Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

Call me Scarlet. I not only rely on the kindness of strangers, I’m sunk without it.

I’ve been up since 0-Dark:30 scrambling to make my flight to San Francisco and the RWA Nationals. Any time I travel, I always feel like all my stuff becomes a jumble. Oh, it starts out neat and tidy, but once I’ve been hustled through check-in and then through the anal exam of airport security, who knows where anything is?

I shove my shoes back on and decide I need some water. So I pull out everything again to pay for it, and while I’m trying to stuff everything back into my carry-on and get out of the way of the man behind me, my drivers license, my one and only piece of photo ID, drops silently to the ground.

Bless the man’s heart! He points it out to me and my trip is saved when I hadn’t even realized it was in peril. This is proof positive that God protects children and fools . . . and romance writers.

Or maybe I fit into that second group . . .

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Prepare to be boarded!

The wait is over! Today is the day. PLEASURING THE PIRATE is officially launched!

If you like a little swashbuckling, a little humor, a little sizzle with your romance, I invite you to give my PIRATE a try. Here's what the reviewers are saying:

"Bryan's touches of humor, naughty, bawdy dialogue and colorful description capture the era, adding dimension to this charming tale of a landlocked pirate, the hellion who tames him and their wild adventure. The heat rises as their escapades sizzle, and readers' hearts will race to the delightful conclusion." ~ RT BookReviews

"Pleasuring the Pirate is a fabulous, fun romp full of adventure, mischief, mayhem, romance and yes PIRATES! I simply couldn't put it down!" ~ Reviewer TOP PICK, NightOwl Romance

"Great dialog, interesting side characters (the nieces who are out of control and the crusty pirate sidekick) and an author who clearly loves her subject matter and I'm there. For me, you could call this book, Pleasuring the Reader." ~ Barbara Vey, Beyond her Book, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BLOG

"This great Georgian romance is filled with bawdy humor, mindful of Fielding’s classic Tom Jones. The banter between the pirate and the courtesan’s daughter is amusing and heated. The story line is fast-paced and never slows down." ~ Harriet Klausner

Join my Blog Tour! Here's where I'll be blogging for the next couple weeks. Please stop by and say hi!

July 29th
August 2nd
August 4th
August 14th 9PM EST
Aug 15th

Em to read an excerpt!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Getting Published

PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my 5th book, will be in stores tomorrow! I'm thrilled. And grateful. And feeling like this is an opportunity to look back a bit over the last few years since my debut in May 2006.

When one of my MySpace friends asked about how to get published, I thought there might be others who'd like to know as well. Everyone's journey is different, but if others will be helped by my experience, I'm willing to share. So, here's a brief stroll down my path to publication.

I'm not like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who scribbled a proposal and sold her first book before it was even written. I had to learn my craft. I started in 2001 with the naive notion that since I was a reader, I could be a writer. That's right. It took me 5 years to publish. You may take less time. Or more. It's the journey that's important, not how long it takes.

I wrote 2 complete manuscripts that will forever gather dustbunnies under the bed. They were my teachers. I learned about story arcs and POV and dialogue. And generally how not to write a romance novel. Even so, the 2nd one (a sad little western) started to win a few writing contests. It was enough encouragement to keep me going.

Then we moved to Seattle and I joined Eastside RWA. Finally I wasn't on my own, trying to reinvent the wheel. I had help in learning how to write. And at one of the chapter meetings during a writing exercise, my heroine Rika from my debut novel MAIDENSONG was born.

I was just typing THE END on MAIDENSONG when my husband lost his job in a corporate downsizing. We moved to Missouri to lower our expenses. I took a position as a banker to help make ends meet, while he looked for work. While I struggled to learn a new job, I also struggled to learn to write in the evenings and on weekends, when I was tired, whether I felt like writing or not. I wasn't playing with this. It was not a hobby. There was far too much of my blood on the pages for that. I was determined to be a real writer.

I sent queries (I'll talk about query letters in my next post) to agents, since I knew I didn't have time or the expertise to submit MAIDENSONG on my own. Thanks to a faithful e-critiqueing friend, during this time I finished ERINSONG, and wonder of wonders, I finally was offered agent representation in 2004.

I continued writing. Each time I finished one story, I didn't wait to see if it would sell. I started on the next one. In June 2005, I got THE CALL. Leah Hultenschmidt from Leisure Books had found MAIDENSONG languishing on her desk and loved it. (Bear in mind, MAIDENSONG had been there for a year. Most of the time, publishing grinds with glacial slowness.) MAIDENSONG came out in May 2006 and I wept when I first saw the cover.

Now, I have 5 books in print, another due out next March and a contract for one after that. I'm writing full-time now (Thank you , God and my dear husband!). I have been extremely blessed and I feel I must share that there is an element of luck in who gets published and who doesn't. It's a matter of the right manuscript on the right desk at the right time.

But it's also a matter of perseverance. The clinical definition of that word is "continueing an activity past the time when it makes sense. To persist in an idea, purpose or task, despite obstacles." I used to think 'perseverance' meant going to grad school, but it fits trying to be published to a T.

Persevere. Keep writing. Once you start down the path, don't give up on the journey. You'll find places in yourself and others you never knew existed. Good luck!
* * *

"I simply couldn't put this one down!" ~ Reviewer Top Pick, NightOwl Romance on PLEASURING THE PIRATE

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I was floored when Paul Norman of Books Monthly said DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS was "one of those rare books that could turn into a modern classic." Now another reviewer has used the "C" word about my PLEASURING THE PIRATE!
"This great Georgian romance is filled with bawdy humor mindful of Fielding’s classic Tom Jones. The banter between the pirate and the courtesan’s daughter is amusing and heated. The story line is fast-paced and never slows down. Emily Bryan provides a powerful historical as the adventures of the pirate and the courtesan's daughter will pleasure the fans." ~ Harriet Klausner
Now I have to hope Mark Twain was wrong! He always claimed, "A classic is something everybody wants to have read, but nobody wants to read!" :)
Please visit my website at to read an excerpt! Enjoy

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shiver me timbers!

Theres an ominous sail on the horizon. A pirate is coming . . . Watch for PLEASURING THE PIRATE, available now on Amazon, in stores July 29th!

MySpace Comments - Pirates
MySpace Layouts - Pirates
Free Comments & Graphics

Claim a PIRATE of your own!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Scene Stealer

Back when I was singing professional opera, occasionally one of the supernumeraries (spear carriers, we used to call them) would do something to upstage the main characters. (Dare I confess to doing it myself sometimes when I was spear carrier?) It’s not always planned, but it happens.
It happens in fiction too. An unsuspecting writer creates a secondary character to fill a need in the hero or heroine’s life and all of a sudden, the bit part refuses to stand quietly holding the spear. It happened to me when I created my heroine’s mother for PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my July 29th release from Leisure Books.
Meet Isabella Wren, better known as ‘La Belle Wren’ in demimonde circles. That’s right. She’s a courtesan and she’s good at it. She moves in the most exalted circles. As the 18th century counts celebrity, she’s a rock star. She’s bone-deep beautiful, wickedly sensual and calculatingly clever. She’s used to being the center of attention.
Why did I ever think she’d fade into the background until she was needed?
First she began poking her way into the story through my heroine’s memory. Isabella sent Jacquelyn to the finest schools, but couldn’t leave her education totally to the headmistress and her minions. She sent her distant daughter detailed letters schooling her in the art of love. “Ignorance is not always conducive to bliss,” she says.
When I turned in the initial manuscript for PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my editor said, “I love Isabella! She’s outrageous, but she sucks all the air out of the room. You have to tone her down.”She was right. When ‘La Belle Wren’ made her entrance, the rest of the cast faded a bit. Isabella knows how to ‘take stage.’
But instead of toning her down, I opted for ratcheting my heroine up to meet her. I gave Jacquelyn an extra dollop of her mother’s spine, courage and wit. When the two of them join forces, my formidable pirate hero doesn’t stand a chance.
Isabella was too much fun to let go once PLEASURING THE PIRATE was finished, so she makes an encore appearance in my next book, VEXING THE VISCOUNT, due out March 2009. If you’d like to read an excerpt of both stories, please visit
You can pre-order your PIRATE today!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blog Tour

PLEASURING THE PIRATE comes out July 29th!

I'm starting a Blog Tour tomorrow. Please join me at these venues.

July 12th

July 14th 9PM Eastern Standard Time. Here's a chance for us to chat in real time.

Aug 15th

I'm so excited about my pirate hero and his lady hitting the shelves. If you'd like to read an excerpt, please visit

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Looking for a distraction?

Booklist calls my DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS "wickedly witty." See if you agree.
It's being featured on Dear Reader at starting Monday. Just sign up (totally FREE!)to have a bit of the DUCHESS delivered to your email. You'll receive a 5 minute snippet each day next week and I'll be in and out of the Dear Reader forum to answer questions and generally have a good time.

I hope you can join me!