Thursday, March 29, 2012

Golden Heart and Rita Nominations

Last Monday, March 26th, the calls went out for Romance Writers of America's two big contests: The Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers, and the Rita Award for published authors (click on the title of this post to see a list of all the nominees). Since I had no horse in the race this year, I skated through my day stress free (or at least as stress free as a Monday ever gets).

However, I had quite a few friends who were hopefuls in both contests, and I'm thrilled to report that two of them are Golden Heart finalists!

My good writer-buddy and Bosun on the Romance Writers Revenge, Terri Osburn is a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category with her manuscript "Meant to Be." Terri and I "met" online when she won a critique from me several years ago. Eventually, Terri and I were able to meet face-to-face at RWA's National Conference in San Francisco in 2008, and again at the 2009 National Conference in Washington DC. Here's a piccie of Terri and Aunty after the Awards Ceremony in 2009.

My Sacramento Valley Rose chaptermate Anna (AJ) Stewart is also a Golden Heart finalist in the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category for her manuscript "The Devil She Knows." Anna was one of the first people to welcome me into the chapter when I joined in 2006 (I was a Golden Heart finalist myself that year). She has been a past president of the chapter and probably held every other position on the board at some point. Yes, she is that generous and dedicated to helping other local writers!

SUPER CONGRATS, Ladies! I'm really looking forward to cheering both of you on during the 2012 National Conference in Anaheim!

Do you know any of the 2012 Golden Heart or Rita finalists? If not, do you have someone you would have nominated? Please share with all of us!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Heroes and Inspirations

In honor of St. Paddy's Day, I thought I'd share a bit about some of my Irish characters -- HEROES of course!

When I sit down to write a story, I need to know my lead characters very well. Part of getting to know them, involves finding "models" for what I imagine they look like.

Now, I realize that part of the great appeal of reading if forming your own ideas of what the characters look like, so I'm a bit hesitant to share my "models" for fear of ruining the fun for readers. So please, if you think that might happen for you, please read no further!

If you're still with me, then here are some piccies of how I pictured each of my Irish heroes. I'll start with my newest hero first:

Clive Owen as "The Irishman" Eamon Malone in High Seas Deception.

Yes, yes, I know he's an Englishman. In fact, if his last name is any indication, he's a Welshman. But I think you'll agree that at least in this shot, he looks the part of the mysterious, dangerous and oh-so-sexy Irishman.

Next up, probably my most 'tortured' hero to date, Kevin Hennessey from The Wild Irish Sea.

I know, I know, Christian Bale is another Welshman, but somehow in this piccie I thought he embodied the tough, yet vulnerable (not to mention sexy) Kevin.

All my critique partners and quite a few of my readers agree that their favorite of my heroes is Keirnan Fitzgerald from The Treasures of Venice (aka Jewels of the Madonna). No surprise considering Keirnan is the epitome of an Irish charmer and more than a bit of a rogue. I must admit, he was the first Irish hero I ever wrote and I have a real soft spot for him myself.

Who better to use for a model than Gerard Butler? This shot might very well have been taken in Italy, or someplace being used to represent Italy.

Yes, Gerry was born and raised in Scotland, but Butler is an Irish name! Plus, the man just oozes charm, don't you think?

Hmmm, I just realized that these last two piccies both have the guys with their shirts open at the throat and sleeves undone... Not that I'm complaining, mind you!

Finally, last but certainly never least, Donovan O'Shea the Irish hero of my first published novel The Wild Sight. A reluctant psychic, Donovan is somewhat tortured and therefore aloof, but also wonderfully vulnerable... oh and did I mention sexy?

I thought this picture of Hugh Jackman embodied all those qualities. Never mind that Hugh is Australian (a very long way from Ireland!) and has the wrong color eyes, he will always be Donovan to me! Yup, another open shirt collar, I can't seem to help myself!

So there you have my images of my Irish heroes, and not a single one of them is really Irish!

Maybe you have some suggestions of who you pictured as one of my heroes? Please share if you do! If not, maybe you have some other favorite Irish heroes you can share.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Read An E-book Week

Yes, I'm a convert! Since Santa brought my Kindle last December, I've been lovin' me some ebooks.

Of course, it helps that all of my books are also available in electronic versions. (Just click on the title of this blog post to go to my author page on Amazon!) In fact, The Sidhe Princess and High Seas Deception are currently only available as e-books. So when I heard that this week had been designated as "Read an E-Book Week" I was excited to participate!

Part of the beauty of e-books is that you don't have to own an e-reader to enjoy them. You can read them on your laptop, your desktop computer, even your phone!

As part of the celebration, SmashWords is hosting a special promotion. Lots of authors and publishers are offering discounts on e-books through the SmashWords catalog for this week only. It's a great opportunity to try some great new authors and try some new books for bargain prices. I'm offering my newest book, High Seas Deception at 25% off. Just go here: and use coupon code REW25.

What are you reading right now? What book are you looking forward to reading?