Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays & a Sneak Peak at 2013!

Happy Holidays, everyone!  Thank you for making the first year of The Hot Pink Typewriter Blog such a success!  2012 was an exciting year for all of us-we've had contest wins, first sales, and first releases.


We thought we'd get together and give you a glimpse at what's in store for each of The Hot Pink Sisters next year.  So far, 2013 looks as though it's going to be very busy!!!


Here we go-in alphabetical order (I think I need a new name...;-))


Jennifer Faye

2013 will mark my debut with Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon Cherish. :-D

RANCHER TO THE RESCUE will be in the U.S./U.K. July 2013.

Blurb: When a big, splashy wedding goes awry, the runaway bride is aided by a reluctant rancher, but their adventure has only just begun and things between them heat up as their lives intertwine. They'll soon find that their future plans are about to be revised in ways neither of them could have ever predicted.



***Here's where, as the writer of this post, I get to give my two cents:  I was fortunate enough to read Jennifer's book-and let me tell you, it's a keeper-shelf book. I can totally see why Harlequin snatched up this manuscript, and Jen too ;-)  I can't wait to buy the edited, gorgeous book when it goes on sale-can't wait to see that cover! The book was emotional, riveting, and sweet...and the hero was a drool-worthy cowboy :-)  Congrats, Jennifer!!


Lindsay J Pryor

Current Release: BLOOD SHADOWS: Blackthorn Book One (Volume 1)


Blood Shadows

Back Cover:  For vengeance - would you trust a vampire? For justice - could you betray your family? For love - are you ready to question everything you believe in? Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived. For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed seven years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next. She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for. Or die. Blood Shadows is book one in the Blackthorn series.


What's next for Lindsay? "I've got a blog tour around the US starting on the 28th December and running for a month. My second book in my Blackthorn paranormal romance series, Blood Roses ( which got me into the final of New Voices in 2010), is being released in the Spring of 2013 and the third book is due for release in the Fall of 2013."



***Hi, me again, Victoria :-)  I will admit I'm not normally a paranormal reader-mainly because I'm a wimp.  BUT, this is a book that's on my shelf and I will be reading.  Unless you've been living under a rock, you will have heard about this book.  The reviews have been awesome, and I keep reading nothing but great things for BLOOD SHADOWS and Lindsay as a debut author.  And if I'm scared silly, I have the personal email address of Linds so I can get really mad at her ;-)  Congratulations Lindsay!!!


Natalie Charles




My debut for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, THE SEVEN-DAY TARGET, is available for pre-order now and will be released in April, 2013.



He never meant to speak to her again. Back in Arbor Falls for a funeral, Special Agent Nick Foster has moved on. He has no plans to stay in his tiny hometown-or to reunite with the beautiful Libby Andrews. His onetime fiancĂ©e broke his heart, and what's past should stay buried. 


Libby doesn't want his help. Her childhood sweetheart can never know the real reason she ended their engagement three years before. But when a serial killer targets her, she must team up with the rugged agent for her own safety. Something in her past has put her in danger, and the passion they've reignited puts their future in deadly jeopardy.


***Ahem, another contest winner in our midst!  I haven't read this yet (though maybe if I ask Natalie really nicely she can give me a sneak-peak :-)...sounds like a fabulous read and I can't wait to get my hands on it when it comes out...can't wait to see that cover, either!  I'll definitely be pre-ordering this one!!  Congratulations Natalie on your debut!!!


Olivia Miles



Nov/Dec 2013:  'TWAS THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS (working title)
Harlequin Special Edition

Blurb: A storm is about to shake up Holly Tate’s quaint, idyllic lifestyle, and the Nor’easter scheduled to hit the small town of Maple Woods, Connecticut will have nothing on the upheaval real estate tycoon Max Hamilton has planned. Since inheriting her grandmother's house five years ago, Holly has poured her heart and soul into transforming the old mansion into a successful B&B, hoping to be able to save enough to buy the property when the ninety-nine year lease expires on Christmas Day. Unbeknownst to Holly, Max has a different plan, and that involves tearing down the inn and building a shopping mall on the land. But as attraction builds and emotions stir, will Holly's contagious Christmas spirit have him changing his mind? Or will Holly be forced to start the new year with no home or business, but instead, only a broken heart?


***Ok, I've read this one too!  I'm so lucky that my 'sisters' are very generous.  As my fellow-Christmas-Junkie-'sister', Olivia has written a Christmas book that will leave you with the warmth of the season in your heart...and wanting more of her books! She's captured the essence of the Christmas spirit in her characters and in the setting. I can still picture that charming B&B and the lively patrons that frequent it.  I will be first in line to buy this book when it hits the shelves.  It will be on my keeper shelf for sure.  Congratulations on your debut, Olivia, I can't wait!!


Tina Vaughn


Current Release: NO SWEETER LOVE


Back Cover: Welcome to Union. Population: 994Town motto: Where no secret goes untold. His father’s death forces Dr. Ryan Williams to return to the home—and the woman—he’d left behind ten years earlier. Ryan knows it’s best to avoid Union sweetheart and police officer Emily Winters during his visit. But how? Stuck in this small town, fighting an attraction that hasn’t diminished over time, the sparks are unavoidable—and so are the rumors. The same rumors that made him leave Union in the first place…Experience taught Emily to keep her guard—and her panties—up. Until Ryan returns as suddenly as he left, tempting her with promises she already knows he can’t keep. Or so she thinks. This new adult Ryan is one capable of forever and, God-willing, forgiveness. Because even as they learn to trust and love each other again, Emily knows once she reveals her secret, heartbreak is inevitable.


***I picked up my copy when this was first released!  It's a sweet, sensual, heartfelt romance with all that small-town charm I love.  Tina has also informed me that she'll have some news for us early 2013!  Can't wait to find out what's next Tina!! Congrats on the success of NO SWEETER LOVE!!


Victoria James




 Back Cover:

Jackson Pierce didn’t make his fortune entertaining every half-cocked idea, especially one involving diaper changes. Running a software company takes dedication, and not even a cute brunette who seems to think he has something to do with the baby in her arms can crack the band of ice around his heart.

A baby on the doorstep is the least of Hannah Woods’s problems—she has to find the baby’s uncle and convince him to adopt her. If she doesn’t, the baby will end up in foster care, and she can’t let that happen. Armed with formula and a tin of cookies, she sleuths her way to the reclusive CEO’s doorstep only to find six feet of holiday sexy—and a door slammed in her face. But when Jackson comes around and urges they marry for little Emily’s sake, Hannah finds herself falling for the jaded billionaire and wishing for a holiday miracle of their own...


What's next for me?  My next book with Entangled, Indulgence is out in March.  It's the first in a trilogy that follows three brothers...



Well, that's it!  That's what's in store for all of us next year.  Thanks again for following, commenting, and making our blog such a pleasure to be a part of.


Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, holiday season and a fantastic 2013!!!





Friday, December 14, 2012

Breakdown of Killer Openings, by Alexa Bourne

We all want to write books that hook our readers and keep them reading well past their bedtime. Today we're excited to welcome romantic suspense author Alexa Bourne, who's going to share a few secrets to making your book sparkle from the first sentence. Alexa is celebrating the release of the second book in her Honor Guard Series, Fractured Paradise.

Technical analyst for the International Protective Network, Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.

Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?

Available now on Amazon

When I walk into a bookstore, there are some authors who are auto-buys: When their new book hits the shelves, I’m one of the first in line to buy them.  But what about authors I don’t know?  I admit that sometimes I pick up a book based on the cover, but if what’s written inside doesn’t resonate with me, I won’t buy it.  When it’s a new author, I will read the first page and if I’m not sucked in by a question, a feeling, a connection, or a need to turn the page, I’ll put the book back on the shelf and move on.

In the same way, if an author doesn’t grab the interest of an agent or editor, the book will never see the light of day and she’ll receive a nice, generic rejection. 
So, what makes a good opening?  A good opening connects a reader to what the author is writing.  It has to grab your attention.  It has to make you feel like you’re right in the story, feeling the emotions of the characters, experiencing a reaction to the situation.  Maybe you read some opening and think, “I know EXACTLY how she/he feels!”  Or “That loser!”  Or “I hope she doesn’t fall for THAT.”

Put simply:
A good first line will make you want to read the rest of the paragraph. 
A good first paragraph will urge you onto the rest of the first page.
A good first page will make you want to turn the page to see what happens next.
A good first chapter will make you check to see how long the 2nd chapter is because you only have so much time and you really, really don’t want to walk away from these characters!

Essential Elements of a Killer Opening
In crafting a killer opening, we have a difficult job.  Below are what I see as the essential aspects of a successful opening:

1. You cannot confuse your reader.  Have you ever read a first page/chapter and still had no idea what was going on?  Or how about reading and have no idea which of the men in the story is the hero?  I actually wrote a story, my 1st suspense, with two heroes.  No wonder nobody wanted to publish that!  I, as the author, couldn’t decide between the heroes so clearly my writing of that story was confusing for the romance reader expecting a solid love story. 
2. Your reader should get a sense of the setting.  A good opening shares the time (of day and year), place.  A great opening does it without telling.  For example, in my current full-length manuscript, Tell Me No Lies, my hero swipes his forearm across his forehead and curses the humidity.  Then he also talks about the baseball All-Star game.  Even if the reader doesn’t know when the All-Star game is, most people know baseball is a summer sport. 
3. Your reader must also establish a connection with at least one character.  If the reader feels sympathetic toward a character, they are more likely to turn the page and keep reading to find out what happens with that character.
4. Your reader must at least have a hint of the conflicts.  Remember, stories need internal AND external conflicts.  By the end of the first chapter, your reader needs to have some ideas of what these conflicts are.  Not everything needs to be revealed, but the reader needs to know what the problems are otherwise they will not want to keep reading.
5. Ending on a hook.  Basically, this means when someone is finished with the chapter, the reader doesn’t want to put the book down to do laundry, go to work or to cook dinner.  She would much rather find out what happens in the next chapter.       

Naturally, you can’t expect a first line to have all of these elements and maybe even the first page doesn’t either.  But I believe by the end of the 1st page we should see several of them.  Certainly by the end of the 1st chapter, we should see signs of all of them. 

Obviously putting all of these story elements together is A LOT harder than it seems when we pick up a book.  But I will tell you that it gets easier to identify what works and what doesn’t, even in your own writing, the longer you do this.  (Notice I didn’t say it gets easier TO DO! Maybe eventually? Anybody? Hello??)  

About our guest: Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She will be teaching “Killer Openings” through Savvy Authors beginning in February 2013. Alexa is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Great Britain with readers everywhere.

When she's not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to interact with readers, so visit her web page, hang out at her blog, follow her on Twitter or drop her a note at!

Also by Alexa: Her Highland Champion

Heather Winchester leads a charming life. With good friends, a beautiful flat in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and a promising future once she finishes her Ph.D, she is finally pursuing her own dreams instead of catering to everyone else’s…except she doesn’t remember any of it.

Malcolm Fraser has returned to his Highland village to forget his failings as a professional bodyguard. Believing he could just lose himself in the mundane activities of running his bed & breakfast, he finds a woman’s lifeless body by the loch instead….

Captivated by Heather as she regains her memory, Malcolm is thrown into the line of duty. As danger comes knocking on their doors, will he be strong enough to love her and keep her safe?

Available now on Amazon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let Your Characters Speak For Themselves by Lindsay J. Pryor

I was interviewed by my publisher recently. I was asked an array of questions. One of my favourites was:

You're a former Sunday school teacher, current special needs teacher, you rescue hedgehogs and are all-sorts of lovely. But Blackthorn is a pretty DARK place – there are vampires eaten alive and some pretty imaginative torture scenes – do you have a dark side? 

Talk about getting to the point! I laughed when I first read it – purely at the contradiction it presented of me vs my books. But it did make me reflect on just how much of ‘me’ is in my stories.

I suppose it’s what actors might get a lot – where the audience assumes they are the person presented on screen. I guess it could be frustrating for them, but in other ways it must be very flattering. So adept are they at their role that they convince their audience their character is real.

As writers, that’s our job above all else – to suspend disbelief. Readers know they’re reading a piece of fiction, but every word must absorb them so convincingly into the world that they believe they’re there, that those characters are real enough to be standing in front of them. And that’s the key element – authentic, tangible, believable characters.

How authentic would my characters be if only my experiences, my behaviours, my views, principles or perceptions came out of their mouths and actions? Just how convincing would my hardened, worldly-wise vampires be if they expressed themselves with ‘oh gosh’ instead of expletives, shied away from confrontation, or declined from intimidating behaviour on the grounds of the emotional damage it would cause? If instead of torture, they had tea and cake and resolved their disputes like reasonable individuals.

A close friend of mine who bought Blood Shadows said she hoped that, during reading it, she wouldn’t hear me in the story. “I don’t want to be thinking about you,” she said, “when I’m trying to get into the heads of the characters. I find it so irritating when all I can hear is the author in the background.”

I tentatively waited to hear what she thought. I think her surprise said it all.

I guess it was confirmation enough that I let my characters speak for themselves. Do you? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Q&A with The Minxes of Romance

Join us in welcoming our friends The Minxes of Romance to the Hot Seat! The Minxes have just released their first anthology, BLAZE. I'm chatting with Romy Sommer today, who will be answering questions about what went into this great new release.

 Coombethwaite, the lakeside town where passions run deep, is the setting for the stories in Blaze, the first anthology from The Minxes of Romance.

Romance is in the air for Coombethwaite’s retained firefighters, and none of them will escape its heat unscorched!

Featuring authors Maya Blake, Sally Clements, Catherine Coles, Jodie James, Tara Pammi, Suzanna Ross, Romy Sommer, and Lorraine Wilson. 

Available now on AMAZON

Welcome, Romy, and congratulations to all the Minxes on the release of your first anthology, BLAZE. Can you tell us a bit about the collection of stories?
The anthology consists of eight linked stories set in the fictional village of Coombethwaite, in England’s Lake District. Each story features a different member of the local retained firefighting crew, but the stories all have very different voices, so you can expect a mix of light and flirty, and intense and heated.

Which of the Minxes can readers look forward to seeing in this debut anthology?
8 Minxes have contributed stories to this anthology – including two Harlequin Presents authors, one Harper Collins author, Pocket Novels and short story star Suzanna Ross, and Sally Clements, our very own self publishing guru.

How did the idea for a collection of stories first come about?
To be honest, I can’t remember how this first started! I suspect we were ogling hunky fireman pics when we first got inspired, then during one of our late nights skype chats, fuelled by red wine or lucozade, we got a little silly and thought ‘let’s write a series of stories featuring hunky firemen.’

Did the Minxes decide on a theme for the collection and write stories specifically for the anthology, or did you spot trends in each of your existing works?
All the stories were written specifically for this anthology, and we worked closely together to interlink both characters and setting. Special thanks go to Lorraine Wilson for the Lake District background, and to Sally Clements for keeping the database that helped us keep track of which characters appeared in which stories.

Collaborating as a team on a creative endeavor can sometimes have its challenges. How did the Minxes organize the project?
We work amazingly well together, and a shared sense of humour and supportiveness really helped. Rather than taking ourselves too seriously, we just had fun with putting this anthology together.

This is a self-published work. Can you shed some light on the book design process?
Sally Clements has successfully published several of her books, so she guided us every step of the way and handled the technical stuff. The cover design was done by the talented Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing, when she was still doing freelance commissions. We toyed with hiring a professional outside editor, but since we have some strong editorial talent in our midst, we chose to self-edit, doing three passes on each story by three different sets of eyes.

Is this the first of many releases? Do the Minxes have any other anthologies planned for the future? 
We hope so! We had so much fun putting this collection together, we’d love to do more. So tell us what kind of linked stories you enjoy: athletic heroes, daredevil heroes, stories set in exotic holiday resorts, or stories set in small communities, holiday-themed stories ....?

Thank you so much for joining us, Romy. To learn more about The Minxes of Romance and their debut anthology, BLAZE, visit their blog: