A huge congrats to Dorchester’s 2010 Rita finalists!  In no particular order:

    

 

For a limited time, you can get these titles 30% off

I was fortunate enough to be with Elisabeth Naughton in Portland, OR,  for the annual Public Libraries Assoc. conference when she got the announcement that STOLEN FURY had double finaled for Best First Book and Romantic Suspense.  We had a fantastic time celebrating.

I also had the pleasure of being on a panel about chick lit and women’s fiction with Susan Wiggs (another double Rita finalist!), Jane Porter (also a Rita finalist!), Beth Kendrick and super-librarian Joyce Saricks.  Teresa Bergen has a nice recap of the panel–include how chick lit has become a dirty word among some houses and how it’s evolved for others.  It might just not be as dead as you think.

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Hope everyone had a wonderfully fantastic Labor Day weekend. 

mayhem-in-high-heelsFor those still looking for a little relaxation time, check out the Stress (Way) Less article at Shecky’s, which suggests pampering with  some luxe lotions and a copy of Gemma Halliday’s MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS.  According to the popular fashion and beauty site, it’s “totally indulgent!” 

This week, MAYHEM is also the Romance selection at DearReader.com.  Sign up on their site to get a week’s worth of preview, and join the conversation on their forums.

Congratulations to Victoria Alexander, whose THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA is on this week’s New York Times mass-market bestseller list.

princess_and_the_pea

 

where-the-wind-blowsAnd it’s been a busy week for Caroline Fyffe.  Her debut novel, WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, has recently been optioned for film, with production slated to start this fall.  The Lonesome Dove-meets-Little House on the Prairie story was also featured in this month’s Horse & Rider magazine.  Caroline will be signing books tomorrow at the Wal-Mart in Lodi, CA.

 

Even if you weren’t able to visit the Dorchester authors at DragonCon this weekend, you can still win a Kindle loaded with your choice of books.  The winner also gets a Kindle edition of the highly anticipated fantasy debut by L.J. McDonald, THE BATTLE SYLPH, which won’t be in stores until March.  Click here for details.

librarians

I went to visit my parents in western NY state for Mother’s Day weekend. For the plane ride there, I wore Angie Fox‘s Kiss My Asphalt tee.

On the way to the house, we stopped by the local library where I worked in high school and where my mom works now. Both Mom (right in the pic) and the library’s director, Mrs. V. (left) were taken with the shirt and it got us talking about Angie’s books.

Fast-forward to Saturday when Mom & I are in Wal-Mart and see a copy of THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR DEMON SLAYERS

“Oh, isn’t this from the T-shirt you were wearing yesterday?” she asks. 

“Yup. That’s the one.” I show her the acknowledgments.

“I’m buying this,” she says. 

“Mom, really, I can send you one.”   [Shh, don’t tell my Sales dept.]

“No, I’m buying this to support your author, and then I can donate it to the library for others to read, too.”

So there you have the actual point (finally): That promo t-shirt directly led to a sale.  From there, who knows how many more people will read the book and pick up Angie’s backlist.

The same thing happened to Gemma Halliday on the way to a workshop we gave in Topeka a few years ago.  She had a canvas tote with the cover for SPYING IN HIGH HEELS.  The woman she was sitting next to on the plane asked about it and ended up coming to Gemma’s signing the next day and buying all the books she had available.

Quite often with marketing efforts, it’s incredibly difficult to tell what’s effective and what has enough impact to lead to sales. But anything authors do has a much higher chance of ROI when it’s actually being used and as visible as possible.  Especially around chatty plane companions and inquisitive librarians.

Congratulations to the following finalists for the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence:

     

Emily Bryan has posted more RT photos on her site, including shots from the Mr. Romance competition.

Speaking of RT, Teri Thackston wrote a great recap of the Dorchester Spotlight.  The only thing you’re missing is the chocolate we gave out.

Jennifer Ashley is over on The Chatelaines today–part of her huge blog tour–talking about the dream life of an author.

And catch a glimpse of the darker side of Dorchester with Executive Editor Don D’Auria’s interview at Famous Monsters.

Gemma Halliday is organizing an a blowout auction for a wonderful cause. So far, they’ve collected donations of agent critiques, editor pitches, website design, tarot readings, artwork, jewelry, handmade quilts, and tons and tons of autographed books, so there will be a lot to choose from. Read more about the auction and find out how to participate at Killer Fiction.

Also this week:

1/9 – From Publishers Lunch: Vivian Chum has joined Prospect Agency as an agent. She is seeking romance, young adult fiction, literature, thrillers, and science fiction, as well as nonfiction projects.

1/8 – Check out the new section for reads that are free or cheap. 

1/7 – Vote for your favorite titles, bookstores, websites and more at the annual Preditors & Editors reader poll. 

1/6 – Romantic Times announces finalists for Career Achievement and Reviewers’ Choice Awards. 

1/5 – Borders replaces top management. 

Christmas in High Heels

Get ready for MAYHEM this January with a free short story download from Gemma Halliday.

No pretty covers yet for these, I’m afraid.  But you certainly have plenty of time to mark your calendar. 

July

Alaskan series by Stephanie Rowe (romantic suspense) – In the rugged Alaska wilderness, women are scarce, men are tougher than the terrain trying to kill them, and no one walks away unscathed.  Lisa Jackson calls ICE, “A thrill ride.”

September

The Scottish Templars by Gerri Russell (historical romance) – They were the bravest warriors of their time, trusted with some of history’s greatest secrets.  But what happens when they fall in love?  Gerri Russell, American Title Winner and most known for her Stones of Destiny series, once again brings fascinating historical detail to life in a new series loaded with exotic settings, high action, and of course emotional love stories.

Athens Academy series or Novels of The Guard by Leanna Heiber (historical fantasy) – At the height of Victorian London, a group of spirit trackers known as the Guard are searching for the keys to a powerful prophesy among the misty, gaslit, ghostly cobblestone streets and bring us THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER.

November

Hollywood Headlines by Gemma Halliday (mystery romance) – The L.A. Informer is Los Angeles’s premier tabloid magazine, reporting on all the latest celebrity gossip, scandals and dirt.  They’re not above a little sensational exaggeration and have even been known, on occasion, to bend the law in pursuit of a hot story.  Their ace reporter, Felix Dunn, has just been promoted to managing editor.  Now, he’s got his work cut out for him keeping the magazine running smoothly while keeping his staff in line – especially his gossip columnist, in SCANDAL SHEET.