Announcing Scribbling Women & the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them

Scribbling Women_FC_300Last 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.

Contributors include May McGoldrick. Katharine Ashe, Deanna Raybourn, Jacquie D’Alessandro, Leanna Renee Hieber and Lisa Renée Jones.  For a full list of contributors, visit our website.

Buy the book digitally from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords for just $2.99. Or order a commemorative print edition for under $10.

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,

Hope

Last Night’s GAAs & Author of the Year!

Hope Accepting Award_9-12-13Last night was the Golden Apple Awards, the annual industry awards event sponsored by the New York City chapter of The Romance Writers of America. I was–and am–thrilled and honored to have been chosen by the membership as its 2013 Author of the Year. Below are the notes for my acceptance speech, which I managed to complete dry-eyed albeit verklempt.

A career of twenty years, thirteen as a published author, means there are many people to be thanked, so I may not be exactly brief  but I will be as succinct as these two pages permit.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my trio of fabulous agents:

To Louise Fury with whom I’ve been blessed to work since 2010. As some of you know, I first met Louise when she started coming to Lady Jane’s Salon® in our early days and at the time I had no idea she was even agenting. It took me a while but I finally cottoned on. Elizabeth Mahon and I took her out for “a” drink to celebrate a significant deal she’d made, one drink turned into many drinks, and then next thing I knew she was asking me about my books. I’ll never forget her saying, “I don’t know if I can sell it—but I’ll try.” By 1:00 AM I was back home emailing her the files.

Louise has done considerably better than “try.” She has since sold THREE series for me, including my hard cover debut, SUGAR, co-written with Jenna Jameson, which releases from Skyhorse Publishing this October 21st. And that’s not even counting the foreign and audio deals she’s made—all while fielding my many, MANY daily emails, on which I usually forget to change the subject header. Honestly, Louise, I can’t imagine being in this business without you.

To Lori Perkins who wears many hats—make that tiaras—not only as the founder and owner of the enduringly successful L. Perkins Agency but also as a writer and publisher. As you know, Lori launched Riverdale Avenue Books last December and she hasn’t stilled since. I don’t use the word “maverick” often or lightly but Lori is truly that. Lori doesn’t follow publishing trends, she forecasts them. She has brought so many publishing opportunities my way these past years, including but in no way limited to a place in her 50 Writers on 50 Shades of Grey anthology and for those and her friendship, I thank her.

To Jenny Bent, our Agent of the Year, who launched my career back in ’99 by selling my Regency-set historical to Berkley. A Rogue’s Pleasure was a first romance sale for both of us—and as they say you never forget you first. I was with Jenny through three agencies, and was so proud of her when she went out on her own and founded The Bent Agency, which has added a London office to its home base of Brooklyn.   

To the talented editors with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working over the past 13 years and counting: Cindy Hwang at Berkley, Brenda Chin at Harlequin, Helen Rosburg at Medallion Media Group, Angela James at Carina Press, Stacy Cantor Abrams at Entangled, and now Jenn McCartney at Skyhorse Publishing. I’ve done 25 books and each has been made inestimably better for your talented input.

Hope_Acceptance Speech_9-12-13To the uber talented former O Magazine senior editor, memoirist and now romance author, Suzan Colon for being my friend, supporter, and creative sounding board. Our lunches are not only a treat to which I look forward but a grounding point for me personally and professionally. I am so looking forward to you reading BEACH GLASS at the February Lady Jane’s Salon.

To RWA NYC for your enduring support, friendship, and encouragement. When I moved to New York in the winter of 2008, I knew ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. Attending that first Saturday chapter meeting was akin to grabbing hold of a lifeline. I met both my Lady Jane’s co-founder, Leanna Renee Hieber and past president, Elizabeth Mahon at a chapter outing to Coney Island. Others of you I’ve gotten to know through additional chapter events such as the winter holiday and spring brunches, the online loop, and of course your glorious and enduring support of Lady Jane’s Salon. To Maria Ferrer and Lise Horton and Sarah Tormey and Kwana Jackson…well, I don’t have time or breath to name each one of you but please know that your support, of me, my books, and m/our Lady Jane’s Salon these past five years means more than I can say.
GAA Trophy & Plaque
Last but in no way least, to my wonderful and always supportive partner, Raj Moorjani, who daily affirms that Happily Ever After isn’t only the stuff of romance novels—we can have it in Real Life, too.

This is an enormous honor. Thank you!

Victorian Goodness Galore Contest Winner

Congratulations to Jenyfer M, my Victorian Goodness Galore contest winner! In addition to Leanna Renee’s scrumptious Gothic YA, DARKER STILL, Jenyfer will also receive a copy of one of my back list books — historical or contemporary, her pick.

Many thanks to all who entered the contest and/or stopped by to say they’d downloaded TEMPTING. And please don’t forget, you have until March 9th to win a copy of VANQUISHED (Book #1 in my Men of Roxbury House series) from RT BOOK Reviews Magazine. Post a comment to my RT author interview blog on why you love Victorian era romances and be entered to win!

TGIF,

Hope

 

New Contest! Victorian Goodness Galore

To celebrate the digital release of my Victorian-set TEMPTING as well as February as Valentine’s month, I am launching a new contest now through February 29th.

To qualify, you must:

–Purchase one ebook copy of TEMPTING, currently available on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and ARe for just 99 cents.

–Leave a comment here (as in this original blog post, not on Facebook etc.) with your ebook order confirmation number for TEMPTING included. A simple, “Just bought it!” with the order confirmation number will suffice although longer comments are of course welcome. 🙂

Prizes: one signed copy of one of my back list paperback romances (winner picks based on availability) and a signed copy of my buddy and fellow Lady Jane’s Salon Co-Founder, Leanna Renee Hieber’s delicious Gaslight Era New York City-set paranormal YA, DARKER STILL.

Other deets: Contest closes on February 29th at 12:00 midnight EST. One prize winner will be randomly selected and announced on or close to March 1, 2012. Books will be mailed out as soon as I receive your mailing address information (off-line, of course!) and verification of TEMPTING e-book purchase.

Happy Month o’ Hearts & Flowers,

Hope

A LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE & Lady Jane’s

A hasty, ill-advised marriage to a fiendish rake, a doomed devotion between a handsome young priest and the lovely, desperate girl he’s befriended…

No, not Collen McCullough’s THE THORN BIRDS but A LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE by Louisa May Alcott.

Written in 1866 a few years before Alcott’s revered classic, LITTLE WOMEN, A LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE was never published in Alcott’s lifetime. Deemed “too sensational” (translation: too risque) by her male publisher, the book was shelved among her private papers for more than a century and only rediscovered and published in the 1990’s.

As a middle school student, I adored LITTLE WOMEN and well, A LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE is not it. Written for serialization to keep the author’s perennially impoverished family of Transcendentalist intellectuals out of the poorhouse, the book is more penny dreadful than great novel. Still, the themes Alcott addresses–stalking, spousal abuse, bigamy, and a woman’s right to independence and freedom–resonate with a raw contemporary clarity.

As the title suggests, A LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE doesn’t end happily. Despite the every other chapter cliffhanger (it was meant to be serialized), the only true suspense is for whom the chase will prove fatal. The hastily pulled together ending answers that with no real surprises, leaving the reader not so much satisfied as relieved. Like Alcott’s heroine, Rosamund, we too are weary and ready for the chase to end.

Still, A LONG FATAL CHASE is worth a read for Alcott fans as well as fans of 19th century “women’s” literature, a literary tradition that still fascinates and inspires us today. For a wonderful paranormal YA Victorian Gothic romance in the tradition of Oscar Wilde’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (only with a happy ending!), read DARKER STILL by my Lady Jane’s Salon co-founder, Leanna Renee Hieber.

And for a fun and informative treatise on romance novels throughout the centuries, check out my other Lady Jane’s Salon co-founder, Maya Rodale’s, new nonfiction e-book, DANGEROUS BOOKS FOR GIRLS.

Speaking of Lady Jane’s, do join us on Monday, February 6th, 7-10PM at Madame X, for Lady Jane’s Third Anniversary Salon. It’s our third year birthday bash and we’re celebrating with our usual lineup of fabo readers including S.b. Sarah Wendell, Lauren Willig, and Eloisa James! Special EOY contribution to our charitable recipient, Women-in-Need. Sponsors: Chambord Vodka (“Pink Your Drink”) and Beatrice.com.

Happy Month of Hearts & Flowers,

Hope

 

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas…

Can the winter holidays be upon us already!?!

To help get in the holiday swing, please take two ticks and check out these contemporary and historical Christmas romance releases. Print copies may or may not be available but all are available as digital releases on Kindle and Nook. 🙂

And if you’re in the NYC area, please consider putting Lady Jane’s Salon on your to-visit list. Our winter holidays salon is Monday, December 5th, 7-9 PM where I’ll be guest reading along with my Salon Co-Founder, Leanna Renee Hieber and special guest, Patt Mihailoff. Check out the deets here.

 

 

 

Tonight at Lady Jane’s Salon…

Tonight, at the October 4th Lady Jane’s…

Salon co-founder Leanna Renee Hieber will read from the next installment in her Strangely Beautiful saga, A Christmas Carroll, featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY anthology.

We also welcome fabulous guest authors Janet Mullany, Donna Hill, and Sabrina Jeffries, as well as special guest Salon Emcee, Publishers Weekly’s Barbara Vey.

7-9 PM chez Madame X (94 W Houston Street). Admission is $5 or one gently-used ppb romance novel, net proceeds to support NYC women’s charities. Guest authors books available for sale and signing on site.

Read the rest of the story at the Lady Jane’s Salon blog site.

Back from RT!

I’m just back from the RT BOOK Lovers Convention in Columbus, OH, exhausted but still beaming with conference goodness. Personal highlights include Heather Graham’s Vampire Ball where costume peeps from Victorian widows to dagger-stabbed ghouls strutted their stuff; the Saturday afternoon book fair where I got to meet fabulous readers as well as literally hundreds of other authors; and of course our Special Lady Jane’s Salon Event with guest authors Sabrina Jeffries, Linnea Sinclair and Delilah Marvelle. Bonus: an impromptu shout-out for donations for local no-kill cat rescue group, Purr Babies, brought in more than $150 for this labor of love and all-around good cause.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the romance community rocks!

Thanks to our guest author, Delilah Marvelle, who got the giving rolling by donating ten copies of her fabulous release, Lord of Pleasure to the first ten givers. Ditto to the RT staff, especially web wizard, Morgan Doremus, for scaring up not one but two more bags of books so that every attendee who donated to Purr Babies could receive a book as our thank you. Also, thanks to former Lady Jane guest author, Louisa Edwards, for the donation of the lovely take away champagne flutes in celebration of her latest release, On The Steamy Side.

Special sloppy cyber hugs and yes, kisses go out to conference coordinator, Jo Carol Jones, who personally supervised the putting out of shimmery red table clothes, the lighting of candles, and yes the pouring of champagne, all of which transformed the Hyatt’s Peppercorn Lounge from hotel event room to a very Lady Jane-like boudoir.

Putting on the Ritz...Leanna Renee Hieber and Hope at the RT BOOK Lovers Convention, Columbus, OH.
Putting on the Ritz...Leanna Renee Hieber and Hope at the RT BOOK Lovers Convention, Columbus, OH.

I could go on (and on) but I’ll stop there with a reminder that the goodness didn’t end with my plane trip home to Big Apple Landia. Tonight, Monday, May 3rd is our regular monthly Lady Jane’s Salon here in Manhattan at Madame X, 7-9 PM. As always, admission is $5 or one gently used paperback romance novel to be donated to New York City groups serving women in need. We have the usual great lineup of guest authors: YA urban fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade); Christina Britton Conroy (One Man’s Music); and Lady Jane Salon Co-Founder, Victorian paranormal author, Leanna Renee Hieber (The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, Book #2 in “The Strangely Beautiful” Series).

Giving back–it’s a good thing!

Hope

May Lady Jane’s Salon: Two Salons, Double the Fun!

We at Lady Jane’s are taking our show, or rather our Salon, on the road to The Romantic Times BOOK Lovers Convention held this year in Columbus, OH. The Special Lady Jane’s Salon at RT will take place at the convention hotel, the Hyatt Regency Columbus, on Saturday, May 1st, 7-9 PM directly following the Mr. Romance Pageant. Guest authors will be Sabrina Jeffries, Linnea Sincair, and Delilah Marvelle. Squee!

Admittedly, capturing the Lady Jane’s boudoir vibe within the four white walls of a hotel meeting room presents something of a challenge, but with the help of RT’s wonderful Jo Carol and Company, we’re feeling more than up to meeting it. Think red scarves, candles, comfy seating and yes, champagne!

For those not going to Columbus, don’t despair. We’re still holding our regular monthly Lady Jane’s Salon here in Manhattan on Monday, May 3rd at Madame X, 7-9 PM. As always, admission is $5 or one gently used paperback romance novel to be donated to New York City groups serving women in need. And yes, we have another great lineup of guest authors: YA urban fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade); Christina Britton Conroy (One Man’s Music); and Lady Jane Salon Co-Founder, Victorian paranormal author, Leanna Renee Hieber (The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, Book #2 in “The Strangely Beautiful” Series).

PW Daily Goodness…

Uber cool author chick, Sarah MacLean has been quite the woman about town of late. Last night she was one of four great guest authors at Lady Jane’s Salon where she read from her Regency-set romance, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. The week prior she launched the book at a sexy soiree in the Lower East Side’s best known “secret” bar, The Back Room. The photo of attending authors, including Yours Truly, made the April 5th Picture of the Day in PW Daily. Huzzah!

Publishers Daily Picture of the Day, April 5, 2010
Publishers Daily Picture of the Day, April 5, 2010

As per PW Daily: “Recently, at the Back Room in Manhattan, a group of authors got together to celebrate the launch of Sarah MacLean’s new romance, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Avon). Pictured (l. to r.) are: Lisa Ann Sandell, Ray Sawhill, Lauren Willig, Polly Frost, MacLean, Hope Tarr, and Leanna Renee Hieber.”