Marcia’s Romantically Yours
Issue # 27
marcia king-gamble

Romantically Yours is finally back, bigger, better, and more inspiring than ever.

I'm sorry for the delay but it’s taken longer than I expected to make the transition from its old site to its new home at And it’s entirely my fault. I've been swamped with a number of projects. I was peddling like crazy to finish up two books and on top of that I had major revisions. I hope to make it up to you with this month’s Spring has Sprung edition.

If you'd like to start off the season right, pick up a copy of the third in the Flamingo Beach series. Down and Out in Flamingo Beach is scheduled to be in a neighborhood bookstore this May. Come join in the celebration as Flamingo Beach turns one hundred years old and so does its oldest inhabitant.


Romantically Yours is finally back, bigger, better, and more inspiring than ever.

I'm sorry for the delay but it’s taken longer than I expected to make the transition from its old site to its new home at And it’s entirely my fault. I've been swamped with a number of projects. I was peddling like crazy to finish up two books and on top of that I had major revisions. I hope to make it up to you with this month’s Spring has Sprung edition.

If you'd like to start off the season right, pick up a copy of the third in the Flamingo Beach series. Down and Out in Flamingo Beach is scheduled to be in a neighborhood bookstore this May. Come join in the celebration as Flamingo Beach turns one hundred years old and so does its oldest inhabitant.

Quilt making has always fascinated me and this story centers around a quilt shop. My heroine, Joya Hamill, introduced in book two, has finally found a love of her own. What she wants is not exactly what she gets. Heat wave alert, the sexy hero, Derek Morse, sets the pages on fire.

Romantic Times Book Review gave this book 4 stars. It’s my favorite book in the series so far. I hope you will enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Read this month’s dynamic interview with veteran author Jasmine Creswell. Jasmine has been writing for thirty plus years. She’s survived the many changes in this crazy publishing business. We all can benefit from her wisdom, advice, and positive thinking.

I’d love to hear from you with any suggestions you have to make Romantically Yours even better. Please send your thoughts and ideas my way. E mail me at and keep writing.

Romantically Yours,

Marcia King-Gamble
Editor -- Romantically Yours


Tools of the Trade

The Art of the Press Release.

Writing your own press release costs nothing except time and a little creativity. Here are a few tips that maybe helpful to you in getting that release picked up by a newspaper.

First and foremost the information within should be late breaking news and have some immediacy to it. Old news is not something a newspaper is interested in. What do I mean by immediacy, examples are as follows:

Wanda Writer, a local author will be autographing her book at XYZ Store on XYZ date

Wanda Writer, a teacher in our community has signed a contract for her very first book with XYZ publisher

Wanda Writer, a former resident of our community is scheduled to give a talk at the community center on Monday, July 13th at 7.00 p.m..

The info contained within that press release should be timely. Find out the absolute deadline by which the newspaper must have the information. Normally it’s about three weeks before the publication goes to press but different newspapers might have different deadlines.

The release should have a local slant to it. See examples above.

Now let’s talk about writing the actual release.

The press release should be kept simple and straight forward. Newspapers tend to still use the 5 W’s — Who, What, Where, Why, When.

A reader needs to see or hear your name seven times to establish name recognition.

Here are two examples:

Example 1- Who, when, where and why.

Wanda Writer, award winning teacher at XYZ High School sold her first book to XYZ Publisher in May 2006. Wanda will be autographing her romantic suspense novel, To Die For at the Millford Borders on Candy Street on June 12th at 6.00 p.m.

Example 2 — Seven is the Magic Number to establish Name Recognition

Lynbrook author Wanda Writer has signed another two book contract with St. Martin’s Press. Writer’s first novel To Die For won the prestigious Rita Award. On the Edge is a sequel to Wanda’s 2004 release Wired.

Wanda Writer is an English teacher at Lynbrook High. Writer lives in Lynbrook with her significant other, Joseph Dalton a popular Veterinarian. Wanda will be giving a talk at the Lynbrook community center on February 14th at 8.00 p.m. Be sure to

come out and support Writer and pick up a copy of her latest book.

If a photo is accompanying your press release be sure to make several copies as most likely they will not be returned.

Keep a list of the newspapers you are submitting to, and be sure you write down the name of the contact person, also whether they prefer to be contacted by e mail, snail mail, fax, phone etc.

One free web-based directory is It has a vast database of newspapers, journals, newsletters and periodicals worldwide.

Have fun writing your press release, keep it straightforward and factual and stay away from gimmicks and being cute. Good luck!



May 04-05, 2007
Write on Vancouver
Inn at Westminster Quay,
New Westminster, British Colombia

May 12-13, 2007
Romancing the Rockies
Renaissance Denver Hotel

July 11-14, 2007
Romance Writers of America
Hyatt Regency
Dallas, TX

September 28-30, 2007
Moonlight and Magnolias Conference
Location: Hilton Atlanta Northeast
Keynote: Linda Howard
To register visit:


Jasmine Cresswell was born in England but now divides her time between her winter home in Sarasota, Florida and her summer home in Evergreen, Colorado. Jasmine has been writing since 1975 and has published over 50 novels, with 9 million copies of her books in print. This multi-published author has received numerous awards. Here what she has to say about this constantly changing publishing business.

Interview with Jasmine Creswell


What inspired you to write your very first book and what was it about?


I started writing out of frustration: my original career was with the British Foreign Service but on my first overseas assignment (to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil) I met my future husband who was working for a major international corporation there. In those days, the rules for female Foreign Service officers were strict: you resigned on marriage, no disputes, no exceptions. I then tried a second career as a university professor but that, too, got hijacked by my husband’s constant job transfers. Not to mention the birth of four children taking up quite a lot of time! Writing fiction seemed to me just about the only career I could take anywhere in the world.

My first book was called Forgotten Marriage and the title pretty much says it all. It was a sweet romance with a (tiny) hint of mystery and was published in hardcover by a company that basically sold only to libraries. Still, it was my first attempt at writing fiction, so I was thrilled to make a sale.


Your latest effort is a trilogy. I was fascinated by the titles and the plot lines. Tell us a little about Missing, Suspect and Payback.


I was hanging out at a conference one night with my good friend, Maggie Osborne, and Marsha Zinberg, the editorial director of Harlequin’s Special Projects. Maggie and I started playing around, inventing a complicated story that might be suitable for one of Marsha’s continuity series. The story as we developed it that night was pretty ridiculous, but Maggie Osborne’s basic concept really resonated with me. She suggested following the two families of a bigamist who discover after years of seemingly happy marriage that their lives have been based on an illusion.

I became fascinated by the idea of writing this story, even though we'd only been playing when it was first conceived. Maggie Osborne, who writes wonderful historical fiction, graciously gave me permission to tell Ron’s story. Since I write suspense, I decided to start the books at the moment Ron Raven goes missing in a Miami hotel room. Hence the title of the first book, MISSING. Two things quickly become apparent: Ron has been murdered — and he’s left behind two very different wives and three grown children. Each book in the trilogy is told from the point of view of one of Ron’s children. My editor at Mira seems very pleased with the books, which are going to be sold in three successive months this fall.


You've had an impressive career spanning thirty-plus years in an uncertain business. You've seen lots of changes. What keeps you motivated?


My desire to tell the stories tumbling around in my head and share them with an audience.


In this rapidly changing business with publishers tightening their belts, do you have any tips that might help an author survive?


I believe that authors need to tell the stories that are compelling to them. If you're fascinated by the people and events you're writing about, that fascination will shine through in your writing. However, if you want to sell what you write on a consistent basis, you have to pay close, intelligent attention to the market. What are publishers buying? Where is there a niche that I can exploit? Authors succeed when they write something that is easy for the marketing department to label and yet at the same time genuinely offers a fresh perspective.


What advice could you give to newbies attempting to break into the romance writing business?


See above. Also — hone your craft. That seems boring advice because everyone gives it. However, everyone says the same thing because it’s so important.


Can you share your secret to writing fast paced, page turning books? Is there even a secret or is it all in the process?


If you want to learn any aspect of novel writing technique, you have millions of teachers out there just waiting for you to consult them. Who are these teachers? Books. Every novel ever published can teach you something. Pick up a novel, any novel. Read it. Did you enjoy it? If so, analyze why. Underline passages that really worked for you. Did you dislike it? If so, analyze why. When did you get bored? Why did you get bored? Gradually narrow the scope of your reading to novels in the genre you want to write. How do the authors you enjoy hold your interest? Is it pace? Is it characters you like so much that you'll follow them through a digression? Is it witty dialogue? A fascinating plot premise? Writers can acquire any technical skill they need simply by reading the work of other writers. Good or bad, if you read with an editorial eye, you can learn.


In doing research, I discovered you are the founder and former president of Novelists, Inc. What prompted you to create Novelists, Inc. Tell us a little about this organization?


Fourteen years ago, RWA wasn't doing the excellent job it now does of supporting the needs of its published authors. There was also a level of frustration at the way the publishing industry at large ignored the contributions of its romance writers. The founders of Novelists, Inc wanted to create an organization with a membership composed only of multi-published authors of popular fiction. Five of us got together and dreamed up what became Novelists, Inc. The organization continues to grow and flourish today, with a focus on reaching out across genres and providing a forum for multi-published authors to share vital business information.


You were also a former editor of The Romance Writers Report; the monthly publication issued by Romance Writers of America. In that capacity what did you do?


When I edited the RWR, the position of editor was a volunteer one. Today, of course, editing the RWR is the responsibility of a fulltime, paid employee. I was responsible for soliciting and editing content, and for making sure that members were informed about board activities. In those days (not that long ago!!) there was no Internet to speak of so the Letters to the Editor column was vitally important, generating a ton of mail and lots of heat. Tact was the major requirement for the job, I think — at least as important as being fairly good at obscure rules of punctuation!


How many books have you written altogether, including those written under the name Jasmine Craig?


I keep meaning to count and never do. It must be more than 70 by now.


Have your advanced degrees in history helped with any of your plotlines? If so, how?


I've written a few historicals, with great enjoyment. Also, the ability to research quickly and efficiently is always invaluable to a writer.


Do you think goal setting is important to this business?


Yes, although it’s something I do very badly.


And finally, what’s next for Jasmine Cresswell? Is there a particular genre left to conquer? A burning story left to be told?


I have a "retirement" goal. I want to write a non-fiction account of the impact of incarceration on the lives of women who've been imprisoned. Women behind bars almost always leave children on the outside who suffer emotional deprivation as well as shame. I'd like to tell some of those stories and perhaps suggest ways that society might find to lessen the negative impact of imprisonment on innocent family members.


Who’s Acquiring



Spice Briefs are erotic short stories of about 5,000-15,000 words. Susan Pezzack Swinwood, Editor.

Please email or visit Spice Briefs Writing Guidelines for guideline information.

Kimani Tru

Imprint: Kimani TRU
Genre: Young adult fiction
Manuscript word length: Approximately 60,000—70,000 words
Manuscript pages: 200 pages


    The main characters should both be young adults, ideally between the ages of 14 and 19. These novels should reflect the varied environments that black teenagers navigate: school, home, social activities, neighborhood and the larger world beyond it. The characters should represent a broad spectrum of incomes (poor, working class, middle class and wealthy) as well as live in both urban and suburban settings.

Evette Porter Editor

Kimani TRU
c/o Evette Porter, Editor
Kimani Press
233 Broadway, Suite 1001
New York, NY 10279

Love Inspired Historicals — Steeple Hill

Length: 75,000 - 85,000 words
Editor: Melissa Endlich
Editorial Office: New York
Launch: February 2008

This new brand in the Steeple Hill imprint is a series of historical romances featuring Christian characters facing the many challenges of life and love in a variety of historical time periods.

New agency looking for writers

Mortimer Literary Agency
52645 Paui Road
Aguanga, CA 92536
Query Kelly Mortimer


Did you know?

Writing for Love or Money graduate Cindy Breeding’s first published novel, Camelot’s Destiny, has finaled in both the Prestigious Virginia Writers Holt’s award and the More than Magic Contest. Way to go Cindy!

Romance fiction accounts for:

$1.2 billion in sales each year
54.9 % of all popular mass market fiction sold
39.3% of all fiction sold.

Put your heart in a book and continue writing.



Romantically Yours is a FREE monthly newsletter. I would love to hear from you. Please send comments, news, research, or story ideas directly to Marcia King-Gamble at