Marciaís Romantically Yours
Issue # 42
marcia king-gamble

Dear Readers,

Donít you just love the smell of fall in the air and the wonderful colors of the changing leaves? The temperature is considerably cooler now and in a few months we will be ringing in a brand new year.

Speaking of new, I have a new release out this November. This oneís called First Crush and itís set in Washington wine country. The story deviates from the traditional developing relationship and starts out with a couple breaking up.


I was inspired to write this tale when I swapped my house a couple of years back and moved across country. But my decision had little to do with a man, and more to do with the rut I had settled into. My editor thought readers might enjoy hearing of my experiences.

Laila, my heroine is in no way a reflection of me (it would go against my grain to chase any man anywhere.) However, she is spunky, creative, and fun. While you may not always agree with her choices (she tends to follow her heart,) readers can relate to her adventurous spirit.

This story has pushed a number of emotional buttons. Readers have been very vocal about the hero, Hudson, choosing business over a woman he loves. Others think Hudsonís ambivalence makes him a less than worthy partner for Laila. Only you can decide whether this romance works for you.

Next up is Tempting the Mogul. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer this December. The story received a four and a half star rating by Romantic Times Magazine, and that makes me one very happy camper.

Featured this month is LaShaunda Hoffman, editor of Shades of Romance Magazine. For more about LaShaunda and her popular e zine log onto

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Read on for some excellent wine tips below.

Romantically Yours,

Marcia King-Gamble
Editor -- Romantically Yours

Tools of the Trade

In honor of the release of First Crush, fresh off the vine are some helpful wine tips to make any meal memorable. These tips are compliments of Food and Wine Magazine.

Cheeseburgers anyone?

A 2005 Saison Des Vins Syrah Líhiver ($16) is the way to go. Itís the rare red wine with enough fruit for a meat and cheese combo.

Going South of the border? Is Guacamole on your menu?

A 2007 As Laxas Albarino Rias Baixas ($12.00) stands up to the richness of guacamole.

Shrimp on the Barbie?

Try a 2005 Heath Wine like Lizard Flat Chardonnay from Australia ($8). It has a nice oak fruit balance.

When shopping for wine this holiday season consider this:

    1. Buy by the case. Itís a money saver as discounts range from 10-15%. Buying in bulk saves a trip to the store.

    2. Not all wines with screw caps are bad. More and more excellent wines are being sealed with a cap to avoid corkiness - the wet cardboard smell. Screw caps are also easier to open. A 2007 Planeta Rose ($16) comes highly recommended and so does the 2007 Domaines Francois Lurton Les Fumees Blanches Sauvignon Blanc ($11.)

    3. When dealing with multiple dishes and competing flavors think Thanksgiving and Christmas, serving a well balanced wine is important. Try a Pinot Noir or and American Rhone style blend. Other options are Austrian Gruner Veitliner or a dry Reisling.

    4. Instead of spending money on pricey champagnes opt for an affordable sparkling wine like Cava from Spain - Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ($10) and Prosecco from Italy - Botter Verduzzo Prosecco Frizzante ($13) is a nice choice.

    5. Use an inexpensive wine (under $12.00) for punch; one that can stand on its own. Try a 2007 Tapeno Rose ($10) or a 2008 Santa Rita 120 Carmenere. Spanish and South American wines are winners.



Interview with
LaShaunda Hoffman (Editor of SorMag):

La Shaunda Hoffman is the editor of the popular e zine Shades of Romance Magazine. She is a supporter of writers and will tell you she's a one woman show. Read on to find out more about LaShaunda and her commitment to new writers.

RI: What inspired you to create Shades of Romance Magazine (and how long have you been in business?

LH: SORMAG - Shades of Romance Magazine -, celebrated eight years in September. I started SORMAG because of my love of books. I wanted to help promote African-American romances. We started as an online magazine -, we were in print for two years then we moved to the blog. It saves paper and we reach a wider readership. As our authors branched into mainstream, we evolved from only promoting romance to promoting all multi-cultural literature.

RI: How many readers and people in the literary world does your newsletter reach monthly?

LH:Our newsletter, Much Ado About reading goes out to 2800 readers.

RI: Who is the most intriguing author you have ever interviewed and why?

LH:Thatís a hard question because Iíve interviewed a lot of authors. Iím going to say they all intrigue me because it takes a lot to sit down in front of a computer and write. I know from my own experience that this isnít an easy process. I admire them all for sacrificing their time and sharing their wild imagination.

RI: In your opinion how have romance novels changed over the years and what do your readers want more of?

LH:In my opinion the romances have become more real life. In the past romances were accused of being more fantasy than real. Now you can read a romance and learn about different things happening in our community.

Some of the readers have complained that they miss the fantasy part. They read to escape the real life. They want to be swept off their feet.

RI: Tell us about the annual Sormag online conference and the wide variety of authors and readers the conference attracts. How can an interested person participate?

LH: I started the online conference in 1999 before SORMAG existed. I wanted to attend a conference, but I didnít have the funds or vacation time. I had attended an online conference for time management and I contacted the host, Debbie Williams and she was willing to share how she pulled hers off. I took her wonderful advice and created the first conference. We had chats and articles and it was so much fun. I decided I would like to do it again. Yes Iím a glutton for punishment. Most people donít realize Iím a one person team, so everything that goes into the conference, I do all by myself. I invite the authors, I set up the workshops and in the old days, I set the web pages. It was crazy because I had to learn html in a short period of time. However I didnít let it stop me. Now we host the conference on the blog. For 2009 we will feature phone chats, so that should be interesting. Iím looking forward to it. If you want to be a part of the conference, go to the blog and click on the 2009 conference link. You can join the mailing list and Iíll send you info as we get closer to the conference. If youíre an author who wants to participate, send me an email - and let me know how you would like to participate.

There are also links on the blog to the previous conferences. The workshops are articles written by some the hottest names in the writing business. The best part about our conference is you donít have leave home. You can attend the conference anytime you want.

RI: Youíve always been a huge supporter of romance authors. Are you a romance writer as well or do you have aspirations to be?

LH: I started out writing romance, and then moved on to Christian fiction. I have big dreams of being published one day.

RI: Whatís your best marketing advice to authors with a limited budget? What would be money well spent?

LH:My first advice is to have an email account. Youíd be surprised how many new writers donít have email. If someone wants to interview you, they canít get in touch if you donít have an email.

Iíd also suggest a web page even if its one page. Many readers Google the author and if you have a web page, they have some place to go to learn more about you. Donít forget to include your email address. If you have the time, update the web page. You want to bring the readers back.

RI: What kinds of stories would you like to see authors tackle?

LH: I donít have a particular story Iím looking for. Iím just looking for a good story. Something Iím told all publishers want. Write a good story and it will sell.

RI: Share with us one of your most memorable moments as the editor of SorMag.

LH:I have three, one was when we were listed as one of the best writer sites for 2000, that made my year, when we were mentioned in the Essence magazine and when we were listed on the book cover of a Brenda Jacksonís book. I think the bookstore owner, thought I was crazy, screaming over a book. Seeing SORMAG listed showed we had arrived in the literary world.

RI: What are LaShaundaís hopes, dreams and thoughts for expanding Shades of Romance?

LH: Iíve always dreamed of seeing SORMAG as a glossy magazine; however as the world changes, print magazines are becoming obsolete and more are moving to the web. A professor told me, I was already where many publishers want to be. Another author told me that I already have a glossy magazine, itís just online.

So now I just want to reach more readers and authors and continue to help writers see their publishing dream come true. Our main goal is to help the writer on their path to publication and I try my best to do that. We are always looking for short stories and articles to feature -

RI: How can a reader get on your mailing list? If someone needed your services what do they need to do?

LH:You can get on our mailing list on the blog - just enter your email. For promotion we have packages for every budget -

I can be reached at -

Marcia thanks so much for this opportunity to share SORMAG with your readers.


    Lowcountry Beach Bound Retreat
    Sponsor: Lowcountry RWA
    Location: Beach house on Isle of Palms, SC.
    Fee: $75-$250
    Date: November 1-2, 2008
    FMI -

    Fall Fest
    Sponsor: Florida Romance Writers
    Location: Sheraton Fort Lauderdale
    Airport Hotel, Dania, Fl.
    Fee: $50.00-$55.00
    Date - November 8, 2008
    Workshop: F Paul Wilson
    FMI -

    Supercharge Your Writing
    Sponsor: Virginia Romance Writers & Chesapeake Romance Writers
    Location: Williamsburg Public Library, Williamsburg, VA
    Fee: $70.00 -$85.00
    Date: November 08, 2008
    Workshop: Debra Dixon
    FMI -

Whoís Acquiring

    Virgin Books
    Random House
    20Vauxhall Bridge Road
    London SW1V2SA

    Black Lace (erotic romance and erotica)
    75,000 - 80,000 word of explicit erotic fantasy. Contemporary Settings preferred. Short stories are considered for themed anthologies. See website.

Did You Know?

Drinking red wine in moderation is said to be good for your health. Why? The antioxidants in red wine help reduce heart disease. More recently scientists have linked the antioxidant resveratrol to the formation of nerve cells useful in preventing Alzheimerís and Parkinsonís. Isnít that good news for writers? An additional benefit of reseveratrol is prolonging your life. Keep sipping that red wine while 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