Thursday, April 28, 2011

NEC Romance Writer's Conference

           Busy weekend! I've been waiting for the NEC Romance writer's conference all month. I hope I'm not going to be disappointed. I was like a little kid in a candy store last year. I'm excited. I'm rooming with a friend I made last year at the conference. We've kept in touch. So that should be fun. It's in Salem. Lovely town.
           The conference should be a good time. They have some great authors lined up for speakers such as Anne Stuart. She's been around forever it seems. Just got through reading her lastest release, Breathless. Enjoyed it. Hope I get to met her. Here I go being a fan. Can't help it. Been reading her books for ages.
           Some wonderful editors and agents, great workshops, food and -do you know what I enjoyed most about last year?- I got so many books. Of course, one author at my table won a basket of books. I never win anything, but since it was her donation she ask if anyone at our table wanted it. Might not win anything, but I have quick reflexes. First hand up! A whole basket of books!
           I hope I get to see some of the other authors I met last year. Laura Breck is one of the authors holding a workshop. I get to met another Rose! Roses of Prose that is. She's doing a workshop on public speaking. I'm a lost cause on that one, but I'll go. It certainly couldn't hurt.
         A little nervous too I'll admit. I love meeting new people and interacting. But...big but...we sent in pitches to either agents or editors. I'm having flashbacks to the diasater of a pitch last year with that agent (all me) I'm too sensitive. Criticism only makes your writing better. I can take it...behind my computer or opening a letter. I don't have to react immediately. Instead wait until the raw feelings wear down then react. Can't do that in front of a person. Oh, please don't let me tear up again! Totally unprofessional response I suppose, but not only am I a writer, I am a woman. Women cry. It's what we do or at least what I do. Always have whether happy, sad, angry, sad movies, etc...You get the picture.
        At the moment though I have created a little bubble world where I dream of going up to the conference where everything is wonderful. The editor loves my pitch and wants the manuscript immediately. Another editor that I submitted a different manuscript to a few months ago has waited until this moment knowing I would be here at the conference to tell me she can't wait to read the rest of my submission (if only I didn't do run on sentences!). All the authors want to be featured on Novel Works. And to make my dream perfect I win a basket of books!
         So until Sunday, I'll live in my little bubble world.
         If anyone is in Salem Saturday between 4:00 and 5:30, you should drop by for the bookfair. It's at the Hawthorne Hotel. I won't get to stay for the bookfair (I have a wedding to go to), but it will be filled with all these wonderful authors. I would highly recommend it.
         If you're not in Salem, check out the Saturday spotlight author this week on Roses of Prose. Lindsay Townsend. A wonderful author, great person. Exciting, romantic tales of knights! Her latest, To Touch the Knight, is due for release in July.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Changes to Novel Works!

NOVEL WORKS

I have an idea! I want to use Novel Works to promote or recommend other books, blogs, authors, new releases, etc... I do this now, but I really want to expand- grow bigger. I think I have a good foundation to do this. I have so many little ideas running through my head. Not only recommend authors, blogs, etc... but expand to make it fun for everyone...discuss books made into movies...what everyone is reading...exchange recipes...good ideas to in giving gifts (such as ebooks). Discuss the differences of different sites and what one can hope to gain from those sites. I surf the internet. I love finding new blogs filled with great suggestions. Using Facebook to post is a wonderful way for people to get a glimpse of what is out there.

I need your help though. I do not charge to promote on Novel Works. I need for you guys to share my link. I know that many of you have used Novel Works for a new release or maybe you've seen a book that has caught your eye. Help me to help you. I offer free promotions for new releases for anyone.

Next week I will be posting on the upcoming NEC Conference in Salem, Massachusetts! Love conferences. The first week of May you will find me promoting Brenda Novak's wonderful Online Auction for Juvenille Diabetes.

Coming the first week of May, Novel Works will be just that, a page to promote Novels. I'm moving my books over to their own page. I hope that you will like both my pages, Novel Works and Jerri Hines author. I have the links below.

On my new page, I hope to discuss my books, the inspiration for them, the history behind the characters, new releases, etc...

I invite you to join me on both my pages! Thanks!


Novel Works by Jerri Hines

Jerri Hines Books

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Honestly...well, if you insist...

      I worked last night. Extra. I don’t usually work on a Friday night, but then I don’t usually let my daughter spend $200 on a month of  tanning. Tanning! Of which I’m totally set against only to be talked into it by my daughter and her friends. Spray tan melts at the prom, you know. She can’t be the only one at the prom pale as a ghost. I believe the word prom should come with a $ behind it. Once the word is spoken I hear a cash register in my head.
       I’m a softy though. I never went to a prom. Oh, it wasn’t because I didn’t have a date. My school didn’t have one. I dion't know if any school around me did, deep Bible belt thirty years ago. Think Footloose. Here though I also realize the town I live in is unforgiving (notice I didn’t call it my town even though I have lived here for seven years). I wouldn’t say the town is diverse nor does it welcome diversity. An old money town. I feel I live in a country club where I’m not a member.
      So when work called and asked if I wanted to work extra I agreed. I didn’t want to. I was tired and have so much to do, but it alleviated my guilt about spending the money on tanning (even though my daughter swears she’s going to pay me back). While I was working, though, I was thinking about my writing.
      I have been a medical technologist for over twenty-eight years. Medical…what? I know. I know. I do have my college degree and a year of internship. Come to think of it I’m not sure that some doctors even know what I do. I work in the laboratory. At my present job I work in Chemistry, but for fifteen years I was a generalist working in chemistry, blood bank and hematology. Think microscopes, pints of blood, and expensive instrumentation. I also work overnights. It allows me flexibility and the traffic isn’t bad when I come and go out of Boston.
      When I began my quest to write a best seller, my drive to write had nothing to do with my professional job. I like my job. I like the people. I don’t know if I can put into words the reason why I write other than I love to create stories. I started writing over ten years ago. A learning process if ever there was one. I have taken every bit of criticism and tried to learn from it, but there comes a time when I have to wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.
      Honestly... the majority of authors, publishers, and editors I have met have been the most gracious, kind individuals. But at times I feel like I do in the town I live in. I’m on the outside looking in. At first I thought it was because I wasn’t published. Then after I became published, I thought maybe it was because they are only ebooks…
       Na├»ve as I am I thought as soon as my book was published people would read it. I kinda compare it to the thought when I first moved up here twenty-six years ago. How hard could it be to pick 6 numbers to win the lottery? I know what ya’ thinking…a dumb little country girl trying to make it in the midst of big city folk and all. Honestly...I am.
       I’ll give you a little background on me as a person. I would do anything for anybody. True. Maybe it’s my Southern blood running through my veins or maybe my ignorance. If I can help someone I will. I may joke about being envious, but I’m not. I admire people that accomplish what I haven’t done yet. I dream…I don’t dream about being rich, comfortable is just fine. I want only happiness. Within that happiness I strive to write. Writing makes me happy. I believe in fate and destiny. I believe that everyone has a purpose in their life. And I do believe that God does not give you anything that you can’t handle.
      Saying all this, I have to add I may be not be smart, but I’m not stupid either. Oh, did I say I’m stubborn? You need to know that. I'm stubborn as a bull.
      Now if you have reached this far, you might be asking where the **** is she going with this blog.
It's just this. I have a list of complaints about being an author.

1)   You can't question or correct an assumption!
       That's hard for me, you know. Almost impossible. Frustrating. Now I ask you in any profession where can you not ask a question? But you can't being an author. It makes you seems unprofessional I'm told. I understand to a certain extend, but there are times when a question needs to be answered or an assumption corrected.

      What brought all this on? A contest....okay, it's just a little contest, my first contest, but it was just enough added to my building frustration to make me question. Oh, not to the person, but to anyone that reads my blog. It is just this-
       First- A couple of months ago, I couldn't find a contest to fit my needs. I figured a contest would be a good way to get my work evaluated by the 'professionals.' The problem- I can't enter a contest for unpublished authors and for published authors they want a hardcopy to read in other words- no ebooks. Finally I found one that would accept my submission only I couldn't place in a category I've been published in. A problem since paranomal and historical are what I write.
      Second- The lady running the contest was kind enough to help me figure out another category to enter my submission. Stretching it a tad, but it did fit, if loosely. Friday I recieved the news that I didn't make the finals. The evaluation said I was in the wrong category! Made her wonder why I entered this category. Although she did say the submission showed potential. I think you have promise. Please decide where you want to place this and write to the market. I know...I know its not her fault, but I would have loved to have entered it where it should have been. 
      Third- You know what I need. I need someone to tell me, no show me what to do the right way. I need to be shown- led to the watering hole so to speak.

2)    No one will tell me how to get a review and where!
       Everyone, my publisher, my editor, other authors, have been so vague about where to go. What is the key to a review by the right reviewer? Would it help if my publisher ask for the review? Honestly, the more good reviews the better it is to promote your book. But how can you do that if no one reviews it?
      My frustration- Most reviews I tend to agree with, but there are times!!!!
Example- Picked a book up a the bookstore glowing with reviews. Went home and wondered who the author knows to get published and more over how she got the reviews. I choked on the words she used in a historical
These are exact quotes(remember this is a historical set during the early 1800's)-

      "God, Amy, you had me so worried. The thought of him touching you..."
      "Didn't much appeal to me either." (who would say that in the early 1800's)

       "That was wonderful," sighed Amy happily. (Now if I had space I would write the setting of the scene where the hero and heroine went at it on board a boat and the hero had just been reprimanded by the boatman who had only just said "Go on. Act like I'm not here. Treat my boat like a brothel. Don't matter what I think, do it?") So the heroine is oblivious to the fact that the boatman heard everything! He can hear them, but she can't hear him complain? Oh...it gets worse.

       During lovemaking, the hero says, "This...might...hurt."

Oh, this book is just too easy to attack as an example. I'm not an editor, just a writer, but there are too many questions about this writing. One the author writes as if the conversation occurs in modern day. Some of the 'don'ts' that have been embedded in my brain by editors such as the use of 'as' a million times. And the style of writing... oh, like I said this book is too easy to attack. But this is the frustrating part- this book was published by a major publisher. This book was highly reviewed by sites that this publisher advertises on. Does anyone else believe that this might be a conflict of interest? Or is it wrong to question that it might? Would a better question be does a major publisher ever get a bad review on these sites? Or perhaps I'm just envious because I can't get a review on these sites?

That book wasn't the only one I have found myself differing with reviews. Another book, a fantasy, I picked up had thirty-two glowing reviews at the beginning of the book. Seven pages of  'couldn't put the book down.' Maybe it was just me, but I couldn't get into the book. Confusing, jumping from one scene to another, characters had weren't developed that just appeared (this wasn't a book from a series)...again another major publisher.

3)   I'm not suppose to call attention to a miscarriage of justice!
      Yes, I'm still upset with that review from a New Zealand book blogger. Oh, I know its just one review and you guys wouldn't have known a thing about it if I hadn't told you. I've decided not only to tell you about it but show you.
      Why you ask? For several reasons. Shouldn't reviewers be held accountable for their reviews? If I know anything, I know this was an unfair review and for anyone that read it, it gives a false representation of my book. It is obivious she never read my book. But you tell me what you think? Should I have not said anything here?
      My thoughts- The review hurts my book. The review is wrong on several counts. My book isn't a Regency. It isn't erotica. And I'm not suppose to say anything? When I received the review, I emailed her back, thanked her for her time, but pointed out that my book wasn't a regency or erotica. She didn't correct either.
      For anyone that doesn't know my book, Patriot Secrets, I'll give you a short synopsis. My book is historical fiction set during the American Revolution (think John Jakes). It follows the lives of two siblings, Jonathan, who is a physician in the Contential Army, and Hannah, who by fate is spying on the British in New York. The story is not a lighthearted romance, nor was it ever suppose to be. There are battle scenes, a brutal raid scene where Hannah losses her stepmother, etc... And I do realize it does not follow the romance formula. It is historical fiction keeping true to the times of the American Revolution. The book is filled with suspense, intrigue, and love...it is also the first in a series. So saying all that here is the review I have issue with-

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Review : Patriot Secrets - Jerri Hines


I Love regency themed novels , all the dressing up , the balls and the courtship - oh not to live in that actual age again as women weren't given the same amount of rights as they do today but to have their manners etc brought forth into today's society.



Patriot Secrets (Winds of Betrayal)

Review: Patriot Secrets - Winds of Betrayal - Jerri Hines - October 2010
When it comes down to the crunch, when we have nothing all that is left is a nasty taste of revenge. All Hannah Corbett wanted most in the world , was to be heard and not dismissed like the girl she was, this could have been a result though of being brought up by her father and brothers. Set in the time of the American Independance, the country is up in a tizz and soon Hannah makes a fateful decision that will descendinto a world of deceit. Spurred by revenge, she heads to New York, setting in motion a dangerous game for which there is no return - chasing Marcus who has stolen something that if not returned can cause serious and deadly cosequences. Searching desperately for the man Marcus who betrayed her family, she faces the cold and brutal reality of the life of a spy. Caught in a web of lies, living with betrayal, she is trapped. She has nowhere to turn except to a man it would be treasonous to love, setting duty and desire at war. Her parents are killed , her father hanged and stepmother Mother Agnes is murdered in cold blood. Her heart is ripped apart when she must choose between the man who risks his career and life to protect her and the only thing that has remained constant in her life...her belief in her cause. A tale of romance, love and lies - this is one Regency tale that will set your hearts on fire , it is also recommended for R18 as contains some steaminess.


    
    So what do you think? Should I be upset? Or should I have accepted it without a problem? I should accept that the reviewer reviewed my book fairly and it is the way she sees it? Given the fact that she doesn't say anything bad about the book. And if the review sounds a little familiar she used some of my blurb in her review.

I guess the real question is- does this happen to other writers? I mean if she panned my books for grammatical errors, the plot, the characters, it would hurt but I couldn't argue her opinion, but to give it a 3 P without reason and then call it a Regency and erotica?

So there's my list and my frustration. I guess the bottom line is you need a thick-skin to be a writer. It is so so competitive and subjective. My skin is getting thicker. I haven't lost focus of my goal. I keep on trying new things and see where it takes me. I will continue on my quest to become a better writer. I have no desire to get on the bad side of anyone. Truly, I don't and hope I haven't. My point in this blog is to say that all isn't rosy in this business especially when you're on the outside looking in.











     

Monday, April 11, 2011

'FINALLY 21'


Today my middle daughter turns 21. Her father and I went up to visit her yesterday. She so ecstatic for ‘finally’ turning 21 and all I can think is how fast time has flown. It seems only yesterday that she was a blonde hair blue eye four year old telling me that she was going to grow up to be Mo Vaughn. There was no telling her then that the odds of her doing so were extremely slim. She was never one to let the odds discourage her although I believe growing up to be Mo Vaughn was a little out of her control.

As my children have grown, I have come to realize each was born with their personality. From an early age, Tracy has been her own person. Twenty-one years ago, my husband dropped me off at my mother-in-laws while I was in labor. He had already taken me to the doctor’s who informed me that although I was in labor it would be awhile. My husband didn’t want to leave me alone at home with my two year old. So I stayed with my mother-in-law since my own mother was 1300 miles away.

God love the woman! In her day, women in labor were in the hospital. I’ll never forget the day. She had me walking the neighborhood ‘to induce labor’ I could barely get up the hills at times. We had to stop and talk to the neighbors. Now, being Southern I appreciate the need to be hospitable and my mother-in-law, even though she is a Yankee, has to have been one of the most hospitable people I have ever met, but when I was in active labor, I might not have appreciated it as well as I should have. My two year old wouldn’t leave my side. My mother-in-law tried to constantly tried to feed me…well I ended up calling up my husband and telling him to get over to his mother’s immediately. I was going to the hospital whether I was far enough along or not. At the hospital, I told them I wasn’t going back there! That’s what labor does to you. No more than a couple of hours later, Tracy was born...named after her grandmother.

A daughter! I may not have loved being pregnant, but I will always remember the moment they laid my babies in my arms. I wish I could bottle the feeling. And Tracy…What a beautiful little baby! My smallest. I spent hours dressing her up in little dresses and bows. A good thing because it wouldn’t last. Tracy was born with a mind of her own. She doesn’t like dresses, never has. I will never forget when she was in nursery school. I went out and bought the cutest little dress for her school pictures. When it came to getting her dress, she fought me every step of the way. What was she? Maybe three. Before we left for school, she went back up stairs. She came down in a shirt of her brother’s, a cowboy shirt with embroidery of a cowboy roping a cow and jeans. Needless to say, she had her picture made in the cowboy shirt. Now it’s one of my favorite pictures.

Stubborn. When she was in kindergarten, I gave her skating lessons. Again I had visions of her as an ice skating champion. I have the cutest picture of her in her ice skating program dressed up in the cutest little outfit with a lollipop. But what did she want to do…play hockey. I told her she had to wait if she waited to play hockey until when she was in second grade. She did. She took her lessons and waited…to play hockey. She’s still playing.

Faith and belief. Tracy exhibits the epitome of the power of faith. When I told her that all would work out when she didn’t make a travel hockey team when she was ten, I didn’t even believe my own words. How hard it is when see your child in pain, knowing they gave everything they had and should have made it, but life is never fair. Moreover, I hadn’t a clue how she was going to get on another travel team because all the team roosters were filled. “You have to believe there is a purpose behind this,” I said. “You keep working hard and keep your head up. It will work out.” She lived on all my words… hard work, perseverance, believe in yourself, pick yourself up. Not blessed as her brother with as much natural ability, what she wasn’t born with she made up with it hard work and sweat. Not only did she end up with a travel team then, she went on to gain a scholarship to a prep school. All on her own because she decided if she wanted to play in college she needed to go to prep school. We didn’t have the extra money to send her to prep school. So she got a scholarship.

Compassion. When Tracy was in second grade, she came home before Christmas upset. She had a new little girl in her class. A foster child who had endured a hard life. She had talked to Tracy. She told Tracy all she wanted for Christmas was this special doll. Tracy wanted to take her money and buy it for her. So we went to the store and bought the doll. The only thing I told Tracy was that she couldn’t let the girl know it was her that gave it to the girl. Tracy understood what I try to convey. If you do something from your heart it’s not the recognition from that deed, but the feeling you gain from doing what is right. We gave it to the teacher to give to the girl. Her teacher told the little girl that someone thought she was special and wanted her to have the doll. Tracy never told it was her that gave the doll to the girl. That’s Tracy. When I offered to a trip for her high school graduation, she asked if she could go on a school trip to help a needy school in South Africa. Instead of fun and sun, Tracy chose to help people.

Tracy wants to change the world for the better. She’s an advocate. When she won the award for Politics when she graduated from high school it came as no surprise. But with the road she is on, it’s difficult. Choosing to make your own path is not easy. Though it is the one she is going down. No, it’s not the road I would have chosen for her, but it’s like the dress I picked out for her picture when she was three, that road is not for her.

So, my thoughts for my daughter this day…follow your fate, your destiny, to where it leads you. Believe in yourself and hold to your faith. Love you and God bless you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Win a copy of Patriot Secrets!

Ah! My beloved Red Sox...such high expectations to have fallen to 0-4 to start the new season. Be still my heart. But I have a plan to help break the losing streak. Positive energy. Belief. So to show my confidence in my Red Sox I have decided to give away copies of Patriot Secret. Comment on when you think the losing streak will end and get a copy of Patriot Secrets. Send positive energy their way. If you get the right day their losing streak ends and their winning begins I'll give you a copy of Patriot Secrets!