Posts tagged with: Donna MacMeans

A Generosity of Spirit…

wrong-girl-240hWomen, as Rudyard Kipling once observed in his poem The Female of the Species, can be deadly.  They can be mean (a la Mean Girls), they can be just as much bullies as boys or men.

They can.

But, most of  the time, they aren’t.

Most of the time, they will breathe their last breath before they let someone else go hungry, ill-clothed, ill-shod or unloved.  Women will literally take the shirt off their backs and run around, embarassed, in their underwear, if it means they helped someone, as many did in the aftermath of the Boston bombing. Humans, men and women, have a generosity of spirit that overarches the petty concerns of the everyday.

Now, that’s not just in grandiose, flowery prose that comes with tradgedy and loss. It’s in the everyday.

Writers are this way too.  Especially romance writers.  Now, I started to say women writers, but I don’t personally know many women writers who AREN’T romance writers so I realized I shouldn’t say that.  Most of the writers I know either are Romance Writers now, or they were before they branched into mystery or horror or thrillers.

Now, why the heck am I rattling on, and on, and on about this?51YgKUr-MKL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Well, this last weekend was the annual Nora Roberts Writing Institute at Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD.    The “official” theme – if you could call it that – was COME LEARN TO WRITE!  The unofficial one was HEY, YOU’RE NOT ALONE!!

People from all over the country come to the lovely small town of Hagerstown for this.  From Washington State and Colorado, from Philadelphia (2 hours away) and North Carolina (6 hours away).  To learn.  To get the basics.  To hear authors who’ve “made it” say, “You can do this!!” And they do say that.

Authors like Jana DeLeon talked about how they made it, and how “making it” is an everyday job.  Yes, there are things you can do to enhance your progress – if you ever get a chance to take a class about promotion with Jana DeLeon, regardless of your business, DO IT!  The woman is brilliant.  But Jana shared more than the nuts and bolts of writing and promoting what you’ve written.  She shared her time.  Her precious writing time (because when you write, time is the one thing you always feel you don’t have).  She shared her experience and more than anything, she encouraged. Longshot-Thumbnail

The guys did too, don’t get me wrong.  I’ll say the same thing about John King, former faculty member at Hagerstown CC.  If you can get him to do a class on police procedurals for you? OH. MY. GOSH.  DO IT!!  He was born to teach, and to teach about how the police/cops/mounties/etc. work, think, hurt, believe.   And he too was incredibly generous with his time and energy and knowledge.  And he came all the way from Provo, UT, back to Hagerstown, to teach us.

Then there were the very well known and highly thought of and totally cool Keynote Speakers.  That would be the internationally bestsellers, Sylvia Day and 01f8205dc6f90a900484df.L._V359400092_SX200_Hank Phillipi Ryan.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to conferences where the keynote whisked in, spoke, shook hands with folks who were brave enough to come down to the stage, then whisked off again, into the ethers, never to be seen.

Not these ladies.  Sylvia and Hank were present and answering questions throughout the weekend.  They took the time to talk to these beginning writers, to encourage at every step, to hug, to mug for the camera, and to share.  To generously share their journey.  They shared their trials and tribulations.  They shared that the work STILL has to get done, by you, the writer, even when your last book was on top of the bestseller list in 40 countries and translated into 41 languages.  :>

Sylvia still has to sit down and write the next book. Every writer does.  Hank does.  Susan Donovan does.  All the Romance Bandits do.  These writers reminded us all that glamorous as others think our job may be, we STILL have to sit down, grumpy and rumpled or coiffed and heeled, and WRITE THE NEXT BOOK.

Hank Phillipi Ryan, who’s been a guest on the blog several times, is one who’s usually still in her work suit from her job as an investigative reporter, when she snags some writing time.  Hank is funny, delightful, insightful and yes, generous.  I’m diving into her latest THE WRONG GIRL and already anticipating her next book,  TRUTH BE TOLD.  (October) SylviaDay-001

Our own Bandita Donna MacMeans was a speaker, as were NYT Bestseller Susan Donovan, Gail Barrett, Agnes Jayne, screenwriter Jeanne Ford, historical writer Dennis Frye, media savvy Leigh-Anne Lawrence and Laura Reeth, and military historical writer Dr. Robert Savitt.

Every single one of them were wonderful, took the time to talk to and encourage new writers and pay it forward. They talked about how to stay in the chair with your hands on the keyboard and just DO IT.  They talked about their own struggles and foibles.  The audience learned that some are strictly regimented, and some take time to play.  Some write at night, some early in the morning, and some whenever they can fit it in around their day job.

Some plot the whole book out before they begin to write.  Some just fly by the seat of their pants.  Some “brew and spew” as PC Cast would say.

All of them, as writers, remember what it was like to be one of the audience at a program like this, and so they share what the journey is like going forward.  Time, energy, stories about editors and agents, about going solo, about when a story stopped on them, or fell flat in the middle.  They shared it all.

That’s a generosity of spirit, of time and energy and life, that I’ve seldom seen outside the writing world.

What about you, Banditas and Buddies?  In your field of work, do people share information?

Are your colleagues and co-workers generous with their time and energy and ideas?  (And what field do you work in?)

If you’re a writer, what successful writer would you like to hear talk about their journey?  Who do you want to hear?  (Living or dead)

If you’re a reader, whose journey would you like to learn about?  

Which of your favorite authors would you like to hear speak?

If you had your fav author in front of you, besides “When is the next book out!?!?”, what question would you like to ask? (And no, I didn’t learn when the next Crossfire book will be out…sorry!)

As a last note, I’ll say you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Bandita Donna read from The Whisky Laird’s Bed.  Grins.

“OH, Yeah, baby!” an Ode to One-Liners

SM“I do not think that means what you think it means!” (Princess Bride)

“Stop rhyming and I mean it!” “Anybody want a peanut?” (Viceni to the Giant – Princess Bride)

“Say hello to my little friend!” (Scarface)

“My Captain! My Captain!” (Dead Poets Society)

“I’m not angry, I’ve just been in a bad mood for 40 years!” (Steel Magnolias…I’m not sure I’ve got the quote exactly right on this one…)

“I’m pretty sure the answer to that one is going to be “I Am Groot”” (Guardians of the Galaxy)

“Take off the shiny suit and what are you, huh?” “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.” (Capt. America & Iron Man – The Avengers)

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” (Gone With the Wind)

“Buehler?  Buehler?” (Ferris Buehlers Day Off)

Ah! The snappy, witty come back.  The throw-away, one liner that ends up being the quote of the month/year/decade.  I love it!!

I saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend and I have to say that I immediately wanted to queue up and see it again.  It’s fun, it’s funny and OMGosh, the witty repartee!!  It was fabulous!!  And, OH!, the one-liners!!  There are so many, I’m going to have to see it again just to catch them all.JAWS_Movie_poster

One of the things I adore most in a book or a movie is wit.  Seriously, don’t you love it?  The snappy comebacks, the clever banter.  Great writing that translates on the page as brilliant back-and-forth between characters on the screen?  Fabulous!  I know I’ve mentioned before that we still snicker and snork over so many lines from The Princess Bride that it’s almost cultish.  (I’m not saying I want to build a summer home here…)  Same with a friend of mine and the unscripted line from Jaws, “I think we’re going to need a bigger boat!”  And with a college friend, it’s Monty Python.  (“Fechez la Vache!)

Sometimes they become a part of the lexicon.  A generation’s language, a shorthand of global proportions, comes from movies that become iconic and nearly universal.  “Life is like a box of chocolates.”   “Run! Forrest, Run!” (Forrest Gump);  “Yo, Adrian!” (Rocky)’  “Stella!” (On the Waterfront); “Heeeeeres Johnny!” (The Shining/Johnny Carson show)

And some are just between you and the person with whom you saw the movie like my sister and I, when things get heavy duty and more expansive than expected:  “Muah-dib, we have worm-sign the likes of which even God has never seen!” (Dune – terrible version of the book, but oh! Patrick Stewart!)

Guardians of the Galaxy is, I can tell, going to be one of those movies.  The quotable ones.  The one-liner-becomes-lexicon ones.  Yep, it’s that good.

It’s also really, really fun.  There are elements of the serious hero movies like Superman and the Avengers, Iron Man and Capt. America – hey there’s even the usual cameo by Stan Lee – but the flat out, don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously humor of it is just impossible not to love.   The moment you expect to be poignant is cracked by a joke.  The moment you expect to be a joke, suddenly becomes poignant.

6119c9ff591fc215015594162ed92301.w980.h290._CR0,0,980,290_Now don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY who are already panning the movie.  “Too slow!”  “Too flippant!” “Too cerebral!” (Seriously?  This movie couldn’t be cerebral if you spanked it with a spinal column!!)  But, for me, it’s so incredibly well done, and so carefully “timed” in terms of action vs. repartee, pathos vs. blatant laughs, and seriously clever humor (“Metaphor!”) that as I said, I want to see it again.  Grins.

What about you, Bandits and Buddies?  Answer a few or answer them all….

Do you love a good wit in your movies?  That humorous banter that just calls out to be used in everyday conversation?  (“Amok! Amok! Amok!” – Hocus Pocus)

Or do you like that more subtle insult wit like Cap and Tony Stark?  (“I’ll draw your blood for that sir!” “Tis I am the leech, yet you would draw my blood? I think not!” – Colonial Gov to Capt. Blood – Capt. Blood)

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet?  (No spoilers!)  Or are you going to see it?

Do you like your humor mixed with other things – humorous action movies like Marvel – or straight up, as in Austin Powers, or Robin Hood Men in Tights?

Do you like the witty in those fab English Historicals?  Having recently read Donna’s Whisky Laird, and Christina Brooke’s Wickedest Lord Alive, I’m REALLY enjoying the wit of the English.  My pal Barbara Devlin is also a past-master at the witty repartee in her heroes and heroines.  I have laughed so much at some of the things Lady Rebecca managed to say without being “caught” at it in her My Lady the Spy!  Ha!  And our own Anna C’s books are packed with wit and sly innuendo.  I must confess that I have sometimes not even captblood1caught the best of them on the first read, they’re so clever.  Go, Anna!  Ha!

(While I focused on the historical here, each of the Bandits has that wit – sharp and pointy!  I love it! – in and of themselves and in their various characters.  I ADORE blogging with them for that, much less reading their books.  Ha!)

What’s the wittiest book you’ve enjoyed?  What book can you think of that has that great back and forth repartee in the dialogue?

What’s your favorite movie for great innuendo and wit in the dialogue?  (Thomas Crown Affaire!!  The whole movie is a study in repartee between the Renee Russo character and the Thomas Crowne character!)

What’s your favorite movie and book for one-liners? (Movie – Princess Bride; Book – Elizabeth Peters’ Crocodile on the Sandbank where Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson verbally spar whilst running for their lives!) )

So….what about YOU???

Unexpected Booty :)

Untitled-3Thanks for sharing your unexpected pleasures with me last week.

The winner for a download of The Whiskey Laird’s Bed is….

Kathy Heare Watts!!!!

Kathy, please contact me at www.DonnaMacMeans.com with your contact infomation and the device you use to read on.  I’ll get a download out to you ASAP.

Thanks everyone!

Conference Craziness!

Jeanne's I Phone 405It’s here!  Conference season!

Today (Wednesday) is the start of the huge RWA Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  Many of the Banditas are there, promoting their books at tonight’s Open-to-the-Public Literacy Signing!  They’ll be meeting up with old friends, new fans, and getting a start on learning what’s new in the writing biz.  Yay, Banditas!!  (That’s me and Nancy from last year’s Rita night….aren’t we snazzy?)

Virtually every field has a conference.  Most have one or two, depending on their size or location.  Miners have conferences, dentists and dental hygienists have conferences (Right Terry Brisbin?), doctors, morticians, romance writers, rodeo riders, cops, and probably robbers too.

Most fields have a group get-together to network, share new ideas, educate members on tried-and-true knowledge and, of course, to have a little fun.

I love conferences.  I feed on all that people energy and adore meeting new writers, new readers, and people of all walks, talks and ilks.  Grins.

I’m not in San Antonio this year as we were on vacation last week for Eldest Son’s last baseball tournament before he becomes a high school player.  It was huge fun, but I didn’t see how I could manage going to Myrtle Beach for a week, then turn around and head to the hottest corner of He…I mean San Antonio, for RWA.  Isn’t that a gorgeous view from our balcony?beach

Now that doesn’t mean that I’m not conferencing!  Oh, no!  I most assuredly AM!  As many of you know, I had a blast at Barbara Vey’s annual Reader Appreciation Luncheon in April.  If you’re anywhere near Milwaukee, you would LOVE this event!  It’s in April.  Check out the website here: http://barbaravey.com/readerluncheon/  2015′s keynote speaker is the fabulous Tess Gerritson.

The pictures of me with Sylvia Day – could we have picked worse tops to put together for a photo? – and with the lady herself, Barbara Vey below, were from the 2014 event.  Yes, I DO have alien head bobbers on my head.  Your eyes do not decieve you.  :>

sylThis year’s Nora Roberts Writing Institute (Aug 8-10)  is coming up as well.  This amazing weekend event is a brilliant way to give your writing a kickstart, especially if you’re new to writing, or you’ve been away from it for a while.  The keynotes at NRWI this year are the AMAZING Sylvia Day and the equally AMAZING Hank Phillipi Ryan.  Hank’s been on the blog with us a number of times and she has a new book out too!  Bandita Donna and I will both be presenting at the NRWI as well as the fabulous Jana DeLeon, Susan Donovan, Gail Barrett, Jeanne Ford, and Agnes Jayne (also a fab blog guest!!)

I’m really looking forward to NRWI this year, even more than last year, because I’ll be in the company of fabulous writers and great creative energy.  You should come, it’s going to be great, great FUN.  (Check it out at http://nrwi.org/ )

Since I won’t be at RWA (*sniffle*) I’m going to milk NRWI for all the energy and booksigning mojo I can get.  Ha!

(Nora’s bookstore, TURN THE PAGE BOOKS www.ttpbooks.com  is doing the signing on Sunday if you’re in the area of Hagerstown MD on August 10!)

I know Banditas Nancy and Trish will head, along with my WRW Pal, Jean Marie Ward, to Atlanta for DragonCon here before too long, and Comicon, Balticon and others will be rolling around in the fall.

What about you, Buddies and Banditas?

Do you love conferences, or do they just wear you out?photo

Is there a major conference in YOUR field?  Do you go?

What about regional ones?

I know our Bandit Buddies Helen and Barb are fixtures at the Aus Romance Writers conference, and Banditas Christina and both Anna’s have been….Anyone else?

Ever had a conference romance?  (Harder at Romance conferences, since there’s so few men…hahah!!)

What’s your favorite “It happened at a conference…” story?  Mine’s about a logging demo….me, 300 loggers, some Caterpillar heavy logging equipment, jello….yeah, that was fun.

Tell all!!

Whisky Laird Booty

1BanditBootyThanks so much for celebrating my release of THE WHISKY LAIRD’S BED.  The winners of a free download are:

Amy Conley and KimUntitled-3

Congratulations!

I’ll need an email address to send the download, so if you could visit me at www.DonnaMacMeans.com and send your info, I’ll send the Whisky Laird right back at you :)

Thanks everyone for playing along with me.

RAGT Booty

1BanditBootyThanks everyoone from celebrating Lori Foster’s RAGT with me.  You may recall we have TWO winners -

The collection of Janice Maynard books go to DEB.

The two Kay Stockham Christmas books (time to celebrate a bit early :) ) go to JODI

Congratualations ladies!

Now, if you could, can you go to my website, www.DonnaMacMeans.com and send me your mailing address so I can get these books out to you, pronto!

Thanks again all our bandita buddies.  We cherish your participation on a daily basis.   :-D

RAGT 2014

Earlier this month, Nancy Northcott and I traveled down the road to participate in Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together – or more commonly called – RAGT.  I want to tell you about the event, but first – a very important announcement.      

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Today, and today only, you can get the Intermix July release titles for FREE on NetGalley.  This means you can get an advanced e-galley of THEUntitled-3 megaphoneWHISKY LAIRD’S BED for FREE!  No approvals necessary.  The promotion starts at 10 am EST and runs till 10 am EST tomorrow.  InterMix does this in the hope that you will post a review and chat up the book on social media.  While normally bloggers and professional reviewers participate on NetGalley – today- everyone can.  I hope you take advantage of this offer and I hope you love the book!  Just saying -

Okay – putting down the megaphone.

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RAGT half the roomAbout RAGT.  This is pretty much a laid back reader event. The numbers of attending authors was limited to make room for as many readers as could be squeezed into the Marriott. The picture to the left is one-half of the room.  It was a good turnout. :)  The weekend featured a book signing for independent and ebook authors and a second book signing for traditional authors.  However, the big event as always were the raffle baskets brought to the event by authors and readers alike.   Here’s a shot of the baskets from the podium (center of the room) along one side of the room.RAGTbaskets

Holly with basketThe Romance Bandits basket was won by Holly Amann-Pauley, and what a fabulous collection of books she won.  That’s her to the left.  I submitted a Donna MacMeans basket which was filled with Scotland and peacock themed goodies (including a tin of fudge flavored with a bit of single malt scotch).  That basket was won by Ellen Walker.  (Way to go, Ellen!)  I neglected to get her picture.  (Bad Donna!) but you can see what she won to the left.  The proceeds from the tickets sold for raffle baskets go to charity.  This year, $17,500 was raised for the One Way Farm, a center devoted to helping troubled 2014 DMAC RAGT basketkids.  You can read more about the One Way Farm here  http://www.onewayfarm.org.  That’s a lot of raffle tickets!!!! 

 In addition, every attendee received a Barnes and Noble $10 gift card and was encouraged to use it at the in-house Barnes and Noble store.  A portion of the proceeds from all the B&N purchases or $1,857 was given to The Conductive Learning Center which works with kids with Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Bifida, and other motor imparements.   You can read more about them here http://www.clcgc.org . I’m sure the gift of the cards helped to move a lot of books out of the bookstore and into the hands of lovers of romance.

 Nancy and I were able to participate in a video interview for bloggers.  Here’s a picture of my session for historical authors.  The paranormal 2014 historical RAGTinterview which was Nancy’s group was far better attended – lots of authors.  We historical authors are a bit of an endangered species (grin).  That’s Me, Monica Burns, Jocie McKade,and Rue Allyn.  Dee Davis joined the group a bit later to talk about her time travel back to Scotland.  I haven’t seen the final video yet.  Have you seen the one that you were in, Nancy?

MLandersRAGTThe event provided lots of opportunities for selfies and as you can see, I’m still trying to learn how to do them.  LOL  That’s one of Melissa Landers and me to the left, and Deb Sabin, me, and Deb Meredith to the right.  That’s a picture of Renee Vincent and myself down below. 2014 RAGT Renee VincentDebSabinRAGT She’s a sweetheart.  Unfortunately, with all the selfies and posing for pictures, I neglected to take a shot of Nancy and I.  (Another Bad Donna!) 

 

 Of course, no reader event would be complete without free books, so I’m giving away some today.  Someone leaving a comment will recieve a complete set of Janice Maynard’s contemporaries (seven books!).  Because of the size (and weight) of the collection, I’ll need to limit that prize to someone in the states.  To compensate, I’m also awarding  two books from Kay Stockham, Christmas in Montana and A Christmas to Remember, to a commenter no matter where you live :)

 I know many of our readers haven’t attended a readers event.  So my question is – if you could…which non-bandita event would you go to, where would it be held, and what sort of activities would you do there? 

 

Coming Attractions – Extra-Awesome MAY Style!

eightEvery month is a big old party here in the Lair, but MAY is especially special? Why, yes, it IS my birthday month! So kind of you to remember that my birthday is MAY 13 and I’m accepting gifts and brunches/lunches/dinners ALL MONTH LONG. :)  Still, we have another Big Event we celebrate each May. Our Romance Bandits Blogiversary! On May 8, we will be having a HUGE blowout of a Facebook party. We’ll spend almost the entire day partying like, well, Banditas and giving stuff away! You guys just have to come by and comment to win swag. We’ll have a huge prize at the end for one lucky winner: a Kindle Paperwhite and e-book prize bundle!! Super fun and easy! Go Like our Facebook page to be sure you don’t miss out!

And in other exciting news:A Rake's Midnight Kiss

Anna Campbell had a great month for contest excitement! Not only did her Sons of Sin books win Favorite Series Of 2013 at the Australian Romance Reader Awards, she received news that A Rake’s  Midnight Kiss has finaled in the historical section of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Awards. Woo hoo! We are all terribly proud of Anna!

LUD_382_LIV_COUV.inddAnna Sugden‘s French language version of A Perfect Distraction was an Amazon bestseller in France and Canada! Wonder why? I don’t think it was just the hockey player theme! :D

COMING UP

Elements-5_5x8_5-100dpi-c8May 3 – Nancy and guest Suzanne Church offer us a change of pace.  Suzanne will discuss her new short story collection, Elements, with maybe a bit of Game of Thrones chat stirred in. (Dragon and knights and speculative fiction, oh my! I can’t wait!)

Back In the Italian's BedMay 5 – Anna Campbell hosts the brilliant Annie West in the Lair! Annie’s going to tell us all about her wonderful new novella Back In the Italian’s Bed, the first in her Hot Italian Nights series! (Nothing about Hot Italians can be anything but awesome!)

UrsulaLeCoeur_TheWillingWidow_1400px (2)[1]May 6 - Debut author Ursula LaCoeur will guest with Donna. Learn how the romance of New Orleans inspired her debut, The Willing Widow. (New Orleans-inspired Victorian suspense should be extra-spicy!)

Osburn_HometoStay_front_cvr_FINALMay 9 – Nancy welcomes Terri Osburn to chat about secrets, secret identities, and her new Anchor Island release, Home to Stay.  Join the party and get the inside info! (Sekrits? We love sekrits!)

Murder At Honeychurch HallMay 12 - Join Kate as she hosts the delightful Hannah Dennison whose wonderful new English countryside mystery series will debut this month, with Murder at Honeychurch Hall. (I’ve met Hannah. You’ll love her!)

DragonLover_w8322_300May 16 - Karilyn Bentley returns with her dragon shifters to chat with Suz about her newest book, Dragon Lover. When opposing dreams collide, will love be the victor? (Ooh, dragons!)

Baby Steps medium cover NookMay 24 – Caren Crane‘s book launch party for Baby Steps, the second book in the Cross Springs series. Don’t miss the extra-fun return to Cross Springs for the heart-tugging story of how Connie Burns, the career-oriented, happily-childless best friend from Kick Start ends up a mommy! (Cutest cover ever!)

Lord Somerton's HeirMay 27 – Anna Campbell hosts Aussie historical romance author Alison Stuart. Alison will be talking about her latest release Lord Somerton’s Heir, a Regency romantic suspense set just after Waterloo. (Waterloo! Couldn’t escape if I wanted to!)

CONTESTS

Anna Campbell is giving away three personalized print ARCs of What A Duke Dares, the third Sons of Sin What a Duke Daresnovel out in late August, in her current website contest. Just email her on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her the name of the hero and heroine of What A Duke Dares. You might find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html For more information, please check the contest page on her website: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html.

Hello, awesome May 8 Facebook Bandita Blogiversary party! Don’t miss it or you will feel like the out-of-the-loop kid sitting alone at home who missed the totally rad party when Kat and Bianca’s dad went out of town…or was that from Ten Things I Hate About You? Anyway, Like our page and join the party and win stuff!

Online Auction to benefit Diabetes Research: BrendaNovakForTheCure.orgAlso, the Banditas are offering a crapload of great goody packages (11 of them!) in the Brenda Novak auction to benefit Type 1 diabetes research!  Think you don’t know anyone with Type 1 diabetes? You know me and I’ve had it for 32 years! So check out the auction, bid on stuff and help cure my disease. There, I totally made it personal! You can check out our different packages by clicking the Romance Bandits link on the sidebar of the main auction page! 

Wowza! May is shaping up to be kind of amazing and – potentially – exhausting! So what do you anticipate will be your favorite thing about May in the Lair? I think it’s going to be hard to choose (but I’m totally casting a vote for MY BIRTHDAY)!

April Coming Attractions

Last Temptation of Dr. Dalton

March was an AMAZING month in the lair. Our fabulous Tawny Weber hit the New York Times List as a part of the Lucky 7 Bad Boys boxed set, which features her story Naughty Vegas Nights. And if that wasn’t enough, Anna Campbell won the Australian Romance Readers Award for Best Continuing Series AND was nominated for a RITA award in the historical category for A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS! 

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But never fear that we’ve been too busy partying in celebration of our banditas’ successes. We have an action-packed April for you this month!

 On April 2nd, Robin Giana returns to the lair to discuss whether eyes are truly the windows to the soul.  You can see her inspiration in the cover of her latest release, The Last Temptation of Dr. Dalton.

CoverFinalLG-NewWitch new

 Our very own Thelma and Louise, Nancy Northcott and Jeanne Adams, hit the road on April 4 and 5 and will bring you their latest adventures on a research trip through coastal Georgia. Savannah, Brunswick, and (of course, since Nancy is involved) the Okefenokee are all on the itinerary, and there may be some surprises along the way. Safe travels, Nancy and Jeanne! No cliff-diving now, OK?

 

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On 12 April, Nancy welcomes Alexis Morgan for her Lair debut.  They’ll chat about Alexis’s new release, Immortal Cowboy.

Break out the cabana boys, because Tawny’s full-length paranormal, There’s A New Witch in Town will released on April 14th!  A sexy fairy tale of a witch, a hot hero and a cursed town… and a whole lot of fun!

Cross Springs In Bloom cover2

On April 15 Trish Milburn celebrates the release of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF LOVE the second novella collection in the Starfish Shores series from MJ Fredrick, Tanya Michaels and (of course) Trish Milburn!

April 16 – Caren Crane hosts Deb Marlowe and various others of the Red Door Reads authors to talk about their exciting new novella adventure. Be sure to Like their Facebook page before April 15 so you will be first to hear all the news!

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April 17 — Elke Feuer debuts in the Lair with her book, Deadly Bloodlines, in which “A serial killer is determined to repeat a murderous pattern that started twenty years ago.”


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On April 18, Lisa Tapp joins Joanie to chat about her debut novel, FINDING BETH.  

April 21 Allie Burton returns to the Lair with Atlantis Dark Tides, book 4 in her YA series, where treachery and spies determine the fate of the underwater world.
 

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April 23rd brings debut author Ursula LaCoeur to the lair.  Learn how the romance of New Orleans inspired her debut, The Willing Widow.

 

CONTESTS/SPECIAL OFFERS

Suzanne Ferrell’s KIDNAPPED is FREE on Amazon, iTunes, and KOBO ebooks.

Susan Sey and Caren Crane will be participating in a huge Red Door Reads giveaway (prize is an iPad mini!) starting April 15. To keep in the know, Like the Facebook page.

Tawny Weber’s There’s A New Witch in Town will be out in the Dangerous Dozen boxed set on April 7th – for a limited time, the boxed set is specially priced for only .99 cents.

Weird Science

One of the best things to writing a book is doing the research.

What!  You say.  Doing research is work.  It’s hard.  It’s definitely not fun…but it is.  The thought of all that hard work researching a time period with which I was unfamilar held me back from writing historical romances for a long, long time.  Silly me.  Once you start doing the research, it’s easy to get lost in the learning and forget about writing.

Weird ScienceBut I’m not researching a time period this time.  I’m researching time and science.

You see, the hero of my work in process – a really fun time travel – is a quantum physics professor concerned with string theory.  In order to protray my hero, I need to learn the buzz words and some of the concepts of his profession.  To help with that, I’ve been watching some of the NOVA science series and other science DVDs and I’ve got to say –  science is uncovering some seriously freaky stuff.  (I had another four letter word in mind, but “stuff” will cover it.)

For example – Did you realize that time is not the same for everyone?  Gravity impacts time.  The closer you are to the center of the earth, the faster time moves.skyscraper  Thus the farther away you are from earth, the slower time ticks by.  That’s one of the reasons it’s said that if you go up far, far away in space, by the time you return, everyone you knew will have aged years while you may have only aged months.  The segment said this change in time works for being on high sky-scrapers as well.  If you live, work, and pretty much remain on the ninetith floor of a building (I choose that floor at random), you’ll age slower than the people on the street below.  Of course, the difference is probably not visible to the naked eye as it’s so small – but, hey, you’ll know and that’s all that counts. :-)

airplaneThe same thing occurs with speed.  The faster one goes the more time slows down.  To prove this, scientists took two precise atomic clocks that measure time to the mega – mega – second.  The clocks registered exactly the same time.  One clock was placed on a jet that flew incredibly fast around the world.  When it returned to the starting point, the two clocks were compared and the one on the plane registered a time that was several mega seconds behind that of the other clock.  Time had slowed for the high-flying clock.  Think about that the next time you squeeze into a tight airplane seat to fly all around the country just to get to the state next door.  This little scientific fact must explain the GR’s youthful appearance.  His constant flights have earned him eternal youth.

Then there’s the whole concept of particle entanglement.  Without going into a lot of scientific explanation, entanglement is when two particles influence each other to do the exact thing.  If one twists right, the other twists left at the same precise moment.  They are entangled.  The cool thing is that if you split these entangled particles and send one far, far away – it’ll still have the exact star treksame arrangement with it’s entangled partner.  One twists right, the other twists left and at the exact same moment they switch.  Cool – huh?  It’s believed that this will lead to a teleportation model in the future.  Star Trek is here, folks!

Even though this next piece of science has nothing to do with time, I thought it was interesting, particularly for lovers of romance.  There is a condition called blindsight whereby once sighted people lose the ability to see out of one eye due to an accident or a stroke, etc.  The connection that takes visual cues to the visual cortex for interpretation is damaged rendering the person blind in that eye.  In an experiment, scientists had blindsighted individuals look in a contraption that had a partition to brainbetween the eyes of the person looking into it.  Thus the test subject would only be able to see the image portrayed in front of the “good” eye.  The image projected in front of the “blind” eye should be lost or not seen – yet it was.  The contraption showed the good eye pictures of faces with absolutely no expression.  Simultaneously, they showed the “blind” eye pictures of people showing great emotion.  The test subject’s face would mimic the emotional faces even though they could only see the expressionless faces.  When questioned, they didn’t know that they had that reaction.  Scans of the test subject’s brain showed that even though the visual cortex never “lit up,” other areas of the brain did – the ones that process emotion.  The scientists felt this would suggest that a sixth sense exists that registers emotion.

I think this must be true because when I read an emotional book, I’m quite certain many, many areas in my brain light up – even though I’m not “seeing” anything but words on a page.  It’s the power of emotion, and as romance is the most emotional of all the genres, in my opinion, romance must be the most powerful of literatures.  At least it is in my world :-) sunshine

Speaking of time – don’t forget that this weekend marks the start of daylight savings time.  We’ll be springing forward on Sunday night.  And if we’re “springing” forward for the sake of co-ordinating our clocks, can the start of spring in the form of warmer temps and flowers and sun be far behind?

I must say that even though I was a bit of a science geek in my early years  (I mean really, who else takes college level Chemistry just for the fun of it?), I sometimes feel that the world is rushing ahead leaving me in the dust.  There is so very much that I don’t know and never imagined.  Do you ever feel like that?  Have you ever encountered some weird science that you’d like to share?  Are you a Big Bang Show enthuiast (I am)?  Are you now or have you ever been a science geek?  What are your thoughts about time-travel?   Are you as anxious for Spring as I am?  Let’s chat. 

 

 

 

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