Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Fling Book Signing!

Do you live in or near Chicago? Would you like to meet Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Courtney Milan, Erica O'Rourke, Blythe Gifford, or one of over 75 authors, including--best of all--ME?

Well, have I got a deal for you! This Saturday, April 28th, from 2:30 until 4 p.m. at the Chicago Marriott Northwest (4800 Hoffman Boulevard, Hoffman Estates, IL  60192), over 75 romance authors will signing books, handing out chocolate and other goodies, and generally being as thrilled as heck to see you! And no, that's not just me. I'll have bookmarks for A Man of Privilege, copies of both A Man of His Word and Eleanore Gray (the inspirational historical my grandmother wrote) and lots and lots of Hershey's Kisses! Plus--bonus--I will have on the hat AND boots! What more could you want?

All the details are here, so make plans to stop by, meet some fabulous authors, and get some autographed books. And remember--it's never too early to start Christmas shopping!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction

What is Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction? (I swear, if you said 'where she auctions off some diabetes,' I'm coming after you.) But seriously, it's this online auction--like eBay, but all for charity--where authors, agents, and editors donate time and things to be auctioned off, with all the proceeds going to fighting diabetes. One of my bestest friends has had diabetes since she was in sixth grade; my brother-in-law was recently diagnosed. So this is an issue I'm pretty close to.

I first heard about Brenda Novak's auction because it was the key plot point, if you will, in the success story of Courtney Milan. Courtney won the auction to have best-selling author Sherry Thomas read her query letter. The query letter was so bad, and attempts at revision were so unproductive, that Sherry finally told Courtney to send her the book, and she'd just write the query letter herself. While the query was terrible, the book was amazing, Sherry forwarded it to her agent, Courtney got signed, and a six-figure, three-book deal landed in her lap. (More or less. I'm neither Courtney or Sherry, so this is all paraphrasing, to say the least.)

In other words, my first impression of the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction was that it made dreams come true. However, whenever the annual auction came around, I was never in a place where I could bid on an agent critique, or an editor review. True, there are lots (and lots and lots) of other things to buy--even trips to Africa!--but I always got outbid. Darn it!

This year, though, I'm finally in a position to donate not by buying, but by giving. So, to that end, I'm thrilled to announce that I have donated a signed copy of A Man of His Word, a pair of sterling-silver earrings, and a critique of the first three chapters of an unpublished manuscript with bonus follow-up phone call! (Although email is good, too. Either way).

Bidding opens on May 1st and closes on May 31st. In the past, bids jump up in the beginning, then tend to sit there for a few weeks before going nuts in the last few days. However, to combat this slump, I've challenged author Melissa Cutler, who's donating an ARC of her debut cowboy story, to an Author Bid Showdown--whoever gets the highest bid gets the biggest bragging rights!

In other words, I love trash-talkin', and Melissa loves trash-talkin', and we're going to hone our trash-talkin' skills on each other. For Charity, baby!

So stay tuned, and check out all the wonderful items you can bid on at Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mystic Cowboy SOLD!

So, a lot's been going on. I have Desire books coming out in July (A Man of Privilege), September (A Man of Distinction), February (The Rancher's Valentine), July (Bolton Boys Book 1), and September (Bolton Boys Book 2), with Bolton Boys Book 3 waiting in the wings.

Whew, right?

But something else happened not too long ago that I've been sitting on. Quietly. Which, I can assure you, has taken a considerable amount of restraint on my part. I've very much felt like my six-year-old son trying not to tell his father what he picked out for him for Christmas.

In other words, it hasn't been pretty. For almost eight weeks.

But now the e-ink is dry. (I guess? Darned new-fangled technology, confusing the heck out of me all the time!) (And, just to round out my old-fart rant, YOU KIDS STAY OFF MY LAWN!) And I can finally announce the awesome news!

Mystic Cowboy SOLD! It'll be published by Samhain on January, 2013!

I wrote Mystic Cowboy in 2009. Agents loved it. I got some positive feedback from editors, but any positive feedback was paired with statements such as, "But it's not right for us" or "I don't know how it would sell." In other words, they loved it, but they had no idea how to handle a book with where the hero is a medicine man who lives in a tent down by the river (but totally not in a Chris Farley/SNL way. Totally not.)

Yeah. I can see how that might be a tough sell.

But--and this is a big BUT--I loved this book. Rebel, the hero, is sinfully delicious. Two whole chapters focus on skinny dipping, people! What's not to love about this book? Shirtless cowboys who are Indians on horseback!

And the thing was, other people still loved this book. When my agent, Jill Marsal, signed me, she didn't sign me for a Desire. She signed me for Mystic Cowboy. She believed in this book. And I believed in her.

So she took it out for an editoral spin. Meanwhile, I kept writing Desires. I have multiple deadlines these days.

None of the traditional publishers bit. It was more of the same. I had been hoping that, since I now had a sales record from my Desires, that I would be a better risk. But no. Nothing.

So Jill and I discussed our options, and her position was that this book could be somewhere, doing something for me. I wouldn't get that coveted 3-book, 6-figure deal, but Mystic Cowboy could be out there, attracting new readers and building my brand name. I agreed. As much as I loved this book, it wasn't doing me any favors on my computer.

So we started to submit it to what's known as 'non-traditional' publishers--publishers who aren't as big as St. Martin's, for example, but have more nimbly moved into the digital age.

Samhain, in the form of editor Heidi Moore, didn't see 'hard to sell' when she read Mystic Cowboy. She saw a good book.

So she bought it. SHE BOUGHT Mystic Cowboy!

Here's the blurb:

The White Sandy Reservation needs a doctor, and Madeline Mitchell needs to do a little good in the world. It seems like a perfect fit, until she meets the medicine man, Rebel Runs Fast. As far as Madeline can tell, Rebel's sole mission is to convince her patients that modern medicine can't help them.  And the fact that he makes her heart race every time he looks at her only irritates her more.

Rebel swore off the white man's world--and women--years ago. But he's never met a woman like Dr. Mitchell. She doesn't speak the language, understand the customs, or believe he's anything more than a charlatan--but she stays, determined to help his people. He tries to convince himself that his tribe doesn't need her, but when patients start getting sick with strange symptoms, he realizes that he needs her more than ever. 

Pretty good, huh? I'm so excited that this book will be published that it's been driving me nuts to have to wait and tell you all about it!

So the e-book version will be published this upcoming January, and then the print version will be available at some point later in the year, maybe around October. (Why? Well, Samhain is a non-traditional, e-first publisher. It's okay. Don't panic! We all need a little time to get used to new things.) (And stay off my lawn!)

So now, the publishing schedule includes Mystic Cowboy, and I couldn't be happier about having another deadline to meet.

I'm so excited!