Tag Archives: Intermix

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex Rosa

Posted by March 17th, 2015

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex Rosa

Congratulations to Book Country member Alex Rosa on the release of her New Adult novel TRYST! We are thrilled to see this day finally arrive. You can purchase TRYST on all major e-retailers. Alex shares what it feels like to have Penguin publish her book below. 

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When a young girl (that being me) dreams of becoming a writer someday, she is aware it’s a daunting dream to take on. Especially when your hero Jane Austen says in one of your favorite movies (Becoming Jane) with such pleading hopefulness, “Maybe I could live by my pen?” and her mother just laughs. It’s an ugly-cry-worthy moment for an aspiring writer. You just hug your notebook close and remind yourself that Jane Austen totally made it. She showed them all, but you’re still all like:

What It Feels Like to Have Penguin Publish My Book by Alex RosaBut armored with this fact, I still made the ultimate decision to never stop writing, even if it was in secret or anonymously posted online. Whatever, same difference.

Now flash forward to age twenty-six. I still have Jane Austen dreams, but I now have a publishing deal. Wait, hold the phone. How did this happen? Continue reading

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VIDEO: Alys Arden and Alex Rosa on How the Book Country Community Helped Them

Posted by February 24th, 2015

What makes a great writing community? Its supportive members! Alys Arden and Alex Rosa joined Book Country in 2013 to workshop their books and learn more about the business of publishing. They’ve both found success with the support of the community: Alys Arden’s THE CASQUETTE GIRLS was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and Alex Rosa’s New Adult book TRYST was picked up by Penguin InterMix and will be released on March 17, 2015.

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The 3 Golden Rules of Writing Romantic Suspense by P.A. DePaul

Posted by August 19th, 2014

I absolutely love Romantic Suspense, both as a reader and as the author of the “SBG” romantic suspense series. Writing Romantic Suspense is fun, but like any genre it has its own rules. Here are my top three guidelines for writing this genre, illustrated with examples from my new book, EXCHANGE OF FIRE, out today from Penguin’s InterMix imprint.

Develop Balanced Alpha Characters.

What do I mean by this? Simple, the hero and heroine should be equally matched. This does not mean the characters are perfect or they’ve suddenly become invincible. Rather, their strengths and weakness ‘fit’ together, allowing them to defeat the enemy and find their HEA (“happily ever after”) together. No one wants to believe a gun-toting Special Ops hero falls for the mousy seamstress who is afraid of her own shadow. Um, ew!Exhange of Fire

In EXCHANGE OF FIRE, Wraith (our heroine) is a kick-butt sniper of SBG’s Delta Squad who is on the run and hiding in a small town. Her match is our hero Casper Grady, former marine, successful business owner and Wraith’s boss. These two complement each other with their skills and training and they work together as equals to defeat multiple enemies on their path to happy ever after.

Create A Strong Storyline Conflict By Using Villains.

In a typical romance, the Storyline Conflict is based on the relationship itself; the hero and heroine’s lives prevent them from forming the relationship. In Romantic Suspense, the storyline conflict happens outside of the hero and heroine’s relationship. To accomplish this, Romantic Suspense has a villain (or in my case, multiple villains). These villains give the storyline intensity by raising the stakes and presenting consequences that affect more than just the hero and heroine. Will the hero and heroine stop the bomber in time? Can the hero and heroine get that vital piece of intel back to command post before the military is deployed? Continue reading

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“Why I Write M/M Romance” by Z.A. Maxfield

Posted by February 12th, 2014

The following is a guest post by romance writer Z.A. Maxfield, who writes gay romances for InterMix/Penguin and whose first The Cowboys novel MY COWBOY HEART has us completely captivated. 

My-Heartache-Cowboy

The second The Cowboys novel, MY HEARTACHE COWBOY, came out on January 21st!

I’m probably the very last person who should tackle the subject of writing M/M Romance because writing gay romance wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part. I’ve always wanted to write in the romance genre, and m/m stories were simply the stories that spoke to my heart when I took on my kids’ playful challenge to write my first full-length novel.

From the very beginning, I felt I had a responsibility to eschew stereotypes and tell a realistic story within the confines of the romance genre. I have always seen romance as a form of fantasy. If romance novels were based on reality, there would be more characters waking up in pools of drool with bad bedhead. They’d have morning breath that could peel the paint off a car.

While romance is fantasy, the emotional lives of its characters must resonate for the reader as true. The best romances have high emotional stakes, good tension, and the breathless wonder of passionate love.

That’s what I was reading romance for, at any rate.

I went into my stories believing I should avoid relying on coming-out drama and homophobia as my main plot points—although these are facts of life for the LGBT community—because my goal was always to write a romance novel featuring a protagonist and a love interest who just happen to be gay, rather than to make the story about being gay.

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“Good Guys Can Be Sexy, Too”: An Interview with New Adult Author Christina Lee

Posted by January 30th, 2014

Before You BreakWe’re happy to have rising star Christina Lee on the blog today. She writes sexy New Adult Contemporary Romance stories with college-aged protagonists for Penguin/InterMix. We really heart her post about the new adult genre, where she defines its theme as that of “new found INDEPENDENCE.” So if you write NA, swing by her site and check the post out!

The second installment of Christina’s Between Breaths series, BEFORE YOU BREAK, comes out in February, and here she is talking to us about the new book and her excitement to share it with her readers.

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NG: BEFORE YOU BREAK tells the story of gorgeous psych student Ella and star catcher of the baseball team, Quinn. Quinn is the type of brooding, sexy guy that girls go gaga over! Tell us, what’s your recipe for writing an irresistible NA male hero?

CL: Great question! Many romance readers love their dominant and bossy alpha males and I tend to write nice and respectable good guys. Having said that, I’ve been told by my readers that my virgin hero from ALL OF YOU was one of the sexiest guys they’ve ever read. So the recipe I aspire to is off-the-charts sexual tension balanced by meaningful actions. Because let’s face it, good guys can be sexy, too. So I aim for plenty of angst and build-up, along with good pacing and an engaging plot. The kisses, sexy language, sensual touches or looks—I love writing all of that. And that’s the kind of confidence I like my male leads to exude.

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Some Like It Hotter: Savanna Fox on Writing Contemporary versus Erotic Romance

Posted by January 22nd, 2014

BoundDirty_comps.inddToday we’re pleased to welcome Berkley Heat author Savanna Fox to Book Country. As someone who writes both contemporary and erotic romance, she knows how to turn up the heat and write steamy love scenes. She’s currently giving away copies of her most recent erotic romance, BOUND TO BE DIRTY, so head out to her site for a chance to snag a copy!

Savanna’s here to talk about the differences in her approach to writing in the two romance subgenres. 

Take it away, Savanna!

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If you read romance fiction, I bet you’ve noticed that it’s getting hotter. That trend started even before Fifty Shades of Grey made BDSM erotic romance standard reading fare on subways and in airport waiting rooms.

I’ve been writing “hot” ever since 2005, though not with the level of kink found in many erotic romances. For me, it’s all about one man, one woman, and, to be honest, nothing I wouldn’t want to try myself!

The level of heat in my books varies. As Susan Fox, I write sexy contemporaries for Kensington Zebra. My Caribou Crossing series is set in a small Western town made for adventure, love, and second chances. As Savanna Fox, I write erotic romance for Berkley Heat. My Dirty Girls Book Club series, set in Vancouver, British Columbia, is about four women whose book club decides to spice things up by reading erotica. Each time they do, a member embarks on a sexy romance that in some ways parallels the story they’re reading.

For me, it’s natural to not close the bedroom door in the reader’s face. What happens during sex—and what the characters think and feel—is as important, and often more important, than what happens when they’re together outside the bedroom.

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Writing in the Christmas Spirit with Elisabeth Fairchild

Posted by December 20th, 2013

The Christmas SpiritWith the holidays approaching, we’re steeped in the Christmas spirit–the smell of pine trees wafting through the chill air, people buzzing about, doing last-minute holiday shopping, and gorgeous holiday displays and decorations. 

How do you convey the wonder of the holiday through fiction? We invited author Elisabeth Fairchild to talk to us about writing in the Christmas spirit and her regency novel by the same name.

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How do you define the Christmas spirit?

For me, the heart and soul of Christmas is in humanity’s finest expression of light, warmth and joyful giving in the heart of a dark, cold, season of endings. The Christmas spirit warms even the loneliest of souls given we open our hearts to a sense of wonder and celebration, choosing to interact positively with the world around us.

I usually set out to have a memorable Christmas. Often, the best of plans go awry. Writing any book is, for me, a search for heroic and historical truths. In THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, I focused on the Yuletide season’s potential for hope, magical moments and joy in a reality I think we can all relate to–where the best of plans for “the best Christmas ever” are turned upside down.

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The Magic of Small Town Romance with Author Maisey Yates

Posted by December 3rd, 2013

Untouched

Today we’re joined by romance writer Maisey Yates, whose Silver Creek Romance series will delight readers with its small town charm and unbuttoned cowboys. 

Here Maisey shares her secrets to creating the perfect setting for her small town series. ~NG

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I came into the writing world with billionaires and glamorous locations. I love the escapism in those settings. Private islands, Manhattan penthouses, and glittering lodges up in the Alps. There’s something aspirational about a setting like that, and I always love the chance to research an exotic locale.

But while I started writing with such big city settings, my life is set somewhere much more humble. I’m a small town girl. I’ve lived at four addresses on the same street and can see my childhood home (that my parents still live in) from my office window.

When I started branching out into longer contemporaries, the small town setting just seemed to fit. After all, as much as I enjoy the more high-glamour settings, they remain a fantasy, even to me as the author.

But a small town setting is something I understand; it’s what I live. There are things that are wonderful, things that are frustrating, things that are limiting. And they’re all things I have emotions about. Being able to transfer that into a book almost makes the setting its own character, rather than simply a backdrop. I don’t just have Google images I’m drooling over. I have real thoughts and feelings about places that are like Silver Creek, Oregon, the fictional town that appears in my (aptly named) Silver Creek romances.

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