Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spread the Word! Free books!

Celebrate Harlequin's Diamond Anniversary!

Harlequin’s free gifts to readers to celebrate their 60th Anniversary. 16 free books to download a total value of $60 US. There are books for all kinds of readers. Thanks Harlequin and Happy Anniversary. For more information here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award Winners for 2008

Avalon Romance EVERYTHING BUT A BRIDE by Holly Jacobs

Harlequin American Romance TEXAS HEIR by Linda Warren
Harlequin Blaze SHAKEN AND STIRRED by Kathleen O’Reilly
Harlequin Everlasting Love THE VOW by Rebecca Winters
Harlequin Historical A KNIGHT MOST WICKED by JoAnne Rock
Harlequin Intrigue SHEIK PROTECTOR by Dana Marton
Harlequin Presents THE SHEIKH’S CONVENIENT VIRGIN by Trish Morey
Harlequin Romance FALLING FOR Mr. Dark and Dangerous by Donna Alward
Harlequin Romance LAST MINUTE PROPOSAL by Jessica Hart
Harlequin Romance THE SINGLE DAD’S PATCHWORK FAMILY by Claire Baxter
Harlequin Superromance A SOLDEIER COMES HOME by Cindi Myers
Harlequin Special Releases FULL EXPOSURE by Diana Duncan

Heartsong Presents PROMISES, PROMISES by Amber Miller

M&B Medical A BABY FOR EVE by Maggie Kingsley
M&B Modern Heat BUSINESS IN THE BEDROON by Anne Oliver

Silhouette Desire MISTAKEN MISTRESS by Tessa Radley
Silhouette Nocturne VIELED TRUTH by Vivi Anna
Silhouette Nocturnal Bites MORTAL ENEMY, IMMORTAL LOVER by Olivia Gates
Silhouette Romantic Suspense THE HEART OF A RENEGADE by Loreth Anne White
Silhouette Special Edition THE DADDY DILEMMA by Karen Rose Smith
Silhouette Special Release BRETHLESS Sharron McClellan
Steeple Hill Love Inspired COUNTDOWN TO DEATH by Debby Giusti

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kimberly Lang - Mills and Boon Modern Heat/Presents Author

I recently had the pleasure of reading Kimberly Lang’s debut book, The Secret Mistress Arrangement which is out in the UK as a Mills and Boon Modern Heat and will be available in the US in April. You can see my review on my review blog:

Kim’s Bio from her website:

Kimberly Lang hid romance novels behind her textbooks starting in junior high, and even a master’s program in English couldn’t break the obsession with dashing heroes and Happily Ever After. A ballet dancer turned English teacher, Kimberly married an electrical engineer and turned her life into an ongoing episode of “When Dilbert Met Frasier.” She and her Darling Geek live in beautiful North Alabama with their one Amazing Child—who, unfortunately, shows an aptitude to sports.

Kimberly is a founding member of The Writing Playground, a website for aspiring authors, and she blogs with her Playfriends there every Tuesday.

You can find Kimberly on The Writing Playground as “The Problem Child, here
or on I(Heart) Presents here where she talked about her call. Kimberly also posts from time to time on The Pink Heart Society, here.

Here website is: Kimberly Writes Books and she’s running a contest, giving away her debut book plus is also running a contest on The Writing Playground.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Secret to Success: The Writing Phase

Dreaming of becoming the next best-selling author? Hoping to move thousands upon thousands of books on your own? Before putting that pen to paper, do some research! Success at any level is determined long before the book is written.

It is said that a fiction author writes out of passion while a non-fiction author writes with profit in mind. While this is not the case every time, non-fiction writers tend to possess a target audience or marketing strategy before they begin. Their research is based on a perceived need. So, before we pour our heart and soul into a project, we need to confirm that an audience awaits our work.

Two factors determine most book purchases- author reputation and subject matter. Most readers are faithful to a handful of authors, which places an unknown at a distinct disadvantage. A new author stands a better chance when the subject matter is the primary concern. However, he or she will still face competition. The writer must possess the necessary expertise to stand out from other masters in the field.

The first step in determining marketability is selecting a genre. The Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee lists forty-six major categories and numerous subcategories. We must locate a genre that fits our proposed book, or perhaps several general categories. It is one thing in this industry to appear unique, but a book without a genre will only die in obscurity.

Now we must determine if our genre possesses an audience. This requires that we research the book industry, both online and physical. We must discover the current trends and confirm our editorial niche. Who is our competition? Which authors and publishers boast similar works? We must ascertain if we possess the required expertise and can produce a book that falls within the word count of our genre. This step is vital, because we can’t prepare for battle if we don’t understand the enemy.

Ultimately, we must consider the marketability of our work. How many books are currently available on the topic? Is our niche too big or too small? A book that teaches cats how to dance might have little appeal beyond the country’s crazy cat ladies! Our subject must attract a reasonably sized audience, but we can’t make the appeal too broad. No one has ever written a book every wants! The wider the audience, the more difficult it will be to focus our promotions. It is better to stay with a target market that is clear and defined.

Once we’ve established a market for our book, we need to create a reader profile. Basically, who are these people? Determine details such as age, gender, location, income bracket, and lifestyle. We may find our book has a regional appeal or is more apt to be read by women than men. A reader profile fills in these little details.

One of the most important aspects is the recreational activity of our audience. Where does our potential reader shop? What magazines does this person read? What websites or blogs does our audience visit, and do they frequent social sites? Our books must be available where our readers shop, both on and offline, and this does not always entail a bookstore. These details are vital if we want to reach our target market. Our promotional efforts need to focus on these items and specific locations. Why waste time with interviews or articles if they do not reach our target audience?

Not all book sales are created equal, either! One market we need to consider is large-volume sales to businesses. Will our book tie in with an organization or non-profit group? Would it make an excellent gift or sales incentive for a business? Could our book be required reading at an academic level? Selling 5000 books to one group is easier than selling the same amount of books to 5000 individuals. Explore this option in depth, especially if the work is non-fiction. A large pre-publication sale would be quite comforting indeed!

We cannot overlook the power of endorsements, either. Create a list of individuals or businesses that might endorse the book. Look to other experts in the field. We should not be afraid to approach qualified professionals in our field of work- we’ll never know unless we ask! Consider authors of the genre as well. Endorsements and blurb from these experts will add to a book’s appeal, solidifying our credibility and ultimately boosting sales.

The writing phase is the best time to consider possibilities beyond the initial book, too. We need to think long-term! Will there be magazine excerpts? Do we foresee foreign rights and multiple translations? Perhaps even a movie or television event connected with the book? These situations may appear larger than life, but even possibilities as simple as an E-book, book on CD, or the potential of a continuing series should be considered. A great idea often spawns other inventions or tie-in products. The money created outside of the actual books by a certain wizard series should be motivation enough for the rest of us to think beyond our initial book!

The final item to consider is our publishing path. Most author hopefuls complete their book and then wonder what to do next! Before we finish our masterpiece, we should decide if we want to submit our work to a publisher or do it on our own. Those seeking publication should form a list of presses currently accepting our genre. Explore the Literary Market Place or Writer’s Market, and visit each publisher’s website for submission guidelines. Those intending to self-publish need to read every publishing and promoting book on the market and conduct extensive online research. Regardless of our chosen path, we need to understand the book industry if we hope to be successful.

To a writer, there is no greater joy than the act of writing. We can’t forget the big picture, though! Without a marketable product, a target audience, or a publishing plan, our creation will never see the light of day. If we do the research first, we’ll give ourselves a better chance for success.

Article contributed by Author & Professional Speaker, L. Diane Wolfe,,

Please leave any comments for Ms. Wolfe below.

Teaching Literature

In my workplace, besides being assigned to teach English and Bahasa Indonesia, I am also responsible to watch students during ‘library’ sessions. Every student is assigned to read one book—minimally 100 pages for grade 7, 150 pages for grades 8 and 9—every one term. After finishing reading one book, they are to write ‘book review’. In writing the book review, I must check whether they write good English sentences or not. If not, I will return it and have them revise it.

The main reason why students have library sessions (two slots per week) is to help them improve their vocabulary and also skill in reading English books. As a language as well as literature teacher, I am of opinion that this reading assignment is also important to balance students’ left and right brain. Literature—a part of art—is essential to smoothen people’s soul, to be more humane.

I have read some articles related to some criticism addressed to schoolteachers—especially who teach Bahasa Indonesia subject—in some sites. Some complained because many teachers themselves do not like reading. Even in one article I read several months ago—sorry, I forgot to cite the site address—the writer stated that many Bahasa Indonesia teachers he interviewed had not read LASKAR PELANGI novel yet, one very famous novel by Andrea Hirata recently, moreover this novel portrayed the life of schoolchildren studying in a remote and poor school, but still they had very high spirit and enthusiasm to study. Isn’t it a very good example to boost students’ enthusiasm to go to school. Why did those teachers not read LASKAR PELANGI yet? Several reasons gathered were: they did not like reading; they were busy teaching (at school as well as had part time job outside to get more income) so that they could not spare their time to read; the price of books was expensive and teachers who got low salary could not afford to buy them.

For the first reason, it is indeed very shameful if teachers do not like reading. I have loved reading since I was a kid. Feeling unhappy with the fact cited by the writer in that article, I commented that not all teachers did not enjoy reading. Some did, including me.

For the second and the third reasons, I think they come from the same background: lack of sufficient income. When teachers get enough income, they do not need to have part time jobs, in order that they get enough spare time to read, to improve their knowledge and skill as well. For the third reason, schools can be of any help by providing books to be lent to teachers.

I think my educational background has made me a bit different from those teachers interviewed by the writer of the article. I did not graduate from Teachers’ College. Instead, I graduated from Faculty of Letters, especially English Department, and American Studies, with literature interest. When teaching Bahasa Indonesia in my workplace, I just need to adjust the material: from American literary works (or any other work written in English), to any literary works written by Indonesian, in Bahasa Indonesia.

Talking about educational background, this is also a very crucial issue. Many schools prefer having teachers graduating from Teachers’ College. They are assumed to be supplied with teaching techniques and methods. On the other hand, people graduating from other than Teachers’ College only get science and knowledge, minus teaching techniques/methods. As a result, they are not considered to be capable to teach, or to transfer their knowledge to students.

When it comes to teaching literature at high schools, it is understandable when teachers teaching literature (who graduated from Teachers’ College) do not really master anything related to literature, they even do not enjoy reading any piece of literature. When they themselves do not enjoy reading it, they do not know how to make their students enjoy it either. How can they make their students enjoy studying literature and make them realize that studying literature is as fun and important as studying any other exact subjects, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology?

Going back to my job—assigning students to read and ask them to write reviews—I can conclude that many students from grades 7 and 8 enjoy this assignment. However, only a few grade 9 students who enjoy it. It seems to me that their concentration is more absorbed by the National Examination they will face a few months again.

PT56 21.21 250109

Women in Our Sinetrons

I remember one day during my college days, a male senior lecturer of mine protested the portrayal of ‘modern’ women in many soap operas in television (Indonesians call them ‘sinetrons’). ‘Modern’ women were portrayed as women who left behind the stereotypical characteristics of ‘traditional’ ones, such as submissive, soft-spoken, feminine, weak, motherly, etc. To my disappointment, he also opined that that kind of portrayal of women was triggered by feminist movement; feminist movement seemed to be the scapegoat that eventually resulted in women’s hatred to anything feminine.

Since I hardly ever watched sinetrons on television, I did not have any idea what kind of portrayal he meant. Therefore, I did not debate my lecturer at that time although I was strongly convinced it was not merely because of feminist movement.

Years passed by.

Today I remembered it again, especially when reading one article in a scientific journal ANTROPOLOGI INDONESIA vol. 30, No. 1, 2006; the title of the article is “Menjadi Perempuan di dalam Sinetron: Kekinian Femininitas” (“Becoming women in Sinetrons: the recent femininity”) by Widjajanti Mulyono Santoso. This article was resulted from her research based on one sinetron played on television in 2004; the title was “Inikah Rasanya”.

What kinds of women were portrayed in “Inikah Rasanya”?

First, a woman who has a crush on a man. Since feminist movement believed that women also had right to express their feeling to men earlier (until now I still find many men and women who find it embarrassing and unfeminine for women to ‘shoot’ men first), it was okay then for a woman to do it. However, in this sinetron, Rena, one female character was portrayed very aggressive so that she made the boy whom she had crush on feel insecure and threatened. She was highly emotional and temperamental.

Second, a single mother/woman who was illogically emotional. Jason’s mother as well as Nadia’s aunt was portrayed as a woman who had psychological problems since none of them had a spouse. Having these problems made them treat their kid or niece cruelly. In fact this is not far from the portrayal of single women—especially those who have reached certain age brackets—in patriarchal society. Since people adore marriage and consider only in marriage both men and women will achieve ultimate happiness, they—especially women—are accused of feeling insecure when they are single. Therefore, they will do anything to cut the insecure feeling, even sometimes by grabbing any guy. Oftentimes, to express their depression due to the society’s insecure accusation to them, they do aggressive things to people close to them, such as kids and nieces. Feminist movement teaching women to be more expressive seemed to be the best media (as a scapegoat): because of it Jason’s mother and Nadia’s aunt became uncontrollably aggressive.

Third, a female teacher who was irrationally annoying and irritating. Women with capabilities are considered unconventional in patriarchal society. Power that (female) teachers usually have in front of their students is a weird thing. This resulted in the students’ laughter at their female teachers. Mostly female teachers are also illustrated as old maid that have mental problems because of no spouse. Worse, they are also portrayed physically unaccepted: their voice is ridiculously high-pitched, wearing thick glasses, stiff uniform, unfriendly facial expression.

I am of opinion that the visualization of three women above is not only in “Inikah Rasanya”. Many other sinetrons portray similar characteristics of women like that. Realizing that many scriptwriters are male, I concluded that there was a very wrong deviant of feminist movement on men’s head. Or I can also say that men (although not all) felt threatened by feminist movement so that they portrayed very cruel images of women who were independent. What kind of men blaming feminist movement (READ => movement for equality between men and women)? They are men who feel confident before women ONLY when women are weak, stupid or uneducated, submissive, controllable.

What did they expect? Society will stop feminist movement because it will make women heartless, monsters, unfeminine, against natural law for women, etc.

PT56 22.33 240109

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Auction to Benefit Homeless Teen and Mom

The ladies at The Writing Playground have donated some items which any reader or author would appreciate. For more info here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Save the Contemporary Contest

Stop over at or Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for a chance to win a camcorder and Jill Shavis latest release. Smart Bitches and on Dear Author

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Romance Rings in the New Year with Catherine Anderson

Press release for Catherine Anderson who has written over 20 books and her January relase of Star Bright.

Britian's Oldest Romantic Novelist

This article is wonderful and to you authors a question. Do you see yourself writing well into retirement? Mills and Boon Author celebrates 101 years.

Monday, January 12, 2009


What a wonderful idea to share your books with those in need. Learn more:
How to Give

Do You Want To Share The Love? Here’s how you can participate right now:

1. Get a box.
2. Start filling it with romance novels you’ve read, but don’t imagine re-reading.
3. Send the box to one of the following locations or check back here to see if we’ll be doing a collection in your area. Your donation will be given to one of the organizations listed on our

Receive The Love list.
Share The Love
c/o Maya Rodale
511 Avenue of The Americas, #90
New York, NY 10011-8436
(212) 924-4002
- - - - - - - - - -
Share the Love
c/o Ann Bleakley
P.O. BOX 19313
Minneapolis, MN 55419-0313

We’ve checked out your shipping options, and are of the opinion that USPS parcel post is the best. If you want to ship UPS, be sure to include the phone number on the label.

The fine print: Share The Love, Inc. is a tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and has an applied for recognition of its exemption with the Internal Revenue Service.

Share The Love
511 Avenue of The Americas, #90
New York, NY 10011-8436
Share the Love
P.O. BOX 19313
Minneapolis, MN 55419-0313

Friday, January 9, 2009

Author India Grey and Rugby

Stop over at India Grey's blog and see the article which recently appeared in the UK about seven authors, including India who will be writing romance featuring rugby players. Personally, I can't wait. Rugby anyone?

India is an incredible author and her latest release Taken for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure is out in the UK now and in the US in May as a Harlequin Presents.

Here's the author line up and oh what a line up! Most of these authors are an auto-buy for me so be sure to stop over to Marilyn's Romance Reviews and see my reviews on the series.

The Prince’s Waitress Wife – Sarah Morgan (February)

At the Argentinean Billionaire’s Bidding – India Grey (March)

The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress – Abby Green (April)

The Ruthless Billionaire’s Virgin – Susan Stephens (May)

The Italian Count’s Defiant Bride – Catherine George (June)

The Sheikh’s Love-Child – Kate Hewitt (July)

Blackmailed into the Greek Tycoon’s Bed – Carol Marinelli (August)

The Virgin Secretary’s Impossible Boss – Carole Mortimer (September)

Time Article:

From Australia another article: "Be Still My Heart".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Masih dalam euforia TOP TEN BLOGGER 2008. Ehem ... 
In in the previous post I wrote I was indebted to many bloggers who have given the link to my blog, as well as my blog visitors, absolutely I still have to thank many others.
At the first place, my ‘other half’, as my first audience of my writing. I started emailing him regularly in the middle of my writing thesis, especially the whole 2005. When I got stuck, writing him emails was the nice refreshing, starting from merely about ‘being trapped in the rain’, my activities as a college student, Sex and the City, our favorite serial, my trip from Jogja to Semarang by bus where I met a weirdo—for me, until more serious topic, such as my interpretation of THE HOURS movie, that he did not finish reading LOL (“It is boring, darling, I am sorry,” he said apologetically. LOL.), the first article I posted in my first blog (I ‘developed’ it from the email I sent him), life (where I questioned a so-called philosophical rhetoric “What God made this universe for?” I believed he found it boring too), the core of my thesis, about the phenomenon of woman madness in the middle of nineteenth century America, etc. My obligation to myself to read a lot to gather ideas to write more various emails to my ‘other half’ so that he would not get bored when reading my abundant emails. (But still he got bored with the very serious topic. LOL.)
Second, my own study at American Studies Graduate Program. The weekly assignments to write papers made me accustomed to write. After graduating, writing became the best medication for my restlessness.
Third, my darling Abang that has made me a ‘milder’ feminist.  Our long discussion via thousand word emails has a bit changed me from a somewhat radical feminist to be milder. I myself now sometimes find my writing ‘biting’ and maybe hostile toward men; especially those writings I posted before August 2006 (the time when out of the blue my Abang came into my life, and “offered friendship”, “Hey Na, your writing is awesome. Let us be friend.” LOL.) As one fan of my writing, he keeps supporting me to write. And when I get annoying comment from ‘imbeciles’, he is also the best one to ask for help, to write counter-comment, to ‘defend’ me. (That’s what having an Abang is for, right? LOL.)
Next, Fatih Syuhud who has found my blog and featured me as “the blogger of the week”. Until now we have never had any personal greeting to each other. LOL. He himself is a great blogger who is very diligent to write, and also visit many blogs, analyze them one by one, and using his own parameter (well, I don’t know whether there are a group of people behind his activity selecting “the blogger of the week”). I found his feature of my blog fascinating, knowing someone read my posts thoroughly and carefully, and then write about me. It is really fun to know how other people perceive me from reading my blog only. His broad-minded and open-minded characters (to ‘read’ me) have resulted in a post that I love.
One local newspaper whose articles (especially about women) often make me upset, signaling that the writers only know the surface of women movement, or the vision of the newspaper is still gender-biased. Because of that, I am triggered to write. (“True women = modern feminist?” is only one example.)
People around me—especially workmates, students, neighbors, as well as my family members—who have sometimes inspired me to write a certain issue. Some writings of mine are also sometimes inspired by some discussion in some mailing lists I join.
Absolutely I am also grateful to my biggest blessing from God, my Lovely Star. Silently she supports me to spend time to write, the time that sometimes she needs me to lend my ears to her. But as always, she is understanding. 
And many others I cannot mention one by one.
-- the narcissist Nana –
PT56 23.55 070109

RNA Short List/Long List - Romantic Novel Association


This is the RNA's major award. It is open to all romantic fiction first published in the UK in the current year. Awards will be announced in February.

Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2009 Longlist

Thanks for the Memories - Cecelia Ahern - Harper Collins
The Best of Fathers - Anne Baker - Headline
We'll Meet Again -Patricia Burns - MIRA (Harlequin)
Enemies of the Heart - Rebecca Dean - Harper
The Love of My Life - Louise Douglas - Macmillan
The Last Concubine Lesley Downer - Transworld (Bantam)
The Love of Her Life - Harriet Evans - Harper
Diving into Light - Natasha Farrant - Transworld (Black Swan)
No Cure For Love - Jean Fullerton - Orion
Star Gazing -Linda Gillard - Little, Brown (Piatkus)
East of the Sun - Julia Gregson - Orion
The Accidental Time Traveller - Sharon Griffiths - Harper Collins (Avon)
The Return - Victoria Hislop - Headline Review
The Birds & the Bees - Milly Johnson - Simon & Schuster
Out of the Blue - Belinda Jones- Random House (Arrow)
Sophia's Secret(The Winter Sea)- Susanna Kearsley - Allison & Busby
Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella - Transworld (Bantam)
Before the Storm - Judith Lennox - Headline Review
Recipe for Disaster - Miriam Morrison - Random House (Arrow)
The Accidental Marriage - Marina Oliver - Robert Hale
Time for a Change - Lynda Page - Headline
A Good Confession - Bridget Whelan - Severn House

Shortlist for RNA Romance Prize 2009

Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure - India Grey (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Promoted to Wife and Mother - by Jessica Hart (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Saying Yes to the Millionaire - by Fiona Harper (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

Sold to the Highest Bidder - by Kate Hardy (Harlequin Mills & Boon)

The Wild Card - by Beth Elliott (Robert Hale)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Conferences Galore - Barbary Vey

From Publishers Weekely Beyond Her Book, Barbara Shares some 2009 conferences.

I personally attend the Seattle Emerald City Writers Conference and this year I'm attending Celebrate Spring in Portland Oregon. Hopefully I'll be able to attend the Washington DC conference in DC this year as my daughter Keri, literally lives around the corner from the hotel.

So here's Barbara's list:
Conferences Galore


Top Ten Blogger Indonesia 2008

Posted on December 31, 2008
Filed Under Blogger Indonesia, Indonesia, blogging

The essence of blogging, as I put it as a jargon in my Bahasa Indonesia blog, is to culturalize the tradition of writing and reading. Many Indonesians, like those who are from developing or underdeveloped nation, don’t have the habit of writing and reading. They talk a lot. Write and read less. And that’s why, some foreign academicians who come to Indonesia were a bit shocked to find out the lack of reading and writing habit among Indonesians even within the so-called middle class family. The lack of reading naturally would end up in the lack of blog content “charisma”.

There are a few exception, however. Those who can adopt a new positive tradition of modernity–in reading a lot. As a result they write many good articles, creating nice and unique posts and even making an enlightening comments in other blogs.

That’s one reason among others why I’d like to dedicate this year’s Top Ten Blogger Indonesia 2008 specifically to those who consistently make a good content, and no less important, write relatively regularly. A content which is unique and enlightening. By so doing I hope what they have done will be emulated by others especially those bloggers who come later. It’s also my own way to appreciate and encourage those who passionately write good blog articles without worrying or thinking about traffics. A good content blog may not make a big traffic, and thus, a big impact in a short term, but certainly they will in a long shot.

Blogs has grown rapidly in Indonesia. Ten or even hundreds of blogs are born everyday. They start blogging for various reasons. Either way they are an asset to make the tradition of writing and reading blossom in the unlikely place like Indonesia in which the middle class hobby and dream is nothing but to have a nice house, fancy cars and the collection of Chinese old ceramic instead of books.

Last but not the least, there are so many good blogs with good content. It’s a pity that I can pick only ten. It should not be understood, therefore, that the others ten are less good. The links in the bloggers’ name will direct you to the Blogger Indonesia of the Week review of a particular blogger from which you will find the blogger’s URL.


The Top Ten Blogger Indonesia 2008

1. Nana Podungge

2. Tasa Nugraza Barley

3. Rima Fauzi

4. Primadonna Angela

5. Agni Amorita

6. Anita Carmencita

7. Mulya Amri

8. Deden Rukmana

9. Sherwin Tobing

10. Dedi W. Sanusi

Happy New Year 2009 Everyone! Nothing like feeling anew and start afresh all the time! :)


How long have I been idle to write in my 'intellectual' blog located at ?
Several months have passed since I started working as a school teacher that is really time-consuming (as well as energy-consuming!)
I have been complaining to myself due to this. So many complaints (seeing the injustice that happens to the marginalized ...) have been crowding my mind.
But I can only complain because I am just a very bad time manager: I cannot manage my time well: teaching, teaching, and teaching, then reading, biking, swimming, and writing, not to mention my chores as Angie's mother (just imagine the abundant things a single parent must do).
And last two-week-end-of-year holiday, I COULD only write two articles ("Feminism" and "True woman = modern feminists?") I still cannot spare time to write my 'abundant ideas' triggered by watching INTO THE WILD, and about Irshad Manji, the Muslim feminist lesbian.
That's why what a surprise to find an email in my mailbox from someone I don't know personally, to congratulate me. What congratulation is for? Curious, I opened it. And ... A Fatih Syuhud, the 'king blogger' in Indonesia who 'found' my blog in 2006 and featured me in his blog, has selected the TOP TEN BLOGGER 2008. And ... my blog is in among those TOP TEN BLOGGER 2008.
W-O-W ...
Here is the link. Click it ...

I am obviously indebted to many bloggers--that I don't remember or even don't know--who have given the link to my blog in their blogs. The link apparently lead the visitors in their blog to visit my blog.
I am also indebted to those people who have visited my blog, for sure.


C-Net 21.09 060109

Monday, January 5, 2009

EHarlequin Celebrates 60 Years

Get a free Ebook and join in the 60th Diamond Harlequin Celebration.



Posted this am on

Are you an author with a January 2009 release (this includes anyone who was released in late December as well). Tell the readers all about it. Include a blurb! an excerpt link! a buy link! anything that you think will help a reader be a) interested in your work and b) buy it.

The rules for Author Promo Night Open Thread are as follows:

The book has to be released in that month (i.e., anything released during the last week of April would be a May release)

You can post for yourself or you can have a friend post for you if the idea of posting about your book paralyzes you .

No self published authors unless you write romance. No, I am not a POD hater, I am just thinking about the manageability of the thread.

Think about the readership. I.e., does your non fiction book about psoriasis really fit?

This one is more of a guideline than a rule, but be smart about your comment because if it is just a link to your website and the title of your book, I doubt you are going to get any interest.

DA reserves the right to delete the post if it promotes objectionable content (i.e., no daddy/daughter incest recommends are going to be allowed. Sorry.)
That’s it. Post away.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to GET Published--and when to do it!

Here is a tough one for you to accept; getting published should be somewhere down about the middle of your to do list!

It is always interesting to me to hear the excuses some potential authors give because they cannot seem get their work accepted by a publisher. They are always griping that they are getting rejection slips to every query letter they send. If I ask them why they think that is, the usual answer I get is, "I don't know." That, I tell them, is one of their biggest problems! They don't know!

"Whadda ya mean by that?" is the usual response to that statement. "Look," I would tell them, "have you ever considered the possibility that you have never taken the time to learn what is necessary to know if you are serious about getting your work published?" Unfortunately, to these people, that question is a rhetorical one because it is obvious they have not.

For most people becoming a published author infers an obligation upon the would be author, like any other field of endeavor, to know or learn what is necessary to play in that ballpark. Simple analogy; if you want to become a medical doctor you have to go to medical school.

Well, if you want to be a published author you have to be able to do more than put the words on a page to write a book and get it published! You must educate yourself to the requirements in the field.

First and foremost, you must learn to write a query letter in a manner that will make those overworked editors in the publishing houses perk up their eyes and want to continue reading. There is so much free information available on the net or in your local library about this subject that there is no excuse for anyone not to be able to learn to do it.

Along with this is being able to present your synopsis of your work. This is crucial if you want that editor to keep reading. He or she must see within the first few sentences that they will want to know more about your story. It must be concise, informative, and compelling. Again, the information a writer would need to learn how to do this is freely available on the net or in your local library.

Another item for this phase is the authors resume. This is something that should never, ever, be hyped--keep it factual. It's okay to emphasize any kudos you may have attained along the way, just don't overdo it.

If you get past this point and get a request for a sample of your material, you had better know how to edit. Unless your work is so unique that you capture the editors attention and imagination immediately, your work will very shortly be returned to you; that is if you included a postage paid return envelope.

Editing is not a one time thing--it is a process! It is something you can learn to do, or it is something you may have to pay to have done in a manner that will be acceptable to most publishers. Don't get me wrong on this aspect of writing. Most authors are generally not good editors of their work. But they can learn to get it to the point where a publisher will be willing to polish it up for publication. And again, there is ample information freely available to establish in the author a working knowledge of what is necessary to do a moderately good job of editing their work to the point of acceptability.

Then there is the homework factor the author must perform for his/her own basic knowledge of the publishing industry. Learning what the submission procedures are for the different publishing houses--learning which publishers prefer what genres. Learning which publishers are more prone to accept new authors, etc, etc. Doing your homework will always put you several steps ahead of those too lazy to do so.

Now we come to one of the parts of getting published that is one of the most overlooked aspects. NETWORKING! This Website is a great example of the potential help available to new authors, and some old ones too. I'm an old fart with a young mind, but I do have an advantage in this area. I have been in business for most of my adult working life, and have gained a real understanding of the value of networking with those who know the things I don't, and are willing to share their knowledge with me.

Most published authors are, usually, more than willing to share their experience and knowledge with those who are following them on the writers path. Most will do so willingly for those who show they are truly willing to learn. Networking provides a treasure trove of knowledge and insight for those willing to show that they can be deserving of it.

Now to the publisher?

Not quite yet. I would recommend that the best policy a new writer could establish for themselves is to have your work completed and as polished as possible. In addition, the author should have done enough homework along the way so they will be able to present their work in its best light, and to the best venue.

To those reading this. I have, of necessity, condensed a great deal of what I might have liked to say on the subject, but have covered the basics adequately. Your comments are, as always, welcome.

Contributing Author; J. A. DiSpada
Author, The Earth-Chai Saga – Book one – Waking The Dragon
Published – May, 2007
ISBN10: 14241527 55
ISBN13: 978-14241527 59
Awards - New Book Reviews .Org ‘Best New Book 2007’
Visit J.A.'s Web Page at
Member – A Book Inside Forum at

Learn more about the writing and publishing maze by reading A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story available at Author’s Box or

Please leave your comments for J. A. DiSpada below.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New year resolution

In fact, I hardly ever make new year resolution. First time I made it by the end of 2004. Only one of them I made to come true, almost a year after that, due to my laziness. (And my being a perfectionist. A good friend labeled me. Well, she just valued me too highly, I believe.)
This year, what will I make for my new year resolution? Or a beuer question, why should I bother myself to make it this time?
Just to write in my blog, to be honest, since I'm a narcist. LOL.
To be a better Mom for my only daughter. If I can be one. :-)
To be a better daughter for my Mom. (I know I've made her disappointed in religiosity, since we have been in 'different boats' though still under the same flag. Because of the intellectual gap between us. I'm sorry to say this. But I can't help it. :-()
To bike more to reach any destination I go, to care the environment, since I'm not vegan, and gardening is not my cup of tea.)

Crbn 17.46 020109

2008 Aspen Gold Winners

From the Heart of Denver Romance Writers of America the 2008 Aspen Gold Winners:

His Favorite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren - Winner
Untouched by Anna Campbell
Lady Be Bad by Candice Hern

The Rancher Needs a Wife by Terry McLaughlin - Winner
A Christmas to Remember by Kay Stockham
Montana Skies by Kay Stockham
The House on Briarhill Road by Holly Jacobs

Touch Me by Susan Lyons - Winner
Pleasures of the Night by Sylvia Day
Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson - Winner
Unbound by Lori Devoti
The Dark Gate by Pamela Palmer
Sex and the Psychic Witch by Annette M. Blair

Single Title
Sweet Return by Anna Jeffrey - Winner
Learning to Breathe by Karen White
There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde

Young Adult
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale - Winner
The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
The Specialists: Model Spy by Shannon Greenland
The Specialists: Down to the Wife by Shannon Greenland

Romantic Suspense
White Heat by Cherry Adair
What's in a Name by Terry Odell
Salvation, Texas by Anna Jeffrey

Roxanne St. Claire and Murder She Writes

Happy New Year to one and all! I would like to share a blog post from my dear friend and author, Roxanne St. Claire which was posted December 30th on the Murder She Writes blog. Why you might ask? Love so true and sweet it will make you shed tears. It's what as authors you write about and for people like me who love romance novels, it's a true story with happy ever after. So on this first day of 2009, enjoy Rocki's blog post and dream of love!

Because I Married Rich