Friday, November 30, 2012


The Comfort Zone.
 It's a lovely place to be, isn't it? Wearing the same soft, pilly sweater, eating the same fat-loaded comfort foods, seeing the same friends, even writing the same types of books.

I published my first romantic suspense with Harlequin Intrigue in 2001. Since then I've written 32 books for Intrigue. My next Intrigue is
Cover Me, an anthology I wrote with Rita Herron and Joanna Wayne, on shelves in March of 2013. I love writing for Intrigue. To me it still seems like a dream and it's definitely a dream come true.

But as much as I love writing romantic suspense, I also love writing other genres of romantic fiction--paranormal romance, contemporary romance and even historical romance. 

Recently, I've been flexing those out-of-shape writing muscles, and I'm happy to announce that I have several short stories from different genres up on my Amazon Kindle page. I also have an historical romance novella called September Rain and a light contemporary romance, It's In His Kiss, that will be available for our InkJockeys BookDerby event, right here on the InkJockeys Blog on December 5 and 6.  

My fellow authors and I will be offering a ton of 99¢ and FREE Kindle books for readers. Come grab some spectacular books at prices that can't be beat.

I'd love to hear if any of you have stepped out of your comfort zone lately. It's a brave and daring thing to do (in my opinion) and I applaud you for doing it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paula Graves, Living Vicariously

I've always wanted to be interesting, but apparently I lack the drive or the internal resources for it.  I'm ruthlessly average, a bit on the nerdy side, and my life is so ordinary it even puts me to sleep.
So how on earth did I come to write romantic thrillers for a living?

I figure, the next best thing to doing something exciting is writing about it. I'm too afraid of heights to stand on a chair, but that doesn't keep my heroines from dangling thirty feet from a truss bridge in a hallucinatory state.  Fire scares the heck out of me, but I've been known to stick a hero in a burning house trying to open a nailed-shut trap door to save the heroine.

When I was a kid, my play time was all about pretending to be something I wasn't.  I guess writing books is the grown-up equivalent to playing pretend for me.

I've always thought of writing as a fun sort of therapy, in which I deal with my neuroses by living them out on page and winning. I get thrills through my characters, who get to do the interesting, exciting, and important things that I'll probably never get the chance to do.  Like take on a Mexican drug lord and fall in love with a smokin' hot cowboy.

My December story, "Wyatt" is part of a Harlequin Intrigue Christmas anthology called THREE COWBOYS.  My co-conspirators, Julie Miller and Dana Marton, wrote the first two stories, and mine wraps up the overarching mystery.  It's a tale about three brothers, estranged by time and circumstance, who join forces when the little sister they never knew existed is kidnapped by a ruthless drug cartel just a few days before Christmas.  There's plenty of danger and thrills, but there's also a heart-warming story about a family finding its way back together at a time of year when family and forgiveness take center stage.
I also have three indie e-books available now, books I chose to publish myself in order to help them find an audience.  Talk about living vicariously—one of them actually features a former President's daughter seeking help and protection from the former Secret Service agent who once protected her.  Check them out on my website:
So here's my question for you.  Do you read books to meet interesting people?

Don't forget to watch for our upcoming Book Derby!  Lots of free and 99¢ books up for grabs! Don't miss it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Connie Flynn. Starting Over . . . and Over

Life is what happens while we're making other plans . . . John Lennon

As we move through life making plans then dealing with what actually happens, we often fail to notice how frequently we start over. That got me thinking about my writing career, the one I decided to pursue after I got to work one day and learned my boss and all my peers were being laid off. I was the only one left and not long for that world, either, I realized, so I began looking for other work.

That took me to fiction writing, novels actually, and I wrote a romance that was sold to Harlequin Superromance, the second publisher I'd sent it to. I was elated. I was on my way. Harlequin was,  of course, going to buy everything I wrote, and when you stop laughing I'll tell you what this recollection brought with it.

First, I think I always wanted to be a writer, I just didn't know it. Back in the fourth grade I had this wonderful inspiring teacher who encouraged the class to write fiction and share their stories. I wrote about Suzie and Jimmy, siblings who solved mysteries and had a black cat that had undergone a white hair examination in order to become a Halloween cat. Anyway, I quickly became a superstar in this small fourth grade class and the other kids couldn't wait to read the next Suzie and Jimmy installment.

Everyone, that is, except my best friend, Bonnie (isn't that cute, it rhymes) who told me without any sugar coating that she didn't understand why I kept writing about these same stupid people. Apparently, I didn't understand either because I don't remember ever writing another story that year.

Fast forward twenty years on an afternoon when I just finished reading a dark Phyllis Whitney gothic romance. The story grabbed me and when I finished I decided I wanted to write like that.  Typewriters weren't household items in those days and the personal computer was just an spark in the brains of future Microsoft founders, so I grabbed a spiral notebook and put it all down by hand. I wrote. I crossed out. I scribbled over old writing, I strived to write new . . . and better. Eventually I decided my writing was crap. Who was I to think I could ever write like Phyllis Whitney?

It never occurred to me to ask myself where that voice came from. Echoes of Bonnie I now think, but the page binder got stuck in a bottom drawer, not to see daylight for nearly ten years when I moved. While packing, I found the binder, started reading the pages – no easy task since the handwriting was often illegible – and discovered the writing really wasn't all that bad.  It needed rewriting, yes, but it wasn't crap.

Which circles me back to the beginning of this blog, when my working life was thrown into "starting over." I started over once again, still using a binder and ruled paper. Then I bought an almost leading edge personal computer, (256k of RAM) although I didn't spring for the hard drive. I got an employee discount from the company that would later lay me off.

That's when I really started over. I went into writing novels for the money (okay, you can laugh again) but it soon became a calling and that's when I realized that the rest of my life would be a series of "starting over."  I wrote ten traditionally published novels and each book entailed "starting over." Publishing began changing in the blink of an eye. Editors jumped ship with nowhere to land, expectations changed and the bean counters finally got control.
That's when I realized that independent publishing was a world where I had some control and I met the wonderful Ink Jockeys and together we are helping each other thrive by publishing independently. Life remains a series of "starting over." Only now I wouldn't have it any other way.



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From the Author:
The books of Connie Flynn, a bestselling, award-winning author of ten novels and several short stories, are getting some positive attention from eBooks readers these days. She writes in several genres, including paranormal romance, romantic comedy and romantic action/adventure, contemporary fantasy, and mystery/suspense. Look for several more new releases from her in 2013.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ginger Chambers

Ginger Chambers’ writing specialty is Contemporary Romance.  She’s been writing and selling romances for most of her adult life. First for Dell Publishing and then for Harlequin.  “I’ve always been a romantic,” Ginger says. “And I read hundreds and hundreds of romances before starting to write. I truly do love romance!” 
Of Ginger’s 33 plus books,  she wrote one Candlelight (sweet) Romance, three Candlelight Ecstasy (spicy) romances, four Candlelight Ecstasy Supreme romances (longer versions of the Ecstasy romances), eleven Harlequin American romances, two books in the highly popular Welcome to Tyler series--the first continuity series Harlequin created--(written by different authors, with a single mystery running throughout twelve books), two books in the follow-up continuity series, Hometown Reunion (also set in Tyler), and ten Superromances, seven of which were Ginger’s own continuity series within Superromance, The West Texans. Three of Ginger’s Superromances were also re-edited and re-published by Harlequin for their new Heartwarming series.

Coming soon on Ink Jockeys: Ginger Chambers venture into e-publishing. “I’ve found it so sad over the years that series books have had such a short shelf life. But now, with the advent of e-publishing, series writers are able to bring their past books to life again. How wonderful for both readers and writers!” 

Learn more about Ginger at her blog, and on her Facebook page,

Watch this space for our exciting Book Derby on December 5-6. Come scoop up some bargains!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rebecca York Goes for the Far Out

When Rebecca York was little she lived in an apartment building in Washington, D.C., where the elevator broke every few months, trapping tenants for hours. Because she was terrified of getting stuck in there alone, she would access her fifth-floor apartment by running up or down the stairs. The stairwell was dark and spooky, and she imagined vampires and zombies lurking there, following close on her heels as she pounded up the steps. But she preferred that threat to the haunted elevator. Eventually, she made peace with the dark creatures of the night and even got to like them so much that she turned them from monsters to the sexy alpha male heroes of her romantic suspense stories.

She’s written more than seventy-five RS novels, all populated with guys who can only be tamed by the love of a good woman. One of her latest projects is her indie series, Decorah Security, where all the agents have paranormal powers or take on paranormal cases. Frank Decorah, the crusty old Navy SEAL who owns the agency, had his own run-in with the weird and dangerous not long after he lost his leg in a commando raid, which is why he keeps an open mind to otherworldly possibilities. His agents include werewolves Cole Marshall (DARK MOON) and Zack Marshall (HOT AND DANGEROUS), a very sexy ghost named Matt Houseman (CHAINED), and Ben Walker, who can touch the dead and get their last memories (DARK POWERS). Rebecca loves getting inside the heads of these alpha-male heroes, pairing them with strong women, and putting the two of them in danger. Their reward for defeating the bad guys is their own HEA.

A USA Today best-selling novelist, Rebecca is a recipient of RWA's Centennial Award. She has written for many traditional publishers. Her werewolf Moon series was previously published by Berkley, with new stories coming out in the Decorah Security Series. She also writes for Harlequin Intrigue, including her long-running 43 Light Street series, set in Baltimore, and has started a fantasy romance series (the Chronicles of Arandal) for Carina Press as well as a romantic suspense series for Sourcebooks which will be published in Fall of 2013. She is the winner of a PRISM Award, two RT BOOK REVIEWS Career Achievement Awards, 5 New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Awards, and the 2012 Mentoring Award of Washington Romance Writers. Two of her books were RITA finalists. Learn more about Rebecca York at her Web site, or drop by her blog,  Her Twitter handle is @rebeccayork43. She’s on Facebook at

Watch this space for our exciting Book Derby on December 5-6.  We'll be offering a ton of 99¢ and FREE Kindle books for readers. Come scoop up some bargains.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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