Monday, January 23, 2012

Meeting ~ January 28 ~ Village Bread Cafe'

In January (and January only) we will move our meeting to:

The Village Bread Cafe, 10111 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32257.  Phone is 904-262-0740. (This is NOT the Village Inn Restaurant, also on San Jose.)

Lunch 12:00-1:00
Workshop 1:00-2:30

We're looking forward to a great workshop! Authors Elizabeth Sinclair, Dolores J Wilson, and Vickie King will present:


As part of the workshop, we'd like to invite you to submit the first 3 pages of your work for us to critique.  Before you submit, make sure:

1.) You are ready to hear what we have to say about your baby.
2.) You have no objections to us discussing your work in front of the attendees which may include outside guests.  Your name will not be revealed unless you wish to let them know it is yours.
3.) There is no guarantee we will get to all submissions.

Send the first three pages of your work to:

Write CRITIQUE in the subject line.

We need a few days to go over the submissions, so please send them as soon as possible. (Note: at this late date there may not be time for late-arriving critiques.)

Directions to The Village Bread Cafe':
From the South: If you are going south on 295, take the first exit after you cross the Buckman.  This is San Jose Blvd.  Turn left back under the overpass and go approximately one mile.  When you see the Hess Station on the right, it is the shopping center on the right just after the Hess.  The cafe is midway down the shopping center between Tropical Smoothie and Honey Baked Ham.

From the North: If you are traveling north on 295, take the first San Jose Exit and turn onto San Jose Blvd.  From there, go approximately one mile, and follow the same directions above.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breathless! New Release from ACRA Member Kathy Bain!

Please join ACRA in congratulating member Kathryn J Bain on her very first release, Breathless, a Christian romance.

In addition to all Kathy does for ACRA--she is Public Relations Director and Membership Chair--she also serves as president of Florida Sisters in Crime. Visit her website to find out more about Breathless and also about Kathy herself.

Lydia Frederickson is afraid to answer her telephone. Widowed and alone, she only wants to get through another anniversary of her husband’s death without falling to pieces, but a stalker isn’t making that goal easy. The disturbing calls are becoming increasingly personal and threatening, and everyone who knows her is suspect. The only person she knows isn’t making the calls is her new ponytailed, tattooed—and breathtakingly handsome— minister, Matthew Winters.

Former-narcotics-agent-turned-minister Matthew Winters knows he’s not what the town expected in their new pastor, but he’s up for the challenge. What he doesn’t expect is the sudden attraction he feels for parishioner Lydia Frederickson. When he discovers she’s the victim of a stalker, he feels God’s intervention has led him—both a cop and a preacher—to her. Matthew knows he’s falling for the beautiful widow, but a secret from his past may undermine their future.

News from Member Marianne LaCroix

Member Marianne LaCroix recently sold a book to Sizzler Editions: Who's Afraid of the Bid Bad Wolf? It is an erotic romantic comedy/paranormal fantasy.

She also sold a short, Tie Me Up and Spank Me, to Sizzler Editions for their Bound for Love anthology coming out on February 1st.

Who's Afraid of the Bid Bad Wolf? will probably release soon as well. (It was previously published.)

She is also going to be doing some cover art for Sizzler, and organizing an anthology as a guest editor for Sizzler.

Summer Rose! New Release from ACRA Member Elizabeth Sinclair

Fans of Sinclair will love Summer Rose, the sequel to Hawks Mountain.

Can their love survive a secret he never suspected?

A tragedy transformed Rose Hamilton from a surrogate mother for her beloved foster sister into a single mom expecting twins.  But when she walks into Dr. Hunter Mackenzie’s West Virginia wildlife rehab clinic—all he sees is a gorgeous, likeable woman applying for a job.

Rose doesn’t want a romance with the handsome veterinarian, who doesn’t suspect that she’s expecting, and who’s already got plenty of trouble, thanks to a mayor who wants to rid his town of Hunter’s lion cubs and injured wolves.

But will her heart give her that option?  Besides, why would a man who obviously loves the wild life want to fall in love with a ready-made family?

Amazon | B&Nnook | Bell Bridge Books | Visit Elizabeth Sinclair's website

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ACRA Announces: Congrats to Sharon Drane!

Congratulations to member Sharon Drane, finalist in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence for Unpublished Writers, sponsored by RWA Southern Magic, Birmingham, AL.

The contest is sponsored by the Southern Magic chapter of RWA in Birmingham, Al.  The name of the contest is The Linda Howard Award of Excellence for Unpublished Writers.

ACRA is keeping fingers crossed for Sharon! We should have more information in a couple of months. In the meantime, here's more about Sharon's Regency novel...
Touch The Sky

The last person Celeste wanted to see stood before her.  Colonel Sheridan St. John smiled at her as if nothing amiss had happened.  Rage overtook her as she noted he was still muscled and blond with those hypnotic dark blue eyes.  His deeds did not show on his face.  She could not forgive him for what he had done.  She could not forgive herself for loving him still.

His accusations killed Baron Hargreaves, her father.

Now three years after the execution St. John found Celeste and her younger siblings.  The proclamation he carried from the Prince-Regent affirmed Baron Hargreaves to be innocent of all charges.  The true traitor confessed.  Celeste, her brother, and sister were declared the wards of Sheridan’s father, the powerful Duke of Richmond.  Their titles were restored. Reparations would be made to the Hargreaves family. 

Sheridan sought to win Celeste’s love once more.  If he could not, he vowed to protect her and her family from the conspirators who had plotted the death of their father.  The evidence against the Baron was cleverly conceived. Though held in custody, the confessed traitor was murdered, his reasons for targeting Baron Hargreaves unknown.  Someone highly placed wanted him silenced. 

It would be a hard battle to win Celeste’s trust, much less her love.  A seasoned veteran of many battles, Sheridan would conduct the campaign as he had no other.  It was the most important of his life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Is In Depth Research A Must?

by Elizabeth Sinclair

In a word . . . YES!

When I began writing, back in the Dark Ages, I wanted to do historical romances, but once I started, I realized that a lot of the things we take for granted today were not around in the time period I chose to write about, the mid 1800’s. This meant figuring out how they accomplished something as simple as lighting a cigar back then. (Keep in mind, there was no Internet to go to when I began writing.).  Needless to say, the research desk librarian at our local library and I became fast friends.

After slogging through hours of research for my southern historical, I decided that the research took far too much time, so I’d write contemporaries.  SURPRISE!  Unless every heroine was a stay-at-home mom (me) and every hero was a printer (my husband’s occupation), I would have to . . . you guessed it . . . research occupations. Not only that, but I had to research locations, unless I wanted to set every book in northeast Florida. Then there was the flora and fauna and climate and myriad of other details indigenous to whatever location I chose.

No matter where you decide to set your novel and what occupations you give the characters, don’t guess.  Our readers like nothing better than to find a research mistake in our books. Check your facts, even if you think you KNOW you’re right.  When I wrote EIGHT MEN AND A LADY, which was set in the Adirondack Mountains, having lived in upstate NY all my life and being “blessed” with a male family of deer hunters, I was sure I knew when deer season was. Once the book was released, I got a lovely letter from an upstate NY lawyer informing me that the deer season in the Adirondack Mountains was different than the rest of the state.  Who knew?  I would have if I’d done my research.

My point here is that no matter what you write, resign yourself to research. It's inevitable if you want to keep your books fresh, original, accurate and interesting. With the advent of the Internet, research has become one of the simplest parts of my writing. If I need to know a fact now, I simply type it into a search engine's little box and wait for a list of places to look to pop up. 
Here's a few you may find helpful:

This site contains everything from grammar advice and rules, to How to Swear in a Foreign Language.
Or just type your question into the search box on your browser. Headlines and pop culture for any date in American history from 1800 through 2002
Occupations A to Z, includes a description of the work, training and education.
This site contains names and meanings, but it has some really good tips for writers to look out for when picking character names.
If you want to “see” what an area looks like, go to Then click on the satellite image, and you’ll be able see it as if you’re flying over it in an airplane.
Elizabeth Sinclair is author of the phenominally-selling book, Hawks Mountain. Visit her website. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Message from our Outgoing President

by Vickie King
In all the years I have belonged to RWA, this was my first year as a chapter President.  Twelve months ago, as I held my first meeting, there was a lump in my throat.  At this moment, there is once again a lump in my throat, but it is one of gratefulness to those that helped me through this past year.

As I look back over 2011, I see how much each of you gave of yourselves, and I thank you.  I’ve loved being president, but I’m also happy to be passing the torch to your new president, Dolores, who has some great ideas for the coming year.

In the meantime, I’ll be wearing another hat for ACRA, as the Education Chair, so send me your ideas for monthly workshops. I look forward to seeing everyone again in January. Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy Writing.

A Message from Our Incoming President

by Dolores J. Wilson
In spite of how much I've dug my heels in and tried to keep 2011 from disappearing faster than a Thanksgiving meal which took three days to cook, I have failed miserably.  Time is passing and although I will be ready for Christmas and New Year's, I wish this past year had gone more slowly so I could have enjoyed more of it.

I can take a few minutes and remember the high points that have happened since January 1, 2011 until now.  I can think of each happening, event, or surprise that came my way.  Most of it was great and maybe that is the reason I regret it going so fast.  I want to slow down and savor every moment big, small or in between.  But that has not been the way things have gone.

On my goal list, half of the things have been accomplished and marked off.  Things like: spend lots of quality time with my grandkids (check), find an agent (check), make new writing friends (check), spend a week in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley (check), be more active in my local chapter of Romance Writers of America.  Becoming the president for Ancient City Romance Authors for 2012 deserves a (check and double check).

The things from my list I didn't make happen:  Lose enough weight to make Twiggy jealous (you really young folks look her up) write, sell, and have published the next greatest American novel, and last but not least, master Facebook and Twitter.

Those goals will go back on this year's list along with being the best ACRA president I can, make new friends, and with the help of a lot of special people, make the membership for the chapter grow and grow.

A couple of weeks ago, our 2012 Board had our first meeting to set up goals, to talk about budgets and to discuss the things we would like to see ACRA accomplish next year.  The Board is made up of awesome members full of energy and bright ideas, and we had a very successful  first board meeting.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the first chapter meeting in 2012.

Welcome to The Galleon!

Welcome to The Galleon, blog of the RWA Ancient City Romance Authors. This blog replaces our newsletter, where more members can share more information and stay in touch with each other, other romance authors, and our readers.

ACRA has spent the last part of 2011 discussing our goals for 2012; both personal ones and goals for the chapter. We all seem to be filled with renewed energy and purpose, and we're excited about the plans we have for this brand new year!

What are some of your goals for this year?