Thursday, November 30, 2006


“I’m going to take a hike” you say. You’re in the country and plan to head out for an hour or three to wander the countryside. You’ll be walking, a little climbing perhaps. You’ll look at the landscape, the flora and fauna—hills, valleys, trees, seasonal foliage, flowers, birds, maybe a squirrel, a cow, perhaps a deer.

You return from your hike empty-handed. Or maybe carrying some flowers, a rock or a shell.

Everyone applauds your ‘get up and go.’ They envy your exercise, your interest in the great outdoors, in health, in your environment.

They don’t say, ‘What do you mean—you were gone for hours and you didn’t bring anything back? What on earth were you doing out there? Just walking around looking at stuff???”

They don’t say that. They don’t even think it. You went for a hike—that’s what you do on a hike. You walk around and look at stuff.

So is it anti-industrial backlash that vilifies the exact same actions and often similar results when they apply to an urban experience?

“I’m going shopping,” you say. You’re in the city and plan to head out for an hour or three to wander the town, check out the stores. You’ll be walking, a little climbing perhaps. You’ll be looking at the landscape, the flora and fauna—streets, buildings, stores with their displays of seasonal garb and lifestyle choices, multi-faceted entertainment, food—often unique to the time of year and locale. You’ll see people of all sizes and shapes in a phenomenal variety of “plumage.”
You return from your hike empty handed. Or maybe carrying a few things you found.

Everyone says, “What do you mean—you were gone for hours and you didn’t bring anything back? What on earth were you doing out there? Just walking around for hours looking at stuff???”

They don’t applaud your ‘get up and go.' They don’t admire your healthy exercise, your interest in the great outdoors, your curiosity about your environment.

They don’t say that. They don’t even think it. But it’s just as true as a hike in the country. That’s what you do when you go shopping—you walk around and look at stuff.

The only difference is that it’s an urban, not a rural world you are observing—but of no less interest in terms of things to observe and reflect on.

My recommendation? Reject—summarily reject—the often pejoratively-used term “shopping.” From henceforth embrace the more accurate: Urban Hiking.

Hike on!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


It's my favorite Holiday!

A holiday dedicated to celebrating food and eating together is pretty special. It also is non-religious and inclusive. I can sit in the back of any New York cab and wish my driver a "Happy Thanksgiving" no matter what. He or she doesn't even need to be an American: we all have something to be thankful for, don't we?

I realized some years ago that we are never as happy as we are sad.

What I mean is that when something bad happens, sadness is 24/7. You wake up sad, you go to sleep sad, sadness weighs on you.

Happiness is more evanescent. It's wonderful, intense, but tends to be momentary. Yes! Wonderful! Now I have to fix dinner, or whatever. It can last, but never with the same depth and intensity as sadness.

That doesn't seem right.

So at times like Thanksgiving, I try to remember to be truly thankful every day. It sounds trite; perhaps cheesy. But you know how sad you feel when an element of your life goes away, even something small, even just momentarily. You twist your ankle and can't walk. You have a cast and can't take a shower. You have stitches and can't wash your hair. Not to mention big stuff like health issues or losing someone you love.

Are you as appreciative as you could be for what you have while you have it? I decided that appreciation was something worth working on.

I think keeping that sense of appreciation top of mind is one reason why we read romances--to remind us through the stories we read of how lucky we are. Lucky to value love and have people we love in our lives.

Lucky to be capable of compromise, of learning from mistakes, of growing.

Lucky to have the courage to risk relationships, to reach out and connect to another person. It's a beautiful thing.

And when I read a great romance, I get that wonderful sense of satisfaction that no matter what might go on in the world, this works and it's good.

Wishing you and yours and very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Note from THE WIDOW-maker... Carla Neggers

New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers has just come back from her tour for her first hardcover, THE WIDOW. I've known and enjoyed Carla's work for many years (we won't go into how many) so it is particularly delightful to see the success of her debut hardcover.

You have to check out the contest on Carla's website: It's Adopt-A-Puffin to celebrate the Maine setting of THE WIDOW. Now I know some of you may be thinking Carla is just another celebrity adopter, like Angelina or Madonna, but that's just not true. She has already facilitated the adoption of a Loon and a Whale. It doesn't get any bigger or crazier than that! And the Puffin is really cute!

She's also got some excellent Blueberry recipes contributed from readers on her website. An appropriate match for the moody blue cover of THE WIDOW. And just think of all the anti-oxidants. But let me let Carla share a piece of her life....

"I'm back home on my hill in Vermont after getting out on the road for signing and media interviews for THE WIDOW. . I have only two rules for going on book tour. One, eat oatmeal for breakfast. Two, have fun. I blew the oatmeal rule on my second morning, in Baltimore, after my 4:15 AM wakeup call for a 5:15 AM pickup for a 6:45 TV interview. I was on after Elmo . He helped do the weather. The people in the studio were great, but when I arrived back to my hotel, I ordered pancakes.

"In Philadelphia, I ran into serious gridlock on the roads. George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton were there to receive the Liberty Medal. Fortunately, Art, my driver, knew the side streets and a good place to get a true Philadelphia cheese steak (I'd had oatmeal that morning). We're talking heavy security, which turned out okay, because it triggered story ideas, all involving the Secret Service.

"In Maine, I stayed just down the road from the Kennebunkport home of--guess who? George H. W. Bush. No, I wasn't following him, but more stories involving the Secret Service started percolating. The housekeeper at my inn turned out to be a fan, which was nice, and they served a breakfast buffet that did not include oatmeal. I was off the hook. My big indulgence was a lavender martini, the bartender's own recipe...different.

"A bookseller I met in suburban Philadelphia told me what she enjoys most about her job is talking with people who love to read. That sums up the best part about getting out on the road, too. It's not that easy to eat oatmeal every morning, but the people I get to meet make it is easy to have fun."


I asked Carla what's coming up in the future? She said look for:
- CUT AND RUN in March 2007, a reissue, originally published as MINSTREL'S FIRE, a Rita Award finalist
- ABANDON: June 2007, which she is wrapping up now....It continues her "U.S. Marshals" series.

Carla also has a blog so you can keep an eye on what's going on in her life.

There are also a couple of interesting online interviews. One with
with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books and one with
Judyth Piazza of The Student Operated Press

Check it out!

Monday, October 30, 2006

iBOAS—you'll never guess what it stands for, but you may want to join when you find out!

Far left: Malle & her pet dog. Center: Tamara & Mary (Tamara with Crown). Right: Me.

First, the scene set. Yes, these are my colleagues. While we are all fascinating, and have unique and very different special powers, amazingly, we share certain reading tastes.

We realized when we started working together we shared a passion for a particular author and decided to form a Club. Please note that the author in question knows nothing of our plans. We decided we needed a name. We needed presence. It all came together.

We are the imaginary Buddies Of Anne Stuart. iBOAS. Please note the thematically linked and color coordinated boas! I assure you a feather boa is completely appropriate attire for any Buddy, imaginary or not, associated with Anne Stuart. We are here to alert you that she has a new book coming out in NOVEMBER, you can check out the fabulous Publishers Weekly review below. We also wanted to share some of our thoughts.

Anne Stuart's previous title (there is a connection to this one) Black Ice got a starred review in PW and Cold as Ice got an excellent review from Publishers Weekly.

Early (or whatever whenever you read this) breaking news: Cold as Ice will be #33 on the November 12th, 2006 New York Times Bestseller list! and #77 on the USA Today Bestseller List (also on the list are Nora Roberts' Silhouette First Impressions @ #10 in hardcover, and Dream Makers @ #9 in paperback, Debbie Macomber's MIRA, Christmas Letters, @ #20 in hardcover and Glad Tidings in paperback @ #5, Diana Palmer's HQN hardcover Heart of Winter and Sharon Sala's Nine Lives @ #24--iBOAS are equitable about sharing information. We just adore Anne Stuart.)

Tamara: "Anne Stuart gave me a gift in the form of a special paradox: She created bad boys that I loved, who also made me glad to be married to such a good soul. I can escape into the world of Black Ice, and Cold as Ice whenever I choose and snap back to reality in a heartbeat.

"As someone I know once said, I can enjoy exploring that world and lose myself 'between the covers, not between the sheets.'"

Mary has these thoughts to add...
How Anne Stuart has changed my life:
"Ever had one of those weeks where you're just not sure you can make it through? I was having one when I realized that the new Anne Stuart would be available in time for the weekend. I remember that it was this ray of sunshine in the distance, knowing that maybe, just maybe, if I made it through the week I would be rewarded with a Saturday devoted to reading a great story.

"OK. I'll be honest, half a Saturday because I just tear through her books. Anyway, thank you Anne. You made living through that tough week worthwhile.

How much I enjoyed Black Ice:
"I must confess that I re-read Black Ice. The confession is not that I re-read it because I re-read a lot of my favorite books. My confession is that I read it first on Saturday and then again on Sunday. And I totally loved it both times.

"I loved Cold As Ice because after I read Black Ice I told someone that Peter Jensen would be a great hero for the next book. She explained to me why this wouldn't be possible. In fact she told me... "Didn't you notice? He's gay. He couldn't possibly be a romantic hero...or at least not for you.' I went back to the text and thought...Well, I guess she's right.

"But I should have trusted that Anne Stuart, the queen of the baddest of the bad boys, would be able to make Peter Jensen a romantic hero for me. I don't know how she'll top Cold As Ice but I can hardly wait to see."

Isabel said,"Years ago, when I found myself sneaking into the Harlequin side of the New York office to 'borrow' all the Anne Stuart titles, I knew I had discovered a special author. An author worth stealing—excuse me—borrowing (at least until the titles were reissued) was a keeper. Nothing has changed my opinion. No, I don't lend my Anne Stuarts. Sorry."

Upcoming schedule in MIRA: Cold as Ice, November, 2006; Ice Blue, April, 2007; Ice Storm (tentative) November, 2007; and possibly Reno's story in spring of 2008.

In addition to her own fabulous website where you can read excerpts, Anne also has a blogging site, Story Broads with Maggie Shayne, Tara Taylor Quinn, Patricia Potter, Lynn Kerstan and Suzanne Forster.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Karen Harper in recent NYT article on Book Fairs

Check out Book Fairs: Reading Might Not Be Dead By Beth Greenfield in the New York Times, October 20, 2006. And just in case you don't click, here are the bits I think are relevant:

Ms Greenfield starts by saying: "LESS than half of the adult American population now read books that can be defined as literary, the Census Bureau reported after a 2002 survey. Yet the number of book fairs appears to be growing, so perhaps not everyone is eager to replace hard covers with hard drives after all.

"'There are now 35 statewide celebrations, and that has gone up tremendously in recent years,' said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Mr. Cole arranges for authors to appear at the annual National Book Festival, which drew 100,000 literature lovers to the National Mall in Washington last month. The center also helps organizers put together local book fairs.

"Several are scheduled next month, with the Miami Book Fair International the biggest and best known...

"If it all seems like a highbrow disconnect to those who associate Miami with glitz and glamour, they may find an even bigger surprise in Las Vegas: the fifth annual Vegas Valley Book Festival, held in the shadows of the city’s casino theme parks."

But the one I care about is (natch) the one that mentions MIRA's very own Karen Harper....

"In Wooster, Ohio, the 19th annual Buckeye Book Fair aims at all ages. Participants will include Karen Harper, a best-selling mystery writer and the author of “Hurricane,” and Carl Sferrazza Anthony, who wrote “Nellie Taft: Unconventional First Lady of the Ragtime Era.”

“'State festivals tend to focus, rightly, on local writers,' said Mr. Cole, who is happy for any excitement about reading that these events create. 'In the electronic age, books and reading and authors really need promotion more than ever. The real competition now is not the computer per se, but for a reader’s time.'"

The Details

What: Miami Book Fair International,
When: Nov. 12 to 19.

What: Vegas Valley Book Festival,
When: Nov. 3 and 4.

What: Latino Book & Family Festival,
When: Nov. 11 and 12.

What: Connecticut Children’s Book Fair,
When: Nov. 11 and 12.

Buckeye Book Fair
When: Nov. 4.

What: Kentucky Book Fair
When: Nov. 11.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sobol Award: We Discover New Writers

Just attended a lovely event at the Century Club hosted by EVP of Contest Management Sue Pollock and EVP & Editorial Director Brigitte Weeks announcing the launch of The Sobol Award for Fiction and wanted to share the details:

The Sobol award for Fiction is a national contest designed to discover talented, but unknown writers, to help them get published and find enthusiastic readers.

 Yearly contest, open to all unpublished writers in English

 Electronic submission, complete anonymity & equal chance

 Competent readers, including a panel of prominent editors

 Every writer receives at lest 2 reviews of his/her work

 All winners are represented & presented to leading publishers

 Submission fee: $85.00

 First Prize: $100,000

 First Runner up: $25,000

 Second Runner up: $10,000

Visit for more details

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Presenting...MIRA & Spice Editor Susan Pezzack

Susan Pezzack photo
Let me introduce you to an editor from the Toronto office—Susan Pezzack. I'll let her speak for herself!

Tell us about you: I’m a huge Anglophile. I adore any and all things British, especially Monty Python, BBC television and have a mild addiction to Coronation Street. My fiancé tells me we can never live in England because he’s sure I’d run off with the first man who spoke to me with that yummy accent.

Role at Harlequin: I’ve been with Harlequin for seven years now. I began in the Marketing department, but moved over to Editorial after a year. I spent about three years working on Temptation and Blaze, then got the opportunity to work on the single title side of the business with MIRA Books. Then, in 2004, I was asked to help roll out Harlequin’s new single title erotic fiction imprint, Spice. Now I edit and acquire for both imprints.

Did you always want to work in publishing? For a long time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. My degree in Fine Art and French Literature didn’t really offer me much in the way of gainful employment! I’d always been a huge reader – I used to bring a book with me everywhere as a kid, and I was always reading at the table during meals, even if it was only the back of the cereal box. I finally decided to try to explore whether I could do something with my love of books that also paid the rent. I went back to school and did a degree in Publishing with a focus on editing, and here I am!

If not, what else did you want to do? I saw myself as the curator of the
Royal Ontario Museum, believe it or not. My love of art and archaeology is still very strong, but unfortunately curator jobs are pretty hard to come by.

Favorite recent film/film of all time: An impossible question! I’m a sucker for romantic dramas/comedies, particularly the British ones like Love, Actually, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Sense and Sensibility and Notting Hill…but I also love historical dramas like Lion in Winter and A Man for All Seasons.

Favorite author? Roald Dahl, hands down.

Favorite meal/to make, to eat: There’s not a lot of food I don’t enjoy. Good, authentic fish & chips is one of my favorites. I could eat my weight in pastry. When we travel to Montreal it’s essential we have steamies (steamed hot dogs) and fries at least once a day. It’s the worst food in the world for you, but it’s such a treat.

Hobby? Obsession? I’m an avid horseback rider. And I’m obsessed with decorating shows.

Do you get to write off sex toys with your new Spice responsibilities? Lingerie? Hmmm, I haven’t thought to ask, but now that you mention it...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I want to be Powerful! But still…Pretty

It’s many years ago, it's Fall, and I’m having lunch with agent Irene Goodman, and I’m asking about her kids and we get into the Halloween costume discussion.

I hadn’t really thought about how important costume selection is to a child. It is who you are that year. Who you want to be. Who you want to try on—to stand out. To blend in. To connect. To explore.

So I asked, “So what is your daughter going to be for Halloween this year?” and I get an earful! She was thinking about this, she was thinking about that, she couldn’t decide. I can’t remember now all the options and alternatives, but there were many. Finally it all boiled down to one heartfelt cry, which her mother shared with me—which I have never forgotten:

I want to be powerful! But still…pretty.

I nodded. Wisely. Don’t we all?

And isn’t that what is so wonderful, so seductive about reading? About stories? That we slip into each character’s skin for a time and become powerful, pretty, everything beyond and in between.

We can indulge the many faces of our complex selves, we can balance any opposing fantasy within a story, assuming any sex, ethnicity, age, orientation, experience, social status. Indeed we can lose our human-ness entirely and run with the wolves, swim with the dolphins, soar with the birds.

We can find ways to be powerful…and recognize that we may also still want to be pretty. Or just pretty powerful. Or whatever.


So what should you be reading to get you in the Hallowe'en mood? Check out
Girl's Guide to Witchcraft
by Mindy Klasky, out this October from Red Dress Ink. Mindy sends these adorable eVites to her signings. She also has a blog. I haven't inspected them closely enough to understand the Cocktail motif. Shaken, not stirred?

I've just finished Girl's Guide after getting hooked on the first few chapters in the acquisition meeting when Mary Theresa presented it. It was delightful then, and after grabbing a copy of the book (the last on the shelf!) I indulged myself in this irresistible fantasy.

Is it a book of unpredictable tricks filled with interesting treats or a intriguing treat filled with unexpected tricks? It was a total treat! I really enjoyed it, loved the heroine, loved her familiar, enjoyed exploring a half-real half-created Washington, D.C. (my sort-of home town) through the author's eyes.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pat Schroeder Speaks Out in Response to Books@Google

The following letter is from former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, in response to "Books@Google" by Jason Epstein which appears in the current issue of The New York Review of Books. I don't know if it will get published, though it certainly should.

I thought it very articulately captures the points at issue, was beautifully written and wanted to share it with you. Yes, I have Pat's permission!

To The Editor
The New York Review of Books
October 4, 2006

In his encomium to Google (TNYRB, October 19), Jason Epstein flicks a dismissive hand at the legal action which publishers and authors have undertaken in an effort to bring Google’s library project into compliance with U.S. copyright law. He also mischaracterizes that project as an “utterly heroic....effort to digitize the public domain contents of the books and other holdings of major libraries.” Were Google’s activities limited to public domain materials, neither the publishers, nor the Author’s Guild, would be in court.

In line with its self-stated mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” Google is now engaged in making digital copies of the entire collections of some of this country’s most prestigious academic libraries: Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the institutions comprising the University of California. It was only a matter of time before Google focused its ambitious vision on the books and journals housed in these libraries. They are the sum total of who we are, how far we’ve come, and where we’re headed. Former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin said it better than anyone I know: “Books are the main source of our knowledge, our reservoir of faith, memory, wisdom, morality, poetry, philosophy, history, and science.”

There is no doubt that Google has the creative vision and resources to carry out this monumental task. Nor is there any question about the value of making lesser known and out-of-print books readily accessible and searchable, giving individuals and institutions an opportunity to make more informed choices about contents before committing to a purchase, bringing the works of little-known authors to a whole new audience. But Mr. Epstein completely misses the point when he says that “Lawyers for Google and the publishers will continue to exchange Talmudisms on this conflict until book publishers decide to enter the digital world to everyone’s advantage...” We’ve got news for Mr. Epstein—publishers are already planted in the digital world with both feet! Other players, including Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, the Internet Archive, as well as the publishers themselves, are currently engaged in projects and strategically planning others to make works accessible, searchable, and available to the broadest possible audience on the Internet without abandoning copyright protection.

The key question is rather: does Google have the right to make complete copies of someone else’s creative work for its own financial gain, infinitely enhancing its advertising revenue, without permission from the work’s creator and without sharing any of the benefits it will derive? We think not! We object to Google’s library project not because of its lofty goals, but because of its shoddy business model—a business model which assumes that a $120 billion dollar, profit-making corporation can use its size, power, and image to expropriate rights and property that belong to others and then add insult to injury by telling them it’s for their own good.

Google is doing it right in Europe by obtaining permission from authors and publishers before digitizing their works. Google is doing it right here by licensing content in highly publicized arrangements with the Associated Press and Viacom. Google is even doing it right with individual publishers who have opted to make some of their works available for digital search. Google is not doing it right in the library project! Instead, it presumptuously assumes it can copy complete works still under copyright without obtaining the permission of the copyright holder, claiming its actions fall under the rubric of fair use because they will only show “snippets” of the work to searchers. "Snippet" is Googletalk, not a legal term. While it is possible for a library patron to copy a portion of a book under fair use, Google cannot claim that patron’s right. The word “snippet” is thrown around to distract people from what Google is really doing--reproducing entire copyrighted works for financial gain without permission. This is emphatically NOT fair use. Oh yes, and Google also neglects to say they’re making another full copy of the work, without permission, and giving it to the library as "payment" for being able to copy the library's entire collection. Using someone else’s work as "currency, " without permission, has never been a fair use.

If the perfect search engine is, as Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin once described it, “like the mind of God,” then let it be used in ways that nurture and support the creative genius that feeds it, allowing writers and their publishers, photographers, visual artists, composers, and other creative spirits to benefit from their own work, just as Google benefits.

Pat Schroeder

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More Than Words Book launch October

Introducing the third annual More Than Words anthology.

They’re your neighbors, your aunts, your sisters and your best friends. They’re women across North America committed to reaching out and changing lives, one good deed at a time. Five of these exceptional women have been selected as this year’s recipients of the Harlequin More Than Words Award:

Debra Bonde's Seedlings Braille Books for Children
Deb Fruend's Team Activities for Special Kids
Seana O'Neill's Cottage Dreams
Kathy Silverton's Stitches from the Heart
Gloria Gilbert Stoga's Puppies Behind Bars

And once again five award-winning bestselling authors have kindly offered their creativity to write original short stories inspired by these real-life heroines:

Catherine Mann
Kasey Michaels
Susan Wiggs
Tori Carrington
Karen Harper

Available wherever books are sold or at in October 2006. Proceeds from the sale of More Than Words anthologies are returned to the program to support more causes of concern to women.

If you know a real-life heroine, nominate her for next year’s More Than Words anthology at

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Presenting...Associate Senior Editor Patience Smith

PatiencePatience had a rich and varied career prior to becoming an assistant editor at Harlequin in '97, but I'll let her share her information in her own words. I'm delighted to present Patience Smith....

Tell us about you
: I started my relationship with Harlequin at fourteen while studying for final exams. I had pulled an all-nighter to study for History and had three hours before my Latin exam. To get through that day, I had to drink many Tabs and read a romance.

After stealing Harlequin Presents from my roommate’s pile, I devoured them when I should have been studying declensions and conjugations. I wound up getting a C on the History exam and an A—would have been an A+ if I hadn’t skipped an entire section due to sleep deprivation spaciness—on the Latin exam. I credit the romances for helping me ace Latin.

I continued to read romances during those times when I should have been doing something else—like writing my master’s thesis, doing lesson plans, typing memos for lawyers and answering phones for oil traders.

Role at Harlequin: I’m the Associate Senior Editor for Silhouette Intimate Moments which will turn into Silhouette Romantic Suspense in February 2007.

A lot is happening in Silhouette Intimate Moments/Romantic Suspense. The line has already changed editorially in that we are looking for suspense in every book—though the romance is the heavy focus. We’re looking for highly romantic, passionate category romances set anywhere in the world and containing some element of suspense.

The SIM/SRS team has revamped the covers, which will begin a transitional phase in October 2006. And the line changes its name and introduces its new covers starting in February 2007. Very exciting!

The feedback for the changes in the line has been overwhelmingly positive.

Did you always want to work in publishing? I’ve always loved reading and writing, so I knew I would wind up doing something with words, if only to do graffiti in bathrooms.

If not, what else did you want to do? I wanted to be a movie-star, but because I don’t like auditioning, memorizing lines or starving myself, this didn’t work out.

Also, I can’t act.

Did anything surprise you about the editorial role? It surprises me how little time there is to edit, but also how much fun it is to see a line evolve over a year—and to be a part of it.

What are most challenging/most satisfying aspects of job? The most challenging aspect is gathering all the materials in order to make deadlines. I have to rely on many people, which I’m not used to.

The most satisfying aspect of the job is the interaction with authors and editing. My favorite time of day is early morning when I first come to the office. It’s quiet and I usually spend the first hour just reading before noise levels rise.

Anything make you totally insane? Doing things at the last minute. Most of the time, it’s my own fault.

Can you finish the sentence: "If I read one more story with…. I will fall asleep." If I read one more story with the hero and heroine bickering for no reason, I’ll fall asleep. Same goes for the heroine stating at the beginning of the story that she doesn’t have time for a man and is too focused on other things.

Or “I wish I could find a story that….” I wish I could find a story that makes me cry. That happens every now and then and it’s always a treat (waterproof mascara is a good investment). That’s when I know I have to have the book.

Favorite recent film/film of all time: Favorite recent film: The Devil Wears Prada. Favorite movies of all time: Jaws, Notorious, Heat, The Hours, All About Eve, Hannah and Her Sisters, Silence of the Lambs

Favorite meal: To eat: Steak, mashed potatoes and peas (and cheesecake). To make: cupcakes. And I excel at overcooking rice, vegetables and pasta.

Most amazing recent purchase: I bought in one week a new big TV, computer and cell phone but have trouble working all three of them. I have discovered the magic of texting, which annoys my friends and family since I’ll send them really important messages like, “Hi.”
Hobby? Knitting, watching movies, collecting elephants (not real ones)

Most surprising thing about you we’d never guess in a million years? I’m known in my family for using a lot of foul language, which I think I inherited from my grandmother. Also, I read tarot cards, did calligraphy professionally for fifteen years and was the ace pitcher on a co-ed softball team all through high school.

Guilty pleasure you refuse to feel guilty about? Watching Dr. Phil.

Most interesting thing you've done lately? This is not so much interesting as it is obsessive—In the last seven months, I’ve knit ten pairs of slippers, four purses and two Peruvian hats, all of which I’m going to sell.

Inspiring event? In August, going to a family reunion and seeing so many interesting, fun people in one room. It made me realize how lucky I am.

Today’s favorite expression or quote? "Whatev”, which I got from Senior Editor of Special Edition Gail Chasan. Who has the time to add the extra syllable?

Comic book character that embodies characteristics you most admire? I sort of like Marv from Sin City. He’s done some evil deeds, but his heart is mostly in the right place. At the other end of the spectrum: Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter has always been my hero! I even bought her album.

Superpower you would enjoy having? Ability to beam myself places without going through the pain of traffic, driving, sitting in cramped places for hours, living through turbulence.

If you had a magic wand that would allow you to do one thing Naughty and one thing Nice, what two things would you do? Naughty: I wouldn’t protest if a magic wand allowed me to steal several million dollars from a bank without anyone ever finding out. Basically, anything having to do with theft, as long as I don’t have to be punished for it later. Nice: Put the cast of the Jon Stewart show in the Oval Office.

Least favorite characters in fiction and why? Rochester and Heathcliff because they’re just too much work. Also, this is wrong and bad of me, but because I had to read Le Petit Prince so many times, I came to despise him.

What do you have on your bulletin board? A picture of Ganesh—the god that removes obstacles. A lot of charts for deadlines and an 8x10 glossy of Keanu Reeves, courtesy of Marie Ferrarella.

Looking for… New authors for SIM/SRS. This line has a strong author base and we’d love to add new voices. As always, I’m looking for a book that will sweep me away and make me forget about day-to-day responsibilities (like studying for Latin and History exams).

Bought several great… Veteran authors to contribute to Silhouette Intimate Moments/Romantic Suspense. Rachel Lee, Catherine Mann, Lindsay McKenna and Susan Grant will contribute short stories for two separate military Christmas anthologies to be published in 2007 and 2008. And six authors—Marie Ferrarella, Caridad Pineiro, Lyn Stone, Nina Bruhns, Kathleen Creighton and Karen Whiddon—came together to create a new royal, international themed continuity, MISSION: IMPASSIONED, which will happen in 2007.

Just about to publish…. Lindsay McKenna's paranormal romance, UNFORGIVEN , which is in the launch month of Silhouette Nocturne, is about to hit bookshelves in October.

This story is amazing. Jaguar shapeshifters, the fight for good and evil and falling in love with the enemy—oh my!

I read it in one sitting.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


To Susan Wiggs for hitting the top 15 New York Times Bestseller list with her MIRA title Summer At Willow Lake on August 27th, 2006, her debut on the published list. Totally fabulous! I love Susan's writing!

To Maria Snyder for her Luna title, Magic Study being selected as an October Book Sense pick. Her first book, Poison Study also got a starred review in Publishers Weekly when it came out and was also selected by Booksellers as a Book Sense pick. Both fabulous stories. Available in
eBooks or Audio.

To Charles Davis for getting a starred Publisher's Weekly review for his MIRA title Angel's Rest, a touching, heart-tugging tale of childhood, place and the shifting currents of innocence and awareness that coming of age brings. A lovely story.

To Deanna Raybourn for getting a starred Publisher's Weekly review for her first book Silent In The Grave coming out in MIRA in January, 2007. It's a fascinating, unusual and compelling mystery. Worth the wait!

To Pam Jenoff for her debut novel coming out from MIRA in March, 2007, The Kommandant’s Girl for getting a starred Publisher's Weekly review.

To Crystal Green for having a very cool video clip for her upcoming October Silhouette Bombshell, Baited. You can check it out on if you search on Baited-Book-Teaser (or just click on this nice link!)

To the queen of romance Nora Roberts, for her always stellar bestseller performance on her most recent titles, Dangerous (Risky Business, Storm Warning and The Welcoming) and By My Side (From This Day and Temptation). I know I shouldn't have favorites, but I do have a soft spot for Storm Warning!

To Silhouette Nocturne , for being born this October! Happy Birthday!

Lindsay McKenna's Unforgiven and Kathleen Korbel's Dangerous Temptation are an amazing pair of stories to launch the line with. Of course, I am only speculating, knowing those authors, because I can't get hold of copies of the books for love or money! While I managed to snag a cool Nocturne bag at the RWA, do you think I was smart enough to score books? Noooooo. Why do I want to fill my suitcase with my own books, I thought. Well, eventually the excitement will calm. Surely? As someone who loved Shadows, it's really exciting to see the market has "grown into" this genre, and to be fully participating in it again!

To Vanessa Del Fabbro for winning the 2006 Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction in the Contemporary Series category for her Steeple Hill title, The Road to Home.

To Tara Taylor Quinn for her next title, In Plain Sight, interview in, and do take advantage of the $1 off coupon!

To M.J. Rose, whose Venus Fix is one of The Book Reporter's Reading Group Guide titles--check out The Venus Fix Reading Guide .

To Debbie Macomber for her free Podcast on Audible! Not to mention 6 Rainier Drive success on the New York Times list (#3 on upcoming October 1st New York Times list) as well as having not one but TWO Harlequin Ginger Blossom Pink Manga titles (No Competition and The Bachelor Prince) out and available. It doesn't get much better, does it?

To Moi--I will be guest posting on one of my favorite romance blogs, Romancing the Blog on October 10th, introducing myself & what's happening in new business.

There is always something going on...the challenge is keeping up!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Copyright, Digital Coursepacks and a joint announcement from Cornell and the American Association of Publishers

I wanted to share a recent press release from the AAP on copyright. As you can see, it involves college coursepacks. There is more detail, but a significant point is that duplicating material digitally must be treated with the same respect for copyright as if it were physically duplicated.

You may think that is fairly straightforward Copyright issue-reading someone's material whatever the format, is accessing and using their work-but for many, it doesn't seem to be so straightforward. Correcting that perception is an educational process.

And while I expect there are very few enlightened institutions of higher learning where romances are making up many of coursepacks, the principle of copyright is at issue, and that should be important to us all. Especially as it is respect (or lack of) for copyright that is being taught to a new generation.

As almost every academic is a published author and I expect many students hope to make their living creating intellectual property, this should be a core value of our academic institutions. I really applaud Cornell for having stepped up and so compelling articulated the importance of this issue to their institution and to education.

Press Release :

Jointly Written Guidelines Affirm That Copyright Law Applies to Electronic Course Content

New York, NY, September 19, 2006: As part of ongoing discussions over the manner in which Cornell University provides copyrighted course content to students in digital formats, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Cornell recently announced a new set of copyright guidelines to govern the use of electronic course materials on the library's electronic course reserves system, on faculty and departmental web pages, and through the various 'course management' websites used at Cornell. The guidelines affirm that the use of such content is governed by the same legal principles that apply to printed materials.

The guidelines, which were jointly drafted by Cornell and AAP, make it clear that faculty must obtain permission to distribute such works to the same extent as permission is required with respect to reproductions and distributions of publishers' copyrighted works in hard-copy formats.

"Cornell and AAP concur that instructional use of content requiring the copyright owner's permission when used in a printed coursepack likewise requires permission when used in an electronic format," said John Siliciano, Vice Provost of Cornell.

"The Publishers and the authors they represent are gratified that Cornell has responded positively to their concerns and has taken a leadership role on this issue in the academic community," said Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman and head of the AAP. "With more and more content now available in digital form, it is important to clarify the copyright responsibilities that accompany use of that content,
and to be sure that colleges and universities are enforcing the rules they adopt."

Mrs. Schroeder continued, "AAP hopes that Cornell's actions will set an example for other colleges and universities and provide them an opportunity to review their own practices and institute similar guidelines."

Discussions are ongoing between AAP and Cornell concerning additional approaches that may be appropriate to encourage compliance with copyright law so that instructors' postings of electronic course content conform with legal requirements.

More info on the AAP site:
Press Release

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Keep Your Eye on the Donut

A romance is...well, its a story about the challenges of loving someone. And that can mean a lot of different things. Let me just quote from a few submissions to What is Love in fact:

"Love is trust, and not wanting to change someone, but accepting them as they are. If you can't, then it isn't love. But if you can, that love is the everlasting kind. Now isn't that simple?"
—Bertrice Small

"Love is accepting: the good, the bad, the ugly. "
—Emilie Rose

"Love is pain in your heart at the tear in their eye. Love is when your heart sings at their happiness, even if what makes them happy is the opposite of what you needed. Love is knowing when to hold them tight or let them go. Love is the highest euphoria and the saddest moment in life, all rolled into one. Love is living.
—Sheila Baker

That's not always easy. I remember during a particularlyary difficult dating phase, listening to very anti-guy Punk songs (One of my favorites was the X-Ray Specs, "Guy are Not Proud." Great line in it: "Guys are such creeps, they'll even do it with sheep!" Upon reflection, I hope this was not a negative statement about sheep pulchritude, but focused more on the lack of a true sense of choice and consentual participation on the part of the sheep) and thinking...who deserves this? Who should be on the receiving end of actually having to date guys? And then thinking about making T-shirts that read: Men: They deserve each other. (Hey, it was a difficult time).

But on that note, there's a very interesting conversation over at Teach me tonight, an academic blog, about male/male romances & why women find them appealing. Let me quote:

"Because, if, as I argue in my article*, romances are actually about watching the hero figure out and confess his feelings, if they're about watching him move from the "masculine economy of use" to the "feminine economy of exchange," then watching TWO men have to figure it out for and with each other is more than twice as wonderful as watching one man figure it out for and with a woman."

I think there are other forces at work as well (two attractive men to watch, no women to "compete" with, etc.) but I found it a very interesting essay—they were using Brokeback Mountain as an example. In Japan there's a whole genre, Yaoi, with nothing but pretty boys, read by women.

I missed seeing that film, but didn't miss all the hype surrounding it, with the words "Gay Cowboys" on everyone's lips and people constantly being asked publicly if they'd seen the film and having to say no, so they wouldn't be forced to present their opinion on gay marriage, gays in the military or Mr. Cheney or Mr. Regan's progeny’s sexual orientation.

But what really fascinates me is the lack of commentary on Talladega Nights and the gay Nascar guys! While they did make the Sasha Cohen/Girard character French, and thus, I suppose, sufficiently "other" he is clearly happily loyally married to a nice man, has a good life, is a talented, successful, honorable guy (who has Elvis Costello and Mos Def hanging out at his house) and when Will "Ricky Bobby" I'm-just-an-Ordinary-American-Guy Ferrel refuses to shake his hand—he kisses him on the lips instead. No comment.

Talladega also presents an interesting take on the permissive father, the absent father, on understanding, forgiveness, and Mom's Rules (or in this case, Grandma's Rules). It's not without its classic qualities, and I enjoyed it, but hey, I like my mac with cheese. It just has to be the right cheese.

Because love, as we see with Little Miss Sunshine too, comes in many forms. So we can all spend a lot of time parsing words and analyzing elements and arguing about what came first (excuse me, I was thinking chicken or egg!) but the real challenge is the complex, multi-faceted nature of love, not the rules that we surround it with.

And when given a chance some people at least, can keep their eye on the donut and recognize that.

*Frantz, Sarah S. G., 2002. "'Expressing' Herself: The Romance Novel and the Feminine Will to Power," in Scorned Literature: Essays on the History and Criticism of Popular Mass-Produced Fiction in America. Eds. Lydia Cushman Schurman and Deidre Johnson. (Connecticut: Greenwood Press) pp. 17-36. posted by Sarah S.G. Frantz @ Monday, July 10, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lunch and Learn

Just spent one of the most delightful afternoons at Candy and Joe's—for those who know them, I thought I'd take a photo of them actually in the same frame to demonstrate they actually do intersect in their amazing and peripatetic lifestyle. No, I'm not even going to go into it.

Candy, in my opinion, defines the word Maven as used by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point. If you haven't read it, it's worth checking out. Perhaps one of the early works of non-fiction that really took to heart or simply took good advantage of the lessons of fiction and storytelling and makes for entertaining—as well as instructive—reading.

While I was ensconsed in this lovely spot, eating amazing food, enjoying the conversation of most eclectic, and fascinating group of people—journalists, vintners, actors, filmmakers, psychologists, writers, editors, pick an interesting profession, pick an interesting person, they are there—an interesting challenge was made: are there 32 great romances? Would I be willing to contribute to a collection a fellow guest was compiling? I canvassed everyone for help, but realized as I sat down that it was too awkward to do as a publisher, so I bowed out.

I wanted to thank everyone who contributed their brilliant suggestions—many of which I totally agreed with. However there were a number of titles I hadn't read, so my "TBR" pile has just grown enormously, and I can't wait to get started—thank you for so many excellent suggestions and ideas! I will also be passing on your recommendations to our team for consideration for favorite titles to get back in print, so I assure you, nothing is wasted!

OK, you have been so good, I had to share this brief article I read in my September 2006 Natural History Magazine Samplings section (Magazine is yours free just for being a member of the Museum of Natural History in New York, one of my favorite Museums!).

You may ask yourself: Is there any benefit to having a lateralized brain? Let me just share some information from a recent study by Marco Dadda, a psychologist, and Agnelo Bisazza, an evolutionary biologist, both at the University of Padua in Italy that suggests that lateralization may make animals better at the critical skill of multitasking (something you may feel is a skill particularly well developed in women. Well, gentle reader, read on!).

"Goldbelly topminnows are small Central American fish that belong to the guppy family. Female goldbelly topminnows must put up with repeated attempts by males to mate with them. The suitors can be distracting, even exasperating, to females, particularly when they are trying to eat.

"Dadda and Bisazza compared the feeding efficiency of female goldbelly topminnows bred to be lateralized with that of females bred to have no side preference. When there were no distracting males, the two kinds of females caught food equally well. When randy males were present, however, only the lateralized females kept eating efficiently, while still avoiding unwanted advances. Parallel processing seems to benefit from a brain with asymmetrical function. (Behavioral Ecology 17:358—63, 2006) —Stephan Reebs

Doesn't that sort of say it all? Somehow, when it's two Italian guys (with, c'mon, sort of made up sounding names) staring at schools of these adorable Central American guppies, worried about whether their girls are getting enough to eat. Sitting there, describing the importunate and irritating goldbelly topminnow guys...just trying to get on top, one can only assume, taking the girl's side. It's, well, it's beautiful. Food? Sex?

Now you know why you have a right and left brain. Keep them both in working order!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Press Release—the Virtual Event

It's just a sheet of paper. Well, it's not even paper any more is it? Just a collection of symbols on a screen, really. But it's only marginally less crazy than, say, doing a wedding. I'm not kidding!

There's the planning, who reviews it, who writes it, rewrites it, needs to review it again, rewrites it, needs to review it again, rewrites it, needs to review it again, (you get the picture), hey, I've got a great idea, let's put in.... (insert champagne pyramid and/or live links), who is it going to? Oh did you update the mailing lists? Could you do that for me sweetie? Let's see what it looks like if we... Oh, not so good, let's go back to...You know, I think I liked it the first not that first time, the other first time. Yes, that one, but with the bit at the end from the eighth draft. Loved that bit. You know, maybe it should go through proofreading again. Legal already checked it & will have to check it again? You're kidding. Now we've changed it so much everybone that approved it before have to approve it again? Really? And everyone's on vacation right now? Oh, they just changed the order of everything? The logos have been modified? You'll be sending me the new ones shortly. Right away? Please? Everything is being checked to make sure it works when we go live. There's a problem? None of the buttons work? Someone's looking into it? They'll let me know what's happening? No one knows anything so you're just going to make it up? That sounds good. OK. Let's go! Push the button to launch. Oh, it doesn't seem to be working. There is goes! Yes, it launched for sure because I just got an irate email from a vendor complaining we mispelled their name in our release.

Thank you for a lovely party!

According to Malle, who knows these things, there is an Estonian custom that I have to share. Malle says it is a customary practice when you have attended an Estonian event and are thanking your hostess and saying your goodbyes, you also share any helpful comments you might have on shortcomings and how she might improve the event in the future (i.e. dinner was lovely, but very slow and started far too late. And next time, stir the soup before serving it). Pretty special, eh? Wikipedia is missing these bits of color. Malle will need to add them in.

So as you create your event—virtual or otherwise—watch out for those helpful Estonians. They are looking for continuous improvement!

We're delighted to have the eBook site up & running on eHarlequin, to have the adorable Minis available for sale and to be able to offer the Mini Round Robins for a FREE download. I think we have discovered five authors for Harlequin (and counting!) with the Writing Round Robin program—one of them, Mia Zachary—is launching the Mini Round Robin line.

Putting a press release together is as crazy as throwing a major event, but there's no food! Still, it is fun to see all the 'guests' arriving & chatting about your event.

Y'all come on over!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Harlequin Launches eBook Boutique & Announces Birth of the Harlequin Mini!

Toronto, Ontario, August 22, 2006 - Harlequin Enterprises Limited(, the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, today announced the launch of four digital entertainment ventures, specifically: Harlequin Mini ™ eBooks, Harlequin Mini™ Round Robin eBooks, the launch of the eBook Boutique on and, a platform for gathering reader-generated content.
"Harlequin is the brand in publishing that is trusted by women around the world to provide them with great entertainment," says Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. "We are uniquely positioned to serve their needs and offer entertainment in new digital formats. Put simply, a lot of women are already there, and those who aren't trust us to help them navigate the evolving digital space."
"The modern romance reader has gone digital," says Pam Laycock, Executive Vice President of Harlequin's New Business Development department. "She demands the portability, depth, breadth, immediacy and convenience of romance novels in downloadable formats." Ms. Laycock illustrates this fact by pointing to the success of the company's eBooks on the bestseller lists of many eBook Web sites, including, where Harlequin titles out-performed The Da Vinci Code just prior to the release of the film.
Responding to reader demand for even more romance fiction in a digital format, Harlequin is launching the Harlequin Mini eBook. These are short-series eBooks written by Harlequin authors, including New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling writers—ideal for readers who want a "quick fix" but don't have the time for a longer novel. "No other publisher is doing anything like this," says Malle Vallik, Editorial Director of Harlequin's New Business Development department. "These delicious ‘bite-size' stories are exclusive to's eBook Boutique." Ten Harlequin Mini eBooks will be available during the August launch of the imprint. Four new Harlequin Mini eBooks will appear every month thereafter. Each story costs only 99¢ to download.
The Harlequin Mini Round Robin eBook is an outcome of Harlequin's collaboration with its readers. These stories are launched by a published author, and subsequent chapters are created—and hotly competed for—by fans and aspiring writers. Many of Harlequin's talented new voices have been discovered through this interactive round robin challenge, including launch author Mia Zachary. The popular Writing Round Robin has been a feature of since 2000. This is the first time it will be available as an eBook. As a special introduction, the Harlequin Mini Round Robin eBook will initially be available for free download.
Harlequin Enterprises Limited is at the leading edge of digital publishing, offering about 40 new titles every month in eBook format. As of today, all of these titles will be available in the new eBook Boutique at It will be the exclusive eRetailer for the Harlequin Mini and Harlequin Mini Round Robin eBooks. eBooks from the eHarlequin Boutique will be available in three formats—Adobe PDF, Microsoft Reader and Mobipocket.
"Harlequin has an unmatched involvement, engagement and participation with its readers," says Pam Laycock. "Because of this intimate relationship, Harlequin is going beyond reader participation in the Round Robin to tap the creativity and wisdom of our global community via We ask such burning questions as What Is Love? or What Was Your Worst Date Ever? and anyone and everyone can send in responses. A collection of the most appealing answers will be published in a digital format early in 2007 and then later as a print version."
Harlequin's drive to develop and offer more content in more ways furthers the company's digital strategy, which also includes downloadable audio from (, the leading provider of digitally delivered spoken-word audio, and the Harlequin On the Go™ mobile phone content subscription service ( Readers can keep up with further digital developments on a blog written by a Harlequin vice president at or
About eHARLEQUIN.COM The community provides Harlequin with an outstanding opportunity to speak directly to its readers around the world on message boards, in chat rooms and through author blogs. Whether looking to buy the latest books, reading original stories from bestselling authors, or sharing the love of reading with other readers and authors, visitors will discover the ultimate online women's fiction experience.

About HARLEQUIN ENTERPRISES LIMITEDHarlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 25 languages and sold in 94 international markets. The company produces over 115 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Harlequin's Web site is located at Harlequin has offices in 18 countries, including Toronto, New York and London. For more information please visit or
# # #
For more information, contact:
Don Lucey
Assistant Manager, Public Relations Communications
Harlequin Enterprises Limited
(416) 445-5860

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

RWA Photos & A Few Notes

my fairy blogmothers!

Suzanne McMinn, Author; Jill Shalvis, Author; Jayne Hoogenberk, eHarlequin Community Manger

This is where I expect I am supposed to say the bit about "all errors are my own" so I'd better say it. Yes, and Jill's photo is with a real camera, not my phone, no need to rub it in. Bet Don Lucey snapped me & Jayne. But don't Suzanne & I look like we belong on an album cover of some cool rock group? Yes, she is the lead singer & I am back-up, but still!

Kat Martin, author, above left. Karin Stoecker, Editorial Director, Harlequin Mills & Boon and Jayne Hoogenberk, eHarlequin Community Manager, DTC above right. Debbie Macomber hard at work, right.

Do you think they find me...risible?

I wanted to share a few notes I had taken from a talk given by Susan Elizabeth Phillips on Librarian Day. Her points were so familiar, yet I still don't have the perfect response, and that frustrates me. Maybe I will have to come up with a series of questions for and just get everyone to send in their snappy answers and collect 'em!

She talked about how, while there is progress, romance fiction is still often seen by media and others as "bad" because it creates "unrealistic expectations." This is both irritating and profoundly depressing for a positivist such as myself.

Irritating in that it assumes readers of romance fiction are incapable of differentiating life from their entertainment reading (one can only assume the assumer is profoundly grateful that these brain-dead women are not spending their leisure hours watching, say, The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre and really cutting loose).

And depressing because while it may not be everyone's certain daily reality to find lifelong happiness, or one true love, I will not accept that it is UNREALISTIC to want to find happiness, to love and be loved, to win every once in a while. Surely we can allow that is a realistic goal, though not always an attainable one--or not always attained 24/7/365.

Though as Susan noted, commitment can mean you win by losing. The challenge is knowing when you are losing too much. That's why you need your friends...and a few good romance novels to see you through.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Editorial Recommendations—Just a few!

I asked Executive Editor Mary Theresa Hussey to gather some editorial recommendations on interesting series titles coming up over the next few months—August to October—she grabbed a few handfulls and I'm passing them along!


MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE – Allie Pleiter – Love Inspired, 8/06
We’ve been publishing a select few Steeple Hill Café titles in the Love Inspired program during 2006, and in hers, Café author Allie Pleiter poses a very interesting question--dating is the pits, but what do you do when you’re the voice of a major cartoon character...and all your dates seem to want is for you to “do the voice” for the kids in their Sunday School class? Yikes!
—Krista Stroever, Associate Senior Editor, Steeple Hill

FINDING NICK by Janis Reams Hudson, Special Edition, 8/06
This is a book about the very far-flung implications of 9/11—not a typical series premise, yet the characters in question, a firefighter “hero” who’s been fighting the title with all his might, and the reporter determined to get his story—truly come alive in this vitally compelling story. I respond to this book because it’s such an honest story, and it really is complex, just the way things are in real life. There’s no pat answer to anything—not to the hero’s suffering, nor to the heroine’s drive and determination. Read it! --Gail Chasan, Senior Editor, Special Edition


MY BABY, MY BRIDE by Tina Leonard – Harlequin American Romance, 9/06
Tina Leonard, who writes cowboys like nobody else, has a wonderful sense of humor. I look forward to reading her books, and this one made me smile all the way through. Her heroines are women you can identify with, and her cowboys are always tough on the outside – but soft on the inside. They make me want to find a cowboy of my very own!
—Kathleen Scheibling, Associate Senior Editor

MR. IMPERFECT – Karina Bliss – Harlequin Superromance, 10/06
A Golden Heart winner last year, this is Karina’s first published book and we’re so excited about it! I couldn’t put this reunion story down when I first read it. It’s hilarious, poignant, and nobody conveys New Zealand—or bad boys—as well as Karina. Warning: You will laugh out loud.
—Victoria Curran, Editor, Harlequin Superromance

THE RANIERI BRIDE by Michelle Reid, 9/10, Presents (#2564).
This is the perfect page-turning read for when the nights start drawing in. Dramatic, emotional and hotly passionate, it has a to-die-for dark and dangerous Italian hero in Enrico and a heart-wrenching dilemma for the heroine, Freya - and the most unexpected twist at the end!
—Tessa Shapcott, Executive Editor, Harlequin Presents


THE BOSS’S CHRISTMAS SEDUCTION by Yvonne Lindsay, Silhouette Desire, 10/06:
New Zealand writer Yvonne Lindsay makes her debut with this title and begins her New Zealand Knights trilogy. Yvonne delivers a highly sensual office romance between two very flawed people. It packs a strong emotional punch and is one of those books that I just can’t put down every time I pick it up, and I want to re-read it over and over again.
—Jessica Alvarez, Assistant Editor, Silhouette Intimate Moments

ASKING FOR TROUBLE by Leslie Kelly, Harlequin Blaze, 10/06
Like Leslie, I’m a longtime fan of the works of Victoria Holt, and think she’s done an incredible job of reinventing the traditional Gothic romance, Blaze-style, complete with a few chills, lots of thrills…and a sensual love story that will have readers scouring the countryside for old haunted houses. I couldn’t put it down.
—Brenda Chin, Associate Senior Editor, Blaze.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER – Jennifer Taylor – Medical Romance, 10/06
This story is a first for Medical Romance – all the action takes place over 24 hours! From the opening chapter Jennifer has you hooked, I found myself swept up by the pace and excitement as the hero and heroine battle to save lives in the ER. The medical drama, combined with the passionate, emotional intensity of the marriage rekindled story certainly makes this a book to remember!
—Jennifer Hutton, Assistant Editor Medical Romance.

BLACKHAW’S BETRAYAL by Barbara McCauley, 10/06
Finally! I have been anxiously awaiting more SECRETS! books from this RITA award winning author and she hasn’t disappointed me one bit. I sure didn’t see this newest batch of illegitimate Blackhawks coming—and I know readers will love all the twists Barbara provides as she launches four new titles filled with scandals and secrets!
—Melissa Jeglinski, Senior Editor, Silhouette Desire

THE HEART OF A MERCENARY by Loreth Anne White, Intimate Moments, 10/06 (book #1 of SHADOW SOLDIERS). As a huge fan of espionage and international intrigue myself, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for exotic settings, passionate romance and deliciously evil villains! The author grew up in South Africa, and her intimate knowledge of the country is sure to make the reader feel as if they are right beside our hero and heroine every step of the way.
—Susan Litman, Editor, Special Edition

SEASON OF SECRETS - Marta Perry - Love Inspired Suspense, 10/06
There’s just something darkly mysterious about Southern cities—behind their polished society façade lurks family secrets people would rather stayed buried. Marta Perry’s set her keep-the-lights-on Christmas story in my favorite Southern city—Charleston.
—Krista Stroever, Associate Senior Editor, Steeple Hill

Hope you enjoy...!

Special treat—RWA photos, taken with my trusty phone, which also holds my eBooks, my audio books and will be able to get HOTGo once it is available on Cingular! OK, I admit, Don Lucey took the Landscape shot.

My fantabulous legwear (if I do say so myself)
Dressed for our 21st Century Digital Fair
Standing Room Only @ the Fair--Malle Vallik & Isabel Swift presenting the New Business Team's amazing activities over the past year and plans for the future!

Anne Marie Winston, Nora Roberts and Ruth Langan--Can these ladies DANCE!

Nothing would be complete without a chocolate tower....make that TWO chocolate towers!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Check it Out

This is all getting so scary I can hardly visit these websites, much less read the books after dark!

M.J. Rose—her blog too—is the queen of all things internet, and has another of her amazing Dr. Morgan Snow novels out now. You need to check out It is wonderfully atmospheric, creative, compelling. And call me crazy, but I feel like I recognize someone's voice....

M.J. has written LYING IN BED for the newly launched Spice line, is a key contributor to THRILLER as well as her Morgan Snow series, THE VENUS FIX, THE DELILAH COMPLEX, THE HALO EFFECT all sexy, thrilling and chilling reads.

Then you can visit Brenda Novak's site and get a cool $1.00 off Coupon—good wherever books are sold—for her DEAD SILENCE, out in July, set in a small fictional town in Mississippi. Scary.

Brenda also has a Harlequin SuperRomance, THE OTHER WOMAN (also available in a larger print edition). A friend was just sharing that storyline had actually happened to a friend of hers in real life. I can't decide if it would be comforting to be given a book with a plotline that mirrored your life (but with a happy ending) or depressing. What do you think? Brenda's earlier HQN is EVERY WAKING MOMENT.

And now that you're in a webcrawling mood, go visit Heather Graham's video on her July title, THE VISION. It is really cool.

Heather also has a story in THRILLER and her THE LAST CAVALIER is back in print!

Bite-size content! Tiny nibbles of the stories you can see and hear and practically taste!

Try them. I bet you'll like them.

(and do you remember my recommending Rogue Angel in an earlier blog? Fabulous reviews).

Monday, July 31, 2006

RWA! And the Winners are....

So many exciting things to report!

Each year PASIC (Published Author Special Interest Chapter) recognizes one editor with an award. This year there were 23 nominations, 8 of which were Harlequin or Silhouette editors:
Birgit Davis-Todd; Susan Litman; Kathryn Lye; Johanna Raisanen; Kathleen Schiebling; Tessa Shapcott; Patience Smith; Natashya Wilson

PASIC Editor of the Year Award Winner:
Patience Smith, Senior Editor, Silhouette Intimate Moments.

Not an RWA award, but a recent major honor I wanted to share was Vanessa Del Fabro receiving the prestigious Christy Award (2006 Contemporary Category) for her Steeple Hill title The Road To Home. She's working on the third book in the series, A Family in Full, with Sandpiper Drift the sequel.

2006 National Reader's Choice Award: Best Regency Romance: The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston, editor Linda Fildew, Harlequin Historical

Greater Detroit 2006 RWA Booksellers Best Award: The Italian's Rightful Bride by Lucy Gordon, Harlequin Romance

Daphne Du Maurier Awards: The RWA Mystery/Suspense Chapter recognizes the best mystery/suspense books of the year:

- Best Single Title: Sex and The Serial Killer by Jennifer Skully, Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle

- Best Inspirational: Love the Sinner by Lynn Bulock, Steeple Hill, Editor: Diane Dietz

- Best Series Book: Camouflage Heart by Dana Marton, Harlequin Intrigue Editor: Allison Lyons

Borders Books honored Debbie Macomber’s 50 Harbor Street in their Borders Bestselling Contemporary category, Editor: Paula Eykelhof

RITA Winners that I can toot about—and I'm counting primary, secondary and tertiary connections within my scope of tootability.

For a complete list of RITA and Golden Heart winners go to the
Romance Writers of America official website.

Princess of Convenience by Marion Lennox, Harlequin Romance (Marion...send that nice photo you sent to the RWA to PR for your author page!), Editor: Sheila Hodgson

The Marriage Miracle by Liz Fielding, Harlequin Romance (Mills & Boon Tender), Editor: Emma Dunford

Worth Every Risk by Dianna Love Snell, Silhouette Intimate Moments, Editor: Allison Lyons

Show Her the Money by Stephanie Feagan, Silhouette Bombshell, Editor: Natashya Wilson

A Reputable Rake by Diane Gaston, Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical, Editor: Linda Fildew

Lady Luck's Map of Vegas by Barbara Samuel (aka Ruth Wind at Harlequin) Ballantine Books, Editor: Linda Marrow

Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb(aka Nora Roberts at Harlequin...and elsewhere!), Penguin Putnam, Editor: Lesie Gelbman

Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs, MIRA Books, Editors: Dianne Moggy & Margaret Marbury

Golden Heart Inspirational Romance Manuscript
WHEN ANGELS FALL by Lora Bale, acquired by Melissa Endlich for the Love Inspired line

Well, I can't think of any way to establish even a tertiary link with this year's lifetime achievement award winner, except that I'm a big fan, but I can say the skit that Gayle Wilson and Nora did prior to the award had the room ROTFL.

2006 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD to Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Congratulations Susan!

Congratulations ALL Rita and Golden Heart winners (not just the ones I can toot about!)

Congratulations to all the Finalists, who made the experience so exciting with their wonderful stories

Congratulations to everyone who had the courage to enter and compete!

Congratulations to all of you who finished their manuscripts and proposals.

As we all heard throughout the RWA, it is a watershed event for so many of us, a life-changing, mind-altering challenge and opportunity.

It is the journey, not the destination that counts, and that journey starts with a step, and is made up of a thousand steps—from completing a query, to a attending a conference, to finding a critique partner, to making a first pitch, to finishing a manuscript to winning a prize, to selling—and the years that can pass between those achievements.

I am always touched, humbled and motivated to hear of the vision, humor, grace, pragmatism, flexibility and all around stubborn determination and force of will this group has, individually and collectively.

It is a yearly inspiration.