Archive for December, 2008

Milestone of the 1st

December 28, 2008 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 14 Comments →

Since today is my 1st time as a guest blogger for Romance Junkies what better topic than 1st’s. I’m very excited to be a regular monthly blogger at RJ. I’ll be blogging here every month on the 28th .

This past year I had a few 1st milestones.

First book contract.
First publisher.
First editor.
First book published.
First review.

With all these firsts I celebrated these milestones in some way. There are a lot of firsts out there. I still remember my 1st job I had then the 1st paycheck from that job I got. My first day of college. My first day after college when I realized I had to find a career. LOL.

Some of the firsts that made me cry. The first time I held my niece after she was born. She was so tiny and precious Then more of my nieces 1st’s. First step, word and time she ate solid food.

As I mentioned there are many firsts out there. Many milestones of the 1st to celebrate.

Now that I’ve had a few 1st in my writing career and with a New Year approaching I plan to have some 2nd’s and beyond. They are to be celebrated just like 1st’s.

Here’s wishing you a happy new year of many 1st’s and lots of 2nd’s and beyond.

What are some of your 1st’s?

McKenna Jeffries
http://www.mckennajeffries.com
… sensual, edgy, unexpected

Blog: http://www.mckennajeffries.com/blog
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/McKennaJeffriesList

Conquering Jazz by McKenna JeffriesConquering Jazz – What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend? Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules. Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion allowed. His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings. His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.

Buy here at Liquid Silver Book.

Have a very merry, and tolerant, holiday season!

December 23, 2008 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

Hi! I’m Sharie Silva. Thanks Romance Junkies for letting me blog today.

One of the great things about this world is the varying ways people celebrate this holiday season. It saddens me when people nitpick the wording used or when they discount someone else’s traditions. It’s enough for me to know that we are all enjoying our families and faiths in our own way.  I find it hard to believe that tolerance is in such short supply.  It really is no one’s business how I celebrate Christmas, ya know?

Sex is similar in that everyone has their own preferences and taboos. What we, as an individual, are uncomfortable with might be the norm for someone else.  Again, it’s none of my business how other people enjoy sex and it’s none of theirs how I enjoy mine.

I bring this up because I write erotic fiction. My short holiday story, Paper Chains, is an erotica which includes BDSM.  I realize some people would be appalled at that. I respect their choice not to read it. In truth, I have family who fit into that category and so Sharie Silva is my pseudonym in an effort to make their lives more comfortable. I write plenty of fiction they can enjoy but I’m not about to let their reservations prevent me from writing sexy stuff.  Just as I’m not about to let someone tell me how to celebrate my Christmas season.

I guess my wish for this world would be the gift of tolerance.  However you choose to celebrate this time of year, I wish you the warmest of holidays, filled with lots of wonderful memories and good food.

If you’re interested in Paper Chains, check it out on the Eternal Press website.  Here’s a direct link:  http://www.eternalpress.ca/paperchains.html

Writing, Kids, and Regency Yuletide Tidbits

December 17, 2008 By: Jenn L Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

Writing, Kids, and  Regency Yuletide Tidbits
by Linore Rose Burkard
http://www.LinoreRoseBurkard.com
“Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul”

Linore 2 pic

   Writing historical romance doesn’t mean my head is always in the past–though sometimes my kids seem to think so. In fact, at times I think I have to prove to them that I am still involved in their daily lives.  (Just cooking, cleaning, keeping the family calendar straight, paying bills, chauffering, and all that doesn’t do it, you know!) One year, I baked up piles of little cut-out cookies and constructed an Advent calendar using simple plastic snack bags (like sandwich bags, only smaller) and pinned them (using safety pins) in calendar fashion, to a felt background. I hung the finished “calendar” from a wooden dowel. Each day’s bag held four cookies–one for each child, as I only had four, then–and was numbered on the outside with a permanent marker. My calendar wouldn’t have won any “Good Housekeeping” awards for beauty, but oh, the children loved it! Since it was a visual reminder of the coming big day as well as a gustatory delight, it had a double impact. Add to that a simple daily reading from scripture or an appropriate book of our choice, and we had a wonderful family activity that brought meaning to all the bustle and busyness of the season. Importantly for me, it also “translated” into kid consciousness that I was still their mom, still involved with THEM. Kids can sense when your activity does NOT have to do with them, by the way. They never say, “Mom, you cook too much,” or, “Mom, you do too much laundry.” These things have to do with them. But they sure can say, “Mom, you write too much!”

    And Christmastime gives me no break since I enjoyed researching Christmas during the Regency to such a degree that I eventually wrote a whole book about it. (Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a Remarkably Regency Yuletide!)  The downside of having done this research, however, is that I’m always adding to my files, keeping the ebook alive with marketing during this busiest of seasons, and in short, missing the very season that I love! Or could be, if I let myself. I try not to let myself. And my kids don’t let me, either! Fortunately for them, we’ve started traditions that they hold me to, and I have to admit, I’m blessed that they do! By the way, another downside of researching an early 19th century Christmas is that I sort of wince when I see a Regency set during the holidays on the shelves of a bookstore. Most of them show big Christmas trees on the cover–wrong.  Regency homes didn’t always have a tree at all and if they did, it was a table-top one, not the big tall type the Victorians popularized. More often they had the “Yule Log” and a hearty fire as a result, with wassail steaming over it, and a pudding wrapped in cloth in another pot. The regency didn’t have the commercialism, the huge number of presents, Christmas cards,  or outdoor caroling parties. (“Carolers” were usually “the waits,” a special town band, who got remuneration for their efforts.) Instead, Christmas was more centered around the church calendar, and decoration was mostly live greenery with berries, including mistletoe. So many differences! Was anything the same?  Yes. Joy at the birth of the Saviour. I wish you a Merry Christmas. May it be happy, healthy, warm and wonderful. And for a special treat, enjoy a historical romance!  What better time to curl up with a good book and travel through time than during the holidays? 

Thank you for this opportunity!
Blessings,

Linore

Linore Cover

Linore Rose Burkard.com
Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul
Get Linore’s FREE monthly e-mag about the Regency
Before the Season Ends  Available Now!
The House in Grosvenor Square–Coming Soon!

Romance Fiction – not just Porn! from Chelle Cordero

December 16, 2008 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 43 Comments →

“Hi, my name is Chelle and I am a romance writer.” I receive a round of applause and several personal shouts of “Hi Chelle!” And over milk and cookies, we discuss the 12-steps towards REAL writing… (the preceding is a dramatization and should not be attempted, etc and so forth)

Why is it that many writers in the romance genre feel that they must announce their forte in clandestine meetings and apologize for their behavior?

Hey all, I write romance. I am not ashamed of the stories I weave. Yes, there is sex and sometimes I may even find myself blushing as I read aloud at an author event. I have oft been the recipient of “tsk, tsk” and “I’m sorry, I won’t read romance books.” And men, oy, they won’t be caught reading a romance novel, no matter how good a story you may tell. My son-in-law teased me that he planned to cover my first novel with a cookbook cover so he could read it on the train while heading in to work!

The romance genre has gotten a bad rep and romance writers are regarded with condescending amusement. And yet, Romance Writers of America has the following statistics on their website: “Romance fiction: $1.375 billion in estimated revenue for 2007, Religion/inspirational: $819 million, Science fiction/fantasy: $700 million, Mystery: $650 million, and Classic literary fiction: $466 million. Of those who read books in 2007, one in five read romance novels.” Impressive.Often referred to as escapism or fluff, the romance genre is known for the “formula” – boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl over some stupidity that can’t be helped, boy wins girl back, and they live happily ever after. But if all writers followed the “formula” without a real story plot, do you honestly believe that $1.375 billion would have changed hands in 2007? Romance has many sub-genres as well and contemporary romance (the here and now, situations the average reader can relate to) remains the leader of the pack.

During a recent discussion with my editor/publisher, I asked for her definition of romance, erotica and porn – all too often used to delineate categories of romance. Her response was simple, the focus of the story and whether the plot and love came before or after the sex in the book. This put it all into perspective for me. Just like the ingredient label on our breakfast cereals, which comes first?

To date I have written four contemporary romance novels; three have been published and the fourth, Courage of the Heart (actually a modernized re-release from 2001) is due out in February. The ingredient labels on Bartlett’s Rule, Forgotten, Within the Law and the aforementioned Courage of the Heart would read: Love story. Sub-plots and twists, Sex – yep, they are romance novels. A fifth novel, due out in the summer, is called Final Sin. Final Sin’s ingredient label would read Crime-Suspense story, sub-plots and twist, love story and sex; while there is certainly sex involved, it is more relevant to the crime than to the love story. (I have been assured by the haters of romance novels that they are looking forward to reading my NON-romance.)

Some of the most popular stories throughout time have involved intricate love stories although some do not have happy-ever-after endings: Romeo and Juliet, Gone With the Wind, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Gift of the Magi, and more. Many modern day movies and box-office hits illustrate the theme of love and sex: 27 Dresses, Pretty Woman, Love Story, Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle…

It seems that the story of romance is here to stay. And if you decide to pick up a romance novel, you just might find yourself intrigued by the story.

Romance Novels by Chelle Cordero

http://chellecordero.blogspot.com

available from Amazon.com

 

The journey of a year by Taige Crenshaw

December 13, 2008 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

The year is almost over. Can you believe it? It’s been a hectic, crazy and learning year. Actually each year is a learning year some more than most. I could give you a long laundry list of what I learn this year but I won’t bore you. I’ll sum it up in one.

I’ve learned to prioritize the most important. Sometimes it is hard when you have so many things pulling at you. Everything seems as if it is a now when in reality there are a few that really knows. Yeah it sounds weird but it’s just as if someone calls you and yells fire and when you run there isn’t actually any fire. You look at them and wonder why you almost broke you neck getting there.

So I’ve learned to prioritize. During this last year some of my important things had been pushed aside and I know now I need them. So my writing, personal life, friends, me time and so many other things are all done on levels of priority. Some are higher up on the list than others and instead of trying to be everywhere at the same time I work by priorities one at a time. I find now that I have more balance for everything.

Prioritizing is a wonderful thing. Now I am off to do one of my top priorities some much deserved me time.

Free Books & MORE!

December 08, 2008 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 3 Comments →

December is my birthday month and I am CELEBRATING! Friends are dropping in daily until Dec. 14. I hope you’ll join us at www.sloanetaylor.com/blog for a fun time.

Each day I’m giving away a free download to one person in a simple contest. The winner gets to select the book of their choice from my releases. All you need to do is email me sloanetaylor @ comcast.net, no spaces, on the day you wish to enter the contest.   Type BOOKS in the subject line and the title you’d like in the body of your email. Told you it was easy! You can enter as many times as you like. I’ll draw a winner each day and announce them on my blog.  

Here are the winners for December 6 and 7; 

LB who chose TEDDI TURNS ON and JULIE who chose FRENCH DELIGHTS. Their prizes have been sent. 

Since today is special for me, I’ve decided to give out 8 books to people who’ve entered and not yet been drawn. The winners and their books are: 

BRIAN -  FRENCH KISS

DEIDREFRANCINE IN FIRE

JANE and MOLLY who each chose TEDDI TURNS ON

LESLIE  and LEXEE who each chose FRENCH DELIGHTS

LORETTAFRENCH TART

MICHELLEFRENCH TWIST 

Congratulations to all the winners and I look forward to giving away even more books! 

Below are the marvelous authors and their days. Be sure to check them out. They’re a lot of fun and filled with amazing talent. You’re sure to find an exciting new author to read. Feel free to ask anything you like. These folks will check in throughout the day and evening to answer.  

DECEMBER                          AUTHOR       

  8                                            Sloane Taylor 

 9                                             Tabitha Shay

10                                            Jennifer Loy

11                                            Beth Anderson

12                                            Melanie Atkins

13                                            Pam Champagne

14                                            Melissa Bradley 

Also, if you like bookmarks and postcards send your snail mail address to me, sloanetaylor @ comcast.net, no spaces, with FREEBIE in the subject line. I’ll be happy to send you a packet no matter where in the world you live. 

Hope to see you on at least one of the days! 

Sloane Taylor
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell
TEDDI TURNS ON 2009 EPPIE Finalist – Erotica  www.aspenmountainpress.com
FRENCH KISS www.eternalpress.ca
www.sloanetaylor.com   www.myspace.com/sloanetaylor

Where has the romance gone?

December 03, 2008 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 12 Comments →

I remember the first time I read an erotic romance. It was OUTLAW by Susan Johnson and man, reading that book was a life altering event. It was 1995 and a friend and I were driving to Nashville for our first Romantic Times convention. It was a six hour drive and we spent most of it reading the naughty bits aloud and giggling madly.Who knew this type of fiction existed?As a writer, from that moment on I felt liberated. I loved reading sexy romances that included strong characters, ones that I could relate to, the evolution of the relationship AND what happened in the bedroom…the living room…the car…under the kitchen table…As a reader and a writer, I wanted it all.After reading OUTLAW, I devoured every Susan Johnson book I could find. Then I glommed on to Thea Devine, Bertrice Small and Linda Howard. Okay, Howard isn’t exactly erotic romance but you have to admit, her stuff is HOT!

After writing for four years, I felt free to embrace writing romance on my terms.

My first book was ONE WITH THE HUNGER but the term erotic romance hadn’t been coined yet. In those days, (it feels like a century ago!) romance was the most important aspect with regards to the erotic titles. First and foremost was the evolution of the relationship, the growing sexual awareness, the characterization, the plot – all deftly woven together into a deep, satisfying read guaranteed to please any reader who liked it HOT.

Since 2001, the sale of erotic romances has taken off like a rocket. What was once the primary domain of small presses was embraced by the New York publishers and the gold rush…or sex rush began. Every year hundreds of erotic romances are released and the readers eat them up and, in the beginning, I did as well.

Now its seven years later and I’m afraid my point of view has changed as the line between erotic romance and erotica blurred. With publishers pushing for more sex, more sex, the romance, the foundation of these novels, is falling by the wayside. Sex as a plot (I call them walking erection books) is like eating blueberry pie for dinner. It’s good the first few times and when the sugar rush is over you’ll kill for a steak.

I’m not saying that NY’s interest in erotic romance is the death knell for the genre – not at all. My point is this, with the publishers, all publishers, pushing for hotter books, there is a price to be paid for the increased level of sensuality.

One of the biggest issues facing publishing is the rising costs of producing paperbacks. We’ve all seen the price jump from 5.99 for a new book to 7.99 and up, so the publishers began putting the brakes on the word count of their books. I’m of the opinion that a novel takes as many words as it takes to tell the story properly but I’m afraid the days of an epic one hundred and twenty-five thousand word tome is long gone.

At the core the issue is this, with rising costs, restricted word counts and the increased pressure for more sex, more sex, something has to give and from what I’ve seen it’s usually the plot or characterization.

As a reader and a writer, those are the two components of a romance that aren’t expendable. When I read a book I want the relationship, the mystery, the adventure of falling in love. I want to delve into the lives of the characters and see the world from their perspective. Watching them grow as people and as a couple, to overcome the obstacles in their path while learning to combine their lives is what I live for!

This is the heart of a romance novel – the core of what drew us to these wonderful books in the first place.

While I believe every writer has a duty to write what they are called to write (meaning their creative soul), the romance is rapidly becoming secondary in many of the erotic romances on the market today. Sex without soul is empty and meaningless and this is the antithesis of what true romance novels are about.

Personally, I’d rather have a little sex with my plot rather than the other way around. J How about you?

Domini

www.dominiqueadair.com

www.thebondagebabes.com

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