Thursday, November 29, 2012

COVER: THE WITCH'S HANDBOOK OF KISSES AND CURSES



Here's the cover for my newest Jane Jameson spin-off, A WITCH'S HANDBOOK OF KISSES AND CURSES.  I think it's my most adorable cover yet!  

Here's the summary: Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family finds them first.

 Complication One: Her grandfather was Mr. Wainwright and the artifacts are lost somewhere in what is now Jane Jameson's book shop.  Complication Two: her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, who keeps turning up half naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn't need.

For back home she has a perfectly nice, stolid—oops, that is solid—boyfriend. It’s a shame that Jed’s her best hope when complications arise on her bizarre mission because teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially when he’s a shapeshifter with a talent for bespelling witches.

HANDBOOK will be released in May 2013.  It's available for pre-order now. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Master Playlist for the Nice Girls Books

I was made aware that I'd never made an all-encompassing playlist for Jane Jameson books.  I've mentioned songs here and there, but I've never published the songs that I have listened to over the course writing the whole series.  Some songs I've taken out of the rotation, others I've only added recently, since I'm still working on spin-off titles and need to "revisit" how I feel about Jane.  Here is a comprehensive sample:

If Jane's Screw-Ups Had a Soundtrack
Pink - So What
Mika - Grace Kelly
The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Pink - Trouble
No You Girls - Franz Ferdinand

Jane's "Dance Like No One is Watching" Songs
Areosmith/Run DMC - Walk this Way
Barry White - You're the First, My Last, My Everything
Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama
New Radicals - Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough

The Heavy - How You Like Me Now?

Jane and Gabriel's Naked Songs
Deftones - No Ordinary Love
She & Him - I Put a Spell on You
Portishead - Only You
Stripped - Shiny Toy Guns 
Sarah McLachlan - Dirty Little Secret (Thievery Corporation)

Jane's "All the Feels!" Songs
Adam Ant - Wonderful  
Adele - Turning Tables

Kelly Clarkson - Addicted
Civil Twilight - Letters from the Sky
Anything for Love - Meat Loaf
Closer to You - The Wallflowers

The Dick Subsection
ZZ Top - LaGrange
Hanni El Khatib - You Rascal You
Cee Lo Green - Love Gun
Shout Out Out Out - Chicken Soup for the F--- You

This is where I get it...

So apparently, my mom was sitting in a recent professional training session that required the group to recite as many facts as they possibly could about Abraham Lincoln. My mom raised her hand and rattled off a bunch of them: 16th president, born in Kentucky, raised by his stepmother because his mother died when he was young, murdered by John Wilkes Booth, whose brother, Edwin, was also an actor.

Someone in the group asked how she knew all that.

Mom shrugged and said, "I dated him in high school."


Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever wonder where I get it- this is where I get it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Titling Process: You May Never Look at My Covers The Same Way Again

MY BLUEGRASS BABY, my first Pocket Star e-book is an example of my books that go through several titles before we finally land on one that works.  This new series, featuring a cast of characters working in a Kentucky tourism promotions office, will be launched in December 2012.


I get a lot of questions about my titles.  In general, it's something like, "How the heck did you come up with that?"

I guess with books like HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF and THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES to my credit, I have that coming.  Oddly enough, the only projects I’ve had that made it to print with the original titles are DRIVING MR. DEAD and THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES. There is a multi-step ordeal that leads to the finished title product, and the winding process that led to my newest title just shows what my publisher has to put up with. 

In general, my process is as follows:


Step 1: I turn a manuscript to my agent, Stephany, for a first read.  She'll send me notes on what I could improve about the story, usually including the phrase, "Are we sure about this title?"  


For example, the first draft of NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS was called Single Undead Female.  We changed it because we were concerned about readers mixing it up with another vampire series with "Undead" in the titles.  (For a more comprehensive list of original titles, see below.)


Step 2: I turn the re-titled manuscript over to my editor, Abby, for a second read.  (Usually after at least one re-write based on Stephany's notes.)  Abby asks me to think of a new title as the current selection isn't quite "there" yet. 

My newest Jane Jameson spin-off is a good example.  I called the book WITCH HUNT, because it's about a witch hunting for magical items that the late Mr. Wainwright hid in Specialty Books. The publisher wanted a title more funny and punny like my other titles.

Step 3: I submit a list of suggestions, usually with Stephany's input, which bounces between Stephany, Abby and myself until we arrive at a selection.  For WITCH HUNT, it went a little something like this: 


MOLLY:   How about something like-

Any Witch Way
Which Way is Witch?
Ain't That a Witch?
Shape-Shifted and Spellbound
Shapeshifters and Scavenger Hunts
The Young Witch's Guide to Surviving Half-Moon Hollow
Molly Harper's Almost Vampire Free Paranormal Romance Spectacular



ABBY:  Actually, I was thinking along the vein of the second to last one, too—something that sounds self-helpy, but for witches. But I think “Surviving Half-Moon Hollow” is too inside-baseball for new readers. Surviving something else, though…

Witchcraft for Any Occasion (Including Possums)
A Young Witch’s Guide to Keeping Your Man Spellbound
Men Who Love Witches
 
STEPHANY: I'm definitely picking up anything with possums in the title. 

MOLLY: I never should have encouraged this possum fascination.*

ABBY:
A Witch’s Guide to Love Spells
What Do Witches Want?
The Rough Guide for Witches Traveling Abroad

STEPHANY: The Reluctant Witch's Guide to Kentucky Comfort?


ABBY: How about “A Witch’s Guide to Spellbinding Your Man”—I’m checking with art to make sure we could fit that on the cover!

STEPHANY:  Does "Witch's" need an adjective? Should "A" be "The"? i.e., "The Something Witch's Guide to..."Or taking another tack...A Witch's Compendium of Curses and Kisses?
 
MOLLY: Ooh, I like that last one!


STEPHANY:  Well, maybe A Witch's Compendium of Curses and Spellbinding Kisses. What's a Molly Harper title without a little excess?

ABBY: Now you're just causing trouble!

STEPHANY: My best talent. :)

MOLLY: Somewhere in this chain of emails, there is a blog post about how my insane titles are born.

Step 4: The three of us are reined in by more responsible, non-possum-obsessed adults.  Ultimately, it was decided that "compendium" was a little too complicated, so the official title is, A WITCH'S HANDBOOK OF KISSES AND CURSES.

THE WITCH'S HANDBOOK OF KISSES AND CURSES will be released in June 2013.  A preview is available in the back of THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES.

*Abby has a fascination with possums that I haven't quite figured out yet.

More Original Titles, changed under the guidance of my former Pocket editor, the ever-patient Jennifer Heddle.

 

NICE GIRLS DON’T HAVE FANGS was originally called Single Undead Female.
Other suggestions included:
No Pulse, No Problem

Southern Fried and Fanged
Deerly Beloved



NICE GIRLS DON’T DATE DEAD MEN was originally called Single Undead Bridesmaid



HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF was originally called NICE BOYS DON’T BITE. (I was trying to play an "opposite game" with the Nice Girls books.)

Other suggestions included:
Leader of the Pack
Northern Comfort
Fur Afield
Alpha Male
Territorial
Love and Bear-Traps

THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF was originally called NICE BOYS DON’T FIGHT WEREWOLVES.

AND ONE LAST THING… was originally called THE BEST REVENGE.

MY BLUEGRASS BABY, due out in December 2012, was originally called, Bizarrely Bluegrass.
Other suggestions included:
My Old Kentucky Hometown
Getting Lucky in Kentucky
Wooing in the Bluegrass

MY BLUEGRASS BABY is available for pre-order.  Click here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES nominated for the 2012 RT Reviewers Choice Awards




THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES is up for Best Vampire Romance at the 2012 RT Reviewers Choice Awards.  Other nominees are Kresley Cole, Christine Feehan, Jeaniene Frost, Shiloh Walker, and JR Ward.  I am in very good company!

 For more information, http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/more-rts-2012-award-nominees-paranormal-urban-fantasy

Monday, November 5, 2012

A big mea culpa

Sorry I've been so absent from facebook/social media lately.  I've been finishing up a manuscript which is now in the hands of the people who protect me from my own spelling/grammar errors. And, as I've had maybe eight hours of sleep over the last two days, I'm going to take a very powerful nap now.  I predict David will come home from work and put a mirror in front of my face to make sure I'm still breathing.  And still, I will not move.

I will be blogging more regularly as soon as possible.

Love you guys- Molly

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Want To Join Your Book Club!

A few book clubs have invited me to skype chat on club meeting nights and it's worked out really well!  So if you're planning to read one of my books and would like to talk to me about it, send me a message at jane.jameson AT hotmail.com and we can discuss scheduling.

Please note that to count as a book club, your group must include at least three people.  If I turn on the computer and see a creepy dude in his bathrobe staring back at me, I will close the connection.