Several of the Jaunty Quills were in San Antonio last week for the Romance Writers of America conference. We thought you’d like to see some photos from the conference (at the bottom of the page, there’s a legend telling about each photo).
1. Cindy and Nancy with former Jaunty Emily McKay at the Harlequin Party.
2. Cindy and Nora Roberts.
3. The gorgeous decorations at the Harlequin party.
4. Friday was Cindy’s birthday. Harlequin threw a big party just for her. Shhh! Don’t tell her they the party was for everyone.
5. The annual Jaunty Quills breakfast.
6. Kristan and Alexander Rodriguez.
7. Nancy at the Harlequin authors book signing (signing Cindy’s birthday card).
8. Kristan at the Harlequin authors book signing.
9. Nancy and Kathy before the workshop they presented.
10. Nancy, Jane Porter, and Kathy at the Harlequin party.
11. Raeanne Thayne, Nancy, and Kristan.
12. Cindy, Nancy, Kathy and Harlequin editor Susan Litman at the Harlequin party.
13. Harlequin editor Patience Bloom and Cindy at the Harlequin party.
14. Nancy and Kathy.
15. Robyn at the RWA Literacy signing.
16. Shana looking beautiful before her publisher’s party.
17. Shana and Mia before the Golden Heart and Rita awards.
18. Shana at the RWA Literacy signing.
19. Nancy at the RWA Literacy book signing.
20. Nancy, Kathy, and Mary Louise Wells realize former Jaunty Terri Brisbin was on their flight home.
21. Kristan, Gail Kirkpatrick Chianese, Virginia Kantra, and Jesse.
Sandi in OH!!
Sandi, please email me and I’ll get you in touch with Ann Lawrence!
Thanks to everyone who posted….
I’ve known Ann Lawrence since we both got published around the same time and ran into each other at a conference. She’s been one of my favorite authors, especially her medieval historicals, since I read that first book! I’m so excited to see her books re-released in digital formats and even more thrilled to know she’s working on a NEW medieval romance — so please meet my friend, Ann Lawrence. . . .
Before I tell you a little about what inspired my books, I have to say I’m so happy to be a guest here at Jaunty Quills! I was really worrying about what to write (I’m a champion worrier). I can write for hours as long as it’s fiction! But a blog is non-fiction and that just makes me freeze, fingers hovering over the keyboard, mind blank!Do you like to know what goes on behind the scenes of a play?
Do you like to know what inspired an author to write a story? I find I’m asked this question all the time.
Luckily, while I was pondering what to write, I received two emails from readers asking me where I got the idea for my paranormal romance, VIRTUAL HEAVEN. By the time I’d answered the emails, I’d pretty much written my JQ blog.
I could have given this blog many different titles: All the Bits of Me I Find in My Stories, How I Murdered My Sister, or Animals Can Steal the Show, but they were way too long, so I’m sticking to The Story Behind the Story.
Before I get to VIRTUAL HEAVEN, I need to tell you an anecdote. While I was writing a book, my sister rescued a greyhound. I just loved Trina, and that led to thinking about dogs and the medieval hunt. The hunt theme provided me with a metaphor for the hero’s pursuit of not only a traitor, but also the heroine. While my critique group was going over the story with me, one writer friend said, “It’s so nice you put your dad in your story.” I hadn’t even realized what I was doing!
There are many parts of my dad in Nat, Joan Swan’s father in LORD OF THE HUNT. Joan’s trying to protect her dad’s livelihood as he struggles with his failing memory as my dad was as well. My dad’s also in VIRTUAL DESIRE in that he drew the treasure map for the book. He drew lots of treasure maps for my kids, and they spent many happy hours with their granddad searching for buried treasure. Here’s one map he and my son made:
But when it comes to paranormal romances, the bits of me in the story are not so obvious. They’re there, just a bit more hidden. I taught fifth grade science when I first began writing my “virtual” series. I went to a conference on virtual reality at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute. I tried out the latest in VR equipment aimed at the gaming world. It was so realistic and fun that I just had to put it in a book, but I needed a game for VIRTUAL HEAVEN that would appeal to someone like me who loves swords and quests and warriors. I combined them all and made a “time-travel” into a fantasy game called Tolemac Wars.
All my settings exist, although I’ve “altered” them for my paranormal romances. My castles are based on my favorites in England. I’m especially fond of Rochester Castle as I was born nearly in its shadow.
So, my inspiration comes from the places and the people and the animals I love. It’s as simple as that. Here’s my latest helper/beta reader. Tiger Lily’s searching for her name. She’s also interested in the rats in the historical romance I’m working on that will be out in late fall (the one thing my hero fears). I guess I’ll have to give her a story of her own!
How about you? Do you like to know what goes on behind the scenes of a play? Do you like to know what inspired an author to write a particular story? I’m offering a free digital download of VIRTUAL HEAVEN, being reissued this month as an ebook (winner’s choice of digital format), to one lucky person who comments on my blog. Winner will be announced on Sunday, August 18, 2013.
Nothing extraordinary has ever happened to MAGGIE O’Brien until the day she plays a fantasy game for the first time. Something goes awry and Maggie finds herself in a world engulfed in war–a world of warriors and quests. When KERED comes to her rescue, Maggie can’t deny his devastating effect on her, and once she falls in love, she has only one decision to make . . . his world or hers.
Kneeling at the edge of the brook, Maggie ignored Kered’s presence and scrubbed her underwear. Just as she gave them a final rinse, he reached over and plucked them away.
“You wretch!” Maggie squealed as Kered held her panties over her head at eye level.
“What manner of garment is this?’’
“Give…me…my…underwear!” Maggie bit out.
He scratched his head. “How would such a thing keep you warm?”
“They’re not supposed to keep you warm.” Maggie tried to snag the panties, but he blocked her with his shoulder.
“What purpose do they serve?” He flipped them inside out, splayed his fingers, and peered inside the waistband.
Maggie’s pressed her hands to her face in mortification.
Kered raised his eyes in bafflement, then froze. “Maggie,” he said, and placed a hand on her shoulder, “forgive me.”
He extended her panties. She snatched them from his hand. In strained silence, they moved to the fire’s side, where she knelt and spread her underwear on a rock. She fussed with them to avoid speaking to Kered, who crouched at her side.
“I have shamed you. My only excuse is…surprise. I have never seen such a garment, but ‘tis no real justification for my behavior.”
“I forgive you,” Maggie murmured, tears glistening in her eyes. “It’s not this.” She gestured to her steaming underwear. “It’s not being trusted.”
“I trust you.” He slipped his fingers into her hair, drawing her forward, his mouth crushing down on hers.
She moaned softly. When he parted his lips, she thrust her tongue into his mouth.
“Nilrem’s knees!” Kered flung himself back on his heels, staring at her in bewilderment. “This…I…by…what?”
Maggie reached out and pressed her fingers to his lips. “Don’t you kiss like that, here on Tolemac?”
“By the sword, no!” He drew her forward until only a sheet of paper could have separated them. “It is spoken that some pleasure slaves are taught special wiles to tempt a man to betray his duties. Are you tempting me to forget my quest?”
Maggie frowned. “You think I’m deliberately tempting you from your mission?’’
“I do not know. One moment you are like sweet innocence. The next…artful.”
She began to shake in his arms. “No. No. I wouldn’t do that to you. I’m not tempting you from anything. You started it. You kissed me.”
Kered nodded. He pulled her so close she could feel his breath on her mouth. “Aye. I began this.” He lowered his head. “Again, Maggie. Taste me, again.”
Maggie froze. First his distrust, next the humiliation of having her ragged underwear inspected, and now he thought her an artful temptress, luring him from his quest. And still, he wanted a kiss.
She pushed him away and rose, shaking out her skirts. “No. I won’t be accused of tempting you from your sacred mission. I have no desire to kiss you. One kiss was quite enough for me.”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since I joined the rest of the Sisterhood here on the Jaunty Quills! But it has been and I’ve enjoyed being part of this wonderful, talented group of authors from all over the romance world. I’ve blogged about my deadline binges ‘o writing, about my love of Gerard Butler and other Scots/gorgeous men, my stalker-ish behavior towards Rick Springfield, my attendance at writing events and conferences, my family and holiday celebrations and many other things.
I’ve written 10 novels, novellas and short stories since I began here, too. And have a bunch more to write!
I’ve really enjoyed our time together and hope you all have, too. The Jaunties will still be here, we’ve added new members and there are exciting plans in the making.
And most importantly, keep reading romances!
Terri is currently working on the first in her new WARRIORS OF DESTINY series for NAL – coming in 2015! And she’s thrilled to share a first peek at the cover of her upcoming Harlequin Historical – The Highlander’s Dangerous Temptation – coming in November 2013. Please visit her website or FB page for lots more info!
When I was planning out my next book, I was faced with a serious question and a quandary — could a flawed man, a selfish one, who is bad at the beginning of a story really change and be a hero by the end? Would readers accept that a man who sends another man on a mission that ends in that man’s death, simply to give himself a chance to seduce the man’s wife?
As I began thinking about the last of my MacLerie Clan stories, I was ‘inspired’ by the Biblical story of David and Bathsheba — FYI – King David wanted/lusted after his friend Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. Since he was king and couldn’t commit adultery(multiple wives and concubines aside), he sent Uriah to the frontlines of battle to get him killed — then seducing Bathsheba wouldn’t be adultery. So, Uriah goes to the battle, gets killed and David gets Bathsheba. (there were lots of other consequences to this, of course!) I definitely planned to change some of that — but I really wanted to build on the premise.
So, when you read or write a romance, can the hero be a bad man at the beginning of the story as long as he’s heroic at the end? I mean I completely understand and agree that the hero being heroic is part of the process of a romance — he must be worthy of the heroine’s love in order to find that Happily-Ever-After. To me that’s a deal-breaker. But I don’t mind a bad boy. . . or a seriously bad/dangerous alpha male who is redeemed by love. I love a Regency rake or a medieval rogue. I love a tormented man, molded by his past, who must shatter the chains of that past to claim love.
What about you? Should a man who causes the death of another man in order to seduce his wife find happiness eventually? Is there any ‘deal-breaker’ hero/man for you in a romance? Anything that will stop you from enjoying a romance? Tell me — please!
Terri is working on her next book, the final (!!) MacLerie Clan romance for Harlequin Historicals. Visit her website for lots of info about her, her books and events!