Romancing the Capital 2015

Romancing The Capital

Last weekend I went to my very first reader convention. I’ve been to writer conventions before, where the emphasis was on craft workshops and editor pitches, but I wasn’t sure what to expect at a reader con.

The answer is EXPECT AWESOMENESS!

I was a romance reader before I was a romance author. I have favourite authors and auto-buys and I’m always on the lookout for more to add to my never-ending list. This convention was both good and bad to that.

I’m not always good at approaching strangers but I had a built in topic to talk about. We were all romance fans – it was the reason we were there. So whenever I met somebody, I asked who their favourite authors were and which book they’d recommend to a new reader.

It was a bad idea.

Not that anyone refused to talk to me. In fact, I met a lot of people and even made some new friends out of the deal. Hello, new friends!

The problem is now that I have a bunch of new authors and books to try and I don’t have the budget to get them all at once. I’m talking over two pages of recommendations spanning at least four different genres. How amd I supposed to ration my reading when the list is sitting beside my computer taunting me?

Okay, it’s not a truly terrible problem to have. Especially since I won an Amazon gift card and got a veritable bagful of free books and other swag from the super generous authors who attended.

If you are a romance fan, I cannot say enough good things about this conference. You should definitely put this into your calendar; the most amazing Eve Langlais is already planning a sequel in 2016. (Give her a few days to get the website updated.) It is so much fun. And it’s in the nation’s capital. Next year I’m going to take a couple of extra days and play tourist.

I wish I had a photo of all the swag and gifts I won, but frankly I came home and slept for two days. Maybe soon.

Sale-a-brate paperbacks! And free e-books

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShopAs an early birthday present to yours truly, I’ve put my paperback copies of Screen Idol and Drama Queen on sale at 33% off! They are only $5.99 each until the end of April. (That discount is on the US prices. I’ve discounted the UK and Euro prices as well.) You can find links for all the e-formats of the first two Hollywood to Olympus books here.

Canadian friends, unfortunately Amazon does not allow me to sell from their .ca site, so orders have to go through the US. However, they still offer free shipping if you meet the minimum order of $35 so LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShopyou might want to add in some other fun stuff you’ve been thinking about.

I hope to have Leading Man available in paperback format by the end of June but in the meantime feel free to grab the e-book format of your choice. Amazon.comAmazon.caLiquid Silver BooksKoboiTunesB&NAReGoogle Play

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Christmas Wish is free on Kindle for two days  (April 17th and 18th), so get your holiday groove on.

 

Prescribing Romance

(originally posted at Rosanna Leo‘s blog)

© Agnieszkamarcinska  Dreamstime.com - Broken Heart With Safety-pin Photo

© Agnieszkamarcinska Dreamstime.com – Broken Heart With Safety-pin Photo

I’m just back from a training session on how to hook my mother up to a ventilator. She has a degenerative medical condition and we’re at the ventilator stage so I’m learning how to assist my father in her care. I’ve spent the last two hours learning about exactly how weak my mother’s lungs are and how vital this machine is to her continued survival.

My brain is full. My heart is sore. And I need a romance. STAT.

There is no worse feeling in the world than being helpless while somebody you love is hurting. Yelling at the medical staff to do more doesn’t help when you know you’ve got the best people possible working for you. Sometimes there’s nobody you can be mad at. There’s nothing you can do to make your spouse/parent/child/sibling/friend better or to take away the pain. All you can do is be there. And, sometimes, even simply being present is absolutely physically, mentally, and spiritually draining.

If you are taking care of somebody else, it’s important to take care of yourself as well. Make sure you eat real food (not just vending machine and fast food crap). Sleep. Get some exercise and fresh air. A walk around the block can work wonders.
Equally important to all the bodily concerns, is recharging your non-physical batteries.

It is so easy to get overwhelmed in situations like these. You need to find a way to get a few minutes to yourself to do something for yourself and get your head together. Some people bake or play Frisbee with their dogs or garden. I read.

Specifically, I read romance because I need to know somebody’s life is working out, even if that somebody is fictional. Even more specifically, on days like today I want to read light, fun, happy romances, not “dark” romances where there is a lot of suffering by the hero and heroine before they get to their own happy endings. I know the world can be unfair. I know it can be painful. I already live with that.

I want minimal angst, sexy, witty flirting, and a world where the perfect date outfit is only a quick shopping spree away. I want to remember there are people whose entire lives don’t revolve around trips to the doctor or sleepless nights listening to machines beep or wondering how they’re going to pay the next medical bill that comes in. I want to pretend for just a little while.

That’s why I read romances. They are escapism in the truest sense of the word. A one hundred page novella or a five hundred page epic transports me to a temporary safe haven. They occupy my mind while all my problems get shoved to the back-burner for a little while. Romances give me time to catch my breath, find my balance, and restore my faith.

That kind of escape can never be a bad thing.

March Reading List

free photo booksI know I’m late but I have a very good reason.

March was a huge reading month. Every author I love had a new book out. I almost wore out my Kindle. I definitely wore out my wallet. I was on a buying moratorium for a whole week. Thank goodness for samples. Kind of. Now I have a list of books to buy when I have the money again.

I also made some headway into my 2015 reading goals by reading new genres and authors.

A CHRISTMAS DANCE by Alissa Johnson. This was recommended on Twitter as a good historical romance, and I wanted to try some historicals this year. I’m not saying I enjoyed it. I am saying that I’ve put two more of her books on my wish list and I’m actively scouring my library to see if she has any hardcover or paperbacks out I can get.

HATE FUCK parts 1 and 2 by Ainsley Booth. Dirty, fast, high-adrenaline fun. The third and final part of this dark contemporary series with its hella sexy hero is out at the end of the month and I already put my money aside for this purchase.

SHOPPING FOR A BILLIONAIRE by Julia Kent. This screamingly funny contemporary serial had me laughing out loud constantly. Try the free first part, then do yourself a favour and just buy the boxed set to get the whole thing at once (you get the bonus Christmas story with it as well.)

THE STAND-IN by Rosanna Leo. First of all, she has a gorgeous hunk on her cover (compare here and here). Secondly, she wrote a great story about a professional bridesmaid and the reporter who uncovers her dirty little secret.

Then I tried new-to-me authors Liberty Blake (The Misplaced Bride) and Melanie Marchard (I Married a Billionaire), two contemporary romances which had a Harlequin-type feel to me.

And I can’t forget about my long-time favourites. Kate Willoughby released her third hockey book Out of the Game with her adorable, somewhat foul-mouthed hero Alex. Nalini Singh put out book 2 of her contemporary series Rock Hard (so, so sexy). Shelly Laurenston started her new paranormal series with The Unleashing. I loved it, especially since my first SL book was somewhat related The Gathering, which made me buy ever other book she’s put out. Finally, Kristen Ashley released her second Magdalene book Soaring.

Needless to say, I had a wonderful March!

Writer Porn

IMG_1752I don’t have a problem when it comes to shoes. Or nail polish. Or clothes or purses or Hummel figurines. I buy a lot of books. I even read most of them but that’s not a problem.

My problem, like many other authors out there, is an addiction to writer porn. My latest binge is shown here.

There is nothing like the feel of opening a new notebook to start a new story. Or using a pen for the first time. Or the scent of a freshly sharpened pencil. I need all the shades of Post-its. I’m going to colour-code something someday and I need to be prepared. I don’t make many errors, but the large eraser pack was on sale. It was like getting two erasers for free! I’m saving money in the long run!

It used to be so much worse, back in the day when you could buy letter-writing stationery. I had boxes and boxes of the stuff. I eventually used it all but let me tell you there were some serious debates as to whether or not the letter-recipient was worthy of the “good” stuff or should only receive the “cheap” paper. Then home printers came onto the scene, and you could get themed letter paper (like for Christmas letters) but that era too has passed.

Paper is getting harder to find so I’m doing my part to sustain the market. If the particular Hilroy notebook pictured above ever stops being sold, I’m going to burst into tears. It’s my favourite. Yes, I have a favourite sized notebook. If you don’t understand why, ask a writer near you.

STAR DRIVER – a guest post by Lynn Rae

playingthepartI’d like to introduce fellow Liquid Silver Books author Lynn Rae, whose new release “Playing The Part” is just out.

I love books with actor heroes (shocker, I know!) so this one looks like lots of fun. I asked Lynn which three actors she would most like to play chauffer to, and hers what she said.

Star Driver

By Lynn Rae

When Elle asked me what celebrity I’d like to drive me around, in a spin on the plot of my new book Playing the Part, my mind immediately turned to Katharine Hepburn. I’d have had a great time listening to her tell tales from old Hollywood and I bet she’d have been willing to stop for a burger on the way. But since she’s no longer with us, it seems safer if I’d pick some living stars to play chauffeur.

For a driving tour of Los Angeles, I’d like it if Steven Spielberg would take me around. His insights into filmmaking and the landscape of the area would be fascinating. We could talk about computer generated images, World War II, genetic engineering, and what galaxy he thinks E.T. came from.

A gal has to eat, so the person who I’d choose to take me on a restaurant hop would be Simon Pegg. He’s sharp-witted and I think he’d get into the whole pub-crawl aspect of the thing. We could stop by food trucks for great fusion tacos, hit a froyo place and load up on the weirdest toppings, and then wind up the evening in an old-school diner for good coffee, a slice of pie, and some conversation about what it takes to translate humor from the written page to the screen.

Finally, I’d want to spend some time with Cate Blanchet. This would of course entail a visit to Australia, a place I’ve always wanted to go. She could give me a tour of Sydney and we could chat about the making of both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films and she could give me the inside scoop on all those fabulous clothes she wears.

About her new book PLAYING THE PART

Independent Melanie Sheraton has to hustle for odd jobs in her small town to eke out a living. When the opportunity to act as a driver for some movie folks comes up, she jumps at the chance to earn an extra paycheck. What she didn’t bank on was one of her passengers invading her imagination, something she resists since no movie star would ever be interested in her.

At a crossroads in his professional life, action star Thomas ‘Wheeler’ Locke is in Ohio for a role he hopes will launch his career in a new, serious direction. Instead of concentrating on his acting, he finds himself growing more and more distracted by his feisty driver and her irascible ways.

Dancing around the attraction growing between them, both Mel and Thomas struggle to maintain their distance as the time for filming grows short. Will a reunion at the movie’s London premiere bring them together, or will their disparate lives keep them apart?

Available at Amazon, Liquid Silver Books, and All Romance E-books.