Monday, March 19, 2018

The Sisterhood* of Romance Authors

* Apologies up front to the many, many talented gentlemen who also write romance. When I speak of Sisterhood for the purposes of this post, I'm speaking about any and all of the dedicated authors of this feel-good, heart pounding genre. So fellows, welcome to the fold!

When I first began writing romance in the early 1990s my first thought was ... writing is a fairly solitaire existence. Then, I discovered Romance Writers of America and, more specifically, my local chapter, Greater Detroit RWA. And, just like that, I was a member of the pack!

Despite years of working in a large corporate environment where I developed many friendships, I'd never felt as welcome as I did at that first chapter meeting. It was like I'd found three dozen soulmates all at one time!

I attended my first national conference in 1993 and upped that soulmate count into the hundreds. What struck me most as a relative newbie was the willingness to help another writer, the instant friends ... not something I was used to in a business environment.

Over the course of the years following that first conference, many things have changed. The romance market has evolved drastically, the outlets for publication multiplied, the avenues for promotion limited only by the author's imagination.

Despite all the friendships, the support, and the advances, the romance industry ... like any other big business ... has had its bad moments, its dark sides.

Book piracy has become a huge business with unscrupulous thieves selling off an author's hard work for bargain prices.

Plagiarism is a serious issue with entire books stolen and reissued in another author's name.

Review sites are filled with angry, mean-spirited people who spend a good portion of their day bad mouthing books they've not even read.

As if all of these issues weren't enough to taint a profession we all know and love, we've now become a home to bullies. A recent incident has brought to light a horrific case of multi-author bullying of another romance professional/cover artist. Although names have not yet been released, I trust that they will eventually come out into the open.

These bullies do not deserve a career in romance.

I encourage all readers to get to know the authors you like to read. Support them with positive reviews, follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for their newsletters. Let's keep this genre the positive, loving environment it has always been.

Authors are hard-working and dedicated to their craft and to the support of other authors and industry professionals. They deserve the same happy ending they give their characters but without the angst!

Peace and love to all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Love Letters by @lyncrandallwriter

© publicdomainstockphotos
ID 84976177 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The most written and spoken love letters are those in the phrase I love you. They contain a lot of power, especially when they are spoken with clarity, sincerity, and truth.

The sentiment is expressed in so many ways, from baking a blueberry pie for a loved one to sitting quietly on the side of hill and holding hands. Creatives seek to express concepts of love in sculpture, painting, photography, music, dance, and all types of media. Writers write books defining and exploring the variety of love. Poets write poetry about love. All of these expressions are gifts to the world in the name of love.

So today I decided to bring expressions of love to this blog post. We all have reasons on a regular basis to feel discouraged, angry, bitter, hurt, bored, confused, jealous, etc. But if love is the best of things, it can be the ground we walk on every day.

Here is a selection of my favorite expressions of love. Some are from my Pinterest boards. You'll find these and other beautiful things in my boards. I update them regularly. If you like what you see, please follow me and I'll follow you back.

All but three of these are the creation of another writer or artist, not me. Some of these are to my husband. One is a note he wrote to me for Valentine's Day.

 MC and I have been together a long time. He is beautiful to me.

My favorite.

ID 92173816 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Please share images or thoughts that are meaningful to you about love. I'd be so happy for you share.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Best-Laid Plans by Jan Scarbrough

With retirement looming, I had plenty of plans. I’d write every day and finish the next book quickly. Every morning, I’d write for four hours. Easy-peasy.

Then life intervened—of course. The husband got the flu. I got a sinus infection. There were appointments and a trip out of town for a wedding.

But the biggest problem with my best-laid plans has been writer’s block. I have my characters and their conflict. I know the happily-ever-after ending. But getting from page one to THE END is the predicament. In fact, writing this blog is a form of writer’s block—putting off what I need to do.

I know what that is. I need to put butt in chair, open the document, and write through the block. I need to write junk, just to get it down. Then I can always go back and polish. My editor will edit the manuscript and suggest changes. It will be okay. But getting those first words down is the big, big problem.

So much for best-laid plans.

From Wikipedia: “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785” is a Scots Language poem written by Robert Burns in 1785 and was included in the Kilmarnock volume. According to legend, Burns was ploughing in the fields and accidentally destroyed a mouse's nest, which it needed to survive the winter. In fact, Burns' brother claimed that the poet composed the poem while still holding his plough.
From the poem:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What Are You Reading? #Giveaway #Free #Discount

March is National Reading Month. What are you reading? 
What? It's National Reading Month and you have exhausted your TBR pile? Have read through all of the books in your Kindle, and have lost the paperback in your purse? No worries. Let's find you some books!
This seems the perfect time to kickstart some promotional opportunities so that readers have access to a variety of FREE and discounted ebooks. There are several multi-author promotions going on right now and I'm involved in a few. I'll highlight them below with links to more information on my blog and elsewhere.

Read an Ebook Week is March 4 – 10 at SMASHWORDS. Both my Sophie Jacobs and Maddie James catalogs at Smashwords are entered into this promotion. Six (6) of my ebooks are FREE! Corporate Cowboy is 75% off (just $1), and the rest of the catalogs are 50% off. Remember, these deals are at Smashwords only.



I’ve also teamed up with 35 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of romantic women’s novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner! You can win my novel TEMPT ME, plus books from authors like K.M. Jackson and Amy E. Reichert. 


TAME MY HEART by Sophie Jacobs 
Just Released * 99 cents * Limited Time
Books 6 - Harbor Falls Romance

Maddie James writes steamier contemporary cowboys and romantic suspense (sometimes with a splash of paranormal). Sophie Jacobs writes sweeter contemporary romance and women's fiction. You can find them both at 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

FEAR OF PHOTOS by Hannah Rowan

In this age of constant selfies and people snapping photos of every event with their phones, I still can’t seem to relax and act naturally when someone is taking my picture.  And yet I needed a picture for my blog and for a possible website and various other things authors need pictures for.  Until now I’ve been cropping the rare photos family members take, resulting in very blurry and very old pictures.

The first time I had a picture taken for the humor column I used to write for our local paper, I concluded that either the editor hated me and chose the worst one of the bunch, or the rest were so horrible she couldn’t print them in a family newspaper. I was horrified when someone actually recognized me in the grocery store because she’d seen my picture in the paper because, I concluded, that must mean I really looked like that.

In general my pictures feature what my friend calls “the deer in the headlights look” because I’m trying to pop my eyes open so I don’t look all squinty the way I do when I smile.

So last week I went off to a professional photographer ( recommended by friends in my writing group.  I loved their pictures!  And she assured me she’d be able to help me relax.

In truth, I did enjoy meeting her and doing the photo session.  She took me to a beautiful park where I could focus on watching people walk their dogs instead of thinking about how I looked. She said all those things photographers say like “beautiful,” and “tilt your head just a bit…perfect!”  I had great confidence in a good outcome.

The problem came when she sent me the proofs.

And my goodness, that’s not what I see when I look in the mirror!  Where did those wrinkles come from?  And my hair—I was sure I combed it.  What’s all that extra stuff around my waist?  Did someone stuff a pillow in there when I wasn’t looking?

So now I have a new photo my daughter assures me is “cute” and I can ditch the one that someone took when I was gardening twenty-something years ago.

I’ll have to put it up on my various social media pages.

And then I’m going to Google plastic surgeons.

Subscribe to this Blog!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner