Friday, January 20, 2012

C.H. Admirand: I Will Conquer Or Perish

Western romance author, C.H. Admirand, is visiting with us today with her hot new contemporary romance series, The Secret Life Of Cowboys: Dylan.

One of the misconceptions about authors is the idea that they just sit and write their stories with ease and get paid big bucks. Cushy job, eh? Ask any author about that and you'll liable to reduce them to tears—of laughter. Getting published is hard, no matter how good your story is. Once you're published then comes the deadlines, the edits from hell, whole chapters, perhaps even several chapters need to be rewritten, the editor doesn't like the ending, the middle, the beginning, or the character or his/her name. Yikes!

C.H. talks a bit about her journey and her life of ease.

Welcome, C.H., I'm so glad to have you visiting!

Thanks for inviting me to blog today, Sia, it’s so wonderful to be here. It took me a bit of time to decide what to talk about today because I think my characters are far more interesting than I am. After attending Lora Leigh’s RAW in October, I know that readers do like a glimpse into the life of the author.

For those that don’t know me, I’ve been writing for the Library Market and Small Press for the last twelve years. I was delighted to publish my first book, The Marshal’s Destiny, in 2000, and devastated when I didn’t sell the second book in my Irish Western Series. More than once, I tried to quit, but the voices of characters demanding to have their stories told wouldn’t let me.
Nora Roberts is one of my heroes; it was her article in The Writer’s Digest that kept me going, she said that writers need the 3 Ds to succeed: Drive, Discipline, and Desire… To that I add Determination. While I wrote, I attended workshops and conferences, honing my craft—you cannot improve if you stop writing. But I also dug deep and kept my Purcell ancestor’s motto where I could see it every day: Aut Vincam, Aut Periam–translation: I will either conquer or perish! So I kept writing, submitting, receiving rejections, and six years later, I not only sold my second book, but five more!

I met Deb Werksman by chance at the NJRW Conference a few years ago after an unplanned trip to a ladies club during RT Booklovers Convention in Houston and a lesson well-learned—that I’m not the ladies club type—but helped me come up with the plotline for my hot cowboy trilogy and deal with my embarrassment at the time. I was there physically, but my mind was in the fictional town of Pleasure, Texas that my mind had just created. It was a blast writing about the Garahan brothers: larger than life, tall, dark, and gorgeous Texas cowboys.

This year had a really rocky start: our three-month-old grandson was hospitalized with a respiratory virus, but is finally home and recovering beautifully. The dog we adopted (after losing our 12 year old family member, Ginger, the day after my December 15th deadline) had fear/aggression issues and bit my husband and one of our sons. Although she didn’t break the skin, combined with the reality that she was terrified of my guys (they all wear black leather jackets and boots—and are not quiet), had us seeking help from a professional dog trainer (a first for us after 28 years of raising dogs) to evaluate the dog. She didn’t recommend having the dog around children, a red flag for us with our new grandson, and stressed that although the situation could be managed with her guidelines; the dog may not change and might always be afraid of my guys. She felt the dog showed bite inhibition by not breaking the skin, which is a good thing. We gave it a week, but the dog only grew more aggressive and fearful. It broke my heart, but after consulting with the trainer again, I called the shelter and they agreed that it would be best to return the dog before the situation escalated.

So right now, I’m surfing the internet for dogs in need of a good home when I should be working on the revisions for my November book. It’s hard to explain why I can’t seem to focus now that Ginger is gone, but at odd times, I hear her moving around the house and racing down the stairs when I open the door to feed the birds…it’s all in my head…or is it in my heart? I guess I won’t be able to concentrate until we fill that empty void in our lives with a dog that wants to be a part of our family.

I’m struggling, but optimistic that we’ll find the right dog for our at times busy (aka loud) and other times quite (aka tomblike) home. I need to get back in the groove because 2012 is going to be beyond busy for me. Dylan book two in The Secret Life of Cowboys, just released January 2nd, Jesse, book three, releases July 2nd, and A Wedding in Purity, the first book in my new Small Town USA series, releases in November. Then there are the 2nd and 3rd books in the Small Town series that are due in May and September…good grief I’d better get my head on straight now!

Thanks for letting me ramble on today, Sia. 

  • For animal lovers out there, how have you coped with the loss of a furry family member? How long did you wait before filling that empty void in your life?
Meet Jamison, aka Jamie January 14th
As CH mentioned, she has a new furry baby. I asked for some pictures and she provided these. Isn't he a darling?



There was nothing he couldn't tame...

Dylan Garahan might be an old hand at lassoing fillies, but one night at the Lucky Star club, and he ends up wrapping his rope around someone that even his formidable strength can’t tame. She’s wily and beautiful… and she’s his new boss. Dylan’s had his heart broken bfore, but even an honest cowpoke has to wrestle with temptation…

Until he got his lasso around her...

Ronnie DelVecchio might be fresh off the bus from New Jersey, but she’s a hard-edged businesswoman and has had her fill of men she can’t trust—although she might consider getting off her high horse for that big handsome rancher with a Texas drawl. Excerpt (on amazon)


C.H. Admirand was born in Aiken, South Carolina. She has published 9 bestselling novels for the library market. Her Secret Life of Cowboy series, published by Sourcebooks Casablanca includes Tyler (available now), Dylan (in stores January 2012) and Jesse (in stores July 2012). She lives with her husband, who is the inspiration for all of her heroes’ very best traits, in northern New Jersey. For more information, please visit or follower her on twitter, @chadmirand

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A World of Magick With Linda Wisdom

I'm so happy to have Linda Wisdom visiting today. I enjoy her books. Good stories with a touch of whimsical, a hefty dollop of bubbling magic (not to mentions some red hot romance), and she makes me laugh. A lot. Linda cracks me up on so many levels and I genuinely like what I know of her. 

I find myself reassuring authors, more than a few times, that telling us a bit about themselves means giving us insight to who they are and not a list of likes and dislikes, or their deepest darkest secrets. Many of us who write are rather introverted, but it's fun to see how authors, like Linda, view their writing, and how life experiences shape how they treat others and how they develop their characters and the landscape of their settings. I love Linda's characters. Now, I understand why they're so real and fun. Why friendships are important to them, why the characters have the pets, foibles and all, that they have. They're important to Linda and that's reflected in her wonderful stories. One of these days, I'm going to pull up a chair at a conference and bask in Linda's wonderful sense of humor and find out more about her critters.  

Thank you so much Sia for having me here!

Anyone who’s known me for a long time is aware I’m actually very shy. Ask me about myself and I sort of stare at the floor. I’m not trying to be difficult, but I can’t imagine anyone wants to know about me.

Ask me about my critters and I’ll talk your ear off. Ask me about my books and your other ear will follow ear number one. And you’ll be running for the hills.

I think it also has to do with something that happened in 1983 when I was still a newly published author with my third book just out. I was at a very large group signing and met an author who I’d enjoyed for some years. I was so excited to have a chance to meet her and tried to do my best not to gush. The minute the woman learned I wrote category romance I was suddenly relegated to the lowest of the low. She was so rude to me that I couldn’t believe anyone would act like that. I didn’t read her books after that. That could be why I feel better when my books speak for me.

Perhaps it’s because I’m an only child that my characters have always been real to me. I see them in 3-D inside my head and there are times when I’m positive Fluff and Puff the magick bunny slippers are roaming the house, Irma’s taken over the passenger seat in my SUV, or Maggie’s on duty if I’m running errands after dark. Who knows, maybe Lili’s around when I’m sick and Cleo’s crooning the Soft Kitty song.

Whether writing or reading, the characters are important to me. They are what rounds out the story.

I can sit here and talk about Lili, how she came about in my head (you have to admit it’s kind of funny to have a witch doctor heroine), what kind of man will enter her life, and what creature will be her sidekick.

Lili made her first appearance in 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover as wallmail correspondence between her and Jazz. I wasn’t entirely sure when her book would appear in the series. I have a file with notes, ideas of her story, and creature thoughts.

I also knew it meant deciding what historical facts I’d weave into the book. One I won’t mention since it has to do with the plot and one of the characters.

Creating an asylum as dark and disgusting as I did was actually easy. A movie I’ve watched more than once is Bedlam, starring Boris Karloff. A “hospital” housing the mentally ill in ways no one would want to comprehend. A Demon Does It Better was the perfect background for an asylum and easy to create a demon hero who was literally branded a homicidal maniac. Especially, when you consider the hospital was ultra-modern and the dungeon was still back in the 1700s. Although there is the hospital greeter, a vulture perched over the hospital doorway announcing everyone will die. Yes, he’s a bit of sunshine.

Cleo was easy since I wanted a diva kitty and giving her Cleopatra’s heritage made it fun.

A Demon Does It Better is special for two very good reasons. It’s dedicated to my mom who passed away last fall and to a wonderful friend, Beverly Barton, who I also miss every day.

This is what I can talk about. Characters, families and friends who all seem to be intertwined.

What does it mean to you? Would you prefer knowing everything about the author (although please don’t ask my weight or how I lost my virginity! No joke. Someone did ask me that once!) or about the books?

 A madhouse is not place for a curious witch
After more than a century, Doctor Lili Carter, witch healer extraordinaire, has returned to San Francisco and taken a job at Crying Souls Hospital and Asylum, where something peculiar and wicked is happening. Patients are disappearing, and Lili wants to know why.
 And double dangerous for a demon…
Lili finds herself undeniably attracted to perhaps the most mysterious patient of all—a demented but seriously sexy demon named Jared. What’s behind the gorgeous chameleon demon’s late-night escapades?
 Before long, Lili and Jared are investigating each other—and creating a whole new kind of magic. Excerpt



Linda Wisdom has published more than 70 novels with 13 million copies sold worldwide including traditional, paranormal, humor, action/adventure romance, and romantic suspense. Her bestselling books have been nominated for RT Book Reviews awards and the Romance Writers of America Rita Award. She lives with her husband in Murrieta, California. For more information, please visit

Monday, January 16, 2012

MONDAY MUSINGS: Conspiracy To Fix E-book Pricing?

There has been a lot of chatter on blogs and social media about the price of e-books. In particular, charging the same price for an e-book as the hardback print book. Sometimes, the digital costs more than print books and the publishers themselves set those prices.

You remember the hoopla this past year between Random House and Amazon over the lower prices Amazon was charging for e-books and Random House insisting on higher prices (among other things).

I knew Apple (with the ipad) was willing to price e-books at the higher price from big publishers (and their “agency-model business”). What I didn’t know was Apple was paid a 30% of revenue for cooperating with the higher e-book pricing.

What I found interesting was the European Commission (Press release statement)  launched an investigation to look into whether Apple and the big 5 publishers were in cahoots with anti-competitive practices.

The Commission will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition…The Commission has concerns, that these practices may breach EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU).”

Apparently, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading had been also investigating the matter, prior to the Commission’s investigation, “whether arrangements for the sale of e-books may breach competition rules.”

Conspiracy to fix prices is a pretty telling accusation. The target of this alleged conspiracy: Amazon. In the UK, Amazon dominates the book market selling 70% of the e-books bought there.

Not that Amazon is sitting on its hands over this. They’re fighting it claiming the readers are the ones to suffer with such publisher ‘deals’ by paying higher prices for e-books.

And this is a point stressed by Amelia Torres, spokeswoman for European Commission,
This is an important issue for consumers, for people like me and you who love to read books, including on an electronic platform.”

The other side argues that such publisher deals is a good thing because it keeps Amazon from crushing the e-book industry.

Whether you’re a publisher, author, bookseller, or reader, e-book pricing is a touchy subject these days

Dan Gillmor’s book blog (12/23/10) calls it, The great ebook price swindle
Publishers are facing an uncertain time in the digital world – but increasing the prices of their ebooks is a retrograde step.” You can read his thoughts on this. 

Personally, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t buy e-books priced over $10 and I rarely buy print books over $10. I’ve been visiting used bookstores more. As one blogger pointed out, why pay over $10 for e-book when I can buy the same book in print from the used section on Amazon. She makes a good point.

What are your thoughts?