Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Great Cause!

Not sure if you guys have heard about the horrible loss in the online romance community. Fatin, a familiar "face" around the blogs, etc, lost her husband in a convenience store robbery. You can read more about it here. Anyway, the romance community has rallied and there is an amazing auction going on right now to benefit Fatin and her family. I donated books, and tons of other authors have ARCs, lunches, critiques, you name it. You can check it on ebay here.

We are finally getting some nice weather around here, but wouldn't you know it...I'm stuck inside doing revisions. Sigh.

Anyone other than Highland Hussy going to be in Los Angeles for RT next week?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's Your Sure Thing?

I happened to have PBS on Saturday morning and got sucked into watching a new version of Les Miserables--the Twenty-fifth Anniversary concert filmed at the O2 a few months ago. The picture is of two Valjeans (including the amazing Colm Wilkinson) and Nick Jonas as Marius. Who knew, but Nick (one of the Jonas brothers) started out on Broadway years ago playing the little boy Gavroche when he was only 9 years old! He was AWESOME.

Now to fully appreciate this story you have to know something about me--I'm a not so in the closet show tunes geek. I love musical theater, and Les Mis is right up there with Jesus Christ Superstar as my favorite. I've seen it at least a half-dozen times in the theater, and I own not one but two copies of the 10th Anniversary concert DVD (my kids were watching the other one so much I had to get my own, LOL). I told my kids if Broadway every calls, they'll have to fend for themselves. Since they've heard me sing, they aren't too worried.

There's one thing you can count on when I watch Les Mis. No matter how many times I watch it, I cry at two parts (when Fauntine dies and at the end when Valjean dies) EVERY time. It kills my husband. He thinks it's hilarious. It's not like I don't know what's coming. But it something about the lyrics and the voices, I don't know--it gets me.

There are a couple movies that are guaranteed tear-jerkers for me, too: The Notebook, Brian's Song, and Love Story.

It got me thinking about what drew me to romances. I love emotion. I love when an author can make my gut clench or make me care so much that I find myself crying along with the heroine when things *look* like they're not going to work out. Emotion is the magic for me. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does . . . that's my idea of a keeper. Judith McNaught was a master of this. Susan Elizabeth Phillips does it to me pretty often, too. Lisa Kleypas almost always makes my heart tug.

What about you? What are your "sure things?" Or are you not a crier?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Little Irish Jig For You!

The entire McCarty clan is looking forward to this movie! Having just gone through the process of purchasing my daughter's first solo dress, it definitely hits home. My favorite line: "It's like a Shirley Temple convention."

I had no idea this world existed until about three years ago, but to say we've been sucked in is to put it mildly. This is Irish dancing busy season, LOL, and tonight my daughter will be doing a performance in a local pub, which is convenient for mom and dad. :) So happy St. Patty's day!

And there's nothing like a good review to put a smile on my face. Check out this great one for THE RANGER on TGTBTU. Gotta love an A+!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Viper's Book is Done!

On Friday I hit "send" and sent THE VIPER on its way to my editor. There really is nothing like the feeling of finishing a book. This was actually my twelfth book (I have two Regency set historicals that I finished before I sold) and it hasn't changed much from the first to the twelfth. It's kind of this odd mix of relief and excitement. I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait for you guys to read it. I'll be posting a blurb soon--and hopefully a cover won't be too far behind.

Anyone else getting excited for spring? I know it's still a ways away, but with "Spring forward" so early this year I think I'm doing a little anticipating. I can't believe St. Patty's Day is just around the corner. I'm sure we'll be doing the usual with a round of Irish dancing performances for my daughter (and plenty of Guinness for Mom and Dad :)).

On a different note, I was thrilled to get a message from the ladies at The Romance Reviews that both THE CHIEF and THE HAWK were nominated for Best Historical of the Year. If you are so inclined, you can vote here.

Anyway, just wanted to do a quick update to let you know why it was quiet around here last week. On Monday it's on to book #5!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

E-Reader Check-In

It's been a while since I blogged about e-readers, and I thought it would be a good time to check in. I've had my kindle for over two years now, and the love affair is nowhere close to being over. I still buy some paper books--mostly friends' books and hardbacks that I know I'll want to pass on to my husband and/or look at the pictures. For example, I recently bought the paper versions of the new biography of Mickey Mantle (The Last American Boy), and Unbroken, by Laura Hilldebrand. [As an aside: If you haven't read Unbroken yet, I highly highly recommend it. You'll draw a lot of attention if you take it out. I've never had so many people come up to me in the gym and tell me how much they loved that book, LOL.] But the Kindle is hard to beat for ease, convenience, and instant gratification. I'd estimate 75% of my book purchases are e-books.

From the discussions online and the articles in the newspapers and industry rags, you'd think that everyone had jumped on the e-book bandwagon, but I think the numbers of e-reader owners are still relatively small (but growing). So how about you . . . do you own an e-reader (if so which one). If you don't, do you want one? Or are you happy with paper books and determined to resist all the hubbub?

There had been one interesting--and I think very exciting--development out of all this. Self e-publishing has become a very viable option for authors. I have a friend who is NY published with a major house but has also published a number of books on her own though Kindle, Smashwords, etc. She is having ENORMOUS success (can I stress enormous!). Self-publishing in the past year or so has really exploded, and I think has become a very exciting way to get books in front of readers that otherwise wouldn't have been published. For example, finishing a series that a publisher has declined to continue, or an author who's been let go by one house and unable to catch on with another, etc.

Anyway, just thought I'd check in and get your take!