Thursday, February 28, 2013

Winner! Falling for Finn Giveaway

Congratulations to 'jolliffe' for winning a copy of Jackie Ashenden's book, FALLING FOR FINN!

Jolliffe, please contact Jackie via her contact page on her website:

Thanks to everyone who visited and commented. 

Thanks, Jackie for visiting and for offering a copy of your book.  Wishing you lots of success!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Q&A and Giveaway with Author Jackie Ashenden

I’m so excited to welcome debut author, Jackie Ashenden to our Hot Seat today! 

I first ‘met’ Jackie a few years ago, while we were both pursuing publication.  I was a devout follower of her blog, and one of the reasons was because of the absolute candor of her posts-I admired her ability to share the ups and downs of the publication journey.  Her posts were also wickedly entertaining and witty-which gave me the first glimpse into her writing.  I wasn’t surprised to learn that last year, Jackie not only sold to one publisher, but to two!  Jackie writes for Samhain and Entangled Publishing.  I’ve already purchased her debut book, FALLING FOR FINN and I can’t wait to dive in!

I’m so very thrilled for you, Jackie, congratulations!


Q:  Jackie, can you tell us a little bit about your journey to publication?

Thanks so much for having me here today, Victoria. Well, I started writing when I was about 12 and just never stopped basically. But I never really considered pursuing publication fulltime until I met a romance author at a family gathering. She was really encouraging and since I'd been writing secret romances for years, I thought I'd give it a go. Took four years to finally get The Call. Four very hard, difficult years where I gave up every time another rejection rolled in. But I'm stubborn and just couldn't leave it alone. I loved to writing and I'd wanted to be an author ever since I could remember, so I kept on going until I got that magic email from my lovely Samhain editor.


Q: Can you tell us the difference between what you write for Samhain and Indulgence? 

Okay well, they're both contemporary romances but the ones I write for Samhain are definitely not category romances, while the ones I write for Entangled are. My Samhain books are much darker, angstier and grittier in terms of language. They're hotter too. In my Entangled books the emphasis is more on the humour than the dark angst, and they're flirtier and lighter. But still hot! ;-)


Q:  What are some of the challenges in writing for two different lines?

Switching focus from angst to humour can be tough. I think naturally I tend to head for the angstier, dramatic side of things so it takes me a while to get back into a light, flirty headspace after I've finished a Samhain book. It's not so hard the other way because I think a couple of jokes never go amiss in a darker book.


Q:  How do you balance writing, social media/promotion, and family?

Ugh, well, I'm still learning about all of that. It's really hard. I'm thinking that in order to meet deadlines and feel like I'm in control of my writing, I'll have word counts I have to meet each day. Then juggle everything else around it. I've never done that before so it's going to be interesting.


Q:  Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

When I get an idea for a book, I do like to think about it a lot before I start writing. And I concentrate on my characters first of all since they're the most important part of the book.  I think about the type of people they are, their backgrounds, their past and how those fit together. I usually brainstorm with my CPs via email and/or Skype as well which works great for me. Then once I have a good grasp on my characters and the setup, I start writing.  


Q:  What is a typical work day like for you?

Writing is my day job so I usually check social media/email in the morning, then start writing/editing once the kids are off to school. My most productive time of day is the afternoon – which doesn't fit in well with school times alas, but I do what I can.

Q:  Can you tell us what you’re busy working on now and what/when your next release will be?

I'm just finishing up my fourth Samhain book to send off to my editor, then I've got the third book in my Entangled series to finish. I also have a special Entangled project that I've been asked to be a part of and that book will be next one to write.

So, my next release will be the first in my Talking Dirty series for Entangled. It's slated for May but date and title are to be confirmed so crossing fingers it'll be a go. After that, my next Samhain release, Black Knight, White Queen, will be out in July.

Thank you so much for being here today, Jackie.  Once again, I’m just so thrilled for you and wish you nothing but success!

Thanks so much for having me! Lovely being a guest with you guys!!
When you’ve been burned, the heat of the moment is the scariest place to be.
Six months after a sexual assault, Anna Jameson has decided enough is enough. She’s sick of being a victim, of letting the experience have power over her. She wants her fear of physical intimacy gone, as in now.
In the quest to reclaim her sexuality, she needs a man. A man she trusts absolutely. A man like her best friend, Finn.
Finn Shaw is all about taking risks. He does it every week on his extreme sports TV show. But there’s one boundary he’s never pushed, and that’s his friendship with Anna. When his hyper-intellectual family kicked him to the curb over his dyslexia, Anna stuck by him.
Her request to become friends with benefits throws him for a loop. He can’t deny her anything, but this is a whole different ball game. Once they’re skin to skin, there will be no hiding the fact that he’s loved her for years.
When their chemistry burns out of control, Finn decides he’s the one who’s had enough. It’s time to break out of the friend box—and show Anna that risking her heart is a risk well worth taking. Even if it costs him her friendship.
Warning: This book contains a strong-willed heroine who knows what she wants, a daredevil hero intent on showing her how much more she could have, sexy love scenes that’ll melt your heart, and a grand gesture you’ll need a tissue for.

You can also visit Jackie on her website & blog:

To Enter for your chance to win an e-book copy of FALLING FOR FINN, all you have to do is leave a comment!  Of course, if you can't wait to buy your copy, just click on any of the links to purchase :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mechanics on Monday: Using POV To Maximise Your Scenes by Lindsay J. Pryor

Point of view is integral in maximising the impact of every scene in a story. It’s paramount to character development and emotional satisfaction, let alone story progression and pace.

Sometimes we don’t have to think about whose POV is the best fit for a scene – we start writing in it instinctively. Other times we need to be more analytical about the choices we make, especially if a scene feels flat or isn’t revealing what we want it to.

So, how do you decide whose point of view to use? And how can you use it to best effect?

Here are a few tips:

·      Keep your POV characters to those who are the most important in the story. Primarily (though not exclusively, depending on the length and plot complexity of your story) these will be the hero and heroine.

·      Use the POV of minor characters only if they are going to reveal something integral about the hero and/or heroine (or the plot) that cannot be revealed through other means or, for whatever reason, through the hero and heroine themselves.

·      If you can’t choose between the hero and heroine’s POV, choose who, in that scene, has the most to lose or gain.

·      The golden rule of using point of view effectively is keep it only to what that character is experiencing – what they are hearing, seeing, feeling etc.  

·      Be sure to think, feel and talk like your character does. Stay in the head of the observer. Would they notice the starry night sky, or the troublemakers lurking on the corner ahead? Would he notice that her high heels are designed by Prada or, instead, focus on how they enhance the seductive sway of her hips?

·      When selecting the most appropriate POV, know what you want to reveal at that stage of the story (this is particularly important in terms of both character and plot progression). You want to show the hero has been hurt by something the heroine says. If you don’t want the heroine and the reader to know why yet, use her POV. If it’s time for you to reveal all – even if only to the reader – keep it to his POV.

·      Know when introspection is appropriate and how much to use. I remember reading once that the more impact a scene has on a character i.e. the greater the emotional significance for them, the deeper into introspection you can go.

·      And remember, whichever POV you choose, guessing each other’s thoughts and motivations is a part of everyday dynamics. It’s what creates tension, suspense and conflict. And who doesn’t like some of that in their romances?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Real Life vs. Romancelandia: Why We Read/Write Romance by Olivia Miles

I recently stumbled across an interesting article that linked reading romance novels with the breakdown of marriages, claiming that the romantic fantasy these books provide can prompt feelings of dissatisfaction within our real lives and relationships. I would respectfully disagree with this argument, but it led me to wonder just why we read (or write) romance. Do we read it for escape? Entertainment? Emotional satisfaction? Or all three?

Personally, I read and write romance for the combination of escapism, entertainment, and emotional fulfillment. Let’s face it, as a married woman with a small child, two dogs, and the recent experience of a weekend getaway that ended with my husband and I passed out on top of the bed in a well-lit room, fully clothed, while a marathon of Roseanne blared until six the next morning when we were programmed to wake, the courtship phase of my life is behind me and responsibilities abound. It’s fun to read about lavish yachts and faraway palaces and to imagine a life far more grand than my own. In my regular life, there are no exotic vacations or parties or sprawling cliff side mansions, no millionaires sweeping into town to whisk me off my feet. Even in small-town romances, which might lack some of the glitz and dazzle, there is a certain level of fantasy and charm that isn’t always present in our ordinary lives. The dates are more creative, the food more delicious, the people more attractive, the backdrop prettier; in a nutshell, life is somewhat idealized in Romancelandia. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s exciting to read about glamorous lifestyles and settings, and it’s enjoyable to watch two people fall in love, despite the hurdles thrown at them along the way. 

But does this finely tuned fantasy leave you feeling that your own life is blah in comparison? Romance, in general, is uplifting; by definition, these books guarantee a happy ending. I don’t turn from the computer or book in my lap, look around at my own life and sigh, thinking of how different it could all be, feeling bitter and angry that I didn’t end up with a billionaire husband and a multi-million-dollar penthouse. Rather, I close the book with a smile and go about my day feeling a little lighter. I suppose I could read a deeply depressing book instead, and think of how wonderful my life is in comparison, but again, I don’t gauge my own fulfillment with the lives of characters in books--regardless of the book in hand, I take the experience as something separate from my own.  I’m sure the characters in these books have piles of laundry and trips to the store, and endless other “real life” responsibilities, but I really don’t need or want to be bogged down with these details. There’s a division of fact and fiction, and I appreciate the opportunity to escape for a few hours each day.

This is not to say, however, that I only enjoy reading and writing about the wonderful things that happen to characters. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a reader, I love connecting with characters on a deeper level, witnessing their struggles, and watching them overcome their obstacles. As a writer, I recently finished a WIP which included a character going through a very difficult and sad experience. It was raw, it was painful, but it was ultimately resolved. I received mixed feedback from beta readers--some thought it was too much, others thought it fit perfectly. For me, I felt strongly about including this storyline for the emotional connection to the characters, though it might have veered too close to real life problems and too far from the fantasy of romance. I’m still thinking about that one, but it all makes me wonder just why we read romance. When we pick up a book, what experience are we looking for?  

So tell me, why do YOU read (or write) romance?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mechanics on Monday: And they (probably) lived happily ever after, by Tina Vaughn

My job as a writer is to fulfill readers' expectations. In romance, this means at the end of the day–or in this case, the end of the book–I must provide an emotionally-satisfying and believable happy ending. Sounds simple, right?

Um. Not so much. For me, the ending is one of the hardest scenes to write. And if you're searching for advice on how to write the perfect ending, well…good luck. While there are tons of articles and books offering tips and step-by-step guidelines for the perfect opening, advice for endings is obscure. Why? Is it because we already know how a romance is going to end? Is it because endings are so subjective, depending entirely on our characters' and stories' unique conflicts and resolutions? Is it because the ending is easy to write, and I'm one of the few poor souls who just doesn't get it?

In preparation for this post, I re-read romances that feature some of my favorite endings. I also re-read a few that, in all honesty, just didn't work for me. I also read the endings to my own novels. As a reader and writer, what do I want, expect and need in an ending for me to consider it emotionally satisfying? Reading endings with a critical eye allowed me to come up with a simple five-element list for crafting fabulous and believable endings.


I like my endings dialogue-heavy. No summaries. No sweeping expositions. No long internal monologues featuring self-analysis, please. This is my last chance to “hear” these characters' voices. While saying I love you is key, it's not the only thing that needs to be said.


Setting showcases your characters' strengths and weaknesses. And just because we've reached the ending of a novel doesn't mean we can ignore it. In all likelihood, the setting has added depth and dimension to your characters throughout the novel. Why stop now?


Loves makes people do strange and crazy things, I know. But in novels, stranger and crazier isn't always better. Be sure that any romantic gestures are in keeping with the characters' personalities, otherwise the ending becomes overly-dramatic, unbelievable and might induce an eye-roll.


Since we're wrapping up the book, the ending should wind us down, not wind us up. Didn't we get all excited during the climax? Now's the time to slow things down a little. Use sentence structure, punctuation, word choices, etc., that slow your pacing and prepare the reader for The End.

Physical intimacy

For me, a convincing happy ending must include a nod to both emotional and physical intimacy. I need to know that the characters are connected on both levels. Our characters confessed their love. Awww. Will they seal it with a kiss…or something more? While physical intimacy doesn't have to be explicit, I think it should be implied, and absolutely should be appropriate to the heat level of your book.

You've just written–or read–a unique and beautiful story, doesn't it deserve an equally original ending?

As a reader, what do you look for in a happy ending?

As a writer, what are your tricks for crafting a perfect ending for your characters?

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Winner!

Congratulations to Pam W., who won our (Hot) Pink is the New Red Valentine's Day Giveaway! Pam will receive the following great books to add to her reading piles:

  • "A Little Bit Cupid" by Jennifer Shirk (e-book)

  • "No Sweeter Love" by Tina Vaughn (e-book)

  • "How to Get Over Your Ex" by Nikki Logan (e-book)

  • "The Billionaire's Christmas Baby" by Victoria James (e-book)

  • "Kidnapped by the Greek Billionaire" by Rachel Lyndhurst (e-book)

  • She will also receive gift certificates to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

    Thanks to everyone who participated, and we hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day!

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Who's Your Celebrity Valentine?

    Over here at The Hot Pink Typewriter, we're always willing to take one for the romance team. That's why we scoured the Internets to find some of the hottest guys around to take on a virtual Valentine's Day date. It's all in the name of research, folks, and if you happen to find some inspiration for your next book on this list, well…you're welcome. 

    Ami Weaver
    Celebrity Valentine: "That would have to be Alex O'Loughlin. I know, I know, me and every other woman, right?? LOL."
    What does he have to do to make you blush? "I'm an easy blusher. To be honest I think all he'd have to do would be to say hi. Or offer me chocolates! :)"
    Jennifer Faye
    Celebrity Valentine: "My favorite literary hero definitely has to be Rhett Butler. He's just so dashing and take charge. *swoons* As for a favorite celebrity crush, hmm...this is a toughy as Magnum P.I. aka Tom Selleck has been a lifelong crush. But after watching The Tudors, Henry Cavill has definitely caught my eye. ;-)"

    Jennifer Shirk
    Celebrity Valentine: Patrick Dempsey
    What does he have to do to make you blush? "Actually, all he'd have to do is point those baby blues at me and I'd melt…then blush from melting. LOL. But I would definitely die and turn three shades of pink if he were to come to one of my book signings just to tell me he recognized himself as one of my heroes in my books. (I totally based my character Sam in Sunny Days for Sam after him!)"

    Lindsay Pryor
    Celebrity Valentine: "I don’t have any celebrity crushes, mainly because I need to get behind the exterior to whatever lies underneath before I can develop a soft spot for someone. I can pick two characters though – and I have to pick two because I simply can’t choose between them. I adore Mitchell from Being Human (UK). Intense, tortured, working so hard to fit in and forever skirting the periphery, he’s an intriguing balance of light and dark with his vulnerable streak. And it does help when you add Aidan Turner’s beautiful brown eyes and that voice to the mix. My second choice is Han Solo from Star Wars. One of my childhood crushes, the appeal has never waned. He might be charming, funny and mischievous but he’s also very capable, skilled at his job, one of life’s survivors and bravely loyal to his friends. With just enough edge to keep him interesting, he’s the perfect hero in my eyes."

    Natalie Charles
    Celebrity Valentine: David Gandy
    What does he have to do to make you blush? "If he so much as made eye contact with me, I'd probably slur my speech and then trip over my own feet. Blushing would be the least of it."

    Olivia Miles
    Celebrity Valentine: Bradley Cooper
    What does he have to do to make you blush? "Not much! All he has to do is smile. The baby blues do the rest…"

    Rachel Lyndhurst
    Celebrity Valentine: Chief Scout, ex British Special Forces,  survival expert and all round  superhero, Bear Grylls (
    What does he have to do to make you blush? "He’d make me blush just by being in the same room, but if he then dropped down on one knee and begged me to go away with him on a wild weekend I‘d squirm a lot too. Wild? It would be rude to push for specifics and an itinerary after such an offer … but what’s a girl to pack? And would there be loo roll? I’m going pink just thinking about it …"

    Tina Vaughn
    Celebrity Valentine: Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries)
    What do you love about him? "He's the ultimate Alpha male. Dark, dangerous, sexy and tortured. I love him. His beautiful and deadly exterior masks a tortured soul whose capacity for love is all-consuming and selfless. *sigh* He's the ultimate playboy, rebel, bad boy, tortured and misunderstood hero. It's a combination I can't resist. ;-)"

    Victoria James
    Celebrity Valentine: Christian Bale
    What would he have to do to make you blush? "It wouldn't take much! Um…read a love scene from one of my books? J"

    Don't leave just yet! Stick around to enter our (Hot) Pink is the New Red Valentine's Giveaway and tell us who your celebrity Valentine is!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    (Hot) Pink is the New Red - Valentine's Day Giveaway

    It's impossible to ignore Valentine's Day when you're blogging from Romancelandia, and we here at The Hot Pink Typewriter are excited to share some love with our friends! We've compiled a Swoon-worthy assortment of prizes, including e-books and gift certificates, to give to one lucky reader. The giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. on Valentine's Day, and we will announce the winner on Friday, February 15.

    So take a chance. If there's one thing we've learned when writing romance, it's that sometimes you get lucky when you least expect it. ;-)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Romances and Jennifer Faye

    This is Valentines week and everywhere I look I see hearts and chocolate. *licks lips* I must admit that it is one of my favorite holidays. I remember as a little girl waking up for school and being excited to find a small Valentines treat waiting for me on the kitchen table.

    What could be better than having a special day to tell/show the ones that you love how much they mean to you? J In fact I finished making valentines for my loved ones. I hope it brings a smile to their lips.

    Second best to having a special treat for your Valentine is getting lost in a Valentine’s r©mance. In fact, this year I’m really excited about reading Harlequin’s new line KISS: How to Get Over Your Ex – Valentines Day Survival Guide by Nikki Logan

    It’s the first book in a Valentines duet. Fiona Harper’s The Guy to Be Seen With – Valentine’s Day Survival Guide is due out next month. I can’t wait to read both.

    Which got me to thinking, are readers drawn to holiday themed books? Is the concept of framing a r©mance around a holiday (not just Valentines but any holiday) more attractive to a reader than just your every day r©mance?

    I remember not so long ago author Holly Jacobs had a holiday themed books out with Harlequin American. The first book in the holiday themed trilogy was Once Upon a Thanksgiving. The second was Once upon a Christmas. And the last was Once Upon a Valentines. I really enjoyed all of them. But I can honestly say their holiday theme initially drew me in, but it didn’t add or detract to their likeability. It was the characters and the author’s voice that held my attention.

    And I must admit that I L©VE Christmas r©mances! I devour them. J And I will buy them just because I know that they are set around Christmas. I love snow. I love the twinkle lights and the carols. And most of all, I love that it’s the season of miracles, of forgiveness and reunions. In fact, my second release out later this year (title TBD) is a Christmas r©mance. So for myself I would have to say that a holiday themed book is a great hook, but ultimately it’s what the author does between the covers that keeps me flipping through the pages.

    So as a reader, are you drawn to holiday r©mances? If so, what do you find so appealing about them? Or would you rather stick with an every day r©mance?

    Or does it simply make no difference to you?

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    Q&A with Harlequin Editor Shana Smith

    Today I'm thrilled to welcome Shana Smith to the hot seat. Shana started at Harlequin five years ago as the Editorial Assistant for Romantic Suspense and Desire. In October 2012, she became Associate Editor for Love Inspired, where she's now focused on acquiring Christian romance for all three Love Inspired lines.

    On a personal note, Shana edited my debut novel and was my introduction to the publishing industry. She's a fabulously talented editor and a pleasure to work with.

    Welcome to the Hot Seat, Shana! We're so pleased you could join us. It's not every day we get to interview an editor, so let's get right down to business!

    Thanks for having me!

    Your job is reading, acquiring, and editing romance novels. In other words, it's pretty awesome. But I have to ask anyway: what made you decide to be an editor, and what do you love most about your job?

    I’ve always loved reading (I was that girl in school with the book hidden under my desk during class), and at one point I thought I’d like to be an author myself.  But my mom steered me towards a journalism major in college, and while I liked the writing part, I learned I really didn’t like interviewing people.  So I decided I would try to get a job in book publishing, which combined my loves of reading, writing and editing.

    The things I love most about my job are discovering new authors and building relationships with the authors I work with.  Aside from the professional aspects of the editor/author relationship, I love that I can talk to authors via social media about things like their family’s new pet bunny, my fake relationship with my Starbucks barista or The Muppets.  I also especially love that no two days at work are ever the same, so this job never gets boring.  J

    When you're looking for new writers, what grabs your attention and what can a new writer do to set herself apart from the slush?

    A unique premise, a strong voice and demonstration of a clear understanding of the line will help a new writer stand out to me.  Something I tend to gravitate towards in author voice is a bit of humor, so if an author can make me laugh, I’m usually hooked.  The best thing an author can do is to research both the line and editor she’s targeting.  Harlequin lists the writing guidelines for every line on the website, so if you’re unsure where your manuscript might fit, check them out.  Also, reading books from the line you’re targeting is the absolute best way to get a feel for the series.  I’ll get to the part about researching the editor below. J

    Not to be creepy, but I know from following you on Twitter that you love weather disaster plots. Do you also have favorite tropes? Or how about favorite hero or heroine types? Answer carefully, because you may be inundated…

    I do love weather disaster plots.  I’m a huge fan of storms, snowstorms in particular, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reread The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #7, Snowbound.  There’s something so fun in the adventure of being stranded somewhere by snow.  Thank you, Ann M. Martin, for feeding this fantasy of mine. J 

    As for other favorites, I do enjoy a good amnesia story (the first book I acquired from a brand-new author was a really great amnesia story with a twist—What Lies Beneath by Andrea Laurence), secret babies (and I promise these are possible to write for any of our series lines—you may just have to get creative), reunion romances, “back from the dead” stories (not zombies, but situations where a character was thought to be dead and turns out to be alive), hero as protector or hero and heroine on the run in a suspense story.  I love a really fun, danger- and adventure-filled suspense!

    How about peeves? Are there things you see in manuscripts that you'd be happy if you never saw again?

    I see a lot of submissions where the writer focuses solely on the heroine and never or rarely goes into the hero’s point of view.  It’s crucial, at least in our series lines, to provide both characters’ POVs.  Readers want to know what your hero is thinking and get some insight into why he acts the way he does.  I also could do without villains whose actions don’t match their ultimate goal (e.g. leaving a threatening note for the heroine when what he really wants is for her to be dead—he should shoot at her!) and heroines who are either overly weak or overly angry, especially towards the hero for no reason.  Remember, your hero is supposed to fall in love with this woman.  Make sure she has qualities he would be attracted to.

    Can you tell us more about the Love Inspired franchise? What are the editors looking for right now? Are there particular authors you would recommend reading to get a better understanding of the lines?

    The Love Inspired franchise is Harlequin’s wholesome Christian romance imprint.  Love Inspired is the contemporary romance series, Love Inspired Suspense is the romantic suspense series, and Love Inspired Historical is our historical romance series.  The books are clean—no bad language, graphic violence or pre-marital sex in the course of the story.  The relationships should emphasize emotional intimacy rather than sexual desire.  Some authors to check out: LI: Linda Goodnight, Brenda Minton, Kathryn Springer, LIS: Shirlee McCoy, Valerie Hansen, Lynette Eason, LIH: Linda Ford, Winnie Griggs, Renee Ryan

    While we’re especially interested in Love Inspired Suspense submissions right now, we are acquiring for all three lines.  And we have a new opportunity in a recently announced pitch session called Happily Editor After.

    What can you tell us about Happily Editor After, and how can an aspiring writer take advantage of this opportunity?

    Happily Editor After is the chance for authors to make a match with an editor who will be most interested in her manuscript.  We like to think of it as online dating…for your manuscript.  Fellow Love Inspired editors Emily Rodmell, Elizabeth Mazer and I have written our “dating” bios with information on what each of us specifically would be interested in reading.  For example, you already mentioned that it’s well known I enjoy stories with weather disasters, so an author might want to pitch her blizzard story to me.  Whereas Emily might be the best choice for a story set at a zoo and Elizabeth may be the editor for you if you’ve written a Regency romance with strong sister relationships.  Details, guidelines, our full bios and instructions on how to sign up are all available here.  Spots have been filling up quickly, but even if you miss the opportunity this time around, you don’t have to wait for another pitch session to send us your story.  We’re always accepting submissions, and now that you know exactly what three Love Inspired editors are looking for, you’ll know who to query with your great idea.  Knowing exactly what an editor likes and is looking for is sometimes half the battle, and when you and your manuscript can provide that—a perfect match!

    Thanks so much, Shana!

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    It's Groundhog Day...again by Jennifer Faye

    This past Saturday the U.S. has this peculiar holiday known as Groundhog Day. I must confess those little creatures are cute but how in the world they got their own day on the calendar, February 2nd, boggles my mind. If you aren’t familiar with this unusual American tradition there’s a groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil, who sticks his head out of his hole and if he sees his shadow there’s six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow it means an early spring. Definitely a very scientific predictor.

    And if you’re wondering how this ties into writing…well, I’m getting there. I promise.

    This year I learned there are more groundhogs in the U.S. predicting the end of winter, who’d have guessed. Well, Phil predicted an early spring as did two other groundhogs. However, the one from Atlanta heartily disagreed. Hmm…3 to 1 vote for an early spring. I’m going with Phil, an early spring it is. J

    Weather predicting aside, when I hear the words Groundhog Day, I think of the movie starring Bill Murray. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a man who keeps reliving the same day in his life. No matter what he does it’s the same day. There’s no escaping it. Sometimes when I hit a rut, I joke that I’m stuck in Groundhog Day.

    Hmm…now that I’ve been talking so much about the movie, I’m going to have to borrow it from the local library and watch it. *makes note*

    Anyway, by now I know you’re scratching your head and wondering how this all relates to writing. Well, it does in a creative sort of way. When you are crafting a story, you have to be very aware that you don’t create a world in which your characters feel as though they are living out the movie, Groundhog Day. No one wants to read about someone’s boring, routine life day after day after day.

    You want to start your book at the moment of change. When the H/h’s ordinary life becomes extraordinary…but within the bounds of reasonableness. For me discovering that moment is a lot of fun. What exactly will bring my character to that inciting moment? What exactly will cause the hero and heroine’s lives to intersect and never be the same again? The possibilities are endless and exciting.

    For my July 2013 debut, “Rancher to the Rescue”, my hero and heroine have been taken out of their routine lives where the heroine is a cooking sensation on television and the hero is a sexy rancher. In the opening of the book, the heroine is a bride on the run and the hero unwittingly becomes her accomplice.

    So how about your stories? How do you take the ordinary and make it extraordinary? Do you find it to be a challenge? Or are the prospects exciting?

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    Guest Post and Giveaway with Wendy S. Marcus: Winners

    Congratulations to Victoria James and Jessica Lemmon!
    Thanks so much to everyone who visited The Hot Pink Typewriter, read the post and commented.
    Please contact Wendy, Wendy @ WendySMarcus . com ( no spaces,) to claim your prizes.
    Happy Reading!