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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Heroes & Heartbreakers

It's a weird feeling to read other people's thoughts on a book you've written. Weird and wonderful, even if not all the thoughts are positive, because it makes the whole experience come alive in the way that only happens if multiple people engage with the idea and the characters and the story.

And sometimes, a reader will see things in your writing that you didn't consciously intend, or will make connections you didn't make as you were writing--and that's even more amazing. Because whether I intended it or not, those connections are there, in black and white.

Take today's Heroes & Heartbreakers article about Too Hot to Touch by the fabulous Marisa O'Neill of RomanceNovelTV. Reading that post gave me chills, because everything in it is absolutely true and her observations are keen and insightful--but the way she thinks about Max and Jules isn't a precise echo of the way I thought about them as I was writing them.

But I'm not writing them anymore. Max and Jules have their own life now, and as more and more people read their story once it comes out next week, I'll relinquish more and more ownership of those characters. Sure, they belong to me in a legal sense. But in the way that matters, they belong to you, to everyone who goes with them on their journey towards their happily ever after. They belong to the reader.

Read Marisa's article if you want a sneak peek at what's going on with Max and Jules and all their kitchen drama. And if you want Max and Jules to come alive for you? Read Too Hot to Touch when it comes out August 2nd, and they're all yours.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Desert Island Keeper

All About Romance is known for not being marshmallow pushovers when it comes to their reviews. Every author I know braces herself before opening up the AAR page. I've never gotten less than a B- from them, but I've never gotten higher than a B+, either.

Until today!

I'm so pleased and proud to announce that not only did the lovely, adorable, wonderful, intelligent AAR reviewer give Too Hot to Touch an A-, she also gave it the coveted and elusive DIK rating.

DIK stands for Desert Island Keeper--as in, if she were stranded on a desert island, Too Hot to Touch is one of the books she'd want to have with her, sustaining her through her troubles until she could be rescued. How cool is that??

Read the rave review here, then tell me: if you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would make your keeper pile?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Breaking the Rules

Y'all know I love me some subplot romance. (Frankie and Jess, anyone?) The secondary romance provides an amazing opportunity to bend and break those unwritten rules that govern our beloved genre. For my new trilogy, for example, I chose to push the envelope in two directions with Claire and Kane. Claire is an older (over 40) heroine (who is also French!) and Kane is younger (in his 20s) and (gasp!) a rock star. Yes! Cougar romance with a rock star twist. And maybe that doesn't sound great to you, right off the bat--the same way some readers have confessed to me that the abstract idea of two guys falling in love didn't appeal to them...but once they met Frankie and Jess, the subplot heroes from my Market trilogy, they were hooked.

Give Claire and Kane a chance to hook you! And think about what other romance rules you've noticed, and that you would maybe like to take a sledgehammer to. Plus-size heroines, for instance! Virgin heroes, interracial couples...what else?

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Bounty of Summer

I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to farmer's markets. It's true! If I could go every day (and if we could possibly eat enough produce to keep any from going to waste) I'd be thrilled. As it is, I make it about once a week. Lately I've been buying fresh eggs, local peaches, swiss chard with pretty rainbow stems, tiny little shallots, and the sweetest, juiciest tomatoes imaginable.

Peaches are Mr. Louisa's favorite fruit, next to strawberries. I'd probably have to go with raspberries, myself, but peaches are right up there. As for vegetables, it changes with the seasons. In summer? I can't get enough tomatoes. It's like my body is craving them! (And yeah, I know they're technically a fruit. But come on, do you really think of them that way when you slice them up with fresh mozzarella and basil and drizzle them with balsamic vinaigrette?)

So what's your favorite fruit and vegetable?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back to the Grindstone

I'm home from the Romance Writers of America conference!

Okay, technically I've been home since Saturday afternoon. But I needed time to recover from having way too much fun, and getting way too much business accomplished in NYC. Plus, 4th of July festivities! Which, in my family, mainly consist of eating ethnic food to celebrate the fact that America is a nation of immigrants. This year, since I'd been in NYC for the previous week, I was craving Mexican food and sangria! Yum.

Today I'm back at my desk, about to dig into the revisions for Some Like it Hot. I can't wait to see how it turns out! Revisions are always nerve-wracking, but believe it or not, they're also my favorite part of the writing process. That sense of possibility opening back up in front of you, that ability to take the story and these characters you finally know well in a whole new direction--it's kind of magical. And a lot of work! But I'm ready.

What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip? I kiss these guys:

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