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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where Do You Have Sex?

Where do you have sex?

by Helen Woodall
Last year in Australia there was a court case when a company tried to sack a female staff member who was caught having sex in the company bathtub with two male colleagues. The case was dismissed – although the woman was instructed to lock the door next time! But it got me thinking about the places that characters in books have sex.

A bed is so boring. Even the tub is pretty average.
So here are 13 not-so-average venues from romance novels - with some books you can check out for inspiration.

Tell us the wildest sex location you've read in a novel! Or, of course, the craziest place you've had sex yourself.

1. On the hood of a 67 GTO in Philadelphia's Fairmont Park — Between a Rock and a Hard-on by Cindy Spencer Pape
2. In the library against a bookshelf — Complicated by Zannie Adams
3. In a cave — Surprised by Desire by Katie Blu, Close Up by Virginia Kantra, Hunting Midnight by Emma Holly
4. Up against the front door — High Noon by Nora Roberts
5. In a cemetery — Shades of Gray by Amarinda Jones
6. In a dungeon — Son of the Morning by Linda Howard, Surrender in the Dark by Silvia Violet
7. Under a waterfall — Chrysanthemum by Anny Cook and a number of other books
8. In an elevator — Anytime, Darlin’ by Julia Barrett, Because I Can by Amarinda Jones, Feels So Right by Carol Lynne
9. On a paint-covered art canvas — Perilous Passions by Teri Thackston
10. Inside an Egyptian pyramid — Dreams of Annubis by Maria Isabel Pita, (or the Americas version, inside Mayan ruins - Wild Jade by Kathy Kulig)
11. In a photobooth — Thief of Mine by Amarinda Jones
12. On a silver Ducati motorcycle roaring down the highway — Once Upon a Wedding by Desiree Holt
13 On a plane — Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, Everyday, Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RWA's ROMStat Report

The September 2008 issue of Romance Writer Report carries the annual RWA report on the statistics of romance book sales for the previous year. The data is compiled by Simba Information.

(Note that these statistics are for print books only, they do not take ebooks into account.)

"The United States' book market grew to $10.71 billion in 2007 [...] R.W. Bowker figures show U.S. title output increased to 276,649 new titles and editions, up from 274,416 in 2006. When you add in the 134,773 "on demand" and short-run books to these numbers, there is a projected output of 411,422 book in the United States in 2007."

The report lists the following data for the 2007 U.S. consumer book market:

~ $1.375 billion in estimated romance fiction revenue (which gives it 12.8% of the total book market)
~ Romance fiction sold about twice as much as Mystery or Science Fiction/Fantasy, three times as much as classic literary fiction
~ about 8090 romance books released, a 25.9% increase over 2006
~ 318 romance titles by 168 authors hit the best seller lists (NYT, PW, USA Today)
~ The top five romance book publishers were Harlequin, Random House, Penguin Group, HarperCollins, and Kensington.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You


Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You by Ray Bradbury

Book Review by Kathy Kulig (www.kathykulig.com)

“Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure.” From the back cover of Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.

If you didn’t know Bradbury has published over 500 short stories, novels, screenplays, television scripts and poems, you would discover the master storyteller after reading Zen in the Art of Writing. The magical and emotional resonance of his prose will make you look at the world and your writing with a new sense of wonder - and enthusiasm. Okay, the secret’s out. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid.

Bradbury’s delightful and thought-provoking essays cover tips and topics dealing with brainstorming ideas, developing your voice, style and imagination, enticing the muse and autobiographical insights.

One of his methods for brainstorming begins with word association by collecting nouns. He writes down things, people, images, emotions and sets them aside until the subconscious stirs them up and shapes them into amazing stories.

In one example: “…THE NIGHT TRAIN. THE CARNIVAL. THE CAROUSEL. THE DWARF. THE MIRROR MAZE…” He noticed a pattern to his lists and remembered his childhood fear of carousels and fascination for carnivals. Decades later he wrote Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Some of his works were inspired by other writers. The idea for “The Shoreline at Sunset” was sparked after reading Robert Hillyer’s poem about a mermaid near Plymouth Rock. A chapter for his novel The Martian Chronicles came from Byron’s poem “And the Moon Be Still as Bright”.

And what about the Zen thing in the book? Bradbury simply states, “Work, Relaxation and Don’t Think.” When in balance, these three aspects can maintain creativity, sanity, and avoid boredom. The philosophy is explored further and he even gives a surprisingly new definition of work. No, I won’t give it away.

Imagination, the Muse, the subconscious — where do ideas come from? Focus beyond the obvious and what’s directly in front of you. Bradbury says, “As we can learn from every man or woman or child around us when, touched and moved, they tell something they loved or hated this day, yesterday, or some other day long past. At a given moment, the fuse, after sputtering wetly, flares, and the fireworks begin.”

In one of his essays, Bradbury revisits a seedy, two-bit carnival when he was 12. During a sideshow, he stared in amazement as Mr. Electrico sat in his electric chair, the man’s white hair standing on end, sparks flying as he waved an Excalibur sword over the heads of the stunned children. Mr. Electrico then stood and approached the young Bradbury, tapped each shoulder with the sword. Lightning danced in the air and leapt into the young Bradbury as Mr. Electrico shouted, “Live forever!”

What a great idea! And with Bradbury’s 500 time machines, I’m sure he will.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"The publishing holy grail: ongoing, enduring appeal"

See full article at The Bookseller.com, http://www.thebookseller.com/in-depth/feature/64194-the-12-books-you-must-stock-.html

(Note that this represents UK sales.)

"Nielsen BookScan’s “evergreen” listing is arguably the most exclusive chart in bookselling history. It is not a rundown of the biggest-selling books, although the titles do shift enormous quantities.

No, it is a list of the books that week after week prove enduringly popular; those that for the past 13 years have managed to remain in Nielsen’s top 5,000, the chart that has been called the Total Consumer Market (TCM) since 2001.

Out of just over 1.8 million different ISBNs that Nielsen BookScan has UK sales data for from the past 13 years, only 12 titles have appeared in every weekly top 5,000 titles chart. That is more than 650 weeks of solid, and often spectacular, sales.
[...]
Titles in the evergreen chart would have to shift at least 100 units per week in order to remain in the TCM’s top 5,000. TCM data covers more than 90% of all retail book purchases in the UK
[...]
An important caveat is that the data refers to specific ISBNs rather than “the book”. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (9780241003008) refers to the miniature board edition, which has sold close to 600,000 copies to date; sales in all editions of the book top 1.2 million. Titles commonly fall off the list when a new edition is brought out"

EVERGREEN EDITIONS:

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (Vintage)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Puffin)
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien (HarperCollins)
Complete Cookery Course (v 1–3 in 1v) by Delia Smith (BBC Books)
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (Walker)
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (Bantam)89
The Colour of Magic (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett (Corgi)
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (Abacus)
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (Bantam)
The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck (Arrow)
The Light Fantastic (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett (Corgi)
Mort (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett (Corgi)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Plot by Ansen Dibell


Reviewed by Desiree Holt (www.desireeholt.com)

When I first sat down to play the piano…Oh, wait, wrong subject! When I first sat down to write a book, the first thing I realized was how little I actually knew about it. It was sure a lot different than just telling a story. Everyone had a book they recommended but I found Plot by Ansen Dibell to be my bible and my guide book. From the first bare outlines of a plot to the final chapter, he provides an excellent blueprint to follow.

Having trouble with your plot? Afraid it’s too dull and uninteresting? He’s got the answer in a short list of easy steps. One of the things that’s always stayed with me is his contention that writing is as much a process of discovery as it is of invention. Creating the plot is only step one. Controlling the plot is step two, and he leads you through the discovery process to identify what plot points are, which ones to keep and which ones go into the sock drawer for the next time around.

More than that, he actually tells you what a plot is: significant events in a given story. He tells you how to identify and create those events, how to weave them together. And how not to give away too much too soon. He tackles the dreaded “shifting POV” and how to keep on track with it in very clear, concise steps. He calls it “The Viewpoint With Shifty Eyes.”

He has a great chapter on building scenes—which ones to keep, which ones to throw away and how to tell the difference. Again, his directions are clear and understandable, easy to follow.

But for me the most important section of the book was how to fix or avoid the terrible, terrible ‘sagging middle’. You know, that place in your story where you’ve got everyone together but don’t know what to do with them? He explains how to develop a new perspective on your characters, how to bring back the key plot points in new scenes and how to set up subplots. Subplots, he tells you, can carry a story right through the weak bridge and shore it up. And he tells you how to do it! Hurray for Ansen!

Want to know how to turn up the tension? Build the mystery? Keep the reader glued to the pages? There’s a whole chapter on this very thing. I keep his catch phrase, “Slowly it turns, step by step,” pasted to my computer so I don’t forget it. Need help with pacing? Transitions? How to tie up loose ends? That’s all covered here, too.

I think the thing I like most about this book is it’s written for beginning writers in very clear, easy to follow language, but it’s just as valuable to the experienced writer. The mechanics of writing never change, and it doesn’t hurt to have a handbook to refer to when you need it.

I recommend this book to everyone who wants to write a story readers will remember.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Award for Bad Writing

The winner of the 2008Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad writing is Garrison Spik. His entry, as the proposed worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel:
"Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.'"

The annual award is sponsored by the English Department at San Jose State University. It is in "honor" of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel Paul Clifford begins, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Giveaway Goodies

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Authors often ask their editors what types of promotional items work best. Uhh, your editor is not going to know this. The people you need to talk to are those who have tried various promo items and have monitored the results - in other words, some of your fellow authors. So get on your various chat loops and ask for advice.

But first - make sure you have thought out WHY you are spending money on little giveaways and gimmicks, what results you are hoping for. Common reasons:

~ Advertising upcoming book(s) or series
~ Making readers aware of your backlist
~ Creating name recognition for you as an author

Now think about the purpose and process of using or distributing any promo items you are considering. For example, if you are at a book signing, why would you stick a bookmark showing that new title into the book when you sign it? The reader already knows about this book, they just bought it! You should be trying to make them aware of your past or future books - in hopes that they'll like this one enough to want to know what else you have out or have coming, so they can buy those too.

Pens and pencils can be nice, but can really only be used to promote you as an author overall, or maybe for one title. There just isn't space for showing book covers or listing multiple titles. Same thing applies to other objects with limited print surface.

Is the item something a person will keep around, will use, will look at more than once? You want to keep reminding them about you and your books. A one-use item has limited effectiveness. Chocolate candies with your name or title on the wrapper certainly get snatched up quickly - but then the potential reader eats the candy and throws away the wrapper, and likely won't remember ten minutes from now what that candy advertised.

Readers who are already devoted fans of yours are already buying your books - so giving them a pen or bookmark or notepad is not going to increase your sales. Distributing free swag to people already on your newsletter or discussion group won't likely increase sales. But it can build goodwill with those fans. Maybe you should consider a small supply of more expensive, impressive items that you send to those you know are your most loyal fans. Or periodic contests for a larger item.

So when you consider what types of trinkets to spend your promo budget on, think through who it would go to, and does it actually have the potential to garner more sales.

Also consider the logistics of distributing those items. At booksignings or conventions? Through the mail (to your database of newsletter recipients or such)? Given in bulk to bookstores to make available to customers? Consider size and weight of items if you have to ship them or lug them around - that can add considerably to the mere purchase price.

I'm not recommending any particular promotional tools - see first paragraph. But I do want to help authors avoid disappointment when their promo dollars don't seem to bring results.

Okay, switching hats from editor to reader/fan: Yep, I buy a lot of books, I go to booksignings and conferences/conventions, I end up with scads of those little giveaway items. So I'm going to jump in with just one reader's views here - my own. Please don't take this as any sort of official advice, as anything coming from an editor or publisher. This is just Raelene the Reader spouting off her personal opinion.

Bookmarks: As you always hear after a convention, most attendees throw away many of the bookmarks they've been inundated with. I don't like the postcard-size ones - they are the wrong shape and size to work as a bookmark. I don't like flimsy ones - I nibble on bookmarks while I read, so I like the heavy laminated ones. The ones I keep are the colorful ones displaying attractive covers. I do look at each bookmark (before tossing it) to see if I might be interested in adding that book to my TBB list, or in looking up the author's website or the book on Amazon to find out more about it. So if this is a new-to-me author, the bookmark is effective promo.

Pens/pencils: I enjoy them, but my desk drawers are overflowing with them. Unless it is something very clever or unique (and therefore likely expensive), I don't need any more.

I do like notepads and sticky notes - I keep and use those, so that means your name or title or cover are in front of my eyes often.

Emergency sewing kits, packets of elastic bandages, emery boards and other little useful items are favorites with me.

Of course, free books are always welcome!

For me, the queen of good swag is Rosemary Laurey. She's furnished my purse: I've collected a comb/mirror combo, a foldable brush, a lint brush. A tote bag and mini tote bag. Her bookmarks are sturdy and have dangly ribbons with bat charms. High quality stuff, I assume she commits a goodly chunk of cash to her promotional efforts. I love it, BUT - I was already a fan of her vampire books, without the freebies. I do regularly check for upcoming releases by favorite authors, so didn't need these promo items to give me that information. So basically she is being nice to me as a fan with these elaborate giveaways, but she isn't garnering any increased sales to me since I would have bought the book anyway.

Which is, of course, the bottom line. The best promotional item for your book is the story itself.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hugo Awards

The winners of the 2008 Hugo Awards, chosen by members of the World Science Fiction Society and presented this past weekend at this year's World Science Fiction convention, are:

Novel: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
Novella: "All Seated on the Ground" by Connie Willis
Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang
Short Story: "Tideline" by Elizabeth Bear
Non-fiction Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher
Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust, written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess
Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who, "Blink," written by Steven Moffat
Professional Editor, Long Form: David Hartwell
Professional Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder
Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere
Semiprozine: Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong and Liza Groen Trombi
Fanzine: File 770
Fan Writer: John Scalzi
Fan Artist: Brad Foster

Oddest Book Title

The Bookseller (http://www.thebookseller.com/in-depth/feature/64672-more-odd-than-odd.html) will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year with the "Diagram of Diagrams--a public vote to find the oddest book title of the past 30 years."

The winner of the Diagram of Diagrams will be officially announced on Friday, 5th September, 2008, with anyone and everyone able to vote online at http://www.thebookseller.com/diagramprize from Friday 8th August.

The Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year: Winners 1978-2008

1978: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice (University of Tokyo Press)
1979: The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career Management in House Prostitution (Transaction Press)
1980: The Joy of Chickens (Prentice Hall)
1981: Last Chance at Love: Terminal Romances
1982: Population and Other Problems (China National Publications
1983: The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling (MIR)
1984: The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today (Constable)
1985: Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to Increase the Other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts (Westwood Publishing Co)
1986: Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality (Brunner/Mazel)
1987: No Award
1988: Versailles: The View From Sweden (University of Chicago Press)
1989: How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (Ten Speed Press)
1990: Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual (Lace Publications)
1991: No Award
1992: How to Avoid Huge Ships (Cornwell Maritime Press)
1993: American Bottom Archaeology (University of Illinois Press)
1994: Highlights in the History of Concrete (British Cement Association)
1995: Reusing Old Graves (Shaw & Son)
1996: Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (Hellenic Philatelic Society)
1997: The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition (Mitchell Beazley)
1998: Development in Dairy Cow Breeding and Management: and New Opportunities to Widen the Uses of Straw (Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust)
1999: Weeds in a Changing World (British Crop Protection Council)
2000: High Performance Stiffened Structures (Professional Engineering Publishing)
2001: Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service (Butterworths)
2002: Living With Crazy Buttocks (Kaz Cooke – Penguin US/Australia)
2003: The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories (Kensington Publishing)
2004: Bombproof Your Horse (J A Allen)
2005: People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It (Gary Leon Hill – Red Wheel/Weiser Books)
2006: The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification (Harry N Abrams)
2007: If You Want Closure In Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs (Simon & Schuster US)

Nude mice? Lesbian horses?? Stray shopping carts???

Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham




Reviewed by Sally Painter (http://sallypainter.com/)

The book I found most valuable in understanding the concept of story building came to me years after I’d been writing. Jack M. Bickham’s Scene & Structure helped bring many aspects into focus. I quickly discovered why Jack M. Bickham had a reputation as a writing guru. Mr. Bickham was a prolific author with more than 80 books published. Some were instructional, but most were works of fiction—westerns, mysteries and thrillers. Some of his books were adapted into films such as The Apple Dumpling Gang and Baker’s Hawk. This wordsmith didn’t stop there. He also taught writing at the University of Oklahoma.

In fact, while reading this book, I often felt I’d slipped back in time into Mr. Bickham’s classroom. The book’s conversational approach is how I envisioned him conducting a class. He reveals how to build a book scene by scene in a usable and understandable format. I feel anyone who has never written a book could use it as a step by step blueprint. Of course, it would depend upon individual talent to bring the words to life, but if technique and understanding the concept of story form was all that was missing from the person’s abilities, then this book could easily fill in that gap.

The reader is walked through the organization of each chapter in a book, for a total of twenty chapters. So it is very detailed and while most of us wouldn’t follow it as a cookie cutter format, I did find most of the examples applicable to structuring a romance genre book. Some vital points included deciding where your story starts and understanding cause and effect. He teaches you to recognize how one action will affect not just the other characters but influence the story’s direction.

Mr. Bickham maps out what needs to happen in each chapter in order to move the story forward. Writing a sequel (bridge) between scenes is masterfully explained. He explains how to recognize areas where adding elements like conflict will serve to heighten the suspense level. He even breaks down the components of each chapter, including the number of scenes needed and kind of action required. He walks you through the process of escalating the story to the dark moment when the mettle of the hero/heroine is tested. And then he cautions against the dreaded sagging middle by offering remedies to correct it and other common problems. He uses imagery to convey a technique. An example for creating subplots is symbolized as setting plates spinning in the air for each character and knowing when these should be removed (subplot concluded) within the story. He shares other techniques to neatly tie-up all loose ends and carry the story to a final conclusion.

Even for a seasoned author, there are morsels to be found. Just recognizing I used certain techniques subconsciously was insightful. Scene & Structure can serve a beginner and a veteran writer and is why it earned a place on my keeper shelf as a valuable reference tool.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Popular Promo Items

We're not endorsing or encouraging these particular items. But looking around the office, here are the items we most often get handed as promo for books.

1. Bookmarks (and more bookmarks, and even more bookmarks)
2. Pens
3. Pencils
4. Emery boards
5. Magnets
6. Excerpt booklets
7. Sampler CD or mini-CD
8. Little candies
9. Keychains
10. Mirrors
11. Buttons (pins)
12. Letter openers
13. Notepads or small notebooks

Monday, August 4, 2008

We Know What Books You Bought...

You do realize that everyone is spending all their book-buying budget this week on Breaking Dawn and Acheron, right? The more serious fiction readers are plunking down their dollars for The Lace Reader. The politically minded went for the two new books on Obama.

The rest of the publishing world is just going to limp along this week, begging readers to spend any extra pennies on our books. Of course, e-publishers and online bookstores do have a bit of an advantage. If readers have to buy gas to get to an actual bookstore, they sure aren't going to have any money left for books.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers


Review by JL Wilson (http://www.jayellwilson.com/)

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King is the one book I re-read every year because every year I learn something new from it. I take it with me on our annual “get away from it all" vacation, sit down and skim it, then pick up my WIP and start editing – really editing.

The thing I like most about this book is the examples: it gives you 'before' and 'after' fixes for Show & Tell, Interior Monologues, Dialogue Mechanics, and the oh-so-elusive "Voice". There's a checklist at the end of every chapter with simple questions to help you evaluate your own writing, then there's an exercise if you want to try your hand at their techniques.

The tone is amusing, anecdotal, and the text is readable, not dry but sprinkled throughout with stories from their own work (both are professional editors and give workshops around the country on their techniques).

Here’s an example of one of their ‘checklist’ entries in the “Easy Beats” chapter. They’re discussing how to eliminate unnecessary ‘beats’ (actions sprinkled throughout a dialogue scene, such as walking, rubbing the eyes, etc.). One checklist item at the end of the chapter is: “Do your beats help illuminate your characters? Are they individual or general actions anyone might take under just about any circumstance?”

Sounds easy, right? That one checklist item made me go back and look through my WIP and evaluate that sort of detail. Now I have “individual beats” on the personal checklist I go through before I turn a book in to my editor. I want my characters to be unusual and memorable, and a way to do that is to find the one personal ‘action’ that occasionally comes through when they’re speaking.

And here’s a checklist item in “Characterization and Exposition” that made me sit up and think when I first started writing: “Look back over a scene or chapter that introduces one or more characters. How much time, if any, have you spent describing the new characters’ character? Are you telling us about characteristics that will later show up in dialogue and action?”

That one item suddenly explained for me the difference between “show” and “tell”, a topic I’d heard over and over again at workshops. I got out my highlighter, went back through my manuscript, and edited out a lot of unnecessary information. My book was tighter and more readable for it.

I think all of us, no matter how many books we have published, can continue to learn and hone our craft. This is one book that can help you do it in a way that’s readable, fun, and will never grow old or stale.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

2008 RWA RITA & Golden Heart Winners

2008 RITA (published) Winners

Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure - Treasure by Helen Brenna
Young Adult - Wicked Lovely by Meliss Marr
Historical Romance - Lessons of Desire by Madeline Hunter
Regency Historical Romance - The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn
Contemporary Series Romance - Snowbound by Janice Johnson
Inspirational Romance - A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight
Romance Novella -"Born in My Heart" in Like Mother, Like Daughter by Jennifer Greene
Paranormal Romance - Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements - Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Romantic Suspense - Ice Blue by Anne Stuart
First Book - Dead Girls are Easy by Terri Garey
Contemporary Single Title Romance - Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

2008 Golden Heart (unpublished) Winners

Contemporary Series Romance - Under a Harvest Moon by Joleen Wieser
Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure - The Midnight Effect by Pamela Fryer
Young Adult - The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
Contemporary Single Title Romance - Money, Honey by Susan Seyfarth
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements - The Devil You Know by Christa Selnick
Romantic Suspense - Sweet Deceit by Julie Stevens
Paranormal Romance - Soul Provider by Annette McCleave
Inspirational Romance - Running from Trouble by Kit Wilkinson
Regency Historical Romance - Mistaken by Moonlight by Susan Gee Heino
Historical Romance - Wanting Finian by Kris Kennedy

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Passionate Plume Winners!

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Passionate Plume is the contest for published books held by the Passionate Ink (erotic romance) chapter of RWA. The winners were just announced. Of course, Ellora’s Cave is delighted with how many of our authors were recognized. I was also very pleased to see the diversity of types of story, of writing styles, of erotic themes; the number of different publishers and authors represented for both e-pubs and print pubs. I’ve read some of the books on the winner lists and they do indeed represent excellent writing and storytelling.

Novella:

First Place - Male Call, by Denise A. Agnew
Second Place - Rescue Me, by Anna Leigh Keaton
Third Place - Hot Down Under, by Susan Lyons
HM - Second Chance Christmas, by Mackenzie McKade
HM - Desert Heat, by Leigh Wyndfield

Contemporary:

First Place - Wicked Ties, by Shayla Black
Second Place - Roped, by Ann Jacobs [Ellora’s Cave]
Third Place - Suite Seventeen, by Portia Da Costa
HM - Twin Fantasies, by Opal Carew
HM - Nothing To Lose, by Mechele Armstrong

Historical:

First Place - At Love's Command, by Samantha Kane [Ellora’s Cave]
Second Place - Mirage, by Monica Burns
Third Place - Nicholas, by Elizabeth Amber
HM - One Bashful Lady, by Brenda Williamson
HM - Anchor and Storm, by Kate Poole [Ellora’s Cave]

Futuristic/Fantasy/Science Fictiton

First Place - Tailspin, by Denise Rossetti [Ellora’s Cave]
Second Place - Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind, by Karen Kelley
Third Place - Seducer, by Aubrey Ross [Ellora’s Cave]
HM - Settler's Mine 2: The Lovers, by Mechele Armstrong
HM - Born Again, by Rena Marks [Ellora’s Cave]

Paranormal/Time Travel:

First Place - Mona Lisa Blossoming, by Sunny Chen
Second Place - Blood Rose, by Sharon Page
Third Place - Mystic's Run, by Jory Strong [Ellora’s Cave]
HM - Ethereal Foes: The Dragon's Demon, by Marie Harte
HM - Blood Red, by Sharon Page

Friday, August 1, 2008

Reviews from Writers

We've invited authors to tell us about what reference or research or writing book has been most helpful or inspirational for them in their writing. Rather than just having an editor recommend professional-skills books, see what your fellow writers think is best! So we'll be posting reviews every Monday for the next bunch of weeks.