Posted by Caren Crane Oct 6 2013, 11:15 pm in Ada, Anita H., Autographed tote bag, Bandita Booty, Caren Crane, Debra Webb, gift cards, prize winners, Regan Black, Secret Ninja
Congratulations to the winners from our extra-fun visit from Regan Black and Debra Webb. Sadly, no mentoring was on offer but we have a few other goodies to give away:
ANITA H. has won a $10 gift card to either B&N or Amazon (her choice) and an autographed tote bag!
SECRET NINJA/ADAhas won a $10 gift card to either B&N or Amazon!
Lucky you guys! You can use your gift cards to buy BULLETPROOF by Regan Black, which is available for pre-order for Nook and iTunes and on sale everywhere October 17! To claim your prize, please contact Regan at black.regan @ gmail . com.
Congrats again and thanks for being such great commenters!
Posted by Caren Crane Oct 3 2013, 12:17 am in Bulletproof, Caren Crane, Debra Webb, gift card, Impulse, Justice Incarnate, Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance, mentors, obsession, Paranormal Romantic Suspense, prizes, Regan Black, Romantic suspense, series, Shadows of Justice Collection, tote bag, Unknown Identities
I’m thrilled to be hosting a couple of dear friends in the Lair today. Both should be well known to you by now, since both have guested with us before! Regan Black and I met eons ago, back when we still had young children and life was hectic and somewhat crazed. Regan and Debra met a couple of years later and gradually the circle closed until we were all chums. I admire both of them so very much and seriously love their books. Today they’re talking about something that happens often in writing circles but is rarely discussed with readers: mentoring. Debra and Regan both write suspense (though Regan’s tends toward the paranormal) and Debra sort of took Regan under her very experienced wing. Showed her how to do what she already did even better. Now Regan is here to talk about this mentor relationship and what it does for both of them. Deb will probably be popping in to answer comments, as well. Settle in, pull up a chair, grab a cold beverage and a warm canape and listen in.
Thanks so much, Caren, for having us back in the lair today! Deb and I always have such fun here.
Mentors are people we look up to, people we admire for their various skills and expertise. They are the people we’d like to resemble when we grow up. Debra Webb, one of the top names in romantic suspense, has been that person for me for the majority of my career. She’s driven, prolific, and quick with a plot twist if you find yourself in need of one.
We first met at a Smoky Mountain Romance Writer’s conference ages ago (but miraculously, neither of us has aged a day since). Her advice from those sessions carried me in good stead (and still does). Though our publishing paths differed, Deb has always been a tremendous source of support and encouragement in my career.
Deb gave me my first cover quote for Justice Incarnate. She taught me how to write a synopsis (a feat my critique partners greatly appreciated). She helped me sort out the editorial language of revision letters. In 2011, she introduced me to the editor of the Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance, who purchased an original Shadows of Justice novella for that anthology.
But let’s fast-forward to August of 2012.
With Deb’s stunning success early in 2012 self-publishing Obsession and Impulse, the first two books in her acclaimed Faces of Evil series, Grand Central picked up the series. Just as her books were about to be re-launched in ebook and paperback, Deb called to check on me.
Seriously. Yeah, she’s good like that.
My year wasn’t going nearly as well as Deb’s. In fact, I was sure my career was going down in flames. I had the obituary written (it was some of my best work), but Deb refused to believe it. More importantly she refused to let me believe it.
That phone call last year was a tremendous change-up. I took pages of notes while she efficiently dissected my career circumstances, listened to my goals and ideas, assessed my strengths and productivity, and laid out a plan to move me forward.
Deb always has a plan.
BULLETPROOF, the first book in a new paranormal romantic suspense series, is the big next step in that plan. Deb brought these characters from vague concepts to three-dimensional with in-depth brainstorming and “Oh! What if…” phone sessions. She kept me motivated with hard release dates, promotional schedules, and killer advice for the cover art concepts.
A soldier is nothing without his honor.
To avoid a dishonorable end to his decorated military career, John Noble made a deal with the devil. He gave up his name, endured harrowing training, and accepted every mission thrown at him for one purpose: redemption.
An ambitious reporter, Amelia Bennett, is about to break the story of her career, if she lives long enough to tell it. Caving to her boss’s demand, she hires a bodyguard and soon it is obvious John Noble is the only obstacle standing between her and certain death.
Just when John believes he has found someone he can trust and love, who loves him unconditionally for who and what he has become, his orders are amended: Amelia Bennett is to be terminated.
Introducing Unknown Identities: an alternative for elite soldiers and spies facing criminal charges… if they can survive the program. Don’t miss Double Vision, the next installment of this sizzling, action packed series.
Available October 17, BULLETPROOF has enough of a paranormal edge to keep my muse happy, but still this venture often feels like a giant step into a new genre for me. When I start to freak out, Deb pipes up with the familiar ‘don’t worry’ refrain. (Sing it with me!)
It’s a blessing to relax in her utter confidence. And she should know whether or not I need to freak out. Not only is she one of the best in the business when it comes to romantic suspense, she was the editor-in-chief for BULLETPROOF.
Deb’s philosophy of mentoring is rooted in the theory that authors need to work together for mutual success. While our writing styles are different, we can still brainstorm, evaluate, and share experiences (or nightmares) from marketing to formatting to tangled plots in order to help each other stay productive.
Some days that involves listening to the natural highs and lows of working in the weird, non-linear publishing industry. Other days it means a swift kick in the creative pants to get ourselves back to the keyboard and into the next wonderful tale that wants to be told.
To celebrate this new book and the Unknown Identities series, Deb and I would like to give one lucky winner a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N along with a signed BULLETPROOF tote bag. To enter, just leave a comment about your experience being mentored or being a mentor.
Good luck everyone!
Live the adventure,
Okay, y’all know what to do. Tell us about your adventures in either being mentored or being a mentor!
Posted by Susan Sey Oct 1 2013, 12:01 am in Amy Andrews, Anna Campbell, Annie West, Caren Crane, Christie Kelley, coming attractions, contests, Debra Webb, gerry russell, reading, Regan Black, sarah jane stone, tamara hogan, Trish Milburn
I love fall. There’s so much to look forward to–chunky sweaters, soft scarves, fresh-picked apples. Then there’s the first frost, first pumpkin pie, first crockpot chili… Some among us might say football season (I’m looking at you, Suz & Jeanne) but some of us married Nebraskans without full disclosure about much of every weekend would be sacrificed to televised Husker coverage. (It’s extensive. I should’ve been warned.)
But here in the Lair, there’s something for everybody! And October is looking awesome. Check out what’s in store for you!
Love a good historical? Check out Christie Kelly’s new release ENTICING THE EARL!
More into the witty contemporary? Caren Crane’s KICK START is now available as a trade paperback!
Looking for something a little darker? How about Trish Milburn’s OUT OF THE NIGHT?
Click on the covers for more details!
On Wednesday, October 2nd, Anna Campbell hosts lair favorite Annie West (www.annie-west.com), who’ll tell us about her latest passionate tale, AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY. Annie’s always great fun and we look forward to hearing about what’s going on in her life! Plus she’s giving away two copies of her new book!
On Thursday, October 3rd, our own Caren Crane will host Regan Black and Debra Webb as they discuss the Magic of Mentors. Regan and Debra will share what makes their professional friendship so beneficial – and so productive. They’ll be giving away an autographed BULLETPROOF totebag & a $10 Amazon gift card, so swing on by!
On Friday, October 4th, Sara Jane Stone will be celebrating her debut release, COMMAND PERFORMANCE, with us! Tawny says that this is one hot, hot debut, so you might want to wear oven mitts. One lucky commenter will receive her own e-copy of COMMAND PERFORMANCE!
On Monday, October 7th, Susan Sey invites Tamara Hogan to talk about all the things authors should never say on Twitter (but maybe want to.) Come hear all about it, & maybe win a copy of Tamara’s latest release TEMPT ME!
On Friday, October 11, Christine Brooks bring us another lair favorite–the fabulous Amy Andrews with her brand new release from Momentum, HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO.
On Monday, October 21, Nancy welcomes Gerri Russell back to the Lair. Gerri will talk to us about her new release, A LAIRD FOR CHRISTMAS, and dating customs in the 1700s.
Anna Campbell is holding a Halloween contest to celebrate a month-long price cut on her very romantic ghost story, THESE HAUNTED HEARTS, which is now only 99 cents. She’s giving away two copies of the novella (international). All you need to do is email her on email@example.com and tell her the name of her 2012 Christmas novella featuring Alicia and Sebastian. You might just find the answer on Anna’s book page: http://annacampbell.info/books.html For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
And that’s just what I can round up in advance! Stuff is always cropping up last minute, so make sure to stay tuned!
Turning over that calendar page always brings surprises–some welcome, some not so much. Any surprises on your agenda this week?
Posted by Guest Feb 6 2009, 4:59 am in Debra Webb, guest blogger
by KJ Howe
Please welcome bestselling romantic suspense author Debra Webb to the lair. Now here’s a lady who knows about murder and mayhem–and has a wicked imagination to support her “habit”. Take it away, Deb…
Generally when the average person thinks of murder for money, they think of assassins or some sort of criminal activity that involves a cover-up–particularly the covering of one’s a**. Many times, whether it be the cover-up of an embezzled/stolen sum or an insurance policy benefit, money is involved. I received a fan letter once from a woman in prison in Baltimore who was serving two consecutive life sentences for paying someone to murder her husband. Unfortunately, as with anything else–you get what you pay for. She’d gone low end and paid a small sum for the deed. The man she paid ultimately testified against her and you know the rest.
But I’m not talking about that kind of murder for money, I’m referring to what I and lots of other authors do. We write about murder–killing lots of perfectly ordinary and often times nice characters–for money. We devise in our minds gruesome, hopefully unique, methods for killing. Our inspiration comes from all sorts of sources. Real life headlines are the most interesting, in my opinion. At times the simplest, seemingly innocent thing can trigger a devious plan in our minds. I once had a friend who told me she’d run out of gas along a lonely stretch of road–thank God for cell phones. As she waited for her husband to come to her rescue, she noticed a garbage bag in the ditch. It was one of those large black bags with the yellow tie handles. The bag appeared partially full and looked as if it had been there for a while. Her mind instantly began running scenarios about what or WHO could be in the bag. How they might have been murdered and dismembered. By the time her husband arrived with gas for her car, she’d created a gruesome murder scenario. While her husband poured the gas into her tank she went on and on (in great detail) about how exciting this new idea was. Her husband turned to her and said what my own husband says to me quite often, “I can’t believe I go to sleep next to you at night.”
I would love to hear the wicked thoughts that go through your mind. Have you ever been sitting in the lobby of the doctor’s office and watched the people around you, wondering who would leave their appointment with the doc and meet their appointment with destiny? Do you watch your favorite television show or movie and lie in bed afterwards mulling over how that one murder scene might have worked better if…?
Murder for money, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it. Think how boring television would be without the likes of Jack Bauer? Someone had to write all those great action and killing scenes! Thank goodness for the uninhibited imagination.
Deb, I couldn’t agree more. My mind goes in that direction more often than I’d like to admit! So, Bandita Buddies, let’s hear what’s running through your minds today…
Debra Webb’s romantic suspense publishing career launched in September 2000. Since then this award-winning, best-selling author has published more than seventy novels. Visit her website at www.debrawebb.com.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Feb 1 2009, 6:00 am in CJ Lyons, Debra Webb, February, Kate Carlisle, Kathryn Smith, Nicola Marsh, Renee Ryan
by Donna MacMeans
It might be cold and snowy where you live, but February is shaping up to be a sizzling hot month here in the lair.
We’ll start off tomorrow, Feb. 2nd, with Harlequin Presents author Nicola Marsh and her February release, The Boss’s Bedroom Agenda. Now why have my bosses never looked like that? Sure would have added some sizzle to the workplace. Fingers crossed that Nicola will bring some of the hot men from her website over to the lair to play.
We’ll move from international seduction to sizzling intrique on Feb. 3rd when C. J. Lyons returns to the lair. Her latest release from Berkley, Warning Signs, takes us back to the Angels of Mercy Medical Center and the women we first met in C. J’ s debut, Lifelines.
No matter the temperature outside, it will be party time in the lair on February 4th
as we celebrate the fabulous bandita Kate Carlisle‘
s debut with Homicide in Hardcover
. In spite of the title this issue is being released in paperback (grin). Isn’t it a gorgeous cover? You’re invited to join in on the fun in the lair as we celebrate big-time.
We have yet another fabulous Avon author joining us on Feb. 5th. Kathryn Smith writes both vampires and historicals. She’ll be releasing a
new series set in the Victorian era later in the year, but for now she’ll be telling us about her just released fifth volume in the Brotherhood of Love series, Night after Night.
St. Martin’s Debra Webb
will join us on Feb. 6th
to discuss her new December release, Find Me
. Romantic Times Bookreviews said “Webb moves to a whole new level with this book, and the ending is off-the-charts cree
I think the chill that just tripped down my spine is unrelated to the chill outside.
Seems like a lot for such a short month, but we’re not through yet!
On Feb. 13th, Renee Ryan
takes us to Colorado in 1880 with The Marshal Takes a Bride
, a Love Inspired February release – just in time for…
FEBRUARY 14th Valentines’s Day!!
We’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day bandita style with some massive bandita booty. So stop by to visit with Tawny and the rest of the gang – often.
Be sure to stay warm the entire month by snuggling up to the computer with a nice mug of hot chocolate and an even hotter romance. We’ll try not to steam up your glasses (grin).
Posted by Guest Aug 24 2007, 11:17 am in Debra Webb, guest blogger
by KJ Howe
Today, the Romance Bandits are lucky to have talented and prolific author Debra Webb joining us. Feel free to ask Deb any questions you may have about writing or the publishing industry. This warm-hearted Southern gal always goes out of her way to help others. Here are a few interview questions to kick off the day!
KJ: Congratulations on the upcoming release of TRACELESS, a single title romantic suspense from St. Martin’s Press. The conflict between your hero and heroine, Clint and Emily, fairly sizzles. Clint has been in jail for ten years for the murder of Emily’s best friend and Emily was a key witness in his trial. When Clint is released on parole, Emily comes back home to confront him, while the real killer remains at large. Fantastic set up. What inspired you to write this story?
DW: First, I love wounded heroes. Clint is a man who has been to hell and back and believes he has lost everything, including his ability to care for anyone else. I love proving those big, tough guys wrong! As far as the plot, I grew up in a very small town much like Pine Bluff. Your mistakes follow you to the grave. The whole small town dynamics appeals to me on a very primal level. I find it fascinating how the “family” mindset of small towns reacts to such a heinous crime. Yes, I’m twisted. I know.
KJ: Switching from category to single title is a fascinating process. Can you tell us about some of the challenges/joys you faced when writing the larger books?
DW: The transition was relatively painless in theory. I really wanted to write “bigger” books. I mistakenly thought that a bigger book meant a bigger plot and that’s simply not the case. A bigger book is one with meatier characters and the exploration of those characters to a greater degree. The plots of my “big” books are actually simpler than many of the category length books I’ve done. But the characters are far more fully developed and the setting is an equal character.
KJ: Your Colby Agency books have become a Harlequin institution. How did you come up with the original idea? And, most importantly, after blowing up the Colby Agency building last Christmas, where are you going to house Victoria and her amazing staff?
DW: I wish I could tell you that I’d had this grand plan with page after page of future events mapped out right from the beginning. I didn’t. I simply had a woman, Victoria Colby, who had lost the man she loved with all her heart as well as her only child. I gave her the Colby Agency to focus on and a wonderful romantic interest in Lucas Camp. The rest evolved with the stories. I love the Colby Agency! I can’t imagine ever ending that series. Of course, Victoria and her people will have a fabulous new home. Check out Colby Rebuilt coming from Harlequin Intrigue this November.
KJ: Congratulations on receiving the Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times magazine this year, a well-deserved honor. I believe you’ve written over 60 novels (yes, 60, this is not a typo!). Can you talk a little about your writing process (when you write, are you a plotter/pantser, etc.)? How do you come up with new names for your characters? I can’t imagine how many you’ve had!
DW: Oh, wow. Yes. Number 66 comes out this November in only 8 years. Looking back, I can’t believe how fast time has flown. It has been an amazing journey. I have to thank my many friends, like you, Kim, and RWA, of course, for helping me get here. I’m not a plotter usually. I prefer to get the general idea of where I’m going and just write the book. I start with a character that I want to write, then I add history and then the plot develops from there. Sometimes I start with a plot idea and develop the characters around that. It’s never the same. Names are easy. I have the character in mind and then I give him or her a name that fits his or her personality.
KJ: What advice would you give unpublished writers in today’s market? Where should they focus their efforts?
DW: Always, always focus your energy on the work. Your voice, first and foremost, is what will get you published. No matter how amazing your story idea, the voice must shine on the page. The only way to develop your voice is to write. It’s kind of like working out, you hate it but it’s necessary. Keep writing, never give up no matter how many rejections hit you in the face. Just DO IT!
KJ: The Romance Bandits love secrets. Perhaps you might give us a little insider’s information on NAMELESS, your next Single Title from St. Martin’s?
DW: Now, talk about heroes, the guy in NAMELESS is to die for. Ryan McBride is the epitome of what I love in a man. Vivian Grace is his match on every level. NAMELESS will be released on February 5th. Look for a special sneak peek at the first chapter in the back of TRACELESS. As for a little secret…hmmm…there is one thing that scares, big, bad, I-don’t-give-a-damn Ryan McBride to death…but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is!
KJ: There we have it…just like a romantic suspense author to leave us with a cliffhanger! Deb, thanks for joining us today. If you have questions for Deb, please feel free to ask. And don’t forget to pick up TRACELESS. It’s a un-put-downable read!