I was inspired
to write this tale when I swapped my house a couple of years back and moved across
country. But my decision had little to do with a man, and more to do with the
rut I had settled into. My editor thought readers might enjoy hearing of my experiences.
Laila, my heroine
is in no way a reflection of me (it would go against my grain to chase any man
anywhere.) However, she is spunky, creative, and fun. While you may not always
agree with her choices (she tends to follow her heart,) readers can relate to
her adventurous spirit.
story has pushed a number of emotional buttons. Readers have been very vocal about
the hero, Hudson, choosing business over a woman he loves. Others think Hudsonís
ambivalence makes him a less than worthy partner for Laila. Only you can decide
whether this romance works for you.
up is Tempting the Mogul. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer this December.
The story received a four and a half star rating by Romantic Times Magazine,
and that makes me one very happy camper.
this month is LaShaunda Hoffman, editor of Shades of Romance Magazine.
For more about LaShaunda and her popular e zine log onto http://www.sormag.com/
a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Read on for some excellent wine tips below.
Editor -- Romantically Yours
of the release of First Crush, fresh off the vine are some helpful wine tips to
make any meal memorable. These tips are compliments of Food and Wine Magazine.
A 2005 Saison Des
Vins Syrah Líhiver ($16) is the way to go. Itís the rare red wine with enough
fruit for a meat and cheese combo.
South of the border? Is Guacamole on your menu?
2007 As Laxas Albarino Rias Baixas ($12.00) stands up to the richness of guacamole.
Shrimp on the Barbie?
a 2005 Heath Wine like Lizard Flat Chardonnay from Australia ($8). It has a nice
oak fruit balance.
shopping for wine this holiday season consider this:
Buy by the case. Itís a money saver as discounts range from 10-15%. Buying in
bulk saves a trip to the store.
2. Not all wines with screw caps are
bad. More and more excellent wines are being sealed with a cap to avoid corkiness
- the wet cardboard smell. Screw caps are also easier to open. A 2007 Planeta
Rose ($16) comes highly recommended and so does the 2007 Domaines Francois Lurton
Les Fumees Blanches Sauvignon Blanc ($11.)
3. When dealing with multiple
dishes and competing flavors think Thanksgiving and Christmas, serving a well
balanced wine is important. Try a Pinot Noir or and American Rhone style blend.
Other options are Austrian Gruner Veitliner or a dry Reisling.
of spending money on pricey champagnes opt for an affordable sparkling wine like
Cava from Spain - Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ($10) and Prosecco from Italy - Botter
Verduzzo Prosecco Frizzante ($13) is a nice choice.
5. Use an inexpensive
wine (under $12.00) for punch; one that can stand on its own. Try a 2007 Tapeno
Rose ($10) or a 2008 Santa Rita 120 Carmenere. Spanish and South American wines
LaShaunda Hoffman (Editor of
Hoffman is the editor of the popular e zine Shades of Romance Magazine. She is
a supporter of writers and will tell you she's a one woman show. Read on to find
out more about LaShaunda and her commitment to new writers.
What inspired you to create Shades of Romance Magazine (and how long have you
been in business?
SORMAG - Shades of Romance Magazine - http://sormag.blogspot.com, celebrated eight
years in September. I started SORMAG because of my love of books. I wanted to
help promote African-American romances. We started as an online magazine - http://sormag.com,
we were in print for two years then we moved to the blog. It saves paper and we
reach a wider readership. As our authors branched into mainstream, we evolved
from only promoting romance to promoting all multi-cultural literature.
How many readers and people in the literary world does your newsletter reach monthly?
Much Ado About reading goes out to 2800 readers.
Who is the most intriguing author you have ever interviewed and why?
a hard question because Iíve interviewed a lot of authors. Iím going to say they
all intrigue me because it takes a lot to sit down in front of a computer and
write. I know from my own experience that this isnít an easy process. I admire
them all for sacrificing their time and sharing their wild imagination.
In your opinion how have romance novels changed over the years and what do your
readers want more of?
my opinion the romances have become more real life. In the past romances were
accused of being more fantasy than real. Now you can read a romance and learn
about different things happening in our community.
Some of the readers
have complained that they miss the fantasy part. They read to escape the real
life. They want to be swept off their feet.
Tell us about the annual Sormag online conference and the wide variety of authors
and readers the conference attracts. How can an interested person participate?
LH: I started the
online conference in 1999 before SORMAG existed. I wanted to attend a conference,
but I didnít have the funds or vacation time. I had attended an online conference
for time management and I contacted the host, Debbie Williams and she was willing
to share how she pulled hers off. I took her wonderful advice and created the
first conference. We had chats and articles and it was so much fun. I decided
I would like to do it again. Yes Iím a glutton for punishment. Most people donít
realize Iím a one person team, so everything that goes into the conference, I
do all by myself. I invite the authors, I set up the workshops and in the old
days, I set the web pages. It was crazy because I had to learn html in a short
period of time. However I didnít let it stop me. Now we host the conference on
the blog. For 2009 we will feature phone chats, so that should be interesting.
Iím looking forward to it. If you want to be a part of the conference, go to the
blog and click on the 2009 conference link. You can join the mailing list and
Iíll send you info as we get closer to the conference. If youíre an author who
wants to participate, send me an email - email@example.com and let me know how
you would like to participate.
There are also links on the blog to the
previous conferences. The workshops are articles written by some the hottest names
in the writing business. The best part about our conference is you donít have
leave home. You can attend the conference anytime you want.
Youíve always been a huge supporter of romance authors. Are you a romance writer
as well or do you have aspirations to be?
I started out writing romance, and then moved on to Christian fiction. I have
big dreams of being published one day.
Whatís your best marketing advice to authors with a limited budget? What would
be money well spent?
first advice is to have an email account. Youíd be surprised how many new writers
donít have email. If someone wants to interview you, they canít get in touch if
you donít have an email.
Iíd also suggest a web page even if its one
page. Many readers Google the author and if you have a web page, they have some
place to go to learn more about you. Donít forget to include your email address.
If you have the time, update the web page. You want to bring the readers back.
RI: What kinds of
stories would you like to see authors tackle?
I donít have a particular story Iím looking for. Iím just looking for a good story.
Something Iím told all publishers want. Write a good story and it will sell.
Share with us one of your most memorable moments as the editor of SorMag.
have three, one was when we were listed as one of the best writer sites for 2000,
that made my year, when we were mentioned in the Essence magazine and when we
were listed on the book cover of a Brenda Jacksonís book. I think the bookstore
owner, thought I was crazy, screaming over a book. Seeing SORMAG listed showed
we had arrived in the literary world.
What are LaShaundaís hopes, dreams and thoughts for expanding Shades of Romance?
LH: Iíve always dreamed
of seeing SORMAG as a glossy magazine; however as the world changes, print magazines
are becoming obsolete and more are moving to the web. A professor told me, I was
already where many publishers want to be. Another author told me that I already
have a glossy magazine, itís just online.
So now I just want to reach
more readers and authors and continue to help writers see their publishing dream
come true. Our main goal is to help the writer on their path to publication and
I try my best to do that. We are always looking for short stories and articles
to feature - http://www.sormag.com/guide.html
How can a reader get on your mailing list? If someone needed your services what
do they need to do?
can get on our mailing list on the blog - just enter your email. For promotion
we have packages for every budget - http://sormag.com/AUTHOR.html
I can be
reached at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcia thanks so much for this opportunity to share SORMAG with your readers.
Beach Bound Retreat
Sponsor: Lowcountry RWA
Location: Beach house on
Isle of Palms, SC.
Date: November 1-2, 2008
FMI - lowcountryrwa.com
Sponsor: Florida Romance Writers
Location: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale
Airport Hotel, Dania, Fl.
Date - November 8, 2008
Workshop: F Paul Wilson
FMI - http://www.frwriters.org/meetings.html.
Sponsor: Virginia Romance Writers & Chesapeake Romance Writers
Location: Williamsburg Public Library, Williamsburg, VA
Fee: $70.00 -$85.00
Date: November 08, 2008
Workshop: Debra Dixon
FMI - http://www.virginiaromancewriters.com/
20Vauxhall Bridge Road
Lace (erotic romance and erotica)
75,000 - 80,000 word of explicit erotic
fantasy. Contemporary Settings preferred. Short stories are considered for themed
anthologies. See website. www.virginbooks.co.uk/erotica
red wine in moderation is said to be good for your health. Why? The antioxidants
in red wine help reduce heart disease. More recently scientists have linked the
antioxidant resveratrol to the formation of nerve cells useful in preventing Alzheimerís
and Parkinsonís. Isnít that good news for writers? An additional benefit of reseveratrol
is prolonging your life. Keep sipping that red wine while writing!
* ABOUT Marciaís ROMANTICALLY YOURS
is a FREE monthly newsletter. I would love to hear from you. Please send comments,
news, research, or story ideas directly to Marcia King-Gamble at email@example.com.