Indie Baby



I used to be a nut studying trends in the movie industry. I used to record the Oscars to see what was popular in the voter's minds (that didn't last long, believe you me) but my Oscar night was the Indie Spirit Awards. I always looked forward to movies and entertainers that weren't talked about by the mainstream. I loved the laid back look of the attendees and the cool, relaxing Santa Monica beach tents that hosted the ceremonies. After awhile I stopped watching movie trends and migrated to books shortly before I dove in to writing professionally.

I've been sensing an awesome trend in the blogosphere lately. Zoe has been posting a wonderful sequence of blogs on going indie. IndieBound.org is finally open with a huge group of book lovers and independent bookstore lovers striving to keep the stores open amidst the giant corporate takeovers (sounds like a Tom Clancy movie) and one of my favorite directors, David Lynch, has taken the indie road with his latest film, documentary and book. It's indie, baby, and I'm so jazzed to see so many avenues of alternative publishing being available for authors to bring their work to readers.

If it's anything I learned while studying this industry is that: 1)nothing is a sure thing, 2) almost everything is subjective and 3) focus on writing the best story you can. I, for one, can't wait to see how far the options will open up for us authors in the near future.

13 Shows Cancelled Before Their Time



(Just FYI: All us SF fans out there know how common this is for our shows to get axed so this is just a teensy sampling of the many shows that still deserve to finish their runs on the air)

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Honorary:




September's Nocturne Bites Looks Good!

Yay! The new book page for September's Nocturne Bites link is finally up and it looks like a good one! This is definitely on my to read list not only for the hot hot hot cover (yes I loves the beefcake covers, what romance reader doesn't I guess hehe) but the story sounds rather fascinating.


Dreamcatcher
by
Anna Leonard

You’re mine. All mine. I will consume you, piece by piece, and I will never be done...

Emma awakened each morning feeling increasingly exhausted and weak, as though she was slowly being drained of life. And rather than reviving her, sleep seemed to deplete her further. Most disturbing of all was the voice she heard in her dreams threatening to consume her until nothing was left.

With his pale, translucent skin and deep, dark eyes, there was something unearthly about Matthew, the Home Health Aid hired by Emma’s dad, but somehow he inspired Emma’s trust. So when he asked her permission to use his powers to help her, she gave it willingly. Suddenly he was appearing in her dreams...making love to her...filling her with newfound strength. But in the light of day, Emma was conflicted. Who...or what...had she permitted to enter her dreams...and what did he want from her?

Dreamchaser is available September 1st from eharlequin.com.

Goal check!

I was just looking at my goal check for the latter half of this year. (Referring to this post in case you want a refresher ;-)) I'm still in progress with Ariya 2 and still trying to place Ariya 1. So far the first three chapter partials are sitting at 3 pub houses and the wait is simply agonizing! In the mean time I'm making sure the final chapters are in tip top condition.

In addition I've also submitted Cimmerian City 2 off to a pub house and finally my Nocturne Bites is going on the first month of being out of my hands and into the hands of the editor. Hopefully I don't have any send backs! :-D

Just in case any authors are wondering about submission turn around times I'm going to make a post for my experiences to gauge how long it may take to get a response from agents and publishers. I'll write that later next then link to it here.

Looking for IR/MC Authors and Books





Hey folks! September is almost upon us. As the summer comes to a close and the kids are heading to back to school, it's time to revisit the alphabet and welcome fall with Coffee Time Romance's Alphabet Authors! A round of events will commence starting September 1st with each author hosting and giving away goodies. Yours truly included. ;-)

I'd like to invite all authors and readers of multicultural & interracial romance and speculative works to add your books and your favorite reads to the list with a synopsis and a link to the book or purchase page. Author Pat Cromwell will be joining me in the forum. She runs a fabulous site with a list of IR books now available from a wonderful array of authors. My TBR list grows every time I visit the page. ;-) If you'd like to check it out, trot on over here: http://www.patcromwell.com/irmclist.htm

In the meantime, feel free to join the Coffee Time Romance forums at http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/ and please don't forget to add "Rae Lori" to the referral box. I'd greatly appreciate it!

Visit the Rae Lori board at CTR here.

Keep an eye out for updates (including prize info) leading up to the September bash!


Acres of Books closes its doors

This is so weird because as you may have remembered, I recently blogged about going to Acres of Books and hoping its doors remain open. Looks like that will be the last time I see it. :-( First Bungalow News now Acres of Books. I'm always bummed to see the indies close their doors and even more so when it's stores I visited with my family since I was a little girl. They'll be sorely missed.

Source: LBReport.com

"Acres of Books," Iconic Downtown LB Bookstore at 240 LB Blvd., Will Close Amid Deal To Sell Site To Redevelopment Agency


(April 5, 2008) -- LBReport.com has learned that Acres of Books, LB's iconic downtown bookstore at 240 LB Blvd., will be closing, possibly as soon as October 2008 or perhaps in up to a year, with the property owners accepting an offer from LB's Redevelopment Agency to buy the site.

Acres of Books
Image source: www.acresofbooks.com

The 12,000 sq. ft property will be sold to the LB's Redevelopment Agency...and will reportedly become part of a mixed use development that may include a public arts center.

Acres of Books staffers have been told that the owners may relocate elsewhere, but whether the store reappears elsewhere, the store will disappear from its present site.

Acres of Books is sufficiently prominent that it has its own Wikipedia online encyclopedia listing. The store opened in 1934 at 140 Pacific Ave. and moved to its present 240 LB Blvd. site in 1960.

The store's website says:

The [building] facade is design in the Streamline Modern style. The building extends for one hundred and fifty feet back from Long Beach Blvd...In 1990 Acres of Books was designated a cultural heritage landmark by the City of Long Beach. We are now in our third generation of family ownership and have grown to over 1 million books in stock, making us the largest used bookshop in California and a desination for book lovers from around the World...

Ray Bradbury, who's lived most of his life in Los Angeles, once told the Press-Telegram, "If you go in there for 10 minutes, you'll come out eight hours later....It's my favorite bookstore because it's so huge, so incredibly full of all the kinds of books you could possibly want."

The store's website says it was founded in 1934 by Bertrand Smith (1874-1965) who was an established book dealer in Cincinnati when he came to LB. In 1959, Mr. Smith "gave to the people of Long Beach a collection of rare books, some dating back to the 15th century. Included in the collection is a two volume facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible all of which is housed as part of the Loraine and Earl Burns Miller Special Collections Room at the main branch of the Long Beach Public Library."




Book Blogger Appreciation Week September 15-19

I'm all about spreading the word about great reads that don't get the publicity they deserve. And as an author there's only so much time in the day to spread the word about your new works available to readers. That's part of why I dedicated this blog to reading and great books as well as my own works. So I decided to get on board and share this awesome event coming up next month. Thanks to Phoebe's Talk About My Favorite Authors Blog, I found a link to My Friend Amy; the founder of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Sounds like a blast so I grabbed a button and placed it on my sidebar. Book Bloggers if you'd like to join, check out My Friend Amy's post for how to register and participate.

Linkspam, Upcoming Con and new blog reads

Hey folks!

Taking a break from the book recommends to share some news.



First off, I just found out about KillerCon 2009. This is a multi-genre con featuring the paranormal romance, thriller and horror genres all in one goodie package. The first annual con will be held next September in Las Vegas baby and registrations are open now. I'm planning on attending with some promo goodies and books in hand so if any authors out there want to share a table drop me an email or leave me a message on my myspace page. Readers, I'll keep you posted on my first ever con appearance which is very exciting!

To learn more about KillerCon09, click the official website: http://www.killercon.org

Great blog alert! You may have noticed a new addition to my ever growing list of blog reads. The newest addition is Zoe Winters' blog, an upcoming paranormal romance writer who is very witty while being informative at the same time. Her list of topics include pop culture, books, romance and just plain ole anything she feels like. Of note is her post about Being Acceptable which any author of any level can definitely relate to.

And speaking of writing, I've been on a Twilight Zone/Rod Serling binge lately after Youtube-ing it up (whoever thought Youtube would become a blurb?) with some Serling interviews. As a creator of one of the best series in television history, Serling has crafted some amazing short stories, screenplays, teleplays and plays in general. He has much respect for the craft of storytelling, story crafting and creativity, much enthusiasm that hasn't been seen much in today's entertainment (unless you go to books ;-) ). YT has 16 vids of his Writing for Television class that I highly recommend if you're writer, no matter what medium you're writing. Story is overall key. Here's a snippet of Serling's thoughts:



Sara's Reward - A Sweet Treasure of a novel


Sara's Reward by Joan Early

Don't let the too hot to handle cover fool ya (and it is an awesomely hot one, I have to admit). There is a wonderful, warm story as yummy as sweet potato pie between these covers that proves you can go home again.

Sara leaves her affluent lifestyle and her prestigious yet neglecting lawyer husband once she suspects his infideltiy, with her best friend, no less. After a devastating miscarriage, she returns home to Chaumiere Isle where her Aunt Olivia (Liv) and Uncle brought her up after Sara's parents died when she was young. When Sara returns to the home she grew up, it is quite different and very full with an assortment of boarders who have become a sort of surrogate family. There's volatile Vietnam Vet Mr. Nash, Aria a hard working young girl who once lived on the streets and is struggling with low confidence in herself but has a big heart; and then there's Michael. The hot yet sweet confident New Englander who comes from a family whose big on money, but low on family and showing love amongst one another. Each and every one of these characters find something under the family that Aunt Liv has created within her home. At first Sara is shocked that her Aunt let strangers live in and is somewhat put off that they may have taken over her place in the home as family. But as time goes on, she learns to live with everyone and find strength to live and love again.

This book is FABULOUS. I loved this story so much because it was a romance and yet a book about a woman finding her strength again. This was an awesomely well written novel filled with interesting characters from all walks of life, a complex heroine and a sweet, strong hero you just wanna take home. Fabulous characterization, a great setting and a warm hearted plot makes you feel like your favorite aunt has wrapped you up in a homemade quilt to tell you this timeless love story.


While I can't recommend this novel highly enough, I can't recommend the publisher. NCP has had some underhanded dealing and based on recent reports hasn't been treating their authors very fairly. For all the news check Dear Author or Karen Knows Best. It's a shame reading the reports as a reader and even more so as an author because it's hard to find a good small indie press these days (I'm jazzed to have found at least one fab one I work with) who treat authors very well. I tried looking up the author and for awhile I couldn't find any information on her. Finally I came upon her website: http://www.joanearly.com and an announcement for two new book coming out January 2009. Do yourself a favor and check out this fabulous story of loss, regret, love, family and renewal which is definitely one for the keeper shelf.

Since this book came out in 2007 I can't exactly put it on my best reads of 2008 (since it's for '08 releases) but I can make it an honorary best of 2008. I can't wait to go back for seconds. ;-)

EZ Rejection Form Generator

Under the list of 'Things I'm Doing When I Should be Writing/Designing" comes a fun lil link I saw over at LROD (Literary Rejections on Display-great blog, btw) for the EZ Rejection Form Letter for Writers:
Literary Agent Version
.

From the site:

With the publishing industry awash in manuscripts from enthusiastic would-be novelists, literary agents are having a hard time keeping up. Lately, even the best agencies are resorting to random (see if you can find it in the mailbox) postcard rejection notices, and squint-to-read rejection slips mass produced from toner-depleted copiers.

Writers, you can help! With your next novel submission, encourage the agent to fill out this handy EZ Rejection Form Letter. It’ll save the second assistants some time, and give you the most detailed rejection letter you probably ever got. :)

Anna Richenda created this and it's too funny (if not true on some points LOL). I tried one out and here's what I got. (I hope she adds more choices for the future hehe)

7/13/2008

EZ Literary Agency
1534 Editor Ave
Rejection City, WA 55555

Dear Writer:

Enclosed please find your pristine, unread manuscript.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to consider your manuscript, but I am unable to offer you representation --ever-- because, though I loved your novel, frankly, at this point, I'm too busy to know if I really loved it or if I've started to hallucinate.

Another reason I must decline to represent you is that your manuscript isn't a variation on some existing bestseller. Can you write a cute animal mystery, please? I'm freaking out, here. In addition, this work really sucks.

A few words of advice. Please don't contact me again until you have a ready platform. So what if your book is great? Frankly, publishers won't pay to promote it unless you're famous. And right now, nobody cares one whit about you. In closing, I wish you luck in placing your manuscript elsewhere--Snerk!

The very warmest of regards,

Gifford Regnal-Symes
Mailroom Assistant Trainee.

Woot! Rockin' praise for Before Dawn Breaks!

Check out these awesome reviews for my current release Before Dawn Breaks! I'm so jazzed they enjoyed the story! :-D


"Rae Lori’s novel Before Dawn Breaks is a fantastic interracial romance, packed with action and that Happily Ever After that all of us secretly seek out. I have read a few of Ms. Lori’s novels but this has to be my favorite out of all of them. She has a way of drawing the reader into the story and before you know it, it’s over. Just a really enticing read all around. 5 Hearts."

-Crystal's Book Reviews


"Before Dawn Breaks is an absolute gem of a book. The thrilling plot thickens with each turn of the page, and the secondary characters add authenticity to each situation Camilla/Alex and Josh encounter. I liken Before Dawn Breaks to watching a film inside my head. I hated the baddies, cheered for the goodies, and gained satisfaction from the HEA.

A fast-paced thriller that, at times, had me on the edge of my seat and shouting at my computer monitor. Excellent job, Ms. Lori!"


-Black Orchid
Cocktail Reviews

Sex and the Single Braddock - Sexy, breezy read

This book not only has a gorgeous cover but a great story within its pages.

Thanks to Sparkle for posting this over at IMRR. :-D

I was excited to see Harlequin releasing another bwwm IR novel. They seem to come out like Haley's comet over there so fellow fans like myself of this subgenre have to grab em while they can.

I'm happy to say that S&SB does not disappoint in all aspects of telling a great story. If you're like me and haven't read all of the Braddock series, you won't be lost a bit as all the Braddock siblings are explained in detail.

I won't rehash the synopsis as it is available in the link below on the HQN book page, but I will say what I really enjoyed about the book.

First of all it's characters. Shondra is a strong female without being too close offish. Due to her father's death she's a bit vulnerable and although she is really attracted to the hero (who's seriously a babe, who can blame her?) she wants to tread lightly considering his status in their company. I gotta say much props for the intro of the story to Ms. Amos. I love how the hero and heroine first meet and how they interact right from the beginning. The hero is strong minded, driven and also sensitive and romantic: everything the perfect hero is made of (where can I get me one of him?). I love how they play off each other and the sexual tension is there right from the start. I had to fan myself off now and then!

The loves are hot without being too overly sexual, so if any readers out there are a fan of hot loves scenes without being in your face, you'd be happy here. The race situation is mentioned but doesn't get in the way, which I think is a good thing. During the rise of IRs many bwwm romance books used to place race as a major obstacle and I'm glad it's mentioned here but not the driving force of their problems. Shondra and Connor are mainly treated as a man and woman trying to find a way to each other's hearts despite the workplace and despite the recent death in Shondra's family.

Ms. Amos had me laughing at the interaction between Shondra and Connor, especially over music: he loves hip hop (she's not too familair with it) and she loves country (he's not too familiar with it) and during a private jet ride to Monte Carlo they discuss this. One of the best lines of the book are in this scene and it's a cheeky one that comes from Connor after they realize the music difference:

"I think we both owe it to our people to fit our assigned stereotypes better."


LOL she had me rolling during this scene and I can could so imagine the facial expressions and voices as they verbally sparred back and forth. And just like a great storytelling, a few moments later she nearly had me in tears right there with the hero and heroine as they relived their respective familial losses.

If I had to gripe about one thing I'd say I was kind of bummed about the ending being a happy for now rather than happily ever after. I guess I'm kind of traditional in that I like the couple to make it official with a wedding down the road or at least an engagement. And the two characters felt like they were happy just being physical with each other for now.

Overall, I'm really thankful I came across this book cause it seriously rocks and I highly recommend it for a nice breezy romance with a side of mystery in your late summer reading. This book gets added to my list of the best of 2008!

Sex & the Single Braddock is not available in print until September 1st, but you can buy the ebook which is available now from the Harlequin site.

Go forth and read!

The Blood Martyr Series



It's official. I'm a gal that's hooked and can't get enough of Fionn Jameson's Blood Martyr chapter series. Woo!

I started this alongside Teresa D'Amario's SheWolf book and I was just in paranormal happy world then. Now I await with bated breath each chapter that comes out from this series. Beware though, if you are impatient you may be ripping your hair out during this series waiting for the next chapter because these are serious cliffhangers! lol. Tanith is the lead heroine here dealing with humans, the Were King and a few fellow vampires within her city. It's all written in the first person, normally I'm not too jazzed about this POV but I LOVE Tanith's quips and inner thoughts, it wouldn't fit any other way.

Hot love scenes make this a steamy read and there's always danger lurking around the next page to make you wanna see what happens next.

The Blood Martyr series goes on my best of 2008 list! Highly recommend this dark urban fantasy!

Blood Martyr Chapters 1-4 is available now from Freya's Bower.

August Spotlight on Author Savannah Frierson



This month we have a fabulous author on the rise that I've been watching for sometime now. Another trailblazer in the land of IR romance with a hot new release you'll have to check out. Savannah J. Frierson.

Originally from from Blythewood, SC, Savannah now lives in Massachusetts where she proofreads textbooks, serves as a content editor for Red Rose Publishing and authors her books. She graduated from Harvard in 2005 with a joint concentration in African & African American Studies and English.

She cites Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor as an inspiration for her writing, focusing on about a strong black family in the 1930s Mississippi and all the challenges they faced. Since then, she garners inspiration from the works of Toni Morrison to Maya Angelou to Alice Walker to Jamaica Kincaid, to Jack London's The Sea-Wolf and Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities and many more as inspiration for her work.

For this month's author spotlight, I interviewed Savannah to learn a little bit more about her writing process and her books.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I decided in junior year in high school . . . when I should’ve been studying for an AP English test, and instead I was writing a story. I knew then I wanted to do this for a living, but I wasn’t confident enough in my abilities to actually go for it yet. I needed another four years before I got the courage to write something original for the masses to read—and it turned out to be two things: My senior thesis Reconstructing Jada Channing and the beginnings of my debut novel Being Plumville.


Q: What are your main concerns as a writer?

My main concern as a writer is to write the story I’m supposed to tell; not the story I think I should tell, and sometimes not even the story I’m comfortable to tell. If you don’t stay to true to the story or to the characters about whom you’re writing, the story will suffer. Not only that, it will be very apparent to the reader that you chickened out of the real story. Sometimes it is scary to accept the story that you’ve been given, especially if it deals with things that may be controversial or even the complete opposite of your personality. As the writer, you have to decide if it is the right time to tell a certain story, or even if you write it . . . should you show it to the masses? Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting it out to make room for others; but sometimes, you have to trust your characters, even if you disagree with them or don’t want them to do what they want to do. Trust in the story and be open to receive it.


Q: What will your next book be about?

My next work is called The Coach’s Counselor, and it is a short story being released by Red Rose Publishing under its Labor of Love Series. It’s about a forty-something divorcee with a son who works at a college as a counselor; and she finds herself in a state of mutual attraction with a man who happens to be younger, the best friend of one of her employees, and rarely dates women with children.


Q: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Having people actually read and enjoy my books. I can’t achieve higher than that. Everything else is icing—the awards I’ve been nominated for and won; the requests to go speak at functions; meeting fellow authors and readers. If not for my book, and for them enjoying it, I wouldn’t have the other things. So yes, that would be my answer.


Q: How did you get there?

I’m not the world’s most religious person, but I can’t say anything but the grace of God. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people who encourage me and prod me and don’t let me sulk for too long when I get setbacks. I have people who’ll read drafts and tell me what works and what doesn’t’—they’re not “yes” people; these are “keep it real” people, and without them, my work would definitely suffer for it. Mentors in writing . . . mentors in life, I thank them very much.

Many thanks to Savannah for stopping by!


Learn more about Savannah J. Frierson on the web!

Official Author's Website - http://sjfbooks.com

Savannah's Blog - http://bana05.blogspot.com

Author Group - http://groups.google.com/group/thespinnersyarn


Books by Savannah J. Frierson

AJ's Serendipity


Being Plumville

Available Now


The Coach's Counselor

Available Now

Before Dawn Breaks Name Contest



The time has come!! Picked at random, the winner of the Before Dawn Breaks Name Contest is:



    Crystal!!!!


Congrats, Crystal!

If anyone who entered is interested in thank you goodies, drop me a message (Rachel AT
Raelori.com) to let me know where to send them!

Thanks to everyone again for entering!