Better Late Than Never

I never added my pics from the RWA/NYC Romance Fest at the Morris-Jumel Mansion! So here they are. This was my first reading ever. I read from my short story in the FOR LOVE & LIBERTY anthology, the aptly titled Be Not Afraid. (I was shaking like a leaf.) The multicultural/LGBT revolutionary war panel with Lena Hart, Kate McMurray, and Stacey Agdern was lots of fun, and we had some great questions from the crowd.

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RWA-NYC Morris-Jumel Romance Festival

  Morris-Jumel House

The RWA-NYC is having their first ever romance festival at the Morris-Jumel Mansion! It’s located at 65 Jumel Terrace at 160th Street (the closest train is the C at 163 street-Amsterdam Avenue).

A little about the history of the house:

In the fall of 1776, the Mansion was seized by the Continental Army and served as headquarters for George Washington during the Battle of Harlem Heights. British and Hessian commanders occupied the house after Washington’s retreat from New York.

In the summer of 1790, Washington returned to the Mansion and dined with the members of his cabinet. Among those at the table were Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Henry Knox.

In 1810, wealthy French wine merchant Stephen Jumel and his American wife, Eliza, purchased the Mansion, and spared no expense refurbishing it. In 1828, they returned from Paris with crates of furniture and paintings, much of which they claimed had belonged to Napoleon. A year after Stephen Jumel died in 1832, his widow married former vice president Aaron Burr. The marriage ended quickly and Eliza lived alone in the house until her death in 1865.

At 4:00, I’ll be on a panel with Lena Hart, Kate McMurray, and Stacey Agdern discussing the For Love & Liberty anthology, as well as multicultural and LGBT historical fiction. There will be other great panels, as well as author readings, raffles, giveaways, and more!

 

RWA/NYC Morris-Jumel Mansion Romance Festival

Saturday, June 14th 2014
1:00 – 4:30 pm

The Morris-Jumel Mansion
65 Jumel Terrace
(between West 160th & 162nd Street)

Admission is FREE!

Guest Speakers
Anna DePalo (USA Today Best Selling Contemporary Romance Writer: The Romance Genre)
Elizabeth Mahon (Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women)
Carol Ward (Director Morris-Jumel Mansion: The Loves of Eliza Jumel)

Panel
For Love and Liberty:
Multicultural and LGBT Love Stories during the American Revolution
With – Stacey Agdern, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Kate McMurray

Tours of the Morris-Jumel Mansion will be available throughout the day!

Authors Readings * Books for Sale

Raffles * Giveaways

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Weddings, Interviews, and General Moving and Shaking

SO: May was a super busy and super exciting month for yours truly. In addition to finishing edits on my story for the For Love & Liberty anthology and starting edits on new adult post-apocalyptic romance, I also planned a wedding and got married. In retrospect, it all went pretty smoothly, but I spent most of the last month in the fetal position. Now June is here and I’m kicking summer off with a fun interview with the great Vicki Batman at Coffee Time Romance. She asks me some great questions about Eagle’s Heart, Julian, and writing about the Albanian mafia. Check it out here if you get a chance!

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Announcement!! For Love & Liberty Anthology

So I have some exciting news guys. For the past few months, you may have noticed that Lena Hart, Kate McMurray, Stacey Agdern, and I have been mentioning a #SecretProject. We’ve been visiting historical places in Brooklyn and researching Revolutionary War history. Now, we can fully reveal our project:

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In BE NOT AFRAID by Alyssa Cole, a black Patriot captured by the British falls in love with a headstrong runaway determined to leave the colonies…while a wounded British soldier discovers the healing power of love in the arms of a gentle native woman in A SWEET SURRENDER by Lena Hart…in REBELS AT HEART by Kate McMurray, two men must make hard choices if they are to stay together when war arrives on the shores of their home in New York City…at last, in HOME by Stacey Agdern, a young Jewish couple must decide what can hold them together before war and geography tear them apart.

Cool, huh? :) How did this anthology come to be? As you may know, I run a book club at Jefferson Market Library. Last year, while trying to find Revolutionary War romances for our July meeting, I noticed a dearth of them. At that point, I had already been thinking about writing American historicals, and ones that focused on the lives of black Americans and other minorities. I’ve been really into history these past few years, and discovered so many amazing stories that were never taught in the classroom.

Back to book club: we weren’t really pleased with the stories we read, or with the lack of historical romances from that time period. I knew Kate loved historicals as much as I did and was also interested in writing them at some point, and suddenly I got the OH-SNAP-I-HAVE-AN-IDEA sensation in my chest. (You know what I’m talking about, writers.) “Why don’t we do an anthology?!” I blurted out. And the rest is history.

We decided to focus on the romances that likely wouldn’t get much play, even if American Revoulutionary became the next big thing with romance readers. The stories of those minority groups that are often overlooked or considered niche, even though they are an integral part of the tapestry of this great nation. My story focuses on a black couple, Kate’s on a gay couple, Lena’s on a British soldier and a Native woman, and Stacey’s on a Jewish couple. All of the stories take place early in the war and in our current home state of New York.

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My story, Be Not Afraid, is about an American-born slave who is fighting for freedom: not only his country’s, but his own. In the aftermath of the Battle of Brooklyn, he comes across Kate Foster, a runaway slave. He thinks he’s aiding a damsel in distress, but Kate is a woman whose heart has been hardened by time and circumstance. She has joined up with the British, who have promised slaves freedom if they enlist with the Loyalists, and thinks Elijah a fool for fighting for a country that doesn’t value him. Despite their difference of opinions, sparks fly. When Elijah is taken prisoner, he and Kate are thrown together on an inevitably forked path: which side will they entrust with their future?

We’ve done tons of research and are super excited to share the results of our work with you! The stories are exciting, tender, sexy…and we know you’re going to love them.

The book should be out in ebook format in mid-June. For now, you can check out our Goodreads page. We hope to have the book in print format soon, as well.

In addition, we’ll be talking about the book at the Romance Festival being held by the RWA-NYC at the Morris-Jumel Mansion!! The event is on Saturday, June 14th, and it’s totally FREE!

For more on the book, check out my co-authors’ blogs, and also this post by Lena at Yolanda Ashton’s blog!

 

 

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Bits and Bobs

Hey, friends! April was a crazy busy month for everyone, and I was no exception. There were some rough times (thank goodness that long, soul-crushing winter is over), but overall it was a great month. Here are some highlights:

  • The secret historical project I’ve been working on with Lena Hart, Kate McMurray, and Stacey Agdern is coming to fruition soon! Check this blog on May 1st for more info!
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  • In other awesome news, I will be doing a <takes deep breath> multicultural new adult post-apocalyptic trilogy <inhales> with Carina Press!! I’m beyond excited to work with such a great publisher, as well as an editor I really respect and like, Rhonda Helms. More on this project as it progresses. :D
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  • I did an interview with Romance Novels in Color, which you can check out here: http://romancenovelsincolor.com/giveaway-by-alyssa-cole/. Here’s a taste:

    What are your pet peeves?

    In no particular order: people who clip their nails on the train, people who blast music from their headphones, people who stand too close to me in line at the deli, people who stand on the left side of the escalator…yes, I’m a New Yorker, why do you ask?

    What would be the title of the movie about your life?

    The Procrastinator. It would be like a less interesting and more neurotic version of The Terminator. “Come with me, if you want to…watch me freak out because I wait until the last minute to do everything.”

    Don’t forget to come back on May 1 to learn more about the secret project!

    What are your pet peeves?

    In no particular order: people who clip their nails on the train, people who blast music from their headphones, people who stand too close to me in line at the deli, people who stand on the left side of the escalator…yes, I’m a New Yorker, why do you ask?

    - See more at: http://romancenovelsincolor.com/giveaway-by-alyssa-cole/#sthash.OrCY5Ir2.dpuf

    What are your pet peeves?

    In no particular order: people who clip their nails on the train, people who blast music from their headphones, people who stand too close to me in line at the deli, people who stand on the left side of the escalator…yes, I’m a New Yorker, why do you ask?

    - See more at: http://romancenovelsincolor.com/giveaway-by-alyssa-cole/#sthash.OrCY5Ir2.dpuf

    What are your pet peeves?

    In no particular order: people who clip their nails on the train, people who blast music from their headphones, people who stand too close to me in line at the deli, people who stand on the left side of the escalator…yes, I’m a New Yorker, why do you ask?

    - See more at: http://romancenovelsincolor.com/giveaway-by-alyssa-cole/#sthash.OrCY5Ir2.dpuf

    What are your pet peeves?

    In no particular order: people who clip their nails on the train, people who blast music from their headphones, people who stand too close to me in line at the deli, people who stand on the left side of the escalator…yes, I’m a New Yorker, why do you ask?

    - See more at: http://romancenovelsincolor.com/giveaway-by-alyssa-cole/#sthash.OrCY5Ir2.dpuf

    What are your pet peeves?

    In no particular order: people who clip their nails on the train, people who blast music from their headphones, people who stand too close to me in line at the deli, people who stand on the left side of the escalator…yes, I’m a New Yorker, why do you ask?

    What would be the title of the movie about your life?

    The Procrastinator. It would be like a less interesting and more neurotic version of The Terminator. “Come with me, if you want to…watch me freak out because I wait until the last minute to do everything.”

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“My Writing Process” Blog Hop!

I’d like to thank Katana Collins and Lena Hart for tagging me. Both ladies are friends and members of RWA-NYC. Soul Surrender, the final book in Katana’s paranormal erotic romance series, comes out in a couple of weeks and is available for pre-order. Because This is Forever, the latest from Lena Hart, is already available.
 
imagination

 1) What am I working on?

Right now I’m wrapping up a historical short for a project I’m working on with Lena Hart, Kate McMurray, and Stacey Agdern. It’s still a bit of a secret, so I can’t go into it too much, but I can say that we’re exploring some facets of history and romance that haven’t received much attention.

I’m also working on book 2 in my Civil War espionage romance series I’m shopping, and book 2 in my sci-fi/dystopian series. There is a lot of research going on, ranging from whether people wore underwear during the civil war to modern astrophysics.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think my work is different because I’m kind of a weirdo. I mean that in a good way (and it’s taken about three decades to be able to mean it in a good way). I have a distinctive voice that comes through no matter what romance genre I’m writing in. Also, my work is very character driven, and I enjoy writing unconventional plots.

3) Why do I write what I do?

trashy

 

 

 

 

I write what I’m interested in,and my interests run a wide gamut. So far I’ve written about the Albanian mafia, a Hindu demi-god, the dystopian near-future, and multicutural historical stories. I love doing research, so often I’ll see something that catches my attention (like human trafficking or exploitative tabloid headlines), and then I think, “Where is the love story in this?” I love obscure knowledge, and getting to pepper my romance novels with it is a benefit of the job.

4) How does your writing process work?

kiss

Well, I’m not the type of writer who has conversations with her characters, so usually a story comes to me as the hero and/or the heroine being involved in some sort of “what if” situation (e.g., “What if one of those teachers being vilified by the press  was actually the victim of a vicious plot?”). Plots inspiration often stems from learning about an interesting situation in the real world, through meeting someone or reading something in the news or on a blog, and then thinking “You know what would be cool?” and starting to write. I think up story ideas ALL THE TIME, but the right combination of plot and character is necessary to get my butt in the chair and my fingers flying.

Research is a big part of my writing process. Whether I’m writing contemporary or historical, I try to make sure I know as much about a place/culture/event as possible before writing to better inform the development of character/story. I’m mostly a pantser, so research is my way of organizing. For example, in a historical, the plot has to follow a certain timeline, and knowing about the time period helps me to organize the book as a whole. Or in a contemporary, if I decide to incorporate something I’ve uncovered in my research, I can build the story out around that.

I often write a short summary (a couple of paragraphs), and then just add notes as they come to me—usually when I’m zoning out during my commute or in bed about to fall asleep.

Hopefully that made sense—it does in my head! Be sure to check out next week’s writer, the awesome Jill Sorenson!

Jill Sorenson writes sexy action/adventure romance for HQN. http://www.jillsorenson.com/blog/

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Monday Dose of Cuteness

When I’m visiting Mr. Cole, this is my writing buddy. She curls up next to me, always keeping an ear cocked my way to ensure I make no sudden moves, and brings me rats and birds to snack on when she thinks I need a break.

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