It’s such an old song but it seems appropriate, doesn’t it? You know how it goes. ‘Oh, it’s a long, long way from May to September, and the days grow short when you reach September…’
True, and yes, that sound you hear is me, sighing as summer slips away. I haven’t seen a hummingbird at the feeder for two days now; the leaves aren’t just changing color, they’re falling faster and faster; and the weather’s turned cool, especially at night.
Still, autumn’s one of my favorite seasons. I love the colors, the smell of the air, the crisp, freshly-picked apples that replace the heaped ears of corn at our local farm stands.
September is also the month that marked the publication of the second book in my new trilogy. THE GREEK PRINCE’S CHOSEN WIFE came onto the National Romance Bestseller List at number one, stayed in that spot for two weeks and is still on it, even as I write this.
Haven’t read it yet? There’s still time. Order a copy online at eharlequin.com
, order it through my website, sandramarton.com
, or buy it at your favorite bookstore or supermarket. Find out why readers and reviewers have fallen in love with my sexy hero, Damian Aristedes.
If you live in Canada, there’s a great article in MACLEAN’S Magazine, coming out on Sept 24, about Presents and how books by some of your favorite authors (yes, including me) are helping women lead fuller, happier lives.
Summer is fast coming to a close, though you’d never know it here in southern New England. It’s hot and humid.
I’ve been taking a break between books and now I’m just about to begin work on my next Presents. In the meantime, I’ve been reading, traveling, kicking back… in other words, I’ve been recharging my batteries.
This past weekend, my husband and I visited my cousin. She lives in Manhattan but she comes from a small city in upstate New York, and she invited us to visit her there and see a fantastic fireworks display from the dock and backyard of a house she owns on the Hudson. It was spectacular!
The Hudson is, of course, a historic river–and her house faces a wonderful sign that shows where the old Erie and Champlain canals join it.
It rained during the fireworks display but that didn’t spoil it. If anything, it added an exciting touch because the rain was accompanied by thunder and lightning, as if Nature were determined to light the sky without any help from man!
Next morning, we had breakfast at a country restaurant straight out of my childhood. (My cousin and I both spent parts of our childhood in upstate New York. We have lovely shared memories.) The place is bigger than it was then–but the food (and the company) is just as good! As you can see, I was talking when my cousin snapped this picture but then, I’m ALWAYS talking!
Anyway, dear Ronnye,
thank you for an absolutely lovely weekend–only, next time, see what you can do about the rain.
Oh… if you’d like to “talk” with me, I’m at Jane Porter’s blog this week, talking about writing and romance novels. Just go to http://janeporter.com/board/viewtopic.php?p=2677#2677 and take a peek.
Do you love books? Do you love Harlequin Presents? Of course, or you wouldn’t have dropped by to visit.
Well, I have a wonderful offer for you but you must act quickly because it’s a very limited offer!
Send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope. In return, I’ll send you a coupon good for $1.00 (one dollar) off any Harlequin or Silhouette book!
(I’d love it if you bought one of mine but you don’t have to.)
The coupon’s good between now and the end of December but I only have 50 to give away, so send me that SASE right away! Include your email address and I’ll send you one of my beautiful bookmarks as a bonus.
Send an SASE and your email address to:
P.O. Box 295
Storrs, CT 06268
(Sorry, but this offer is good only in the USA)
After 70 books, you’d think I’d know what to expect when I begin writing a new one.
Oh, if only…
Initially, I look at my contract, look at the calendar and the due date for a manuscript seems far away. I feel relaxed, sure of how things will go.
But stuff happens. Life gets in the way, good and bad. Our little grandkids come to spend the day. That’s good. The pollen from our woods turns me into a sneezing, coughing mess. That’s bad. And the writing process itself is always unpredictable. There are days the words don’t come as quickly as I’d expected and others when they come so fast I can’t bring myself to leave my computer until long after dark.
However it happens, suddenly the due date for my novel looms on the horizon. Can I finish on time? Surprisingly enough, I generally do.
But what surprises me most, each and every time, is what I say when I’m maybe 1/3 of the way into a book.
“This one’s going to come in at the right word count,” I tell my husband. Or my daughter in law. Or my writer friends.
They roll their eyes. They know the truth, that my books always run long, that I’ve never yet come up against the dreaded middle-of-the-book syndrome. On the contrary. My characters love to surprise me by opening up when I least expect it. They add twists and turns to my story, take me down paths I hadn’t anticipated. The word count grows, and it’s only with real effort that I keep from going way, way over the count–but never under it.
Just between you and me, when a story takes off, when your characters develop lives of their own… those are some of the greatest joys of writing.
Why am I thinking about all this tonight? Because I’m almost finished writing the first book on my new contract. I’m doing a final edit; I should be finished tomorrow or the next day. And, as always, I’m happy my characters are finally happy… and sad they’re leaving me.
Hey, nobody ever said writers were sane!!!
I want to thank all of you who’ve written emails to tell me how much you loved this book. You’ve called it “passionate” and “sensual” and “riveting.”
Reviewers are saying great things about it, too!
Julie Bonello at cataromance.com says:
“Sandra Marton writes with an emotional intensity that will sear your heart and leave you breathless! The Italian Princeās Pregnant Bride is a highly emotional tale laden with sizzling sensuality, pulse racing drama and poignant romance featuring two richly drawn characters that will live on in the imagination long after the last page is turned.
“The Italian Princeās Pregnant Bride is vintage Sandra Marton and I canāt wait for the next two stories in the fabulous Billionaireās Brides mini-series.”
Thank you, Julie!
Debora Hosey at The Romance Reader’s Connection says:
“Presents fans, rejoice! THE ITALIAN PRINCE’S PREGNANT BRIDE begins a new trilogy by the inestimable Sandra Marton. Ms. Marton knows her alpha heroes, and Nicolo is not only alpha but royal and Italian as well! This, I can assure you, makes a devastating yet delicious combination! Speaking about devastating combinations, THE ITALIAN’S PREGNANT BRIDE is sexy and sensual, emotional and thrilling, and all around sheer bliss!”
Lovely words, Debora!
And Sarah W. at Romance Junkies says:
“Tumultuous passion erupts on every page of Sandra Marton’s new book, THE ITALIAN PRINCE’S PREGNANT BRIDE…. . This is another glorious love story from Ms. Marton.”
Thank you, Sarah.
By the way… I’m running a contest at my website . Stop by and enter!
I’ve written a lot of books and I’m still amazed that the experience is always different.
Sometimes, the story just flows out of my fingertips, to the keyboard and onto my computer monitor. Yes, I know there’s more to the technical aspects than that but I was a pencil and paper writer long before I turned to a typewriter and then to a computer. When things are moving right along, it still feels as if that’s what I’m doing, holding a pencil and sending the words from my brain to my fingers to reality.
Other times, writing is hard. I stare at the monitor. I know what I want to happen in a scene but I can’t get it to happen. The words are wrong. Or my characters won’t cooperate. Or maybe a storyline that seemed perfectly reasonable suddenly turns into a maze with no apparent way out.
I’ve learned, over the years, that I can usually get through those times by writing, even if what I write isn’t worth a damn, until the words start flowing again.
If that doesn’t work, I walk away from the computer. My office is just off the kitchen so I can hit up the Ben & Jerry’s (vanilla, please) in the freezer.
Or step out on the deck and check on my garden, see if Bambi and friends have eaten more of it during the night. My office has its own outside door so I can go out on the front porch, especially if I hear our resident red-tail hawks calling overhead.
I can call my husband in his upstairs office via the intercom and talk him into going out for lunch.
And there’s always that last bastion of hope, the middle-of-the-night moment of truth. It comes around 4 A.M. A bit of plot or motivation that’s been driving me crazy all day suddenly comes clear. I mean, I think I’m sleeping… but my brain knows better. It’s been hard at work, solving the problem. Once it has, I wake up fast, go down to my office, put up a pot of coffee and start writing.
But there are harder things to overcome in writing. For me, anyway. I’m always heavily invested, emotionally, in my stories and my characters. They come alive for me and become part of my world. No, I’m not crazy; lots of writers describe this same kind of thing.
But occasionally, when something happens to one of my characters that I know causes him or her terrible angst, I get really upset. And, yeah, I can hear what you’re saying, that I’m the person giving that character grief, but still…
I had a moment like that today. I wrote a scene that left my hero with a bleak future, my heroine in tears, and me… I’m close to tears, myself.
I do have one huge advantage over both of them. They’re suffering… but I already know I’m going to give them a happy ending!
Thanks for listening. Trust me. It helps.
This just in… a photo of some of the Harlequin Mills and Boon writers at our annual pizza party in Dallas. We do this every year. And we have a wonderful time… Actually, we might just have outdone ourselves this time around!
We had the party in my room. (That’s me, on the far right. Jennie Lucas is next to me.) You see, the hotel’s (tiny) Italian restaurant was packed and we were in no mood to wait, so we ordered in pizza. Some of us (I’m posting no names but that’s Fiona Harper and Melissa McClone and Trish Wylie on the left) went for wine and glasses; Olivia Gates, in the center of the photo, brought baklava all the way from Egypt.
You can almost hear us giggling, can’t you?
Truly, I wish you’d been there!
I just returned from the HUGE Romance Writers of American conference in Dallas, Texas. As always, it was an incredible, exhausting, energizing, wonderful experience. So many writers and readers and fans and editors and agents, all in one hotel, all sharing a love of the romance genre… amazing!
It was a joy to see old friends and make new ones, to meet newest Harlequin Presents writer Jennie Lucas and to visit with writers from England, Ireland, Australia and Egypt as well as Canada and the United States.
We did lots of talking and laughing, eating and drinking… I’ll bet most of us won’t eat anything but Lean Cuisine for the next couple of weeks!
Several of my readers took photos at the Literacy Signing. Marian Stevens was kind enough to email a couple of pictures to me. So, here I am, at one of the two autographings I did, and you can tell from the smile on my face that I’m having a ball! (Thanks, Marian!)
I’ve had some beautiful bookmarks made to celebrate the publication of my newest trilogy, BILLIONAIRES’ BRIDES. The front of the bookmark displays the gorgeous covers of the books. The reverse lists the titles and publication dates of all my books from now through January 2009.
Want one? Just send me a self-addressed, stamped #10 size envelope (that’s a business sized envelope) and I’ll send you a bookmark and a signed card. Sorry, but postage difficulties mean that this offer is only for readers in the USA.
Here’s my address:
P.O. Box 295
Storrs, CT 06268
If you’ve visited my website and clicked on my photo page, you probably saw pictures from our family’s winter cruise. Yes, we had a great time together, but was the cruise itself great? More specifically, was the cruise line we sailed one we’d use again?
The answer is no. Actually, the answer is absolutely no. The ship was Norwegian Dawn (which was okay), the itinerary included several islands in the southern Caribbean (we’ve been to them before and they’re always beautiful). The cruise line was Norwegian Cruise Lines, which prefers to refer to itself as NCL. Freestyle cruising, they call it, but what they should really call it is Freestyle Planning and No-style Customer Relations.
Before you sign on for an NCL cruise, you might want to take a look at my website and click on my ANTI-NCL RANT.