniquely excited, and wanting her to know what her writing means to them – and stay up beat, focused, and gracious, which she was to every single one of them. She never refused to have a photograph taken, or listen to a story about a particular book of hers, or even offer some advice to a fledgling author ( moi!), and her beautiful smile never slipped. By observing how she handled herself during those 2 hours I know precisely how to conduct myself during a book signing. Thank you so much, Jayne Ann Krentz!

From my PRO-retreat workshops I learned how invaluable branding, social media, and marketing are to a writer – whether she be multi-published or fledgling. Anna Alexander and Catherine Bybee were deep wells of information regarding these topics and if I came away with anything to remember during this conference it was this: “A person needs to hear your name 7-10 times before it’s recognizable to them.” Thank you, Catherine Bybee, for this gem. My tweets have increased 100-fold, as have my other social media alerts all because of this statement.

I met with my “dream” agent at a pitch session- something that put terror into my little heart. Not because of the agent, but because I was so nervous about “putting myself out there.” I don’t like to talk about myself – a dumb thing to hear from a blogger, eh?! But on paper you don’t have to look at me and I don’t have to look at you. It’s all fairly visually anonymous. I don’t get nervous when it’s on paper ( or the laptop, really). But face to face is another story entirely. Anyway. Despite my nerves, the agent was lovely, gracious and sweet. I’ll let you know in the future if things progress on this front.

One last memory that will live with me for the rest of my career is the workshop I took with Christie Craig. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog how I think she should be the keynote speaker at next year’s conference and here’s why: this woman is an inspiration in  more than just writing. Her personal journey through life and in her writing career could be made into a must-see television movie for the Hallmark Channel. It would win its time slot for the night, week, month and year. I have always put forth my own writing TAO called NGU NGI ( never give up and never give in.) Ms Craig lives this TAO every day and boy, does it show in her success. I think we can all  use her as an example.

RWA16 will be in San Diego – a town I’ve visited before and loved, so I can’t wait to go. Maybe next year I will be an author participant in the literacy signing. If so, I will remember what I learned from Jayne Ann Krentz about how to conduct myself with fans.

Thank you RWA, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christie Craig, Kristan Higgins, Tracy Brogan, Jill Shalvis, and all the other amazing authors who presented workshops, spent a little time with me out of class to answer any questions, and to my wonderful, talented NHRWA chapter-mates who all journeyed south to NYC this year.

 

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

RWA15, wrap-up…

Well, I’m back in my cozy, cool home. I finished unpacking, did two loads of laundry and went grocery shopping.

And I reflected on an amazing conference. Multi-published and award winning author Nalini Singh was the saturday morning key-note speaker. She had us laughing-and tearing up a bit-when she described her first trek across country on a train to her very first RWA conference. The Perils of Pauline could have been re-written and marketed as the Perils Of Nalini, as she described her experience on a broken down Amtrak train, an unscheduled stopover in Philadelphia, and the first time she was recognized and wished she hadn’t been!

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Saturday the workshops were outstanding, but the one  I want to talk about was Polish Me Pretty: Five Polishing Tips to Take Your Writing to the Next Level by Christie Craig.  If you don’t know about this amazing women – shame on you! I learned more from her about how to evoke emotions and visualizations when writing a scene than from any other human being alive. Ever. And not only is she is wonderful teacher, she is a truly exceptional motivational speaker. She shared the tale of her humble beginnings in life, teenage marriage and motherhood, her dyslexia, and her 100’s – truly!- of rejection letters before getting the call that changed her life. There should be some kind of petition started to ensure she is next year’s RWA16 keynote speaker. There wouldn’t be a dry eye or a belly that wasn’t shaking with laughter in the house.

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The conference ended with annual Rita and GoldenHeart awards ceremony. The fabulous Lisa Kleypas was the host and I can attest she is as beautiful in person as she is on her book jackets. I won’t name all the winners, but I will tell you my favorite of the night. Jill Shalvis – after 13 nominations – won for One in a Million in the mid length contemporary romance category. She is truly a fan favorite and one of my absolute must reads whenever she has something new out. hbrqqwtt

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I’ll need a few days to wind down and reflect some more on my experiences this year at the conference, so you’ll have to suffer through one more posting from me next week! Until then….here’s the last picture I took of the book giveaways. Add 25 more to this picture and you see why my arm is so sore from tugging my suitcase along on the road back home!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

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

RWA15 whirlwind

I am one tired little romance writer, kids. Yesterday was an astounding day on several fronts. I won’t talk about everything, just the highlights I was able to hit.

In the morning I had my RWA PRO retreat where we played a spin on speed dating. 20 PAN members at 20 tables with 20 topics to discuss. You could visit 3 tables/authors during the retreat. I visited the ones on social media and branding – two topics I need to learn a lot more about. First, branding with author Anna Alexander  who was a weath and cavern of knowledge on what your romance “brand” should be, how to tie it in with all your promotional products, and how to develop it as your writing changes and evolves. Branding knowledge is her super power – go to her link to find out why I describe her that way!

The social media use with Catherine Bybee was a headspinner. As we were sitting, listening to her talk about all the kinds of media we should be using and involved with, she was Tweeting about what she was saying and about RWA15. The one line I took away from her talk and that will stay with me for a life time is “People need to hear your name 7-10 times before it becomes recognizable to them.” Something to really think about and work towards when your livelihood depends on book sales and you want people to know who you are.

In the afternoon I sat in on a great workshop with Kristan Higgins and Tracy Brogan on how to use humor in your romance stories. They both had the audience rolling with laughter with their witty anecdotes and heartfelt stories -humor0us of course- that they incorporate into their books.

And one final note that made my day. I met with my editor from Wild Rose Press ( and don’t I love saying that!) She is so incredibly supportive and knowledgable and I owe her a great deal of thanks for all her help,guidance, and patience with me as a new author. So, another day of workshops and networking. Here are some pix from today.

The Fabulous Kristan Higgins

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20150723_084219Book swag day 3.

20150722_103349 another random New Yorker

 

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