Sunday, April 30, 2006

Great title!

Check out Shanna's new book. The title alone would make me buy it...
ONCE UPON STILETTOS by Shanna Swendson
(Ballantine Books, April 25, 2006)

When we left Katie Chandler at the end of Enchanted, Inc., she had helped her new employers, Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. defeat Phelan Idris, a rogue wizard intent on stealing spells. By her side, and leading the battle, was hunky wizard Owen. Katie and Owen are still fighting their attraction to each other in Shanna Swendson’s hilarious and charming sequel Once Upon Stilettos, but first they have to track down a corporate spy before the company dissolves into paranoia. Then at the worst possible time, Katie's immunity to magic goes on the blink. At least she's having better luck in her social life, with men falling at her feet everywhere she goes. Has she really become that irresistible, or is it the new red shoes she felt compelled to buy? Polish your fairy wings, put on your magic shoes, click your heels three times, and join Shanna Swendson for a romantic romp amidst fairies, goblins, wizards and gargoyles.



In addition to writing fiction, Shanna Swendson is a freelance marketing consultant and writer specializing in technology and telecommunications. She is single and lives in Irving, Texas, with her many pet plants, including a vicious attack bougainvillea and a Christmas cactus that has outlasted three homes, three jobs and three boyfriends, yet still faithfully blooms every Christmas and Easter. She’s looking for a man that reliable.


"Once Upon Stilettos is not to be missed if you're in the mood for a fast and funny read where chicklit meets urban fantasy." -- Mary Jo Putney, author of A Kiss of Fate
"A princely wizard, Cinderella red stilettos, and a megalomaniac--what more could a girl ask for? ONCE UPON STILETTOS is a delightful urban fairytale with a dreamy hero and a country-wise Texas heroine who use their magical and non-magical charms to seek justice and unmask the villain. Just a few weeks in the life of a simple single girl..." -- bestselling author Patricia Rice
Once again Swendson gives her readers a hilarious and delightful romp through the world of magic with a dash of romance thrown in to titillate and make us laugh. -- Andrea Sisco, Armchair Interviews


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sex and YA

I'm curious about your response to this. The following is an article from Newsday on the new trend to up the sexual content in YA - specifically targeted at girls. I think it's a destructive trend and to discount is as harmless and just entertainment is very shortsighted. I'm interested in this not just because I'm a thinking woman who has opinions of her own, and because I've taught teenagers for fifteen years and I hate seeing this teenage generation's outward attitude of "hey, it's just a blow job," and then watch the silent desperation of girls who let themselves be exploited, but also because I'm the mother of a 19 year old, and author of a YA series. And, yes, the sexual content of my series has been a point of dissention between my editor and me. Here's the article:

Sex and the Teenage Girl
What goes on between the covers is now what goes on between the covers of new fiction aimed at young adults
BY TANIA PADGETTNewsday Staff WriterApril 4, 2006

She had the type of body that looked even better naked than in clothes. Soft without being fat, and more delicate than her usual costumes of preppy, neatly creased jeans and cashmere cardigans or short, tight little black dresses let on. She was still a pain in his ass, but they'd been in and out of love pretty much since they were 11 years old and he wanted to get naked with her for even longer.
Sound like a passage from a sex-soaked Danielle Steel novel? It isn't. And the audience isn't the typical adult female romance reader.This book, "Nobody Does It Better" (Little Brown, $9.99), is aimed at girls, ages 14 to 18. It's the latest (2005) in the bestselling "Gossip Girl" series by Cecily von Ziegesar.And that was just page one.Young-adult fiction has come a long way from Nancy Drew, the 16-year-old sleuth whose most intimate encounter with a guy was probably a batting of eyelashes at boyfriend Ned Nickerson.But today's teenage fiction, with its slick covers, eye-riveting blurbs and steamy plots, is exploding off bookstore shelves, fattening anemic publishers' profits and attracting millions of television-worshiping teens. The market has become so lucrative that non-book publishing companies, like MTV, are elbowing into the increasingly crowded niche.But the books' popularity has also given rise to a small chorus of detractors who worry that the content is too racy. In many of the books, teens have sex, do drugs, use profanity, and plot and scheme against each other with glinting treachery.

Naomi Wolf, whose feminist work, "The Beauty Myth," launched her to fame, argued in an essay for the Sunday New York Times last month that today's books for teens "package corruption with a cute overlay."

"The problem is a value system in which meanness rules, parents check out, conformity is everything and stressed-out adult values are presumed to be meaningful to teenagers," she wrote.

In the past year alone, the biggest sellers in the young-adult market have been series, including "Gossip Girl," "The Clique" by Lisi Harrison and "The A-List" by Zoey Dean. And sales are showing no signs of slowing down. Plots are fast-moving and dramatic, but also formulaic: party-hopping girls with runway-model looks, who often leave skid marks racing from one reckless rich and famous adventure to another.Many girls, some as young as 13, gobble these books up, vaulting titles to the top of The New York Times bestseller list and emboldening publishers to start developing movies or television series from their content. Meanwhile, producers of popular teen TV shows, such as Fox's "The OC" and MTV's "Laguna Beach," plan to roll out books based on those series as they try to capitalize on this literary bonanza.

"Books are catching up with the rest of entertainment and becoming much more attractive to the young teen audience," said Leslie Morgenstein, president of Alloy Entertainment in Manhattan, which developed the "Gossip Girl" books. "And the content is no worse than what girls are already seeing on television."

A potent brew. Brisk sales of these books are not surprising. Mix a recipe of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, or hip-hop, and you've created a potent brew that is sure to at least pique teenage interest.It wasn't that long ago when the young-adult fiction market was much like the geeky girl or guy at the high-school dance: around but largely ignored. Ten years ago, the classics, fantasy books and innocuous series such as "Sweet Valley High" dominated sales. But demand for teen books with more adult themes began to coincide with the advent of edgier content on cable television and the boomlet in U.S. teenagers.Between 1990 and 2000, the number of youths between ages 12 and 19 climbed to 32.4 million in the United States, an increase of 4.5 million, according to a survey by Media Mark Research last year using U.S. Census data.That increase also brought a tidal wave of teenager spending income (about $115 million in 2003), which was not lost on the book industry. From 1995 to 2004, book sales in the young-adult market surged 86.9 percent to $444.4 million, according to statistics compiled by Albert Greco, a marketing professor at Fordham University in the Bronx.Joe Monti, a book buyer at Barnes & Noble, said the release in the late 1990s of "Smack," by Melvin Burgess, about British teens on heroin, and "Holes," by Louis Sachar, about a teen sent to summer detention camp, helped change the face of the young-adult market.

"Unlike other books, these tackled tough issues that teenagers face," Monti said. "The sales were incredible." During a recent visit to the B. Dalton Booksellers store in Roosevelt Field, a group of Division Avenue High School students from Levittown were found eyeing the young-adult selections. Katie Duggan, 17; Danielle Yarsinske, 18; Diana Hajjar, 18, and Allison O'Rourke, 17, acknowledged that many of the books are "mindless entertainment," but that hasn't stopped them from snapping up the latest popular titles."I've read all the ['Gossip Girl'] books," said Duggan, a senior. "The characters are rich and live such dramatic lives. And their parents never tell them anything. I sometimes wish my parents were like that."

Hajjar said, "It's like 'Sex and the City' for teens."

"I wasn't a big reader before," Yarsinske added. "But I really enjoy the books."

O'Rourke, who would prefer burying her nose in Shakespeare and other classics, said she doesn't have "a problem with teens reading them."Nor do a handful of parents and librarians who specialize in young-adult fiction and agreed to talk to Newsday. The adult content in these books does not wreck teenagers values, said Barbara Paulinski at Floral Park Memorial High in Floral Park. "I'd like to think [the books] present a teaching moment for parents," she said. Besides "I don't think you get your basic core values from what you read or what you hear. You get them from your home."

"I don't think many of the young adult books are done irresponsibly," said Teri Germano, a librarian at Masters Moriches Shirley Library, in Shirley. "Many are done with reason and sensitivity."That, of course, has only whetted publishers' appetite. But their stampede to snap up young-adult dollars and market share did yield at least one public major misstep. Simon & Schuster's release last year of "Rainbow Party," an unflinching tale by Paul Ruditis of teen oral sex, sparked heated discussion and a slew of newspaper articles about the salacious nature of teen literature. The novel's front cover boasted a photo of opened colored lipsticks; its back cover was filled with provocative blurbs. Many stores refused to stock the title and the much-promised sales never materialized.Barnes & Noble's Monti said he chose not to stock "Rainbow Party" because it was competing with other young-adult fiction that was better written.Bethany Buck, vice president and editorial director of the division that published "Rainbow Party," said the dustup created by the book was "because adults don't want to believe that teens are having sex." She said the company plans to continue publishing books aimed at teens.Morgenstein, of Alloy Entertainment, described the "Rainbow Party" failure as more of an aberration than a controversy. "This company is in the business of creating mass entertainment," Morgenstein said. "At the end of the day, the market draws a line at what is too edgy."Alloy has been at the helm of bestselling teen fiction, he said, helping to produce 40 books last year, 17 of which were national bestsellers, including "The A-List" and "The Clique."TV and movie projectsMorgenstein said the company is in talks with Warner Bros., The WB and Universal to develop "Gossip Girl"; "The Au Pairs," another bestselling series by Melissa de La Cruz, and "The A-List" into television and movie projects.MTV has announced plans to follow suit. Louise Burke, the young-adult book president for the music video network, said it plans to release this month the first installment of four different book series.The books are colorful, well written and move with the same breathtaking pace as an MTV video. "'Gossip Girl' set the bar," Burke said, "but nobody knows teenagers better than MTV. We're planning to take the market down."And that, according to the detractors, is the exact direction where teenage values are heading. Wolf, the author, said she believes pornography is surreptitiously being slipped into the milieu of teens without their parents' knowledge.As a result, "young girls are becoming numb to the sexual experience," said Wolf, who suggested putting rating labels on the books. "They do it with movies. I don't see why they can't do it with books."
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fellow Berkley Sensation author Angela Knight

Here's a nod to my sister Berkley Sensation author, Angela Knight, and her delicious new werewolf novel, MASTER OF WOLVES. Here's the info:

MASTER OF WOLVES by Angela Knight
(Berkeley Sensation, April 4, 2006)

When Jim London's best friend is murdered, Jim vows to catch the killer. Leaving it for the local police to solve is out of the question, because he suspects they are involved.
Jim is more than capable of taking action if they are -- he's a werewolf. Realizing the only way to investigate the department is from the inside, he decides to go undercover -- as a police K-9.
His "handler" is lovely Faith Weston, the only person on the Clarkston Police Department who isn't up to her neck in murder. But Faith has no idea her "dog" Rambo is a werewolf, or that the department she serves is rotten with corruption.
But it doesn't take her long to figure it out.



Angela Knight's first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. But her mother was enthralled, and Angela was hooked.
In the years that followed, Angela managed to figure out a way to make a living -- more or less -- at what she loved best: writing. After a short career as a comic book writer, she became a newspaper reporter, covering everything from school board meetings to murders. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name. For more of Angela’s interesting bio, visit her website:


Friday, April 07, 2006

Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors I'm a finalist!!

The fabulous, witty, and hilarious Smart Bitches at have begun the first annual BWAHA Awards - Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors, and I am honored to report that BRIGHID'S QUEST is a finalist in the Best Paranormal: Fantasy/SF/Other Worlds Romance category!! Okay, seriously, I would LURVE to win this wicked cool award, so I would definitely appreciate your votes. Just follow the link to Smart Bitches and scroll down till you find the "And the nominees are..." entry, then send your vote to Sarah or Candy. Here are all the very talented nominees for all the categories:

Best Contemporary:
Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Hot Tamara by Mary Castillo
Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann
Black Ice by Anne Stuart
Wedding Survivor by Julia London
Ex and the Single Girl by Lani Diane Rich
Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy

Best Historical:
Smuggler’s Bride by Darlene Marshall
Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
Siren by Cheryl Sawyer
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation Lauren Willig
The Veil of the Night by Lydia Joyce

Best Series/Contemporary:
Ultra Violet by Ellen Henderson
Her Body of Work by Marie Donovan
The Orchid Hunter by Sandra K. Moore

Best Series/Historical:
Lady Silence by Blair Bancroft
Dedication by Janet Mullany

Best Romantica/Erotic Romance:
“Skin Deep” by Jasmine Haynes, from Twin Peaks
Take Me by Bella Andre
Dragon’s Fire by Tielle St. Clare
Promises Prevail by Sarah McCarty
Off the Record by Matthew Haldeman-Time
Bound to Trust by Jaci Burton
Best Erotica Mercenaries by Angela Knight
24/7 by Susan DiPlacido
Crossing the Line by Stephanie Vaughan

Best Paranormal: Vampires, Werewolves and the Supernatural:
Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
Dark Lover by JR Ward
Undead and Unappreciated by MaryJanice Davidson
Erotique by Alessia Brio
Waxing by Megan Powell

Best Paranormal: Fantasy/SF/Other Worlds Romance:
The Compass Rose Gail Dayton
Heart Choice by Robin D. Owens
Poison Study Maria V. Snyder
Brighid’s Quest by PC Cast
Unmasked by CJ Barry

Deidre Knight's debut book!

Deidre Knight is my good friend Gena Showalter's agent - so I know from Gena that she is totally fab. Gena also says her first book, a paranorma,l is excellent. I have it in my TBR pile and will dive in when I get out of Deadline Hell. Here are the particulars so you can check it out for yourself whilst I slough my way through Goddess of Love:

(Signet Eclipse, April 4, 2006)

It has been years since exiled alien king Jared Bennett thought of anything other than his people's fight for freedom. Now his rebel force has the one weapon that can turn the tide against their enemy: the key to the secrets of time. Victory has never been closer-but one woman has the power to change everything.Kelsey Wells can't deny that there is something unearthly about her fierce attraction to Jared Bennett. His revelations about alien wars and time travel can't possibly be fact-yet with every seductive touch, every searing kiss, Kelsey circles closer to the truth: that although Jared is exactly what he says, he hasn't told her everything. And when the future crashes into the present, Kelsey must decide if his deception will cost them the love that should have been their destiny.



Deidre Knight is president of The Knight Agency, which she founded in 1996. Since that time, she has grown the agency to national prominence, landing authors on every major bestseller list. Deidre began her writing career at age nine, when her award-winning essay on Barbie was published in her hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. She has been writing in one form or another ever since. After nearly a decade of working with Knight Agency clients, helping them discover their creative potential, her fiction debut with NAL in 2006 marks the fulfillment of her own lifelong writing dream. She is excited to embark on yet another new and fulfilling creative journey.


Debut author, Deidre Knight, immerses the reader in a world that’s believable, fascinating, and extremely sensual between two people who meld into one as their love escalates. The sensuality builds to a crescendo, the plot plummets your emotion then brings you back, while bating your wishes for more at the end. Completely mesmerizing, PARALLEL ATTRACTION leaves you hoping for more. – Romance Junkies

An intriguing new voice in paranormal fiction has arrived! Knight kicks off an exciting new series that explores the power of conviction and unintended consequences. This novel is chock-full of passion, betrayal and redemption and will certainly leave you wanting more! – Romantic Times

Without a doubt this is one compelling and absolutely phenomenal read! Knight's opening foray into the paranormal world is … intensely erotic, passionate, and riveting … In two words, "totally fabulous"!
I was instantly caught up in the heart wrenching betrayal of a precious love that was taken from two innocents. … I am so looking forward to seeing more stories … from an author who has brought a highly imaginative and provocative breath of fresh air into the paranormal realm! Brava! Overall Rating: 10 -- Marilyn of

The PARALLEL Experience

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My lovely friend Jill Monroe (ur...she's nasty)

I'll just "out" her. Jill Monroe looks like a kindergarten teacher, but she's really a very naughty girl. And here's my evidence: her latest book. The girl writes very hot stuff. Check her out. Above you'll find the lovely cover. I especially like the fan because I can't sleep without one, so fans always conjour images of bed and night, steamy monkey sex.

Here's the rest of the pertinent info about her book. Please buy it. She has small children she must feed.

Hannah Garrett has always felt safe in the dark. It meant she never had to show people the truth. On the run from a man who wants to kill her, Hannah's learned to keep to herself and not get attached....Until she meets Ward Coleman.Being around her sexy coworker has awakened a need she'd forgotten — and it's not just this heat wave that has Hannah hot and bothered. But she can't afford to get too close, especially when she's not sure she can trust him.What she doesn't know is that Ward is on to her and is determined to learn her secrets. And getting caught in a hot, dark elevator is the best place to find out all this undercover FBI agent needs to know.

Romantic Times called Share The Darkness a "great read" and gave it 4 Stars. You can pick up your copy from Barnes&Noble, eHarlequin and Books A Million