Here's a look at the titles we love that hit shelves this week.
Have you ever wondered who a piece of jewelry belonged to before it became yours? Or maybe you've wondered what happened to a particular ring or bracelet that you saw in a piece of art? We'll you aren't the only one. Questions like these tickled author Lynn Cullen's mind until she decided to create a historical fiction tale to document the movements of one particular pearl in the collection owned by the recently deceased Elizabeth Taylor.
Elizabeth Taylor owned many spectacular jewels, but none of them has a more fascinating pedigree than the pearl called La Peregrina (The Wanderer). The pearl lives up to its name. Since its first appearance in the sixteenth century, it has made its way from breast to breast of many a famous woman.
It has lain upon the stiff bodice of Mary I of England, known to us, perhaps unfairly, as Bloody Mary. It has dangled jauntily from the cap worn by Elisabeth of Valois, the teenaged wife of the Spanish King with the ill-fated Armada, Philip II. It has posed for its portrait by the first female painter of the Renaissance, Sofonisba Anguissola. If it could talk, the stories it would tell!
According to legend, the world’s largest (originally 55.95 carats) and most perfect white pear-shaped pearl was found in the Gulf of Panama by a slave who was given his freedom by presenting it to his master. A conquistador was said to then give it to Philip II, who in turn bestowed it upon his first wife, Bloody Mary.
This year RT and Kensington hosted the Writing With the Stars competition where readers could vote on which aspiring author won a book contract with Kensington's Brava line. The winner was aspiring author Maeve Greyson for her paranormal manuscript "Eternity's Mark". After Alicia Condon of Kensington announced Maeve's win on Thursday during the annual RT awards ceremony we got a chance to catch up with this brand new author who was selected by RT readers!
Can you tell us about where you were when you got "the call" saying you won the Writing With the Stars competition?
I was at work, checking my email on my phone every two seconds. I saw in the subject line "Final Results" [from RT] and I couldn't look at it. I put my phone down. And then I looked and saw that I won and the room started whirling. My other cubical workers wanted to know if I won, but I wanted my husband to be the first to know. I called him, but then I couldn't speak. He must have thought something was wrong. But then I whispered, "I won" and he said, "Say it louder." And I yelled "I WON!". In the south we have a habit of turning one syllable words into two syllable. And he said, "Hot da-umn." Then one of my co-workers yelled out, "She won!" and everyone in the office was cheering.
How did you decide to enter the Writing With the Stars contest?
I waited until the last day to enter. I didn't think my story was one they were looking for. I didn't think it was hot enough. But then I thought, what the heck — I'll give it a try.
To celebrate the first RT Booklovers Convention in Hollywood, we added a special component to this year's book event of the year. Film and television industry insiders such as soap opera stars, agents, screenwriters, producers, and more all came out for this year's Hollywood Program. Here's a taste of what took place all week.
We started off with Wednesday's "From Page to Screen: Script Consultants Give You the Goods" panel. Moderated by Vivi Anna, script evaluator Merrel Davis and story analyst Xandy Sussan discussed how to write a fresh script that will keep the audience on their toes.
This year's erotica program at the RT Booklovers Convention was captained by author Sharon Page. So we went straight to the source to find out what her goals were as she created the sessions, which included Wednesday's "Teaching Harry How to do Sally" with Lauren Dane, Kate Pearce and Kayla Perrin and "Erotica's New Dawn: Sex, Lies and the Erotica Market" on Friday Morning with Kelli Collins, the Editor-in-Chief of Erotica's Cave, literary agent Miriam Kriss and author Janet Miller aka Cricket Starr. Get a special look at these panels that focused on the craft and business sides of today's erotic reads.
Sharon Page, Lauren Dane, Kate Pearce
and Kayla Perrin on Wednesday's Panel
With digital e-readers all the rage, it is clear that we've entered a new era in alternative publishing. On last week's panel "The Digital Age: A Mainstream Perspective" agents and publishers shared insiders' looks about the impact that e-books are having on the traditional methods of publishing, and how the e-revolution will affect authors and readers. Check out what was said in this very special guest blog from RT's Stacey Agdern.
Change. How to handle change. So many panels on digital books focus on that very particular idea. And they should. Because change is afoot, and those who don’t pay attention will be left behind. However, what was pointed out on the panel "Digital Age: A Mainstream Perspective” is that during the 2010 holiday season, the rise of e-books is no longer in the future — it is here. What publishers were shown in December and January is that digital books have officially become mainstream.
But what does this mean for people in the industry? Agent Ethan Ellenberg raised questions about the need to duplicate the print experience on an e-level. Is it possible (or even beneficial) to take the experience of browsing a bookstore shelf to "turning the pages" of an e-reader?
We had an amazing time at the 2011 RT Booklovers Convention. Here's a look back at some of the memorable moments:
World Building in Urban Fantasy
Keeping Historical Romance Fresh
Bringing Paranormal Romance to Life
Getting Explicit With Purple Prose In Romance
Industry Spotlight: Editors
Industry Spotlight: Agents
At the Harlequin & Borders Dance Party we celebrated in glamorous Hollywood style. With light refreshments, dancing and more, everyone had tons of fun!
The dance floor was full
Attendees brought their families - here is author Jade Lee with her daughter Amanda
This year was RT Booklovers Convention inaugural Young Adult reader event - Teen Day! All Saturday, teen and adult fans celebrated the genre with group chats, special book readings, workshops and a fabulous party. Readers met Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Richelle Mead, Holly Black, Melissa de la Cruz, YA program captain Melissa Marr along with over thirty other authors.
The first event, author "speed dating", was a huge hit. The room was packed with grinning teenage girls (and a few boys) as they got to talk with some of their very favorite authors. The locals came out in force to support the genre they loved and discuss stories and characters.
A few doors down, the author speed-reading was full of teens but absolutely silent as YA authors did a session of readings from their recent releases and upcoming works. Readers were hanging on the authors' every word.