Saturday, February 28, 2009

RBTB Winners, Feb 13 -- Feb 27, 2009 (Brockmann - Anders)

BIG NEWS: Lisa Jackson GuestBlogs Wed., March 4 on why she calls similarities between jailed, self-proclaimed vampire John "The Impaler" Starkey and her bestselling '08 novel "Lost Souls" 'shocking, but unrelated." Do. Not. Miss. It!

Congratulazione! If your name's here, write me at mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com w/in the next 3 days and I'll make sure your prize begins to make it's way
your way! Lots more contests soon with more chances for you to win!

Suz Brockmann: “Dark of Night” courtesy of RandomHouse
RubyD; Orannia; Mec; Blackroze37yahoo.com

Me, My Valentine!: 6-Packs of New Romances
Maureen; Marie; dBrown

Books for RWAussie Bushfire Book Appeal
I’ll be sending an “M-Bag” of books in honor of all the Bellas, especially those of you who visited w/Anna Campbell, and who’ve shown such support of our Aussie “tribe” members, as Alison Stuart called us, and because the way you’ve reached out is so moving.

Lords of Desire: Copies of “Lords of Desire” courtesy the Ladies of Desire, Virginia Henley, Kristi Astor/Kristina Cook, Sally MacKenzie and Victoria Dahl!
Jill James; Barbara; AmyC

Kate Pearce: Copy of “Riding the Line” courtesy of Kate
AmyS

Emily Bryan: Copy of “Vexing the Viscount” courtesy of Emily
Pat Cochran

Karen Anders: Copy of "Up Close and Dangerously Sexy"
Manda
***
GuestBlogs to Be: March 2: CAROLINE LINDEN; 4: LISA JACKSON; 11: MEGAN HART: 31: JENNA PETERSEN; 4.15: "MIDNIGHT CRAVINGS" authors. TBA: CAROLYN JEWEL; TAWNY WEBER; MIRANDA NEVILLE...
***
AUTHORS (Bellas, are there goods/services/gift certs you/your company might donate?): Donate an item for the high-visibility "RBTB & Friends" page in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes! Write Michelle @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com to donate!
PLEASE STEP UP TO THE PLATE! Donate: Lunch/dinner w/you in your hometown area or @ RWA/RT etc,; name of character in novel; personalized books; guest blog on your site; crafts/services made/offered by you/your friends; gift cards...
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Karen Anders GuestBlog: T. G. I. SpyDay

CONTEST TODAY!!! One LCB wins a copy of "Up Close and Dangerously Sexy" courtesy of Karen!

From Michelle: Please welcome back to RBTB Karen Anders! We met three years ago when I first presented for the fab chicks of the Washington Romance Writers' Annual Retreat, and there Karen and I discussed our mutual respect for the oft-maligned keystone of romance (Good for romance news: H'quin profits up in '08, dont'cha know, and thanks to you, readers!) category/series novels. Please offer Karen your hardiest "TGISpyDay" Bella buongiorno...

From Karen:
James Bond. Michael Weston. Jack Ryan. Ethan Hunt. What is it about these spies that make them sexy?

Guts! Spying is not for the faint of heart. Spies find themselves in unpredictable and dangerous situations with only their raw skills and wits to keep them out of harms way.

Intelligence! Spies have to be smart. Some know numerous languages, skills and maneuvers. Got to fly a helicopter to save the world. Need to defuse a bomb? Infiltrate an enemy camp? A spy knows how to do all these things and his mind is his greatest asset.

Creativity! Spies find themselves facing all kinds of problems and most of the time have to figure out solutions on the fly. Using their creativity to solve a problem makes them versatile in the field and keeps them alive.

Fierceness! They’re fierce in the way these men interact with their women—protect them, treat them, and love them. Everything is on the edge and it’s sexy. Sigh.

Hot! These men are tall, well-built, with a cocky smile and the goods to back it up. He has a concealed weapon and he knows how to use it. Another sigh.

Does Drew Miller, my hero in "Up Close and Dangerously Sexy," have all these attributes? He sure does. He has to take a raw recruit and mold her into an undercover operative in two short weeks. He puts his life in her hands and trusts that the lessons he teaches her will keep both of them alive. But the teacher didn’t expect to be taught that letting go of that formidable control could lead to his salvation.

What makes a spy sexy? a lager-than-life personality, nerves of steel and a tender heart for the woman he loves.

Who's your favorite sexy spy? Come on you smart and sassy Bellas. Dish. I will give away to one lucky Bella an autographed copy of "Up Close and Dangerously Sexy."

I’d like to thank the Bellas and Michelle for having me at RBTB! It’s always a blast!
***
Are you an RBTB prize winner? Click here to find out!
***
GuestBlogs to Be: March 2: Caroline Linden; 11: Megan Hart: 31: Jenna Petersen; 4.15: "Midnight Cravings" authors. TBA: Lisa Jackson; Carolyn Jewel
***
AUTHORS: Donate an item for the high-visibility "RBTB & Friends" page in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes! Write Michelle @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com to donate!
PLEASE STEP UP TO THE PLATE! Donate: Lunch/dinner w/you in your hometown area or @ RWA/RT etc,; name of character in novel; personalized books; guest blog on your site; crafts/services made/offered by you/your friends; gift cards...
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eat It Up, Yum

So, the emails I love usually start in earnest with something like this and are responsible for hipping me to more great new books than any publicists or agents:

Ms. Buonfiglio: My friend, Remarkable Author Whom You’ve Featured (RAWYF), mentioned I should send you a copy of my upcoming release, and that you might kindly receive it. It’s my first, and if you could find some time to take a look at it, that’d be really nice of you.

RAWYF, generally is a RA. It's one of the funnest parts of what I do, getting to write about great new authors. So, when Miranda Neville* wrote and sent me a copy of her, em, delicious, new romance, "Never Resist Temptation," I gave it a gander.

Now, once I read an online -- well, let's call her a 'reviewer,' since that's what she called
herself -- reviewer state that she automatically graded down to a "B," any romances that took place aboard ship. It's good to develop some kind of ethics and stick to 'em, I always say. But the reason this chick comes to mind is because I'm not without prejudice when I read. For instance, nothing makes my ocular cavities hemorrhage faster than romance back copy or promo that alludes to cookin' heroines, bakin' heroines, heroines who are "as good in the kitchen as they are in the boudoir," or promises, Gawd forbid, recipes I can try at home.

Why? Because I suck in the kitchen, and feel damned inadequate because of it. Some women resent 'perfectly beautiful" heroines? I feel I can't measure up to the one who tempts a man with her mouthwatering morsels. But I'm adult enough -- and know enough places from which to buy good prepared gourmet -- that I can overlook an author's misguided perception that there are more ways to a hero's heart than through his need for rollicking virgin deflowerment.

Because I'm generous like that, you can understand why I adored "Never Resist Temptation," and hope you'll check it out, too. It's got that fab romance convention, the 'heroine who's virtue is wagered in a card game by her unseemly, scheming uncle," followed by the much-loved-by-this-columnist "tied-in-knots hero who wins a winsome virgin in a card game and plans to use her to wreck revenge but finds himself thwarted at every turn of the author's dab hand at disguising emotions, tempting lovers with forbidden, sometimes crossed-dressed delights and using characters' deepest desires to move them toward giving up dreams and grasping at desires that may lead them toward untold sensual fulfillment."

And it's got some damned fine scenes involving food, the creating of, and how enjoying it can act as a metaphor for, as they say, "eating life."

So, Buy the Book. Then click here to dine on this: the list of randomly selected winners for past RBTB contests.

How do you feel about romances with characters who are chefs, etc., and that have food themes? What are some of your favorites? What are some of your fave movies with the same themes? And, who're your fave celebrity chefs?

*Visit Miranda today at RomanceVagabonds.com
(and say hi to Bella Manda & Pals)
***
Congratulazione to our very own Bella Marilyn (aka Playground Monitor) who yesterday typed “The End” of her first full-length novel! We cannot wait to read the published version, Play!
***
GuestBlogs to Be: Friday 27: Karen Anders; March 2: Caroline Linden; 11: Megan Hart: 31: Jenna Petersen; 4.15: "Midnight Cravings" authors.
***
AUTHORS: Donate an item for the high-visibility "RBTB & Friends" page in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes! Write Michelle @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com to donate! PLEASE STEP UP TO THE PLATE! Suggestions: Lunch or dinner w/you in your hometown area or at RWA/RT, etc.; character in your novel named after winning bidder; personalized books; guest blog on your site; crafts/services made/offered by you; book gift cards...
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Emily Bryan GuestBlog: Eye Of The Beholder

CONTEST TODAY: One lucky commenting Bella wins an autographed copy of “Vexing the Viscount” courtesy of Emily!

From Michelle: Emily Bryan’s dreamy new hero isn’t only vexed because we damn Americans keep thrusting that supposed-to-be-silent ‘s’ in the middle of his title. So sue us! No, our man of science/logic, Lucien, is hot/bothered over a feisty miss-who-knows-her-way-around-a-archeology-dig, but who’s learned a court(esan)ly trick/two to interest clueless Lucien, whom she’s crushed on since girlhood. Looks like there’s more than one way to vex a peer… and deliver a delightfully engaging secondary love story w/in a super-entertaining new novel. Please welcome Emily “Her Diana Groe Viking Books Shouldn’t Be Missed” Bryan w/ your warmest Bella buongiorno…

From Emily: Buon giorno, Bellas! When Michelle invited me to join you today, your name (bella means beautiful, after all) got me thinking about how ideals of beauty change.

Marilyn Monroe was a buxom size 14 when she played in “Some Like it Hot.” Then Twiggy burst onto the scene and anorexia became the “gotta-have” fashion syndrome. The pendulum will probably swing back someday (perhaps in my daughters’ lifetimes!)

But women didn’t draw the short end of the extreme fashion straw. Men have been under pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations, as well. And no era was tougher on them than the time my “Vexing the Viscount” is set in—Georgian (Early 1700s up till the Regency Period).

Today, we like our men broad-shouldered and slim-hipped. If a Georgian gentleman wanted to impress the ladies, he had to have well-developed calf muscles. Even the exaggerated sweeping bow of the day was designed to display a man’s lower leg. Poor spindle-shanked fellows had to resort to carved wooden “falsies” in their stockings in order to “make a beautiful leg.”

Now we subscribe to a “bigger is better” philosophy of male beauty, but in the 1700’s, a man was considered exceptionally fine if he had very small hands and feet. Can’t you just hear the Georgian girl talk?

“I say! Did you notice how small Ichabod’s feet are?”

“How could I miss them? You know what they say about men with small feet!” (insert tittering laughter here!)

Over the years, fashion has dictated that men wear high heels (ever see a painting of Louis XIV?), wigs, cosmetics, beauty spots, mutton-chop sideburns, shaved heads, and pony tails. It has favored square chins, cleft chins and double chins! Even the Vikings had one very silly season when all the tough guys were sporting lace caps. In short, fashion makes fools of us all.

Anyway, even though “Vexing the Viscount” is set in 1731, you’ll be happy to know that idealized male beauty-wise, my hero Lucian would be more at home in our century. Manual labor has toned him. He needs no falsies in his stockings. And his feet are ENORMOUS!

So what fashion or beauty ideal has rubbed you raw or made you giggle? (I personally have a pic of my DH in orange plaid pants that is blackmail-worthy!)
***
GuestBlogs to Be: Friday 27: Karen Anders; March 2: Caroline Linden; 11: Megan Hart: 31: Jenna Petersen; 4.15: "Midnight Cravings" authors.
***
AUTHORS: Donate an item for the high-visibility RBTB Page in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes! Write Michelle @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com to donate! Suggestions: Lunch/cocktails w/you at RT/RWA; character in your novel named after winning bidder; personalized books; guest blog on your site; crafts/services made/offered by you; book gift cards...
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!

Monday, February 23, 2009

As A Dawg

What is: How sick is Michelle, Alex?

Really, I'd love to write you an entertaining post about a couple excellent books and an e-book I've read -- plus give you that winners' roundup I promised -- but I'm down for the count. I should be up-to-speed tomorrow and, hopefully, not be using as many similes and euphemisms for state of health.

In the meantime, check out www.TessaDare.com and think "possible best debut or historical of the year..." and www.MaryWine.com and think "Kathleen E. Woodiwiss for the 21st Century..."
***
GuestBlogs to Be: Wed 25: Emily Bryan; Friday 27: Karen Alarie; March 2: Caroline Linden
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kate Pearce GuestBlog: Ooh, Ooh! I've Got A Crush On You!

CONTEST TODAY!!! One LCB wins a copy of Kate’s hot new read, “Riding the Line,” courtesy of Kate.

From Michelle: Unfortunately, there’s none of Bella Kate Pearce's signature boy-on-boy in her hot new erom, “Riding the Line.” What RTL does have is an All-American hero-with-a-twist, a strong, sexually confident heroine whose heroes have never (before) been cowboys, and a smokin' on-the-way-to-love story you just shouldn't miss. Please offer Kate your best "Boy, Howdy, cowboy!" Bella buongiorno...

From Kate: I started young. I was five. My first T.V. crush was a bearded Australian Artist/Entertainer who played the didgeridoo, called Rolf Harris. He bore a remarkable resemblance to my dad, (as to did most of my girlhood crushes), but I think that’s pretty normal for a girl.

Rolf was followed in quick succession by Shaggy from Scooby Doo, Spock, Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and “The Virginian.” Lacking the Internet, (yes I am that old), I bought all the magazines I could find and stuck hundreds of pictures of my favorites in scrap books decorated with hearts and flowers and our combined initials. Yes, I was going to marry them all if I could!

And then I discovered books, and my T.V. crushes vied for attention with my imaginary heroes, Mr. Rochester, from “Jane Eyre,” Mr. Darcy, from “Pride and Prejudice,” all the rakish Regency heroes Georgette Heyer could write. I devoured them all and realized that they became more absolutely mine through the filter of my imagination.

So it’s not surprising that I write about cowboys and Regency Rakes is it? Staring at all those pictures, reading all those books gave me a huge database to choose from when I wanted to write my own version of romance. And I write both kinds -- the nice honorable straight-forward cowboys from the T.V. shows -- and the slightly twisted dangerous Regency men who are all my own.

So tell me, and we can be honest, here, no one will ever know. Who were your secret crushes both real and imaginary?
***
Tomorrow: RBTB Winner Round-up; Wed 25: Emily Bryan; Friday 27: Karen Alarie
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cowboy Up




Tomorrow, Feb 20, Bella Kate Pearce (of Wild-Western-hot erom "Ride the LIne" fame) GuestBlogs w/ one my fave topics of all time. No. Not
that one. My other fave topic. No. My other other fave topic. You Bellas are just too cheeky by half.


This week's RBTB Winner Roundup: Saturday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Lords of Desire" GuestBlog: Swept Away

CONTEST TODAY!!! 3 LCBs each win a copy of “Lords of Desire” courtesy today’s GuestBloggers! -- And please pop back/forth w/me today as I guest blog at RidingWithTheTopDown w/ "24 Things I Promise Not to Tell You About Myself" Contest there, too!

From Michelle: When I found out Bella Kristina Cook aka Krisi Astor has a naughty side, I immediately thought, “MUST know more!” So I asked her to gather her co-authors from their new erotic romance anthology, “Lords of Desire” to visit with us and tell more about the best parts of any romance – the guys who make the fantasy all worthwhile. Please welcome the “Ladies of Desire” -- led by romance royalty, crown princess Virginia Henley – with your warmest, “Oh, yes! Sweep me away!” Bella buongiorno…

From the Ladies of Desire: Virginia Henley—“Smuggler’s Lair
A calendar of magnificent ancient castles inspired my story. Bodiham Castle's deep moat, turreted towers, and portcullis, built on the River Rother ignited my imagination.
The Sussex coast was a hotbed for smugglers. In Georgian times Lord Hawkhurst occupied Bodiham and anchored his brigantine in the river. He was the mastermind of a smuggling gang and Bodiham Castle was his perfect lair. I realized what a titillating adventure it would be for a Victorian girl to be swept back to the bawdy Georgian era to go a-roving with Hawkhurst, and fall in love with the pirate adventurer.

Sally MacKenzie
—“The Naked Laird
When I write, I usually have a general idea of the hero and heroine’s story, but the details, including the other characters, reveal themselves as I go along. I was writing “The Naked Baron” (May 2009) when Lord and Lady Kilgorn stormed into a scene. They intrigued me, but I had no space to tell their story. Serendipitously, the phone rang--it was my agent with a novella offer! I knew immediately whose story I would tell. And since “The Naked Laird” happens during “The Naked Baron,” I had the fun challenge of keeping the two stories consistent.

Victoria Dah
l—“Lessons in Pleasure
Before I wrote “Lessons in Pleasure,” the story had been on my mind for a long time. I usually write very sexual heroines, but I’ve often wondered what it would’ve been like for a truly innocent Victorian woman to marry. If she’d been protected from even the sight of a man’s bare arms, as some women were, how could she be expected to lie down with her husband on her wedding night and be intimate? At best, it must have been shocking. At worst, it would’ve been terrifying and traumatic. I decided to put my heroine in this situation—with a true hero, of course—and find out if love could turn an imperfect start into a beautiful happy ending.

Kristi Astor
—“Swept Away
My Edwardian-set “Swept Away” was inspired by the BBC production of "North & South" (with the yummy Richard Armitage). I used a similar set-up—a well-bred heroine from the genteel south of England paired with a common-born hero from the industrial north. I think the similarities mostly end there, plot-wise, though the themes are similar.

The only problem with writing stories set during the Edwardian era is that, as a writer, I’m painfully aware of the Great War looming off on the horizon. So, just to satisfy my own happily-ever-after instincts, I gave my hero, John Leyden, a slight limp—nothing major, but hopefully enough to keep him from service!

So…if you could be swept away into the past—let’s say, just for a week, and with the guarantee of safety and good health, of course!—what era would you want to visit, and why?
***
Friday: Bella Kate Pearce GuestBlogs to celebrate the drop of her new "Ride the Line" w/ a contest, too!
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Anna Campbell and RWAustralia, GuestBlog: Books After The Bushfires

CONTEST TODAY!!! Michelle will donate a box of books to RWAus Bushfire Book Appeal in the name of one lucky commenting Bella!

From Michelle:
Please welcome Bella Anna Campbell and friends to fill us in on Romance Writer's of Australia's effort to help folks affected by devastating bushfires that swept So. Australia earlier this month. If you're headed to the Aus. Romance Readers Convention next weekend, RWAus has a silent auction going to raise funds. Today, Anna's here to share how
you might consider helping...


From Anna: And a huge hi and massive hug to Michelle who invited me to talk about something that isn’t our usual light-hearted good time.

As you know, Victoria, Australia has been ravaged by the worst natural disaster in Australia’s recorded history, horrific bushfires that have obliterated communities, devastated miles of bushland and left more than 189 people dead. Even in my small universe, I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity, compassion and kindness from people all over the world in response to this crisis.

Romance Writers of Australia is running an appeal for new or pristine-condition fiction for the victims. I’ll turn you over to the President of RWAus, Kelly Hunter to explain:

The appeal came about in response to so many readers and authors on the various loops wondering what they could do to help people affected by the fires. Send money, was most people's first thought, and they did :-D . To the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009.

Then we noticed how people on loops turned to comfort reads for solace as bad news just kept coming. We know romance novels offer a feel-good escape from reality. We figured delivering books to people in these devastated communities couldn't hurt and might well help keep despair at bay, even if only temporarily. Already, donations are rolling in and we're gearing up to roll them out to community centres and relief centres in affected areas.

One of your favorite authors Anne Gracie said this:

To add to what Kelly said, the bushfire victims have lost everything. Necessities will be on their list for a long time to come as people struggle to rebuild their lives, so most won't have money to spare on books. But we, as readers and writers, know that books -- especially feel-good books with happy endings-- can bring comfort and time out from problems. We’re a community of readers and writers so we thought that as well as money, giving books was something special and personal we could do for these people whose lives have been devastated.

The address for book donations is: RWA Bushfire Appeal, 89 Rennie Street, Thornbury Vic 3071, Australia.

Apart from the Red Cross, I’d like to mention two worthy causes because so many people have expressed horror at what these fires have done to the other creatures who share this planet: RSPCA Victoria’s appeal for affected domestic animals, livestock and wildlife (Like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Wildlife Victoria’s appeal .

Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to learn a bit about our project. We appreciate any and all help you’re able to give, especially the thoughtfulness and concern you continue to show us and our fellow Australians.

What questions can we answer for you about the RWAus Bushfire Appeal?
***
Tomorrow: Their visit’s taken a step back from the limelight, and they’re more than happy to do so. But tomorrow, 2.18, you’ll not want to miss, Virginia Henley, Sally MacKenzie, Kristi Astor and Victoria Dahl as they GuestBlog to celebrate the release of their erotic romance anthology, “Lords of Desire!” Note: Michelle'll be guest blogging 2.18 with our pals at Riding With the Top Down, popping back/forth between.
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

Koala Kare: Help Anna Campbell Help Australia


From The Associate Press/npr: Extremely hot, dry and windy conditions [Feb. 8] fanned dozens of fires into raging infernos that reduced entire towns to ashes. The confirmed death toll is 181 but is expected to exceed 200. More than 1,800 homes were destroyed and 7,500 people displaced. ©Associated Press

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 17, Bella Anna Campbell GuestBlogs to tell us how Romance Writers of Australia's Bushfires Book Appeal -- spearheaded by authors Anne Gracie and Rom Writers' of Australia prez Kelly Hunter -- is reaching out to YOU, and to the international online romance community.

Take a moment to view some of the video of not only havoc wrecked in the blink of an eye, but valiant effort of Australians to save human- and wildlife as well as land. You'll understand why Anne Gracie says, "We know that for many affected families, books will not be high on their list of necessities for some time to come. But we also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough."

So RWAustralia's come up with the RWAustralia Bushfire Book Appeal. They need/kindly request your new -- or -- in-pristine-condition used fiction books -- children's, romance, mystery, thriller, genre fiction, whatever! Please pack 'n send 'em to: RWA Bushfire Book Appeal: c/o 89 Rennie St; Thornbury Vic 3071. When folks DU have time to take a breather, they may enjoy having a little escapist read time thanks to RWAustralia and you, before heading back in with sleeves rolled up.

Anna'll be here tomorrow with more info, plus news on how thing's are faring Down Under with our resilient Aussie friends...

What message would you like to send Anna, our RWAustralia mates and folks Down Under who're shoring things up and moving forward?
***

Friday, February 13, 2009

Me, My Valentine! -- Or -- Do-It-Yourself Love Day

RBTB favorite Anna Campbell visits tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb 17 with news of Romance Writers of Australia's Bushfire Fundraising Appeal. Find out how you can help...

Sure enough, one of our fave forms o' love scene here at RBTB is the most efficient, the "table for one," if you will. It involves some hot guy, so desperate for the object of his desire that he can't wait for the relief she's sure to offer a couple chaps down the line.

No, our big-in-all-ways hero's gonna drag off to the -- oh, please God -- steaming shower and that boy's gonnna take his throbbing, straining, growing-impossibly-larger-by-the-second-with-unrequited-lust-for-his-virgin-heroine manly self in hand and give us our money shot's worth.


And while I suggest that same scenario's ever so healthy in real life for each and every one of us, when I encourage you to Do-It-Yourself this Valentine's Day, I've got a little different tableau in mind for today's most wonderful, yet somewhat cheesy-bordering-on-bitterness-inducing Me, My Valentine celebration.

It's fun. It's easy. You could win prizes! 3 LCBs each win a 6-pack of new romances!

First: Choose your "In-the-Pink Valentine Guy."
Next: In the comment section, tell him how you'd like him (or them, since there's a selection for your sammich pleasure) to serve/ice you this Love Day
Finally: In that same comment, tell your "In the Pink" guy why you're the Valentine of his dreams. Sing your praises! Write your Valentine to yourself!

Because nobody -- and I mean nobody, not your lovah, your husband, your partner -- nobody knows the beauty of you like you do. And, well, because not everybody could win a prize in the "Ain't It (A) Grand!" contest, I want to give you another couple chances to score.

These folks did score! Congratulazione to the randomly chosen Winners in the Big Contest...



Grand Prize
($500 Borders card):
Farrah Rochon
1st Prize ($250 Borders card): Audrey Kaake
2nd Prize ($250 Borders card): Cheryl Wyatt

Romance 6-pack winners, weeks 6 & 7 : Jackie Wilson; Pat Threet

Grazie mille -- thanks bunches -- for joining the NEW RBTB newsletter. REMEMBER: You're still registered for February's contest for a chance to win a $25 Borders card.

New contests
every month -- and more important (or I try to delude myself), I've got lots of hot, hopefully bordering-on-the-cusp-of-over-the-top-sexy romance fun for you to be part of every day at RBTB. Well, almost every day.

So...Get set to BE YOUR VALENTINE! Choose your guy and tell us why you're the Love Day stuff!
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Encore! Please check out a scene from (and hopefully vote for) my RWA chap mates Tamara Hughes or Barb Longley in the American Title V contest finals beginning Monday! It's like American Idol for romance writers! Our friend, Bella Janice Lynn was the first AT winner with her fun, sexy 'n timely, "Jane Millionaire."
Encore due! And the winner is...click to find out if your dream dweeb won the 'Get with the Programmer" pageant at DailyCandy.com.
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Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
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Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

Suz Brockmann GuestBlog: When Push Comes To Shove

CONTEST TODAY: Several LCBs each win copies of "Dark of Night!" Number TBA/

From Michelle:
When we first met Suz Brockmann @ RBTB, we helped her spread the word about a Navy SEAL's need for a bone marrow transplant. You jumped on-board 'cause that's just
you. Plus, it's hard not to be swept up in Suz's enthusiasm -- or in her talent for writing books that leave in their wake 90% of even the finest romances. Her newest, "Dark of Night" is no exception, with a finally-requited love story that left me breathless and cheering. Please welcome b
ack Bella Suz with your warmest "See, that's what we're talkin' 'bout!" Bella buongiorno...

From Suz: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

And, yeah, okay, unlike Blanche Dubois, my dependency isn't physical – it's emotional.

See, like you Bellas do, I believe that most people are good, and that when push comes to shove, they'll treat others kindly and respectfully. Even when hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

About a million years ago, back before my books hit the New York Times bestseller list, I established an internet message board as a place for readers who enjoy my books to gather.

But it soon became more than a place to socialize – it became a place in which members actively practiced the art of kindness.

It started in earnest when a friend of mine, a sailor named Rob, found out that his tour aboard the U.S.S. Radford had been extended. Instead of coming home for the holidays, he and his shipmates weren't returning to the States and their loved ones until well into the new year.

This was a bummer, Rob told me, because many young sailors never received packages from home. Their families had struggles of their own, and just never got it into gear to send anything. When the members of my board found out about this, a plan was quickly formed wherein Rob would be our Radford contact. We'd send packages – cookies, snacks, books, and other small gifts – to him, and he would distribute them among the crew.

Rob's APO address was posted on my board – and within a week, the packages started arriving. And arriving. And arriving.

Rob kept a running tally of the number of packages and the amount of postage spent to send them (well over $1,000)! And he kept us updated as to amount of joy they brought (priceless!). No doubt about it, the members of my board took the phrase "support our troops" very seriously.

Throughout the years, the regular posters on my board have taken on many similar projects, both big and small:

• Christmas ornaments were sent to the mother of a retired SEAL who'd lost a lifetime of decorations in a hurricane.
• * $4,000 was raised to support the UDT/SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
• Cards of appreciation went out in the dozens to a Vietnam vet who now worked at the post office – a man who got misty-eyed when a board member sent package after package to Iraq, to servicemen and women whose names she didn't even know. He wished, he'd told her, that he'd had that kind of support when he was overseas.
• Bone marrow donor registration drives were organized across the country in response to the news that a SEAL needed a bone marrow match. Bonus: a member's husband was a one in 25,000 match for a desperately ill 12-year-old boy – something that would never have happened without the combined efforts of the entire group. (Lives literally saved by my board: two, and counting...) (Find out more about registering as a bone marrow donor at www.marrow.org )

My internet board is moderated now by a small group of brave and generous volunteers – a change that happened just this past year. But for years it was self-moderated – which, in hindsight, was pretty miraculous in and of itself.

I have always depended – and will continue to depend -- on the kindness of strangers.

Because there's nothing like witnessing honest goodness and genuine, unconditional caring for others to completely drown out all of the unpleasant noise and cacophony that comes with living in this high-speed, easy-access, internet-connected world.

Question: What acts of kindness, random or otherwise, have you participated in (or been the recipient of!) by belonging to RBTB or other internet blogs or boards?

I'll check in first thing today (ETZ), then be back dinner time and again after. -- Suz
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Tomorrow: ME, MY VALENTINE! Show yourself the love -- and find out who's won the "Aint It (A) Grand!" contest!" Ain't gots no Love Day lovah? Don't think the one you got gonna' get it right? Hang here at RBTB and sing praises to the wonder that is you...for prizes!
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Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chow, Bellas! Feast On This

I very nearly missed it in my inbox. You know how it is, a girl gets so many emails from hot romance novel cover guys they all start to look like spam. But this one stood out because the name looked familiar, like a guy formerly known around here as him, a man now known as one of My Blog Boyfriends.

Some might even call him Nathan Kamp.

So, Nathan gets in touch to tell me he wonders whether the Bellas and other romance fans I know might wanna' dig on this new gig he's got goin', "Live to Eat," a hot 'n slick new reality-style webshow at NathanLivesToEat.com. Watch it here!

What's up with Nathan's "Live to Eat?" Well, as Kamp told us way back in the famous RBTB ExtraView interview series, "Real Life Romance Hero," he’s always loved cooking, food and connecting with people. NathanLivesToEat.com is an extension of those passions. The show's tagline, "Good Friends. Good Food. Real Life." tells the story, too.

”This isn’t just a show about food, but how, as with most food lovers, food and cooking enhance our lives and relationships,” Kamp told me yesterday. “It just seems a natural fit for my wife, Elizabeth, and me to share our real lives and friendships in this show.”

Kamp and his gorgeous-but-so-clearly-nice-you-can't-possibly-hate-her squeeze are sweet and engaging on-camera, and it's fun to share in the bonds they've formed with their best pals who're also featured in "Live to Eat."

“This has been such a labor of love for us,” Kamp said. “I want to share the news with the Bellas, and all the romance readers who’ve been so supportive and followed my career over the years.”

Oh, and Kamp cooks on the show, too. No, I mean really cooks food, cheeky Bellas. In eppie 2, he does Italian like a native, and even gets the accent right. So I've decided to make him an honorary one of my peeps. Whether he wants to be or not.

"Live to Eat" marks a new, but not unexpected direction for Kamp's career that includes runway, print and cover modeling, as well as film and TV credits. And he's hoping those of us who've had so much fun enjoying his work [that's my polite euphamism for the way we've shamelessly, yet with some small modicum of tasteful restraint admired his God-given, um, talents] will support him and Elizabeth in their new gustatory gig.

And nothing would make Kamp happier. ”As the next season of my life begins to take shape," he states, "I’m happy to have the chance to share it with all of you.”

Click here or in the video still-frame above to check out eppies 1 and 2 of Nathan's "Live to Eat" at NathanLivesToEat.com.

Chow, Bellas!


What what you like to see Nathan cook on "Live to Eat?" What would you like to hear Elizabeth and his best pals reveal about him?
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Suzanne Brockmann GuestBlogs Friday the 13th to mix it up
about her new read, "Dark of Night!" It's your lucky day...
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Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.