Come on over to the Deliciously Naughty Writers' blog and talk to me about that dreaded "H" word...
Do you hate it as much as me?
"Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself." ~Harvey Firestone
Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Have you ever wondered why A, B, C, D, DD, E and F are the letters used to define bra sizes? If you have wondered why, but couldn't figure out what the letters stood for, it's about time you became informed!
(A) Almost boobs...
(B) Barely there
(C) Can't complain
(DD) Double Damn!
Have a great day!
"Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." ~Helen Keller
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:20 AM
Friday, April 27, 2007
I have an agent. Yippppppeeeee! An agent at Writers House, LLC (the same folks who rep Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich and Laurell K. Hamilton, to name a few) has agreed to represent me. She read my 85,000 word paranormal, Beyond the Beast, and luuuuuved it! *G* (And, lest you think the first agent I queried snatched me up...oh, ho! Would you be wrong. Although my agent quest wasn't a prolonged affair, thank God--I only queried 7 agents (all on my "A" list) over a 3 week period--I did receive rejections from 4 of them, and no responses from 2 of them, and it's been 8 months since I sent out the queries.)
Here's the initial query letter I sent, in case it helps others out there who are starting their agent search. This would also work as a query to an editor, as well. I've put what I included in the letter in italics; my comments are non-italicized in parentheses:
The reputation of the staff at Writers House, LLC is one of professionalism and enthusiasm, and I'm looking for both in an agent. Plus, several of my favorite authors (Linda Howard, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton to name three) are represented by your firm, and I believe my work would be similar in nature to theirs. (It's all true, plus a little schmoozing never hurts...)
What's an independent woman to do when the ex-boss stalking her turns out to be a homicidal werewolf with delusions of grandeur? She shoots him, of course. Too bad that's not enough to keep him down. (This not only starts giving the premise of the story, it also shows my sense of humor, which comes out in the manuscript as well.) Beyond the Beast is a spicy paranormal romance (85,000 words) that tells the story of Taite Gibson, an independent investigator with the Pima County Attorney's office in Tucson, Arizona. When she finds herself with a maniacal stalker on her trail--a stalker who is also a werewolf--she flees to the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall to seek the help of renowned horror novelist and werewolf expert Ryder Merrick. What she doesn't know, and discovers only after she's fallen in love with him, is that Ryder, too, is a werewolf.
Afraid he's too much of a danger to others, Ryder is a man who is in self-imposed isolation. He doesn't want Taite on his island, but once she's there he can't bring himself to turn her away. When the other werewolf shows up and threatens to take her, Ryder must decide what's more important--protecting his secret, or helping a woman he's come to recognize as his mate. He has to face his own fears and overcome them.
A desperate drug smuggler, a werewolf, and their own foibles and fears conspire to keep them apart. But in the end, Ryder acknowledges his love for her. And Taite... She's been able to see beyond the beast and loves him in spite of it all. (Don't leave the ending of the story open for the agent to guess at what happens. You can do that in a blurb for a reader, but the agent--or editor--needs to know you've wrapped up the loose ends, and that you've closed the story properly.)
I pitched this story idea at an RWA chapter conference in April, and Monique Patterson of St. Martins requested the full manuscript. I have also had an invitation from Sulay Hernandez at Kensington to revise and resubmit another manuscript, which was the first place winner in the erotic romance category of last year's On the Far Side contest, sponsored by the Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal Special Interest Chapter of RWA. Ms. Hernandez also requested that I submit anything else I might have as well. (It's good to let them know of contest wins or that other editors have expressed an interest in your work.)
I am published with Amber Heat, Liquid Silver Books, New Concepts Publishing, and Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Should you wish to review my credentials more thoroughly, you can go to my website at www.sherrillquinn.com. I have also enclosed a business card that lists my other sites. (Here's where you begin listing your credentials. Doesn't matter if you're not published yet--if you have a particular interest/expertise in an area that is relevant to your book, let them know.)
I coordinated Passionate Plume, the first annual contest for published authors sponsored by Passionate Ink, the erotic romance chapter of RWA. Currently I am the PRO Liaison, Critique Group Coordinator and newsletter co-editor of the Tucson chapter of RWA. (I put this in there to let the agent know how serious I am about my writing career. I do more than just sit on my behind at the computer--I'm out there learning and growing as a writer.)
Please be aware I am querying other agents on this work as well. Thank you for your consideration and time. (Remember, this is a query letter, so it's OK to send out multiple/simultaneous queries. It's a matter of professionalism to let the agent know. And ALWAYS thank them for their time.)
One thing I didn't include that would be all right to do so is an ending line of "I look forward to hearing from you."
Another thing--I misspelled the agent's name. Twice. In the initial query letter AND in the letter that accompanied the partial I sent at her request. This is something people tell you to be VERY careful about--get the agent's name right!
Oy. Vay. What a dweeb. But she graciously overlooked my faux pas, bless her. She's probably used to people getting it wrong but, still... *sigh* Doofus. (Me, not her.)
Hope this is helpful.
And...I have an agent! (doin' the Snoopy dance!)
"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." ~Vince Lombardi
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:37 AM
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The latest review is in, this one from Fallen Angel Reviews.
5 Angels! "Seasons of Seduction is an extremely fitting title for this collection. Readers are seduced by the powerful men and courageous women that leap out of each story. I am happy to say that this is yet another collection that is well worth buying in print."
And specific to my story, Choosing Madison: "The heat that Gaelen, Leax, and Madison generate is truly amazing to witness. The sensuality as well as the carnality in their encounters is a treat and I found myself gobbling up this story."
Seasons of Seduction Volume 1 - available at Ellora's Cave!
"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way." ~Author Unknown
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Dragonfire, my dragon shape shifter menage story, debuted last week at Fictionwise at #29 and this morning is at #15, plus it's also the #1 "highest rated" erotic romance based on the highest average ratings by at least 5 readers. Woohooooo!!! Let's see how it does. :)
"To know what is right and not do it is the worse cowardice." ~Confucius
Monday, April 23, 2007
Come over to the Deliciously Naughty blog and talk with me about sexy lines in movies.
"A good friend will bail you out of jail. A true friend will be sitting next to you saying, 'Damn! That was fun!'" ~Unknown Author
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Last Saturday I received a familiar-looking envelope in the mail. It was addressed to me and had a return address from St. Martins Press. Ah. The SASE I'd included with the manuscript (BEYOND THE BEAST) I'd mailed to the senior editor. I braced myself as I opened the envelope, even though I knew what the letter inside contained. (If she'd been interested in the book, I'd have gotten a call, or an email, not a snail mail letter.) While she wrote that I'm a "really talented author, and this had some really compelling moments"...she went on to indicate she didn't "fall head over heels in love with it in the way I had hoped."
*Sigh* It would have been too easy, I guess, if the first full-length novel I wrote (85,000 words) was bought by the first editor I sent it to. Chin up, Sherrill. Rejection is all part of the game. Win some, lose some.
Well, there is good news with this, too. When I got home from work Thursday night, there was an email waiting for me from an agent at Writers House (the same folks who rep Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K. Hamilton and Linda Howard, to name a few), who'd requested the full manuscript (which I sent to her on March 17th). In this email, the agent wrote "I just finished reading BEYOND THE BEAST and wanted to tell you how much I loved it." She went on to say "I would love to talk to you about working together."
Happy feet!! She indicated in the email that she would call me on Friday (yesterday) and, though I carried my cell phone with me everywhere (including into the bathroom), the call never came. *pout* But I understand how things get very hectic very quickly, and the day gets away from you. Happens to me all the time.
Hopefully I'll hear from her on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed.
"The time is always right to do what is right." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:48 AM
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Deliciously Naughty Writers is having a delurk day today over at Club Naughty, complete with excerpts and a chance for a free download! If you're not already a member, come on over and join the fun!
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:53 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
At least, according to RRT Erotic it does:
"Once again Ellora’s Cave has brought together six extremely talented authors to create a tantalizing anthology with something for every taste. Don’t miss this fabulous collection of short stories guaranteed to please. Buy your copy of SEASONS OF SEDUCTION VOLUME 1 today."
And regarding my story: "Oh my, Madison is a very blessed woman, a single gal couldn’t get much luckier then being claimed by Gaelen and Leax. Yum."
Ellora's Cave SEASONS OF SEDUCTION VOLUME 1 - available now!
"The truth is there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self." ~Whitney Young
Monday, April 16, 2007
In celebration of spring and to show our appreciation for our readers, New Concepts authors are holding a Spring Scavenger Hunt exclusively for members of the New Concepts Readers and Authors Yahoo group.
Not a member of the group? Click here to join.
Perks of membership include advance excerpts, members only contests, announcement of new titles, and one-on-one contact with authors.The details of the Spring Scavenger Hunt are on the NCP Readers and Authors group. The last date for entry is April 30th. There will be six--count 'em, six!--fabulous prize packages awarded. Each package will contain numerous goodies, including several NCP books (one of the packages contains a free download from yours truly). A sneak peek of the goodies included in the prize packages will soon be posted to the NCP loop.
Please come and join in the fun!
"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." ~Anna Quindlen
Saturday, April 14, 2007
...here's a review from Just Erotic Romance Reviews for SEASONS OF SEDUCTION VOLUME 1:
"This is one of the best compilations of wildly romantic stories that I have ever read. No two stories are the same, as they span the genres from historical to contemporary, from futuristic to paranormal. The one thing they have in common is that all the main characters are driven to seduce each other while falling in love… This whole anthology should come with an extreme erotic content warning. From ménages to fantasy sex, all scenarios are going to set the readers’ panties on fire. I just couldn’t (sit) still while I was reading and kept on feeling the zings even when the stories were over… What I really enjoyed was the fact the each author has remained true to the word count and the number of pages. The solid plots and the easy flowing stories make Ellora's Cavemen: Seasons of Seduction I a worthwhile read and definitely a keeper on my cyber shelf."
Now that's more like it!
SEASONS OF SEDUCTION VOLUME 1 - available at Ellora's Cave!
"Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't." ~Pete Seeger
Friday, April 13, 2007
What will you be doing today, on a day considered by many to be one of the unluckiest days of the year, simply because it's the 13th and it falls on Friday?
The fear of Friday the 13th actually has a name: paraskavedekatriophobia. (Try saying that five times fast. Heck. Try saying it one time fast. Or slow.) Some people are so paralyzed by this fear they can't get out of bed when Friday the 13th rolls around. According to Wikipedia, more than 17 million people (according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute) are affected by a fear of this day.
But did you know that in some cultures, it's Tuesday the 13th that's considered unlucky, most notably Greek and Spanish cultures?
One of the traditional "historical" events cited as the beginning of this fear dates back to the year 1307 when many Knight Templars were simultaneously arrested by order of King Phillip IV. But closer examination suggests that the association of Friday and 13 as bad luck is actually an invention from the early 1900s.
Still, I think I won't tempt fate by walking under any ladders today...
"One never knows what each day is going to bring. The important thing is to be openand ready for it." ~Henry Moore
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:37 AM
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Mrs. Giggles has reviewed SEASONS OF SEDUCTION VOLUME 1. While it didn't come off with a glowing review from her (who does?!?), I think I managed to at least hold my own. Here's the kinder parts of what she had to say:
"Ellora's Cavemen: Seasons of Seduction Volume 1 offers a mixed. [insert my snipe here--a mixed...what? She doesn't say.] The first three stories showcase bad comedy sex from authors who probably should consider looking into performing stand-up comedy instead of trying so hard to write erotic romances... The last three stories however are enjoyable to read. It's as if the person compiling these stories has a Mr Hyde and then a Dr Jekyll moment during the editorial process."
And, later on, she writes:
"...the three good stories that I enjoy reading do go some way in making up for the three horrid stories... I don't completely regret purchasing this anthology, but in hindsight I'd have done better purchasing the longer works of the authors of the three better stories."
All in all, she gave the anthology a 67 (out of 100)--making it an "average" read.
My story, Choosing Madison, is one of the last three she found enjoyable. Phew! But she apparently takes exception to my use of the words "mates" instead of "husband" and "bonding" instead of "marriage". But, come on! We're talking about people from a different planet--you think (if they really exist) that they're going to have the exact wording and phrases that we do? I'm trying to show the cultural differences here. AND she called my story a "cheesy space romance."
That's quite all right. I happen to like cheese. And I like space romances. How can you go wrong by putting them together? LOL
She goes on to say about Choosing Madison:
"...Still, this story actually has a story that flows well, the characters aren't walking braindead Slot A being filled by Tab B, and the heroine, especially, isn't a walking braindead like the heroines in the previous short stories."
That's just the nice part. If you want to read the entire review, click here. And I have two things to say:
1) Never ever did I even have the remotest thought of Fabio in my mind when I created my heroes, and 2) I never knew I had the power to put people off from watching a terrific movie (Sleepless in Seattle) by just referencing it in one of my books! Go me!!
And if you want to see how much you agree--or disagree--with Mrs. Giggles, you can pick up your own copy of SEASONS OF SEDUCTION VOLUME 1 at Ellora's Cave.
"Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." ~Henry James
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
...is in my hot little hands. Woohoo!!! It's so purty! LOL
I've already had my first request for a signed copy, from a friend of my sister's. She even offered to pay me for the autograph. An offer I declined, by the way.
And just because I can't get enough of staring at the gorgeous cover...
You get to stare at it again, too! LOL
And here's another terrific review, this time from Sarah at A Romance Review:
4 Roses! "This story is just plain fun... Gaelen, Leax and Madison make a charming triad and it's obvious that more than lust brings them together. Respect, humor, and growing emotions all help this unusual situation seem not so out of the ordinary."
Choosing Madison, part of Seasons of Seduction Volume 1 - available at Ellora's Cave!
Hey, come on over to SEx today and read excerpts and chat with the authors of the Edge of Night anthology. I'd love to hear from you!
"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy." ~Florence Shinn
Monday, April 09, 2007
It's here! The Edge of Night anthology is available today at Liquid Silver Books!
My story is Damnation, a sequel to my Zodiac: Pisces story, Redemption.
In Damnation, Brianna Dempsey is on the run from a hit man. When he tracks her to her house, threatening her and her precious dog Oscar, she's saved by Jack Gerrard, a supernatural Protector. But Jack is something more--a vampire. He breaks all the rules, especially the one about not having carnal relations with your charge. But once he's had a taste of Bree, there's no going back...
Bree watched a tube of lipstick roll across the floor. Her throat felt swollen, tight. She swallowed. Her breath came quickly, her heart pounded a dull, hard thud behind her ribs. She couldn't believe the company had sent a hitman after her. Granted, with what she knew, the authorities could put the owners away for a very long time, but she'd never thought Jeremiah or Matthias Fairchild would stoop to murder.
She was more naïve than she'd realized.
"You..." She cleared her throat. "You were sent by the Fairchilds?"
"Does it matter?" he countered. His gun remained trained on her. His voice was smooth and without inflection of any kind. He was the epitome of the cold, hard killer.
"To me it does."
He shrugged. "I didn't get where I am today by blabbing to my victims, sugar." His dark gaze studied her for a moment, then he shrugged again. "Oh, well. Enough stalling. I have a job to do. Don't take it personally."
Bree blinked. Don't take it personally? "You've got to be kidding."
The hitman grimaced. "Okay. So, take it personally. I don't give a flying fuck."
A cold breeze wafted over her and she shivered. The man by the door brought his left hand up to steady the gun, and her eyes widened. "Wait!"
He paused, one dark eyebrow raised.
"Don't... Please don't kill Oscar. Please."
His gaze went to the dog by her side. "Doesn't look like he's gonna give me much choice, sister."
Bree knew what he said was true. Oscar strained against her hold, his growls turning more and more into barks and snarls. She bent her head, biting her lip against tears. Her sweet baby... "Ssh." She tried to soothe him, without success.
"That's it." The hitman took a step forward. "That damned mutt's gonna bring people running. Say goodbye to him, sugar."
She shivered again, unsure if it was from the wind coming around the damaged door or the brush of death against her soul. Closing her eyes, she hugged Oscar and waited for the end.
The sound of a shot being fired was muted by the silencer, but it was loud enough and she flinched, expecting to feel the white hot agony of lead slamming into her body. When nothing happened, she opened her eyes to see the gunman looking as bewildered as she felt.
"What the fuck...!" He pulled the trigger, and again the sound of the bullet being forced from the chamber sounded.
And again...nothing else happened. She didn't get shot.
From one blink to the next, another man materialized in front of her, his broad back blocking her view of the hitman. Inky black hair held in a pony tail trailed down his back. In her position on her knees, her eyes were level with his jeans-clad ass. Even as she noted what a fine pair of glutes he had, a part of her--a numbed, shocked part--wondered where he'd come from, how he'd seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
Bree heard a vicious curse from the man who'd been doing his best to kill her, and another gunshot. As the man in front of her jerked from the impact of the bullet plowing into his flesh, she screamed and scuttled backward, dragging Oscar with her. He wriggled in a determined effort to get free, his barks frantic. Finally, with a heave, he freed himself from her hold and lunged forward.
The tall man leapt toward the gunman, but tripped over the bulldog. He swore and staggered sideways. Then, in a movement too fast for her frightened gaze to follow, he righted himself and went after the other man again.
"What the fuck!" The hitman's voice was strained and fearful as he yanked on the front door. The door swung open, bouncing off the wall, falling from its one remaining hinge to crash onto the floor. The footsteps of the fleeing gunman faded, then she heard the screech of tires pulling away.
The tall man in front of her slumped, bracing himself with his hands on his bent thighs as he drew in deep breaths. Oscar went to him, putting one paw on the man's calf and whining softly.
Bree pushed herself to her feet. She clenched her fists and tried to calm her breathing. Having someone pop up in front of her out of thin air wasn't exactly an every day occurrence for her, and she was trying very hard to not freak out.
He brought one hand up to his face as he straightened, then slowly turned to face her.
Her breath hitched in her throat. There was a streak of blood across his right cheek, the gash from the bullet raw and angry looking but, even as she watched, the wound knitted over and healed.
She backed up until she slammed against the wall. She held out one hand and motioned to the dog. "Oscar!" When the bulldog ignored her and pranced around the feet of the man who'd saved her from being killed, Bree quavered, "Who are you?"
Perhaps the better question would be What are you? But she wasn't ready for an answer to that one. Not yet.
He glanced at the dog nattering at his feet and an expression somewhere between disbelief and chagrin passed over his handsome features. When he looked at her, his hazel eyes held warm humor. "Who's my new friend?" he asked, his tone wry and holding a hint of an accent that made her think of dark, sultry Parisian nights.
Copyright ©2007 Sherrill Quinn. All Rights Reserved.
Damnation, part of the Edge of Night anthology - available today at Liquid Silver Books!
Hey! Be sure to visit me over at the Deliciously Naughty Writers' blog today, where I'm talking about luck.
"When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud, either." ~Leo Burnett
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Hannah Trueblood and Jax Marjani had a very brief interlude a year ago. Hannah ran, not ready for the feelings Jax engendered in her--an alpha dom to her true submissive. Trying to do something to make a difference with her life, she joins a group of animal rights activists. Now, twelve months later, she's part of a team rustling cattle, saving them from certain slaughter. The only problem is...she's stealing them from Jax.
When Jax realizes who he has in his hands again, he's determined not to let her get away from him again. With his best friend Ian, the two men show Hannah just how exquisite being at their mercy can be. But come morning, she's run again, only to be captured by a group of barbarians. She finds herself in town on the block for a public claiming. Jax speaks up for her and must prove his "claim" by having sex with her in public.
Plus, there's still that little matter of his missing cows...
Jax Marjani jolted awake and knew something was wrong by the silence from the pens. Even as late in the night as it was, the bovina had been restless, as if aware of their fate to land on dinner plates in the not-too-distant future. That was, after all, the reason they’d been bred.
And so they usually shifted their weight, stomping their hooves and mooing to each other as if seeking comfort. But today they were unusually quiet. Poor things.
He snorted. “A couple of months alone and you’re turning maudlin,” he muttered. After finding out his government was in collusion in the attempted wrongful imprisonment of the man who ended up being his brother-in-law--and going through imprisonment himself--Jax had left his home planet of Tima Prime and taken a job hauling cargo for his new brother-in-law. The most recent “cargo” was the bovina. He was supposed to have merely stopped, loaded the cattle, and taken them to their final destination.
But the ranch manager had quit two months ago, and Jax had promised he’d play the part of cowboy until another manager could be found. He’d taken up residence on this small ranch on O’Kar Six where the bovina had been raised. And up until two days ago when his friend Ian Hunter had joined him, he’d been by himself.
He’d found that, though he missed being out in space, the simplicity of the barbarian planet suited him--it provided a place where a man could lick his wounds without a lot of people trying to get him to talk about his feelings. He didn’t need to talk. He just needed to work. Everything would sort itself out in due time.
If it weren’t for those fucking cattle thieves… The animal rights activists had come, leaving their graffiti spread over the side of the barn, and tried to steal his cows and set them free somewhere so they could... What? Eat, sleep, and procreate.
He raised his eyebrows. Now that he thought about it, that didn’t sound like a bad life after all. Food, sleep and hot, randy sex. Wasn’t much else a man needed.
Copyright ©2007 Sherrill Quinn. All Rights Reserved.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
From Tara at TwoLips Reviews: "Dragonfire is a wonderful story that contains passion, love and lust. Sherrill Quinn has written a perfect shapeshifter novel... The scenes of passion in Dragonfire are unbelievably hot! There is a menage scene that is so well done that it gave me tingles. Dragonfire is a story you simply must read. I promise you, Sherrill Quinn does not disappoint!"
You can read the entire review here. Read an excerpt or buy here.
"Worry is a misuse of the imagination." ~Don Zadra
Thursday, April 05, 2007
"This most recent Ellora's Cavemen anthology offers something every reader will enjoy--sassy contemporary heroines, paranormal thrills, medieval heroes and futuristic settings..."
Read an excerpt or buy.
"Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open." ~Elmer G. Leterman
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I received a contract for the second book in The Praetorians' series last night. Infiltration picks up with Quinn O'Rourke, who was introduced in The Praetorians: Discovery. Trying to protect Kendra Shepherd from The Foundation, Quinn tracks her down in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. They're captured and dragged back to the secret facility. Kendra seems to fall under the allure of the charismatic Chairman and betrays Quinn. But once he escapes and returns to his brothers-in-arms, he realizes her betrayal was really a dangerous act of loyalty. Now he must go back in and try to save her--and himself.
Hopefully we'll see this book released some time between May and July.
"Change your thoughts, and you change the world." ~Harold R. McAlindon
Monday, April 02, 2007
I'm hosting over at The Romance Galleria tonight. It's a 3D environment--I've not done this before, and I'm a bit nervous. So it'd be great to "see" some familiar faces over there. You do have to download the software, but it's easy enough to do. Come on... Come over at 9 p.m. EST and keep me company.
In other news, Dragonfire has stayed on the top 10 best sellers list for its second month at Amber Heat. Yay!!
You can read an excerpt or buy here.
"Flexible people never get bent out of shape." ~author unknown