Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some Like Them Rich: Interview With Author Shirley Hailstock Plus Gift Basket Contest

You're invited to celebrate the release of Shirley Hailstock's
new novel,

Some Like Them Rich

Can she listen to her heart...
Disillusioned by love and dreading her thirtieth birthday, Amberlina Nash is determined to snag a rich man by spending the summer mingling with the country club set on Martha’s Vineyard. But when Amber meets charismatic hotel manager Don Randall, she struggles to maintain her polished alter ego—and fights the possibility that what she wants and what she needs might be two different things…

When love isn't part of the plan?
Serial playboy Sheldon St. Romaine has spent the past year running one of his father’s hotels to prove he has a knack for the business. To guests, he is the modest and accommodating Don Randall, whom Amber finds irresistible. But she’s certain he lacks the bank account she’s really after. While both are harboring secrets, neither can deny the passion that ignites between them…
Prolific author [Shirley] Hailstock delivers a thoughtful, sensual examination of people who think they can escape their hearts...Hailstock's characters and situations feel vividly real, and her portrayals of African-American professional women looking for love and security will resonate with all readers.

-- Publishers Weekly, the industry insider magazine

“Hailstock is a master storyteller whose characters linger in the heart.”
--Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

"A steamy, updated twist on the classic Marilyn Monroe film, How to Marry a Millionaire, with an exclusive setting and three ambitious young women who must ultimately choose between financial security and true love."
--Booklist (pre-pub magazine for the American Library Association)

Shirley Hailstock began her writing life as a lover of reading. She likes nothing better than to find a quiet corner where she can get lost in a book, explore new worlds and visit places she never expected to see. As an author, she can not only visit those places, but she can be the heroine of her own stories.

The author of twenty-five novels and novellas, Shirley has received numerous awards, including the Waldenbooks Bestselling Romance Award and The Emma Merritt Award from Romance Writers of America. Romantic Times Magazine awarded her a Career Achievement Award and The New York Chapter of Romance Writers of America gave her their Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement. In addition, one of her books was included in the the Top 100 Romances of the 20th Century list and she is a recipient of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s highest award, the Pinnacle. Shirley is a past president of Romance Writers of America. Her books have appeared on Blackboard and Library Journal Best Seller Lists.

Q: Shirley, tell us a little about how you came to write Some Like Them Rich.

Shirley: I love old movies. One of my favorites is How to Marry A Millionaire. I also wanted to write a book that was a little outside the “true” romance guidelines. Then in the mail comes my college alumni magazine and inside it is a huge ad for a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Since the island had a rich history for African-Americans, I came up with the idea of writing a How to Marry a Millionaire-African American style. In Some Like Them Rich, there are three heroines all looking for love in the one place they can find rich African American men under fifty - Martha’s Vineyard.

Q: The novel takes place on Martha's Vineyard. What is your favorite passage in the book that describes the island?

Shirley: The stretch of famous beach opened up in front of us. The place was a triangle of rocky sand dwarfed by an endless ocean. It was crowded with people, families, couples, and groups of singles.

Q: You've been writing over two decades, and you've learned lessons along the way. What's the most important writing lesson you've learned?

Shirley: It’s all about character. Four little words. The better you know your characters, the better the book will be. It doesn’t matter what kind of story it told. The characters tell it. They are the ones who live it and making the alive and able to touch the hearts of readers is the best an author can hope for.

Q: Readers often wonder how words add up to a 300 plus page novel. What are your writing habits? Do you have a special place to work? Do you write in longhand or on the computer?

Shirley: There are thing I often do when writing, but none of them are a “must do.” I use whatever time, place, and materials I have. I try to write everyday, even if it’s only a paragraph. My goal is one page a day, but when I sit down to write and get into the zone (Stephen King describes this in his novel Misery as jumping into the page), I usually write more than that. My average about five to ten pages in a sitting. I begin writing in the morning, but it often spills into the afternoon. I used to work a full-time job and could only write at night. Now I can be more productive. I don’t write long hand. Mainly I use a computer, but if I have to sit in a waiting room, I’m on an airplane, or at a sporting event, I write with a pen, on lined paper, in ink, in blood, whatever.

Q: Shirley, you have won numerous writing awards, served as past-president of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and you're the president of the New Jersey RWA chapter. You are a mom, a grandmother, a great cook, and have a Master's degree in Marketing. You use your time more wisely than anyone I know. Back when Bandwidth and Trey were little, you used to tell me that you had 24 hours in a day--so did I. Great advice for anyone (not just novelists). Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Shirley: I also said it was a good thing there were only 24 hours in a day, because more hours just gives us more stuff to get done. It would mean I would get even less sleep. What I mean is we need to work with what we have. If we only have 24 hours, then we need to work within those limits.

As to advice for aspiring writers, other than the obvious one, which is write, you should read. Read everything, read books you don’t like and analyze why you don’t like them. The same is true for books you do like. Find out why you like it. What did that author do that made you like her book? And that you’ve read (and continue to read), write. Finish a book. Then write another one.

To win a copy of Shirley's book and a beach-themed (see above) gift basket, just leave a comment and mention the words "Martha's Vineyard.

To learn more about Shirley's novels, visit her blog: Shirley Hailstock

Some Like Them Rich is available in paperback and also as an ebook.

B&N Nookbook
B&N paperback.

Be sure to leave a comment, using the words "Martha's Vineyard," and your name will be entered into the drawing for a copy of the book plus a gift basket. On a personal note, Shirley and I have been friends for nearly three decades. She and I used to talk on the phone about writing when our children were babies--and she's the inventor of The Hailstock Chocolate Cake Diet. If you want details, you'll have to ask Shirley! The contest ends Monday, March 28th at midnight (wherever you are, time-zone wise).The winner will be announced Tuesday, March 29, 2011.
Thanks for coming by the blog! And please check back Thursday night for the Foodie Friday virtual cookbook. I will trying a *new* thumbnail gadget (sweating and wringing hands). Also, there's still one week left to enter the copper cookware giveaway (see sidebar for details).

384 pages
Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (Pub date: March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0758231458
ISBN-13: 978-0758231451

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A St. Pat's Preview, a Book Launch Party Hosted by Bargain Hunting with Laurie, and a Foodie Contest

Welcome to Foodie Friday! I'm looking forward to St.Patrick's Day--what is your favorite recipe?
We love Guinness on tap and hearty Guinness bread.
I'm thrilled to pass along an invitation to a party:
My friend Laurie, author of the popular blog Bargain Hunting with Laurie, is having a party for the book launch of Gone With a Handsomer Man, my new book. If you live within driving distance, you are invited! Laurie wrote an article about one of America's best-loved independent bookstores, which just happens to be in her Arkansas town--That Bookstore in Blytheville. You can read more about the store and the party by visiting Laurie's blog Bargain Hunting with Laurie. The owner of TBIB, Mary Gay Shipley, offers signed first editions of many books (she's hosted Presidents, First Ladies, and such notable authors as John Grisham). Let Mary Gay know if you'd like a personalized copy of my book! Even if you aren't a booklover, you will love Laurie's blog. She has some gorgeous St. Patrick's Day photos on her blog this week--you will love them.

Would you like to win a beautiful Foodie tote bag and apron made by the talented Jackie? Leave a comment using the word "Foodie." The winners (one person will win an apron, one will win a tote bag) will be announced next week.
If you'd like to contact Jackie about ordering one of these charming items, you can reach her at: afoodie66@gmail.com.

The winner of the KitchenAid mixer is Xinex.

Congratulations to Christine and a huge thanks to everyone who participated and the witty, delightful captions.

To add Foodie Friday's button to your blog or a Foodie Friday post, simply grab the button on the sidebar. This will help everyone navigate to all of the recipes and wonderful blogs who participate each week. If you are new to Foodie Friday and need more info, here's an in-depth TUTORIAL. If you're participating in this week's recipe exchange, please add your recipe and permalink: