Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Emilie Richards | Which comes first, the novel or the title?
Uncategorized / June 30, 2009

There is no question that authors are odd. We hear voices in our heads. We stare blankly at walls for hours, leaving those around us to wonder if we have, without fanfare, passed away. We save things other people toss out or never possess in the first place. Real estate circulars. Missing children inserts. Photographs that show nothing except, perhaps, the curve of a cheek or the shape of an eye. We keep files. Oh yes, we keep lots and lots of files. Jotted notes of overheard conversations. Newspaper articles about mortgage fraud. Three word phrases that might vanish in the night. Authors are almost always asked where our ideas come from. No matter how many times I’m asked, I’m not annoyed by this question. In fact I can relate. Myself, I wonder about architects, particularly those who design hotel lobbies and airports. Where did those ideas originate, and can we please extinguish the source? Or artists. Take Jackson Pollock. What possessed the man, other than an urge to pour lots of paint on lots of canvas? Read the rest, click here Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Lori Brighton | The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Uncategorized / June 29, 2009

Writing about the publishing process sounded like a good idea until I realized I could write, well, a book. The process and the emotions I’ve experienced so far have been more than overwhelming and so to make it somewhat easier, I decided to write a simple timeline of my journey into the publishing world. So sit back, grab a bag of popcorn, and enjoy The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of getting published. Summer of 2008— I get word from the Golden Acorn writing contest that my most recent manuscript, To Tame His Heart, has come in first place in the historical category and has been requested by Hilary Sares at Kensington. Although I’ve finaled before, this is the first time I’ve gotten first place and a request! Could this be my big break? September— Months have gone by and no word from Kensington. I’m just about to give up when I get a call. Its Hilary Sares, she wants to buy my book! Attempt not to hyperventilate and immediately start emailing agents. Go with Helen Breitwieser from Cornerstone Literary because she seems the most excited about my book and my future career. Helen changes my book title from…

Sandi Shilhanek | Vacation Packing…what’s in your bag?
Sundays with Sandi / June 28, 2009

I have decided that since the mountain won’t come to Mohammed then Mohammed must go to the mountain. Roughly translated this means that since my mom won’t come to Texas to see me I must head to Chicago to see her. Planning a trip requires a lot of thought and attention to details. First you have to decide a destination (easy for me because if I’m going out of Texas it’s usually to see mom), then you must decide the best time of the year to go, and whether or not your budget can really afford the trip. Let’s not forget about the wardrobe that might be required for your trip, and then packing said wardrobe without making your suitcase exceed the airline weight limits. Last but not least is the hardest decision of all…which books to take and how many of them. Before I owned an e-reader (I have a Kindle in case you care) I took a book per day of the trip. I didn’t really expect to read them all, but needed to have a variety to choose from because who knew what mood I would be in when I finished one. There was also that slight…

Sara Reyes | Where Have I Read That Before?
Saturdays with Sara / June 27, 2009

Recommended Reads Call me old or at least a long-time reader and you’ll be right. And as one I’ve got a few favorite authors that I’ll read anything they jot down including a grocery list which reminds me of a web site a few years ago that collected authors’ grocery lists, hmm, gotta check that one. For charity I think. Anyway, back to me and reading old favored authors. Have you ever noticed that you’ll be reading a book and need to pause, wondering, “Did I read that in _____?” or perhaps, “hmm, Lydia is just like Joceyln in ______” I’m referring to another book by the same author so don’t get all excited I’ve delving into plagiarism. I leave that to others to root out (don’t be alarmed, my Pennsylvania Dutch has a way of emerging now and again). No, talking about authors who, bless them, have a way of telling the same story over and over. Sometimes it’s because I’d assume, their publisher wants another hit or at least a known out of them for a ravenous market (that would me!), other times it’s become a job, like every night when I do the dishes, sometimes I forget…

Laurel Dewey | Feeling the Fear and Writing the Sequel Anyway
Uncategorized / June 26, 2009

It’s hard enough to write a solid first novel. There’s all that fear and concern that you won’t be able to navigate the territory correctly. But after you break through the angst, write the book and actually get an agent interested in it, you think you can sit back and take a break for a bit. Wrong! When I finally scored an agent for my first novel, Protector (the first book in the Jane Perry series), he asked me, “So? What’s next?” I remember stammering something about how I wanted to just take some time off since I’d put sixteen months into writing the book and a year prior to that researching it. “No, no, no,” he said, “I need to know where this story is going with Jane Perry.” Click to read the rest of Laurel’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Elizabeth Thornton | Questions I’m frequently asked . . .
Uncategorized / June 25, 2009

In twenty years, I’ve published 26 historical romance novels and 2 novellas, and the questions I am most frequently asked by beginning writers are 1) Where do you get your ideas? and 2) Don’t you ever suffer from burnout? Burnout is a writer’s worst nightmare. It can be brought on by stress, you know, nothing is going right in the book and you have a deadline to meet. It can be brought on by boredom—you’re a multi-published author and your publisher wants you to continue writing the same kind of book in the same historical time period. Why would you want to tamper with success? Oh, and instead of publishing one book a year, could you try for two? You get the picture. More stress. Click here to read the rest of Elizabeth’s blog, comment today and you could win! Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Kimberla Lawson Roby | Marital Money: Mine, Yours, & Ours!
Uncategorized / June 24, 2009

Life after marriage can be a major blessing but also a great fiasco if you don’t take the time beforehand to discuss some very important details. What kind of details you might ask…well, for example, did you and your new hubby discuss your weekly-without-fail, Saturday afternoon shopping trips to the mall? Or how about that incredible shoe fetish you’ve had for years—the one where you can’t help snatching up at least four to five pairs of brand new kicks every single month? Did you discuss the fact that you have absolutely no intentions whatsoever of depositing “your” hard-earned paycheck into that brand-spanking-new joint checking account—the one the love of your life has so proudly opened for the two of you? Or better yet, did you make it clear from the start that sharing a joint account is the only kind of financial arrangement you’re willing to live with? Does your husband know that for as long as you can remember, you’ve been a huge believer in the idea that “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine, too?! Now, of course, the above questions are all hypothetically speaking, but they are also hugely symbolic of the kinds of problems…

Mary Balogh | Love As Opposed To Romance
Uncategorized / June 23, 2009

I always describe myself as a writer of love stories rather than as a romance writer. One of my reasons is an obvious one—romance is not highly thought of in the writing community beyond its own genre, and I firmly believe that my books are serious literature and not to be sneered at as trash. More important, though, I believe that love is far more powerful than romance and that we can sell ourselves short as writers if we are content to write romances at the expense of telling true love stories. A great deal, of course, depends upon how those two words are defined. Here are my definitions. Romance is that wonderful aura that surrounds a couple as they meet (even if they initially feel hostility to each other) and interact and fall in love and finally commit their lives to each other. It’s the growing sense of rightness about the relationship, and the sense of joy we get out of reading about the building attraction they feel for each other on their journey to the happy ending. It’s a powerful reason for reading any book, and when it’s well done it can pull us in and leave us…

Julie Miller | Covers, Covers, Covers
Uncategorized / June 22, 2009

Thank you to Sara Reyes and the gang at Fresh Fiction for inviting me to blog with them this month! I’m honored. Today, I’m going to be talking Harlequin Intrigue. Since Intrigue is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, I thought it’d be fun to share some Intrigue covers, and show how the look of our beloved romantic suspense novels have changed over the years. 1. Here’s where it all started, with THE KEY by Rebecca Flanders. 2. Then we went through a “white” period–I discovered 43 Light Street series by Rebecca York in this phase–read bunches of the white covers in college. Click here to read the rest of Julie’s blog and to comment. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Sandi Shilhanek | Does a Book Have To Be Perfect To Be Enjoyed?
Guests / June 21, 2009

This week I read a new to me author, Marie Bostwick. I read her book A Thread of Truth. When I started it I was warned that there might be numerous typos. With that thought it mind I set out to not enjoy the book, because last year I attempted to read a different book by a different author that was so riddled with typos, both spelling and grammatical that after four days of reading I hadn’t even made it to page one hundred. I’m very happy to report that even though A Thread of Truth was the second book in the series I had no trouble following along, and that the typos didn’t pull me out of the story, and I truly feel that there were only two times that I would have even noticed them had I not been warned. I’m also thrilled to say that I had been told for some time that Bostwick would be an author I would like, but I had been putting her off, and I was not misled…Bostwick is now on my must read list. So while we want a book to be perfect, and for the storyline to flow in a…