Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend,enjoying the sun and barbecue! Have fun and be safe! The weather has turned a one eighty around here. Only last week it was cold and rainy. This weekend its in the 80's, sun gleaming, a beautiful start to summer.

I have to apologize that I haven't written for a while. Just tiny snippets here and there. I've been quite busy. Thank the Good Lord all seems to have been remedied, but I'll be honest I lost sleep last week. I believe I wrote about Aunt Dolly having a stroke a couple of weeks ago. She's been rehab since then. She is doing amazing! Then my middle daughter had knee surgery. She is doing well, also. Going from one hospital to another. It's a good thing I work in a hospital. Kinda know my way around, but last week, Sunday to be exact, I got a text from my friend from work.

My friend is young enough to be my daughter, an engaging young lady...beautiful, intelligent, compassionate...and patient. She taught me how to text, use facebook, kept me in touch with all the celebrity news.... During my years of working, I have found it best to keep my coworkers more as acquaintances than friends. But not this girl. She has this way about her that broke down that wall. She has been one of my big supporters of my writing. She loves to read and contributes to my list of recommendations on Novel Works. She is the one that told me to read Hunger Games, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, etc... She does walks for charities. Is going back to get her Master's. Love doggies! Just an amazing young woman. Last week she got sick with an infection, really sick...it was a long week. Now, though, we can breath easier. She's on the mend. Scary how everything can change in a blink of an eye.

So, I have visited most of the Boston hospitals over the last month. (Kinda proud of myself. I've had to find them on my own. Okay...okay so I have a GPS. That has never stopped me from getting lost.) My writing has taken the backburner for the last couple of weeks. Honestly, I have to gear back up. Need to catch up with my sleep.

But I have been able to keep Novel Works running smoothly. It has been easy these last two weeks spotlighting authors like Mia Marlowe and Anne Stuart! This coming week is my Summer List Recommendations. Can't believe its Memorial Day all ready!

For the first time I won something. Free advertising on Coffee Time Romance for a month. I'm so excited. If you know me you know little things make me happy!

Over the last two weeks I heard back about the revision I had sent in to a publisher. They turned it down. Loved the characters, story, etc... Little things they said, like I missed an ed at the end of a word. I should have made too long a sentence, should have been broked up. (Isn't that what an editor is for?) Ah, but had been expecting it. Talked with another author at the conference. She said this publisher did the same thing to her (asked for a revision and didn't take it after) but she said she used the revision and sent it a bigger publisher who took her book! So I'm trying the same thing. Have to use my new found confidence (before I lose it).

One of the things I did was change my query and pitch. I took the advise of one of the speakers at the conference. I am a great writer! I can't ask please look at my work. I have to grab their attention! So we'll see if it works.

I did send in my manuscript to Crescent Moon as requested. Keeping my fingers crossed with this new genre, New Adult, but the more I see of Crescent Moon the more I hope its a go. I love the books they're putting out.  And I have to get my act together and finish off Seductive Secrets. Don't like much on the rough draft. Just have to make myself do it. It's in my head....

Last but not least...my mother read Patriot Secrets on the kindle I gave her. She loved it. On top of it, she thinks it should be a best seller (I wish), but just to hear her say that means a great deal. She's my hardest critic.

Have a great weekend. Don't forget to remember our military, past and present! Be safe!
jerri

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Review!

Just got back another review!

Official Apex Reviews Rating:

When her father is hanged for his efforts to assist the Patriots during the American Revolution, Hannah Corbett’s world is suddenly turned completely upside down. In the resulting raid on her family’s plantation, her stepmother is killed, and her brother Jonathan leaves to join the Continental Army. With nowhere else to turn, Hannah eventually finds herself enmeshed in a twisted web of lies, deceit, and betrayal as she strives to locate the man that she believes led to her family’s downfall – but will she lose herself in the process...?

Throughout the pages of
Patriot Secrets, author Jerri Hines takes you on a winding, suspense-filled journey through the storied annals of history. As Hannah’s brave – yet increasingly dangerous – journey unfolds, readers are sure to find themselves equally enthralled in the throes of her passionate, daunting quest for vengeance. Beset on all sides with countless hidden traps and pratfalls, though, the success of her mission is all but guaranteed – and at times it becomes apparent that nothing more than her sheer will is driving her efforts to completion. With a compelling central storyline and a cast of vivid, realistic characters, Patriot Secrets is quite the entertaining read. The strong debut of a promising new literary voice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another Week Gone...

       What a week! Last Sunday I took my husband's aunt out to breakfast. I do it every other Sunday after work, but it was Mother's Day and I especially wanted to take her since she's been like a substitute mother at times. When I first moved up here to Boston, I lived with Dolly before I married hubby. She opened her house for me. She's a sweetie and I will never forget her kindness to me. She's even my oldest's godmother. Well, on Monday she had a stroke. Thankfully, she's on the mend. She's in rehab now and it could have been a lot worse. It just goes to show how quickly things can change. One minute everythings great the next...
       Then on Wednesday my middle daughter had knee surgery. Everything went ok in surgery. Then she had trouble with the pain medicine. We were in recovery for the whole afternoon. I believe the worse feeling in the world is when your child is in pain and there's nothing you can do. I hate that helpless feeling. After a couple of tough days, she seems to be on the mend. I have a fear though. She had to have a motion machine for her knee. It's fine because insurance pays for it except my doggies... I have this fear that they will get hold of it and I'll be out $1500 on a motion machine. Keep your fingers crossed for me on that one.
       Last but not least, my youngest had her junior prom. Oh...I have this belief that prom is spelled wrong. It should be prom$. But everything went off ok. She looked beautiful. Pictures were taken. At her school they hold it at the gym but they have a procession into the gym where the whole of the town comes to watch. And it didn't rain!
      I almost forgot to mention that my mother loves her kindle!!!! I'm so happy. Thank goodness my neice was there when it came. I was trying to talk her through turning it on and was having difficulties when Anna arrived! And the best part- she loves my book! It was like she couldn't believe I wrote it. Now I'm happy!
       So other than the Celtics being put out of the play offs and the Bruins losing last night, I survived my week. The Red Sox are winning against the Yankees! It's about the only team they're beating, though.
       Yesterday afternoon I did send off my manuscript to Crescent Moon. Say a prayer. I'm praying they love it! Maybe doing a little more on my blog with other authors. I may even have guest bloggers. Just have to work it out a tad! Have to thank Mia Marlowe for spotlighting with me last week on Novel Works and look forward to this week with Annette Blair!
       Have a good one!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

         I've had a nice lazy day. I worked last night. It was my weekend. It always seems I work on the holiday weekends. Oh, well. I took Aunt Dolly out for breakfast this morning. I do that when I work the weekend. Aunt Dolly is really my husband's maiden aunt, but she is also my son's Godmother. I lived with her when I first came up North until Bob and I married. She's been like a substitute mom to me. (Another story, another day). Amazing woman, eighty-three years old and still sharp as a tack. She didn't retire until eighty. She keeps up her house better than I do mine. And her flowers...I'm envious.
         My own mother...I called her on my way home after breakfast. She lives an hour behind me. I didn't want to wake her, but I wanted to be the first one to call her today. You know it must be the middle child thing. Instead of  "Oh, Jaye, you're the first one to call to wish me a Happy Mother's Day." I got "Oh, Jaye, you're the last I've heard from wishing me a happy Mother's Day."
         Really! I'm thinking to myself, knowing my sister probably wasn't up yet for church. "Well, I didn't want to wake you."
         "Wake me. No, everyone was here yesterday and took me out for dinner."
         So, somehow I was suppose to know to call yesterday for today??? Does that make sense. Probably only in my family. I have it down now though. Her birthday is Thursday. So I will call her on Wednesday. That should cover me. Right? ....Probably not, but I do try. 
        Ah! But I bet I got her the best gift! I gave her a kindle. A kindle you might ask when she doesn't even have a computer? My siblings have computers she can recharge on when needed. And the best part...I download my books on it. Now, no more excuses. I changed the font to a larger size for her to be able to see better. I have Patriot Secrets front and center. Of course I got her books from authors I know she loves and a few others I'm partial too.
        I can't wait to hear the excuses now...I didn't say that...My mother, God love her, is so not into computers. I know she would love the kindle is she gave it a chance...it's just getting her to try it. I wish I could say my siblings would be helpful, but I don't know if they're much better. When I was down there in October, no one seemed as computer dependent as I was. Most of my family and neighbors only have dial up!!! Of course, could be that I'm the one with the problem.
      Got a busy week ahead. Excited for Novel Works. Tomorrow I'm spotlighting Mia Marlowe! I love conferences. I get the best writers to spotlight. In the coming weeks, I have Annette Blair, Anne Stuart (you gotten love her), Judi McCoy, and Hannah Howell (love the way she intertwines historical with paranormal). And much more...
       I have revised the fantasy for Crescent Moon. I have to read over it. Hope I don't get too excited. Had my seventeen year old read some of it. She liked it, magic and everything...so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Probably send it out later this week. Still waiting to hear about Another Night Falls. And now I can turn my attention back to Seductive Secrets.
       Then my middle girl is having knee surgery Wednesday. Poor thing. She has a long road ahead of her...six months before she gets on the ice again. Bob's off this week, a good thing and I took off for her surgery. So hopefully it will go okay. It's at the hospital I work at. So I'll see if they are as good as I think they are.
        My son is playing baseball today for the first time since college. His last game for college he re-injured his hamstring, a nagging problem. I always believed he needed surgery because I think he tore it, but he never went to have it checked out other than his trainers. So I hope he had fun.
       So to all the Mothers out there- Happy Mother's Day!
   
    

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I AM A GREAT WRITER...I think

         Another great NEC Romance Writers' Conference! From the beginning to the end, I had a wonderful time. I saw old friends and made new. They held some helpful workshops. I got to met another Rose, Laura Breck...I'm getting ahead of myself. I need to back up a tad.
         This year I pampered myself. Yes, I did. I got a new haircut, a manicure, a pedicure (heaven) and a couple of new outfits. Alright. Alright. So I had a wedding to go to after the conference. It was all good! I got to spend the conference with a good friend. Its a shame really that we only see each other at the conference.  
         Salem is a quaint town. We stayed at the Salem Inn. Historical. I think it would be understated to say I like history since I write historicals. Not that I got a chance to tour Salem. I was way too busy. It was a lovely atmosphere. Although we weren't able to stay at the Hawthorne where the conference was held, everything was close by. I have to go back and tour Salem on my own.
         On Friday afternoon the major workshop was held by Donald Maass. For anyone that doesn't know Mr. Maas, he's a major agent for writers. He's written numerous books for writers on how to write and sell. My impression of Mr. Maass...he struck me as the Simon Cowell of literary agents- opinionated, brutally honest, and more than likely correct in his assessment. He offered for us to send him the first five pages of our manuscript. As you well know, agents aren't my thing or I'm not theirs. If I build my courage up and work endlessly of the first five pages for say maybe six months to a year, I might, maybe or maybe not...Honestly putting aside my jesting, anyone would be fortunate to have someone like Mr. Maass to represent them, but I'm not even looking for an agent until I sell a couple of more books. A side note, I have to say not only am I impressed with him professionally, he and his wife had only recently adopted the most adorable three year old little boy. Impressive. I wish the both of them the best with their son. Enjoy!
        The fun part- the speakers- loved them all three. Anne Stuart- I love the way she marches to her own beat. Annette Blair-What a lovely lady! But my inspiration this weekend came from Lani Diane Rich- I AM A GREAT WRITER.
        A simple statement yet powerful. As authors we all love what we write. If we didn't we wouldn't write. The whole of the field is so competitive. Did you know that they gave out the statistic that on any given day there are over 1500 books released? With those kinds of stats, as an author I need to convey confidence. Do I like my stories? Yes. Do I believe in my stories? Yes. Then I don't need to show any sign of weakness. A great attitude- one I need to work on it a tad. But just saying the words is empowering.
         Then came the dreaded pitch. Thankfully this year we had sent in a query and the first 10 pages. A much better start to my pitch than last year (walking into the room without crying would have been a better start than last year). I'm awful trying to sell myself when I talk. Put me behind a computer and I'm fine. So sending in the first 10 and a query let's somewhere feel my writing before I sat down. It went great! A few revisions and then they want to see the whole manuscript! Excited. She thinks the manuscript could fall under the new genre. I believe its called New Age. Now I have to figure out what the New Age genre expects from a love scene. My first instinct was to their advice on revising and send it out this week, but I'm going to take my time with the revisions. I even going through the whole book. I'm taking Mr. Maass advice. Don't rush. Make sure its great writing. So within two weeks...
         I did run into the editor I sent Whisperings of a Southern Heart. She was so cute. A young thing. I could have been her mother, but so polite. When I introduced myself, she hadn't a clue who I was, but she said my name sounded familiar. So I'm not expecting much from my query, but I respected her reaction to me. Professional and didn't put me down for not knowing who I was. I liked her. Wish her well. Honestly, I couldn't expect much from Whisperings. It's almost 200,000 words. I'm going to have to sell more books to get anyone to seriously look at it.
         I ran into so many of my Facebook friends. It's funny. When I introduced myself, I would say something stupid like We're friends on Facebook. You probably don't know me but... You know what whether they knew my name or not, they acted like they did. I did speak to Miranda Neville, Anne Stuart, and Mia Marlowe. I am going to be spotlighting Mia and Annette Blair on Novel Works. I hope to spotlight Anne Stuart (such a character. I do love her) among others at the conference. I also am suppose to be doing a blog for Hannah Howell if I get in touch with her PR person.
        A wonderful conference. I hated to have to leave early before the book signings, but I had a wedding to attend. I also missed the Ghost Hunt.  But definitely a good time. Can't wait until next year

Monday, May 2, 2011

Remember 9/11...Remember this day.

          I had meant to blog today about the NEC Romance Writers Conference today, but after coming to work tonight I changed my blog. Within half an hour of arriving at work, the whole of the lab surrounded the Internet with the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. Immediately my thoughts raced back to 9/11. I could still cry when I think of that day and the weeks that followed. Never will I forget where I was and what I was thinking during that horrendous day when one of my friends called and asked me if I heard if a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. I turned on my TV to the scene. I watched the news in horror, alone, while the other Tower was hit.
          Unbelievable. Shock. Panic. Worry. Sadness. Vulnerable.
          Never in my life had I felt so afraid. My children were at school. My husband at work. My family in Mississippi. My heart stilled as I watched people run from the Towers along the streets of New York. People helping each other, crying...the look of shock. We had been attacked. The worse was still to come because we kept hearing of other planes heading for targets. Later we watched the effect of the plane that hit the Pentagon and then we learned about the fateful flight that downed in Pennesylvania. Watching heroic firefighters and police rushing into the Towers, then watching the collaspe...there is no need to describe anymore, not to anyone that lived through that day.
           People died that day. Real people to me. Not far away on foreign soil, but here on American soil. Not someone seen in pictures or videos. People I knew. I had seen with my own eyes. A hockey coach died that day in one of the planes that took off from Boston. My son attended clinics he held. My son went to the school he played in high school. I had met him. Not that I would claim I knew him personally. I said hi to him, but he was flesh and blood to me, not a name on a paper. My husband knew him. He knew his older brother better having gone to school with him, but he was from the same community. My husband lost co-workers that day. A few of them. So many times in the past I felt empathy for others seen in a crisis, but in the back of mind I thought I was safe. Nothing would happen to me or my family...I don't feel that way anymore.
            Back in '85 when I first moved up here, I had a conversation with a co-worker on Christmas. It was the first Christmas I spent in New England. My family was down South. My husband's family...let's just say I was new to the family...so when someone asked me to work for them to spend time with their young children I agreed to work a double. I worked with a sweet gentle lady from India whom I don't even remember her name, but during that time we talked, a lot. She told me the struggles her family and her had before coming to the US. She described some Muslim fanatics whom sought to cleanse the world of all infidels. If I remember correctly, I believe she was Hindu. I don't believe it is revelvant what religion only that it wasn't Islam that these fanatics followed. She said that these fanatics believed if they killed a 'non-believer' they gained steps to their heaven, nine to be exact. I remember her shivering while she remembered. The conversation haunts me.
            How awful to have a religion that tells you to kill people only because they were different than you. Shouldn't be too surprised. Religion has been used for centuries to justify wars and killings. Religion is a powerful motivating tool by fanatics. It happens in all religions. Don't forget the Inquisition. Our hands in the US aren't clean either. Think back to the Salem witch trails. History is littered with examples.
            Three things scare me about these fanatics that followed Bin Laden. One- they aren't scared of death. Rather they believe with their action it will lead to their heaven. Two- they don't respect human life. Three- they have proven they can strike on America soil. It is the reason they are called terrorist.
            Make no mistake. The war against terrorism is far from over. After 9/11 we learned we will always have to be vigilant against terriorism. And if they are able, they will strike back. But...
            But today a man died who was responsible for well over 3000 innocent lives. If the strike against Bin Laden does nothing else know this- Bin Laden will never again call for the end of an innocent life. If the reports are true, he died hiding behind a woman. He will have to answer for his deeds. Will he descend to his heaven or find his hell? I can't answer that, but I know what I believe. And I believe that today the world is a better place.
     

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brenda Novak's Online Auction!

        May! A new month! With it come Brenda Novak's Online Auction for the Cure of Diabetes. I've made changes in Novel Works, while I'll still promote my own books, I will be focusing more on recommendations, fun questions about TV, movies, books, and anything interesting I can come up with.
        But getting back to the auction. It's for such a good cause. I just got back from the NEC Romance Writers Conference. Again I had a great time. I met Brenda Novak last year at the conference. Such a nice person and the Online Auction is for such a great cause. Brenda has a son with juvenille diabetes. Maybe because I work in the health care profession (besides my writing) that I know personally the devestating effects that diabetes has on a body. There again, I imagine that everyone at one point in their lives has been touched by someone with diabetes.
         It would be wonderful to find a cure. So to take a little time and check out the wonderful items in the auction. She has wonderful items for readers and writers. You can't miss and remember it goes for charity. Some of the wonderful items-

2011 is sure to be a record-breaking year! Celine Dion has donated a set of 2 tickets to her concert in Las Vegas along with the opportunity to meet her in person, before or after the concert. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to include one of the biggest names in music in this year's auction.

Opporutnity Drawings- Writer's Critiques-Meals and Drinks with Authors-One Day Auctions

Check it out! I can guartentee you- you will find something you want!

I will blog tomorrow about this year conference! Wonderful again.