Friday, October 29, 2010

Has Anyone Seen a C-c-cat Around Here?

"Be afraid. Be very afraid."

I had to laugh when I saw this pic, because the little dog looks so much like my Mack, who tries to be a little tough guy, but at heart is a little . . . . well, a pussy. Put on your thinking caps and help me think of some funny Halloween captions for the picture of the poor little stalked dog.

Do you have a pet you'll dress up in costume? Send me a pic (miamarlowe at hotmail dot com) and I'll post it on my Mia Marlowe Blog!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Red Pencil Thursday has Moved!

Join me and our guest volunteer Saranna DeWylde over at for Red Pencil Thursday. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Walk Among the Dead

Just in time for Halloween, join me in a stroll through Old Granary Burial Ground near Boston Commons. See you at Mia Marlowe's Blog

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Trip to the Bookstore

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Borders on School Street in downtown Boston. It's a terrific store, kitty corner across from the Old South Meeting House right on the red bricked Freedom Trail. My daughter picked up the newest Rick Castle book (still bewilders me a bit that a fictional author can hit the NY Times list, but that's marketing for you! ;-)) and my DH got the newest Vince Flynn title.

I'm waiting till October 26th to pick up my next book. It'll be my friend CL Wilson's Crown of Crystal Flame. The best way to support an author's work is to pre-order or buy it on the release day (or as close to it as possible). Books hit best seller lists not by virtue of the number of actual books sold. It's based on the velocity with which the book flies out the bookstores during that crucial first 2 weeks after the release date.

But I spent some time wandering the romance stacks and saw no books from Dorchester at all. Not that I expected to, but it was sad all the same. That means none of my Emily Bryan books are in the big box stores any longer. They aren't available in print on the Borders or B&N websites, though you can still get ebooks of them. Amazon has a few copies of my titles left in their warehouse, but once those are gone, they're gone.

Not finding any Leisure or Lovespell books was like reaching an abrupt "the end" to a story I wasn't ready to stop reading. I'm sad not to have my work available in print. Not that I dislike ebooks. I've started reading on my phone and find it so convenient. But in the most recent RT BookReviews, readers were weighing in on Dorchester's decision to move to ebooks only (with tradepaper coming months later) and the comments were overwhelmingly negative. Not everyone is ready to to read their romance on a screen.

However, I was very encouraged to find LOTS of Kensington Brava titles in the bookstore. When my first Mia Marlowe book comes out next May, it should be widely available in print and as an ebook simulaneously (and is already available for pre-order at Amazon, B & N and Borders!)

As you know I've been see-sawing between this blog and my Mia blog for a while. Since my career is turning in a new direction, I'll be moving exclusively to the Mia Marlowe blog starting November 3rd. We'll have a grand Moving Party with guests and give aways. I hope you'll join me and will click to follow that blog if you haven't done so already.

Thank you for your support here. We've been through quite a bit on this blog--my whirlwind 50 day/50 blog tour for Vexing the Viscount, going through my bout with cancer back in 2008, the fun of Red Pencil Thursdays (something that will carry over to the Mia blog!) and through all the changes in the publishing industry that lead me to this new chapter in my life. Thank you for being an important part of my writing. Thank you for being my friend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick Update

The last of the 10 WRITING WITH THE STARS finalists is spotlighted at Mia Marlowe Blog. The first round voting for your favorite ends today so be sure to make your voice heard.

Also, you'll want to pop over to The Chatelaines to learn about a contest to win some really cool cloth covers for Jennifer Ashley's terrific new release!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Great News from a Red Pencil Thursday Alumnus

As you probably know, I've been over at my MiaMarlowe blog all week, spotlighting finalists in the Kensington Writing with the Stars Contest. Hope you've all checked out the entries and voted for your favorite.

But today, I just have to share some terrific news with you here as well. If you've been following Red Pencil Thursday, you remember Saranna De Wylde. She's been my victim/volunteer for an online critique a couple times. I'm thrilled to report that this talented lady has sold her HOW TO LOSE A DEMON IN 10 DAYS in a three book deal with Kensington! If you're on Facebook, be sure to send her a high 5!

Have a great weekend all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

At Least We Weren't on National TV

One of the Writing with the Stars finalists is weighing in on the guest reviewing process of the contest. Hope you'll join us and come prepared to share YOUR favorite review sites.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where am I today?

Just a quick note to let you know what's up. This week, I'll be at my Mia Marlowe blog, spotlighting the finalists in Kensington's WRITING WITH THE STARS contest. Each of these aspiring writers is hoping to win your vote so they can advance to the next round of judging. The grand prize is a publishing contract, so the stakes are high for them.

If you haven't clicked to follow my Mia blog, I hope you will. Plans are in the works for a "moving party" later next month as I shift everything to that blog. I've loved having you here. I love getting to know you and look forward to your comments. I thank you so much for being a part of my writing as Emily. I appreciate you for bearing with me as I make this transition. Hope you'll enjoy my Mia Marlowe books too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Meredith Simmons~ Lost in the Past

Meredith Simmons~ Lost in the Past

Tired of the midterm elections? Join the ROMANCE PARTY! My blog guest at wants to know which romance subgenre is your favorite. Historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, YA, series or steampunk! Come on over and cast your vote!

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Red Pencil Thursday~ How to Critique

I'm out of volunteers at present. So if you enjoy Red Pencil Thursday and would like it to continue, please contact me through my website for details about how to submit your 500 words. Hopefully, we'll be back on track next week.

What little I know about critiqueing I gleaned from a terrific group of women in Seattle. I learned more about writing from them in a few months than I had in the couple years of flailing on my own. Here's how the group worked:

We brought enough copies of our pages (usually around 10) for each person to have a copy. Then the author read the work aloud while the group marked up their copies. Each member shared what they noticed, which was terrific because each person brought a different focus to the table. One was a consummate grammarian. Another had an ear for dialogue. Another writer knew how to tighten prose till it squeaked. Each of them gave me new things to think about. I still miss them all.

It's a fearful thing to show your work to someone in unpolished form, but the trust we had in each other trumped fear. Tact was our watchword. That's not to say we weren't honest with each other, but we realized that ultimately the author of the work was the final arbiter of how it should go. One of the best gifts a critique partner can give is a fresh perspective that sends a writer's thoughts in a new direction.

A few weeks ago, I had a guest critiquer take a look at the opening of my novella from IMPROPER GENTLMEN (July 2011). Because of the comments, I reworked the beginning. Here's the new version:
Royal Navy Docks, Bermuda

The soles of half a dozen hessians slapped on the stone seawall overhead. Aidan Danaher peered up from the man-sized drain he’d scuttled through and extended the fingers of his right hand toward the nearest guard. He loosed a suggestion and immediately the man raised a spyglass to scan the waves for the moonlit sail Aidan planted in his mind. In another moment, the rest of the guards at Royal Dock followed suit. Unheeded, Aidan loped across the open exercise grounds and up the hill to the Commissioner’s House.

The return trip would be dicier, since the Knack worked best when used sparingly. He’d worry about that when the time came.

Scaling the masonry and iron of the Commissioner’s House was simple. He knew where every finger and toe hold was. He’d helped build the blasted thing, after all, and cursed every stone of it.

But not this night.

Aidan ducked from the wide second floor veranda into the tall open window, leaving the balmy Bermudian night behind. The Commissioner’s thick-walled house was kissed by a soft breeze, a far cry from airless convict ship tied up at the wharf that had been Aidan’s home for the past two years.

Rosalinde waited in the shadows, as she had promised. Now she stepped into the shaft of moonlight pooling on the hardwood. Her chestnut hair flowed over her virginal nightshift like a wanton mantle. Her bare toes peeped from beneath her lacy hem, curling with nervousness.

“We must be quiet,” she whispered, her eyes flaring wide in the silver light.

Fear, to be sure. But he also read so much trust in them, it made his chest ache. “Aye, lass. Quiet as ever we can.”

Ok, it's your turn. Do you have any questions about how to critique? Does your group do things differently? Have you had trouble with a critique partner? How did you resolve those issues?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do You Believe In Magick?

Please welcome my critique partner, Ashlyn Chase, today. Finding a writing buddy is a real blessing for a writer. It's hard to overestimate the value of a fresh pair of eyes on your newly formed work. I've been asked if it's important to find someone who writes in the same genre, shares the same outlook you do. I don't think so necessarily. Ash and I have some striking differences. She's a Wiccan and I'm a Christian. She writes funny contemporary paranormal and I write historicals. She's a life-long New Englander and I've bounced around the country from one coast to the other. But we're both passionate about the craft of writing and determined to help each other hone our skills.

Writing is such a solitary occupation. Finding a critique partner means finding a friend who cares enough to tell you the truth. Priceless!

Ok, Ash, my blog is now yours.

Witch meant “wise woman” to our Pagan ancestors, as it does to me. I cannot think of any more appropriate term. Laurie Cabot (the official witch of Salem, MA) warned, “Do not teach this craft to fools.” I don’t think I hear that quite enough. There is great power, thus great responsibility, at our wand-tips. Those who are governed by knee-jerk reactions or vindictiveness have no business wielding magic as a weapon. For those who fear modern day Wicca, know that the number one fundamental lesson we are taught is “Harm none.”

A craft is something creative. It’s also something we practice. Authors create and practice their craft each time they write a story—Wiccans may draw a magic circle and put an intention out to the universe as part of practicing their craft. Because I wish to be a wise-woman, I never told a certain ex-friend that I was involved with the craft. She had a hair trigger temper and revenge was something she thought was good to get. Right after Hollywood released, “The Craft” she asked me if I knew where she could learn witchcraft. I told her she should probably realize that Hollywood wasn’t real. I went on to mention that Witches today were more like a bunch of earthy, peace-loving hippies. She quickly lost interest.

In my recent release Strange Neighbors, not only do I have a ghost haunting the apartment building, but an array of paranormal characters who live there. Among them are shapeshifters of various types, a vampire, and two witches who are roommates. The elder is teaching her sometimes foolish younger cousin the craft with an emphasis on responsibility. I had great fun with these characters. So much fun in fact that although they show up in each book, the third and final book in the series features the witches prominently.

Having just finished writing that manuscript, I had to say a bittersweet goodbye to these characters. Meanwhile, I’m delighted to share the fruits of my labors with the world. Book 1 Strange Neighbors is available now; Book 2 The Werewolf Upstairs is coming Feb 2011. And I hope to be talking up book 3 The Vampire Next Door at about this time next year. I’m delighted with my adorable book covers, and hope you like them too.

I’ll be signing Strange Neighbors at the New Jersey Romance Writers conference 10/23—just in time for Halloween. If you can’t make it to that but would like a signed bookplate (or 3) just let me know. I’ll be happy to mail them to you, your book club or bookstore customers. You can contact me via my website.
Buy it here!

When all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment but as a place to escape the demands of Major league baseball.
That is, until he meets his tenants—a sarcastic unemployed vigilante vampire; a wereraven with a morbid sense of humor; a super friendly salesman werewolf; and two witches with an owl familiar who work as phone sex actresses. Not to mention a ghost haunting the place and an all too human nurse he’d like to get to know better. But with all the hooting, howling and hollering going on, how’s an all American shapeshifter supposed to sweep a girl off her feet?

Thanks for sharing today, Ashlyn. As you all know I don't do reviews, but I will give recommendations. After living with this story since its infancy, I can heartily recommend STRANGE NEIGHBORS. Ash has filled her world (and her hero's brownstone!)with hysterical characters you're going to love.

If you have questions for Ashlyn, be sure to leave a comment. She's giving away a copy of STRANGE NEIGHBORS to one lucky commenter today!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reading for Displeasure

Well, this is interesting. I set Google alerts for my titles to keep up with the buzz on the internet. Yesterday, DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS was humming, probably due to the fact that it's available as a free download from

But one of the people writing about it is a literary blogger who downloaded it because she wanted to "make fun of a bodice ripper." She claims to be "unforgiveably picky" about what she reads and yet, she felt the need to go out of her way to search for something she expects to thoroughly despise.

Does that make sense to anyone?

I've had bad reviews before. That's ok. I always say it's a good thing we don't all like the same thing because if we did, you'd all be after my DH! Not everyone will like what I write. I'm usually pretty thick-skinned about it.

But I have to wonder what's going on in someone's head when the prospect of ripping something to shreds makes them nearly giddy. It reminds me of why I dislike reality shows. Bad behavior is magnified and rewarded. Review me all day long. I can take it. Use my work as a whipping boy for your own need to denigrate others and I'm less patient. She's not just planning to bash my work. She's slamming romance in general.

She hasn't posted a review yet, but she promised her readers one. Here are her final words: The chance to read it and laugh was just too good of an opportunity to pass by. Stay tuned on this one. Who needs presidential biographies when one has duchesses on the loose?

I suggest she try Carl Sandburg's LINCOLN instead. Those six volumes should help her think better thoughts.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Writing with the Stars

My new publisher, Kensington, is sponsoring a writing contest for aspiring writers and it's down to the 10 finalists now. I'm hosting one of them today at

The grand prize in this contest is a publishing contract. Contest wins have been the path to publication for a number of authors, so if you're an aspiring writer, pop over to check this one out.

Hope to see you there! Oh, and if you haven't clicked to follow my Mia Marlowe blog, I hope you will. You'll be seeing more action there coming very soon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flinging the Manuscript to the World

Since I don't have a Red Pencil Thursday volunteer for the online critique group this week, I thought I'd share a bit about what to do once the story is finished. Unless you're writing strictly for theraputic reasons.

"Manuscript: something submitted in haste, and returned at leisure."
~Oliver Herford

It's done. It's as good as you can make it. You've polished it within an inch of its life. You've walked around with these characters in your head for months, maybe years, and now finally, you've typed the two most beautiful words in the English language.


But it's not quite the end, is it? I mean, there it is, all 400 glorious pages of it. All your blood, sweat and tears reduced to ink on wood pulp and it's just sitting there waiting for you to do the thing that requires even more courage than writing in the first place.

You must submit it.

Where to start? Do your homework. Which publishing houses already publish works that are similar to yours? Check out their websites for submission guidelines. Are there any publisher sponsored contests you can enter?

Find a published author who writes in your sub-genre and check out her acknowledgements page or her website. Did she list her editor? Her agent? These are people who might also be interested in you.

If you're very trepidacious, dabble your toes in the water by entering a few contests. Target contests with editors as judges. Check the RWR for contests where the final judges are agents or editors you think would be a good match for your work.  

If you want a writing career, you will want an agent at some point. Several major houses do not accept unagented submissions.

So ask for recommendations, check the websites, query some of their clients (most reputable agents list their clients on their websites) and if you like what you hear, follow the submission guidelines on their website to the letter and submit. This involves a query letter, probably a partial (first 3 chapters) and synopsis. If the agent accepts simultaneous submissions, let them know if you are submitting elsewhere. That's just good manners.

Expect to wait. For a long time. You may, after a few weeks, call or write or email to inquire whether your submission was received. Do not badger them into a decision because I promise it will be no. If an agent decides he/she loves your work (yes, I used the "L" word. You don't want an agent who's lukewarm about you) they will make an offer of representation. If you still want them to represent you, sign an agreement.

But a word of warning. You're getting into financial bed with this person. No agent is far better than the wrong agent. Be wary. Once a publisher pays your agent, their responsibility is fulfilled. All your writing income will be funneled through your agent. Make sure you've signed with someone whose financial house is in order and whose ethics are spotless.

If you receive an offer directly from a publisher, do not scream orgasmically, "Yes, oh, yes, I'll take anything." Calmly thank them and ask if you can have a few days to secure representation. They'll respect you for it. Then you can scream once you hang up. And call the agent of your dreams. While a reputable agent prefers to be involved in the projects they represent from its inception, you will get an agent with an offer on the table. Again, make sure it's the right one.

While you're waiting to sell, your job is to start the next project. Once you receive an offer, the publisher's 2nd question is always "What else have you got?" You want to have an answer ready.

Good luck!

I'd be happy to answer any questions about submissions and if I don't know I'll try to point you to someone who does.

I'm also blogging at Mia Marlowe's blog about The Road Not Taken today. Love to see you there too!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I love giving back to my readers. I'm tickled to share that now you can download my debut Emily Bryan book from Kobo. For FREE!


The widowed Duchess of Southwycke mistakes Her Majesty’s agent for her next figure model. Trevelyn Deveridge never expected to pose naked to serve Queen and country, but he's left with little choice.

As long as he's there, he may as well drive the duchess . . . to distraction!

I love this story. Fortunately, reviewers did too. AllAboutRomance called it "a keeper!" It was nominated for an RT Reviewer's Choice Best K.I.S.S. and was a Colorado RWA Award of Excellence Finalist.

If you haven't read it, here's your chance. Kobo provides free ereader software for your laptop, ereader, tablet or phone!

If you've already read and enjoyed DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, I hope you'll send a link for this post to your friends using the little share squares at the end of this post to email, tweet or facebook the link to others. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Help me Name a New Hero!

Ok, I admit it. The hero for my Mia Marlowe WIP looks remarkably like Gerard Butler.

But I haven't settled on a name yet. Please click over to Mia Marlowe's Blog to learn more and weigh in with your suggestion! Hope to see you there.

For those of you might have missed this, I'm now writing as Mia Marlowe! I hope you'll make room on your shelves for my new books from Kensington too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

When the Quality of Mercy WAS Strained...

My aunt, who's really into the family geneaology, recently dropped me a cryptic email telling me one of my ancestors, Sarah Towne Cloyce, was accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Then Aunt Shirley headed for her cabin in northern Minnesota where I couldn't reach her for more info.

So I put on my historical researcher hat and discovered Sarah's story for myself. What I learned was both fascinating and horrifying. I'm blogging about it at Brava Authors today. Kensington Brava is my new publishing home, where I'll be writing as Mia Marlowe. Hope you'll join me there!