The Launching of FATED

on February 24, 2011

The launching party at the Gourmet Way was wonderful and I so appreciate everyone who came by and bought a book!  I thought I’d write a quick run-down about FATED’s release day…in outline form since I’m trying to get organized.

  • Got up, sent kids off to school and jumped on the internet.  Friends already tweeting about my release day on Twitter—friends rock.
  • Return ‘happy release day’ emails to both Cynthia Eden and Jillian Chantal.  Very happy to be sharing a release day with these two.
  • Run down to Hastings.  Find book.  Try not to cry.  Take several pictures, ignoring the odd looks from other people.  One elderly lady finally asked what I was doing.  Said… “That’s my book.”
  • Drove to Borders, hoping but not expecting to find book on shelf.  Not there.  (Borders filed for bankruptcy last week…lots of books not there.)
  • Drive away, get phone call from sister who just had surgery on her lower leg…sister needs a latte.
  • Take sister a latte.  Sit and listen as she calls the Spokane Valley Barnes and Noble, using a high voice with slight accent asking about my book.  Don’t know why sister is using the accent, but it’s hilarious.  Then high-five sister when she finds out that not only is FATED there, it’s on the front table.  BTW, sister’s name is Debbie.
  • Swing by Gourmet Way.  Everything is in order and I’m just in the way.  Do happy hop and take off.
  • Grab a sandwich from a deli—carbs don’t count on release day.
  • Go home, get on internet.  Lots of best wishes.  Brandie calls, has a surprise, lasts about thirty seconds before she reveals she bought some really cool cookies with FATED on them.  Am impressed Brans lasted half a minute.  Am also thankful Brandie has arranged launching party.  Brandie rocks.
  • Look outside; realize it’s starting to snow.  Think…crap.  Roads will be bad and nobody will come to launching.
  • Get text from critique partner Sayde Grace that says…”relax.”  Am happy crit partner knows me so well.
  • Go and get ready.  Hate outfit I thought I’d wear.  Try on sixteen other outfits.  Finally put the first one back on.  Husband comes home, says ‘great outfit…but you have lipstick on your teeth’.
  • Wipe off teeth.  Head to Gourmet Way.  Nearly sigh at the pretty flowers from family and nuns.  Notice Deb’s eyes dilated from the pain meds from her surgery…prop her next to table.  Notice she is drinking white wine too…figure she’ll be fine.
  • My folks show up with big smiles. My folks are the best.  Husband and kids arrive…son wants to know when the paparazzi are showing up.
  • Friend Bonnie Paulson shows up with a cool mat for people to sign.  Bonnie rocks.
  • Sister Stephanie shows up with camera…she’s ready to roll.
  • The doors open.  Spend three solid hours signing book.  Lots of family show up from the Silver Valley and all around.  The Hintz girls bring goodies and Aunt Lisa brings gorgeous flowers.  Lots of friends from town, as well as people I’ve never met walk through the door.  My entire town rocks.

 So, that’s my debut launching day in a nutshell.  It was a truly wonderful day and I’m so grateful for everyone who shared it with me-both online and in real time.

FATED releases today

on February 22, 2011

Hi all!  So, today is the release of FATED.  The e-edition will be available on March 1st for kindle, nook, sony, etc.  For anyone in the area, we’re having a launching party tonight at the Gourmet Way from 4:00pm to 7:00 pm…regardless of the winter storm warning just put out.  🙂  I hope to see you there!

I’ll post tomorrow or the next day about the launching and how it went.  Today I need to go help unpack books for the launching, and I thought maybe I’d drop by Hastings and Borders to see, ah, my book on the shelves.  I’m also over at Savvy Authors talking craft in the terms of layering and lasagna.  And…I have some friends with releases today:  (And for the life of me, I can’t get the books to be of equal size!  WordPress is being difficult today.)

 

You Know You’re a Writer If…Part II

on February 18, 2011

First, I’m over at the SOS Aloha blog today giving away a copy of FATED…drop by for a chance to win!

Okay, I’ve been going a bit crazy with deadlines lately and thought I’d have some fun.  So, you know you’re a writer if…

1)  The UPS guy has actually released you from handcuffs because you needed to see if you could shimmy your bound hands from behind your back to your front.  BTW, you couldn’t.

2)  All of the yousandyoursin the above sentence bug the crap out of you.

3)  The UPS guy no longer comes to your door.

4)  Your husband asks if you’ve met anybody interesting lately in one of your worlds.

5)  You’ve tried to find at least six different ways to describe the wordgreen.’

6)  You’ve decided that the wordemeraldsucks.

7)  You see and fully understand:  TSTL…POV…HBF…TMB

8)  Those acronyms at one point made you cry…now you laugh your head off.

9)  You have a special calendar to remind you when you’re guest blogging other places…as well as who’s guest blogging at your place.  And you’ve mixed them up more than once…

10)  The idea of a muse makes you alternate between bawling and laughing hysterically.

Interview with the Magnificent Megan Records

on February 16, 2011

Hi all!  I’ve been interviewing industry professionals the last month or so during the countdown for FATED to be released.  As you know, the release date is next Tuesday, Feb. 22nd!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my editor at Kensington is Megan Records.  You also know that her authors fondly refer to her as ‘magnificent.’  Yes, the alliteration works well with her first name.  But it’s also true.  She’s fantastic to work with and even took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us today.

1)      I was hoping you’d share your statistics for 2010.  How many queries did you receive?  Out of those, how many partials and fulls did you request?  How many new authors did you sign?  How many of your current authors did you re-sign?

I don’t keep stats on queries, but my guess is that I request about 50% of the time. I got roughly 300 submissions, out of those I signed 5 new authors. I re-contracted 3 authors.

2)      What makes for an excellent work day for Megan Records?

I have a ratings system. I rate the day’s good happenings from 1-3, and bad things from -1 to -3. Any day that totals 3 or over is an excellent day. Examples of excellent things: a new quote or the promise of a read from someone really big, extra special promo news, making “the call,” reading an awesome new manuscript from one of my authors, etc.

3)      You work with a myriad of different authors.  Do you find your style adapts to each one?  Or is your process pretty much the same with each author?

I have the same general process, and then adapt according to the needs of each author. For example, some authors prefer specific edits, whereas with some, I can say, “This part with the killer? Not buying it,” and they can go in and fix it. In order to maximize the talents of each author, I have to be willing to adapt.

4)       Are you looking for any type of book in particular right now? 

I am always looking for AWESOME. That is all.

5)      How far into a book do you usually know it’s a keeper?

Honestly, I don’t usually know until the end. I can like a book just fine, and read the whole thing, but be able to put it down and forget it. My “keepers” are ones that I think about the next day, and a week later, and then I try to convince other people to read. It’s a necessary distinction…I currently have 600 keepers at home, and that’s not including my own authors’ books (which are all keepers!).

6)      If you weren’t an editor, what career path would you choose?

You mean I should have had a back-up plan?!? I think I’d probably be a computer programmer.  I do enjoy puzzles and have always been good at technical things. 

7)      I notice most of your authors are on twitter, facebook and have their own blogs.  Do you check in with these sites once in a while?

Yes, I follow and friend my authors usually, but I only check out blogs once in a while. Back when I was a baby editor, I was much more attentive, but then I kept acquiring authors and now it’s too overwhelming. I would get NO work done!

8)      Is there any advice you have for new writers?

RESEARCH. And I’m not talking about researching facts for the actual manuscript (which is also necessary). I’m talking about researching publishers, editors, agents, query letters, the publishing process, etc. With all the information available on the internet today, there is absolutely no excuse for sending me a query addressed to “Dear Editor” about a cozy mystery (which I have zero interest in).

Slight tangent: If you are sending me a query about a cozy mystery because you have queried every editor you can find who represents cozies, they have turned you down, and you are now thinking, “Well, it never hurts to ask!”, don’t. It does not come off as daring, it comes off as, “Cannot follow directions,” which, in case you weren’t sure, is bad. Most likely there is something not right with your query, your manuscript, or both. Revise.

Okay, back to main point. Before you even THINK about sending that query, you should be researching which publishers are likely to publish this sort of book, which editors seem to like books similar to yours, etc. If you can’t be bothered to Google my interests, I assume you can’t be bothered to make edits, promote your book, or anything else I would ask of my authors.

Let me put it this way: I am much more likely to forgive an earnest, well-researched query that is a bit unprofessional (e.g. names all the author’s children, their ages, and their schools) than a query addressed to Mr. Records.

Kensington does take unagented submissions.  There’s more information on their website under submission guidelines.   So, thanks everyone for dropping by my blog today.  I hope you’re enjoying the interviews this February!

Win a Book HERE – Spreading the Love Blog Hop

on February 11, 2011

UPDATE:  The winner of FATED from the overall blog hop is Gabrielle and the winner from my blog is Karli A.  Congratulations!

Welcome to the Spreading the Love Blog Hop!  These are so much fun.  And I really liked the picture they chose for people to interpret this time.  However, FATED will be released in less than two weeks, and I thought I’d tell you about it…as well is give away a signed copy to someone commenting on my blog.  This gives you two chances to win; one on the entire blog hop and one on my blog.  Good luck!

FATED is a sexy romance featuring a strategic soldier (who happens to be a vampire) and a tough single mother (who is an empath).  The back cover blurb and a couple of excerpts are available on this site, so I thought I’d add an excerpt that isn’t on my website.  Here it is, and I hope you enjoy! 

Slowly, Talen pushed to his feet and strolled across the conference room.

Cara took a step back, her breath hitching.

Smiling, he leaned against the closed door. 

She’d need to go through him to get out.  God, he was huge.  Even if she had known how to fight, she doubted she’d stand a chance when faced with such size and obvious strength.  A feminine fear and a flutter she refused to identify whispered through her, and her spine straightened with a sharp snap.

“I won’t hurt you.” His voice lowered, deepening to a tone that increased her flutter.  He relaxed his stance against the door, his muscled arms crossing.  “I won’t let anyone harm either of you.  Ever.”

Okay.  Fine.  He was too big for her to fight, but she did have a brain.  “Listen, Talen,” she kept her voice soft, soothing.  “It’s great your dating pool just opened up and all, but I’m not looking for—”

A dimple winked in his cheek, stopping her words.  She fought to keep her tone mild.  “Am I amusing you?”  Her chin lifted.

“Yes.” 

“Why?”  She could even feel his amusement in the air, damn it.

“Your people.  I’ve never understood why you ignore fate.  She has her own plans.”

“Fate?”  He was throwing destiny at her?  Come on.

He nodded. “Fate.” 

“Wow.  That’s poetic, Talen.”  Sarcasm replaced the softness.  “But there’s no way fate is involved here.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Prove it.”

“Okay.”  He lifted his right hand, palm out.  A crest, an intricate one, spread across his calloused skin.  Thick and black, a webbing of arcs together formed a knot with what might be an elaborate ‘K’ in the middle.

“A tattoo?” She quirked an eyebrow, wondered if he had other tats on that magnificent body.

“No.  A brand of sorts.  It appeared earlier after I took your arm.”

“A brand?”  She snorted.  “Bullshit.”

Talen shrugged.  “It’s true, Cara.  The Mark usually doesn’t appear until the mating act, but there are exceptions.”  Golden eyes pinned her.  “Our bond must be strong.”

“No.”

Talen lifted a shoulder.

Her mind rebelled at the physical evidence before her eyes.  “I said, no.  I choose to ignore your fate.”  How could the mark have appeared?  Conviction sat easily upon his face and her stomach rolled at the question of how far he’d go to follow his fate. 

“That is your choice,” he agreed.

“Damn straight.”  She searched his face for a trick, determination tightening her own jaw.  A raised eyebrow met her glare.  “But you don’t know anything about me.  I could be married.”

“You’re not.”

“How do you know?”

He shrugged.  “My brother Dage shot your file to my smart phone.”

Smart phone?  Vampires used smart phones?  Come on.  “Where were you?”  Damn her curiosity.

“In a meeting with my other brother, Conn.”

Geez.  Sounded like a family oriented creature of the night.  Or day.  Or whatever.  She tried another tack.  “Besides, I have a date tonight.”

She wasn’t sure what her goal was, but she didn’t reach it.  A genuine smile played across his lips, and he uncrossed his arms.  “You’re not going to make it.”

Here’s the blog hop link: http://justromance.me/valentineshop/

So, please leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed book.  Do you believe in fate?