Sunday, April 21, 2013

Preparing for the Madness of RT (Giveaway)

by JM Madden

I joined the Lexington chapter of Romance Writers of America almost seven years ago now. I remember walking into a lunch at a local eatery and just being entranced by the women there. They were real writers. Unlike me. I just scribbled in notebooks at the time. Had no idea what to do with what I had, but knew I needed to do something because the stories just kept coming.

That group of women started me on my career as a writer. I worked on my manuscripts for a couple of years, then eventually built up the courage to submit to a newly opened digital publisher. That was in October of 2010 and my first book, Second Time Around, was accepted almost immediately. I cried that day, unable to believe that somebody believed in me that much!  

That following April, I flew out to LA to meet my publisher and to attend the Romantic Times convention, my first as a published author. Sounds cool, huh? I have to say, it was a hell of a thrill for this country girl.  Romantic Times is one of THE biggest conferences for romance writers in the country. And readers. I certainly found myself falling into reader/fangirl mode a lot out there. Definitely more than author mode.

If you’ve ever been to a conference like that, you’ll understand what I’m saying. It’s thrilling to walk through the halls of the hotel and pass women whose names you’ve only ever seen on the covers of books. Or listen to the innovators of the industry talk about their visions for the future. You are just in awe of the sheer brilliance surrounding you.

I find that as I get ready for my third Romantic Times conference, that excitement is still there, although it has morphed to a certain extent. I’ve met wonderful writers over the years and have realized that they are just regular people, like me. They have kids and mortgages and bills. Insecurities. Weaknesses.  

But it’s funny because I now have people coming up to me with that fangirl mentality. Which feeds my enthusiasm for writing. I love meeting readers that have read my books, because many times they’ve fallen in love with my characters as much as I have, so we automatically have a lot in common. 

Each conference I go to, and I’ve been to a good many in the past couple of years, is different. They nurture different environments and different readerships. Different genres of writing. But so far, RT is the only one I’ve been to that nurtures everything. It’s the most all-inclusive get-together I’ve ever been to, and it feeds my creative soul.

This conference begins on May 1st, and the excitement is building inside me. I’m anxious for this week to fly. Anxious to get in the truck and drive for eight hours to get there. Anxious to stand in line to get my Published Author badge. Anxious to sign the first request by a reader. 

It’s been hectic getting ready, ordering swag to give away, books to sell. But I know once I get there it will all have been worth it.

Book Blurb

I’m promoting a new series this year that’s very dear to my heart. It’s called the Lost and Found series. It’s about wounded veterans returning from overseas and having to build a new life for themselves. The prequel to the series, The Embattled Road, is free right now. You can check it out at Amazon here.
The second book, Embattled Hearts, deals with one of the partners, and his search for love. Here’s the blurb:
John Palmer hasn’t felt like a real man since he was injured during combat in Iraq. Though not content with his new life, he is mostly adapting, just like the other vets at the Lost ‘N’ Found Investigative Service. When Shannon Murphy is hired on as the new office manager, life suddenly gets a lot more interesting. Before long, John finds himself wondering if he could ever be the kind of man Shannon needs.
Shannon Murphy wasn’t really looking for love when she hired on at LNF, but finds herself hopelessly attracted to the sex-on-wheels former Marine, John Palmer. The man is grumpy and nearly impossible to work with, but his brand of masculinity appeals to her on a basic level. Soon Shannon is wondering just what it would take for John to want her the way she wants him.
When an old enemy tries to settle a vendetta against Shannon, John insists on protecting her. He moves into her house, fanning the spark of attraction into a blaze. But the danger continues to escalate. Will the connection that they’ve found survive when they’re thrust into a fight for their lives?

 Giveaway Contest

John Palmer was one of my most difficult yet satisfying men to write. I’ll be giving away a download of Embattled Hearts to one lucky visitor, just tell me if you’ve ever been to a romance conference of any kind, and your experience, good or bad.

 I sincerely appreciate you stopping to read!  And Happy Birthday Inner Goddess Blog!!!

JM Madden loves to talk to readers on:
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or you can contact her directly at


  1. My first adult book convention. I was the ultimate fan girl. I've met rock stars and movie stars and stayed perfectly calm. But this was a squeal like it's the Beatles moment for me. Now I chat with some of these ladies on a daily basis. So surreal!

  2. Isn't it fun. I try to keep the squealing to a minimum, now, but it's hard sometimes. I may have squeaked when I met Sherillyn Kenyon last year. Thanks for stopping dear!

  3. I haven't been to one yet but it is in the plans, hopefully this year. I know I will probably be a fan girl but that's okay.

    JM, thank you for doing our blog, your books sound terrific, and the subject matter is timely. I am picking up your prequel, as a start.

  4. I've never been to one but would love too I would be the one walking around in awe. I love this series and can't wait for the next one.

  5. Conventions are literally everywhere, all over the country. Some are big, some are small, but if you ever get the chance to go to one, I strongly suggest you do. You'll find that everybody there is a book-geek just like you. And the authors LOVE talking to the newbies!
    Thanks for stopping!

  6. TinkNCognito, you won the free download! Congratulations! Contact me at to let me know what format you need.
    Thank you everybody for participating!

  7. So excited. I just emailed you. Thanks again.