Monthly Archives: February 2009

Silent in the Sanctuary FREE at Amazon!

silent-in-the-sanctuarykI’m just FULL of good news and GREAT deals this month!

Readers in the know, remember that author Deanna Raybourn won a RITA award for her first novel, Silent in the Grave,  featuring Victorian sleuth Lady Julia Grey. Her partnership with the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane is part thriller and all smoldering tension as they team up to solve the mystery of her husbands dasterdly demise.

So what’s the good news? Deanna’s second book, Silent in the Sanctuary, in which Lady J and Brisbane team up again to unravel a tangle of deceit and a brutal murder at the March ancestral estate, will be available FREE in a special Amazon Kindle promotion starting Monday, February 23rd Feb until Friday, February 27th…and the GREAT deal??  You can purchase her NEW book, Silent on the Moor, one whole week in advance of it’s release anywhere else!

Ok, AND you can say, you heard it HERE first!!

Some tidbits from Deanna’s blog for all of us “Silent” fans..

  • Silent on the Moor is not the last Julia Grey book.
  • If your book club would like to set up a phone chat for Silent on the Moor or either of the previous books, e-mail me at deannaraybourn(at)yahoo(dot)com to make arrangements.
  • And speaking of book clubs, if you’d like the reading guide questions for Silent in the Sanctuary, you’ll find them HERE.
  • The top choices to play Nicholas in a potential film adaption of the book are — in no particular order because otherwise there would be a serious catfight — Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, James Purefoy, and most recently, Javier Bardem.
  • When I really, really press women for an answer on who should play Julia, I get a half-hearted, “Oh, I suppose Scarlett Johansson would do,” and then they go back to debating how many times Nicholas should take his shirt off in the movie. (I always pictured her looking a little more like Eva Green myself, although the voice is totally wrong.)

Happy Reading, oh and feel free to share your thoughts on who should play Julia and her partner in detection…er and more, the fabulous Brisbane.



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The Business of Blurbs

michelle-gagnonMichelle Gagnon is a former modern dancer, dog walker, bartender, freelance journalist, personal trainer, model, and Russian supper club performer, and today this bestselling author of chilling thrillers is a Guest Blogger !

I thought I’d discuss the dark, inner secrets of blurbs today. Blurbs are those quotes on the front and back cover by a well-known author who was kind enough to say some nice things about your book, thereby inducing people to buy it. At least in theory.

So how do writers get those glowing blurbs? I find that cash is well-received, or blackmail works in a pinch (just kidding). Honestly, I have yet to be turned down for a blurb. As long as you can give someone a decent time frame in which to read the manuscript (ideally a month or two), and they’re not too swamped, everyone I’ve approached has been exceedingly gracious.

But it was definitely a learning process for me. For example: chances are, no one might mention the deadline for blurb submission until oh, say, three weeks before it’s due. That’s what happened with my first novel, when I switched editors midstream. I had prepared a list of people to ask, and we were proceeding nicely through the rounds of edits. Offhand, I asked my new editor one day, “By the way, when should I send the manuscript to people to blurb?”
Dead silence.

Then, “You haven’t done that yet?”

Thus ensued one of the most frantic days of my life. I emailed everyone I knew, had met, or had even heard of, who might consider blurbing the book. I overdid it, actually, because I assumed that easily three-quarters of the people would say no when they found out I needed it in a little under three weeks. And you know what? No one did. One blurb came in past the deadline, but I was thrilled to use it on all of my promotional materials. For me, this was the best introduction to how much of a community the crime fiction writing world really is.

The next time, I was ready. I send the manuscript out early, to the two people whose work I thought most closely matched the book’s tone and subject matter. Because Boneyardthat’s another thing I learned about blurbs. If a bestselling author of medical thrillers blurbs your book, there’s a chance her fans might buy it. Imagine their shock and dismay when they discover that your book is actually a paranormal mystery involving shapeshifters, none of whom have even a passing knowledge of medicine. Some might love it regardless, and there are varying opinions on whether the name recognition of the blurber is more important than the similarity of your work. In my opinion, the book should be something a fan of the other author will find familiar.

The question is, do blurbs actually do what they’re supposed to do, inspiring book sales that might not happen otherwise? I suspect yes, since publishers have clearly done more market research on this than I have, and they’re fairly insistent about having something to put on that cover. Does a blurb from a fellow author have more or less impact than an excerpt from a respected periodical? Tough to say (and I’m always reminded of the friend who received a review calling his book, “An excellent example of everything that’s wrong with writing today,” which his publisher promptly shortened to, “Excellent.”)

Rumor has it that author Meg Gardiner couldn’t get a US publishing contract until Stephen King (who rarely blurbs books) picked her one of her books in the UK and raved about it. So obviously, some blurbs are worth more than others. For me, the cover initially attracts my attention, then I’ll probably read the blurb. If I know and like the other author’s work, there’s a good chance I’ll head to the register with my new find.

Have you had the same experience? Has a blurb ever inspired you to buy a book you might not have picked up otherwise?


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FREE Valentine Book at

I have a Valentine’s gift for all of you!

We have created a special eBook, A Valentine for Harlequin’s Anniversary that not only includes a story from RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann, An Evening to Remember, BUT…’s the fun part…we’re including bonus content from our blog bash entries from your favorite authors in the Community!

Every year, we ask our authors to share their thoughts with us in a special blog event at For 30 days, 30 different authors share their thoughts on a variety of topics, and have included:

1) why I believe in love
2) why I write
3) describe your favorite Harlequin moment (inspired by a book)

To celebrate our 60th Anniversary, we have gathered 60 of our favorite entries and compiled them into this special collection that will be available for free through our eBook Store at exclusively. You will be inspired, awed, moved and perhaps inspired to remember some special moments of your own!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Happy Anniversary to us!


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Pretty in Pink, the Harlequin Sony Reader

sony-readerFirst up, have you seen the Harlequin 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Sony Reader? Not only is it the pretty red model, but it also comes with a special pink cover embossed with the Harlequin logo, includes a free eBook download of Secret Fantasy by Carly Phillips and the 16 Anniversary eBooks (also available all year at our special Anniversary Hub at Also, people who purchase this special package will receive a coupon for 20% off a Harlequin title, each month, for the next five months!

Or if audiobooks are your thing, then snap up a FREE download of Stranded! by Lori Foster over at

Sweet deal, no? If you were holding off on purchasing an eBook reader, this would be a pretty good time to take the plunge…just sayin’


Free Harlequin eBook anniversary titles available in February 2009

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