Bonnie Vanak | The Healing Power of Romance
Uncategorized / November 30, 2007

My December Nocturne, The Empath, is dedicated to my dog, Tia. Someone I know thought that was strange. I didn’t. Tia wasn’t just a pet, but a loyal friend. One year ago, Tia died from liver cancer. When my husband and I got the diagnosis, our hearts broke. Our wonderful, lively pet who barked with joy when we came home, used to howl when my husband howled with her, jumped in my lap when I wrote and rested her head on the laptop (ever try to write with a 24-pound Shih Tzu hogging the keyboard?) was dying. Typical of Tia, as I sat there crying, she pushed her nose into my face and tried to cheer me up. I grieved, and began to write. The story became The Empath. It started with a woman who tries to find a cure for the mysterious disease killing her beloved dog. Gradually the story shifted. The woman developed into Maggie, a veterinarian. She was a Draicon, a werewolf, and the pack’s long lost empath, unaware of her ability to heal. The hero strolled into the story, a powerful warrior werewolf tormented by a dark secret, who longed for peace but forsake it to…

Colleen Thompson | The Best Job on Earth
Romance / November 29, 2007

As a long-time visitor to the Fresh Fiction site, I’m thrilled to be guest blogging in celebration of my new romantic suspense novel, The Salt Maiden. I thought I’d take some time to talk about why I think writing romantic suspense is the best job ever. 1. Real life can be tough. The news reminds us daily that terrible things can and do happen to good people, and the perpetrators all too often get away with their misdeeds. Not in my books. As tense and harrowing as they can get, by the end of each book, the deserving protagonists will find the happiness they deserve, my version of justice will be served, and the villain will pay. 2. I can indulge my passions and introduce the reader to them. From dogs to the prairies, deserts, and small towns of Texas to a host of fascinating pursuits (lately, I’ve flown in gliders and traveling to research an upcoming book), I can enrich my life – and I hope the lives of others – with the new things I learn while writing each and every tale. 3. I get to wreak havoc (car wrecks, fires, assaults, and an occasional murder-most-foul) in a…

Christie Craig | I Got Lucky—Not that Kind of Lucky!
Uncategorized / November 28, 2007

Yesterday my book, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious was released and I’m tickled pink. This isn’t my first book, but it’s my first novel in thirteen years. Why the long break? Well, I was actively pursuing my career in photojournalism. About six years ago, I decided I was tired of being a one book wonder and fell headfirst into novel writing again. I had totally forgotten how much I loved it. The ideas were pouring out of me, I couldn’t write fast enough. I got book one written, got book two, three . . . I got all the way to book eight. Ahh, but I also got some rejections. Oh, the editors loved my voice, but my plots were always . . . crossing a line. I was too quirky, too sexy, too suspenseful, too something. Yeah, I know, I’m good at crossing the line and pushing the envelope. It’s just how I’m wired. But then I got lucky. (Not that kind of lucky!) I got the most amazing call from my agent. I hadn’t just sold one book, I’d sold four in one day. Dorchester loved my crossing-the-line, pushing-the-envelope quirky, sexy, suspenseful style. Now that was a good day….

Lucy Monroe | James Bond Meets the Geek Squad
Romance / November 27, 2007

Cue the James Bond music and call the Geek Squad! If you like your espionage with thrills, romance and a touch of humor look no further. You’ll find sensuality and sass in my new high-tech action romance, DEAL WITH THIS. It’s lights, camera, action as this novel brings you inside the Vancouver film industry. It’s a fun look at the industry itself while taking you through a rollercoaster ride of spy action and hot romance. And maybe just a little humor. Michelle Buonfiglio of Lifetime TV’s Romance: B(u)y the Book says, “Lucy Monroe excels at creating alpha bad boys and authentic erotic romance.” And Romantic Times gave DEAL WITH THIS four stars calling my characters “sexually empowering.” Truth is, the love scenes sizzle and I worked to make the characters the highlight of every scene. My “alpha bad boy” Alan goes undercover to find out who is trying to auction off international secrets and finds himself on the set of a scifi TV show with the star of the show, Jillian, set to help him whether he likes it or not! I am especially pleased with this novel because of the character development of both the hero and heroine. Alan…

Tracy Anne Warren | Back to Back to Back . . .
Romance / November 26, 2007

Trilogies are an interesting beast—especially back-to-back trilogies. Readers enjoy them since it means they don’t have to wait long between books to find out what happens in a series they’ve discovered and come to love. On the flip side, it does mean that once the trilogy is concluded, it’s over for a good long while––at least if the follow-up trilogy is another back-to-back.That’s the situation that occurred with my first two trilogies––both of them written back-to-back-to-back! After the best-selling success of my debut Trap Trilogy, I was excited when my editor told me she wanted a second back-to-back trilogy. I rubbed my hands together and got right to work. But that excitement was soon tempered with expressions of frustration from some fans who wanted more books as soon as possible. While the time between trilogies seemed a bit too long to a few of my readers, it seemed very brief to me as I hurried to write three new books in the shortest amount of time I could manage. Still, in the intervening months between trilogies, my readers have been wonderfully supportive and patient, eagerly counting down the days with me!I’m happy to confirm that the wait ended last month…

Sylvia Day – Reaching Out
Romance / November 23, 2007

Hi Everyone, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, if it was that time of year where you live. If not, I hope it was simply a beautiful day for you! Reaching out to readers is something I really love doing. I travel to as many readers’ conferences/conventions as I can afford, I participate in book signings and guest blog when asked, and I try to keep my website as accessible as possible with areas like my blog and message board, an interactive Q & A section, and fun things like book trailers. Funny thing is, when I meet up with readers at events I usually talk about anything but my books. Recent all-night reads, favorite recipes, interesting things to see and do in the area, mutual fan-girl moments for other authors… those are the topics I touch on most. I’m a shy person (though some who’ve met me don’t believe it *g*) so focusing on other things is more comfortable for me. Then, late last month, I tried a new way to interact with readers that I’d never attempted before — podcasting. Have you listened to podcasts? Do you enjoy them? I was a bit apprehensive at first, plus…

Happy Thanksgiving Day… gobble gobble
Guests / November 22, 2007

Many families find the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, very stressful. But we’ve come up with our own way of de stressing the whole thing. After years of analysis of the holiday we’ve come up with the plan — work to people’s strengths. It sounds cynical, but it works. First, have the dinner at my house. (Yes, I hear you snickering but until the kids get married, I’m pretty safe. We’ll deal with that disaster down the road or encourage them to match up with orphans.) And give each member of the family, aka chefs, their own space and time in the kitchen. Second, everyone has to make their own specialty. In the husband’s case that means oatmeal in the morning and carving the turkey. Not too hard and he’s a whiz at the carving and critiquing the “doneness” of said turkey. And after the year of living dangerously — the deep frying of turkey *shudder* — it’s probably the safest thing for all of us. The son makes the turkey. Each year he researches the proper brine, proper cooking hardware, roasting times, and each year the bird is delicious. I think this year he discovered a cheesecloth blanket for basting to…

Tracy Garrett | Thanksgiving
Uncategorized / November 21, 2007

Just the word elicits memories. For me, it’s years of gathering with the family and inviting new friends into the fold; waking up to the scent of roasting turkey – an arguable pleasure at 6am; long-standing traditions of Sara Lee Coffee Cake with my parents and siblings; and sitting down at a table laden with, and surrounded by, the evidence of the many blessings in my life. Being a historical writer, you know I won’t pass up the opportunity to do a little research on the holiday in the United States. Thanksgiving, as we know it, is an amalgamation of many traditions, going far back in European history, when farmers celebrated the end of the harvest and gave thanks for the success of another growing season. Do you know when (and where) the earliest Thanksgiving was celebrated in the United States – back before we were states, or united? No, not Plymouth (or Plimoth), Massachusetts, as we were taught in grade school. The earliest claim to a celebration of Thanksgiving was by the Spanish around El Paso, Texas. According to several sources, on April 30, 1598, Spanish expedition leader, Juan de Oñate, declared a day of rest for his party….

Jennifer Estep | Hooray for Thanksgiving!!
Uncategorized / November 20, 2007

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Know why? Because it’s Thanksgivingweek! Hooray! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. As the years havepassed, it’s moved up the list to take the number-one spot in my heart. Knowwhy? Because it focuses on some of my favorite things — food, family, andfootball. The food, well, that’s pretty obvious. Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashedpotatoes, green beans, cornbread stuffing, buttermilk biscuits, lime partysalad. Mmm-mmm! I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the yummy thingsthat will be on the Thanksgiving table this year. As for family, Thanksgiving is a chance to spend time with them. To enjoy ameal together and share what we’re grateful for. For me, that’s my family,friends, and so many other things. Too many to list here. And then, there’s football. After I’ve had all the food and family I can stand(and sometimes a little of both goes a long way), I get to snuggle under awarm, fleece blanket on the sofa and nap my way through a whole day of gridironaction. What could be better than that? I know what you’re thinking — what about Christmas? Don’t you like gettingpresents? Well, yeah, I do. But let’s face it,…

Julianne MacLean | On Romance and You Tube
Romance / November 19, 2007

So here’s the deal. I am a Romance writer (I write historicals), and I do what most writers feel a compulsion to do — I make an effort to promote my books so that not just my mother will read them. I’ve done everything from purchasing print ads in magazines to sending shelf talkers (those pretty little flaps that hang off a store shelf under your book) to thousands of retailers. I have a website, I do book signings, and I hang out on reader message boards to connect with readers all over the world. The one thing I had not done yet, however, was a book video. I’ve been watching the whole video trailer phenomenon with interest over the past few years, and since my husband has an interest in filmmaking and we love to do things together, I was keen to give it a try. I knew I could trust him with the project because he’d already directed a short film that made it into some major film festivals, but also because hey – he’s my soul mate — and most importantly, he has great sense of humor. This was key, because I wanted to do something fun….