Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2008 Ruby Award - Anne Oliver - Marriage at the Millionaire's Command

Congrats to Anne for her award at the August 2008 Romance Author's Conference in Australia.

Book Description:

The tall, slim blonde seems the perfect diversion for ruggedly handsome hotel magnate Ben Jamieson. He'll bed Carissa Grace on a strictly no-strings basis.
Carissa and Ben soon embark on an all-consuming affair. But for Ben, that's all this can ever be—passionate, but temporary. However, when Carissa finds she's pregnant, Ben demands that she marry him! Even if it is just for their baby's sake….

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Consuming Passion - 100 years of Mills and Boon

CONSUMING PASSION 100 Years of Mills and Boon
UK / BBC Four / 1x90 minute episode / 2008 Writer: Emma Frost / Producers: Ben Evans, Abi Bach / Executive Producer: John Yorke / Director: Dan Zeff Coming soon is this drama Consuming Passion which is actually a trilogy of stories about three very different women involved with Romance
Publishers du jour Mills and Boon down the ages. In 1908 Charles Boon and his business partner Gerald Mills start up their publishing company and decide to take a chance on what is considered a very low brow area of the readership world, the romance novel. Meanwhile Charles' wife Mary is determined to stake a place for herself as a modern woman. Fast forward to the 1970's when Janet Bottomley, who spends most of her time caring for her elderly mother, falls for the handsome doctor who is going to operate on her mother. Finally the story is brought up to date with university lecturer Kirstie who, whilst busy teaching her students about M&B's place in the literary canon ends up in an explosive affair with a handsome stranger. Currently filming in and around London. castJODIE WHITTAKER as Mary BoonDANIEL MAYS as Charles BoonPATRICK KENNEDY as Gerald MillsOLIVIA COLEMAN as Janet BottomleyPATRICK BALADIOT FAGBENIE

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We Love Romance on - A Promo Site for Authors

Please feel free to stop by and post your latest release, contest, news, awards, book trailer. Cafe mom is a place for busy moms who I'm sure would enjoy hearing about your latest release, contest or what you're reading.


Jane Porter also has a group on Cafe Mom which I've enjoyed sharing with others what I'm currently reading.


Books into Movies = Chicklit

Check out this website link:

GREAT READS FOR MOMS - See Jane Porter and her recommendations!

While attending the Romance Writers of America conference recently in San Francisco, Jane Porter was on a location tv station.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Will Mills and Boon Publish Crime Novels?

There are no happy endings
By Fay Weldon

Once, love leading to marriage was the answer to a poor girl's dream. No longer. Mills & Boon, we hear, proposes to branch out into crime novels.

Passion takes a back seat: romance titles account for just eight per cent of the adult fiction market in the United Kingdom, while the crime/thriller market is three and a half times that size.

Interest shifts from who loves whom to who kills whom. The pages still turn feverishly, but to a different end and satisfaction.

advertisementHappiness is no longer to be found in the lover's arms, but in justice done, evil punished and the cosmic balance righted.

The crime novel rests on a kind of morality, though often only by way of the forensic lab, and the gruesomeness of a dead female body. The disfigured corpse of the pretty girl starts many a crime novel today.

Once it was the body of the high-status man who tended to be found dead in his luxury apartment, while the pretty girl is found dismembered and tumbled in to a ditch.

Body-wise, of course, plain girls don't get a look in, any more than they did in the romance novel. As it is not in real life, so must it be in escapist fiction. That's the point of it.

But can it mean that instead of identifying with the pretty young heroines, readers now simply want their rivals dead?

The creative writing students whom I teach these days find it hard to write happy romantic endings.

But surely, surely, it could end with a kiss, I ask? No, it must go on from Saturday night's embrace to Sunday morning, when he stumbles from the bed and leaves without a backward glance, or a "Sorry, must get back to the wife".

And she suffers dreadfully, or preferably is feisty enough to leap lightly from the bed, saying: "There are more fish in the sea than ever came out of it." (Which, taken literally is not, one fears, true any more.) The iron has entered the young female soul.

Girls still want boys, quite desperately. Current research shows us that being sexually desirable to men, or at least to prove to other girls that they are, motivates them at the cost of all feminist ambition.

Perhaps this competition between women is hard-wired? A remnant of the old days when survival itself meant pleasing a man, when a girl was dependent on a man - father, husband, brother? Before men became optional extras? When she couldn't earn enough to support herself, let alone her children too, and the race was to get the highest-status man?

Jane Austen, who never married, and her mother too, widowed, ended their lives dependent on Jane's wealthy brother. No wonder Mr Darcy, the wealthy high-status man, archetype for the Mills & Boon romance novel, was such a prize.

Today's girl is not after the pleasure of sex, it seems - that is a means to an end. She is not after romance - she is too realistic for that - but after the status of the partnered girl.

She needs to be seen to be wanted; she craves the envy of others. "Look at me, I'm thinner than you, you can see every rib I have. What's more I have the most expensive handbag in the world. Look at me, look at the man on my arm, the would-be lovers grovelling at my feet."

It is not the man she wants, or needs, to impress; it is other women. I know a girl who tried to sell a kidney in order to buy a designer jacket.

Today's girl, I fear, impervious to romance, too often sees the man as another consumer desirable. The worry is more about what he looks like on her arm, than the other way round.

For his part, he knows he is nowhere without a car, a flat and trendy clothes. But somewhere in her nature lurks the old idea that a girl marries a man a little older than herself, a little better educated, and of a higher social class. As Mr Darcy was to Elizabeth.

But where is he to be found? She begins to go off romance novels.

Feminism has worked, though she will deny it: she can think of nothing more pathetic than waiting for a Mr Darcy, that proud, prejudiced person, to turn up. She would rather read a mystery novel in which his sister, Miss Bingley, gets the fate she deserves, that is to say, death.

Mills & Boon: the art of love

From Stella Magazine - The

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 17/08/2008

As Mills & Boon celebrates its 100th birthday, a new collection of cover illustrations reveals how all those blushing virgins and square-jawed heroes have evolved over the decades. Louisa McKay is gripped
Mills & Boon, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is the biggest publisher of romance novels in the world. Derided, ridiculed, the easiest form of fiction to knock, they're still obstinately popular. One is sold every three seconds in Britain, 200 million a year worldwide. Up to 70 new titles are released each month. For all the brutal criticism the books receive, Mills & Boon has tapped into a perfect formula of easy-read, no-nasty-bits romance, which is loved by millions of women.

The publishing house was founded in 1908 by Gerald Mills and Charles Boon (whose son later confided that his father had 'no intellectual interest in books, which was perhaps an asset - he stuck to entertainment'). Mills & Boon originally published well-known authors such as PG Wodehouse and Jack London, but in the 1920s began to corner the market in light fiction, aimed at a growing number of female readers hungry for escapism.
The formula that made early books such as The Virgin's Treasure: a Romance of the Tropics ('This was not England but the tropics, where blood runs hotter, and where incredible things happen with amazing swiftness') so popular is still going strong today: woman and man meet and love, there's conflict, conflict ends (so does book). But while the stories inside have stayed the same, the covers have not. Now a new book, The Art of Romance, brings together some of the best (and worst) Mills & Boon cover illustrations, from the buttoned-up modesty and square jaws of the pre-First World War years, to the tender new men who feature on the covers of the 1990s. The images are often a brilliant representation of popular fashions, such as the demure duchess on the front of The Duchess in Pursuit (1917), or the poor woman having her ear eaten by a man in a Fred Perry shirt on the cover of A Reason for Being (1989). The fabulously coiffed, beautifully tweezed and perfectly lipsticked lady on Westward to My Love (1944) is straight out of a wartime classic film like Casablanca.

Social trends are there, too. During the Second World War the cover heroes were often dashing RAF pilots and the heroines courageous young Wrens. Mystery at Butlin's, from 1960, was published during the boom in holiday parks after the war and the end of rationing. Theatre Sister, from the same year, was one of many books featuring romances between nurses and doctors, when soap-opera hunks like Dr Kildare were popular: 'Even with her blonde hair tucked well out of sight under her theatre cap she was still beautiful.' Its author, Hilda Pressley, was in fact a former nurse who had become a full-time writer. Later that decade many of the men began to resemble Sean Connery's Bond. By the 1970s, with everyone holidaying abroad, pilots and air hostesses became the hot-blooded protagonists.
Come 1998, around the same time Katie Price was forging a career as Jordan, the heroine of Mission to Seduce is lusty, oiled and rather orange. Her partner bears a striking resemblance to Tim Henman, who that year reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time, though one can't explain why he's wearing those particular pyjamas (or any, frankly, considering what's almost certainly about to happen).

But for all the slushy sentiment and predictable plots, Mills & Boon has carved out its place in history. By 1981 it was the world's largest publisher of romance with 80 per cent of the world market, translations in 18 languages and sales of over 100 million in 98 countries. When the Berlin Wall came down, staff from the company's West German office handed out 750,000 free copies to women from East Germany.
With its continual search for new talent, Mills & Boon has also provided the chance for many women to become successful novelists. One of the company's early bestselling authors, Irene Swatridge, also ran a sheep farm in Devon. Ida Cook, a civil-service typist, joined Mills & Boon in 1936 and used her publisher's pay cheque to fund an adventurous double life. She travelled to prewar Germany with her sister under the pretence of attending the opera, while helping Jews escape to England.

Today, Mills & Boon has lots of genres to choose from. They include: modern romance (virgins, Greek millionaires, yachts, sheikhs, royalty); historical (kissing in costume); medical (A&E kissing); intrigue (spooks kissing); special edition (Jodi Picoult with kissing); 'blaze' (kissing and then some); 'desire two-in-one' (two stories for the price of one). Nocturne - kissing and ghosts - is new for 2008. Each genre is colour-coded, so you pick your happy ending by style not substance. Readers are encouraged to buy an entire month's offerings from each genre in one click on the company's website. As long as it's the right colour for your style of romance, who cares what the clinch on the cover looks like?
Actually, I did. When I read a couple of recent offerings by way of research I felt compelled to fashion my own dust jacket for The Sheikh's Virgin Bride so people on the Tube wouldn't judge me. If the covers really do reflect their times, what on earth are we in for next?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Professionally Edit for Better Odds of Manuscript Acceptance

Everyone has their own style of writing. Some develop their writing skills through experience. Others just write from the heart. Either way, when your script is complete, hire an experienced copyeditor to “repair the damages.”

Publishers of all kinds prefer to see a manuscript edited prior to submission. Whether you choose to self-publish, POD, or submit to a traditional publishing house, your manuscript will need to be professionally edited. It’s well worth the time and cost to present a polished manuscript upfront. A traditional publisher will want to know that there isn’t excess “clean up” involved and will not be distracted from your book’s message by bad grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax. At the time of your submission, let the publisher know that your manuscript has been professionally edited. You will stand a better chance of being considered for publishing.

You can help your editor by following some basic guidelines and avoiding some of the common mistakes listed below.

· Format your manuscript using double-spaced Courier New, with one-inch margins. This is how most copyeditors and publishers prefer receiving manuscripts.
· Use one space after periods.
· Italics, bold, and underlined words are more difficult on the readers’ eye, try to avoid overusing them. Instead use stronger words to express a point.
· Be aware of the tendency to overuse the word “that.” See how many you can eliminate without changing the meaning of the sentence.
· Watch for repetition of words and writing patterns. We tend to use the same words over and over, when there are more appropriate synonyms much of the time.
· When referencing other works including statistics, cite all applicable sources either in the text, or in footnotes or endnotes.
· And, just for fun…“Lose” is to win or lose; “loose” is the opposite of tight.

Professional editors charge between $2 and $6 per page. Some charge by the word count. That can cost between $.018 and $.060 per word. It’s possible to get your manuscript edited for a lower price or even for free. Check with local colleges and universities. There may be students willing to work with you to edit your manuscript as part of an extra credit project. Either way, have your manuscript professionally edited.

Carol Denbow is the author of three books and the editor of A Book Inside. Visit Carol’s website at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Why bike to work

“At first my workmates considered me weird. However, since they knew me as someone who usually have weird hobbies, they no longer gave a damn on my biking to work.”
This was what Pak Wargo—one pioneer of bike to work in Semarang—said. He further said that he started biking to work in 2005, the same year when ‘bike to work’ community was first established in Jakarta. The basic reason why he biked to work at the very beginning was because he loved traveling. Another reason was to do exercise to keep healthy since he didn’t have spare time to do that. By going to work by bike, he did not need to spend special time to go to a gym, let’s say, or a swimming pool. He just had to wake up earlier, to go to the office earlier than when he went to work by car. He considered 35 kilometer distance from his house in Klipang—one eastern part of Semarang to his workplace in Mangkang—the most western part of Semarang as a challenge. Practically he biked around 70 kilometers away almost everyday. He explained that he usually went to his office on Monday morning by car, his bike was at the office. He went home by bike, leaving the car at the office. He biked to work from Tuesday until Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, he went home by car.
He usually needed one hour fifteen minutes to cover the 35-kilometer distance, by avoiding ‘hilly’ areas, such as in Kedungmundu. Instead, he chose to pass Majapahit street and directly went straight to the west, till his office located somewhere in Mangkang.
Doing exercise is indeed one most favorite reason for bike to workers in Semarang. Doctors’ claim that the safest exercise done by those who are more than forty years old are swimming, jogging, and biking is often cited. Some bike to workers said that they could not swim. Biking was a better choice than jogging because by biking people could reach further distance, meaning that they could enjoy more beautiful views, than just jogging. Moreover for people who weigh more than 90 kilograms, they say it is much heavier for their legs to support their bodies in jogging than they bike.
People’s complaint about the soaring price of gasoline can be decreased by biking to work too. They can save their money since they do not need gasoline at all when biking. Pak Wargo claimed that he needed around Rp. 300.000,00 per week to buy gasoline before he biked to work. You can imagine how much money he can save since then.
As we all know the fact that gasoline’s price soared did not only happen in Indonesia. One national newspaper stated that nowadays even in the super power country—America—more people are seen biking on the street than before the soaring price of gasoline.
The last but the most important reason for biking to work is absolutely to help reduce the air pollution as well as the negative impacts of global warming. Bicycles obviously do not produce emission gas that pollutes the air we breathe. It even makes the cyclists healthier.
So, what are you waiting for? Join Pak Wargo and the other bike to workers to save our earth while saving your money and making your bodies healthy.
It is expected that in the future, people will bike not only to go to the office, but also to go anywhere they need to do activities.
PT56 22.24 110808

Friday, August 8, 2008



Friday, September 19, 2008 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
9 locations throughout Michigan, MI
The ultimate book lovers experience! The Meijer READ THIS! Author Tour brings authors face-to-face with readers. Visit the following Meijer stores between September 18 & 21 to experience the READ THIS! ride:

Friday, September 19
10:30am Kalamazoo/5800 Gull Rd.
3:00pm Grand Rapids/Cascade
5:00pm Grand Rapids/Knapp's Corner

Saturday, September 20
10:30am Lansing/2055 W. Grand River Rd.
3:00pm Ann Arbor/5645 Jackson Rd.
5:00pm Canton/45001 Ford Rd.

Sunday, September 21
10:30am Rochester Hills/3175 Rochester Rd.
12:00pm Royal Oak/5150 Coolidge Hwy
4:00pm Monroe/1700 Telegraph Rd.

Check out these exciting authors who will be on the Meijer Read This Author Tour!

CT Adams & Cathy Clamp
Jessica Anderson
Allison Brennan
Kathryn Caskie
Colleen Coble
Kresley Cole
Jordan Dane
Deeanne Gist
Tom Grace
Kristan Higgins
Elizabeth Hoyt
Angela Knight
Leslie Langtry
Jade Lee
Robert Liparulo
Susan Mallery
Monica McInerney
Sophia Nash
Deborah Raleigh
Gena Showalter
Chip St. Clair
Roxanne St. Clair
Sherry Thomas

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Feel the Heat Writing Competition Official Rules

1. To enter, submit by e-mail a Microsoft Word file of a typed, double spaced, first chapter (no greater than 5,000 words) of a story you have written which is suitable for the Modern Heat series, and a synopsis (no greater than two pages in length) of the complete novel, along with your name, address, e-mail address and phone number to:

2. All submissions must be in English and be received no later than September 15th, 2008. Story concept must be original and must not have won a previous prize/award nor have been previously submitted, reproduced or published.

3. Entries will be judged by a panel of members of the Harlequin Mills & Boon editorial staff, based on the following criteria:
• Voice
• Content
• Writing Skills
in equal measure.

In the event of a tie, duplicate prizes will be awarded. Decisions of the judges are final.

4. Submissions will not be returned and may be used for promotional purposes only. All rights of the submitted work will remain with the author. Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, at its discretion, may request to see one or more full manuscripts from contest entrants after the close of the competition. No responsibility is assumed for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, non-compliant, non-delivered or misdirected submissions.

5. This contest is open to entrants who are 18 years of age or older and is void wherever prohibited by law; all applicable laws and regulations apply. Employees and immediate family members of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, including contracted authors, their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and all other agencies, entities and persons connected with the use, marketing or conduct of this Contest are not eligible to enter. By acceptance of a prize, the winner consents to use of his/her name, photograph or other likeness for purposes of advertising, trade and promotion on behalf of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon, without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

6. Winners will be determined no later than September 30th, 2008, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will be required to sign and return a Publicity Release and Affidavit of Eligibility certifying his/her eligibility and that the submitted chapter and story outline are his/her own original work, and it has not won a previous prize/award nor has it previously been submitted/reproduced/published, within 10 days of notification. Non-compliance within that time period may result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries are not responsible for errors in the electronic or printed presentation of this Contest. Winners agree that Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of their prize.

7. Prizes:
1st – winner will be awarded the services of a Harlequin Mills & Boon editor for one year [1st October 2008 – 30th September 2009], who will offer advice and guidance on contest entry, plus subsequent, previously mutually agreed submissions of partial or full manuscripts aimed at the Modern Heat series.
2nd - consultations for two runners-up on their first chapter and synopsis aimed at the Modern Heat series (50000 words) with a Harlequin Mills & Boon editor.

Only one prize per person. No cash alternatives.

8. For a list of winners (available after 1st October 2008), send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited
Eton House
18-24 Paradise Road
Surrey TW9 1SR
United Kingdom

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

As a writer, I think our happiest day is that when we first see our book in print. Oh, joy to see our name on the cover—our picture on the back—months, sometimes years of working towards this fulfilling goal. Today is that day for me. Even though this isn’t my first “happy day,” my emotions overflow and I am inspired.

It’s easy to begin a new writing project; we’re filled with hope and excitement as we sit down at the keyboard and begin our new and wondrous journey. Then it happens again, somewhere dead in the mist of it, we abandon it and tuck it away only to be found years later as we mutter the same old remarks under our breath, “why didn’t I finish this, it would have made a great book?”

Is it only human nature that we don’t finish what we begin? Are we stuck in a rut of incomplete projects? It’s easy to do. When the hope and excitement evolves into a “working” project, we lose interest. But if we can simply keep on pushing forward we will eventually see the end of the tunnel and become inspired once again.

I personally found that inspiration and “did” finish my book and I can tell you now, it’s worth the push! I’m proud to say; my new book is “A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story” and today is my happy day!

Be inspired, keep your hope alive, and sit down and write something!