Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cover Reveal! UNLACED by Kristina Cook

I'm excited to unveil the new cover of the re-issue of my very first historical romance for adults, UNLACED (first published by Kensington/Zebra  Books in 2004).  Not sure about the release date, but it's coming soon in digital format.  The other three books in the series--UNVEILED, UNDRESSED, and TO LOVE A SCOUNDREL will soon follow.  

And now...here it is!

UNLACED by Kristina Cook
Book One in the "Undone by Love" series

England, 1817

All Lucy Abbington wants is to get through her first London season without losing sight of her true ambition—gaining some informal training in veterinary arts so that she can retire peacefully to the countryside with her beloved horses. Instead, she’s caught up in a whirlwind of balls, marriage proposals, and ton intrigues.  Worse, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to her sponsors’ maddening neighbor, Henry Ashton, the Marquess of Mandeville. The handsome, arrogant, sometimes infuriating Mandeville stokes a passionate fire within her that won’t be denied, no matter the consequence. 

Deep, emotional scars secretly plague Henry, Lord Mandeville. As a result, he’s avoided romantic entanglements at all costs. Only, now he needs a wife—someone from a wealthy, powerful family to further his political aspirations. Instead, he finds himself all but obsessed with the beautiful but unconventional Lucy Abbington—a woman whose passions and wit stir desires he’d rather ignore.  And yet…she might just be the one woman who can heal his wounded heart.  

Lucy and Henry’s heads say no, but their hearts say yes. Will they find themselves undone by love?

Love vs. Like

It's interesting to me, as a writer, to experience things from an editor's point-of-view.  It's actually quite enlightening to see things from the other side of the desk, so to speak.  One thing I've learned recently is that there's a *huge* difference between what happens with "I love this manuscript!" and "I like this manuscript."  Even if I liked it a lot.

There was one book that I loved, but wasn't able to acquire because none of my fellow editors shared my enthusiasm.  Maybe they liked it, but they didn't love it.

There have been several manuscripts that I've liked.  Really liked.  They were perfectly enjoyable reads, and very well-written.  And yet....that certain X-factor just wasn't there for me.  And here's the thing--an editor has to love a manuscript in order to acquire it.  Why?  Because first you have to convince the rest of your "team" (whether that means editorial, or marketing/sales) that your house *must* have the book.  I know that sounds easy-peasy, but it isn't.  Then, once you've acquired it, you have to be willing to read the manuscript a million times.  A zillion, even.  Over and over again, until you probably know every word by heart.

I've had to turn down books I've liked.  Good books.  Some really good books.  

What does this mean to me, as a writer?  That rejections aren't equivalent to "your book sucks" or "don't quit your day job."  That an editor could very well have enjoyed my book--even thought it well written and fun.  That they even might have liked it a lot.  They just didn't love it.  And you know what?   That's okay.  We can't all "love" the same things--if we did, the world would be a boring place.  Imagine if everyone loved vanilla ice cream.  Why would anyone bother with any other flavors?  What's the point, if everyone loves vanilla?  But in reality, everyone doesn't.  Some people eat vanilla ice cream and think, "Eh."  Others actually hate it.  That's why there's chocolate.  And strawberry.  And rocky road.  And pistachio.

There's nothing wrong with being the pistachio.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rejection Letters...

My "lesson learned" this week as a newbie editor was not a fun one, but here it is:  Sending a rejection letter is pretty much as hard as being on the receiving end of one.  Yup.  I think I can safely say that this is the part of the job that I will enjoy the least.