Are we still here?

Well, today is the Mayan Apocalypse. I haven’t put a lot of stock in that idea, ever, but I know some people have. I’m encouraged by the fact that Australia is still there and it’s tomorrow already. Surely that counts for something, right? 😉

But if today is not the last day, and you still need to buy Christmas presents, I have a website specifically for the billionaire in your life. At The Billionaire Shop, you can buy such things as a private island, a yacht, a million dollar watch, jets, and pricey New York views.

I have quite a few billionaires in my life, but fortunately they are all my creations. They should be giving me gifts, right? 😉 My latest billionaire will be hitting store shelves in a little over a week. Sheikh Malik Al Dhakir is sexy as hell–and a bit uncertain when it comes to expressing his feelings. In fact, he’s downright tongue-tied. You can read more about Sheikh Malik here.

I hope your weekend is lovely, and your Christmas preparations are going smoothly! Happy Holidays!

Blast from the Past: Getting the Call

Today, I thought it would be fun to share my original Call story post with you! I wrote this post for I Heart Presents, but I think it’s appropriate to share it here with you now. Four years ago, on October 6th 2008, I got the Call. It was a thrilling day!

I can hardly believe it’s been four years since that magical day. My 10th Presents comes out in just a few weeks, though I’ve written nearly double that number now. I’ve hit the USA Today bestseller list, had a couple of number one bestsellers at Borders (when they were still doing the list, sigh) and Mills & Boon, and met so many wonderful readers from around the world who write and tell me they like my books.

It’s awesome to be able to share my stories with you! Soon, I hope to share even more stories with you. I’m working hard on those special projects, and hope to have good news for you soon. In the meantime, I hope the writers will enjoy the Call story — and I hope the readers know just how grateful I am to them for continuing to show me their love!

All y’all rock!

My Call Story by Lynn Raye Harris

When I last wrote a post, I’d just turned in my second round of revisions and I was waiting for my editor, Sally Williamson, to let me know how I did. Naturally, I was apprehensive! I was hopeful this time, but nowhere near certain I’d gotten it right enough for the Magical Phone Call.

I sent Sally my revisions on a Wednesday. On Friday, she responded that she loved what I’d done but she had some tweaks for me. I got excited as I read her email because I could tell these were easy things to do: take something out, add something in, expand something else. Nothing was major, and nothing was a total rewrite. Yay!

But the bad news (for me, not for Sally!) was that she was on her way out the door for a two-week holiday. I was seriously excited – but two weeks? Oh man, the wait. I finished the tweaks that weekend and sent the story back. But I still had two weeks to go.

Two excruciating weeks! Thankfully, I had distractions. My in-laws were visiting and we had a construction project going on. I had some contest entries to judge, and an anniversary to celebrate. I also scheduled lunch with a friend, and there was a costume party squeezed into those two weeks as well. So I was busy, but it was always there in the back of my mind. Would Sally have good news for me when she got back, or would I be rewriting again?

Sunday, Oct 5, I was thinking pretty hard about how I would pick myself up and dust myself off and start another book if Sally gave me bad news (maybe she was tired of these characters and figured I’d never get it right). I still had her for six months, so I was going to write another book! I’d already written a loose synopsis and character backgrounds, so I was ready to go.

Several of my writing friends told me to stop being silly and quit worrying so much. My husband said of course they were going to buy my book, there was no way I’d slid backward over something as easy as tweaks, and to stop obsessing (he’s practical like that). But that’s what writers do, right? We obsess.

I knew Sally was back in the office on Monday, so I figured if I didn’t hear something by Wednesday, I’d send her an email. I’d waited two weeks; surely I could wait a couple more days. Her “To Do” list had to be pretty full since she’d been away. I reminded myself I wasn’t her first priority and she would get to me when she had a chance.

Monday morning, my husband got up bright and early to get ready for work. I always get up at some point before he leaves and prepare for my day at the computer. That morning, I was a little behind the curve. I was sitting up in bed, still in my pajamas, and my husband had just kissed me goodbye. He was walking out the bedroom door when the phone rang.

Our phone is in the kitchen, which is next to the bedroom, and he was closer. But I’d jumped out of bed and was headed that way. My husband picked up the phone and looked at the Caller ID. It was Privacy Director, the service that filters calls it deems to be from telemarketers to a menu where I get to choose whether or not to answer. I don’t know why, but it always does this when Harlequin calls (sorry, Sally; if I knew how to turn it off I would). My husband was puzzled over the Privacy Director so early in the morning, but I just said, “Give it to me.”

I knew who it was (call it a feeling or a coincidence, but I was positive it was Sally), and I hoped like crazy I knew why she was calling. I answered and heard Sally’s lovely accent as she stated her name. Of course I accepted the call! By this time, my husband had followed me back into the bedroom and sat beside me on the bed. Sally asked me how I was, I think I asked her about her vacation, and then she said some combination of those Magic Words that I can’t remember precisely because my heart was beating so fast: “We want to buy your book.”

I squeezed my husband’s arm. I don’t remember much else, except to say how happy I was. (And I think I was bouncing on the bed, btw.) Sally said a few more things, something about calling my new agent with the details, but I definitely heard “two book contract.” My husband was so happy he said, “Thank you, Sally!” into the phone while I was trying to listen.

After I finished talking with Sally, I called my parents and my in-laws, because I’d promised I would, and then I started telling everyone. I can’t remember most of the morning, other than it was a rush of calls and emails. My husband brought home flowers and a card before I had to take him to the airport for a business trip. I spent the evening of my First Sale eating a frozen dinner and drinking a glass of wine alone. But I was too happy to be upset about it.

And that’s how, at 7:27 AM on Monday, October 6, 2008, I finally got the long dreamed about CALL. Four years since I got serious about my writing, and fifteen years since I first tried to write a romance novel, I sold to Harlequin Presents.

Never give up the dream, friends. It could be you next. Thanks for all the good wishes you’ve sent me, and a major thank you to the editorial team for having the contest and choosing me. This has been a wonderful experience, and I look forward to the future as a Presents author. (It gives me a thrill to say that!)

A New Adventure


pics on Sodahead

About five weeks ago, my mother decided to run for City Council in her town. It was definitely a last minute decision, but she leaped right in with both feet. She financed the campaign herself on a shoestring. There were yard signs, buttons, a website (which I built and maintained), and a Facebook fan page. Some kind soul donated a few T-shirts. Another donated some magnetic car signs. And Mom walked through the neighborhoods, visiting homes and talking with people. There were also flyers, which she printed up on a color laser and distributed during her walks.

She held a Meet the Candidate event, helped by her neighbors who made cookies and things. It was held in a beautiful historic home that someone has turned into an events place. She also had a television interview, and she toured the 911 Call Center and attended a couple of other candidate events.

It was most definitely a new adventure. Elections were Tuesday, and while she didn’t win, she received 26% of the vote in a three way race and came in second. In five weeks time, she made enough of an impact to get hundreds of people to vote for her instead of one of the other guys. I think that’s pretty cool!

I guess why I’m telling you this is so you know that you are never too old, too set in your ways, or too (fill in the blank) to have a new adventure. Mom is disappointed, of course, but she’s not giving up (remember that theme, writers!). She’s going to turn her site into a local politics blog, and she’s going to get involved. Did I mention she’s also a senior in college? Mom isn’t old (60s isn’t old these days), but she could easily sit at home and say she’s too old for new adventures. She retired from her job, but she hasn’t retired from life.

Now, if she’s reading this, she’ll be the first person to think she’s not doing anything extraordinary or that she didn’t do a good enough job to win the race. But we know differently, don’t we?

Get involved, try new things, write that book, and don’t give up. You are never too old (tired, dumb, lazy, etc) for a new adventure. If you’ve embarked on a new adventure, tell us about it!

Don’t apologize for what you love

Okay, so I’m very busy writing a book that’s due in 3.5 weeks (yikes!!!!) and yet I still make my online rounds of Twitter, Facebook, and the blogs I enjoy reading. As I was looking at my incoming links, I clicked on the one for eHarlequin which took me to my author page. Shockingly, to me anyway, I have three books in print. THREE. The Prince’s Royal Concubine is available exclusively at eHarlequin this month in both print and ebook, which brings me to three.

It hasn’t even been a year since my first book hit the shelves, and the 3rd book is about to do so in a month. I simply can’t believe it. Not only that, but the same three books have come out in three other countries — and one of them has been printed in German and Italian so far. It boggles the mind. I have also just submitted, and had accepted, my 6th title for Harlequin Presents. What a ride it’s been — and I love it. I love writing these books, no matter that some people don’t seem to understand the appeal of the ruthless tycoon and his heroine. These books are Beauty and the Beast for me. That doesn’t work for everyone, and I understand that.

But I love them, and I’m proud to write them. And I just want you aspiring writers out there to know that you don’t need to apologize for what you write, and you don’t need to worry what people will think. There will be people who hate your work — and who proclaim it loudly and frequently — and then there will be what I like to call the vast silent majority who love what you do. They love it, they buy it, and they may never write a review or send you a fan letter. But they are out there, and they love what you do. Don’t forget that.

Keep writing and dreaming. The dream can come true for you too. And for my readers, thank you. I love telling these stories and I’m so thrilled you love reading them. 🙂

And now I have to get back to writing that 7th title!

P.S. Totally unrelated, but I blogged about the category romance panel I was on while at RT! There’s a picture too!

Inspiration

I’m working on Book 3, getting deep into character and motivation, and generally having fun exploring the relationship between these two volatile people. And when I ran across this picture, the light bulb went off — this is my hero. Cristiano is strong, sexy, and tortured by the past. And he’s absolutely determined to get what he wants from the heroine — and to leave her with nothing when he’s done.

Oh be still my heart! Wounded heroes are so sexy to write.

Yeah, I love this job. 🙂

In other news, the website is inching closer to reveal day! I’m so excited about it, and can’t wait to share it with you all! There will be a new website, blog, and newsletter. And when it goes live, I’ll give away some goodies. 🙂

One last thing — my book is up for pre-order on Amazon, but now it has a cover — and that makes me delighted to share the link with you!

Procrastination much?

Then you MUST read this post. It’s like he’s talking to me…..

Nothing to say, friends. Busy writing new book, waiting to hear on Book 2, worrying about taxes and housecleaning. You know, all that glamorous stuff romance authors do. 🙂