6 Reasons Why I'm Moving My Blog

Normally Fridays are reserved for my Fill-Me-In Friday links roundup. But today I wanted to talk about a big change I've decided on. After almost three years, 575 posts, and gaining about 2000 followers through Google Friend Connect and email subscriptions, I've decided that it's time for me to close the Fiction Groupie chapter and move all of my blogging to my main website.


This decision is one I've wrestled with for about six months because I love writing this blog and hanging out with you guys, but juggling two blogs and being limited to only writing topics over here has become a bit too much.


I will still talk about writing and will still be doing the Friday links round up over at my author blog, but the other three days will be broader topics.


Here is my tentative schedule:

  • Monday: Made of Win Monday - where I share simple things to brighten dark Mondays
  • Tuesday: Boyfriend of the Week
  • Wednesday: Writer Wednesday
  • Thursday: Books/Film/Flex Day - No theme so it may be an update on my 50/50 challenge, it may be a guest post, it could be anything.
  • Friday: Fill Me In Friday - This is the regular Fiction Groupie links round up of the best posts I've run across that week.


I also have a brand new, shiny Writer's Resource Page where I've sifted through all 575 of those FicGroupie posts and have pulled out the best articles and organized them by writing topic. It's so purty all organized and stuff *pets*. I will be adding to that page as I write new writing posts as well. But hopefully this will make sifting through the archive painless.



6 Reasons Why I'm Making the Change

1. Long-term home

I hope to be around for a while and if I stay here on a free Blogger account, I am building something on someone else's space. For instance, if someone reports my site as spammy or offensive or whatever, Blogger can take away my blog and give me no access to my archives. The likelihood of that happening is slim, but still a reminder that they have my content, not me.


2. Domain name

It looks more professional to have your blog on your own domain name. 


3The follower count began to be too important

People are impressed by a follower count, which is fine. But when I realized *I* was feeling tied to that follower count, I knew I needed to let it go. I don't do this for some arbitrary number I can stick on a badge. I do this because I like to chat with you guys, debate topics, and share new ideas. I hope most of you will follow me over, but it's not because you're some head of cattle to count.


4. Flexibility

I love writing about writing, publishing, and social networking. But sometimes I have other things I want to talk about. Because this became such a niche blog, I didn't feel comfortable throwing in other topics. The new set up and schedule will allow me to talk about a number of things.


5. Streamlining my life

As things have gotten busier, I've developed a deep need to simplify and streamline my life. Not just online, but in all aspects. And maintaining two blogs on two different platforms was clunky. I want to do everything in one place.


6. Sometimes chapters need to end

This blog's tagline is "Pantsing My Way Through Debut Authorhood". I've tracked everything from my failed first attempt at a novel, my querying process, getting rejected, getting an agent, and finally getting my debut published. There's still a lot ahead, but I do feel like I'm moving into a new chapter. 


So what does this mean for you? Hopefully it means you'll follow me over at the new place. Here's how you do that:





All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|

Do Blog Tours Sell Books?


Hobart Red Tour Bus
Photo by Simon_sees 

So as most of you know, I've just wrapped up a blog tour for CRASH INTO YOU.  It was roughly 35 stops and spanned about six weeks. It was fun...and freaking exhausting. Writing that many posts about that many different topics and answering comments all while keeping my own two blogs afloat, doing other promo stuff, and trying to draft a novel that's due soon was a bit overwhelming. And that was with hiring Goddess Fish Promotions to do the organizational piece of the blog tour for me--scheduling the stops, giving me the topics, and getting the posts to the right people. (They were fabulous, btw. Very affordable and there's no way I would've been able to manage it all without that help.)


But even with outside help, I found myself having writer's block both for posts and for my WIP. I felt like I was in the middle of a tornado and I couldn't quite get anything done well.  (See last week's post on the 5 Emotional Stages of a Book Launch for more on that.) So now that it's over and I have two more titles to launch this year, I'm left asking the question--was all that work worth it? Is the amount of time the blog tour consumes proportionate to what you get out of it?

I honestly don't know. It obviously doesn't hurt, but it's hard to tell what has an impact on your sales and what doesn't. My gut instinct tells me a review on a book blog is worth much more than a guest post or interview on one. I mean, does hearing me talk about my writing journey or my family life compel new people to try my book?

I know for me as a reader, if I read a guest blog by an author it doesn't necessarily make me want to buy their book. It may expose me to a book I haven't heard of and if it's something I might like, I may buy. But if the book had been reviewed instead of the author interviewed, it would have the same effect--exposure.

Also, as an author, you spend time promoting your blog tour--tweeting posts, linking from your own blog, etc. But that's preaching to the choir. Y'all know me. Y'all know my book. If you haven't bought it already, a guest post somewhere else probably won't compel you to change your mind.

The same goes for blog tour giveaways in my opinion. We're so bombarded with "Free book!" and "Win!" now that it becomes white noise. Yes, there are some people who click and enter every giveaway, but those are often people who aren't going to buy your book if they don't win. They just enjoy the chance to win. And if you give away your own book you're promoting, there are times when people will delay buying to see if they won. That delay could mean you lose the chance of them impulse buying and then you risk them forgetting to buy it when they don't win.

Perhaps I'm just being cynical. Maybe guest posting all across the known interwebs does sell books. But it's definitely hard to measure the ratio of time invested to book sales.

What are your thoughts? Do you think guest posts and interviews sell books? Or do you think a review has more impact? How do you feel about giveaways? What kind of post compels you to buy someone's book?



"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series



CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


How To Develop a Subplot by Claire Ashgrove

Today I have a special guest for you guys. Claire Ashgrove aka Tori St. Claire was my release day mate with Berkley Heat. But instead of just debuting one book like me, she had TWO books release on the SAME DAY under different names and at different publishers. And I thought I was tired. Whew!

So I'm so happy that she was able to take some time and stop by the blog to talk to us about weaving in subplots. Hope you enjoy!

Developing A Sub-plot
by Claire Ashgrove/Tori St. Claire
Hi, everyone!  I’d like to thank Roni first, for inviting me here today.  She’s my release-date-twin with Berkley Heat (for my erotic romantic suspense as Tori St. Claire, STRIPPED) and since discovering that, I’ve begun following her blog, learned some wonderful tips, and find myself concurring with a large majority of what she writes.  She’s someone to learn from, and I’m thrilled to be stopping in to say hello to all of you.
While I do share a release-date with Roni for STRIPPED, today I want to talk about subplots, and my paranormal romance IMMORTAL HOPE, that also released on January 3.
If you’ve ever read my Inherited Damnation series, you’ll find I am fascinated by subplots.  Not just fascinated, truly addicted.  The deeper, more layered, more intricate, the more I love them.  
So how does an author layer an effective subplot?
Well, in truth, it’s not easy.  And the more you like to subplot, the more difficult it can become.  (My newest proposal required a concept understanding of ten—yes ten!—books to get from point A to point Z) Add in that sometimes layering subplot requires deviating from what’s taught as ‘accepted craft’, and then there’s more hurdles for an author to overcome.  
But it can be done.  The trick is to consider the story you want to tell as a separate story from the one you have to tell.
Yes, well, consider this:  You’re writing romance.  The story you have to tell is a romantic journey between the hero and heroine, internal and external conflict there, and a happily ever after ending.  The story you want to tell is all the stuff going on around them that leads you (likely) to a second, third, even tenth book.  It’s the stuff that affects the world they are in.
If you break them out by separate stories, then you can evaluate the beginning, middle, and end of each.  You can decipher your ongoing conflict, your climax, your resolution for each.  Then, you are able to overlay the story you have to tell (Story A) onto the story you want to tell (Story B).
Once they are overlaid, you can look at the major plot points of Story B, and manipulate them so that they become external conflict points in Story A.  You may have a resolution to Story A, but as your overlay will depict, you have a lot more to tell with Story B, which is where your next book picks up.  The romantic journey for the hero and heroine influence the overall conflict of your main plot, and become goals that must be accomplished for the overall resolution.
I did this with IMMORTAL HOPE, the first book in The Curse of the Templars series. 

Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever roam the earth protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever-closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation – the return of the seraphs.
Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As he struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold. 
Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.

In this, Story B – the one I wanted to tell – was Azazel’s quest for the relics that would give him the power to overthrow the Almighty.  He needs eight to accomplish the vile deed, which provided a set of steps necessary to accomplish his goal.  He’s my main character.  His antagonists are my protagonists in my individual books.  So that story involved developing what he needs, how he’s going to either get them or fail, and what happens as a result of each step.  Who will oppose him, how they will oppose him, and whether those persons live or die.
Story A – the story I had to tell – was the romance between Merrick du Loire and Anne MacPherson.  To be a romance, we had to have the specific elements required by the genre: boy meets girl, sexual tension, boy gets girl, dark moment where boy loses girl, and then the resolution and HEA.  
What keeps them apart are the same things that work towards Azazel’s goal.  Immortal Hope covers a small portion of time in Story B, as opposed to trying to stuff it all into the same plot.  By using this approach, an author can take time to build necessary world elements, lay the foundation, ground the reader, and extend the life of an idea.
The result was the series concept:
In 1119, nine knights rode with Hughes de Payens to the Holy Land, becoming the Knights Templar. All were bound by marriage or by blood. Eight were recorded over time. The ninth vanished into history.
Beneath the legendary Temple Mount, the knights uncovered holy relics, including the Copper Scroll—a document written by Azazel’s unholy hand. For their forbidden digging, the archangels exacted a sacrifice. The knights would spend eternity battling the demons of Azazel’s creation, but with each vile death they claimed, a portion of darkness would enter their soul. In time, they would transform into knights of Azazel, warriors veined with evil, destined to fight against the Almighty.
Yet an ancient prophecy remained to give them hope. When darkness raped the land, the seraphs would return. Female descendants of the Nephilim would carry the light to heal their dying souls.
Centuries have passed. Azazel’s might grows to intolerable limits. With the acquisition of eight holy relics, he will gain the power to overthrow the Almighty.
Six Templars stand above the rest in duty, honor, and loyalty. But each is haunted by a tragic past, and their darkened souls rapidly near the end. As they battle both the overwhelming power of evil and the nightmares of lives they left behind, the seraphs are more than tools to victory.
They are salvation.
Overlaying two separate stories is only one approach to sub-plotting, but I feel it’s the easiest place to start, and the most basic to explain.  There are dozens of methods, dozens of charts out there to help an author track.  The most important thing to remember?  If you treat a subplot like its own individual book, the stronger and more engaging it will become, and the more room for later opportunity you develop.
Good luck with your writing in 2012! If there’s ever a question about writing you’d like to ask me, feel free to drop me an email anytime.

Claire will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second $25.00 Amazon.com gift certificate to a second randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour.  Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! Click the Blog Tour badge for a complete list of blog stops.




"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME



CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Fill Me In Friday: Best Writing Links of the Week


It's that time of the week again. Hope everyone had a wonderful week! Here are the best links I've come across in the last few days.


On Writing and Publishing:

The Literary Lab: Who is the Ultimate Authority of a Piece of Fiction?

25 Things Writers Should Know About Agents via Chuck Wendig

Novel Plotting Worksheets | Annie Neugebauer

Jennifer Represents...: The Fine Art of Zipping It, or XYZ PDQ

Reader Reviews and What Not To Do, by @WendySMarcus | Romance University

10 Bestselling Books with 50+ One-Star Reviews - GalleyCat

why Pinterest is totally not a waste of time: creating a visionboard for your novel

The Bookshelf Muse: Do You Need a Social Media Intervention?

The Value Rubric: Do Book Bloggers Really Matter? | Publishing Perspectives

Writability: Why I Don't Auto-Follow Back

No Shame Here | GENREALITY - on not considering any book a "guilty pleasure"

Writing in different genres: A Blog Series | Nicole Basaraba's Uni-Verse-City

Trust Thyself | Kait Nolan - on writer's block

What’s the Problem with FREE? « Kristen Lamb's Blog

Why blog hits DON’T REALLY MATTER | The Red Pen of Doom

The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books | The Red Pen of Doom

What You May Have Missed Here:

What You May Have Missed on the FINAL Week of My Blog Tour:


All right, that's it from my end. What were some of your favorite links of the week?  Have a great weekend!




 “...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION


CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement


The 5 Emotional Stages of a Book Launch

I've almost made it through month one of my debut release. The month has been an exciting, exhausting, and emotional whirlwind. I have lots of blog post ideas spinning through my head about the experience, what I've learned, and what I'd do differently.

But first I thought I'd give you a brief overview of what my debut month looked like.


The Five Emotional Stages of a Book Launch


A Big Smile
Photo by Anil Mohabir
Week One: Book Release Euphoria

You're so damn happy, you can't feel your face anymore because you're smiling so much. Your book is out there! People are talking about it, blogging about it, authors you're a fangirl of are tweeting congrats to you. You walk into your local bookstore and there it is--your book on the freaking shelf! You vacillate widely between wanting to cry and wanting to break out into song in public. You're so busy, you're lucky if you remember to eat and sleep.

facebook engancha
Photo by Olga Palma
Week Two: Obsession

You're guest blogging like a mad woman, responding to comments, tweeting about your blog tour, and trying to do you normal writing too. But that's not why you're at your computer. Nope, you're there because now you're obsessed. What's my Amazon ranking this hour? What are reviewers saying? How many ratings do I have on Goodreads? Ooh, is that a new review? What are people saying about me and my book? I need to google myself again. Must. Check. One. More. Time. It's maddening.

Geo Burn Out-1
Photo via gb_packards
Week Three: Burning Out

This is when the flip side of weeks one and two rears its ugly head. In all your obsession, you've realized not everyone thinks you're made of awesome and sugar cookies. It's inevitable. We anticipate that. Hell, we're writers. We're built on rejection. How much did we see to get to this point? But anticipating it and seeing it on the interwebs are two different things. Rejection up to this point hasn't felt personal. It's been more like structured feedback or the general "no thanks" from the agent. But online, people have no qualms about making it personal, saying mean things, or even making assumptions about what kind of person you are. Maybe one day that stuff just rolls off, but at least for me, I found it affecting my mood and distracting me from whatever I was supposed to be working on. (I'll blog about this in more depth another day.)

Felix hiding under the covers
Photo via Tracey Adams 
Week Four: Collapsing in Exhaustion and Cocooning

You're tired. Really bone tired, but also creatively and emotionally drained. You crave to get back to your routine and your life. For me, this meant a bit of cocooning or insulating myself. I stepped away from the week two obsession. If someone brings my attention to a review, I'll read it. Otherwise, I don't need to go out and see everything anyone has ever said about me or the book. And I don't need to say yes to everything.

Balance of nature
Photo by James Jordan
Week Five: Finding Balance and Re-Focusing on Why You're Doing This In the First Place

You realize the reason why you're doing all this stuff is because you love to write. You would like to make a living doing it. So you back away from all the hoopla and get back to your keyboard and your story. I'm not totally here yet, but I'm hoping by next week I will be, lol.
So those are my thoughts after four weeks, about 50 blog posts (counting guest posts and my own blogs), comment answering, completing copy edits on two books, plus trying to draft another with a tight deadline. *downs a shot of tequila* 

So what do you think? If you're published, have you experienced any of this? If you're hoping to get published, what do you think will be your biggest challenge during your book release? 



"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series



CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.


All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


All About Web Space for Authors

It's guest Monday and today Sierra Godfrey is schooling us on the often confusing waters of deciding what you want your web home to be--website, blog, self-hosted, free, etc. She's going to give us some practical tips to make it easier for us to know which direction is best for us.


BLOG TOUR ALERT: Today I'm at Sexy Lady talking about From Blank Page to Published Book - How CRASH INTO YOU Came To Be




Take it away, Sierra...



All About Web Space for Authors
by Sierra Godfrey

When I'm not writing, I work as a freelance graphic designer. I design brochures, logos, and Wordpress-based websites with my build partner, fellow writer Mike Chen. We opened shop on our joint project, Atmosphere Websites, last summer. In that time, we've had a ton of questions about blogs vs. websites. And funnily enough, authors seem to be the ones asking the questions. 


Roni has written a lot on the subject of author websites as she's emerged out of the chrysalis of unpublished writer with a strong blog into the butterfly of published author with a real need for a website that accomplishes many things. I've written about this at length, too, especially for unpublished writers. A few weeks ago, Anne Allen had a post about whether you need a website at all. Here are some answers to some of the more common concerns and questions we've gotten:

1. What's the difference between a blog and a website? 

Put very simply, blogs are for social interaction. They're for engaging with others. It's okay if you want to use yours as a soapbox, but remember that the basic function of blogs is for people to comment and interact with you.

Websites are more for information purposes. They don't always nor automatically feature mechanisms for you to interact. For published authors, they're perfect for marketing books.

Of course, you can market your books just fine on your blog, but if you do only that, people will stop coming around--because you're no longer having a conversation with them.

Some published authors have asked us: Do I really need a blog? The answer is no, of course not. But if you want to provide an easy to way to converse with readers and writers, then yes.

2. What's the advantage of paid services over free ones?
First, here's the breakdown:

  • Blogger is free,
    run by Blogger and hosted by Blogger.

  • Wordpress.com is free, run by Wordpress and hosted by Wordpress.

  • Wordpress.org is free content management software that you download and install on your own server space

Server issues

Why on earth would you use your own server space and pay all associated hosting fees when you could just use Blogger or Wordpress.com's server?  The simple answer is that if they go down, so you do. 

Custom Design

One of the questions we get a lot is why anyone should pay for website design when there are so many free templates out there--for both blogs and websites. And it's true, there are free templates and some of them are really great looking. I personally maintain a blog through Blogger's free service, although I've tricked the heck out of it so it looks exactly how I want it to look. (I address why I use the free Blogger site rather than my own Wordpress site below.) Here are a few reasons for both:

With a paid web host, you:
  • Have control over how it looks and acts, and can customize the graphics

  • Can add customized features that a lot of free templates don't allow

  • Can change it, add to it, grow it,  and you generally have a bunch more options for doing this, including account size space

Free services are great because:

  • They're, well, free

  • There are a lot of beautiful templates

  • A company (Blogger, Wordpress) runs the server and takes care of upgrading templates and updating the interface

Domain names

"But I can get my own domain name on my free Blogger blog. Why do I need to pay for a hosting package?" You're paying for that domain name--and still not owning your blog space, and you're not getting extras like your@yourname.com email addresses, which you usually get for free with paid hosting packages. And, if you don't have a website, there's no room to add one later. But if what you want right now is a blog atwww.yourname.com. then the domain name option through Blogger or Wordpress.com is a good one.

3. So why are you using Blogger?

A few weeks ago, I was telling someone about the advantages of getting your own server space and domain, and installing Wordpress on it, and paying someone to do a custom design. And then they asked me, "So how come you're using a free Blogger blog?"

To be honest, there's no good reason--I just haven't gotten around to switching yet. I don't even have the excuse of having to buy or set up my own website, because I already have it. So for me, it's the matter of transferring my Blogger blog over to a Wordpress blog. I see no advantages in staying with Blogger except that I'll lose my blog followers; this is pretty easily overcome by publishing a post begging people to switch and leaving it up there. And I don't have the number of followers that Roni does. She's a little more cautious about losing her hordes--and yet, she's expressed to me that she worries about losing all the content she's published on her Blogger blog.

When I move my blog over to my own website, I'll get a better blog publishing interface (in my opinion; Wordpress has many more blog-friendly features than Blogger does even with Blogger's new interface, which strangely mirrors Wordpress's now). And all the posts I've written for the past three years will import right over, and the chance of losing them all to a crash of Blogger's doing will be minimized.

In the end...

Using a free blog or website vs. a paid, custom-designed one is a personal choice. Generally, you're going to want more space, freedom, and control when you're a published author, which are things a free service can't supply as well. And there's no question--a yourname.com site looks professional. 
For marketing reasons, I always advocate having your own server space. There are a number of low cost and very reliable hosting companies that offer space, email, and domain names at affordable prices. (I use 1and1.com and have four web hosting packages through them; my business partner Mike uses Bluehost.com for the same reason.)
But free blogs offer wonderful, great-looking services as well--and work just fine for lots of folks. Blogs and websites are all a part of how you manage your identity online, and as an author all those choices are highly personal. 
Please ask me any questions, or let me know how YOU plan to go forward with free or paid web spaces.

About Sierra:



Sierra has enjoyed crafting stories for as long as she can remember. She especially likes stories that feature women who grow from the choices they face—and get the guy at the end. She’s a member of RWA and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two little boys, and two annoying cats. In her spare time she works as a freelance graphic designer and technical writer. To the untrained eye she can appear somewhat sassy, but at heart she loves a good story and is really quite sweet, especially when the lighting is right. Visit Sierra at her blog or Twitter.



“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION



CRASH INTO YOU is now available! Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Fill Me In Friday - Best Writing Links of the Week


Sorry this post is late going up. I've had no electricity all morning and it's still not on. So in order to quell the internet withdrawals, I had to venture out in search of wi-fi.


On to the links...

On Writing/Publishing:

Author, Jody Hedlund: One Important Way for Authors to Get Discovered by Readers

Don't pet me, I'm writing: The importance of sucking for awhile

Don’t Eat the Butt–Lies that Can Poison Our Writing Career #1 « Kristen Lamb

Authors On Goodreads | Valerie Comer <-- A Good intro on what to do once you've set up an author account of Goodreads

5 Easy Fixes for the Most Common Twitter Faux Pas - Hubspot Blog

Can Critique Groups Do More Harm than Good? « Kristen Lamb's Blog

A Day in the Life of a Book Blogger… Or: Please don’t take our joy away - Paperback Dolls

Writer Unboxed » 3 Ways to Use Pinterest for Book Publicity

E-Book Statistics For Authors to Watch | Jane Friedman

Why SOPA And PIPA And Other Anti-Piracy Bullshit Measures Matter To Writers via Chuck Wendig

25 Things Writers Should Start Doing also from Chuck Wendig

Is Your Book Good, Great, or HOT? | Rachelle Gardner

Needs, Wants, and Pretty Blue Pens | Rachelle Gardner

YA Highway: A Really Long Post About the Author/Reviewer Relationship

The Road to Success Part Two–Understanding the Why Behind the Buy « Kristen Lamb

How To Prepare for a Writers Conference | GENREALITY

How to Manage Your Online Afterlife « Writerland

On the Author Blog:


My Blog Tour Stops:
The Girl Next Door Writes Erotic Romance at The WritersSpace Blog
The Perfect Romantic Evening at Brewing Up Serious Passion





"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series


CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


One Author's Reasons For Choosing to Publish with a Small Press + Win a Book

Usually I reserve Mondays for guests and I know I've been having a lot of visitors lately, but I promise I'll be back in full blogging capacity soon with tales from my first book release, blog tours, promo, and working under a deadline during all of it. (As soon as I catch my breath, lol.)

But today, I have the lovely Stephanie Haefner stopping by to chat with us about her publishing journey. AND she's holding a contest to win a copy of her book Soap Dreams!

BLOG TOUR ALERT: Find out what made me strip in public in today's interview over at Romance with Attitude.

Indie Vs Self-Publishing and My Choice
by Stephanie Haefner
These days there are endless ways to get your words and stories out there for the world to enjoy. Every author has their preference and their own reasons for pursuing their publishing dreams the way they have. But for newbies just starting out, those who have just finished their book and polished it, it's sometimes really hard to know what is best.

After a couple years trying to break into publishing the old fashioned way, by querying an agent, my books were still on my hard drive, unpublished. I adored them...especially my second, I just did not want to give up. Deep down I knew it was good, but I was out of ideas. I'd been told it was well-written. I think it was a case of the market being over what I had written (Dare I say the dirty word...chick lit!). But I knew people still loved reading the kinds of stories I liked to write...and read.

At that point self-publishing was starting to get big. And I did consider it. I even got a quote from a website that other writers I knew had used. For a couple hundred dollars, my book would be available for sale on a print on demand status and I would have a copy to hold in my hands. But I just couldn't do it. I would've had no support. I couldn't afford to pay an editor to help me. I knew nothing about cover art design. And for me, probably the biggest part, I needed someone to tell me my book was good. I knew it in my heart, but I really needed that outside unbiased opinion. I needed a professional in this industry to validate my talent...that I was right to give up my prior career to pursue this dream that only a couple years earlier I didn't even know I had.

Then I came across a listing online of small independent digital publishers. I wasn't completely sold on it for my career. Was a small unknown company really the best way to get my book in readers hands? And I'd wanted to see my book on a bookstore shelf. But then I shook myself and said "What the hell?" and submitted my book to a couple of the digital publishers who'd accepted women's fiction. It might not have been my ideal, but it was a start. Two weeks later there was a contract in my inbox and I'd stared at that email in shock.

And now I sit two and a half years since that day, and have never been more thankful I sent that submission. The support of my publisher, Lyrical Press, Inc, has been completely amazing. I don't know if I've ever met anyone more organized or on top of their business. And so so personal! They seem to do more for their authors than other small presses I've come across. I have the best editor on the planet who has taught me so much. The cover art is fantastic! They have given me so much that I know I would have never been able to get on my own had I chosen to self publish.Each writer needs to find their own way. And my journey is not the ideal journey for others. But I honestly have zero regrets.

Thank you for having me Roni! And I'd love to give away a digital copy of my second chance romance called Soap Dreams. Just leave a comment!

And you can visit Stephanie over at her blog The Writer's Cocoon.

My Writing Process: Draft Zero to Done by Suzanne Johnson

It's guest Monday time and today author Suzanne Johnson lets us in on her writing process. I always find it fascinating to hear how other people work. It's amazing how there are so many different paths to get to a finished novel. I hope you find it fascinating as well.


BLOG TOUR ALERT: And coincidentally, today I'm talking about My Crazy Writing Process at the Wytch's Mirror. Guess Suzanne and I had the same thing on our minds, lol.


Also, I'm at the Writerspace blog talking about people's perceptions of me: The Girl Next Door Writes Erotic Romance



Take it away, Suzanne....




My Writing Process: Draft Zero to Done
by Suzanne Johnson
I’ve been going through an online “revise your novel in 30 days” type of course because I have a novel that needs revising, and, well, I’m a bit of a workshop slut. (Is there a twelve-step program for that?)
In the beginning days of the workshop, the participants all shared our novel-writing processes. Some had completed multiple novels and had a system well in place; others were still looking for the process that would work for them. What’s fascinating is that, at the end of all these different ways of doing things, a novel came out the other end. Well, usually.
I’ve shifted in the past six months from my beginning process, which was a) write book in however long it takes to write and revise it; b) send book to agent; c) work on something else while manuscript is shopped around. It turns out, that’s a leisurely way to work. 
Now that I have books under contract, the pace has changed. There are hard *gulp* deadlines when new manuscripts are due—manuscripts that are no more than a twinkle of an idea in my head. Suddenly, the day job seems more onerous. The annoying little household things—you know, like buying groceries and feeding my pets and paying bills—seem to take up too much time. I’ve had to develop a new process.
So, here’s the process I’ve used on the last two manuscripts, and will use on the next one, which is due May 15 and is still in that “brain-twinkle” form. I don’t throw this out there because it’s a “right” way to do it, or even that it will work for anyone else—just that it gives me a chance to ask you as writers what your process looks like!


So...INITIAL IDEA is something that usually starts bouncing around in my head while I'm driving or doing something not writing-related. I brainstorm on it a while before anything hits paper (or computer screen). I tend to start with a "big idea" and then build the characters around it. I don’t consider this part of my 90-day-to-novel process since nothing’s written down at this stage.

OUTLINE...I spend from one to two weeks working on what I call a plot arc, a detailed outline that averages about 10,000 words. I don't' work out scene specifics, but by the time the plot arc is done, I know what scene falls where, where the book will start, where it will end, what the high-level action points are, about how many chapters I'm going to have, and what the relationship arcs for each character look like against the action arc.


DRAFT ZERO...I do a down-and-dirty draft, start to finish, using my outline as a guide but improvising as things come to me (updating the outline as I go). I call it “draft zero” because it’s so bad it doesn’t even deserve to be called a first draft. Nobody, but nobody, sees this one except me. When I sit down to write, I read over the last two or three paragraphs from the previous day, but no more. I don't do descriptions, setting, or worry about word choice--I'm strictly working on plot and pace. I don't stop to look up words or names of things. When it’s done, my Draft Zero usually runs about 75,000-80,000 words long. My strong suit is grammar/punctuation so that part of it's going to be pretty clean even in DRAFT ZERO stage. It takes from eight-to-ten weeks for me to draft since I work full-time and have freelance obligations that can’t be shirked.

FIRST DRAFT...I take a week to do a thorough front-to-back read. I smooth over rough spots. I add description and dialogue according to a set of questions (i.e., is the character dressed? are there sensory inputs? can the scene be amped up?). By the end of this stage, I should have the manuscript at or near my contract-required 90,000 words. If not, I need to brainstorm ways to add or expand scenes.

At this stage, if I'm on an accelerated deadline, I send the manuscript to beta readers. While they read, I polish. I look at word choice, sentence structure, rhythm, pace. I consider/incorporate suggestions or ideas as they come in from betas. My poor betas have to read quickly, I’m afraid.

FINAL POLISH. I do a final pass, reading aloud when possible, to tinker with anything that doesn't ring true to my characters or story. And off it goes. 
Whew, I’m exhausted. But that’s my pace to produce a couple or three books a year while holding down the full-time EDJ (evil day job). What does your process look like? (Yes, I’m looking to steal ideas!)


Suzanne Johnson is an author of urban fantasy “with romantic elements.” Her first book, Royal Street, a magic-based fantasy set in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, will be released by Tor Books on April 10, 2012. Two more in the series will be released in Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. Find Suzanne online at her Preternatura blog, or read about her books at her website.

*Look for more from Suzanne here every 3rd Monday of the month!




"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME




CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Writing Links of The Week


It's that time of the week again. Here are the best writing links of the week along with updates from my blog tour. (Thanks to those of you who are stopping by for the tour. I really appreciate it!)


On Writing and Publishing:

How To Self-Publish So It Benefits Readers by Chuck Wendig

Engage with your readers through threaded commenting | Blogger Buzz --FINALLY, threaded comments on Blogger!

Here There Be Blog Trolls–How to Spot Them & What To Do « Kristen Lamb's Blog

Twitter - the virtual literary salon | Books | guardian.co.uk

Author, Jody Hedlund: Walls on the Path to Publication: a Necessity or a Nuisance

Eight Steps to Successfully Market Yourself Online - Author Marketing Experts

How Tightly Do You Control Your Blog? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

How To Pick and Choose a Writers Conference | GENREALITY

Twitter Really, Really Hates Google’s New Google+ Integration | TechCrunch

Ah, Decisions! FREE Wordpress Blog or Self-Hosted Website? | Molly Greene

Author, Jody Hedlund: Making Friends Without Making Them Feel Used

Sierra Godfrey: Blog Spam and How to Spot It

What You May Have Missed Here: 

by Elise Rome
What You May Have Missed on the Author Blog:

My Blog Tour Stops:


A Peek Into My Heroine's Background at Bookin' It Reviews

5 Ways Writing Erotic Romance Differs From Writing Other Genres at Words of Wisdom

Interview at Get Lost in a Story

My Road To Publication Started with New Kids on the Block at Ramblings From This Chick

A Sneak Peek Inside The Ranch (the BDSM retreat in my books)  at AsianCocoa's Secret Garden

Interview at Novel Reflections (New today!)

What Inspires Me As a Writer at Mina Khan's Blog (New today!)

Alright, that's all I've got this week. What were some of your favorite links of the week?


“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION



CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Guest Blogging Etiquette 101

As most of you know, my book released last week (squee!) and I've been embarking on a promotional blog tour. That means I'm writing not only my own blogs, but also putting together another 1-2 daily. It's been a lot of fun, but is a LOT of work. I hired Goddess Fish Promotions to help me organize mine because I just couldn't juggle everything on my own, and that's been a godsend. But it still take a lot of time and effort to manage a successful tour. 

So as I go through this, I was reminded of this post I did last year about Guest Blogging Etiquette. Using these guidelines can make the guest blogging process mostly painless for everyone. Hope you find it helpful!

BLOG TOUR ALERT: I'm at Bookin' It Reviews giving A Peek Into My Heroine's Background and How I Developed Her Character
And I'm also at Get Lost In a Story with an interview and a chance to win a copy of CRASH INTO YOU

GOOD NEWS ALERT! - CRASH INTO YOU debuted at #3 on the Barnes and Nobles Trade Romance Bestsellers List!!! I'm shocked and so excited. Thank you SO much to everyone who has bought the book. You guys rock!

Now on to today's post..
Metropolitan Etiquette Authority (MEA) by artist Jason Shelowitz
Photo by Glans Galore
Guest Blogging Etiquette 101

So if you've been blogging for any amount of time, you've probably had some experience with guest blogging--either inviting people onto your own site or doing a post on someone else's site. It's a great thing to do to cross promote and once you've got a book coming out, it's often a big piece of your marketing. Blog tours are all the rage because the internet is a great place to find readers and build word of mouth.

I get requests on a pretty regular basis both to be a guest on other sites and from people wanting to do a post here. It seems once you get past 500 or so followers, a good number of people want to hang out on your site. :) That's awesome. I love doing guests posts and I certainly love having people stop by here.

However, there is some etiquette that goes along with this process. Some people follow it and others fail miserably. So I figured I would give some quick tips I've gathered from my experience that may help you navigate the guest blogging waters.

If you are going to ask someone to be on your site...

1. Be polite when asking and give them a clear out so you don't put them on the spot. (i.e. if you're too busy, I completely understand.)

2. Give them an ample amount of time to get back to you, but it is best to give them a deadline
Don't say, "Hey, I'd love you to be a guest, can you get me a post by next week?" Give them a few weeks minimum. And you can give them an open-ended--whenever you can--kind of deadline. BUT, be warned--this may result in less success of getting that post. I am an epic failure at saying "yes" to open-ended, can you guest post for me sometime and then I never get to it. (To those of you waiting for a post from me, I'm sorry. I plan to go on a guest blogging marathon after I get done with this draft.)

3. Provide options.
A guest post takes a lot of time. I can whip out a daily post over here in under an hour, but when I know I'm going to be on someone else's site, I feel more pressure to get it perfect, for it to be epic. So, it takes more effort and time. Therefore, if you really want someone on your site, maybe offer to interview them instead of a guest post. This makes it easier for the person to just answer questions and not have to come up with a topic, etc.

4. If you are going to ask for a post (not an interview), provide suggestions for topics you might like to see from them (while also leaving it open for them to choose whatever topic they want.)
It is SO helpful when someone approaches me for a guest post when they say--hey, maybe you could do something on yadda yadda yadda. I may not know what topics they've already covered on their own blog, so this saves me from having to research what's already been covered on that site.

5. Once you get their post and schedule it, email the person on the day (or day before) the post is going to go live.
This a) reminds the person and b) gives them a the chance to do some promotion for you and send people there.

If you want to approach someone to be on their blog...

1. Do your research and know that blog/blogger (at least a little bit).
I have a pet peeve about people emailing me wanting to post here (to promote their book) and I've NEVER had any interaction with them. They don't follow the blog, have never left a comment, have never talked to me on Twitter, etc. They're a complete and total stranger. I feel like they stumbled across my blog, saw I have 1200 followers and said--ooh, ooh, let me hawk my wares here! I love promoting other authors, but my blog isn't here as an advertisement board for anyone who wants to stick a flyer up.

2. Offer the blogger a number of options--an interview, guest blog, contest/giveaway.
Show them that you can provide whatever type of post they need. And just like the reverse of the above, an interview is more work for the host blogger, so don't just offer that. It's also a lot of work to ask someone to review your book. That means they have to have time to read it, like your genre, etc. When people email me asking if I can interview them or review their book, I usually respond with--can you do a guest post instead? I just don't have time lately to come up with interview questions specific to you and your book.

3. If you get the go ahead to do the guest blog, make sure you send something with quality content, no typos, and include your bio and pic.
Don't make the blogger have to correct your work.

4. Get the post to the person on time. And do not ask them to send you a reminder. 
If they give you a deadline, keep it. And it's your job to remember when it's due--they are doing you a favor.

5. Promote that post on your own blog when it goes live. This helps you and the host blogger.

6. Offer to reciprocate. If they let you on their blog, let them know they are welcome to stop by yours.

Overall: The key to remember with all of this is to know who is holding the power in the exchange (can you tell I write BDSM romance?) The person who benefits more from what the other person has to offer has to go out of their way to make it as convenient as possible for the other.

For instance, if I want my book reviewed on some big book blogger site--the power is in their hands. I'm the one who has to go out of my way. But if a brand new author who just self-published wants me to do a feature on their book here where I have a big following of potential readers, then I'm the one holding more cards. Sounds kind of snotty, but it is what it is. You'll be on both sides of the equation at some point.

So what do you think? Have you had any negative guest blogging experiences? How do you like to be approached for a guest blog?





"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS seriesCRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.


All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


5 Narrative Mistakes You Can Fix Now by Author Elise Rome


Hope everyone had a great weekend! It's Guest Monday and today I have historical author Elise Rome (the author formerly known as Ashley March for those who have been following this series), giving us part two of her Fix It Now series to help us get through revisions.

But first...


BLOG TOUR ALERT: I'm over at AsianCocoa's Secret Garden giving you A Sneak Peek Inside The Ranch (the BDSM resort in CRASH INTO YOU) with photos!


Okay, now take it away, Elise...

5 Narrative Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now
This is the continuation of the Fix It Now series where I focus on mistakes I’ve seen beginning/aspiring writers make in their manuscripts. You can find the first blog in the series here: 5 Dialogue Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now.

      1. Take advantage of contractions.
This is intended for both dialogue and narrative. If you’re reading through your work and the flow feels awkward or the dialogue stiff, trying using contractions to make the words flow more naturally. For historicals especially, I see a lot of manuscripts where writers seem to have a preference to do without contractions, perhaps because they believe it conveys a certain tone to say “do not” rather than “don’t.” While I’m not saying you have to use contractions wherever they can be substituted, I would urge you to use them when it helps with the rhythm of your manuscript. Your final readers will thank you.

2. Use sentence length to control pacing and rhythm.
Many of you have probably heard this before, but it’s important enough to have a reminder for when you go back to edit your manuscript. To help action scenes seem more urgent, avoid longer sentences with numerous clauses in favor of shorter, to the point sentences that keep the reader’s eyes moving on to the next sentence and the next, always asking: Then what happens? I personally find it more advantageous to use longer, complex sentences when writing sex scenes and scenes where I’m concentrating on trying to evoke deep emotion from the reader. Throughout most parts of your book, however, there should be a balance of short and long sentences to help with maintaining a good rhythm.

3. Cut out the anachronisms and clichés.
This is specifically targeted to historical writers. We’re mostly very careful about researching appropriate settings, clothing, customs, etc for our novels, but it can be harder for us to remember to watch the use of modern language. I urge you to comb through your manuscript carefully, searching for any words or phrases that stick out. For example, did you know that the word “feisty” wasn’t used until 1896, and that the word “allergic” wasn’t used until 1911? Hint: my go-to resource for quick checks is www.etymonline.com.
It doesn’t matter how cute the cliché is or that it actually fits the situation in your novel. Strive to be original; strive to write fresh. This goes for both phrases and plot tropes. Find a way to make your words and your story unique.

4. Avoid repetition.
I’m critiquing a manuscript right now where words such as “gentle”, “slow”, “quiet” and their derivatives are used over and over again to the point of exhaustion. There are programs out there that can tell you which words you use most frequently, but I really encourage you to find and edit these yourself. You need to be engaged in the manuscript when you edit, not just randomly selecting and deleting words to lower their count. Be very aware of how often you use the same word or its derivative in the same paragraph and on the same page or nearby pages. And if it’s a word that isn’t commonly used (say, “tumescent”, for example), it’s probably a good idea to make sure it’s not used more than once throughout the chapter (I have my doubts for repetitions in the rest of the manuscript, too).

5. Be consistent in POV.
Point of view is a topic that deserves its own series, to be honest, but one of the easiest mistakes to fix and one of the most common mistakes I see is when a character calls another character by different names in the first character’s POV. 
Example: If Tom knows Dr. Smith on a personal level, he’s probably not going to call him Dr. Smith; he’ll use his first name, Peter. For consistency’s sake, he’s definitely not going to think of him or call him both Dr. Smith and Peter, although he might call him Dr. Smith when speaking of him to someone else.
Another example, because POV consistency with names is especially important when dealing with characters in historical settings: Let’s say your heroine has just met the hero, Alfred Spencer, Earl of Fenning, otherwise known as Lord Fenning. Since she’s just met him, she’s not going to call him Alfred either in narrative or dialogue. There’s no reason to call him at all by Spencer. So she’ll either designate him in her narrative as the Earl of Fenning, Lord Fenning, or the earl. In dialogue, she would say either “Lord Fenning” or “my lord.” 
Once they start to know each other better but are still on proper terms in their relationship, she might still keep the dialogue the same, but she might internally think of him as Alfred if she begins to like him in a romantic way.
Because of the set social strictures, the way characters use names in historical settings is important, not only for accuracy but also to give the reader a clue to how each character thinks of the other. 
Note: There are exceptions. I recently read a manuscript where I suggested that the names of all the characters stay the same throughout the narrative of the manuscript because the author hops from head to head throughout scenes. I thought it would be more confusing to the reader for the aristocrat to be thought of as Lord X in one sentence by the heroine and Rupert in the next paragraph by his brother. 
Do you recognize any of these issues as things you need to work on? What other narrative mistakes have you read in manuscripts/books that drive you crazy?

imgres.jpg Elise Rome is a historical romance author who lives in Colorado with her adoring (or is that adorable?) husband, her two young daughters, and their dog. She’s currently busy working on two new series, one set in mid-Victorian England and the other in the 1920s, both set to debut this spring. www.eliserome.com 



"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME




CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Fill-Me-In-Friday - Best Writing Links of the Week




It's that time of the week where I round up the best links I've run across this week and share them with you guys. This week has been one of the busiest of my life, but also one of the best ever. :) So thanks to all of you for the support and cheerleading for CRASH INTO YOU's release. You guys rock.




How I Built a BDSM Ranch (in my head) and a chance to win CRASH INTO YOU at Deb's Book Bag! Plus a review that got me a little verklempt--can't tell you how rewarding it is to hear my book resonated with a reader. :)

Also, I'm being interviewed over at Love to Read For Fun where I answer questions like "Your book takes place at a BDSM retreat. Did you have to do a lot of research?" 


Now on to the links...

On Writing/Publishing:


Stops From my Blog Tour:





Alright, that's all I've got. How was your week? What were some of your favorite links from this week? 

Have a great weekend!



"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series



CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Navigating the Authorial Landmine of Reader Forums with Amber Skye

First off, I want to give heartfelt thanks to everyone for all the well wishes (and books bought!) for my release day yesterday. I seriously can't even describe how amazing it feels to have so much support. I'm so lucky to have found such a wonderful community of people here online. *giant group hug* I love you guys. :D

DAILY BLOG TOUR ALERT: On Riverina Romantics I'm doing a BDSM 101 post for those of you who may be new to my genre. And over at Stephanie Haefner's blog I'm answering questions about how I built Fiction Groupie and tackling burning issues such as Ryan Reynold or Gosling? ;)

Okay, so, Monday I did a post on Authorial Interaction with Readers - More Controversial Than I Thought. The post seemed to strike a cord with many of you and a lot of you had the same kind of surprised reaction I did. So when Amber offered to give her perspective from the trenches of reader forums, I thought it would be great to hear what she had to say. Hopefully her insight gives us an idea of where some of that sentiment was coming from in the original post I referenced.

Now to Amber...

Navigating the Authorial Landmine of Reader Forums
by Amber Skye

I am a writer, but first and foremost I'm a reader. I've long loved romance and erotica books (longer, in fact, than is strictly appropriate). Anne Rice was writing menage before menage was hip (hello, Witching Hour). Since then my tastes have meandered through the romance sub-genres, from paranormal to historical to contemporary and erotic and others. What I really love about the genre is the sense of tradition. I love the history of the romance genre and watching the evolution of it. And part of the culture is sharing the experience, whether it's a swap bookshelf at work or an online community.


For a while I was active on the Amazon Romance forums, which can best be described as the Wild West of discussion forums. Spam was a common occurrence: authors posting links to their books in irrelevant threads, posted a one-line, off-topic post, but with a 5 line signature with all their books linked, starting threads only to drop their book link. Worse than that, authors regularly got into "heated" discussions with readers. They called us wrong and stupid. They challenged not only our reviews, but our opinions in general and our reading selections. In an infamous thread about erotic rape-fantasy fiction, one author said that anyone who liked to read books like that should be raped so hard we had to go to the hospital. I'm dead serious.


Several their members and I started the GoodReads Refugee group, a group of readers (and a few authors) started by readers and for readers, with strict rules about what authors can do.  It's all community driven. Our members (as in, readers) get to say what is okay and what's not, and authors have to abide by the rules or get out. We still get spammed and insulted, but we can quickly delete and ban those offending members.

Now, you would never say awful things. Roni would never be like that. In fact, 98% of authors would never be like that, but those authors have already peed in the pool. The entire author species makes us nervous. That doesn't mean that we don't want authorial interaction. Some of us do. I do. And that is what blogs and newsletters and twitter and even author chats on those forums are for. But they have a built-in velvet rope around them because they are specifically set up for that purpose. When I subscribe to your blog or follow you on twitter, I'm telling you that I'm interested in what you have to say and giving you permission to send me promo.


The question about whether an author can participate in "reader" area is a great one. The answer is yes, you can, but you have to act as a reader. Put away your writing cap and your promo and go talk about the books that you read. This means sharing the books that you love, but also talking about what you didn't like. Authors don't like to do that, they don't want to give negative reviews. I understand that, it's throwing stones and glass houses and all of that. Plus, as an author, you have a certain respect for have freaking hard it is to do it well. But that's you're looking at it through writer-colored glasses, not as a reader. If you go into a reader's area and only give positive reviews, only talk about what you loved, then that looks a lot like promo. And when promo is unsolicited, as it would be in a reader area, then it's called spam.

Our group actually has a few authors in it. They talk about reading. And we like them. So when it comes time to promo them, guess what? We do it for them. One of our founder-author-reader-members, Penny Watson, said, "I honestly have no idea how my participation in this group has affected my sales, nor do I care. I write for fun. I read for fun. And I love this group because it's fun, friendly, and informative." Awesome. And anytime someone wants a Christmas book, we happily point them to hers. I read about a different instance of this happening here.

In the previous post, Roni said, "Yes, we're writers, but first and foremost we're READERS. Just because I have a book out there doesn't mean I'm not also voracious reader who loves to discuss books with others."

If an author was already involved in discussions, then they already know the etiquette. As KarLynP, my fellow moderator and romance forum junkie said, one of the biggest problems we see from authors is "not reading the posting policies nor getting the general feel for the group before you post." I can see how this would happen organically, without sinister spammy intentions, but it doesn't always end well. Starting all posts with "As an author" or "When I started writing X" ...yuck.

A reader can come into the discussion and say, "I loved that alpha hero, he was hot, but the heroine was like nails on a chalkboard to me." That's what reader discussion looks like. If you can say that, or whatever your actual opinion was, then you can absolutely participate. If you can't, because of potential backlash in the writer community, then you're no longer a reader first. You're a writer first.


People write their reviews for other readers. If it was intended as a message for the author, we'd email them. Even the Dear Author blog came out and said it was a shtick, not an actual letter. I know that authors can read my reviews, but it's disconcerting when they reply. If I rave about a book, then hearing a "thank you" is sweet. But if I say something negative in the review, then I don't want a "thank you" even in a private email. Depending on the phrasing, it can come across passive aggressive. But when authors respond to negative reviews, even if they speak carefully, you can always feel the hurt emanating from them. That doesn't shut the discussion on that review down, it dampens the whole reader community.


A book is a product. It's ALSO a labor of love, I know. Holy God, I know. But if you package it and put it up for sale and I paid good money for it, then it became a product along the way. And I should be allowed to say, "I didn't like this book" just like I'm allowed to say "I don't like this new shirt that bled purple all over my clothes." And I don't want Macy's (or whatever) coming up to me and saying, "well, actually, you misunderstood the intention behind the bleeding purple dye, we want all things to turn purple." Or even, "you read the washing instructions wrong, dummy." Sometimes reviewers make mistakes. People who read my review are smart enough to figure that stuff out for themselves.

I've bought books with scathing reviews. Hell, all books of a certain success level have scathing reviews. But when the author steps in, all indignant but trying to hide it behind a veil of courtesy, it's awkward. Don't make it awkward, authors. Take a book that you LOVED, that you consider epic, and check out it's negative reviews. It'll blow your mind, but they'll be there and full of reader rage. It's just part of the book ecosystem. If you're going to put your book out there, then you have to be willing to take your lumps, and quietly.

So what's a well-intentioned author to do?

Make it easy for readers to contact you. Have a blog and a twitter and whatever else you want. But above all, if you want reader interaction, put your gosh-darn email address up on your website! Twitter or contact forms are not a replacement. I know spam is scary (oh, the irony) but Gmail does a really good job nowadays, so just pick the whole email address up! Mine is hello@amberskye.net. There, I said it. And the spam lightning bolt did not strike my inbox full, so don't worry about it!

Don't ever respond to reviews. Roni brought up a great exception, which is if you were in email contact with a blogger and asked them to review your book. Then it makes sense to thank them, but I'd keep it hella short and sweet and do not comment on the content of the review. Otherwise, say nothing. Ever.

The #1 reader interaction is your book. If you want to interact with a reader, write a book. Then write another one, a better one. That is the absolute best way to interact with your fans. That's what we really want, the next installment, a sequel, a new book from you. If we like what you wrote, then we want to buy more, make that possible by writing as many great books as you can.


Amber Skye is a writer of dark erotica and sweet romance. Her erotica manuscript, which has won awards and what-nots, is currently out on submission. She blogs at http://amberskye.net and tweets at @a_skye, mostly about naughty things but occasionally about writing. In the interest of full disclosure, she self-publishes under a different pen name.




Thanks, Amber, for stopping by and sharing all of this with us! :)

So what do you guys think of authors participating in reader forums? Do you think you can take your author hat off? Anyone out there successfully being a "reader only" in forums? Any horror stories about authors peeing in the pool?





"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series


CRASH INTO YOU is now available!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Is That the Sound of My Dream Coming True? CRASH INTO YOU is out!!!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to say...

CRASH INTO YOU is out!!!!!!!!

Woo-hoo! The dream I've had since I wrote that horrible New Kids on the Block fan fiction novel at 15 has finally come true. :) A book that I wrote is actually on the shelves.

Thank you to everyone of you who has been here along the way on this journey with me! I love y'all more than cupcakes. :)

And for those of you who are buying CRASH, *too tight hugs* and I hope you enjoy it!

(And remember to take a picture with your book or ebook version with your best Blue Steel face and get a chance to win a gift certificate, plus get a signed bookplate and be featured in a kickass blogging slideshow!)

Also, I'm over at Seductive Musings today with an EXCLUSIVE steamy excerpt and a post about being a fearless as opposed to a hopeless romantic. Would love it if y'all stopped by! :)

*off to happy dance and stalk the local bookstores so I can spot my book on their shelves*

"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series

"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME

“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION

CRASH INTO YOU is now available!
Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|

Authors Interacting with Readers Online - More Controversial Than I Thought

Okay, before I get into the nitty gritty, I'd like to make a few announcements:

1) My "official" blog tour starts today. If you visit and comment on posts throughout the tour, there's a chance to win a gift certificate. : ) Today's post is over at Romancing Rakes where I'm talking about The Anatomy of a Sex Scene. (There's also a review of the book here.) I'd love it if you guys would stop by and say hi!



2) So, uh, I have a book coming out. SQUEE!!!!!! CRASH INTO YOU drops tomorrow. Though I will refrain from begging--*ahem* for now--I will be your BFF (you know, virtually braid your hair and paint your toenails) if you check out a copy. (Um, for you boys, I'll buy the beer and cue up the big screen for the bowl games.) And really, if nothing else, you can buy a copy just to see if I've followed all that writing advice I'm sharing on here all the time. And then make fun of me when I didn't. ;)

Okay, so onto today's topic...


Kids of conversation
Photo by Kris Hoet


Authors Interacting With Readers Online - Some Things to Think About

This past week I ran across a thought-provoking post over at Dear Author, Is there room on the internet for authorial interaction? In the post, Jane talks about the role of the author and when it's appropriate for the author to interact with the readers (when it adds value and when it taints things.)


The post itself is enough to get you thinking, but the slew of comments are just as enlightening. I was truly surprised to find out how some readers feel about authorial interaction.

Most agree (and I can see this point) that an author should not be commenting on reviews--mainly because once the author shows up it can make others clam up. Who wants to say something negative once they know the author is there listening?

But I was surprised to see that this even went as far as applying to the author saying thank you for the review. Jane and some other reviewers mentioned that a thank you almost makes them feel uncomfortable, especially in response to a negative review,because it implies that the reviewer has done a "favor" for the author. (I'm assuming this is for reviews you didn't directly set up with the reviewer. If you directly interacted with the blogger--like setting up a blog tour--then a thank you is obviously in order.)

Now, I'm southern. I say thank you for EVERYTHING. It's like a reflex. To think that my thank you may make someone uncomfortable kind of took me aback. When I say thank you, it's simply because I'm appreciative that the person took the time to read my book and to comment on it publicly (which is press--regardless of the content of the review.) Reviews are important. So my instinct would be to thank someone if I saw that they reviewed my book. (Plus I'm a dorky new author and just want to hug everyone who reads my book, lol.)

But perhaps the thank you should be a case by case basis and should be done privately via email instead of posting it on the review and shutting down other comments. (This does not mean I'm going to stop saying thank you, lol. My grandmother would come back and haunt me about my bad manners.)

The other issue that was interesting was how many of the commenters didn't like interacting with authors. They preferred to read and discuss the book without knowing anything about the author. They didn't want to hear the writer's perspective on why they wrote something the way they did.

I can understand this in the forum of a review. You don't want the author "defending" themselves in the comments, but seeing that many are opposed to any interaction is a little surprising and flies in the face of all we're told about connecting with readers online.

Some readers felt very strongly--finding authors "friending" readers on social networking sites as "rude". And another said they had enough drama in their life and didn't want to read about the author's life. Another was unhappy with authors hanging out on "reader" sites. One person said authors should only be known by their work. Also, many assume that if we're online and discussing books that aren't our own, we're just friends with that author and it's not genuine.

This prompted author Courtney Milan to ask in the comments:

How safe is it for authors to participate in discussions of books at all? Do people just assume that authors are friends with the author? Does that chill discussion?

The whole post and discussion was rather enlightening for me, a bit depressing and frankly, isolating. Yes, I absolutely agree that authors should refrain from commenting/defending/attacking in the comments sections of reviews. That's a given.


But now we're not supposed to discuss other books and we're not supposed to go in "reader" groups/areas? Yes, we're writers, but first and foremost we're READERS. Just because I have a book out there doesn't mean I'm not also voracious reader who loves to discuss books with others. Hearing that my presence in a reader group may be construed as something self-serving made me a little sad. Like I can't play on that playground anymore.

And maybe I'm the exception but even before I was a writer, I loved the idea of getting to know the authors behind the books I enjoyed. I liked reading the "why they wrote the book" posts or little explanations and insider information about the story. If I was actually able to discuss/chat about the book with them, well, awesome! So I know that there are other readers out there like me.

And maybe that's why the responses to the post surprised me. And, of course, this is a specific sample and may not (probably doesn't) represent readers as a whole. Many people commenting on the post were authors and book bloggers. Book bloggers are not your casual readers. They deal with authors daily. So I'm sure if you've dealt with one too many difficult authors, you can become a little more wary and jaded.

But here are my takeaways from the post:

1. Saying thank you publicly for a review may not always be a good thing. Send a note privately if you'd like to thank the reviewer.

2. Commenting on a review in any way can shut down reader discussion.

3. Readers may see you as an intruder with an agenda if you join book discussion groups. (So make sure you don't have an ulterior motive for joining.)

4. You may not be the best person to publicly promo your friends books (and vice versa) because many readers will only see it as helping a friend. This doesn't mean don't do it, but understand that it may hold less weight than independent reviewers so make sure you mix it up when you're promoting your book.

5. Some readers don't want to "connect" with you. It may taint their reading experience. Respect that. So interact, be available, chat, blog but don't go "hunting" readers and injecting yourself into their online lives if you weren't invited.

6. Don't jump into Facebook or Twitter discussions when people are discussing your book unless you're invited or messaged directly.

7. Do everything with genuineness. Don't "friend" people because you want them to buy your book. Friend them because you want to get to know them. (Duh.)

8. If certain issues or questions keep coming up in reviews, don't necessarily address them in the comments. Write a blog post on your own blog answering those questions so that readers who are interested in knowing more can seek it out if they'd like. (Good fodder for FAQ section.)

So what do you think about all this? Were you surprised by any of it? And how do you think these things should be handled? Do you think this represents a large group of readers or is more specific to bloggers who deal with authors daily?





"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series




CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2012 |Copyright Statement|


Holding Myself Accountable - 2011 Resolutions Revisited


Photo by MT 23
Today I don't have a Fill-Me-In-Friday for you because I've been on vacation and haven't been surfing the web and collecting links this week.
But, in the spirit of the new year rolling in this weekend, I figured I should check back in on my goals I set here on the blog at the end of last year and report on results.
So here goes...
2011 Writing Goals:
Complete Book 2 in the Exposure Therapy Loving on the Edge series way ahead of my June deadline. [Did it!]
Draft at least one additional full length novel. [only halfway there but that's because of one of the goals below]
Sell Wanderlust (the novel I finished before CRASH). [purposely put this on hold, deciding where I want to go with it]
Attend RWA Nationals in NYC. [did it!]
Attempt to write a short piece (short story or novella) --I am totally intimidated at the idea of writing anything shorter than category length (55k), but I think writing something briefer will be a good exercise for me. [Completed and sold a 30k novella to Berkley! This is also why I'm not finished book 3 this year.]
Blogging Goals:
Continue to keep up a regular blogging schedule and hopefully not bore you all. :) [kept up my blogging, you guys will have to let me know on the boring part]
Perhaps start or join a group blog and do more guest blogging. [definitely did more guest blogging and started up separate author blog]
Reading goals:
Read 40 or more books. [Read 31, so was close. If you're interested in seeing what I read, I kept the list here.]

Personal Goals:
Potty train the kiddo [Sadly, no. This MUST happen this year. Please, God.]
Be in a size ten or lower by the time I go to previously mentioned RWA Nationals. [*snort* Yeah, uh, didn't happen.]
Have a better work/life balance. [This one fluctuated. Can still get better at this.
So I won some, I lost some. Altogether, not a bad year. Now I need to think of my goals for 2012. (If I can find time to actually think of some, lol.)

So how did you do on your goals this year? What are some of your goals for the new year? Are you joining any writing or reading challenges? What goal do you most hope to accomplish?

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year! And don't forget, CRASH INTO YOU comes out this Tuesday!!! (See here for my dorky contest.)


"Revved up and red-hot sexy, CRASH INTO YOU, delivers a riveting romance!" --Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series



CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|


The 10 Commandments of a Successful Author

Hey y'all, I'm on vacay in San Antonio, so I thought it would be a good time to rerun my most popular post of ALL TIME. : )

Also, I'm being interviewed over at Romance Novel News today and you can win a copy of my book, CRASH INTO YOU. So I'd love for y'all to stop by and say hi.

So as I go through this whole writing journey, I spend a lot of time observing other authors--be it in person or, more likely, on the internet. I want to know what makes one so successful and the other not as much. What makes one likable and another unapproachable. In other words, what separates the good from the great. And so, based on my very unscientific observations, I've come up with my own Ten Commandments. These are the things I've seen successful authors do and the things I strive to emulate.  So here we go...

The Ten Commandments of a Successful Author

1. I will always strive to make the next book better than the last.
This is one that keeps me awake at night sometimes. The desire to make this next book better than the first one, to improve on every new project. We put so much effort into THAT book, you know the one to get the agent and the book deal. It's the best we have to give on a page. Then the dream happens and you're faced with book two and oh, you have a time limit this time, and oh if this one tanks, there may not be another book deal. *breathes into paper bag* The best authors out there manage to do this, even on tight deadlines, even when the check is already in the bank. They keep topping their own work.

2. I will not fear risk.
It's tempting to be safe, to stick to what you know and what you know works. But the best authors don't just put out book after book that follow the same formula. They take risks, they push boundaries, hell, some of them even test out different genre waters. With no risk, there's no challenge. Write the stories you want to write. If some don't work out, that's okay.

3. I will never believe "I'm the sh*t." Well, at least not for an extended period of time.
We've all seen it. The author that hits whatever level and now seems to wear the "I'm the sh*t" tiara. Don't do it. No matter if you top every bestseller list. It's okay when you get a good review or hit a list or write a passage that rocks to think to yourself--yep, I'm the shizz nizz, baby. But keep it to yourself--please--and don't let it go to your head. No one's that awesome. 

4. I shall not wallow in a pool of self-pity and doubt when someone doesn't like me or my writing.
Someone, probably many someones, will absolutely hate your writing. It's inevitable. You can't please everyone. If you let negative feedback get in your head, it will eat away at your confidence like cancer. This goes for rejections too. Feel the sting, eat a piece of chocolate or take a shot of whiskey--whatever you're preference--and move on. 

5. I will never respond to a bad review. 
I said never. You hear? Never. Unless to say, "Thank you sir, can I have another?" I'm sure most of you saw the brouhaha on Twitter/Facebook/message boards the other day over a writer who lashed out at a reviewer online. At some point in your career, you will want to do this. It's human. You will want to yell, scream, insult, bestow your wrath upon someone who said something bad about your book. 
Don't do it. This is what friends and spouses are for--call them, let it out, cuss the jerk who gave you the negative review. But never lash out publicly or at the reviewer. This will only serve to make you look petty and childish, which will make people not want to deal with you or buy your books. (And remember, lovelies, the internet is viral. One untoward comment can make the rounds faster than a case of croup at a daycare.)

6. Covet your neighbor's success. A dose of envy does a writer good.
There are all these posts out there about writer envy and jealousy telling you how you shouldn't waste time being envious of other writers and what they have, their level of success, etc.  Yes, that's true. If you spend all your time burning green, you won't get anything else done. BUT, a little bit of this can be helpful. So and so got an agent and you haven't yet? Your crit partner hit the bestseller list but you can't seem to? Feel that envy and USE it. Use it as kindling under your butt and light a fire to keep going, to get what you want, to grab that success too. Envy with motivation can be very productive. Envy with whining and no action is what you need to avoid.

7. "Good enough" will never be good enough.
The best authors don't settle for good enough. If you've sold a bazillion books and you already have a deal for the next and everyone is lining up just for the privilege of sharing your air, it could be tempting to just write something that's "good enough". But the best authors don't. They put as much heart and guts into every book they put out every time.

8. I will not apologize for what I write.
Do not apologize for your passion. There are stigmas against all kinds of genres, not just romance like I talked about last week. But this is your writing, your story, and your blood on the page. Playing down what you write is playing down who you are. I know this one will be tough for me because once my book comes out, people in my life will know exactly what I write. I know some will judge me for it. I do not want to apologize for it. I'm proud of it.

9. I shall pay it forward.
The best writers give back. If any of you stopped by the blog Monday and saw the Operation Auction information, you know this is true. No we can't help others all the time. If Stephen King answered every email from a newbie on how to be a writer, he'd never get anything done. But he did write On Writing, which is a way of giving back what he's learned (even though, granted, he did make money writing that book.) So no matter how busy you get, try to find time to help others out. Maybe it's to offer a query crit to someone who hasn't queried before, maybe it's having a blog that gives information that everyone can benefit from, maybe it's volunteering your time at conferences or judging a contest. Whatever it is, find something. Think of those who've helped you in your journey. Don't you want to be one of those people another writer can think of?

10. Don't forget to have fun--you love this, dumbass. (Even when it's hard.)
It's easy to get caught up in the day to day--this chapter is so hard, I  have a saggy middle, why won't these agents answer my queries--rut. But never forget, this is your dream. Enjoy the act of writing. And good Lord, if you do get the elusive book deal and become published, don't spend your time whining about the minutiae. It's okay for authors to tweet if they're struggling with an edit or whatever, but too much of that sounds like a whole bunch of whine. So many people want this. If you get it, be thankful and for heaven's sake, enjoy it! You get to make stuff up for a living.
So those are the ten writing commandments I'm working toward, what are some of yours? Which would you add? And which authors do you think emulate these things?

"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME

CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!
Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

Fill-Me-In Friday: The Best Writing Links of the Week


Hey, everyone! I'm sure you've had a busy week preparing for the holidays, so I've rounded up the best posts I've come across this week. 
On Writing and Publishing:
Should You Join the Indy Revolution? by CJ Lyons via Romance University

For Gits and Shiggles:


Can Drinking Help Your Writing? at Slate Magazine  (love that one of the hypotheses is that writers are all a little crazy anyway and more prone to addiction, lol. Like we need anyone to tell us that we're bent.)

Awesome Holiday Videos via Emily Ryan-Davis

What You May Have Missed Here:


Creating a Story Bible by Suzanne Johnson
What You May Have Missed on the Author Blog or on My CRASH INTO YOU Blog Tour:

Reid, hero of CRASH INTO YOU, talks about the perfect submissive
PLUS a chance to win my book!
at As the Pages Turn
(And what that has to do with ugly guys in p0rn)
at Kat Latham's Blog
at Anne R. Allen's Blog
That's all I've got. I hope you all have a wonderful and happy holiday! Have fun, be safe, and eat too many cookies!



“...a sexy, sizzling tale that is sure to have readers begging for more!" –Jo Davis, author of I SPY A DARK OBSESSION



CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|


The Best Books I've Read This Year & Readers' Choice Nominations


light and books

Each year I give myself reading challenges. Beyond the fact that I love listing things, reading challenges remind me (when I get lost in the haze of writing) that I need to take time out to read. If you want to see what I've read and where I'm at with my challenges, you can see all of it here.


These organized lists also help me keep track so that I can look back over the year and see which books stood out the most. So today I'm going to list my faves of the year.

THEN it's going to be your turn. Last year I did the Fiction Groupie Readers' Choice Awards and featured your recommendations. I'd like to do that again, so in the comments tell me what was your favorite book of the year (it doesn't have to be a book released this year just one you read this year.) And then I'll feature the list next week.

All right, so on to my picks for this year...


Favorite YA:
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
A fabulous story about a girl with a "touch of Asperger's" finding her way through friendship and first love. Amazingly good.
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
The title may make this sound like a fun YA beach read, but, man, it is so much more than that. Beautiful book.
A time-travel Irish romance that had me guessing at every turn. Awesome.
Erotic Romance:
Pleasure's Edge by Eve Berlin
A BDSM romance -This was one of those that I knew from the very first chapter that I wouldn't be able to put it down.
One woman and two hunky bull riders. The author did such a great job of world-building that she made me want to go to a rodeo--and believe me, that's saying something for me, lol.
Finding Eden by Kele Moon
A male/male BDSM romance. This is a prequel to Beyond Eden. You don't have to have read one to understand the other, but I definitely recommend both. 
(Disclaimer: This one is considered "darker" or heavier BDSM. So if you've never read the genre, you may need to work up to this one. :) )
Romantic Suspense:
Smash Cut by Sandra Brown
A serial killer who imitates famous movie scenes in his killings. How's that for high concept?
Writing Books:
Changed my life. That is all.
I'm sure most of you already follow Kristen, but here's where you can get all her blogging tips in a nice, neat package.
Books by Author Friends Which I Loved:
Tempest by Julie Cross
Time-Travel YA - I technically read this one last year because I was a beta reader. BUT, it comes out Jan. 17 and is fabulous. Go buy it.
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
A girl quarterback, a love triangle, and a whole lot of fun.


Okay, so those are my picks. Now it's your turn. In the comments, tell me what was your favorite book of the year. I'll feature the books (and link to the person who recommended it) in a future post.




"Hot and romantic, with an edge of suspense that will keep you entertained.” --Shayla Black, New York Times Bestselling author of SURRENDER TO ME


CRASH INTO YOU is now available for pre-order!

Read an excerpt here.

All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|