Sunday, June 30, 2013

Visiting “Philly”

Earlier in the week I opened an email from a college pal. Her colleague, the email read, was planning to visit Philadelphia late in July and wanted to squeeze in a visit to some of the city’s historical sites. She asked for a recommendation since I was born and raised in the city.

That was a tough question to answer for several reasons. One, I’m uncomfortable making recommendations, especially for someone I don’t know. Two, the email didn’t mention how much time she had for site seeing (but the word “squeeze” had me concluding “not much”). And, three, I love the city's historic section, and asking me to choose among all the places available is like asking a parent to choose her favorite child.
My response to the email was to forward the website address for the Independence Visitors Center, located at 599 Market Street (telephone: 800-537-7676, summer hours: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily). You can leave the Visitors Center and nearly all of the significant historic sites are within walking distance of each other.

Given my fondness for the section of the city we call, “Olde City,” I’ve spent many a Sunday with friends strolling around, seeing the sites, and snacking from the fabulous vendors and bistros in the area.

Since America’s “birthday” is only a few days away, I thought I’d use this blog post to note a few of my favorite historic sites (and pretend I’m walking through the Olde City streets slurping a water ice). This list is not inclusive, and I apologize in advance to those sites I left out.
Independence Mall, 520 Chestnut Street (the Declaration of Independence was given the “go-ahead” here).
Carpenter’s Hall, 320 Chestnut Street (where the First Continental Congress met).
Declaration House, 4 South 7th Street (Thomas Jefferson rented rooms while in Philadelphia and drafted the Declaration of Independence).
The Liberty Bell, 526 Market Street (“The Liberty Bell” speaks for itself).
For more information on Philadelphia’s historic sites, visit the Independence Visitors Center website,
If you plan to visit Philadelphia, and need information on hotels, restaurants, museums, anything regarding your stay, check out,
Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy, July 4th Holiday!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Conference Update

Writers Workshops and Conferences are a great way to network with other authors, and to learn from them. Here’s a current list. Check out what’s upcoming in your area.
Road to Publishing, sponsored by Romancing the Lakes Romance Writers Chapter.  August 2-4, 2013 at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MN. For more information,

Annual CTRWA Fiction Fest, sponsored by Connecticut Romance Writers of America. September 21, 2013 at Hilton Mystic, Mystic, CT.  To learn more, visit,

Montana Writers Conference, sponsored by Montana RWA. September 27-29, 2013 at Billings Hotel and Convention Center, Billings, MT.  Visit for information,

New Jersey Romance Writers Conference, October 18-19, 2013 at Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, Iselin, NJ. Early bird registration June 1st – July 31st. For more information,

Have a good week, Everyone!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Crimson Romance!

Crimson Romance, who published my first novel, Magic Moment, is a part of Adams Media which is a part of F+W Media.  F+W is known for Writer’s Digest magazine (back in my Community College days, I tutored English 101 and would read Writer’s Digest while waiting for my appointments to arrive). 

Adams Media's main focus was nonfiction until 2011 when they acquired Tyrus Books to publish crime fiction novels.  Crimson arrived in 2012 followed by Merit Press, a young adult imprint.

This past year has been a joy, and an awesome experience, working with Crimson.  From the day I received the offer (YES!!! They want to publish Magic Moment!)  to working with the editing and proofing folks, and now promotion – I can’t find enough kind words to say about the organization and those who I’ve worked with behind the scenes (I don’t want to mention names because I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out).  Thank you, all!
When I checked my post office box this week, I was surprised and touched to find a small gift with a lovely note, a “thank you” for being a Crimson author.

As a token of appreciation to all of you for following Crimson authors and books this past year, Crimson is offering a giveaway to celebrate.  The sweepstakes, which runs from now until July 15, is the grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD – fully loaded with EVERY book published during this first year!
For Crimson Contest Information,
Visit Crimson’s Homepage,
To review Crimson Writer’s Submission Guidelines,
And, wishing you many more anniversaries, Crimson!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cheers for Goddess Fish!!!

Back in the toddler days of e-zines, I was looking for a home for a short story I'd written titled "Burgers and Ice Cream." I clicked on Google and typed "Short Fiction Market." Among the responses was something called The Long and Short of It.
I found the website, and while it was primarily a book review site, The Long and Short of It offered every Thursday what it called the "Thrifty Thursday" short read. Judy Thomas and Marianne Arkins accepted "Burgers and Ice Cream," and I've been hooked on their website ever since. Over the last several years, I've been delighted to see three of my stories appear on their pages. 
The Long and Short of It was revamped, has grown, and is now Long and Short Reviews. Although I can't kick the habit of calling it "The Long and Short of It," book reviews are delivered every morning to my inbox.

Fast Forward to 2012 and my first novel, Magic Moment, is published. I was looking for someone to help me with promotion. When Goddess Fish Promotions popped up in the search engine, I said, "Gee, that name sounds familiar." It was familiar because the name belong to none other than Judy and Marianne.

Goddess Fish Promotions set up my first blog tour last February, and I just completed a second with them. With a background in publishing and promotion, Goddess Fish offers everything needed for marketing a book – from advertising banners to promotional book videos to virtual book tours and much more.  As I often tell my RWA chapter mates, I was so happy with the February tour, I decided to do the second one in May. 

To learn more about Goddess Fish Promotions (and the answer to the questions who is "Goddess" and who is "Fish"),visit,

For information on current and upcoming tours, visit,
Or simply click on Goddess Fish Facebook page,
And I would be remiss if I didn't give the address for one of the best e-zines around, Long and Short Reviews. Visit,

 Have a great week, Everyone!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Judging a Book by Its Cover

I’m fortunate to live in Philadelphia where book stores, big and small, are plentiful. Plus, we have a gigantic central library and more local branches than I can count. Wherever I go, I'm surrounded by books!

One day last week, I was browsing in one of those stores when I was distracted by the manner in which the romance books were shelved. All of the book spines, with title and author, faced me as I browsed. None of the covers were in my direction.  

I was a little frustrated over this. I felt that as I approached each new book selection, the cover of the first book offered should be displayed. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive because I’ve received so many compliments on Magic Moment’s book. But, I think a book cover has a lot to do with selling a book.  Many times, when I’m scanning the shelves, I’ll pick up and check out a book because I’m intrigued by the cover. 

I approached the sales associate and suggested how she should turn at least one copy of each book offering so that the book cover faced customers. She smiled politely, said she’d take my suggestion into consideration and went back to stacking shelves.

Simply shelving the books in author alphabetical order, I was bypassing any author who wasn’t already known to me. Whereas if the book’s cover had intrigued me, I would pull it off the shelf, give it a look and perhaps purchase it. Not only would I have discovered a new book, but a new author. I doubt if I’m the only book buyer who purchases in this manner.

So, today, I’m asking for comments and opinions. As a book buyer, how important do you think a book cover is to a book?