Sunday, September 29, 2013

Whittier writer sells first romance novel at 96

Hilda Lassalette, 96, shows the cover of her first book, a romance novel. She was photographed at her Whittier, Calif., home on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News) 

Hilda started out writing on the school paper at Whittier High where she graduated in 1934. “They sent me out to write about all the things the students were doing on campus. The interesting stuff.”
Some of that interesting stuff would find its way into her future romance novels. By ’38, Hilda had found her own romance and was married. She began working as a stenographer for the General Petroleum Co. in Los Angeles while raising two children. Her husband of 61 years, John — the romance in her own life — died in 1999 at age 83.
By then Hilda had been a charter member of the Writers’ Club of Whittier for 20 years, and sold more than 40 short stories to teenage and young adults magazines. But never a romance novel until her 96th year.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kristie Leigh Maguire : Awesome Author of the Week

Kristie Leigh Maguire : Awesome Author of the Week: I am the Awesome Author of the Week from Awesome Trilogies and Series. Wow! Thanks a million for the tribute! Read the interview.

Remembering Cara Summers

 by Brenda Chin

Harlequin author Cara Summers (Carolyn Hanlon) passed away on September 10, 2013.

Over the years, she wrote 42 books for Harlequin, while also teaching Creative Writing at a local college.  She was a dynamo, plain and simple.

RIP, Cara Summers (Carolyn Hanlon).

Read the rest of the story.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tribute to a great lady and a wonderful author - RIP, Francis Ray

I never knew Francis Ray in person but, I interacted with her on the internet for a brief and too short of a period of time. Francis was a gracious person and a fabulous author who took the time out of her busy schedule to correspond with me as a fan of hers and as a fellow author. I only found out today that Francis Ray passed away recently. I am shocked and saddened to hear of this. RIP, Francis! Heaven has gained a bright shining light in you!

From Wikipedia:
 Francis Ray (July 20, 1944—July 3, 2013) was a New York Times and USA Today bestselling African-American writer of romance novels. Her literary fiction series - Taggart and Falcon, the Invincible Women, Grayson Family of New Mexico, and Grayson Friends – have consistently made bestseller's lists. She lived in Texas.

Francis Radford Ray could have been a character in one of the more than 50 romance novels she wrote.
A career Dallas school nurse, she became a best-selling author and pioneer for the black romance genre.
Ray, 68, died July 2 of natural causes at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Concord Church in Dallas, where she was a member. Viewing will be at the church from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
Ray enjoyed meeting her readers and helping other writers, said her daughter, Michelle Ray of Dallas.
“She loved opening the world of writing to other people,” her daughter said. “She would help whenever she could — not only established writers, but the writers who were coming up. They could email her anytime to ask questions.”
Born in Richland, Ray received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Woman’s University in 1967. She married William Henry Ray in 1967. He died in 2008.
She was a Dallas County public health nurse before joining the Dallas Independent School District in the early 1980s.
Nurse Ray, as Dallas students knew her, started writing in 1987 to fill a void she saw in the romance novels she enjoyed reading.
“It really disturbed me,” she recalled in 1993. “I was yearning to read a romance book with a black man who was loyal, compassionate, intelligent and handsome — I wanted to read a ‘Mr. Right’ for me.”
Ray endured 10 rejections before her first book, Forever Yours, was published in 1992. It was a good year for black women authors: Toni Morrison (Beloved), Alice Walker (The Color Purple) and Terry McMillan (Waiting to Exhale) all had books on the New York Times best-seller list at the same time. Ray consistently made the list during her writing career.
In 1994, Kensington Publishing Corp. added Ray to its stable of authors.
Ray’s dual career and modest personality put her in some interesting real-life scenes. Students would often ask her to autograph a book for their mother.
“I’m thinking … [the kids] can’t open this book,” she said in 2003. “They’re probably flipping to the good parts.”
Ray said she hated writing the sex scenes.
“It just makes me uncomfortable,” she said. “I think that’s something so personal.”
Reviewers noted Ray’s gift for realistic dialogue and her ability to build sexual suspense without resorting to explicit sex scenes.
Her sixth book, Incognito, became the first made-for-television movie on Black Entertainment Television.
Ray also was an avid gardener.
“She was always so loving and her heart was always so open,” her daughter said.
Ray established The Turning Point Legal Defense Fund to assist battered women with their legal expenses. The fund is managed by The Family Place, a Dallas women’s shelter. It is named for her 2001 novel The Turning Point, her first mainstream novel. In 2004, the book was retitled Trouble Don’t Last Always.
Despite her success as an author, Ray kept her day job with the Dallas district. She was the nurse at Brashear Elementary when she retired in at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Her 53rd book, All That I Desire, is scheduled to be released in October.
In addition to her daughter, Ray is survived by her mother, Venora Radford of Dallas; and two sisters, Lois Radford Gabriel and Verda Radford Thomas, both of Dallas.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A quirky hysterically hilarious read that is down and dirty!

No Lady and Her Tramp 
by Kristie Leigh Maguire and Mark Haeuser

99 cent Kindle exclusive sale! Download now.

Top Ten - Preditors & Editors Poll

One Amazon reviewer of No Lady and Her Tramp stated, "If you like a book filled with sex (Linda Lovelace would have a 'hard' time keeping up), revenge, espionage (trailer park style), gossip (move over Barbara Eden-Harper Valley), feuding neighbors (yeah, Hatfield's and McCoy's), I guarantee, you will not be disappointed."

No Lady and Her Tramp will have you rolling in the aisles as you follow the exploits of the residents of President Park, the trailer park to top all trailer parks. When Beth Ann Dixon buys herself a computer and decides to write a steamy erotic novel, her husband, Billy Ray, can't do much of anything right, not even shoot a gun. Janet Higgins is the resident Peeping Tom - and Troy Finkmyer is the guy we all love to hate. Everybody gets into the act and there are showdowns all over Grapevine - Grapevine, Kentucky that is. Shirley Snodgrass is the local gossip columnist for the Grapevine Gazette and records it all in her column, 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'.  

These two authors, Kristie Leigh Maguire and Mark Haeuser, by putting their talents together, have written a very funny book laced with pure, unadulterated steam.