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Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodreads Q&A with Nancy Gideon

Join me over on Goodreads for a Q&A forum on my By Moonlight series and writing in general. So far threads include general questions on the series, series Spoilers and writing process and tips of the trade. I'm also planning some fun polls and other goodies. The Q&A boards will be up from today until September 25 so jump in any time with your questions about characters, future books, plot threads and any other questions you might have writing related...or not.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Read MASKED BY MOONLIGHT...for Free!

Just the push you needed to get started. Free is good! Pocket After Dark is offering MASKED BY MOONLIGHT, the first book in my dark paranormal series, for free for the next 19 days! Meet Max and Charlotte in steamy New Orleans and get lost in their BY MOONLIGHT world of shape-shifters, suspense, danger, and romance. Laissez les bon temps roller!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Launching a New Sales Direction!



I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Tell-Tale Publishing has brought me on-board as their launch author for two new and very different ventures (for both them AND me!).

 


 
 In late September/early October I'm entering the non-fiction arena in the debut of Tell-Tale's non-fiction affiliate, Wise Words Publishing with a unique and dear-to-my-heart project on promotion and social media. Putting It Out There: PR and Social Media for Writers will be digitally released in 18 monthly chapters ranging from author branding and setting your promotional (time and money) budget to getting reviewed and how to effectively use swag and giveaways. Then, the chapters will be compiled into a hard cover volume. You can pick the ones that interest you or invest in the whole package. Look Mom, I'm doing something with my college education!

In December, I'll be launching Tell-Tale's
Deja Vu line with the reissuing of several of my backlist titles. More on that later...

I've enjoyed the hands-on benefits of working with a small press in the past, and look forward to the TLC I'll be receiving from Tell-Tale and Wise Words editors and my former cover artist and line edit geniuses now under the Tell-Tale umbrella.


What promo or social media issues would you like to learn more about? And which books in my backlist would you like to see back on the market?

Friday, August 19, 2011

It’s a Bling Thing Q&A and Giveaway with guest Mary Gideon of ReMaryd Originals

For me, it’s all about the Bling. Since I can’t wear those sexy shoes I lust after, I’ve become an unashamed jewelry hoarder (maybe I could get my own segment on TV!). Every trip has its commemorative piece of bling and it has to be unique and eye catching. So you can imagine, it was like a diabetic working in a Krispy Kreme store when my co-worker/daughter-in-law announced she had a craft addiction on the side: making recycled, repurposed jewelry - in layman’s terms, taking pieces of broken junk and turning it into wearable treasures! Her greatest challenge to date is keeping me from running off with everything she makes.
When looking for Christmas gifts for my critique group, I wanted something unique and eye catching…hmmm, something like Bling. Ta Da, one-of-a-kind bracelets featuring charms for their writing genres from ReMaryd Originals. Why not expand that to charm bracelets unique to my By Moonlight series? How about book thongs that continue that theme? Poor Mary, spending all her spare time accessorizing my trip to NYC and creating my gorgeous giveaways. 

To thank her for her generous gift of time and talent, and to give one lucky commenter a chance to own a ReMarydOriginal, I’ve invited Mary to share her craft with us…and surprise, her creative endeavor parallels mine with writing in many areas.

Q) How did the idea for ReMaryd get started and what’s your dream goal for it?


 A) How much time do you have? The idea for this particular “chapter” in my life of jewelry making and arts & crafts began a couple of years ago when I was being asked by friends, family and co-workers to repair broken jewelry. At first, it was just a test of skills, having to take apart something that another jewelry artist had put together and then put it back together in a similar fashion. The Remarydoriginals idea came together when I realized that my imagination could help me take a broken or outdated piece and make it into a completely different jewelry design! My dreams for Remarydoriginals are endless, but would settle now to have a spot to display and sell my jewelry. Unfortunately, I have a problem making enough inventory since I do have a “day” job, a husband, a step-son and four kitty-cats. But, when I have a moment and some inspiration, I find myself making and re-making jewelry for the Remarydoriginal collection.

Q) How does your creative process work? With an idea for the finished piece or is it a work in progress exploration journey?


A) Rarely do I start a project with a finished product in mind. I usually start out and then realize half way through the process that the piece is not headed in the direction I had hoped or it’s not taking the right shape or I just plain hate the way it looks. I do a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, that makes me feel like I am spinning my wheels and moving backwards in the creative process. So, I just walk away. An hour or a day later, I return with fresh eyes and begin again.
 

 Q) How do you reach potential buyers? Any creative promotional tips to share?
A) There are so many crafters and jewelers out there that it seems overwhelming to think about trying to reach a specific audience, but that is half the fun. I want to create a very specialized niche with recycling, repurposing and re-designing. This limits the people that may be interested in what I do, but when I do get someone that is interested, they are hooked. I have started a blog and this helps if I am passing out business cards. I typically tell people when I hand them a business card, “hey, if you want to read more about what I am doing and what I have done in the past and my creative process, please go to my blog and check it out. As far as having a creative promotional tip, use every opportunity you can to get the word out about what you are doing, but don’t expect that stardom will happen overnight. It has taken a long time to discover what I really enjoy creating, let alone the time to get a following of people who actually know what I do and who I am. Never pass up an opportunity to talk about yourself or your art!
Q) What tools do you have to have behind the talent? Was it expensive to get started?
A) I have a hard time with the idea that I have talent for what I do. I just follow trends, color ideas for seasons and use all of the famous jewelry artists’ tricks and tips to try to make my creations look good enough to wear. As far as hard-and-fast tools of the trade, I started out with a rusty pair of metal sheers and a pair of needle nose pliers that my father gave me. I was trying to make wire loops and bends, and trying to make my wire hooks and earrings look smooth like the ones that I was looking at in all of the jewelry magazines. It takes time, and serious patience to make a go of it. My desire to create was my driving force and the only tool you really need. When I started making jewelry, I didn’t have much and was just experimenting with the basics. The most expensive part of jewelry making is the beads and components. Decisions, such as whether or not you use base metals or sterling and gold for your earrings, will make the cost go either up or down. That is the beauty behind what I do with Remarydoriginals. I use many recycled elements and that helps cut my costs considerably when it comes to the actual beads and embellishments. I do tend to buy new earring hooks and clasps because that just makes sense when it comes to appealing to a buyer.
Q) What do you find is the hardest part of the business?
A) Finding time to complete projects and keep an inventory fresh for possible sales. I love to network and market, but find it hard to find the time in my day to actually create the product. I wish I had more time for what I love to do and then maybe my creative process wouldn’t seem so hectic.
Q) Ever think of branching out into creating specialty items for romance author giveaways?
A) I have certainly enjoyed making the “charming” bracelets that Nancy has given away as prizes and gifts to promote the release of her books. Charms are one of my favorite things, because it is a special way of wearing your life on your wrist or even around your neck. They are conversation starters and Nancy is smart for using this as a giveaway since it just continues to promote her books and get her name and ideas out into the world. What better way to do it then by jewelry.
Q) Where do you get your ideas?
A) Everywhere! I love to look at fashion magazines. I can sit and slowly turn the pages of a Style magazine for hours. I also get inspiration from what I see in stores, on-line and most importantly what the real women that I know and love are wearing. I love to look at the shops on Etsy.com. The artisans are from around the world and really come up with some eclectic ideas and designs.
Q) Where can we see more of your work?

A) Nancy has a lot of Remarydoriginal pieces in her jewelry wardrobe, but I am hoping to put enough of an inventory together to have a small jewelry show at my house late in the fall. I have closed down my Etsy.com shop until further notice, but I am on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and most importantly, my blog. I regularly post pictures of current projects. You can find me on Facebook under Mary Gideon, Twitter at Remarydoriginal. I post pictures on Flickr as Remarydoriginals and you can read my blog at http://remarydoriginals.blogspot.com
Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed, Nancy!

Who else has some hidden creative talent just dying to get out?

Now the good part…something free! One commenter will be chosen at random to receive a ReMaryd Original By Moonlight bracelet! It’s as simple as leaving a response. A winner will be selected and posted on next Friday’s blog. To whet your appetite for the prize, make sure you check out Mary’s blog for a taste of what you might win.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book 6 Drum Roll Announcement . . .

Just got the title confirmation from the half dozen suggestions I sent in (and my favorite won!). The sixth book in my BY MOONLIGHT series is . . . 

SEEKER OF SHADOWS

By Moonlight series – Book 6

Available 6-26-12!

How can he trust his future to the woman who stole his past?

Walking a dangerous line between politics and her own conscience, Chosen geneticist, Susanna Duchamps risks discovery in New Orleans to make good on a debt owed. There, she finds an unexpected key to her research and a second chance to explore the love she denied to save a child whose survival defied all odds.

Shifter club owner and clan right hand to Max Savoie, Jacques LaRoche is fiercely protective of his freedom. Stripped of his memories of a former life, he longs for the love that was stolen from him. Until a seductive scent stirs desire in a heart he thought belonged to another.

A good deed erupts into deadly confrontation, forcing a choice between the rediscovery of forbidden passion and the fate of an entire species. Secrets and lies kept lovers apart. Can they withstand a battle of their different worlds to remain together?


What do you think?

Is it just me or does that sound like forever to wait?

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Ought to Be In Pictures

Video interview…

When I read the e-mail from Ayelet, my publicist at Pocket, stating their intention of doing video interviews with authors during the RWA conference in NYC, my heart skipped a beat…and not in a good way. Deep in the recesses of my non-author alter ego came that horror of hearing my voice on tape for the first time back in grade school. Was that me? Was that nasal, slightly whiny sound what everyone heard whenever I spoke? I always imagined deep, pleasingly dulcet tones, not the ear-bleeding screech of The Nanny. The only thing I liked less than hearing my voice was seeing myself on camera (despite my stunning movie debut as “Bar Extra” that earned one of my IMDB accolades).

But, being a professional, I popped a Tums and replied that I’d be thrilled to take part in the 15-minutes of taping that would result in two minutes of digital fame.

Whew, I had specific questions to respond to:
  • If you could travel to any time period, what would it be?
  • Where were you when you got the news that your first book would be published?
  • What books do you like to read?
  • What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
  • Tell us about your book/series
Okay, I can do this!

Then I watched the sample video interview we’re given: Kathy Ireland. Nothing like taking cues from a professional model to make an ulcer flare. Yeah, that’s just how I’m going to look.

It’s the morning of my taping. I’ve already visited the offices of Simon & Schuster so I know where I’m going. I’ve got my bright colors (no black), and more than the usual amount of makeup, paying special attention to blush and lipstick (and still don’t look like Kathy Ireland). I’ve practiced my responses on my (un)willing roommates and feel comfortable with them. Time to go make magic.

The heat and humidity in NYC is already 90/90 (and it’s only 9:30 a.m.!). S&S is about 6 blocks away but to preserve my spackle of makeup, I opt for a cab. And promptly we’re stuck behind every delivery truck in the city backing up into narrow alleys. I’m nervously watching the clock. Finally, we get an opening and the cab shoots into light speed…with all the windows down. In an instant, I’m caught in a tremendous wind tunnel that has my perfectly coifed hair standing on end.

With no illusions that I’ll remotely approach the Kathy Ireland standard, I meet with Ayelet who is calming and cheerful, and with the cameraman and producer from Studio 4. I’m seated in a director’s chair under the lights between two cameras, and a mini mic is attached. I’m assured that we have 15 minutes, so if I want to start over at any time, things can easily be edited. Everyone is very relaxed and surprisingly, so am I (now that I don’t have that daunting Kathy Ireland thing hanging over my head). The producer prompts me with the questions and I run through them without a pause, done in four minutes. They stare at me rather amazed. Do I need to go over anything again? No, I’m assured, it’s perfect. All that fretting and palpating, and its over in four minutes.

The only thing MORE stressful is seeing the e-mail announcing that my video is up and available for viewing. Another Tums later and I’m ready to peek at it through my fingers. Argh, my necklace is crooked. Look at that taxi cab hair! What am I looking at up there on the ceiling and where exactly ARE my eyes? But that voice…deep, pleasantly dulcet tones that don’t channel Fran Drescher. All-in-all, not Kathy Ireland, but not bad for Nancy Gideon.

Enjoy my two minutes before the camera…but don’t expect me to watch it with you.


Simon & Schuster
Author's Point of View

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A sneak peek at HUNTER OF SHADOWS

While I’m going through the final page proofs for HUNTER OF SHADOWS, the next book in my BY MOONLIGHT series which will be on the stands November 29, 2011, I thought I’d tease you a little bit with this scene where my hero, Silas MacCreedy first meets Max Savoie.

Enjoy!

 



Max Savoie lounged in an expensive suit paired with red high tops, one of which bobbed indolently at the end of his crossed leg. He’d inherited an empire from the mobster he’d protected since making a name for himself as a teen. That name was whispered in awe and fear, allegedly soaked in the blood of those who challenged Jimmy Legere.

Since assuming Legere’s mantle, Savoie had embraced public life by appearing at high-profile social events, by being a partner on a huge urban reclamation project called Trinity Towers, by becoming very involved with a detective in the NOPD. Some said he was moving his business toward legality, but the fact that he was with Blutafino cast a shadow of doubt on that claim.

Silas wasn’t interested in what people speculated about Savoie because he knew the truth. The man’s surface sophistication couldn’t hide what he really was.

Max Savoie was damned by the unavenged souls of Silas’s family. And their wailing for justice nearly drowned out all reason as Silas stood rigidly in the doorway.

“Creed, come in,” Manny called. “Freshen my drink and pour one for yourself while I finish my business here. I’ll just be a minute.”

An amiable smile spread across gritted teeth. “Can I get you anything, Mr. Savoie?”

The sleek killer gave him a cool glance. “No. Thank you.”

Crossing behind Savoie’s chair on his way to the well-stocked bar, MacCreedy drew in the man’s scent. Savoie twitched at that subtle intrusion, picking up the fact that he was being psychically touched, but he didn’t turn to acknowledge it. Now they both knew each other for what they were and were not. What they were not, was human.

Silas fought to steady hands that still felt his mother’s blood upon them as he mixed Blutafino’s drink. He blinked hard to dispel the image of his father’s dismembered body gruesomely strewn at his feet. His stomach pitched and tightened as the scorching stench returned to his nose at the agony of the Terroit’s mark being burned into his skin. But he fiercely buried the shock, the horror, the pain, and quieted the shrieks for retribution with a promise.

The time is coming. Justice will be done.

Monday, August 8, 2011

All About Me Monday


What I’m reading…

The downside of being a writer is you have so little time to do your other favorite thing: Read!

After sending in my revisions (and a bunch of title suggestions) for Book 6 in my BY MOONLIGHT series, I gave careful thought to the huge box of books I had shipped back from the 2011 RWA conference in NYC, and at my recent Kindle downloads on my IPad. What should I pick? What was I in the mood for? Paranormal? Suspense? Urban Fantasy? The Steam Punk I promised I’d check into? Maybe something I hadn’t visited for a while…some old love I’d neglected for far too long…

Ahha! There is was! The book one of my NYC roomies autographed for me.

Eileen Dreyer is a fabulous storyteller. Just get her into an Irish pub with a gin, three ice cubes and a dill pickle spear and she’ll have you enthralled for hours. 


 

Or, if you’re really lucky, share a room with her, whether it be at a Marriott or a grimy dormitory at a writers’ retreat just for the joy of listening to her varied discourses on politics, her favorite drinking songs, her time as a trauma nurse, or ghost stories. And don’t forget the duck! My Mid-Michigan RWA chapter is fortunate enough to have her as our 2012 speaker in April and I know whatever she chooses to talk about will garner a rapt audience.

Hopefully she’s forgiven me for trying to steal one of her RITA pins off her name badge (heck, even one of her finalist pins would have been fine!). She had so many, you’d think she wouldn’t miss one. But after her careful research stints for her suspense novels, she probably had them booby trapped with pressure sensitive exploding dye packs. I was just trying to save your back and shoulders from succumbing to the stress of bearing all that weight, Eileen! To further placate her, I’m going to gush about her latest book, not a suspense, which I also adore, but a historical Regency, my first love!

Never a Gentleman is one of those rare books the time-impaired reader delights in. It grabs you from the first sentence: The room stank of whiskey, sweat, and despair. All right! I am so down with this book already! I fell in love with the hero, the elegant, supposed wastrel Diccan Hilliard in that initial scene. But wait…it gets better. Then I met the heroine. Miss Grace Fairchild isn’t your typical delicate Regency flower of femininity. She isn’t your typical anything. She’s unique: a campaigning soldier’s daughter, tall, plain, and outspoken, who instead of falling into vapors when accosted by highwaymen, calmly puts a bullet between one of the villain’s eyes. I confess, I’m only halfway through the book, but I’m totally caught up in the marriage of convenience between these two honorable and awkwardly in love and lust characters. Then, throw in the intrigues of the time and two wonderfully drawn sets of relatives…and I can’t wait to get back between the covers again.

No one tells a story like Eileen Dreyer. And after finishing this one, I’m going to find Barely a Lady and let her tell me another one.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Freebie Friday Highlights Book 25 (!) for Jackie Braun!

The great thing about writers’ conferences, big or small, is connecting with your friends; sometimes those from across the country (or even an ocean!) and sometimes those across your own state. At the 2011 RWA conference in NYC, I was thrilled to bump into one of my Mid-Michigan RWA pals that I hadn’t seen for ages, even though I’d been keeping up with her books. I remember standing in an RWA line with a very nervous Jackie Braun the year she was up for her first RITA, sitting behind crowded tables to hawk romance and books at various Women’s Festivals and Book Sellers conventions, and sharing stories about family and our passion for the written word. Today I’m celebrating that treasured friendship with a congratulations shout-out to Jackie, a sweetheart of a lady and fabulous writer, on her 25th book!


Mr. Right There All Along

 
  
August 2011

 Could her best friend be her best match?

The one thing Chloe McDaniels has always depended on is her friendship with Simon Ford. Even if it's been tough thinking of the gorgeous guy who makes her heart flutter as just a friend! But now, with their upcoming high school reunion dredging up memories of bullies and broken hearts, she needs him more than ever.

As Chloe plans to unveil her new-and-improved self, Simon creates a plan of his own.

Step One: Show her that love is worth the risk.

Step Two: Give her the happy-ever-after she deserves.

 
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a degree in journalism, Jackie Braun worked at newspapers for nearly 17 years, 11 of those years as an award-winning editorial writer for The Flint Journal in Michigan, where she was also the first female editorial writer in the newspaper’s history.

She sold her first book to Silhouette Romance in late 1999 and started writing under the Harlequin Romance banner with the release of her third book in 2004. She is a three-time RITA Award finalist and three-time finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards. Her book In the Shelter of His Arms was named Best Harlequin Romance of 2005 by Romantic Times magazine. She also won a Rising Star award for her first book, One Fiancee to Go, Please.


Jackie quit her full-time job in January 2004 to freelance and write fiction full time. She lives in mid-Michigan with her husband Mark and their sons Daniel and Will. She loves to hear from readers.