Tag Archives: RWA #Rwa #RWA2018

The End…for now

The logo/motto for the 2018 RWA conference was RETHINK REVITALIZE RENEW. I think I did all 3.

It’s been a week since I’ve been home and I’ve been super busy trying to finish edits on an upcoming title, due today. Yesterday I completed them and sent them on their way, so now I can start to listen to the RWA flash drive of the classes and workshops I missed, plus put into effect some of the marketing strategies I learned.

Here are a few random pictures I still haven’t posted from the event. Next year, NYC. Can’t wait…truly!

When I had to choose which shoes to wear to which event: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the menu had yet another thing I was allergic to: (PS I  never ate the food at any of the  luncheons or dinners because I was allergic to almost everything they served!

My favorite event: The ProLiteracy book Singing!

Next year I’m going to be more diligent in how I take pictures. This year I didn’t take enough!

If you’re looking for me before RWA2019 in NYC, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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The Doors of #RWA2018

Many years ago when I visited my daughter in Ireland where she was studying, I came upon a poster in a local shop called the Doors of Dublin.

 

This is my version of that famous poster featuring many of the decorated elevator doors at the Sheraton Downtown hotel where RWA 2018 was held. RWA has been shrink-wrapping the elevator doors in hotels for years and it’s a fabulous marketing tool for the authors who are lucky enough to be able to afford it. I’m not at that tier yet but….someday.

 

Obviously, I couldn’t put every elevator door poster in this blog, but believe me when I tell you – there were a lot of them and every one was sosososo cool!

I have photos from past years of these elevators, too, so I think that I’ll put together a poster like the Doors of Dublin and see if I become famous like the photographer who put that collection together did!

Just think’ aloud, peeps.

Find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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#RWA2018, day 1 done…

First day done and gone. What a funfilled day it was, too. Got to reconnect with some old friends and finally met some of my Wild Rose sistahs in person. That was amazeballs.

Yesterday’s first and only workshop for me was a master class in perfecting your writing newsletter. I have to admit, it was waaaaaaay over my head almost from the get-go. That has nothing to do with the presenter and everything to do with my lack of techy skills. The language, the constructs, even the terminology was more than my little brain could take, so I didn’t master the class, I was strictly a lowly apprentice.

Very lowly.

I did get a chance to tour the area a bit, though, before everything started.

Found this appropriate plaque on a wall tucked in an alley. It’s like the Denver Chamber of Commerce set it up just for RWA peeps!

 

This little guy was tucked into another alley, just hanging out and smiling at the passersby.

Denver-ites sure do love their Tex-Mex cuisine. I took this pic at 8:10 in the morning and the locals were already lined up and buying their flavorful truck food for the day. The name on the truck says “Asada Rico – Mexican Grill.’ Burritos and tacos before 9. Whoa!

Along the 16th Street Mall there’s a center lane that’s filled with these food trucks, artists, even a few pianos placed by the Chamber, where people ( mostly the homeless) gather, sit, and in one very special case I saw, play Chopin brilliantly.         

This little stoop was a surprise. I found it as I was walking along and thought it was a private residence with an owner who loved his/her flowers. Here’s the surprise: it’s the MUSEUM of the Wild West!

Kinda cool, eh?

So that concludes my little Denver tour for the day.

Today is a full one. I’ve got tons of classes back to back AND my KENSINGTON BOOK Signing at 3pm, and capped off with the RITA AWARD ceremony tonight. For those of you who follow me, you know one of my dear and talented NHRWA chaptermates, Lisa Olech, is up for an award. All my chapter sistahs who are in attendance are going to be screaming our heads off when she wins. You might even hear us wherever you are.

Just sayin….

Off to the gym. More to come, so stay tuned.

And look for me posting about RWA here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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And so the madness begins….

So, it’s officially the beginning of the conference today, but after being here for 2 days already, I’ve done a ton of stuff.

Yesterday’s workshops with R.L. Syme and the amazeballs Damon Suede were the perfect little amuse bouches to get me revved up for the week ahead. But I wasn’t only listening and learning yesterday. I went exploring as well.

Did you now Denver lives…bulls? Or is it Broncos? Whatever…

    

I found these two beauties on my walk downtown yesterday. I’ve been told there are others scattered all over the city. When I spot new ones, I’ll post pix of them

Yesterday was the first official day to register for the conference. I’m all set….

  

I lovelovelove this pop-up in the registration area.

Dinner last night was spent with great company: My NHRWA chapter President and 2 other dear writing friends. When in Denver, you must eat in a local steakhouse.

Two of the gals had steaks – one bison, one cow – another had a delicious looking vegetable platter, and I settled for an old standby because, you know…..food allergies and such.

 

Cocktails were had – not moi, of course – andI  just have to put one of them on display because it was, to my non-alcohol-knowing eyes, so unusual. Tequila with a habanero pepper, a lime, and a sugar rim. Very western.

So, today’s agenda is a light one. A master class on writing Newsletters this afternoon at 2. Then I’m getting to meet with some of my Wild Rose Press sistahs for a littler meet and greet later on this evening. I’m super stoked about that.

More to come from Denver. Keep tuned….

And find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Leaving on a jet plane….

If you get the John Denver reference, you know where I’m heading today. A week of workshops, friendship renewals, motivation, and hopefully some book sales and new readers. Hee hee – I had to put that one in!

Any hoo….

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight to leave and thought I’d check in and let you know that the rest of my posts this week will be coming to you livelivelive from Denver, CO and the #RWA2018 conference. Stay tuned for daily updates – sometimes more than 1! and for tidbits from the conference.

This year, the event is even more special because my dear writing friend and NHRWA sistah, LISA OLECH, is a Rita Award nominee. I can’t wait to cheer her on and scream with glee when she wins!!!

SO, wish me safe travels and I’ll check in soon! Be well and look for me here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Pre-packing…

In just 2 weeks I will be jetting off to the annual RWA conference in Denver, Co. My first time EVAH to Denver!!!

I, truthfully, can not wait! For sososo many reasons, not the least of which is the Pro-Literacy Event that takes place every year and is opened to the conference attendees and the general public. This year, once again, I will be signing books! YAY! Along with hundreds – YES, HUNDREDS  of other romance authors. IF you’re in Denver, or the vicinity, on Saturday, July 21, then come see us from 3-5 pm at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. All the proceeds from book sales goes to ProLiteracy, and benefits local and national literacy organizations. It’s a win/win: see your favorite author, buy a book you’ll love reading, and know that your purchase will help other people learn to read. Love that!!

I’ll be blogging about the Conference – as usual – which I’m attending it, so look for those posts from July 17-22. I’ll try to  post daily – sometimes I even manage twice.

I hope to see many new and familiar faces ( yours included) at the event.

And when I’m not busy conferencing, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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The best kind of surprise….

So. I’ve been on radio silence for the past week because I’ve been vacationing with family in Iceland. More on that experience to come in the next few days.

But…

While I was on the never ending customs  line at JFK yesterday after touching back down on home turf, I checked my Twitter and Facebook feeds and found out from two friends that I’m a finalist in the romantic suspense category of the 2018 Stiletto Contest for my book A SHOT AT LOVE.

When my week-long email file finally uploaded, I found the official letter telling me this!!  I”m so excited. I was a finalist last year, too, for  my novella A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights.

It’s such an honor to be nominated. The winners in each category will be announced at this year’s Stiletto Awards ceremony in Denver, CO during RWA 2018.

I’ll keep you updated!

In the mean time, I have a ton of laundry to do, groceries to get because there are literally crumbs in my cabinets, bills to pay and a 1,000 email box to declutter. See ya in a couple of days ( if I’m lucky!)

In the mean time, find me here:

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An #interview with #RITA AWARD Nominee Lisa Olech

Today is one of the happiest days I’ve ever written for this blog. One of the dearest, funniest, and most talented authors I know, Lisa Olech, is visiting me and we’re discussing her recent RITA AWARD NOMINATION. Can  I just tell you how cool it is that I know, personally, a RITA NOMINEE?!! Fan girl moment here, folks, so bear with me. Lisa and I are NHRWA chaptermates and she was the very first person I met when I joined the chapter in 2014. At that time she’d just heard that her very first book was going to be published and even though I didn’t know her well at the time, her joy was infectious and palpable. I knew she was going to sore in the publishing world….and I was right!

When I heard Lisa was a 2018 nominee I simply had to have her on my blog to tell us about the book, her thoughts on being nominated, and her journey to publication. So sit back and relax and enjoy this little tete-a-tete.

1.What year did you first get published in the romance genre?

My first book, PICTURE ME NAKED was published in November, 2013. Somehow, I knew this book would be my “foot in the door” so to speak. It was the start of my Stoddard School of Art series and was published with The Wild Rose Press. There are two more books in that series, and I’m seriously contemplating a fourth!

2.What was that process like, i.e. how long had you been trying to get a story into print?

Years!! I’ve been writing novel length works for more than a dozen years, and had been seeking publication and agent representation for about seven. I happened to enter and win the RWA-ETC Southern Heat Contest in 2012, and one of the final judges was Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press. She asked for a rewrite to make the book a bit more steamy, and I signed with them soon after. I signed on with my agent the very next day.

  1.  What was your first book about? Give us a little taste.

 Picture Me Naked is about a portrait artist and her nude model. He’s an outrageous, free-spirit who’s more comfortable out of his clothes than in. She is a rather uptight, self conscious artist who learns to love herself, as she comes to love him and see herself through his eyes.

  

  1. How many books have you had published to date?

I have eight books currently. Three in my art school series, and another five with Kensington, Lyrical. This series is historical rather than contemporary, and is set during the Golden Age of Piracy. Love my pirates!

5.What do you remember about the call from the RWA board member telling you you were a RITA NOMINEE? What did you feel? Do? Say?

Of course, I knew the calls were being made that morning, and I was trying very hard to be positive and at the same time not get my hopes up. This was the fourth time I’d entered, and I knew the disappointment that happened when the minutes ticked by and the phone didn’t ring. But this time, I filled my morning to overflowing so I would be too busy to watch the clock. Maybe I’d get so busy I’d forget and the day would pass… I was at work at my “day job.” And as luck would have it, I was being shadowed by a lovely young woman, named Heidi, who was learning the new software we recently implemented.

            Then my cell phone rang. It was earlier than I expected. I was sure it couldn’t be RWA, but my hands shook as I tried six times to swipe the screen and answer the call. The woman on the other end said, “Hi, Lisa? This is Donna Alward. I’m calling from the RWA. Congratulations.” I think my brain shut off at that point. I know somehow I leaped over poor Heidi like she was track-and-field hurdle, and rushed into the hallway where the only words I could keep repeating were, “Oh, my God!” and “Are you sure?” I even forgot Donna’s name and had to ask, “Who are you again?” By this time I was shaking and crying and my boss was out of her office cheering!

  1. For what book and RITA category have you been nominated?

I’m nominated in the Short Historical category for WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL.

  1. Tell us a little about the book. (How about a lot?)

WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL is the fifth and last book of my Captains of the Scarlet Night Series. If I could pick a favorite, I believe this would be the one (thus far!). It has been a special book for me from the beginning which makes this Rita nomination even more amazing. For one, it almost didn’t happen. I tried to kill my hero off in an earlier book!

I mean a pirates life is a hard one, and as they are known to say, there are only a few ways off a ship. Feet first with cannon balls lashed to your ankles is one of them! But this character, William “Bump” Quinn was first introduced in book two when he came aboard the Scarlet Night as a child. A Jamaican street urchin. A deaf Jamaican street urchin. Not being able to hear he was always where he shouldn’t be when something fell or got swinging, and his first few days, he got knocked around a bit…hence the nickname “Bump.” Bump was clever, however, and soon learned the ways of life aboard ship and grew into a fine sailor, and a fierce pirate. Tall, strapping…gorgeous…

            Well, as I said, I tried to kill him off, but the uproar this caused with my critique partners and plotting group was overwhelmingly “NO! You can’t kill Bump!” They had come to love him as I had. So, I saved him from my savage pen, and he became the obvious hero of the last book and final act.

            Being deaf, William used a form of sign language, but being non-verbal, all his communication needed to be physical—sign, body language, touch. Writing his book was quite a test for me as a writer. I need to thank the wonderful people from the deaf community who helped me make William “Bump” Quinn one of those characters an author (and hopefully, a reader) will never forget.

            Let’s not overlook my heroine, Jin Jun. Jun’s character was based on the real-life female pirate, Ching Shih. Ching Shih was one of the most ferocious and successful pirates of all time. She was a pirate queen.

            Bringing these two incredible characters together was a unique challenge, but made for an amazing story.

             

8.. Everyone says it’s wonderful to be nominated, and it is, but what do you think winning would do for you professionally? Personally? What has being nominated done for you? More sales? More name recognition?

Well, it’s only been a few days since the “fateful call.” So I can’t speak to the effects of that yet. And, honestly, I have no idea what happens from here. All I do know is I am honored and thrilled beyond words, and I plan to wrap myself in this feeling for quite a while.

9. What’s next for you career-wise?     

Good question! I have several proposals in the works. Time will tell. I have two series that splinter off my pirate captains. I also have a series set during the 1900’s that I’m playing with. Or I may head back into a contemporary story. I’m one of those writers that needs to follow her heart. Who knows where it will lead!

10. Will you be attending RWA18?

You better believe it!!!

 (Peggy here: and I will be, too, cheering her on with other NHRWA chapermates who love her and are so proud of her!)

A little about Lisa:

Lisa A. Olech is a multi-published, twin-genre author. Her quirky, artist contemporaries pair well with her historical, swash-buckling, cutlass swinging pirates—or at least they play well in her head. Of course one of these days she may cross streams and write about an artist with an eye patch, or a pirate with a flair for color.

Living in New Hampshire surrounded by lakes and “On Golden Pond” references, Lisa’s been writing for more than a dozen years and has been an RWA member since 2008.

You can reach her at all the social media hot spots and on her website www.lisaolech.com. Or you can email her at lisa@lisaolech.com.

 

EXCERPT from WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL

Chapter 1

Madagascar, 1717

William Quinn hated the dark. His companion had taken the lantern when she left. He could still smell the spiced honey of her skin and the musk of their sex in the rumpled sheets. She’d been a tiger in bed. His flesh still burned where her nails had raked his back. He’d lost himself for an hour or two between her smooth dark thighs. He only wished he’d learned her name.

Will lay in the bed and closed his eyes to the darkness. It was easier to visualize the layout of the room from memory this way. The door was to starboard. A three-drawer chest sat a foot to port. His pants were another matter. Where had she tossed them? She’d been in a terrible hurry to put her mouth on him. When she’d stripped him and seen his engorged cock, a smile spread across her shining face as if she’d discovered some long lost treasure. After that, she was driven by a single-minded desire. She’d been a most eager partner.

He rose and found his pants along with the wide blood-red sash he wore about his waist. And one boot. All the while, his limited sense was still on high alert. In this darkness, it would be easy to hide and ambush him. It wasn’t as if he’d hear anyone approaching, but having lost his hearing at such a young age, over his lifetime, he’d honed his other senses to razor sharp. Will lifted his nose and gave another sniff. No, he was alone.

The heat along this stretch of the world limited his choice of clothing. Bare chested, he slipped into a tooled leather vest. He patted the breast pocket. His lusty partner wasn’t interested in his winnings from tonight’s poker tables. As the daughter of one of the local pepper merchants, money was not what she longed for. Madagascar pepper was considered black gold along this great treasure route. Her father was one of the wealthiest men in the city.

Will found his other boot, and sat on the edge of the bed to slip them on his feet. He sat there for a long moment. The hollow beating of his heart echoed in his chest. Even after hours of pleasure, the only thing sated was his body.

This girl, whoever she was, hadn’t been interested in his newfound wealth or even knowing who he was. She’d only been interested in lying with him. It was the same wherever he went these days. He’d become a novelty.

Sex with the silent man.

It wasn’t as if he could brag about his conquests. Tell tales of your night in his bed. He wouldn’t bore you with long stories, or shout demands. He was deaf and never learned the basic fundamentals of speech. For some reason that made women eager to spread their legs for him. At least for one meaningless night.

Making his way to the door, Will wasn’t surprised to find the public rooms below still doing a brisk business. Time held no meaning to these establishments. Glancing toward the back corner, the poker game still wore on. He was tempted to add to his already bulging purse. Tonight’s profits had come too easy, but then it had always been a talent of his to read faces. Call it a lucrative byproduct of being deaf. Whether bluffing at cards or dealing with his crew, he could spot a liar at fifty yards.

Will’s long legs carried him quickly through the dangerous dark streets. At more than six and a half feet tall, he made an imposing figure. The three-pistol baldric and side cutlass helped. As did his permanent scowl. He pulled a short knife from a leather sheath and carried it at his side. For two reasons. A handy weapon was never a bad idea, and the high polish on the blade gave him the perfect view of anyone trying to approach him from behind.

Will reached the docks without incident and was finally able to breathe easy when he dropped down upon the polished decks of the Scarlet Night. The gentle tip of the boards shifting beneath his feet, the smell of tarred rigging, and the sight of her three thick masts brought a smile to his face. He was home.

Peggy here: KIds, you gotta get these books. If you like swashbuckling, steamy, sexy heroes and heroines, stories that are chockful of intrigue, adventure, and romance, Lisa’s pirate books are right up your alley. If you like stories of talented, moody, and (again) sexy characters willing to sacrifice all for love, The Stoddard  School  of Art series is  for you, too. Oh Hell! Any of Lisa’s books are for you!! 

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