Road Trip & Summer News

What a gorgeous August we’re having here in central Illinois! Mild weather, no bugs, and sunshine nearly everyday. I’ve been taking advantage of the unseasonably lovely weather to play in my garden, but starting tomorrow I’m off on a road trip with my good friend, Jade Lee. We’ll be driving to Pennsylvania, spending a week at a Bed and Breakfast at a writing retreat with three other writer friends and then driving back. On the way home we hope to stop by several bookstores to take a break and sign stock. Stay tuned!

I have wonderful news! I’ve just signed a contract with my publisher for a new contemporary romance under my alter ego, Julia Harper. I’m writing it right now and it’s tentatively scheduled for release summer of 2014.

In other news I’ll be appearing at Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Luncheon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 26, 2014. Many other authors are attending, including the wonderful Debbie Macomber, who will be the luncheon speaker. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Appearances

I hope you’ve noticed the gorgeous cover for Duke of Midnight–scroll over the cover to see the stepback. I hope to start posting excerpts next month.

Meanwhile, conference season starts officially for me with the RT Book Reviews Convention in Kansas City next week. On Friday I’ll be accepting the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romance of 2012 for Thief of Shadows.

If you’re attending the convention, here are the other places I’ll be:

Wednesday, 1:15 p.m. Historical Panel: The Invention of Romance
Friday, 5:00 p.m. Team Romance Trivia Extravaganza
Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Giant Book Fair
Saturday 5:00 p.m. Jade Lee’s Birthday Party Roast

May 1st marks the opening of Brenda Novak’s month-long online auction to benefit juvenile diabetes. I’ve donated several items of interest:

Enjoy!

My Excellent Adventure at BEA

Book Expo America (BEA) is a humungous yearly trade show for the publishing industry. This year’s BEA was held in New York City. Grand Central Publishing and my most wonderful editor, Amy Pierpont, invited me to come out and attend, so I did.

First up I went to the Grand Central Publishing (GCP) offices, which (surprise!) are very close to Grand Central Station. There’s a security desk for visitors to check in and get a sticker with their photo on it. My photo always looks like I’ve just been mugged. Then one goes through a security gate and into the elevators which have no buttons on the inside. This is important because every time I visit my publisher, some random kind stranger explains the elevators (you have to choose your floor before you get in.) Visitors must get stuck in the elevators a lot.

Amy’s office has a view of the Chrystler Building. It is true that you have to stand at the extreme right side of the window and lean waaaaay over to see it, but is there. Despite this fact, my editor’s chair faces away from her window. Apparently only out of town tourists gawk at the Chrystler Building. Whilst in Amy’s office I’m given a bunch of Thief of Shadows books to sign. It is the first time I’ve seen my book in print and I may’ve surreptitiously caressed one or two.

Editors Selina McLemore and Lauren Plude join us and then it’s time to go downstairs to look for the car that’s supposed to take us to a GCP luncheon for bloggers. No one is sure which street the car is parked on, but that’s okay, because it’s a beautiful sunny day in NYC and I don’t mind wandering around for a bit. At last we find the car and we’re off to a lovely Italian restaurant whose name I’ve already forgotten. Inside are a whole bunch of bloggers including Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Jane Litte from Dear Author, Barbara Vey from Beyond Her Book, Bette-Lee Fox, Managing Editor for Library Journal, and Sara Reyes from Fresh Fiction. We also meet up with Beth de Guzman, Editor-in-Chief at GCP, Nick Small, our publicist, LaToya Smith, another GCP editor, Jill Shavis, fabulous author, Eloisa James (which momentarily confuses me before I remember that she writes the online romance review blog for Barnes and Noble,) and Audrey Goodson who wrote the lovely, lovely cover article on moi for the July issue of RT Book Reviews. Whew! There are other fabulous GCP authors and bloggers, but at this point the room is kind of crowded and they are sitting waaay at the other end of the table, so I don’t remember who they are.

We have a lovely lunch during which all the bloggers tell me they hated the Blogger Day at BEA. Dessert is tiramisu, but I only get two bites because we have to find a cab and run off to the Javits Center where the BEA is being held and I have an interview with Kobo.

BEA is very, very big and features huge booths for publishing houses you’ve heard of. Every few steps we have to stop so that an editor (or publicist) can hug someone because apparently everyone in publishing knows everyone else. The Kobo interview is fun and I score two Kobo mugs with blackboard sides in case I want to write something to Mr. Hoyt in the morning with his coffee (“You forgot to shave.”) Then we hurry off to the RWA booth where I am suppose to be signing, BUT! on the way, I see RUTH RENDELL, in the flesh, signing books. A bored person (who has obviously never read RUTH RENDELL) tells me that I have to get in line if I want Ms. Rendell’s signature, but I tell her that’s okay, I just want to gawk for a bit.

So I do.

Then we find the RWA booth where there is a gratifyingly large line already waiting for me to sign Scandalous Desires, which is up for a RITA (have I mentioned?) After that I’m done and we can’t find a cab so I hike through the garment district! In the rain! I enjoy it more than my editor.

The End

Okay, actually, then I stay anther four days in NYC and see Book of Mormon and One Man, Two Guvnors, and spend one entire day at the Met and eat too much and still can’t get a cab to save my life, oh, my God, but that’s another story.