A Slice of Orange


Book Buyers’ Best Contest Winners!

August 5, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as

The 2008 BBB (Book Buyers’ Best) Winners were announced in the Orange County Chapter/RWA Hospitality Suite at RWA National Conference in San Francisco.

Series Short Contemporary
(Silhouette Desire)
by Anna DePalo

Series Long Contemporary
(Harlequin Everlasting Love)
by Ann De Fee

Single Title Romance with Romantic Elements
(New American Library)
by Brenda Scott Royce

Historical and Regency
by Jenna Petersen

Romantic Suspense/Mystery with Romantic Elements
(Berkley Sensation)
by Linda Castillo

Paranormal/Time Travel/ Fantasy
by Melissa Mayhue

The “TOP PICK” was chosen by Sue Grimshaw, Romance Fiction Buyer for
Borders, Inc.and Pam Nelson, Advertising and Promotions Levy Home
Entertainment, LLC.

This year, both the national buyers chose the same book for their Top

by Linda Castillo

As “TOP PICK”, Linda Castillo will be featured for one full year on a
special webpage at www.occrwa.org.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

OCC/RWA would like to thank all of the judges, including Sue Grimshaw and Pam Nelson. And a special thank-you to BBB Coordinator Lori Pyne for a second year of hard work and dedication.

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A Fantasy Life

July 28, 2008 by in category A Fantasy Life by Janet Cornelow tagged as ,

By Janet Quinn Cornelow

Gideon is the hero in my Augeas story that is part of my Whiskey Shots Vol. 17. He is a warrior set against Dorjan in a battle to save the Ancient Ones from annihilation in “The Betrayer.” He is also a human in a world of magic and a member of the Lord’s Guard.

When an editor sends you the edits on a book, it is probably the least enjoyable part of writing. Usually, you have time to work on it and do a last check. However, when I found out on July 15 that Amber Quill wanted to release Betrayals on August 3 and could I get the edits back by July 25 if I got them by the 19th, what was I suppose to say, “No.”

I got the edits on the 19th, returned them on the 22nd and emailed back and forth on the 23rd to clear up the last few problems – except for the one both the editor and I missed. The galley arrived on the 24th with a request to have it back within three to five days. I am on day four with 109 pages to go.

Besides eyestrain from staring at the computer screen and working on the edits and galley around my other two jobs, life is wonderful. Isn’t this what being an author is all about?

And just to make the weekend more interesting, the neighbors decided we needed a new fence. It was a little rickety after twenty some years. When do the fence men arrive? Four o’clock on Saturday afternoon. Came back on Sunday. Of course, this means I am locked in with Chewbaca, my 75 pound dog. He is spending his time guarding me from the men who might sneak in and attack and barking ferociously at the men in his backyard. Unfortunately, Chewbaca does not understand the fine art of walking so he can potty. After all, he has a dog door and uses the backyard whenever it suits his purpose. I’m waiting for a very large accident since he hasn’t been “out” for 24 hours.

Art work by Jasmine Tanner – http://veildandy.deviantart.com

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July 25, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as

By Lori Pyne

I am making new lists, crossing completed tasks off older lists, and sensing departure time approaching fast. Mental notes are bubbling and hopefully being recorded on to yet another new list of must get done before Saturday’s deadline.

Stress should be my dominate emotion, and yet excitement wins without a contest. Knowing that this will be my last for a while should make me sad, but gratitude and enthusiasm predominate.

Clothing still needs packing. Suppose I such first make sure the items fit before folding them into the suitcase. Would not want to arrive only to discover that the one thing that covers my current girth is the shorts and t-shirt worn on the drive up the coast.

Note to self – add control top nylons to a list.

I can hear the shared laughter from friends of many years and of those newly met. I can feel the moments of enlightenment as something heard numerous times finally makes sense.

Only mundane remaining tasks and a number of hours stand between now and departure time.

Anticipation. One of my favorite parts of the adventure

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Editor Interview: Leena Hyatt

July 24, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

By Isabel Swift
I met Lee in one of those virtual encounters that are commonplace now, but remain conceptually amazing to me: the links we forge from shared interests and common passions without ever actually meeting – or needing to!

The internet also allows us to virtually check each other out – so I visited one of Lee’s blogs, Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs (Join us for the latest news, views, and reviews from authors on authors…) and found a boatload of posts from authors I know & love. She has her finger in a lot of pies, with websites, reviews and a business but took the time to share her thoughts – though she noted she was more used to being on the publishing rather than the writing side of a post!

One of the best jobs in the world…

When I was young, I wanted to be a writer and an artist. I wanted to create. I wanted to fill the world with color and beautiful words that touched the soul: words that inspired strong emotion and also made you smile; colors that evoked passion and shouted ‘Look at me! Here I am!’

My favorite places to hang out included the art room at school and the library. I could get lost in both. I didn’t have to worry about not being good at fractions or formulas… or conversation.

But my roots belong in a conservative family where art and writing didn’t sound like promising careers and professions like medicine, law and business administration did. I held out for art college but then life happened and here I am today with a business administration background, a whole lot of color and lots of wonderful words to get lost in.

I’ve got one of the best jobs in the world. I work with some of the best, award-winning authors in the romance industry on administration, publicity, and promotion. My clients range from the newly published to the fully established, New York Times bestselling authors, and every day I’m surrounded by a lot of words… and a lot of gorgeous colors, too. I’m doing everything I love to do most. It’s perfect and totally suits me.

I fell into this job quite by accident – it’s funny how life often leads us in a roundabout way to the path we were always intended to take. I’ve been an avid reader since forever, and several years ago, just after my husband and I moved to Washington state, I was looking for a fun hobby as a way of making some new friends. I happened across a website looking for reviewers.

I still remember the first book they sent me to review. It was a 600 page eBook… Yikes! I didn’t think I’d get through it – 600 pages of reading at my computer?? Gah! But I did get through it. And I enjoyed it too.

I guess I had a knack for reviewing because pretty soon I was reading and reviewing over 14 books a month and loving every minute. It was fun and it got me really interested in learning about writing and publishing industry.

It also made me start getting ideas about putting pen to paper for my own stories. But again, life happened. I reconnected with a then-category romance author at a book signing and like a typical aspiring writer, I got into an email correspondence with her over the next several months.

She just happened to need some help with the business side of writing due to her packed schedule and time constraints and asked if I could help. It was only supposed to be for a short while because I wanted to get back to my own writing… but I fell in love with the job and word of mouth from my clients sealed the deal.

I still work on my own writing when I have time, but I’m not in any rush for now. I’m having way too much fun with my day job! I’ve got a small website and I deal with authors and readers every day. I get to do all the fun stuff like watch an idea for a story grow step by step and bloom in full color. I’m lucky enough to help with research, read chapters or brainstorm through difficult scenes, design bookmarks and flyers, set up contests and plan fun ways to publicize the book.

As a team, the author and I get to work on different ways to keep her/their name in front of readers, even during months when there is no new book on the shelves. We come up with smart ideas to get the most bang for her buck and still make an impact on the reader in a strong way. It’s interesting and unpredictable in so many ways, it keeps me on my toes and keeps me smiling – in color!

So tell me, when you think back to your childhood hopes and dreams, did you ever think then that you’d end up in the profession you’re in today?


Thanks for giving us the chance to get to know you!

Isabel Swifthttp://isabelswift.blogspot.com

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E-maginings: The Power of Affirmations

July 23, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

When I joined OCC 20 years ago (yikes!), on of the first special events I attended was a workshop on affirmations given by author Rita Rainville. Since then I’ve used affirmations off and on with some success. If you’re not familiar with the concept, an affirmation is a positive statement of something you want to be true in the here and now. It’s different from a goal which is a specific outcome to be achieved at some point in the future. Affirmations are statements like “I am a talented and prolific writer”. Not “I will be”, “I’m learning to be”, “I want to be”, but “I am”. Right now.

As I was learning the craft and business of writing, I heard many things. One was, find a place to write. A room, a desk, a laptop, whatever. For a long while I didn’t have that special place to write. I used the desktop, the laptop, a yellow pad, whatever was available. In the last few years, I’ve been dividing my time between my home in Anaheim and my MIL’s house in San Clemente, and I finally found that special place to write. In San Clemente. It’s a mixed blessing. But I’m not there all week, and I wasn’t getting as much writing done as I wanted to. So I revised my affirmation, adding a statement about being able to write anywhere, any time. That came in handy last week when I had to finish Ilona’s Wolf, my next story, in a big hurry. I found I was able to write anywhere, any time, even if that meant midnight. I wonder if I’d have been able to pull it off if I hadn’t been doing my affirmations.

For a couple of years I’d noticed that my short stories weren’t being reviewed in a timely fashion. Sometimes the first review wouldn’t come out until five-six months after the release. I didn’t know what to do about it. The review process is out of my control. But I tried adding an affirmation that says “I get fantastic, timely reviews” any way. I had no idea if it would make a difference, but my most recent story. Alliance: Cosmic Scandal, was published on June 29 and I’ve already received two reviews for it! 😮

I’m not entirely sure how this affirmation process really works. Oh, I get the part about me talking to my subconscious mind about things that are under my control. When I say I can write anywhere, any time, I’m basically telling my subconscious not to throw up roadblocks when the routine changes. That makes sense. But when I affirm that I’ll get “fantastic, timely reviews”, I’m talking about something I have no control over. I’m just putting that thought out into the universe in hopes that someone is listening, and apparently they are. It’s a little spooky when you think about it, but nice.

It’s not too late to make some affirmations before conference. If you’re shy, affirm that “I’m a friendly person who enjoys meeting new friends”. You never know who you’ll run into at conference. Like Debra Holland said at the last meeting, we all need to become extraverted for a few days.

Have you tried using affirmations and did they help?

Linda Mac / Lyndi Lamont

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