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Thanks so much to everyone who commented! Donna is this week’s winner!

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I’ve been with the kids all day (thank you, MLK, for making this country a better place!), but I had to check in this week to tell you that I am up to my earlobes in paper, but it’s all good because this paper is getting organized and most of it is going out the door.

I’m talking full-on organization/filing/recycling/etc. which is quite timely because last Saturday, I gave a talk at the Silicon Valley RWA about organizing. It happened to be about organizing time to write, which was also timely because it’s the new year (goal-setting, resolutions, etc.), and I have noticed that when different aspects of my life start overlapping it’s time to sit up and pay attention. As an aside, I did get a lot of great comments on my talk, which I’m really happy about. Organization is not a one-size-fits-all prospect, especially as it pertains to writing, and one of the main messages I tried to get across was that you need to do what works for you to keep moving forward.

So, anyway, back to the paying attention: After I dove head-first into my filing cabinet of doom and began pitching papers right and left, I started to wonder what else the universe was telling me. I definitely heard Mr. B telling me he could see the dresser because I’ve been doing a great job of giving away all my swag, which is awesome, but as for the universe, I’m not sure yet. I think I have to listen harder. If I hear anything, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, this week’s giveaway is for Jennifer Ryan‘s Lucky Like UsJenn is one of my very good friends and fellow Roguer, and I’m very happy to be sending book 2 in her Hunted Series out into the wide, wide country for someone to enjoy. Contest ends Thursday,  January 23 at 9pm Pacific. U.S. only, please, and you need to be signed up for my newsletter to win. Just let me know if the universe has told you something interesting lately! :)

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Melancholy + Hot

Whew, it’s been a whirlwind of a week/end with relatives visiting (total yay!), too much work (boo!), and way too many errands to take care of in a very limited time. So this will be a short post, but I really wanted to tell you how much I’m loving my current WIP. At least, I think I’m loving it. It’s hard for me to judge since I become, by turns, infuriated by and in love with the work. It’s melancholy and hot at the same time, and I really don’t know what to make of it at all except I guess this is the way my work is going now.

That Tahoe novella I wrapped up mid-year was heading in this direction, with two people who are a little lost–one more than the other–who end up finding and changing each other over the course of a long weekend. It worked because by the time they met, they’d both (mostly) dealt with the baggage. But with this MS, I feel like I’ve gone off the rails a bit. These characters have fresh wounds and they are struggling–with themselves, with each other, but honestly, mostly with themselves. There was one scene I wrote recently where I actually thought can I do this to these poor characters? but one of my critique partners assured me that yes, yes I could and should do that to them. And then things got even more melancholy and more hot.

So yes, a departure from what I’ve been writing, and I think I won’t know how everything turns out until I get to the end of the MS. I’m about 40K in, so I have a ways to go, but I’m hopeful it’ll turn out the way I think it should.

At any rate, there’s no giveaway this week because I’m going on vacation, but stay tuned for the week of October 14th when I’ll be back full force with a post and goodies galore!

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Last week, I started making a few life changes–small ones, just to get in the groove–and they turned out to be good for me. The first was taking a few moments a day for myself. It sounds crazy, but I wasn’t even doing that before! I stopped working a tad earlier than usual and actually got to watch a movie! Granted, it was over several days, which isn’t ideal, but still–a movie!! In the middle of the week! For a gal who rarely watches television (except for Masterpiece Mystery and Castle), this was a very big deal, let me tell you!!

Also, I started eating better. I didn’t go on some crazy diet or halve my food intake, but my new eating habits include less grabbing stuff on the go and more sitting down to eat properly. It seems like such a little thing, but it was enough of a change for me to notice the way I feel.

I started editing the first third of my current WIP–for some reason, I really like to have the themes of the first third solidified before I keep writing–and it’s going pretty well. More on that this week.

And I got some good news from my publisher–more info to come when I can share!

I’m really writing today to ask if you think the Monday giveaways are going well. I started the whole Monday giveaway thing as a way to share all the awesome books and goodies I received at RWA this year. I’ve made a small dent in my pile, which is currently arranged on a giant 5-foot-long dresser, but I wanted to get your thoughts on whether I should keep going. There are tons of places I can donate the books, but I’d rather they go to people who are interested in reading them. Drop a line in the comments and let me know whether you think I should keep up the giveaways!

Even though there’s no giveaway this Monday on my blog, I am doing a Goodreads giveaway of two rare paper copies of Long Simmering Spring, so please join me there and sign up if you’re interested.

Thanks in advance to everyone who leaves a comment!

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Thanks to everyone who left comments! The winners are Shari and lscarchuk. I’ll be emailing you shortly to get you your prizes! Have a safe, fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday for another giveaway!

 

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Who else has kids back in school? I knew that having them all in school (at least for a portion of the day) would give me more free time–and it has–but I’ve been using it all up on paperwork! Questions from the teachers, release forms, insurance forms, medical forms, and “who am I” projects for three kids is making me a little nutty. Now that most of it is done, my resolution is to take time for myself and to take care of myself again. I haven’t been exercising, eating properly, or even giving myself permission to relax. This much change . . . starting now! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

As for the writing, it’s going well. I’m 20K words into a new manuscript and the themes and ideas are just starting to solidify on paper. I really love that. I’m back in my mom-mobile (aka my mobile office), parked in my safe, well-lighted lots just writing, writing, writing.

So for this week’s giveaway, I have two books–The Marriage Ring and Lyon’s Bride, both by Cathy Maxwell, who was one of our inspiring speakers at this year’s RWA National Conference. In the spirit of my resolution to take care of myself, why don’t you leave a comment as to how you’re going to take care of yourself this week? I’ll choose two random commenters who are also newsletter subscribers (sign up at the bottom of the page here). Contest ends at midnight, Pacific time, on Thursday, and I’ll announce the winners on Friday. And because these are paperbacks, US only, please (though if you’re in another country you still can, and are encouraged to comment)!

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I’ve got my jigsaw puzzle, my hot cocoa, and my Jane Austen, so I’m good through New Year’s! I’ll be taking a break from blogging until January to spend time with my family, but before I go, I figured I’d reflect a bit on the events of this year (which isn’t quite over).

For me, 2012 was a big year. My oldest child started kindergarten, I gained significant experience as a writing coach, and generally kept a household of five up and running. Oh, yes, and I debuted as a romance author!

I was thrilled to have Random House publish my first two books as part of its Loveswept line. Deep Autumn Heat kicked off the Star Harbor series, featuring the sexy-as-sin Grayson brothers, and Blaze of Winter followed a few months later. Folks had a lot of wonderful things to say about these books, and I was grateful for all the positive reviews and comments.

I also attended my first conference—Romance Writers of America’s annual meeting in Anaheim, California—where I had a chance to spend quality time with my fabulous editor and equally fabulous fellow Loveswept authors! Through RWA, I also participated in my first book signing (sensing a pattern of firsts here?) and throughout the year, I was honored to speak on several panels covering topics such as writing, editing, and my path to becoming a published author.

There’s a lot more in the pipeline for 2013, as two more Star Harbor books will give the other Grayson brothers ample opportunities for romance. Long Simmering Spring (Cole’s story) is due out in May, and is now available for pre-order on Amazon and B&N. Slow Summer Burn (Val’s story) will be released in August. I love both of these books, and I adore both of these heroes.

I’m also hard at work on a new series. Intimate relationships, secondary characters that pop off the pages, a fabulous Connecticut setting—I’m really psyched about how it’s developing and hope to have more to report next year.

Finally, thanks to the friendships I made at RWA and throughout the romance community, I plan to do more collaborative blogging next year. Stay tuned for more information on this front, as things will start heating up in January.

I also want to thank you all for your support! It is through word-of-mouth (i.e. you telling your friends) that my writing continues to be discovered, and I truly appreciate all the encouragement you’ve given me. Please keep up with all my goings-on through my website, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, right here.

I hope your holiday season is happy, healthy and safe.

All my best,
Elisabeth

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Great news! I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve sold the next two books in the Star Harbor series to Random House! Long Simmering Spring and Slow Summer Burn are due out as part of the Loveswept line in Spring and Summer 2013, respectively. If you’ve been following along, you might know that the first book of the series, Deep Autumn Heat, was released on July 9, and Blaze of Winter is coming on September 10. I’m very pleased that Loveswept wants all four books, and that the full series will be releasd so quickly! A bit about the two books I just sold:

In Long Simmering Spring, Cole Grayson finally returns to Star Harbor as the town’s new sheriff. He and Julie Kensington, the local physician, have known each other since grade school, and she’s less-than-impressed with the bad boy he used to be. But after stints in the military and on Boston’s police force, this leopard has definitely changed his spots. It isn’t long before Cole realizes that his sweet, sexy doctor will force him to confront his past and help him to face the future.

Slow Summer Burn is Val’s story. The oldest Grayson brother has been a strong, steady presence in his younger brothers’ lives. Now that the other Grayson men are settled, Val is able to focus on himself … and he has gorgeous, privileged Cameron Stahl in his sights. Cam has just opened her second antique store in town, and is more than receptive to sexy-as-sin Val’s advances. But Cam’s family isn’t too keen on their precious daughter dating a DEA agent. It’ll be up to Val to convince Cam–and himself–that he’s worth it. And man, is he worth it!

Both new books will feature more of Star Harbor and its inhabitants (including fan favorites Buster and Babs), pirate lore, and a mystery or two to keep everyone on their toes.

All of this happy news just gives me more reason to celebrate at the RWA National conference, which I can hardly believe is coming up next week! If you’re going to be in Anaheim, California on July 25th, please come find me at the Literacy Autographing (Table 802), where I’ll be signing copies of Deep Autumn Heat.

If you can’t make it to Anaheim, and would prefer to follow me around from the comfort of your own home, check out the two guest blog posts I did this week! My topic at Romance@Random is “Act Now, Think Later,” and there are some tantalizing personal anecdotes in there, including one about Mr. B! I also made the rounds at RomCon, where I answer questions about Star Harbor, Deep Autumn Heat, and what’s coming down the pipeline! Leave a comment on either site, and you could win a copy of Deep Autumn Heat!

Catch you on the flip side of RWA!

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My debut release week for Deep Autumn Heat is drawing to a close! Thank you to everyone who made it such a success – my agent, editors, family, and best of all, readers! Wow, it feels really weird to say that, but I realize that now I have readers. It’s amazing and humbling and, to be honest, kind of surreal. I’ve gotten several notes, emails and tweets from people who love my writing, and I still do a happy dance every time I get one! Deep Autumn Heat actually hit the Top 100 Nook Books (at Barnes and Noble), which was awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Should have warned you about all those exclamation points before you read that paragraph, hm? Sorry, but you have to admit, I’m kind of justified in being excited. It’s been a week of highs, and I’m hoping to hold onto this amazing feeling through the end of the month, when I’ll be attending the RWA National Conference in Anaheim, California. I’ll actually be doing my first book signing for Deep Autumn Heat at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, which is free and open to the public.

The Literacy Autographing will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, and will take place Wednesday, July 25, 2012, from 5–8 p.m. PT in the Ballroom (third floor) at the convention center. The event is free and open to the public, but no outside books will be allowed in (from attendees, not signing authors). Proceeds from book sales go to ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read Orange County, and Literacy Volunteers—Huntington Valley. If you’re in the area, please consider stopping by this incredible event. I’ll be sitting at Table 802 and would love to meet you!

If you’d like to “meet” me sooner, this coming Tuesday, July 17th from 6-7pm Eastern, I’m participating in a live Twitter chat. The theme is Loveswept Heroes (hashtag #LovesweptHeroes), and I’ll be featured, along with Jessica Scott, Ruthie KnoxSamantha Kane, and Megan Frampton. Moderated by the inestimable Sue Grimshaw, you can ask us whatever questions you like (within reason!), and get free books! Please stop by with your questions about Sebastian Grayson – I’d love to chat with you.

So yes, big week – huge week – and there’s much more to come, including a special announcement very, very soon!

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Release day is here! Release day is here!

I’m am so excited that Deep Autumn Heat is finally available!

Thank you to everyone who preordered or reviewed an advanced copy! It’s been thrilling to hear what you’ve all thought about the book! If you haven’t already ordered your own copy, here are the links:

ORDER Deep Autumn Heat from Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBookstore (Apple) | Other Places.

Also, I’d be thrilled if you’d:

VISIT my website

FRIEND me on Facebook

SIGN UP for my Newsletter

FOLLOW me on Twitter

LIKE me on Amazon

So, this is it! No going back now! This fabulous, crazy journey has just begun!

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All right, deep breath. My debut novel, DEEP AUTUMN HEAT releases on July 9th, and the official blog tour starts today!

Can I get a squeeeeeeee?

My lineup is pretty intense–24 stops in 3 weeks–but I’m thrilled to be doing it. I’ve planned something different for every stop, so if people actually follow me for the entire blog tour, I think (hope) they won’t get bored. What I’m most looking forward to is connecting with other readers and writers, talking with them, and seeing what they’re all about…kind of like a preview of RWA Nationals in Anaheim, which I’m attending in late July.

As far as the blog tour goes, I start off on my home turf at Romance @ Random, talking about Love at First Taste. Please come join me, comment, and you could win a free copy of DEEP AUTUMN HEAT!

And even though the book isn’t out for another three weeks, you can read the first couple of chapters here.

Deep breath, deep breath, deep breath, squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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I just got back from my college reunion, and it was pretty much everything I thought it would be. Maybe more. One of my good friends said she felt as if it had passed in a dream, and I do admit there were certain dreamlike qualities about the weekend. I attended a very humorous lecture on positive discipline for children by the head of the Yale Parenting Center, and sat in on an amazing panel of some of my classmates who’d followed “the creative path.” Obviously, both of those talks appealed to me greatly! I also soloed with the Yale Glee Club in Woolsey Hall, sang with the women from my senior singing group, and got to walk around the cobblestoned paths of my old campus (which is just gorgeous, by the way). At one point, during a mid-morning rehearsal in a wood-paneled common room, the carillon bells began to ring, just like old times. I  closed my eyes and let the sound wash over me. At one point later in the weekend, I was walking with two of my best friends, and all of a sudden, the skies opened up as a huge thunderstorm passed overhead. I didn’t even care that my feet got drenched. It felt like home.

As much as I really enjoyed connecting with old friends I still keep in touch with, but simply hadn’t seen in a long while, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some new ones. My class was moderately large – close to 1200 students – and while I knew a lot of people, there were inevitably some folks I’d never connected with. Like the uber-fabulous high-end makeup artist (and he was an artist) who designed his own clothes (one neo-Victorian, Steampunkesque outfit blew me away). Or the witty, funny, genuine man who just won a Pulitzer prize. Yes, I was so happy to finally meet you – and many others – whom I’d only known of, not known, until last weekend.

But it wasn’t just being at Yale that was so wonderful. I also got to tool around my hometown, and visit New York. My folks still live in Connecticut, so I got to relax with them at home, visit with my in-laws in NY, catch my sister for coffee in Grand Central Station (she works in NYC), and meet with my awesome Random House editor at a little French bistro on Broadway. Also, I saw David Hasselhoff. I’ll just let that sink in.

And then, after the whirlwind few days were over, I came home to my amazing family. My kids were so happy to see me – I got hugs and kisses and “mommy, mommy, mommy!” for the rest of the weekend. And Mr. B and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary of the day we first met.  I was very, very glad to be home.

All of this might not be as exciting for you as it was for me, but here’s something that might intrigue you: the first two chapters of my debut novel, DEEP AUTUMN HEAT, are available on Scribd! For free! Go check them out here!

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