Archive | September 2014

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Contemporary: Hope Ramsay

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Contemporary: “Inn at Last Chance,” by Hope Ramsay (Forever Romance)

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Gabe finished tying off the ends of the bandage. And then he lowered his head and pressed a small kiss to Jenny’s palm.

She gasped. And desire swept through him like a coastal hurricane. He raised his head and looked into her face. “Did I hurt you?”

“No.” She breathed the word.

He cradled her hand in both of his. “You saved my life tonight.” Of this he was entirely certain.

“No, I didn’t.” Her words came out in a watery voice, and tears overflowed her eyes.

He brushed them from her cheek. “Whatever the reason, I am in your debt. It is one of the few debts that doesn’t burden me in the least.” He stopped, his voice becoming thick.

“You’re crazy, Mr. Raintree—”

He pressed his finger across her lips. “Perhaps I am crazy.  And the name is Gabe.”

“Gabe,” she whispered when he removed his finger. He caught his own name on her lips as he leaned in for one, short kiss.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Hope and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

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Golden Leaf Spotlight on Contemporary: Holly Jacobs

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Contemporary: “A Valley Ridge Christmas,” by Holly Jacobs (Harlequin)

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They were surrounded by other couples, dancing to the same song, but all he could focus on was Maeve Buchanan. As the song ended she took his hand as if to move off the dance floor. But Aaron didn’t want to go back. He didn’t want the moment to end.

As he had that thought, Maeve reached up and gave him a chaste kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”

And suddenly, Aaron wanted more than a friendly peck on his cheek.

Without thinking about it, or weighing his action, he leaned down and kissed her on the lips. A kiss that told her without words that he thought she was anything but most women. A kiss he hoped told her how much he was growing to care about her. A kiss that said…

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Holly and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Short Contemporary: Cara Marsi

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Short Contemporary: “A Groom for Christmas,” by Cara Marsi (The Painted Lady Press)

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“I have a proposition for you.”

He quirked that eyebrow again. “Sounds interesting.”

“It’s not what you think.”

He laughed. “What I’m thinking is very good.”

Heat suffused her cheeks. “Clean out your mind. It’s a business proposition.”

“Too bad.” He signaled the waitress for two cups of coffee, then re-settled onto his stool, his attention on Graceann. “Go on. I’m listening.”

Covering her anxiety, she added cream to her coffee, stirred, then took too big a sip and choked as the liquid burned its way down her throat.

He patted her on her back until she waved him away. “I’m fine,” she managed. Pushing aside her cup to let the drink cool, she locked her gaze with his. She would not let him intimidate her.

“I need a fiancé.”

His lips tilted in amusement. “Are you asking me to marry you, Ms. Palmer?”

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Cara and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Short Contemporary: Brenda Harlen

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Short Contemporary: “The Single Dad’s Second Chance,” by Brenda Harlen (Harlequin)

NJRWA The Single Dad's Second Chance Cover

She picked up her purse off the console, double-checked that she had the tickets then grabbed her coat from the closet. “Okay,” she told him.

When he didn’t shift from his position in front of the door, she looked up at him.

He watched her eyes darken as puzzlement changed to awareness, and the pulse at the base of her throat quickened as awareness gave way to desire. It had been a long time since he’d had to read a woman’s signals, but he was confident that the attraction he felt was reciprocated.

She moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue. “Are you, uh, ready?”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “There’s just one thing I think we should get out of the way before we go.”

And then he kissed her.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Brenda and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Short Contemporary: Leigh Duncan

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Short Contemporary: “Second Chance Family,” by Leigh Duncan (Harlequin)

Second Chance Family - Front

Courtney gestured toward the trees, but swore no one noticed. Oh, one or two of the parents gave vacant nods. Melinda, the woman she’d met at tryouts, sent her a cheery look. Courtney returned the half-wave and turned to see what had captured everyone’s attention.

As she suspected, Travis was the culprit.

On the field, he moved with a lithe grace from player to player, positioning them for infield practice. When he squatted down to speak face-to-face with the catcher, Courtney swore she heard one of the mothers swoon. The fathers, well, if the starry-eyed hero worship in their eyes was any indication, they’d all become members of the Travis Oak Fan Club.

A club she was just as determined not to join.

The coach might be the adored answer to the other parents’ prayers, but she was not going to fall under his spell. First and foremost, he was a baseball player…and she was done with those.

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Leigh and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

Golden Leaf Spotlight on Historical: Caroline Linden

The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away!  To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.

The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One.  Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.

Spotlight on Historical: “Love and Other Scandals,” by Caroline Linden (Avon Books)

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“So,” she said to quiet the instinctive tumult inside her body just at the memory of his kiss, “does that mean you plan to kiss me again?”

“No,” he said before she even finished the question.

“Good,” she said with all the cool poise she could muster. “I didn’t much care for it.”

For a moment he didn’t move. A muscle twitched in his jaw. Joan held her ground, sure she’d piqued him where it hurt. If he’d only kissed her to make her stop talking, and couldn’t even be gentlemanly enough to let her think he enjoyed it, she had no qualms in disdaining his skill.

“That sounds remarkably like a challenge,” he said, his voice low and silky. “Challenges, Miss Bennet, are mother’s milk to me. Take care how you issue them.”

“Still a boy with something to prove?” She gave him a patronizing look. “I suppose you’d do it again quickly enough if someone laid you a wager on it.”

Now his smile grew dangerous. “I’ll take that wager. A shilling says I can kiss you and you’ll enjoy it.”

(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)

Good luck to Caroline and all our Golden Leaf finalists!

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!

In The Mind of Diana Cosby – 30 Years of Happily Ever Afters

This week we’re jumping over the hump with our featured workshop presenter and bestselling author, Diana Cosby!

Diana will be giving a workshop at our conference in October. Marketing For Impact is just one of many fabulous workshops we have scheduled.

For more information on our conference, on how to register, and other popular questions, please visit our website at http://www.njromancewriters.org.

Please welcome Diana!

How did you come up with the idea for An Oath Taken?

I enjoy romances where the heroine pretends to be a guy to achieve her goal.  So, when I finished up the MacGruder Brothers Series, I knew that I wanted to dive into this fun storyline.

How much research did you conduct for An Oath Taken?

I’ve been researching the era of Scotland’s fight for freedom for over ten years, so my research is ongoing.  For The Oath Series, in addition to my other research books, I read a fabulous history book on the reivers, “Steel Bonnets,” by by George MacDonald Fraser.

Why did you decide to write Scottish medieval romantic suspense?

I write Scottish medieval romantic suspense because it’s my favorite type of story.  The history of this era is fascinating, and the people who dared the odds to make Scotland free are inspiring.  It’s my honor to share pieces of history throughout my stories.

What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?

I’m a major plotter.  When I write a book I normally make eight passes, which includes a rough draft, edits, critiques, a final on-line read, then a final paper read.  I’m always amazed at how when you think your story is tight, then you read it on paper, you find more areas that need to be strengthened.

Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?

When I’m writing new pages, I write a minimum of five new pages a day.  Before I write, I read up from the beginning of the last scene and edit up.  So, when I write ‘The End,’ I’m thrilled to share that my book is pretty tight.

How do you make time to write?

I have my day broken down to take care of personal items, business, and writing.

When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?

I’d like to say me, but too often my characters take charge of the story and off they go.  When I was writing a travel scene in His Seduction, my hero was upset and told the bad guy to get off his horse as they were going to have it out right there.  I stopped writing (by hand), because this fight did not fit into what I’d plotted.  I tried several times to delete this twist, but my hero refused.  So, I ended up eating dinner and finishing the scene to see what would happen.  In the end, it was fabulous.  I was thrilled at how the fight ramped up the tension!

What advice do you have for other writers?

Follow your heart, be true to yourself, and only you can tell your story!  And, keep around positive people who encourage you to believe in your dreams!!!

Why did you decide to become a romance author?

After I retired from the Navy, I decided to become a romance author because I’ve read romance my entire life and wanted to be a writer.

Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

After 9 1/2 years of writing, I was 3/4the the way through my 11th novel when I received “The Call” from Kate Duffy and Sulay Hernandez for my 8th novel.  It was an amazing day.  I didn’t yell or anything, but cried.  Once I’d calmed, I read my prepared note near my writing desk to the editors if ever I received ‘The Call.’  After, I thanked them for their time and told them I would get back to them in the next day or so.  When my kids came home from school, I shared the exciting news with them.  Then, I called several writing friends, culled sage advice, and a couple of days later I negotiated a two-book deal.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

I would be painting recreations of masters or flipping homes.

What books can we expect to see in the near future?

An Oath Taken is the first book in The Oath Trilogy.  An Oath Broken will be out in the Spring of 2014, and An Oath Sworn will come out in late 2015.  Also, in March of 2014, the MacGruder Brothers Box Set will be released.

*If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, here’s the link.  Thank you!

What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story?

When readers close the last page of my stories, I want them to walk away satisfied, and with a belief that they can overcome any obstacles faced.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an author?

That there’s so much more to learn, and to trust my instincts.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?

Wow, that’s so tough.  I think it’s a toss-up between reenlisting on the back of a camel in Africa, night diving in Guam, fishing in Alaska, and driving through Western Europe.

Tell us a little about the state/country you live in.

As a military brat, and a retired Navy Chief, AGC(AW), I’ve moved around a lot in my life.  I’m currently on move #34 and live in New Jersey.  The people here are so nice, I love the variety of things to do from hiking to going to the beach or to a festival, and the food is incredible!  (Fresh mozzarella – yum!)

Tell us your latest news.

Thank you so much for asking.  I have a thrilling end of the year ahead!

October:

I’ll be presenting a workshop at NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference.

November:

I’ll be the Keynote Speaker at the Heart of Louisiana annual, “Fall in Readers’ Luncheon,” in Baton Rouge, La.

I’ll kick off the 5th annual Diana Cosby’s International Food Bank Food Drive.

Plus, Diana Cosby’s Romance Readers Build A Habitat For Humanity Home has now raised almost $5,000 toward a goal of $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home and make a deserving family’s dream come true.

You are busy! How would you describe yourself in five words?

Goal-driven, tenacious, optimist, helpful, and encouraging.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading, “The  Bride Says No,” by one of my favorite authors, Cathy Maxwell!

What is your favorite quote?

I have three favorite quotes:

“If you did not care at all what anyone else thought about you, what would you do differently or change in your life?” — Brian Tracy

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” — Bruce Lee

What’s your favorite place in the world to visit?

Wow, tough question to answer.  Each place I’ve lived or visited in the world has offered something memorable and unique.  In Spain, I loved the culture, people, and history.  In Alaska, I loved the fishing, the wildlife, and the gorgeous landscape.  In Texas, the people were amazing and the food was incredible!  In Korea, I enjoyed the gorgeous country and the shopping!

Where do you write?

I normally write at my desk in front of a bay window with my camera at my side. (*I’m an amateur photographer, and I share photos of birds and other things I see daily on my Facebook pace.)  At times, I’ll sit at the ocean with a pen and paper and write.  And, I’ve been known to go into coffee shops or have a meal and write by hand.  I wrote the entire fight scene for His Seduction while eating dinner in a restaurant in Texas.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for fifteen years come November.

Wow! Congrats! What comes first—characters or the plot?

Normally, the plot comes first, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.  With Alexander MacGruder, the hero of His Captive in the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, he woke me up demanding his story.

Do you write to music?

Absolutely!  I love, love, love writing soundtracks, with a couple of my favorites, Lord of the Rings, and Braveheart.

What’s your biggest dream?

Writing – to make the New York Times Bestseller List.

Personal – to build a facility in the shape of a castle where wounded veterans can stay for free with their families while they receiving treatment.

If you were a millionaire would you still write?

Absolutely, but I’d travel more for research. Did I mention that I’d stay in a lot of castles!

Cat or dog person?

Both.

Which actor and actress would you chose if one of your books were brought to film, and which book would that be?

I’d love His Captive, the first book in the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series to be a movie, though I think the series would make a wonderful movie series!  The hero and heroine I’d choose looks-wise for His Captive are:

Alexander: It’s a toss-up between Nikolaj Coster and Clive Standen.

Nichola: Piper Perabo.

Okay, get ready, we have our rapid response portion. Don’t think about your answers, just say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?  

Wine or liquor? Wine.

Tea or coffee? Coffee (Very touch choice!)

Decaf or caffeinated? Decaf.

Boxers or briefs? Both.

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

Channing Tatum or Johnny Depp? Both!

Want to meet or attend Diana’s workshop? Make sure you check out the information on our conference at http://www.njromancewriters.org!

Registration closes October 4th!

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