Justine: Looks Can Kill

book covers, eight ladies writing, justine covington, sarah maclean

A well-designed cover for “One Good Earl Deserves a Lover” by Sarah MacLean.

In this era of self-publishing, where anyone can sell their book on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, etc., it’s important to differentiate yourself from the masses. To separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. A key way to do that, aside from writing a freaking fantastic book and paying for professional book editing, is to have your cover professionally designed by someone who knows what they’re doing. That last part is key and bears repeating in big, bold letters:

by someone who knows what they’re doing

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Nancy: Please Welcome Guest Blogger Deborah Blake!

Today the Ladies welcome guest blogger Deborah Blake to 8LW. Deborah’s debut fiction novel, Wickedly Dangerous, will be available in your favorite book-procuring place on Tuesday, September 2. We asked her to stop by and chat a little about the joys and challenges of writing this paranormal romance, so Deborah, take it away!

Wickedly Dangerous

My debut series, the Baba Yaga tales, is coming out from Berkley this year. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited. At the moment, the series consists of a prequel novella, Wickedly Magical, the first book, Wickedly Dangerous, and the second book, Wickedly Wonderful. I’m hopeful to do the third book in the series too.

The basic premise of the series is fairly simple. They are essentially modern fairy tales (although being marketed as paranormal romance) based on an updated version of the Russian Baba Yaga fairy tales and mythology. The original Baba Yaga was a crone-type witch who lived in the forest in a hut on chicken legs, rode through the air in a mortar steered by a pestle, and was sometimes associated with a dragon named Chudo-Yudo. Although Baba Yaga was often depicted as quite frightening (and rightfully so), she was also known to be helpful to those worthy seekers who asked nicely and behaved well. In short, she was neither a good witch nor a bad witch, but rather a very powerful magical being who pretty much did what she wanted to. Continue reading

Jilly: Celebrating the Serious Business of Romance Writing

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding …

I’d like to propose a toast.

Tomorrow is Labor Day for many readers of this blog, though not for us here in the UK. I’ve spent most of my life working for US corporations, so I know the holiday falls on the first Monday in September. I know it marks the start of the NFL season (we love football, American-style, here at Casa Jilly), but beyond that, I never gave it much thought – until now.

According to that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, Labor Day is “… a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

So today seems like the perfect day to reflect on and celebrate the social and economic achievements of romance authors.

If you’re still reading, chances are you already know Continue reading

Michaeline: A Magic Bullet for Procrastination?

St. Jerome wonders if there's any yogurt left in that pot next to the hearth. Via Wikimedia Commons. By Leonello Spada.

St. Jerome wonders if there’s any yogurt left in that pot next to the hearth. Via Wikimedia Commons. Leonello Spada.

Um, no. But, it might be helpful.

We’ve talked about procrastination before, but this article from The Atlantic online suggests that it is perfectly normal for writers to be procrastinators. And there are two helpful hints for overcoming procrastination.

1) Set your deadline to begin slightly AFTER the time you should begin in order to shock yourself into beginning. (I’m one of those persons who sets a few strategic clocks ahead a few minutes to make myself believe I’m running late so I move a little faster. Well, that’s the theory. What actually happens is that I set my clock two minutes early, say, “Oh! The time! Oh, yeah, I’m OK, I still have two minutes.” And still wind up five minutes late. I realized the folly this year when I read this old Dear Prudie column, and started setting all my clocks for the right time, AND THE WORLD DIDN’T FALL APART. This advice for setting alarms a little later might work for me, now that my clocks are all on the right time.) Continue reading

Kat: “Featuring” Fridays: Kristan Higgins

The last Friday of the month is always a bummer for me. I’m usually dragging ass by now, and trying to come up with something worthwhile to post can be a chore.  So I thought, hey, what better way to lighten the load then to profile or feature a favorite author? So beginning today, I’ll be doing a “featuring” post on the last Friday of each month. I chose New York Times best-selling author, Kristan Higgins to kick things off.

  • Why She Makes My Top Ten “Favorite” List:
    Simply put, I love the focus of her stories. Her heroine (and hero) are down-to-earth, but quirky in a fascinating way. For example, Grace, the heroine in “Too Good to be True” is a history teacher and civil war junkie who spends her weekends with a group that reenacts civil war battles for fun. She has a thing for the hunky (ex-con) next door, hits him with a cricket bat, spies on him from her attic window, and ends up getting caught in a whopper of a lie, but in the end love prevails (the love of her readers, too). Romantic comedy at it’s best.

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Michille: Back to School

School BusIt’s back-to-school time in Maryland. Neighborhoods got quieter, roads got busier, and kids are back to the grind. I am the right age to appreciate this blog post, Back to School: The 70s vs. Today, A Lot has Changed, because I lived that back-to-school life in the 70s. I think I had the outfit, bottom left, with the bell bottoms and sweater vest. As I recall, the turtle neck was actually a body suit that snapped together at the bottom. I’m living it on the other end now as I still have one in school – a 10th grader. I can relate to the search for the right lunch foods but for my son, a runner, the key is high protein foods that can survive in a hot locker. It’s not easy to get 100 grams of protein crammed into the diet of a 15-year-old. Supplies are easier than the blogger has it because at his school, it’s just spiral notebooks, pens/pencils, and his smart phone. The $100 graphing calculator is now a $5 app and the Spanish translation dictionary is a free one. My husband is also back to school in front of a pack of undergraduate and graduate education majors so back-to-school shopping consisted of refreshing his stock of shirts and ties. Continue reading

Elizabeth: There’s No Comparison


I had a different topic planned for today, but then I saw this blog post by Chuck Wendig about comparing ourselves to others and thought it was a message worth sharing.

Take a look. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Great post, right? Continue reading