Every now and then, I put on my extrovert costume, pack a couple of cool jackets and a pair of cowboy boots, and head off to a writers' convention for a few days--bonus points if it's being held somewhere fun. Mostly, though, I go to meet people--book lovers, booksellers, other authors … all the folk who keep fueling the machine that gets great stories into readers' hands.
And sometimes, I have to go a couple of states away or even partway across the country to meet a neighbor. Like the time, whilst headed to Reno, I stumbled upon a good friend from a local writers' meeting holding down a chair in the Denver airport (shout out, Donna L). Or the Romantic Times book signing in Columbus Ohio, when a reader came up to my table and introduced herself as a fan, and we got to talking. It turned out that she was a Navy wife and mom of three who lived just a couple of towns away from me, and in addition to being an avid reader, was interested in writing romance.
In that moment, when I said, "We've got a great writers' group in the area. You should totally come check it out," I might not have guessed that she was brimming with the raw writing talent--or wicked sense of humor--that she turned out to have, or that five or so years down the road, she would be in her second year as president of that writers' group, my go-to for celebratory (or sympathetic) girls' nights out, and on the brink of having her second book come out!
If you love a fun, sexy and thoroughly modern contemporary romance, check out BOYFRIEND FOR HIRE (and the first in the series, BACHELORETTE FOR HIRE, only $0.99 on Kindle!).
And then there was the time I was at a local writers' convention and someone said, "Have you met Laura Moore? You really should. You guys have a lot in common." A background in riding and showing horses? Check. A career in academia? Check. Romance writer? Check, check, and check!
Not to mention that Laura made an impression on Arizona. I think he liked that she, as he often does, will sometimes sit back quietly and let a conversation play out, not putting in a word until she has something to say … but that something will be worth the wait. She's clever, insightful, and incredibly generous with her time and heart, and it shows in her contemporary romances, the latest of which has a thoroughly drool-worthy cover, don't you think?
Fans of Virginia Kantra and Robin Carr should check out ONCE TOUCHED, which has a heroine fighting to save her animal sanctuary and a hero photojournalist who saw too much in the war. Seriously. Do it!
If you're a Facebook fan, check out their release party today 4-11 p.m. (I'll be dropping in at some point, and they'll be giving away a copy of one of my books.) Here's the link.
To encourage you to support these lovely ladies and their fabulous stories, I'm giving away two books today: one copy each of Gail and Laura's previous releases. (You don't get the new ones--you've gotta help an author out and go buy them this week, to encourage zee publishers to keep signing them up for more books!) Just leave a comment here (or if you have trouble commenting here, mention that in a Facebook comment and I'll include you in the drawing). Winners to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday)!!