At long last, the total rebuild of my site is complete! The site moved from Drupal to WordPress some time ago for easier maintenance on my end, but deciding what the new site should include and incorporating a new theme took some time. Take a look around! I have added some features readers have asked for for years, such as a Newsletter sign-up, and the books are now categorized by Paranormal, Contemporary and so on for reader convenience. This is a big improvement over the former clunky book list by publisher.
Please note that not all titles have been entered as of launch but they’re being added as time permits. If you notice a book missing, it doesn’t mean it isn’t available.
That said, many readers have already seen Samhain’s announcement of impending closure. What does that mean for you? As long as my titles are available for sale through Samhain, you can still buy and download them, confident that I am being paid for each sale. As Samhain reverts my backlist, I will republish them with new covers and announce the dates as we go. Hopefully this will be an orderly process of titles going out of print on their end and republishing on my end without much delay. This also means that Red Queen and Kiss of the Demon will release independently, for readers waiting for those.
I finally have all my ducks in a row to re-release titles that have already reverted, and that’s in progress. I had hoped this would all go faster, but setting myself up to buy groups of ISBNs, have a solid process in place for formatting and uploading, and cover art came with a learning curve. It’s one thing to put a single title out, it’s another to have the workflow and tools to do a large number of titles on an on-going basis.
And if you’re looking to pick up an amazing value, St. Martin’s has created a boxed set of Wicked Hot, Animal Attraction and Claimed by the Wolf called Shifter’s Passion, now available on Kindle for 5.99 US. A smoking hot deal on three smoking hot titles!
Ah, January, when everybody makes a pile of resolutions. Resolutions are fun, shiny, they live comfortably in the future so you aren’t responsible for them today. But does nobody think of the past? In lieu of resolutions, here are 10 things I’m glad I did.
In the same vein, I’m glad I got to explore Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands. We might return to visit again, but if we don’t, I have crossed that off my bucket list with a vengeance; after a decade my boots have been pretty much everywhere over there.
I’m glad we lived on Bainbridge Island. Ultimately we moved to buy a house elsewhere, but it was a fabulous place to live and I’m not sure I would ever have been a regular visitor to the Bloedel Reserve if we hadn’t. So I wouldn’t know about the holiday dollhouse display. If you live anywhere near Bloedel, you should visit.
I’m glad we renovated a vintage camper. We learned a lot that will be valuable if we ever want to do that again, or will just come in handy when buying/maintaining our next camper. Vintage campers are an experience and buying ours opened up a whole new world.
I’m glad I learned how to garden, starting by helping my parents with theirs growing up and accelerating when my mom gave me my own plot and freedom to plant WHATEVER I WANTED. I have been going crazy with seed catalogs ever since. If you have never grown a tomato you might not even know how many varieties exist or how different they look and taste. Thanks Mom!
I’m glad I learned how to cook. Not only are restaurants expensive, if you have children in tow everything takes too long, and also there is always the risk of allergy problems. But aside from saving time, money and being good for health, cooking is art and science and excellent hands-on creative fun for everybody. I’m glad my kids are now big enough to cook with me.
I’m glad I learned to swim, skate, ski, bike, hike, row, run, kickbox, dance, and have always kept moving. Exercise is easier to keep part of your life when it’s something you enjoy and enjoying lots of things makes it easier to keep doing at least some of them over time. Downhill skiing is now too much for my knees, but there is cross country. And when that’s too much, there will still be swimming. And so on.
I’m glad I took art lessons. I’d always wanted to do it and one day I realized I had time and money and why not? So I did it. Not just once. I took lessons from 3 different teachers, including one workshop that turned out to be full of painters who’d had juried shows and it was interesting to be the lone writer in the room. But art is expansive and so is learning something new.
I’m glad I have been to Hawaii. It’s like no place else.
I’m glad I wrote and published a crapton of books. If I die tomorrow, my regret will be that I didn’t manage to write and publish 100 of them like Isaac Asimov, but I won’t have to regret that I didn’t write or publish any.
For 2016, I resolve to do more of what I’m glad to have done in the past, which pretty much boils down to continually learning and trying new things and continuing to do the things I enjoy, and writing and publishing more books. I know 2015 was the Year of Mindfulness for a lot of people. It turns out I am not very enlightened. Mindfulness makes my eyes glaze over. But artfulness I can get behind. Taking a creative approach to living and committing art whenever possible, whether that art is movement or music or a garden or dinner or a book, I would like to live more artfully in 2016.
So yeah, the new site is live but before I start celebrating this is like declaring your room clean as long as nobody opens the closet or looks under the bed. There are broken links and outdated bits that need updating and the husband is still plowing through the massive task of importing all the comments from the previous site. But the data is all here, all ten freaking years worth of it, and once things are up to date I have what I’ve needed for a few years: an easy to update, maintenance free (mostly) website, thus freeing me from admin headaches so the little time I have for writing can be spent writing. And formatting all those stories I have rights to for re-release.
I will be re-releasing the five novellas/novelettes Wolf at the Door, Mad Stone, Roped, Bride of Fire and Nuns and Huns as individual ebooks and also in a combined ebook and print anthology. The two shorts in Men of Action will be added to the ebook and print anthology for a total of seven reads, so I’m calling it Seven Minutes In Heaven. Looking forward to having all the stories I’ve contributed to various anthologies over the last few years collected in one book!
Meanwhile, here’s David Bowie to get you through hump day.
Yes, I know this site is sadly, horribly, embarrassingly out of date. This is because Shiny New Site is almost ready to launch so updating here means duplicating the database over there and, well, the answer is just to get the new site live already.
Something Wild is out in print from Ellora’s Cave with a gorgeous cover, and other things are afoot.
Last Thursday I did a talk and reading at Eagle Harbor Books spearheaded by the fabulous Serena Bell and Rachel Grant. Harlequin generously donated many books to help win new readers to romance, as the bookstore is interesting in enlarging the romance section and encouraging romance readership. So readers came away with books by new authors to try out as well as signed books by the participating authors (us) and here is what I said about romance and why I write it.
Romance is a sub genre of fantasy and the fantasy of romance is the happy ending. “They all lived happily ever after” is how every fairy tale ends and romance novels are modern day fairy tales where the protagonists get what they want and a happy ending. Romance is the only genre that delivers the fantasy of the happy ending consistently and it gets a lot of criticism for being unrealistic because of it. But being able to imagine that a happy ending is possible is the first step to creating and writing your own. Whether that means a happy ending to the career change you want to make or the new friendships you want to build or building a successful romantic relationship, it starts with the hope, the ability to imagine and to believe that what you want is possible.
So romance is the fiction of hope. It’s also a genre of fiction that focuses on relationships. Not just romantic and physical relationships but the full spectrum of relationships. Family relationships, coworker relationships, friendships. The relationships in our lives are part of what helps us succeed in life, what helps us through difficult times, and have a huge impact on our happiness and health. The best relationships bring out the best in us and help us be more of who we truly are. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, love makes us real. The worst relationships make us less of who we really are, and in romance, those characters will turn out to be the villains. That person who wants you to feel less so they can feel like they’re more is not really your friend or your romantic partner, and you see that play out in a romance novel.
Fiction is where we can imagine how this choice or that action would lead to that result and it’s a safe place to vicariously experience what it would be like to choose what the protagonist chooses. Reading fiction helps us build empathy, which is one of the keys to any successful relationship in real life, and this is one of the ways it does that, by placing ourselves in our imagination in another person’s shoes and seeing the world from their point of view. Learning to have more empathy is not at all unrealistic, it’s a scientifically documented side effect of novel reading, ANY novel reading. And experiencing the fantasy of hope, imagining your own hopeful outcome, that’s also a scientifically sound premise. Top performers, athletes, imagine themselves performing at their peak and they have measurable changes take place while they’re imagining this. Imagination is powerful, it’s more than staring out a window daydreaming, it’s a tool that can improve athletic performance or help us practice asking for a raise. So the fiction that delivers the fantasy of happiness, of hope, is a tool that can help us write our own happy ending with very practical real world results.
This is why I believe in romance as a writer, that it’s something worth doing. And why I love it as a reader, why it’s the genre I’ll turn to when I’m having a bad day, and I need a dose of hope and the reminder that I’m the protagonist of my own story and it’s up to me to make the choices and take the actions that will write my happy ending.