Friday, April 25, 2008
I have to give a shout out to my friend Dana, who had the perfect comeback to a nosy busybody who found Dana's reading material (a romance) offensive to women. Would that I could be so clever as to come up with a rejoinder like this. Dana, you are now officially my hero, you sassy woman, you.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I had a lovely book signing experience at Read It Again on Friday, April 18. I don't think a bestselling NYT author could have been treated better by the wonderful bookseller, Grace Galloway. Grace went to a lot of trouble to bring customers into the store and to make me feel at home, even going so far as to set up a signing table that mimicked the cover of The Legacy (see picture). I met a lot of folks who had been lured in by Grace's wonderful promotions, a lot of local friends made it to the signing, and the wonderful personal chef of my acquaintance, Chef Norie, served snacks, treats, and wine with a German theme. I know not every book signing event I participate in will go this well in the future, but this sort of thing is one of the reasons I love being an author. It makes up for the hours of loneliness, stress, rejection, and isolation experienced by most authors as we claw our way up the ladder of success (if we ever do).
What astounded me is speaking with people who thought I was a genuinely accomplished person because I'd written a book. People, some of whom were a little tongue-tied when they met me, who treated me as though I was a bit of a celebrity because of that book. People who sat and chatted with me and shared their stories and asked me for mine--who had never met me before. The book was a connection between me and them, and it made me realize, not for the first time, that is the REAL reason why I write. To make that connection, to touch the hearts and minds of people I've never had the chance to meet, to bring them into my world for a little while and show them that love is WORTH the trouble, worth the pain, worth the investment of the heart. I love writing romance, I love the happily ever after ending, and if others can identify with that love, too, I'm so happy to be the one to help them get there.
Thanks to Grace and Norie for making my launch party a resounding success. Remember, Read It Again has signed author copies in stock while supplies last, so if you want an autographed copy of the book and plan to order it anyway, you can contact Grace to buy and she'll be happy to ship it to you.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Good news! I checked BN.COM and Amazon.com, and both are listing The Legacy as in stock! Yay!
Also, the bookseller hosting my book launch party, Read it Again, now has a link for ordering the book directly from her store. I'd love it if you could support this wonderful bookseller's efforts to get my book into the hands of readers. Independent booksellers rock!
So, we finally have options and access. Whew! I was sweating it a little...
[UPDATE:] Read It Again has signed copies of The Legacy in stock. So, while supplies last, if you'd like an autographed copy of the book, you can order directly from the Read It Again website.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Well, back from LA LA Land (Los Angeles area) and I had a fabulous time. I hung out with old friends, spent time with my sister, and gave a talk to the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter of RWA about "Finding the Dark Side of Your Knight in Shining Armor." I used my knowledge of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to provide insight in finding flaws and areas of conflict for our wonderful male heroes, because nobody's perfect, right? Afterward, I sold out of the books at the Barnes and Noble in Encino where I gave my talk. Unfortunately, some folks who stood in line for one weren't able to get one due to a shortage of books, but it was nice to be able to say "Hey, I sold out at my first book signing!"
Everything was wonderful--except for the flight out to LA. The plane was absolutely packed, the airport personnel seemed stressed and ruder than normal, and I was attacked by a baby on board the flight. No, really. Actually, the kid was quite cherubic--a happy little fellow with no respect for personal space. His slightly bewildered dad was doing his fatherly duty and giving the mother a break by holding the baby while she vegged. They were in separate rows, and he was stuffed in the middle seat with me on the aisle and a chatty, rather large fellow in the window seat. The baby chortled and drooled on my denim jacket (the dad neglected to get a bib cloth for the obviously teething baby). I did my citizenly duty by flipping magazine pages and pointing, saying "Dog? Book?" at appropriate times, much to the smart-as-a-whip baby's delight. Partway through the flight, the tiny one conked, sleeping soundly instead of screaming at high decibels like most babies on flights. Reassured, I decided to watch the in-flight movie (National Treasure II, a highly improbable, yet strangely entertaining adventure-fest). Ensconced in my cheap airline headsets, I munched on the bag of nuts I brought as defense against airplane food (or lack thereof). I had decided, unfortunately, to partake of my favorite in-flight beverage--hot tea.
Yep. I bet you can see this one coming. Without warning, the baby awoke and decided he WANTED MY BAG OF NUTS. With daddy drowsing in the middle seat, no doubt exhausted, the baby made a sneak attack strafing run on the bag of nuts, colliding with the hot tea and sending it cascading in every direction: on my seat, my pants, my tray table, in the bag of nuts--everywhere. Of course, no one in my row had gotten food, so I had no napkins handy to clean up the mess. I sat there, stunned (nearly as much as the father was) and covered with very hot tea seeping into my pants. My gaze connected with a man across the aisle, who stared wordlessly at me for a moment and then silently handed over his napkin. I used it to mop and sop while the dad looked away in embarrassment. It didn't occur to me until later that he never apologized, and so I never had the opportunity to say, "No worries." Which might have been a good thing, because I wasn't feeling too charitable at that moment anyway.
The father eventually removed the baby to his mother, and we spent a very uncomfortable remainder of the flight avoiding each other's gaze. Very difficult to do when the man was sitting less than an inch away from me (curse Continental and its tiny span between seats).
Other than that, it was a good flight. :-)
This weekend is my book launch party in Houston, and I can't wait! Read It Again Bookstore in Houston is currently the only bookstore or outlet in America to actually have possession of the books, so if you are in the area, want a book, and want to join us, feel free. You can find the details on my news and events page.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Just a reminder to anyone in the Los Angeles or Houston areas in the next week or so, I'll have a couple of appearances and I'd love to see you there. I'll be giving a talk and signing books at the Barnes & Noble in Encino, CA on April 13, and holding a book launch party in Houston on April 18. If you can make either of those, swing on by. If you can make both of those, well, you must be a family member, LOL!
For more details, visit my News & Events page and scroll down to Upcoming Appearances. Tah!
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Brownone is the winner of my Blog Tours contest. She/he commented on both the History Hoydens' and Jaunty Quills' blogs and was entered for a chance to win along with 25 other names! Wow, I'm humbled by the number of you who took the time out of your busy schedules to read and comment on my guest hosting blog tour sites. Thanks, everyone. If you want to receive notice of other contests and news (like release information), please sign up for my newsletter. I've got some great contests planned for the future, and you don't want to miss out!
Brownone, please contact me through my website (you'll find a link on the left sidebar of my blog) and let me know which prize you would like to receive, either the $40 Barnes & Noble gift card or the $40 e-certificate for GermanDeli.com. Along with your prize, you've also won a free autographed copy of The Legacy. You'll be the first in your neighborhood (wherever that might be) to get your hands on a copy. Make sure to give me the following information when you send your e-mail:
1. Full Name and Mailing Address
2. E-mail address
3. Your preference for either the B&N card or the GermanDeli.com e-cert.
For everyone else who is still eagerly awaiting a copy of The Legacy, don't despair. The distributor will have them in the warehouse today and will start fulfilling orders tomorrow. Once that happens, Amazon.com will also start shipping and BN.com will re-list it on their site for ordering (or so I'm told). And always, your local book store can order it for you as well if there isn't one sitting on the shelves for you to lovingly caress and fondle (oh, wait, maybe that's just me who does that).
Thanks for playing, everybody, and watch my contest page for future contests!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Well, in all the excitement of getting my author copies, I don't want to overlook the fourth and final stop on my Blog Book Tour for The Legacy. We talked about the pros and cons of being published with a "small" press last week on the Booksquare industry blog, but on Monday, April 7, I'll be visiting with the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills and talking about the true stories of the runaway nuns and dangerous mercenaries who sparked the ideas for my Reformation romances.
Remember, anyone who visits and posts a comment on at least two of the blogs I guest hosted this past week will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of The Legacy and either a $40 Barnes & Noble gift certificate, or a $40 e-certificate for GermanDeli.com, a Texas-based German food store where customers can order everything from a spaetzle-press to apple strudel imported straight from Germany! For more details, go to my contest page.
Hope to see you for this final stop!
Saturday, April 05, 2008
A friend of mine from California coined the term "squeee" as the joyous sound a person makes when she is squealing for, well, joy. My "squee" moment has finally arrived. I received my author copies in the mail today from my publisher, which means my long-awaited (at least by me) book is about to hit the bookshelves of America everywhere!
'Scuse me while I--
Okay, I'm back again. Remember, Medallion Press is an independent press with smaller print runs (i.e., fewer books in circulation than the big boys), so not every bookstore in your town will automatically carry it, but you can get it through all the normal bookstores you would buy any other book. You just might have to ask for yours to order a copy if it isn't already in stock. Or, you could order it from Amazon.com as well. Barnes & Noble, Borders, and any independent bookstore should be able to order it through their normal channels in the usual way. The added bonus is, the more people who ask for the book, the more likely the bookstores are to order extra copies to have in stock in case someone else asks, and that means more sales, which of course means more books like this--outside-the-box historicals--will build a reputation for selling and new authors will have a better chance to break into the market. So, go ask for the book because you are not just helping a new author out, but you are helping independent publishers bring other new authors to market, allowing people to enjoy a variety of choices in their reading material, and proving that America does like different if we give them a chance to find it. Phew! Off my soapbox now.
But really, isn't the book just...lur-ver-ly? SQUEEEEEEE.....!
Posted by TJ Bennett at 4:43 PM
Friday, April 04, 2008
Just a quick post to those who have expressed concerns about my release date: my publisher has notified me the book is being bound and is on its way to the distributor! Yay! We should start seeing shipments by next week. So, if'n you've pre-ordered on Amazon.com, it should ship soon. If you go to your local bookstore and ask for it, and they say it isn't in stock, demand that they order it pronto (because, you know, you can't wait to read it and all).
We did discover a glitch in Barnes & Nobles' website, however. The book, which was listed as of Wednesday, is nowhere to be found today. We're trying to track down the monkey who hit the wrong button on the computer rignt now, and I promise when we find him, there will be NO BANANAS for dinner tonight! Hang in there, folks. I promise this read will be worth the wait. :-)
Posted by TJ Bennett at 1:15 PM