A FATED Interview, Guest Blogger Rebecca Zanetti’s First EVER Interview!

Hello everyone! Today I am honored and proud to have my critique partner author Rebecca Zanetti join our blog guests. Rebecca and I have been critiquing each other’s works for a little over a year and I can say without doubt that everything I’ve read from her is beyond excellent and should go on the TO BE BOUGHT list right now! Just add her name to the authors on your must read list now, it’ll be well worth it.


First let me tell everyone that Rebecca’s first book entitled FATED will release on February 22, 2011. Secondly this is Rebecca’s first ever interview and to anyone who leaves a comment today I am going to draw for a winner of my ebook . Also don’t forget to stop by Rebecca’s website http://www.rebeccazanetti.com to get the latest on her, her books, and pictures of the beautiful landscape she is surrounded by. So without further babbling let me all introduce you to my critique partner and valued friend author Rebecca Zanetti who can tell me any day of the week that “this is well written but…” !





What was your motivation for becoming a writer?

First thanks for having me here on the Sizzlers – I always follow this blog!  I think like a lot of writers, I always knew I wanted to write a book someday.  One day I finally put my rear in the chair and started writing.  Of course, it helped that Dec 08 and Jan 09 we were pretty much snowed in.


I jumped on the Twilight train and wrote a paranormal YA.  (Which I just finished revising into an adult book per my agent’s suggestions).  Then I wrote a chicklit I’m currently revising.  I had this vampire story mulling around in my head that wouldn’t leave me alone, but I’d heard that vamps were out.  So I wrote the book for myself just for fun – figuring I’d take it out and read it once in awhile.  It sold in five days. (I say this with total love Bec, but you’re bragging here heifer J )

Can you tell us if your background as a lawyer affected the way you write, or your story lines?

You know, law is about boiling a lot of facts down to one main theme and articulating that theme to other people.  Writing is much the same.  And believe it or not, your voice as a lawyer (how you get the facts across genuinely to a jury or judge) is similar to your voice as a writer – it’s all you.  Also, both worlds are competitive and a bit scary but well worth it.

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest you’ve seen a lot of beautiful country, does the back drop you are surrounded with show up in your books? And if so are there any places in particular that you use for inspiration?

I love the water and mountains.  We live near lakes and rivers, which you’ll find in my books, and FATED has several scenes where the good guys are underground in mountainous caverns for safety. 


I understand that you are pretty close to your family, how does this play into the story lines you write?

My family is amazing.  My husband is a six-foot-five stubborn Italian, and you’ll find parts of his personality in most of my heroes.  My sisters are spunky, fun and adventurous and you can bet my heroines resemble them both in making good decisions and those that have us groaning.  And my folks have been married for over forty years, so I truly believe in happy endings because I have proof they exist.

Most of the readers on the blog have heard your amazing “Call” story in my words but I’d love for you to tell them about you getting the call from both your agent and your editor within hours of each other.

Almost a year to the date after writing my first chapter, I felt guilty because I didn’t want to get on the treadmill.  It was a Thursday, which is a good day for me to work out.  So I figured I’d assuage the guilt by sending out a query or two – and I figured why not send out FATED even though it was a vampire story.  The next day Megan Records at Kensington requested the partial.  I sent it; still not really thinking anything would come of it.  The following Tuesday, agent Caitlin Blasdell requested the partial at around nine in the morning.  A half hour later Megan requested the full.  Two hours later Caitlin requested the full.  They both called with offers the next day.


I was stunned.  It just happened so fast, what a difference five days can make. (AGAIN, I love ya but you’re bragging heifer! Actually it’s not bragging if it’s all true and well it’s an amazingly TRUE story!)

We had a ball this year at the RWA national conference and I know it was your second conference.  How was it different this year now that you’ve sold?

I went to DC last year by myself not knowing a soul.  I hadn’t joined any online chapters and I was truly anonymous, which was a lot of fun.  I’m pretty shy but that “first timer” ribbon really does help because I met some very nice people, went to every workshop I could and learned so much.  Each night I ate dinner in my room and then watched a movie and went over my stuff from the day, which was pretty relaxing.


Umm…no relaxing this year.  J   I’m in several online chapters that all had get-togethers, I spent some time with my agent and Kensington had a terrific cocktail party.  The Kensington group is wonderful – truly a nice mix of people who love books and are willing to help out a newbie in any way possible.  I had six cocktail parties or get-togethers on Thursday night.  (yes, my feet may never recover).  I brainstormed with my truly excellent critique partner (yes, our blog host today) and sleep wasn’t necessary.  I volunteered at the literacy signing and ended up winning an RWA free conference for next year.(OH YEAH! I TURNED THAT DAMN TICKET IN. NEXT YEAR I REFUSE TO!)  And…I attended every workshop I could with schedule permitting.  I love workshops—and I love learning.

  And now to my favorite part, the EXCERPT!! I just adore Rebecca’s stories!                                                                                                                                         

Slowly, Talen pushed to his feet and strolled across the conference room.

Cara took a step back, her breath hitching.

Smiling, he leaned against the closed door. 

She’d need to go through him to get out.  God, he was huge.  Even if she had known how to fight, she doubted she’d stand a chance when faced with such size and obvious strength.  A feminine fear and a flutter she refused to identify whispered through her, and her spine straightened with a sharp snap.

“I won’t hurt you.” His voice lowered, deepening to a tone that increased her flutter.  He relaxed his stance against the door, his muscled arms crossing.  “I won’t let anyone harm either of you.  Ever.”

Okay.  Fine.  He was too big for her to fight, but she did have a brain.  “Listen, Talen,” she kept her voice soft, soothing.  “It’s great your dating pool just opened up and all, but I’m not looking for—”

A dimple winked in his cheek, stopping her words.  She fought to keep her tone mild.  “Am I amusing you?”  Her chin lifted.


“Why?”  She could even feel his amusement in the air, damn it.

“Your people.  I’ve never understood why you ignore fate.  She has her own plans.”

“Fate?”  He was throwing destiny at her?  Come on.

He nodded. “Fate.” 

“Wow.  That’s poetic, Talen.”  Sarcasm replaced the softness.  “But there’s no way fate is involved here.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Prove it.”

“Okay.”  He lifted his right hand, palm out.  A crest, an intricate one, spread across his calloused skin.  Thick and black, a webbing of arcs together formed a knot with what might be an elaborate ‘K’ in the middle.

“A tattoo?” She quirked an eyebrow, wondered if he had other tats on that magnificent body.

“No.  A brand of sorts.  It appeared earlier after I took your arm.”

“A brand?”  She snorted.  “Bullshit.”

Talen shrugged.  “It’s true, Cara.  The Mark usually doesn’t appear until the mating act, but there are exceptions.”  Golden eyes pinned her.  “Our bond must be strong.”


Talen lifted a shoulder.

Her mind rebelled at the physical evidence before her eyes.  “I said, no.  I choose to ignore your fate.”  How could the mark have appeared?  Conviction sat easily upon his face and her stomach rolled at the question of how far he’d go to follow his fate. 

“That is your choice,” he agreed.

“Damn straight.”  She searched his face for a trick, determination tightening her own jaw.  A raised eyebrow met her glare.  “But you don’t know anything about me.  I could be married.”

“You’re not.”

“How do you know?”

He shrugged.  “My brother Dage shot your file to my blackberry.”

Blackberry?  Vampires used blackberry’s?  Come on.  “Where were you?”  Damn her curiosity.

“In a meeting with my other brother, Conn.”

Geez.  Sounded like a family oriented creature of the night.  Or day.  Or whatever.  She tried another tack.  “Besides, I have a date tonight.”

She wasn’t sure what her goal was, but she didn’t reach it.  A genuine smile played across his lips, and he uncrossed his arms.  “You’re not going to make it.”


Doesn’t that just make your toes curl? I love it! Don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of RIDING DOUBLE. Also you may follow Rebecca on twitter and Face Book as Rebecca Zanetti. Thanks everyone and congrats to Rebecca for a year filled with success and to many more!

Kensington and Megan Records

Hello everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 RWA National Conference where I got to meet several people including a few from Kensington. I had already met today’s guest in March and knew instantly that I wanted to be published with Kensington, but now after meeting Alicia Condon I know I HAVE to keep trying to be one of their authors. I attended a workshop where five of Kensington’s top people spoke about what happens between you, your book, and them. I learned so much about the “behind” the scenes workings and the people who really get your book sold. I’m amazed and have so much respect for those people. Today’s guest is an editor of two of my writing friends and one that I enjoy twitter stalking cause she’s just fun. One day Megan will either block me from everything or I will be a Kensington author. I’ll keep you all posted and yes I’m open for you all to take bets on which will happen 🙂

But for now let’s get down to the interview and give Mrs. Megan Records a huge thank you for stopping by and participating today.

What made you become an editor?

It was a very logical thought process, actually. I wanted a job I really loved. What did I love to do? Read. How could I get paid to read? Become an editor.


How did you go about becoming an editor?

I did the typical track—English major. I got an M.S. in Publishing (not necessary at all, but it was a relatively “safe” way of getting to NYC…no immediate panic over jobs and apartments). I had a great internship at Harlequin that solidified for me that I wanted to work in romance. My first job was with an educational publishing house. Oh, the nightmares. It was just the wrong job for me—copyediting math problems is not fun for an English major. And then I landed at Kensington.


Did you ever think of becoming an agent?

No. As a kid, I couldn’t even go door-to-door in our neighborhood to sell fundraising things. I am just not the “outgoing salesman” type. Ironically, as an editor, I have to “sell” my books to the editorial board and to our sales team, but it seems less daunting when you are making a salary and not working on commission.


How many authors (currently contracted) do you edit? How many do you feel is too many at one time?

 I think I’ve got about 14 currently under contract. I don’t mentally have a number that is too many in total, but sometimes I‘ll read a sub and think, “Do I really need another paranormal author writing this creature?” or “Do I have room for another historical author writing this time period?” It’s all about how the group meshes, not how big it is.


If you get a manuscript on submission on you like it but just don’t love it do you ever offer any advice on what would make you love it?

If I can. Most of the time, when I run across a “like not love” manuscript, I can’t pinpoint what would make it jump that fence for me. I mean, I did like it. There was nothing “wrong” with it. It just didn’t have that je ne sais quoi that would have me begging my ed board to let me buy it. More often in this situation, I ask if the author has any other projects in the works.


I’ve heard you say that you contract around five new authors a year. With your promotion has that number increased?

Yes and no. My promotion didn’t create any more spots on our list, and it didn’t make any of our other acquiring editors invisible so I could take their spots. But it will give me more attention from agents, who will start sending projects that they hadn’t sent here previously, and I will also have a little bit more leeway in my buys (i.e. they might allow a riskier buy that they wouldn’t have allowed before). So while I don’t have an annual quota of manuscripts I must buy, I do expect to buy more this year than I have previously.  And remember, after a certain point, it’s bad if an editor keeps picking up a lot of new people. I want to get to the point where I am constantly renewing the authors I have, and therefore picking up fewer projects.


What is the next step in editing for you? What are your future plans?

I plan to discover many bestsellers and become a legend in the world of publishing, of course. :]


I can say without a doubt that I truly believe that Ms. Records is well on her way to becoming a legend and I’m convinced that she has at least two Best Sellers in her catalog now. Especially since I am a critique partner of one, I mean really it has to happen 🙂 Thanks again to Mrs. Records and all her hard work  in the publishing industry and to the others at Kensington who work so hard to make the publishing industry the best field to work in. Thank you all.

Tuesday’s Industry News

Hello everyone! Today is the first of many posts where I Sayde Grace will let you all know a little about what is going on in the writing industry. Today I’m featuring a contest from Kensington Publishing. Now you all know that I adore Kensington and would love to be published by them so I’m a little bias on this post. But a few days ago a Kensington Brava author brought this contest to my attention and I thought “what better way to start off my industry posts than this?”

Alicia Condon has announced that Brava will be participating in “Writing with the Stars”. The rules have not yet been posted but here are a little of the details posted on the Brava Authors blog by Mrs. Condon:

“We all have our favorite reality TV shows – Donna Kauffman blogs about American Idol; next year Kensington will be publishing a paranormal send up of The Real Housewives series; and now Brava has its own Writing with the Stars contest. In conjunction with RT Book Reviews, Brava is sending out a call to unpublished writers of paranormal, historical and contemporary romance , as well as romantic suspense: We’re looking for a hot debut novel to be published in 2012 under the Brava imprint at Kensington.”

Now for those of you who have been teetering back and forth about a novel you are writing, have tried to write, or are thinking of writing this is a great opportunity to get your behind in gear and get ready for “Writing with the Stars”.

For more info here is the direct link to Mrs. Condon’s post : http://www.bravaauthors.com/blog/2010/03/26/writing-with-the-stars/#more-2479

Now I look forward to seeing ten of our followers as finalist so get busy and get ready, I’ll be looking for you all in the finalist column!

Oh and just because I was forced to watch the kids choice awards here is just a glimpse of what made it worth while:


Thank god this kid finally turned 18, I was starting to feel bad about thinking how hot he is. They so did not make em’ like this when I was 18(except you honey! You’re the exception, that’s why I love ya 🙂 ). But really, when did high school guys look like this??

All right so now go forth and write, get ready to bring your A game because I want to see some Sizzlers and Sizzlets on that finalist page!

Southern Sizzlers interview Cynthia Eden

We, at the Southern Sizzler Romance blog, have the privilege and honor of interviewing one of our dearly loved chapter members. The Inimitable Cynthia Eden. We are so thrilled to call her friend and mentor.  For those of you who have never met her in person, I have to tell you, you are missing out on one cool chica. 

Cynthia is generous with her time and talent and we are all thrilled to have her as our guest here.  We hope you enjoy her interview. 

SFCatty: Welcome to our little blog, Ms Eden. What an exciting time for you. You have Hotter After Midnight being re-released as a mass market paperback and you just had a new release on December 29, 2009 called Eternal Hunter.

CYNTHIA:  Thanks so much for inviting me over!!! It’s a pleasure to be at Southern Sizzlers (and I do so love that name.)
SFCatty:  First, tell us about the mass market release. What does that mean to you?

CYNTHIA:  It means excitement.  Every time a book is released, I get a giddy burst of excitement. Just can’t help it.  HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT was my first NY released book, so it’s very special to me.  And since it is being re-released now, well, that hopefully means more readers will have the chance to learn about my monster doctor and her wolf shifter cop. 

SFCatty:  It IS a great book.  Love the characters.   Any thoughts or inklings of the others in the Midnight Trilogy series being released as mass market?

CYNTHIA:  I haven’t heard any details about the other books yet. If I do, I will definitely let you know.  I *do* know that BELONG TO THE NIGHT, the paranormal romance anthology that included my story, “In the Dark,” will be re-released in mass market form next September. 

SFCatty:  That’s exciting and we’ll be looking forward to that this fall. 

SFCatty:  You also had a new book out on December 29, 2009, Eternal Hunter. This is the first in the Night Watch series. Tell us about that series.

CYNTHIA:  I love this series—and I am having such fun writing about these characters! The idea for the Night Watch series was pretty simple. Actually, the series developed from this one sentence: Sometimes, it can take a monster to catch a killer. And, yep, from that, the entire series was born.  I created a group of paranormal bounty hunters and their job is to hunt down criminals—both human and supernatural killers.

SFCatty: Is this a new direction for you?

CYNTHIA:  I like to think this is just continued exploration into the paranormal world that was created with the Midnight books. Many of the same supernatural beings appear and they follow the same “world” rules that were created in the Midnight books.   However, the beings are seen from a different perspective.  Good guys aren’t always obvious—neither are the bad guys. 

SFCatty:  Sounds intriguing.  Mysterious, even.  How many books will be in this series? I see on your website that there are two for release in 2010. Will we see more in 2011?

CYNTHIA:  I’ve written three books so far, and I plan to start on a fourth within the next few weeks.  The books will be released in 2010 and 2011. I may actually wind up with three released in 2010 (ETERNAL HUNTER is just released, I’LL BE SLAYING YOU will be out in July, and the third book—tentatively titled ETERNAL FLAME—may be out in December of 2010).

SFCatty:  Maybe in time for next year Christmas shopping.   YEAH!

SFCatty:  Tell us three intriguing facts about the hero in Eternal Hunter.

CYNTHIA:  Fact one: I liked his character so much that while I was writing the book, I actually kept pulling the hero into real-life conversations that I was having.  Seriously, I would say things like, “Well, if Jude were here, he’d say that was bullshit.”  Um, my husband had to remind me that Jude was *not* in fact, present. 

Fact two: He’s one of the most powerful supernatural heroes I’ve created—and also one with the potential to be the most vicious.  Hmmm…does that count as facts two and three? Oh, well, let’s throw in another one anyway…

Fact three:  He’s not just a fighter; the man is one serious lover, too!

SFCatty:  Ooh, la la.  We like serious lovers on this blog.   And what about three facts on the heroine?

CYNTHIA:   Have to be careful with her…don’t want to give away any spoilers but…

Fact one: Erin Jerome is intimately acquainted with Death. 

Fact two: When she wants to do so, Erin Jerome can  kick some serious ass.

Fact three:  Her character was semi-inspired by the show Law & Order. Yes, I am a Law & Order addict. 

SFCatty:  With all the Law and Order franchises, there should be something there for all those fans to love, too.   I can’t wait to check it out.

SFCatty:  Are there any new anthologies on the horizon with your work in them?

CYNTHIA:  Thanks for asking! Yes, I will be in a new anthology. This will be my first non-paranormal anthology for Kensington Brava. In October of 2010, my story, “All I Want for Christmas” will be released in the anthology titled, “The Naughty List.”  I wrote this one in November, so it sure helped to put me in the holiday mood!

SFCatty:  Any thoughts you want to share with your fans?

CYNTHIA:  I’d just like to say thank you. Thank you to the readers who’d picked up my books, to the wonderful folks who have emailed me about my stories.  Thank you!

SFCatty:  What’s next for Cynthia?

CYNTHIA:  2010 looks like it will be a busy release year for me (which is good—I like busy!).  I’m excited about the launch of my romantic suspense series in August of 2010 with the release of DEADLY FEAR (from Grand Central Publishing). The Deadly books will be dark, sexy, and I sure hope readers enjoy them. 

SFCatty:  So, we will get our “Cynthia” fix in 2010 for sure. No matter our preference-  Paranormal, suspense, or Christmas fare.  How awesome for you and for us, your readers.  Congratulations on what sounds like a great year ahead.

CYNTHIA:  Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me. I had a great time answering the questions!

SFCatty:  Thanks for agreeing to the interview.  I know you are under a deadline and you are too kind to take the time to chat with me and your readers.

We hope you all enjoyed the interview with Cynthia.  Check out her books.  They are wonderful reads.   I’ll be back on Saturday with a new bad boy for the weekend.  I think you’ll like him.  He has some paranormal qualities.  He can’t die.   Intrigued??  Tune in on Saturday.

EDITED TO ADD:  If you want to meet Cynthia and a plethora of other writers join us at the beach  for the Silken Sands Writer’s conference in March.   http://www.gccrwa.com/silkensands/        I have it on good authority that autographed books will  be available!  

Also Romancemama will post your WETSDAY fix later in the week so this interview can stay up.

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