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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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So I did something absolutely awful to my back. So awful, in fact, that I can barely move without wincing in pain. It’s this lower-back sharp pain/muscle spasm/really-I-have-no-idea, but it’s bad. The worst thing is, I don’t know what I did. It’s not like I felt something tear, or someone jumped on me or I helped a friend move and now I’m paying the price. I just woke up this way one morning late last week. The kids now know my refrain of “Mommy’s back hurts,” and say it to each other when one asks for something from me that would require me to lift. Or stand. Or sit.

When the pain first kicked in, I stretched out, did some yoga and took some Advil. When that didn’t work, I went to get a massage. All that succeeded in doing was in turning my lower back the colors of a dark rainbow. I think at this point, I just need to rest it, because nothing’s helping. I have, however, experimented with body positions and determined that I can work mostly pain-free by lying a certain way on my back on the bed with my laptop balanced over me. This works until I stand up.

Sigh.

On a happier note, I’m cooking along with Slow Summer Burn. As of today, I’m 60K words in and chugging towards the finish line. And today I’m also being hosted by the wonderful folks over at Kindles & Wine, where they’ve reviewed Deep Autumn Heat (and said some lovely things about the book), *and* asked me all sorts of interesting questions which I hopefully answer in interesting ways. Join me over there, leave a comment, and you could win a print copy of the book. Yay!

That’s all I have for today. If anyone has any good suggestions for getting rid of lower back pain, lay ’em on me. I BEG YOU.

 

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Happy New Year!

I wish I could tell you that I was a total slacker and had a completely relaxing holiday, but alas, it was just not to be. I worked my little kazookies off. Writing, editing, work…it all came to a head the last two weeks in December and the first week in January. Throw in some inclement weather and some kids home from school, and well, you know how it went….

I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, though. Work is tapering off, and will continue to taper more through the end of the month. I’ve completed my line edits on Long Simmering Spring, and after one last look tonight, I’ll be sending it back to my editor. And I’ve kickstarted my work on my fourth Star Harbor Book, Slow Summer Burn. I also got super inspired for another book – this one a stand-alone, I think – which is Silicon Valley-Tahoe based. I’m going to try something totally new for me which is to try to write two books simultaneously, as I’m excited to get back to my Connecticut Contemporary series I started in mid-2012.

This all makes for a very inspiring start to the year!

I don’t have any goals this year except to push myself hard. There are so many things I want to write, that I’m inspired to write, and I’m just raring to go!

I thought I’d whet your appetite, though, with a little excerpt from Long Simmering Spring. Let me just give you a little background.

The characters:

Cole Grayson – ex-military, smoking hot, and kind of tortured, now Sheriff of Star Harbor

Julie Kensington – straight-arrow family doctor trying to keep her practice afloat and doing her best not to get drawn in by said smoking hot sherriff

The plot:

Cole and Julie work together to ferret out bad dudes doing bad things in Star Harbor while falling in love. Plus, the hottest sex scene I’ve written (to date).

This 5-sentence snippet is from Cole’s point of view after he’s had a run-in with Julie and she’s still dodging him:

What he wouldn’t give to run his fingers through her hair, crush her to his body, and see how high he could make her fly. See how far he could push her until she unraveled in his arms. But, clever woman that she was, she hadn’t given him an opening. She’d shied away from him since he’d returned, dodging him for months, and always with the same excuse: work. He took a deep drink of his lager, pushing back against the nostalgia, coupled with a smidge of bitterness.

From Long Simmering Spring, (c) Elisabeth Barrett 2013

Like it? Preorder links are here!

I’m looking forward to a great 2013! Hope your year is everything you hope it’ll be!

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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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