Tag Archives: #RWA16

Serendipity? You betcha!

Take a look at these 2 photos:

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The one on the left is hanging on my bedroom wall. I bought it right before I got married 175 years(!)  ago in a little shop in NYC.  I loved the whole Victoria/Regency aspect of it. I believe it’s called Signing the Registry. The one on the right I took as a screenshot when I was recently on the treadmill – you can see my slow progress in the numbers above the photo. This picture I grabbed out of a scene from LOVE BENEATH THE COVERS a  documentary about the Romance Publishing business. It was shown at the #RWA16 conference last week in San Diego, but I couldn’t attend due to a prior engagement, so I rented it on i-Tunes for my daily treadmill tortur…um…exercise. You will notice they are one and the same picture of an 18th century marriage license signing ceremony.

Why is this significant, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

Every now and again my Guardian angels/karma/the universe ( call it what you like) deems it proper to remind me that I made the appropriate choice to retire early and devote myself to full time writing. Seeing this picture which I have always loved and always will, displayed not only in my home, but in a film about the romance writing industry, proves to me I’ve made the correct choices for my career path these past 2 years.

So…serendipity, much? You betcha!!

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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#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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#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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#RWA16 Day 3…Can I get an “Amen?”

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I will admit this freely ….I’m starting to fade!! There is sosososososos much going on at this conference that I have truly had to choose wisely and miss out on some things just so I could attend others.

The first year I attended RWA I was OVERWHELMED.  I wish someone had told me to just take it all in, don’t try to do everything and be everywhere at the same time. Just breath and enjoy the moment. I did try to do everything and because of that I forgot half the stuff  I learned about industry and the craft of writing. I left the hotel 1 time and that was to have a meal with my chapter mates. I spent 5 days in a hotel and it nearly broke me!

Last year I knew better and when you  know better you do better. I went to a lot of worshops, but took time to enjoy other things likes  the publishing spotlights. Since were in NYC I also got out 2-3 times per day, saw my lovely New Yorker daughter several times, and basically had some fun.

This year, there is so much to do, I haven’t even done a 10th of what I wanted to do. But that’s okay. I’ve taken a daily walk outside the hotel ( you can see my video updates on my fb page of my little jaunts around the San Diego marina,) and I’ve spent more time meeting people and chatting them up than I ever have before. Maybe this is because no one from my chapter is here and I miss my lovely chapter mates. Maybe it’s because I realize I need to learn to network and get my name out there. Maybe it’s just because I’m lonely. Whatever the reason, I’m doing okay. I’m bone weary tired, but doing okay.

Yesterday I attended the Kensington book signing ( my new publishing home!!)  and this was the haul from just that 30 minutes:rwa12

This is my book haul so far, overall at the conference:

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

And I do want to add a correction. Yesterday I said I skipped the luncheon and that Beverly Johnson was the speaker. it was BEVERLY JENKINS!!!!! This is what you get for relying on stupid spell check!

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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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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Leaving’ on a jet plane…..

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Coming to you LIVE LIVE LIVE from Bradley airport in Connecticut, anxiously awaiting my first plane departure of the day. Of course, there’s no such thing as  one-stop flying anymore, so I’ll be making one stop-over and then be on my way again until I hit sunny, fun-filled San Diego! I have been so looking forward to  this trip for months!! I have so much on the agenda this year that I’m fairly bursting  with glee.

After checking in, I think I’ll go explore the marina and the surrounding area a little. Jet lag will most likely hit pretty soon after that, so bed and beauty sleep.

Tomorrow, I’m scheduled to help work at the Librarians luncheon and then my very first Nora Roberts Literacy book signing as a published author. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the excitement without coming unglued!

Thursday means workshops, plus I’m moderating a class ( another on Friday.) Then the Kensington Cocktail party in the evening.

I’ll be live blogging and filling you in on all the fabulous authors I see- and hopefully get a few words and pictures with.

This is my first time in San Diego since the Columbine tragedy in 1999 where I watched the horrible events unfold on my hotel television. It is such a beautiful city, I’m really going to make it a point to get out daily and explore, takes some photos and make some new friends.

People watching at my gate right now- trying to find any other romance writing looking peeps!

Check back daily for blog updates. Be well….

 

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Preparation…or, How overwhelmed do I feel right now?

While I try on everything I own to see what fits and what needs major alternations in prep for my #RWA16 conference packing, I came across this great article on tips for preparing to attend a writer’s conference.

Apropos and timely? You betcha!

Packing is crucial to having a good conference. You not only want comfortable clothes and shoes because you’ll be schlepping hither and yon from workshops to editor appointments to publishing house spotlights, but you also want your clothes to be professional looking. Sweat pants and flip flops are not the way to make a good impression on potential readers or literary agents. You also need to dress for the weather where the conference is. This year it is in sunny California in San Deigo. Currently, wildfires are raging rampantly along parts of California, so I know it’s dry and hot. But….I’ll be in a hotel for 90 percent of the day. A hotel with air conditioning, so I know I need summer clothes with options of sweaters or blazers just in case it’s too chilly.

I’ll be attending my first book signing as an author so I want something pretty in case anyone wants to take a selfie with me (please, from my lips to God’s ears on this one!!!). I’ll be going to a publishing cocktail party so another pretty outfit is called for. Plus the Rita/Golden Hearts award ceremony. Now with outfits goes…shoes. I have many to choose from as you can see from just this one closet, and this can pose a problem. rwashoes

The way I usually rectify and deal with the problem of shoe selection is to develop a simplified color palette to bring with me for clothes. This year, it’s primarily black and white, which you can see here:rwaclothes

This narrows down the choices for the matching shoes. (You didn’t know this was a science, did you?)

Now, I also need travel clothes –  shoes I can slip in and out of easily at the airport security check-in, no pants with belts, and limited jewelry so I don’t set off the metal detector machine.

These are all the decisions that need to be made BEFORE I even pack, so today is devoted to clothing- choosing, washing, ironing, folding, packing.

Goodness, I’m mentally exhausted already!

This is the book I’ll be autographing at the Literacy Fundraising event.

SKATER’S WALTZ

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Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home, this time, for good. With her.

For all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer comes home wanting nothing more than to rest, relax and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic.

When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole – for the first time in his life – is torn between his career and his heart.

Buy Links: If you’re not going to be at #RWA16

Amazon://   Barnes and Noble: //    The Wild Rose Press: //   I-Book:   //  Kobo:

If you need to find me while I’m away, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

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Off to my version of the Wonderful World of Oz…RWA2016!

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In just a few days, I leave for San Diego for the 2016 RWA annual conference. Can I tell you just how excited I am?! I’m like a kid waiting anxiously for Christmas morning. I’m like that 18-year-old waiting for the college acceptance letter to come via snail mail. I’m like that bride-to-be the night before her big day. I’m like….okay, you get it!

This will be my third RWA conference. The first one I ever attended was in 2014 and that conference shaped my life to come. Dramatic much, you ask? No, not really. I’ll tell you why.

At the RWA14 conference held in San Antonio 2 amazing things happened that turned my life as I knew it then, completely around. First, I met the person who would become my first editor at The Wild Rose Press. I had submitted my manuscript Skater’s Waltz to WRP after winning a contest. Rhonda Penders was the judge and she asked me to submit. I had been exchanging emails with this editor for the champagne line for a few weeks, and she told me she would be at the conference and would like to meet up, so we arranged a time to do so. When we met she told me that  by the time I got home from the conference there would be an acceptance letter in the mail from WRP for my book, along with a contract. I was so stunned I couldn’t put a coherent sentence together. A legitimate publisher was going to put my book into print! Momentous event number 1.

Life changing event number 2 was when I met, talked with, and cried to Nora Roberts. Oh, and got a picture with her, which currently sits on my writing desk. Why did I cry, you ask? It was NORA ROBERTS!!!! And she was so damn normal and nice. We spoke for a few minutes ( well, I babbled between sob sniffs!) and she encouraged me wholeheartedly to go all balls out for my dream of writing and publishing romantic fiction.  She said no one could write the romance story I wanted to tell but me. Me! Holy Macaroni!

Holy Macaroni!

She said she knew she’d be seeing my at the Literacy Book signing someday, at my own table.

I left that conference with enough enthusiasm and good will to last until the RWA15 conference. At that one, I volunteered to work at the Literacy Book-Signing and was assigned to Jayne Ann Krentz! No crying this  time, but she was amazing. I learned an awful lot about being a gracious and  receptive author from her.

This year, RWA16, I’m volunteering at the Librarian’s luncheon and moderating 2 courses with some of my fav authors. Oh, and I’m doing the Literacy Book signing this year as …drumroll…. a SIGNING AUTHOR. God bless Nora Roberts’ prediction.

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So, if you’re in San Diego this year, join us for the Book signing. If you’re a first time RWA conference attendee, whether you’re an author or a reader, be sure to look for me around the Marriot and in classes and stop and say Hi!

And remember: dreams come true every day, in every way. You just need to dream them.

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