Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If you love westerns, I've got a definite recommendation for you.

is the latest release from my author, Sabine Starr. It's the story of a gorgeous saloon singer/outlaw and the US Marshall who think he's going to lock her up. Maybe he can lead her to redemption or maybe not, but he's sure to have a wild ride with her along the way.  Sabine Starr comes from a family with long-standing western ties, so she definitely knows of what she writes.  I hope you enjoy.

And if you're not yet convinced, check out the book trailer here on her publisher's website.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Release: Goddess in the Middle

We're pleased to announce the release of the third book in the Goddess series: Goddess in the Middle.


Romulus and Remus are sexy werewolf cousins with an unbreakable bond. When they meet beautiful goddess Amity and save her from an encroaching demon, they discover that the three of them together are way more powerful than any of them could ever have imagined. And they're going to need that power to overcome the forces that are determined to steal Amity's magic and destroy the two men. As different as night and day, and each an amazing man in his own right, Rom and Remy make all of Amity's deepest fantasies come true ...

Also check out: How to Worship a Goddess and What A Goddess Wants

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Release: Just One Taste by Celeste Norfleet

An appetite for seduction... 
Every woman on Key West is swooning over newcomer Chase Buchanan. All except bakery owner Nikita Coles. Bad enough that he's bought the building next door, blocking Nikita's plans to expand her business. Worse, he works for a big oil company. She can't trust the man or his motivations, even if he does look good enough to eat....
Convincing Nikita to sell her property will be a challenge, but Chase is ready for it. The Coles family has a rich history on Key West, but the Buchanans never give up on what they want. Seduction begins as a business strategy, and quickly becomes the most pleasurable experience of Chase's life. Yet winning the battle of wills could mean losing the love he never expected to find....

Thursday, July 5, 2012


What with the massive power outages depriving the Washington, DC, area of its usual air-conditioned comfort this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to describe heat. In the books I’ve been reading about summer, what it all comes down to, from what I can tell, is pacing. A hot summer novel, whether it be romance, mystery, or a classic, has to have slow-moving characters and action because no one wants to run around in that heat. When the characters move and think slowly, and the novel is paced correctly, it’s easy to feel the blanket of hot air on your skin.

Good pacing is important in other settings as well, though. Each individual scene of a novel needs to be paced to build optimal tension. This does not mean that each scene needs to be fast-paced to create tension; in fact, among the novels we’ve been reading lately, a continuous fast pace has broken tension because the reader cannot continue to keep up with unrelenting speed. Instead of constant high-pace or high action scenes, think about what mood you want to set for the scene and the section. If you want the grand discovery at the end of Chapter Eight to be incredibly tense, a slow build can make all the difference. Of course this all needs to be adjusted for each novel, but we’d love to read some stories where the pacing really makes us feel the heat!

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Release: Wild Thing by Tawny Weber!

A new treat for those who’ve loved Tawny’s earlier “bedtime stories”and a delight for those looking for a new sexy short read.  Besides what’s not to like: dogs, a hunky guy and great romance. Let me know what you think.
Quick synopsis: When groomer Andrea Tanner finds herself tied up and with one of her employers prized pooches dog napped, she definitely hopes for a hero. But the hero she expected wasn’t hunky private eye Percy Graham, whose body still fills her fantasies as she fills up his dreams. The two set out to catch a dog napper, if the passion between them doesn't catch them first….

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beginning in the Middle

Lately, we’ve gotten a lot of submissions that could use to begin in the middle. The submissions are interesting, well written, and, ultimately, enjoyable. But before we can get to the interesting parts, they’re weighed down by heavy backstory, long descriptions of setting, or by the story just not starting in the right place. In those first few pages, the reader doesn’t need to know every detail about the character before the story starts: that’s what the book is for! Nor do we need to know about the character’s entire surroundings. Description is good, but it should entice and intrigue, not weigh down your beginning.

Now, in terms of the reading I’ve been doing this summer, why does this matter so much? In a partial manuscript, you have fifty pages to make us really want to read on and request more pages. Truthfully, you don’t even have fifty—while I always read all the way to the end, those initial pages determine my opinion of your writing style, your characters, and how tightly paced the novel is. If the beginning is slow, you have to win me back in the next thirty or so pages. You have to wow me enough that I forget the opening and want to keep reading. That’s a lot of pressure on those later pages.

One way to capture the reader more effectively with your manuscript is to begin in medias res—or in the middle. There is little that is more intriguing than watching a character who’s been thrown directly into a situation, trying to handle it while the reader slowly gets the details. This creates action, it introduces us to the character as we’ll see her throughout, and most importantly, it means we aren’t waiting to be interested.

Keeping the action moving while providing the reader with necessary information isn’t easy. It’s the mark of a good writer—which is why that approach, done correctly, will move your partial to the top of the pile.

Good luck!

--Intern Grace

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's time to help others

May is the month for best-selling author Brenda Novak's extraordinary on-line auction that benefits juvenile diabetes.  If you haven't checked it out before, this is the year you should do so. Cumulatively, she's raised more than $1.3 million for juvenile diabetes research and she hopes to break $2 million with this year's activities.

The auction includes such wonderful items, many of particular interest to writers, both published and not yet published. There are things of interest to readers as well.  I've donated a manuscript critique again this year as well as a couple of hours of my legal services to review a publishing contract or help an author out with a copyright or publishing question.  There are hundreds of items from authors, agents, and others, so definitely check it out.  You only have until May 31st.

As I said, all proceeds go to benefit juvenile diabetes research.  Diabetes of all types has become such an epidemic in this country, but to me juvenile diabetes seems the harshest.  My heart goes out to the families with young children struggling to manage this disease.

So 'tis the season to look beyond ourselves and see what we can all do for others.  Let Brenda's auction get you started.  To help you out, the link to her auction page is here

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Point of View.

        One of the most important choices you have to make early on in developing your manuscript is who is telling the story. Is there a specific character narrating everything with only knowledge of what they can see or a third-person narration aware of everything that’s going on? Who is the voice that will relate the rest of the characters and the plot and the setting to your audience?
       You can draw someone in from the first page with a clear point of view or a unique perspective. You can also lose them just as quickly with a voice that is not very interesting or is difficult to follow. Make sure you are part of the first group and not the latter.
       Be consistent. If you choose to tell the story from the point of view of one of your characters, decide whether they are relating the events as they happen or reflecting back on something that has already passed. Don’t let them tell the reader anything they wouldn’t actually know. There are few things more distracting in a story than inconsistencies in voice.
      Be compelling. Even in a third-person narrative it is important to have a strong, clear sense of who is telling the story. It doesn’t matter if the story being relayed is the most simple, mundane task or the most exciting event to ever happen, the way it is told and who is telling will make or break whether someone reads on.
     Most of all, don’t be afraid to start over! If you realize halfway through that your story really would have been better served with a third-person narrative and you’ve been writing from the point of view of your main character, switch it up! The time it takes to rewrite those pages will be well worth it in the end if you have a more polished manuscript with a more compelling voice when you are finished. Don’t become so invested in your point of view that you let it ruin the rest of the story.

     As always, good luck!

      Intern Emily.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Release: Download Drama by Celeste O. Norfleet

Instant fame. Instant drama.
Some people stand back when problems crop up. Kenisha Lewis steps up. And there's a lot that needs fixing, from her family's money worries to the run-down dance studio where she works part-time.
When the promo she makes for a dance studio fundraiser goes viral, Kenisha can't believe the response. Who'd have guessed she'd become the latest YouTube sensation--or be asked to star in a video with rapper Taj? And now Taj wants Kenisha to become her protegee, promising money and fame. Problems solved, right? Not quite. Her exciting new career is taking time away from school, family, friends and her boyfriend, Terrence. Kenisha is sure she is
this close to having what she's always wanted. But how much is she willing to give up to get it?

Download Drama, Celeste Norfleet's latest in her young adult series is available from Kimani Tru for preorder now!
Be sure to also check out Celeste O. Norfleet's previous Kimani Tru releases: Fast Forward, Pushing Pause, and She Said, She Said.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If you Love books

It is so very easy in this business to get swamped by the day-to-day minutiae.

Reading queries, partials, fulls.
Researching the market.
Talking with editors.
Making and following-up on submissions.
Waiting for contracts.
Negotiating details.
And on, and on, and on.

The details are often so all subsuming, that one can lose sight of the purpose, the goal, the reason for being in this business. I didn't realize how lost I may have become until today when I stopped to smell the roses, (well they were actually hyacinths), but you get the idea.

Call it spring fever or taking time to restore one's soul. Not only did I enjoy the blooms of spring, but I also took out a few minutes from the work day to look at the Oscar winning animated short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. It is delightful. It made me happy, but more importantly it restored my faith in the power of books. All those flying words brought such joy to all the people they touched, that it was impossible not to see books as an essential part of life. It felt good to think that authors and agents play a part in that joy and to remember why my love of books got me into this business in the first place.

If you haven't watched the video on U-tube, you really should. I'd love to hear if it brings a smile to your face as well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Release: Sex, Lies and Valentines by Tawny Weber

The agency is excited to announce another new release: Tawny Weber is back with her latest for Harlequin Blaze, Sex, Lies and Valentines!

Con artist Gabriel Black just got busted. By a babe. Drool-worthy (and clearly sneaky) FBI agent Danita Cruz is forcing Gabriel to choose between hard time and scamming his own family for an undercover sting. Now he has to present Danita to his family as his girlfriend. And it's the perfect opportunity to get wickedly even with her...
But Danita has some tricks of her own, and Gabriel's control begins slipping away as raw sexual energy takes over. Their sham relationship starts feeling a lot like...well the real deal. The Big Question is, will overwhelming desire be enough to make a liar go legit?

Make sure to pick up a copy today! And while you're at it, be sure to check out Sex, Lies and Mistletoe and Sex, Lies and Midnight--two more in the Harlequin Blaze line by Tawny Weber!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Books

This month brings several new books from our authors. We'll highlight one today.

Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay continues the adventures of the townsfolk of Last Chance where the Cut n' Curl remains the place for the best gossip in town. This time British royalty has come to town, looking for an investment and perhaps a wife. Caroline's job depends upon making him feel welcome, but when he wants something she has no intention of giving him, sparks really are ignited. But this former Watermelon Queen will learn a lot about what's really important in life and community.

And if you happened to miss the first book in this series, Welcome to Last Chance, you can get it in digital form this week for a discounted price. Here's the link .

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


A month into a new year seems as good a time as any to discuss something very important to a story: the beginning. It is difficult to get invested in reading something if it cannot capture you from the very start. This may be unfair—I am sure there are plenty of really great novels out there which do not pick up until a few chapters in. However, when your partial manuscript is being judged on those first few chapters that is not a risk you can really take. You need to capture your audience from the first page, and then work to keep them interested for the remaining pages.

Introduce great characters in the first few pages. Even if the plot doesn’t pick up right away, it is easier to give the author the benefit of the doubt and keep reading if there are characters you feel connected to. [See the post a little while back on characters for more on this.] You can also draw a reader in by creating a setting that they won’t want to leave. It is easier to stick with a slower story if you feel like you can imagine being there. Also, just the overall style of writing can instill some confidence that the plot will follow.

That being said, it is still really important to make sure something happens in the first 20-30 pages. That long without plot development—even if it occurs within the middle of the book after the story has picked up—is too long! It is nice to have some kind of idea where the story is going from the initial chapters, even if you also include a synopsis which explains the future development. I want to be really drawn in from the first page, first sentence even. You only get so much time to capture your audience, so use it well!

Good luck!

--Intern Emily