Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm a Fresh Pick at Fresh Fiction!!!

If you hop on over to the mega popular reader site FRESH FICTION, readers of this blog will see a familiar picture in the upper right-hand corner.

Deliver Me has won the prestigious honor of being chose as today's Fresh Pick. I am tickled pink.

According to the Fresh Fiction newsletter:

The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a purchased advertisement or promotion. We've picked this book because it appeals to us and we like to share our diverse tastes in reading and hope you'll give it a try.

What an honor! This is just as satisfying as all the great reviews Deliver Me has garnered over the past year. Thank you Fresh Fiction!

Monday, February 25, 2008

What, no do overs?

I am a big fan of second chances. Mainly because I mess up a lot.

One of the worst feelings is knowing that you've made a mistake and not being able to go back and correct it. I found myself in that uncomfortable predicament last week while reviewing the galley copy of my upcoming release Release Me.

Once the book is in galley form, you're only allowed to make the most minute corrections. No editorial changes are allowed, at least as far as my publishing house is concerned. It was extremely frustrating to read over the manuscript, notice things I could have done better, yet not be able to correct them. Seriously, if there was a bed of hot coals around, I would have offered to walk over them in exchange for making a few changes.

I'm a better writer than I was a year and a half ago, when I first turned in this book. Heck, I want to believe I'm a better writer than I was when I turned in my revisions back in November. I spotted an entire scene that I thought the book could do without, and countless sentences that I would have rewritten, or just scrapped completely. Why, oh why am I not allowed to go back and correct my many mistakes?

On the other hand, I could edit and revise a book to death if given the chance. Maybe it's better that once a book gets to this stage, there are no do overs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Mall or a Babysitting Service?

"I'm bored."

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this from my 15-year-old sister. Unfortunately for her, she lives out in the boonies, so she can't hop over to the movies, or the skating rink, or the mall like those city kids.

Well...actually, you can scratch off that last one, because at one local mall here in the New Orleans area, on weekends, from 4:00 p.m. until close, all kids under age 16 will have to be accompanied by a parent. Is that a radical move, or what? Apparently, the mall is tired of being used as a babysitting service (mall management words, not mine), and I can't say I blame them. I've been to this mall on a Saturday, and witnessed with my own eyes the complete chaos those unaccompanied minors can cause.

So what does this mean? Parents will actually have to spend time with their kids! Ouch!

What's my suggestion for the kids and parents who claim there's nothing for kids to do these days? As a writer, and an avid reader, my first thought is always READ A BOOK! Books are good. They're fun. They can bring you to places way more exotic than the mall. What's wrong with bringing your kid to the bookstore or library? In fact, you can read the same book and then discuss it.

Even for those who don't enjoy reading, (besides feeling sorry for you) I can think of a number of other options. Instead of giving them twenty bucks to go hang out at the mall, why not take that money to catch a movie together, or go out for a burger and spend an hour talking about what's going on in their lives? Why not break out Scattergories, Taboo, or a deck of Uno cards, and hold a game night?

Next time your teen complains that there's nothing to do, don't send them to the free babysitter, aka the mall. Actually do something with them. You may discover that you actually enjoy their company.

Or, maybe you won't, but that should be your problem, not the mall's or its patrons.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Please, no pictures.

I’m not sure what it is these days, but I think my subconscious has me purposely shying away from cameras. In the past week, I’ve had perfect picture opportunities and have walked away with zilch in the photo department.

The first was at an awesome five-author book signing this past weekend at a huge Barnes & Noble mega-store. The event, which was called “Romancing February” in honor of Valentine’s Day, was my first Barnes & Noble book signing, which I consider a pretty big deal. So, why didn’t I think to snap just a few shots to preserve this grand event for prosperity?

Last night, I participated in another Valentine’s Day celebration. It was called Hearts Afire, and again, featured a panel of romance writers. Last night was about more than signing books. I actually had to speak. Yikes.

After I gave the fifteen minute version of my writing journey, and listened to fellow romance authors Metsy Hingle, Nancy Wagner, and Robin Wells do the same, I got to mingle with aspiring writers and readers. It was the perfect picture taking opportunity. Where was my camera? Stuffed in my bag.

I just don’t get it. Maybe if I start walking around with the camera hanging around my neck, I’ll remember to snap a few pictures every now and then. Until then, I’ll have to paint the picture with words.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

2008 Emma Awards

Yesterday, the nominees for the 2007 Emma Awards were announced and I am on the list! The Emma Awards is named after the co-founder of the Romance Slam Jam Conference, Emma Rodgers, and will be handed out at the 2008 Conference in Chicago.

It is seriously cool to be in the company of such awesome writers. Congratulations to all the nominees. See you all in Chicago!

Here's the list:

Favorite Anthology
Big Spankable Asses by Angie Daniels, Kimberly Kaye Terry, and Lisa G. Riley
Creepin’ by L. A. Banks, Donna Hill, Monica Jackson, and J. M. Jeffries
Cuffed By Candlelight by Beverly Jenkins, Gwyneth Bolton, Katherine D. Jones
Love For All Seasons by A. C. Arthur, Barbara Keaton, Sapphire Blue, and Maureen Smith

Favorite Hero
Blade Navarone from Only You by Francis Ray
Flex from Sweet Sensation by Gwyneth Bolton
Merrick Grayslake from Stranger In My Bed by Rochelle Alers
Reese Anthony from Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins

Favorite Heroine
Camille Davis from A Cinderella Affair by A.C. Arthur
Justine Crandall from In Another Man’s Bed by Francis Ray
Sierra Grayson from Only You by Francis Ray
Skye Barclay from Slow Burn by Brenda Jackson
Teresa July from Wild Sweet Love by Beverly Jenkins

Favorite Inspirational
Guilty of Love by Pat Simmons
Redemption by Jacquelin Thomas
The Ex Files by Victoria Christopher Murray
The Pastor’s Woman by Jacquelin Thomas

Favorite Novel
A Cinderella Affair by A.C. Arthur
Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins
Only You by Francis Ray
Wild Sweet Love by Beverly Jenkins
Working Man by Melanie Schuster

Favorite Novella
Handcuffs Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry by Gwyneth Bolton
Payback’s A Bitch by L. A. Banks
Prisoner by Beverly Jenkins

Favorite Sequel
A Cinderella Affair by A.C. Arthur
A Lovers Mask by AlTonya Washington
Ian’s Ultimate Gamble by Brenda Jackson
Only You by Francis Ray
Stranger In My Arms by Rochelle Alers

Favorite Steamy
Ridin’ the Rails by Kimberly Kaye Terry
Risky Pleasures by Brenda Jackson
Taming The Wolf by Maureen Smith
Whisper Something Sweet by Deatri King-Bey

Favorite Suspense
Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins
Ebony Angel by Deatri King-Bey
Serial Affair by Natalie Dunbar
Whisper My Name by Maureen Smith
Whispers In The Dark by Denise Jeffries

Cover of the Year
Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins
Just Can’t Get Enough by Cheris Hodges
No Commitment Required by Seressia Glass
Ridin’ the Rails by Kimberly Kaye Terry
Whisper Something Sweet by Deatri King-Bey

Debut Author of the Year
Carmein Canton - Not His Type
Farrah Rochon - Deliver Me
LaConnie Taylor Jones - When I’m With You
Pamela Yaye - Other People’s Business
Savannah J. Frierson - Being Plumville

Author of the Year
A.C. Arthur
Beverly Jenkins
Brenda Jackson
Dyanne Davis
Francis Ray

Friday, February 01, 2008

Guest Blogging with Stefanie Worth

If you have a spare minute or two, hop on over to my fellow Dorchester buddy Stefanie Worth's blog. I have an interview there where I discuss my upcoming novel, RELEASE ME, among other things.