Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy News!

by Andrea

Can you hear the high-pitched squealing from over there? (wherever "there" is for you)

I just heard from my editor(!) that my contemporary, interracial romance, Baltimore Heat, will be published on April 25, 2012! SQUEEEEE!

Here's a little blurb to introduce you to Raquel and Marcus:

At the end of a busy workweek, young businesswoman Raquel Walsh merely wants to shorten the distance between her and the train station while she searches for a taxi. She never expects to find herself lost in a rough Baltimore neighborhood, the victim of a mugging and the unexpected houseguest of the grandmother of a retired, professional basketball player.

Marcus Jones isn’t in the market for a new woman as he nears the end of his self-imposed year of celibacy after his vicious breakup with his last gold-digging girlfriend. Having to play host to a homeless woman for the weekend is messing with his plans, as Raquel distracts him with her curvy, womanly figure and her tendency to land on her face.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Welcome Back Genevieve Graham!

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Genevieve Graham back to the Authorial Moms Blog--her debut book, Under the Same Sky, is out and I have to tell you, I loved it! Take it away, Genevieve!

I’m Proud Of All My Babies

As a mom, there’s nothing on earth as moving as watching your child do something truly wonderful. It can be something as fantastic as performing on stage or something as sublime as holding a door open for someone. Or it could be when your toddler first switches from “no” to “please”. Baby steps, right?

Then one day, someone comes to you and says something like, “I just wanted to tell you how much I like your child. She’s so respectful/funny/happy/smart/polite/whatever.” The first time someone said something like that to me I thought I might burst, my grin was so big. Once I got over that incredible high, the realization settled into something even more satisfying, though on a different level: I had something to do with that.

Sure, there will always be someone who says your kid is too noisy/mopey/whiney/wild/whatever. Critics, right? Everyone’s a critic.

In my editing business, I regard everyone’s novel as if it were their “baby”. I understand the love, the pride, the connection that exists between an author and their book, and I know that submitting a novel to an editor is scary—like the first day of school. Will my kid be popular? Will they be a wallflower? Will they fit in or is the teacher going to call me about their bouncing uncontrollably outside the box?

My husband and I have two beautiful daughters, 11 and 13 years old. They’re hardly babies. But I have an announcement: I have a newborn, too.

No diapers, no 2 a.m. feedings, but this one has me almost as excited. Like our girls, they were created from nothing but love, though the labour was hard work and took a little longer.

Under the Same Sky is my debut novel. And all of a sudden people are coming to me saying things like, “I just wanted to tell you how much I love your book.” I’m so proud of the book: the characters I love, the story that raked me over the coals, the settings that made me long for a vacation … and I’m proud of myself.

Sarah knows what I’m talking about. Her debut novel, A Man Of His Word met with terrific reviews! Congrats, Sarah!

I didn’t write Under the Same Sky until after I turned forty. I was so busy with our kids that I didn’t even read much until a few years ago. I’d never imagined myself as an author, but having started, I can’t stop. I love to write, to create, to bring new characters and stories into the world. When readers connect to those stories then feel compelled to recommend the book to a friend … well, I don’t think the thrill will ever fade.

Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters. Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, Under the Same Sky.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Emma Lai Guest Post

Today I'm welcoming author Emma Lai to the Authorial Moms blog! Emma is a super Twitter friend--I highly recommend following her. Take it away, Emma!

I’m one of those women who thought she’d never had a child. Then at thirty, we decided if we were going to be parents, we had to give it the old college try. A couple of years went by, jobs changed and the end of grad school was in sight, but still no baby.

 I took a year off to study for comprehensives, got bored and decided to write a story. After much encouragement and pressure from my wonderful family, I submitted, and lo and behold, I received an offer for His Ship, Her Fantasy: Mates of the Guardians Book 1, a short launched by the image of a woman talking to a space ship. Oh, the possibilities.

Wonderful news quickly eclipsed by finding out I was pregnant. (Of course this occurred the week after I accepted I wasn’t going to be a mother and instead would concentrate on growing my fledgling writing career.)

There was no morning sickness, no fatigue or cravings (except for beans, which is no hard thing to satisfy), but there was a horrible fog that seemed to keep my bottom firmly ensconced on the couch while an endless stream of movies played out on the television.

Somehow I managed to write another short, His Hope, Her Salvation: Mates of the Guardians Book 2 (inspired by the image of a desperate woman walking in on a couple in the throes of passion), but then baby was here, and the fog became impenetrable. I have only the vaguest of recollections of the first five or so months of my little one’s life. During a lucid moment, I managed to crank the following out.

Superwoman, I am not.
Baby needs
Changing, feeding, play.
Rinse and repeat.

Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?
Oh yeah, a mom must eat, too.
Dishes pile up.
Laundry never stops.

What is dusting?
What is sweeping?
What is vacuuming?
Do the chores never end?

Where does it go?
Oh, that’s right.
Baby needs
Changing, feeding, play.
Rinse and repeat.

Then after the fifth month, the lights came back on, the “nobody’s home” sign was put aside, and I started writing again.

The funny thing is that though baby is now toddler the above poem still applies. So, when do I find to write? Sometimes it’s only thirty minutes here or there. Other times, dear hubby takes charge and I get hours. There’s no happy formula for me. No actual “rinse and repeat” for my daily schedule. But I have somehow managed to make it through the first couple of years with only a few additional gray hairs, a healthy and happy son and multiple published shorts and novellas under my belt.

Coming in April, His Capture, Her Rescue: Mates of the Guardians Book 3.

Masquerading as an American, Eallair, a Guardian Steward from another world, is searching Victorian England for the kidnapped mate of a fellow Guardian. When he meets Miss Harriet Cartwright, he knows her for the spirited, intelligent mate he has longed to find.

Since the death of their parents, Harriet has used her intelligence and sharp tongue to guard her sister from fortune hunters, but now that Prudence is close to choosing a husband, Harriet can consider her own future—one hopefully filled with adventure. When she meets Eallair, an American rancher who likes to travel and isn’t put off by her outspokenness, she is intrigued.

But before Harriet and Eallair can explore their attraction, she and her sister are kidnapped. While Eallair scours the countryside for them, Harriet discovers Eallair’s off-world origins. Now she must decide: just how much adventure does she want in her future? 

Twitter: @emmalaiwrites

Thursday, January 19, 2012


by Andrea

Brrrrr...baby, it's cold outside!

Here on the Lakeshore in Western Michigan the current temp is 14, which has fallen from our morning high of 25. Add the wind chill and we are at a chilly -1 degree with temps to continue falling today.

So with temperatures so brutal, I decided it was the perfect day to have a fire in the family room as I cuddle up with my laptop and write some romantic scenes. Great idea, but two problems. First, we have no newspaper in the house. I mean, who actually gets a newspaper delivered anymore when everything is online? Second, my wood was still outside under the deck, covered in snow and ice. We never brought any in yet this year.

But this would not deter me as I set out to execute the image in my mind of sitting toasty and dry next to the fire with my tea at hand.

After several trips up from the basement with the wood (we reach out the basement window and grab it from under the deck) and the fireplace tools, I realized it was time for the annual clean out of the old ashes. (I did mention that we hadn't had a fire yet this year, right?) I scooped the old stuff out and looked up to check the chute. Uh, oh. It had been left open all year. I diverted my thoughts and refused to estimate what that had cost us in heating and cooling expenses.

So I had my wet and frozen logs, a bucket of wood scraps from hubby's workshop for kindling, and...no newspaper. I looked in the recycling box under the kitchen sink and grabbed a couple of pieces of white paper. On the way back into the family room, I caught sight of the school's newspaper that my eldest had brought home the other night and left on the coffee table. Thank you, Andrew! Real newspaper.

At this point, I really wanted my hubby home. He's magic with kindling... Anyway, I get everything set up and light the paper.

I love the flame of paper. It gives me such hope that my logs will catch fire and all will be right in the world. But alas, no. Once the paper and the kindling burned out, I had no roaring fire. It took another twenty minutes of futzing with kindling to get something even close to resembling a true fire. I'm hoping as the logs dry the rest of the burning will go better today.

Firestarter, I am not.
I could really have used some Drew Barrymore help.

If you haven't seen this oldie, but goldie movie, circa 1984, first read the book by Stephen King.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tools to help with Resolutions

by Andrea

Happy New Year!

This year I'm keeping my resolutions simple:

Write more - Eat less!

And I've got two tools to help me succeed because isn't it always more fun when we have a new toy...err tool to work with.

For my writing resolution, I've recently purchased Scrivener for my Mac. It is a project management tool for writers. It does so much more than a word processing program. I can keep all my chapters, scenes, character profile sheets, setting profiles, inspirational pictures, research files, etc. altogether in a single project file.

It has a really flexible window arrangement so I can customize what information I want on screen while I write. If I don't want any distractions, I can enter the Compose mode where I have my page and a serene background of my choice. I've uploaded my favorite picture of the Grand Haven lighthouse for my background. Lovely!

One of my favorite features of the program is that it remembers where I left off during my last writing session. So when I open my project, the blinking cursor is exactly where I left off - no more scrolling through hundreds of pages to find my spot.

For my resolution to eat less, I've returned to an app I found last year. It's called My Fitness Pal. It can be used online or on a smartphone, iPod, iPad, etc. It's a great way to track the food I've eaten because it counts calories for me. It suggests how many calories I should eat a day based on my goals, and I can customize the number if I want. It tracks exercise too and let's me know how many extra calories I've earned. :D

But it's more than just a calorie tool. It also has a Community tool to allow you to reach out to other people striving to eat less and reach a healthy weight. Currently, my mom and I are "friends", and we can see if the other hasn't logged in for a few days and send a message of support or congratulations for pounds lost.

So what are your resolutions this year? And what tools are you using to help yourself achieve them?

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I'm thrilled! The A Man of His Word Blog Tour is over (yes, that is thrilling!) and I've chosen the winner of the custom-made Locket of Love by Artwear from Wanaree!

And the winner is....

Laurie G! Laurie commented on several blogs, but the winning number (which, if you're curious, was #170, chosen randomly by random.org) was on The Writing Playground!

Didn't win a copy of A Man of His Word? Never fear! There are still copies to be had! My cousin, author David Alan Lucas, is giving away a copy on his blog, Coffee with David, so be sure to comment there, too!

And, of course, you can still buy A Man of His Word online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as a few other places. It won't be available in stores (that's just the nature of the game, folks), but it'll live online for a while longer!

As for me, it's time to dig into a new story. After this extensive blog tour, I'm going to take the month of January off from blogging and get to work on the next story--you're going to LOVE J.R. and Thalia!

And don't forget A Man of Privilege (click here for a preview) and A Man of Honor (click here for yet another preview!) will be here in July and September--it'll be here before we know it!

Thank you so much for joining me on this wild, fun ride. You've made my writing debut a special, wonderful time, and I'll never forget it!