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Click this link for the contest –

The A History site will be at http://letstalkromance.wordpress.com. Sorry for the trouble. I didn’t mean to change the name yet, but it happened, and I can’t seem to change it back, so if you change the ahistoryofromance part of the URL with letstalkromance, it should get you to the post.
Why this happened:
We will be making some changes at A History, mainly a name change to Let’s Talk Romance, and our review site, Let’s talk Romance Reviews. Look for the new site to take off 6-1-11.

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Excerpt – Divorce Etiquette by Monique DeVere

Divorce Etiquette
Excerpt

He hunched down next to her chair, leaned in a couple of inches to add intimacy to his deep rumbling tone. “I have a few rules of my own.”
Michelle gulped. This was going to be harder than she thought. “You’re breaking the second rule.”
“Am I?” He was so close her stomach did a little flip. She wanted to lose herself in his beautiful smoky gaze. “You made five rules. I want five too.”
“You do?” What restrictions could he possibly put on her? She was completely innocent in this. If he would just keep his distance, she could move on, and everything would be fine.
“Rule six,” he began, his gaze roaming over her face. “Stop looking at me as if you’d like to lick ice cream right off me.”
Michelle gasped under the shock of his evocative words. A memory of her doing just that hit her low in her belly.
Before she could recover, he continued, “Rule seven. No wearing sexy little hipsters that flash your underwear when you bend over.”
That did it. Her gasp turned to a splutter, her face suffused with heat that had nothing to do with the warm sunshine.
“Rule eight,” he continued, as though she wasn’t about to suffocate under the weight of embarrassment. “Don’t wear your hair down. It makes me want to bury my hands in it.
“Rule nine. No wearing little black dresses—they make me want to see you naked.”
His cultured voice reverberated through her until every nerve in her body jangled, her bones melted, and a shuddering sigh escaped her.
“And ten, no more crying.” He didn’t even seem to notice she’d practically dissolved at his feet. “It makes your mouth pouty and far too kissable.” He stood and took the Maplewood chair opposite Michelle’s, his knee brushing hers as he sat down.
Obviously, rule five meant nothing to him.

Copyright © 2009
All rights reserved,
Divorce Etiquette is available at The Wild Rose Press

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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Or… how do you mend a broken heart?

There are a lot of songs about breaking up. Nearly as many as there are about falling in love. Some break ups are easy to deal with. Others hurt so much you think you’ll never get over it.

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’m doing talking about break-ups on a romance blog. Believe it or not, it does make sense. Because sometimes what helps us get over a break up is finding someone new. Not right away, of course. It does take time to heal, especially if the break up was especially nasty or came after a long relationship. Sooner or later, though, you have to try again.

I’ve heard the saying many times that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. Or princess, as the case may be. There are people who are fortunate enough to find their true match the first time out. Most of us have heard about people who married their high school, or even junior high or elementary school, sweetheart and decades later are as happy as they’ve ever been. For most of us, it just doesn’t work that way.

Again you ask, what does this have to do with romance? Well, what’s romance? Isn’t it about that first blush of meeting someone new, finding out how compatible you are? Feeling that rush of warmth that flows through you when you look into his or her eyes. Wanting to be with them all the time.

So you’ve dated someone for months. Maybe even years. Lived together, talked about marriage. And then all of a sudden, it’s over. Maybe you had a fight. Maybe you just grew apart. All you know is, part of your heart has just been ripped out and you’re never going to let anyone that close to you again.

Then one day, you meet someone. A spark is struck. You want to see them again, even though you’re still hurting from that break up. Whenever you’re near them, this weird feeling fills you. It might be happiness. Or love, except you’ve decided you’re done with that.

At first, you try to keep that person at arm’s length. If you let them too close, they might hurt you. Been there, done that, don’t want the shirt. No matter how hard you try, though, you can’t help letting them into your life. And into the heart you’d slammed shut.

And that’s what breaking up has to do with romance. After a break up, you might close your heart and think it’s forever, but someday you do find someone worth opening up for again. Maybe someone who’s even better for you than the one you ended things with. Someone you can love.

And that’s what romance is all about.

Karenna Colcroft

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A History – Brand New Year, Brand New Page

Wow, it’s 2010 already. Are you ready to start writing for real? Well, okay, you’ve been writing for real. I get that. But, are you ready to get serious about your writing? That means writing every day, even if it is bad.

As Nora Roberts said, “You can correct bad writing, but you can’t correct a blank page.”

From historical writing to paranormal and every genre in between, we write stories that engage our readers. We alone can take readers to places they’ve never been, remind them of what they’ve felt, help them relate to the characters we create, and bring them to a place of happiness, even if for just a couple of hours.

This is my first post of my own to a blog. While I write contemporary romantic suspense, I read historical romance. One of my favorite authors is Stephanie Laurens. There’s also Sabrina Jeffries and many others. Find your favorite author and study her work. Then sit down and try your hand at finding your own voice in writing. That’s part of beginning this new year.

Since I’m writing this historical blog, here’s your first assignment of the New Year. You are welcome to leave them as a comment, but no, you don’t have to submit them to anyone, just yourself or your critique  partner.

    Write a description of a Victorian wedding in about 500 words.

This just may be the new beginning you’ve been looking for. Remember, new year, new page. Go for it!

Raynene Burgess

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What I learned in 2009

Hello, I’m April Dawn, and I’m blogging for Shiela Stewart this week, so I thought I would share a little of what I learned in 2009.
Now that 2009 has come to an end, I thought I would share what I learned. I did a lot of research, both before and after getting my contract for Bound By Love (Jan 29) and Crushing Desire (Feb 12) from Breathless Press. (breathlesspress.com)

I thought I would share what I have learned in a handy what I learned in 2009 post so other authors could benefit from all my hours of research.

In 2009, while doing research I learned-

-Editing is one of the most important parts of writing.

-Repetitive words must be reduced

-You should always show. Don’t tell.

-You should send your manuscript to more than one agent/publisher. One may not like it,but another may love it, and if you make the big push and send to four or five agents at once, the first rejection won’t scare you off forever.

-Always check preditors and editors before submitting work to an agent or editor, especially if they request your work.

-Ask an agent for a week or two to think about any offer they give you.Formulate questions to ask them during that time, and make sure you give other agents you queried notice so they have a chance to offer well.

-Always be gracious, no matter what. You never know who knows who.

-Build a website that suits your novels, not your personal taste. If you write sweet romance, don’t use black and red with the image of the hot chick bending over the car. It sends wrong signals to your potential readers.

-Write helpful and interesting articles, tweets, and posts for the websites you have joined. People are more likely to add you if you are interesting.

-Join writing groups, clubs, etc. Go to conferences, events, etc. Get yourself out there.

-Set goals and stick to them.

In 2009, I learned personally-

-Don’t use the same email you submit queries with to create your newsletter. Eventually someone will mark it
spam and then all your queries will go to spam. Instead use a separate email for these things.

-Editors are a great help to any author, and if you get the right one, it can be magic.

-Social networking is a fun and interesting way to get information out to the readers.

-There are a number of websites for authors, including authors den, and goodreads, where you can post a profile of yourself.

-Almost as much work goes into marketing your book as into writing it.(There will be an article on this specifically coming soon.)

-Other authors can help you find opportunities that you might normally miss, so be sure to keep your ears open around author friends and blogposts.

-Writing is a real job, and if you want to make it, you have to think of it as such.

-Contests can be a fun way to spread information and gain new readers and friends.

In 2010, I hope to learn what it is like to

-Have a great review (or many of them.)

-Get a great agent.

-See my novels in Barnes and Nobel.

-See someone reading my novels on the street.

-Hit 1000+ followers on Twitter.

-Have another reader send me an email telling my how much they enjoyed one of my novels.

If I achieve even one or two of these in 2010, I will be a happy camper. If I achieve them all *crosses fingers* I will probably faint. lol


April Dawn

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Interview – Angel Martinez

Today we are interviewing Angel Martinez.
Welcome to A History, Angel. Let’s start with some random questions.

What kind of music do you like?

Yes.

It might be easier to ask what kinds of music I don’t like. I grew up on Classical and on old Broadway musical soundtracks, but I tend to like music that’s a little off the beaten path. Intelligent lyrics, real musicianship, creative arrangements, those are the things that attract me. I will always adore David Bowie, love Natalie Merchant, have an ongoing soft spot for singer-songwriters like Jonathan Richman and Richard Thompson, will be going to see Cracker in January and have even developed a fondness for the White Stripes, just to give you a feel for how all over the boards my tastes run.

What is the most memorable book you’ve read?

Not a fair question—books affect me in different ways for different reasons, and there are so many I would consider memorable. We’d be here for a few months for an honest, complete answer. Maybe it would be best to answer which books were most influential early on, much more manageable. The ones that lit the sparks, the ones which have stayed with me all these years? Short stories from Poe, Lovecraft and Bradbury, the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, and, of course, even though it sounds cliché these days, Tolkien. The world would be a much more drab and dreary place without Tolkien.

Do you have any pets?

I have two cats who like to sit with me when I write. Isis, my grand dame tortoise-shell, and Bella, my black and white tuxedo cutie. Perhaps it’s some kitty magic emanating from them, but I find writing easier with cats in the room.

Now on to some personal questions related to your writing

How did you get started writing?

I think a more appropriate question would be: when have I not written? Stories came to me at a very young age, before I could even read, tales told to stuffed animals and whispered to the dark at bedtime. As I grew older, various sources convinced me that fiction was not a ‘real’ job, and the stories lay dormant for many years. But when you are a storyteller, they don’t go away. Eventually, they clamor loud enough to wake the dead. It was during a stint in a particularly soul-crushing corporate position that I began to pour them out on paper, oh, about ten years ago now, before meetings and at lunchtime, longhand, in notebooks and the back pages of day runners. The desperation of those days has worn off, the need to write before all was lost, but the joy only grows.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love character interaction; I love the organic growth of a character. They begin as a shadow, a notion, a figure glimpsed in passing. Then they start to whisper to you, what they like, what they fear, how they feel about others, how they move and speak. Eventually they blossom into fully-formed people who, nutty as it sounds, often become more real to authors than the flesh and blood people in their lives.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Getting up every morning and facing the day? No, seriously, I’ve always been a bit superstitious about the word ‘pride’. To be too proud of something, to brag about it, is to invite disaster. I derive great satisfaction from the fact that there are people out there who enjoy my work, though.

Just a few professional questions about your writing.

How would you describe your love scenes?

Love scenes are first and foremost about the inner workings of a character’s mind. It’s as much about getting there as it is the actual act, about the connection between two people more than the physical mechanics. Yes, many of my love scenes are heated and definitely not behind-closed-doors, but I don’t like intimate scenes for the sake of tossing them in.

How would describe your voice?

Since I have dozens of voices competing in my head for space, it’s difficult to think of having one ‘voice’. I do write about some dark and difficult subjects at times but, for me, life isn’t something to be taken too seriously, too short for that. There is always humor running alongside my heaviest subjects, and, I hope, an ultimate sense of optimism despite the dark moments.

What are you working on now?
Let’s see–I’ve just finished the manuscript for Finn’s sequel, the working title is Diego, where we get to see more of the non-human world. I do have several releases coming out next year, starting with the re-release of Aftermath, (newly edited, with a powerful new Missy Lyons cover) and the anthology Lioness on the Knife. My other persona, Sandra Stixrude, who writes the non-erotic Science Fiction, has a series seven of novels starting to release in March as well, the Anchorage Series.

Where can fans follow you?

Most of my books live over at Red Rose Publishing – watch for releases there.
Angel’s website – with news, excerpts, and other fun stuff (Angel Martinez – Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind)
Sandra’s website—which includes the informational blog for writers ‘Writer’s Habitat’ (Sandra Stixrude – Cold Facts Meet Flights of Fancy)
I’m also on Facebook, Myspace, Goodreads and Twitter, if anyone cares to stop by – I do post news to all of these sites as well.

Any professional advice for other authors?

Two words: Read and Write. You must feed your own head to fire your imagination and the only way to improve your writing is…to write.

Thank you so much for sharing with us Angel.

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A History has a new and improved look!

Come by and check out our wonderful new site look, designed by our very own Shiela Stewart.
Thank you Shiela for your time and effort in making our site beautiful.
Please comment and tell us what you think of the look of our site.

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