Friday, January 20, 2012

The First Re-launch of Loveswept Romance, that was then, this is now!

Ruthy here, and good morning, Seekerville!

I invited Sue Grimshaw to come tell us more about their digital initiative at Random House. As you know, Waterbrook and Multnomah are part of Random House and as authors, it's important for us to stay informed on industry standards and changes. Note of warning: Loveswept Romance may contain adult material.

We have bounded into the age of digital books, e-readers, digital firsts (like Tyndale did with Pam's Stealing Jake this past summer) and new opportunities are upon us. For aspiring authors and avid readers, these are important changes in pricing and availability. Sue came by today to introduce what they're doing at Random this year, the re-launch of a successful and popular romance line via e-books, a topic we've all discussed. But along with that, Random is offering opportunities to first-time authors, a chance to show their stuff via the e-market as debut authors in an established romance line. 

Kindle Fire

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. We've got two lovely prizes today. For writers, a fifteen page critique of the opening chapter(s) of your novel and we're also offering a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color

Coffee's inside, I've got the Friday buffet ready to roll and plenty of creamers and flavor shots at the espresso bar. Come on in and welcome Sue Grimshaw to Seekerville!

The Re-Launch of Loveswept Romance from Sue Grimshaw, Category Specialist & Editor at Large, BBD-Loveswept

Time flies when you're launching an imprint!  I've firsthand knowledge of that as it just seems like yesterday, and now here we are, eleven LS Classics released in 2011; over 60 LS Classics releasing in 2012; plus, more than 10 ORIGINAL LS on the books, 4 of which are pub ready - WHEW!

And . . . there is so much more to come.

We've had great fun reminiscing through all of the old LS Classics, deciding what to publish and when, deciding on all of the new covers, working with these great iconic authors in developing promotional plans on our new website Romance At Random ( 

The last year has been a whirl, and can you believe I've not even had my one year anniversary at Random House yet!

It has been so exciting, we've accomplished sooooooooooo much, but, there is so much more to do -- and I cannot wait!

Our first Original Loveswept was written by Jessica Scott, BECAUSE OF YOU - the first in her Coming Home SeriesFrom the war-torn streets of Baghdad to the bittersweet comforts of the home front, two wounded hearts navigate the battlefield of coming home from war in this explosive eBook original from newcomer Jessica Scott.

Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire. 
The support from readers & authors has been big & Jess is enjoying the fulfillment as readers everywhere thank her not only for her service to our country, but for a wonderful story that warmed all of our hearts.
And how about this?

In this fun eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour as readers will discover, Ride with Me is a journey in more ways than one.

When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. These days it is not safe for a girl to travel by herself, plus she did not want her family to worry about her.  Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.  Fortunately, after miles of bickering a friendship develops with a promise for a very exciting future, after all, they both love to travel & ride bikes!

Summer 2012 is DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett, her first book in the Star Harbor series: Star Harbor, Massachusetts – a small, picturesque Cape Cod town steeped in history, romance … and danger.  Sleepy little fishing village turned artist colony, Star Harbor has made a revival as a real place of interest in recent years.  But families and tourists aren’t the only ones attracted to the town; a criminal element has also taken up residence.  Star Harbor’s colorful locals – and some dedicated newcomers – join together to combat these threats and preserve the town’s coastal charm.


The Grayson Men – Dangerous.  Sexy. Trouble.  Val, Cole, Seb and Theo have always toed the line.  But while those in Star Harbor would like to think that the four brothers have morphed from hell-raising boys to stand-up men, for the women in their lives, it isn’t exactly clear.  Have these leopards changed their spots or are they the same bad boys they’ve always been?
And now, scheduled later this Fall is our FIRST historical - ORIGINAL - Loveswept - more to come on that!

Lot's of FIRSTS for us at BBD-Loveswept this year - what do you think, can one of our books be a first for you?  Love to hear your thoughts -

Don't forget to check us out on FACEBOOK -; Romance At Random; and Twitter too!


  1. First I want to know why FIRST is flashing. That is so cool. Who did that???

  2. Then I want to welcome Sue. I am a HUGE Loveswept Fan. I collected every single Debra Dixon. I have a Jennifer Crusie too.

    Of course I keep them in my vault.

    This is SSSSSSSSSSSSOOOO exciting.

  3. I'm a historical nut, so I can't wait to see more on that, but Because of You has captured my attention. I'll let you in on a little secret--Garrison is my maiden name.

  4. This looks very cool! I don't know if I've heard of this line so it's something new for me. I will have to look for it! Yea!!!

  5. I see a flashing WHEW and FIRSTS --spiffy html going on!

    I love the digital book thing for backlists. I mean, you can always scrounge up a used copy, but that keeps the author from getting their cut. And you never know when you'll discover an author 10 years after they started writing and want to read everything--of course, if your book wasn't that great in retrospect, you might not like that.

    Will publishers now want to hold ebook rights forever? So that you never have a choice to put it out yourself OR not put it out when you decide you'd rather no one read it again?

    Are current ebooks out there forever? Or does it cost to have it listed on Amazon and they'd pull it if it didn't generate enough funds?

    Hmmmm, I can see why ebook rights and stuff have been a big topic lately.

  6. Oh, I did the flashing thing, girls. I went into Mr. Blogger's office and said "Bill," (we're on a first name basis) "Can you make the word "First" flash for me in this post because it IS the month of firsts in Seekerville."

    To which Bill replied, "Ruthy, my sweet, I long for you. I miss you, my leeeetle Cupcake baker. Ven I am vithout you, I yearn... So yes, of course, I can make the very heavens flash for you, my pet, my chia, my dahlink!"

    Gotta love Bill although he's no where near as cute as Jack.

    Actually Sue sent this post in hotmail speak so everything was pre-imbedded. Embedded?

    How 'bout we go with "installed".

    And it's not showing up on my Google Chrome or IE browsers, so I'm a little sad. A donut might help.

    Or more cabbage salad.

    Mmmm....cabbage salad.

  7. Tina, you DID NOT show me the vault when I came to Denver.

    I'm wounded.

    And don't you love the sound of these new authors, the opportunities Random is opening up to them?

    Sue, how do people approach you with work? Is it agent-represented only or is there an e-mail submission process you can tell us about?

    And can you tell the guys and gals here what you did before you landed at Random????

  8. I love the fact that some books are being pulled out of the vault and being brought back for the public to enjoy again. Thank you LoveSwept.

    Would love to be entered for the B&N gift card.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  9. It's so exciting to see all the opportunities opening up, and I Loveswept is huge!

    What a great news to start the weekend with, thanks for stopping by Sue!


  10. It's great to see old material repackaged for a new audience. Besides that, digital books have no shelf life, so they're available FOREVER!

    Sue, I attended some of your workshops at RWA over the years, and it's wonderful to have you here at Seekerville. For authors who want to submit new material to your digital program, what kind of books are you looking for?

  11. Melissa, those are great questions. And I want my "Whew" to flash, dagnabbit....

    I'm calling BILL right now, just to tweak Tina.

    Because it's fun to tweak Tina.

    Cindy, isn't that cool? We have front row seats at an industry change that's making headlines and giving blog-readers pause to think. Plan. Do.

    And I blame Mia for the amazingly delicious dark chocolate milkshake I had at Johnny Rockets' last night because she picked up the tab and I have no will power, but we POWER-TALKED about writing and publishing. And virtual assistant Beth was there, adding to the fun.

    Mia, I bet the first thing Sue will say is "read the line" which I'm going to recommend to anyone interested in submitting. And remember to read the NEWER authors, because they're more representative of the writing style the editor wants now.

  12. The only problem with discovering more e-book outlets is the TBR pile isn't a visual reminder. Hmm, maybe that isn't a problem after all.

    When I first started reading romance of any kind, I realized I had been missing something. I glommed every book I could get my hands on. That meant a lot of moldy oldies from used book stores because the books I heard about were no longer in print or in my library.

    Now, to be able to read classics without sneezing!

    Sounds like a win/win for authors and readers with Loveswept. I am already wanting to dive in.

    Ruthy, I am jealous of the chocolate shake. I will contribute hot cocoa to the list this morning. A toppings bar is added: marshmallow cream, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and chopped up Andes mints!

    Put me in for the B and N card.

    Peace, Julie

  13. Welcome to Seekerville Sue, You are brave to come with Ruthy. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

    I was a big fan of Loveswept. One of my mentors is Joan Domning. I loved her humor. So it will be great to see these fun stories back in circulation.

    Love the sounds of your two new novels. Best wishes on the success of your project.

    And Ruthy-cabbage salad-Really???

  14. I'm out of the loop--I've never heard of Love Swept. Before today, that is. Sue, it's exciting to read some of what Random House is doing. I'm going to check out some of these books.

    Ruthy, I didn't see the flashing words either. Sigh. When I read about those, I went back to the post to look for them. :) Ahhh, dark chocolate milk shake. The kinds of food I can only dream about consuming. I hope you enjoyed some for me. :)

    I'm looking forward to reading more answers to the questions that some here presented. They were knocking around in my mind too. :)

  15. Ruthy, dear - I would much rather have your dinner from last night than cabbage salad. /shudder/ I do hope you had a productive morning though. I was still asleep when you posted your challenge.

    I've not heard of this line but will definitely be checking out.

    I have a friend who is self-pubbing some of her non-Inspy backlist. She has the rights to books 1 and 3 but not 2. How does all that work or does it just vary by publisher and even by contract?

    I would love to win either prize :).

  16. Do we all have a vault of romance books that make us happy? Some of them, I just go back and read the endings...Sigh.

    It's fun to see the Loveswept line back in business!

  17. Welcome, Sue!! I'm so excited about the re-release of some of the Loveswept books. Sandra Chastain, Deb Dixon and Deb Smith are some of my favorites.

    I've really enjoyed several of your workshops at conferences and appreciate all you've done for the romance industry!

  18. I never thought I'd be an e-book fan, but I love the availability of back titles - I tend to read older books which are often out of print, and more and more I'm able to find e-book versions.

    It will be fun to watch this new Loveswept Romance re-launch take off!

    Leave it to Ruthy to be on a first name basis with Mr. Blogger. The rest of us bring him offerings and hope for his benevolence.

    And thanks to my visits to the Yankee Belle Cafe, Ruthy has made me a cabbage salad fanatic - it's SUCH a delicious lunch! I make mine with packaged coleslaw, chopped broccoli, a bit of red onion, some shredded cheese, a couple tablespoons of sunflower seeds, and top in all off with a sugar-free Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing. Weight Watchers points? 2. It's a win/win. And much more satisfying than a lettuce salad!

    I'll only be on-line sporadically over the next week - heading to Michigan to be with my in-laws. FIL is in hospice, very weak, but still alert last we heard. We hope to get there in time to say goodby before he goes Home, but it's hard to coordinate six people from two cities for a 1200 mile trip. So glad the middle of the country is supposed to have good weather this weekend!

    Oh! Please enter me for the drawing!

  19. The "WHEW" AND "FIRSTS" are meant to flash???? Thank God -- I thought I had a tic in my eye!!

    WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, SUE!!! Like Tina said, soooooo exciting to have you here AND sooooo exciting what's happening to backlists in this amazing e-market!!! The only thing is it gives me a literal tic in my eye at the thought of ALL the books I've yet to read ... :|

    I've never read any Loveswept, I don't think, but if Tina loves them, I'm SO there!!


  20. Tina:

    Nothing in this article flashes on my screen.

    However, I found a tag in the source code that is supposed to make Ruthie's WHEW! flash.

    Click View, Source, and scroll down to line 671. You'll see WHEW!

    I've had mixed success with this tag. Give it a try and see if it works for you.


  21. What did Helen say? Source code? #671?????

    Is this a scene from Mission: Impossible????

    Helen, I stand in awe. Source code. Sheesh. ;)

    Hey, I think Sue's been in the biz long enough to handle me, girls. And since Deb Smith's Sweet Hush is one of my favorite Must-read-annually books, my link to Loveswept is strong.

    I love me some Deb Smith!

  22. Oh I love the tattoo on that cover model. And everyone here knows I'm a total sucker for a tortured hero so I'm downloading that baby for sure! Funny how two years ago I was so anti-ereader and now thanks to my hand me down nook I really like them. Still prefer a print copy but I would miss out on so many great titles that are only available on e-form without it.

    Ruthy, I love that "Bill" has a Count Dracula accent. How would "youse" sound in it? :-p

  23. OH! I'll pass on the B&N gift card (true the TBR pile isn't as daunting on the ereader but it still is in my head!) but PLEASE enter me for the critique.

    nancykimball at hotmail dot com

  24. Interesting post....I don't have an E reader (yet) but think I would love it for back titles!
    Please count me in for the B&N card.

    Praying for you, Jan D. in days ahead and safe trip.


  25. Just a tidbit: if you buy e-copies of Love Inspired books you can get them a MONTH earlier than print.

    Ruthy makes me do that to get her sales rolling ;)

  26. Tina, I'm the flasher *grins*; just use <> with blink in the middle & end the same and you'll be flashin' too - Whoop! & thanks for the warm welcome of LS - I'm loving it!

    Christina - thanks - we've historical romances scheduled and I'm geeked - they are fun, different & romantic!

    Valri - you'll love the stories -- all digital ranging from $2.99-$4.99 - such a deal!

    LOL - Thanks Melissa - we like a little flash on occasion :) And remember, everything in life is negotiable *wink*

    Thanks for having me Ruth - donuts ALWAYS help, whatever :)

  27. Ruth - regarding submissions -- write this down *grins* - 1-3 page synopsis with preferably a complete MS however, 3-5 Chapters is acceptable. I will review (taking me 6-8 mos) & get back to you with comments -- I always try to give some constructive feedback.

  28. Thanks Kristen - great to meet everyone, virtually *grins*

    Mia - we are looking for just about everything -- really, just as long as it is romance with HEA.

    Hi Carol - so much of that varies by publisher & contract -- crazy stuff sometimes.

  29. Thanks for the warm welcome ladies - I hope you enjoy the re-launch & our new Loveswept books. Some of my favorite authors like Catherine Anderson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn and others are the stories I hope to emanate with the original LS books we're publishing now. Tortured heroes; wit; humor; emotion; love; romance & HEA - those elements that keep us and many romance readers coming back for more.

  30. BTW - Ruth asked me to update you on my life before R@R -- well, I've been blessed, no really, I can say that too as I am a Christian *grins*; I worked as a bookseller & buyer for Borders stores primarily in the Romance genre - I loved it! I read all the publisher's romance books, bought & promoted them in our stores, had direct contact with our field personnel to hear what our readers were reading, toured the RWA chapter groups presenting workshops about the business and have just had a wonderful time being part of the Romance world. I noticed a couple of you commented having been in some of my workshops & I appreciate your kind words. I continue to travel & speak at various chapter groups - just not as often -- in Feb I'll be in NC visiting the Raleigh ladies, a great group of authors. I love to work with people & be in the trenches so to speak - never was an 'ivory tower' kind of gal.
    Any-who - that's my biz background in the book industry - 16 years - wow, time flies & I'm still 28???? LOL

  31. Oh, wow, blinking text!

    The whole "backlist going digital" thing is exciting! I've been hearing more and more about that lately, and it looks like a really good thing for authors.

    Thanks for visiting with us today, Sue!

  32. I just Googled "blinking text." It's a simple html code, but some info sites say it does NOT work with Explorer.

    Apparently it does not work in comments either.

  33. I'm still not a fan of e-readers, but I can see the appeal for older titles that are out of print. Still, I love me a used bookstore. My husband and I used to go to a little local store in our college town while we were dating. Being a "cheap date" was not a bad thing.

  34. Myra - love the digital, primarily because I can increase the font on my ereader *grins*, not that I need to, heh heh

    R@R is wordpress & it works in most browsers - the new html 5 might be finicky with this sort of thing, don't know, but I've another CE class in Feb where I hope to learn more computer tricks -- I know you can change color font in comments & that works . .

    Stephanie -- cheap dates are some of the best IYAM (if you ask me - text jargon)

  35. Welcome to Seekerville, Sue! Wonderful to have you here and to learn more about the re-launch of Loveswept! You have been busy! Congrats on all you've accomplished in such a short time.

    I'm with you, Julie HS, moldy books are no fun. Though some of those early painted covers are gorgeous. Just don't open the book. :-)


  36. Hi, SUE! Welcome and thank you for coming!

    I would say my novel definitely is "loveswept," but it also definitely has Christian content. It's in the 85,000 word range. What are your thoughts? (I use all my adverbs in casual writing. :D)

    Enter me in the drawings please?

  37. Sue!

    I was outside with babies in our first snow of the season. What month is this? And I'm in upstate New York???? Really????

    Oh, Sue, besides being pretty and clever and loving romance like all of us, you can make things blink!!!!

    Oh my stars, I'm so finding a browser that let's me see this in action. I could become addicted.

    I love that you're not requiring an agent. We've run some "spur of the moment" contests here because it's so hard for strong new authors to find an agent before they've sold. And once you're on the other side of that sales table, you know how rough that is.

    It's cold up here today. I've got hot chicken and biscuits to celebrate Sue being with us. Total comfort food. What guy wouldn't fall in love with a girl who knows how to stir up a nice pan of biscuits????


    Brownies, too. Fudge-style. With frosting. And sprinkles. It IS Friday after all.

  38. Had a chance to come back and read comments. I'm amazed at all the things you guys know about flashing words in posts, colorful words in comments, and those other details I have yet to learn about. :)

    Sue, thanks again for introducing me to a line I haven't read yet. I'll also be looking for back titles for my e-reader. So many books and not enough time.

    I don't know if I needed to mention it earlier, but I'd love to be entered into the drawings.


  39. Nancy, I think "Bill's" "voice" is more Count Von Count from Sesame Street than Dracula.

    I suppose I could have made him sound like Cookie Monster! "Gimme cookies, Ruthy!!! Gimme cookies!!!!)

  40. Seekerville!!!!!!('Been a long time)
    And of course, welcome Sue, this sounds very interesting!
    I'm not too familiar with Loveswept, about to look it up BUT Romance novels? ouh baby I'm so in! :)


    Ganise (ganise_(at)hotmail(dot)com)

  41. Linnette - I'm not sure what Christian writing is -- if you quote scripture, it would be a pass, but, if it is a sweeter story, that could be something.

  42. Sherri I don't exactly have a VAULT, more like a ROOM that is overflowing, spilling out into the rest of the house.

    I think I'll start calling it a vault. Yes, that sounds better than MESS.

  43. So thrilled this post is introducing so many of you to Loveswept - whoop! & the price is right, most are $2.99, a few of the titles are $3.99 or $4.99 - sweet!

    **Ruth, in the teens here too -had my soup, but where are the brownies! Urgh

  44. I thought 'Bill' sounded a lot like Captain Jack.

    Have you seen Jack Sparrow with his hat off?

  45. Nothing is flashing for me.
    But I am getting a message just under my tool bar that says somethign like.........RUN FOR YOUR LIFE BEFORE THE FLASHING IMAGES EXPLODE YOUR COMPUTER.

    Of course there is a second option, which is ALLOW BLOCKED IMAGES.

    I ignored the explosion warning and allowed the blocked images, but my computer seems to think it knows best and won't be moved.

    :( No flashes!

  46. The new releases and the rereleases sound fabulous. Yet more books to add to my Nook wishlist.

    I'm always fascinated with the new twists and turns e-pub takes. Just shows that no one knows except God where He is taking us.

  47. Jan, prayers for you and your family for as long as needed.

    Hugs, too!

  48. Sue, thanks for being with us in Seekerville. As so many have mentioned today, you always provided great information at the National RWA Conferences. Random House is lucky to have you!

    I'm glad Loveswept is back. I'll ditto Missy's favorite LS authors--all GRW girls--Sandra Chastain, Deb Dixon and Deb Smith. Wasn't Tanya Michaels with Loveswept, as well?

  49. Ooo wow looks like the LS line is going to have some great covers LOL! ;-) I do read some general market romances so I might have to look into the Loveswepts!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  50. flashing words on Firefox. BUT WHO WAS LOOKING AT THE WORDS? Zoweee.

    Helen is superwoman. She can make the coffee and spout the HTML language.

    This is pretty cool news today, ladies.
    Ruth, you didn't get any of that 8" of snow last Friday?

  51. I just love that this is giving new life to old romances. YAY!

  52. So I am guessing from your answer to Linette that you do take the range of sensuality from sweet to hot?

    This is excellent news!@!!!

    And I'd like to know who ate all the chocolate???

  53. This is BIG news!

  54. great posting, ruthy :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  55. Sue, it's mainly that there is a clear Christian theme - talk of God, relying on God, praying, that sort of thing.

  56. I enjoyed today's post, thanks for sharing with us Sue.
    I'm so excited about getting some of these older titles on my Kindle.

    Please toss my name in the pot for a 15 page critique.
    Thanks so much!
    Jackie Layton

  57. Hi Sue,
    I'm 28 too! ;)Ahem. And Susan Elizabeth Phillips lives in the next town over from me. I sat beside her last week at a book signing, hoping to soak up her humor.

    I can't recall all the Loveswept's I've read over the years. I'm anxious to read the original historicals you'll be presenting.

    I'm a Kindle gal, and really, it's all because of the font size feature! That and the cute little light on my leather cover has changed my reading life. Looking forward to downloading some of the oldies but goodies. Thanks for the heads-up.

  58. Exciting news AND exciting prizes! It's a good day.

  59. Deb, We got about an inch. It went south of us. Toward you, it seems!

    And yes, that cover model is simply adorable, isn't he?????


    Sue, we've got lots of gals and a couple of guys that do "Sweet" romance. You've just made them all smile!

    As if the flashing words weren't enough, woman!

    I'm thrilled that Sue took time from her crazy busy schedule to be with us today. But also to see the market widening to meet the desires of the readers.

    Sue, thank you! And thanks for the links and the sparkle that came along with it. Awesome!

    And for your information Connealy, Bill sounds nothing like Jack, but no, I've never seen Jack without his hat or his dewrag. So. Why IS that????


    It's Jack Sparrow. No one would care, right? ;)

    Tina I ate the chocolate. My bad. I'll send you some, honey.

  60. Sounds like exciting stuff for people who enjoy e-books and e-readers. The rest of us... not so much.

  61. This is really exciting! Looking forward to reading the releases!