Friday, March 28, 2008

Harlequin's 100,000 Book Challenge

Harlequin Enterprises has a wonderful challenge going on right now. They are getting their eHarlequin Community to read 100,000 Books this year to benefit the National Center for Family Literacy. If they achieve their goal, they’ll be donating the equivalent number of books to this charity who have taken on the challenge to find solutions to the literacy crisis. This is equivalent to a $700,000 donation that will benefit women and their families and impact lives by helping to bring the love of reading home.

If you'd like to join in on this challenge, just take a few minutes to register at No purchase is required. All you need to do is post a short review of each book you've read. That’s it! Read a book and create a book review and you’ve added one more book to the total. If 3,000 authors read 10 books each, then that's 30,000 books! So far, the tally stands at 6,500 books. You can participate individually or in teams by adding a team name to the tag list associated with your book review. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know what some of our most engaged and avid readers think and feel about the books you write.

All Harlequin requires is that 50% of the books read be published by Harlequin. That leaves a lot of selection, as they have dozens of imprints from NY Times bestsellers on their MIRA and HQN imprints to inspirational fiction to even non-fiction, their newest acquisitions.

If you read only ONE book this year, make it count!

Here is the link to the challenge rules and introduction.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Edits, proofs, first drafts

I had just reached page 300 in the first draft of my current book when the UPS man rang my doorbell. A nice fat package with the galleys for my Aug.08 book for final proofing. I put aside my current WIP to begin reading a story I'd written about a year and a half ago, and which I'd edited for the final time about a month and a half ago. This will be the last time I read it before I see it again as a real book.

I had to wrench my thoughts from my current hero and heroine and get back into this other couple. Then this morning the doorbell goes again, and what? The UPS man again? Another fat package with a manuscript. This was my Oct.08 book, written about a year ago. My editor has just line-edited it, and now it's my turn to go over her changes and suggestions and do any final editing of my own, before seeing it as a galley.

By this afternoon, I was knee-deep (?) in the trials and tribulations of yet another hero and heroine.

I remember once reading an interview of an author who said he was usually working on about three writing projects at a time; he'd put one down and take up the other. I shook my head thinking at the time, I could never get out of my current story and into another at the drop of the hat like that...

Well, I guess you never really know till you try.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting there

Almost to the three-quarter point of my current wip. Sometimes it feels like slogging; at others there's still a spark of inspiration. Mainly, just steady jogging along; getting words down; making progress, going from Point A to B to C to M to N to O, knowing this and this needs to happen before the climax, although not always quite sure what form it's going to take.

No idea what works and what doesn't at this point. That'll be to sort out later when I read and begin revising.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

A rainy Palm Sunday here in the Netherlands.
I preached my first sermon last Sunday in church. I was surprised when our pastor asked me if I'd like to bring forth the Word some Sunday. He gave me the sermon topic and some pointers and commentaries.
I decided to do it, even though I'm not a public speaker, because I never like to refuse to do anything in the Lord's work. You never know when He is opening a new door, a new opportunity in some fashion. Not that I'm thinking of taking up preaching, but if it got me to delve deeper into the Word, then it was a good thing.
I don't know if I liked the experience. I wasn't very comfortable throughout it, and I'll never know on this earth how much good it did, or were people bored to tears (I did see a few with closed eyes), but I guess that doesn't really matter.
This Sunday, our pastor preached. Later, when I was standing at the front with the pastor's wife, for anyone who cared to come up for prayer, an Iranian woman came up. We prayed then I went back to my seat to collect my things. She came up to me to thank me, touched by the prayer. We got to talking and exchanged emails. It was neat to think how the Lord brought us together. She will go back to her country and we might continue our exchange.