Golden Palm Finalists Announced

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Florida Romance Writers have announced 
the 2011 Golden Palm Finalists
The final winners will be notified in January.

Historical Category
The Winds of Fate - Elizabeth Bysiek
Heart of the Phoenix - Barbara Huddleston
The Courtesan Duchess - Joanna Shupe

Mainstream with Romantic Elements Category
Forever - Alicia Leinhart
Walking Backward Off a Cliff - Linda Avellar
Seperated, Acting Badly - Barbara Flores

Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Time Travel Category
Dream of My Soul - Debra Rodensky
Medusa, a Love Story - Sasha Summers
Dancing with the Devil - Jean B. Newlin

Short/Long Contemporary Category
A Night at the Rosemont - Mary Oldham
Uncover Father - June Love
Home at Last - Janet Jones Bann

Single Title Category
Missing You - Tracy Roper w/a Brogan
Bid on Me - Micha Summers
Small Town Storm - Elise K Ackers

Romance Rolicks Through Recession

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Romance is flourishing despite the recession, according to top-list editors who attended this month's New Jersey Romance Writers PYHIAB conference.

Editors panel at the 2011 New Jersey RWA PYHIAB Conference
"Even in the recession, our romance genre is thriving," said Latoya Smith, assistant editor at Grand Central Publishing. "We were doing two- to-three titles a month, but now we're up to four titles a month. We're always looking for new romance authors."

Grand Central Publishing authors include Elizabeth Hoyt, Margaret Mallory and Amanda Scott.

Margaret Marbury, editorial director at Harlequin, says the rise of digital books has helped romance thrive. According to Marbury, who oversees MIRA Books, HQN, LUNA, Spice and Harlequin Teen, business is up, especially when you combine the print and digital sides of the business.

"We've always had strong distribution where women shop, so those are areas where we're pushing really hard to maintain that space," Marbury said. "And the backlist has been the real winner in terms of digital. It's been a real boon to have access to those backlist titles."

According to the Book Industry Study Group,  today’s ebook power buyer is a 44-year-old lover of romance who buys at least one ebook a week and spends more on books today than she has in the past.

"Romance books translate to ebooks faster than any other genre," said Aubrey Poole, assistant editor at Sourcebooks, which publishes authors such as Grace Burrowes and Shana Galen. "People who read ebooks actually read more books."

Poole adds that the easy access of ebooks, via online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, is a key reason people are buying more books.

Books-A-Million to Open 41 New Stores

Friday, October 28, 2011

Despite the demise of Borders, the news is not all bad for brick-and-mortar bookstores. Books-A-Million plans to open 41 new stores, and one of them is near me!

I'm waiting to see if BAM is taking over the space where my old Borders used to be. Every time we drive by there, my kids wonder when they are going to change the name, "Borders Plaza." Maybe it's going to be Books-A-Million Plaza? 

According to Publishers Weekly, beginning October 28 and continuing through mid-November, BAM plans to open 41 new stores.

BAM has been acquiring some of the old Borders spaces . Publishers Weekly reports some of those lease were acquired through auction process while the majority involved signed deals with a landlord.

Here's a list of where the new stores will be, according to PW:

Ames, IA
Auburn, ME
Bangor, ME
Barboursville, WV
Butler, PA
Charleston, WV
Columbia, MD
Concord, NH
Cumberland, MD
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Davenport, IA
Dubuque, IA
Dulles, VA
Eau Claire, WI
Edwardsville, IL
Exton, PA
Hanover, PA
Harrisburg, PA
Merrillville, IN
Monaca, PA
Monroe, MI
N. Canton, OH
N. Conway, NH
Niles, OH
Pennsdale, PA
Rapid City, SD
Salina, KS
Sandusky, OH
Scranton, PA
Selinsgrove, PA
South Portland, ME
Southern Pines, NC
St. Clairsville, OH
Traverse City, MI
Valley Stream, NY
Vineland, NJ
Waldorf, MD
Waterford, CT
West Lebanon, NH
Westminster, MD
York, PA

2011 Molly Contest Winners Announced

Thursday, October 27, 2011

 The winners of the 2011 Molly Contest, sponsored by the Heart of Denver Romance Writers, have been announced. Here's the  complete list:

Contemporary:  final round judge; Susan Litman, Harlequin, Special Edition
Cindy Brannam, Mount Juliet, TN, Raising the Bar   
Robin Covington, Hollywood, MD, Southern Comfort   Winner  ** full requested
Caro LaFever, Englewood, CO, Baby by Accident

Historical:   final round judge; Katherine Pelz, Penguin Group

Eileen Emerson, Ambler, PA  A Whisper to the Wild
Jennifer McQuiston, Decater, GA  A Private Affair     Winner   ** full requested
Bronwyn Stuart, Niame South Australia, Behind the Courtesan    

Romantic Suspense: final round judge; Whitney Ross, Tor Books
Anne-Marie Carroll, Tampa, FL Deadly Dilemma
Jan Gurney, Conifer, CO Bears Witness   +  HODRW member
Robin Weaver, Concord, NC Styrofoam Corpse
Ann Fischer & Linda Baxter, San Jose & Monte Sereno, CA Deadly Secret   Winner  ** full requested

Single Title:  final round judge; Rebecca Strauss, McIntosh & Otis, Inc

Faye Hughes, Camden, NY, A Little Bit Crazy  Winner  ** full requested
Gayle Shlafer w/a Abigail Sharpe, Gainesville, FL, Who Wants to Marry A Cowboy?  ** full requested
Sonali Mayadev Thatte, Naperville, IL, The Bollywood Bride
Ryann Uden, Rolling Meadows, IL, Picture Me

Paranormal/TimeTravel/Futuristic: final round judge, Meredith Giordan, Berkley Publishing Group
Marni Donnelly-Folsom, Port Orchard, WA Flannigan’s Grace
Janet Nickoles, Aurora, CO, Mark of the Moon   +  HODRW member  Winner
Peta Crake, Inglewood, Western Australia, Harbinger

Young Adult:  final round judge; Elizabeth Bistrow, NAL
Romily Bernard, Fayetteville, GA, Ashes
Cecily Cornelius-White, Springfield, MO, Angel Academy
Natasha Hacaga, Rochelle, IL Awaken  Winner  ** full requested
Paula Sharon w/a PJ Sharon, Tolland, MD, Heaven is for Heroes

Tempting Bella is a 2011 Hot Prospects Finalist

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The finalists for the 2011 Hot Prospects Contest have been announced and I'm excited that Tempting Bella is among them!

The contest, sponsored by the Sun Valley Romance Writers, is a little different from other RWA chapter contests because unpublished writers compete alongside published writers.

Here's the complete list:

Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal
Last Time, Sharon Forret
Return to Celio, Polly Cain
Edge Walkers, Shannon Donnelly


Tempting Bella, Diana Quincy
The Caged Heart, Carla Swafford
Paths of Desire, Shannon Donnelly

Romantic Suspense
Redemption, Diane Garner
Night Hush, Leslie R Jones
The Cell, Diane M. Garner
Forever, Alicia Lienhart

Contemporary Single Title
Man Overboard, Carrie C Spencer
How to Say No and Mean It, Abby Gaines
Legally Mastered, Sarah Rose Ahmad
Perfect Summer, Katie Graykowski

Contemporary Series
His Forgotten Wife, Susanna Rogers
Hitting the High Note, Karen Rock
Snow Job, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Tempting Bella Takes First Place in 2011 PYHIAB Contest

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Me (top left) with my fellow finalists
I'm just back from the New Jersey Romance Writers PYHIAB conference and I have to say it turned out to be a very lucky weekend for me.

Not only did my manuscript, Tempting Bella, place first in the unpublished historical category but I also won two gift baskets during raffles held at breakfast and lunch!

One of the highlights of the conference was meeting and spending time with fellow writers. I also attended several workshops including one given by the funny, smart and insightful Eloisa James.  

All in all, it proved to be a spectacular weekend. Thanks to all of the organizers who treated us all to yet another stellar NJRW PYHIAB conference.

Here's a full rundown of the 2011 PYHIAB winners:

Short Contemporary:
Single Title Contemporary:
Jeanell Bolton, PASSION
Dawn Groszek, ROSE OF HOPE
Romantic Elements:

Berkley/NAL Plans E-book Imprint

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Penguin's mass market paperback division, Berkley/NAL, plans to launch an ebook imprint in January.

According to Publishers Weekly, the new imprint, to be called InterMix, will operate like a mass market paperback publisher.

Focusing on romance, mystery/thriller and science fiction/fantasy, InterMix will release both reprints and titles from new authors.

Eleven Nora Roberts titles will be among InterMix's first ebook offerings when it kicks off in January.

In February, InterMix will resurrect the dormant mass market line, Signet Regency, releasing six of those titles as ebooks for the first time. After that, InterMix plans to release three Regency romances monthly in 2012.

While Berkley/NAL plans to publish new authors under the InterMix imprint, no new authors were announced. However, Leslie Gelbman, president of Berkley Publishing, says any titles from its original ebook authors could also be available in print format.

Behind the Scenes: Making of a Romance Cover

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ever wonder how they come up with those passionate covers for romance novels? Wonder no more!

Here's a fun video of the making of the cover of Elizabeth Hoyt's latest book,  Scandalous Desires, which came out today.

Amazon Tries to Woo Top Authors Away from Traditional Publishers

Monday, October 17, 2011

Amazon is aggressively trying to woo some top authors away from their publishing houses, chipping away at services that publishers and agents currently provide, according to an article in The New York Times.  

Amazon plans to publish 122 books this fall, according to the article by David Streitfeld, putting the online retailer in direct competition with the New York publishers that are also its biggest suppliers.

Amazon is apparently willing to pay big advances to secure certain titles. It recently announced it will publish a memoir by actress and director Penny Marshall. Amazon reportedly paid $800,000 for the deal.

Richard Curtis, a veteran agent who is also an e-book publisher, tells The New York Times:

“Everyone’s afraid of Amazon. If you’re a bookstore, Amazon has been in competition with you for some time. If you’re a publisher, one day you wake up and Amazon is competing with you too. And if you’re an agent, Amazon may be stealing your lunch because it is offering authors the opportunity to publish directly and cut you out."

Read the full article here

Avon Wants a Soldier's Story

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Impulse, Avon's digital imprint, has put out a call for submissions about soldiers returning from war.

Here is the substance of the posting by editor Erika Tsang on the Avon Romance blog:

Around her hair she wore a yellow ribbon
She wore it in the springtime
In the merry month of May
And if you ask her why the heck she wore it
She wore it for her soldier who was far far away

Calling all writers! Avon Impulse is looking for manuscript submissions for a collection of Yellow Ribbon romance. Just as the song indicates, we’re looking for stories where a soldier is returning home from war. Who is waiting for him/her? What was left unsaid? Where do they go from here?
If you’ve got a story (up to 25k words), we want to read it. Be creative. Be sexy. Ready. Set. Go!

How Much Do Romance Writers Earn?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How much can romance writers earn?

According to a recent post, "Show Me the Money!" by author Brenda Hiatt, it all depends on who you sign with.

According to Hiatt, advances range anywhere from zero (Wild Rose Press) to $2,050 (Sourcebooks) to $80,000 (MIRA).

Among the big publishers, here's the rundown of the average advances, in most cases, for the first book:






Grand Central Publishing


St. Martin’s Press

For more numbers and details, check out Hiatt's blog by clicking here.

UPDATE: I''ve taken the plunge and developed an author website that I actually have to pay for! I hope you'll start visiting me there; that's where I'll be blogging from now on! Come along and have a look! Click here.

2011 Maggie Winners Announced

Monday, October 3, 2011

Here is a list of winners of the 2011 Maggie awards, sponsored by the Georgia Romance Writers. 

honorable mention, Elaine Miller, Vanished
honorable mention, Susan May, Doctors New Found Family
3rd place, Terry Poca, Breaking The Rules
2nd place, Rebecca Sampson, A Future for Abby
Maggie winner is Ruth Homrighaus, Companion Wanted

honorable mention, Carol Hayes, Lady Unbound
honorable mention, Meredith Simmons, Shadow Dancer
3rd place, Meredith Simmons, Chameleon
2nd place, Dora Mekouar (w/a Diana Quincy), Tempting Bella
Maggie winner is Jennifer McQuiston A Private Affair

honorable mention, Katy Lee, Baffled
honorable mention, Stacy, Monson, Living Peace
3rd place, Dianna Shuford, Charmed Deception
2nd place, Katy Lee, Real Virtue
Maggie winner is Walt Mussell, The Samurai's Heart

honorable mention, Sherry McNabb, Homecoming
honorable mention, Pat Eckhoff, Prince of the Four Seas
3rd place, Wendy Anderson, A Pack of Two
2nd place, Heather Molloy, Murphys Law
Maggie winner is Rebecca Skrabl, The Devil Of Whitechapel

honorable mention, Terry Poca, Timeless Love
honorable mention, Paula Keller, Out the Backdoor
honorable mention, Natasha Hacaga, Awaken
3rd place, Bonnie Staring, Camp Awakening
2nd place, Romily Bernard, Ashes
Maggie winner is Romily Bernard, Wired

honorable mention, Laura Templeton, The Waters and the Wild
honorable mention, Sandra Tilley, Honeysuckle Wine
honorable mention, Gloria Richard, Color My World
3rd place, Sharon Wray, Juliet's Rogue
2nd place, Petrina Aubol, Yeehaw Paisano
Maggie winner is Heather Nickodem, Red Sky At Night


Rita Herron, Unbreakable Bond
Kimberly Lang, What Happens In Vegas – Receives Maggie Medallion
Kathy Lyons, Taking Care of Business
Kathy Lyons, Under His Spell
Trish Milburn, Elly: Cowgirl Bride

Caroline Fyffe, Montana Dawn
Vanessa Kelly, Sex and the Single Earl - Receives Maggie Medallion
Margaret Mallory, Knight of Passion

Leanna Ellis, Facelift - Receives Maggie Medallion
Deeanne Gist, Maid to Match
Anne Greene, Masquerade Marriage
Trish Perry, The Perfect Blend
Virginia Smith, Third Times a Charm

D. Renee Bagby, Eris
Patti O'Shea, In the Darkest Night
Robin D. Owens, Heart Journey
Kalayna Price, Grave Witch - Receives Maggie Medallion
Helen Scott Taylor, The Phoenix Charm

Melanie Dickerson, The Healer's Apprentice
Traci Hall, Wiccan Cool
Maureen Hardegree, Haint Misbehavin
Tricia Mills, Winter Longing - Receives Maggie Medallion
Gillian Summers, Shadows of the Redwood

Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand, Beguiled
Lorelle Marinello, Salting Roses
Laura Moore, Remember Me - Receives Maggie Medallion
Wendy Wax, Magnolia Wednesdays
Karen White, On Folly Beach

Second Place in the 2011 Maggies

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Regency romance, Tempting Bella, placed second in the 2011 Maggie awards which were presented by the Georgia Romance Writers last night in Decatur.

Tempting Bella took second place in the historical unpublished category. Author Jennifer McQuiston took first place for her manuscript, A Private Affair. Jennifer and I share an agent - so at least we sort of kept it all in the family!

Here's the complete rundown in the historical unpublished category:

honorable mention
Lady Unbound
honorable mention
Shadow Dancer
3rd place
2nd place
Tempting Bella
Maggie winner is
A Private Affair
There's no official list yet, but here's what I've been able to learn so far in the other categories:

Vanessa Kelly placed first in the historical published category for her book, Sex and the Single Earl.

Trish Mills was the first place winner for Winter Longing in the young adult published category.

Trish Milburn took first place in the contemporary published category for Elly: Cowgirl Bride. 

Rebecca Skrable was first for The Devil of Whitechapel for unpublished paranormal/ fantasy.

Kalayna Price wins top honors for Grave Witch in the published paranormal category.

I'll post a complete list of the 2011 Maggie winners as soon as I can.

100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Amazon has put 100 ebooks on sale for $3.99 or less for the month of October.

It's part of an ongoing  promotion, where a new selection of 100 ebooks goes on sale each month. The discounts last until the last day of the month.

Many of the titles of priced under $3.99. I purchased The Girl in the Gatehouse for $2.99 and Iris Johansen's This Fierce Splendor is $1.99.

Here are some of the Kindle books now priced at $3.99 or less:

"Girl in the Gatehouse" $2.99

"The Silent Governess" $2.99

"This Fierce Splendor" $1.99

"Don't Say a Word" $1.99