Friday, September 29, 2006

Must Love Dragons video

Here's the trailer for new book MUST LOVE DRAGONS, which will be on the shelves 10/31/06. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

my new YA cover!

I just got the cover to my new YA that's coming out in February from HarperCollins. What do you think?
Nothing compares to a first kiss...

Naturally, I don’t want to attend the semiformal with a pity date, which is why I told my friends I have a boyfriend: this really cute drummer, Rafe. (I wish!) What’s the big deal? Well, Rafe already has a girlfriend, plus now he thinks I have a boyfriend. So I have TWO imaginary boyfriends, and still NO date for the dance. What was I even thinking?

Would a guy like Rafe EVER date a nobody like me?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Nightmare 101: The Blank Page

Okay, I'm back. I finished my book, and I think it turned out okay (will wonders never cease?). And then my brain completely fell into a puddle of mush and I lost the inability to think, function or even look at the computer for ten days.

But now I am crawling my way back into the breathing, living and somewhat functioning world...which means it's time to start working on my next project.

I was planning to take a month off. Took a week instead. Ah, the life of an addict. I just can't stay away.

So, my proposal for book #4 in my Warner paranormal series (boy, does this series need a name! Any suggestions?) isn't due until 8/15, so I'm going to try to come up with a proposal for a different series in the interim.

Which means a blank page. Not just a blank page, but a blank folder on my computer. Not a single document exists on this new project. Not a name. Not a whisper of a character. Not a location. Not a plot (hah!). All I know is the genre.

Wow. That is so daunting. Moments like this, I wonder how in the world I'm ever going to get from the state of all-consuming blankness to a full story. But somehow, it happens every time, so I can only assume it'll happen this time. (ahem. fingers crossed).

But man, where do I start? I never start in the some place. Some authors have a set procedure they go thru when they start a new book, but I'm always different. Sometimes I start with a location, or a career, or a character, or a conflict... I just have to take random stabs at all of them until something finally takes root. I wish it was easy... well, I guess I don't. If it were easy, I'd be bored and have moved onto a new career by now. There's just something so satisfying about battling my way through impentrable underbrush and emerging into the light, though I have to admit, I'm still trying to teach myself to enjoy the struggle itself.

So here I go. Off to battle. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Graduation Congrats!

Here is a huge shout out and congratulations to my one of my loyal readers, Alyssa Olson from Oregon who is graduating from high school this weekend. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

There is no fast lane

Okay, I'm now up to about page 300 of my WIP and I'm stalled out again. But this time, I'm not panicking. I think the problem is that I'm fully involved with my characters. They are driving the story. The story is driving and they are along for the ride, which means they aren't paying as much attention to their personal goals and issues as they really would be. So... you guessed it. I think I have to go back to the start and rework it. Ugh. I can't bear it. I need to be through this first draft!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Reinforced Nylons (aka Why Support is so great)

Today's my day to post on the Warner Women blog. I posted on Reinforced Nylons (aka Why Support is so Great), so zip on over there and check it out.

Plus, I am happy to report that, although I am now up to my twelfth version of HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME HOT, things now seem to be moving along and I'm almost to page 300, so I'm about to round the corner to the homestretch. I have a feeling there will be lots of editing after this first draft, but I now feel like the foundation is relatively stable and won't crumble at the first stiff breeze.

But man, this has been a tough book. Thanks for everyone's support!

Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm going to cry

I've never ever struggled with a book the way I've struggled with this one. I can't get it right. I just can't. Everything is wrong with it and I cannot figure out what to do to fix it. I'm at such a loss, and it's due in five weeks, so I look at the calender and start to freak out, which of course doesn't help with the "clear mind, clear thoughts" problemsolving mindset I need.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to work one's way out of this kind of situation???

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Warm Fuzzies are the best!

As you all know, I'm struggling through my WIP, trying to get a handle on the story. It's hard. Times like this make you question your competence and I have to fight against the frustration. And then I get an email like the one below that just came in this morning, and suddenly, everything feels all right again, becuase I realize that I CAN do it, even if it feels so hopelessly difficult right now. Thank you to all the readers who take the time to let me know how much they enjoyed my books. You have no idea how much I treasure each and every one of those emails!

And here is today's inspirational email:

"I'm SO excited for the second book in the series! I absolutely LOVED Date me Baby, I bought it after reading the back cover only a day agoand read it non-stop in less then a day. It was PERFECT, exactly whatI've been looking for in a book, funny, smart, interesting, SEXY, and of course magical. Satan's character was hilarious, and everything was just... priceless. Thanks so much for making a book that good. -Brittany"

I'm printing this email out and taping it to my monitor to remind me that I CAN do this.

Warm Fuzzies are the best!

As you all know, I'm struggling through my WIP, trying to get a handle on the story. It's hard. Times like this make you question your competence and I have to fight against the frustration. And then I get an email like the one below that just came in this morning, and suddenly, everything feels all right again, becuase I realize that I CAN do it, even if it feels so hopelessly difficult right now. Thank you to all the readers who take the time to let me know how much they enjoyed my books. You have no idea how much I treasure each and every one of those emails!

And here is today's inspirational email:

"I'm SO excited for the second book in the series! I absolutely LOVED Date me Baby, I bought it after reading the back cover only a day agoand read it non-stop in less then a day. It was PERFECT, exactly whatI've been looking for in a book, funny, smart, interesting, SEXY, and of course magical. Satan's character was hilarious, and everything was just... priceless. Thanks so much for making a book that good. -Brittany"

I'm printing this email out and taping it to my monitor to remind me that I CAN do this.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Why I'm a good mom

This is why I'm a good mom. Because I am working hard to brainwash my daughter before she is old enough to realize the wisdom of not listening to me. I hereby introduce a future Red Sox fan who will have her heart broken by the hometown boys many, many times over her lifetime. See how she's smiling? She's already buying into it. Go Red Sox!

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How many more times do I need to learn this lesson?

OKay, I'm struggling with my WIP. Feeling low. Feeling like I shall never create anything readable again.

So, to procrastinate, I search the web and start reading blogs and websites of authors who are more successful than I am. Um, hello? That is not what my ego needs right now! I don't need to sit there and realize how much better all these other author at my job! I mean, yeah, sometimes that's a good reminder because it keeps me working hard to get better and improve, but right now I need an injection of confidence, not a clock upside the head with a frying pan!

Silly, silly, girl. When will I ever learn?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Anita Blake: Porn or Hot, Sexy Urban Fantasy that Rocks?

Go check out my blog entry over on The Midnight Hour and let me know what you think!

need some vibes...

There's something simmering the Rowe kitchen-o-writing... needing some vibes from ya'll... ohm... ohm... ohm...

keep 'em coming. I'll let you know when I find out if they worked.

ohm... ohm... ohm...

bad hair

Okay, so if you have flat, thin, straight hair that makes you look bald except when you're hanging upside down by your knees, raise your hand!

Stephanie raises her hand.

Okay, those of you with your hands up, keep 'em raised if your hair sucks.

Stephanie raises both hands and puts her left foot in the air too.

See, the only people who look good with straight, flat hair are supermodels, and, let's be frank, how many of us are supermodels? I am on my third haircut place (oh, sorry, stylist) in three months and every day I get up, wash my hair, attack the blow dryer with renewed vigor, determined that TODAY my hair will look good.

And every day, by the end, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, I'm being punished for something. Or maybe my spirit guides are simply trying to tell me to shave it all off already.

But if only supermodels look good with straight, flat hair, then the list is even shorter as to women who look good with their hair shaved off.

I am doomed either way. Sigh.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Sometimes writing a book is like the best orgasm in the world. Just one long high and when it's over, you sit back and let your body quiver with happy exhaustion.

Other times, writing a book is like taking a cement block and slamming it into your head. Repeatedly. All day. All night. While being forced to watch your worst enemy steal the guy of your dreams right before he's about to announce his undying love for you. While your house burns down the day after you realize you forgot to pay your insurance bill. And, on top of it all, it's the day for new ID pictures to be taken at work, and you're having a bad hair day from hell. Literally. And then it starts all over again.

Guess which kind of book I'm writing right now?

That's right. It's a bad-hair-cement-block kind of book.

To give you an idea of how it's going, I'm on my ninth iteration in three weeks. By "iteration" I mean, "Write fifty pages, then delete all of them, spend two days trying to figure out what's wrong, decide I got it, write sixty new pages, then delete all of them, spend two days brainstorming... etc." By the time this 400 page book is done, it's going to actually be about 1000 pages. JK Rowlings has nothing on me. Yeah. Go, Stephanie. Rah. Rah.

But I think it I finally got it right. I'm on page 5. I'll let you know. Oh, and it's due in six weeks. That makes it even more fun.

Monday, March 06, 2006

S. Rowe on hiatus

Okay, you've probably been wondering what the heck is going on with my "no entries" blog. Well, see below for what has happened! Our little darling came home with us on February 19th, and life has been a blissful, crazy blur ever since. I have to start purging my life right now, so I'm going to officially put my blog on inactive status. BUT don't fret! You don't have to be without your weekly dose of Stephanie, because I have joined up with four other paranormal authors to launch a new paranormal blog called The Midnight Hour. So hop on over there for the latest Stephanisms and all the scoop on things that go bump in the night.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Rule Breaking for Wimps

Okay, you have GOT to zip on over to today. It was my day to post and I am dying to hear everyone's responses to it. Go, go, go!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Midnight Hour

I am SOOO excited to announce the official launch of It's a blog for five superstar paranormal romance authors about all things paranormal: Michelle Rowe, Lori Handeland, Kathy Love, Linda Winstead Jones and me. We're going to talk creepy crawlies and things that go bump in the night, have lots of paranormal experts as guest bloggers, as well, as more paranormal authors besides us. There will be no talk about the latest fashion trends, or the rumor of Katie & Tom breaking up (unless it's to debate whether Tom has actually been possessed by aliens who are eating his brain). We're so pumped about it, so zip on over, comment like crazy to let us know who you want to see and what you want hear about, and be prepared to sleep with your lights on at night as we dive deep into the world of the unknown and bizarre.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

S.Rowe on vacation

Sorry I've been MIA this week, but I will be back on Wednesday for sure!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Books on the Run

Here's a little blurb on a book I've been hearing about lately. I haven't read it yet, but if anyone has, I'd love to hear about it! Let me know what you think!

Dream of the Blue Room
Mac/Adam Cage
Paperback release, May 2005

About the author:
Michelle Richmond grew up in Alabama and currently lives in San Francisco, where she publishes the online literary journal Fiction Attic. Her story collection, The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress, won the 2000 Associated Writing Programs Award for Short Fiction, and her novel, Dream of the Blue Room, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She is the recipient of the 2006 Mississippi Review Fiction Prize. Her stories have appeared in Playboy, Glimmer Train, Other Voices, and many other magazines and anthologies. Her new novel, Ocean Beach, will be published next year by Bantam.

About the novel:
On a warm night in July, 32-year-old Jenny finds herself sitting on the deck of a Chinese cruise ship next to a charming but secretive stranger. In Jenny's lap is a tin containing the ashes of her best friend, Amanda Ruth, mysteriously murdered fourteen years earlier in a small Alabama town.
In this foreign landscape, filled with ancient cities that will soon be inundated by the rising waters of the Yangtze River, Jenny must confront her haunted past and decide the direction of her future. As the ship moves slowly upriver, from one abandoned village to another, Jenny journeys deeper into her own guilt and eroticism.
Dream of the Blue Room explores the nature of friendship and the intimacy that exists between young girls as they struggle toward adulthood. Set alternately against the impressive landscape of the Yangtze and in a small river town in Alabama, this stunning novel reflects on the human desire to control and tame what is ultimately untamable.
Praise for Dream of the Blue Room:
"A dreamy, haunting work with a deeply personal feel. Any time a work of fiction raises our sights to higher truths, as this one does, the writer has done her job." Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Some childhood relationships are so fulfilling they shape our lives and leave us wondering why they didn't last longer. Richmond captures, explores, and intertwines these bonds so elegantly, you might even think the relationships are your own." USA Today
"With the slow build-up of a mystery, the exquisite pain of a coming-of-age novel, the masterful images of a travel writer, and a darkness that is true to the Southern Gothic, Dream of a Blue Room is a work of wonderfully chimeric form. " Joanna Pearson, Small Spiral Notebook
"Intelligent, original, complex." The San Francisco Chronicle
"A complex and nimbly fashioned first novel." Kirkus Reviews
"The book is finely crafted and compelling, and its emotions resonate true and clear ." Booklist

Read an excerpt from Dream of the Blue Room in USA Today:

Read the story behind the novel at backstory:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Author Q&A: Julie Kenner

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1 ) Can you give us a blurb about your current release, THE MANOLO MATRIX?

Surely! Aspiring actress Jennifer Crane knows all about games-the games girls play to get a guy; the games actresses play to land a part; and the good old game of credit-card roulette. But she never expected to be playing a game with life-or-death consequences. Now she must set out upon a scavenger hunt across Manhattan in search of the ultimate prize: survival. Before this, Jen's definition of fighting dirty has been elbowing her way to the front of the line at a Manolo sample sale. Now, if she wants to stay alive, she's going to have to learn a few new uses for her stilettos . . . and they ain't pretty.

Click here to read an excerpt

2) Your books have the attitude of chick lit, name brands popping in for cameos, the fun of a good romance, but it’s also chock full of suspense, adventure and the constant threat of dead bodies. How do you balance all these areas? Is there one aspect you focus on, or did it all just come together on its own?

Oh dear! If I analyze it I’m not sure I can do it, LOL! Somehow, it all just comes together. Voice and plot (and action) first. The fashion stuff I tend to layer in. Lots of XX’s that get filled in later after I surf for designer names :)

3) THE MANALO MATRIX is a sequel to THE GIVENCHY CODE. How are they related? Does a new reader to the series need to read them in order to keep track of what’s going on?

It is a sequel, but it was written to stand alone. They’re related in that a couple of the characters cross-appear in the books, and the device that sets the suspense in motion — a deadly game called Play.Survive.Win — is the centerpiece of both books. The final book (THE PRADA PARADOX) will also stand alone. But it will also answer certain questions raised in GIVENCHY and MANOLO (such as who’s behind the whole thing). So while a reader can enjoy each on it’s own, there’s sort of an “added value” by reading the preceding book(s) first, if that makes sense.

4) So, have you ever had to play bodyguard in a matter of life and death, like the heroine in your book? Was it fun? What words of advice do you have for someone who might find themselves in that position unexpectedly?

Oh, absolutely. It seems to happen to me all the time! Gorgeous men that I’m forced to protect in innovative and daring ways. Honestly, it can be such a burden at times! As for advice ... Um, stilettos might be great for shaping your legs, but you’ll move faster in Nikes!

5) How did you research assassins for this book? I can imagine it might be difficult to come up with willing interviewees willing to discuss their careers…

Most of it is my own twisted imagination! I’ve read a few books about assassins from a psychological perspective, and several true crime books. But nothing that I can specifically point to in crafting the characters of Lynx (Givenchy) or Birdie (Manolo).

6) In addition to this series, you have a demon series with lots of paranormal beasties running around. How do these books differ from the MANOLO MATRIX series? Same attitude? Same risk of winding up in a body bag, differing only in the method of demise?

That’s actually an interesting question. My voice and humor is evident in both series, but other than that they’re quite different. The Demon series is very much a mystery series (well, a paranormal mommy-lit mystery series ), whereas the Game series is a suspense/thriller series. And while the voice is similar, the tone is different. The Game series is much more chicklit in that the heroines are more internally focused. In the Demon series, the heroine is very family-centered. It’s much more suburbia. The overarching theme of the demon series is family and the huge job that goes with being a mom, especially a mom who’s returning to the workforce. Mom stuff would seem very out of place in the game series!

7) So, your heroines in this series are all in the know about all the oo-la-la brands. Did you have to buy lots of expensive shoes to do research for these books, or are you one of those folks who has always followed brands? Is this an extension of your own passions, or are your heroines like foreign beings to you?

While I do have a few designer pieces (like some wonderful vintage Givenchy things!), I had to do real research for the labels (and rely on my NYC-saavy editor!). I do loooooooove clothes, but I tend to be bargain-shopper girl. That’s not to say I don’t splurge. My favorite purse is a Prada bag I totally splurged on (well, eBay splurge; not retail price splurge). So, while they’re not really foreign, they’re also not living the life I live.

8) Can you give us a sneak peek at your next book?

Oh, sure! My June release is the sequel to CARPE DEMON, and is called CALIFORNIA DEMON: THE SECRET LIFE OF A DEMON-HUNTING SOCCER MOM. I absolutely love Kate (the heroine) and we learn much more about her, her past, and get much more into her relationship with her husband, Stuart, and Allie, her teenage daughter. And, of course, there’s an overarching mystery stemming from another pesky demon nosing its way into San Diablo. Between domesticity and demons, Kate’s got her hands full once again!

Visit Julie on the web
THE MANOLO MATRIX, Available Now! read an excerpt

Friday, February 17, 2006

Author Q&A: Marliss Melton

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Marliss writes Navy Seal romantic suspense, and her books are a wild ride of romance and thrill! Here's the cover blurb for her current book:

Sara Garret thought the military lawyer she married would be the perfect husband and father. But he has become her worst nightmare. Now one vicious act has driven Sara to take her ten-year-old son and flee. Yet the only thing more frightening than running trusting a stranger to help her.

Chase McCaffrey is a damn good sniper, and an even better SEAL—but he’s no knight in shining armor. His impulse to help Sara is as puzzling as the subtle way she steals into his heart, resurrecting emotions he thought he didn't have. Concealing mother and son at his remote, Oklahoma ranch, Chase dares to hope the past will never find them. Yet there are sinister forces afoot, threatening to expose them. And a calculating husband tracks them down, if only to prove that Sara is his, forever--even in death.

Danger is right behind you.

Click here to read an excerpt

Instead of doing a Q&A where I hound Marliss with my random questions, she wanted to post a response to a question she constantly gets, so here it is!

Question: My life is so busy, how can I make more time to get my writing done?

Answer: Take it from me, I know exactly what it means to be busy. As a mother of five children (four teens and a toddler), I have learned to make the most of my time so that I can write effectively 3-5 hours a day. Here’s what I do. Take what works for you and run with it!

1) Wear earplugs when you sleep. This ensures a good night’s rest and you won’t be exhausted in the morning.
2) Close your e-mail program when you’re writing. If you’re like me, you’ll be distracted by e-mail. Instead of writing on your manuscript, you’ll be making your friends happy, but you won’t be happy with yourself.
3) Shop on weekends. This way the husband or children can help out and you won’t use up all of your writing time.
4) Push naps. Quiet time for everyone. Mother is writing.
5) Do laundry in the evening in the presence of your children. Make them help. Better yet, when they become teenagers, make them do their own laundry (supervised, at first). You will find this tremendously liberating and you won’t get blamed for losing their socks!
6) Hire a housekeeper. If you can’t afford one, break housecleaning chores into chunks, twenty minutes per day. Or…
7) Join on the internet. This website will help you get organized and stay that way. It’ll create a shopping list for you, so that your weekly meals are planned and you have all the ingredients you need to cook that week.
8) Lastly, try writing in your sleep. Okay, I’m kidding—sort of. The conscious mind is most closely attuned to the subconscious mind (where your stories are manufactured) right before you fall asleep. Use this “merging of the minds” to your advantage. When you tuck in for the night, close your eyes and envision the scene that you have just written in your work-in-progress. While doing this, you may realize that you overlooked a dialogue or forgotten a nugget of information that you need to go back and fill in. While still in this semi-conscious state, pan forward and envision what will happen next in your story. If your characterization is on track, your mind will supply the next scene. Often, you will be able to envision this scene in perfect detail, complete with the dialogue and setting. Hold that scene in your mind. Tomorrow it will flow off your fingertips and you’ll marvel at how much you accomplished. If the scene refuses to come, however, there’s a reason, and it must be addressed before you can move on. You may need to work on characterization. If you don’t know your characters and their motivations well enough, it’s hard for your subconscious mind to supply the next scene. You may need to devote more time to your characters.

So, there you have it. These are my secrets to becoming a prolific author, even life is in total chaos. I’m sure you’ve heard of “keeping the night oils burning”? Forget that. An author writes best following a good night’s sleep. Rest easy!

Visit Marliss on the web

Thursday, February 16, 2006

the best part of the winter olympics

As a dedicated romance writer deeply committed to improving my craft by engaging in research whenever possible, I am happy to report that the best part of the winter olympics are the butts of the male figure skaters.

Um, wow.

And all the time I spend carefully inspecting at their tight little bums is all in the name of research, done only to help me adequately visualize the rear end of the hero in my next book.

I. Love. My. Job.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

An Agent's View: Contests

Agent Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Ageny weighs in on contests.

To enter, or not to enter: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of contest advice,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And just not enter at all?

Contests. One of the most frequent questions I am asked is: is it worth it to enter?

The short answer - yes.
The more accurate answer - if it fits into your long-term career goals.

Contests can prove to be many things for many people. Some authors use them as a way to have their work critiqued. Others find them a great way to be put in front of an editor or an agent's eye. And published authors can use them as a way to garner respect in the industry.

My best advice to is look at yourself, and evaluate where you are in your career.

Are you just starting out without the help of a critique group? Then by all mean, enter contests that offer great feedback and peer-to-peer reads. These contests will help you identify areas in your manuscript that might need some polishing - characterization, logistics, plotting. When your proposal is being read by strangers, you will no doubt receive some wonderful advice.

Have you been writing for a few years and are looking to market your materials? Then contests are a great way to get noticed by publishing professionals - and quickly, too! I've read some really wonderful proposals in the contest circuit. In fact, I have one client who told me she "stalked" me through contests. When you final consistently in the various contests, it's a wonderful way to get read.

Are you published and hoping to garner some great PR? Contests are a helpful tool. If you win a contest, often you can contact your local media with a press release. You can gain some serious PR pushes with that type of exposure.

So, yes, overall contests are a fantastic source to help you propel your career. However, pay close attention to your goals and enter the ones that will help you move forward. Because remember, it's not the number of contests you win or final in that matters - it's what the contests can do to help you excel.

As an agent, there is no prouder moment than to see a client accept an award that acknowledges her accomplishments. So, shoot for the stars. It's worth the entry fee.

Until next week, happy writing!