Archive for the ‘Debut’ Category

#ROFLOL Blog Hop

Ooh, it’s time for another blog hop, this one for Elise Sax‘s debut novel, An Affair to Dismember, which is going to be released later this month. I had the good fortune to meet Elise at RWA12, and we hit it off immediately. She is one funny lady, and I am SO excited for this book, I can’t tell you! (Ask her how she thought up the title for her second Matchmaker series book!) Ahem.

The contest runs from January 14-21, 2013, and for one week only, you have the chance to win, win, win a copy of the book (plus other great prizes)!


Prizes from Random House include:

* A $25 e-gift card grand prize

* Four winners receive one copy of An Affair to Dismember by Elise Sax and Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O’Keefe

 * Three winners receive a copy of An Affair to Dismember

* One winner receives a Mashup of books from Random House!

Click on the Rafflecopter link here!

Good luck!

And oh, yes, ROFLOL stands for “rolling on the floor laughing out loud,” so here’s something funny for you: Gangnam Style. Psy is a genius, and this song is overplayed but it will never get old. Never!


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Today, I am very happy to welcome Natalie Bahm to my blog. Natalie is the author of The Secret Underground, a children’s novel she chose to publish as a fundraiser (with the blessing of her amazing agent, Sara Megibow) to support one very special, very sick little boy. She is also a debut author! I encourage you to read Natalie’s take on young romance, explore her site which has more information about the fundraiser, and purchase a copy of The Secret Underground. Without further ado, here’s Natalie:


Everyone Loves a Little Romance

I’m a children’s writer.  I write stories about adventure and growing up, and explore how family and friends play a role in those things.  My characters try to figure out where they fit in the world and learn to speak for themselves.

And I also like to include a little romance.

There are plenty of people who believe middle grade fiction is not the place for romance.  Those people clearly do not remember what it’s like to be an eleven-year-old! When I was eleven I had crushes on boys.  I daydreamed about my own happily ever after and wondered what kissing would be like.  I enjoyed books with a little fun and adventure, but my biggest requirement for a great read was that it included a love story.

Middle grade romance is obviously different from grown up romance and even young adult.  My stories tend to focus on feelings that are based on admiration rather than lust (there’ll be plenty of time for that later!)

I also don’t include a whole lot of physical stuff.  I think in the five books I’ve written there are may be two handholding scenes and one kiss. But there’s plenty of teasing and compliments and goose bumps and butterflies—all the things that make first love fun.

For me, no story is complete without a little love—and that’s true whether a reader is nine or ninety.

My first book, The Secret Underground has a sweet little romance.  It’s an adventure about a girl who discovers her little brother is digging tunnels along with all the neighborhood boys (including the cutest boy in her class).

It’s a very special project that my agent, Sara Megibow, and I put together as a fundraiser for a little boy who’s been in the hospital off and on since birth.  You can learn more about the book and the project HERE.  I hope you’ll consider buying a copy for a child in your life.

The paperback version is available on Amazon.  The eBook can be purchased just about anywhere eBooks are sold.  You can buy the audiobook through iTunes, Audible, and Amazon.  The paperback will be available through more booksellers soon.


Thank you, Natalie! I hope the fundraising goes well. Please come back to chat any time!

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When I thought about how to best describe the amazing whirlwind that was the Romance Writers of America’s National conference of 2012, it was really difficult for me to wrap my head around the event. After all, I just got home yesterday, and it usually takes me about a week or two – sometimes longer – to process the really important things. And let me be clear: RWA12 was really important for me.

I went into the 4-day affair with somewhat of a plan, and for those of you who know me well, this means that I had a set of goals. I won’t bore you with my checklist (you know I had one of those, too!), so I’ll just summarize: to meet as many amazing people as I possibly could, including my editor (and her boss!) from Random House, and the other Loveswept and Ballantine authors, to bolster my understanding of the business aspect of romance writing, and to introduce myself to the community.

I was fortunate enough to have been invited to several Random House events, so I was able to meet some incredible people that way, but equally amazing were the chance meetings I had with others in the industry…the unpublished writer who wanted someone to help her perfect her pitch (Ruthie Knox, Jessica Scott and I were happy to oblige)…the kind agent who two years ago wasn’t the right fit for me, but still gave me loads of encouragement…the Twitter friend with the amazing sense of humor who was just as warm in real life as she is online. These were the kinds of connections I was hoping to make, and that I think will carry me through the rest of the year.

Now that I’ve set the scene, I’m going to show you some photos as I talk you through my week in Anaheim.

Day 1 – Literacy Autographing

My editor, Sue Grimshaw had provided some print ARCs of my debut novel, Deep Autumn Heat, for the event, which looked GORGEOUS, as well as some Romance at Random sticky notepads, flyers, and bonus Hershey’s kisses. I wasn’t sure what to expect, given that it was my first day at my first conference, so I came armed with some 8 ½ x 11 color photos of the cover of Deep Autumn Heat, some business cards with the cover of Blaze of Winter on the front and my website address and QR code on the back (I called these my “tiny Theos”), and a piece of paper in case folks wanted to sign up for my newsletter. What can I say? I was optimistic!

Okay, what I really was was overwhelmed. 500 romance authors in a room and it was loud! Plus, I couldn’t believe I was about to give my first autograph to someone who’d read and loved my book! All I could think was: “Is this really happening?”

When there was a lull in the proceedings, I made a beeline for the incredible Robyn Carr, whose support and encouragement have been invaluable.

I look a bit manic in this photo, mainly because I was kind of in shock that I was meeting one of my idols. Sadly, this wasn’t the last time I squeed all over someone (more to come on that).

That evening, I got to have dinner with my Roguers – an amazing group of writers from Silicon Valley who I’ve loved getting to know over the past couple of years. It was a relaxing end to the day.

Day 2 – Meetings!

It was such a thrill to sit in the Random House spotlight event and hear about all the incredible authors the house puts out. I must admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed when my editor said my name and described my writing.

Later that evening, I attended the Random House cocktail party where I met so many amazing women. Here I am with Stefanie Sloane (who couldn’t have been nicer), and Karen Leabo (aka Kara Lennox – one of my favorite authors whose books are being re-released by Loveswept).

I also had one heck of a fangirl moment with Heather Graham.

Me: I’m Elisabeth Barrett. Pleasure to meet you.

Her: Nice to meet you, too. I’m Heather Graham.

Me: The Heather Graham?

Her: A Heather Graham.

My editor: Yes, she’s the Heather Graham.

Me: Oh, my God.

Then I proceeded to truly embarrass myself, but Ms. Graham was kind enough to ignore it. All I have to say to her is, “Thank you. You are amazing.”

Day 3 – Dinner, Whisky (Neat), and Bird Calls

In the morning, I attended a super workshop with the screenwriter Michael Hague. I usually don’t do so well with writing classes and workshops. I’m definitely one who learns by doing, not by listening, but Mr. Hague’s presentation was so engrossing and applicable, that I actually got a ton out of it.

The awards luncheon with speaker Robyn Carr was definitely a highlight of the week for me. So many things she said resonated, including one bit about how for young women writers who were juggling jobs and writing and family and children, it was never going to be harder than it is right now. I started crying. Yes, I admit it, okay? I cried! Twice, if you really must know.

That afternoon, I had a drink with Molly O’Keefe, author of the Crooked Creek series, which starts off with Can’t Buy Me Love. She’s a pretty amazing lady, and truly down-to-earth.

And that night, the Random House Loveswept team took us out to dinner, and I haven’t had that much fun in a long while. I got to use my piercingly loud whistle to hail a cab (like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), ate some delicious desserts, and, in a slightly more mellow state, showed off my birdcall prowess later that night in the bar.

Day 4 – Random House Book Signing and RITAs

Another huge highlight was the Random House book signing. I gave away all my copies – what a thrill! And everyone got a tiny Theo to take home with them. I mean, he’s adorable. Why wouldn’t you want a tiny Theo?

I spent the afternoon lounging around with Ruthie and Jessica and my awesome roommate, Suzanne, drinking tea and hiding from the sun. By evening, I was ready for some fun, so I joined all the Random House folks at their table for the RITAs. I have no pictures of that event to show you, since I was showing much more cleavage than is decent. Instead, I will give you a photograph of the Three Musketeers, the first three Loveswept Debuts – me, Ruthie Knox, and Jessica Scott.

Also, before she left, I fangirled Jayne Ann Krentz. Her books were what made me want to write. She was extremely gracious!

I could go on for another thousand words, but it’s getting late (again!), so I’d better wrap this up. As you can probably guess, I had an amazing time. There were so many other incredible things I did, so many other lovely people I met, and so much information I learned, but to write that all would take a week. (If you’d like to see my other photos, please stop by Facebook for the full album!)

I told my editor and agent I felt like Cinderella at the ball, and I really did. Everyone was so generous with their time, and the positive energy was overwhelming.

See you all next year in Atlanta!

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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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As the release date for Deep Autumn Heat approaches (can it really only be two days away?), and as things heat up for the Romance Writers of America National Conference in late July, I realize that I’m sitting on a mountain of “firsts.” First blog tour. First book published. First review. First time talking with strangers who want to read the novel (love this part!). First RWA national conference. First author conference of any kind, actually.

I’ve never been huge on firsts. For the most part, I’m usually too shocked to process what is happening. True story: I got my first kiss in the third grade. I was sitting at my desk, and someone came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I looked left. Nothing. I looked right. Nothing. A boy said, “Up here!” I looked up, and he kissed me right on the lips. I was so surprised that I stood up and punched him right in the face! (My second kiss, much, much later, was lovely).

So for the most part, I go about my daily life, trying not to freak out about the book or the reviews or the scrutiny. I work. I try to exercise. I take care of my kids and my husband. I do laundry. I work on copyedits for my next book (Blaze of Winter is all set for a September release, yay!).

And then someone tweets about the Literacy Signing at RWA, where I’ll actually be autographing copies of Deep Autumn Heat, and I think, “Whoa! Is this really happening?” Or a friend wil ask me how I feel about my book coming out, and I’ll say, “Excited. Scared. Humbled.”

For as much as I realize that this is about firsts, it’s also about lasts. This, for example, is the last time I’ll be posting on this blog as an unpublished author. And instead of someone asking me when “the book is coming out,” they’ll ask when “the next book is coming out.” Will I feel less nervous? I doubt it, but at least it won’t be the first time.

See you on the backside (of July 9th)!

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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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