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Showing posts from April, 2007

The Whirlwind that is RT

I need a t-shirt that says: I survived RT!

I'm home. Alive, but exhausted. Ragged voice and weary body. Let's not talk about my brain.

I have much I want to share about my experiences at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, but I need to get my thoughts in order. And I need a working, rested brain for that. For today, let's just say that I had a wonderful time meeting and hanging with old friends, and meeting and speaking with new friends.

I met some lovely people for the very first time including authors Alexandra Sokoloff, Harley Jane Kozak, HelenKay Dimon, and Erin McCarthy. I performed alongside Alex and Harley, both professional performers as well as published authors, in our friend Heather Graham's musical theater production. We spent a lot of time together in rehearsals and I have to say these ladies are a blast and super nice. Can't wait to read their books.

HelenKay, who I know from blogosphere, attended the 'Networking' workshop that Mary and I p…

Good Morning, Houston!

Hello everybody! I'm whipping off a quick note from Houston, TX. It's 7:30am and I'm already dressed and ready to head out for the first official day at the Romantic Times Convention. Mary Stella and I are teaching a workshop on 'Brainstorming' at 8:30am. After that I'll be free to roam 'promo lane' and attend a few workshops before the night's big welcome parties. (Yes, plural)

Last night Mary and I met up with several writer friends and gabbed the night away. It was fun and inspiring and just a tease of the good times to come this week. I'll try to check in through the week, but the days are really crammed so I'll probably save any industry reports or gossip for when I get home. I promise to take take good notes!

On another subject, there have already been a few sightings of ALL ABOUT EVIE in bookstores. Alison saw Evie at a Barnes and Noble in Texas. Mary saw her at a BN in Florida--cover out!! Someone else saw her at a Borders prominantly…

Crazy-Busy

Posts are going to be sporadic for the next couple of weeks, folks. Crazy-busy. More than usual. Juggling several writing deadlines, promo obligations, and the day-gigs. In addition, next week I'll be away at the Romantic Times Convention in Houston. I try to blog when I'm away, but as Josh would say in LASSO THE MOON, Sometimes good intentions aren't worth spit. Because you see, it is alway crazy-busy at RT. But more of a fun-busy, then stress-busy, although I'm sure I'll experience a little anxiety just before the two workshops I'm giving as well as the two productions I'm preforming in--pre-show butterflies. However, once I'm 'on' those pretty much go away.

Anyhoo, running around like a madwoman today. Lots of preparing and packing to do. I keep telling myself I'm packing light this year. Then I think of another thing I just might need... What I need is Evie's Big Red suitcase. Although I don't have Arch around to pay the excess …

Have You Ever Felt Like A Unicorn?

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When juggling a writing deadline and a fulltime day-job got tough, Alison Kentgot creative by 'renting out' space on her blog. She is one smart cookie. Even though she can't be there, she's giving her readers a strong incentive to return daily.

Blogging daily takes energy and time. I know I'm finding it difficult to keep pace. And we're not the only authors struggling. Author PJ Parrishis leaving blogosphere. Her post is heartfelt and I very much understand her decision, although she will be missed! JA Konrath, who blogged consistently for months and months and with stunning zeal, was conspicuously absent for the past several weeks as he wrote back-to-back books. He returned today with a post that struck me as keenly as Parrish's. We may write in different genres, but we tick the same artisically.
Having now worked in both the entertainment and publishing industry, it's more clear to me than ever that the majority of artists, whether they are driven to c…

The Chili Chicks

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Holy weird, Batman. Yesterday... Wait. I should give you some background first.

I often talk about my actress/juggling/stilt-walking/dancer friends, but this is about my vocalist/musician friends. A few years ago, the Showboat Casino decided they wanted to feature country bands in their concourse. One of my agents asked if I wanted to put something together and audition for summer dates. I was already performing around town with my country rock trio, Alias Smith and Jones (yes, I got that from an old TV show), so I figured I could build off that.
At the time the Dixie Chicks were very popular and, since I love singing harmonies, I thought it would be fun to ask two fellow female singers (both good friends) to join me for a three girl front. All three of us fronted our own bands and we had all worked together at some point or another, just never all three at once. We put our heads and talent together and The Chili Chicks were born.
Joined by musicians Iggy Callaghan and Matt Curran, Kri…

"What If" and Win!

Next week I'll be away at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. It will be the week before ALL ABOUT EVIEofficially hits shelves. So days that could have dragged, will fly. Instead of fretting over sales and reviews, the butterflies in my stomach will be due to my performance in Heather Graham'sVampires of the Wild West Show, co-hosting the Mr. Romance Competition, and co-lecturing two workshops.

The first workshop will be on Wednesday morning at the unearthly hour of 8:30am and runs for 90 minutes. Mary Stellaand I spoke on this same subject last year and it went so well, we were asked to present the same workshop this year. It's geared toward beginning writers and it's called 'The Great What-If'. Through lecture and interaction we'll guide attendees through the concept of 'brainstorming'. It's all about kick-starting your brain, getting the ideas flowing as you begin or move a story forward. Brainstorming--what-iffing--is an essential …

The Old, New, Everchanging Me

Yesterday, while searching for some ancient cassette tapes, my husband came across two pictures of me. “The many faces of Beth,” he said, showing me an instamatic (remember those?) photo and then a Polaroid.

In the first, I was in my early twenties, dark shoulder length hair growing out from a bad perm (remember those?), too much make up (stage makeup in my defense) and a glittery gold and blue stage costume—hello, mini skirt! I thought, gee, my thighs were big.

I said, “Did I spackle that make-up on?”

The second, I was twenty-nine or thirty. The only hint of my age—the hairstyle and color. Long, stick-straight, dark brown hair… bleached-blonde bangs. I’m not kidding. I forgot how adventurous I used to be! (I performed/sang for a living so I could get away with looking… different.) I thought, Wow. What possessed me to wear that outfit?

I said, “My face was thinner then.”

Those two pictures, and the subsequent thoughts and comments, were clear indicators of how judgmental I am of my p…

Out of The Box Readers

If I shared this before, I apologize. My thoughts have been blurring lately. A few weeks ago while working the circulation desk at the library, a gentleman came up to check out two books. He was soft-spoken, well over sixty. While checking out his books, I noticed he also had LASSO THE MOON on his card. I assumed he'd checked it out for his wife.

I don't normally comment when someone is checking out a book I wrote. I'm shy in that way. Although one of my co-workers usually 'outs' me. Bless their hearts. Anyway, I was alone at the desk in this instance and I don't know why, but I did speak up. "I see that you have one of the books I wrote, LASSO THE MOONout."

I expected him to mention his wife. Instead, I got, "Yes, and I'm enjoying it very much." He smiled.

I blinked. "Um," blush, "I'm glad."

And here I thought I knew my audience. Just goes to show you should never sterotype your audience. Men read romance, too.…

Series vs. Single Title

If you are a blog hopper of author and/or readers' blogs, you've probably seen multiple posts on reading/writing novels in a series as opposed to stand-alone novels. I have nothing new to offer on the subject. It's just something that's been on my mind the past week as it is something I'm personally struggling with.

As a reader, although I very much enjoy a knock-out stand-alone, I absolutely love books that are connected by recurring characters. Johanna Lindseyhooked me years ago with the Malory Family. Suzanne Brockmannkeeps me coming back for more of her sexy, rugged Navy SEALs. I didn't read either of these series in order because I didn't realize the book that initially hooked me was part of a series. Although it became apparent as I read, and after, I gobbled up any of the previous books before moving forward.

There's something comforting and intriguing about reading stories populated with people you already know. After recently reading Lara Adria…

An Otherworldly Delight

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Greetings all! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. As usual, things have been hectic in my world. Hectic, but good. Amid all the craziness of promoting ALL ABOUT EVIEwhile also diving earnestly into the task of writing my next contracted book, I have had the pleasure of reading a novel that knocked my fuzzy socks off! KISS OF MIDNIGHT, a decadent treat written by the fabulously talented (and super nice!) Lara Adrian.

Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about this book. Maybe you’re wondering how I read it when it hasn’t even been released yet. Well, my friends, I was lucky enough to be blessed with an ARC (advanced reading copy) and I am here to say, “Holy otherworldly delight!”

I don’t typically read ‘vampire’ novels. I don’t normally gravitate toward dark. But Lara hooked me on page one with her sharp writing and imaginative tale. She’s a master at worldbuilding and writing tight, consequently providing the reader with an adrenaline-charged page-turner. The entire time I read, I saw this…

From Me to You...

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Have a joyous day!

Cold Temps, Warm Hearts

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Um, hasn't Spring sprung? The official start was March 20, correct? When I think of Spring, I think of sunshine, warmer temps, budding flowers... green.
I live on the coast in NJ. The sun is not shining. The reported temp is 37 degrees though it says it 'feels like' 28. The sky is grey, the grass brown. No sane flower would try to bloom in this frosty dismal-land. Oh, and it's snowing. Just sparse flakes, but snow is snow and cold is cold.

Between work-work and writing-work, I haven't had a social date in months. Today I am meeting with four dear girlfirends from my entertainment hey-day. We're having lunch and then we planned on strolling the Atlantic City boardwalk, seeing what's new and excting and then window shopping The Pier at Caesars, a new deluxe shopping mall that extends over the ocean. Window shopping because I have heard the stores are mega-expensive. Although there is a LUSH. I'm betting all five of us buy something in there, even if it'…

Looking for Superman

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Is it Wednesday already? The middle of the first week of April so soon? Nooooo!
Are any of you on friendly terms with Superman? Can you ask him to zip around the earth really fast, causing the planet to slow and maybe spin backward? He can do that, right? Buy me a few more days?
The Romantic Times Booklovers Conventionis less than three weeks away. I'm not ready. I have all of my day-wear/biz-wear and evening costumes together, but I need to prepare my lectures for two workshops and gather my promo and all sorts of other stuff. I would say that I also have two scripts to memorize, but I have a feeling those are going to be handed to me on property and I'll be committing to memory as best I can late night in my hotel room. Did I tell you? I'm co-hosting the Mr. Romance Pageant with actor/model Bill Freda (woo-hoo!) and also co-starring in a Heather Graham mystery production. All I know is that I'm a vampire saloon girl. I actually had an appropriate costume in my close…

And the Winners Are...

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Maureen and Pearl! Congratulations, ladies. You have won an advanced copy of ALL ABOUT EVIE! Please email me and share your full name and mailing address so that I can send on, what I hope you'll find, a fun and romantic read. Send email to beth@bethciotta.com Thank you to everyone you entered. I got a kick reading about your favorite classic movies. Many listed were faves of mine as well. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there with a soft spot for classic film! By the way names were chosen at random, not based on the comment, but to clarify the winners(since first names were used only), Maureen listed 'Gone with the Wind' as her fave, and Pearl mentioned 'The Pride of the Yankees'. Ladies, if I don't hear from you by April 9, I'll choose alternate winners, so please do send me a quick note. *g* Just for fun, since we're talking classic film, who's your favorite classic hero? Mine is Cary Grant. Sexy, charismatic and talented! …