Happy New Year!

The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixWelcome to 2016!

The first order of business this morning is to thank all of you for starting off my year so well. Gaston and Ysmaine’s book is sitting in a lovely position this morning, thanks to all of you who picked up a copy during this week’s sale.

At Amazon.com, The Crusader’s Bride is #1 in Medieval Romance, #8 in Suspense and #227 overall in the Kindle store:Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.28.01 AMAt Amazon.ca, The Crusader’s Bride is #1 in Medieval Romance. #8 or #9 in Historical Fiction and #51 overall in the Kindle store:Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.29.19 AMAt Barnes and Noble, The Crusader’s Bride is #18 in the Nook store.Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.31.23 AMAt Kobo, The Crusader’s Bride is #3 in Historical Romance, #13 in Historical Fiction and #7 in Romantic Suspense.Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.33.46 AMAt iBooks, The Crusader’s Bride is #2 overall paid in the iBooks store.Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.35.35 AMThank you, all! This is a wonderful way to start the year and I hope you enjoy Gaston and Ysmaine’s story. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, the sale goes through January 4, then it’s back to the regular price.

And now, the rest of my post for the new year! At the end of each year, I tend to sum things up, take stock of what worked and what didn’t, then make plans for going forward. After the summary, I do some culling and sorting. I ditch what isn’t working and make lists of what I want to change about how I’m doing things. In this publishing environment, that means assessing what’s working (and not) on a personal level, as well as what’s changing in the marketplace. (We do live in interesting times.)

One goal coming out of that for 2016 is that I want to take better physical care of myself. Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent too much time at my desk. The New Girl and I have been taking a long walk each day this fall, and I now have Chelle managing my newsletter for me. Angie continues to manage some of the other promotion – especially for audio. I also some other schemes to mix up my daily schedule a bit. Less computer time also means less internet time, because I want to focus on writing.

I also want to knit down some of my yarn stash and finish those lingering projects – that means more knitting time, which is great thinking and plotting time. All of these come together to increase my focus on writing new stories. The next cover reveal comes up in February and it’ll be in my newsletter first. It’s for Simply Irresistible, which is the launch title in my upcoming contemporary romance series called Flatiron Five. I’ve wanted to write another contemporary romance series since finishing The Coxwells, and this group of five friends have really snared my imagination. I’m also collaborating with another author, connecting her linked series to my linked series, and will tell you more about that in February, too.

I’ll announce the other new series launch in May, first at Romancing the Capital, in my newsletter, and then here on the blog. Things are going to change on the website this year, too, with some series having their own subsidiary sites. It’s just a question of how best to manage so many titles in so many sub-genres.

The good news is that my sharper focus will more stories and more books. I’ve redone my calendar for my bulletin board and it’s crowded! I have some fun projects lined up for 2016 as a result of doing this review last year, and have added a few more surprises in the last month or so. I feel that I’m back in my writing groove again, and am having a fabulous time planning out new series. The Champions of Saint Euphemia was my first new series in a long while, but there will be several more new series launching this year. Woo HOO! It’s going to be a great year for writing for me, and I’m looking forward to it.

What resolutions or plans do you have for 2016?

One Day Sale!

To celebrate the release of The Highlander’s Curse, and to thank you all for your patience, I’m having a one day sale. For today only, both The Renegade’s Heart and The Highlander’s Curse will be just 99 cents. (The currency conversion gets a little goofy, but it will be similarly discounted in other countries, too.)

You can grab your copy at any of the portals linked below.

The Renegade's Heart, first in the True Love Brides series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

Amazon

Apple – US

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

The Highlander's Curse by NYT Bestselling author Claire Delacroix, #2 in her True Love Brides series of medieval romances.

Amazon

Apple

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

Thanks to all of you for reading my books, and I hope you enjoy these two!

Happy 2013!

Happy new year, everyone! I wish all the best to you and yours for the year ahead.

As usual, I have lots of plans at this time of year, and plenty of new ideas in motion. I’ll update you on all of that in the weeks ahead.

First up, I need to award the prizes in the monthly contests here on the blog…

I always come into the new year invigorated, with a ton of energy. How about you? Do you find yourself worn out by the festivities, behind on laundry, and ready to hibernate for a while? Or are you – like me – filled with plans and ideas and energy to put them into motion?

Merry Christmas!

Well, I’ve been obsessed with a new knitting project and was sure I’d be able to show it to you today, but it’s more knitting than I’d thought. (This is good – it’s a fun project and I know I’ll be sad when it’s finished.) I’ll have to show it to you in the new year. It’s so pretty that I’m not sure I want to give this one away!

So, it’s time to shut down the computer and head into the kitchen to bake Christmas cookies. (There might be some eggnog or mulled wine involved in that operation, too.) Merry Christmas to all of you – may you have a wonderful holiday week, and travel safely there and back again. I’ll start posting here again in the new year.

All the best to you and yours!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Many good wishes for a happy Thanksgiving to all of you south of the border. Here’s hoping that those of you who are on the road travel safely – and once you arrive, have a wonderful day with your friends and family!

I’m thankful to know all of you and so let’s have a contest this weekend.

Here’s my question for you – what do dragons eat for Thanksgiving dinner? Does turkey dinner make them feel grateful? Or do they prefer something with a little more meat on it? Maybe something flash-broiled?

I’ll give away a signed print copy of EMBER’S KISS to the most interesting reply. Be creative! The winner will be chosen on Monday.

Good luck, everyone!

btw, for those of you who subscribe to my newsletter, I haven’t sent out my planned mid-month issue yet. It turns out that the new portal offers so many options that I’m a bit overwhelmed by it. I’m going to give it another go this afternoon. Fingers crossed!

And We’re Off!

The blog tour for EMBER’S KISS starts today, at Romance Crush Junkies. Here’s the permalink.

Remember that at each stop, you can enter to win a copy of EMBER’S KISS.

Plus you can enter to win the grand prize – one lucky reader will win a set of all eight Dragonfire novels, signed. You can enter that contest right here at Alive & Knitting, by commenting on the post outlining the blog tour.

Good luck, everyone!

A Contest for EMBER’S KISS

The author copies of my latest Dragonfire book, EMBER’S KISS, have arrived.

And I am feeling inclined to share.

So, here’s our contest for this holiday weekend. Post a comment here and tell me why you love Dragonfire. I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday morning – and actually, for every 25 entries, I’ll pick another winner.

Tell me why you love Dragonfire and you could win a signed copy of EMBER’S KISS ——- EARLY!

Rituals

This weekend, I finished Murdoch and Isabella’s book, THE RENEGADE’S HEART, and sent it off to my editor. I’m hoping that she’s not too backed up, and that she finds the ms pretty clean, and that we can still get it published this month. Fingers crossed!

But finishing a book means rituals for me. There are things I do when I finish a book manuscript and they’re not all celebratory. Here’s a partial list:

1. Drink prosecco. That’s first and foremost. There has to be some celebration of a milestone achieved!

2. Do my filing. There’s always a stack of paperwork in my office, incoming statements and correspondence. It just goes in a pile when I’m writing a book, so today, I’ll deal with it.

3. Back-up digital files. Despite the Pam’s reminders, I don’t do this as often as I should.

4. Put research books away – after removing the sticky notes. Quite frequently, this devolves into reorganizing the bookshelves, discovering forgotten books, and reading on the floor.

5. Get a haircut.

6. Clean house. This starts in my office and radiates outward. Dustbunnies bite it when books get delivered – and they get complacent in between.

7. Cook something from scratch. I think it might be muffins today.

8. Buy flowers. I bought tulips on Saturday at the market, so got a bit ahead of schedule on this one this time.

9. Catch up with friends. All those coffee dates that got pushed off will get caught up now.

10. Buy yarn. (It’s ongoing and inevitable.)

11. Take an adventure. Hmm. I’m debating between various road trips.

12. Make a list of admin jobs to be done before I dive into fictional realms again.

13. Read fiction. Yippee! I have so many books to choose from in my TBR. How many can I read this week?

How do you celebrate milestones? If you’re a writer, what do you do to commemorate the completion of a book?

Happy Anniversary

This week, one of my assigned exercises in The Artist’s Way is to create a list of creative accomplishments. (This is a variation of a wonderful exercise that Julia Cameron calls the Ta DA! List. Not many of us instinctively make this list – we go with the To Do list – but we should do it.) The timing of this is quite interesting as April is an anniversary for me.

In April 1991, I sold my first book, a medieval romance called The Romance of the Rose to Harlequin Historicals. So, this month is the twentieth anniversary of my first sale.

Just typing those words is astonishing. Twenty years!

And what’s happened in those twenty years? Well, a lot. The most obvious accomplishment is that I’ve written and published forty-five books. There are three more in production for publication this year. (We won’t count the ones that I wrote but which were never sold or published.) I have no idea how many short stories and novellas I’ve written, sold and published. More than a dozen. (Maybe two dozen.)

I’ve written those books under a number of names and in a number of subgenres of romance – medieval, paranormal, contemporary, time travel, fantasy, apocalyptic – as well as paranormal young adult. I’ve written for eight different publishers and have worked with at least fifteen editors, some of them several times. I’ve been with my agent for fourteen years and still think he’s the best in the business.

I’ve been published in trade paperback, mass market paperback and hard cover. I’ve seen my work published in many different languages – German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, French, and others – as well as in separate UK editions. I have an entire bookcase dedicated to print copies of my books and it’s full. (That, in itself, is astonishing. There are four full shelves of my books in there. Wow.)

I’ve won numerous awards and honours, been nominated for even more awards, routinely made the USA Today bestseller list and have been on the New York Times list of bestselling books. I have seen my books in bookstores and airport kiosks and convenience stores. I have met strangers reading my books (gah! the classic airplane encounter!), and I have heard from readers and fans from all over the world. (That’s good stuff.) I’ve participated in some incredible booksignings and had a lot of great reviews (as well as the inevitable crummy ones). I stopped keeping scrapbooks after filling the fourth one – there’s a whole carton of clippings in the closet in case I ever get around to organizing scrapbooks again. Right now, I have writing to do.

I’ve taught workshops by the bucketful, met hundreds – if not thousands – of other writers, belonged to numerous writing groups, given keynote speeches and attended so many wonderful conferences. In 2009, I was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library, which was an awesome experience.

I’ve made good friends in this business, as well as learning a great deal about writing, publishing and storytelling.

It’s quite amazing to look back on these past twenty years, because in many ways, the time seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. In another way, I can’t remember ever doing anything else. There certainly is nothing else that I want to do.

And so, please raise your cup of coffee of tea (or whatever!) with me, and salute those books, writers, editors and years. Here’s to the next twenty years! (I’m going to buy another bookcase just to be ready…)