Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Desert Dreams Conference 2010

Every other year my RWA Chapter, Desert Rose, hosts a writers conference at the Chaparral Suites Resort here in Arizona. I always have a fabulous time, and this year was no exception! With a host of informative and entertaining speakers, fabulous networking opportunities, and editor-agent appointments for aspiring authors, writers truly get the most bang for thier buck at our conference! This year I volunteered in our hospitality room, at our registration table, and at our editor-agent appointment table, helping aspiring authors to sign in. I also signed my books at our terrific book signing event. Let me tell you that these ladies run our conference so professionally and smoothly I'm always amazed. One of the comments that I heard again and again was how warm and friendly our chapter is, and it's because we have a group of the most wonderful ladies (and our few gents) in RWA. If you would like some more information about our conference, you can visit the (new and improved) Desert Rose Website at: http://www.desertroserwa.org/

I bring a camera every year, and every year I'm so busy that I forget to take pictures, so I only have a few to share. Hopefully, I'll do better next time, but when you're having that much fun...

My editor, Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks Publishing, and I enjoying another fabulous meal together. It was such a pleasure to spend time with her.

A group of us in the lounge, enjoying some fabulous company! A few I know by name. :} Alexis Walker and hubby Bob, Deborah McTiernan, Angel Barbin (one of my roomies), Lori Combs-Graves, & Donna Warner.

My roomie, dear friend & CP, Donna MacQuigg, who drove all the way from New Mexico to attend our conference. Since she received a request from an agent to view her work, I think she found the trip worthwhile. Congrats, Donna!

Oh. I'm the one with the long hair. :}

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FOR WRITERS: Research Link for Minerals (Gemstones)

I'm writing book two in THE ELVEN LORDS series, THE STORM LORD'S DAUGHTER, and I have an elven lady whose magic is with gemstones. Her main ability is to enspell jewels but she is certainly capable of 'creating' her own gems with her magic. But that would require more energy than just digging them up from the earth. And besides, each of the seven sovereignties that the elven lords created in England has been changed according to their magical gifts. So, I needed to know what gemstones she could unearth that were native to England, thereby altering the landscape.

So, all stop on the manuscript and off to hunt down the information. I should say at this point that although I change England with magic, which gives me more leeway with history than a straight historical author, I still need to know the facts before I change them. When I alter something, I don't wish to do it out of ignorance, but with purpose. Call me picky, but I do like to keep the historical aspects of my books as real for my readers as I possibly can.

So what gemstones can be unearthed from England? I tried all sorts of search words (which is the key when searching the internet) from natural minerals to lapidary England. Finally I thought of the term, mineralogy and bazinga! I hit the jackpot with this site:


It's amazing! Not only can you search the site for all the minerals found in England (or anywhere else in the world), but you can narrow it down by city/county etc. And each mineral has a photo and description, when it was named, chemical breakdown (I didn't need this, but it was cool!), etc. You might have to look up the definition of each mineral to find out what it was used for, whether to make concrete or pottery, but many of the minerals that were used for gemstones you would recognize by name.

I discovered that quartz is the most common mineral in England (and the world) so I had my answer for my book, and passing this on to save my fellow writers some research time (or hey, to those that love to look at pics of gorgeous stones).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just Released: TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN by Gini Koch

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet--using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n’ roll?


She’s Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine “Kitty” Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the “agency” to perform crowd control. He’s Kitty’s kind of guy, no matter what planet he’s from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

Read the fist chapter for free at: http://www.ginikoch.com/deathlessprose.htm

Better yet, just buy it today at:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FOR WRITERS: From manuscript to book-in-hand

Another writer asked me what she could expect after her book was accepted for publication, and I thought I would share that here. This is a timeline I put together for my very first book, so it should be helpful in that regard. Please be aware that it’s a general timeline only, and that mileage may vary greatly from one publisher to another. But still, I thought it might helpful to others to have some idea about what to expect.

Request Author Blurbs—send rough manuscript
Email Editor ideas for marketing/cover/book blurbs

Complete Author Questionnaire rec’d with contract and email to editor
Publisher does preliminary work on cover

Receive initial edits, generally the major revisions.

Email to editor: Author Bio & Photo,
Dedication, name under which book is to be copyrighted, any acknowledgments or author’s note to be included either before story or after.
Receive cover art

Sales Reps meet with Buyers and initial orders are made.
Receive line edits, now is the time to make any additional major revisions.

ARC’s are sent out from publisher for reviews

Receive galleys, edit for minor revisions, small changes only (spelling, grammar etc.).

Receive front matter, review for any corrections


Receive cover flats

Receive author copies from publisher.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

My favorite fact about romance readers...

"studies show that women who read romances have sex 73% more often than women who don't." ~ Romance Writers Report, Volume 28, Number 11

Forget the chocolate and flowers, gentlemen! Buy your girl a romance book. :}

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Releasing Today: QUEEN IN EXILE by Donna Hatch

To celebrate her new release, Donna Hatch has offered an interview with Kai Darkwood, the hero from her fantasy novel, QUEEN IN EXILE, so enjoy the fun!

Interview with fantasy character Kai Darkwood, knight and Sauraii warrior, in the new fantasy novel, Queen in Exile
by Donna Hatch, author of Queen in Exile.

Walking toward the arena where the knights have just finished training, I wave to a tall, dark-haired knight who is handing his gear to his squire, and I call, "Captain Darkwood, may I have a moment?"

Kai turns toward me with his famous, heart-stopping grin, and lets his gaze rove up and down me as he approaches. "Of course, fair one. What would you ask of me?" he asks in his lovely, Darborian accent, faintly reminiscent of Irish. His brilliant blue eyes narrow as he comes to a stop within arms' length. "You are familiar to me. Have we met?"

I'd almost forgotten how handsome he is and I stammer, "W-Well, yes, I'm your author."

"But of course. You look more beautiful than ever. That gown is much more flattering than those strange leggings you usually wear."

"Yes, well, no one is supposed to look good in sweats."

He cocks his head to the side. "Tell me, why do you lock yourself away hour after hour?"

"Um, well, to write about you. And this interview is about you, not me."

"But you are so much more interesting than I."

"Now Kai, I know you are a very private person, but I promise I'll keep my questions general; nothing terribly personal."

His blue eyes twinkle as he folds his muscular arms over his broad chest. "You already know everything about me."

"Yes, but my readers don't."

"Very well. I will agree to this interview. If I dislike any question you ask, I will simply kiss you to make you forget." A cocky grin tugs at his lips.

I blush deeply, unwilling to confess exactly how much I'd like to be kissed by the gorgeous Kai Darkwood, and manage an outraged, "Kai! I'm married!"

"A pity."

"Don't try to turn your legendary charm on me, Kai Darkwood, I wrote you."

"Or did I simply tell you what to write?"

Refusing to admit how much I've dreamed about him, I take a breath to steady my knees. "Back to the interview. Would you please explain exactly what is a Sauraii warrior?"

"Very well. A Sauraii Warrior is highly trained in weaponry, battle tactics, and hand-to-hand combat. It takes most people several years to complete the course. Some never finish at all."

"But you finished it in record time."

Kai shrugs modestly. "My father did, as well."

"Please tell us why you're here in Arden, instead of in Darbor where you live."

"My king commanded me to come train the knights of Arden out of concern for his friend and ally, the King of Arden."


"Arden has enjoyed a century of peace and has developed an abhorrence to violence, even training in self-defense. Their knights train out of tradition, but not out of real desire. Their skills are very limited which makes them vulnerable to enemy attack."

"And they're in danger of enemy attack?"

"Our spies have told us the barbarians of Hanore plan to attack after spring thaw. We have much to do and little time."

"Tell me, what is your impression of Princess Jeniah?"

Kai shifts uncomfortably. "She is lovely, and has graciously forgiven me for our....misunderstanding upon our first meeting."

"She intrigues you?"

He stiffens. "She is royalty. There can be nothing between us. It's just as well." His fingers move unconsciously to a lock of braided hair hanging around his neck, and a fleeting, haunting look appears in his eyes. When he catches me looking, he masks the brief display of emotion.

Very softly, I ask, "Will you ever let down those walls around your heart?"

There is a brief look of alarm, then a devilish light enters his eye as his irrepressible grin slips back into place. "I think it is time I kissed you."

Reminding myself I'm married, even while I wonder if kissing a fictional character counts, I turn and run, almost tripping over the skirts of my medieval-style gown. Kai's laughter chases my retreat.



Rumors of war hang over Princess Jeniah’s peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telepathic bond with a revered creature called a chayim, who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.

Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her own magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When the enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people, storm the castle, and execute the royal family. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people.

On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen of Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.

Available on Amazon, at CostCo and your local bookstore

Here's how to win your free copy (and you have three chances if you do all three):

1.Follow my blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now following me and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line

2. leave a comment in my blog, http://www.donnahatch.blogspot.com/. Then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line.

3. Friend me on Facebook, (http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Hatch/1053967713#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1053967713) then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line.

That’s it!
Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!
Warm Wishes,
Donna Hatch