The Next Big Thing with Shirley Wilder

The working title of my next book is simply “Ellen’s Story.”

The idea for the story actually came from a fellow critique partner. I was writing one book, “For Pete’s Sake” and the main character refers frequently to her deceased mother, who was a wonderful parent but with an air of secrecy and mystery about her. My friend thought the secondary, deceased, character had a story to tell and so I began Ellen’s Story.

The genre would probably fall into romantic suspense as while there is romance, there’s mystery of murder, an affair and the struggle to protect the innocent even if it means forgoing a love relationship.

If I were to pick two people to play my characters in a movie rendition, I’d like to think that a younger Meg Ryan type or a shorter Taylor Swift would be the perfect Ellen Wilson and frankly I’m clueless as to who would be a great Joseph Andrew Blake, my hero. I’m not up on the younger hotties any more. I’m still drooling over the Paul Newman types—however, one of the male leads on some of the new television shows might work—just can’t come up with a name right now.

A one sentence synopsis of Ellen’s Story would be –The journey was worth the lost innocence even if it took a lifetime to arrive.

I would hope that this book as well as the one that follows of the same series would be snatched up by my editor and then all the Hollywood moguls would fight over who gets to make the movie!!


The Next Big Thing- Featuring R. Ann Siracusa


R. Ann Siracusa 


What is your working title of your book? All For A Blast of Hot Air

Where did the idea come from for the book?  On my trip to southern Africa, someone I met told me she had taken a hot air balloon safari somewhere in Africa. I really enjoy hot air ballooning, and I thought the idea of a safari sounded exciting. I decided to use that as a setting for the last book in my romantic suspense series featuring a tour guide and a spy.

What genre does your book fall under?  Humorous romantic suspense with an emphasis on suspense.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  The hero is patterned after Ewan McGregor (but taller and darker).  RAnnBlog100x127EwanMcGregor

I don’t have a clue which actress could play the heroine. I envision her as looking like a curly-haired Michelle Pfiffer when she was in her twenties.  RAnnBlog100x116MichellePfiffer-AuthInput

My favorite secondary character is a Mandarin baboon named Manny Balz-ac. RAnnblog100x100MardarinBaboon-MannyBalz-ac

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  A tour director and a spy take a prenuptial honeymoon in Africa that turns into averting a terrorist plot against the US.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  The first four books in the series are e-pubbed by Breathless Press. I expect this will be, also.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Yikes! This is an embarrassing question. A long time. I’d been working on it for about eight months, and was half-way through, when my prior publisher (who had published the first four books) went out of business. I was so bummed I couldn’t concentrate, and didn’t work on anything. My time went into looking for a new publisher. Then I was busy putting out the first four books again. I still have two chapters to write to finish this work in progress. I’m guessing it will be a good two years total to completion.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. At least, that’s what one reviewer said. I was so stoked by that.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  As I said, this is the fifth book in the series. The hero and heroine hadn’t concluded their romantic journey, so I had to write the last book to bring them to their HEA.

The first book was never intended to be a series. It was a story idea I’d had kicking around in my head for years that finally found the right setting and characters. In addition, it was an experiment writing humor and writing in first person. But I loved the voice. End of the experiment…I thought. But, what do I know?

A year and another (unrelated) completed manuscript later, I was scheduled to take a trip to Italy with 13 members of my extended Italian family. Well, knowing the way Italians make group decisions, this was a disaster in the making. I figured I might as well get material for a book out of the adventure. So, for a family group of Italians touring Italy, I already had my tour guide, Harriet Ruby, from the experimental novel All For A Dead Man’s Leg. And if she was going to conduct a tour of Italy with this family, I needed her man, Will Talbot, chasing a spy-story.

Before the trip, I did a rough outline of the novel and wrote a couple of chapters. Everything went about the way I expected, and the trip (which included four teenagers) provided many useable incidents that appear in the second book, All For A Fist Full Of Ashes. Of all the books I’ve written, this was the most fun to write.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? – Readers who like a fun fast read, good suspense, and experiencing other cultures and locations in the world, will enjoy the entire Tour Director Extraordinaire series. My objective is to make the reader feel as if they’d been there and enjoyed the adventure.

1. All For A Dead Man’s Leg – Spain and Morocco RAnnblogAllForADeadMansLeg

2. All For A Fist Full of Ashes – Italy RAnnblogFullofAshes

3. Destruction Of The Great Wall – China RAnnblogdestructionofthegreatwall2ndversion

4. All For Spilled Blood – St. Petersburg, Russia (due for release in February, 2013) RAnnblogallforspilledblood-2

5. All For A Blast of Hot Air – Botswana, Africa

Thanks to Georgie Reinstein for tagging me. Now I’m tagging some great romance writers to share their Next Big Thing!

Toni Noel –
Shirley Wilder
Mary Galusha

Thanks for dropping by.



with a novel by Author R. Ann Siracusa

Facebook  Twitter  Google  Website/Blog  Breathless Press Buy Link

The Next Big Thing- Featuring Judy Duarte

Thanks for inviting me to share my version of The Next Big Thing on the RWASD Blog!

I was tagged by the fabulous Chris Marie Green!  You can find her post on The Next Big Thing here…

What is the working title for the book?

Christmas on Nutcracker Court.  The book actually came out in trade size last year, but it was just released in mass market paperback.  It has a new cover and that looks very Christmassy.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to write a Christmas story that had kids, a big scruffy dog, a single mom who’s struggling financially and a bah-humbug sort of hero.  And I decided to set it in Fairbrook, the fictitious town that’s the setting for my Mulberry Park books.

I’d already created a neighborhood of old Victorian homes on a street called Sugar Plum Lane, so I added another–Nutcracker Court.  There the residents go all out decorating for the Christmas season.

What genre does your book fall under?

I’d consider it women’s fiction since there are 6 different point of view characters, but there’s definitely a romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jennifer Aniston would make a great Carly.  And Gerard Butler would make a good Max.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Cash-strapped, single mom, Carly Westbrook has her hands full trying to pay the rent and raise two boys on her own, but she’s facing eviction this Christmas–and she doesn’t need a grouchy neighbor and his big, goofy dog making creating more stress.  But Christmas is a season for surprises, and sometimes it’s the unexpected gifts that are the most precious of all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book was published by Kensington.  It’s also represented by Karen Solem,  Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.  And just in case you’re interested, the movie rights are still available!  🙂

How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I write a detailed synopsis, which took me a month.  But I’m a third draft writer.  No first drafts for me.  The entire book took about 4 months to write.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

Any of Debbie Macomber’s holiday-themed books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love Christmas stories and romance.  And the thought of adding a little Christmas magic to the mix… Well, how could I not be inspired?

Now I’m tagging some great romance writers to share their Next Big Thing!

Gina Conkle –

Janet K. Brown –

And watch the RWASD Blog for Jill Limber and Teresa Carpenter’s posts!

Thanks for the visit!

Judy Duarte

The Next Big Thing – Featuring Georgie Lee

Thanks for taking time out of your hectic holiday preparations to join me today. I was tagged to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop and to discuss my upcoming release, Studio Relations, a love story set in the golden age of Hollywood.

What is your working title of your book? Studio Relations  

8999442_SR High Res_cv (1)

Where did the idea come from for the book? I have an M.A. in Mass Communications and I am a classic film buff so I know a lot about old Hollywood under the studio system. I knew there were a few women directors working in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, and having read their stories, they are very interesting and inspiring. I wanted to tell the story of my own female director and her experiences working in the male-dominated world of classic Hollywood.

What genre does your book fall under? Historical fiction. Studio Relations takes place in 1935 at the fictitious Lion Studios.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? If it were somehow possible, I’d have classic film stars Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) and Robert Taylor (Waterloo Bridge) play my characters.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Vivien Howard, a vivacious female director and Weston Holmes, a handsome studio executive must overcome their professional differences to find love during Hollywood’s golden age.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? The book is published by Amazon’s Montlake Romance and will be released December 11, 2012.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I started the book a number of years ago and wrote about 30 pages before the story stalled. I set it aside because I knew something was wrong with the story but I didn’t know what. In the first version, the love affair was between the female director and the male star. In early 2010, I looked at the story again and realized the hero was wrong. Once I changed the hero from a star to a studio executive, the whole story suddenly came together and I wrote the first draft in six weeks.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Georgette Heyer’s 1930s set mysteries, such as Why Shoot A Butler? are like my book in that they really capture the essence of the era.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? The idea of a woman working in a male-dominated field during a time when women were not encouraged to have careers offered so many opportunities for conflict that I just couldn’t resist.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There are a lot of elements of a classic film in this book, from the overbearing studio boss to the single female friend a la Eve Arden. Also, I tried to make the dialogue sound like something you’d hear in a classic film while giving readers a taste of what it might have been like to live and work in 1930s Hollywood.

I want to thank Melissa Cutler for tagging me and encourage you to check out her blog After you check out Melissa’s blog, please hop on over to R. Ann Siracusa’s blog. check out her Next Big Thing post.



A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.

Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Montlake Romance. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press.

When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit for more information about Georgie and her novels.

Studio Relations on Amazon.


Buy link for Studio Relations –



Twitter: @GeorgieLeeBooks



Studio Relations

By Georgie Lee

Vivien Howard hasn’t forgiven Weston Holmes for almost derailing her career five years ago. Female directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a man who coasts by on his good looks and family connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is. But when the studio head puts Weston in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Civil War film, she realizes she has a choice: make nice with her charismatic new boss or watch a replacement director destroy her dream.

Weston Holmes doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The studio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Weston and Vivien is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A marriage of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.