Friday, February 26, 2010

Smelling the Roses

I'm not one to brag. Really, I'm not. But I can't help but ... beam... regarding the reviews rolling in for my April 1 release OUT OF EDEN. Even the two mixed reviews I've stumbled upon are good reviews in their own way.

Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but I had serious doubts that anyone aside from me was going to like this book. A book that tormented me in various stages. Seriously. I've been shaking in my boots. It's not just a matter of vanity--I swear!--it's a matter of pride. My goal is to entertain and provide escapism. If I accomplish that, even if only a little, I have succeeded!

Indulge me. Happy dance with me. Reviews on OUT OF EDEN thus far...

"When Ciotta throws these two well-drawn characters together, sparks fly. A widower with a secret past who helps Kylie change the store into an upscale “shoppe,” a Philadelphia mob boss who needs to right an old score, and the escapades of Jack's cheating brother-in-law turn this campy romance into a well-plotted raunchy adventure." -- Publishers Weekly

"With engaging characters who are easy to like, humor, a touch of mystery and emotionally charged scenes that ring true to life, Ciotta creates a fascinating town that readers will look forward to visiting again." 4 stars! -- HOT, Romantic Times Book reviews

"A cast of colorful characters surrounds lovely and sassy Kylie McGraw in Out of Eden. By his own admission, Jack likes to play the white knight, riding in and rescuing the damsel in distress. Kylie is capable and strong, but she needs a little saving too. Instead of the boy who cries wolf, Kylie is the girl who cries excitement! She gets herself into one amusing mess after another, seeking to shake up herself and Eden. Kylie’s brother Spencer, her best friend Faye, her unlikely champion in Travis, and a town filled with gossipy, nosy, well-meaning citizens make every page of Out of Eden fun and exciting. Jack is an all-around great guy and Out of Eden is an all-around great story with some sizzling sex, a bit of action, and a mystery or two to solve." -- Joyfully Reviewed

"Ciotta has done a really good job with the dialogue in this novel. She's been able to make the exchanges between Kylie and Jack feel so real and so intimate at the same time. The reader can almost feel their first kiss with their childhood crush while reading, and certainly can fee those emotions. Out of Eden is fun and kind of zany with a formulaic storyline and a weird twist. It certainly will entertain those looking for a piece of escape reading.." --Associated Content

I'm not bragging, I'm not. I'm . . . celebrating.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Head Down, Head In The Clouds

Head down, concentrating on revisions (embellishments) for my September release INTO THE WILD. Meanwhile, I had some super news regarding my April release, OUT OF EDEN. I posted that news over at SIS today, but figure it's okay to steal from myself. Seems weird not to share the awesome news here, so.... like I said at SIS....


Head in the clouds....

I'll be the first one to advise any artist to take reviews of their work with a grain of salt. One person's opinion. Taste is subjective. However, even though I preach this and believe it, it's still hard not to feel the rush of a good review and the sting of the bad.

My method: Enjoy and celebrate the good reviews forever. Endure the sting of a bad review for a day then shrug it off.

You will never be every one's cup of tea. Even Nora Roberts, whose books appeal to millions of readers, including me, is not every one's cup of tea. I will remind myself of that the first time someone disses my upcoming release Out of Eden. But for now I am reveling in TWO super reviews!

Out of Eden comes out April 1st. But I have been googling for early reviews for a couple of weeks now. As always, it's a nail-biting time for me. I put a lot of sweat and heart into my stories and, dang it, I want people to enjoy them. Aside from a passionate creative outlet, my main motivation for writing is to entertain.

Wednesday morning I came across my first review of OOE. Holy cow. Publishers Weekly. The big kahuna. PW reviews all genres. They receive hundreds of books from publishers every day. It's tough to get a review there, especially for smaller names like moi. I've only been reviewed at PW one other time, years ago. Charmed received a lovely review. It's still a highpoint of my career. But how would I fare this time? I prepared myself for the worst and was pleasantly, wondrously surprised! It's a great review!

Okay, the word 'raunchy' raised my brow. Me? Raunchy? Seriously? But then I considered my secondary plot which consists of seedy elements that I didn't sugar coat. Hence the raunchy reference. I can live with that. Heck, I'm embracing it. This is a stinking awesome review. I'll put the really cool part in red.

-- Publishers Weekly, 2/15/2010
Out of Eden Beth Ciotta. HQN, $7.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-77443-2
On Kylie McGraw's 32nd birthday, she drinks too many cosmos and vows to shake up her life. While her brother, Spenser, is off being an Explorer Channel star, Kylie leads a predictable, boring, and sensible life running the family shoe store and dreaming of travel. Former NYPD detective Jack Reynolds, Spencer's best friend and Kylie's longtime crush, has returned to Eden, Ind., as the new police chief. He wants to reconnect with his roots, end a feud with his sister, and make peace with his soul. When Ciotta throws these two well-drawn characters together, sparks fly. A widower with a secret past who helps Kylie change the store into an upscale “shoppe,” a Philadelphia mob boss who needs to right an old score, and the escapades of Jack's cheating brother-in-law turn this campy romance into a well-plotted raunchy adventure. (Apr.)

Well-drawn characters? Sparks fly? Well-plotted adventure? Let's just say I'm dancing on air., head in the clouds As for the second super review, I'll share that next week. I have to spread out my joy. In the meantime, if I do get a bad review, this will sure ease the sting. Thanks for letting me share!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Thrill and A Smile


Friday I received a smile in the mail. Actually, it was a magazine that made me smile. A couple of months ago I was invited to write an article for Simply Books, a small but delicious magazine all about Harlequin books and authors. A magazine that goes to readers and booksellers. Since my upcoming release Out of Eden features a dog, and many of the subscribers are animal lovers, I was asked if I could focus on a 'dog' angle. No problem!
Since the novel's featured dog, Shy, is based on my dog, Cheyenne, I wrote an article that centered on pet adoption and the special role Cheyenne has played in our household--with humans and other animals. Of course, I was thrilled to be included in the magazine, to have a chance to promo Out of Eden, but my two goofiest thrills were:

1) Seeing my name on the cover wedged between NY Bestselling authors Susan Wiggs and Debbie Macomber... (talk about surreal!)

2) Seeing Cheyenne's pic (along with me) big as life next to the article. I showed her the pic, of course, telling her, "You're famous!"

I can't share the article here, but I can share that pic. Ooh, and maybe later I'll try to scan the cover where my name wedged between SW and DM. I'm so easily thrilled.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

L-O-V-E

Happy Valentine's Day!

My husband and I started celebrating a little early. We had dinner and wine
at one of our favorite restaurants. Tonight it's movie and champagne at home.
For me, the best part about Valentine's Day is spending quality time with your
loved one. Um, and maybe the chocolates my husband always 'surprises' me with.

What about you? Any special plans?

Friday, February 12, 2010

TWO THINGS

First of all... The synopsis I was writing, the one I mentioned yesterday, has come to a screeching halt. At least for a couple of weeks. Yesterday afternoon, my editor called with the revision notes for Into the Wild (my 9/10 release). The good news is I don't have to revise as much as embellish. Woo-hoo! Still, this requires creative thinking, energy, and time as I must write additional scenes/chapters so... don't expect to see me here for a bit.

Second.... It's my featured day at Sisters in Sync -- Creative Chaos. Please hop over and check out my post on The Published Juggler.

Until later..... Cheers!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Worlds and Cool News

There's a story that I'm dying to write, but it involves worldbuilding and that's a bit intimidating. So, even though I have the concept and a few chapters, I've been avoiding writing a synopsis. Because . . . in order to write the synopsis I have to know the story beginning to end and I don't. It's that pesky affliction I have--Pansters Syndrome. Meaning I write by the seat of my pants, fly into the mist, leap and the net appears, etc.

Except then I remembered, I just completed a synopsis last week, a synopsis I ended up loving, and didn't know that story beginning to end. It revealed itself as I researched and wrote. That's pretty much how it always goes with me. So why let a little bit of worldbuilding (read: fear of the new and unknown) stand in the way of developing a fun project?

“It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” --E. L. Doctorow

So, I switched on my headlights and drove. So far I've only got a long paragraph, but all the research I did to get me there is revealing more and more of the story. Today... the trip continues!

***

In other news: My cyber-friend, Amanda Roberts is guest-blogging at my sister's blog-- Loud Whispers. Hop over for a glimpse into this writer's hermit-like existence.

In other, other news: Attention Kindle lovers! My April release, OUT OF EDEN is now available for pre-order!

That's it for now. I'm off to tackle New Worlds! What's on your agenda today?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SLAMMED (the good, bad, and inspiring)

Wow. First I got slammed by a computer virus (although that crisis is behind me) and then a blizzard (20" of snow!) and now less than a week later we're being slammed by another snow storm.

The good news is... we haven't lost power. Yet.

More good news... the county closed the library so I have an unexpected day off.

More good news.... starting tomorrow, due to President's Holidays and my normal weekend off, I now have six days off in a row. Yahoo!

I am using it to catch up on business, much of it related to my blog ventures. If you get a chance hop over to Animal Tales at Sisters in Sync and check out our new interest--Adopt-a-Pet!

Another goal is to catch up on posts over at Barking at Eden's Door. I (I mean Shy-the-Sensitive-Dog) has been meaning to introduce you to the cast of my (our) upcoming release OUT OF EDEN. She's (I'm) a little behind.

Since I'm sharing good news, hop over and congratulate my friend Stephanie Bond. Her Body Movers series (MIRA) has been optioned by Sony Pictures Television to be a TV series! Go, Steph!

Another MIRA author and fantastic lady, M.J. Rose also landed a TV series (on Fox) based on her Reincarnationist series. PAST LIFE premiered last night. I taped it for future viewing. Can't wait!

And another friend recently got some great news too. Congrats to historcial author Amanda McIntyre for breaking in with a contemporary with Spice Briefs!

Hmm. I feel a swift, but good kick in the pants. Now that I'm revved up, off I go to work on a new proposal. So... how do you feel about dimension-traveling Victorian assassins?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WHY

Why I'm in a cranky mood.... My laptop got slammed by a horrible virus. Vicious! Haven't had access to my files in 4 days and it looks as though I'm going to lose most everything on my hard drive. I'll lose a lot of data pertaining to my professional life and many personal photos. Shame on the evil computer geek who created this malicious virus. Shame on me for not having everything backed up.

Why I'm glad I didn't pursue my dream to be a Hollywood actress... An insider's look at actors and auditions by the ever brilliant Emmy award winning writer, Ken Levine. Click here for a dose of show biz reality.

Why I'm excited.... After month's of researching e-readers, I finally decided on the Kindle. It'll be here any day!

Why I'm nervous.... Reviews for OUT OF EDEN, my April release from HQN, should start rolling in a few weeks.

Why I'm jazzed . . . I have not one, but four different story ideas for the immediate future. If I'm lucky, I'll get to pursue them all... at some point. Better to have too many ideas than none at all!

So... how are you feeling... and why?