Getting published is HARD work

I’m a romance writer. Most people seem to think that’s a fun and frivolous habit.

Sure, writing a “real” book is hard, but romance novels are written by flighty, slightly perverted women who live in silly dream worlds. We sit down, pick out a pair of ridiculous names for our wildly attractive couple and tap out a fantasy.

And because romance novels “are all the same”, we can submit our work to any publisher we choose, and bam, two months later, have a racy cover sitting on our coffee table.

HA!

This is a crazy cut-throat business. And it is a business. Each publisher has very specific requirements, requiring an author to carefully identify the imprints that most closely align with their story. (I found this trope list with over 50 variations! So much for all being alike.)

Once we’ve picked our publishers, we have to twist our writing into very specific pretzels to meet their submission guidelines. This requires an amazing amount of organization, making sure each publisher gets the three or four uniquely crafted pieces they’ve requested.  For example, when I submitted Catching a Pixie this weekend, I had to develop a:

  • crazed writer4-sentence blurb
  • 200-word summary of book
  • 2-page synopsis
  • full synopsis, including ending
  • query letter listing the trope the book will satisfy
  • first 3 chapters
  • 1000 words capturing the best scene
  • full manuscript
  • marketing plan
  • social media experience
  • publishing history
  • summary of future books in the series

Imagine trying to condense 37,000 words down to 200. Or picking one scene that conveys the heart of the book, the emotion, the humor, the creativity, while still making sense when it is read completely out of context. Gah!

Hopefully, I got all the right pieces to all the right places. And it dazzles the publishers so much that they start a bidding war and I wind up making millions!

But I’ll settle for one email, saying “Hey, we’d like to work with you. Give us a call.” Then I can jump into the rest of the 397 steps to getting published.

Frivolous habit? Definitely not. But fun? ABSOLUTELY!

Romance Writers -Contest Opening

vfrw Finalist BadgeNow Open!

The Valley Forge Romance Writers (VFRW) 2016 The Sheila Contest opened for entries March 13, 2016. VFRW is a local chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and they and their internationally-recognized The Shelia Contest abide by the regulations and philosophy set forth at the national level.

Participation is open to all romance writers who are unpublished, self-published, and published. Entries must be the author’s original unpublished work and not under contract. Submissions will be accepted in the following categories: Single Title, Historical, Erotic, Romantic Suspense and Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal.

Fee 
$25 for VFRW members, $30 for non-members

Important Dates

  • Opens for Entries: March 13, 2016
  • Deadline: April 16, 2016
  • Notification of category winners: June 18

Entry 
You will be asked to submit the first 20 pages of manuscript and an up-to-5-page synopsis, for a total of 25 pages.

Initial entries will be judged by three (3) qualified, trained judges, including: General, PRO* and PAN* members. The top five (5) entries in their categories will be forwarded for a final round of judging by the following publishing professionals:

Categories and Final Judges: 

  • Single Title: Junessa Viloria, Penguin Random House
  • Historical: Stephany Evans, Fine Print Literary Management
  • Erotic: Sara Megibow, KT Literary
  • Romantic Suspense: Alicia Condon, Kensington Publishing
  • Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal: Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency

Top Prizes: The 1st through 4th place winners will receive certificates and have their names printed in Romance Writers Report (RWR) Magazine.

Best of the Best – 1st place winners from the final round will move on to the Best of the Best round, judged by Best Selling Authors and Booksellers:

  • Madeline Hunter – New York Times & USA Today Best Selling Author
  • Mariah Stewart – New York Times & USA Today Best Selling Author
  • Terri Brisbin – USA Today Best Selling Author
  • Joan Silvestro – Indie Bookseller – Hamilton Book Trader
  • Heather Soligo – Traditional Bookseller – Barnes & Nobles, Christiana Mall

Grand Prize for Best of the Best: $100
(*RWA designations)

For more details and submission guidelines, visit the VFRW The Shelia Contest page. 

WOMEN:You’re normal

Do you feel sex is dirty/messy/boring/overrated? Do you have a ‘low sex drive’? Do you feel ‘broken’?

Stop it. You’re not. It isn’t. You’re fine.

Read Come as You Are, and you’ll know why. Dr. Emily Nagoski, a sex educator for twenty years, says everyone is normal (I’m guessing there’s a few disturbed outliers, but you’re probably not one of them, so keep reading.) Her book, based on well-researched, meticulously documented studies not only explains the reasons women have such anxiety about sex, but how they can make it better.

Picture this. It’s the end of a long stressful day and you can’t wait to go to bed. To sleep. But your partner has that look in their eye and you know what that means. You groan (maybe internally, but maybe not) and wonder why don’t you have desire any more. And your partner wonders why you don’t love them any more.

Are you broken?

Nope. Chances are you’ve been “chased by a lion” all day and your body can’t turn off that mental and physical strain. It’s normal. But you can change the way you view sex, react to sex, to make it seem less like a chore and more like a gift.

Dr. Nagoski’s research identifies myths that lead to women considering themselves broken (these are my interpretations of her work and any misrepresentation is my own fault):

  • Myth #1: You should experience spontaneous desire- no matter what your day has been like. If you love your partner and they want sex, your body should automatically flare with interest. In reality, while 75% of men have this ability/reaction/whatever, only about 15% of women have spontaneous desire. The rest are on a slow burn. They need the right mix of “Accelerators and Brakes” as Dr. N calls them.Accelerators are the positive things in your life that get you turned on – it may be sights, sounds, smells, touches, behaviors. And the brakes are what stifles those urges – stress, exhaustion, kids, anger, resentment, sounds, smells, touches, the temperature, your body image, religion, trauma, your upbringing—the list is extensive. The tricky part is learning how to ‘turn on the ons and turn off the offs.’ Everybody’s are different and everybody’s matter. Don’t beat yourself up because having the TV on distracts you. Just turn it off and enjoy the home entertainment.

 

  • Myth #2: Vaginal orgasms are the norm…if you can’t have one, you’re doing it wrong. Only 30% of women have vaginal orgasms, whereas 70% sometimes or NEVER do. It’s actually more normal to have clitoral orgasms. Dr. N explains,”We have all the same parts, just organized differently.” So you not having one is not because your man isn’t big enough or thick enough or goes to slow or too fast, it’s because that’s just the way you are made. It’s fine. Who cares! Take your pleasure however you can.

 

  • Myth #3: After a stressful day, just toss back a glass of wine, and BAM, your sex drive will pop on. Nope, probably not. When experiencing a stressful situation, whether chronic or episodic, your body requires you to finish a cycle to dissipate the stress. This may mean exercise, yoga, talking, meditation, a massage or just breathing until you begin to relax. Then you can consider working on your accelerator. Without completing your stress cycle, you’ll be all brakes.

 

  • Myth #4: There will be a female Viagra that solves all our problems. Viagra fixes a physical problem. For most women, the issue is more mental. If you’re embarrassed by your body, angry at your partner, frustrated by your career, overwhelmed by your children, a pill won’t be able to force desire.

Great, so now what do you do?

Fortunately the fabulous Dr. N. includes worksheets so you can figure out your accelerators, brakes, stressors, hang-ups, moral inhibitors, etc. and address them. Chances are, if you can show your man that giving you a foot massage or letting you take a bath while he does the dishes can lead to orgasm for both of you, he’ll be up for the challenge.

Read the book. You’ll enjoy it. It’s educational, entertaining, enlightening and surprisingly funny. Once you read it, share it with your friends. Hell, share it with your enemies–maybe they’ll stop being such crotchety piss-ants.

If you find any value at all, share it with the world. That’s what I’m doing.

 

This is an unsolicited review. Sorry to sound like such a fan-girl, but really, it’s a good book.

 

woman writing with turkey

4 ways writing a book is like preparing Thanksgiving dinner

woman writing with turkeyWriting a book is a fairly complex undertaking. You don’t just get an idea, then sit down and tap it out.

In honor of NaNo and November’s holiday, I decided to compare writing to cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Just like people have different cooking styles, writers approach their craft with varying degrees of preparation.

At one end of the spectrum are the Plotters. Plotters prepare everything up front. They follow the recipes, measure the ingredients and clean up as they go.

At the other end are the Pantsers (i.e. Seat of your Pants). That’s my strategy, or perhaps lack of strategy. Pantsers cook as they go–throw in a pinch of this, a glop of that, taste, adjust, and serve once you have enough inspired (or edible) offerings.

Regardless of your style, I think every author goes through four basic steps as they cook up their masterpieces.

1. Decide what to serve.

First things first – plan your menu. You make up a list of everything you want to include–keeping in mind what your family likes to eat, how much food to prepare, what dishes are required, and what new things you want to try.

When writing, an author starts with a story idea.

That’s the easy part…the fun part, at least for me. This is when you get to be creative, living in your imaginary world. You start to sketch out a plot based on what your audience likes, what elements are required and include any new twists you hope will keep things interesting.

At this stage, there are no right or wrong answers. If you tell your favorite Aunt Lynn you’re serving beets and she suggests yams instead, maybe you throw in some yams.

2. Research your topic.

Are you going to stick to family favorites or add a new flavor to the stuffing? How many pies do you need for 12 people, what is the difference between shortening and butter, how do you use a Dutch over? This is when you hit Google, call your mom, ask for suggestions on Facebook or talk to friends.

Writers usually spend an awful lot of time on the internet, researching the most bizarre subjects–how long does it take to bleed to death, how many periods in a lacrosse game (it’s 4 quarters, in case you care), and what is the proper way to address a duke in 19th century England?

Even if you’re “writing what you know,” chances are you will need to research something. In my latest book, my characters are a nutritionist and a state trooper. I needed to know how their schedules would conflict over holidays. Luckily, through friends of a friend, I found people who could answer my questions. The trick in this stage is to not spend too much time researching and forget to write.

3. Gather your ingredients and get to work.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, you begin preparations. Will you special order a free-range turkey or a frozen Butterball? Get boxed stuffing or use fresh bread? Do you have enough time and space to cook it all? Once you’ve figured all that out, it’s time to get cooking! Your mission is to create a well-balanced, delicious meal.

Write, write, write. Once you’ve drafted an outline and blurped out the important scenes, the hard part begins. You have to look at everything you’ve written and decide if it all fits together. What’s missing? Are the relationships believable, does the pacing seem right, is the dialogue natural?

After all your work, you may find you’ve got some great scenes, but they don’t advance the plot. Too many desserts and not enough vegetables. It’s painful, but this is when you have to be ruthless and hit that delete button. Your primary goal is to create a satisfying treat for your readers.

4. Time to clean up (Ugh)

After weeks of preparation, you’ve cooked an amazing meal. You set it on the table, family digs in, and hopefully the response is positive. You are savoring that last bite of pumpkin pie, when you turn around and realize the kitchen looks like it was hit by a level four tornado.

It’s time to clean up your manuscript. If  you thought writing a book was hard–editing it is killer. The Find and Replace function is an author’s best friend and most dreaded enemy. You’ll discover your manuscript is littered with filler words, echoes and poor punctuation.

Words like just, look, and that will leap out at you by the hundreds. The same phrase appears over and over in a paragraph, mocking your ridiculously limited vocabulary. He smiled at her, she smiled back and they smiled again. Couldn’t you have thrown in a smirk, a grin or an eye twinkle?

Don’t worry. You’ll get through it. At some point, you’ll look up and discover everything is in its proper place. Giving the counters a final swipe, you’ll heave a contented sigh, and shut off the lights…until next year.

Happy Thanksgiving!


 

Alleigh Burrow’s first book, Dare to Love, includes a duke, marquis and a few earls. Her second manuscript, Catching a Pixie, needed the state trooper’s holiday schedule. And for some reason, her current WIP includes extensive lacrosse references. To date, none of her characters have bled to death, but there’s always a next time.

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Tips from a romance writer’s conference

We’re here to help

Dog says You're AwesomeI attended Put Your Heart in a Book, the New Jersey Romance Writer’s conference last weekend. It’s probably my fifth time, and it felt like I was coming home. If anyone out there is looking for quality writing advice in a manageable sized setting, be sure to check it out.

Let me share some of the important lessons I learned.

  1. Romance writers are one of the most supportive group of people you’ll ever meet

It’s truly remarkable how willing all the attendees–from novice writers to multi-published authors–are to offer tips to each other, compare publisher stories, discuss social media opinions and share self publishing success and failures.

This doesn’t even cover the emotional support you’ll receive. Most every romance author has survived some sort of trauma–physical abuse, loss of a loved one, loss of jobs, serious injury, you name it. Yet they’ve kept writing, kept swinging for the fences and eventually, they have found success.

If you are struggling, and it’s affecting your work or your self worth, just say so. Someone will come over, put their arm around you, share words of inspiration or a comforting piece of chocolate (there is always plenty of chocolate) and you’ll leave with the most important tool for writing. Hope.

 

2. Ways to spark imaginative writing

Kathleen Long (USA Today best selling author) held a session, “Fire up your process with creative storytelling techniques.” She advocates getting outside of your writing to help your story bubble up from within. Focusing too hard, can cause blockages. Channel ideas through these techniques:

Collages – Take a stack of magazines and cut out pictures, words, colors and any other elements that speak to you. Create a collage. Use it to help define your characters or settings. Your subconscious will frequently pinpoint details, conflicts or quirks that you may not have identified. One author shared that she had used taro cards with similar results.

Speech bubbles – draw your character and ask it a question. Then write their answer as a speech bubble. What are they feeling? How do they view the world? What do they want us to know?

Writing prompts– Sometimes your creativity gets stuck. Words won’t flow. Everything you write sounds stupid. You may need to think about something totally unrelated to your current project. Pick a writing prompt and just let loose (like write 500 words about your pet, but include the words clock, pencil and burgundy)

Then there’s non-writing strategies to clear your head:

Color in a coloring book– embrace your inner child and lower your stress through the simple, act of coloring. Use a fancy adult book or a dollar store kid version. Whatever floats your boat.

Take a walk– Get up from your desk and move. Walk, run, yoga, whatever helps clear your mind and silence the demons.

Listen – I mentioned my zen-listening  idea, and the attendees agreed that sitting quietly and experiencing sounds around us could be inspirational.

 

3. Look at the world through a different lens

Young adult author Nisha Sharma had us participate in an interesting exercise. We watched clips from Bollywood movies with strong romantic elements. Because the couples are not allowed to overtly display intimacy (no kissing, and certainly no sex!), and they are speaking another language, the clips emphasized the physical characteristics that built tension.

This helped illustrate how to tap into the essence of your characters to bring their romance, and your writing, to life. I now have a wonderfully rich library of action tags to choose from:

Eyes: sidelong glance to mask interest, lower lashes when caught staring, flicker of a glance to coyly remind them of your interest, and outright staring when you know they aren’t looking.

Hands: gentle touches on the arm, shoulder or hip, reach towards someone and quickly pull away, tuck hair behind ear, put hands behind your back to prevent touching or to enticingly stick out your chest, help them put on their coat or smooth down a lapel and let fingers linger.

Mouth: lick, purse or bite your lips, a sharp inhale when they get too close, a slow exhale after a very satisfying exchange, grit teeth when jealous, mouth drops when first spotting your love.

Behaviors: Talk to a friend/relative and get distracted when the object of your affection walks by. Tilt head or hip when talking, lean in, smother a giggle, offer to pass something then hold onto it or mess with someone else and share a secret laugh/smile about it with lover.

 

There were dozens of other sessions sharing equally valuable tips…but these were the most poignant for me. I hope they help you find some inspiration.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

 

meditation image

A zen tip to better writing

meditation imageListen to the sounds outside of your head.

I was overly stressed this summer, but the book gods took care of me and sent me a boon. There, on the giveaway book table at work, was “Everyday Zen.”

I’m open for anything, so I scooped it up and stole away for a few minutes at lunchtime to see what I could learn. It didn’t take me long to figure out zen required too much time and effort to change my life. But it did suggest one particular exercise that I found very beneficial, not only for my nerves, but for my writing.

Stress, anger, and even pleasure are all just manifestations of your brain. They are not real. They don’t exist. If you clear your head and let the thoughts dissipate, you can become…enlightened, free, a lamp unto yourself (that’s where they lost me.)

BUT to do that, they suggest turning off the noise in your head and become one with the universe. You do that by listening outside of yourself. Sit still and listen…to traffic, the birds, the rest of life that is happening around you.

It’s a fascinating exercise. I had no idea the cicadas were so loud this summer. They buzz like an alien lifeforce day and night.

No matter where I sat, air conditioning units hummed in and around every building. Clocks tick, the cat snores and on a good day, I could hear the marching band practicing two miles away.

I never gave much thought to sounds before, but all of this can be remarkable fodder for books. Sitting in a grocery store, I now know the cash registers ping with every sale. The loudspeaker crackes like a potato chip bag and the lottery machine plays a tune. How much richer and more vivid my scenes will be with that sort of detail?

I’d like offer a hearty shout out to the Buddha dude, for providing some great inspiration.  😉

A hot Irish rugby star…what an intriguing hero

Sexy. Passionate. Fierce. 

That’s how romance author Cd Brennan describes Padraig O’Neale, the hero in her latest novel In Touch. Released September 1, 2015 by Amazon Digital, In Touch introduces us to the rough and tumble world of professional rugby.

I personally know bupkis about rugby–other than it uses an odd looking football-ish thing and involves something called a scrum–but after reading Brennan’s book blurb, I’m more than willing to learn.

Let me know what you think…

In Touch book coverIrish rugby star, Padraig O’Neale, has fecked up his life and is one angry man. When caught using a banned substance for his back pain, Padraig is excused from both his provincial club and the Irish International team. Right before World Cup selection.

Out of choices, his agent convinces Padraig to play for a small American club in Michigan. Just until things settle down. But when Coach asks the team physical therapist, Gillian Sommersby, to help the newest Blues player with his issues, Padraig finds himself trying every wacky treatment out there from stinky salves to music to yoga.

Like her therapies, the therapist herself is a bit…odd. The cute college grad in Converse and glasses doesn’t seem all that impressed with Padraig’s celebrity status, nor gives a shite about his excuses. As it turns out, she might be exactly what he needs…

Available in print or for e-readers.

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And because I never buy a book without first rifling through the pages, here’s a tantalizing tidbit to tempt you:

Gillian unzipped her bag where she’d placed it on the table and grabbed a small jar of ointment. “I’ll use one of my special treatments on—”

“I’m not interested.” Padraig took a step back.

“I can show you some exercises specifically for the lower back, and if you apply this cream twice a day, you’ll notice a change within a week.”

His fist clenched at his side. “I told you I’m not interested in your help. I have a routine that my physio back home gave me. That’s working.”

“You’re not in pain?”

He crossed his arms over his chest. “Nope.”

But she could tell he was lying by the way his eyes had darted to the corner of the room and back before he’d answered. The way they shone, all glassy. The way he walked with stiffness in his step. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. Not anymore.

“Take your shirt off, please, and lie on the table with your head at the far side. I’m sure you are familiar with massage. Head goes down in the center.”

Padraig was staring at her as if she’d grown two heads. Maybe she had a ketchup stain on her tank top. She held the shirt out but saw nothing. Huh.

At his almost imperceptible nod, her courage grew. Just like any client. “Lie here on your stomach.”

He did as instructed and settled his head onto his overlapped hands. She lifted his hips to lower his track pants so they rode low on his bum. Sweet mercy. His ass was divine. Rounder and juicier than a summer cantaloupe.

But she was a professional, and he, a client. And a jock. A deep breath in and out. Gillian uncapped the jar and rubbed her palms with the ointment.

“What the hell is that smell?”

“None of your worry. It works really well. Hasn’t anyone told you the smellier the concoction, the better the results?”

“Just like Rory. You are all mad,” came muffled through the table.

“Crazy knows crazy. Now shush.”

She started at his lower lumbar and moved her hands in sweeping motions up his back, around his side, under his armpits, and finally over his shoulders. She began again at his lower back and kneaded and rolled along his spine, then outward, circling her palms over knotted muscles. Hitching his pants lower, she delved under his boxer band, massaging the top of his bum, smoothing the muscle out and away from his spine.

As normally happened once she was in rhythm, the time ticked by. After a few repetitions along his torso, she stopped to check on him.

He appeared to be asleep. The endorphins released by the massage weighted him to the table, as happened with most of her clients when they fell into a peaceful lethargy. So quiet, she couldn’t hear him breathe. Wide back, broad shoulders, dark, tousled hair. A man any woman would want. Except for Gillian. He was no Lloyd Dobler.

She should really be getting him up and out the door so he could catch his lift from Del, but she couldn’t get herself to do it. So she took a seat on one of the chairs along the wall. Leaning her elbow on her knee and resting her jaw in her hand, she watched him sleep. A dark, manly brow that had finally relaxed. Black, thick lashes. Strong nose and a top lip that came to a defined point.

He was gorgeous, really.

She was so mesmerized that when his eyes blinked open, she screamed. Just like in a horror movie when the corpse comes to life. She had scrambled halfway up her chair when he let out a laugh.

Her hand over her racing heart, she didn’t see the humor, but then, he’d only opened his eyes, which didn’t normally elicit such a dramatic response. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him move, first to sitting where he waited a few beats, then onto his feet.

As he was pulling his shirt over his head, Del barged through the door. “Everything all right here?”


About the Author

CD Brennan picHaving traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. Feisty heroines with wanderlust or sexy rugby heroes who breathe passion for more than just the sport.

Aussie/Yankee twined, Cd is now settled in Michigan with a rugby player of her own and two wee sons who are still adapting to the snow. A full-time editor and mum, her and her hubby still dream of starting up a buffalo farm. And maybe some chickens and pigs, too. She loves rugby, traveling, and all things from the 80s.

Doesn’t watch TV so don’t chat to her about that, but she loves to hear from readers about anything else! Perhaps some cooking suggestions? She’s desperate in the kitchen! Find her on loads of your favorite places.

 Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads

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Two-for-one books not a Myth

Myth and Magic cover artDo you enjoy contemporary romance with a splash of danger?

Mae Clair’s latest book, Myth and Magic, features Veronica Kent, who fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children, playing games of myth and magic.

She was certain he was the man she was destined to marry, but a traumatic event led Caith to fear their future together. He left Veronica, to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning home, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

Myth and Magic goes on sale June 9, and if you purchase it June 8-10, you can get a second book Eclipse Lake for free! (You can actually get it for free without buying M&M, but why would you?)
Eclipse Lake cover artEclipse Lake by Mae Clair

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

MYTH AND MAGIC (Kensington Publishing) goes on sale June 9, 2015, but you can pre-order from these bookstores:

Amazon.  |   Barnes and Noble.  |  Kobo.  |.  iTunes   |.  Kensington Publishing

 

 

To learn more about Mae Clair, visit her:

Website

Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1) Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Kensington Books Author Page Goodreads  

Pinterest

Dare to Love cover art

DARE TO LOVE – on sale for $1.99

Dare to Love cover artGet it while it’s hot!

Dare to Love, my regency romance novel is on sale for a limited time. It has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so don’t even think it’s being “put in the back on the discount rack, like another can of beans” (thank you Billy Joel).

Nope. It’s a charming, amusing, challenging novel featuring Lord Dare Landis, a handsome heartless rake, and Nivea Horsham, the sweet plump sister of Landis’ best friend. She has worshiped him since she was a young girl, but he knows better than to trifle with an innocent. Especially since the Horshams are the closest thing Dare has to family.

Much like Johnny Depp in The Libertine, you will not like Dare Landis in the beginning. He is a right bastard, cold and arrogant toward everyone–friend or foe. But there’s a reason.

And once Nivea discovers that reason, she is even more determined to win his love.

Don’t be concerned that Nivea is nothing but a wilting wallflower. She is surprisingly strong, secure in her own beliefs. Her only weak spot, being the unattainable Lord Landis. Unattainable, that is, until the fateful trip to her family’s country estate.

Please take a peek and let me know what you think. Reviews are always appreciated!

Thank you to Lyrical Press/Kensington Publication for believing in me. While this was my first romance novel, it will not be my last!

In His Corner coverart

Love is “In His Corner”

In His Corner coverartVina Arno loves to write, and she is not constrained by genre. This month, her first novel In His Corner, was released by Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp. It’s a contemporary romance featuring a boxer named the Juggernaut, and an emergency room doctor.

Vina has also worked as a journalist and written an historical novel featuring Douglas MacArthur. She was kind enough to get in the ring with me and answer a few hard-hitting questions (just kidding…we’re all friends here.)

Who’s your favorite character in the book?

Both the hero, Tommy Raines, and the heroine, Siena Carr. He’s an Olympic gold-medalist boxer known as the Juggernaut and she’s an ER doctor. They’re opposites. She was born into money, while he comes from a blue-collar family. She’s an Ivy League graduate; he’s a college dropout.  She heals people, while he knocks them out.

Is your personality more like your hero or heroine?

I’m nothing like my characters. The only thing I share with Siena is my love for Italy. In the book, her parents named her after the Italian city. It’s no coincidence that Siena is my favorite Italian city. I started writing this book one week after returning from Tuscany.

What’s your favorite scene and why?

My favorite is the first chapter, which is set inside an ER—a very unlikely place for romance. The Juggernaut goes there for stitches and Siena is the attending physician who treats him.  They have a singular encounter that leads to a hot but rocky relationship.

What did you get stuck on when writing this book?

I’m very lucky that I didn’t get stuck at all. Writing this romance book was a “treat” for me after spending 10 years researching, writing, and rewriting a historical novel about Douglas MacArthur, the iconic World War II general. I started writing In His Corner two months after I finished rewriting the MacArthur novel.

What’s next?

My literary agent, Paula Munier, is shopping my MacArthur novel to editors. I’m also writing another romance story.

Buy Links

In His Corner by Vina Arno, published by Lyrical Press, is available at:

Amazon.com   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo Books   |   Kensington Books   |   iTunes

Google

About Vina Arno

Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi, a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her short stories have been published in the Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

Read this Forbes article about Vina Arno:

3 Career Reinvention Tips From A Reporter Turned Romance Writer 

Learn more about Vina Arno at:                  

Web site: www.cindyfazzi.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Fazzi/779654065440439

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9800535.Vina_Arno

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CindyFazzi/about