Kicking off the Romance Authors Extravaganza today is the one and only Kimberly Lang, whose sizzling romances consistently hit the bestseller lists. Over to you, Kimberly!
Hi and thanks for having me here today!
I'm just back from a reader convention in beautiful Gatlinburg, Tennessee. As always, I'm completely exhausted - too much fun will do that to you - but energized as well. There's nothing quite like spending time with Readers to remind me that this writing gig isn't just about me, and I always come home wanting to work so that I can have another book to share.
When I first started writing, the idea of a Reader was really something I only understood in the abstract. I mean, I knew (or at least I hoped) that people would read my books, and I wanted to write books that readers would enjoy. But "Readers" were almost mythical beings; we talked about them, hoped to please them, but actually seeing them? Talking to them? It wasn't something I could wrap my head around and really, truly, believe in.
Which is why I love reader events. It turns out that Readers are real! They come in all kinds of varieties from all walks of life, and they love books as much as I do. It's so much fun to meet people who can dissect the nuances of the Alpha Male, appreciate the beauty of the grovel, and sigh over the perfect kiss. With readers, I can make a comparison to Jamie Fraser or Ash and it's not only understood, but also met with same melt of the heart.
And readers are so much fun! Away from the pressures of day-to-day life and surrounded by others who "get" them, anything goes! (I felt like quite the party pooper sometimes with my "it's really late. I have to go to bed" whine.) I'm telling you, the energy was just terrific, and I laughed so much my cheeks hurt.
(There's only one damper on events like this: so many people introduce themselves and say "I'm not a writer. I'm just a reader." Just a reader? Ack! I hate that phrase. Readers make this possible. Without Readers, writers are people in their pajamas talking to themselves. Readers make the voices in my head a viable career instead of a reason to be institutionalized. Please promise me you'll never call yourself "just a reader." You're a Reader with a capital R and should be respected as such.)
So I'm home now and nowhere near caught up on my sleep, but I'm completely psyched to write something new and fun for all the Readers out there. It's a little like pressure, but in the best possible sense of it. I'm feeling creative, but the creativity is coming from a different source - it's a side effect of all that terrific energy that the Readers fed me over the weekend.
So I'm off to start something new. Something I hope the Readers will enjoy. And I'm already looking forward to the next time I get to hang out with more awesome Readers. (But I may have to take a quick nap first!)
In the meantime, I do have a book out this month: Redemption of a Hollywood Starlet, the last book in my Marshall brothers trilogy. (And I have a huge crush on Finn...)
Here's the blurb:
A rich, powerful family that mixes business, politics... and pleasure.
If the US had a royal family - this would be it!
The tabloids just couldn't get enough of A-List couple hotshot producer Finn Marshall and Hollywood wild-child Caitlyn Reese. Then Caitlyn fled the glaring lights of Tinseltown, leaving an indelible mark on the Walk of Fame - and an empty seat on the back of his motorbike.
Now Cait is back! She's still got the X-factor, and Finn is struggling to banish his X-rated thoughts! Because one thing is for sure...he isn't just interested in a quick Hollywood retake...To interest him, it'll have to be a full-budget epic remake...
This is the third Marshall book. The other two are The Privileged and the Damned and The Power and the Glory.
Please come visit my website at www.BooksByKimberly.com or find me on Facebook or Twitter (@BooksByKimberly)
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
‘Tis the Season
It’s that time of year again: we’re all getting our nails done and strapping on our dancing shoes to watch our friends and loved ones march down the aisle. Or perhaps some of us are marching down the aisle ourselves. In the spirit of the season, I figured I’d blog about Lisa Scott’s Wedding Flirts, which I, for one, fell head over heels in love with.
Wedding Flirts is a collection of five romantic short stories. These sweet – and often hilarious tales – are fine as stand-alones, but because they’re loosely tied together, they work beautifully as a collection. The final story features all the couples from the previous tales, united at the world’s wackiest wedding.
The collection opens with “My Fake Fiancé” in which our heroine hires a hot guy to act the part of her fiancé at her long-time frenemy’s wedding. Their roles soon begin to feel natural… very natural. Next up is “Bridesmaid Blues” where our heroine, a committed singleton finds herself smitten with the quintessential marriage-minded man. “The One That Got Away” is an emotional tale about lost love, and an old couple being reunited at the worst possible time – right before they’re both getting married to other people. “Wedding Auditions” is hands-down the most hysterical story I’ve read in ages. The love story is absolutely fabulous, but I have to say the bridezilla – a secondary character – kinda steals the show. And finally in “Do Over” the wedding photographer who’s popped up in most of the previous stories encounters her high school crush and is forced to relive her most humiliating moment. But she didn’t get the whole picture way back when…
One thing I loved about the collection was that the stories were incredibly varied. Some of them were lighter than others. Some were a bit somber, touching on serious subjects such as terminal illness. There was a mixture of first-person and third-person perspective, and one of the stories, “Wedding Auditions” was told strictly from the heroine’s point of view.
All in all, Wedding Flirts is a delightful read. The stories were packed with LOL moments, one of which I absolutely must share with you.
In “Bridesmaid Blues” Mikki, the committed singleton, has already expressed her desire for Ben, the handsome groomsman who’s looking to settle down. Although he plainly informed her that he’s not interested in a one-night stand, they’ve got crazy chemistry, and her frustrations are increasing by the moment. He’s on the dance floor with every old lady and little girl in the wedding party, and Mikki keeps trying to cut in. But each time she makes her attempt, someone else moves in and snatches him up for the next dance.
Lisa Scott writes, “I was about to tie my white g-string on a stick to announce I was giving up.”
And I just about fell out of my chair, laughing.
Although I’ve only recently discovered Lisa Scott, she’s got loads of short stories and short story collections out – which I have to say is kind of bittersweet news for me. (I want to read them all immediately, but my to-be-read list is already the size of a small mountain.) Seriously, though, if you’re a fan of well-written love stories that make you giggle like a schoolgirl, you should check her work out. Here’s a link to her site: http://wwwreadlisascott.com As a final note, I must mention that one of her short story collections is entitled 15 Shades of Pink. How fabulous is that? Gotta love this gal…
And now for the prizes: I’m giving out an e-book copy of Wedding Flirts AND of Fashioning a Romance, my debut novel. The contest is open internationally.
How to enter:
I want to know what your favorite shade of pink is. Bubblegum? Salmon? Fuschia? Dusky rose? Whatever you choose, simply comment on this blog with your preferred pink and your email address. I’ll choose two different winners when the hop ends after June 22. Here's a list to the host blog. Happy hopping!
Friday, June 1, 2012
As you may have deduced from the cover, a large chunk of Fashioning a Romance takes place in Paris. I didn’t know I’d send my characters there when I first started writing the story, but I needed to get them out of London and the City of Love seemed like the obvious destination. Paris truly is the most romantic city in the world. Well… it’s the most romantic city I’ve ever been to.
I must admit, I wasn’t all that stoked about going there my first time. Confession time: don’t laugh but… I think I’d seen Peewee’s Big Adventure one too many times and if you recall, the waitress Peewee encounters is obsessed with Paris. And as I got older I came across other (non-fictional) people who were obsessed with Paris. To me, Paris seemed like a cliché sort of place, so it wasn’t high on my list of cities I wanted to visit. But a few years ago when my mom and sister planned a trip there, I decided on a whim to tag along. It was pre-9/11 when flights were dirt-cheap and I flew from NYC to Paris for around $300 if memory serves. And the moment I arrived, I was utterly besotted.
But why? What is it about this city that enchants us so? In Fashioning a Romance, Caitlyn wonders the very same thing as she goes for a solitary stroll along the Seine. Her theory is that because so many people visit Paris when they’re already feeling romantic – like for honeymoons or just sweet romantic weekends – the city is constantly pulsating with amorous vibes. That it’s the people who populate Paris at any given moment who make it romantic, rather than the city itself.
Perhaps. Then again the beauty of the place (the gorgeous stonework, the gold-leaf bridges, the hidden narrow lanes and unexpected statues dotted everywhere) could have something to do with it, as could the relaxed and unhurried atmosphere.
The truth is: there is no correct answer, I’m afraid. Thirza Vallois, author of Romantic Paris writes,
“For decades I tried to figure out why Paris is shrouded in such mystique. Granted, walks at night along the Seine are enchanting, but that alone cannot explain why the very mention of Paris has always conjured up tales of romance, well before it was blessed with gas or electricity, well before its exquisitely lit street-corners were replicated the world over in black-and-white print. After all, medieval Paris was a dark den of filth, reeking with nauseous stench, and the two sinister prison fortresses that jutted out of its skyline could hardly have been conducive to romance. Not to mention the 32 rotting corpses dangling in the offing when the royal gallows was used to full capacity. Yet the myth has been perpetuated for a good thousand years.
“I racked my brains, I dug into the past, I travelled into my own psyche looking for an answer, but I came back empty-handed. There simply is no answer. There lies the beauty of the enigma. Paris is poetry, Paris is mystery, Paris is beauty – an exasperating decoy that never quite delivers, all the more compelling for its imperfection, the archetypal reservoir of all our passions.”