Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ooh Shiny!



Looky what I got in the mail! Don't forget to enter The Paris Secret Ring Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Paris Secret Ring Giveaway


In celebration of the release of the print version of The Paris Secret, I’m giving away a replica of the beautiful, sterling silver, French poesy ring featured in the book and pictured above.
  
From inside her shirt she pulled a thin silver chain from which hung a silver band ring. She unfastened the chain to retrieve the ring and handed it to me. The ring was slightly domed and etched with a chain of interlocking figure eights circling its circumference.
 “What is this?” I asked.
“It’s a posy ring. They were quite popular with couples from about 1400 through the seventeenth century. The silver ones were used as engagement rings and were replaced with a gold one upon marriage. Posy comes from the term poesy. It refers to the secret messages of love that were engraved inside each one.” 
I held the ring up and turned it so I could read the message. It read: de m'amour soiez sure. 
“Of my love be sure,” translated Dr. Hewitt.

Click here for more information about the "Of My Love Be Sure" French Poesy Ring ring from Heavenly Treasures.

So how do you enter for your chance to win? Easy. Just purchase a print copy of The Paris Secret from the Harlequin website and email a copy of your receipt to: angelar.henry (at) gmail.com with the words The Paris Secret Ring Giveaway in the subject line (include your contact info in the body of the email) by December 31, 2011.  I’ll draw one random winner from all entries on January 2, 2012.

Click here to purchase your copy of The Paris Secret in print!

NOTE: The giveaway is for the sterling silver version of the ring valued at $49.00 - $56.00. The contest is open to residents of the US only.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Prize Winning Pose!

Saskia, the winner of The Paris Secret prize pack, poses with some of her prizes! Congrats again, Saskia! That necklace looks great on you ; ).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Paris Secret Prize Pack Winner!

I had a wonderful time touring with Kismet Book Touring this month. My tour came to an end last week. Congratulations to all the winners of an ecopy of The Paris Secret! But there could only be one winner of The Paris Secret Prize Pack. The winner is...


SASKIA!


Congratulations, Saskia! I'll be putting your prize in the mail this weekend! I hope you enjoy it! And a big thank you to all of my tour hosts and the readers who entered the giveaway.

Angela ; )

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Paris Secret Blog Tour!



Don't forget to stop by my tour stops for your chance to win a cool Paris secret Prize Pack!

Monday  July, 4th – Julie, That’s Swell / Guest Post, Maya’s Map of Paris
Tuesday, July, 5th – Tishia, Paranormal Opinion
Wednesday, July, 6th -  Heather, Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, July, 7th – Jules, The Great, The Good and The Bad / Guest Post, Visitor Tips for Paris
Friday, July, 8th – Mysterious Books / Interview with Angela

Monday  July, 11th – Deea, Deea’s Book Journal / Guest Post, The Paris Secret Playlist
Tuesday,  July, 12th – Sarah, Workaday Reads
Wednesday, July, 13th – Lisa, Baffled Books / Guest Post, What’s In Maya’s Bag
Thursday, July, 14th -Yiota, Splash of our Worlds
Friday, July, 15th – Lori, Romancing the Darkside

Monday July, 18th – Penelope, The Reading Fever / Guest Post, A Day in the Life
Tuesday, July, 19th- Mandy, The Well Read Wife
Wednesday, July, 20th- Divya, Bookish Delight
Thursday, July, 21th- Missie, The Unread Reader / Guest Post, When I’m Not Writing
Friday, July, 21th – Crystal, Elegantly Bound Books / Interview with Angela
 

 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Elyse Mady

Click Here to Buy!
Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Elyse Mady! Elyse's latest novel, LEARNING CURVES, releases today from Carina Press.

About The Book:

Leanne Galloway has no time for dating; her focus is on launching her academic career. Dragged along to her childhood frenemy Gillian's bachelorette party at a male strip club, she just wants to get through the evening—but she can't help interfering when Gillian sends a note to a sexy dancer proposing a hot hookup.

Brandon Myles is working backstage at the Foxe's Den to fund his post-graduate studies in dance, but he's forced onstage when the headliner fails to show up. He feels a surprisingly strong connection with a quiet woman watching from a table full of tipsy bridesmaids, and he's delighted when she appears backstage after his set.

After a scorching spontaneous encounter, Leanne and Brandon agree to go their separate ways. But they're both grad students on a small campus, and avoiding each other and denying their attraction won't work for long, especially when a jealous rival appears, determined to ruin both their academic careers.

Welcome, Elyse! Tell us a little about yourself.

Writer. Mom. And as of this coming Thursday, married for a whole 10 years to a wonderful guy. (Seriously, don't know how that happened. I swear, I was finishing school and looking for my first job yesterday. Now, we're hitting double digits?! But they've been a great ten years and I'm looking forward to a bunch more :) I live in Hamilton, Ontario and wear several different writing and working hats: in addition to my contemporary and historical romance with Carina, I also write magazine articles for a half dozen or so different publications and teach literature and film at a local college.

Describe Leanne Galloway and Brandon Myles the hero and heroine of Learning Curves, and what inspired you to create them.

Leanne and Brandon are wonderful characters who are completely convinced that romance is something that other people need. It's not that they have anything against falling in love but they've both got really definite reasons for why it can't be them. Of course, disabusing them of that notion entails lots of steamy encounters, some hard personal realizations and sacrifices on both their parts before they can learn differently.

The germ of the story appeared when I was thinking about applying to do my doctorate a couple of years ago. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, applying for a graduate degree is almost a full time job. 20 million forms (and each university has their own process), grant applications to fund your research (the universities pay their grad students a very small amount to cover tuition but they like you better if you bring your own research money!) reference letters, interviews. It's craziness, like filing your annual taxes times about....a gazillion. It becomes all-consuming, and people legitimately get very invested in the process because it is their future career on the line. At the same time, I started wondering about what some of the students I was talking to would do when they were done being professional students? What else would there be for them outside of their books and the rarefied experience that an academic life can become because they were pouring everything into this one goal and it seemed like a very limited way to live a life?

Leanne marched into my mind a little bit later, very determined to convince me that she was fine, thank you very much, and I should go write someone else's story. So of course I didn't. And then I bumped into Brandon, who was rambling around my subconscious and I knew that they would be perfect together. Leanne thinks she's very logical and focused but in reality she has this really tender heart while Brandon is a dancer who relies on his body for expression but has cut himself off from his emotions. I had way too much fun twisting them into pretzels until their HEA, I tell yah!

How much research was involved in writing Learning Curves?

A lot of the story is based on personal experience, rather than research per say. Not, mind you, that I met my husband while he was dancing at a strip club. Lovely fellow, adore him to pieces, but lets just say he dances like the farm boy he once was. A lot of Robot Chicken, in other words! But I've lived as a graduate student, done the late nights and the non-existent budget and the lengthy papers and I know the world well. I wrote this story over the course of a couple of years, and actually wrote the first draft while I was doing my Masters so a lot of the small elements: the crummy office Leanne shares with her friend, the bad student essays, the campus layout, the atmosphere in other words, are cobbled together from a wide range of my own experiences, just reordered and shaped to fit the story.

But as I've assured several of my friends that I went to school with, all my characters are fictional. Unless, of course, I didn't like you and then absolutely, the girl in chapter three who gets run over by a Mac truck? Yeah, totally based on a real person! LOL Because I'm the author and I can smite you as I please (Disclaimer: no one *actually* gets run over in the book, in Chapter 3 or otherwise! :))

What appeals to you about writing romance?

I like writing about people who feel things. Although I enjoy a wide range of book styles and am a big science fiction fan, I tend to gravitate towards real life situations in my own stories. So no alternate universes, shapeshifters, sparkly vampires or the like. And as of yet, no ultra-rich sheik billionaires or English venture capitalists. I like to explore the challenges inherent in any successful relationship and see how people balance all of the competing pressures in their life successfully.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Panster all the way, baby. I don't even write my books in order. I build out from a scene, connecting them together very organically as I write. Of course, once I have a completed draft, I'm a little more conventional but I find that letting the story tell itself works best for me.

What is your writing schedule like?

I try and write four afternoons out of seven. My mornings are generally given over to exciting things like laundry and shifting the family detritus around. Evenings are often very busy with activities and it can be hard to be creative when I'm tired so the routine gives me a chance to write something regularly and keeps my characters front of mind.

Can you tell us what you're working on now?

I'll have my third Carina Press title released at the end of September. "Something So Right" is another contemporary, set in Northern Canada. It's a friends-to-lovers storyline that explores the lingering effects of surviving an abusive relationship and the vulnerabilties inherient in falling in love again. I'm really excited about it. Then I'm 2/3rds of the way through my fourth novel, which will be coming out early in 2012. It's a departure for me. Although my first novella was set in the Regency, it was completely fictional. This is historical fiction. It's based on a notorious gay brothel raid; the men who were arrested and tried were known as the Vere St. Coterie. I've found it very exciting balancing the need for historical accuracy with a story that respects the characters as I've imagined them.

Then I've got a few more pots boiling for future stories: a prequel to "The Debutante's Dilemma", a linked pair of Regency novels with a very distinctive hero and a couple of new contemporaries.

Do you have a website or blog?

I do. And I tweet.

Readers can find me at www.elysemady.wordpress.com and on twitter at @elysemady.

What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend?

I really enjoyed "The Mistress of Nothing" by Kate Pullinger. It's historical fiction set in 1860s Egypt and the writing is gripping. It explores a time and place in history I knew little about.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write, write and then write some more. And when you're not writing, read. Workshops and connections and a great blog are all important elements to a successful career, but in the end, your work is what your reputation will sink or fail on.

Thanks for stopping by, Elyse! Congrats on your new release ; ).

Thanks so much for having me today, Angela. I really enjoyed having a chance to talk about my new book. I'd love to give one of your readers a chance to win a copy of "Learning Curves" in their choice of eformat. Before they get together, both Brandon and Leanne have a lot of trouble living a well-rounded, balanced life. And that's something not just fictional characters have trouble with. I'd like to know what they do to balance work and life? How do they find time for themselves? Family? Romance?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: JB Lynn

Click Here to Buy!
I'm so excited to welcome the awesome JB Lynn to my blog! JB is a fellow Carina Press author and today is the release of her romantic suspense novel, THE FIRST VICTIM. I've been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it and I'm so happy she agreed to let me interview her.

About the Book: 
Fifteen years ago, Emily Wright barely escaped from a serial killer dubbed the Baby Doll Strangler. She wants nothing to do with the small town where she was abducted, but when her father is hospitalized she reluctantly returns home to care for her teenage sister. 

When her sister's friend is killed and left in front of Emily's house, Emily begins to relive the nightmare she endured long ago. Soon she realizes that her sister, too, is in danger from the killer—and the only person who can help is the man Emily left behind: Deputy Bailey O'Neil. Together, Emily and Bailey must discover the killer's identity before he claims his next victim...

Welcome, JB! Tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks so much for having me! I’m a voracious reader, an obsessive writer, a long distance walker, and someone who drinks way too much coffee. When I was a little girl I pretended to be Nancy Drew…or when I was feeling particularly adventurous, The Hardy Boys (didn’t matter to me if I was Frank or Joe…their adventures were equally thrilling). As I got older, I thought it would be pretty cool to be Alex Cross from the James Patterson novels. Now I’m resigned to the fact that I’m most similar to Isabel Spellman from The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. Except I’m older, married, and I’m not a P.I.

Please tell us about The First Victim and what inspired you to write it.

I wrote the kind of story I like to read. I have a soft spot for really creepy villains. I’m a fan of victims becoming victors. And, of course, I’m a sucker for love conquering all, lol. I wanted to explore all those things and that’s just what I got to do in THE FIRST VICTIM.

How much research was involved in writing The First Victim? 

I consulted with a former FBI agent and a forensic psychologist – don’t those sound like two really cool jobs? I mean, they’re the closest thing to Alex Cross I could find in real life, lol.

What appeals to you about writing romance suspense? 

I think a romantic storyline enhances the suspense in a novel. It raises the emotional stakes for the hero and heroine and allows the reader to root for them (not just against the villain). The romantic suffering of the hero and heroine results in something more than the defeat of the villain. It results in a loving relationship…and I don’t know about every other reader out there, but that’s the part I can identify with (having never hunted down a psychotic serial killer myself).

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a plantser…I do some plotting and some pantsing. I plot out all the major turning points and I don’t start a project without knowing how it’s going to end, but I don’t do a fifty page outline the way some writers do. Hence my “plantser” status.

What is your writing schedule like? 

Ha! In a perfect world I’d say that I write Monday thru Friday and edit on the weekends. Or maybe I’d say I write five thousand words five days a week. Or maybe I’d say I work on one project at a time. But those are all delusions. Most weeks I end up writing about ten thousand…and then deleting at least five thousand when I sit down to edit. Really it’s a miracle I ever finish anything.

Can you tell us what you're working on now? 

I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you! Only kidding. Maybe. I’m working on a new humorous crime series. It’s sort of Carl Hiassen meets Lisa Lutz…with a healthy dose of JB Lynn’s warped bent thrown in. I’m a big fan of old movies like ARSENIC AND OLD LACE and THE THIN MAN series that managed to integrate humorous elements into crime stories, so in some ways, this is an homage to them (although my books are considerably darker). I’m also developing a novel featuring FBI agents Chase Morgan and Sebastian Black from THE FIRST VICTIM.

Do you have a website or blog? 


What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend? 

I thought Kate Brady’s ONE SCREAM AWAY was a great read and I loved Allison Brennan’s LOVE ME TO DEATH (then again, I love all of Allison’s suspense novels). And I highly recommend Emma Donoghue’s ROOM.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Learn how to finish writing a book. It’s relatively easy to start a book, but getting through the middle and to “The End” is a real challenge. And from the wonderful wisdom of Galaxy Quest “Never give up. Never surrender!”

Thanks for stopping by, JB!

Thanks so much for having me, Angela. I’d like to give away a copy of The First Victim to one of your followers. To enter all they have to do is leave a comment telling me their favorite villain(s) of all time. I’ll announce the winner (who will be chosen at random from the entries) in the comments section on June 17th!

To celebrate its release, I’m running multiple contests this week, so everyone should check out my blog to find other ways to be entered to win a copy of The First Victim.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In Print and on Tour!

Some of you have emailed me asking if The Paris Secret will ever be available in print and I'm happy to finally be able to say, YES! The Paris Secret has been chosen by Harlequin's DTC (Direct to Consumer) program! That means that subscribers of the DTC mystery/suspense program will receive a mass market paperback edition of The Paris Secret in their December shipment. The paperback version will also be available for sale on the eHarlequin website, though I'm not sure exactly when. Click here
for the official announcement and to win some fun stuff in celebration of  the Carina Press  one year anniversary!  I'm also doing a summer blog tour in July with Kismet Book Touring and giving away a cool Paris Secret prize pack to one lucky winner ; ). 

TOUR DATES:


Monday  July, 4th – “That’s Swell”
Tuesday, July, 5th – “YA bibliophile”
Wednesday, July, 6th –  “Bewitched Bookworms”
Thursday, July, 7th – “The Great, The Good and The Bad”
Friday, July, 8th – “Mysterious Books”

Monday  July, 11th – “Deea’s Book Journal”
Tuesday,  July, 12th – “Workaday Reads”
Wednesday, July, 13th – “Baffled Books”
Thursday, July, 14th - “Splash of our words”
Friday, July, 15th – “Romancing the Darkside

Monday July, 18th – “The Reading Fever”
Tuesday, July, 19th- “Well Read Wife”
Wednesday, July, 20th- “Bookish Delight”
Thursday, July, 21th- “The Unread Reader”
Friday, July, 21th – “Elegantly Bound Books”

Friday, April 8, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Amy Plum


Click here to Purchase Die For Me!
I'm so thrilled to welcome author Amy Plum today! I met Amy on twitter and she graciously agreed to an interview about her first YA novel, Die For Me. The book is set in Paris and releases in the UK on May 5th and here in the states on May 10th. And check out that gorgeous cover!

About the book: 

“In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.”

“When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.


1. Welcome, Amy! Tell us a little about yourself and your new book.

Hi Angela! Well, I’m an American living in France with my handsome French husband and two young children. We moved from NYC to the Loire Valley to live near my husband’s father when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It’s great having the grandparents around, but I sure miss the big city!

DIE FOR ME is actually my second book. The first, a memoir about living in the French countryside, is unpublished. So I got a bit of practice with that one before throwing myself into a YA paranormal novel. I set the book in Paris, where I lived for 5 years when I was in my twenties. Maybe it was my isolation here in the countryside that made me want to visit Paris every day in my mind!

2. Describe Kate Mercier,
the heroine of Die For Me.

Kate is sixteen when the book starts, and for her age she is pretty strong and mature. But she starts out at a disadvantage: her parents have just died, and she is suffering. She and her sister Georgia move to Paris to live with their grandparents and that is where the story begins.

3. How much research was involved in writing the book? 

Most of the book was written from my own memories of Paris. But for some of the older characters, I did a bit of research to make sure their names were appropriate for the period they came from.

4. You used to live in Paris. What was that like? 
 
I lived in Paris for five years. And even though I was working, commuting, and living a normal life, every day that I stepped outside my front door into the street I looked around myself in wonder and couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Paris is a magical place.

5. How much of the book is based on your own experiences in Paris?

Many of the locations are taken from places I know or lived in in Paris. And a lot of the activities that Kate and the others take part in are from my own experiences.

6.  Can you tell us what you're working on now? 

I am in the editing process for Book 2 at the moment, and am working on an idea for a completely different YA series!

7. Do you have a website or blog?

My website (and blog) are at http://www.amyplumbooks.com

Thanks for stopping by, Amy!
Amy sent me some autographed bookmarks for Die For Me! Just leave a comment below before April 30th for your chance to win one.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Authors Earn

In January I was approached by the PR company who puts together Parade Magazine's annual What People Earn Issue. They wanted to feature a novelist and someone--I've no idea who-- suggested me. I was very flattered to be asked but also a little apprehensive about sharing my earnings from writing. There seems to be an assumption that authors earn a lot of money. And there is certainly the potential to earn a lot of money from writing. But 99.9% of authors, myself included, don't earn enough from writing to support ourselves full-time. Most of us have day jobs. 

My day job is in a college library, where I've worked for the past 16 years. For me, writing is a supplemental salary at best and I'm actually proud of every dime I've earned from doing something I love. Most of what I earned last year was from my self-pubbed novel Schooled In Lies. It's the fourth book in my Kendra Clayton mystery series, which I took over publishing when the series was dropped by my former publisher. 

So I signed the release form and sent in two pictures of myself with no guarantee that I'd be chosen for the WPE issue. I was! The issue came out on Sunday the 13th. Click here if you want to know how much I earned from writing last year ; ).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Read an E-Book Week: March 6 -12, 2011




This week, March 6 - 12,  I'll be giving away a free ebook edition (PDF) of my most recent Kendra Clayton mystery, Schooled In Lies, to everyone--yes, everyone--who "likes" The Paris Secret Facebook Page. At the end of the week, I'll choose one winner from all of this week's "likes" to win The Paris Secret Playlist from iTunes!

There are tons of other giveaways this week as well as discounted e-books to be had.




Be sure to check back daily as I'll be adding to this list.


Happy E-Reading!






Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Carolyn Moncel

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Carolyn Moncel! Carolyn is an entrepreneur and the author of Encounters in Paris. I met her through Goodreads and she was nice enough to stop by and tell us about her book. Carolyn has also graciously agreed to give away an eBook of Encounters in Paris to one lucky commenter!

About Encounters in Paris

Life is filled with random encounters and Ellery Roulet, a 35-year-old American PR executive living and working in Paris, has experienced enough of them to last five lifetimes. When betrayal, loss, mistakes, regrets and even acceptance enter Ellery's life at different times, she learns it is not what one experiences, but how one chooses to deal with those experiences that shapes the soul within. This bittersweet collection of tales shows just how messy and complicated life can be, and that sometimes there just aren't any neat and easy solutions at all.


Welcome, Carolyn! Tell us a little about yourself.

At night I write but during the day, I own two companies, MotionTemps, LLC, a digital project management company; and also MondavĂ© Communications, a media relations training company. I’ve been living in Lausanne, Switzerland since 2007 with my husband Philippe, two daughters Chloe and Jillian and a very, very old cat called Poeme.

Describe Encounters in Paris and what inspired you to write it.

Encounters in Paris is a collection of short stories. Since all of the stories are connected, it almost reads like a novella instead of a collection of short stories and that was a deliberate decision.

The inspiration came from observing life in general while living and working in Paris. Expatriate life is hard, and I wanted to address some of the more common scenarios but through the eyes of this one character. There are five stories that all center around Ellery Roulet, a 35-year-old African-American who lives and works in Paris. Ellery thinks she has everything. She is married to handsome French guy, Julien, has twin daughters and runs a successful bilingual PR firm in one of Paris’ trendiest parts of the city. Unfortunately, Ellery soon realizes that life isn’t always so perfect. In one story she loses her job, in another she finds out her husband is having an affair, and yet in another she deals with the death of her mother. She realizes that life can be quite messy; some problems can be solved while others can’t and that’s okay.

You once lived in Paris. What was that like?

My family and I lived in Paris for exactly five years, from 2002 until 2007. In the beginning, I did not enjoy living there. We moved there very suddenly due to my husband`s job. When we arrived I had two small daughters (five and two weeks old) and everything (language, culture, city, country) was completely new. Gradually I found my footing. I learned the city, made friend and my business took off. After about two years everything was fine. There were plenty of days when I was ready to leave, but I would wake up and see a beautiful sunrise or sunset and think to myself, “Well, I think I can stay just one more day!”

How much of Encounters in Paris is based on your own experiences?

I would say that these stories are about 25 percent real and 75 percent imagination. I take my inspiration from everywhere. For example, there are some aspects of my own life represented here, but only a tiny bit. I spend a great deal of time watching other people and observing how they behave or react in different situations. I also get ideas from watching television programs or reading books and magazines. My family and friends tell me some outrageous stories at times as well.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Most of the time I am a pantser to be sure. I tried to be a plotter and all I got out of it was procrastination. I really try to follow George Orwell`s advice “…Write from the heart and then edit with your head.”

What is your writing schedule like?

I write every night from 9 pm until 11 pm. I write a bit more on the weekends. On the weekends I write between 6 am and 9 am. By then my children are up and about and the real day begins.

Can you tell us what you're working on now?

I just finished my next book called 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover. It will be released in September 2011. One day recently, I was walking down the street and heard Paul Simon’s song, “50 Ways to Leave a Lover.” I thought, well that song is only half right. The ways in which to leave a lover are infinite, but the reasons are pretty finite. At the end of the day, it usually boils down to death, divorce, cheating, deception, and ambivalence. So I decided to write a fresh batch of stories surrounding these themes and Ellery and Julien Roulet from Encounters in Paris return in this series, providing further explanation into their story, but there are new characters as well.

Do you have a website or blog?

Yes, I do. My website is: www.carolynmoncel.com.

What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend?

Currently, I seem to be spending a lot of time on the African continent! I am reading some really good books right now. I just finished Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gail Parkin. I am also really enjoying The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna and Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I know it sounds like a clichĂ© but aspiring writers should persevere and never give up. All of us have experienced rejection but you just have to keep going. Over time, you learn to distinguish between bad luck or timing, cruelty and constructive criticism. Take the positive and negative feedback and use it to become a better writer, and keep reading! 

Thanks for stopping by, Carolyn! 

You have until Tuesday March 1st to comment for your chance to win the Encounters in Paris eBook!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Interview & Giveaway: Rae Renzi

Happy Valentine's Day! It's my pleasure to welcome fellow Carina author Rae Renzi! Rae's debut romance, RiverTime, releases today and she's been gracious enough to stop by and answer my nosy questions. She'll also be giving away a copy of RiverTime to one lucky commenter!

About RiverTime:

Casey Lord needs a break. Her great-on-paper boyfriend, Reed, is pressuring her to marry him—but she's not sure if he sees her merely as an asset to help his political career. A river-rafting trip in the remote wilderness provides the perfect opportunity to clear her head. Until a flash flood sweeps Casey away from her group—and straight into the arms of Jack, a mysterious man also stranded by the flooding river.

Jack won't tell Casey his last name, and her innocent questions about his life are met with evasive answers. Yet they have to trust each other to survive, and as the pair await rescue, their uneasy truce slowly blossoms into friendship—and love. They agree to keep secret whatever differences may separate them in the real world.

When rescue finally arrives, will it spell an end to their budding relationship or can they find a way to stay in RiverTime?

Welcome, Rae! Tell us a little about yourself.

Talking about myself doesn't come easy, but the basics are that I (mostly) grew up in a tiny town in Oklahoma, although my parents were quasi jet-setters (literally-- my father was an experimental test pilot for McDonnell-Douglas), which made for a two-sided childhood: we were familiar with the cosmopolitan, but intimate with rural small town. I now live in Texas, where I'm an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience. I have written science for years ("publish or perish" is not a myth!), but only recently decided to delve into writing fiction.

Describe Casey Lord and Jack Raines the hero and heroine of RiverTime, and what inspired you to create them.



RiverTime is my debut novel, and also the first novel I penned (not always the same thing). To create the heroine, Casey Lord, I confess that I took the easy route: she is more-or-less autobiographical. Jack Raines, though, was wholly imagined. He was assembled from bits and pieces of various people I've known, and tweaked towards an ideal. His family background was inspired by the (real) stories I heard from friends who work with children and youth raised in acute-risk circumstances. I loved bringing to life someone who had surmounted significant obstacles, but was not untouched by them.

How much research was involved in writing RiverTime?

Most of the research I did related to getting the physical details right for the river and the canyon scenes. A six-day river-rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon provided me with a multitude of experiences and sensory impressions to translate to the page, including nearly capsizing in whitewater rapids, brushes with snakes, scorpions and hypothermia, and breathtaking views from the bottom of the mile-high Canyon.

What appeals to you about writing romance?

Everything! Writing (and doing) science is about breaking things down, tearing them apart to gain understanding. Writing romance is about creation, about building a relationship that ends in love. In my case, there is usually some adventure thrown in for fun. It's fantastically uplifting. In fact, after a really hard day at work, I can't wait to get home and create something on the page. It's like going to a super-duper spa.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I think that most of these categorical designations are probably better described as a continuous line. In this case, if dedicated plotters are at 1, and complete pantsers are at 10, I would be around a 6.

What is your writing schedule like?

Every morning—and I do mean every--I wake up, get a cup of hot chocolate and crawl back into bed with my laptop. Weekdays, I usually stay there for a couple of hours before heading for the halls of academia, and I write again in the evening if I can. On weekends (bliss!) I write as long as I like, or until the mundane world intervenes.



Can you tell us what you're working on now?

I'm currently working on an adventure story with dogs, in which the romance between two of the secondary characters from RiverTime (Ditsy and Nocona) is developed. I've also just about wrapped up a very different kind of story—a love story with ghosts staffing a dating service.

Do you have a website or blog?




Yes! My website is www.raerenzi.com. I'm also on Twitter: @RaeRenzi.

What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend?

I just finished The 
Time Weaver by Shana Abe´, which is a wonderfully romantic fantasy, and The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns, which is a powerful literary novel. Along the lines of fun non-fiction, I'm reading Bats Sing, Mice Giggle, which reveals some of the extrasensory (extra to humans, that is) abilities of animals and plants, by Drs. Shanor and Kanwal. It's loaded with surprises and delights, and a few kind of scary facts.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

There is some research out there that suggests that people who get pleasure from engaging in a process are happier than those who get pleasure from achieving a goal. This makes a lot of sense: you can wallow in goal success only so long, but the writing process never stops. My advice is to write for the pleasure of writing. If it isn't fun for you, think again.

Thanks for stopping by, Rae. And don't forget to comment by midnight 2/19  for your chance to win a copy of RiverTime!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

QR Code Scavenger Hunt Winner!

A big thank you to everyone who entered The Paris Secret QR Code Scavenger Hunt! I wish I could give you all a Nook! But there can only be one winner. And the winner is...


H. James of Lake Charles, Louisiana!

Congratulations!




Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Updates: Interviews, Guest Blogging & Reviews

Sorry I've been MIA since the release of The Paris Secret! Just wanted to update you on some of the fun places I've been interviewed/guest blogged as well as some of the fabulous reviews the book has been getting. The QR Code Scavenger Hunt is still going on until Monday January 31st. So you still have plenty of time to crack the codes to win a Nook!

Over at the Carina Press site, I did a virtual tour of Paris.
I blogged about my favorite fictional librarians at Fresh Fiction.
I was interviewed at Fierce Romance.
I blogged about why I love mysteries at the Not Your Usual Suspects Blog.
I was featured in The Big Thrill, the International Thriller Writer's Webzine.

As for reviews, I was thrilled that The Paris Secret was chosen as a "Top Pick" by The Romance Reviews and Night Owl Reviews!

So what's next?

I'll be stopping by the Killer Chicks Blog on Friday the 28th.
Next month, I'll be participating in 30 days of Danger & Secrets at fellow Carina author Katie Reus's blog as well as guest blogging at Book Lovers Inc.

And The Paris Secret audio book should be released by Audible any day now!

Later,
Angela ; )




















Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Paris Secret Scavenger Hunt-Win a NOOK!

To celebrate the release of The Paris Secret, I'm launching a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. Details and entry form are below. Good Luck! And if you don't know what a QR code is, I'll let Lindsay from CSI: New York explain

ATTENTION: You do not need a smartphone to participate.  Click here for a list of online QR code readers. If your smartphone does not have a QR code reader, there are a number of free barcode reader apps that can be downloaded from the iTunes or Android app stores.




The QR codes needed to answer the questions above can be found somewhere on the following websites/blogs. Some codes will be obvious, while others you'll need to hunt for.  Some codes will lead to other codes, or nowhere at all, while other sites may have more than one code. Scan them and you will be taken to information about The Paris Secret. You must answer at least one question to be entered. But you can earn up to five entries.

Paris Secret Blog (You're already here. Just look!)



All entries must be received by 11pm January 31, 2011
Winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries and awarded a Nook.

GOOD LUCK!








Monday, January 10, 2011

Watch This Space for Your Chance to Win a Nook!



Next Monday, January 17th, is the official launch day for The Paris Secret. Since the book has a few similarities to The Da Vinci Code, I will be launching an online scavenger hunt. If you're wondering what that strange orange thingy is above. It's a QR code and I think they're pretty cool!  You can read up on them here and see them in action here and here. QR codes can be scanned like a barcode with any smart phone and will take you to linked info embedded within the code. Go ahead and scan it! I will be hiding these codes on various sites and blogs. And some of my fellow Carina Press authors will also be hiding codes on their sites as well. The codes will lead you to info about The Paris Secret so that you can answer questions and be entered to win a Nook. Check back next Monday for more details!

Angela ; )

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Six Sentences from The Paris Secret, which will be released January 17th from Carina Press!

He took off running, pulling me behind him. I tried my best to keep up but the pain in my side slowed me down. A bullet whizzed past my head and another hit the fencepost near me. Tattoo Man was firing a gun as he staggered behind us.
“He’s got a gun!” I screamed at my rescuer. 
“No shit! Shut up and keep running!”

Click here for more Six Sentence Sunday authors!