RT BOOK Reviews (basically, the Publishers Weekly of the romance industry) caught up with my Lady Jane’s Salon® co-founders, Leanna Renee Hieber and Ron Hogan, and I and offered to host us for a special VIP virtual Salon for September. (Our collective response–“Yes, please!!!”). Check out the under two-minute video, which includes Yours Truly reading from TEMPTING, out now in Spanish (ebook + print) as No se puede vivir sin amor.
This Tuesday, July 21st 7-9:30pm at Madame X, we at Lady Jane’s Salon® will welcome the 35th annual Romance Writers of America® national conference back to New York City. I say “back” because we’ve helped kick off the conference before, in 2011. Then we drew more than 125 attendees, including surprise guest, Eloisa James, and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, Laurie Kahn. Laurie and her crew from Blueberry Hill Productions filmed the Salon for her “Love Between the Covers” feature-length documentary film on the romance community. Check out the (less than four minute) footage from that crazy-fun night here.
Along with co-hosting the event, I’ll be reading a never before released sneak peek from Irish Eyes, my very first foray into Women’s Historical Fiction. Set in Gilded Age through Jazz Age New York City, the manuscript has been a true Labor of Love. I can’t wait to share the first chapter with everyone!
Or to help roll out our stellar lineup of guests: Sonali Dev, Dahlia Adler, Carrie Lomax, Laura K. Curtis, Nancy Scanlon, and Regina Kyle. The service staff at our ever fab venue, Madame X, stands at the ready to serve with $5-$6 drink specials (including super yummy “mocktails”). We also have terrific raffle prizes donated by some of the romance industry’s brightest established and rising stars.
Best of all, your $5 admission supports our annual donation to our house charity, Win, helping real-life NYC families find their own Happily Ever After. It doesn’t get any better than that. If you’re in town for #RWA15 or simply in town, please plan to be our guest!
Today (2/9) is your LAST DAY to get my Victorian set historical, TEMPTING for FREE, and I don’t want any of you, my dear readers, to miss out, especially when it’s all so perfectly simple and refreshingly easy. Download the awesome–and also #FREE–EverAfter Romance ebook app: http://bit.ly/12jLGry (iOS) & http://bit.ly/1wNJT9t (Android). In less than a minute, the book will appear on your shelf.
Already have the app? Even better, just enter Code: htfree
Still need help deciding? Enjoy this never before released snippet from TEMPTING.
TEMPTING, © Hope Tarr, That Book, Inc.
Simon paced from one end of the fringed foyer runner to the other, white-gloved hands folded behind him. Piles of paperwork awaited him on his desk and yet with time on his hands still he hadn’t managed to make heads or tails of any of it. A soft sound stalled his steps. Expecting Mrs. Griffith or one of the housemaids, he looked to the staircase. And saw Christine.
Garbed in a gown of saffron silk, her hair swept up into an intricate confection of ringlets, her bared shoulders held back to reveal every proud inch of her lithe frame, she graced him with a soft smile. “Simon.”
Descending, she seemed more fantasy than flesh-and-blood, an exquisite angel floating toward him despite the hint of a hitch to her step. The hall was chilly but, inside him, heat spiked. Like a sleepwalker, he felt himself moving toward her, every glib greeting and clichéd compliment fleeing his brain. Only one word remained.
She stepped off the landing, and he reached up to take her hand in his. “I’m not late, am I?”
That made him smile. Despite her finery, she was so unspoiled, so… dear. “To be truly fashionable, you should have kept me waiting for at least a half hour.” Realizing he still held onto her hand, he released it with regret.
Her smile dimmed. “Oh dear, I’ve gone about it all wrong again, haven’t I?”
Her words touched off the tenderness in his heart. “No, I’m glad you’re here.” He took the cape from her and hung it upon the hall tree. Turning back, he said, “I have a present for you.”
He led her over to the pier glass. Stepping behind her, he caught his first glimpse of her gown’s low back. All that beautiful bareness had him searching for his next breath.
Finding it, he said, “Close your eyes.”
She obeyed, and he reached into the inner pocket of his cutaway jacket and withdrew the black velvet box. “No peeking,” he chided, seeing her eyelid flicker. He snapped open the box. Withdrawing the necklace, he brought the gold chain about her throat.
“It’s cold.” She reached up, her fingertips brushing the pendant dangling just above the swell of her breasts.
“It was a long and rather bracing ride back from town,” he admitted.
“Your business was to buy me a gift?” Eyes still closed, she leaned back ever so slightly against him.
“It was.” He fumbled but finally fastened the clasp. He lingered a moment more, inhaling her sweet, clean scent, then stepped back. “Open your eyes.”
She did, and their gazes met in the mirror. She looked down at the necklace and uttered an exclamation of delight. “Oh, Simon, it’s fair near the same color as my gown. How did you know?”
“My spies are everywhere.” He winked, feeling light and young and altogether freer than he had in years, quite possibly ever. That the pendant complemented her gown was pure happenstance. He’d bought the amber because the color made him think of her eyes, eyes capable of capturing men’s hearts with a single, liquid look. “Do you like it?”
She whisked about to face him. “It’s the loveliest gift I’ve ever gotten.”
You’re the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen, he thought but didn’t dare say.
“I’m glad,” he said, both happy and humbled that his token had made her so happy.
She took a step back. “Do I look—” She faltered, brow furrowed, likely searching for one of the long, elegant words she shored up for such occasions. “Do I look…ravished?”
Accustomed as he’d become to the artful simpering of society beauties, Christine’s guilelessness was akin to being handed a glass of iced lemonade after hours of sun baked toil. Refreshing, delicious, sweet—and yet tartly tempting.
Pressing a hand to the small of her back, he felt her shiver against his fingertips. “Not yet…but then the evening is young.”
On January 5th, I had the pleasure (and honor!) of reading from OPERATION CINDERELLA at Lady Jane’s Salon®, the NYC-based romance reading series (the city’s first and still only!), which I co-founded…((gulp!))…six years ago. As always, the crimson clad venue, Madame X, was superb, our audience of dedicated romance readers, writers, and publishing professionals generous and supportive. Below is the short video. Please feel free to share it online with other readers. And if you haven’t yet, please download your FREE copy of Operation Cinderella from the e-tailer of your choice–Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play etc. We’ve had MORE THAN 250,000 downloads since the promo began in mid-December, with many of you going on to download the other Suddenly Cinderella series books as well. But, like all things, the giveaway won’t go on forever. The freebie ends 12 midnight, January 12th. Blessings & Happy 2015! Hope
Last summer I got the idea to celebrate this Valentine’s 2014 with a nonfiction anthology of romance authors, a sort of “Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul” for the post-Millennium to benefit one of my favorite charities: Win. I floated the idea by some of my favorite fellow authors and, voila, what began as a seed of an idea blossomed into an actual book.
In Scribbling Women and the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them, twenty-eight romance fiction writers, one for each day of February 2014, reveal their real-life stories of how they met, wed and love—and are loved and supported by—their spouses and life partners. At times whimsical and laugh-out-loud funny, at others poignant and bittersweet, all unfailingly inspiring, each essay celebrates that most powerful and sacred of human bonds: love.
If readers take away just one message from our anthology, I hope it will be this: Happily Ever After isn’t only the stuff of romance novels and fairy tales.
It is every woman’s birthright.
ALL net proceeds from sales of the anthology support Win. Founded on February 14, 1983—yes, Valentine’s Day—Win works to transform the lives of NYC’s homeless women and their children.
The official Scribbling Women & the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them book launch will take place at the fifth anniversary celebration of Lady Jane’s Salon, Monday, February 3, 2014 7-9 PM at Madame X.
Huzzah & Happy Valentine’s Month,
I’m just back from Chicago where I had the pleasure of reading SUGAR (Book #1, FATE Series, Skyhorse Publishing) at the Lady Jane’s Salon satellite in nearby Naperville on Oct 1st, my birthday eve, no less. This was my third time guesting at the Illinois based satellite run by romance writers Tracey Devlyn (also a co-founder of Romance University) and Adrienne Giordano, and as always I had a super fun time, including giving away complimentary copies of my TEMPTING and OPERATION CINDERELLA audiobooks courtesy of Audio Realms Publishing.
Then it was off to Chicago proper for a few days of birthday R&R. Highlights of our short and oh so sweet trip include stepping out on the ledge at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), taking an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River, trolling techie exhibits, many of them interactive, at the Museum of Science and Industry (so cool!), and stuffing our faces with an array of Chicago-style hot dogs, steaks from the original Morton’s, and Giordano’s rightly famous stuffed deep dish pizza.
Now it’s back to work time, ramping up for SUGAR to release on October 21st, writing CLAIMED BY THE ROGUE (my Regency-set single title historical for Samhain), and putting la touche finale on THE CINDERELLA SEDUCTION, the wrap-up to my Suddenly Cinderella Series for Entangled Publishing.
I could really use a slice of that pizza!
As many of you know, I co-founded and curate Lady Jane’s Salon, New York City’s first–and still only–monthly romance reading series now in our fifth year with six Salon satellites nationwide!
But enough of bragging on m/our “baby.”
The July Salon promises to be special indeed. I am not only co-hosting along with partners, Leanna Renee Hieber and Ron Hogan, but I am also guesting. I will share a snippet from SUGAR (Skyhorse, October 2013), my hard cover debut co-written with NYT bestseller Jenna Jameson. You can read a bit about the book in my previous post here. Former internationally famous adult entertainment actress, “Sugar” AKA Sarah Halliday leaves LA behind and returns to her native New York City to reinvent herself, creating a splash of sizzle and pop with the help of fun ex-AE friends and a certain sexy war hero turned CEO keen to explore his kinkier side.
Adding a paranormal twist to our unofficial theme of “bad” girls with hearts of gold, Kensington author Katana Collins will read from her sizzling debut, SOUL STRIPPER. Exotic dancer, Monica, doesn’t just break hearts–she sucks souls–but can this sexy succubus resist the lure of true love?
Megan Mulry will carry us to modern day England with her second novel, IF THE SHOE FITS. “Glass slippers were meant to broken”–huzzah and here here!
Author books will be available for purchase and autographing onsite courtesy of Posman Books.
I am writing this post from sunny Melbourne, the second stage of my Australian…progress. 😉
My tour started with the third annual Australian Romance Readers Conference, ARRC2013, in Brisbane where I was honored to present our first ever overseas Lady Jane’s Salon. Four fabulous guests (Cathy Maxwell, Keri Arthur, Amy Andrews & Anna Campbell), an enthusiastic audience of more than 100 attendees, and a bistro style setting cleverly created by conference coordinator Debbie Jay et al. contributed to a rousing success. Read more about the Salon program here.
Following Friday night’s Salon, I took off my co-founder cap and put on my author tiara. Panels and a book fair rounded out the week.
Around the conference, I managed to squeeze in trips to Carrumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Mount Tambourine with fellow author, Cathy Maxwell. Cuddling koalas, hoisting wine glasses, and dining on Moreton Bay “bugs” (trust me, they’re a delicacy) made for a spectacularly fun week. Many thanks to the delightful Megan Bamford for her extraordinary hospitality and hostessing skills.
Before leaving Brisbane for Melbourne, I stopped by the legendary Rosemary’s Romance Books and visited with proprietress extraordinaire, Rosemary Potter.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rosemary stateside over the years, usually at RT BOOK Lovers conferences but catching up in her beautiful store was truly special. Wood paneled book shelves, a fainting couch, and myriad romance novels, all meticulously cataloged and shelved, had me wishing I might make a day of my visit rather than an hour. Along with a huge hug, I left er with a stack of bookmarks for my Suddenly Cinderella series.
Tonight I am meeting local author Alison Stuart for a candlelit ghost walk of Melbourne city. Boo!
Next week, I depart for Sydney. Please stay tuned for an article on my Australian trip for the print version of RT BOOK Reviews magazine this summer.
In town for BEA or just plain in town? Please put Lady Jane’s on your after-party roster. Click here for deets on the Salon night program including our four great guest readers. Hint: they include regular Salon attendee and now fully minted author, Beatriz Williams!
This past week was rather…full. Or better yet, replete with lots of great opportunities to meet and interact with fellow writers and readers in both Milwaukee and Chicago.
Kicking off the fun fest was PW blogger Barbara Vey with her first Annual Readers’ Appreciation Luncheon in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. More than 200 readers and 38 authors including Cathy Maxwell, Roxanne St. Claire and Yours Truly congregated at the Oak Creek Community Center for a lovely catered luncheon. Heather Graham gave the fun keynote talk, regaling us with true tales far stranger than any fiction.
More than 38 author-donated raffle and door prizes were awarded including my “Tote of Tempting Treats” filled with an ARC of the Tempting audiobook and other goodies. Lastly, the guest authors signed our for sale books. Didn’t make it this year? No worries. Barbara’s already set the date for next year’s luncheon: April 27, 2013, location TBA. Indeed the sell-out event was so successful that next year’s will require an even larger venue. Way to go, Barbara!
Then it was off to Naperville, a Chicago suburb, for my guest reading at our satellite Salon, Lady Jane’s Salon Naperville. Founded by romance authors Tracey Devlyn and Adrienne Giordano in February 2012, the Salon is held every other month in the loft of Le Chocolat, a lovely local chocolate patisserie and coffee bar in downtown Naperville.
Just a few months’ old, the Salon already boasts a robust following of romance readers and writers. The April 10th event hosted five guest authors: Laurie London, Traci Hall, Tracey Devlyn (reading her romance debut, A Lady’s Revenge, Book #1 in the Nexus series), Cherry Adair, and yes, me, reading from Tempting. To learn more about the Naperville satellite and “Celebrate Differences,” the recipient charity, visit their website.
Last but in no way least came the RT BOOKLovers Convention. Highlights of the con included the Thursday E-Book & Graphic Novel Expo, workshops and panel talks by authors representing every Shade of Gray (so to speak) of romantic fiction, a mind boggling array of theme parties and costume events, and of course the renowned giganormous Saturday Book Fair, open to the public as well as convention attendees.
But there is indeed no place like home. After a week of glamor–or at least makeup, “real” clothes, and daily hair washings–I returned home to New York on Sunday evening pleasantly weary and wonderfully… replete, happy and blessed to be back to this writing life of sweat clothes’ wearing and copious cat cuddling and sitting down every day to write the books of my heart.