Posted: at 9:56 pm by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on Three More to Go!
I love when live and work dovetail in the least expected ways. This past week I enjoyed a beautiful drive to my hometown of Buffalo, NY, where I took my parents for a day trip to a local vineyard. Eveningside Vineyards is owned by fellow high school alumnus, Randy Biehl. Randy gave us the royal tour of his lovely winery in the midst of a Western New York autumn. It doesn’t get much better than this! As one of our classmates commented on Facebook, “wine and literature, two favorite things.”
Today’s post is for Read a Romance Month, founded by Bobbi Dumas who is a tireless advocate of romance fiction. With articles for Kirkus Reviews and NPR, Bobbi also has interviews of some of today’s most beloved romance authors. Lorelei’s Lit Lair graciously asked me to join in the celebration, and Lorelei has a post explaining how she got involved as a romance advocate here.
What does the Joy of Romance mean to me?
The Joy of Romance, and more specifically, in romance novels, has had her warm, loving hands on me since I was in elementary school.
The summer I turned ten I ran out of Nancy Drew and Sue Barton, Student Nurse books. My mother carefully picked a Candlelight Romance from her nightstand for me. It was Night Duty Nurse by Katherine McComb and was everything that was romance back then. The big sexy part was the kiss at the end of the book. A peck. Nothing else. I was ten; I wasn’t ready for anything more. But the story swept me away to long hours in a hospital where a dedicated nurse fell in love with her burn patient, an attractive and virile man. She discovered he wore a wooden prosthesis for his leg, and I can remember that scene so clearly, her reaction, how much more of a hero he became in that moment. Maybe that’s why in my very first published novel the hero had lost his leg in a war? And why I still have to put suspense in every story I write?
When I was a midshipman at the Naval Academy there wasn’t a whole lot of time for leisure reading but I managed to devour romances over Christmas and spring breaks. The pure joy of being a girl in a bubble bath with a romance novel, after strenuous training and wearing a uniform 24/7 (yes, even our pajamas were Navy-issued!) was better than any spa day I’ve had since. As a Naval Intelligence Officer deployed to Sicily and Bermuda (and all points in between) I subscribed to the Harlequin Reader Service and escaped from the demands of the Cold War, if only for twenty minutes once a week.
When I was a Navy spouse raising two tiny tots and my husband was deployed to war, I let the joy of romance comfort me via novels and movies, and kept the faith that he’d return to us. He did, thank God.
Once I figured out that I, too, was a romance writer, I devoured romance novels across the spectrum of heat levels, publishers and of course my favorite authors. I was in search of the perfect publisher fit for my stories, and I wanted to know how the most successful authors had achieved their status. So now you know why I chose to sell to category romance to start off my career.
I write more angst-filled, romantic suspense that deals with life-or-death situations. And yet my characters show me that no matter what, true love can bring joy to the most desperate situation. It can heal the deepest wounds and restore faith that has been chewed up and spit out by the machinations of what can be a very challenging journey on this planet. Or any other planet, or dimension, or time setting. Nothing is beyond the touch of romance and her ability to shower her characters and readers with undulated joy. And how cool is it that my novella in the Christmas anthology Coming Home for Christmas is Navy Joy?
Author Questions from RARM
1. Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
Most recently? When I saw my dear friend and Academy-sister Caro Carson win the Romance Writers of America’s “oscar,” the Rita for her wonderful book A Texas Rescue Christmas. I cried tears of joy!
2. Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
The beach and ocean, where we took our kids each year to enjoy time with their grandparents. Stone Harbor, New Jersey is an instant serenity place for me.
3. Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
Birds. I love birds, and spend hours writing on my patio through three seasons so that I can hear cardinals, robins, mockingbirds, blue birds, hawks (their mating cries are primal), and many others.
4. What recent book have you read that brought you joy. Why?
Teardrop Lane by Emily March. I’ve so loved her Eternity Springs series and this one was particularly heart wrenching and worth the read to the pure joy when Cicero and Rose get together.
5. And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~ Pick Your Chris!
It will always be Christopher Plummer in the Sound of Music. Hands down. Who are your favorite romance authors?
My absolute favorite romance authors include Sherry Thomas, Barbara O’Neal, and Heidi Hormel. Sherry’s prose is like poetry and her sexy love scenes are a crescendo to her hero and heroine’s arias through conflict and sexual tension. Barbara O’Neal’s voice is the most unique in our genre with simple phrases opening the heart to a journey of unconditional and intensely romantic love. Heidi Hormel is a debut author this year and her fun, light-hearted voice doesn’t skimp on the realities of a good romantic conflict.
Since you’ve stopped by, I’d be delighted if you please take the time to sign up for my newsletter. I only send one when I have a new book or amazing news, so I won’t flood your email, promise. You can sign up here. As a thank you to my readers (that’s you!) I run a give-away contest over on Fresh Fiction each month. Please enter here and good luck!
Posted: at 7:00 am by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on Catherine Mann is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays
Please join me in welcoming USA Today Bestselling Author and Rita-Award Winner Catherine Mann to our holiday promo to support the military. Catherine is an exceptional writer of military heroes and she should know–she married one! Another special cause that Catherine supports is animal rescue.
What do you like to make, bake or create for the holidays?
We have a large family with diverse schedules, so there’s no telling when the holiday meal will actually happen. So our meals tend to include simple, old home cooking dishes, nothing too delicate that it can’t survive an extra hour or two in the over or crockpot. My family’s favorite recipe is actually crock pot macaroni and cheese.
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
8 ounce box macaroni – par boiled
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated cheese
2 eggs beaten
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
Drain parboiled noodles. Place in greased crockpot. Dot top with butter. Mix beaten eggs, sour cream, 1 cup milk, salt. Pour over noodles. Stir in all cheese (reserving 1/2 cup). Pour milk until noodles are covered. Place remaining cheese on top. Cook on low for 3 hours or high for 90 minutes. Yum!!!
Do you have a special military connection?
My husband served for 22 years in the Air Force as an aviator/tester.
My son-in-law is in the Army
My brother-in-law is an Army chaplain.
Catherine’s latest release is SHELTER ME, “Second Chance Ranch” book 1, from Berkley Sensation, August 2014.
Read an excerpt here.
Thank you so much for joining us, Catherine, and for your support in sending books to the military for the holidays.
You can do your part, too, by signing up for the Geri Krotow Newsletter here. Remember, for every 20 new Geri Krotow Loyal Reader subscriptions, Harlequin has committed to send a book to the military (while supplies last).
Susan Wiggs bakes Walking Dead Gingerbread Cookies for the holidays!
Please join me in welcoming New York Times Bestselling author Susan Wiggs. What better way to start off our first full week of November than with the most glamorous, talented, kind-hearted, honest author I know?
Susan Wiggs and I met over a (gasp) decade ago, when she helped me get to my first RWA meeting after having moved to Whidbey Island (aka a remote island in the Pacific Northwest). She describes more of our unique bond below.
Recipe:Walking Dead Sugar Cookies
“Twisted traditional cookies are always a hit with kids. Also, it makes good use of the broken ones. Everyone knows a broken cookie tastes just as good as a perfect one.”–susan wiggs
2-1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cookie Icing: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 to 3 teaspoons milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 to 4 drops red food color
Directions: Beat granulated sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in dry ingredients on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight until firm. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into humanoid shapes with gingerbread-person cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. For the Icing, mix all ingredients except food color. Divide white icing into two small cups, and use the red drops to dye one lot blood red. Use the white icing to create mummy bandages, and the red to create wounds and bloody stumps. Use decorative sprinkles and red-hots liberally. [Source: Freely adapted from McCormick Spice collection.]
Do you have a military connection, Susan?
“Thanks to the wonderful Geri, I was able to write a novel about a military family called THE OCEAN BETWEEN US. It was inspired by a change of command ceremony for Geri’s husband, Steve, and to this day, it is a favorite of military spouses. I get mail about it every week!”
Susan’s latest is The Beekeeper’s Ball, and you can have your very own signed edition here.Want some holiday magic from Susan? Check out Candlelight Christmas.
Susan is an active blogger and has a beautiful website. Also, find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Please join me in thanking Susan for her time and cookie baking talents!
Remember, we are doing this to send holiday love to military families and Active Duty who are away from home or apart for the holidays. Harlequin is donating one book for every 20 new newsletter subscriptions to the Geri Krotow Newsletter, which gets you free membership into the Geri Krotow Loyal Reader Program. Sign up here.
I’m so excited to share my November celebration. A double release deserves double the effort, and I’m proud to announce that my publisher Harlequin has agreed to provide free copies of my two November releases to the military, with a focus on Active Duty and families separated from home for the holidays. Over two dozen of your favorite romance authors, from just-sold to New York Times Bestsellers, will join me by sharing their favorite Holiday activity. Want some new recipes? A new craft project? A joyful family tradition? This is your stop for all of that starting November 1st.
For every 20 new newsletter subscribers I get from now through November 30, 2014, Harlequin will send 1 book (while supplies last). Harlequin was so eager to support the military with me that they provided caseloads of books in advance. As you read this, signed copies of Navy Christmas andNavy Joy(the novella in the Coming Home for Christmas anthology with my Romvets sisters Lindsay McKenna and Delores Fossen) have been delivered to Djibouti, Belgium, the U.S., and another box is on the way to Germany. Soldiers, sailors, Marines, Airmen and their families who are feeling the sting of being away from home for the holidays (or have a loved one downrange) will have something a little extra to read this season.
As an additional treat I made special custom bookmarks/ornaments for every book sent. Lucky Geri Krotow Loyal Readers (newsletter subscribers) will automatically be entered to win their own custom bookmark (and maybe a book or two!).
All I need from you is your continued support: make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter and that all of your friends and family are, too. We are all part of something bigger! Sign up for the newsletter here.
A full summer combined with RWA in San Antonio at the end of July has left me wondering where summer went. Are you there, too?
Both kids leave for college over the next two weeks–one for his last year undergrad and the other for her freshman year at university (do you hear the sob/chortle combo? It’s the sadness of the baby leaving the nest, with the joy of freedom for moi woven in).
Besides the omnipresent work with stories demanding my attention, the offspring have asked for “cozy dorm socks.” In appropriate university colors. Actually, oldest asked for them because a hat I knitted him was waaaay too big (Saskwatch proportions) and since I’d used super wash wool, un-shrinkable. But I’d started a lovely shrug (think Jane Austen) for my daughter, who informed me “um, Mom? I’m never going to wear a purple shrug.” Shrug ripped out, yarn re-purposed for dorm slipper-socks. Need to get the boy’s done this week. I only allow myself to knit after the words are on the page. Will I do it?
In a blink, summer’s giving way to autumn. Today’s most likely the last hot day we’ll see in the Northeast.
I’ve been away from the blog due to a global move and associated tasks. Fancy speak for I’ve been overwhelmed by life.
Great news–I have a new book coming out in June 2012 with Harlequin Superromance, set on Whidbey Island, Washington. Details will emerge as the publication date gets closer. I already have two events planned for June which is the precise reason I’m so thrilled to be back in the States full-time. There’s nothing like connecting with dear readers in person.
No matter how crazy it gets, I try to eek out at least a smidgen of serenity each day. My dog Misha is often the source of this. Sometimes it’s Ripley the Fearless Parrot. What’s your serenity source?
This month is a banner one for me. I hit a significant milestone albeit sad in many respects in that I have lived longer than my mother did. We lost her too soon, too young, to breast cancer. Because it’s my birthday month, I have my yearly mammogram scheduled. Have you scheduled yours yet? If you’re age 40 or over, go do it now! If your insurance won’t pay, or you don’t have health insurance, find a community outreach program in your area that provides free or reduced-cost mammograms. Because as women we are the rocks of our families and communities. And we need to manage our health–no one else can do this for us.
The third and great thing about this month, this year, is today! My third book, Sasha’s Dad is released by Harlequin Superromance. I have an excerpt and behind-the-scenes information for Sasha’s Dad on my website, and if you join me on my Facebook Author Page you’ll get more frequent updates on how the launch is going, where people have taken pictures of Sasha’s Dad, and what I’m doing in my local area to promote my third novel.
Today I gave a workshop or in local parlance, a “brown bag lunch” presentation to interested American Embassy staff and personnel in Moscow, Russia. I came away so motivated to continue to pursue my art and get my characters and stories on the page. While copies of Sasha’s Dad haven’t arrived in my mailbox yet, I was able to hand out bookmarks and Russian chocolates to keep the group happy and alert. I promised signed copies of Sasha’s Dad and champagne/sparkling apple juice once the books arrive. My publisher graciously offered several complimentary copies for me to hand out here at the embassy.
Several readers have emailed to let me know they’ve already downloaded Sasha’s Dad onto their Kindle or other e-reader, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. My children thank you, too, especially the oldest who will be going to college next year.
Each book, each story is so special to me. It takes many people to bring the story to publication, from me the writer to my agent and then my editor; copy editors, the art department, marketing, distribution…I am grateful to each pair of hands that worked on Sasha’s Dad.
A last note–once again the “small world” theory is proved. A high school track alumnus of mine now works at the Harlequin Distribution Center in Western New York. He sent me some great photos of my book on the warehouse shelves. If you’re curious, find them here on my Facebook personal wall.