Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jane Porter and new son Mac

(Jane, Ty and baby Mac and his two brothers Jake and Ty)

My sincere congrations to Jane Porter and Ty Gurney on the birth of their son Mac. Details can be found here


Welcome to the first installment of Sequential Crush! This blog will share the stories, the art and the history behind an oft neglected genre of comic books – Romance!

Romance comic books are often overshadowed by the medium-defining genres of superhero books, science-fiction, and horror. It is too bad too, because romance comics are overflowing with pages of beautiful art, gorgeous girls, fashion and history. Due to the disposable nature of comic books, and even more so, the disposable nature of these non-superhero books, many romance comics are somewhat difficult to find. They also just aren’t as sought after as superhero books. Romance books tend to get left behind by dealers because they just don’t sell as well as their superhero counterparts. Thus, they are rather hard to find at comic book conventions, and even in the back issue boxes at comic book stores. Luckily for people who are into romance comics, the hunt for them is half the fun and what makes them so collectable! There are innumerable issues out there with countless pages drawn by such talents as Winslow Mortimer, Don Heck, Ric Estrada, and more. The key is just finding the issues in the first place! I have an insatiable thirst for these books, and I have looked high and low for them. It is with this blog that I hope to fill a niche. Very little has been written about romance comics compared with the secondary literature on the superhero genre or graphic novels, but… do not fear, Sequential Crush is here!

I have a particular interest in romance books of the 1960s and 1970s due to their rich content, the fantastic art, and the dynamic story lines. I find that the art and the stories of these Silver and Bronze age books to be particularly spectacular. Topics such as careers, civil rights and women’s lib become an issue and stories dealing with heartbreak (which are in the majority) become oh-so-modern. This is not to say that I will never mention earlier books from the 1940s and ‘50s. I may for comparison sake, and because many of the old issues and titles are pretty fascinating in their own right. But, I find the 1960s and ‘70s to be a really compelling time for comic books and American culture in general, which also narrows my focus to this era.

It should also be noted that most of my entries will be written through the lense of history, rather than say, women’s studies for example. It is not that I am not concerned with women’s issues, but this blog’s purpose is not to give a critique on heteronormativity or impose today’s political discourse on these romance comics. I will be looking at these books as products of their time, and hopefully instilling a sense of appreciation for them. Though not all the romance issues are of superior quality, many stand as testaments of artistic accomplishment and bear witness to the time period in which they were created. Therefore, the historical and aesthetic aspects are what I will be concentrating on.

Within this historical and aesthetic framework, Sequential Crush will take a look at the art, the creative teams involved, and the reoccurring themes of romance comic books, as well as the collecting aspect of these books. There will also be a healthy dose of the advertising and the fashion from the pages of the romance comics, because who doesn’t dig paisley and bell-bottoms? I may even throw in some superhero romance, because frankly, I admit, I love superheroes too!

So without further ado, welcome to Sequential Crush! Enjoy! Hopefully you will find these romance comic books as groovy and stunning as I do. Thanks for stopping by!

Jayne Ann Krentz talks about the enduring, alluring romance novel

Lit Life |

Recently the literary world was agog over a New York Times report that one category of book is actually selling better than it did last year, a slender little ray of sunshine in a dark and stormy year for book publishing (and everything else retail).

Interesting article which appeared in The Seattle Times

More on the Princeton University Conference

Just received my newsletter from Romance B(u)y the Book and found Michelle's comments extremely interesting; conference results.....

Technology ...

In this so-called modern era technologies have created possibilities as well as chances for people to communicate with anybody all over the world, without going to places where our counterparts live. There are many machines we can use for communication such as phones (or mobile phones with their feature to send text messages), facsimile, until the internet with its various ways of communication, from email, chatting (YM, MSN, Googletalk, you name it.) and some others.
However, face-to-face communication is the best way to communicate in order to avoid miscommunication. Experts say that human face consists of 44 muscles and two bones: the skull and the jaw. These muscles are not attached to the bones so that they float freely giving us huge mobility to create approximately 7000 different facial expressions. When people communicate face to face, they can see their counterparts’ facial expression so that they can understand the feeling of the counterparts while saying something. They can pick up cues from the expression shown in the counterparts’ faces as well as body language.
This is the thing that we cannot find or use in long distance communication, especially via text messages, either via email, chatting or sms via cell phones. Direct call is better since we hear the voice of the caller and hopefully can recognize the mood of the caller whether he/she is happy or angry or disappointed or sad. The availability of ‘emoticon’ absolutely helps reduce the miscommunication. However, the number of emoticons is not as many as 7000 facial expressions human face can produce. Besides, the feeling of the reader of the text messages also play a very big role in producing a certain mood when reading the messages.
For example: several months ago a workmate of mine sent a message to another workmate, jokingly said, “Hey you, don’t be irresponsible like that, will ya? When you are absent, tell the substitute teacher what lesson he or she is to cover in your class.”
Unfortunately the workmate whose mother happened to be the boss at that time was in a bad mood. The moody mother was also in a bad mood when reading the message. Instead of reading it in a joking tone, these mother and daughter read it with upset mood and imagined the sender said that in an angry tone with her arms akimbo. The result was very fatal. The boss was losing her control and my workmate (the sender of the message) got yelled violently.
Technologies indeed have given us a lot of benefits such as getting more friends from all over the world without needing to go to faraway places because we can easily communicate with them from where we live, using the internet and (cell) phones. However, we are not to forget that technologies also can kill the friendship when we read messages wrongly due to our bad mood when reading them.
PT56 21.21 260409

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tips to Query a Publisher

Your first step in querying a publisher should be to order the book Writer's Market. The book is available through Amazon.com for about $20. Writer’s Market includes 4,000 listings for book publishers, consumer magazines, trade journals, and literary agents. Most publishers’ listings in the book will tell you if they accept new authors, with or without agent representation, what types of manuscripts they want, what they pay, their contact information, and where to obtain authors’ submission guidelines for their company. Confirm all information by visiting the publisher’s website if available. Most publishers’ Websites will have authors’ guidelines as well.

Once you have chosen the right publisher and are ready to submit your package, you will need to write the all-important query letter. The query letter must get the attention of the acquisitions editor, or, more likely, an editorial assistant or reader. Many packages are thrown out after the first sentence is read. Your query letter should be a brief one-page tool used to get the editor interested in your book idea. The idea of a query letter is to draw enough interest in your book that the editor will request your entire manuscript be sent. Some editors want to see the entire manuscript on first contact. Check the submission guidelines to determine exactly which method the editor prefers.

Editors change job positions and companies regularly. Don’t assume the listed editor is the current one. Always call the publishing house and ask who the current editor is and then address your letter to that person.

When formatting your query letter:

• Limit it to one page.
• Use single spacing with one-inch margin.
• Use an easy to read typeface such as Times New Roman and a 10- or 12-point type.
• Include your complete contact information including e-mail and phone number.
• Address the letter directly to the acquisitions editor by name.
• Be creative. Get the editor’s attention with a catchy opening line.
• Let the editor know briefly what your book idea is about.
• Include whether or not you have illustrations.
• Inform them of any expertise you have in the subject matter.
• Let them know if you have been previously published.
• Close with a polite offer to send the entire manuscript.
• Thank them for their time and say you look forward to hearing from them soon.

You can locate sample query letters and book proposals in the Writer’s Market book.

When a publisher requests an entire book proposal be sent, your submission should include the following:

• A query letter as described above.
• A chapter summary that gives an idea of your book’s subject and shows in detail how you plan to develop your idea. For fiction books, cover the basic plot.
• An outline of your book’s chapters and what is included in each one.
• Your author biography that includes why you are qualified to write this book as well as any previous writing experience. You can include relevant clubs and organizations you belong to.
• Sample chapters or the entire manuscript. See the publishing house’s specific guidelines to learn how much of the manuscript the editor requests.
• Marketing information. Editors want to who will buy your book and how you plan to reach those people. Be specific.
• Competitive title analysis. Include similar books on your subject and how they differ from yours. Why will your book be better?

Most publishers will let you know through their submission guidelines exactly what they want to see included in your fiction or nonfiction proposal.

To learn more on this topic and the entire process of book writing, publishing, and marketing to help you get your book finished, read A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, ISBN 9780615199245, available at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold.

Friday, April 24, 2009

All About Alphas on Kate Walker's Blog

Whether you're a reader, author or an aspiring author, there are some incredible posts by Harlequin authors here.

Barnes and Noble 50% Coupon

Online Coupon L7J4J3D Details:

For each customer, this coupon can be redeemed once online at bn.com. This coupon expires May 04, 2009 at 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time.

Coupon shall apply to the purchase of the highest priced Audiobook MP3 in the order in which all other discounts combined are less than 50% off the item's list price.
Note: If the Barnes & Noble Selling Price provides greater savings than price with coupon discount, then Barnes & Noble Selling Price will apply. The Barnes & Noble selling price is the price at Checkout before taxes, shipping and handling charges, and discounts are applied. Member discount does not apply to Audiobook MP3s.

Additional Rules Governing Use of this Coupon: This coupon is (i) not redeemable for cash or cash equivalents (including Gift Cards and online Gift Certificates); (ii) not valid on past purchases; (iii) not eligible for purchases of the following products and services: any Audiobook format other than MP3 (e.g. CDs, cassettes, etc.) and physical books on which Audiobook MP3s are based (e.g., hardcover, paperback, etc); and (iv) may not be combined with any other coupon. This coupon is not valid at Barnes & Noble retail stores or retail stores owned or operated by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. Void where prohibited by law.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Follow RT Convention

Romantic Times Convention brochure http://www.romantictimes.com/news_conv09brochure.pdf

RT blog here.

Up-to-the-minute Twitter updates:

RT's Facebook page:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Love as the Practice of Freedom?: Romance Fiction and American Culture

Romance Fiction and American Culture,
a first-of-its-kind, two-day conference on romance
scholarship to be held April 23 and 24, 2009 at Princeton University!
You can attend!

You can find out more on Michelle Buonfiglio's blog here Michelle is also a panelist.

So my question to readers would be Why Do You Read Romance?

Small talk

On the second day in my CONVERSATION CLASS level 3, my students and I were talking about SMALL TALK, what kind of topic people talk about, especially when it is their first time meeting each other. As everybody knows, the topic is very various, and it definitely depends on the situation, place, and time.
When I elicited what kind of situation, a new student said, “Wedding parties …”
I wrote it on the whiteboard, then elicited again, “When you are in wedding parties, what do you talk about when you meet a new person?”
The same student answered, “Status Miss …”
I was stunned. I was never in such a situation, being in a wedding party, talking to a stranger, then being asked, “Are you single? Or are you married?” or asking someone else, a stranger, the same question.
I was a bit doubtful to write ‘marital status’ next to situation ‘wedding parties’ at first. But then I remembered one intriguing character in the movie ‘PS I love you’, Denise.
“Have you guys watched PS I LOVE YOU?”
Two or three girls raised their hands. However they did not remember Denise. (Perhaps because they watched it long time ago, while I just watched it a couple of weeks ago and I was intrigued by Denise.) So then I practiced.
I asked one male student in my class, “Are you single?”
He seemed confused to answer. Perhaps he has a girlfriend already. LOL.
I went to another male student, “Are you single?” he convincingly answered, “Yes Miss.”
Then I asked him again, “Are you gay?”
He frowned, then answered, a bit offended or confused, LOL, “No Miss …”
Apparently he did not watch PS I LOVE YOU. LOL.
The following question (in the movie) was, “Are you working?”

After Denise got satisfying answer, “Yes,” “No,” and “Yes”, she would confidently kissed the guy’s lips. After some time, she would stop the kiss. If she thought the kiss was just so so, not yummy at all, LOL, she would say, “oh not nice. Bye …” leaving the guy dumbfounded. LOL.
“Is it possible to practice it in Indonesia, especially in Semarang?” I asked my students. Instead of answering my question, they just laughed.
“Wish I could do that here though.” I said. LOL.
Oh well, my experience so far, I never attended wedding parties all alone, and I usually would just talk to the ones who accompanied me—Angie, sisters, or workmates.
“What other topic do people talk about in wedding parties?” I continued eliciting.
“The bride and the groom, Miss…” someone proposed.
“Good … what do you people talk about the bride and the groom?” I asked.
No one gave me an interesting answer.
“Well, I remember in one wedding party of a friend. She was in her middle thirties when she got married, and her husband luckily or coincidentally was nine years younger than she was. It is up to you whether you consider it lucky or unlucky or just so so.” I said to my students.
“In the party, I overheard people talk about the age gap between the bride and the groom, such as, ‘wah, kok nganten lanange isih kinyis-kinyis ngono?” LOL. (Wow, the groom looks so young and fresh!")
The following question possible asked to a stranger was, “Are you a friend of the bride or the groom?”
“How about if the stranger answered honestly, “None of them…” I asked.
“How come Miss?” one student asked.
“Well, a smuggler you know, just a passerby wanted to eat for free.” LOL.
There were some other situation and interesting topics. However, I have to prepare myself to go to the office now.
PT56 08.05 180409

Monday, April 20, 2009

Best Tweets for Writers - Jane Friedman Writer's Digest

Interesting articles posted today on this blog

Take A Look At Brenda Novak's Auction

Here's some of the items which you can bid on at Brenda Novak's Jr. Diabetes Auction here

An AMAZING Flying Getaway courtesy of Margie and Tom Lawson
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 07:52:00 PM PST

Guest Blog at Romance: B(u)y The Book w/Newsletter Blast
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST
See Novak article

THE PERFECT COUPLE by Brenda Novak, Autographed ARC
Starting at $ 2.00
Wed 05/27/09 08:38:00 PM PST

Lunch with Best Selling Author Barry Eisler in San Francisco
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST

Amazon Kindle 2 (e-book reader) & $100 Amazon Gift Certificate donated by K.M. Daughters
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:10:00 PM PST

1 Week Stay for 6 at Cherry Adair's Guesthouse on the Lake
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:58:00 PM PST

Evaluation of a Proposal by Agent Donald Maass, Author of WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 09:18:22 PM PST

6 Night Getaway to Seattle and Victoria, BC for 2 Courtesy of Author Jane Porter
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST

NYTimes Bestselling Author Christine Feehan's entire DARK series, autographed & other goodies!!
Starting at $ 2.00
Sun 05/31/09 08:59:00 PM PST

Romantic Times Convention Coverage

Per RT post, blog coverage will be here

Let the RT Party begin!

Love Story: Romance Novel Continues to Sell in Down Economy - ABC News

Harlequin, World's Leading Romance Publisher, Celebrates 60 Years


This aired recently, story here

2008 National Readers Choice Awards

Nominees listed here and winners to be announced at the Romance Writers Association Conference in Washington DC in July of this year. Congratulations to all.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Connecticut Author Workshop May 9th

On Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Connecticut Authors & Publishers Assoc. Presents the 6th Annual Writers Workshop

CAPA-University - Hartford Steam Boiler Bldg

Hartford, Connecticut


Friday, April 10, 2009


PROMO DAY makes its return in 2009 and promises to be the best yet. Mark your calendars for Saturday 9th May 2009!

An all day, online, international event for people in the writing industry packed full of tips and advice along with a variety of opportunities for writers, publishers, editors etc to promote their work and services. Readers are also welcome to drop in and get to know the authors better in the online chatroom, view the video trailers or read the sample chapters on site.

Founder and Organiser of the event, Jo Linsdell, had this to say “PROMO DAY came about because I was looking for opportunities to promote my books using the internet at little or no cost. After attending the Muse Online Writers Conference back in 2006, I searched the internet for similar events aimed at what to do after you’ve written the book and found none. I decided to fill the void and so PROMO DAY was born. PROMO DAY is a great opportunity to network with other members of the industry, take part in online workshops and promote and best of all it’s FREE."

New features for this year is the Official Blog for the event, http://promoday.blogspot.com, where everyone can keep up to date with new announcements and information regarding the event and the official PROMO DAY book, packed full of information and resources, which will be available to buy during and after the event.

Visit the website http://jolinsdell.tripod.com/promoday for more details of how you can be involved.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thank You All!

Thanks to all of you who voted for us! We did it! We are listed with Writer's Digest as one of the best 101 Websites for writer's for 2009! I can't express how thrilled and honored I am to receive this award--thanks to you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Find Everything Under the Sun about Writing and Publishing

I've just added a new "search box" to A Book Inside Blog. This is the most complete search tool I've seen on any Website or Blog and I'm really excited about this useful addition. Find and try out this wonderful new toy on the top right of your screen, just above the Follower box.

Welcome Annie West

The lovely Australian romance author Annie West has agreed stop by today for an interview. Welcome!

Annie West Bio

Marilyn: Annie, I would like to congratulate on your latest April release, The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride. Can you tell us about the book and how you came to write sheikh romance stories?

Annie: Oh, Marilyn, thank you. I’m excited to have this book available now in North America.

I think my sheikh stories started with me telling my critique partner that I’d never be able to write one! I don’t think I’d read any and just assumed it wasn’t something I could tackle. Then I started reading them and loved them. I began wondering what it was about these stories that appealed.

There’s something scintillatingly dangerous and delightful about the fantasy of being swept into the arms of a mysterious, handsome stranger and carried off to his lair. The sheikh is the quintessential male, won over despite himself by the heroine. Initially he holds the power in the relationship and he may be ruthless in using it, which can put the heroine in a terrible situation – something we romance readers adore! Personally I love the fact that the heroine is usually in a vulnerable position when the story starts, but by the time it ends she has the man of her dreams.

Marilyn: Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Annie: I used to plot in a fair bit of detail. These days I start with a strong idea of the hero and heroine and a really vivid first scene. I have an idea for a conflict which keeps them apart but the characters lead me into the story and out again. I find this works best for me as I’m following their emotional journey far better than I could if I worked out all elements of the plot in advance. It can be scary at times but very rewarding.

Marilyn: How long have you been writing and what was your first book?

Annie: Hm, let me think. I joined Romance Writers of Australia and started work on my first manuscript in 1996. I had a couple of short stories accepted and then a book called ‘Strictly Business’ which I wrote especially for a small Australian romance publisher. That was published in 2000. Then in late 2005 Harlequin Mills and Boon bought the manuscript that became ‘A Mistress for the Taking’ (my first Presents story). I’ve recently sold another story to Harlequin, which is my 10th title for them. So it wasn’t overnight success, but it’s been a wonderful journey. I’m still learning along the way.

Marilyn: What are you currently working on?

Annie: Marilyn, I’m just starting a new project. Too early really to tell you much as I’m still working out a lot of details. At the moment (and this could change as I write and revise), my hero has just wandered out of the wilderness, wearing a tuxedo and a sexy smile, to collapse at my heroine’s feet. I DO enjoy setting up a new story! (G)

Marilyn: Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

Annie: Sorry to disappoint but this keeps changing. There are aspects of all my characters that I love – both the heroes and the heroines, so I can’t single it down to one. Certain characteristics, certain scenes or actions or even bits of dialogue by my characters grab me. I can’t pick just one!

Marilyn: What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you get to visit the places you write about?

Annie: Research varies depending on the book. A lot of locations are based on places I know. If I haven’t been there I either create a place based on locations I know or do lots of research. For this current release I started with a familiar location but Khalid’s kingdom is fictional and based on a number of other places.

I also did research on a number of issues, including the ins and outs of work in a racing stable. Fortunately a friend has first hand experience that came in very handy. I research on the net, from books and as much as possible from first hand experience. I love talking to people who know the details I need. Often the specifics they tell me never end up in the story but they helped me get a feel for a place or a situation which makes it real in my head and therefore easier to write.

Marilyn: Annie, what is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Annie: I’d love to say that I’m wise, witty and gorgeous but… Instead I’ll simply say I love romance stories. Reading great books is and always has been a major part of my life. That’s why it’s so thrilling to be able to share my own stories with other readers.

Marilyn: What would you say has been your most significant accomplishment as a writer?

Annie: Hearing from readers that my story has helped them when life got tough has been incredibly rewarding. It’s the most wonderful feeling to discover that a story I’ve created, sitting alone here with my imagination and my computer, has impacted on someone I’ve never met, who has connected with my characters and felt better for it.

Marilyn: When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Annie: Oh, Marilyn, now that’s an interesting question. I suppose I’d like to be remembered for stories that are genuinely from the heart, that are vibrant and real and pack the sort of emotional punch I love in the romances I read.

Marilyn: Do you see yourself continuing to write contemporary romance or is there another genre you would like to try?

Annie: I have no plans to try another genre. Other than contemporary romance I love historicals so I suppose that’s my second love, but I can’t see myself trying to switch to them. Instead I’ll just enjoy reading them!

Marilyn: Before I let you go, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Annie: Only that I love to hear from readers. If you pick up one of my books and want to share your thoughts, feel free! Writing is a lonely business and it’s great to hear from readers, so please, don’t feel shy about contacting authors.

Marilyn: Annie, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Annie: Marilyn, it’s been a real pleasure. Thanks for inviting me over. It’s been a treat!


For a chance to win a copy of The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride, how did Maggie and Khalid meet? Hint: http://www.annie-west.com

Please make sure to check back in May to see if you’ve won.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Welcome Abby Green

I'm so thrilled that Abby Green has agreed to be my first featured author interview.

Abby's bio

Marilyn: Abby, I would like to congratulate on your latest April release, The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress. Can you tell us about the book?

Abby: Hi Marilyn, thanks so much for your congratulations. It’s part of a series of books that Harlequin Mills and Boon commissioned in conjunction with the RFU, where international Rugby and the Six Nations forms the backdrop to the stories. We all got the bones of a story and had to flesh them out ourselves which was really interesting. I loved it as I got to have an Irish heroine and set it in Dublin, my home-town. Then I got a French hero to seduce my heroine and sent them to Paris - what more could a girl want?!

International Rugby is such a rawly passionate sport and I think it effortlessly evokes the passion of a truly great Harlequin Presents. And it’s become even more serendipitous as Ireland have just won the Six Nations Grand Slam!!!! Perfect timing!

Marilyn: Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Abby: I usually have a mixture of both, I tend to veer towards very complicated plots and then have to simplify them, and sometimes the characters help do that for you.

Marilyn: How long have you been writing and what was your first book?

Abby: I’ve been writing on and off for a long time, but consistently since about 2005. My first book was sold in 2006 and was ‘Chosen as the Frenchman’s Bride’

Marilyn: What are you currently working on?

Abby: I’m currently working on book number 11, which I still can’t really believe. It’s set in Athens, with a Greek hero and it’s going to be a marriage of convenience story.

Marilyn: Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?

Abby: I don’t really have favourites but one characters that is close to my heart is Maggie from ‘The Brazilian’s Blackmail Bargain’, as she was the first heroine I dreamt up. Even though she didn’t make it into print until my second book!

Marilyn: What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

Abby: The best thing is definitely being able to stay in your pyjamas all day and turn off the phones, shut out the world.
The worst thing is possibly the isolation, or writing ten thousand words and knowing that you’re going to have to delete it all and start again!

Marilyn: What kind of daily schedule do you have? What types of things interrupt your writing? Describe a day in the life of Abby Green.

Abby: If I’m able to concentrate on writing, I start at about 9am, turn off the phones and work until lunch time, then I’d break and work again until 5pm, or 6pm. Although it really depends, sometimes I write during the night if I can’t sleep. I also like to try and get a walk or some exercise in, it’s such a necessity when you spend so much time sitting down.
Things that would interrupt me would be external events, like having to go out for an appointment…once you’re pulled out of the cocoon it’s hard to go back in…

Marilyn: If a movie was made about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Abby: I think I’d much prefer to see a film about someone else!!! But in fantasy land I’d have to say Susan Sarandon or someone like her.

Marilyn: When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Abby: I’d like them to have some favourite romances that they’ve kept and rated, just as I’ve done with my own favourites. We’re providing escapism and fantasy, so to be remembered at all in a world that is saturated with tv and movies and other books would be lovely.

Marilyn: What are you currently reading?

Abby: Nothing at the moment, I’m too busy working, unfortunately. Although I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the April batch of Mills and Boons, due out in a week or so.

Marilyn: Favorite song?

Abby: Oooh that’s too hard, I have no idea, I like too many.

Marilyn: Favorite color?

Abby: Lilac, or lavender…dark reds.

Marilyn: Abby, before I let you go, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Abby: Not really, just thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Marilyn: Abby, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Abby: Thanks Marilyn!

For a chance to win a copy of The French Tycoon’s Pregnant Mistress, what was Alana Cusack’s occupation?
Please check back at the end of the month to see if you've won.

Harlequin Art Exhibition: The Heart of a Woman - Harlequin Cover Art 1949-2009

In celebration of Harlequin’s 60th anniversary, the internationally recognized publisher is sponsoring an exhibition of original cover art that will focus not only on the changing shape of desire and fantasy but also on the social meaning and context of these images. THE HEART OF A WOMAN: Harlequin Cover Art 1949–2009 debuts at the Openhouse Gallery in New York City on May 29, 2009, and will be on view until June 12, 2009.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Seattle Author Book - Ghosts and Love

I just saw this press release from a young woman who lives in my community here in Seattle (West Seattle). I'm hopeful her book will be a huge success.

PRESS RELEASE - April 3, 2009 - Seattle, WA (USA) -
West Seattle author Molly Ringle debuts in paperback this month with The Ghost Downstairs, a paranormal romance novel depicting an unusual workplace relationship in a house whose spirits refuse to rest.

The idea of setting the story in a former sorority house stemmed from Ringle's college days. She was a Tri-Delta in a huge old house that was, according to some members, haunted.

"The idea of who would be haunting a sorority and why stuck in my mind," Ringle says. Her house position as recording secretary led her to the file archives one day, where she discovered meeting minutes from the early twentieth century. She was intrigued by the strict rules the house once had regarding houseboys, college men who work in sorority kitchens. "The girls were expressly forbidden to interact with them, but I'm sure they did anyway," says Ringle. "So I took that, plus the ghost idea, and made up a story."

Though Ringle's sorority was at the University of Oregon in Eugene, she relocated the story to her adopted hometown of Seattle, and gave the fictional former sorority new life as a nursing home. Into this facility arrives the main character, Lina, a nurse moving in to assist the elderly residents.

Lina finds anything but peace. She soon hears of ghosts haunting the house, and of two tragic deaths that took place in the 1930s, when the house was still a sorority. Unexplained events lead her to ask questions of a handsome younger coworker named Ren. But Ren holds his own secrets, and the closer Lina gets to him, the worse the paranormal activity grows.

"In my own mind it's like a modern, supernatural Jane Eyre," Ringle says. "But others have told me it's like Twilight for grown-ups--with ghosts instead of vampires."

And at that old sorority house in Eugene, did Ringle herself ever see any ghosts or mysteriously levitating books? She smiles. "None. I apparently don't have the sixth sense. That's fine with me. My imagination's enough."

More about Ringle and her writing can be found at her site, http://www.mollyringle.com.

The recession heats up romance novels

In a down economy, sales of bodice-rippers are growing. Escapism is part of the allure, but there's more to the story.

Amid the ceaseless reminders that the economy is in a persistent vegetative state, it's easy to forget that some industries and products are thriving. U.S. News & World Report, which recently released its list of "10 Winners in the Recession," says that Hershey's chocolate increased earnings by more than 50% last quarter and the Burpee seed company has said it expects sales to increase by 25% in 2009 (and this was before the first lady's organic-gardening initiative).
Megan Daum LA Times

LA Times article here

Friday, April 3, 2009

Create Your E-Book FREE!

First, please allow me to apologize for my recent absence from posting. In early March, while attempting to add a chat service to one of my other sites, my computer crashed (or more likely, I crashed it). Anyway, I'm thrilled to be back and grateful to my loving ol man for allowing me access to his new laptop to get things rolling again. Thank you for your patience.

Let's talk about converting your manuscript into an e-book. I've recently received numerous e-mails from writers and authors asking me how to create an e-book and some even went so far as to ask me to do it for them--for money. What an easy way to make a buck! But no fear, it's really quite easy and FREE to do yourself.

First off, go to the following linked page at Microsoft and download the free file for creating a PDF file. This is the link:


Once you've properly edited and laid out your book, simply save as a PDF. PDF is a fixed format where edits are not allowed. This way, readers are not able to copy or change your work.

An e-book is no different than a traditionally produced book in that it should open as such. For instance, the Bastard Title page, Table of Contents, Introduction, and the beginning of each new chapter should appear on the right side of the open book; the copyright page to the left.

Play with the file until you have the pages in proper order. Quite often, what seems to be the correct layout goes wacky once the file is converted to PDF. You can always re-save again if the pages don't line up correctly for you the first time.

If this is your first book, or you had little success with your first and are attempting another, please consider reading my book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell your Story. This book explains in detailed and easy-to-comprehend fashion the proper way to layout your book along with many other important facts about publishing.

As always, your comments are welcome and encouraged!

Mills and Boon Set to Launch Social Networking Website

Famed romantic book publisher, Mills & Boon, is set to launch its own social networking website. Article

From the Telegraph

Another article.

It will boast forums, blogs from popular authors, and the opportunity to rate and review books, as well as tips for budding storytellers on the art of romance writing.