Loveswept Returns (and Giveaway)
Updated. The follower winners will be receiving a digital code to use as a giftcard.
1) Rhianna 2) MaryK 3) Renda 4) willaful 5) MarieC 6) VALERIE VALICENTO 7) Meagan 8)
Lisa J 9) Laura Florand 10) LuchaLori
According to the romance wiki, Loveswept debuted in 1983 and published 917 titles. Some of the biggest names in publishing (including those who shun their romance roots) released series books through Loveswept like Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen, Sandra Brown, and Janet Evanovich. It was primarily a contemporary romance line but it also had some historicals (I recall Iris Johansen’s Wild Silver, vividly) and was best known for the breadth of its stories. It seemed like “anything goes” was the motto.
Loveswept has been revived and is being steered by long time romance reader and former Borders’ romance buyer, Sue Grimshaw. The line will be bringing back the old titles and mixing it with new acquisitions. I can’t wait. The following is a small preview of what is coming from Loveswept
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by Dear Author today & checking out our post!
First & foremost I’d like to let everyone know we’re offering a giveaway — 10 ebooks — randomly chosen by Jane — if you are a winner Jane will have you email us for your FREE book!
Sound like a plan?
So, let me tell you what we’re so excited about & what has taken the industry by storm . . . or surprise & great support <G>
Random House is bringing back the LOVESWEPT line of romances — some new & some old beginning 8/8/2011!! Readers everywhere have been thrilled with the news & soon to be LS followers are loving the ebook launch. Eight books are on sale 8/8 including:
Writing for Loveswept – a little reminiscing from Karen Leabo, Debra Dixon & Deborah Smith & something new from debut, Jessica Scott:
Karen Leabo:I started submitting manuscripts to the Loveswept line when it debuted in the 1980s. I was a fan from the beginning (I still love the Delaneys!) , and I was thrilled when I finally sold to them. Alas, I only wrote seven books for the line before it closed, but those are some of my happiest publishing memories. My Loveswept editors encouraged me to write books that reflected what was important to me, books that I really, really wanted to write. Finding a welcoming home for my quirky, out-of-the-box stories meant so much to me. I wrote action/adventure, paranormal and romantic suspense as well as the ever-popular cowboys, brides and babies. The freedom to write anything I wanted was exciting, and I still cherish those books as some of my best.
My first Loveswept was called “Hell on Wheels,” and it was about storm chasers—you know, those crazy people who run around the countryside trying to find tornadoes? To research this story, I actually tagged along with a group of “professional” storm chasers, possibly the closest I’ve come to dying for my art. The book was published in March of 1996, exactly two months before the hit movie Twister. (Ah, timing is everything.)
I am thrilled that my Loveswepts are being re-issued as e-books. Electronic reading has changed my life—I have three e-book readers. I love finding backlist books from newly discovered authors as well as old favorites (I’ve already pre-ordered Lightning that Lingers by Sharon and Tom Curtis). I’m looking forward to finding a whole new crop of readers as well as re-connecting with those who might remember me from way back when.
Debra Dixon: Many years ago, when my agent called to tell me I’d sold my first book to Loveswept (Tall, Dark and Lonesome), I sat down in the floor and stared at the phone. I knew I was supposed to say something professional and collected. I said, “Are you sure?”
Not my finest moment…or maybe it was. Because in that moment, I became a Loveswept author.
Some months later, I remember sitting quietly at a dinner of Loveswept authors: Tami Hoag, Deborah Smith, Iris Johansen and a couple more names you’d recognize. These amazing women had written books on my keeper shelf. Geez! I looked at them all and wondered if my editor had lost her mind when she invited me into the inner circle. But that’s what Loveswept did. They believed in writers. They nurtured the stories. They were never afraid to take a chance. They never blinked when I said, “I’m doing a book about an ice skating nun and an ex-navy SEAL.” (Hot As Sin)
At that same dinner I wondered how to tell Deborah Smith she’d taken my dessert coffee. “Excuse me. You’re 1/3 of who I want to be when I grow up as a writer. You see, I want to be the literary love child of Tami Hoag, Stephen Hunter and Deborah Smith. Yes, that’s right. You. You’re fabulous. Now, stop bogarting my coffee.”
She did eventually realize she hadn’t ordered coffee. To make amends, she became my new BFF in spite of, or maybe because of, the fact we’re completely different. She’s tall. I’m short. If you hand us the same story idea, you’ll never recognize it as the same idea by the time we finish working it over. That’s what I loved about Loveswept. They didn’t own a cookie cutter. They let you run. They let you bring something new and exciting to the table every time. You couldn’t scare the editors. I tried.
More than fifteen years ago, I wrote a dark, hit-woman heroine. (Bad To the Bone) I told my husband, “I’ve done it this time. There is no way they can publish this. I’ll have to buy it back, you know.” Foolish me. Loveswept has never been afraid to push the envelope. I think my editors invented the “bring it on” gesture Morpheus gave to Neo in the Matrix. They believed in their authors. Then and now.
I’m not sure what reaction I expected when the relaunch was announced, but it wasn’t the very specific list of titles every reader began compiling on the spot. Titles, authors, plot lines. The readers are ready. They have shopping lists! They’re practically giddy to see the books available again. Okay, that’s me. I’m giddy, but I was a reader before I was a writer. There are some books I can’t wait to get my hands on again.
I’m hoping you guys feel the same way about Tall, Dark and Lonesome. I love this book. My first. Imagine if your boss sent you back to the one place filled with hard memories you’d tried to leave behind. Imagine that magazine editor plopping city-slicker-you in the middle of a vacation cattle drive for the sake of a story. Imagine the guy on the front of this cover running that cattle drive. And then imagine everything going wrong. Don’t you love it when that happens? I do.
Deborah Smith: It was a dark and stormy night when I got the phone message that told me I’d become a Loveswept author. Okay, actually, it was a cloudy, cozy-cold night in January of 1987. I found a message on my phone, started shrieking, and my husband ran into the den to find Farley, our ever-present Cairn terrier, chasing my feet as I danced with joy.
We were still in the disco-exercise era—remember Olivia Newton John in her candy-colored workout clothes?—so Farley was happy for any excuse to sink his teeth into my pink, fuzzy, leg warmers. I looked as if I’d waded through a knee-high river of cotton candy.
Dance, Cotton-Candy-Calves, dance! My dream had come true. I was a Loveswept author.
Fans adored the Loveswept line for its inventive plots and quirky humor; I will never forget the honor of being invited to events with Loveswept stars such as Iris Johansen and Kay Hooper. At one such gathering, a dinner, I sat next to a newcomer like myself. Her name was Debra Dixon. She was perky and confident and clearly had no problem fitting in with the VIPs of the romance-writing world.
I was in awe of everyone at the table that night, including her. So much in awe, in fact, that I distractedly stole her dessert coffee. It was years before she confronted me about the theft. By then we were good buddies—and future publishing partners—so she graciously accepted my apology. I do notice, however, that she has always put an extra foot of space between us at meals since then, and, when her coffee arrives, she lines up the condiments around it.
I wrote fifteen Loveswepts between 1987 and 1991, and each one was a great adventure. Loveswept authors were encouraged to push the envelope, and we did. Comedy, intrigue, super-villains, psychics, ghosts, exotic settings, over-the-top plots, red-hot romance and then some—very little was out of bounds, as long as it was written with a passion for unforgettable characters and plots.
Legends, the novel that’s been chosen for Random House’s re-launch of the Loveswept imprint, is one of my favorites. It stars a billionaire corporate raider and the Scottish heroine who kidnaps him and then holds him hostage in her homeland. Boy howdy! A rich, handsome man locked up in a jail cell with me, I mean my fictitious heroine, holding the key. That right there is a good-enough fantasy for any dark and stormy night.
With or without wearing pink, fuzzy, leg warmers.
Jessica Scott: Anyone who has been either involved in publishing or seeking publication will invariably tell you that newcomers who think writing a book is easy are misguided at best, potentially delusional at worst. *raises hand sheepishly* Yeah, I was one of those fervent young writers who finally wrote the end and thought pure genius, New York Times bestseller list here I come.
Ah, not quite.
I now understand why published authors smile and shake their heads when new kids on the block are so effervescent and confident. The journey for Because of You was a long one, through multiple titles, iterations and complete rewrites.
It started back in 2007. I was away from my kids (then 7months old and 2 1/2 years) for the first time in Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning. My husband was deployed again and call me old fashioned but I didn’t think that hanging out at the bar was the right place for a mom with a deployed husband. So I would take my happy little self off to the local Barnes and Noble and read or write on the weekends. I’m kind of a nerd in that books offer me comfort and solace. They always have. I like to say the best thing about being in Iraq was the time to read because there were no dishes to do, laundry to fold, etc. You know, when there aren’t mortars and rocks going off. But that’s another blog for another time.
I remember the exact moment the first words of Shane’s book came to me. I was sitting in a classroom in Building 4 on Fort Benning (affectionately known as Building Snore due to the relentless classes required for Officer Candidates). One of the Ranger candidates was chewing out one of his classmates for being lazy. Can’t say that I’d argue with him for that one. The bottom line was this guy had a combat patch from the 75th Ranger Regiment and I remember thinking that his frustration wasn’t with soldiers who didn’t know any better but rather, with soldiers who were unwilling or unable to train.
That prompted the original thought behind Shane Garrison, a guy who devoted everything to train his soldiers for combat. Shane’s story has stuck with me over the years despite numerous rejections and lots of frustration. Many writers advised me to put it away and write something else. “Maybe not this book” or “maybe it’s time to write something else”. And I did. I’ve put Shane and Jen beneath the bed a dozen times over the years, only to have them start nagging at me, urging me to give them just one more shot. Because of You was the book that would not die, would not let me put it away. At least not for long.
Their most recent shot came in the form of a blog post from Sue Grimshaw. Right after SEAL Team 6 that had finally gotten Bin Laden, the romance world went nuts for all things military, particularly Navy SEALs. Sue wrote a great post about military heroes and mentioned that she was looking for a contemporary military romance that was NOT, oddly enough, romantic suspense.
What’s the worst that could happen, right? If she passed because it wasn’t ready, then well, Shane and Jen would simply ended up back beneath the bed where they’d been for the last year. So I shot her a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter. I said, hey, I saw your blog about military romance that’s not suspense and I just happen to have one, would you be interested? And lo and behold, she dropped me a note back almost immediately that said yes, shoot it over.
I emailed the file and figured it would be a couple weeks before I heard anything. Publishing takes time, as we have all learned, so imagine my surprise when I see a DM “didn’t get anything” about four days later. Well crap. So I double checked the email and resent the file and went back about my life. I’ve had lots of submissions where I never heard back, so again, I figured I had time. But the really cool part about the email was a little voice in the back of my head that whispered hey, I’ve got an editor who was waiting for my book. Sue surprised me again with a great note within 48 hours. “Hey I really like this but are you open to revisions?”
Um, hell yeah!
At the time, I didn’t know that I would be the launch for the relaunch of Loveswept as a digital first line. Needless to say, the news kept getting better and better. Not only did Sue acquire Shane’s story, she picked up two other books in the series, the series that started my writing, the series that spoke to the thing that burns in me. I’ve tried writing about something other than soldiers but I always come back to the men and women who inspire me every single day.
So I’m beyond excited that you get to experience Shane and Jen. Technically, this is the 2nd book I ever wrote, but there have been so many rewrites and overhauls, its more Iike the 10th or 11th. But Shane is the 2nd hero I’ve ever put on page and oddly enough, he’s stayed relatively consistent over the different iterations. It’s always been about his men and it’s always been about learning to love someone other than leading soldiers.
I always say, the good Lord Himself could command the First Cavalry Division but the day would come when He would change command. The Army will find someone to replace you, no matter who you are. The thing Shane had to learn was to let go, to find another way to give back, and to realize that there was more to him than just a good soldier. And Jen was the perfect person to guide him through his crucible.
So I hope you enjoy Shane and Jen as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them over the years. I’m excited and grateful to Sue and the entire team at Random House for bringing me into the fold and giving my stories the chance to hit the page. Thanks so much for having me here today!