• It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
  • A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
  • You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
  • Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
  • Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
  • I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Romeo Romeo

Last week I read Romeo Romeo, written by Robin Kaye. It is a fast-paced, entertaining read that I enjoyed immensely, and think you will, too. With all the hoopla over the announcement of the Golden Heart finalists, I think it's interesting that Romeo Romeo won first place in the Golden Heart in the single title category back in 2007. It was published in 2008 and from what I can tell from Ms. Kaye's website, it is her first published book. I can honestly say that if this is the caliber of manuscript that wins the Golden Heart, mine didn't deserve to final. (At least as it was at the time I submitted it.)

So there you go. Slowly but surely I am finding new authors to follow (as I've read most everything out there from my favorites). Ms. Kaye has two other books out, Breakfast in Bed and Too Hot to Handle, that I plan to pick up on my next trip to Borders.

Have you come across any new (or new to you) authors whose books you enjoy? If so, please share them with us, and be sure to specify genre.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Out of Two Ain't Bad

So, as stated in a prior post, this week had the potential to be a total bust. I'm happy to report, it was NOT.

I'll start with the negative, to get that out of the way. I did not final in RWA's Golden Heart Contest (for unpublished writers). For those of you unfamiliar with RWA, it stands for Romance Writers of America, and boasts a membership of over 10,000. If you follow this blog regularly, you may remember that I made a bunch of last-minute changes to my manuscript before sending it out, and was worried I'd made it worse rather than better. Turns out I was right. But since that time I've revised and edited and think my manuscript is much stronger. Which leads me to........

Last week I was chosen for a chat room pitch to Lucy Gilmour, an editor at Harlequin Medical Romance. The pitch took place on Tuesday of this week, and despite more nerves than I thought I'd have (which led to stiff, clammy fingers), it went great. Ms. Gilmour requested a copy of my synopsis and first three chapters, which I happily e-mailed out yesterday.

Also yesterday, I got beautiful, new furniture for my family room, which makes me happy every time I look at it. So all-in-all, not a bad week!

To all my writing friends, who like me didn't final in the Golden Heart, how did you deal with this minor setback? (For me it was a chocolate frosted donut from Dunkin Donuts and Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner!) To everyone else, what's your favorite method of dealing with disappointment?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Google Search

How many times have you Googled yourself? Come on, be honest. On one hand, I find it interesting how many women have the same name as me and how well they've done for themselves. On the other hand, why am I not coming up? Granted I haven't been published (yet), but I have this great blog. That should count for something.

Last week I learned two very important things about Google searches I'd like to share.

1) When you use quotation marks around your search criteria you get a more defined search. For instance, if I Google Wendy Marcus I may come up with Wendy Smith and Marcus Reid. If I Google "Wendy Marcus" I come up with Wendy Marcus's...dozens of them.

2) Generally, you have to submit your site to the search engines. Here are some links:
For Google:
For Yahoo:
For Bing:

I added my link to all three of the above sites and now when I Google "Wendy Marcus" there I am, Must Have Romance, right smack in the center of the first page.

Did you know this already? If not, did you try it? Can you now find yourself in a Google search? If not, what interesting things come up when you Google your name?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Harlequin Medical Romance

I woke up to great news in the form of an e-mail from the pitch coordinator at Harlequin/Silhouette. A few weeks ago I submitted a two paragraph blurb on one of my completed manuscripts, and I've been chosen to do a pitch to an editor from Harlequin Medical Romance. The pitch takes place on Tuesday, March 23rd. I'll let you know how it least from my perspective.

For anyone with a completed manuscript geared toward Silhouette Special Edition, they have a pitch coming up in April. For more info. go to In the middle of the page, under Talk, click on forums, then arrow down and click on The Write Stuff. Good luck.

On Thursday, 3/25/10, the Golden Heart finalists will be announced. Good luck to me to all who entered.

Next week has the potential to be wonderful, or a total bust.

Do you have any exciting things coming up? If so, please share them so we can cross our fingers (if necessary) for you, too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I've never been good at waiting. I'm prone to fidgeting, pacing, and under certain circumstances, complaining. So, aside from the voices in my head needing an outlet, why in the world did I turn my focus from working in the medical field to working as a writer? I'm beginning to wonder the same thing! For months I've been waiting to hear from an agent and an editor on a partial manuscript I submitted back in November. I'm waiting to hear if I've been chosen for a pitch to Harlequin Medical Romance. I'm waiting for the results of the Golden Heart and other contests I've entered in the hopes of catching the eye of the agents/editors who are final judges. Everyday I check my e-mail dozens of times and stalk the mailman.

A writer friend of mine is still following up on a manuscript she submitted back in 2008. (And that is not a typo....2008!) I've read blogs where writers have received rejection letters 3-5 YEARS after submitting a manuscript.

What I'd like to know from all you writers out there is how do you deal with the waiting? Do you work on another manuscript so you'll have two to sell when you get "the call"? (FYI, this is what the experts say you should do.) Or are you like me....a compulsive e-mail and snail mail checker? Is there a cure for this? Any suggestions? HELP!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting Ready for Spring

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am SO ready for spring. I've cleaned out my family room in preparation for new furniture. (Now all I have to do is find something I like.) I've planned my spring projects...landscaping, powerwash siding, re-paint the deck. But most important of all, I've lost four pounds, and I've changed the background of my blog. 

What do you think of my new look? And what are you doing to get ready for spring?

I will be away for a few days, taking my oldest daughter to look at a college outside of Pittsburgh, and may or may not have access to the Internet. I'll respond to your comments when I return. Until then, may your days be productive and your nights filled with whatever makes you happy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Audrey and the Maverick

I just finished reading Audrey and the Maverick written by Elaine Levine. As far as I can tell, this is her second book, and and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're into historical romance, I think you will too. 

My first love is contemporary romance. I have to be in the right mood to read a historical story. In my opinion, they tend to be a bit wordy and heavy on descriptions, which usually slows the pace. Not so with Audrey and the Maverick. I have to admit, I did scan over a few sections, but that was so I could get to the action. This book kept me up until two in the morning, and that's saying something since my alarm is set for 6:45.

So what's your experience with historical romance? Do you write it? Read it? Do you have a preference ie. western, regency? Will you give Audrey and the Maverick a try? I hope you do.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grammar References

I haven't heard back from Michelle at 3 Seas Literary Agency, but decided to go ahead and update my blog anyway.

In a writing group I've joined, we've been sharing our favorite grammar references. I thought you all might like to know what they are. So here goes:

Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliot, Ph.D (This is what I use. Great examples.)
Prentiss Hall Reference Guide
The Writer's Guide and Index to English by Porter Perrin

Internet: (The Purdue University online writing lab.)

Please note, if the above links don't work, copy them into your search box and you will find the sites.

Happy writing!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Brenda Novak's Online Auction

For those of you who aren't familiar with Brenda Novak's online auction, I encourage you to visit (And click on auction.) For the past six years, Brenda has run an online auction to benefit Diabetes. Items for sale vary from editor/agent/author critiques, to books, to Coach purses, to weekend getaways in your favorite author's lake house. (If you have the bucks!) And it is not only for romance writers/readers. The auction has mass appeal. While bidding doesn't start until May 1st, you can look through the hundreds of items that will be offered.

I bring this up now, because last year I bid and won on a query critique (query letter, synopsis, and first three chapters) by an agent and an editor. Due to  numerous issues (including the untimely passing of Kate Duffy), issues which Brenda worked on personally to make sure I was satisfied with my purchases, Michelle Grajkowski from Three Seas Literary Agency will be reviewing my revised first three chapters of Love, Hospital Style.  I was so happy to hear from her, and even happier that she took time to inquire about whether I'd revised the chapters since I'd submitted them, back in November. She agreed to read the new pages I forwarded her, over the weekend. (So please send positive energey and good luck my way!!) Best case scenario: She asks to see the full. Worst Case Scenario: I get some excellent feedback to make the pages even better to attract the attention of an editor. Either way it's a win/win.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Introduce Yourselves!

Over the past few weeks, activity at my blog has really picked up. I can tell by the increase in the number of people who have viewed my profile. I appreciate each and everyone of you, and I thank you for taking the time to visit. But I'd like to know who you are and how you found me. Are you a writer, a reader, or a friend I badgered into visiting? Please leave a comment and introduce yourselves. And be sure to join as a follower so you can find me again. 

And to my regulars, thanks for your ongoing support. Please check back frequently and help me welcome any newcomers who'd like to join our little group.