Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Just one of the impressive things is watching the writers create three dimensional villains. The villains are not just "after" the heroine/hero. There's a real purpose with relatable motivations. Damon was determined to be reunited with the person he thought was his true love. Katherine sought to bargain for her freedom (while staying alive!) after being in hiding/on the run for 500 years. Klaus wanted to become the unstoppable hybrid and create his own bloodline (family) because he felt rejected and unloved by his own family. Though these characters are ruthless and do unthinkable things to accomplish their goals (and are all about retribution), the writers also ensure that the audience sees their vulnerability and understands their motivations. By doing so, the "villains" have become fan favorites. Fans want to see them happy, even though they have done horrible things and their actions often conflict with the best interests of the heroine/hero.
What book, television show, or movie do you think created a villain done right?
Monday, February 25, 2013
|Book #4 in the Master and Mercenary series|
|#3 In her Masters & Mercenaries Series|
Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. She began writing at a young age concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.
You can find her at:
Her website: www.lexiblake,net
Amazon author page:
Barnes & Noble:
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Facebook: Lexi Blake
Friday, February 22, 2013
Friday night was set aside for checking into your hotels, a meet and greet at the hotel bar, followed by a bad movie tweet-up, which I skipped. Too worn out stiff from the more than seven hour drive.
Saturday, there were morning and afternoon panels and author readings. I had a blast reading the weenie-in-a-bag scene from Demon Hunting in Dixie. That afternoon, I sat on a panel entitled "Demons, Witches, and Warriors," and that night we went on a ghost tour! St. Augustine is an old city (thus the name of the conference), and purportedly very haunted. A bunch of us piled into an open bus, froze our tooties off on the five mile ride from the beach into town, and toured the haunted lighthouse and jail. Being a mega failure at media things, I forgot my camera, but several of the other writers got some very cool orb action on their devices, especially in the area of the lighthouse. My paranormal writer brain was running wide open!
Sunday brought fresh panels. I participated in one called "Authors in the Audience," where we got to ask readers about their pet peeves and turn-offs. Very interesting discussion, and I got to sit beside James R. Tuck, who writes kickass urban fantasy. This guy is BIG, and brash, and he's a tattoo artist in Atlanta. At the end of the panel, he boomed, "If you're a blogger and you want a book, I have a box of ARCs to give away." I leaned over and said, sotto voice, "That's a great idea. Mind if I borrow it?" Without missing a beat, James bellowed out, "Lexi has books, too."
Now isn't he just the nicest man?
After lunch, there was a charity signing, followed by my last panel, "The Sweet Stuff." One of the questions asked of the authors on the panel was "What's your favorite term of endearment used by one of your characters?" My answer? Sugar Scrotum. Hee hee. Can you tell I had fun?
Hubby and I arrived home late that night, exhausted but with lots to talk about. It was his first visit to a writer conference and he was intrigued. I think he thought all we do at conferences is chase half clad male cover models around. Ha! Although that's not a bad idea . . .
(Lexi shakes off her reverie)
If you haven't been to a conference, I highly recommend it. It's a great place to meet people who are passionate about books and writing, and get your well refilled. Depending on the type of conference, you can attend craft workshops, and pitch to agents and editors.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
This year's 2013 Linda Howard Award of Excellence has a wonderful final judge for the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy category. Editor Latoya Smith with Grand Central Publishing has graciously taken the time to answer some questions about her editorial wants and desires. And there are a few surprises along the way. Please join me in giving Latoya a warm welcome.
Hi Latoya, let's start off with the usual question. So tell me a little about your background?
|Latoya Smith with JR Ward.|
Everyone, here's your chance to ask an editor from GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING what you've always wanted to know. Don't forget to check out the website, Grand Central Publishing Forever Yours.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Thompson’s Station, Tennessee
June 3, 1866
Mr. John A. Bennett
I have arrived in Tennessee in one piece, though at times, I highly doubted that would be the case. Once my train crossed the Mason Dixon line, there was a marked change in the land. Many once grand, dwellings are now but burned out shells, skeletal remains of the bastions of slavery I so fervently fought against during my tenure as an abolitionist prior to the war. I must admit, however, this area referred to as Middle Tennessee by its inhabitants is, for the most part, unscathed by the ravages of the war.
Upon my arrival, I was met at the station by Mr. Ransom Byrne who, I’m given to understand, contracted my service with the Perkins School for the Blind. Though pleasant enough, Mr. Byrne embodies all the qualities I would have heretofore ascribed to a former officer in the Rebel Army. With his easy and overly familiar manner of speech, he seeks to dazzle and woo, but I assure you, Mr. Bennett, those cavalier charms are lost on an affirmed spinster such as I, but not, as I so shockingly observed, on the local maidens.
Mr. Byrne took it upon himself to confide in me that, during the war, he had been brought home to convalesce during an illness which he unwittingly spread to members of the Byrne family, including my charge, his younger sister, Jenny. The illness resulted in her blindness, and I have clearly determined that my work with the sixteen year old has been cut out for me. Like many who have been robbed of sight in the bloom of life, Miss Byrne is disillusioned and bitter. I have no doubts I shall be able to rectify that and teach her that the blind can indeed live full lives.
It is obvious to me that Mr. Byrne feels beholden to his family and their business of horse breeding. In fact, the Byrnes and their servants alike, put far too much stock and trust in the wiles of the beasts as I unfortunately learned firsthand after a mishap with a wagon and its novice driver, seven year old Charles Hunt.
I imagine a lesser woman would be intimidated by the Southern aristocracy, but not I. I fully intend to not only adhere to the standards I have adopted from my friends and mentors, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Miss Susan B. Anthony, but to instruct these Southern women, long repressed by their menfolk, the way to equality both in the home and at the voting poll.
As soon as I begin my instruction with Miss Byrne, I will write to you and inform you of my progress. Again, I appreciate the opportunity you have afforded me to travel from my hometown of Boston to this godforsaken land where I might not only help this young woman, but also enlighten my Southern sisters.
Very Truly Yours,
Cathleen M. Ryan
Available March 20, 2013
Lover for Ransom by Debra Glass
Ransom Byrne has been ravaged by guilt since an illness rendered his little sister blind. The former Confederate cavalry officer has resolved to make amends by hiring a Yankee tutor who’ll hopefully restore order to his sister’s life. Once accomplished, he’ll be free to leave Byrne’s End.
From the moment she steps off the train in Tennessee, Cathleen Ryan makes a startling first impression. With her feminist ideas, the irrepressible Bostonian quickly outrages everyone—especially Ransom. He deems the bespectacled teacher too uptight and prim for his tastes. Appearances, however, are deceiving. She tenders decadent proposals that shock and intrigue him, and sultry nights spent submitting to his every illicit request offer them both love and redemption.
But when her steadfast convictions attract the attention of dangerous men, Cathleen risks losing her chance of becoming more than just a lover for Ransom.
A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Read my favorite scene HERE by clicking the magnifying glass at the top right corner of the cover.
*Available March 20, 2013 wherever Ellora’s Cave Ebooks are sold
About Debra Glass
Growing up in the south where the air is thick with stories steeped in legend and truth, Debra came by her love of romance novels honestly. Well…sort of. At an early age, she pilfered from her grandmother’s extensive library and has been a fan of the genre since.
A full time freelance writer, Debra especially enjoys combining history, mystery and a touch of taboo to weave stories with unforgettable, haunted heroes.
She lives in Alabama with her sexy real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts and a diabolical black cat.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Beth, thanks again for agreeing to judge THE WRITE MAGIC category and for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope one of the finalists grabs your attention and makes you want to read, read, read.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Born in the Netherlands, Christine’s parents immigrated to Canada where she spent her formative years. After meeting her own real life hero, she married her Texan Alpha man and moved to the United States where she’s lived both south and north of the Mason Dixon line. Now Christine lives in Alabama with her husband the Physicist, two insanely adorable cats and one amazing daughter. She believes we are all on a journey toward attaining our dreams, but we can’t be serious all the time. She enjoys finding the silly in the serious, making wine out of sour grapes, and giving people giggle fits along with heartfelt hugs. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world, cooking gourmet food, and desperately seeking a corkscrew.
Christine is in charge of this year's Linda Howard Award of Excellence ("LHAOE" for those in the know) for unpublished romantic fiction. She has made some exciting changes to the contest, and was gracious enough to share some time to answer some questions about the contest
You are the contest queen, having been a multiple finalist in numerous prestigious contests. Based on your experience, what are the benefits an unpublished writer can gain from entering the LHAOE?
Heather, I have entered contests since 2005 when I was desperately seeking any kind of feedback for my writing. I got it. Most of the judges were very instrumental in leading me to craft books and improving my writing skills. The Linda Howard Award of Excellence provides that and so much more. My first experience with the LHAOE was in 2008. I entered and didn't final. However, the feedback was amazing. Kind and well thought out critique that I was able to incorporate into my manuscript and enter another prestigious contest which garnered me a major final. Unpublished writers benefit from entering the LHAOE by gaining valuable feedback from trained, RWA PRO and Published judges who really do want to see every writer attain their dream. That elusive goal of publication.
What sets the LHAOE apart from other contests?
NO SYNOPSIS!!! Oh, that has been my greatest nemesis and has made entering other contests a lot harder because I've had to distill my manuscript down to a couple of pages. I'm better at writing the synopsis, but in the first round of judging, it's nice to only have to focus on the first 25 pages and making them shine.You have plenty of time to work on the synopsis which will be included when the finaling entries are forwarded to the judges, but it's not judged. That's awesome. Another thing that I feel sets this contest apart is that I am personally invested in making sure that all the entries are treated with dignity and respect. I will vet any comments that I feel will not be conducive to building the writer's confidence. So I hope that gives new writers the courage to send in their entries. One day that entry, even if if doesn't final, could become a winner somewhere else. That's what happened to my first LHAOE entry. It went on to WIN the LHAOE in 2012 and I got an editor at a major publishing house interested in working with me because of that win. So never give up and always work on improving your writing. You will get there!
Who are the final round judges?
I am so excited about the final judges this year. Here is the breakdown:
Historical: Chelsey Emmelhainze, Harpers Collins
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy: Latoya Smith, Grand Central Publishing
Contemporary Series Romance: Alethea Spiridon Hopson, Entangled
Single Title: Eleni Caminis, Montlake
The Write Magic (for SM members only): Beth Miller
What is the Write Magic category (and is it too late to join Southern Magic)?
The Write Magic category takes all Southern Magic members who final and/or achieve an average score of 90 or better and sends those finalists to that judge, Beth Miller. So there's a bonus round for the Southern Magic members who enter the LHAOE. It's not too late to join. And I'd love to see more members in our great writing chapter.
What is the deadline to enter?
The contest deadline is February 22, 2013. Finalists are announced in May. The winners will be announced at this year's 2013 RWA National Conference at a restaurant to be determined. I know it will be a lot of fun!!
So enter. It's a great experience. And it's my privilege and honor to be the coordinator of a contest that has given me so much as a writer.
For more information on the contest, go to: http://www.southernmagic.org/lindahowardcontest.html
And if you want to become a pantser-crapper-fixer-uper (like all the cool kids), you can follow the cult of Christine on Twitter (@cjglover63), on her website www.christinegloversite.com and/or on her super-awesome blog www.diggingoutofdistraction.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Interview with Editor Chelsey Emmelhainz HarperCollins/Avon Impulse: Final Judge in Linda Howard Award of Excellence Contest
This year's 2013 Linda Howard Award of Excellence has a wonderful final judge for the Historical Romance category. Editor Chelsey Emmelhainz works for HarperCollins Press/Avon Impulse and she's sharing her desires and wants with us today. Please join me in giving Chelsey a warm welcome and let's learn more about her. Our own Carla Swafford works with her on her Circle of Desire books. So we're doubly delighted to host Chelsey again on the Romance Magicians blog.
I'm so glad you mentioned the website. Certainly everyone needs to visit. You can submit your completed manuscript on the website. Speaking of website, how often do you select manuscripts from the "slush pile"?