Monday, February 28, 2011

Man Meat Monday

Anyone up for a roll in the hay?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funny

For everyone over forty, or as the singer states, anyone who's been having the occasional senior moment...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Upcoming Events

I'm thrilled that agent Nephele Tempest from the Knight Agency is going to be at our RWA chapter meeting this Saturday. I'm picking her up at the airport Friday afternoon and we're going to have a great dinner with members of the board that night, and I know a terrific meeting on Saturday. She's going to share information about the industry and give a workshop on writing a sucknopsis...I mean, a synopsis. If you're close by, you should try to come. You can go to Saguaro Romance Writers to make your reservation!

In a couple of weekends, March 12-13 to be exact, the third annual Tucson Festival of Books kicks off again. I'm presenting on two panels this year, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. This is such a great event. Again, if you're in the area, you should plan to attend. The best part about this is it's free! TFoB has the details.

Have a great hump day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Man Meat

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Funny

"Great Goodness! I've been hoodwinked!"

Best line ever! LOL

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Publishing: What does the Brass Ring look like NOW?

Welcome guest blogger author Kris Tualla! Kris is mine of information on the publishing industry, and I've asked her to share a bit of her expertise with my blog readers.

Publishing: What does the Brass Ring look like NOW?

Well… what did it look like before? In a nutshell:

  1. Write a manuscript that's 75,000 to 95,000 words long.
  2. Get it critiqued multiple times and go through multiple re-writes.
  3. Query editors and agents.
  4. Get rejected and query some more.
  5. Get the Call from an agent who wants to represent you.
  6. Get another Call that your agent has sold your manuscript: 2 book deal and option for a third.
  7. Celebrate!
  8. Work with your publisher to promote your books.
  9. Become a best-seller.
Does this brass ring still exist? Of course it does! Should new authors still reach for it? Absolutely! Do not forgo this process. It's the only way to know for sure that you are able to write a story and do it well.

What if.

The rejections are economics-based? By that I mean things like: “We don’t do American historicals… no one can sell Scandinavia… write Scotland BUT Scotland is a very crowded market… cut 15,000 words then I’ll look at it… publishers LIKE their boxes…”

What do you do now?

If you are me, you tell your agent to keep trying to sell the European-based manuscripts, but you are taking the American ones to e-pub and Print On Demand.

Now what does the brass ring look like?
  1. Write multiple manuscripts 100,000-105,000 words long.
  2. Get them critiqued multiple times and go through multiple re-writes.
  3. Upload them to Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords. (There is no fee for this.)
  4. Price it at $3.49 (70% royalty).
  5. Create a trade-paperback version on Amazon's CreateSpace and make it available through their extended distribution channels. (There is a $39 fee for this, plus the cost of books - $4 to $5 on average.)
  6. Price it at $12.99 (35% royalty).
  7. Promote like a maniac.
  8. Keep promoting like a crazed maniac.
  9. Watch monthly royalty deposits begin to appear in your bank account.
Is this version of the brass ring for everyone? No. It requires a second level of dedication. Extra hours beyond writing as the author does the publisher's jobs: multiple proofs and edits. Cover designs. Product placement. And backlists are key.

Add to that what every successful author is already doing: Setting up appearances. Buying and dispersing promo items. Teaching online classes. Speaking wherever and whenever. Blogging all over the 'net. Conferences, workshops and seminars. Oh my.

Is it worth it? You tell me. This was the only way you could fall in love with Nicolas Hansen. Otherwise, you never would have heard of him.


For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.


In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:
  1. Go to and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
  2. Send an email to with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
  3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at
A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at

A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?

A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.


Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Kris!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Man Meat Monday

For Valentine's Day, some eye candy:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Funny

These are entries to a newspaper competition asking for a two-line rhyme with the most romantic first line, and the least romantic second line:

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you has screwed up my life.

I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.

Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.

Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss,
But I only slept with you 'cause I was pissed.

I thought that I could love no other
-- that is until I met your brother...

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.

I want to feel your sweet embrace;
But don't take that paper bag off your face.

I love your smile, your face, and your eyes
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?

My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe 'Go to hell.'

What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Who said poetry is boring? LOL

Thanks to my friend Roz Denny Fox for forwarding these on to me!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

More on the Publishing Industry

There's an excellent article over on Jerry Simmons' blog that I'm going to direct you to today. It's from November of last year, but it's worth reading. Jerry spent more than 30 years in publishing. He spoke to my local RWA chapter a few years ago, and let me tell you, he really knows his stuff. So go check out what he has to say about the future of print books.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Man Meat Monday

Oy. Vey.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Funny

Got this one from my sister. Thanks, C!

Sleeping with Bob

The guys were all at a deer camp. No one wanted to room with Bob, because he snored so badly.

They decided it wasn't fair to make one of them stay with him the whole time, so they voted to take turns.

The first guy slept with Bob and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot.

They said, "Man, what happened to you?"

He said, "Bob snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night."

The next night it was a different guy's turn. In the morning, same thing, hair all standing up, eyes all bloodshot.

They said, "Man, What happened to you? You look awful!"

He said, 'Man, that Bob shakes the roof with his snoring. I watched him all night."

The third night was Fred's turn. Fred was a tanned, older cowboy, a man's man. The next morning he came to breakfast bright eyed and bushy-tailed.

"Good morning!" he said.

They couldn't believe it. They said, "Man, what happened?"

He said, "Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Bob into bed, patted him on the butt, and kissed him good night. Bob sat up and watched me all night."

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day!

While much of the country is in a deep freeze, winter has finally poked its head back into southern Arizona. We're only supposed to be in the 40s the next couple of days. I know, I know. 40s is downright balmy for a lot of you, but it's cold for us. We actually have a hard freeze warning until 9 a.m. And I love it. Cold with no snow is perfect! LOL The only thing that would make it better is if we had more snow on the mountains.

One of my favorite movies!