Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Wednesday Promo- Lauri Robinson
Thanks for inviting me over to talk about Harlequin, Mills and Boon’s UNDONE line, Paty.
When I first started writing, I was all about ‘the book I could hold in my hands’, but the influx of e-books made me re-think not only my writing, but my reading. I have downloaded the Kindle app onto my Blackberry, and have read dozens of books while waiting for appointments or traveling. I no longer have to carry a book wherever I go, there are several on my cell phone all the time. Of course, for home reading, I still prefer the paperback. The other thing I’ve found is I really like the shorter e-books for Kindle/electronic reading.
After I heard about Harlequin, Mills and Boon’s new UNDONE line, I decided to write one. The guidelines are pretty simple. Historical, sensual stories between 10,000-15,000 words focused on the hero and heroine’s relationship. ( here’s the link for ‘guidelines’ http://www.eharlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1363&chapter=0 ) So, in honor of research, I read a few before subbing a manuscript, and yes, I’ve read several since then.
Harlequin, Mills and Boon treat UNDONE’s as they do every other line, with an upfront advance and royalties on books sold once the advance is earned out. I was a bit overwhelmed when the contract was 18 pages long, but all in all, it’s similar to those from my other publishers.
My first UNDONE, Wedding Night with the Ranger, was contracted in September 2009 and released in February 2010. To my delight, it was also the line’s first western.
Dodge City, Kansas. 1880.
Texas Ranger-turned-rancher Colt Severson received plenty of advice on how to handle his wife on their wedding night—but not on what to do if she pointed a shotgun at him!
For Annalee Sapp, becoming Colt's bride was both a nightmare and a dream come true. The handsome rancher was the perfect husband, if only he hadn't been tricked into marrying her! He'd be stunned to learn of all the scandalous thoughts she had about him..... But once their wedding night arrives, it's only a matter of time before their passion explodes...and the truth about their impulsive marriage is revealed!
And, here’s a short excerpt from the beginning of the book:
“Well, gentlemen, love, as you call it, may have just taken on a whole new meaning for me.” Colt Severson threw the last of the amber liquid in his shot glass against the back of his throat. Gritting his teeth against the fire trickling down his gullet, his stare locked on the woman storming through the swinging doors of the Broken Spoke. The muscles in his neck quivered. From the looks of her, leaving her alone for a few hours to recover from the shock hadn’t been a good decision on his part.
Chairs around his table toppled, grown men leaping from them like rats on a sinking ship as the saloon doors clattered together behind the swirls of Annalee Sapp’s pink skirt. While the men—who moments before had been full of advice about his upcoming wedding night—scrambled, the stock of the gun in her hands rose to her shoulder and the ends of the double barrels leveled on his chest.
The short, fast pace of this line not only provides wonderful reads; they are fun and quick to write. (That doesn’t mean the waiting is quick, it takes just as long to contract a short as it does a long story.) Last month I contracted my second western UNDONE, which turns out to be the line’s second western. Her Midnight Cowboy will be released in November. As soon as I have the cover art, I’ll post it on my blog, (www.laurirobinson.blogspot.com) and I’d love to hear what you think of it.
If there are any western writers out there looking to break into HQN, I’d encourage you to try your hand at an UNDONE. It’s been a wonderful journey for me.