Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Behind the Scenes, Books, Gentlemen of Honor, Groom Series, Just for Fun, Officer Series, Scandalous Sisters Series

Reviving some old blog features–cast your vote!

I’m thinking to bring back some old blog days: Story Sample Sunday, Wicked Wednesday, Fun Fact Friday, Meme Monday, and maybe a few new ones. My question to all of you, what scenes would you like to see posted? It can be from any book I’ve written.

Please note, I don’t plan to feature ALL 19 of my books one week at a time again like I did last time, just kind of hit and miss on each of these features.

Also, if there are any other features I’ve done in the past you’d like to see come back, let me know!

 

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Behind the Scenes, Bob, Characters, funny, I'm human too, Just for Fun, Liberty for Paul, Scandalous Sisters Series, things that make me laugh, Wicked Wednesday

Antique stores–not just for antiques anymore!

I live about 15-20 minutes away from a quaint older town that still has a historic downtown which consists of a main street with massive turn-of-the-century buildings that contain some items as old (or older) than the buildings.

The buildings are old. The floors creak and groan when you walk on them. Some (okay, almost all) of the stores have a…er…aroma when you walk in that seems to get stronger when you pass by specific areas.

I love it!

But what makes these stores interesting is that they’re not antiques all owned by the store owner, but rather the store is divided into sections or booths and it’s like an indoor, year-round flea market. And, what’s also neat is it’s not just limited to antiques. Sure, I’ve found some totally awesome antiques in some of these shops: vintage typewriter, candlestick phone, wall-mounted crank telephone (with guts), ice tongs, cotton scale, 50s style milk bottles–and the carrying crate; I’ve also found plenty of new items that are either made to look vintage or they’re just plain modern, but obviously people (including me…) are buying them or they wouldn’t be putting them in these booths any longer. Some of these include: bath salts, candles, salsa, custom made signs, CDs, tapes, records, DVDs, VHS tapes, greeting cards either handmade or a package of unwanted store-bought cards, soap, fancy mirrors, miscellaneous silver pieces, crayons, mis-matched plates, etc. You name it, it’s in there somewhere. I once half-jokingly told my husband Bob that it’s like some of these people are having a garage sale without the garage or the need to actually bother with running the drawer themselves. If/when it sells, it sells and if it doesn’t, they just go collect it all when they’re ready to stop renting space.

It’s truly a wonder (and I bet you all have at least one of these little treasure troves near you).

About once a month, I go troll through the row of stores. Yesterday was my January “run”. Some months I just go and look and try to keep my jaw hinged. Other times I buy something in each store. I don’t plan it that way, but it happens. I go in. Something calls my name and I have to take it home. I actually save up each month for these trips.

Yesterday only one thing called to me, and oh, did it scream! Now, it’s probably not what anyone else I know would have walked out with, but it had my name written all over it and shows you that I, too, can be just as scandalous as any of the Banks sisters…specifically Liberty. 😉

IMG_3197

So of course, I had to hang it above the door to my laundry room although I doubt anyone will…

IMG_3198

 

(Oh, hey, look as an added bonus, this falls on a Wicked Wednesday!)

Behind the Scenes, Contests, Gentlemen of Honor, Giveaway, Happenings, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Passions of a Gentleman, Randomness, The Perfect Lady Worthe, Updates, Writing

Updates!!!

I’m sure it has not gone unnoticed that roughly a year ago my blog postings came to a screeching halt. Several times in this year, I’ve tried very hard to re-start them, but had so many stumbling blocks. Unfortunately, I cannot share the details of my hiatus, but I can give some updates!

1. I am getting ready for a trip to Phoenix, AZ where I’ll be presenting a workshop at Buildin’ the Dream–a writer’s conference. 

The workshop is titled Write with your Heart, Sell with your Brain. This is definitely author-focused so if you’re a writer or aspiring author, or even an assistant or publicist, and you’re in that area or planning to attend the conference, please come see me!

Speaking of conferences…

2. I just got home for RT in Dallas!

I drove myself to and from the conference this year so any crazy travel shenanigans were my own doing… Which admittedly, did happen, but I shan’t divulge details and incriminate myself! I had a ton of fun while there and met many new authors. I also picked up TONS of swag and books (some signed, some not) that I’ll be giving away soon! Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, giveaways…

3. I currently have a super giveaway already up on Facebook.

For the past few months I’ve been giving away a box of books and swag to a random fan who likes the post. Comments are awesome and totally appreciated, but you don’t have to leave one to be entered.

Click here for the post.

Also, I have a 0ne-day giveaway as well (this will end at 12pm CST today). This one is a little more involved. I just need a comment with your favorite book quote (doesn’t have to be one of mine). Click here and see top post (pinned).

4. The book featured in the second giveaway is my new novella, The Perfect Lady Worthe

I hope you all knew I put out a new novella in March, but just in case, here are the details.

Lady Worthe Cover for HJ

The last thing Jane Cavanaugh would ever expect is to be married—she is an invalid, after all—but that doesn’t mean she can’t help with her sister’s husband hunt! (Even if it is with a wee bit of reluctance.)

The last thing Gareth, Lord Worthe would ever want to do is to fall in love with his closest friend’s younger sister.

But fate just might have something else in store for these two…

Please note, this novella is approximately 23,500 words and is on sale for .99 at the following places:


5. And finally, Passions of a Gentleman

Still making progress. I know I’ve said that multiple times, but I really am. It’s just slow progress. I’ve had more re-starts than I could have ever dreamed about having. I just want to make sure it’s right. That’s what’s fair to you all, to me and well, to the characters, too!

 

Have a blessed week!

 

Audiobook, Behind the Scenes, Desires of a Baron, Gentlemen of Honor, Groom Series, Updates

More updates!

For those of you who get my monthly newsletter some of these won’t be so new, but for the rest…

1. I have finished Desires of a Baron!

Or so I think. I have definitely finished the majority of it. Last Thursday I got to the end and on Friday I did prelim edits and let it sit until Sunday afternoon when I started my first read-through. I finished my first-read around lunchtime today. I must say that is the quickest I’ve ever done one, which was because there just weren’t a lot of changes. It is now with Bob (my husband), getting a man’s take. He’s finished about half and claims he’ll be done tomorrow so it can go on to the next person in line. These, are the “quick” parts. later in the week, it’ll go to the first person who has a life beyond my books and she will spend several days combing through the book for errors (mechanical and with content). Then I plan to ask for some feedback on a few areas I’m not 100% sure about. It happens. This is where some potential re-writing and further editing might happen.  So…I can safely say that May 15 it should be available in most (if not all) major eBooksellers.

Once I have a chance to sit down and ponder, I’ll come up with an extended description to post!

RG_desiresofabaronw.sn

I do want to add this as a note, like Secrets of a Viscount, this book takes place in time parallel to some of the Banks family (and this one does have a heroine we met in the first series), but this is not a Banks book. There will be no John and Carolina or Alex and his obsession with hedgehogs or heaven forbid verbal sparring between Andrew and Gateway. It just won’t happen. That said, there are a handful of references to an earlier book and its hero and heroine, but that’s where it stops.

2. Her Secondhand Groom will soon be an audiobook!

After almost nine months since my last audiobook came out I approved the narration for Her Secondhand Groom last week and it should be available late May or early June. I absolutely loved this narrator which is a good thing because she is now hard at work on Her Imperfect Groom. I think I mentioned this before, but in case I didn’t. These two will be  my last audiobooks for a while.  Without giving everyone a case of the doldrums, I’ll just say that ACX has recently made some changes that don’t make audiobooks very profitable for me in terms of my time and the money I have to front in hopes they take off.

3. Her Sudden Groom will be available in German in June. 

This has been a lengthy process, but the end is now in sight! Last week I was sent an update on the progress of Her Sudden Groom’s translation (it’s now being proofread and packaged for sale). I was also sent the German cover:

Gordon_Ein_unerwarteter_Br_utigam_to_author

 

4. I will be *deep breath into a paper sack* making a few public appearances next month.

May will be very busy for me. (Yes, I just laughed. It seems like 2014 has already been a blur for me, but hey, what’s a few more things, right?) From May 14 to 18 I’ll be at the RT Convention and holding two spots in Club RT to sign books and give away some of my goodies. If you’re there, check your schedule and come see me. I will be bearing tons of books that I do NOT want to take back home with me.

Two weeks later, I’ll be in Chandler, AZ speaking at a writers’ conference (Building the Dream) and just a plain-Jane attendee at the reader’s conference (Arizona Dreamin’). For my two speaking engagements, I’ll be talking about the rules of historical romance, when it’s okay to break them and when you really shouldn’t. For my second class I’ll discuss treating your writing like a business. While writing is undeniably fun, for a good number of us, it is also how we support ourselves or our family and we need the tools to know how to be successful. If you’re in the area, come join me!

Since it isn’t feasible for everyone to attend either of these workshops, I do plan to post some of my material on here about treating your writing as a business.

That’s all the news, good, bad, or indifferent I have for today. I hope you all have a wonderful end to your Monday!

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Behind the Scenes

Fun Fact Friday ~ His Jilted Bride

  • I’ve had three pet tarantulas: Harry, Mr. Fuzzinelli, and Quatzequatel.
  • One of my favorite comments from my husband came from this book. At the beginning of the second chapter when Amelia is waking up to a horrible headache and her gown in disarray, Bob wrote in the margin, “Moral of this story: don’t drink the fruity punch.”
  • I absolutely LOVE the name Elijah (and I certainly wish I’d thought of it while thinking up names for my boys)–it’s probably my favorite name of all of my heroes.
  • I had no idea that Henry was so…difficult and serious until this book! But I still love him.
  • I got the idea for the glass blowing scene after seeing a glass blowing demonstration. I think the skill is fascinating.
  • I didn’t want to rehash the sadness of Edward’s death, so I simply eluded to it (and in the next book), but still wanted to give him a little scene, hence the beginning.
  • I got the idea of prologue a few years back when my son used to come home from Kindergarten and complain that all the girls used to chase him around, tackle him and try to kiss him. He hated it. I thought it was hysterical and just had to hang onto the idea until I found a book where it’d work.
  • It took me almost six months to write this book and at times I honestly wasn’t sure it was going to happen, but then it all just came together.
  • I really didn’t have a plan for this book other than that they’d known each other their entire lives. How romance would form I didn’t know until I started writing.
Behind the Scenes, Fun Fact Friday, Groom Series, Her Imperfect Groom

Fun Fact Friday ~ Her Imperfect Groom

  • Sir Wallace has one of my husband’s many hobbies: woodcarving/whittling. Because of this, I asked him vague questions as I was writing the book to have an idea of what to write Wallace doing while he was carving wood and talking to Drake. When Bob read over the book, he was appalled at my “attempt” and insisted I re-write the scene, this time with direct help.
  • Bob and I got out two dowel rods and had a mock duel in the living room for several hours to choreograph the duel between Alex and Wallace and how the end of the duel would happen (realistically). We had this huge thing worked out, but when the book was critiqued, everyone said the scene was too long so I had to practically cut it in half.
  • I wrote about 15,000 words of this book on a trip to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. Some was written in the car, some at the hotel, and because we decided to camp that Friday and Saturday night…some was written while laying on my stomach in a mummy sleeping bag with a massive tree root jabbing into my stomach. Good times.
  • I wrote the tin soldiers scene in the car and had some fun asking my boys to help with the sound effects!
  • I struggled to learn to read. I’m not dyslexic but my eyes don’t line up straight so reading across a line on a page was really difficult and I was nearly 15 before I could read without having to sound out words longer than about five letters and I still read with a bookmark or piece of paper under the line of text to help me keep my place. Oh and I detest reading aloud.
  • The scene I posted for Wicked Wednesday this week where Sir Wallace isn’t wearing anything was the one I was trying to work on when I had my first horrid experience at the food court with the guy who sat down next to me and started being just plain gross.
  • I loved Sir Wallace instantly in Her Reluctant Groom and wanted so badly to do a story about him but I was afraid that people wouldn’t want to read about a hero who isn’t the norm. After getting positive feedback via beta readers about him in Reluctant, I decided instantly he was getting his own book! And who better to pair him up with than Edwina who was used to Alex’s weirdness.
  • I did NOT plan to duel, it just kind of happened when Alex walked in and saw Edwina and Sir Wallace kissing and issued the challenge. Before that, I thought Wallace’s injury would be that his hand slipped while he was carving and he put a knife in his own leg.
  • Another surprise I got was the reappearance of Lady Bird’s Ladybird Memoir. I didn’t plan that one, either, but Emma just whipped it out of her reticule and I couldn’t very well tell her to put it back, could I?
  • At the end of this book, we get a very short glimpse at the hero into my newest release: Lord Belgrave the hero from Secrets of a Viscount at the ball the night when both sets of characters find their happily-ever-after.
  • New wrap around cover:
    Imperfect wrap sample
Behind the Scenes, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Writing

What do you expect at the end of a book?

Besides happy emotions and a grin that splits your face so wide the muscles in your cheeks hurt, what do you expect (or like to see) when you reach the end of a book?

In the back of mine, I have the following sections:

Ways to share and recommend my book if you enjoyed it

Books Coming Soon (complete with a short link to be added to my “new release” newsletter list)

Books Already Available

About the Author

Currently I have 14 books available, not counting the bundle I have of an entire series. I don’t normally count that one. So I have 14 different stories floating around the ether, which also means in the back of every single book, I have 14 one-paragraph “blurbs” for that book and all the others I’ve written. At first, this wasn’t a problem. I had only one series or possibly two and there were about seven books listed and explained. As I’ve written more, there are more blurbs. That’s the way it goes.

In January, I plan to go through and update ALL of my books to reflect this upcoming Regency Series. That means 6 copies of all 14 (actually 15 since I have to update the bundle) will be updated to include the three new books of my upcoming series, plus that first book will also be updated. Which means every book will then have 17 blurbs. I think that borders on madness and I’m starting to doubt anyone will read them all.

So…

I’m thinking to revamp, but only if I need to, and I want to do it in a way that will make my readers happy, so my question today is: what do you look for in the back of books? Do you want to see 17 one-paragraph blurbs (about 3-5 sentences), 17 quick one-sentence descriptions (which I have NO idea how I’ll manage this, but I shall try) OR are you one who’d prefer to just see a list of each of the books in the series? It would look like this:

Scandalous Sisters Series:
Intentions of the Earl
Liberty for Paul
To Win His Wayward Wife

Groom Series:
Her Sudden Groom
Her Reluctant Groom

etc all with hyperlinks that lead to more information about the book.

I don’t want to bog the back of the book down with advertisements for my other books, but at the same time, I don’t want to not give enough information and not have people be interested in the other books in that series or that I’ve written.

OR do you just not even read anything past the last line anyway?

I’ve created a poll and I hope if you get a chance that you’ll take a few seconds to give me your answer.

Thanks! Have a  wonderful Boxing Day!