Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book 3 is done!!!!

*cue trumpet fanfare* I submitted Book 3 to my editor this week! It still needs a name...I mean, it had one at the synopsis stage, but that was just a working title. And I gave it a new title when I submitted the final manuscript, but that one is still not definitive. And the title is just part and parcel of how difficult it was for me to write this book. For many reasons, Book 3 was a challenge for me, and it took me a long, long, long time to catch the flow of the story. Yes, as the creator, I'm supposed to be in charge. I'm supposed to be able to decide what happens, who does what to whom, and who gets punished for what. A writer has all that god-like power. Sure. But Book 3 refused to acknowledge my omnipotence. Maybe this was my version of a sophomore slump. Or maybe I teetered on the edge of burnout. After all, during the writing of this book, I applied for both tenure and promotion to associate professor. And finished working on a grant project...and began co-chairing a new committee...oh, and let's not forget teaching five courses per semester. Okay, enough of this "my diamond shoes are too tight" whine (Anyone else remember that episode of Friends? No? Just me...). The point is...Book 3 is done! (At least until I get edits back.) Oh, and here are a few details about's another Victorian romance, set in the same time/world as NEVER TOO LATE and ALWAYS A STRANGER, but it takes place mostly outside of London in northern England, more specifically in the vicinity of Bradford and Leeds. It's a "second chances" story that was very loosely (and I mean very, very loosely!) by Elizabeth Gaskell's NORTH AND SOUTH. I know that's not really telling you about the actual story. I'll get to that soon, I promise! On to Book 4! Ever forward!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Giveaway - ALWAYS A STRANGER! Ends Dec 12!

In the spirit of the holidays, I'm giving away a signed paperback copy of ALWAYS A STRANGER on Goodreads!

Enter today!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Always a Stranger by Amara Royce

Always a Stranger

by Amara Royce

Giveaway ends December 12, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Social Media for Social Good - SMSG14

Limecello at A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet has done Social Media for Social Good campaigns for the past few years, and this year the SMSG14 campaign highlights some important causes: ALS, Ebola, and child refugees.

There are lots of ways to participate and to help raise funds and awareness. Even simply commenting on the SMSG14 post at ALBTALBS raises funds from those who've pledged (including me!) so come join us!

Psst--I'm also doing a book giveaway -- earn entries by posting comments at! (The Rafflecopter giveaway link is in the Comments section!)

Go see what you can do to help!

Friday, October 24, 2014

File this among things I didn't know..but find interesting...Melville's MOBY DICK

I knew Melville's massive opus MOBY DICK was published in the mid-nineteenth century, but I didn't know all this...including that it was first published in England rather than in America. And now I'm thinking of ways to incorporate its publication into Book 4!

October 18, 1851: Melville’s Moby-Dick is published in London as The Whale:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Historical Romance Network

In recent years, there's been talk online about historical romance being in a kind of down cycle. But if you have any doubts that historical romance is going strong, visit the Historical Romance Network

I'm pleased to say that I'm part of this dynamic group of historical romance authors striving to increase the visibility of the genre and its varied sub-genres. 

Think you know historical romance? Think it's all the same? Think it's gone stale? Think again! 

Check out HRN's wonderful video highlighting the vast range of historical romances these days and like HRN on Facebook

Escape to the pleasures of the past!

Friday, October 10, 2014

NJRW's 2014 Put Your Heart in a Book Conference - Before

Huh. It's been quite a while since my last post. *swipes at the cob webs with a feather duster*


I'm eagerly looking forward to attending NJRW's Put Your Heart in a Book conference this year!

*whispers* It's my FIRST EVER romance conference! AND my first ever book fair signing! 

Like a kid in a candy store, I'm so excited about everything! Just glancing at the workshop schedule, I don't know where to look/go first! So much to do and see! So many people to meet! I mean, just look at the variety of topics and speakers!

And the Literacy Book Fair and Author Signing on Saturday, Oct 18 - 4 to 5 pm - is open to the public! Part of the proceeds will go to Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County. Here's a list of the authors participating (scroll down to the 2014 Literacy Book Fair section.

I. Can't. Wait.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A-Z Book Meme

It's time again for me to prep for my fall courses so this is the perfect moment for procrastination with this book meme I got from Ros Clarke!  The procrastinatory instinct probably also accounts for how distracted some of my answers may sound.

If you'd like, feel free to post your own answers, either in the comments or in your own space (and let me know where to find them)! Enjoy!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From: Hmm...Diana Gabaldon, I think. Definitely DG if you count pages. Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series may be a close second just in terms of number of books I've read in the series. Oh, wait, do the Nancy Drew books count?
B. Best Sequel Ever: Ever? That's saying a lot. I...I...oh, the pressure, I have no idea!
C. Currently Reading: WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel
D. Drink of Choice While Reading: Depends on the type of book and the season. Hot chocolate in winter, mostly. Wine or whiskey sometimes during purely fun reads.
E. E-Reader or Physical Books: Depends on my mood, but I most often read on my e-readers (Kindle and iBooks apps on my iPad and iPhone). It's so wonderful to have dozens of books at your fingertips at any given moment!
F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School: Huh. What an interesting question. My high school self would probably have said Ponyboy from THE OUTSIDERS.
G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: SURVIVOR by Chuck Palahnuik - not for everyone, but so intriguing and unique. The book works backwards, sort of like the movie MEMENTO, and it deals with interesting questions of religion and identity.
H. Hidden Gem Book: Haruki Murakami's HARD-BOILED WONDERLAND AND THE END OF THE WORLD. I don't know if it's accurate to call this a "hidden gem." I kind of hope not because I think more people should read Murakami.
I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life: There are many, too many for me to recall at the moment, because I've always been sort of a loner-introvert so books have been almost constant companions. I suppose one important epiphany I experienced in the past 10 years has to do with "guilty pleasure" reading. When I was a grad student, I stopped reading "trashy" novels (basically genre fiction in general) because I felt I was only supposed to read and appreciate "serious" literature. I'm happy to say I've made a full recovery! Any book that speaks to you, that draws you in, is worth your attention. Literary works have value too, even if they sometimes feel like a slog, but books can work in different ways and their value is highly subjective. 
J. Just Finished: FIT by Rebekah Weatherspoon, a short and sexy novella with an overweight Asian heroine (Amara looks around, suspicious that Rebekah has her under surveillance, if it weren't for...) and a professional trainer who mixes a little BDSM in with her training. It was a lovely, refreshing sorbet in the midst of my writing and course prep!
K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: I wouldn't say there's a kind of book I *won't* read. I would be willing to try virtually any book if it's well-written. I generally don't read procedurals or thrillers, not because I have anything against them but just because they haven't appealed to me recently.
L. Longest Book You’ve Read: Probably one of the OUTLANDER books, although Victorian novels like MIDDLEMARCH and BLEAK HOUSE are doorstoppers too.
M. Major Book Hangover Because Of: Susanna Kearsley's THE WINTER SEA. Stayed up late to finish it and then pondered whether I was satisfied with the conclusion.
N. Number of Bookcases You Own: Five, although probably have enough books for six or seven, just piled up around the house.
O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times: George Eliot's MIDDLEMARCH
P. Preferred Place to Read: The sofa. Sometimes in bed. Would really love to have a designated big comfy chair in a big wood-paneled library, but alas...
Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You: Let's see how many times I can reference Eliot's are the last lines, which I find bittersweet but beautiful, tragic yet hopeful: "Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
R. Reading Regret: That I haven't read James Joyce's ULYSSES. I keep trying but not getting more than a few pages in before I get distracted. Oh, and also that I *have* read GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Let's just say it wasn't my cup of tea.
S. Series You Started and Need to Finish:  Well, it's not done yet, but Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series. I haven't read the most recent book yet, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD, and need to catch up!
T. Three Of Your All-Time Favourite Books: George Eliot's MIDDLEMARCH, Gabaldon's DRAGONFLY IN AMBER (book 3 of the Outlander series), and Dr. Seuss's OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO.
U. Unapologetic Fangirl For: historical romance novelist Courtney Milan. Seriously. I'd probably squeal upon meeting her...just because she's so awesome.
W. Worst Bookish Habit: Buying books even when my TBR stacks are unrealistically large. I just can't help it. And e-readers are total enablers! At this point, it would take me years to get through all the books I've bought but haven't read yet. *hangs head*...*glances at Amazon recommendations* 
V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other: a tie between Joanna Bourne's ROGUE SPY and Sonali Dev's A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR 
X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book): Christopher Hibbert's THE GREAT MUTINY (about the Indian Mutiny of 1857).
Y. Your Latest Book Purchase: MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY by Sherry Thomas
Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late): I can't remember. It's definitely a bad habit I have, but I'm so tired from lack of sleep that the books are blurring togeth.........