Thursday, February 24, 2011


OK, authors everywhere.  By now most of us should have received our 4th quarter royalties statements.  You know, the ones our accountants keep begging us to give them so they can finish our taxes.  The ones we have been awaiting oh-so-anxiously to know how our year finished up.

Readers loved me in February, when I released a book.  They still loved me in March, when it wasn't too old.  By April it was losing its luster even though it was the same good book it had been in February, and by May it was history.  Especially galling if the book happens to be historical.  EEK!!!

By now I know not much will happen until I release a fantasy historical already getting rave reviews from crit partners who are notoriously difficult to please.  Hopefully, it will be out this summer.  July and August will be good months...September and October leaner months and God help me if I don't release something in November.  My accountant will make another snide remark about writing being a hobby.  

Meanwhile, on my web site, nine bright and shiny once-somebody-loved-me books stare out at the reader like dogs in a shelter, all begging for somebody to take them home.  They'll be good, honest, they promise.  Actually, they ARE good.  There are several 5+ reviews and award winners among them, books that sold hundreds of copies their first week out.  The problem is...they're OLD.  Copyrighted as far back as 2008, some of them.  In a society where your dress can be out of style before it's finished burning up your credit card, they have a problem.

We hear that epub has great advantages because your back list never gets old.  But mine has gray hair and it's giving it to me.  And I hear people talk, so I know I'm not alone.

So who else has this going on?   Or, if you don't, to what do you atttribute your backlist's ability to move--that determined little wriggle like sperm seeking ova or, in this case, book hunting for a home?   And if you're a reader, I'd love to hear your take on whether you buy only new releases.  Is it sort of know, compulsive shopping?  Do you ever find a new-to-you author so talented that you go and buy their entire back list?  I have done that and, believe me, I was a reader long before I was a writer.  So, what gives?  Inquiring minds want to know.



Monday, February 14, 2011


I am delighted that my friend Kate Hofman had a book released on Valentine's Day!  How appropriate for any romance author and Kate is one of note.  I believe this may be book #33 for her.  This one is from Romance at Heart Publications.  Here's a peek:

 Yes, well...ahem.  Now to give you some idea about the story:

Life is good for Lorenzo Monferrato. He has a doting mother, a wife who loves him, and a daughter who thinks the sun rises and sets around her daddy.  
His development company flourishes, and is now worth over a billion dollars.   The only downside to his days is Amber, his over-protective secretary, who is in love with him and deludes herself that Lorenzo would return her feelings if only his wife were out of the picture.   He realizes he needs a male Personal Assistant, not a pushy secretary.

Lissa Monferrato is happy--she has a to-die-for husband, a daughter she dotes on, and a delightful mother-in-law. 

When a new project in Atlanta forces Lorenzo to take  Amber, she harasses him sexually, and he fires her instantly.  He hires a male Personal Assistant, but Amber is not done.  Will Lorenzo’s world be turned upside down?  What else is Amber plotting for him?  More importantly, is Lissa in danger?


Ocean Breeze, Florida
Late April     

“Yes? What is it?”  Lorenzo Monferrato looked up irritably from the file he was reading.
Amber Wright, his personal assistant, was breathing fast, sounding apologetic.  “I’ve just run up from the general office floor, Lorenzo—quicker than the elevator, for one floor.  The mail room advised me a letter had come for you by courier, so I went down for it.  It’s from Tampa Realty’s lawyer, marked Private & Confidential…  I thought it might be the deed to that tract of Tarpon Springs land.”         
“Well, let’s see if you’re right.”  Lorenzo quickly opened the envelope, unfolding the pages and flicking through them.  “Yes, it is.  Good.”  He stuffed the pages back in the envelope, handing it to Amber.  “Courier it to Marcella Mellis so she can do her legal stuff for me.  And get Nick Thalassinos on the line, will you.”
“I’ll take it to Ms. Mellis’s office in my lunch break.”  When she saw Lorenzo shrug, she went on.  “Is Nick interested in developing the land to add to his Akropolis Hotel’s amenities?”
Lorenzo frowned.  Amber was good at her work, but sometimes she tried to get more involved than he wanted her to be—guessing at his intentions.  None of her business that he and Nick liked being partners when there was an unusual property to be developed.  “Just get Nick for me.”     
Amber nodded, quickly leaving Lorenzo’s office, head down.  Damn, she’s so oversensitive.  Now I’ll have to apologize for being curt with her.  He wished she would develop a slightly thicker skin…  Or that he had a male P.A…
His desk phone buzzed.  “Mr. Thalassinos for you.”  Amber’s voice was very formal.  He frowned, deciding to ignore her.  
“Nick, it’s Lorenzo.  Tampa Realty’s lawyer sent the deed over to me.  We’ve got that land.”
~That’s great.  Wanna take a look at it, tomorrow?~
Lorenzo smiled.  He enjoyed deals where Nick was his partner.  “Okay.  I’ve got the tentative plans drawn up.  We can look at the property and mentally place the buildings…”
~Sounds good, Lorenzo.  Can’t wait to see what you came up with…~ Evidently, Nick wasn’t busy and ready to chat.  ~Listen, how do you feel about making it a family trip?  You know Nadine’s had bronchitis, and she’s slow to get her energy back.  I was thinking she likes it so much at our condo in the Akropolis, I could take her—leave Matt and Irène with their nanny.  I’ll reserve a suite for you in the hotel itself.  D’you want just Lissa, or will she want to bring F-Felice?~
Lorenzo smiled ruefully.  “Believe me, I want just Lissa, but…  And you’re right, our daughter's name is Felice—we call her Fliss.  You realize I had to name her for my mother.  I was relieved when Lissa didn’t mind—I’d expected that she’d insist on her mother’s name—Zizi—being first, but…” 
~Lissa’s mother is not exactly the motherly type, from what Nadine says.  No doubt you’ve discovered that for yourself…~
Lorenzo grinned.  “I rejoice to say that, to date, I’ve never met her.  Hearing about her was quite enough.  When we invited her to our wedding, she was surfing on Oahu with a much younger boyfriend, and refused to curtail their time there.”
Nick whistled gently between his teeth.  ~Lucky you, according to Nadine.  Moreover, Zizi is an abbreviation, not a name.~
Lorenzo nodded.  “That was going to be my point too—but I never had to make it.  When I suggested Felice, Lissa nodded happily.  ‘Fine,’ she said.  When I suggested Zizi for Felice’s second name, she said she’d prefer it if we picked a name we both liked the sound of.  So our daughter is Felice Ariadne.”
~Italian and Greek, nice.  Well?  Shall we make it a family trip or would you prefer a quick business visit?~
“Great idea, making it a family trip.  I think Lissa will want to bring Fliss.  She’s just two years old, and we’ve never left her overnight with her nanny.  Would that put the crimp in your plan to bring Nadine and not the kids?”
There was a brief pause.  Finally, Nick said, ~You do what you have to do, of course, Lorenzo.  I’ll try to get Nadine to leave the kids at home.  That way the trip will be relaxing for her.~
Lorenzo said ruefully, “I know what you mean—believe me, I’d like to get Lissa to go away with me for even a few days, just by ourselves.  But she would worry about Fliss, so I might as well accept that she’ll want to bring her.  I was thinking, since this will be a family trip, shall we leave the planning to our wives?”
~That’s probably a wise suggestion.  I’ll ask Nadine to set it up with Lissa.  Maybe when she hears that Nadine is coming without the kids, she’ll want to leave your daughter at home, too?~
Lorenzo grinned.  “I live in hope.”
They disconnected, and Lorenzo got up from his chair, putting the file he’d been reading into his briefcase.  He called, “Amber?”
She appeared instantly in the doorway.  “Yes, Lorenzo?”
Nick and I are going to take a look at that land in Tarpon Springs—probably tomorrow or day after.”
Amber nodded.  “For how many days should I pack?”
Lorenzo frowned, shaking his head.  “I’m taking my wife and Fliss—it’ll be a family trip for Nick and me.”
Amber gazed at him, her expression stricken.  “But you need me to take notes, check things…do things for you…”
Lorenzo shook his head again.  “Not this time, Amber.  You just hold the fort here.  If I should need anything, I can call you, have you dig up the info and phone me back.”
Amber nodded—reluctantly, it seemed to him.  “I guess that would work…”  She gave Lorenzo an odd little smile.  “I bet you’ll miss me—you’ve never gone on a field trip without me.” 
Lorenzo frowned.  “Yes, I have.  I handled that huge West Palm Beach development with my wife taking the notes, and so on.”
Dismayed on hearing that Lorenzo could do without her—she gazed at him, taking in his rangy height, his athlete’s shape—wide shoulders, narrow hips, long legs.  And his handsome face—eyes dark as midnight, half-hidden by long, curling lashes—winged, silky brows—a straight nose with unexpectedly sensitive nostrils—a mouth to die for…  And that slight cleft in his chin….  She hastily stopped daydreaming when she heard Lorenzo’s voice, several degrees cooler than usual.  
“You forget that my wife was P.A. to that Greek realty tycoon, Gianaris, in Manhattan.  If I need anything on this trip, Lissa will again call on her old skills to help me out.”
“You’re saying she is more competent than I?”  Deeply upset, Amber tossed her russet curls—her grey eyes suddenly bleak as slate. 
Lorenzo frowned.  At times, Amber could be a right royal pest.  “Don’t put words into my mouth, Amber.  I’ve given you my decision.  Don’t always try to change my mind or second-guess me.  I can’t tell you how irritating that is.”
Amber seemed to shrink within herself where she stood.  “I’m sorry.  I was only thinking of you—how used you are to having me with you, doing things for you…”
“Yes, well, this time I’ll have to muddle through with my wife’s help.”  He saw Amber take a deep breath, evidently ready to argue with him.  A moment later, he saw her change her mind, exhaling slowly. 
“Yes, of course,” she said.





It's the last day for my offer of a free PDF of my Valentine's Day book, Stupid Cupid.  If you would like a copy, just leave a comment and your email address.

This little novella is a quick read set in Ireland, where the arrival of both Cupid and a pugilistic couple in need of his services disrupts the life of the faerie band first met in my novel Confessions of the Cleaning Lady.  If you like paranormal with an Irish twist, don't miss Stupid Cupid with its adorable cover by DCL cover artist Annie Marshall!

Miriam Newman

Monday, February 7, 2011


Permission to forward granted and appreciated!
Valley Forge Romance Writers
2011 THE SHEILA Contest

Deadline: All entries must be received no later than February 12, 2011, 11:59 p.m., eastern standard time
Submissions: Total of 35 pages, including synopsis (not to exceed 5 pages).
Finalists will have a week after notification to submit a revised entry for review by the final round judges. 
Judging: Entrants will receive a detailed score sheet from four qualified judges including, whenever possible, at least one published author. The lowest score will be dropped before determining the final score. The top five entries in each category will advance to the finals.

Single Title Romance – Emilia Pisani, Simon and Schuster
Historical (short or long and Regencies) – Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s Press
Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal –  Leah Hultenschmidt, SourceBooks                                         
Women's Fiction with Romantic Elements/Chick Lit – Alex Logan, Grand Central
Romantic Suspense – Leis Pederson, Berkeley
- $25 for all VFRW members / $30 for all non-VFRW members.
- For non-electronic payment methods, contact the contest chair ( before January 29, 2011, to make arrangements.  Only money orders will be accepted.
- All entry fees are non-refundable except in the case of category cancellation, as stated above. 
- If you have any questions, please email

For detailed Rules and Entry Form, visit our website:

Jeannine Standen, Contest Chair, at

Friday, February 4, 2011

One Man's Skill, Another Man's Magic

One man’s accepted skills may be another man’s magic, or at least that’s the way Megan McMuir sees it when she learns her husband is a faery wizard. David’s a trooping faery, a human-sized fae, complete with antenna, wings and a glamour keeping anyone—including his wife—from seeing his true form. Once he confesses his duplicity to Megan, however, she makes a rule: No more glamour on the wife. She wants to see her husband and their entire household just as it is.

It’s a bit of a shock. Instead of a stately antebellum mansion, their home is actually a large magnolia tree in the middle of a vacant lot. Inside, it looks like a coal mine, with uncut gems twinkling in the darkness and roots hanging from the ceiling and protruding from the walls. Grass and flowers decorate the rooms and the bathroom comes equipped with its own waterfall. In fact, as Megan sees it:

The halls and corridors had always appeared narrow and cramped. Now, with the shield of glamour torn away, they became a series of tunnels, seemingly carved out of living rock. The walls melded into the ceiling in a continuous curve. Tree roots hanging from cracks pushed their way through crevices. Fissures gaped to reveal the sparkle of unmined gems.

At any moment, she expected to see Doc, Grumpy, and Sleepy appear and start singing Heigh-Ho!

As if that isn’t enough, now Megan finds herself the only mortal in a houseful of fae. First, of course, there’s husband David:

Copper brows winged above his eyes, not arching as they had before, but arrow-straight. And the eyes themselves... They were like an animal’s, the entire eye a deep green iris. Protruding from his forehead were antenna. Not butterfly-like but smoky, feathery tendrils floating in the air above his head. And the wings…Dragonfly-like, they didn’t come from under his shoulder blades but grew on each side of his upper spine. Not the tiny things shown in drawings of fairies either, but equaling David’s height. Delicately translucent in bronzes and golds, the colors of a Monarch's wings magnified.

…and David’s manservant, and familiar, Ossian:

…More handsome than David, if that were possible. Ossian was beautiful. Statue beautiful. A masterpiece. A pointed-eared man in a dark business suit, sporting a pair of brilliant blue and emerald wings, with the antenna sprouting from his forehead matching the glow of his blue, blue eyes.

…and Ossian’s twin sister, Brigid:

…just as beautiful in her own way. Her long, dark hair was braided and wound into a coronet at her crown.

And in the middle of this magical setting, is Megan O’Connell McMuir…newly-wed…expectant mother…human…with no magical powers and nothing but her love of her husband to keep her on a straight and steady court of sanity. Oh, and there’s the icing on the case: David’s been sent to protect the Earth from the invasion by his arch-rival, Exeter Dubhtina, a wizard with power equal to his own, and if David fails, both his own dimension as well as the little blue planet called Terra will be forfeit…

Ho-hum. Life’s never dull for a Wizard’s Wife!

Wizard’s Wife was released January 15, 2011, by Class Act Books and is available in both print and e-version. For a glimpse into Chapter One, click here