Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Workspace Wednesday

I'm blogging today about my office -- past and present -- with photos. Come take a look at the room where I write  -- and leave a comment for a chance to win either a signed ARC of The Birthday Scandal or a signed copy of Return to Amberley -- winner's choice.

Each week author Norah Wilson invites fellow writers to post photos of their office space. Being the curious folks we readers are, it's fun to see where those stories we love are dreamed up and put on paper. I've loved seeing all the wonderful spots where authors write, and I hope you'll enjoy seeing mine.

Norah is a fellow Montlake Romance author, and her books -- romantic suspense and paranormal -- are wildly popular with readers. Thanks, Norah, for the chance to share my office with readers!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for the author to respond to ten questions about her latest book – and then pass along this “chain letter” to another set of authors who will post on their blogs the following Wednesday.

First, I’d like to thank debut author (and my former student at Gotham Writers’ Workshop) J.L. Hammer for tagging me to participate. Click the links below to find out more about J.L.’s romantic suspense, Outmaneuvered, featuring FBI agent Cruz Romero and suspect Amanda Price, and her Next Big Thing, the re-release of her romantic suspense novel, Blue Horizon. You’ll find her website at and her blog at   

Here is my Next Big Thing! Please feel free to comment and ask questions.

1: What is the title of your book? The BirthdayScandal

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I love writing triple stories – three heroes, three heroines, three romances woven into one book.  So writing about two sisters and a brother was a natural setup for me – they’re all dealing with their overbearing father while they’re coming up short in the love department.

3: What genre does your book come under? Spicy Regency-period historical

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I’m terrible at the movie game, so I’d love to hear what readers have to say about casting decisions. But I’d love to see Maggie Smith play the meddling old gossip Lady Stone, who appears in all of my Regency-period historicals.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The three Arden siblings – Lucien, Isabel, and Emily – go to their great-uncle’s 70th birthday gathering, where he’s promised to make their lives easier. But instead of receiving the financial help they’re hoping for, each one of the three falls in love.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? My agent is Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency.  This is my 85th romance novel but the first one to be published by Montlake Romance. Previously I was published by Harlequin and Sourcebooks, and I also write non-fiction.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It takes me about four to six months to write each of my historicals – with at least that much recuperation time between books.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Since I write complex stories involving three heroes, three heroines, and three romances ongoing within the story, the structure is actually more like women’s fiction than like the usual romance.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? (a) the mortgage. (b) chocolate. (c) more chocolate.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? After writing 80 sweet traditional contemporary romances, I took a wild turn and changed everything I could – short to long, sweet to spicy, current-day to historical, US settings to England… If I could have thought of anything else to change, I probably would have. Readers may be interested to  know that even this very dramatic change in story uses the same basic tools in writing. Also that I researched the Regency period for decades before I felt comfortable enough with the setting to actually write about it.

Below are the links to the next chain of authors, who will be posting next Wednesday. Be sure to bookmark their sites and add their new releases to your calendars. Happy Writing and Reading!

Elke Feuer is a debut author with Crimson Romance. In For the Love of Jazz, she brings Jazz Age Chicago back to life when a contemporary heroine finds clues to her family’s past. Find out more at , or follow her on Twitter.

Lynda Haviland writes paranormal romance featuring Egyptian gods and goddesses living in the contemporary world. Find out more about the Age of Awakening series, including her new release, Immortal Dominion, at

D. L. Carter writes offbeat, screwball comedies -- including Ridiculous, set in the Regency period, and her newest release, First Destroy All Giant Monsters (now really, with a title like that, how can you NOT pick up the book?) You can keep up with her current work at http://funwithghoulsandgoblins.blogspot

Elaine Orr writes a cozy mystery series featuring real estate appraiser Jolie Gentil, set on the New Jersey coast. Her newest release is Any Port in a Storm. Find out more at or

Laura Navarre writes Tudor-era (and earlier) historical romance, often with a paranormal touch. Her latest release is By Royal Command.  Find out more at or  Facebook.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Importance of Being Edited

Over the holidays, I've been spending a fair bit of time with my e-reader in hand. (Yeah, I've collected four of 'em. Call me compulsive.) And I have to say it's been ... educational. And entertaining. And a little sad.

"The cobblestone street was picturesque, but it was hell on his sports car's shock observers."

Shock observers? Really? Is that like little people strapped on the corners of the car keeping an eye on those shocks?

“It’ll have to be in the next hour. I have a wedding reversal this afternoon.”

That was a priest speaking -- not a divorce attorney. 

He was moving as quickly as if he’d been shot out of a canon.

Hmm. Maybe that was the same religious person?

Joe was having an outer body experience.

Yeah, being shot out of a cannon can do that to you.

She opened the cupboard and pulled out a vile of penicillin.

To treat that vile out-of-body experience, perhaps?

Maybe he was angry and had come to ball her out for not inviting him.

With a cannon ball, no doubt.

One knee peeked out of well warn blue jeans.

By all means, make sure those old Levis know they're in danger!

It was a totally bogus murder wrap.

And the detectives wrapped it up nicely...

Every writer needs an editor. Because if we don't already know the right word, then we have no reason to stop writing and look it up to make sure we haven't chosen the wrong one.