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Nora Roberts MEGA-SIGNING at Turn the Page Friday!

Turn the Page WRW Signing 2011I’ll be at the Washington Romance Writers Retreat/Conference until next Tuesday, so don’t look for me online much. HOWEVER, I will be making an appearance with Nora Roberts and MANY OTHER FABULOUS WRW AUTHORS at the Pre-Retreat MEGA-SIGNING in Boonsboro, MD!

(This is the one that was filmed for CBS This Morning last year…who knows what media outlets will be around this year!)

Scheduled to attend: Mary Burton/Mary Ellen Taylor, Shiloh Walker, Darynda Jones, Dorien Kelly, Jane Porter, Sarah Wendell, Grace Burrowes, Sally MacKenzie, Alethea Kontis, Allison LeottaHope Ramsay,
Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Christine Trent, Willa Blair, Rebecca York, P. J. O’Dwyer

Full details can be found here at the Turn the Page website. See you there!

xox Alethea

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE A BOOK SIGNED BY ME: Turn the Page is taking orders for the signing tomorrow — they will have me sign it while I am there and ship the book to you. If you are interested, please contact them!
E-mail: info@ttpbooks.com
Call: (301) 432-4588

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In Which AlphaOops TAKES OVER THE WORLD

Hello, everyone!

You may remember back a few weeks ago, when I mentioned that a friend had emailed me, congratulating me on AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First having a cameo in The Smurfs Movie.

Sure enough, my cousin Jamie (who had the DVD on hand) took a screen shot for me — there is is, front and center!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.

Last night, I started getting some posts on my Facebook wall, and this morning I woke up to a slew of tweets and emails directing me to the link to CBS Sunday Morning, which ran their feature with Nora Roberts yesterday.

The interview was done this spring, when Nora hosted the Washington Romance Writers at her bookstore for the Mega Booksigning. I remember the camera crew there that day (but mostly I remember sitting next to the awesome duo of Allison Leotta and Alma Katsu).

If you watch the interview (in which Nora comes across as exceptionally articulate and the interviewer comes off as…someone not so articulate), right around 6:50 Nora takes the interviewer into the Nora Roberts Section of Turn the Page. In the middle of that section is a table featuring books from the WRW signing, and smack dab in the middle is AlphaOops: H Is for Halloween.

So both AlphaOops books have now busted into movies AND major network television.

Next: THE OVAL OFFICE! *grin*

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MoA&A Interview #25: Alma Katsu

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website.

Today’s interview is with my new BFF and friendly neighborhood local writer (whom I have yet to invite for coffee…Alma, we just need to pick a date!) Alma Katsu. I had heard about Alma’s fabulous novel The Taker and its sequel The Reckoning from her publisher…and didn’t realize when I showed up at Nora Roberts’ Mega Signing this spring that she would be sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Alma is awesome. (Seriously–if you don’t believe me, go read the last line of her bio.) We were peas in a pod.

Needless to say, after several hours in the Nora Roberts signing trenches, Alma and I emerged friends for life.

The kind of friends for life that never seem to have time to meet for coffee. (We call those “author friends.”)

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Author or Artist?
Author! I worked hard for that title

Who are your professional role models?
I don’t rightly know that I have any. When I was younger I loved Byron and Shelley, and George Sand.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Gloomy rainy day. It gives me an excuse to stay inside and write.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
Right now, it’s something off Muse’s “Absolution” album

If you could win any award, which would it be?
NYT Bestselling Author. I will go for the filthy lucre. From what I’ve seen in my short time as a published author, awards seem to be mostly popularity contests and don’t have much to do with actual artistic merit.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
Magical powers. Spaceships require a lot of upkeep, and it’s hard to find good spaceship mechanics.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Golden Deluxe Book of Fairytales

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Try harder at math and science. And don’t be so serious all the time.

What’s your favorite constellation?
I’m supposed to have a favorite?

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Beauty and the Beast.

What thing are you most proud of?
As much as I love my books, I’d have to say I’m most proud of the things I was able to accomplish in my other career, most of which is classified and I can’t discuss. But I got to help write a national standard for encryption, I got to chase bad guys, I got to do things that led to the actual saving of lives. But mostly I got to be excited about things that I never thought interested me—math and science—and that changed my life.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
I would like to travel more—Mongolia, Morocco, eastern Turkey.
I don’t have a list. I am lucky enough to have had a pretty amazing life where I’ve done a bunch of things I never thought I’d do, all through serendipity, so I’m happy to let serendipity continue to call the shots.

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Alma Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, was published in June 2012. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster.

Ms. Katsu is a graduate of the Master’s writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, where she studied with John Irving. She also attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career as a senior intelligence analyst for several US agencies.

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My Story on Endpapers

I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the juxtaposition of seeing an author’s book on my TBR pile and then meeting them in person. I mean, I’m often careful what I say about books on the interwebs because I know someday I probably *will* meet that person, but there’s still a fangirl jolt when I see the face behind the covers.

So you can imagine how much I lit up when I realized I would be sitting next to Alma Katsu at the Nora Roberts Mega Book Signing…and what a complete jerk I felt like for not remembering to bring The Taker and my ARC of The Reckoning for her to sign.

Needless to say, we hit it off anyway, and realized we live about five minutes from each other. Hooray for new local writing friends! I see much coffee and venting in our future.

I invited Alma to be part of this year’s Month of Authors and Artists (coming up this July!), and in turn, she invited me to answer a few interview questions on her blog. In true Barabara Walters fashion she asked some great questions…which is to say that the answers got quite personal, and I talked about some things I don’t usually mention (like why I really left Tennessee).

Do please drop by to read my ramblings and leave a message!

Also on her blog, Alma is running a contest through the end of June! You could win a NOOK tablet ($199 value), B&N gift card and even a bit of alchemy: Imp’s Ears of exotic perfumes and a magician’s mojo bag from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. She’ll have swag for three runners-up. Entering is both fun and easy — click here to see how. I highly recommend entering. Good luck!

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WRW Mega Book Signing

That’s right, folks — bright and early tomorrow morning, romance enthusiasts will be queuing up in Boonsboro, MD for the WRW MEGA BOOK SIGNING at Turn the Page Bookstore.

Sixteen authors will be signing, including yours truly!

Scheduled to attend: Robyn Carr, Elizabeth Boyle, Cathy Maxwell , Amanda Brice, Leigh Duncan, Alma Katsu, Lavinia Kent, Mindy Klasky, Alethea Kontis, Kieran Kramer, Allison Leotta, Pamela PalmerHope Ramsay, Alix Rickloff, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Christine Trent

The event runs from 11:30am to 2pm.
The store opens at 10am.
There will be copies of Enchanted on hand.

All books signed at the event must be purchased at Turn the Page. There is no limit to the number purchased, but no “books from home” are allowed at the signing.

I know that Turn the Page won’t have ordered my entire backlist, so in the event that you DO happen to bring “books from home,” just please don’t bring them into the store and cause a ruckus. I’ll try to hang out a little bit afterwards and sign what I can for you.

I do need to make it back to the WRW retreat by 5pm…but I’ll do what I can!

Hope to see you there! xox

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Marlene Contest Now Open to Entries!

As you know, I’m a member of the infamous WRW (Washington Romance Writers) group. (Yes, that’s the one of which Nora Roberts is also a member.)

Every year, we hold a writing contest called the Marlenes. And it’s time for the 2012 Marlene contest!

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Polish your manuscript and submit it for a chance to win!  The 3 finalists in each category get their manuscript read by an editor or agent, and the category winner will receive a critique by a published author!  All entrants receive great feedback from judges who love to read romance!

The Marlene Awards is a contest for unpublished manuscripts sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America.  Every entry is evaluated by at least three judges.  Finalists are ranked by publishing professionals.  The grand prize winner in each category receives a detailed critique from a published author.  This year’s list of judges and prize critiquers is as follows.

Series Contemporary
Judge: Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
Critique Author: Liz Talley

Single Title
Judge: Megan Records, Kensington
Critique Author: Jeanne Adams

Paranormal
Judge: Heather Osbourn, Samhain
Critique Author: Kristen Painter

Historical
Judge: Esi Sogah, Avon
Critique Author: Diane Gaston

Romantic Elements:
Judge: Latoya Smith, Grand Central
Critique Author: Deanna Raybourn

Young Adult:
Judge: Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s Press
Critique Author: Diana Peterfreund

Entry fees vary based on entry date. From December 15 to midnight December 31 EST, the fee will be $20 for WRW members, $25 for non-WRW members. From January 1 to midnight January 15 EST, the fee will be $25 for WRW members; $30 for non-WRW members. (FYI…the big change this year is that the contest is now open to ALL
unpublished manuscripts, regardless of the publishing status of the author.)

For a complete list of contest rules, eligibility, and deadlines, please see the Official Marlene Contest Page.

And to all the entrants: BEST OF LUCK!

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