A Slice of Orange



March 29, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

You know that coveted little statuette, the RITA?

Well, five* of our OCC members were nominated!

Let’s hear it for:

* If you are an OCC member nominated for a RITA or Golden Heart, but aren’t up here please tell us so we can congratulate you too!
0 0 Read more

Keeper Shelf

March 28, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Sandy Novy-Chvostal

Okay, my good friends know it, so the rest of the world may as well know it, too. I really didn’t join OCC/RWA to become a writer; I joined because I was an avid romance reader. The sole reason I attended meetings at first was to gawk at the authors who wrote the books I read and love.

One of the primary authors I planned to gawk at was Christine Rimmer. (Yep, the same Christine who blogged right here a couple of days back.) Unfortunately, at the same time I joined OCC/RWA, Christine–although she has remained a member–moved out of the state and thus, out of convenient gawking range. (Sheer coincidence, I’m sure, no matter what my good friend Angie Ray says.)

Still, since then I’ve been able to meet (and gawk) at Christine at National Conference several times. And when she visited OCC to speak a year or so ago, I was ready for her. I arrived at the volunteer reception in her honor staggering under the weight of a bag filled with her books.

“Just a few from my keeper shelf,” I huffed, plopping the bag down to wipe my sweating brow. “I didn’t want to impose by bringing all that I have, but do you mind signing these?”

Well, Chris is really sweet. She graciously agreed, and only blanched a little when I stacked her books up three (okay, four) feet high in front of her. Then she started signing, while I stood there with my usual sang-froid and–well, gawked.

When she picked up a Silhouette Special Edition book in her Jones family series, SWEETBRIAR SUMMER, I sighed just thinking about that story, summed up nicely in the back blurb:

Hymn-singing spinster Regina Black was shocked to her virginal core. Imagine, Patrick Jones–North Magdalene’s most notorious bachelor dad–out to seduce her. She’d never permit it. Never. Not if hell froze over and Satan skated.

Yet, in just one sultry afternoon on Sweetbriar Summit, virile Patrick jolted angelic Regina off the straight and narrow–and into the arms of temptation! And his surprising proposition of marriage was one she knew she couldn’t refuse . . .

Now, all Chris’s books are fantastic, but SWEETBRIAR SUMMIT has elements that get a diehard romance lover like me every time–a virgin heroine, an Alpha-Alpha (aka hubba-hubba) hero, and a marriage of semi-convenience. Listed bluntly, these elements read as totally cliché.

But Chris, as she does in all her books, takes the story beyond the stereotypical, richly layering her characterization to make her people come alive. Yes, Patrick is an Alpha male; he’s also a caring, loving, sometimes flawed father who wants to do right by his often exasperating, far-from-perfect daughters.

And the sexual tension in Chris’s stories is amazing. The love scene in SWEETBRIAR SUMMIT is hot enough to burn. What gives it such dramatic impact is all the sensory details Chris weaves throughout the story leading up to it. Details unique to these two characters alone. Such as when the hero is performing the simple task of making a hamburger for the heroine:

He set the bun on her plate gently, opening it with his tan fingers and edging it between a tossed salad with vinaigrette dressing on one side and something Linda Lou had called Potato Surprise on the other. Then he eased the patty onto the bottom half of the bun.

Regina watched Patrick’s hands doing this simple series of actions, setting the bun on the plate, opening it, laying the meat on top. And she had that same feeling she’d had at her front door that morning a month ago, right after he moved in next door, when he came over to borrow the sugar for his father’s coffee and she’d looked at his feet and thought how beautiful they were.

It was with a feeling of sadness, of something splendid glimpsed too briefly, and then gone.

I can’t get enough of Christine Rimmer’s books. I read the old ones over and over and grab up the new ones (most recently RALPHIE’S WIVES) as quickly as I can.

They are keepers, every one.

Sandy Novy-Chvostal (aka Sandra Paul) has a degree in journalism, but prefers to write from the heart. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have three children, three cats, and one overgrown “puppy.” Romantic Times has labeled Sandra Paul’s work as “outrageously funny and surprisingly perceptive” while Rendezvous stated “Sandra Paul is imagination with wings.”

(Silhouette Romance, Editor Mary-Theresa Hussey) is a finalist in the Romance Writers of America RITA Awards.

4 0 Read more

What Inspires You?

March 27, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Lori Pyne

Has a moment or a story stopped you in the midst of your hustle, bustle life and reminded you of the better side of our human nature? Some of the stories make me laugh; some make me cry, but they have all touched me, even changed me.

Tears flowed down my cheek when I read of the high school coach who allowed an autistic student to play in the last few minutes of a basketball game. His classmates cheered each of his attempts. The other side’s fans realized they were observing something special and added their support. The boy did not allow his lack of success to deter him. He tossed the ball up again. The place erupted when he scored. The crowd, no longer divided by sides, celebrated his victory.

A moment of kindness. Yet the impact lasts far beyond that moment for me and, most likely, for those who saw it in person and for others who were told the story.

What act of kindness continues to inspire you days, months, even years afterwards?

Lori Pyne, an active member of OCC, is often inspired by her friends and family.

2 0 Read more

What’s new in YA

March 26, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Alyson Noël

I have a confession to make– I rarely read the genre I’m writing in. And since I’ve been writing women’s fiction and YA this means I’m reading a whole lot of non-fiction, while my TBR pile multiplies. But recently, when I was asked to blurb an upcoming teen title, I made an exception, and I’m so glad I did.

Renee Rosen’s debut novel, EVERY CROOKED POT (St. Martin’s Griffin/July 07), is a nostalgic look at the 70’s, telling the story of Nina Goldman, the youngest of three growing up in Akron, Ohio, with her eccentric, larger-than-life farther, Artie, a colorblind carpet salesman with dreams of being a musician.

Growing up as Artie’s daughter is hard enough, but Nina has other issues to deal with, like the strawberry birthmark that covers her eye, setting her apart and making her the object of school yard taunts and derision. When visits to an out of state dermatologist fail, she turns to make-up and extreme hairstyles in an attempt to blend in. And when the cute and popular McFadden brothers move next door, she goes to even greater lengths to be loved and accepted.

With, EVERY CROOKED POT, Rosen has crafted a realistic, sharp, touching, and funny story, perfectly capturing what it’s like to be stuck on the outside, longing to get in. Writing a blurb for this book was hard, because it’s just that good, and not easily summed up in one catchy phrase. I highly recommend this beautifully written debut novel for anyone who loves a good coming of age story.

Alyson Noël is the author of the teen novels, FAKING 19, ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS, LAGUNA COVE, and the upcoming KISS & BLOG (May 07) and SAVING ZOE (Sept 07). Her debut adult novel, FLY ME TO THE MOON, was released in Jan 07. You can visit her at- www.alysonnoel.com

3 0 Read more

Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

March 23, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Christine Rimmer

Hey, everybody. Great to be here on A Slice of Orange. Some of my favorite people can be found at OCC/RWA.

I’ve been asked to write the first Advice to Me as a Newbie post. I’m honored and I’ll do my best. But this could be long, folks. After all, I’ve got the first installment and nobody’s taken all the good ones yet.

Here I am: Newbie. Love the hair. And get a load of those shoulders! Pads, people. Those were so the days.

And looking at me then…le sigh. I sold my first book on my own and then I hooked up with my first agent, the lovely Pat Teal. Pat was the one who told me, “Chris. You don’t have to be alone.” Because, I swear, until Pat, I didn’t know about RWA! So I joined OCC. There, in the back room of a Sizzler restaurant, I found a whole bunch of amazing like-minded women to share with and learn with. There, I joined my first plot group—you know who you are! So. My first bit of advice is patently obvious:

1. Get outta the house—and your own head—now and then. Join a RWA—or whatever writer’s group fits your passion. And participate. Learn! Grow! Share information! Okay, okay. Too many exclamation points. But you get my drift.

And point number one leads me directly to 2 and 3, which are…

2. Make writer friends suitable for a long writing life. This is a necessity. Find other authors you like, admire, want to learn from, have…chemistry with. Build trust and long-term relationships with said authors. Because things will get rocky, folks. Things will get ugly. You need someone you can call when that happens. You need friends you can cry to, friends you can admit your deepest self-doubts and jealousies and pettiness to. Friends to whine to. You need friends who will love you and respect you and help you get through the tough times, no matter how unattractive and needy you are at those times. And you also need someone you can crow to when you triumph. Some moments in a writer’s life are only meant to be witnessed by true friends. Find those friends. And whatever kindness and love they give you, give it back a hundredfold.

3. Reach out a hand. Support beginning authors. Go with your gut on this. Do what feels right to you: judge contests, give the occasional critique. It’s not a matter of owing it having to. It’s a matter of passing the goodness along.

4. Fill the Well. The creative well. It’s not necessarily bottomless, though it can be if you keep replenishing it. Have artist dates, with yourself as a creative individual. Whatever floats your creative boat. Coffee at Starbucks, watching the people; a movie that calls to you, as a writer. A trip to a location you’ll use in you book. It’s not what you do to fill the well, but that you fill it.

5. Nurture the body. Eat well. Exercise. Get a good writing chair and a keyboard that doesn’t strain your hands. Taking care of the equipment is so important. You only get one set and you won’t last in this career if you’re in pain or ill. It takes stamina and strength to write good books over a long career. The condition of your body is going to matter, bigtime.

6. Get a life. Writing is your passion, but it’s not your whole life. Love, live, take care of your family, party hearty now and then. Being able to say, “I’m an author,” is a wonderful thing. But that’s by no means all you are.

7. Center yourself daily. Meditation, prayer. Whatever name you want to give it. Just as you need a life and to fill the well, you need a place to take your mind and heart that’s outside of your ambition and your day-to-day trials and tribulations.

8. Set goals. Break them down into tasks. Accomplish these tasks. Do this daily. And you will amaze yourself with all that gets done.

Newbie self, I could go on and on. But start with the above. It’s going to be a grand adventure. Savor every minute.


Christine Rimmer is the USA-Today bestselling author of over sixty romances. Her latest release is Ralphie’s Wives. Drop in at her blog and say hi.

9 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM