Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote of the Week!

"Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing. It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total."

~Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning

I'd like to go a bit further and talk about the editors and the final line editors, those folks that work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring books to readers everywhere. These people work long, long hours, slog through pages and pages of manuscripts, and find ways to make them shine.

I've personally worked with six different editors and I have no idea how many final line editors. I've learned something from them all and continue to learn with each manuscript. I just want to say thank you for all the hard work that you do!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lights Out!

Tonight is Lights Out for Earth Hour!

This event began in Sydney, Australia last year as a way to bring attention to our energy consumption and to the larger issue of global warming. It's grown from a one-city event to a global movement in 2008.

This year, millions will turn out their lights at 8 o'clock in their local time zones to show their support, and awareness, of this worthy cause. Millions of people in countries around the world will go dark tonight.

I had all my lights off and my computer shut down for the hour. I hope you do too.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Newsletter Reminder!

If you're not already receiving Awakening Desires--the Newsletter of Romance Author N.J. Walters, then you're missing out on all the latest news, author interviews, excerpts, and tons more! You're also missing out on a chance to win every month!

2008 is the Year of the Print Book!

This year I'm giving away print books to lucky newsletter subscribers! Each month, a winner will be drawn at random, and that person will be able to choose a print book from my backlist. (Whichever titles I have available)

Go toAwakening Desires Newsletter to join and read back issues.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I was lying in bed this morning, listening to the radio, when the announcer started talking about a new relationship book. Apparently the author of this book said that women have too high expectations and need to learn to settle so they won't be alone and childless in their forties.

Now, I'm not even going to start with how many things I think are wrong with this statement. I mean, the implication is that if you don't have a man, a woman can't be happy and complete, and to be unmarried and childless in your forties is a horrible fate. What is this the 1850's?

Anyway, I hope that the announcers got the gist of the book wrong. BUT, what they did say was that these unrealistic relationship expectations come from movies and ROMANCE books.

Hello, do they not read romance books?

I don't know about you, but the heroes in most of the books I read, and write, are flawed, as are the heroines. The story is based on these characters growing and changing. If they were already perfect, there would be no story. Also, at the end of the book, you know that these are just people struggling to make their life work--just like the rest of us.

I don't think that romance books have ever been about perfection--not the bulk of them anyway. If they were, I would have gotten bored reading them years ago. That hasn't happened, and is not likely to happen anytime soon.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Contest!

Spring is in the air and, to celebrate, I'm giving away PRINT books!

Two lucky winners will receive 3 Ellora's Cavemen Anthologies--Legendary Tails IV, Dreams of the Oasis IV, and Seasons of Seduction III--which all feature stories by me. :-)

Two more winners will receive print copies of the Seasons of Seduction anthology.

That's FOUR chances to win!

Just check out the SPRING FEVER CONTEST on my website for all the details!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Samhain Spring Showers Promotion!

The Samhain Authors are over at Coffee Time Romance this week and for the next three weeks with tons of excerpts for you to enjoy and prizes for you to win.
Just drop on over and check it out.
You can check out my excerpt at Coffee Time Romance Forms .

Saturday, March 22, 2008



I hope that the Easter bunny has visited your home and left you some nice easter eggs. Hopefully, some of them are chocolate. :-)

Have a wonderful day with family and friends!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hello To Spring!

Today is the Vernal Equinox, although looking out the window at the banks of snow it's hard to believe that spring has finally arrived.

This year is a very unique one as today is the first day of spring or Ostara, tomorrow is Good Friday, and there is a full moon as well. This is a magical time of year when winter finally starts to release the iron grip it has on the land. The days get longer and warmer. Grass appears from beneath the patches of snow and the first flowers peek their heads tentatively above the ground.

So whatever your beliefs, enjoy today. Spring is in the air. And that means that summer is not far behind!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guest Blogs!

I'm guest blogging over at The Hussies Blog today!

The More the Merrier! Check out my blog on ménage a trois novels.

I'm also being featured on Lexxie Couper’s Blog with my answers to 8 Ridiculous Questions! this was such a fun interview.

Stop by and check out my answers. :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008


I've talked about the work-in-progress and the rewrites before, but what comes after that?

Once those are all done, and the book is as good as I can make it, I submitted it to my editor. Then I wait and see if it will be contracted.

If I get the word that the book is indeed contracted, I celebrate! Then the wait for edits begins.

Edits are the place where the work really gets fine-tuned and all the flaws (hopefully) get found and fixed.

I've been extremely lucky in the past three and a half years to work with six incredible editors. Each one has taught me so much and I continue to strive to improve with each book.

That's where I am right now--in the edits cave. Jackson's Jewel, book 5 in the Awakening Desires series, is now on my computer with yellow highlights, red lines, editor's notes, and punctuation that needs fixing. Beyond that, there are a few content issues that need to be addressed. I'm totally psyched!

I love this part of the process, even though some days it makes me want to tear my hair out. LOL It's hard work, but it is worth it. In the end the book will be stronger and something I'm very proud to put my name on.

So bring on the edits. I'll see you in a few days. :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Warriors, Waitresses, and Artists, Oh My!

Warriors, Waitress, and Artists, Oh My!

What's in a job? When it comes to the characters in a book...plenty. Check out my guest post over at The Romance Studio Blog today to find out more!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Night Owl Romance--Interview!

My latest author interview is up over at Night Owl Romances . I had a lot of fun chatting with the folks over there.

If you get a chance, drop by and check it out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Craving Candy Wins EPPIE!

I'm thrilled to announce that Craving Candy has been awarded a 2008 EPPIE Award in the category of Erotic Romance--Contemporary/Suspense/Mystery! The category was a tie, so I'm happy to share this award with Marie-Nicole Ryan and her winning book, Too Good To Be True.

Congratulations to all the other finalists and the other winners.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Want to find out what I'm talking about?

Visit the Romance Junkies Blog where I'm guest blogging today!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Samhain Publishing's Readers Appreciation and Read an E-book Week Celebrations!

March 2nd to the 8th was Read an E-Book Week, and to celebrate the Samhain Publishing Authors are throwing a week-long party!

Starting Sunday, March 9th at the Samhain Cafe, authors will be posting excerpts, hosting games and giving you plenty of chances to win prizes!

I'll be there Sunday morning at 10 AM EST to help kick off this party. I'll be hosting a scavenger hunt for a chance for someone to win one of my Samhain print books. I'll probably be back again later in the week too. Not sure when, but I'll let you know. :-)

So join me and the other Samhain authors each day, starting tomorrow, until March 15th for fun and prizes!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fancy Free by Shelley Munro

Fancy Free by Shelley Munro is out today! This looks like a fun read!

Alicia started her company, Fancy Free on a whim—a business to occupy her time and keep her old school friends busy. Many of Sloan’s residents considered Fancy Free a strange business, and some were plain shocked, but Alicia didn’t believe in following conventions. Condoms were something she knew about. She’d researched them enough, heck, she’d even used a few in her time. Condoms were her passion, and so condoms were what her company produced. On her death, she left her precious company to her god-daughter Alice Beasley.

A snippet from Alicia’s collection of condom notes:

During Roman times, a magic condom became popular. This condom supposedly protected the users from pregnancy and from evil spirits. To make a magic condom the woman collected a large handful of fur from a she-mule’s mane. During the foreplay stage, the man and woman wove a condom from the fur, which was then used during lovemaking.

Alicia’s note – sounds uncomfortable and itchy but the foreplay might be interesting. Did it leak? Source: Humble Little Condom by Aine Collier

Get your copy of FANCY FREE, an erotic romance about condoms by Shelley Munro, from Ellora’s Cave on March 7, 2008.
To read an excerpt visit

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Last week I talked about the WIP--Work in Progress. But what do you do when you've finally finished sweating over the keyboard and pounding out that rough draft of your book?Why simple.

You rewrite it!

I can hear you all screaming now--WHAT?

It's true...and I'll let you in on a little secret--you have to rewrite it more than once.

No one writes a perfect book in the first draft. Okay, maybe someone out there can, but it's not me. What you're left with in the rough draft is hopefully the bones of a really great story.

All while I'm writing the rough draft I'm making notes on things I need to add or change or think about. I don't go back and fix them while I'm writing. You can drive yourself crazy doing that. And what if you go back and spend days changing something only to realize when you're finished that it no longer suits the vision of the book. All that work for nothing, and then there is the fact that it took you a lot longer to finish your rough draft.

By the time the rough draft is finished you'll have a better of who your character are--because at least one of them will probably surprise you--and you'll have the bare bones of your story, your conflict and your resolution.

Now is the time to go back and begin to rewrite with those factors in mind. It's time to work the magic!

I love to rewrite because it is now that you can add depth to the scenes. Ususally when I'm doing the rough draft, I want to get it all down before I forget what I want to say. *g* Sometimes, the details suffer. But I don't worry about it because I know I can fix it on the rewrite. This is where you stop, look and listen, adding details that will allow you to expand the world you are creating and make it more real.

This is also when you check for consistencies in the book--pesky little details that the reader will catch if you don't. Things like the placement of furniture, eye color, clothing details, etc... Do you need to add something earlier to make a later scene make sense? Example: I mentioned a collection of antique swords hanging over the fireplace in a room so when a character grabs one later in the book the reader won't ask, "Where the heck did that come from?"

As an author, I know my problem is sometimes not putting down on the page everything that's in my head. I know the swords are there, but if I don't write it down the reader won't know.

Grammer comes into play now. Word choice as well. I have a habit of using a particular word three or four times in the same paragraph. This is the time to rewrite, change the sentence structure and the wording.

When I'm done and finally have the manuscript as good as I can make it, I hand it off to my reader. When it comes back, it's full of red marks and questions. What about this? What about that?

Then it's back to the computer, taking into consideration all the questions and suggestions my reader has. Your reader has to be someone you trust, someone whose only goal is to make the book stronger and better.

Working through the manuscript, page by page, I fix things, checking every detail. When I'm finished and finally satisfied, then I'll send it off to my editor. Some books require another go round with my reader, sometimes two. Each book is different.

And if I'm fortunate enough for my editor to love the book enough to contract it, I know it's going to come back again with another load of edits to be done, sometimes several rounds, as well as final line edits.

So writing the first draft is only the beginning.

But it's worth the hard work when the book is finally released and it's the best that I can make it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Standoff by Lauren Dane

It’s the law of the Pack—or anarchy.

A Cascadia Wolves story.


For most of his life, Cade Warden has put the needs of his Pack first, setting aside everything else—even the emptiness he feels from having no mate. But Warren Pellini and his thugs have a biological weapon, threatening everything Cade holds dear.

Into his intensely focused, lonely life walks the woman he’s been waiting for.

Packless for many years, Grace Pellini has edged back into the good graces of her evil brother, walking a dangerous line to gather information to aid the Nationally Allied Packs. Cade is everything she could have hoped for in a man and a mate, even if he can be pushy and overprotective.

In the midst of their rising passion and desperate search for the key to disabling the weapon, Pellini raises the stakes by calling an ancient Challenge.

Now it’s Grace’s turn to put her protective instincts aside and stand by, Cade’s life in her hands, as her mate risks everything for his people.

Warning: Hot sexin’ of an Alpha-wolf type nature, some violence due to meddling werewolf mafia involvement, bad words that may end up the subject of a letter to the editor.

Okay, if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know what a big Lauren Dane fan I am, especially when it comes to her werewolves. Standoff is the latest installment in the Cascadia Wolves series and it doesn't disappoint.

Emotions run high as the themes of betrayal and family ties are pushed to the limits. Fans of this series have been waiting for Cade's story since book 1 and Lauren Dane delivers a story that will not disappoint. Grace certainly knows how to handle herself, and not just with alpha Cade, but with the rest of the pack. Cade will fight the ultimate battle for his pack and for his mate.

Not to be missed. Pick up Standoff on Tuesday, March 4th from
Samhain Publishing.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What do you do when you inherit a Condom Company?

He Says, She Says on Inheriting a Condom Company


The reading of my god-mother’s will shocked me speechless. I assumed I’d inherit money or jewelry. A condom company came way down the bottom of my list of expectations! Who’d have thought? My god-mother offered me a share in a condom company or a small monetary inheritance. My boyfriend, Steven wanted me to take the money and run. Me—I saw possibilities, the answers to making my dreams come true. We fought about it. Embarrassing? Oh, yeah. We were the center of attention and there were quite a few sniggers from the other occupants of the hall.

I think I stepped into an Alice in Wonderland type rabbit hole on arrival for the reading of the will, not a plain old town hall. I caught sight of this man. Tall, dark and sexy. I dubbed him Mr. Dashing, and spellbound, my attention kept wandering to him. Imagine my blush when I discovered I’d have to work with him at the condom company. Things went downhill from there. Steven left Sloan in a huff because I wouldn’t follow his orders and two weird women accosted me shouting anti-condom slogans. Luckily, they didn’t seem violent but they gave me two business cards, one bearing a clown and the other a dog. Goodness knows what they mean. Life in Sloan looks as if it might be interesting, but I’m a bit wary about condoms. After all, it’s not as if I have experience in that arena…


I can’t believe Alicia expects me to train this girl. And Alicia’s death couldn’t have come at a worse time. Someone is out to sabotage Fancy Free. It’s been one thing after another. Financially, we can’t take much more. I hope the new design goes well because the company sure needs the boost of funds.

Will Alice and James make a good team? Will she make up with Steven? How do they test the condoms? And who is out to destroy Fancy Free?

Read Alice and James story in FANCY FREE by Shelley Munro to discover all the answers. Available from Ellora’s Cave on 7 March 2008.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Awakening Desires Newsletter--March Issue Now Available

If you're not already receiving Awakening Desires--the Newsletter of Romance Author N.J. Walters, then you're missing out on all the latest news, author interviews, excerpts, and tons more! You're also missing out on a chance to win every month!

2008 is the Year of the Print Book!

This year I'm giving away print books to lucky newsletter subscribers! Each month, a winner will be drawn at random, and that person will be able to choose a print book from my backlist. (Whichever titles I have available)

All you have to do to be eligible to win next month is to go to Awakening Desires Newsletter to join and read back issues.

Check out this month's interview with the incredibly talented Judy Mays!