Monday, April 28, 2008

The first romance novel I held in my hands . . .

. . . was Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Wolf and The Dove. My mother had read it and raved about the story. Then she passed it on to me. I loved the way Ms. Woodiwiss swept me away to a time gone by with her fat doorstop of a book. Now the days of the epic historical are gone. What have historical romances morphed into?

For one thing, they are tighter. Shorter word counts have cut out the pages of description of dresses and scenery. That's not necessarily a bad thing. The historical romance reader is pretty sophisticated and will spot shoddy period details in a skinny minute, but she doesn't need to have gobs of minutia. A few pithy, memorable images and appeals to the senses will do.

The new historicals are incorporating elements of other sub-genres as well. Jennifer Ashley's historicals have paranormal elements. Kathryne Kennedy's and Joy Nash's stories sparkle with magic. Jade Lee's Tigress novels are deeply sensual and deeply spiritual at the same time. My DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS has been known to make readers giggle. Visit to read an excerpt.

Readers seem to want something more than a straight historical.

When you pick up a historical romance, what are you looking for?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Meeting a new friend~ C.L.Wilson

Have you ever met someone and felt so instantly comfortable with them, you feel you must have known them in some other place and time? It happened to me this week with C.L. Wilson. She is a debut author with Dorchester (my publisher) who hit the New York Times list with her LORD OF THE FADING LANDS. Cheryl is the most delightful woman--friendly, helpful and totally without ego. Success couldn't have happened to a nicer person. If nothing else has happened here at the Romantic Times Convention, just meeting her was worth the time and expense.

When I first started writing romance, I was amazed by the open-heartedness of the published authors in my writing groups. Even though we are all competing for the same limited number of publishing slots, they were willing to share their best practices and methods with the rest of us. Cheryl epitomizes the best of that generous spirit and I feel blessed to know her. And I hope to get to know her better so I can emulate this remarkable woman in her unselfish attitude toward this business.

Let me urge you, if you haven't already, to go in search of her books, LORD OF THE FADING LANDS and LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW. I haven't read them yet, but after meeting her, I'm sure they are magnificent.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Win~Win for Literacy!

New England Chapter RWA's 14th Annual Book Fair for Literacy

April 12th, 2008 4:00 PM

Crown Plaza Hotel, Natick, MA

The public is so welcome! Here's your chance to do good AND have a good time! Twenty percent of all proceeds will benefit Massachusetts Volunteers for Literacy. Help someone else to the joys of reading!

I'll be there--signing SILK DREAMS as Diana Groe and my latest release DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS as Emily Bryan. But just look who I'll be sitting with! This list reads like a Who's Who of Romance.

PARTICIPATING AUTHORS * Jessica Andersen* Judith Arnold* Sarah Atwell* Annette Blair* Linda Bleser* Terri Brisbin* Suzanne Brockmann* Linda Cardillo* Pam Champagne* Ashlyn Chase* Loretta Chase* Eileen Cook* Denise Eagan* Karen Foley* Patricia Grasso* J. M. Griffin* Diana Groe / Emily Bryan* Kristan Higgins* Hannah Howell* Samantha Hunter* Virginia Kantra* Geri Krotow* Michelle Libby* Caroline Linden* Sasha Lord* Sally MacKenzie* Lisa Mondello* Lisa Norato* Molly O’Keefe* Barbara Plum* Eileen Rendahl* Evelyn Richardson* Stephanie Rowe* Hank Phillippi Ryan* Kathryn Smith* Susan Wiggs* Lauren Willig

Hope to see YOU there!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Booksigning & New England RWA Chapter Conference

This weekend is the start of my whirlwind of travel and speaking engagements. On Friday, the New England RWA's LET YOUR IMAGINATION TAKE FLIGHT Conference begins at the Natick Crowne Plaza in Natick, MA. I'll be speaking on Saturday morning, giving my plotting workshop (What a Novel Idea!), and then pitching my romantic suspense and paranormal to an editor. Later I'll take part in the mass book signing, which starts at 4 PM. If you're in the area, please stop by! The incredibly talented Susan Wiggs will be joining us.

Then on Monday, I'll be flying to Pittsburgh for the Romantic Times Convention. Monday afternoon, I'll be giving my characterization workshop (Meat on the Bones) for Bobbi Smith's Aspiring Author Boot Camp. Then later in the week, I'll be on a historical panel. USA Today Best Seller, Joy Nash invited me to join her for a brainstorming workshop (Book in 3 Minutes!) which should be great fun. The main thrust of that session is that in order to have a good idea, you need to have LOTS of ideas.

Along with 400 other authors, I'll be taking part in the mass signing on Saturday the 19th from 11-2. If you're in the area, please join us at the Pittsburgh Hilton. You'll see lots of your favorite authors. I'm looking forward to seeing some of mine!

Then I'm home for a week. My parents are visiting from the midwest and our week together will culminate in a trip to NYC and a Broadway show. I hope to drop by Dorchester Publishing while I'm there and visit my editor for a bit.

The rest of April will go by in a blur and somehow I still have to meet my page count for VEXING THE VISCOUNT, which is due August 1st. But as frenetic as my life will be in the next few weeks, I'm feeling extremely blessed. In spite of the jitters associated with speaking and pitching, I'm living my dream and that's no small thing.