Things to consider when choosing a pen name

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This past spring, I was asked about pen names by someone writing an article for the RWR (the magazine all RWA–Romance Writers of America–members get monthly). The question was whether it was okay for authors to choose their own pen names, or if publishers and agents were going to want to have a say in the name. Then, a few months ago, I was writing a quick email to someone and realized their pen name was, I’m sorry to say, so ridiculous I could not ever imagine addressing them by it. So I thought we should talk a little about pen names. For some of you, it may be too late, but for the rest, read on and let’s discuss things to consider when choosing a pen name.

Does it sound like a porn star?

You want people to take your writing seriously, start by giving them a name that says you take your writing seriously.

Would you be comfortable sharing the name with your family and friends?

If you think you might be embarrassed to have your mom, dad, old high school acquaintance, or how about your current boss, find out your name, it might not be the right one.

Can you answer to that name for years to come and feel comfortable with it?

Your plan is to grow your writing career, I assume. Will you still want to be called by that pen name twenty years from now? Is that the pen name one they can share in the history books without blushing?

Will people feel foolish or awkward calling you by name in person?

Remember, it’s different to have someone speak the name than to write it. Try having people close to you call you by that name.

How difficult is it to sign?

Think positive. Someday, 500 fans are going to be waiting in a line for your autograph, will you be able to sign that name smoothly 500 times?

Does anyone else have a name so similar you may be mistaken for them?

Unless, of course, you don’t mind being mistaken for Jenna Jameson. Many of us wouldn’t, just as long as it was someone saying they thought we looked like her ;)

Will readers be able to read or spell–or most important remember–your name?

Things that can make this more difficult include long, complicated names, names with apostrophes (those can also mess up coding in html/metadata) and names that are so unique/unusual, most people haven’t seen them before.

Can you purchase the domain for the name you’re considering?

Not only the domain, but the Twitter and Facebook names? If you haven’t settled on a pen name, lack of availability of any of this may be a reason to choose a different name.

*Word of caution: if you search for a domain name and it’s available, be prepared to buy it, even if you haven’t settled on that name. It’s worth the $7 to $10 investment per domain to reserve a few options. There are people who watch sites like GoDaddy, to see what people search for, and then buy it, hoping you’ll come back and decide you want it and pay a higher price for it.

Other things I’ve heard should possibly be considered: where will you be shelved (in a digital world, this probably won’t matter),  how common is the last name and who will you sit near at booksignings (I often joke I’m going to write a book so I can sit next to Julie James at a booksigning, but I’d probably have to change my first name to Jenny because there are other James between us. Jenny James. And now I’m probably getting dangerously close to Jenna Jameson).

At the end of the day, a pen name may be one you use for years. Yes, you may have the opportunity to use more than one (not always a good thing) but it’s still important to be careful in your selection. As your career grows, in addition to the name on the cover of your book, it’s a name you’ll use on the internet, on forums, on social media, in interviews, at conferences, at dinners and drinks and casual meetings with readers. It’s the name that may become as much *you* as your real name, so make it one you can wear proudly.

Fun in Pictures

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I didn’t get a chance to do an RWA recap, and the weeks are getting away from me, but I thought I could share a few of the pictures from our time there.

First, here’s a picture of me at a character breakfast (remember, we were in DisneyWorld for RWA this year!) hosted by 3 Seas Literary Agency. It was a fantastic breakfast and I’m glad I could attend.I’m in the front right, in the turquoise dress, kneeling in front of editor Heather Osborn from Tor.

Next up are a few pictures from the Harlequin Party on Friday night. Harlequin always throws THE party of the conference, and this year was no exception. The theme was “Picture Perfect” and, as such, there were photographers there to take photos, both staged and candid. It was fantastic!

This picture, from left to right: Rosie from Nobody Asked Me, Malle Vallik and new Carina Press author LB Gregg.

In this picture we have two Carina Press authors. On the left is Susanna Fraser, and in the middle is Marie Force.

From left to right: Jenny Bullough, me (Angela James) and Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

On the left is eHarlequin Community Manager Jayne Hoogenberk and with her is Danica, one of the eHarlequin community hosts

I hope Jenny can forgive me for posting this picture, but we had FUN and here’s where you see it.

I also have a few pictures from the Ritas.

From left to right: aspiring author Kat Crouch, me, and author Dawn Chartier (they said I inspired them and wanted their picture with me. I was so flattered!)

Three of the most gorgeous editors you’ve ever seen, from the London Mills & Boon offices. And so nice you can’t hate them. I’ve warned them I’ll be visiting them in London someday soon:

I have more pictures from RWA, so I’ll try to be back with a few more on Monday!



Erotic Romance, Menage and More!

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Or the evolution of an editor’s reading tastes from sweet to hot to sizzling!

I don’t think I ever imagined writing the headline “Erotic Romance, Menage and More” when I first began my publishing career – or even when I first wondered what a book editor did as I shelved novels at my local library. As I wondered what kinds of jobs people who worked in publishing held, and the only job I know of was editor, I concluded the editor most likely wrote the back cover copy. It never occurred to me that people actually got paid to read books and if you had told me I most likely would not have believed you. To my fourteen-year-old self it just sounded too good to get paid to read.

Nevertheless, many years later I did get a job in publishing reading books and moved through several publishers to land a fantastic editorial job at Harlequin. While my Harlequin editorial career eventually lead to me working in the digital space, I did spend a decade working on the series print business and edited some really hot books!

When I edited Temptation novels I fondly recall publishing both Tiffany White and Mallory Rush, category writers who really pushed the boundaries of what might be permissible in a sexy category romance.  We wanted to title one of Tiffany’s books FRENCH KISS but the suggestion was overruled as too provocative. Really. It was 1990something. By the time Mallory’s LOVE SLAVE came around the powers-that-be had come to understand the effectiveness of a really great sexy title on sales. We received over 100 pieces of fan mail about LOVE SLAVE, which trust me, is a really high number of fan letters, especially in the olden days when people had to write and then mail their letter!

Harlequin Blaze was a miniseries in Temptation that eventually evolved into a stand alone series – which had always been the plan. We wanted to publish even sexier books because we knew there was a hungry audience for them, but certain big accounts did not like having a romance series labeled as super sexy. Hence we created a miniseries that readers would understand, and the big national account could just ignore.

Now my reading evolution has gone even further because I am on the acquisitions team of Carina Press.  I’ve read erotica, erotic romance, menages (and more!).  Super hot steamy novels appeal to readers because when they are well-written, they are incredibly honest and real about relationships. After all, what is more honest than sex? Making love is when we truly reveals who we are. Sure there’s a great entertainment factor in increasing the sexual tension, at writing about couples in outrageous even scandalous situations, but great sex scenes also reveal how a couple (or however many!) fall in love. If it’s a romance the love scenes change over the course of the book, to reflect the changes in the growing relationship. The sex needs to reflect the gamut of emotions  the couple experiences.

Which is my very long-winded way of saying we are looking for more erotic romance and erotica at Carina Presss. Check out what we’ve been publishing and our submission guidelines and send us your work! If you’ve got a great story to tell we would love to publish it.

Curious? Explore Harlequin’s  “Curious Reader’s Guide to Erotic Romance”

A Rogue’s Pleasure Revisited

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A Rogue's Pleasure, Carina Press, ISBN: 978-14268-9048-2

Ever since I first cracked the cover of Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It, in eleventh grade English, I’ve been fascinated by the thought of men and women switching clothing–and roles–and yet still managing to not only find one another but fall in love amidst the masking.

In A Rogue’s Pleasure, my Regency-set romance reissue with Carina Press, my heroine’s name isn’t Rosalind but Chelsea. But like Shakespeare’s heroine, life-or-death circumstances–in Chelsea’s case, a beloved brother’s kidnapping–have led Chelsea to shed her skirts for breeches.

It is Regency England, the dawn of the modern age but not quite. Roadways are still largely packed earth and rutted by carriage wheels. Private coaches traveling between the countryside and London are prime targets for the rogues of the road, highwaymen whose call to “Halt! Stand and deliver!” struck reasonable terror into the hearts of many a driver and his well-heeled passengers.

In A Rogue’s Pleasure those well-heeled passengers are Lord Anthony Grenville, a war hero newly returned from Portugal and The Peninsular Campaign against Napoleon, his fiancee, Lady Phoebe Tremont, and her mother.

Alas, gentle readers, Lady Phoebe is not the heroine.

So how do Anthony and Chelsea meet? Fiction writer that I am, I like to imagine that amidst all those dashing rogues of the road, there might have been one or two plucky highway women.

Enjoy the book excerpt and afterward close your eyes, employ your imagination, and for a few moments dare to believe. :)

Photo by BizUrban.com.

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of thirteen historical and contemporary romance novels, including MY LORD JACK (Carina Press, July 12, 2010). Look for A HARLEQUIN CHRISTMAS CAROL, a Christmas anthology with Betina Krahn and Jacquie D’Alessandro, in bookstores this November 10, 2010. Visit Hope online at www.HopeTarr.com and find her on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

A Glimpse Inside No One Lives Twice

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I love rooting for the underdog. One of my favorite parts of reading a novel is when a character rises to an occasion in a way they never thought possible.

When I dreamed up Lexi as the heroine of No One Lives Twice, I wanted to create a character that was very smart, yet lacking in the social graces.  She is a young woman who feels safe in her logical and utterly predictable world which revolves around computers, code and math. No complicated emotions, bewildering social signals or steamy sex to complicate her life, thank you. Or so she thinks! Oh, how fun it was to shake up Lexi’s world. I gleefully put her outside her comfort zone in a BIG way and waited to see what happened.

Well, Lexi didn’t disappoint. Not only does she have to rescue her best friend, manage a handful of extremely hot, not to mention dangerous, guys, AND save the day, she also has to figure out how to wear sexy underwear, handcuff a guy to a bed and talk dirty . . . all in the name of national security.

By the way, the title “No One Lives Twice” is a twist on the James Bond movie called “You Only Live Twice,” but is actually an important clue to the theme and mystery of the novel. I’d love to introduce you to Lexi, so let me share an excerpt of her story with you.

No One Lives Twice

When I was little, everyone who knew me thought I was odd. I never wanted to play with dolls and I didn’t enroll in ballet or gymnastics. Instead my paramount interest was numbers. For years I carried around math flashcards and liked to entertain my parents’ friends by adding, subtracting and multiplying in my head. As I grew older, I quickly moved on to more mature themes, devouring linear algebra, differential equations, quadratic reciprocity and stochastic processes. Computers were my only friends and the internet, my playground.

Today, some twenty years later, I’m still fascinated with numbers, computers and code. But this time around, I’m getting paid for it as an information security technologist with the U.S. National Security Agency, or NSA for short. Most of us call it the “No Such Agency” because we are so secret. I heard somewhere that less than five percent of Americans even know we exist.

Basically, I do a lot of web surfing and looking for bad guys. Using methodical, mathematical and logical techniques—and when that fails, sheer imagination—I’m supposed to stop hackers from compromising America’s national security.

Although I work for a top-secret agency, I’ve unfortunately never participated in even one exciting car chase, had a sip from a stirred (not shaken) martini, or shot a poison dart from an umbrella. That kind of action belongs to the spooks at the CIA. Some of us at the NSA joke that we are the brains of the nation, while the CIA is the brawn. I don’t imagine CIA employees would be amused to hear that.

In fact, at this very minute, I was sitting in my cramped, government-issued cubicle checking out a popular chat room. My boss, Jonathan Littleton, hovered behind me, doing what we computer types call shoulder surfing. Jonathan had joined the NSA in the seventies—before computers were commonplace. Although he now officially headed the Information Security Department, better known as InfoSec, he was more a manager than a techie.

Jonathan whistled under his breath as he perused the data displayed on the twenty-five-inch color flat panel monitor on my desk.

“Having fun in there?” he asked.

The there Jonathan referred to was a creepy chat room called Dark Hack where I was currently imping a brash, male teenage hacker. I’m not the type of girl who typically hangs out in the dark and eerie underbelly of the internet in rooms with names like Dark Hack, Mute Slay or CrackHack, but sometimes we do what we have to in the name of national security, and today that meant impersonating a social misfit with a grudge.

I was pretty sure I was currently chatting with the guy who had hacked into the NSA’s Public Affairs website a couple of weeks ago using some pretty robust and unusual code. Utilizing fairly colorful language he defaced the site, drew a mustache on the president and urged teen hackers to unite to breach the electronic barriers that separated people from the free flow of information.

Since I’m a fairly junior member of the team, Jonathan thought this particular assignment was right up my alley. So last week he tossed the case file onto my desk with a sticky note on top that read “Lexi Carmichael—Urgent” in bold red pen.

Lexi Carmichael. That’s me—a computer geek with a name better suited to a bubbly cheerleader. Lexi isn’t even short for something more dignified, like Alexandra or Alexis. And to make matters worse, I look nothing like a Lexi. Imagine a delicate-boned, pink-cheeked girl with long, curly blond hair, blue eyes and an adorable, pert nose . . . and that’s exactly what I don’t look like. To my mother’s great dismay, I inherited nothing of her remarkable looks except for a pair of exceedingly long legs. By the seventh grade I was five foot eleven—skinny and all legs with a short torso, no boobs and ordinary brown hair like my dad. I’d also been given his facial genes—a thin nose, wide mouth and hazel eyes. At age twenty-four, not much has changed, including the fact that I still have zip in the boob department.

*****

So, to start the comments rolling. . . what do you think of Lexi and do you think YOUR name fits your personality??

No One Lives Twice

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I have to admit that I’ve lived a pretty exciting life. I’m a military brat (Air Force) and have traveled all over the world. I went to high school in Okinawa, Japan and graduate school in Warsaw, Poland. I’ve lived behind the Iron Curtain and smuggled out anti-communist materials for intelligence purposes. I nearly joined the CIA, but opted for international journalism instead. During my heyday as a correspondent in Washington, DC, I had a press pass to the White House, the State Department and the U.S. Capitol. In college, I majored in Political Science and Russian language because I love politics, the international scene and writing. My first several published novels were historical and paranormal romances because I adore romance, history and fantasy. However, with my novel, No One Lives Twice, I decided to try something entirely new.

I really wanted to write a fun, totally hip, hi-tech spy novel revolving around a young woman who is a bit of an antithesis to James Bond. Lexi Carmichael is geeky smart and spends her days battling hackers for the U.S. government. However, she’s not so capable on the social scene, much to the dismay of her mother, a former beauty queen. For Lexi, it’s hard enough to fit into a profession dominated by male geeks, let alone get any of them to notice her. When she abruptly finds herself at the center of an international intrigue surrounded by super sexy and dangerous guys, she realizes she’s going to have to up her game, including those pesky social skills, in order to survive. She may not be able to fly helicopters, speak forty languages or seduce anything with a pulse (yet!), but she can give good hack and has some of the smartest and quirkiest friends on the planet. Oh, and she’s perfectly capable of saving the day. Sort of…

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To wet your appetite, here’s the back cover blurb for No One Lives Twice:

I’m Lexi Carmichael, geek extraordinaire. I spend my days stopping computer hackers at the National Security Agency. My nights? Those I spend avoiding my mother and eating cereal for dinner. Even though I work for a top-secret agency, I’ve never been in an exciting car chase, sipped a stirred (not shaken) martini, or shot a poison dart from an umbrella.

Until today, that is, when two gun-toting thugs popped up in my life and my best friend disappeared. So, I’ve enlisted the help of the Zimmerman twins—the reclusive architects of America’s most sensitive electronic networks—to help me navigate a bewildering maze of leads to find her.

Along the way, my path collides with a sexy government agent and a rich, handsome lawyer, both of whom seem to have the hots for me. Hacking, espionage, sexy spy-men—it’s a geek girl’s dream come true. If it weren’t for those gun-toting thugs…

***
Now, to get those comments rolling . . . are you a James Bond fan? If so, name your favorite Bond actor and your favorite movie or book. If not, name your favorite spy character in either a movie or book (i.e. Max Smart? Jason Bourne?).

Julie Moffett is a best-selling author and writes in the genres of historical romance, paranormal romance, action/adventure and mystery. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious PRISM Award for Best Romantic Time-Travel and Best of the Best Paranormal Books of 2002. She has also garnered several nominations for the Daphne du Maurier Award and the Holt Medallion. She enjoys interacting with readers at her website http://www.juliemoffett.com or on her Facebook page on Twitter or her eHarlequin page.

No superstition here…

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I think I mentioned last week that I’ve been working on updating submissions. It was a rather large project, but we’re now caught up with submissions. With the exception of 5 pending submissions, everything submitted prior to June 1st has gotten a response. I’m hopeful that, in the next few weeks, we’ll also have a good portion of June responded to. I said there’s no superstition here because I forgot what the date was (Friday the 13th) and I sent out another batch of rejections today. I’m sure, proved someone’s feelings about this date correct. Sorry!

Normally after a round of submissions, I tell you exactly what our stats look like. Unfortunately, we’re in the midst of switching from the spreadsheet tracking we were doing (long story) to utilizing the Harlequin back-end system for tracking queries and submissions. What this means for me is that I have no way of having any consolidated numbers for total submissions/rejections. I can guess though, as long as no one gets to upset with that. Hopefully, in a few months we’ll have everything transferred over and I can give you some better numbers.

Approximate total submissions to date: 1600 (I think this is a low estimate, but I’d rather go low)

Approximate rejections to date (I sent 300 in the past week):1210

Acquisitions to date: 160

(those numbers don’t add up because there have been quite a few revise/resubmits sent out and pending plus there are submissions being read or that haven’t been read yet)

Acquisition from slush: approximately 5%. About half of our acquisitions have been direct submissions from authors we know, agented submissions, returning authors or authors we’ve worked with in the past at other Harlequin imprints or other publishers.

A few things of interest:

* We’ve been seeing an increase in steampunk submissions and acquisitions in the past few months. LOVE this.

* We would like to see more contemporary romance.

* Of the 300 rejections I sent out, approximately 40 people got detailed feedback. Another 40 got a few lines of feedback and the rest got the form rejection. Giving feedback to those 80 people increased by time spent on sending rejections by an extra 8 hour day. I hope they found it useful!

* We get a lot of romantic suspense submissions (and we’re okay with that).

* In the past week, we had a rash of science fiction romance submissions, which made me extremely happy.

* Historical romance submissions have slowed down.

* We’d like to see more m/m and erotic romance submissions.

* Deborah in particular is really hoping to acquire something in the thriller genre.

* We’re currently scheduling for Spring 2011 (March and April) for books acquired now.

I feel like we have a good handle on submissions. Right now, we’re citing response time at 14-16 weeks. Some people are hearing much more quickly than that (both acquisitions and rejections), but it shouldn’t be much longer than that going forward. It’s always my goal to keep the wait time as short as possible, because I know waiting is agony! And, of course, we’re going to be bringing on a few more freelance editors, which will hopefully speed up some response times even more.

Any other info about submissions you might be interested in?

Listen Up – Carina Press has gone audio!

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By Tara Stevens, Harlequin’s Assistant Manager, Digital Commerce, Carina Press Acquisition Team & all-round digital fan

I disagree with Woody Allen. Well, when it comes to audiobooks, that is. There, I said it. He may be the neurotic genius behind one of my favourite films ever (Annie Hall, anyone?), but that doesn’t mean he’s a sage when it comes to advances in technology. Quite the contrary. After listening to my first audiobook earlier this year (the brilliant-but-quirky No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July), I firmly believe that good stories shouldn’t just be heard in the mind’s ear, but also out loud.  This experience does not diminish their effectiveness – it enhances it.

That’s why I’m thrilled to say that several of our Carina Press launch titles are now available in audiobook format through our partnership with Audible.com! As I type this, (my virgin blog post), Audible is busy producing even more unabridged audio versions of many of our titles. So keep your eyes (and ears!) peeled and make sure to check them out at Audible.com, iTunes or Amazon.com.

So why is this blog-worthy, you ask? Well, Carina is all about being a “digital-first publisher.” That doesn’t just mean ebooks, peeps!  Audio is also included in this wonderful label, which means you get to experience our stories in a number of different digital ways.

Fancy a sneak peek…er listen? Check out the samples below and “hear” your first Carina title in audiobook!

Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape is an unputdownable urban fantasy romance with lots of hot sex, the first in an exciting new series set in Detroit!

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey is a hilarious contemporary romance I’m currently devouring (never thought I’d learn so much about ATVs of all things!).

Dark and Disorderly by Bernita Harris is a sexy paranormal suspense with a killer opening line: “I was standing there naked when a dead man sauntered into my bathroom…”  If that doesn’t make you want to keep listening to find out what happens next, I don’t know what will! :)

Want more? We’ll be sure to keep you posted about other Audible titles as they become available. Until then…happy listening!

– Tara

The First Kiss

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PhotobucketWatching two people fall in love is a great pleasure. It summons the most vivid aspects of the human experience. Most of the time, we’re sucked into the tiny nonsense of our daily schedules – the usually meaningless tasks of our workday, the petty squabbles with our families, our mundane household chores – which need to get done (sometimes) and which are easy sinkholes to collapse into. But that’s not real living. That’s not the reason we should be getting up in the morning.

I’m drawn to romance because it boils away the minutiae and calls forth the essential truths of why we are here. I like apocalypse stories for the same reason. They ask the same kinds of questions of the reader. If the stakes were life-or-death, what would I do? What kind of person am I? What kind of people do I want in my life? What does it mean to be human? What is the nature of good and evil and love?

This might seem like it’s not related to the first kiss, but oh, it is. In a strong romance, all of this roiling, life-establishing emotion pours forth. The romantic relationships that matter, to me, knock down all of the characters’ defenses, crack them open, and reveal the soft, wounded, real inner self. In the first kiss, the vulnerable, aching center of two people should meet, and we should feel their struggle – to trust each other, to let each other in, to allow themselves to feel the intensity of what they’re feeling – and the pleasure, the relief and the incredible risk of meeting a like soul in so intimate a way.

So, I put the question to you: What’s the best first kiss you’ve read or seen? Why is it so powerful?

Meet Rebecca, visit her blog and read an excerpt of I’LL BECOME THE SEA at her website or follow her on twitter and facebook.

I’ll Become the Sea: The Big Leap

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PhotobucketWriting I’ll Become the Sea took me five years. I started it one summer, frustrated and totally depleted from another heartbreaking year of teaching. I was a public school teacher in Brooklyn and let me tell you, everything you hear about urban schools is true. And more. The fighting, the poverty, the illiteracy: some days it felt like trying to pull thirty students out of quicksand simultaneously. While they are all punching you in the face. I loved those kids, and so it was that much more painful.

I started the book as an escape, as a way to reclaim a sense of myself as my own person. I don’t read romance novels exclusively. But I have read them sporadically over the years – usually in bursts and with a great sigh of relief and pleasure. For me, they help a spinning world slow down. They help everything feel more straightforward and clear. They help me figure out what I want — which is no small thing for any woman, but for a caretaker type like me, it’s an especially big deal.

So I started it. And then school began again and I stopped. And then I had my first son and entered that magical yearlong trance of twenty-four hour breastfeeding, playgrounds and irrational weeping (often with joy; sometimes not). Then I started stealing an hour or two a week, in the early mornings, to write again. You can imagine how much progress I made like that. The next year I ramped it up to a luxurious four hours a week. And then I had my second son. Repeat the yearlong trance. And finally, I committed a full eight hours a week to writing. And I finished it.

I cannot describe how good it felt. This was the very first thing I ever attempted to write. It was certainly the very first totally self-centered thing I’d ever done. It wasn’t about teaching anyone, helping anyone or listening to anyone. It was about speaking what was in my own head and heart. I must admit I rather liked that.

But then I realized what I’d written: a romance novel with a totally unglamorous working-class heroine and a working-class hero who isn’t even introduced until several chapters in. It starts with a domestic violence scene and every now and then visits a prison. And it celebrates heavy metal. Also, it was too short and didn’t really fit into any romance sub-genre. So yeah. Good luck with that, Rebecca.

And then I stumbled upon Carina. Where no great story goes untold, eh? Well, I got one for ya, ladies! And lo and behold, they bought it. (I still kind of feel like I’m getting away with something.) Every last Carina staff person who worked with me on this book has been absolutely and consistently inspiring and lovely.

So here it is. I hope you enjoy it. And here’s one last fun fact before I hit the road: I wrote the beach scene first. And then rewrote it about sixteen thousand times. Why? You gotta get that first kiss RIGHT!  (See the next blog post.)

Jane Elliot is a success story. A survivor of childhood abuse, she has dedicated her life to teaching. But something is missing. Teaching at an urban school and maintaining a relationship with her absentee fiancé, Ben, Jane can’t seem to feel much of anything at all. Then she meets David, a musician who runs an afterschool program for at-risk kids. Jane tries to deny her attraction to David and convince herself they are just good friends. But an accident, a death, a grim family obligation and her own intense desire force Jane to overcome the past, rethink the present — and take a risk on genuine love.

Meet Rebecca, visit her blog and read an excerpt of I’LL BECOME THE SEA on her website or follow her on twitter and facebook.