Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions Tour 2013

For the next nine days, a group of my favorite author friends and I will be helping each other with one of our New Year's resolutions. Each resolution is different. Mine is to eat healthier. So, each of nine writers will be guest posting on my blog about this resolution and their approach or ideas. After the other eight authors have posted, I will wrap up with how I'm going to make this resolution work for me. In turn, I will be posting on each of their blogs to help with their resolutions too. The list of writers and resolutions is at the end of this blog. I hope you check each of out each day. I suspect some of these resolutions are on your list too.

THE RESOLUTION TOUR - January 1 - 9, 2013

Jenna Bayley-Burke - Eat Healthier
Linda Mercury - Creating a Literary (or Creative) Life
Paty Jager - Volunteerism
Jessa Slade - Get Organized
Maggie Jaimeson - Take a Vacation
Jamie Brazil - Shrink My Closet
Su Lute - Reduce Stress: Find and Follow Your Bliss
Cathryn Cade - Take Time for those OTHER Creative Passions
Cassiel Knight - No More Procrastination

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Booked 2012

I did not read enough this year. I like to read between 50 and 100. This year? 25. Either I totally slacked off in recording my reads...or I just didn't . I'm leaning towards the latter. I spent the first few months of the year praying for health, and fell so behind on my writing schedule there was little time for anything else. Which is sad, really.

I look forward to reading more next year. I've missed so many great stories. Maybe 2013 will bring my reading total back into the double digits. I think I need to join a reading challenge for some accountability. Anyone have a favorite?

  1. You'll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again: One Woman's Painfully Funny Quest to Give It Up by Heather McDonald - p
  2. There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble by Laurie Notaro - a
  3. Live What You Love: Notes from a Passionate Life by Bob & Melinda Blanchard - p
  4. It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy by Laurie Notaro - a
  5. Sweet Surrender by Lori Wilde (Blaze) - p
  6. Real Men Last All Night by Lora Leigh, Lori Foster, Cheyenne McCray, Heidi Betts - p
  7. The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs - p
  8. Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by AJ Jacobs - a
  9. It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig - p
  10. Feeling the Heat by Brenda Jackson (Desire) - p
  11. Getting Red-Hot With The Rogue by Ally Blake (Presents) - p
  12. 101 Things I Hate About Your House by James Swan - p
  13. Bread is the Devil by Heather Bauer - p
  14. Temptation by Brenda Jackson (Desire) - e
  15. The G Free Diet by Elisabeth Hasselbeck - p
  16. Hot Head by Damon Suede - e
  17. Frat Boy and Toppy by Ann Tenorino - e
  18. Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan - a
  19. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan - a
  20. The Inside Tract : your good gut guide to great digestive health by Gerard Mullin - p
  21. Eating Well for Optimum Health by Andrew Weil MD - a
  22. Wheat Belly by William Davis MD - a
  23. Soup of the Day by Kate McMillan - e
  24. Salad for Dinner by Tasha DeSerio - e
  25. The 25 Greatest Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur - e

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Fill the Well Friday :: Holiday Movies

The Pink Heart Society: Fill the Well Friday :: Holiday Movies: Apologies to all, but Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke is feeling a bit poorly due to the return of the angry gut. While she ...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday 13 :: Shelli Stevens

I'm back with another edition of Thursday 13 with lightning interviews of my authorly peeps. Enjoy yourself :)
  1. Latest release? Savage Betrayal.
  2. In the hottest scene...kisses or condoms? Kisses. The build up can be so sensual That first kiss so explosive.
  3. What are you working on? Good Girl Gone Plaid. The first book in my series The McLaughlins.
  4. What have you Googled for research? What haven't I? Most recently various levels of assault charges and the consequences of them.
  5. What do you drink when writing? Iced tea or coffee usually. Rarely ever alcohol. It'd just make me sleepy.
  6. Do you have a writing uniform? Not at all. If I'm at home, I love to be comfy in pajamas or yoga pants, but if I'm going out to write, I try and look cute. If not presentable.
  7. Where do you write? Most often in a recliner, or bed at night. But during the day sometimes I'll go out to a local coffee shop or bookstore to write with friends or alone.
  8. What was the last thing you read? Jane's Gift, so I could give it a quote (my amiga Karen Erickson's book!)
  9. Paper, audio, or ebook? Ebook and paper. If I buy a new book, it's on ebook.
  10. Favorite book in the last few months? I'm currently halfway through, and totally charmed by, Baby It's Cold Outside: An Alaskan Nights Novel by Addison Fox
  11. Favorite social network? Oooh probably Facebook. But I do adore Pinterest and Twitter.
  12. Secret super power? Being a nice person. The effects can be rather powerful. But, it's not really a secret. Or a super power.
  13. Guilty pleasure? Bacon. I know it's not that exciting or surprising. If I wasn't on deadline I might be more creative, but there you have it. I'd consider being a vegetarian if it weren't for bacon. *Sigh*

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday : Sexy Santas

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday : Sexy Santas: The holiday season has decended on The Pink Heart Society. Jenna Bayley-Burke thinks it's time to shop for gifts, light the candles, put up ...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thursday 13 :: Karen Erickson

I'm back with another edition of Thursday 13 with lightning interviews of my authorly peeps. Enjoy yourself :)
1.      Latest release?  JANE'S GIFT, a holiday romance from Entangled Publishing's Bliss Imprint.
2.      In the hottest scene...kisses or condoms?  Kisses mostly since it's more of a sweeter romance. But my couple do practice safe sex. :)
3.      What are you working on? Football hero for Entangled's Brazen Imprint (title still under consideration) - should come out beginning of the year. It's a HOT one!
4.      What have you Googled for research?  The craziest stuff. Lately it's all football-related.
5.      What do you drink when writing?  Diet coke!
6.      Do you have a writing uniform?  Yoga pants and a T-shirt. Glamorous...
7.      Where do you write?  In my office/guest room.
8.      What was the last thing you read?  Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis - so good.
9.      Paper, audio, or ebook?  Ebook!
10.  Favorite book in the last few months?  Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (YA - LOVED IT).
11.  Favorite social network?  Lately it's been Twitter.
12.  Secret super power?  I always figure out what trouble my kids get into. ALWAYS. Ahem.
13.  Guilty pleasure?  Soaking in my bathtub reading on my Kindle. ;)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday 13 :: Lynda Aicher

I'm back to share another lightning interviews with my authorly peeps. Enjoy!
  1. Latest release? Bonds of Trust
  2. In the hottest scene...kisses or condoms? Condoms.
  3. What are you working on? Wicked Play #3, Bonds of Desire
  4. What have you Googled for research? Ha! Just looked up the definition of Hoity-Toity.
  5. What do you drink when writing? Coffee, water, Coke in that order as the day progresses.
  6. Do you have a writing uniform? Anything comfortable. Definitely, no jeans.
  7. Where do you write? My office. I just redid it in February and love it.
  8. What was the last thing you read? Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon
  9. Paper, audio, or ebook? ebook all the way.
  10. Favorite book in the last few months? Sidecar by Amy Lane
  11. Favorite social network? I'm becoming a Twitter girl. Never thought that'd happen.
  12. Secret super power? Teleporting. Skip flying or invisible jets. Just get me there.
  13. Guilty pleasure? Reality TV. I always watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance. Others come and go, but those three are a must.
Lynda Aicher

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Caribbean Christmas Release Day!

It's finally here! The release of Caribbean Christmas and launch of my new series, Under the Caribbean Sun. It's exciting for me, I hope everyone enjoys a little holiday escape.

’Tis the season for unwrapping the gift of pleasure.

Under the Caribbean Sun, Book 1

When Saskia snags a last-minute ticket home to the Caribbean isle of Anguilla, she intends to surprise her workaholic father and to reconnect over Christmas. When she finds he’s away on business, there’s still plenty to fill her time while she waits. Sailing, snorkeling…and an unexpected, very adult attraction to her girlhood crush.

Joe Prinsen is certain Saskia has returned to the island only to ask for money. He feels it’s time she learns the truth about her father’s depleted financial situation from the man himself. And he intends to make sure she sticks around long enough to hear it.

Except the girl he remembers has matured into a devastatingly sexy woman. She's taking all his noble intentions and unwrapping them, one by one, until their shared desire is revealed in the warm Caribbean water. Saskia’s only home for Christmas. And once she finds out the secret he’s hiding, she’ll no doubt leave the Caribbean, and him, for good.

Product Warnings
The only thing hotter than the tropical sun is the sex—in the surf, on the water, against the bookcase… Readers will be wise to monitor electronic devices, and themselves, for overheating.
Excerpt 1

"I can't go to sleep before I've been in the ocean. Drop me off before you head
up the hill, will you?" Saskia gave a languid stretch that pressed her breasts
against the thin silk of the scarf she called a dress.

If he got any sleep tonight it would be a miracle. Every time he blinked, he
kept imagining undoing the simple knot holding the dress on her shoulder and
finding she wore nothing beneath it. He had a semi and he was simply driving a
girl home.


Excerpt 2

By the time they got their clothes on and made it back to his truck, Joe knew
he'd made a critical error. She'd taken off her dress and his brain had shorted
out. That never happened. Even as a hormonal adolescent he'd been able to think
with the right head.

As he jammed the truck in gear and climbed the gravel road up the hill, he tried
to think of anything but that Saskia wore nothing beneath the wisp of a dress
currently plastered to her lithe body. His dick was still telling him to race
home, and his brain had to agree. He needed to get home and get his ass in a
cold shower.


The idea came from...
Hope y'all like it! - Jenna

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Week in the Blog-a-verse

I'm spreading the joy that is Caribbean Christmas far and wide. Feel free to do the same, and peek in at these blogs :

Monday : Nikki Duncan & An Ecclectic Author
Tuesday Maggie Jamieson (Q&A)
Wednesday : Cynthia D'Alba
Thursday : Donna Alward
Friday : Lissa Matthews

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Caribbean Christmas excerpt...

I'm getting excited for the release of Caribbean Christmas on Tuesday. Really excited. It launches my Under the Caribbean Sun series, so I have everything crossed in hopes everyone loves the concept.

To relieve my anxiety, I'm sharing another excerpt of the story. This one shows Sass driving Joe to distraction. Such fun!


"I can’t go to sleep before I’ve been in the ocean. Drop me off before you head up the hill, will you?" Saskia gave a languid stretch that pressed her breasts against the thin silk of the scarf she called a dress.

If he got any sleep tonight it would be a miracle. Every time he blinked, he kept imagining undoing the simple knot holding the dress on her shoulder and finding she wore nothing beneath it. He had a semi and he was simply driving a girl home.

"Here? At Blowing Point? It’s a dock, not a beach." She gave his arm a playful swat that should not have turned him on. Damn it.

"On any other island I might agree with you. But I grew up on this beach. It’s sandy and clean and calm, and the place I would race down to every morning for a splash before my folks snatched me up to head to work."

He parked the truck to the north of the ferry dock and followed Saskia down to the small stretch of beach he’d found her on earlier. Only the moon and stars lit their way, making the deserted sweep of sand seem even more private.

With everything so dim, it was as if the world was in grayscale, an old black-and-white movie of a beautiful woman taking unhurried steps along the sandy shore. Like it was happening to someone else, someone who didn’t need to remember this woman was the only child of the man he respected most in the world.

"Are you going to join me, or do you only like to watch?" Saskia untied the knot on her shoulder with slow precision.

He cleared his throat. "I don’t think it’s safe for you to be out here alone."

"I live in Miami. I can handle myself. Besides, Anguilla is known for the lack of crime. And I’ve been swimming since I could walk."

She slipped out of her sandals and he watched her toes curl into the fine sand. Then her dress fell atop her bare feet and he closed his eyes, not sure he was strong enough to look up without his mood turning feral. Maybe the full moon had turned him into some kind of werewolf, because mating was all his mind could think of, and his body primed in wait.

"This watching my every move thing you have going on is starting to feel a little voyeuristic, don’t you think? Is that your kink?"

It took everything in him not to growl when he opened his eyes to see her standing before him, hand on her trim waist and a sexy tilt to her hip. Her tight body was on display in a bandeau bikini top and nothing but a few tiny crocheted flowers and string for bottoms.

"See, when you look at me like that, I’m not convinced you’re worried about me swimming alone at all." She winked and turned towards the water, confirming that there was in fact next to nothing covering her from behind.

The pulse in his painfully hard cock echoed in his ears. He wished they were standing on the edge of the frigid North Sea, instead of the sensual sand of the Caribbean. Following her into the warm water would lead him nowhere good.

And yet his polo wound up on the sand beside her dress, his sandals next to hers and his shorts didn’t even make it to the water’s edge.

*Want more?*
Caribbean Christmas is on sale this Tuesday

If you can't wait, there's another excerpt here.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday 13 :: Donna Alward

    I'm inviting my favorite Author Peeps to Jenna's Romantic Notions every Thursday for a lightning quick
  1. What's your latest release?
  2. INTO THE FIRE with Samhain Publishing. It just came out on Tuesday.
  3. In the hottest scene, will we see kisses or condoms?
  4. Condoms. J
  5. What are you working on?
  6. Right now I’m doing NaNo and writing my next book for Harlequin Romance – a Christmas story for next year and part of my Cadence Creek series.
  7. What have you Googled lately for research?
  8. Christmas wedding stuff! It’s been tons of fun. I’ve been putting a lot of it up on pinterest on my Christmas board. Everything from wedding favours to cakes to dresses and shoes.
  9. What do you drink while writing?
  10. In the morning: Coffee. Afternoon: water. Evening: wine. J
  11. Do you have a writing uniform?
  12. Yoga pants and a hoodie.
  13. Where do you write?
  14. In my office. It’s my “zone of productivity”. I get too distracted somewhere else and it doesn’t feel right.
  15. What's the last thing you read?
  16. Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  17. Paper, audio, or ebook?
  18. Paper more often than not, and then ebook. Most of my tbr is paper. I’m looking at getting a new e-reader for Christmas which may translate into me reading more digital.
  19. Favorite book released in the last few months?
  20. Sweet Laurel Falls by RaeAnne Thayne
  21. Favorite social network?
  22. TWITTER! @DonnaAlward
  23. Secret super power?
  24. Invisibility. There are tons of times I wish I could just be invisible…
  25. Guilty pleasure?
  26. Dark Chocolate, esp with sea salt. NOM NOM NOM.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Booksigning Dish

I love doing events at Jan's Paperbacks, my local bookstore. It's so important that we support small businesses, especially bookstores.

Plus, Debbie makes cookies. And Jessa Slade made salted caramel brownies. No joke, our bait was out in force!

The devoted customers at Jan's also make a point to support local authors. It's lovely to get to connect to readers on that level.

However, I need to stop leaning in pictures. Like my grandma always said...SIT UP STRAIGHT!

Our booksigning behind the scenes gossip? Terri Reed just finished her 28th book for Love Inspired. Jessa Slade has a not-so-secret holiday book out. Maggie Jamieson just finished a secret project we all have high hopes for. Linda Mercury got the cover for her third book with Kensington. Gina Fluharty is waiting to hear back on requests for her high-concept paranormal. Christy Carlyle is THE person to go to for all design needs, especially bookmarks, blog headers & bookcovers.  Nancy Brophy may hunt me down to get her tablecloth back.  AND...

So many people responded to the Drive Me Crazy free offer from Samhain, they're ending the promotion early. So, if you still have your code and haven't downloaded it it before Cyber Monday.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday 13 :: Jenna Bayley-Burke

I'm joining the Thursday 13 bandwagon again, this time with Lightning Interviews of my Authorly Peeps. Up first is yours truly. Because it's my blog and all that.

  1. Latest release? Drive Me Crazy
  2. In the hottest scene...kisses or condoms? Condoms
  3. What are you working on? Caribbean Casanova & Caribbean Crush
  4. What have you Googled for research? Joe Manganiello, Cam Gigandet, Anguilla, hurricaine, Celiac
  5. What do you drink when writing? Tea, all kinds
  6. Do you have a writing uniform? lounge pants, wool socks, a t-shirt and a zip-up sweater
  7. Where do you write? in my office, or in front of the TV in my bedroom
  8. What was the last thing you read? It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro
  9. Paper, audio, or ebook? Audio
  10. Favorite book in the last few months? The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs
  11. Favorite social network? Pinterest
  12. Secret super power? Able to come up with an excuse for any situation.
  13. Guilty pleasure? Reality TV

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Pink Heart Society :: Fill The Well Friday :: Sleep

The Pink Heart Society: Fill The Well Friday :: Sleep!: Are your daydreams taken over by thoughts of actual sleep? Does the idea of a nap sound like a slice of heaven? The Pink Heart Society ed...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Male on Monday :: Joe Manganiello

The Pink Heart Society: Male on Monday :: Joe Manganiello: Please excuse Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke as she swoons and fans herself. She has a terrible man crush on none other than ...

Monday, November 05, 2012

Author Marketing 101: Take-Away Blooper

Author Marketing 101: Take-Away Blooper: Jenna Bayley-Burke is a dear friend and always offers a great Point-Of-Purchase experience at book signings. Her online Bookshelf is sim...

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Caribbean Christmas excerpt

It's release month for Caribbean Christmas, the lead title in my new series, Under The Caribbean Sun. I've never linked stories before, so this has been an exciting gamble for me. Fingers crossed everyone loves Joe & Saskia - and the isle of Anguilla - as much as I do.

By the time they got their clothes on and made it back to his truck, Joe knew he’d made a critical error. She’d taken off her dress and his brain had shorted out. That never happened. Even as a hormonal adolescent he’d been able to think with the right head. 
As he jammed the truck in gear and climbed the gravel road up the hill, he tried to think of anything but that Saskia wore nothing beneath the wisp of a dress currently plastered to her lithe body. His dick was still telling him to race home, and his brain had to agree. He needed to get home and get his ass in a cold shower.

He might have to stay there all damned night to make sure he didn’t do something stupid. Again.

Maybe if this damned island were bigger, he would have figured out his next move by the time he pulled up beside the house.

"Someone is in a hurry." Saskia undid her seatbelt and climbed out of the truck.

He winced, realizing she thought he’d powered home for an entirely different reason. He rubbed the tense muscles in his neck, willing his mind to come up with some kind of escape route. Some way to rewind time so he hadn’t been stupid enough to get in the water.

But thinking brought to mind visions of Saskia naked, the feel of her nipple ring beneath his tongue, the taste of her. Maybe the only way out of this was to chop his own head off.  
Either one would do.
He huffed a breath and got out of the truck, peering in the darkness for Saskia. The water had reflected the moonlight, but up here the world had been reduced to dark outlines. He thought of how she’d bounded towards the hammock when she’d first arrived and checked there. Finding it empty, he climbed in himself.

Maybe he could fall asleep out here, dream up some solution and fix everything in the morning.

"You’re kind of freaking out, aren’t you?"

The sound of her voice startled him and his heart hammered even faster. "I’m sorry."

She had a sweet laugh, light and almost musical. "Sorry that the two minutes it took to drive here gave you time to have second thoughts and now your balls ache? Or sorry that in your head I was still a bratty kid and now we’re about to do some amazing things on your bed?"

"Both?" Neither. She was Dutch’s daughter, but it was more than that. She’d somehow had the power to make him stop thinking. He’d done that once before and wound up wrecked.

"It’s very sweet that you want to be noble." Her voice moved closer, yet he still startled when she laid a hand on his chest. She trailed over the contours of his muscles, pausing to roll a nipple between her fingers. Damn if it didn’t seem connected to his cock. "Or do you want me to come on to you? Is that your kink?"

"You are awfully interested in kinks. Every time you ask I wonder what yours is."

"I’m working on it."

He bit back a groan. "Listen, we need to slow this down." To a dead stop. He tried to remember why he’d been so frustrated with her just a few hours ago, but there was too much testosterone flowing through him for logic.

"I don’t beg. So if that’s your thing, you’re going to have to get over yourself." She pinched his nipple, but didn’t release it. Just kept holding until the sharp pain eased, a heavy ache taking its place. "Do you want to take me upstairs?"

"Yes," his traitorous mouth spoke for him. No doubt his greedy tongue wanted more of her. "But I’m not going to. You just got here, and you were drinking tonight…"

"I drank champagne." She released her hold, only to flick his tender peak with her fingernail. He covered the spot with his hand, pressing to hold the feeling in. "But I do have one request."

"You can have any room you want. I’ll stay out here."

"Johannes." Her hot breath puffed against his ear, her hair whispering against his shoulder. "No touching yourself. If you’re hard for me, it’s for me, not for you."

Her words went straight to his cock, filling it and deepening the ache in his balls. He wanted to squeeze himself, but didn’t. It was only fair.
Caribbean Christmas inspiration Pinboard -

Available on ::
Barnes & Noble
Samhain Publishing

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Me & The Delete Key

Some days I feel like the schizzle. And some days I feel like schizzle. See what a little THE can do for a girl?

Friday, September 28, 2012

October Out & Abouts

Jenna Bayley-Burke, author of Compromising Positions & Drive Me Crazy, will be in the Red Chair District at this year's Wordstock Festival at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon on Sunday, October 14th.

Come meet your favorite Samhain authors at the annual Emerald City Writers Conference Book Fair, Saturday, October 27 at the Westin Hotel in Bellevue, Washington. Don't miss Jenna Bayley-Burke, Cathryn Cade, Karen Erickson, Shelli Stevens, and many more.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday : Olivier Martinez

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday : Olivier Martinez: Where do you get your ideas? Romance novelists get that question all the time. All writers, really. But  The Pink Heart Society editor Jen...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Latest Fill The Well Column

The Pink Heart Society: Fill The Well Friday :: Puppies!: Few things bring more unconditional love than our pets. The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke is sharing the latest editions t...

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Review Round-up

My publisher has a review database that collects reviews they are alerted to. I didn't know the database existed until today, so I thought it would be fun to check it to see if I'd missed any. It turns out Google Alerts does a pretty good job, but a few slipped under the radar. Including this gem from Library Journal.

This fast-paced story touches on the fears and sexiness of an illicit romance. Bayley-Burke (Compromising Positions; Her Cinderella Complex) gives both Breeze and Logan realistic concerns in their relationship, while providing each with a robust background. Like a piece of sweet chocolate, For Kicks is a quick bite of delicious fun.  For Kicks, Library Journal

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday :: Pinterest

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday :: Pinterest: I can see the eyebrows raising from here. Stay with me on this. The Pink Heart Society never disappoints on Mondays, and I'm about to show...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday :: Olympics Edition

The Pink Heart Society: Male On Monday :: Olympics Edition: The Pink Heart Society thought these Olympic games were amazing! Yes, exclamation point worthy. The strong women, the determined men, the ...

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Pink Heart Society: Fill The Well Friday : Conferences!

The Pink Heart Society: Fill The Well Friday : Conferences!: The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke has finally gotten over conference brain enough to share a bit of her recent RWA conference in Anaheim. With pictures, because that is what you actually care about, yes?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

SLAYING YOUR INNER SLACKER - RWA 2012 workshop with Sophie Littlefield & Juliet Blackwell

Passion & Productivity for Writers

No matter what you do, you could be doing more.

  What am I willing to give up? TV, internet, hobbies, volunteering, entertainment, household tasks, sleep, exercise, social life, reading How can I optimize my work environment? What practices will help me stay focused? What place can I call my own? Is the phone too distracting? Email? Internet?  Do I work better at home or away? Does my family respect my working time? Cluttered or orderly? Music or quiet?  Does tracking help? Goal setting? NaNo?

Writing is a little bit of inspiration, some luck, and a whole lot of hard work.

Sometimes friends thoughts on your writing interferes with your relationships. It may be because they are not pursuing their dreams, and they reflect that on you.


Being taken seriously as a writer starts with you. Brain surgeons don't text in the middle of a procedure. 

Stop sabotaging yourself. If you tell yourself it's too hard, you're saying it is harder than you want to work.  Write faster - you don't have time to be self-indulgent, just get the job done. Try the 45/15 rule. Promise yourself to BITCHOK 45 minutes and then 15 minutes to do whatever writing sprints - like 1k1hr

Bette Davis said - If you stop being sacred, pack it up and go hime because you have lost it.


Samhain publishes romance of all genres and lengths. Recently opened up a horror line. Retro romance is a reprint line for romances published from  the 70s, 80s and 90s.  for authors who want to  have their books reach a digital market.  If you don't have a digital copy, it will be scanned and copy edited. Copy editing is very important. Once, scanning  changed the word arms to anus. So, the heroine opened up the door and fell into the hero's anus. Oops!
Q - What are the heat levels of the books at Samhain? Genuinely open to all heat levels - from swinging from the chandeliers to a sweet kiss. 
Q - Is there a specific sub-genre you are looking for? We like to maintain diversity on our list. As far as sales go, contemporary does well, but we do have a lot of it, so it can take longer to get released. We don't like to compete our authors against each other. Western contemporary is doing quite well. We have a lot of editors who love sci-fi romance. You don't know what the next big trend is.
Q - What is the submission process? We ask for a query and a full synopsis, attached as a rtf or word doc. We prefer a full mss, but if you'd rather do just a few chapters, that is okay too. We try to respond within 12-16 weeks. After 12 weeks you can ask for a status update if you're concerned. You get an auto response that your email was received. 
Q - Last year you were very transparent about sales and how well erotic romance was doing well. Has that balanced back out with non-erotic novels? The answer is crazy complicated. Some books come out and do very well, others struggle. Author name recognition, cover art, cover copy, advance buzz - there are a lot of variables. How much and someone who submits potentially earn? It varies. For writers who have a regular schedule of releases with Samhain, but are not NYT bestsellers. Low selling is under 1000 copies, and tends to be authors with only a book or two with us. Midlist is anything from 1000-10000 copies. High selling range is everything above that. Erotic has the highest possible range because in some ways, that is where digital started and authors have built a career.  In 2011, 20% earned 10K or more. 3% earned over 100K. 
Q - Should the writer know which editor to target, or should they send to the submissions address and hope for the best. Put that in the query letter, but use the submission address. You never know when editors are closed to submissions.
Q - How do you determine what goes to print? Anything over 50K will go to print
Q - What is the sweet spot with number of releases per year? 2-4 per year. Doesn't have to all be novels. Readers like variety. One of our highest selling authors only has one release a year.  There is not a lot a publisher can do to build you if you only give them one book. Your front list sells your backlist, and your backlist is what really makes you money. 
Q - Do you do promotional pricing? We do freebies, especially with series. We're always open to trying different things. 
Q - What international markets are you in? We can sell to all markets we can get to through distribution. Working hard on translation rights internationally, and building a presence in foreign markets.
Q - Who writes the warning labels? Some authors love to write them, some editors love to write them. When it comes to warnings, content comes first so if there is anything in the book that might be a trigger, that is the most important thing. Being funny comes second.
Q - What do you see as the future of sci-fi romance at Samhain? Would like to see more of it. Sales are lower than paranormal and urban fantasy right now, but you never know what is going to hit next. No current plans as a separate line, but there is room within Samhain Romance. Sci-fi with romantic elements is great too.
Q - Is there a royalty structure different between digital and print? Most publishers offer a lower royalty percentage on print because it has a higher cost to publisher. Our royalty percentage is off list, not net.
Q - When do rights revert back to authors? Ask for lifetime of copyright, but there is a standard 7 year term. 
Q - How long does it take from submission to release? At least 8 months. Edits are expected to turn in everything 90 days before release In January this becomes 120 days. Contracts can take a while, so can revisions and edits. Right now we're booking into 2013. Preorders are what is getting books on the NYT lists. The longer the book is for pre-order, the higher it seems to land on the list. 
Q - How many writers do you actually have? Around 600 in total 400 US, 150 had a release in 2011
Q - What is the interest in YA? We currently do not publish YA. We want to wait until we can do it right. It is such a popular, competitive market. New adult works for us.
Q - Do you do audio books, how do you decide which to release? Just signed out first audiobook deal - Maya Banks Colters Woman series to Audiogo.   
Q - Do you do anthologies? We tend to release stories digitally by themselves, and then bundle things that go together for print. Tend to be a collection by one author. Takes about 12 months after the last release. Occasionally our editors will put out a call for things they are interested in putting together. 
Q - What types of romantic suspense are you looking for? The traditional market seems to have tightened for it, so we're getting lots of great submissions. The market is strong for action/adventure. There is strill room for mystery lit. 
Q - For a new author, what is the marketing expectation? We don't require anything, but if an author is interested in marketing they partner with their editor for that. Authors are their own advocate, especially for things that are new and different from what we've already done. The most important thing for an author is an updated, easily navigable website with a complete booklist.  Don't do social media unless you like to. No one is interested if you aren't. No one follows you for review or Amazon links. 
Advertise in RT every month, they go to PW, Library Journal, RT for review every month. Sponsoring events. Jumbotron ad was the big splash this year. 
We work hard to bring the Samhain brand because that brings readers to new authors. The highest visited page on our site is our new releases page.  By being part of the Samhain brand, you're taking advantage of the recognition of bestsellers like Lorelei James, Vivian Arend...
Q - Overall estimate of the acceptance rate 8%, but that includes authors already within Samhain. Probably 3-5%.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Malle Vallik's (Harlequin Digital guru) Top Tips *Have a creative plan with a measurable goal  *Have an author website - booklist, behind the scene fun facts so readers can get to know you *Do social media that feels good to you *Measure, revise, stop - if something is attracting people, domore of that. don't waste your time *Find 3 authors that are doing it right, and copy them *Online reviews are important, and opportunity to get attention. cultivate relationships with bloggers *Build excitement towards your launch date - cover reveals, extended samples *Keep it ongoing, a regular part of your marketing.  Sarah Burningham, Little Bird Publicity *website is the most important *find a few things you can do well and enjoy, and do that. if you try to do everything, you'll do nothing well.  *find your backstory, and extend your network that way to give readers a sense of who you are behind your books *You don't sell books by saying buy my book Robyn Carr - Hold Our For A Hero site. military family support is important to her Allison Underwood, Open Road Integrated Media *Recognize the support you have online and give them recognition and affirmation. See who is talking about you when, reply to them and they'll go out and talk up your book.  *The author is closer to the reader than ever before. Nurture that relationship. *Reader reviews influence purchase behavior than critical reviews *Facebook - have an official page, not a personal profile. You can promote it and track how it is being interacted with. The fanning process is less intrusive than the friend process. Shawn Nicholls, HarperCollins *Be authentic. You are the content creators. give people original content.  *Post the first line of your next book and ask what people think, how they think it will end, what a character's name should be.  *Post Goodreads reviews on your Facebook page


Bowker Market Research tracks 6000 unique book buyers every month. Track what they buy, what formats, where and why they buy books, who they buy them for. In what formats is romance bought? 44% ebook, 29% mass market, 17% trade paperback Publisher share - concentrated among key publisaers Macmillan 32%, 23% harlequin, 17% penguin
Avid readers read 15 print 8 ebooks every 6 months. they buy 12 print anf 7 ebooks. Frequent readers read 7 print, 2 ebook and buy 5 print and 2 ebook in the same period Romance readers are buying less frequently: in early 2011 30% were buying every 2-3 weeks, now it is 23%
Romance readers are more price sensitive than other readers Romance readers are more impulsive in their buying practices than readers of other genres What do romance buyers most enjoy about reading romance *relaxation *escapism *happy endings *hope *light/easy reads *character association *uplifting *feel-good
What influences readers - enjoying previous books(71%), part of a series(65%), blurb (57%), title (51%) What is on the seller website has the most impact. Facebook, Twitter, blogs are less influential.
40% of readers WILL visit your author website, 15% read your blog This holiday season (2011) was a game changer in terms of how people buy books.  Device - 41% kindle, 13% kindle fire, 16% Nook, 10% iPad, 4% iPhone
The impact of free books - 30% bought another book by that author. 14% say they only read free ebooks