Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's personal (or "Why Nora Ephron is the patron saint of Stella's Umbrella")

Jerusha and I are excited about the web design coming together for Stella's Umbrella, our online "little shop around the corner" launching later this year. (Just in time for your laziest Christmas shopping ever!) It's a labor of love - for books, for readers, for authors and for the ancient oversoul that is storytelling. We plan to focus on fabulous indie, small and micro-press fiction, plus lots of poetry, memoirs and high quality ebook conversions of classics.

I don't know if "stuff we love" is the slickest business algorithm anyone ever came up with, but one of the few things Jerusha and I agree on is that in life and work, it's wise to focus on what actually matters to you. This great moment of Nora Ephron dialogue from "You've Got Mail" expresses it better than I can:

Indie authors: If you'd like us to consider your book to be featured in our inventory, email Jerusha at

Saturday, July 27, 2013

News from the 2013 RWA National Conference in Atlanta

I had a wonderful time last week at the 2013 National Conference of the Romance Writers of America, which took place in Atlanta. The best part was being among 2,000+ other women--and a fair amount of men, too--all talking books, books, books, my favorite subject on Earth! I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends and making new ones.

Among the highlights of the trip:

1. Presenting my workshop, "Adrenaline Shots for Plots!" to a packed room.

2. Attending the Montlake authors' reception, where I met my author liaison and two editors I'm working with for the first times, along with lots of great support people and authors.

3. Meeting with both of the agents I'm privileged to work with.

4. Dancing and clowning around at the wonderful Harlequin Authors' Party. (Nora Roberts and her posse really know how to have fun!)

5. Winning the National Readers' Choice Award in the Contemporary Series' Action/Suspense category with my Relentless Protector. (Check out that awesome award!)

6. Having lunch with Harlequin editor Mary-Theresa Hussey.

7. Presenting the RITA for Short Contemporary Romance at the glamorous Golden Heart/RITA awards ceremony to Sarah Morgan, for her A Night of No Return. Such an honor!

I'm still resting up from and digesting what I learned during the whirlwind week as I edit a new book for Harlequin Romantic Suspense but wanted to share a few moments. Hope you're all having a wonderful summer, too!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ron Carlson's RETURN TO OAKPINE = Elizabeth Berg's TALK BEFORE SLEEP + testicles

Someone recently asked me, "What was the last book that made you cry?" It was Ron Carlson's beautifully crafted novel Return to Oakpine, in which a dying man makes an emotional journey to the Wyoming town where he grew up, hoping to play one last gig with the guys he used to jam with in high school. Lovely, consumable literary fiction perfect for long flight, rainy afternoon or nightstand.

Look for Return to Oakpinein bookstores this week!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jordan Matter's DANCERS AMONG US = Joyfulness With Pages You Can Turn

Pictures from Jordan Matter's DANCERS AMONG US have popped up all over the place, usually hashtagged #WTF. When normal people talk in a phone booth, they slouch or lean, but in Matter's dance world, people prop themselves high up and get comfy. Baristas change menu boards with perfect arabesques, and girls get carried out of Mardi Gras bars in dramatic poses. When your world gets monotonous, turn to the vision of playful reality that Matter puts before us in this amazing work of art.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Christopher Boffoli's BIG APPETITES is the Best Thing That's Happened to Tiny People Since Honey, I Shrunk The Kids

At BEA 2013, I picked up the ADORABLE book BIG APPETITES by Christopher Boffoli, which makes you wonder if a swan is, in fact, the coolest thing you can make out of a watermelon. The tiny people in this book do everything from repair peanut-butter cups to visit Jell-O art retrospectives. It's cute, but more importantly, the captions are thought-provoking and awww-inspiring.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

A funny thing happened on the way to the Fashion District (Updating my review of Eric Coyote's THE LONG DRUNK)

Had to update my review of Eric Coyote's THE LONG DRUNK (Book 1 of The Homeless Detective Trilogy) with this funny little story about what happens when a great book goes out into the atmosphere...

The gist of my original review from last year: "A grittily horrid heroic journey that made me laugh out loud, fight tears, hug my dog and take a long, hot shower. Highly recommended but not for the prissy."


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