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Happy LOVE weekend

February 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

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What a week!! Snow drifts and love stories.

February 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

As you can see, I’ve been remiss in posting with any regularity these recent days. No excuses, I finished  writing my book, I have space in the early morning (it’s 5:45 am) to spill out some musings about work and life, life and work, life at work and every so often an unrelated iphoto snap.

What happens, I fear, is that when the daily momentum is interrupted it’s difficult to call it back. Just like working out or doing anything physical. The body so easily reverts back to curling up and never wanting to leave a cozy bed in exchange for muscle strain.

Can you blame it?

Discipline is a funny thing – for me, anyway. When I charm it my way it can be so responsive and dutiful. But it’s like a motor placed in front of me that begs for my fuel. It’s always there. Just up to me to energize.

What’s that got to do with “what a week” in my headline? I’m not entirely sure but I did want to remark on the week that ends today at the strike of 5:00 pm.

We didn’t have 72 inches of snow here in Florida like my cousins in Maryland. Or get to stay home and be woken by spinning tires on ice in my sister’s neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Or close down our government like in D.C.

Didn’t have to ship in snow like the Olympics people in Vancouver. (So strange how the dispersion of snow mixed up its coasts this winter). From what I’m told, snowboarders and skiers will be gliding over bales of hay with layers of artificial snow donning the surfaces.

How wild is this new century, anyway?

The week. Ok. The week.

We launched VOWS. You read about it. Once again I’m privvy to a brand new idea in publishing from the company who loves to forge new terrain in the industry.

Let me brag on the company I work for for just a moment. HCI ushered in the genre of recovery publishing in its very beginnings. (Another renowned player, Hazelden co-pioneered the category at the same time). Then, facing near death, they had the wisdom to sign a little series of books called Chicken Soup for the Soul  What exactly 133 publishes missed that HCI didn’t has been the subject of endless news stories.

The fact is, we didn’t miss it.

Our “third coming” in the realm of phenomena, we believe is in VOWS. Take extraordinary love stories from ordinary human beings and romanticize them into steamy novels commandeered by veteran novelists in the field.

What a great Valentine’s Day gift to celebrate. Love in its everyday permutations tranformed into books. Again, as in Chicken Soup, anyone is candidate for a place in the new VOWS series and everyone will be able to identify with the end result – a romance novel.

I’ll stop kvelling now (look that up in my post about Yiddish words if you don’t recognize it) about how I get to be a part of some pretty wicked cool developments in publishing. No, we’re not New York slick. We’re not even very literary when it comes to keeping up with the upper crust of the book world.

But we’re accessible. We’re still encouraging people to read REAL books. With a Kindle version here and there, we’re staying current, looking at the inevitable ebook as well- flat out- we’re a mean, lean machine doing our best to keep publishing alive.

Did I get a little hoaky? Forgive me, but I get emotional at times when I think of this little Florida publisher that could.  Staying out of the habits of the publishing traditions of the great north i.e. New York has made us who we are.

Our reward, never having to shovel snow.

We’re thankful and hope you love VOWS.

p.s. I heard a rumor that we’re getting a generous VOWS mention in the legendary blog today of Crazy Aunt Purl, one of  my favorite sources for guaranteed laughter. Check out her new book while you’re there. Enjoy! (she’s on California time, so be patient!)

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HCI Launches VOWS – A New Subgenre of Romance Publishing

February 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

Vows Logo small

Vows

Life … Romanticized

Introducing Vows, a daring new series from HCI Books —  a brand new genre —  launching in October 2010, that will rock the romance world and redefine memoir forever. A timely new dimension and subgenre of romance, each book in the Vows series is sexy, entertaining, inspiring, and TRUE.

Welcome to Reality-based, or RB Romance™ where the inspiration of each novel is ripped from the headlines and based on personal interviews with real couples whose love stories read like the best in romantic fiction. Esteem authors Judith Arnold, Alison Kent, and Julie Leto are beloved story-tellers whose distinctive styles have won them large and loyal followings.  Readers trust them to deliver compelling, page-turning reads, and beginning this fall romance readers will not be disappointed. They will be captivated by the unexpected—an experience that transcends anything that’s ever been offered in the genre before.

When fantasy meets reality anything can happen. Believe it. It’s true.

The authors

Alison Kent (TX), author of No Limits, a Cosmo Red Hot Read, has written over forty sexy, sassy contemporaries for Harlequin and action adventure suspense novels for Kensington. If there’s a better career to be had, she doesn’t want to know about it, as she’s quite happy penning romantic tales from the backyard of her Texas home. Visit the author at www.alisonkent.com.

Judith Arnold (MA) has written more than eighty-five novels with well over ten million copies in print worldwide. She has received numerous Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and Publishers Weekly named her novel Love in Bloom’s, one of the best books of the year. She has been a multiple finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA and Lifetime Achievement Awards, and is the author of the ground-breaking, bestselling novel Barefoot in the Grass. Visit the author at www.juditharnold.com.

Julie Leto (FL) , a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, broke into the romance industry in 1998 and has since published over thirty-five novels.  She’s been nominated for the coveted RITA award and her 2007 release, Stripped, was named Best Blaze by RT BOOKreviews. Visit the author at www.julieleto.com.

The Vows Series Developer

Mallory Rush, aka Olivia Rupprecht, (CO) is an award-winning, bestselling romance novelist whose titles have frequented bestseller lists and are translated into many foreign languages. In addition to having served as editor for NINK, the monthly journal of Novelists, Inc., Olivia ghostwrites memoir and non-fiction for a major publisher.

What people are saying about VOWS:

The marriage of real-life stories with classic, fictional romance – an amazing concept.” – Peggy Webb, award-winning author of sixty romance novels

“Memoir meets romance! In the twenty years I’ve been penning romances, this is one of the most novel and exciting ideas I’ve encountered in the genre. Take a Vow. It rocks!”Tara Janzen, New York Times bestselling author of Loose and Easy

An irresistible combination of romantic fantasy and reality that begins where our beloved romance novels end: VOWS. What a scrumptious slice of life!

Suzanne Forster, New York Times bestselling author

What better way is there to prove romance really exists than to read these books?—New York Times bestselling author, Carly Phillips

The first title

Hard to Hold by Julie Leto

Bestselling author Julie Leto conjures a delicious romance that’s as real and compelling as the couple whose remarkable story she tells.

New York lobbyist Michael Davoli feels like he’s been sucker punched when he meets Anne Miller at a concert. When fate leads him to move into same Albany apartment building where Anne lives, Michael falls hard.  After all, Anne’s hot, his dog likes her, and she’s catnip to the senses after she picks a lock faster than Sydney Bristow can disarm a nuke.

Always fiercely independent, Anne’s crackerjack reporting skills and keen intellect are no match for the chemical reaction she has to this man with electric blue eyes. But while Mike effortlessly holds her with his gaze, he withholds the embrace she longs for.  Why is he so distant? Has Anne misread his signals?  When he finally confesses that he suffers from a neurological disorder that he’s learned to disguise from others but could keep him from ever holding her through the night—she makes a choice that changes the rest of her life.

Anne isn’t about to let anything like Tourette’s Syndrome keep her from the man of her dreams. But Mike has a second secret. Will this secret be the one that even a grand passion cannot survive?

With her trademark wit and sensual artistry, Julie Leto knocks this unforgettable romance out of the park and straight to the heart.  Based on the true love story between Mike Davoli and Anne Miller, Hard to Hold is a modern day fairy tale that proves that the best things in life—and in romance—are real.

THE FUN PART!!!!

Do you have a sexy, steamy, bigger-than-life, or just plain worthwhile love story to tell? Want it romanticized by an actual romance novelist?

You can submit your own story to VOWS and qualify for one of two (or both) prizes.  There will be a monthly winner in an ongoing “best story” contest. Winners will get their choice of a dozen long stemmed red roses or a box of Godiva chocolates. For details, click  here! (http://www.vowsbooks.com)

SEE WHAT MEDIA IS SAYING ABOUT VOWS:

Publishers Weekly

Barbara Vey’s: BeyondHerBook blog

Shelf Awareness

This October HCI Books launches Vows, a series in what the company calls “a brand new genre,” reality-based romance, a phrase HCI has trademarked. Each Vows title is a true romance, “based on personal interviews with real couples whose love stories read like the best in romantic fiction.”

The first title is Hard to Hold by Julie Leto, about a lobbyist in Albany, N.Y., who falls for a reporter who lives in his apartment building. “After all, Anne’s hot, his dog likes her, and she’s catnip to the senses after she picks a lock faster than Sydney Bristow can disarm a nuke.”

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I finished (writing) my book!!!

February 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Stay tuned. There will be much to say!!

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When a book becomes a movie…from Reincarnationist to Past Life!

February 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

MJ Rose is a friend and colleague.  In addition to hiring her literary marketing services for many of the HCI titles, I consider her one of my mentors.

MJ’s a prolific novelist with a background in advertising. Lucky for me, I get the benefit of marketing savvy from someone who knows the book business from the inside out. You know how it is, typically you get one or the other. The gifted author who has a way with words and lives in his or her head, or the aggressive marketing type with a one-size-fits all industries mentality.

Sure, there are other talented book marketers, and I employ them to help me in my author and title promotion projects, but I’ve learned over the years to listen to what MJ Rose has to say. Her promotions to the trade via “Author Buzz” or her ability to reach consumer book clubs or her finesse in blog ad campaigns, are first rate. I have no problem being a commercial for her.

What’s really exciting is that on Tuesday night, at 9:00 (2/9 at 9!), FOX is launching a new dramatic series called, Past Life, based on MJ’s  REINCARNATIONIST novels.

How incredible is that?!

Since working at HCI, I’ve heard countless promises from authors or the producers making those promises that their book will become a reality show, the subject of a documentary, a tv movie, or even a Hollywood production. Sadly, almost none of them have come about. The competition is fierce  and years can go by while a project is “in development.”

Past Life is really happening and I’m proud to know the writer who inspired it.

It’s on right after American Idol. Top that!

Kudos to you MJ!

The inspiration for Past Life

The inspiration for Past Life

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